L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Servant flees house after doping employer’s kin
Was recently hired by trader; theft yet to be ascertained
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
Four members of the family of a leading electronic appliances trader in the city were allegedly sedated by their newly hired servant at their Gurdev Nagar home on Tuesday night. The matter, which had been kept under wraps, came to notice after the police went to the house of GS Bedi, owner of Bedi Electronics, to record his statement.

However, his family remained tightlipped and refused to divulge any details about the incident.

Confirming the incident, additional deputy commissioner of police JS Sidhu stated: “The Nepalese servant who was hired a few weeks ago fled the house after offering sedative-laced food to the businessman’s family members. The family had not bothered to get the servant’s credentials verified by the police and didn’t have any photograph of him. It’s not yet clear how many family members were sedated after consuming the food. The family has also not reported any loss of valuables.”

According to sources the incident took place on Tuesday night when the family including GS Bedi, his wife, son and grandson were consumed dinner.

Sources close to the family said Bedi's daughter-in-law had consumed food early and went to sleep as she had to wake up early the next morning for her trip to Amritsar. “After eating food all went to sleep. While the businessman’s son, daughter-in-law and grandson went to Amritsar in the wee hours, Bedi and his wife remained sedated in their room. On their way to Amritsar the condition of Bedi's son and grandson worsened and they had to return midway. In the meantime Bedi's daughter-in-law informed relatives in the city about the servant’s duplicity and told them to reach their house, but by then the servant had fled from the scene,” the sources added.

On Wednesday when the family members arrived at Bedi’s house they were shocked see the sexagenarian couple lying unconscious in their room. Bedi and his wife were rushed to a local hospital where their condition was stated to be out of danger. They were reportedly discharged later.

The role of the security guard employed by residents of Gurdev Nagar is also under scanner as the gate installed in the three streets falling in the area were close, but the guard told the police he did not see the servant fleeing the house.

Bedi’s family members have stated they are yet to ascertain whether the servant stole anything from the house.


Visitors pant as MC, food & supplies dept grapple over rent
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
Public is being made to pay for the “infighting” between two government departments — the municipal corporation and the food and civil supplies department. In spite of provision of a lift at the zone D office of the municipal corporation, Sarabha Nagar, hundreds of visitors, including senior citizens and women, are being forced to climb the stairs all way up to the third floor, where the office of the food and civil supplies department is located, to get their work done.

People have to endure the ordeal owing to the tussle between the two departments over the non-payment of rent.

According to sources, the building (zone D office) was constructed in 2001. In 2003, the third floor of the building was rented out to the district food and civil supplies department by the civic body.

While the civic body provided public with the facility of a lift in 2008, it only went up to the second floor of the MC office.

For those who wish to visit the food and civil supplies department to get their ration cards made have to climb a flight of stairs.

Moreover, the lift is primarily being used by certain “privileged” MC functionaries, who “prevent” visitors from using it in an attempt to “teach a lesson” to the food and civil supplies department for not paying the rent to the civic body.

This has resulted in undue harassment to the common man. Bacchittar Singh, a septuagenarian, said it was too difficult to for him to go all the way up to the third floor using stairs. “I suffer from breathlessness. I have to get a ration card made but I can’t access the office through stairs,” said the senior citizen. The sources say the food and civil supplies department owes around Rs 15 lakh in rent to the civic body. In spite of making several requests, the department has failed to deposit the amount so far.

Earlier, too, when the department had failed to deposit an outstanding amount of Rs 17 lakh to the civic body, it had been asked to vacate the premises.

In September, 2010, the department paid Rs 11 lakh towards the rent to the civic body. However, the outstanding amount has again mounted up to Rs 15 lakh.

A senior official with the corporation said while their employees were working in a congested environment, those of the food and civil supplies department were sitting pretty without paying the rent. “We need the floor for our officials/employees. The department needs to first clear the backlog (rent) to get the benefits,” said the official, adding that the building had been on rent with the department since 2003. DFSC Ranjish Kumari said they had requested the civic body several times to allow the visitors to use the lift but to no avail. She expressed her ignorance on the issue of outstanding amount. MC Commissioner AK Sinha said if electricity bills and rent were due towards the department, they were in no position to ask for benefits from the corporation.



Thieves strike at city boutique
Gang targeting upmarket stores; suspects caught on CCTV
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
Five members of an organized gang of thieves including four women is said to be targeting high-end boutiques located in the city’s posh localities of the city. In the latest incident the suspects were caught on a CCTV camera after they stole five expensive women’s dresses worth about Rs 50,000 from a boutique, Kalakriti, on College Road on Wednesday night.

The incident came to light when the couple that runs the store, Satish Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor, tallied the stocks on Thursday morning and found five women’s dresses missing. They then watched the CCTV recording and were shocked to find out how deftly the gang members deceived the store’s seven salesmen and fled with expensive clothes.

The two soon contacted Sunil Vinayak, owner of the Be Beautiful boutique on Pakhowal Road, who also fell prey to a similar heist on Monday and suffered a loss of nearly Rs 24,000. Vinayak confirmed the gang members who struck at Kalakriti were the same as those who swindled him.

Narrating the incident, Satish said four women and man entered his boutique in two groups on the pretext of purchasing women’s dresses. "While an elderly woman and a girl, who appeared to be related, were the first to enter the store, they were followed by the other three- another elderly woman, a young woman and man," he said.

The women kept the salesmen busy in going through the dresses. After some time two women and a man raised a cloth simultaneously. In the meantime an elderly woman bent down and put five dresses in a bag that she hid in a sari. After they were done the gang members made a quick exit. “The man is the gang kingpin and has extensive knowledge about women’s dresses. While the women keep the salesmen of a store busy he straightaway heads towards a corner where the expensive clothes are kept. Without wasting time the other women also join him. The suspects then swiftly steal the dresses and flee the scene," said Vinayak.

According to him this was the third such theft in a city store in less than a week. "First they targeted Monika Mittal's boutique located in Ishar Singh Nagar and fled with women’s dresses worth over Rs 1 lakh. Then they targeted my shop on Monday and on Wednesday night the struck on the Kalakriti boutique," Vinayak claimed. The boutique owner filed a formal complaint on Thursday with the police and handed over CCTV footage to help the cops in nabbing the suspects.



Sarpanch suspended for pocketing dead residents’ pension
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
It took a legislator of the ruling party a year to get a sarpanch booked, who had pocketed old-age pension of the dead, and three months to get him suspended despite the inquiry report of the administration against him.

The sarapanch of Janta Nagar, Gurbax Singh, was suspended from his post on May 20 following the orders of Director, Rural Development and Panchayats, despite the fact that he was booked by the local police on February 12 under Section 409 of the IPC for criminal breach of trust by a public servant.

The sarpanch was pocketing the pension of Rs 250 each of eight beneficiaries of his village, even after they had died long ago. While he was usurping all this amount and an inquiry by Deputy Commissioner, Rahul Tewari indicted him, it took the long arm of the law a year to take action against him. That too after an Akali MLA followed the case.

‘‘It is a sad state of affairs. I was told by the Director that the file that reached him did not have inquiry report. So it took him three months to act on it,’’ said MLA Darshan Singh Shivalik who added he had to raise a question in Legislative Assembly to get the things moving.

He added that the residents of the sarpanch's area were writing complaints to the administration for a year. ‘‘It did not work out,’’ he said.

The sarpanch kept withdrawing the old-age pension of eight dead individuals by forging their signatures on the panchayat register, thereby causing a loss to the government exchequer.

He followed a simple modus operandi. He used to withdraw the pension from the panchayat’s bank account and send a report to the government claiming that the pension had been disbursed. He used to forge signatures and used fake left thumb impressions of these people.

“Though these persons were dead, they were alive in the government records and withdrawing pension,” the MLA said.

Was booked in Feb

Gurbax Singh, sarapanch of Janta Nagar, was booked by the local police on February 12 under Section 409 of the IPC for criminal breach of trust by a public servant



Tewari whip keeps Cong flock together
Capt Amarinder skips DCC president’s coronation ceremony
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 26
All-India Congress Committee spokesperson and local MP Manish Tewari’s “whip” forced the rank and file of the Congress to put up a united front at the “coronation ceremony” of newly nominated president of District Congress Committee Pawan Dewan here today even though several leaders cribbed and cringed in private about the new appointment.

Except former legislator Rakesh Pandey, who is also a close aide of leader of opposition and former Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, former DCC president Jagmohan Sharma and councillor Parminder Mehta, most of the sitting and former legislators as well as party councillors came together at the function.

This, despite the fact that PPCC president Capt Amarinder Singh could not keep his date.

That family members of slain Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh were miffed at being kept out of the reconstituted PPCC and district units was evident from the absence of Tej Parkash Singh, Congress legislator from Payal constituency in this district, and Gurkirat Singh, grandson of Beant Singh, who also had eyes on the post of DCC president.

Another notable absentee at the otherwise well-attended function was former minister Harnam Das Johar.

The function organised in a marriage palace on the Ferozepur Road was all along a show of Manish Tewari, with most block presidents, party councillors, functionaries of front organisations like Youth Congress, Mahila Congress and the National Students Union of India attending the ceremony in large numbers, reflecting the efforts put in by the incumbent in mobilsing cadres for the show of strength.

Accompanying Tewari and Pawan Dewan at the dais were Sukhdev Singh Libra, Lok Sabha member from Fatehgarh Sahib, Jassi Khangura, Ishar Singh Meharban, Harmohinder Singh and Gurdeep Singh Bhaini, all MLAs, Surinder Dawar and Malkiat Singh Beermi, former MLAs, Dimple Rana, president, District Youth Congress, Leena Taparia, president, Mahila Congress, Krishan Kumar Bawa and Gurdev Singh Lapran, both former presidents of the DCC, Ramesh Joshi, Sham Sunder Malhotra, leader of party councillors. PPCC vice-president and former minister Ramesh Dogra attended the function as an emissary of Capt Amarinder Singh.

The tone and tenor of almost all speakers was a clear indication that the Congress was all set go into election overdrive.

Tewari, as also Dogra, Dewan and other party leaders called upon the workers to remain prepared for the Assembly elections, which could be announced any time during the next few months. Tewari said the future of Punjab was going to be decided in the next couple of months. “Congress won eight out of 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab in the elections held around two years back. But in the coming Assembly elections, we have to do still better,” he said.

Later, talking to mediapersons, Tewari claimed that the Congress would win the Assembly elections with a thumping majority and provide a stable government. “We shall establish the rule of law in the state and ensure a clean governance.”

Attacking the BJP for charges of corruption being faced by their senior leaders in Karnataka, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab, he said the party did not practice what it preached. Whereas the Congress had been swift and clear about acting against any of its functionary facing corruption charges.

Tewari spoils Mayawati act

Manish Tewari intervened and stopped a party worker from offering a garland of currency to Pawan Dewan when he sensed that photo journalists were all set with their cameras to capture the moment. While the person carrying the garland was visibly disappointed, photo journalists weren’t amused either as they were deprived of a spicy picture.

Bhattal faction stays away

Former minister Rakesh Pandey, a close aide of Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, and Parminder Mehta, a known Bhattal loyalist, were conspicuous by their absence at the coronation ceremony. However, Mehta and outgoing DCC president Jagmohan Sharma made an appearance at the Congress Bhawan where Dewan formally assumed charge of office after the installation function which was held in a banquet hall.



City residents have no use for small change
25 paise coin soon to be numismatist’s delight
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
It appears most people in this affluent city people have given up on coins of small denomination. Though the Reserve Bank of India has asked the public to exchange 25 paise coins and those with lower denominations at banks before June 30, the day from which they would be demonetized and cease to be legal tender, hardly any one has bothered to do.

“25 paise coins are about to become history with the RBI having announced they would be pulled out of circulation from June 30. But till date no one has come to our branch to exchange the coins. Either they aren’t aware of the move or people here hardly have any coins,” said RC Gulati, general manager of UCO Bank.

Coins of denominations below 25 paise have been in circulation for almost nine decades in India, though the government stopped minting them since the last six or seven years.

Another bank official, this time from State Bank of India, said their branch had also not received any request by a customer for exchanging 25 paise coins. “Ludhiana is a rich city and I doubt people here have coins of such a low denomination,” he remarked.

However, the RBI’s decision has affected some people dealing regularly in these denominations. Owners of small shops and street vendors were taken aback on learning about the move.

“We regularly use 25 paise coins in our daily dealings. Some time back I hiked the price of a cup of tea by Rs 1.25. Those who work as labourers and in other unskilled jobs would give me 25 paise while shopkeepers nearby would instead give me 50 paise for a cup of tea. After the RBI’s announcement that 25 paise coins would pulled out of circulation at the end of June my customers, who are mostly poor, will be affected,” said Dhani Ram, a tea vendor near the city’s Clock Tower.

Coin collectors on guard

Coin collectors do not want to part with small denomination coins for obvious reasons. “I’ve a huge collection of coins from various countries including Britain, the United States, Canada, Iran and Egypt. I’ve also got old Indian coins including those with a hole. With 25 paise coins and those of lesser denomination becoming history I’ll definitely preserve them in my collection. I have Indian coins of denominations 5, 10, 20 and 25 paise and will never part with them even though they’ll no longer be accepted as legal tender.

Gagan Randhawa, a coin collector



Illegal Construction
MC demolishes roads, boundary wall in four colonies
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 26
Cracking the whip against mushrooming of unauthorised colonies on the periphery of the city in violation of the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act (PAPRA), a team of Municipal Corporation (MC) officials today demolished under-construction roads, boundary walls and razed illegal construction in four unauthorised colonies on the Kakowal road and Gurnam Nagar locality here.

Officials of the building branch of the MC, led by Kamaljit Kaur, assistant town planner, Zone A, and SS Bindra, assistant town planner, Zone D, along with supporting staff, descended at Kakowal road where three colonies were under development in around 17 acre. Developers had commenced work to lay roads, sewerage, while boundary walls had also been constructed. In two colonies, a couple of sheds had also been put up for the supervisory staff of the labour.

“The stretch prepared to lay roads in the colonies was dug up, the trenches to lay sewerage and water supply pipes were filled up with sand and boundary walls were razed. We didn’t touch any temporary structures in the colonies for the time being to give developers an opportunity to get the colonies regularised by following the procedure under the new policy of the state government,” said Kamaljit Kaur.

A similar exercise was carried out in another colony, being developed in around 8 acre, at Gurnam Nagar locality in block no 33, she added.

With the MC acting tough against development of unauthorised colonies even after the policy for regularisation had been simplified and the minimum area for getting a license had also been slashed, some developers had set the process in motion to get license under PAPRA and at least two colonisers - one each in Zone A and Zone D had also deposited the license fee as well, the MC officials said.

According to a survey conducted by the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority in 2007, there were 350 unauthorised colonies in the mega city, while another 250 such colonies were identified by the MC that were located within the city limits, a senior MC official said.



Sans BPL card, needy patient looks to philanthropists for help
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
Fighting breathlessness, Hansraj, a resident of Kakowal, lies on the bed of the trauma ward of the local Civil Hospital. Unable to get up on his own, he requests his mother Jeeto to massage his back so that he can catch some breath. Comforted by his mother, he again lies down.

Hansraj has been suffering from renal failure for the past six years and is undergoing regular hemo-dialysis. His condition has worsened over the period and needs AV fistula for further dialysis. To make matters worse, the family, despite falling in the below poverty line category, doesn’t have the relevant documents to prove it. This has deprived him of the benefits given under the category.

Dr Jasbeer Singh, a doctor treating him, says: “AV fistula is required for dialysis, as his veins are not easily visible. But it costs around Rs 10,000 and the family cannot afford it. I have told them to go to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh. We are helping him to the best of our ability. He is suffering from chronic progressive disease and life can be prolonged to two to three years through dialysis and other medicines in such cases. We are giving him free medication worth Rs 1,500 per month.”

Jeeto says: “I have sold several belongings, even cattle, for his treatment. Hansraj has two daughters and wife to look after but he has been under treatment so it is quite difficult for us to make both ends meet. I have an elder son, who works as a labourer. I lost my husband 24 years ago but I do not get any widow’s pension. We were not aware of the ‘yellow card’ back then and thus could not get any benefits of the below poverty line schemes. I can only request people to help us in our hour of need.”

Shiv Ram Saroay, national president of the Guru Ravi Dass Mission, an NGO, says: “We have already arranged blood free of cost for Hansraj through the district Red Cross. We want Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari to help him financially for his treatment from District Red Cross Fund.”



5-day workshop by kathak dancer Mahua
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
Noted kathak exponent Mahua Shankar says like Guru Pasha (who teaches dancing skills to handicapped, deaf and dumb kids and youngsters), she also wants to teach kathak to handicapped and disabled children.

Mahua, who is in the city to hold a five-day workshop “kathak tarang” in co-ordination with Ecstasy, dance studio, said: “I am teaching kathak to a Class V girl, who lost her eyesight about a year ago. It’s a different kind of experience to teach her kathak, as she learns from my vibrations.”

She said she had already taught two deaf and dumb children in Bombay and it was a challenging but memorable experience.

A disciple of Padma Vibhushan Birju Maharaj, Mahua Shankar said: “This is my fifth visit to the city and I love to teach children here as they have natural learning skill for classical dance. So, it is effortless to teach them.”

Mahua has plans to open a dance academy in Delhi. She said: “Soon, I will open a dance academy on the name of my father Pardeep Shankar, who is no more. My parents have been kathak dancers, so kathak is in my blood and I can’t live without it.”



Ludhiana Scan
Talk for senior citizens tomorrow

Dr Harinder Singh Bedi, head, department of cardio-vascular and thoracic surgery, CMC&H, will deliver a talk on “being heart smart-tips for senior citizens” in the hall of Community Centre, H-block, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, on May 28.

SP Karkara, IAS (retd), president of the Senior Citizens’ Welfare Association Ludhiana (regd), an NGO which is organising this talk, said the aim of this interaction between the heart specialist and senior citizens was to provide the latter guidance about maintaining healthy heart through healthy lifestyle.

Dr Hari Singh Brar, councillor of the area, appealed senior citizens to attend this lecture.

Dr SS Gill, general secretary, SCWAL, said the lecture would be followed by a meeting of the general house of the association.

Movement against corruption

A series of meetings will be held to mobilise maximum number of persons to participate in the “Satyagrah against corruption” being launched by Swami Ramdev.

According to sources, a large number of persons from Punjab will participate in the “Satyagrah against corruption” at New Delhi. Daily demonstrations will also be organised at all district head quarters by the District Yog Samitis.

Vijay Kapoor said a large number of pamphlets, stickers and banners were also being distributed to spread awareness among people about the movement. He said office-bearers and Yog Sikshaks have been told to establish contacts with all social, religious, trade, Industry and other volunteer organisations of their areas to ensure their participation and support.

Awareness programme

Salaam Zindagi Foundation, an NGO will introduce an awareness seminar at Khalsa College for Women on May 27. Principal Dr Varinderjit Kaur Thind will inaugurate the event, said Manjeet Saini, president of the NGO. — TNS



Appointment of teachers
Aspirants seek correction of eligibility criteria
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 26
If guidelines on eligibility for appointment of teachers in the education department are to be followed then history has ceased to be a part of social studies and elective English has been introduced as a subject in the stream.

Hundreds of graduates and postgraduates, who opted for these subjects during their course of studies, would be debarred from applying for 899 posts of social studies teachers, in case the advertisement seeking application in not reviewed.

Educationists and aspirants of the region have urged the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Education Minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan to impress upon the officials concerned to remove the anomaly before the last date for submission of application.

In a communication addressed to higher authorities including the Chief Minister and the Education Minister, unemployed B Ed teachers have accused the authorities in the education department of ignoring the laid down subject combinations being adopted in major universities of the state.

While teaching of social studies is offered to students of B Ed opting any two subjects out of History, Geography, political science, sociology, economics, public administration, philosophy, psychology, education, defence studies and religious studies, some of these subjects have been omitted from the list in the advertisement for applying for the post of teacher on contract.

Interestingly elective English has been included in the list of subjects under social studies whereas history, philosophy, education, defence studies and religious studies are not here.

Aspirants alleged similar anomalies had been observed in other subjects too.

Maintaining that the authorities should have referred to guidelines and recommendations being followed by all universities of the state before deciding eligibility criteria for teachers in various subjects, Gurpreet Singh, an educationist of Jhammat village said the Education Minister should intervene in the matter and save the future of hundreds of aspirants who according to the official advertisement by the DPI (Schools) had become ineligible for the posts.

“The review of conditions besides saving future of unemployed teachers will also avoid unnecessary complications, the department is bound to face in case some eligible candidates seek intervention of the court of law after commencement of the process of recruitment,” argued Singh.



From Schools
Music, theatre activities mark summer camp

LUDHIANA: Activity, colour and cheer marked the opening of the summer camp here at KVM School. Workshops on art and craft, music, dance, personality development, theatre, maths made simple and animation have been organised. Almost 1,200 students are participating in the workshop. Principal Navita Puri motivated the children to work with enthusiasm and stated that such workshops are the opportunities, which can be availed by students to polish their skills. This weeklong summer camp will close on the May 31.


Kanav Rampal and Atabak Ashfaq, both students of Kundan Vidya Mandir, brought laurels to the school by clearing the most competitive entrance examination, IIT. The school honoured them on Thursday. Kanav Rampal got 496th rank, whereas Atabak Ashfaq got 713th rank. It was after five years that a student from Ludhiana district made it to the top 500 positions in the IIT examination.

‘Fun Mania’

“Fun Mania” began with flying colours at GMT Public School on Thursday for Classes Pre Nursery to VIII. The fun filled activities showered on students an experience of joy, excitement and ecstasy. The activities for the first day were pool party for kindergarten wing, yoga classes, art club, sandwich making, music classes and movies were also shown to the students. Fun Mania will last till May 30.

Students win trophy

Students of Bal Bharati Public School set the stage on fire at Gaiety Theatre, Shimla, during an open-dance competition. They lifted the trophy by beating 10 other contenders in the junior category. The competition was adjudged by renowned choreographer Saroj Khan and actor/director Ved Thappar. A team comprising Prabhleen, Simranpuneet, Arshjot, Aks, Harveen, Jayati, Madhur, Shivam, Nitish, Ishnoor, Deivgun and Muskaan mesmerised the audience.

Their dazzling performance not only impressed the judges, but also infused the audience with energy and thrill.

The coordination and balance of dancers was beyond comparison. The team won the first prize in the competition. Saroj Khan praised the team for coordination and balance.

She appreciated the unique theme, continuity and clarity of action and the fabulous expression of the budding dancers, with choked throats and tears of achievement in eyes, the team and their choreographer Monika Sharma-dance teacher received the award of honour. — TNS



Head constable crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
A 51-year-old head constable, identified as Hardeep Singh, was crushed to death by an over speeding vehicle near Vishwa Karma Chowk on Tuesday night.

The incident took place at around 1 am when he was returning home on his motorcycle. When he reached near Ramgarhia Girls’ College, he was run over by an over speeding vehicle and he died on the spot.

The police has registered a case against the unidentified vehicle driver and started investigation.

The police has not ignored the foul play behind the accident and conducting investigation from all angles.



Double trouble: Dog bite cases on rise, anti-rabies vaccines scarce
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
It is a double trouble. The number of stray dogs is multiplying as the government has failed to provide a solution to the stray dog menace and the anti-rabies vaccines supplied by
the government for poor patients are in short supply.

Dr Jagpal Singh, District Health Officer, Ludhiana, said, “Only one anti-rabies injection is provided at the civil hospitals and primary health centres to any patient who suffers from dog bite. This injection costs Rs 350, out of which the hospital pays Rs 250, while Rs 100 is charged from the patient.”

He further said a booster injection was also given to a patient after 90 days, which protected a person from minor dog bite injuries up to a span of two years.

He said, “These injections are now not supplied from the Central Research Institute (CRI), Kasauli, but are purchased from different pharmaceutical firms.”

While Shiv Ram Saroay, a member of Rogi Kalyan Samiti, an NGO, who takes care of poor and needy patients in the Civil Hospital, said, “Many poor patients risk their life and do not go for the follow-up injections, the government should provide all five injections free of cost to the poor and needy people.”

With the passage of time, the number of dog bite cases has increased in the state. So much so that the matter was also discussed in the budget session of the Punjab Vidha Sabha this year.

But the health department is yet to swing into action, as it is yet to provide free vaccines to such patients, who cannot afford to buy all these injections.

On why the government had not release grant for the procurement of anti-rabies vaccine earlier, Satish Chandra, principal secretary, health department, Punjab: said: “Earlier there was no systematic method to buy these injections. These injections were being arranged by the local health authorities. But now we are going to start this supply from June.”

However, official had no answer on the fate of poor and illiterate people who could not arrange for the injections from their pocket and risked their precious lives.

Free injections

Nikhil Singhal, Noble Trust, an NGO, which has been providing free medicines to the poor and needy patients at the Civil Hospital, gives free anti-rabies injections to patients. Dr Tikka JS Sidhu, who works for this NGO, said, “We directly buy these injections from the company, so it costs around Rs 190 each. The Civil Hospital do not provide free anti-rabies injections, so many poor patients come to us for help. We started working in 2009 and gave free injections to 1,526 patients, in 2010 we helped 1,200 patients. And this year, we have provided free anti-rabies injections to as many as 800 people till April 30.”

‘Rs 2-cr grant for anti-rabies vaccines soon’

The stray dog menace was discussed in the budget session as the number of dog bite cases has increased. No rabies case has been reported in the state so far. But we are going to release a grant of Rs 2 crore for anti-rabies injections. This grant will be released through the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), a programme sponsored by the Central government and the health department. All anti-rabies injections will be provided to patients free of cost in the civil hospitals and primary health centres.

Satish Chandra, principal secretary, health department, Punjab

Biting facts

Data provided by the health department revealed that as many as 2,071 cases of dog bite were reported in Ludhiana district in 2009, while the number was 2,008 cases in in 2010. This year, 297 cases of dog bite have been reported till February. More cases have been reported in Khanna, Samrala, Malaud and Payal areas.



Dist Advisory Panel
Just four members turn up for meeting
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
A month after a local Akali leader flayed the administration for not listening to the suggestions of representatives and announced his resignation from the district advisory committee, just four committee members attended the meeting conducted here today.

High drama had been witnessed during the last district advisory meeting in which Kanwaljatinder Singh Bajwa boycotted the meeting and tendered his resignation, levelling allegations that representatives of the people had no say in the corridors of bureaucracy.

The leader was at loggerheads with district revenue officer Balraj Kaur and told her to display a complete list of government charges on issuing “intqaal” and “farad” outside the offices of every patwari’s office in the town.

ADC SR Kaler, who chaired the meeting today, could not be contacted for comments despite repeated attempts.



Woman booked for forgery
Had furnished fake documents (bail bond of undertrials) in court
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
The city police yesterday booked a woman yesterday for furnishing bail bond of undertrials in the local court by submitting fake documents.

The accused, identified as Ranjna Garg, a resident to Partap Colony, appeared before the court of Rajwinder Singh to furnish a bail bond in favour a man facing charges in a cheque bounce case.

However, alert employees working in the court spotted some anomalies in the affidavit submitted by the woman and on further investigation found out that the document produced by Ranjna was fake.

The security staff in the court complex asked the woman to stay in the court and informed the police about the incident. However, Ranjna gave the police personnel the slip.

It was later found that Ranjna had submitted fake documents on two previous occasions. Also, the affidavits submitted by Ranjna bore pictures of two different women.

As the police has not yet seen the woman, they are in a dilemma about the true identity of the woman.

ASI Jaspal Singh said they had the address of the woman and that she would be arrested soon.



BJP leader among 11 arrested for gambling
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, May 26
The police has arrested local BJP leader Gopal Katyal, alias Pala, his brother Naresh Katyal, alias Bobby, and nine other persons under for gambling. Katyal and his other associates were caught red-handed while gambling at a cold drink agency godown owned by one of the accused at Disposal road here during a raid conducted by a police team led by SHO Inderjit Singh late last night.

Besides Katyal, other accused have been identified as his brother Naresh Katyal, alias Bobby, Sachin Sharma, Anil Kumar, Amarpreet, Parveen Kumar, Prince Arora, Hardev Singh, Surjit Singh, Jaspreet Singh, Amanpreet Singh and Sukhi.

According to police, the raid was conducted around 11 pm yesterday.

The police has arrested 11 persons during the raid, while Sukhi managed to flee, said SHO Inderjit Singh, while giving details of the matter.

It is pertinent to mention here that most of the accused belong to prominent business families of the city.

According to sources, the accused BJP leader also tried to bully the police, but it was not enough to convince the police. The situation became tense when the police refused to give up and the BJP leader and his other associates started threatening the SHO and used abusive language against him.

Meanwhile, the police has registered a case against 12 accused under appropriate sections. The accused were presented before a local court today, which awarded two-day police remand to the accused.

The accused BJP leader has also been involved in several controversies.



Three gangs busted; seven arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
With the arrest of seven persons, the police claims to have busted three gangs involved in murder, vehicle theft and car battery theft.

Sadar SHO Swapan Sharma claimed that the members of the three gangs had already served jail terms for similar offences.

Swapan said two of them — Ravi and Rahul — had murdered one of their accomplices, Balwinder Singh, alias Sonu, of Banga and dumped the body in a vacant plot in Kheri Chamairi village last year. They were taken on production warrant by the police.

During their interrogation, the two confessed to having committed the crime along with their accomplices, who were earlier held in a similar offence.

Dispute over the sharing of booty had led to the murder of Balwinder Singh.

In the second case, three members of a gang involved in tractor theft were arrested by the police.

Rajdeep Singh, alias Baba, and Balwinder were arrested on Tuesday night, while Gurvinder Singh Gabbi was arrested by the police while he was produced before a court in connection with a theft case.

In another case, two members of a gang involved in the theft of car batteries were arrested by the police.

The SHO said Raju and Sanjiv Kumar were taken on production warrant. Six batteries and a Tempo were recovered from the accused following interrogation.



Two dead in house collapse
Our Correspondent

Amloh, May 26
Two persons died and four were injured of a family when a “kutcha” house collapsed at Bhambri village, three kilometers from here today.

The injured were brought to the Civil Hospital, Amloh, where two were given first aid and others were admitted for treatment where their condition is stated to be out of danger.

According to information, four brothers of a Muslim family lived in separate rooms of a “kutcha” house with a common compound. All brothers, Makhan Khan, Mewa Khan, Kesar Khan and Nazar Khan, work as labourers on a brick-kiln at Rampur village near Sahnewal in Ludhiana district.

ASI Gurmeet Singh of the Amloh police station said the police has registered a case under Section 174 of the CrPC on the statement of Kesar Khan.

SDM Poonamdeep Kaur reached at the spot and assured all help from the government to the victims.



One killed, 3 injured in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Samrala, May 26
One person was killed and three were injured in a road accident at Chahilan village near here about 4.30 pm on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road.

According to sources, a canter was coming from Chandigarh and going towards Ludhiana. When it reached near Chahilan village, driver of the canter lost control and the vehicle entered a sweat shop and crushed some workers, who were working in the sweet shop.

Three injured persons, including Maghar Singh, Raju Kadoos and Sikander Singh were rushed to Civil Hospital, Samrala, where Raju Kadoos (18) succumbed to injuries. Another injured, Sikander Singh (16) was referred to Ludhiana in a serious condition.

The driver of the canter, identified as Lakhwinder Singh and his cleaner, were allegedly in a drunken state when they were taken to a civil hospital.



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