L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


BMW crash
Will it be another open-and-shut case?
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
Be it the death of Akshit Kharbanda, son of Layallpur Sweets owner, who was killed in a BMW car crash on March 15, or Gagan Sharma and Rajat Dua, who were killed in a similar accident on October 25 near Bal Bhawan, Sarabha Nagar, in both the cases, the police worked overtime allegedly to save the sons of rich and influential businessmen by closing the case on the pretext that there was no complaint against the erring driver.

They are the same police who catch criminals on the assumption that they were planning to commit a robbery while sitting in a vacant plot. However, they are reluctant to register a case of reckless driving despite the fact two young lives have been snuffed out in the accident.

It has been observed in the past that wherever a rich person is involved in a crime case, the law is twisted to favour the culprit. The latest BMW crash also turned out to be an open-and-shut case like other ones involving rich businessmen of the city.

Victims’ kin want BMW driver be taught a lesson

Day after the incident, the families give vent to their anger against Atul Bansal, the driver of ill-fated BMW. Gagan Sharma’s cousins Megha and Isha expressed shock over the history of Atul’s reckless driving. “We have come to know in the morning that Atul used to perform stunts on his car and share it with friends on Facebook. We learnt it in the morning,” said both the sisters.

They said had they knew that Atul has been involved in car stunts and speeding, they would not have let Gagan accompany him. The families of Gagan and Rajat were thinking of filing a formal complaint against Atul.

Isha said her brother was leaving for Landon next month as he was offered a job there.

“Since the incident, there has been no clue to Atul’s whereabouts. Neither did his family nor Atul visited our house to tell us what led to such a tragic accident,” said Isha.

Isha categorically denied the allegations that Gagan was under the influence of liquor. She said Gagan was having dinner and left the food in between to meet Atul and Rajat who had come in the BMW.

“I do not know about Atul whether he was consuming liquor or not. The police should have got his medical test conducted. And if the police have not got his medical test done, then it shows that they are working to save him,” said Isha.

Vipan Narang, Rajat’s maternal uncle, demanded that Atul should be taught a lesson, so that precious lives could be saved.

“We have lost our children. We are worried about others. If this man is not taught a lesson, then he may cause more such accidents in the future and put the life of someone else at risk,” said Vipan Narang.

Victim’s gold chain missing, kin blames cop

Victim Gagan Sharma’s cousin Megha said while the police returned Gagan’s two mobile phones recovered by them from the accident scene, his (Gagan’s) gold chain is still missing. She said her aunt Reenu Sharma could identify the policeman who had removed the chain. The two mobile phones were returned to the family on Monday evening. Despite repeated attempts, ADCP-III Paramjit Singh Pannu did not answer the calls.

Rajat died on the way to hospital

Gagan’s family said while their son died on the spot, Rajat had struggled for life for nearly half an hour. Vipan Narang, Rajat’s maternal uncle, said if Rajat was provided timely treatment, he could have been saved. Rajat was rushed to the nearby hospital where doctors refused to treat him, stating that it was a police case. Rajat succumbed to injuries on the way to the Civil Hospital.

Legal opinion

Advocate Munish Purang says: “In accident cases, any passerby can be a complainant or a police official, who is investigating the accident scene, can be a complainant. The police can take cognisance to register a case.”


Charm of vanity numbers fading
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
Vanity numbers, which once contributed a lot of revenue to the state exchequer, are now becoming a reason for loss. As many as 900 vanity numbers of five series are yet to be e-auctioned as none of the bidders has come forward to buy them.

The unsold vanity numbers include PB 10 DV, PB 10 DW, PB 10DX, PB 10DY and PB 10 DZ. Anil Garg, District Transport Officer, Ludhiana, said: “In the past five months, we have uploaded as many as 1,355 vanity numbers of five series for e-auction as each series comprise 271 numbers. Of them, only 454 could be e-auctioned while 901 numbers are still lying unsold. I have informed the State Transport Commissioner, Punjab, about the unsold numbers. Anyone willing to buy these vanity numbers can get these on reserve price.”

The reserve price for 0001 is Rs 5 lakh and for the numbers between 0002 to 0009 the reserve price is Rs 2.5 lakh.

The DTO said: “Each series has nine single digit numbers and 100 two digit numbers. As we have put on e-auction a total of five series, there are 45 single digit vanity numbers, of which 35 are still unsold. Similarly, there are 500 two digit numbers, of which 433 are unsold. The remaining numbers are in three digits or four digits.”

Another officer said if these numbers remained unsold, it would lead to loss to the state exchequer. The officer said: “About two weeks ago, the higher authorities were informed about it but there is no reply from their side to date. Either the state should roll back the reserve price or bear this loss.”

Buy unsold numbers on reserve price

As many as 901 numbers are still lying unsold. I have informed the State Transport Commissioner, Punjab, about the unsold numbers. Anyone willing to buy these vanity numbers can get these on reserve price. — Anil Garg, District Transport Officer



15 months on, LIT to try luck again
To hold a public auction of commercial properties on October 30
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 27
The Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), which has been without a full-time chairman (read political nominee) for quite some time now, is holding a public auction on October 30 for the sale of commercial properties after a gap of 15 months.

After two successive auctions on July 23 and 30 last year, when no buyers turned up to offer bids for commercial sites and built-up properties, the LIT had not held any public auction citing recessionary trends in the real estate market. However, the main reason for the Trust not going for the sale of properties was the absence of a full-time chairman ever since the dissolution of all the improvement trusts by the Punjab government in July 2012.

After the dissolution of the Trust, the post of chairman was held by different bureaucrats, including Shruti Singh Chaudhry, Rahul Tiwari, RK Verma and Supreet Singh Gulati, as additional charge. These officers were either heading the Municipal Corporation or the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority as well.

In the two public auctions conducted in July 2013, which turned out to be unproductive, the LIT had put on the block 128 commercial sites and built-up properties with a total reserve price of Rs 76.90 crore.

Now, the Trust has made an offer for sale in the auction 36 commercial sites and built-up properties in different schemes, which carry a reserve price tag of around Rs 28 crore.

The sites and properties proposed to be put under the hammer include built-up booths in Model Town Extension, Maharishi Valmiki Nagar, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar and Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, built-up shop-cum-flats in Bharat Nagar Extension, the coal depot site in Model Town Extension, the school site in Kidwai Nagar and the shop-cum-flat site in Rajguru Nagar.

What is on the block

The sites and properties proposed to be put under the hammer include built-up booths in Model Town Extension, Maharishi Valmiki Nagar, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar and Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, built-up shop-cum-flats in Bharat Nagar Extension, the coal depot site in Model Town Extension, the school site in Kidwai Nagar and the shop-cum-flat site in Rajguru Nagar.



Ambiguity over environment clearance certificates, definition of mining
Operations at 300 brick-kilns in a limbo
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
Nearly 300 brick-kilns in the district are lying non-functional as confusion prevails among the owners regarding the category in which they have been included. There is ambiguity over the environment clearance certificates and the definition of mining under the new guidelines.

Earlier, brick-kilns were included in the BI category, for which they were required to get a survey done from the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) and got clearance from the Union Environment Ministry. Later, on the instructions of the National Green Tribunal, they were included in the BII category, under which no survey was required. However, the Supreme Court granted stay on such inclusion of brick-kilns and now the owners are confused about their status.

Brick-kilns were briefly operational when the Punjab Government framed its own rules pertaining to mining, which were subsequently challenged in the court. Operations in most of the units have been suspended since then. Some brick-kilns are making bricks with the earth stored in the units before the ban was imposed.

According to the officials, brick-kilns are included in the BI category. “Brick-kilns are now included in the BI category, for which they are required to get a survey done from the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), which requires more time. Till now, no brick-kiln has got the clearance and all the cases are pending. Once they get the clearance, permits will be issued to them by the Industries Department,” said Mahesh Khanna, general manager, District Industries Centre.

“A week ago, we came to know about a brick-kiln that was running operations without clearance. The department got it closed down. We have sent letters to all the members of the brick-kiln association stating that they are not supposed to carry out operations till they get the clearance and permit,” said Khanna.

Meanwhile, Sarabhjeet Singh, general secretary of the Ludhiana Brick-Kiln Owners Association, said every time they need sand for their units, they are required to get clearance, be it yearly or six monthly. The Supreme Court had ordered a stay on the inclusion of brick-kilns in the BII category and we are still not clear about our status.

“Nearly 300 brick-kilns are lying non-operational. In between, the state government was given the power to issue clearance which was subsequently challenged in the court and a stay was ordered. Now, there is ambiguity over the category we are included in. Getting a survey done from SEIAA and then clearance from the Union Environment Ministry takes nearly six or nine months and is a very tedious process. We cannot carry the work till we have the clearance. The process should be simplified,” he said.

Sarabhjeet said they had not received any warning letters from the District Industries Centre so far.



Private schools
How fair is the admission process?
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
Most of the private schools in the city are flouting rules in the name of interaction and mock interviews. The law prohibits interviewing parents and their wards at the time of giving admissions to children in schools. But the practice continues unchecked in the city. Under Right to Free and Compulsory Education, 2009: No school or person shall, while admitting a child, collect any capitation fee and subject the child or his or her parents or guardian to any screening procedure.

With the influx of admissions applications to reputed schools, the schools consider it their right to choose the best of all.

The practice of interviews has got a push with the coming up of playways in every nook and corner of the city.

Playways, apparently, ‘prepare’ children to get admission to reputed schools. The authorities promote their schools as the launch pad for children to get admissions to better schools in the future. Some of these playways have even displayed a list of students who have made it to the reputed schools of the city.

As the registration process has started, many playways and pre-nursery schools are giving a fillip to the practice of interviews. The process is considered as a preparatory training for the interviews for the children who do not selected.

Parents also have to go through the mill, not due to anxiety, but because of appearing for their own interview as well. The income, educational qualifications, status, knowledge are all checked in the name of interactions.

Admission a gruelling task

“Getting my child admitted to a good school was a grueling task for me. Regulations need to be implemented. The unethical practice of interviews of children who are barely at the threshold of life needs to be stopped,” said Antarpuneet Singh, a self-employed person.

The practice is unfair. The whole procedure is liable to leave a negative psychological bearing on a child, warn psychologists.

Interviews may cause anxiety

“It is not fair to judge children at this age as a child as young as three is barely able to communicate. The child’s abilities and potential cannot be judged at such a tender age. Moreover, the process of interview with complete strangers can cause anxiety in children and they may shy away from answering and interacting freely. Passing judgment on a child’s intelligence and ability is unfair. The fact that schools have a mix lot of intelligent, average and below-average students as they grow up, despite the interviews during admission, proves the futility of the whole process,” said Dr Ravinder Kala, a city-based psychologist.

Parents need to raise their voice

“Many rules have been made regarding the right of children and despite the interviews being banned, the practice continues. Parents need to raise their voice collectively to put an end to this practice of interview and donations in schools,” said Rohit Kaushal, a parent.

Judging child’s potential through interviews unfair

“How can a child give interviews? It is for the school to prepare children for life and interviews as they grow up. Judging their potential through interactions is not right,” said Maneet Kaur Chadhha, a parent.

A lucky draw should be held

“School admissions should be done according to the area, just like it is done abroad. Schools should admit students falling in say about 2 kms of its vicinity. Another way could be a lucky draw. But it should be ensured that the name of the person is there in the chit for the lucky draw,” said Ranjita Kaur Chhabra, a parent.

Wards of influential parents get admissions

“It is downright wrong to conduct interviews for admissions of children. They are too young for such interviews and judging them is unfair. Moreover, children of influential people or elite families are admitted to reputed schools, which is unfair. The authorities concerned must find a solution to the problem at the earliest, so as to give children a future which is bright and fair,” said Jasmine Ghai, a parent.

At their own discretion

With the influx of admission applicants to reputed schools, the schools consider it their right to choose the best of all. Some of these playways have even displayed a list of students who have made it to the reputed schools of the city. As the registration process has started, schools are giving a fillip to the practice of interviews.



DC issues notices to latecomers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
A majority of employees at Sub-Registrar’s Office (East), Ludhiana, today reported late on duty. Taking note of this, all latecomers were taken to task by Rajat Aggarwal Deputy Commissioner, who conducted a surprise check at the office at 8:50 am. The office starts at 9 am.

When the Deputy Commissioner asked the latecomers the reason behind their late arrival, some of them said there was a lot of traffic on the way while the others blamed it on auto-rickshaws. But, the Deputy Commissioner pulled them up and warned them against making such excuses in the future.

The latecomers, who were issued show-cause notices, include registry clerk Davinder Bawa, Suman Rani and sewadar Neeraj Kumar. However, with respect to some employees of CMS Company serving at Fard Kender, the Deputy Commissioner has written to the Director, Land Records.

All the details of receipts, pending cases related to the Right to Service Act, objections raised, fee collected and other expenses were also reviewed by the DC. He instructed all the staff members to do public works on a priority basis. He said the work of “vaseekas” should be done simultaneously. He stressed the registry should be handed only to the owner. He also asked them to install a board displaying timetable and details of fee structure for different works.

He also interacted with applicants present at the office. Making an appeal to the public in general, Rajat Aggarwal asked them not to seek help of any of the agents and submit their files directy to the office.

Tehsildar Parveen Singla, personal assistant Baljinder Singh Gill and other staff members were also present.



Senior citizens’ month
Admn’s efforts bear fruit
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
The efforts of the district administration to dedicate the month of October to senior citizens has finally started showing positive results. A few schools and colleges reportedly gave a confirmation for holding regular interactions with the elderly and visiting old age homes once a month.

Confirming this, Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal said: “We interacted with some schools, colleges and other institutes and motivated the functionaries to send groups of students to senior citizen homes in the city for spending some quality time with the elderly. Three institutes, namely the Ludhiana College of Engineering, Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, and PAU Government Model Senior Secondary School have given a positive response.”

During a survey conducted by the district administration, it was found that there are 65 senior citizens whose age is above 100 years. Following this, on the instructions of the Deputy Commissioner, Civil Surgeon Dr Subhash Batta deputed PCMS doctors to visit senior citizens.

Aggarwal said: “The doctors not only treat the senior citizens, but also keep telling them various preventive measures, keeping in view the weather. The senior citizens are being provided free medical treatment. This has also relieved their kin who cannot afford the costly treatment.”

Dr Subhash Batta said: “We keep sending orthopaedicians, physiotherapists and general doctors to senior citizen homes. Medicines to treat common ailments are provided free-of-cost.”

Earlier, the administration had organised an awareness walk in coordination with non-governmental organisations.



Farmers fast switching over to mechanical sowing of wheat
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh/Sangrur, October 27
Farmers in Sangrur and Ludhiana districts are fast switching over to mechanical sowing of wheat, without burning paddy straw and stumps. The practice, besides checking degradation of soil and air pollution, is expected to lower the cost of cultivation. The latest trend is the result of coordinated efforts of the civil administrations of the two districts.

A large number of farmers of the region have already started the process for sowing of early varieties of wheat, without waiting for the clearance of paddy straw and stumps standing in their fields.

Unlike earlier times, when farmers used to either clear the fields by burning straw of getting it chopped by engaging extra labour, most farmers have decided to hire Happy Seeder, a mechanical device operated with tractor.

Teams of officials of the Agricultural Department have already organised field camps for educating farmers about the significance of the new technology.

Farmers of Jandali, Baurhai, Dehliz, Maherna, Kanganwal and Akburpur Chhanna said they had already booked a seeder for sowing of wheat crop in their fields. A complete ban on the burning of straw and narrow gap between the harvesting of paddy crop and sowing of wheat were cited as major factors behind the tendency.

“We decided to adopt the method after we came to know that seeds can be sown without clearing fields of straw and stumps,” said farmers, led by Nirmal Singh Baurhai, admitting that majority of them had been burning straw before preparation of soil and sowing wheat.

Farmers said they had saved substantial amount of money that used to be spent on clearing fields.

Chief Agricultural Officer, Sangrur, Dr Rajinder Singh Sohi said most farmers were enthused to know that the new system would increase their income by cutting the expenditure on preparation of soil, lower use of fertilizers and lower requirement of irrigation.

“The soil texture and organic matter of the soil is bound to improve,” said Sohi.

Acknowledging the trend, Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur, Arashdeep Singh Thind said the administration had made arrangements for sowing with the Happy Seeder in at least 40,000 acres of land in the district in comparison to last year’s accomplishment of 2,000 acre of land.

“While about two dozen machines were used for sowing last year, we plan to achieve the target by deploying as many as 372 seeders,” said Thind.

Coordinated efforts bring a change in mindset

Burning of bio-mass, particularly the residue of paddy, has remained in the spotlight during past decades. The Tribune has been highlighting the issue prominently. Various government and non-governmental organisations had been suggesting measures to resolve the issue, but the measures suggested by these bodies could not yield desired results. Reduction of area under paddy, better use of straw by its incorporation in the soil for favourable effect, direct sowing of wheat without removing the paddy straw from the fields by using a specially designed “Happy Seeder”, and using straw to generate power emerged as the most acceptable measures, but remained on paper. Finally, with a coordinated movement launched by the administration, a change in the mindset of farmers is being witnessed.



Ludhiana scan
3 test positive for dengue

Three more patients have tested positive for dengue. These include a 49-year-old woman from Khanna, 40-year-old woman from Kakowal and 28-year-old youth from Sherpur. They are undergoing treatment at Christian Medical College and Hospital. With this the total number of patients diagnosed with dengue at city-based hospitals has gone up to 110, of which 76 belong to Ludhiana, 29 to other districts and five to other states.

Larvae found

Under the direction of Civil Surgeon Dr Subhash Batta and under the supervision of District Epidemiologist Dr Anil Verma, a team of health officials inspected desert air coolers to check the breeding of larvae of dengue-causing Aedes Egypti. In Rishi Nagar, larvae were found in eight coolers, four pots and one tyre, while in Dana Mandi, a pot and a tank were found carrying larvae. The information was passed to MC officials for issuing fines.

Operation successful

Dr Narinder Verma of SPS Apollo Hospital has successfully operated on 60-year-old Baldev Krishan from Sangrur who was accidently hit by a bullet last week. The bullet had entered from the right side of his neck and got stuck at the root of the neck, close to the apex of the lung and cervical vertebra. Dr Verma, head of the ENT department at the hospital, removed the bullet by exploring the neck using general anaesthesia. The patient was discharged within three days.

Books released

Punjabi Sahit Akademi released two books —“Pingal te Arooz” and “Paidan da Itihaas” – on Monday. Academy president Dr Sukhdev Singh, vice-president Dr Surjit Singh and general secretary Dr Anup Singh were present on the occasion. Central University Chancellor Dr SS Johal, former Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University Dr SP Singh were also present. Dr Sukhdev Singh, Dr Gulzar Pandher, Janmeja Johal, Trilochan Singh Lochi and Surinder Kailey addressed the gathering.

Training programme

The District Sainik Welfare Officer is organising a training programme for the recruitment rally to be held in January next year. The officer, Col Kanwarpreet Singh Atwal, said the training will commence on November 1.

Residents up in arms against MC

Residents of ward number 18 are up in arms against the MC authorities for the abrupt stoppage of work of laying roads due to non-payment to the contractor. The residents said they were a facing a tough time as the work was incomplete. The residents said if within one week nothing was done to complete the work, they would start an agitation.


Shiromani Akali Dal president Mewa Singh Gujjarwal has condemned an incident that took place in Ranchi, Jharkhand, in which a Dalit was refused entry into a temple. Gujjarwal said the incident had hurt the religious sentiments of the community. He asked the Modi government to take stern action against those responsible for such discrimination. — TNS



Short course on learning disabilities

A ten-day short course on ‘Advances in management of children with learning disabilities’ was inaugurated at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), by the PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Baldev Singh Dhillon, on Monday. The course was organised by the Department of Human Development, College of Home Science, and was sponsored by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi. Dr Dhillon said the subject of learning disabilities among children has received greater attention during the last one decade but more needs to be done to create wider awareness about the problem. Pointing out that children with learning disabilities are not lazy, he said these children usually have average or above-average intelligence. The only problem is that their (children) brains process the information differently, making them difficult to understand things in normal circumstances. Early recognition of the problem and appropriate steps of treatment are necessary to achieve positive results. Dr Raj Kumari Gupta, former Chairperson, Department of Education, Punjab University, Chandigarh, who delivered a key-note address on ‘Current issues, problems and changing prospective of learning disabilities’ said several environmental factors lead to learning problems in children. She said early diagnosis of the problem is very important to understand special remedial measures by providing special training. She stressed that school teachers should be sensitised about learning disabilities of children and should be trained to provide need base individualised remedial intervention to these special children.

Annual youth fest from October 30

The Annual Youth Festival at Punjab Agricultural University will start on October 30. Dr The director students welfare and chief organiser of the festival, Ravinder Kaur Dhaliwal, said the preparations for the festival are in full swing and students from all the constituent colleges of PAU are expected to participate in the youth festival. She said on the first day of the mela on October 30, collage-making, cartooning and creative writing will be held. Poster-making, debate, clay modelling, poetry recitation and hasya ras are scheduled for October 31. On-the-spot painting, extempore, elocution and rangoli competition will be held on November 1. On-the-spot photography competition will be held on November 2. Formal inauguration of the youth festival with creative dances, folk songs and music competition will be held on November 3. On November 4, there will be competition for shabad gayan, quiz, one act play, mimicry and mime. On the final day of the festival, skits, mono acting and folk dances will be held. The mela will end with prize distribution function on November 5. — TNS



The defaced side of city
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
Tall claims of the Municipal Corporation of removing illegal hoardings, banners, posters and advertisements from roadsides have fallen flat. Starting from the old area to all the major roads, including Pakhowal Road, Ferozepur Road, GT Road, Fountain Chowk and Civil Lines, one can see banners/hoardings in every nook and cranny. Superintendent, Zone D, Rajiv Bhardwaj when asked why the hoardings were not being removed, said: ”Hoardings put up by a political party were removed today.”

Bhardwaj said hoardings had been put up in an illegal manner.

When asked the reason behind the inaction, the Superintendent said: “We will remove the hoardings once we receive instructions from the MC Commissioner,” said Bhardwaj. Not just political, but religious hoardings too are not allowed to be put up alongside roads. Under the garb of religion, rules are being violated blatantly as a salon’s advertisements have been displayed on the religious hoardings.

The authorities know that most of the hoardings and banners are illegal, still these are not being removed, forget about taking stern action against violators. “There is so much political interference and in the name of religion, one can get away with anything. For example on one board, thorough publicity is given to a leader/ his factory premises/ his party/ followers, still we cannot take action against anyone. Dare you take action against anyone, you will face protests, dharnas and transfers,” lamented an official of the Municipal Corporation.



Classical renditions blend with spirituality
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

The mesmerised audience at Ramgarhia Girls College in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, October 27
Santoor exponent Pandit ShivKumar Sharma enthralled students at Ramgarhia Girls College during a programme organised by SPICMACAY (Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture among Youth) today. He performed raga shuddh sarang and inspired the students to feel the music before learning or trying to understand.

He said Indian classical music and spirituality were two sides of the same coin, adding that classical Indian music paved way to an exalted state of mind. He told the students that it was important to feel the music before trying to understand it. The internationally acclaimed musician and Padma Vibhushan said: “The more you listen to and enjoy classical music, the more you start to understand it.”

He asked the students not to clap during the performance as classical music was meditative and spiritual. “Rather than applauding, the audience must feel the vibrations,” he added. He said his aim was to perform in a way that the audience forgot to clap and felt moved.

The maestro credited for making Santoor popular was accompanied by noted tabla player Ram Kumar Mishra and his Japanese disciple Kakahiro Arai who played tanpura. Atul Talwar, general secretary, SPICMACAY, said the aim of the organisation was to make the youth connected with Indian culture and roots through classical music and dance. He said the influence of Western culture was increasing on the youth, but they should not forget the rich cultural roots of India. “SPICMACAY has been able to motivate youngsters to learn classical music and dance and even offers scholarships to students keen on learning music and dance,” he said.

Principal of the college Dr Narinder Sidhu said it was a mesmerising performance.



Schools give vigilance awareness week a miss
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
Many of the city schools gave the directions of the Central Board of Secondary Education to observe vigilance awareness week a miss. The vigilence week starts from today till November 6. Schools cited different reasons for not observing the vigilance week.

A school principal said they were not organising any activity but had put posters about the week on the school premises.

According to a letter from the CBSE to schools, the aim of the vigilance awareness week is to bring to the notice of the people as to how corruption is eroding the basic values in the country and ways to eradicate it. The Central Vigilance Commission has said that competitive lectures or debates be organised in schools.

One of the teachers in a private CBSE school, not wanting to be named, said their school is not observing the week, but the fight against corruption is important for the country. He said all schools should celebrate the week to make children aware about the evil of corruption and the need for making honest and corruption-free society for the constructive development of the country and the society.

“Although lectures are being delivered at many schools about the corruption, but ironically, when directives of observing the day have come from the board, schools decide to not to observe the week,” he added.

“The schools need to make it a point to observe the week to inspire the next generation to stand up, fight and not let corruption infest our society,” said the teacher.



MC teams survey illegal buildings
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
Teams comprising executive engineers, sub-divisional engineers and junior engineers surveyed illegal buildings in the city today. Three days’ time has been given to the teams to come up with records of each and every building. The teams are supposed to present the list before higher officials on October 30.

MC Commissioner Pradeep Aggarwal, who had expressed resentment over the lists prepared by 37 teams earlier, is learnt to have strictly conveyed to the teams that the lists must be made as per the requirement of the Municipal Corporation.

Additional Commissioner Rishipal Singh said the teams would visit each block. Since certain blocks were too big, two-three teams were constituted for surveying the areas, he said. “Residential buildings spread over 200 square yards will be surveyed by the teams. Apart from this, the lists will include all commercial and industrial buildings, whose maps have been approved, challans have been issued, compoundable or non-compoundable violations have been noticed or not,” said Rishipal Singh.

To make the process more transparent, Rishipal Singh has asked the general public to contact him at 9872290882 through texts in case, they had some doubt regarding any building. An inspector of the building branch said the motive of the exercise was to find if the building branch officials had anything to do with the violations.

“There are certain officials, whose interests are watched by the violators. The MC chief wants the details of all buildings. Once the lists are submitted, the MC will start taking action against the violators accordingly,” said the building inspector.



Vigilance Week: SBI employees pledge to eradicate corruption
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh/Raikot, October 27
The State Bank of India officials today vowed to eradicate corruption in all spheres of life. The bank officials from various branches pledged to strive to bring integrity and transparency in all aspects of their work.

The pledge was taken on the commencement of Vigilance Week today. The staff at Dehlon, Sehora, Katani, Jodhan, Phullanwal and Sandaur besides local branches pledged to remain vigilant and work towards the growth and reputation of their organisation by providing value-based service to residents.

Regional manager SK Sethi supervised the ceremony. Besides expressing their commitment through banners and interactive sessions, the authorities at different branches have drafted programmes to organise seminars, debates and declamations on the topic “Combating Corruption — Technology is an Enabler”.

Prominent educational institutes, social organisations and trade unions have been motivated to join the SBI in the mission.



Superintendent caught taking bribe
RTI activist wants CBI to probe the case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
A city based RTI activist has demanded that the bribery case of superintendent, Central Excise and Service Tax, AS Dhaliwal should be shifted to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The superintendent was caught taking a bribe of Rs 20 lakh from Gurdeep Singh Jujhar, transporter-cum-managing director of Fastway Citizens Cable Network. Rohit Sabharwal, president of the Anti-Corruption and Crime Investigation Cell, in his letter to the CBI Director demanded that the CBI should investigate the matter as the superintendent, in a sting operation carried out by Jujhar, had claimed that the cut of the bribe went right from the bottom to the top.

Sabharwal also enclosed a DVD of the sting operation which Sabharwal claimed he had received through an official of the company. Sabharwal stated that the CBI may manage to crack the case and expose more officials. He said AS Dhaliwal on his own could not crack such a deal. Sabharwal demanded that movable and immovable assets should be checked.



Goraya man stitches his way to glory
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
Goraya-based Pawan Kumar Kailey, who has four records to his name in the Limca Book of Records, was recently honoured at the House of Commons, United Kingdom. Kailey was invited to the UK by Virendra Sharma, MP from Ealing Southhall, and Tej Ram Bagha, Mayor of the London Borough of Ealing.

Kailey, who runs Goraya Tailoring Fashion House, has stitched a jacket which can be worn in 9,800 different styles and colours and a pair of trousers that can be worn in 22 different ways.

“I learnt the art of tailoring at a very young age, but I wanted to do something extraordinary,” said Kailey.

He has also mastered the balancing act by using an egg. Yet another record to his name is that of tying the knot of a tie without touching the longer side.

During his four-month stay at the UK, Kailey also took stitching classes, attended by foreigners.

“I am good at stitching and thought of sharing my expertise with others,” he said.



Dera followers head to Mumbai
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 27
With the intent to make Pan Mumbai Cleanliness, being undertaken by Dera Sacha Sauda Sirsa, a grand success, hundreds of followers of Sant Gurmeet Ram Rahim from the town and surrounding localities have left for Mumbai to join other followers coming from across the country.

The followers are responding to the clarion call made by the sect chief to make the twenty-eighth cleanliness drive in the country a memorable one.

The volunteers said senior functionaries in the sect had appealed to them to carry their own brooms and other material required for undertaking the massive cleanliness project tomorrow.

The drive, named “Ho Prithvi Saaf, Mitey Rog Abhishaap” was started from Delhi in September 2011 and has now reached Mumbai after covering 27 major Indian cities.

The volunteers, from all walks of life, will be cleaning choked sewers, stagnant drains and stinking public toilets during the drive.



City students in chess nationals

Students of BCM Arya Model School, Shastri Nagar, who performed well in the recently held Punjab State Chess Championship in Amritsar, have been selected for national camp to be held in November at Guwahati. The students had participated in the tournament in under-19 (boys) and under-17 (girls) categories from October 18 to October 22. School principal Dr Paramjit Kaur congratulated the coaches and team members for the excellent performance.

Student shines in crickets matches

Dipreet Singh(16), a student of Class XI in Guru Gobind Singh Public School, Pakhowal Road, Daad, Ludhiana, took seven wickets in seven matches during the matches being played at Johannesburg in South Africa. A team of 14 players from different districts of Punjab reached Johannesburg on October 6. The principal of the school, Dr Manjit Kaur, wished him good luck. — TNS



Workshops at DMCH
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
Dayanand Medical College and Hospital is observing the month of October as breast cancer awareness month. The authorities are organising activities to spread awareness about the disease.

Changes in lifestyle like sedentary lifestyle, increase intake of fats in diet, junk food, obesity, delay in first child birth, lack of exercise, early start of menstrual cycle in young girls, consumption of alcohol and smoking are the leading causes of breast cancer.

The head of Oncology Department, Dr Amit Dhiman, is holding multiple awareness workshops for female staff of the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.

The doctor said breast self examination after 20 years of age and screening mammography after 40 years of age is a must.

Dr Amit Dhiman also delivered awareness lectures at various schools, colleges and ladies clubs in the city.



Khanna police rescue kidnapped child
Couple hailing from UP held, committed crime as they were childless
Our Correspondent

Khanna, October 27
The Khanna police have rescued a child who was allegedly kidnapped from Rajgarh village near here on October 17. The alleged suspects, identified as Ashok Kumar and his wife, Ram Dulari, who hail from Uttar Pardesh, have been arrested.

Addressing a press conference, acting Senior Superintendent of Police, Khanna, Gurmeet Singh Chauhan said two-and-a-half-year-old Rohan Kumar disappeared from his house when his father was out for work and his mother was busy with domestic work.

A case was registered in this regard against a couple found absconding after the incident.

The SSP said the couple had no child despite ten years of their marriage. They kidnapped the child and were arranging money to return to Uttar Pradesh when they were nabbed, he said.

A special investigation team under SP(D), Khanna, Satinder Pal Singh and comprising DSP, Payal, and SHO, Doraha, arrested Ashok Kumar after raiding a plywood factory in Focal Point, Ludhiana. His questioning led to the rescue of the child and arrest of his wife. Later, the police handed over the child to his parents.



Husband, in-laws held for abetting suicide
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 27
The Jagraon police have booked a man and his kin for abetting his wife’s suicide. The woman, Amandeep Kaur, alias Rozi, allegedly ended her life by hanging herself from a ceiling fan at her Bajwa Colony residence yesterday afternoon.

The accused include her husband, Umesh Kapoor; father-in-law Keshav Kapoor; mother-in-law Darshana Kapoor; brother-in-law Gagan Kapoor and sister-in-law Kavita Kapoor.

The police have arrested Umesh and his parents, while Gagan and Kavita are on the run. In his complaint to the police, Amandeep’s father, Inderjit Singh, alleged that her in-laws used to harass her for dowry.

“On the fateful day, my daughter called me and told that her in-laws had been demanding more money and had beaten her up,” said Inderjit Singh, who resides in Bathinda.

Amandeep got married to Umesh Kapoor in 2010.

“We had spent more than Rs 20 lakh on marriage and paid Rs 5 lakh to her in-laws,” said the father.

SHO, Jagraon, Shiv Kamal said the police were conducting raids to arrest the remaining accused.



Thieves strike at mobile store
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
Thieves struck at a mobile store owned by former Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) RPS Bajwa and decamped with more than Rs 25 lakh. RPS Bajwa, who lives at Shamsher Avenue, said the thieves struck at his store on the intervening night of October 25/26 and decamped with mobile phones and accessories. A case has been registered.

Cash, gold stolen

In the second incident, a domestic help, Videshwar of Bihar, decamped with cash, gold and diamond ornaments worth over Rs 30 lakh from the house of a coloniser in Urban Estate, Dugri. The coloniser said he along with his family had gone out when the domestic help stole the cash and jewellery. A case has been registered.



Kabaddi World Cup: Selectors shortlist 24 players
Our Sports Reporter

Members of the selection committee watch the aspirants at Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana.
Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, October 27
Twenty-four players (men) were shortlisted during the two-day trials at Guru Nanak Stadium. The players will participate in the fifth edition of the World Kabaddi Cup slated to be held between December 6 and 20 at different venues all over the state. Besides, 25 players will be finalised on the basis of their performance in the ongoing World Kabaddi League.

Releasing the list of selected players, Sikander Singh Maluka, Punjab Cabinet Minister, and chairman, selection committee, Kabaddi World Cup, said 49 players would attend a fortnight long preparatory camp at Fatehgarh Sahib prior to the announcement of the final team for the upcoming mega event. The camp would start in the second week of November, added Singh.

The selected players are Sandeep Singh, Kaptan Singh, Gulzar Singh, Tejinder Singh, Sandeep Singh, Manoranjan Singh, Sukhbir Singh, Gagandeep Singh, Kanwaldeep Singh, Balram Singh, Gurmeet Singh and Sukhjinder Singh (all raiders), Sukhjit Singh, Narinder Ram, Balbir Singh, Mangat Singh, Khushdeep Singh, Kulwinder Singh, Amritpal Singh, Bhupinder Singh, Ranjodh Singh, Prem Singh, Nir Bihari Singh and Arvinder Singh (all stoppers). Meanwhile, 255 women aspirants including 144 stoppers and 111 raiders, attended the trials which commenced at Guru Nanak Stadium today. Sikander Singh Maluka and coordinator for the Kabaddi World Cup Rupinder Singh Ravi along with other members of the selection committee conducted the trials. The main feature of the trials was that 95 players (50 stoppers and 45 raiders) from the neighboring state, Haryana, attended the trials. “A team of the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) may visit Fatehgarh Sahib during the course of the camp to take samples,” added Maluka.



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