L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Started with fanfare, shelters missing
Advertising company roped in to construct bus shelters
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

A man boarding a bus near the Mata Rani Chowk in Ludhiana on Saturday.
A man boarding a bus near the Mata Rani Chowk in Ludhiana on Saturday. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, December 24
Even as the Municipal Corporation (MC) has launched the much-awaited city bus service project in the city as part of its first phase, the state government is plying these buses only on one route (Bus Stand to Jalandhar Byepass). And there aren’t bus shelters in this route.

Though the residents are availing this facility in large numbers, but those who commute in the bus for the first time rue that no place has been designated as bus stops and that is why, they don’t know from where to board the bus. MC officials claim that the shelters would soon be constructed.

The much-awaited city bus service project, comprising a fleet of 10 low- floor non-AC buses, was launched in the city on December 17. Even though the Municipal Corporation is getting great response from this project as the buses are running jam-packed, but bus shelters are yet to be constructed.

The officials of the corporation claim that modern bus shelters would soon be constructed on this route, as well as other parts of the city. “These bus shelters will also have electronic display boards mentioning next stoppage of these buses,” said an MC official.

Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal said an advertising company had been given the contract of constructing bus shelters. “After this service was launched in the city, we have taken up this issue with the company. Within the next a few weeks, the bus shelters would come up on the Bus Stand-Jalandhar bypass route and ultimately benefit ``the passengers,” said Parveen Bansal.


Contractual staff dies at DMCH
MC promises Rs 2 lakh, job to wife
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
Tinku (25), who was asphyxiated inside a sewer in Dashmesh Nagar on the Gill Road on December 20, died at a private hospital in the wee hours today. Ever since he was asphyxiated, Tinku, who was a contractual sewer man with the Municipal Corporation (MC), was undergoing treatment at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.

The corporation has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to his family and has promised a job to his wife.

As per information, on December 20, Tinku was cleaning sewer in Dashmesh Nagar. He got asphyxiated as soon as he opened the manhole cover and was rushed to a private hospital on the Gill Road. From there, he was referred to the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, where he breathed his last in the wee hours today.

His family members staged a protest against the municipal corporation outside the hospital premises. Senior MC officials, including Joint Commissioner AS Sekhon, rushed to the spot. Later, the corporation announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the family and job to Tinku’s wife.

Tinku, a resident of Dugri village, hailed from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh. He was working as a contractual employee with the corporation for the past five years.

Naresh Dhigan, director, Khadi Board, said Tinku was married and has a four- year-old son. “His wife is pregnant, but this tragedy has shaken the family. When two sewer men died of asphyxiation in 2009, then Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha had announced that all sewer men would be provided with safety kits and insured. But these promises remained on paper, which is sad,” he said.

Municipal Joint Commissioner AS Sekhon claimed that all sewer men were provided with safety kits, “But sometimes, they don’t wear them while entering the sewerage system as they feel uncomfortable. Now on, we would ensure that all sewer men wear these safety kits when they enter the sewerage system,” added Sekhon.

A sewer man said though the corporation had bought safety kits, they were of no use. Each weighs around 18 kg and it is impossible to enter a 12-inch broad manhole. Most of the victims are temporary employees and they are often enter into a compromise with the MC by accepting compensation.”



Unscheduled power cuts making life hell 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
This summer everyone heaved a sigh of relief when there were no power cuts in the state. They were hopeful of things to improve as far as continuous power supply was concerned. But their happiness seemed short-lived as temporary unannounced power cuts of 4 to 5 hours duration in a day, that too, in severe wintry conditions, have started taking place in this part of the region

Be it the interior pats of the city like Field Ganj, Chaura Bazaar, Mochpura, Daresi or the posh areas like Sarabha Nagar, Rani Jhansi Road, Civil Lines, B.R.S.Nagar, Gurdev Nagar etc, unannounced power cuts are being imposed in the city up to 5 hours a day, which have disturbed the normal life of residents.

Monika Maini, a schoolteacher, said power cut from 8 am to 9 am disturbs the entire schedule. “I have to go to school with my two sons and it becomes difficult to get ready due to power cut. We can’t even put on geysers to take hot bath. Power cuts are uncalled for especially in winters when there is not enough consumption,” said Maini.

Ramanjit Kaur, who resides near Daresi, said residents of the area were fed up of 4 to 5 hour-long power cuts daily. “On top of it, children flying kites add to our woes. To catch a kite, they tie a small stone with the string, which get stuck with electricity wires and then the entire area gets blacked out. We got complaints registered after which problem was rectified. The power situation has once again worsened in the city,’ she added.

The residents, especially the senior citizens who venture out, said they get relief from the biting cold after switching on the blowers and heaters. But due to the power cuts, being imposed recently, they had to brave the chill. Sukhminder Singh, a senior citizen, said he had already suffered two heart attacks and bypass surgery was not possible due to the age factor. “I have been advised to keep myself warm. Now, I have to rely on the hot water as I can’t switch on the blower,” he added. 



20 pc city youths prone to depression
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
City youngsters are falling prey to depression as is evident from number of patients visiting hospitals for the check-up daily. The number of patients is increasing with the passage of the year.

Dr Rajiv Gupta, a city-based psychiatrist, said, “Every year 20 per cent youngsters are falling prey to the depression. Reason: They are basically unable to solve emotional problems and have become more demanding these days.”

Though they are young, but they behave like elderly. The problem parents and families are facing is how to fulfill their ever-increasing demands. If nine demands are fulfilled and one left, they feel irritated, he added.

Dr Sudha Vasdev, a psychiatrist at Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, said, “The cases of depression are increasing day by day. And many of the patients whom I treat in my hospital OPD use injectable drugs. And out of them 26 per cent are HIV positive.”

She further said the youngsters try to suppress depression through such drugs. Their family members also deserted them. She said, “Not only unmarried, but married people also suffer from depression.” 



Unscheduled power cuts hit residents hard
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, December 24
Prolonged power cuts in the region have thrown lives of residents out of gear. The town as well as several villages surrounding Jagraon has been witnessing about eight to 10 hours of unscheduled power cuts for the past five to six days. The prolonged power cuts in the town and surrounding areas have been causing inconvenience to the residents. People bank on electricity for keeping warm in such an environment, but power cuts have made the lives of people difficult.

“We are witnessing about eight to 10 hours of power cut everyday for the last six days. It is difficult for us to manage without electricity in such a cold environment,” said Parveen Jindal, a resident of Shastri Nagar.

The power cuts during morning hours have been hitting the people worst, as in the absence of electricity, they fail to get warm water for bathing.

Schoolchildren, entrepreneurs and office goers have been facing a tough time due to the power cuts during the morning hours.

“I can somehow manage to bath with fresh water, but I can never force my children to bath with cold water in such a chilling weather,” rued Satwinder Kaur, a housewife from Alighar village.

The residents have appealed to Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) authorities to at least keep the supply of electricity on during the morning hours, so that they can at least get warm water for bathing.

The business of city-based shopkeepers and other commercial establishments is also getting badly hit due to the unscheduled power cuts.

According to shopkeepers, they have been suffering heavy losses due to the unscheduled power cuts. “We are suffering heavy financial losses everyday due to the unscheduled power cuts. We are forced to depend on generator sets for power supply, which prove costly for us,” said Deepak Kumar, a shopkeeper.

When contacted, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), Jagraon, SDO Harpreet Singh said the supply of power was being hit, as various units of thermal plants at Bathinda and Ropar were laying shut due to tripping in transmission lines because of heavy fog in the region for the past some days.

Though he assured that the power crisis would end within a couple of days when all units of the thermal plants would become operational.

n The town as well as several villages surrounding Jagraon has been witnessing about eight to 10 hours of unscheduled power cuts for the past five to six days. The prolonged power cuts in the town and surrounding areas have been causing inconvenience to the residents. People bank on electricity for keeping warm in such an environment, but power cuts have made the lives of people difficult.



Pensioners plan protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
A state-level meeting of zila parishad pensioners was held at Zila Parished office here today. The pensioners claimed that they were not receiving their pensions since November.

The department had not provided fund to pay the pensions to these pensioners.

Addressing the pensioners, Surjit Singh Jasal said, "The government should release our pensions. Our department has enough funds, but it is mismanagedon at the directorate level.

Rajwinder Singh Tarsika, president of the panchyat samiti and Zila Parishad Pensioners Association said, "We are here for a meeting to plan out our next step of action. If the government will not provide funds for the pensions we will start a campaign against the Akali -BJP government".



Petrol cheaper by 70 paise
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
Petrol and diesel are going to be cheaper, as the state government today decided to abolish octroi on the petroleum products.

Petrol pump dealers in the city said petrol and diesel came from outside the state, now they will not have to pay the octroi on these products and petrol and diesel will be cheaper by 70 paise per litre and 80 paise per litre, respectively.

Ashok Sachdeva, general secretary, Petrol Pump Dealers’ Association, here said new rates would be implemented from 12 am. “At present, petrol is being sold for Rs 73.20 per litre, while diesel is sold for Rs 40.95 per litre in Punjab, but now the products will be cheaper by 70-80 paise per litre,” said Sachdeva.

The decision has evoked mixed response from residents. Some feel that it was a long-pending demand of consumers and petrol dealers, which must be taken positively, while others say the decrease in the rate was like peanuts, which hardly will make any difference.

Hitesh, a city resident, said petrol/diesel were basic commodities, which were used by everyone (except weaker sections). “Even if they have become cheaper by 70-80 paise, we must appreciate the move, at least the prices have reduced, not increased. Those consuming petrol/ diesel in bulk quantities will definitely be benefitted by the move,” he said.

While Satvinder Singh, another resident, said petrol dealers would get benefit not consumers. “They had to pay hefty amount as octroi, which they will not pay now. Consumers will not get much relief, as the decreased amount is just peanuts, which will not make much a difference,” said Satvinder Singh.

While another resident, Ashok Sachdeva, said consumers had every reason to cheer, as they would have to pay less while filling their petrol tanks with the latest decision.



City hot spot for gamblers
Young, old flout rules with impunity, officials prefer to overlook
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
City seems to have become a hot spot for all those flouting rules and regulations. Authorities prefer to overlook even if they come across young and old basking under the Sun and playing cards at public places.

Though they swear they aren’t gambling in open, but in reality they are able tactfully deceive even the raiding police team. They go scot-free because of lack of evidence. It is hard to detect counters or money kept in the open. But, at the end of the game, anything between Rs 3,000 and Rs 4,000 is exchanged among the winners and losers.

Old as well as youngsters can be seen playing cards at places like the Mali Ganj and Dandi Swami chowks, Bindraban and Rahon roads, Haibowal, Daresi Grounds, Field Ganj, Shivpuri, and open space opposite Deepak Theatre. The group start occupying open spaces at around 11.30 am, when the Sun is blazingly hot. Gamblers haven’t even spared open spaces on the main road outside the Circuit House, which remains abuzz with government officials.

Dheeraj (not his real name) said, “People prefer sit on grass during the peak of winter and play cards. Though they desist from keeping or exchanging money in open due to the fear of the police, but at the end they exchange good amount. One of my friends won Rs 2,000 only yesterday.”

A city-based barber, outside whose shop such card “sessions” are frequently organised, said, “ At times, they block 4-to-5 foot of the road for playing cards. And it becomes difficult for the people to move on it. But we can’t say anything to them. It is for the authorities to take action against them.”



Workshop on research methodology
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
The five-day workshop on “Research methodology, applied statistics and use of SPSS”, which started on December 18 at BCM College of Education, concluded here yesterday. Both staff members and students participated in the workshop. Mahesh Munjal, managing director, Majestic Auto Limited, presided over the concluding day function.

Principal Dr Khushvinder Kumar welcomed the chief guest and the resource person for the workshop.

A report on the workshop was read out. A students’ representative from MEd and a representative from the faculty presented their reflections on the workshop. Munjal said there was a need to invest more in the field of research to get best results. He expressed dissatisfaction over the budgetary allocation for research in India.

Yoga session

The second day of the NSS camp at BCM College of Education started with a yoga camp by Satpal Sharma from Patangali Yogpeeth. NSS volunteers performed asanas.

This was followed by a PT drill by Devinder Singh. He underlined the role of exercise in keeping good health.

The volunteers were also briefed about the importance of mediation by Seema Chopra from GHG Harparkash College of Education, Sidhwan Khurd. This was followed by PowerPoint presentation and wall magazine article competitions on health, public sanitation and personal hygiene.

Rock concert

Christmas with the flavour of rock music was celebrated at INIFD on Friday. Christmas carols and wishes had the musical tone, as the city-based rock band “B Minor” performed on the occasion. Seven members of the rock band created an electric atmosphere in the campus playing electronic guitar, acoustic guitar, tabla and electronic drums, while vocalists sang their heart our fusing the latest Hindi, English and Punjabi songs.



Fancy dress contest to mark Christmas celebrations
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
Sai Public School celebrated Christmas with zeal. A fancy dress competition was organised to mark the occasion. The students dressed as angels, fairies, Santa Claus and Mother Mary wished everyone “Merry Christmas”. All participants got the appreciation awards.

DCM Presidency

Christmas was celebrated at DCM Presidency School. The primary wing was decorated with balloons, colourful flags and Christmas tree to celebrate the birthday of Lord Jesus. Children sang their favourite Christmas carols.

Don Bosco school

The premises of Don Bosco Global School, Ludhiana, were filled with the spirit and cheer of Christmas, as students and staff celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ. The students enacted the nativity play, which was watched with vast attention and left everyone spellbound.

Everest school

Christmas was celebrated at Everest Public School, Moti Nagar. The school was decorated with Christmas tree, stars and bells. Cookies, pastries, cakes and sweets were distributed among children. A rally was taken around the lanes of Moti Nagar. The students also danced to the tunes of “Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell” and “We wish you a Merry Christmas” and “Happy New Year”.

Bal Bharti

In order to make the students aware of Christmas, a series of activities were planned for pre-primary students to celebrate the festivity. Children dressed in bright and beautiful attires, tapped on the tunes of “Jingle bells”.

Martyrdom day

With the combined efforts of Ved Prachar Mandal and Arya Samaj, BCM School, Chandigarh road, celebrated the martyrdom day. Bhajan were recited by the teachers and students of the school.

Hindi workshop

Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, organised the second round of Sahodaya Hindi workshop. Principal Navita Puri presided over the workshop. Forty teachers from various CBSE schools attended the workshop. Sharma presented her talk on syllabus and grammar for class IX and X.

Book fair

To inculcate the habit of reading among students, a four-day book fair has been organised at Kundan Vidya Mandir. A wide collection of books on magic, mystery, knowledge, science, activities, languages, etc, was displayed on stands.

Golf meet

Children from DPS Golf Academy, Khanna, demonstrated their golf skills on Saturday during the parent-teacher meeting. A golf competition was also held for the parents and children. Gurnoor Gill was adjudged the winner.

Art exhibition

Students of GGN Public School, Rose Garden, Ludhiana, organised a literary-cum-art and craft exhibition here on Friday. The exhibition was organised to showcase the literary and creative talent of the students. In the Punjabi section, a glimpse of the rich cultural heritage of Punjab was depicted. The English section encompassed a variety of topics from female foeticide to junk food. Students also enacted fairy tales adding to the glamour of the exhibition. The Hindi section had a large number of models giving a glimpse of the great literary works. The art and craft exhibition displayed the creative talent of the children to create the best out of waste. Christmas trees and Santa Claus added to the festive spirit.

Thanksgiving day

A thanksgiving day was organised at BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School here on Friday, where tiny tots thanked their mothers for their love, affection, sacrifices and for the wisdom they provide. A lot of fun-filling activities were also organised.



Christmas with special kids
Tribune News Service

Special children dance during Christmas celebrations in Ludhiana on Saturday.
Special children dance during Christmas celebrations in Ludhiana on Saturday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, December 24
Employees of Virka Infotech, a private company, today celebrated Christmas with children of Nirdosh School, a school for special children.

The children were served lunch and also given gifts and goodies. Employees of the company played as Santa and entertained the special kids.

Ann Jal Sewa Trust, an NGO, also cut a Christmas special cake for patients of Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, to mark the celebrations.

Shiv Ram Saroy, founder-president of the NGO, said, “The aim was to spread the message of serving humanity. We also distributed crutches and woollens to the poor and needy.”



Bikramjeet bags gold at school games
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News service

Ludhiana, December 24
Bikramjeet Singh won a gold medal in the State-Level School Games, which was recently held at Guru Nanak Dev Stadium here.

Bikramjeet bagged a gold medal in long jump and for clinching the first place, he jumped 7.36 metres. Bikram is a trainee at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre here.

He has been involved in athletics for the last three years. He said this was his one of best performances in athletics and he would continue to do so in future also.

Bikramjeet said, “My father Tarlochan Singh motivated me to take
up sports and he wishes that I participate in Olympics and bring laurels for Punjab across the world”.

Seventeen years old Bikramjeet bagged a gold medal in the State Open Athletics Meet held at Sangrur this year.

Last year, he won a silver medal in long jump in school nationals, a gold medal in the North Zone Athletics Meet, which was held in Amritsar, and he also participated in the Junior National Athletic Meet, which was held in Bangalore.

At Bangalore he got good exposure, as he stood fourth in that competition.

He said that he used to spend six hours practicing at the stadium and was coached by SS Pannu. He said that his only aim was to represent India in Olympics and to win medals for the country. 



Awareness rally against social evils
Our Correspondent

Khamano, December 24
St Joseph School, Khamano, organised a public awareness rally in the town against social evils.

DPI (retd) Dalbara Singh flagged off the rally from near the SDM office, Khamano, and it passed through the main bazaar of the town.

The students were carrying placards with slogans against female foeticide, drug abuse, dowry, corruption, environmental pollution, logical imbalance and black money in foreign banks written on them.

They also raised slogans against these social evils.

The rally was an initiative of the school to make the residents of the town aware of the social evils prevailing in society.



Stress on conservation of resources
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
A four-day training programme organised by the Directorate of Extension Education of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) for officials of Punjab State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited (PUNSUP), concluded here on Saturday.

The PAU director of Extension Education, Dr MS Gill, addressing the participants, laid emphasis on conservation of natural resources and shed light on the advancements made in the field of agriculture.

During the course, Sandeep Kapoor, RP Singh, Neena Singla, BK Babbar, Tarsem Chand and other agricultural scientists dwelt upon various aspects of the agriculture and apprised the trainees of the management and marketing of agricultural produce and effective measures to be taken for the storage of food grain.



Make Punjabi a compulsory subject
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
Punjabi language should be given equal importance in schools affiliated to the CBSE. Many of the teachers said the subject, Punjabi, should be made mandatory and school authorities should give equal importance to Punjabi as other subjects.

These feelings were aired during a workshop of self-empowerment for teachers of Punjabi organised at BCM Arya Model School.

They complained that in many schools affiliated to the CBSE, less periods were allocated for Punjabi per week as compared to other subjects. “Like many schools, in our school, too, we only get two periods for Punjabi, which is wrong on the part of school authorities,” said a school teacher. “As a result, the students also take the subject and language lightly,” she said.

“Currently, as per the norms, the students have an option to choose between Punjabi and Hindi. But being residents of Punjab, studying the language should be mandatory,” said Madhu Chopra, a teacher.

“Moreover, when opting for government services in the state, having studied Punjabi at the matriculation level is a must,” she added.

One of the teachers also said timely updates to the syllabi of the subject by the CBSE must be done on regular basis. “The format for writing letters and applications has been changed, both for English and Hindi. But for Punjabi, the pattern has remained the same for years,” she said.

Harjit Kaur, another teacher from BCM Arya Model School, said the students should be allowed to speak Punjabi in schools.

The teachers also discussed the ways to increase the interest of students for Punjabi literature and language. They said the students should be given topics for research as projects, so that they read Punjabi literature. 



Role of radio in farm development discussed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
A five-day training programme on “Farm journalism and documentation of success stories” organised by the Punjab Agricultural Management and Extension Training Institute (PAMETI) in collaboration with the department of agricultural journalism, languages and culture concluded here today at PAU.

According to Dr MS Mahal, director, PAMETI, about 16 extension officials from state agriculture, dairy development and horticulture department attended the programme.

Navdeep Singh, programme executive, All-India Radio, Jalandhar, deliberated on the
role of radio in farm development and provided skills in script writing for radio and TV.

The training programme imparted practical skills in basic laws of journalism, tips for writing success stories, writing for Punjabi magazines, global overview of farm journalism, citizen journalism, types, structure and reporting of news, basics of a newspaper, working of a newspaper office, photo journalism, etc.



Labourer’s son makes it to Indian Army
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Manvir Singh with his father Rajpal Singh in Ludhiana on Saturday.
Manvir Singh with his father Rajpal Singh in Ludhiana on Saturday. Photo:Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, December 24
It was a dream come true for Rajpal Singh, a brick-kiln worker at Latheri village in Chamkor Sahib, when his only son Manvir Singh was recruited in the Indian Army.

Emotional scenes were witnessed at the Army recruitment office near Jagraon bridge. Rajpal said his hard work had borne fruit.

Who could have imagined that the son of a labourer would be selected in the Army? “Now, the whole life of my son will change. Everything will be taken care of by the Army.”

He added that his son Manvir Singh had gone through a harrowing time. “There were days when we could barely manage to earn a two-square meal a day.”

He said Manvir was good in studies and football. He always scored well in the class. Teachers of Government School, Latheri, were all praise for Manvir, said Rajpal.

Manvir turned 18 in November and cleared the recruitment test in his first attempt. 



The runaway bride
Woman leaves husband as he was poor
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
Now, the tables have turned, earlier, men used to desert their newly-wedded wife for dowry, but now its vice-versa. A newly- married woman allegedly left the house of her husband, barely two days after her wedding, due to his poor financial condition.

Suraj, a resident of Ambedkar Nagar near Model Town Extension, was in the a state of shock after his newly- wedded wife left the house by allegedly sedating the family just two days after the wedding. The incident came to light here this morning when the panic stricken families informed the police that Suraj’s wife Sandeep Kaur allegedly eloped with her paramour.

Narrating the incident, Suraj said that last night Sandeep Kaur offered him food laced with sedatives. “After consuming the food I began feeling drowsy and went to my room. Sandeep told me that she wanted to sleep with my mother and I agreed. At midnight when I woke up I went to my mother’s room and I was shocked to find her missing. I looked for her in the bathroom first, then all over the house, but she was nowhere to be found,” said Suraj.

He then raised alarm and informed his neighbours. Later, one of the neighbours said that he had seen Sandeep leaving the house with three men in a car.

Suraj said he was engaged to Sandeep, a resident of Khajura Wale Kothe in Jugraon, just a fortnight ago. A woman living near Suraj’s house came with a proposal from the girl’s side, said mother of Suraj.

Suraj and Sandeep got married on December 21 and organised a reception ceremony on December 22. “She barely stayed in the house for a day and fled. Her elopement has caused major embarrassment to my family in the locality,” said Suraj who is working as a barber.

It was in the evening the whole story unfolded. Sandeep surfaced at her relative’s house and told them as to why she left Suraj’s house. Sandeep said that Suraj had kept her in the dark regarding his financial status.She said the entire family, including Suraj, her mother, two sisters, two brothers were living in one room. Days before the marriage Suraj had taken another room on rent.

Sandeep’s sister said, “The paucity of the space was the reason as to why Sandeep left the house. She had informed Suraj and other family members before leaving the house. I do not know why they (family members of Suraj) are levelling such allegations.”

Gurbaksh Singh, father of Sandeep said, “The girl did not elope and did not sedate anyone.”

After receiving the complaint, the police has begun probing. “We are recording the statements of both sides and after investigating the matter we will register a case,” said the investigating officer. 



Kader Khan in city for mushaira
Tribune News Service

Actor Kadar Khan in Ludhiana on Saturday.
Actor Kadar Khan in Ludhiana on Saturday. tribune photo: himanshu mahajan

Ludhiana, December 24
Kader Khan, the veteran actor, said he was touched by the hospitality of the people of Ludhiana. He was in the city for the all-India mushaira organised at Nehru Sidhant Kender.

It is the first time that the actor is participating in a mushaira, he said. Lamenting that Urdu, as a language, has almost disappeared from Punjab after Partition, he said he wanted to work for its upliftment and propagation. He said he was going to open institutes for teaching the language in the country.

Talking about cinema these days, he said the quality of cinema today did not interest him, as the finest era of the cinema had passed away with filmmakers like Prakash Mehra and Manmohan Desai.

Recollecting the days of his youth, he said his acting career began with theatre and he was popular in his college for his performances. He took to cinema as a career after his stints as a civil engineer and hydraulics teacher.

Having written dialogues for super hit films like Amar Akbar Anthony, Roti and Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, he said it was a good era for cinema.

Having introduced the concept of Hinglish in movies, he now feels that he will pave the way for correction and purity of the language.



Millers seek probe against agency 

Khanna, December 24
A meeting of Rice Millers’ Association, Khanna, was held at the grain market today, in which representatives of the association demanded a high-level inquiry to find out a nexus between officials and labour of the warehouse purchasing agency.

Under this nexus, officials sent labour on front and the labour demanded Rs 1,500 per trolley, truck to unload and load rice in the godowns from rice millers, while according to the association, they are not bound to pay this amount and it is the duty of Food Corporation of India (FCI).

The members of the association also carried a protest march and raised slogans against the nexus in the grain market.

Lakhbir Singh Kalalmajra, association’s spokesperson and chairman of the market committee, Khanna, alleged that from the last three days, 50 containers of rice, whose market price goes up to Rs 3 crore, were lying unattended due to this rift.

When district manager warehouse, Kohli was contacted, he said he had no information that the labour is charging extra from the rice millers. — OC



Biotechnologists win laurels
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
Research associate Rohini Sachdeva and Hitesh Pawar Nandlal, PhD scholar, from the school of animal biotechnology of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary And Animal Sciences University bagged the prestigious "ISVIB Young Scientist Award" of the Indian Society of Veterinary Immunology and Biotechnology and the Best Poster Award.

Rohini got the award for her outstanding research presentation entitled "Eukaryotic expression and characterization of Bovine Herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1) glycoprotein D (gD) as a potential diagnostic antigen" authored by M Sylvestre, Rohini, Namita Mitra, Hitesh Pawar, Dipak Deka, Ravikant Agrawal and Ramneek. Hitesh received it for his poster entitled “Cloning, sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of heat shock protein (HSP 70) gene from ruminant species” authored by Hitesh N Pawar, Ravikant Agrawal, Ramneek and GS Brah at XVIII Annual Convention of and National Symposium on “Effective utilisation of translational Research platforms for Animal Biotechnology” held at Sardarkrushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural University, Sardarkrushinagar, Gujarat. The symposium was attended by more than 200 delegates.

The award winning research works are a part of Master’s and PhD in animal biotechnology at th school of animal biotechnology, GADVASU.



2 toppers honoured

Raikot, December 24
Hardeep Kaur Dhaliwal (638/800) and Amandeep Kaur (628/800) of the local Swami Ganga Giri Janta Girls College and toppers of Panjab University, Chandigarh, in MA (political science) were felicitated by the management committee of the institute at a function organised on the college campus.

Dr Savita Uppal, principal, presided over the function, while Ramesh Kaur, general secretary, was the chief guest. Hamid Ansari, Vice-President of India and Chancellor of Panjab University, had earlier conferred degrees on the students in Chandigarh. — OC



Another petrol station looted
Mohit Khanna
Tribune Ness Service

Police investigate the petrol station where robbery was committed in Ludhiana on Saturday.
Police investigate the petrol station where robbery was committed in Ludhiana on Saturday. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, December 24
In yet another incident, three armed men struck at a petrol station and decamped with Rs 21,000 by holding employees hostage.

The incident took place at Bawa petrol station located on the Ludhiana-Delhi highway in Gyaspura.

Mahesh and Tilak Raj, employees of the petrol station, said three men, one turbaned and two clean-shaven, reached there at around 1.30am.

“They alighted from the vehicle and asked them to fill the tank. Before we could sense trouble, they pulled out weapons and asked for the cash. They, then, took us inside the office and snatched the cash kept in a bag,” Tilak Raj added.

One of their associates took away the CCTV recorder to eliminate evidence. Mahesh tired to stop them, but they thrashed him. He was hospitalised later on.

The police has registered a case against unidentified men. The Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) said it was the handiwork of the same gang that had targeted some petrol stations a few days ago.



Seven robberies in 10 days
Police still groping in the dark
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
The notorious "Swift gang" has struck for the seventh time in the past 11 days. While the state police is groping in the dark, the gang struck again and fled with Rs 21,000 cash by keeping employees of a fuel station hostage.

It was on December 13 that the gang that travels in white Maruti Swift targeted six fuel stations on the national highway between Paragpur and Sahnewal, ransacked petrol pumps and snatched lakhs of rupees from employees of these outlets.

While four incidents took place in the Jalandhar- Phagwara area, two robberies took place at fuel stations in Ladhowal and Sahnewal respectively.

It has been over 11 days since the robbers looted the fuel station, but the Phagwara police has failed to find any clue.

The robbers are on a looting spree and the police has washed their hands off by registering a case.

On December 13, the armed robbers first looted a petrol station of Paragpur and took away Rs 6,000.

Later, they reached another petrol station, Orient Motors, Chiherru, and snatched Rs 14,000 from an employee, Sukhdev, at gunpoint and sped away towards Phagwara side. They once again struck at another petrol station near Prime Resorts, Phagwara, and looted Rs 15,000 from the employee there.

The robbers then looted a petrol pump of Mothu Ram Prem Chand Chachoki, and snatched Rs 40,000 from Sanjay, an employee. The robbers removed CCTV cameras from almost all petrol pumps before looting them.

They then robbed at the Satwant Filling Station and took away Rs 1,07,000 from the filling station.

In the last incident, they robbed cash from the employees of a petrol pump near Sahnewal.

The robbers operate during midnight. The seven robberies had been committed between 11.15pm and 2 am.

The accused also beat up the employees of the filling stations before removing the CCTV cameras installed there.



Two youths snatch purse
Tribune Ness Service

Ludhiana, December 24
In yet another snatching incident, two motorcycle-borne youths snatched a purse, containing Rs 10,000 cash, an ATM and a bank document, from a woman near the Jagraon Bridge area here today.

The incident took place around 5 pm when Balbir Kaur (45) was on her way to a bus stand, along with her daughter, Simranjit Kaur.

According to Mandeep Singh, son of the victim, two motorcycle-borne youth came and snatched the purse.

The residents gave the snatchers a chase but the assailants pulled out a weapon to scare away the crowd.

Mandeep said the snatchers fled towards the bus stand area.



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