L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Kidnapping of three-year-old girl
ASI, woman constable booked
Clueless grandmother files complaint; incident took place on January 19
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
An Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI), a woman constable and an unidentified woman have been booked for kidnapping a three-year-old girl and wrongly confining a woman and her elder granddaughter at the Railway Protection Force (RPF) office. The child was kidnapped on January 19 this year.

The registration of case against ASI Manohar Singh and constable Surjit Kaur has again brought to the fore how kidnappers are thriving at the railway station under the patronage of the police and kidnapping children by posing as child right activists.

The FIR, a copy of which is with The Tribune, was registered today after victim Urmila (grandmother) (50), a resident of Ambedkar Colony in Khanna, with the help of social activist Sameer Kumar, brought the matter to the notice of the higher authorities. Urmila is a juggler and performs acts in the moving train to eke out a living. She said that the incident took place on January 19, when she was returning home from Mullapur. Urmila stated to the police that when the train reached Baddowal, a woman grabbed her by the arm. "The woman said that she was a child-right activist and rescued children who were forcefully made to work. I told her that both the girls were my granddaughters and she was not indulging in child labour," stated Urmila in her complaint.

She further added that the woman took her to the Railway Protection Force office where ASI Manohar Singh and Constable Surjit Kaur confined her and her elder granddaughter for nearly half-an-hour, while the woman took away her three- year-old granddaughter.

She added that after half-an-hour she and her elder granddaughter were released. When she asked the police about the whereabouts of her younger granddaughter, the police officials, including Manohar Singh and Constable Surjit Kaur, told her that the woman had taken her granddaughter to an orphanage.

She said that it had been eight month since the incident took place, but there was no clue of her granddaughter.

The two police officials were booked under Sections 363 of the IPC for kidnapping and 342 of the IPC for wrongfully confining a person.

grandmother is a juggler by profession

The FIR, a copy of which is with The Tribune, was registered on Sunday after victim Urmila (grandmother) (50), a resident of Ambedkar Colony in Khanna, with the help of social activist Sameer Kumar, brought the matter to the notice of the higher authorities. Urmila is a juggler and performs acts in the moving train to eke out a living. She said that the incident took place on January 19, when she was returning home from Mullapur.


Encroachments, violation of building norms continue
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 1
Even as the state vigilance bureau is holding a probe into the alleged violation of building norms in conversion of shop-cum-flats in the E Block of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar into showrooms, restaurants and other commercial complexes, yet another skeleton has tumbled out of the cupboard of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT). This time, it is the Truck Stand Scheme of LIT where massive encroachments and violations have come to light.

In the information provided to the Council of RTI Activists under the Right to Information Act, the LIT authorities have said that the 132 booths in the 114 acre scheme of Transport Nagar (Truck Stand) were allotted through open auction in October 1978 to transporters.

Although LIT officials maintain that as per the terms and conditions of allotment, the ownership of roof of these booths remains with the Trust, information provided by the Trust also says that out of 132 booths, owners of as many as 74 had carried out illegal extensions by encroaching upon the roofs. As per the information supplied by LIT, 47 booths have been converted into double-storeyed buildings, 22 have three storeys and another four have four storeys.

The LIT authorities have skirted the issue pertaining to fixing the responsibility of the field staff and supervisory officials under whose tenure unlawful extensions were carried out in the booths by taking a plea that the said scheme had been transferred to the MC in March 1985 for maintenance and building control.

In a representation submitted to the Punjab government, Rohit Sabharwal and Arvind Sharma, president and secretary respectively of the Council of RTI Activists have asserted that most of the unlawful extensions were carried out in the booths in Transport Nagar between the period of 1978 and 1985, and so, the government ought to fix the responsibility of the then LIT officials and take stern action against them. They further said that even after the scheme was transferred to the MC, the Trust held ownership rights of the property in the scheme and the owners of the booths still had to approach LIT for getting "no objection certificate" for any change in ownership or getting building plans approved. "The LIT officials are just passing the buck to evade responsibility," the RTI activists said.



Protest over Dalit youth’s death
Even after 4 days, no action against miscreants
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
Four days have elapsed since the violent protest triggered following the killing of a 23-year-old Dalit youth, Shammi Kumar, but no action has been taken against the miscreants, who created ruckus, damaged public property and assaulted commuters, including women.

So far, no resident has come out to lodge their complaint with the police against the anti-social elements. An elderly resident who was thrashed by a group of youths on August 28 said, "Why should I mess around with anti-social elements? I am a peace loving person and do not want to go visiting the police station and the court."

Professor PS Bhogal said, "If the police wants to act they can do so even without a complaint. There are enough photographs available which are testimony to the fact that how some youths had held the city to ransom in the garb of marking their protest over the killing of a youth."

Retired professor KBS Sodhi, said that right thinking residents should come forward and join hands against blatant abuse of law.

"It will be a slap on the face of miscreants if the residents hold a peaceful candle march to mark their protest against unnecessary vandalising of public property.

So it may remind the police of its responsibility," said Sodhi.

A retired senior officer justified the police move of not taking any action. The police played a very calculative role by not raking action against the hooligans. "In a way it curtailed further trouble. If the police had conducted a lathicharge on the protestors, then it would have taken a political colour and the issue would have been deviated from killing of the youth to police atrocities on protesters. The police arrested the four accused for killing Shammi Kumar and foiled the plan of further protest," said the retired officer.

The August 29 protest was backed by small-time politicians who wanted to enhance their clout in the Jawahar Nagar area.

Even Independent councillor Kapil Kumar Sonu had said that the violent protest was backed by the SAD- BJP and Congress.

Sources said that the enmity between victim Shammi and one of the accused Arun Kumar grew as both of them were allegedly in love with the same girl.



Burn Unit yet to become functional at civil hospital
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
Constructed about one and half years ago, the much awaited 40-bedded Burn Unit of Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital is yet to see the light of the day. The hospital authorities cite the same reason for its delayed functioning, i.e shortage of staff and equipment. However, the Director, Health Services, Punjab, seems to be unaware of the issue.

Constructed with at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore, the mega project of Burn Unit became ready for use in December 2011. The then Senior Medical Officer, Dr Karamvir Goyal, said,"We have already written to the higher authorities that there is shortage of staff and equipment." But even after 20 months, the situation remains unchanged.

It was in April this year, when the new Senior Medical Officer, Dr Raj Kumar Karkra, joined the Civil Hospital. Interestingly, he too cited the same reason for its non-functioning.

On many occasions it has been observed that cases of burn injuries are being treated along with other patients at the hospital.

Dr Ashok Nayyar, Director, Health Services, Punjab, had visited the hospital on August 20 and found some flaws in the functioning of the hospital. When asked about the status of the Burn Unit at the hospital, he said, "I am not aware of the requirements. I will speak to the hospital authorities and see that the unit becomes functional soon."



Promotion of tourism
Relief to hotels, hospitals
Government amends norms for incentives, issues notification
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 1
In a bid to promote Punjab as a major tourist and health destination as well as to upgrade the development of infrastructure and promote investment in these sectors, the state government has amended the norms for incentives to hospitals, multimedia centres and hotels through a notification issued on August 20, 2013.

Stating objective of the relief granted to these institutions, the notification said that the amendments were necessitated in keeping with the provisions of the Housing and Urban Development Policy Punjab - 2013.

As per the amended norms, the minimum area requirement and minimum road width for hospitals, multimedia centres and hotels outside municipal limits has been reduced. From now onwards, all these institutions fulfilling the amended norms will be considered eligible for incentives as provided in the policy notified on January 11, 2008.

For the plot size of 1,000 to 2,000 square yards and minimum frontage of 60 feet, the minimum road width will be at least 40 feet, for the plot size of 2,001 to 4,000 square yards and minimum frontage of 90 feet, the minimum road width requirement will be 60 feet while for the plot size of 4001 square yards and above and frontage of 120 feet, the minimum road width will be 120 feet.

Further, under the amended norms, the hospitals have been exempted from the requirement of professional management while the condition of management tie up or franchise arrangement with national or international chains will be no longer applicable to hotels.

A senior official of the Housing and Urban Development Department, Punjab, said earlier the minimum area requirement (outside municipal limits) for a hospital, multimedia centre and hotels for the purpose of incentives was 5,000 square metre with 200 feet frontage and minimum road width of 80 feet.

Similarly, within the city limits the minimum area requirement for these institutions was 250 square yards. For the plot size of 250 to 1,000 square yards, the minimum road width was 30 feet and for those with a plot size of more than 1,000 square yards, the minimum road width was 60 feet.

It was officially stated that as per the amended norms, no hospital, multimedia centre or hotel with the plot size of less than 1,000 square yards would be eligible for incentives, irrespective of their location within or outside the city limits.



Dwindling rupee makes dry fruits, spices dearer
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
Prices of dry fruits and spices are going through the roof and traders are having a tough time paying the increased import bills from the USA and Pakistan. Dwindling rupee has resulted in the steep rise in prices of these commodities in the domestic market.

The traders are left with no other option but to increase the cost of the commodities, which has further made a hole in the consumers’ pocket. "A truck of dry dates from Pakistan normally costs $11,000, but these days we have to bear an extra cost of Rs 50,000 on each truck, due to the dwindling rupee. The traders importing American almonds are paying Rs 2 lakh extra per container due to slump in the rupee," said Gurmail Singh, a trader from Kesar Ganj Market.

"The present scenario of dollar and rupee has resulted in the increased costs of dry fruits and spices in the wholesale and retail market. Importers who had placed orders a month ago are now shelling out Rs 60 on each dollar import," he said.

Prices of dry fruits and spices, including almonds, pistachio, cashew nuts, raisins, walnuts, clove, etc. have taken a jump from Rs 100 to Rs 150 per kilogram in the wholesale market. As a result, the prices of sweets have also registered an increase from Rs 20 to Rs 50 per kg.

"The prices of dry fruits have gone up by Rs 50 and 60 and since these are chiefly used while making traditional Indian sweets, we can no longer avoid them. So we have hiked the prices of sweets and the prices of sweetmeats have gone up from Rs 20 to Rs 50 depending upon the use of dry fruits in them," added Deepak Kumar, a sweetmeat shopowner at Ghumar Mandi.



Kidnapper Gurarpan in trouble again
This time for duping city-based industrialist of $50,000
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
More skeletons are tumbling out of the closet of following the arrest of Gurarpan Singh Chauhan, the mastermind of Manish Bharara kidnapping case. Gurarpan Chauhan is in trouble again for the allegedly duping a city-based industrialist of $50,000.

According to Gurminderpal Singh, a resident of Model Town, Gurarpan had taken $50,000 on the pretext of importing scrap from South Africa.

He had also taken Rs 50,000 for fast-tracking the process stated Gurminderpal. He further added that Gurarpan neither returned the money nor delivered the scrap.

Gurminderpal Singh filed a complaint at the Shimlapuri police station.

Taking cognizance, the Shimlapuri police booked Gurarpan and his accomplice Sandeep Kumar for committing fraud. The case has been further referred to the Economic Offences Wing (EOW). Gurarpan is currently in jail along with his accomplices and paramour Deepali Bassi, on charges of drug smuggling, kidnapping, extortion, keeping illegal weapons and posing as policeman.

It was on July 13 when Gurarpan along with his accomplices while posing as a policemen had kidnapped Manish Bahrara and his driver Hem Raj from near their factory unit in Doraha. Later on July 15, Manish and Hem Raj were released after Harminder Bharara paid Rs 5 crore to the kidnappers. Later the police nabbed the accused, Deepali Bassi, Gurarpan's paramour, for making the kidnapping plan.



Accident exposes ill-equipped hospital
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
Though the protest of railway unions' activists harassed thousands of passengers yesterday, the accident of Chhote Lal, a shunting master at the local railway station, exposed the ill-equipped Railway Hospital and lack of concern of the authorities.

The way the authorities tackled the victim after the accident raised several questions.

Moreover, the railway authorities also failed to collaborate with any private hospital for the past two years.

The activists of the railway employees unions and members of the Pensioners Association have been demanding facilities and specialist doctors at the Railway Hospital for several months. Two years after the upgrade of the health unit of the railway, the authorities did not provide specialised doctors and other upgraded facilities to the hospital.

Mohinderpal, an activist of Northern Railway Men's Union, said: “We have been demanding specialist doctors and other facilities at the hospital for the past several months. In cases of emergency, doctors refer patients to private hospitals where the latter have to pay from their pockets."

ML Prashar, general secretary, Uttariya Railway Mazdoor Union, said: “Yesterday, we met Chief Medical Superintendent, Ferozepur division, and discussed these issues. We demanded that senior doctor at Railway Hospital have authority to pay Rs 50,000 on the spot in cases of accident. Our main demand is that the hospital should collaborate with any private hospital to provide better facilities to patients."



Rival rail unions join hands for common cause
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
It may sound strange that only a few months ago when activists of a railway employees union had blocked the rail traffic at the Ludhiana Railway station, they were demanding police action against activists of their rival union.

But now, both unions were appeared on a joint platform up in arm against the authorities over lack of facilities at the Railway Hospital.

It is rare that two railway unions representing different political ideologies appear on a joint platform for a common cause.

It has been learnt that the issue is a major one and no union want to leave the same unattended. The Northern Railway Men's Union (NRMU) and the Uttariya Railway Mazdoor Union (URMU) have protested against the railway authorities yesterday as the hospital failed to provide timely treatment to an injured employee due to which his foot had to be amputated.

“The clash among activists of the NRMU and the URMU during union elections was unfortunate. Now, both unions have been representing railway employees. The common worker of railway is least concerned about the ideologies of the unions as they only want to get their demands addressed. So, It's good if the unions work together for the employees,” said Krishan, an employee at railway station.

ML Prashar, general secretary, URMU Ferozepur division, said: “It is rare that unions appear on a joint platform but we are always united against the apathy of the authorities towards the employees, any one can join us. There are ideological differences so we cannot go along with any other union. But, we can compromise with other unions for a common cause."



Mai Bhago Scheme to be relaunched from Ludhiana
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
The Mai Bhago Scheme under which bicycles will be provided to girl students of Classes XI and XII studying in government schools of the state will be relaunched in the state from Ludhiana by the end of this month.

The scheme will be relaunched by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

The sources in the Education Department here said they were asked to prepare a list of girl students who would be provided the bicycles.

“About 11,780 girl students will be provided the same in Ludhiana district. The lists have already been sent to the authorities and orders have been placed,” said an official.

The sources said the state government had asked the authorities in each district to prepare the list of girl students. The state government has reportedly given the order of providing the bicycles to three firms and about one lakh cycles will be distributed amongst the girl students in government schools of Punjab.

The scheme will be started from Ludhiana by the end of this month followed by other districts. The average cost of a bicycle is anything up to Rs 3,000. And there were ample cycle manufacturing units in Ludhiana district.

The scheme was earlier started in 2011 and in 2012 it could not be continued due to some reasons.

A Principal of a local government school here alleged that many girls had refused to take the bicycles as it had the photograph of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal as they did not like to publicise him.



Farmers’ body appeals to Modi to take back cases against Gujarat Sikhs
Threatens to hold protest in Gujarat

Samrala September 1
BKU president, Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, has appealed to the Chief Minister of Gujarat Narinder Modi to take back the cases filed against the Sikh farmers in the state and has threatened that the BKU will hold dharna in Gujarat if Narinder Modi failed to take back the cases from the concerned courts.

He also issued the same warning to Chief Minister of Haryana, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, against the uprooting of Sikh farmers. He talked to the media persons at Samrala.

Ajmer Singh also appealed Modi to give some rights to the Sikh farmers in the state such as loans and tubewell connections. He said that it was a matter of sorrow that Sikh farmers are threatened of eviction although they had worked hard for the development and had made the land fertile. He said that he along with other leaders of the BKU will mobilise the state units of Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Punjab apart from other states to protest against the eviction of farmers from Gujarat and will even hold protests against the state for such kind of wrong behavior. He had appealed Modi to take immediate steps to take back cases or to face protests. Some other leaders of Kisan Union were also present at this time although some Akali Dal leaders stood up from the photo session as Lakhowal declared this.

Before this, PWD Minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, who was also present at Samrala gave information that Ludhiana-Kharar road link now will be widened from Sector 39 up to Ludhiana. He said this road link will be widened to six-lane up to Neelon from Chandigarh and will be widened to four-lane from Neelon up to Ludhiana at the cost of about Rs 2,000 crore. He also informed that all the notified committees of the state will be provided with sewerage and water supply soon and the funds are available for the same. — OC



Sewage remains a problem in this street of Doraha
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, September 1
Shere Punjab street, which is most used by pedestrians and many vehicles in Doraha, is crying for attention after a lot of sewerage has been accumulated here in the past six months. No authority has visited the area since then to listen to the tales of woes of the residents residing in this part of the town, what to find an adequate solution to this long standing grave problem.

“The sewer water has ever remained with us. Seasons come and seasons go but it remains here only. The council has never listened to our problems. Five years ago, when the council came into being, it had promised to find a permanent solution to this problem. Now again, the candidate who demands votes, will be voted on the condition that he would have to stand at least for half an hour in this sewer water and assess the situation in which we have been breathing for the past number of months,” expressed Jandeep Kaushal, who resides in the street.

“We may fall prey to various diseases, be hospitalised, loose appetite, remain down with fever due to multiple infections suffered from these dingy conditions, but who cares. In monsoon season, the conditions become deplorable,” a resident of the area complained. “The sewer pipes being narrow they get choked quickly. Lack of drainage of sewerage has ever remained major problem and it has been aggravated with the passage of time. It has been years together but the committee has till date not found a suitable space for the drainage of sewer water and the setting up of water treatment plant.”

“We simply cannot stay in such tormenting conditions where it has become difficult to even breathe. This accumulated water has not only made the life of the commuters and the residents a hell but has also posed to be a serious health hazard, exposing the residents to a vulnerable number of diseases,” the residents complained.

SDM Mohinderpal Gupta, who is presently bearing the charge, when contacted said there is no permanent solution to the problem of sewer accumulation till the water treatment plant is installed. The space for the setting up of the plant is being finalised and very shortly the things would be on their track. As far as the present situation is concerned, we can just do it temporarily with the help of evacuation pumps,” he added.



UCPMA elections: Ex-president Chawla extends support to Kular
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
DS Chawla, former president of the United Cycle and Parts Association (UCPMA) during a press conference announced to give un-conditional support to present president Gurmeet Singh Kular for the forthcoming elections of the association, here today.

Earlier there were apprehensions that DS Chawla might contest for the post of president. Putting all rumors to shut Chawla today announced his support for Kular.

"It is the time when the industry should be together for its development and upliftment. So instead of contesting elections I have extended my support to the present president GS Kular," he said.

Chawla had resigned from the post of president in 2011 as he was unable to bear political pressure. He is the only president till date who has resigned from the post.

The elections of UCPMA are considered important as it is one of largest association of Asia for the cycle industry.

UCPMA has 2200 members of which 1500 are small scale manufacturers, 400 are big industrialists while 300 belong to big corporate houses.

Since Ludhiana is a hub of the cycle industry elections are much talked about in the industrial circles. Meetings rounds have started taking place for the elections which are scheduled this month. The term of the executive committee is for two years and presently, Gurmeet Singh Kular is the president since 2011.

Apart from Kular, Charanjit Singh Vishivkarma is another contender for the post of the president. He has also been a past president of the association. Both the candidates are seen visiting industrial areas and meeting members of various associations to garner support.

Gurmeet Singh Kular, the present president of the UCPMA said he if he is elected president again he will work to implement anti-dumping duty on cycle and cycle parts.

Meanwhile, Charanjit Singh Vishivkarma said, “My main will be to promote small scale sector. Corporate sector needs no promotion, no subsidies so my trust will lie upon the development of small manufacturers.”

Vishivkarma has also appealed to the Deputy Commissioner to deploy the police from the neighboring states as he fear some conspiracy can be hatched against him.



Teachers to protest on Sept 8
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
The Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) passed candidates have threatened that if state government did not fulfil its promise of recruiting 3,442 vacant posts in Punjab then it should be prepared to face the consequences as on September 8, a state-level protest rally would be organised by the teachers in Ludhiana.

Deep Raja, the district president of TET Unemployed Union, Punjab, during a meeting of the office-bearers today said on August 25, the union leaders had a meeting with the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in Chandigarh.

The CM had asked the Education Department to provide the appointment letters to the teachers within a week.

“It has been more than a week and the Education Department has still not taken any initiative. Neither any advertisement regarding the filling of vacant posts was given in any section of media, due to which there was a lot of aggression amongst the TET candidates.” he said.

Raja said, “We have been struggling to get the jobs for the past two years now but the government has not taken any initiative so far. We will be holding a protest rally on September 8 and will do chakka jam if the promise is not fulfilled and the government will be held responsible for any unruly incident.”



Role of Rotary Int’l lauded

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 1
As many as 3,090 activists and office-bearers of about six dozen units of the Rotary International falling under district vowed to launch coordinated movement to achieve heights in various avenues of service of the humanity.

The oath was taken in response to call made by leaders of the organisation during concluding session of the District Membership Development and Rotary Image Seminar held at Bhogiwal village on Ludhiana-Malerkotla road near here today.

The seminar was presided over by District Governor, Dr Arun Gupta, and Rajya Sabha member, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, was the chief guest.

Speakers, including Gupta, Dhindsa, chairman Wakf Board Padam Shree Izhar Alam, Past District Governor (PDG) Amjad Ali, PDG Vijay Gupta, PDG Ravi Kant Gupta, PDG Ramesh Aggarwal, PDC RC Jain, PDG Dinesh Gupta and PDG Dr SPS Grover appreciated role played by members of various units of the international service organisation in service of all sections of society.

Besides, following a set of ethics at their homes, business establishments and offices, members of the organisations always contributed generously towards various service projects including education for poor, preservation of environment and water.

Appreciating concern of the organisers towards eradication of various dreaded diseases. "What is Rotary", "Polio Status and challenges ahead", "Effective Public Relations" and "Our Purpose membership growth" were among the topics discussed during the seminar. Students of Sohrab Public Senior Secondary School presented an elaborate cultural programme on the occasion. — OC



No sign of relief in veggie prices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
Price of vegetables remain sky rocketing and people are waiting it to come down to normal. Although the rates of onions have come down to Rs 60 from Rs 80 while tomatoes have come down to Rs 40 from earlier Rs 90. But these prices are far off from being normal. People are waiting for the prices to come down.

“It has been more than a month that vegetables are priced exorbitantly or these prices have become normal now. I was just hoping for the price to come down but seems this has become normal price now," wonders Sumeet Kaur, a homemaker from Kidwai Nagar.

Homemakers are finding it difficult to adjust the household budget. “Few years ago, I used to buy vegetables for a week in Rs 200 to 300. But now the amount spent on the vegetables for one week has tripled. The salaries have not seen any increase as inflation has and it has become very difficult to live within the limited means. The government should control the prices before it is too late,” added another homemaker, Aarti from Model Town.



Mushaira dedicated to Punjabi Urdu poet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
A mushaira dedicated to Lal Chand Dukhi, a noted Punjabi Urdu poet, was organised by the Lal Chand Dukhi Sabha to commemorate his 82nd birth anniversary at Punjabi Bhawan today.

Fifteen poets, including Sardar Panchhi, Sagar Sialkoti, Tarsem Noor, Manjider Dhanoa, Tarlochan Lochi, DK Sachdeva Danish, Dr Pal Sansarpuri, Amarjit Sherpuri and Gurcharan Narang participated in the event.

It was an open mushaira in which poets spoke on various issues, including current issues, spirituality, everyday life, various facets of social life, etc.



Starcast of ‘Haani’ comes calling on city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
The cast and crew of the upcoming Punjabi movie 'Haani' came calling to the city. Actors, including Harbhajan Mann, Mehreen Kaleka, Sarabjit Cheema, Anuj Sachdeva and Sonia Gill along with scriptwriter Sardar Sohi and producer Babu Singh Mann visited Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, and two city malls.

Mann said Punjabi Cinema needs to be more versatile and should portray various genres. The movie due to be released on September 6 is about the culture of Punjab. Plot is set in 1964 and the story travels to 2013 showing the changing aspects of social value sand culture in Punjab.

Mann said the movie would also pave way for a new direction of the Punjabi cinema.



reporters’ diary
Prasad takes a twist with time

Today chocolates and cakes have replaced the traditional Indian sweets. Be it weddings, festivals or any special occasion, people refrain from gifting sweets. Even the parsad offered to the Gods has taken a swirl these days. Last week, a visit to a local temple on the eve of Janamashtami revealed that now devotees instead of offering mithai or halwa, offer cakes and chocolates. A devotee at Iskcon temple offered a cake in the shape of matki full of butter to Lord Krishna. (see pic). The delicacies may have changed, but with the help of innovation, the bakeries in the city try to preserve the tradition.

Write news as we say

The offices of newspapers get plenty of news each day. Some are the simple press releases about the functions organised by the different sections of society while at times, there are news which can be damaging or controversial. And the one, who brings such news, always puts pressure on the reporters not to talk to the other party as the documents were enough to substantiate everything. A person came recently to the office and said to publish the news against another person. The reporter, trying not to be biased, said the other person will also be contacted after which he got panicked and said, "Why do you need to talk to him when I am telling you the truth. I have plenty of documents against him, if you will talk to him, he will become cautious and try to sabotage your story."

Bowing to blackmail

Time and again, the law enforcement machinery (read police) and the district administration have proved that they cannot withstand the pressure tactics or rather be blackmailed by protesting groups who resort to blocking busy highways or railway tracks for various reasons. Last week, angry protesters laid a siege to Bharat Nagar Chowk for almost two days in protest against a murder and inaction of the police. The protesters went on rampage and damaged shops, private vehicles and obstructed vehicular traffic on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur national highway, while the police assumed the role of a silent spectator. A couple of days after this incident, the railway employees resorted to blockade of rail track and stopped trains for several hours, thereby causing harassment to thousands of railway passengers. Why do those at the helm of affairs not stand up to such situations and try to assert authority? Why do the city residents or for that matter rail passengers have to suffer at the hands of motley group of protesters to hold them to ransom. Well, the answers to these questions are elusive.

When Laddu Gopal laughed

On the night of Janamashtami, city temples were decked up with colourful lights and tableaux related to the life of Lord Krishna. In one of the temples, a little boy was carrying a "huge laddu" in his right hand as he was acting as "Laddu Gopal". The visitors were trying their level best to make him laugh but he did not. In the meantime, a family came and the father started telling his son, “Look how patiently this boy is sitting here. Can you sit like his?” The boy said, “Make me Lord Krishna and I will sit like this and will have this huge laddu afterwards.” Listening to the innocent reply, all present there laughed and even the "Laddu Gopal" could not resist his laughter.

Contributed by Manav Mander, Shivani Bhakoo, Kuldip Bhatia, Anupam Bhagria



Medical camp

Ludhiana: A free medical check up camp was organized by Swami Vivekanand Hospital, Model Town Extension, on Sunday. A team of doctors from the hospital checked as many as 665 patients during the camp. Anil Bharti, founder of the ashram said that various experts checked up various patients and distributed medicines free of cost. While a city based industrialist Mahender Makkar inaugurated the camp.

Appeal for patient

Puneet (28), a resident of Ludhiana, has been regularly undergoing bi-weekly dialysis at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH). According to doctors, Puneet is suffering from renal kidney failure and is on dialysis for the past four years. His father Ishwar Chander is also bed-ridden with chronic arthritis. The family has exhausted all the financial resources for the dialysis treatment of Puneet and on behalf of the family, the hospital authorities make a fervent appeal to philanthropists of the city for monetary help by sending cheque/draft in favour of DMCH with ‘Treatment for Puneet’ along with CR number 89816 written on the backside of the cheque or draft.

Applications invited

The Swami Vivekananda Study Circle has invited applications from college students for the Swami Vivekananda Youth Awards for the year 2013-14. The circle, a socio-cultural organisation, aims to promote the great ideas and ideals of Swami Vivekananda among the Indian youth. To commemorate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda on January 12, the awards are presented by the circle every year, to a few selected students, who possess qualities like patriotism, honesty, leadership apart from having good academic record and participation in sports/social welfare activities. For details the students can visit the website www.swamivivekanand.org/svya. The last date of receipt of applications is October 15.


Meeting of Dr Ambedkar Sarv Saanji Sabha was held on Sunday during which it was decided to launch a district level drive against the social evils prevalent in the society. President Jagsir Singh Atwal said, “Drugs are flowing freely in Punjab, which is the land of gurus and saints. “We need to launch a drive against the same and make youth aware about it,” he said.

VCD launched

Manish Tewari, Union information and broadcasting minister, launched Shiv Bhardwaj's VCD ‘Swarg toh sohna tera dawar’ on Sunday. Surinder Kohli has given music to the album. Tiwari said such religious functions strengthen the bond of the society and should be arranged of and on.


Hamesh Mehta has been appointed as president of the youth wing of the Hindu Jagriti Morcha. Mehta said they had a target of inducting one lakh youth to the party and he was confident of achieving the target. “We will be making the party stronger at the base level,” he said.

Demands not implemented

Amrik Singh Gill, convener of Punjab Roadways Employees, said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had accepted their demands but had not been implemented so far. Their demands included job recruitments on compassionate grounds, uniforms to drivers and outsourced employees should to be made permanent. These are some of the demands which have not been implemented without assurance by the CM.

500 examined at camp

Mandi Ahmedgarh: A week long medical check-up camp concluded at the Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Charitable Hospital, Sarabha village, on Sunday. A team of physicians and specialists in medicine, orthopedics, dentistry and cardiology examined and provided free medicines to the patients coming from about twelve localities of the region. At least 20 patients were recommended for various kinds of surgery. Dr SK Batish, convener of the project, said the chairman of the trust, Hoshiar Singh Grewal inaugurated a coordinated series of medical camps and teams of physicians led by Dr Geeta Garg, Dr Monika Dhawan and Dr Gagan Deep supervised various sessions of the project. About 500 persons benefited from the camps.

Decision lauded

Knitwear Club has applauded the decision of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs which has given its approval for the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) to be operated during the 12th Plan Period. The total budget outlay for continuation of the scheme during the 12th Plan Period will be around Rs 11,900 crore, out of which Rs 2,400 crore have been allocated for the financial year 2013-14. — TNS



Career opportunity in insurance sector

Ludhiana: The Training and Placement Cell and Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE) Students' Chapter of Guru Nanak Institute of Management Technology (GNIMT) organised a seminar on “Careers in Insurance Sector". Rajesh Sharma and Pankaj Kumar, agency managers of LIC, Punjab, were the resource persons. They interacted with the MBA first year students about the career opportunities available in the insurance sector with special reference to LIC of India. They further discussed the functioning and value and credibility of LIC marketing in India. According to them there is vast scope of money and growth in this sector and the students of first year can also start to earn along with the continuation of their studies. If students adopt insurance as a career, they can definitely see brighter prospect in this field as it is a valuable but least investment sector in the market. The students were enthusiastic and they were pleased to learn about the working environment and process and various functional activities in the insurance sector. Dr HS Singha, director, GNIMT, thanked the resource persons for sparing their valuable time apprising the MBA students about the unlimited opportunities in the insurance sector.

Extension for principal

Gurminder Kaur, principal of Government College of Girls, has been given extension of one year from October 1, 2013, to September 30, 2014, under the policy of the Punjab Government. Written communication in this regard has been received in the college office. Paramjit kaur, president GCTA, and Dr Rakesh kumar, secretary GCTA, has congratulated Gurminder Kaur for the extension. Gurminder kaur said her focus was to try and improve academic standards of the college.

Cultural function

Doraha: A cultural function was organised by the students of GNN College, Doraha, and GN Model Senior Secondary School to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr Ishwar Singh, the late founder president of the college, at Dr Ishwar Singh Memorial Hall of the college. Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, was the chief guest for the function. He asked the youth to fight against the social evils plaguing the society and fight for the cause of truth. He said they should follow the zeal with which the freedom fighters fought for the nation to gain an independent status. He also appreciated the grand contribution of the founder president of the college in establishing two institutions simultaneously where students acquire education from nursery to post-graduation and become self-dependent. Principal Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu recalled the services of the founder president of the college. Choreography, songs, group folk songs, group dances, giddha and bhangra were performed on stage. — TNS



Youth arrested for raping 13-year-old girl
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
The city police has nabbed a 20-year-old youth for kidnapping and raping a 13-year-old girl. The girl, who was kidnapped on August 28, was rescued today. The accused has been identified as Satpal Singh, a resident of New Shivai Nagar. The victim was living in his neighbourhood.

The accused had kidnapped the girl when her parents went to a temple to celebrate Janamashtmi.

Man dies

A 27-year-old electrician died under mysterious circumstances at a farm in Raniya village here on Sunday.

The incident came to light this afternoon when labourers spotted the body of Raspal Singh lying in a field. They informed the victim’s father, Ram Krishan, about the incident.

Raspal's body was rushed to the local civil hospital for autopsy. The viscera have been sent to a special laboratory for ascertaining the cause behind the death.

3 booked for fraud

Three persons of an investment firm were booked for duping a city resident of lakhs on the pretext of giving him an assured return.

The accused identified as Arjan Singh, Ajay Sharma and Rajiv Kumar, all residents of UP, had duped Darshan Singh of Janta Nagar.

The complainant said he had deposited Rs 6.5 lakh in the account of the firm after the trio promised him an assured return of Rs 70,000 a month. But the accused neither paid him the assured money nor returned the money deposited by him.

The police has registered a case of fraud against them and started investigation.



Another advocate assaulted in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
While the controversy surrounding the thrashing incident of advocate Harinam Singh Sandhu had refused to die down, yet another advocate was allegedly assaulted by a group of youths at a mall on the Ferozepur road last night.

Dharampal, SHO, Division No. 5, said the two accused, identified as Naunihal and Ravi, had been arrested while the hunt was on to nab their accomplices Arman and Shebaaz Gill.

The incident took place last night when Aman Mehta visited the mall along with his family. Aman's son collided with Arman while entering the mall and the former fell down. The incident led to a heated argument between Aman and Arman.

Arman called his friends and they allegedly assaulted Aman. It is learnt that security guards of the mall intervened and rescued Aman.

Later, he reported the matter to the police and got the case registered against the accused.

Sources said the police identified the accused from the footage of the closed circuit television cameras installed at the mall.

It was on August 23 when advocate Harinam Singh Sandhu was thrashed by two brothers - Rajdeep and Amandeep. The incident occurred as Harinam was answering nature’s call on a plot belonging to Aman and Rajdeep.



Ludhiana prevail over Amritsar on Day 2
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, September 1
After a see-saw battle on the first day when 22 wickets fell, Amritsar failed to capitalise upon the advantage and could add 165 runs in 90 overs in their second innings against Ludhiana on the second day of the match of the Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Tournament for the Katoch Shield being played on the Punjab Agricultural University campus ground here today.

Yesterday, Amritsar had scored 118 runs, including 16 penalty runs, in the first innings and Ludhiana were bundled out for 97 runs, conceding a 21-run lead.

Last night, Amritsar were 13 for 2 after 11 overs and started the day's play on a cautious note, taking no risk. The visitors went on to add to the total and in the process, lost wickets also at regular intervals.

Their innings revolved around Sharat Loomba and Aman Bawa who scored 47 and 48 runs, respectively. At draw of stumps on the second day, Amritsar were 178 for 8 (total lead of 199 runs).

Brief scores: Amritsar (first innings) 118. All out in 51 overs (Sharat Loomba 17, Mohit Handa 24 and Abhinav Sharma 15; Amritpal Singh 5 for 24, Rahul Singla 3 for 36 and Deepak Bansal 1 for 15).

Ludhiana (first innings) 97 all out in 25.5 overs (Anil Sihag 18, Geetansh Khera 12 and Baltej Singh 22; Kamal Passi 3 for 11, Charanjeet Singh 6 for 56 and Vinay Chopra 1 for 13).

Amritsar (second innings) 178 for 8 after 101 overs (Sharat Loomba 47, Aman Bawa 48 and Mohit Handa 23; Rahul Singla 3 for 37, Deepak Bansal 2 for 21, Anil Sihag 1 for 34 and Himanshu 1 for 3).



baseball tourney
PPC Club pip Ranjit Club to clinch title
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, September 1
The PPC Club quelled a strong challenge from Ranjit Club before come out triumphant 4-3 to clinch the title in the men's section of the ninth Senior Ludhiana District Baseball Championship that concluded at Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Model Town, here, today.

In a keenly contested final, PPC Club players toiled hard as their opponents had waged a spirited battle and gave a little room to feel comfortable. Sunil, Ramesh, Shankur and Manu accounted for one run each to help PPC Club win the title.

In the semi finals, Ranjit Club defeated Arya College 7-2 while PPC Club beat 9 Famous Club 3-0 to set up the title clash.

In the match to decide the third place, 9 Famous Club proved too good to outplay Arya College 3-0.

On the basis of their performance in the championship, players were selected to represent Ludhiana district in the Punjab State Baseball Championship to be held at Sahi Sports College, Samrala from September 5 to 8. The players are (women): Amanjot Kaur Bains, Ramandeep Kaur, Amandeep Kaur, Virpal, Arshdeep Kaur, Amanjot, Raj Rani, Amandeep, Mandeep Kaur, Sandeep Kaur, Jasleen, Divya, Satinder Pal Kaur, Rajpreet, Navneet and Kulwinder Kaur. (Men): Ramesh, Sanjiv, Shankur, Sanjeev, Ravi Dutt, Vireklove, Manu, Sunil, Ranjit, Kapil, Pramod, Harbir, Narinder, Kapil and Ashutosh.

Sukhdev Singh and Harbir Singh Gill have been appointed coaches for the teams.



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