L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rail traffic disrupted
Farmers protest against non-lifting 
of discoloured paddy
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 29
The ‘rail roko’ agitation by nine farmers' organisations coupled with operational problems at the Jalandhar train station due to installation of a route relay system threw rail traffic on the Amritsar-Ludhiana section in complete disarray today. Passengers faced a lot of inconvenience with uncertainty prevailing over running of most trains.

The farmers’ bodies had earlier announced they would block the movement of trains throughout the state on October 29 in order to protest against the government's failure to purchase discoloured paddy.

With the farmers obstructing rail tracks as a part of their agitation, the 2497 New Delhi-Amritsar Shan-e-Punjab was short terminated at Phagwara and the 5LF Ludhiana-Ferozepur passenger train, scheduled to depart at 1:45 pm, was cancelled.

The cascading effect of the inordinate delay in running of trains for the past three days due to a block taken at the Jalandhar station for installation of route relay system continued today as well, even though Northern Railway officials decided against any block today due to the farmers' protest.

According to the officials, most of the “up” and “down” trains between Amritsar and Ludhiana were running behind schedule by anything from one and a half to four hours. The 2926 Amritsar-Bandra Pashchim Express arrived in the city one and a half hours late, the 1058 Amritsar-Dadar Express was running four hours behind schedule while the 2460 Amritsar-New Delhi Super Express and 2716 Amritsar-Nanded Sachkhand Express were delayed by more than two hours.

Desperately waiting for their trains, harassed passengers were making a beeline to the railway enquiry counter. However their repeated queries yielded little by way of information as those manning the enquiry counter were also clueless as to the time of arrival of trains on the trunk route due to an operational snag as well as the farmers’ stir.

Waiting at the train station to board the Pashchim Express for New Delhi from where he was to take a flight to Bangalore, Jagdeep Sharma, a bank executive, said he had made a reservation a fortnight ago for his journey to New Delhi. "I had absolutely no idea that train traffic would be disrupted otherwise I’d have made some alternative arrangements. It was only after coming to the station that I came face to face with the situation”.

Railway officials said the movement of trains on the Amritsar-Ludhiana section would continue to be “erratic” till installation of a route relay system at the Jalandhar station is completed. However, they had no idea as to how much more time that would take.

l New Delhi-Amritsar Shan-e-Punjab — Terminated at Phagwara

l 5LF Ludhiana-Ferozepur passenger train cancelled.

l Pashchim Express — Hour-and-a-half late

l Amritsar-Dadar Express — Four hours late

l Amritsar-New Delhi Super Express and 2716 Amritsar- Nanded Sachkhand Express — Delayed by more than two hours


Kids yearn for freedom
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
Dolled up as Lord Rama, two-year-old Aarav is breathless due to constant wailing while his two-and-a-half-year-old classmate Annanya, who is dressed up, as Sita is uncomfortable with heavy jewellery pricking her fragile neck. The “little goddess,” too, is in tears even as the rest of her classmates, draped in weighty costumes, are clueless as to what is happening around them.

This is not a scene being enacted at the local Ram Lila ground. It is a day out of the weeklong Diwali celebrations at one of the city’s up market play way schools.

And though, occasion and institution vary, the tiny tots’ predicament remains constant; thanks to the school authorities’ strong yearning to remain in the news for one reason or another.

“Unfortunately, celebrating days, events and festivals has become more of an “eye-catching” drama for various play way authorities than being an educative exercise,” rues Shantanu S, father of a pre-school student.

His wife Sugandha says, “This pretty much explains the endless number of celebrations in various play way schools throughout the year, most of which are strikingly marked by dewy eyes, howls, wailings and incessant squalling from the little ones.”

Shockingly, the authorities choose to remain oblivious of the mental and physical harassment that all this “drama” causes to the little ones.

“The school authorities pass directions to parents to send kids attired in a particular manner, without attempting to find out if the children are keen on it or not,” lamented another parent Anuradha Singla.

“As a result, all we see is our baby crying on stage, refusing to act and just wanting to break free from the weight of the costume,” says Aarav’s father Nikhil.

He adds that such celebrations are no use to the tiny tots, who instead of enjoying and learning about the subject of festivity, want to get away from it all.

The school authorities, on the other hand, justify their act by terming it as a development exercise and an endeavour to create socially aware citizens.

“Such functions are a way to acquaint our coming generations with our rich cultural heritage,” says a play way head.

“They should be taught about the importance of all festivals and this way, they learn better, grow better,” another play way principal added.

However, Rajni, mother of a pre-school student, argues, “But kids between two to three years are too young to understand and perform by themselves.”

She adds that if at all, the school authorities want to enlighten and acquaint the students about the importance of various days and festivals like Republic Day, Independence Day, Diwali, Holi, Dusshera; they should instead, adopt a child-friendly technique.

“They can show the kids animation movies depicting the importance of the day; give them goodies; or may be take them for an outing to a historically important place. The kids will enjoy more along with learning,” she opines.

Performances can wait till the kids are old enough to handle the pressures of costumes, make up and stage, says Dr Rajiv Gupta, senior psychiatrist.

Moreover, experts and parents say the schools should zero in on the utmost important events to celebrate rather than celebrating every day and festival, irrespective of its importance in the Indian set up.



NGO questions health dept’s functioning 
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
The ongoing campaign against adulteration has taken a new turn with city-based NGOs questioning the functioning of the department of health and family welfare.

Questioning district health authorities about the delay in the “reports” of the samples of khoya and other milk products procured during the recent raids, MS Gill, president, People’s Forum for Transparency and Social Concern, an NGO, said, “The health minister of Punjab has categorically stated during the last festival season that the reports of the samples of khoya and other sweetmeats taken in festival season will be declared within 24 hours.”

“But the health officials have failed to declare not even a single report within the fortnight. This is not in the interest of the public.” Gill said. Members of the forum have expressed their resentment over the ways and means adopted by the health officials for “destroying” the spurious khoya and sweetmeats. A member of the NGO alleged, “Most of the time, the seized khoya, paneer and other sweetmeat products are sold at the lesser known counters just a day before Diwali. The entire operation is carried out by the shopkeepers in connivance with the health officials.” The NGO have raised their doubts over not a single raid being conducted on cold storages located outside the municipal corporation’s limit. Majority of the synthetic khoya is stored in these cold storages but the department of health and family welfare has failed to check even one during this festival season. District health officer Dr Jagpal Singh said he had to act on the directions of the higher authorities. “We will soon check the cold stores in the peripheries of Ludhiana,” he added.

He said their teams could only destroy khoya or sweetmeats after the affirmation of the shopkeeper concerned otherwise sampling is done under the PFA Act. 



2 more dengue deaths
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
Two persons have died due to dengue fever at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) since yesterday.

Sushil Kumar, owner, Royal Dhoda Sweet House, died today at the Hero DMC Heart Institute.

Sushil Kumar was undergoing treatment at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) for the past six days.

The patient had shown signs of improvement as Rajiv Garg, the manager, Dhoda Sweet House, said: "His platelet count had improved within three days. Later on he developed kidney problem. But his condition became critical after he suffered a heart attack yesterday evening.”

Ashraf (40) died due to dengue at DMCH on Friday. He is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters.

The district epidemiologist, however, refused to confirm the deaths. 



VAT Refund Amount
CICU condemns govt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU), Ludhiana, working committee has condemned Punjab government for not issuing the relevant notification to release 75 per cent pending VAT refund amount to the trade and industry of Punjab.

Avtar Singh, general secretary, and Upkar Singh, joint secretary of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, Ludhiana, have reminded the Chief Minister of Punjab Parkash Singh Badal that the official approval to release the pending VAT refund amounts upto 75 per cent of the total amount that was announced in August by the VAT Committee formed by the Punjab government and subsequently by the Cabinet ministers of Punjab to release the amount by issuing the notification.

Avtar Singh has again requested the Chief Minister to intervene and order the concerned ministry to issue the notification soon, so that the pending VAT refund amount could be released to the tax payers of the trade and industry of Punjab at large and Ludhiana in particular.



Women at their best in Virasati mela 
Opens new chapter in history of state
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
Motivating the girl students participating in the "Virasati Mela Dhiyan Da" at Government College For Women, the Punjab Education Minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan said that this heritage and cultural fest had added a new chapter in the history of Punjab.

The girls and women from various colleges had done a commendable work by portraying the ethos of Punjab which existed in its villages, said the minister. " These melas should be convened in every district of Punjab so as to create awareness in public about the efficiency of girls and women in every field," added the minister.

The two-day mela concluded on a thrilling note as there was no end to the excitement of the girls from various colleges who showcased their respective talents during the cultural fest and heritage stalls put up at the mela.

Promoting the ongoing campaign of the NGO "Nanhi Chaan" against female foeticide, the girl students had made innovative posters depicting touching scenes.

From conventional marriage panorama to the Meena Bazaar where the girls and women could be seen shopping added to the fervour of the mela.Not to miss the "makki di roti and sarson daa saag" that attracted some foreign tourists to taste the conventional Punjabi cuisine.

The mela was an important event for the city as was evident from the visitors who took time out of their busy schedules to take a glimpse of the stalls.

Punjab Finance Minister Dr Upenderjit Kaur while inaugurating the mela yesterday had appreciated the efforts of the Punjab Cultural Minister Hira Singh Gabria adding that such events are a step towards revival of the rich cultural heritage of the state. The mela is a joint venture of the state government and the Punjab Arts Council. 

Divya Dutta honoured

Divya Dutta, a former student of Government College for Women was a special invitee at the Virasati Mela Dhiyan Da. The actor was honoured with a souvenier by the Punjab Arts Council.

"Getting an award in my parent college is as good as an Oscar award for whatever I am today, it is because of the guidance and encouragement given by my teachers and college principal," said Divya. Accrediting the college for her success in life, Divya Dutta said that such heritage programmes were a must for every state.

Terming female foeticide as a heinous crime, the actor called upon women to take a tough stand adding, "The role of the women will be elemental in changing the psyche as well as bringing the change in the society at large." 



Mahila Commission to redress inmates’ grievances 
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
In a move that is aimed at improving the condition of the inmates in various women jails across the state, Mahila Commission has decided to take stock of their well-being and redress their problems.

The decision was taken by Gurdev Kaur Sangha, chairperson, Punjab State Mahila Commission.

Sangha was here to address the problems being faced by women. She said the decision would be implemented from next week.

She further informed that the decision to inspect women's jails came in the wake of the matter in which a jail inmate in Ludhiana Women's Jail had delivered a baby girl in the jail toilet last month.

It is pertinent to mention that Balwinder Kaur, an undertrial in Women's Jail, Ludhiana, was undergoing sentence for attempt to murder. The inmate was expectant mother, but doctors could not ascertain her condition.

They continued to claim that Balwinder had a tumour. When she gave birth to the child in the jail toilet of the jail, it triggered outrage among her relatives, who later staged a dharna outside the hospital.

The Punjab jail department had given a clean chit to officials of the local women's jail in the case, but social organisations demanded thorough probe.

Sangha said after the shameful incident, the commission had decided to open courts for women jail inmates so that they could put forth their grievances.

"The open court will aim at solving the problems of the inmates in a more effective manner,” Sangha said.

She promised that said would look into the matter of health of the jail inmates.

Meanwhile, giving details of the complaints, Sangha said: "Last year, 1,048 complaints were filed, out of which only 362 could be solved."

This year, from April to September 1,056 complaints had been received out of which 515 had been solved, she added.

She said majority of the complaints comprised marital discords and harassment by the police. "Others include domestic problems, land disputes and physical violence," she added.

Ray of hope for jail inmates

Following the incident of delivery of a (dead) premature baby girl in the jail toilet last month, Punjab State Mahila Commission chairperson Gurdev Kaur Sangha ordered a probe into the matter and gave a month to the authorities concerned to report. She promised that the accused would be punished after the probe



City has a date with Mother Express
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 29
City residents, especially schoolchildren, thronged Mother Express during its two-day halt at the railway station here this morning.

"It’s a train with a difference. Rather than taking people from one place to another, it takes the visitors to a world of humanity, humility, compassion for suffering human beings and the have-nots, feeling of brotherhood with the under-privileged and orphans," these were observations of visitors to the Mother Express.

Mother Express, which commenced its journey across the length and breadth of the country from Sealdah on August 27, has covered a number of states before concluding its run in Haryana yesterday. It is scheduled to halt at Jalandhar, Hussainpur and then proceed to Udhampur before arriving at Amritsar next week and then proceeding to Ajmer (Rajasthan).

The train is slated to conclude its run at Katihar (Bihar) on February 26, 2011. According to Albert, a functionary of Christian United Federation, who is accompanying the train during its run through out Punjab, visitors to the pictorial exhibition were exposed to the work of Mother Teresa in slums of Kolkata with glimpses on her travel to other parts of the globe.

"The kids learn about Missionaries of Charity - an NGO set up by the great saint to work for the welfare of the poor and underprivileged. The pictorial exhibition is supported by a documentary made on the life of the missionary with a rare degree of devotion and commitment to the chosen cause," he observed.



‘Subsidies needed for developing nation’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
"I am in favour of subsidies as financial support is very important for every sector in a developing nation," said Punjab Finance Minister Upenderjit Kaur.

The minister was in the city to inaugurate “Virasati Mela Dhiyan Da” at the Government College for Women.

The mela is a joint venture of the state government and the Punjab Arts Council.

Dr Upenderjit Kaur, while appreciating the efforts of the Punjab Cultural Minister Hira Singh Gabria, said, "Such events are a step towards revival of the rich cultural heritage of the state."

The finance minister stated that despite social and economical discrimination, girls are making a name for themselves in the field of education, sports and other fields.

Meanwhile, there was no end to the excitement of the girls from various colleges who showcased their respective talents during the cultural fest and heritage stalls put up at the Mela.

Promoting the ongoing campaign of the NGO "Nanhi Chaan" against female foeticide, the girl students had made innovative posters depicting touching scenes.

From conventional marriage panorama to the Meena bazaar where girls and women could be seen shopping added to the fervour of the mela.

Not to miss the "makki di roti and sarson daa saag" that attracted some foreign tourists to taste the conventional Punjabi cuisine. 

Minister takes note of ‘vacant stalls’

Punjab Finance Minister Upenderjit Kaur, took note of the "vacant stalls" on Thursday morning. The organisers were late in putting up the show. The ministers were taken on a tour of the mela ground where all stalls were unmanned. 



City Centre Scam
Capt seeks exemption from appearing in court 
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 29}
Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh today filed an application seeking exemption from personal appearance in alleged multi-crore city centre scam. The case was fixed for October 30.

The application was filed before the court of Sessions Judge S P Bangarh by the lawyer of Captain Amrinder Singh.

It has been pleaded in the application that recently he has been appointed as president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, so, he was to attend meetings at New Delhi. Due to this he was unable to attend the court proceedings. This application will be taken up by the court tomorrow with the main case hearing.



Mélange of hues, forms on display 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
Seven youngsters under the group "Young Artist Group of Punjabi University, Patiala" have put up an exhibition "Green Glory" in the city at Gallery Artmosphere.

The aim is to spread a message to preserve nature. Kushwant Kaur, Bhavna, Daisy, Sunanda, Shelley, Baninder and Gurpreet Singh, pass outs from Punjabi University, have formed this group and have been holding exhibitions in the state.

Baninder, who has been fascinated by fairies since childhood, has given a dominant place to them in all her creations. She has expressed her love for nature in simple yet appealing manner. Bhavna, on the other hand, has excelled in handling her palette well in muted and pastel shades, which command attention due to superb management of space and right choice of nature's elements.

In her series of paintings "Vision of Nature" she has shown nature blindfolded and in another painting she has shown nature seeing destruction all around.

Sunanda, who is from Chennai, has shown her love for fish, boats and rivers. Openness and freedom is witnessed in her paintings. While Gurpreet Singh has keen sense of structured compositional excellence coupled with the aura of tenderness. Daisy has tried to be innovative by using textured surfaces of her compact compositions. In Shelley's work there is a search for inner beauty, while Khushwant Kaur stir an emotional cord in one's mind, as there is a fusion of vibrant hues and forms.

Prof NS Tasneem, after inaugurating the exhibition, said it was a surprise that the group of talented young artistes had shown enormous vivacity in understanding and expressing inner-most delicate and tender thoughts and feelings through their own distinctive styles, which are both evocative, visually profound and aesthetically rich as all of them have embarked upon a journey to explore and narrate a warmth of mother nature's lap, which offers solace, peace and contentment to all beings. The exhibition is on at the Gallery Artmosphere till October 31.



Sunil Bharti Mittal named ‘Philanthropist of the Year’

Ludhiana, October 29
Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman and group CEO, Bharti Enterprises, has received the Philanthropist of the Year Award at the prestigious Asian Awards 2010.

Mittal has been recognised for his outstanding contribution in the area of education for the underprivileged through the Bharti Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Bharti Group.

The Asian Awards 2010 is the first of its kind in celebration of achievement and excellence amongst South Asians from around the world.

Bharti Foundation's Satya Bharti School Programme provides free quality education to underprivileged children in remote villages across India with particular focus on the girl child. The programme, under which 236 primary schools and one senior secondary school are currently operational, reaches out to over 30,000 children with modern curriculum that includes computer-aided learning, free uniforms and books and mid-day meals.

Mittal said, "I am delighted to receive this honour and will dedicate it to the team at the Bharti Foundation whose commitment has made this project a success on such a large scale. I am also hopeful that the efforts of the Bharti Foundation will offer thousands of children a platform to participate more meaningfully in India's growth story and contribute to Government of India's agenda of inclusive growth." — TNS



Amarinder’s Appointment
PPCC legal cell hails party’s decision 

Ludhiana, October 29
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) legal cell has hailed the decision of the Congress high command for appointing Captain Amarinder Singh as the president of the PPCC. Sweets were distributed amongst the members of legal fraternity at district courts complex.

PPCC legal cell chairman Dharamjit Singh Khera, former chairman PD Sharma, convenor Ashok Bhakri, general secretaries Rana Harjasdeep and Kamaljit Sharma said the decision taken by the AICC leadership would certainly boost the morale of party workers. — OC



Review meeting
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
A meeting of scientific advisory committee (SAC) was held at Krishi Vigyan Kendra at Samrala under the chairmanship of director of extension education Dr MS Gill in which Dr AM Narula, zonal project director, ICAR, also participated. The progress report of the KVK for the past six months was presented, along with the earmarked programmes for the coming months by Dr Jugraj Singh. Dr Gill asked other departments connected with agriculture to work in collaboration with KVK. Dr Narula declared that ICAR will provide funds for the further strengthening of the KVK.

The PAU Kisan Club president Pavittar Pal Singh Pangli suggested that National Seed Corporation should create a distribution centre at KVK.

Jasbir Singh Ghulal, a farmer, said training courses on animal husbandry be organised at Samrala. Farm women Sukhdev Kaur and Kiranjit Kaur Pawat asked for more training programmes for rural women. An exhibition displaying latest technologies was also held. Representatives of entrepreneur groups were also present. — OC 



Tickle your taste buds with chocolate sweets 
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
Bite into a piece of chocolate instead of traditional ladoo and burfi this Diwali. But what if a ladoo is made of chocolate and burfi is made of brownie. Dig into your favourite chocolate ecstasy be it in its original shape or in the shape of traditional mithai. Chocolates to a great extend have replaced mithai this Diwali season.

Bake Fresh at BRS Nagar and Shastri Nagar has come up with an innovative idea and has made chocolate ladoos and brownie burfis. "It is all about the shape. We have come up with chocolate ladoo and brownie burfi especially for the festive season. People can have a feel of the traditional mithai and taste of their favourite chocolate," said Manik Bajaj, owner of Bake Fresh.

Besides, cakes, dry cakes, Australian brownies, rum balls and cookies are included in our gift hampers, he added.

Chocolates are always welcome. Available in a variety of options like dark, bitter, filled with nuts or wine/liquor, buy them from leading bakers and confectionery stores or chocolate shops. And if you are calorie conscious, go for sugar-free chocolates.

The recent trend has proved boon for the bakers, as a lot of people prefer giving chocolates and cakes on Diwali.

"I see a big change. Initially people used to buy a lot of sweets, but now they have shifted to chocolates and cakes. People don't relish much Indian traditional mithai. For Diwali we have designed a "sweet samosa" and "chocolate mithai mix". Sweet samosa is a chocolate in the shape of a samosa, while chocolate mithai mix is layering of chocolate with condensed milk and topping with pure rich chocolate.

"One can have a feel of mithai while relishing their favourite chocolate. Besides, assorted cakes, cookies and dry cakes are a huge draw on this Diwali," said Swastika Dutta Sobti, owner of Cake Square at Pakhowal road.

Another baker from the city added that they had come out with a good order book this season. Even corporates prefer chocolates over sweets as they have longer shelf life. Chocolate packs are priced between ` 300 and ` 5,000 and the maximum sales are happening in the range of ` 300 to ` 500.



Docs threaten to observe black Diwali
Our Correspondent

Khamano, October 29
The PCMS Specialist Doctor Association, Punjab, has appealed to Punjab Chief Minister to except their demands.

Dr Surinderpal Bhagat, secretary general of the association, said they would be forced to observe black Diwali if their demands were not considered soon by the Punjab government.

In a letter written to Punjab Chief Minister, the association has drawn his attention to some demands already been considered by the government, but not been finalised by the department.

Their main demands of couple cases, handicapped and unmarried cases are given a deaf ear by the health department. They stated that number of doctors was very less and they were forced to put in more duty hours.

Besides, their genuine promotions were also due, but no one cared. They had demanded their pay arrears that was decided earlier from January 1, 2006, should be released soon before Diwali so as to avoid dharnas. They had demanded that the recommendations of the Fifth Pay Commission should be implemented soon.

They threatened if their demands were not met soon then they would be forced to observe black Diwali.



PAU Notes

Mustard sowing
Sowing of mustard in Punjab starts from October onwards. It is important for farmers to know the expected harvest prices and other relevant production and marketing information in order to allocate area under this crop.

Agricultural Market Intelligence Centre (AMIC) gathered and analysed this information to help farmers and other stakeholders to take decisions.

As per an advisory issued by AMIC, mustard oil is the third most important edible oil produced in the world after Soya oil and Palm oil, said Dr JS Sidhu, in charge of AMIC. He added that the production and consumption of oil has been growing at the rate of 4.65 and 5 per cent, respectively.

The world production of rapeseed-mustard stands at 62 million tonnes (mt) in 2009 with its oil production estimated at 20-22 mt. China and Canada are the leading producers of this crop jointly accounting for more than 40 per cent of global production, while India, Ukraine, Russian Federation and Czech Republic are the other major producers of mustard seeds.

Mustard is one of the most important oilseed crops in India and needs fewer inputs as compared to other oilseed crops and contains oil content between 36 and 44 per cent. Mustard oil contributes around 35 per cent in total vegetable oil production of the country.

Almost all mustard production is consumed within the country for cooking, making hydrogenated fats (Vanaspati) and protein rich oil meal used as livestock feed, expressed Dr Sidhu.

The Central Organisation for Oil Industry and Trade estimated the country’s mustard seed output at 6.4 mt during 2009-10 as against 6.7 mt last year. Rajasthan is the leading mustard producing state in India contributing about 45 per cent of total production followed by UP (15 per cent), Madhya Pradesh and Haryana (9 per cent each) and Gujarat and West Bengal (6-7 per cent each). Hapur, Jaipur, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Indore, Alwar, Bharatpur and Sri Ganganagar are the major trading centres.

In Punjab, Dr Sidhu stated, the area under rapeseed and mustard crop has declined drastically from about 66,000 hectares in 2002-03 to about 27,000 hectares during 2009-10. — OC



From Schools


Maple Bear organised Halloween to mark an end of summer season and onset of winter season. Tiny tots came dressed in Halloween costumes like ghosts, spiders, skeletons etc, and danced to the tunes from horror movies. The campus was decorated with special Halloween balloons and kids were given Halloween masks, which were specially brought from Canada.

Kids enjoyed the party thoroughly. Principal Veena Aggarwal told the kids not to get scared of ghosts and phantoms.

Dance contest

Sacred Heart School witnessed spirited performances by dancers in a solo-dance contest, as part of the annual competitions offered by Ludhiana Sahodaya Schools Complex (West). Many schools participated in the event and students portrayed their talent in different genres like classical, semi-classical, Punjabi, Bollywood numbers and hip-hop.

These budding talents left everyone wanting for more. Pawandeep Singh, school director, and principal Anju Banga encouraged the students and said they were proud to host such an event, which provides a platform to students to show their talent. The winners are: 1st Simran (Sacred Heart School); 2nd Aishwarya (Alpine International School), 3rd Safin (DAV School, Mullanpur), Twinkle (Jatindera Greenfield School).

Sports Day

Tiny tots of MGM Public School celebrated their sports day with fervour. The environment was filled with the fragrance of brotherhood and fraternity. Rakesh Pandey, former minister of printing and stationary and technical education, was the chief guest. Dimple Rana, president of the Youth Congress, was guest of honour.

The function commenced with the flag hoisting ceremony and march past. School choir presented a welcome song. A dance item showing the spirit of sportsmanship was presented by the students. Declaration for the opening of the meet was done after the oath taking ceremony by the school head boy. Students from nursery to Class II participated in different events.

Principal Poonam Sharma appreciated the efforts made by the students. — TNS



Gang of highway robbers busted
Our Correspondent

Khanna, October 29
The police has busted a gang of highway truck robbers and arrested two of the key members.

SSP Khanna DP Singh, during a press conference, said the police had succeeded in recovering six trucks and 25 pipes from the gang members.

He said gang leader Surinder Singh Shinda, a resident of Dehlan district, Kapurthala, confessed that they had robbed 14 trucks in the past from Khanna, Gobindgarh, Rajpura and Ludhiana.

He said four other gang members had been identified and five gang members often used to rob trucks in the night. Some of the trucks robbed by them were taken to UP where they used to change the chassis and engine numbers of the trucks.

According to sources, some of the trucks were unloaded and its valuables were sold to a businessman of Ludhiana Prince Gupta. The gang had robbed a truck recently on October 13 near Bhattian, Khanna, and after this the police got some clues and followed the robbers.

The SSP said the main accused Surinder Singh had a record of robberies and about 12 cases were pending against him.

Surinder and Prince had been arrested and were presented in a court where they were remanded in police custody, he added.

He assured that the remaining gang members would be arrested soon and more trucks may be recovered soon.



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