L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Raids on government offices
400 employees found missing from duty
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
More than 400 officials/employees were found missing from duty during the "surprise raids" carried out in almost 100 government offices across the district. The raids were conducted by the teams headed by ADC (development), ADC (general), SDMs and various senior officials in their respective sub-divisions.

The fact that senior officials falling under the category of "gazetted officers" were also absent from duty has brought to the fore the "insouciance" of the individuals appointed on the plum posts.

A team led by ADC (general) SR Kaler checked the offices of the district food, civil supplies and consumer affairs (DFSC), GLADA, irrigation department and Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Memorial Senior Secondary School at 9.05 am.

Twenty four employees, including three food inspectors, assistant food and civil supplies officer and clerks , ere absent from the DFSC office, while 30 employees, including Chief Engineer along with clerical staff, were missing from duty in the GLADA office.

Another team, led by ADC (development) Pradeep Aggarwal, raided 22 offices, including the office of the deputy director animal husbandry, where four employees were absent from duty. Interestingly, only two sweepers were present in the office of the Zila Parishad and the rest of the staff including the "secretary" were not present on duty.

The XEN, SDOs and few clerks working in the office of XEN Panchayati Raj and Block development and Panchayat Office (BDPO) had not reached office till even after 9.07 am.

The staff working on ranks falling under class II, class III and class IV categories in the offices of the XEN construction division, XEN sewerage Board division number 2, sub divisional engineer water supply and sewerage board division 8, 5 and 12 was also absent from duty.

SDM Payal Neeru Katyal Gupta raided the offices including senior medical officer (SMO), additional food and civil supplies, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) and various government schools, where some officials were found missing and some reported late on duty.

SDM Jagraon Mukand Singh Sandhu, SDM (west) Ludhiana Prem Chand, SDM Samrala Sukhdev Singh Mahal and SDM Khanna Inderjit Kaur listed more than 50 workers from various departments who had failed to report on their respective duties this morning.

Ludhiana deputy commissioner Rahul Tewari was away to Chandigarh for a meeting but was constantly in touch with the officials heading the raiding teams.

DC promises action

When asked what ‘action’ he take against the erring officials, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari said this was the final warning for every missing official/ employee. From next time onwards, any official or employee found missing from duty will have to face strict action, including a day's salary cut. Overruling "objections" raised by some employees, Tewari said, "I regularly conduct surprise checks in my office and Suvidha centre followed by strict action against the erring staff."

Biometeric attendance

A senior official from the health department stated that "biometric attendance” was the only solution to detect and prevent absenteeis. The employees manage to tamper with the attendance registers, but this system will ensure the presence of every worker, including officials.

Favouritism charge

Some employees termed the raids as "unfair", adding that employees who are in the good books of their bosses were shielded during the checks. A department head alleged that a missing employee had been shown as having been sent on a field assignment whereas he had not reported on duty since morning.


Confusion over Class X exams persists
Schools fail to address issue; students worried
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Despite being relieved from the dreaded board examination of the CBSE Class X from the current academic session, city's students continue to live in fear, stress and anxiety of the final exams. Reason: With the final exams just over a month away, numerous school authorities are yet to address their students and parents about the new system of the conduct of examinations.

In the absence of any clear-cut directions from schools, there is widespread confusion and anxiety among students and parents about the final exams of Class X.

"By now, schools should have explained the process. Since this is the first time that board exams have been made optional, there are numerous questions in the minds of students and their parents to which they want satisfactory replies," rued Namita Gulati, a parent.

Another parent Suresh Pratap Singh added, "The schools have just asked the students whether they would like to opt for board exams or sit for the school’s exams. They have not explained what will happen if a student chooses board exams over school's exams and vice-versa." While parents complain about lack of clarity over examination process, students are worried about their future.

"I have asked my teachers so many times about the outcome if I opt for board exams instead of school-based evaluation but have not got any satisfactory reply," remarked a student of Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School.

He added that the teachers had failed to satisfy his queries about the difference in the final result of those who choose board exams over the school’s.

Another student of Guru Nanak Public School rued that he was still in dark about the relative performance of students appearing for board exams and of those who appear for the school exams.

"Which way I stand to gain more is still unclear," he said.

Matter of choice

The CBSE has made it optional for schools to conduct exams for Class X students from the current academic session. The move was introduced to provide some relief to students from the intense competition and burden of studies.


Students will have the option of either writing the Board exams or appearing for exams conducted by the school.


In both cases, students will be given grades, as the system of awarding marks was shunned by the CBSE starting from the last academic session.

Question Papers

In both cases, question papers will be set by the CBSE. However, as date sheets for school exams and board exams will be different, the students will be given different sets of question papers.


In the school-based evaluation, the choice is left to individual schools to opt for a marking scheme. Either their own teachers can mark the answer sheets or they can have external evaluators. In board-based evaluation, the CBSE will be responsible for marking. Under this, the Board will, like previous years, depend on school teachers for evaluation of answer sheets.


The results of school-based evaluation will be sent to the CBSE, which will then declare the final result along with the result of the Board examination.

‘CBSE final authority’

"There is no difference in the two systems of evaluation as the CBSE is the final authority in both. It is just a mindset that school-based evaluation might prove beneficial to students," clarified Paramjit Kaur, principal, BCM Arya Senior Secondary School.



Man who claimed to be murdered boy’s father told a lie
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
In a shocking turn of events in the case of the gruesome killing of a nine-year-old boy, Niranjan, whose mutilated body was found on Tuesday lying on a vacant stretch of land near the train tracks in Hussainpur village, the police has now found out that the man who told them he was the victim’s father was in fact stating a falsehood.

Even as local cops along with the Government Railway Police (GRP) launched a combined investigation to unravel the murder mystery, more skeletons have begun tumbling out of the closet.

It is now learnt Mahesh was not the victim’s biological father. His dubious role in the incident as well as his treacherous past put him under the police scanner when he was reportedly attempting to leave the city today following the boy’s murder.

Mahesh and his “wife” Anita are said to have run away from Samastipur, Bihar a month ago. During the investigations it has also come to light that Mahesh deserted his five little children and wife in Bihar before fleeing to Ludhiana, while Anita duped her husband and eloped with Mahesh.

Sources close to the victim’s family stated Mahesh had a strong dislike for Niranjan and did not want to take him to the city and it was Anita who insisted on taking the boy along with her. They added the urgency displayed by Mahesh to return to Bihar also raised the police’s suspicions.

Confirming the development, GRP station house officer Baldev Singh stated the matter was being investigated “from all angles”.

“A police team conducted searches on ‘tantriks’ (a practitioner of black magic and witchcraft) last night and questioned some of them in connection with the boy’s murder,” said a GRP cop on condition of anonymity.

The sources stated further the GRP had again questioned Mahesh after he had given them a false statement. “Why did Mahesh mislead the cops by a giving them a false statement? Both of his claims - that he was the Niranjan’s biological father and that he was not at home when the incident took place - were later found to be untrue”, said a cop.

One of the residents of the area where the crime was committed reportedly told the police Niranjan was with Mahesh the last time the boy was seen.

Attempt to mislead police?

The police is also working on the theory that the murder may have been a “setup” to throw the police off the tracks. “The suspect might have taken the body to railway track thinking that the body would be eaten by stray dogs. The accused might have deliberately taken the larynx (vocal cords) of the victim to mislead the investigation process,” said GRP SHO Baldev Singh. The police is also of the view that two to three people were involved in the murder as the victim’s body bore clear signs on the limbs, which indicated he resisted and tried to free himself from the clutches of the suspects.



Encroachments by Mayor’s kin
SAD councillors to meet CM
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
The Municipal Corporation’s Mayor , who had regularised encroachments allegedly done by his relatives, seems to be in trouble with a group of Akali councillors deciding to take up the matter with the Chief Minister. These councillors were unhappy with the manner in which the agenda was passed in a haphazard manner.

A group of Akali councillors, led Youth Akali Dal president Simerjeet Singh, who is a known detractor of the mayor, had vehemently opposed the agenda in the meeting of general house held on Tuesday. But, the mayor had overruled their protest and got the agenda passed in a jiffy.

Bains has been trying hard to get hold of all documents related to the agenda item to prove that the mayor’s kin were going to benefit the most from it. They are also collecting papers related to Giaspura and his family during his tenure as the mayor so that they could hand them over to the Chief Minister to prove that he was allegedly misusing his power to corner most of the benefits.

This is not for the first time that the mayor and Bains group are confronting each other over an issue. Earlier also, both these groups in order to establish their supremacy in the local Akali politics have been snubbing each other. Violent clashes have also taken place between these two groups in the past.



Train track deaths
GRP, cops pass the buck to keep crime graph low
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
An in apparent attempt to keep the crime rate as low as possible appears to be the prime reason behind the railway cops and the local police shrugging off responsibility over people killed on train tracks, with 300 such deaths reported in the city every year.

The legal hassles are also considered a major reason as to why the Government Railway Police and district police officials pass the buck to each other by bluntly refusing to file a case. They are often seen even using measuring tapes to determine their respective areas of jurisdiction.

The arguments between the GRP and the city police on the issue as to who would conduct the investigations in the murder of a nine-year-old boy, Niranjan, whose mutilated body was found near the rail tracks in Hussainpur village, is not an isolated case.

Earlier also several such incidents have come to light, where the railway police and district police had engaged in a heated argument over jurisdiction following the boy’s killing.

According to GRP station house officer Baldev Singh, the GRP’s jurisdiction varies from place to place. “In such cases we require the assistance of the public work inspector who is in possession of the map of the area. He informs us whether the area falls under our jurisdiction or not.” The map contains the location of the area and what is situated on the east, west, north and south from the crime scene.

On the other hand, a senior police official in the city said: “There are valid reasons behind arguments over jurisdiction. Several deaths are reported near the train tracks.

If we register a case the counsel for the suspect takes the plea in court that the incident took place in an area falling under the jurisdiction of the railway police. In such circumstances the police loses ground and the criminal goes scot-free”.

“Since the railway police was a different entity, it’s their responsibility to register and investigate the case if the incident has taken place near the rail tracks. They have enough force and they are not given salaries for sitting idle,” the police official added.

Sources said the principal reason behind the spats between the railway police and the city police it to keep a tab on the soaring crime graph. If either of the two (railway police or the district police) would be generous in their approach and register cases then the respective department’s crime graph would swell and reflect a shoddy picture of policing in the city, despite the best efforts of the officer concerned.

Meanwhile, lawyers have their own take over the controversy. Advocate Munish Purang said: “In most of the cases the investigating officer messes up the matter. Such cases where there is a dilemma about the jurisdiction should be handled responsibly. First cops create a scene by entering into a heated argument in full public view and later take out their measuring tapes. The investigating officer keeps sitting on the case and normally after 10 to 15 days, he along with the draftsman visits the place again and prepares the map having no idea about the place of occurrence of crime.

“While the right thing is prepare the map on the same day and initiate the proceeding in the case.”



Livestock sector to get boost
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
To boost the livestock sector, the state government will import about 1.5 lakh injections of imported semen this year. Last year, about one lakh injections were imported from various countries and with this effort made by the state government, farmers in livestock business got benefits," said Usha R.Sharma, Secretary, Animal Husbandary, Dairy Development and Fisheries Department, here today.

She was in the city as the chief guest during a one-day workshop on Animal Husbandary, Dairy Development and Fisheries, held at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU).

Sharma further said that in the livestock sector, there was no dearth of funds. Forty five shops in Fish Market in city will become operational within two months. Apart from Ludhiana, new fish markets will also be started at Amritsar and Patiala.

She appreciated the role of the livestock sector in food security, employment generation, asset creation, financial security and as coping mechanism against crop failure. "The Punjab Government is doing its best to uplift this sector and every required support will be provided to GADVASU for meeting challenges."

The workshop was presided over by Dr VK Taneja, VC, GADVASU. Dr Taneja, in his presidential remarks, said the workshop was held with the objective to create an interface for the exchange of knowledge, ideas and problems between university scientists and field officers those were working at grassroots level. He emphasised the need of strengthening of veterinary extension, which was hitherto absent, to disseminate the scientific technologies to the farmers - the end-users. On this occasion, Dr H S Sandha, Director, Animal Husbandry, Inderjeet Singh, Director, Dairy Development, and PK Sood, Director and Warden Fisheries, were also present and chaired their respective sessions.

Dr Kulbir Singh Sandhu, Director of Extension Education, GADVASU welcomed the delegates and highlighted the university’s extension programmes .Dr SNS Randhawa, Director Research GADVASU highlighted the research programmes being carried out at university. Dr Simrat Sagar Singh, Dean College of Veterinary Science, GADVASU proposed the vote of thanks.

Dr HK Verma, Head Veterinary Extension, informed that four different technical sessions were held to update the knowledge of officers of the three departments. A joint plenary session was conducted for working out the recommendations, which will be helpful in planning the future strategies in livestock sector of the state. About 320 delegates from all over the Punjab attended the workshop.



A divine performance by Mahua Shankar
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Proximity between nature and Indian classical dance came alive in an exhilarating performance by noted kathak exponent Mahua Shankar. A disciple of Padma Vibhushan Birju Maharaj, Mahua Shankar, along with her troupe, presented shows for the children of Sat Paul Mittal School and Delhi Public School under the aegis of the Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth (SPIC MACAY).

Striking an instant rapport with the students, Mahua Shankar elucidated upon the virtues attached to classical dance, adding, "bhav and mudra are the two elements that add elegance and distinction to the dance form".

Clad in orange choli/dupatta and green silk lehenga, the artiste enacted various classical choreographies for the students.

She was "grace personified" as she emphasised upon rhythmic movements of birds, deer, lion and human beings through "bhavpurna tihayian" combined with her intricate footwork.

Having performed on dance numbers in Hindi movies "Gadar" and "Devdas", Mahua Shankar was at her artistic best as she obliged the audience at DPS School by presenting the choreography from “Devdas”.

Mahua concluded the show with her three disciples Shikha, Ushmita and Himani as they performed a Chaugalbandi (a competition between the four dancers within the combined performance).

Speaking to The Tribune, the kathak dancer said, "Kathak is in my blood, as I had been tapping my feet ever since I was a toddler, but got my first lesson in kathak at the age of five from my parents Pradeep Shankar and Rekha Shankar."

The artiste is not interested in popular cinema, as she has even refused an offer given by Bollywood's showman Sanjay Leela Bhansali. " I would love to do the classical choreographies in Hindi movies but I am not interested in becoming a part of the film industry," Mahua went on to add.

Looking forward to her shows at Khajuraho Dance Festival in February and Norway in April, Mahua says, "the essence of dance lies in loving and enjoying and cherishing it and not in trying to understand it."

Other artists in her troupe were tabla maestro Vijay Mishra, harmonium expert Ghulam Waris and vocalist Nupur Shakar accompanied Mahua Shankar on the stage. Overwhelmed by the Jugalbandi, the school prefect summed up the show in a single word "divine".



PAU Notes
Safety tips given to farmers

LUDHIANA: “Tractor plays a vital role in agriculture for it is used as a power source for farm implements and trailers. During its use, the operator is subjected to vibrations, jerks and jolts, heat, dust, smoke, noise and other unfavourable weather conditions, which makes him uncomfortable and open to hazardous accidents. The tractor related accidents can be minimised by installing safety gadgets and following safety guidelines,” said PAU scientists of department of farm machinery and power engineering while enhancing the knowledge of farmers about the safe use of tractors here today.

Referring to safety gadgets, Dr CJS Pannu, coordinator of research (engineering) said tractors with roll over protective structure (ROPS) were being manufactured in India, but this safety feature was being provided only on demand due to the price factor.

ROPS was a rectangular steel structure fitted around the tractor drivers’ seat and was strong enough to bear the weight of the tractor.

In case of overturning of tractor, in field or on road during use with trailer, the driver was protected from being crushed. However, ROPS were effective only if operator was using seat belts, added Dr Pannu.

Educating the participants about slow moving vehicle emblem (SMVE), he elaborated that due to government regulation, all new tractors being sold in India were fitted with the SMVE, but old tractors and trailers needed to be fitted with the SMVE.

Dr NK Chhuneja, brushing up knowledge of participants, emphasised that the tractor must have guards at hot parts, rear wheels, fans, pulley and belts, etc.

Giving guidelines for safe operations of tractor, Dr GS Sidhu impressed upon the farmers not to use intoxicants like liquor, opium, etc while operating a tractor and using rear view mirror in properly adjusted angle, to stop at all unguarded railway crossings, not to take of belt while pulley was running and not to wear loose clothes, etc.

High-quality science

Dr Gurmukh Johal, professor, department of botany and plant pathology, Purdue University, USA, is on a two-week visit to Punjab Agricultural University as a visiting professor. He delivered a thought-provoking lecture on “Adult plant resistance (APR), maize - Cochliobolus carbonum Race 1 (CCR1) pathosystem” at a seminar organised at PAU School of Agricultural Biotechnology (SAB) on Wednesday.

He evinced keen interest for developing collaborative research for the enhancement of maize through genetic programmes.

Speaking on this occasion, Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, emphasised that science should be of high quality and exhorted the students to work hard and maintain the quality of their research work.

He added that scientists abroad work in an environment of world class facilities and science was the main reason why Indian researchers were searching for placements there. To have best of science will be beneficial for the all-round development of the students and faculty, said Dr Kang adding that to motivate PAU students, a mechanism of inviting stalwarts to deliver series of lectures on cutting edge technology areas has been formalised.

The experts invited under this programme were the PAU alumni excelling in different fields of science and they were designated as visiting professors at the PAU for a period of two-three weeks.

This arrangement would reduce the gap between quality of science here and there, Dr Kang observed. He complimented the way Dr Johal derived hypothesis from his experimentation and suggested students to interact with him at length. Dr Johal deliberated on genetic, molecular and physiological underpinnings of the APR in a maize leaf spot/ ear mould disease.

Earlier, Dr SS Gosal, director of research, PAU, welcomed Dr Kang, Dr Johal and the participants. The faculty and students of School of agricultural biotechnology participated in an interactive session with Dr Johal. — TNS



Winding up MC general house in 10 minutes
Govt acts tough, to watch public interest first
Manvinder Singh/TNS

Ludhiana, January 20
Fate of agenda passed by authorities of the Municipal Corporation on Tuesday seems to be uncertain, as the state government had decided to pass only those, which are of residents’ concern. Winding up of the civic body’s general house meeting by the Mayor in just 10 minutes had criticised by local councillors. Most of them have termed it as a murder of democracy.

Similarly, the state government has also disliked this decision has also been disliked by representatives of the state government. Local Bodies’ Minister Manoranjan Kalia had termed it as an unfortunate incident.

Talking to The Tribune, Kalia said it was unfortunate that the representatives of the public were not given time to raise their issues.

When asked about the fate of the 14-point agenda passed by the corporation amidst the allegations of favouritism on Mayor, the minister said, “Only those agenda, which is in the interest of the residents, will be cleared by the government.”

“We will go through the entire agenda thoroughly before approving it so that the interest of the public is watched,” he added.

The minister, who had taken a firm stand on the adjournment of the general house meeting in 2009 by asking the director of his department to meet the councillors, said though there was no illegality in passing the agenda, but feelings of the elected representatives must be respected.

The matter is significant because the state government had rejected the agenda passed by the general house of the municipal corporation in four minutes earlier also.

However, learning no lessons from the past, the meeting was again adjourned in short span due to which fingers have been raised on the working of the municipal authorities.



PAU students’ strike enters 2nd day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
The strike by Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) students entered its second day here today, with a total boycott of classes by the students. The agitating students, who gathered outside Dr MS Randhawa Library at around 10.30 am, said though the authorities were trying hard to convene a meeting of the PAU students with state government representatives, till the time things were not clear, the students would continue with their "struggle".

The Punjab Agriculture University Students Association (PAUSA) will meet in the evening today to decide whether the strike will continue tomorrow.

The agitating students gathered outside the library with banners against the state government's policies. They said due to "unjustified" policies of the Punjab Government, unemployment was increasing in the state and there was frustration among the youth.

PAUSA president Ravinder Randhawa said students would meet in the evening to decide the next course of action. "But we do not want students to suffer at the same time. Agitation has been held to convey to the government that agricultural technocrats are disgusted and dejected. For two days, students did not attend classes. The Registrar and Dean of Colleges at the PAU were giving them the assurance that they would fix up a meeting with the government on this issue. We want some positive outcome, otherwise nobody will opt for agricultural studies," said Randhawa.

It may be mentioned here that the PAU students are on strike against the government's policies of not filling vacant posts of Agriculture Development Officers (ADOs) in state agriculture department. More than 1,000 posts are lying vacant in the department, while hundreds of agricultural technocrats pass out each year from the varsity.



Denial of admission to EWS student
Parents’ body for action against schools, principal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Taking a strong view of denial of admission to a student from economically weaker section (EWS) of society by two city schools, a city-based parents' body has sought stern action against both school authorities and a principal.

On January 15, St Thomas Senior Secondary School, Brown Road, and Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, had denied admission to four-and-a-half-year-old EWS student Sachin Makkar under the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE).

After the case was highlighted by Ludhiana Tribune on January 16, the CBSE Parents Association for Educational Reforms filed a written complaint in this regard with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, All-India Parents Association, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Chief Secretary of Punjab, DPI, Punjab (Chandigarh), Municipal Commissioner of Ludhiana, Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner, Punjab Education Department and the district education officer.

The parents association has sought strict action against both schools for denying Sachin his basic right to primary education and for defying the RTE Act.

Not only this, the association has also demanded that the authorities concerned should ensure proper implementation of the RTE in all city schools as "despite many cases of the Act’s defiance coming to the fore in the recent past, the authorities are mum", stated vice-president of the association Rakesh Jain.

The CBSE Parents Association for Educational Reforms has, in a separate complaint, sought stern action against the principal of St Thomas Senior Secondary School for using derogatory language against the students.

"We demand that sternest of actions should be taken against Hannah Malaki, principal of St Thomas, for using the words ‘Tom, Dick and Harry’ for children seeking admission to her school," stated Jain.

"If this is the kind of language a school principal is using against children, what would she teach them?" questioned Jain, adding that just like seeking education was the right of every child, similarly, providing education to desirous children was the duty of every school as well as the government.



With Rs 250 crore in kitty
MC wants to restart stalled projects
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha has asked the civic authorities to restart all development works, which were stalled due to cold weather conditions. The Municipal Corporation will be getting Rs 150 crore loan from Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) and another Rs 100 crore-loan from the state government for carrying out various development works in the city.

The civic authorities had in past asked officials of the building and road (B and R) branch to stop various developmental works, especially the construction of roads due to the extreme cold weather conditions.

Thus, a large number of the developmental works in the city had come to a stand still. With weather clearing and the corporation expecting money in coming days, the commissioner has asked the civic body officials to complete the necessary ground work for taking up development works on a big scale.

Sources revealed that the Municipal Commissioner had asked the officials to fill the potholes with cold bitumen till the time new roads are laid for the convenience of residents.


The Municipal Corporation will get Rs 150 crore loan from HUDCO and another Rs 100 crore-loan from the state government for carrying out various development works in the city.



Farmers protest ‘repressive’ Bills
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 20
Hundreds of farmers and farm workers, under the banner of the joint forum of 34 organisations, today staged a protest in the city after holding a rally in front of the deputy commissioner’s office at mini secretariat. They were protesting against repressive laws enacted by the Punjab government as well as economic policies of the Centre under the so-called economic reforms.

Speakers at the rally alleged that subsidies being provided to farmers and landless workers were being snatched away, workers were facing retrenchment and new recruitment in government departments had given way to contractual workers under the new economic policy launched in 1991.

Functionaries of the Kul Hind Kisan Mazdoor Sabha, All-India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha, Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan) and the Kirti Kisan Sabha further charged the government with denying free health facilities to the poor people by setting up a health systems corporation, and further not allowing private practitioners in rural areas to deliver affordable medical treatment to the rural masses.

They demanded immediate withdrawal of these "black laws" and restoration of rights to peaceful agitation as well as freedom of speech and expression.



150 years of Kuka Movement
Road to be named after Satguru Pratap Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
As the state gears up to celebrate 150 years of the Kuka Movement, authorities of the Municipal Corporation have decided to name one of the major roads passing through the city after legendary leader of the sect, Satguru Pratap Singh.

The state government had directed the authorities of the civic body to name a few roads, hospitals, parks or important public place after Satguru Pratap Singh following a request forwarded by the followers of the sect in this regard.

The authorities have identified a road from the Pratap Chowk to Bhagwan Chowk to be named after Satguru Pratap Singh. The building branch had already sent a proposal in this regard to the higher authorities for getting the proposal passed from the general house of the civic body.

Sources revealed that the matter would be taken up during the budget meeting of general house and was most likely to be passed.

Similarly, sources revealed that the state government had also convened a meeting in this regard to make arrangement for tomorrow’s celebrations.



Police to declare no-parking zones
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
To regulate traffic in the city, the police has identified a few zones where parking of vehicles will be strictly prohibited. This is an attempt by the police to streamline the traffic.

Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh told The Tribune that surveys were being conducted in various parts of the city to identify the congested areas and those encroached upon, besides illegal parkings etc. “We are trying to come up with some plan to streamline traffic in the city. The new traffic regulations will be enforced from February 1 onwards. Before going for strict implementation, we will install the boards etc so that there is no room for confusion. Everything is being done for the better flow of traffic in the city,” said Singh.

The Commissioner was accompanied by DCP Yurinder Singh and other senior officials. According to sources, certain areas near Aarti Chowk, Ghumar Mandi, Mall Road and Model Town etc have been identified as “No-parking zones”.



Pruning trees? Beware
Tribune News Service

A man pruning a tree. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, January 20
Pruning of trees planted at public places could now cost residents dear as the municipal corporation has in a letter written to the police department asked it to take stern action those found indulging in it.

The horticulture department of the civic body has found that a large number of trees have been chopped from above in the name of pruning.

This has affected the growth of trees.

The matter was brought to the notice of the municipal corporation.

It has asked staff of the horticulture branch to prepare a list in this regard and take the help of the district police in checking illegal chopping of the trees.

Staff of the horticulture wing, too, have been told to be vigilant.

Additional Municipal Commissioner, Mohinder Pal Gupta, who is also in charge of the horticulture branch, confirmed the reported move.



Teacher pens songbook for children
Tribune News Service

Karamjit Singh Grewal with his book in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma
Karamjit Singh Grewal with his book in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, January 20
Foraying into yet another literary arena, teacher-singer-poet Karamjit Singh Grewal has penned a songbook for children.

The book “Gaeye geet pyare bacheyon” is replete with motivational songs for children, inspiring them to adopt the righteous path and shun evils.

The myriad issues touched upon the author in the book include “say no to cheating in exams”, importance of Punjabi culture and mother tongue, love for nature, importance of teachers and school in a student’s life, teachings of Sikh Gurus and sacrifices of freedom fighters and many more.

Talking about his book, Grewal says: “Children are my first love and they are the inspiration behind this book. The book has 133 songs which deal with different stages of life.”

Earlier, Grewal had penned three books for kids, which would be published by the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan.

Grewal is also the proud recipient of the Best Bal Pustak Award by the Punjabi Sahitya Akademy.



Sahit Academy hails honour to Atamjit
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 20
Punjabi Sahit Academy has hailed the Bhartiya Sangeet Natak Academy award for noted Punjabi writer Dr Atamjit saying he had joined the select group of eminent Punjabi writers like playwright Gursharan Singh and Ajmer Singh Aulakh who had been recognised by literary, natak and sangeet academies of all Indian languages.

In a congratulatory statement, Dr Gurbhajan Gill, president of Punjabi Sahit Academy, said another feather in the cap of Dr Atamjit, close after Bhartiya Sahit Academy award presented to him last year, was a salutation to Punjabi plays and playwrights.



Urban Vihar
Encroachment bid foiled
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
The building branch of the municipal corporation today foiled an attempt by a resident of Urban Vihar near Dugri to erect a gate on the road.

Residents of the area approached Additional Municipal Commissioner, Kanwalpreet Kaur Brar, for help.

Harjeet Singh, building inspector, was told to look into the matter. He asked the resident to stop gate’s construction on 20-foot road.



Wife booked for poisoning man to death
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
The city police has booked a woman for poisoning her husband to death on October 21. The victim, identified as Gurcharan Singh (50), died under mysterious circumstances after consuming illicit liquor. A woman’s paramour, who happens to an employee of the Municipal Corporation, and two of her children were partners in the crime committed by them. The accused were booked after the viscera report of Gurcharan Singh confirmed that he was poisoned to death.

Sources in the police department said Gurcharan’s wife, Bhupinder Kaur, alias Raju, a resident of Hargobind Nagar in Islam Ganj, was having illicit relationship with a man named Babba, a Class IV employee in the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation.

Gurcharan Singh used to work at the canteen of the Regional Institute of Management and Technology (RIMT) at Mandi Gobindgarh.

On October 21, Bhupinder Kaur mixed pesticides, used for preserving wheat, into Gurcharan’s drink.

After consuming liquor, the health of the victim deteriorated. Gurcharan was rushed to a hospital where he died on October 22.

Bhupinder did not even attend the funeral her husband, left the house and started living with Babba and two children at some other place.

Ever since this incident, the cops were suspecting foul play. Following the death, SHO Division No 2, Surinder Mohan, sent the viscera report of the victim for an examination and after receiving the report, Bhupinder Kaur, her son Harjeet Singh, alias Shelly, daughter Poonam and lover Babba were booked for murder.

The case was registered on a statement of Gurcharan’s mother, Harbhajan Kaur. Gurcharan’s uncle, Kashmir Singh Sheera, a former councillor, told that Gurcharan and Bhupinder got married at least 25 years ago.

Gurcharan Singh used to come late at night from work and used to leave early in the morning. Babba, whose duty was in Islam Ganj, was having illicit relationship with Bhupinder Kaur for the past five years. Her children also supported their relationship.

Surinder Mohan, SHO, Division No. 2 police station, said a case had been registered and the accused would soon be arrested.



Two held with 12 kg opium
Our Correspondent

Amloh, January 20
The local police stopped two motorcyclists on suspicion near a bus stand at Kapur Garh village yesterday. On being searched, 12-kilogram opium was allegedly recovered from their possession. This was stated by District police Chief, Ranbir Singh Khatra, here today.

Those arrested have been identified as Rachhpal Singh, resident of Palyhia village, and Harjinder Singh, a resident of Bugga Khurd (both in Patiala district) village. The value of the opium in open market is stated to be around Rs 11 lakh.

Meanwhile, Om Parkash Bassi, a resident of Ludhiana, was arrested and 3.5-kilogram charas worth Rs 3 lakh was seized from his possession. He used to smuggle drugs from Nepal through the Bihar border.



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