Monday, September 8, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Parents blame CMC for infant’s death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 7
A Sangrur-based young couple has alleged that their infant son had died in the local Christian Medical College and Hospital due to the negligence of a doctor attending on him. The CMC officials are, however, tight-lipped about the incident.

Mr Gaurav Bansal and Ms Indu Bansal, residents of Sangrur, have alleged in an affidavit that their nine-day-old child had died in the paediatrics ward of the hospital as none of the doctors attended to him properly. The infant died on July 20 for want of medical attention. The family has also lodged a complaint with the Sangrur police in this regard. Explaining about the delay the couple said they were in a state of shock all these days.

All efforts to contact the doctors in question or the CMC officials to get their side of the story in the case proved futile. The Ludhiana Tribune waited for one week to get response from the officials after requesting Ms Nisha Dhanda, Public Relations Officer of the CMC, for the official version. Ms Nisha Dhanda sought one day’s time for response but their was no word from the hospital side for seven days.

The aggrieved mother of the infant, Ms Indu Bansal, while narrating the sequence of events said her first baby was born through caesarean operation on July 11 at a hospital in Sangrur. He was alright till July 13 when suddenly he developed some kind of illness. The doctors at Sangrur told her to get the child admitted to CMC in Ludhiana as he looked like a blue baby.

Her parents took the child to CMC on the night of July 13 where he was admitted by the hospital authorities. She herself stayed back at Sangrur while doctors told her parents to call her for feeding the baby. She immediately came to CMC on July 14.

‘‘I was shocked to see the large number of mosquitoes in the ward and my son had been bitten by those. Although I had undergone a surgery, I did not care about it and went to doctor's duty room. I asked for the doctor on duty whose name indicated that he was a male. Much to my astonishment, a woman told me that she was the doctor on duty and she came with me to my son.’’

‘‘She said the child was suffering from some infection and would be better soon. But next morning his condition deteriorated. My mother went to the doctor and we were shocked to find out that the doctor on duty was actually a male and some woman employee had posed as a doctor in front of me the previous night. Anyway, the doctor came and gave him an injection worth Rs 4,000 and left. That was the only day when the doctor actually gave him some treatment. After that day nobody bothered about him,’’ said the distraught mother.

She further alleged that the doctor came the next day for some minutes and left. Later, some staff members came and took some samples from and did an ECG also. ‘‘I was relieved that at least my son was getting some attention. But my happiness was short lived as one of the technicians told me that they had performed tests on him by mistake and they had to perform those on another girl, Pooja. My son's condition worsened. On July 20 he became critical. I took him in my lap and went running to the doctor. He was shifted to the ICU where he breathed his last.’’

She further alleged that after the infant died the doctor told her that they had the baby already had a heart failure. Another doctor came out of the ICU and told her that he had a brain haemorrhage. Following him another staff member came and said he had a big heart so he died.

‘‘What is bugging me today is that if they had known about the nature of his illness why did they tell me that he had an infection and there was nothing serious? He was my first child and I will never be able to get over this loss, ’’she said.



Gangs take to kidnapping
Tribune News Service

Khanna, September 7
Two rival groups of Khanna have started kidnapping key members of each other’s gangs to settle scores even as the police remains a mute spectator.
Two days after Rupinder Singh, alias Gandhi, Sarpanch of Rasulra village, near here was kidnapped, allegedly by members of the Lakhi Pehalwan group, Parvesh Kumar a key person of the Pehalwan group was allegedly kidnapped late last night from his tractor parts shop in Falana village on the Khanna-Amloh road.

While there was no trace of the two kidnapped persons, the police had to cane-charge about 150 persons, who blocked traffic at the National Highway, No. 1 today afternoon demanding whereabouts of Gandhi. The blockade was lifted in minutes. One person was injured in the police action.

Two years ago, a member of the Pehalwan gang was murdered allegedly by the Gandhi gang after another youth called Chacha was beaten up in a mela by the rival group. Since then both groups have filed a few FIR’s against one another.

Late last evening, Parvesh Kumar was about to close his shop when 15 two-wheelers and a Maruti Zen car (HRU-1-8882) surrounded him. He was asked about a neighbouring shopkeeper Devinder Singh, alias Vicky, son of a Punjab Police Sub-Inspector Bhupinder, who was posted earlier as SHO at Khanna. Vicky was also close to the Pehalwan group. When the persons could not find Vicky, they allegedly kidnapped Parvesh Kumar, according to eyewitnesses.

A case of kidnapping has been registered on the statement of SI Bhupinder Singh. Two of the kidnappers have been identified as Sonu and Jagminder Singh, alias Bunty. Both were members of the Gandhi gang.

Police sources said the man was kidnapped to pressurise the Gandhi group to release Gandhi.

On September 5 Rupinder Singh, alias Gandhi, Sarpanch of Rasulra village and close aide of a Congress leader of the area, was kidnapped by six car-borne persons at gun-point near Lallauri Kalan village.

He was attacked with and injured with sharp-edged weapons. His friend Harpreet Singh, alias Happy, was accompanying him at that moment. Both were heading village Bagli on a scooter.

The police has claimed to have identified all the six kidnappers. They belonged to the gang of Azadinder Singh, alias Lakhi Pehalwan of Salana village.

They have been identified as Baljeet Singh and Gagndeep Singh both brothers and residents of Saloudi village, Kuldip Singh of Khanna, Munna and Jodhi, also of the town. None of the suspects has been arrested.



Contractors’ faith restored, claims MC
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 7
The Municipal Corporation has claimed that the faith of contractors has been restored and there was competition among them to bid for development works of the MC.

Earlier, the contractors were reluctant to offer bids for the contracts as payments were pending since the civic body had no money. However, once the MC received funds the contractors have started evincing interest in the tenders for various development works of the MC.

This was visible from the rush when the MC invited tenders for the execution of 27 different streetlight-related works. According to MC sources, the initial assessment and comparison of the offers received in response to these tenders showed that there was a stiff and fair competition, which had further added to the goodwill of the corporation. The contractors had offered to execute the works on an overall saving of 36 to 41 per cent of the estimated costs of the works.

For the tenders invited on August 29 carrying an estimated expenditure of Rs 1.77 crore as many as 97 contractors participated in the bidding.

According to the schedule of the work, the successful contractors will have to complete the work within the stipulated time ranging from one month to five months as per the volume of the work.



Residents demand better roads
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 7
The Urban Estates Welfare Association has submitted a memorandum to Housing and Urban Development Minister Malkit Singh Birmi, Mr Raghu Nath Sahai Puri, Minister for Housing and Urban Development, and the Commissioner, Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, drawing their attention to the lack of basic amenities in Urban Estate, Dugri.

Dr Shiv Gupta, general secretary of the association, said the main demands included shifting of the cremation ground in Phase I to Phase II. He said residents experienced difficulties as bodies were being cremated in the vicinity of residential houses. The MC authorities should demolish the illegal encroachments in the area which have been raised to grab prime government land, he said.

The memorandum states that roads are in bad shape and have not been repaired for many years. The level of roads, too, needs to be raised as even light rain results in water-logging in the streets. The rainwater stagnates in vacant plots near the cremation ground, resulting in seepage in houses.

It says that PUDA pays no attention to this problem although non-construction charges are being collected. The level of these vacant plots should be raised to that of the roads. If not, the owners should be issued notices to complete construction, failing which their allotments should be cancelled, says the memorandum.

Mr Kirpal Singh Kalra, president of the association, stated that the community centre in Phase I should be constructed by PUDA. The menace of stray cattle should be curbed and stormwater drains should be laid. A second bridge on the Dugri canal should be constructed and the Dugri road, starting from Atam Nagar police chowki, should be widened.

He said sanitary conditions should be improved by engaging more sweepers. Parks should be maintained by PUDA itself and a new Municipal Corporation zone should be established for registering complaints, deposit of water and sewerage bills. An electricity complaint centre-cum-bill collection centre should also be established. All illegal encroachments on the pavements should be removed. Heaps of garbage should be removed from the sabzi mandi, he said.



Neglected road gives bumpy ride
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, September 7
Repeated pleas and reminders notwithstanding, Sahnewal road remain in the state of neglect.
Potholes have become a nuisance for road users. The road is a major link for surrounding villagers like Jandiali Kohara, Ramgarh, Jhabewal, Sahibana, Mundian on the one side and Bhaini Sahib, Katani Kalan and Neelon on the other. The road is in such a bad shape that it has resulted in fractures, slip disc and bone injuries in certain cases.

The road has virtually disappeared in the market area. The potholes prove dangerous for two-wheeler vehicles. Old people, unable to bear the jerks, get down from their vehicles and walk the distance.

The frequent users of the road resent the callous attitude of the authorities concerned. Shopkeepers stated that no official has ever visited the place. The ministers visiting the place were made aware of the problem, but to no avail, they added.

Residents of nearby areas seem to have lost hope. “What does it matter whether it is the Badal, Amarinder government? Nothing has changed for the better, rather the situation has changed from bad to worse. It is no use pleading before the ministers or top officials. None is bothered about the inconvenience and trouble we are facing.”

Moreover, with the arrival of monsoon rain water gets collected in the pothole, endangering the life of the commuters, who are unable to make out the potholes.

During the paddy and wheat season the grain market, located in the centre of the town, adds to the miseries of residents. Trucks and tractor-trailers become a traffic nuisance.

According to the official sources, a project of Rs 1.12 crore has been proposed and sent to the CM for approval.



Devotees start visiting Chhapar fair 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 7
Due to good rains, the annual Chhapar fair has got off to an early start this year.
The people from nearby villages have started thronging the fair site to make offerings and perform pooja at the ‘marhi of Gugga’ on the occasion of Gugga Navmi.

The fair, held at Chhapar village, about 2 km from Ahmadgarh, attracts a large number of visitors from all parts of the country and is considered the biggest rural fair held in the region. Only the equally historic ‘Roshni’ fair of Jagraon can be compared to it.

Legend says that a woman went to work in the fields after putting her child under the shade of a tree. She got so engrossed in her work that she forgot about the child. In the meantime, the sun had risen high in the sky. When the woman returned, she saw a big snake with large hood protecting the child from the blistering sun.

This spot is considered sacred and is called ‘shakti-sthal’. The people pray at the ‘marhi’ and make wishes and come year after year to pay obeisance.

Ever since its inception, the fair has been a regular feature. However, in 1992 it was literally washed away due to heavy rains. Shopkeepers suffered heavy losses and devotees were left stranded at many places.

The devotees believe that the mela was deluged because the ancient idol installed at the marhi was moved from its original place to make place for a new one. Later, the ancient replica was restored at its original place.

Apart from shopkeepers, politicians also make good use of the mela to make contact with rural masses. Political conferences are attended mainly by those who are considered opinion leaders in their respective villagers.

With the sole exception of Mr Simranjit Singh Mann , many stalwarts of the state politics, including Mr Amarinder Singh, Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, will attend the mela this time.



Ganpati festival ends today
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 7
The week-long Ganpati festival being organised by the Baba Ganpati Sewa Sangh, Janak Puri, will come to a conclusion tomorrow with the immersion of 109 replicas of Lord Ganesha and idols of other gods and goddesses in the Sutlej later in the evening.

Mr Harish Bedi, president of the sangh, said on the telephone today that prior to the immersion ceremony, which would be performed after sunset, a shobha yatra would be taken out from Janak Puri, which would pass through Kidwai Nagar, Amar Pura, CMC Chowk, division No. 3 Chowk, Chauri Sarak and Chaura Bazar.

The shobha yatra will make a halt at Ghanta Ghar Chowk before proceeding towards the Sutlej for the immersion.



August moon in September

Ludhiana, Sept 7
In September, you can enjoy the magic of the August moon at the August Moon Food Festival at Orient Blade of Majestic Park Plaza, where Chinese food festival is currently going on. The festival started on September 5 and will end on September 21.

The most interesting part of the festival is the folklore of the Chinese Queen who to save her people from the cruel tyrannical King, who happens to be her husband, drinks the magical potion intended for him and dies. The Chinese see the face of the Queen in the August moon. They feel it is due to the benignity of the Queen that Chinese farmers prosper.

At the festival from the starters to the main course and dessert, everything is traditionally Chinese. Special Chinese. OC



Stage for victims of NRI grooms
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 7
A novel feature at the venue of the Lok Bhalai Party political conference in the Chhapar mela will be a separate stage for victims of NRI grooms. The aggrieved girls will share their experiences with the people and urge them to verify the antecedents of grooms before marrying their daughters.

According to a spokesperson of the party, the party chief and former union minister, Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, will address the people on September 10 at noon. The party will also distribute more than 25,000 booklets of its programme on that day.

Meanwhile, preparations have been completed for political conferences to be held during the mela, which begins tomorrow.

The party will also present youth, released from prisons abroad after being duped by unscrupulous travel agents. They will share their harrowing experiences with the people and exhort them not to fall for the lure of alien shores. A large number of NRIs are also expected to attend the function.



Kaushal is pensioners’ body chief
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 7
The Pensioners Information Centre management committee has unanimously nominated Mr B.R. Kaushal, president, Retirees Welfare Association of Ludhiana district, as Chairman. A general body meeting, held at Mini Secretariat here yesterday, further authorised Mr Kaushal, along with Col H.S. Kahlon, chief coordinator, Atam Raksha Sangh, to nominate other office-bearers of the executive committee.

The meeting was attended by more than 24 nominees from 15 pensioners’ associations of the district.



2 killed in road mishaps
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 7
On the statement of Mr Arun Nayar, a resident of Phase -I Urban Estate, Jamalpur, the Focal Point police yesterday registered a case under Sections 279, 304-A and 427 of the IPC, against Kuljit Singh, a resident of Guru Nanak Pura Road at Samrala The complainant had stated that the accused , who was driving a four-wheeler ( PB-10AJ-9775), had hit the scooter of his relative Anil Khosla and had fled from the spot.

Anil Khosla was rushed to the CMC Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, added the complainant.

The Shimla Puri police also registered a hit- and-run case under Sections 279, 337, 338, 427 and 304-A of the IPC on the statement of Mr Kulwinder Singh, who lives near the Domoria Bridge in Chhawni Mohalla, against Joga Singh, a resident of Gupta Colony,Tohana, in Fatehabad district of Haryana. The complainant had stated that h and Charanjit Singh were going from ATI College on the Gill Road to his house on a motor cycle when the accused who was in a car( PB-11C-8592) ( Temp) hit their motorcycle. While Charanjit Singh died on the spot, the complainant also sustained injuries. The accused in both the cases are absconding.

Dowry demand alleged: The Haibowal police has registered a case under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC on the statement of Ms Aarti, daughter of Mr Jaswant Rai, a resident of Durga Puri, Haibowal Kalan, against her husband Sandeep Mittal, his father Madan Lal and mother Sheela Devi, residents of New Madho Puri.

The woman had alleged that the accused tortured her mentally and demanded more dowry. No arrest has been made so far.

Three held: The Model Town police has registered a case under Sections 380, 420, 468, 471 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Harmohan Singh, a resident of Panjab Mata Nagar, against Ranjit Singh, a resident of Padal Thera village falling under the Amloh police station in Fatehgarh Sahib district, Manjit Singh, a resident of Model Gram, Ludhiana and Rajiv Kumar, a resident of Krishna Nagar.

The complainant had alleged that the accused had stolen the electricity bill and driving licence of Mr Rajiv Johar, a resident of Model Town, on the basis of which they had obtained a Reliance mobile connection.

The complainant further stated that when he met Mr Rajiv Johar in this connection, he denied having any Reliance mobile. The police said today that the accused were arrested on Saturday.

Fraud: The Division Number 6 police has registered a case under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Gurpreet Singh, an official of Oswal Woolen Mills unit -5, against Manoj Diwasi, owner of M.S. Guardian Agency, Bangalore.

The complainant had alleged that the accused had purchased some readymade garments from the mill for which he did not make any payment. The accused also claimed to have misplaced the sale documents, added Mr Singh. No arrest has been made in this regard so far.

On the statement of Ms Manjit Kaur, a resident of Katani Kalan village, the Sahnewal police yesterday registered a case under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC against Lal Singh, a resident of Kanech village. The woman had alleged that the accused had sold a eucalyptus tree belonging to her for Rs 20,000 but gave her only Rs 8,000. No arrest has been made so far.



New range of fabric launched
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 7
“Everyday dressing for men, which is powerful, elegant and affordable,”, said Mr S. Krishnamoorthy, Executive President, Grasim Suitings, while introducing their latest range of fabric, Freedom, here today at Majestic Park Plaza.

He said the company was launching the fabric in Ludhiana as the people here liked to experiment with latest things. He said the range would showcase some unusual colours within the regular blue , black and gray.

Mr Krishnamoorthy said the fabric was a blend of polyster and viscose and had a different texture, which gave it a smooth and comfortable feel and was also easy to maintain. He said Freedom was ment for semi-formal, formal and everyday dressing.


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