L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Mobile calls for health minister a literal pain in the ear
Punjab minister Sat Pal Gosain has second thoughts on making his number public; However, top cop has no such issues
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 4
Giving open access to the people of the state through his mobile phone immediately after assuming office seems to be costing dear to Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister and senior BJP leader Sat Pal Gosain, who is now having second thoughts about this practice which is causing him pain, literally that is.

For the first few days when Gosain was inducted in the cabinet after a major reshuffle (replacement of all BJP ministers or shuffling their portfolios), the unrestricted calls might have been welcome by Gosain, who had been given a ministerial berth for the first time, in the euphoria of making it to the position that politicians yearn for.

However, the idea of interacting with as many people as possible, and trying to solve their problems related to health services and delivery of service, though noble, soon boomeranged as thousands of calls that the minister had to attend to personally, led to discomfort in the ear.

Talking to The Tribune on telephone, Gosain said he receives some 2500 phone calls on an average on his mobile number everyday. "Initially, I use to pick up the phone myself and talk to each one of the callers. But after a few days, I started having discomfort and even occasional pain in the ear. I have no choice but to hand over this particular mobile phone to my personal assistant (PA). The number of PAs have also been increased to cope with the heavy volume of calls.

On seeking treatment for the ear problem, the health minister said he was taking ayurvedic medicines for his "troubled" ear.

But unlike the health minister and a hardcore politician, Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh, who had also given out his mobile phone number to the public and providing unrestricted access to them, says the number of calls (around 400 on an average daily) were not causing any inconvenience or discomfort to him.

"On the contrary, I get an opportunity to get feedback from the ground level as any aggrieved person, or one who is in any kind of trouble can call me at any time," he said.

Ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists, however, disagree that receiving a large number of calls on mobile phone could cause any ear disorder. "Only listening to loud music, that too over a long period of time, can cause any clinical symptoms. The kind of trouble (or discomfort in the ear) that the health minister says he is facing, is more of a psychological nature that physical," observed a prominent ENT specialist requesting not to be named.


Tragic end to love tales
Kidnapped Youth’s body found, girl still missing
Body found from canal near Badhani village in Moga district
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, July 4
The suspense over the whereabouts of a youth from Lamma Jattpura village near Jagraon, who was kidnapped from Jagraon Bus Stand two days ago, came to an end this afternoon when the body of the youth was found from a canal near Badhani village in Moga district.

The girl, identified as Rajdeep Kaur, is missing till now and there is no information with the police about the whereabouts of the girl. The accused might have also killed the girl, it is suspected.

Gagandeep Singh, a Dalit youth from Lamma Jattpura village was kidnapped and later killed by the family members of a girl from the same village, with whom the youth was in love and wanted to marry. But as this marriage was not acceptable to the family members of the girl, they kidnapped the youth from Jagraon bus stand on Saturday along with his girlfriend when they were trying to elope. The family members of the girl later on killed the youth and threw his body into the canal.

It is pertinent to mention here that when Gagandeep was kidnapped on Saturday, his family members had suspected that Gagandeep had been killed by the family members of the girl and his body destroyed, but the police had only registered a case of kidnapping against two persons, including Kulwant Singh and Sukhchain Singh, as the death of the youth was not confirmed till then.

According to the sources, Gagandeep Singh was killed by the family members of the girl the same day he was kidnapped and later on his body thrown into a canal near Badhani village in Moga district. During the search operation, which continued for two days, the police finally found the body of the youth from the canal near Badhani village this afternoon.

Meanwhile, the police has taken the body in its custody and sent it for the post mortem. The police has arrested three persons in this regard including Kulwant Singh, Sukhchain Singh and Jugraj Singh, who is the cousin of the girl. The police has registered a case under Section 302 of IPC against them and started the investigation. The police has no information about the whereabouts of the girl so far. It is also suspected that the accused might have also killed the girl.

Giving the details of the incident, DIG Paramraj Singh Umranangal said that Gagandeep Singh was killed by Jugraj Singh and some of his relatives. During the primary investigation, the accused have admitted of killing Gagandeep Singh. The police has not denied from the possibility of some other persons involved in killing the youth. “We are investigation the matter. If anyone else is found involved in this case, we will take appropriate action against him as well”, said Paramraj Singh Umranangal. “The police is trying to find out the girl. We suspect that the accused might have also killed the girl”, he added.

He refused to divulge further details of the incident due to the senstivity of the case. The three accused will be produced in the court tomorrow morning to get their remand. One of the accused, Jugraj Singh, is the block president of the Youth Congress from Raikot, it was learnt.



Kidnapped youth’s family blocks highway
End dharna after the body was recovered from canal
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, July 4
Family members of a Dalit youth, Gagandeep Singh from Lamma Jattpura village near Jagraon, a suspected victim of honour killing, held a protest on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway near Jagraon bus stand this morning.

The protesters sat on a dharna and blocked the highway for more than three hours thus keeping the top police officials on their toes. The protesters also raised slogans against the police department for its alleged inaction against the accused, who belonged to an influential family of the village.

Gagandeep Singh was kidnapped from Jagraon bus stand while trying to elope with his girlfriend hailing from the same village on Saturday. Following the kidnapping of Gagandeep, the local police had registered a case of kidnapping against two persons Sukhchain Singh and Kulwant Singh of the same village and a massive search operation was launched.

Though, the family members of the youth were suspected that he might have been murdered, the police only registered a kidnapping case, as his body was not found so far.

However, the family members of Gagandeep accompanied by other villagers, including women, reached here at 11 am today and blocked the highway. The protest led to a traffic jam on the highway inconveniencing the commuters. The traffic had to be diverted through alternative roots.

Immediately top officials from the police department, including SP (operation) Paramjit Singh Goraya, DSP Joginder Singh, SHO, city police, Inderjit Singh, and CIA staff in charge Tehal Singh along with the police force reached the spot and appealed the protestors to end the protest, but the protestors refused to relent.

The protestors finally ended the dharna after they come to know that the body of Gagandeep had been found.

According to sources, Gagandeep was allegedly killed by the family members of the girl the same day he was kidnapped and later on his body was thrown into a canal near Badhani village in Moga district. During the search operation, which continued for two days, the police finally recovered the body of the youth from the canal near Badhani village this afternoon.



Befriending a ‘psychotic’ girl proved Deepak's undoing
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Call her a freak or too obsessed with mobile phone, the girl was doing almost everything to make the life of Deepak a virtual hell.

The girl, who is facing charges of poisoning her lover Deepak, is on the run along with her family members.

Breaking their silence two days after the death of their only son, the parents Raj Kumar and Vijay Kumari rubbished the claims that their son was in love with the girl. Instead, they levelled counter-allegations and stated that the girl used to send nasty messages and was harassing the boy by making midnight calls.

Deepak was the only son of his parents, who have five daughters. "Deepak was loved by his sisters the most. All five sisters were willing to do anything at the drop of a hat for him. Though we had limited resources, we spent extravagantly on Deepak. We were providing him quality education. But that girl snatched everything from us. Deepak was the only hope at the fag end of our life. Who would light fire for us now?" asked Raj Kumar Sharma, who does odd jobs to eke out a living.

Narrating the tragic story of her son's death, Vijay Kumari said befriending a girl proved to be Deepak's biggest mistake.

The girl took the friendly attitude of the boy as love. "Both were studying in Lovely Institute and used to travel together. We did not know that the girl was weaving a one-sided love story. We came to know the psychotic side of the girl when my son left studies and took up a job. He was learning accountancy from a private institute," said Vijay Kumari.

"She started calling him like freaks. Her nasty SMSes shocked us all. My daughters used to get frightened when the girl used to call at mid-night," said Vijay Kumari.

Sister Preeti, whom Deepak spoke to when he breathed his last, is still in a state of shock.

"Before dying Deepak told me to take the entire family to task. As they were all responsible for the death of my brother," said Preeti.

She said, "I met Monika and requested her not to follow Deepak at his work place, but Monika did not relent and kept on harassing my brother."

On July 1, Deepak went to complain the family members of the girl about their daughter's misdeeds, claimed the parents.

Raj Kumar said, "My son was thrashed by Monika, her parents and two brothers. They even kept both mobiles phones of my son and Rs 4000 he got as salary. After thrashing him, they forced him to consume juice laced with poison."

"On returning home, he started vomiting. We took him to several hospitals and was finally referred to the DMC hospital, where he was declared brought dead in the evening," claimed Raj Kumar.

Deepak was cremated today. His viscera have been sent to a special laboratory.

The Shimlapuri police has booked a case under Section 302, IPC, against the girl, her father, Vinod Kumar, her mother and two brothers after a postmortem report confirmed poisoning.

All suspects are currently on the run. Their juice shop in Ram Nagar near Gill Chowk, where the incident took place was locked.



Confiscation of CDs ‘free entertainment for cops’
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
The confiscation of pirated CDs means free entertainment for cops and their families, as many times, during the counting of these CDs, copies of latest flicks are taken out for ‘safe keeping’. Such CDs are then distributed by cops to their friends and family for viewing in a homely atmosphere.

Many CDs and DVDs, recovered during raids, are sealed and kept in the “maalkhana” of the respective police stations. But some of these are taken away by the cops.

A senior police official justifed it saying they had hard working conditions and also needed entertainment.ly fit. "There is no harm in keeping a few CDs and DVDs, which can turn out to be a good source of entertainment for our force," said an official requesting anonymity.

Swapan Sharma, SHO of Division Number 1 Police Station, however, said all such CDs and DVDs are confiscated, brought to the the police station, where they are counted and sealed, before being stored in the ‘maalkhana’. They keep lying there until the court verdict which varies between destroying or auctioning them. There is a provision that after the court verdict, we can destroy the CDs and DVDs and then auction them to companies dealing in the recycling of plastic. But it's a long process and takes some time," informed Sharma.



Getting FIR lodged an uphill task for MC
Advertisements on poles
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Getting a first information report (FIR) registered seems to be an arduous task even for MC officials who, for the past week, have in vain been making rounds of the Division Number 8 police station.

On June 28, MC Additional Commissioner Kanwalpreet Kaur Brar wrote to the police for registering a case against a property dealer who had got his advertisements painted on poles owned by the MC in the Civil Lines area.

MC officials say they even provided the police pictures of the defacement, but the latter failed to acknowledge these as evidence stating that these were old photographs and that the defacement did not exist.

This means that if a PCS officer is giving it in writing that someone has defaced the MC property, the police would not take it seriously, leave aside registration of an FIR, lamented Brar.

Despite this letter, the police refused to register the FIR saying they didn't find any defacement when they themselves checked the area. But Brar differs.

"When I went to check the road, starting from the boundary wall of Hero DMC Heart Institute and moving through College Road, Fountain Chowk and till extension library, I found that the advertisements were present. On June 17, a notice was sent to the property dealer stating that he should get the poles cleared of the advertisement; else an FIR would be registered. We gave him 10 days. But he failed to do so,” rued Brar.

On June 27, the MC officials themselves clicked pictures of the defacement of their property, got them cleared and wrote to the police department on June 28 for the registration of FIR against the property dealer.

"Ever since I wrote to the police officials, an official from my department kept visiting the Division Number 8 Police Station daily. An ASI-level official told him that the FIR had been registered but when we demanded a copy of the FIR for our record, they kept dilly dallying. When today I personally spoke to SHO Naveen Singla, he said the FIR could not be registered and asked me to speak to his seniors, which was rude," said Brar.

When contacted SHO Naveen Singla, he said that after receiving the complaint, he had sent a policeman to investigate."But we didn't find any defacement. If the MC wanted us to register an FIR, they should have not removed the advertisements themselves. Instead they should have left them as it as and then we would have taken strict action against the culprits," he explained.



Woman killed by son; body exhumed from house
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, July 4
An elderly woman of Malak village, near here, who had gone missing under mysterious circumstances a few days ago, has been found to have been killed by her own son.

The incident came to light this evening when the police recovered the body of the woman buried in her own house.

According to sources, Amar Kaur, wife of Amarjit Singh, was done to death by her son Baljinder Singh around five days ago. After killing his mother, the accused buried her body in the house and spread the word that she had gone missing.

As the body started decomposing, some villagers informed the police about the foul smell in the area today. Soon, a team from the Sadar police station reached the scene and exhumed the body.

Though the exact cause of the killing was not known, it was believed that the accused, a drug addict, had been demanding money from his mother but she refused to meet his demand. This prompted the accused to kill her and bury her body in the house.

The police has sent the body for a post-mortem examination. The accused is at large. No case had been registered till the filing of this report.



District scan

Effigy burnt: Activists of minorities’ cell of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, led by Ahmed Ali Guddu, burnt the effigy of the SAD-BJP government in Punjab for its failure to cut down high rate of VAT on petrol, diesel and cooking gas. They blamed the Centre for hike in oil prices. The protesters said the bandh call given by the ruling alliance in Punjab for half day today was politically motivated. If the state government was really concerned about people, it should have slashed the portion of VAT, which was in the range of some 30 per cent on petroleum products. — OC

Rally on free ambulance service: The health department organised an awareness rally on recently launched free ambulance service (Call 108) here today. Taking one of the ambulances along for demonstration of the facilities available for medical emergencies, the staff of company running the service for the health department went round Cheema Chowk, Samrala Chowk, Kidwai Nagar and other adjoining localities where pamphlets about the ambulance service were distributed and people asked to avail this facility. — OC

‘Pick-and-choose’ policy protested: A deputation of the Medical Laboratory Technician Employees’ Union met the Punjab Health Minister Sat Pal Gosain to apprise him about the discrimination and ‘pick-and-choose’ policy of the health department for regularisation of medical technicians working on contractual basis under various health schemes. The functionaries of the union told the minister that only 18 medical technicians had been regularised, while there were around 300 contractual workers on roll. Some of them were working for nearly 10 years. Gosain assured the deputation that the issue would be discussed with senior officials and a decision would be taken in consultation with the union later this month. — OC

PAU estate officer: Dr Jaskaran Singh Sandhu, head, farm power and machinery department, PAU was given the additional charge of estate officer at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). Dr Sandhu has replaced Dr PS Lubana, who took over the charge as estate officer when Dr Gurkirpal Singh retired from the post in February. — TNS



10 quintals of overripe fruits, vegetables destroyed 
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 4
As a preventive measure against an outbreak of seasonal diseases like cholera, gastroenteritis, dengue and malaria, the health officials today carried out a comprehensive drive against sale of rotten, overripe or under ripe fruits and vegetables in several city localities while also educating the public with other necessary steps to keep these diseases and infections at bay.

In the course of their checking the fruit and vegetable shops, street vendors selling these items at Haibowal and Humbran Road, a team of officials led by district health officer (DHO) Dr Kulwinder Singh, seized some 10-quintal food items, fruits and vegetables that were unfit for human consumption, and got them destroyed.

The DHO issued a warning to erring shopkeepers to desist from sale of sub-standard food items which could pose a serious health hazard to the people in these particular weather conditions which were conducive for outbreak of diseases.

According to the district epidemiologist, Dr GP Mangla, said the field staff of the health department had been deployed to keep a strict eye on vendors of food items, shopkeepers and manufacturers to ensure that proper hygienic conditions were maintained in the manufacture and sale of food items. "We have directed the vendors dealing with sale of food items to wear gloves, keep eatables covered, maintain strict personal hygiene and arrange for proper disposal of leftovers and waste material, including disposables."

The team of health staff, he added, were going to various city localities to distribute pamphlets on preventive measures against diseases with special emphasis on educating the people to keep their surroundings clean, and avoid accumulation of water so as to check breeding of flies and mosquitoes. The people were also being advised to use boiled water or use chlorine tablets in drinking water. 



Slow pace of project irks residents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Perturbed at the delay in the completion of a sewerage project going on in the Jassian Road area, the residents held a protest outside the office of the sewerage board here today.

The residents alleged that the work on the project had been going on at a snail’s pace and that the municipal corporation was not taking the matter seriously.

On the other hand, sewerage board officials said the delay had been caused by the shortage of labour, which had not returned from their respective states this time.

Leading the protesters, Sarabjit Lal, councillor from ward No. 26, alleged that the work on laying of sewerage on the Jassian Road was given to a company in October, 2009.

“While the company was supposed to complete the work within 24 months, it had finish just 10 per cent of the work in 20 months. Their callous attitude is taking its toll on the area residents, who are suffering due to the slow pace of work,” rued Sarabjit Lal.

Lal had even raised the issue during the general body meeting of the MC on June 17. “At that time, the sewerage board officials had stated that the company handling the project had already been given an advance payment of Rs 22 crore. Still there is has been a delay in the project, which is shameful on their part. The MC should take the matter seriously and ask the contractor to finish the work within the deadline,” said Lal.

‘Labour pangs delaying project’

We had summoned the company officials to our office a few days ago. They told us that migrant labourers had failed to arrive here from their respective states this season. This has caused the delay. We have told them to start the work at the earliest or face action. ~

— Vinay Makol, XEN, sewerage board 



Residents threaten to sit on hunger strike
Seek arrest of woman in murder case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Residents of Jandiali have threatened the police of doing an Anna act i.e. sitting on hunger strike, if the police did not arrest a woman wanted in a murder case.

While staging a protest outside the police commissioner's office here today, residents of Jandiali village demanded the woman be arrested within 
three days.

The villagers complained that it hadbeen nearly two moths since the killing of Rajwant Singh (31), who was thrashed to death by Balbir Singh, Hardeep Singh and latter's wife Karamjit Kaur on May 16.However, both Balbir Singh and Hardeep were nabbed but Karamjit Kaur was still at large.

The incident took place after Harjit Kuar, wife of Rajwaint Singh, left the house following a domestic quarrel.On reaching her parental home she narrated the entire incident to her parents. Following which the trio of Balbir, Hardeep and Karamjit Kaur, went to Rajwant's house and thrashed the latter to death.

The residents gave an ultimatum that if the police did not act soon then the residents of the village would sit on a hunger strike outside the commissioner's office. 



Lukewarm response to SAD-BJP alliance bandh call
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 4
The half-day bandh call given by the ruling SAD-BJP combine in protest against the jacking up of prices of diesel, cooking gas and kerosene by the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre turned out to be a damp squib, with the industry, trade and shopkeepers by and large ignoring the bandh call.

Except for Chaura Bazar, Gur Mandi and some other adjoining commercial hubs in the old city, where groups of SAD and BJP leaders went round with folded hands to persuade the shopkeepers to close their establishments, it was business as usual for shopkeepers in most other parts of the city like Civil Lines, Ghumar Mandi, Bindraban Road, Sarabha Nagar, Pakhowal Road, Dandi Swami Chowk, Model Town, Shatri Nagar, Dugri, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Gill Road, Subhani Building and Janakpuri.

Private vehicular traffic, public transport and government offices having been exempted from bandh, the effect of the symbolic protest was even further diluted as traffic on city roads as well as highways was normal. As a result, attendance in government offices, banks and other business houses were also unaffected.

Milk vendors, Verka outlets, fruit and vegetable shops carried on with their business.

In most of the city markets, a majority of shopkeepers kept their shutters half-open. In the event of arrival of political activists, the shutters were closed completely to avoid bad blood. Once they left, it was business as usual for shopkeepers.

However, in the wake of the bandh call, there were very few shoppers in the markets till afternoon with the quite a few shopkeepers, except for those selling daily need essential items like milk or perishable items, reporting poor sales.

Senior functionaries of the SAD and the BJP, including Punjab Health Minister Satpal Gosain, Punjab State Planning Board deputy chairman Rajinder Bhandari, BJP district president Rajiv Katna, BJP legislator Harish Bedi, Small Traders Board vice-chairman Baba Ajit Singh, along with office-bearers of shopkeepers and trade associations went round several markets seeking support to the bandh.

Even though the ruling alliance claimed that people responded overwhelmingly to the bandh call, a shopkeeper on Kailsah Cinema Road summed up the mood of the common man by terming the bandh a political stunt.

“Be it the Congress-led government at the Centre or the SAD-BJP government in Punjab, both are out to crush the common man under skyrocketing prices. Not only this, they use the victims of their excesses to settle political scores.” 

Commercial establishments remain open

Khanna: The Punjab bandh called by the ruling Akali dal- BJP alliance failed to evoke any response in Khanna, Samrala, Machiwara and Khamano area as shops and other commercial establishments remained open. Thebandh call was given against inflation. In the morning, some shops were closed at Khanna but these reopened soonafter. — OC



Industry keeps itself aloof 
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Trade and Industry in the city did not responded to the bandh call given by the ruling SAD-BJP combine in protest against the recent hike in the prices of diesel, kerosene and LPG. Although the industry is directly affected by the rising prices but it decided to keep itself aloof from the bandh.

"The industry is already dying and cannot afford to observe bandh as it will only add to their woes. The cause of the bandh call was good but everybody knows the government will not roll back the increased prices of the diesel, kerosene and LPG. If I would have kept my unit closed for a half day, none of the worker would have agreed to take half day's salary. Why should I bear losses? Earlier, we had protested a lot to roll back excise duty but nothing was done in this regard so we could not afford to bear losses by supporting the bandh call," said Ajit Lakra, president of Chamber of Knitwear and Textile Association of Ludhiana.

While president of the Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association, Badish K. Jindal, said it was totally a political activity and industry did not participate in it. "There are numerous issues which have to be taken care by the state government but it is ignoring them. It should at least reduce the rate of VAT on petrol and diesel so that the prices may come down a little. The state government should first resolve the pending issues only then the industry will support it," he said.

Upkar Singh, joint secretary, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking, said they could not afford to observe a bandh. "We cannot bear the labour cost while keeping the production closed. No doubt we are directly affected by the increasing prices of diesel, kerosene and LPG as it has raised our manufacturing cost but we cannot afford to keep our shutters down even for one day," he added. 



Industry opposes cross-subsidy surcharge proposal
PSPCL urged to check depleting water table
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
The proposal to levy cross-subsidy surcharge on the open access of power has irked the industry as they fear it may prove to be a nail in their coffin. The industry feels the Punjab government is out to extract as much revenue as it can from the energy sector to meet the expenses of its freebies of sorts.

Resorting to cheap night power and checking the depleting underground water is what should be taken into consideration instead of levying cross-subsidy on power, feel industry experts.

The power sector of Punjab is tottering, thanks to the faulty policies of the state government. The government has levied 13 per cent electricity duty and 10 paisa octroi on power. This is the highest tax in the country.

The Indian Electricity Act, 2003 provides for open access to power. Industrial units with a capacity of over 1 mega watt have been utilising the facility by buying power from the India Energy Exchange and other energy traders at much cheaper price.

Against the ongoing price of Rs 5.8 a unit, the availability of power is around Rs 3 a unit from the traders. Now, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) wants the Punjab Power Regulatory Commission to levy a cross-subsidy surcharge on power purchased under the open access system. This surcharge will raise the price of power to match the tariff of PSPCL. “In the open access purchase, there can be two scenarios. Around 250 large industrial consumers have been purchasing cheap power and other consumers have been paying normal tariff of the PSPCL with the heavy doze of electricity duty and octroi. As a rational decision, these large consumers should be allowed to have power under the open access system. The electricity duty and octroi on power for other industrial consumers should be reduced by 50 per cent and this may be added to the price of consumers using power under the open access system. The PSPCL and the state government have no right to get the benefit of proposed cross subsidy,” said PD Sharma, president of Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Manohar Singh, a furnace unit owner, who has been using power under the open access system said alternatively the PSPCL should resort to cheap night power.

This demand has been lingering on for many years. It is the right time to implement this. The night tariff should be 50 per cent of the normal tariff. With this, all consumers desirous of taking benefit of this decision can do so irrespective of the size of the unit. The state government should take the matter of depleting underground water seriously.

Depleting groundwater

NASA satellite images have revealed that Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan have lost a staggering 109 cubic kilometres of groundwater between August, 2002 and October, 2008 despite normal rainfall. Below-normal rainfall will result in further drying of groundwater.



Delhi Belly a rude shock for family audience
Offensive language unpalatable, yet youngsters give it a thumbs up
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Foul language, offensive characters, adult content it is all there in Aamir Khan's production "Delhi Belly". The film has a lot of offensive language, which has not gone down well with the family audiences but the younger audience has given it a green signal. Well, all the remarks about the explicit content of "Delhi Belly" only created the temptation of the forbidden fruit among the movie buffs.

Surubhi Ahuja, boutique manager of a showroom at Hotel Park Plaza said it was an amazing movie but for the mature minds. "This movie is targeted at a specific audience and it may not be accepted with the older lot. Talking about the kind of language used by the three protagonists in the movie she said it was the reality and we should accept it. Teenagers and adults today openly use this kind of foul language in their daily lives and if the same is shown on the silver screen then why are we condemning it?" she asked.

"Delhi Belly has a novel story presented in an entirely new way, which involves cuss words, outrageous, daring moments and raucous, boisterous, potty-mouthed caper. In short it is a raunchy youth film that may give a culture shock to older Indian audience but it is a fact. The trendy set of words used by the lads in the film truly reflect a common urban language that youngsters use in their daily lives," quips Abhay, director of a beauty clinic.

Although Anupreet, running a PR agency, has not watched the film but she has seen reviews on the television, which directly hint at the kind of movie it is. "The film primarily depicts the culture among the youth. In reality, youth use such language and the older generation should accept it. The youth from metro cities are more in sync with such a language," she adds. Anupreet said after her work was complete she would definitely watch "Delhi Belly".

Meanwhile, for the older generation the movie came as a rude shock. Surinder Batra, a senior citizen, said the film was completely youth oriented and he definitely got offended with the language used in the film. "The film is filled with adult content and has some really tainted dialogues woven in English and Hindi equally. Such a language may be used in cities like Delhi and Mumbai but it should not have been publicised through a film," he said.

Agreeing with Batra, Harchain Singh said Aamir Khan's production house is known for clean and family entertainers but this movie is an exception. "The foul language used in the film will only exploit the young minds," he added.



Close shave for bank staff as roof collapses
Building was constructed two years ago; 5 vehicles damaged
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Punjab National Bank (PNB) employees had a providential escape after the roof of an emergency staircase collapsed in the bank’s circle office located on the Ferozepur Road here today.

The incident took place around 11 am when the roof of the emergency staircase collapsed all of a sudden and fell on the vehicles parked underneath.

The bank employees were shaken by the sudden thud and ran for cover. Some employees took it for an earthquake and ran out of the premises. The bank security guards told the employees not to panic and informed them about the roof collapse.

The incident could have been catastrophic had it occurred around 10 am when employees parked their vehicles and assembled in the area where the roof collapsed, said a bank employee. The building was constructed barely two years ago, putting a question mark on the material used in the construction.

Capt KS Gill (retd), senior manager securities, said it was an accident. “It is too early to say how the roof collapsed. I will speak to the builders and try to find out the cause behind the incident. Only then will I be able to give the details,” said KS Gill.

Five scooters and motorbikes were damaged in the incident.



179-yr-old house comes crashing down
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
A 179-year-old house collapsed at Passian Mohalla, near Daresi ground, here today.

According to Anil Kumar, who works as a tea vendor near the house, the incident took place around 5 pm when the three-storey house gave way all of a sudden.

Anil said his mother, two brothers, their sister-in-law and two children were present in the house when the incident happened. However, no one was injured in the incident.

Anil said a portion of the house fell down first. The family members who were present on the ground floor of the house evacuated immediately.

Within no time, the entire house came crashing down like a pack of cards.

The house was constructed in 1832 and was said to be one of the oldest houses in the industrial city.



Absence of fumigation machine leaves residents fuming
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
The absence of fumigation machines with the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) seems to be taking its toll on the residents of five localities developed by the trust. These localities have not been handed over to the municipal corporation yet.

Each time the area needs to be fumigated, residents have to approach their councillors for the job. The councillors get the fumigation done from their quota.

Though the LIT has developed several localities in the city, its five big colonies — Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Rajguru Nagar, Rishi Nagar, Bharat Nagar Extension and Sant Ishar Singh Nagar — are yet to be handed over to the corporation.

Arvind Sharma, a social activist and a resident of E block of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, rued that if the LIT took all types of development charges from residents of localities developed by them, they should also provide them will basic facilities.

“The LIT does not have a fumigation machine, as a result of which the residents have to rely on either the municipal corporation or councillors for the job. However, in the course of all this, residents end up suffering due to the absence of regular fumigation in their areas,” rued Sharma.

Tanvir Singh Dhaliwal, Akali councillor from ward No. 59, under which Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar falls, said each time the residents of the area had contacted him for the purpose, he had got the area fumigated.

“I am an elected representative of the area and cannot say no to the genuine demands of the residents. However, the LIT should also bear in mind their own responsibility of getting fumigation done in all colonies maintained by them. I am currently getting the job done from my own quota of medicines allotted by the municipal corporation,” Dhaliwal added.

LIT senior engineer JS Pandher confirmed that the LIT did not have fumigation machines.

“Councillors generally get fumigation done in their respective wards on their own. That is why, we have never purchased a fumigation machine,” he said.

LIT trustee Gurinderpal Singh Pappu said he would discuss the matter with the trust officials. “This is a genuine demand and we must look into it seriously,” he added.

The big five

LIT’s five big localities — Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Rajguru Nagar, Rishi Nagar, Bharat Nagar Extension and Sant Ishar Singh Nagar — are yet to be handed over to the municipal corporation.



Depts compete for cleanliness at DC’s office
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Cleanliness in offices seems to be high on the agenda of Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari, who has embarked on a novel way of keeping his official complex clean by organising competitions.

One such competition was organised at the Deputy Commissioner’s office today and the licensing and passport (LPA) branch won itself the top prize of Rs 10,000, sponsored by a private bicycle manufacturer. Visitors to the DC’s office had been complaining of shabby surroundings. Even toilets in some offices emitted foul smell.

“We had been planning for a long time to do something to maintain cleanliness in the DC’s office complex. Then we came up with an innovative idea of organising a competition, in which all government offices located in the building would participate, and honouring the winner with a cash prize. The best way to motivate someone is to arrange such competitions. But these competitions must be taken seriously so that people visiting the offices should feel that they have come to a clean office,” he added.

The Deputy Commissioner added that more such competitions would be organised on the office premises on a regular basis. “This will help us maintain a cleaner environment inside the office complex,” he said.



‘High feed rates hurting poultry industry’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
A meeting of the Punjab Poultry Farmers Association was held today to discuss the difficulties being faced by them.

The profit of the polutry farmers is decreasing due to the high feed rates and decreasing rates of the eggs.

Sanjeev Bassi, member of the association, said the entry tax levied by the Punjab government on poultry feed ingredients like groundnut extraction and mustard de-oiled cake has increased the poultry feed rates.

"The business is going into losses and entry tax should be taken back to keep our business rolling," he said.



4,000 students opt for BCom
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
BCom remains the most sought-after stream among students in the city this year. If the government and private college authorities are to be believed, more than 4,000 students from the city have opted to get admission in BCom (I). As per the merit list of candidates, available online, those candidates who have scored 92 per cent marks in Class XII (without mathematics), will not be able to get admission in their preferred colleges this time.

Though the exact merit list will be made available to all the colleges by tomorrow, still the government colleges authorities, including SCD Government College and Government College for Women maintain that since their merit list was up by 108 per cent and the seats in general category had reduced, many brilliant students will have to suffer, which means either the intelligent students will opt for other colleges in periphery areas or they will have to choose another stream.

Due to this, disappointment prevails among students and their parents, who feel helpless. Amarpal Singh, a student from DAV Public School, said he had scored 80 per cent marks in Class XII and had applied for three colleges- SCD Government College, GGN Khalsa College for Boys and Arya College for Boys and his rank was 1,180 in the merit list. “But in all these colleges, I will not be able to get admission. Many of my friends, who have scored even higher, are not getting admission in best of the colleges due to such high merit. We are highly disappointed, either we will opt for BBA now or we will go to other colleges in Doraha, Narangwal or Dakha to get admission in BCom,” said Amarpal.

Principal Jasbir Kaur Makkar from SCD Government College said the percentile had gone to 108 (per cent). “Till recent times BCom was the favourite stream of students. As per the merit list of Panjab University, Chandigarh, students with 88 per cent marks (with mathematics) and students scoring 92 per cent marks (without mathematics) will be accommodated in our college. Besides, 16 per cent and 12 per cent (Punjab Board and CBSE, respectively) will be added to the above percentage of students,” said Makkar.

Talking about the tough competition, Principal GCW Gurminder Kaur said there were total 140 seats in BCom (I), out of which 78 were kept for general students and remaining seats were for reserved categories. The merit has gone so high that hundreds of students will not get admission in their preferred colleges. Government colleges are often more preferred over private ones,” she added.


More than 4,000 students apply for BCom (I)

Total 2,150 seats available in all colleges for BCom courses

Out of 2,150, 52 per cent seats are for general catagory students and 48 per cent seats for reserved categories

Government colleges’ cut-off rises to 108 per cent



University takes undertaking from students 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana, has taken a step against ragging by instructing all its students of College of Veterinary Science, College of Dairy Science & Technology and College of Fisheries to furnish an undertaking against ragging.

This undertaking has been made mandatory for all the students studying in three year academic programmes of the university.

Dr PD Juyal, Registrar, GADVASU, said as per the guidelines of University Grants Commission (UGC), this undertaking was mandatory throughout the country. UGC had also issued guidelines to curb ragging in all colleges and universities. Under these guidelines, a student involved in such activities could be rusticated from the institute and in extreme cases the affiliation of the institute may be cancelled. Dr Juyal said if students/parents failed to supply the relevant documents till the second counselling, chance will be given to next aspirant in the waiting list. 



Poor show by BVSc (I) students of vet varsity
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
First year students of Bachelor of Veterinary Sciences (BVSc) of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) have shown poor results, as 24 students out of total 70 students have failed in the examination, while about 18 students got compartment.

The students have held authorities responsible for this “poor performance.”

They said authorities had “deliberately” targeted the students, whereas their counterparts at Khalsa College, Amritsar, had performed excellent.

Authorities, however, maintain that no institute wanted to have poor results. The students did not take studies seriously and had not performed upto the mark in exams, so they suffered.

Gurinder Singh (name changed), a BVSc (I) student, who failed said: “We are ready to reappear for exams and then they can see how we perform. I fail to understand that 24 out of total 70 students have failed. Besides, 18 others have to reappear for the subject in which there they have got compartment.”

Another student Karamjit Kaur (name changed) said brilliant students took admission here as compared to the students at Khalsa College, Amritsar, (affiliated to GADVASU). “But the student, who scored maximum in BVSc (I) at Amritsar got over 90 per cent marks, while in GADVASU the highest scorer got about 80 per cent marks. We have got better infrastructure, better faculty then why so many students have failed this year?” questioned Karamjit Kaur.

While, certain successful students pointed out that the failure was on the part of the students who did not prepare well. Some of them even did not attend classes regularly, they maintained.

Dean College of Veterinary Sciences Dr HS Sandhu said no institute would like to get poor results. “These students did not perform well in two or three subjects, so they could not be promoted. We are trying to put-in our best efforts, the students, too, have to show their concern and seriousness towards studies. We feel sorry for them but they have to prove themselves,” said Dr Sandhu adding that he had gone through each student’s answersheets.



PAU souvenirs preferred by NRIs

Ludhiana, July 4
The souvenirs introduced by Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) last year, remained preferred among the NRIs or alumni of the university, while university students have shown no interest for the souvenirs on which PAU is written.

These souvenirs include badges, neck-ties and caps with PAU written on it. According to sources, the concept was introduced to provide an identity and a “brand-name” to those attached with PAU. The badges are available for Rs 20 and 40. — TNS



Angry teachers swarm DEO office
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Angry at not getting appointment letters, nearly 50-60 teachers, who were working as English language service providers swarmed the District Education Officer's office here today.

These teachers were called by the DEO to visit the office in the morning and were to be given appointment letters.

When they failed to get the letters till the afternoon they got angry and entered the DEO office.

The teachers waited in vain. Harbhajan Ram, DEO(Secondary) said they will be given letters tomorrow. 



Children pledge for greener planet

Ludhiana, July 4
Penguin Castle Pre-School, Udham Singh Nagar, reopened after summer vacations today. On the completion of its first year, the school celebrated vanamahotsava with the theme “Towards a greener India.”

The occasion is commemorated throughout the country from July 1 to 7. Schoolchildren planted saplings using their own old shoes as pots. Kamal Preet Kaur, director of the school, said children, under the “one child one plant” scheme, would water their plant every day.

She said importance of trees and a green environment needed to be emphasised on a regular basis and not just as a token ritual. Children were told about the role of trees in purifying the air. — TNS



Bride’s family dumps groom after dowry demand
Marries her off to another youth
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Demand for a motorbike in dowry at the time of marriage cost a groom dear after the bride’s parents refused to marry their daughter to him. The dowry-seeker landed in the police net after the girl’s parents lodged a formal complaint against the former.

The bride’s parents went a step further by finding another groom, who had refused to take dowry, from Rurka village and married her off to him. The incident took place yesterday at Kakowal when Sikander Singh’s daughter was to be married to Aiyyali village resident Gagandeep Singh. Gagandeep works as private security guard.

The couple had got engaged two months ago and a formal engagement ceremony was held on July 2. Everything was going according to plan but the problem arose when Gagandeep demanded a motorbike in dowry.

According to Davinder Singh, son of Sikander Singh, they received a phone call from Gagandeep demanding a motorcycle. The groom’s side refused to arrive at the marriage venue till the time their demand for a motorcycle was not met.

Irked at the sudden demand from the groom’s side, the girl’s family lodged a complaint with the police.

The Meharban police acted promptly and summoned the groom’s relatives.

Sikander Singh, a carpenter, who barely makes both ends meet said when the groom and his relatives failed to turn up for the marriage, he contacted the groom’s family and assured them of arranging a motorbike. However, the groom did not relent.

In the meantime, a bride’s relative suggested the name of Amandeep Singh of Rurka Kalan for marriage. Amandeep also expressed his willingness to marry the girl without taking dowry.

After verifying the boy’s credentials, the bride’s family went ahead with their marriage. 



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