L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


58 teachers arrested
Were holding protest for regularisation of their services
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

A teacher being arrested. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, February 2
The police arrested 58 teachers, including six women, during a peaceful protest at the grain market on the Jalandhar bypass today. The protest was held in support of their demand for the regularisation of their services. The teachers have been serving on contract under the Centre-sponsored Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan. The police released the women teachers late in the evening.

The police tried to stop the teachers from gathering at the grain market and stopped some buses carrying teachers at Ladhowal. Despite the hurdles, more than 1,000 teachers gathered managed to gather at the grain market. The teachers organised a rally and raised slogans against the Punjab government. Senior police officials, along with a heavy police force, reached the rally venue.

On a call given by Didar Singh Mudki, president of the SSA/RMSA Teachers Union, the protesters started heading for the GT Road for the proposed protest march. The police announced that the teachers did not have permission for the protest and started arresting them.

The police also arrested Mudki and Manraj Singh, district president of the union.

Harmohan Singh, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, said they had arrested 58 teachers under Sections 107 and 151 of the CrPC in apprehension of breach of peace and tranquillity in the area. “The women teachers were released soon after their arrest,” he said.

Sunita, a teacher from Jalandhar, said, “It is illegal to arrest peacefully protesting teachers. We did not block any road or disrupt traffic. It is our democratic right to protest for our rights.”

The teachers have been serving in government schools for the past five years on a contract basis.

Mudki said they had been struggling to get their services regularised. The protesters alleged that the "anti-education policies" of the government would ruin the education sector in the state.

“Our jobs are not secure under the contract system. We will intensify our struggle to get our demand met,” said Mudki.


Rail passengers face weather blues
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 2
With the weather showing no signs of let-up in the region and trains continuing their erratic schedule, travel on long-route trains, including the New Delhi-Ludhiana-Amritsar train, has become a nightmare for passengers. Passengers on the New Delhi-Ludhiana-Amritsar route were at the receiving end as most trains on this section were running behind schedule by more than four hours.

According to railway officials, the 12037 New Delhi-Ludhiana Shatabdi Express arrived late by over three hours, while the 12029 New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi was delayed by one hour and 45 minutes. Similarly, the 12497/12498 New Delhi-Amritsar-New Delhi Shane-Punjab trains were late by one hour and 45 minutes, respectively, the 12460/12459 intercity trains on the same section were running behind schedule by four hours and three hours, respectively, while the 14682/14681 Jalandhar-New Delhi-Jalandhar intercity trains were late by over four hours and two hours, respectively.

There was a huge rush of passengers at the railway station opting to get their tickets cancelled and choosing alternative modes of transport as many of them had time-bound commitments, while several had to catch connecting trains or flights.

Sanjeev Puri, an executive with a private company who was to travel to the National Capital by the Amritsar-New Delhi Intercity Express, said he had no choice but to get the ticket cancelled and take a cab to make it to his destination in time for catching a flight to Mumbai.

Among other long-distance trains running late by several hours were the 14673 Jaynagar-Amritsar Shaeed Express (11 hours), the 15707 Katihar-Amritsar Amrapali Express (8.45 hours), the 12331 Kolkata-Jammu Himgiri Express (3.40 hours), the 12919 Indore-Jammu Malwa Express (4.25 hours), the 18101 Tatanagar-Jammu Muri Express (4.35 hours), the 12355 Rajendranagar-Jammu Archna Express (4.40 hours), the 11057 Mumbai-Amritsar Dadar Express (3.50 hours) and the 12380 Amritsar-Sealdah Express (3.40 hours).

Railway officials said several other mail and express trains originating from or bound for places such as Kolkata, Varanasi, Jammu and Amritsar were running late by anything between an hour and two and a half hours, causing inconvenience to passengers.

Inadequate seating capacity at the platforms and lack of sufficient covered waiting area further added to the woes of passengers waiting for their respective trains at the railway station.



4 killed in accidents; 2 commit suicide
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
Six persons lost their lives in separate incidents in different parts of the city today. While four persons, including two women and a child, were killed in road accidents, two persons committed suicide. Three persons, including a child, were killed while three others were injured when the two motorcycles they were travelling on collided head-on with a water tanker on South City Road near Sukhmani Enclave here today.

According to Sandeep and Bharpur Singh, staff of the 108 Ambulance service, who took the victims to the hospital, the deceased have been identified as Jagdeo Kumar (30), his wife Kamlesh and their five-year-old daughter Nisha. The condition of Bhanu (22), Rakesh (13) and Krishan (3) was stated to be serious.

They were returning home after attending a birthday party. One of the injured told the police that they had taken liquor at the party.

Eyewitnesses told the police that Bhanu and Jagdeo were riding their motorcycles at a high speed. The accident took place when both of them were overtaking a vehicle and could not spot the water tanker parked in the middle of the road. Before they could react, they collided with the water tanker. While Jagdeo and Nisha died on the spot, Kamlesh died during treatment at the hospital.

In another accident, an elderly woman, Gurdeep Kaur, a resident of Field Gunj, was crushed to death under a bus. The incident took place this morning when Gurdeep Kaur was walking towards her home after fetching milk.

According to an eyewitness, a bus came from the rear side and ran over the victim. The bus driver maintained that a boy had jumped in front of the bus and in a bid to save him, he took a sharp turn and hit Gurdeep Kaur, resulting in her death. Gurdeep Kaur's son Inderjit Singh did not seek police action.

Suicide cases

A 32-year-old man, Rohit Sharma, committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at his house in Preet Vihar in Haibowal. Rohit was living separately from his family. The incident came to light when his friend Gagandeep Singh came to meet him.

He knocked at the door, but no one responded. Finally, he informed Rohit's parents. They reached the spot and broke open the door. They were shocked to find the body of the victim hanging from the fan.

Rohit left a suicide note in which he did not blame anyone for his death. Rohit's family members said Rohit had a strained relations with his wife and was living separately from his family.

In another incident, Manohar (34), a native of Nepal, who was living in the Shivpuri area, committed suicide by hanging himself from a hook in the ceiling of his bedroom.

Manohar, father of four (three daughters and a son), was in depression due a financial crunch.

According to Manohar's wife Puja, her husband came home drunk and locked himself inside a room and committed suicide.



Lok sabha elections
Major reshuffle on cards in civic body
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is expected to see a major reshuffle in the next few days. In view of the Lok Sabha elections, directions have been issued by the Election Commission stating that any officer who has stayed in a district for more than three years and directly or indirectly influences the election procedure needs to be changed at the earliest.

The transfer of officials in the MC remained the main topic of discussion among leaders and officials from Chandigarh, who were in the city yesterday with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal (who was on an official visit) and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal (who was on a private visit).

Sources in Chandigarh said Rahul Tiwari, MC Commissioner, had already completed his four-year stint in Ludhiana and his transfer was expected anytime.

"The changes will be made within 10 days. Tiwari may be posted as the Director, Local Bodies, Punjab. There is another proposal that if the NDA forms the government at the Centre, he may later be sent by the state government to Delhi for the early completion of projects worth several crores of rupees. There is yet another proposal that as projects worth Rs 800 crore have been started in Ludhiana and since Tiwari has stayed in the district for more than four years, he may be called back to Ludhiana as the MC Commissioner once the elections are over," said a senior official attached to the Chief Minister's office on condition of anonymity.

The sources said Tiwari had reportedly asked for a "light" posting as he was already in a "field posting" for over eight years now. During his stay both in Bathinda and Ludhiana districts, he has been termed a non-controversial officer.

Besides Tiwari, one of the two Additional Commissioners, Sumit Jarangal and Isha Kalia, may also be changed as their posting as Deputy Commissioner is expected within a year and a half and before that, they would like to gain experience as Additional Deputy Commissioners (General or Development).



Youth shot dead in Khanna
Our Correspondent

Khanna, February 2
Old rivalry between two groups of youths turned bloody when a youth was shot dead and another injured seriously in a firing incident at Malerkotla Chowk in Khanna this evening.

The deceased has been identified as Kulwinder Singh, alias Pehalwan (28), of Goslan village. The injured, Amninder Singh, alias Soni, also belongs to Goslan. Some youths arrived in a Scorpio at the chowk. Soon, another vehicle, an Endeavour, reached there. The occupants of the Endeavour reportedly broke the windowpanes of the Scorpio. They allegedly took out their weapons and opened fire on the youths sitting in the Scorpio and fled from the scene. While Kulwinder died on the spot, Soni was injured seriously and taken to Apollo Hospital in Ludhiana.

Senior police officials, including Khanna SSP Sushil Kumar and City SHO Waryam Singh, visited the spot. The SHO said old rivalry was the reason behind the incident and it was believed to be connected with the incident in which some persons opened fire in the grain market at Khanna some time ago.

The SHO said they had registered a case under Sections 302 and 307 of the IPC against Gippy of Kauri village, Amarjit of Fateh Garh Nuan, Monu and Dhanna, besides some unidentified persons and the police were on the lookout for them.

The broad daylight firing incident in one of the busiest points of the city caused panic among area residents. This is busy point as several passengers board buses from Malerkotla Chowk to reach Ludhiana, Doraha and other destinations.



Tewari: Govt diverting funds meant for city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister and Ludhiana MP Manish Tewari today accused the ruling Akali-BJP government in the state of ignoring Ludhiana and diverting development funds from the city to other places. Addressing a public meeting at Haibowal, organised by local councillor Hemraj Aggarwal here today, Tewari said the state government was "indifferent" to the city and "hostile" to the areas represented by the Congress.

The minister alleged that even the funds granted by the Central Government were either diverted for other purposes or were not accounted for. He said five years had passed since he got Rs 50 crore released from the Planning Commission for cleaning Buddha Nullah, but the state government misappropriated the entire amount.

He cautioned the people against sectarian and divisive forces "trying to raise their ugly head". He reminded people about the dark days of terrorism when people were scared to venturing out of their homes. He said the sectarian and divisive forces were capable of only creating fear in the minds of the people.

Among those present on the occasion were former minister and local MLA Rakesh Pandey and leader of the party councillors in the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation Hemraj Aggarwal.



Day after, boy's death still a mystery
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
A day after the body of a five-year-old boy was recovered from near a drain in the Kashmir Nagar area, the police have failed to make any headway in the case. The boy, who is yet to be identified and was wearing only a red cap, was found dead yesterday afternoon.

Brij Mohan, Staion House Officer, Division No. 3, said, "No one has approached us to identify the body. We cannot perform the autopsy till 72 hours as per the norms. We are trying to identify the boy's family. We have visited the surrounding areas to find out if any boy has gone missing from there."

He said a probe would be conducted after the postmortem.

"Once the postmortemis conducted and the report is with us, we will get to know the cause of death and conduct a probe accordingly," said the Staion House Officer.



Better Ludhiana: Traffic-I
Admn’s flaws leading to traffic chaos
Gurvinder Singh/Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
Probably the administration and the traffic police seem to have given up on controlling the traffic chaos which has become a bane for the city. Day in and day out, the city stands stranded at the same bottlenecks, but there seems to be no way out and no escape from the traffic-jam conundrum. The worst and the most tragic part of the chaos is that the traffic jams occur on the roads leading to some of the major hospitals in the city. Ambulances get stuck in the middle of jarring jams and patients who need immediate treatment suffer, sometimes losing the ‘golden period’ when they could survive, but unfortunately ‘nobody can do anything about it’.

Horns honking, engines revving, smoke emitting and the frustrated commuters blurting out invectives in the middle of the road clearly depicts the scenario of a traffic chaos. This is an everyday sight on some of the city roads.

Dare getting on the Jagraon Bridge during the daylight, and there is no escape from the traffic trap. Ambulances stuck there has no chance of escaping the traffic and the relatives of the patient have fear writ large in their eyes, as they know that they would also have to wade through another traffic pandemonium on the long traffic-afflicted Field Ganj Road on their way to the Civil Hospital. For those reaching CMC through this route, it is only an odyssey and they just pray for the health of the patients.

The traffic police, some say, don’t have it in their hands, as they remain best as ‘hand-waving’ spectators in the middle of the traffic or rather ‘invisible’ at the everyday traffic-jam spots.

The traffic jam on some of the roads is worsened by encroachments. On the Field Ganj road, not only the extended shops have shortened the road space, but roadside cart-vendors have hijacked it as if they were the licensed owners for using it invariably. Occasional drives by MC or traffic police to clear the roads budge them rarely.

The revving sound of auto-rickshaws assures one has reached Brown Road, as the black and yellow auto-rickshaws cause traffic, air and noise pollution near the hospital. These have become a necessary evil, for these bring in many patients to the CMC for treatment, but equally test their patience causing traffic blockages, for they ply in large numbers in the area. Despite this, the traffic police have been unable to devise a system to control the traffic chaos at least on the road leading to the hospital.

An ambulance driver said the roads from Dhandari to Sherpur were jam-packed during the morning and evening hours. “If we get on the road during rush hours, there is no escape,” he says. “Perennial traffic problem pertains on the Samrala-CMC road. You are literally plunging yourself in a traffic jam from the flyover at the ISBT entrance all the way to the Bharat Nagar Chowk,” he says. He adds it takes an hour to complete a small stretch of the road to reach the ESIC Hospital.

Even though the traffic police helps, but they can’t do much because of too much traffic, says Jagdeep Singh, district manager of 108 Ambulance Service. “There must be a separate lane for ambulances and city buses to move from one place to another,” he says.

Rahat, a resident, said taking her father, who had suffered a cardiac arrest, was a nightmare for her family as they had to confront traffic jam at several places on the way to the hospital. “Thankfully, we made just in time, but the jams gave us a harrowing experience,” she sighs.

“The traffic here is awful. It is astounding how people manage to drive here and spend so long in the middle of traffic,” says a visitor from Chandigarh. “I had to see my relatives admitted to a hospital here, but I am unnerved by the lack of traffic control here,” he said.

Senior Medical Officer Dr RK Karkara said there had been instances of many critically ill patients reaching hospitals very late, because of the jams. Dr Rajinder Gulati from Civil Hospital said there had been cases of deliveries of babies being in ambulances while on their way to the hospital, as some of the cases happened because of the delay due to traffic jams. “There is a need for a multi-pronged strategy to address the issue, including a larger and more efficient public transport network, he said. Campaigns for pooling of cars and promotion regarding the use of bicycles must be encouraged.” he said. Schoolchildren and college-going students must be sensitised towards the problem of traffic, he said.

No encroachments

MC Commissioner Rahul Tewari said the Municipal Corporation carried out drives to flush out encroachments regularly. Shopkeepers encroaching on the roads must understand that they should avoid it. A new street-vendor policy is being formulated, under which a separate space would be given to them, and if they violate rules, their belongings would be confiscated. It is not possible to have separate lanes in the interior areas, but a dedicated corridor would be there for ambulances and public transport, wherever 8-laning of the roads is being done, he said.

Shortage of staff

The strength of staff with the Traffic Police Department in Ludhiana as compared to the staff in Jalandhar police stations is less. Because of the staff shortage, we cannot depute enough workforce to resolve the issues.




Sometimes it’s all about money, honey!

It is an era of competition. Earlier going for tuition classes was a taboo for students, but today the scenario is entirely different. Now only studious and rich students can afford to attend tuitions and the tuition centres too hold entrance tests before admitting students. I was astonished to know that a Class X student who is yet to appear for her board examinations was busy preparing for getting admission to one of the prestigious coaching centres in the city. ‘Guru-shishya parampara’ has definitely taken a backseat and it is money that rules the roost!

Railway apathy makes it worse for passengers

The Ludhiana railway station is one of the biggest and perhaps the highest revenue earner railway station in the region. But as far as facilities and amenities, being provided to passengers and other visitors is concerned, it fairs very poorly, to say the least. Overall sanitation level at the platforms leaves a lot to be desired, the seating arrangements at the crowded platforms are far too inadequate and the waiting area for passengers is poorly maintained. Especially during winter season when the trains run behind the schedule for hours together, the passengers, including women and children are exposed to vagaries of weather, as the capacity of waiting rooms is grossly disproportionate to the volume of passengers. Harassment of passengers at the hands of vendors, the GRP personnel and railway staff are the other common complaints of the travelling public.

Don’t shy away from mediapersons

The officials have set a particular mindset about the media fraternity. While many adopt a friendly approach with reporters and tell the truth so that the reports are factual when published, but there are others, who believe in ‘non-communicative approach’. Come what may, they will never call back or reply back to the calls made by reporters or the messages sent to them. And when the news is published without their versions, they start raising hue and cry. Such officials need to realise that nobody is perfect. They are performing their duties and the media is performing its own. They must be transparent enough to give the right information instead of hiding themselves from the media fraternity.

Dodging the traffic police

All two-wheeler drivers should wear helmet while riding their vehicles. It has been observed that many a times, drivers wear helmet just before crossing the traffic lights and take it off as soon as they cross these lights. Such drivers do not tie the straps of the helmets, so that it could be adjusted and taken off of their head easily. Perhaps they wear helmets just to show it to the traffic police personal that they are wearing helmet. It seems, they are least bothered about their safety.

Contributed by: Manav Mander, Kuldip Bhatia, Shivani Bhakoo, Anupam Bhagria



Issuing notification
NRHM docs await notification, blame state government
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
The homeopath and ayurvedic doctors, working under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), are still awaiting a written notification from the state government. The state government had assured the doctors that they will be conducting surveys under Rashtriya Baal Swasthaya Karyakaram (RSBK) for three days and for the remaining days they will be in their OPDs.

Homoeopathy and Ayurveda doctors have been urging the state government to not to depute them for the survey as it will make their work suffer and put patients at receiving end.

“Doctors are already being trained for the survey. The Mohali district has already undergone training, but no notification has been issued by the government so far. We agreed to undergo training on the verbal assurance given by the higher authorities,” said the president of the NRHM Homoeopathy Association, Dr Balwinder Kumar. Dr Surinder Singh, an ayurveda specialist said, “We have our own set of patients and a normal physician cannot prescribe medication to them. In this situation, we have to be around our patients,” said the doctor.


Rashtriya Baal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) is a new initiative of the Health Ministry aimed at screening over 27 crore children in the country aged between 0 to 18 years. The children will be screened for 4 Ds - defects at birth, diseases, deficiencies and development delays including disabilities. Those diagnosed with illnesses will receive follow up treatment, totally free-of-cost under the NRHM.



State BJP president’s rendezvous with his Facebook friends
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
The issue of factionalism within the BJP cropped up in the face-to-face interaction of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president Kamal Sharma with his Facebook friends, in Ludhiana, on Sunday evening. Sharma, while admitting that sometimes there's a clash of ambitions when people work together, claimed that not even a single rebel from the BJP had contested in the Assembly polls in Punjab. “The BJP is in a much better position as compared to other political parties. If there are any differences within the party, we will try to resolve them,” said Sharma.

“In a democracy, all (party leaders and functionaries) have a right to stake their claim (to party ticket),” he added. Though the state president's interactive session was on the BJP vis-à-vis other political parties, it turned into introspective mode when one of the office-bearers of the BJP youth wing claimed that not much is being done to increase the party's support base among the youth in the district. Sharma chose to dismiss the criticism of the BJP youth wing with a generaliaed statement.

Lauding the work of the Ludhiana unit of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the state BJP chief said the yuva morcha is doing a commendable job. “A door-to-door campaign for the registration of new voters is on. There's a special focus on the registration of new voters outside the college campuses.”

The state BJP chief also dismissed speculations about friction between the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the BJP. “On some issues there may be differences (between the Akali Dal and the BJP), but by and large we work together,” said Sharma.



Anti-Sikh riots
Protest outside Congress Bhawan
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
The 1984 Sikh Katleam Peerat Welfare Society today held protest against the Congress leaders, Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Jagdish Tytlor and Sajjan Kumar in front of the Congress Bhawan. The protesters also burnt their effigies and disrupted the traffic flow.

The protest was held under the presidentship of Surjit Singh and president of women wing Gurdeep Kaur.

The protester urged the government to constitute a SIT under the supervision of a judge of the Supreme Court.

Leaders of the society said an FIR should be registered against the accused who were involved in the 1984 riots.

The protesting members and office-bearers said if the government fails to constitute SIT within a week, then the riot affected family will sit on fast unto death outside the residence of Rahul Gandhi.

The protesters also removed posters of Congress leaders from the Congress Bhawan.

The commuters were also put to inconvenience as they had to take longer routes, as the traffic was also blocked outside the Congress Bhawan on the occasion.



Kejriwal should focus on fulfilling promises, says Kamal Sharma
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
Refusing to comment on Delhi Chief Minister (CM) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal's list of corrupt politicians, State Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Kamal Sharma today said the AAP had a fractured mandate in Delhi polls and that the Delhi CM should focus on fulfilling the promises made to the electorate.

Sharma, who was in the city today to hold a face-to-face interaction with his Facebook friends, said this while interacting with media persons.

Sharma reiterated that there will not be any swapping of seats between the Akali Dal and the BJP. In the next few days, the State Election Committee of the BJP will meet to recommend the candidates' names for the ensuing Lok Sabha polls to the party's central election committee.

On the speculation that BJP leader Arun Jaitley may be fielded from Amritsar Constituency, he said the party's central committee will take a decision on it. “Jaitley is too big a leader for the state leadership to comment on his candidature.”

Sharma appealed to his Facebook friends to contribute as volunteers to help in making Narendra Modi the Prime Minister of India.



AIDS-affected couple ties knot
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna, February 2
Showing a new ray of hope to the AIDS affected people, a couple, suffering from AIDS, got married at Khanna today. The couple, who reportedly met at a clinic in Ludhiana about two years ago during their treatment, started liking each other and finally took the decision to get married. The youth belongs to Moga while the woman, who belonged to Nawanshahr was married at Khanna. She got herself affected from her husband, who died of AIDS sometime ago. The woman has two children from her first marriage.

As per the information, in 2002 her husband revealed that he had developed AIDS after he got a tattoo done on his shoulders. The woman revealed that she came to know about the disease in 2004, when she suffered from some disease that remained uncured for a long time. So, she got her medical tests done, which revealed that she was also suffering from AIDS.

The couple solemnised their marriage at Gurudwara Singh Sabha Sahib at Khanna. Some close relatives of the duo were present at the time of marriage.

A medical expert of Khanna Dr Shalini Sharma said the average life span of a person suffering from AIDS could be five years less than the normal average life of a normal person. She said although the AIDS affected could give birth to a child but there was a risk to the life of the infant, so they should resist from giving birth to a child.



transferring male staff
Teachers’ unions flay govt policy
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
Teacher unions have demanded an implementation of concrete policy for taking decisions on sensitive issues such as shifting of male teachers from girl’s school. Representatives of teachers’ unions alleged that every education minister imposes his personal decisions on teachers and such decision often changes with the appointment of new education minister.

Ramanjit Singh from the Democratic Teacher Front, said, “It was the education minister’s decision to shift the male staff from girl’s school. He is not in the capacity to take such decisions. If there is any problem regarding this, a committee of experts including psychologists should be constituted. How can a single person take such a decision?”

“Such decisions are subject to change. The next education minister will again change the rule. We demand that government should make a concrete policy to take such decisions, so that individuals do not impose their personal decision on thousands of teachers. The education system is suffering due to such decisions,” said Ramanjit.

“There should be a debate in the assembly. Around 40,000 male teachers have been serving in the Education Department of the state. With the implementation of this decision, the government has shifted only 411 teachers across the Punjab. This decision has dotted the image of teachers in society. The next education minister will change the decision again, so who will listen to the voice of these 411 shifted teachers?” said the president of the Master Cadre Union.



Dr Dosanjh gets Randhawa memorial award
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
Dr SS Dosanjh was bestowed with Dr Mahinder Singh Randhawa Memorial Award on his 75th birth anniversary by Kaumi Sahit te Kala Parishad at Punjabi Bhawan yesterday.

Shedding light upon his experience, Dr Dosanjh said all his life he followed his father’s teaching of not to compromise with one’s conscience. He said he never gave in for temptations.

He said he protested against the PAU workers voting in favour of the Emergency when it was declared. He also made many members of literary organisations to protest against the Emergency, because of which he was jailed. Dr Dosanjh added that after the arrival of Marxism in Punjab, many people became distanced from the thoughts and principles of Gurbani, even though the philosophy of humanity and making a living by working hard came here much earlier with Gurbani.

He said the major reason for the plunging down of the state was that people here had distanced themselves from books and literature. There is a need for campaigning for them to start reading again, he said.

Dr Sardara Singh Johl, Vice-Chancellor of Central University of Punjab, said luminaries like Dr Dosanjh give a constructive direction to society that the future generations could follow. Surjit Patar said Dr Dosanjh never compromised on principles and struggled even if he had to go against people close to him. Dr Tejwant Singh Mann said he has been an intrepid crusader for people’s rights. President of Punjabi Sahit Akademi Gurbhajan Singh Gill said the contribution of Dr Dosanjh for expansion of the academy and promotion of mother-tongue would always be cherished and remembered.

Dr Ranjit Singh, Prof Nirmal Datt, Chairperson of Punjab Kala Parishad, Harjinder Kaur Sangha apart from others also praised his contribution, grit and struggle against injustice.



land auction
Commissioner told to hold probe, submit report in 15 days
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
Anil Joshi, Minister, Local Bodies, Punjab, has asked Rahul Tiwari, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, to inquire into the auction of 4,000 square yards land in Amritsar and purchase of diesel for MC vehicles from a particular petrol pump by the Municipa Corporation. Tiwari has been asked to submit the detailed report within 15 days.

As per letter, written by the Minister on January 27, the particular issue was raised in the media and looking at the seriousness of the issue, The MC Commissioner, Rahul Tiwari, has been asked to probe and submit his report to the Minister. The Minister has asked the Commissioner MC Amritsar DPS Kharbanda to provide assistance and record to Tiwari. Tiwari confirmed to have received the letter from the Minister. At the same time, he maintained that he did not know about the case as of now, but would visit Amritsar with his team to probe on February 7.

Talking on the issue, the MC Commissioner, Amritsar, DPS Kharbanda, said that the particular land was auctioned through a bid and the bidder had deposited 10 per cent amount of Rs 1.5 crore whereas he had to deposit 25 per cent of the amount. Secondly, the bidder said that he would deposit the amount for just 2600 yards of land and not 4000 yards of land because a certain area near Company Bagh came under the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) where no construction could be done. The bidder said that he was not aware of the GOI instructions, with the result his bid was forfeited, so he raised a hue and cry, said Kharbanda.

On being asked about the purchase of diesel from one particular petrol pump for the MC vehicles, the MC Commissioner said that earlier the MC was purchasing diesel from a government petrol pump. But since one private dealer offered more discounts and the MC could save resources, the MC opted for the particular pump.

"We have also asked others that if they offer more discount in diesel we will switch over to them to save money for the MC", said Kharbanda. 



Ekta Manch activists block rail track over demands
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 2
To impress upon the authorities in the administration to accept their long-pending demands, activists and office-bearers of the Ahmedgarh Ekta Manch organised a dharna at the local railway station on the Ludhiana-Dhuri line here today.

However, the blockade was lifted after a few hours when Malerkotla SDM Amit Bambi assured the protestors that senior functionaries would soon invite them for a meeting to discuss their problems.

Their demands include upgrading the town to a sub-division, establishment of a government degree college, construction of at least one under-bridge or ROB and plying of buses up to the local bus stop along with improved civic amenities.

Vicky Sharma and Vikas Tandon, patron and chairman of the manch, alleged that the administration had been ignoring the demands of the residents being raised from time to time. Having failed to get their voice heard, activists and office-bearers of various organisations had united under the banner of the manch and had initiated a movement two weeks ago. They had earlier blocked vehicular traffic on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road near Jandali village.

Sub-divisional magistrate Malerkotla Amit Bambi reached the spot and pursued them to lift the blockade.



vat credit
Traders up in arms against Excise and Taxation Department’s policy

Ludhiana, February 2
Industry is up in arms against the latest notification issued by the Excise and Taxation Department regarding iron and steel. Industrialists have termed the notification illegal and have decided to move High Court in this regard.

“When we have paid the 4.95 per cent VAT to the government during purchases, then how can the government disallow the 4.95 per cent input VAT credit and instead order the industry to claim only 2.75 per cent on the stock?” said Badish Jindal, president of the Federation of Association Small Industries of India. "We plan to begin demonstration against the input tax credit up to second stage,” said Jindal. “Dealers have been asked to declare their stock as on January 31, 2014, on the official website of the department. The department cannot issue notice a day before implementing it,” said Kuljit Singh, a local trader.

Secretary of Punjab Tax Bar Association Arun said input tax credit on stock will be restricted to 2.75 per cent which means a loss of 2.20 per cent of ITC on the stock held on the mentioned date.



School compiles book on lesser-known facts
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
Students and staff of DRV DAV Centenary Public School, Phillaur, have compiled some facts about the India in a book titled, ‘It happens only in "My" India’'. Principal of the school Yogesh Gambhir said, “We exhorted our students and teachers to go ahead with the book, in order to acquaint masses with lesser known facts about the country.”

Students from Classes IV to XII contributed in making of the book.

Supported with pictures and illustrations, the book can rightly be called an amalgamation of knowledge and creativity, said Gambhir.

Diksha Kakkar, a Class XII student, said, “While compiling information about the Magnetic Hill in Ladakh, I was completely awestruck. I believe that there are many things which are yet to be explored about our country.”

Rekha Dhir, a mother of two, said, “Some write ups about Harita Kaur Deol, the first woman pilot of India, Gulshan Kumar, a polio victim but a great dancer, Fauza Singh, Fateh Burj, India's first female photojournalist, Anandi Gopal Joshi, the first Indian women in medical science, are all so enlightening. The efforts of the students and faculty is clearly visible in all the compilations.”



Petrol siphoned off from parked motorbikes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
A group of eight pilgrims from Amritsar faced a tough time visiting the historical gurdwara at Alamgir. During their visit, some persons allegedly siphoned the petrol from their motorcycles and also stole other accessories. An official from the gurdwara claimed that he was unaware about the incident.

The matter came to light this morning when Gurpreet Singh Johal from Amritsar along with his friends was heading back home.

“We brought the matter to the notice of the gurdwara authorities. They were very hospitable and immediately arranged for fuel. The gurdwara authorities even offered us compensation, but it was not their fault. They even provided us with food and accommodation,” said Gurpreet Singh.

There was a time when visitors used to leave their belongings unattended outside the Alamgir Gurdwara and no one used to even touch it. The incident has come forth as a big disappointment, said a visitor. 



Over 100 cars take part in rally
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
Supporting the educational cause, NGOs Round Table India and Ladies Circle India organised the 2nd Blind Car Rally at South City today. More than 100 cars participated in the event. This car rally was flagged off by social activist Deepika Bhalla.

Anand Gupta, city chairman, Round Table India, informed that the car rally started from Carlton Woods in South City and after passing through several areas, it ended at the same point. “The rally was a fun family event where the participant’s family had a driver, passengers and a blind man, who performed as a navigator giving directions in Braille (blind man’s language),” he informed.

Hyatt Regency, Ludhiana, a part of Hyatt Hotels, also participated in the event as a co-sponsor. Speaking on the occasion, Glenn Peat, general manager of Hyatt Regency, said, “Continuing with its tradition of supporting the community in every possible way Hyatt has once again joined hands with Round Table India to support the noble initiative.” They awarded the winners in various categories of the rally with 4 coupons for 1 night stay and 8 free dining coupons.



Minister gives away prizes
Tribune News Service

Kila Raipur, February 2
Union Minister of Broadcasting Manish Tewari and Food and Supply Minister, Punjab, Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, gave away the prizes to the winners of various events on the concluding day of Kila Raipur Sports Festival.

Tewari and Kairon announced grants worth Rs 15 and 10 lakh, respectively, for the improvement of infrastructure at the sports stadium and the development of the village.

While Sukh Nagra Golu of Jodhan bagged Rs 1 lakh for winning the bullock cart race, hockey players of Hans Kalan Hockey Club won a 1,000 gm Bhagwant Memorial Gold Cup by defeating Mukandpur Association.

Bullock carts of Jaggi of Assi Kalan, Ranjit Singh of Rahuwaria, Pirthi of Ghangas, Golu of Jodhan, Gurdeep Singh of Dhaulmajra, Jyoti of Dhano and Karnail Singh of Daipaie village also won the respective prizes.

Jarkhar boys lifted the six-a-side junior hockey cup by defeating Sangrur Hockey Academy team.

In tug-of-war Chaheru defeated Shankar Jallandhar. The Trolley loading and unloading match was won by Palledar Union Sangrur by defeating Chardi Kala Rice Mill Manvi Union.

Deaf and dumb race was won by Sunil Kumar from Ludhiana ahead of Dilraj Singh from Ludhiana.

200 m Women's final was won by Sunny from Patiala.



Police release 25 activists of TET teachers’ union

Ludhiana, February 2
The city police released 25 activists of Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) Passed Unemployed Teachers Union here today. The unemployed unionists were arrested on January 26 for disrupting the Republic Day celebrations in the city.

According to information, teachers had gathered at Chatar Singh Park to hold protest against Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who was the chief guest on the occasion.

Additional Deputy Police Commissioner (ADCP) Harmohan Singh said all the union activists arrested have been released.

“The police received a written apology from activists and released them,” said Harmohan Singh

The Additional Deputy Police Commissioner said one of the protesters even assured that he will not be a part of the protests from next time onwards since his marriage is scheduled for February 6.

The ADCP said the police have warned teachers of the consequences. “Blocking the roads and disrupting the traffic flow is not a way to protest,” said Harmohan.



Kila Raipur games
Baton in hands of 3rd-gen organisers

Kila Raipur, February 2
It is the third-generation commitment at Grewal Sports Stadium here when it comes to making arrangements to ensure that Kila Raipur Rural Sports Festival is a success. The present generation includes teenagers, who were seen extending hospitality to special guests and facilitating ceremonies performed during the sports fest.

Hartej Singh and Simran Kaur, youngest among the third-generation organisers, said they were motivated to shoulder the responsibility of the mega event by hearing the history of the rural sports fromtheir grandfather Harjit Singh. Along with their grandfather and father Kuljinder Singh Jindi, they are working religiously to ensure that the event is a success.

Jasjit Singh Honey, the grandson of a veteran participant of bullock cart races Baba Bakhshi, said he had decided to devote himself to the rural games on seeing his father SSP Surjit Singh Grewal earning goodwill by supporting the event.

"I decided to associate myself with the games when I found that my father and grandfather had more fans among sportspersons than in any other section of society. I give more importance to duties at the stadium these days," Honey said.

Harnainjit Singh Shavi, the grandson of a founder organiser Tara Singh, is another third-generation supporter of the games. Senior functionaries count on him for important tasks at the stadium and localities in vicinity.

Shavi’s father Paramjit Singh Grewal says he could now think of travelling overseas as his son can share the responsibilities of the games.

Ramanveer Singh Monu and Inderveer Grewal, grandsons of founder organiser of the games Dr Abchal Singh Grewal, said they had inherited the love for the rural sports from their father Sukhvir Singh Grewal and uncle Jagbir Singh Grewal.

Jatinder Singh, another third-generation young organiser and the grandson of founder member Ajaib Singh, is glad that senior organisers had been asking him to do various jobs for the success of the event. — TNS



Kila Raipur sports fest ends on a vibrant note
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Kila Raipur, February 2
A sparkling show of talent, guts and hard work, both in traditional and conventional sports, at the Kila Raipur Rural Sports Festival ended a with great pomp and show at Grewal Sports Stadium here today.

The mega event brought together more than 5,000 sportspersons not only from the host state, but from across the world. From kids to octogenarians participated and showcased their skills.

Cultural performances by students of SBRS Gurukal Academy Moga, Luddi team of Shree Guru Arjun Dev Senior Secondary School Batala, Senior Secondary School Sihar, Kamla Lohtia SD College Ludhiana and Playway Senior Secondary School Patiala enthralled the audiences.

Top Punjabi folk singers and dancers captured the hearts of the audiences during a cultural programme organised to conclude the fest in the evening.

Carrying forward the legacy

The third generation of those involved in performing arts also participated in the sports festival. Some of the performers said that earlier their grandfather used to participate and now they had taken their place.

Gurmeet Singh, a resident of Ludhiana, informed that his grandfather Balwant Singh used to perform at this festival even before he was born. “Now he is no more, So, I decided to continue the legacy forward. That is why I participated in the fest.” He lifted the bicycle with his teeth.

A 10-year-old boy from Kalakh village lifted 20 kg of weight. “Even his grandfather used to lift weights at the sports festival,” informed one of the organisers.



International twist to national fest
Tribune News Service

Kila Raipur, February 2
The 78th edition of sports festival at Kila Raipur witnessed huge participation not only from across the nation but also from all over the world with foreign tourists attending the function in large numbers and cherishing every moment of it. Also, foreign media was seen capturing moments at the 78-year-old sports festival, the main attraction of which was the bullock cart race.

A group of eight, each from Spain and Japan, and foreign tourists from Holland, South Africa, Norway, Brazil and several other countries had come here to witness the traditional as well as national sports events.

Fernando, a tourist from Spain, told The Tribune that he lives in Delhi and his friends had come to visit him there. “They wanted to see the Punjabi culture and that is why I brought them here. We are staying in Ludhiana and would go back there in the evening,” he said. The Spanish delegation comprised of five boys and three girls.

A media crew from Japan recorded all events. Two members of their group even participated in the Bullock Cart race event.

Paramjit Singh Grewal, former secretary, Grewal Sports Association, said, “We want that the state government should include Kila Raipur as a travellers’ destination so that the number of foreign tourists increases further.”



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