L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


50-year-old man ends life
Tribune News Service

The victim, Nafis.

Ludhiana, December 19
A 50-year-old man reportedly committed suicide by setting himself ablaze at his house in Punjabi Baag Colony, Jodhewal Basti, this morning.

The deceased, identified as Nafis, a native of Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, also fell off the second floor of the building after he set himself afire.

Nafis was embroider and was staying with his family in Punjabi Baag Colony.

The police maintained that prima facie it appeared that Nafis committed suicide by setting himself ablaze and jumping off the second floor of the building. However, the victim's brother, Rakif, claimed that Nafis was murdered.

He said some assailants might have set Nafis afire before pushing him off the second floor.

The incident came to light when residents of the area saw Nafis’ charred body in a vacant plot.

Shocked over the incident, Nafis’ family members informed the police.

The body was taken to the Civil Hospital for post-mortem. The police also searched Nafis’ room but failed to find any clue. 


Centre of impeded facilities 
Applicants suffer as Suwidha Centre staff go on strike 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
Unaware of the strike, a large number of applicants reached Suwidha Centre today only to return disappointed. Some applicants were asked to go to other offices to get their work done.

Though the district administration had made alternative arrangements, it was of little help as the subsidiary staff had to do the work manually.

Makeshift arrangements have been made and duties have been assigned to ensure that the applicants do not suffer, said Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal.

However, those seeking services like counter sign, self declaration, registration of marriages, arms licence, ration cards and birth and death certificates suffered due to the strike.

“Manual working is tedious and time consuming,” said an employee deputed to help the applicants. For about 25 services, a committee comprising a tehsildar, an employee from the MA branch and another from the food and supplies department has been constituted by the DC at Suvidha Centre to facilitate applicants. "We have urged the striking employees to join duty to avoid inconvenience to the visitors,” said the DC.

Sukhpal Singh, a senior citizen, said he visited Suvidha Centre to get the death certificate of his mother, but he was asked to get it from the civil surgeon’s office. “I took an auto from Salem Tabri to reach Suvidha Centre and now I will have to go to the civil surgeon’s office. It’s disturbing,” he lamented.



Dept earns Rs 3.49 lakh

Ludhiana, December 19
An auction of the remaining numbers in the PB-DU series was held at Bachat Bhawan. The department earned Rs 3.49 lakh from the auction of numbers in the 101-9999 series. PB-DU 1000 fetched Rs 31,000. The department also auctioned numbers in the PB-DS series and earned Rs 1.61 lakh. The next auction will be held in January.

Police raid

The police tightened their noose around people consuming liquor in cars at the Sarabha Nagar market. A raid was conducted in the evening as there were several complaints that people consumed liquor in cars. — TNS



Fog plays havoc with travel plans
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 19
With weather god refusing to relent and thick blanket of fog engulfing the region, the rail traffic continues to be erratic with trains running behind schedule for hours together.

While railway officials are at their wits end and just wait for the fog to clear and visibility to improve, passengers remain at the receiving end.

The rail traffic on the New Delhi-Ludhiana-Amritsar section is the worst affected as almost all the trains on this section running late for the third consecutive day today.

Railway officials said the 12497 New Delhi-Amritsar Shan-e-Punjab arrived 6.45 hours late while its corresponding train the 12498 Amritsar-New Delhi Shan-e-Punjab was running behind schedule by 7.10 hours.

The 12031 New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi Express was late by 1.10 hours while the New Delhi-Ludhiana Shatabdi Express was delayed by 40 minutes. The 12460 Amritsar-New Delhi Intercity was running late by 4.40 hours as its corresponding train the 12459 New Delhi-Amritsar Intercity was delayed by 7.10 hours.

The pair of trains — 14681/14682 New Delhi-Jalandhar-New Delhi Intercity Express — was behind schedule by 2.45 and 7.20 hours, respectively.

The other trains which are running behind schedule include the 12469 Kanpur-Jammu Barfani Express (8 hours), 12331 Kolkata-Jammu Himgiri Express (4.05 hours), 15707 Katihar-Amritsar Amarapali Express (4.15 hours), 12550 Jammu-Durg Superfast Express (5.10 hours), 12475 Hapa-Jammu Sarvodaya Express (2.40 hours), 12919 Indore-Jammu Malwa Express (2.25 hours), 14605 Lal Kuan-Amritsar Express (6.25 hours), 12317 Sealdah-Amritsar Akaltakht Express (3.15 hours), 12407 New Jalpaiguri-Amrtisar Karambhoomi Express (3.35 hours), 15209 Saharsa-Amritsar Jansewa Express (4.15 hours) and 14673 Jaynagar-Amritsar Shaheed Express (7.05 hours).

Inderbir Singh, who was to travel to the national capital by the Amritsar-New Delhi Intercity Express to make a presentation for a forthcoming event, had to cancel his journey at the last minute as the train was delayed by more than four hours. Inderbir said he had a tough time convincing the organisers to put off the presentation for a day.

Another passenger, Ashok Garg, said if one had to attend a time-bound meeting or attend a function, it is not advisable to travel by train.



Departmental store gutted
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 19
A departmental store was gutted near level crossing on Sherpur Road when a fire broke out at 8.30 pm on Wednesday.

The fire could be doused this morning. A computer, cellphones, a refrigerator, a photostate machine and several other goods worth lakhs were gutted. Owner of the shop Sunil Kumar said he suffered a loss of Rs 4 lakh.

"I closed the shop around 8 pm on Wednesday and as I reached home, one of the shopkeepers called me to inform about the incident. I rushed to the spot only to find the building engulfed in flames,” said Sunil Kumar.

"We made several calls to fire brigade stations at Moga and Ludhiana, but no fire tender reached the spot,” lamented Sunil.

Senior officials of police and civil administration, including DSP, Jagraon, Surinder Kumar, SDM Apneet Rayat visited the spot this morning.

The cause of the fire is yet to the ascertained.

The fire incident once again highlighted the need of a fire station at Jagraon.

Executive officer of the Jagraon Municipal Council Davinder Singh Toor said orders for buying a truck for the fire tender have already been placed.



Year 2013 ender
Voices of enlightenment fade away
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

A blockade puts commuters to inconvenience in Ludhiana.
A blockade puts commuters to inconvenience in Ludhiana. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, December 19
It was a good and not so good year for the education department. Government schoolteachers, TET passed unemployed candidates, teachers and non-teaching staff working under the RMSA/SSA expressed disgust at the policies framed by the government.

Even the Teacher's Day was not celebrated as the Education Minister, Sikander Singh Maluka, was out of the country.

The staff of aided schools in Punjab had to resort to agitation to get their pending salaries released in 2013. Protests were held in the district and at the state-level. Despite raising their voice, teachers in primary schools have not received their salary to date and their struggle continues.

The state government and the education department was supposed to start the recruitment process in schools, but nothing of the sort happened and the Teachers' Eligibility Test (TET) passed unemployed teachers are still awaiting appointments. The government has set December 28 as the next date for the test.

Controversies surrounding the Mid-Day Meal Scheme refused to die down even as the meals were prepared by cooks. A majority of schools faced an acute shortage of funds throughout the year. 


  • The Central Board of Secondary Education introduced problem solving assessment and assessment of teaching and listening in schools. This helped polish the skills of students. The national conference on Future Ready Schools-Vision 2020 in Amritsar was an eye-opener for 30 principals from Ludhiana.
  • The Mai Bhago Scheme gave a chance to poor and needy girl students to be independent. They were given bicycles under the scheme. The education department spent ~65 lakh on creating subject corners in schools.
  • One of the projects of the district resource person (maths), Sanjiv Taneja, was selected by Microsoft. He will present the project at Spain 
    in March, 2014.


  • Aided schoolteachers, TET candidates and non-teaching staff working under the RMSA/SSA held a protest, inconveniencing the general public.
  • The pen-down strike by non-teaching employees working under the RMSA/SSA helped students from classes I to VIII get their winter uniform on time.
  • Cooks working under the Mid-Day Meal Scheme, too, had to protest to get their salaries released.
  • Primary schoolteachers in aided schools have not got their salaries for the past seven to eight months.
  • The state government failed to merge aided schools with government schools, despite rallies and protests by staff of aided schools.



Now, traders can pay lump sum advance tax
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
The Excise and Taxation Department has opened a refund fund account in HDFC Bank for making collections under advance tax. The account number is 30291000000444 for depositing cheques and drafts and the client code is ETC 
Punjab. "Traders face a great difficulty in taking cash/drafts to the ICCs barriers. Now, they can deposit lump sum advance tax in the account of the department. The amount can be deposited at any of the 400 branches of the bank by cash or draft/cheque," said Anurag Verma, Excise and Taxation Commissioner.

He said dealers could also submit drafts in the office of the AETC till 2 pm everyday and the bank would collect all drafts from the office of the respective AETCs.

The department has developed a software which is linked to the server of the bank. All payments received by the bank by 1 pm on any working day and 11 am on Saturdays will be uploaded on the server of the department by 6 pm. On entering the state through any ICC barrier, the advance tax due against vehicles will be deducted from the lump sum amount deposited by the dealers. A receipt giving the number of the vehicle, time of clearance at the ICC, unique transaction number, the amount of the advance tax corresponding to that transaction and the balance lump sum advance tax available will be issued. 



MC Commissioner for industrial parks in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking (CICU) met Rahul Tiwari, Commissioner, Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, today. Tiwari visited Focal Point and places where roads were in a pitiable condition.

He also visited Industrial Area-C and met president and office-bearers of all industrial associations of Focal Point and the CII.

Rahul Tiwari said all roads would be repaired and industrial parks would be developed by the civic body.

"The parks will be handed over to the associations for upkeep," he said.

He said encroachments alongside roads and parks would be removed.

He urged the industrialists not to throw garbage in sewers. He asked senior officials to display phone numbers for unclogging sewerage and repairing streetlights in every phase of the Focal Point.

Avtar Singh, president, CICU, submitted a memorandum to the Commissioner and requested him to solve the problems of the industry.

Upkar Singh Ahuja, general secretary, CICU, asked the Commissioner to construct a parking lot for trucks and tractor-trailers.

Rahul Ahuja, regional chairman of the CII, Punjab chapter, thanked the Commissioner for listening to their grievances. 



Unaided schools allege raw deal by govt
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
The unaided and affiliated schools in Punjab have expressed anguish over the "step-motherly" treatment being meted out to them by the ruling SAD-BJP alliance.

The unaided/affiliated schools maintained that the Joint Action Committee of Affiliated Schools had always extended cooperation to the government, be it political rallies or elections. Members of the committee said the ruling alliance should come to the rescue of affiliated schools by exempting them from the property tax. Besides, the electricity should be provided to them as it was being provided to government schools.

Rajinder Sharma, one of the members of the Joint Action Committee of Affiliated Schools, said the state government had provided scholarships to meritorious students of government schools while the students in un-aided schools were being given a raw deal.

The members of the committee threatened that if the state government did not come to the rescue of the affiliated schools, the action committee would totally boycott the SAD/BJP alliance and even the Punjab School Education Board.

Members of the Joint Action Committee claimed that they had been contributing towards electoral wins of the ruling alliance since 1997 Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. They said they neglected their homes/families to garner votes for the alliance partners but Education Minister Sikandar Singh Maluka never recognised their contributions.

Submitting a memorandum to Additional Deputy Commissioner (G) Neeru Katyal today, members of the Joint Action Committee also said whenever they met the Education Minister, he never appreciated the efforts of the affiliated schools and instead had a negative view about them. The members said the president of the Joint Action Committee Jagdish Rai Sharma and his team had done so much during the MC elections in Patiala under the guidance of the Education Minister but the latter did not realise their hard work.



Yuletide season is here
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
A procession was carried out in the city today to mark the arrival of festive season. The Park Plaza organised the carnival to celebrate the festive spirit preceding Christmas and New Year. “The procession was carried out to celebrate the season with the residents and underprivileged children,” said Umeish Yadav of the Park Plaza.

The hotel staff and residents were part of the procession that passed through different parts of the city, including Bharat Nagar Chowk, Mall Road, Civil Lines and Sarabha Nagar, and culminated at Bal Bhawan. Games and other activities were conducted for children at Bal Bhawan. 



Water garden plants catch fancy of residents
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
Water garden plants are a common sight in most of the houses in the city. Plants like hyacinth, lotus, water lettuce, water lily, cyprus alternisolius, cycpus papyrus, syngoniums, black beauty and umbrella palms are being used by residents to spruce up their gardens.

Juhi Bakshi from Technocare Nursery said the trend was fast catching on. "Although many people have water gardens, some refrain from developing these, fearing mosquito breeding," Bakshi stated.

Snails or frogs liven up the gardens. Statues of ducks and frogs can be added to make these look even more beautiful. "Plants like syngoniums don't even need mud and can only be anchored with stones. This is the peak time for water plants to flourish," she said. Many people have small gardens and grow these plants on the sides. Rather than having mud in water, many keep flower pots submerged in water. The plants can also be kept in flower pots. "Keeping water plants add another dimension to the water bodies," said Preeti, a Civil Lines resident.



Skill development workshop at GGI
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
The Gulzar Group of Institutes (GGI) held a workshop for the overall skill development of students.

To ensure that their students excel in their first jobs, GGI hosted a talk-cum-workshop organised by the MindFirst, a centre aiming at maximising the human potential.

Jinne Rait, a life coach and organisational consultant from the Mind First, conducted the workshop for the final year students of MBA and BTech. Rait told the students that it would be helpful if they maintained relations by assuming a positive stance to criticism. She said that school and institutes focus too much on academics at the cost of overall development of students but research showed that more than intelligence quotient (IQ), it was a person's emotional quotient (EQ) that determines a person's ultimate success and happiness in life. 



PAU employees’ union poll on Jan 10
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
The election of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Employees Union will be held on January 10. The election committee of the union has announced the schedule for elections. It also issued instructions to the contesting groups to maintain peace during the polls.

The chairman of the election committee, Gurjit Singh, has issued a letter to all the contesting groups with several instructions. As per the committee's directions, election rallies should only be addressed by members of the PAU Employees Union. No outsider is allowed to address the rallies or intervene in the election process.

The election committee instructed that during elections, the posters seeking votes can only be displayed on notice boards. Gurjit Singh stated that defacement of wall of any building on the PAU premises by pasting posters would not be tolerated. Strict action will be taken against the defaulting group contesting the polls, he added.

The committee also restricted the use of loudspeakers during election campaigns. The contesting groups cannot use caricature of any member of the union in connection with the elections. The election campaigners cannot use derogatory or unparliamentarily language against any contestant or activist.

"The chairmen of the contesting groups will take care and ensure that proper discipline is maintained during election process," stated Gurjit Singh.

As per the poll schedule, the candidates can fill their nominations till December 24. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is December 26. The election committee will allot the venue for rallies on December 27 and release the final list of voters on January 6. The elections will be held on January10 followed by counting of votes on January 11. 



‘Time to defend vision of revolutionaries’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
The Social Thinkers Forum and the Lok Sahit Manch jointly organised a seminar to commemorate the National Integration Day at Punjabi Bhawan here today.

The organisers said in the times when communal riots were being orchestrated in a planned manner, it was urgently required to remind people of the earlier times when Indians joined hands, irrespective of their region or religion, to fight for the country’s freedom.

Speakers at the seminar recalled the Kakori conspiracy case of 1827. Martyrs of the Indian Independence movement were remembered. Patriots Ram Prasad Bismal, Ashfaqullah Khan, Rajinder Lahiri and Thakur Roshan Singh were hanged on this day in 1927. They were part of the Hindustan Republican Association, of which Shaheed Bhagat Singh and Chandra Shekhar Azad were prominent members.

Prof Harish Puri, a retired professor, BR Ambedkar Chair, Department of Political Science, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, delivered the keynote address.

An organiser of the event said the riots at Muzaffarnagar in UP were the latest in the series of organised communal violence, after Delhi 1984, Bombay 1992 and Gujarat 2002. “It is a collective failure of the Centre and state governments on the one hand and of the social and political institutions of our society on the other,” a member said.

Convenor of the forum Dr Arun Mitra spoke about her visit to Muzaffarnagar. “Communal riots were engineered leading to the death of 50 people. Later, 50 children died in the makeshift camps,” he said.

The general secretary of the Lok Sahit Manch, Mitter Sen Meet, cautioned that the intelligentsia had to come to the front to defend the vision of revolutionaries.



Two-day PIMACON from tomorrow

Ludhiana, December 19
The annual conference of the Indian Medical Association, Punjab, (PIMACON-2013), will be held on December 21 and 22 at the IMA House here. More than 800 delegates are expected to attend the conference. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal will be the chief guest on the occasion.

The conference will have several academic sessions. On December 21, a techno-knee workshop will be held at Fortis Hospital, Ludhiana, while one on basic life support system will be organised at the DMCH. Scientific lectures on various subjects will be held in the evening on December 21and 22.

A meeting of the state council will be held in the afternoon on December 21. — TNS



Business News

Manufacturing & engg expo from today

Ludhiana is prepared to gear up for another biggest exposition in manufacturing and engineering from December 20 to 23 at the GlADA grounds on the Chandigarh road. The expo is being organised by the Association of Ludhiana Machine Tool Institutions (ALMTI) and the Consortium of Machine Tool Manufacturers (CMTM). The event will aid exhibitors market their products and services in specific regions depending on the individual business requirements in various sectors like machine tools and accessories, automation, hydraulics and pneumatics, process plant machinery and equipment instrumentation, light and medium industries, and electrical and electronics. With over 3,50,000 kg of machinery having moved in, the show is intended to pull visitors from various industries for business purposes. — TNS



Ludhinana Scan
Medical check-up camp

Ludhiana: A free medical check-up camp is being organised by the Ludhiana City Club on December 20 from 10 am to 2 pm in Sukhdev Singh Bhawan, Punjab Agricultural University. Doctors from Vasan Eye Care will examine eye patients while Dr Munish Garg from Care Clinic will attend to the orthopaedic patients. Tests for eyes and bones will be conducted free of cost. The PAU pensioners, employees, teachers and general public could avail of the benefit of the camp.

Children’s book released

District Education Officer (secondary) Paramjit Kaur on Thursday released a children's book titled "Kahaniyaan da kaav roop" penned by Jaswant Singh Sarabha, a Punjabi teacher of Government Senior Secondary School, Rajgarh. The author picked stories from the school syllabus and transformed them into poems. "The language used by me is very easy, interesting and kids will find it entertaining too," said Jaswant Singh.

Annual function to be held today

An annual function titled 'Goonj' will be organised by the IIAE Educational Society at Nehru Sidhant Kendra on December 20. Students would perform skit, folk dance, modeling etc during the event.

Lokpal Bill: Cong camp celebrates

Workers of the Congress celebrated the passing of the Lok Pal Bill in the Parliament by distributing sweets. A senior Congress leader Krishan Kumar Bawa said the efforts of social worker Anna Hazare and vice-president of the All India Congress Committee (AICC), Rahul Gandhi, helped in passing of the bill in the Parliament.

Christmas march

The Council of Ludhiana Churches will organise a Christmas procession in the city on December 21. It will start from Issa Nagari.

Panel elected

Election of nine members of the working committee of the Kabir House Building Society for a term of five years were conducted in a meeting presided over by Tanvir Singh Dhaliwal, Councillor, Ward No 59. Among those elected were Bhagwan Singh, Subash Verma, Tara Singh, Baljit Kaur, Amarjit Singh Sidhu, Ajit Singh Shivraj, Davinder Singh Walia, Karan Bhalla and Jogi Jagdeep Singh.

Bicycles distributed

Amloh: Government Senior Secondary School, Naraingarh, held its annual prize distribution function on the school campus on Thursday. SAD district chief and halqa in-charge Jagdeep Singh Cheema, the chief guest, gave away prizes to the toppers in the fields of education, sports, cultural activities and class attendance. He distributed 73 cycles under the Mai Bhago Scheme to girl students of Classes XI and XII. While presenting the school's annual report, principal Jaspal Singh Gill said Class X-student Harpreet Kaur secured 86 per cent marks in board examinations and was awarded Dr Hargobind Khorana scholarship of Rs 30,000 for two years. Cheema announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh for the school and assured to take up the matter of the theft of computers from the school with the DGCE. — TNS



Man booked for rape
Tribune reporters

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 19
The Sadar police have booked a resident of Gill village for raping a minor girl. The accused, identified as Raju Singh, is yet to be arrested. SHO Jasbir Singh said the victim was alone at home at the time of the incident. A case under Sections 376 of the IPC and 3/4 of the Protection of Children From Sexual Offence Act has been registered against the accused.

Purse snatched

Ludhiana: Two motorcycle-borne youths snatched a purse from a woman. The complainant, Harjit Kaur, a resident of Thrike area, said the youths took away her purse in the Feroze Gandhi market. In another incident, youths riding a motorcycle snatched a purse from Kiran Verma at Hira Singh Road near Ghumar Mandi.

I-T surveys

An amount of Rs 7.5 crore was surrendered by two groups following Income Tax surveys. The surveys were conducted under the supervision of Additional Commissioner, Range I, BK Singh on the directions of the Commissioner of IT (CIT I), BB Nanavati. New Cone Group surrendered Rs 6.5 crore while Jindal Agro surrendered Rs 1 crore. 



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