L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


No respite in sight for rail passengers
Three trains cancelled, many running behind schedule
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 27
There is no respite in sight for rail passengers from fog in the next few days. The Met department has predicted foggy weather for some more days. The long-route trains are failing to keep to their time schedule while the railway authorities have cancelled three pairs of trains for two weeks.

Officials said three pairs of express trains — the Jalandhar-New Delhi Express, the Amritsar-Jaipur Biweekly Express and the Amritsar-Jaipur Biweekly Express — would remain suspended from January 1 to January 13.

Meanwhile, the Amritsar-New Delhi Intercity Express continued its erratic run for the third consecutive day. The train arrived some 8.30 hours behind schedule causing inconvenience to the Delhi-bound passengers. Passengers waiting for the train, the railway officials said, chose to cancel their reserved tickets and travel by alternative trains or buses.

There was no respite for those travelling by trains coming from West Bengal, Bihar, Northeast and Rajasthan as most of the trains on these routes were delayed for hours.

The Jaipur-Jammu Tawi Pooja Express is running late by 10.30 hours, the Tatanagar-Jammu Express by 8.37 hours , the Amritsar-New Delhi Intercity Express by 8.30 hours, the Howrah-Amritsar Mail by 8.55 hours, the Jan Sewa Express by 9 hours, the Dibrugarh-Amritsar Weekly Express by 1.20 hours, the Shaheed Express by 6.50 hours and the Jannayak Express by 2.10 hours.


Met dept predicts rain in next 2 days
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana December 27
The let up in dense fog brought respite to city residents on Tuesday. The sky remained overcast and biting cold forced residents to remain indoors. Weathermen have predicted rain in the next two days. The minimum temperature in the city is likely to witness an increase in the coming days. They added that the days would be less foggy.

The maximum temperature recorded today was 13.6 degrees Celsius while the minimum was 8.4 degrees Celsius today.

Agro meteorologists of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) have predicted sunny days after the rain.

KK Gill, agro meteorologist from the PAU, said, "The change in weather is due to the western disturbances. There are chances of showers in the coming days."

Residents could be seen sitting around bonfires to beat the chill.

The cold wave has made things even worse. The worst-affected are the schoolchildren and office goers.

Harpreet, a resident of Maharaj Nagar, said, "The day was not foggy, otherwise it becomes difficult for us to commute in the morning. Everyone is waiting for the bright sunny days."



A flash of talent on city roundabouts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
Before onlookers could even understand what a flash mob was, a group of youngsters came as a burst of light and started passing on basketball to each other. The motive of these energetic youngsters was to promote the game. They jumped on roundabouts, dodged their mates on streets and threw the ball into the air.

The basketball was played on roundabouts and roads near Westend Mall, Aarti Chowk, Jagraon Bridge, Kips Market and Chaura Bazaar.

Residents also took interest in the show. The players also distributed brochures of the basketball championship.

Amrit Sharma, a commuter, said: “It reminded me of my college days when we used to play the game. I am fond of watching sports on TV. But after a long gap, I saw energetic players playing on city streets."

The flash mob did not prove to be a hurdle for commuters as police managed the traffic well.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Basketball Association has released the schedule of matches and details of the championship for men’s and women’s.

Earlier, heading a meeting MF Farooqui, DIG, Ludhiana Range, who is the chairman of the organising committee for the championship said: “The matches will be played in the four floodlit courts, including two indoor, at Guru Nanak Stadium. A total of 25 teams in the men’s section and 21 teams in the women’s section have already confirmed their entry."

"The games will commence on December 28 with the inaugural ceremony at 2.30 pm. Prem Chand Degra, former Mr Universe, will be the chief guest at inaugural ceremony. A total of 125 matches will be played under the supervision of 100 referees and officials,” said Farooqui.



Accused paraded in Ghumar Mandi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
The trio of Maninder Pal Singh Johar, alias Sunny Goodwill, his nephew Aman and Rishi Banda, who are accused of assaulting NRI Paramjit Singh and AIG (counter intelligence) SS Mand, were today taken to Hub night club in Ghumar Mandi to recreate the crime scene.

The accused, who used to move in swanky SUVs, were taken and paraded in Ghumar Mandi like any other criminal. They were sitting on haunches on an empty space in the police vehicle. On seeing shopkeepers, Sunny Goowill covered his face with a quilt.

As there was heavy traffic in Ghumar Mandi, police officials parked the vehicle at some distance from the night club and made the trio to walk. They stayed at the night club for about 30 minutes and were taken back to the CIA office for further interrogation.

“They were offered food that is given to other accused at the CIA. No one has been allowed to meet them," said Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh.

Meanwhile, US-based NRI Hardial Hundal claimed that the land over which Hub restaurant had been constructed belongs to his family. Sunny Johar forcibly grabbed his property in 2008, he alleged.

Hundal claimed that he had submitted a complaint to the then SSP in 2008 through his sister Ranjana Sohi, but no action was taken. He also complained to the Municipal Corporation authorities about the encroachment, but to no avail.

He claimed that instead of taking action against Sunny Goodwill, the police booked his sister in a criminal case.

Demanding a CBI probe into the incident, Sukhpal Singh Khaira, former MLA from Bholath, said: "The argument of the SAD that Sunny Johar is no longer a member of the Youth Akali Dal is false and misleading. On December 24, Sunny Johar was in the company of Majithia at a memorial service at the house of Mahesh Inder Grewal, Adviser to the CM, at Ludhiana. Congress leader Lally Majithia has also produced copies of FIR against Sunny Johar when he was found threatening Congressmen in Majitha during the 2012 Assembly elections."



Traders feel the pinch
Excise department locks VAT number
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
Traders in the city are not able to clear their consignments at the tax barrier as the Excise and Taxation Department locked their Value Added Tax (VAT) numbers. Jatinderpal Singh, a trader said: "I have deposited my VAT return on time.

But due to some technical reasons, it was not updated on the department's system and as a result my VAT number was locked. My business is suffering and I am unable to pass my goods from the barrier," he said.

Another trader, Harish Singla, said he recently got his VAT number unlocked. "My business suffered. The department had locked the number even as I had deposited my VAT return on time," he said.

Jatinder Khurana, a tax professional, said: “The department has to intimate a trader before locking his VAT number, but this provision is being ignored. If the department informs in advance, the trader can take necessary steps.”



2 illegal mobile towers sealed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 27
Officials of building branch of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation today sealed two illegal mobile towers at Jugiana village. Assistant town planner of Zone-C Bankay Bihari and draftsman Mohan Singh led the operation. They said the mobile towers erected by Reliance Communications Limited and Vodafone had no permission from the MC.

The officials said the residents of the area had lodged complaints with the MC. The MC served show-cause notices on cellphone companies. “With the cellular companies failing to respond to the notices, the illegal towers were sealed," the officials said.



2012 ludhiana LOOKING BACK: crime
A year of gruesome killings
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
The year that began with the sensational double murder of Moga DSP Balraj Singh Gill and Monika Kapila, ended with the embarrassing assault on AIG (Counter Intelligence) SS Mand, in which the latter suffered a leg fracture. The police remained on toes throughout the year.

The year witnessed the hectic Assembly elections followed by the municipal corporation elections and also saw the arrival of galaxy of politicians, including President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The police also remained busy safeguarding Bollywood actor Katrina Kaif who had performed during the final of the Kabaddi World Cup.

The double murder at Hambran shocked the city. It was the first honour killing of the year.

The son of a Congress worker killed his 25-year-old sister and her lover by shooting them from point blank range on February 1.

Barjinder Singh, a youth, got enraged on spotting the couple in an alleged compromising position in his house located at Hambran village, 20km from Ludhiana. Barjinder in a fit of rage shot his sister Navdeep Kaur and Harpreet Singh Johal, alias Happy (25), from Thrike village.

On February 2, the whole state was rocked by the brutal double murder of Moga DSP Balraj Singh Gill and Monika Kapila. The bodies of the duo were spotted in a pool of blood at a farmhouse located in Golf Link area on Hambran Road. Three youngsters were arrested following a two-month intensive investigation.

On June 10, Gurvinder Singh Bajwa, alias Bunty (45), former sarpanch of Bahadurke village, became the first victim of firing during the MC elections.

He was shot dead following a clash with Karanbir Singh near Bahadurke Road at Kara Bara Chowk in Salem Tabri.

The victim was supporter of Independent candidate Gurdeep Singh Bittu, while accused Karanbir Singh was supporting SAD candidate Baljinder Singh Goggi. Karanbir and his aides were nabbed by the police.

On July 17, a psychotic woman was caught killing her step-daughter and father-in-law in Punjab Mata Nagar.

The next incident took place on August 7 at Ekta Colony on 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.

On August 9, a double death incident, where 27-year-old man Himanshu first slit the neck of his wife and later killed himself with the kitchen knife.

The sensational killing of 21-year-old KFC employee Maninder Kaur, who was shot dead and dumped in a vacant plot in Basant Avenue also raised eyebrows. She paid the price for keeping a weapon of her roommate's drug-addict boyfriend.

On August 31, tension gripped Sahnewal area after a drunk man tore the page of a holy book. This ruffled the sentiments of many persons and Mandeep Singh entered the Sahnewal police station and shot at the man.

The incident was followed by a series of murders, including the heinous double murder incident. On September 20, three inmates escaped from the Ludhiana Central Jail by scaling a 16 feet wall. However, they were nabbed by the police from Dhandari area.

The murders that remained a mystery

On March 5, merely a day before the Assembly election results, the law and order situation went for a toss in the city. Satish Kumar, a 40-year-old barber, was shot dead by two men outside Shiv Mandir in Maya Nagar near Ghumar Mandi. The murder case could not be cracked. The murder of 60-year-old Taranjit Kaur, who was hacked to death at her house in the Model Town area, still remain a mystery.

The killing of Forex trader Sukhjinder Singh, who was brutally killed by robbers in his office on Rahon Road on August 17, also remains a mystery.



2012 ludhiana LOOKING BACK: industry
A year of losses, protests & hikes
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
The year remained a mixed bag for the industry. While jewellers protested for 20 days, the rupee touched an all-time low against the US dollar. Apart from this, the city witnessed many expos in which traders from across the border also participated.

Rupee slumped to a record low against dollar

The rupee slumped to a record low to Rs 54.51 against the dollar on May 17. The rupee, the worst performing emerging market currency in Asia since March 1, faced losses as India struggled with a slew of additional economic challenges, including sliding growth.

Jewellers went on a rampage

Jewellers from the city observed an indefinite hunger strike against the excise duty and consumer tax levied on them in the Budget 2013. The strike was called off only after the government withdrew the new taxes levied on them.

Relief for cycle industry

While jewellers protested against the government after the budget, the cycle industry took a deep breath after the custom duty on bicycle was increased from 10 to 30 per cent and bicycle parts from 10 to 20 per cent as it brought Chinese cycles and cycle parts on a par with the Indian cycles.

‘Destination Punjab’ was a crowd-puller

"Destination Punjab" a B2B show and CII Ludhiana Fair were held in the city in association with the Punjab Government to promote industry in the state. The event showcased the state's industrial strengths, especially in areas of engineering, light and heavy electrical, apparel and textiles, electronics systems and components, tools and hardware and general supplies. Participants from Pakistan and Afghanistan received a tremendous response from city residents.

Sending parcel, luggage became a costly affair

A hike by 25 per cent in parcel and luggage charges by the Railways received flak from the business community of the city. Parcels comprising hosiery goods, tyres, pharmaceuticals, flour and pulses are generally sent in abundance from the city to various parts of the country and the steep hike did not went down well with the business community that uses the parcel service of the Railways.

Industry anguished over online filing of trade info

Trade and industry expressed resentment over the notification for filing online information regarding the intra-state trade and even went on a hunger strike. It was mandatory to file online information from August 10. Traders were asked to provide information to the department before importing goods worth Rs 2 lakh via rail or air.



MC sanitation staff object to lifting of garbage by pvt firm
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 27
Activists of Valmiki Samaj Bachao Andolan, a body representing sanitation staff of the municipal corporation, has accused the SAD-BJP alliance as well as the civic body of betraying the sanitation workers.

While addressing mediaperson during a conference after a meeting of the body, chairman Surinder Kalyan claimed that Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal, had assured the sanitation workers that the private firm deployed for garbage collection in the city, A2Z, would lift the garbage from containers for disposing it of and work of door-to-door garbage collection would remain with the sanitation staff.

He said MC Commissioner RK Verma had maintained that the the private firm would not lift garbage from residential localities, except two wards, where it had already started the garbage collection.

Accusing the MC of taking an about turn, Kalyan alleged that city Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwadia and MC Commissioner were giving more wards to the private firm for door-to-door collection of garbage.

Kalyan added that if the sanitation workers are forced to take to the road, all responsibility will lie on the government and the MC.

He said the matter would be taken up with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes as it amounted to violation of the rights of sanitation workers and affected their security of service. "The sanitation workers will, in no case, allow A2Z company to carry out the work of door-to-door collection of garbage.

Officials of the health branch of the MC said the firm was already operating in two wards. "Some more localities where sanitation level is not up to the mark due to a shortage of regular workers is proposed to be given to the private company on experimental basis," the officials said.



delay in work
Residents protest against MC
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 27
Residents of ward number 5 in Jagraon have been facing a lot of inconvenience due to delay in the work of fixing interlocking tiles in the area. According to residents, the contractor, who has been awarded the work of fixing interlocking tiles in the area, had dug up the cemented streets about four weeks ago but the work of fixing interlocking tiles has not started yet. Due to the situation dirty sewerage water has accumulated in the ward.

Irked over the unhygienic conditions of the area, the residents of the locality held a protest and raised slogans against the Municipal Council officials. The protesting residents threatened to block Raikot Road if their demand of cleaning the chocked sewerage was not met.

The residents said the sewerage of the area had been laying blocked for the past many days and despite their repeated requests the authorities paid no attention towards the problem. The residents complained that the sewerage had been laying blocked since the streets were dug up by the contractor four weeks ago.

"We face immense difficulties due to the dirty sewerage water. The presence of dirty sewerage water in front of our houses has made our lives a virtual hell," rued Charanjit Singh, a local resident.

Meanwhile, MC president Baldev Krishan Dhir said he was aware of the problem and the work of fixing interlocking tiles would started soon. " The work of fixing interlocking tiles was stopped as the council was laying sewerage pipes in the area. Now the work of laying sewerage pipes has been accomplished and the work of fixing interlocking tiles will start in a couple of days," said Dhir.



Chill leaves parents worried
Demand closure of schools till weather conditions improve
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, December 27
Ongoing spell of cold and dense fog has crippled the routine life of the common man, more so of the children, who find it difficult to go to school early in the morning. The children and parents are finding it difficult to cope up with the unfavourable weather conditions.

The children can be seen huddled up close to each other in rickshaws and auto- rickshaws. "In such a weather, the schools should better think of declaring the winter holidays early. After all it is the question about the safety of students. Not only the local schools but the city schools, too, should declare winter break at the earliest. We cannot put the lives of our children in danger,” said a parent.

"The students, who remain absent, will invite the wrath of the school authorities. But I wonder what these students will learn and what teachers will teach them in such a cold weather," another parent said. "It is very difficult to study in such a weather. We fail to keep ourselves warm in classrooms and in playgrounds, it is even worse," said a couple of students.

“The school authorities failed to understand the problem of children, who cannot concentrate on their studies and do anything worthwhile," complained another parent. In the wake of such a weather, parents are demanding closure of schools.

"The Education Minister has already ordered the closure of schools due to such a weather but there are many schools who still remain unmoved. The administration should take strict action against the schools, who refuse to comply,” many parents demanded.



Delhi’s shame: Support pours in for victim
Our Correspondent

Doraha, December 27
Seeking justice for the Delhi gang rape victim, youngsters in the town took to the road. They took out a candlelit march last evening. They demanded justice and strict action against the accused.

They demanded that the law and order in the country should be strengthened so that no one could dare commit such a heinous crime.

"It is the question of the safety and security of women folk which should be ensured at all costs. The offenders should be taken to task in such a way that others learn a lesson from it," said the protesters.

"All developments, however significant they may be, are nullified when the fairer sex is in danger," they added.

The procession started from the railway station and passed through the main streets of the town.

Various NGOs and social organisations will be taking out a rally at Sarabha Nagar Leisure Valley tomorrow.



3,924 cancer deaths reported in district in 5 years: Survey
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
As many as 3,153 cancer patients are under treatment in Ludhiana district. This was disclosed by Dr Kaushal Saini, Assistant Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, here today. He said this at the review meeting of the cancer awareness campaign, conducted under the leadership of , Dr Subhash Batta, Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana.

Dr Saini said: "In the last five year 3,924 cancer patients died in the district. Till now the volunteers of the Health Department have completed 99 per cent work of the survey.

The volunteers have covered 7,34,344 houses and gathered information from 37,03,376 persons."

The volunteers are also making people aware about the symptoms of cancer.



Recruitment drive from January 8
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
An open Army recruitment rally for the candidates from Ludhiana, Moga, Roopnagar and Mohali districts will be held from January 8 to 13 at Guru Nanak Stadium, Ludhiana. The Army recruiting office, Ludhiana, will organise the rally.

The Indian Army will recruit soldiers under different categories like soldier (general duty), soldier (technical), soldier (clerk/store keeper, technical) and soldier NA.

MS Mahar, director (Recruiting), Ludhiana, said the screening of the candidate, hailing from Moga district would be held on January 8. The candidates from Ludhiana will go through screening screening on January 9. Meanwhile, screening of candidates from Roopnagar and SAS Nagar districts will held on January 10. The screening of candidate from other districts of Punjab will be held on January 11. Medical examination of remaining candidates will be conducted on January 12. According to Army officials the common entrance examination for all categories will be held on January 27.

MS Mahar said: "The candidates should to come with all educational certificate, domicile certificate and other category certificates.

The whole recruitment procedure has been computerised so there is no chance for the middle men."



PAU employees' protest enters 36th day

Ludhiana December 27
The dharna, organised by the PAU Employees' Union, entered 36th day today. The union is protesting against the non-payment of 70 per cent arrears of revised pay scale. Jai Pal Singh, Amrik Singh, Ramesh Kumar, Satish Kumar and Asa Singh Pannu sat on the dharna today.

While addressing the gathering, Paramjit Singh Gill, president of the PAU Employees' Union said the current agitation would remain continue till the release of the arrears. — OC



Army man cremated
Our Correspondent

Khanna, December 27
Dilbagh Singh, a jawan and a resident of Gaggar Majra near Khanna, was cremated with honour at the village today. He was killed in an avalanche while on duty in the Kargil sector.

Dilbagh singh was a naik with the13 Sikh LI.Captain Ajay Singh, an officer of 103 TA, Sikh LI, said the deceased was on duty when the avalanche struck. Dilbagh Singh had joined the Army in 1995. The deceased carried the tradition of the family and joined the Army. His father Darshan Singh is also an ex-servicemen . He is survived by two minor children and wife.




‘Rhyme time’ activity

Bal Bharati Public School organises an activity called "rhyme time" for the students on Thursday. Gautam Bansal, Harsimrat, Tushti, Jaideep, Bismanjot Singh and Mehakpreet, all students of nursery class, expressed their ideas on the power of fruits and vegetables. The spoke on the topic, "Fruits and Vegetables". Principal Punam Dogra was delighted to see the enthusiasm of students.

World Scholars' Cup

The Ryan International Group of Institution hosted the World Scholars Cup- India Round on December 17 and 18. The theme of the programme was "A World in Flux". The World Scholars' Cup is a global co-curricular enrichment activity for school students. The event is aimed at enhancing general knowledge of participants as they compete with each other on the topics of literature, science and bio-technology, art, music and history. The students were also felicitated for their excellent performance. Individual efforts were also appreciated on the occasion . Even though there were prizes for the winners of the various activities, each individual was an achiever.

Yoga workshop

On the fourth day of an NSS camp, organised by Government College for Girls, Ludhiana, a yoga workshop was conducted by Raninder Gupta and Kewal Garg. Dr Usha Bali Dhingra delivered a lecture on health and hygiene. Dr Gurinder singh Sandhu delivered a lecture on stress and pain management. Beautification of college was done by the NSS Volunteers in the second session by cleaning the college campus.

NCC camp

A combined annual training camp for the cadets of 3rd Punjab Girls Bn NCC, Ludhiana, started on December 22 under the command of Col S Sehgal. On fifth day, the cadets started their day with yoga, in which they learned about the benefits of exercise. — TNS




Rozgar mela

A rozgar mela will be organised on December 28 for the persons with disability by the Vocational Rehabilitation Centre for Handicapped (VRC) ATI Campus, Gill Road, Ludhiana. An employer from the corporate sector will select suitable PWDs for their industry, as the centre is working for the rehabilitation of the disabled by organising rozgar melas ,walk-in-interviews from time to time. The selected candidates will be entitled to minimum wages with other facilities like PF/ESI. The candidates with educational qualification above class VIII will be interviewed and selected on the spot. The persons with higher qualification will be considered for senior executive jobs.

Memorandum submitted

A deputation of the Association of the Punjab School Education Board affiliated schools, met Sikander Singh Malooka, Education Minister, Punjab, under the leadership of Balwinder Singh Bains, MLA on Thursday. Association president Rajinder Sharma was also present on the occasion . On this occasion, Rajinder Sharma others submitted a memorandum to the Education Minister regarding various problems confronted by the affiliated schools in the state. The main problem, being faced by the schools is the extra examination fee to create an examination centre if there are less than 125 students. Rajinder Sharma said the board charged Rs 400 from every candidate if there were less than 125 students. The Education Minister assured to look into the matter.

Death mourned

Office-bearers of the Punjabi Sahit Akademi condoled the death of Prof Davinder Singh and Harnam Singh Maachiwara on Thursday. Prof Gurbhajan Singh Gill, president of the Akademi, said Prof Davinder was a very able economist and was the one who took Punjabi literature to great heights. — TNS



Boxer honoured for good show in Sri Lanka

Jagraon, December 27
In a major achievement for Sher-e-Punjab Sports Academy, Chakar, a girl trainee of the academy clinched a silver medal during the Sri Lanka-India International Boxing Challenge Cup, held at Sugathadasa Stadium Colombo, recently. The championship was organised by the Amateur Boxing Association of Sri Lanka.

According to Dr Balwant Singh Sandhu, chief administrator, Sher-e-Punjab Sports Academy, as many as three girl pugilists from India had taken part in the championship."Shavinder Kaur was the only pugilist from Punjab, who was selected for the Indian team and she justified her selection by winning a silver medal during the championship," Sandhu said.

Shavinder Kaur was extended a warm welcome by the villagers on her return from Sri Lanka . Later, a function was organised at the academy to honour Shavinder Kaur. Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal was present during the programme. Earlier, Shavinder had won a gold medal during the eighth Junior National Boxing Championship, held at Patiala. — OC



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