L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


3 hurt in shootout outside Dy Speaker’s house
Crowd had gathered to catch glimpse of Khali
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

The injured in the Friday night incident outside the residence of Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Satpal Gosain.
The injured in the Friday night incident outside the residence of Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Satpal Gosain. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, January 22
The euphoria surrounding the presence of the WWE wrestler Dalip Singh Rana, better known by his ring name the ‘Great Khali’, took an ugly turn when liquor, guns and hooliganism - a deadly cocktail - led to a shootout in front of the residence of Punjab assembly deputy speaker Satpal Gosain in the the city’s Kidwai Nagar locality at midnight Friday, leaving three people hurt including one seriously.

SHOs fail to pacify mob

High drama was witnessed outside the residence of Punjab assembly deputy speaker Satpal Gosain. Police station house officers Surinder Mohan and Raj Kumar were seen trying to placate the angry crowd. The rowdy youths were further instigated by a local political leader.

The drama continued till midnight and youths began returning home after the influence of liquor began to recede. The situation could have taken an ugly turn had not the SHOs and ADCP-I Harsh Bansal taken prompt action

Victim facing criminal charges

Gurpreet Singh alias Shanti, who sustained a bullet injury on his shoulder, is already facing charges of grievous assault under section 326 of the IPC. The complainant, Goravjit Singh alias Gora, was involved in blocking a street along with his supporters near Dholewal chowk last August in protest against alleged police inaction in a case of grievous assault. The protest caused a lot of inconvenience to commuters

The condition of the injured, identified as Gurpreet Singh Shanti, a resident of Tokha Mohalla, was stated to be critical. He sustained a bullet injury on his shoulder while the two other - Ashok Kumar and Rinku - suffered bruises caused by a bullet splinter. Ashok was rushed to the Christian Medical College & Hospital.

Succumbing to pressure, the police filed a case of attempted murder case under section 307 of the IPC against an unidentified suspect after any angry mob created a ruckus outside Gosain’s house.

The incident took place when the crowd, consisting mostly of youths in an inebriated condition, swarmed outside the house to catch a glimpse of Rana who had come to meet Gosain over dinner during his visit to the city. The suspect, said to be a close “aide” of the wrestler, was accompanying the latter in a SUV.

When Rana was coming out of the house a huge crowd of fans had gathered there to catch a glimpse of him, blocking the street by parking their vehicles. The fans became restless in a bid to click photos of the wrestler.

Division no 3 SHO Surinder Mohan said, “In the melee an unidentified suspect fired in the air. Splinters of the bullet hit two people; one sustained an injury in the shoulder while the other had minor bruises”.

Gurcharan Singh, owner of a confectionary store located nearby, complained a bullet pierced the shutter of his shop and broke a costly mirror during the shooting.

According to sources, the gunfire occurred when Rana was approaching his vehicle after meeting Gosain at his home.

Frenzied youths eager to click photos of themselves with the wrestler blocked the latter’s way. However, Rana somehow managed to get inside his vehicle. Meanwhile, some one from the crowd pelted a stone at the SUV. Soon, a tall man alighted from it and nabbed Shanti, who was running towards the vehicle. This led to a fight and, in the meantime, the man pulled out his .32 revolver and shot at Shanti and Ashok. He also beat up the former before fleeing the scene.

Area residents said Shanti’s supporters pelted a stone at Rana’s vehicle and broke its windshield.

However, Gosain was reportedly not in town when the incident took place. It was later learnt it was his grandson, Amit Gosain, who had invited Rana to his home for dinner. Despite repeated attempts, Amit was not available for comments.

Meanwhile, deputy police commissioner Yurinder Singh said the cops were kept in the dark about Rana’s arrival at the deputy speaker’s house. “We had no information about his visit, otherwise the police would have taken adequate security measures”, he added.

Additional deputy commissioner of police-I Harsh Bansal stated: “The matter is under investigation and we’ve launched a manhunt to nab the suspect. Whether the suspect was carrying a licensed gun or it was procured illegally is also being investigated. We’re also probing whether the suspect was only a fan or a friend of Rana or any of the wrestler’s personal bodyguards.”


Boy was killed by mother’s lover
Tried to make it look like ‘sacrifice’ to mislead cops
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
The gruesome death of a nine-year-old-boy in the city last Tuesday was not a “sacrificial” killing but was the handiwork of his mother's paramour who murdered the boy in cold blood and then took out his body parts to make it look like an act of a ‘tantrik’ (practitioner of black magic and witchcraft) and mislead the police.

The police today booked Mahesh, the lover of Niranjan's mother, Anita, for killing him by slitting his neck.

The grisly killing of the boy, whose mutilated body was found lying on a vacant stretch of land near the train tracks in Hussainpur village, sent shock waves in the city.

The cops swooped on the suspect after children in the locality told them they the last time they had seen Niranjan was when he was with Mahesh. The police had already suspected his involvement after it found he had given a false statement to the officer investigating the case.

Mahesh, who claimed himself to be the father of the victim, is in reality not the latter’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 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.

During interrogation the suspect soon cracked and confessed to having committed the crime.

Sources close to the victim’s family said Mahesh had a strong dislike for Niranjan and did not want to take him to the city and it was Anita who had insisted on taking the boy along with her.

Government Railway Police SHO Baldev Singh said Mahesh told the police Niranjan used to abuse him and refused to acknowledge him as his father. “The suspect eventually decided to eliminate the boy. On the evening of January 17, when the child was playing along with his friends, Mahesh took him along on the pretext of going to shopping. On reaching Husainpur village, he took Niranjan to a vacant plot where he slit the boy’s neck. He also removed the larynx (vocal cords) of the victim to mislead the police”, said Baldev.

Mahesh reportedly told the police as he thought the cops would assume the murder to be a case of child sacrifice he would get ample time to leave the city.



DTO fails to check vehicles run on illegal LPG kits
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Evan as city residents are crying hoarse over the shortage of domestic cooking gas, the district transport office (DTO) has turned a blind eye to those who are flouting regulations by using domestic LPG gas cylinders to run their vehicles. The sharp rise in petrol prices during the past year have driven many people to get the engines of their petrol or diesel vehicles converted to operate on liquefied petroleum gas.

A commercial LPG cylinder weighing 19.2 kg costs Rs 1,180 whereas the price of a 14.2 kg domestic gas cylinder is a third less at Rs 365. Though the government provides domestic LPG at subsidized prices the purpose is defeated when it comes to poorer residents.

The district transport office gives approval to new LPG variant vehicles. However, if an old petrol driven car is to be converted to LPG, it is mandatory for its owner to submit details of the modification at the DTO office. Despite this most vehicles converted from petrol to LPG are running on domestic cylinders in violation of the Motor Vehicle Act and Essential Commodities Act.

Some fuel stations in the city and its periphery are also involved in the illegal conversion of petrol vehicles to LPG, but the law enforcement agencies have chosen to ignore these violations.

The role of the district food, civil supplies and consumer affairs controllers too has come under the scanner, as they have not initiated any move to check the gross misuse of domestic LPG in running vehicles. As a result the gap between demand and supply of domestic cooking gas has risen manifold this winter.

People in various localities are staging protests against the LPG agencies, as there is a backlog of almost a week. The residents are suffering, as they have to wait for almost 35-40 days to get their refills of their kitchen gas cylinders. Hitting out at the district food & civil supplies controllers, Hardyal Singh, a resident of Pakhowal Road, remarked: “These officials have been soft on those flouting the regulations, who should be taken to task”.

A local car mechanic, requesting anonymity, said: “In the last six months I’ve converted almost the engines of 80 vehicles from petrol to LPG. The cost to run a Maruti 800 run on a LPG kit is Rs 1 per kilometer while the same car run on diesel costs Rs 2 per kilometer and the cost goes up to Rs 3 plus when the car is run on petrol”.

Unauthorised LPG kits unsafe

The illegal LPG kits fitted in vehicles by local mechanics are unsafe for their drivers as is evident from the several accidents in which the vehicles caught fire due to leakage of gas, often resulting in causalities



Approval of move allowing encroachments by kin
Mayor accused of misusing power
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
It appears to be another instance of misuse of power by politicians. That municipal corporation officials, in an attempt to extend largesse to relatives of city mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, ignored all rules is borne out by the fact the item relating to the matter was included in the agenda of the MC general house despite objections by the civic body’s building branch.

A cursory glance at the documents related to the MC’s proposal to regularize encroachments by the mayor's kin in Giaspura reveals the manner in which the mayor approved the agenda at the general house meeting was not in accordance with stipulated regulations. Under pressure from Giaspura, who had been trying to get the proposal passed from last some time, civic officials first added the item at the house meeting held on April 16, 2010. However the agenda was kept pending and a report on was sought from the building branch.

Moreover, Nirmal Preet Singh, assistant town planner in the branch, had in his report submitted on June 10, 2006 rejected the proposal by asserting the MC was already removing encroachments in the city on the orders of the Punjab & Haryana High Court. “There is no policy of the state government to regularize the encroachments in this manner”, he had noted.

Subsequently the building branch never approved the controversial agenda. Even MC commissioner AK Sinha also never gave his nod for the proposal to extend largesse to Giaspura’s relatives. However, using his powers, the mayor managed to add the item to the agenda of the meeting and got it passed despite protests by councillors.

Akali councillor Simerjeet Singh Bains, who had opposed the matter in the house, asserted inclusion of the item in the agenda was “illegal” as this was done without the necessary approval of the commissioner and officials of the MC’s building branch.

“Ideally an item in agenda is added on recommendation of the branch concerned, but in this case this was missing. The mayor misled the house just to benefit his relatives, which is not acceptable. He is instead encouraging encroachments to come up in the city”, Bains added. Despite repeated attempts Giaspura was not available for his comments on the matter.



PAU to build permanent helipad
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Giving in to political pressures to allow landing of choppers of VIPs on the football ground or Mela Ground and later facing the wrath of sports lovers, the PAU has decided to construct a permanent helipad in the university so that grounds are not destroyed.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Vice-Chancellor, Dr MS Kang said the university was planning to come up with a permanent helipad so that grounds were not damaged. “Though we charge money from private choppers, at the same time we cannot deny permission to the government choppers. Secondly, we do not want the sports grounds of PAU to be destroyed due to the regular landing of choppers. Within a month or two, we will construct a helipad so that there was no disturbance to anyone,” said Dr Kang.

It may be mentioned here that PAU has always evoked criticism from football players and athletes for granting permission to the choppers to land on the university grounds.

The PAU authorities said they would identify a piece of land, where they would construct the helipad. They said they would get an estimate prepared and start the work on it soon so that PAU does not suffer.



Print Industry
Prices of books to go up from Feb
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Due to continuous hike in the prices of the ink, printing and craft papers besides cardboard by paper mills, the Offset Printers’ Association (OPA) has decided to increase the prices of printed books, cardboards and corrugated boxes from 20 to 25 per cent from February 1.

This decision was taken during the association’s meeting organised under Kushl Jain’s chairmanship.

Jain said: “The paper mills have increased the prices of craft paper from Rs 3 to Rs 5 per kg, while duplex board prices have been increased by 15 per cent and another hike is expected in February. This year, prices of inks, too, have been increased by 12 to 15 per cent by various companies. Thus, our industry cannot sustain without increasing the prices of printed books, cardboards and corrugated boxes. We must unite, take stock of the situation and decide what to do.”

Sanjay Gandhi, association’s secretary, said, “The mills are increasing prices without any prior information. This has made market panicky. The industry has, already, suffered a lot due to the recession and now with the hike in the prices of electricity, steel wire, diesel etc it is difficult to sustain at the existing rates.”

Amarjit Singh Mankoo, chairman, legal cell of the association, added, “In an era of cost cutting and tight margins, recent announcement of the hike in the prices of paper will make the printing industry worried. The paper mills are increasing the prices on their own whereas we already have at least three months order in hand. This autocratic attitude of the paper mills will defiantly affect us.”

Ultimately the cost is to be borne by the customer. The manufacturer will remain under pressure to balance between the cost of production and sale prices. Unless the prices remain stable, there is a risk in booking long delivery orders,” said Parveen Aggarwal, president of the association.



MC to check absenteeism in zonal offices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
After district administrative officials, zonal commissioners of the Municipal Corporation would be conducting raids to ensure proper attendance in their offices for effective public dealing.

The trend of absenteeism among civic employees is already high due to which residents have to face a lot of inconvenience in getting their work done. A large number of elected councillors have also lodged complaints with Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha in this regard.

Additional Municipal Commissioner, Kanwalpreet Kaur Brar, had asked the commissioners of all four zones to ensure proper attendance in their offices.

In a letter written to all Zonal Commissioners, Brar had asked them to raid their respective zones and check whether staff was dealing with public or not. The Additional Commissioner has also asked the zonal commissioners to take strict action against those found missing from their seats during office hours. Though Brar termed it as a routine affair, sources revealed that orders had been issued following the directions of the state government.

Though this move benefit common man, chances of its success are grim. Civic staff often cite fieldwork as the reason for remaining absent from their seats. Similarly, the councillors and residents have raised indifferent attitude of the zonal commissioners, who have been made responsible for effective public dealing, on numerous occasions.



Encroachment by Mayor’s kin
MC ducks, to seek legal opinion
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
After being criticised for getting the controversial agenda for allotting land to relatives of the mayor passed, civic authorities have now decided to seek legal opinion on the matter before sending it for the state government’s approval.

The agenda, regarding the allotting of four pieces of land to relatives of Hakam Singh Giaspura, mayor, at DC rates had sparked controversy in the general house meeting of the civic body after a group of SAD councillors led by Simerjeet Singh Bains opposed it. The Mayor had even adjourned the meeting in a haphazard manner. This was disliked by a large number of councillors. Local Bodies Minister, Manoranjan Kalia, had stated that the state government would clear only that agenda which would be of residents’ interest. This had made civic authorities worried as the state government, had in past, blocked agenda passed by the mayor.

Municipal Commissioner, AK Sinha, met senior officials at his residence in this regard on Saturday. The Mayor was also present on the occasion. In the meeting it was discussed that if the state government disapproves the agenda then it would bring a lot of disrepute to the civic body. The fact that the municipal corporation had already shown that four pieces of land as encroachments in an affidavit given to the Punjab and Haryana High Court was also discussed in the meeting. They decided to seek legal opinion on the matter before sending it for the approval of the state government.



Youth Akali Dal Rally
Sidhwan meets rival groups separately
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
The Youth Akali Dal is riddled with groupism. This was evident from the fact that the political secretary to the Deputy Chief Minister, to avoid any clash between workers, met both groups separately for making preparations for the rally to be held on January 28.

Paramjeet Singh Sidhwan, political secretary to Deputy Chief Minister, to monitor arrangements for the massive youth rally to be held at the Grain Market, Gill road, on January 28. But, due to the ongoing struggle for supremacy between supporters of cabinet minister Hira Singh Gabria and Youth Akali Dal president Simerjeet Singh Bains, Sidhwan met them separately to avoid any confrontation.

Sidhwan met supporters of Gabria at his Gill road office and those of chief parliamentary secretary Harish Rai Dhanda and Bains at councillor Manvinder Pal Singh Makkar’s office.

The groups led by Gabria, which also includes Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura and Bains had been at loggerheads for the past several years. Both groups had been trying hard to establish their supremacy in the party due to which violent struggles had taken place between them in the past.



Tipsy truck driver rams into electric poles, supply disrupted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Power supply to Kakowal and nearby areas remained disrupted for hours together due to the negligence of a truck driver.

The truck driver, identified as Gurcharan Sigh, who was drunk, rammed his vehicle into a high tension power supply pole near Kakowal at about 11.30 pm yesterday and uproted it. The impact of the accident could be gauged from the fact that at least 20 high tension power poles got uprooted.

The power supply in the area got disrupted for hours together.

SHO of the Basti Jodewal police station reached the spot and arrested the truck driver.

The police has registered a case of negligent driving against the truck driver.



Beauty Pageant
Students bunk classes to participate in auditions
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
More than 300 students of the Government College for Women (GCW) here had a “gala” time while watching auditions for Deepak Builders Miss College Ludhiana, 2011. The process of registration and auditions held in the college auditorium took more than five hours and students took keen interest in the beauty pageant auditions by “bunking” classes throughout the day.

While many students “welcomed” this activity, there were some who did not like the idea of holding private beauty pageant in the college.

The activity started at 10 am in which more than 100 girls from every stream participated. The girl students exhibited their talent, walked on the ramp and introduced themselves in front of judges. Palak, a second year student, said it was a good exposure for the students. “We should have more glamorous events in the city,” she said.

Gurleen Kaur, another student coming from Shimplapuri, here said she took permission from her parents on telephone. “They will announce the names of shortlisted students and I am eagerly waiting for the announcements,” she said.

A majority of the students sitting in the auditorium had bunked the classes today. “I have not attended a single class today. Though teachers are taking lectures, attendance is thin. This is more entertaining than attending boring lectures,” said Gurpriya (name changed).

A student, Sarabjit Kaur (name changed), however, did not like the idea of holding private beauty contest in the college. “We have Miss Fresher, Miss GCW every year and the students take part in such events in good numbers. Here they are paying to be on the stage,” said Sarabjit Kaur.

GCW principal Gurminder Kaur, however, claimed that the student council of the college had organised the show and they had sought help from Group K’s Media Delite. It may be the student council or private organisers, the college students had to shell out Rs 200 to be on stage for taking part in the contest. A slip was also issued to the student, along with rules of the show.

Paramjit Kaur, student council (teacher in-charge), however, said the college authorities were unaware that the students paid any money to take part in the contest. “If those people took money, it was their mistake. The college never asked the students to pay money,” she said.

When asked whether such kind of activities by private promoters were allowed in the government colleges, the principal said the student council of GCW was the main organiser of this event and not any private organiser.

Eminent educationist and former Senate member Tarsem Bahia said the activities promoting social or noble cause by the private organisers should be allowed, but the permission must be sought from the government for holding events promoting private organisers or sponsors in the government college.

The judges for the event were Ruchi Bawa from Dancing Spirits, Neha Singal, director Deepak Builders, Seerat Gill, Harpreet Gill and Rohit (choreographer).



Class X Exams
Students fear favouritism in school-based evaluation
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Despite the CBSE Class X board exams being optional from the current academic session, there are some students who have chosen to sit for the same rather than appear for the school-based final exams.

Though in minority, these students' represent the fears of thousands of students, including those who have opted for the school-based evaluation.

These students feel that while on one hand, board-based exams would be fair and free of all biases, on the other hand there are chances of favouritism in school-based evaluation.

"I am a very average pupil and have never been among the teachers' favourite students. That is exactly why I have opted for board exams because I think in school-based examinations, results might tilt towards the teachers' ‘pets’, while others like me might have to suffer," remarked a student of Scared Heart Senior Secondary School, BRS Nagar.

Another student of BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, said, "Since school-based exams will be marked within the school, teachers might favour their favourite students by marking them leniently, whereas the board-based exams will be marked by unknown teachers, so I guess that will be more fair and unbiased. That is why when given an option, I chose to sit for board exams."

Another reason that these students give for opting for board exams instead of school-based ones is that the former would stand them in good stead in the future.

"The Class X board exams will help me prepare for my Class XII boards in advance and I will be less nervous while appearing for the latter," reasoned a student.

However, there are some who think differently.

"The CBSE board tag will help me immensely during the admission process of a senior secondary school, while the school-based evaluation might create a doubt in the minds of my future school head that I must have scored high because of teachers’ partiality towards me," averred another student of Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, BRS Nagar.

There are many students who, though are set to appear for school-evaluation, are 'scared'.

"Chances of favouritism are very high, but we were not given any the other option. We were simply informed that school-based evaluation is the only option open to us," rued a student of Sacred Heart Convent, Sarabha Nagar.

‘No difference’

Dispelling the students' fears as unfounded, educationists say there is not much difference between the two systems of evaluation.

"The CBSE is conducting SA-2 (only for 40 per cent marks) as board exam, while the rest 60 per cent will be the school's evaluation in form of SA-1, FA-1, FA-2, FA-3 and FA-4. These tests will be planned and evaluated by school teachers as per the CBSE guidelines," informed Paramjit Kaur, principal, BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School.

She added that the Board has, anyway, delegated a major part of the responsibility to the school authorities and there was no reason why the schools would misuse it.

"The grade card is same for both students and it will not show that you have given external exam, so your future does not depend on your board exams. School-based exams are on a par with the board exams now," she remarked.

Paramjit Kaur insisted that there is no difference in the two systems of evaluation, as the CBSE is the final authority in both. "It is just a mind-set that school-based evaluation might prove beneficial to students," she clarified.



Polio Vaccination
Door-to-door campaign to spread awareness
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 22
With the intent to draw maximum children to benefit from scheduled immunisation camps tomorrow, volunteers, including Rotarians and students of some schools, undertook door-to-door campaign at the local town and surrounding localities today.

To spread awareness about the causes and consequences of the dreaded polio virus, various teams of volunteers led by president SP Sofat, Lalit Kaura, Dr Bhupinder Singh Bedi and Dr Ravinder Sharma visited various localities.



DJ Sonya makes crowd wild with crazy mixes
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Picture this: A 6’2” tall, lanky girl on the DJ console sets the dance floor on fire, as she spins music and makes the crowd go wild with her crazy mixes and remixes. It sounds outlandish and uncommon, but “is great fun!” says DJ Sonya from New Delhi.

Sonya, who was in the city to perform at the Havana Club DJ Nights at Geoffrey’s, Ansal Plaza, last night caught up with Ludhiana Tribune to share experiences of her voyage from a basketball player to the hip ‘n’ happening world of DJ-ing.

“I was only 17 when I realised my love for music. I was instantly hooked onto music. Wherever I went, music remained my best friend,” reveals the 22-year-old DJ.

She goes on, “I started mixing tapes for friends’ parties and won accolades for my compilations and mixing. Soon everybody wanted me to mix for them. That’s when I realised that music is my calling.”

Sonya started her career as a DJ with private parties and moved on to clubs thereon.

She discovered a completely new world while mixing melodies in the clubs and parties - a world she always dreamt of. “I simply love the sound of thumping music and crowd grooving to it. I love to see people dance to my tunes and interacting with me,” she remarks, adding that her friends in the profession have been with her, supporting her and guiding her all through.

Currently pursuing her masters’ degree in counselling psychology, Sonya says her decision to become a DJ was welcomed by her family, but with a condition that “I have to complete my studies”.

She says juggling between studies and DJ-ing has never been a problem for her. “On weekdays I take care of my studies and weekends are to hit the dance floor,” she says.

On being a woman in a man’s world, Sonya says nothing is impossible for the hard and determined worker. “If a girl can go into the space, why can’t she play music and entertain people, especially when that gives her satisfaction and joy,” she says.

“It is more about mindsets than anything else. A female DJ is in no way less than her male counterparts. Though less heard of in our society, there are several well-known female DJs on the international scene now and believe me, the scene is really hotting up,” asserted the young girl, who dreams to leave an indelible mark on the DJ-ing circuit.

Sonya, however, concedes that her height, coupled with the fact that she is a DJ, makes her the centre of attraction quite often. “But its ok, I am used to it,” she says nonchalantly.

The DJ adds that though odd working hours and rowdy crowd have sometimes been a cause of worry, she has been lucky so far with her work. “Things are changing. People are becoming receptive to women DJs now,” she opines.

For all those who look up to her, Sonya has a message, “Focus on the music rather than the make-up (guffaws).”

Meanwhile, DJ Sonya grooved the crowd with an eclectic Bollywood and commercial house mix at Geoffrey's last night.



‘Police fails to safeguard human rights’
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 22
“Police has failed to safeguard and protect the rights of the people.” This was stated by Justice RS Mongia, former chairman, Punjab Human Rights Commission, during his inaugural address on the first day of the two-day national seminar on “Violation of Human Rights in Punjab: A Case of Peasants Suicides” being organised by the Postgraduate Department of Political Science at Dr Ishwar Singh Memorial Hall, Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, today.

“The investigations, conducted by the police are generally influenced by high-ups, due to which the innocent are indicted and the guilty gets freed. Hence, majority of the cases of the human rights violation are never allowed to reach the Human Rights Commission,” Justice Mongia said.

The commission is only partially empowered to guarantee justice as it can recommend and never direct the government to take just and befitting action against the accused, he added. Faulty policies and the mismanaged execution by the government is the major reason behind peasant’s suicide. The government has failed to look into the interests of the peasantry. It always wakes up when the calamity strikes at the doorstep, he added.

Dr SS Johal, former Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University, Patiala, delivered the keynote address. Prof Balwant Singh Pangli, general secretary, College Management Committee, welcomed the guests and the participants.



Clinical Establishment Bill
Docs wear black badges in protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Wearing black badges, a large number of doctors from the city took out a rally, as a mark of protest against the Clinical Establishment Bill (CEB).

The rally was a part of the nationwide protest carried out by the doctors on a call given by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) headquarters.

Members of IMA, Ludhiana, protested against the Punjab Health Regulation Bill 2010, dissolution of Medical Council of India and expressed resentment against the Union health ministry’s decision to commence Bachelor of Rural Healthcare (BRHC).

Dr LS Chawla while addressing the gathering said the CEB would make treatment costlier for general public.

Further pointing towards the “ambiguity” of the government’s move, Dr Chawla said on one hand, the government wanted high-tech infrastructure with all multi-speciality under one roof; on the other hand, they have invited tenders from private sector so as to lower the “cost of tests” at the clinical/pathology labs.

Dr Arun Mitra said BRHC would lower the standards of medical education and healthcare.

It is unethical to divide the urban and rural citizens as every individual has the right to medical facilities, irrespective of the area they are living in.

District IMA president, Dr Kulwant Singh said dissolution of MCI was disheartening, as it was the highest regulatory elected body.

A delegation of IMA gave a memorandum to the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner.



Rs 41-lakh grant for Dhulkot, Rangoowal

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 22
Manpreet Singh Ayali, chairman, Zila Parishad, Ludhiana, presented cheques for Rs 41 lakh to civic bodies of Dhulkot and Rangoowal villages falling under the Dakha Assembly constituency.

The funds will be utilised for repairing and constructing new streets and drains, crematoria, Dharmshala, gymnasium, laying submersible pumps and sheds at religious places, public park and sewerage system. — OC



Poll: BSNL staff stage rally
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
The BSNL Employees Union (BSNLEU) yesterday staged a massive rally at the Mata Rani Telephone Exchange in connection with the ongoing campaign for electing various representatives of the union.

RS Negi, treasurer, National Federation of BSNL Telecom Employees, said BSNL had suffered loss worth Rs 1,844 crore since its inception about 10 years ago. This had happened due to the anti-people policies of the UPA government. It was creating hurdles in BSNL’s move to purchase equipment for expanding its mobile network. This had resulted in revenue loss worth crores.



Gold jewellery looted at gunpoint

Jagraon, January 22
Four motorcycle-borne youth looted gold jewellery, cash and a few other valuables from a man and his wife on the outskirts of Chachrari village near Jagraon yesterday.

This is the third major incident of snatching during the past two weeks. Three youths, had earlier, snatched gold jewellery from a woman and her son near Chimna village on January 12 at gunpoint.

After that, a few robbers, travelling in two vehicles, had snatched a Ford Endeavor (PB-10 CJ 0606) at gunpoint near the Sidhwan Bet road on January 16. The police has, so far, failed to trace the snatchers. Yesterday, four youths snatched gold earrings, cash and some other valuables from the couple. Jagdev Singh of Chachrari village had stated in his complaint that he and his wife were returning to the village on a scooter when four youths robbed them near Chachrari village. — TNS



2 car thieves nabbed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Car thieves seem to have found a new method for dismantling the stolen vehicles, as an inter-state gang, operating in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh (UP), has now started exchanging the stolen vehicles and selling these.

The modus operandi of the gang operating in both states was to steal vehicles from one state, after which a fake number was put on the vehicle and its fake papers prepared. Later, it was sold in other states.

This fact came to light after the police nabbed two persons, who were allegedly involved in this game. Deputy Commissioner of Police Yurinder Singh said one of the car thieves, Amandep Singh, was arrested by the Dehlon police on January 7 and on information given by him, another accused Jagdish Singh alias Neetu was nabbed.

He asserted that during the course of inquiry, five cars were recovered from Neetu, adding that both accused had a criminal background and cases had already been registered against them, including two at UP.

The police has also booked the three other accomplices of the accused, who have been identified as Rajwinder Singh Nona, a resident of village Khaasi Kalan, Anoop Singh, a resident of Saharanpur in UP, and Satwinder Singh Raju, a resident of Iklaahan village near Khanna. He asserted that Satwinder Singh used to prepare fake papers of the stolen vehicles, adding that the main target of the gang was to steal the luxury cars, which have a high value in market.



SAI trials from February 1
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 22
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) Training Centre, Ludhiana, will conduct trials in six disciplines to select players for the session 2011-12. These trials are slated for February 1, 2 and 3 here at the multipurpose sports complex, opposite Guru Nanak Stadium.

According to Harbans Singh, in charge of the SAI Training Centre, Ludhiana, the aspirants have been advised to attend the trials for athletics for residential and non-residential schemes for boys and non-residential scheme for girls; basketball for non-residential scheme for boys; judo for residential as well as non-residential schemes for boys, while non-residential scheme for girls; handball for residential and non-residential schemes for boys; volleyball for residential and non-residential schemes for boys, while non-residential scheme for girls; weightlifting under residential and non-residential scheme for boys only.

The players who have secured the first three places in the state level or national sports competitions and are in the age group of 14 to 18 years are eligible for the trials.

“The selected players in the residential scheme will be provided facilities like boarding, lodging, sports kit, competition exposure, medical allowances, free education, insurance coverage and training by expert coaches, while those picked up under non-residential scheme will be given facilities as per SAI norms such as stipends, sports kit, insurance coverage, sports equipment, besides training by the expert coaches from SAI,” informed Singh.

The interested boys and girls have been asked to report to the registration committee of the game concerned at the selection venue on February 1 at 10 am. They are required to bring their sports kit, two passport size photographs, original and photo copies of their age-proof certificates, along with their sports achievement certificates.



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