L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Guard, youth gagged to death
 Incidents rock the Model Town area, create panic among residents
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
Two murder incidents rocked Model Town and the surrounding area on Sunday and spread panic among residents. In the first incident, 60-year-old man was found gagged to death in a house in Model Town Extension.

The victim identified as Harinder Singh Bajwa, who working as a private security guard for a local leader Inderjit Singh Golla, was found dead in a house.

Golla, who owns the house said, Bajwa after finishing his duty used to sleep in a vacant house located near the area.

The incident came to light when Harinder Singh did not report on duty this morning. His phone was switched-off. After waiting for him till afternoon, Inderjit Singh visited the house to look for him.

On opening the room, he was shocked to find Harinder Singh lying dead on a bed. He immediately informed the police about the incident.

Commission of Police (CP) Ishwar Singh, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCP-III) Kulwinder Singh, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Gurpreet Kaur reached the spot and started the investigation.

The investigating officer said, the victim was suspected to have been strangulated. The police found empty liquor bottle and two glasses from the crime scene. The assailants stole the purse, cooking gas cylinder and two mobile phones of the victim.

The police suspects the involvement of an insider behind the killing. The police suspects that the accused were more than two in number and consumed liquor with the victim. The ruffled clothes of Harinder suggest that a scuffle might have taken place between the victim and the accused that led to the killing.

In the second incident, a 22-year-old youth was also found murdered in a similar fashion. The victim has been identified as Sanjay Kumar, alias Sonu, a resident of Abdullapur Basti. He was not living with his family. The incident came to light when the victim’s father Bhagat Ram arrived at his one-room quarter in Abdullpur Basti and found it bolted from outside.

He entered the room through the window and was stunned to find his son lying dead on the bed. He raised an alarm and informed the other family members about the incident. In the meantime, the Model Town police also reached the spot and started the investigation.

The police said, the killers strangulated the youth. Personal enmity is suspected to be the reason behind the killing of the youth. The accused had not moved anything from the room, which further strengthen the police’s claim that the accused were known to the victim. After killing the victim, the accused wrapped his body in a quilt. Bhagat Singh said that his son might have been killed on Saturday. “I had visited the house even on Saturday night, but on finding the room closed I returned home,” said Bhagat Singh. Ajay, brother of Sonu, said his brother had no enmity with anyone.


Building collapses in Wait Gunj
 Major tragedy averted as building was vacant
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Debris of the building that collapsed in Wait Gunj in Ludhiana on Sunday.
Debris of the building that collapsed in Wait Gunj in Ludhiana on Sunday.

Ludhiana, May 13
A major tragedy was averted when a dilapidated building in Wait Gunj collapsed here today. The incident took place at around 8pm when the near-collapsing building that was lying vacant collapsed suddenly. Thick smoke engulfed the area moments after the building collapsed. There was a loud thud. Residents thought that it was an earthquake and ran helter-skelter for cover.
A policeman takes a stock of the situation
A policeman takes a stock of the situation. photos: inderjeet verma

Maninder Bedi, SHO, Division No 3, said fortunately no one was injured in the incident. The incident could have been tragic if it had taken place on a working day. Due to Sunday, the Wait Gunj cloth market was closed.

The incident is not the first incident when an unsafe building has given way. The city has witnessed several such incidents in the past, which even led to the death of innocent residents.

The civic authorities so far have failed to issue notices to owners of unsafe buildings.

The fire officer who was supervising the cleaning work at the site, said the area witnessed huge rush on weekdays. 



LIT gives long rope to debtors, attracts audit objection
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 13
The Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) is in the dock once again and faces audit objection for its failure to recover huge amount of money, which was given to various other local bodies as loan long back. In some cases, not even the principal amount has been returned by the local bodies concerned and with the addition of interest over the years, the total amount of loan has almost doubled.

The internal and external audit report for the year 2010-11, copies of which were obtained under the Right to Information Act 2005 by Arvind Sharma, secretary, Council of RTI Activists, reveal that the LIT had given a loan of Rs 2 crore to the Municipal Corporation way back in 1981-82, which was to be paid back along with 12 per cent interest. The auditors observed that till date the MC had returned only a sum of Rs 1.15 crore, whereas, the balance principal amount of Rs 75 lakh along with interest was still outstanding.

The audit team has sought the intervention of the Director, Local Government, Punjab, so that effective steps are taken for recovery of the balance outstanding amount of principal and the accrued interest thereon.

The report further pointed out that another loan of Rs 50 lakh was given to the Municipal Council, Nawanshahr, in 2000. As per the conditions laid down in the agreement signed between the LIT and the MC, Nawanshahr, the loan was to be returned in 20 quarterly installments in a period of five years along with 12 per cent interest with the first installment due in June 2000. A provision for penal interest was also incorporated in case of default in repayment.

The audit team noted with regret that the borrower local body had not paid back a single installment of loan nor had the LIT authorities visibly made any effort to seek recovery of the loan and interest, which had swelled to almost Rs one crore by now.

In another similar instance, the LIT had given a loan of Rs 3 crore to the Improvement Trust, Phagwara, in December 2008 for disbursement of compensation for the land acquired for one South Avenue scheme. The loan granted after the approval of the local government department, Punjab, was to be returned in six half yearly installments with 12 per cent annual interest and an additional two per cent penal interest in case of default.

"The first installment for repayment of loan was due on May 31, 2009, which has not been paid by the borrower, which is a breach of conditions laid down in the agreement signed between the two parties (the LIT and IT, Phagwara)," the audit report observed.

The Council of RTI Activists has urged the Punjab government and the local government department, Punjab, to exert pressure on the local bodies that owe money to the LIT for immediate repayment of principal amount of loan and interest so that the LIT could have sufficient funds for the execution of development works in its own schemes.



Rs 250 pension to senior citizens, widows
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
From June 1 this year, the state government will disburse Rs 250 per month as pension to senior citizens, widows, orphans and physically challenged persons under the Electronic Benefit Transfer Scheme (EBTS). The initiative has been taken by the government so that the "monopoly" of sarpanches in villages could be curbed.

The two banks- ICICI and Axis Bank, have been given the responsibility to disburse the pension to beneficiaries by making smart cards.

As per the old practice, in urban areas, the beneficiaries had to apply to Cluster Development Panchayat Officers (CDPO) and then after getting an approval from the authorities concerned, pension was disbursed through banks. While in villages, a seven-member committee recommended the case to the CDPO, who further sent it to the state government for approval and finally CDPOs asked sarpanches to disburse it to the beneficiaries.

To curb the "monopoly" of sarpanches, the state government conducted a trial of making smart cards which was successful. And now the state government has asked banks to disburse the pension to the beneficiaries through smart cards only. But the decision has not gone down well with sarpanches who feel that the scheme has various flaws.

As these smart cards had biometric details of beneficiaries, the thumb impressions of elderly persons kept on changing at the age of 60/70 years. They generally did not match the thumb impressions of pensioners. Banks visited villages rarely for the disbursement of pension. Keeping everything in mind, the director, social security and pension, will hold a meeting with bank officials to increase the number of employees, who will visit villages two days a week. As per requirement, a one stop shop will be opened in villages for solving the problem of pensioners and rectifying the faults in machines. Though an MoU has yet to be signed between the banks and government, the pension will be disbursed through EBTs in villages from June 1.



post of matron
Male candidates apply for post meant for women
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
English is proving to be Achilles' heel for men aspiring for a permanent job in the jail department. Nearly 40 men were disqualified after they applied for the post of matron (reserved for women) during a recruitment drive held recently to select jail staff.

While a majority of candidates applied for the post of jail warden, there was no dearth of male aspirants who were vying for the post of matron, (meant for women candidates only).

The anomaly came to light during the scanning of documents of the candidates who applied for the post of warden. These male candidates were seen dumb struck when they were disqualified during the scanning of documents.

“This post is reserved for women. Further, a majority of men did not understand the meaning of matron and applied for the post thinking there will be less competition,” said a recruitment officer.

Requesting anonymity one of the candidates said, “I thought it is a new post and there will be less competition. But I was shocked to know that I had applied for the wrong post and thus disqualified by the recruitment officer.”

Giving details about the disqualification of male candidates who had applied for the post of matron, Jagjit Singh, recruitment in charge said, “It is really unfortunate that candidates having good physique were disqualified as they had applied for the wrong post.” Nearly 900 candidates, including 50 women, participated in the physical fitness test for recruiting jail staff.

Meaning of matron

The matron was once the most senior nurse in a hospital (in the United Kingdom before 1967). She was responsible for all nurses and the efficient running of the hospital



Show off: Brand bug bites city elite women
 Those who want branded bags do not mind splurging on rented ones 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
The show-off culture in Ludhiana refuses to die-down. To prove the upmanship on others, a section of women belonging to the "elite" class do not mind spending a few thousand bucks as rent for one day, in order to flaunt their "new" branded bags. As the bags (purses) of Louis Vuitton, YSL, Jimmy Choo, Chanel, Gucci, Burberry etc are too expensive and everyone can not afford to buy these, women get them on rent from Delhi, which serves the purpose.

A women socialite in her 30s, who did not wish to be quoted said, "Not everyone can afford to buy the branded bags, which starts from Rs 70-80,000 (each bag). I am a party lover and attend parties on a regular basis. Carrying the same expensive bag in every party also gets monotonous. There is a woman in Delhi who provides brand new expensive bags on rent on a daily basis. Many women pay the rent and get the brand of their choice to carry these in parties and social circuits".

One can get these bags by paying a daily rent of Rs 8,000 and above depending on the brand and quality of the bag. Another upper middle class homemaker said one could purchase two or three expensive bags. But for each party, no one could afford to carry a new bag.

"If we can pay a few thousand bucks as rent to carry expensive, nice bags in parties, this should not pinch anyone.

Our purpose gets solved by paying a few thousand bucks instead of carrying same bags everywhere", said the woman.

Neena Sharma (name changed), a resident of BRS Nagar, however, said that she was shocked to learn that bags were being given on rent by someone in Delhi.

"I fail to understand why people adapt this show-off culture? I am sure they will be allowed to enter the parties or get-togethers even if they carry any other normal bag. We need to change our mindset this culture will ruin our future generations", said Sharma. 



government schools
Teachers' salary delayed
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

LudhianA, May 13
The new fiscal year seems to have started on an unlucky note for the government school teachers as they have not been receiving salaries for last two months. Recently, the government hired a private company to make the treasury online. The company provided a password to all the principals and head masters of the schools for drawing the salaries. Ironically, this service has become the major cause of inconvenience for the teachers.

According to a headmaster, the traffic on the website is so heavy that they are unable to access it.

Ramanjeet Singh, district president of Democratic Employees Front, said, "The private company provided passwords to the schools for drawing the salaries. Most of time the website does not respond to the password. So nobody has been drawing the salaries for 2 months. It is a tactic of the government to delay the payment of salaries as they don't have money to give the salaries to the employees.

Sukhdeep Singh, a government school teacher, said, "Life has become tough for the teachers. We don't know who is responsible for delay. The government has to fix the problem and release the salaries as soon as possible.



College teachers need training, say experts
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
With the rapidly changing educational environment, youngsters and teachers are increasingly feeling that some kind of training for teaching at the college level should be mandatory.

Although training is imparted before teaching at the school level in the form of BEd, there is a total absence of any such training programme at the college level. All one needs is to clear the UGC-NET. Although, some part of a psychology test is involved in the exam, it doesn't mean that you are fit to be a teacher, said a professor. There should be some training programme for mentoring students, he said, as new teachers in particular lack maturity.

Harneet Singh, teaching at Sat Paul Mittal School, completed his BEd before joining Arya College as history lecturer, said that his training in the course went a long way in improving him as a teacher. In the training, it was learnt that every child has individual strengths and should not be viewed as intelligent or weak, he said, and this perspective was formed during the course. "I also learnt how to communicate and build relations with students. If you are too strict, you tend to stifle the communication and creative interaction with students; and if you are too lenient, you lose control over students. Learning to exercise appropriate control by understanding them helped me while teaching both in college and school," he said.

SS Grewal, teaching at Ludhiana College of Engineering and Technology, agrees that there should be a mandatory faculty training programme according to the course - whether it is professional, management or traditional.

"It is a critical period in the lives of students, as they have to make a career after completion of their education. So it is important that you get teachers who are can motivate them," he said.

Prince, a student said that many teachers are repository of knowledge, but are not articulate enough to communicate those ideas effectively. There is a need to enhance the skills of teachers in areas like communication, articulation and methodologies of teachers, he said.



Finally, fans installed at PAU canteen hall
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
After much delay, fans have finally been installed at the students centre canteen hall in Punjab Agricultural University, much to the relief of students. Earlier, the students had no option but to sit in the canteen hall without fans.

The extension hall of the canteen was constructed by the university months ago, but there was no arrangement of fans in the newly constructed hall.

"I am feeling relieved now. With the summers setting in, the temperature is rising everyday making it very difficult for us to sit in the canteen, our usual place to hang out," a student said.



Translate first, learn later
No books in Punjabi forces PU sociology students to interpret English
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana/Doraha, May 13
The postgraduate students of sociology at Panjab University studying in the Panjabi medium are facing difficult time as syllabus books in Punjabi are in short supply. These students are left with no other option but to translate matter into their mother tongue to prepare for the forthcoming examinations.

Harpreet, pursuing course from a local college, said, "It is very difficult to prepare from an English book as I am not able to understand t words. I have to take the help of a dictionary for translation. With only few days left for the exams, I am really worried if I will be able to complete my syllabus.”

Dr Daisy Aujla, head of sociology department at Guru Nanak Girls College, Ludhiana, said both teachers and students are facing difficulty due to the shortage of books in Punjabi. "It becomes very difficult for those students who are not well versed with the English language," she said.

Nirjeet, a student of Guru Nanak National College Doraha and a Panjab University Topper of M.A Sociology (First Semester), expressed that it was really an uphill task to translate and study at the same time. “The semester system coupled with the non availability of Punjabi medium books made the situation worse. Since we have studied the subject in Punjabi at the under graduate level, it is really difficult to read a foreign language at this stage," she said.

"Although teachers make us understand the subject but reading English from book is very difficult. Moreover, due to the semester system we get limited time for preparation. We cannot afford to keep on referring books available in English and Hindi and start our actual preparation only when we have translated the entire text,” said another MA Sociology student.

"Very few books of sociology are available in Punjabi medium at the postgraduate level. The result is that whether the students are having the option of 'Gender' or for that matter 'Rural Sociology', they are in a tight corner," commented Dr Gurjit Virk Sidhu, Head of the Department of Sociology, GNN College.

"The solution to this is not to discontinue teaching those authors or theories of which the Punjabi version is not available. Rather more and more translators is required," said Prof Nidhi Saroop from Department of Sociology, GNN College. 



Railway pensioners voice anger
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 13
The Railway Pensioners Welfare Association todaycriticised the UPA government for its failure to accept recommendations of the Fifth Pay Commission. They said the commission recommended to included full parity to post pensioners by conversion of old pay scales to revised scales or addition of pay band to the old pay scales

Chairman Sher Singh and President SM Sharma of the body said the Fifth Pay Commission had also recommended one per cent increase per year for those pensioners having rendered more than 33 years of service and commutation after 12 years instead of 15 years.

"The Sixth Pay Commission had regretfully ignored all recommendations of the Fifth Pay Commission, thus depriving the pensioners of their rightful benefits," they observed. Sharma said even though the railway hospital here had been upgraded, there was little or no improvement in its working. BR Dhawan, general secretary of the association, said, “The pensioners are made to pay 1/3rd of the difference of railway fare for taking the companion in the same class which is unjust."



mother’s day
Mothers cherish the day with cakes, bouquets 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
Mother's Day was celebrated with chocolates, cakes, love and hugs by many in the city. Many mothers were surprised by their children in the morning with the offering of cakes and hugs along with "Happy Mother's Day" cheers.

Rohit, who gave a surprise to his mother by presenting a cake early in the morning, said, "For me, everyday is like Mother's Day. But celebrating a special day with gifts is something different," he said.

Bakeries and restaurants added charm to the day, giving special delicacies for the day. A bakery offered special discount of five per cent for mother and children coming together to buy cakes. A complimentary cake was offered to people at a restaurant in Sarabha Nagar to celebrate Mother's Day.

Digitally designed cakes were in demand today. "We are getting orders for digitally designed cakes. People are sending photographs of their mothers to be digitally printed on the cakes," said Manik Bajaj, from a bakery in Shastri Nagar. Harjinder Singh from a restaurant in Sarabha Nagar said the sale of cakes is up five times. "I think with the digital printing on cakes, these have become as good as greeting cards," he said. "I got one to surprise my mother, too," he added.

Not only cakes, but special bouquets with chocolates made the day sweet for many mothers.

People keep cribbing about the western culture of celebration Valentine's Day, Rose Day and all. "But I think, Father's Day, Mother's Day and Parent's Day are days for which we need to thank the West. Love and respect for parents is the best thing you can do," said Tarun Kapoor, a resident of Dugri. 



City hosts extreme sport
 International athletes share experiences
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
As part of the extreme sports extravaganza featuring most admired names in the world of extreme sports, Dew Xtreme Tour, Ludhiana Edition, was organised at New Grain Market near Jaladhar bypass today.

The games include skateboarding, BMX, inline skating and freestyle motocross (FMX). It is for the first time, athletes of international repute have descended to Punjab. Ludhiana was the third city where the event was hosted after Bengaluru and Noida.

About 10 international athletes, including Skaters Eito Yasutoko and Takeshi Yasutoko from Japan, Sandro Dias from Brazil, BMX Simon Tabron hailing from UK and FMX pros Mike Mason, Myles Richmond, Tommy Clowers, Jimmie Mcguire from the US made the audiences hum and haw with the extreme adventure and skill. Popular VJ Rannvijay was the host of the event.

Most of the athletes are visiting India for the first time. During an interaction the athletes said they loved being in the city and in India. They loved the food. Some even found chaotic traffic, flies in the face on the roads intriguing.

BMX rider Simon Tabron said he is enjoying his stay in India. He said India is the 50th country he is visiting and found it to be wonderful. He liked the people and bazaar here. They also went to Amritsar and visited the border, he said. "I am super excited for the performance,” he added.

Tommy said he loved Indian food and crowd of people who turned up during the last events and expects good turnout tomorrow as well. Myles said it has been three weeks of fun and excitement, and it was fun to perform in Bengaluru as well.

The tour would move to other cities, including Lucknow and Jaipur. 



Unsafe public buildings a threat to residents
Mahesh Sharma/ Gurminder Grewal

Mandi Ahmedgarh / Khanna, May 13
Even weeks after a huge building collapsed at Jallandhar and left many crippled besides claiming more than 20 valuable lives, the administration is yet to initiate organised preventive measures to protect life and property of general public and occupants of a large number of buildings which could not be graded safe.

What to talk of identifying privately owned unsafe buildings, the administration has failed to get those government buildings demolished which were declared unsafe years and decades ago.

Investigations revealed that there were scores of buildings, especially in thickly populated areas of almost all localities of the region falling under Sangrur and Ludhiana districts, which posed a threat to the life and property of inhabitants of these buildings and passersby. The potential disasters included government offices, hospitals and educational institutes. There are cases wherein the unsafe building continue to pose threat even after being vacated and offices being shifted to new buildings.The Railway Road at Ahmedgarh, witnessing maximum activity during working hours is intermittently surrounded by a number of multi-storeyed, unsafe buildings on both sides.

Majority of these buildings were constructed over five decades ago, and no constructions plans were approved by any of the government agencies.

Among government buildings, the police station and the main post office are among most vulnerable ones. Though the Tribune has carried a series of stories to highlight the pathetic condition of these offices no remedial action has been initiated to ensure safety of staff and people visiting these offices.

The old building of the police station at Dehlon, which has since been vacated, continues to pose threat to neighbours and passersby. Scores of buildings and tall walls, which have partly collapsed continue to pose a threat to the lives of residents of local towns and surrounding localities, including Malaudh, Payal, Barundi, Kup , Jandali, Baurhai and Ghungrana villages.

Investigations further revealed that some buildings had already been declared unsafe, but the authorities concerned had tried to wash their hands off the responsibility by merely putting up warnings on these installations.

Ravinder Puri, Kedar Kapila, Dilshad and Bimal Sharma, councillors at Mandi Ahmedgarh Municipal Council, said the matter would be discussed in the next meeting of the council and necessary steps would be taken to ensure safety of residents in the region. 



Blocked drains, potholed roads say it all
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ward no.17
Population: 40,000
Voters: 7,000

Ludhiana, May 13
Blocked drains, potholed roads, garbage strewn along roads, debris, industrial waste and stray animals sum up Ward No.17. The ward is a mix of almost everything. Be it industries, Transport Nagar, residential areas and vehras, the area has a bit of everything in it.
Roadside vendors have encroached upon a road in the ward
Roadside vendors have encroached upon a road in the ward.
An ill-maintained park in the area.
An ill-maintained park in the area. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Area residents say the sitting councillor, Pritpal Singh Ghayal, is a gentleman and maybe that is why, the area is “suffering”. They say the Ludhiana municipal corporation hardly pays any heed to residents' pleas.

Some of them also accuse the industrialists of not maintaining cleanliness around their premises. Residents lament that debris is dumped outside factories, which leads to an unclean atmosphere and attracts several diseases.

Even the solid waste management company, A2Z, has not started its operations in the ward in full throttle, which is why, the municipal corporation, which used to collect garbage from the area has stopped its operations, while A2Z has not started its operations properly. And the worst sufferers of the “technical” problem are the residents of Ward No. 17, who remain at the receiving end with no other option, than to just wait and watch.

Even the Transport Nagar area lacks basic amenities. The roads are full of potholes and there is literally no sign of word “cleanliness” here. Garbage and debris can be seen strewn around the area and the MC as well as the area councillor seem least bothered about it.

Sitting councillor Pritpal Singh Ghayal, who is associated with the Congress, is a two-time councillor. He represented the ward, first in 1991 and then from 2007 onwards. Post-delimitation, the ward has now been reserved for women and this time his daughter-in-law, Amandeep Kaur, might contest in his place. Some other family members of Pritpal Singh Ghayal are also trying to get party ticket this time.

The ward consists of areas such as Textile Colony, Bihari Colony, Shiv Colony, Valmiki Ashram, Vijay Nagar, Indra Colony, Industrial Area A, Industrial Area Extension, Janakpuri, Labour Colony, Dr Ambedkar Colony, RK Road, Transport Nagar, besides some others.



Ward No. 18: Developed but filthy
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service
Ward no.18
Voters: 9,000

Litter dumped on the GT Road in front of Hari Singh Garewal Market.
Litter dumped on the GT Road in front of Hari Singh Garewal Market.
A road in a bad shape at Harcharan Nagar in the area
A road in a bad shape at Harcharan Nagar in the area. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, May 13
Ward No. 18 is a well-maintained ward as compared to other areas. It has a proper sewerage system, metalled roads and water supply to the area is also regular.

Sewage accumulated on a street at Shivaji Nagar in Ward No. 18, Ludhiana
Sewage accumulated on a street at Shivaji Nagar in Ward No. 18, Ludhiana.

The only problem plaguing the ward is poor sanitation. Residents complain that the MC employees do not cooperate with them.

Most of the roads in the area were re-carpeted five years ago so there is a need to repair these. Roads, including the Singar Cinema Road, are in a bad shape. There are some streets in Shivaji Nagar and Harcharan Nagar where sewage remains accumulated. However, the ward councillor claimed that a cleanliness drive was carried out in the area and there was no such problem. Some residents also complained about irregular supply of potable water.

Some of the residents claimed that the area had all basic facilities so the councillor did little as far as other problems were concerned. The ward consists of Shivaji Nagar , Narinder Nagar, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Nagar, Harcharan Nagar and Kashmir Colony.




reporters’ diary
A philatelist’s scooter

The scooter is becoming talk of the town. Not because it is an extraordinary one, but because it is covered with impressions of postage stamps. Yashpal Bangia, a veteran philately enthusiast, found this ingenious idea not only to renovate the scooter but also to popularise philately as a hobby. "People often ask me about the scooter and in way get to know about philately. Today's generation is not much enthusiastic about postage stamps. This is just a small step in the direction," he says.

Cheers to all moms

I received a special note from my sister on Mother’s Day which read like this, “On Mother’s Day, I say to all mothers, take time to raise a glass to yourself and toast for being a great mom. You did what you needed to and were successful. You gave what you had and it shone. You loved like you believed so and it worked. Be proud of what you have done. Even if there are thousands of mothers being born everyday, what you do is still unique. Even if you are not appreciated, loved or wished by those you have raised, you should know that there are mothers around the world who feel just the way you do and think of you on this special day. So, from one mom to another: Happy Mother's Day.” The note touched my heart and felt great to be a mom.

Mother to six

One of my friends is a bird lover. She usually keeps taking care of all types of birds which give her a wake up call and keeps chirping in her verandas. Recently, a pair of birds made a nest in one of the corners of her house and laid four eggs. She said, “After a few days, tiny birds came out of the eggs and this way the nest housed four tiny birds along with the old pair. After some days sudden chirping of tiny birds drew my attention. I saw that their mother died due to some reason. It pained me to see the scene. I decided to take care of the chicks and started offering them crushed grain, water and etcetera. At night I wake up to check whether the four are breathing normally. Today, when it is Mother’s Day I feel that I am not only taking care of my two children but six. Perhaps it was God who wanted me to nurture them too."

Vying for party ticket

Even though the civic elections in the state have not been announced and it might take another couple of months when the actual process of filing nomination papers begins, and the elections are held, there is a virtual scramble among aspirants for party ticket from within the ruling SAD-BJP coalition as well as the Congress party. New adjustments are in the making, new alignments are being forged, old and forgotten contacts are being revived and in many cases, scores are also being settled. In their desperate bid to stake their claims, quite a few contenders for party nominations have waged a poster war to show others in the race in poor light. Allegations are flying thick and high as some of the sitting councillors are on the look out for alternative seats after their wards were reserved for women. While the civic polls might be a few months away, the main star casts of the electoral battle are engaging in high drama .

Contributed by Gurvinder Singh Manav Mander, Anupam Bhagria, Kuldip Bhatia, 



From schools
Mother's day

Ludhiana: Apart from organising a special morning assembly to commemorate Mother's Day, Vajra Army School students displayed their gratitude towards their mothers in different ways. Pre-primary students, assisted by their teachers, made 'thumb-printed' cards, while the primary class students prepared photo frames for their mothers . — TNS



Ludhiana Scan
'Feed a Bird'

Jeev Jantu Paryavaran Sambhal Sewa Samiti organised a programme under the "Feed a Bird" project. Earthen utensils and seeds was distributed among people and they were encouraged to come forward for the project.

Office-bearers elected

A meeting of Sub-divisional Engineers Association was held yesterday. Gurvinder Singh Bedi was elected as president of the association while Balbir Singh was elected as general secretary. Vasudev Sharma was nominated as patron. VK Kapoor and Harpal Singh Sandhu were elected as senior vice presidents.

Book release

A book "If You Have Dreams, Mind Your Own Business" by Shivani Singh was released at the auditorium of ICAI Bhawan. Shivani Singh is life and success coach.



Woman forcibly given poison by in-laws, critical
 Was being tortured for dowry, alleges father
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, May 13
A married woman was allegedly given poison forcibly by her in-laws in Jagraon yesterday in what is reported to be a dowry case. Her in-laws admitted her to the Civil Hospital, Jagraon, in a serious condition where she is undergoing treatment. According to doctors at the hospital, her condition is quite critical.

By the time the victim's father, who also hails from Jagraon, arrived at the hospital along with some other members of his family, her in-laws had fled from the hospital fearing police action.

The victim has been identified as Sarita Singla (29), wife of Vishal Singla of Krishna Nagar, Jagraon. The Jagraon police has booked four of her in-laws, including her husband Vishal Singla, mother-in-law and two other relatives, under various sections of the IPC on the complaint of Sarita's father Ajit Singh. All the accused are reported to be absconding.

In his statement to the police, Ajit Singh complained that he had married his daughter Sarita to Vishal Singla about six years back and had spent a good amount of money on the marriage. He also said that he gave dowry. “But some time after the marriage, Sarita’s husband Vishal and other members of his family started harassing my daughter for bringing more dowry. Some days back my daughter called me and informed that her in-laws have been demanding more dowry and when she refused she was tortured,” alleged Ajit Singh.

According to Ajit Singh, his daughter was forcibly given poison by her in-laws yesterday late evening. After this, they called him to inform that Sarita has consumed some poisonous substance by mistake and they had admitted her to the local Civil Hospital.

“When I reached there I found my daughter in a critical condition. But by then her in-laws had already fled,” said Ajit Singh, wiping tears.

Confirming the development, SHO Jagraon city police station Surinder Singh stated that a case has been registered in this regard and the investigation is on. “We are conducing raids to nab the accused and they will soon be behind the bars”, assured Surinder Singh.



Gang manufacturing duplicate mobil-oil busted
Our Correspondent

Khanna, May 13
The police has nabbed a man allegedly involved in making duplicate mobil-oil of different brands and recovered a large quantity of duplicate mobil-oils, machinery and raw-material. The accused has been identified as Darshan Singh, alias Raju, a resident of Dhamot. The other accused have been identified as Raju and Satkar singh, both residents of Ludhiana. A case under section of 420 of the IPC has been registered against the gang members. However, two gang members are still at large.

As per the information, the police got a tip-off that some people of the area are indulging in manufacturing duplicate mobil-oil. Acting on the information, a police party, lead by the CIA staff, Khanna, raided the spot. The police officials claimed that they recovered five drums containing 915 litre of duplicate mobil-oil and a large number of buckets, plastic covers, and stickers of different oil companies.

When contacted, DSP (D) Khanna Jagvinder Singh Cheema confirmed the raid. However he revealed that only one member of the gang, identified as Darshan Singh, was nabbed while the remaining members are on the run. The DSP further revealed that the market value of the recovered duplicate mobil-oil is being calculated.



Four held with liquor, habit-forming drugs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
Tightening its nose around anti-social elements, the city police nabbed four persons for smuggling liquor and habit forming drugs.

The accused, identified as Manjit Singh and Gurpreet Singh, both chemists, were nabbed from a police naka in Kum Kalan and Partapgarh village area here today. Nearly 10,000 habit-forming capsules and cough syrups were seized. The accused were ferrying habit forming drugs in a bus when they were nabbed.

In another incident, the Division No 2 police nabbed two men and seized 35 boxes of illicit liquor from their possession. The accused have been identified Vikramjit Singh from Guru Nanakpur, near Daba, and Ajit Kumar, alias Bholla, of Gobindpura.

The accused were ferrying 35 boxes of illicit liquor in a mini truck. The were stopped at a police check post near the Mini-Rose Garden area last night. During the checking of the vehicle the police spotted the liquor that was meant to be sold in Chandigarh. The accused were nabbed and were produced before a court from where they were sent to police remand.



ml markan trophy
Sangrur win in qualifying round
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 13
On the basis of first innings lead of 263 runs, Sangrur were declared victorious against Ludhiana in the qualifying round in the Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Tournament (u-16) for the ML Markan Trophy played at the Punjab Agricultural University campus ground here today.

Sangrur scored 573 runs in their first essay in which M Zuhaib scored 325, followed by Mohd Bilal and Muzamil who contributed 109 and 73 runs, respectively.

Today, Ludhiana resumed their first innings at 215 for the loss of 4 wickets and eventually could muster 310 runs in 114.5 overs.

Ramandeep topped score board with his 80 runs while Deepin Chitkara chipped in with 51 runs. Other notable scorers were Shubhendu Goel (43), Manvir (41), Harnoor Singh (31) and Rohit Verma (19).

For the visitors, Digvijay grabbed four wickets after conceding 50 runs while Muzamil gave away 83 runs for three wickets and Mohd Shohaib accounted for two wickets for 147 runs.

Facing a deficit of 263 runs, Ludhiana scored 143 runs after losing two wickets in the second innings. Deepin Chitkara made 60 runs while Harnoor and Ramandeep remained unbeaten on 54 and 4 runs, respectively. Manvir scored 18 runs.aFor Sangrur, Parvez secured one wicket for 20 runs in five overs.



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