L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Agitating medicos vow to continue fight
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 28
The ongoing anti-reservation agitation by medical students and professional bodies appears to be heading towards a civil disobedience movement if the aggressive mood of the members of the medical fraternity is any indication.

Even as the “akhand path” at the IMA Bhavan in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar was continuing, the students accompanied by activists of several other organisations and members of the DMC Teachers Association took out a candle light march in Sarabha Nagar market here last evening. The protesters vowed to continue fight against the reservation and the repressive measures being adopted by the government.

The Joint Medicos Front and the Youth for Equality (medical students’ body), which were till now spearheading the agitation against the reservation, in association with other professional bodies, formed a new outfit named the Federation of Medical Associations (FMA).

The new body, headed by Dr B.S. Shah, will have representatives from several organisations like the DMC Teachers Association, Indian Medical Association, Indian Dental Association, National Integrated Medical Association and the All India Integrated Medical Association.

According to Dr Harpal Singh, press secretary and spokesman for the FMA, in a meeting held here today, Dr Anurag Goswami, Dr Vikas Jindal, Dr Anil Kapoor and Dr Rajesh Thapar were elected vice-presidents, Dr Sanjeev Uppal was named the general secretary, Dr Mahesh Gupta, Dr Sandeep Arora and Dr Surinder Gupta were elected secretaries while Dr Vivek Mahindra was given the responsibility of finance secretary.

Dr Gurpreet Wander, chief cardiologist at Hero DMC Heart Institute, and Dr Gursharan Singh, president of the local branch of the IMA, were requested to be the patrons of the body to which both agreed.

In a largely attended meeting at the culmination of “akhand path” at IMA Bhawan, the medicos announced the launch of a political body, Equality Democratic Front (EDF), which they said was the outcome of ongoing anti-reservation movement. It would strive to create a vote bank of its own to give a befitting reply to the “unjust” policies of the government and politicians belonging to all parties.

Dr B.S. Shah, who was named the convener of the front, speaking at the occasion, stressed that there should be equality amongst the citizens of India and the public should be aware of the divide and rule policy of the vote hungry politicians. “If at all, there is any reservation, it should be for economically backwards and all efforts should be made to let every child in India to complete education and have a chance to compete with dignity”.

Brigadier Toor of the Ex-servicemen Association criticised the reservation policy and justified the brain drain and blamed it on government. Mr Harish Dhanda, president, Bar Council, Punjab, was of the opinion that in this world of competition the reservation policy will take the country backwards. He advocated a judicial commission to go into the recent reservation policy by the government.

Amaninder Singh Dhaliwal and Keerat Sibia, speaking on behalf of the students, remarked that the time of peaceful protests was over and the agitating medicos should plan something different, which made the Manmohan Singh Government think again about going ahead with the implementation of OBC quota.

Dr Puneet Pooni cautioned the government to avoid haste in implementation of the reservation policy and stressed that free education to all OBCs should be looked into as the best cure for social injustice. Many other speakers echoed similar views. 



Bank employee looted
Our Correspondent

Khanna, May 28
The Sadar Police has booked Ram Tirath, Sandeep Singh and Gurdip Singh of Gharala village under Section 382 of the IPC allegedly for looting Rs 6,000 from a bank employee.

According to information, Gurmit Singh, a class IV employee with the Oriental Bank of Commerce at Chakohi near here, was returning to his home in Nanowal village in Fatehgarh district after dropping his friend Beant Singh at Karodia village after his duty on Friday.

The accused stopped him near Daumajra bus stand.

While two persons held his hands, the third one took out Rs 6,000 out of his pocket while threatening him with a knife. They later fled the scene.

Meanwhile, The Payal police has booked ASI Jasdev Singh under Section 409 of the IPC for dereliction in the performance of his duties after an enquiry by the DSP found him guilty.

As per the report, investigations in various cases registered at Payal police station in 2002 were entrusted to the ASI, but he failed file challans in the court within the stipulated period of three years.

The then SHO has also been found responsible for failure in exercising his supervisory duties. Departmental action has been recommended against him by the DSP.



BYJM rally against rising prices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
Activists of the Bharatiya Yuva Janata Morcha today held a rally in protest against the rising prices of essential commodities.
They also burnt an effigy of the United Progressive Alliance government, holding it responsible for the scenario.

The protest was organised by the New Janta Nagar Mandal and New Shimlapuri units of the morcha.

The procession was led by former state president of the morcha Sukhminder Singh Grewal, district president Sanjay Kapoor, Ravinder Chauhan, Rajneesh Dhiman, local councillor Surinder Sharma and others.

Speakers said the prices of essential commodities like pulses, flour, and others were increasing rapidly, making it difficult for the common man to survive.

They pointed out that UPA leaders, including chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had claimed to provide relief to the “aam admi” (the common man), but had failed to keep the promise.

They said the government was watching the interests of big corporate houses only, while the common man was left to suffer. The protesters also expressed concern over the rising unemployment in the country.



Four girls booked for firing in air
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
The police has been unable to trace the identity of four girls who caused a scare in the Sarabha Nagar market last night by firing thrice in air. The police has so far found out that the black Sonata car of the girls had a fake number plate.

The efforts to trace the buyers of the car from the auto agency concerned have not provided the police any clue about the identity of the girls.

The girls had brought the car to a screeching halt near Bikaneri sweets at about 11 pm. One of the girls reportedly came out and fired in the air thrice.Then they drove away immediately. Owners of a number of shops and eateries in the busy market closed down their shutters.

DSP R. K. Bakshi said a case, under Section 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance) of the IPC and for the violation of different provisions of the Arms Act, had been registered against the four unidentified girls.

He said the police was suspecting that the girls might had a tiff with someone and retaliated by firing to scare them away.

Mr Rajiv Mehra and Mr Devinder Singh, president and secretary of the Sarabha Nagar Main Market Traders Association, have criticised the incident. They have demanded more police security in the market. 



Farmers using flyash to improve productivity
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 28
Showing a way to combat pollution caused by flyash, farmers of the area have started incorporating fine ash as a micro fertiliser and soil modifier to fulfil the demand of nutrients in wasteland soils.

Ignorant of any research in the fields, relatively illiterate farmers claimed to have followed others who had harvested good crops after using the ash last year.

A significant number of farmers at Hargobindpura, Chhapar and Latala villages in Ludhiana district have started adding fly ash to their fields. The ash is being procured from a paper mill situated in the area. Disposal of this waste of industrial units has been a major problem in this part of the state.

Charanjit Singh, a farmer of Latala village, said he had decided to add fly ash to his fields after some other farmers of surrounding villages reportedly had better yield using the ash last year. “Besides giving better yield, the ash improves soil texture as well,” he added.

Bir Singh, an ex-serviceman of Rachhin village, said he had adopted the idea from an inference made by National Aluminium Company Ltd a few years ago. “The research and development wing of the company had found that fly ash could increase the agricultural productivity by about 20 per cent if used in an appropriate composition,” he stated.

The result of the experiments revealed that coal ash could be used as a micro fertiliser and soil modifier, added the farmer.

Crops such as wheat, sunflower, paddy and vegetables like tomato, potato, cabbage and lady finger reportedly registered 20 per cent increase in its productivity after using the ash.

Studies have revealed that fly ash, being an amorphous ferro alumino-silicate mineral type material, contains all naturally occurring elements, except humus and nitrogen, when compared to soils.



Pass percentage remains low in govt schools
Our Correspondent

Khamano, May 28
Despite the government’s claims of improving education standards in various government schools, the figures once again showed the dismal performance of these schools.

In the recently declared results of class VIII, most of the government schools are way behind the private schools. The pass percentage remained very low.

In Khamano block, 33 students of Government School, Hawara Kalan, failed out of 44 who appeared for the examination. The same is the state of other government schools in Sidhupur, Lakhanpur, Khamano Khurd, Khamano Kalan, Sanghol, Luhar Majra, Bhari, Khant, Kale Majra, Kheri Naudh Singh Barwali, Dhianu Majra, Jatana Ucha, Farour Panjkoha, Chari and Dulwan villages where pass percentage ranges between 40 to 60 per cent.

Only the government schools in Ajner and Maneli-Dhanaula villages put up a good show.

When some failed students and their parents were contacted, they alleged that teachers often remained absent from the schools.

However, when some teachers were asked about the poor performance, they said many posts were lying vacant in government schools and they were forced to do some other duties from teaching.



Ludhiana Calling

While construction and renovation of houses are a regular affair, little do people who undertake them bother about the inconvenience these cause to others. The sight of cement, gravel and other building material blocking roads and streets is not uncommon. Not only does it cause inconvenience to passersby, it jeopardises their lives in the shape of mishaps. Wish authorities paid some attention.

SMS nuisance

While short messaging service (SMS) has been launched to add to mobile phone users convenience, it is becoming more of a headache as the proportion of meaningless messages is growing substantially. Complaints regarding indecent messages, messages from anonymous numbers and most commonly messages asking users to forward them to a certain number of people lest they should have bad luck are frequent these days. Mobile phone companies, that are only gainers, do not seem to be doing anything to check this nuisance.

Poor models

Let’s admit it. The city does not boast of having topnotch models — be it male or female. In their bid to attain publicity, a retail outlet got some local models and organised a photo shoot. The models had little in the name of grace and were far from being photogenic. Complaining wastage of time, some photographers suggest that if companies want publicity, they should learn to do so in a better way.

Barely professional

Even small retailers these days hire public relations agencies to conduct their press conferences et al. Many such agencies, most of whom have only a few accounts in their kitty, are highly unprofessional and create a mess of the event they organise. Such so-called PR companies look for a reason to invite the Press in a bid to please their client. Press conferences run much behind schedule and waste time and energy of those attending them. It would be better if those in the business got a little more professional.

Punjabi generosity

The Punjabi generosity cannot be subdued even by the scorching summer sun. As the mercury rose a large number of social workers pitched tents to offer cold sweetened water throughout the day to commuters on the road. The community feeling is all too evident through such chabeels as people from all castes, creed or religion come together to drench thirsty throats.

Spooky message

Someone circulated an SMS that claimed that a certain mobile phone number belonging to a girl, who had died eight months ago, was still in use. The message said the girl answered the call at 3 am only. To much disappointment of those who tried to see if that happened, no one answered the call.

— Sentinel



CPOs to replace watchmen
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 28
With an intention to institutionalise an informal system prevalent in this part of Malwa, the SSP, Sangrur, has directed all circle officers and SHOs to mobilise social leaders of the area to replace non-professional and unauthentic watchmen by community police officers (CPOs).

Meanwhile, the local Municipal Council and social organisations of the town have assured cooperation to the police in this regard.

The assurance was given at a meeting convened by Mr Darshan Singh and Mr Jaswinder Singh, SHOs, at the local Sadar and City police stations yesterday.

Referring to directions received from the SSP, Mr Darshan Singh and Mr Jaswinder Singh said the police had decided to replace non-professional and unauthentic watchmen by CPOs.

The police officers held that the system that had been launched successfully in some towns would reduce the crime rate within short period. "As most of the watchmen hailed from other states, the investigating agencies used to get no or negligible information about the suspects of various crimes, including burglaries. In certain cases, the watchmen were later found to be involved in the crime," said the cops.

Assuring cooperation in this regard, Mr Jatinder Bhola, president of the Municipal Council said he would impress upon his colleagues to motivate the residents to contribute their share for the payment of wages for the CPOs to be appointed.

The meeting decided to convene wardwise meetings so that all the residents were told about the significance of the scheme. 



SAD to inspire youths to wear turban
Our Correspondent

Jasbir Singh Sekhon
Jasbir Singh Sekhon

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 28
The youth wing of the SAD (Badal) will launch a move to inspire the Sikh youths to follow religious tenets in their lives, said the general secretary of the organisation.

Addressing a meeting of office- bearers and activists of the organisation, Mr Jasbir Singh Sekhon, general secretary, said the party leadership had drafted a plan to make the Sikh youths aware of religious tenets.

“The leadership has realised that fighting for the right to wear turban abroad would serve no purpose till youths in Punjab continued cutting hair,” he maintained.

“When we stress on wearing religious symbols we do not mean raising an army of religious fanatics. This will simply inspire Sikh youths to live pious lives according to the teachings of gurus which will prove advantageous to all sections of society,” argued Mr Sekhon. He rued that a majority of school and college going Sikh boys had stopped wearing turban.

Mr Jasbir Singh further said coordinated effort by the youth wing and the SGPC would bring positive results. This would curb drug-addiction and other petty crimes.

Mr Jagwant Singh Jaggie, Mr Hardip Singh Khatra, vice- president of the youth wing, Mr Chamkaur Singh Chakk, secretary, and Mr Tehal Singh Dulma also spoke on the occasion. 



Novelist Karamjeet Aujla honoured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
Novelist and scholar Karamjeet Singh Aujla was honoured with the Gyaan-Deep Award by the Punjabi Novel Academy, the Guru Angad Dev Educational and Welfare Council and Sirjandhara.

The award was handed over by Sukhdev Singh, Mittar Sen Meet, Devinder Sekha, Harinder Kaur Sohi and Prof Kulwant Jagraon in the presence of well-known writers and scholars, including Principal Prem Singh Bajaj, Dr Guriqbal Singh Toor, Dr Partap Singh, Ajit Singh Arora, Jaswant Zafar and others.

Aujla, who is visually challenged, has written seven novels, three short-story collections, two plays and seven other books on socio-religious themes.

He was all praise for his wife Maninderjit Kaur Aujla, who he said had always stood by him.

The speakers lauded his works and said his treatment of human character was universal as he had narrated some of the best human situations.

They were for his works to be translated into English for a wider audience.


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