L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Youth murdered; 4 booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
A 24-year-old youth was murdered at Dhakka Colony, Ambedkar Nagar, here last night allegedly by four youths. The victim has been identified as Amit Kumar, alias Ginda. Old rivalry is believed to be behind the murder.

It is learnt that the accused had got an attempt-to-murder case registered against the victim in 2010. Later, a compromise was reached between the two parties. However, last night, the four accused attacked Amit Kumar, resulting in his death.

The incident took place at around 8 pm last night. Family members took Amit Kumar to the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. The police was informed about the incident.

ADCP Bhupinder Singh, along with in charge of the Model Town police station Devinder Chaudhry, reached the spot.

The family members of the deceased alleged that Manjit Singh, alias Manni, and Surjit Kumar had levelled serious allegations against their son Amit Kumar, following which a brawl took place between the two parties in 2010.

The police had arrested Amit Kumar as the other group had got an attempt-to-murder case registered against him. Amit Kumar reportedly remained in the lock-up for about two years. A compromise was reached later between the two parties. Amit Kumar later got married and started his own small lottery business.

Last evening, while Amit was sitting in his shop, the four youths came and attacked him with sharp weapons. They also burst a glass bottle on his head, said the police, adding that Amit was attacked on the chest, head and stomach. The police has registered a case against Manni, Surjit Kumar and two others.


Bank staff observe strike 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
On a call given by the All-India Bank Employees Association, the All-India Bank Officers Association and the Bank Employees Federation of India, bank employees and officers working in public sector banks observed a one-day strike here today.

Naresh Gaur, secretary of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation, Ludhiana unit, while addressing bank employees, said ever since the government initiated the neo-liberal economic reforms policy in the country, there have been repeated attempts to bring in policies that would liberalise and privatise the banking sector.

"We have been consistently fighting against these policies and have held agitations whenever the government took any measures of banking reforms, because these are not in our country's and economy's interests," said Gaur.

The trigger

  • Attempts of the government to expedite banking law amendments
  • Attempts for bank mergers in the name of functional improvement
  • Schemes to bail out corporate defaulters
  • Licences to coporate houses to start banks 

Banking Laws Amendment Bill will enable:

  • Easy merger of banks
  • Increased "voting rights" to private capital in both public sector banks and private banks
  • In dealing with forward contract business 

New Bill

The government has introduced another Bill to amend the Sarfaesi Act/Debt Recovery Act to help corporate loan defaulters by converting bad loans as investments in the equity capital of defaulter companies 



Dist suffers Rs 200-crore transaction loss 
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
The bank strike resulted in a transaction loss of nearly Rs 200 crore in the district today. The industry also suffered inconvenience due to the strike.

"Though banks were closed due to the strike, we will have to pay interest on loans, which is illegal. Whenever there is a strike, the interest on loans should not be added for that particular day," said Badish Jindal, president of the Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association.

Daya Parsad, a migrant labourer, had to suffer a lot of inconvenience due to the strike by banks. "I had to urgently transfer money to my father's account as my mother is unwell. Though the bank door was open, there was nobody at the help desk. Now, I will have to get the money transferred tomorrow," he said.

Bhushan Jain, an industrialist, said he had to get a demand draft made urgently, but could not do so due to the strike. Offices dealing with the public should not go on strike. Even if they have to, there should at least be some employees to deal with emergency cases," he said.



Chinks in Cong come to the fore
Councillors owing allegiance to MLA Ashu stay away from party protest
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
The Congress appeared to be a divided lot when party councillors held a protest against the municipal corporation today. Seven of the 19 party councillors owing allegiance to the group of Ludhiana (West) MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu stayed away from the protest.

The infighting in the Congress is an open secret now. Both Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari and MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu have been at loggerheads for a long time. Whenever Pawan Dewan, District Congress Committee (Urban) president and Tewari's confidant, organises a function in the city, Ashu and his group stay away.

Even when the Leader of the Opposition, senior deputy leader and deputy leader were announced by the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee on December 10, Ashu had rejected these appointments.

The DCC (Urban) had organised a dharna in front of the Zone A office of the MC against various taxes imposed on city residents and lack of civic amenities.

Councillors from the Ashu group, including Deepika Bhalla from ward number 54, Narinder Sharma from ward number 52, Mamta Ashu from ward number 49, Balkar Singh Sandhu from ward number 55, Gurpreet Singh Bassi from ward number 53, Maharaj Singh Raji from ward number 28 and Jai Parkash Sharma from ward number 30, stayed away from it.

Earlier, when a function was organised by Pawan Dewan on November 11 to honour Manish Tewari after he became the Information and Broadcasting Minister, this group had boycotted the function.

Ashu said as he was away for the Assembly session, he could not make it to the dharna site. I don't know whether the councillors attended the dharna or not as I was out of the city, he said.

Pawan Dewan said the dharna was successful. A large number of Congress men and city residents took part in it. The leader of the opposition in the MC, Hem Raj Aggarwal, had personally invited all councillors for this dharna. I feel those who did not attend the dharna may not be concerned about the welfare of city residents, said Dewan.

Earlier, addressing the dharna, Pawan Dewan said, The MC has failed to provide basic amenities to the people of the city. Despite this, it has imposed exorbitant property tax and other taxes on the people.

The Congress workers submitted a memorandum to the Punjab Governor through the Municipal Commissioner seeking a White Paper on the incomplete works of the MC. “Before the elections, a number of works were started in an unplanned way. Most of these works remain incomplete and contractors have not been paid. Responsibility should be fixed for the lapses, said Dewan.

Among those who attended the dharna were Rakesh Pandey, MLA, Malkit Singh Dakha, former minister, Malkit Singh Birmi, former minister, Hemraj Aggarwal, Rakesh Prashar, senior deputy leader, Sushma Mehta, deputy leader, KK Bawa, Gurmel Pehlwan, Ashok Prashar Pappi, Leena Taparia, Sanjay Talwar and Pritpal Singh Ghayal.



freehold plots
PUDA comes in for flak over earnest money
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 20
The procedure adopted by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) for the allotment of 601 freehold residential plots in PUDA Enclave (Sugar Mill site) in Jagraon, as well as the time frame and method for conducting a draw of lots for this purpose has come under a cloud with an NGO questioning the justification of holding earnest money worth several crores of unsuccessful applicants for months together, and denying interest on it even though PUDA will be earning interest on the amount from day one.

Public Cause, a city-based NGO, has said the conditions laid down by PUDA for the allotment of plots in Jagraon are not applicant-friendly.

In a memorandum submitted to the PUDA authorities, AK Bhandari, president of Public Cause, said the scheme offering residential plots was open from November 6 to November 30 and was extended to December 6. The brochure-cum-application form says the refund of earnest money to the unsuccessful applicants will be made within 91 days of the closure of scheme without any interest, and with interest at the rate of 5.5 per cent if it is delayed beyond this period.

Bhandari pointed out that going by the previous trends, PUDA must have received more than 20,000 applications, each with an earnest money of Rs 2.55 lakh; thus collecting around Rs 500 crore. "The applicants will not get any interest on the earnest money deposit, whereas PUDA will earn around Rs 8.5 crore to Rs 10 crore by way of interest. In other words, each unsuccessful applicant will lose an estimated Rs 4,500 in the process." He recalled that after a similar scheme launched in July 2009 for the allotment of residential plots in Sector 39-A on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road, the GLADA authorities had agreed in principle to bring about changes in the entire process of inviting applications and holding a draw of lots for the allotment of plots in the future. He made a plea to conduct the draw of lots for the allotment of the plots based on the mechanism put in use by the state lottery department, which was transparent and foolproof, instead of taking out slips from a rotating drum, which left room for manipulation.



Theft at handloom showroom
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Thieves decamped with Rs 40,000 and goods worth Rs 1.5 lakh from a handloom house on Gill Road here last night. The thieves were captured on a CCTV camera installed at the showroom.

The police is looking for them. The incident took place at Punjab Handlooms. The thieves are believed to have entered the showroom from the third storey.

The owner got to know about the theft when he entered the showroom today and found the locker broken. 



Delhi’s shame
Residents express solidarity with rape victim
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
People from all walks of life, including women, youngsters and senior citizens, have joined hands to express solidarity with the girl, who was raped by a group of youngsters in Delhi recently. The residents have been organising candle light marches and awareness campaigns, besides making appeals on the facebook for providing justice to the victim. Demanding no less than capital punishment for the rapists, the residents say this is the only justice, which could heal the victims’ wounds.

The SMSes being circulated by residents seeking justice for the girl read: "Rapists must die...a tortured death! Why pretend to worship Goddess in temples when a woman is nothing but an object of lust and desire". A status on the facebook reads: "She was a student. She was 23. She was coming back from a date with her boyfriend. Her fault: she boarded the wrong bus. And yeah, she was a girl!! Six men raped her one by one and left her to die on the road. Naked, wounded, exposed and devastated. What's more, no one even turned to look at her. No one even bothered to throw a shawl on the girl. She can never lead a normal married life again. She has gone into a coma five times since December 16. She is unconscious, critical and hasn't been able to stop crying. But don't worry, she wasn't your sister, she wasn't your daughter. But, she could be!".

Yet another status says, "I didn't know her. But she is related to me by the universal bond of humanity". The brutal incident has generated public outrage. Not only the public but also celebrities have come forward and termed the incident as a "coward" act. Actor Farhan Akhtar has posted a poem on the Delhi Gang rape. People have been asking the masses to post statuses, tell anyone and everyone that, ‘The girl needs your support, not sympathy’".

Meanwhile, the students of International Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD) have come forward to generate awareness among the masses on the safety of women and girls. They prepared charts and posters with slogans against sexual abuse of women. Handouts, listing precautionary measures against such incidents, were also distributed to girl students. Besides, the students stressed instead of blaming the police all the time, a word of encouragement must be given to it when it did something good. The SHO of the division no. 5 police station Inspector Nirmal Singh was also present during the campaign. A large number of residents, especially women, gathered in the Sarabha Nagar Market and held a candle-light march against the incident. "She was innocent. Tomorrow it could be your daughter or my daughter. She needs our support," said Rajni Sharma, who took part in the march.



Mayor puts 4 latecomers on notice
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Continuing his drive against latecomers in the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation offices, Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria today issued show-cause notices to four MC officials, after they were found absent from duty. The Mayor had conducted a surprise check on the premises of the Zone A office in the evening.

The officials who have been issued show-cause notices include Jagdeep Singh, a clerk in the house tax branch, Razia and Bindia, both water rate clerks, and Avinash Kumari, a clerk of the Zone A office.

It was around 4:15 pm, when Gohalwaria conducted a surprise check at the premises of the Zone A office of the MC located at the Mata Rani Chowk here. The Mayor said these four officials were found absent from duty and show-cause notices had been issued to them.

Earlier on December 11, the Mayor had issued show-cause notices to 20 officials of the Zone D office located in Sarabha Nagar.



Week-long NSS camp begins at GHG Harparkash College 
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 20
A week-long NSS camp was inaugurated today at GHG Harparkash College of Education for Women, Sidhwan Khurd. Renowned educationalist Dr SM Kant, Director of Center for Youth and Community Development, was the chief guest on the occasion.

The chief guest and the college principal Dr Baljeet Kaur Gill jointly inaugurated the NSS camp by enlightening the ceremonial lamp.

While speaking on the occasion, Dr Kant, who has 35 years of experience in planning and organisation of youth leadership, welfare and training programs, shared his experiences with the NSS volunteers of the college.

He said the NSS Camps hold importance in evoking a sense of responsibility towards society among the volunteers. Dr Kant also conducted a workshop on personality development.

Associate professor Dr Amandeep Kaur also delivered a lecture highlighting the significance of the NSS camps.

Earlier in the morning, college principal Dr Baljeet Kaur Gill welcomed the chief guest and thanked him for sparing his valuable time and sharing his experience with the college students.

NSS Unit in charges, Dr Shally, Bimaljeet Kaur and Parminder Kaur were also present during the inauguration ceremony. NSS volunteers would carry out various social services during the camp. 



Alumni throng PAU campus, share memories
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
The alumni of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), right from the erstwhile years, thronged the campus today to attend the first alumni meet of the PAU and the 50th meet of the college’s Agriculture Alumni Association.

Dr Johal, one of the oldest alumni of the PAU, while sharing a light moment, said: “Nowadays, get togethers have become a formal occasion. There was a time when alumni meets was an occasion where one can hit others with light humour. Nobody use to take it to heart. Today, nobody likes to crack a joke during the meetings and these are now a formal affair.”

On this occasion, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor of the PAU, unveiled the golden jubilee sculptor in the university. A 19-member Pakistan delegation, which has come to attend the two-day alumni meet at the PAU was given a warm welcome.

Delegation from Pakistan, comprising of Malik Ahmad A Aulakh, Minister of Agriculture, Punjab (Pakistan); Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, Vice-Chancellor, University of Agriculture (UAF), Faisalabad, were accorded a warm and traditional welcome by the university.

Dr JS Jawanda, oldest alumnus of PAU; Dr SS Johl, oldest alumnus of College of Basic Sciences and Humanities (COBS&H) and presently, Chancellor of Central University of Punjab, Bathinda; Dr KD Mannan, oldest alumnus of College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology (COAE&T); Dr Kanta Sharma, oldest alumnus of College of Home Science (COHS), Dr KK Baxi, oldest alumnus of Veterinary Sciences College; Dr HA Qayyum, oldest alumnus from UAF, Pakistan; and Dr DS Cheema, Dean, College of Agriculture (COA), PAU, and President of Alumni Association of COA, shared the dais with the dignitaries.

The chief guest, Malik Ahmad A Aulakh, congratulated the PAU on its 50th anniversary. He said, “70 per cent of the Pakistan's population is dependent on agriculture and 90 per cent of its industry is agro-based. Many vegetables like tomato, potato and onion are being exported by India to Pakistan.”

Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, Vice-Chancellor, University of Agriculture (UAF), Faisalabad, said: “It is a historic moment for the PAU as well as for the Pakistani delegates. The PAU has earned name across the globe. The word "PAU" is like a household name which will find mention everywhere. Wherever we go, the alumni can proudly say that we are the products of this PAU."

During the meet, books entitled ‘Agalumnus 2012’, ‘Dr Haifz Abdul Qyauum dian Alumni Nazman’ (written by Dr Gurdev S Sandhu), and ‘Chaulan a badshah- Gurdev Singh Khush’ (written by Dr Ranjit S Tambar) were released by the dignitaries. 



from schools
Cleanliness drive

Students of St Xavier’s Playway School take part in the Christmas celebrations in Ludhiana.
Students of St Xavier’s Playway School take part in the Christmas celebrations in Ludhiana. photo: inderjeet verma

The 2nd day of the NSS Camp at the BCM College of Education started with a cleanliness drive in the morning session. The drive was conducted at Khasi Kalan village. In the afternoon session, a lecture was organised at the Government High School, Khasi Kalan, in which a demonstration lecture on the topic 'Preparing for first-aid' was presented. Gurwinder Singh, coordinator the NSS camp, presented the vote of thanks. Jaspreet Kaur, principal, Government High School, Khasi Kalan, was also present on the occasion.

NSS camp inaugurated

A seven-day NSS camp was inaugurated at the Doraha College of Education by chief guest Jagjeet Singh Kapoor, director, Kashmir Apiaries Exports, Doraha, and Parvinder Kapoor, president, Rotary Club, Doraha. The theme of the camp was 'Education and literacy, including legal awareness'. Principal Dr Sandeep Sawhney congratulated the NSS volunteers for joining the camp. As many as 110 students joined the camp.

Seminar on Internet technology

The Gujranwala Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology, Civil Lines, organised a seminar on 'New age internet technologies' for the students of BCA and MCA here today. The event began with the lighting of lamp and a welcome ceremony. Director Kuldip Singh extended a welcome to all the experts and guests. Japneet Kaur, assistant professor, GGNIMT, traced the historic and futuristic perspective of the World Wide Web with a special emphasis on various milestones. This was followed by a talk on 'Information Management' by Parminder Kaur Wadhwa, assistant professor, Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana. Wadhwa highlighted three levels namely: basic, individual and organisational where information needs to managed. 



Violation of  building bylaws
MC recoverS Rs 28 lakh 
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
The building branch of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation today conducted surprise checks at eight under-construction commercial buildings in the Zone-D area and found many discrepancies. A composition fee amounting to Rs 28 lakh was recovered from the owners of these eight buildings, including a hospital on the College Road and an electronics goods showroom on the Ferozepur Road.

According to information, these checks were carried out after Rohit Sabharwal, a member of the monitoring committee against encroachments of the MC, complained about the violation of the building bylaws in these buildings.

A team led by Assistant Town Planners Surinder Singh Bindra and Rajinder Sharma started the checks in the morning. The exercise continued till evening.

While speaking to The Tribune, Bindra said a total of eight buildings were checked today and a composition fee worth Rs 28 lakh was recovered from their owners.

“A composition fee worth around Rs 7 lakh was recovered from Dr Sumita Sofat who owns a hospital on the College Road while three shops, Ghai Timber and two adjoining it on the Ferozepur Road, paid a total of Rs 11 lakh. Bedi Electronics on the Ferozepur Road paid about Rs 5 lakh and the owners of SCOs adjoining Orient Cinema in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar paid a composition fee of Rs 4.93 lakh,” said Bindra.

Meanwhile, Sharma said the owners of these buildings were not carrying out constructions as per their building plans. “The exercise will be carried out in the Zone D aea as well,” said Sharma.



Hambran Road property: Court tells MC to stick to its stand
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
All hopes of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation to auction a 5,917 sq yards commercial plot on the Hambran Road are set to be dashed as a local court has directed the MC to remain on its stand (of not going ahead with the auction of the said property) till the time the case is decided. Randhir Singh, who claims to be the owner of this property, had approached the local court for getting the auction proceedings stayed.

The legal counsel of the MC, on April 4, had given a statement before the court that till the time the case was decided, the MC would not auction the said property. But still the property was put to auction on November 21.

A group of persons, claiming to be Randhir Singh’s relatives, had reached the spot on November 21 and had even submitted a memorandum to the authorities in this regard. No one took part in the auction then. On that day, the MC officials also produced before the bidders a document which stated that the property could be auctioned. “If the MC wants to put the property to auction, then the pendency of the civil suit is not a hindrance in the auction of this property. So, the Ludhiana MC can put the property to auction,” reads the letter signed by GS Gill, law officer, Zone D, MC.

After the November 21 auction, Randhir Singh had approached the court requesting that contempt proceedings be initiated against the MC officials, who organised this auction. But, the MC officials kept firm on their stand that they were not aware of the statement made by their counsel before the court on April 4.

During a hearing under contempt proceedings yesterday, the judge ordered that the MC would have to remain bound by the statement which had been made by the counsel in the court on April 4.

Interestingly, the MC was all set to auction the same property tomorrow and all the arrangements were put in place. Even the tents were pitched on the site.

Meanwhile, MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma said the MC legal counsel had made a statement before the court, which he was not authorised to. “That is why, due to such irresponsible behaviour, the legal counsel was shown the door. We are yet to receive the court orders and will abide by them. The decision whether to cancel or postpone the auction will be taken after receiving the court orders,” stated Verma, who added that the other two auctions will be held as planned.

As the financial condition of Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is in the doldrums, the MC had planned to auction this 5,917 sq yards of commercial site first on November 21 and now on Friday. The reserve price for this property has been fixed at Rs 40,000 per sq yard.



Punjab dominate school games
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Punjab teams dominated the third day of the ongoing 58th National School Games in the city. Today, events of circle style kabaddi, national style kabaddi, hand ball and hockey were held in both the boys’ and girls’ categories.

Results: National Style Kabaddi (Boys): Punjab beat Gujarat 40-12, Chhattisgarh beat Navodaya Vidyala 10-04, Haryana beat Jharkhand 43-10, Gujarat beat Tamil Nadu 35-23, Kerala beat NVS 76-15, Himachal beat Orissa 20-10, Madhya Pradesh beat Dadra and Nagar 56-12, Maharashtra beat Chandigarh 43-26, Karnataka beat Chandigarh 27-11, Rajasthan beat Dadra and Nagar 38-22 and Delhi beat Uttarakhand 24-13.

National Style Kabaddi (Girls): Delhi beat KVS 86-21, Tamil Nadu beat KVS 71-33, Punjab beat Andhra Pradesh 77-08, Rajasthan beat Uttar Pradesh 35-34, Punjab beat Uttarakhand 68-07, Uttar Pradesh beat Chandigarh 31-18 and Kerala beat Himachal Pradesh 17-13.

Circle Style Kabaddi (Boys): Gujarat beat Vidya Bharti 42-17, Haryana beat Uttar Pradesh 25-07, Madhya Pradesh beat Andhra Pradesh 32-18, Punjab beat Chandigarh 46-10 and Andhra Pradesh beat Vidya Bharti 35-12.

Hand Ball (Boys): Punjab beat Tamil Nadu 33-17, NVS beat Madhya Pradesh 28-20, Haryana beat Goa 28-09, Gujarat beat Pudducherry 23-07, KVS beat Orissa 24-0, Uttar Pradesh beat Karnataka 22-20, Maharashtra beat Rajasthan 31-27 and Haryana beat Himachal Pradesh 27-14.

Hockey (Girls): Maharashtra beat Tamil Nadu 3-1, Orissa beat Delhi 1-0, Chandigarh beat Uttarakhand 2-1, Punjab beat Maharashtra 4-0, Chhattisgarh beat Vidya Bharti 9-0 and Gujarat beat Madhya Pradesh 2-1.

Hockey (Boys): Punjab beat Madhya Pradesh 12-0, Orissa beat CBSE 4-0, Delhi vs Jharkhand 1-1, Uttarakhand beat Rajasthan 2-1, Chandigarh beat Chhattisgarh 5-0, Goa beat KVS 3-0, NVS beat Pudducherry 1-0, Orissa beat IPSE 5-2 and Kerala beat CBSE 2-0.



Eve-teasing’ incident keeps games officials on tenterhooks 
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
An incident of eve-teasing kept the sportspersons as well as the organisers on tenterhooks throughout the day. Some sportspersons from Chandigarh had earlier alleged that men players from the Chandigarh team had teased a hockey player from Chandigarh last evening, after which some boys exchanged blows too.

But when the matter came to the notice of mediapersons, the organisers as well as the Chandigarh sportspersons tried to play it down and remained tight-lipped about the eve-teasing incident.

According to information, both boys’ and girls’ teams are staying in government school located in the Jawahar Nagar camp. While the boys’ team is putting up in the boys’ campus of the school, the girls’ team is staying in the girls’ campus. However, the common mess is located in the girls’ campus.

It is learnt that when three Chandigarh teams were returning to the government school in Jawahar Nagar camp in a bus last evening, some Chandigarh boys allegedly teased an under-14 hockey player of the Chandigarh team. This led to heated arguments among the boys, but the matter was resolved with the intervention of the team officials.

Certain sportspersons stated that some of the boys created a nuisance in the school whenever its meal time. “As our mess is common, some of them do pass comments. We hope that the authorities separate the messes for both the boys and girls,” said a sportsperson.

Assistant Education Officer Ajitpal Singh said no such eve-teasing incident had taken place.



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