L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Strike by banks: District suffers loss of Rs 1,000 cr
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
The Ludhiana district today suffered a transaction loss of nearly Rs 1,000 crore due to the all-India bank strike by public sector banks. Transaction of approximately 80,000 cheques could not take place due to the bank strike today.

On the call given by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), officials and employees in all the public sector banks observed one-day strike to put forward their demands which include immediate wage revision and to stop banking reforms.

Addressing the bank employees, Naresh Gaur, convener, United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), said wages and service conditions in the banking sector were governed by the industry-level bipartite settlements signed between the Indian Banks Association and the trade unions of bank employees and officers. The public sector banks, private sector banks and foreign banks who give their mandate to the Indian Banks Association(IBA) are party to the settlements and hence are covered by the same. The Ninth Bipartite Settlement came to an end on October 31, 2012. Consequently, revision of wages and other service conditions have become due as from November 1, 2012.

“The UFBU has requested the IBA to adopt a time-bound programme to hold negotiations on the demands and to expedite the settlement as early as possible. Even though the formal negotiations started in February 2013, only five rounds of discussions have taken place so far i.e. one round of discussion once in two months. The alarming and unabated price rise has seriously eroded the income of the employees and hence the wage revision has become all the more important,” said Gaur.

“Workload in the bank branches has gone up substantially due to increase in total volume of business and also due to non-provision of adequate staff and officers in the branches. Employees and officers are working under a lot of stress and strain. The job profile of the staff has also undergone a change and all these require to be properly remunerated with adequate increase in wages. For this reason also the wage increase has become important. But unfortunately, the IBA is delaying the settlement and in the last one year, not even their minimum offer has been indicated to the unions, said Sudesh Kumar, chairman, Punjab Bank Employees Federation. 

Consumers a harried lot

Residents faced inconvenience when they found the banks closed on Wednesday. 

‘Our salary gets deducted’

"We are not observing strike just to skip work. Our salary for one day is deducted whenever we go on strike. It was important to press forward our demands so we went on strike for a day"

— Naresh Gaur, convener, United Forum of Bank Unions

‘Prior information a must’

"Every now and then, the bank staff is on strike. They should at least inform the public in advance through SMSes or public notice"

— Parminder Singh, resident


Fog continues to hit rail traffic 
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 18
With fog enveloping the region, rail traffic continues to be erratic and trains are running far behind their schedule causing more misery to the passengers in cold weather conditions.

Railway officials said, 12029 the New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi Express arrived here four hours behind schedule with the result that corresponding 12030 the Amritsar-New Delhi Shatabdi Express was also running late by two hours. Similarly, 12497/12498 the Shane-Punjab train running on the same section were delayed by 4.40 hours and 3.10 hours respectively. 12037 the New Delhi-Ludhiana Shatabdi Express arrived here 1.35 hours after its scheduled arrival time.

Most of the long-haul trains, including 13049 the Howrah-Amritsar Express (9 hours) 14606 the Amritsar-Lal Kuan Express (8.25 hours), 12355 the Rajinder Nagar (Bihar)-Jammu Archna Express (6.15 hours), 12237 the Varanasi-Jammu Begumpura Express (4.50 hours), 11449 the Jabalpur-Jammu Express (4.20 hours), 15651 the Guwahati-Jammu Lohit Express (4.40 hours), 12716 the Amritsar-Nanded Sachkhand Express (3.40 hours), 12460 the Amritsar-New Delhi Intercity Express (3.20 hours), 12919 the Indore-Jammu Malwa Express (5.35 hours), 15707 the Katihar-Amritsar Amrapali Express (4.50 hours), 12477 the Jamnagar-Jammu Express (4 hours) and 11057 the Mumbai-Amritsar Dadar Express (4.20 hours), were running behind schedule.

Among many other mail, express and superfast trains running late by two to four hours were 14650 the Saryu-Yamuna Express, 12357 the Kolkata-Amritsar Durgiana Superfast Express, 12925 the Bandra-Amritsar Pashchim Express, 12715 the Nanded-Amritsar Sachkhand Express, 12238 the Jammu-Varanasi Begumpura Express, 12459 the New Delhi-Amritsar Intercity Express, 14681 the New Delhi-Jalandhar Intercity Express and 12414 the Jammu-Ajmer Puja Express.

With the entire railway time table going haywire due to harsh weather,

the railway passengers, especially those travelling with their family members and children, were a harassed lot as they had to face vagaries of cold weather also besides having to wait for their respective trains for hours together.

Rakesh Sethi, travelling in Shatabdi with four other members of his family, said they were to attend a function in the city in the afternoon. “As the train has arrived four hours behind its scheduled time, the whole purpose of our trip has gone awry,” he said while wondering whether the railway authorities had some solution to the problem of trains running late due to bad weather which had become a regular feature. 



Year 2013 ender
A year of major ups and downs
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
The health department went through many ups and downs this year. A number of dengue cases surfaced in the district. The good part was that the number of cases of gastroenteritis witnessed a decline. The transfer of Senior Medical Officers and Medical Officers triggered a protest. The PCMS doctors went on a strike for a few days. In what came as a jolt, chemists, too, closed down their shops in protest against the raids conducted by the police department.

To facilitate residents, the health department organised a mega cancer detection camp at Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital.

Ambulance 108 helped save a number of lives. So in a way, the year was a mixed bag for the health department.

The bane

The district witnessed as many as 1,032 dengue cases. Seven deaths were reported. The health department collected 431 samples of eatables, out of which 51 failed the purity test. 

Efforts fructified

* In a bid to create awareness, the staff of Ambulance 108 distributed kites among residents on Lohri and provided services to as many 41,026 patients, out of which 6,365 were accident victims.

* H2S kits were distributed among 1,500 government schools under the school health programme.

* A team of the health department raided some workshops and seized 50 quintals of adulterated sweets. Cases were registered against shop owners. The team also raided four hookah bars in the city and seized flavoured tobacco products.

* A few residents donated the bodies of their relatives to the CMCH for medical research.

* Burn unit became functional in November.

* A mega cancer detection camp was held at Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital.

* A kidney recipient delivered a healthy baby at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital in October.

* Four children suffering from thalassaemia got a new lease of life with the help of an NGO, Salaam Zindagi, CMCH, Youth Chemist Welfare Club, Satluj Club, Luxmi Ladies Club and Sarabha Ladies Club.

* About 10 leprosy patients were operated upon at a leprosy camp in the Civil Hospital.

The hiccups

* In February, the building of the health department (wireless system tower) collapsed. The office of the Civil Surgeon is yet to be shifted.

* Police raids angered chemists many a time. Patients remained at the receiving end, with chemists closing down their shops.

* Jan Aushadhi Store failed to provide generic medicines to patients.

* In the first week of April, the state government increased user charges at government hospitals.

* A number of hepatitis cases were reported this year.



DC visits govt offices 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 18
Taking a serious notice of late arrival of government officials at their work places and unauthorised absenteeism, deputy commissioner, Sangrur, Dr Indu has warned the erring officials against this.

In charges of the offices, who are supposed to ensure ideal working of their subordinates but were found absent during checking will not be spared at any cost, said the administrator.

Investigations revealed that at least 16 officials, including three in charges of four offices, were found absent during the surprise check conducted by a team of officials led by naib tehsildar Amargarh Balwinder Kumar.

Nine officials of government community health centers, including four doctors were marked absent, while Excise and Taxation Officer at local excise office was also found absent. Similarly, two employees of market committee, including in charge secretary, were absent at the time of checking.

While executive officer at municipal council was reported to have left the office on some government duty and eight other employees, including four peons were marked absent.

Maintaining that no officials of any rank would be allowed to compromise with his duty, Dr Indu said similar checking would be conducted in routine.

“I have already advised sub-divisional magistrate, Malerkotla, to ensure that rank and file in all government offices, including schools, should deliver desired output in his or her capacity,” she said. The DC also said, “Adverse weather and traffic jams will not be considered for reaching late at offices.”

Government schools and offices PSTC, ARCS, BDO-1 and BDO-2, BPEO-1, BPEO-2, Punchayati Raj, Malerkotla, and Ahmedgarh, CDPO-1 and CDPO-2, Tehsil Welfare Office, SDO Water Supply, Treasury Offices, Horticulture Department and offices of civic bodies will be checked by officers designated by her office in future as well, said the DC.



Modi undemocratic: State Congress chief
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, December 18
Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa has said the country can face another partition if BJP Prime Minist-erial candidate Narinder Modi came to power in the country.

He said that Modi was undemocratic and could be a danger to minorities and the country could face the same situation as 1947 again. He was here to take part in a social function.

He said the Punjab Congress would oppose Modi's visit to Punjab due to his anti-Sikh and anti-Punjabi thought.

Bajwa said the cancellation of Modi's visit to Jagraon was not due to bad weather but due to the expectations of a flop show, as the people of Punjab were already aware of his true colours. 



Income-Tax surveys conducted

Ludhiana, December 18
The Income Tax Department today conducted surveys at two groups. Directions were issued by Com of IT (CIT I) BB Nanavati.

The surveys were conducted on the two premises of New Cone Group at Delhi Road and Doraha. The firm deals in the manufacturing of transformers.

Another survey was conducted at Jindal Agro at Chandigarh Road and deals in the manufacturing of copper and brass.

Surveys were conducted at Bansal Textile Limited yesterday. Its premises are located at Sanhewal and Sherpur and the firm surrendered Rs 3 crore to the department.

Another firm, ARI Sudhama Industry at Giaspura and Doraha, surrendered Rs 1.10 crore. The firm deals in the manufacturing of yarn. — TNS



Recovery of user charges not on LIT's priority list
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 18
Strange are the ways of the working of Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT). If the information provided by LIT authorities under the Right to Information Act is any indication, the arrears of user charges (water and sewerage charges) in various colonies developed by the Trust keep mounting while no apparent efforts are being made to effect recovery.

The information provided by LIT under the RTI Act to Arvind Sharma, secretary of the Council of RTI Activists, has made startling revelation that Housefed had failed to apply for new water and sewerage connection in the newly constructed 96 super deluxe flats in its existing complex located in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar colony of the Trust.

It sounds incredible but it is true that LIT authorities had not even raised any demand for water and sewerage charges with the Housefed for 96 newly constructed flats whereas the owners of old flats constructed way back in 2002 owed more than Rs 14.34 lakh by way of user charges.

Sharma said it was only when he filed an application seeking information of arrears of user charges in Housefed flats on September 20, 2013 that the Trust officials raised a demand for Rs 57,600 (at the rate of Rs 600 per flat) in November 2013 for water and sewerage connection in the newly constructed Housefed flats.

The information provided by LIT further went on to prove that the recovery of the arrears of the user charges was not being accorded the priority that was due to it.

As per information provided by LIT, the total outstanding amount of user charges against owners of old Housefed flats which was around Rs 13.31 lakh till December 2012 had gone up to Rs 14.34 lakh by July 2013. Similarly, arrears of user charges against residents of 475 acre Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar scheme which stood at Rs 28.16 lakh in December 2012 had increased to Rs 29.86 lakh. Charging LIT authorities with gross negligence in the recovery of the arrears and causing a huge loss of revenue to the institution, the Council of RTI Activists has urged the Local Government Department to fix the responsibility of the staff and officials and take action as per rules against them.

Mounting arrears

As per information provided by LIT, the total outstanding amount of user charges against owners of old Housefed flats which was around ~13.31 lakh till December 2012 had gone up to ~14.34 lakh by July 2013



Ganda Nullah project hangs fire
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
Ever since the project to cover Ganda Nullah passing through the city was started, it has courted one controversy or the other. The current status of the project is that its delayed and has jumped several deadlines. And now with politicians from the Bharatiya Janta Party, the Shiromani Akali Dal as well as the Congress staking claim to the project, it might get delayed further.

The Municipal Corporation (MC) had decided to cover the nullah starting from Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib to Shagun Palace. The work on the project was started in February 2011 at a cost of Rs 22 crore. The deadline for the completion of the project was March 2012, which has now been extended till December 2012.

Sources in the MC said most of the work remained undone.The nullah is full of debris and garbage. This obstructs the flow of water.

Sanjeev Talwar, councillor from Ward No. 39, stated that every monsoon, residents living along the nullah feared that it might overflow.

During the MC General House meeting on December 6, several councillors had demanded that funds should be sanctioned for the project so that it could be completed on time.

The MC had proposed to allot Rs 2 crore, which was later increased to Rs 5 crore. Yesterday, the work on the project was to resume, but a scuffle between two factions of the BJP left a question mark over it.



Auction of vanity numbers: 0001 fetches Rs 4 lakh 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
The District Transport Department conducted an auction of vanity numbers at Bachat Bhawan today. District Transport Officer Anil Garg, along with other officials, conducted the auction in the PB 10 DU series.

The number 0001 was given at an exorbitant price of Rs 4 lakh to one Charanjit Kaur.

The department earned Rs 18.84 lakh from the auction of PB 10 DU 0001-100 series.

The remaining numbers in the 101-9999 series will go under the hammer tomorrow. 

Pricey numbers

0001 Rs 4 lakh

0002 Rs 87,000

0003 Rs 85,000

0004 Rs 26,000

0005 Rs 1.13 lakh

0006 Rs 51,000

0007 Rs 56,000

0008 Rs 70,000

0009 Rs 1.01 lakh



Politics mars stone-laying ceremony of school
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
The occasion was the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the school for meritorious and poor students at SCD Government College, but like any other political leader, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal did not miss any opportunity to attack the government at the Centre while addressing teachers and students.

While he started his speech with the facilities to be provided to poor and needy meritorious students in Punjab, at the same time he targeted the Central Government for meting out a step-motherly treatment to Punjab. Badal said the Congress led Central Government was trying best to make Punjab economically weaker and was working against the interests of farmers in the state.

Teachers condemn party politics in educational institution

While Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal spoke in detail about the coming Parliamentary elections at SCD Government College and asked the gathering to shun the Congress as it had done nothing for Punjab, the teaching community felt that politics must not be discussed during such functions. President of the Government College Teachers' Union (GCTA) Prof Jaipal Singh said the politics must not be discussed on such occasions. "It was an occasion meant for poor and meritorious students, leaders should have spoken on that topic only," said Jaipal Singh.

Teachers had to brave chill

Elaborate arrangements were made by the authorities for the visit of the Chief Minister, but due to fog and cold weather, the attendance of teachers/students was comparatively thin during the function. The government schools/aided schools were asked to send 10-15 teachers from their respective schools so that the chairs were seen occupied. Still around 200 chairs were left empty and at the last moment, the authorities covered these by putting a tent before them.

Work to be completed by next academic session

The Chief Minister said the school would be ready to admit students from the next academic session and those scoring more than 80 per cent would be provided free education. "Besides, two hostels, both for boys and girls, are being constructed near the school building where poor and needy students will stay," he said. On the lines of Ludhiana, more schools will come up in districts, including Amritsar, Mohali, Bathinda, Jalandhar and Patiala.



Education dept told to clear grants by December 31 
Our Correspondent

Doraha, December 18
Education Minister Sikander Singh Maluka assured the office-bearers of Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union (PCCTU) to initiate dialogue on pension scheme at the earliest. He also assured a prompt review of the API score for the college teachers.

The minister instructed the Education Department to clear the pending grants by December 31, 2013.

Dr PS Gill, president, PCCTU, said the government was ready to lift the ban on the recruitments and was just waiting for the decision of the high court. He also informed that a committee had been formed to review the number of posts in government-aided colleges of Punjab since the number of students in the colleges had increased four times since 1981 but the number of posts of aided teachers remained the same.

Gill said the minister had formed a committee to look for a scheme to grant pension to the aided college teachers.

Dr Kuldip Singh, general secretary (PCCTU), said the minister had asked the Education Department to immediately start the process for inclusion of unaided teachers under the umbrella of Punjab Affiliated Colleges Security of Service Act, 1974.

Prof Iqbal Preet Kaur, convener (PCCTU), hailed the decision of the minister to set up a committee under the DPI to look into the execution of the API scheme. She said the minister also agreed to talk to the Chief Minister to persuade him to extend the retirement age of aided college teachers to 62.



Schools, colleges asked to keep tab on acid in labs 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
The Sub-Divisional Magistrate, KS Mahi, has asked school and college authorities to maintain a register regarding the use of acid in laboratories. This was done keeping in mind the rising incidents of acid attack and to keep a tab on the sale of acid in market despite ban orders.

Mahi, while holding a meeting with the officials of the district administration and Police Department, said school and college authorities must depute a responsible person to keep acid safely in labs. He said as and when the acid was used by the authorities for practicals, it must be mentioned in register.

He also appointed principal of SCD Government College as the nodal officer for degree colleges/educational institutions and principal of GNE College as nodal officer for technical institutions, to keep a record for the same. Mahi said, “Those keeping the acid in stock will have to send the report to SDM concerned, else penalty of about Rs 50,000 will be charged if anybody is found guilty.”



Pass TET before merger, minister tells teachers
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
Education Minister Sikandar Singh Maluka today stated that as per rules, teachers will have to clear the Teachers' Eligibility Test (TET) before the merger of aided schools with government schools.

Maluka, who was in the city for the foundation stone laying ceremony of the school for poor and needy meritorious students, stated that the government was trying for the merger, but a lot of issues were involved, which needed to be addressed.

He said: "It takes time to take a decision on such matters. We are working on it. Either the teachers can be taken over by the state government and other works should be done by the managements or the recruitments be made as per the government policy. These are all proposals."

On the recruitment of 5,000 TET passed teachers were concerned, Maluka said the High Court had asked the government to verify the universities from which these candidates had taken degrees. "It is all documentation work, once this is clear, we will place them," said Maluka.

The teachers in aided schools have already decided to hold a state-level protest rally in Chandigarh on December 20 on the issue of merger. The teachers have announced that they will take mass casual leave to be a part of the rally against the state government. The teachers maintained that if the state government decided on merger, around 4,300 teachers would be shifted to government schools where thousands of posts were lying vacant.

School timings changed

The timings in government schools have changed from 10 am to 4 pm for secondary and 10 am to 3 pm for primary and middle sections. The Government School Teachers' Union has condemned the change in timings schedule. The teachers said primary schools should get over by 2.30 pm while secondary schools should get over by 3 pm as students have to go to far-off places. "Besides, the teachers will have to catch their buses and the schedule will be disturbed if schools will get over that late in the evening," said Parveen Kumar, general secretary of the union. 



PAU notes

Training in rabi cultivation

A training course on 'Cultivation of Rabi Crops with Special Reference to Crop Diversification' is being organised at Punjab Agricultural University for kheti doots from Amritsar district. The course is being jointly coordinated by the Directorate of Extension Education, PAU, and Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust.

Dr MS Gill, Director, Extension Education, said experts would dwell on the role of kheti doots in farm development, role of agro-forestry in Punjab, wheat varieties for different agro-climatic conditions of Punjab, agronomic practices for optimum wheat productivity and weed management in rabi.

Technology for hybrid seed production of oilseed crops, improved varieties/hybrids for rapeseed, mustard and sunflower and their insect-pest and disease management are other thrust areas of the course.

Dr Gill said the trainees would also be informed about entrepreneurship development among the rural youth and equipped with the knowledge about cultivation of aromatic and medicinal plants, cultivation of fruit crops and net-house cultivation of vegetables. — TNS



From colleges

Foreign Ambassador’s visit

PCTE Group of Institutes witnessed the visit of Ambassador of Guinea Bissau to India, China and Singapore, Malam Sambu along with Ambassador Deepak Vohra and Jose Bacar Camara, secretary to Ambassador. Sambu visited the campus and said he was very happy to see the state-of-the-art equipment, laboratories, modern outlook, large number of foreign students and faculty. On the visit the Ambassador met the students from Guinea Bissau and was happy to hear about their learning experience at PCTE.

Dr KNS Kang, director general, PCTE Group of Institutes, said though the students were from Portuguese speaking nation, PCTE was organising special courses both in English and Hindi for these students to abridge the gap.

He said the endeavour and visit marked a new chapter in Education between the state of Punjab and Guinea Bissau. He said future admissions of students from the country would further bring new flavour to the professional and corporate multi-cultural environment at PCTE, where 184 students from 19 countries and faculty members from 4 countries already mark their presence on campus, besides French and Lithuanians, who do regular exchanges with PCTE each year. — TNS



From schools

Music competition

Harjot Singh of Class VIII C of Guru Nanak International Public School participated in the 138th Shree Baba Harivallabh Music Competition organised at Devi Talab, Jalandhar. Out of 22 participants, he bagged the second position and was awarded with a cash prize of Rs 1,500 in Non-Percussion Category (Dilruba) in junior group.

Christmas celebrations

Ryan International School, Dugri, conducted a workshop at Rania village on account of Christmas celebrations. Teachers conducted various activities such as card making, flower making and bell making. Students showcased their talent by preparing art and craft items. The school authorities also provided food items to villagers. — TNS



Business news
Gujarat govt lures local hand tools industry 
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
Local hand tools and auto component industry is looking for greener pastures in Gujarat. Recently, during an exhibition organised by the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking (CICU), the Gujarat government exhibited a stall and gave proposals to the local industry for setting up their units in Gujarat.

Officials gave some luring offers which sounded quite beneficial for the local hand tools and auto component industry, said Upkar Singh, joint secretary of CICU.

The state is providing better infrastructure, manageable focal points along with the advantage of the location being near to the port, Singh said.

Suresh Singla, dealing in manufacturing of hand tools, said the proposal was quite impressive and they had already written to the government in this regard. “We are waiting for their reply and will be shortly visiting the state to have a better perspective of the things. The state excels in infrastructure and also the labour problem is not an issue there,” he said.

Another industrialist, Jeevan Sharma, dealing in auto components, said the state government had been promising for setting up of focal points but nothing had been done so far. Our demand for setting up of focal points has fallen on deaf ear to the government, he said. 



Jawed Habib unveils book on hair yoga 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
December brings in the winter season when hair needs utmost care. This was stated by hair expert Jawed Habib while addressing a session yesterday in the city.

He talked in detail about permanent blow dry, 3D colour technique, advanced colouring and creative highlights and innovative texturising cut. The session was
followed by the launch of his book-Hair yoga for the region.

While addressing the queries about hair grooming for the season, Jawed said hair tends to become dry and rough during the winter season due to cold dry air in the atmosphere which leads to problems such as itchy scalp, frizziness, split ends, hair breakage, etc. To take care of these problems Jawed advised to practice ‘hair yoga’, a simple everyday hair care regime.

“This change in weather requires a change in your conditioning habits. So, one should go for nourishing services like hair spa and protein treatments. Healthy hair will any day be more stylish and neat as compared to unhealthy ones. Keep the haircut stylish but easy to manage, wash and wear cuts,” he said.



Machine tool makers attend panel discussion

Ludhiana, December 18
A panel discussion ‘Manufacturing Manthan’ was organised by Ludhiana Machine Tool Industries (ALMTI) and Consortium of Ludhiana Machine Tools Manufacturers (CLMTM).

Manjit Singh Matharoo, general secretary, ALMTI and CLMTM, said ground reality should be taken into consideration while drafting policies.

Mahesh Munjal, managing director, Majestic Auto Limited, said traders should avail of the benefits of various schemes. Kalyan Basu, senior vice-president, SME-North Geography Head, Axis Bank, shared some interesting figures of investments. — TNS



Ludhiana scan

Diabetes camp

Diabetes Free World, an NGO, screened as many as 480 persons for diabetes during the 148th Free Diabetes Camp at Haibowal on Wednesday. A team of doctors from NIMA, Ludhiana, led by Surinder Gupta and Dr Inder Sharma examined the patients suffering from various disorders. The doctors also told the patients about the causes and preventive measures of diabetes.

An appeal

A month-old baby is struggling to survive at the paediatric surgical ICU of CMC Hospital, Ludhiana. The baby was operated for a complex, correctable defect in the food pipe and is making reasonable recovery from the same. Baby’s father is a daily-wage and sole bread earner of the family with two daughters. Now the baby’s condition is better but financial support is required to complete the treatment. The anticipated expense of the treatment is estimated to be Rs 2 lakh. Donations can be sent as multy city cheques or bank drafts to the Christian Medical College Ludhiana society, payable at Ludhiana. Please mention ‘For Baby of Geeta’ at the back of the cheque or draft.


Keeping in mind the inconvenience being faced by thousands of visitors who visit Suvidha Centre at Mini Secretariat, the Deputy Commissioner, Rajat Aggarwal, has asked other senior officials to attend the visitors so that they do not suffer due to the ongoing strike by the employees. Besides, the DC has appealed to the striking employees to join their duties at the earliest.

Safai Mazdoor Union protests

Hundreds of activists of Safai Mazdoor Union and Municipal Employees Union marched to Jalandhar to take part in the state-level rally organised to demand implementation of their long pending demands on Wednesday. Activists led by Chaman Lal, Sham Lal and Satnam Chand raised slogans against the state government before leaving for their destination.

Pensioners’ day

Government Pensioners and their families celebrated pensioners’ day at the Pensioners’ Bhawan on Wednesday. Kedar Nath, Chief Regional Manager, Indian Overseas Bank, was the chief guest on the occasion. Kedar Nath said the management of the bank would never be found wanting in rendering the services to the satisfaction of government pensioners and senior citizens. The pensioners rued that the state government had failed to implement some of the accepted recommendations made by the 5th Punjab Pay Commission in its report. As per the recommendation, the dearness allowance should be converted into dearness pay each time the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased above 50 per cent.


A meeting of Democratic Mid-Day Meal Cook Front, Punjab, was held at Bus Stand, Khanna, under the guidance of vice-president, Punjab, Rajpal Kaur. The meeting flayed the scheme of state government to bring mid-day meal scheme in cities under contract and said that they would oppose any such move. The speakers said although the Education Minister had assured them that they would not be brought under contract system but they would continue their struggle till the state government issues notification in this regard. The meeting warned that if they are not given higher pay as proposed by Centre then they will gherao Central and state ministers.

AS Khanna Trust elections on Feb 2

The elections to the prestigious AS Khanna Trust and Management Society will be held on February 2. A meeting in this regard was held in the office of AS Senior Secondary School, Khanna, under SDM Khanna Anand Sagar Sharma in which the members of advisory committee and principals of AS College and School participated. The meeting decided to hold these elections in AS Modern Senior Secondary School, Khanna, in which about 5,714 voters will exercise their right to cast votes. As per SDM about 1,100 new votes have been added this year and eight educational institutes are running under this management society. It is worthless to say that the management society was run by Congress supporters and the management was suspended some time ago. Now, the election for this management will be a key affair as both main political parties i.e. the Congress and the Akali Dal-BJP will try to control this management.

Motorcycle rally

A motor cycle rally was taken out on Wednesday by the District BJP Trade Cell. The rally started from Circuit House and passed through Ferozepur Road, Ghumar Mandi, Khalsa College Road, Fountain Chowk, Chaura Bazar, Girja Ghar Chowk, Division Number 3 and concluded at Vaishnoo Devi temple. — TNS



PWD Minister's kin shot dead
Victim, a murder convict, was out on parole from Central Jail
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
In an apparent case of revenge killing, a 32-year-old murder convict and relative of PWD Minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, was shot dead at Jhande village near Baddowal today.

The victim has been identified as Amandeep Singh, alias Amni. He was shot at on the head and died on the spot.

The prime suspect, Balwinder Singh and his accomplices, managed to escape from the scene following the shootout. Over 10 rounds were fired during the shootout, out of which four have been recovered by the police.

Joginder Singh, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCP-III), said the victim was undergoing prison sentence at the Central Jail in a murder case. He was out on parole. The shots were fired at indiscriminately.The victim, Amandeep Singh, had killed Harjit Singh, accused Balwinder Singh's father, nearly six years ago.

The incident took place this afternoon when Amandeep Singh, who was currently staying along with his family in Moga, was on a visit to the village along with his wife.

According to available information, when Amandeep reached near the gas agency, he was intercepted by Balwinder Singh. Amandeep alighted from the vehicle and both of them indulged in a heated argument. Residents of the village tired to resolve the fight, but soon Balwinder's friends joined him. They reportedly assaulted Amandeep and shot him from a point -blank range.

The entire incident took place in front of the victim's wife, who was reportedly sitting in the vehicle. She raised the alarm, but the assailants fled the spot. Soon, the Sadar police also reached the spot and began the probe. The body of Amandeep was sent to Civil Hospital for a post-mortem examination.

While speaking to The Tribune, PWD Minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon said that the victim was his relative.

Family feud led to three murders

The police said a family feud had led to three murders in the village. Amandeep Singh’s grandfather was killed by Harjit Singh following a clash nearly a decade ago. In 2008, Amandeep Singh took the revenge of his grandfather's killing and killed Harjit Singh. On Wednesday, Balwinder Singh settled the old score and shot Amandeep dead. 



Man hit by cop’s car, killed
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
Heavy fog is taking its toll and leading to frequent road accidents. In the latest incident, Ashwani Kumar posted at the Munshi Kotwali police station was booked in a hit-and-run case.

The 38-year-old victim identified as Lalit Kumar of Barewal was dragged to a distance leading to his death.

Dharampal, SHO, Division No 5 police station, said prima facie Ashwani was arrested and a case under Section 304 - A of the IPC for negligent driving leading to death of a man was registered against the accused.

"We are also probing whether the victim was hit by some other vehicle and got stuck under Ashwani’s car," said Dharampal.

Police sources said the forensic team of the police would investigate the case and file its report on whether the victim was hit by Ashwani's car or not.

The incident took place near Ansal Plaza on Ferozpur road last night when Ashwani Kumar was retuning home. According to available information, Lalit was travelling on a scooter and when he reached near Ansal Plaza at Ferozpur road he was hit by Tata Indigo car being driven by Ashwani Kumar.

It is learnt that after being hit, Lalit got stuck under the car and was dragged to a distance.

Commuters stopped the vehicle and pulled out Lalit Kumar from beneath the car and rushed him to the hospital. The victim was supplier of machine tools.

The victim's relatives levelled allegation of drunk driving against Ashwani Kumar. They demanded that a medical examination of the policeman be conducted to find out whether he was under the influence of liquor or not.

"How the policeman did not come to know that he had hit a man and the victim had got stuck underneath his vehicle. It can only happen in two cases. Either he was trying to escape after the accident or he was under the influence of liquor," said the victim's relatives. 



Thieves decamp with cash, gold

Ludhiana, December 18
Thieves struck at the house of an industrialist in the Maya Nagar near Ghumar Mandi and decamped with cash, gold ornaments, valuables and home appliances worth lakhs of rupees.

The incident took place this afternoon when the industrialist, Minku, was attending the bhog ceremony of his mother Paramjit Kaur at Shri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara.

“Thieves have taken away almost everything. They have not even left TV. I have not ascertained the loss so far,” said Minku. The police have started a probe. —TNS



Youth booked for abducting girl 

Khanna, December 18
The Khanna police have registered a case of abduction into the alleged disappearance of a minor girl of Jaspalon village.

Inder Yadav, a resident of UP currently a resident of Jaspalon village, in his complaint to the police said his daughter a student of Class VIII had gone to her school at Jaspalon village on December 16 in the morning but never returned.

After the girl failed to turn up, Inder along with his wife and others searched her but failed to locate her. In his statement, Inder alleged that his girl might have been abducted by Raj Kumar, a resident of the same village, on the pretext of marrying her.

The Khanna sadar police have registered a case against Raj Kumar under Sections 363 and 366A of the IPC and the search is on.

SI Kulwant Kaur confirmed the incident and said both the abducted girl and the boy concerned belong to migrant labourer families and at present their families were staying at Jaspalon village. She said the girl was a minor and the age of the boy was yet to be confirmed.— OC



Man arrested for molestation 

Ludhiana, December 18
The Jodhewal police have arrested a person for molesting and threatening the owner of a beauty parlour in the Sunder Nagar area. A case under Sections 354, 506 of the IPC and Section 66 of the Information Technology Act has been registered. The incident occurred on December 13. The victim said the accused barged into the office and molested her.


A cloth trader from Hoshiarpur was thrashed and robbed of Rs 80,000 by three assailants near Chand Cinema today. Residents complained that incidents of snatching, eve-teasing and rape were on the rise in the Salem Tabri area. The complainant, Sandeep Kumar, stated that three youths intercepted him and took away the money.

Futile attempt

Robbers made a futile attempt to break open an ATM of a bank at Lohara. The siren in the machine went off following which the robbers fled the scene.

Till the time of filing the report, the police had reached the spot.



1,765 plastic string rollers confiscated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
Three teams constituted by the Deputy Commissioner, Rajat Aggarwal, comprising officials from the district administration, police and an NGO, conducted raids at several places and confiscated 1,765 plastic string rollers from different shops. About 1,200 strings were confiscated from Bittu Packing Nim Wala Chowk, 65 string rolls from Sharma Fireworks and 500 string rollers from Laddoo Patang Shop.

The DC said despite ban orders, the shopkeepers were selling the strings. "The teams, including District Revenue Officer Mukesh Sharma, tehsildars and police officials, along with members of Panchi Sewa Samiti, an NGO taking care of birds, conducted raids and confiscated the string rolls. Action will be taken against the shopkeepers for violating Section 144 ", said Aggarwal. 



Robbers attack octogenarian
Condition critical; decamp with cash, valuables from house in Prem Nagar 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
Armed robbers attacked an octogenarian and decamped with uncounted cash and valuables from his house in Prem Nagar near the Field Gunj area.

The victim has been identified as Amir Singh (80). He was rushed to Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMC& H). His condition was stated to be critical.

He has sustained head injuries and suffered blood loss. The police said the incident took place at midnight.

The police are suspecting that more than two persons were involved in the crime. The investigating officer has not ruled out the involvement of an acquaintance behind the attack. The robbers used a "thapi" (wooden bat) used for washing clothes and even took away the scooter of the octogenarian.

Gurinder Singh, victim’s son, who lives in the Dugri area, said that he was yet to take the stock of the loss. He said the robbers had ransacked the entire house.

The incident came to light this morning when the sweeper came to the house and was shocked to find Amir Singh laying unconscious.

He raised the alarm. Soon, the area residents gathered at the spot and informed the victim’s relative and the police about the incident.

Initially, the residents thought that Amir Singh had succumbed to injuries, but the police arrived at the spot and found that Amir was alive. He was soon rushed to the hospital.

The victim is the father of nine children, seven daughters and two sons, and he was living alone in the house. He wife Mohinder Kaur died a few years ago.



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