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Ramgarhia’s Birth Anniversary
Deputy CM misses date with city
Returns to Chandigarh midway
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Bains behind it?

Akali Dal circles are rife with the speculation that with Youth Akali Dal supremo Simarjit Singh Bains regaining proximity to Sukhbir Badal, the Deputy CM kept away from the function. Gabria and Bains are political rivals. “By staying away from the function, Sukhbir has conveyed a message to Gabria,” said an SAD leader.

Ludhiana, May 5
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal missed a date with Ludhianvis as he stayed away from the 288th birth anniversary celebrations of Maharaja Jassa Singh Ramgarhia organised at Ramgarhia College in Miller Ganj here today.

The Deputy CM is learnt to have taken off in his helicopter from Chandigarh to visit the venue where he was to address participants as the chief guest. But to everyone’s surprise, he returned to Chandigarh midway.

The entire city police force remained on its toes to ensure a secure passage to Sukhbir Badal from the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) grounds to Miller Ganj. A heavy posse of police was also deployed outside the venue. Even the convoy of the Deputy CM had reached the spot.

Jails Minister Hira Singh Gabria, who represents the Ramgarhia community in the city, said Sukhbir Badal had to return as a delegation of BJP leaders were visiting him at Chandigarh in connection with the CBI raids at the residence of Chief Parliamentary Secretary and BJP leader Raj Khurana. He was informed about the visit when he took off and he decided to return.

“I was informed about the cancellation of his visit when I was in the midst of a function,’’ Gabria said. Sources in the Akali Dal said several leaders had complained of a heavy rush of people near the venue. Not taking any chances, Sukhbir Badal decided to go back.

Gabria, however, denied the allegation. “Leaders always like huge gatherings. Why should they stay away?” he asked. The organisers said they were disappointed at the last-minute cancellation. “But he had a genuine reason. We have to go with it,” said one of the organisers.

Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, political adviser to the Chief Minister, filled in for Sukhbir Badal.


Vote, but not by choice
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 5
Infringing upon children's right to vote for the prestigious World's Children’s Prize 2011, many schools asked their students to cast their vote for a particular candidate, thereby beating the very purpose of the exercise.

Confirming this, a class 10 student of a school in Phillaur alleged: "We were clearly told by our class teacher to vote for a select candidate. When we told her we should be given an open choice to vote for the candidate we liked, she rebuked us and asked us to do as we were told."

Another student of the same school also narrated a similar incident. "Before casting the vote we were informed there were six candidates but our school was voting for a particular candidate so all of us would be voting for that person. We weren’t given a choice to vote according to our own will."

The hypocrisy and arbitrary attitude displayed by officials of various schools has evoked criticism from all quarters. "The global vote is a prestigious matter for children and aimed at choosing a candidate on the basis of children's votes from across the globe. But if schools indulge in such dictatorial practices, the very purpose of the exercise is defeated," rued another class 10 student of a local school.

While students are annoyed with the schools' attitude, parents demand an explanation. "The global vote has been established to inculcate in children a sense of responsibility that comes with the right to vote. In a way it’s an exercise aimed at preparing the children for the future when they’d be casting their precious vote to choose the country’s government," remarked SS Raheja, father of two students.

"But the schools’ arbitrary attitude had defeated the very purpose of the exercise. If they had to do this why did they participate in the process?"

Another parent, Sukhpreet Singh, too, is annoyed with the attitude of schools. He expressed great resentment against them for imposing their own choice on the students. "I’m going to give a written note to the school principal in this regard," he said angrily.

Meanwhile, when contacted the school heads refused to accept the students’ allegations and said the process of casting the global vote was followed “properly” in the schools.

World’s Children’s Prize

Numerous local schools participated in the Global Vote 2011 for the World's Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child (WCPRC) held in the city recently. Cecilia Flores Oebanda from the Philippines; Monira Rahman from Bangladesh and Murhabazi Namegabe from Congo-Kinshasa have been nominated for the World's Children Prize 2011

WCPRC is based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and strengthens the voices of children, connecting them together across countries and continents and helps them to demand respect for children’s rights. It holds and annual vote for global candidates who have made extraordinary contributions to protecting and promoting the rights of the children. It is a unique voting event for 24 million children in 53,000 schools and 101 countries are behind the WCPRC.

Millions of children are participating in this year's global vote to decide who will be the Child Right Hero. Two million students from India are expected to participate in the vote. The winner will receive prize money of US $100,000 at a glittering award ceremony at Gripsholm Castle in Mariefred, Sweden.



Another woman falls victim to free ride robbers
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

‘No need to panic’

Deputy Commissioner of Police Yurinder Singh said the police had set up a special team to nab the gang members and there was no need to panic. The accused would be behind bars soon.

High-risk zone

Model Town and its surrounding areas are the preferred hunting ground of the gang. The area has several gurdwaras and the gang zeroes in on elderly women wearing gold jewellery

Ludhiana, May 5
In yet another incident, a 70-year-old woman fell victim to the gang of ‘free ride’ robbers. This is the fourth such incident in a fortnight where victims have lost their gold jewellery.

The incident took place at around 8.30 pm yesterday when the victim identified as Jaswant Kaur, a resident of Dugri, was on her way to a gurdwara. Three unidentified persons, including two women, offered her a lift in their car.

When she refused to sit in the car, the women got off from the car and sedated her by using a handkerchief laced with some chemical.

The accused drove the car to some distance and robbed her off her gold bangles. When Jaswant Kaur began to regain consciousness, they set her free and fled.

Jaswant Kuar claimed that her bangles were worth Rs 1 lakh. The police has registered a case.



Snatchers nabbed, thrashed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 5
Residents of the Civil Lines caught two persons who were trying to snatch a gold chain from a woman here last night. The snatchers were overpowered and beaten up before being handed over to the police.

The incident took place at around 9.30 pm last night when the woman was entering a sweets shop. Two motorcycle-borne youths came close to her and tried to snatch her chain. But the woman moved aside and raised the alarm. Shopkeepers and commuters chased the snatchers and thrashed them after the bike skid.

The police said the accused were drug addicts and were under the influence of drug. “They are residents of Haibowal, but have not revealed their names yet,” the police said.



I-T raids yield Rs 55 cr
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 5
Income tax raids were conducted on three companies operating under one group. The raids were conducted on Amrit Vanaspati, Amrit Corp and ADC paper company. A sum of Rs 55 crore was surrendered by the three companies while some bank lockers have been sealed. A sum of Rs 5.15 crore was seized during the raids, which were conducted by the investigation wing on the directions of Raman Goyal, Director of investigations, under the supervision of Additional Director BK Singh.

Two of the companies are engaged in making ghee and refined oil while the third company makes paper.



Passion for collecting Sikh era coins
Shivani Bhakoo/TNS

Ludhiana, May 5
Meet Narinder Pal Singh, a self-avowed numismatist from the city who has been collecting coins on Sikh heritage for the past two decades. With over 50,000 coins dating back to the period of several rulers since 600 BC, his collection is arguably the largest of Sikh period coinage in Punjab.

"It’s is just my passion for collecting antique Sikh artifacts - these rare coins are my assets and I’m proud to have these in my possession", said Narinder. His rare collection includes coins minted by the Sikh leader Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and his successors and those of the Sutlej states minted by the rulers of Patiala, Jind, Nabha, Kaithal and Malerkotla.

Besides, his collection also includes a complete series of Sikh themed stamps issued in India and abroad as well as Sikh relics. "Little has been written on the coinage of Sikh rulers. The coins of Sikhs symbolise a unique phenomenon in the history of medieval coins. They are original in a way that sets them apart from any other currency of that time, exhibiting a theme of valour".

These coins are probably the only coins in the world that do not carry the ruler’s name on them but those of their gurus. These coins were in circulation even before the beginning of the Sikh sovereign state that came into existence in AD 1799 whereas the coins were in circulation since 1765 to 1799 in Lahore and between 1775 to 1803 in Amritsar. “These coins were in circulation in areas controlled by the Sikhs in Punjab”, said Narinder.



Sangat Darshan
Contesting assembly poll from Lambi
Senior Badal contradicts Sukhbir
Says party’s core panel will take decision
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 5
The Chief Minister yesterday contradicted views expressed by his son and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal that his father (Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal) would contest the next assembly elections from the Lambi Vidhan Sabha constituency from where Manpreet Badal’s People’s Party of Punjab has announced to field Chief Minister’s brother Gurdas Badal.

While interacting with the media on the sidelines of the sangat darshan programme, senior Badal clarified: “The decision about fielding any candidate from any constituency is taken by the party’s core committee. It has not finalised from which Vidhan Sabha constituency I will contest the assembly elections. The decision regarding this will be taken by the SAD’s core committee at a proper time and not by any individual.”

Badal added that the views expressed by Sukhbir Badal were his own and not that of the party. When asked to comment on the possibility of facing a challenge from his own brother and Manpreet Badal’s father, Gurdas Badal, if he contests the next elections from the Lambi Vidhan Sabha constituency, he said the People’s Party of Punjab has no base in Punjab. Besides, it does not matter against which candidate I am going to contest the next elections.



A few return disappointed
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 5
A large number of needy people, including a few physically challenged, who had come to meet the Chief Minister with the hope of getting their issues resolved, failed to meet him during a Sangat Darshan programme organised here yesterday.

The Chief Minister distributed grants and funds worth crores among panchayats of various villages in Jagraon tehsil for carrying out development works. He also heard the grievances of a large number of people and directed officials of the departments’ concerned to redress their problems at the earliest.

Though a few belonging to BPL families had been waiting outside the venue to meet the Chief Minister despite the heat, they had to return disappointed after being stooped by security personnel and a few SAD workers from entering it.

“I had come to meet the Chief Minister and complain about s depot holder of our area, who mostly keep it closed. He opens the depot for only two or three days a week. He often refuses to give rations on one pretext or the other. He is in habit of selling the ration in the black market,” rued Dharamvir Singh, a resident of Agwar Lopon near Jagraon.

“Once angry people had assembled before his depot and threatened to lodge a complaint against him, but he challenged them. Besides, he often misbehaves with us”, he added.

“We waited to meet the Chief Minister for more than 5 hours in the scorching heat. But the security personnel did not allow us to enter the venue. They even misbehaved with us,” said Vicky, a physically challenged. Vicky, who has done matriculation, wanted the Chief Minister’s help in getting a suitable job. He is the sole breadwinner for his family.

This has once again has raised doubts about the usefulness of Sangat Darshan. Commoners are never allowed to enter the venues of such functions. But Badal, who always boosts of Punjab being the only state in the country to have a unique sangat darshan programmes for redressing the day-to-day problems faced by the common man, seems unaware of the problems faced by people standing outside the venues.



Cong leader submits memo to CM
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 5
General secretary of the Punjab Youth Congress Kamaljeet Singh Brar and son of Congress MLA from Baghapurana stole the show during the sangat darshan programme.

Brar hogged the limelight when he suddenly arrived at the venue to the utter surprise of SAD workers and supporters. His visit also took the local administration by surprise. It also tensed top administration officials and kept them on their toes till he left the venue after handing over a memorandum to the Chief Minister.

In fact, Kamaljeet Singh Brar had come to hand over a memorandum to the chief minister demanding formation of the drug prevention board in the state to tackle problem of drug addiction and check its smuggling.

The Chief Minister after listening to him directed Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari to meet Ravneet Singh Bittu to assure him that the government has already announced to form the board and convince him to end his chain fast.

Famous Punjabi satirist Jaspal Bhatti he has also joined the chain fast by Bittu.



Fight against drug addiction
YC workers gherao Gosain’s residence
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 5
As the ongoing hunger strike by Punjab Youth Congress chief Ravnit Singh Bittu and other party activists entered 5th day today, the workers led by district president of the party Dimple Rana squatted in front of Deputy Speaker of Punjab Assembly Sat Pal Gosain house in Kidwai Nagar and demanded setting up of a drug prevention board.

They also held an angry demonstration against failure of the state government to tackle the rampant drug addiction in Punjab, which was destroying thousands of young lives. Apprehending trouble by the demonstrators, police had made elaborate arrangements to prevent any untoward incident.

The deputy speaker came out of his house and accepted a memorandum submitted by the Youth Congress. Gosain praised to discuss the issue with the Chief Minister.

Bittu said: “ The Chief Minister has made a verbal announcement of setting up a drug prevention board. But, I have not received any written communication from the Chief Minister’s office in this regard. I also stand by my earlier demand that a house committee (of Punjab Legislative Assembly) be also set up to deal with the problem of drug addiction.”



Development projects
With 432 items on agenda, F&CC meets today
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 5
It appears that the Finance and Contracts Committee (F&CC) of the municipal corporation will have a gigantic task at hand as it meets tomorrow to discuss and accord its nod to as many as 432 items related to infrastructure development and maintenance in the city.

In a rather unconventional mode, a large number of items related to issuing work orders for tenders received and calling new tenders for carpeting of major roads, laying PCC and cement flooring on internal streets, maintenance and repair of parks, installation of street lights, painting traffic lines, repair and renovation of central verges, intersections, expansion of sewerage network and water supply and other development works have been included in the agenda.

Eyebrows are also being raised over such a heavy agenda involving a total expenditure of nearly Rs 100 crore in the wake of reports of the civic body facing resource crunch. Insiders maintain that the corporation is not issuing work orders for development works, mostly involving recarpeting of roads and construction of internal streets worth over Rs 200 crore after having invited the tenders and awarding the works because of financial constraints.

Although there are no set rules for the frequency and number of items for the F&CC meeting - an elected body of councillors presided by the City Mayor- but recently the state government had expressed its displeasure at very heavy agenda of the meeting. It was also directed that rather than having long gaps in the F&CC meetings and having several hundred items - which can not be discussed properly in a reasonable time, the F&CC ought to meet more frequently and have not more than 100 items to discuss.



Documentary on Ramgarhia screened at college
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 5
To commemorate 288th birth anniversary of Maharaja Jassa Singh Ramgarhia, a state-level function was organised at Baba Gurmukh Singh Hall, Ramgarhia Girls College, Miller Ganj, here today. To pay rich tributes to Maharaja Jassa Singh, a 45-minute-long documentary film on the life and times of the great leader was screened on this occasion.

The documentary by Drishtikon Creations was produced by Ranjodh Singh and directed by Navalpreet Rangi. The film traced the phenomenal growth of the great general from childhood to the ripe age of 80 and also recorded the 9th generation of his progeny who were settled in India, Pakistan and 14 other countries. Navalpreet Rangi has filmed 22 documentaries till date, some of which have gleaned prestigious awards in the US and Canada.

Ramgarhia Educational Council, Ludhiana, extended a hearty welcome to Sewa Singh Sekhwan, Minister for Education. Sekhwan paid tributes to the founder of the Ramgarhia Mission, who was the most dedicated and daring leader of the Khalsa Panth in the 18th century. He said the great contribution of Maharaja Jassa Singh Ramgarhia to spruce up the security of Amritsar by capturing the fortress of Ram Rauni and renaming it Ramgarh, the city of Guru Ram Dass, was responsible for strengthening of his kingdom.

Dr Daljit Singh Cheema talked about the great sacrifice of Maharaja Ramgarhia in consolidating his mission and providing stability and growth to his people. He paved way for a peaceful time ahead, said Cheema.

Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura said the devotion of the Maharaja towards the Sikh Panth was unparalleled in the Sikh history. He was a true Sikh warrior saint who dedicated his whole life to the benefit of mankind.

Hira Singh Gabria, Minister for Culture and Tourism, emphasised the contribution of the son of the Maharaja, Jodh Singh Ramgarhia, in the construction of the Ramgarhia Bunga on the premises of the Golden Temple, Amritsar, for the defence of the holy shrine.

On this occasion Ranjodh Singh, president, Ramgarhia Educational Council, conceptualised a poster to depict the glory of Maharaja Ramgarhia through a portrait by artist GS Sohan Singh, which was distributed to the audience.



From Schools

Prize distribution

LUDHIANA: Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, organised the annual prize distribution function here on Thursday to honour and facilitate the meritorious students. The campus wore a colourful and festive look. A programme comprising Maharashtrian dance, dance-drama and an English skit “Snow White” was staged.

As many as 221 students received prizes, certificates and trophies.

Science fest

Inter-School Science Fest was held at Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar, to observe the International Year of Forests, as declared by the UN. As many as 200 students from 20 city schools took part in this fest.

This fest also commemorated the birth anniversary of founder chairman of the GNPS, Jagat Singh, who was a person with a keen scientific insight and a renowned philanthropist. The welcome address was delivered by principal Mona Singh. She welcomed the participants from other schools and exhorted all present to invest in trees to make Earth a cleaner and greener planet.

Competitions in as many as eight events were held throughout the day. Jagat Singh Memorial Running Trophy was bagged by BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, 
Shastri Nagar.


Creative writing group A (classes VI-VIII): BCM Senior Secondary School, Sector 32; Group B (classes IX-XII): BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar; extempore: BCM Senior Secondary School, Sector 32; best out of waste: Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar; PowerPoint presentation: BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar; face painting: GNI Public School, Model Town; calligraphic slogan writing: BCM Senior Secondary School, Sector 32; quiz: Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar; and model making: BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar.

Poem recitation

Ram Lal Bhasin Public School, Phase I, Dugri, held an English poem recitation competition for junior classes. Tiny tots participated in the competition with enthusiasm and left the audience amazed by their performance. Some of the good entries were “Little Rain Drops” by Anjali of Class II, “Going Up” by Gurvir and “Boogie-Woogie” by Harman.


Group A (nursery to class II): 1 Jasmeen; 2 Prabhjot and 3 Oleena; group-B (classes I and II): 1 Harman; 2 Anjali and 3 Gurvir.


Different sports activities were organised for students of Bal Bharati Public School where they were given an opportunity to compete with each other on the playground. Inter-class races were organised for the students of classes I to V (BBPS Unit I).

About 85 students participated with great zeal in the races. Class I students participated in zig-zag and hurdle relay in which Kritika, Gagan, Jasman and Jessica from girls team bagged the first position. In boys’ team Harsehaj, Daksh, Amanpreet and Harshbir were declared winners.

Meera, Sukhmeet, Aarshi and Jashanjot of class V won Canadian fitness race where they ran, crossed the hurdle and pit, did the forward rolling and carried two buckets with 2 kg weight in them.

Seventy-two selected students from classes VI to IX (BBPS, Unit II) enthusiastically participated in different races as obstacle race, double grip race, hurdle fun race and flat race with balance to improve body control, orientation, strength and stamina. Yuvraj, Jaskirat, Chakshu, Ramneek and Khushi from class VI bagged the first position in relay race. Team of Taranjot Singh Litt, Esharpreet, Dilpreet, Taranjot Singh and Savneet of class VII won the first position in obstacle race. Karnika, Simran and Arshiya of class VIII bagged the first position in hurdle fun race. Abhishek and Parth of class VIII bagged the first position in double grip race. Aks of class IX won the flat race with balance while Prabhleen of class IX won balance and grip race.


With an intention of familiarising the parents with the functionalities of the continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE), BCM Senior Secondary School, Sector 32-A, organised an orientation programme for the parents of class I students.

The session commenced by giving details of changes in the evaluation pattern as per directives of the CBSE. Principal DP Guleria discussed the modalities of the CCE implementation in letter and spirit and explained how it helped to tap the latent talent of the students who may not otherwise excel in pencil and paper test.

The event proved to be a great platform for the parents and the school to come together for the child’s all round development. The event culminated with a vote of thanks. — TNS



Cheque Bounce
Man convicted in decade-old cases
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 5
Deciding two cheque bounce cases pending for the last over a decade, Judicial Magistrate Vipindeep Kaur has convicted Ramesh Kumar of Karim Pura to undergo imprisonment of one year each in both cases. He was also directed to pay a fine of Rs 10,000.

The orders came on a complaint of Jatinder Pal Singh of Jamalpur Awana in Ludhiana. The complainant had submitted before the court that the accused had taken a “friendly” loan from him. The accused issued two cheques for Rs 1 lakh each on January 9, 2001, and another cheque for Rs 2 lakh on February 9. The cheques, however, were dishonoured by the bank following insufficient funds in his account. The complainant brought it to the knowledge of the accused, who presented the cheques again. But these bounced again.

Legal notices were issued to the accused, asking him to make the payment, but he failed to do so.



Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Tournament
Chandigarh beat Ludhiana
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 5
On the basis of the first innings lead of 84 runs, Chandigarh emerged victorious against hosts Ludhiana in the inaugural match of the Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Tournament (u-16) for the ML Markhan Trophy played at the Satish Chander Dhawan Government College ground here today.

Ludhiana skipper Nimit Malhan won the toss and elected to bat. They could not survive for their full quota of 95 overs as their first essay culminated at 219 runs after 91.5 overs.

Captain Nimit led the team from the front as he was the top scorer with 67 runs. Other notable scorers were Rajat Arora (37), Vishwanath (38), Nikhil Chowdhary (25 n.o.) and Mayank Bhagria (16).

For Ludhiana, Shubham was the most successful bowler who scalped seven victims for 54 runs, while Bhagmohinder and Sagar captured one wicket each after conceding 23 and 34 runs, respectively.

In reply, Chandigarh made 303 in 81.2 overs in the first innings, thus gaining 84 runs lead. The main architects of their innings were Shubham Chand and Vinit who contributed 84 and 62 runs, respectively. Bhagmohinder scored 27 runs and Arjit chipped in with 22 runs.

For the losers, Nikhil Chowdhary was the pick of bowlers who accounted for five wickets for 96 runs while Manan Jain grabbed two wickets for 7 runs and Jai Sharma took two for 29.

Trailing by 84 runs, Ludhiana were 38 for the loss of three wickets in the second innings when it was called a day.

Nikhil Chowdhary and Nimit Malhan were at the crease with 19 and 12 runs against their names. For Chandigarh, Shubham Chand consumed two wickets for 21 runs while Himank took one for four runs.

In the second match slated to be played here on May 7 and 8, Ludhiana would clash with Bathinda.



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