L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


2 ‘tipsy’ cops caught at vend
Prompt action by police on tip-off by local resident
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
A day after two PCR cops were caught on Friday night at a liquor vend on Jamalpur Road, it has now emerged the police acted after a city resident tipped it off. Sukhwant Singh and Tirlochan Singh, attached with the no 56 PCR motorcycle patrol, were apprehended by a police team led by Jamalpur police SHO Kulwant Singh and taken to the Civil Hospital to undergo a medical examination.

"Their blood samples have been sent to a special laboratory in Kharar and the report will arrive within a week," Kulwant said, adding “disciplinary action, if any, would be taken after receiving the report”.

According to sources, on Friday night someone called up a senior police official to say two uniformed PCR on duty were drinking at a liquor vend. The police official reportedly asked Kulwant, the area SHO, to look into the matter. Soon the latter along with a police team arrived at the scene and took the two PCR cops into custody.

Though liquor was not found in the cops’ possession, to ascertain whether they had been drinking Kulwant took them to the hospital for a medical examination. This was not the first someone had complained about PCR cops being inebriated while on duty. Earlier too residents have made similar accusations but Friday night’s incident was perhaps the first time in which police officials acted promptly.


Abandoned, cremation ground now his abode
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service
Surjeet Singh (85) who has made a cremation ground his home.
Surjeet Singh (85) who has made a cremation ground his home. A Tribune photo

Ludhiana, August 20
Deserted by his six children and 12 grandchildren, this octogenarian finds cremation ground the best place to live. Fed up with the ill-treatment meted out to him by his own sons, an 85-year-old Surjeet Singh, who hails from Amargarh village, near Malerkotla, has chosen a shed outside the cremation ground of Model Town to spend his remaining life.

A fortnight ago, when he was suffering from different diseases, someone brought the matter to the notice of Health and Family Welfare Minister Satpal Gosain, who sent an ambulance and got him admitted to the Civil Hospital.

Ironically, the place that should have brought hope to this old man also compelled him to leave for his earlier abode.

Talking to The Tribune, teary-eyed Surjeet Singh said: “Everyone deserted me, so I am here today. A fortnight ago, I was taken to the Civil Hospital, where I used to get just one ‘parantha’ and a cup tea the entire day. I started feeling starved. One day, a group of people, one of whom was in police uniform, came up to me and took away Rs 450 out of Rs 600 lying in my pocket. I did not say anything. Another day, I overheard a female worker talking to a co-worker that she was fed up with me as I wasn’t leaving. It hurt me a lot and I left the hospital without informing anyone.”

‘We took good care of him’

This old man left the Civil Hospital at night without informing us. We got to know about it in the morning. We do have a security guard at night but the campus is so big. It is practically impossible to keep a check on patients who move out of the hospital on their own. We took good care of this patient.~

Dr Subhash Batta, Senior Medical Officer, Civil Hospital

‘Will bring him back to hospital’

Satpal GosainI got him admitted to the Civil Hospital earlier but he left without informing the authorities there. I will again make some arrangement for his care at the hospital. I will look into the matter of shortage of security staff as the division No. 2 police station is closeby.~

Satpal Gosain, Health and Family Welfare Minister 

Out of ‘Kafan’

His story is no different from the characters of “Kafan”, written by Munshi Prem Chand. In the story, a man in utter penury is forced to sell the sheet on the coffin of his wife (which they had got in donation) to buy some eatables for himself and his son. He says: “This place is much better than anywhere else other place. People who come to the cremation ground for cremation always give me some money or something to eat and wear. ”



Watchout! Gang of swindlers out on the prowl
Granthi blackmailed after falling in honey trap, loses property
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
Beware! A gang of swindlers is on the prowl, usurping the property of innocent city residents by luring them into a honey trap. The gang makes obscene MMS of the victim and forces the latter to transfer the property to their name. 

Recently, a granthi, priest of a gurdwara, had fallen victim to the gang when the swindlers made his MMS with girls. The gang members further usurped the property of the victim.

The matter came to light when the granthi, requesting anonymity, divulged the tale of blackmail to the police.

According to the granthi, the gang, involving women, lured resident into developing physical relations with them. Their male accomplices made their victim’s MMS and blackmailed them. He alleged that the swindlers transferred the entire property to their name.

The Haibowal police is zeroing in on the gang and has picked up a few suspects in this connection. However, Randhir Singh SHO Haibowal refused to comment on the issue. “There have been complaints, but it is too early to comment on the issue. We are investigating the matter,” said the SHO. Sources said the police raided a hideout of the suspects and rounded up some persons, including women. It is learnt that the gang has amassed huge property by blackmailing victims.



Info panel fines cop for withholding RTI details
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
In what has come as a major embarrassment for the city’s cops, the Punjab information commissioner has penalised Jodhewal Basti police station house officer Jatinder Singh by imposing a fine of Rs 25,000 on him for withholding details sought by a local resident, Sarabjit Singh Kahlon, under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

According to the information commissioner’s order, a copy of which is with The Tribune, Jatinder failed to appear at the hearings on the matter by the state information commission. The order stated on the third hearing held on July 29 subinspector Gurmeet Singh appeared before the panel but he was unaware of the matter.

The case was then adjourned to August 17 and a copy of the order was also sent to Ludhiana police commissioner SS Chauhan, but Jatinder did not appear for the hearing. Due to noncompliance with the commission’s directive and failure to provide the requested details to the complainant, Jatinder was slapped with the fine under section 20(1) of the RTI Act, 2005. The panel also recommended disciplinary action be taken against him under section 20(2) of the act to the police commissioner.

A copy of the commission’s order has also been sent to Punjab director general of police PS Gill, who has been instructed to “take cognizance of the lackadaisical approach” of his subordinates from the police commissioner down to the SHO. Gill was also directed to recover the fine from Jatinder Singh in one go and have the money deposited in the treasury, the order added.

The commission also awarded a compensation of Rs 2,000 to the complainant for “detriment suffered” by him.

Failed to appear at hearings

Jodhewal Basti police station house officer Jatinder Singh has been fined ~25,000 for withholding details sought by a local resident under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Jatinder failed to appear at the hearings on the matter by the state information commission. The panel also recommended disciplinary action against him to the police commissioner



Power-hungry leaders tagged as ‘dons’
Self-styled presidents shunned by colleges, admn; still want govt to hold poll
Charanjit Singh Teja

Ludhiana, August 20
Though Punjab banned students’ election in 90s, but a few colleges in the city like SCD Government College, Guru Nanak Engineer College and numerous others have “self-styled” presidents.

Photographs of such presidents could be seen on billboards, posters within and outside college campuses. Presidents claim themselves to be fighting for student’s rights, but students recognise them as “dons”.

The criteria of becoming a president are unusual. Just paste the posters on a wall after tearing off those of your rivals. These, sometimes, become bloody. Such presidents are not recognised by the college as well as the city administration.

“College students often quarrel on trivial issues and are divided in groups. Every leader of a group becomes a “president” of the college which in turn makes him famous,” said Jaivijay Singh, a NSUI leader.

“The president should be elected by students. The government should lift the ban from student’s election,” he added.

Harpeet Kaur, a student from Government College, said, “Everyone wants to add ‘president’ with his name. It signifies the ‘power’. I don’t think that such type of unions and presidents are needed.”

“Management of colleges never recognise or favour such presidents. We didn’t allow any union to be established on the college campus,” Ashwani Bhalla, professor, SCD Government College added.

I heard about such presidents a few days ago. One of our students is also president, but he is very obedient and shy in nature. I know that a few self-styled presidents are ‘problem-makers.’ But, I never faced any such problem in my tenure,” said MS Saini, principle, Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College.

We stand for student’s right. Colleges harass unorganised student leaders. The government should lift the ban from student’s election,” said Rajwinder Hundel, president, Guru Nanak Engineer College.

We are always there to help students. Sometime teachers misbehave with students, but they don’t have any platform to raise their voice against such teachers. We give them platform,” Bindu Garewal, president, Government College. 



Ludhiana scan
Sadhbhavna Diwas

The NSS unit and Youth Club of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, celebrated Sadhbhavna Diwas with vigour on Saturday. A rally was organised to promote the feeling of national integration and communal harmony among people of all religions of the country. Volunteers raised slogans, distributed pamphlets among residents of the town and told them the significance of the day. They strived to work for emotional oneness and harmony of the country. The residents pledged that they would try to create a sense of equality.

Saplings planted

The eco friendly club “Tarumitra” of the RIMT-College of Education in coordination with an NGO, Gayatari Parivar, planted 550 saplings on the college premises and surrounding area. RIMT Group of Institutes chairman, Dr Hukam Chand Bansal, said our environment was our responsibility and it was not the job of a single person. — OC



Interlocking tiles
MC leaves work midway, students suffer
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, August 20
College and school students are being put to considerable inconvenience due to improper policies of the local municipal council. They had to wade through two-to-three-foot deep rainwater that gets accumulated outside these institutions. The girl students are left with no option, but to wait till water subsides. Girls coming from rural areas suffer the most as they generally get late in reaching their homes. Even those who commute on their own vehicles were seen struggling while crossing the road.

The work of fixing interlocking tiles, which was undertaken by the municipal council in the various parts of the city, had also begun on the college road but was left in between.

Municipal officials had approved the fixing of tiles only up to Shastri Nagar. But, the council gave an approval of fixing interlocking tiles up to a street leading to RK High school, which is about 25 meters ahead of LRDAV College, after residents of localities situated next to Shastri Nagar objected to it.

College authorities also met the municipal officials, including its president Baldev Krishan Dhir in this regard. At that time, municipal council’s president had assured the college authorities of fixing the tiles till the college. But the work was done up to the RK High school street only.

DAV College principal Dr VK Sharma said: “I have raised the issue with municipal council’s president Baldev Krishan Dhir in this regard. Our students, especially girls face difficulties during rainy season as rainwater gets accumulated outside the college. I fail to understand why the work could not be completed till college premises in spite of a humble request by the college authorities.”

Meanwhile, Dhir said fixing of tiles up to the college could not be approved at present due to upcoming SGPC poll. Once its lifted, the interlocking of tiles would be extended up LRDAV College.



ACS not transferred despite orders, says Khaira
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
Kuldeep Singh Khaira, a member of the Vigilant Citizens’ Forum, complained to the Chief Commissioner, Gurdwara Election Commission, that YP Mehta, Assistant Civil Surgeon (ACS), who has been working here for the last many years, has not been transferred despite orders of the state government to transfer all officials posted in the same district for more than three years.

Khaira said, “The election of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) is scheduled to be held on September 18 and the election process has been started in the state. The Gurdwara Election Commission has instructed the state government to transfer all officials posted in the same district for more than three years. Dr YP Mehta is posted as the Assistant Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, since September 18, 2008. He had joined as a medical officer in Ludhiana district. Even after the promotion as a senior medical officer (SMO) in 2006, he remained in Ludhiana district and since September, 2008, he has been appointed as the Assistant Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana.”

Khaira further said the post of Assistant Civil Surgeon was sensitive in nature and had the supervising control of the Civil Hospital and some candidates may get the undue advantage of this.

He said, “So I requested the Chief Commissioner to order the state authorities to transfer Dr YP Mehta, Assistant Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, to some other district (not adjoining to Ludhiana) with immediate effect so that voters could cast their votes without any fear.”



SSP reviews functioning of suvidha centre

Khamano, August 20
Singh Khatra, SSP Fatehgarh Sahib, visited the Khamano police station and inspected suvidha centre, which was set up recently in the station. He said all suvidha centres set up in the district had become operational and were proving to be a boon for people of the area.

He informed that separate staff has been deputed to run these centres. He appealed to the people that if any irregularity is found in the functioning, they should contact senior officials. He said the staff was given proper training before assigning new duties.

According to him, four suvidha centres have been set up at the tehsil level, including Bassi Pathana, Fatehgarh Sahib, Amloh and Khamano. — OC



Experts dwell on hospital infection control
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
Taking into consideration the magnitude of hospital acquired infections (HAIs), in an attempt to spread awareness about sterilisation and disinfection practices in the hospitals, DMCH today organised a CME “Stericon-2011” on critical subjects of sterilisation practices and hospital infection control. The CME was inaugurated by the DMCH Managing Society secretary Prem Kumar Gupta.

Organising secretary, Dr BS Aulakh (professor of urology and transplant surgery and head of transplant unit) said in the recent years, concerns had been raised about the standards of practice and quality control in cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation (CD&S) in various hospitals all over the world. Failure to implement best practice standards and quality control in CD&S has major implications for transmission of infections to hospital patients and implied risk to the community.

Principal, Dr Daljit Singh said the menace of HAI had acquired wide dimensions.

The scientific sessions held during the CME include a lecture on “Stark reality of sterilisation” by Dr Sudhir Krishna, who has been appointed as the chairman of “Working Group” constituted by the Government of India on scientific evaluation of sterilisation practices in India.

Dr PN Kakar, director of anesthesiology and critical care, Fortis Hospital, New Delhi, said prevention was primary for controlling infection in operation theaters. A comprehensive lecture on “Hospital surveillance programme: Implementation and monitoring” by Dr Sharmila Sengupta, consultant senior microbiologist, at BLK Memorial Hospital, New Delhi, added that surveillance of healthcare associated infections is the most important tool to improve patient outcome and lower the burden of disease in a resource limited country like India.

The CME was concluded by a panel discussion on “Hospitals on the path of becoming infection-free zone”.



False robbery alarm sends police in a tizzy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
A false robbery alarm at a house located in the Old City area sent the Division No. 3 police in a tizzy today.
The incident took place this evening, when Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Gul Chaman Gali, informed the police that his tenant Govind Ram had been robbed by some unidentified persons.

Soon after receiving the information, Division No. 3 SHO Raj Kumar arrived at the scene with his team but could not find Govind Ram there. Rajesh told the police that Govind Ram had shouted for help at which he called up the police.

“On hearing the cries, I panicked and informed the police. I do not know where Govind Ram is,” said Rajesh.

The SHO Division No. 3 said: “We searched the place and could not find any clue to suggest that a robbery had taken place in the house. We stayed at the scene for around three hours and even tried to established contact with Govind Ram but his phone remained unreachable.”



From schools
Janamashtami celebrated with fervour
Tribune News Service

Children in a jubilant mood at a Janamashtami function at Kiddies’ Paradise School, Ludhiana, on Saturday.
Children in a jubilant mood at a Janamashtami function at Kiddies’ Paradise School, Ludhiana, on Saturday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, August 20
Janamashtami was celebrated with joy at Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, Udham Singh Nagar, here today. The celebrations started with the lightening of lamp by principal Bandana Sethi.

Colourful dance performance on the song “Maiya Yashodha” stole the show. Ridhima, a student of Class IX, sang a solo bhajan, which was applauded by all present. A speech on the life and blessings of Lord Krishna was given by Anjula. Students also presented an excerpt from Lord Krishna through tableaus.

Bal Bharati

Bal Bharati Public School celebrated Janamashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation of creator of the world, Lord Vishnu. The activity hall of the school presented a mesmerising scene of Gokul that depicted festivity on the birth of “Kaanha”. Dr Neelam Sodhi, director, Ashirwaad, a school for children suffering from cerebral palsy, participated in the function, along with her teachers and schoolchildren. The celebrations began with a colourful dance performance by students of Mont-I on the song “Krishna Zinka Naam Hai”.

GMT school

The festival of Janamashtami was celebrated on the premises of GMT Public School on Saturday with great fervour. A traditional swing was adorned with flowers, which was the centre of attraction. The students came dressed as Lord Krishna, Radha, Vasudev, Sudama and other characters related to Janamashtami. The students participated in a fancy dress competition with zeal. The students recited bhajan and devotional songs to mark the importance of the occasion. The students performed on bhajan of Mirabai and “Maiya Mori Main Nahi Maakhan Khayo”, which was appreciated by everybody.

BCM School

Students of BCM School, Dugri, celebrated Janamashtami with great fervour. They exhibited their reverence towards Lord Krishna by decorating swings. They also distributed sweets among children. The occasion was also marked with various inter-class competitions like collage making.

English extempore contest

English extempore competition was organised on the premises of DAV Public School, Sarabha Nagar extension, Pakhowal road, here on Saturday. Thirty students participated enthusiastically and doled out their creative experts. In order to encourage the students, principal JK Sidhu expounded about the same and highlighted points to be kept in mind to hone their spoken skills. Stuti Sharma of Class VIII-C was adjudged first, Tulsi of Class IX-C was adjudged second, Maulshree of Class X-C stood third and Keshav Anand of Class VIII-C and Ashima Kapoor of Class VIII-A bagged the consolation prize.



Remove ban on recruitment, say non-teaching staff
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, August 20
The non-teaching staff of Lajpat Rai DAV College, Jagraon, on the call given by the Punjab and Chandigarh Non-Teaching Employees’ Union observed a one-day strike in support of their pending demands on the college premises yesterday.

The protesters raised slogans against the Punjab government for not paying any heed towards their pending demands.

The non-teaching employees of various colleges under Panjab University, Chandigarh, have been struggling for the fulfillment of their demands from the past seven months.

The demands included rise in pay scale as per the increased grades since January 1, 2006, implement increment in salaries since January 2006, remove ban imposed on recruitment of new staff members, increase medical allowance from Rs 250 to Rs 350, implementation of pension scheme for non-teaching staff, etc.

Urging the state government to approve their demands, Non-Teaching Employees’ Union, Jagraon, president Rakesh Kumar said if the government failed to approve their demands in the near future, they would be forced to sharpen their struggle further for which only the state government would be responsible.



At Government College, Kiranpreet is ‘Teej di Rani’

Ludhiana: It was a festive atmosphere at the Government College for Women, Ludhiana, here on Friday as staff and students celebrated Teej and fresher’s day. The college wore a festive look with colourful decoration. A rich and entertaining cultural programme was presented by seniors to welcome freshers.

Salwinder Kaur Gabria, Dr Harpreet Gill and Gagandeep Bains were the guests of honour. College principal Gurminder Kaur was the chief guest. The principal appreciated and congratulated winners. Kiranpreet was adjudged “Teej di Rani” and Ramanpreet was awarded for beautiful ornaments. Bhavdeep was Miss Fresher and Bhawna and Gursheen were adjudged the runners-up. The titles of best dressed and best smile were bagged by Niveya and Zoya, respectively.

7 get gold medal

PCTE students from different courses bagged seven gold medals in the university. These medals were conferred on them at the annual convocation function of Punjab Technical University (PTU) held at Dr BR Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar. Anil Kakodkar, an awardee of Padam Vibhushan, an eminent nuclear scientist, was the chief guest. In PG courses, students who bagged gold medal are Pankaj Jain from MBA-IB (2009-2011 batch), Sahil Gupta (2008-2010 batch), Amrit Kaur MCA (2009-2011 batch) and Gagandep Kaur (MSc IT 2009-2011 batch) bagged gold medals. In undergraduate courses, Manpreet Kaur Sangha (BBA 2007-2010 batch), Jatty Goyal (BSc ATHM 2007-2011 batch), Karishma Chhabra (BSc biotech 2008-2011 batch) received gold medals.

More BCom seats granted

Panjab University, Chandigarh, granted one more unit of 70 seats of B.Com-I to Shree Atam Vallabh Jain College, Hussainpura, Ludhiana. The management and principal appreciated the decision taken by the university for the social cause of spreading education among the masses. The college has started admitting the students on first-come-first-serve basis.


NSS volunteers of Guru Nanak Girls College planted saplings to celebrate vanamahotsava on August 20. Principal Dr Charanjit Mahal inaugurated the campaign by planting the saplings of fruit trees and shady trees on the college campus. The aim was to make the students aware about the ongoing degradation of the environment and to motivate them to take remedial measures. She highlighted the importance of trees towards restoration of clean and green environment. The students were encouraged to plant trees during the rainy season.

Beauty at its best

The campus of Khalsa College for Women, Civil Lines, dazzled with the colours amidst the Freshers’ day celebration of science departments here on Saturday. On the occasion, the students presented an entertaining cultural extravaganza comprising elegant dances, melodious songs, realistic skits and choreography. Suvidha Jethi was Miss Fresher, Gursimar and Simran were entitled as first and second runnersup respectively.

Students win laurels

Students of the department of Punjabi of Ramgarhia Girls College excelled in their MA-I examination conducted by Panjab University, Chandigarh. Manpreet Kaur stood first in the college securing 63.5 per cent marks, Birpal Kaur stood second securing 63 per cent marks and Harpreet Kaur got third position by securing 61 per cent marks. — TNS



Trade unions seek hike in minimum wages
Stage protest in support of demands outside Mini Secretariat
Kuldip Bhatia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 20
On a call given by the central trade unions, thousands of workers from among the ranks of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), National Trade Unions of India (NTUI), Centre of Trade Unions (CTU), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS) and Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) Thursday held a dharna at the Mini Secretariat here to press the demand for revision in minimum wages.

Speaking on the occasion, AITUC state general secretary Bant Brar made a demand for revision of minimum wages. He said in the wake of steep hike in the prices of items of daily needs and persistent inflation, the minimum wages for unskilled workers be increased to Rs 10,000, those for semi skilled to Rs 15,000 and the skilled workers be paid Rs 20,000 per month.

He said Punjab stood at a lowly number 18 in giving minimum wage to unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled labour. "Whereas the minimum wage in Punjab is Rs 3,842, Rs 4,600 in Haryana, Rs 5,000 in Chandigarh, and Rs 6,000 in Delhi."

Making a case for immediate revision of minimum wages, Brar pointed out that thewages in Punjab had been revised only once in the past 12 years. "Denial of minimum wages at a subsisting level are the main reason for the shortage of farm and industrial labour in the state," he asserted.

NTUI activists Chander Shekher demanded that all anti-worker and repressive legislations recently promulgated by the Punjab government be withdrawn with immediate effect while Raghunath from CITU decried violation of the labour laws in the state, both public and private sector with impunity. "The labour laws must be implemented in letter and spirit," he stressed.

Swaran Singh (INTUC), DP Maur, state committee member of Joint Council of Trade Unions, and other speakers demanded that the contractual workers be regularised henceforth, the Construction Workers’ Act 1996 be implemented scrupulously. The Aasha, Aanganwadi and midday meal workers be regularised and paid accordingly.

The trade union activists supported the demands of the hosiery workers while maintaining that the piece rates had not been revised since long and these required to be increased immediately.

The presidium comprised of of OP Mehta (AITUC), Swarn Singh (INTUC), Paramjit Singh (CTU), Tarsem Jodhan (NTUI), Jatinderpal (CITU). Among other speakers were Vijay Kumar, Jagdish, Gurnam Gill, Kewal Singh, Amar Singh Bhatian, Bhagwan, Gulzar Goria, Amar Singh Koomkalan and Parkash Singh Hissowal. 



Free medical camp held
Tribune news Service

Ludhiana, August 20
RG Stone Urology and Laparoscopy Hospital organised a free medical camp on its premises yesterday.
Dr Bhimsen Bansal, chairman and managing director of the hospital, said around 100 people registered their names during the camp. He added that the patients would be given concession in case they required surgery.

Raj Arora, branch manager of the hospital, “With this free medical camp, it is our endeavour to provide better health services to the poor in the future.” 



Anna’s kranti catches on
Mahesh Sharma

Residents hold a candle-lit vigil in Ludhiana.
Residents hold a candle-lit vigil in Ludhiana. Tribune photographs

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 20
Protesting against the administration has almost become a fad in the town and its surrounding areas.
Groups claiming to be supporting the “Anna Hazare Kranti” have to wait for their turn to show solidarity with the Gandhian leader at Bhagat Singh Chowk, the most desired place for organising dharnas and rallies in the town.

The Jan Lokpal Bill movement seems to have taken activists of various social and political organisations in its loop here.

Showing concern for future generations and the alleged “corrupt” system, activists and leaders of various organisations have been marching through the streets and raising slogans against corruption.

Some organisations carried out a candle-lit vigil to express their solidarity with the Gandian leader.

Former SSP Sukhdev Singh Brar, former Bhartia Yuva Morcha president Ashutosh Vinayak, councillor Avtar Singh Jassal, BJP president Jagtar Kaura, Des Raj Sharma and Kuldeep Singh led their groups.

Women and children were no exception. The protesters said Anna’s movement was their only chance to get the nation out of the clutches of corrupt people.



If it’s Anna in Delhi, it’s Bapu here!
SGPC aspirant on indefinite fast to support cause
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
At the age of 78, Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa has also decided to go the Anna way to fight corruption and is observing fast unto death on the premises of the Mini Secretariat here. Like Anna Hazare, his fast entered its fifth day today and with the passage of time, his determination for the noble cause is getting stronger.

Talking to The Tribune, Bapu Surat Singh, president of Panth Khalsa Dal, said: “I am contesting the SGPC elections as an Independent candidate. But I am not here to draw any political mileage, as I am not with the Akalis. My fight is against 

Bapu Surat Singh, who has also served the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) as general secretary from 1986 to 1988, said: “I am not with Anna Hazare but support the cause for which he is fighting. I resigned as government teacher in 1984 in protest against the attack on the Golden Temple. My children are settled abroad along with my wife Satnam Kaur, who also served as teacher here.”

“My wife is my pillar of strength as she keeps calling me up, urging me to fight for the cause bravely. Without the support of a woman, a man can do nothing.”

He said he was the follower of Sikh Gurus who showed the path of non-violence.

He said: “I also work as the chief spokesperson for Universal Human Rights Organisation and feel fulfillment by serving the needy.” Bapu Surat Singh said: “I will end my fast unto death one hour after Anna Hazare ends his.”

Visitors keep coming to him throughout the day. Some urge him to end the fast, while others encourage him to keep on going. However, Bapu Surat Singh has ensured that he is a man with a strong will power.



‘Re-counselling’ of primary teachers generates controversy
District education dept ‘adjusts’ SC candidates over general ones
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
The recent shifting of primary teachers of the Zila Parishad to the education department in a “self-styled” manner has generated a lot of controversy as general category teachers have alleged that despite the fact that there were no seats left for the SC category (to fill backlog of vacancies first as ordered by the Punjab and Haryana High Court), in an utter violation of court’s orders the district education department had started “adjusting” the SC candidates over general ones.

State president of the General Category Welfare Federation, Nirmal Singh said about 150 candidates falling under the general category were bound to suffer after the “re-counselling” by the department in the self-styled manner. He said about 108 teachers under the SC category were already more on several stations, still they were being given a preferential treatment by the department, reasons best known to the state government. “But this decision has certainly brought unrest among the general category teachers, who are being ignored by the department,” said Nirmal Singh.

The number of posts, which were to be shifted from the Zila Parishad to the education department, was 690. Total 489 teachers falling under the general category had to be accommodated as per the rules to fill the backlog first, while 108 teachers falling under the SC category were already more in number than their actual reservation. The number of other quota, including BC, sports, ex-servicemen, etc, was 201. On 489 seats, too, meritorious candidates belonging to the SC category were being accommodated instead of the general category teachers.

Harwinder Kaur (name changed), working near Kohara, rued though there were no backlog for the SC category still other category teachers had volunteered after the counselling sessions (first), if there were any posts left, the SC category teachers may be accommodated (by considering them general) by the department.

“But their self declared union leaders could not be satisfied and they demanded that consider all SC teachers as general and allot stations to them prior to the actual general category teachers of BEd cadre. We have asked DEO to stop the re-counselling and arrange a meeting with the DPI. If the department fails to listen to our grievances, we will be left with no other option but to move to court,” she said.


DEO (Primary) Ranjit Singh when contacted admitted that the SC category teachers were already more in number than their actual reservation. “But we have to obey to the state government’s directions. Re-counselling is being done because we have been asked to do so,” he said. When asked if any written communication had been received, DEO said, “For both counselling, we have been verbally informed.”



Councillor’s husband parries honey-trap allegations
Says fell prey to Punjabi youth in Bangkok, not gang of women robbers
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service
Om Parkash Rattra
Om Parkash Rattra

Ludhiana, August 20
He did not fall in a honey trap. Instead, he was duped by a Punjabi youth in Bangkok.
Back home after recovering from a poisoning incident that resulted in the death of his friend, MC ward No. 37 councillor Poonam Rattra’s husband Om Parkash Rattra has criticised politicians for spreading rumours that he was poisoned by a group of women robbers in a pub in Bangkok.

“I am hurt. I never thought that my political rivals would stoop so low and spread fabricated stories to defame me. It can happen to anyone. This time it was me. Instead of showing solidarity with me in our hour of crisis, my rivals tried to draw political mileage out of the tragedy,” said Rattra.

Narrating the sequence of events, Rattra said it was not a women’s gang that robbed him and killed his friend, but a Punjabi youth from Nawanshahr who befriended them and fled with cash and gold ornaments after poisoning them.

“The youth met us while we were scouting for an LCD television and other electronic gadgets at a shopping mall in Bangkok. He approached us and spoke in chaste Punjabi. We were quite happy to meet a Punjabi man in foreign land. He assured us of getting a good bargain,” said Rattra.

Both Ratra and his friend Jaspreet Singh Raju followed him.

The youth took them to a room and made them sit on a sofa. “He went to another room on the pretext of fetching water for us. That is all I can remember. The next time I opened my eyes, I was on a ventilator. I lost my dear friend. While I was still coming to terms with the tragedy, I was shattered to hear rumours that Raju and I had been poisoned by a group of women in a pub.”

Rattra, who still struggles to walk properly, said he was in constant touch with the Bangkok police and hoped that the killer would be nabbed soon.

“If the Punjabi youth robbed my valuables and killed my friend, the section of politicians here was no less ruthless. They also did everything to tarnish my reputation,” said Rattra.

Assails politicians

Back home after recovering from a poisoning incident that resulted in the death of his friend, MC ward No. 37 councillor Poonam Rattra’s husband Om Parkash Rattra criticised politicians for spreading rumours that he was poisoned by a group of women robbers in a pub in Bangkok.



Maths teachers seek departmental promotions
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
A delegation of the Maths Teachers’ Association, Punjab, under the leadership of Jasvinder Singh Jhabelwali and general secretary Harjinder Singh Dhillon met Baldeo Purshartha, director general school education (DGSE), Punjab. The delegation apprised the DGSE of the difficulties being faced by maths teachers.

They apprised the authorities of the ground realities for poor results and show-cause notices served to them regarding it. The members demanded that during the issuance of show-cause notices, previous years’ results should be taken into consideration and thus restrictions on promotion of teachers should also be lifted. They also demanded that teachers should get separate wages for practical classes of mathematics.

Besides this, the delegation demanded that departmental promotions should be done immediately. They said unnecessary burden of workbooks should be done away with and special grant should be given for development of maths labs. 



Harrowing time for residents
Overflowing sewage makes life miserable; municipal council looks the other way
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 20
Overflowing sewer water has simply made the life of residents of Doraha miserable. Literally abandoned by the Municipal Council (MC), they find no one to turn for their help. The situation, especially in ward numbers 8, 9 and the post office street is at present devastating to the extent that it has been days together that residents of these wards are living in sewer water, breathing in sewer water and putting up with sewer water, but no one has come to their rescue till date.

The residents have been making numerous rounds of the MC office, but it seems that the council, too, has given up all hopes for they rue that the moment water is evacuated with pumps, it starts recollecting.

“As dengue cases are on the rise, the situation has become all the more alarming. The constantly stagnant sewer water acts as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. There is nobody to turn for help and assistance. The committee, it seems, has turned its back to our problems, as it has not been once or twice but a countless number of times that officials have been approached to find a permanent solution to this grave problem,” complained Prof Kuldeep Singh.

“The sewer pipes being narrow get choked easily, but no one seems to be in a hurry to think about this problem seriously. A small shower of rain is enough to choke the sewer system and fill the streets with foul smelling water in no time. A solution has to be sought now or never,” shouted a distraught resident.

Amrit Sagar Sharma, a resident of Adarsh Nagar of Vishkarma locality, said the residents were fed up with the attitude of the officials of the MC. “I went to the MC office twice, but failed to meet the EO. When I approached sanitary official, he said the MC is helpless in this regard.” The sanitary official replied, “This problem shall now be solved only by GLADA, as the grant for setting up a sewerage plant has already reached us but there is no land earmarked for it at present.”

“When asked to make temporary arrangements for the drainage of the sewer water, they refused saying they have scant manpower and it is difficult to vacate sewer 
water after every shower,” Sagar added. “We don’t understand that should we go to a wall for redressal of our problems? Is it not the responsibility of the MC to find out a solution,” said a resident.



CBSE science exhibition
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
About 150 schools from Punjab, Chandigarh and Jammu and Kashmir are slated to participate in the regional-level CBSE science exhibition-2011 at Green Land Senior Secondary School, GT Road, on August 23 and 24.

The main theme of the exhibition will be “Science and technology for challenges in life”. The sub-themes will be biodiversity- conservation and sustenance, agriculture and technology, green energy, transport and communication, community health and environment and mathematical modelling.

Each participating school will display two models. This exhibition will be simultaneously conducted on 12 venues across India, covering eight regions of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). A list of best 15 exhibits from each venue will be prepared on the basis of evaluation by judges, which will be sent to the academic consultant, CBSE, for participation at the national-level exhibition in Delhi in October.



City garages overflow with damaged cars
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

A mechanic fixes a car that got damaged due to rain at a workshop in Ludhiana.
A mechanic fixes a car that got damaged due to rain at a workshop in Ludhiana. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, August 20
Following incessant rain last week, car workshops in the city have been flooded with cars that suffered damaged due to rainwater. As the city witnessed 400 mm of rainfall in just two days, city streets were flooded, damaging scores of vehicles.

The rush is such that workshop owners have been receiving calls from influential people asking them to fix cars of their known ones on a priority basis.

Dr Naresh Malhotra, owner of Stan Wheels on the Ferozepur Road, said due to heavy rain last week, hundreds of cars got damaged.

“Our other workshop near Rajguru Nagar is also full to its capacity and we are still receiving damaged cars pretty regularly. For a couple of days after the rain, some of our employees were engaged just in towing away damaged vehicles to our workshop. We have never received such a large number of damaged cars in a rainy season. The government should initiate steps to prevent a repeat of last week’s deluge,” said Dr Malhotra. Similarly, Amarjit Singh Jeeta, owner of New Doaba Motors in Aman Nagar, said they had been receiving a regular stream of vehicles at the workshop.

“Every person wants their vehicle to be fixed first, but we tell them to wait for their turn. Some customers have even approached influential people to influence us in fixing their vehicles on a priority basis. But for us, every customer is equal and we are working accordingly,” claimed Jeeta.

Around 80 luxury cars were damaged due in Swami Vivekanand Vihar in the Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar area alone. Area residents rued that as theirs was a low-lying area, water from the entire area got accumulated there, leaving luxury cars badly damaged.

Car insurance companies have reportedly refused to pay claims for vehicles damaged in the rain.

“Insurance claim can only be given if vehicles are damaged in floods. However, in cases where vehicles have been damaged due to rainwater, insurance companies are not liable to pay any claims,” said an insurance agent.



Tributes paid to Rajiv Gandhi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
The District Congress Committee (DCC), Ludhiana (Urban), today celebrated the 67th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister late Rajiv Gandhi as Sadhbhavna Diwas.

A function was organised at the district Congress Bhawan, which was presided over by DCC president Pawan Dewan. Dewan paid floral tributes to the leader.

Dewan recalled the sacrifices made by Rajiv Gandhi for safeguarding unity and integrity of the country.

The DCC president pointed out that it was Rajiv Gandhi who brought down the voting age from 21 years to 18 years to provide the youth a chance to participate in the country’s election process.

He said the former Prime Minister had a great vision and it was he who had scripted computer and telecommunication revolution in India. It was his vision and foresight that has seen India as a global power in the field of information technology.

He further pointed out that the best tribute to him would be to take his vision to the logical conclusion and make India into a prosperous and progressive country.



Cold forged socket making unit comes up in city
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
With the commissioning of the first cold forged socket manufacturing plant in the city, exports of hand tools are expected to enhance from the present Rs 850 crore to Rs 3,000 crore in the coming three-four years.

The first-ever such plant commissioned in the country in collaboration with a Taiwan firm at the Institute for Auto parts and Hand Tools Technology here has certainly lifted the spirits of hand tools manufacturers.

SC Ralhan, president Ludhiana Hand Tools Association, who is also the chairman of Regional Office of Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC), said the plant had come up with a huge financial help of Rs 10 crore by the state government. While remaining Rs 1 crore for setting up the plant had been contributed by the Ludhiana Hand Tool Association.

“This facility is going to be a boon for hand tools manufacturers of Punjab and the country, as the product quality of this manufacturing plant is of international level,” said Ralhan. 



KVM lads overpower Doraha 23-20
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 20
Kundan Vidya Mandir (KVM), Civil Lines, Ludhiana, warded off a strong challenge from Doraha Public School, Doraha, 23-20 in the boys’ U-18 section in the Mahindra NBA Challenge Basketball League Season II being held at the Guru Nanak Sports Complex here today.

Doraha Public School began the proceedings on a positive note and gained the lead immediately. At the end of the second quarter, they were leading by four points (12-8).

In the penultimate quarter, KVM boys fought back valiantly and not only wiped out the deficit but also surged ahead. Mohit Ghai was right on target and netted 14 baskets to steer KVM to clinch the cliffhanger with a narrow margin of three points.

For the losing side, Piyush was in the thick of action and contributed 16 points but that too could not save his team from defeat.

In another match (boys’ U-18), Faridkot district survived some anxious moments against Bathinda district before romping home 45-38.

The winners were trailing by 10 points (17-27) at half time but bounced back to out stage Bathinda boys. Sukhkirpal chipped in with 11 points to fashion Faridkot’s victory.

In the girls’ section (U-18), Kapurthala district proved too good for Muktsar district whom they routed 37-8 after leading 21-4 at the breather. Gauri with 14 points excelled for the winning side.

In the second match (girls’ U-18), BCM Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh Road branch, got the better of Delhi Public School, Ludhiana, 21-6, while Mansa district wrapped up both their matches in the girls’ under-16 group.

Mansa trounced Sangrur 57-9 (Nirmal Kaur-25) and then outperformed Gurdaspur district 56-47 (Nirmal Kaur-30).

In the girls’ under-13 category, Gymkhana Club, Ludhiana, defeated MGM Public School, Ludhiana, 17-6; Doraha Public School, Doraha, got a walk over against GTB School, Dakha; Government Model Senior Secondary School, PAU, Ludhiana, defeated Delhi Public School, Jalandhar, 13-3.

Sangrur district beat Kapurthala district 26-14, while Faridkot district outplayed Sujjapur 43-27 in the boys’ under-13 group.



Surya hogs limelight
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 20
After Pranav Chopra, another upcoming shuttler from Ludhiana, Surya Goyal has been in the headlines these days.
Pranav, a trainee of the Ludhiana Badminton Academy (LBA), represented India in the World Badminton Championship held in London recently. Likewise, Surya (16) hogged limelight as he won three titles in the Open Ludhiana District Badminton Championship held last week.

Surya clinched the titles in the U-17 singles, doubles and under-19 doubles categories to prove his class. He also finished as runner-up in the under-19 singles group.

Coaches at the academy noticed tremendous talent in him. They recommended the LBA to sent Surya for advanced coaching at Hyderabad. The LBA readily accepted coaches’ recommendation and decided to send this player to Hyderabad to help him in polishing his game under the guidance of national badminton coach Pullela Gopi Chand.



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