L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Snubbed, freedom fighters walk out of R-Day function
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
Amid unfurling of the tricolour, tableaus depicting the state and the country and children performing in cultural shows at the Republic Day function on Wednesday, resentment brewed among freedom fighters and their immediate kin for having been ignored by the district administration. The latter eventually staged a walkout from the venue of the function.

Sukhjit Singh, Sarup Kaur, widow of Bhupinder Singh , Darshan Singh, Ram Singh, Satwinder Singh, Arun Bedi and Praveen Kumar Dang were among a group of about 60 freedom fighters and their close relatives who left the venue in a huff without waiting for the function to conclude with the playing of the national anthem.

Accusing the administration of “ill treatment”, the senior citizens included in the freedom fighter category and their kin, most of whom were their widows and sons, complained they had not been even offered a glass of water. As a result all of them decided to leave the venue without having lunch.

On the other hand, politicians, officials and “VIP” guests were a pampered lot and were served tea in bone china crockery, not to miss the steaming snacks with complimenting sweets.

Ravinder Kapoor, Khairati Lal Kapoor’s son, who is also state general secretary of the All India Freedom Fighter Successors Organization, said the Republic Day function was “symbolic of the sacrifices made by freedom fighters” for India’s independence. "Ignoring the freedom fighters and their successors is not only an insult to the individuals but also to the spirit of the celebration, which turns into a farce in the absence of respect for patriots and patriotism," Ravinder protested.

Khairati Lal Kapoor was a close associate of Dewan Jagdish Chander and was imprisoned thrice for his active participation in Indian freedom struggle.

On the other hand, deputy commissioner Rahul Tewari averred invitations had been sent to the freedom fighters and an official had been deputed to “look after them” before, during and after the function. “It’s unfortunate they weren’t looked after properly and as a result left the venue in protest. I’ve already handed out a ‘show cause’ notice to the official concerned," he added.


Adding insult to injury

Punjab minister for local bodies Manoranjan Kalia, the chief guest at yesterday’s Republic Day function, presented shawls to only two freedom fighters and left the others waiting. Dismayed over his “attitude”, the widow of a freedom fighter said: "The Republic Day function should be an occasion for honouring freedom fighters instead of public addresses and political speeches, but the minister shocked us with his apathetic approach. He could have spared five minutes to personally acknowledge the freedom fighters and their successors”.


‘Peti’ mafia attacks excise officer, driver
Tribune News Service

Jarnail Singh, who was assaulted by the ‘peti’ mafia.
Jarnail Singh, who was assaulted by the ‘peti’ mafia.

Ludhiana, January 27
Close on the heels of the oil mafia burning an official alive for tightening the noose against them in Maharashtra, an Excise and Taxation Officer (ETO) and his driver were attacked by about a dozen members of the ‘peti’ mafia active in the city while they were conducting a routine check for tax evasion at a check post at railway the station here in the wee hours yesterday.

DS Garcha, ETO, said he detected about eight-10 vehicles carrying goods without documents. His security personnel were on the other side of the railway station when the incident took place. “We tried to stop the gang, which was carrying unauthorised goods, but over 20 persons surrounded my driver Jarnail Singh and me,” he said.

Jarnail Singh was injured in the attack and was thrown on the track from where he was rescued. He was taken to the Civil Hospital and was discharged yesterday.

“Five-six vehicles escaped but we have identified about a dozen people who were the main culprits. We had been getting several threat calls from them,” Garcha stated.

A case has been registered against more than a dozen persons in this connection. 



Fear grips department
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
Fear has once again gripped officials of the excise and taxation department after excise & taxation officer DS Garcha and his driver, Jarnail Singh, were assaulted by unidentified suspects near the city’s train station Wednesday night. Earlier, officials investigating the "fake bill scam" had been attacked several times.

In September 2009 the department launched a special drive to check the "peti mafia" that was thriving at the station despite efforts by the former’s enforcement staff to check tax evasion through this network. The drive was eventually a big success and those involved in the illegal operation had a tough time evading arrest.

Under the special drive the excise & taxation officials conducted checks not only at checkposts but also at various other covert passages from where members of the “peti mafia” entered and exited. Apart from the mobile wing the officials were also assigned to keep a strict vigil at all possible escape routes.

The result was that “mafia” members shifted to smaller railway stations from where consignments without bills were received and sent to other stations. Among the stations used to upload and receive deliveries without bills were those at Jagraon, Malerkotla, Phillaur, Ladowal and Gill.

"Our officials were attacked by members of the ‘peti mafia’ at the railway station at the checkpost. ETO DS Garcha was beaten up while his driver was thrashed badly and thrown on the train tracks. A day before the incident ETO Parminder Singh, who was on duty, was also threatened by the ‘mafia’," said assistant excise & taxation commissioner Rishipal Singh. A case has been filed in this regard.

It may be mentioned here that in August 2009 Jaswinderpal Singh, whistle blower in the multicrore rupee “bogus firm scam”, succumbed to his injuries. In the following month another official was attacked and in October ETO Shashi Bhushan Sharma met with an accident while on his way to office in the morning all related with the fake bill scam.



Rapist gets life term for killing minor
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 27
Additional Sessions Judge Sunil Kumar Arora has convicted Kapoor Singh, alias Bunty, of Prem Vihar, Tibba Road, Ludhiana, on the charges of raping and killing a six-year-old girl.

Holding him guilty, the court ordered him to undergo rigorous life imprisonment. A fine of Rs 20,000 was also imposed on him. He was also ordered to undergo 10 years’ jail term for rape and fined Rs 20,000. Both sentences will run concurrently.

A case under Sections 302 and 376 of the IPC was registered against the accused on August 31, 2006, at the Basti Jodhewal police station on the statement of the father of the victim.

He had told the police that on August 30 he returned home in the evening to find that his daughter was not in her room. He went upstairs to look for her and found the door of the toilet bolted from inside. When he knocked, the accused responded that no one else was with him. The girl’s father, however, got suspicious and pushed open the door. The accused was not fully dressed and his daughter was lying in an unconscious state. He raised the alarm and residents nabbed the accused.

His daughter was taken to hospital where she was declared brought dead.

The defence lawyer pleaded that the accused had illicit relations with the mother of the deceased and had been falsely implicated. However, after appreciating the evidence on record, the court found him guilty.



Unrelenting PAU students begin hunger strike

Ludhiana, January 27
MSc students of Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) sat on a hunger strike for six hours here today. The agitating students said the protest would continue until the state government accepted their demands.

The president of the PAU Students Association, Ravinderpal Singh Randhawa, said they were being forced to take such steps as the government was not accepting their genuine demands.

“Recently, we had met agriculture minister SS Langah, who assured us that something will be done. We are not going to end the struggle until something positive comes out of it. There are hundreds of vacancies in the state agriculture department, but the government is not filling the posts,” he said. “We are not disturbing the normal functioning on the campus as we have nothing against the authorities, but the struggle against the government will continue,” he said. — TNS


Clash on campus

A clash took place between two groups on the campus today. A student was injured and admitted to the DMCH. The estate officer of PAU, Dr Gurkirpal Singh, said the miscreants were not from the university. A student said the outsiders came in and started abusing a student of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU). Later, some others entered the campus and the clash ensued. A car was badly damaged in the incident. A security guard said: “We cannot check the identity of each student at the gate. If they deposit their license etc, we let them go. If they do something objectionable, how are we supposed to know at the gate?”



Agenda puts MC on sticky wicket
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
The agenda regarding regularisation of illegal encroachments by the Mayor’s kin seems to have placed the municipal corporation (MC) authorities in a sticky situation.

Even 10 days after the passing of the agenda in the General House, they have not sent it for approval to the state government.

According to the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, the agenda passed by a civic body must be sent to the state government for approval within 72 hours.

Though the MC authorities delay it by a day or two, sources have revealed that owing to the ongoing tug-of-war between Shiromani Akali Dal councillors over the agenda of regularisation of encroachments by the kin of Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, the matter has been delayed.

The sources have also revealed that MC officials do not want to be a scapegoat over the issue, which may have legal implications, as disgruntled councillors, led by Youth Akali Dal president Simerjeet Singh Bains, have made it clear that they will take the matter to court.

The sources have revealed that the stern stand of Local Bodies Minister Manoranjan Kalia, who has stated that only the agenda which is in the interest of city residents will be cleared, has also increased the worry of the MC authorities. This is the reason the MC has, in an unprecedented move, asked for legal opinion even after getting the agenda passed.

MC officials have delayed sending the agenda to the state government in order to avoid any sort of embarrassment, the sources have added.

When asked to comment on the matter, MC Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal said the work had been done following stipulated norms, adding that the agenda would be sent to the state government in accordance with rules.



Six unipoles to be removed

Ludhiana, January 27
After getting a rap from the Punjab State Human Right Commission (PSHRC), the administration has become serious about solving the traffic problem of the city. It has decided to remove around six unipoles that are hindering the flow of traffic.

According to information, a resident had filed a complaint with the PSHRC that the unipoles installed in some parts of the city were affecting traffic and pedestrians also faced problems.

Though Municipal Corporation (MC) officials had submitted a reply, the commission was not satisfied. The next hearing is in February and the MC and the district administration have been ordered to file a fresh report.

The Deputy Commissioner had asked the district administration, the MC and the police to conduct a joint inspection and identify the unipoles that were disrupting the flow of traffic.

A team of officials comprising MC Additional Commissioner Kanwalpreet Kaur Brar, Additional Deputy Commissioner SR Kaler and Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Sajjan Singh Cheema inspected the key areas and identified six unipoles that needed to be removed.

These unipoles are at Bharat Nagar Chowk, Feroze Gandhi market, and near the administrative complex and Vishkarma Chowk. Sources said the officials were going to prepare a final list and advertisers would be asked to either shift or remove them, failing which the MC would start the process of removing them.



HIV+ workers observe strike
Anshu Seth/TNS

HIV/AIDS workers sit on a hunger strike in Ludhiana.
HIV/AIDS workers sit on a hunger strike in Ludhiana. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, January 27
Irked over the decision of the Punjab State Aids Control Society (PSACS) to reinstate workers afflicted with HIV/AIDS at the city’s DN Kotnis Acupuncture Hospital, five of the eight employees in the district observed a hunger strike Wednesday. They sat on a day-long ‘dharna’ (sit-in) outside the deputy commissioner’s office in protest against the society and the state chapter of the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO).

The HIV/AIDS affected employees, referred to as “outreach” workers who were employed by the society’s integrated counselling and testing centres under the NACO programme, were sacked on March 31 last year.

The outreach workers belong to the affected community who play a significant role in the initiation/continuation of their medication. Those who were earlier working under the Punjab Networking of Positive People's Society (PNPPS) have been reappointed by NACO under the aegis of the DN Kotnis Acupuncture Hospital.

Accusing PSACS for having “misled” NACO, Jagjit Singh Mann, founder chairman of PNPPS, said: “Our society is an NGO of, for and by HIV/AIDS patients and has been doing commendable work in the state’s remote areas where even PSACS and the health department had failed to reach. Taking away the project of appointing or supervising outreach workers from PNPPS and giving it to the NGO run at the DN Kotnis Acupuncture Hospital points to the vested interests of the officials running the show in Chandigarh.”

Manjit Singh Chak Mai Das, Mehar Singh, Makhan Singh, Shabnam (name changed) and Triveni (name changed) - all of them suffering from HIV/AIDS, who went on the hunger strike, said if PSACS did not reinstate them under PNPPS they will appeal to the central government to conduct an inquiry into the matter.

“There was no valid reason for allotting the project to DN Kotnis Acupuncture Hospital as it has not directly dealt with HIV/AIDS patients. The hospital is a deaddiction centre that deals with drug abusers,” alleged Das.

Meanwhile, PSACS additional director Dr NM Sharma said the decision to hand over the project to DN Kotnis Acupuncture Hospital was taken by ILFS, the parent organization that is working in association with NACO. “There’ll be no changes in the functioning of the outreach workers as they have been reappointed at their respective positions. We’re there to sort out the problems of these workers if they have any, but going on a hunger strike is uncalled for,” he averred.



Mudslinging mars R-Day fervour
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 27
Politics apparently got precedence over the spirit of nationalism and development at the official function on Republic Day at Government College for Boys on Wednesday when Punjab Minister for Local Bodies, Industry and Commerce Manoranjan Kalia resorted to vociferous criticism of the Congress.

While addressing a gathering after unfurling the national flag, he said the Congress was a party of scams and it was just because of wrong policies of the Congress-led UPA government that the prices of essential commodities had gone through the roof breaking the back of the people.

Kalia was particularly annoyed over the Jammu and Kashmir government’s move to stop the ‘ekta yatra’ launched by the youth wing of Bhartiya Janata Party to hoist the national flag in Srinagar. “Each and every citizen of India has the right to hoist the national flag at any place in the country,” he asserted.

Listing the achievements of the SAD-BJP government in Punjab in the past four years, the minister said power was a basic requirement for development in any state or the country. “Work has been taken in hand on three thermal power stations at Gidderbaha, Goindwal Sahib and Talwandi Sabo at an estimated cost of Rs 40,000 crore. These projects are expected to become operational in about a year-and-half and it will become possible to provide uninterrupted power supply to each sector like agriculture, industry and other consumers.”

On other fronts, Kalia added that around 45,000 teachers were recruited by the government to improve the standard of education in government schools and emphasis was being laid on higher and technical education and six new universities had been set up in the state.

The government has launched a comprehensive irrigation scheme at a cost of Rs 3,769 crore which will benefit more than 70 lakh farmers of 6,000 villages.

Among other steps taken by the government to provide an efficient administration included the online approval from 14 different departments for setting up new industries and expansion of existing units, formulation of master plans and making provisions for providing basic infrastructure of all towns at an expense of Rs 3,000 crore and streamlining the work of revenue department.

Twelve distinguished persons from different walks of life were honoured for excellence.

Those who were honoured included Gurpreet Singh, Taranpreet Singh, inspector Gurdev Singh, SHO, Salem Tabri, sub-inspector Jatinderjit Singh, SHO, Ladhowal, inspector Dharam Pal, SHO, Sarabha Nagar, Kiran Bala, Raghav Sood, Navanjit Singh, Nagma, Harwinder Kaur, Sukhdeep Kaur and Tawinderjit Sahi. Republic Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm and gusto at various other places in the city by political parties, social and cultural organisations.

Municipal Corporation

City Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura unfurled the Tricolour on Republic Day at Zone D office in Sarabha Nagar. Giaspura focused on e-view facility of water, sewerage and house tax bills, which had been introduced on January 25 and progress of other ongoing development projects in the city.

Congress Sewa Dal

Former president of the District Congress Committee Krishan Kumar Bawa presided over the celebrations and unfurled the national flag at a function organised by the Congress Sewa Dal in Dugri. Nirmal Kaira, president, Congress Sewa Dal, Harchand Singh Dhir, vice-president, DCC, Vinod Bathla, Harbans Singh Panesar, Joginder Jangi, Sushil Malhotra, Gurmel Singh Mela, Bhupinder Crystal, Gurmel Brar, Baljit Jassowal, Vijay Markanda, Yash Pal Sharma, Satnam Singh, Ashok Kumar, Resham Saggu, Amit Shouri, Krishan Garg, Sabina Begum, Anil Gopal, Munish Tandon, TT Sharma, Inderjit Sharma, Pawandeep Kalsi, Dr Ajay Sahi and Sandeep Singh were also present.


Government pensioners, family pensioners and their dependents celebrated Republic Day at Pensioners Bhawan in Mini Secretariat. Anuradha Narayanan, regional manager, State Bank of India, hoisted the national flag and presided over the function. BR Kaushal, chairman, Pensioners Information Centre Management Committee, offered greetings to fellow pensioners.

Rashtriya Vikas Manch

At a function organised in Clock Tower Chowk, national president of the manch Gurinder Sood and general secretary Nirdosh Bhardwaj hoisted the national flag. They urged the government to ensure that constitutional rights of justice, liberty and equality were available to all citizens of the country.

New Hope

New Hope, an NGO, and Swami Vivekanand Virdh Ashram jointly celebrated Republic Day.

Harbhajan Singh Dang, councillor, was the chief guest, Ram Parkash Bharti was the guest of honour, while NS Nanda, president of New Hope, presided 
over. While hoisting the national flag, Dang stressed the need to fight against social evils while calling upon the people to safeguard freedom of the country and be on the guard against disruptive and anti-national forces.


Indian Ex-servicemen League celebrated Republic Day, with Major Sher Singh Aulakh hoisting the Tricolour. Greeting the countrymen on this occasion, Aulakh called for sustained efforts to safeguard the fundamental rights of the people enshrined in the Indian Constitution, while also calling upon them to carry out their duties towards the nation.

He said relentless fight against social evils ought to continue so as to realise the dream of an equal and just society.



Demand to upgrade town dominates R-Day functions
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 27
Demand to upgrade the town to a sub-division level emerged as one of the major conditions of all speakers during various functions held on Republic Day.

Acknowledging that upgrading the town was need of the hour, in charge of the SAD for Amargarh assembly segment Iqbal Singh Jhoondan said the petition duly endorsed by him had been placed before the re-organisation committee headed by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and cabinet minister Manoranjan Kalia.

Responding to the demand made by office-bearers of various political, social and trade organisations, Jhoondan said senior leaders, including Sukhbir Badal and Kalia, had given sympathetic hearing to delegations led by local SAD and BJP leaders. The leaders assured the office-bearers that the town would be upgraded to the sub-division level during the next re-organisation process.

With political atmosphere warming up for the next Assembly elections, “sub-division” has once again emerged as a major issue during Republic Day functions held at various places in the town and localities falling under Sangrur district.

Local leaders, irrespective of their political allegiance, warned that those contesting elections from this constituency might not find volunteers to set up polling booths in case they opposed the demand.

Claiming that he had received a large number of resolutions in this regard, Amar Singh Saraon, president of the local unit of SAD, said Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, secretary general of the party, had been apprised of the residents’ stand on the issue.

Ravinder Puri, councillor, and Sanjay Sood said it was for the first time that some legislator had endorsed the demand openly.

The leaders alleged that the successive legislators from the Malerkotla constituency had been ignoring resident’s demand to upgrade the sub-tehsil. The tendency has resulted in a situation wherein all government offices, except the joint sub-registrar’s office, had been shifted to Malerkotla.

Speakers said leaders of various political and social organisations of the area had launched a move to make it a sub-division two decades ago also and the then, Chief Minister Beant Singh, had accepted the demand. But the elected representative had opposed the move.

Regretting that senior leaders had been exploiting innocence of residents during the past elections, Tarsem Garg, a social activist, apprehended that leaders would once again break the trust of residents by making false promises.



From Colleges

A cycle rally taken out by Armymen reaches Ludhiana on Thursday.
A cycle rally taken out by Armymen reaches Ludhiana on Thursday. A Tribune photograph 

Ludhiana: A national seminar-cum-workshop on physics was held at Kirpal Sagar Academy, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar. The seminar aimed at improving education in physics and related sciences. Prof Baldev Singh Sidhu, a scientist and faculty member of Ludhiana Group of Colleges (LGC), Chaukimann, Ferozepur road, conducted a session on techniques to teach physics through audio-visual aids. The workshop was attended by physics teachers. Prof Sidhu in his address said students were losing interest in pure sciences like physics and chemistry and a few opted for a career by pursuing higher education in this field. He said if the same trend continued, it would become hard to find a teacher of pure sciences.

“The problem can be solved by making teaching of pure sciences interesting through audio-visual aids for better demonstrations and explanations in classrooms. The use of various teaching aids will help students comprehend a subject easily. “The rising trend of private tuitions in pure sciences is an indicator of the fact that classroom teaching is neither interesting nor effective,” he added.


A cycle rally of 152 Infantry Battalion (TA Sikh) reached the city after passing through various places in Punjab and Haryana, including Sangrur, Nirvana, Hisar, Rohtak, Sirhind, Khanna, Ambala, Yamuna Nagar and Muzzafarnagar.

Commanding Officer said the youth should stay away from drugs. On reaching the city, the Commanding Officer congratulated the soldiers on completing the task successfully. — TNS



R-Day celebrated in schools
USPC school

Ludhiana: USPC Jain Public School celebrated Republic Day. MP Jain, general secretary, and other members of the school committee hoisted the Tricolour. The function started with a march past by four houses of the school. A cultural programme was also held. Students sung patriotic songs.

Tagore school

Republic Day was celebrated with gusto at Tagore Public School. The morning began with the unfurling of the national flag by chief guest Baldev Kumar Aggarwal, president of the school society. Students sung the National Anthem. A march past by four houses of the school was followed by melodious patriotic songs which regaled the audience.


BVM, Kitchlu Nagar, saluted the great Indian constitution and hoisted the national flag on Republic Day. BVM teachers delivered speeches in Hindi, Punjabi and English. Patriotic songs were sung by students.

Spring Dale

Republic Day was celebrated at Spring Dale Senior Secondary School with patriotic fervour. Avinash Kaur Walia, founder principal, unfurled the national flag. Around 150 students presented a march past. Patriotic songs like "Dil diya hai jaan bhi denge ae watan tere liye" regaled everyone. Around 200 students presented a patriotic choreography.

Vardhman school

Vardhman International Public School celebrated Republic Day. Parents unfurled the national flag. Manager of the school Sanjeev Jain while welcoming guests highlighted the importance and significance of the the constitution of India.

Sacred Heart

Republic Day was celebrated at Sacred Heart Convent School, Sahnewal. Dr Amarjit Kaur, SMO Sahnewal was the chief guest. He hoisted the national flag. Students sang a patriotic song. Principal Sister Pavitra congratulated students and appreciated the efforts of the ones who had ensured their active participation in the function. Vice-principal Sister Paulin addressed students.

Don Bosco

Students of Don Bosco Global School, Jhande village, celebrated Republic Day with patriotic fervour and enthusiasm in the school. The celebrations began with a prayer and a patriotic song. Around 250 students participated in various cultural activities. Principal Lily John highlighted the significance of the day and asked students to lead the country. The function concluded with the National Anthem.

Green Land

Patriotic zeal and fervour marked the Republic Day celebrations at Green Land Senior Secondary School. The celebrations began with the flag-hoisting ceremony. Beautiful cultural items depicting various social vices prevalent in society were presented. Students dressed in hues of the Tricolour spread the message of peace and harmony.

Green Land Convent

Green Land Convent School, Civil City, celebrated Republic Day with great pomp and show. The Tricolour was hoisted by Rajesh Rudhra, chairman, chain of Green Land Schools. Usha Rudhra and Shabad Rudhra also graced the occasion.

Students presented group songs to pay tributes to freedom fighters. The patriotic dance thrilled everyone as they showcased diversified thoughts to inculcate patriotism among all. Meanwhile, the day was also celebrated with great pomp and show at Green Land Convent School, Dugri. Students paid homage to the great leaders, soldiers and martyrs, who sacrificed their lives to make India a republic, secular and free nation. They sang patriotic songs in memory of great martyrs. Students of the junior and senior wings performed various dances with zeal. — TNS



Proud Republicans
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 27
Republic Day was celebrated with fervour in the town. A flag-hoisting ceremony was held. Students presented cultural programmes at various educational institutes.

A colourful function was organised at the municipal council’s office. President of the council Usha Sood hoisted the Tricolour.

Patriotic songs, poems and choreographies, presented by students of MGMN Senior Secondary School, Victoria Public High School, DAV High School, Islamia High School, Green Valley Public School and Kundan Public School, were appreciated by all.

Office-bearers of various social and educational organisations were honoured for their selfless service to society.

Dr Neeru Katyal, SDM, hoisted the Tricolour at grain market, Payal. The Punjab Police presented an armed salute to the Tricolour.



12 felicitated with R-Day awards

Ludhiana, January 27
The district administration bestowed special awards on the achievers from various fields during the Republic Day function organized at SCD Government College.

Gurpreet Singh and Tarandeep Singh became the proud residents of Ludhiana who were bestowed with the bravery award for having confronted a group of robbers in December 2010 to free a family from their clutches.

Residents of street number 1 of Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar, the duo, after seeing the family made hostage by the robbers, came to their rescue.

Kiran Bala, retired government schoolteacher, is voluntarily teaching the students of Government Primary School, Mangat. Unlike many teachers who like to get into offices of profit after their retirement, this teacher carried on teaching free of cost.

Inspector Gurdev Singh, SHO Salem Tabri, led the team that arrested a gang of snatchers. The snatchers comprising Manjinder Singh, Chetan Puri and Amandeep Singh were involved in 90 cases of snatching.

Sub-inspector Jatinderjit Singh, SHO Laddowal police station, arrested a gang of highway robbers who were involved in snatching trucks and other vehicles from highways. The gang was working in association with motor dealers in the city.

Inspector Paramjit Singh, SHO Sadar police station, constantly made efforts to improve the working, as a result the policed station having been adjudged the best in the state got 100 out of 100 marks during the Police Station Visitors Week. The week was organized by Altus Global Alliance in October 2010.

Nagma Mirza, basketball player of Khalsa Girls Senior Secondary School, has represented India at international level. Having represented Indian in Asian Games in Russia in under-16 category, Nagma bagged a gold medal.

Raghav Sood, student of Lawrence School, Sanawar, participated in 48th National Open Sub-Junior Roller Hockey Championship. Skating has become his sole passion in life and he wants to pursue it as long as he can.

Navjot Singh, roller hockey player of Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, BRS Nagar, represented Punjab in National School Games, Delhi, in 2010 and in Open National at Vishakhapatnam in 2011.

Talwinderjit Singh Sohi is a known face in the Indian basketball team. He has represented Indian team in various national and international events.

Sukhdeep Kaur, a class XI student of Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Jawahar Nagar, is a promising hockey player. She has represented Punjab at national level.

Harwinder Kaur, a class XII student of Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Jawahar Nagar, is a handball player. She has won accolades in the sport. —TNS



State of Affairs
No respite from traffic chaos at Sadar Bazar
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
The electrical market of Sadar Bazar is another perfect example of how despite tall claims of the Municipal Corporation (MC) the residents are not getting the basic civic amenities in their areas.

The market, which roughly has a business of more then Rs 100 crore is largely suffering due to the apathetic attitude of the authorities. Though the roads of the bazaar are wide enough for allowing free flow of traffic but owing to the mismanagement of traffic and illegal parking of vehicles in the area, the traffic congestion is frequently witnessed here. Though the parking lot was started by the Zila Parishad in the market with the aim to discongest traffic but due to scarcity of space it failed to fulfil its objective, the result being that the vehicles are parked haphazardly in the area. The huge boards of the MC saying “No parking in the area” are defied everyday by the people as their vehicles can be seen parked near it.

But nobody has ever bothered to take any punitive action against the violators of law. Ironically, the market which voluntarily initiated the anti-encroachments drive in the year 2008 is now a victim of it as the encroachments by some shopkeepers and the presence of a large number of rehris in the market also causes traffic woes here. This results in frequent traffic jams in the area. Due to congestion, people refrain from coming to this market. Similarly, loose connections of high-powered electrical wires pose danger as a short circuit in the area could lead to some mishap some day. They rued that though they had complained about it to the authorities, many times but no concrete action had been taken.

Similarly, a public urinal constructed by the civic body in the area has also proved to be a bane instead of boon for shopkeepers because due to the lack of water supply it remains dirty and emanates foul smell. The shopkeepers rued that the urinals should get constant water supply. Likewise, during the rainy season the nullah on which shops are built gets choked thus resulting in major inconvenience to the shopkeepers. The garbage can be seen dumped all over the area thus making it difficult for those coming to the market.But still the shopkeepers hope that things will change soon.



Assembly Committee
MC officials file reply
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
Queries raised by the high-powered committee of the Punjab Assembly regarding the poor working of the municipal corporation (MC) have been giving a tough time to 
the authorities as they are finding it tough to reply 
to those.

The committee, comprising MLAs across party lines, had visited the city in September last, during which it raised serious objections to irregularities in the working of the MC. Much to the agony of MC officials, the committee had raised questions over the working of the civic body.

The MLAs had expressed concern over poor sanitation, absence of log books from MC records and the lacklustre attitude of MC officials towards pollution of the Budha Nullah, among other things.

The committee had sought a reply from MC officials, after which the officials filed their reply. Finding it unsatisfactory, the committee had directed the officials to file another reply.

Subsequently, MC Additional Commissioner Kanwalpreet Kaur Brar, in charge of the audit branch of the civic body, asked the officials of various branches to furnish records.

Though the report was compiled by the evening, MC officials were finding it tough to reply to queries of the committee.

According to sources, MC officials had asserted that with regular recruitment of sanitary workers, the condition of sanitation had improved.

Similarly, they had asserted that the repair of roads in the city was being done on a regular basis and the MC had ensured that no pollution of the Budha Nullah took place.

In the same manner, sources also revealed that MC officials had provided the missing logbooks to the committee and the audit objections raised in the past had also been cleared.

Asked to comment on the issue, Brar said they had filed their reply to the committee, adding that there was no problem.



‘Simple solutions needed for small farmers’ 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
“In Ethiopia, GDP of agriculture is growing at a rate of more than 11 per cent. Even some of the farmers from India have invested in Ethiopia as part of national policy to invite people around the world,” said Workinesh Abede, director, Agricultural Mechanisation Research Processing of Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, who is on a visit to Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology.

Revealing that agriculture in Ethiopia, an African country, which was still very less mechanised, Workinesh Abede said primarily animals were used for ploughing fields by farmers. “Dependence on agriculture is quite huge. While more than 85 per cent of population is directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture, 55 per cent of the country’s GDP comes from agriculture,” he said.

He added that versatility in soil, irrigation and climatic conditions made difficult for them to address the problems of farmers.

Abede said sophisticated technologies developed by the European and American companies would not be of much use for them. “While these will be costlier, we need simple and effective solutions for our small farmers,” he said.

India could help them a lot, he added.

“Our visit is aimed at curbing losses in post-harvest and developing a permanent system of collaboration with Indian institutes, including CIPHET for getting technologies.”

He also revealed that the Ethiopian government was inviting MNCs and leading farmers from other countries to invest in agriculture. “Recently, an Indian farmer has bought a 1,000-hectare farm there.”

Director of CIPHET Dr RT Patil informed the visitors about the mandate of CIPHET and various initiatives carried out by the institute in the area of post-harvest.

Dr Deepak Raj Rai, head, Transfer of Technology, said more than 20 externally funded projects and two all-India coordinated projects were also running from CIPHET.



Ailing boy needs help
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
Girish (14), suffering from a painful condition of chest, needs to undergo a surgery immediately.

A student of Class IX, the boy has been grappling with a condition, wherein he was diagnosed with lumps in his chest. Doctors have advised his father Raj Kumar to take him for a surgery at an advanced centre in New Delhi. His disease was detected a year ago but his parents could not afford his treatment.

‘‘I cannot see him suffering. He is in a painful condition and we need Rs 70,000 for his surgery’’ said Girish’s father.

Raj Kumar said, “I cannot see my son crying. Only good Samaritans can help me now, ’’ he said. He can be contacted on 99158-94711.



Day of zeal at PAU

Ludhiana, January 27
The 62nd Republic Day was celebrated with zeal at Punjab Agricultural University on Wednesday. PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang unfurled the Tricolour and took the salute from NCC cadets who decorated the ambience with patriotic fervour.

Offering greetings to the audience comprising Deans, directors, officers, faculty members, employees and students of the constituent colleges of PAU, Dr Kang said the occasion was to remember sacrifices of the great martyrs. Dr Kang said agriculture was the backbone of people and economy of India.

Dr Kang was full of praise for agricultural scientists, nation builders, defence personnels, farmers, national stalwarts, who made huge sacrifices for the country.

Quoting Dr MS Swaminathan, Dr Kang said, “Novel solutions and technological advances must be married with ecological thinking.” — TNS



Census Training Workshop
‘Enumerators must ask question on disability’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
A census training workshop was held at NGO Ashirwad on Tuesday. The main purpose of the workshop was to encourage enumerators to ask question on disability.

"Census training is going on in full swing and we need to give proper training to the enumerators for asking questions on disability," Dr Neelam Sodhi, director of Ashirwad.

Speaking on the occasion, Sodhi said the census in 2001 showed that 2.1 per cent of the population are persons with disability. This was too low a figure as compared to the estimate of international organisations.

"Census figure is the basis for the government to plan and allocate money for the welfare and development of different sections of society. If all persons with disability are not counted then the amount allocated will not be adequate for their development. Therefore, it is important that every person with disability is counted in this forthcoming census," she said.

Giving further information she said all the 30 questions in the survey form should be answered by the family members of disabled persons, along with question number nine, which is specific to disability.

No proof is necessary to verify disability. Anyone experiencing any impairment and disability mentioned in the question nine of the census form is counted as a disabled person, irrespective of his or her level of disability and age.

"No one needs to produce medical certificate or national ID card or any other document to the people conducting the census to verify or to prove disability. The 40 per cent disability criteria for entitlements to government benefits do not apply here," she said.

Elderly persons with any impairment or disability can also be counted as disabled persons. Sodhi further added that the census information could be used by the government only for the purpose of planning. None of the information from the census can be used for any other purpose against any person. The information provided by the citizens in the census is strictly confidential by law.



New flyover likely in June
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
After some delay, there may soon be much-awaited relief for residents facing traffic congestion at the Pratap chowk here. The municipal corporation (MC) authorities are expected to complete work on a flyover by June.

The project, initiated in March 2010 at a cost of Rs 23 crore, was expected to be completed within 15 months. After getting directions from the state government to complete all important ongoing projects in the city, the MC authorities geared up for completing the project.

Sources revealed that the project, earlier expected to be completed in May 2011, would now be ready by June. Officials of the civic body had started inspection of the site to review work.

The Superintendent Engineer, Buildings and Roads, Dharam Singh, along with other officials of the branch, visited the site. The team inspected the ongoing work on the 40-foot main span and gave directions to the staff of the contractor.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, Dharam Singh asserted that the project would be completed by the June. Expressing satisfaction over the pace of work, he said the work was being conducted in a proper manner, adding that the project would prove a milestone in the development of the city.

The project had been embroiled in controversy before it was started. The Chief Engineer had raised objections to the project about two years ago. A controversy had erupted over tendering. Work was finally started in March 2010.



PAU athletics meet from Feb 4
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 27
The 45th edition of athletics meet of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, will be held on February 4.

According to Dr PP Singh Lubana, director, Students’ Welfare, PAU, different committees have been constituted to organise the annual event. Vice-Chancellor of the PAU Dr Manjit Singh Kang will inaugurate the meet.

Dr Lubana said events like 100m, 200m, high jump, 4x100m, 4x400m, relay races, discus throw, shot put, 800m race, broad jump, hammer throw, 110m hurdles race, triple jump, javelin throw, 400m hurdles, 1,500m and gruelling 5,000m would be the main attraction of the meet.



Shopkeepers Air Grievances

Sohan Singh Traffic jams and loose connections of high-powered electrical wires are the major problem of the area. But the authorities seem to be insensitive towards them.

— Sohan Singh Gugnani

Jasmeet Singh MakkarIt becomes difficult for us to move around as there is heavy flow of traffic and the area lacks basic civic amenities. But things haven’t changed even after we had met the MC top brass on this matter a number of times. There seems to be no solution to our problems.

— Jasmeet Singh Makkar

VK AroraWe are suffering largely due to traffic chaos in the area and multi-storeyed parking is the only solution. The traffic needs to be managed well in the area.

VK Arora

V AhujaEncroachments, water supply and lack of cleanliness plague the area and so far no action has been taken by the MC.

— V Ahuja

Sandeep ChawlaEncroachments need to be removed from the area in order to ensure smooth flow of traffic so that business in the market can bloom.

— Sandeep Chawla

‘Problem is rampant’

The problem of traffic is persistent in all the areas of the city and we are trying to solve it. As far as lack of basic civic amenities are concerned, we will seek a report regarding it from the officials.

— Praveen Bansal, Senior Deputy Mayor



Snatching, robbery on rise
Residents scared, police clueless
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, January 27
A feeling of panic and terror prevails among local residents due to the rising incidents of snatching and robbery in the area, which have also put a question mark on the effectiveness of the police.

There has been a considerable rise in incidents of snatching the area during the past few days. According to police sources, most incidents are executed by drug addicts.

People fear that a gang of snatchers is active in the area. More than seven cases of snatching have been reported in the past 10 days.

Much to the embarrassment of the police, two motorcycle-borne youths snatched the purse of a Haryana-based girl only a few yards from the office of SSP Ludhiana (Rural) yesterday.

The same day, four youths snatched mobile phones and money from two persons of Sherpur village near the Sherpur Chowk.

On January 21, four motorcycle-borne youths looted a couple of gold ornaments, cash and other valuables on the outskirts of Chachrari village, near here.

On January 12, three youths looted a woman and her son of gold ornaments and money near Chimna village on gunpoint.

A Ford Endeavour (PB10CJ-0606) was taken away on gunpoint on the Sidhwan Bet road on January 16. The police seemed to be clueless about such incidents. The police had failed to solve any of the cases so far.

SSP Ludhiana (Rural) Gursharan Singh Sandhu, when contacted, stated that vigil had been increased. “Instructions have been issued to all police stations in the district to increase patrolling, specially during the night, to check the incidents,” he added.



Jalandhar rout Ludhiana, enter final
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 27
The semifinal played between Jalandhar and Ludhiana 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 turned out to be a mismatch as the former came out triumphant by 119 runs and entered the final.

Jalandhar won the toss and decided to bat first. Their innings folded at 245 runs on the penultimate ball of the innings. Robin Singh played the pivot role, making 70 runs. Other useful contributions came through Sat Pal (40), Sarabjit Singh (37), Abhishek Gupta (23), Rahul Sharma (17) and Tarvar Kohli (14).

For Ludhiana, Bharat Malhotra and Deepak Bansal captured two wickets each after conceding 18 and 49 runs, respectively, while Luv Ablish, Karan Goel and Rahil Singla claimed a wicket each.

The target set by Jalandhar proved to be an uphill task for Ludhiana as they could muster only 126 runs in 39.4 overs. Ludhiana lost their main batsman, Karan Goel for only three in the second over which proved fatal as they continued to suffer blows on regular intervals.

Bharat Malhotra was the top scorer with 25 runs, followed by Tarun Passi (21), Akhil Aggarwal (20), Nitin Goel (18) and Sunny Pandey (12).

For the winners, Ishan Malhotra was the pick of bowlers, chipping in with three wickets for 30 runs while Yogesh Kumar grabbed two wicktets for 18 runs Gurkirat secured two wickets for 36 runs and Rahul Sharma took one for 29 to restrict Ludhiana to a modest total of 126 runs and clinch the issue quite comfortably.

Punjab selectors Chaman Lal Malhotra and Harjinder Singh Harry and president of the Ludhiana District Cricket Association, Rajinder Nath Mahajan, were present to watch the boys in action.



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