L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Two robbers nabbed, another absconding
Mohit Khanna/ Lovleen Bains
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana/ Doraha, February 13
The three armed assailants who were on a robbing spree since yesterday were apprehended by two bravehearts at Landha village near Doraha here today.While two robbers were nabbed, their third accomplice managed to flee from the scene.

The robbers fled with a car of a doctor from Shastri Nagar and later robbed and shot a youth in Jodha village last evening. They were nabbed while they were trying to commit their third robbery within 24 hours.

The incident took place this morning when Shawinder Singh of Tibba village, along with his brother-in-law, Piara Singh, a retired subedar and an NRI, were on their way to Seelo village in a sports utility vehicle (SUV).

Shawinder Singh said, “One of the three robbers alighted from the vehicle and requested us for a lift. When we stopped the vehicle, the youth approached us and said some technical fault had taken place and they needed help.”

To help them, Shawinder alighted from the vehicle to check the snag. Immediately, one of the assailants sitting on the co-driver’s seat pulled out a pistol and pointed at Shawinder.

The robbers asked Sahwinder and Piara to hand over cash and valuables.

Sensing trouble, Piara handed over the cash, but that was not all, the robbers wanted the vehicle too.

In the meantime, one of the assailants, who was carrying a pistol, approached Piara and asked him to step down from the vehicle.

Piara Singh quickly jumped on the assailant, who was carrying the pistol, while Shawinder nabbed another assailant, who was in possession of a sword. The duo raised an alarm, following which residents gathered at the spot.

The residents, including panch Jasvir Singh of the village, immediately came to their rescue and nabbed the two assailants, while the third accused managed to flee from the scene.

All three assailants were in their mid-20s. While the two have been identified as natives of nearby Batari village, one is reported to be of Abdullapur Basati of Ludhiana, said Shawinder. He also told the accused put up a fake number plate on the vehicle, as the original number plate was recovered from the car. Piara Singh sustained injuries during the fight and was rushed to a hospital.

As per information given by the police, the two assailants, Hardeep Singh and Balwinder Singh, who are now in police custody, belong to Batari village. Doraha police station SHO Ashwani Kumar confirmed the development and further stated that since he was out of town, he could not share any information.

Yesterday, the accused had fled with a car belonging to a doctor in Shastri Nagar.

The first incident took place yesterday afternoon, when Dr Raghubir Singh Bajwa, who runs a private clinic in Gurdev Nagar, was returning home and made a stopover at Shastri Nagar.

Hira Lal, the driver of the vehicle, said two armed assailants approached his vehicle and pointed a pistol at him.

He immediately stepped down from the vehicle and handed over the keys to the accused.

The accused trio made a quick exit from the scene and later during the day intercepted Vikramjit Singh, a resident of Pamal village. The victim said the car-borne assailants intercepted his motorcycle. As soon as the victim stopped the motorcycle, the accused fired a shot on his leg and then removed the gold ring, gold kara and took out Rs 16,000 cash from the pocket of the victim.

Fearing embarrassment, the police kept the matter under wrap. The matter came to light when the city police registered a case against unidentified persons for car jacking and robbing a youth in Jodha village.


Leaving no chance for hooligans
Police set to act tough with miscreants
Charu Chhibber/TNS

Ludhiana, February 13
Hooligans beware! The police will not allow you to play the spoil sport. The police is set to man all the “hot spots” and “geri routes” in the city tomorrow to avoid any untoward incident.

The miscreants will be dealt with an iron hand if they will be found indulging in eve-teasing or troubling girls or couples.

The undercover police officials will be posted in key areas of the city.

The police have stepped up security by deploying a large number of police officials in and around the city ahead of Valentine’s Day celebrations.

Security has been strengthened around all market places, shopping malls, both the universities and colleges which couples are expected to throng to for V-Day. “We have deployed some additional forces in market places, parks, outside colleges, malls as well as in residential areas to maintain law and order during Valentine’s Day celebrations. Patrolling parties, too, will be mobilised. Our aim is that no one should create any disturbance,” said ACP Bhupinder Singh.

“Trouble makers, boozers, eve-teasers and traffic violators will be dealt with an iron hand,” the ACP informed.

Reaching out to elderly
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 13
Breaking away from what has become a westernised mode of celebrating special occasions, occupants of the Girls Hostel of Satish Chander Dhawan Government College, Ludhiana, have chosen inmates of the Old Age Home at Gurdwara Karamsar (Rara Sahib) as their Valentine’s today.

Students, led by their warden Manpreet Kaur Sahota, fascinated elderly men and women with their smiles and gifts. Besides presenting bouquets, flowers and eatables, the students installed a CD and DVD player in the main hall so that inmates could listen to shabad kirtan and gurbani according to their convenience and desire.

Supervised and inspired by Manpreet Sahota, students were all smiles while cleaning floor and making bed of the inmates.

Kirandeep and Inderpreet Kaur, student representatives, said they had been persuaded by their principal Jasbir Kaur Makkar. “When we went to our warden to seek permission for organising a DJ party at the hostel she persuaded us to do something that will give pleasure to others and be appreciated by all,” said Kirandeep and Inderpreet.

Ambica, who had been visiting old age homes since childhood, enjoys serving the elderly.



City’s landmark set to move
Ambedkar statue to get new home
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Dr BR Ambedkar’s statue on the Jalandhar bypass which is to be shifted to a yet to be identified location in Ludhiana.n as yeatwill be shifted. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, February 13
With the municipal corporation authorities kick-starting the process of shifting the life-size statue of Dr BR Ambedkar from the Jalandhar bypass chowk, an important landmark of the city will soon get a new place.

Installed in 1987, the statue had been a key landmark of the city for over two decades. The statue had been an important route marker especially for motorists entering the city from the Jalandhar road.

Though the municipal corporation had been maintaining the park in which statue was installed earlier, the need for shifting the statue from the park had been necessitated by the ongoing work on the widening of the National Highway-I.

After the officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the private company initiating the work requested the MC authorities to get the statue shifted, top civic officials, including Commissioner AK Sinha and Additional Commissioner MS Jaggi, visited various sites in the city to relocate the statue.

A park near the Jalandhar bypass chowk was finally chosen as the new location for the statue.

However, as the new park was in a shabby state, the MC officials directed the staff of the building and roads (B&R) branch to carry out construction and repair work at the site.

Also, the staff of the electrical wing and the light branch have been asked to ensure that the lighting in the park is made operational and fancy lights are installed for beautification.

Similarly, the horticulture branch has been asked to plant new trees and ensure proper maintenance of the green belt in the park.

The officials have been told to speed up the work related to the beautification of the park so that statue can be shifted to its new place at the earliest.

Got in the way

The need to shift the Dr BR Ambedkar statue from its current location was necessitated by the ongoing work of widening the National Highway-I. Installed in 1987, the statue had been a key landmark, especially for motorists entering the city from Phillaur.



Cong councillors to ‘boycott’ ex-MLA Dawar
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
There appears to be no end to infighting among the Congress party members of the newly formed Ludhiana central constituency. The councillors have now begun boycotting a former Punjab assembly member who is the chief contender for the party ticket, by not inviting him to functions for inaugurating civic projects.

A vivid example of this was a function organized by Congress councilor from ward no 40, Ravinder Kaur Chadha, in her ward on Sunday morning to inaugurate developmental projects in her constituency. Congress MP Manish Tiwari was specially invited along with other councillors including Sanjay Talwar, Pritpal Singh Ghayal, Ashok Bagga, Sham Sunder Malhotra, Amrit Varsha Rampal, Sushil Malhotra, Congress leader Pawan Diwan, Jasbir Singh Chadha, Kala Navkaar Jain and others. Likewise Tiwari also inaugurated projects in ward no 20 with almost these councillors being present.

However, a prominent absentee was former chief parliamentary secretary Surinder Kumar Dawar, who has staked his claim for the party ticket from this assembly segment. The councilors have been openly opposing Dawar’s activities in their area, accusing him of promoting “anti-party elements” in their wards.

Sources said the Congress councilors including Malhotra, Parminder Mehta, Talwar, Ghayal, Bagga, Rakesh Prashar and Ravinder Kaur Chadha have now decided to “boycott” Dawar by not inviting him to their functions.

Confirming the development, Congress leader Jasbir Singh Chadha said” “There was no reason to invite Dawar to such functions as he is opposing councillors elected from different wards. The councillors and Congress leaders from the central constituency have already requested party leaders not to allot him a ticket.”

In a similar vein Malhotra, who represents ward no 20, asserted the councilors had decided to ostracize Dawar because he was “ignoring” the elected councillors. “Dawar is weakening the Congress by dividing the party workers. Hence we’ve unanimously decided to boycott him so that a strong message is sent to the party not to allot him a ticket," he added.

When asked to comment on the matter, Surinder Dawar said he was carrying out party work and councillors better know why they were not calling him. However, he said MP Manish Tiwari would sort out all problems before the assembly elections.



…Anything for love
Charu Chhibber/TNS

Ludhiana, February 13
He may seem to be an ordinary boy living next-door, but inside this “Average young man” lies an extraordinary die-hard romantic person, who can make his love bloom that, too, in a six-feet high bouquet made of 600 red roses, chosen with utmost care and love by the man himself, to express his deep love for his lady love.

He doesn’t care much if the “Flowers” worth Rs 60,000 are sent back.

Meet Gaurav Jain, a young and dynamic jewellery designer from the city, who believes in “If you have it, flaunt it” attitude. And what better occasion can he find than Valentine’s Day to “flaunt” his intense emotions for his fiancée.

“I got engaged last evening and have a lavish plan to make my girl feel very special this Valentine’s Day,” says the flamboyant man.

“I wanted to give her something unique. So, I zeroed in on this bouquet, which is adorned by two peacocks and a heart in the middle,” Jain adds.

And to deliver the flowers on his lover’s doorsteps in Bathinda, Jain has arranged for a mini-truck.

This is not the end of surprises for the lucky girl. The lover boy has other plans as well.

He has got a custom-made rose stem in 22 carat gold, a diamond-studded heart pendant and scores of other gifts for his Valentine.

“She is 25-year-old and so the idea is to gift her with 25 exquisite pieces,” smiles Jain, disclosing his love secret.

Jain, however, has a word for caution for youngsters. “Love is all about the way you feel for someone. Materialistic things have nothing to do with it. They will wither away with time, but only true love will stay,” he says.





Married, still going strong

Romance is in the air and while the world celebrates the spirit of love, why should the city’s happily-ever-after couples be left behind? In fact, in their own words, they are the “Most eligible” people to celebrate the day. After all, they share one of the strongest bonds- the nuptial ties, which mark eternal love.

Let’s find out how do our love birds celebrate V-Day?

“Though over the past five years we have had no a chance to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a big way due to busy schedules, but this year, we are sure to have a great rocking day. We have our plans in place. The day will be spent at a theme park in Chandigarh with our four-year-old daughter, followed by boating in the evening at Sukhna Lake and finally, a lavish dinner at Taj.” — Shally and Sameer Aggarwal, directors, Pinnacle Institute of Fashion Technology

“We are married for the past five years still we feel as if it was only yesterday that we met. So, in order to keep our love fresh, we celebrate every Valentine’s Day the way we used to before we got married,” says Kunal, an employee with a private firm.” 
— Aarti and Kunal



10 gifts you can count upon

 A gift item on display at a shop in Ludhiana.
Token of love: A gift item on display at a shop in Ludhiana.Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Red Rose: As hackneyed as it may sound, a red rose is the truest expression of one’s love and the most classic Valentine’s gift. No V-Day is complete is without this one at least.

Music: Nothing can beat the thrill of a soft romantic encounter amid his/her favourite love songs playing in the background.

Dinner: A romantic roof-top dinner for just the two of you with wine and soft music playing in the background is just perfect to set the mood.

Jewellery: This one will never fail with women, especially when it comes to diamonds or solitaries. Earrings, pendant, chain or bracelet will do the trick while a sleek wrist watch or a jewel-encrusted pocket piece will make a great gift for your man.

Clothes: We all love clothes. Don’t we? But make it special - pick up something he/she always wanted but shied away from buying.

Shopping splurge: Take your Valentine on a surprise shopping spree. Make it an all expenses paid-for trip and see the glow on his/her face.

Holiday package: A holiday package to his/her favourite destination will give the two of you memories to be cherished forever and make your Valentine’s Day a memorable one.

Spa/beauty package: Pamper your beloved with a free spa session or a complete beauty package. Join in for even more fun together.

Memories: Put together all your pictures in a collage or as a collection. Paste or slid in crisp, slender pieces of paper with dates, occasions and memories attached to the moments mentioned on them.

A trip down the memory lane: Revive the romance and relive your first-ever date/meeting. Take him/her to the same place where you met for the first time, dress in something similar, if not the same piece. Play the same music, order for the same food and recall all that happened on the first date.



Perfect day to tie the knot

Valentine’s Day has become popular over the years, especially for tying the nuptial knot. This year is no different as several couples from the city are set to walk down the aisle on February 14 — a day dedicated to lovers, discovers Charu Chibber

Figures reveal that out of the estimated 250 marriage palaces and resorts in the city, around 200 are already booked for February 14.

Several community centres are also said to be booked for the day. Besides, various gurdwaras across the city and public parks, too, will remain occupied with marriage functions.

Besides, caterers, band masters, florists, DJs, beauty salons, too, are booked with each one catering to over five parties.

A Thapar, from Maharaja Band, said: “My diary for February 14 is full with bookings. We had to say no to many,” he adds.

Spokesperson of Singh Caterers, too, confirmed the trend. “Our kitty is full with orders for V-Day,” he said.

With so many weddings on the anvil, beauty salons are gearing up for a busy Valentine’s Day.

“We have over 30 bridal bookings for February 14. The day is going to be really hectic as apart from brides, we have an equal number of bookings for those getting engaged on Valentine’s Day,” says Indra Ahluwalia, director, Grace Beauty Clinics.

No wedding is complete without flowers and with so many marriages set to take place on one day in the city, the local flower market is expecting a shortage. Hence, flowers are being especially flown in from Delhi and Kolkata to cater to their huge demand on Valentine’s Day. Besides, liquor traders, too, are expecting a good business.

While the city will remain busy on February 14, there are many who are in a strange quandary. “I have received at least eight wedding invitations for February 14. I don’t know which one to attend and which to skip. Moreover, with so many weddings to attend, my own plan for the day has gone for a toss,” says entrepreneur Rakhi Jindal.



Residents burn effigy of councillor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
Irked over the failure of developmental works to start in their area, residents of the Sukhdev Nagar locality burnt an effigy of the area councillor here today.Pertinently, the councillor had, while submitting a memorandum to the Mayor threatened to resign if work was not started in a month.

Residents of the area, including Rakesh Sobti, RK Sharma, Sunil, Rajiv Sharma, Jaswant Singh and Subash, alleged that developmental works in their area had been stalled for some time. They said though they had complained about it to district BJP President Rajiv Katna and Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal, the work had not been started. Residents alleged that a newly laid road in area was uprooted by the MC authorities for relaying it, which was a sheer wastage of money. They also rued that due to the delay, they had been forced to burn the effigy of the councillor Sakshi Julka.

The residents also alleged that the councillor had misbehaved with residents of area when they had gone to lodge compliant about the non-starting of work, adding that the matter would not be resolved until she apologised to them. The residents also rued that some of them had got injured after falling in pits on road. Airing their views against the councillor, residents also said that the warning issued by her to the Mayor was a mere political stunt.

On the other hand, councillor Sakshi Julka termed the whole move as politically motivated, adding that tenders for all works of the area were already in process. She refuted all allegations levelled against her and claimed that some people were trying to mislead the public.

Angry over the non-stating of the same work, the councillor had handed over a memorandum to Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura a few days ago. Even she had threatened to resign from her post if the work was not started within a month. 



Rain fails to dampen spirit of dairy farmers
Mahesh Sharma

Jagraon, February 13
Even rain failed to dampen the enthusiasm of farmers and dairy owners, as hundreds of them thronged the venue of the fifth Progressive Dairy Farmers’ International Animal Fair here on the second day. Minister foe animal husbandry Gulzar Singh Ranike inaugurated the fair yesterday.

Show of various breeds of milch animals, including Murrah buffaloes, Holstein Friesian crossbred cows, bulls and heifers remained the main attraction of the fair today. The visitors also evinced keen interest in various stalls organised by manufacturers of modern equipment used in upkeep of dairy animals these days.

A stall put up by the department of animal husbandry also drew massive crowd. Staff displayed different varieties of seeds and saplings of plants being used as fodder in the region. Handbills and pamphlets highlighting various schemes launched by the department and ideal procedure to preserve fodder remained in great demand at the stall.

A huge number of livestock farmers visited the stalls put up by companies dealing in nutrient concentrates and veterinary medicines. While some of them purchased materials in bulk, others placed orders for home delivery of cattle feed and medicines.

A large number of dairy owners were seen inquiring about prize-winner animals in various categories. Cattle lovers remained stuck to rings where animals were displayed for competition in various categories.

Daljit Singh Saddopur presided over the session and department of dairy development secretary Usha R Sharma was the chief guest.

Earlier Gulzar Singh Ranike had appealed to owners and managers of the farmers of the region to make maximum use of awareness schemes launched by the department of animal husbandry through organisation of rural fairs and cattle competitions.

Ranike claimed that a large number of dairy farmers had benefited from subsidised schemes launched by the government. Twenty-five to 30 per cent subsidy was allowed on construction of cattle sheds and other equipment, besides purchasing cows and buffaloes.

The owners of prize-winning cattle were felicitated by organisers.



Five seriously injured in head-on collision
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, February 13
Five persons were seriously injured when two cars had a head-on collision near Jagraon this evening.As per information,five persons travelling in a Maruti 800 car (PB-10-C-202) were going back to Ludhiana from Jagraon.

As soon as they reached near the Kacha Malak road on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway, their car had a head-on collision with a Ford Fiesta car (PB-38-B-2000), which was coming from Ludhiana side.

The injured were immediately rushed to the Civil Hospital, Jagraon, from where they were referred to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), Ludhiana, because of their critical condition.

Two of the injured are stated to be in a critical condition till the filing of the report.

The injured have been identified as Mandeep Singh, Sawraj Singh, Sukhwinder Singh, Surjit Singh and Avtar Singh. All injured belonged to Kot Mangal Singh village near Ludhiana.

Two of the injured, including Mandeep Singh and Sawraj Singh, got fracture in their legs in the accident.

Two other persons travelling in Ford Fiesta car had miraculous escape and they fled away from the spot after the accident.

Meanwhile, the police has registered a case at the bus stand police post, Jagraon, and started investigation.



Vacant posts
PAU students to postpone agitation
Shivani Bhakoo/TNS

Ludhiana, February 13
With an assurance given by the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today, the protesting students of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) have decided to “postpone” their agitation for the time being.

Ravinder Singh Randhawa, president of PAUSA, told The Tribune that students were satisfied with the meeting. “Badal has given us assurance that vacant posts in the agricultural department will be filled soon. In February, after the Cabinet meeting, we will get the clear picture on the issue. CM has asked chief secretary to do the needful soon,” said Randhawa adding that they will postpone the strike for the time being.

The next meeting with the officials was scheduled for February 18 and 22 and it was decided that the notification about the number of posts will be announced by February 23.

Dr PS Aulakh, DSW, PAU, who accompanied the students, presented facts about the shortage of staff in the agricultural department.



MC asked to recover house tax dues from mall

Ludhiana, February 13
Members of the municipal corporation’s house tax subcommittee have asked civic officials to ensure recovery of a whopping Rs 3.5 crore due in houses tax from a leading mall in the city. At their meeting held at the MC’s ‘D’ zone office Saturday the members, including leader of the BJP councillors group, Gurdeep Singh Neetu, and Congress party councilor Sushil Kumar Raju Thapar, asked MC zonal commissioner BK Gupta, who is also in charge of the MC’s house tax branch, to expedite the process of recovering the arrears against Westend Mall.

Flatly rejecting a proposal on reducing house tax to be paid by the mall, both Neetu and Thapar said as the latter was conducting a “highly commercialized activity” recovery of the full house tax should be ensured, adding no rebate on the tax was provided to the public. They also asked MC officials to ensure the dues were recovered soon so that civic body could get benefit from the huge funds involved. “However, a decision on the matter has been kept pending as it was felt the MC commissioner’s consent was required before proceeding on the recovery”, said Thapar. — TNS



Cotton prices may hit double digit
Manav Mander/TNS

Ludhiana, February 13
Cotton prices may hit a double digit this summer. With the proposed hike, cotton clothing may also get expensive.One may experience synthetic linings, smaller buttons and even more polyester in the clothing, as companies may adopt these as cost cutting measures.

Vinod K Thapar, president of the Knitwear Club, said there had been an exorbitant increase in the prices of yarn.

“The prices of yarn have doubled, whereas the prices of fibre have not witnessed a proportionate increase. The unilateral rise in prices by monopolising houses creates uncertainty in the market. Similarly, companies find it difficult to sell their products, as customers cannot swallow the sudden and unbearable increase,” he said.

“Apparel makers plan to raise prices in 2011 as they struggle to absorb the impact of soaring cotton costs. At first, retailers and manufacturers tried to keep down the cost. But with cotton getting expensive, they were left with no choice but to pass on the higher cost to buyers. The prices may increase by 25 to 30 per cent,” said Santosh Sharma, a wholesaler.

“The recent price hike in cotton has left us with no other option but to raise the end price of cotton clothing in the coming months. Fashion retailers and consumers will feel the pinch of higher prices,” said R Wadhwa, a T-shirt manufacturer.

Manufacturers are examining whether a button or a thread can be replaced with a cheaper one or whether the overall material mix can be changed. 



Pay Scale
Ayurvedic docs protest, block traffic
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
Homoeopathic and ayurvedic doctors working under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) blocked traffic for about an hour near Lord Mahavira Homoeopathic College, Haibowal, here to protest against the “step-motherly” treatment of the state government towards former.

The agitating doctors said despite the pay commission recommendations, they did not get any revisions in their salaries. Whereas teachers recruited under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, also a Central scheme like NRHM, got revised salaries from Rs 13,500 to Rs 16,500.

Even salaries of contractual rural medical officers were revised from Rs 27,000 to Rs 37,500. “This is height of discrimination, why are we left? The employees working under several schemes are getting 15-20 per cent hike, but we are left high and dry, which is unjustified,” said the agitating doctors.



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