L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Audit exposes Rs 150 cr scam in MC
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
Raising questions about the functioning of the municipal corporation, the finance department’s audit branch has brought out financial irregularities amounting to about Rs 150 crore in the civic body’s accounts.

Information obtained by a local Right to Information (RTI) activist, Rohit Sabharwal under the act has revealed the MC resorted to irregularities while maintaining accounts of public funds. Details of the finance department’s audit report for fiscal 2008-2009 have pointed out irregularities worth Rs 1,49,28,71,392 of which ` 1,38,52,27,269 are miscellaneous serious irregularities.

Similarly MC officials made irregular payments worth Rs 3.71 crore along with those of Rs 5.42 crore that could have been avoided or saved, the report said.

Another strange fact is that the civic body is yet to recover a whopping amount of 
Rs 1.01 crore from defaulters, whereas funds amounting to Rs 32.28 lakh have been misused. In the same manner the Audit branch has also found irregularities worth ` 17.89 lakh in the MC’s stores.

Sabharwal alleged the audit branch’s report “clearly revealed the state of affairs in the civic body. “MC officials hadn’t bothered to keep records of Rs 150 crore spent from the public exchequer. The officials have in fact embezzled this huge amount due to which they aren’t submitting any records. They have spent a large part of this sum without any statutory sanction just to appease their political bosses and extend largesse to their blue eyed contractors" he added.

Reiterating the demand for an inquiry into the matter by the police’s vigilance cell Sabharwal asserted: “It would clear the haze on the whole affair. It’s not possible that the MC officials had forgotten to submit the records. The reality is they don’t have any records of the embezzled funds."

Meanwhile, MC additional commissioner Kanwalpreet Kaur Brar refuted the allegations of misuse of public funds by asserting that “irregularities pointed out by the audit branch were only “because MC officials hadn’t submitted records of various payments to various parties. Moreover these irregularities pertain to a three decade old period for which they are filing replies”. 

No records kept

Details Amount Rs

Misuse 32,28,266

Discrepancies in stock/stores 17,89,477

Low recovery 2,53,676

Irregular payments 3,71,80,092

Avoidable payments 5,42,25,484

Pending recovery 1,01,96,329

Misc serious irregularities 1,38,52,27,269


Land acquisition for link road
Farmers raise anti-govt chorus
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
Farmers of Gill village are an agitated lot. For 150 acres of their fertile land is being acquired by the government for the construction of a missing link road between Ferozepur Road to Malerkotla road.

The farmers say they will continue with their struggle till the government withdraws its notification of acquiring their land.

Staging a protest outside GLADA office here today, hundreds of farmers condemned the state government and GLADA authorities for coming up with a proposal to build a link road at the village.

BKU president Ajmer Singh Lakhowal said farmers were with the government on various development projects but the step was against the interest of farmers.

“Why are we being penalised? The construction work on four-laning of Ferozepur Road to Sidhwan canal is already in full swing. There is no need to come up with a new road or colony or shop-cum-offices (SCOs) at Gill village,” said Lakhowal, adding that there were technical errors in the map of the proposed road.

There was no uniformity in the width of the road. At some points, it was 200 to 450 feet wide, while at other, it narrowed down to 100 feet. The width had been deliberately increased to acquire 55 acres of land of farmers.

Avtar Singh Mehlon, president of the district unit of the BKU, said farmers could not be ruined like this.

“Farmers are already suffering and cannot bear the brunt of losing their land. If the government is adamant on constructing the missing link road then it can acquire 90 to 100-ft-wide land near the drain. We will not raise any objection to it. But we will not allow it to acquire our fertile land,” said Mehlon.



ROB to be ready by April: MC
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
Residents of the city, facing the problem of traffic congestion, could heave a sigh of relief as the ambitious project of constructing a rail-over-bridge (ROB) at the Lakkar Bridge could be completed before April 2011, the deadline set by the municipal authorities.

A meeting to speed up the work on project was held at Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha’s office. The meeting was also attended by Municipal Joint Commissioner MS Jaggi, executive engineer HS Khosa and XEN (Railways) William Jeet Singh along with other officers of both departments.

The municipal officials showed their resentment over the slow pace of work being done by the Railways and asked them speed up the work. They also told the railway officials that ` 18.47 crores had already been submitted as against the total payment of ` 21.97 crores to be given to the Railways for the project. They also told the railway officials that the state government wants to inaugurate the project by April 2011 so the work on project should be expedited.

It was decided that the Y-shaped ROB, the work on which began on November 23, 2009, would be completed before the deadline. They railways officials assured the municipal officials that they would complete the work within few months. Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha, while confirming this, said the work of the project would be completed before the scheduled time. In the first phase the work would be completed on the arm of project towards the Rekhi Cinema from Civil Lines, he added. The other arm from Civil Lines to Bhadaur House would be completed by June 2011. 



Death to cop in triple murder case
Sensing threat, victims’ parents mull moving out
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
A day after Punjab police constable Jarnail Singh was sentenced to death by a local court in a triple murder case, involving two brothers and a vegetable vendor, the parent of the two brothers are planning to abandon their house fearing threat to their life.

Sexagenarian couple — Harbans Singh and Malkit Kaur — had lost their two sons on July 4, 2004.

Harbans fears that Kulwinder Singh, younger brother of Jarnail Singh, who is a proclaimed offender in the case, will try to settle a score with them.

“We are planning to leave the house for some time, as I fear Kulwinder, who is on the run, will try to kill us. Area residents have apprehended attack on us as not only has Jarnail been sentenced to death but his parents have also been sentenced to rigorous life imprisonment by the court,” says Harbans Singh.

Though the verdict has given some solace to Harbans and Malkit, the elderly couple has had to pay a heavy price for it.

“Life is not the same for us now. We have been left alone. My sons are dead. No one can fill this void. I had to pay a heavy price for the killing of my sons. Not only did I lose my two young sons but also had to mortgage my shop for pursuing the criminal case against Jarnail Singh,” laments Harbans Singh, whose two sons — Beant and Bhagwant Singh — were shot dead by Jarnail Singh.

Jarnail, who was working as a constable and bodyguard of the then Superintendent of Police (City-I) Mandeep Singh, had opened fire on Beant Singh (27) and Bhagwant Singh (24), killing both on the spot. A vegetable vendor, Kalinder, also received bullet injuries in the shooting and later died. A relative of Jarnail Singh said the womenfolk of both families used to pick fight every other day over the drainage of water.

As the brothers were running a salon, hair used to block the drain, which often led to fights.

“Jarnail and his brother had a brutal fight with my sons on Holi in 2002. Both my sons were arrested but a compromise was effected and my children were let off,” stated Harbans. Jarnail’s relative said the fight took place when Jarnail was going for work on a motorcycle. The two brothers who were riding a scooter collided with him.

They had a verbal duel but Jarnail decided to finish the matter once and for all. In the evening, he waited for the two near the crime scene.

While Beant Singh was married and had a child, Bhagwant had got engaged on the day he was killed.

Harbans helped accused get house

Harbans, who originally belongs to Hera village, near Halwara, had compelled Sadhu Singh, father of sentenced cop Jarnail Singh, to buy a house in the neighbourhood. “Had I known Jarnail would one day kill my sons, I would have never shown them a house in my neighbourhood,” lamented Harbans. He said Jarnail was like a member of the family till he joined the police. Soon after joining the police, he distanced himself from the family and started indulging in frequent fights with Beant and Bhagwant.



Cop: Son wrongly detained for theft
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
A head constable, later identified as Manmohan Singh, put the entire city police force in a spot of bother after he alleged his son was “illegally” confined at the Model Town police station for two days in connection with a theft. He said when he brought the matter to the notice of senior cops his son was booked in the case.

On the other hand, the Model Town police, which dismissed his allegations as baseless, stated two people, including Manmohan’s son, Karanpreet Singh, were arrested on Wednesday in connection with a theft case. The two were held following a complaint by Narinder Singh, a resident of Model Town Extension, who claimed his servant Mangnu and driver Karanpreet Singh stole two gold ornaments worth nearly ` 2 lakh from his home.

Narinder stated he went out with his wife to attend a wedding a few days ago. “On returning home my wife kept the gold set in a cupboard. On November 13 when she opened the almirah she was shocked to find both sets missing”, he added.

After receiving a complaint, the Model Town police began investigating the matter and on Wednesday both Mangnu and Karanpreet were apprehended. The police has filed a case under section 381 of the IPC against the two.

Manmohan, who is presently posted in the police control room, claimed his son had not committed any theft and was falsely implicated in the case. “My son had nothing to do with this theft. He was working as a driver for the past three months and few days ago he had asked his employer to hike his wages. The owner disagreed which led to an argument between the two. I suspect Narinder may be trying to settle a score with my son,” he added.



Investment opportunities for farmers discussed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) sponsored a one-day workshop on investment opportunities for farm and non-farm sectors.

Dr RT Patil, director, Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology, presided over.

The objective of the workshop was to create awareness about various schemes initiated by NABARD for increasing self-employment in farm and non-farm sectors. Representatives from various NGOs, bank officials and chartered accountants attended the workshop.

Dr RT Patil said there was a need to increase GDP growth rate of agriculture. “If we fail to do so, people from rural areas will start migrating to cities, leading to chaos,” he added. “India is a rich country, but is inhabited by poor people. Having just 2.4 per cent of world’s land, we support more than 15 per cent of the world’s population and 17 per cent of animals,” he said. He added that India was blessed with vast resources and presence of all climatic conditions for growth of crops.

Advocating for setting up of food processing industry in rural catchments areas only, Dr Patil, said presently cities were facing problems like pollution and garbage.

Emphasising that need of the hour was to create awareness regarding benefits of indigenous foods, he expressed concern over increasing intake of unhealthy junk food, especially by youth, under strong influence of advertisements.

“Our food is far more nutritious and healthy,” he said. Floating the idea of setting up a post harvest farmers club in rural areas, he urged local entrepreneurs to maintain cleanliness and integrity in production to win trust of customers.

AK Pasricha, deputy general manager, regional office, NABARD, Chandigarh, stressed the need to make villages self-dependent. “Before Britishers came, villagers used to produce all things and only salt and kerosene were bought from cities,” he added.

Expressing concern over growing infertility rate in Punjab due to excessive use of fertilisers, he said Rajasthan had left Punjab behind, as it was selling dairy products in metro cities, besides unfavourable conditions. He added that Punjab had a lot of entrepreneurial spirit to grow in agro-industry as well. 



Riot Victims 
GLADA to issue allotment letters 
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 18
The Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) will soon issue allotment letters of LIG and MIG flats to riot-affected families. The entire process will be completed in next 10 days. At least 250 riot victims, who have opted for MIG flats in their applications, were allotted those meant for the economically weaker sections in the draw of lots taken out on October 12. They will get another opportunity in the next draw.

GLADA Additional Chief Administrator Indu Malhotra stated this while meeting a delegation of the Ludhiana Sikh Migrants Welfare Board here today. Members of the board made a fervent plea for the expeditious allotment of the residential flats to the riot-affected families.

Kartar Singh Patna, chairman of the board, expressed concern over a few unscrupulous elements trying to take forcible possession of residential flats earmarked for the riot victims. He asked the authorities to deal sternly with such persons and restore the rule of law.

While impressing upon the GLADA authorities as well the district administration not to give in to pressure tactics of the self-styled leaders of the riot victims and strictly follow the rules laid down by the government for allotment of residential flats to eligible applicants, Patna said the issue of 1,100 more eligible riot-affected people was being taken up with the administration and the state government for including them in the next list.

“We shall soon be meeting the deputy commissioner to ensure that pending cases of eligible riot-affected families are also forwarded to GLADA for allotment of flats in the next draw. The matter of unlawful and forcible possession of government flats by bogus riot victims will also be taken up with the government,” he added.

Unscrupulous elements were trying to take possession of residential flats earmarked for the riot victims forcibly. Authorities should sternly deal with such persons. The GLADA authorities and the district administration should not give in to the self-styled leaders of the riot victims. They should strictly follow the rules laid down by the government for allotment of residential flats to eligible applicants.

— Kartar Singh Patna, chairman, Ludhiana Sikh Migrants Welfare Board 



GLADA offers 264 apartments in Dugri
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 18
It may turn out to be the chance of a lifetime for those who seek to make a dream home of their own in the city at an affordable cost.

For, the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) has made an offer seeking applications from eligible persons for allotment of 144 two bedroom flats (BHK) and another 120 single room service apartments in Dugri Urban Estate, Phase II, in the city.

The booking along with 10 percent cost of the flat as earnest money will commence on November 22 and the scheme will close on December 24.

According to GLADA additional chief administrator Indu Malhotra, the flats to be constructed under self-financing scheme, will be allotted through draw of lots and possession to successful allottees will be given within one and half years from the date of allotment.

The 2-BHK flats will have a carpet area of 1,000 sq ft with cost varying between ` 23.17 lakh and ` 20.22 lakh for first and sixth floor flats, respectively.

It will have a drawing-cum-dining room, two bedrooms, kitchen, two toilets and stilt parking on the ground floor and basement.

The 320 sq ft service apartments, to be constructed in a four-storey complex, will have one multipurpose room, a kitchen and a toilet.

The price of the flat will vary between ` 7.55 lakh for ground floor and ` 5.47 lakh on the third floor.

As per the terms and conditions of the allotment of flats, the total cost of the flat (after deduction of 10 percent earnest money paid with the application) will have to be paid by the allottees within a period of 120 days in two installments from the date of issue of letter of intent/allocation, with first installment being due for payment within 60 days.

GLADA has designated three banks — State Bank of Patiala, Punjab National Bank and Union Bank of India — for the sale of brochure-cum-application form of the scheme and collection of applications from the eligible persons.



Sinha reviews MC projects
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
In order to review the ongoing construction work of the roads and lying of the sewerage in the Focal Point area, the Municipal Commissioner met officials of the building and road and operation and maintenance branches.

Joint Commissioner MS Jaggi, Superintendent Engineers VP Singh and DS Wadhwa were also present on the occasion. Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha took report from the officials of these branches and enquired about the problems being faced by officials in executing the work.

They also told Sinha that the minor problems being faced while carpeting of the roads or the sewerage lines had been overcome. The welfare association from Phase 7 of the Focal Point also met the Commissioner and asked him to get streetlights installed in the area. 



Tata team to visit city next week
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
The Municipal Corporation (MC) has begun efforts on the mono rail project in the city. A team of Tata Consultancy would visit the city next week to conduct a preliminary study in this regard.

MC officials had discussed the project with representatives of the firm during a meeting in Delhi recently. After a presentation by the company about the merits of the project, the MC gave the green light.

It was decided that the mono rail would initially run on a 25-km route, for which work would be undertaken on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis. The selected routes would be other than those which would have connectivity with the metro.

Sources said the representatives of the company had a telephonic conversation with the MC Commissioner, AK Sinha, today about their forthcoming visit. He expressed hope that both the metro and mono rail projects would be started soon to reduce traffic congestion in the city.



Bhatti sheds women’s inhibitions through humour 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
Jaspal Bhatti, the noted Punjabi comedian, was once again successful in enthralling the audiences through Nukkad Natak “Kahin Der Na Ho Jaye” in various parts of the city.

The play, staged at the local mini secretariat, was based on the problem of “beast cancer” due to which almost 500 women dies in the Ludhiana district every year.

Written and directed by Anup Sharma of Mad Arts Jaspal Bhatti Film School, the play was the produced by the Chandigarh Breast Cancer Trust.

The students of “Mad Art Jaspal Bhatti Film School” enacted the play at 
Arti Cinema and Ansal Plaza also.

Identified for his tongue-in-cheek kind of humour, Bahtti is famous in the Punjabi populace living in urban as well as rural areas as was evident from the crowd that witnessed the play despite his absence.

The play “Kahin Der Na Ho Jaye” was more of an attempt to sensitise women to shed their inhibitions and consult the specialists even in case of slightest doubt of breast cancer.

Said Harjot Singh, a villager, who had come to the deputy commissioner’s office, “Bhatti Ji te uhna de chele mazak mazak wich bahut wadian galan keh jaande han jo ki dilan nu choo lendiyan han….(Bhatti and his pupil have the talent to depict even the most serious issues in the lighter tones, but whatever is shown is close to the hearts of the public).

Savita Bahtti, CEO, Mad Art Jaspal Bhatti Film School, said health is the most precious gift and the women should not hide any disease but volunteer to consult the specialists. 



Hospital staff not paid minimum wages
Anshu Seth/TNS

Ludhiana, November 18
In complete disregard of labour laws, the administration of the city’s ESIC Model Hospital is not paying the prescribed daily wages to members of the housekeeping staff, currently numbering almost 50. The staff, which is working different shifts, has been employed by a contractor selected by hospital officials.

Repeated reminders by the housekeeping staff to hospital medical superintendent Dr Suresh Kohli to pay them wages according to their prescribed remuneration have been ignored. On October 10 a group of employees then submitted a written complaint to Kohli, but nothing has been done so far.

The employees then brought the matter to the notice of a local NGO, Anti-Corruption & Crime Investigation Cell, which, after looking into the hospital’s violation of labour laws, has filed a complaint with the central labour & employment ministry. Rohit Sabharwal, the NGO’s president, has also forwarded copies of the complaint to the ESIC director general and the chief labour commissioner in New Delhi.

Said a male member of the housekeeping staff: "The contractor is exploiting us as hospital officials are hand in glove with him. Instead of being sympathetic the hospital authorities have threatened to sack us if we complain. But we’ll not be intimidated and will put up a fight against this injustice”.

However, Kohli said the housekeeping staff had been employed by the contractor and the hospital was unaware of any injustice being done to them. “But after receiving a complaint from the employees I’ve already taken up the matter with the contractor, who has agreed to pay the prescribed daily wages to the housekeeping staff. Also, they’ll be given their arrears according to their entitlement per day," he added.

Difference in wages

In its Order passed in March 2010, the union Labour and Employment Ministry had fixed the variable dearness allowance (VDA) for the sweeping and cleaning staff. The ministry has divided the cities in India under ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ categories with Ludhiana falling under category B. Thus the VDA for contractual employees working as sweeping and cleaning staff in the city is Rs 36 per day which when added to their daily wages of Rs 150 becomes Rs 186 per day. However, in stark contrast to their accumulated monthly wages of Rs 4,836, members of the hospital’s housekeeping staff is being paid only Rs 2,500 a month. The approximate accumulated "unpaid amount" by the contractor for the 50 employees comes to Rs 1,16,800 per month.



LMA lecture on global market dynamics
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
The Ludhiana Management Association will organise a lecture on “Global market dynamics” tomorrow.

Harpreet K Kang, senior academic at PCTE Group of Institutes, will be the speaker.

The lecture will be organised under the Sardar Manjit Singh Memorial Lecture series of the association.

Dr KN S Kang, general secretary, LMA, said a major global market change in the recent years was the growth of international competition and increase in free trade among nations.

Japanese manufacturers like Honda, Mitsubishi, and Sony won large chunk of the automobile market pie, TV sets, and other products by offering global consumers better quality products from those of US manufacturers.

Today, manufacturers in countries like China, India, South Korea, and Mexico were producing high quality goods at low prices because their workers were paid less than US workers and because they had evolved to quality concepts from Japanese, German, and US producers.

VK Goyal, president, LMA, said developments in infrastructure, better means of communication, use of technology, opening up of boundaries, abolition of barriers, stable political environment, strong financial markets were some of the factors that made global markets more fast and dynamic.

These facts showed that global trade was a big business today and would grow even more in the times to come, he added.



Students educated about gynaecological disorders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
The Youth Red Cross Unit, Khalsa College for Women, Civil Lines, in collaboration with Sun Pharma organised an awareness programme to make young girls aware of general gynaecological disorders.

Dr Anupma Goel from Raghunath Hospital was the key speaker.

Dr Goel apprised students of the general disorders associated with pre-menstrual syndrome, types and features of dymenorrhoea and polycrystic ovary syndrome.

She added that polycystic ovary syndrome was caused due to an increased level of male hormones in females.

She said the syndrome caused infertility and also affected the health in several other ways. An interactive session was held. Students’ queries were taken up by the resource person. Principal of the college proposed the vote of thanks.



Students threaten strike
Want Shakespeare as option
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
MA-II (English) students of Gujranwala Guru Nanak Khalsa College here have threatened to go on strike from tomorrow if the new option of “Shakespeare” was not introduced.  Sore at the lackadaisical approach of the college management, the students said they had been assured by senior teachers that the new option would be provided to them, but the principal was “not in a mood” to oblige. The students submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner in this regard.

Male students said were being made a scapegoat in the tug of war between two factions in the department. “The girls are willing to study linguistics but we don’t want to. Students are divided. An application was submitted to the principal on September 17,” said a student.

“In August, the classes started. In all, nine applications have been written to the principal, but to no avail. As per the Panjab University guidelines, students can opt for any of the three options. We have been threatened that the ‘demand’ might interfere with our internal assessment,” another student alleged.

The students said they had met the president of the managing committee of college, Pritpal Singh Kapur, who did not have any problem introducing the new option.

“Already over two months have gone by. We have no problems with any teacher. We only want that Shakespeare must be introduced as we don’t understand linguistics,” the students said.

The head of the English department, LS Bedi, said the boys had asked them to introduce Shakespeare. The decision had to be taken at a higher level after taking into consideration the finances and availability of teacher, he said.



Mickey Mouse turns 82 today
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
Mini Mouse and Donald, Tom and Jerry, Goofy and Pooh descended on Mother’s Pride to wish Mickey Mouse, one of the world’s most famous cartoon characters, a “Happy Birthday”, as this sweetheart of kids turned 82 today.

Tiny tots, sporting Mickey ears, sang and danced and even cut a Mickey cake to celebrate the birth anniversary of the most loved mouse. Teachers, too, looked cute with Mickey ears on as little Mickey and Mini danced hand in hand.

The school campus looked as though this is where Disneyland actually was. Balloons, lolly pops, candies, cakes and bouncies, all had the mark of the birthday boy Mickey as did the tiny tattoos on the hands of the young ones.

Star attraction, however, remained the huge Mickey Mouse bouncy, set up at the school entrance. Children could not hide their excitement jumping with glee on the bouncy, taking a feel of Mickey’s huge inflated arms.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, school’s director Shobhan Soi said celebrating Mickey’s birthday was an endeavour, undertaken at an all-India level by the Mother’s Pride chain of schools and the day was being celebrated simultaneously in all 33 branches across the nation.

“This is an exclusive exercise in India by our group of schools and the idea has been conceived and implemented by our chairperson Sudha Gupta with a view to give kids a feel of Mickey Mouse, who has been ruling the hearts of millions of kids across the globe for the past 82 years," said Soi, who was an active participant in the celebrations.

The day ended on a happy note for all present as kids returned home with Mickey in hearts and Mickey goodies in hand.

Arrival on stage

Disney’s most famous cartoon character Mickey Mouse celebrated his birthday today. Though there is a confusion over his exact birth date, the most widely accepted theory is that he arrived on the world’s cultural stage on November 18, 1928, as a scrawny, but buoyant, black-and-white product of the Jazz Age. He was a symbol of American pluck in his screen debut, Steamboat Willie. The film at New York’s Colony Theatre showed an irreverent rodent who takes Captain Pete’s steamboat on a joyride and woos Mini Mouse by making music on the bodies of various farm animals. Steamboat Willie was an instant hit, arriving at a time when technological advances in motion pictures, radio and phonograph were transforming mass culture. By the end of the 1930s, Mickey had starred in more than 100 cartoons. Mickey gradually transformed and by the late 1930s his face became friendlier, less rat-like. Towards the end of the 1930s, Disney animators found it harder to create storylines around Mickey as the character became the face of the company. Today he has a regular presence on television in House of The Mouse on the Disney Channel and is photographed daily alongside thousands of tourists at theme parks in California, Florida, France and Japan. 



From Schools
Smile Day

Ludhiana: Tiny tots of Lovely Lotus Play Way School celebrated Smile Day with great enthusiasm here today. Dressed in beautiful attires, the kids exchanged flowers and wished each other on the occasion. They wore smileys on their dresses to mark the occasion. The entire campus wore a festive look and was reverberating with cheerful smiles.

Tiny tots of Lovely Lotus are ecstatic on Smile Day in Ludhiana on Thursday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma 


The annual function of Saraswati Modern School was held at the CBSE branch, Hambran road. Rajni Bector, managing director, Cremica, was the chief guest. She was welcomed by the students’ council. A warm welcome speech was given by founder president Kamla Jain. Meena Jain, principal, CBSE branch, introduced the chief guest to the audience. The function started with lighting of the lamp by the chief guest and members of the school managing committee followed by a prayer. Various colourful items like Rajasthani dance, dandia, western dance and group songs were presented by students. A play “Mother's Day” was staged by students. Geetanjali Dutta, principal, PSEB branch, read out the annual report. The chief guest addressed the audience and appreciated the performance of students. Meena Jain proposed the vote of thanks.

Senior students gave a vivacious bhangra performance. The function ended with the National Anthem.


MGM School has opened registration for admission to pre- nursery to Class VIII for the session 2011-12 and the registration will close on December 4. Highly qualified and talented faculty has been appointed. An attractive classroom has been designed for co-curricular activities. Special attention has been given to provide secure, congenial, healthy and homely environment to kids for their wholesome development.


Tiny tots of KG section of Kundan Vidya Mandir showcased their talent during a singing competition. The songs sung by them were truly from their hearts. Most of the songs were devotional and patriotic, the atmosphere created by the songs made everyone excited and enthralled the audience. The air was filled with a feeling of patriotism.

Songs like “Chodo Kal ki Baten”, “Maa Tujhe Salaam”, “Yeh to Sach Hai ki Bhagwan Hain”, “Dumma Dum Must Kalandar” were sung by students. Kaavish Babbar of LKG C was declared first. In the second category, Kuber Krishan of UKG B and Ameen Arora of UKG F bagged the first prizes. In charge of KG section Ranjana Dhanda encouraged children and appreciated their efforts.

Poem recitation

To help students develop love for poetry, DRV DAV Centenary Senior Secondary Public School, Phillaur, organised an inter-house English poetical recitation contest on the topic "Save Girl Child, International Peace, National Integrity". Students from classes VI to VIII participated in it. Yashima, Shivi and Ishaan bagged the first prizes. Ravinder Sidhu got the second prize, while the third prize was given to Radhika. Consolation prize was given to Nivedita. Overall trophy was given to Honesty House. Yogesh Gambhir, principal of the school, appreciated the efforts of students and teachers.

Saplings planted

In a unique and clear message that showed concern for the environment and values and teachings that will be imparted to its students, Delhi Public School, Khanna, carried out a tree plantation drive. The first sapling was planted by chief guest Parminder Singh Dhindsa, PWD minister, Punjab, who then laid a foundation stone. Over 150 saplings were planted during the tree plantation drive on the school premises at Ikolahi village, near here. Congratulating the Delhi Public School Society on its value-based approach, Dhindsa also stated that this was in keeping with the far-sighted vision and the reputation built up by this premier educational institution in India. He noted that Delhi Public School had already set up 16 schools in Haryana, but it had only three schools in Punjab so far. While extolling the Delhi Public School Society for putting up institutions which produced well rounded personalities who were at the helm of affairs in the country, he requested the society to set up more and more such educational institutions in India.

He also complimented the Athena Educational Society for choosing Khanna town, which has the Asia's largest grain market and is a hub to the neighbouring towns of Mandi Gobindgarh, Sirhind, Fatehgarh Sahib, Amloh, Malerkotla, Payal, Doraha, Sahnewal, Samrala, Machhiwara and Khamanon. He hoped that the school would provide excellent academic grounding to the urban and rural children of the area. Ashok Chandra, chairman of the Delhi Public School Society, unfurled the school flag and complemented the Athena Educational Society. — TNS



Youth killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, November 18
Harsh Sharma of Partap Pura village was killed on the spot while two others — Santosh and Daula — were injured when the motor cycle (PB 37 E 9535) they were riding was hit by a speeding a truck (PB 11 AJ 9945) near Mahal (Goraya) on the national highway last night.

The police has registered a case and impounded the truck.

The body of the deceased was handed over to his family members after a post-mortem examination at the local Civil Hospital.

Both injured were admitted to a nearby hospital, the police said.

DSP, 5 others injured

Phillaur: A DSP posted in Amritsar, Anil Sharma, along with five members of his family sustained serious injuries when the car in which they were travelling overturned on the national highway here yesterday. The victims were going to Ajmer Sharif to pay their obeisance.

The injured — the DSP, his wife Mohini Sharma, daughters Manisha and Deepika, son Vikram and Arun, a relative —were admitted to a nearby hospital.

The accident happened when the driver of the car lost control of the vehicle while avoiding collision with another vehicle. — OC



Man kills wife in fit of rage
Our Correspondent

Samrala, November 18
In a fit of rage, a man beat his wife to death after a minor quarrel at their house in ward No. 1 here last night.

According to sources, Sajan, who works as a truck driver, came home around 11.30 pm and started started quarrelling with his wife, Rani (38).

He allegedly assaulted her with a stick and tied her neck, causing asphyxiation and, ultimately, death of the victim.

The accused even tried to cremate the body with the help of some persons but someone informed the police and the latter reached the scene.

The police took the body into its custody and arrested the accused for the murder.

The couple have four children, who were sleeping in the house at the time of the

A case has been registered against the accused in this regard.



Man gets RI for life for killing wife’s paramour 
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 18
A man who had killed the alleged paramour of his wife while he was sleeping on the roof of their common house in Golden Avenue Colony on July 18, 2008, has been sentenced to rigorous life imprisonment.

Delivering the verdict, the court of Additional Sessions Judge Mandeep Pannu held that the prosecution had led cogent and convincing evidence to prove that the accused, Amarjit Singh, killed Darshan Singh, alias Darshi.

Amarjit Singh, father of two, walked quietly to the bed of his wife’s alleged paramour, Darshan Singh, and murdered him with an axe.

Both families, along with a few others, live in one house with several rooms that have been rented out. Other tenants, including a brother-in-law of the deceased, Manjit Singh, who were sleeping on the roof heard the cries of the victim and saw Amarjit Singh killing Darshan Singh.

The victim suffered multiple wounds and could not defend himself. The accused fled before he could be nabbed. Police investigation had revealed that Darshan Singh, a daily wage earner, lived with his sister’s family in the house and was unmarried. Soon, he befriended Amarjit and his wife. The accused grew suspicious of the relationship between his wife and Darshan Singh. Neighbours told the police that they would argue often over the issue.

A case under Section 302, IPC, was registered against the accused at the Basti Jodhewal police station on July 19, 2008, following the statement of Manjit Singh, brother-in-law of the deceased.

However, the accused had pleaded before the court that he was innocent.



Football trials
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 18
Trials to select the Ludhiana boys’ football team will be held at GHG Khalsa College, Gurusar Sadhar, near here, on November 22 at 11 am, according to Tara Singh Lotey, honorary secretary, District Football Association, Ludhiana.

The selected players will represent Ludhiana in the upcoming Shaheed-E-Ajam Bhagat Singh Punjab State Games slated to begin on December 4 here. These games will be organised at four venues in the state — Ludhiana, Patiala, Mohali and Jalandhar — from December 4 to 12.



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