Thursday, October 4, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Doctors’ rivalry takes bitter turn
Objectionable posters spring up again
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
The well-known three year’s old tussle between two groups of private doctors in Raikot over professional supremacy has claimed more victims as the Jagraon police today booked three persons, including the president of the town’s IMA unit for allegedly defaming a woman doctor by pasting some posters containing objectionable material against her.

The posters, interestingly include allegations against the son of a religious personality and some political leaders against whom objectionable remarks regarding the woman have been included in the posters.

According to the FIR, the Jagraon police has booked Dr Ramesh Jain, president, IMA, Raikot, Dr Manbir Singh and Bhupinder Pal Katyal, owner of a photostat shop, where the posters were allegedly xeroxed and enlarged before being pasted in different parts of the city. Jagraon SSP Balkar Singh Sandhu said the case had been registered against the three on the complaint of the woman and her husband, Dr A.K. Banerjee.

Dr Banerjee, talking to Ludhiana Tribune, said he and his wife were being targeted by a group of local doctors for the past four years due to professional competition. He said he had been defending himself but for the past few days the doctors, helped by some local journalists targeted his wife, who is also a doctor, by pasting these posters. He said he immediately complained to the police which registered a case against the accused.

Dr Jain has, however, claimed he was being victimised and had nothing to do with the posters. He counter-alleged that the police did not take action on his complaint when some persons pasted posters detailing a court decision against him. He said the police had then said that the posters were only photostat copies of news reports.

SSP Balkar Singh said action had been taken as the posters against the woman doctor were highly objectionable and the police had traced the persons responsible for it.

The registration of the case has once again brought to limelight the struggle between the Raikot doctors to harm the business of the rival group. The struggle between them started in 1998. It began by instigating the patients of a rival doctor to complain against him. Several cases were registered. A sort of a poster war started between the doctors. Earlier any news report against a doctor was xeroxed and copies were pasted on the walls in the town. Later, the posters started containing personal remarks and character assassination.

The major components of the rivalry was the registration of a case against Dr A.K. Banerjee for allegedly duping several students by opening an unregistered and non-affiliated medical courses training institution. Dr Ramesh Jain also faced charges of wrong treatment of a patient. He was ultimately sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment by a Jagraon court recently.

The IMA, Ludhiana unit, has expressed its concern over the matter and urged the warring groups to stop washing dirty linen in public. Dr Gursharan Singh, president, IMA, said he along with Dr O.P.S. Kande, President, IMA, Punjab, had tried to bring the warring groups to bury their differences and work for improving health facilities in the region.


Teacher molested the girl: report
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
Activists of the International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) met Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), here today and demanded action against a teacher who had allegedly molested a girl student of the PAU Department of Soils a month ago.

The IHRO activists also gave the VC a memorandum that included the IHRO report on the case.

The organisation had talked to the girl, the accused, students, members of the inquiry committee and teachers of the PAU, for preparing its case.

The report said the IHRO had found the teacher concerned guilty.

In the memorandum submitted today, Mr D.S. Gill, Chairman of the IHRO, said, “The accused, beyond doubt, uttered words and made gestures with the intention of outraging the modesty of the girl. He also assaulted her.”

He said the VC had rightly suspended the teacher. Mr Gill said PAUTA was divided on the matter and the issue needed attention of the PAU authorities.

Mr Gill quoted a part of a Supreme Court judgment, saying, “It is the duty of the employer or other responsible persons in workplaces and other institutions to prevent or deter the commission of acts of sexual harassment.”

Mr Gill said he hoped that the VC would take a prompt action on the IHRO report. He also said the VC had assured him that he would not succumb to any pressure and the guilty teacher would be punished.

Mr Gill also said the VC had asked the IHRO to suggest a course of action for the PAU. “The body has recommended that the services of the teacher be terminated and the case be handed over to the police for further action,” he said.


Complete bandh in Machhiwara
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, October 3
A complete bandh was observed here today to protest against the burning of Birs at Rattangarh in Morinda and Tarkhan Majra in Fatehgarh Sahib. The call for the bandh was given by all political, social and religious organisations. The shopkeepers kept their shutters down on their own, and educational institutions also remained closed. A huge protest march was taken out from Gurdwara Shri Charan Kamal Sahib. Passing through different parts of the town, it concluded at the main chowk, Machhiwara.

The protesters raised slogans demanding registration of a case against Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara and his followers under Section 302. They alleged that some anti-Punjab forces were trying to disturb peace and communal harmony for their vested interests. However, they appealed to the people to stay calm, and not adopt the path of violence. Later, a memorandum was given to Mr S. S. Brar, SDM, Samrala, and an effigy of Baba Bhaniara was also burnt. 


Dalits plan to approach human rights panel
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Phillaur, October 3
A decision taken by the upper caste-dominated panchayat of Jhal Bibrivillage near here has posed an imminent and recurring threat of floods to a number of Dalit houses. Despite strong resistance by Dalits, the panchayat decided to close down one of the two ponds in the village, resulting in diversion of the entire drainage and rain water of the village to the single pond which is adjacent to the houses belonging to the Dalits.

Since the pond usually gets more water than its capacity, it ultimately floods the Dalit houses and the village school. Repeated pleas by Dalits have fallen on deaf ears of panchayat members and they (Dalits) have now decided to approach the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). This has also led to grave tension in the village with total polarisation between the upper and the lower castes.

The Dalit Dasta Virodhi Andolan (DDVA) here has taken up the case of Dalit families with the commission. It has alleged that more than 20 houses belonging to the Scheduled Castes would collapse by the sewerage and rain water after the implementation of the panchayat plan to put the village sewerage water into a single pond adjoining their houses.

Gian Singh, a representative of Dalit families of the village said that their houses and a village school were situated on the outskirts of the village near a pond. Even during normal circumstances, the water of the pond enters their houses. During rainy season, the problem is aggravated. The flood waters also enter the village school. He disclosed the village panchayat headed by Mrs Harbans Kaur was trying to build a drain and wanted to put the whole sewerage water of the village in the left out single pond. Half of this water so far used to go in the other pond, which the panchayat decided to close down.

Mr Jai Singh, president of the DDVA said: ‘‘After making a survey of the village, we have found that both the ponds have already pucca drains, and the houses of Dalits would be permanently flooded after the filling of one pond with sand. They were facing caste discrimination and the upper caste dominated panchayat wants to force them to migrate out of the village.’’ Mr Jai Singh has appealed to the chairman of the NHRC to intervene so that the Dalit families could be saved from the pond water that would enter their houses any time.

The district administration, he alleged, instead of providing any justice to them, was also supporting the upper castes. The village falls in Kapurthala district. Mr Sukhjit Singh, panchayat secretary, admitted there was a dispute over the ponds between the two communities. Although a compromise was reached few years ago, it was breached allegedly by the upper castes following the government decision to construct a drain in the village.

Some of the villagers belonging to the upper castes, however, denied the allegation. They said the panchayat had passed a resolution to build a drain. Mr Daljit Singh Virk, DDPO, when contacted in this regard, said,‘‘ After investigation, the Deputy Commissioner (Kapurthala) has ordered the construction of the drain for a single pond. The other pond is on the private land, and its owners cannot be forced by us not to fill the pond.’’ 


PAU men lock audit dept, hold dharna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
Employees of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), led by the PAU Employees Union, locked the audit department in the university today in protest against the non-implementation of their long-pending demands.

The employees descended on the department before 9 a.m. and locked the department. They also staged a dharna in front of the Thapar hall, the administrative block of the university. The department was not opened till evening and normal work was thrown out of gear.

Addressing a rally, attended by a large number of employees, the president of the union, Mr D.P. Maur, said the finance department of the Punjab Government was unnecessarily delaying the implementation of their demands. He said the Supreme Court had given its verdict in favour of the employees and 50 per cent of the demands were termed just.

The employees were demanding the implementation of granting the secretariat grade for the post of Superintendent (Grade-II), and special allowance to driver. The president said that the decision of the board of management of the PAU regarding the tractor drivers, upgradation of lab technicians in the ratio 2:1, increment and grant of incentive increments with effect from 8.2.1978 was also not implemented due to the interference of the state government.

The union leaders warned the Punjab government of “dire consequences” if their “just” demands were not met immediately. They said that despite clear verdict of the Supreme Court in favour of the employees, the government was forcing them to launch agitation and to file contempt of court.

The president said that these demands were already implemented in all universities of the state.


Talwandi for non-partisan approach to deal with crisis
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
Calling for a non-partisan approach to deal with the situation arising out of the frequent incidents of the burning of “Birs” in different parts of the state, the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) chief, Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, today appealed to all the Sikh leaders belonging to different political parties to join the bhog ceremony (of the “Birs”) being organised tomorrow in Tarkhan Majra village. He appealed to the Sikhs across the world to organise ardas on October 5 at their respective places.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Talwandi appealed to the leaders of all political parties to rise above their partisan interests and not try to take political mileage out of it. He pointed out, “this is an issue that concerns the entire panth and all those who respect Guru Granth Sahib, so we should not be guided by narrow political interests while dealing with it”.

The SGPC chief said he had appealed to everyone, including the leaders of the Panthic Morcha, and talked to them on the telephone while urging them to join the bhog ceremony tomorrow. However, he did not spell out any names of the leaders, but hoped, “all of them should join the bhog ceremony” since it would be “absolutely an apolitical function with no political speeches or charges and allegations against anyone”. When asked whether the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, would also attend the bhog ceremony, he declined to comment.

He disclosed that the main purpose behind inviting all the people representing different panthic groups was to arrive at a mutual consensus to deal with the problem. “We will discuss the issue threadbare and try to take everyone into confidence, as the issue relates to each one of us”, he pointed out. He said any future course of action would be decided only after tomorrow’s meeting.

He regretted that certain people were trying to draw political mileage out of this issue. He pointed out, “Guru Granth Sahib is the gist of all religions and it contains the vani of all great Gurus. So everyone should feel concerned and hurt over any sacrilege to it and join the protest and mourning while forgetting any other political and vested interests”.

For those people who will not be able to join the bhog tomorrow at Tarkhan Majra, Mr Talwandi said they should organise ardas at their respective places on October 5. “The day will be observed as a day of repentance and resolve to ensure that no sacrilege is allowed any more”, he said.

The SGPC chief also dissociated himself from all the calls given by different organisations for a Punjab bandh on October 6. He said, “I have not supported any bandh call, on the issue and all those organisations, which had issued the call, had nothing to do with the SGPC or the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal)”.


‘Cheating’ SHO tastes wife’s boot
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
An SHO of the Ludhiana district was beaten up by his wife and children after they caught him with a Khanna woman with whom he had an extra-marital relationship. The incident happened in the house of the alleged paramour in Khanna two days ago and certain senior police officials had to intervene to save the policeman. Though no case was registered, but the SHO was sent from a city police station to the Police Lines.

The SHO’s alleged paramour is said to be a police constable, but the police has not confirmed it. Sources said the extra-marital affair of the SHO was several months old and his family and colleagues had even warned him to discontinue it.

The official had left for Khanna two days ago, but, on a “tip-off”, his wife, two children and some friends reached his paramour’s house and caught him with her. The incident has become talk of the town at Khanna and Ludhiana, besides the police circles of these districts.

This is not the only incident of its kind. Two months ago, a senior police official of the Ludhiana district had alerted the police to search his wife who had left him after discovering his illicit relationship with another woman. Recently, a local woman had also approached the police to get a case registered against a suspended police official, accusing him of bigamy.


Children of working mothers prone to anxiety
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, October 3
Children of working mothers are more prone to develop anxiety than the children of non-working women. The children of working mothers suffer from acute pangs of separation. The child finds himself in hostile surroundings, is helpless to cope and develops ‘basic anxiety’. This basic anxiety runs like an undercurrent throughout his life and can assume alarming proportion at any stressful event of his life.

A-month-old girl had to be rushed to a hospital every now and then. She was developing some unspecified problems and was coming continuously for one check-up or to other for diagnosis. Finally the parents were recommended to refer to a psychologist. The problem turned out to be hostile behaviour of the mother towards the child as every one had wanted a male child in the family. The mother neglected the baby and the baby could sense it. After a few sessions of counselling, the mother’s behaviour changed and baby’s diseases disappeared.

“As soon as the umblical cord is cut and the child enters into the new environment, the child responds to the situations instinctively.” says Dr Krishnanand Choudhry, professor of clinical psychology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, who had attended to this mother.

The dilemma of the modern mother is that she has to assume the roles of a perfect mother, housewife, wife and a career woman. Dr Chowdhry said that there is state anxiety. The children are prone to this state anxiety before examinations, or when summoned by the principal, or scolded by teacher. He said:” Most of the children who have psychological problems, parents are responsible for them. Couples fight, their display egos, forced marriages and bitterness that arises from disharmonious relations — all have negative effect on the child The child can understand non- verbal language too.

In Dr Chowdhry’s views the present-day education is destructive and to some extent evil. The child has to involve himself in the studies for he has to survive. The schools teaches the children to become violent, foster rivalry, for, children are encouraged to bag the first position. The position is important and not the means of getting it. The students who cannot cope are labelled as dull. The child’s mind is full of anxiety, fear and sense of failure. And the so called dullards are punished. Won’ these children become misfits in society in their later lives? The young mind bears the scars of ugly incidents.

Why do the so-called play way schools force children to write when their fingers are not mature? The students face multiple problems. The general intelligence of the child is based on his performance in mathematics, which is totally incorrect. The children who are not good in mathematics may be good in some other subjects. Do the schools have means to check the aptitudes of the students?

Ludhiana culture is such that the parents have a hectic social life. They sleep late, get up late and a drowsy child goes to school. Teachers, too, dismiss these groggy children as idiots with the result that children never have quest for knowledge and lose their curiosity and by the time reach medical college, or any other professional Institute. They don’t like to ask questions. Dr Chowdhry said that watching of horror movies and violence affects them more than watching movies with sexual overtones. Watching about 15,000 murders by the time a student reaches Class X, he has developed latent violence which makes him totally insensitive to real life violence. Latent violence affects his health, sleep and studies.

According to Dr Krishnanand, the following things should be adopted by parents: (a) the parents should provide as natural a situation as possible... like giving a simple, balanced food: (b) children should get 11 hours of sleep; (c) do not punish the child; and (d) positive enforcement gives a push in the right direction. Once the motivation is given, the person learns on his own.


Cong flays Akalis, BJP for inciting tension
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
Senior Congress leader and member of the Disciplinary Action Committee of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee Nahar Singh Gill has criticised various Akali groups and the Bharatiya Janata Party for inciting communal tension in the city to serve political ends.

Addressing a function organised in connection with the opening of the party offices in Block 10,11 and 12 of Ludhiana (urban), Mr Gill alleged that these parties were exploiting the sensitivities of people. While condemning the incident of the demolition of a disputed structure adjacent to the Durga Mata temple, Mr Gill blamed the BJP for vitiating the peaceful atmosphere in the city. He also criticised the Panthic Morcha for forcing people to observe bandh in Ludhiana on October 2.

Speaking on the occasion, Member of Parliament, Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, warned people against nefarious designs of the divisive forces who were hell bent to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in the state. He said, it was after so many sacrifices by the Congress that peace returned to Punjab and attempts were now being made to sabotage this peace. He warned that the Congress will not allow any such attempt.

The DCC president, Mr Surinder Dawer, also cautioned against the attempts of creating disturbance in the state and urged people to maintain communal harmony at all costs.

Among those present on the occasion included Mr Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Mrs Bajinder Kaur, Mr Surinder Singh Chhinda, Mr Kirpal Singh Kuliawal, Mrs Asha Garg, Mr Rajinder Singh Basant and others.


Traffic blocked
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, October 3
The Managing Committee of Gurdwara Chheveen Patshahi blocked traffic for about an hour on the G.T. Road here yesterday, in protest against the burning of “Birs” at Tarkhan Majra village, near Sirhind.

All shops, including tea stalls and medical stores, remained closed. A dharna was held in the centre of Loha Bazaar and condemned the sacrilege of “Birs” and demanded stern action against the persons involved in this heinous crime.


Dhillon’s appointment flayed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Panthic Morcha) has criticised the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, for nominating Mr Paramjit Singh Dhillon to the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC). It alleged that Mr Badal had not just indulged in nepotism but it was a clear case of political corruption.

In a statement here today, the member of the executive committee of the morcha, Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, pointed out, that Mr Dhillon was one of the close relatives of Mr Badal who till recent past was with the Congress. Mr Badal wanted him to join his party and in return appointed him to the PPSC.

Mr Bhaur claimed that Mr Dhillon’s appointment to the PPSC was in total violation of the rule of law. He disclosed that Mr Dhillon was not even a graduate and his nomination is a mockery of law. He alleged that his appointment betrayed the desperation of the Shiromani Akali Dal to make people defect to its side no matter at what cost.


‘Remember Bhagat Singh, be rational’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 3
On the occasion of the 94th birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, a “rational awareness” march was organised by the Sahnewal unit of the Taraksheel Society of Punjab. The march began from Majara village and ended at Ajnaud village after passing through Umaidpur and Dugri villages. The march was led by Mr Rajinder Jandiali, who drove a motor cycle blindfolded.

At every village it crossed, the march was greeted by panchayats and villagers assembled to listen to members of the Taraksheel Society.

Mr Dalbir Katani, General Secretary of the Taraksheel Society (Ludhiana Zone) talked about the views of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and said people should have scientific temper. Bhagat Singh wanted anyone who liked development to criticise old beliefs and apply scientific logic to anything before accepting it. “Blind belief is dangerous,” said members of the society.

Mr Rupinderpal, President of the society, said the body had been active for the past 17 years and it criticised the practitioners of witchcraft and the other superstitions.

The Secretary of the Sahnewal unit of the body, Mr Gurbachan Singh, said magic was an art and not the work of supernatural forces. “So-called babas, saints and swamis use simple scientific tricks to exploit and rob innocent persons,” he said. He also demonstrated some common tricks of such cheats.


Parking contractor fleecing people
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 3
The parking contractor at the Feroze Gandhi market here seems to be making a mockery of the parking rules. Instead of using the allotted parking area, he is misusing the roadside, making people park their vehicles there. This happens in “no parking” areas also.

The contractor usually encroaches upon the road adjacent to the Nehru Sidhant Kendra at night. When there is some function going on in the kendra, one can witness about 400 vehicles parked on the road, which create a problem for commuters. Even the road in front of the Nehru Sidhant Kendra is not spared. The contractor charges from all people who park their vehicles there.

There is not enough parking space at Nehru Sidhant Kendra. The visitors have no option but to park their vehicles outside the kendra. The contractor exploits the situation and charges money from the visitors. However, the contractor can only charge in the Feroze Gandhi market parking place. Moreover the traffic cops do not intervene during late-evening hours.

The Additional Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Mr Raminder Singh, when asked about the matter, said, “The parking contractor of the Feroze Gandhi market can only charge fee from those who park their vehicles at the parking area earmarked in the market. But people do not go there for their convenience and park vehicles at the roadside. In that case for the convenience of the visitors during late night functions at the kendra, the contractor charges from the visitors and lets them park their vehicle at the roadside. Actually it is the job of the traffic police to stop people from parking vehicles on the roadside.

But this is a mistake on part of visitors and the parking contractor. The contractor should tell people to park vehicles at the appropriate place and charge them accordingly.


Bus crushes girl’s legs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
A mob blocked traffic on a road near the CMC Hospital here today after a local mini bus crushed the legs of a schoolgirl under its wheels. The girl was admitted to the CMC Hospital, where her condition was said to be critical.

The angry mob blocked the road for an hour or so and partially damaged the bus as well. They caught the bus conductor, but the driver managed to escape. The police has registered a case.

According to the police, the incident happened when the girl, 12-year-old Amanpreet , a resident of Guru Arjun Dev Nagar here, was returning from the local Sargodha Public School.


Group clash: The Payal police has registered a case against two parties for a group clash over water in which five persons — Jora Singh, Labh Singh, Harjinder Singh, Sukhjit Singh and Avtar Singh — were injured. The injured have been admitted to the Civil Hospital of Ludhiana.

One injured: A cyclist was injured when a motor cycle hit him on Dhudal Road here. The injured person is Sukhwinder Singh of Kishanpura village and the motorcyclist Rajinder Singh of Dhudal village. The motorcyclist has absconded and a case under Sections 337, 338, 279 and 427 of the IPC has been registered against him.


2.55 lakh looted from PSEB employees
Our Correspondent

Samrala, October 3
Two unidentified scooter-borne youths looted Rs 2,55,651 from the two employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board here today.

The employees were going to the office after drawing the amount for pensioners. The looters stopped their scooter near the Civil Hospital and ordered them to hand over the cash at pistolpoint. The PSEB employees followed them on the scooter but failed to track them as their scooter developed a snag on the way, but they noted the registration number of the scooter (PB-10-3769).

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