L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Wanted jobs, got lathis instead
Teachers block Samrala Chowk, 40 hurt, four detained
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News service

Ludhiana October 16
At least 40 teachers sustained injuries in a lathi charge that took place near the Samrala Chowk here today. Four teachers sustained grievous injuries in the incident. The police has detained four other teachers.

The police crackdown on teachers started in the afternoon when at least 500 of them, including women, who were staging a protest against the state government, blocked traffic at the Samrala Chowk.

The teachers blocked the traffic coming from the direction of Jalandhar to press their demand for regularising of their services and filling vacant posts.

Four teachers, including state president Gurwinder Rattan, sustained injuries and were admitted to the local civil hospital following the lathi charge. A woman teacher from Mansa also sustained injury on her foot.

The 7,654 teachers, recruited under the National Board of Rural Development (NABARD), have been demanding regularisation of their services, as currently they are employed on contract basis. Their demand also includes better pay scales, which should be at par with other government schoolteachers.

The protesting teachers assembled in front of Gurdwara Guru Arjan Dev near the Smarala Chowk and blocked the traffic. The police caned the protesters and managed to disperse them.

They once again assembled near the gurdwara and held a protest rally. A few protesting teachers even tried to climb atop a water tank near the Vardhman Chowk. This prompted the police to lathicharge them yet again.

Gurwinder Rattan said: “We want to talk to the Chief Minister, but the administration was playing tactics with us. It is sad that the police did not even spare women protestors and thrashed them as well”.

On one hand, Akali government is demanding respect to turban from the French Government and other hand they are tossing our turbans. We were protesting peacefully, the police used force and arrested a few of our members to sabotage our struggle, said Harjinder Singh a protester.

SHO of the Division No 7 police station refused to comment on the issue. 


Poverty not enough, dengue hurting them too
Cost of platelets beyond the reach of many
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Shiksha, a resident of Tibba road, being treated at the Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital; and (right) Kunti Devi, a resident of Haibowal, waits for her turn to donate blood for her sick brother-in-law, who is undergoing treatment for dengue at a hospital.
Shiksha, a resident of Tibba road, being treated at the Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital; and (right) Kunti Devi, a resident of Haibowal, waits for her turn to donate blood for her sick brother-in-law, who is undergoing treatment for dengue at a hospital. Photos: Inderjeet Verma 

Ludhiana, October 16
The number of dengue patients getting admitted to city hospitals and clinics is growing by the day. Patients, especially those coming from the lower strata of society, are finding it difficult to combat the disease with high costs of transfusion of platelets, plasma and cell.

Talking to The Tribune, Satpal, a resident of Tibba Road, whose wife Shiksha is suspected to be suffering from dengue, said: “My wife has been sick for the past over a week. I have five kids to fend for. Three days ago, I got admitted my wife to Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital, where she is being treated free of cost. However, she is yet to recover from her ailment. I have to spend at Rs 100 to Rs 150 every day on her medication, which has to be procured from outside. I have no money and have arranged this amount with the help of those living in the locality.”

Things are more complicated for Kunti Devi, a resident of Haibowal, who awaits single donor platelets (SDP) for her sick brother-in-law suffering from dengue.

“We are painters by profession. The doctor has told me that blood platelets costing Rs 14,000 are urgently needed for him. So I along with my relative have come to the Immunology and Blood Transfusion Department of the DMCH to get the same by donating the blood,” she said. She added: “We don’t earn so much that we can afford to spend it on treatment. But there is no other way out.”

The waiting hall of the blood bank at the DMCH is flooded with donors, whose relatives have been suffering from dengue. The machines engaged in the extraction of SDP (single donor platelets) and RDP (random donor platelets) are working round-the-clock and so is the staff.

Dr Amarjeet Kaur, head, immunology and blood transfusion department, DMCH, said: “A single RDP pouch measuring 40-50 ml has 5,000 to 10,000 platelets and costs Rs 1,540. However, an SDP pouch measuring 200 to 250 ml has 30,000 to 70,000 platelets and costs Rs 13,907. So patients who cannot afford to get a pouch of the SDP can have four to five pouches of the RDP. I’d rather prefer the SDP as those receiving four to five pouches of RDP would also get anti-bodies of four to five different individuals. In case of the SDP, the recipient gets antibodies of just one person.”




Health minister issues advisory
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 16
As a part of a stepped up drive by the health department to check the outbreak of dengue in the city, Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Satpal Gosain today flagged off 12 fogging machines. These would be used to check breeding of mosquitoes in different parts of the city.

Making a fervent appeal to the city residents as well as social and religious organisations to lend their full support towards prevention of dengue and breaking the breeding cycle of mosquitoes, Gosain asked them to keep their surroundings clean and avoid stagnation of water in coolers, flower pots, uncovered water tanks and discarded tyres. In case of water stagnating at public places, the people ought to inform the civic body or the health department for fumigation and destruction of larvae.

He further asked people to keep their bodies covered with full sleeve shirts, trousers, socks and shoes. In case of fever, the patients should get their blood tested for dengue at the nearest medical institution. "Instructions have been issued to all schools through the deputy commissioner to implement a dress code which ensures complete coverage of the body so as to avoid mosquito bite during the day," he added.

Civil Surgeon Dr Dalip Kumar said a control room was operational at the district headquarters of the health department (Phone 0161-2444193) and people could contact this number for any information or assistance related to dengue. He claimed that comprehensive arrangements, including those for blood testing and transfusion of platelets, had been made at the local Civil Hospital for treatment of dengue patients. The mass media wing of the department was carrying out an awareness campaign to apprise the people with preventive measures against dengue.

Dengue alert

n 12 fogging machines flagged off.

n People told to break mosquitoes breeding cycle.

n Keep surroundings clean, avoid water stagnation in coolers, flower pots, uncovered water tanks and discarded tyres.

n Inform civic body or health department for fumigation and destruction of larvae.

n Wear full sleeve shirts, trousers, socks and shoes.

n In case of fever, get blood tested.

n School told to implement dress code.




Platelet demand grows, supplies dwindle
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Relatives of patients donate blood at the Immunology and Blood Transfusion Department of the DMCH in Ludhiana.
Relatives of patients donate blood at the Immunology and Blood Transfusion Department of the DMCH in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, October 16
As dengue patients continue to trickle in, city hospitals are grappling with the problem of accommodating and treating them for the disease as blood platelet supplies are running low.

With patients from other districts also arriving at city hospitals, doctors have to admit not only serious cases but also those who wish to get hospitalised for an early relief from dengue. Patients’ attendants are busy arranging for donors to get hold of platelets. This has led to a shortfall in the supply of platelets.

Manjit Saini, founder president of NGO Salaam Zindagi, said: “Last year, our NGO had organised a 24-day-long voluntary blood donation camp at the DMCH to meet the patients’ requirement. Our volunteers used to donate platelets round-the-clock. However, this year our services are available on the phone itself. As the demand for platelets is high and supply is low, we appeal to public in general to come forward for donating the SDP (single donor platelet) and the RDP (random donor platelet). Any one who wishes to volunteer can contact us at 9814704064.”

Dr Amarjeet Kaur, head, Immunology and Blood Transfusion Department, DMCH, said: “Whenever a dengue patient arrives and needs platelets, we help him out by searching for SDP or RDP donors along with their attendants. Sometimes we even call blood donors from the hostels of the PAU or the SCD Government College for Boys or seek the help of volunteers of Salaam Zindagi.”

“If a patient succeeds in arranging his own donor then an RDP unit costs Rs 1,540. If we arrange a donor, it costs Rs 2,200 per unit. However, the SDP costs Rs 13,970 for a single unit. The price covers the cost of five tests mandatory for blood donation as well as platelet donation,” she added.

Dr Rupinder Kaur, head, blood transfusion, Christian Medical College and Hospital, said: “The life of the RDP as well as the SDP is approximately five days.”

Who can donate SDP, RDP?

n People over 18 years of age, without any history of diseases like diabetes, epilepsy or high blood pressure and are not on medication, can donate platelets. A donor can donate again after 72 hours.

n Menstruating women, pregnant and lactating mothers should abstain.

One needs immediate hospitalisation if:

n The platelet count falls to 20,000

n If a patient suffers from dengue down syndrome, in which blood pressure goes very low

n If a patient starts bleeding from any body part. It may happen even when the platelet count is over 20,000



Arun’s murder case take a U-turn
Family slams police’s money theory
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
The murder case of Arun Gupta (22), who was stabbed to death by his employees in Chamkaur Sahib on Friday night, has taken a U-turn as the family slammed the police claim that motive behind the murder was money as the accused had fled with cash worth Rs 4 lakh.

Breaking his silence following the cremation of his beloved son, Vijay Kumar, father of the victim, claimed that Mukul, childhood friend of Arun, had handed over the cash to the family.

“Mukul had returned the money to us on Friday night. I don’t think Arun was killed for money. There is more to the story then meets the eye,” said Krishan Kumar, uncle of the victim.

Arun’s body was brought to the city last evening following a post-mortem in Ropar. Investigating officer Gurmeet Singh, however, maintained that the murder was committed for money.

“I don’t know that Mukul had returned the cash to the family. I would investigate the matter further,” he added.

Sources said Arun, Rajvir and one more person entered the forest area near Chamkaur Sahib, while Mukul kept sitting in the car with cash. Mukul fled away after suspecting that Rajvir and his accomplice might have killed Arun.

On the other hand family members have ruled out the “love angle” behind the murder. “No absolutely not. The murder was not committed due to some love affair with a girl. If it would have been the case then we would have been aware of it,” said Krishan Kumar.

Arun, who owned a hosiery unit and was running another business in partnership with Mukul, was visiting Anandpur Sahib along with Mukul, his employee Rajvir and one unidentified person, to arrange money for their dwindling business.

Rajivir and his accomplice allegedly stabbed him to death in the forest area near Chamkaur Sahib.



Speeding tanker mows down 4
Our Correspondent

Parminder Singh (pink turban), Maj (retd) Rashpal Singh (red turban) along with Preetam Kaur (in green dupatta) dance to the tunes of Punjabi folk songs at a function organised at a private hospital in Mohali.
Parminder Singh (pink turban), Maj (retd) Rashpal Singh (red turban) along with Preetam Kaur (in green dupatta) dance to the tunes of Punjabi folk songs at a function organised at a private hospital in Mohali. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 16
Relaxation under the shadow of a Banyan tree proved disastrous for four labourer families of Pakhowal village in the Ludhiana district. The breadwinners of these four families were mowed down to death by a speeding tanker after its driver lost control over the vehicle while maneuvering a curve on the village road.

The deceased have been identified as Tirlochan Singh, Randhir Singh, Amar Singh (all between 50 and 55 year of age) and Nazar Singh (65), who were relaxing on a platform constructed under the Banyan tree on the Pakhowal-Leelan road were killed when the tanker (HP 69 1220) run over them today afternoon.

Collision was so powerful that it smashed the mounted platform and dragged branches of the banyan tree to a great distance before overturning.

While a few villagers, who were standing near the platform saved their lives by running away, those who were squatting there failed to get up and were hurt seriously. All except Nazar Singh died on the spot.

Nazar Singh was shifted to a private hospital at Sarabha village where he succumbed to his injuries.

Pool of blood near the site of accident and bodies created a heart rendering scene and the police found it difficult to control villagers who wanted immediate arrest of the driver of the killer vehicle.

The Sudhar police has booked Susheel Kumar of Sanghora village in Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh, who was recklessly driving the tanker.

Though no one has been arrested, SHO Sudhar police station said a police party had been dispatched to nab the accused. 



Living to fullest after joint replacement
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Two years ago, walking smoothly was an uphill task for Mohali resident Preetam Kaur (64) as her right knee was swollen.

She was able to walk, but with a lot of discomfort. But today, she was dancing ‘giddha’ during a function organised by the department of orthopaedics of Fortis hospital in Mohali.

She said, “All this is due to a knee replacement I underwent about two years ago. Although I am getting older, I am becoming more active work-wise. I can dance and work freely without any pain.”

Clad in a Punjabi folk dress, she recited Surinder Kaur’s Punjabi number ‘Mein maang Ludhiane di’ and danced with her husband, Major (retd) Rashpal Ghumman.

The atmosphere was charged, with those who had undergone hip or knee replacement looking more active than the rest. More than 100 such persons were present.

Raghveer Kaur (66) of Mohali had also undergone knee replacement. She said, “I never felt that my knee was replaced.” She rejoined her friends in dancing.

Parminder Singh (69) had undergone heart surgery, besides knee replacement. He said, “One should always think positive and feel healthy. I have undergone two surgeries, but find myself hale and hearty.”

Local businessman Sunil Kumar said, “My hip joints were replaced in September. I do not have any problem. The doctor has asked me to use a walker just one more week.”

Local businessman Sandeep Mehta, who was in his 40s, had undergone double hip joint replacement as well. He said, “Life is more comfortable now as I have no pain.”

Dr Manuj Wadhwa, director and head of the departments of orthopaedics and joint replacement at the Mohali-based hospital, said total knee replacement surgery was possible in just 15 minutes.

Recent studies had shown that no two knees were alike. These varied in size, shape and extent, besides damage. A 3-D model of the knee helped determine the correct implant size and placement.



Seechewal pulls up PPCB
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal has said it is shameful that the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) is debating whether the World Health Organisation (WHO) report, stating that Ludhiana is the most polluted city in the country, is right or not.

“We all know that is Ludhiana is one of the most polluted cities in the country. Instead of debating on a report, the PPCB should take steps to bring down pollution levels,” he said during a visit to the city today.

Seechewal was in the city to attend a function to mark the release of his biography ‘Karamyogi Sant Balbir Singh Ji Seechewal’, written by Dr Kulwinder Kaur Minhas.

The book was released by Dr Gurnek Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University. The environmentalist admitted that Ludhiana was one of the most polluted cities in the country.

“Not just government agencies or some persons, residents are also responsible for it. The Budha Nullah is dying a slow death. If the PPCB or the state government fail to act on time, it will be too late,” Seechewal said.

“It is clean before entering Ludhiana. It gets polluted as it passes through the city. It ends up polluting the entire Sutlej. This is a crime against humanity and the state government should take immediate steps in this regard,” he asserted. PPCB officials had recently said they would find out whether the WHO report was right or wrong. They had collected air samples from five parts of the city for this purpose. A report on these was expected tomorrow.



Another amendment irks industrialists
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
The sale and purchase wing of the excise and taxation department, Punjab, has once again irked industrialists and traders by once again changing the filing of VAT returns.

Taxpayers, who have downloaded the old e-forms for filing quarterly returns from July to September, have been finding it hard to upload these due to certain changes made by the excise and taxation department.

While traders and industrialists have approached department officials to know the problem, it has failed to give adequate information on certain changes made in the old form. The new forms are to be downloaded to file the returns now. However, these frequent changes have not gone down well with the taxpayers.

Jatinder Khurana, president, Taxation Young Lawyers’ Association, said since the department had not informed anyone in this regard, taxpayers were finding it hard to upload their forms.

“We had to contact the department officials to know the problem. We then came to know about the new e-forms and had to file the returns again,” said Khurana.

SC Ralhan, chairman, Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC), said as part of the recent changes, a separate invoice had to be made (for filing return) for every item. However, it became a cumbersome process for the taxpayers as they had upgrade their software while traders/industrialists found it difficult to get their software changed or amended suddenly.”

The department on Wipro’s recommendations has done this. The software company has been given the charge to make the filing of returns more compatible.

“Big industrialists can get their software changed, but a marginal trader cannot afford to make amendments or change the software. The frequent changes in the filing of returns make it a cumbersome task. The changes may be brought in to streamline the procedure but the department must give ample time to the taxpayers to understand everything,” he added.



Dengue fountain(head) of all problems 
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Even though the dengue has spread its tentacles and a few have died due to it, the municipal corporation seems to be less concerned about the health of city residents. A few fountains in the city, which not been cleaned for months together, have become a breeding grounds for aedes mosquitoes to multiply.

One of the fountains located in the municipal corporation’s multi-level parking, stone throw away from the MC Zone A office near the Mata Rani Chowk, is a clear example of utter negligence on the part civic officials.

A visit to this place shows that the colour of the water in the fountain, which is otherwise used for beautifying the place, has turned green and is providing favourable breeding ground for the dengue mosquito.

A shopkeeper of the area said, “We have brought this issue to the notice of municipal authorities on numerous occasions, but they don’t seem to take any notice of it. I wonder why the MC officials are unable to see it. Moreover they themselves visit the place daily and still they are least bothered about their own health, leave aside the health of city residents.”

Not only this, an MC official said every year, fountains are closed in the month of October. “This is done to keep a check on dengue fever. But if the MC wants to run these fountains, the water has to be cleared every day, failing which, it can attract diseases such as dengue,” the official added. MC Zonal Commissioner Amarjit Singh Sekhon said all fountains would be cleaned within a few days. “If any such fountain exist near the Zone A office, I would get it cleaned immediately. The fogging operation is underway and people need not worry about it,” he added. 



112 selected in dance semis
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
112 participants were selected in the first round semi-finals of "Chance For Dance” here today. The participants had to go through rigorous training.

The mega dance competition will be held for four categories of different age groups including seedlings (from 4 to 6 years), twinkling buds (7-9 years), blooming flowers (10-14 years) and fragrant garland (15-18 years of age). The selected 112 basic semi-finalists will compete with each other to enter the next round.

The selected participants will be dispersed in three categories-solo, pair and group on the basis of their performance. The candidates will again undergo hardcore training to prepare for the second round of semi-finals out of which 92 most deserving finalists will be shortlisted by a panel of judges.

“To boost the morale and for fair judgment, we are considering public voting also. We are providing a short code so that public can vote for their favorite contestant by just typing “CHANCE” space and the contestant number from their mobile phones and send it to a particular number. Total score will be comprised of 30 per cent public voting and 70 per cent judgment score,” said the project director.

Mahinder Goyal director Janpath Estates said, “As the participants are raw and fresh, we are giving them an opportunity to remove their stage fear and to face the audience. They can perform better in finals”.

Bollywood choreographers Suman Kumar and Sudama Minz said children were putting-in lots of hard work and dedication to learn dance. “I am really looking forward to groom and polish them further so that they can reach to a different level of dancing where they can shine like superstars,” said Minz.



Dream turn sour for 2
Travel agents dupe them of Rs 9.47 lakh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Travel agents allegedly duped two youths identified as Harish and Bikram for lakhs of rupees. The duo’s dream of settling abroad not only got shattered, but they also lost their hard earned money.

Harish Kumar, a resident of Madhopuri, told the police that Vikas, a travel agent, who resides near the Milap Chowk, Jalandhar, took Rs 5.87 lakh from him on the pretext of sending him abroad.

The deal was cracked on February 2010, but the travel agent kept lingering the issue and did not send him abroad.

Vikas refused to return the money after Harish asked him to do so. Harish approached the Division No 3 police station and got a case registered against the travel agent.

In the second case, a travel agent Jaswinder Singh and his accomplice Jaswinder Kaur of the Shimlapuri and Mandi Ahmedgarh, respectively, duped Bikram Singh of Rs 3.6 lakh on the pretext of getting him job at a factory unit in Canada.

Bikram, a resident of Taran Taran, alleged neither the travel agent send him abroad nor did he retune the money. A case was registered in this regard. The Model Town police booked the travel agent and his woman partner in a fraud case.



Poll duties as per grade: CEO
Lovleen Bains
Our Correspondent

Doraha, October 16
The Chief Electoral Officer of Punjab has instructed all District Election Officers to keep in mind the pay scale, seniority and status of the staff while assigning them the duties in the coming elections. This had come in response to the letter written by Dr Kuldip Singh, Fellow, Panjab University and former general secretary of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union to the Chief Electoral office Punjab asking them to assign duties to the college teachers on the basis of their status, seniority and pay scales.

The CEO has sent a copy saying specific instructions were given to the DEOs to take under consideration pay scale, seniority and status of the teachers and other employees while deploying them on election duty. A copy of the letter has now been sent to Dr Kuldip Singh also.

In his letter to the Chief Electoral office Punjab, Dr Singh had complained that majority of the teachers had been deployed as presiding officers while the ones assigned the duty of superintendents and returning officers drew lesser salary as compared to them in the recently held SGPC elections. “Under the new scales, the associate professors are drawing pay band of Rs 37400-64000 with grade pay of Rs 9000 whereas junior officers, drawing lesser pay band and grade pay, had been appointed as their seniors in the election duties. Great resentment was prevailing among the teachers of government and government-aided colleges due to this anomaly, said Dr Singh.



He makes hay out of waste
Feels proud in supporting parents 
Our Correspondent

Children gather empty bottles from a school ground at Ahmedgarh.
Children gather empty bottles from a school ground at Ahmedgarh. A Tribune photograph

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 16
For rag picker Ravi and his sister, who feel proud in supporting their parents besides contributing in environment conservation, festival season means extra bucks.

While members of prosperous and elite class of society don’t hesitate in polluting the environment by throwing empty bottles, containers and plastic bags, these kids clean the surrounding by collecting them.

This besides decreasing the level of pollution and helping the civic authorities by solving the solid waste management problem to some extent, enables them earn money for themselves and their parents.

“Though we are unable to collect waste materials worth Rs 30 on normal days, we have started selling these for over Rs 100 during the past a few days. I hope by Diwali, I will be able to save enough money for buying new clothes for me,” said Ravi.

Regretting the circumstances due to which his family did not allow him continue his studies beyond Class IV, Ravi said ground of the same school has been serving as ‘money bowl’ for him and others like him.

Acknowledging the trend illustrated by Ravi, a scrap dear of the local town, said inflow of solid wastes had increased manifold during the past a few weeks. 



Artists showcase work at Artmosphere Gallery
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Three young artists from the city, held a three-day exhibition to demonstrate their artwork at Atmosphere Gallery from October 15 to 17.

Ankur, son of a prominent Punjabi poet Surjit Patar displayed 'Gurmukhi' letters in digital art. He is a digital artist and working as creative head of “santabanta.com”. Vivek, son of a Punjabi poet Jaswant Zafar, is studding in Canada, displayed landscapes by his photography.

Rachana, she has presented mother child relationship through her sketches. “People from every age group are visiting gallery to see our art collection. We are happy from the response of public. I presented Gumukhi letters in digital shape because I want to do something in this field. The thought behind the gurmukhi letters is to promote Punjabi,” said Ankur.



Action against Mandi Board supervisor
Had rejected paddy crop of Lok Bhalai Party functionary
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 16
A delegation of the Lok Bhalai Party (LBP) met SDM Isha Kalia at her office here yesterday and handed over a complaint against a Mandi Board supervisor, who had refused to procure the paddy crop of a farmer, Boota Singh, also president of the kisan wing of the party, allegedly due to political vendetta.

In his complaint to the SDM, Boota Singh said he had harvested paddy crop on around four acres of his holding at Chakar village and brought it to the grain market on October 11. However, the Mandi Board supervisor, hailing from the same village, rejected his crop, saying its moisture content was higher than the limit set by the government.

Boota Singh said the supervisor even threatened the commission agent and prevented him from buying his crop. He alleged that the supervisor was harassing him as he had exposed wrongdoing in the supervisor’s office in the past.

After receiving the complaint, the SDM assured the delegation of conducting an inquiry into the matter. She said she would look into the matter and if any wrongdoing was detected, action would be initiated.

On the other hand, Mandi Board supervisor Sarwan Singh denied the allegations and termed these baseless. “Boota Singh’s crop was almost half-green when it was brought to the market. We refused to buy the crop only because it contained moisture more than the permissible limit. How can we procure such a crop when we have been instructed not to buy it?” he asked.

Claiming that the Mandi Board had also registered a complaint with the police against Boota Singh the day when the crop was brought to the market, he said the farmer had tried to pressurise board officials to procure his wet crop using his political clout.

Meanwhile, the delegation also urged the state government to publicise the facilities being provided to farmers at grain markets. The delegation also included Baldev Singh Sidhu, Udham Singh, Nirmal Singh, Ajaib Singh and Gurnek Singh.



PAU signs MoU with Swiss company
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Punjab Agricultural University and a Multinational Swiss Company, Syngenta, have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen research and extension programmes. In a function held today at VC committee room, PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon and Managing Director and Territory Head-South Asia of Syngenta, Akshaya Kamath signed the agreement.

All the deans, directors, officers of the university and the delegation from Syngenta attended the meeting. While addressing the meeting Dr Dhillon said Punjab farmers had made great contributions towards national food security and the collaboration with one of the leading company of the world dealing in crop protection and seeds would help to achieve new milestones. In his comments, Kamath said his company felt proud to work with the India's leading farm University that played a key role in bringing green revolution in India.



Solid waste management rocks Dalit mahapanchayat
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh lights a candle at a function of the Dalit Mahapanchayat in Ludhiana on Sunday.
Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh lights a candle at a function of the Dalit Mahapanchayat in Ludhiana on Sunday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, October 16
The issue regarding contract of solid waste management being given to private companies in the state remained heavy during the seminar organised by Dalit Maha Panchayat at Panjab University Extension Library, here today. Capt Amarinder Singh, accompanied by other Dalit leaders attended the occasion.

Chander Shekhar Sahota, president of Dalit Maha Panchayat, said by giving contracts of solid waste management to private companies the state government has literally snatched jobs from the members of Valmiki community.

Sahota said, a private garbage collector earns around Rs 7,000 to 10,000 per month. “The private companies are hiring people for a sum of Rs 3,600. The state government should justify as to how our community people would be able to support their own families with this much money?” said Sahota.

Another speaker said, “These companies are exploiting us and the state government is earning money out of the garbage,”

Speaking on the occasion, Capt Amarinder Singh said he himself as well as Congress party has always stood for the rights of leaders of Valmiki community. He promised once Congress forms the government, it would scrap the contractual system of appointment of the safai-karamcharis in various corporations and local bodies in the state.

Capt Amarinder said, keeping in view the importance of his teachings, his government, between 2002 and 2007, had set up the Maharishi Valmiki Chair at Punjabi University Patiala, which was abolished by the present government. He promised, once Congress comes to power after elections the chair will be restored so that research and translations of Maharishi’s teachings can be done extensively for the benefit of entire humanity.



Doraha college organises extension lectures
Our Correspondent

Doraha, October 16
More than 500 students of BCom, BBA and MCom attended the extension lectures organised by the Commerce and Business Administration Club of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha here today.

Lt Col TBP Joshi from AICTE, SMU Centre, Ludhiana and Prof Gagandeep Sharma from BBSB Engineering College, Fatehgarh Sahib, were the resource persons during the occasion.

Lt Col TBP Joshi discussed the topic “Personality Development-Who am I?” He emphasised that knowledge, skill, aptitude and attitude are four aspects necessary for the development of personality. He stressed that we should use our mind as our servant and not as master in our life.

Prof Gagandeep Sharma discussed “Human Values and Professional Ethics” which he said are sadly lacking in the modern society. He also described the various factors affecting human values.



Theatrical presentation at Malwa college
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana October 16
A programme on teaching through theatrical presentation was organised at Malwa Central College of Education for Women, Civil Lines. The troupe 'People art theatre, Lehra Gaga' performed the show.

The troupe spread awareness among pupils-teachers about how to work with others to solve human and practical problems. It also conveyed a message that efforts should be made to remove social evils that prevails in society.



NSS camp concludes
Our Correspondent

Samrala, October 16
The NSS unit of GGS College for Women, Jhar Sahib, organised a seven-day NSS camp at Hambowal Bet village on education, literacy and legal awareness.

During the camp, poster-making competition and lectures were delivered on the importance of education.

A rally was taken out by the students to raise awareness among villagers about the consumers Act and the importance of education.

Sukhdeep Singh Gill, deputy director, Global Cancer Concern India, highlighted the symptoms and causes of cancer.

On the conclusion of the camp, the best volunteer award was given to Ravinder Kaur.



Security on NH-1 up
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Security has been tightened on National Highway 1 following intelligence reports that terrorists used this route for the RDX-laden car that was found abandoned at Ambala.

A team led by Ladhowal station house officer Vinod Kumar put up a security checkpost and conducted a thorough vehicle search operation here today.

Vehicles approaching from the Jalandhar side were searched. “The festive season is on. Anti-social elements are trying to break the peace. The police is on its toes,” he said.



District Scan

Seminar held
The Shaheed Bhagat Singh Vichar Manch organised a seminar on “Indian State and Democratic Rights” at Punjabi Bhawan here today. Prof Kumar Sanjay Singh, a political scientist from Delhi University, deliberated on the subject. Prof AK Maleri, president, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Vichar Manch, said the manch envisaged the spread of the martyr’s message of establishing a society based on justice and equality among the youth of the state.

The manch also organised a state-level essay writing competition for colleges and university students. 174 students from 64 institutions of Punjab participated in the competition. Simranjit Kaur of BD Arya Girls College bagged the first prize. A book “Bhagat Singh in the eyes of Youth” was also released.

Screen printers exhibition
Screen Printers Association of India and Federation of European Screen Printers Association organised a Cross Country Table Top Exhibition at Hotel Gulmohar. A competition was organised during the exhibition in which Active Print and Stick won the gold medal in graphic category, Graphics Gallery won the silver and Cranial Printers bagged the bronze. Shingora Textiles won the gold in textile category, while GC enterprises won the silver. — OC



Man held with drugs at school

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 16
The police has arrested a courier of a gang involved in the supply of drugs and narcotics to students of schools and colleges here and in surrounding areas.

Twenty bottles of cough syrup and 2,000 tablets of a sedative have been seized from the possession of Pawan Kumar of Hargobindpura village, near here.

The police had received information that a gang of smugglers had been supplying drugs and narcotics in the area through couriers for quite some time.

Usually between 18 and 30 years of age, these couriers used to mingle with students during recess and on holidays at playgrounds.

They used to cajole students to try out various pharmaceutical preparations used as intoxicants and narcotics.

SHOs Rajesh Sharma and Harpreet Singh had been directed to enhance the vigil around educational institutions under their respective areas.

A team led by ASI Jagtar Singh nabbed Pawan when he came to distribute drugs among the students at a school ground today.

It was yet to be ascertained where the drugs had been brought from. Pawan said some unknown motorcycle-borne peddlers had asked him to deliver the consignment. — OC



Unidentified man run over by train
Ashok Kaura

Phillaur, October 16
An unidentified middle-aged person was run over by a speeding train near Bhattian village on the Ludhiana-Goraya rail section last night. The railway police has sent the dead body to local civil hospital for post-mortem examination.

Drug smuggler arrested

The Phillaur police has arrested one drug smuggler identified as Ranjit Kumar of Garreh village and has claimed to recover 20gm of heroin from his possession last night.



8 booked for gangrape
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Eight persons have been booked for abducting, gangraping and creating an MMS of a woman.

The victim alleged that Pawan Kumar, alias Talli, Vicky, Raju, Ghugi and four unidentified persons abducted her and raped her at a house in Joshi Nagar.

She alleged that the suspects also video-filmed the rape. She said Talli threatened to make the MMS public if she reported the matter to the police.



Legal notice to mandi board secy
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 16
Universal Human Rights Organisation general secretary and RTI activist Iqbal Singh Rasoolpur, along with residents of 12 villages connected through the Jagraon-Mallha link road, has sent a legal notice to the Punjab Mandi Board secretary through the local SDM. A delegation of residents of these villages met SDM Isha Kalia and submitted a notice, to be sent to the Punjab Mandi Board secretary.

Rasoolpur, on whose petition in the High Court the board had given an undertaking in court, has asked the board secretary why the department has failed to complete the construction of the road despite the undertaking and why a contempt of court case should not be filed against the department for failing to complete the work in the given time.

The 13-km Jagraon-Mallha link road, which connected over 30,000 people of 12 villages with Jagraon, had not been repaired for over nine years. The link road was last repaired over eight years ago and it completed its expiry term in 2008.

Though the board, following the notice sent by the High Court while hearing a petition filed by Rasoolpur a few months ago, had given an undertaking, stating that the construction of the link road would be completed by October 9, the department had barely completed work on a 2-km stretch of the road so far.

Irked at the neglect by the state government, residents of Chakar village had boycotted the SGPC elections held on September 18. Now, residents of some other villages, including Dalla, Dehraka, Rasoolpur and Chakar, had threatened to boycott the Assembly elections if the work was not completed soon.

Jagraon Mandi Board SDO Gurmel Singh Koli said: “The construction work had been delayed due to the SGPC elections. Besides, as per rules, villagers had to do the soil-laying work on both sides of the road. But, as it has not been done yet, we cannot take the construction work ahead.”



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