L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


1 killed, 3 hurt in gang wars
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

DCP Gurpreet Singh Toor visits the hospital.
DCP Gurpreet Singh Toor visits the hospital. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, August 13
A youth was killed and three others were injured in separate gang wars in the city today. The deceased has been identified as 23-year-old Pinku. He was shot dead by members of a gang on Barota Road near Sai School around 5 pm.

Pinku had returned to the city from Uttar Pradesh last night. The incident took place when Pinku and his friends, identified as Angrez Singh and Sukhwinder Singh, were returning from his sister’s place from Shimlapuri. When they reached near Barota Road, around five-six youths started pelting them with stones from the first floor of a house. They also fired three shots at them. One of the shots hit Pinku on his chin. He was immediately rushed to the DMCH where he died.

Pinku’s friends said the youths who fired gunshots at them had earlier attacked his father a year ago. The police said over about five cases had been registered against both the groups at different police stations in the city.

In another incident, three persons belonging to different gangs were injured during a clash near Jawaddi in the Dugri area of the city around 7.30 pm.

Gopal Mahajan and his friend Sukhpreet Singh were going on a scooter near a gurdwara in the Jawaddi area around 7 pm when they encountered Assa Singh and his three-four friends.

Assa Singh allegedly started firing shots at Gopal and his friend. In return, the duo also fired gunshots on Assa Singh and his accomplices. The three, Gopal Mahajan, Sukhpreet Singh and Assa Singh, were injured and were admitted to the DMCH.

DCP Gurpreet Singh Toor and other police officials rushed to the DMCH. Toor said: “It seems to be an old rivalry. We are collecting details,” said Toor.

Meanwhile, both these incidents have put the police on its toes as cases under different sections have already been registered against members of these gangs.

The enmity between Assa Singh and Gopal Mahajan is reportedly more a decade old. The police has launched a hunt to nab members of gangs involved in both the incidents. 


Finally, city to get CNG by March 
GAIL city bus service sign MoU; diesel-run buses to be converted to CNG 
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The city will get uninterrupted supply of CNG from March 2013. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) and the Ludhiana City Bus Service Ltd (LCBSL) in the office of the Secretary, Local Bodies, in Chandigarh today to set up two CNG stations in the city and to convert diesel-run buses of the city bus service to CNG.

Another MoU has also been signed between GAIL and the Punjab State Bus Stand Management Company Limited (PUNBUS) for converting diesel-run buses to CNG.

Presently, the Ludhiana City Bus Service Ltd, which is managed by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, is having a fleet of 20 low-floor non-AC buses. Another lot of 30 buses will be added to the fleet soon. All these buses run on diesel.

Two sites have been identified by the municipal Corporation for setting up CNG pumps in the city. One pump will be set up on land provided by PUNBUS at the bus stand, while the second will be opposite the bus stand.

Ludhiana city has over 40,000 diesel and kerosene-run auto-rickshaws, while only a handful of them run on LPG. Besides, thousands of new vehicles are added every month contributing to air pollution in the city.

However, the Ludhiana City Bus Service Ltd will have to bear the burden of bringing down pollution levels as it will have to shell out around Rs 10 per litre extra for CNG. “Presently, the diesel priced around Rs 40 per litre, while the CNG in Punjab will be costlier. The MC is willing to pay the extra amount to help bring pollution level down in the city,” said a senior MC official.

It is learnt that during the signing of the MoU, even PUNBUS officials expressed unwillingness to convert diesel-run buses to CNG because of the price quotient.

MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma said once CNG pumps start operating and the buses are converted to CNG, the pollution level in the city would come down. “The next lot of buses to be procured will run on CNG and the existing diesel-run buses will be shifted to CNG.” 

Supply CNG to Ludhiana: HC

The Punjab and Haryana High Court directed the state government and GAIL to start the supply CNG to two stations in Ludhiana. The orders were issued by the court after hearing the Union Government’s counsel, who informed the court that GAIL had sufficient CNG to start supply in Punjab, starting with Ludhiana and Jalandhar, once the state government signs a MoU. The counsel said GAIL had already laid the trunk line for the CNG supply, but could not lay the spur lines as Punjab had not signed the MoU. Once this MoU is signed, the CNG stations are expected to start functioning in six months.

WHAT after MoU

The MC has already identified land for setting up of CNG stations. After the signing of the MoU, GAIL will start the process of getting no objection certificates and permissions from different government authorities for setting up two CNG stations in the city

The price on which CNG will be supplied to the MC will be discussed at a meeting after GAIL gets the NOCs

Within 90 days, a commercial agreement between the Ludhiana City Bus Service Ltd and GAIL will be signed

Pipeline laid up to Jodhan village

The chief executive officer of GAIL said the pipeline has been laid up to Jodhan village. About 15 km of pipeline is yet to be laid. The pipeline will enter the city from the Pakhowal road side,” said a senior MC official. 



Woman clerk caught taking bribe 
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
A woman clerk of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation was caught by her seniors while allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 2,000 from a city resident this afternoon.

The clerk, posted in the house tax branch of the MC’s Zone-A office located at Mata Rani Chowk, had allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 2,000 from a city resident for change of land ownership.

However, the resident acted smart and got signatures of Zonal Commissioner Kamlesh Bansal on the currency notes before handing them over to the clerk. The money was later recovered from her possession. The MC has ordered an inquiry.

Kunal Sachdeva was to get his property at Nimm Wala Chowk transferred in his mother Anu Sachdeva’s name.

“Kunal met a woman clerk, Deepi, in the house tax branch of the Zone-A office. She made Kunal visit the MC office several times on one pretext or the other and kept on delaying his work. A few days ago, she told Kunal that the government fee of the work was around Rs 1,200 and he would have to pay Rs 1,000 extra. After a few days, the clerk told Kunal that he had come late and would have to pay Rs 2,000 extra,” alleged Ramesh Bangar, president of the Active Anti-Corruption Group, an NGO.

Today, Bangar accompanied Kunal to the MC Zone-A office for making the “payment”. “Before handing over the money, we went to meet Zonal Commissioner Kamlesh Bansal and asked him to sign the currency notes worth Rs 2,500 so that the clerk could be caught red-handed. After handing over the money, Kunal informed Bansal, who sent superintendent Rajiv Bharadwaj to recover the amount. The currency notes were recovered from Deepti’s possession and she confessed to have demanded bribe of Rs 2,000,” said Bangar.

Zonal Commissioner Kamlesh Bansal confirmed the incident. “I had signed currency notes and they were recovered from a woman clerk of the house tax branch. I will conduct an inquiry so that the corruption in the Zone A office could be checked,” he said.



3 personalities to get state award 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The Punjab government will honour three eminent personalities from Ludhiana district with the state award for their outstanding contribution on the occasion of the state level-function of Independence Day at Patiala.

The personalities include Jasvir Singh from Payal, Naib Subedar Paramjit Singh from Jagraon and Sanjiv Thapar, principal, Government Model School, PAU. The awards will be presented by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Jasvir Singh from Payal, who will get the bravery award, said in March this year, he saved the lives of three minors who fell into the Rampura canal. He said: "I am a driver and ferry children to school. When I was returning after dropping students, I saw the driver of a tractor-trailer losing control over his vehicle. The vehicle carrying three children aged between 8 and 12 years fell into the canal. I parked my van and jumped into the canal. I rescued these children and informed the police.”

Naib Subedar Paramjit Singh said on February 17, he had made a world record by covering Bikaner to Jodhpur in a power harness hang glider in six hours 20 minutes. "I am happy that I have been chosen for this award. I hail from Jagraon and presently I am based at Nasik in Maharashtra,” said an elated Paramjit Singh.

Principal of PAU Government Model School Sanjiv Thapar has been chosen for the award in the field of education. During his tenure, the school witnessed 100 per cent result. Six class XII students of the school were placed in the state merit list. "I 2006, I took over as the officiating principal of the school and in 2010, I became the regular principal of the school. The school is ranked fifth in the state,” said Thapar. 



Tyre dealers warned of action
Health teams find larvae of aedes mosquito at city markets
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
Teams of the the district Health Department today found many tyres containing rainwater with larvae of the aedes mosquitoe, which is responsible for the spread of dengue, at different markets of the city. The larvae were in different stages of development. The larvae were found mostly at the tyre market opposite railways station as well as the tyre shops at Transport Nagar in the city.

The officials of the department have warned shopkeepers against having a careless approach towards tackling the disease.

These mosquitoes breed in fresh stagnant water.

This is not for the first time that larvae of the aedes mosquito has been found at the tyre market opposite railway station and at the Transport Nagar area.

Talking to The Tribune, the Civil Surgeon, Dr Subhash Batta, said it's sad that shopkeepers selling tyres had such a careless approach towards tackling the spread of dengue.

"Today we just warned them and told them strictly that if we find the larvae of the aedes mosquito on their premises next time, they would be fined Rs 500. Even a medical officer has been asked to visit these markets daily so that we can keep a check on dengue. It's the monsoon season and if the shopkeepers don't cooperate with us, things will deteriorate," said the Civil Surgeon.

The Civil Surgeon said the president of the tyre dealers association has assured him of full cooperation by its members in taking preventive steps. The health team also stressed the importance of keeping tyre under covers so that rainwater did not accumulate in them.

Meanwhile, the staff sprayed anti-larva drugs on the tyres and also asked the shopkeepers to take effective steps so that breeding of mosquitoes was checked.

The Civil surgeon said the finding of the larvae of the aedes mosquito is a very serious issue as it indicated dengue cases might show an upsurge in the coming days. He again appealed to the residents of the city, particularly those dealing in tyres and scrap, that they should take effective measures against accumulation of rainwater in containers and in tyres.

"They should remove containers from the rooftops and open spaces. And if we find aedes larvae at any place in the city, the owners will be fined," said the Civil Surgeon.



Need to construct more mortuaries in district
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
Ludhiana, which boasts of development in many spheres, lacks sufficient number of mortuaries for keeping bodies in emergency situation. Although some of the city hospitals as well as civil hospitals of the district have this facility, people at times face difficulty for getting space in these mortuaries due to less capacity and more rush.

Requesting anonymity, a person said, “A few days ago, I lost my uncle late in the evening. It was difficult for us to keep the body at home, as it was too hot and moreover frequent power cuts forced us to think for keeping his body in a mortuary. So, we tried our best to get space in any of the mortuaries, but could not, as all were preoccupied. Seeing no way out, we had to keep the body at home.”

This is not the first case, as in the past also people have come across the same problem. The only government mortuary at Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, had nine freezers. Of them seven are functional. Six freezers have been installed by Samvedna, an NGO, while three were installed by the government. One of the freezers has been lying defunct for months now.

Dr AK Handa, district medical commissioner, Ludhiana, said, “We always have a rush of bodies here, as many post-mortems are done and unidentified bodies are also kept here. So, the mortuary staff always remain preoccupied.”

At Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH), the mortuary has the capacity of six bodies. The medical superintendent, CMCH, said, “We also rent out space for keeping a body and charge Rs 1,000 for one day. But if a body is to be kept for more than one day, then we charge Rs 10,000 for embalming it and Rs 1,000 per day as mortuary charges.”

However, the mortuary of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) has the capacity of 12 bodies. The medical superintendent, Dr Sandeep Puri, said, “If we have space, we also give it to outsiders and accept voluntary donations, but only for the bodies where there is no medico-legal case involved.”

Mediways Hospital in the city has the capacity of keeping four bodies. Dr Gaurav Sachdeva, medical superintendent, said, “We charge Rs 4,000 per body, irrespective of the medico-legal case, per day.”

Medical superintendent of SPS Apollo Hospital, Dr Kapil Chibb said, “We have the capacity of keeping two bodies and that, too, only for indoor patients and charge only maintenance costs.”

The ESI Hospital, Oswal Hospital, Samrala Civil Hospital and the Khanna Civil Hospital have the capacity of two bodies each while Jagraon Civil Hospital and the Khanna Civil Hospital have the capacity of keeping one bodies each.

While Manav Kalyan Sangatthan, an NGO, which also cremates unidentified bodies free of cost, has its own mortuary at the GRP police station. Gurmeet Singh, NGO founder, said, “In the city with a population of more than 30 lakh, there is a dire need for having more mortuaries.”



Stadium renovation goes at snail's pace
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune news Service

The canopy installed over a block at Guru Nanak Dev Stadium in Ludhiana.
The canopy installed over a block at Guru Nanak Dev Stadium in Ludhiana. A tribune photograph

Ludhiana, August 13
Work on the renovation of Guru Nanak Dev Stadium was commenced in August 2011, but even after a year it is yet to be completed.

Though the government has announced the dates for mega events like World Kabaddi Cup and Saheed Bhagat Singh Games, the renovation work has been going on at a snail's pace.

The Punjab Sports Department has given the responsibility for the renovation work to the Punjab Mandi Board (PMB). The officials of the Sports Department are waiting for the day when the renovation would be complete. The contractor, who is carrying out the work, has claimed that the workers would complete one block of the stadium a day and had installed a canopy over the stadium.

According to the officials of the Punjab Mandi Board, June 30 was the deadline for the completion of the project. While the government has sanctioned Rs 4 crore for this project, the PMB has received only 2.25 crore yet, the officials said.

District Sports Officer, Ludhiana, Kartar Singh said, "Initially, the PMB had to renovate the A, B and F blocks of the stadium and its focus was on the canopies to be installed over these blocks. But, they have installed canopy over a single block only".

Kartar Singh said washrooms were still incomplete and the PMB was assuring them that the work would be completed before October 30.

Players who practise at the stadium have been facing inconveniences. There are bathrooms in every block of the stadium but their condition is very bad. A new block of toilets would be built near the library.

Amandeep Singh, SDO, Mandi Board, said, "We are trying to complete the work as soon as possible but there are some hurdles. Work had been closed for 15 days for an Army recruitment rally held in the stadium. Moreover, it depends on funds. If the government releases funds on time the work will continue. Work at the A block is almost complete".



Changing definition of crime
Police helpless in tackling killings over family disputes
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
A man kills her daughter-in-law and her mother at Ekta Nagar, a sexagenarian woman gives supari for the murder of her husband at Model Town and another man kills wife and then commits suicide at Field Gunj. Certainly the definition of crime has changed in the industrial city where the criminal is not an alien, but the one who is sitting inside the house.

These three incidents in the last one week have even left the police shocked. Policemen, who are buckled under the pressure while trying to bring down snatching incidents in the city, are feeling helpless to tackle such kind of incidents.

“How can we prevent a wife who is conspiring to kill her husband? How can we stop a husband who wakes up at midnight and slits the neck of his wife and then commits suicide? It is surely not the crime, but such incidents do spread panic in the city,” said spokesperson of the police department, Addition Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCP) Harmohan Singh.

It all began on August 5 when Kuldeep Kaur (60), the second wife of industrialist Satpal Singh, was caught by the Model Town police on the charges of hiring men for getting her husband killed. The unearthing of truth shocked the police, as Kuladeep Kaur, also a school principal, was married to Satpal Singh for past 32 years.

The next incident took place on August 7 at Ekta Colony on the Rahon road when a 24-year-old pregnant woman, Seema, and her mother Usha (45) were killed by Seema’s father-in-law Subash following a heated argument.

Another incident where 27-year-old Himanshu first slit the neck of his wife and later killed himself with the kitchen knife was enough to sent jitters among the rank and files of the police department.

A few officials of the police department even spoke to psychiatrists to find out ways to tackle such kind of crime.

The killing of 21-year-old employee of the KFC, Maninder Kaur, who was shot dead and later her body was dumped in a vacant plot in Besant Avenue was no different. She paid the price of keeping the weapon of her room-mate’s drug addict boyfriend.



Police cracks down on drug peddlers
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
According to the crime reports being sent by the Police Department these days, illicit liquor and habit-forming drugs are being recovered in huge quantities from the drug-peddlers in Ludhiana. The police claims if this menace was not curbed early, then the youth will be ruined, as they are the most vulnerable targets for the drug peddlers.

The in charge of the Narcotic and Anti-Liquor Smuggling staff, Harbans Singh, said they seized two or three cases (on an average) under NDPS Act daily. "The drug smuggling has reached an alarming proportion and it needs to be curbed immediately as more and more youngsters are involved in it. We have been appealing to the masses, if they get any information regarding the drug-peddlers or drugs being smuggled, they can contact the police and we will maintain their secrecy at any cost," said Harbans Singh.

The criminals are punished under the NDPS Act but when booked under the Excise Act, the liquor smugglers are let off after they pay a penalty.

After the arrest of Rohit Kumar, a resident of Street Number 5, Kishor Nagar, Tajpur Road, the police recovered around 48 cases of local-make whisky. He was bringing the whisky from Sahnewal.

"Rohit had purchased the liquor near Sahnewal and was to sell it to migrant workers in the Dhandari and Sherpur areas at increased rates. The value of the seized liquor is about Rs 1 lakh," he added.



independence  day
Students brave rain to take part in dress rehearsal
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The dress-rehearsals for the Independence Day function was held at SCD Government College today. The rain did create a few problems, but failed to dampen the spirits of the participants, who gave their best during the rehearsals. If the weathermen are to be believed then in next 2-3 days, the sky will remain cloudy with intermittent rain. The officials keeping their fingers crossed for the Independence day function. If these intermittent rains continue till tomorrow, the venue of the function might be shifted.

An official with the district administration said that the employees of the Municipal Corporation were at work, and the rainwater accumulated at the ground was being cleared with the help of machines. "But if the rains continue till tomorrow evening, the venue may have to be changed," said the official.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari along with other officers from various departments saw the dress-rehearsals and the arrangements at the SCD Government College today. The officers also held a meeting after the rehearsals.

Tiwari said that the state government had asked the officials of all the departments to be present on the Independence Day celebrations alongwith their staff and a notification had recently been issued regarding this.

Minister for Local Bodies Bhagat Chunni Lal will hoist the flag during the Independence day celebrations on August 15.

At the Sub-Divisions (Jagraon, Samrala, Khanna, Payal etc), the SDMs or tehsildars will hoist the flag. On August 15, a 45-minute cultural programme will be presented by school and college students. The District Education Officer (Secondary) has been the incharge for the cultural show.

Besides the cultural programme, parade by the police and NCC cadets, and a PT show will also be presented on the occasion. Sewing machines will be distributed to the needy on the day.

Weather forecast

Surinder Paul, Director, Weather Department, Chandigarh, said that the weather in the next 2-3 days will remain the same, with partial clouds and intermittent rain.

(1) Students from different schools at the Independence Day dress rehearsal at SCD Government College on Monday. Photos: Inderjeet Verma
(2) Students practise moves during the event.
(3) Students peform during the rehearsal.
(4) NCC cadets in their uniform.
(5) Students help each other with their costumes.
(6) MC employees have a hard time dealing with the water-logged areas at SCD College grounds on Monday.



No fogging in Sahnewal
Residents fear outbreak of dengue, say authorities negligent
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, August 13
The residents of Sahnewal town are waiting for the fogging to be initiated at the earliest, lest dengue would spread its tentacles in the area.

The sanitation of this town especially of Ward Numbers 3, 4 and 5 is in a poor state due to the lack of free flow of sullage and sewerage. The residents blame the council for showing ignorance as they rue despite the fact that fresh dengue cases are being reported now and then from the surrounding areas; the latter seems to have abandoned this part of the town forever.

The residents of the town complain that accumulated water has become an eyesore. A resident rued, “We have approached the committee entreating upon it many a time to find a permanent solution to this never ending problem but the authorities do not seem to be serious on the issue.”

The residents said, “We were really dying to have a glimpse of a fogging machine. The situation is no better where the machine had already arrived. Fogging is just a mere show there as well. It is done only in half of the town and that too half-heartedly while the other parts kept waiting only to know later that the foggers had already fled away.”

Another resident of Ward Number 4 rued, “The sewer and filth, jammed in the nullahs, provide a most congenial atmosphere for the flies and mosquitoes to multiply at a rapid speed. On one hand, the living conditions are deplorable and on the other hand, not even a single fogging machine has arrived since the summer started despite repeated remainders.”

“The sorry state of affairs is revealed from the fact that huge heaps of garbage waste remain collected around but cleanliness drive, if ever initiated, just remains limited to the clicking of the pictures for advertisement and nothing above that. Thanks to the callous attitude of the councillors of the area who have turned a blind eye and deaf ear to the extent that an epidemic outbreak is not far to seek,” the resident complained.

Another resident said, “We have been putting up with this situation for years together. The drainage system gets choked to such an extent that even a small downpour leaves houses and streets miserable. Is it not the responsibility of the committee to initiate fogging at the earliest or is it waiting for some cases to be reported in the hospitals to start with the work,” said a he.

The Deputy Commissioner has issued strict instructions to the committees to maintain adequate sanitary arrangements in their towns, but the council here seems to look the other way. “The government issues clear instructions to the councils and the committees to launch various health awareness and cleanliness drives from time to time but the residents can be forced to pay through the nose for the negligence on the part of the latter,” said one of the residents of the area.

Kulwant Singh Kanti, Nagar Council Chief when contacted said: “There was shortage of medicine for fogging and now that the medicine has arrived it shall be started at the earliest. Moreover, it is not possible to cover the entire town in one day. Hence we have initiated it in parts and shall be doing the same in a day or two.”



Found absent from school, maths teacher suspended
Tribune news Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The Punjab Education Minister, Sikander Singh Maluka, today ordered the suspension of Rakesh Kumar Sood, a maths teacher posted at Senior Secondary School, Jawaharnagar, Ludhiana, for indulging in indiscipline and encouraging factionalism in school.

Rakesh Kumar Sood was found absent on July 26 when the members of Parents Teacher Association visited the school. Next day, Education Minister was in the city and he ordered to send a report of teachers.

Taking serious a note of teaching community indulging in factionalism rather than focusing on teaching, Maluka said that he would not allow any member of teaching faculty to vitiate the atmosphere of the schools.

He said factionalism and indiscipline create a wrong impact on the impressionable minds of young students.

Moreover, due to factionalism they indulge in complaint campaign against each other that wastes the precious time of the government.

Meanwhile, Paramjit Kaur, District Education Officer (Secondary) said, “We have sent the report of school principal to education Minister and he has taken the action against the teacher.”



from schools
Yellow Day

Ludhiana: The tiny-tots of Pre-Nursery and Nursery classes celebrated Yellow Colour Day in Cherubs The Preschool. The children were dressed up in their bright yellow attires. The teachers presented yellow flowers to the children to let them recognise and identify the colour. The children tried their hands on painting with yellow paint. The school was decorated with yellow coloured balloons, ribbons and soft toys. All the children and teachers were dressed up in yellow colour clothes.

Eye check-up camp

Amrit Indo-Canadian Academy organised an eye check-up interaction session for the students. Eminent doctors examined about 1,000 students. The students with vision problems were recommended a follow up and made urged to wear spectacles. A powerpoint presentation on “Eyes-The Gift of Nature” was presented in the school hall. It was quite an informative session as the students were made abreast with the aftermaths of cataract and Glucoma. Resource person informed about the various myths regarding wearing of spectacles as a social stigma. Valuable tips for better and healthy vision were shared.

Students sing patriotic songs

The students of BCM celebrated 65th celebration of the Independence Day. The students expressed their freedom by dancing on the patriotic numbers whereas the students of classes IX and X had an inter-house dish-making competition where they were to present tri-colours platter comprising of four dishes and tell their nutritional value too. There was a sumptuous display of the tri-colour dishes, which was not only a feast for the taste buds but for the eyes as well.

Teej celebrated

The BCM teachers celebrated “Tiyan Teej Diyan”. The teachers were attired beautifully in a traditional Punjabi style. They got an opportunity to exhibit their knowledge and talent of Punjabi culture for Miss Teej and “giddha” was the main attraction. Manpreet was crowned Miss Teej whereas Gurpreet and Liza were the first and second runner-ups. — TNS



Patriotism still strong in their hearts
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
Even though the concept of freedom and freedom struggle have little relevance to the youngsters, its meaning is still etched in the memory of those who have seen the days before India attained independence.

Hazara Singh, 90, who fought for the independence of the country is one such individual. "When Mahatma Gandhi gave the call for Quit India Movement, it was a spontaneous decision for me to join the struggle," he reminisces. The "Do or Die" spirit prevailed, he says. "There were two kinds of people in those times - those who were benefiting from the government and those who were against it. The difficult part was that if you dared to do something against the government, people were scared to be associated with you," he says. He was jailed thrice during the rule.

"Those were terrible days," Hazara recalls, "as people were treated like cattle under the British rule. The English not only made us poor financially, but mentally as well. It was slavery of the highest order."

Brigadier Avtar Singh, a war veteran, says, "In those days, the youth was driven by patriotism. We wanted to do something for the country. Money was never a priority and the country came first." Brigadier Singh lost his arm in the 1965 war. He was serving 71 Medium Regiment (Artillery).

But the changes in society and the disregard of the ideals of the freedom struggle have been disappointing for these freedom fighters. "Everyone now is running after money and the benefits and comforts for oneself have become more important than the country," Brigadier Singh laments. This 'self before country' attitude is the reason for the widespread corruption in India.

The love for the country is still strong in their hearts as they have seen the days of the struggle.



Markets flooded with Tricolours
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
Saffron, White and Green seem to be pervading the market in the wake of Independence Day. Many items bearing the national flag as well as Independence Day messages are available in the markets.

The Tricolour can be seen in various sizes in markets everywhere. Apart from the national flag, caps, badges, stickers bearing the Tricolour and Independence Day messages are flooding the market.

Although the response to these has been a little low in the market till now, the sales are slowly picking up. Most of the flags are being bought by students or school authorities, said a shopkeeper at Ghumar Mandi. Most large sized flags are being bought by government offices.

Students in particular are excited about the upcoming Independence Day for this is the only time of the year when they purchase these flags and flash them during the Independence Day celebrations at their schools. "This is a time of the year when you can wear the love for the country on your sleeve," says Ravi, a student.

Amandeep, a resident, said that it is sad that national flags, which are a symbol of patriotism, are mostly sold only during this time of the year. "Every day should be celebrated as Independence Day and people must raise themselves above politics, regionalism,and casteism," he added.



Khanna police issues diversion map for August 15
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna August 13
The Khanna-Malerkotla road will remain closed for vehicular traffic following a function to pay homage to martyr Karnail Singh Issru.

District Police Khanna has issued a traffic map for smooth vehicular flow through Khanna-Malerkotla on August 15. In a press conference at the District Police Office, SSP Khanna said that there will be a complete ban on vehicles on this road. Light vehicles will be allowed to pass through the diverted road as per the map and heavy vehicles will go through other routes.

He said that vehicles will pass through Faizgarh via Kamma, Ghurala, Cheema and Nasrali. He also stated that security arrangements have been completed for the state level function at Issru.



Students don't relate to Independence Day, freedom struggle
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
Although Independence Day is being celebrated, it is just a holiday for youngsters as most don't realise the importance of the day. Like all things gone by, youngsters don't relate to the concept of freedom struggle and the symbols of national importance. When asked about Independence Day and national symbols, college students fared worse than school children.

Many believe that the lion India's national animal. Some even said that the national animal was peacock. Questions about the national emblem also drew a blank. A couple of them said the "charkha' in the flag was the national emblem. When asked about the national song, quite a few replied "Vande Mataram". Some claimed that the national song was written by AR Rahman.

Questions about the national flower evoked "rose" as answer. Many didn't even know about the significance of the Republic Day. Questions about the "Quit India Movement" also largely remained unanswered. Only school and college students pursuing History were able to answer them. A teacher said that students learn about the things of national importance in school and forget them when they step outside, which is not a good sign.



Need to display national symbols prominently
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
As Independence Day is about to arrive, the national flags are out once again. But the visibility of these mostly remains restricted to a few days every year. The national flag hardly ever enters homes and remain restricted to the functions organised at schools and colleges, where it serves decorative purpose.

"There are very few things that bind the nation together and remind that you are an Indian," said Rohit, a resident. The national flag is one of those few things, he says. "Americans and British take pride in flaunting their flag. But in how many homes would you find the Indian flag these days?" says Nitin, a resident. "Not only the flag, where is the national emblem? How many times is the national anthem sung, except in school assemblies or official government meets? Where are the national animals, birds or flowers? If you go to Australia, you will find the kangaroo everywhere," says Harvinder, a resident.

The youth today doesn't know or care about the national symbols, and little is done at the administrative level to make these relevant our lives," says Harneet Singh, a local. "We sing Jan Gan Man in colleges and schools, but how many of us know the actual meaning? It is ironical that the national flower is seen mostly in illustrations and pictures, and not in public parks, government or private institutions," he said.



Ludhiana scan
I-Day function

Ludhiana: Senior citizens welfare association, Ludhiana celebrated Independence Day by arranging an interaction between senior citizens and students of Government High School, Khedi village. Purpose of this programme was to sensitise the school children about their responsibilities towards elders and to create awareness among them regarding the important role of our armed forces in guarding the nation. While Dr Bhatti, Director General of Police (retd), Brig Mastinder Singh shared information about the role of armed forces. The school children listened to them rapt attention. This was followed by cultural programme by the students of the school. The association members distributed books as prizes to meritorious students in studies and co-curricular activities.

The Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Memorial Society Punjab celebrated Independence Day. Chairman of the society visited the residence of Gen Mohan Singh and honoured Mata Jaswant Kaur. She presented book titled “A Soldiers Contribution to India Independence” written by Gen Mohan Singh to the members of the society.


A meeting of the school association and District Education Officer was conducted at Bachat Bhawan here on Monday. SK Ahluwalia, (IAS retd) participated in this meeting. Various issues related to Right to Education Act in this meeting. On the occasion, Rajinder Sharma and others members of school associations said that they were ready to follow the RTE Act and to admit the student under the same. But the government should pay grant per student to the affiliated schools.

Association to open gatka centres

The Punjab Gatka Association will release Khed Calendar for gatka players in the state. Harcharan Singh Bhullar, president Gatka Association said the association would open gatka training centers at every block of the state and depute gatka coaches and referees at the district-level. He said the association would provide all the facilities to the education department to conduct 
the competitions.


The PAU Employees Union organised a protest rally at Thapar Hall on the university campus. The employees demanded salaries and 40 per cent arrears from the state government. Various union leaders addressed the employees. Gulzar Singh Pandher warned the government that if their salaries were not released, they would intensify their struggle.

Plantation drive

Mandi Ahmedgarh: Constituents of the Shryans Group of Industries launched movement to preserve environment through plantation. Chairman-cum-managing director of the organisation inaugurated the movement by planting saplings of fruiting and shade tree on premises of a paper mill at Malikpur near here on Monday. He said the organisation would also help social organisations undertaking aforestation programme genuinely. — TNS



One nabbed with over 500gm drug powder 
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The city police nabbed a person with 519 grams of drug powder yesterday. The accused, named Rajinder Kumar alias Billi, was caught near the Ganda Nullah at Hargobind Nagar during a police drive against drug-peddling and smuggling. A case has been registered against him at the Division No 6 police station. The police informed that several cases against Rajinder are already registered in different police stations in the city. The accused was released four months ago in a Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) case.

The police also informed that Brij Lal, the father-in-law of the accused, is already imprisoned in Central Jail, Ludhiana, under an NDPS case and a similar case is also registered against his mother-in-law as well. The drive is being carried out under the directions of Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh.



Police arrests drug peddler, recovers poppy husk
Our correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 13
The Dehlon police has arrested a painter of Raniwala village in Mukatsar district and seized a substantial quantity of poppy husk from his possession.

Gurpreet Singh Sikand, Assistant Commissioner of Police said, a team led by Amandeep Singh Brar, SHO, Dehlon, had nabbed Lakhwinder Singh Lakha for allegedly distributing narcotics in the area.

Besides seizing five bags of poppy husk, the police has also recovered equipment used in measuring the contraband and packing materials.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the accused used to bring the contraband from drug-peddlers active in trans-Sutlej area. He would then sell it to labourers and addicts by organising vends at deserted places alongside link roads and canals.

He was waiting for his regular customers at a deserted place near near Kaind Bridge when the police came to know about him.

Though the police is yet to know extact information about his ‘agents’ yet it is suspected that some addicts, who were in regular touch with the peddlers used to act as sub-agents for him.

The accused, who was presently living at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Mohalla in Ludhiana, was earlier arrested by the Ludhiana Sadar police for the same crime.



SAI trainee wins gold in athletics meet
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune news Service

Ludhiana, August 13
Bikramjeet Singh, a trainee of the Sport Authority of India (SAI), Ludhiana centre, won a gold medal by jumping 7.21m in the long jump event in the North Zone Athletics meet held at Meerut recently.

Bikramjeet said, “It was a great achievement for me to win a gold medal, as players from the northern states had participated in this event.”

Coach SS Pannu is delighted over his success. Earlier Bikramjeet has won medals in the state athletics meet and had also participated in many national-level competitions.

Talking about his passion, Bikramjeet said, “Athletics is my passion and I preferred to practise long jump. My aim is to participate in the Olympics and I will surely achieve my aim.”



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