L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Strike by ministerial staff hits work
 State exchequer losing over Rs 2 crore every day
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
tribune news service

City residents 

Ludhiana, May 19
The ongoing strike by members of the Punjab Ministerial Staff Union is not only hindering work at the city’s mini secretariat and other state government offices but is also affecting revenue collections. The revenue mop-up from land registries and stamp duty alone in the city is estimated at over Rs 2 crore a day and since the employees struck work from May 11 the losses could amount to more than Rs 14 crore.

Deputy commissioner Rahul Tewari said apart from the huge revenue loss, harrassed city residents were also facing problems on account of the strike. “At the moment work at the mini secretariat and other government offices has virtually come to a standstill. Officials at the Suvidha Centre are only receiving applications that they aren’t able to process as the entire clerical staff is on strike. The work of preparing affidavits has also come to a halt”, he stated.

District transport officer Ashwani Kumar said the strike had brought work in his office to a virtual standstill. “Earlier when staff members used to go on a ‘pen down’ strike we persuaded them to resume work whenever there was some urgent work. But now all of them have gone on casual leave for two days. No registration of vehicles is taking place in our office,” he informed.

Some time back the process of vehicle registration was shifted to the Suvidha Centre situated inside the mini secretariat. The work remained as usual there as most of the employees working there are contractual.
The grievances cell has been shut.
The grievances cell has been shut. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

According to rough estimates the district transport office used to process around 200 registration certificates (RCs) every day. “People apply and collect the RCs from the Suvidha Centre, but all of them are processed at the district transport office. So now, due to strike the work is suffering,” Kumar told The Tribune.

A similar situation prevails at the office of civil surgeon sit. Dr Yashpal Mehta. “Due to the ongoing strike, people are suffering. “We are not able to issue, death and birth certificates or other such documents,” he said.




Govt offices wear a deserted look, residents hassled
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
With the mini secretariat and other government offices deserted for the seventh working day city residents continued to face great inconvenience. Members of the Punjab State Ministerial Staff Union went on strike on May 11 to press their demands.

In the absence of any information officials in various offices including those of the district transport, civil surgeon and subregistrars were seen waiting for the employees to return to work and could only turn back people without getting their work done.

Those who have been making the rounds of these offices for the past week have had to go back empty handed. ‘‘It’s a sad state of affairs. Why are their demands not being accepted? If there’s an issue with meeting their demands then they should make alternate arrangements”, said Santokh Singh, a city resident.

Agreeing with him many others said they were being inconvenienced as their pending work was put on hold. ‘‘It’s so hot and we’re making the rounds of government offices every day. Is anybody listening?’’ asked Jarnail SIngh angrily.

Meanwhile, the protesting employees, who have demanded a hike in payscales as promised by the chief minister last January, burned an effigy representing the Punjab government outside the mini secretariat. Commuters on Ferozepore road had to go through a harrowing time for 15 minutes as the protesters held up traffic on the busy artery.

Sukhwinder Singh, chairman of the Punjab State Ministerial Services Union, apologized to the general public for the inconvenience faced by them. "But we’ve no choice. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had promised that our salaries would be revised according to qualifications and we on our part have learnt working on computers. But our pay packages are yet to be revised and this isn’t fair on the government’s part. They aren’t even willing to talk to us, which is very sad. If the government fulfils our demands we’ll put in extra effort to clear pending work”.

Parking lot contractor hit

Attendants at the parking lot at the city’s mini secretariat said sales of parking tickets had plummeted by almost 50 per cent every day ever since members of the Punjab Ministerial Staff Union proceeded on strike. “Ever since the strike began we have been incurring huge losses,” lamented a parking lot contractor.


Cop’s kin miffed at political drama
 Visits by leaders irk relatives
Mohit Khanna
tribune news service

Ludhiana, May 19
Playing politics to take the credit of someone’s bravery is not new, but repeated visits of politicians have rattled the relatives of ASI Gurdial Singh, battling for life after being shot at by a robber at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar here.

Both Congress and SAD-BJP leaders keep thronging the intensive care unit (ICU) at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here to enquire about the health of the ASI.

The relatives, who are devastated at the incident, have slammed politicians for playing politics. The hospital has been witnessing hectic activity.

The relatives have objected to politicians and their supporters barging into the ICU to get photographed with the cop.

Expressing resentment over repeated visits of leaders, Gurdial’s brother Hardev said the arrival of politicians and their supporters would increase the risk of infection.

Attending to relatives, he said, “I can tell relatives to sit in the waiting room. What can I say to politicians, who are making a beeline to meet my brother?”

None of the politicians spend time with the family. They came, got photographed with the ASI and left.

Condemning politicians, Gurdial’s friend Balwant Singh said they should take a lesson of propriety from DGP PS Gill, who told his security guards to stay out of the ICU and met the family alone.

“I wonder why we all are rushing to the ICU to meet Gurdial. He is battling for life and is on ventilator. This is not the time to play politics. The family is undergoing an immense crisis,” he said.

Stamp paper needed for:

* Land registration
* Filing civil suits
* Filing applications in court
* Getting affidavits attested by the district administration 

Administration helpless, says DC

The state government cannot make alternative arrangements. Class III and Class IV employees are on strike across the state. If employees of one department were on strike, we could have called staff from another department. But here, the situation is different. — Rahul Tewari, Deputy Commissioner



Acid attack case: Man gets 10-yr jail
 Girl lost vision of right eye
Rajneesh Lakhanpal
our legal correspondent

Ludhiana, May 19
The court of Additional Sessions Judge Karamjit Singh Kang has convicted Gurcharan Singh (40) of Gagandeep Colony, Sekhewal road, on the charges of attempt to kill a girl, Ritu Bhandari, by throwing acid on her.

Pronouncing the verdict, the court sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 10 years. Besides, a fine of Rs 75,000 was also imposed on the accused.

The fine amount would be paid to the victim, if the convict deposits the same. The girl had lost vision of her right eye in this incident.

A case under Sections 307, 326 and 506 of the IPC was registered at the Basti Jodhewal police station on December 26, 2007, following the complaint of Ashok Bhandari, father of the victim, residing on the Sekhewal road.

The police had arrested two persons in this case. An accomplice of the prime accused, Sahil, a student of class XII was aged 17 years at that time. His case was being separately tried by the Juvenile Justice Board, which was yet to be decided.

According to prosecution, Gurcharan Singh had been following the girl for many days. Her father had got her engaged to somebody else and she was to get married on January 18, 2008.

When she was engaged to somebody else, he thought of the sinister idea of throwing acid on her back so that her alliance was broken and his way to marry her was cleared.

He threw acid on 24 year-old Ritu Bhandari’s face and chest instead of her back. The girl struggled for her life at local CMC Hospital and luckily survived.

This girl was working as a nurse. She had sustained severe burn injuries on her face, eyes and chest.



War of words between PCMSA, Chawla rages on
 Doctors’ body charges her with inhuman and undemocratic attitude
Anupam Bhagria
tribune news service

Ludhiana, May 19
Although the health and family welfare department is not with Luxmi Kanta Chawla anymore, the cold war between her and the Punjab Civil Medical Service Association (PCMSA) continues.

The association has accused her of an inhuman and undemocratic attitude. Having high hopes from new minister Satpal Gosain, the PCMSA has many reasons to blame her. The former Health Minister has defended herself, saying she has worked honestly and for the welfare of the public.

Talking to The Tribune, PCMSA state president Dr Hardeep Singh said, “She never paid heed to our genuine problems. Whenever any individual doctor went to meet her for some problem, especially transfer, she categorically refused to meet the person. Many a time, there were genuine requests for transfer. Many doctors applied for voluntary retirement, which was later banned.”

The former Health Minister said, “I always paid heed to the problems of the public and acted against violators. In Punjab, 90 per cent PCMS doctors are private practitioners too. If we talk of Ludhiana, there are plenty here. There are 38 PCMS doctors, of which 34 are doing private practice. When I acted against them, they felt the pinch.”

PCMSA members further alleged that the Punjab Government was yet to fully implement the Fifth Pay Commission recommendations and many doctors had been waiting for time-bound promotion.

The president of the association said, “In her tenure, she re-employed experts on seniormost posts and put a full stop on promotion. The promotions granted to 352 PCMS doctors were reviewed as she could not defend their case in court.”

Defending her decisions, the former Health Minister said, “I worked with utmost honesty. I neither indulged in corrupt practices, nor allowed anyone to do so. Whatever I did was for public good.” She further said, “When I joined as Health Minister, seven districts in Punjab had no doctor even at the district headquarters. I deputed doctors at all these stations. These PCMS doctors want to serve at their hometowns or adjoining towns. Doctors deployed with VIPs ruled the roost.”

Gosain promises better work

Asked if his tenure would make a difference to the health department, the recently sworn in Health Minister Satpal Gosain claimed, “It will definitely be better.” Asked as if his predecessor’s work was not up to the mark, he laughed loudly and said, “She worked according to her thinking and I would work according to mine. Though I have less time, I will curb the drug mafia. My focus will be to create facilities in rural areas, where I will conduct random checks in dispensaries and hospitals.”



the buzz
IT refund by month-end

The income tax department will issue refunds for 2009-10 within this month. As many as 1,55,858 refunds have already been issued. Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (Ludhiana range) GS Randhawa said all the returns for 2009-10 had been processed. “The refunds are being issued through the refund banker scheme by the SBI Mumbai. All assesses should get their refunds by the month-end,” he said.

Some returns have not been processed since they bore wrong PAN, TAN, bank account numbers and incomplete addresses. “All such cases will be required to file the returns online. These will be then be directed to the CTC in Bangalore,” he said.

If the refund is being claimed on TDS basis and there is mismatch of data, the assesses will be required to send a rectification letter.



CICU sore over lack of facilities at railway station
 Ferozepur division’s highest revenue-maker has several shortcomings
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 19
The industrial capital of the state, although having reasonably good road and rail connectivity in the region, has nothing to write home about as far as the railway station is concerned, where even basic facilities and amenities for the travelling public are found lacking.

Members of the business and industrial community in particular, who have to travel frequently, are sore over the lack of infrastructure, congestion on platforms and movement area, insanitary conditions and the poor catering service, which leave much to be desired.

In a memorandum submitted to the Union Railway Ministry, a copy of which has also been sent to the divisional railway authorities of Northern Railway at Ferozepur, the Chamber of Commercial and Industrial Undertakings (CICU) has said despite being one of the highest revenue-generating railway stations in the Ferozepur division (over Rs 130 crore), and passenger traffic of more than 60,000 everyday, the railway station lacks amenities and has several other shortcomings.

“The level of cleanliness at platforms and other places inside and outside the railway station leaves a lot of room for improvement. Long queues at reservation and general-ticket counters is routine. Harassment of passengers by ticket-checking staff and the railway police is common. The number of licensed porters is inadequate. Overcharging by vendors, and that too, for poor-quality eatables, and lack of cold drinking water make rail travel an unpleasant experience for residents,” observe Avtar Singh, general secretary, and Upkar Singh, joint secretary of CICU.

The CICU functionaries have pointed out that the present platform number 1, where most ‘elite’ trains like Shatabdi and Rajdhani are berthed, is grossly congested and remains overcrowded with passengers and parcels, leaving no room for the public to move around and conveniently board trains. Since a majority of passengers travelling by ‘elite’ trains enter from the Civil Lines side, the Railways ought to develop another main platform on this side to provide safety and comfort to passengers, they say.

The representative body of trade and industry has further asked the Railways to give the railway station a facelift by ensuring cleanliness, repairing stairs of the foot overbridge connecting platforms or providing a new foot overbridge, making provisions for lifts and escalators for easier approach to different platforms and keeping a strict watch over vendors to make sure that passengers are not overcharged and only good-quality eatable are sold. The CICU has also stressed the need for speedy completion of the remaining portion of the motorable rail overbridge between Old City and the Civil Lines in place of the dismantled Lakkar Pul.

Long queues at reservation and general-ticket counters is routine. Harassment of passengers by ticket-checking staff and the railway police is common. The number of licensed porters is inadequate. Overcharging by vendors, and that too, for poor-quality eatables, and lack of cold drinking water make rail travel an unpleasant experience for residents.— Avtar Singh general secretary of CICU



2-day-old girl found abandoned
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
A two-day-old girl child was found abandoned here today near Ekjot Viklaang School in the Housing Board Colony, near Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar. Satvinder Kaur, the school owner, said, “It was around 9 am today when I heard the cries of a little child on the backside of my school. On searching we found a little girl wrapped in a white cloth in a red-coloured carry bag. We immediately informed ASI Kuldeep Singh of the Sarabha Nagar police station.”

“The ASI visited us and took all the details. We took the child to Raghunath Hospital and got her checked by paediatrician Dr Monica Bansal. The doctor told that the girl child was only two days old.”

Satvinder Kaur, who is also the president of the International Women Organisation, said: “We have decided to take care of the child for 12-13 days. After that we will collectively decide about her.”



Demolition Drive
Councillor backs families, raps Giaspura
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
Taking a swipe at Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, Youth Akali Dal’s district president and councillor Simarjit Singh Bains has come out in support of those whose houses were demolished by the municipal corporation officials in the Indira Colony area, near Giaspura, on Tuesday.

Bains alleged that the drive was carried out as Giaspura’s family owned a piece of land measuring around 800 sq yd adjoining the place where the demolition drive was carried out.

“The Mayor wants to harass the area residents so that they either leave the area or sell their plots measuring 100 sq yd each to his family. But I will not let this happen and take up the issue with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal,” Bains, who visited the area yesterday, said.

Bains further alleged: “These are poor people and are not offenders in any way. And if the Mayor thinks he can use the MC machinery for his personal use, we will not let it happen. We will stand by these people. We have conveyed this to MC Commissioner AK Sinha,” he said.

On the other hand, Giaspura refuted the allegations. “Everyone knows Bains is jealous of development works carried out by me in the city. The structures were demolished because the owners had not taken permission before constructing them. We can’t stop such drives just because a councillor is opposed to it,” Giaspura added.

During the demolition drive, three rooms constructed in three plots were demolished by a team led by ATP Nirmal Preet Singh. Later, the area residents had held a protest by burning the effigy of the Mayor. The government had allotted a total of 61 residential plots each measuring 100 sq yd to Scheduled Caste families in 1974. The plots were allotted under the Indira Awas Yojna of the Central Government. Of the total 61 plots, 48 were present on one piece of land, while the remaining 13 were located nearby.

Everyone knows Bains is jealous of development works carried out by me in the city. The structures were demolished because the owners had not taken permission before constructing them. We can’t stop such drives just because a councillor is opposed to it. — Hakam Singh Giaspura Mayor



Illegal Immigration
Canadian govt ads warn Punjabi immigrants
 Advises them to follow right channel
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 19
Taking cognizance of rise in the number of cases of illegal immigration, the Canadian government has launched a movement to warn those planning to take the illegal route against the consequences.

Advertisements on the issue appearing in Punjabi suggest that the government is concerned about the alleged dominance of Punjabis among unauthorised immigrants.

Fake marriages, visitor visa and study visa have been identified as major modes of unauthorised immigration.

“Illegal immigration is a crime and the Canadian government is proceeding against it. In case you take help of some consultant, it is your responsibility to ensure that he is honest. Learn how to immigrate to Canada in a genuine manner,” reads an advertisement released recently by the department of citizenship and immigration, Canadian government.

Besides warning immigrants, the government has tried to facilitate genuine process of immigration by giving tips through its official website immigration.gc.ca/antifrau.

Sources say the Canadian government has taken a serious note of illegal immigration through fake marriages, visitor visas and study visas.

Agencies like the Canada Border Services Society and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have also been entrusted the job to identify violators and help the administration proceed against them.

Earlier emissaries of the Canadian government had called on Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to take organised steps to check the tendency of procuring visas on the basis of fake documents.

It had been highlighted that visa approval rate had declined due to the use of fake documents by Indians in general and Punjabis in particular.

With intent to finding a permanent solution to the problem, the Punjab government had then deputed the ADGP Intelligence as the nodal officer to coordinate with the office of the Consulate General of Canada based at Chandigarh.

The emissaries had also sought Badal’s intervention to arrest unscrupulous travel agents who were aiding those involved in illegal immigration to Canada.

Though there is no credible data available on the number of illegal immigrants to Canada, estimates put the figure between 35,000 and 1,20,000.

Some reports, including one by the Auditor General, had stated that Canada had lost track of over 40,000 illegal immigrants.

The number was predicted to increase drastically with the expiration of temporary employer work permits issued four years ago, which were not renewed in most cases because of shortage of work due to recession.

Showing satisfaction over the move by the Canadian government, Gurdeep Singh Grewal, an NRI hailing from Phallewal village, and Sukhbir Singh Grewal, another NRI hailing from Kila Raipur, said check on illegal immigration would help genuine immigrants live an esteemed life there.



16 new judges posted in Ludhiana
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 19
The Punjab & Haryana High Court has posted 16 new judges in Ludhiana district. They were among the 65 judges selected a few months back.

District and Sessions Judge SP Bangarh administered them the oath of secrecy. Those posted in the city include Jagbir Singh Mehndiratta, Navdeep Gill, Manav, Lavdeep Hundal, Anupam Ahluwalia, Himanshi Galhotra, Rahul Garg, Kiran Jyoti, Ekta Sahota, Amandeep Kaur and Roopa Dhaliwal.

Two judges posted at Khanna include Manni Arora and Sukhbir Kaur and Amandeep has been posted at Jagraon. Gagandeep Kaur has been posted at Samrala. These judges would undergo one-year training.



Six injured in a pileup
 Four vehicles, including truck, involved
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
Six persons were injured, one seriously, in a pileup after a truck hit a road divider at Bhai Bala Chowk here today. The incident took place at around 10 am when the driver of the truck that was heading towards Jagraon Bridge rammed into a divider and came to a screeching halt.

An autorickshaw that was trailing the truck rammed into it and in no time, a Maruti Ritz hit the autorickshaw, followed by a Tata Indica.

The autorickshaw driver identified as Raj Kumar sustained multiple fractures and was rushed to hospital where his condition is stated to be serious. Five others sustained minor injuries.

The police has booked the truck driver for reckless driving.

The pileup caused a traffic jam at the busy Bhai Bala Chowk and left hundreds of commuters stranded during office hours.

Finally, a vehicle was used to tow away the truck to clear the road. It took nearly two hours to restore traffic.

Later it was found that the collision took place due to the traffic lights. The truck driver said he speeded up to cross the road before the signal turned red. But he lost control over the vehicle which hit the divider.



ASI’s son seeks divine blessings
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
Twenty-year-old Robin, son of ASI Gurdial Singh, has been visiting various shrines as his father struggles for life. Robin and Gurdial share a special bond. “Their relationship is more than that of father and son. He has not slept since Gurdial was shot at,” said Balwant Singh, Gurdial’s friend.

Busy cop

Gurdial’s brother Hardev Singh said his brother had been laying a trap in the area for the past three months to catch hold of criminals. “He had promised me that he would not sit quietly till he nabbed the criminals. I want him to keep it,” he said.

In dark

The police continued to grope in the dark. They released a sketch of one robber here this evening. 



Six city students make it to AFMC
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
Three students each of DAV Public School (DAVPS) and Guru Nanak Public School (GNPS), Sarabha Nagar, here have cleared the entrance examination of the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) at Pune.

The final interview will be held at Pune from June 1 to 18. Dipan Uppal, Mehnaj Kaur and Drishti Batra of DAVPS and Amrit Kaur, Gobinder Singh and Arman Singh Dhaliwal of GNPS are the successful candidates.

DAVPS principal RS Patial wished them success throughout life. GNPS principal Mona Singh expressed pride and wished the students luck.

Paramjit Kaur, principal of BCM School, stated that their student Arshdeep Kaur had also cleared the AFMC entrance examination.

Son of a doctor, Dipan said his focus was on putting in his best during the interview. “I owe my success to God, my parents and teachers at school,” he said.

“A premier institute, the AFMC is managed by the armed forces. After MBBS, we will be assured of service in the armed forces medical department,” he added.

Daughter of a pharmacist couple, Mehnaj was focusing on the interview. “Whatever I am today is due to my parents. I have not taken any coaching classes,” she said.

Daughter of a doctor couple, Drishti was concentrating on the interview. “I watched AFMC teams in quiz programmes on television and wished if I could get admission there,” she said.

“I will feel privileged to serve the country. The patriotic feeling is negligible in the younger generation. We must realise our duties towards the country,” she added.

After degrees from the AFMC, their life would be secure in terms of job placement, felt Amrit, Gobinder and Arman. “We will be with them for seven years. The pay package is good,” they said.



Fire breaks out near temple
 Major tragedy averted as residents fight blaze
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, May 19
A major tragedy was averted after a fire broke out near the town’s ancient Bhadarkali Mata Temple here this afternoon. The fire was brought under control before it could cause damage to life or property.

According to sources, the fire started around 1.15 pm at a vacant piece of land on the rear end of the temple. The exact cause of the fire was not yet known.

Panic gripped the area as residents ran out of their houses and started pouring water using buckets to douse the blaze.

It took them over one and half hours to control the blaze.

The fire could have led to a major tragedy as a number of residential localities as well as some religious buildings are located in the vicinity.

The thickly populated old city area of the town is located less then 40 metres from the place where the fire broke out. Also, some religious places, including Bhadarkali Mata Temple, Dera Baba Mangal Giri, Shiv Bari Mandir and Sheetla Mandir, are located nearby.

The residents criticised the local civil administration as well as the municipal council for their apathy in reacting to the distress call of the residents.

The incident has also put a serious question mark over the functioning of the local administration.

“Who was to blame had something unpleasant taken place today,” said Ramesh Verma, a local resident, irked over the negligence on part of the local administration.



College commemorates freedom fighter, offers free coaching classes
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, May 19
Desh Bhagat Institute of Management and Computer Science Mandi Gobindgarh has started free coaching classes for class 10+2 appeared students of the area. Students were given free training in computer basics, English speaking and personality development.

The college authorities informed the media that this scheme of free coaching was launched in the memory of a close associate of Netaji Subhash Chander Bose and freedom fighter Lal Singh. In order to commemorate him, the group held such free coaching courses every year so that students may be motivated to seek higher education, it added.

Authorities further added that these courses were recognised by the Government of India. The students were given certificates after the completion of the course year. 



From schools
Spring Dale students make their mark in model-making competition

Pressing green cover Children of Radcliffe School celebrate Earth Week.
Pressing green cover Children of Radcliffe School celebrate Earth Week. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana: Students of Spring Dale Senior Secondary School recently participated in a model-making competition at Pushpa Gujral Science City.

The students, Jasjeet Singh Raikhi and Archit Chadha, won a cash prize of Rs 5,000 and certificates in the contest.

Their model was on space exploration after 50 years. Fortyfour teams from all over Punjab participated in it.

Pool party

With the mercury soaring to an unbearable 43 degree Celsius, Penguin Castle Preschool arranged a pool party on its premises on Thursday.

Playing in the school splash pool gave the children an opportunity to beat the heat and enjoy getting drenched.

Under the watchful eyes of staff, the tiny tots splashed around in the water with gay abandon. School director Kamal Preet Kaur said such activities were important.

Earth Week

The Earth Week celebrations by students and staff of Radcliffe School began here on Thursday with chanting of ‘mantras’.

The documentary film ‘Hanuman Returns’ was shown. Teachers and students delivered speeches and recited poems to show their concern for the depleting green cover.

School principal Iqbal Pahwa planted saplings in the school. She encouraged children to plant saplings. The school was decorated with plants and pots.

Beach party

Green Land Senior Secondary Public School organised a beach party for tiny tots of the kindergarten section on Thursday. It was a treat for children on a hot summer day.

A pool was decorated with colourful balls, toys and umbrellas. Children came dressed in colourful swimsuits. They danced to popular numbers and enjoyed water games.

School chairman-cum-director Rajesh Rudhra and principal Baldeep Pandher encouraged teachers to organise such activities.

Poem recitation

A poem recitation contest for kindergarten section was held at Kundan Vidya Mandir. Children recited poems on pollution, trees, teacher, golden rules and traffic lights. In the English category, Pragya Bassi and Aishwariya Verma bagged the first prize. In the Hindi category, Vanika Jain and Kaavish Babbar won the first prize.

Money donated

Capt Sukhjit Singh Hara of Sanhewal, Balvir Singh Tiwana and Bawa Grewal have donated Rs 21,000 to the Government Senior Secondary School here.

The staff have utilised the amount for erecting a shed, to be used for mid-day meals of elementary section students of the school. — TNS



Ludhiana scan
Lawlessness matter of concern: DCC

The District Congress Committee (Urban) has expressed concern over increasing lawlessness in the city. District Congress Committee president Pawan Dewan said not even cops were safe in Punjab. Talking to reporters after visiting injured Assistant Sub-Inspector Gurdial Singh in the hospital on Thursday, Dewan blamed the SAD-BJP government for the deterioration in the law and order situation in the state. Dewan asked the Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal, who also holds the home portfolio, to improve law and order situation in the state. — TNS

Blood donation

The Terrorist Victims’ Association of Punjab will organise a blood donation camp at Celebration Plaza on May 21 to observe the death anniversary of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. — TNS

Interest rate hiked

The State Bank of Patiala has increased its interest rate substantially on domestic short-term deposits from May 18. Revised rate of interest are 6.25 per cent per annum for tenure of 7-14 days, 5 per cent and 5.50 per cent per annum for 15-45 days and 46-90 days, respectively, in comparison to earlier interest rates of 4 per cent. Further, the bank has continued its best rates on its special products of 555 days and 999 days at 9.75 per cent per annum. Senior citizens would get additional 0.50 per cent benefit for deposit of one year and above. Interest on the SBP Tax Saving Scheme has also been increased from 8.50 per cent per annum to 8.75 per cent per annum. — TNS

Check-up camp

Ma Bhagwati Club organised a dental and eye check-up camp at UK Public High School at Sham Nagar. Kulwant Bhalla, chief priest, Shri Bala Ji Temple was the chief guest. Dr Ramesh, eye surgeon, Dr Sarvesh Arora and Dr Monica Arora examined 789 patients and distributed medicines among them. — TNS

Sangat darshan

A sangat darshan was held at Barwala village near Sahnewal, which was presided over by Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, chairman, Punjab Agro Industries Corporation on Thursday. People put forward their demands and shared their grievances. Dhillon ordered the Powercom department to solve the electricity related problems of the villagers. — OC



Robbers flee with cash, jewellery
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
A day after a police assistant subinspector was critically injured after being shot at twice by a suspected robber in Bhagat Singh Nagar, burglars struck again in the city on Thursday - this time at a house in Hargobind Nagar near the Daba. The suspects decamped with cash and gold jewellery valued at Rs 1.1 lakh after locking the lone female occupant in the kitchen.

The incident occurred around 8.30 am when two turbaned men entered the home of Anju Bala, 32, and enquired about her husband, Vijay Kumar. When she told them he was not home one of them pulled out a pistol and placed it on her temple.

The other suspect overpowered her and dragged the terrified woman into the kitchen where she fell down unconscious. The intruders then ransacked the entire house and fled with the cash and gold jewellery.

The incident came to light when Kumar returned home in the afternoon and saw everything in the house turned upside down. On seeing his wife lying unconscious he immediately raised an alarm and called up the police. Residents of the locality rushed to the house and Anju was brought back to her senses. She later narrated the incident to the cops.

According to Kumar, the suspects broke open a cupboard and fled with seven tolas of gold ornaments and Rs 80,000 in cash. “The robbers also went up to the first floor of the house and took Rs 30,000 in cash belonging to my uncle who lives with us”, he added. A case has been registered.



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