L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rs 1,600 cr for strengthening power infrastructure
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 27
The Punjab Government has formulated an ambitious Rs 1,600-crore plan to revamp and upgrade the power supply infrastructure in the state and work in this regard has already been taken in hand in 47 towns having a population of 30,000 or more.

Addressing public meetings in various villages in the course of the "sangat darshan" programme today, Punjab PWD Minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon said under the project, new substations would be set up, the capacity of transformers will be enhanced and new distribution equipment, including poles and cables, would be laid wherever required.

The minister said Punjab had taken a step forward towards becoming a power-surplus state with the commissioning of the Talwandi Sabo and Rajpura thermal power projects. Claiming that there would be no power shortage during the next summer, he said in order to provide uninterrupted supply to the people, the government had chalked out a plan to strengthen the transmission and distribution system.

According to Dhillon, work had already commenced for upgrading the power supply infrastructure for several towns and it would be further accelerated from January. 


Now, file property tax returns in 10 HDFC branches
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
As the last date for getting a 10 per cent rebate on filing property tax returns is nearing, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has tied up more branches of the HDFC where residents can file their returns. With just four days left for the last date, which is December 31, the MC has been able to recover only around Rs 44 crore so far, of which the major contribution has been by the residential sector.

Earlier, the MC had tied up with four HDFC branches -- Miller Ganj, Kidwai Nagar, Rishi Nagar and Mall Road. Now, residents will also be able to file their property tax returns at the bank branches located in Dugri, Barewal Road, Chandigarh Road, Kalsi Nagar, Pakhowal Road and Focal Point.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, MC Additional Commissioner Isha Kalia said for easy payment of the tax and complete information regarding property tax, one could also log on www.mcludhiana.gov.in.

"Residents can enquire about the tax and the calculation method from the helpline number 97800-22410. They can also file their returns in 10 branches of HDFC Bank. The state government has made it categorically clear that this is the last time the date has be extended," said Kalia.

On December 10, the state government extended the last date for filing property tax returns with a 10 per cent rebate till December 31. Besides, the last date for filing the return without a 10 per cent rebate has been extended till January 31. After January 31, they will have to pay tax with 25 per cent penalty and those who do not clear the tax amount by March 31, will have to pay 50 per cent penalty along with 18 per cent interest.

The MC had started its recovery drive of property tax from October 2. Since this tax is based on a self-assessment method, residents can calculate the amount they have to pay as tax.

Where you can file your returns

Earlier, the MC had tied up with four HDFC branches -- Miller Ganj, Kidwai Nagar, Rishi Nagar and Mall Road. Now, residents will also be able to file their property tax returns at the bank branches located in Dugri, Barewal Road, Chandigarh Road, Kalsi Nagar, Pakhowal Road and Focal Point



acid attack on girl
City mourns victim’s death
Women hold candlelight march outside Deputy Commissioner’s office
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 27
Women from different walks of life took out a candlelight march in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office at the Mini-Secretariat here today to mourn the death of the acid attack victim, who was attacked in a saloon recently.

Activists of the All-India Working Women Forum, the All-India Trade Union Congress (working women wing) and the Punjab Istri Sabha, who led the march, condemned the state government and the law enforcement machinery for their failure to ensure the safety of women.

Expressing shock over the gruesome attack on the girl, which claimed her life, Dr Narjit Kaur, convener of the forum, said the culprits had planned the killing in an inhuman manner, and nothing less than the death penalty for them would meet the ends of justice.

Punjab Istri Sabha chief Gurcharan Kocher said law should take its course against the culprits and dispensation of timely justice in such cases was of immense importance. She demanded more stringent laws to deal with such dastardly acts of crime against women.

The women activists said a delegation of women from Punjab would raise the issue of acid attacks and other crimes against women at a national conference being held in Delhi on January 10 and 11 on the theme of “safety of women at workplaces”.

The forum, Istri Sabha and the Pragatisheel Lekhak Manch, will hold a convention on “Women’s role in development and decision-making process - challenges and opportunities” on January 18, they said.

Youth Akali Dal workers and activists of the Action Against Corruption, led by Gurdeep Singh Gosha and Chanderkant Chadha, jointly took out a candlelight march from Clock Tower to Girja Ghar Chowk to pay homage to the victim of the acid attack. They demanded adequate compensation to the family of the victim and the death penalty for the perpetrators of the crime.

Give exemplary punishment to the accused, say residents 

The death of the acid attack victim, who was targeted in a local saloon and was undergoing treatment in a Mumbai hospital, has shocked residents of the city. They want strict punishment for the perpetrators of the crime. Ludhiana Tribune spoke to a cross section of people to know what they had to say.

"The day this gruesome incident occurred was a black day. It is a great tragedy. The girl died for no fault of hers. This incident is an eye-opener to the depths 'societal values have plunged'. It is a blot on the social system. It is not only the result of male chauvinism; it also speaks volumes about the degradation of moral values. "

— Dr Gurbhajan Singh Gill, president, Punjabi Sahit Akademi

"What happened is very unfortunate. This act was inhuman wherein a woman became an enemy of another woman. Women are supposed to be a paragon of patience. The perpetrators of the crime should be strictly punished."

— Dr Narinder Kaur, Principal, Ramgarhia Girls College

"What happened was extremely shocking. This was a crime against humanity. Society must unite to combat crime. Stringent punishment should be given to the criminals. Such cases should be dealt with in fast-track courts and a time-bound verdict must be delivered. "

— Dr R Vatsyayan, Ayurvedacharya

"This is a sad day and the societal fabric should be such that people shouldn’t even think about such crimes, let alone commit these. It is inhuman that a girl who was readying to get married with expectations of a new life was victimised in such a gruesome manner. This shows the diminishing moral values. The rule of law must take its course and the perpetrators of the crime should be dealt with in a fitting way."

—  Dr MS Sidhu, Head of Economics Department, PAU

"This is sad and should not have happened. Another precious life has been lost to an acid attack. Those who committed this crime must be dealt with in a way that it sets a standard and should induce fear in others whenever they think of crossing the line."

— Dr Paramjit Kaur, Principal, BCM Arya Model School



Despite ban, sale of acid goes unchecked 
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, December 27
Despite repeated incidents of acid attacks on women, acid is being soled openly in Jagraon.

Though the district administration has imposed a ban on the sale of acid, a large number of shopkeepers are selling acid in Jagraon, putting the lives of people at risk.

The administration had banned the sale of acid after a youth allegedly threw acid on a girl in a beauty saloon in Ludhiana on December 7. The victim, who hailed from Barnala, succumbed to her injuries today in a Mumbai hospital, where she was undergoing treatment.

Acid is easily available in the market in Jagraon. A team of Ludhiana Tribune, posing as customers, visited over a dozen shops in several areas, including Raikot Road, Fili Gate, Kukkar Bazar, Latpat Rai Road, Railway Road, Old Grain Market and Nehru Market, and managed to purchase acid from a majority of these shops without any difficulty.

Interestingly, a 16-year-old boy also managed to purchase acid from a grocery store. None of the shopkeepers asked for an identity proof from the customers, which is in violation of the guidelines set by the administration for the sale of acid.

Shopkeepers said they were not aware about the new guidelines laid down by the administration for the sale of acid. "We haven't received any information in this regard from the administration. It is the duty of the authorities to inform shopkeepers about any new instructions issued by them," said a local shopkeeper on condition of anonymity.

The administration appears to be in a deep slumber on this sensitive issue. No inspection has been carried out to check the sale of acid in Jagraon by the authorities so far.


Jagraon SDM Apneet Rayat said instructions had been issued to the shopkeepers in this regard. "We will inform the shopkeepers about the new guidelines laid down for the sale of acid through different sources. Soon, we will inspect shops and if anyone is found selling acid in violation of these guidelines, action will be taken against the defaulter," said the SDM. 



Phase-II to get over today
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
In a good news for the city residents, the second phase of laying concrete girders on the delayed Lakkar Bridge project will take place tomorrow. The first phase of laying concrete girders on a 35-metre portion of the bridge took place on November 23.

For carrying out this work, heavy cranes and specialised manpower have been hired by the contractor. The work on this project will start at 8 am tomorrow. The contractor plans to complete the second phase by evening.

The contractor told The Tribune that the necessary traffic closure as well as the safety clearance from Commissioner (Railway Safety), New Delhi, has been received from the Railways.

It is learnt that to erect cemented girders on the entire stretch of the Lakkar Bridge project (located over the railway tracks), a total of four such phases are required. One phase would be completed every month, said the contractor.

The sloppy handling of the Lakkar bridge project by the staff of the Municipal Corporation, Punjab Public Works Department and the Northern Railways has resulted in a fourfold increase in the cost originally envisaged. When the project was initiated, its cost was estimated at Rs 13 crore, a figure that has now gone up to Rs 58 crore.

Although the upward ramps of the 933.162-metre long bridge from the Civil Lines and Reikhy Cinema sides have been built, the portion on top of the railway tracks is yet to be completed.



National award for farm institute director
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
Dr MS Mahal, director, Punjab Agricultural Management and Extension Training Institute, has received a national level award, Bharat Jyoti Award.

The India International Friendship Society (IIFS), New Delhi, conferred the award on him for his “meritorious services, outstanding performance and remarkable role in the society”.

In a function organised by the society at New Delhi recently, Dr Mahal was presented a trophy and commendation certificate.

Dr Mahal has already received many prestigious awards including ICAR's Jawaharlal Nehru Award, Shiromani Punjab Rattan Award (Shaheed Memorial International Sewa Society) and PAU Foundation Award.

He founded the Indian Society for the Advancement of Insect Science. 



Three-year-old boy gets gift of hearing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
A team of surgeons headed by distinguished ENT specialist Dr JM Hans performed cochlear implant on a three-year-old boy from Samrala. The child, Devansh, is deaf and mute since birth.

Padma Shri awardee Dr Hans, honorary ENT consultant to the Prime Minister of India, was aided by Dr Rajeev Kapila, senior ENT consultant, Ludhiana Mediways.

Cochlea is the innermost part of the ear. The doctors said when cochlea gets damaged, hearing is lost. If cochlear implant is put at the right time inside the ear, it can work like cochlea, they said.

A cochlear implant is a computerised device that provides hearing to people with 'nerve deafness' by stimulating the hearing nerve with coded electrical signals.

For children, who are deaf from birth, it should be done as early as possible. Younger the age of the patient, better the result, said the specialists.

Dr Kapila said Devansh would be able to hear after one month of the surgery, as his cochlear implant would be made functional through an external device.

“Once he starts listening, he will need rigorous speech therapy,” he said.

The ENT specialists advised parents to be more attentive towards signs of possible hearing impairment. Look out if your child doesn't respond to loud sounds or fails to blink in response to a bang or doesn’t wake up when there is a sudden noise.



Health Minister clears the air
Says homoeopathic, ayurvedic docs won't have to close dispensaries 
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
While working for the Central Government's Rashtriya Bal Swasthaya Karyakaram (RBSK), homoeopathic and ayurvedic doctors appointed under the NRHM will not have to close their dispensaries in rural areas as had been decided earlier. This was stated by Health and Family Welfare Minister Surjit Kumar Jyani while talking to Ludhiana Tribune. He was in the city today to attend a zonal meeting of the Health Department.

He said all villages having a population of 4,000 or above would get a homoeopath and an ayurvedacharya. Jyani said, "We are collecting data and will appoint doctors soon. The Finance Department has given the approval for the appointment 200 medical officers and by the end of January, the doctors will be appointed."

Asked to comment on why PCMS doctors were seeking voluntary retirement and joining the private sector, he said, "The private sector pays more, so doctors prefer it. I will hold a meeting with the PCMS doctors and try to convince them to continue serving the department."

Meanwhile, the meeting was attended among others by the Director, Health Services, Dr Karanjit Singh, Hussan Lal, Managing Director (NRHM) and Managing Director of the Punjab Health Systems Corporation, civil surgeons, programme officers and senior medical officers of Ludhiana, Moga and Nawanshahr districts.

NGO holds protest

As the vehicle of Jyani reached the Circuit House, members of the Sanjeevani Trust, an NGO, raised slogans against the District Health Officer, Dr Abnash Kumar, for allegedly protecting some persons indulging in food adulteration. They were also carrying an effigy of the health officer. The Health Minister said, "Please send a complaint to me and I will mark an inquiry into the case."

ASHA workers meet MD

ASHA workers, led by Tarsem Jodhan, a former MLA and trade union leader, met Hussan Lal, Managing Director of the NRHM, Managing Director of the Punjab Health Systems Corporation and Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration, here today. They submitted a memorandum of their demands to him.



Industry flays govt on taxes, power supply
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 27
Industrialists vented their ire on the Punjab Government for its failure to formulate a favourable industrial policy, imposing unbearable burden of local and other taxes and erratic power supply, in a meeting with state president of BJP Kamal Sharma. Minister for Local Bodies Anil Joshi was also present at the meeting.

Led by Gurmeet Singh Kular, president, Federation of Industrial and Commercial organisations (FICO), the gathering rued that even after the claims made by the state government about making Punjab a power-surplus state, the power supply remained erratic, mostly due to obsolete transmission and distribution system and poor infrastructure. They also made a plea for abolition of peak-load exemption charges and restructuring of the peak-time charges to make these consumption based.

Kular and other speakers at the meeting flayed the government for imposing property tax, and especially for ignoring the interests of the industrial sector in the property tax policy. “While residential and commercial categories have been specified for calculation of property tax, industry has been categorised with the commercial sector,” they said, while demanding relief for the industry which predominantly comprised small and tiny sector.

The members of industry also made a strong case for declaring the areas not covered under the master plan of the city as mix land use areas so that industry could continue to work without any fear of being dislocated.

The BJP chief and the minister assured the industrialists that their demands and problems would be discussed at the appropriate level and suitable action would be taken to provide relief to the industry.

FICO's desk calendar and annual diary were also released on this occasion.



Jackets define winter fashion in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
Winter fashion is a lot about jackets for people of all ages. With the winter finally kicking in and the weather getting chillier, residents can be seen adorning new jackets.

Cut-sleeve jackets, both for men and women, are the in-thing this season. Quilted jackets are quite popular among men, while women can be seen wearing both woven and quilted jackets. Tweeds and velvets besides polyester jackets are also a popular choice these days. Horizontal quilting for the cut-sleeve jackets, snow jackets and layered quilted jackets are among other favourites.

Collars of various kinds are adding another dimension to women's jackets this season. Shawl collars, panels along side, peter pan collars, lapels, tuxedos, shrugs and hand-knitted jackets for women are popular. Hooded and fox-fur jackets are also a popular choice this season. In prints, there are checks and plaids that are popular.

“Dull colours with pastel shades are finding favour this season,” says Rajvinder Kaur, faculty member at Inter National Institute of Fashion Designing (INIFD).

A touch of neon, such as a strip running across the jacket, has replaced full neon colours of the last season.

“Capes are popular among women,” says Gundeep Kaur, another faculty member at the fashion designing institute. Cropped fur, chesters, midriff-length coats are also a hot favourite, she says.

"Winters are all about fashion and jackets add panache to the overall winter look," says Nitika, a student. 



Year 2013 ender
MC was at the receiving end throughout year
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation remained at the receiving end throughout the year. The civic body suffered and still suffers from acute financial crunch due to which several development projects got delayed.

The councillors, especially from the Opposition Congress, Independents and even from the BJP, kept accusing MC officials as well as SAD (B) leaders for 'highhandedness'.

Due to the shortage of funds, the roads wore a bad look and when it rained heavy during the monsoon season, there were several road cave-in incidents. Lack of development due to acute financial crunch was the main reason why the civic body came under sharp criticism.


* Safety grill was installed on the elevated road.

* New buses were added to the fleet of the City Bus Service.

* Mayor himself accompanied the Tehbazaari teams on several encroachment drives.

* Encroachments from service lane along the Ferozepur Road were removed.

* In December, funds were received for the Indoor Stadium on the Pakhowal Road as well as the covering of the Ganda Nullah project.


* The MC failed to auction shops located in the pedestrian under pass opposite the Mini-Secretariat and other auctions of SCOs in the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar failed as no person showed interest.

* The finance and contract committee could not be formed even after one year of formation of the present MC House.

* The MC failed to start the 25 new buses received under the city bus project in November.

* Due to a strike by bus service drivers and conductors, the city bus service got severely affected in the last quarter of year.

* The MC failed to start dog sterilisation project.


* During the monsoon season, a large portion of the road near Kitchlu Nagar was washed away, leading to the formation of a 'crater'.

* In December, the MC team was pelted with stones when they went to demolish encroachments in the Haibowal area.

* A2Z Waste Management Ludhiana Ltd could not perform its duty well as garbage was not lifted properly.

* There was a clash between supporters of Independent councillor Daljit Singh Grewal and Akali MLA Ranjit Singh Dhillon over the inauguration of a development project.

* The MC failed to plug all disposals dumping sewer water into the Budha Nullah.

* An Akali councillor openly abused the Mayor during the MC General House meeting.

* The condition of roads, green belts and streetlights in several areas also remained miserable.



On last day, candidates rush to submit forms 
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
The state of unemployment not only in the state but across the country can be gauged from the number of applications received for the posts of postman and Group D multipurpose staff at the Department of Posts here.

Over 9,000 applications for the posts had been received for 21 vacancies of postman and 11 vacancies for the Group D Multipurpose staff at the city division of the post office, sources said. Candidates were making beelines for submitting the applications on the last day for submitting the applications forms at Head Post Office today.

Highly qualified candidates, including those who have degrees like MTech, MSc and MBA, have applied for the posts, for which the eligibility is only matriculation and 10+2.

Not only from Punjab, applications for these limited number of posts with the Ludhiana City Division had been received from different parts of the country, said sources.

Candidates have applied for the posts from states as distant as Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.

Officials at the post office said, the number of people visiting the post office for submitting the applications have been increasing in the last few days in particular as the deadline for submitting the application forms was nearing. 



Board members take stock of horticultural research at PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
A six-member team of the board of management of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) visited the university campus to take an overview of the ongoing horticultural research.

The members comprised Dr GS Nanda, former director of research, PAU; Dr JS Kolar, former director of extension education, PAU; Mr HS Riar, a progressive farmer; KS Ahluwalia, a progressive fruit grower; Jangbahadur S Sangha, a progressive potato grower, and Karamjit K Danewalia, a progressive farm woman popularly known as “Kinnow Queen”.

The members interacted with PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, senior officials of the university and the head and faculty of the fruit science department. Dr Gurkanwal Singh, director, National Horticulture Mission, was also present.

Dr SS Gosal, director of research, said the varsity had identified low-seeded kinnow, which will be evaluated at the citrus zones namely Regional Research Station, Abohar, and Regional Research Station, Gangian.

During the visit to the new and old orchards at PAU, Dr MIS Gill, head, fruit science, and other experts of the department apprised the board members of mutation breeding of kinnow, protected cultivation of papaya, disease free nursery production of kinnow, mother block of kinnow, performance of daisy on different root stocks and citrus germplasm. The experts also highlighted the new recommendations made for fruit crops, and the salient characteristics of various fruit varieties.



GADVASU students plant saplings

Ludhiana, December 27
The National Service Scheme (NSS) unit of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, in collaboration with the Society for Conservation of Flora and Fauna, took part in the beautification of Kundan Vidya Mandir School. They planted 22 different kinds of plant saplings in the herbal garden of the school.

Around 90 students, under the supervision of Dr Syed Shabih Hassan, NSS programme coordinator, GADVASU, took part in the event. Dr Hassan told them about the benefits of herbal and medicinal plants. Members of the eco club of the school were also present on the occasion. — TNS



Development should be beyond partisan agenda: Tewari
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, December 27
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said today that development agenda must be beyond partisan considerations.

He said he had ensured that no area was left out while sanctioning the grant from his discretionary funds during the past five years, irrespective of the fact that who represented it in the Assembly, the municipal corporation or the panchayats.

Addressing a public function at a gaushala here, Tewari said people's representatives and governments belong to everybody and not to a particular party and they should act accordingly.

“Responding to the demand of people of Jagraon, he had sanctioned Rs 51 lakh for a fire brigade vehicle in Jagraon a few years ago. But the local Municipal Council authorities and other officials declined to use the money apparently in apprehension that being a Congress MP I might get the advantage", said the minister.

Tiwari said it was this negative attitude of the ruling Akali-BJP alliance that had pushed the state towards an economic disaster.

“Instead of accepting the money provided by me, the Municipal Council had taken a loan for arranging a fire tender. Same was the case with the state whose debt under the SAD-BJP regime has already crossed Rs 1 lakh crore,” Tiwari said.

Stating that money was still lying in the MP’s account, Tiwari urged residents of Jagraon to create pressure on Municipal Council officials to use the money for buying a fire tender which can be used in case of an emergency.

Haphazardly parked vehicles irk commuters

It was a tough time for commuters when around 12 vehicles, which were part of the cavalcade of Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari, were parked haphazardly on College Road, Jagraon, today.

In fact, Tiwari visited LRDAV College, Jagraon, to inaugurate a newly constructed building on the college campus. When the minister reached the college, vehicles of his convoy were parked on the college road in a haphazard manner which led to a traffic congestion for quite some time, causing inconvenience to commuters. “The traffic cops challaned some vehicles on the same road when he visited the college but they closed their eyes towards the wrongly parked vehicles of the minister’s cavalcade.

When it comes to VIPs, officials just close their eyes towards their wrongdoings,” quipped a local shopkeeper.

Manish Tiwari was not available for comments over the matter.

Pawan Dewan, president, District Congress Committee (Urban), said: “We had only one vehicle parked outside the college during the minister’s visit. The other vehicles might be of party supporters and of security guards.”

DSP, Jagraon, Surinder Kumar, said: “Nobody is above the law. In future, we will make sure that no inconvenience is caused to the common man during the VIP visits.” 



Chinks in Cong come to fore again
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 27
Divisions in different factions of the Jagraon unit of the Congress came to the fore yet again during the Jagraon visit of Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari today.

It was an awkward situation for the Ludhiana MP when heated arguments ensued between supporters of the two groups, led by former minister Isher Singh Meharban and former Jagraon MLA Gurdeep Singh Bhaini, during a public function held at Kothe Hari Singh village near here.

The supporters of both factions hurled verbal abuses against each other for around five minutes in the presence of the minister. They almost came to blows before he, along with some other party leaders, intervened and managed to pacify both sides.

Sources said the incident took place when Tewari invited Major Singh Bhaini, former president, District Congress Committee (Rural) and son of former Jagraon MLA Gurdeep Singh Bhaini, to address the gathering during the public function.

“But Bhaini refused to speak saying the constituency in charge did not invite him to address the programme. Following this, heated arguments began between the supporters of both the factions. Both sides even hurled verbal abuses against each other", added the sources.

“Uniting the party workers and leaders in the Jagraon constituency would be a huge challenge for Tewari. It would be quite difficult for him to win from Ludhiana if he fails to unite the party before the general elections,” quipped a Congress leader.

Blame Game

Congress leader Pritam Singh Akhara blamed former minister Isher Singh Mehrban for the spat. On the other hand, Mehrban said Jagraon MLA Gurdeep Singh Bhaini and Akhara were involved in anti-party activities and both of them were the roots cause for divisions in the party.



Welcome Centre's move to probe spying case, BJP told
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 27
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari has dared the BJP to appreciate and welcome Union Government's decision to probe Gujarat spying case if its PM candidate Narendra Modi was naive in it.

While interacting with a section of the media at Khera village, near here, Tewari said “saffron outfits” did not know the constitutional rights and duties of the Union Government to probe the matters where some state government officials had violated the norms of the administration.

Accusing the SAD of raising issues regarding interests of the border state only prior to elections, Tewari alleged that Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had now started demanding royalty for water and food grain crops only to distract residents of the state from real issues.



From colleges


150 attend NSS camp: A seven-day NSS camp began at Ramgarhia Girls College on Friday. Around 150 students are attending the camp under the supervision of Dr Sawarn Grewal, Prof Kanchan Mahendru and Prof Jasmeet Kaur. The theme of the camp is "Healthy Public Sanitation, Personal Hygiene". The programme officers apprised the volunteers of various activities that will be undertaken over the period of seven days. Dr Grewal impressed upon them the need to raise voice against the social evils prevalent in our society.


Annual fete: DRV DAV Centenary College organised the annual fete-cum-raffle draw. Starcast of a Punjabi movie besides folk singer Kamal Khan of “Ishaq Sufiyana” fame entertained the gathering. Stalls of eatables and games attracted the visitors. Officiating principal of the college SK Mahajan distributed gifts among the winners of the raffle draw. — TNS



From school


Athletics meet: The 69th Annual Athletics Meet, a three-day sporting extravaganza, started at KVM School with a grand opening ceremony. Raman Kumar Goel, Commissioner of Income Tax, Ludhiana, was the chief guest. Kumar inspected the guard of honour presented by the Iron Eagle Club of the school. Navita Puri, the school principal, Students look on as a child participates in the rabbit race during the annual athletics meet at KVM School in Ludhiana on Friday. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan formally welcomed Goel. The outstanding sportspersons of the school, who brought laurels to the school at state and national level, lighted the KVM Mashaal. The students welcomed the guests through their dance performance, “Atithi Devo Bhava”. The star events of the day were UKG boys' shuttle race and 50-mt lemon spoon race of Class III girls.
Students look on as a child participates in the rabbit race during the annual athletics meet at KVM School in Ludhiana on Friday. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Annual day: The annual day and prize distribution function was held at Guru Nanak Public School on Friday. The chief guest, BS Sidhu, DGP, Uttarakhand, was accorded a warm welcome by the school band. Trophies were awarded to 244 students for outstanding achievements in academics and sports. Addressing the gathering, the chief guest congratulated the prize winners and exhorted the students to make the best use of opportunities being provided to them and strive for excellence. The cultural programme started with a welcome dance. The highlight of the programme was the Punjabi play “Ghar Gum Hai”.
Students present a dance item during the annual prize distribution function at Guru Nanak Public School, Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu mahajan 

Educational exhibition: An Educational Exhibition was organided by Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, Jalandhar Bypass. Students of Classes VI to VIII participated in the event with great zeal. In the healthy diet and food corner, the students were made aware of the nutritious and balanced diet.

Awareness on drug abuse: To create awareness about the menace of drug abuse and educate the students about the health risks associated with drug use, Sat Paul Mittal School, in collaboration with CII, organised an awareness session on drug de-addiction. The session was attended by the students of Classes VIII to XII. Col Dr DB Sharma, director, Sat Paul Mittal School, and Rajesh Thapar, member, CII Ludhiana Zonal Council, gave a presentation. In his address, the chief guest, BS Sidhu, DGP, Uttarakhand, said: “It is important to build a climate of abstinence from drugs through sensitising the students at large.”

Martyrdom Day: Guru Nanak International Public School, Model Town, paid homage to Sahibzada Zorawar Singh, Sahibzada Fateh Singh and Mata Gujri Ji on the occasion of Shahidi Jor Mela at Fatehgarh Sahib. All bowed their heads in reverence and recited “Gur Mantar”. 

Need to teach basics of grammar: Educationist: A seminar on teaching and learning of English grammar was held at Green Valley Public Senior Secondary School. Tarsem Gupta, an educationist, was the keynote speaker. Maintaining that grammar was the backbone of any language, speakers regretted that a majority of language teachers had been adopting shortcuts to make students cram instead of teaching the basics of the grammar.



Two drug peddlers held in Samrala; hunt on for woman gang leader
Our Correspondent

Samrala, December 27
The Samrala police have reportedly busted a gang of drug peddlers with the arrest of two gang members from separate places. Fifteen gm of smack was seized from their possession.

The leader of the gang is reportedly a woman, whose name figured after questioning the two youths. The police are searching for her.

SHO, Samrala, Surjit Singh said the arrests were made following a tip-off.

Special police parties were formed to nab the drug peddlers who were in the area to sell smack, he said.

One of the accused, Kuldip Singh (22) of Kartar Nagar, Khanna, was arrested from Chawa road. Seven gm of smack was recovered from his possession.

In another incident, a police party nabbed Harjit Singh (30), a resident of Ikolaha village, near the T-point, Malmajra. Eight gm of smack was recovered from his possession.

The SHO said both the youths revealed the name of a Khanna-based woman, who brought smack from Ambala and gave it the duo to be sold in the area.

The scooter being used by one of the accused also belonged to the woman, said the police. The SHO said a case under the NDPS Act was registered against the duo. The woman’s name was also included in the case.

The two youths were presented in a court at Samrala from where they were sent to judicial custody for 14 days.



16-yr-old raped by neighbour

Ludhiana, December 27
A 16-year-old minor girl raped by her neighbour at the Bhola Colony on the Tajpur road here today.

The police have arrested the accused on the complaint of the victim’s family. The accused has been identified as Ashok Kumar (18), a resident of the same area. Ashok is a migrant worker.

As per information, the girl was alone in the home today after noon as her mother and father was went to attend a religious ceremony at Jamalpur. The girl started finding he dog in the street and found that it went inside his house. When she went to the accused’s house to bring her dog back, the latter get hold of her raped her.

The girls told her aunty about the incident. Later, the family members of the victim registered a complaint against the accused.

Sumit Sood, SHO, Police station Division No 7, said: “We got a complaint from the victim's family this afternoon. I have sent a police team and arrested the accused.” — TNS



Kite seller arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
Taking strict action against shopkeepers, who sell the plastic kite thread, the city police arrested a kite seller with banned Chinese plastic thread here today. The accused has been identified as Rajesh Kumar of Dhandra Road. The Police station Sadar recovered 10 boxes of Chinese thread from the kite seller.

Police officials said the accused owns a kite shop in Model Town and used to sell plastic thread.

The police got a tip off that Rakesh Kumar has been coming from the Dhandra side with Chinese thread. The police installed a check point near the Manakwal Gate, where Rakesh Kumar was coming from on an auto rickshaw. They stopped his auto and conducted a search. The police found 10 boxes in which spools of Chinese thread was found. The police took 652 spools of thread from his possession.

Amandeep Singh Brar, SHO, Police station Sadar, said the police were strict about the sale of Chinese thread as the sale of thread was banned. The thread poses a threat to human life and a number of accidents had been occurred in the past due to it.



Man arrested with 300 gm of heroin
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
The city police nabbed a person and recovered 300 gm of heroin from his possession in the Dugari area yesterday.

The accused has been identified as Inderjeet Singh alias Sonu Pehalwan (30) of Tarn Taran. The police said the recovered heroin was worth Rs 1.50 crore on the international market.

Harbans Singh, in charge, Anti-Narcotic Cell, said the arrested accused was a drug addict and used to sell heroin to earn money for buying drugs.

Officials said a police team was on patrolling at Phase -1, Urban Estate, Dugari.

When the police personnel reached near a park, the accused on seeing them tried to flee. The police got suspicious and sealed the area.

“During search, they recovered 300 gm of heroin from his possession. A case has been registered under Sections 22-61-85 of the NDPS Act,” he said.

“We are investigating the case. The accused has confessed that he used to buy the heroin from Harjit Singh, a resident of a bordering area in Tarn Taran. He used to earn some profit by selling small packets of the drugs to drug addicts in Ludhiana. We will also investigate about his customers,” Harbans added.



Youth goes missing

Ludhiana, December 27
A 24-year-old youth was missing for the past 16 days from the Haibowal area. The parents of the youth have registered a complaint at the Police Station Division No 4. Manjit Singh, the father of the youth, said his son Parminder Singh went to the Chaura Bazaar for job on December 10 but did not return. A case has been registered in this regard.

Girl ends her life

A 17-year-old girl allegedly committed suicide under mysterious circumstances at the Hargobind Nagar area on late Thursday evening. The parents of the victim were not at home when she took the extreme step. Mohinderpal, father of the deceased, said when they returned home they found that a room was locked from inside. They broken a window of the room and found the girl hanging with the fan. A case has been registered in this regard and investigation is on. — TNS



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