L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rail traffic goes off-track
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 16
Rail traffic went haywire with most of the trains, including the Amritsar-New Delhi and the Ludhiana-New Delhi Shatabdi were delayed by several hours due to dense fog.

Passengers were made to wait in the open to board their respective trains in the freezing conditions. Uncertainty prevailed at the railway enquiry counters about the expected time of the arrival or departure of most of the passenger, express and mail trains.

Officials said the rail traffic on the New Delhi-Ludhiana-Amritsar section was affected with most of the trains running behind schedule.

The 12031/12032 New Delhi-Amrtisar-New Delhi Shatabdi trains were late by 2.50 and 1.10 hours, respectively, 12037 New Delhi-Ludhiana Shatabdi by 1.40 hours, 12497/12498 Shan-e-Punjab between New Delhi and Amrtisar by 2.15 hours and 1.40 hours, respectively, and 12460/12459 pair of New Delhi-Amrtisar-New Delhi trains were running late by an hour and 1.55 hours, respectively.

Among other long route trains running behind their stipulated time were the 13049 Howrah-Amritsar Express (11.20 hours), 12331 Kolkata-Amritsar Himgiri Express (8.30 hours), 18101 Tatanagar-Jammu Muri Express (8 hours), 14035 Delhi-Pathankot Dhauladhar Express (4.10 hours), 12469 Kanpur-Jammu Barfani Express (5.35 hours), 12237 Varanasi-Jammu Begumpura Express (3.05 hours), 15307 Katihar-Amritsar Amrapali Express (6.30 hours), 12475 Hapa-Jammu Sarvodaya Express (3.20 hours), 12919 Indore-Jammu Malwa Express (4 hours), 14605 Lal Kuan-Amritsar weekly (4.15 hours), 12317 Kolkata-Amritsar Saakal Takht Express (4.15 hours) and 15209 Saharsa-Amritsar Jansewa Express (3.05 hours).

With misery writ large on the faces of harried passengers at the railway station, many of them were grumbling against the railway authorities for disturbed railway schedule and poor amenities.

“Seating arrangements are far too inadequate at all the platforms, the waiting area is uncovered exposing the passengers, including women and children, to cold weather and to make the matters worse, the vendors are fleecing us as we have to wait indefinitely for our train,” said Akhilesh Prasad, a passenger.

Fog effect
A thick layer of fog engulfed the city and its surrounding areas, throwing normal life out of gear. Dr KK Gill, assistant agrometeorologist at Punjab Agricultural University, said: "Respite from chill is expected after January 18. There may be showers on January 17." The maximum temperature on Thursday was 12.6 degrees Celsius, while the minimum was 8.4 degrees. Thin attendance was witnessed in schools.


Stir has a crippling effect on traffic
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
Commuters were again put to inconvenience on the second day today as Congress workers blocked all major roads in the city.

Activists of the District Congress Committee blocked Jalandhar Bypass, putting commuters travelling from Jalandhar to Ludhiana to inconvenience.

The traffic police diverted the traffic to a single lane road resulting in snarl-ups on National Highway-I.

Congress workers led by Bharat Bhushan Ashu, MLA (West), blocked one side of Ferozepur Road near Sidhwan Canal for two hours. The traffic police diverted the traffic from PAU gate No. 1 to BRS Nagar, leading to traffic jam in the streets of BRS Nagar.

Anjali, a city resident, who was on her way to pick up her children from school, said: "It has become a routine affair in the city. My children are waiting for me at the school gate and I am stuck in the traffic jam at the canal bridge for the past 30 minutes."

Ranvir Singh, a resident of BRS Nagar, said: "We are always at the receiving end as the main road leading to the city from my house remains blocked."

Surinder Singh, a commuter, said: "I had to reach Chaura Bazaar at 12:30 pm, but I am already an hour late due to road blockade."

Gurdeep Singh, ADCP (Traffic), said: "We persuaded the Congress workers not to block the entire road. They blocked only one side of road so it was easy for us to manage traffic. We also diverted traffic to alternative routes."



bhola’s bombshell
Cong holds road blockades in dist
Wants govt to arrest revenue minister for his alleged involvement in drug racket, hand over case to CBI
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, January 16
On the call of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), the party’s local unit today protested and blocked main roads at three different places in the city.

The Congress activists have been demanding a CBI investigation into the alleged involvement of Cabinet Minister Bikram Singh Majithia in drug trade in the state.

Led by Bharat Bhushan Ashu, MLA (West), party activists blocked the Ferozepur road bridge for two hours.

They raised slogans like “Jija-sala, karde ghala mhala” during the protest. The MLA (West) said, “Following the instruction from the PPCC, we blocked the Ferozepur road. A huge number of Congress activists, eight councillors and commoners participated in the protest against drug trade being operating by Akali leaders.”

Meanwhile, another group of the party led by its district president Pawan Dewan staged a protest on the Jalandhar bypass. MLA (Central) Surinder Dawar, MLA (North) Rakesh Panday and Gurmel Singh Pehalwan were at the forefront. Commuters had a tough time as one side of the road was blocked.

Meanwhile, a group of Congress workers blocked traffic at Jamalpur. Vikram Singh Bajwa led the protest along with district president of the Mahila Congress Neelam Kohli, Jaspal singh and Avtar Mindiyan.

Over hundred Congress workers led by former minister Isher Singh Meharban staged a dharna near bus stand at Jagraon and blocked the traffic on Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway.

“Jagdish Singh Bhola, allegedly a drug lord, has openly accused Majithia of operating a drug racket in Punjab. The state government shall either order the police to immediately register a case against Majithia and arrest him or hand over the investigation in the case to the CBI,” said Gurdeep Singh Bhaini while addressing protesters at Mullanpur Dakha.

Khanna/Samrala: Congress workers, led by Lakhvir Singh Lakha and Khanna MLA Gurkirat Singh Kotli, staged a protest and blocked traffic for about two and a half hours seeking removal of Bikram Singh Majithia as Cabinet Minister. The protesters raised slogans against the state government and demanded a CBI probe into the drug racket operating in the state. The protest resulted in formation of long queues of vehicles, mostly trucks, on both sides of the National Highway and on the Khanna-Samrala road also.

MP Sukhdev Singh Libra, who was also present on the occasion, said the law enforcement agencies in the state should be given a free hand so that they could independently investigate such matters. The Sada-e-Sarhad, Lahore-Delhi bus, got late for about an hour due to the road blockade.

Mandi Gobindgarh: Led by the district Congress chief Harinder Singh Bhambri, hundreds of party workers blocked traffic on the National Highway (NH) here from 12 noon to 2 pm.

While addressing the gathering, MLA Randeep Singh alleged that the SAD-BJP Government wanted to retain power in the state by making the youth drug addict. If the present government had no hand in the case, then why was it shying away from allowing CBI investigation, he asked.

Sahnewal: The Congress workers of Sahnewal were resentful of not being informed about chalking out of plans to hold a chakka jam at Sahnewal.

Senior Congress leader and former chairman of the Market Committee, Sahnewal, Jasminder Sandhu, expressed resentment that the in-charge of their constituency failed to gear up members or make preparations for arranging a similar traffic blockade at Sahnewal too. He alleged: “While the party is observing ‘chakka jam’ and holding protests in every nook and corner of Punjab, we are sitting mum. It seems that the in-charge of our area is least interested in carrying out the activities of the party.”

Congress in-charge Vikram Bajwa said “I made all efforts to gather the party workers and leaders to make the ‘chakka jam’ a success. We were successful in our attempts too. This is not true that the Congress loyalists were left out. I contacted all who wished to be a part of the traffic blockade.”

Mandi Ahmedgarh: Activists and office-bearers of various wings of the Congress party blocked traffic on roads and highways passing through the region today. Former minister and Congress Ludhiana (Rural) chief, Malkit Singh Dakha, Gurcharan Singh Boparai MLA Raikot, Harkirat Singh Kotli, Lakhwinder Singh Lakha, Maie Roop Kaur , Vikas Tandon, Harjinder Singh Nathumajra, Ravinder Superfine and Jaswinder Singh Sond led protesters at various places in Dehlon, Amargarh, Raikot, Malaodh and Payal blocks.

The protesters demanded immediate arrest of Cabinet Minister Bikram Singh Majithia, who was recently named by drug lord Jagdish Singh Bhola booked for drug trade.

Meanwhile, officials at the Sadar and Dehlon police stations remained on toes while diverting traffic to alternate routes in order to minimise inconvenience to public.



Body found
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
Panic spread in the Daba area after the body of a man was found floating on Sidhwan Canal today.

The body was spotted by a passer-by who raised the alarm. The body, apparently of a 35-years-old man, was wrapped in a cloth.

The body was sent to the Civil Hospital for post-mortem. The police said the man could have murdered before being thrown into the canal.



PPCB to give consent to new units online
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
Industrialists making rounds of the Punjab Pollution Control Board office is a thing of the past as the board has started giving consent to set up new units online.

Earlier, the online consent was given to large and medium enterprises. The facility has now been extended to small enterprises also. The board clears the unit for five years after which it has to be renewed.



child swapping case at Civil hospital
Respite for SMO, staff
DNA test positive; child is the biological daughter of complainants
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
In a major respite for Senior Medical Officer (SMO) RK Karkara and other medical staff of Civil Hospital, who were booked for kidnapping, child swapping and a fraud case, the DNA samples of the girl child has matched with that of her parents.

While speaking to The Tribune, SMO RK Karkara confirmed the development. "Yes the DNA of the girl child has matched with that of her parents," said Karkara.

It was on October 3, that Sushila (26) and Sandeep, who already have three daughters, claimed that their fourth child was a baby boy. They showed documents issued by the hospital in support of their claim.

Sandeep had said that on September 30, Sushila delivered a baby at 10 am in the Labour Ward of the hospital. She maintained that the OPD slip issued by the hospital staff clearly stated that it was a baby boy.

The couple alleged that initially, the hospital staff kept passing the buck, but the matter snowballed into a major issue when the couple approached former Health Minister Satpal Gosain. The couple's relatives led by Satpal Gosain staged a protest at the Civil Hospital and demanded actionagainst the hospital staff.

Sushila and Sandeep further claimed that the girl was born well before September 30. They said the girl seemed to be 10 to 15 days old.

Following Sushila and Sandeep's claims, the police registered a case and Karkara constituted a board of two paediatricians and a radiologist to determine the girl's age.

It was on the insistence of the then ACP- Central, Ramneesh Chaudhary, that DNA samples of the child was taken and further sent to a special laboratory for testing."I am happy that the truth has prevailed. We were claiming from the very first day that the girl child was biological daughter of Sandeep and Sushila," said Karkara.

Incident unfolded
September 30: Child born at Civil Hospital
October 3: Parents along with politicians stage protest at Civil Hospital
October 4: Police book the SMO and other hospital staff for kidnapping, child swapping and fraud case. Parents claim the girl was born before September 30.
October 5: SMO constitutes a board
October 7: Asha worker questioned
October 8: DNA test conducted
January 16: DNA test positive. The girl biological daughter of Sushila and Sandeep.



Curtains down on youth fest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
The 18th National Youth festival concluded here today at Punjab Agricultural University. Around 5,000 boys and girls from 35 states and Union Territories participated in the five-day festival.

Manipur folk dancers in a jubilant mood after winning at the 18th National Youth Festival at the PAU in Ludhiana on Thursday.
Manipur folk dancers in a jubilant mood after winning at the 18th National Youth Festival at the PAU in Ludhiana on Thursday. Tribune Photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Participants exhibited their talent during the competitions under 18 separate categories, including folk dance, classical dance, one-act play, classical vocal solo and classical instrumental solo etc.

On the last day of the festival, youngsters were seen exchanging their emails and phone numbers with oneanother. The participants were busy clicking photographs to keep alive the memories of youth festival. The dense fog on the PAU campus in morning surprised the participants from southern state. Most of the participants from these states were seening the fog for the first time.During the closing ceremony, Parliamentary Secretary Pawan Kumar Teenu, Salim Ahmed, Director Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan and Cabinet Minister Sharanjit singh Dhillon distributed the prizes to the winners. The winning teams were awarded Rs 40,000, first runners up teams Rs 30,000 and second runners-up teams Rs 10,000. Meanwhile, in the individual events, winners were awarded Rs 10, 000, first runners-up Rs 7,000 and second runners-up Rs 5 000.

The day saw some excellent performances by students of various states.
The day saw some excellent performances by students of various states.


Folk dance: 1 Manipur, 2 Karnataka 3 Punjab and Odisha Folk Song: 1 Bihar, 2 Punjab 3 Haryana Play: 1 Haryana 2 Madhya Pradesh, 3 Andhra Pradesh

Classical singing (Carnatic): 1 Akshya from Delhi, 2 Gopica Haran from Kerala and AP Singh from PunjabClassical Singing (Hindustani):1. Monica Soni from Haryana, 2 Isha Singh from Punjab, 3. Dheeraj Rao from Maharashtra. Classical mridangam: 1 Asaram Suresh from Maharashtra, 2 Sawati das KP from Kerala and 3 Gian Singh from Punjab. Classical tabla: 1 Rajesh Kumar from Himachal Pardesh , 2.Gurpereet Singh from Chandigarh and 3.Vivak Bala Rao from Maharashtra. Classical flute: 1 Amani from Andhra Pardesh, 2 Rajeshwar from Bihar and 3 Abhishek from Odisha. Classical veena: 1 Nisha from Kerala, 2 Ganesh from Karnatka and 3 Madhuri from Andhra Pradesh.Classical sitar: 1 Jaspreet Singh from Punjab, 2 Raman bhag Singh from Himachal Pradesh , 3 Manoj Bawra from Madhya Pardesh Classical harmonium: 1 Satiash Goyida from Goa,2 Shama Kumar bharti from Delhi, 3 Nishad from Haryana.Classical dance (kathak): 1 Kishore Deb Barman, 2 Rupesh Kumar Gupta , 3 Roma Rai from Madhya Pardesh.Classical dance (Bharatanatyam): 1 Vanishnav Pai from Goa , 2 Lakshmi from Kerala 3 Shiva Parshad from Andhra Pradesh Classical dance (Manipuri ):1 Rev Raj Das from Tripura , 2 H Geena Devi from Manipur 3 Himani from HaryanaClassical dance (Orissa): 1 Bishva from Odhisa,2 Anup KA from Kerala, 3 Pawan Rajwan from Uttar Pardesh. Classical dance (kuchipudi): Bishaye Gothami from Andhra Pradesh , 2 Taniya Ready from Chhattisgarh, 3 P.Ranjan from Karnataka.



sewer man’s death
MC employees protest, stay off work
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 16
With the engineering, technical and ministerial staff of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation striking work indefinitely to protest against the registration of criminal cases against an SDO and a junior technician of the O and M wing following the death of sewer man Surinder Kumar on Saturday, all official and public dealing work in the civic body remained paralysed.

The MC staff, joined by senior officials, including engineers of the O and M and B and R wings, joint commissioners and additional commissioners, held a protest in front of the A Zone Office of the MC at Mata Rani Chowk demanding withdrawal of cases against the MC employees. They also demanded that all vacant posts of junior engineers in the MC be filled up immediately to ensure proper execution and supervision of work related to water supply, sewerage and construction/maintenance of roads.

Two employees of the MC - Ranjit Singh, SDO and Surjit Singh, JT- were booked under Sections 304-A and 34 of the IPC after sewer man Surinder Kumar entered a man hole and died while cleaning it at Basti Abdullapur on Saturday.

While the MC had arrived at a compromise with the protesting staff after a compensation of Rs 5 lakh was paid to the kin of the deceased and Rs One lakh each to his two co-workers, who were injured, the FIR registered against the MC employees had not been withdrawn so far. This led to a stir by the engineering and technical staff who had proceeded on mass casual leave from Tuesday. The ministerial (clerical) employees also joined the protest today. In a memorandum submitted to Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwadia and MC Commissioner Rahul Tiwari, the convener of the joint action committee, Sunil Sharma, termed the developments that took place after the death of Surinder Kumar as most perturbing which called for immediate remedial action.

The action committee demanded that no FIR/criminal case should be registered against the MC staff or officials without proper probe and permission of the senior MC functionaries. “Our agitation is not only for cancellation of the FIRs, but also for filling up of all vacant posts”, said Sunil Sharma.



City’s long wait for Dy CM
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal kept the city waiting today.

Hopes of hundreds of participants besides the university authorities were dashed as the Deputy CM failed to turn up at the closing ceremony of the 18th National Youth Festival.

Sukhbir Badal also reached the Fortis Hospital on the Chandigarh road, which he was to inaugurate, late by over five hours. Laying of the foundation stone of another hospital, Fortis La Femme, was delayed by hours while hospital authorities and the police personnel deployed there kept waiting for him.

It is learnt that the Deputy CM attended a function on the way from Lambi, which delayed his arrival here. Another reason was that his chopper could not fly due to bad weather and dense fog. Resultantly, he reportedly came by road from Badal village via Faridkot and Moga.

After reaching the hospital, he apologised citing bad weather as the reason for his coming late. Cabinet Minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia apart from other members of SAD accompanied him.

In lighter vein
I had asked why they don't have many hospitals in Haryana. The reason is that people of Punjab enjoy food. They eat more and drink a lot more, and then land in hospitals. So they need more hospitals here in Punjab.
— Sukhbir Badal, after inaugurating Fortis Hospital



Fortis hospital formally inaugurated

Ludhiana, January 16
The 260-bed Multi-speciality Fortis Hospital, which is spread over 3.5 acre and has been operational since its soft launch for over a month, was formally inaugurated on the Chandigarh road here today.

“A number of accidents take place on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana road. The hospital provides 24-hour emergency facility,” said CEO Aditya Vij.

The foundation stone of Fortis La Femme, another facility of the hospital chain, was laid on the Mall road. It will be a 100-bed centre for women and will be completed in 2016.

Executive chairman of the Fortis Healthcare Malvinder Mohan Singh said the Fortis started its first health facility in Mohali and the new state-of-the-art facility in Ludhiana would set a benchmark in the healthcare in the state.

Vij and Gurbir Singh, regional medicinal director at the hospital, said the hospital would address the problems like cancer, Hepatitis C, cardiac, diabetes, etc, which were becoming common in Punjab. — TNS



Traffic jam-hit elderly loses cool, ‘thrashed’
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
High drama was witnessed at the Fountain Chowk here this evening when a 62-year-old retired bank employee indulged in heated arguments with the police after being stuck in a traffic jam.

The bank employee, identified as BB Goyal of Haibowal, alleged that ACP (West) Dhruman Nimbale slapped him in a full public view. Goyal alleged that he was taken to the Division No 8 police station where he was forced to tender a written apology in connection with the incident. He claimed that the police also penalised him for not wearing a helmet and misbehaving with the cop deployed on VIP duty.

Refuting the allegations, ACP (West) Dhruman Nimbale claimed that the man abused the cops on VIP duty and was taken to police station where he tendered a written apology.

The incident took place at around 3.30 pm when Goyal was heading to the bus stand to receive his NRI son. At the same time, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal was visiting the Mall Road. So the police blocked all the routes surrounding the Fountain Chowk. This led to a massive traffic jam.

Some commuters were seen requesting the police deployed there to allow them to go as they had a train to catch while there were commuters who were getting late to reach bank.

Goyal said as he was a patient of hypertension, he lost his cool and indulged in heated argument with the cop.

"When the ACP (West) slapped me in a full public view, commuters, who were stuck there, even protested the police high-handedness," said Goyal.



poor amenities
Mandi Ahmedgarh residents threaten road blockade

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 16
Under the banner of the Ahmedgarh Ekta Manch, activists and office-bearers of over two dozen local organisations have launched a coordinated move to get the long-pending demands of residents accepted and implemented.

The movement initiated with a chain hunger strike by activists of the Yellow Club, one of the constituents of the Manch. Their main demands are upgrading town to sub-division, establishment of a government degree college, construction of at least one underbridge or ROB and plying of buses up to local bus stop besides improvement in civic amenities.

Led by Vicky Sharma and Vikas Tandon, patron and chairman of the Manch, protesters said the successive governments had failed to implement the long pending demands of the residents.

Saying that the hunger strike will continue till the protest meets its logical end, the protesters threatened to block traffic on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla highway in case their demands were not accepted within four days.

Terming demands raised by protesters as justified, Iqbal Singh Jhoondan, legislator of the constituency, said the process for implementation of demands had already been started and the authorities concerned had been asked to expedite the process. — OC



Civic body hunts funds
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

The eight-laning of Ferozepur Road in Ludhiana hangs fire.
The eight-laning of Ferozepur Road in Ludhiana hangs fire. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, January 16
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has now pinned hopes on the Centre. It has sought financial help under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) for the eight-laning of Ferozepur Road. If JNNURM agrees to fund the project, it will provide the much-needed respite to the cash-strapped civic body.

Earlier, the MC had planned to take loan from the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO), but companies quoted more than the reserve price. If everything goes well, JNNURM will fund 50 per cent of the project. The reserve price of the project was Rs 209 crore, but two companies quoted Rs 243 crore and Rs 256 crore, respectively. As the quoted price was much higher than the reserve price, the MC could not take a decision and asked the Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) to rework the project.

"We had negotiations with Hyderabad-based Navyug Engineering Company Limited which had quoted Rs 243 crore and it had reduced the price to Rs 238 crore," said MC Commissioner Rahul Tiwari. It is learnt that RITES also asked the MC to accept the company's bid of Rs 238 crore.

But the financial condition of the civic body is such that it is becoming difficult for it to spend such a huge amount on the project. That is why it had taken loan from HUDCO which would be paid back in instalments.

"And if Rs 119 crore is received under JNNURM, the MC will be able to pay back the loan. We are hopeful of getting the funds shortly," said the Commissioner.

The civic body has failed to start work on two projects launched by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on November 15. The stretch leading from Sidhwan Canal to Jagraon Bridge has to be eight laned.



City’s periphery unsafe
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
The brutal murder of 25- year-old Rahul Verma has yet again brought to the fore the safety concern in the newly developed colonies on the city's periphery.

The murder was not a stray incident, several such incidents have taken place in the past as well.

The posh colonies of South City, Professor Colony and the newly developed colonies near Sidhwan Canal and Hambran Road have become a den of anti-social elements.

Incidents of theft and burglary are common in these area. Residents of Rajguru Nagar, Thrike and newly established colonies surrounding Pakhowal Road have complained of car thefts.

The residents said developers were not concerned about the safety of the residents.

The killing of DSP Balraj Singh Gill and Monika Kapila, who were killed at a farmhouse in the Golf Link area near Hambran Road, still haunts the residents.

Recently, two notorious criminals opened fired on Achint Khosla (50) and his son Aakash Khosla (22) on South City Bridge. Aakash had suffered two bullet shots.

The police, instead of nabbing the criminals, were seen arguing over the issue of area jurisdiction.

A majority of residents of the South City area are clueless whether their area falls under the jurisdiction of the PAU police station or the Haibowal police station.

Similarly, ambiguity prevails among residents of Pakhowal Road, Basant Avenue and Thrike village.

Congress MLA Rakesh Panday, who lives in the South City area, blames the staff crunch for the rising crime incidents.

"The police are ill-equipped and under staffed. The crime is on the rise as there are no police personnel to man the localities," he said.

Darshan Arora, chairman of the Ludhiana Citizen Council, said there should be a police post in South City.

"Response time of the police is very important. How can a policeman sitting at the Haibowal police station, located 10 km away, reach South City and nab the criminal? Police presence is very important to curb the rising crime incidents," said Darshan Arora.

Sunil Datt, a resident of F Block in Rishi Nagar, became a victim of snatchers in November 2011. The four not only assaulted him, but also took away his mobile and a diamond ring.

Though, the police had cracked the case and arrested three snatchers, Sunil Datt is yet to get his diamond ring and mobile phone back.

Security given a miss
Twenty-five-year-old Rahul Verma was killed and his sister Priya was injured by unidentified assailants in South City. Though the police have completed the formalities, they have failed to make any headway in the murder case.
Incidents of theft and burglary are common in posh colonies of South City, Professor Colony and the newly developed colonies near Sidhwan Canal and Hambran Road.
Recently, two notorious criminals opened fired on Achint Khosla (50) and his son Aakash Khosla (22) on South City Bridge.



Youth’s killing triggers panic
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
The killing of Rahul Verma has sent shockwaves across the old city area. The victim's father, Mahesh Verma, is an established businessman.

Rahul and Kunal were helping their father in the business. "As the business flourished, the family purchased a land at South City and constructed a house," said a relative of Mahesh.

He stated that the family had recently shifted to South City as they needed a bigger house.

Tony, a hosiery trader, has yet to come to terms with the tragedy. Tony had met Rahul, a day before he was killed.

"He was a wonderful human being. He was polite and always had a smile on his face. I do not think he had any enemies. I could not believe that someone had brutally killed him. It is an irreparable loss for the hosiery industry. The incident has triggered panic," said Tony.

The police questioned his friends and relatives. Twentyfive-year-old Rahul Verma was killed and his sister Priya was injured by unidentified assailants in South City. Though the police have completed the formalities, they have failed to make any headway in the murder case. 



Students ignore Red Ribbon Express
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
Although Food Festival at the 18th National Youth Festival attracted many young participants and visitors, yet only a few visited the Red Ribbon Express, the bus that was there to spread awareness on AIDS.

The bus being run in collaboration with the Punjab State Aids Control Society and Pushpa Gujral Science City is equipped with a screen and seats. Through animation, people are told about the causes and prevention of HIV/AIDS. Not many showed interest in knowing about the disease. A coordinator aboard the bus said that the bus was taken to colleges and schools to spread awareness among students.Vimaljit Singh, the instructor, said that while the people were flocking to the food stalls, not many seemed seemed to be interested in knowing about HIV/AIDS, he said.



Lawyers to gherao police chief’s office
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 16
The District Bar Association has decided to gherao the office of Commissioner of Police on January 17.

A decision to this effect was taken in a meeting of lawyers held this afternoon at the Bar Room and it was also decided that the strike would continue till the shifting of the malkhana, which was considered to be the main reason for the paucity of parking space at the District Courts Complex.

Meanwhile, the lawyers staged a dharna near the office of Deputy Commissioner. It is learnt that DC Rajat Aggarwal is to convene a meeting at 9.30 am tomorrow at his office. He will discuss the matter with the officials and accordingly resolve the issue.



Textile industry workers protest

Ludhiana, January 16
Members of the Textile Hosiery Kaamgar Union today staged a protest outside the office of the Deputy Commissioner.

The president of the union, Rajvinder, said: "Following a long struggle, we got the wages hiked and the ESIC provisions implemented. However, the unit owners are again trying to cut our wages on the pretext of recession. We want the Administration to get the labour laws implemented in the industrial units in the city." — TNS



Teachers without salary
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
As many as 4,200 aided school employees have been without salary since October 2013.

Primary teachers have not received salaries since April 2013.

Press secretary of the Aided Schools Union Devinder Rehan said the education department was not concerned about the problems of the teachers. District president Savinderjit Kaur said the education department never released the salary of the teachers on time.

Devinder Rehan said the teachers were forced to resort to agitation. The union has decided to take out a protest rally at Rampura Phul on January 18. They will take mass casual leave.



Student tops district

Ludhiana, January 16
Devansh Agarwal, a student of BCM, Shastri Nagar, has secured 173 marks in Common Proficiency Test (CPT). She has topped the district. The test was conducted by the All-India Institutes of Chartered Accountants on December 15 and the results were declared yesterday. “Now, I will prepare for level II," said Devansh.

Another student Navdeep Bansal, a student from Aurobindo College, secured 171 marks out of 200 in the exam. "I will focus on the next level now," Navdeep said. — TNS



from schools & colleges

Ludhiana: Ryan International School, Dugri, organised a GK test and a colouring competition. Students performed well. Yashdeep of Class II-B, Krishna of Class III-A and Hargun of Class I-A cleared the district-level test while Anandita of Class II-A cleared the state-level exam. In the drawing competition, Harman of Class III-B and Savleen of Class II emerged winners. Headmistress of the school Ritu Syal congratulated the students.

Army Day

Students of Spring Dale Senior Secondary Public School celebrate Army Day. Spring Dale Senior Secondary Public School celebrated Army Day. General KM Cariappa took over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from Sir Butcher, the last British Commander. Celebrating the 66th Army Day, the school organised a talk by Ankita Rathi. Managing director Avinash Kaur Walia delivered a lecture.

Students of Spring Dale Senior Secondary Public School celebrate Army Day. A Tribune photograph


Students of Kamla Lohtia SD College clinched medals in the Panjab University Inter-College Weightlifting, Powerlifting and Best Physique Competitions at Panjab University. Ajay Kumar claimed a gold medal in weightlifting (62 kg category), Abhishek Kumar clinched a gold medal in weightlifting (94 kg category), Manpreet Singh bagged a bronze medal in weightlifting (94 kg category), Ajay Kumar won a silver medal in powerlifting (62 kg category) and Ramanjot Singh secured the fourth position in weightlifting (85 kg category).


The BCM College of Education organised a one-day teaching aid preparation workshop. Santokh Singh, district guidance officer was the chief guest. Students were given two topics and they prepared teaching aids. They prepared charts, models and flash cards. Position holders were given prizes. Santokh Singh appreciated the efforts of the students.

Interactive session

The training and placement cell and the ISTE student chapter of Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology (GNIMT), Gujarkhan campus, held an interactive session. Dr SN Suba Rao, a social worker, was the speaker. Born in 1929, Rao joined the freedom movement in 1942 when all eminent leaders of the Congress were arrested. He worked with Acharya Binova Bhave and had 48 dacoits arrested from Chambal Valley. Dr (Col) HS Singha, director of the institute, welcomed Dr SN Suba Rao.


Amandeep Singh Dhaliwal, assistant professor, department of computer science and engineering, RIMT Institute of Engineering and Technology, Mandi Gobindgarh, attended the international conference on Computer Science and Information Engineering (ICCSIE 2013) organised by the World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology in Melbourne. He presented a research paper. Chairman Vijayant Bansal and director Dr Harsh Sadawarti congratulated Dhaliwal on his achievement.


Dr Arun Mitra, general secretary, Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD), delivered a talk at a seminar organised by the economics department of SCD Government College on Thursday. He said: "India ranks number one with 12 per cent of arms import while Pakistan ranks number three with 5 per cent of arms import in the world. Both the countries have 100 nuclear weapons each. Referring to a study conducted by Nobel Laureate International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) president Dr Ira Helfand, he said the fall in temperature around the world due to dust and soot would impact the production of food. As many as 925 million people in the world are chronically malnourished (with a baseline consumption of 1,750 calories or less per day).

Students excel

Students of the Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women stood out in the recently held Panjab University Inter-College Weightlifting and Powerlifting competitions. Amandeep Kaur clinched a gold medal, Navdeep Kaur bagged a silver medal while Gagandeep Kaur secured the fourth spot in weightlifting. The college team stood second in powerlifting championship. Navdeep Kaur, Gagandeep Kaur, Teena Rani, Harpreet Kaur claimed gold, silver, bronze medals and the fourth spot, respectively. College principal Dr Parveen Kaur Chawla congratulated the students. — TNS



Green Land school win chess championship
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 16
Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, Jalandhar bypass branch, secured maximum points to emerge the overall champions in the Ludhiana Sahodaya Complex Chess Championship for Boys and Girls, which concluded at Green Land School, here today.

Hosts came out triumphant in the boys and girls under-19 category besides the girl's under-14 section, while BCM Arya Model School, Shastri Nagar, romped home champions in the boys under-14 category.

Rajesh Rudra, chairman and director, chain of Green Land Schools, along with Baldeep Pandher, Principal of Green Land School, Jalandhar bypass branch, distributed the prizes.

Final results

Boys (U-19): Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, Jalandhar bypass (16 points) 1, BCM Arya Model School, Shastri Nagar (10.5 points) 2 and BCM Public School, Chandigarh road (9.5 points) 3.

Girls (U-19): Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, Jalandhar bypass (15 points) 1, BCM Public School, Chandigarh road (11.5 points) 2 and BCN Arya Model School, Shastri Nagar (10 points) 3.

Girls (U-14): Green Land Senior Secondary School, Jalandhar bypass (15 points) 1, BCM Arya Model School, Shastri Nagar (13 points) 2 and Green Land Convent School, Civil City (10.5 points) 3.

Boys (U-14): BCM Arya Model School, Shastgri Nagar (13 points) 1, Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, Jalandhar bypass (10.5 points) 2 and Green Land Convent School, Chandigarh road (10 points) 3.The winners were jubilant on their remarkable win.



Sports festival: Jarkhar Academy dribble to glory
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 16
The four-day 28th Coca Cola Jarkhar Sports Festival began at Jarkhar village on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road today. The event is being organised by the Mata Sahib Kaur Sports Club.

Though hockey matches were held in the senior as well as junior sections on the opening day of the festival, popularly known as the Modern Rural Mini-Olympics, the formal inauguration is slated for Friday.

In the senior section, the Jarkhar Academy overpowered EME, Jalandhar, 4-3 while the Punjab Power Corporation, Patiala, got the better of the BSF, Jalandhar, 3-1 and the match played between Corps of Signals XI and Akalgarh ended in a 2-2 draw.

In the junior group (boys), Jarkhar Hockey Academy defeated PAU XI, Ludhiana, 5-2 and Jassowal School beat Payal XI 4-2 while in the girls' section, Shahbad Markanda Hockey Centre outplayed Khalsa Club 5-2.

Harpreet Singh Shivalik, Youth Akali Dal leader, was the chief guest on the first day of the sports festival.

Punjab Cabinet Ministers Surjit Singh Rakhra and Sikander Singh Maluka will inaugurate the festival tomorrow. The life size statues of the flying Sikh, Milkha Singh, and hockey legend Dhyan Chand will be unveiled during the opening function.

Milkha Singh, his son and ace golfer Jeev Milkha Singh, former international hockey star Ashok Kumar, son of hockey wizard Dhyan Chand will unveil the statues. A hostel set up for trainees of the Jarkhar Hockey Hockey Academy will be inaugurated tomorrow. On the opening and concluding day, certain personalities will be honoured for their outstanding contributions in different fields. Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal, poet Surjit Pattar, Manjit Singh Ghalkalan, Sarabjeet Singh Toor, GS Bains, Onkar Singh Pahwa, hockey star Raj Pal Singh, athlete Mandeep Kaur, international hockey umpire Kuku Walia and film star Kartar Cheema will be honoured.

Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, member of Rajya Sabha, Bikram Singh Majithia, Minister, Punjab, and Jathedar Avtar Singh Makkar, president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandak Committee, will be the guests of honour.

A delegation from the Afghanistan Hockey Federation visited Jarkhar village to watch the annual sports festival. Led by vice-president of the federation Abdullah Noorstani, coach of the national hockey team Ishfaque Khan, Dr Iman Ahmed, captain of the hockey team, Mustafa Shahdat and Saboor Shanvari, the delegation was bowled over by the facilities. Abdullah Noorstani said they had extended help to organisers as they wanted to promote hockey.



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