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INA veteran Maj Surat Singh dies at 100 on his birthday
Epitome of simplicity, Bose’s aide shunned rewards
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Sahnewal (Ludhiana), January 25
In an era when ostentation is all pervasive, this unsung Indian National Army (INA) veteran of Nandpur village, Maj Surat Singh, has emerged as a veritable example of model and selfless service to the country. The freedom fighter, who passed away on his 100th birthday on January 11 in Jalandhar, was known for staying away from the limelight and refusing any recognition for his sacrifice.

Surat was a close aide of INA leader Subhas Chander Bose and assisted him in his war against the British on the eastern front in Singapore during World War II.

Having spent 38 years in Nandpur after settling there in 1973, he was a source of inspiration for the village residents who feel indebted to him for making the village proud for his contribution to India’s freedom struggle.

Living in a simple house, Surat, who was fondly addressed as ‘pitaji’ by villagers, used to encourage the village children to work for the country.

‘‘I recall how he used to go for a morning walk with his pockets full of sweets for children. We kids would keep pace with him and hear stories about the freedom struggle from him. But it is a sad state of affairs that he has been acknowledged only now when he’s no more,’’ said Jagtar Singh, a resident of Nandpur.

Despite his contribution to the independence struggle, Surat did not accept any honours that were accorded by various organizations, which used to invite him on special occasions like Independence Day and Repubic Day.

‘‘He would decline saying he only did his duty and would ask why he should accept any reward for it. He was fond of remarking no one wants to be honoured for serving one's mother,’’ recalled Mohan Singh Nandpur, his neighbour. Mohan looked after Surat for all these years after one of the latter’s two daughters died and the other moved to Jalandhar.

Fiercely independent minded, Surat was living alone in this house after he lost his wife when he was only 32.

He belonged to Lahore and settled in Sahnewal after the Partition.

He opposed all rituals and had specifically desired that no ceremony be organised after his death.

‘‘He holds a special place in the hearts of young people of the village and will continue to live in our hearts,’’ said Ramneet Kaur, another Nandpur resident, who is studying medicine and says she owes it to the INA veteran.

Surat left the village a month before he died on his daughter’s insistence after he had turned very weak.

‘‘He wanted to be on his own and had always insisted he would’nt be a burden on anybody. He proved it and died without becoming bedridden,’’ said Mohan.


Swine flu makes comeback, 2 dead
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 25
Swine flu which had claimed some 25 victims in the city last year appears to have resurfaced again with two people already having succumbed to the disease at a local hospital.

Swarn Singh. 54, a Ferozepur resident who had earlier tested positive for H1N1 infection, died at the Dayanand Medical College & Hospital (DMCH) here today. Earlier, Sukhdev Singh, 34, a resident of Moga who was admitted to the same hospital with suspected swine flu symptoms, died last Saturday before National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), New Delhi sent his test report (that was positive for the disease) to the local health department.

Health officials have pressed the panic button and an alert has been sounded in Moga and Ferozepur from where the two patients were shifted here. Even though the officials asserted there was no reason for city residents to panic, hospitals have been asked to keep isolation wards ready in case of a renewed H1N1 epidemic.

District epidemiologist Dr DP Mangla told The Tribune DMCH officials had reported four people suspected of having been infected with swine flu who were admitted to the hospital from various places in Punjab last Friday. Blood samples of all the four were immediately sent to NICD for testing.

According to the test reports for both Swarn and Sukhdev, both had tested positive, but the later had already died before his test report could arrive here. However, two other patients - Harish Sood of Jalandhar and Surinder Kumar - tested negative.

Talking to The Tribune over the phone from Chandigarh, Dr Deepak Bhatia, project coordinatior of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project, who is also the state nodal officer for the initiative, said instructions had been issued to health officials at Moga and Ferozepur as well as DMCH to isolate all those who had came into contact with the two victims - at their native places or in Ludhiana, and give them a five-day course of the Tamiflu drug as a preventive measure.

"Further, the guidelines already issued to tackle the Swine flu infection, its management and treatment, have been reinforced upon the health administration of all districts and private medical institutions," Bhatia said. He claimed the state had adequate stocks of medicine, diagnostic facilities, equipment and skilled manpower to provide treatment to those afflicted with the H1N1 infection.



Cash, jewellery worth Rs 9 lakh stolen
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
Thieves decamped with cash and jewellery worth Rs 9 lakh from a house in Harcharan Nagar. Krishan Garg, the owner of the house who runs a workshop, said the family was on a pilgrimage to Mathura and Vrindavan since January 21.

The theft came to light when Krishan Garg returned home with his family and found the house ransacked. “I was shocked to see the house ransacked. I informed the police,” he said. The thieves had broken the cupboard and fled with Rs 4 lakh and gold jewellery worth Rs 5 lakh.

Investigating officials said the thieves might have known that the family was away for a few days. They even cooked food in the house. Garg said they gained access by breaking a windowpane on the top floor.



Honest cop among 3 SHOs to be honoured
2 brave hearts, 6 sportspersons too make it to the list
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
The cop, who refused to accept a bribe of Rs 18 lakh from the wife of a leading businessman who had been booked for his involvement with a gang of highway robbers, would be honoured on Republic Day for his honesty and sense of duty.

Inspector Jatinder Singh, SHO of Ladhowal, who nabbed two persons for offering him a bribe of Rs 18 lakh on January 12 has been nominated by the IG and the Commissioner of Police, Ishwar Singh.

Jatinder Singh, who pulled the lid off one of the biggest inter-state gang of highway robbers involving Gurdeep Singh of Balwant Sales Corporation, and Jagjit Khan, a noted transporter from Khanna, has become the face of the city police trying to break away from the negative image of the force. The SHO was approached by Jasvir Kaur, wife of Gurdeep Singh, the prime accused in the case, who offered him Rs 18 lakh to not arrest Gurdeep Singh. A deal was struck between the accused’s relatives and the SHO. Taking his seniors into confidence, the SHO and his associates reached the spot to collect the money and nabbed them with the bribe money.

Inspector Gurdev Singh, SHO of Salem Tabri, would also be honoured. He had recently busted a gang behind 70 incidents of snatchings across the city. The gang consisting of three youths was arrested following a tip-off on January 19. Inspector Paramjit Singh, SHO of Sadar, will be honoured for bringing laurels to the city police after the Sadar police station stood first in the state in the visitor week competition conducted recently. The police station, which has virtually turned into a hill resort, is competing with other police stations of the country for the number one slot.

Brave hearts and computer technicians Gurpreet Singh and Taranpreet Singh will be honoured for rescuing Yogesh Kumar who had been taken hostage by robbers in Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar on January 23.

“We had no idea that we would be honoured for bravery. That day we had only one thing on our mind and that was to save Yogesh, who is our neighbour. We are happy that we could save him,” they stated. Their name was recommended by the Commissioner of Police.

Kiran Bala, a retired teacher, who has been teaching slum children since 2009, would also be honoured for selfless service to society.

It is probably for the first time that several sportspersons have made it to the list of people to be honoured on the Republic Day. Cagers Talwinder Singh and Nagma would be honoured tomorrow.

The other players to be honoured are Rahul Sood and Navjot Singh, roller hockey players, handball player Harvinder Kaur and hockey player Sukhdeep Kaur.



DIG to be decorated
Tribune News Service

Paramraj Singh
Paramraj Singh

Ludhiana, January 25
Paramraj Singh Umranangal, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Ludhiana Range), will be decorated with the Police Medal for meritorious service on the occasion of Republic Day.

He been decorated with saveral other bravery awards in the past.Son of Sukhdev Singh Umra Nangal and grand son of noted SAD leader Jeevan Singh Umra Nangal of Umra Nangal village near Amritsar, joined the police department as a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in 1987 and served the department at various levels.



R-Day celebrations in schools
Everest Public Senior Secondary School

Republic Day-2011 was organised by students of Everest Public Senior Secondary School. Tiny tots were dressed as freedom fighters. Rajinder Sharma, president of the Association of PSEB Affiliated Schools, Punjab, spoke on the importance of the day. Students raised slogans-"Bharat Mata ki Jai and Jai Hind".

Saraswati Modern School

Ludhiana: Saraswati Modern School organised a colourful cultural programme to celebrate Republic Day. Founder of the school Kamla Jain lit a lamp.Tributes were paid to martyrs. Students from classes IV to IX took part in the parade.

Cherry Lane

Tiny tots of Cherry Lane celebrated Republic Day with full fervour. The school presented an aesthetic look on the occasion and kids came dressed in beautiful attires. Children danced to the tunes of "Nana munna rahi hoon" with flags in their hands.

Kiddies Paradise

Students of Kiddies Paradise School celebrated Republic Day with great excitement and feeling of national integration. Students were dressed as MK Gandhi, Nehru and Bhagat Singh.

BVM School

A cultural function was held on the eve of Republic Day at BVM School. It was a blend of patriotism and a tribute to the freedom fighters and law makers of the country. The programme commenced with lighting of a lamp. Tiny tots of Shishu Vatika presented a group dance.

GMT Public School

Republic Day was celebrated at GMT Public School. A fancy-dress competition was organised in which several students enacted various roles of freedom fighters. Students recited poems and sang patriotic songs. Speeches were delivered by teachers and students. A bulletin board decoration competition was also held.

Radcliffe School

Tiny tots of Radcliffe School celebrated Republic Day with great enthusiasm. A colourful function was organised to mark the importance of the occasion. Patriotic songs, dances and poems were presented by children. Students were dressed as national leaders. Tiny tots enthralled the audience with their dance "Chak de India". The school was decorated with tri-coloured flags, buntings, balloons and charts.

Small Wonders

Kids of Small Wonders Nursery School celebrated Republic Day today. School was decorated with tri-coloured flags, frills and balloons. The school wore a patriotic look. Children wearing orange, white and green coloured dresses danced with tricolour flags in their hands. A flag march was also held. Children walked confidently raising slogans "Bharat Mata ki Jai".

Jain Public school

Republic Day was celebrated in the nursery wing of Jain Public Senior Secondary School. Tiny tots were dressed as freedom fighters. A fancy-dress competition was held. Tributes were paid to freedom fighters.

Kids playway

Republic Day was celebrated at Kids Zone Playway School with great enthusiasm. The school was decorated with small tri-coloured national flags and balloons. Students came dressed as Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhash Chander Bose, Lala Lajpat Rai and Lakshmi Bai. They danced to the tunes of national songs like "Yeh desh hai veer jawano ka". Principal of the school Poonam unfurled the national flag.

Nankana Sahib Public School

Students and staff of Nankana Sahib Public School celebrated Republic Day. A flag-hoisting ceremony was held. Principal hoisted the flag. School students sang various patriotic songs to mark the occasion.

Atam Devki Niketan

Atam Devki Niketan celebrated Republic Day with great fervour. President Nand Kumar Jain, along with principal Mridhu Ablash, hoisted the National Flag. Various cultural items were presented on the occasion. Students danced to the tunes of "Desh Rangeela", "Chak de India" and "It happens only in India".


Students of DRV DAV Centenary Public School, Phillaur, celebrated Republic Day. Students were dressed in tri-coloured dresses. They presented a dance. Some students sang patriotic songs, while others recited poems and delivered speeches.

DCM Presidency School

It was a moment filled with pride, enthusiasm and commitment when the tiny tots of DCM Presidency School celebrated Republic Day. A colourful programme was held. Anjana of Class IV recited a poem "Mere Sapno ka Bharat" based on the dream of a child about her motherland. A PowerPoint presentation on "Why do we celebrate Republic Day?" and "Achievements of India- in past and present" was also presented by Kashish, Anubhav, Karanpreet and Pearl, all students of Class V. Principal of the school congratulated everyone on the occasion and asked students to realise the responsibility.

MGM Public School

Students of MGM Public School celebrated Republic Day with fervour. All students assembled in the school and sang "Ae Mere Vatan". Various speeches regarding the importance and objectives of Republic Day were delivered by students of the senior wing.

Guru Nanak Public School

Guru Nanak Public School (nursery wing) celebrated Republic Day. The school was decorated with tri-coloured flags, balloons, kites.


Shaheed-E-Azam Sukhdev Thapar GGSSS celebrated Republic Day with fervour. Principal of the school Kamaljit Kaur congratulated students on the day. — TNS





Doraha college of education celebrate Republic Day

Doraha, January 25
Republic Day was collectively celebrated by the Doraha College of Education and Doraha Public School today. Chief guest Sukhpal Singh, chairman of the Doraha Group of Institutes, hoisted the national flag.

A march past was performed by the students of both college and school. Students of the Doraha Public School presented a patriotic group song .The patriotic dance thrilled the audience as they showcased diversified colours of Indian culture. Kindergarten students entertained the audience with a Bhojpuri patriotic song. The day culminated with the National Anthem. — OC



Tabla maestro weaves magic
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
Sukhvinder Singh Namdhari (Pinky) today left the audience spellbound as soon as he started playing tabla. The lull of the auditorium was broken by his one powerful stroke. He captured everybody present with his spontaneity, power, and virtuosity during his performance.

Also a recipient of Grammy Award in 1994 for the album, "A Meeting by River", he is one of the India’s most dynamic tabla players who is recognised worldwide for his unique style of playing. Presently, settled in the UK, he was in the city today.

Recalling his yesteryears he said, “When I was only five, Sri Satguru realised my potential and destiny. He began teaching me Hindustani classical music and made me the disciple of late Pakhawaj Samrat Ustad Nihal Singh.”

While the children of his age used to play and make merry he could be seen learning tabla in his formative years. “Guru-sishaya parampara is something that is missing today. During my training I completed student seva, and rigorous riyaaz. One cannot attain the perfect art unless he regards his guru as God and worships him and follows every step instructed by him,” he said.

His first major public performance was at Satguru Pratap Singh Sangeet Samelan at Mumbai in 1978. Later in 1978, Sukhvinder left his home and family to learn tabla in Gurukul, Guru Shishya Parampara, under none other than the legendary tabla maestro, Pandit Kishan Maharaj, the doyen of the famous Banaras Gharana.

Sukhvinder has performed with India’s legendary Sitarists-Pt Ravi Shankar and Ustad Vilayat Khan, renowned flautist Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia and vocalists none other than Pt Rajan Sajan Mishra and Pt Jasraj.



Contractors urge govt to waive processing fee
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
Members of the Ludhiana MC Contractors Association today held a meeting at their A Zone office. The members said they would boycott e-tendering till the state government completely waived the processing fee.

The municipal corporation (MC) had started e-Tendering to bring transparency in the whole system of allotment and execution of development works. More than 50 MC contractors attended the meeting. They took up the issue of single or double e-tenders received by the civic body on January 3 and 4, 2011. The contractors present at the meeting said they welcomed the procedure, but the government had taken an arbitrary and unjust decision by imposing a hefty processing fee based on the cost of work for which e-tenders were submitted.

“We do not mind paying a nominal sum for e-processing of tenders. But making each and every bidder pay a substantial amount by way of processing fee which is non-refundable is not acceptable,” said a leading MC contractor.

The MC contractors constituted a 11-member action committee headed by Tawinderpal Singh Mintu.

The committee will take up the issue with the government.

The committee members include Sunil Kumar, Raju Sood, Puneet Kumar, Pushpinder Bhanot, Ajay Jindal, Amarpal Singh Bawa, Jai Chand, Vipan Kumar, Narinder Kumar and Gurwinder Singh Happy.



BJP activists protest arrest of senior leaders
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 25
Led by district president Rajiv Katna and former state president of the party Rajinder Bhandari, activists of the Bhartiya Janata Party today held a protest at the Mini Secretariat here and burnt an effigy of the Jammu and Kashmir government against the arrest of senior party leaders at Jammu who were on their way to participate in Ekta Yatra" and hoist the national flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar on the Republic Day.

Addressing the party workers, Bhandari said by arresting the BJP leaders - Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitly and Ananth Kumar at Jammu airport, the Omar Abdullah government in Jammu and Kashmir had shown its weakness.

"The Omar government has gone mentally sick. By meekly giving in to anti-national forces and militant outfits and also creating hurdles in the way of unfurling national flag in the state capital (Srinagar), the government has forfeited the right to remain in power," Bhandari maintained while adding that on the Republic Day, every citizen of India has the right to hoist the Tricolour anywhere in the country. "Then why the yatra of Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha has been scuttled?" he asked.

In his scathing attacks on the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre, the BJP district chief Katna said the government lacked guts. It had not been able to curb terrorism, deal with the Naxalite problem and come to terms with skyrocketing prices of food items. "The corrupt government has now let loose repression against patriotic activities like the Ekta Yatra just to appease the militant outfits."

He said the evil design of the Centre and the J and K government in arresting senior BJP leaders and using force to stop Ekta Yatra, would be foiled by the BJP and its youth wing. "We are committed to hoist the national flag at each and every place across the country, including the state of Jammu and Kashmir," Katna announced.



‘Punjab becoming a power surplus state’
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 25
In keeping with the new power generation policy announced by the state government in June 2010, Punjab is moving ahead to become a power surplus state in the near future. Claiming this here today, PS Gill, Chief Engineer, Central Zone of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited, said that a 1,350 mega watt thermal power plant is proposed to be set up at Mansa in collaboration with Indiabulls Power Company.

Among other measures initiated to enhance the power generation capacity in the state, the installed capacity of Goindwal Sahib Thermal plant is being raised from 540 to 1,860 MW and that of Talwandi Sabo plant from 1,980 to 2,640 MW. He further informed that tendering process of proposed 2,640 MW thermal project at Gidderbaha will be taken up once the coal linkage was provided by the centre.

"Another gas charged 1,000 MW power project is proposed to be set up at Ropar and the state government is in constant touch with the Union Petroleum Ministry to obtain fuel for the project. In order to meet the increased demand of power in peak summer season, the PSPCL is signing contracts at global level so as to be able to provide adequate power to farm sector and other consumers," Gill added.

The PSPCL chief engineer said that as a result of sustained efforts of the Punjab government, the state would get 1966 MW power, including 200 MW from nuclear power stations, from out of the central power generation projects. Another 500 MW power from biomass, mini hydel, micro hydel and solar power will further augment the availability of power to the state of Punjab which will ensure that even during paddy season, there was no crisis-like situation on the power front.



Protest by PU law students
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
Miffed over the absence of law faculty, students of Panjab University (PU), College of Law, took to streets to mark protest against the PU authorities here today.

The students, who were holding placards, staged the protest in the morning.

The students complained that their parents were paying lakhs of rupees as annual fee, but the PU authorities had failed to provide regular teachers.

The students have demanded that regular faculty be provided to them at the earliest.



Meeting by auto parts makers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
The executive committee of Auto Parts Manufacturers Association held a meeting here today. President GS Kahlon and general secretary Ranjodh Singh said the hike in steel prices had left them worried.

The 10 per cent hike in steel prices had adversely affected industry, he added.

Ranjodh Singh said due to non-availability of the desired raw material, the auto sector was perturbed.

He said the Centre should set up a steel regulatory commission to control the prices and import duty on it should also be reduced.



Ludhiana beat Chandigarh, enter semifinal
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 25
Skipper, Ankur Kakkar led from the front (33 runs and 4 for 46) and an equally valuable contribution with the bat from Geetansh Khera (62 n.o) to enable Ludhiana to script victory by four wickets against Chandigarh in the FC Mittal Trophy One-Day Punjab Cricket Championship being organised by the Punjab Cricket Association at the GTB National College ground, Dakha, near here today.

With this win, Ludhiana have secured their berth in the last four stage.

Chandigarh won the toss and opted to bat. They could not survive their full quota of 50 overs. Their essay culminated at 206 runs after 45.5 overs.

The main contributors were Amit Prashar and Ranji star Amit Uniyal who scored 58 and 43 runs, respectively while Ankit Kaushik chipped in with 31 runs and Gaurav Gupta made 19 runs.

For Ludhiana, Ankur Kakkar sent down nine overs, gave away 46 runs and consumed four wickets. Karan Goel scalped three victims for 38 runs in 10 overs while Luv Abhlish grabbed two wickets for 12 runs and Rahul Singla took one for 32.

Ludhiana began the chase on a sound footing and eventually achieved the target in 46.5 overs after losing six wickets. The opening pair of Karan Goel (22) and Nitin Goel (34) added 53 runs. This followed another useful partnership between Geetansh Khera and Ankur Kakkar who scored 59 runs for the fifth wicket.

Geetansh remained unconquered at 62 while Ankur contributed 33 runs. Other notable scorers were of Luv Abhlish (15 n.o), Bharat Malhotra (16) and Akhil Aggarwal (14).

Karanveer was the most successful bowler for Chandigarh, securing two wickets for 46 runs. Sidharath Kaul, Gaurav Gambhir and Anshul Tripathi captured one wicket each.

Principal of GTB National College, Dakha, Asa Singh Ghuman inaugurated the match. Prof SP Sharma, Chaman Lal Malhotra, chairman, selection committee, Punjab and Rajinder Nath Mahajan, president, Ludhiana District Cricket Association were among others present on this occasion.



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