Wednesday, July 10, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Hit by teacher, fighting for life
Shivani Bhakoo and Deepkamal Kaur

When the rod was spoilt

* Child mercilessly beaten up by schoolteacher for not doing homework.

* Child suffers from brain haemorrhage and paralysis on the right side.

* Chances of survival little, say doctors.

* School authorities conceal truth but classmates reveal it.

* Teacher gets suspension orders.

Ludhiana, July 9
Fifteen-year-old Jagroop Singh, a Class X student of Government Senior Secondary School, Pakhowal, has paid dearly for not doing his homework.

According to Jagroop’s parents, he was subjected to severe corporal punishment by his teacher in the school. He is currently admitted to Arora Neuro Centre here where he is struggling for life in a semi conscious state. The doctors said, he has suffered brain haemorrhage and paralysis on the right side apparently due to severe thrashing.

Narrating the incident, Ms Sukhwinder Kaur Grewal, mother of Jagroop, said, ‘‘He had gone to school yesterday and in the first period, he was told to stand out in the sun barefoot for about half an hour by his class-teacher. Thereafter, he was scolded and told to enter the class. While he was moving inside the classroom, the teacher hit him with a stick on his head from his back and the child immediately fell unconscious. At this, the teacher got panicky and made some effort to revive him by sprinkling water on his face.

and children were not spared

August 2000: A Class V student from BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School sustained injury in the neck after being slapped by a school teacher.

April 2001: Senior class boys from Nauhria Mal Jain Senior Secondary School, Bharat Nagar, complained of daily thrashing on their palms by male staff for not completing home work.

May 2001: Three students of Class II from Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar, were hit on their faces and back by a short-tempered teacher when they failed to grasp their lessons quickly. 

‘‘The panic-stricken teacher then informed the principal about the incident who then rushed him to a private clinic nearby. However, the doctor suggested that the child be taken to a city hospital. Meanwhile, the school authorities rushed to inform Jagroop’s father who was working in the fields at that time and took him to the clinic where his son was lying unconscious.

‘‘It was almost two hours after the incident that the child was brought to Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital here where the doctors performed a CT scan and in the evening recommended his case to Arora Neuro Centre where he is still undergoing treatment.’’

Jagroop’s mother alleged that the school authorities did not tell them about the incident correctly. They instead told them that the child had fallen down and became unconscious. It was late in the evening when she received numerous calls at the hospital from Jagroop’s classmates and their parents who apprised them of the actual happening, she said.

The ‘scared’ school authorities did not reveal the truth about the child even to the doctor at Pakhowal. The doctor when contacted by Ludhiana Tribune disclosed, “I was told that the child became unconscious due to the scorching heat. It was today that I came to know of the reality from the villagers and victim’s classmates”.

Dr Kulbir Kaur, a local resident and a paternal aunt of the child, said the family would not allow the culprits to go scotfree. “Lakhbir Singh Grewal, child’s father, along with some relatives, have already left for Raikot to register an FIR against the school authorities”, she said.

Dr O.P. Arora, Director of Arora Neuro Centre, said chances of survival of the child were little as he had suffered from severe internal and external brain injuries. “Besides an external injury, the child has suffered from intra-cerebral brain injury, which is a serious matter. If a surgery is performed there are remote chances of survival and the risks are very high. Even if he is operated upon successfully, he will not recover from the paralytic attack which he has suffered,’’ Mr Arora said.

Meanwhile, repeated efforts to call the school authorities at Pakhowal village proved futile as nobody picked up the phone. Mr Bachittar Singh, District Education Officer (Secondary), when contacted said he had already learnt about the incident and even consulted with the DPI. He was told to immediately suspend and transfer the guilty teacher. He wanted to convey this message to the principal but since nobody was picking up the phone, he had already sent a messenger to the school, the DEO said. 



Tangri’s dens raided; no luck
Tension in Gur Mandi; dusty case files reopened
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 9
The police raided Gur Mandi here late yesterday and raids on the suspected hideouts of the Shiv Sena (Rashtrawadi) chief Jagdish Tangri continued even today, but these were unsuccessful. In Gur Mandi last night, the police broke open the locks on some iron-grill gates and rounded up at least five youths on the charge of helping Tangri escape, They were released today.

Tension continued in Gur Mandi and most of the shops remained closed. Tempers ran high when the police was accused of breaking the locks on the doors of a religious place. The police denies having done anything like it.

The police crackdown on Jagdish Tangri and his relatives in Gur Mandi here has strengthened claims that he has been running a parallel administration. He has been accused of organising his own court of law, extorting money from shopkeepers, sheltering criminals and supplying arms to rioters.

The police has sought details of all previous cases against Tangri, his relatives or protege, which has revived the hopes of Tangri’s victims that they’ll get justice at last. The victims have had a long fight for justice, but faced only harassment, so far, due to a lack of political will. Tangri, his son Sunil, and several other accused in these cases continue to evade arrest.

Sources in the police said, on receiving a signal from the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, the district police had initiated action against Jagdish Tangri and his associates. An inventory of a large number of cases, that have been registered against Tangri at any time, is being prepared and these files are likely to be reopened.

The police is working on three major cases against the accused, one of which was registered on the complaint of an intelligence official. The sleuth had accused Tangri of supplying arms to the Gujarat rioters.

In another case, a woman had accused one of Tangri’s kin and several others of raping her in a Gur Mandi room. The case-file had been gathering dust in the police record room, till now.

A recent case against Tangri refers to an old man who had immolated himself in front of a temple here. The police had closed the case-file, but it was revealed afterwards that the man had been humiliated in the illegal “court of Jagdish Tangri” a day before his death. The man’s family had asked Tangri to try him in his court, where he received “a humiliating punishment”.

Sources said the police had been tipped-off about the incident, but it could do little due to a lack of evidence or witnesses. A senior police official said an inventory of all cases against Tangri had indeed been prepared and a number of persons were, now, prepared to go against him in court, as his fear was waning.

I’ve been framed: Tangri

When contacted on his mobile telephone, Jagdish Tangri said here today that he had been falsely implicated in several cases by the police under pressure from his political rivals and the media. He also said his activities were legal and he was like a head of the family to persons of the area.

“The media is cooking up stories against me, but is silent on the services I have rendered to the police and the government during militancy in Punjab,” he said. When the state was in the grip of terrorism, an IPS officer had projected him as a counter-terrorism face.

Now, he is accused of running an administration of his own in Gur Mandi, where he redresses grievances and charges for it. Trials and punishment in this “court” are in full public view. His supporters have allegedly encroached upon a parking lot in the market. It is said that they extort money (‘hafta’) on his behalf from shopkeepers.

His supporters allegedly do not pay any sales tax, or the water-supply and electricity-supply bills. They had been resisting raids by government officials, until the latest crackdown.

Tangri said: “Every community has its own panchayat system and what the media calls my special court is, actually, our panchayat where people get instant justice. I don’t force anyone.” Regarding the extortion and CD-piracy charges, he said: “I am not doing anything of this sort; just helping members of my community and fellow shopkeepers. We only collect donations for the temple, but not forcibly.”

The police sources said arresting Jagdish Tangri and his supporters was the priority number one of the police.



BBA results still not out, but admissions on for MBA
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 9
While Punjab Technical University has not declared the result of BBA final year, the process of centralised counselling and admission to MBA was held today.

Hundreds of students of BBA, who had appeared for counselling at Jalandhar today, felt harassed as they were told to go back and appear again after declaration of the result. Similar was the fate of students of BCA final year who are awaiting result of their supplementary examination for fifth semester. As a result, counselling was held only for BCom and BCA students whose results had been declared.

The students complained that the university authorities should have either postponed the date of counselling or else informed all BBA students not to appear today. They said that delay on the part of the PTU was affecting them quite a lot as even other universities were refusing them admission before declaration of their result as all universities had set a minimum qualifying percentage for further admission.

The students of BBA and BCA final year who are waiting for the result of their fifth semester supplementary examination lamented that it was ironical that they had result of sixth semester in their hands but were still waiting for their previous semester’s result. They also argued that students having such a case were allowed to appear for counselling of MCA yesterday, but they were today being denied admission.

Meanwhile, students said that there should have been some online system for counselling so that everybody could get updated information of the number of filled and vacant seats in different colleges. They said that such a system would have also ensured transparency in admission process.

Dr H.S. Gurm, Vice-Chancellor of the university, when contacted said that in case the students had informed him of non-declaration of their results before hand, he would have certainly postponed the dates of counselling. Ironically, he said that till this morning he was not aware that the results of BBA had not been declared yet. He, however, said that all such cases would be given another date to appear for their counselling. 



No-work-no-wages for DMCH staff
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 9
The management of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital today firmly reiterated that the policy of no work no wages will be enforced strictly as during the 22 days of disruption of work, the OPD attendance had gone down to 65 patients and in the IPD it had come down to 150.

According to a press release by the management today, the consequences of the disruption were that the daily income of the hospital had come down by about 15 per cent. The payment of salaries had become difficult and if it continued like this, the salary of the absentee and non-working employees may have to be deferred.

In its reply to the charter of demands given by the union, the management said that to make or establish any institute was the prerogative of the management. However, the land and building, particularly the land and building housing the Heart Centre belonged to DMCH and continued to be so.

The management could recruit the new comers the way it suited the institution. Contract labour was being kept, even by the government. However, the existing facilities would be provided to the existing employees whose service conditions would remain the same.

The management, however, demanded that the striking employees must work for two days in lieu of their holidays. The employees must comply with the provision of agreement of 1994 which says that ‘‘There will be no strike in the campus and all demands of the union will be referred to tripartite committee and this was repeated in the MoU dated February 20, 2001.

The management also expressed anguish over the way the union was indulging in illegal activities to spoil the atmosphere when the management was working towards the settlement of the issue. 



HC stays tax collection on NH-1
Our Correspondent

Doraha, July 9
A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, comprising Mr Justice J.S. Khehar and Mr Justice Virendar Singh, has issued a stay order for July 22 on toll tax collected from commuters on the National Highway-1 at Doraha, Shambhu and Karnal.

The Bench acted on a petition filed by Mr Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill, an Akali leader. His plea was: “As per the provisions of the National Highways Act of 1956, the Centre should alone bear the cost of construction, development and maintenance of highways. However, this financial liability has, now, been imposed on the people of the states.”

In the petition, Mr Gill had also sought the reason for an arbitrary collection of toll tax. The Act says that the toll tax should be 40 paise per km, but this is being taken at the highway entry-points only. Anybody travelling 3 km has to pay Rs 45 at Doraha and Rs 45 again there if he or she want to go beyond that till 100 km.

According to the National Highways Act, the tax should be charged as fee from the people. Mr Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill said: “If it is a fee, what are we getting in return; and, if it is a tax, we have already paid for it; so, it is nothing, but recharging.”

Mr Gill also said he would pursue the case till the end and objected to the exemptions given to the VIPs in payment of toll tax. He said rules should be the same for all. Mr Jagjiwan Gill was a candidate of the Shiromani Akali Dal from Payal in the recent Assembly election in Punjab.




Chief Minister Amarinder Singh seems to be a man of versatile tastes and interests. Born and brought up as a prince, he joined the army and returned to politics. What his ancestors inherited by virtue of their destiny, he acquired by his labour, struggle and hard work. But his tastes are not restricted to politics only. He has academic and artistic interests and inclinations as well. He has written two books on military history. He is also an avid reader of books. Machiavelli’s Prince, the masterpiece on statecraft, is said to be his favourite past-time, besides everything that helps him to improve his own statecraft. Recently he was in the town to inaugurate a photo exhibition. And the prince-turned-soldier-turned politician-turned Chief Minister proved to be a great connoisseur by appreciating the photographs with great interest. Later, he went to a dog clinic of an old acquaintance and spent some time with the highly bred canine. People wondered about the diversity of his tastes with such a wide ranging variety.

Welcome to DIG

Vow ! Some style, that he came, he saw and he conquered. Mr. Mohammad Mustafa, who took over as DIG of Ludhiana Range about a week ago, told media-persons during his maiden interaction with the city-based media that his style of functioning was a bit different. Sure. He told the scribes that he did not place much faith in the police-public meets that were being organised regularly at various police stations of the range. But what really took crime scribes of the city by surprise was his order to stop giving the day’s crime brief of the range to them. Some of the scribes rightly called it an anti-transparency move on the part of the new officer.

And then without holding a high-level departmental meeting to review the law and order situation in the range, he gave a clean chit to the officers by saying that crime was under control in the area. The officer became the centre of a controversy soon after taking over as 13 municipal councillors of Malerkotla accused him of having used his official influence in influencing the outcome of the civic body’s presidential election. ( Ms Razia Sultana, MLA from Malerkotla, is the wife of Mr Mustafa)

Confusion confounded

While the district administration has stopped the fortnightly Grievances Redressal Forum meeting a month ago, it is yet to remove the banner describing the details of the forum put up outside the office of the Deputy Commissioner. No wonder confusion is still prevailing among the general public and many people visit the bachat bhawan, venue for the forum, every first and third Thursday, unaware of the fact that it has been stopped. 

Patialvi pedigree

Although there seems to be a tendency among people to usually find faults in others, more so in the government officers, and overlook their good work, sometimes there are always some lucky exceptions. And the Commissioner of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, Mr S K Sharma seems to be a similar exception. During the recent visit of the Chief Minister to the city, a number people appreciated the work being done by the commissioner. They told the CM that the face of Ludhiana was getting changed and it was getting a facelift. Capt Amarinder Singh himself understood that people seldom appreciate the good work of the officers. Overwhelmed over the praise of his officer, the Chief Minister remarked jokingly: “You must not forget that he is also from Patiala and belongs to the Patiala breed known for its efficiency”. Taking the cue from the CM, everybody present on the occasion, including the city Mayor Mr Nahar Singh Gill, and Mr Surinder Dawer also joined the course to praise the Patialvi talent of the Chief Minister and the Commissioner.

Jakhar’s remarks

Recently Mr Sunil Jakhar, a Congress MLA from Abohar and the son of the former Union Agriculture Minister, Mr Bal Ram Jakhar, demanded in the Assembly that Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) should be closed down as it had outlived its life. Quite expectedly most of the teachers and the non teaching employees took exception to this demand and criticised the junior Jakhar for his remarks. While the demand (of closing down the university) may appear to be too extreme a demand, yet it should provoke all the concerned people, particularly the scientists and teachers to a thorough introspection. Of late the university has not been able to meet the growing demands and expectations of the latest times. Most of the time in PAU is spent on various “extra curricular” activities like intriguing and politicking against each other. Sometimes one feels constrained to think whether the huge amount to the tune of about Rs 100 crore every year and most of which goes in salaries only, is worth it.

Photo fixation

Most of the politicians have great obsession for publicity. Preferably the positive one, but they will not mind even if it is negative as long as it continues to provide them the “oxygen” (of publicity). And most among them are not content with getting their name published, but they would always try to ensure that their picture also appears in the newspaper and the television as the visual impact seems to last longer. There is one such politician belonging to the ruling party who is known among the media circles for his obsession for getting his picture published in whatever manner. No matter how important a function is, he will ensure that his picture lands in the newspaper witin minutes of the conclusion of the function.

Serial obsession

Residents of Ludhiana are much disappointed over frequent power cuts being imposed this summer. Such complaints come more often from the housewives who are forced to miss their matinee and prime time serials. Some of the ladies are so much obsessed with serials that they cannot manage to miss these. In such a case, they would move to their neighbour’s place who owns a generator to watch their serial. Or else, they would call up at their friend’s place in the evening to know about the missed episode. Such an exercise is a must or else they would not be able to discuss the serial in the next kitty party when everybody else would be talking about it.




CM shifts focus to development
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 9
While there will no let down in the anti-corruption drive in the state, the focus of the Punjab Government will now be on the economic development of the state. And if the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, is to be believed, Punjab is all set for an economic and industrial revival with the World Bank (WB) having promised sufficient aid after taking note of the reform-oriented Budget presented for the first time in the state in all these years.

Regretting that the state had been quite late in launching itself on the reform-oriented developmental course, Capt Amarinder Singh told the Tribune in an exclusive interview that his prime agenda was to restore the status of the most developed, prosperous and vibrant state in the country to Punjab. He pointed out, no effort had been made during all these years to retrieve the economy and the state was on the verge of bankruptcy.

Initially the government had launched an anti-corruption drive to cleanse the corruption-laden state, but the Chief Minister was also aware the need for the development. He had already communicated with various financial institutions at the national and international level.

He recently met the WB representative in India, Mr Edward Lim. ‘‘I was shocked to learn that there had been absolutely no interaction between the WB and Punjab during past five years’’, he said, while emphasising the lack of vision of the previous government to seek aid from the largest financial institution in the world.

Punjab may be having the dubious distinction of not having managed to get any major WB assistance, thanks to the ‘visionary inertia’’ of the previous government, he said, while explaining that he did not want to blame the previous government for all the ills. ‘‘But it is a criminal omission which has left us far behind and it will take a lot of efforts to generate the desired pace again...but I am sure that we will soon gather the speed and make up the losses’’, the Chief Minister assured.

The Chief Minister had already got assurance from the WB for financial assistance for rural development and for agricultural diversification. ‘‘Both sectors promise prosperity for Punjab as the society is predominantly rural and economy mainly the agricultural’’, he pointed out, while adding, ‘‘Once investments are made in these two sectors it will lead to total transformation of the state’s economy’’. A team of WB officials will be visiting the state this weekend, he added.

The Chief Minister said he was aware that the anti-corruption drive alone would not help in solving the problems of the people. They wanted development. ‘‘While we are committed to development we cannot afford populism at this stage, lest we are prepared for bankruptcy’’, he warned, while admitting some harsh provisions in the state Budget.

‘‘What is presumed to be harsh is in fact the reformatory nature of the Budget’’, he sought to explain, while adding, ‘‘For a while it may appear to be so, but in the long run it will help us rejuvenate our economy...we can see the results after two or three years from now and when everybody will look back in retrospect then our position would be appreciated and acknowledged’’.

At the same time the Chief Minister assured the farming community, the backbone of the state economy, of all help and assistance. ‘‘I assure you our farmers will in no way be effected by the reforms’’, he promised. Besides, it was the rising unemployment that concerned the Chief Minister most.

On the issue of corruption, the Chief Minister seemed to be as unrelenting as ever. However, he assured this did not mean that the administration would not do anything else. ‘‘I have initiated and launched the drive and now people assigned the duty will do their job, while the state will look towards development’’, he said, while maintaining that nobody would be spared at any cost. ‘‘Let the investigations take their own course without any external interference or premeditated bias and whosoever is found guilty will be dealt according to the law’’, he said, while replying to a question as why any action was not taken against Mr Parkash Singh Badal, against whom Capt Amarinder Singh had always been levelling serious charges of corruption while in Opposition. 



Youth Cong seeks probe into 
councillor-contractor nexus
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 9
The District Youth Congress (DYC) has urged the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to initiate a high-level inquiry into the misdeeds of councillors, contractors patronised by them and civic officials during the term of the erstwhile SAD-BJP coalition in the municipal corporation.

In a memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister, the DYC President, Mr Parminder Mehta, has alleged that in gross violation of the relevant rules for enlistment of contractors in the MC, a large number of blood relations of councillors and MC officials were enlisted and awarded works worth crores of rupees. The huge funds of civic body, thus siphoned off by these contractors, were shared by the members of the nexus and even high ups in the then ruling party.

He further pointed out that the entire system of enlistment of MC contractors be put under scrutiny and loopholes plugged so that the norms for new enlistment and renewal of the existing contractors were scrupulously followed so as to effectively stem the rot. With the Congress taking over the civic body, there was dire need to bring transparency in the entire working of the contractors in the MC and the role of councillors.

In the previous house of the MC, several councillors, cutting across party lines, had either got their close blood relations enlisted as contractors or were ‘benami’ contractors themselves. Similarly, certain senior MC officials were also charged with showing ‘undue’ favours to contractors of their choice, some of them happened to be closely related to them. In the process, the civic exchequer got poorer while the nexus of councillors, contractors and officials prospered.

The then government did take notice of the blatant violations of relevant law and norms for enlistment of MC contractors. The Department of Local Government had directed the MC administration more than once to check the corrupt and unlawful practices by officials, contractors and councillors and further the civic administration was asked to get revised proformas filled from all existing contractors but the senior officials, for obvious reasons, had failed to respond and the unholy alliance continued to thrive.



Khanna keen on developing tourism in Punjab
Tribune News Service

The president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association, Punjab, Mr N.S. Nanda, presents a copy of the Punjab guide to the Union Minister of State for Tourism, Mr Vinod Khanna
The president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association, Punjab, Mr N.S. Nanda, presents a copy of the Punjab guide to the Union Minister of State for Tourism, Mr Vinod Khanna, in Ludhiana.—A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, July 9
The Union Minister of State for Tourism, Mr Vinod Khanna, has said that he is keen on promoting and developing tourism in Punjab.

Talking to the president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Punjab, Mr N.S. Nanda, at his residence yesterday, Mr Khanna said he was aware of the fact that nothing substantial had been done to promote tourism in the state.

Mr Nanda disclosed here today that Mr Khanna agreed with him that Punjab had a great potential for religious and heritage tourism.

Mr Nanda urged the minister that a ropeway should be built between Nainadevi and Anandpur Sahib, besides developing the Ranjit Sagar Dam as a recreation centre as there was a great scope for water sports, golf and skating there. He also urged Mr Khanna to develop the bird sanctuary at Harike Pattan.

Mr Khanna said tourism had to be promoted as an industry. He said, Punjab had a great tourism potential as there were a number of places which could be developed as tourist spots.

The Union minister said, he would soon be visiting Punjab and will himself explore the possibilities of promoting the tourism industry in the state.

He said he would also discuss some financial package which could be given to the hotel industry in Punjab for helping it to survive as the occupancy in these hotels had come down due to tension along the international border.

Mr Nanda also presented a copy of the Punjab tourist guide to Mr Vinod Khanna.



Migrant hands gain a foothold
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 9
With an unabated arrival of migrant workers from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, some Eastern states and even Nepal, who seek work in industries and on farms, the city and its Punjabi way of life have undergone a visible and significant transformation.

So strong is their presence here that, with thousands of them either arriving or returning, the local railway station, at any time, looks as if it is in Bihar or any state other than Punjab. While the migrant workers have made a permanent place for themselves on farms here, their participation in industry is also on the rise. The city, being the industrial hub of Punjab, absorbs a large number of them.

A study conducted by the Department of Economics and Sociology of Punjab Agricultural University shows that migrant agricultural workers earn more than Rs 500 crore every year in wages here and send home about Rs 350 crore. Migrants working in the industrial sector should be earning an equal amount if not less. Subtracting remittances from this income, migrant workers still spend more than Rs 300 crore in Punjab every year.

Most migrants have adapted to the state well and accepted its ways, proved by the election of at least three of them to the Municipal Corporation. The day is not far when any migrant will find even higher offices within his or her reach.

Those who have settled here forever have changed their food habits, traditional costumes and even family names (after marrying into Punjabi families). A number of migrant workers can, now, be seen wearing ‘kada’, a religious symbol of the Sikhs.

However, this give-and-take has a negative side as well. Notwithstanding claims of diminishing employment opportunities for them here, migrants with criminal bent of mind have become a threat to the life and property of natives. The increasing migrant population here has wrecked the city’s civic services and made slums mushroom. The planned development of the city has gone haywire and amenities have fallen short of demand. However, it is, now, a reality that migrants have become an integral part of Punjabi society, who, like the other citizens, are entitled to their rightful status and civic amenities without discrimination of any kind.



Three labourers trapped in well; two rescued
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 9
Three labourers were trapped in a well in Tusse village, near here, when the earth of the well they were digging caved in this morning.

While two of them were rescued at around 12 noon and were sent to a Raikot hospital, third one could not be rescued till the filing of the report. Efforts were on to save him also.

The three had started digging the well at around 9 am in the fields of Mr Chand Singh of Tusse village. Just after one hour the earth on the bank of the well started caving in and they were buried under a huge crust of earth.

Two who were between 20 and 22 years of age, were rescued after two hours of the incident, the third labourer, aged around 50, was still not found. Villagers said that the rescue team had a hard time in locating them as the earth was caving in till the evening.

The district administration and Jagraon police officials were supervising the rescue operation.



PSSF stages dharna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 9
Members of the Punjab State Services Federation (PSSF) led organised a dharna to press for their “just” demands at the Mini Secretariat here today. As many as 300 employees participated in the dharna and gave a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Aggarwal.

Mr Jagtar Singh Preet, general secretary of the federation, while addressing the employees threatened that the employees would start a fast from July 16 onwards in Patiala if their demands were not met.

The charter of demands included next promotional scale to every government employees of all departments and categories after 4, 9 and 14 years of service, 15 per cent house rent allowance to employees posted at Patiala, release D.A. instalment in cash on the Centre Government pattern and to restore the LTC and existing retirement benefits to all employees.

The employees also demanded lifting of ban on fresh recruitments and filling up all vacant posts by promotion or direct recruitment and to enhance fixed medical allowance from Rs 259 per month to Rs 500 per month.



Mother dies after eating poison; kids saved
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 9
A woman committed suicide after consuming Celphos tablets near Tajpur road here last night. The poverty-stricken Kamlesh also gave the tablets to her two young children with a soft drink but they were saved.

The three were immediately rushed to Christian Medical College and Hospital where the woman, married to a rickshaw-puller, breathed her last. The children were, however, saved by the doctors.

Family sources said that the woman had been sick and could not have medical treatment due to shortage of funds.

But nobody could know that she was contemplating suicide. Finding herself alone in the house with her two children she consumed the pesticide with a bottle of soft drink and gave it to her children as well.

She was then spotted in an unconscious condition by her husband who rushed the three to the hospital.

The children were discharged from the hospital today evening. A case has been registered by the police. 



Murder bid alleged
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 9
On the complaint of an injured man admitted to the CMC Hospital here, the Sahnewal police has registered a case of an attempt to murder under Sections 307, 326, 324, 34, 382 and 511 of the IPC against two persons. Mr Amit Kumar, who lives near the Vishvakarma temple in Sahnewal, had alleged in his statement to the police that Mandeep Singh and Deepy, residents of the same village, had attacked him with sharp-edged weapons with the intention to kill him and also snatch Rs 5,000 that were on his person at the time of the attack. However, the accused ran away after injuring him. No arrest has been made so far.

Cases of beating: The Basti Jodhewal police registered two cases of alleged beating yesterday. The first case was registered under Sections 323, 324, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Baldev Krishan, a resident of Street No 5 in Basti Jodhewal, against Balbir Chand, his brother, Manjit, and Dalbir Singh. The complainant had alleged that the accused due to a property dispute attacked him with sharpedged weapons and injured him. The accused fled, he added. No arrest has been made so far in the case.

The other case was registered on the statement of Mr Gurjit Singh, a resident of Bajra Colony, against Ajmal Haq Ansari and his son, Irfan, of the same colony under Sections 323, 341 and 506 of the IPC. The complainant had alleged that the father-son duo intercepted him on the way, beat him up and also threatened him with dire consequences before running away. None of the accused has been arrested so far.

The Koom Kalan police also registered a similar case under Sections 323, 341 and 506 of the IPC yesterday on the statement of Ms Satnam Kaur, a resident of Garhi Fazal village, against Dilbagh Singh, who lives in the same village. The woman had alleged that the accused intercepted her on the way and beat her up. Before running away, the accused also threatened her with dire consequences, she added. No arrest has been made so far.

Excise cases: During special checking, Division No 7 police yesterday arrested Santosh Kumar, a resident of Mundian Kalan, and recovered five and a half bottles of illicit liquor from his possession. And the Sadar police arrested Kashmir Lal and Bira, residents of Laddowal village, and seized 10 bottles of illicit liquor from their possession. All the three accused have been booked under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act.

Poppy husk seized:
The Payal police claims to have seized 10 kg of poppy husk from the possession of Darshan Singh, son of Sant Singh of Ghudani village, today. The man was nabbed by ASI Devinder Pal Singh and a case registered against him under Sections 18, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act at Payal police station.

Gambling: The police arrested Balwinder Singh, son of Dharampal Singh of Khanna, and seized Rs 370 as gambling money. A case under Sections 13-A, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act was registered today.

In a similar case, ASI Ashok Kumar of the Doraha police chowki seized Rs 1,740 from Ashwani Kumar Jyoti, a resident of Doraha, on Monday. Liquor seized

The police seized 12 bottles of illicit liquor from the custody of Swaran Singh, son of Hazoora Singh of Sirthala village, and registered a case against him under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act.


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