L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC public hearing goes awry
Committee reschedules meeting; residents bear the brunt, made to wait for hours
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
It was an "unplanned" day in the Zone A office of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation where a public hearing regarding objections filed by city residents against the formation of zones for property tax was held today. The hearing was scheduled for 11 am, but people kept waiting outside the committee room for over two hours, only to be informed that the hearing had been rescheduled for 4 pm.


MLAs and other committee members sat with MC officials for more than two and a half hours and made sure that all colonies were put in the right zone. We have made changes regarding 400 to 450 colonies so that residents do not suffer. The hearing was held in the right manner

— Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, Mayor 

A total of 118 objections were filed by people. A committee comprising the Director (Local Bodies), the MC Commissioner, the Mayor, the Senior Deputy Mayor, the Deputy Mayor, the local MP and local MLAs were to hear these objections.

The meeting started half an hour late despite the fact that three MLAs had arrived in the committee room, but a majority of the MC officials, including MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma, were still in their respective offices. The MC Commissioner had to face the ire of Akali MLA Simarjit Singh Bains when he reached the committee room. The MLA reminded him about the timing of the meeting.

When the hearing started, some residents were called inside the committee room. Some committee members, too, started raising their grievances. The common grievance was that areas had not been arranged into zones in the right manner.

Residents said areas such as Pindi Street, which were among the worst in terms of civic amenities, had been kept in the same zone as the Mall Road, the Feroze Gandhi market and Ferozepur Road. Similarly, Transport Nagar, where overflowing sewers and potholed roads were a common sight, had been kept in the same category as the posh Gurdev Nagar, blocks C, H and E of the posh Sarabha Nagar and A and B blocks of Aggar Nagar.

Congress MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu, former Congress councillor Parminder Mehta, who was Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari’s representative in the committee, and other committee members argued that they were not briefed about several issues "related to zoning of property tax" in advance.

“Had you (MC Commissioner) taken an initiative to hold a meeting of the committee members prior to today’s hearing, we would have been able to hold the public hearing properly and there would have been fewer objections,” said MLA Ashu during the meeting.

At around 1 pm, it was decided that the committee members would sit with the zonal commissioners and their staff to "correct" the list of areas that have been "wrongly" mentioned in the proposed list.

The residents, who had filed their objections, were informed at 1 pm that they would had to come again at 4 pm, which most of them rejected.

When the committee members again assembled at 4 pm, of the total 982 colonies, more than 450 were shifted to other zones. However, the committee continued with the hearing of objections according to the first list despite the fact that more than 50 per cent of the list had be changed.

Residents alleged that the real purpose of the hearing was defeated because they were not given a chance to file their objections according to the changed list.


Property tax to be levied from April 1

The municipal corporation will levy property tax on city residents from April 1. Under it, the city will be divided into eight zones. Each zone will have a different unit value, which will be fixed by a committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner. The property tax to be paid by the residents will be calculated on the basis of this unit value as well as a set formula. A meeting for fixing the unit value will be held on February 28.


Residents cry foul, hit out at municipal corporation
Tribune News Service

Residents argue with Akali MLA Ranjit Singh Dhillon over the delay in the public hearing at the Zone A office of the MC in Ludhiana on Tuesday.
Residents argue with Akali MLA Ranjit Singh Dhillon over the delay in the public hearing at the Zone A office of the MC in Ludhiana on Tuesday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma.

Ludhiana, February 26
City residents, who had come to file their objections against the zones for property tax at the MC office at 11 am today, were a disgruntled lot after they were asked to come again at 4 pm. The hearing was scheduled for 11 am, but at around 1 pm, they were informed by MC officials that the hearing would now take place at 4 pm.

The public hearing was conducted behind closed doors. Residents were asked to appear before the committee one by one. Mediapersons were not allowed to attend the public hearing by MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma.

As MC Joint Commissioner PS Ghuman announced the new meeting plan at around 1 pm, residents, who had already been waiting outside the committee room in Zone A office since 11 am, objected to it and argued with MC officials and committee members.

Most of refused to wait till 4 pm. At 11 am, there were around 100 residents waiting for their turn outside the committee room, but by 4 pm, only a handful of them were left.

“MC officials should have planned everything before calling us. They (MC officials) think we have nothing else to do and will spend the entire day waiting for the hearing to be held. It's shameful that the MC is harassing residents,” said a senior citizen, S Sharma, a resident of Rishi Nagar.

“They are fooling us. We had filed our objections according to the first proposed list. By 4 pm, the list was altered and despite this, the MC officials went ahead with the hearing. If they had to alter the list, they should have done so before calling us. They have not given a chance to the residents to file their objections against the altered list. This clearly shows that the MC is making a mockery of the law. We will take the matter to court,” said another resident.

Sources in the MC said the altered list was set to get finalised by tomorrow morning, after which it would be approved.



Man gets jail in cheque-bounce case
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 26
Judicial Magistrate Rahul Kumar has convicted Birender K Berry of Durgapuri, Haibowal Kalan, Ludhiana, in a cheque-bounce case involving Rs 2,40,000.

He was ordered to undergo imprisonment for one year. The court also directed him to pay a fine of Rs 2,000.

The orders came on a complaint filed by Naman Mishra of the Sudha Ashram street, Ludhiana.

The complainant had submitted before the court that the accused had borrowed Rs 3,63,500 as a loan from him. Thereafter, he requested him several times to return the money. But the accused kept delaying the matter on one pretext or the other.

Finally, he issued a cheque for Rs 2,40,000 on October 27, 2010. However, when the cheque was presented in a bank, it was dishonoured for want of sufficient funds. Despite a notice, the accused failed to pay back the money.

In light of the evidence produced by the complainant, the court held the accused guilty.



Industry gives thumbs down to Rail Budget
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
The industry has termed the Rail Budget for 2013-14 as directionless. It fears that the surcharge on freight, as proposed in the Budget, will drive states like Punjab to a corner as these states depend heavily on the Railways for raw material and coal.

"It is unfortunate that no benefit has been given to Punjab in the latest Railway Budget. Except a few local low-profile trains, no new projects have been envisaged for the state. There are no chances of any improvement in the condition of the Ludhiana railway station too," said Badish Jindal, national president of the Federation of Associations of Small Industries of India.

Last year, the freight rate was increased by 18 per cent and again the freight rate has been increased by 5 per cent. This would escalate inflation as the prices of commodities would go up, said Jindal.

The average booking waiting list in Punjab is around 20 days. Due to the long waiting list, passengers are forced to book their tickets well in advance, sometimes months before their journey. Under such circumstances, there are chances of cancellation of tickets. However, the increase in the ticket-cancellation charges will hit the passengers hard. The increase in the taktal charges will also hit passengers, said another industrialist Sanjay Arora.

Darshan Dawar, president of the Knitwear Club, said they appreciated the Railway Minister for taking an initative to establish 25 new institutes for skill training and also welcomed the idea of connecting MGNREGA with the Railways to create various jobs for the common man.

"Extra burden has been put on the common man by imposing surcharge, increase in the reservation and cancellation charges of tickets and the tatkal tickets.

The fuel surcharge and freight charges have been increased, but no facility has been mentioned for industrial cities," said Vinod Thapar, chairman of the Knitwear Club.

"The increase in the freight charges to the tune of 5 per cent is very discouraging for the industry. The industry was expecting some concession like a decrease in the freight charges. Cycle and cycle parts manufacturers are a disgruntled lot as they send their products to other states. The prices of cycles will go up and the poor man will not be able to bear this increase," said Gurmeet Singh Kular, president of the United Cycle and Parts Manfacturers Association.

The cycle industry had requested the Railway Minister to start a non-stop Shatabdi from Ludhiana to Delhi, but despite an assurance given by him in this regard, nothing has been done. 



MC pulls down 115 illegal structures
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
From a two-storeyed commercial complex to toilets on roads, the Jawahar Nagar Camp area in the city had it all in the form of encroachments. The situation was such that due to these encroachments, the width of roads in the area had been reduced by several feet.

Despite opposition from residents, officials of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation today carried out a massive demolition drive the in Jawahar Nagar Camp area. During the drive, more than 115 permanent encroachments were razed by a team, led by Assistant Town Planner (ATP) Rajinder Sharma.

The encroachments were removed following the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Sensing that they might have to face opposition in the Jawahar Nagar Camp area, more than 200 policemen, including around 70 policewomen, were deployed to assist the MC officials in removing the encroachments.

Though the MC officials faced opposition, they managed to demolish 115 illegal structures of the more than 250 in the area.

During the drive, the MC officials were surprised to see that some people had encroached upon more than a 15 ft area of roads in front of their offices. One person had even constructed a two-storeyed commercial complex on encroached land.

Many residents had even constructed toilets on a portion of the road.

Some residents tried to stop the MC officials from going ahead with the drive, but due to the heavy police force, the officials were successful in removing the encroachments.

Some residents alleged that the MC had adopted a pick-and-choose policy. The MC termed these allegations as baseless and said it would continue its drive in the area.

ATP Rajinder Sharma said a 60-ft-wide road in the area had been reduced to mere 20 ft due to encroachments. “Over the years, residents had encroached upon large portions of roads outside their houses, which we demolished today. There are close to 250 such permanent encroachments in the area and we would continue our drive till all such encroachments are removed,” said Sharma.



Slump casts shadow on LIT auction
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 26
The overall slowdown and slump in the real estate sector was visible in at a public auction of 42 commercial sites and built-up properties conducted by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) here today as just two booths in the Model Town Extension (Part II) scheme were sold at a marginal premium.

Although quite a few persons attended the auction, only six intending buyers deposited the earnest money for built-up booths in Model Town Extension (Block D) and an SCF site in the Rajguru Nagar locality.

The highest bid offered for one SCF site in Rajguru Nagar with an area of 125 sq metres went up to Rs 1.01 crore against the reserve price of Rs 39,51,250, but the LIT officials conducting the auction decided not to sell the site for the time being as the bid offered for the same was considered lower as compared to the prevailing market rates.

Two built-up booths, each with an area of 22.68 sq yards and a floor price of Rs 21.86 lakh, were sold for Rs 27.50 lakh and Rs 27.80 lakh.

No bids were offered for eight built-up booths and a coal depot site in the Model Town Extension scheme, one SCF site in Bharat Nagar Extension, one school site in Kidwai Nagar and 28 booths and booth sites in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Maharishi Valmiki Nagar and Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar localities.



Aspiring model alleges sexual exploitation by pop singer
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
A noted Punjabi pop singer, Nachatter Gill, and three others have landed in the soup following a complaint by an aspiring model, who claimed that the singer and the three others established physical relations with her on the pretext of making her a top model and sending her abroad.

The girl, a resident of Haibowal, claimed that the pop singer took her to a hotel in Chandigarh, where he gave her a sedative-laced cold drink and took objectionable pictures of her.

She said the three others also raped her in a similar way at a hotel in Singapore.

The matter came to light when the victim appeared before Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh and narrated the entire story.

Taking a serious view of the allegations, the Commissioner of Police has marked an inquiry into the case.

The complainant said she came in contact with the pop singer during a Punjabi beauty pageant held at Jalandhar in 2006.

She said the pop singer was one of the judges. She was adjudged the first runners-up at the pageant.

She claimed that during the function, they exchanged their mobile numbers. According to the girl, the pop singer told her that she had a bright future in modelling and that he would make all efforts to make her a top model.

The duo started talking to each other frequently. Soon their friendship turned intimate. The girl met the pop singer in hotels in Phillaur and Ludhiana.

She said she visited a hotel in Chandigarh along with the singer. The singer allegedly gave her a sedative-laced cold drink and took objectionable pictures of her. She said the pop singer established physical relations with her on several occasions.

The girl said her relations with the pop singer turned sour after she questioned him why she was not featured in music albums.

She alleged that the pop singer started blackmailing her by saying that he would make the footage public.

The women said three city residents took advantage of her pitiable condition. She said the trio took Rs 20 lakh from her parents for settling her abroad. When they were in Singapore, two city residents established physical relations with her against her wishes. She claimed that they also made her MMS.

The third person established physical relations with her on the pretext of helping her seek legal action against those who had exploited her.



No cars for PAU hostel inmates
Authorities say move will help check anti-social elements
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana February 26
In a strange decision, Punjab Agricultural University has issued an order in which the students residing inside the varsity campus have been restricted from keeping four-wheeler. The order has raised several eyebrows because the reason behind the issuing of this order has not been mentioned in the notice pasted on the Punjab Agricultural University entry gates.

The notice has been issued by the Director Student Welfare Dr Davinder Singh Cheema.

Dr Cheema said the PAU administration has noted involvement of four-wheelers in some notorious activities in past.

"We want to keep a tab on the outsiders who visit the hostels along with students. Security guards on the entry gates can identify the outsiders on two-wheelers while they manage to sneak in the university campus in cars."

"Moreover, we do not think that hostellers require four-wheeler while their stay in the university," DSW added.

According to the information, there are around 35-40 hostellers who own the four wheelers.

Meanwhile, Parminder Gujjar, president Punjab Agricultural University Students Association said, "It's a harsh decision by the PAU authorities. The authorities did not mention any reason in the note why they are resorting to such restrictions. If cars are not required by the students then why does faculty keep cars to visit University. Every one should come on bicycles."


What the notice says

As per the administrative decision the students residing in PAU Hostels are not allowed to keep four wheelers on the campus. Therefore, all students residing in PAU Hostels are hereby directed to obey the decision meticulously. If any hostel student is found to have four-wheeler on PAU campus after 18.2.2013, disciplinary action will be taken against the defaulters.




Health Dept collects gutka samples
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
A team of the Health Department today collected samples of gutka, paan masala etc from different shops. Food Safety Officer, Ludhiana, Harpreet Kaur said, "We have collected one sample of shehnai paan mewa and chutki paan masala from Baba Deep Singh Nagar.

Four samples of shikhar gutka were collected while 12 were sealed on a shop at Sherpur Kalan. At the same shop, 20 packets of dabang gutka wee found, out of which 16 were sealed and samples of 4 were collected."

She added that samples of paan masala, dabang paan masala and shehnai paan msala were also collected from two shops at Nizaam Road in Books Market."

The team, which collected these samples, included Food Safety Officer, Ravinder Garg, and District Health Officer, Dr Avinash Kumar.



Teachers find fault with board's instructions
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
The "Option" given by the Punjab School Education Board to conduct the Post-Line Assessment of students in government schools, is not being taking "seriously” by the teachers, who feel that the instructions by the department came at a wrong time when both teachers and students were too busy preparing for their final examinations.

The department, in December 2012, had conducted the base-line assessment test of students from Classes VI-VIII for the important subjects including maths, English, science and social science. The December tests were taken by the school authorities after getting instructions by the department, to see the improvement among the students. The teachers made efforts to bring improvement among the students who could not perform well.

On February 22, the department issued another instructions, which are optional, to conduct Post-Line Assessment Tests of students so that the real picture could come to fore. A senior teacher at a government school here, wishing not to be quoted, said the idea to conduct Post-Line Assessment test was good but the timing was wrong.

"These days, we are busy preparing students for their final examinations. Now conducting such tests at this stage is simply not possible and advisable as the students are preparing for final exams and these tests will prove to be an additional burden. Besides, they will be distracted," said the teacher.

Another teacher at a government School said the department had given an option, if schools were interested to hold these tests. "So, we are not taking these exams. But we will be in trouble if the department asks if we had held the tests or not. But at this time, conducting post-line tests is just not viable," said the teacher.



No private functions in govt schools
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
Issuing clear directions to the government schools in the state, the Director General of Secondary Education, KS Pannu, has said that from now onwards, the government schools will not be shut even if any state level, local level function or animal fairs were held on the school premises in rural areas. Besides, the school premises must not be used to hold private functions and in case any school was found violating the directions, it must be brought to the notice of concerned SDMs or the Deputy Commissioner.

Perturbed over the lackadaisical attitude being adopted while providing quality education to the students at government schools, Pannu said that at many government schools, various functions or animal fairs were organised, due to which the schools were to be closed.

Issuing directions to all the District Education Officers (Secondary and Primary) and the principals/headmasters of the government school, the DGSE said that no holiday, other than the government holidays, would be declared in the schools. The private functions including marriages, bhog ceremonies, religious functions, private or public events or the animal fairs will not be allowed in the schools.

In case, there was a school playground, which was outside the school premises, it could be used by the villagers, that too during the holiday for holding a sports event. The permission has to be sought from the principals/headmasters.

One of the teachers at a government school in Dakha said such step had to be taken much before for the welfare of students as during the state functions/events, the schools were generally closed for preparations/rehearsals of the event and students suffered due to study loss. "Many a time, the school premises are used to hold private parties in villages. Since the principals etc are involved, no teacher dares to complain against them. If such strictness is adopted, things will definitely improve," said the teacher.



Rail Budget disappoints city
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 26
The maiden railway budget presented by Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal today failed to impress the city residents.
The rail travellers will now have to shell out more for undertaking journeys in all classes as he announced hike in reservation charges and fares of the super fast trains. Those going for cancellation of their reserved tickets, or else seeking tickets in "tatkal" category will also have to pay more.

The city residents wanted the introduction of some more trains on trunk routes or rail connectivity to places like Bangaluru and Hyderabad but their crashed after the rail budget was announced. The city only got a weekly AC express train. The train will come from New Delhi and will go to Katra while touching Ludhiana on its way to Katra. No new trains were announced for the state.

Mohinder Aggarwal, secretary, Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, said the railway budget was very disappointing. Without touching rail fares, the minister had put additional burden on the travellers by increasing fares of super fast trains, reservation fee, cancellation charges and tatkal charges. Contrary to the expectations of the people, no new shatabdi or jan shatabdi train was announced nor any link with major metro cities was provided.

A functionary of the Northern Railway Mens' Union appreciated the concern of the railway minister for safety and better amenities. The announcements for filling up 1.52 lakh posts in the railways and the aim to elimination more than 31,000 railway crossings was also appreciated by them.

Charanjit Kaur, a college teacher, said: “Rail travellers will not mind paying a few extra provided the railways bring about qualitative improvement in overall sanitation and passenger amenities both at the railway stations and on trains.

Gurbaksh Singh, a shopkeeper in Old Sabzi Mandi said the railways had done well to extend the Una-Nangal Dam train to Nanded (Hazoor Sahib) via Anandpur Sahib and also provided connectivity to Takht Damdama Sahib (Talwandi Sabo) through a proposed railway link from Rama Mandi to Maur Mandi.



Swine flu treatment a costly affair
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
The treatment of critically ill patients' suffering from Category-C Swine Flu is a costly affair. A patient has to shell out more than Rs 10,000 for getting treatment at a good private hospital.
As per the data available from the health department, about 25 per cent patients fall under Category- C and need ventilator.

According to attendant of a patient who suffered from swine flu, the patient had to stay in the hospital for more than a week. An amount of Rs 11,000 and sometimes more is spent per day for medicines and other requirement.

Ironically, district's biggest government hospital, ie Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, has received not even a single case of swine flu this year. District Epidemiologist Dr Anil verma said, "This year different private hospitals of Ludhiana district received as many as 61 Swine flu positive patients from different districts of Punjab and other states. However 21 out of them are from Ludhiana district, and out of 21, 6 died while they were on ventilator."



Fingerprint samples of Rana's in-laws collected
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
A day after the former president of the District Youth Congress Dimple Rana was shot at in Vikas Nagar; the city police today took the fingerprint samples of Dimple's in-laws.
The police would match the samples with the fingerprints lifted from the .32 revolver recovered from the spot. Dimple was operated during midnight and the bullet was removed. He is stated to be out of danger.

According to sources, Seema, wife of Dimple Rana, handed over the revolver to the police. The grip of the revolver was also broken.

However, Dimple did not record his statement to the police on the second consecutive day

Ishwarjot Cheema, former vice-president and spokesperson of Punjab Youth Congress, said: "This is a very serious issue and someone is deliberately spreading the word that Rana shot himself at the abdomen. The rumours are being spread to mislead the people. I suspect foul play and demand investigation from an independent authority. If someone commits suicide he or she normally fires a shot by placing the weapon on the temple. While in majority of the self inflicted injury cases people shot on their thigh to implicate other. But in this case nothing of this kind happened here."



Volunteers found wanting
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
The volunteers of the Health Department have been visiting houses for giving pulse polio drops to the children up to 5 years of age under the pulse polio campaign which was kicked off on Sunday.

However, some of these volunteers are marking "P"(means present) on the main gates of the houses even if they fail to meet anyone at that house during their visit.

The volunteers are supposed to visit at these houses in the evening but they are not doing the needful.

According to Jagjit kaur, grandmother of a baby boy, said: "We live near Octroi post. It happened twice that none of the volunteers revisited us for administering pulse polio drops to my grandson. They mark "P" on our main gate every time. We have to visit government dispensary for administering pulse polio drops to my grandson."

Another resident of Jeewanpreet Nagar said: "The volunteers visited our home and marked "X" on the main gate. We kept waiting for them but no one came again. Finally we went to a private pediatrician for pulse polio drops."

Today different teams of volunteers visited as many as 2, 79,709 houses and administered pulse polio drops to 1, 23,707 children.

District Immunization Officer Dr Sanjeev Hans said, "I have also received some complaints like this. I will ask the volunteers to re-visit these areas at the earliest. Some of the volunteers face the problem in meeting people at home even during re-visit as some couples are working couples and remain away from home from 9 am to 5 pm and the volunteers re-visit houses before 5 pm. I will ask higher authorities to allow us to hold booths for such cases."



Jashn-e-Sahir International Mushiara on March 2
Tribune news Service

Ludhiana, February 26
The 41st annual Jashn-e-Sahir International Mushiara is going to be held on March 2 at Nehru Sidhant Kender. It is an annual event, which is organised by Adeeb International and Nehru Sidhant Kender.

Dr Kewal Dheer, chairman of Adeeb International while addressing the press conference said a galaxy of eminent poets from all over India are participating in this year's mushiaras which include Dr Rahat Indori, Shakil Azmi, Aslam Chisti, Wasim Rashid, Naseem Nikhat, Hina Temoori to name a few. This year Sahir Award is being conferred upon sufi singer Sahir Ludhianvi. 



Students know little about Sahir Ludhianvi
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
The department of posts will release a postage stamp on the occasion of the 92nd birth anniversary of Sahir Ludhianvi on March 8. But many students at the college, where he studied, know little about him.

Sahir studied at the SCD Government College for Boys. When asked about the poet, one of the BA students said that he knew he has studied from the college, and had contributed songs to Hindi movies. Few BSc finalyear students said that they have not heard the name before. A student from the college also replied that he was a ghazal singer.

“Although the name of the auditorium at the SCD Government College is Sahir Auditorium and the name of a garden at the college is 'Gulistan-e-Sahir' but no cultural events are organised on the college premises at the birth anniversary of the poet,” said a teacher.

Even the college library doesn't issue any books on the poet. One of the members of the library staff at the college said the library has about 12 books on the poet but these are only for reference and are not issued to students because these are not easily 


Taxpayers get notices despite having cleared dues
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
Income tax department has wrongly sent demand notices to some of the income tax payers. The notices were sent via e-mails and mails.
People were waiting for the refunds but they got a shock from the department. The department has asked them to clear their pending arrears.

According to sources, the system of the department has not been updated due to which all the confusion was created. Jatinder Khurana, a Taxation lawyer, said: “The department should update its data. Some of my clients have no arrears towards the department and have cleared all the pending dues but still have received the demand notices. Now again we have to go to the department to clear the confusion,” he said.

A source from the IT department said, “All the officials have sent their data to the central processing center, Bangalore, from where people are receiving the e-mails regarding the arrears. It is quite possible that some officials might have not updated their data due to which all this confusion is being created.”



Clash: Tight security around Bhaini Saheb

Bhaini Saheb, February 26
The security at Bhaini Saheb has been tightened to avoid any untoward incident keeping in view yesterday's incidence of violence between two groups of Namdhari sect at Amritsar. This was revealed by Ishwar Singh, Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana.

He said the security was tightened as a precautionary measure although the situation was normal in and around Bhaini Saheb.

Two groups owing alliance to present Satguru Uday Singh and one Thakur Dalip Singh had attacked each other at Amritsar and some persons were injured in this group clash. Satguru Uday Singh was nominated new head of Namdhari sect by Mata Chand Kaur at Bhaini Saheb in the presence of thousands of followers while faction of Thakur Dalip Singh was opposing it and wanted Thakur Dalip Singh as new chief. —OC



Aam Aadmi Party protests against MC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today held a protest against the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation outside their Zone A office at Mata Rani Chowk.

The party had also organised a signature campaign against the levying of property tax. Memorandums in this regard were submitted to MC Commissioner twice.

"Today, a meeting was called to study into objections filed against imposition of the property tax," said Harjot, district convener, AAP.



from schools
Dental camp

Ludhiana: Good oral care and a good set of pearly whites were impertinent for a person's well being. Not only do they instill self-confidence but also helps one to live and eat healthy. In order to instill good dental hygiene habits in children, a dental check up camp was organised in Jesus Sacred Heart School here on Monday. Samples of toothpaste were also distributed to each child.

Science exhibition held

Jagraon: Shiwalik Model School Jagraon organised a Science and Art and Craft exhibition in the school campus here on Tuesday. A large number of school students up to class X took part in the exhibition with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm. The students displayed various kinds of creations made by them. — TNS



Flesh trade racket busted, 9 arrested
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, February 26
With the arrest of nine persons including six women, the Jagraon police has claimed to bust a flesh trade racket in Jagraon. The flesh trade racket was allegedly being jointly run by a man and woman in a rented house near New Gaushala in Agwar Khawajabaju locality of Jagraon.

As per the information, the racket was busted during a raid conducted by a police team lead by SHO Jagraon city police station, Mohamad Jamil, following a tip off today afternoon. During the raid, the police arrested Kewal Singh, a resident of Rasoolpur, Jandi village, and his accomplice Balwinder Kaur of Abbupura village near Sidhwan Bet.

According to the police, the racket was being jointly run by Kewal Singh and Balwinder Kaur. Apart from these two accused, the police has also arrested seven other persons including five women and two men. The accused women arrested by the police have been identified as Veer Kaur, Sukhdeep Kaur, Jyoti (all three residents of Jagraon), Rajwinder Kaur of Siyar village and Kulwinder Kaur of Chaunkiman village situated on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway.

A case has been registered against all the accused under Section 109 of the CrPC at Jagraon City police station and further investigation is on," stated DSP Surinder.



Govt neglecting wrestling: Grapplers
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana February 26
Though the "kushti" (wrestling) is one of the major traditional games in the state and people love to watch the wrestling events, the state government is least concerned to promote the wrestling in state.

Ludhiana has produced a number of wrestlers in the past and some people still struggling to maintain the glory. But because of the ignorance of state government it is hard to maintain the same glory of the game.

According to the information, wrestlers perform in the rural tournament to earn money for their diet and other requirements. Ironically, the sports department has not deputed any wrestling coach in the district for several years. Moreover, there is no wrestling court for practice and matches in the district. Players at Guru Nanak Stadium do not have mats for the practice so they forced to play on the judo mats.

A renowned wrestler, Sikander, from Alamgir Akhara, said the interest of new generation is declining, as the wrestling cannot compete with games like cricket and kabaddi.

"How wrestling can compete with kabaddi and cricket. Government has been spending crores to promote kabaddi in the state and corporate invests millions in the cricket. Meanwhile, in the wrestling players have to arrange coach, diet and infrastructure on by own for wrestling," said Gian who has been running Guru Nanak Stadium Akhara.

Gian pehalwan said, "We have a number of promising player but without the proper infrastructure and government aid, they can not perform well. They spent from their pockets to buy any thing required in akhara. The amount which they won from the rural competitions is the only resource of their livelihoods."

District Sports Officer, Kartar Singh said, "It is unfortunate that our traditional games are suffering due to non availability of funds. We are promising players in the district so wrestling should be promoted for the future of budding wrestlers.”



Speed Fund Scheme: 108 players attend trials
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 26
As many as 108 players (71 boys and 37 girls) today attended the trials conducted by the Punjab Sports Department under its Speed Fund Scheme for the year 2013-14 at Guru Nanak Stadium.

Players who had secured one of the first three positions in the Sub Junior/Junior State Championships or Sub Junior National/Junior National Championships and were of the age 13 to 18 years as on December 31, 2013 were eligible for these 

The disciplines included athletics, boxing, badminton, cycling, gymnastics (artistic and rhythmic), judo, lawn tennis, table tennis, weightlifting and wrestling.

The selection panel constituted of sports personalities of international repute. The experts watched these aspirants before shortlisting 55 players. These selected boys and girls will be inducted into the sports academies and different sports wings (schools) being run by the department at different venues. This was stated by Kartar Singh Sehmbey, District Sports Officer, Ludhiana, who was also the 
coordinator for the trials process during conducted by the Punjab Sports Department.

The selected players will get Rs 5,500 per month per player for diet, equipments, education, medical and transportation. They will be placed at the sports centre equipped with all modern facilities of their own choice in the state. Besides, they will get facility to participate in all the national and international competitions during the trials conducted by the Punjab Sports Department.

“The department will also conduct trials for enrolling talented players with school wings and academies between March 1 to 7 at Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Bathinda, where the selected players will get Rs 100 per day for the non-residential wings and Rs 200 for the residential wings,” said Kartar Singh.



Athletics meet begins at Arya College
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 26
Around 250 students took part in different sports disciplines in the 66th Annual Athletics Meet of Arya 
College that began here today.

Punjab Cabinet Minister, Bhagat Chuni Lal, declared the meet open while the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, Rahul Tiwari, was guest of honour on the occasion.

The chief guest took salute from the participants at a march past. He announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh for the college.

Principal of the college, Dr RC Tejpal welcomed the guests and read out annual report highlighting achievements by the students at different level tournaments during the current session.

First day's results: High jump: Sahil Sharma; shot put-Prabhjot Singh; long jump-Sandeep Negi; 1500m race-Dhanya; 800m race-Ganga Gautam; javelin throw-Sandeep Negi; Sack race-Hitesh. Girls-Discus throw-Poonam Sharma; Javelin throw-Neha; Sack race-Jaya.



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