L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Soccer match turns bloody, goalie shot dead by angry fan
Main accused hospitalised after being severely beaten up
Mohit Khanna/ Gurminder Grewal
Tribune News Service
Harbhajan Singh, the victim
Harbhajan Singh, the victim

Khanna/Ludhiana, July 31
Seeing his favourite team not winning a football match proved too much to handle for a fan. In a fit of anger, he shot the goalkeeper of the rival team, killing him instantly. The incident occurred in Bhamaddi village near Khanna on Saturday evening when the victim, Harbhajan Singh, 45, a soccer player, was killed after the two teams ended up with a 3-3 draw.

According to the police investigating officer Gurnam Singh, the football league tournament kicked off on July 2 and on Saturday it was the semifinal match between Mohanpur village and Bhammadi. The match resulted in a tie, which led to a clash between the two teams and the subsequent killing of a player.

A burnt motorcycle at the site of the incident
A burnt motorcycle at the site of the incident. A Tribune photograph

The complainant, Jaspal Singh, on the basis of whose statement the police filed a murder case, said the footballs team of Mohanpur village was to play the semifinals with some other team but the latter arrived two hours late. “The tournament organizers then decided to disqualify that team. Karamjit Singh alias Mithu, who was accompanying the Mohanpur team, accused the organizers of disqualifying the team using “foul means,” he added.

In the meantime, the football team of the host Bhamaddi village agreed to play the match with Mohanpur and it was decided if the match ended in a draw then Bhamaddi would be adjudged the winner. The 90-minute match turned out to be a nail biting encounter as both teams scored three goals each and the match ended in a tie.

Members of the Bhamaddi team burst into celebrations. Unable to take defeat in the sportsman’s spirit, Karamjit and Talwinder Singh returned to Mohanpur village.

Karamjit retrieved his licensed revolver kept at his home and returned to the football ground. On reaching the venue he picked up a fight with Harbhajan, who was the goalkeeper of the Bhamaddi team.

Minutes later, Karamjit pulled out his gun in a fit of rage and pumped three bullets into Harbhajan. The goalie died while he was being taken to a hospital. Karamjit along with Talwinder and Manjinder Singh also beat up another player, Gurjant Singh, with iron rods. Earlier Gurjant had reportedly tried to intervene in the fight with Harbhajan.

“Right from the beginning of the match Karamjit, Manjinder and Talwinder were antagonistic towards supporters of the rival team. The three was soon overpowered and thrashed soundly before being handed over to the police. Karamjit was beaten up so badly he sustained fractures on both his legs”, said Jaspal. The three suspects are said to be “recuperating” at the Khanna Civil Hospital.

Meanwhile, A motorbike was, burnt during the clash. It is learnt that the motorcycle belonged to one of the assailants, who was trying to flee from the scene of the incident.

Irate residents of Bhamaddi village torched the motorcycle following the shooting incident that led to the killing of Harbhajan Singh.

Even today the burnt motorcycle was lying at a corner of the football ground.

Victim’s widow inconsolable

A pall of gloom descended on the home of the deceased, Harbhajan Singh, with his widow, Ravinder Kaur, weeping inconsolably. “Both our sons are in America. It was just a game after all. Why did they have to kill my husband? God will never forgive them," she said.

Security at venue beefed up

The police tightened security at the tournament venue following the incident. “The police has taken all steps necessary to ensure that a similar incident doesn’t reoccur in future. No one will be allowed to carry any weapons near the venue while the football matches are in progress”, said DSP Davinder Singh.


Pollution board issues closure notice to Volkswagen dealer
Found discharging effluents into groundwater
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
In a strict move, the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) issued closure notice to Lally Motors, authorised dealer of Volkswagen cars in the city, here yesterday.

PPCB officials said the notice was served after the owners of Lally Motors were found discharging untreated water underground, which is against the rules.

A team of the PPCB officials, comprising Rajiv Sharma, environmental engineer, and Shiv Kumar, assistant environmental engineer, made a surprise visit to the premises of Lally Motors Private Limited, a workshop of Volkswagen, which is situated on GT Road at Jugiana. The officials found that Lally Motors was discharging untreated trade effluents arising from the washing of vehicles directly underground.

As per the PPCB rules, no effluent can be discharged through water recharging system underground directly, as the car wash effluents normally contain pollutants, including oil and grease, which adversely affect the quality of groundwater.

After a report was submitted by the officials, PPCB chairman Kahan Singh Pannu issued orders that Lally Motors should be closed with immediate effect.

Pannu informed that polluting groundwater was a serious crime. “We would not let any person play with the lives of people, as the same water is consumed by the city residents. At Lally Motors, our officials were shocked to find that a bore well was dug up and all untreated water was being sent directly into it. Not only Lally Motors, we have also issued closure notices to 40 dying units situated in the city. I want to give a clear message that no person would be allowed to pollute our natural resources and that we would take the strictest possible action against them,” warned Pannu.

When a senior employee of Lally Motors was contacted, he said, “We have not received the notice yet. Let the PPCB send us a notice and I would be able to comment only after that,” he said. 



Protesting teachers’ union holds city to ransom
500 members of EGS Teachers Union form human chain, block traffic for over 2 hours
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Traffic held up as the activists lay siege to the chowk
Traffic held up as the activists lay siege to the chowk. Tribune photos Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, July 31
Nearly 500 agitated members of the EGS Teachers’ Union formed a human chain and blocked traffic, thereby holding the entire city to ransom at the Bharat Nagar Chowk here today.

The agitation left thousands of commuters stranded in the hot and humid weather for over two hours on the busy Ferozepore road. The rising mercury showed its effect on agitating teachers as four women teacher collapsed due to heat stroke. Tempers ran high and panicked commuters went up in arms with the agitating teachers, while the police was watching the scene as a mute spectator.

The incident took place this afternoon, when 500 members of the EGS Teachers’ Union of Punjab laid seize on the Bharat Nagar Chowk without any provocation.

The teachers union led by state president Darshan Singh Mansa gathered at the Chattar Singh park located near the bus stand here this morning and protested against the government for not addressing to their grievances.

An activist of the EGS Teachers Union being revived after she collapsed due to hot and humid weather while protesting in Ludhiana on Sunday
An activist of the EGS Teachers Union being revived after she collapsed due to hot and humid weather while protesting in Ludhiana on Sunday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

The protestors further marched towards the Bharat Nagar Chowk and created a human chain and stopped the traffic flow of the busiest bottleneck of the city.

Darshan Singh said, “We understand the plight of the commuters, but they should also realise that we are forced to hit the roads after politicians and policy makers refused to redress our grievances.”

Poor planning of the police was exposed as measures taken to divert vehicles to narrow lanes in Sham Nagar, Sham Singh road, Model Gram and Fountain Chowk backfired and jammed these routes as well. The police was seen requesting the protesters to lift the dharna, but of no use.

Sources said the teachers’ union had not got the permission to hold the protest. It took nearly two- and-a-half-hour for the traffic to be restored at the chowk.

A policeman, who was handling protesters, said agitators often held the city to ransom on the pretext of democratic rights. But when the police took stern action against them, NGOs and human rights organisations termed it as atrocities on the common man who was lodging a peaceful protest.

Four protests in 3 months

  • June 14: Workers of various trade unions lay siege to the Bharat Nagar Chowk, which left hundreds of city residents stranded
  • June 9: Staff of the National Rural Health Mission and aanganwari (government-sponsored child and mother care centre) held the city to ransom
  • May 12: The nursing staff of the BL Kapur Memorial Hospital went on a rampage and blocked traffic at Sabzi Mandi Chowk, causing huge traffic jams


  • Out of 500 protestors, a majority of them were women. But yet not a single woman cop was deployed to control the agitating teachers
  • Protestors stood in front of the approaching ambulance and in the process ended up denying medical treatment to their colleagues who fell unconscious due to heat stroke
  • Four of the protestors, including Bina Kumari from Ferozpore, Sukhwinder Kaur from Jalandhar, Rajinder Kaur from Faridkot and Sukhpal Kaur from Moga, who had collapsed due to heat stroke had to be rushed to a hospital for treatment. Their condition was stated to be stable
  • A motorcyclist, who was ferrying a little child, had a heated argument with the protestors. “Look at my child. He is crying profusely due to heat and humidity. He is suffering from fever and I was taking him to a doctor. Have some mercy on a child,” said the irate motorcyclist, while breaking the human chain
  • The serpentine queues of vehicles could be seen on all sides of the chowk. It was deafening as commuters stuck in traffic jam honked incessantly.
  • Some commuters were forced to even abandon their vehicles on the roadside and walk towards their destination. “Why does the common man have to pay the price. If they have grievances against the government or politician, then they should sit in front of the CM’s residence. Why are they making us suffer for no fault of ours,” asked Gurinder Singh.



Class 10 student who didn’t clear boards declared passed
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune New Service

Ludhiana, July 31
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has declared a class 10 student of Nankana Sahib Public School, Gill Road, who had failed to appear for her final board exam this year, “passed” with a CGPA (cumulative grade point average) of 4.2.

The school’s principal, Harmeet Kaur Waraich, told The Tribune: "The class 10 student, Prabhjot Kaur couldn’t sit for her final CBSE exam in SA2 (submittive assessment-2) due to her ill health. Although the board gave students in our school the option to appear for the board or non-board exam, all preferred the board exam. A few days ago we received Prabhjot’s CCE (continuous & comprehensive evaluation) card) along with those other students and, to our surprise, she was declared passed by the CBSE. To verify it I personally contacted the board’s regional office in Panchkula, which said any absentee in the final exam should be marked as zero. This means that in case a student fails to appear in the final exam or SA2 assessment due to unavoidable circumstances, he shouldn’t be failed - rather the result of such a case should be declared on the basis of his SA1."

Expressing happiness over the matter, Waraich said: "This is a very good system. At least the CCE has provided a breathing space to students. In case a student fails to appear in the final exam due to unavoidable circumstances, he or she could be declared passed on the basis of SA1. "



BRS Nagar residents irked over new welfare society head
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

A view of the community centre; and (bottom) senior citizens argue with a police official at BRS Nagar in Ludhiana
A view of the community centre; and (bottom) senior citizens argue with a police official at BRS Nagar in Ludhiana. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, July 31
In a development that has not gone down well with area residents, Maninderpal Singh ‘Sunny’, a close aide of Youth Akali Dal chief Bikram Singh Majithia, was appointed president of the Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar (East) Welfare Society on Sunday. The move came in the wake of a protest held by a large number of area residents, mostly senior citizens, against the society’s office bearers on Saturday evening.

The residents were sore at the decision to appoint a person who was “associated with a political party and owned a house in G block of BRS Nagar” head of the welfare society. However, Maninderpal, a nephew of former society president BS Binjan, claimed: “I own seven houses in D block alone, besides several plots in other blocks of BRS Nagar. So I’m not an outsider and I assure area residents I’ll work for their betterment”.

Col JS Brar, president of the Maha Sabha, Ludhiana and a resident of Defence Colony in BRS Nagar, said Maninderpal had been made president of the body just to “suppress area residents” who had been raising questions over the welfare society’s functioning.

“It’s one of the saddest days in the history of BRS Nagar as the functioning welfare society has been politicized. Last evening, after a large number of area residents held a protest against the office bearers outside Community Hall in BRS Nagar, the office bearers wanted to suppress us by appointing someone who is close to Bikram Singh Majithia (brother in law of Deputy Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal). But we are clear in our agenda and demand that fresh elections should be held in which all residents should participate,” said Brar.

On Saturday a large number of senior citizens residing in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar held a protest against the society’s office bearers by burning candles outside the area community centre. They also protested against Punjab cabinet minister Hira Singh Gabria’s decision to attend a function organized by the office bearers.

“Both parties should sit together and sort out their differences in an amicable manner,” Gabria had said.



Honour killing
Panel issues a week’s ultimatum to police
Seeks arrest of accused involved in honour killing
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, July 31
Members of a joint action committee, formed to monitor police investigation into an honour killing incident, held a meeting here yesterday.

On July 2, a Dalit youth, Gagandeep Singh of Lamma Jattpura village near Jagraon, was kidnapped and then brutally killed by family members of his beloved hailing from the same village.

Convener of the action committee Kanwaljeet Khanna said the committee members held discussions about the present status of the investigation being conducted by the police. Expressing displeasure over the police inaction, he said, “We want the police to speed up the probe.”

The members alleged that the police was deliberately delaying the investigation and was not serious about solving the case in time,” said Khanna.

“The committee members fear that the police will not present the case in the court, which may weaken the case,” said Khanna.

Accusing the police of trying to shield the accused in connivance with some political leaders, the action committee warned that if the police failed to arrest the remaining four accused wanted in the case, who had been absconding, the committee would have no option, but to intensify its struggle.

The committee while giving the police department an ultimatum of one week to arrest the accused said family members of the victim, along with a large number of

villagers and activists of different labourers and farmers’ organisations would hold a massive protest in Jagraon on August 8.

Out of the eight accused, only four have been arrested so far.

When contacted SHO Gurpreet Singh said the police was putting in efforts to arrest the remaining four accused. “We have got some clues about the whereabouts of the accused.

We are conducting raids to nab them and are hopeful of arresting them soon,” he added.



Ludhiana scan

Camp for special kids

A special child awaits his turn at a medical check-up camp in Ludhiana
A special child awaits his turn at a medical check-up camp in Ludhiana. a tribune photograph

A free medical check-up camp was organised by Aashiq-e-khawaja, an NGO. Differently abled children in the age group of 4 months to 10 years were examined during the camp. The camp was held at Sartaj Palace in Ludhiana. Around 250 patients from Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab came to the camp. The camp is based on the research work of eminent homoeopath Dr Prafull Vijayakar (Mumbai) whose work is recognised by the UNO. Arshveer, one of the members of the NGO, said, “The camps held in Mahabaleshwar, Beed, Ferozepur, Mumbai and Ludhiana have received an overwhelming response.”

Directory released

The Northern India Printers Association (NIPA) organised its general body meeting on Sunday at the office of Offset Printers’ Association (OPA) located at the South City. It was a silver jubilee meeting in which members from Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Haryana participated. The main attraction of the meeting was the release of the third edition of directory. Kamal Chopra, general secretary NIPA, said, “This is not only a directory but an encyclopedia of Indian print and packaging industry. The list of printing institutes in India, printers and allied associations in India, printing magazines published in India is also given. The programme had technical session about the current issues on print and packaging industry in which finance secretary Hans Raj spoke on labour problem.

Legal convention

The All-India State Bank of Patiala Employees’ Federation held a legal convention here on Sunday. More than 300 comrades attended the regional convention. The regional conventions are being held for opposing banking sector reforms, protest outsourcing of bank jobs, scrap Khandelwal Committee Recommendations and settling pending issues and demands. The convention was inaugurated by SK Gautam, general secretary, All-India State Bank of Patiala Employees’ Federation. SK Gautam, general secretary, All-India State Bank of Patiala Employees Federation, and Naresh Gaur, president, State Bank of Patiala Employees Union, said on the call given by the United Forum of Bank Unions, All-India Bank Employees Association, will observe a one-day strike on August 5 protesting against various financial policies of the government, which are detrimental to the interest of the banking sector, public interest, banking staff and their rights and benefits.

Bankers’ conference

The All-India Punjab National Bank Officer Association organised triennial conference here on Sunday. During the conference presided over by KR Jain, the association demanded the regulation of banking hours, facilities at par with the State Bank of India, stopping of outsourcing, adequate recruitment of staff in all cadres to meet acute shortage, to stop banking sector reforms and to settle pending issues relating to officers of the bank.


RS Behl was installed as president of the Rotary Club of Ludhiana North in an installation ceremony held here on Saturday. BS Chhabra was installed as the secretary, OP Bassi as vice-president, Ajay Verma as joint secretary and Mohan Singh as treasurer. During the ceremony, Meera Ahuja donated paintings.

Writer honoured

DR Kewal Dheer, an eminent writer, and chairman of the Sahir Culture Academy, was honoured by House of Commons, Canada, and legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada, during an event “100 Years of Faiz Ahmad Faiz” organised by CanPak Chamber of Commerce in Toronto, Canada. Dr Dheer has authored more than 70 books in Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi and English.

Cassette released

Famous Punjabi singer Sardul Sikandar on Saturday released Robin Sharma’s first religious cassette “Sab to uchha naam datiye” along with choreographer Harpreet, alias Happy. The cassette included two “Bhetas” written by Sardul Sikandar and six by Raju Haripuria. Sunny Sharma contributed for the music and Indu Mann contributed for videography. This album contains a special item “Maa ne kanjak de ditti”, which focuses on female foeticide. --Tribune Reporters



Awareness on hepatitis
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
A nationwide campaign was launched by Apollo Hospitals to spread awareness about hepatitis.

Dr Anupam Sibal, senior consultant, gastroenterology, said it was important to create awareness about prevention of hepatitis A and E, which spread through contaminated food and water, as hepatitis A was the commonest cause for acute liver failure in children.”

Dr Ajay Kumar, senior consultant, gastroenterology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, said, “In India people are unaware of the disease.”

Dr SL Broor, senior consultant, gastroenterology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, said, “Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver for which there are a wide range of causes. One of the most common causes of chronic (long-term) hepatitis is viral infection, which can be spread through direct contact with infected blood and body fluids. Hepatitis B can be prevented through vaccination. If people think they may be at risk of contracting hepatitis C, it is important that they get tested as soon as possible to maximise their treatment options. At-risk behaviours include injecting illegal drugs, sharing needles or personal items, or having unprotected intercourse with an infected person.”



Orientation programme for BBA, BCA students ends
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
The 10-day orientation programme for BBA and BCA students concluded at GGN Institute of Management and Technology, Civil Lines.

Students were exposed to activities which were a perfect blend of English communication, grammar, personality development and basic computing.

A session on “Breaking your Tunnel Image” by inspirational expert Harpreet Singh from Groomers was held. Students also enhanced their English grammar skills during a session with Mandeep Ajrawat, director, Nuances, an English learning school.

An interactive session between Sanjeev Kumar Goyal, senior executive, CRM, Metro Cash and Carry, and students was held.



Students felicitated
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 31
Outstanding performers of the Nightingale College of Nurses, Narangwal, were felicitated during a function at Narangwal village, near here, yesterday.

Paramdeep Singh Gill, director-general of police, Punjab, was the chief guest, while Dr Sarabjit Singh, director of the Medical Educational Society, presided over the function.

Cheques worth Rs 5 lakh were presented to meritorious students of the college.

Maintaining that medical profession was the noblest of all vocations, Gill said outcome of medical treatment depended upon dedication and devotion of nurses attending to patients.

Appreciating the contribution of the management committee of the institute in the field of medical sciences, Gill said a large number of former students of the college had secured jobs in prestigious institutes of Canada and America.



bcom course
Online admission process leaves students in a fix
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
The online admission process, which was started by Panjab University, Chandigarh, has failed to yield desired results. The process has left students, especially those seeking admission to BCom, in a fix.

The Federation of Association of College Principals, Punjab and Chandigarh, is all set to take up the matter with the university authorities in the next Senate to be held in August. Even the faculty members here feel that there should have been a physical counselling of students to avoid confusion and chaos.

Gurdip Sharma, president of the Federation of Association of College Principals, Punjab and Chandigarh, said there were a number of colleges where seats had not been filled as students were in utter confusion.

Sharma said, “The online procedure should have been more systematic. Admissions started on July 7, but till date seats are lying vacant in colleges.”

One of the faculty members of a boys college said earlier admissions were done on a merit basis, but with the online system being introduced, the process has become complex. “The chaos has left students and parents worried,” said the faculty member.

Students, who wanted to migrate to other colleges, were given a chance by PU, but in the absence of any clear instructions, they had to stay put in the 
same college.

“After we came to know that we could migrate to some other college, we filled in an online form and sent it to PU, but as it was received late, the university did not reply. Due to some technical problem the form could not reach in time,” said Deepak Marwaha, a student.



Vet varsity administers oath to 92 passouts
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
The College of Veterinary Science of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) celebrated the oath taking ceremony of 92 passing out veterinarians of 2006 batch here today.

Dr VK Taneja, Vice-Chancellor, GADVASU was the chief guest. Dr SK Uppal, professor and head, department of teaching veterinary clinical complex, welcomed the chief guest and other dignitaries. Dr HS Sandhu, dean, College of Veterinary Science, administered the veterinarian’s oath to the passing out graduates. He also shared the achievements of students who brought laurels to the university in the field of academics, sports and extra-curricular activities.

Dr HS Sandhu appealed to students to be kind and passionate for the profession. Dr VK Taneja exhorted the students to work hard as this was the beginning of their professional life and they should be ready to face the challenges. He urged them to serve society, especially in the rural sector. He highlighted the available placement opportunities for the veterinarians like government jobs, private practice, pharmaceuticals, banks, defence services and research organisations.

Dr Taneja also highlighted the importance of higher education and the need of specialists in the 12th five-year plan and advised the students to choose higher education and research as their career. He also revealed the new challenges to vets in respect of outbreaks and threats to public health.

Dr PD Juyal, Registrar of the university, congratulated the students and made them aware about the veterinary ethics and animal welfare.



Distance education centre likely in town
Our Correspondent

Khanna July 31
Lovely Professional University has authorised Mindmaker, an educational institute, to start a distance education study centre.

Ranjodh Singh Manki, director, Mindmaker, said the centre would offer a number of courses.

Working people can also enrol themselves in these courses.

The centre will have a library, a cafeteria, computer labs, multi-media classrooms and wi-fi system.

He said admissions were open and classes would commence from September 1.



From schools

Students of SAN Model School; and (right) GMT Public School enjoy Teej celebrations in Ludhiana
Students of SAN Model School; and (right) GMT Public School enjoy Teej celebrations in Ludhiana. Tribune photographs

Awareness rally

LUDHIANA: Children of the KG section of Kundan Vidya Mandir School took out an awareness rally on saving electricity. Tiny tots carried placards and posters showing proper use of electric appliances and saving electricity. They raised slogans like “Bijlee hum bachenge CFL jalenge”, “Solar gyser ke pani se nahaenge,” “Jarorat na padne par kar denge lights off, taki hamara bachpan aur jawani nikle bekauf”.

Teej celebrated

Teej festival was celebrated in the kindergarten wing of GMT Public School. The function included Punjabi dance performances, giddha and other cultural items. The festival is a glimpse of rich Punjabi cultural heritage, which seems to be taking a backseat these days, said principal Amarjit Dhaliwal.

Fancy dress contest

The primary wing of Guru Nanak Public School at Model Town extension organised a fancy dress competition on Saturday for students of Class II. A total of 32 students participated. A Punjabi declamation contest was also held for students.

Card-making contest

Students of Classes VI to IX of Don Bosco Global School participated in the salad making competition and students of primary section took part in the card-making competition. The day also marked the conclusion of the ongoing sapling plantation drive.

Dance contest

It was a day of events at GN International Public School. Sports activities, mimicry, solo song, solo dance competitions were a few of the activities held at GN International School, Model Town. Paper-reading contest was also organised.

Tributes paid

Tributes were paid to martyr Udham Singh at Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, Udham Singh Nagar, through patriotic speeches, songs and a skit.

Saplings planted

The Bharat Vikas Parishad celebrated Vanamahotasava at Bawra Public School. Schoolchildren planted 200 saplings to mark the occasion. They also exchanged saplings as gifts.


Teej was celebrated at UPSC Jain Public School. Students and their parents participated in various cultural activities. A skit, speeches and mehandi competitions were held.


City-based psychiatrist, Dr Rajeev Gupta gave a lecture on management of alcohol dependence to physicians of the city at a hotel. Discussion about rising alcohol consumption, alcohol dependence, symptoms, consequences and the role of new medical treatments was held.


Gtech Softwares and Education, Bharat Nagar chowk, have tied up with Lovely Professional University to provide various courses.

Martyrdom day

Martyrdom day of martyr Udham Singh was observed at OP Gupta SDP School. Patriotic songs and speeches were held to pay tributes to the martyr. — TNS



HIKE IN EMI: Jolt for common man
The common man is going to be hit hard with the hike of 4.75 per cent in interest rate by the RBI. Residents who aspire to own a house by loaning money from banks or are keen to buy cars have been hit bad. The industry, too, is crying foul. Shivani Bhakoo analysis how the three sectors would be hit.

Owning a home gets further out of reach

The demand for home and car loans is expected to witness a slowdown in the near future after the Reserve Bank of India raised the repo rate (short-term lending rate) and reverse repo rate (short-term borrowing rate) last week. Thousands of consumers who have taken loans from banks and other financial institutions will now have to pay higher EMIs (equated monthly installments) following the hike - the eleventh since March 2010, which has further jacked up the rates by 3 per cent. Many economists and experts feel with an increase in interest rate, those seeking home loans will think twice before going for them as they will have to pay higher monthly installments.

Mohit Kalra, direct marketing associate for Life Insurance Corp of India (LIC) in the city, agreed the higher interest rates will slacken demand for home loans for the time being.

“People will now have pay bigger monthly installments while their salaries remain virtually the same. The budgets of those seeking home loans will definitely get disturbed. Moreover, their eligibility (amount of loan sanctioned) will also be decreased with an increase in EMIs. Having no other option loan seekers have to come to terms with the situation at the end of the day", said Kalra.

MS Sidhu, an economist at the city’s Punjab Agricultural University, said that the interest rate hike had increased the financial burden on the common man. "When such rate hikes are announced the common man doesn’t pay much attention, but eventually he’s the one who suffers. Loans seem to be a lucrative option but it becomes a Herculean task to repay it with such soaring interest rates. In some cases the EMIs remain the same but the loan tenure gets extended by one to two years” said Sidhu.

Said Rekha, a Hindi teacher at SBS Government High School, Mullanpur: “Because of the increasing home finance rates, the construction of a house is becoming a distant dream for us. The government should introduce some regulatory mechanism to control the cost of providing housing finance and offer more subsidies on it to ensure shelter for all Indian citizens, particularly for government servants who have limited incomes".

Amarjit Dhaliwal, principal of GMT Public School, said the common man was the worst affected due to such frequent interest rate hikes. "Those having no dearth of money seldom take loans to construct a house but salaried people and other members of the middle class have no option but take a home loan from banks and other financial institutions. It is everyone's dream to own a house but with limited and static salaries and rising interest rates, the dream has become even more distant", he said.

Housing finance dominated by handful of players

The concentration of a few players who are increasingly dominating the housing finance sector is a prime reason for consumers finding home loans more difficult to repay. A study conducted by Ashwani Bhalla, associate professor at the postgraduate commerce & business innovations department, SCD Government College, Ludhiana, shows that certain big players have a virtual monopoly in disbursing housing loans while many other firm were losing ground.

The declining competition among the players was providing another opportunity to the major players to raise the interest rates on their own terms which were harsh for the customers. According to the study, 54.8 per cent of the population sample opted for the floating rate option that gave finance institutions the right to raise interest rates on the basis of market mechanism.

"Because of increasing interest rates, consumers are suffering as most of them rely on their friends or relatives followed by agents of housing finance firms to select the interest rate option and don’t bother to read the fine print in the loan offer document while selecting the housing finance agency”, said Bhalla.

Buying a car not easy now

Those having no dearth of money may not be bothered to learn that the EMIs of car loans will now be increased with an increase in the repo-rate announced by the RBI, but the common man for whom buying a four-wheeler is not a luxury but a necessity, will have to “re-organise” resources before purchasing a car.

Dealers of luxury-segment cars, including Mercedes, Audi and BMW, who did not wish to be quoted, said for their customers, paying a few bucks more would not be a big deal.

“A customer, who is purchasing a luxury car worth Rs 40 to Rs 50 lakh, does not mind spending a few bucks more on the EMIs. The interest rates increased by the RBI are going to affect the common man more,” said the dealers.

While Rishi Dada, MD, Dada Motors, here said, “Car dealers may see less customers, but after a month or so, the demand will be normal. When customers will have no other option, they will succumb to the pressure (increased interest rates by the RBI). This has not happened for the first time,”said Dada.

While Assem Attrey, a chartered accountant, said due to the interest-rate hike, the EMIs might not be increased, but the number of instalments (tenure) would be increased by banks/finance companies. “This is another smart move (increase the loan-tenure) by banks/finance companies. The rising rate of interest may not affect the elite class, but for the common man, it has come as a jolt. I will have to re-arrange my resources before getting a car financed. We have been urging the government to check inflation, but it keeps on adding financial burden on us,” lamented Attrey.

Deepa Grover, a home maker said, “I wanted to buy a car, but now that the rate of interest has been increased, I have decided to put off my plan. The government must formulate some policy and extra financial burden must be put on those people who are getting favours from the government. Why should the common man suffer?” she asked.

Heavy toll on manufacturing sector

PD Sharma
PD Sharma
GS Kahlon
GS Kahlon

The interest rate hike by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has spelt a doom on the manufacturing sector. The interest rate is now higher by 4.75 per cent. Perturbed over the recent hike, industrialists in the city believe that the RBI’s monetary policy may not be able to contain inflation but it will certainly take a heavy toll on the manufacturing sector. This in turn will translate into a deeper gloom for the economy and the social structure by way of unemployment, feels the business community.

PD Sharma, president of the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Punjab, said the state’s economy was dominated by the MSME sector and this sector was likely to get the harshest beating of higher interest rate, as it was the most vulnerable.

“Large units are opening to international borrowings like external commercial borrowing at much cheaper rates. Moreover, banks are always at their beck and call. On the other hand, MSMEs have to depend solely on local borrowing. Besides, exorbitant processing charges in the banks are also cause of concern for MSME. In fact the processing charges translate into interest burden of around 2-3 per cent,” said Sharma.

Besides, the number of non-performing assets (NPAs) was increasing alarmingly. It was revealed in the Rajya Sabha by the government that NPAs for the calendar year 2009 had increased by 30 per cent over the previous year. “This trend is certainly on the rise. The banks are trying to hide this fact by restructuring the loan accounts. But this is due to exorbitant rate of interest. Industrialists take loans of lakhs to crores from the banks but due to continuous increase in rate of interest, they fail to pay even the capital amount,” said Sharma.

GS Kahlon, president Motor Parts Association, said the miserable condition of the manufacturing sector was that big companies were shifting their portion pertaining to exports to China. Bajaj Auto had already shifted the export portion of its 100 cc bike to China for their exports to African countries. Moreover, automobile companies were outsourcing components from China for exports from India, said Kahlon.

He further added that the cost escalation was due to higher transactional cost, higher capital cost and higher labour cost. The Punjab’s MSME sector heavily depended upon major automobile companies for supplying components. “Punjab’s MSME sector will suffer adversely if the units are shifted to China. Exports directly account for approximately 15 per cent of aggregate manufacturing output. So with the shifting export operations to China our manufacturing sector will be hurt badly,” said Kahlon.

Inflation due to hike in MSPs

The business community maintained that the history of acutely rising inflation started from the year 2008-2009. Minimum support prices (MSP) of most food grains remained almost stagnant between the years 2002-2003 and 2007-2008. For instance, the average annual increase in MSPs for paddy was 4 per cent, cotton 1 per cent, jawar 4 per cent, moong dal 5 per cent, ground nut 3 per cent and soya bean 3 per cent. However, all of a sudden in 2008-2009, the MSPs were increased sharply. For paddy, it increased from Rs 645 per quintal to Rs 850 (32 per cent); for cotton from Rs 1,800 to Rs 2,500 (39 per cent); jawar from Rs 600-840 (40 per cent); moong dal from Rs 1,700-2520 (48 per cent); ground nut from Rs 1,550-2100 (35 per cent) and soya bean from Rs 910-1,350 (48 per cent). The sudden increase in MSP was accompanied by NREGA and bank loan waiver. The combined fact of these resulted in a spurt of inflationary trend, which is continuing. This was a master political stroke, which harmed the economy at large.



Blossoming despite odds
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Gurleen Kaur
Gurleen Kaur


Ludhiana, July 31
Sitting quietly in a chair outside the principal’s office, Gurleen Kaur, a student of Nankana Sahib Public School, was eagerly waiting for someone.

When asked for whom was she waiting, she replied, “I have come here to wish good morning to our principal Harmeet Kaur Waraich.”

A student of Class I, Gurleen’s kidneys do not function properly.

Her mother Inderjeet Kaur said, “When I was pregnant, my husband died. It was like a big storm and I was badly shaken. But this affected the health of my daughter. She faces a lot of problem in passing urine. Her stomach swells up. It happens almost every week.”

Inderjeet, who lives in an apartment at Vachittar Nagar, said, “This is my parents’ house. As I could not study after Class XII, no one gave me a job. I know stitching, so I recently did a course in fashion designing from Guru Nanak Engineering College. I have now started stitching clothes. The school authorities never charged me for Gurleen’s education. Although my parents and brother are quite supportive, huge sums are required for the treatment of my daughter. But I keep working hard. I want to give her a healthy and a long life.”

While Harmeet Kaur Waraich, principal of the school, said, “Gurleen is a disciplined child. She is equally good in studies and other co-curricular activities.”

Double whammy for Inderjeet

 “My first husband died of a heart disease. I have a 10-year-old daughter from my first husband, who lives with her grandparents and is a student of Class IV. My in-laws solemnised my second marriage and unfortunately I again lost my husband.”

Gurinder Singh Grewal, a software engineer in California, and an old student of the school, has adopted six needy children of the school. Harmeet Kaur Waraich, the school principal, said, “He came to us in April and promised to sponsor the education of six kids. Earlier, we used to pay Gurleen’s school fee and other expenses, but now Gurinder does it,” said 37-year-old Inderjeet Kaur.



31 units of blood donated

Ludhiana, July 31
The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) (Ludhiana Chapter) and Salaam Zindagi Foundation, an NGO, collectively organised a blood donation camp dedicated to Shaheed Udham Singh at Shri Krishna Charitable Hospital. The camp was organised under the guidance of Dr Reena Garg wherein 31 units of blood were collected. President Manjit Saini and general secretary Anurag Kalhan of the NGO said by this union, members committee of ICSI would take this mission to their corporate houses, so that patients of thalassaemia may get more support. — TNS



Two held with stolen motorbikes
Our Correspondent

Khamano, July 31
The Khamano police has claimed to have arrested two motorcycle thieves and recovered two motorcycles from them. According to Rajpal Singh, SHO Khamano, a police party had laid a naka near the Gurdwara Sahib Ranwan.

When the police party signaled two youths on two motorcycles to stop, they tried to escape but were overpowered. During interrogation, they revealed that they stole the motorcycles.

The arrested youths were identified as Pushpinder Singh, a resident of ward no. 7, Khamano, and Amrik Singh, a resident of Shamashpur Singhan village.



Man held with pirated CDs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
The Kotwali police arrested a man and recovered 4,725 pirated CDs from him.

The accused, identified as Pankaj Bhatia, was nabbed from Nijjar Mandi near Mata Rani Chowk.

The police said Pankaj was nabbed for the similar offence a few years ago, but soon after furnishing a bail bond, he again started the business.



Three killed in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Khanna, July 31
A pall of gloom descended on Bardhalan village after three persons, including two children, of the village, were killed and three injured in an accident on the Samrala-Khanna road near AS College Khanna.

The accident occurred when six persons were going to their Bardhalan village in their Maruti car. When they reached near AS college, a truck coming from Khanna tried to overtake another car, but the driver of the truck lost control over the steering and the car.

The car was badly crushed by the truck and the occupants were extracted from the car with great difficulty. Due to the crushing of the car, three persons were killed on the spot.

The victims were identified as Avneet Kaur (5), Devinder Singh (32) and Jaskaran Singh (11).

Three seriously injured persons were identified as Jaswinder Kaur, Preet Singh, son of Jaswinder Singh, and Harmesh Kaur.

The injured were rushed to Civil Hospital Khanna, from where they were rushed to Apollo Hospital Ludhiana in a serious condition.

They were all returning from Malerkotla after attending a funeral. The driver of the truck escaped from the scene but the truck was impounded by the police.

The police has registered a case in this regard and is looking for the driver who absconded after the accident.



TT Meet
Double delight for Green Land school paddlers
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, July 31
Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, Jalandhar bypass branch, made a clean sweep wrapping up titles in the girls’ under-17 and 19 groups as well as the boys’ under-17 and 19 categories to stamp their class in the Ludhiana Sahodaya School Complex Table Tennis Championship held here at BCM Senior Secondary School, Dugri Road branch ground.

Teams from 25 schools from Ludhiana competed in this three-day event and paddlers from Green Land school proved their mettle to fetch the titles in the under-17 and 19 groups.

However, in the girls’ U-14 section, players from Green Land Senior Secondary School finished as runner-up.

In the boys’ U-19 section, Nikhil Batra, Arashdeep Singh, Vikram Rai, Nitin Dhawan and Amarjeet Singh steered Green Land school to defeat DAV Public School, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar branch, 3-1 and bag the title.

In the girls’ section, Green Land squad comprising of Shipika Bajaj, Priya Bhardwaj, Kriti Tandon and Jasmeen Gill outplayed DAV Public School, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, 3-0 to lift the title.

Green Land boys scored 3-0 to win over DAV Public School, BRS Nagar, while girls recorded an identical win (3-0) against DAV Public School to clinch titles in the under-17 group.

Chairman-cum-director of the chain of Green Land Schools, Rajesh Rudra and principal of Jalandhar bypass branch, Baldeep Pandher appreciated the players’ performance and congratulated their coaches, Paramjit Kaur and Sahil Sharma.



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