L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Health staff go on 3-day strike
Want demands met; visitors to the Civil Surgeon's office return disappointed 
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
Visitors to the Civil Surgeon's office in Ludhiana remained at the receiving end today as the staff went on a three-day strike on a call given by the Punjab Health Department Subordinate Offices Clerical Association.

People who came to collect death and birth certificates of their relatives, those who wanted to apply for drug licences and the ones who wanted to get handicapped certificates made had to return disappointed.

Balwinder Singh of Jawaddi village said, "I wasn't aware of the strike and came along with my cousin for getting his medical examination, required for a job, done. Now, we will have to wait for five days as after the strike, the department will remain closed on Saturday and Sunday."

More than 150 death and birth certificates and about 20 medical certificates are issued daily by this office.

Work also suffered at community health centres, ESI dispensaries and at the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana.

Members of the Punjab Health Department Subordinate Offices Clerical Association also staged a dharna outside the Civil Surgeon's office in support of their demands.

The Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, Dr Subhash Batta, said, "Work suffered due to the strike by the clerical staff. Their demands are genuine.''

Sukhvinder Singh, president and Jagdish Thakur, general secretary of the association, said, "We held two meetings with a former Health Minister in August 2011. However, the Director, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, has been dilly-dallying the issue. On September 3, 2013, we warned the Health Minister, Punjab, the Secretary, Health, and the Director, Health Services, that if our demands are not met, the association will go on a three-day pen-down strike. On September 17, the Director, Health Sevices, called us for a meeting in Chandigarh and said the government needed some more time to give a practical shape to our demands, but we wanted these demands to be implemented immediately."

Caught unawares

What the association wants

Regular promotions for assistants, superintendents, stenographers and the statistical staff

Filling of 60 posts of accountant through promotion

Finalisation of seniority list of employees

Employees of other cadres should not be deployed on clerical posts 


Sub-Registrar’s role under scanner
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
Skeletons have begun to tumble out of the closet after the city police exposed one of the biggest white collar loan scams involving a whopping amount of Rs 26 crore.

Two days after the police booked five persons, including an industrialist, for allegedly orchestrating the multi-crore fraud, Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal has asserted that he will examine the case and necessary action will be taken if any Revenue Department employee was found guilty.

Documents available with Ludhiana Tribune show how Jagjit Singh, the owner of NKH Garments Private Limited and mastermind of the scam, arranged two impostors who posed as Gurmail Singh (who died in 2008) and Gurdev Singh (US-based NRI) and got fake registries done of land measuring around 10,000 sq yards in Jugiana village.

The scam has also brought the role of the then Sub-Registrar, now posted as Sub-Registrar outside the district, and nambardar Balvir Singh under the scanner. The documents show how the sale deed of the land was executed in the presence of the revenue officials.

The role of evaluators on the panel of Punjab National Bank has also come under a cloud as before sanctioning a loan of Rs 26 crore, they allegedly did not conduct the necessary survey to check whether the accused, Jagjit Singh, had the physical possession of the land or not.

The probe showed how employees of the Revenue Department bent the law to favour Jagjit Singh.

Sources said the inquiry officer had stated in his probe report that Jagjit Singh, in connivance with bank employees and revenue department officials, committed the multi-crore scam.

"The modus operandi was simple. Jagjit Singh, first identified the land and obtained its farad (mutation). On the basis of the mutation, he got fake registries done. He involved bank employees and got the loan of Rs 26 crore sanctioned. Jagjit thought he was in a win-win situation. Neither did the land belong to him, nor did he have the liability to repay the loan," said a police officer, who was part of the probe.

Giving details about the scam, Gurinder Singh said, "Jagjit Singh has brought alive a dead man. My father died on July 8, 2008, while the fake registries of the land were executed on March 16 and 22, 2010. Two impostors appeared on behalf of my dead father and uncle, who was then in the US, and got the fake registries done."

The multi-crore fraud was detected over four years after the incident. Bank officials visited Gurinder's house a few days ago and told him that the bank had given a loan of Rs 26 crore on the basis of two plots, measuring 2,255 sq yd and 8,120 sq yd, in Jugiana village.

Gurinder brought the matter to the notice of the police. A probe was launched following which Jagjit Singh, Balvir Singh and Gurwinder Singh, residents of Jamalpur, Gobindgarh and Kanganwal village near Sahnewal, respectively, were booked under Sections 420, 465, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC. The names and whereabouts of two of their accomplices are not known yet.



Now, get loan to buy a cycle 
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
With even bicycles going out of the reach of the common man, loans will now be available for buying cycles. Hero Cycles is tying up with financial institutions across the country to enable weaker sections of society to get loans for buying bicycles.

Though loans for buying cars or two-wheelers are there for the asking, no such facility is available for buying cycles. To fill the gap, Hero Cycles has come up with this initiative. A normal bicycle costs between Rs 3,000 and Rs 4,000, an amount poor people often find difficult to spare in one go.

Even those planning to buy high-end bikes can get some relief as now they can pay the amount in instalments. Children no longer like simple cycles and pester their parents for swanky ones, which cost between Rs 10,000 and Rs 40,000. With loans set to be available, buying high-end cycles will no longer be a difficult task.

A spokesperson for the company said it had launched a pilot project in Maharashtra and Gujarat, where it had entered into a strategic tie-up with Fullerton India, a non-banking financial institution, to provide finance to eligible customers.

The company is working hard on this project and soon it will be extended to the entire country. In the coming months, the finance facility will be made available in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh.

"The company is getting in touch with NGOs to help create self-help groups, enabling members to collectively finance and buy cycles, while standing as guarantee for each other," the spokesperson said.



14 more test positive for dengue
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
Fourteen cases of dengue were confirmed today from various hospitals in the district. Of these, six cases are from Ludhiana district — one each from Dugri, Muradpura, Giaspura, Daad, Karnail Singh Nagar and Jugiana — while eight cases are from other districts — one each from Bathinda, Fatehgarh Sahib, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Pathankot and Sangrur, and two from Hoshiarpur.

With this, 41 cases of dengue have so far been reported from Ludhiana district, while 46 cases of dengue have been reported from other districts who received treatment at hospitals in the city this season. There were 11 patients of dengue from other states who received treatment in the city. 



150 parcels seized in Excise raid
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
The Excise and Taxation Department today seized 150 consignments coming from other states. Officials of the department conducted a raid at the railway station early this morning following a tip-off information received by it.

The consignments were despatched from Delhi and belonged to different parties. "At the time of seizing the goods, they were found without bill. The parcels mostly contained garments. The actual value of the parcels can be known only after verification," said Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner Bhupinder Gupta.

Meanwhile the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Tejbir Sindu, also conducted a raid at a unit located in the Focal Point area. The unit is engaged in the manufacturing of transformers and had been under the department's scanner for VAT evasion for a long time.



Onion imported from Egypt, China raises people’s hopes
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
Once again India has turned an importer of onion. Around 300 tonnes of onion (15 container loads) has landed in the country and people are hopeful that its prices may come down now.

Onions have been imported from Egypt and China and importers have obtained the necessary permission for its release into the market.

"The imported onions hit the mandis on Monday in Maharastra and may soon travel to the North. Its prices may moderate," said a vegetable vendor at the Civil Lines.

Traders have got permission to import 24,000 tonnes of onion this year to meet the rising demand. This is the first imported consignment. Some more are in the pipeline.

"I doubt if the prices will come down after the import of onion. Traders will keep their margins and after that the price of the imported onion will be higher than the normal," said Amarjeet Singh, a vegetable wholesaler.

Meanwhile Ritika, a homemaker from South City, said she had to shell out nearly Rs 70 after every two days to add extra flavour to her recipes. Since onion is an essential ingredient of the North Indian dishes, one cannot do without it. I hope its prices come down as the demand cannot be cut down by the consumers," she said.

India had imported huge quantities of onion from Pakistan in 2011. In 2012, there was no need to import it. This year, India has become a net importer despite adequate supply from domestic markets.



Excise Dept increases processing fee 
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
The Excise and Taxation Department has increased the processing fee.

The fee was levied in August last year and the department used to collect Rs 800 as annual processing fee from the traders. The fee is collected for C forms and doing assessment of the VAT returns filed by traders. But now the department has revised the fee and will be collecting different amount of fee according to different categories.

Senior official from the department said traders have been divided into different categories and different amount of fee would be collected from them.

He said, "Dealers who have not filed their returns during the last financial year and whose gross turnover was nil during the previous financial year will be charged Rs 1,500. While dealers who have paid no tax and whose gross turnover is up to Rs 1 crore will pay Rs 1,500, whose turnover is between Rs 1-5 crore will pay Rs 2,500, those having turnover between Rs 5-10 crore will be paying Rs 3,500 and those having turnover Rs 10 crore and above will pay Rs 5,000. Apart from this all other traders will be paying Rs 800 as processing fee."

Jatinder Khurana, taxation lawyer, while commenting upon the increase in processing fee, said: "It will be a financial burden on the traders. There is no need of levying processing fee when the revenue of the government is increasing. Since, the online system of the department is not up to the mark, it should not charge processing fee."

Gurmukh Singh, a trader, said the department has no right to charge processing fee from them. "The online portal of the department does not function properly. In addition to this if department officials are assessing the returns, they should not charge for it, as it is their duty," he said. 



Poor business hits vendors at mela 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 18
Vendors at 'Mela Chhapar' were disappointed on the second day of the event. Owners of sweetmeat, fast food stall and consumer durables were the sufferers.

Decrease in number of women and children among devotees were cited as major factors behind the tendency.

Contrary to earlier trends, roads leading to Chhapar village did not support massive vehicular traffic. Instead of carrying passengers on rooftops, conductors of special buses and tempos plying on the route could not even book all the seats.

Majority of the devotees reached the Guga Mari directly to pay obeisance and returned to their places after spending some time near the shrine. Number of devotees purchasing parshad from vends established near the shrine had also declined for obvious reason of difference in price. Majority of devotees preferred to make purchases from their native localities.

Dhan Raj, an owner of a sweetmeat shop, was upset that he could not even meet out of his expenses even as number of devotees stopping for purchases had declined steeply this time. "Though we transacted fairly good business on Tuesday, the situation was very disappointing today," said Raj. 



Chhapar Mela: Local leaders hold conferences on Day 2
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 18
Thousands of devotees thronged ‘Chhapar Mela’ to pay obeisance to Guga, the embodiment of “nag devta”, on second day today.

Local leaders of various political parties gave final touch to the venues of their respective conferences scheduled to take place on Thursday and addressed their conferences today, though they had to take the help of singers and "dhadies" to attract people.

Though normally no stall can be installed at the mela without prior written permission of the administration, here no stall owner had any permission. When asked about the no-objection certificates (NOCs), most of the organisers answered that the documents were with their owners who were not present at the site. The police had a tough time verifying the NOCs of the stall owners.

Local leaders of various political parties, including the Congress, SAD and Left Front Parties addressed their respective conferences today. Whereas the SAD and Congress leaders recounted the achievements of state and Union government the CPI and CPI (M) leaders termed the governments as complete failure.

Jagpal Singh Khangura, Jasbir Singh Khangura, Pawan Dewan, Ranjit Mangat (Congress), Manpreet Singh Ayali, Harvir Ayali, Darshan Singh Shiwalik, Jagdish Singh Garcha, Jagwant Singh Jaggie and Yadwinder Singh Phallewal (SAD), Sikandar Jartauli, Baldev Latala, Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon, Amarjit Mattoo and Kartar Singh Buani (Left front) addressed the gathering. 



‘Harassed’ by official, couple attempts suicide in Jagraon
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, September 18
Allegedly harassed by a senior official of his own department, a contractual JCB Operator working under Block Development and Panchayat Office (BDPO) Baghapurana in Moga district and his wife consumed some poisonous substance in a bid to end their lives at their house in Kothe Khajura village near Jagraon today.

Husband and wife have been identified as Tarakjot Singh alias Joti and Usha Rani. According to the doctors at the Civil Hospital, the condition of both the husband and wife is out of danger.

In a letter written by Tarakjot Singh before consuming poisonous substance, he alleged that he was forced to take this extreme step only because of continuous harassment caused to him by a senior official at the Block Development and Panchayat Office, Baghapurana.

"A senior official has been continually harassing me for a long time. As I belong to schedule caste, my senior often uses abusive language and discriminate me. He has been pressurizing me to quit the job," alleged Tarakjot Singh in the letter.

No police case was registered in this regard till the filing of this report. Investigating Officer ASI Satpal Singh said, "The police is yet to record the statements of the victims. Both the husband and wife are not medically fit to give any statement at this stage. We will record their statements tomorrowand an appropriate action would be taken on the basis of their statements."

Meanwhile, BDPO, Baghapurana, HS Jassal, said that he was not aware of the incident. When reprimanded about the allegations leveled by Tarakjot in the letter Jassal said, "Tarakjot never raised any issue with me. Personally I have very good relations with Tarakjot and his family and if he would have taken up the matter with me, I would not have let this unfortunate incident take place."

Tarakjot Singh got married to Usha around three years back and has a one-year-old daughter. 



Finally, stations allotted to Hindi teachers

Ludhiana, September 18
Wait of Hindi teachers, working under the RMSA came to an end when the Education Department allotted stations to them in Punjab.

According to sources, 308 teachers were struggling to get the stations. Previously, they were working under the Central Government sponsored scheme but no salaries were given to them for over a year as Central Government stopped giving funds.

On August 1, 2013, the Punjab government recruited them on contractual basis but they were not given the stations. Now, they have been allotted stations and will get a fixed salary of Rs 10,300 per month. —TNS



Teachers to hold protest on Sept 26 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
On the call given by the Elementary Teachers Training union, the Democratic Teachers Front, Government Teachers' Union, Elementary Teachers Union, SSA/RAMSA, Government Primary Elementary Teachers Association and Education Service Provider Punjab will hold a protest outside the Zila Parishad Office on September 26.

The unions are protesting against setting up of Panchayati Directorate by the government. 



Devotees immerse idols of Lord Ganesha
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
The 10-day-long Ganesh Chaturthi culminated today with “Ganpati Visarjan” (immersion). Hundreds of devotees were seen taking idols of Lord Ganesha towards the Sutlej for immersion. With religious fervour, some of the devotees were seen bidding adieu to Lord Ganesha with wet eyes, while others were seen dancing on the beats of dhol and chanting “Ganpati bappa morya” while immersing the idols in the river.

The devotees, who had kept the idols of Lord Ganesha at their homes, business premises, temples and educational institutions, immersed them in water bodies at BRS Nagar, South City and Jalandhar Bypass, besides the Sutlej. While some devotees kept it a low-key affair and immersed the idols by offering prayers and flowers, others held big functions in which dignitaries from the city were invited.

During the immersion ceremony, devotees offered “Modaks” (sweets) to Lord Ganesha and said their prayers into the ears of “Musa” (mouse), the carrier of Lord Ganesha.

The Kanhaiya Club of Punjab Agriculture University here immersed the idol of Lord Ganesha with religious fervour. PAU students brought an idol of Lord Ganesha on September 9. They kept it in a room in the hostel, where students of all religions offered prayers to Lord Ganesha.

Ram, president of the club, said such festivals gave an opportunity to the students to come closer to each other and spread the message of peace and brotherhood. Lord Ganesha was given a warm farewell by Greenland Public School, too. The school had kept a huge idol of Lord Ganesha.

Mandi Ahmedgarh: Various local religious organisations and those from surrounding localities celebrated Ganesh Mahotsav and immersed the idols of Lord Ganesha amid drumbeats and chants of “Ganpati bappa morya” in the Sirhind Canal and Bathinda Canal near here today.

As the 10-day Ganesh festival drew to a close, idols of Lord Ganesha were taken for “visarjan” to the nearby canals under the banners of the Ganesh Ustav Committee, Ludhiana, Bhartia Mahabir Dal, Ganpati Seva Sangh, Shri Ram Mandir, Shri Sanatan Dharam Sabha, Har Har Maha Dev and Bajrang Dal.

Bimal Kumar Sharma, chairman of the Ram Mandir Committee, said puja was performed at various temples in the past 10 days. Men, women and children joined the puja and procession on Tuesday and Wednesday. 



Star cast of ‘Young Malangs’ comes calling 

Ludhiana, September 18
Star cast of Punjabi movie, Young Malang, visited the city today. Actors Yuvraj Hans, Balli Riar, Vinaupaul and Anjana Sukhani were in the city to promote their film.

Yuvraj Hans said, "The movie is a full entertainment package, dotted with comedy, romance and action." Meanwhile, Sukhani has worked in Hindi movies like Salaam-e-Ishq, Golmaal Returns, Jai Veeru and Jashnn. "

The movie is a maiden venture of Rahulinder Singh Sidhu and is a mixed bag of star cast marking entry of Bollywood beauty Anjana Sukhani in Punjabi cinema and singer Yuvraj Hans.—TNS



Man cries foul, says police shielding son
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
A family dispute turned ugly when a 73-year-old man alleged that the police was siding with his son, who was recently booked for selling land by forging his father's signature.

Ramesh Chander of Barewal Awana said his son Sumesh, alias Sunny, was roaming scot-free even after his bail was cancelled by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Ramesh Shcnder’s son was booked by the police in a fraud case in June this year.



Govt recalls MGNREGA grant
Now, administration finds it difficult to pay wages to workers in dist
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
To "accommodate" the workers working under the MGNREGA scheme (through panchayats) in other districts of Punjab, on the "verbal orders" of the state government, funds worth Rs 2 crore were sent back by the local authorities. The funds were meant to be spent on the MGNREGA workers in Ludhiana district alone. Now, the authorities here are finding it difficult to pay wages to the workers as there are hardly any funds left under the particular scheme in the district.

According to sources in the district administration, funds worth Rs 2 crore were sent back to the government about 15 days ago. "Since April, we had spent about Rs 7.5 crore on workers under the MGNREGA scheme in the district. After making all payments, little funds were left with us. We had got a total of Rs 11 crore. On verbal orders from senior officials in Chandigarh, we had to send back Rs 2 crore, though they wanted more," said one of the top officials in the district administration.

The official added there was total "mismanagement" of the funds at the government level. After a month or so, the local authorities would have no funds left to make payments to the workers in the district.

As if it is not enough, the state government, having empty coffers, has also failed to pay to around 3,000 beneficiaries under the Shagun Scheme in Ludhiana (East, West and Jagraon) from 2009-2011. Wishing not to be quoted, one of the employees of the District Welfare Office here said though the authorities claimed that owing to the online system, problems were being encountered at various levels and hence pendency of cases, in reality schemes, including Shagun Scheme, Widow Pension Scheme, were badly hit due to the paucity of funds.

According to the information gathered by The Tribune, the district is still to get from the Sports department an outstanding amount of about Rs 1.25 crore spent on the last Kabaddi World Cup. Besides, payments are still to be released to the district by the state government on account of organising events, including Independence Day, swearing-in ceremony of the Zila Parishad members, etc.

Money sent back on verbal orders

Since April, we had spent about Rs 7.5 crore on workers under the MGNREGA scheme in the district. After making all payments, little funds were left with us. We had got a total of Rs 11 crore. On verbal orders from senior officials in Chandigarh, we had to send back Rs 2 crore, though they wanted more. — A top official



From schools

Student brings laurels

Ludhiana: Spring Dale Senior Secondary Public School is keeping up the tradition of nurturing and shaping the wholesome personality of its students. A student of Spring Dale, Hardeep Singh, has earned laurels by being in Top 6 in Voice of Punjab, Season IV. He is eager to get votes in the grand finale on October 4. Filled with a sense of pride and happiness, Hardeep Singh came to the institution and touched the feet of Avinash Kaur Walia, founder and director of the school, and thanked her for giving valuable guidance and education.

Hindi Diwas celebrated

DAV Public School, BRS Nagar, celebrated Hindi Diwas in the auditorium with great pomp and show on Tuesday .The teachers of Hindi faculty presented different colourful items. The programme started with Saraswati Vandana. It is believed that Sanskrit is the mother of Hindi language and this programme was organised to highlight the importance of Hindi. Kavi darbar was organised in which teachers read out different interesting poems catering various genres and ‘rasas’.

Ozone Protection Day

The World Ozone Protection Day was celebrated at GMT School. The students of classes VI-VIII participated in several competitions to celebrate the occasion. Competitions like poster making, slogan writings, quiz competition, storytelling competition was organised. The students displayed their creativity in the poster making activity and also exhibited their skill in slogan writing. The winners in poster making competition were Dishant, Andry, Janvi and Jatin Arora of Class VI. In slogan writing, the first three positions were bagged by Avneel, Loveleen, Soumil and consolation prize was given to Kaveri of class VII. Quiz competition was organised for Class VIII which was thoroughly enjoyed by the students. Tree plantation activity was also a part of this day in which students of Class VI planted various saplings in the campus. Principal Amarjit Dhaliwal congratulated the winners for their efforts.—TNS 



Ludhiana scan

Right to Service Act

Neeru Gupta, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, on Wednesday held a meeting related to the Right to Service Act at the Bachat Bhawan. She said under this Act, as many as 69 services were provided earlier. Now, 80 more services had been included in it. With this, as many as 149 services were now provided under the Act.

35 units of blood collected

The young brigade of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), in association with the Zindagi Live Foundation, organised a blood donation camp on the occasion of the annual Gugga Maadi fair at Pamal village. President Sukhbir Singh and General Secretary Mandeep Singh from the DYFI appreciated the initiative taken by the team of Zindagi Live Foundation to help thalassemic patients and pledged to provide continues support for the noble cause. A team, headed by Dr Victor from the CMCH, collected 35 units of blood. Ashok Marwaha from Zindagi Live applauded the efforts of the Democratic Youth Federation of India.

Amendments to voters' list

Those completing the age of 18 must get their votes made. These views were expressed by Kanwalpreet Brar, Additional Deputy Commissioner (D)-cum-Additional District Election Officer, here while chairing a meeting with officials. She said the government had started the process of making amendments to the voters' list, and for this objections and claims could be made with the block-level officers from September 22 to September 29. Brar said for this, announcements should be made in the villages in gurdwaras and temples so that more and more people were made aware of this amendment process. For fresh voters, Form No. 6 was available with BLOs, while for cutting names in the voters' list, Form No. 7 was available and for making any corrections, public could fill Form No. 8.

Engineers’ Day

The North West Group of Institutions celebrated Engineers’ Day to mark the birthday of Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya recognising his contributions in the field of hydel energy in India. Lakhbir Singh Gill, chairman of the North West Group of Institutions, was the chief guest. While speaking on the occasion, Lakhbir Singh Gill highlighted the importance of Engineers’ Day and pledged to walk on the directions of great engineer M. Visvesvaraya and adopt his guidelines in the service of humanity. He also shared his vision for taking the North West Group to newer heights and gave his best wishes to the new budding engineers. Prabhpreet Singh Gill, Managing Director, addressed the students. He said students should take lesson from the life of M. Visvesvaraya.

Meeting held

A meeting of the Punjab Tent Dealer Welfare Association was held here on Wednesday under the presidentship of SS Makkar. During the meeting, the members discussed the issue of increase in the service tax limit from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. Chartered accountant Rajeev Sharma guided the members on this issue. The association will be celebrating its silver jubilee in March 2014.

Death mourned

The Baba Banda Singh Bahadur International Foundation has expressed grief over the sudden demise of Bikramjit Singh, son of writer and president of the Guru Gobind Singh Foundation, Jasvir Singh Ahluwalia.

Dispensary inaugurated

Ireo, a real estate firm, inaugurated a free dispensary near the Sidhwan Canal. The dispensary will benefit the population of five villages around the canal. It will be managed by a general physician from the hospital who will provide free tertiary health care services and basic medicines to patients.

Education Support Scheme

In its endeavour to provide the needy children of truck drivers and transporters with educational assistance, the Shriram Foundation, a social arm of the Shriram Group, on Wednesday launched a nationwide "Education Support Scheme" in Ludhiana. This first-of-its-kind initiative is in alliance with reputed transport associations of the city. Through this scheme, the Shriram Foundation offered financial assistance and scholarships to 124 deserving children Office-bearers of the Shriram Foundation with children of truck drivers and transporters after giving them educational assistance. A Tribune photograph of transporters and truck drivers aged between 11 and 17 years. The scholarship distribution ceremony took place at the Guru Nanak Bhawan. This initiative has been successfully implemented in Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Namakkal, Vijayawada, etc. This scholarship support is applicable to the children of any school, including government and private, towards expenses for pursuing school education without any disruption. — TNS
Office-bearers of the Shriram Foundation with children of truck drivers and transporters after giving them educational assistance. A Tribune photograph



Grain thieves’ gang busted; kingpin arrested in Jagraon
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, September 18
With the arrest of one person, the police has claimed to have busted a gang of grain thieves here. The accused, arrested by the police, has been identified as Meena, a resident of Bagh Kheta Ram locality of Jagraon.

The police has termed Meena as the kingpin of the gang. Three other members of the gang, including Meena's brother, Sanju, and two unidentified persons, managed to escape. The police also recovered a bag of rice and some cash stolen by the gang members from a truck driver a couple of days ago.

Mohamad Jamil, SHO, Jagraon, said Meena, the kingpin of the gang, was arrested from the Sherpur road during a raid conducted by a police team, led by ASI Baldev Singh, yesterday night. Three other members of the gang managed to escape under the cover of darkness.

A case was registered against Meena, Sanju and two unidentified persons under various sections of the IPC at the Jagraon city police station on a complaint filed by a truck driver, Gora Singh, of Dholan village. The efforts to nab the remaining gang members were on, said Jamil.

In his complaint to the police, the truck driver said Meena and his three other accomplices had stolen three bags of rice and some cash from his truck on Monday afternoon while he was ferrying grain to a rice mill.

The police said this gang was active in the area for a long period of time.

“The members of this gang have executed several theft incidents in the area in the recent past. They used to target rice mills, grain godowns, etc., and steal grain items from there. They are known for stealing grain from fast moving vehicles,” said the SHO.

The police had arrested Meena and his brother, Sanju, a few months ago on the charge of stealing grain from government godowns. Both of them were released on bail a few days ago.

Investigating Officer ASI Baldev Singh said during the preliminary investigation, Meena confessed to executing several theft incidents. Later on, the accused was produced in court, which sent him to one-day police remand.



Man held with 10 kg of poppy husk
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, September 18
The police has arrested an alleged drug peddler and seized 10 kg of poppy husk from his possession. The accused has been identified as Madan Lal, a resident of Shastri Nagar locality in Jagraon.

Madan Lal was arrested by a police team, led by ASI Kuldeep Singh, from the Disposal road, Jagraon, yesterday evening. Jagraon City Police Station SHO Mohamad Jamil said the police got a tip-off that a drug peddler was seen on the Disposal road.

“Following this, a police team, led by ASI Kuldeep Singh, conducted a raid on the Disposal road and arrested the accused. On searching his bag, the police found 10 kg of poppy husk,” the SHO said.

Mohamad Jamil said the accused runs a barber shop in the Shastri Nagar locality in Jagraon. Earlier, too, he was arrested on the charge of peddling poppy husk and at present, he was out on bail.

“A case has been registered against the accused under the NDPS Act and further investigations are on. During the preliminary investigation, the accused confessed that he brought the drug from Rajasthan via train. He used to sell drugs to addicts in the area,” said the SHO.

Later on, the accused was produced in court, which sent him to judicial remand till the next hearing. 



Constable’s purse snatched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
A woman constable of the PCR wing lost her purse to a snatcher in the Ghumar Mandi area here last night. The woman constable, Ramandeep Kaur, along with her colleague, was returning home after duty. She was in plain clothes.

Two motorcycle-borne youngsters snatched her purse and fled the scene. Soon, the police set nakas to nab the snatchers, but to no avail.

It is not the first time that a womn had been targeted in the Ghumarmandi area. Police sources said CCTV cameras installed at shops might provide vital leads in the case.



Ex-sarpanch booked for usurping grant
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Serivce

Ludhian, September 18
Following the Indra Aawas Yojna scam, another scam has rocked the district administration wherein a former sarpanch has been booked for usurping grants worth Rs 1.63 lakh.

The suspect, identified as Dilbag Singh, former Sarpanch of Model Colony, Jagirpur, was indicted in an inquiry conducted by the Block Development and Panchayat Officer (Ludhiana - II).

Even the district attorney (legal) had suggested registration of a case against Dilbag Singh.

The BDPO said: "The former Sarpanch has committed misappropriation of funds worth Rs 1.63 lakh and showed some bogus entities. The funds were meant for development of the village. I had conducted the probe and referred the case to the police for further action."

Mandeep Singh, SHO, Meharban police station, said he had registered the case after receiving the report and started investigation." Dilbag Singh has been booked under sections 409, 465, 467,468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC on a complaint of Nambardar Gurmeet Singh. 



Crime briefs

Man booked for forgery
Ludhiana: The police has booked a person for committing forgery with a bank. The accused has been identified as Ashok Kumar, a resident of Daba. The accused was booked following an investigation conducted by Economic Offences Wing in-charge Gagandeep Singh. The accused had taken loans of Rs 5 lakh and Rs 4.5 lakh from ICICI Bank. After taking the loan, he stopped paying instalments. Recently, the bank manager reported the matter to the police, following which a case was registered against the accused.

Criminal breach of trust

The city police has booked a person for criminal breach of trust. The accused has been identified as Varinder Singh of BRS Nagar. The case was registered on the complaint of Santokh Singh of Gurdev Nagar. According to the complainant, he had purchased buses from him. The deal was settled for Rs 45 lakh. Santokh Singh arranged a loan of Rs 24 lakh and gave the money to Varinder Singh. But, the accused backtracked from the deal and did not return him the cash.


The city police has booked a man in an attempt to murder case here on Wednesday. The accused has been identified as Maninder Singh, a resident of the Tajpur road. The complainant, Shalinder Singh, a resident of the same area, said the accused entered his house and attacked his friend, Lakhvir Singh, with sharp-edged weapons. The police stated in the FIR that the accused was suspecting that Lakhvir Singh was having illicit relations with his wife.

Couple booked

The police has booked a couple on charge of stealing Rs 50,000 from a house. The accused have been identified as Rajni and Rakesh Kumar, both residents of Daba. The case was registered following the complaint of Jasvir Kaur. The complainant said Rajni engaged her husband, Gurjant Singh, in conversation. In the meantime, Rakesh entered the house and decamped with the cash. She said soon after committing theft, the couple fled the spot. The police has registered a case against the couple and started investigations.

Snake scare

Five snakes caused panic at the Tibba Chowki here on Wednesday. The incident took place this afternoon when five snakes appeared while policemen were clearing the area where impounded vehicles were kept. Finally, a snake charmer was called who took away the snakes from the Police Chowki. - TNS



B'ball tourney from Sept 26

Ludhiana, September 18
The four-day Ludhiana District Basketball Championship for boys and girls under 14 as well as under 16 sections will be held at Guru Nanak Stadium here from September 26 to 29.

Players born on or after January 1, 2000, can take part in the subjunior section while those born on or after January 1, 199,5 are eligible to compete in the junior category.

Teja Singh Dhaliwal, general secretary, Ludhiana District Basketball Association, said the aspirants should bring their age proof certificates, attested by the head of their respective schools. They may confirm their participation with the basketball coach, Mohan Lal, by September 24, depositing an entry fee of Rs 500 per team. — OC



210 to participate in boxing meet
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, September 18
Guru Nanak Model Senior Secondary School of Doraha is going to host the 46th State-level Boxing Championship, the inauguration of which will be held at Dr Ishwar Singh Memorial Hall of Guru Nanak National College here tomorrow. It will be a three-day event and boxers from across the sate will participate in it.

Harpratap Brar, promoter of this mega event and general secretary of the Managing Board of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, said it was the only public school to have an international boxing ring.

“The state government is interested in promoting rural sports so that youngsters can channelise their energy in the right direction. Holding such a mega event in a rural school is a sincere step in this direction,” the general secretary added.

School Principal DP Thakur stated that the aim of this boxing championship was to promote the spirit of sports in the rural areas of Punjab. “More than 210 boxers (in the age group of U-19) from different districts of the state will show their boxing skills in this championship,”he added.

The opening ceremony will be held on September 19. Major Caur Singh (retd) and AIG Jaipal Singh will be the chief guest on the occasion.



Ludhiana-Jalandhar tie ends in a draw
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, September 18
The four-day match between Ludhiana and Jalandhar in the ongoing Inter-District Katoch Shield Senior Cricket Tournament played here on the Punjab Agricultural University ground ended in a draw today.

Facing a deficit of nine runs in the first innings, Ludhiana began last day's play at 57 for 2 and crawled till the end with the scoreboard reading 306 for the loss of five wickets. Anil Sihag carried his bat with individual score of 128 runs. Geetansh Khera and Bharat Malhotra scored 52 runs each.

On the basis of the first innings' lead, Jalandhar earned three points while Ludhiana had to content with just one point.

Brief scores: Ludhiana (first innings)- 332 all out in 134 overs (Arjun Puri 14, Anil Sihag 73, Akhil Aggarwal 0, Abhinav Bhatia 89, Geetansh Khera 72 n.o. and Bharat Malhotra 46; Navdeep 1 for 85 and Yogesh 5 for 86).

Jalandhar (first innings)- 341 all out in 108 overs (Mandip Jr 46, Taruwar Kohli 115, Luv 24, Himanshu 58; Deepak Bansal 1 for 25 and Rahul Singla 4 for 100 and Amrit Pal Singh 3 for 67).

Ludhiana (second innings)- 306 for 5 in 98 overs (Arjun Puri 15, Abhinav Bhatia 8, Akhil Aggarwal 29 and Anil Sihag 128 n.o. Geetansh Khera 52, Bharat Malhotra 52; Navdip 1 for 42, Gurkirat 1 for 15, Anmol 1 for 24 and Yogesh 2 for 108).



GNGC team retain cross-country title
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, September 18
The students of Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, Ludhiana, has retained the title for the second consecutive year in the Panjab University Inter-College Cross-Country held recently.

The college team, comprising Ramandeep Kaur, Prabhveer Kaur, Kulwant Kaur and Sandeep Kaur, completed 5km distance well ahead of the others to secure 27 points, which got them top honours.

On the basis of their performance in this meet, Amandeep Kaur clinched the individual silver medal while she, along with Ramandeep Kaur and Kulwant Kaur, was selected to attend Panjab University Cross-Country Training Camp for the All-India Inter-University Cross-Country Championship at Udaipur in Rajasthan.

Gurbir Singh and Dr Charanjit Kaur Mahal, president and principal, respectively, of the college, lauded the girls and their coach Sanjiv Sharma on this outstanding achievement.



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