L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


2 lose their lives for Rs 5,000
Another one pays with life for a glimpse of his favourite Bhojpuri star
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
The duo, Sanjay and Gurjit, lost their lives for mere Rs 5,000 and that too has not been paid to them yet. While Umesh, a spectator, died just for the sake of watching his favourite star Khasari Lal Yadav's programme.

In a cutthroat completion among videographers, Sanjay and Gurjit agreed to cover the entire programme for just Rs 5,000 and that too was promised to be paid to them following the programme.

They were aware of the low-lying overhead high-tension wire, but in pursuit to eke out a living they risked their lives and eventually died.

Hell broke loose for the family members of Sanjay, Gurjit and Umesh who were electrocuted during a religious function that was conducted at Focal Point, Phase VII, here today.

Pall of gloom descended on the family of Gurjit Singh (35), his wife Harwinder was inconsolable. The victim's two little children Harry (5), and Arshiya (7) were bemusedly looking at the grieving relatives visiting the house. They started weeping on seeing their mother wailing.

"The children are too small to understand the magnitude of the tragedy. They do not realise that their future has been ruined. May God give strength to Gurjit’s wife, who has lost her husband in the prime of her life and now she has two little children to look after," said Jaspal Singh, a cousin of the victim, who broke the news of tragedy.

Iqbal Singh, brother of Gurjit, was devastated. While crying profusely he said, "My brother was shooting events for the past seven years, we were living happily.

Why God has been cruel to us. I do not know now,what to do."

He further said that none of the organisers visited to offer support to the family members. Gloomy scenes were witnessed at the house of Sanjay (38) in Sham Nagar.

Residents gathered outside the house to condole the family over the tragic loss. Sanjay's wife had recently divorced him and was living separately along with her two children.The family demanded strict action against the organisers for conducting a programme at a risky place.

They further demanded action against the officials who allowed the programme to be organised in the middle of the road ignoring the fact that the overhead high-tension wires could pose a danger. Migrants gathered to console the brother of Umesh Kumar, a migrant from Gaya in Bihar, who became the third victim of the tragic incident.

Umesh was taking support of the crane that was recording the programme. "I told my brother not to visit the place as huge crowd had gathered there, but he still went there," said Rajinder, brother of the victim. 

Who is to blame?

n Who is to blame for the tragedy? It is the biggest question staring in the face of police and the administration.

n Was it the administration’s fault that it allowed the organisers to hold the programme and did not check the preparation?

n Was it the organisers’ fault who kept the authorities in the dark?

n Was it the migrants’ fault who caused stampede-like situation and risked their lives by climbing the electricity tower?

n Interestingly, all these anomalies took place when city Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura was sitting on the stage.


Family pays Rs 3 lakh to get back six-year-old girl
While police pats its back
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Recovered Nisha being handed over to her father in Ludhiana.
Recovered Nisha being handed over to her father in Ludhiana. A Tribune photo

Ludhiana, February 20
After two days of high drama, a six-year-old girl, Nisha, who was kidnapped by two motorcycle-borne youths from Dhandari village on February 18, was reunited family here today.

The kidnapper left the girl near a temple at Jeevan Nagar Chowk here and informed Nisha's father Arjun Singh about her location.

Soon after receiving the information, Arjun Singh and the police party reached the spot and rescued Nisha. She is healthy and did not bear any injury.

Though, the police was patting its back and claimed that their constant pressure led to the release of the girl, but the reality is something else.

The girl was released after the extortionist was paid Rs 3 lakh extortion fee. The girl's father had arranged for the money.

The embarrassment does not end here. According to sources, the extortionist made a ransom call to Arjun Singh last evening.

The deal was made for Rs 3 lakh. The extortionist told Arjun Singh to place the money in the bag and keep it on the top of a bicycle near the Focal Point police station. In the meantime, the police laid a trap and kept waiting for the extortionist. It was at night the extortionist came and fled with the cycle and bag containing cash, but the police failed to nab him. Arjun tired the number of the extortionist, but it was switched off. The tension was rising and police too was feeling the pressure.The department that is already facing brickbats for failing to crack DSP Balraj Singh Gill and Monica Kapila murder case, found itself in troubled waters again.

Various search parties were made and massive combing operation was conducted at Focal Point and the nearby areas.Today the extortionist called again and informed the father about Nisha's location.

"I thank the extortionist for showing mercy on my child. Money is secondary, I will earn it later in my life. But if something would have happened to my daughter I would not have forgiven myself," said Arjun Singh.

On the other hand, Arvind Puri, SHO, Sahnewal, said, "We need to take caution while dealing with kidnapping cases. One wrong move and the extortionist often end up killing the victim to eliminate evidence. Saving the life of a child was our priority and the job is not over yet. We will nab the kidnapper soon," said SHO Puri.

The incident took place on the evening of February 18, when Nisha, was playing outside her house with her friends. The accused came on a motorcycle and picked her up before speeding off.As the girl was panic stricken she could not tell the physical appearance of the abductors.



PSEB chalks out plan to curb copying during exams
DEOs to be responsible if superintendents are caught aiding students
Charanjit singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana February 20
In a new move to curb] the practice of copying, the Punjab School Education Board has decided to make the District Education Office responsible if any examination superintendent is caught aiding the students.

Board officials admitted that several incidents of copying were reported in Ludhiana district during the last semester examinations.

Moreover, a local body of teachers has been demanding strict rules to curb the practice of copying since a long time.

The PSEB has decided to change the procedure of deploying superintendent in examination centres. The board would demand names of three superintendents for every examination centre from the DEO office and then choose one name from the recommended names. Moreover the DEO would guarantee that the rcommended superintendents would not aid students in copying.

Dalbir Singh Dhillon, Chairman, PSEB, said, "We received several complaints that private schools manage to get favourable persons appointed as superintendent in order to help students during exams. So we are demanding three names from DEO offices. If the superintendents get caught for any irregularities, the DEO will held responsible."

However, Sukhdarshan Singh, president Anti-copying Teachers' Front said, "We welcome every effort made against the practice of copying. But we do not think that this decision made by the board will be effective.” 



Its ‘Laniana Year’ so winter may linger on this season
Farmers are a happy lot as it’s good for wheat crop
Charanjit singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana February 20
This year is "Laniana Year". This means that winters this year will be longer than previous years. According to the meteorology department of Punjab Agricultural University, western disturbance (winds from west) is the main factor for chilly conditions in the month of February.

For the past three days, the city has been witnessing cold conditions. Instead of the usual clear sky at this time of the year, it has been cloudy here. Even on Sunday evening, it was drizzling in the city and the periphery area. First week of February this year broke all previous records, as February 8 turned out to be the coldest day of the season.

KK Gill, from the met department, PAU, said, "Western disturbance has led to chilly conditions. Otherwise minimum temperature rises during the cloudy days. Cloudy weather is common in February but this year is "Laniana Year” so there are chances that winter will linger on".

She further said, "February has become this cold after a period of four years. Clouds, drizzle and hailstorm are the effects of western disturbance. Once these winds strike, the influence of these winds remains in place till 72 hours". On the other hand, farmers are happy because cold weather in February is good for the wheat crop. But if it lingers for too long then it can affect the wheat crop adversely.

"The sun has been playing hide and seek. We are waiting for a bright sunny day. Last year, sweaters were off in February but it seems this year that we will celebrate Holi with our sweaters on", said Suraj a local resident.



Mobile phones lifeline of youngsters
Spoilt for choice, young users virtually live on them
Tribune News Service

A motorcyclist uses his mobile phone while driving in Ludhiana.
A motorcyclist uses his mobile phone while driving in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: himanshu mahajan

Ludhiana, February 20
Mobile phones have become lifeline for youngsters in the city as they are spending more time than ever on mobile phones. With the world of applications increasing as these facilitate usage in various walks of life, it has become indispensable for the young users.

Many youngsters are using mobile applications as never before. With applications being available at a brisk pace, youngsters are spoilt for choice. Baljit of a mobile store at Ghumar Mandi said, “Applications like tubemate for downloading online videos directly to the phone are very popular amongst the city youths.” Arun, a hosteler, loves his tango for he can easily make video calls to his family back home and his friends. While some of the youngsters download these applications for entertainment purposes, many of them are making use of these newly developed applications for educational purposes as well.

“I am learning Mandarin, and because of the application it makes it really simple and easy for me to learn the language,” says Varun Goel, a young executive working with a private firm. Like him, Harjit, a resident of Haibowal, loves the design-tutorial app on the phone and loves to keep tab on the latest tuition sessions being offered online. "That has saved me a lot of expenses and time, as I keep learning online whenever I am free and I don't have to shell out thousands joining tutorial classes," he says.

However, some of them are realising that obsession for these mobile applications can do more harm than good. "I used to download any good application on my cell phone. But then I realised that I ended up using very few of these applications and wasted a lot of my time. So now, I download only those applications that I really need rather than simply downloading any and every thing" said Tanya Juneja, a residnt of Dugri. 



Building bylaws go for a toss
Unauthorised constructions go unabated
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 20
Even as the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) has launched a concerted drive against development of unauthorised colonies in the city, and action has been taken against a few developers during last couple of days, certain unscrupulous builders are going on with construction of multi-storeyed flats on Threekay Road in gross violation of the building bylaws and other regulatory measures.

In a complaint lodged with the GLADA Chief Administrator, the Sukhdev Avenue and New Rajguru Nagar Welfare Society has said that the colony had 53 residential plots in all, out of which 15 plots were lying vacant. "A few months back, certain builders took up construction work of multi-storeyed flats by joining two or three plots together without getting any building plans approved, or seeking change of land use which is mandatory," the complaint said.

Area residents further maintain that before starting the construction work of the multi-storeyed residential complex on a plot measuring 365 square yards, no soil testing was conducted. No provisions have been made for fire fighting and adequate parking space has not been provided, which has led to frequent brawls between the builders and existing members of the housing society. They also apprehend that the ongoing construction work might endanger other adjoining buildings that already exist in the colony.

GLADA officials confirmed that during a spot visit by the regulatory field staff, it was found that the construction work on residential complex was going on and the builders had been directed to discontinue the construction forthwith.

It was officially stated that the colony was in existence prior to 1995 when the Punjab Regional Town Planning and Development Act came into force. Therefore, the provisions of the said Act were not applicable to the colony, which was "unauthorised" for all practical purposes.

"However, the construction of multi-storeyed residential complex with approved building plans and change of land use is unlawful. We are already in touch with the revenue officials for copies of jamabandi and other relevant record and a criminal complaint will be lodged with the police against the builders in a day or two," the GLADA officials said.



Three booked for confining BJP leader’s father cry foul
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
Nearly two days after, three men were booked for forcibly confining the father of former state BJP president Rajinder Bhandari, the trio cried foul and claimed that police registered a case under political pressure.

The suspects identified as Mohinder Singh, Vijay Sood and Vinod Sood, all residents of Model Town area, were booked following the complaint of Satpal Bhandari (82), under Section 342, 384, 506 and 34 of the IPC for wrongly confining a person and demanding extortion money.

Gaurav Pal Singh, son of Mohinder Singh, said, "Satpal Bhandari visited his house on Friday to settle a property case. My father met him for the first time. He even threatened my father and flaunted his political connections. Bhandari told him that he wanted to settle a long-pending dispute with Vijay Sood in which my father is a witness. In the meantime, Vijay Sood also came to our house, we had an argument but everything was amicably settled," said Gaurav.

He said the letter of compromise was also submitted to the Model Town police."But shockingly next day, we were told by the police that my father Mohinder Singh (68), Vijay Sood (60) and Vinod Sood (62) were booked in a case of extortion and forcibly confining Satpal Bhandari.

I just want to ask one thing, how can three persons in their 60s confine anyone. I don’t think that such a thing is possible," said Gaurav.

A relative of Vinod Sood on the condition of anonymity said, it seems that the case was taken from a script of a daily soap.

"Satpal Bhandari is 82-year-old and if three men had confined him then how he managed to free himself.

But the FIR states that Bhandari somehow managed to free himself and reach home. How is it possible for such an old man only the police can answer," said the relative of Vinod Sood.

On the other hand, Rajinder Bhandari refused to say anything on the issue.

"Let the law of the land take its course. I do not want to comment on the issue."

Despite repeated attempts Satpal Bhandari could not be contacted. 



Harassed bus passengers protest
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 20
Taking cognisance of the practice of dropping passengers at Pohir village instead of ferrying them to the bus stop here, and the failure of administration to check gross violation of route permits issued by the state transport authorities, activists and office bearers of social and political organisations have launched a movement to make buses ply till the local bus stand.

Continuing the movement launched three days ago, activists of various social and political organisations made almost all buses travelling between Ludhiana and Malerkotla, (which earlier used to drop passengers at Pohir village) run till the local bus stand. Amar Singh Saraon, president of the SAD, and Gora Lal Jain, an office bearer of the BJP, led the crusaders.

Travelling by bus has become more expensive and troublesome for residents of the town and surrounding villages after the opening of the four-lane Ludhiana-Malerkotla road.

While the authorities had failed to make drivers of private buses ply upto the bus stand instead of returning from Pohir village, even the State Transport buses and PRTC buses had stopped running upto local bus stand after the four-lane road was opened. The dilapidated condition of the present bus stand owned by the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) seems to be another factor for the development.

The residents of the town and about two dozen surrounding villages are also forced to cover an extra distance of about four kilometres to board a bus. Besides spending more money on auto-rickshaws or private vehicles, the also end up wasting a lot of time.

Elderly persons and women are the worst sufferers of the lack of public transport between the town and Pohir village. Those finishing their journeys during the night either have to walk down the distance or take the risk of taking lifts from unknown persons.

Saraon and Jain said the PRTC had constructed the present bus stand with the help of local social organisations about three decades ago. The corporation had purchased a low-lying land at a throwaway price.

Things went smoothly for about 10 years, after which a majority of the bus-drivers, plying between Ludhiana and Malerkotla, stopped coming to the bus stand. They started dropping and picking passengers from Pohir village. In the absence of basic amenities at the bus stand, office-bearers of some social organisations tried to provide drinking water here. The courtesy, however, ended allegedly due to the non-cooperation of corporation authorities.

Requests for the improvement of services and repair of the bus stop fell on deaf ears and the residents have now launched a movement to ensure that all buses reach the bus stand.

Meanwhile, when contacted, Jagtar Singh, PRTC Adda in-charge, said,"We keep sending time to time reports to officials about these buses. Even now we will sent a report."



BSNL employee receives threat calls
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, February 20
A BSNL employee here has gone under depression as he has been receiving threat calls for the past eight months. Harpal Singh, who works as a service mechanic at the local telephone exchange, said, “I receive hundreds of calls everyday.”

Being a government employee, Harpal Singh has been using an official number and he cannot afford to change it. These threat calls have badly disturbed the lives of Harpal Singh and his family members. Because of these calls, Harpal Singh and his family members have been living under constant fear.

Concerned about the safety of his family, Harpal Singh has even stopped his son Gurwinder Singh from going to college. Gurwinder Singh, a student of MLM Polytechnic College, Ajitwal, said he had not been attending classes for the past one month.

Harpal Singh maintained that he had no rivalry with anyone and he had no idea about the identity of the caller. “I have been receiving numerous calls everyday on my mobile phone. The unknown caller always threatens to kill us,” complains Harpal Singh.

He lamented that even though he informed the local police about this seven months ago, the police has failed to trace the caller. The caller keeps changing his mobile number frequently and has made calls from more than 40 mobile numbers till now.

Harpal Singh even obtained the record of his phone calls and handed it over to the police, but that, too, has not served the purpose. “I have met many senior police officials, including SSP Amar Singh Chahal and DSP Harpal Singh, and brought the matter to their notice, but the police has failed to find a solution to my problem till now,” stated Harpal Singh.

He has urged the police officials to step up the investigation and trace the caller. Ludhiana SSP Amar Singh Chahal, when contacted, confirmed the development. “The police has been working on the case. I hope the matter will be resolved within some days,” stated the SSP. 



City residents divided over television content
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
As per the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council, if anyone has any complaints regarding the content of the programmes being broadcast on television, the body should be informed. But city residents are divided over the role of television programmes and the impact that these have on viewers.

Manjit Sodhia, former principal of Government College for Women, said, “The content being churned out today is creating more complications for youngsters. It is not possible for parents to supervise their wards all the time. The exposure to such content is creating complications for many. Even children are obsessed with senseless horror shows. News channels highlight sensational news. These do not truly reflect the reality,” she added.

Another resident said, “Even though what is being presented on television is a reality, but these do not present the true picture of society. “Violence do exist in society, but by highlighting such things, and giving them undue importance only leads to spawning of more such content, and more adverse influence on the audience,” said Savinder Savvi, an artist.

Many residents, however, believe that media only mirrors reality and thus making complaints against any content will do no good. “You see the movies that were made in 70’s. These reflect the struggle for survival, communist ideals and need for fulfilment of basic amenities of society. Those were the broad concerns of society at that time. But now the content on television and movies has changed with the changes in society,” said Maninder Brar, a businessman. However, Ishwinder Singh, an advocate said the government had made the digitisation of cable mandatory, and the complaints council had also been set up. 



Consuming cannabis to get a high
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
When residents were busy paying obedience to Lord Shiva on the occasion of Mahashivratri, there were some who enjoyed the day in their own style. They took recourse to cannabis (bhang) to enjoy themselves. On Shivratri, cannabis is taken in the form of tikki, pakauras, potato vegetables etc, while some consume it in the form of "thandai".

Naveen Kumar, a youngster, who served his friend “tikkis” said, "I wanted to have fun with him and so I served him with cannabis. But after that I became worried when his behaviour changed. But now after six hours, he is normal and just complains of heaviness in head."

Chhote Lal, a rickshaw puller, said, "Some of my friends who consumed cannabis faced a lot of trouble. One kept crying, while one was laughing while the third has been sleeping since 1 pm. We gave him a lot of butter and desi ghee to neutralise the effect of cannabis. But he is still sleeping." Dr Karamveer Goel, senior medical officer, Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, said, "We also had few people coming to our hospital OPD, who had consumed cannabis, but there were no major cases."



Gear up for filing I-T return
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
With the financial year drawing to a close, it is time for filing tax returns. The financial year ends on March 31 and tax returns can be filed upto July 31.

“Generally people rush at the last minute for filing their returns and end up making mistakes. The process of filing tax return is simple but one must ensure to start early and have time on their side,” said Income Tax Commissioner, RS Randhawa. While some consider the tax return preparation process to be very tedious, in reality it is really simple. Here we take a look at the whole process:

Who needs to file I-T return?

A taxpayer need not file a tax return unless his or her income is above Rs 1.8 lakh. For females this limit is Rs 1.9 lakh and for senior citizens (60 years and above), the limit is Rs 2.5 lakh. A new category of taxpayers was also introduced in the last budget - the very senior citizen (VSC). These are individuals who are 80 years or above. Their basic exemption limit has been fixed at Rs 5 lakh.

If your total income is below the above mentioned basic exemptions, there is no legal requirement to go through the entire return filing process, said Jatinder Khurana, a legal expert.

Which form to fill?

Form No. Meant for

ITR-1 (SAHAJ) Individuals having only salary, pension or interest income

ITR-2 Individuals, HUFs having no business income

ITR-3 Individuals, HUFs being partners not having proprietary business or profession

ITR-4 Individuals, HUFs having proprietary business or profession

ITR-5 Firms, AOPs, BOIs

ITR-6 Companies

ITR-7 Charitable trusts, political parties

Important points to remember

n Taxable income: Implies the gross amount of income that you earn before claiming any deductions.

n Sources of income: Any income earned can be basically categorised under specific heads:

n Salaried Individuals receive the Form 16 from their employer. It can be used to fill in the requisite details in the tax return form.

n Income from house property implies the rental income of a landlord.

n Business or professional income is the net income left after deducting expenses incurred for running the business, subject to tax.

n Capital gain (short- or long-term) is earned when you sell mutual fund units, shares or property.

n An aggregation of all the above incomes should be above the basic exemption limit for you to be liable to pay taxes or to file a tax return. The rate of taxation would depend upon the applicable slab.



Musical tribute paid to Jagjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, in collaboration with Rotary Club Ludhiana Greater and Dhavani, organised a musical tribute to the legendary ghazal singer Jagjit Singh at DMCH under the title ‘Mera Geet Amar Kar Do’. Randhir Kanwal, Kulwant Singh, R S Bawa, and Dr Daljit Singh were the main artists who sang Jagjit Singh songs during the function.

The event was presided by the Joint Secretary of DMCH Managing Society, Rajesh Sood, along with Bipan Gupta, Nandini Gupta (managing members), former DMCH principal Dr LS Chawla, principal Dr Daljit Singh, Medical Suprintendent Dr Ashwani Chaudhary, and chief cardiologist Dr GS Wander.

In his praise for the legendary singer, Dr Sanjeev Uppal said, “Credited with popularising the ghazal genre and making it accessible to the masses, Jagjit Singh cut more than 40 private albums and sang for innumerable bollywood films, influencing an entire generation of music lovers.”

Stirring millions of hearts with his soulful songs, like 'Jhuki jhuki si nazar' and 'Kaagaz ki kashti', ghazal king Jagit Singh infused a new life in the dying genre of ghazal music in the seventies and carved a niche for himself in Bollywood, said Randhir Kanwal.



Semester system a nightmare for weak students
Charanjit singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana February 20
The semester system of Punjab School Education Board may benefit most of the students but it has made the situation worse for those who have had compartments in the first semester. The students who have failed in one or more subjects in the first semester now have to take two exams of the same subject on the same day during the second semester exams. It would be quite difficult for any student, particularly a weak one, to prepare for two exams on the same day.

PSEB class X exams are going to start on March 12 and class XII from March 20. These students and their parents are now in a perplexed state as to how they would clear the exam.

Rajinder Singh, father of a student said, "My son has failed in two subjects in the first semester. Now he has to give compartment papers on the same day when the second semester papers for the same subject would be held. The compartment exams should be scheduled on different days. Otherwise it is hard for students to prepare for and clear two papers on the same day."

"This is a negative aspect of the semester system and should be changed. The students are not getting enough time for the preparation of compartment papers. Morover they have to take two exams of same subject on the same day," said a teacher from local government school.



From Schools
Friendly T20 match

Ludhiana: Bal Bharati Public School organised a friendly 20-20 cricket match between teams comprising of parents and students. The two teams - BBPS Bulls and BBPS Lions - participated in an exciting match held at the school ground. Spectators enjoyed the cricket match that was organised with an aim to promote the game in the school students on one hand and to develop a sense of belongingness in the parents on the other. Upesh Arora, who scored a brilliant 55 and took two wickets, was declared the Man of the Match. The best bowler was Rajiv Kalra who took four wickets and gave away 21 runs. Inderpal Singh, who was brilliant in the field and took a spectacular catch, was adjudged the best fielder.

Farewell party

A colourful, fun-filled farewell party was organised by the students of class XI, Saraswati Modern School, for their seniors. The event was a memorable affair for the outgoing students as they were going to enter a new phase of their lives.

Sports day

Jesus Sacred Heart School’s two-day sports event came to an end here today. The first day saw the participation of pre-primary kids. The day started with the school choir singing an inspirational song and was followed by a colourlful performance by the students. who danced on the tunes of the folk song ‘sammi’.

Kids carnival

It was a fun and frolic time in the play ground of Tagore Public school, village Birami Branch, the venue of kids carnival on Sunday. The programme was inaugurated by Avtar Singh Makkar, president SGPC, who was the chief guest of the day. — TNS



‘Moral education helps fight social evils’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
As a part of its international awareness campaign to promote moral education against social evils, Vishav Gurmat Parchar Sabha and Dashmesh Canadian Sikh Society, Canada, organised lectures in various educational institutions of Ludhiana. The lectures were held at Govt High School, Sunet, Ekta Public Senior Secondary School, Sunet, SVN Public School, I- block, BRS Nagar, and Govt High School, Barewal. The lectures were attened by as many as 850 students and teachers. Dr Hardeep Singh, state president of PCMS Association, Punjab, was the chief Guest.

Lectures on moral education were delivered by principal Gurdev Singh Dhaliawal, an NRI , who was on a special visit to the city. While giving a call to eradicate all social evils, he stressed upon the need of awareness campaigns to build moral values and said that blindly following the western culture has brought various ill-effects to our society. He added that the good aspects of western culture, like discipline, time-management, work culture, should be adopted, but we should also continue to follow our ethical values, like respect for the elderly, family set up etc.

Dr Hardeep Singh State President of PCMS Association, Punjab appreciated the efforts of Vishav Gurmat Parchar Sabha and Dashmesh Canadian Sikh Society for the social awareness campaign. While adressing, he promised that associations of medical fraternity would join this campaign to eradicate social evils like female foeticide and drug addiction. He also said that the declining male-female ratio in Punjab is a worrying trend and the medical fraternity was committed to be a part of the campaign against gender discrimination and domestic violence.

Students and teachers of all participating schools were felicitated by Dashmesh Canadian Sikh Society during the event. Principals of these schools including Joginder Kaur, Amarjeet Kaur, Surinder Kumar were given certificates.

Gurmeet Singh Moga of Vishav Gurmat Parchar Sabha told that the organisation has held about 125 programs this year and has set an annual target of 1500.



Residents treated to impressive performance
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Salil Bhatt performs at Partap Public School in Ludhiana.
Salil Bhatt performs at Partap Public School in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, February 20
City residents were treated to an excellent performance by musician Salil Bhatt who played the Satvik Veena, an instrument he invented. The guitar-like sound and sitar-like music of the instrument was widely appreciated and received roaring applause from the young audience.

The artiste gave performances at Delhi Public School and Partap Public School today. Son of the renowned musician and Grammy award winner Padamshri Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Salil belongs to the tenth generation of the Bhatt family of musicians. In the city for the second time, after a a decade, he emphasised on the need to preserve the legacy of classical music.

He stressed on the need to connect with the current generation who, he said, perceived Indian music to be same as Bollywood music.

He also said that we Indians always tend to deprecate our own culture and admire foreign culture. The musician added that he aimed to make the current generation aware about the richness of Indian classical music so that they realise about our sublime heritage.

The new generation has become disconnected with the classical music as it has not been presented in the appropriate way.

To bring about this change and awareness, he has been making the Indian sounds reach to different corners of the world and has performed across the world. He said that he was the only Indian to have performed at the German Parliament and had also received invitation by the Taiwanese Government for artist residency.

He told the children present at the event that Bollywood music was only a small part of Indian music, and added that film music was not more than 75 year old while the origin of Indian music dates back to ten thousand years.

He said that our nation has given music to the world and all string instruments in the West were only a cusomisation of Indian musical instruments. 

Satvik Veena

Classical musician Salil Bhatt said that music evolves over a period of time. The Satvik Veena that he invented in 2002 is part of that process. The inspiration behind its creation was the Mohan Veena that was created by his father. The Veena has 20 strings with one part that resembles a sitar and the body is shaped like the guitar. Interestingly, it produces a sound that resembles the combination of sounds of the guitar and the veena. "It has the tinge of guitar and the twang of Veena," he says. The kind of sound that he wanted the instrument to produce was best produced from the guitar shape. The instrument is made of oak and pine wood and the neck from old rose wood. These were chosen because they produced good sound even at the temperature of minus 20 degree centigrade, he says. He named it Satvik because Satvik is the name of lord Shiva. Satvik is also the name of his son, who was born on Mahashivratri, he says.



City should have discotheques, feel youngsters
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
Malls, studios, brands, call centres, top tech-toys and dream automobile machines. You name it and the city has it now. Youngsters are forming rock bands. Amid all these changes to rise up as a metropolitan city, there is a conspicuous absence of dedicated discotheques in the city. There are dance academies, but no place to tap feet.

Many youngsters in the city feel that there is no place where youngsters can dance with abandon.

“Dancing is so relaxing, but then you need an ambience, good music and like-minded people to let you feel free to dance together,” says Aman, a student.

“I absolutely do not understand why the discotheques are not coming up in the city,” says Aditya.

Many say they have to go to Chandigarh to throw parties. Reetinder Singh said when he was a student, he used to go to discs at Sector 36 in Chandigarh every weekend. “These were the most awesome days of my stay. Even now, I just slip off to Chandigarh only to have fun dancing,” he says.

“I wish there were some dedicated places to dance-some great discotheques,” he adds.

“Restaurants are not discotheques,” says Ratika Aneja, a BCA student. “A discotheque near Rose Garden was turned into a restaurant-cum-bar a few years ago. I think we really need a few discs in the city,” says Sakshi Narang, a BBA student.

“The culture in Chandigarh is different from here. So it is viable to run a high-end discotheque in Chandigarh,” says Ajay, from a local restaurant.

“But the enthusiasm of the youngsters seems to confute these thoughts as the rock-band culture seems to be coming here for good and the youth seems to be raring to go to dance with a vengeance,” he added. 



Youths preferring exotic cuisine over pizzas, noodles
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
Gone are the days when city youngsters craved for pizzas, noodles and burgers whenever they would eat out. There were times, the name of McDonald’s, Dominos or Subway would prick up their ears, but now as these have become a part of the everyday life of the city. The young have started exploring for more of the exotic flavours as their palates get more discerning.

Now, the pizzas are available for gorging at home. When it comes to Italian food, pizzas have almost become customised to Punjab with paneer pizzas, and there is nothing that remains distinctly Italian.

“Normal pasta has now become a part of salad, I prefer to begin with papaline when I go out with friends,” said Sheena Tomar, a resident of Maya Nagar. Polo Au Brande and chicken steak are favourites of Simranjit Singh, an engineering student, when butter chicken becomes blasé to him. Vinod professes that he needs Rosti once a week, as he has fallen in love with Italian food.

Grilled fish is the favourite of Jyotika Sachdeva, a BBA student, when it comes to non-vegetarian. “I am a fitness fanatic and sea-food is awesome. Grilled fish sprinkled with lime juice is tempting,” she confesses. Gaurav swears by the taste of prawn butter pepper garlic and fish gassi.

Chinese and Thai cuisine is turning more delectable for many as they are experiencing beyond noodles and manchurian. “I enjoy the dimpsums and the drums of heaven,” says Amardeep Singh, an MBA student.

“Continental food is really delicious,” says Deeksha Verma, a student.

“Because Ludhiana has always been a town of foodies, it is appropriate at taking the lead in experimenting with the exotic cuisines and finest foods,” says Amit Nagpal, a resident of Dev Nagar. 



Sweetmeat shop owners flouting rules with impunity
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
Some of the sweetmeat shops in the city continue to weigh sweets along with a box as a result customers get 40 to 50 gram less than the actual quantity they order for.

Celebrating any special occasion is incomplete without sweets, but one does not realise that the sweet box they are carrying is less in quantity than what they have paid for. As per information gathered from the legal metrology department through the RTI, it is against law to weigh sweets along with a box.

As per rules, sweet sellers have to first measure the weight of a box before putting the exact quantity of sweets ordered by customers through weighing machine. After deducting the weight of the box, they have to adjust the weight of the sweets.

“Shopkeepers weigh sweets along with the box. They are flouting the rules. When I asked a shopkeeper to weigh sweets separately and then put it in a box, he charged me Rs 20 for the box, which was quite shocking,” said Kulwant Singh, a resident of Bhagat Singh Nagar.

A majority of the shop owners are found to be ignoring the rules thus causing loss to customers. A customer loses at least 40 gram for a kilo of sweets ordered. While the customer is at loss, shopkeepers are making quick profit by ignoring rules.

Another city resident, Manjot Bhullar, said she went to one of the leading sweetmeat shops to get the sweet boxes for the wedding of her daughter.

“The shopkeeper was weighing sweets along with the boxes. When I argued with him he agreed to take the weight of the box separately and adjust the weight of the sweets accordingly. While standing at the shop I observed that nobody pointed towards this malpractice and everybody was taking sweets along with the weight of the box. If shopkeepers are not following the rules, we should ask them to follow the same. Since we are paying for sweets, we should not take less quantity,” she said.

An official from the legal metrology department said, “The sellers are required to take the weight of the box separately and adjust the weight of the sweets accordingly. ”



Ludhiana Scan
Studio inaugurated

LUDHIANA: Apna Studio Bollywood was inaugurated in the city by Simarjit Singh Bains. The studio offers the facilities of dubbing of movies and documentaries, particularly in Punjabi.

Modelling contest

‘Mr and Miss Super Model 2012’, a beauty pageant and modelling contest, was organised at the F2 Raceway here today. Local boys and girls above 18 years of age turned up for the auditions.

Medical camp

Shri Durga Mata Mandir Hospital organised a free medical check up camp on Saturday. A team of hospital doctors checked up as many as 445 patients free of cost and distributed medicines. General Manager of Shri Durga Mata Mandir Trust Hari Om said, "All the required laboratory tests including X rays were also done free of cost." KK Seth was the chief guest on this occasion. — TNS



SAD sarpanch’s son held with 51 bottles of liquor 
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, February 20
The Ludhiana (rural) police has arrested the son of a woman sarpanch belonging to the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and recovered 51 bottles of liquor from his possession. This liquor was allegedly recovered from the house of Harnek Singh at Ramghar Bhullar village during a joint raid conducted by excise department officials and a police team.

The accused, Harnek Singh, is the son of Mohinderpal Kaur, SAD sarpanch of Ramghar Bhullar village near Jagraon. It is not the first time that the police has recovered liquor from Harnek Singh. Earlier, too, the local police had recovered huge quantity of illegal liquor and around 5-kg of poppy husk from the house of same SAD sarpanch prior to the Punjab Assembly elections held recently.

The team was led by excise department Inspector Amrish Loomba, Inspector Manmohan Singh and ASI Sukhwinder Singh.

The officials said when the accused saw the team entering his house, he threw the bottles of liquor into the house of a neighbour. But the team members scaled the wall and recovered the liquor from there. Following which the team arrested Harnek Singh and locked him up at the Jagraon Sadar police station.

More than 900 bottles of illegal liquor were recovered from the house of Harnek Singh during a raid by a joint team of anti-narcotics cell and Sadar police station in the second week of January. The police had also seized around 5-kg poppy husk from the house of SAD sarpanch Mohinderpal Kaur.

Following which a case was registered against Mohinderpal Kaur and her Son Harnek Singh under various Sections of the NDPC Act.

Though Mohinderpal Kaur was arrested immediately by the police, her son Harnek Singh managed to escape and was absconding till then. Later, Mohinderpal Kaur was released on bail.

Meanwhile, SAD sarpanch Mohinderpal Kaur, who was also present, claimed that she had severed ties with son Harnek Singh long back so she was not responsible for any illegal activity of Harnek Singh. 



9-wicket win for Kundan Vidya Mandir
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, February 20
Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, registered a nine-wicket facile victory over Teja Singh Swatantar Senior Secondary School in the ongoing PCA Inter-School Cricket Tournament (U-16) for Coca-Cola Cup being organised by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association at Satish Chander Dhawan Government College here today.

Today’s match was of mere academic interest as Government Model Senior Secondary School, PAU, that won all its three matches, have already qualified for the next round of matches to be played shortly in Mohali.

Yesterday, KVM lads had gone down fighting against Government Model School, PAU, by three wickets and missed the bus to Mohali.

In the last encounter here today, Teja Singh Swatantar Senior Secondary School batted first and were all out on a meagre total of 109 runs in 26 overs.

Only two batsmen could reach the double figure. Bhupinder scored 23 runs while Jai Kumar remained unbeaten on 21 runs.

For KVM, Kumud was the most successful bowler who scalped four victims for 17 runs while Nimit Malhan grabbed two wickets for nine runs and Raghav claimed one wickets for three runs.

The target set by Teja Singh School turned out to be a small one as KVM surpassed the total in 19.4 overs for the loss of just one wicket.

Nimit Malhan and Nikhil Chowdhary remained unconquered on 52 and 32 runs, respectively.



Pardeep of Khalsa College declared best athlete
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 20
A large number of students drawn from GHG Khalsa College, GHG Khalsa College of Education and GHG Khalsa College of Pharmacy competed in various sports disciplines in the 61st Annual Athletics Meet held at Gurusar Sadhar, near here, today.

In the boys’ section, Pardeep Singh of GHG Khalsa College was declared the best athlete while Daljeet Singh was named the best athlete among participants from GHG Khalsa College of Education and Yadwinder Singh from GHG Khalsa College of Pharmacy bagged the honour.

Ranveer Kaur of GHG Khalsa College was adjudged the best athlete in the girls’ section and Hardeep Kaur of GHG Khalsa College of Education was declared the best athlete while Sukhcharanjeet Kaur was named the best athlete among players from GHG Khalsa College of Pharmacy.

Mohinder Singh, principal accountant general audit, Punjab and Chandigarh, a former student of this institution, was the chief guest on the occasion. Dr SS Deol, principal of GHG Khalsa College, read out the annual report highlighting the achievements of students during the current session.



Local cagers hog limelight
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, February 20
Basketball players from Ludhiana hogged limelight as the girls' team romped home as champions while boys finished as runners-up in the Punjab State Sub Junior Basketball Championship held at Kirpal Sagar Academy, Rahon, yesterday.

In the super league, conducted among four top teams, Ludhiana girls made a clean sweep with winning all their three matches against Gurdaspur, Faridkot and Sangrur districts to top the table and were declared the winners.

However, in the boys’ section, Ludhiana district defeated Faridkot and Sangrur districts but lost to Bathinda and had to content with the runners-up trophy.

The members of the two teams were accorded a warm welcome on their arrival at Guru Nanak Stadium here today. Vijay Chopra, vice-president of the Ludhiana District Basketball Association, along with coaches and other office-bearers of the association, were there to receive the cagers.



Daheru football team lift trophy
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 20
Daheru football team emerged winners, while Jangpur Sports Club finished runners-up in the first Football Tournament organised jointly by the Ahmedgarh Sports Club and the Anand Isher Senior Secondary School welfare society here yesterday.

Mullanpur and Banbhaura bagged the third and fourth positions respectively and Sehaj Pal Singh of Jangpur was declared the best player of the tournament.

The three-day tournament was inaugurated by Jasbir Singh Khangura MLA Kila Raipur and Kartar Singh, director Anand Isher Educational Trust, was the chief guest.

Balwinder Singh USA, Parminder Singh Rangian, Dr Sunit Hind, and Harjinder Singh Nathumajra, president, Block Congress Committee, presided over various sessions on different days.

Chairman Zila Parishad Manpreet Singh Ayali, Iqbal Singh Jhoondan, MLA, Dhuri, Balwant Singh Dulman, chairman, Block Samiti, and Harpreet Singh, member SGPC, gave away prizes to the winning team and outstanding players.



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