L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Former school principal receives ransom calls
Callers demand Rs 25 lakh, threaten to throw acid on her face; police suspects handiwork of students
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Not the first case

It is not for the first time that students have targeted school principal. In 2009, the former students of BCM School, Shastri Nagar, created fake Orkut profile of their principal Paramjit Kaur and wrote nasty comments about her. Later it was found that a former girl student had created the fake profile of her. She was let off after being warned by the police

Industrialist, too, not spared

On March 15 a city-based industrialist received extortion calls from a terrorist organisation. Upkar Singh, leading auto-part manufacturer, received an extortion call from a man claiming himself to be a sharpshooter of the Indian Mujahideen, a terrorist outfit. The anonymous caller had demanded Rs 1.25 crore as extortion from the industrialist. The Model Town police is investigating the case

Ludhiana, April 22
A few unidentified persons rang up a former school principal and demanded Rs 25 lakh ransom from her. They even threatened to throw on the principal’s face if she failed to comply with their demand.

Being terrorised by the anonymous callers for over a month, Paramjeet, a former principal, Green Land School, and her advocate husband DS Deol, approached the police and lodged a complaint against them.

Family members of Paramjeet Kaur stated that she was upset at the repeated calls and reluctant to go out of the house alone.

“Initially we took it to be a prank and treated the matter lightly. But the extortionists started calling frequently and even threatened to throw acid on my wife following which we decided to approach the police,” Deol said. SHO of the Ladhowal police station Jatinder Singh said: “After receiving the complaint we registered a case of extortion against unidentified persons and started the investigation. We scanned the mobile phone of the victim and tracked the number from where the calls were made. But on probing the issue it was found out that cellular numbers were obtained through fake identities.”

Police sources said students, who were reprimanded by Paramjeet Kaur for not concentrating on their studies, made the calls.


Parents threaten teacher over suspension
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
Trying to defend their daughter’s misconduct at school and her consequent suspension, parents of a Class IX student of DAV Public School, BRS Nagar, today created ruckus on the school campus. They even threatened teachers and abused them in full public view.

Problem started yesterday when, during a surprise raid, the teacher in charge of Class IX found a mobile phone in the bag of a girl student.

Instead of handing over the mobile phone to the teacher, the girl hurriedly handed it over to one of her male classmates to hide it in his school bag as the boys had already been checked by the in charge.

This enraged the teacher, who warned to suspend both students in case they did not hand over the mobile phone to her.

Giving details, RS Patial, principal, DAV Public School, BRS Nagar, said: “The girl threatened the teacher that she will consume phenyl if suspended.”

The teacher then took both students to the principal, who, in turn, placed the duo under suspension for 15 days each and handed them over to their parents.

“The boy’s parents came to me and requested that instead of placing the child under suspension, I should give him milder punishment in the form of physical work,” Patial revealed, adding that the boy’s suspension was revoked.

However, the girl continues to be under suspension.

“This afternoon, while I was away on some work, the girls’ parents, accompanied by 10 others, came to the school and started misbehaving with reception staff,” Patial disclosed.

“They even called for the teacher concerned and told her that following yesterday’s incident, their daughter had consumed some poisonous substance and has been hospitalized. They threatened and abused the teacher in full public view,” Patial added.

Meanwhile, the commotion attracted the attention of other staff members, who rushed to the rescue the teacher concerned.

“When I was informed about the incident, I directed the teacher to file a police complaint, which she immediately did,” said the principal.

Patial now intends to pursue the case to a logical end.

“The girl has committed multiple mistakes. She carried a mobile phone to the school, which is against the code of conduct laid down for students, duly specified at the beginning of every academic year. Secondly, she threatened the teacher that she will consume phenyl if she was suspended,” Patial added.

“Her third and gravest mistake is what her parents are claiming - that she consumed poison after the incident. This is serious and criminal in nature,” said the worried principal.

Patial added that in the view of the girl and her parents’ irresponsible behaviour, he is mulling extending her punishment and making it more severe.

“I will even ask the parents to withdraw their ward and get her admitted to some other school,” he said.

Meanwhile, the girl’s parents refused to comment on the issue.



Anything for you, sir!
MC staff enter toxic Budha Nullah to dress it up
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
Employees of the Municipal Corporation, who are experts in window dressing rather then solving any problem, were on their toes a day before the scheduled visit of Union Minister for Environment to prove that all is well along with the filthy Budha Nullah.

It requires a lot of effort to make Municipal employees work on normal days and on holidays, but today they were on their toes to give a “clean” look to the filthy Budha Nullah due to scheduled visit of Union Minister for Environment Jai Ram Ramesh on Saturday.

When the Municipal staff entered the toxic nullah to clean it enthusiasm was writ large on their faces.

Employees of the main branches of the civic body, including the Health and Sanitation, Building and Roads (B&R) and the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) were seen trying hard to prove that the nullah is not as bad as it is shown. A large number of employees were deployed along the nullah for conducting the entire work.

While the health department was busy in collecting the garbage around the nullah, the B&R branch was seen removing the sand and debris, which had been lying on the banks of the nullah for the past several months. Employees of the O&M branch were seen de-silting the nullah near the bridges to ensure that the water blockage doesn’t taken place tomorrow. Though all these branches were working randomly along the entire stretch of the nullah, but they were mainly focusing on a main bridge near Haibowal where the pressure of the nullah is more.

Sources revealed that in order to avoid any sort of embarrassment, senior officials of the civic body had directed their staff to ensure that no sort of laxity takes place during the minister’s visit. They themselves were also monitoring the entire exercise.



Khalsa College Imbroglio
Fate of 7 lakh students hangs in balance
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
The future of nearly seven lakh students studying in colleges affiliated to various universities across the state hang in the balance if the management of Khalsa College, Amritsar, fails to settle the issue with protesting teachers by April 27.

The Punjab Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisation (PFUCTO) has joined hands with protesting teachers of Khalsa College and given an ultimatum to stall the evaluation process from April 27 onwards.

“If the management of Khalsa College, Amritsar, fails to arrive at any amicable solution and settle the ongoing imbroglio, the controversy could derail the entire academic process,” said Dr Manjeet Singh Komal, district president, Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union.

In a show of solidarity with agitating teachers, the Punjab Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisation (PFUCTO) boycotted the evaluation work for an hour and demanded immediate resolution of the imbroglio.

“Right now the evaluation process is going on in full swing, but if the Khalsa College management refuses to budge from their stand and fails to reach any consensus then the teachers’ union will be forced to stop the evaluation process, which will effect the future of nearly seven lakh students studying in various government and private colleges across the state,” said Dr Komal.

According to a retired professor, if the Punjab Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisation (PFUCTO) members manage to stop the evaluation process then the results of various bachelor degree courses of Panjab University, Chandigarh; Punjabi University, Patiala; Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, will get delayed by nearly a month.

The suspension of three teachers, notices served on four others for evacuating houses and police case against 20 others, who were protesting against converting Khalsa college into a private university, has made teaching fraternity worrisome, said Dr Harmeet Singh Kingra, president, PAUTA and PFUCTO.

Dr Jaipal Singh, president, Government College Teachers’ Association (GCTA), Prof VK Bharadwaj and Prof Vinay Sophet, vice-president and finance secretary, PCCTU, respectively, have condemned the suspension and subsequent police action against teachers, who raised voice against the commercialisation of educational institution.

Taking a potshot the teachers alleged that the ruling SAD- BJP government was planning to convert the historic Khalsa College into a private university and sell the land for constructing commercial establishments.



Protest against liquor vend’s proximity to church
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Dharna planned

If the administration fails to halt construction work on the liquor vend we’ll launch an agitation on Saturday morning. We’ll also invite members of other minority communities in the city to extend support to us

— Pankaj A Malik, a priest at Christ Church

Ludhiana, April 22
In flagrant violation of excise & taxation regulations, a liquor trader has begun constructing a vend near Christ Church and Mahavir Bhawan, a Jain place of worship, at the city’s Fountain Chowk. The liquor vend had been allotted to Kewal Chabra at the recent auction held by the excise department.

Members of the Christian community as well followers of the Jain sect, while registering their protest against the move, asserted construction of the liquor vend at the site hurt their religious sentiments besides being illegal.

According to the department’s policy, a liquor vend cannot be set up within a radius of 200 metres of any religious or educational institution.

“The allottee of this particular liquor vend has taken the liberty to set it up right outside the boundary wall of Christ Church. In addition to the vend an ‘ahata’ (drinking place) is also coming up there, which will create a nuisance near our place of worship,” complained Pankaj A Mullick, a priest at Christ Church, who is also the caretaker of the church’s property.

Blaming it on inefficient functioning of the district administration, specifically the department concerned, as well as the police, senior members of the church stated the authorities should maintain a constant vigil at the sites allocated for setting up liquor vends in all the parts of the city.

“Once a liquor vend is set up it’s very difficult to get it removed as politicians extend patronage to owners of the vends. Also, a lot of time and energy of the government machinery is wasted in subsequent operations,” noted Ashok Sheetal Jain, president of SS Jain Sabha.

The heads of the church and the Jain sect have submitted a representation to deputy commissioner Rahul Tewari and city police commissioner Ishwar Singh calling on them to take immediate action against the vend’s owner. A copy of the representation has also been forwarded to Punjab governor Shivraj V Patil and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

However, when contacted Chabra, the vend’s owner, asserted: “The place was allotted to me by the excise & taxation department in the recent auction and I’m complying with all the rules and regulations. The vend in question is being built 200 metres away from Christ Church and Mahavir Bhawan”.



Civil hospital or escape route?
Murder accused tries to flee, nabbed
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
The local Civil Hospital is fast turning into an escape route for criminals undergoing jail term for committing various offences. In the latest incident, Sarwan, a native of Orissa, who is lodged in Brostal Jail in a murder case, made a futile bid to escape from the police custody, when he was brought to the Civil Hospital after he complained of toothache on April 20.

Sarwan tried to flee while he was being shown to a dentist at the Civil Hospital. Policemen accompanying him had unfastened his handcuff for the check-up, but Sarwan instead of showing his tooth to the dentist escaped towards the hospital’s gate. The policemen, however, chased and nabbed him.

This incident has yet again brought to the fore how criminals are taking advantage of unavailability of medical facility inside the jails.

“There is only one doctor and three pharmacists each in Brostal and Central jails for 449 and 2,700 inmates, respectively. Doctors fail to diagnose the ailment of prisoners and waste no time in referring them to the Civil Hospital. Such criminals are always on a look out to make the most of the opportunity and escape,” a jail official said.

In February, notorious thief Arjun Lal, a resident of Hoshiarpur, who was undergoing jail term for several cases of theft gave the police a slip and escaped from the Civil Hospital by sedating two jail guards.

He later attacked and shot his daughter on her leg at Jodhewal Basti in March. The Division No. 2 police finally nabbed him last month.

However, Rahul Raja, Assistant Superintendent, Brostal Jail, claimed that Sarwan never tried to escape from the Civil Hospital.



Release of Sekhon
Protocol keeps MC top brass away
Manvinder Singh/TNS

Ludhiana, April 22
Though for taking political mileage the politicians showed lot of enthusiasm on the issue of the arrest of Municipal Corporation’s Zonal Commissioner AS Sekhon, it was protocol that kept the top brass of the civic body away from the release of the officer. Even majority of councillors did not bother to receive the officer for whom they had waged a forceful battle.

Apparently, the motive of the top brass of the civic body, including Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, was much more than getting the officer released from the clutches of the Vigilance Bureau (VB), which had claimed to have caught the officer red handed while accepting bribe. For two days the Mayor and almost 50 councillors spitted fire against the VB and their own colleagues to express solidarity with the officer. Similarly, a large number of councillors across the party line had accompanied the Mayor to meet the Chief Minister and demanded justice for the officer who was arrested by the VB. Even high talks of support to the officer and his family were made in an all-party councillors’ meeting to express concern over the matter.

However, like all major issues the claims of councillors to support the officer proved to be mere lip service as majority of them, along with the Mayor, the Senior Deputy Mayor and the Deputy Mayor, did not bother to receive the officer for boosting his morale.

Roughly, out of 75 councillors barely a dozen were seen outside the jail for receiving the officer for whom they had made tall claims of support. Sources revealed that it was the protocol of being ‘higher than the officer’ that kept MC Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal and Deputy Mayor Sunita Aggarwal away from jail.

Most of the councillors also preferred to keep away thinking that it would not be correct for them to stand by the officer after his release. Sources also revealed that being their colleagues most of the councillors also evaded any direct confrontation with the councillors of Bains group due to which they kept themselves aloof from release.

However, Zonal Commissioner AS Sekhon, after his release, out of courtesy visited the Mayor and the Commissioner to thank them for the support extended by them.

When contacted, Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal said as he was busy in a prior appointment he was not able to go to the jail to receive him. He said he had been openly supporting the officer and there was no involvement of protocol in it.



People desperate to see change, says Manpreet
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, April 22
“Unemployment, corruption, nepotism, favouritism, poverty, illiteracy and drug addiction would become the things of the past if the people of the state join me and support me for the cause of general good and public welfare.”

People’s Party of Punjab (PPP) chief Manpreet Badal said this during the district-level rally at Jifco Resorts, Sahnewal, this afternoon.

“My party is purely for the people, by the people and of the people. No attempt, by any other party, to thwart public opinion can be successful if the people are thoroughly dedicated to work for a ‘change’, which is going to be a healthy one, assuring a free and fair governance, where no man’s voice shall be stifled by undue and unjust political and social pressures,” Manpreet added.

Expressing satisfaction over the positive response being met to his party in every district, Manpreet said he had till date distributed 21 lakh copies of membership and registered 6 lakh people as members. “The number is increasing manifold with every passing day. When I look into the growing strength of my party, I feel the intensity with which people of Punjab are looking forward to a party which would do what it says and shall say only when it would really be in a position to perform with sincerity.”

He added that, “The rally of our party at Khatkar Kalan and its grand success thereof is a proof that people are really fed up of the false promises and diplomatic assurance of subsequent governments and are dying to see change.”

Later, addressing a press conference, he said he would not pressurise any MLA or leader of other political parties to join him unless they were convinced to do so.

He said the people who wished to confirm their tickets even before joining the PPP shall not be entertained at any cost and rather the young, energetic and the inspired shall be given a chance.

Among those whose names were announced for having joined the PPP chiefly include Mandeep Singh Sandhu, Rachpal Singh Sanet, Hardev Singh Sandhu, Mohan Singh Libra and Gurmukh Singh Namdhari.



Tajpur road
MC paves stretch with bricks ahead of CM visit
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, April 22
Ignoring the demand of the local residents for the construction of a concrete road on the jail road section of the Tajpur Road, the municipal corporation has undertaken the work using bricks instead.

According to residents, around Rs 6 lakh bricks had been laid in around 1-km stretch of the road, a major part of which falls in front of the Central Jail. Another project of constructing sewerage is under way on the road.

According to sources, the Chief Minister was scheduled to inaugurate a local bus stand near the Central Jail shortly. In order to make his visit comfortable, the civic body decided to lay bricks instead of using concrete to save time.

The residents asserted that the stretch had been a bane of the area. Also, the road needed to be repaired as it fed the district Central Jail. In spite of their several requests, the civic body had so far ignored the issue, the residents alleged.

Jagdish Chander, a resident, alleged that the civic body did not care about providing facilities to the residents.

“We had been hoping for a concrete road but the civic body has paved the path with bricks for the comfort of dignitaries who will visit the area in a few days. The MC is wasting precious money on constructing a temporary road,” he asserted.

Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal clarified that the civic body had constructed the brick road on the demand of the local residents. More development works would be initiated in the area soon, he added.

‘Wasteful expenditure’

Residents and visitors using the jail road section of the Tajpur Road are enraged at the laying of bricks on the section to facilitate a comfortable ride for the entourage of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who is scheduled to visit the area to inaugurate a local bus terminal shortly. They say it’s a waste of public money as the bricks will be removed after the CM’s visit. Tribune Correspondent Anil Kumar talked to some area residents and here is what they had to say:

We hoped that the MC would construct a concrete road as it had been our demand for a long time. Constructing a temporary road using bricks is a waste of public money. The civic body should scrap such projects and stop splurging money on the comfort of politicians.

— Ashwani

As heavy vehicles use the stretch, bricks will not last long. The municipal corporation should not invest public money on such wasteful works. It should have instead utitlised the money on constructing a concrete road.

— Sunny

Around 6 lakh bricks have been laid at the cost of Rs 35 lakh. This is purely wasteful expenditure. The civic body is out to please the Chief Minister, who will visit the area for a few hours and leave. We have to use this road all the time.

— Kamal

The work has been going on the past 20 days. According to an MC junior engineer, this is a temporary road built just for the CM’s visit. This will be removed after he leaves. What a waste!

— Baljinder S Grewal

The commuters have been facing immense problems taking this road. Several requests have been made to the local councillor and the higher authorities but in vain.

— Jasmeet Singh



Doraha in grip of jaundice
100 cases reported in 15 days
Lovleen Bains

Symptoms of hepatitis E

Diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, abdominal/gut pain, fever, dark urine, pale stools, loss of appetite, yellowing of skin and eyeballs

Doraha, April 22
The town is in the grip of jaundice with over 100 cases having been reported from various charitable and private hospitals here in the past 15 days.

According to Dr Gagandeep Singh of Dashmesh Charitable Hospital, the hospital has been receiving five to seven cases of jaundice every day for the past 15 days.

Similarly at Sidhu Hospital, five cases of Hepatitis E have been reported. Rajwant Hospital has been receiving at least two patients daily.

At Ghuman Hospital, two cases have been reported, while at Bhangu Hospital, 12 cases of jaundice have been received this month.

All these patients belong to the town. Besides, a large number of patients are resorting to home-made remedies.

Dr Gursaran Sidhu said the situation was alarming. “Poor sanitation and little access to potable water has led to the outbreak of hepatitis E. We have received five cases of Hepatitis E since last week,” she added.

The symptoms of hepatitis E included diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, abdominal/gut pain, fever, dark urine, pale stools, loss of appetite, yellowing of skin and eyeballs.

It was essential to identify the cause, control the spread and prevent further infections, Dr Sidhu added.

“The manner in which the cases of jaundice and more so infective jaundice i.e. hepatitis E have been on the rise, it may soon assume epidemic proportions if not attended to seriously by the health officials and the municipal authorities. The authorities have been callous in providing safe drinking water to the residents. We have been receiving a number of cases of stomach infection caused by the intake of unsafe water,” she added.

“The way so many cases of jaundice are being received by various hospitals and clinics, there is every likelihood that sewage and drinking water are getting mixed, causing illness and disease,” said Dr Rajwant.

“We are under a serious threat of an epidemic outbreak. We are being forced to drink contaminated water. Chocking of sewerage is commonplace and the municipal committee has been unable to provide a permanent solution to the problem. The civic employees only make a temporary arrangement but the problem persists,” claims a resident.

“The municipal council has been informed about the unhygienic conditions. Even the health officials have not turned up to take stock of the situation,” claimed another resident.

Payal SMO said he would send a team to the town tomorrow to assess the situation and initiate safety measures.

AME Rajiv Sharma said the leakage in pipes was mainly at those places where residents had taken connections from the main line. “In the past week, we have disconnected four such connections where the mixing of water was observed.”



School Activities
Just another ploy to fleece parents?
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
Chances are you have made up a list of your child’s school expenses, other than tuition fees, which goes like this:

1. Football: Rs 500
2. Refundable equipment fee: Rs 350
3. Fundraising event: Rs 200
4. Victory party: Rs 50
5. Thanksgiving gift for coach: Rs 100

Or, may be, the list reads like this:

1. Skating club fee: Rs 225
2. Coach fee: Rs 250
3. Group lessons: Rs 100
4. Skates & clothing: Rs 800

And, the list does not even include transport expenses and fees paid for doctors’ visits.

If it appears to you your children's extracurricular activities are getting more and more expensive as well as time consuming with every passing year, that is because they indeed are!

While schools continue to fleece parents under the excuse of providing "expert" guidance to their wards in various extracurricular activities, many families have down the years realized these activities have become a luxury they can longer afford to provide their kids.

"As it is the annual school fees burn a hole in our pockets. Add to that the endless list of extracurricular activities that cost a bomb, what with huge expenses incurred on sports gear, musical instruments, art and craft materials and many others," rues Sakshi Rishi, mother of two schoolgoing children.

Likewise, for Ritu Bharti, mother of a 10-year-old student, children's activities organized by schools have gone out of reach for her one-income family, especially when it includes enrollment and equipment fees, uniforms, materials, etc. "It ends up being a costly experiment to see if this is what your child would want to do in the future," she says.

Other families such as the Bedis who reside in Civil Lines know obligatory school activities are costly. They have two sons playing cricket at the school level. "With registration fees ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 1,500 and equipment costing from Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 a year, many parents can't afford it. To add to their problems, schools have specified stores from where to buy the equipment and, needless to say, these stores overcharge beyond expectations. After all the schools have a commission tieup with such stores," complains Harneet Bedi, mother of the teenagers.

Bedi terms the trend as "activity mafia" of the schools. “Through these means school officials have found a novel way to fleece parents in the name of all-round development of children”, she avers.

Though school administrations have justified the high fee structures by citing various facilities that are made available to a child and are upgraded every session, parents rue these facilities are only used to "decorate prospectuses" every year.

Defending the exorbitant fees charged for various "activities", school principals insist that it is a small price that parents pay to provide quality education to their children. "All parents want the best for their children and that doesn’t come cheap. One has to pay more for any product that is better than the rest. Moreover, schools invest a lot of money on their teachers, infrastructure, facilities and even advertisements," averred the director of a public local school.

The physical education instructor at a convent school added: "I believe the extracurricular activities offered by various schools is what give the students an edge over other children. Otherwise, academics is what every school provides its students with."

The music teacher at the same school, too, seconded him: "Whatever the activity be, the training is extensive and helps the child in perfecting a particular art or sport. Hence the high cost may appear to be exorbitant to parents but they should understand it’ll do a lot of good to their child in the future and keep him ahead of the crowd."

However, most parents disagree. "In the name of providing extracurricular activities schools only fleece us. For example, we pay an extra sum of Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 each year for karate classes that are held only once a week. How is someone to learn karate with just a handful of sessions anyway," questions Sahil Nanda, father of two teenaged kids.

Others argue such activities should be optional so that parents are spared at least some of the expenses involved. "But schools have made participation in at least one activity in each area - sports, arts & craft, dance/music and foreign language - compulsory for students. This is simply uncalled for and an extra burden, both on parents as well as children," asserted Naresh Kumar, a parent.



Auto Mall 2011 kicks off
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
A three day automobile extravaganza, Auto Mall 2011, highlighting the future of the automotive industry, opened its doors to millions of auto enthusiasts today and would remain open till Sunday.

Brands like Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Fiat, M&M, Skoda, Toyota, General Motors, Honda, Hero Honda, Mahindra and Bosch showcased their new products and technologies.

Sukhbir Singh, CEO of Relio Quick India Pvt Ltd, said apart from showcasing top brands, vintage cars were also displayed. “We have an auto job fair and companies like Mahindra and Maruti are also interviewing prospective candidates for jobs in their companies. Besides, car and bike competition is also being organised at the venue,” he said.



From Schools
Fancy dress

Tiny tots of Lovely Lotus attired in colourful dresses in Ludhiana on Friday.
Tiny tots of Lovely Lotus attired in colourful dresses in Ludhiana on Friday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana: Lovely Lotus organised a fancy dress competition for its tiny tots on the theme “beach boys and girls”. Children attired in skimpy swimwear enjoyed the party with hats and goggles on as protection against the scorching summer sun. They relished chips, juices and other munchies and celebrated the start of the new session.


Eduvate India 2011, initiated by Mexus Education, brought together prominent educationists and academicians from Punjab for panel discussion to express their perspective on adding value to the current education system through technological innovations.

The academicians discussed the gaps in the current educational system and how technological innovations would make learning more qualitative, interesting and meaningful experience. They were of unanimous opinion that information and communications technologies were improving the quality of life in every aspect of life.

Poster making

Responding to the widespread environmental degradation, Sat Paul Mittal School celebrated Earth Day on its campus on Friday. To inspire awareness and appreciation amongst the Satyans for Earth’s natural environment, various activities were organised in the school.

To mark this day, a special assembly was organised wherein the students highlighted the significance of Earth Day through their emphatic speeches and thought-provoking poems.

Satyans enthusiastically participated in the poster-making competition on the theme “Save Earth, Save Life”. They skilfully painted comprehensive pictures of the environmental issues confronting mankind. Through their paintings they protested against the deterioration of the environment and made a plea to save Mother Earth for a better future.

Bhupinder Gogia, principal, Sat Paul Mittal School, addressed the students and urged them to make judicious use of resources present on Earth.

Students vow to shun plastic

DCM Presidency School celebrated World Earth Day on Friday with great enthusiasm. Various programmes were organised on the day to sensitise the students to conserve natural resources.

Mokshita of Class IX threw light on the plight caused by the use of plastics and various problems related with it. Classes II and III students presented a skit, “Mother Nature”, to disseminate the message of importance of nature and the problems caused by pollution.

On the occasion, Gurdip Singh, chairman, and Saksham Katyal, president of NGO Jan Saksham, threw light on how humans were harming the environment with the help of a documentary.

The students were shocked to learn that 25 per cent of landfills consisted of plastics and only 0.03 per cent of water was fit for drinking. The students pledged to stop using plastic.

Principal Amita Mittal asked the students to conserve resources and use separate bins for paper waste that can be recycled for use.

Saplings planted

Students of DAV Public School carry out an environment awareness rally on Earth Day in Ludhiana on Friday.
Students of DAV Public School carry out an environment awareness rally on Earth Day in Ludhiana on Friday. Photo: Indrjeet Verma

Earth Day was celebrated with great fervour at DAV Public School, BRS Nagar, on Friday. The aim behind the celebration was to sensitise the students on eco-friendly lifestyle and to be more receptive to Mother Nature’s call for help. The students participated in various activities like poster-making, sapling plantation drive, awareness rally, card making, declamation contest and slogan writing. Saplings were distributed among students to be planted at home.

Principal RS Patial appreciated the efforts of the students and encouraged them to work towards a cleaner, greener earth.

Green programme

Ranked twice among the top 10 Green Schools of India, as audited by Centre of Science and Environment, Delhi, BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, observed Earth Day on Friday. The institution has been shortlisted for the third time for National Award - 2011.

Nearly 6,000 students and teachers collectively took a pledge to protect Mother Earth. New captains for land, air, water, waste, energy and biodiversity were nominated as part of the school’s ‘Green School Programme’ under the guidance of environment manager Vipra Kale.

School principal Paramjit Kaur highlighted the importance of the day and inspired the students to develop positive feelings towards Earth.

Good Friday

Atam Devki Niketan celebrated Earth Day and Good Friday here today. Poster making and collage making competitions were held on the topic “Save Earth”. A presentation was also organised on global warming to make the students aware of its ill effects. A tree plantation drive was also conducted on the occasion.

Principal Mridhu Ablash gave the message to the students to save water, plant trees, shun plastic and conserve fuel. She also told them the importance of Good Friday and elaborated upon the Christ’s supreme sacrifice for His people and urged them to follow the Lord’s teachings.

Documentary screened

Mandi Gobindgarh: The students of CS International School, Mandi Gobindgarh, celebrated World Earth Day at the school complex today. A documentary film on ‘no polythene’ prepared by students was appreciated by fellow students and teachers. The students of class I planted saplings.

Rally held

Desh Bhagat Institute of Management and Computer Sciences Mandi Gobindgarh also celebrated World Earth Day. A rally was organised, which passed through Saunti village, Salani, Jallalpur, Toora, Mandi Gobindgarh, Khanna, Shahpur, Khummna and Majri village and came back to the college. The participants gave awareness messages to the villagers. — Tribune Reporters



Couple kill nephew over property
Mahesh Sharma

Victim’s remains found in fields

The skull of a child and mutilated remains were spotted by the operator of a combine who was reaping wheat crop in the fields of sarpanch Mohan Singh of Talwandi Rai village on Thursday afternoon

Raikot, April 22
Lust for property drove a woman of Chhajjewal village, near here, to abet and facilitate her husband to kill her 10-year-old nephew and leave the body to be devoured by stray dogs.

The skull and a few bones of the victim were recovered by the police after being spotted by labourers harvesting wheat crop in some fields located on the outskirts of Talwandi Rai, the native village of the victim family.

While the child’s mother, a widow, has gone in shock after seeing the remains of her son, the suspect couple have been thrown behind bars at the local police station.

The police has added Section 302, IPC, to the abduction case registered against the suspects and initiated the process of carrying out the DNA test of the victim.

Dalbir Singh, alias Lallo, 10-year-old son of Rajandeep Kaur, widow of Rajwinder Singh, of Talwandi village had disappeared mysteriously around 6.30 pm on April 12.

Suspecting her husband’s sister Manjit Kaur and her husband Baljit Singh behind the disappearance of the child, Rajandeep Kaur had lodged a complaint against them at the police station.

A police team headed by Raikot SHO Waryam Singh had arrested the couple a few days ago. Lust for property was cited as the motive behind the alleged kidnapping and the suspected murder.

While the suspects wanted to have a share in the parental property of the Talwandi Rai family after the death of Rajwinder Singh, other relatives wanted the land to be saved for the future of the widow and her children.

Unhappy with the decision of the relatives, the suspects had threatened Rajandeep Kaur with dire consequences.

The skull of a human child was spotted by the operator of a combine who was reaping wheat crop in the fields of sarpanch Mohan Singh of Talwandi Rai village yesterday afternoon.

The recovery of victim’s clothes from the vicinity of the skull made the victim family and the police believe that the child had been brutally murdered and his body destroyed beyond recognition.

The police collected all relevant pieces of evidence in the presence of Raikot DSP Pirthi Pal Singh and naib tehsildar Gurnam Singh.

The process of getting the DNA test of the skull conducted has been started but the samples are yet to be sent.

The investigating officials said it was too early to arrive at any conclusion. But circumstantial evidence suggested that the child had been murdered for the lust for money.



Man arrested for robberies, son at large
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, April 22
The police claims to have busted a two-member gang involved in several cases of robbery, snatching and shooting in the area with the arrest of one of its members.

Addressing mediapersons here, SSP Ranbir Singh Khatra said Satnam Singh, alias Satta, was arrested, while his son Karanpreet Singh, alias Karni, of Karnal, Haryana, was at large.

On March 29, Aditya Vikram had lodged a complaint with the Gobindgarh police station alleging that two motorcycle-borne men had allegedly fired in the air and snatched his bag containing cash.

A special investigation team was constituted to arrest the two.

On April 12, a police team raided Talwara village, where the in-laws of Satnam Singh lived, following a tip-off. However, the accused fired at the team and fled. A case was registered at the Fatehgarh Sahib police station in this regard.

Satnam was arrested from Karnal and during questioning he admitted to having robbed Raj Kumar of Rs 2.4 lakh near Yuvraj Place here. He also fired at the victim and left him injured.

On July 27, 2010, the accused snatched Rs 6 lakh from Bhupinder Kumar in the Subash Nagar area of Gobindgarh after shooting at the victim.

Similarly, on March 29, the accused had opened fire at Rohit Mittal and robbed him of his money.

Khatra said a 315 bore pistol with four cartridges were recovered from Satnam. Besides, three motorcycles, Rs 1 lakh and a Skoda car (PB11S 0048) purchased from the booty have been recovered.

Satnam and Karanpreet are facing around 20 cases of robbery, snatching and murder in various parts of Haryana and Punjab.

They used to hang around a tea vendor at Motia Khan where major cash transactions took place and targeted people carrying cash bags and riding two-wheelers. They used different motorcycles to commit the crime.

Karanpreet worked as a bouncer in pubs and bars in Chandigarh. He is at large and a search is on to arrest him.



Doctor held in cheque bounce case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
A city-based doctor, who was declared a proclaimed offender (PO) in a cheque bounce case, was arrested by the PO staff here today.

Dr Amardeep Singh of Sigma Hospital was arrested and produced before the court of judicial magistrate Deepti Gupta, who further remanded the doctor in 14 days judicial custody today.

Dr Amardeep was declared a proclaimed offender by the court in the cheque bounce case last year.

The complaint was filed by Darshan Singh after the cheques issued by the doctor bounced due to insufficient funds.



T-20 trials on Sunday
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 22
The Ludhiana District Cricket Association (LDCA) will conduct trials to select probables (seniors) at Satish Chander Dhawan Government College ground on April 24 at 9am, according to association honorary general secretary Vinod Chitkara.

A six-member selection committee with Chaman Lal Malhotra as its chairman has been constituted by the LDCA to shortlist the probables.

Others members are: Sham Lal, Dinesh Puri, Pawan Kumar, Naveen Sharma and Naresh Kumar Marwaha.

The district team will be finalised from these probables to take part in the inaugural edition of the Punjab State Inter-District Twenty-20 Cricket Championship slated to start in the last week of May.



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