L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


DOTS provider ‘selling’ TB drugs
Residents complain to Civil Surgeon, demand closure of clinic
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
Residents have lodged a complaint with the Civil Surgeon against Dr BL Malhotra, a registered medical practitioner (RMP), and demanded the immediate closure of his clinic. They alleged that the RMP was misusing the DOTS centre (where patients suffering from tuberculosis were directly administered medicine) by charging money for the medicine, which is provided free of cost by the Central Government. They also claimed that he was sending patients for unnecessary tests and X-rays at unauthorised laboratories and scan centres.

The department of health and family welfare has marked an inquiry to the district ayurveda and unani officer (DAUO) Dr Narinder Dhand as Dr Malhotra has been running the clinic as Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) for the last 30 years.

Omkar Singh Walia, a resident, alleged that Dr Malhotra charged money for the TB medicine from his son. “He did not administer the medicine properly and my son had a relapse. His treatment has been started all over again. But we fear that he might have not become resistant to the drug,” he said.

“The RMP is prescribing allopathic medicines for heart diseases, kidney problems, hypertension and other ailments,” the residents alleged.

Irked over the inaction on the part of the ayurveda department and the district health and family welfare department, the residents have urged the Punjab health minister to get an FIR registered against the “quack”.

Interestingly, “BAMS” written on the board put up outside the clinic of Dr Malhotra was painted over in blue after a check conducted by the DAUO.

Dr Malhotra said his son, who was a qualified BAMS, sat in the clinic in the evening. “I am a registered medical practitioner, recognised by the Punjab government, and have been prescribing ayurvedic medicine for the last 35 years. No one has ever complained against me. This complaint is a result of a property dispute between me and some shopkeepers,” he claimed.

‘Nothing Wrong’

Dr BL Malhotra had put up the board of BAMS as his son has the degree and comes to the clinic in the evening. He is a registered medical practitioner who is authorised to give medicines to TB patients in his capacity as a DOTS provider. It is for the District TB Officer to take action against the complaint.

— Dr Narinder Dhand, district ayurveda and unani officer

‘Can’t examine patients’

Dr BL Malhotra is running an authorised DOTS centre. But we were not aware that he was not a qualified BAMS he projected to be. Like all other DOTS providers, he is just a facilitator to provide medicine. He cannot examine or prescribe any other medicine. We will close the centre if someone lodges a formal complaint against him.

— Dr Ashish Chawla, District TB Officer


LIT proposal rejected
Will have to sell mall as single unit
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
With the state government once again rejecting the proposal of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) authorities to sell shops unit wise in a mall at Rani Jhansi road, the civic body will again try to sell it as a single unit.

Built on 2.22 acres, the mall was constructed by the LIT to attract shopkeepers who were moving towards Ghumar Mandi to run their businesses. But with over five years gone since its construction, the mall is in a shambles and the LIT has failed to get any buyer for it.

The five-storeyed mall, work on which was started in 2000, has two-storeyed underground parking in which around 250 cars can be parked. The LIT had kept the ground floor and first floor of the complex for commercial purpose while the second, third and fourth floors were to be used for offices and the fifth floor for residential apartments.

Though officials of the LIT had tried several times to convince the state government that due to the whopping reserve price of Rs 197 crore during the auction, buyers were not coming forward. So, the shops in the mall should be sold unit wise.

A few months ago, the LIT authorities had sent the proposal to the government, but the government asked the LIT to try to sell the mall as a single unit.

JS Pandher, Superintending Engineer (SE) of the civic body, said they would again try to sell the mall as a single unit.

No buyers

With over five years gone since the construction of the mall, it is in a shambles and the LIT has failed to get any buyer for it



4 held for assaulting shopkeepers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
Four persons were booked for assaulting shopkeepers who were protesting against “musclemen” employed at a parking lot in Kitab Bazar here today.

The incident took place in the afternoon when shopkeepers led by Raj Gumbar and Jasmeet Singh Makkar of the electrical market association reached the parking lot to lodge their protest against last night’s incident of eve-teasing and thrashing of two shopkeepers allegedly by the musclemen of the parking lot.

Jaspal Singh Bunty, president of the Kitab Bazar market association, said “goons” at the parking lot thrashed Vikram Grover and his brother-in-law last night. The accused teased Vikram’s wife and when he objected to it, the accused thrashed him and his brother-in-law before fleeing.

Today, when shopkeepers of the electrical market reached the parking to lodge their protest, the musclemen again assaulted and injured a shopkeeper identified as Manpreet Singh.

The police has arrested four musclemen for assaulting shopkeepers.



All over a piece of land
Attempt to grab Rs 200-crore property
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
Swift action by the police foiled an attempt to encroach upon three acres of improvement trust land worth 200 crore located near Fortune Hotel here today.

The incident took place this afternoon when around 40 labourers, along with a JCB machine and a trolley full of construction material, reached the spot and started work.

In the meantime, residents of Indra Nagar, led by Congress leader Amarjit Singh Tikka, reached the spot and asked them to show documents proving ownership of property.

“When we asked them about the documents, the men took out weapons from the vehicle. They attacked us with sharp-edged weapons and even fired three shots. The police reached the spot on time and saved us,” Tikka said.

He added that on seeing the police, the labourers beat a hasty retreat. He claimed that Sanjiv, Sandeep and Nirbhay Singh sustained sword injuries and were rushed to the civil hospital here. The police were suspecting that the accused were from Model Town. The Model Town SHO said, “Besides a JCB machine and an SUV, we have confiscated industrial material. No one has been arrested so far, but the culprits will be nabbed soon.”

The residents thanked the police for taking timely action. Tikka revealed that it was the sixth attempt to encroach upon the land, but no one had been booked so far. “As revenue and district administration offices were closed today, the accused were trying to erect a boundary wall so that they could apply for a stay in court on Monday,” he said.



Property dealer held in land-grab case
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
Property dealer Surinder Kumar Saggu, who earned the wrath of MLA Darshan Singh Shivalik in connection with a land-grab case in Satjot Nagar, landed in the police net for allegedly selling a house on the basis of fake documents. The Station House Officer (SHO) Randhir Singh arrested Saggu following a complaint by Gurmail Singh of Sidhwan Bait who had alleged that Saggu sold him a house measuring 105 sq yd in the South City area for Rs 8.5 lakh on the basis of fake power of attorney.

Gurmail claimed that Saggu showed the house to him, claiming it belonged to Gurmeet Singh of Daad village. Gurmail agreed to buy it and paid him the money. He came to know about the fraud when he went to take the possession of the property a few days later. On reaching the house, he was shocked to find a couple, Neetu Bedi and Harjeet Singh, who claimed to be the owners of the house. Gurmail lodged a complaint and the police visited Daad village only to learn that no one by the name of Gurmeet Singh owned a property in South City area.

More trouble in store

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari had marked an inquiry into the land-grab case yesterday after MLA Darshan Singh Shivalik levelled allegation of corruption against revenue employees and property dealer Surinder Kumar Saggu. The probe has been marked to ADC-D Pardeep Aggarwal. Nirmal Singh of Satjot Nagar had alleged that Saggu had usurped 3 acres belonging to him.



Construction by religious body halted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
Tension brewed in the Rishi Nagar locality after a religious institution was debarred from construction activity at a vacant plot by the police and the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) authorities here today.

The police received a telephone call that a religious institution was illegally carrying out construction activity on a plot. Sensing that it could create a law and order problem, the police reached the spot to take stock of the situation. It asked representatives of the religious institution to stop the construction as the land was not their property. But the representatives told the police that the land belonged to them.

The police then called LIT officials to verify facts. Civic body officials reached the site and told the police that the land had been acquired and was the property of the LIT.

The police asked both parties to furnish relevant documents and submit their claims to the property by Wednesday.



War on Corruption
Social, political bodies hail Hazare
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
Various social and political organisations continue to rally behind social activist and Gandhian Anna Hazare who had launched a crusade against corruption in New Delhi.

Expressing solidarity with the cause and movement launched by Anna Hazare, the Marxist Communist Party of India (United) said under the pressure of his untiring campaign, the Union government had to bow down and accept the framing of Lokpal Bill.

In a statement issued here today, National general secretary Jagjit Singh and Politburo members Kuldeep Singh and Prem Singh described it a victory of mass movement.

Similarly, Jan Saksham Foundation, an NGO, said the public faith in government institutions was now at an all-time low.

Endorsing the movement started by the leader, the office-bearers of the NGO said the movement to bring transparency and curbing corruption had come at the right time. They demanded stringent laws to prosecute corrupt government officials and politicians.

Similarly, secretary general of the Anti-Corruption Council of India Shiv Gupta, chairman Dev Dutt Sharma and vice-chairman BK Rampal congratulated the veteran leader for effectively mobilising the masses.



Canada opens more avenues for Indian students
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, April 9
The Canadian government has opened up new avenues for Indian students to pursue higher studies in various fields, including business management, accounting and engineering, in leading colleges and universities there.

This was stated by Mente Solberg, former citizen and immigration minister, Canada, who was in the city to address a seminar, while talking to this correspondent today.

“Other foreign countries were giving opportunities to students interested in hospitality courses alone. But we have brought out something unique as India students can now pursue higher education like graduation, post-graduation and diploma courses in various challenging fields.”

He invited students to pursue studies in hotel management, nursing and arts and science subjects in Canada. He also invited Indian skilled workers and traders to migrate to Canada.

People having skills in chemistry, statistics and mathematics are also needed in Canada, said Solberg, adding that there was a shortage of business persons and students in Canada and immigrants could fill the shortage and contribute to the growth.

Immigration between India and Canada should be encouraged to build stronger connections between the businesses of both nations, opined Solberg, who earlier inaugurated an immigration business office in Chandigarh.

Harminder Singh, who wishes to migrate to Canada, said: “An agency had duped me of around Rs 3 lakh on the pretext of getting me a visa. Now, I want to go through the legal channel. I talked to the former minister to know about the procedure. I will meet consultants in the Chandigarh office to submit a fresh application.”

Shivani Sharma, another aspirant, said: “I did my BBA from Panjab University, Chandigarh. I wish to go Canada for the higher studies in my field. Solberg has convinced me and he even named a few universities where I can apply,” said Shivani.



Goods container catches fire
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
Panic gripped Samrala Chowk after a goods container carrying Hyundai cars caught fire here this evening.

The driver was rescued by commuters and rushed to a local clinic as he sustained minor burn injuries.

The incident took place around 6:30 pm. The police swooped into action and cleared the area.

The incident led to a massive traffic jam. The reason for the fire was not known. According to the driver, no car was damaged.



VC visits Chakar village

Ludhiana, April 9
Though Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal failed in his endeavour to clean Buddha Nallah, the saffron clad environmentalist has certainly enthused a new lease of life in Chakar village, which has hogged popularity for encouraging rural education, literacy amongst girls and undertaking civic facilities.

Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), visited the village to observe the progress made by the villagers towards rural development. He appreciated that the efforts of non-resident Indians (NRIs) from the village, who had provided the monetary support towards the development of the village.

The voluntary participation by a large number of villagers in this task has given the village a distinct look, he said. Dr SS Brar, a former professor of agronomy said that the project was conceived and implemented under the guidance of Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal, a renowned environmentalist. — TNS



Adventure camp for schoolchildren
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, April 9
Taking the lead to cut down on academic stress and promote co-curricular activities among students, Kundan Vidya Mandir (KVM) organised an adventure camp, in accordance with CBSE guidelines, here today.

Enjoying every moment of mountaineering and Army exercises, the boys and girls of class VIII enjoyed the new learning experience, which was supervised by 12 experts from a private tourism company.

Taking pride in the adventure exercises, the students told the Ludhiana Tribune that they felt like doing the actual Army training.

“This is my first experience of hang from a rope. I was scared thinking what would happen if I fell. I felt on top of the world after completing the exercise,” said Rishabh. He insisted that he be allowed to repeat the exercise.

Harshit Jain took pride in saying he had no fear while hanging from a rope tied to the top of a 60-foot building. “I have tried my hand at mountaineering during adventure camps at hill stations, but doing it at my school was a new experience,” he said.

“It is tough to cross the commando bridge, made of ropes. I enjoyed hanging in ‘flying fox’ the most. It was like coming down in a lift,” said Shivali. She added that she would take part in mountaineering camps in the future.

Abhishek, a supervisor at the camp, said, “They are exposed to fun activities throughout the day to keep them exited.” Principal Navita Malik said the students would get marks of taking part in the camp, as per guidelines.



Soap actors, TV channel in trouble
Booked for hurting sentiments of a community
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
Until now television soaps were considered to be the main cause behind the increasing number of divorce cases among newly married couples. But this time a director, actors and a producer of a TV serial have rubbed viewers the wrong way. The police has registered a case against Colors, a television channel and crew of the daily soap “Mukti Bandhan” for hurting the sentiments of a particular community.

President of the Bharatiya Valmiki Addi Dharam Samaj, DP Khosla, said characters of the television serial had made sarcastic comments against Lord Valmiki during one such episode. The organisation, which was looking after the welfare of a particular community, has lodged a formal complaint against the channel and crew with the Daresi police.

The police has registered a case against the writer, producer and actor Shobhna Desai, director Ramesh Talwar and anchor Ajit Dosani. A case against the channel has also been lodged in this regard.



Health workers’ stir continues
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
With rural health pharmacists and Class IV employees staging a protest in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner, the relay hunger strike of workers entered the sixth day today.

The pharmacists, who had been working in village dispensaries under rural medical officers, called upon the state government to regularise them.

Their association’s district general secretary Harjinder Singh Phullanwal said, “The government has agreed to regularise rural medical officers. Therefore, we should also be made permanent. Instead, we have been told that our services will be discontinued and pharmacists will be recruited on merit following an advertisement.”

Terming the decision unfair, the association stated that they had worked with commitment in dispensaries even when officials were not present.

“The government has failed to acknowledge our services. It has decided to terminate us. But we will not rest till a decision is taken in our favour and will carry on the relay hunger strike,” said Balwinder Singh, state general secretary of the association.



From Colleges


Ludhiana: GGN Institute of Management & Technology (GGNIMT) organised a seminar on “.NET technology and its numerous job opportunities” for students of BCA and MCA here on Saturday. Puneet Singh, chief trainer of .NET at GNE, was the resource person. He defined .NET as a software framework for Microsoft Windows operating systems.

It included a library and supported several programming languages, he said.

Appreciating the technology, he said it not only helped one apply common skills across a variety of devices, application types and programming tasks, but also integrated with other tools and technologies to build the right solution with less work and more speed.

He explained the concept by discussing the major components and design principles of the technology along with its 3-tier architecture that makes it highly popular with the IT industries.

The resource person also demonstrated some live projects based on the .NET framework.

The session concluded with a question-answer round wherein students posed their quries and understood the relevance of the technology.

Students excel

The students of Khalsa College for Women began 2011 on a high note by showing good results in the Panjab University MSc (IT) first and third semester examinations. The results were declared by Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Shilpa Jindal bagged first position in the university by securing 86.52 per cent marks while Shivani Sareen stood second with 86 per cent marks. Jindal topped the university for the third consecutive semester.

Out of the 29 students who had appeared in the examination, 25 secured first division while 20 students secured more than 70 per cent marks.

Students of MSc (IT) first semester bagged five out of the top 10 PU positions. Rupinder Kaur and Jyoti Gupta jointly clinched third spot. Preeti Gupta secured fourth position in the university with 83.83 per cent marks. Chitansee Bansal bagged seventh position with 82.5 per cent while Ritika secured ninth position by securing 82.17 per cent.

Out of the 30 students who took the examination, 20 students obtained over 70 per cent marks. — TNS



PAU former student, friend booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
A former PAU student, who is perusing his postdoctoral degree (PHD), along with his friend allegedly hurled abuses at dean, agriculture engineering and technology, PPS Lubana, outside his residence on the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) campus on Wednesday night.

The youth, identified as Virkamdeep Singh, a former PHD student of the PAU, was arrested by the police. He along with Harinder Singh, one of his friends, reached hostel No 3 and started quarrelling with Vikram Nurala, a student of agricultural engineering.

Later, the two stood in front of the dean’s residence and hurled abuses at him. PAU SHO, Beant Juneja, arrested them. Vikramdeep (30) is a senior officer in a company and Harinder works as his assistant.



Mobile connection dealers booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
The city police have booked five mobile phone dealers who had sold mobile connections to some persons without taking proper identification documents.

The dealers were booked under Sections 294, 419, 465, 468 and 471 of the IPC and Sections 66 and 67 of the Information and Technology Act, 2000.

They were identified as Guru Kirpa Electricals, Anoop Telecom, Guru Nanak Telecom, Gaba Electronics and Kapoor Telecom.

A case had been registered on the complaint of a woman, a resident of the Division Number 3 area of the city.

In her complaint to the police, she stated that some unknown persons had been giving between 40 and 50 missed calls on her son Rahul Jain’s mobile phone everyday for the past 10 months.

They had also been sending threatening messages everyday, she added.

Following this, the matter was thoroughly investigated by Assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime).

During the course of investigation, when the police were trying to find out who had the phone numbers concerned, they failed to get details because the connections had been bought without taking proper identification documents.



AITA Super Series
Prabhuti claims title
Our Sports Reporter

Jassowal (Ludhiana), April 9
Prabhuti Singhania, trainee of Harvest Tennis Academy, Jassowal, cornered glory, wrapping up the girls’ u-14 title in the AITA Super Series 2011 at the academy here today.

Sruta Kirti Gunuganti of Andhra Pradesh won top honours in the u-12 category.

Sachin Kumar and Vasisht Cheruku of Karnataka emerged winners in the boys’ u-14 and u-12 sections, respectively.

In the girls’ u-14 final, Prabhuti Singhania gave little chance to Isha Budwal of Madhya Pradesh as she took the title in straight sets 6-0, 6-0. In the boys’ final (u-14), Sachin Kumar of Chandigarh defeated Shrey Gupta of Haryana 6-2, 6-1 to come out triumphant, while in the girls’ u-12 final, Sruta Kirti Gunuganti of Andhra Pradesh defeated Isha Budwal of Madhya Pradesh 6-3, 6-0. In the boys’ u-12 clash, Vasisht Cheruku of Karnataka outperformed Karandeep Singh of Punjab 7-6(4), 6-0 to claim the title. Academy director Hardeep Singh, and Hardeepak Singh gave away prizes to the position holders.



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