L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


counting of votes
Instructions issued to DCs
Told to make fool-proof arrangements
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
The Chief Election Officer (CEO), Punjab, has instructed all the Deputy Commissioners in the state to make fool-proof arrangements for counting of votes, to be held on March 6. During the video-conference with the District Election Officers (DEOs)-cum -Deputy Commissioners today, the CEO has given necessary directions in this regard.

Meanwhile, sources in the District Election Office, Ludhiana, informed that around 800 employees (randomly taken) would be served duty orders to come for training on March 1 at 3pm at Guru Nanak Bhawan. Then again on March 6, the employees will be asked to report at 5 am.

"After giving them all the instructions, the employees will be sent in 14 different buses randomly so that no one comes to know which employee is being sent for the counting of votes of which constituency. In buses, Assistant Returning Officers (AROs) will be accompanying the employees", said an official in the Election Office on condition of anonymity.

Total 190 tables will be arranged for the counting purpose. In each constituency, 14 tables each will be arranged for the counting, while in Ludhiana South, 10 tables will be laid. On each table, there will be one counting supervisor, one counting assistant, one counting micro-observer and one peon.

On March 6, the results will be directly uploaded on the website of Election Commission of India. The data operators will be there on the tables with the Returning Officers (ROs), who will keep on uploading the data from time to time, said the official.


dsp’s murder
Two police teams formed
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
Nearly 20 days after the brutal murder of Moga DSP Balraj Singh Gill and Monica Kapila, the city police today split the special investigation team (SIT) constituted and formed two separate teams to crack the case.

Both the team will be working under the supervision of DCP Ashish Chaudhry. Three SHOs, including Surinder Mohan,

Prem Singh and Maninder Bedi, who were transferred back to the city following the permission of Election Commission, have been included in the team. The first team constituted includes ADCP Manjit Singh Dhesi, ADCP Kulwinder Singh, ACP Swapan Sharma, CIA- in charge GS Bains. The second team includes ACP Naginder Rana, SHO Prem Singh, SHO Maninder Bedi and CIA- II in charge Harpal Singh Grewal. Surinder Mohan, also known as the crises man of the city police, will also be providing inputs to both the teams, said sources.



Four nabbed for kidnapping six-year-old girl
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
In a major breakthrough, the police has nabbed four persons who were behind the kidnapping of six- year- old girl Nisha from Dhandari.

The girl was recovered from the Focal point area yesterday after the kidnappers were paid a ransom of Rs 3 lakh.

A special team led by ADCP- IV Sushil Kumar, ACP Jaswinder Singh, SHO, Sahenwal, Arvind Puri and CIA in charge GS Bains nabbed the accused from Dhandari- Focal Point area- late last night.

The kidnappers have been identified as Anil Kumar, Umesh Kumar, Karan Gupta and Ram Chander, all migrants and currently residing in Dhandari and the surrounding area.

Addressing a press conference, Sushil Kumar said handing over the cash was part of our investigation. "First and foremost was the safety of the child as there was fear that the kidnappers could kill Nisha. When the girl was recovered the police launched a massive combing operation and arrested the kidnapper. We have also recovered nearly Rs 2.85 lakh demanded as ransom by the kidnappers."

Jaswinder Singh said Anil Kumar, who used to work as a medical assistant at a clinic in Dhandari, hatched the conspiracy along with Umesh, Karan and Ram Kumar.

Recently Arjun, father of Nisha had purchased a truck and visited the doctor to share the news. Anil thought that Arjun was a rich man and planed to kidnap his daughter.

"All are out of job and hard up of cash these days. Anil who used to indulge in petty crimes, including thefts, had even stolen Rs 1 lakh of his father. Anil thought that by kidnapping the girl they will make good money and pay up the amount they had borrowed from people," said Sushil Kumar. The accused first snatched the mobile phone from a watchman, who was a Nepal national, in Dhandari area few days ago.

They then stole the motorcycle from the Focal Point area on February 15.After a meticulous planning they finally kidnapped Nisha on February 18, while she was playing along with her friends outside her house in Dhandari village. Umesh and Anil had kidnapped the girl and she was kept at the shanty belonging to Ram Chander.

After kidnapping the girl they then called Arjun Singh, father of the girl, and demanded Rs 5 lakh. The matter was stalled at Rs 3 lakh and the accused were paid the amount. Soon after receiving the girl the police nabbed the accused. 

Respite for ACP

The carking of the kidnapping case has brought respite for Jaswinder Singh, ACP, Sahnewal. The officer has been facing criticism form all quarters following the death of his close friend DSP Balraj Singh Gill. The family of DSP Balraj Singh also accused the ACP of acting irresponsibly and not informing the family immediately after his death.



Ludhiana MC not so ‘net savvy’
Website not updated post-December
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation which otherwise claims of being “net-savvy” by launching e-bill, e-tendering and other such services, seems to have totally forgotten to update its official website, www.mcludhiana.com. If the website of state’s richest Municipal Corporation is to be believed, AK Sinha is still the MC Commissioner, while Malwinder Singh Jaggi, Kuldeep Singh and Mohinderpal Gupta the Additional Commissioners.

Interestingly, AK Sinha, Mohinderpal Gupta and Kuldeep Singh have been transferred out of the city, while Jaggi is now the MC Commissioner. Even BK Gupta, who is not posted with the MC anymore, is still shown as the Joint Commissioner.

AK Sinha is now posted as the Director of local bodies department, Kuldeep Singh as ADC Patiala, Mohinderpal Gupta as the District

Transport Officer, Sangrur, and BK Gupta as the Additional Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Jalandhar.

The moment anyone clicks on the “organisation structure” link on the MC website, he is taken aback as most of the names given there are of officials who are no longer posted in the civic body. They were transferred or promoted before the model code of conduct came into force.

Presently, the MC is now having PS Ghuman as the Additional Commissioner (designate), and three Joint Commissioners, namely Ajay Sood, Daljeet Kaur and A S Sekhon.

Kuldeep Singh Khaira, an RTI Activist, said that it was sad that on one side the state government was promoting modernisation and computerisation, while on the other, the MC was not even updating routine things such as the names of its officials on its website. “Even the RTI disclosures on the website were incomplete,” he rued.

MC Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi claimed that this issue was not in his notice and that he would get the website updated in the next couple of days.



‘Paucity’ of funds delays pedestrian underpass
But work going on at normal pace, claim MC officials
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
The pedestrian underpass (PUP) opposite Mini Secretariat is still incomplete due to “paucity” of funds. The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) had tried to inaugurate it in December, but sources said it would be complete by March 31.

Even though the civic body authorities maintained that the work on PUP was going on at a normal pace, the sources within the MC said that it was incomplete due to shortage of funds.

The foundation stone of PUP was laid by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in November 2010 and the MC officials were expected to complete it by November 30 last year. But due to incessant rains in August last year, the work on the project remained stalled for few weeks, causing some delay.

When Sukhbir Singh Badal had visited the city for inaugurating a series of development projects on December 17 last year, he wanted to inaugurate this PUP too. But it had to be postponed at the last minute because the project was incomplete.

At that time, there were orders from the state government that the PUP project should be ready by December 17, so that the Deputy CM could inaugurate it before the model code of conduct came into force (it came to force on December 24).

The then MC Commissioner AK Sinha, who is now posted as the Director of local bodies department, was so perturbed over the delay, that he had taken away charge of this project from the executive engineer (bridges and roads), HC Salaria.

While speaking to The Tribune on December 16, Sinha had claimed that the project would be completed in one week’s time. “Almost 90 per cent of the work is complete. Even the shops constructed for this project are complete and have been whitewashed. Work of the stairs is going on and by next week we will complete the project,” Sinha had claimed. But till date the project remains incomplete.

The sources within the MC informed that the fiscal position of the civic body was in doldrums. “That is why, the payment to the contractor is still to be made.”

But MC Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi claimed that the project would be ready by March 31. “The work is going on at a normal pace and we will complete it soon,” claimed Jaggi.



Stalking girl proves to be costly for youth
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
Stalking a girl proved costly for a youth from Rampura Phool as he landed in the police net. The girl's presence of mind led to the nabbing of the youth.

The incident took place this afternoon at Rajpura road when the girl asked the auto-rickshaw driver, in which both the youth and the girl were sitting, while he was teasing her, to stop the vehicle in front of the residence of the Police Commissioner and complained about eve-teasing.

The youth identified as Jaskaran tired to escape from the spot, but the police nabbed him. He was further taken to the Division No 8 police Station. Sun- Inspector (SI) Pawan Kumar, the investigating officer, said that the girl was from Bathinda and Jaskaran was from Rampura Phool.

Sources said that the boy was stalking the girl in Bathinda too and made numerous calls at her residence.

Panic stricken, the girl left Bathinda and began studying in Ludhiana. Jaskaran did not get to know about the new location of the girl. Recently, he got the information that the girl was studying in Ludhiana. He began following her again. Jaskaran wanted to find out as to where she was living. He was even threatening the girl. Today, Jaskaran started following the girl from Bathinda. "I gathered courage and asked the auto-rickshaw driver to stop right in front of the commissioner’s residence," said the girl.

Following the incident, the girl was dropped at the hostel, while the parents of the youth were informed about the incident. Till the time of filing this report, the police had not registered a case.



assembly polls
For favourable results, candidates knock at astrologers’ doors
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
Some are guessing, some are asking about the outcome of the elections of the state. As the date of election results is nearing, din about the prophecies of the Assembly elections is rising, and living room discussions are getting more intense predicting who will come to power.

"The party that comes to power can alter the fate of the state in future. The outcome is perhaps the most unpredictable this time around, as nobody can say with confidence who will win," says Maninder, a resident of Civil Lines. This month-long gap is only increasing the anxiety of everyone, he says.

As excitement is getting high among the electorate, political leaders and candidates are on tenterhooks. Trying to get a glimpse into the uncertain future, many of them have been busy consulting astrologers to know about their future.

"I have been in regular touch with my astrologer. I even filed my nominations at the most propitious day. I am reciting the mantras prescribed by my astrologer. So I have no doubts about my victory," said a candidate from a rural constituency, requesting anonymity. Another candidate said that although he was agnostic when it came to astrology, but if it did any good, then why not make the most of it. "So I have got a new precious stone for better luck to get more favourable outcome in the elections," he says.

Some of the astrologers and numerologists are also making predictions about the outcome of the elections. "Change of governance seems to be in the offing this time around," says Pawan Kumar Sharma, a city-based astrologer. "I have studied and calculated the outcome of the elections according to the time and place of the formation of these parties and other factors", he says.



Police impounds 100 vehicles
Pockets Rs 50,000 everyday for towing away vehicles
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service
A wrongly parked vehicle being towed away at Ghumar Mandi in Ludhiana on Tuesday
Above: A wrongly parked vehicle being towed away at Ghumar Mandi in Ludhiana on Tuesday.
Below: (Left) A policeman issues challans to vilolators at the Police Lines; and (right) ACP Swapan Sharma with police personnel at the spot.

Ludhiana, February 21
The police is pocketing nearly Rs 50,000 everyday for towing away wrongly parked vehicles.

The city traffic police today impounded 100 cars that were wrongly parked in the middle of the roads at different markets across the city. ACP (Traffic) Swapan Sharma, who was supervising the towing-away drive, said seven trucks had been put on job to take the haphazardly parked vehicles that were causing a traffic jam.

“We had launched the drive two days ago and nearly 100 vehicles, including SUVs and cars, were towed away to the police line,” said ACP Swapan Sharma.

The police is charging nearly Rs 500 for towing away a vehicle and Rs 200 as challan for wrong parking.
A traffic signboard installed at Ghumar Mandi
(Above) A traffic signboard installed at Ghumar Mandi; and (below) A traffic policeman tells a driver to park the vehicle behind the yellow line (tow-away zone) at Ghumar Mandi. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

“We have given some respite to traffic violators. The wrongly parked vehicle is taken to the police lines, where the vehicle owner submits a fine of Rs 500. We keep registration certificate (RC) or other vehicle-related documents as security. The violators visits the court and after paying the fine they are given the documents,” said ACP Swapan Sharma.

The drive was launched at Ghumar Mandi, Mall Road, Sarabha Nagar and Model Town Market in the initial stage.

Besides the city police has also marked a yellow line at some of the major market places of the city and converted it into tow away zones. Any vehicle parked beyond that line is challaned. The police before towing away a vehicle would click its photograph. This picture would be further used as an evidence for challaning the violator.

Roadside stalls removed

Call it political non-interference or determination of an IPS officer to streamline the city traffic flow, but it was probably the first time that the roadside eateries were removed from Rani Jhansi road. The eateries often led to traffic jams.

Malls, too, on the radar

After launching a drive at busy market places, the tow-away drive will soon be launched outside shopping malls located on the Ferozepur road.



Skilled workforce key to growth, says CII
Tribune News Service

MC Munjal, convener, Punjab Education and Skills Panel, addresses the inaugural session of the 24th Regional Work Skills Competition of the CII in Ludhiana
MC Munjal, convener, Punjab Education and Skills Panel, addresses the inaugural session of the 24th Regional Work Skills Competition of the CII in Ludhiana. photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, February 21
"Today, there is only one benchmark for skilled workers and that is the world standard. It is, therefore, incumbent upon the industry to provide refresher training to its workforce from time to time to ensure that they acquire internationally benchmarked skills," said MC Munjal, convener, Punjab Education and Skills Panel, at the inaugural session of the four-day 24th Regional Work Skills Competition of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) which began here today.

He said the CII acknowledged this skill deficit and had initiated many projects for worker development and enhancement together with the government and the industry.

In a motivational talk to the participants, he asked them to see the work skills competition as a chance to assimilate with the best hands in the country, benchmark best practices and raise the bar for themselves as well as their industry.

NS Garbyal, Director, Advanced Training Institute (ATI), which is the venue for the event, welcomed the participants representing companies such as Hero Honda Motors Ltd, Nestle, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, Nestle Moga, SRF, New Holland Tractors Ltd, Tata Motors Ltd, Abhishek Industries Ltd, and Bharti Teletech.

Lauding the CII initiative which “would enhance industry competitiveness,” Garbyal stated that the competition recognised by the Directorate General of Employment and Training (DGE&T) was held with the Government of India go-ahead. Assessment would be done jointly by the ATI faculty and external trade experts, he said.

Inderjit Nagpal, former chairman, CII Ludhiana Zonal Council, in his welcome remarks explained the reasons behind the CII exercise: “The CII had launched a nationwide skills development initiative in 2004 to arm the current and potential workforce with internationally benchmarked skills. The aim was to train people across sectors to meet the demands of the local industry as well as the national need for a truly world-class skilled workforce.”



Not only obese, underweight, too, can be diabetic, says expert
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
Not only obese but underweight and normal first degree relatives of diabetic patients can also suffer from diabetes mellitus. This has been revealed in a recent research conducted by Dr Abhilasha under the guidance of Dr John Parmod, professor of physiology, and former director of the CMCH, Ludhiana.

Dr Abhilasha said, “I had selected 300 people aged between 20 to 87 who were first degree relatives of patients with T2 DM. The first degree relatives (parents, siblings and offspring) are those who share similar genetic characteristics as patients. Among these 163 women and 137 men were included. It was observed that subjects (people) with underweight (body mass index less than 14 kg/M2) and normal (body mass index more than 18 but more than 23 kg/M2) also had a considerable number of subjects with IFG, IGT (impaired fasting glucose and impaired glucose tolerance) and diabetes mellitus(DM).”

As per the research findings, in women with WHR (waste hip ratio) less than .85, it was found that 88 per cent had impaired fasting glucose, 81 per cent had impaired glucose tolerance and and 83 per cent had diabetes as per their FBS level and 85 per cent had diabetes as per their two-hour post-loading blood sugar values.

In men with waste hip ratio more than .95, it was seen that 67 per cent had impaired fasting glucose, 62 per cent had impaired glucose tolerance and 68 per cent had diabetes as per their fasting blood sugar level and diabetes as per their two-hour post-loading blood sugar values. The overall prevalence of impaired fasting glucose was found among 95 persons out of 300, while that of impaired glucose tolerance was found in 50 persons.

What is IFG and IGT?

  • People with pre-diabetes have impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance. Pre-diabetes is a condition in which individuals have blood glucose levels higher than the normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
  • People with pre-diabetes have impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). IFG is a condition in which the fasting blood sugar level is more than 100 but less than 126 mg/dl after an overnight fast. This level is higher than the normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
  • IGT is a condition in which the blood glucose level is more than 140 but less than 200 mg/dl after a two-hour oral glucose tolerance test. This level is higher than the normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.



Teachers need to instil values among students: Expert
Tribune News Service

PTU Vice-Chancellor addresses a seminar at USPC Jain Public School in Ludhiana
PTU Vice-Chancellor addresses a seminar at USPC Jain Public School in Ludhiana. photo: Inderjeet Verma

Luhdiana, February 21
The members of management committee of USPC Jain Public School organised a seminar on ‘Education and value system’ in the school auditorium here today. Dr Rajneesh Arora, Vice Chancellor of Punjab Technical University, was the chief guest of the event, and MM Vyas, chairman, Improvement Trust, Ludhiana, was the guest of honour.

Initiating the discussion, KK Dhir, former Registrar, PTU, dwelt upon the various sections of society which are responsible for inculcating values and ethics among the youth. He said that family, parents, neighbours, media, and above all, teachers have to play a vital role in restoring the much needed value system. Professor SC Jain, chairman of the school’s education board, elaborated upon the theme of the seminar. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Rajneesh Arora, Vice Chancellor, PTU, highlighted the role of PTU in making technical education value oriented.



Students enact ‘Merchant of Venice’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
The department of English, Govenment College for Women, organised its Annual Literary Society event here today. The students staged the 16th century Shakespearean drama “The Merchant of Venice" in the college auditorium.

Students displayed their theatrical skills by interweaving several parts of the play in the enactment. The event was graced by principal Gurminder. Kiranjeet Brar, head of the English department, lauded the efforts put in by Durga Parmar of BA III who gave music, sound, editing and graphic visuals to the play. The play was directed by Sumeet Brar, Durga, and Manpreet of BA III year.

Principal Gurminder Kaur congratulated and appreciated the efforts put in by the faculty organisers and the participants for their brilliant performances. She also gave away the prizes to the winners.



Four colonies razed in major demolition drive
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
Four unauthorised colonies were razed by Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) today. A demolition drive, led by additional chief administrator (ACA) Jaswant Singh, GLADA, on Tuesday dismantled roads, sewerage manholes, electric poles, boundary walls, entry gates and other internal development works in some four colonies which were being developed in an area of more than 60 acres.

The unauthorised colonies targeted during the drive were located in Bhadarke and Kasabaad villages. The GLADA team, accompanied by the police force, did not face any resistance. According to a press release issued today, the drive against unauthorised colonies will continue.



Apollo Hospitals, LPU sign MoU for academic courses
Tribune News Service

Dr GL Awasthi, director, Medical Services SPS Apollo Hospitals (second from right), and Dr Monika Gulati, dean, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Lovely Professional University, sign the MoU in Ludhiana
Dr GL Awasthi, director, Medical Services SPS Apollo Hospitals (second from right), and Dr Monika Gulati, dean, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Lovely Professional University, sign the MoU in Ludhiana. photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, February 21
SPS Apollo Hospitals and Lovely Professional University today signed a Memorandum Of Understanding for launching educational programs. As part of the agreement, SPS Apollo and LPU will launch a three year BSc course in Physician Assistantship for nurses and paramedical professionals.

After signing the MoU, J Sivakumaran, Senior Vice President, SPS Apollo Hospitals, said, “This tie up is testimony to SPS Apollo’s commitment towards training and skill improvement as well as developing innovative solutions to address the manpower crunch, one of the major challenges in Indian health care.”

Speaking on the occasion Dr Monika Gulati, dean, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Lovely Professional University, said, “This is an exciting partnership between Lovely Professional University and SPS Apollo Hospitals. We feel that this partnership will help SPS Apollo conduct a successful training program for nurses and paramedical professionals, and improve the overall quality of medical care.”

According to Dr GL Awasthi, Director, Medical Services, SPS Apollo Hospitals, the program is being launched with the objective of training nurses and other paramedical professionals on some of the clinical functions to enhance their skills, thus enabling them to assist doctors in their day-to-day functioning. It shall also help in generating a talent pool for manning various critical care units and assisting in patient care.

The three year B Sc course will be spread across six semesters with rigorous classroom and ‘on-the-job’ training, added Dr Monika. She informed that there shall be 20 seats per batch open for general nursing and midwifery candidates. The first semester of the course covering basic sciences shall be conducted at the LPU and the remaining five semesters will comprise of rigorous training at SPS Apollo Hospitals, Ludhiana. Dr Awasthi added that there shall be a stipendiary six month rotatory internship at SPS Apollo Hospitals on completion of academic years.

There shall be specially designated faculty for the program at both SPS Apollo Hospitals and at Lovely Professional University. The course at SPS Apollo Hospitals will be run under the guidance of two coordinators - Dr. Anupam Srivastava, head of Anaesthesia and Critical Care, and Dr Vikas Bansal, head of Paediatric Intensive Care at SPS Apollo Hospitals.

According to Dr Srivastava, the course module shall extensively cover various subjects such as medicine, surgery, paediatrics and geriatric, obstetrics and gynecology, clinical microbiology and sciences, cardiology, neurology, orthopaedics, emergency medicine and trauma care and critical care. He further said that the course module shall also cover trainings on various resuscitative techniques such as BLS, PALS, NALS ATLS and ACLS through recognised regulatory national bodies.

According to Ms Chandneet Bindra, Head of Capability Management, SPS Apollo Hospitals, this is the first of its kind program and provides an alternate career path to high performing nurses and other paramedical professionals. It will also help the candidates in receiving lucrative job offers as well as overseas opportunities after completion of their courses. She added that there were many more programs in the pipeline which would be launched in the future.



Traders from Bangladesh woo local manufacturers
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
Traders from Bangladesh are busy wooing garment and yarn manufacturers from the city to invest in their country with Special Economic Zones (SEZs). Since Bangladesh is armed with duty-free treaty, with India it is expecting huge exports by the end of June.

“With duty-free exports to India, traders from Bangladesh are coming to Ludhiana not only for garments but also for yarn. The orders have started pouring in. The practice has started and we are hopeful that it will gain momentum within a couple of months,” said Vinod Thapar, president of the Knitwear Club.

The State Bank of India in Bangladesh is also supporting the projects. “I have also received a couple of clients from Bangladesh who are interested in doing business with us. We are thinking over the proposal and things will be finalised within a few weeks,” said Ravinderpaul, a garment exporter from the city.

“Indian garment manufacturers from Ludhiana are being targeted for garment SEZ. Investors from Bangladesh are attracting city-based companies to invest there. Bangladesh offers huge cheap manpower and duty-free export across the globe with the Least Developed Country status being another major attraction for these SEZs,” added another businessman from the city.

Since Ludhiana is known globally for its hosiery and garment industry, Bangladesh is targeting Ludhiana for its SEZs. “Ludhiana is the hub of garment and hosiery industry and with cheap labour available there, the investors will be only happy to go there. It will bring brighter prospects for the local industry and at the same time exports from Bangladesh will also see an upward swing,” said a market expert.



Body seeks probe into electrocution incident
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
The Bhartiya Jan Jagran Sangathan has asked the Deputy Commissioner to conduct a thorough probe into yesterday’s incident.

While submitting a memorandum to Rahul Tewari, Deputy Commissioner, today, the members also requested that the police officials, who gave permission to organise the function without seeing the arrangements, should also be taken to task.

Prem Pandey, president of the sangathan, said the function organised at Focal Point yesterday was held under the high-tension wires. Neither the organisers nor the police officials bothered to think of the consequences while giving permission for the same.

“It was a massive gathering. The department should have deputed policemen. There was no separate seating arrangement for men and women. Besides, in religious functions, vulgarity is displayed at times by calling artistes, this trend should be shunned. In Ludhiana particularly, funds in lakhs are generated from several quarters to call the artistes. While they are paid peanuts, the organisers mint money,” said Pandey while submitting the memorandum.

Demanding compensation for the victims, Pandey said the government must provide Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of dead and Rs 2 lakh each to the injured. Besides, the organisers should also provide similar compensation to the families, said Pandey.



I-T dept may reopen tax returns
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
Beware as the Income Tax Department may be re-opening tax returns of beyond six years in specific cases of black money where “foreign assets” are involved.

If the government grants powers to the department then it will pursue the ongoing cases where funds were found to be squirrelled away abroad and these came to light after India received a classified list of overseas bank accounts of Indians.

As per rules, the department can only open past I-T returns if they need to probe hidden income and assets. A top official said the time frame that the I-T authorities want to go back is about 12 years.

“The department wants to re-open the I-T returns and carry out a thorough probe,” he said.

Officials of the probe wings of the department have carried out a number of searches and visits in the last four months. In cases where the individuals have denied holding secret foreign bank accounts, the department has already decided to re-open their past tax returns.



Postal department updates its website
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
If you have ever got lost on the website while checking the status of your speed post article or felt difficult to navigate through the cluttered website of the postal department, you will feel relieved to see the new interface of the India Post website. The website was updated this morning and many residents were pleasantly surprised to see the better-looking, cleaner and more organised website.

Officer on duty at India Post, K Subramanyam, said the new website reflected the change in sync with the overall changes in the postal department. The colour scheme has been changed to red and white, in accordance with the new branding of the postal department being done all over the country. “The website has a new user-interface and is much easier to navigate,” he said. He added that new sections and customer schemes would be added to the website.

Earlier, the dominant colour of the website was blue, and there was no proper grouping, with the central point of the website having new notifications appearing in flash.

“The new website is very nice, and the website looks much more user-friendly as the various sections went unnoticed. Even the fonts are easier,” said Gurmeet Singh, a resident. SP Pahwa, manager at the Speed Post Centre, said the good part was that all services offered by the department had been highlighted.

Medha, a resident, said government websites were the most important and most-accessed ones, which was why user-friendliness of these was a must.

“Good, well-designed websites are a must, and all government websites should be redesigned,” said Pawan, a brand consultant.



Four held for gambling
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, February 21
In a bid to tighten noose around gamblers, the Ludhiana (rural) police today conducted a raid at the Old Grain Market here and arrested four persons.

The accused have been identified as Shami Sharma, Sunil Kumar, Binder Singh, alias Bhinda, and Ram Kumar. Though there were about 15 persons present at the place, 10 of them managed to escape.

One of the arrested youths Sunil Kumar sustained injuries while trying to flee. He was admitted to a private hospital. His condition is stated to be stable.

Some shopkeepers of the Old Grain Market informed the police that some persons were gambling on the roof of a newly constructed market.

Following which the police conducted the raid at the market and nabbed four persons. A case has been registered in this connection.

Meanwhile, the family members of Sunil Kumar said the police did not even bother to admit the accused to the hospital. “The police did not admit Sunil to hospital despite the fact that he was seriously injured. We had to rush him to the hospital in a pick-up vehicle.”



Athletics meet begins today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 21
The three-day annual athletics meet will commence tomorrow at Baba Jaswant Singh Dental College and Hospital, Chandigarh road.

A press note issued today stated that competitions in various sports disciplines such as cricket, volleyball, throwball, football, kho-kho, chess, carrom, besides fun games like tug-of-war and musical chair race would be held during the meet.

Apart from these games, students will also take part in creative skills like art and crafts, rangoli, flower arrangements, poster making, face painting, mehandi, cake icing and soap carving to prove their all-round abilities.

Some events for the faculty would also be organised during the three-day meet, the press note read.



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