L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Youth’s death in accident triggers protest
4 hurt as police uses force to disperse protesters
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Protesters show injuries after a cane charge by the police.
Protesters show injuries after a cane charge by the police. Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, November 13
A 22-year-old youth was killed when a speeding truck ran him down on the Ferozepur road here today. This triggered protest by commuters, which resulted in a mild cane charge by the police to disperse the protesters, causing minor injuries to four persons.

The incident took place around 9 am, when the victim, identified as Pawan Kumar, a carpenter, was crossing the Ferozepur road to reach his place of work.

According to eyewitness Om Parkash, a speeding truck (PB 10 CE 1230) belonging to a multi-national company hit the victim near Agar Nagar Chowk. Pawan was tossed in the air by the impact and fell several metres away.

“The truck ran over the victim, killing him on the spot, as its driver, who appeared to be drunk, failed to stop the vehicle,” alleged Om Parkash.

The truck driver sped away from the scene but was intercepted by a city resident. The police was informed about the incident.

Angered commuters started thrashing the truck driver when a PCR vehicle reached the scene and took the driver, identified as Sohan Singh, into its custody.

Labour leaders also reached the scene and staged a dharna, leading to a traffic jam.

Three policemen, including two occupying the PCR vehicle, reportedly pulled out batons and dispersed the agitating labourers. This resulted in minor injuries to four protesting labourers.

The labourers again blocked the road, accusing the police of shielding the truck driver.ACP Raj Kumar and SHOs of PAU and Sarabha Nagar police stations later reached the scene and pacified the crowd.

The police later handed over the body to the relatives after a post-mortem examination of the victim.Pawan was cremated at the BRS Nagar crematorium this evening.

Kamaljit Soi, vice-chairman of the Punjab Road Safety Council, said the tragedy could have been averted had speed governors been installed on the truck.

Three cops suspended

In a major fallout, three policemen, including a sub-inspector, were suspended and posted to the Police Lines for dereliction of duty. The action against the policemen was taken after angered relatives and labour leaders staged a protest. The leaders alleged that the policemen had reportedly received bribes from the truck driver and cane-charged the protesting labourers resulting in injuries to four labourers. Assistant Commissioner of Police Raj Kumar confirmed the development.


Disposal of explosives from today
Villagers fear collateral damage
Mohit Khanna/TNS

Ludhiana, November 13
With the Army all set to dispose of around 200 quintals of explosives in its weeklong drive, the administration is treading cautiously by conducting the drive in phases.Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari said he had coordinated with the Army and the disposal of explosives would take place in phases.

“The first phase will take place on November 14 and 15 to assess the impact of explosives. During the exercise, residents of Sakhewal and Mattewara villages will stay at a gurdwara. I have appointed an SDM to make the necessary arrangements for housing the villagers,” said Tiwari, adding that the exercise would be conducted during the day.

A team would inspect the impact of explosions on houses in the village and after receiving a nod from the experts, villagers would be allowed to return to their houses. The next day, the same exercise would be repeated.

In the meantime, the detonation of 200 quintals of explosives in 11 craters dug at Sakhewal village has raised concern among villagers, as they fear it will have a devastating effect not only on domestic animals but also on the wildlife of the nearby Mattewara forest.

Villagers fear that the explosions will impact the flora and fauna of the village and its surrounding area.

The residents of three villages - Sakhewal, Mattewara and Haider Nagar - have been told to vacate their houses during the day.

While seven craters have been dug in the forest area near Sakehwal, five have been dug along the Sutlej. Many craters are 12 feet deep and over 100 metres wide.

“I came to know that we have to vacate the village during the time of explosions. We are worried about our animals, as it is difficult to relocate them. I fear buffaloes may stop giving milk due to the explosions,” rued Charanjit Singh, standing near a pit.

Wildlife activist Sandeep Jain said the explosions would have a maddening effect on the wildlife as forest animals were not accustomed to such loud sounds.

“I fear the blasts would trigger panic in animals. I wonder if the administration has taken the approval from the forest department, as the Mattewara forest is reserved under the forest Act and any kind of activity would be tantamount to violation of the forest rules,” he said.



Freshly-carpeted road dug to lay sewerage
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
In complete disregard to the inconvenience caused to motorists, residents and commercial establishments continue to dig freshly-carpeted roads even as the municipal corporation authorities look the other way.

In a recent case, the road connecting Mata Rani Chowk to Bhadaur House, which was carpeted just 10 days ago, has been dug to lay sewerage by the owner of a hotel.

This has not just caused huge loss of public money but also led to congestion on the road, especially during peak hours.

Sources say the road has been dug by the owner of a hotel in Bhadaur House to lay sewerage.

Surinderjit Singh, a shopkeeper, rued that the road was carpeted just 10 day ago and had again been damaged.

“There is no planning, coordination or action by the authorities concerned against defaulters. If the road had to be dug again, why were the funds wasted on its carpeting? It is already a congested road, which is impossible to pass during peak hours. The digging process has further complicated things for motorists.”

The road going towards both Society Cinema and Deepak cinema is already in a shambles due to the ongoing construction work for the Lakkar Flyover.

Area councillor Parminder Mehta said he was aware of the laying of sewerage by digging a road that was carpeted recently.

“The sewerage is being laid by a hotel owner. Though he had sought permission from the municipal corporation for the purpose, the work had to be carried out before Divali. If he could not start the work at the specified time, he had no right to disrupt public activity. We have got the work stopped for the time-being. We will hold a meeting with officials of the B & R and operations and maintenance (O & M) and decide on the future course of action,” said Mehta.



Clash at Police Station
Budding politicians flex muscles
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
The clash between Gurinderpal Singh, aka Pappu, trustee of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust, and Harpreet Singh Bedi, PA to minister for jails Hira Singh Gabria, inside the Sarabha Nagar police station has once again brought to the fore the path of non-violence adopted by new generation politicians.

Bedi’s detractors said he was following in the footsteps of his political predecessor, who spent nearly a year in jail for assaulting a tehsildar.

Bedi and Pappu were in the police station in connection with an assault case yesterday when they allegedly clashed with each other.

According to eyewitnesses, the police remained a mute spectator as the two slugged it out and tossed turbans.

Bedi and Pappu currently hold the posts of district general secretary and district senior vice-president, respectively, of the SAD.

Pappu had gone to the police station reportedly in support of Anil Sabharwal, a resident of Housing Board Colony, who was attacked by four armed assailants in his house.

Bedi, on the other hand, was present to back two of the accused - Mandeep Bhanot and Sandeep Bhanot.

It is learnt that both have strong differences and have engaged in heated arguments in the past as well.

Pappu claimed that when he entered the police station, Bedi and his sons Gurpreet and Yanky along with their accomplices started thrashing him. The police later booked Bedi and his sons for the assault.

Recently, Bedi’s name had figured in a land grab case. His younger brother Paramjit Singh is already undergoing jail term for raping an 11-year-old girl.

Though, Bedi was not available for comments, his supports refuted the allegations and claimed that it was a conspiracy to malign his political image.



Children’s Day
Kids with cancer brave ailment
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
Life may be a constant battle for children suffering from cancer but moving ahead and living every moment to its full is what sets them apart from the rest of the world.

Even as children celebrate the Children’s Day in their respective schools and families, these special children in the oncology ward at Mohan Dai Oswal Cancer Hospital are engaged in creative activities like drawing and reading.

Oozing with energy, eight-year-old Himanshu, suffering from blood, says: “I know that I am sick but it does not scare me as I feel fine after my short stay at the hospital. I want to become a pilot, as I just love the sight of aeroplanes.”

His parents Satinder and Seema express their gratitude to the state government for bearing the cost of the treatment, saying: “The amount of Rs 2 lakh means a lot to us and we can now spend it on Himanshu’s education.”

Srishti, an adolescent undergoing treatment for cancer and a student of class VIII in a government school, wants to become a teacher of English language.

“I just love the language and want to teach it to students so that more and more people can converse in the language,” she shares.

“Things were bad when I came to the hospital two years ago but now I feel like a new person and want to carry on with my life.”

Disappointed over having missed the “Children’s Day” celebrations, Sandeep (recently operated upon for spine tumour) is soon back in his high spirits and says Chacha Nehru wanted children to be happy and he will not be sad on his birth anniversary.



Teachers decry govt’s move to stagger arrears
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
Resentment is growing among government college teachers in the state over Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s decision to pay arrears following the fifth pay commission’s in three equal instalments over three years. “We had already waited for a long time to get these arrears. Now when the Central government plans to release the funds shortly the money should be disbursed immediately”, said many teachers.

According to the state government's decision, the first instalment will be paid in cash along with the salaries for February, 2011, and half of the amount will be deposited in the respective GPF accounts. However, the move has not gone down well with the teachers.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Jaipal Singh, president of the Government College Teachers' Association, Punjab, said: “The arrears were overdue for about 43 months. We’ve waited for a long time to get the arrears, which are overdue for 43 months — from January 1, 2006 to August 31,2009. Now the government has declared the arrears will be disbursed over three years. When the Punjab government will get the major share of the funds from the central government in one go, why should we wait for another three years?"

The teachers maintain since the central government would be releasing a huge amount of about Rs 400 crore the arrears should be released without any delay. Ashwani Bhalla, vice-president of the Commerce & Management Association, Punjab, asked: “When the human resources development ministry and the University Grants Commission will be bearing 80 per cent of the burden, and the funds are being released shortly, why should state government withhold the payment of the arrears in a lump sum?”

"The funds are being released in other states as well, where college teachers would be getting the arrears immediately. Besides, money will directly come to all the universities and our counterparts here will get the arrears as and when they will be released. Why should we wait for another three years? That means state government wants to enjoy with the central government funds? This is not acceptable and we won’t let it happen. The Punjab government must pay its 20 per cent share and release the arrears to us in a graceful manner", said Bhalla.



Killing girl child a blot on society: VC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
A number of government and non-governmental organisations are putting in efforts to create awareness regarding protection of trees, environment and female foeticide.

This was stated by Dr Manjit Singh Kang, VC, Punjab Agricultural University, while delivering a talk during an awareness programme jointly organised by the National Service Scheme (NSS) Unit of PAU, Inner Wheel Club of Ludhiana district, and the Nanhi Chhaan Foundation at Pal Auditorium today.

Dr Kang said the practice of killing the girl child in the womb had blotted society.

Dr Kang said women was in no way behind men in any field.

Dr Kang said the PAU had developed several eco-friendly technologies for farmers and it had projected environmental concerns through its slogans “Save Water-Save Punjab and Save Environment-Save Humanity.

The VC said the university had created a Dr MS Swaminathan Tree Heritage Park on the campus, where trees of native heritage value were planted by dignitaries visiting the campus.

He said the PAU was organising an “International Conference on Preparing Agriculture for Climate Change” in February-2011 to discuss the impact of changing climate and global warming on agriculture and life.

He advised students to work hard to make things happen and to educate people about environment and social well-being. Dr Kang congratulated more than 300 NSS students of the constituent colleges of PAU. The programme laid an emphasis on saving the girl child, environment and humanity. A declamation contest was also held. Dr Kang awarded prizes to winners.

Meera Bajwa highlighted the activities carried out under Nanhi Chhaan. She gave a presentation on Nanhi Chhaan activities held in August-2010 at Ajmer. Others who shared their views were KS Bajwa, director, Impact Group, Poonam Bindra of Inner Wheel Club (Ludhiana), Dr PPS Lubana, director, Students Welfare.

Among others present on the occasion included Dr Neelam Grewal, Dean, College of Home Science, Dr SS Gosal, Dean College of Agriculture, Dr Gurkirpal Singh, estate officer-cum-chief engineer, Dr Jagtar Singh Dhiman, additional director, communication, NSS coordinators and programme officers of the PAU colleges.



Students awarded scholarship
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
As many as 764 Nehru scholarships and Mittal Pandey Scholarships worth Rs 10.72 lakh were awarded to students during a special function at Nehru Sidhant Kendra, Ludhiana.The function was organised by the Nehru Sidhant Kendra Trust to celebrate the birth anniversary of Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru.

Also, Dr E Sreedharan, managing director of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), and Akshay Patra foundation jointly bagged the Sat Paul Mittal National Award for outstanding service to humanity.

The Punjab Deputy Chief Minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal, conferred upon the awards.

An award of Rs 2 lakh each, along with a citation, medal and biography of the late Sat Paul Mittal was distributed.

SCD Government College, Civil Lines, Ludhiana, received Nehru trophy in the inter-college debate.

Hira Singh Gabria, Tourism Minister Punjab, Harish Rai Dhanda, chief Parliamentary Secretary, MLAs Darshan Singh Shivalik and JS Kheernian, Sharanjit Singh Dhillion, chairman Punjab Agro Industries, Manpreet Singh Aiyali, chairman Zila Parishad, and senior Akali leader Amrik Singh Aliwal were also present.



From Schools
Children’s Day celebrated

Ram Lal: Students of Ram Lal Bhasin Public School celebrated Children’s Day with great zeal and enthusiasm. Staff and students remembered the country’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru and admired his statesmanship. The celebrations began with students giving a message on the significance of life of the great personality. Speeches, poetry, movie shows, picnic were the main attractions. A trip was also organised for Montessori classes to Hardy’s World. Students had a gala time. President of the school Balraj Bhasin sent his best wishes to all. Headmistress of the school Tarannum Fatma highlighted the achievements of Pandit Nehru and encouraged students to help the needy.
Students of Green Land school celebrate Children’s Day in Ludhiana on Saturday.
Students of Green Land school celebrate Children’s Day in Ludhiana on Saturday. A Tribune photograph

Green Land: Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru was remembered with great love and fondness by students of Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, Jalandhar bypass, here today. A mask party was organised for students of the kindergarten section, wherein they danced, played games and enjoyed sumptuous delicacies. Students were dressed as freedom fighters and prominent leaders of today and attracted everyone's attention. It was a lovely sight watching them cut the cake together. Adding a special flavour to the celebrations, teachers of the school mesmerised students with a cultural programme, wherein English and Hindi skits, dances and songs were performed. Speaking on the occasion, school director Rajesh Rudhra and principal Baldeep Pandher said the vision of new India which Pandit Nehru saw was yet to be translated into a living reality. “It is for the younger generation to honour that commitment by building up a strong and prosperous India,” they said.

Guru Gobind: The birth anniversary of first Prime Minister of India Jawahar Lal Nehru was celebrated today at Guru Gobind Singh Public School. The day was replete with a cultural bonanza. The event started with a shabad followed by contemporary, hip-hop and Rajasthani dances. Jokes and poetry, too, were recited. Principal Manjit Kaur told students about the importance of the day and exhorted them to become like “Chacha Nehru”. — TNS



Six-laning of National Highway-I
NHAI, MC officials inspect project site
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
In order to speed up the work of the six-laning of the National Highway-I and to discuss the general problems being faced by the executing agency in completing the work, a team of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) conducted a joint inspection of the project, along with the Municipal Corporation (MC) officers on Friday.

According to sources, the main thrust of the inspection was to provide more entry and exit points to the commuters travelling towards the city by using the highway once the work gets over.

So far NHAI has left only one entry point from the Sahnewal side by which commuters coming from Delhi side towards the city would enter into the city by using the service road.

However, after entering into the city they would have no exit point and if they have to go to Jalandhar they would get an exit point only at Phillaur near the Sutlej.

The MC officers had raised objections with the NHAI by asserting that after entering the city, commuters would have to travel more then 30 km to get an exit from the city which would create traffic problem in the city.

MC officers, including superintendent engineer (SE) DPS Wadhwa and executive engineer (XEN) HS Khosa asked the project director Colonel R Rastogi to make the provisions for some more entry and exit points so that the inconvenience to the commuters entering the city by using the highway could be avoided.

During the inspection, the MC and NHAI officers also discussed the problem being faced by the latter in laying down the sewerage lines on the highway.

The work for the six laning of about 291 km of the National Highway-I from Panipat to Jalandhar had commenced early last year and it would be over by November, 2011.

As a part of the project, the NHAI is constructing flyovers in the city from Ambala road to Jalandhar bypass, which is expected to ease out the traffic.



Religious Function
MC’s tehbazari wing removes gates
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
The tehbazari wing of municipal corporation today removed tents and gates that were put up in the city in connection with a recently-held religious function.Traffic remained disrupted for about 20 to 30 minutes as the gates installed at Fountain Chowk were removed during the peak hours. Commuters had to face inconvenience. According to sources in the tehbazari wing, organisers had to remove the gates themselves, as they feared the department’s action.

An official in the tehbazari wing said the organisers had not even taken permission to put up tents and gates in the city. “Since it was a religious function and all political leaders were taking part in it, the MC could not take any action against violators,” said the official. 



World Diabetics Day
Sugar-free platter to tickle taste buds
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
Living with diabetes is not a hassle any more as large number of sugar-free products, ready to eat snacks and assorted bakery products are available in the market.

Diabetics, who earlier used to avoid going to birthday parties, weddings, anniversaries and other celebrations, are now willing to take a chance knowing that one stall will surely have low calorie and sugar-free food items to suit their "dietary plans".

“I used to sulk in my room while the whole family used to enjoy birthday dinners, but the scenario has changed and now I have three to four oil-free and sugar-free preparations on my platter at every party, said Savitri Sharma, a 70-year-old diabetic patient.

Savitri further added: "I have stopped sneaking into the kitchen at midnight to eat mouthful of sweets as I keep my quota of sugar-free sweetmeats near my bed."

A large number of grocery stores and food chain stores in Ludhiana have stacks of suji toasts, milk toasts, sugar-free rusks, biscuits, namkeens and sugar-free chewing gums and chocolates.

Even the regular bakeries in the city have started making sugar-free products, including cakes, pastries, muffins, cookies and puddings.

Not to miss the special “rasmalai”, “gajrella”, “phirni”, “burfi” and “kalakand” made without sugar, a young diabetic patient said: "Diwali would not have been fun without sugar-free sweets."



Neetu choosy about her films
Charu Chhibber/TNS

Neetu Chandra
Neetu Chandra

Ludhiana, November 13
Bollywood hottie Neetu Chandra has the Tinsel Town babes turning red with envy. And why not! The sexy siren has hit the jackpot with a big banner Hollywood movie in her kitty.“I can't talk about the movie right now but yes, I am excited,” says the starlet known for her performances in Garam Masala and Traffic Signal.

Bubbling with enthusiasm, the doe-eyed sex symbol of Bollywood, goes on to talk about her upcoming flicks.“I have four Bollywood projects in the pipeline, besides a Tamil movie,” she says.

“However, it is my forthcoming Hindi film “No Problem” with Anil Kapoor and Akshaye Khanna that I am really looking forward to,” reveals Neetu.

Annez Bazmi movie, set for December 10 release, is very close to Neetu’s heart. She explains, “I am a martial artiste in real life too and an award winner Tae kwon do champion. And this movie has given me a chance to get in touch with my sporty side.”

Now, the beautiful actress is waiting for her dream role. “And that would be something like that of Angelina Jolie's in “Tomb Raider” or like Madhu Bala’s in "Mughal-e-Azam". In fact, I would also love to play Meena Kumari’s part in Pakeeza,” she tells.

In town to participate in the ongoing Punjab International Fashion Week, Neetu is completely in love with Punjab.

“Oh, I simply love Punjab. Its vibrant people, delicious mouth-watering delicacies and the sweet language has impressed me,” says the multi-talented actress.

“I am a Punjabi at heart and love sporting those flowing Patiala salwars with a vibrant paranda,” she says with a child-like enthusiasm.

About her current visit, Neetu says she loves walking the ramp.

“Moreover, I am very fond of designer Ankita Chaudhary's clothes, which is why I am here to showcase her creations on the ramp tonight,” she says.



With hole in heart, wife offers liver
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
Damanpreet so much in love with her husband Karan Singh underwent two major surgeries thereby becoming a "real hero" in the eyes of the doctors and surgeons.Karan was suffering from liver disease (advanced stage) and the only way for him to survive was to have an urgent liver transplant for which Damanpreet had volunteered.

But during the pre-transplant evaluation, the doctors found that Damanpreet had a hole in her heart (Atrial Septal Defect).

Least deterred, Damanpreet volunteered for her surgery, thereby recovering miraculously and offered the surgeons to perform liver transplant so as to save her husband.

Chief transplant surgeon and chairman of the Institute of Liver Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine, Dr AS Soin said: "This transplant surgery was unique as the donor was initially rejected due to ASD, but still she got herself operated upon and recovered quickly.”



Con man caught red-handed
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
A vigilant employee foiled the bid of a swindler, who was nabbed after the latter tried to con the petrol station authorities of ` 50,000 near Chhawani Mohalla here today.

The incident occurred this afternoon when a youth identified as Sonu, arrived at a petrol station near Chhawani Mohalla and requested the authorities to arrange ` 50,000 of new currency notes.

Tirath Ram, manager of the petrol station, said the youth appeared innocent. Sonu told him that he needed the new currency notes to give them to an immigration agent.Tirath was beguiled by the youth and arranged the money.

After receiving the amount, the youth made his way towards his scooter.

Jai Lal Dube, employee at the petrol station, said the youth requested Tirath to let him take the cash from of his vehicle.

"Suspecting foul I hid behind a pole. When I raised the alarm, the youth started the vehicle and tried to flee.I intercepted and nabbed the youth," said Dube.The youth was later handed over to the police.



Punjab retain title
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 13
Hosts, Punjab circle added two more gold medals to its kitty and emerged victorious to retain the title in the 10th All-India Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) Cycling Meet organised by the Punjab Circle Sports and Cultural Board that concluded at Punjab Agricultural University velodrome here today. Punjab riders won the overall championship in the last edition of this meet held in Jaipur.

In the 4,000m team pursuit, Punjab circle proved its class to come out as winners, while Rajasthan circle finished as runners-up. Riders from Punjab also bagged top honours in the 1,500m team pursuit event and North East circle secured the second position.

In the 36km road race, ML Gauri of MTNL, Mumbai, clocked 1:09:30 seconds to win the gold medal.



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