L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Manhole death: Boy’s dad also to blame, says probe
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
Dealing a double blow to a family that recently lost a seven-year-old member after he slipped into an open manhole in the city, the magisterial inquiry conducted by a senior district administration official has blamed the child’s father along with civic authorities and a privately run firm for the death.

The boy, Sujan, was killed after falling into the manhole near the Jalandhar bypass in January. After a mammoth protest by area residents who accused municipal corporation officials of negligence, the administration authorities had ordered the probe into the matter by subdivisional magistrate Prem Chand. Subsequently he conducted the probe by calling civic officials, representatives of the firm, SOMA, that has undertaken work to widen the National Highway 1 and even the deceased’s father. He had also visited the site of the mishap.

However, to the utter surprise of many, Sharma has in his inquiry report held the child’s father, Satpal, responsible for the death of his son along with officials of the civic body and SOMA. He has pointed out that to much extent MC staff has been responsible for mishap because they had not replaced manholes that had been broken.

Sharma said SOMA officials also had to share the blame because they had displayed “callousness” by not cordoning off the entire road where construction was going on, due to which, according to him, the accident took place.

However, the most amazing part of the report is that Sharma also fixed responsibility on Satpal for his son’s death by asserting he had taken the vehicle on a road where construction work was still going on and that was not fit for vehicles.

“Satpal had used the road as a shortcut for reaching his home, which he shouldn’t have done. So the onus of the mishap lies on Satpal also”, Sharma wrote in his report.


Grief gives way to anger
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Satpal Gaba, father of the deceased boy, breaks down
This can’t be happening: Satpal Gaba, father of the deceased boy, breaks down. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, March 8
Anger has taken over the grief of parents of 7-year-old Sujan, who died after falling into an open manhole, after the magisterial probe conducted by SDM Prem Chand indicted the boy’s father, Satpal Gaba, for commuting on an under construction road that eventually killed his son.

Sujan died on January 30 after falling in an open manhole on the National Highway-I near the Jalandhar bypass here. The administration had ordered a magisterial probe into the case.

“It is a cruel joke on us. We are yet to come to terms with the reality. And they are behaving like that with us. We are not able to sleep at night and his face haunts us throughout,” said Satpal.

He said it was a bolt out of the blue for them as they lost their beloved son due to the carelessness of the MC authorities and now they were held guilty of his death.

“I have not been able to forget the incident. We are not able to eat properly. My wife does not talk much after the tragedy. I lost my child and now I am a culprit,” he said, breaking down.

Asking for a severe punishment for officials who were responsible for the uncovered manhole, he said: “They sit in their AC offices and do not know what it means for a poor man to lose his child to an open manhole. It shatters you completely. But how will they know?” he asked.

“We cry in the morning. We cry at night. That is how our days are spent. We cannot forget him. He was my youngest and beloved son,” he said.



Probe report, a mere eyewash?
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
The magisterial probe into the manhole case seems to be a mere eyewash as on the one hand the government had given compensation to the boy’s family who died after falling into an open manhole, but on the other hand, the indictment of the father of the boy seems to be a tactic to close the case of the negligence of the MC authorities.

After seven-year-old Sujan died, the Deputy Commissioner (DC) had recommended a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the family, realising that it was a lapse on the part of the Municipal Corporation.

Acting swiftly, the government had released the grant to Satpal, father of the deceased, on February 25. The MC also suspended some of its officials who were supposed to monitor manholes. The police, too, held representatives of SOMA company, undertaking the expansion of the particular road, responsible for the mishap and booked them for it.

But the probe report which was expected to make persons accountable for the incident, proved to be eyewash. The inquiry officer, Prem Chand, a PCS officer, stated that it was not the fault of the authorities alone, but also held the father of the child responsible for his death since he chose a shortcut to go to his house.

But legal experts say that this could not be made an offence against him since it is common for people to take roads under construction as massive development works are going on in the city. This does not make them offenders.

Though the officer maintained that MC officials were responsible for the boy’s death as they failed to monitor broken manholes and officials of SOMA were responsible as they had not cordoned the road and not informed the civic body about the manhole. But he has not recommended any action against them. He has only recommended it for the consideration of his senior, who has further referred it to the Police Commissioner for necessary action.

Nowhere in the report has accountability been fixed on anyone.



Safai karamchari as invigilator!
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 8
If the orders of a superintendent in the Punjab School Education Board are to be obeyed in letter and spirit, a safai karamchari at Government High School in Saraud village, near here, will be supervising the forthcoming board examinations at Government Senior Secondary School, Jitwal Kalan.

Though Hans Raj, a safai karamchari, is jubilant after he got the orders directing him to join duties as a supervisor at Government Senior Secondary School, the authorities at both schools are shocked to receive the communication.

Saying that a safai karamchari was not authorised to perform the duties of an invigilator, the authorities at the Saraud school maintained that Hans Raj had not been relieved yet.

The headmaster Gurmel Singh has brought the discrepancy to the notice of the PSEB authorities. Appropriate action will be taken after receiving the amended orders in this connection, officials maintained.

Not only this, several teachers have been directed to join duties at more than one centres during the examination days. Sarabjit Kaur, posted at Government Senior Secondary School, Kothala, has been directed to perform duties as a supervisor at Government Girls Senior Secondary School and Islamia Girls School, both in Malerkotla.

Sarabjit Singh, a lecturer in the same school, has been appointed supervisor at SDP Senior Secondary School and another school at Jamalpura in Malerkotla. Two schools in Phallewal and the local town have been allotted the same lecturer from Government Senior Secondary School, Kothala. The heads of the schools concerned claim to have brought the matter to the notice of the officials in the examination branch of the board in Mohali.

Not pleased

Though Hans Raj, a safai karamchari, is happy with the orders directing him to join duties as an exam supervisor at Government Senior Secondary School, the school authorities are shocked to receive such a communication.



Irregularities in registration certificates
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
With the Deputy Commissioner (DC) detecting serious irregularities in the making of registration certificates at the Suvidha Centre of the District Administrative Complex, the work by hired private staff has came under the scanner.

According to information, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari had received a tip-off that more than 100 applications for registration certificates of vehicles had been entertained by the private staff.

The DC had issued directions that all copies would be received in person and not through any agents. After a preliminary inquiry, it was established that the employees had tampered with the password of the server to “entertain” the applications.

Consequently, the Deputy Commissioner handed over the inquiry to a trainee IAS officer, Vipul Ujjawal, who is the in charge of the Suvidha Centre.



Stroke casualties can be curtailed
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
Every six seconds, regardless of age or gender, one person dies from stroke, which is responsible for more deaths every year than cumulative deaths attributed to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

But the death rate of stroke patients can be curtailed from the current 47 per cent to 12 per cent if every hospital has a special stroke management unit, says a study by Dr Jeyaraj D Pandian, professor and stroke neurologist with the CMCH.

The study was done on 405 stroke patients above 18 years of age for a period of two years, from 2008 to 2010.

The study, the first one from the subcontinent, has been selected for publication in the International Journal of Stroke.

Dr Pandian is also on the board of directors of the World Stroke Organisation (WSO) from South-East Asia. The death rate of the 204 stroke patients who were managed at the stroke unit at the CMCH was 12 per cent while the death rate of the 201 stroke patients who were treated in medical wards of hospitals was 47 per cent (94 patients), said Dr Pandian, giving the gist of the study.

He said 40 per cent of stroke patients in India died within a month after stroke. There were two types of stroke, one being ischemic (blockage of arteries due to clot) and hemorrhagic (brain hemorrhage when artery ruptures).

He pointed out that modes of stroke treatments researched and practised in developed countries might not always be the ideal care that could be offered in developing countries like India, considering the wide difference in the healthcare system and the economic and social background of patients, but stroke patients showed improvement if managed in specialised units called stroke units, he stated.

Better management

Patients managed in stroke units are more likely to be screened for vascular risk factors, followed by initiation of blood thinning tablets and blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol lowering medication, elemental in saving them. The provision of physiotherapist, occupational therapist and speech therapist in a stroke management unit facilitates improvement in quality of life after stroke. The complications rate is also less in patients managed in a stroke unit.



Shiv Sena protests against corruption
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, March 8
The Shiv Sena today protested against corruption in the country and sent a memorandum to President Pratibha Patil in this regard.The Bofors scam, the Rs 1-crore Harshad Mehta bribery scam, the fodder scam, the telecom scam, Mayawati’s Taj corridor scam and the Rs 4,000-crore Madhu Koda scam were the key scams the Shiv Sena mentioned in the memorandum sent to the President.

According to the letter, a copy of which was with The Tribune, the Shiv Sena blamed the bureaucracy and politicians for the ever-increasing corruption.

The recent Rs 176-crore Spectrum scam and the Rs 70,000-crore Commonwealth Games scam were a result of all this and were a matter of shame for citizens of India, it observed.

It also mentioned that politicians and bureaucrats even made profit out of funds for earthquake and flood victims.

It demanded an equal right to every citizen of the country to ‘commit’ scams.

The ‘rate’ should be fixed, which would eliminate the difference between the rich and the poor, the letter read.



Gestational Diabetes
Punjab gets major share in health project
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
In what is being touted as a revolutionary step in the field of medicine, Punjab has got the lion’s share in a mega-project on gestational diabetes, fully funded by the Denmark-based World Diabetes Foundation (WDF).

Covering four major districts, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Patiala and Faridkot, the project will ensure free diagnosis, treatment and medial consultation to over 5,000 pregnant women, who stand the maximum chance to develop diabetic symptoms during various stages of pregnancy.

Addressing mediapersons, project coordinator Dr Geeti Puri Arora, consultant diabetologist with Deep Hospital, said the surveillance of these 5,000 pregnant women selected during their random or routine visits to more than two dozen public and private hospitals and clinics in main villages, towns and cities of the four districts would form the basis for chalking out a wider strategy to tackle diabetes among pregnant women across the world.

“Besides identification of the rate of incidence and women affected in Punjab ,the project also aims to impart preliminary training activities at various levels so that preventive means, coupled with interventional and treatment strategies, are incorporated in the healthcare system in Punjab,” she said.

With Deep Hospital as the nodal centre for the project, the other public and private hospitals in the four districts that would be covered under the project included Shri Rama Charitable Hospital, Iqbal Nursing Home and Hospital, Chawla Hospital, Civil Hospital (all in Ludhiana), Government Medical Colleges and Hospitals at Amritsar, Patiala and Faridkot and a few primary health centres in villages of the four districts.

Apart from covering women visiting these hospitals and health centres, the project implementation committee would conduct random house visits and door-to-door surveys for a period of two years.

Ulrik Uldall Nielsen, WDF programme coordinator from Denmark , who visited Ludhiana on March 6, said the two-year project period started in February following various rounds of discussions between WDF representatives, Punjab ministers and senior health department officials.

Nielsen said the main components of the project included screening of pregnant women for gestational diabetes, training of healthcare professionals with respect to gestational diabetes and creating awareness in the general population about gestational diabetes.

In a nutshell, the project formed a rainbow of various actions and activities surrounding the target population, pregnant women, women at risk and healthcare professionals, and the system as whole in selected areas of Punjab.

Dr Arora and Nielsen emphasised that the project would not only deliver timely treatment for diabetic pregnant women, but would also ensure that children of women with gestational diabetes had lesser chances of getting diabetes later in life.

How project will help

l An estimated 3,100 healthcare professionals, including 300 doctors, 800 nurses, 40 dieticians, 800 multi-purpose health workers, 400 midwives, 200 extension educators and 600 other paramedics, will be trained directly or indirectly in dealing with symptoms, identification, treatment, monitoring and preventive and control measures.

l  First-hand and automatic screening for gestational diabetes among pregnant women will become institutionalised in the four districts.

l  Between 4,000 and 5,000 affected women will be treated effectively and educated on how to prevent subsequent type-2 diabetes for themselves and their families.

l  Screening will be conducted and figures rercorded in reference to maternal and foetal outcomes during this period, with regular follow-up and comparisons with normal pregnancies being measured and analysed.



PAU’s first foreign students on a nostalgia trip
Anil Kumar

Malaysian nationals and ex-students Kannan Kutty and his younger brother Mohandas Nair at the PAU in Ludhiana.
Malaysian nationals and ex-students Kannan Kutty and his younger brother Mohandas Nair at the PAU in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, March 8
“Foreign students can become 'goodwill ambassadors' for their country”, feel the brother duo from Malaysia, the first overseas students to study at the Punjab Agricultural University who visited the campus on Tuesday and found it had changed vastly. After a trip to Amritsar to see the Golden Temple, Kannan Kutty his brother Mohandas Nair along with their wives arrived in the city.

Kutty, who recently retired as a director of a plantation company in Malaysia, was the very first foreigner to secure admission at PAU way back in 1964. While talking to the Ludhiana Tribune he stated: "I earned a bachelors degree in agriculture, with specialization in rubber and oil plantations, at PAU. I taught the Malaysian people about these kinds of plantations. This contributed in the country becoming the world’s second biggest producer of palm oil (17 million tons) after Indonesia (20 million tons)”.

Glancing at a map of the campus inside the varsity’s communications centre, Kutty recounted only four buildings - Thapar Hall, college of agriculture, college of basic sciences and the university hospital - existed in the mid-1960s.

"Only agricultural research land surrounded the entire varsity at that time. There were no well-maintained roads. We used to travel on bicycles inside the campus and used to go to the popular Gulmohar resort near the train station to have our dinner," recalled Kutty, adding “we weren’t fond of eating ‘chapattis’ (flat, unleavened, bread) that was a staple in the menu”.

He explained: "My younger brother and four other students from Malaysia joined me in 1967 and we rented a house in Gurudev Nagar. We hired a cook and taught him how to cook the dishes we liked.”

Kutty’s brother, Mohandas Nair, who is now chief operating officer at a Singapore-based oil production firm, informed: "It’s not possible to cultivate wheat in Malaysia Due to the tropical conditions. We’re the biggest producer of palm oil for which India is the largest importer”.

He said there were many foreign students, including those from Nigeria, Sudan, Iran, Iraq Thailand, Philippines, Tanzania and Afghanistan, in his batch in 1967. "We formed a foreign students association and used to celebrate the national days of various countries together on the campus. Kutty became the second president of the association," said Nair, recalling his student days at the university.

"We keep in touch with our friends in Malaysia and other countries by phone and through the Internet. Earlier, it was very tough to communicate through mail only. Now we can communicate with our friends living in different countries. All Malaysian based students had to self support their studies in PAU, while the other country students enjoyed US or Commonwealth scholarships for pursuing studies in India”, said Kutty.

Both, however, agreed PAU ranked among the top agricultural varsities in India. "Indian and foreign students at the varsity should interact with each other," the brother duo suggested before leaving for Delhi to take a flight to Malaysia.



PUDA sells seven SCO sites for Rs 17.75 cr
Three sites go unsold
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 8
The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) today sold seven shop-cum-office (SCO) sites at the old district courts complex here for Rs 17.75 crore.

Of the 10 sites offered for sale, three were not put under the hammer due to comparatively lower bids. Nineteen bidders, each having deposited an eligibility fee of Rs 1 lakh, participated in the bidding process.

According to PUDA additional chief administrator Dr Jaswant Singh, who conducted the auction proceedings along with estate office Jit Ram and other officials, the sale proceeds fetched a premium of 14.15 per cent over the reserve price of the sites at Rs 15.55 crore.

Against a reserve price of land at Rs 1,49,521 per square metre, the highest bid went up to Rs 1,73,100, while the lowest successful bid was Rs 1,70,010 per square metre.

The SCOs, each with an area of 148.6 square metres, were carved out from one of the unsold pockets of the old courts complex after a bid to sell the entire chunk of land failed to attract buyers.



Liquor vend on land meant for park
MC, LIT officials in tight spot
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
An NGO has accused the municipal corporation and Ludhiana Improvement Trust authorities of hob-nobbing with affluent people to illegally set up a liquor vend on a piece of land reportedly meant for a park.On the other hand, the owner of the vend has refuted the allegations.

The liqour vend that has been constructed illegally on a piece of land meant for a park; and (right) construction at the rear end of the vend in the “L” block of BRS Nagar in Ludhiana. Photos: Inderjeet Verma 

In a letter to the Punjab Governor and the Chief Minister, Col Jagdish Singh Brar, president of Maha Sabha, Ludhiana, has alleged that MC and LIT officials had, in connivance with an affluent person, allowed him to set up a liquor vend illegally on a piece of land meant for a park in the “L” block of BRS Nagar locality.

Talking to the TNS, Colonel Brar, who is a member of the MC’s illegal encroachment monitoring committee, said the connivance of MC officials in the process could be proved from the fact that they were claiming that the land being shown as a park in a map given by the LIT under the Right to Information Act had not been acquired by the LIT.

He said to justify their point and mislead their higher officials, officials of the building branch had put a wrong khasra number from the revenue record to get information from the LIT.

“The ATP has mischievously put khasra No. 61/28 to get the record of the park, whereas the original khasra No. of the land is 11/2, which is in the map of the LIT too,” he added.

Brar alleged that mischief had been done just to show that the land was part of a village and had not been acquired by the MC.

He said the park measuring around 500 sq yrd was a prime property of the area but the MC staff was not ready to remove encroachment from it just to benefit private individuals.

On the other hand, both MC and LIT officials are blaming each other for the mess.

LIT engineer SS Jarkhar confirmed that the MC had put wrong khasra number on their application due to which they had not been able to give information regarding the status of the park.

However, he admitted that the land had been acquired for a park in the area.

On the other hand, ATP SS Bindra asserted that the khasra number had been given by LIT officials after visiting the site, adding that the revenue officials of the LIT had themselves claimed that land had never been acquired by them.

Similarly, Gurshan Singh, the owner of liquor vend, said the land belonged to village and it was never acquired by the LIT, adding that he had purchased that land.



MC begins process of regularisation
Manvinder Singh/TNS

Ludhiana, March 8
Finally bowing to the pressure of various sanitary unions, the municipal corporation authorities have started the process of regularising temporary sanitary workers by giving appointment letters to over 400 of them.

To ensure cleanliness in the city, over 3,000 temporary sanitary workers are working in the civic body, most of whom were employed in the Mohalla Sanitation Committees (MSC).

However, as sanitary workers had been demanding that these committees be disbanded and regular employment be given to them, the local bodies department had around three years ago announced that the corporation would regularise sanitary workers according to its available resources.

However, owing to its limited resources, the MC staff had been delaying this matter for long owing to which resentment was seen among sanitary workers.

However, as the agitation of workers intensified, the MC officials managed to strike a comprise with them by asserting that they would regularise sanitary workers phase-wise, according to the available posts.

The MC officials prepared a detailed seniority list of sanitary workers so that promotion could be given to them according to their seniority.

Acting accordingly, the MC is regularising 426 sanitary workers, which will put an extra burden of around Rs 190 crore annually on the civic body exchequer.

Sources revealed that the MC officials had already prepared the appointment letters for regular posting of these sanitary workers and these would be distributed to them in the coming days.

The sources added that sanitary workers would be regularised according to the availability of posts.

MC Additional Commissioner Kanwalpreet Kaur Brar confirmed that they were in the process of issuing letters for regularisation of sanitary workers shortly.

She said the regularisation process would be continued according to the availability of posts.



Install CCTV, eatery owners told
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 8
With the police having started a hunt for the miscreants involved in snatching of vehicles by serving spiked eatables to drivers of trucks parked at roadside dhabas, the civil administration has directed all dhaba and restaurant owners to install the CCTV on their premises.

They have been asked to maintain records of those visiting their establishments.

Investigations suggested that some vehicles, including loaded and empty trucks, parked at roadside dhabas and restaurants had been snatched by certain gangs of unidentified miscreants in the past weeks.

While the miscreants had abandoned the trucks at some deserted place after removing costly parts, including tyres and accessories, other vehicles were yet to be traced by the police.

In a majority of cases, the miscreants had served spiked eatables to the occupants before snatching the vehicles. The gangsters targeted those vehicles whose drivers were not accompanied by a co-driver or a cleaner.

Though the miscreants were reported to have spent some time with their victims at dhabas, none of the owners or managers of the eateries concerned could provide information about them to the police.

Kuldeep Singh of local Amarpura Mohalla had informed the Dehlon police that three unknown miscreants had taken away his truck (PB 10 BC 0819) after drugging his driver Kulwinder Singh a few days ago.

Though Kulwinder was found in an unconscious state near Baddowal village, on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur road, the next morning, the truck was found abandoned along a link road in the Doaba region. The miscreants had taken away the tyres of the truck.

In a similar incident, the miscreants had taken away tyres of a truck by serving spiked drinks to the driver of the truck parked at a dhaba near Sahnewal earlier.

A trader dealing in old tyres had purchased the tyres at throwaway prices.

Taking cognizance of the alleged unconcern of owners of dhabas and restaurants towards the safety of their customers, the administration has directed them to take preventive measure to check such incidents. They have been directed to install CCTV cameras at crucial points in their establishments and maintain records of all visitors.

Showing concern over a spurt in incidents of vehicle snatching, SR Kaler, additional district magistrate, stated that trucks parked at hotels and dhabas situated on highways had been targeted by miscreants.

Criminals usually stayed at such eateries during nights. He has directed the dhaba and restaurant owners to take preventive measures without delay.

“Owners of dhabas and hotel have been directed to install CCTVs at their establishments and maintain a record of those visiting their eateries. This will help in the arrest of suspects in such incidents,” reads an order promulgated by Kaler.



Malkit for ridding Punjabi music of vulgarity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
Endorsing the view of doing away with obscenity, addiction and violence in music videos, UK-based Punjabi singer Malkit Singh today said he and his group would work towards upholding the tradition of Punjabi music.

Prof Gurbhajan Gill, president of Punjabi Sahit Akademi, during a meeting held with Malkit Singh, promoter of Punjabi language in Canada, Iqbal Mahal and singer Jeet Jagjeeti, today said the diffusion of obscenity, addiction and violence in Punjabi folk singing was a cause for great concern.

He added that public should deplore such vices and stop accepting singing that did not portray the true picture of the Punjabi culture and its value system.

Gill said a mass movement was the need of the hour, adding that the Punjabi Sahit Akademy would go to the extent of knocking at the doors of the court for the cause of neat and clean singing.

The writers and singers needed to air their views against vulgarity, double-meaning messages and painting women in bad taste, observed Gill.

“Punjabi way of life is to offer respect to the womenfolk,” Gill went on to add.

Iqbal Mahal said singers could create a respectable niche for themselves in the music world by writing and singing clean Sufi songs, as done by Satinder Sartaj, Dr Mamta Joshi and Jeet Jagjeet. He appealed to the Punjab government to take stern action against the companies, singers, promoters, and channels that encouraged vulgarity, violence and drug culture.

Social organisations, NGOs, educational institutions and leaders should come forward against the practise. An advisory board should be formed to look into the issues, observed Mahal.



In pursuit of promoting classical music
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
Love and passion for Indian classical music combined with methodical training under noted classical vocalist Padma Vibhushan Girija Devi earned Kapil Sharma a President’s award this January. However, it was his resolve to give the Indian vocal music a new direction that gave this 24-year-old artist the honour to become the visiting professor of Indian classical music at the University of SOAS in London, the UK.

Having started his musical journey at the age of 12 years at Dandi Swami Mandir, Ludhiana, with “bhajans”, Kapil, despite opting for medical stream, was keen on making a career in classical singing.

“But my parents advised otherwise and I gave up my desire till the time I went to see live performance by Girija Devi in Patiala in 2002. It was an instantaneous decision that I could not live without music and I approached Girija Devi to take me as her disciple,” recounted Kapil.

But she refused and instead sent Kapil to her disciple Sugandha Sharma in 2003 where he trained for two years.

Thereafter, Kapil again went to Girija Devi and insisted her on taking him as her disciple. Looking at his resolve, the vocal maestro for the first time in her life altered her rules and took a male as her disciple under the “Guru-Shishya parampara”.

The national scholarship of Rs 5,000 per month from the ministry of culture, Government of India, enabled Kapil to complete his formal education in music from Ravindra Bharat University, Kolkata.

An ardent exponent of Indian classical music, Kapil wants to devote his life to the cause of taking Indian classical music to the masses in India and abroad. “It pains me to see the Patiala Gharana, which has produced stalwarts in the music world, has gone into oblivion and I, being the son of Punjab, will do my best to revive it in the coming years,” says the artist.



22,000 pirated CDs seized
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
Cracking the whip on violators of the Copyright Act, the city police claims to have busted a gang active in manufacturing and selling pirated DVDs in the area.During raids conducted by the police in the past around 10 days, more than 22,000 pirated CDs and about 55,000 CD covers were seized.

Giving details, Deputy Commissioner of Police Yurinder Singh Hayer today said police team, acting on a tipoff, conducted raids at Jyoti Complex, Meena Bazaar, on March 4.

Under the supervision of ADCP (Crime), ACP (North) Paramjit Singh Pannu and anti-narcotics cell in charge Lovdeep Singh Gill, they seized about 7,500 fake CDs from Viney Kumar.

A case under Sections 52, 52-A, 63, 64, 67 and 68-A of the Copyright Act, 1957, and Sections 420 and 292 of the IPC was registered against him.

Hayer added that about 50,000 covers and 2,500 CDs were recovered from a godown at the Industrial Area on information provided by Viney.

In other raids conducted in the past five or six days, several other persons, including Ajay Kumar, Bablu Kumar, Ajit Sethi, Manoj Kumar and Sonu, had been arrested from different areas of the city.

A huge number of pirated CDs had been recovered from them, said Hayer, adding that these persons manufactured and sold pirated CDs in every nook and corner.

“The CDs include porn movies and latest Bollywood films. The accused sold pirated CDs even to children. The police also recovered a machine used for making pirated CDs, eight DVD writers and two DVD players during the raids,” he said.

The illegal trade of pirated CDs had been a flourishing business in the city and 90 per cent of CDs and DVDs sold in markets were fake.

The trade had been flourishing in Bhadaur House, Deepak Cinema road, Chaura Bazaar, Clock Tower, Field Ganj and Naulakha Cinema road.

Sources said the estimated annual turnover was about Rs 10 crore. The traders did not hesitate in selling porn to young children.



All-India hockey tourney beings today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 8
Four matches are slated for the opening day of the All-India Sahibzada Ajit Singh Prize Money Hockey Championship that begins at the Prithipal Singh Memorial AstroTurf Stadium of the Agricultural University campus here tomorrow.

In the first match of this six-day championship, to be organised by the Sports Council, Ludhiana, Punjab National Bank (Delhi) will take on Chandigarh XI at 11 am and the second match will be played between ONGC (Dehradun) and Delhi XI at 1 pm.

Though the first match will commence at 11 am, the formal inauguration is scheduled for 2.30 pm when Namdhari XI (Bhaini Sahib) play against Indian Air Force (Delhi).

The fourth match will be organised between Punjab and Sind Bank (Jalandhar) and Signal Corps XI (Jalandhar) at 4 pm.

Members of the organising committee, including Olympian Hardeep Singh Neeta, chief organiser Dr Kulwant Singh Sohal and others, with the help of the ground staff remained busy today to give the finishing touches to the playing field. The AstroTurf strip in the stadium that was laid down about a decade ago had been repaired to give it a new look.

Besides, four teams in the women’s section — Central Railways (Mumbai), Gwalior Academy, Chandigarh XI and Rail Coach Factory (Kapurthala) — will vie for top honours.

The winners in the men’s section will be richer by Rs 2 lakh, while the losing finalists will receive a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh and the title holders in the women’s section will pocket a cash prize of Rs 75,000.

The team finishing second will get Rs 50,000 in addition to the Prof Nirpjit Kaur Gill Memorial Trophy.

Best player in each match will also be awarded with a cash prize of Rs 1,500.

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari and Arjuna awardee Surinder Singh Sodhi will inaugurate the championship at 2.30 pm, said chief organiser Dr Kulwant Singh Sohal.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |