Sunday, May 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Case of cheating, forgery against PAU teacher
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 25
In an alleged case of professional rivalry stretched beyond limits, a teacher of the Department of Entomology, Punjab Agricultural University, allegedly forged a letter to harm a colleague by damaging his chances of attending a coveted course in a foreign country. A high-level inquiry conducted by the university in the case has held the accused teacher, Dr G. S. Battu, guilty of forgery.

The Sarabha Nagar police station has also registered a case of cheating and forgery against the accused under Sections 420, 465, 468 and 471 IPC. The case, unique of its kind, was registered on the recommendation of the university authorities after it carried a thorough probe into the matter and also took the help of a handwriting and documents expert.

Highly-placed sources in the varsity revealed that Dr G.S. Battu allegedly forged the signatures of Dr K.S. Brar, senior insect ecologist, and wrote a letter on behalf of Dr Brar to the Embassy of Israel saying he was not available for attending a function in that country.

Dr G S Bittu, however, termed the entire case as fabricated one aimed at destroying him professionally. He said he along with a majority of employees of the department were not even informed about the international function. He said he was being falsely implicated in the case due to certain persons in the department who were jealous of his achievements in the same field. He argued how can he forge the letter or the signatures when he and other staff did not even know there was any such international programme.

According to the university sources, Dr K.S. Brar had submitted an application to the authorities for participating in an international programme on research and development of new concepts in IPM with the Embassy of Israel, New Delhi, some months ago. The letter was forwarded by the Registrar of PAU to the Embassy of Israel on January 2, 2002.

After some days an official of the Embassy informed Dr Brar on the phone that she had received a letter from him showing his unwillingness to attend the course. A lot of hue and cry was raised in the department for the same. Later it was found that somebody had forged the signatures of Dr Brar and had sent the letter to the embassy with the intention of harming Dr Brar.

The matter was brought to the notice of the authorities who appointed Dr Darshan Singh, ADR, to conduct an inquiry into the matter. Dr Darshan Singh, in his fact finding inquiry, pointed the finger of suspicion against Dr Battu, senior insect pathologist at PAU. The case of forged signatures was then sent to a finger prints expert.

According to a copy of the FIR, Dr Singla in his report has said that the questioned signature in the forged letter sent to the embassy had not been signed by Dr Brar but instead has been signed by Dr Battu, whose specimen writings (written as K.S. Brar) matched with the signatures in the letter.

The FIR also stated that Dr Joginder Singh, Head of the Department of Entomology, PAU, had stated that the forgery of signatures had not only marred the personal interest of Dr Brar but had also damaged the reputation of the university. He had demanded registration of a case against Dr Battu so that such things do not happen in future. 



Shimla Puri police does it again
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 25
The Shimla Puri police station, which is in the centre of a controversy over its alleged forcible occupation of the building of Child Development and Project Office, has got the dubious distinction of using police force to occupy government or private buildings for the second time.

Tribune investigations have revealed that the police station has no building of its own and was functioning from the house of a dreaded terrorist, Rachpal Singh Chhandran, who was killed in a police encounter sometime during the late 1980’s. The terrorist belonged to a village near Samrala and lived in a house in Shimla Puri.

After his death, there was no claimant of his property in various places of the district. Of these, the house in the Shimla Puri was chosen by the police for setting up a police chowki in the area. Early this year, the police chowki was converted into a full-fledged police station during the upgradation of five police chowkis into police stations.

The police staff was, however, very uncomfortable at the terrorist’s house as there was not enough space for keeping the case property, including recovered goods or stolen vehicles. The malkhana also had limited space. The building does not even have proper cells for persons caught by the police. Police sources said it was due to the shortage of space that the police went to the CDPO building.

The police now occupies both the buildings. While the main police station is housed in the CDPO building, the previous building is being used as a godown by the police.

A senior police official while admitting to Ludhiana Tribune that the previous building was also occupied said it was a fact that the slain terrorist used to live in the house but there was no record whether he actually owned it or not. He said the police continued living in that house as no one claimed its ownership.

Interestingly, the Shimla Puri police station is not the only one to indulge in illegal possession of buildings. The CIA Wing-II of the local police was also accused of illegally occupying a house belonging to a farmer.



DMCH union serves ultimatum
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 25
The stalemate between the management and the union of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital continues with the union serving an ultimatum to the management seeking the clarification on the status of Hero DMC Heart Institute (HDHI) as to whether it forms a part of DMC Management or comprises of a separate entity.

The union president, Mr Chander Mohan Kalia, has threatened that the union will prevent the shifting of the gastrointestinal unit to the HDHI if the management declares that the heart institute was set-up under a different management.

It is pertinent to mention that ever since the setting up of the of HDHI, there have always been complications between the union and management of the DMCH over the issue of providing medical facilities to the staff. Earlier, the management had denied the medical facilities at the HDHI, saying that it was a separate body whereas now it proposes to shift the gastro unit to the HDHI.

The announcement by the DMCH management to start a gastrointestinal ward at the HDHI from May 24 had triggered opposition from the employees’ union. The union apprehended that the new step would result in denial of facilities to the union members.

Mr Kalia said that after the shifting of the cardio unit to the heart centre, the employees of the DMCH had lost treatment facilities, which were being provided to them earlier.

The meeting of the management and union leaders was held here yesterday and continued till late night regarding the issue. Mr Kalia said, "We want to ask the status of the heart institute. Ever since the heart institute came into existence, its status is not known to us. The members of the union had met Mr B.M. Munjal on September 7, 2001, with their representation but to no avail”.

The union president raised another objection saying that the entire staff at the heart centre was employed on a contract basis and they were uncertain about the fate of those to be shifted there. “We have served the management a legal notice regarding the status of HDHI, to which they have not replied so far”, said Mr Kalia.

Meanwhile, the management seems to be adamant on the issue of shifting of gastrointestinal unit to the HDHI.

Dr S.C. Ahuja, Principal, DMCH, told Ludhiana Tribune that it was in the interest of all the employees not to associate themselves in resorting to this illegal action and in case any of the employees associates himself/herself with this illegal action, he be responsible for all the consequences, and ‘no work no pay’ principle will be strictly enforced.

Dr Ahuja clarified that the salary and service conditions of all the existing employees will remain the same as before and no existing medical facility will be withdrawn from any of the employee of the institution.



KIMT yet to get recognition
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, May 25
The Punjab Technical University is once again mired in controversy over giving admission to the students, conducting classes for a year and then even taking examination of the MCA students at Khalsa Institute of Management and Technology (KIMT), Civil Lines, while the institute is yet to get recognition from the government for the course.

While the university brochure for admission to MCA for the next session is now available, the name of the institute is once again missing as the government has still not given it the notification for the course. Under such circumstances, the students of MCA first year from the college feel that their future is at stake and their degree may be considered invalid.

As per the rules, the institute should acquire an approval from the All-India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) for every new course. In addition, it is also mandatory for all institutes to avail a notification from the government at least 10 days before holding counselling of the students to that course. However, last year while the KIMT had got approval from the council, it had not received the notification.

Even still, the university allowed the institute to hold admission for 30 seats. The faculty of the institute also continued to teach 28 selected students and held classes normally expecting that the notification would arrive in the institute in due course. However, even after one year of completion of the course, the institute failed to procure it. In case the KIMT does not get recognition, it can neither hold admission for the course this year again nor continue with the second year for the students from the first batch. This has caused much disappointment among the first year students from the institute who blame the university for befooling them for a year.

Similar is the case of 30 MCA students from St Soldiers’ College at Jalandhar where last year they were given admission without having received a notification of the government. It may also be mentioned that last year the process of admissions was done so hastily that as many as 24 colleges starting BBA and BCA classes last year were not even inspected by the university authorities before granting them affiliation. The university had even constituted an inspection team for the purpose and colleges were informed about the dates of inspection, but they were never visited by them.

Dr Sadhu Singh, Director, Colleges, Punjab Technical University, when contacted confirmed the facts. He, however, said that he was not aware regarding the decision to hold admission for the next session. Mr Johnpreet, head of the Department of Computer Sciences, was not available for comments.

Dr H.S. Gurm, Vice-Chancellor, when asked about the situation, simply passed the buck. He said that the university was not at fault and it was rather a lapse on the part of the government. He remarked casually: ‘‘If the institutes did not get notifications last year, they may get it this year. We have done our job by getting approval for them from the AICTE.’’



The panic that rumour creates
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 25
A rumour of the death of a youth, who was beaten up two days ago by several residents of Kheri Jhameri village over his alleged illicit relation with a married woman, sent a majority of the villagers packing as they feared police action against them.

The panic-stricken villagers began returning to their houses in the late afternoon only when it was finally proved that the youth, Jaspreet Singh alias Binder, was in the custody of mediapersons.

The rumour also had its effect on the police and the mediapersons. While the police officials concerned with the area went in a tizzy over the rumours as it amounted to custodial death, mediapersons made a beeline to the Sadar police station and some to the village, where it was rumoured that the cremation of the youth was taking place.

The episode, which evoked feelings of sympathy for the youth and anger against villagers and the police in the morning only produced laughter by the afternoon.

The story of the youth ran like this. Jaspreet Singh alias Binder of Dehlon village was a truck driver having an alleged love affair with a married woman of Kheri Jhameri village. The woman, having three children, and the youth were caught by the villagers on Thursday. Both were given a sound thrashing. The woman was later released by her parents but the youth was tied to a pillar of a water tank in the village and beaten up.

Not bothered about taking the law into their own hands, the villagers went on in humiliating the youth by putting a garland of shoes around his neck. It was only at the intervention of some mediapersons that the villagers agreed to hand over the youth to the police.

However today the rumour of the youth’s death, originating from some unknown source, spread like wild fire. When a villager was contacted over the phone, he said the youth had died in police custody and his cremation ceremony was going on in the village. The villager said a majority of male residents of the village fled from their homes fearing police action. The pictures of a number of villagers beating the youth were published in some newspapers from where the villagers could be identified.

Mediapersons contacted senior police officers who swung into action and were relieved to find that the youth was alive. He was in the custody of Sadar police. Later, media persons met the youth in the police station and found him alive. 



Dharna against liquor vends continues
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 25
Dharna by residents of the Bhora Colony, near Jalandhar bypass, to protest against the opening of a liquor vend adjoining the Guru Ravi Das Bhavan continued here for the fourth day with the administration turning a blind eye to the widespread resentment among residents.

Talking to reporters, president of the colony, Mr Harmesh Kumar Mal, said women and children of the colony had been sitting in dharna for the past four days and the protest would continue till they received an assurance from the district administration that the liquor vend would not be allowed to open there.

A delegation of the residents met the SDM (East), Mr kuldip Singh, in this connection on Friday, but there was no positive response from the administration and the residents decided to continue the agitation.

The protesters alleged that the liquor vend owners had tried to bully residents and there had been attempts to open the vend which were thwarted by the protesting residents. The administration and the police had failed to make any security arrangements despite mounting tension in the area. Telegrams were sent to the Chief Minister, the Excise and Taxation Minister and the State Excise Commissioner to intervene into the matter and save the situation from taking an ugly turn, activists of the Sri Guru Ravi Das Bhavan Parbandhak Sabha said.



Soldiers confident as ever
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 25
Although tension continues to mount at the international border and along the Line of Control, thousands of soldiers heading towards those places seem to take it easy. The brave and gallant soldiers do not show any signs of tension as they move in trains towards the border.

Hundreds of soldiers have been heading toward the border by boarding trains from the Ludhiana railway station. They are generally accompanied by their friends, relatives, well-wishers and others who come to the station to see them off.

These soldiers do not like to be photographed saying there is nothing unusual about the situation. “We are preceding for duty as usual and even if there is war, it is part of our job”, remarked a havildar, who did not wanted to be named or photographed. He was accompanied by three other soldiers who had come from different parts of the state. All of them are currently posted in Rajouri sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

Their other colleagues looked equally confident, cool and composed. Belonging to different parts of the country the soldiers were grateful to the people who have been boosting their morale. “When we see people coming forward to shake hands with us and wish us good luck, we feel that we are not alone and the good wishes of hundreds and thousands of people are with us”, said another soldier.

These soldiers did not comment on whether the war should be declared or not. “We are waiting for the orders, we will do whatever we are asked to do,” they said.

In order to boost the morale of armed forces and express solidarity with them, activists of the Indian Youth Congress led by their state vice-president, Mr Komal Khanna took out a torch-light procession in the city last evening. 



Mystery shrouds death

Ludhiana: Mystery shrouds the death of an 18-year-old girl who consumed some poisonous substance either by mistake or committed suicide, in Division No. 6 area here on Saturday. The police said it was keeping its fingers crossed till the post-mortem examination report comes, which would be available tomorrow. TNS



Quack booked for causing death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 25
The Salem Tabri police today booked an alleged quack running a clinic on Jassian road for causing death of a woman due to negligence. The quack had allegedly administered an injection to the ailing woman, which caused her death.

The accused identified as Dr Mohd Mumtaz, has been absconding since then. Raids by the Salem Tabri police failed to trace him. According to a complaint lodged by Ram Kumar, husband of the deceased, Raj Kumari, his wife was suffering from fever. She want to the doctor who administered her an injection yesterday evening which caused allergy to her.

The next morning when they again went to the same doctor he said the dose of injection needed to be increased. The woman died within an hour thereafter. The accused ran away from the clinic when the relatives of the woman went there to confront him.



1 held for snatching record in court
Our Correspondent

Khanna, May 25
The Khanna police yesterday arrested a local resident on the charges of alleged misbehaviour and snatching record of court from a clerk in his room.

The accused has been identified as Ramesh Grover. According to the police, the accused had gone to the court of sub-division judicial Magistrate (Senior Division) regarding a case. He went to the room of clerk, Sukhdarshan Singh, and demanded some record from him.

An altercation reportedly broke out between them and the alleged accused misbehaved and abused the clerk. He also allegedly snatched some record from the clerk and tried to slip away. Meanwhile, and advocate caught him and took back the record.

Sukhdarshan Singh lodged a complaint with the S.D.J.M., G.S. Dhillon, who ordered the police to arrest the accused.

A case has been registered against him under Sections 382, 506, 353 an 186 of the IPC.



Two arrested on theft charge
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 25
The Sidhwan Bet police has arrested Jaswinder Singh and Roop Singh of Abupura in a case registered against them on the complaint of Jagdev Singh of the same village under Sections 379/427/506/148/149 of the IPC. According to the complainant the accused along with Ajaib Singh Paramjit Singh, Dilawar Singh of the same village stole 19 cement poles and barbed wire from the field of the complainant in a Ford tractor trailer and damaged his crops. The police has arrested one Naib Singh in this connection.



Quiz winners get prizes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 25
Safari Bikes Ltd, manufacturers of Hi Bird brand of bicycles, gave away prizes to about 40 winners of the quiz ‘Cycle Di Kahani’ broadcast every week from Jalandhar station of All-India Radio. The Chairman and Managing Director of the company, Mr R.D. Sharma, and the Director AIR Jalandhar, Mr S.D. Kapil, gave away the prizes.

Mr Kapil said radio was still a powerful medium in the country and rather popular in rural areas. It had several programmes as popular as any television serial. Several other programmes have listeners across the state.


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