L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Gang busted, cop’s kidnappers held
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

MS Dhesi,ADC-Crime, addresses a press conference in Ludhiana on Wednesday
MS Dhesi,ADC-Crime, addresses a press conference in Ludhiana on Wednesday.

Ludhiana, April 16
With the arrest of three persons, the city police have claimed to the have busted a gang that was behind two sensational robberies which took place at April 12 midnight. The gang was also involved in the kidnapping of head constable Rakesh Kumar who was stabbed and left for dead at Bhairomunna village, near Sahnewal.

The accused, including Munna Kumar, alias Guddu of Tibba Road, Amarjit Kumar, alias Munna, and Balwinder Singh, alias Binder, of Bhatian and Jodhewal area, respectively, were arrested at Sahnewal today.

While the trio was arrested, their two accomplices, including serial killer Rahul Malhan, who is wanted in three murder cases, and Preet Singh, who had committed robberies along with the arrested gang members, escaped.

During interrogation, the arrested trio confessed that they had killed 17-year-old Manoj Kumar in the Jodhewal area. Manoj was killed on March 12 as he tried to foil a robbery.

Besides recovering a stolen Mahindra Scorpio, the police have also seized three daggers that were used by the accused to kill Manoj. The accused had stabbed Rakesh Kumar 17 times in the back. They had also stabbed Scorpio driver Jang Bahadur.

ADCP-IV Swapan Sharma, ADCP-Crime MS Dhesi and ACP-Crime Jaswinder Singh said the accused hired a taxi from Jalandhar to Delhi. On reaching the Salem Tabri area, the gang members stabbed the Scorpio driver Jang Bahadur and fled with the vehicle.

When the robbers reached near the office of Guru Kirpa Property Dealer in Jodhewal Basti, they stopped a car and robbed a family of their gold ornaments and mobile phones. The police have recovered the mobile phones.

In the morning, the robbers laid a trap near the Sahnewal police station and kidnapped head constable Rakesh Kumar, who was returning home after duty. The gang members stabbed him and dumped him for dead.

It is learnt that Munna, alias Guddu, who is the kingpin of the gang, was nabbed in a drug peddling case in November last year by Rakesh Kumar. Guddu plotted to kill Rakesh to avenge his arrest.

Rakesh was spotted by the villagers and was rushed to the hospital. His condition was stated to be stable.

Sources said while the city police were clueless about the identity of the accused, the Jalandhar police provided close-circuit television (CCTV) camera footage of the suspects. Munna and his aides had been caught in camera while they had visited the Jalandhar-based office of the taxi operator.

The sources said all the gang members were hooked to drugs. They kept hiding in different parts of the city. The accused have also confessed that they had perpetrated five snatchings in the Salem Tabri and Jodhewal Basti areas. Migrants were their preferred targets.

Police acted late

The kidnapping of a policeman and dumping him on the roadside had caused major embarrassment to the city police. If the police had acted seriously and made sincere efforts to nab the accused after Manoj Kumar’s murder, the kidnapping could have been avoided.

Gang plan discussed at juvenile home

Like jails, juvenile homes are also becoming a breeding ground for criminals. Guddu and Rahul met each other in a juvenile home and they decided to form a gang. Guddu, after coming out of the jail on bail, inducted Munna, son of a Home Guards jawan, Preet and Balwinder into his gang. Rahul Malhan, too, joined the gang after allegedly jumping parole.

Killer on the run

Rahul killed his aunt Purnima Devi (45) and her daughter Dr Rohni Puri (24) for money with the help of his two accomplices at Hoshiarpur on September 21. Rahul was merely 17 year old when he perpetrated the double murder. Rahul's accomplices were Rahul Yadav of Delhi and Rajesh Singha of Bihar.

The accused had killed the mother-daughter duo by slitting their necks. Before leaving the house, they broke the almirahs and stole Rs 16 lakh, two gold necklaces, one gold chain and one gold ring. On December 23, the trio had shot dead Darshana Rani, 58, wife of Raj Kumar, a local cement trader, in Gur Teg Bahadur Colony, near Jamalpur. The victim's son trapped two killers in the house. Rahul Malhan escaped but was soon arrested by the Jamalpur police.

Rahul had reportedly told the police that he used to live in the locality and was aware of the cash and gold ornaments lying in the house. Sources said Rahul might be hiding in Delhi as his mother lived there.


Illegal construction raises eyebrows
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
The Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar (East) Senior Citizens Welfare Society has complained about an alleged illegal building being constructed in the C Block of BRS Nagar. The president of the society, LP Jindal, and other office-bearers have complained despite the matter having been brought to the notice of the MC authorities, the construction is going on.

The general secretary of the society, Gurdev Singh, said at plot number 175 C and 176 C, BRS Nagar, a building was being constructed in utter violation of the building bylaws. It was a non-compoundable construction, covering the full area of both the plots. Besides, the particular building, which was a "non-residential" unit, was being constructed in a residential area.

"In gross violations of the LIT conditions, a single building is being constructed on the two plots. We brought the matter to the notice of the authorities much before the construction started still they have not initiated any action yet. Perturbed over the callous attitude adopted by the officials concerned (the area falls under Zone D), we have made a complaint in writing to the Local Bodies Minister, Ludhiana Mayor, Commissioner and the Zonal Commissioner," said vice-president of the society Gurdip Singh.

Several commercial buildings are coming up in residential areas without change-of-land-use certificates in every zone of the MC but officials are yet to wake up from their slumber.


The Assistant Town Planner (Zone D), Rajinder Sharma, said he had got the building surveyed and the construction has been stopped. When he was told that construction was still on, Sharma said since he was on leave on Wednesday, he would get it checked on Thursday. Work will be stopped as construction was being carried out illegally.



NH-1 issue drowns in Lok Sabha election din
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

A damaged portion of the Sutlej bridge
A damaged portion of the Sutlej bridge.

Ludhiana, April 16
While politicians are busy wooing voters in the run-up to the elections, the core issue of inconvenience faced by commuters taking National Highway-1 seems to have taken a back seat. Adding insult to injury, the commuters are forced to pay high toll rates for travelling on the bumpy highway.

Information procured under the RTI has revealed commuters had paid Rs 1,100 crore as toll in the past four years (till June 2013) for using the 291.1-km expressway on National Highway-1 (Panipat-Jalandhar), which is far from completion.

Despite collecting such a hefty amount as toll, the construction company, Soma/Isolux National Highway One Tollway Pvt Ltd, has given the public incomplete or poorly finished overbridges, waterlogged underpasses, potholed road and uncovered storm water gully that has led to several accidents.

Commuters travelling towards Jalandhar have to pay Rs 110 (car) for a one-way passage at the Ladhowal toll plaza against Rs 102 charged earlier. For multiple journeys, commuters have to shell out Rs 165 against Rs 154 earlier. Similarly, the toll rates have been revised at the Karnal and Shambhu toll plazas.

The poor shape of the highway has led to several accidents in the Jodhewal Basti area, at Samrala Chowk and in the Focal Point area.

"Reaching the factory at Dhandari is a tedious task. The stretch from Sherpur Chowk to Dhandari is in a bad shape. My car has broken down on the potholed roads many times. I feel sad. While politicians are busy trading charges, they pay no attention to the North India's artery (the NH- 1) linking it to the Centre," said Paramvir Bhogal, an industrialist.

The residents of Jalandhar are equally inconvenienced. The road heading from Ramma Mandi to BSF Chowk witness frequent traffic jams during the peak hours due to the incomplete road project.

Umesh Mehta, a businessman from Jalandhar who tours across states in connection with his work, said: "His clients are reluctant to visit Jalandhar as the highway is in a bad shape. I have to think twice before planning a tour. They hefty toll charged at the Ladhowal plaza burns a hole in your pocket."

It has been a year since a 14-year-old boy from Phagwara slipped through the missing slab on the old bridge and drowned in the Sutlej but the company has failed to repair bridge.

MP's demand for toll abolition falls on deaf ears

It has been more than seven months since Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari met the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Oscar Fernandes. He had demanded abolition of the toll. The minister had stated even though work on the highway had remained suspended for more than a year, the Soma-Isolux company had raised toll.

What company says

Manvi Bhatia, spokespersons for the Soma-Isolux company, said the matter was pending in the Supreme Court and she would comment on the matter after consulting the matter with the company authorities.



Administration all geared up for wheat procurement
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
Elaborative arrangements have been made by the district administration for a smooth procurement of wheat in the district. This time, about 8.97 lakh tonnes of wheat is expected to arrive in mandis.

The Deputy Commissioner, Rajat Aggarwal, said: "More than 500 officials and workers are overseeing the arrangements so farmers do not face any problem. This dedicated staff has been exempted from election duty and they are taking care of everything, be it arrangements in mandis, availability of gunny bags, transportation of produce and labour. Though the arrival of wheat has not picked up yet, we are ready with everything," said Aggarwal.

District Food and Supplies Controller Sona Thind said officials were regularly visiting grain markets to ensure good arrangements. This time around 8.97 lakh tonnes of wheat was expected to arrive in district as against 8.67 lakh tonnes last year. "There are 102 procurement centres in Ludhiana district and maximum produce arrives in the Khanna grain market. Seeing the changing weather patterns, the arrival has not picked up yet but we hope it will peak by the end of this month," said Thind.

Change in weather worries farmers

Meanwhile, the changing weather pattern has been giving farmers the blues. Perturbed over a sudden change in weather, farmers have started harvesting the immature crop.

The president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal), Balbir Singh Rajewal, said clouds and mild rain cause panic among farmers. "They cannot afford to wait as even a mild rain can cause great damage to the standing crop. The farmers have started harvesting wheat with machines. They feel it is easier to save their produce from rain in mandis than in fields. And procurement agencies have become so strict that they carry moisture meters with them all the time. Farmers are really worried because of this sudden change in weather".



A bid to cleanse system
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and former Delhi minister Rakhi Birla was in the city to campaign for party candidate for the Ludhiana Lok Sabha constituency HS Phoolka.

She said AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal resigned as the CM because he was unable to get the Jan Lok Sabha bill passed. She said there was "gandgi" in the system at the Vidhan Sabha level and the party was contesting the elections to root out corruption.

The party's road show started from the railway station and passed through several areas of the city, including Bajwa Nagar, Division No.3, Isa Nagari, Janakpuri, Nali Muhalla, Chowni Muhalla, Salem Tabri, Jalandhar Bypass, Gill Road, Dholewal chowk and Jawahar Nagar camp. Birla was accompanied by the party workers and Phoolka.

Residents greeted Rakhi and Phoolka. She said: "Civic development is missing in the city."

"The Valmiki Samaj is facing certain problems which should have been solved long time ago. Social disparities should be done away with so that we all can work for the betterment of the nation," she said.

In pursuit of magic

Arun Sood, an auto-rickshaw driver, while waiting for Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and former Delhi minister Rakhi Birla expressed disgust at inflation and corruption. He said Arvind Kejriwal should not have resigned. Sood said he was not associated with any political party but was participating in the election campaign of the AAP because he was against corruption and felt that a change was necessary to end the vicious circle of corruption. 



Deputy CM has a dig at Congress
Tribune Reporters

Khanna/Payal/ Raikot, April 16
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said the Congress would not be able to decontrol sand prices in the state as people would never vote it to power.

He stated this while addressing commission agents at Khanna. He ridiculed the claims of Capt Amarinder Singh to decontrol the prices.

He said problems of commission agents would be solved after the formation of the NDA government. President of the Ahrtiya Association of Punjab Ravinder Singh Cheema announced to support SAD-BJP candidate Kulwant Singh and other SAD-BJP candidates in the state.

The Deputy Chief Minister also assured them of hiking their commission. He said labour rates would also be hiked.

He alleged that the Congress had never taken steps to solve the problems of commission agents and that the party had no right to seek votes.

While addressing rallies at Payal and Raikot, the Deputy Chief Minister alleged that the Congress had dragged the nation into the vicious cycle of poverty and economic instability.

Responding to a question on the statement issued by Rahul Gandhi, he said Gandhi was still a 'candy kid'. Appreciating the role played by SAD candidate Kulwant Singh in implementing the policies of the SAD-BJP Government, Badal sought votes and support for him.

Earlier, Sukhdev Singh Libra, former Congress MP, said he had joined the Congress to save the chair of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. "When I found that Manmohan Singh was being used as a rubber stamp and was not allowed to take any decision in favour of Punjab and Sikhs, I decided to come home (the SAD)," said Libra.



SAD candidate promises development
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
SAD-BJP candidate from the Ludhiana constituency Manpreet Singh Ayali said industrial projects would put an end to unemployment. Former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Babu Lal Gaur said Narendra Modi's development model would bring about a change. The Punjab Medical Representative Association announced support to Ayali at a meeting in Punjabi Bhawan. Ayali said he would work to resolve the problems of the association. Ayali attended meetings at several places, including wards 25, 22, 50 and Salem Tabri.

Show identity proof to vote

Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Election Officer Rajat Aggarwal said voters who did not have voter cards could exercise their right by showing identity cards. He said they could get along a photocopy of their pan card, passport, driving licence, Aadhaar Card and passbook. Voting is scheduled for April 30 (from 7 am to 6 pm).

Poll expenses to be reviewed

Expenditure Observer Aseem Vaibhav will review poll expenses on Thursday. Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development), Ludhiana, Isha Kalia said expenses will be monitored from time to time.



Bains urges youngsters to vote for change
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
Challenging the SAD candidate, Independent candidate Simarjit Singh Bains said even if Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal had contested the Lok Sabha poll from the Ludhiana constituency, people would have shown him his place.

He stated this in a press release. Simarjit Singh Bains campaigned at Atam Nagar, Ludhiana South and Gill. He addressed residents at Model House. Bains said youngsters who worked for the welfare of people and served society fearlessly could bring about a change. He urged young voters to choose the right person.

Launching attack on his opponents in another election rally at Gill, Bains said those contesting the elections on party tickets were under a false impression that the party ticket was a parachute which would lead them to victory. He said by imposing property tax, the Akali government had impacted the BJP.

When asked if the Akali Dal took BJP into consideration before imposing the tax, Bains said: "We always stand by people and the BJP is not a self-centred party."



Crusade to realise their dream
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 16
Come elections and the demand to upgrade the town to the sub-divisional level will be raised by almost all organisations of the area.

Leaders make tall promises. However, the desired status remains a distant dream as the town has already missed the chance to be named as the Assembly constituency headquarters. Residents led by Naresh Sharma and Manmohan Singh, social activists, declared to launch a campaign demanding the establishment of the subdivision.

Regretting that the demand had remained unheard due to factionalism among office-bearers and activists of various political parties, the crusaders urged the residents to join the movement and press for their demand.

Sharma and Singh lamented that none of the local leaders had dared object to the administration's decision to name the Assembly constituency as Amargarh.

Recollecting that leaders of a few political and social organisations of the area had launched a move to turn it into a subdivision during the Congress regime led by Beant Singh in 1992, the residents claimed that the then Chief Minister had also accepted the demand.

"But the then Legislator Abdul Gaffar opposed the demand and made sure that it was not formed," said Sharma.

Office-bearers of various political parties, including the Congress, SAD and BJP, had also launched a coordinated movement a few years ago, but to no avail.

Residents feel that the economic development of the area had been affected adversely in the absence of government offices.

Ravinder Puri, former president, Municipal Council, said the civic body had also raised the issue.



Kotli campaigns for Bittu, goes door to door
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
Campaigning for Congress candidate for the Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat Ravneet Singh Bittu, MLA Gurkeerat Singh Kotli went door to door in wards 67 and 70.

Senior Congress leaders KK Bawa, block president Vinod Bathla, Yadwinder Raju, Gurbhej Chhabra, Pawan Garg and Ramesh Saggu also accompanied Kotli. Addressing residents, Kotli said Bittu had always followed in the footsteps of his grandfather late Beant Singh and had always opposed the malpractices. Slamming the SAD-BJP alliance, Kotli said the state government had failed on every front, including the development of the state. He said people were annoyed with the dictatorship and opportunism of the SAD-BJP leaders and that they wanted to send Bittu to Parliament.

Bawa said only the Congress could develop the country. He said Rajiv Gandhi had given the right to vote to 18-year-old citizens. He introduced Panchayti Raj and the UPA Government brought the MGNREGA, Right to Information and Right to Education Acts.

Ravneet Singh Bittu campaigned at Gill, where Akali leaders of Nangal village along with their families joined the Congress. At Gupalpur village, women labourers working under the MGNREGA aired their grievances as they had not received their wages. He also interacted with people at Bhutta village and Mukandpur.



PAU campus residents ask for performance, not promises
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
Those residing on the PAU campus want political parties to raise issues related to the development of the university.

They feel that the university is being neglected despite the fact that thousands of voters reside there.

A majority of roads on the campus are in a pitiable condition. The road leading to the PAU boys hostel number 2 and the petrol station needs repairs.

Potholes near the roundabout of the PAU Hospital have not been repaired for the past more than six months despite the fact that a scooterist lost his life in an accident there.

"The roads are repaired by the PAU authorities, but the funds for the work are provided by the state government. Our MP should take care of our basic needs," stated a resident.

Professors lamented that the agriculture sector of the state was reeling under crisis. "Sadly, none of the political parties have made it their election issue. The university needs funds for constructing more hostels.

A number of projects have been hanging fire. Fund shortage is a matter of concern. Our MP should get funds for the overall development of the university," said another resident.



Misplacing of records pertaining to sand scam
No action against erring officials
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
Despite the Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO), Local Government, Punjab, asking the Municipal Corporation to act against officials who misplaced records pertaining to the sand scam in 2003, nothing has been done to date.

The last reminder by the CVO was sent on December 15, 2013, but officials hardly know about the case and the guilty were never punished.

Not just this, even the Principal Secretary, Local Government, in a letter issued in February 2013 had written, "Ask the Commissioner to conduct an inquiry and fix the responsibility of the officials for misplacing the records. Thereafter, take action against the guilty officials."

The information was obtained by RTI activist Rohit Sabharwal.

In 2003, a road leading from Chand Cinema to Chander Nagar and Buddha Nullah was constructed and there were allegations that the contractor had used "substandard" material. The MC was told that the sand was brought from Bhaini Sahib (30 kilometres from Ludhiana) but when the steering committee was formed following a complaint, it was found that the sand was brought from Bhamian village or Jainpur. A payment of Rs 1.16 crores was also made to the contractor.

When action had to be initiated, the records were "misplaced". The MC authorities were asked to register an FIR and the civic body Commissioner too was asked to probe the matter. But no action was taken against the guilty. Reminders to the MC were sent in January, February, March, April, July and December 2013.

The company that constructed the road is being outsourced a number of works and complaints against it keep pouring in.

An official said the MC had seen many changes in the past few months. "The Commissioners were frequently changed and nobody is aware of the incident. But the orders of the Local Bodies Department or Chief Vigilance Officer should have been taken seriously."



woman’s death on falling from roof
SIT to probe case
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 16
The Senior Superintendent of Police, Jagraon, Ashish Chaudhry, has formed a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the death of a married woman on the night of April 11.

The SIT comprises DSP Surinder Kumar, DSP (D) Naveen Kumar and SHO Daljit Singh.

The team will look into the reason behind the death of Shweta Singla, who was found dead under mysterious circumstances after falling from the roof of her in-laws’ house in Grewal Colony.

The police had registered a case of abetment to suicide against the deceased woman's husband, father-in-law and mother-in-law, her family held them responsible for her death and protested at the police station. The trio has been arrested.

According to sources, the police have obtained call details of the deceased's mobile phone, which have provided important clues to the investigating team.

Without divulging any details, DSP Surinder Kumar said the police had received some very significant clues into this case and were very close to solving the mystery.



Schoolteachers without salary for 7 months
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
Teachers of government-aided schools have not received their salary for past seven months.

Davinder Rehan, press secretary of the Aided-School Employees’ Union, in a press statement, said: "In March 2014, although the Education Department had released funds for payment of salaries in government-aided schools, schools are yet to receive these. The District Treasury Officer, Ludhiana, said the funds were not released by the government on March 31, while other districts received these on the same day."

The release stated the staff of primary-aided schools last received their salaries in September 2013.

Savinderjit Kaur, president of the Aided-School Teachers and Other Employees’ Union, said teachers of primary-aided schools in the district had been going without salaries for the past seven months.

“Despite requests to the department and officials concerned, none of the employees had received any wages,” she said.

The Aided-School Employees’ Union district general secretary, Gurmit Singh Madnipur, said salaries of aided higher secondary schools and high schools were released in March, but some of the schools had not received the funds since January this year.

No money for children’s admissions

For the salaried class, April to June is a crucial period because during this period they get their wards admitted to educational institutes and need money for this purpose. To deny employees salary during these crucial months amounts to playing with careers of their wards.

Davinder Rehan, press secretary, Aided-School Employees’ Union



Power workers observe black day
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 16
In response to a call given by the PSEB Employees Federation (AITUC), employees of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) observed a 'black day' in protest against their management.

Jagdish Sharma, general secretary, PSEB, claimed that employees of the power utility sported black badges and organised rallies to lodge protest against the policies being pursued by the PSPCL management right after the unbundling of the erstwhile Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) and formation of two companies in its place.

Charging the management with persistently ignoring the genuine and pending demands of the employees, the trade union leaders said fresh recruitment was not being done, the employees were being denied allowances, promotion and interim relief due to them, recruitment on compassionate ground was not being done and ad hoc employees were not being regularised.

The protesters said they would stage a state-level dharna at the headquarters of the power utility in Patiala on April 23, if the management failed to meet their demands.



Forms for quarterly return amended
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
The Excise and Taxation Department has included new columns in quarterly VAT return forms for January-March quarter.

Some columns have been removed from Form VAT-15.

VAT on first stage has been imposed on a few items and traders are required to give information about the stock by February 28.

"April 30 is the last date for filing the returns and the traders are seeking the extension of the last date," said taxation lawyer Jatinder Khurana.

Another trader Khuswinder Singh dealing in iron and steel said tax rate on iron and steel had been changed to 1.55 per cent but no column of the said commodity is there in the form. "I wonder if I have to furnish the information of the stock or not as there is no such column in the form," he said.

Amendments have been made to forms of individual taxpayers and Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) taxpayers. In the last budget, there was no increase in the basic tax limit for financial year 2013-14. Individuals and HUF having income up to 5 lakh will get Rs 2,000 tax reduction under Section 87(e).

The Central Board of Direct Taxes has also notified new forms for 2014-15 assessment year. Earlier, an option was asked from taxpayers whether to credit the refund in the account or through electronic transfer, but now it is mentioned in the form that "refund will be directly credited into your account". For salaried persons, there was one column under the heading exempted allowance but now four different columns have been included.



Traffic chaos has made roads unsafe for cyclists, pedestrians, say residents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
Cyclists and pedestrians are hardly visible on the city roads. Though people say the culture of walking and bicycling is missing in Ludhiana, residents have a different take on the issue. They say they avoid venturing out on the roads as the heavy volume of traffic and haphazard parking can put their lives at risk.

Can’t allow child to cycle to school

I never allow my child to cycle to school. People drive rashly and ignore traffic rules. There have been several instances of schoolchildren being mowed down by rashly-driven vehicles. Earlier, children used to walk or cycle to school. But times have changed. Parents should ensure the safety of their kids.

— Amarjit Singh

Prefer public transport to commute

I never go out of PAU on a bicycle. The traffic scenario has worsened over a period of time. People have thrown traffic norms to the wind. They violate traffic rules with impunity. I prefer to commute through auto-rickshaws or public transport. Separate lanes should be demarcated for pedestrians and cyclists. This will surely avoid accidents and ensure safety of pedestrians.

— Sayeed Patel

Ban heavy vehicles during day

Driving tests should be more rigorous before one is issued a driving licence. Even if you’re cautious of driving on the road, this doesn’t ensure that you’re safe as any vehicle can hit you. People indulge in reckless driving. Commuters feel lucky to escape unhurt. The administration should encourage the practice of walking and use of bicycles on one or two weekdays. This will avoid accidents and also keep people healthy and fit. The entry of heavy vehicles should be strictly banned in the city during the day hours.

— Harpreet Singh Gurm

Separate lanes for walkers, cyclists

I don’t walk on the road even during the evening hours. The traffic situation in the city has worsened. Though people can walk down to nearby places, they don’t so due to rampant traffic chaos. There should be separate lanes for walkers and cyclists.

— Puneet Kaur

Cyclists seek friendly roads

The situation is pathetic as the administration has not created infrastructure and planned roads well. People also lack the basic sense of driving. The administration should start campaigns and initiatives to encourage walking, cycling and running. Cycling races, marathons etc should be organised. Roads in the city should be made more friendly for walkers and cyclists.

— Ishdeep Singh



Fresh instructions issued to government dispensaries
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
The Hospital Development Committee of Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has sent circulars to the director and the joint director (zonal) to instruct government dispensaries to refer cases to ESIC hospitals with a detailed description of the nature of aliment and the department they are referring to.

The dispensaries have also been instructed to stock up medicines.

Dr PL Chaudhari, Medical Superintendent, ESIC Hospital, said at the recently held meeting of the Hospital Development Committee, the matter of referring patients to the hospital without describing the nature of disease was discussed.

"The dispensaries while referring patients should describe the nature of ailment," said Dr Chaudhari.

She said they had also written to the dispensaries not to refer patients when doctors were busy operating upon other patients.

"Any patient who comes to the hospital does not want to return without taking medicines. If a doctor is busy in the operation theatre, the patient is referred to the doctor dealing in medicine, resulting in heavy rush at the outpatient department of medicine," she said.

"About 60 per cent of patients come to the hospital just for medicines. If a patient is advised medication for three months, he/she keeps visiting the hospital. If the dispensaries have adequate medicines, a lot of time can be saved," she said.

Badish Jindal, member of the ESIC, India, said a waiting room at a cost of Rs 16 lakh wopuld be constructed in the hospital. Around 200-300 paramedical staff and technicians will also be appointed," he said.



Litterateur pens books on Panj Pyare
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
Books on the lives of Panj Pyare—the five beloved ones, who offered to sacrifice their heads and were later baptised as the first members of the Khalsa, have been penned by Beant Singh.

The writer said although several books and “granths” have been written on the five beloved ones, his books were written after 10 years of extensive research.

He referred to more than 31 historical texts including Panth Prakash, Soobha Prakash and Bansali Nama besides other available records, he said.

On the reason why it took so long to bring the life of the Panj Pyare to the fore, he said most of the historical texts on Sikhism were recorded in the form of poetry, written in different languages including Brij and Persian. “At times, translating one page took an entire day,” he said.

A lot of other historical texts remain unknown to the current generation because no one has paraphrased or translated them for this very reason, he said.

Beant Singh has written more than 10 books, including books on Guru Granth Sahib, Bhai Taru Singh and festivals of Lohri and Maghi.

The books on the five beloved ones are titled “Daya Ka Poot” (on Bhai Daya Singh), “Dharam Dhaam” (on Bhai Dharam Singh), “Raj Karenge” (on Bhai Himmat Singh), “Avar Na Dhiaoun” (Bhai Mohkam Singh), “Sir Saunpiye” (on Bhai Sahib Singh).

He has also written a book in Hindi, titled “Nyare Paanch Pyare”, on all the five beloved ones.

According to the book, Bhai Daya Singh was born in Lahore, while Bhai Dharam Singh was born in Meerut.

Bhai Himmat Singh was born in Jagannath Puri (Odisha) and Bhai Mohkam Singh at Sri Dwarka Buriya (Gujarat). Bhai Sahib Singh was born at Bidar, Nanak Jheera, that is situated in South Karnataka.



SEBI makes efforts to spread financial literacy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has proposed the inclusion of additional financial concepts related to capital markets in school syllabi.

As part of its efforts to spread financial awareness, SEBI has been inviting students from schools, colleges and professional institutes interested in learning about the market regulator and its role. Since February 2011, it has conducted 139 such visits.

The participants belonged to different parts of the country and were pursuing different courses, including management, commerce, banking, law, arts and science.

"We want to increase the number of such visits by inviting students from various institutes to our regional and local offices as well," said an official of SEBI.

For spreading financial literacy, SEBI said the process of initiating National Financial Literacy Assessment Test (NFLAT) has been started and will be completed by August.

The test is a part of SEBI’s National Strategy for Financial Education, which was initiated in 2011-12 and has now been finalised.



Erectile dysfunction among young men may signal heart disease
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
Erectile dysfunction could be an important warning signal of cardiovascular disease in younger men. This means doctors treating men for erectile dysfunction can play a critical role in monitoring and reducing risk to the patients’ heart, even when the patient shows no symptoms.

This was stated by Dr Rajeev Sood, professor and head, Department of Urology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi, while addressing the faculty at Christian Medical College and Hospital.

Dr Rajeev Sood, who is also the honorary urologist to the President of India and a member of the Medical Council of India, said erectile dysfunction often occurred in the presence of silent, non-symptomatic cardiovascular disease, and, hence, this was an opportunity for cardiovascular risk reduction.

Dr Sood said patients with erectile dysfunction should undergo a thorough evaluation that incorporated a physical examination, including some blood tests and a look at lifestyle factors and family history.

“The evaluation will help stratify the patient’s cardiovascular risk and guide the next steps in evaluation and treatment,” he said.

Dr Kim Mammen, professor and head of urology at CMCH, quoted from his study that more than 70 per cent of patients with coronary artery disease also have erectile dysfunction, thereby supporting the correlation between the two.



Open debate today

Ludhiana, April 16
The Ludhiana Management Association is organising an open session at which candidates contesting from the Ludhiana Lok Sabha constituency will share their vision on development of the city and Punjab with the gathering tomorrow.

The discussion will be attended by various industrialists, entrepreneurs, business professionals, academicians and youth of the city. — TNS



from colleges
Principals’ body elects office-bearers

Ludhiana: The general body meeting of the association of principals of colleges affiliated to Panjab University, Chandigarh, was held at GHG Khalsa College, Gurusar Sadhar. New office-bearers were elected at the meeting. GHG Khalsa College principal Dr SS Deol was elected the president unanimously. Dr Gurdeep Sharma, principal of GGDSD College, Hariana, was elected the general secretary. Other office-bearers include Dr Bhushan of SD College, Sector 32, Chandigarh, and Dr HS Brar of the GHG Khalsa College (senior vice-presidents), SS Sangha and Dr Neena Pajani (vice-presidents), Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu (treasurer), Dr Mahajan (joint secretary) and Dr Tejpal (press secretary). A 15-member executive committee was also nominated by the House. During the meeting, the financial position of the colleges in the light of the Punjab government’s failure to release salaries was discussed. Other issues discussed were affiliation of new courses, non-availability of qualified teachers in some courses, fee structure and scholarship to SC, ST and minority students.

Baisakhi celebrations

Desh Bhagat University officials honour British Deputy High Commissioner David Lelliot during the Baisakhi celebrations on the campus in Mandi Gobindgarh
Desh Bhagat University officials honour British Deputy High Commissioner David Lelliot during the Baisakhi celebrations on the campus in Mandi Gobindgarh. A Tribune photograph

Mandi Gobindgarh: Desh Bhagat University celebrated Baisakhi with fervour. A special function was organised on the occasion. David Lelliot, British Deputy High Commissioner, was the chief guest. A scene of a Punjabi village was created on the campus. Dr Karamjit Singh Sran, managing director, Markfed, was the guest of honour. He urged the students to follow the path shown by the great Sikh gurus and keep away from drugs and other bad habits. Chancellor of the university Dr Zora Singh greeted the whole staff saying the festival was celebrated by all religions and castes. Students and the staff presented a cultural programme.

Lecture on sustainable agriculture

RIMT Academic College conducted an extension lecture on sustainable agriculture. Dr Upkar Singh Sadana, head of the Department of Soil Sciences, Punjab Agricultural University, was the chief guest. Dr Sadana emphasised on problems being faced by farmers of Punjab, i.e. falling water level, decrease in soil fertility and excessive use of fertilisers and agro-chemicals. He also elaborated on the means to solve these problems. The lecture was attended by all students and staff of the college. — TNS



from schools
Motivational lecture

Ludhiana: Col Ashwani Kumar delivered a lecture to motivate students of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, Kitchlu Nagar, to join the National Cadet Corps. He advised the students to self-evaluate and stay away from negativity. Principal Neelam Mittar said the NCC inculcated work ethics in students.

Students shine in contests

Sukhman Kaur, a Class VII student, has made Ryan International School, Dugri, proud by winning a national-level medal in an English competition. Meanwhile, in SOF English Olympiad, ehana and Hargun of Class II, Shreyansh of Class III and Parthana Bhambri of Class VIII topped in their respective classes. The headmistress, Ritu Syal, congratulated all the winners.

Election fever grips KVM

To make the students understand the importance of the right to vote, KVM school made them elect their class omnitor. Teachers gave them a briefing on the electoral process. Many candidates filed their nomination and announced their agenda in their respective classes. Each class fielded four nominees, out of which two monitors had to be elected. The nominees canvassed for two days. Polling station was set up at various places on the premises. Principal Navita Puri complimented the middle section in-charge, Sonia Verma, for taking the initiative.

Baisakhi celebrations

A special programme to mark Baisakhi was held at Smile Kidz School. Children performed on various Punjabi songs. Principal Savita Ansal told children about the significance of the festival. — TNS



Trucks launched

Ludhiana: Tata Motors on Wednesday launched 10 new heavy commercial vehicles of its Prima LX range. Speaking on this occasion, Sanjeev Garg, global head, Tata Motors; Ranvir Singh Kanwar, RSM (North), Tata Motors; and Dada Motors’ owners Suraj Dada and Rishi Dada said the prima trucks have been designed as per customers’ requirements with best-in-class design, performance, cabin comfort and safety.


GS Engitech of the GST Group, Ludhiana, has been awarded the John Deere Award for Excellence in the category of new product development at the National Supplier Meet held recently. The company was selected from among more than 250 suppliers for this prestigious award. Ranjodh Singh, chairman and managing director of the GST Group, congratulated the engineers, staff and workers of the company ontheir achievement. — TNS



Kidnap, rape accused lands in police net
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
The city police have booked a man for kidnapping and raping a minor, before deserting her after she gave birth to a child.

The accused has been identified as Jaspal Singh, a resident of Vishwa Karma Nagar here.

The complainant, who is now 18-year old, said the accused kidnapped her on the pretext of getting married in 2008, when she was only 13 years’ old.

Jaspal allegedly took the victim to his native village in Uttar Pradesh, where he solemnised a wedding with her.

After the victim became pregnant and gave birth to a child, the accused kept the child and threw her out of the house, the girl told the police in her complaint.

When the victim demanded the custody of her child, the accused threatened her with dire consequences, the police said.

The accused has been booked under Sections 363, 366-A, 376 and 506 of the IPC for kidnapping a minor and raping her.



One held with 6 gm heroin

Jagraon, April 16
The Jagraon police have arrested one person for allegedly carrying 6-gram heroin. The youth has been identified as Gurpreet Singh, a resident of the Agwar Gujjran locality.

Station house officer, Jagraon, Daljit Singh said the youth was arrested by a police team at the level crossing near New Grain Market during a routine checking yesterday evening.

The SHO said the youth was a drug addict. The police have registered a case under the NDPS Act at the Jagraon City police station. — OC



District cricket team in commanding position
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 16
After restricting Kapurthala to a modest total of 97 runs, the local team was in a commanding position (241 for 7) on the opening day of the match in the Punjab State Inter District Cricket Tournament (U-16) for ML Markan Trophy being played at Satish Chander Dhawan Government College.

The visitors won the toss and opted to bat first. They, however, failed to cope up with accurate bowling by Deepin Chitkara and Anmol Sharma as their first innings folded at 97 runs in 24.4 overs. Deepin scalped seven victims for 35 runs while Anmol captured the remaining three wickets, giving away 27 runs. Only two batsmen, Shahid and Sarthak, could reach double figures, chipping in with 22 and 17 runs, respectively.

Ludhiana began their reply on a rousing note and went on to hoist a big total of 241 runs losing seven wickets. Gurjot top scored with 73 runs and was followed by Jaish Jain who contributed with 64 runs. Anmol Sharma was at the crease with 48 runs against his name while Deepin Chitkara scored 26 runs.

For Kapurtahala, Gurvinder got rid of five batsmen.



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