L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Kin smell foul play in youth’s death 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
The parents and relatives of a 22-year-old youth, who was drowned in 
Sidhwan canal, staged a protest outside the Atam Park police post today. They alleged it was a case of “honor killing” and the police was not registering a case of murder against the suspects.

The agitators blocked the traffic by putting the youth’s body on the road in front of police post. The protest led to massive traffic jams. The blockade continued for more than one and a half hours. The commuters had been stuck in long queues from Bharat Nagar Chowk to Bus Stand and Attam Park to Gill Road for more than two hours. The blockade was lifted after the police assured the agitators of action against the accused.

Honey, a resident of Manjit Nagar, had gone missing on July 9. According to the police, Honey, along with his friends, visited the Sidhwan Canal and was drowned in the canal while he was taking a bath. The body was found in the canal at Dharamkot in Moga district on Sunday.

His relatives alleged that his brother was having an affair with a girl and the relatives of that girl killed Honey. His brother alleged the police was not acting on their complaint. He alleged that the police detained the girl and his brother but released them without taking any action.

Today, the police pacified the protesters by registering a case against two persons under section 302 of the IPC.

The police have booked the girl and his brother in the case, said Gurdev Singh, SHO of the Model Town police station.


Three minor girls assaulted sexually across city 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
Three minor girls have been sexually assaulted in different cases in the last 24 hours in the city.

In the first case, a 14-year-old girl was abducted and raped by two persons in the Bazigar Basti area of Salem Tabri. The suspects have been identified as Davinder Kumar, alias Deep (34), and his 16-year-old neighbour.

According to the complaint lodged with the police by her parents, the girl had accompanied her father to a religious programme at Bazigar Basti last evening. When he was inside the shrine, his daughter came out at 10 pm to eat something. Meanwhile, the suspects made her sit on their motorcycle on the pretext of arranging tasty food for her. The accused took her to a vacant plot and raped her, the girl’s father said.

After raping her, the accused dropped her on the way to her house at around 1 am. She reached home and narrated the whole matter to her parents.

A case under section 376 (rape), 363 (kidnapping), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC and section 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act has been registered and the accused arrested.

In the second case, the Jamalpur police registered a case against a landlord on charge of molesting a 10-year-old girl. The accused has been identified as Gurbinder Singh Grewal of Bhamiyan Kalan.

The girl’s mother complained that she, along with her husband, had gone to the hospital for treatment yesterday. She left her daughter with their landlord. When she came back, she came to know that the accused had molested her daughter. The police registered a case under section 354 (molestation) of the IPC against the accused who is at large.

In the third case, the Shimlapuri police arrested a person for attempt to rape a nine-year-old girl who had come to his home to invite his niece to her birthday party at Dashmesh Nagar in Shimlapuri. The suspect has been identified as Sonu (23) of the Dashmesh Nagar area. The father of the victim lodged an FIR against the accused.

The police have registered a case under section 376 and 511 (attempt to rape) of the IPC and section 8 and 10 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act against him.

Stooping low

The Shimlapuri police arrested a person for attempt to rape a nine-year-old girl who had come to his home to invite his niece to her birthday party at Dashmesh Nagar in Shimlapuri.



Two arrested with 1 kg of heroin 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
The police have arrested two drug peddlers in separate cases and recovered 1 kg of heroin from their possession.

In the first case, the police arrested a drug paddler and recovered 500gm of heroin from his possession. According to the police officials, the seized heroin is worth Rs 2.5 crore in the international market. The accused has been identified as Harnek Singh, alias DC, of Taran Tarn.

Manjit Singh Dhesi, Additional Commissioner of Police (ADCP), Crime, said the police set up a check post near the CMCH. When the police signaled the accused, who was on a motorcycle, to stop, he tried to escape. The police chased him and nabbed him soon. His search yielded 500gm of heroin.

The police said the accused was a drug addict and has been peddling drugs for the past few years. He confessed that he used to get heroin from Gurjeet Singh Gora in the Taran Tarn area. The police have registered a case.

In the second case, the Salem Tabri police arrested a drug peddler and recovered 500 gm of heroin from his possession. The accused has been identified as Painta, a resident of Phillaur. The police said the accused confessed that he was a member of a gang headed by Desh Raj, alias Vicky, of Kartarpur.



City gets train connectivity to Katra
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 14
There is good news for pilgrims to the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine as the Northern Railway authorities have introduced a fully air-conditioned daily train to Katra, the base camp for the pilgrimage.

The pair of trains 22461/22462 will run daily from July 14, 2014, with one AC I, five AC 2 tier and nine AC 3 tier coaches.

According to the railway authorities, the train will depart from the New Delh railway station at 5.30 pm and reach Katra at 6.10 am the next day. From Katra, the train will leave at 10.55 pm and reach New Delhi at 10.45 am the next day. It will have commercial halts at the Ambala Cantt, Ludhiana, Jalandhar Cantt, Pathankot and Jammu Tawi stations.

Those travelling from Delhi to Katra in the AC I class will have to pay Rs 2,385 as one way fare while fare for AC-2 tier and AC 3-tier would be Rs 1,410 and Rs 1,000 respectively. Fare for travelling from Ludhiana to Katra will be Rs 1,485 (AC I), Rs 885 (AC 2-tier) and Rs 638 (AC 3-tier).



Cleaning, beautification
Team of engineers visits Buddha Nullah
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
A four-member team of highly qualified engineers from Engineer India Limited, a semi-government firm, reached here today. They are on a four-day visit to the city with regard to cleaning and beautification of Budha Nullah. The team met the higher officials of the Municipal Corporation and Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal at the Circuit House where the MC officials gave a detailed presentation on the nullah.

The engineers, along with a team of the MC officials, visited the nullah. They started from Jainpur village and Bhattiyan, near here.

The Municipal Corporation Commissioner, Pradeep Aggarwal, said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was concerned about the cleaning of the nullah. During his recent visit to Delhi, he had asked the company officials to visit the nullah to find out solutions to problems coming in the way of its cleaning and beautification.

The team of engineers, led by the Deputy General Manager, Sanjoy Mukherjee, has Yogesh Gautam, Anjesh Garg and Ravikant Sharma as its other members. The interacted with the officials of the MC, Sewerage Board and the District Administration. The company has been handling the cleaning of the Yamuna in Delhi.

Mukherjee said their company had been given the task of chalking out a detailed action plan on the cleaning of the Budha Nullah. He said there was an emergent need to clean the water, which had pollutants and chemicals discharged by dyeing units. He said during today’s visit, they observed the discharge of pollutants and chemicals into the nullah continued.

The engineers will submit a detailed report to the state government. Those who accompanied the engineers to the site included DC Rajat Aggarwal, CEO of the Sewerage Board DK Tiwari, Additional Commissioner of the MC Sumit Jarangal.



Once an addict, he now rehabilitates others
Ex-addict has successfully rehabilitated more than 700 addicts at his de-addiction centre since 2006
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
His is a motivational story for drug addicts who are either under treatment or have recovered completely and trying to come back to the mainstream of society. Once an addict, Amanjeet Singh has been running his own de-addiction centre since 2006 and has successfully rehabilitated more than 700 addicts.

The life of this 34-year-old youngster revolves around the peers who lured him into the dark world of drugs and two volunteers whose motivation helped him take a U-turn. Hailing from a rich family, Amanjeet’s parents are gazetted officers.

Amanjeet said: “I have one elder brother. Both of us were pampered children. We led a very luxurious life. Both of us were very good in studies and extra-curricular activities. After schooling from Chandigarh, I took admission in BCom I at Khalsa College, Chandigarh. There I contested the student union elections and came out victorious. It was at that time I started developing an attitude of “show off”. From bunking classes to indulging in “geri culture” used to be my college routine. But despite of all this, I scored 80% marks in BCom.” He excelled not only in academics but also sports. He used to play hockey, football, etc.

Recalling the first incident when he did drugs, he said: “One day, a hockey player offered me opium and I enjoyed it. I used to have opium along with drinks, feeling that I am a “royal addict”. One day, one of my college mates started inhaling smack in my car. When I objected, he shifted to his car and asked me to try it once. Unfortunately, I tried and started enjoying it.”

As the time passed, the very appearance of this rich boy became suspicious even for his parents. He said: “I used to sell my household things to get money for smack. When I got fed up with this dark world, I shared all this with my parents. They took me to the Freedom Foundation Rehabilitation Centre, Kharar. After undergoing treatment for about six months there, I became clean. I started volunteering my services for the centre where some old addicts also helped me.”

The turning point came in his life with the motivation of two volunteers. He said: “These volunteers asked me to be busy and open my own drug-addiction centre. They convinced me that chances of lapses always remain high if one does not become busy. I thought of the good Samaritans who helped me to come back to the mainstream society. So, I decided I should pay back my debt by serving addicts. My college-time dream of settling abroad got replaced with having my own rehabilitation centre.”

Amanjeet, who is president of the Punjab State Drug Counselling and Rehabilitation Centres Union, recently oraganised a “recovery cup tournament” at Chhoti Mundiyan for former addicts treated at 20 drug-addiction centres.

Amanjeet, who got married six years ago and has been simultaneously running his poultry farm, said: “More than 18,000 addicts have visited my De-addiction centre. Of them, 800 have recovered completely and I keep in touch with them to keep them on track. By serving them I feel as if I am paying back my debt to my motherland.”



locally displaced persons
Draw for allotment of plots put on hold 
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 14
The Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) authorities were all set hold a draw of lots for allotment of plots to nine locally displaced persons (LDPs) today, citing court orders. However, on the basis of a complaint that the plots were being allotted to non-eligible persons, the Punjab Government put the entire process on hold and reportedly directed the Principal Secretary, Local Government, Punjab, to conduct an inquiry.

The LIT authorities had announced through a public notice that consequent upon the orders of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in favour of the complainants, the draw for allotment of plots was being conducted. Among the LDPs, who had obtained court orders in support of their claims, were those whose land was acquired for developing a 256-acre scheme, Model Town Extension Part II scheme, Sarabha Nagar, and the 475-acre Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar scheme.

The announcement for conducting the draw had stirred a hornet’s nest with all sorts of allegations being 

levelled against the authorities.It was alleged that at least five, out of nine LDPs, had since died and rather than their legal heirs, certain property dealers as well a few conniving employees of the LIT were pursuing these cases in a bid to lay their hands on residential plots, which command a very handsome premium.

A staff member of the LIT said despite being informed through registered letters, most of the applicants had failed to turn up at the Trust office with proof of their identity, which gave credence to the allegations that plots might have been allotted to non-eligible persons.

Sources in the LIT maintained that connivance of certain employees and officials of the Trust as also those of the Local Government Department, Punjab, could not be ruled out.

Jatinder Singh, Executive Officer of the LIT, confirmed the draw had been postponed for the time being on the instructions of the Punjab Government.

He said the Trust had not been intimated about any inquiry ordered into the bona fides of the claimants.

“Any further action for carrying out the directions of the court for the allotment of plots to the LDPs will be taken as per the directions of the government,” he added. 



Commuters dodge death at Sahnewal flyover
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, July 14
The recently-opened Sahnewal flyover, built to facilitate the commuters, has proved a bane for the passersby in the absence of security supports along the entire stretch.

Commuters have already paid in crores to secure their safety.

The entire responsibility for ensuring safety of commuters is on Soma-Isloux, a private company, which is in charge for carrying out works on the entire stretch starting from Jalandhar to Panipat.

A commuter rued, “Is an almost negligible small cement erection enough to save a person who is moving at a considerable speed on a national highway? I was travelling with my family towards Khanna, when one of the tyres of the car burst. After several turns, I came to know that the tyre has burst. My wife fainted realising the consequences of the accident that we could have met with. All I know is the negligence on the part of officials put my wife’s and two children’s life in danger.”

“The edgeless flyover never fails to give a chill down the spine of the commuters. The flyover should had been first checked for its authenticity and then opened for the use by commuters,” said another commuter.

“During the day time, judgment of the driver may work. But in the absence of lights at night, risk of accidents increases. A number of people have lost lives during the process of road widening. It is the heights of callousness on the part of the company which is least bothered about the safety of the commuters even after extracting thousands of rupees in the form of toll,” rued another commuter.

The flyover had been under construction for few years and in the absence of the flyover, commuters were managing well. They did face traffic woes but were at least safe. But now that the flyover has been opened, everyone assumes that it is safe and can be used at the same even speed. But the lack of supports forces them to slacken speed all of a sudden, especially while overtaking.

“Even at Doraha and the stretch between Sahnewal and Giaspura, the supports are either missing or are broken to the extent of invisibility. Sadly to the ignorance of the commuters who may be caught unawares,” said a passerby.

The spokesperson from Soma-Isolux said, “The overbridges near Sahnewal and Doraha have been opened for the public use recently. A protection metal beam crash barrier will be erected in due course of time but flexible crash barrier has already been placed with reflectors to guide the users on the overbridges.”



ludhiana scan
Medical camp

Seven old patients were examined till 6 pm on Monday and no new cases of diarrhea were reported from the round-the-clock medical camp at Dharamshala in Sihora after the outbreak of diarrhea. All cases were of fever, cough and other ailments.

100 examined in health camp

A free gynae and surgical camp was organised at Pancham Hospital. More than 100 patients were provided with free consultation, discounted tests and ultrasound facility. All the patients were checked by Dr Kanwaljit Kaur, senior gynaecologist and Dr Vipan Goyal, senior consultant, Surgery Department. Dr Kaur said such camps are the need of the hour and are being organised regularly by Pancham Hospital to create women health awareness besides apprising the general public about the diseases. Dr Goyal told about the latest advancements in laparoscopic surgery.

Obesity awareness month

As a part of the Obesity Awareness Month, SPS Apollo Hospitals organised an obesity support group meeting and a seminar on weight loss surgery that was attended by over 60 people from Ludhiana. The session was conducted by Dr Arindam Ghosh, senior consultant, laparoscopic surgery for weight loss and diabetes, SPS Apollo Hospitals, Ludhiana. The programme was organised with an aim at educating people about the problems and high cost of obesity to their lives. According to Dr Arindam Ghosh, “Obesity can severely affect the quality of an individual’s life. A recent study puts an alarming 70 per cent of India’s urban population as obese. With morbid obesity affecting 11 per cent of the country’s population, India is following a trend of the other developing countries that are steadily becoming more obese.” He added that bariatric surgery has been able to transform the lives of many obese people and has improved their quality of life. — TNS



Four siblings go missing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
Four children of a family were found missing from Guru Arjan Dev Nagar Samral Chowk area, yesterday.

The missing children have been identified as Neeraj (18), Deeraj (15) Rohit (12) and Neha (9).

Ravi Kumar, father of the missing children, has registered a missing complaint at the police station, Division number 7, in this regard.

According to the information, the four children had left home to visit a public place to enjoy the holiday.

A maternal uncle of the children received a message today, saying that the siblings have left the house willingly and do not want to return. 



Gas agency sealed, BKU leaders hold protest
Our Correspondent

Khamano, July 14
A gas agency at Khamano area was sealed before it could even start functioning. Following this, some BKU leaders, workers of the area and administrators of the gas agency held a protest again the action.

Jasvir Singh, Sanghol, proprietor of the gas agency, said they had NOCs from the departments concerned. “It was only after getting a nod from the departments that we spent a huge amount of money to construct the godown and office for the gas agency. Officials sealed the agency without any prior information yesterday,” said Jasvir Singh.

I was not given any copy of the complaint or irregularity or any notice before the agency was sealed, said Singh.

Meanwhile, Jasvir Singh along with Kisan Union leaders Kashmira Singh Ranwan and Bahadar Singh Bath alleged that the Administration is harassing him. They suspected hand of an influential person in the whole issue.

Jasvir Singh said he was under the debt now due to the construction and completion of other formalities. “I don’t have any other way out than to struggle,” said Singh.

BKU leaders said opening of a gas agency at Khamano/Sanghol has been the main demand of the area residents since long. They said residents are annoyed with the action of the Administration to seal the gas agency.

On the occasion, BKU leaders threatened to hold protest against the Administration.

The SDM, Khamano, Arina Duggal, said, “We are enquiring into the matter and will take a decision only after consulting the matter with the Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib. We will see all the NOCs as well. The matter will be sorted out in a week.”

There is no gas agency in Khamano Sub-Division and consumers have to wait for their turns in long queues to get gas cylinders from the vehicles that come from other area.



cut in grants
Teachers all set for bandh
Managements, principals of aided colleges come out in support
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, July 14
The management federation and principals’ federation of aided colleges have come out in support of the education bandh called by the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union (PCCTU) on July 17.

The Punjab government’s failure to release grants and further cuts imposed on the grants has not gone down well with the teaching fraternity.

The teachers say the recent announcement of cut in grants from 95 per cent to 80 per cent and another 5 per cent slated after three years has shook the very basis on which the grant-in-aid scheme was introduced in 1978.

Not only this, posts are to be filled on contractual basis for only three years, with a review to take place after the stipulated time period, they said.

Also, the Director Public Instructions has limited the filling of vacant posts to 25 per cent every year for the next four years, against the immediate need to fill at least 50 per cent posts, keeping in view the staff crunch being faced by colleges, they said.

The Principal’s Association of Colleges (affiliated to Panjab University) president, Dr Swaranjit Singh, said: “The DPI has asked us to make contractual appointments, a provision which has never existed in the PU calendar. Also, it has been 15 months since we received any grant from the government. We support the bandh call given by the PCCTU.”

Dr Kuldip Singh, general secretary, PCCTU, said: “We will close all colleges on July 17 to make the government aware of the fact that education, which should be on top of its priority, has become the least cared for during its regime. The protesters will march to Vidhan Sabha to court arrest.”

SP Anand, who represents Management Federations of Non-Government Aided Colleges, said, “We are supporting the teachers. The government’s move is highly condemnable. Instead of filling 50 per cent posts with immediate effect and remaining in the next session, the government has agreed to fill just 25 per cent posts and that too on contractual basis, with 15 per cent cut in grants.”

President of the GNDU Principals’ Association of Privately Managed Colleges Dr PR Sharma said: “We support the call for bandh, as this is the most unfortunate thing a government could do for the cause of higher education. Out of the total grant of Rs 306 crore earmarked as grants, only Rs 43 crore has been disbursed.”



Punjabi Sahit Akademi to have cafeteria
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
Finally, Punjabi Sahit Akademi is coming up with its own cafeteria on the Punjabi Bhawan premises.

The much-awaited cafetaria is expected to open by August 15 this year.

Akademi general secretary Dr Anup Singh said: “Sai Meeyan Meer Bhawan, where the cafeteria will be opened, was ready in 2012. At that time, we were planning to open a “pustak bazaar’ in the building. Now, however, we have allocated a part of the structure to the cafeteria. The book shop is already operating in another part of this bhawan.”

The cafeteria will provide litterateurs space to sit, discuss and evaluate their writings.

It will also serve all those who visit Punjabi Bhawan or the neighbouring Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan for various social, educational and literary functions.

Dr Anup Singh said: “Eatables and drinks that will be prepared in the cafeteria will be sold at reasonable rates. We are still to give the contract for running it.”



from colleges
10-day NCC camp inaugurated

Ludhiana: Colonel Ranjit Singh inaugurated a 10-day camp at the NCC Academy, Malout. Lt. Krishan Singh addressed around 350 cadets attending the camp. He told them it was a good opportunity to get certificates for drill, firing and map reading training. The cadets were told that moral duties, especially discipline, were very important. A number of competitions are lined up during the camp.

Students shine at youth leadership camp

Gobindgarh Public College students proved their mettle by clinching the overall trophy of youth leadership, hiking and trekking camp organised by Panjab University, Chandigarh, recently. During their stay at the camp in Dalhousie, students participated in various events and clinched top positions in rock climbing, creative writing, extempore, dancing, singing, poetry, etc. The college team, comprising Gurdeep Singh Bhatti, Saurav Sharma, Rupam Kakaria, Karan Wadhwa, Manav Sharma, Ajay Khan and Bhupinder Singh, was also awarded the best group award. College principal Dr Neena Seth Pajni congratulated the students on their achievement.

Nursing seminar

Mandi Ahmedgarh: Terming nursing to be one of the noblest professions, Dr DS Bhullar, senior forensic officer of Government Rajindra Medical College, Patiala, called upon people of the area to give due respect to the foundation stones of the medical profession. Dr Bhullar was speaking during the concluding session of a seminar on the future of nursing in India at Nightingale Nursing College in Narangwal village. Dr Bhullar and other speakers—Dr Sarabjit Singh and Sweet Kaur, said prognosis of treatment given by specialists in hospitals and clinics depended on the efficiency of nurses looking after the patients. The profession had also proven to be a boon for unemployed youths as they, besides serving ailing persons, could earn a decent livelihood, they said. The speakers said that qualified nurses were in great demand in India and abroad. They cleared doubts of students, staff and residents during the interactive session.

Girl beats odds to top in college
Preeti Sharma
Preeti Sharma

Doraha: Preeti Sharma, who topped the BA-I at Guru Nanak National College, had to take regular tuitions to deposit her fees. Preeti’s father is a labourer and sustains a family of seven with his meager earning of Rs 3,000 a month. “My parents are illiterate. I always wanted to study, come what may. My college provided me with some financial assistance, my teachers gave me books and study material and my friends gave me moral support,” she said.— Tribune Reporters



Govt must allocate funds for cleaning Sutlej, say residents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
With the Centre allocating Rs 2,037 crore for cleaning the Ganga, residents want the state government to allocate funds for cleaning various rivers in the state, especially the Sutlej.

“The Sutlej is being polluted by sewage and industrial effluents flowing into it. However, no concrete step has been taken to address the issue,” said Sarabjit Singh,a resident.

He said one of the major sources of pollution in the river was Buddha Nullah, but nothing was being done to clean it and stop dumping of garbage into it.

“Punjab derives its name from five rivers. These rivers are a part of its identity and existence. So these should be cleaned. Stricter penalties should be imposed on those who pollute the rivers,” said another resident.

“Cleaning the Sutlej and checking the flow of industrial effluents into it are of utmost importance. The presence of toxic metals can lead to cancer,” said Amandeep Singh, another resident. 



Paramjeet new DEO (Secondary)
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
The Education Department appointed Paramjeet Kaur as the District Education Officer (Secondary), Ludhiana here today.

She has replaced Gurjot Singh, who will now take the charge of District Education Officer (Elementary) from Ram Bhushan.

Baljinder Kaur, meanwhile, has been appointed as the Deputy District Education Officer, Ludhiana. 



from schools
Colour Day

Ludhiana: The kindergarten students of MGM Public School, Dugri, celebrated Colour Day. The event aimed at developing the tiny tots’ sensory skills and to make them aware of colours and their significance in our day-to-day life. Children recited poems related to colours.

World Population Day

World Population Day was celebrated on the campus of Ram Lal Bhasin Public School. The English teacher delivered a speech on the problem of increasing population. Children of Classes I to V took part in paper-reading contest and students of Classes VI to XII made posters and collages to raise awareness on the issue. Principal Suman Arora congratulated all students. The day was also observed at Bal Bharti School. Class VIII-X students took part in an inter-house poster-making competition. Mars House was declared first in the competition, followed by Mercury House, Venus House and Earth House. SDP Senior Secondary School, Basti Jodhewal, conducted lectures to make students aware of ill-effects of population explosion.

Environment conservation

Ryan International School, Dugri, took out a rally to create awareness on environment conservation. Students of Class III and above distributed saplings among residents of Dugri, Phase II. They made everyone aware of importance of trees. Headmistress Ritu Syal accompanied the students.

Paper reading

Shri Harkrishan Sahib Public Senior Secondary School, New Janta Nagar, Gill Market, organised a paper-reading contest. Around 175 students of Class III-V took part in the competition. — TNS 



Applications invited for bravery award
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
The Indian Council for Child Welfare has invited applications from children in the age group of 6-18 years for the National Bravery Awards.

Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal said: “These awards are given to those children who set an example of bravery by fighting against odds and challenging situation.”

The prize carries a medal, appreciation letter and cash award besides other gifts.

Aggarwal said the eligible children can get forms for the Indian Council for Child Welfare office. The incident of bravery should have occurred between July 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014.

The application, along with the required documents, should carry the recommendation of any of the following: school headmaster/principal, head of panchayat or zila parishad, president or general secretary of Child Welfare Council, Punjab, District Commissioner or Superintendent of Police.

The documents should be submitted at the office of Child Welfare Council, Punjab. The eligible candidate should also attach the proof of bravery incident.



Better Ludhiana
city unsafe for women

It’s time to pay back in the same coin
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
With the rising cases of crime against women in the city, women are feeling insecure. The police may dismiss it as a fear psychosis, but for the women the fear is a reality and they have to fight it every day.

Tejdeep Kaler, university professor, said: “Women feel unsafe in the city. Almost every day, we get to hear about incidents of snatching. Women are soft targets. I, myself, have been a victim of snatching. Of late, I have noticed that women are reluctant to venture out alone. It’s not an easy going for women in the industrial hub of Punjab.”

Surinder Kaur, employee, Punjabi Bhawan, said: “It’s time for women to raise their voice against incidents of snatching and eve-teasing. If women stay silent, it only leads to a rise in such cases. Family and friends should encourage women to speak up for themselves. There should be a strong familial and social support mechanism so that women don’t feel insecure.”

Sandip Kaur, teacher, said: “We need to change our mindset. Women are taught tolerance to the extent that they go on tolerating injustices meted out to them. If doing injustice is wrong, tolerating injustice is equally unacceptable. Social groups and NGOs should pitch in to motivate women to raise their voice against injustice. Besides, the police should take a swift action in cases of sexual harassment. A stringent punishment to the culprits is a must.”

Baljit Kaur, housewife, said: “Earlier, people had respect for women. Today, we may have progressed technologically, but our value system has gone for a toss. Moreover, we have double standards. We have a long list of dos and don’ts for girls, but we never teach boys to respect women. Parents often tell their daughters not to wear ‘provocative dresses’, but they never teach their sons the basic lessons about gender 

Fear flares

The city is no longer safe for women. Cases of eve-teasing and snatching are on the rise. Such incidents take place with such ferocity and frequency that women feel terrorised.

Snatching of bags, jewellery and cellphones is now common. 



Sherpur Road faces neglect
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, July 14
Motorists think twice before taking Sherpur Road in the town. The two-kilometre stretch is full of potholes.

The road connects the town with more than 12 villages, including Sherpur Kalan, Kothe Fatehdeen, Kothe Baggu, Kothe Jeeve Ke, Kothe Sherjang, Sheikhdaulat, Galib Kalan, Kaleran and Galib Ran Singh.

Situation is no better at the Grain Market, Sabzi Mandi, offices of the Market Committee and Mandi Board, Punjab. Traffic jams have become a routine occurrence on the road.

Area residents said their pleas had fallen on deaf ears. “The civic body is not interested in repairing the road.

“The authorities should get the stretch repaired at the earliest. How can they turn a blind eye to our problems?” asked Joga Singh, a shopkeeper at Sherpur Road.

The residents said they had brought the matter to the notice of Mandi Board officials many a time, but nothing had been done to improve the condition of the road.

Jagraon Market Committee secretary Jaswinder Singh said the construction of road was delayed fro want of funds. “We have asked the government to release funds for the construction of the road. We are hopeful of receiving the funds soon,” said Jaswinder Singh. “The authorities keep boasting of developing the town, but when it comes to proving it, they choose to look the other way,” lamented a resident.



Stars get together to celebrate friendship 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
Hardy Sandhu, Varun Sharma and Anil Juneja starer Punjabi comedy film “Yaaran Da Katchup” is soon coming to tickle the funny bone of the audience. The cast and crew of the film was in the city today to promote the film which is slated to be released on July 18.

“The story is about three close friends who meet every seven years and celebrate their ‘Ohi Day’. This time, they are meeting in Pattaya (Thailand) and there is a lot of confusion and fun happening,” said Abhay Baiju Chhabra, director of the film.

Already popular in the audience for his melodious songs, Hardy Sandhu is debuting in acting with this film. “Initially, I was nervous, but gradually things became easy for me. Since the film is based on friendship and I give utmost importance to it in my life, playing this character was natural for me. Although a lot of people would have said this, I would like to repeat that all relations come naturally in an individual’s life, but friendship is the only relation which he chooses by himself,” said Sandhu.

While “Fukrey” fame Varun Sharma was all praise for his director Abhay Chhabra as he gives freedom to the artists and is very strong on the technical front.

Third friend, Anil, is also a newcomer. “Everybody was there to support me and nothing was tough for me while shooting,” he quips.

“The story of the film is somewhere desi, but the look is totally different. When you’ll come out of the theatre after watching the film, you’ll feel like celebrating in the same way with your friends,” said director Abhay.

This is Yuvika’s second film and explaining the journey of the film in three words she said, “Shooting, shopping and fun.”

Jaswinder Bhalla, BN Sharma, Vijay Tandon, Rana Ranbir, Ranjan Sehgal, Kruti Popat, Anita Hassanandani, Yuvika Chaudhary, Simpy Singh and Shagun Jaiswal will also be seen in the film.



MC inspector accused of misusing his powers
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
A building inspector in Zone A of the Municipal Corporation “fraudulently” registered his family members’ names as “owners” of a property in the assessment register.

Rajesh Kumar, a relative Ravinder Saggar, Harinder Saggar and Narinder Saggar, legal heirs of the property, who has been given the power of attorney of the property, stated that information obtained under the RTI Act revealed that the “tenant” had been named as the owner in the assessment register.

A formal document was signed between the tenant and the landlord, which mentioned that the particular shop was given to one Sushila Kumari Sehgal, a resident of Pindi Street, on a rent deed of Rs 1,200 per month, but the assessment register with the MC showed that Sushila Sehgal, wife of late Vishva Mittar Sehgal, and Rimmy Sehgal, wife of Pradeep Mittar Sehgal (under Section 105) were the owners of the property. The complainant alleged that other tenants had also started constructing shops. The owners have 15 such shops in Pindi Street and three tenants have not even paid water and sewerage bills. “The tenants of three other shops have not paid rent for the past two years. In their twilight years, the owners do not want to move the court,” lamented the complainant. Building inspector Pradeep Sehgal, against whom the allegations have been levelled, said the property was “purchased” by his family members way back in 1996-97. He said it was a plot and the construction was carried out by his family. Since there were many owners of the property, his family had given money to one of the owners, but registry could not be done to date. When asked to produce a receipt, the building inspector said there was no such document, but he said that all taxes were paid by them. Besides, he alleged that the family was being “threatened” by the complainant.



Moviegoers seek screening of Hollywood flicks in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
Multiplexes in the city do not screen Hollywood movies. Bollywood and Punjabi movies still rule the roost in the multiplexes and Hollywood fans remain deprived of watching their favourite movies on the big screen,” said a student.

Saksham, a city-based businessman, said it was strange that the multiplexes did not screen Hollywood movies. “We do not get to see our favourite movies here,” he said.

“I have to go all the way to Delhi to watch a Hollywood movie. Why can’t the multiplexes in the city screen such movies?” he asked.

Richa, a residents, said, “Ludhiana is said to be a metropolitan city with more malls, hotels and restaurants, but still not enough Hollywood movies are screened here.”

“Only a few Hollywood movies are screened in the city multiplexes,” said Ayush, a student. 



PSPCL aggravates farmers’ woes
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 14
Farmers, who had once adopted the drip and micro-irrigation system to check water depletion and power connections, are a harried lot. Recently, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited penalised consumers for misusing electricity.

While the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited authorities have threatened to initiate legal action against the consumers, in case they fail to deposit the penalty, organisations fighting for the rights of farmers have announced to defend their cases.

Farmers from villages falling under Ludhiana and Sangrur districts led by Baldev Singh Latala and Sikandar Singh Jartauli, joint secretaries of state and Ludhiana district units of Punjab Kissan Sabha, alleged that the farmers, who had tried to make up losses by using drip and sprinkle connections for irrigating traditional crops other than vegetables and fruits, were asked to pay lakhs of rupees.

Fifty farmers have been penalised by the department.

Those receiving notices included owners of land owned by religious places of a special community and non-resident Indians (NRIs).

Gurdev Singh , an NRI from Dhulkot village, alleged that he had been issued notice to pay Rs 2.28 lakh, adding that he had rented out the land with dip and micro sprinkle connection to a farmer of his village. Gurdev Singh said he had asked his attorney to challenge the notice in court of law.

The drip system aimed at promoting plantation of fruit, vegetables, medicinal, ornamental, aromatic plants, cereal crops, pulses and oilseeds to break paddy-wheat rotational cycle in Punjab. 



Bittu for easing of import duty on scrap 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
MP Ravneet Singh Bittu today batted for the small and medium steel industries of Ludhiana and Mandi Gobindgarh in the Lok Sabha. He urged the government to reduce the import duty on scrap to zero as was the case earlier. He also demanded the lowering of excise duty from 12.36 per cent to 6 per cent to help the local industry.

Bittu said there were many clusters of the steel industry in the country which were facing difficulties. One such cluster is located around Ludhiana and Mandi Gobindgarh in Punjab. “The industries use scrap as raw material and have been serving the country for the past four decades by catering to the requirements of our automobile, engineering and housing sectors. The small and medium industries have been providing employment to lakhs of people. But today 50 per cent of the industries have closed down and the remaining are on the verge of closure which would render lakhs of workmen jobless, besides loss of investments worth several thousand crores of rupees,” he said.

Demanding that raw material be made easily available to the industry, Bittu urged the Union Government to provide early clearances for supply of iron ore and coal to the domestic industry so that the industry was able to manufacture sufficient steel for the needs of the country and was also able to export.



Central board ends manufacturers’ woes 
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
The Central Board of Excise and Customs’ clarification on excise duty is likely to bring relief for sectors selling goods at discounted rates to attract buyers.

The board has clarified that manufacturers would have to pay excise duty on the selling price, even if discounted, and not the production cost plus profits as ruled by the Supreme Court in 2012. As per a notification issued by the CBEC, if a manufacturer sells goods at a price less than the cost of production plus profits, the transaction value will be used to calculate the levy. Following the Supreme Court’s ruling in August 2012, the department had sent show-cause notices to several auto and tyre companies among others and had asked them to furnish cost data of various products for the previous years.

Vinay Kansal, an auto parts manufacturer, said, “The clarification promises to solve the issue prospectively. The decision will go a long way in providing a fillip to the sector.” The clarification comes amid a slew of measures announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his maiden Budget on Thursday.

The amendment

“Where price is not the sole consideration for sale of such excisable goods and they are sold at a price less than the manufacturing cost and profit, the value of goods shall be deemed to be the transaction value,” states the amendment to the Central Excise Valuation (Determination of Price of Excisable Goods) Rules, 2000.



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