L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


45 fire incidents reported in city
Municipal Corporation fire fighters remain on toes on Divali night
Kuldip Bhatia
A fire that broke out at a property dealer’s shop on the Jail Road in Ludhiana
A fire that broke out at a property dealer’s shop on the Jail Road in Ludhiana. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, November 14
A tyre factory on Sua Road, four medicine shops in Pindi Street, a garment godown in Field Ganj, a shop on Jail Road and a shop in Gur Mandi were among 45 spots where fire broke out due to bursting of crackers on Divali night in the city on Tuesday. Though the commercial establishments suffered extensive damage due to fire, no loss of human life was reported from the city in the incidents of fire which were marginally higher than last year when 42 incidents of fire were reported.

While most of the fire incidents, caused by sparks flowing out of fire crackers, or burning crackers falling over some combustible material, were put out in time by the fire fighters of the Municipal Corporation, the blaze that engulfed the tyre factory tested the skills of the fire-fighting staff.

ADFO Kartar Singh said, the whole stock and raw material in the factory was highly combustible, and the fire staff had to struggle for many hours before they could completely put out the fire with the assistance of six fire tenders.

In Gur Mandi, where fire in a shop was reported, the fire fighters had a tough time as the fire tenders could not gain access to the congested wholesale market. The length of the water hose had to be extended so that it could reach the shop and the fire was brought under control.

"Our men (fire fighting staff) virtually remained on their toes on Divali night as incidents of fire were reported one after the other," said Kartar Singh while adding that the fire staff could not take chances even if the fire was minor. There were quite a few hoax calls to add to the work load of the fire brigade, he added.

The total loss caused due to fire incidents on Divali night was not known, though rough estimates indicated that losses could run into many crores.

A couple of minor fire incidents were reported from Gill Road and Haibowal localities this morning, which were also caused by smouldering fire crackers. The flames were doused immediately.


Slogan of ‘Green Divali’ falls on deaf ears
Residents burn crackers worth Rs 20 crore
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 14
Divali was celebrated with religious fervour in the city yesterday. Several appeals by NGOs and social organisations to celebrate "Green Divali" this time had little impact on residents, who burnt crackers worth Rs 20 crore last night. But the officials of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) maintain that as compared to previous years, there was "slightly" less pollution this year.

This time, cracker-traders feared that they would have to bear losses, as they had shifted their shops to Dana Mandi. But in the last two days, buyers purchased crackers worth about Rs 20 crores. "We can not say that we incurred losses as most of our stocks got cleared in the last two days. Still the sales were not as per our expectations", said Pradeep Kumar, president, Cracker Dealer Association, here.

Officials of Punjab Pollution Control Board are said that it was a “slightly” better Divali. Karunesh Garg, Senior Environmental Engineer, Zonal Office II, said that samples were taken from residential, commercial and sensitive areas and their results were awaited. "Three samples were taken from Sheela Hospital (sensitive), opposite Verka Milk Plant (residential) and Vishkarma Chowk (commercial) respectively to check the pollution levels, the results will be out by tomorrow. This year the sky was clearer as compared to previous years", said Garg.

Bursting of crackers created respiratory problems for many, especially for senior citizens, who preferred to remain indoors to get little respite from the air and noise pollution outside.



Man bludgeoned to death by drunk gambler
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 14
Asking for directions proved fatal for a tipsy middle-aged man, as he was bludgeoned to death by a drunk gambler Gole Market near Domoria Bridge here last night.

The accused Shanti (25), who had allegedly lost all his money over a game of cards, had no remorse for what he had done. He didn’t even know the person he had killed last night. He was arrested by the police here this evening.

Shanti said the victim was also drunk and entered into a fight with him over a petty issue.

The incident took place at midnight when Shanti, who works as waiter at a roadside eatery, was allegedly sitting on the roof top of a shop and playing cards along with his two friends.

He told the police that the victim, who had come from the railway station, approached them and asked for direction. Both Shanti and the man entered into a heated argument as the latter was asked to leave. Soon the argument turned into a brawl and in the process the victim fell unconscious.

Later in the night, the victim regained consciousness and again entered into a fight with Shanti. In a fit of rage Shanti smashed a brick on the victim's head and threw him from the roof top.

In the morning, residents spotted the body and informed the police about the incident.

Vinod Kumar, SHO, Division No 4, said that a case had been registered and the accused had been nabbed. He said efforts are on to establish the identity of the victim who was killed.

45 cases of brawl reported on Divali

Beside the brutal murder, 45 cases of spats were reported in different parts of the city on Divali. Burning of crackers, consuming liquor and gambling were the major reasons behind fights.



58 suffer burn injuries
Patients mostly children
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 14
As many as 58 residents received burn injuries while bursting crackers on Divali night. The cases reported this year have exceeded last year's figures that stood at 42.

Dr Aashish Chander, assistant professor, eye department, Christian Medical College and Hospitals, said, "We received 25 cases of burn injuries at the hospital causality ward last night. Out of these, 20 patients had eye injuries due to burning of crackers. Most of these patients were children. These children were either bursting crackers without the supervision of elders or they were injured by bombs, rockets and anaars etc. Small stones are used to make these bombs which hit the eyes when they explode. A girl was hit by one such bomb and her cornea was damaged. We operated up on her and hope she recovers soon."

At Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, as many as 13 cases of burn injuries were reported. Dr Sanjeev Uppal, professor and head of plastic surgery, DMCHS said, "We received 13 burn cases. Out of these, four had facial injuries, seven had hand injuries. A couple from Jammu received severe burn injuries. While the wife sustained 90 per cent burns, her husband had 65 per cent burn injuries."

There were 10 patients with burn injuries at Shri Guru Teg Bahdarur Hospital. Dr RS Sodhi, medical superintendent of the hospital, said, "There were eight patients who were given first aid, while two have been admitted to the hospital."

Dr Gaurav Sachdeva, medical superintendent of Mediways Hospital, said four cases of minor burn injuries were reported on Divali night. At Deep Hospital, four sustained injuries. Baldeep said, "Two patients had eye injuries while one had facial injuries. The fourth patient was referred to CMCH for treatment."



Leopard still on prowl in Kadian village
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 14
It has been three days since the leopard escaped from the borewell in Kadian village, but there no clue of the wild cat since then.

Forest officials said, the fresh pug marks spotted on Monday indicated that the leopard was suspected to be hiding at a guava farm in the area.

The forest guards, who have pitched their tent in the area since Sunday, fear that the animal might attack human beings.

Forest guard Gurpreet Singh said ever since the fresh pug marks were spotted, the department along with the police had intensified the search in the area.

“Even today our team along with the Ladhowal Police conducted a search at the guava farm and the nearby areas, but could not spot the leopard. We have set up two cages in the area but have failed to catch the leopard,” said Gurpreet.

The forest guards said that burning of crackers might have scared the leopard and it was possible that it might have fled the place.

Gurnek Singh and Sewa Kaur of Qutbewal village are worried about their grandchildren. The guava farm, where the leopard is suspected to be hiding, is located just a few meters away from their house.

“We are concerned about the children. Since Sunday we have not let the children venture out in the open. We did not celebrate Divali and took the children inside the house once it was dark,” said Sewa Kaur.

It was on Sunday that the police had sound a high alert in 10 villages falling near the Sutlej in Ladhowal after a leopard that was being rescued from a borewell, escaped and injured a forest guard.



Children’s day
Not so fortunate, these ‘born adults’ are under pressure to feed their families
Tribune News Service

Boys carry heavy sacks of waste material near Dana Mandi in Ludhiana
Boys carry heavy sacks of waste material near Dana Mandi in Ludhiana. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, November 14
The day began late for the city after a day of festivities, celebrations and joy that carried on till late last night. But for many like Badal, the day began early today, cleaning up the roads, before the sweepers put the cracker boxes, leftovers of firecrackers and garbage in the garbage bins. The little one carried a large sack on his tender shoulders, his nose flowing, scruffy hair as he carried on collecting the garbage. Seeming to be of 10 years old, he couldn’t tell his exact age and said that he had been picking up rags since he was very small.

Underprivileged children like him continue to lead a tough life. "Childhood for them is just a state of physical being. The joys, bliss, playfulness that childhood is endowed with is not for them. They are "born adults" and continue to reel under the pressure to feed themselves and families," says Rohit, a resident.

"Hundreds of children in the city slums continue to live a difficult life. Despite several initiatives, children continue to be deprived of the childhood. Initiatives by the government like Right to Education have helped to an extent, but these can't change the attitude of these people towards education. The government needs to provide them alternate incentives and sources of income to get them to go to school," says Deepika, a resident.

"It is not easy to convince poor parents to get their children educated. They say they need bread and butter and sources of income to feed the family and not education," says Ramanjot Grewal from Swami Ganga Nand Bhuriwale Foundation, an NGO working for the welfare of children.

"It takes a lot to motivate the parents as well as the children. It’s difficult to get them to go to school. They are not inclined towards the schooling system. The biggest reason for this is poverty. There has to be incentive for parents too so that they are ready to send their children to school," she says.



City celebrates Vishvakarma Day
CM announces plan to provide skill training to unemployed youth
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, November 14
Baba Vishvakarma Day was celebrated with religious fervour here today. Various functions were organised to pay rich tributes to Vishvakarma, regarded as the principal universal architect.

On the occasion, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, speaking at Ramgarhia Girls College, said in a bid to make our unemployed youth employable in a dignified manner, besides enabling them to get absorbed by the local industries, the state government had prepared a comprehensive plan. Under the plan, Punjabi youth will be provided skill training in different disciplines, for which the government had signed an MoU with a German public-sector company to set up five main skilled development centres at Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Bathinda and Amritsar with a chain of numerous sub-centres, he said. About one lakh youth would be trained every year in collaboration with the local industries at these centres, he added.

Paying rich tributes to Lord Vishvakarma, the Chief Minister said that he was the founder of craft, architecture and engineering on the earth.

“Whatever industrial and infrastructural growth we observe today is happening with the blessings of Lord Vishvakarma that facilitated the mankind to make technological advancements,” he said. To pay a real tribute to Lord Vishvakarma, Badal appealed the people, especially the Punjabi youth, to improve their professional skills and benefit from the new job opportunities created by the induction of modern technology in the state industries.

In another function, Baba Vishvakarma International Foundation celebrated Baba Vishvakarma Day with great enthusiasm at the grain market on Gill Road here today. While inaugurating the function, Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria spoke about the importance of the day. He said Baba Vishvakarma was an architect and all inventions from needle to aeroplane were made possible because of him. He said it was our duty to celebrate this day with great enthusiasm.

Prominent personalities from different spheres were honoured on this occasion. Those who were honoured with “Vishvakarma Ratan Award” included prominent poet Surjit Patar, Sardar Panchi, famous folk singer Surinder Chhinda, K Deep, noted industrialist Jaswant Singh Sagar, Rajinder Singh Saund Nexo, Narinder Singh, Surjit Singh Nota, Inderjit Singh Sohal, Satwant Singh Sheera, Jagtar Singh Gobind, Amarjit Singh Syan, Krishan Kansal, educationist Prof Onkar Singh Saggu, Dr Kamaljit Sohi and Ashok Makkar.

In his address, Ghanshyam Lotey asked the state government to allocate two acres of land in Ludhiana for the setting up of a bhawan that should be named after Baba Vishvakarma. Punjabi Sahit Akademi president Prof Gurbhajan Singh Gill said Baba Vishvakarma had done a lot for the humanity. He said UNO should be approached to get the day declared as "International Architecture Day".

Meanwhile, District Congress Committee celebrated the occasion by organising a function at the Bihari Colony in Ward Number 17. The function, presided over by the DCC Ludhiana Urban president Pawan Dewan, was organised by Purvanchal Hosiery Textile Workers’ Union president Lal Chand Rao. Paying obeisance to the portrait of Lord Vishvakarma, Dewan said Vishvakarma has been described to be the first engineer of the universe. He said Lord Vishvakarma had a distinct place in the glorious Indian culture. “Lord Vishvakarma makes everyone realise that work is worship,” he said.

Mandi Ahmedgarh: Shri Vishvakarma Maha Puja Utsav was celebrated at Dehliz Road Vishvakarma Mandir today. Iqbal Singh Jhoondan, MLA of Amargarh constituency segment, was the chief guest and Balwant Singh Lotey inaugurated the function by hoisting the flag. Ravinder Puri, president of the local civic body, was the guest of honour.

Addressing the gathering, Jhoondan said the modern society owed a lot to Baba Vishvakarma who paved the way for all mechanical and technical advances.

"It was all due to the foundation laid by him that man thought of exploring the cosmic universe. Fundamentals laid by the great architect led humanity to the age of ultramodern gadgets and space aircrafts," he claimed.

Various religious singers presented a collection of religious songs and hymns on the occasion.



CPI demands hike in minimum wages
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 14
The Communist Party of India (CPI) today convened a massive rally of workers from hosiery and other sectors of industry to focus on the demand for immediate hike in minimum wages of all categories of workers in the wake of unprecedented rise in prices of essential items.

Addressing the rally at Basti Jodhewal Chowk here, the CPI leaders also gave a call to the workers to participate in large numbers in the rally proposed to be held by the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) at Delhi on December 20.

Speakers, including DP Maur, general secretary, Joint Council of Trade Unions; Ramesh Rattan, city secretary; Dr Arun Mitra, assistant secretary of the party; Feroze Master; Nagina Ram and Kuldip Binder reiterated the demand for revision of minimum monthly wages for the workers. They demanded for minimum wages of Rs 10,000 for unskilled, Rs 15,000 for semi-skilled and Rs 20,000 for skilled workers.

They further called for filling up of all vacant posts on regular basis and not on contract basis, payment of provident fund and bonus to all workers without any pre conditions, increase in gratuity rates, pension to all workers and employees, compulsory registration of trade unions within 45 days of filing registration papers, and implementation of labour laws as per ILO convention 87 and 98.

The trade union leaders alleged that the workers were being denied their constitutional rights even to get their ration cards, Aadhar cards and voter cards. "For these documents, the workers are made to visit various offices time and again and harassed," they said.

The speakers flayed the government for bowing to the pressure of corporate sector which had led to flouting of labour laws with impunity, not only by the private, but also by the public sector. "There is no provision for social security for the unorganised workers. Government has failed to curb the rising prices and solve the problem of unemployment," they added.



‘Gift of sight’ this Divali
3 families donate eyes of recently deceased elderly persons
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 14
On the Divali night when people were busy lighting up their houses, members of three families brought a ray of hope for some visually impaired persons by donating eyes of their elders whom they had lost recently.

Dr Ramesh, director of Punarjot Eye Bank, said: "Unlike previous year, this time we received lesser patients with eye injuries on the Divali night. Rather, we received three pairs of eyes from the family members of three persons who died in the last three days. The eyes belonged to 70- year-old Gurbachan Singh from Amritsar who died on November 12, 76-year-old Bachan Singh from Mansa district who died on November 13, and Chuni Lal Batra from Ludhiana who died on November 14."

He further said that it was a very humble gesture on the part of the families of these deceased persons. They set an example by doing this work of charity and that too on Divali, he said.

Till date, Punarjot Eye Bank has collected and transplanted more than 4,700 eyes from different parts of the state.



Children unclear about Chacha Nehru’s legacy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 14
Although Chidren's Day is celebrated with fervour in almost all schools, many children found themselves at a loss to answer some simple questions about the relevance of the occasion. Although a few said that they knew November 14 was Children's Day, they stumbled and stuttered when asked about the real significance of the day. They failed to tell why it was celebrated. A Class-VII student said Children's Day was just another day like Mother's Day, Father's Day and Parent's Day.

A few of the children said that the day is celebrated in memory of Jawahar Lal Nehru, but were not able to tell who he was. Some students were able to tell that the day is celebrated because Chacha Nehru loved children, but none of them could tell why the day is celebrated on November 14. Some of the students could not tell why he was called Chacha. A Class-VI student said that as Mahatma Gandhi was called Bapu, Nehru was called Chacha.

When asked if they knew about Jawahar Lal Nehru, some readily answered that he was the first Prime Minister, but could not tell who Chacha Nehru was.

Rohit, a teacher said that although education system is getting advanced technologically and focuses on giving information about several things, learning in depth is lagging in this technologically advanced system.



No children in schools on Children’s Day
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, Nov 14
Probably for the first time in the past decades, the Children’s Day that falls on the birth day of the first Prime Minister of India, Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru, was not celebrated with enthusiasm at schools of the area.

Government holiday, on account of the Vishawkarma Day in the state-run and private-aided schools was cited as major factor behind the factor.

The Director General (school education) had directed the heads of all schools to celebrate the day by opening schools for at least two hours today. But the orders could not be complied due to alleged inefficient communication of the orders among the students.

Internet problem at schools situated in the rural habitation and observance of "local" holiday at some of the schools on Monday also added to the problem.

Sources said that the Children’s Day was not celebrated with desired enthusiasm at any of the government and private-aided schools. Though heads and staff of some of the government schools had tried to organise competitions by opening their institutes for about two hours, yet poor turn out of students resulted in the disappointment of those who attended the functions.

However, majority of the heads, when contacted claimed that the day had been celebrated with fair success at their institutes.

Sources informed that the heads had earlier, been advised to celebrate the day on Thursday. But later, the schedule was altered and it was decided to organise functions at all government schools on the proper day today.

One of the heads, on condition of anonymity, admitted that the function could not be organised as his school was closed on Monday on account of local holiday and that the staff had already completed preparations for a function to be held on Thursday.



Call for bandh on Nov 20
Teaching, non-teaching staff demand implementation of pension, gratuity scheme
Tribune Reporters

Doraha, November 14
As per call given by the Joint Action Committee, comprising the Federation of associations of college principals, retired teachers, Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union and Non-Teaching Staff, the employees of all the private colleges of Punjab will observe complete education bandh. Hence, the education institutes will remain closed on November 20.

The Joint Action Committee has demanded action by the Chief Minister to implement the pension and gratuity scheme for which the employees of the Joint Action Committee shall be holding a massive demonstration on November 20 at Ambedkar Park, Bhatinda.

The retired teachers and the executive committee of the PCCTU shall hold a special meeting in this regard tomorrow and further take out a candle march on the evening of November 16 beginning from Gurudwara Singh Sabha in Model Town to the residence of Speaker, Charanjit Singh Atwal, and Advisor Maheshinder Singh Grewal.

Also, a joint deputation comprising of the state president and patron of the association, Prof SS Hundal and principal RS Pawan, respectively, Dr Kuldip Singh general secretary, Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union, Prof Santokh Singh and Prof Manjit Singh Komal met the Chief Minister Punjab today at Ludhiana.

They requested him to implement pension and gratuity scheme dated December 18,1996, and other retrial benefits.

It is pertinent to mention that the Punjab Government had adopted the pension and gratuity bill in the Punjab Legislative Assembly unanimously and notified the Act vide Notification No. 4-PLA-99/5 dated March 27,1999, as per the Rules of Procedure of Vidhan Sabha under rule 121 for the implementation of said scheme in the Colleges. The statement of objects and reasons presented in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in 1999 clearly stated that the pension and gratuity scheme would be implemented on the pattern of private-aided schools.

The Punjab Governor gave his assent on April 19, 1999, and was notified in the gazette on April 26, 1999, and then it became the law of the land.

The most violent and illegal and blatantly unjust onslaught was made by the issuance of regulations on 10.07.2002, which somersaulted the government scheme into a private venture. This document was in utter violation of the Act enacted by the Punjab Government and was publically burnt by the employees to express their resentment. The government has now issued notification, dated 12.01.2012 whereby the rules dated 10.07.2002 have been repealed, said Prof SS Hundal.

“The Punjab and Haryana High Court vide its interim order dated 10.10.2012 had directed the Punjab Government to enforce the implementation of the 18.12.1996 pension and gratuity scheme in a positive manner by the next date of hearing i.e. 26.11.202,” he added.

Apart from implementation of the pension and gratuity scheme, the agitation will focus on certain other pending just demands as lifting of ban on recruitments which was imposed in the year 2005 resulting in the almost 2000 posts of teachers are lying vacant in colleges, re-inclusion of teachers under service security act of 1974 working against un-aided posts, the UGC pay revision arrears to aided as well as unaided teachers as early as possible, relaxation of refresher courses up to June 30, 2010, as per the parity with government college teachers and arrears of the DPEs/Librarians of 1.1.1996 including pension and gratuity scheme,” said Dr Kuldip Singh, general secretary of the PCCTU.



Wikipedia facts
Chance to upload videos catches fancy of residents
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 14
To the delight of many in the city, Wikipedia has allowed uploading of video content on its website. Wikipedia is one of the most popular encyclopaedias online and the possibility of seeing and uploading videos along with the text is enthusing many people in the city.

The online page of the Wikipedia video uploading page reads that the website is still at an early stage in its process of incorporating videos in its encyclopaedic content. The maximum size of the video that can be uploaded is 100 MB. Videos can be shot with digital camcorder or still camera, tripod and video editing software.

There are three different categories that would be accepted online -- snapshot-type videos, performance-type videos and tour-type videos. The snapshot-type videos illustrate a single action and are usually 30 seconds or shorter in length. The performance-type videos are recordings of individuals performing an extended series of actions. Usually these types of videos will have only one shot, and can be up to several minutes long. The tour-type videos will shift between different views to illustrate different aspects of a subject, or to tell a kind of narrative story. Usually this type will have a sequence of several different shots, and can be up to several minutes long, according to the website content.

"The choice of uploading videos online is great," says Rahul, a student. "A lot of times, the first link that appears in search engines for any topic is that of Wikipedia. It, thus, is one of the most popular choices for accessing information,” he says.

"As Wikipedia is a great source of information, this initiative surely would go a long way in making the resource more useful," says Supreet, another student.



Samples of sweets fail purity test
Mustard oil ‘misbranded’
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 14
Samples of sweets and mustard oil collected a few days ago by the district health department have failed purity test. The sweets have been found to be sub -standard while the oil has been reported to “misbranded”.

Disclosing this, Food Safety Officer Harpreet Kaur said, "Samples of khoya collected from Satti Sweet Shop, Jagraon and Daleep Sweet Shop, Jagraon have been found to be "substandard." As per the report, the khoya has less fat and sugar has been added to increase its shelf life.

While sample of barfi collected from Raj Sweet Shop, Model Town, Ludhiana and of coconut barfi from Bikaner Mishtthan Bhandar, Mint Gumari Chowk, Model Town have also been found to be “substandard."

The Food Safety Officer further revealed that samples of mustard oil collected from different shops of Ludhiana and peripheral areas were found to be “mis- branded”. She said, "Misbranded means the oil containers were carrying salient features of mustard oil. However as per rule, these are not allowed."

Misbranded oil samples includes samples collected from the shops of Roshan Lal- Chander Mohan at Kesar Ganj Ludhiana, Rajan Garg and Desraj Garg at Gokul Road, Ludhana, Aman Oil Mills at Dhandhra Khurd and Manju Traders Company at Saban Bazar, Ludhiana.



Jagraon: Effective policing brings down crime graph
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, November 14
The increased surveillance has led to a considerable decline in the criminal activities in Jagraon area during the last couple of months. With effective vigilance, the police has not only arrested hundreds of drug peddlers, a visible reduction has also been seen in other crimes including snatching, thefts and eve teasing.

Not a single incident of snatching has taken place within Jagraon town in the last two months. Besides this, only one incident of theft has taken place in Jagraon town during the same period, which clearly indicates a decline in the criminal activities.

The local police has also seized a large quantity of contrabands including opium, poppy husk, heroin, smack and other habit forming drugs during the last few months. As per records, the local police has registered 255 cases under the NDPS Act and seized around 32.5 kilograms of opium, 104 quintals of poppy husk, 161 gram of heroin, 137 gram of smack, 500 grams of charas and a massive amount of habit forming drugs till the end of October this year.

The police has managed to arrest 260 alleged drug peddlers, including some big fishes involved in this illegal trade. The effective policing has forced drug peddlers halt their activities during the last couple of months.

There was a time when crimes like snatching and petty thefts had become very common in the area. As many as 24 incidents of snatching surfaced during the same period out of which the police has cracked 19 cases and arrested 26 alleged snatchers. The police department has also recovered valuables of around Rs 18 lakh out of a total of Rs 62 lakh worth snatched goods.

As far as theft incidents are concerned, a total of 51 cases came to fore till October this year. The police has solved 34 cases and arrested 33 alleged thieves so far. The police has also recovered stolen goods worth Rs 13 lakh out of a total of Rs 22 lakh worth stolen goods.

Besides this, the police has also cracked three blind murder cases this year.



Delay in paddy lifting irks farmers in Jagraon
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, November 14
The slow lifting process of the paddy crop from the grain markets has irked the farmers as well as the commission agents. Because of the slow lifting process, massive stocks of paddy crop have been still laying in the grain markets of the area. All the grain markets of Jagraon are packed with large stocks of paddy crop because of the slow lifting process.

The farmers rue that first the procurement of paddy crop was not done on time due to which they had to spend many days and nights at the grain markets. Now, when the crop is being procured by the procurement agencies, the lifting of paddy crop is being delayed for the reasons best known to the officials of the local Market Committee, say the farmers.

During a visit to Grain Market, Jagraon, which is the second largest grain market in Asia after Khanna, it was found that huge heaps of paddy crop were laying in the grain market. The situation is worst at grain markets located in rural areas where the lifting process is slow.

Official sources said, the major reason behind slow lifting of the paddy crop has been shortage of labour. Besides, the lack of mode of transportation has made the situation worst.

"Because of the ongoing festival season, a large number of migrant labourers from states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have returned to their native states as a result of which there has been huge shortage of the labour in the Mandis," said an official at Market Committee Jagraon though preferring anonymity.

The slow lifting process has irked the farmers as well as commission agents as their Diwali celebrations were dampened due to delay in lifting of the crop. They complained that they could not deliver sweets and gifts to their relatives and friends due no non-lifting of their crop. Baljinder Singh, a farmer of Kaleran village near Jagraon, rued he could not even purchase sweets and crackers for his family as he had to stay at grain market to take care of his crop.

It is not only the farmers and commission agents who were upset due to delay in lifting, the labourers and other staff members working for commission agents were too unhappy at the situation as they had no option but to stay at grain markets for completing their respective jobs.

Market Committee Jagraon Secretary, Jaswinder Singh, claimed the lifting process was going on full swing. "Despite labour shortage, we are making every possible effort to streamline the lifting process. The whole paddy stock laying in the grain markets will be cleared very soon," he added.



Anti-cracker campaigns go up in smoke
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, Nov 14
Awareness campaigns against burning of crackers to check the environment pollution proved a futile exercise as majority of the people celebrated Divali in a usual manner and bursting of crackers continued till late midnight.

Neither the sellers and nor the buyers of crackers were aware about decibel level of the crackers and explosives manufactured by different companies. Dr Ravinder Sharma, a resident of Subash Nagar regretted that nobody had bothered to clear the rubbish left after bursting of crackers the whole night.

Municipal Council president, Ravinder Puri, said steps would be taken to organise ward-wise community Divali celebration where the residents can celebrate the function jointly. "We will discuss the issue in house and initiate process to make ward wise arrangements for celebration of festival jointly in future," said Puri.



From schools

Green Divali

Ludhiana: Sukrit Trust celebrated a green Divali. The children who had gathered at the office of the trust were given balloons to inflate and then burst, this making it a pollution-free Divali with no risk of receiving burn injuries. The NGO also motivated its members to switch on lights at their homes for a few hours only to save electricity. They were also motivated to exchange fruits instead of sweets.

Annual function

Students of Jesus Sacred Heart School celebrated their annual day with great enthusiasm. After lighting of the ceremonial lamp, “Panchtatva Vandana” was recited. Pincipal Kirti Sharma formally welcomed the guests and presented the annual report. The students presented dance performances, a mime, and an English play. The most riveting performance was given by the pre-primary students in a drama based on the caste system. — TNS



Ludhiana scan

Tributes paid to Pandit Nehru
District Congress Committee (Urban) president Pawan Diwan pays tributes to Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru in Ludhiana on Wednesday
District Congress Committee (Urban) president Pawan Diwan pays tributes to Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

The Ludhiana District Congress Committee Urban paid glowing tributes to the first Prime Minister of the independent India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, here on Wednesday. A function was held at the DCC office, which was presided over by the president Pawan Dewan. They also paid floral tributes to the portrait of Pandit Nehru. Speaking on the occasion, Pawan said, Pandit Nehru had not only contributed his entire life to the freedom movement of the country, but he also laid strong foundations for a strong and prosperous India. He said, it was his great vision of progress and development that India is in a position to be recognised as a great power. He urged the party workers to follow the path and ideals set by Pandit Nehru.

Desh Bhagat Yadgar Society

The birth anniversary of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru was celebrated by Desh Bhagat Yadgar Society here on Wednesday. Members of the society paid floral tributes to Nehru on the occasion.

Motorcycle rally

The Youth Wing of Hindu Uthan Parishad held a motorcycle rally here on Wednesday, which was flagged off by Vinod Jain and Kunwar Ranjan Singh. The rally started from Dhandari and passed out through Sua Road, Durga Colony, Focal Point, and ended at the Chandigarh Road. The organisers made an appeal to shun drugs and youngsters were falling prey to it.


A delegation from the Knitwear Club met Harcharan Bains, media advisor to the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. The delegation led by its president, Vinod Thapar, submitted a memorandum to Bains. They said that the officials from the departments including the PPCB, Sales Tax etc were unnecessarily creating hurdles for the hosiery manufacturers. Bains assured the members that he would arrange a meeting of the delegation with the CM and Deputy Chief Minister to discuss the issue. — TNS



ASI, 2 others sustain acid injuries
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 14
An unidentified truck driver has been booked for criminal negligence after an ASI and two youths sustained burn injuries as leaking acid from his truck fell on them. The incident took place in the wee hours on Tuesday nearly 20 km from the city.

According to complainant Swarnpreet Singh, he was riding towards Sahnewal from Dehlon road on a motorcycle along with his friend Narinder Singh.

He said suddenly acid that was leaking from the truck fell on him and both of them fell on the road. ASI Baljit Singh who was following the duo also sustained burn injuries after the acid fell on him. The trio sustained serious burn injuries and is currently undergoing treatment.



One killed as trucks collide
Our Correspondent

Samrala, November 14
One person was killed and another got injured in a collision of two trucks near Balion village on Samrala-Machhiwara road. A truck, returning to Hoshiarpur from UP, collided with another truck coming from the opposite side near Balion village. The collision was so fierce that the driver of the first truck died on the spot, while the driver of the other truck received injuries.

The deceased has been identified as Mandeep Singh (35), a resident of Hoshiarpur. The injured driver, who was identified as Intzar Ali, a resident of Saharnpur (UP), was admitted to Civil Hospital, Samrala. ASI Darshan Singh said a case was registered against the injured truck driver.



Sri Ram College win football tourney
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, November 14
Sri Ram College, Dalla, won the football tournament organised by Shere Punjab Sports Academy, Chakar. The champions defeated Kamalpura in the first semifinal under the 60-kilogram weight category, while the host beat Bilaspur in the second semifinal.

In the 40-kilogram weight category, the hosts beat Mehal Kalan to emerge victorious. Chakar team also emerged winner in the 30-kilogram weight category by defeating Gujarwal in the final match of this category.

Canada-based NRI Sudarshan Kaur Sidhu was the chief guest during the prize distribution ceremony. She applauded the efforts of Shere Punjab Sports Academy, Chakar, to promote sports culture in rural areas. Prof Balwant Singh Sandhu, chief administrator of Shere Punjab Sports Academy was also present during the occasion.



Satbir Atwal becomes new chief of athletics body
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 14
Satbir Singh Atwal, ADCP, Ludhiana (Traffic), has been unanimously elected as the president of the District Athletics Association Ludhiana (DAAL). He replaced DS Walia, who headed the body for more than a decade.

A former international athlete, Satbir Singh was chosen to the post at a meeting of the association held here yesterday. Ishar Singh Deol, honorary general secretary, Punjab State Athletics Association, chaired this meeting which was attended by all the members of DAAL.

Satbir Singh had received the highest state honour in the field of sports, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Award, in 1995. He is the national record holder in javelin throw, the feat he achieved during the Open National Athletics Meet at Kolkata in 1998. Besides, he has bagged the gold medal for ten times in the All India Police Games.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |