L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC goes overboard to please govt
15 tankers sent to Chappar Chiri while city faces water shortage
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation went overboard to provide “support” to the SAD-BJP-led state government, which organised the oath-taking function of the Chief Parliamentary Secretaries at Chappar Chiri today.

A total of 15 tractors and 15 water tankers, besides three fire tenders, were pressed into service during the government function at Chappar Chiri. The local councillors have resented that while there was a shortage of potable water in many parts of the city, the MC had sent all the water tankers, which were in working condition, to the venue of the function.

A senior MC official said 15 tractors and as many water tankers were sent to Chappar Chiri yesterday. “These were the only water tankers that are in a working condition in the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and all of them were sent to Chappar Chiri yesterday. Not only this, but also three fire tenders have been sent there. We know that the residents will suffer but what can we say when the senior officials issue such orders?,” said the official.

Rakesh Pandey, Congress MLA from the Ludhiana North constituency, said as the summer season has started, there is a shortage of potable water in the city. “Instead of finding a solution to it, the state government pressed into service all 15 water tankers along with 15 tractors for the oath-taking function of the Chief Parliamentary Secretaries at Chappar Chiri today. It’s a sad state of affairs because it clearly reflects that the state government doesn’t seem bothered about the residents of the city,” said Pandey.

A Congress councillor, Parminder Mehta, also voiced similar concerns. “During the recently held Vidhan Sabha elections, the SAD-BJP combine has been able to win only one seat of Ludhiana East from the city. So maybe that is why, the present government is not bothered about the welfare of the residents of the city. This morning, I had received several complaints from residents of the old city area regarding potable drinking water. But when I contacted the MC officials for sending water tankers to the old city area, I was told that none of them were available. This clearly shows the inhuman face of the SAD-BJP government,” alleged Parminder Mehta.

An official of the Fire Brigade told The Tribune that out of a total of around 12 fire tenders, which were in a proper working condition, three had been sent to Chappar Chiri. “Out of 70-odd personnel in our department, 12 have been accompanying those fire tenders since yesterday. God forbids, if there is any major fire incident in the city, we would be short of three fire tenders during any emergency,” claimed the official.

Fire concerns condoned

Out of 70-odd personnel in our department, 12 have been accompanying those fire tenders since yesterday. God forbids, if there is any major fire incident in the city, we would be short of three fire tenders during any emergency.— An official of Fire Brigade


Police learns its lesson
More CCTV cameras to be installed in city, old ones to be repaired
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
After having a bitter experience in the double murder case, the city police has decided to create a web of close circuit television (CCTV) cameras across the city.

The city police virtually ran from pillar to post to find CCTV footage of the DSP and Monica's killers, who fled with the victims' cars.

According to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), seven CCTV cameras have been installed on the outer ring road in the first phase and gradually more cameras would be installed in the interior parts of the city.

The DCP said, the eight high-range CCTV cameras, which were installed at the Bharat Nagar chowk to keep a tab on criminals and violators of traffic rules, would be repaired soon.

The project was the brainchild of Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh. It was during his previous term as CP, Ludhiana, that the project of covering the city with CCTV cameras was initiated. But, soon after he was transferred as IG, Jalandhar range, the project came to a halt.

Besides, state-of-the-art high resolution cameras, a speed-dome camera had also been installed in the middle of the chowk to monitor the movement of commuters.

But these expensive cameras have been defunct for nearly a year.

The speed-dome camera can read the number plate of a vehicle from a distance of 500m. These cameras were connected directly with the police control room (PCR) to check visuals.

These night-vision cameras were equipped with infrared mode, enabling the police to monitor traffic movement even in low visibility conditions. These cameras can record footage up to 15 days continuously. Navreet Singh Roobal, a social activist, has welcomed the move of the police. He said he had sent several memorandums to the police as well as to the administration regarding the installation of CCTV cameras. 



Dakha’s poll spending highest
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
Malkiat Singh Dakha, who fought the Assembly elections on Congress ticket from the Gill constituency has presented details of whopping election expenses to the tune of Rs 14,69,275 to the Election Office here followed by Simarjit Singh Bains, an Independent candidate from the Atam Nagar constituency. Bains has submitted the details of expenses to the tune of Rs 13,24,001 to the observers while Hira Singh Gabria is at number three with Rs 12,01,756 as expenses.

The main candidates from all the 14 constituencies have submitted the details of their expenses to the Election Office, the last date for which was April 9. According to the information, the Election Office is compiling the lists of expenditure which will be submitted to the Expenditure Observers by tomorrow. The five Expenditure Observers (senior IRS officers), Akhilendra Pratap Singh, AK Khandelwal, Sandeep Chauhan, Ajay Kumar and Anupam Kant Garg, will go through all the expenditure details and submit the list to the Election Commission. 



PU BCom-II paper postponed due to ‘leak’ ...
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, April 10
The paper of Corporate Accounting (Paper II) of BCom second year of Panjab University has been postponed to May 3. While the exam was to be conducted in the evening session today, the information was given to the centres a few hours ago.

This lead to commotion not only among the college staff but also examinees who had either already arrived at various centres or were on their way. “Since the time the annual examinations started, the rumours of one or the other paper getting leaked have been heard every now and then. But all seemed to be a joke till today we actually heard that the paper of Corporate Accounting for BCom II has been postponed and again question paper leak was said to be the reason for postponement,” said one of the students of BCom II, who had come to take the exam.

“The so-called leaked papers were allegedly sold between Rs 1,000 and 30,000. An atmosphere of unrest had prevailed since that time. Although I didn’t wanted to be a part of it but the urge to have a look at the paper, which was said to have been leaked, became so strong that I also procured one, and believing my friends began to prepare for the questions contained in the paper,” said a student of BA Part -I.

Prof Jaipal Singh, general secretary of the Punjab Government Teachers Association, said: “If this is so, then it is a matter of serious concern. This needs to be probed thoroughly as this is a question mark over the credibility of the whole university. If the reason is established, the culprit should be definitely brought to book”.

Dr Kuldip Singh, Fellow, Panjab University, said the issue of paper leak, if there is any, needs to be established first. “It has been years together that such a thing ever happened with Panjab University and if it is so then it is a serious issue. Moreover, harassment for the students, especially of those who had to return today, is too much. Their zeal in appearing for the exam, preparation and their future readiness might have suffer a setback,” he added.

Harpreet Dua, Senator, Panjab University, said if the paper had to be postponed due to leak, then it is surely a question mark over the way the examination branch is functioning. “Once the reasons are ascertained, the university should tighten the system and after gathering enough proof remove all such people, who are bent upon tarnishing the image of the university by indulging in such mean affairs,” the Senator said.

Controller of Examinations of Panjab University (Chandigarh) AK Bhandari said the paper had been postponed to May 3. Asked if the reason of postponement is paper leak he said, “It is yet to be confirmed. The paper has been postponed as a precautionary step.”

Jaswant Shetra adds from Jagraon: haos and confusion reigned supreme among students at Jagraon when the paper of Corporate Accounting (Paper II) of BCom second year of Panjab University was postponed only a few hours before the beginning of the examination.

A large number of students, who had come to appear for this exam at a local college, today were highly disappointed when they came to know that the paper had been postponed to May 3. In fact, the paper, which was originally scheduled to be conducted in the evening session, was postponed reportedly due to reports of paper leak.

“I was fully prepared for the paper and started a bit early from my village so that I could reach in time. It was like a shock for me when I came to know about the paper being postponed. Initially, I could not believe it but when I reached the examination centre, I was highly disappointed to learn about the postponement of the paper,” said Lakhvir Singh, a student from Bhamipura village, who had arrived at a local college to appear for the examination.

Another student said, “The rumours of one or the other paper getting leaked have been doing the rounds since the very beginning of our annual examinations. It all seemed a bit bizarre till today when I actually heard that the paper of Corporate Accounting has been postponed due to the leak of the question paper,” he said. 



Students left in a quandary
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
The students of BCom (second year) were in for an unpleasant surprise today when they turned up for the Corporate Accounting exam. The exam has been postponed to May 3, which is in clash with the Group I Accountancy paper of the Integrated Professional Competency Cource (IPCC) exam for Charted Accountancy on May 3.

Many students who were in a quandary about which exam to miss. "So many second year students were expected to take the CA exam on May 3 after completion of BCom exams. So, we would now either have to give a miss to the CA exam and lose six months or miss the BCom exam and take it as a compartment exam," said Abhishek Goyal, a student of Government College.

"I have been working so hard for the exam and can't afford to miss the CA exam, but taking the BCom exam is equally important," said Prateek Goyal, a student of Arya College.

There were six holidays before the exam and we were fully prepared to take the exam, but I was disappointed to know it's been cancelled," said Sachin Bhandari, who studies at SCD Government College. Sachin Khurana, his batch mate, said with the postponement of the exam to May 3, there would be a gap of only one day from the previous exam scheduled for May 1.

Another student of Khalsa College said she had already got the flight booked for going out of town a day after the exam, but she would have to change all the programme.

Most of the students are disappointed because reason for the cancellation of the exam has not been disclosed to them. "It was simply written that the exam has been cancelled and it would now be held on May 3. We expect the university to cite a reason or clarify at least, as such decisions can have a bearing on the future of students," said another student.

"The four exams of the Group I stage of the IPCC will begin from May 3 and end on May 9. Some other date should be fixed for the BCom exam so that it doesn't coincide with the CA exams," he demanded. 



Counter to deal with domestic violence
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
In a major respite to women residents of the city, who were running from pillar to post in pursuit of justice, a special counter has been made in the suvidha centres, which would deal with the complaint of domestic violence.

The move was taken following the directions of Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh. It was observed that several cases of domestic violence go unreported in the city.

The women cell set up to investigate the cases of violence against women has remained overworked.

The Commissioner of Police has stated in a communiqué that the measures have been taken to ease the pressure from the shoulder of the women cell.

The victim could file their complaint at their counters and investigation into their complaint would be conducted in a time-bound manner. If the suvidha centre authorities fail to take any action, then the complainant could approach the Commissioner’s office. 



Excise raid at railway station
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
Sales tax officials and railway authorities are once again at loggerheads. The sales tax wing of the excise and taxation department conducted a raid at the railway station today and found nearly 300-400 parcels that were coming to the city without legal documents. The railway authorities, however, did not allow them to pick these parcels from the station for further investigations.

Tejbir Singh Sidhu, AETC, mobile wing, said, "After today's raid we marked out nearly 300-400 parcels that were without bill. Since the counting of the parcels has not been done, I cannot comment upon their exact number. The actual number can be known only after we get the possession of these parcels from the railway authorities. But as usual they are not allowing us to take away these parcels."

He further added that they have written to the railway authorities, but have not been granted the permission to seize the parcels. “How will we carry out our investigations if we are not allowed to pick the consignments?" he said.

The department officials have been regularly contacting the railway authorities but to no avail. Now they will be approaching their senior officials to intervene and help them in seizing the parcels for investigations.

Giving information about the special drive launched by the department, Tejbir said, "The department has tightened the noose around those who are sending and receiving consignments without bills. A special check post has also been set up outside the station," he said.

When contacted, Amarjeet Singh, parcel superintendent at the Ludhiana railway station, said, “The excise and taxation department today conducted a raid and wanted to take away some parcels. But we cannot allow them to take away anything from our premises without the permission of the regional divisional manager and we have already written to him. "Since he has not granted the permission till now, we cannot allow them to pick the parcels. As soon as the permission is granted, they can pick the required consignments," he said.



Doctors perform rare triple vascular bypass surgery
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 10
Had it not been been for a team of vascular surgeons headed by Dr Gaurav Singal at the SPS Apollo Hospitals who performed a challenging and rare multi-vascular surgery well in time, 68-year-old Tarsem Lal Gulati, a resident of Moga town in Punjab, would have lost either of his limbs and could even have had a paralytic stroke.

The patient, a chain smoker for the last 40 years, was brought to the hospital with severe pain in his left hand and right leg. He also suffered from an unexplained dizziness while walking.

Giving details in a news conference here today, Dr Singal said that upon examination and subsequent investigations, severe blockage of blood vessels in the brain, arm and legs, causing his right foot and left hand to be cold, were detected. "This meant that the blood supply to these organs was very poor and the patient could have lost his limbs or have had paralysis if this surgery was not performed to increase the blood supply."

He said this particular case was very challenging as it is very uncommon to come across patients with such extensive peripheral vascular disease. Generally in such cases, surgery to increase blood supply is done for one organ at a time. In this case, it would have meant three complex surgical procedures.

"After detailed discussions, it was concluded that this particular patient was not a good case for stenting and therefore surgery was the only option. Bypasses to the arteries of the brain, the left hand and the right limb were all performed simultaneously. The patient is doing fine now and is getting back to his normal life," Dr Singal said.



Jindu’s release sparks row
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
The release of president of the Sikh Welfare Council Baljinder Singh Jindu on "medical grounds" has snowballed into a controversy as state president of the SAD (Delhi) Jaswinder Singh Baliewal’s son complained of preferential treatment by the police.

The move took place after Sikh radicals, including Gurdeep Singh Gosha, Jaswinder Singh Baliewal, Jasdeep Singh Kaunke and Shiromani Akali Dal Panch Pardhani chief and pro-Khalistan activist Daljit Singh Bittu, who were arrested on March 28, were further sent on police remand till April 19.

Pritpal Singh, Baliewal’s son, while strongly condemning Jindu’s release, said, "It is a clear case of political vendetta. While Jindu, who is former jail minister Hira Singh Gabria’s confidant, has been released on medical grounds, my father and several other leaders have been incarcerated in the central jail for no fault. I had met with the commissioner of police and complained to him about the preferential treatment given to Jindu."

He further added that even the hearing of the case was being conducted through video conferencing, while hardened criminals with multiple murder cases were being made to appear before the court.

Jindu was taken to the Civil Hospital after his condition deteriorated in the jail. The Sikh leader had gone on a fast against smoking of cigarettes in jail.

Jindu's detractors alleged that the Sikh leader had played a cheap tactic for his early release from the jail. Gosha, Baliewal, Kaunke and Bittu were booked on March 28 under sections 107 and 151 of the CrPC for planning to breach peace and harmony.

There were complaints that that they had delivered provocative speeches during the state-wide bandh against the proposed execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana, who has been convicted of former Chief Minister Beant Singh’s assassination.

The police was also treading cautiously on the issue and not letting them venture in the public. The six leaders were produced before Sukhdev Singh, additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP- Headquarters), through video conferencing twice on April 2 and 9.

Sources said ther were inputs that the supporters of these leaders were planning to stage a protest outside the venue where the latter were to be produced for hearing. None of the leaders has hired a lawyer to fight the case and they have not applied for a bail bond.



Security guards turn thieves, arrested with 2 others
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
Four persons, including two security guards of a private security agency, were nabbed by alert employees of a factory at the Focal Point here last night.

The suspects have been identified as Makhan Singh and Sukhdev Singh and were nabbed from a level crossing near Gyaspura Chowk, along with a pick-up truck full of stolen scrap material. Two scrap traders who had struck a deal with the duo were also nabbed.

Makhan Singh and Sukhdev Singh are employees of the G4S Security Solutions.

According to Ashok Garcha, former chairman of Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) and owner of Safe Engineering, said there had been complaints of theft in the factory.

“So we decided to nab the thieves red-handed. At around 10 pm last night, we received the information that thieves have stolen the scrap material and fled in the pick-up truck. But they could not flee the scene as level crossing was closed,” said Ashok Garcha.

He further added that his company was paying nearly Rs 1.75 lakh to the security agency on the monthly basis, but he was shocked to find out that the security guards provided by the company turned out to be thieves.

Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Tersem Singh said four persons had been detained and probe had been marked in the case.

Sanjiv Kumar, local coordinator of the security agency, said: “We are into the business of providing manpower. Before hiring any employee, we conduct proper scrutiny of the person. We check the past record with the police to find whether the person is having any criminal record or not. Further, we also take clearance from the Gram Panchayat. Still if someone indulge in such activities, then what we can do. However, we are cooperating with the police in the investigation.” It is learnt that Makhan and Sukhdev had struck the deal at Rs 20,000 and the scrap dealers had paid them Rs 10,000 in advance.



State-level function in city on April 14
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
After a gap of over five years, a state-level function is being organised in Ludhiana district on April 14. The Bhartiya Valmiki Dharam Samaj (BVDS) in association with the district administration will hold the first state-level function (after the SAD-BJP took over for the second term) here in the city to celebrate the 121st birth anniversary of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar at the Guru Nanak Bhawan Stadium.

Cabinet ministers, chief parliamentary secretaries and other important dignitaries have agreed to be present at the function organised in the district.

Vijay Danav, national president BVDS, said everyone, connected with the mission, wanted to hold the state-level function in their respective districts. “But we wanted to hold this important function in Ludhiana, which is an important city in Punjab. I along with other members of BVDS met the Chief Minister about 20 days back and requested them to grace the occasion to pay tributes to the great leader. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal agreed to it, though many others were trying hard to hold such state-level function in their districts,” said Danav.

He added that about 5,000 persons, including cabinet ministers, chief parliamentary secretaries, members of BVDS, etc, were expected to attend the important function. “We are going to honour persons who have done PhD on Baba Ambedkar’s life and mission,” said Vijay Danav.

Bhawan in miserable condition

The Vishwa Guru Ravidass Mission said Dr Ambedkar Bhawan in the city was in a miserable condition. The mission leaders said if its condition was not improved by April 14 by the administration or other authorities concerned, then the mission will stage a protest at the mini-secretariat on April 14, the day when birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar will be celebrated at the Guru Nanak Bhawan. Mission president Shiv Ram Saroye said a meeting would be convened on this issue tomorrow, as Dr Ambedkar Bhawan was constructed in the city after so much of struggle. “We used to organise seminars and other functions but the authorities have set up their own offices in the bhawan. We want it to be vacated and only Dalits should use it for organising functions,” said Saroye.



Stray dog menace unchecked

Khamano, April 10
The menace of stray dogs continued in Khamano area, as a group of stray dogs attacked animals of villagers and killed a goat and injured certain calves. The incident happened at Maneli village near here when stray dogs attacked and killed a goat.

The worried villagers, including Balwinder Singh, Mohan Singh and Kuldip Singh, said they tie their animals in the outer yard of their houses and the stray dogs attacked and injured several of them. The villagers had to face tough times while shooing away the stray dogs with sticks. The cases of dog bites had already been reported in the area and one person was killed by the stray dogs in the area. Village sarpanch Mahinder Singh has demanded immediate solution to the problem. — OC



‘Declare holidays under NI Act’ 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
The Indian National Bank Employees’ leaders have appealed to the Punjab government to notify all state government’s gazetted holidays under the Negotiable Instruments Act (NI Act), so that all holidays are celebrated by employees of banks, LIC companies and financial institutions also.

Presently, the state government has been discriminating against the banks, LIC, insurance employees in Punjab, as Mahavir Jayanti, Good Friday, Baisakhi, Shaheedi Day of Bhagat Singh, International Women Day, International Labour Day and Mahashivratri have not been notified under the NI Act. Dr Shiv Gupta, deputy general secretary of INBEC, said, “The state government employees have been declared more than 30 such gazetted holidays, whereas only 16 holidays have been notified under the NI Act, discriminating the banks, LIC and insurance employees.”



Demolition at four illegal colonies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
Continuing its relentless drive against unauthorised colonies, a team of the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) yesterday demolished internal development projects in five such colonies at Thakarwal and Dhandra villages.

Additional Chief Administrator (ACA) of GLADA Jaswant Singh said these five colonies were being developed between 30 and 35 acres. “The GLADA team dug up roads, pulled down electric poles, uprooted sewerage and water supply lines with help of police personnel.”

GLADA has taken a tough stand against mushrooming of unauthorised colonies under the directions of its Chief Administrator KS Pannu. “Action against unauthorised colonies for which one month notice was issued under Section 87-1, has been started and it will continue till the colonies are completely razed,” he said.

“GLADA is fully determined to take action against such colonies so that its unauthorised mushrooming could be stopped,” he added.



Traders give Wagah-Attari route a thumbs down 
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
Although it was believed that trade between India and Pakistan through the Wagah-Attari border will prove beneficial, Ludhiana’s industry has given it a thumbs down. Traders say that it might not prove beneficial as Pakistan has notified its negative list for the country which allows the import of only 137 items through the Wagah-Attari route instead of the 2000 odd items mentioned earlier.

Traders claimed that out of the 137 items, most are already exported through the Wagah border. The items include livestock, carcasses, meat, vegetables, pineapple, pepper, newsprint, cement and yarn.

Most of the items that are manufactured in Punjab, especially Ludhiana, have been included in the negative list by the Pakistan government and hence they cannot be exported to Pakistan through the Wagah-Attari land route. There are 1209 items included in the negative list by Pakistan. Items like textiles, bicycle, bicycle parts, sports goods, auto parts , which are produced in Ludhiana industries, are included in the negative list.

Badish Jindal, president of Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association, said they would urge the Indian and Pakistani governments to allow the maximum number of products for export to the neighbouring country through the Attari-Wagah land route.

The items which are manufactured in Ludhiana are included in the negative list and things allowed through the Wagah-Attari route are of no use for the local industry, he added.

Pakistan has last month notified its negative list for India, which means that barring 1209 items India can now export all products to the neighbouring country. However, it had allowed the import of only 137 items through the Wagah route.

Another industrialist, Vinay Kansal said that they would also take up this issue with the authorities to boost trade from the land route. The Attari-Wagah land route is a prominent import-export route between Pakistan and India. Traders of both the countries use land and rail routes for carrying out bilateral trade.

India currently exports vegetables, frozen meat, soybean extraction, cotton yarn among other items, valuing abut Rs 1500 crore per annum, through the Attari-Wagah route.

Vinod Uppal, a trader, said that it is shocking to know that only 137 items are allowed to be exported via Wagah. He said that like rail and sea routes all items should be allowed to be exported through Wagah. 

Cross-border trade

India and Pakistan had agreed to start cross-border movement of trucks in October 2007, after a gap of 60 years, from the Attari check post at Amritsar in India to the Wagah border in Pakistan, with the intention of boosting bilateral trade. An integrated check post has been set up at the Indo-Pak border near Attari in Amritsar at an estimated cost of Rs 150 crore. It boasts of a new gate for cargo and passengers movement to facilitate bilateral trade between the two nations and will be inaugurated by Home Minister Chidambaram on April 13.



Veteran leader Lyallpuri turns 95
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, April 10
Noted freedom fighter and socialist Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri turned 95 today.

Talking about the present day state of affairs, Lyallpuri asserts, “At this critical juncture, when corruption and nepotism are at their peak, all like-minded parties and individuals need to form a common platform to fight the problems.

In his book ‘My Life My Times- Journey of A Revolutionary’, Lylllpuri says, “An era of socialist revolutions is already being envisioned as it can alone rescue the humanity from the devastating effects of unemployment and poverty. ”

Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri’s political activity spans over a period of 70 years. After graduating in law from the Government College Lahore in 1940 he was co-opted as a member of the central committee of the Kirti Communist Party and abandoned the idea of pursuing his career as a lawyer.

It was during this period of severe repression that Lyallpuri was entrusted with the task of carrying on an open legal functioning of the Punjab Kisan Sabha. “I was drawn directly from my college to this responsible position. I had no experience of managing a mass organisation, nor had any experience of the illegal underground functioning of mass movements and organisations. Still my mind was all made up. Taking inspiration from the Gadar party, I plunged head on into the struggle, ” said the veteran leader.

In 1961, Lyallpuri became the general secretary of the All India Kisan Sabha. He became a member of the 25 member central executive committee of the CPI in 1964 as well as the general secretary of the United All India Kisan Sabha.



SGPC to open 10 colleges, 11 schools
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, April 10
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) shall open 10 new colleges and 11 schools shortly. This decision was taken at a meeting of the executive committee of the SGPC organised under the presidentship of Avtar Singh Makkar at the Gurdwara Katana Sahib today.

Committee members, including Rajinder Singh Mehta, Dyal Singh Kilianwali, Nirmal Singh Jora, Karnail Singh Panjoli, Gurbachan Singh Karmowal, Mangal Singh, Rampal Singh Baliewal, Mohan Singh Banga, Bhajan Singh Shergill and Surjit Singh Garhi were among those who attended the meeting.

A total of 350 items of Section 85 and 124 items of Section 87 were discussed at the meeting.

Further, a nursing college will be opened in memory of Shaheed Kehar Singh and his nine-year-old son Darbara Singh at their native village, Jarg. At Amritsar, Shri Guru Nanak Girls Senior Secondary School shall be shifted on the outskirts and an inn shall be constructed for travellers at its place.

Also, Dr Saroop Singh Alag, chairman, Alag Shabad Yog International Charitable Trust, Ludhiana, and Runner Fauja Singh shall be honoured for their services rendered to the Sikh community at the international level.



Man commits suicide
Wife, father-in-law and two brothers-in-law booked
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 10
A middle-aged man allegedly ended his life by consuming some poisonous substance at his house today morning fearing the police action after registration of a dowry case against him. The deceased has been identified as Prem Kumar, a resident of Ajit Nagar on Raikot Road, Jagraon. After the death of Prem Kumar, the local police has registered a case of abetting to suicide against four persons including his wife, father-in-law and two brother-in-laws and started the investigation.

The case was registered on the statement of the brother of deceased, Kulwant Singh, in which he held Neelam and her family members responsible for the death of his brother. As per the information, Prem Kumar was married to Neelam of Panipat (Haryana) around 14 years ago. Prem's wife, Neelam, left him following a minor argument between them some days ago.

"She took both the children along with her and started living with her parents at Panipat. Though Prem requested his wife not to take the children along but she did not agree and left him," stated Kulwant Singh in his complaint to the police. Kulwant Singh added that Neelam and her family members also registered a false case of dowry against Prem at Panipat last week following which a police team from Panipat had arrived at Prem’s house, yesterday, and asked him to appear before the police next day. This made Prem more apprehensive about the police action and to avoid this, he consumed some poisonous substance today morning. When his situation started deteriorating after sometime, he was admitted to a local hospital but it was too late and he died.

The police handed over the body of the victim to his relatives after conducting a post mortem examination at the Civil Hospital, Jagraon. Confirming the development, the SHO, Jagraon city police station, Surinder Singh, stated that the police has booked four persons and has started the investigation. The police is conducting raids to nab the accused, added Surinder Singh and none of the accused has been arrested so far.



Blind murder solved, two arrested
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna, April 10
The Khanna police has claimed to solve a blind murder case of a retired junior engineer (JE) Nachhattar Singh and arrested two persons in this regard. Stating about it, the SSP Khanna, Mandeep Singh Sidhu, gave information in a press conference that JE Nachhatar Singh had been missing from his home Badrukhan village since September 22, 2009. Later, on September 25, 2009 his body was recovered from canal near Mahpur village.

During investigation, the police named two persons identified as Baldev Krishan and Kuldip Singh, who were absconding.

On April 7, a police party arrested both the accused who were found guilty. The police also recovered an iron rod used in the murder, a motorcycle, a gold ring and a god bangle of the deceased from their possession.

The accused revealed that they had called Nachhatar on the pretext of arranging his meeting with a woman and offered him a cup of tea laced with sedatives after which he fell unconscious. The accused then killed him with an iron rod and extracted gold ornaments and later they threw his body in the canal.



Restaurant raided for serving liquor without licence
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 10
A police team from Jagraon city police station conducted a raid at a restaurant-cum-bar situated at the Tehsil road, Jagraon, last night.

The entire restaurant was searched and a large number of liquor bottles was recovered during the raid. The police also rounded up the owner of the restaurant for serving liquor without a license. A large number of youngsters from reputed families of Jagraon, who were found drinking at the restaurant at the time of the police raid, were allowed to leave after a warning.

According to sources, the raid was conducted following a complaint by a liquor store owner in which he had alleged that the said restaurant was serving liquor without permission.

Though no case was registered in this regard till the filing of this report, sub-inspector Hari Mittar, who led the raiding police team, stated that the raid was conducted on the complaint of a liquor store owner.

“The restaurant owner claims of having a license required for serving liquor in the restaurant and we have asked him to produce the license before us. We are investigating into the matter and necessary action will be taken against the restaurant owner if he fails to produce the license,” said Hari Mittar. 



Two sandalwood smugglers held
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
Sandalwood worth crores of rupees was today seized from the Ludhiana dry port today. The anti-smuggling wing of the customs department arrested two sandalwood smugglers at the dry port.

While one person is unidentified, other has been identified as Satbir Singh Bagga of Giaspura. Sandalwood is known to be rare and red sandalwood is the rarest. It is actually more valuable than gold. Despite notorious sandalwood smuggler Veerappan not being around, red sandalwood is on the verge of extinction.

On a tip off, the department caught the smugglers red-handed, who had covered the container containing sandalwood with a cloth, which looked like a rag. Confirming this, Nitin Saini, Joint Commissioner, customs, Ludhiana, said, “Sandalwood from the dry port has been recovered by the anti-smuggling wing.”

Customs department officials, however, did not divulge any further details into the matter.



Woman set on fire, mother-in-law booked
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 10
After some altercation, a woman allegedly set her daughter-in-law on fire by pouring kerosene at her in Jatana village near here last night.

The victim, Pritpal Kaur, was admitted to a hospital where her condition is stated to be critical. In her statement to the police, Pritpal said she was at her home with her mother-in-law when they had some heated arguments in connection with their house.

Pritpal Kaur alleged that due to minor scuffle, her mother-in-law, identified as Kuldip Kaur, took out a bottle of kerosene, poured it on her and set her ablaze.

She raised the alarm and some of their neighbours came to her help but by that time she suffered severe injuries. She was rushed to a private hospital at Biza village from where she was referred to Ludhiana in a critical condition.

The police has registered a case under Section 307 of the IPC on the statement of Pritpal Kaur and is investigating the matter. Kuldip is absconding after the incident and the police is on her lookout ever since the incident took place.



Basketball trials on April 13
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 10
The trials to select the Punjab basketball squads (sub-junior boys and girls) will be held here at the Guru Nanak Stadium on April 13 at 3 pm, according to general secretary, Punjab Basketball Association, Teja Singh Dhaliwal.

Players born on or after January 1, 1999 are eligible to take part in these trials. The interested boys and girls have been advised to bring their age proof documents, attested by the head of their institute or the registration authority of the Punjab government.

The selected cagers will represent Punjab in the Sub-Junior National Basketball Championship slated to be held from May 6 to 12 at Goa.



National athletics meet for visually challenged on April 17
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 10
Nearly 400 athletes from all over the country will be seen in action in the 8th edition of the National Athletics for the Visually Challenged to be organised by the Punjab Sports Association for the visually challenged persons with the help of Bharat Blinds Sewak Samaj at Baddowal village on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur road on April 17 and 18.

The information was given at a press conference here today by chief organiser Gurpreet Singh Chahal and organizing committee chairman Tit Ram.

“The competition in various track and field events will be conducted during the two-day event. The gram panchayat of Baddowal village and its residents are extending the assistance in organising the games,” they added.

Punjab cabinet minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon along with chairman, Zila Parishad, Ludhiana, and an MLA from Dakha constituency will distribute the prizes to the position holders on the concluding day.



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