L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


LIT trustee leads in breaking MC seals on shops
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
In a glaring instance of how politicians misuse their power by violating regulations, a trustee of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), Narinder Singh ‘Pappu’, who is also a senior Akali leader, reportedly took law into his own hands by joining shopkeepers in breaking open the seals put on five city shops by municipal corporation officials Tuesday.

A team of the MC's building branch staff led by assistant town planner SS Bindra had sealed six shops in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar as they were set up in a residential area. The action was initiated after shopkeepers in the locality’s authorized market filed a contempt petition in the Punjab & High Court accusing the civic body of failing to check illegal encroachments in the city.

Bindra said in the petition the applicants had included photographs of the six shops built recently. “The MC therefore took action against them. Earlier, notices were served to 162 shops in the area”.

MC officials decided to launch the drive against unauthorized shops in the morning but kept the move under wraps to prevent any protests. However it was at around 2:30 pm that MC staff led by Bindra along with heavy contingent of Police force sealed these shops without any opposition by public. During the drive the MC staff sealed six shops including Raw and Roast, N Mart, Grewal Dairy, Sant Footwear and Rana Electronics.

However as soon as the civic staff returned shopkeepers in the area, led by Narinder, broke the seals put on five shops and reopened them. “We’ve been running our businesses here for over two decades. Now - all of a sudden - the MC decides to take action against us - this is not all fair”, the shopkeepers asserted.

Even Narinder justified their move to break the MC seals on the shops by claiming “it was in the interests of the locality’s residents”.

Area councillor Hari Singh Brar, who was also present at the scene, said: “The MC’s action isn’t justified as it would negatively affect the residents. These shopkeepers have been conducting their business here for the past many years but why has the MC acted now?”

The shopkeepers also raised slogans against MC officials calling their action arbitrary. Led by Narinder, they then marched towards Ferozepur Road to block vehicular flow on the busy city artery. Traffic was paralyzed for about an hour and commuters faced a lot of hassles.

Despite attempts by police officers to persuade them, the defiant shopkeepers refused to lift the blockade, accusing the civic body of “ignoring their interests”. Eventually MC additional commissioner Kuldeep Singh, who heads the building branch, arrived at the scene and heard the protesters’ grievances.


Admn’s diktat to pvt bus operators
Make vehicles available for Majithia’s rally
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
In a typical arbitrary attitude of the district administration, mini-bus operators here have once again been told to arrange their buses to be sent to Fatehgarh Sahib on February 17 for pulling crowds from nearby villages to make the Akali Dal Youth Rally of Bikram Majithia “successful”.

Today, buses have been arranged by the Moga Union at Moga for the same purpose.

According to information, the operators were "contacted" by the "gunmen" of officials from the District Transport Office at the bus stand today. After getting the telephone numbers of bus conductors and drivers of mini- buses, operators have been asked to "gather" near Arora Cinema tomorrow positively by 3 pm so that buses could be sent to Fatehgarh Sahib. On early morning of February 17, buses will be sent to nearby villages to get villagers to the venue of the Youth Akali Dal.

"Elections are going to be held next year. Do you think we will support their dictatorial attitude? In the past one month, we have provided buses for various rallies at Majitha (Amritsar), Moga, Muktsar etc. Apart from that, the district administration puts us on the Republic Day rehearsal duties. This is unjustified. If we are not willing to go, we should not be forced to go,", said a disgusted mini-bus operator.

The district president of the Ludhiana Mini Bus Owners Association, Jaswinder Singh Grewal, said that in Moga, bus operators had been given Rs 2000 for the day, which was sufficient. "But we are getting peanuts. They provide us expenses just for the diesel and we provide conductors and bus drivers from our pockets. Had they given us reasonable amount, we would have happily arranged for the buses. Tomorrow, our delegation will go to the DTO to apprise him of the real picture," said Grewal.

On an average, 30-40 mini-buses are sent from Ludhiana district by officials to make events of ruling party successful. According to sources, the officials were more keen to send vehicles on events organised by the ruling party so that they remained in the good books of political leaders and ministers.



MC always gets its act together late
Manvinder Singh/TNS

Ludhiana, February 15
Does the municipal corporation almost invariably act belatedly on issues deemed to be of grave public importance? Going by its move to seal shops on Tuesday the answer appears to be in the affirmative. It clearly shows the civic body allows violations to take place and then, fearing action by statutory bodies, take action resulting in public outrage.

The commercial shops in the city’s residential locality of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar were not built overnight. In the true sense they are a reflection of the rotten mechanism in the civic body, which has completely failed to check illegal buildings the cropping up all over the city.

According to a rough estimate thousands of illegal structures have sprouted during the past few years due to negligence of MC officials in keeping a check over them. The result is the city has turned into a concrete jungle.

The lethargy of civic officials can be very well be judged from fact that the MC has not compiled any data on the number of illegal structures constructed in the city. Moreover violations of building bylaws have become routine and MC officials are least bothered in taking action those breaching the regulations.

MC officials often claim the reason for their inaction is “political pressure” exerted on them, but sources said the officials had vested interests due to which timely action against infringement of rules is not taken. Even the allegations of building inspectors, assistant town planners and other senior officials of building branch amassing huge wealth and property by allowing such violations have posed serious question mark on working of civic body. Not only this even the allegations of strong nexus of corrupt politicians, officials and builders behind allowing construction of illegal buildings have been frequently leveled against the civic body officials.

Unfortunately the result of all this is that the state’s biggest commercial hub has turned into its most unplanned city in which haphazard growth is resulting into lot of problems for residents. However, instead of taking any action MC officials are at a loss for words when answering queries on this state of affairs.

Asked to comment on the matter, municipal town planner Tarlok Singh said: “We try our level best to ensure tabs are kept on construction of buildings in the city. But there are numerous factors due to which we sometimes fail to check violations of regulations. However, we do not act belatedly and take timely action”.



Commuters bear the brunt as shopkeepers block traffic
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
Hundreds of commuters were stranded after the angered shopkeepers, whose shops were sealed by the Municipal Corporation (MC), blocked traffic on the busy Ferozepore Road to mark their protest against the MC action.

What the law says

Those who blocked the road could have been booked under Section 283 of the IPC. Under this Section, these persons can be fined for Rs 200 each for causing danger, obstructing any public way or line of navigation.

The commuters were taken by surprise after the shopkeepers, along with some local politicians, squatted on the NH-95.

Caught in the chaos, the police quickly imposed traffic diversion and diverted traffic to BRS Nagar.

But the move backfired, as it created chaos in Sarabha Nagar, BRS Nagar and Raj Guru Nagar areas.

The blocking of the road left the commuters fuming. They demanded strict action against the people for creating ruckus on National Highway.

“It is NH-95 and not a corridor of their house, where they could squat like a child, who has been denied a lollypop by his parents. My sister was suffering from severe pain in the hand and I was rushing her to a doctor, but I remained stuck in the traffic jam for nearly an hour. I pity those who need emergency medical care,” said Sanjeev Sharma, an exasperated commuter, who was stuck in the jam. Assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Raj Kumar was seen pacifying the crowd and requested it to lift the protest.

It was nearly after an hour that the shopkeeper lifted their dharna.

A senior police official, who was managing traffic, said, “It is always a tricky situation and we have to act accordingly. The tempers were high and shopkeepers were annoyed at the MC’s action. In such a situation, we could not book these shopkeepers for blocking the NH-95. If we did so, the shopkeepers would have gone on rampage and taken the law in their hands.”



Where buying porn is just kid stuff
Charu Chhibber/Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
With almost no check on the illegal porn trade in the city, the busy Clock Tower and nearby areas have become the hub of pirated pornographic material. The situation is so grim that buying “blue films” is literally child's play here.

Roaring trade

90% of all DVDs, CDs sold in the city are reportedly pirated. Estimated annual turnover of business:

Pornography Rs 3 cr

Pirated music Rs 3-4 cr

Pirated movies Rs 5 cr 

DVDs and CDs - both of the hard core and soft variety - and other sexually explicit material are selling openly with absolutely no check. What is worse is the fact that anyone can walk up to any of the legions of shops and makeshift kiosks set up on the roadside by small-time traders and buy any DVD or CD for as less as Rs 15. Besides DVDs and CDs, the traders also sell porn in pen drives and MP3 discs.

Shockingly, these traders do not even hesitate from selling pornographic material to young children.

The trade is particularly thriving in the stretch from Deepak cinema road to Bhadaur House, Mata Rani chowk, Clock Town, Chaura Bazaar, Field Ganj, Nau Lakha cinema road and other old city market areas.

Though the prints are not clear and have blurred images the DVDs and CDs sell like hot cakes. They are especially popular among the city’s migrant population and young people.

"On an average a shopkeeper in the Bhadaur House area alone sells over 500 porn CDs every month. It’s a big business in the city, pegged at around Rs 3 crore a year," said Ravinder Rangoowal, president of the Punjab Cultural Association. He estimated this figure after conducting an intensive survey of the CD market in the city.

Piracy is yet another menace widely prevalent in these areas. The trade is so well organized that operators manage to bring out DVDs and CDs of Bollywood movies within a day or two of their release and circulate them in the market for anything between Rs 15 and Rs 300.

Sources said the roadside sellers and shopkeepers download the latest movies from the Internet or record them on camcorders in theatres during their first initial runs and copy them on to CDs, which they sell at a much higher cost in the open market.

Notably, the police had in the past conducted several raids, including one following a tipoff from the Indian music industry to curb piracy.



Gangraped mother to move court for justice
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
A year after a 21-year-old married woman was gangraped and subsequently gave birth to a baby girl, the mother-daughter duo are forced to leave their house fearing social stigma.

Her daughter, born on November 23 last, came into this world when her mother had no clue about who her father was. Now, the baby and the victim mother have no option except leaving their house at Salem Tabri to avoid embarrassing questions.


Victim gangraped on Feb 23, 2010

Rape case registered against unidentified persons on March 2

A girl child was born on November 23, 2010

No one arrested so far

‘‘The moment I step out of the house with my daughter, my neighbours start whispering into each others ears. I can’t handle all this. So, I decided to leave the area and now staying with a relative,’’ she said.

While both are forced to live a traumatised life, the police is yet to arrest the accused. The victim is willing to get her child's DNA tested, but she alleged, the police was ready to match her DNA with the prime accused, but was mum on the rest of the youths, who were accompanying him.

With the police not taking action on her complaint, the woman, with the help of an NGO Women Justice and Equality, has now knocked at the doors of Punjab and Haryana High Court for justice.

The hapless woman, who had differences with her husband, was living separately with her parents at Salem Tabri, when she was allegedly gangraped by her brother-in-law and his five accomplices. ‘‘It was on February 23, 2010, that I got a call from my brother-in-law Abhi Soni that he wanted me to patch up with my husband. He called me at the railway line. When I reached there, I found several youths overpowering me. They raped me one after the other. I was in an unconscious state when my parents came looking for me. They took me to a hospital. I was shocked for two days and couldn’t speak,’’ she said. She had to make several rounds to the police station at Salem Tabri to get a case registered.

The case was finally registered on March 2, but so far the police has not arrested anyone.

Salem Tabri SHO Gurdev Singh said they had called the victim several times, but she never turned up to help the police in investigating the case. ‘‘We have summoned the family even today, but they didn’t turn up.”



Delay in providing info
PIO, APIO to pay Rs 1,000 as penalty
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
Following the lapse of more than three months in giving information under the Right to Information Act (RTI Act), the Punjab State Information Commission has ordered public information officer (PIO) and assistant public information officer (APIO) at Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital to pay penalty for the delay.

The State Information Commission has ordered the PIO, APIO and former APIO of the Civil Hospital to pay a penalty of Rs 1,000 each and has also ordered the department of health and family welfare, the public authority in this case, to pay Rs 5,000 as compensation to the appellant.

Rohit Sabharwal, president of Anti-Corruption and Crime Investigation Cell, a city-based NGO, had demanded information on the “biomedical waste disposal” from the authorities at the Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital.

The information request was made on April 8, 2010, and the information stood supplied on August 2, 2010 (after lapse of more than three months).

Similarly, another application was forwarded to the Civil Hospital on May 10, 2010 and the information stood supplied on November 12, 2010 (after lapse of more than six months).

Therefore, the appellant filed a case against the hospital authorities in the Punjab State Information Commission.

State Information Commissioner Kulbir Singh in his judgment dated February 10, 2011 stated that the public information officer (PIO) in the case, Dr US Sooch, who is also the respondent, was given an opportunity to show-cause why penalty under Section 20 be not imposed upon him and also why compensation be not awarded to the complainant under Section 19 (8) (b) vide order dated October 28, 2009.

The commissioner further stated that the perusal of the record discloses that Dr US Sooch, PIO-cum SMO; APIO, Dr Pradeep Sharma; and Dr JS Sallan, ex-PIO, who was PIO-cum-officiating SMO at the time of receiving the application, did not perform their duties under the RTI Act 2005 with proper care and caution.

The order also reads that the reply submitted by SMO is not satisfactory, thus facts and circumstances of the case justify the imposition of penalty upon Dr Jasbir Sallan, ex-PIO; US Sooch, current PIO; and Dr Pardeep Sharma, APIO.

Each one of the above officials will pay Rs 1,000 each as penalty.

The Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, has been ordered to ensure that this amount of penalty should be deducted from the salary of the officials and deposited in the treasury under the relevant head and proof thereof be produced before the commission on the next date of hearing, the order reads.

PIO Civil Hospital

Dr US Sooch, the Senior Medical Officer at Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital explained that the information request had been recieved prior to his taking charge last July. “We will abide by the orders of the State Information Commission and will give compensation to the appellant,” said Dr Sooch.



Pvt hospitals may open DOT centres
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
More than 100 doctors attended the district training programme followed by a CME under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP). The programme was organised by IMA, Ludhiana, at the IMA House.

Inaugurating the event, Dr JP Singh, Director, Health Services, Punjab, said the Punjab government was committed to control TB in the state and take effective measures in this regard. The project will provide impetus to the private health sector to join and participate in this National Public Health Programme of vital importance. Doctors working in private hospitals and clinics will be authorised to open DOT centres and provide free TB medicines and diagnostic aids to all the TB patients in the state.

Dr Kulwant Singh, president of the Ludhiana IMA said the CMEs were held to augment the efforts of the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) in achieving its goal to bring down the burden of TB in India. The objective is to improve access to the diagnostic and treatment services of DOTS and thereby improve the quality of care for patients suffering from Tuberculosis in the state.



Barricades pose threat to commuters
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
As open manholes and erratic parking by residents was not enough, the police is adding to the traffic hazards and putting life of commuters at risk by leaving barricades unattended on roads.

Such barricades were seen on the major city roads posing a threat to the lives of commuters.

Angered by the nuisance, the residents even reported the matter to the police, but to no effect.

Recently the traffic police put up a barricade outside Rose Garden. The barricade has been strategically placed on the curve that could not be anticipated by commuters.

A cop on the condition of anonymity said the barricades had become handy in nabbing the traffic offenders.

On the other hand, the commuters rue that the cops left this barricade unattended.

“What if someone rams into it and get hurt. Such a lackadaisical attitude, the cops are supposed to provide safety to the commuters, but instead they are putting their life at risk,” said Rishabh Khullar, a resident.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Wazir Singh said instructions had been given on regular intervals to the police station concerned to remove the barricades before leaving the place. “I would make sure the orders would be strictly implemented,” said the ACP.

Major tragedy averted

A major tragedy was averted after an overloaded truck rammed into a divider near the Bharat Nagar Chowk late last night.

Eyewitnesses said the driver of the over speeding truck could not locate the divider due to rain. The driver, who was reportedly injured, was rushed to a hospital.



Right under MC’s nose
Akal Garh market cries for attention
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
Despite being located in front of Municipal Corporation (MC) Headquarters at A Zone, more than 857 shopkeepers at Akal Garh market have to face a number of problems due to lack of civic amenities in the area.

The major problem faced by these shopkeepers is that of traffic congestion, which hampers their business.

Due to sheer mismanagement of traffic in and around the market area, shopkeepers find it tough to attract their customers despite wide range of products available for every class in this renowned market.

Shopkeepers thus have to bear huge losses every year, but no one bothers to look into the matter.

Besides, illegal parking of vehicles on road leading to the market and inside the market complex also adds to the confusion.

Though shopkeepers claim that a number of times they have asked the authorities concerned to look into the matter, but all in vain.

The multi-story parking constructed by MC for reducing traffic chaos in the area is near the market, but still people park their vehicles in the market due to which shopkeepers are a harassed lot.

The shopkeepers also alleged that they have been conducting their business from the past more than two decades, but MC is denying facilities to them by asserting that market is not in their record.

Besides, frequent choking of sewerage system due to lack of de-silting is another major problem faced by these shopkeepers.

Also, illegal encroachments inside the market complex give a lot of trouble to these shopkeepers. Even the efforts of MC to conduct sporadic drives in area for removing these encroachments had been half-hearted due to which desired results have not been there.

Shopkeepers rue that most of the time these uncovered manholes in the area around market also pose threat to the life of these shopkeepers, but MC staff has never bothered to mend its ways.

Shopkeepers also rue that they have been getting contaminated water from a long time, but despite complaints, no action has been taken so far. Shopkeepers are being forced to buy water from outside.

The web of loose wires in the area also poses a serious threat to the life of shopkeepers. The shopkeepers claimed that due to these wires there was a possibility of some mishap, but the authorities concerned have never bothered to pay attention.



Second-hand car bazaar to be shifted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
The second-hand car bazaar in Ludhiana will soon be driven out. The Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the shifting of the bazaar after eight weeks. Till then, it can function, but only on Sundays.

The directions by the Division Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Augustine George Masih came on a bunch of petitions. The matter was initially brought to the High Court’s notice after some traders filed a petition in the court in January 2009.

They had claimed congestion in the market due to the car bazaar, along with several private and government offices.

The High Court had earlier also made it clear that car dealers could display their vehicles in the bazaar on Sundays only. On working days, they should avoid trading in the market, as it affected the business of the shopkeepers.

The dealers, on the other hand, had contended that they had valid licenses to carry out the sale-purchase business. 



MC cold shoulders protesting sanitary workers
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
In a testimony to how insensitive the elected leaders are, Municipal Corporation (MC) Mayor gave a cold shoulder to the demands of agitating sanitary workers by passing from near them under heavy security cover without even hearing them.

The sanitary workers who have been protesting to get regular jobs in civic body had arranged a protest outside D Zone office of the civic body under the banner of Sangarsh Committee on Tuesday.

During the protest, the sanitary workers led by Hansraj Gaagat and Lovely Pal Dishwar said MC authorities were exploiting the sanitary workers by not considering their demands. They also said that despite promises, their interests were being ignored by officials concerned. It was during the protest only that MC Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura came down from his office.

As the Mayor came down, sanitary workers started raising their pitch against MC authorities. Though the Mayor waved at the workers, but didn’t bother to listen to their grievances. Observing the indifferent attitude of the Mayor, sanitary workers then raised slogans against him.

Soon after, Gaagat said the Mayor had no sympathy for common man. He also said it was a clear indication that Mayor was not interested in regularising the poor workers.

Despite repeated attempts, Mayor was not available for comments.



Farmers apprised of trends in dairy industry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
The 15-day dairy farming training camp for farmers in Punjab and neighbouring states in the department of veterinary and animal husbandry extension education, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), with the theme “Adopt dairy farming for the progress of Punjab” concluded here today.

Dr RS Sahota, course co-ordinator, advised all the outgoing farmers and discussed the importance of dairy farming. He stressed upon the record keeping of dairy farming and especially on the issue of raising of calves born in dairy farms for breed improvement.

Dr HK Verma, head, department of veterinary and animal husbandry extension education, interacted with farmers and dealt with their queries.

He explained in detail about value addition of dairy products, the current and future scenario of dairy industry. Further, Dr Verma advised them to keep high yielding dairy animals in their herds. He said technical input to construct cheap and comfortable sheds for animals had been provided to farmers.

Dr Navdeep Singh and Dr Simrinder Singh Sodhi were technical co-ordinators. Dr Navdeep said farmers were trained to differentiate between healthy and sick animals.



‘Ornamental fish farming a way to financial gains’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
“Ornamental fish farming is an activity which not only provides aesthetic pleasure to a fish keeper, but also give an easy way to financial gains,” stated Dr Asha Dhawan, Dean College of Fisheries, GADVASU.

She said the growing popularity of aquarium fish had resulted in a steady increase in global trade. The trade with a turnover of $5 billion and an annual growth rate of 8 per cent offered a lot of scope for development.

To cater to the demand of the state, the department of aquaculture, College of Fisheries, GADVASU, organised a one-day training programme on culture and breeding of ornamental fish and fabrication of aquarium.

About 30 farmers from various villages of district Bathinda attended the training. Dr Asha Dhawan said in India, the domestic ornamental fish market was worth Rs 500 million. “The activity has a potential to create substantial job opportunities and the rural women and housewives can be trained to uptake this as an enterprise,” said Dr Dhawan.

In Punjab a wide range of ornamental fish was available but most of these were being supplied from other parts of the country like Kolkata and Chennai, Dr Dhawan added.

As the environmental conditions in the state were quite conducive for culture and breeding of ornamental fish, ornamental fish culture could be developed as a lucrative enterprise in the state. Dr Vaneet Inder Kaur, assistant scientist (fisheries), gave a demonstration on various culture and management practices such as rearing, feed management, water quality management and health management.



A date with sarod maestro
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
“I was nurtured with music right from the time of my birth and started sarod recital at the age of four under the guidance of my grandfather late Bibhuti Ranjan Majumdar and father late Ranjan Majumdar,” shared Pandit Tejendra Narayan Majumdar, the noted Sarod player.

Reaching across students with his power-packed performance during the “concert” organised at DAV Public School under the aegis of Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth (SPIC MACAY), Pt Majumdar termed Sarod as one of the most dynamic instruments.

“The masculine quality of sarod when combined with its unique receptiveness makes it the best medium for expression of varied moods,” elaborated the artiste. Overwhelmed by the “jugal bandi” between Pt Majumdar and tabla maestro Ustad Akaram Khan, the students termed today’s recital as “out of this world”, “mesmerising” and “exhilarating experience”. But it was the honest confession of a Class VIII student referring to the performance as “truly inspiring”.

A disciple of internationally acclaimed Sarod artiste, Ustad Bahadur Khan, Pt Majumdar accredits his “guru” for his success adding, “I was not allowed to give any performance till the age of 20, as Ustad Ji felt that an early exposure to success was a hindrance in the learning process.”

Therefore, I performed at the age of 20 in the AIR competition and was conferred with the President’s Award for the same, the artiste said.

Recollecting his unforgettable moments, Pt Majumdar narrated an episode from his performance in Switzerland wherein a person interrupted the concert, as he started banging his head into the wall.

When asked by an interpreter, the person said the intensity of the music had become an “emotional haunting” that made him relive the torture that his forefathers had undergone at the hands of the Nazis. 


Made from teakwood, sarod has goatskin stretched over the sound box and a hollow neck covered with metal. The firm and clear tones of Sarod make it a suitable instrument for enlivening the mind and body. Out of 25 strings, four are for playing melody and 15 are resonance strings. Sarod has no frets and is played by pressing the fingernails onto the metal plate, which has become a craze for youngsters the world over as is evident from the number of young Australian, English, Japanese and German pupils training under Pt Majumdar.



Calligraphy exhibition ends
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
On the penultimate day of the calligraphy exhibition “Aneeq” by Kamaljeet Kaur at Gallery Artmosphere, internationally acclaimed Indian painter Sidharth made his presence last evening.

Appreciating the artworks, Sidharth said Kamaljeet had created beautiful calligraphic works through her bold and elegant strokes. “Looking at the works, I can feel the energy flowing through them,” he added.

Sidharth, who is known for his excellent calligraphic works, said Chinese artistes have mastered this art well and one needs to study them to achieve precision.

“Our own second Sikh guru Guru Angad Dev was a great calligraphy artiste, who created the beautiful Punjabi alphabets,” Sidharth added.

An elated Kamaljeet said she started calligraphy, as she was inspired by the works of Sidharth. “His visit to the exhibition is a blessing for me,” she said. The nine-day exhibition, which attracted people from all walks of life, concluded today.



Rain showers relief for farmers
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
Intermittent rains in the past 24 years may have disrupted the normal life in the city, but farmers in the region feel happy, as rains during this time are beneficial for their standing wheat crop.

Due to rains the maximum temperature of the city dipped by almost 4-5 degrees in the past 24 hours and experts forecast that the weather will remain cloudy with scattered rainfall around the region.

Assistant agro-meteorologist at PAU Dr KK Gill said the weather trends were similar like last year. About 35 mm of rainfall was recorded in February, which was within the normal limits. “These rains are good for wheat and vegetable crops. In case there are strong winds or hailstorm accompanied with rains, then farmers have every reason to worry about, but so far there is no need to worry,” she said adding that fall in temperature was another positive sign for crops.

The maximum temperature of the day came down to 16.8 degree, which was above 21 degree yesterday, while minimum temperature is hovering around 12 degree. “We are expecting that temperature will further fall in the coming days,” said Dr Gill.

Besides farmers, rains brought cheer among couples enjoying Valentine’s Day last evening. Love-birds were seen enjoying the rains at Sarabha Nagar market, Ferozepur road, Ghumar Mandi, Model Town etc.

Meanwhile, drivers of two-wheelers had to face problems due to water-logging on the city roads. The muddy roads made it difficult for pedestrians to pass-through. College students had fun enjoying rain on their campuses.



Cops to honour elderly duo who foiled robbery bid
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
Piara Singh and Shawinder Singh Whenever hardened criminals are nabbed the police force never forgets to pat its back, but now the Khanna cops have been forced appreciate the exemplary show of bravery by two men in their sixties - Piara Singh and Shawinder Singh - who thwarted a robbery attempt that led to the arrest of two armed suspects.

The robbers stole a car belonging to a doctor in the city’s Shastri Nagar’s locality and later robbed and shot a youth in Jodha village Monday evening. They were apprehended while trying to commit a third robbery within 24 hours.

Khanna senior superintendent of police Dinesh Pratap Singh said: “Shawinder and Piara both deserve a bravery award as they have done a commendable work. By nabbing the hardened criminals the duo has not only shown exemplary courage but have also done a great service to society. The suspects might have committed more robberies if they had not been apprehended by the two.”

Sources said the police plans a small function to honour the brave duo. Besides, Piara and Shiwinder will be honoured at a state level function on August 15 later this year. The ‘panchayats’ of Landha, Seelo and Tibba villages also plan to honour the two sexagenarians for their bravery.

The incident took place Sunday morning when Shawinder, a resident of Tibba, along with his brother-in-law, Piara, a retired ‘subedar’ and currently residing abroad, were headed for Seelo in a SUV in connection with working out a land deal. On the way they encountered three men, one of whom indicated at the duo’s vehicle and requested for a lift. When Shawinder stopped the vehicle, the youth approached it and told the two elderly men their SUV had developed a technical snag and they needed help.

As Shawinder alighted from the vehicle to check the fault one of the assailants sitting on the co-driver’s seat pulled out a pistol and pointed it at the former. The suspects then asked Shawinder and Piara to hand over whatever cash and valuables the two were carrying with them.

Sensing trouble Piara handed over the cash, but that was not the end of it - the suspects wanted the vehicle too. In the meantime, one of the assailants who was carrying the pistol approached Piara and asked him to step down from the vehicle. The latter quickly jumped on the armed assailant while Shawinder nabbed another assailant, who had a sword.

The attacker tired to shoot at Piara but the pistol failed to go off, following which the assailant hit the pistol on Piara’s head. The duo raised an alarm, following which area residents gathered at the scene.

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

All three assailants were in their mid-20s. While two of them, identified as Hardeep Singh and Balwinder Singh, both residents of nearby Batari village, are now in police custody, the third who is on the run is reported to be a resident of Abdullapur Basti, Ludhiana.

Piara sustained injuries during the fight and was rushed to a hospital.



430 examined at medical camp

Ludhiana, February 15
Heart Beat Diagnostics and Didar Hospital, Gill Road, organised a free medical check-up camp here on Sunday. A total of 430 patients of high blood pressure, heart diseases and sugar (diabetes mellitus) were examined and free investigations like ECG, blood tests and free medicines were distributed among the needy patients.

The camp is organised to create awareness on increasing problems of heart diseases and emphasis was made on regular and timely complete health and heart check ups.

Many patients at the camp got echocardiography, TMT, USG and CT coronary angiography done at concessional charges. The hospital administration also announced to organise more camps in the future for the benefit of poor and needy patients.



Property Dispute
Couple held for killing brother

Jagraon, February 15
In a shocking incident, a 40-year-old man was allegedly killed by his elder brother at his house in Baraich village near Gurusar Sudhar last night.

The accused was assisted by his wife in the crime.

According to villagers, the incident took place at about 9 pm last night. The victim has been identified as Avtar Singh (40), while the accused as Harbhajan Singh and his wife Surjit Kaur.

As per information, both brothers were indulged in a property dispute. On the night of the incident, both brothers had a heated argument over the issue, following which the elder brother and his wife attacked Avtar and beaten him up.

According to the police, the accused beat Avtar with hockey sticks and baseball bats and then attacked him with a sharp-edged weapon, which eventually resulted in his death. The victim was found dead in his house this morning, said the police.

Giving details, Sudhar police station SHO Gagandeep Singh stated that while Harbhajan claimed that the disputed property belonged to him, Avtar, on the other hand, was of the view that the disputed land was the ancestral property and therefore he had equal share in the property.

However, the case in the property dispute is under trial in a court. Meanwhile, the police has registered a case under Section 302 of the IPC against Harbhajan Singh and wife Surjit Kaur on the statement of deceased mother Nahar Kaur and started investigation.

The body of the victim was handed over to the relatives after conducting a post-mortem. Both accused have been arrested and the investigation is on, added Gagandeep. — TNS



Rural sports mela concludes
Our Correspondent

Samrala, February 15
A three-day rural sports mela organised by the Malwa Sports Association, Samrala, concluded at Malwa College Bondli Stadium.

Eight top kabaddi academies participated in the tournament out of which Baba Bachan Singh Academy, Dirba, came first by defeating DAV College, Jalandhar, and was awarded Rs 71,000.

In bullock cart races, Sukhwinder Singh came first and won the top prize motor cycle. In the open village kabaddi category, the team of village Otalan stood first by defeating Balion village.

In athletics 100m for boys, Ajay tondon got first position and Hans Raj came second. In 100m race for girls, Kulwinder Kaur of Hoshiarpur stood first, while Jaspreet of Mal Majra came second.

In weightlifting 69 kg category, Gurpreet Singh of Ludhiana came first and Hardeep Singh of Gurdaspur was second. The tournament was inaugurated by association president Malkit Singh Dhillon and Paton MLA Jagjivan Singh Khirnia and prizes were distributed by Mandi Board chairman Ajmer Singh Lakhowal and SSP Khanna DP Singh.



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