L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Civic body bends to political pressure
LIT trustee’s name left out in police complaint
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 17
Two days after a trustee of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust, Gurinderpal Singh ‘Pappu’, defied the municipal corporation that had launched a drive to seal shops in residential areas, MC officials backed out in stating his name in their complaint filed with the police. Bowing to political pressure, civic body even appeared to be desperate to save his skin, mentioning only unidentified people in its complaint instead of stating their names.

Gurinderpal, who is also a senior SAD(B) leader, had openly violated the law by breaking the seals on unauthorized shops in Randhir Singh Nagar only minutes after they had put up by the MC staff. He had posed before TV and newspaper photographers’ cameras while breaking the seals, a move that drew sharp criticism from various quarters.

However, it appears civic officials are wary of initiating any action against Gurinderpal due to his senior position in the party ruling the state. This was evident on Thursday when MC officials, under pressure from the public, recommended FIR against the people who have broken the seals of civic body but didn't state the LIT trustee’s name in the complaint.

In a letter written to the Sarabha Nagar police station house officer, MC senior town planner Balkar Singh Brar had written some people had broken the seals put by the corporation on unauthorized commercial buildings in residential area and serious action should be taken against them. In an attempt to evade any responsibility the MC officials just attached the clips of various newspapers that had reported the event on that day so as to 'facilitate' the police in identifying the suspects.

This was despite of fact that the police was itself a spectator to whole incident that took place in front of them. Sources close to the civic body said SAD leaders had put tremendous pressure on civic officials to “save” Gurinderpal from the matter because in election year the leaders do not want any sort of trouble for their workers.

On the other hand, Brar, when contacted, said: “There was no pressure on us. We haven’t named anyone in the complaint as there were a large number of people involved in breaking the seals put by the MC on unauthorized shops. However, for the benefit of the police, we’ve attached newspaper cuttings of the incident along with our complaint”.


MC seals building
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 17
Officials of the building branch of the Municipal Corporation (MC) sealed a building in the Krishna Nagar locality of the city today after receiving complaints from residents that commercial activity had been going on in the residential area.

According to available information, residents of the locality had lodged a complaint with the MC officials that a guest house in the residential area was carrying out commercial activity due to which they had to face a lot of problems.

In their complaint, the residents had alleged that as marriages and late-night parties take place in the guest house, they had to face a lot of inconvenience.

The residents also rued that already a mobile tower had been installed on the building and now the owner of the building was trying to install another tower on the building, which would be dangerous to their health.

Acting on the complaint of residents, a team of the MC's building branch sealed the guest house this afternoon.



Has poor record in following up with FIRs
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 17
Though the Municipal Corporation (MC) authorities are making tall claims of getting an FIR registered against the trustee of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) who had broken the seals installed by the civic body staff on illegal buildings, the MC has a dubious track record in dealing with such matters of grave public importance in the past.

Whether it was missing of important files from its record, the highly publicised fake bill scam or cropping up of encroachments again on public land or checking pollution in Sidhwan Canal, the MC had never dared to get FIR lodged against the accused due to their strong political and administrative ties. Even FIRs lodged to check the polluting of Buddha Nullah in the city have also been very few due to which no effective check has been imposed on its pollution. Though some attempts have been made by the MC officials for getting FIRs registered against affluent persons for violating laws in the past, half-hearted approach adopted by them had resulted in sheer mess in the civic body.

The result of which is that in the absence of any punitive action, politicians and residents with links with high-ups have now openly started creating obstacles in public works. Not only this, despite major irregularities, the MC has never bothered to get booked its employees due to which they have been moulding rules to benefit their blue-eyed men, resulting in loss to the MC exchequer. Even top brass of the MC has also proved helpless in dealing with them, a testimony to which is that about two years ago, the then MC Commissioner GS Ghuman had recommended an FIR against officials of the Buildings and Roads (B&R) branch for removing an important file related to the covering of a drain from Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran to Shingar Cinema from the MC records.

But under political pressure, the FIR was never registered despite the fact that the MC had suffered a loss of Rs 1.5 crore in the project.

In another example, current MC Commissioner AK Sinha had also recommended an FIR against 11 of its key officials in the fake bill scam, where contractors had got excess payments, but that too is hanging fire. In the same manner, the reported announcement of Sinha regarding getting an FIR lodged against people encroaching public land after their much-publicised drive has never been implemented.



Collection agents robbed of Rs 2.5 lakh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 17
In yet another incident of robbery, five armed men snatched nearly Rs 2.50 lakh from two agents of a collection company near the Dholewal road last night. However, the police was not convinced by the statements of the collection agents and did not register the case so far.

The incident took place around 9 pm when Ajay, a resident of Gulchaman Gali, and Deepak, a resident of Gyaspura road, were returning on a motorcycle after collecting cash from the Mall road.

The duo was to deposit the cash at the collection company’s head office on the Dholewal road.

The duo told the police that when they reached near a petrol station, near Dholewal chowk, five assailants, who were covering their face, intercepted them and attacked them. The assailants snatched a bag containing Rs 2.50 lakh from Ajay and fled from the scene.

The duo raised an alarm and people gathered at the spot. Soon Assistant Commissioner of Police Naginder Rana reached the spot and started the investigation. However, the case was not registered.

Surinder Mohan, SHO, Division No 2, said: “The statements of both the victims do not match with each other, so we have decided to probe the incident afresh. We would get to the bottom of the case and nab the accused.”

Both Ajay and Deepak are working for MR Associates, which collects payment from all Vodafone offices in the city.



Three criminal gangs active
Mohit Khanna/TNS

Ludhiana, February 17
Three organized gang of criminals are currently operating in the city and cocking a snook at the security arrangements of the local police. This is not the first time such gangs have targeted the city that has also earlier been on the hit list of hard core criminals.

As the criminals are virtually having a free run and robbing residents at will, the cops appear to be groping in the dark. The robbers’ lack of fear for law enforcement agencies can be gauged from the fact that they do not hesitate to strike even during broad daylight in busy markets.

While one gang is targeting city shops selling mobile phones, another has become adept in carjacking. The third group of robbers attack collection agents. After committing spate of robberies these criminals go into hiding or target some other city, said a senior police official.

Cellphone thieves

The gang consisting two youths in their mid-20s targets only mobile phone stores. So far they have stolen over 200 mobiles, worth over Rs 10 lakh.

The gang members travel in a car. Their modus operandi is simple: while one member keeps a watch on the activity the other breaks open the shutter and enters the shop. The thieves only take mobile phones and leave the covers behind. Police division no 5 SHO Sandeep Wadhera, who is investigating a series of cellphone theft incidents, feels the gang members conduct a thorough recce of the place before committing the theft. The cops have managed to obtain their images on CCTV cameras but due, to the blurred images, the police could not establish the identity of the suspects.

According to the police, the mobile phone thieves are currently “in hibernation”. “They have pocketed enough money. I don’t think they will strike soon,” said a police officer when asked about the gang.

Sources close to the police said the stolen cellphones are later sold in Delhi at throwaway prices.

Recent strikes

  • Jan 28: Thieves struck at a mobile phone store in Ishmeet Chowk near Model Town and stole 70 handsets as well as Rs 50,000 in cash
  • Jan 30: In the second incident on Sunday, thieves struck at two mobile phone stores in Ghumar Mandi and on Ferozepur Road, respectively, and fled with 92 mobile phones
  • Feb 4: Thieves decamped with 42 mobile phones by breaking the locks of a shop located in Feroze Gandhi market

Notorious carjacking gang

The first case of carjacking was reported on December 24 last year when unidentified robbers took a Suzuki Swift car from a woman by force in Model Town while her husband was purchasing medicine from a chemist. The suspects fled with the vehicle after throwing the woman out.

In a similar incident the robbers again targeted a woman on February 3 while she was returning home after visiting a beauty salon. The incident took place on College Road when Babita Jain was approaching her vehicle. In the meantime two men, who were carrying pistols, arrived and took the car from her by force. She was thrown out from the moving vehicle on Hambra Road.

In an identical incident a man was robbed of his car and cash. He was carjacked from Pakhowal Road and was thrown out of the moving vehicle near Deepak Hospital in Sarabha Nagar on February 11. However, the police claim the gang was busted by the Doraha police. Seven robbers have been reportedly arrested and over five stolen vehicles recovered. The cops claimed it was the same gang that had carjacked a doctor at gunpoint in Shastri Nagar and later shot a young man in Jodha. They were nabbed by two elderly residents near Landha village on February 13.

Snatcher gang

The third gang, which was active in 2009, is said to comprise five youths in their mid-20s that targets employees of payment collection agencies. The gang members first robbed Vikram Sinha, an employee of CMS Securities on April 7, 2009. Robbers decamped with Rs 4.37 lakh after throwing chilly powder in the eyes of Vikram while he was coming out from the Reliance World office.

After remaining in hiding for over a year the gang surfaced again on February 9 when two employees of a payment collection agency were robbed of Rs 2.45 lakh by four youths at Green Field near the Hero bakery on Pakhowal Road. The suspects fled with the cash kept in a bag after injuring the duo that were on their way to the agency office. The gang struck again Wednesday night and robbed Rs 2.5 lakh from two collection agents near Dholewal Road.



PAU book fair fails to woo readers
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Librarian upbeat

We are getting positive feedback from faculty and students. The venue was changed at the last moment as weather was not favourable. As far as references of books are concerned, we have asked deans/directors, faculty and even students to give references of books. The university has to purchase the books and it will purchase on the basis of references also. Despite being a holiday, we have asked students from various departments to visit it tomorrow

— JS Sangha, library-in-charge, PAU

Ludhiana, February 17
Exhibitors, who have displayed their books at a three-day book fair at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here, appear disgusted over the arrangements made by varsity authorities.

The exhibitors maintain that though the fair is being conducted for students, the main aim was to purchase books for the library of the university. Though exhibitors had brought with them plenty of material, references being made by faculty members were “too less”, which could not satisfy the former.

About 40 reputed publishers from places like Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi and Haryana are currently exhibiting books at PAU. Each exhibitor was asked to pay Rs 3,500 for putting up their stalls for three days. They were supposed to exhibit books on the ground outside MS Randhawa Library, but due to unpredictable weather, the stalls were shifted inside.

A local exhibitor, on the condition of anonymity, said: “We are not satisfied. The exhibition started at 2 pm yesterday. Besides, today was a half day and tomorrow is a holiday. We are getting a lukewarm response. We don’t expect many visitors tomorrow. Apart from Rs 3,500, we are paying Rs 90 for extra tables.”

Pawan Kumar, another exhibitor from Delhi, who has got books on agricultural science, bioscience, engineering, social-science and competition books, said: “We have come to know that organisers are to purchase books worth Rs 30 lakh for their library. But we don’t know anything about the fund allocation and which department has to purchase how many books.”

“The references are to be made by teachers/faculty members, but their attendance in fair is too thin. If we tell organisers, they ask us to go to departments and pull faculty members. But this is certainly not our job,” he rued.

Another exhibitor from Ansari Road, New Delhi, CS Dahiya also said the response was not overwhelming.

“This is one of the most important agricultural universities in the country. We have got plenty of material, but the response is not as per our expectations,” he said.

The three-day exhibition, meanwhile, was inaugurated by PAU VC Dr MS Kang here yesterday.



Reading habit missing among students
Shivani Bhakoo/TNS

Ludhiana, February 17
Though the PAU has organised a three-day book fair on its campus mainly to attract the students towards books, the enthusiasm among the agricultural students for reading or even having a look at the books on various subjects was missing. The Tribune spoke to at least 25 students in random, barring one or two, none of them could make it to the fair “due to shortage of time”.

A girl student, unaware about the fair said, “I thought books were to be displayed in these designated tents. But they were empty. I thought the fair was cancelled due to bad weather. I did not go to the changed venue near the cycle stand.”

While a BSc agriculture student, accompanied by her four friends, said: “I wanted to visit (the fair), but we could not spare time. The syllabuses are too vast that you hardly get time for other reading material.”

Another student said it was a half day today and a holiday at the campus tomorrow. He said he may not get time to visit the fair. On being asked whether he was interested in reading books, he said, “I am an average student, who believes in studying the course-curriculum. Apart from it I prefer to watch movies and freak out with friends. I am not into reading,” he said.

The president of the Punjab Agriculture University Students Association, Ravinder Singh Randhawa, when asked about the thin attendance of students at book fair, said: “About 10 per cent of students visit these book fairs. Few are interested in reading books on variety of subjects. Majority of students keep themselves busy studying the course material. The students are more focussed towards syllabus-books rather than wide range of other literature,” he said.



Yet another tale of dejection, greed
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service


It makes no offence: DSP

DSP, Raikot, Pithipal Singh, said no offence was made out on the basis of the girl’s complaint. The families had got together and done the engagement and if one of the parties was not interested in going ahead with the marriage, the police could not do anything about it. When the DSP was told that demanding dowry makes an offence before or after the marriage, he said there was no mention of them seeking dowry in her complaint. He said her fiance did not want to marry her as he found he would not be able to get along well with her. ‘‘What can we do about it?’’ he asked.

‘Offenders can be booked’

Lok Bhalai Party leader BS Ramoowalia said desertion after engagement makes out an offence as it amounts to breach of trust, social agreement and breach of commitment for marriages, cheating and threatening and can be booked under Sections 406, 403, 420, 506 and 499 of the IPC. ‘‘Even if it was just an engagement, does it mean she has forfeited her right to justice?’’ he asked.

Ludhiana, February 17
For more than two years she dreamt of a happy married life with her Italy-based NRI fiance after falling in love following an elaborate engagement ceremony. But her dreams were shattered, when her fiance married another woman back home, leaving her in the lurch.

Manpreet Kaur, a 24-year-old girl from Jhorran village in Raikot, became yet another victim of NRI fraud, when her fiance, Manjit Singh, hailing from Barmi village, married another woman on January 23 after all her SOS calls to the Raikot police fell on deaf ears.

Daughter of a marginal and elderly farmer, Manpreet, who is a graduate, was spurned because her father could not concede to her in-laws’ demand of Rs 10 lakh.

Manpreet was engaged to Manjit on July 8, 2008, following the intervention of a relative. Her family spent Rs 2 lakh after pledging their piece of land on the engagement ceremony as the groom's family wanted it a pompous affair. ‘‘I was made to dress as a bride wearing the ‘‘choora’’ (wedding bangles) so that he could apply for my immigration to Italy. I was made to believe I was married to him, ’’ she said.

‘‘After a year, the boy started telling me that his mother had got another proposal and that the family was willing to pay Rs 10 lakh. He asked me if I could arrange for this kind of money if I wanted to marry him.

Then three months ago, his calls stopped. I learnt from my source that he was getting engaged to another woman on January 22,’’ she added.

Her fiance finally married another woman, leaving her dejected and broken, her mother a psychic and her family to fight with the stigma.

‘‘I do not want to live. I will commit suicide in front of Raikot DSP's office because he never took my complaints seriously,’’ she said while crying bitterly.

Her elderly and frail father made several rounds of the Raikot police, but to no avail.

Following the jolt after seeing their daughter rejected because of their inability to arrange Rs 10 lakh, her mother has lost her mental balance and talks to herself throughout the day.

‘‘We have not cooked properly at our house since then. I am a nowhere woman. I have only brought grief to my parents. My father is so shocked that I am scared of losing him now. I wake up in the midnight to see if he is still alive. This is the state we are passing through,’’ she said while narrating her tale to Lok Bhalai Party leader Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, whom she met in the city today.



Women jail inmates get tips on making ginger powder
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 17
Female inmates of the Ludhiana Women Central Jail today tried their hands on garlic and ginger making powder technology during the training programme on food processing conducted by the Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) on the jail premises. More than 80 women inmates took part in the training programme.

Notably, the CIPHET has initiated one-and-half-year long training programme for women jail inmates and a total of 18 trainings sessions would be conducted during this period.

The training programme has been specially designed keeping in mind the utility for women prisoners and aimed at generating self-employment after they are released from the jail.

Dr Devinder Dhingra, senior scientist at CIPHET, explained process of making powder from ginger and garlic and their potential for converting them into business.

“Ginger and garlic could also be dried in ordinary sunlight in two to three days in summers,” he said, adding that process get accelerates when carried out in solar dryers, which has almost negligible running cost. “In 2007, we had conducted training programme for a group of women from Bihar. Now they have started generating income by selling garlic/ginger powder in packets,” he added.

"We are ready to provide complete seven-day training to prisoners, if they want to run their own business after the completion of their sentence,” said Dr Deepak Raj, head, transfer of technology division, said. He said many government agencies might also help them in finance of their training programmes and thereafter in establishing their units.

Senior scientist Dr Sangeeta Chopra took feedback from jail inmates and also distributed them written material in Punjabi. Jail superintendent Sukhwinder Singh said such programmes would go a long way in transforming the lives of prisoners. Deputy Jail superintendent Snehjot Dhawan urged CIPHET scientists to conduct more training programmers keeping in mind the interest of women prisoners.



Knitwear Club seeks zero import duty on textile machinery
Tribune News Service

Withdraw anti-dumping duty

The import duty on acrylic fibre (raw material) used in hosiery and textile should be slashed and anti-dumping duty should be completely withdrawn.

— Vinod K Thapar, president of the Knitwear Club

Ludhiana, February 17
The Knitwear Club has said if the government sincerely wants the textile industry to grow and to remain competitive globally, it should consider some points suggested by the club in the forthcoming Union Budget.

Giving suggestions, Vinod K Thapar, president of the Knitwear Club, said the government introduce zero import duty on the textile machinery as in Bangladesh. He said that Bangladesh was buying yarn from India and was giving the Indian textile industry tough competition in the world markets. He said India should also introduce zero import duty structure for the computerised knitting machines.

He said the Technology Upgrdation Fund Scheme (TUFS) had been abandoned midway. The same should to be re-introduced immediately in the original form as the policy was valid till 2012 and the industry had planned the expansions accordingly. Also, from the allotted funds for TUFS, minimum 50 per cent should be kept reserved for the SME sector as the bigger and organised units take maximum benefit out of it and till the time SMEs get ready after documentation, funds lapse, he said.

Besides, he said, the import duty on acrylic fibre (raw material) used in hosiery and textile should be slashed and anti-dumping duty should be completely withdrawn. The income tax exemption limit should also be raised to Rs 3 lakh, he added.

Presently, the identification and declaration of sick micro and small unit is with the banks. It has been experienced that normally banks do not take timely steps to identify sickness in the micro and small units, said Thapar. When the defaults are heavy, the banks prefer to file suit against the unit for recovery. It perhaps makes the bank safe on paper. The bank is not concerned about the future of the unit and not very keen in detailed diagnosis of the case. Hence it is necessary that the identification should be done by a separate agency, added Thapar.



Dengue, Malaria-affected villages
Civil hospital well stocked, equipped: Health officials
Anshu Seth/TNS

Situation Reviewed

"I have reviewed the situation in Ludhiana district and will submit the report to the headquarters in New Delhi. The problems have been assessed and a list of the same will also be submitted to the authorities so as to ensure speedy action"

Dr KS Gill, joint director, National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme

Ludhiana, February 17
Taking serious note of 2,120 dengue and 319 malaria cases that surfaced in Ludhiana in 2010, a team of officials from the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), New Delhi, and the department of health and family welfare, Punjab, visited Laddowal and Bagga Khurd villages in the Koomkalan block, the disease prone areas in the district, today.

Dr KS Gill, joint director, National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, said deaths due to the dengue outbreaks in the city were a matter of grave concern.

With repeated outbreaks and increase in the number of positive cases, the district has been declared as the vector-borne disease prone area in the state, Dr Gagandeep Singh, state epidemiologist, who accompanied Dr Gill to these villages, stated.

But we have formulated a plan to check the vector borne diseases in the state, including Ludhiana, wherein the health department has been given ample supply of the larvicide’s and insecticides. “The larvicide’s and the insecticides provided to the anti-larvae wings are colourless and odourless. They are completely safe and have no side effects,” he added.

The officials further stated that Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital was one out of the six main surveillance centres in the state and was catering to people from Moga and Ferozepur districts also. The civil hospital is equipped to carry out the tests for confirmation of the vector borne diseases and it also has a cell separator to provide platelets.

Pointing towards the role of the private hospitals, the duo said “It is important for the people to know that they don’t need to spend Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 for getting platelets at private hospitals. They can get one unit for Rs 750 in the civil hospital.”

Further contesting the claims of the private hospitals pertaining to the “quality kits” used for giving platelets, the officials said the health department was procuring the kits recommended by WHO from National Institute of Virology, Pune.

However, when asked about the “lack of cooperation” on the part the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, the state epidemiologist said now “denial” on the issue of health was out of question and the state government would ensure this through implementation of urban bylaws.



Drugs, easy weapons keep cops on toes
Mahesh Sharma


Suspects admitted that they were apprehended by the police on numerous occasions. But elected representatives from their respective areas helped them in getting out on bail. They had to purchase new pistols every time they were caught

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 17
While drug addiction has emerged as major factor behind increasing involvement of youth in nefarious activities like robberies; shielding of facilitators of criminals by politicians has been frustrating the police since long. Easy availability of weapons, including country-made pistols has further compounded the problem.

Most of the accused, booked under various sections of the IPC and the Arms Act, were addicted to drugs and narcotics.

Though the police had caught many of them, political interference had been stopping the police from taking any action against facilitators like businessmen, who had been purchasing stolen and snatched valuables. Politicians had been vouching for bailing out criminals booked for committing heinous crime even.

Ajmer Singh of Bhojowal under the Adampur police station, Roshan Lal of Tibbi Mohalla, Phagwara, and Kulbir Singh of Hoshiarpur, who had robbed Rakesh Shahi of the local town at pistolpoint near Kalakh village on August 21, 2010; admitted having committed many robberies while under affect of some drug or narcotic.

“We don’t remember details of the robbery committed near Kalakh as we were in an inebriated condition on that occasion as well. We remember selling the jewellery snatched from this man and his family for Rs 92,000 to a jeweller of Jalandhar Cantonment,” said the suspects while admitting that the jewellery was worth more than Rs 3 lakhs.

A legislator had threatened to stage a dharna against the police when cops tried to apprehend the jeweller, who had purchased stolen ornaments from the accused. The jewellery, which belongs to Shahi is yet to be recovered from the accused.

Admitting that the police nabbed them on numerous occasions, the suspects disclosed that elected representatives from their respective areas had been helping them in getting the bail. The only difficulty they face after being caught is that they have to purchase new pistols every time.

A good quality country-made pistol is available for Rs 3,000 at Rampur in Uttar Pradesh.

However, procuring country-made pistols is not a difficult job for those plying between Punjab and eastern states of the country. Besides being sold by manufacturers and arms dealers these are easily available at roadside dhabhas and mechanical workshops situated along the highways.

A farmer of Jaspal Bangar village, who was booked for killing his married cousin sister some time ago, had also procured a country- made pistol from West Bengal when he was working as a truck driver.



Sacked teacher creates ‘ruckus’ in school
Accuses ‘corrupt’ management of firing her
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Director Abraham was aware of the prevalent corruption but he never objected. I’ve been teaching in the school for the last two years and constantly been opposing the corruption prevalent within the school administration. I was being harassed as I refused to become a part of the corruption and finally tendered my resignation by giving a month’s notice

— Priya Simon, former vice-principal

Ludhiana, February 17
Furious at being forced to put in her papers, a female teacher along with students of the class 12 of CFC School reportedly created a ruckus in the school premises Thursday afternoon when the teacher came to the school along with her husband to meet the students for the last time. The latter, appearing shocked by her resignation, staged protest against the school management.

Soon senior students staged a ‘dharna’ (protest sit-in) against school director Dr D Abraham and principal Mary. The peaceful protest took an ugly turn when the students along with teachers allegedly began pelting stones and damaging school property.

Narrating the incident, Abraham said the teacher, Priya Simon, who was asked to go was teaching English to senior students for over a year. “She was holding the position of vice-principal and wanted to become the principal”, he added.

The problem began when Mary’s term as principal was further extended. "Ever since we’ve been having problems. She (Simon) is not eligible to become principal according to the CBSE rules. On Wednesday she submitted her resignation, which we accepted, and told her she would be relived from duties on February 19. But today she came to school and misbehaved with the school principal and created a ruckus. We’ve filed a complaint against her at the Sarabha Nagar police station," said Abraham.

On the other hand Simon categorically denied the allegations and accused the director and principal of “forcing” her to leave the school. She said she had resigned from the job as it was getting difficult for her to teach the students in “such a corrupt system”.

Simon went of to accuse the principal of being corrupt. "Director Abraham was aware of the prevalent corruption but he never objected. I’ve been teaching in the school for last two years and constantly been opposing the corruption prevalent within the school administration. I was being harassed as I refused to become a part of the corruption and finally tendered my resignation with a one month prior notice. When students of classes 10,11 and 12 came to know about my resignation they couldn’t control their emotions and protested against the school officials peacefully by standing outside the school. But Abraham came out of the school and started accusing me. and even made an insinuation about my character. I’m a dignified woman would never tolerated such remarks," said Simon.

On the other hand Abraham dismissed Simon’s allegations of corruption as “baseless”. “She concocted the stories as she fears police action for creating a ruckus in the school”, he added.



20 villages urge govt to clear its stand
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 17
Appreciating his stand in getting their long-pending demands accepted, residents of villages falling under reorganised Gill assembly segment have urged higher authorities, including Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to make public answers to questions on development of the area asked by Darshan Singh Shivalik, MLA, Dakha in the Assembly recently.

Dilapidated condition of a few link roads, laying of sewerage in colonies situated on outskirts of the city and inclusion of a few villages in the corporation’s limit, are some of the issues, which have been raised by the legislator.

Residents of about 20 villages falling under the Gill constituency have urged higher authorities, including the Chief Minister, Local Bodies Minister Manoranjan Kalia and Minister for Revenue Ajit Singh Kohar to make public answers to questions on various issues asked by Shivalik in the Assembly on February 1.

The legislator had been forced to ask the question after he failed to get demands of the public implemented.

“When was Jodhan- Narangwal road in Ludhiana district repaired last time? Is there any proposal to repair the road now? If yes, by what time will it be accomplished and if no, then what are the reasons?” Shivalik had dared to ask the question in black and white.



System for predicting late blight launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 17
The department of plant pathology, in collaboration with the department of agrometeorology, has developed a decision support system (DSS) for predicting late blight in potato, based on the duration of relative humidity at a range of temperatures.

After launching the system here today, university Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang said the farmers would find the facility useful in managing the disease, which was common in potato crop. He said the DSS was a need-based programme that would provide useful information to growers in undertaking timely and effective disease management of their crop.

Dr Kang said similar models for predicting crop yields would be required. He congratulated the inter-disciplinary team of scientists involved in developing the dynamic system for predicting the disease. He said the web-enabled support system would help in quick dissemination of information even to distant potato growers.



Auto parts manufacturers to form ‘E Club’

Ludhiana, February 17
The Federation of Auto Parts Manufacturers (FAPMA) has decided to form Auto Parts E Club under the Central Ministry's Scheme for promoting medium, small and micro enterprises. FAPMA president Surinder Singh Ryait and general secretary Jagtar Singh Bhambra stated this here recently.

Bhambra said ‘E Club’ (entrepreneurs club) would comprise the auto parts manufacturers only. This club would be formed under the Ministry of Medium, Small and Micro Entrepreneurs (MSME) scheme, which would function for the welfare and benefit of the industrialists. This club would be recognised and registered with the director of MSME Development Institute.

Ryait said only those units would be member who are manufacturing auto parts and have EM-II registration from District Industry Centre. Such members would be eligible for all benefits provided by the Government of India's Ministry of Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises.

Ryait said there were many schemes for ‘E Club’ members by the Government of India such as designing of products, industrial visits and participation in trade fares, sponsoring of industrial meetings, buyer-seller meet to encourage and develop the industrial set up. — TNS



DC office staff end stir
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 17
The two-day strike observed by 65 data entry operators maintaining land records and 15 workers involved in the the computerisation of revenue records was called off this evening. The data entry operators, who had not been paid their salaries for the past three months, had gone on an indefinite strike yesterday.

However, they called off the strike following a promise made by their employer (CMS) to pay their salaries this evening.

At the same time, the employees of Punjab Land Records Society (PLRS) have been asked by the state government to give a representation for the "regularisation" of their contractual jobs.

The office-bearers of the PLRS will soon document their terms and conditions which will be taken up by the state government followed by immediate action to regularise all 250 employees of the PLRS working across the state.



Treatment Plant
Association of electroplaters seeks grants
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 17
The Ludhiana Electroplaters Association has in a letter written to the chairman, Punjab Pollution Control Board, sought upgradation of CETP for electroplating industries at Focal Point, Phase-VII. Joginder Kumar, president of the association, said we had been directed to install the additional equipment /RO system, which is approximately worth Rs 2 crore.

The association has requested the Punjab Pollution Control Board to sanction grant for the equipment. In addition to this the present capacity of CEPT for electroplating industry is 2-lakh liters effluent per month and receives over 42 lakhs per month, he added.

“There is an urgent need to expand the present capacity of the CETP to 50 lakhs per month. The operator has to install the RO system with multiple evaporator system, for which the grant is essentially required,” he added.



Sarod maestro keeps audience spellbound
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 17
Pandit Tejendra Narayan Majumdar, the renowned Sarod player, and Ustad Akaram Khan, the tabla player, kept the audience spellbound during a concert organised at Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, under the aegis of the Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth (SPIC MACAY), today.

Narinder Singh Sidhu, principal of the college, said both talented artistes had made the entire atmosphere serene. The skill and ease with which they performed is unique in itself, he added. Dr Kuldip Singh, associate professor in political science, introduced the performers to the audience. Rampal, head of the music department, along with music buffs within and outside the college made their presence felt in the function. Sodia, former principal, Government College for Women, Balwant Singh Pangli, general secretary, college managing committee, and Jaswant Singh Gill, director, were among those present on the occasion.



Conference on Indian economy from today
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 17
The two-day UGC-sponsored national conference on “India an Emerging Service Economy: Issues and Challenges”, being organised by the post graduate department of commerce and business administration of Guru Nanak National College will begin tomorrow at the Dr Ishwar Singh Memorial Hall on the college campus.

Dr BS Bodla, Dean, University School of Management, Kurukshetra University, will be the chief guest, while the keynote address will be delivered by Prof Gagandeep Sharma, head, department of management studies, the BBSB College of Engineering and Technology.



NGO to honour enterprising women
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 17
Aadhar foundation will hold an award function for honouring enterprising women who have been excelling in their respective fields on March 6. The NGO has been organising this function for the past two years. These awards have been named “Naari Shakti Awards”.

Women from different fields like business, sports, entertainment, medical and journalism from Punjab, Delhi and Mumbai will be honoured during this function.



Gang of car lifters busted, 3 held
Mohit Khanna/TNS

Ludhiana, February 17
With the arrest of three persons, the city police has claimed to have busted an inter-state gang of car lifters, who used to steal vehicles from the city and further sell in other states at throwaway prices.

The accused have confessed to have been involved in 10 incidents of car thefts reported in the recent past. The accused were said to be experts in stealing Maruti 800 car. After lifting the vehicle, they used to sell it for mere Rs 15,000.

The accused have been identified as Satwinder Singh of Amritsar, Mandeep Singh of Payal and Vishal Kumar of Loraha road.

Satwinder is said to be the kingpin of the gang. He is wanted by Jalandhar and Amritsar police in connection of seven car-lifting cases.

Besides drill machine, the police has recovered fake stamps of the transport office of the Haryana government.

Giving details about the arrest, Davinder Kumar, SHO, division no 4, said the accused were nabbed following a tip-off.

The accused were travelling in a Maruti Omni van, which was stolen from Gyaspura road a few days ago. The accused had changed the number plate of the vehicle.

The SHO said Vishal was suffering from night blindness and could not see during the night. Vishal used to recce the place and identify the vehicles to be stolen. Further, Satwinder and Mandeep used to steal the vehicle at night.



Six arrested with illegal weapons
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 17
The district seems to have apparently become a hub of illegal weapons in the state with the police recovering three pistols, including one country-made pistol, from six persons arrested in this regard.

One person was arrested by the Payal police station and five others by the Samrala police in this regard. Mahinder Singh, SHO, Payal police station, stopped a black-coloured Skoda car at the Dum bridge. Manjinder Singh, who was driving the car, failed to present papers of the car. Manjinder was thoroughly frisked. A 9mm pistol of the US make along with four live cartridges was seized from him.

On being asked to present the license of the pistol, he showed the one prepared by a gun house in Chandigarh. It was found to be fake. The police took the car and the pistol in its possession. The suspect was arrested for further interrogation. Manjinder Singh and the owner of the gun house were booked under Sections 420, 465, 467, 468, 471 and 120 (B) of the IPC, Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms act and Section 207 of the Motor Vehicle Act.

Meanwhile, the Samrala police also claims to have seized two pistols along with a few sharp-edged weapons from five accused. Arvind Puri, SHO, Samrala police station, said five persons in an Alto car were arrested while they were planning to indulge in nefarious activity on the Chava road. A 30 bore pistol was seized from Rajdeep Singh and .315 bore country-made pistol was recovered from Gursharan Singh.Swords were seized from the other three accused, identified as Sumanjeet Singh, Talwinder Singh and Rajdeep Singh.

The accused admitted to have snatched one Scorpio car, one Swift car and Alto car from various places and sold one Safari car, one Indigo car and a tractor after stealing them. A case Sections 399 and 402 of the IPC and 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act was registered against the accused.



Annual Athletics Meet of Khalsa College for Women
Mandeep Kaur declared best athlete
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 17
Mandeep Kaur of BA I was declared the best athlete on the concluding day of the 50th Annual Athletics Meet of Khalsa College for Women, Civil Lines, here today. Ishwar Singh, Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana, presided over the function. Yurinder Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), was also present.

They were accorded a warm welcome by principal Dr Varinder Kaur Thind, the college managing committee, including Pritpal Singh Grewal, president, Khalsa Dewan, Dr SS Grewal, vice-president, Sudarshan Singh Deol, secretary, Khalsa Dewan, and students.

The guest of honour took the salute of the march past. The participants proved their mettle in various sports events, which included 200 m race, obstacle race, high jump, long jump, discus throw, shot put, javelin throw, chatti race and sack race.

The audience was mesmerised by the grand show put up by aerobics and taek won do team.

A magnificent exhibition was put up by the traffic education cell.

Giddha was presented before the audience and the chief guest announced the closing of the athletics meet. This humongous event ended with the beats of the National Anthem.



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