L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Bodies of 2 boys fished out of Sidhwan canal
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
There appears to be no end to drowning accidents involving little children. In the latest tragedy the bodies of two little boys who were brothers, both of whom had been reported missing three days ago, were fished out of the city’s Sidhwan Canal. The victims have been identified as Ravi Kumar, 6, and Aakash Kumar, 8, who were residing in the SBS Nagar locality.

While Ravi’s body was retrieved from the canal on Friday evening, his elder brother’s body was spotted on Saturday evening by passers-by near the BRS Nagar bridge.

Giving details about the incident, Omkar Singh, the police officer investigating the accident, said: "Ravi and Aakash’s father, Parmod Kumar, is employed as a sweeper in the Barewal area and his wife is a domestic maid”.

The mishap occurred on September 8 when both children left home when their parents were out. When the latter arrived home they called up the police after they found the kids missing. The cops then launched a search operation to find the children. In the meantime the police received information about the two having fallen into the canal and feared to have been drowned.

A rescue operation was launched but the children could not be traced. On Friday the cops noticed Ravi’s body floating on the canal surface. It was fished out and handed over to his family members. The next day Aakash’s body was found and handed over to his parents. “Inquest proceedings under section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code have been initiated”, Omkar said.

Similar mishaps this year

n August 16: Vivek Kumar, 13, and Munish Kumar, 11, both residents of Indira Colony, drowned in a rainwater pond in a vacant plot on the Chandigarh Road

n July 15: Two teenagers - Ramji, 18, and Pankaj,17, - drowned after falling into the Sidhwan Canal near BRS Nagar

n June 20: Samuel Bhatti alias Babbi, 40, a resident of Issa Nagri, and Emmanuel, 27, a resident of Ajit Nagar, died after falling into the Sutlej

n June 13: Thee youths including two brothers - Varinder Singh, 19, Varun Kaushal, 21, and Tarun Kaushal, 19, died after slipping into the Sutlej river

n May 24: Sidharth, 16, and Gagandeep Singh, 17, both students of Green Land School, drowned in the Sidhwan Canal


1965 war hero's statue a picture of neglect
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

The statue of war hero Major Bhupinder Singh in a neglected state near Bharat Nagar Chowk in Ludhiana.
The statue of war hero Major Bhupinder Singh in a neglected state near Bharat Nagar Chowk in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, September 11
While city residents were glued to their TV sets to watch the ceremonies marking the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States, the heroic exploits of an unsung hero of the 1965 Indo-Pakistani war, army major Bhupinder Singh, who was posthumously awarded the Mahavir Chakra for laying down his life for the country, went unnoticed.

Soldiers of Hudson Horse unit who came all the way from Pathankot to celebrate India’s victory in the war paid floral tributes to Bhupinder who played a key role in it. However, the shabby condition of the statue of the war hero dampened their zeal.

The statue, standing atop of a Centurion battle tank stationed near Government College for Women, and which was once a source of inspiration for the city’s youngsters, is now languishing in utter neglect. Garbage is littered around and wild vegetation has grown around it.

Jagjit Singh, a soldier of the unit, lamented the state of neglect in which the statue has been kept. “We’ve written several letters to the authorities concerned to clean the area around the statue, but nothing has been done so far. When we come here every year we first wash the statue and clean the surroundings, but as soon as we leave the place antisocial elements come and take way the garlands. We’ve come to know the tank has been used as a shelter by beggars," he added. In the absence of a ladder a soldier perched atop the statue put a garland around the hero’s neck with the help of a wooden stick.

The garland got stuck around the turban and it was after great deal of struggle that the solider managed put the garland around the neck, causing embarrassment to onlookers.

Except Swarn Singh, a retired soldier, no ex-army man was present at the scene to pay tributes to the war hero. Even Bhupinder’s family members did not turn up at the venue.

"We had informed Bhupinder’s relatives about the programme, but unfortunately they couldn’t come," said RIS/Maj Tirath Singh.

Decorated for heroism in tank battle

y Maj Bhupinder Singh, who was posthumously awarded the Mahavir Chakra for his sacrifice in the 1965 Indo-Pakistani war, was a squadron commander of the Hudson Horse unit in the war. He destroyed many enemy tanks in the Sodereke battle, during which his tank caught fire and he suffered major burn injuries. However, he did not stop and captured part of enemy territory.



Two killed, five injured in road mishaps
Tribune Reporters

Mullanpur Dakha,September 11
Two persons were killed and three injured after the vehicle they were travelling in collided with a speeding tempo coming from the opposite side on the Ludhiana- Jagraon road near here this evening.

Ganesh Pal ( 33) of Dugri and Neeraj Chandla ( 32) of Haibowal Kalan succumbed to their injuries. The Mohindra Van ( PB 10 CS 6039) collided with the speeding Canter coming from the opposite side near a public school.

Harinder Singh of Bhaie Randhir Singh Nagar Ludhiana, Gauarav of Abohar and Neeraj Sharma of Haibowal Kalan were injured seriously.

Though the police impounded both vehicles, the driver of the tempo, who fled from the scene, was yet to be booked.

Ludhiana: Two persons were injured after an overspeeding private bus broke a traffic signal and collided with a car near ESI Hospital here today. The victis were identified as Rohit and Puja.

Narrating the incident, Rohit said he was visiting his relatives along with his sister-in-law.

While they were crossing the road, an overspeeding private bus broke the traffic signal and rammed into their car, he said. The Kochar Market police was investigating the matter.



Cops grope in dark
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
The matter of an Audi A- 4, worth over Rs 30 lakh, belonging to a hotelier, and stolen from the parking lot of a hotel located on the Pakhowal road on September 3 has caused major embarrassment to the police.

Sanjiv Dhanda, owner of the car, said the vehicle was stolen from the parking of the hotel but the thieves had not been identified. Initially the matter was kept under wraps . After failing to find a clue of the vehicle, cops finally registered a case against unidentified thieves.



Misuse of residential flats: GLADA gets cracking
Seals school in residential colony, issues final warning to violators
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 11
What should have been done much earlier to curb the flourishing commercial activity from residential colonies developed by the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) in different parts of the city has come a little too late as a team of GLADA officials sealed a school and issued final warning to some half-a-dozen other commercial establishments in Dhandari area and on Chandigarh Road on Saturday.

GLADA estate officer (EO) Jeet Ram, who led the team of officials during the operation, said the allottees of residential flats were carrying out commercial activity like running schools, nursing homes, show rooms and department stores in gross violation of rules of allotment and land use norms.

Due process of rules governing the allotment of dwelling units was followed, he added, before action of sealing the premises and removal of signboards was carried out. "We have issued final warning to three other playway schools being run in the residential flats to closedown by Monday. We shall carry out another inspection in a day or so and further action as per the rules will be taken against the erring allottees,” said Jeet Ram.

The GLADA official asserted that agreement signed at the time of the allotment of flats says that the flats will be used only for residential purposes while also making a provision for cancellation of the allotment in case of violation of the land use norms.

He said the field staff had been directed to inspect all residential colonies of GLADA and submit detailed report on major violations in buildings and land use norms so that action could be initiated against defaulting allottees. “No commercial activity can be permitted in residential flats, nor number of flats can be merged as one unit to set up institutions like schools or nursing homes. We mean to implement the rules and a relentless drive will continue against the defaulters for this purpose," Jeet Ram added.



chhappar mela
No check on snake charmers at Chhappar Mela
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh,September 11
Although banned by the Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, the practice of snake charming and keeping serpents for receiving offerings in the name of “Guga” flourishes at Chhapar Mela being organised under the control of the administration every year.

What to talk of having written permission of the Chief Wildlife Warden to capture, transfer or hypnotise these serpents, a majority of charmers were not aware that they could be charged under the Indian Penal Code and sentenced for violating provisions of the Act.

Even those who visit the mela to worship reptiles did not realise that the practice was a major factor behind the disappearance of snakes from forests and fields of the state. Besides upsetting ecosystem, the disappearance of snakes results in increased population of rodents in fields, taking a toll on the agricultural yield year after year.

While organisers at the shrine opposed the idea of initiating action against snake charmers and those capturing serpents for religious purposes, officials at the control room said they could not book offenders until some wildlife officials lodged a complaint. Investigations by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that provisions of the Indian Wildlife Act 1972 were being violated with impunity at Chhapar Mela. A large number of snake charmers had been exploiting various species of snakes for seeking alms from devotees and entertaining children for years together here.

As the practice has been established as livelihood of a large number of snake charmers, thousands of snakes are poached from forests throughout the state every year.

Rise in rodent population

The practice of snake charming is banned by the Indian Wildlife Act 1972.

Commonly captivated snakes are cobras , pythons, sand boas and rat-snakes. Every year thousands of snakes are poached from forests and fields of the state. This has resulted in increase in the population of rodents. Farmers are the biggest sufferers of loss due to the decrease in the population of snakes.

According to the Act, wild animals (including snakes) are the property of the government and killing, molesting or teasing a wild animal will be treated as a crime and the offender will be charged under the Indian Penal Code. No person is allowed to sell, offer for sale, or otherwise transfer or transport any wild animal except written permission from Chief Wildlife Warden or the authorised officer.

The forest rangers or officials concerned can seize and capture wild animals, animal articles or any specified plant from the possession of any offender and can arrest him without warrant.



Thin attendance on Day 2
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh,September 11
Even as the National Investigation Agency and the Delhi Police are yet to arrive at definite leads to the perpetrators of the Delhi bomb blast, residents of this part of the border state seem to have turned wary of participating in crowded social functions.

The tendency has shown its affect on the success of Mela Chhappar, which attracted less number of devotees on the second day today.

However, a large number of devotees visited the shrine to pay obeisance during morning hours when fun makers were yet to converge on the mela site.

Activists of various political parties are also hesitant to attend rallies scheduled to take place at the mela site on Monday for obvious reasons of fear of any untoward incident in view of threats of more blasts in the country.

“When they (terrorists) can manage to plant bombs in high-security zone, we cannot terms fairs and social gatherings safe and secure. Moreover, being a supporter of a particular party does not mean that one should attend all rallies and functions,” said Deepak Sharma, an activist of a political party.



Clouds over rallies
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 11
With the preoccupation of activists and office-bearers of various political parties in campaigning for candidates contesting SGPC polls, ‘pandals’ set up for rallies almost remained vacant today.

The organisers had to arrange dummy lectures and stage appearance to enable cameramen of vernacular newspapers click pictures to substantiate claims regarding second-rung leaders addressing the ‘gathering’ of activists.

Activists and office-bearers of various political parties had preferred to keep their commitments with the supporters of SGPC candidates rather than pleasing organisers of conferences at Mela Chhappar on second day today.

Some second-rung leaders, who were supposed to address meetings, also remained busy in the campaigning for candidates from their respective segments.

If present mood of the activists is any indicator, the organisers of rallies might be disappointed when state-level leaders will address relatively thinner gathering on Monday.



Alternative routes marked to avoid snarl-ups
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh,September 11
In order to streamline the movement of vehicles leading to the venue of the Mela Chhappar, the administration has urged the organisers of various conferences to impress upon activists of their parties to adopt specific routes to reach the venue on the conference day.

This besides facilitating smooth flow of traffic will minimise inconvenience to devotees visiting the fair, claimed the authorities. Ludhiana (Rural) SSP Amar Singh Bhullar said five parking areas had been established to accommodate vehicles coming from various constituencies and directions.

Activists from Jagraon, Barnala, Mehal Kalan and Raikot regions have been asked to adopt Lohatbaddi, Rachhin and Rasulpur route to reach the parking at Maherna village near Guga Mari.

Another parking on the Latala-Chhapar road will accommodate vehicles coming from Sidhwan Bet, Mullanpur, Jodhan and Pakhowal villages.

Activists coming from Amargarh, Malerkotla and Sherpur constituencies have been advised to park their vehicles in the parking lot on Dehliz Kalan road. Ahmedgarh, Dehlon, Payal, Sahnewal, Khanna and Gill parties have been asked to park their vehicles at Anand Isher Public School compound on the Ahmedgarh-Chhapar road. Vehicles coming from Mullanpur, Jangpur Mohi, Jodhan via Narangwal and Kalakh Majri will be parked at Dhulkot village.

On Tuesday, only light vehicles will be allowed to pass through Rasulpur to Chhapar via Majara chowk.



Safety, hygiene given a miss here
Mahesh Sharma

A tattoo artist at work at Chhappar Mela on Sunday.
A tattoo artist at work at Chhappar Mela on Sunday.

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 11
Callous attitude of the health authorities towards checking unhealthy practices at Mela Chhappar has resulted in a situation that those coming here to seek sound health and prosperity can contract pathogens of dreaded diseases.

Tattooing and dental care by unauthorised practitioners, re-circulation of ‘prasad’, mishandling of eatables, unhygienic conditions of preparation and presentation of eatables continue unabated at the biggest rural fair of the region.

The health authorities had failed to check unhealthy practices at the mela during first two day of the mega event, thus falsifying the claims made by the civil administration.

Sweets and ‘patasas’ were re-circulated posing a threat to life. Even the ‘prasad’, which had been thrown on the floor and in the soil after being offered by the devotees, was also recovered by beggars and later sold at shops, obviously to be re-sold after being mixed with fresh ‘prasad’.

“Though senior health officials, including medical officers posted at government hospitals, have been watching beggars and children recovering parsad from soil, none ever bothered to check its consumption and re-circulation,” said Bimal Sharma, a local councillor, lamenting that the practice exposed thousands of devotees to deceases caused by microbes present in the soil, besides transmitting pathogens from beggars suffering from chronic disorders.

The health authorities also failed to check self-styled dental surgeons practicing their ‘skills’ at the mela site. What to talk of sterilisation of the equipment they do not even wash their hands while extracting teeth of rural folks.

A number of youths were seen getting tattoos inscribed on their body. While the youths were unaware of risks associated with the malpractice, the tattoo artists maintained no officials had ever objected to the practice.

“We never forced any one to get tattooed. How can we afford sterilising or changing our machine after every job done on some youth,” said Izhar, a tattoo maker.



Begging blooms, authorities ignorant
Mahesh Sharma

Women and children collect jaggery and wheat offered at Gugga shrine at Chhappar mela on Sunday.
Earning livelihood from soil Women and children collect jaggery and wheat offered at Gugga shrine at Chhappar mela on Sunday.

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 11
Human trafficking for making money through begging at rural fairs is suspected to be an organised profession in this part of the state. Hundreds of drifters coming to seek alms from devotees in the name of God can be seen at all socio-religious fairs, including Mela Chhappar.

The manner in which some physically challenged beggars are shifted from one fair to another and from one corner of the venue to the other suggests some gangs are exploiting the pitiable condition of these beggars.

Suspecting pick pocketing by a section of beggars, the police has urged the devotees not to entertain drifters and beggars. However, it hesitates to deal them with a stern hand, obviously fearing action by human rights organisations.

A large number of beggars, a majority of them migrants, have converged on the mela sites at Chhappar and Dehlon near here before commencement of the fair.

Women and children, outnumbering men, turn out to be more irritating as people find it difficult to get rid of them. Those who beg for alms and parsad sitting in rows do not cause any inconvenience to the devotees.

The authorities concerned have failed to understand that who brings the beggars who are not able to sit and walk. Their pitiable condition makes people donate generously. How could they collect and preserve offerings in cash and kind is beyond the comprehension of the common man.

“We have been visiting the fairs for many years and have observed that some beggars, who are unable to move and walk, are present at all these religious places. Obviously some gang must be working to exploit their pitiable condition,” said Jasbir Singh of Dehlon. He had seen a person collecting money from the bowl of a beggar, who was physical challenged.

Amar Singh Chahal, mela in charge, said the police instead of being strict with the beggars, had deputed extra force at sensitive points at the mela site. “At the same time, we have appealed the devotees to beware of swindlers and pickpockets in the guise of beggars," said Chahal, adding that no incident of pick pocketing has been reported at the mela during first two days.



Seen death traps? take this road
Broken dividers, narrow bridges dot 37-km stretch on way to Malerkotla
Mahesh Sharma

A snake charmer says with folded hands as he is questioned by a team of animal rights activists at Chhappar Mela on Sunday.
I HAVE NO SNAKES: A snake charmer says with folded hands as he is questioned by a team of animal rights activists at Chhappar Mela on Sunday. Photo: Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 11
Despite identifying accident-prone areas in the region, the administration is yet to take steps to prevent mishaps at and near the vulnerable areas.

Instead of working on required changes in infrastructure, the officials have preferred to advise commuters to drive slowly.

Large roundabouts constructed on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road near Pohir and Gill villages, a number of broken dividers and narrow bridges have turned into death traps.

Records revealed that a number of persons had lost their lives in accidents taking place due to faulty construction of the road between Ludhiana and Malerkotla.

A number of makeshift passages on the road by breaking central verge; the Pohir roundabout continues to be the contributing factor towards the accidents.

Sources revealed that a team of engineers had conducted a survey of the road, after a story was published in The Tribune on the issue.

Following this, officials labelled the areas as vulnerable. Instead of making necessary changes, officials preferred to evade responsibility by putting up caution boards.

In gross violation of rules, the authorities have constructed rumple strip without any warning near the Pohir roundabout, besides, putting up confusing caution boards regarding minimum speed of vehicles.

While the original board states minimum speed as 50 km per hour, the authorities have installed new board advising drivers to lower down the speed of their vehicles to 30 km per hour.

Residents of the area have urged the higher authorities, including the Chief Minister, to impress upon the officials concerned to take preventive measure to avoid accidents.



No dengue death: DHO
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
Although the patients suffering from dengue keep pouring in the private hospitals and the figure has crossed 350, yet the district health department says here are less han 100 patients in the disrict.

Dr Kulwinder Singh district health officer (DHO), Luhdiana said, “87 dengue patients have been reported so far and none has died of dengue.”

However, as per the figures of different private hospitals, five patients have died due to dengue.

DHO said, “The private hospitals count the patients without ELIZA test. It is not the right way. We have asked them to conduct Eliza tests."

But the hospitals like CMCCH and DMCH are already conducting ELIZA tests on which the DHO said, “We confirm a dengue patient only after conducting the test at our own.”



Social security gives many a miss
70 power looms defaulters, workers not under ESI Corporation cover
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
There are many employees working at factories here who are not yet covered under the ESI Corporation. Many such employees are working at power looms.

Making this point, Textile Mazdoor Union president Rajwinder said, “We submitted a memorandum to the ESI Corporation about two weeks ago, in which we listed 70 power looms which did not bring employees under the ESI Corporation.”

Any factory or industry which had more than 10 employees was supposed to bring employees under the ESI Corporation, he said. “Most factory owners succeed in misguiding the ESI Corporation team and employees are devoid of benefits,” he added.

ESI Corporation joint director KS Dhaliwal said, “There were 2,81,405 employees covered in Ludhiana till March 31 this year. We run special campaigns every two or three months to know if there are any deserving employees left out.”

ESI Corporation assistant director Ravi Bhatia said, “We have 13 social security officers in Ludhiana, whom we depute from time to time to update the number of employees to be covered by visiting factories.”

Some labourers alleged that teams of the ESI Corporation visited factories, but did not interact with labourers, adding that the factory owners did not tell them the truth as to how many employees they had.

Refuting this, Bhatia said, “Whenever a social security officer visits a factory, the complainant accompanies him to ensure that the owner does not lie. If any employee has any complaint, he should bring it to our notice.” He added that teams had visited some power looms recently.



Medicity Hospital crippled by non-functional elevator
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
Patients and attendants are at the receiving end at Ludhiana Medicity Hospital where the elevator is non-functional for the past few days.

Sukhmani Kaur, an attendant of a patient, said, “My sister is undergoing treatment at the hospital and I have to stay here for some hours. But it is a tiring experience as I suffer from joint pain. It is difficult for me to go to the upper floors through the ramp time and again.”

Aneeta, a patient undergoing treatment at the hospital, said, “The lift is not functioning and so, I have to use the ramp to shuttle between floors. The hospital authorities should get the lift functional at the earliest.”

The hospital has all the diagnostic laboratories on the first floor while the intensive care unit is on the second floor.

As the lift is non-functional, not only patients, but doctors are also having a hard time.



DPRS in troubled waters
Faces ire of SAD-BJP alliance’s political rivals
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
A day after the much-hyped dealer point registration system (DPRS) was launched by Anurag Agarwal, transport secretary, the project has snowballed into a controversy.

District Congress Committee (Urban) president Pawan Dewan has cried foul, claiming it to be a violation of the model code of conduct.

He said the SAD-BJP government was using their confidante bureaucrats to launch public welfare schemes so that they could woo voters.

The DPRS project was launched with pomp and show. The transport secretary had then claimed that the project would provide respite to residents who had to shuttle between the district transport office and suvidha centres for vehicle registration certificates.

He said the onus of completing the necessary paperwork and delivering registration certificates to vehicle buyers would now rest with the auto dealers.

The president of the Youth Akali Dal (Delhi), Gurdeep Singh Gosha, who was pitted against SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar in the SGPC elections, took a dig at the timing of the project launch.

He asked, “What was the urgency behind the launch? Why did Agarwal, a senior bureaucrat, specially come from Chandigarh on a Saturday to launch the project?”

“These are all lame tactics to woo voters. Bureaucrats are also playing a partisan role and helping their political masters,” he alleged.

While launching the project at Dada Motors, Agarwal had said the project had been rolled out in the entire state and it would bring relief to residents, who complained of facing difficulties in procuring registration certificates.

All non-transport vehicles, be it two-wheelers and four-wheelers, would be registered under the system and special help desks would be established at district transport offices, he had said.



Tewari takes MC to task for poor drainage
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 11
Ludhiana MP and the national spokesperson of the Indian National Congress Manish Tewari today lashed out at the municipal corporation authorities for their failure to take proper measures for drainage of rainwater before monsoon.

He said the recent rains had caused havoc in the city and people had to bear the brunt. Addressing a series of public meetings in various wards here today, Tewari said, the monsoon is yet to be over and the threat of floods still looms large while the administration has blissfully been ignorant of the people’s plight.

The MP said it was shocking that while Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal were touring various areas of the state for SGPC elections, they had not bothered to visit the flood-hit people.

He reminded Sukhbir about his tall promises of converting Ludhiana into another Paris. He said, Paris is too far, they have not been able to provide the basic amenities to the people and a mild shower is enough to flood the whole of the city with water gushing into the houses and the shops in the mega city.

Speaking on the occasion, former minister Rakesh Pandey criticised the government for its failure to provide relief to the industry. The District Congress Committee president Pawan Dewan maintained that the civic administration had totally failed in its duty to provide relief from the heavy rains that have flooded the entire city.



Health workers to protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
Contractual employees working under the Revised National Tuberculosis Programme have decided to continue their pen-down strike as their meeting with health and family welfare minister Satpal Gosain has not proved fruitful.

According to a press note issued by Gurpreet Singh Gill and Gurjeet Singh Ratan, district and state president, respectively, they will intensify theit struggle in the coming days.

The Auxiliary Nurse Midwife and Lady Health Union, Punjab, has also decided to protest in front of the office of director health services on September 19.

Lakhwinder Kaur Johal, general secretary of the union, has said in a press note that they are fighting for a pay grade of Rs 3,000 for auxiliary nurse midwives and Rs 4,800 for lady health workers.



Another village to boycott SGPC poll
After Chakar, Sherpur Kalan follows suit
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, September 11
A few days after the residents of Chakar village declared to boycott the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections, scheduled to be held on September 18, residents of Sherpur Kalan village, the birthplace of Nanaksar sect founder Baba Nand Singh, have also declared to boycott the SGPC elections.

The decision was taken during a meeting of a large number of village residents yesterday. Five former sarpanchs of the village and some current panchayat members were also present during the meeting.

The village residents had been forced to take this decision due to the state government’s constant neglect of the link road leading to Sherpur village from Jagraon, which was a shambles for a long time.

The Jagraon-Sherpur link road had not been constructed for the past many years.

Though Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had also promised to construct this road at the earliest when the villagers raised this issue before him during his ‘sangat darshan’ programme at Jagraon some time back, the administration had done nothing in this regard so far.

Irked over the failure of the government to fulfil its promise about constructing the road, the villagers had now decided to boycott the SGPC elections to teach the government a lesson.

According to the residents, a number of accidents had taken place here in the past due to the bad condition of this road.

Harcharan Singh Toor, a local resident, said the state government was not serious about this long-pending demand of thousands of residents.

“We have decided to not take part in the SGPC elections. We will also be forced to boycott the Assembly elections if our demand is not fulfilled till then,” he added.



Campaigning in full throttle
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
As the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections are just a week away, the candidates are all geared up and have intensified the campaigning. The campaigning is in full throttle with candidates holding meetings in their respective areas, starting from early morning till late evening.

SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar, who is contesting from Ludhiana (West) constituency on Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) ticket, says that every day, he attends atleast 17-20 meetings.

An independent candidate Surinder Singh Ryait, who is contesting from Ludhiana (South) constituency said that on an average, he attends atleast 10 meetings every day. “My constituency is one of the biggest, in term of size as well as number of voters, in the district. Ludhiana (South) is having around 80,000 voters and that is why I have to go meet a large number of people,” he claimed.

As per the model code of conduct, the candidates would be allowed to campaign till September 16 evening. The SGPC elections are scheduled for September 18.



Artificial limbs distributed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
A free limb distribution camp was organised at Viklang Sahayta Kendra by Bhartiya Vikas Parishad at Rishi Nagar. 51 physically challenged persons were given artificial limbs free of cost. Polio corrective surgery operations on 11 patients were also conducted and hearing aids were also provided to the handicapped.

Ravinder Mittal, district secretay of the organisation said services of mobile dispensary will be launched in the city soon which will cater the areas inhabited by the poor. RP Gupta, Secretary, said till now 36000 limbs have been distributed and around 2000 polio operations have been done by the organisation.



New course fails to start, PU delays inspection
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
The courses of Human Rights and Education, sponsored by sponsored by University Grants Commission (UGC) failed to kick-off at Arya College here during this academic session as Panjab University, Chandigarh did not to send its inspection team on time. Though UGC provided the first installment of Rs 4 lakhs to the college authorities to start the project in this academic session but PU took its own time of about eight months to send the inspection team for approval of the particular course. The team however, visited recently and asked the authorities to prepare themselves for starting the course next year.

According to information, Arya College had applied for the particular course to UGC, which after verifying the facts immediately gave its nod to start course on Human Rights and Education for under-graduates. The course will focus on the sensitisation and awareness of human rights among the students.

During the one year course, the students will be given certificates, in second year it will be a diploma course while in third year, it will be advanced diploma course in Human Rights. The proposal for initiating the course was sent to UGC in January 2011, which sent its expert committee to see the viability. Immediately after the visit of expert committee, the first installment of Rs 4 lakh was sanctioned to the college to commence the project for five years. Many students had expressed their interest over the new course but the delay on the part of Panjab University disappointed them as well as the college authorities.

Though the college had applied for the approval of the course on time, but the university took about eight months to send its inspection committee. The college principal Dr TL Joshi said, “We had submitted everything on time and we were hopeful that the course would start this year. But the inspection team visited on September 3, it is already late now. But the university has asked us to purchase books and other material.”



Book on short stories released
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
A book on collection of short stories in Hindi "Theher Gayi Zindagi" written by Dr Asha Aneja was released at Punjabi Bhawan here today. Dr Kailash Nath Bhardwaj, President, Hindi Sahitya Academi during a literary seminar organised of Punjab UNESCO club, released the book. Dr Aneja said most of the stories dealt with the state of women and old people in the society.

“Despite the campaigns, discussions and talks about the improvement in the condition of women, the state in homes remains the same. Only two per cent of the women have have become aware, but the rest remain the same. Old age homes should be home only for those who do not have anybody to look after them. But those with families deserve a life of respect, and should be respected by their children for the time, energy and entire life they spent for bringing up their children. My mother was my inspiration, and I dedicated this book to her,” she said.

The released book is her third one. A book on research of plays titled "Ramesh Bakshi Ji Ke Natkon Mein Naitikta" and a book on poems titled "Kagaz ki Kashtiya" have been published earlier. Aneja is a lecturer in SDP College for Women.



School associations threaten chain hunger strike
Suspension of three officers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
The Punjab School Gazetted Officers’ Association and the Government Senior School Officers’ Association, in a state-level meeting held here yesterday, asked the state government to immediately reinstate the three officers suspended for “leaking the ETT paper” held in April.

The association members, along with the support of representatives from 30 organisations, threatened if the government failed to reinstate the “innocent” officers, a chain hunger strike would be held in Chandigarh from September 26 and 11 members would sit on fast everyday.

JS Aulakh, chief patron, Senior School Officers’ Association, Punjab, told The Tribune that the officers who had been suspended were innocent.

“Since the incident was planned to benefit a few private institutions, the three officials were made scapegoats. The government has failed to prove that the eighth paper of the ETT was leaked. In such circumstances, why has state government suspended three persons?” he said.

“Influential persons in the state government, in connivance with certain officials, wanted to benefit private institutions, which gave admission to about 5,000 students, violating rules and regulations. When the Director, State Council of Education Research and Training, refused to oblige the institutions flouting rules, he was punished unnecessarily,” he added.

The members said the state government must come to the rescue of the three officials or the school organisations would intensify the agitation.



Women decry poll duty
 ‘Whither men, not up to task?’
Our Correspondent

Doraha, September 11
Woman employees think that they have been made scapegoats in election duties. Women engaged in poll duty rehearsal here allege that they outnumber men.

“Is it rational on the part of the election office to ask women to perform their duty during the daytime and stay back for the same at night?” asks a woman teacher.

“We have been asked to stay back the night before the day of polling. What are the extra security arrangements made for us for the night?” she adds. “We have to go in trucks ourselves to procure the material. The election office does not find the male staff worthy of such duties,” she rues.

“Although the distance is not much, means of transport are scarce. A mini-bus passes by our village and reaches the town after stopping at all the villages on the way,” complains another working woman.

“What will happen if the same thing happens on the day of polling and I am not able to reach in time? I have been suffering from a severe physical problem for the past one year,” she says.

Women on election duty have demanded the deployment of at least two women at the booths so that inconvenience caused to them is avoided to a large extent.

“I am presently unfit to perform any duty which involves a lot of physical activity. This was advised by my doctor as I recently suffered a miscarriage,” she explains.

“With the increase in number of cases of violence and booth capturing, it becomes more unsafe for women to perform election duty,” she states.

“My baby is just three months old. She is entirely on breastfeed. As I am here, she will be starving. She has fever since the previous night,” says yet another teacher. “I have not brought her along as it is difficult to manage her in this scorching weather. Can a woman perform duty with a balanced mind in such conditions?” she adds.



Keralites celebrate Onam
Tribune News Service

Girls perform a dance during the Onam celebration by Udaya Kerala Arts and Sports Club in Ludhiana on Sunday.Ludhiana, September 11
Udaya Kerala, an organisation of Malayalis celebrated Onam at gurdwara singh sabha auditorium, Kidwai Nagar today.

The celebrations saw a congregation of about 1000 people. Six-feet-tall earthen lamps called Nilavilakku were used for traditional lighting. About 21 dishes were served.

The organisation awarded the children who were performing well in academics.

Girls perform a dance during the Onam celebration by Udaya Kerala Arts and Sports Club in Ludhiana on Sunday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan



Sikh Marriage Act sought
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
A congregation was organised by Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle to discuss the proposed Sikh Marriage Act here recently.

Members of the study circle termed the decision of the Centre not to pass the proposed Act unfortunate.

Ram Singh Kulara, chief organiser, said the Act was finalised in 1909, but not enacted because of the parochial vision of successive governments.

It should be passed immediately, he asserted. Iqbal Singh said it was the responsibility of every Sikh MP to work for it.



It’s time for fashion
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
Signature Premier brought the city first-of-its-kind concept of bringing together national and international fashion on the same platform. During an interaction with media persons here, Emannuelle Junqueira, international fashion designer from Sao Paulo, said, "This is my first trip to India and I am very excited to be here. The Indian fashion has so much of tradition and vibrancy. I am thrilled to showcase my collection at the tour that has brought eight fashion capitals of the world to India."

Miss Brazil Debora Lyra, international designer from Sao Paulo, Emannuelle Junqueria, and Indian model Kunal Kapoor at World of 8 International Fashion Tour in Ludhiana on Sunday.

Miss Brazil Debora Lyra, international designer from Sao Paulo, Emannuelle Junqueria, and Indian model Kunal Kapoor at World of 8 International Fashion Tour in Ludhiana on Sunday. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan



‘Suicide’ may be honour killing
Death of head constable’s 17-year-old daughter
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, September 11
Speculation is rife here after the death of a minor girl, who had allegedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance, at her house on Thursday night.

Sources said the girl was the victim of honour killing and the two youths and the girl booked for abetting the suicide had wrongly been implicated in the case by the police, in connivance with the victim’s father, a head constable with the Ludhiana police.

The sources further revealed that the 17-year-old victim had an affair with Darshan Singh, one of the two youths booked by the police.

The sources added that the victim had visited Moga willingly, after which she was tortured by her father.

Sources at the Civil Hospital, where the post-mortem examination of the victim was conducted, revealed that there were many visible marks of injury on the body of the victim, which clearly indicated that she was physically tortured before her death, but there were no signs of rape.

The victim was admitted to the hospital around 9:30 pm on Thursday by her family in an unconscious state. The girl died half an hour after being admitted at the hospital.

Following her death, the police booked three students of her college, including a girl, under Sections 306, 376 and 120-B of the IPC on the complaint of the victim’s father.

The police did not wait for the post-mortem report before registering a case of rape, which was the general practice.



Two youths snatch chain
Ashok Kaura

Phillaur, September 11
Two unidentified motorcyclist snatched earrings of a woman named Swaran Kaur at nearby Randhawa Masandha village in Phillaur sub division today. The robbers managed to escape after committing the crime, police said.

5-kg poppy husk recovered from woman

In another case, the Goraya police has arrested a woman named Charan Kaur and recovered five kg of puppy husk from her possession. A case has been registered.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |