L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Improvement Trust richer by Rs 9.8 cr 
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 30
The sale of 13 commercial properties and four residential plots through an auction conducted by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) here today yielded a whopping Rs 9.8 crore. The auction (lasting for over seven hours) coming after more than five years, evoked huge response and over 50 bidders took part.

On offer were 10 built-up booths in Model Town extension, four double-storeyed shops in Rajguru Nagar, three shop-cum-office sites in Maharishi Valmiki Nagar, two built-up booths and two booth sites in the same scheme, three built-up booths in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar and four residential plots in Kitchlu Nagar. Of the 24 commercial properties, 13 were sold and all residential plots were disposed of.

The sale of Trust properties was last conducted in April 2005. Although the LIT did make an offer for 22 commercial properties on July 7, 2010, when Ashok Juneja was its chairman, the auction was postponed at the last minute.

A corner booth in Model Town extension scheme went for Rs 31 lakh against its reserve price of Rs 20.25 lakh, four built-up booths in the same scheme fetched the highest bid of Rs 28.05 lakh and the lowest of Rs 21.5 lakh against a reserve price of Rs 15 lakh.

Similarly, four doublestoreyed shops, with a reserve price of Rs 76.35 lakh, went for Rs 93 lakh and the highest of Rs 1.05 crore. The SCF sites were sold between Rs 1.13 crore and Rs 1.05 crore against a reserve price of Rs 1.02 crore. Residential plots, measuring 100 sq yards each yielded Rs 32,65 lakh and Rs 28 lakh against a reserve price of Rs 21 lakh.


Water, Sewerage Bills
Flying squads to recover arrears
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
After getting stern directions from the Municipal Corporation (MC) Commissioner, operation and maintenance (O&M) branch officials have geared up for recovering pending arrears of water supply and sewerage by forming zone-wise flying squads.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting of the branch which was presided over by the Superintendent Engineer (SE), VP Singh. He conveyed the orders of MC Commissioner AK Sinha that laxity would not be tolerated in the recovery of arrears.

He also constituted zone-wise flying squads of the branch to check illegal connections. The squad would work under the Sub-Divisional Officer while the executive engineer concerned would monitor its working. The team would have engineers and plumbers who would severe illegal connections, including of defaulters who had not paid arrears for long.

He said it was the responsibility of every official to complete the set target before the stipulated time else disciplinary action would be taken.



MC to build down ramp at Gill Chowk
Manvinder Singh/TNS

Ludhiana, November 30
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is all set to construct a down ramp at the existing Gill Chowk flyover to decongest the traffic by facilitating the flow of light motor vehicles towards the Vishkarma and the Gill chowks.

Though the Gill Chowk flyover, which was inaugurated recently, had solved the traffic problem in the area to some extent commuters passing through the Vishkarma and Gill chowks have been forced to cover a long distance to reach their destinations. The traffic moving from bus stand towards the Gill Chowk has to first go towards the Pratap Chowk and then take a detour due to which commuters are facing a lot of inconvenience.

Moreover, due to the heavy traffic on the flyover long queues of vehicles can be seen daily. The problem is likely to aggravate further when the construction of flyover on the Pratap Chowk gets completed, as it would then be connected with the Gill Chowk.

The Municipal Corporation, after keeping all this in its mind, has decided to construct a down ramp between the Dhuri Railway Over Bridge (ROB) and the Gill Chowk flyover so that the light motor vehicles that have to move towards the Vishkarma and the Gill chowks could use it.

The Municipal Corporation’s top brass had asked the Building and Road (B&R) branch to prepare the design for the proposed down ramp. Sources said the civic body officials had already finalised the plan and work on it was likely to start soon. So as to avoid the misuse of the down ramp by heavy vehicles, the Municipal officials have planned to keep the width of the down ramp such that only light vehicle like cars and two wheelers could cross it. 



‘Readymade’ projects come to students’ rescue
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
School students are no longer losing sleep over the never-ending projects assigned to them as homework. For, booksellers and “specialists” spread across the city are offering “readymade” projects for every subject, that too at affordable prices.

And, over the years, the number as well as the expertise of these "project shops" has increased manifold. Right from models, charts, files and sketches for primary classes to diagrams and electronic projects for students of higher classes - you name it, they have it!

Most stationery shops in the city, especially in Book Market, College Road and Ghumar Mandi, have a variety of projects on display - electric bells, windmills, solar cookers, AC/DC inverters, ecological system...the list is long and growing.

What is more, the prices of the projects start at ` 150 onwards, depending on their size and complexity.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, one such project “specialist” says: "The market is thriving purely on a demand and supply basis. There’s heavy demand for ‘readymade’ projects, especially those relating to science and math”.

“And interestingly, the demand appears to be consistent throughout the year as every now and then schools either hold exhibitions or fairs or assign homework projects to students”, he adds.

"Students of privately run schools are our major clients. Teachers give so much of work to students that they’re harassed and bound to look for solutions to meet expectations," remarks a local bookseller who specializes in “readymade” projects.

Another bookseller Mool Chand, who “prepares” projects on demand, says on an average he gets around 80 to 100 projects every month. "Most parents have jobs to attend to and, consequently, are unable to help their children with these complex projects. It isn’t easy for a class 6 student to construct the model of a windmill on his own. We provide such models at a reasonable cost," he says.

And that is just part of the package. "We understand students are also required to explain the working of their projects to their teachers along with the theoretical background. So we explain the fundamentals and also give them the required literature," adds another bookseller.

Not surprisingly, the “specialized readymade” projects have to some extent eased the pressure on students and their parents, who do not mind shelling some extra money for the convenience of their already overburdened children.

"With so much of homework every day, besides tuitions, dance class and roller skating practice, where’s the time left to prepare these projects?" asks Supriya Nehra, mother of Richa, a class 7 student. "Even though on earlier occasions I tried to help her with her project work by downloading stuff from the Net and with help from books, we couldn’t come up with good results. Every time the teacher rejected her models," she says.

Repeated rejections forced the mother-daughter duo to rush to the nearest book store to grab readymade models for projects assigned by the teacher.

"Life is a lot easier now and all it takes is Rs 200 to 300 per project," adds another mother of a student, Sushma Sharma, who admitted the she had faced similar problems.

However, many schoolchildren argue most of the projects that their teachers want them to make are not even part of their course. "I’m sure most of our teachers can’t make the projects themselves and they expect us to prepare them," says class 10 student Siddharth.

Adds another student: "Where do I get material for an inverter, where’s the time left between school and tuitions? So do we have any other choice but to buy them from the market?"

However, despite the "frills" that these “readymade” projects come with, it is not easy to hoodwink the teachers into believing they are self-made. "It’s very easy to make out if the student has made the model himself or it’s a ‘readymade’ thing. By buying ‘readymade’ stuff from the market they’re only fooling themselves and not us as these projects are supposed to be a learning experience," says a teacher at DPS.



Seminars make college students yawn
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
To update students’ knowledge on various topics, colleges and institutes regularly conduct academic lectures and seminars on campuses in compliance with UGC and Panjab University norms. However, the casual approach of the students towards these sessions, which are also aimed at improving their personality, has left college principals, administrative officials and teachers thoroughly perturbed.

Covering important aspects of a student’s career including personality development, career counselling and communication skills as well as environmental issues, social evils including drug addiction female foeticide, etc, the lectures are held for undergraduate as well as postgraduate students in all colleges.

Unfortunately, most students fail to evince much interest. Many of them feel as they are "mature" enough to understand these issues such seminars are nothing but a waste of time and energy.

Karanbir Kaur, a student pursuing BBA told the Ludhiana Tribune: "They make us sit for almost 2-hours for a boring lecture. We are grown-up enough to decide the choice of career. The experts keep on speaking on various topics and we are bound to sit there and listen to them. But we’re never interested. What else is there to do in those two-hours? We draw funny cartoons and caricatures and crack jokes”.

Namita, a senior lecturer at a college, however felt students showed more interest in extracurricular activities than in academic lectures. "If there are dance or music competitions or fresher and farewell parties, students will put-in their best efforts but if there are lectures, they are least bothered", she said.

SCD Government College principal Jasbir Makkar said there was no denying the fact that, except for a few, most students were indifferent to academic seminars. "At this age they feel nobody is wiser to them.

“They refuse to understand that these are held for their better future and personalities. Still, we perform our duties to make them aware time and again. We can’t do more than asking them to attend a seminar, attendance at which would be mandatory,” he said.



Wooing with cheaper membership fee
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
Enticing doctors with discounted rates for lifelong membership to the district Indian Medical Association (IMA) has brought to the fore the desperation of the doctors ahead of the elections scheduled for December 19.

To the shock of some doctors, mobile messages sent by certain members of the association hinted at bargaining and were against ethics.

An SMS sent by an office-bearer read: “Avail discounted rates of IMA life membership, last three days, offer closes at 8 pm on November 25. Please inform your friends.”

Another message read: “All who want to become life members at reduced rates (Rs 5,200 for single and Rs 9,000 for couple against previous rates of Rs 7,200 and Rs 12,000) can also deposit cheques and fill forms at IMA house. The offer closes today.”

The circulation of these messages, three weeks prior to the elections is a violation of the election code of conduct, but supporters of candidates are making frantic attempts to secure votes.

Even personal remarks are made against one another, the chief poll commissioner (IMA), Dr Iqbal Ahuja, said.

Dr LS Chawla, former Vice-Chancellor, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, and Dr GS Grewal, member, Punjab Medical Council, have been appointed observers. They have been given powers to disqualify erring candidates. 

Poll Officer’s Take

Dr Iqbal Ahuja, chief election commissioner for the IMA elections, said the messages were being circulated with the consent of both rival groups. Members who were incorporated into the IMA till November 25 would be allowed to vote.



Jilted lover sets himself ablaze
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
A 25-year-old jilted lover, Chirhi, committed suicide by immolating himself yesterday. A resident of Dhakka Colony, Ambedgar Nagar, Chirhi was disappointed as the girl whom he loved, reportedly declined his proposal.

SHO Model Town Manjinder Singh said Chirhi loved a girl in his neighbourhood who performed in orchestras. It was a one-sided affair.

As the girl declined his proposal, the youth took the extreme step of killing himself last afternoon.

He was taken to a nearby hospital in a critical condition. He died later in the night after struggling for life for more than six hours.

His body has been taken to the Civil Hospital for post-mortem.

A case under Section 174 of the IPC has been registered by the Model Town police.



Man gets RI for life for killing doctor
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 30
The court of Additional Sessions Judge JS Chouhan has convicted Balbir Singh of Ganna village, Phillaur, on the charges of murdering Dr Roshan Lal of Laddowal. He has been sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for life. Pronouncing the verdict, the court also ordered the convict to pay ` 5,000 as fine. The plea of leniency raised by him was declined by the court.

The court acquitted co-accused Sukhdev Singh of Jalandhar, giving him the benefit of the doubt.

A case was registered against the accused in 2007 following the complaint of Kartar Singh, father of the deceased. The complainant told the police that his son left for work on the fateful day, but did not return.

The police cracked the case after the accused were found using the cell phone of the deceased. The police had recovered a mobile phone, a wallet and a SIM card belonging to the doctor from the possession of Balbir Singh.

Cyclist run over

A 50-year-old cyclist was crushed under a speeding truck on the Dhandra road here this morning. The victim has been identified as Jatinder Singh. He died on the spot. The police has arrested the driver of the truck, Jaspal Singh, and impounded the truck. 



School kids injured as autorickshaw overturns
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
Three schoolchildren were injured, one of them seriously, when an overloaded autorickshaw of Shefali Public School overturned while ferrying students to school here today.

The condition of 14-year-old Harpreet Singh is stated to be serious, but stable.

About 16-17 children were packed like sardines in the autorickshaw when it skidded and overturned near Rahon road. The children had a narrow escape, with two of them sustaining minor injuries. The driver fled from the scene leaving behind the injured students. The police has not registered a case so far.

Dr Manoj K Sobti, who is treating Harpreet Singh, said he had received head injury and had fractured his arm. “He was brought in a serious condition, but is stable now,” he said.

Today’s incident has once against brought to centre stage the issue of overloading autorickshaws that endanger the lives of children.

Despite efforts by parents, NGOs and other social organisations, the authorities concerned have failed to take action against such autorickshaw drivers. In the absence of vigil, the auto drivers flout rules with impunity. Many school managements have also preferred to look the other way.

In the past, too, many accidents have taken place due to the overturning of overloaded autos carrying children. But neither the district administration nor the traffic police has taken a step to check the practise. As per rules, only five-six children can be ferried at one time. 



Resistance to anti-encroachment drive fading fast
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
That the Punjab & Haryana High Court’s directive to demolish unauthorized structures in the city has boosted the resolve of the municipal corporation’s in conducting its anti-encroachment drive is becoming amply evident. In an unprecedented move the MC’s building branch razed over 200 illegal structures in the Randhir Singh Nagar locality without any protection cover of the police.

Things appear to have changed a lot since the drive began last year. Earlier, action on removing encroachments would linger on for days and weeks in the absence of any proper security cover. The building branch officials even used to visit offices of senior police officers to seek protection for their staff during the anti-encroachment raids. Subsequently, after getting the police force the MC used to make special arrangements for food and travelling of the cops to ensure its staff was well protected.

However, during Tuesday’s action in J block of Randhir Singh Nagar a change was visible as there was no police force to accompany the building branch staff that conducted the drive smoothly without any sort of resistance from the public.

A ditch machine removed the encroachments on public land and at many places residents themselves razed the structures to avoid any MC action. Another new thing that was noticed was that the civic staff also collected the debris left behind after the drive.

SS Bindra, assistant town planner in the MC’s building branch, who supervised the operation, said: “There was no need of the police force as residents were themselves willing to remove the encroachments without any persuasion”.

However, sources said it is the court’s firm stand that has not only forced the civic body to take action against illegal encroachments but has also led to residents realizing that opposition to the drive would be futile. That it is why the MC staff was able to raze more than 200 structures in the form of ramps, grills, fencings and green belts from outside houses in one of the city’s most upmarket areas in an action that was long over due, the sources added.



Sena protests against LPG hoarding 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
Blackmarketing of the domestic LPG has become an Achilles’ heel of the department of food, civil supplies and consumer affairs that has failed to curb the ongoing malpractice as is evident from the non-availability of cylinders to the city consumers.

The Hindu-Sikh Jagriti Sena protested against the corrupt practices of the gas agencies, which have added to the problems of the city residents.

The activists of the Sena burnt the effigy of “gas mafia” and called upon the officials at the department of food, civil supplies and consumer affairs to look into the mater.

Raising slogans against the politicians, the sena activists alleged the political parties were patronising gas agencies. “The politicians have their vested interests and they act as the marketing agents of the corrupt owners of the gas agencies who harass the common public in the name of gap between demand and supply of domestic LPG during winters,” alleged Praveen Dang, the president of sena.

Giving a warning to the owners of the LPG agencies, the sena activists stated that any gas agency found guilty of black marketing or delaying the supply to the consumers would be taken to task.

“We will stage dharnas outside the respective agencies and make sure that the departmental action is initiated against the erring agencies under the Essential Commodities Act,” said another senior leader.



24 factory workers retrenched 
Trade union moves labour court 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 30
The Moulder and Steel Workers’ Union has lodged a formal complaint against Vaishno International-a weaving unit located on the Ludhiana - Chandigarh Road near Kohara for retrenching 24 skilled and unskilled workers without serving any prior notice to them as required under the labour laws. The factory owners denied the sacked workers annual bonus and other benefits, the union alleged.

In a formal complaint lodged with officials of labour department, Harjinder Singh, president of the union, said the workers, employed at the unit for a long time, were turned out of the factory when they reported for duty on November 23. Their attendance cards were snatched and payment of annual bonus and other financial benefits refused.

He said the sacked workers were going to the factory everyday to know the reason for their unwarranted dismissal but the management gave no satisfactory reply. “Now the sacked workers are being threatened with dire consequences if they tried to raise their voice, and they have been left with no choice other than seeking justice from the labour department.”

Seeking immediate intervention of the labour department for reinstatement of sacked workers with full financial benefits from the date of dismissal, Harjinder and other activists of the union threatened to launch a mass agitation against the highhandedness of employers if the dismissed workers were not reinstated and factory owners not taken to task for blatant violation of the labour laws.

However, the factory owners have denied having dismissed any of their employees. Karunesh Thakur, General Manager (Administration), Vaishno International, said the complaint was false and without any basis. “We have not terminated any of our employees and the persons who are said to have lodged a complaint with the labour department are not our rolls. The complaint might be an outcome of some personal disputes between our employees and some outsiders.”



PCTE gets two awards

Ludhiana, November 30
The PCTE Group of Institutes has been conferred the “B-School which encourages innovation that leads to better development” and “B-School Leadership” awards held in Mumbai recently.

The award is in recognition of leadership, development, innovation and industry interface of business school. The awards were given by Dr Prasad Medury of Amrop International. The event is dedicated to the late Dewang Mehta, pioneer in IT revolution in India and former head of NASSCOM.

Dr KNS Kang, director-general, PCTE Group of Institutes, said: “The PCTE received these awards along with top B schools of India. Forty Vice-Chancellors were felicitated by the 18th Dewang Mehta B-School Excellence Awards for their contribution in academics. This is the second consecutive year that the PCTE has been recognised at the national level for its work in the field of education.” — TNS



Education dept deaf to PM’s advice on hygiene 
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 30
Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister, may be one of the most brilliant and most honoured statesmen of the world but the state education department seems to have little respect for his valuable advice.

The appeal made by the Prime Minister to school teachers, irrespective of the category of the institute they serve, regarding educating students on importance of cleanliness and hygiene seems to have fallen on deaf ears. The clarion call was given by the Prime Minister on occasion of Independence Day.

What to talk of transforming his message into action, the teaching community did not even bother to display Prime Minister’s message for the children in or around premises of the educational institutes.

Though the director general (school education) had directed district education officers of the state to ensure that the message is discussed with students at length in special meetings and morning assemblies, besides being displayed prominently in each school, none of the heads contacted by this reporter confirmed having obeyed the orders in letter and spirit.

Majority of the teachers and heads of government and private schools of this region were not aware of the clarion call given by Dr Manmohan Singh to sensitise the students about significance of cleanliness and hygiene in life.

The Prime Minister had on the Independence Day celebration expressed concern about degrading standard of cleanliness and hygiene in various parts of the nation. He had called upon the teaching community to teach children the importance of cleanliness and hygiene from the very beginning of their life.

“I consider it a primary responsibility of all our citizens to maintain cleanliness and hygiene around them. I would like our children to be taught the importance of cleanliness and hygiene in schools from the very beginning under a campaign for a Clean India,” spoke the Prime Minister.

Perusal of records revealed that the DG (SE) had directed all DEOs of the state to ensure that the message was displayed prominently in each school falling under his or her jurisdiction.



Medal winners honoured
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 30
RIMT - Institute of Engineering and Technology, Mandi Gobindgarh, won four medals in the Inter-College Power Lifting and Body Building Tournament held at Chandigarh Group of Colleges at Gharuan village (Mohali).

Speaking on the occasion, sports director Sukhvir Singh informed that Gurpreet Singh, a college student, clinched one gold medal in power lifting whereas Satnam Singh and Arun Parihar won silver medals in body building in their respective categories. Maninder Multani won bronze medal in body building competition.

The winners were given a warm welcome at the college today. 



From Schools
Declamation contest

LUDHIANA: JCI Ludhiana Elite organised Eloquent Minds 2010, an intra-school declamation contest at Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, today. Students from each section of the school participated enthusiastically. There were 26 speakers in all. Thirteen students spoke in English and as many in Hindi.

The event was graced by JC Adish Jain, former president of the JCI and Pankaj Garg, president, among others. Sonia Verma, in charge, middle section, presided over the function. Students expatiated their views on some soul searching topics like “Faith in God gives meaning and purpose to life”, “Service to humanity is the best work of life”, “Earth’s greatest treasure lies in human personality”, “The government should be of laws rather than of men” etc.

The event aimed at enhancing the oratory skills of the students. Judges Kirat Grewal and Vibha Sharma had a tough time judging the budding orators.

Anubhav Dhingra was declared the winner whereas Nitin Grover was the first runner up followed by Sophia Arora who was declared the second runner up in the English contest.

Mrinal Jindal was declared the winner in Hindi followed by Gauri and Hardik who were declared first and second runners up, respectively. Anubhav Dhingra and Mrinal Jindal have qualified for the next round of the contest.

‘Cheetah’ visits GMT

Master in marshal arts ‘Cheetah’ Yajneesh Shetty visited GMT Public School yesterday. Shetty has trained film stars like Govinda, Akshay Kumar, Bipasha and many others. A special assembly was organised in the school. Directors Kashmir Singh Thind, Jasbir Singh Thind and principal Amarjit Dhaliwal gave him a very warm welcome.

The students were very excited to have ‘Cheetah’ among them. A welcome speech was delivered to honour him. He also delivered a speech to the students, telling them about the importance of marshal arts. Shetty also performed some wonderful stunts in the assembly and answered the students’ questions. The students had a gala time and flanked the martial arts champ for autographs.

Street play

Amrit Indo-Canadian Academy performed a street play in Hambran for the general public of the neighbouring villages today.

“Aaj Da Punjab”, a short skit, highlighted social evils like drug addiction, female foeticide, dowry menace and female illiteracy that have plagued the state. Further, it also touched upon the fact that young boys of Punjab were crazy to settle on foreign land by any means, thus bringing misery to the family behind who suffer in debt. Solution to all these problems is education and mothers play a pivotal role in curbing all evils. This fact was highlighted by the play.

As many as 42 students of classes VI-IX participated in this play. The play will also be staged in Ladowal, Noorpur, Salempur, Humbran, Mullanpur, Malikpur, Bhattian, Jassian and Wallipur.

The school band welcomed the public and former ADGP DR Bhatti, professor Harlal Singh, former director and former secretary of the Punjab School Education Board, whose presence was a great source of encouragement for students.

He lauded the performance of the students and said such efforts would go a long way in spreading awareness. Students carried placards on “Curb Drug Addiction”, “Save Girl Child”, “Say No to Drugs” and “Light the Lamp of Education and Literacy”. In the end, the students took a pledge to rid Punjab of all these evils through education.

Science quiz

A science quiz contest was held today in the library hall of Alpine International Senior Secondary School. The teams were selected from classes VI-VIII. The names of the teams were Maxwell, JJ Thomson and Newton. There were three rounds.

The entire programme was organised by Jyotsna Bhatia and Rajinder Kaur of the science department. Newton team won the first prize. The team comprised Simran of class VIII, Anurag of class VII and Shubham of class VI. Principal Rajeshwari Dhir congratulated the winners and encouraged the students to develop a scientific attitude.

Painting contest

The Deaf Way Foundation held the 3rd Punjab Inter-School Painting and Quiz Competition for the hearing impaired at Arya College, here today. As many as 90 students from six schools of Ludhiana, Patiala, Mandi Gobindgarh and Ropar participated.
A participant during the 3rd Punjab Inter-School painting and quiz competition for the deaf in Ludhiana
A participant during the 3rd Punjab Inter-School painting and quiz competition for the deaf in Ludhiana on Tuesday. A Tribune photograph

The painting contest was held under two categories -- senior and junior -- while the quiz competition was held only for the senior students.

In the junior category of the painting contest, Patiala school stood first while Mandi Gobindgarh school stood second followed by a school from Ropar at the third spot. In the senior category, Ludhiana school stood first followed by Patiala school at the second spot.

In the quiz competition, Ludhiana school bagged the first prize and Mandi Gobindgarh school stood second.

Talking about the competitions, chief co-coordinator of the event, The Deaf Way Foundation, Chandigarh, Era Walton said the aim of the contest, aptly named “Colours of Silence”, was to raise the level of learning in children and motivating the teachers to excel in their jobs. — TNS



Gang of transformer thieves busted, 10 arrested 
Our Correspondent

Amloh, November 30
Ten out of the 12 members gang of transformer thieves operating in the state were arrested and 10 quintals of copper and other valuable parts of the transformer along with a pick-up Mohindra Jeep were seized from their possession. This was stated by Ranbir Singh Khatra, district police chief, at a press conference organised here today.

The Bassi Pathana police nabbed Prem Singh, a transformer thief, who resides at Nandpur village yesterday.

On the basis of his interrogation, police check posts were erected at various parts of the district. At around 4.30am a Mahindra Jeep loaded with four transformers and copper was stopped at Rangheri Kalan village and nine persons, who were going to dispose of the material, apprehended.

The accused have been identified as Prem Chand, a resident of Giaspura (Ludhiana), Ram Khilari Bangla, a resident of Kumkalan, Sukhdev Singh, a resident of Budhundi (Ludhiana), Dara Singh, Satpal Singh, Kalu, Sajjan and Ravi, a resident of Khanna.

The accused admitted having stolen 250 transformers from Raikot, Mehal Kalan, Maler Kotla, Pakhowal, Khanna, Bhadson, Morinda, Nabha, Samrala, Payal, Bija, Barnala, Bathinda and Mansa towns.

Out of 250 thefts, 50 were stolen from Fatehgarh Sahib district only. About 24 FIRs were registered at police station concerned. Each transformer costs around Rs 1 lakh.

Khatra said the Punjab State Power Corporation had about two years installed separate transformers for supplying power to each motor for irrigation. The farmers were responsible for its maintenance. The accused used to sell the transformers in Haryana. 



Family robbed of jewellery
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
Six unidentified robbers, who were driving Hyundai Verna and Scorpio, robbed a family of cash and jewellery from near BRS Nagar here last evening.

Puneet Pahwa, a city resident along with his family, stopped their car near the Lakshmi Petrol Station, BRS Nagar, at around 5 pm last evening when unidentified robbers surrounded them. The robbers, who were aged between 25 and 35 years, robbed the family of cash, gold chain and earrings. The robbers are absconding. A case has been registered against them.

In another incident, seven robbers were arrested today. Three robbers namely Jatinder Singh, Ramanpal Singh, Gurpreet Singh were arrested from near the cremation ground, Deep Nagar. Weapons have been recovered from their possession.



Punjab police win volleyball meet
Our Correspondent

Khamano, November 30
The Punjab police volleyball team beat Sangrur to win the title in 54th Punjab State Senior Volleyball Championship in men’s section that concluded at Khamano. In women’s section, Sangrur beat Ludhiana to win the championship.

A total of 23 teams in men’s section and 18 teams in women section participated in this championship held by the District Volleyball Association under district president Shamsher Singh Boparai, SP, Patiala.

ADGP Rajan Gupta, president, Punjab Volleyball Association, and SSP, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ranbir Singh Khattra gave away the prizes to the winners. After a strong battle four top teams, including PAP Jalandhar, Sangrur, Punjab State Electricity Board and Amritsar, entered semi-finals.

For the final berth PAP beat PSEB and Sangrur beat Amritsar to enter the final. The final match was hard fought as Sangrur team won the first set with 25-13, but later Punjab police won next three sets by 25-23, 25-23 and 25-21 in a thrilling encounter.

Two PAP players, Gurinder Singh and Satnam Singh Satta, who had participated in just concluded Asian games, displayed their skills and Maninder Singh of Sangrur also entertained the onlookers with attacks and defence. In women section, Sangrur beat Amritsar to come first.

Satnam Singh Satta was adjudged as best blocker, Anuradh as best libro, Gurinder Singh as best attacker, Sooraj Parkash as best centre while Maninder Singh as best all rounder. In women section, Harpreet Kaur from Sangrur was adjudged the best player.

The winners were rewarded with cash prizes, mementos and shawls. The organisers said they would select the team from this championship that would play from Punjab in national volleyball championship to be held at Kolkata.



Govt urged to honour medal winners, coaches
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 30
The Punjab Basketball Association (PBA) has urged the state government to honour medal winners in the recently concluded XVIth Asian Games in China and Commonwealth Games in New Delhi along with their coaches.

This was resolved at a meeting of the association held here on Sunday evening. The meeting was chaired by association president and former Director General of Police Rajdeep Singh Gill.

Among others present were PBA general secretary Teja Singh Dhaliwal, vice-president Yurinder Singh Hayer, Arjuna awardees Sajjan Singh Cheema and Suman Sharma, and former captain of the national basketball team Parminder Singh (Sr).

The meeting decided to urge upon Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to felicitate athletes - Manjit Kaur, Mandeep Kaur and Ronjan Sodhi - from the state for bringing laurels to the state in the events.

Manjit Kaur has been giving consistent performance in the recent past. She won gold medals in the 4x400m relay race in the Asian Games at Busan in 2002; Asian Games in 2006 at Doha and Asian Games at Guangzhou in China last week. She also won a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, last month. The PBA appealed to the government to promote inspector Manjit Kaur to the rank of officiating DSP and recruit Mandeep Kaur as inspector and honour their coaches.

The association congratulated gold medal winners Vijender Singh and Vikash Krishan (boxing), kabaddi team (men and women); silver medal winners Manpreet Singh (boxing), Abhinav Bindra, Heena Sidhu (shooting), Ranjit Singh and Manjit Singh (rowing); and bronze medal winners Manavjeet Singh Sandhu, Mansher Singh and Zorawar Singh Sandhu (shooting).



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