L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Egg trader robbed of Rs 2 lakh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Three youths allegedly robbed an egg trader of Rs 2 lakh at the Model Gram railway station here today. Before fleeing from the spot, one of the robbers opened fire at the egg trader. Fortunately, the bullet missed the target and the egg trader escaped unhurt.

Narrating the incident, the victim, Ashok Kundra, said the incident took place this afternoon while he was standing near the Model Gram railway station to make payments for the delivery of eggs.

He said he had kept the cash in a bucket and was talking to workers, when a youth approached him and in no time fled with the cash.

Ashok and his workers gave him a chase. The youth started running on railway tracks at Model Gram. Soon, he handed over the bag containing the cash to one of his accomplices. In the meantime, their third accomplice also joined them. He pulled out a weapon and reportedly opened fire at Ashok.

Ashok and his workers panicked and ran in different directions for cover.

The trio then ran towards their bike that was parked nearby and fled from the scene. Soon, policemen from Model Town, the bus stand and the Division No. 5 police station reached the spot and informed government railway police officials about the incident.

The SHO, GRP, said they had registered a case and investigations were on.


MC mulls hiring pvt agency for building branch work
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
It seems the "privatisation" bug has caught the fancy of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation as the civic body is mulling over hiring a private agency for doing the work of the building branch of the MC, which is responsible for keeping a check on illegal constructions in the city, removal of encroachments, issuing of challans, clearing building plans and other related work.

A proposal in this regard was mooted by MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma at a recent meeting. However, he refused to confirm it.

It is learnt that the proposal was mooted to keep a check on some "non-serious" employees of the building branch, who allegedly allow illegal constructions to flourish and do not issue challans to violators. Besides, this will also provide “additional manpower” to the building branch, which is suffering due to a shortage of staff.

The proposal was discussed when the issue of around 280 illegal residential colonies in the city was taken up. At present, the MC is not clearing building plans of houses or commercial establishments located in these colonies.

“The meeting decided that a proposal be sent to the state government so that all these colonies can be legalised after the owners pay the development charges. Almost 70 per cent of these colonies have roads, water supply and sewer connections provided by the MC. It is better that we legalise these by charging the requisite fee. The move will also help the civic body, which is facing a fund crunch,” said a senior official of the building branch on condition of anonymity.

The meeting was of the view that a private company should be hired by floating tenders so that it could "supply" technical staff for the building branch. “If this proposal is cleared, staff of the private company will conduct surveys, issue challans, clear building plans, besides other related work. The company will be paid a fixed percentage of the amount collected,” said another official.

It is learnt that at present, the MC has only six surveyors to conduct surveys regarding buildings in the city, which has more than four lakh commercial and residential buildings. Due to staff shortage, some lower-rung officials are performing seniors' duties, which is affecting the efficiency of the corporation.

A meeting to take the final decision in this regard will be held this week and tenders will be floated later.

MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma refused to confirm the proposal. “In our meetings, we discuss several issues to raise the efficiency of all MC departments. If any such proposal is finalised, we will certainly let you know,” he said.

The recruitment of drivers and conductors in Ludhiana City Bus Service Ltd was also done with the help of a private company, even though the MC ended up paying more.

bid to keep check on ‘non-serious’ staff

It is learnt that a proposal in this regard was mooted to keep a check on some "non-serious" employees of the building branch, who allegedly allow illegal constructions to flourish and do not issue challans to violators. Besides, this will also provide “additional manpower” to the building branch, which is suffering due to a shortage of staff.



Youth gets life term for raping minor
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 14
A youth hailing from Jaunpur district in Uttar Prades has been convicted of raping a seven-year-old girl. The convict, Rajesh Kumar (20), was sentenced to rigorous life imprisonment. The court also slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 on him and ordered him to pay Rs 25,000 as compensation to the victim.

The victim's mother had told the police that she resided in the "Anil da vehra" at Giaspura, Ludhiana. Rajesh also lived there as a tenant.

On November 17, 2011, she heard her daughter's shrieks. She went to the top floor and found the room locked from inside. When she peeped into the room, she saw Rajesh raping her daughter. When she raised the alarm, the youth ran away.

A case under Section 376 of the IPC was registered against Rajesh at the Focal Point police station.



Fake lottery gang busted, 2 arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
The city police has busted a fake lottery gang operating from Tajpur Road. It has arrested two persons in this connection. A raid was conducted last night by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dhruman Nimbale during which the gang was busted.

The raid was kept a secret and the ACP did not inform the Division No. 7 police about it. He conducted the raid with the help of the Moti Nagar police.

Earlier, 14 persons were detained for questioning, but later during the day, 12 of them were let off.

Ashu Katyal and Jeevan Kumar, who were the main persons behind the racket, were arrested on charges of gambling and selling fake lotteries. The police seized three computers.

The police conducted a videography of the raid. "The SHO, Division No. 7, was in Chandigarh in connection with a hearing in the Punjab and. Haryana High Court. I received information that a fake lottery racket was being run from Tajpur Road. The SHO, Moti Nagar, was with me and we decided to conduct a raid," said the ACP.

While Ashu and Jeevan were operating the fake lottery business, 12 others were working as his cronies.



Valmiki Samaj threatens protest at Moga
Wants door-to-door collection of garbage by A2Z stopped
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Members of the Valmiki Samaj Bachao Andolan have threatened that if the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation does not stop A2Z Waste Management Ludhiana Ltd from door-to-door collection of garbage in the city, then they would hold a protest against the SAD-BJP government at Moga, where a byelection is scheduled for February 23.

Ever since the A2Z company started its operations in the city, it has been facing flak from the Valmiki Samaj Bachao Andolan as well as private garbage collectors. In some cases, A2Z officials were even attacked and the company had to lift garbage under police protection.

At present, the company is involved in door-to-door collection of garbage in around 25 wards of the city. However, as per the terms and conditions fixed by the MC, the company has to cover its operations in all 75 wards by February 28. With 14 days left for the deadline to end, it seems to be a difficult task for the A2Z company.

Surinder Kalyan, chairman of the Valmiki Samaj Bachao Andolan, claimed that at a meeting between their members and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on October 30, 2011, the state government had promised that it would not allow the company to carry our door-to-door collection of garbage.

He said if the MC failed to stop the A2Z company from door-to-door collection of garbage by February 18, they would hold a protest against the state government at Moga.

Moga bypoll

Surinder Kalyan, chairman of the Valmiki Samaj Bachao Andolan, said if the MC failed to stop the A2Z company from door-to-door collection of garbage by February 18, they would hold a protest against the SAD-BJP government at Moga, where a byelection is scheduled for February 23



Lovers paint city red on V-day
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
The town was painted red today. People gifted their beloved ones with heart-shaped stuffed toy, balloons, teddy bears and chocolates. Couples were seen dining out in restaurants and cafeterias. Regular stream of customers was seen at florists' shops. Not only the youth, some middle-aged and the elderly also took part in the spirit of the day.

‘Market drives the day’

Some people however feel that market is driving the day rather than the emotion. Valentine’s Day has become so big and 'in-your-face' that it is hard not to get involved in celebrating the day, says Amit, a local resident. "As my wife brought me a couple of gifts early in the week so lovingly, I had to reciprocate with a Valentine gift for her as well today,” he said. “So if you celebrate the day once, it is expected to be celebrated again and again in the coming years, more or less. So the day has spiralled into a big day,” he said.

"It feels nice to be sharing and expressing love for your beloved, but this is becoming to market driven and too stereotypical a way to celebrate love,” says Ritesh, a businessman. Rose, chocolates, teddy bear and hearts have come to symbolise love, which doesn't go down well with me.

Brisk business

For businessmen dealing with Valentine's Day merchandise, the day has become a boon. “We had a fantastic sale during the week. Greetings, gifts and chocolates, soft toys sold the most,” said a gift shop owner. "The day is becoming like no other day for us," he said.

All items like jewellery, clothes, and mobile phones are being dubbed as Valentine gifts by marketers. This is quickly becoming the D-day for them. Florists who were seen selling rose buds from Rs 30 to Rs 100. “The Valentine’s Day is a blessing for us as roses sell the most during this day,” said a florist.



RTI a 'tool' to settle personal scores
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
A new luxury car or a solitaire bought by you might instigate one of your neighbours or relatives to know the source of your income. Such people's envy is reflected in many RTI queries filed by them with the Income Tax Department.

"People fail to understand that information can be sought under the RTI only if it is in the larger public interest. But, contrary to that people seek information from the Income Tax Department to settle their personal scores," said GS Randhawa, Income Tax Commissioner.

"Information sought from us by such people is out of curiosity and jealousy. Or indirectly they want to hint us we should look into the cases. But, to be very clear the department does not act upon such information," added Randhawa.

Such queries are sought either by relatives and interestingly sometimes by people, who want to know the source of their neighbours' income after they buy a new luxury car. But, the department does not entertain such queries and no such information is provided to anyone, added the commissioner.

Apart from neighbours and relatives, most ex-husbands or ex-wives are also interested in finding out the source of income of their former spouses.

"Many such queries are received by the department. People should know that the Income Tax Department does not provide any such information under the RTI and they should not file such applications, which, in turn, consume a lot of energy of the officials," says Randhawa.

‘Dept to ignore such info’

Information sought from us by such people is out of curiosity and jealousy. Or indirectly they want to hint us we should look into the cases. But, to be very clear the department does not act upon such information

— GS Randhawa, Income Tax Commissioner



Cartels wreak havoc on industry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Cartels are proving to be detrimental for the industry. On one hand the policies of the Centre and state governments are taking a toll on the industry while on the other the cartels, which are the most destructive of all the competition practices, are giving a tough time to the industry. Be it the steel, yarn or rubber industry, all are becoming a prey to the growing cartel system.

"The prices of steel are not fixed on commercial terms. These are fixed arbitrarily. Steel prices in India are fixed on the import parity basis. The government needs to tackle this problem as steel is a major input source," said Jaswinder Singh, an industrialist.

Various types of yarn are selling under highly monopolised conditions and cartels have been formed. Textile and garment manufacturers have started replacing cotton by polyester to the extent of 30 per cent. However, owing to a very high rise in the prices of polyester, the industry is in a deep crisis. In the case of rubber, the situation is no better. The prices of rubber have doubled in one year. Rubber products, which are widely used, have become very costly.

Steel prices

The prices of steel are not fixed on commercial terms. These are fixed arbitrarily. Steel prices in India are fixed on the import parity basis. The government needs to tackle this problem as steel is a major input source

— Jaswinder Singh, an industrialist



Family seeks help for twins

Ludhiana, February 14
Vidya Devi and Jagdish have appealed to the public to help them financially for the treatment of their premature twin baby girls who were born on February 8 at Deep Hospital. The couple has been blessed with babies after 16 years of their marriage.

The twins were born prematurely in the seventh month of pregnancy and are undergoing treatment in the hospital. Till a day before, one of them was put on a ventilator and another on oxygen. The family is incurring an expenditure of Rs 9,000 per day and according to the doctors, the babies will have to be admitted for at least seeks weeks.

Jagdish works as a gardner in a school in Shastri Nagar. Persons who w in making donations for the treatment of the hospitalized twins can Interested persons can contact the hospital authorities on 5069190 to 94 or to Jagdish on 9417717159. — TNS



Knitwear Club alleges harassment
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
The members of the Knitwear Club have sent a letter to the Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Anurag Verma, regarding the inspection of ready made goods imported from other states, especially from a renowned market of Kolkata, Mangla Hatt, where the CST is not applicable.

They say there is a lot of interference by the Excise and Taxation Department with regards to those goods on the pretext that these are imported from non-registered dealers.

"They are harassing traders with their illogical interference and we appeal to you to make the entry of the imported goods at the Information Collection Centre and fix the notional value of per bag for the convenience of traders as well as to save the revenue of the department," said Vinod Thapar, chairman of the club.



Workshop on kharif crops concludes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
On the concluding day of the two-day research and extension specialists’ workshop for kharif crops, elaborate discussions on agricultural engineering, economics of kharif crops, and packaging of pulses, maize, sugarcane and forage and millets were held organised by the Directorate of Extension Education of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).

The farm experts deliberated on various crop varieties and their disease management.

The chief agriculture officers, while passing on their feedback, said: “There is a growing demand for the PAU recommended sunflower hybrid, PSH 996.”

Dr SS Gosal, Director of Research, while chairing the technical session on "pulses, maize, forage and millets" emphasised on promoting the use of bio-fertilizers for improving the health of the soil and augmenting the soil fertility in Punjab.

Dr MS Gill, Director of Extension Education, expressed concern over the poor quality of water in south-western parts of Punjab and called upon the agri-experts to advise the farmers on how to sow the crops using less water.

He said, “There is an immediate need to diversify the farms because of the groundwater depletion. The prime focus of the PAU is on the precision farming and intercropping in sugarcane and maize.”




Basant Panchami celebrated

Ludhiana: The departments of Home Science, Fine arts and Fashion Technology of the SDP College for Women, jointly celebrated “Basant Panchami” on the college campus. Cooking, flower arrangement, rangoli and basant costumes competitions were organised on the occasion. As many as 35 students participated in all the competitions. Colourful rangoli designs, beautiful flower arrangements, yellow gaudy costumes and traditional jewellery worn by competitors caught the eye of the audience. Jasbir Kaur Makkar, principal of the college, was the chief guest on the occasion. She was accorded a most cordial welcome by the heads of departments, staff and students.

City girl brings laurels

The budding star of the city, Jaismeen Akhtar, a student of BA part I, Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women, was awarded the third position in the Inter-University Youth Festival in the folk song competition organised by the Punjabi Academy at New Delhi. She has been influenced by her brother Shehnaaz Akhtar (‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ runners-up).

Lecture on cervix, breast cancer delivered

The Youth Red Cross Society of the GCG, Ludhiana, celebrated their closing ceremony on Thrusday. Gurminder Kaur presided over the function. The chief guest for the occasion, Dr Veena Jain, MD, senior consultant, at Ludhiana Mediways, was welcomed by Kirpal Kaur, in-charge, Red Cross Society. Dr Veena delivered lecture on cervix, ovarian and breast cancer.

Seminar on drug abuse

The Gujranwala Guru Nanak institute of Management & Technology (GGNIMT), Civil Lines, organised a seminar on “Drug Abuse” to create awareness. Social Activist Balwinder Singh Kahlon along with his team delivered lectures on “Say no to drugs”. Prof. Gurbhajan Gill welcomed the guests and briefed them about the social works undertaken by the team to eliminate the roots of drug from India and abroad. Kahlon said drug addiction was a complex disorder characterised by compulsive drug use. He said, “Each drug produces different physical effects, all abused substances share one thing in common: repeated use can alter the way the brain looks and functions.”

Lecture on SAP

An extension lecture on”System Application and Products in data Processing (SAP)”- An emerging platform was organised on the premises of Kamla Lohtia SD College on Thursday. The main aim of this interactive talk was to create awareness about the career prospects. The participation of students from BCom and BBA classes made this interactive, purposeful and effective. Principal Dr Shiv Mohan Sharma appreciated this innovative endeavour.

Students visit LSE

The training and placement department of the Doraha Institute of Management and Technology (DIMT) organised an Industry Interaction. Under this programme, two industrial visits were organised. MBA, BCom students visited the Ludhiana Stock Exchange (LSE). On reaching the LSE, the students were welcomed by Sadhu Ram, a senior official of LSE. The students were given a presentation on the capital market. The training module covered the introduction and history of the stock market in India, history and significance of stock exchanges, functions of stock exchanges, capital market in India and instruments of capital market. The students were also shown the live trading portal of LSE. — TNS




Basant Panchami celebrated

Basant Panchami was celebrated at Shri Guru Harkrishan Sahib Public Senior Secondary School, Gill Market, New Janta Nagar here today. 450 students participated in this function. Director Mr Prem Singh Sokhi and Principal Mrs Manjeet Kaur Lotey congratulate the students and staff on this occasion. All the students wear yellow clothes and danced on the song Aayee Zhoom ke Basant.

St GDS Convent School

The festival of Basant Panchami was celebrated with great fervour and zeal on the premises of the St GDS Convent School. The Theme of the day was yellow and the day was called yellow day. All the students and staff members came to school dressed up in distinct appearances in yellow colour and yellow accessories as per the theme of the day. Some of the students had a garland of yellow flowers with them too.

Green Land Convent School

Students present a dance item to celebrate Basant Panchami at Green Land Public School in Ludhiana on Thursday
Students present a dance item to celebrate Basant Panchami at Green Land Public School in Ludhiana on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

Basant Panchami was celebrated at Green Land Convent School with a lot of exuberance and fanfare. The students were totally absorbed in the festive spirit. The students of Kindergarten section came to school in yellow costumes. The students had a gala time as they welcomed the cheerful spring season bidding adieu to the dull winter. The students relished the yellow puddings prepared by their mothers. The principal of the school, Jyoti Sachdev Pujara, acquainted the students with the relevance of the festival and told them that the festival marks the birthday of Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge.

GN International Public School

The pre-primary wing of the GN International Public School welcomed the spring season and celebrated the festival of Basant Panchami. Shades of yellow, which symbolise cheerfulness, knowledge, wisdom and splendour of nature, brightened up the ambience as the whole wing was decorated with yellow balloons, kites, buntings and paper flowers. Both the students and the staff members looked vibrant in yellow and green attires. The students relished home cooked traditional dishes like sweet yellow rice, ladoos and chila. Congratulating everybody on the occasion Principal Gurmant Kaur Gill said this festival signifies joy and happiness and brightens up our lives.

Guru Gobind Singh Public School receives award

Guru Gobind Singh Public School has received Shiksha Ratna Award 2013 for 'Special needs education Initiative in schools' during the Sate Education Summit - Punjab 2013. The event was hosted by Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Principal of the school said the school has been working since its establishment to serve all components of the society, including kids with special needs. She said, “The school is going to start vocational courses for these kids so that they can face changing environment and restore their self respect.”

Dental check-up camp

A dental check up camp was conducted at Ryan International School, Jamalpur, Ludhiana, for the students of classes III to V. A team of doctors and interns from THE Baba Jaswant Singh College were invited for the check up. The doctors examined the dental health of the students and acquainted them with oral hygiene, healthy eating habits and abstinence from unhealthy diet. The students also shared their queries with the doctors. Principal, Parveena John, said, “We abide by the vision of our founder, chairman, Dr Augustine F Pinto, and lay emphasis on his value point of health, care and good living, therefore such camps are frequently held at Ryan through which the Ryanites are made aware about various health hazards and are given ample acknowledge which helps them in following a healthy regime and life style.”



3 held for drug peddling
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
The city police arrested three persons, including two women, in the Dehlon area and recovered 13kg of opium from their possession. One of the accused have been identified as Jaswant Singh (51) of Doraha.

The trio was travelling by a car when they were intercepted by Harbans Singh, SHO of the Dehlon police station at a police "naka" on the Ahmedgarh Mandi highway.

Jaswant Singh, on seeing the police, tried to speed away but he was soon nabbed by the police. During a search of the vehicle, the police found 13 kg of contraband worth more than Rs 10 lakh.

The trio cracked soon and confessed that they had procured the contraband from Rajasthan. Jaswant Singh, who was earlier booked by the Payal police for smuggling drugs, told the police that they had been involved in the trade for the past eight years.

The were produced before the court, which sent them to a joint interrogation centre in Amritsar.



Man booked on charge of online gambling

Ludhiana, February 14
The Shimlapuri police has booked a person on the charge of fleecing innocent people by selling fake online gambling games. The accused has been identified as Pawan Kumar of Ram Nagar.

The accused ran the business of providing online games from his house. Pawan Kumar has created a website, www.gameskingsindia.com, through which he was selling (uploading) the games to innocent residents by creating different IDs and asking them to deposit the fee in his bank account.

The accused was selling the games illegally and causing a loss to the government exchequer by not paying tax. Following a tip-off, the Shimlapuri police nabbed the accused red-handed. — TNS



Man commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
A 30-year-old man committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at his house in Haibowal here today. The deceased has been identified as Munish Tiwari. The incident came to light this morning when the family spotted the body hanging from a ceiling fan.

The family informed the police about the incident. The body was taken to the Civil Hospital, where a postmortem was conducted.



One hurt in armed attack at village
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Kulwant Singh, a resident of Dehlon, has lodged a complaint against Harpreet Singh of Kadian and Mota of Toosa village, accusing them of opening fire at him. Kulwant claimed that he had a miraculous escape and suffered injuries in the attack.

The incident took place on Monday night when Kulwant, along with his friend Jatinder Singh, was driving towards Ludhiana. When they reached near Sanghowal village, a car, in which Harpreet and Mota were travelling, came close to their vehicle and the duo opened fire at them. Kulwant suffered injuries in the incident and was admitted to a hospital.

According to Kulwant, a property feud was the reason behind the murderous assault on them. The accused used .315 and .12 bore pistols to kill him, added Kulwant.

The police has started investigation and booked Harpreet and Mota under sections 307 and 34 of the IPC and 25, 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act for an attempt to murder. Both the accused are at large.



2 drug peddlers arrested
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, February 14
The Jagraon police has arrested two drug peddlers and seized drugs from their possession in two separate operations. During the first operation, a police team from the CIA staff, Jagraon, arrested a truck driver and seized 20 kg of poppy husk from his truck.

The accused has been identified as Harminder Singh, a resident of Hehar village near Jagraon. The police has also impounded the truck in which the alleged drug peddler was trying to smuggle the drugs.

In another operation, the Raikot police has arrested a youth and seized 400 gm of charas from his possession following a tip off. The accused has been identified as Akhil Sani Vakeel.



Inter-batch sports meet held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
An inter-batch sports meet was held at the College of Nursing and the Christian Medical College and Hospital here today. Events like throw ball, volleyball, basketball, badminton, chess, kho-kho and carom were organised. All the nursing students participated in the meet with enthusiasm.

The faculty of the College of Nursing also participated in some events. Medals and certificates were given to the winning students by Ponnamma R Singh, Principal of the college.

A cross-country, "Run for Fitness", was organised by Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management. The distance for the boys' category was 6 km and while for the girls' category it was 4.5 km. Gurusaran Singh and Chhavi Jindal, both BCom students, were the winners.



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