L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Bandh gives residents tough time
Markets remain closed, youths raise slogans and misbehave with the police
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 28
The situation remained tense but under control following a day-long bandh called by radical Sikh outfits to protest against the proposed execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana, convicted for assassinating former Chief Minister Beant Singh.

The bandh disrupted normal life in the industrial town and except for government offices all business establishments remained closed.

Though a few shops and restaurants were opened in the evening, but markets wore a deserted look thorough out the day.

Besides reports of youths blocking the National Highway No. I near Jodhewal for a few minutes, closing down banks and business establishments in Gumandi, Feroze Gandhi Market and Ghumar Mandi, no untoward incident was reported from the city.

The police and paramilitary forces remained on toes and did not let the situation go out of control. The team led by Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ashish Chaudhry and Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Swapan Sharma supervised the security arrangements in the city.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Ramneesh Choudhary assisted by SHO Sumit Sood, SHO Davinder Choudhary and SHO Surinder Mohan were seen placating angry youths raising slogans and waving saffron flags. Reports of misbehaviour with cops were also pouring in till evening.

The protest started from Field Gunj in the morning when hundreds of Sikhs gathered at a gurdwara. After offering prayers, they headed towards toward Clock Tower near the Chaura Bazaar and squatted on the roads.

Meanwhile, small group of motorcyclists visited the old city area to get the shops closed.

After reassembling at Chaura Bazaar, the supporters of Rajoana marched towards the Jagraon Bridge and raised slogan against the court’s order.

Then the group of supporters marched towards the Fountain Chowk and staged a protest for sometime. The city police was in a tizzy when a huge group of Rajoana supporters gathered outside the official residence of DIG (Ludhiana range) MF Farooqui. The group marched towards Ghumar Mandi and raised pro- Khalistan slogans later on.

Hanging stayed

The Sikh radicals were elated after the Union Home Ministry revoked the hanging of Balwant Singh Rajoana, sighting the grim scenario of the state. Majority of the residents also hailed the move. They said if the hanging could lead to trouble in the state then Rajoana should not be hanged.

Preventive custody

Gurdeep Singh Gosha and his supporters were taken into preventive custody for making provocative speeches, trying to instigate the mob and for disturbing communal harmony. The incident took place in a park located near a gurdwara in Model Town today evening. Ashish Choudhary, DCP, said Gosha would remain in custody till the situation normalizes. Jaswinder Baliewal, state president of SAD (Delhi), Jasdeep Singh Konke, Balwinder Singh Bhullar and Jindu besides a pro-Khalistan activist Daljit Singh Buttu have also been taken into preventive custody.


Buses stop plying, commuters hassled
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 28
The bandh call given by various Sikh organisations against the hanging of Balwant Singh Rajoana, one of the accused in former Chief Minister Beant Singh murder case, received an overwhelming response with only a few buses plying in the morning.

Most of the buses remained parked inside the Shaheed Sukhdev Interstate Bus Terminus as well as the local bus stand later on.

Residents found themselves on the receiving end as neither private nor government buses plied on roads. Though most of the roads wore a deserted look, but a few persons reached the Shaheed Sukhdev Interstate Bus Terminus to board buses. They had to return as buses remained parked inside the terminus.

One such family, which had to go to Delhi, had to return. “We will have to go to the railway station to board a train,” a family member said.

Jaswinder Singh Grewal, president, Ludhiana Mini Bus Operators Association, said 400 mini buses ply in the district.

“Members of our association met yesterday. The bus owners have agreed to support the bandh as Balwant Singh Rajoana is from our district. Today’s bandh call has broken 10 years record as not a single bus plied on the roads,” claimed Grewal.



Markets, malls completely deserted
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 28
City markets, malls and shopping marts wore a deserted look and a blanket of saffron colour enveloped the entire city and saffron flags donned residential and commercial establishments.

Apart from a few restaurants and eating joints, the entire market remained closed although the banks were functioning as usual. The transporters, too, had called a day off due to the bandh call.

“Financial year is about to close, but I could not go to my office due to the bandh. Such bandh calls should not be given as it affects society,” said Ankush, who works in a corporate sector.

Though the malls were closed, still the police was deployed outside these. Notices, announcing the closure of the malls due to the bandh, were seen pasted outside one such mall.

“Since I had a holiday due to bandh, I thought of going to a mall to pass my time. But it was closed. Even cinema halls were closed. The entire day got wasted. All I could do was to surf the Internet,” said Avleen, a college student.

Kishore Gupta, a shopkeeper dealing in readymade garments at Chaura Bazaar, said, “The bandh means loss of business and money. I had to keep my shop closed. I suffered huge loss. All shops in the market remained closed as people were fearful,” said Gupta.

A few restaurants and eating joints managed to earn some quick bucks. “Since most of the people were at home today due to bandh so we received more calls for the home delivery than usual,” one of the delivery boys at an eating joint located near the Fountain Chowk added.



Rail traffic normal, 2 trains diverted
Protesters squat on railway tracks
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 28
While the bandh call given by Sikh organisations against the execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana was total in the city today, the rail traffic, especially on the Ludhiana-Delhi and the Ludhiana-Amritsar routes were near normal.

According to railway officials, only two trains-11058 down and 11057 up- running between Dadar and Amritsar, were diverted after protesters squatted down on railway tracks in Patiala.

Station Superintendent RK Sharma said the 11058 down Amritsar-Dadar Express train was diverted through Khanna, Rajpura and Ambala instead of Dhuri and Patiala. It left the Ludhiana railway station more than two hours behind schedule.

The up train running from Dadar to Amritsar also made a detour via Khanna and Rajpura. It got delayed by more than five hours in the process.

The bandh, however, did not affect movement of trains on the trunk route and almost all trains were running as per schedule, the officials claimed.



Liquor vends’ allotment
Rs 516 cr whet excise dept’s appetite
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 28
Malhotra Group today managed to grab maximum of seven zones during the draw for liquor vends held here today by the Excise and Taxation Department. Last year it was Singla Group and Krishan Lal Group who got the maximum of four zones each. Genuine Wines stood on the second number by grasping five zones and Dhillon Distillery at the third by capturing three zones.

It was Genuine Wines that proved to be lucky as they managed to get the first liquor vend in Ludhiana city during the draw of lots. A total of 68 draws were held today out of which 25 were held for Ludhiana and the remaining for Khanna, Jagraon, Raikot and Doraha.

Interestingly, there was only one liquor vend at Neelon and it had attracted 500 applications and the Chadha Group was the lucky one to get this vend in their favour.

Revenue collected from the allotment fees today was Rs 516 core from Ludhiana I, II and III while the department managed to collect a whopping Rs 48.38 crore through the application fees itself while last year it had collected Rs 17.71 crore. The total number of applications received this year was 12,022 while last year it was 7,166. Licensing units inside the corporation limits are 347 while 162 are in the rural areas and the quota for 2012-13 is 1,02,88,621 proof litre for India made foreign liquor (IMFL) and 1,60,63,769 proof litre for country-made liquor.

"Revenue expected to be earned during this financial year from Ludhiana I, II and III is Rs 516 crore while last year the department managed to earn Rs 442 crore," said Gurtej Singh, Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner.

A person was allowed to submit 10 applications per licensing unit/group/zone in the corporation areas. There were 25 zones and each zone had 12-15 vends.

A successful applicant was required to pay allotment fee immediately on the draw of his lot which was Rs 1 lakh per unit/group/zone in the case of corporation towns, Rs 5 lakh per unit/group/zone in other urban areas and Rs 2 lakh per unit/group in the rural areas.

Bandh scare

The process of allotment of liquor vends through draw of lots went on peacefully. But some of the liquor contractors coming from periphery found it difficult to reach the city due to the call for Punjab bandh. "Owing to Punjab bandh I found it little difficult to reach the venue. Although tight security was put in place in the city but still the situation was tense and checking was done several times due to security reasons. But, all went well during the draw of lots," said Jaswinder Singh at Harsheela Resorts, where the draw of lots was held.



Total bandh in region, life comes to standstill
Tribune Reporters

Otherwise humming with activity, Chaura Bazaar at Ahmedgarh presents a deserted look
Otherwise humming with activity, Chaura Bazaar at Ahmedgarh presents a deserted look.

Mandi Ahmedgarh, Raikot, Payal, March 28
Life came to a standstill today as the region witnessed complete bandh the call for which was given by various radical Sikh organisations against the court's order on Balwant Singh Rajoana’s hanging.

The owners and managers of almost all the commercial organisations, including shops and workshops, opted to play safe and supported the bandh call by downing the shutters of their establishments.

Banks and government offices also looked deserted as both their employees and clients were scared of the protesters who kept on marching from one place to another. However, ‘restricted’ business was conducted at almost all the offices and banks.

Contrary to earlier calls for bandh given by any of the organisations of the state, traders kept their shutters down today, paralysing life of the common man in this region of the state.

Groups of activists of various radical Sikh organisations marched through streets and roads of various localities and highways connecting various towns and cities.

Besides raising slogans against the court’s order on Balwant Singh Rajoana’s hanging, they staged brief dharnas near prominent religious places and at chowks on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road.

Gurdwara Manji Sahib Alamgir, Gurdwara Singh Sabha Ahmedgarh, Bahadurgarh gurdwara, Gurdwara Tahliana, Gurdwara Damdama Sahib, Gurdwara Karamsar Sahib and Gurdwara Nanakpur were prominent among those religious places where protesters, wearing saffron turbans, gathered to protest against the administration and pray for Rajoana’s life. Though youngsters dominated the show today, women and children showed equal enthusiasm.

Rajoana, Balwant Singh’s native village, witnessed peak activity. A large number of protesters, including motorcycle-borne youngsters and jathas of hardliners from different parts of the region, visited the village to show solidarity with Rajoana’s family. Women from Rajoana and surrounding localities had accompanied Balwant’s mother during the day.

The police had tough time controlling traffic at major intersections on the main roads and highways. Situation could have turned ugly had policemen, supervised by assistant commissioner of police Gurpreet Singh Sikand, not persuaded the jathas of protesters to move further instead of blocking traffic at the Dehlon chowk.

Phillaur (OC): Normal life was disrupted in Goraya, Phillaur, Apra, Bilga, Noormahal, Phagwara and Nakodar on Wednesday.

Several hardliners blocked road traffic on the Phillaur-Goraya and Phillaur-Nawanshahar roads in the afternoon. Fewer government or private buses plied.

Hardliners of the Dal Khalsa, Khalsa Action Committee and the Khalra Mission Organisation had urged the Sikh community to voluntarily shut down their business establishments and observe day-long bandh peacefully.

Traders’ Union extend full support

Doraha, Sahnewal: The All Trader’s Union of Doraha and Sahnewal kept their shops closed today.

The town wore a deserted look as almost all the shops including were closed in order to support bandh call. Even fruit and vegetable vendors did not operate. The residents, too, remained confined to their places. A few vehicles plied as most residents preferred to stay indoors for fear of any untoward incident. In the banks, there were hardly any customers seen.

At Sahnewal, Protesters put up saffron flags on their vehicles and commercial establishments to support the Rajoana cause. They took out a flag march throughout the town, raising slogans in support of Rajoana and for pleading the court to withdraw his death sentence.

At Doraha and Sahnewal, the police beefed up security and the situation had remained peaceful.



2 held for raising slogans, let off
Tribune Reporters

Samrala/Khanna March 28
A showdown was averted at Samrala when the police released two youngsters who were taken into custody for allegedly raising pro-Khalistan slogans during bandh at Samrala.

More than 100 people, including youngsters, had gathered at the main chowk of Samrala and they marched in support of Balwant Singh Rajoana. When some youngsters raised provocative slogans, the Samrala police swung into action and detained two youngsters on charge of raising provocative slogans.

As the police reached the Samrala police station with the detained police station, a mob reached there and staged a sit-in demanding the release of sit-the youngsters.

The police locked the gates of the station and a number of policemen were deployed outside and inside the station.

Sensing trouble, former MLA Jagjivan Singh Khirnia and SGPC member Sarbans Singh Maanki reached the police station and persuaded the police officials to release the youngsters. They were reportedly let off after an apology for objectionable slogans.

Meanwhile, total bandh was observed in Khanna, Samrala, Khamano and Machiwara. All shops, commercial establishments, schools, colleges remained closed. The passengers had to face difficulties to reach their destinations as buses stayed off the road. No private or government buses were seen on the roads. Even mini-buses and tempos were also not available.

Although government offices remained open, the staff had to face problems to reach their offices. Groups of youths on two wheelers and cars were seen roaming in streets and main roads with saffron flags in their hands.

When SSP Khanna Mandeep Singh Sidhu was contacted, he said bandh passed of peacefully in Khanna police district.



‘Misguided’ youngsters
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 28
Worrying lines were becoming evident on the face of an elderly resident who was watching a group of youngsters zooming past on motorcycles while raising slogans of ‘Khalistan zindabad’ in Ghumar Mandi.

“The killing of innocent people and the encounter between the police and the extremists, the thought of which still send shivers down the spine,” said 50- year-old Jasibir Singh, who has witnessed the dark days of militancy.

Some residents were stuck with a feeling of deja vu. A majority of the residents fear that misguided innocent youngsters were being used by radicals for political purposes.

“A majority of the youngsters, who were raising pro-Khalistan slogans have not seen the dark days of militancy. I have seen bomb blasts. I have seen the bloodshed of loved ones. I have seen them dying before me. The very thought of those days shocks me completely. If these misguided youths would have seen those incidents then they would not have dared to raise the slogans today. I respect for what they are fighting they should not get carried away with provocative speeches,” said Jatinder Singh, who runs a cycle repairs shop near Bharat Nagar Chowk.

An officer said the onus was on the parents. They should not let their wards being used by radicals having ulterior motive.



Teachers stranded
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, March 28
Whereas life in the state came to a standstill today due to Punjab Bandh, some of the government institutions remained open. Government school teachers were stranded as they had a difficult time with no transportation available for commuting to the schools.

While some of the teachers managed to reach the school hitching rides, some failed to reach the schools altogether. Students were not much affected because the board examination, including that of Public Administration and Geography for plus two and of Punjabi and History and Culture of Punjab for class X, have been postponed.

"I had a hard time reaching the school today as there was no transport available from the village," said a teacher of a government school. He reached an hour late, he said. Although we are not having any classes because the board exams have been postponed for the day, and the new session for the other classes is to start from April onwards, I had to check the examination papers, he said. A couple of his colleagues could not come because of the same problem, he said.

Even in the post offices, the postmen who come from villages for their duties found it difficult to reach the offices. According to an official, because the registered-post articles could not be delayed, senior postmen had to go to deliver the registered articles.

Court working hit

The bandh call in support for clemency for convict Balwant Singh Rajoana in the former chief Minister Beant Singh assasination case, adversely hit the court working today.

The district courts wore a deserted look. Few litigants could reach the courts complex for attending their cases and that too from the city.

The jail authorities could not produce undertrials before the courts for hearing in their cases, as the entire police force was busy in maintaining law and order situation in the city. Hardly any police official visited courts as witness.



Thin attendance at offices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 28
Though officials were present in their respective offices, still not much public dealings could be carried out as only a few persons visited the district transport office, suvidha centres, and district town planning office due to the bandh call given by a few Sikh organisations.

The work of land registration could not be carried out at tehsildar offices located in the East, West and South. Land deals worth several crores are registered every day at these offices, but the offices of tehsildar remained closed (no deals got registered) today.

“We expect a huge rush tomorrow,” said an employee of the sub-registrar’s office.

There was a thin attendance at the mini-secretariat. A clerk at the suvidha center said a large number of people visit the centre for submitting forms of driving and renewal of other licences. But, only a few people visited the office today. “All staff was on duty, but only a few people could be seen standing in the queue. Work was done smoothly as it was relaxed working day,” the clerk added.



Good response in Jagraon, Raikot
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 28
The day-long bandh call given by various Sikh organisations in protest against the scheduled execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana, who has been convicted of former chief minister Beant Singh’s killing, threw normal life out of gear in Jagraon and the peripheral areas.

The bandh call received an overwhelming response from the public as well as shopkeepers who had kept their business establishments shut for the whole day. Besides, a majority of general public preferred to stay inside their homes.

There was total bandh in Jagraon as well as Raikot towns situated close to Rajoana, Balwant Singh’s native village. Members of various Sikh organisations marched through different areas of Jagraon, urging the shopkeepers to keep their shops closed.



Shahi Imam pleads for clemency
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 28
Shahi Imam of Punjab Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Sani Ludhianvi today made a fervent plea to President of India Pratibha Patil to remit the death sentence awarded to Balwant Singh Rajoana.

In a fax message sent to the President, he urged that not only the execution of Rajoana be stayed but in view of the sentiments of the people of Punjab, orders be issued for his immediate release from the jail.

Addressing a news conference here today, he said it was unfortunate that the Indian judicial system was based on archaic British laws, which were enacted in the pre-Independence period to let loose repression on the people in the then British colonies. Quoting Islamic law, Shahi Imam said if the kin of the slain person decide to pardon the convict, the law takes a lenient view.



Electrocution cases: No lesson learnt
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 28
Who is to blame for the incident of electric shock? It is the biggest question staring the police in the face. Is it the fault of the Electricity Department that has become thin-skinned and learnt no lesson from the past incidents?

Three persons of a camera crew had lost their lives last month after coming in contact with loosely hanging high-tension lines while covering a religious function in Dhandari Phase VII.

Today, three persons suffered electrical shock in the same area (Dhandari Pahse VII) where the above-mentioned incident had taken place last month.

Several cases of electrocution have been witnessed in the past but the authorities concerned in this industrial hub have failed to solve the problem of loosely hanging high-tension lines.

Trucks loaded with iron and steel pipes pass through the Dhandari area every day. It has been seen workers use wooden stick to push the wires in order to take their vehicles through.



MC recovers Rs 3-cr dues
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 28
Even as public dealing in the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation suffered due to the Punjab bandh, municipal officials still managed to recover Rs 3 crore as pending dues from the residents today.

The municipal officials managed to recover this whopping amount despite the fact that most of the shops, business establishments, educational institutions were closed, while many people preferred to remain indoors.

Municipal offices located in all four zones of the city remained open. Municipal Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi said all officials were present in offices throughout the day. “As we have fixed a target of recovering Rs 40 crore in March, many of the officials were as busy as bee. We have already recovered Rs 35 crore till date. We have three more working days to go,” claimed Jaggi.

In the wake of the bandh, the municipal corporation had decided not to ply its fleet of 10 buses on the Shaheed Sukhdev Interstate Bus Terminus to the Jalandhar bypass route. These buses were taken off road just as a precautionary measure. The corporation suffered a loss worth Rs 60,000 due to this.

“Usually each bus earns around Rs 6,000 per day. The loss could have been more had someone damaged these,” a senior municipal official added.



Small savings scheme
Rate hike brings cheer to small investors
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 28
The increase in the interest rates on the small savings schemes operated through post offices has brought cheer to the small investors. Under the new scheme of things, the small savings schemes would bring more interest by up to 0.5 per cent.

To be effective from April 1, 2012, the interest rate on Monthly Income Scheme (MIS) has been hiked by 0.3 percent to 8.5 per cent, while the interest rates on time deposits of one and two years have been increased to 8.2 per cent and 8.3 per cent, up by 0.5 per cent, according to the officials concerned.

Interest rate on PPF has been increased by 0.2 per cent to 8.8 per cent. Interest rate on three-year time deposit has been increased to 8.4 per cent from 8 per cent while that of five-year time deposit has been increased to 8.5 per cent from 8.3 per cent. Five-year recurring deposits will fetch an interest of 8.4 per cent as against 8 per cent at present, and the interest rate for senior citizens savings scheme (SCSS) has been hiked to 9.3 per cent from 9 per cent. The National Savings Certificates (NSC) having maturity of five and 10 years will now attract 8.6 per cent and 8.9 per cent, respectively, up 0.2 per cent each.

According to sources, there are about 7 lakh accounts under various schemes at all the post offices across the district and on an average, around 700 accounts under various schemes are opened every day in the city division alone of late.

But after the announcement of the new rates, applicable from April 1, the opening of new accounts have decreased, according to an official working with the Postal Department. "Only those interested in saving income tax are likely to invest in PPF and NSC schemes now by March 31, otherwise we are expecting new accounts to open only in the new financial year when better interest rates will be applicable," he said.

We are expecting the popularity of the savings schemes to increase even more, with better rates of interest available, an official said. "It is good that interest rates have been increased by the post offices under various schemes, as there are hardly any banks in many of the villages, so investing with post offices is much more convenient for people in rural areas," said Darshan Singh from Phullawal village.



328 students conferred degrees at GNN College
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 28
A total of 328 students were conferred degrees at Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, during its annual convocation and prize distribution function held at Dr Ishwar Singh Memorial Hall of the college today.

The chief guest of the occasion, Dr. Charanjit Singh Atwal, Speaker, Punjab Legislative Assembly, in his convocation address congratulated the degree holders. He said that knowledge is the keyword in the changing world order and it is only with hard work, humility and honesty that the youth of the day can progress. He exhorted the student community to explore their creativity to the maximum.

The chief guest said that the college is performing far better than other institutions as the staff and the students work with the zeal and vigour. He also expressed his deep love for the institution and recalled the dedication of the founder president of the college Dr Ishwar Singh. He announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh for the developmental works of the college. Apart from the chief guest, Major Harchand Singh Brar was especially honoured for his generous contribution towards the development of the college.

A total of 328 students were awarded degrees during the ceremony. Out of these 16 were of students of MA Punjabi, 24 of MCom, 26 of MA Pol Science, 13 of BA Hons, 17 of PGDCA, 25 of BCA, 17 of BBA, 51 of commerce and 127 of the humanities. Apart from this, the students who had won laurels for the institute in academic, sports and co-curricular activities were also felicitated. College colours were given to students for their commendable achievements in various fields. Gurwinder Kaur received the award of all round best student of the college. The students who secured first three positions in annual and house examinations were also honoured.

Roop Brar, president of the college managing committee, welcomed the chief guest. The vote of thanks was extended by Harpratap Brar, general secretary, college management committee. Jaswant Singh Gill, director of the college, also expressed his views on the occasion. Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu, principal of the college, distributed the degrees and read out the annual report of the college. College magazine ‘UDAR’ was also released during the evevnt.

Jogeshwar Singh Managt, senior vice president, Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill,vice president, committee members, including Adarsh Pal Bector, Pavitar Pal Pangali, Satinder Jawanda, Surjit Singh, Inderjit Kala, Roobal, Pritam Singh Jaggi, Bhupinder Oberoi and Manjit Jaggi were also present.



European students find India fascinating
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 28
Judita Svelnyte from Lithuania and Eline Bondevik from Norway, who have been in the city for the last eight months under the exchange program through Youth for Understanding (YFU), look almost like Indians in their suits and dupattas.

Having completed their class eleventh at BCM Arya Model School, they have been working with Nirdosh, an NGO for special children, for the last couple of weeks for the consummation of their stay in the country before they go back home.

The aim of the programme is to enhance cultural exchange and understanding, by allowing them to experience life as lived by the people of the country. The students come to stay for ten months, from July till May. Students in the age of 15 to 17 come and live with families that become their hosts.

In the last eight months they have developed quite a love for Ludhiana and India, and Europe seems to be alien now. "We went to a restaurant in Ghumar Mandi recently that had a very European ambiance and almost felt uncomfortable. Everything, from the menu to the music had the European touch, and we were like ‘Where are we?’," quips Judita.

They are keener to go for the street food now rather than pizzas. "I love gol gappas and spicy food," said Eline. They have also learnt different dance forms.

About their social work, they said that they were happy with the work they were doing with Nirdosh. "We are basically teaching children, although, not all of them are able to learn at the same pace," they said. Though the NGO is doing a great work for trying to bring the children in the mainstream, but they are not happy with the overall attitude of the residents towards the mentally challenged.



Inter-College meet
KCW eves runners-up
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 28
Students of the Khalsa College for Women (KCW), Civil Lines, Ludhiana, clinched the runners-up trophy in the Panjab University Inter-College Championships for the academic session 2011-12.

According to a note issued by the college here today, the players of this institute bagged as many as 111 medals, including 54 gold, 28 silver and 29 bronze, to finish at the second place.

The college teams won top honours in the baseball, softball, cricket and tae-kwon-do disciplines. Amarjeet Kaur, Raj Rani, Ruby Bala, Sandeep Kaur and Daljeet Kaur, all students of this college, represented the state in the Senior National Baseball Championship and emerged as champions.

While Sukhpreet Kaur, Veerpal Kaur, Amanjot Kaur and Daljeet Kaur helped their college come out triumphant in softball competitions and Azadvir Kaur proved her mettle in the All-India Inter-Varsity Tae-kwon-do Tournament.

The players who excelled in their respective sections were honoured at the prize-distribution function held on the Panjab University campus, Chandigarh, yesterday.

Prithipal Singh Grewal and Dr SS Grewal, president and vice-president, respectively, of the college management committee along with the principal, Dr Varinder Kaur Thind, appreciated the girls for their outstanding achievements and congratulated the staff of the college sports department.



City student brings laurels
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 28
Dr Prabhjot Kaur Sekhon, an ex-student of Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana, who got admission in Bangalore Medical college and Research Institute (BMCRI) in 2006 from all India medical list, has brought laurels to her college.

She was declared the best outgoing student and was the only student who secured overall distinction throughout MBBS in the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore, Karnataka.

Being the topper in medicine, microbiology, pediatrics and pathology, she won four gold medals. She was also awarded two gold medals for being the batch topper in her second and final year.



From schools & colleges

Students excel

The students of Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women have once again excelled with 100% result in the Punjab University examination of MA Hindi, first semester held in December 2011. As many as 13 students got the first division while 11 students got the second division. Gurpreet kaur stood first in the college and fourth in district with 71.70% while Seema stood second with 68% marks. Ena was third with 66% marks.

College principal Dr Parveen Kuar Chawla congratulated the students for their performance. She also congratulated Indermohan Kaur, head of Hindi department, and other teachers including Dr Kuldeep Singh, Tejinder Taur. College prersident Swaran Singh also congratulated everyone.

Play staged

Artists of Azad Rangmanch, Chakk Des Raj, in collaboration with Punjabi Sahit Academy staged a play at the GMT College of Education. It was based on the poem “Maye ni ik loeri de de” written by Gurbhajan Gill, president, Punjabi Sahit Academy. The play was staged under the direction of Gammanu Bansal and Beeba Kulwant.

Convener of the programme Gurcharam Kaur Kochar told the audience about the history of World Theatre Day. Famous poet Sardar Panchhi said that such efforts should be undertaken by all colleges. A choreography on the theme "Jang aj vi jaari hai" and “Mangati" was also performed. College principal Shikha Soni thanked all the members and writers of Punjabi Sahit Academy.

Children dance during the annual function of St Xavier Playway School
Children dance during the annual function of St Xavier Playway School. A Tribune photograph

Annual function

Annual function of St Xavier Playway School, Civil Lines, was held today in the school. The theme of the function ‘Save Animals, Save Nature’, was depicted through dances, plays and story dramatisation.

A group dance ‘Jungle Fever’ was also organised. 35 children participated in the fancy dress competition. — TNS



Stress laid on independent bank audits
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 28
A seminar on bank branch audit was organised by the Ludhiana Branch of the NIRC of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India at the ICAI Bhawan. Field General Manager, Punjab National Bank, Punjab, SS Bhatia, who is from Ludhiana, was the chief guest.

Ajay Jain gave a talk on the topic of long forum audit report (LFAR) and other issues with regard to bank branch audit. He said: “Auditors are eyes and ears of banks. Regulators have put responsibility on branch statutory auditors to provide information on issues given in LFAR. Particularly, after migration of banking on computers, proper control on processes has become very important. LFAR is a vital tool available to auditors through which they can comment on balance sheet, process lapses and other issues relating to branch statutory audit. ”.

Independent audit of the financial statements of banks plays a crucial role in lending credibility to their financial reporting. Bank audits, therefore, are important assignments undertaken by Chartered Accountants (CAs).



Eye bank offers corneal transplant
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 28
Dr Ramesh, Medical Director of Punarjot Eye Bank Society, said that they do not have any waiting list for patients of corneal transplant and appealed to all the NGOs, social organisations and health institutions to come forward for this noble cause and get the benefit of free corneal transplant of patients of their areas from the eye bank.

Punarjot Eye Bank, which started functioning about 20 years ago, has by now transplanted eyes of more than 4000 people. Dr Ramesh said, "We not only transplant cornea, but also provide supplies to all the Government Medical Colleges and Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana. We can keep the donated cornea safe for five days and when we have no needy patient for transplant with us, we supply it to government hospitals or DMCH. I always make a request to all these hospitals to transplant cornea free of cost. We also transplant it free of cost. I appeal to the public in general to come forward for eye donation as well as for free transplant. Anyone interested can contact us on the number 98143- 31433."

He said that the institution is helping in creating awareness among the masses for eye donation and more and more people are coming forward to become a part of this movement.



Sandeep Ludhiana CII chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 28
Sandeep Riat and Rahul Ahuja have been chosen chairperson and vice-chairperson, respectively, of the CII Ludhiana Zonal Council for 2012-13. Riat took over chairmanship from Amit Jain who had headed the CII Ludhiana Chapter for 2011-12.

Sandeep Riat, Managing Director, Akal Spring Limited, is the only woman heading an auto component ancillary unit in the region. After completing her graduation in Business Administration from Amity Business School, she joined her family business at the time when it was going through a crisis. With her leadership skills, she was able to transform an ailing unit into a profit-making company.

Rahul Ahuja, Managing Director, Rajnish Industries Pvt. Limited, holds a degree in engineering and heads all the export and production-related projects for his company.



Jewellers to go on indefinite fast
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 28
Jewellers from across the state will go on an indefinite fast against excise duty imposed on jewellery. Jewellers have been protesting since the announcement of the budget and asking for the roll back of new excise duty.

Surinder Dhir, president of the Swarankar Sangh, said a meeting was held today and they had decided to go on an indefinite fast till new excise duties are rolled back. "Jewellers from the entire state will go on a hunger strike from tomorrow.

We will protest near the Clock Tower and begin our hunger strike from tomorrow," the president of the Swarankar Sangh said.



Abducted student found
Three booked; was abducted from school during exam
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, March 28
The Ludhiana (rural) police has solved the mystery behind the abduction of a Class XII student from a school at Hehran village near Raikot. The boy, identified as Jagtar Singh (17) from a village near Ferozepur, has been found and three persons booked in this regard. All the accused have been, however, absconding so far.

The youth was traced on the basis of information given by Gurdeep Singh, elder brother of Jagtar Singh, who was present outside the school when his brother was abducted. Gurdeep had identified one of the youths.

A manhunt was launched and the boy found from Pipliwala village in the Ferozepur district. Jagtar told the police that his abductors had dumped him late last night on the roadside.

SSP Ludhiana (rural) Amar Singh Chahal said Kamaljit Singh and Talwinder Singh, both residents of Rajoana Kalan village and Gurpinder Singh of Rajoana Khurd and a few unidentified persons had been booked in this regard.

“A case has been registered at the Sudhar police station under Sections 364, 323, 148 of the IPC and the Arms Act against these youths,” the SSP added.

Jagtar Singh was abducted at gunpoint by a few unidentified persons from an examination center in Dashmesh Khalsa School at Hehran village near Raikot. The abductors had even beaten him up and a security guard of the school when he tried to intervene. Later on they pushed Jagtar into a car and escaped.



30-year-old commits suicide

Ludhiana, March 28
A 30-year-old man allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at a rented apartment in Model Gram here today. The incident came to light this evening when the owner of the house saw the body of the deceased Sunil Kumar hanging from a ceiling fan.

The police says Sunil was working as a cook in a leading hotel located on the Ferozepur road.

During the investigation, it was revealed that he had a fight with his wife and was upset. After the quarrel he left his wife at her paternal house and came back to his apartment where he reportedly committed suicide. The police has send the body for postmortem. — TNS



TT player’s death mourned
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 28
The tragic death of Avneet Kaur, a student of MSc Microbiology at the PAU, Ludhiana, and upcoming table tennis player, was mourned at a meeting held on the university campus here today. Avneet (23) died in a road accident near the PAU on Monday.

Nearly, 100 sports persons attended the meeting. They recalled Avneet’s achievements and prayed for peace of the departed soul.

The meeting was chaired by Dr Devinder Singh Cheema, Director Students Welfare and Dean, College of Agriculture, PAU.

"Avneet led the PAU table tennis team in the All-India Inter-Agricutural Universities Games held last year at Trichur in Kerala and again early this year at Akola in Maharashtra. She gave a stupendous performance in these events to bag gold medals. She was also four-time champion of the North Zone Inter-Varsity Table Tennis Tournaments," said Dr Cheema.

Jagjiwan Kaur, Deputy Director, Sports, PAU, besides Kamaljeet Kaur and Manjeet Singh, both Assistant Directors, Physical Education Department, PAU, and Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, respectively, and coaches Harjinder Singh (b’ball), Jaspal Singh (TT), Inderjeet Singh (handball) and Charanjeet Singh (badminton) were among those who attended the condolence meeting.



Varinder elected PUSC chief
Our Sports Reporter

Varinder KaurLudhiana, March 28
Dr Varinder Kaur Thind, Principal of the Khalsa College for Women, Civil Lines, Ludhiana, has been elected president of the Panjab University Sports Committee (PUSC). Dr Thind was elected to this post at a meeting of the committee held at Panjab University, Chandigarh, on Tuesday.

She has been associated with the PUSC for quite a long time and has also been its senior vice-president since 2005-2006.

The PUSC elects 18 members every year from four zones namely Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Moga and Hoshiarpur. The executive members include six men principals, six women principals, three men lecturers and three women lecturers in physical education.



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