L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


ASI tries to overpower robbers, shot at twice
* One bullet lodged in brain, another ruptures his vertebra * Pvt help also injured
Mohit Khanna
tribune news service

Ludhiana, May 18
An Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) was shot at in the head while one man sustained a bullet injury on the shoulder after a robber opened fire at a police party in Vishal Nagar here today.

ASI Gurdial Singh, in charge of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, and Ajay Sharma, who works as private help at a police post, were shot at while trying to overpowering robbers.

Gurdial sustained two bullet injuries -- one on the temple and the other on the collarbone. His condition is stated to be critical. Paramedics said one bullet was lodged in his brain while the second one ruptured the vertebra. Also, he had lost a lot of blood.

Ajay Sharma was lucky as a bullet scraped his shoulder.

The incident took place at 6 am when Gurdial received a tip-off that robbers, who had recently targeted an industrialist on pistol point at Atam Nagar, had been spotted in the area.

According to an eyewitness, Gurdial saw two motorcycle-borne youths near a bakery and chased them in his car.

The suspects entered Vishal Nagar and were intercepted by a team of Gurdial, Head Constable Amarjit Kumar and Ajay Sharma.

They asked the suspects to pull over, but they tried to flee.

Amarjit, who was carrying a stick, hit the youth who was pillion riding. “I thought I had hit him. Ajay and I tried to stop the motorcycle. In the meantime, the ASI also got out of the car to help us,” said Amarjit.

Suddenly, one of them pulled out his pistol and fired five shots at Gurdial and Ajay. Three bullets hit the target. Ajay collapsed after being hit. Residents who were witnessing the incident ran for cover, leaving the injured in a pool of blood.

The Head Constable said: “He then pointed the pistol at me. The other accused, however, started the motorcycle and they fled.”

An alert was sounded on the wireless and the injured were rushed to the DMCH.

DGP visits hospital

Punjab Director General of Police PS Gill visited the DMCH to enquire about Gurdial’s condition. Ordering the immediate arrest of the culprits, the DGP offered all possible help to Gurdial’s family. Gill left without interacting with the media.

Brave act: Commissioner

The Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh was all praise for his assistant sub inspector (ASI). “The incident reflects the grit of the ASI who put his life at risk for the safety of residents,” he said. The police had been on a lookout for the gang for the past few days and several teams had been set up to nab the suspects. The police overpowered the suspects, but they did not know that the accused were carrying weapons.

Cop’s wife faints

ASI Gurdial’s wife, Rajpal Kaur, fell unconscious on learning that her husband had been shot and was in a critical condition. Later, she and son rushed to the DMCH.

Callous PCR cops

Before chasing the robbers, ASI Gurdial Singh had informed the PCR men and asked them for cover. But they failed to act quickly, resulting in the escape of the criminal.

Details about robbers

The robbers were clean-shaven. One of them is suspected to have sustained a head injury. The police is raiding small clinics in Pakhowal and surrounding areas to nab the robbers who were riding a black motorcycle.



Gun culture growing in city
Fourth incident in the last one month
Mohit Khanna
tribune news service

Ludhiana, May 18
Today’s incident has brought to the fore the growing gun culture in the city.
The use of mechanised weapons has set off alarm bells. In an incident that occurred on May 15, 24-year-old property dealer Ajay Kumar was shot at in the Civil City area. Three cases of shooting have been reported in the last one month. A Namdhari follower, Avtar Singh Tari, was shot on May 12. 

The police had booked his alleged political rival and his accomplices for allegedly plotting the murder of Avtar Singh. The police said an AK-47 rifle was used to kill Avtar. Investigation revealed that the bullets were manufactured in 1998. On May 4, 28-year-old Kumar Ravinder was shot at by two motorcycle-borne youths. He is recuperating in the DMCH. The son of an arms dealer, Ravinder was shot at outside his house in Guru Nanak Pura. 

Recent incidents
* April 12: Avtar Singh shot dead at Katani Kalan. His rival and some others booked for plotting the murder. An AK-47 was used in the crime. Police scanning mobile details. 
* May 5: Son of an arms dealer shot at. No headway in the case so far. 
* May 15: 24-year-old property dealer shot at by rival. Personal enmity reason. No arrest so far. 



Khaki under attack
* No fear of men in uniform * Attitude to blame 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 18
Gone are the days when people used to fret at the mere sight of the men in khaki. Today’s incident, where  ASI Gurdial Singh was shot at by a robber, has yet again brought to fore the fact  that criminals have no fear of the police.

But the cops can only blame themselves as their surrendering attitude has led to the growing incidents of lawlessness. Three days ago, a traffic cop, Baldev Singh, was in the spotlight. He alleged that a commuter thrashed him and tossed his turban after he asked for documents. The matter ended in a compromise after the cop refused to register a case against the traffic offender.

“If a cop is being thrashed, it is a crime against the state and not against any individual. Cases of manhandling a cop should be dealt with strongly to restore respect for men in khaki among residents,” said a cop at the DMCH. The shooting incident rattled lower-rung official, who felt that while politicians were patronising anti-social elements, the police were buckling under pressure.

“Today’s incident proves how cheap the life of a cop is. Residents and politicians want cops to be killed so that they can indulge in hero worship. Had the opposite happened and the robber sustained a bullet injury, the cop would have been suspended and would have had to live with the allegation of a fake encounter. We are frustrated as we continue to see our men being shot at by criminals,” said the disgruntled police official.

Cases of cops being thrashed were not new. Nearly a month ago, three PAU students knocked down Kotwali SHO Nirmal Singh when he was trying to stop their motorcycle at a police check-post near the Kotwali area in the Chaura Bazar. The SHO sustained a leg fracture and a case under Section 307 of the IPC was registered against the accused.

To exert pressure, politicians also staged dharna against cops. Past year, relatives of a SAD leader, who were reportedly in an inebriated condition, manhandled traffic cops at the Bhai Bala Chowk after they were fined for jumping red lights, sat on a dharna and blocked traffic to protest against the fine.

Spoilt brats of the nouveau rich and the influential had been particularly nasty with low-rung policemen. In April 2010, two drunk youths who gatecrashed into the Orient Cinema thrashed the cops who went to arrest them. The policemen were taken to hospital for treatment. In 2009, the then SP (Headquarters) Harish Kumar sustained injuries while mediating in a dispute between an industrialist and a doctor.



Acid attack
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 18
A 20- year- old youth identified as Jagdeep Singh, a resident of Alamgir, who sustained acid burn, has level alleged against his employers for throwing acid on him.

The victim, who works in a milk factory in Alamgir, complained that on May 15 his employers threw acid on him after he refused the adulteration of milk, against the wishes if his employers.

Jagdeep sustained burns on his legs and left arm and currently recuperating in Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital. His condition is stated to be serious. No case has yet been registered by Dehlon police.

Helplines introduced

* In a recent appeal, the police commissioner had urged residents to help eradicate the menace of bribery. He earned accolades after he launched a helpline to register complainst of bribery in office.

* Persons who fall prey to corrupt cops can contact helpline numbers 95929-14700 and 98761-67900.

* The police helplines including those for traffic (1073), crime (100, 1090), and woman (0161-2414933, 1021) have received an encouraging response.

SUVs to bicycles — all for policing

* From fast and furious sports utility vehicles to street smart eco-friendly cycles,the pollce commissioner has been instrumental in bringing about changes in the mode of policing.

* The city got 14 new Tavera vehicles fitted with the latest GPS system, which responds to the phone calls. The police control room has been modernised with the latest technology. Besides, 80 PCR motor bikes with trained officers have been put on duty to patrol congested areas of the city. Further, 50 cycles gifted by a local cycle manufacturer have been put to use to man the Chaura Bazar area. 


* May 18: ASI Gurdial Singh shot at; case registered

* May 16: Traffic cop thrashed; compromise effected

* April 19: SHO hit by students; case registered


* April 21: Drunk kin of Akali Dal leader manhandles cops; let off

* April 23: Youths abuse traffic cops; let off

* April 24: Two youths thrash cops; case registered

* May 2: Two youths manhandle cop, damage police vehicle; case registered

* May 20: Youth damages police vehicle, SHO sustain injury; Accused held



City residents  SPEAK OUT

Deepak Kumar Policemen have always remained the favourite whipping boys. I believe that after today’s incident, people who keep on condemning the police for inaction will hang their heads in shame. It was none other than a policeman who risked his life for the safety of residents.

— Deepak Kumar, local businessman

Satwinder Jawaddi, There is total lawlessness in the city. If the police is not safe, then you can well imagine the condition of the common man. ASI Gurdial is an honest officer. He never hesitated in doing his job. I am standing by the family in this hour of crisis.

— Satwinder Jawaddi, former councillor

Harbhajan SinghNo one likes to see a bloodbath at the break of the dawn. The cop was fighting for us; for our safety. The robbers are targeting residents almost everyday. Strict action should be taken against criminals so that no one dare commit crime.

— Harbhajan Singh


Not enough cops for city of 16 lakh
Mohit Khanna
tribune news service

Ludhiana, May 18
Today’s incident where an Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) and a private help sustained bullet injuries while trying to apprehend robbers in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar has again brought to the fore the paucity of police personnel in the city.

The fact that a private employee was part of the team to nab hardened criminals reflects on the security scenario.

The city has 2,500 police personnel to provide security to a population of 16.13 lakh. The city will naturally be vulnerable to crime.

Ludhiana has the highest population in the state and has 27 police stations under the Police Commissioner.

Over 20 police posts were introduced for effective policing in the city, but with the passage of time and paucity of force, the police posts have become a “problem of plenty”.

With the manpower of less than 10 police personnel, including an SHO and munshi, the policemen have a tough time safeguarding their own property, leave alone protecting people.

The candid admission of Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh aptly sums it up. “We are short of six officers and nearly 600 police personnel. I salute the Station House Officers (SHO) and others who selflessly dedicated themselves to a cause. They are working on the trot from early morning till late in the night. I am concerned at their situation. But at the same time, it is an honour for me to work with men who put in a sincere effort to maintain peace in the city,” said the Commissioner. 



City sizzles under blistering heat wave
Residents told to take precautions as mercury set to cross 43º C
Anupam Bhagria
tribune news service

Ludhiana, May 18
City residents are reeling under oppressive heat wave conditions with the day temperature about to cross 43 degrees Celsius. And the worst hit are those who have to travel long distances due to one reason or another under the scorching sun. Schoolgoing children are also facing the same acute discomfort although some schools have begun closing earlier due to the ongoing examinations.

Said Paramjit Kaur, principal of BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School in Shastri Nagar: “These days we’re conducting exams and children go back home earlier than usual. So the exams have come as a blessing in disguise for them as far as their health is concerned." On the other hand students of government-run schools have to endure the sizzling heat as their schools give over in the afternoon.

Health experts have warned of the ill effects on health of the heat wave. Dr Gautam Aggarwal, a senior consultant at SPS Apollo Hospitals: “Heart, diabetes and kidney patients should avoid going out as they remain at high risk of falling sick”.

Dr US Sooch, senior medical officer at the Civil Hospital, said: “In such hot weather conditions people contract very high fever that sometimes touches 106 degrees Fahrenheit. Many suffer from vomiting, which leads  to dehydration."

Do's and don'ts
Dr Sandeep Puri, medical superintendent of the city’s Dayanand Medical College & Hospital, said: “In May and June we usually receive lots of patients suffering from dehydration and other symptoms cause by the searing hot weather." Among the measures he suggested are:
* Eat plenty of fruits and drink enough liquids
* Consume more salt
* Avoid going out in the scorching sun
* Always drink two to three glasses of water before going out



6 shortlisted for PAU VC’s post
Shivani Bhakoo
tribune news service

Ludhiana, May 18
The three-man committee tasked with selecting the next incumbent of the prestigious position of vice chancellor of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has reportedly received a list of 32 eligible candidates till May 5, of which about six considered "most suited" for the job have been "shortlisted". This has been done although the panel’s chairman, Punjab chief secretary SK Aggarwal, is abroad these days.

According to sources, two or three candidates had applied for the post online on the last date (May 5). However, not many from the varsity itself have applied for the job.

Meanwhile, speculation is rife PAU will get its new head in the first week of June once Aggarwal returns to Chandigarh on May 30.

Once the final meeting of the three committee members - Aggarwal, former PAU vice chancellor GS Kalkat and Punjab financial commissioner NS Kang - is held in the first week of next month, three names judged most eligible on he basis of merit will be presented to the varsity’s management board that will approve the final selection. The sources added the new vice chancellor was expected to be from “outside”, one who could be "capable" enough to resolve the varsity’s financial crunch and raise funds from the Indian Council of Agriculture Research.

After the state government had "squeezed" financial grants to PAU it had had asked the varsity administration to arrange funds on its own as the state’s coffers were virtually empty. Employees and teaching staff at the university feel the new vice chancellor should be "dynamic" enough to rescue the varsity from its present troubles.



Stubble burning: Callous farmers add to rising mercury
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 18
Though social organisations, NGOs and environmentalists may be warning society against global warming, environmental degradation continues unabated in the region. Sudden rise in maximum temperature has not only heated but also polluted the environment, thanks to the callous attitude adopted by farmers, who continue to burn wheat stubble in fields despite being banned by the administration.

The maximum temperature of the city has touched 44°C. Trends available with the Agro-meteorological department show that 2011 May is warmer than in 2010. “April 2011 was cool as compared to April 2010. But May recorded highest maximum temperatures. Burning of wheat stubble in fields has led to the sudden rise in the temperature. The heat adds to the environment and the temperature shoots up. With this practice, the environment gets degraded. The flames and heat increases the temperature further,” said Dr KK Gill, an agro-meteorologist at the PAU.

She also added that temperature would fall on May 20 and 21 due to western disturbances. “There could be mild rainfall also but these are certainly not pre-monsoon showers,” she said.

Despite being banned, the burning of wheat and paddy stubble continues unabated in the state. Farmers burn stubble in open fields, which pollutes the environment further.

Though the district administration imposed ban under Section 144 for a certain period, but it is continuing as farmers have refused to listen to the “pleas” of the administration. 



Health Minister postpones first meeting of officials
* Says he will call it shortly * Warns against adulteration
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 18
To take necessary preventive measures for saving the district from the menace of dengue, Punjab’s newly inducted Minister for Health and Family Welfare Satpal Gosain, who had first decided to call a meeting of all officers concerned today, postponed it.

Gosain said, “I thought of holding a meeting of officialss of the municipal corporation and the health department today. Due to some other important engagements, it was postponed. I will call it soon.”

Talking to The Tribune, the minister warned those engaged in adulteration to stop this practice immediately. He said, “Stringent action will be taken against defaulters.

My priority will be to make Punjab drug-free. We will chalk out a plan to curb drug mafia.” Asked if he would be able to handle the challenges of the health department as he had only six months to prove his worth, the minister said, “I know the path is too long for me, but I will run if required. I will try my best to come up to expectations of people.”

PCMSA to meet him

The Punjab Civil Medical Services Association (PCMSA) has welcomed Gosain as new Minister for Health and Family Welfare.

It will meet him soon to apprise him of the problems of the health department.

Dr Hardeep Singh, state president, and Dr Balwinder Kumar, district general secretary, of the PCMSA said problems of families of doctors were ignored in the past during transfers.

They alleged that the dilly dallying tactics of the Punjab Government in implementing recommendations of the Fifth Pay Commission had caused a lot of harassment to doctors.

They claimed that the government had been creating a lot of hurdles in the implementation of pay revision for doctors.

They added that about 900 doctors had been waiting for time-bound promotion after four, nine and 14 years of service, but the Punjab Government had failed to notify this recommendation.

They stated that many doctors had resigned due to the undemocratic attitude of the government.



‘Thermal plants to be completed on time’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 18
Claiming that the ongoing work on thermal power plants at Talwandi Sabo and Rajpura was quite satisfactory, chairman and managing director of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited KD Choudhry said projects were well on schedule or rather a little ahead. Once these projects start generating power, the state will become power surplus.

Talking to media here today on the sidelines of a seminar on power conservation on the concluding day of the power conservation fortnight at Guru Nanak Public School here, he informed that first unit of the 1320 MW thermal plants at Talwandi Sabo would become operational before September 2012 and thereafter every four months another unit would get commissioned. Similarly, 1980 MW thermal power project at Rajpura would also become operational before January 2014.



Ludhiana  scan

Doc invited to US

Dr Anand Sehgal, chief urologist, RG Stone and Super-specialty Hospital, has been invited to attend a conference of the American Urological Association at Washington DC. Dr Anand will present his paper on “Dorsal onlay buccal mucosa urethroplasty” in a single stage for complex urethral strictures. This technique for treating urethral strictures is being practiced at a few centers in the world. — TNS

Dental education

Christian Dental College, Ludhiana, conducted a continuing dental education programme (CDE) on “dental rehabilitation of patients with special needs” at Guy Constable Auditorium, CMC. Dr Abraham G. Thomas, director, Christian Medical College, inaugurated the programme. Stress was laid on the various techniques for the correction of jaw and facial deformities using orthognathic surgical procedures and distraction osteogenesis. — TNS

Hunger strike from June 1

Dr B R Ambedkar Memorial Sangharsh Committee has decided to go on hunger strike from June 1 as the state government has failed to construct Dr B R Ambedkar Community Centre despite Chief Minister’s assurance. Members of the committee would sit on hunger strike at the Ambedkar Chowk. — TNS

Power men to intensify stir

Punjab State Power Corporation Limited employees in response to a call given by the Joint Forum of the PSEB Unions have decided to intensify their agitation. Rajinder Singh Virk said the employees would hold demonstrations and burn effigies at the divisional level from June 1 to 15 and deputations of trade union functionaries would meet power secretary, minister concerned and the Chief Minister from June 16 to 21, a state-level dharna would be staged at Patiala on June 22. The protest would end with a daylong strike on July 7. Power employees have been urging government to sign a tripartite agreement, implement new pay scales, time-bound promotion, arrears. —OC

Job fair

The Gujranwala Guru Nanak Institute of Vocational Studies, a PTU learning centre, organised a job fair for its undergraduate and postgraduate students here recently. Nearly 300 students appeared for interview with companies like Anitoons & Groomers, Sarvpriya Autos, Virgo Softech, Care India, Enest Technnologies, Data Softech and Namdhari Products for posts like counsellor, trainer, telecaller, field manager, data entry operator and operator supervisor. — TNS

Mandi Gobindgarh

Dream machine

Nine students along with their team leader, Shahrukh Saifi of RIMT Polytechnic College, have invented a hydraulic arm machine. It was introduced at a function organised on the college premises on Tuesday. Other members of the team are Chander Prakash Bhatt, Chintan Mahal, Jagjot Singh, Paramveer, Gagandeep, Ranjeet Singh, Sushil and Manpreet Singh. This machine is used to lift 700 kilogram up to 10-foot. It can also be used to lift lightweight vehicles beside in flyovers’ construction. — OC


Wine shop looted

Two unidentified armed motorcyclists looted a wine shop near Goraya in the Phillaur subdivision on the National Highway. Gurdial Singh, an employee of the wine shop, told the police that two robbers came to the shop and asked him to hand over the cash. The robbers decamped with Rs 6,000 in cash and two cartons of whisky. A case has been registered in this regard. — OC 



Minority panel chief meets Pak Hindus
Our Correspondent

Khanna, May 18
The Punjab State Minority Commission has decided to take the issue resettling Hindu families from Pakistan with the Central government.

This was stated by Munawar Masih, chairman, Punjab State Minorities’ Commission, while hearing the grievances of Hindu migrants from Pakistan.

Two other members of the minority commission, Abdul Shakur Mangat and Tehsim Ahmed, were also present on the occasion. The chairman assured families that they were also in touch with others who do not want to return due to uncertainty prevailing in Pakistan. 



Consumer accuses PSPCL of harassment
 Alleges bribe demand 
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 18
The refusal to bow to the persistent demand of bribe by a low-rung field employee for waiving a challan has cost a shopkeeper at the Railway Colony at the Focal Point here dear.

The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has raised a demand of Rs 3,548 against the shopkeeper, who has been threatened with disconnection of power in the event of failure to deposit the amount of penalty.

In a complaint lodged with the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, the shopkeeper, Shiv Kumar, running a ‘karyana’ store, had alleged that an employee with the Focal Point subdivision (unit 1) had taken bribe from him at the time of installation of power connection in the commercial category and thereafter, used to demand money from him time to time.

“Irked over my refusal to meet his ever-increasing demands, my meter was inspected on April 6. Since the inspecting staff did not provide me with a copy of the report or explain what was written in it, I refused to sign the same,” he said.

He further said he received a final demand notice from the PSPCL on May 4 to deposit an amount of Rs 3,548 within seven days, failing which power supply to his shop would be disconnected. Shiv Kumar maintained in his complaint that he had been regularly paying his electricity bill and no irregularity had been detected in his meter. “It is only because I refused to meet the demand of the field employee of the PSPCL that I am being harassed and penalised,” he claimed.

The forum, while issuing a notice to the PSPCL for filing a reply on June 1, also directed it not to disconnect the power supply of the consumer, subject to his depositing 50 per cent of the amount demanded and current consumption charges, if any, within 10 days.



Excise dept gives more powers to inspectors
Online filing of intrastate trade optional now
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 18
The city’s traders got the much needed respite on Wednesday after excise & taxation commissioner A Venu Parsad announced the filing details of intrastate trade transactions online had been made optional. He was in the city to hold a meeting with excise department officials.

“Online filing of details of intrastate transactions has been made optional and it’s not binding on any trader to file them on the web. We’ve left it to the individual choice of the traders dealing in intrastate trade”, said Parsad. He said the excise department had given more powers to inspectors who will now issue VAT registration numbers, supervise checks at barriers and deal with any issue related to amendments in value added tax regulations. “Excise inspectors will now be looking after refunds, tax recoveries, penalties and sending notices to tax evaders”, he added.

Parsad said the department is yet to release tax refunds amounting to Rs 200 crore. "The revenue target for the current fiscal is Rs 12,500 crore as compared to the mop-up of Rs 10,800 crore in the previous year," he added.



MC to raise Rs 62-crore loan by pledging prime land
Funds to be spent on flats for the urban poor
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 18
The cash-strapped municipal corporation is all set to mortgage four acres of its prime commercial property on the city’s Hambran Road to raise a loan of about Rs 62 crore from Housing & Urban Development Corp Ltd (HUDCO), a financing institution.

The funds raised would be spent for a housing scheme of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, under which 4,832 apartments for the urban poor are being built over an area of 7.11 acres in Giaspura, Mundian (5 acres) and Dhandari Kalan (6.32 acres). These flats will be handed over to those residents who have presently encroached upon government land. Once they are displaced from these areas the flats would be allotted to the poor.

For this purpose a four-member HUDCO team led by the company’s was in the city last Monday. This team was law officer, Jasbir Singh, visited the city on Monday.

MC commissioner AK Sinha described the meeting with the HUDCO team members as successful.

Under the basic service to urban poor project, housing facilities will be provided to the migrant population presently living in slums situated in various city areas. MC additional commissioner Kanwalpreet Kaur Brar said project surveys had been conducted and lists of beneficiaries prepared.



Two labourers die in landslide
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, May 18
At least two labourers died in a landslide at Amargarh Kaler village, about 6 kilometers here today evening. Another labourer survived after a few villagers and others present on the accident site pulled him out.

The deceased have been identified as Mandeep Singh, alias Kakoo of Vadda Ghar village in Moga district, and Om Parkash, a migrant labourer from Uttar Pradesh. The injured has been identified as Kulwinder Singh, alias Kindi of Sidhwan Bet near Jagraon. Both deceased were in their twenties, it is learnt.

The incident took place when a large chunk of mud fell on the three labourers during sewerage laying work at the village. According to an eyewitness, both labourers, who died during the incident, remained buried for more than 45 minutes.

Soon after the incident, SSP Ludhiana (Rural) Gursharan Singh Sandhu along with DSP Joginder Singh and SHO Sadar Rachpal Singh Dhindsa reached the spot and started rescuing the labourers. The victims were rushed to the local Civil Hospital.

Two of them were declared brought dead while the third one was discharged after first aid.

The work of sewerage lying at Amarghar Kaler village had started five months ago. According to Mahipal Singh, a contractor, Mandeep Singh, Om Parkash and Kulwinder Singh were trying to connect sewerage pipes in more than 30-foot deep pit when a chunk of mud fell on them.

“Though the villagers and other labourers managed to save Kulwinder. But they failed to pull out other two labourers as they were buried deep under a huge chunk of soil and it took more than 45 minutes to pull them out, which ultimately proved fatal for them,” said Inderjit, supervisor of sewerage laying work.

The police is yet to register a case in this regard. 

Good Samaritans

Top police officials, including SSP Ludhiana (Rural) Gursharan Singh Sandhu were also seen working alongside villagers to save victims. SSP Sandhu supervised the entire rescue operation and then took the victims in police vehicles. 



From schools
Students made aware of power conservation

Winners of an inter-house Hindi declamation contest at Green Land Senior Secondary Public School in Ludhiana (left) Students present a dance during a valedictory function of the energy conservation fortnight at Guru Nanak Public School in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma 

Ludhiana: The valedictory function of the energy conservation fortnight, observed by the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), was held at Guru Nanak Public School (GNPS) here on Wednesday. PSPCL chairman-cum-managing director KD Chaudhary was the chief guest.

GNPS general secretary Surinder Singh accorded a floral welcome to the guests. The welcome address was delivered by GNPS principal Mona Singh.

She emphasised on the need to make students aware of the necessity to conserve electricity and tell them the importance of sustainable use of resources.

Students from almost all city schools attended this function and expressed their views through declamation, poem recitation and paper reading. One-act plays were staged by DCM Presidency and Ryan International.

A quiz was conducted by the GNPS to gauge the level of awareness among the audience.

Speaking at the occasion, Choudhary applauded the efforts of students and hoped that with such a well-informed young generation, the day was not far when Punjab would become a power-surplus state.

Declamation and fancydress contests

In order to cultivate human qualities and promote Indian culture and heritage, an inter-house Hindi declamation contest was organised by Ved Prachar Mandal at Green Land Senior Secondary Public School here in association with Ved Prachar Mandal.

The participating 16 students from class VIII to XII spoke on various topics. Speaking on the occasion, school chairman Rajesh Rudhra said Indian culture was great and it was the duty of every Indian to respect our cultural heritage. School principal Baldeep Pandher applauded the students and gave away prizes.

The first prize was bagged by Khushwant of class XI, the second by Priya of V IX and the third prize by Azhar of class XI.

A fancy dress competition was also held at the school for students of class III.

Students came dressed as summer fruits and vegetables, national leaders and sportspersons according to the themes given.

The function was presided over by Rudhra and Pandher. In various categories Soumya, Khushwant, Saksham, Yashika, Aashima, Mannat, Prabhneet, Preetika and Mehul were adjudged best and given prizes.

Class presentation

Children can express themselves better and more confidently when they share a common platform. Keeping this in mind, a class presentation was organised at Kundan Vidya Mandir here on Wednesday. The programme was presided over by school principal Navita Puri.

This programme, aimed at the overall development of the child, was based on the theme ‘mother’. Students of classes V-D, V-E and V-F presented a melodious song, thought-provoking poems, amazing facts and mesmerising dance performances that conveyed the importance of mother in one’s life.

Mono-acting depicting various types of mother was enjoyed by all. A role play by teachers, enacting the scene of a parent-teacher conference, put forth many common problems of teachers and parents. Solutions were also suggested.

100 pc result

Sahnewal: The first class X batch of Sacred Heart Convent School here bagged 100 per cent result in the ICSE examination. The first three positions were bagged by Mankirat Singh (94.4 per cent), Sarbpreet Singh (91.6 per cent) and Kirti Kaushal (91.4 per cent).

Other toppers included Divya Sharma (90.4 per cent), Amrinder Singh Ginn (89.6 per cent), Aashna Saini (88.0 per cent), Sandalpreet Kaur (87.2 per cent), Harmanpreet Kaur (85.6 per cent), Bhawanjeet Singh and Neha Thakur (both 84.4 per cent) and Navdeep Singh (82.8 per cent).

Seminar on traffic rules

A seminar was organised for students of classes XI and XII and drivers of Tagore International Public School here on Wednesday. They were made aware of traffic rules and advised to keep driving licence and other documents with them while driving, avoid reckless driving, take precautions and follow road safety rules.

Debate held on saving energy

Khamano: A tehsil-level debate-cum-seminar on energy conservation was recently organised at Gur Shakti Public School by the Punjab State Power Corporation. Eleven students of different schools of the block took part in the debate. Navdeep Kaur of Government Senior Secondary, Maneli Dhanaula, stood first. Navjot Kaur of Gur Shakti School, Khamano, and Harpreet Singh of Government Senior Secondary School, Khamano, were second. Rajwinder Kaur of Government Senior Secondary School, Maneli Dhanaula, was third. — OC



PAU union chief ends hunger strike
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 18
After being given an assurance by the Financial Commissioner Development and acting PAU VC NS Kang, the hunger strike by the president of the PAU Employees Union was called off today.

Kang offered a glass of juice to Harbans Singh Mundi, president of the union, and assured him that their demand would be taken care of by the government.

Prior to this, one of the members of the Board of Management, Urwinder Kaur Grewal, extended her support to the demand of the employees.

Addressing the union members on the campus today, she said the board had sympathy with employees of the farm varsity.

At the same time, she suggested that such extreme steps must not be taken by employees as their families were dependent on them.

The acting VC of PAU said, “We are familiar with the present financial status of the university. We will make arrangements so that employees do not suffer every month.”

Lakhwinder Singh Sandhu, senior vice-president of the union, said the farm varsity staff had been suffering since 2007 due to delay in monthly salaries.

“The hunger strike was the last option left for us. The government must realise our plight and issue cheques on the due date,” he said.



PAU Notes
Team from French institute visits PAU

A science delegation from the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), Paris, and the French Embassy in India visited the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here on Wednesday to find the possibility of Indo-French research collaboration in integrated plant health management and the impact of climate change on agriculture.

The delegation held a meeting with PAU VC NS Kang, Registrar, directors and heads of various departments. The delegation comprised Dr Gilles Aumont, Research Director and Head of the International Scientific Partnerships, Trish Kammili, Scientific Liaison Officer, International Relations, INRA, and Typhaine Loyer, delegate for INRA and French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD).

Interacting with visitors, Kang said the possible collaboration between the countries for joint research effort in impact of climate change on agriculture, plant health management and allied agricultural sectors would benefit the participating institutes. Through collaboration, ommon issues could be better addressed, he said, adding that climate change and crop health management were common issues of concern.

Dr Gilles Aumont, in his remarks, said they sought to collaborate and establish relations with the PAU in agricultural research and academics in order to have skilled agricultural management. They took keen interest in knowing about the integrated pest management programmes of the PAU, along with mechanism of knowledge dissemination to farmers, landscaping management, monitoring of diseases of various crops, database of scientific problems being faced by the farming community and academic programmes of PAU.

Training calendar

The Directorate of Extension Education (DEE) of the PAU has brought out a calendar of ‘Training programmes for the dissemination of improved farm technology 2011-12’. The schedule includes vocational, refresher and short-duration training courses, to be organised at different Krishi Vigyan Kendras located in different districts as well as at DEEs, which will prove useful for creating entrepreneurship skills in the rural youth and update their knowledge for enhancing per-unit productivity.

Dr MS Gill, Director of Extension Education, PAU said the university had been playing a key role in speedy dissemination of latest recommendations by organising training courses in agriculture and allied sectors such as crop production, cultivation of new crops, vegetable growing and fruit production, plant protection, agricultural engineering, mushroom cultivation, bee-keeping, home science and efficient management of natural resources for the benefit of farmers, farm women and field functionaries.

Dr Gill disclosed that during 2011-12, the DEE was planning to organise about 2,000 training courses, which included 268 training courses for field extension functionaries and 1,742 for farmers, farm women and the rural youth.

US researcher

Interacting with students of the PAU in an advisory group meeting held at the Pal Auditorium on Wednesday, Devinder Singh, a PhD scholar with the Department of Plant and Soils at the Iowa State University, US, provided useful tips for preparing for necessary tests required for seeking admission to US universities. — TNS



Farewell to MBACIT passouts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 18
Master Tara Singh College for Women arranged a farewell party for fourth-semester students of MBACIT here recently. First-year students gave brilliant performances and enthralled the audience.

Dances and modelling were the main attractions. Modelling on the ramp by outgoing students was appreciated and applauded. Dance and music performances by students held everyone spellbound.

Students danced to the notes of music and rocked the stage. Tanvee was crowned ‘Lady of the Evening’ while Yuvika and Poonam were selected first and second runner-up, respectively.

Manpreet and Tamandeep were given the title of ‘Ms Diva’ and ‘Ms Awesome’, respectively.

The principal, Dr Parveen Kaur Chawla, exhorted the outgoing students to develop a positive attitude towards life and prove an asset to their families, society and the country.



Book on tax laws released
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 18
Terming lack of knowledge about tax laws as major impediment in the growth of small and middle class entrepreneurs, office-bearers of a social welfare organisation announced to provide copies of recently published book “Punjab and VAT Manual and ready reckoner” to organisations working for welfare of traders and industrialists of the area free of cost.

A Venu Prasadand, Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Punjab, at Chandigarh, took the decision after the book authored by PC Garg his son Ritesh Garg was released yesterday.



the buzz
Stamp paper crunch hits legal work
Rajneesh Lakhanpal
our legal correspondent

Ludhiana, May 18
Litigants and persons intending to file civil suits for the recovery of outstanding amounts are facing a difficult time due to the non-availability of judicial stamps and stamp papers. The reason: a week-long strike by ministerial employees across the state.

It has also started affecting the functioning of court work.

The stamps are issued by the treasury office situated at the mini secretariat. But due to the strike, these were neither issued to the public directly nor to stamp vendors.

District Bar Association vice-president JS Miglani said: “We are facing problems due to the ongoing strike. Judicial stamps are required for filing any application in court. On a single application, a stamp for Rs 10 has to be affixed. There is no procedure or provision to pay the fee in cash. Clients are also being harassed for no fault of theirs.”



Man kills cop, arrested
Our Correspondent

Samrala, May 18In yet another case of honor killing, a man cut into pieces paramour of his daughter and them into a canal. The man has been identified as Gulzar Mohammed.

SHO Arvind Puri said Gurpreet Singh, a resident of Railway Colony, Jalandhar, who is also a constable in the Punjab Armed Police, was missing from his duty from May 5. The Jalandhar police was trying to trace him.

Gurpreet Singh’s brother told the police that he was having an affair with a girl named Anju, a resident of Issru village.

He expressed fear that the girl’s family might be behind his brother’s disappearance.

The police came to know that Gulzar Mohammed, father of the girl, murdered Gurpreet as he was against their relationship.

Gulzar runs a dera near Neelon village. Samrala Police after registering a case in this regard has arrested Gulzar Mohammed father of the girl who was absconding after the crime.

As Gurpreet used to frequently visit the dera, Gulzar called and murdered him. He, then, cut the body into pieces and kept it in the dera and threw the pieces into the Neelon Canal. 



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