Wednesday, September 10, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Poisoned for dowry, woman battles for life
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
The never ending greed for more dowry has left 22-year-old Ritu struggling between life and death. Ritu was allegedly poisoned by her-in-laws when her parents did not fulfill their demand for more dowry.

The victim is battling for life at the local DMC Hospital with a damaged lung and heart after she was allegedly administered an insecticide.

Ritu’s husband, who lives in Sangrur, is an insecticide manufacturer. Doctors attending on her said her condition was critical and she was on artificial life support system.

According to Mr Mohan Lal Mittal, father of the girl and a resident of Narwana district in Haryana, Ritu got married to Dinay Bansal of Krishna Basti, Sangrur, in 1999. The family had gifted a car to the groom at the time of marriage thinking it would ensure their daughter’s happiness.

But just after six months of marriage, the family of the groom started asking Ritu to bring Rs 10 lakh. Mr Mittal paid a sum of Rs 2 lakh to her in-laws thinking it would satisfy her in-laws and buy happiness for her. He had promised that he would give the rest of the amount very soon. But he could not fulfill his promise due to some reasons.

However, the demand for bringing more dowry continued and things came to such a pass that he received the news about his daughter's sickness on September 3. When he reached DMC the Ritu’s in-laws vanished from the scene.

When he inquired about his daughter's condition from her neighbours in Sangrur they told him that she was badly beaten up by her in-laws and was given poison.

‘‘Had I realised that they would try to kill my daughter for money I would have sold myself and paid the money. But what could I do? I paid Rs 2 lakh with great difficulty. Now this is what they have done to my daughter,’’ said Mr Mittal while breaking down.

Ritu has been unconscious for the past several days. Blue marks all over her body bear testimony to the fact that she was beaten up mercilessly.

Unhappy with the action taken by the Sangrur police, Mr Mittal said the police had only registered a case of dowry harassment while his daughter was on death bed. He said the doctors had told him that the chances of her survival were very little.



Medical students’ future uncertain
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, September 9
The fate of the students of the first batch of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Ayurvedic Medical College and Hospital hangs in balance after the refusal of the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) to recognise their degrees. The Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, has decided to migrate these students to other recognised colleges in the state, a process that would lead to the wastage of one and half years of these students, besides the financial loss.

As many as 40 students of the college have been denied recognition by the CCIM. According to the authorities concerned, the reason for the refusal of recognition could be the admission of these students in an illegal manner.

It is pertinent to mention here that Dr B.L. Bansal of Raikot and his organisation had started the college as a private institute and many students were admitted in it. Since the college had no proper building or hospital, the management decided to collaborate it with Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Trust Hospital.

Mr Chander Mohan, president, Students’ Union, Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Ayurvedic Medical College and Hospital, said they were unnecessarily being harassed by the authorities. "With the decision of migration we will have to spend one and a half years more to complete our degree. We have already wasted an extra year at the Sarabha college. We had taken admission in 1998-1999 and by now we should have been doing our practice. But we are being dragged here and there by the authorities,” he added.

Another student Jaswinder Singh asked that when they had already paid their medical fee to the Sarabha college authorities then why should they bear the unnecessary financial burden once again?

One of the students said 40 students had taken admission in this batch. “Because of frustration and harassment many students had left the degree course in between. One of the girl students had even committed suicide,” said the student.

The affected students have come from places like Jammu, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, etc. These students have now been migrated to the medical colleges at Muktsar, Gobindgarh and Jalandhar on provisional grounds.

Meanwhile, Mr Satish Chandra, Secretary, Medical Education and Research, in a communication to the Registrar, Baba Farid University, Faridkot, recently, maintained that the students had met the Medical Education and Research Minister and the matter was being examined by the government.

It was brought to the notice of the government that the students of second prof year were being shifted to other colleges and after one and a half years they would be eligible to appear in the examination. But as per the report of inspection team of the university the students had attended the requisite number of classes. The government also felt that the university should conduct the examination of second prof year students as early as possible and only thereafter the students be sent to other colleges.

“But despite our best efforts nothing is being done in our favour. They are not ready to take the exams,” alleged Mr Shawinderjit Singh, another affected student.

Dr Amarjit Singh Sekhon, Registrar, Baba Farid University, said, “Whatever is being done is for the benefit of the students. Their admission is illegal. The Central Council of Indian Medicine have refused to recognise their degrees.”



Probe construction of chambers, say lawyers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
Agitated members of the Ludhiana Bar Association have sent a representation to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, urging him to order an inquiry into the defective construction of chambers meant for them in the new judicial complex.

The construction of the chambers had been a long-pending demand of the lawyers. As many as 540 chambers were constructed adjacent to the judicial courts complex.

In a petition signed by 434 lawyers, the complainants pointed out that the government had promised that the quality of the construction would be good. It was also agreed to that the representatives of the Bar and government officials would interact regularly in this context and any objection raised by them would be redressed.

Accordingly, the Bar Association had decided to contribute Rs 4 crore for the project. Many members paid Rs 75,000 for larger chambers while others opted for smaller ones and paid Rs 35,000.

The petition mentioned that the chambers should have the previously mentioned facilities, dimensions and good ventilation.

Before the new chamber complex was completed the Bar members had to hastily vacate the old premises on the pretext that it had to be handed over to PUDA. The lawyers were asked to occupy temporary seats on the fourth and fifth floors of the new complex till the completion of the building.

The members resented that the chambers were actually smaller with poor light and ventilation. The members have requested the CM to initiate suitable and effective remedial measures in this connection. 



Dumping of biomedical waste irks residents
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 9
Residents of Gurdev Nagar area are being put to inconvenience due to the dumping of biomedical waste by a diagnostic and heart care centre.
Harjaspal Singh, a resident of the locality, complained that biomedical waste from Sigma Heart Centre was being dumped near houses.

“The Municipal Corporation has kept a garbage container near the hospital. Early morning, sweepers of the hospital start throwing the waste in the container. Some of them throw the rubbish outside the container. This waste include syringes, rubber hand-gloves, bandages, blood-stained clothes, cotton, etc. By the afternoon, ragpickers come and collect the material they need. They throw all other waste material on the roads near our houses,” he said

Another area resident said the biomedical waste emitted a foul smell during the rainy season. “We have approached the hospital authorities and the corporation many times but to no avail. At times, blood-stained bandages and other waste are thrown outside our main gates. The government should issue guidelines to these nursing homes so that biomedical waste is properly disposed of without causing inconvenience to local residents,” the resident said.



Husband gets 7-year term in dowry death case
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 9
A fast-track court has sentenced Dharminder Singh of Kabir Basti, Dhuri Line, to seven years imprisonment in a dowry death case.
His wife, Saleen, had died as a poisonous substance was administered to her on July 16, 2001. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on the accused.

Pronouncing the judgement, the Judge, Mr A.S.Kathuria, held that the prosecution had successfully proved the guilt of the accused. However, the charges against Bachna, brother, and Chandrawad, sister-in-law of the accused, were not proved. Hence, both were acquitted.

An FIR was registered at Division No 2 police station under section 304-B of the IPC on July 18, 2001, on a complaint lodged by Leelu Ram of Mohalla Hargobind Nagar. The complainant, grandfather of the deceased, had stated to the police that Saleen was married to Dharminder on December 1, 1997.

He said adequate dowry was given at the time of marriage. However, after a year, her in-laws started maltreating and harassing her. He said they demanded Rs 25,000 but the sum could not be arranged.



Bonn helps search talent

Bonn is engaged in making several confectionary items and its bread is very popular. But of late Bonn has entered in a big way arranging competition for ladies of the city. The main reason is to encourage ladies into making new kinds of sandwiches like open sandwiches and arranging competitions involving different toppings of sandwiches in a limited time period. Ludhiana ladies are delighted to get so many opportunities to learn as well as show their skills. Not only this, Bonn is in a big way promoting talents of students and has been sponsoring shows like Enigma-a talent hunt contest organised by TCY on Sunday. It has also supported a couple of other events that were organised by student bodies to encourage their talent. Bonn is doing a commendable job of organising quiz and cultural programmes and hence has given a tremendous impetus to cultural activities of the city.

City’s Matka Chowk

The historical Chattar Singh Park near the bus-stand here has assumed the position of being the city’s Matka Chowk. The Matka Chowk is a famous place for staging dharnas and demonstrations at the state capital. Similarly, the Chattar Park here is being increasingly used for same purpose by employees, students and political leaders. It is a pity that the park meant for the city residents and their children was being damaged in such a manner by demonstrators. The green cover of the place has been completely wiped out. Benches and swings have also been broken. The bad phase of the park began when the district administration banned such rallies in the mini secretariat. The administration’s gain has been the park’s pain.

Rare gift

Students of a city school gave a rare gift to their teachers on the Teacher’s Day. All those students who were notorious for causing trouble and indiscipline in the school went up to the stage and touched the feet of their teachers feeling sorry for the hard time they gave them. The students took an oath that they will listen to the teachers in future.

Eye flu

The other day a young lady, being wary of catching conjunctivitis, spread in the city, called up her peon from office to operate the lift as she did not want to touch the buttons as these could be contaminated and help spread the virus. While she was waiting for the lift to arrive she was shocked to see that there were six persons in the lift, including a liftman and all of them were wearing black goggles as they all had eye flu. After coming home the first thing she did was to take her bath.


A heavy downpour that lashed the city a few days ago had left the residents stuck up in the water that got flooded on the roads. Many vehicles were seen stranded in the middle of the road and it took a long time for the water to drain out. A young college-going girl was also caught up in the rain and her scooter also stopped moving as the water entered its machinery. Confused the girl was standing amidst the pool of water when suddenly she asked a passerby to let her do a call from his mobile. But he refused to oblige her stating his phone was not meant for social work.

Pleasing Prez

Thanks to the visit of President Kalam, the city was decked up like a bride. The road berms, zebra crossings and banners were painted afresh. Roads were swept clean. The Jagraon bridge, which it seemed was never cleaned for the last many years, had got a clean look. There was a spirit of festivity in the air. But soon the things turned back to normal. Encroachments have come back and so is the traffic chaos.

Confusion confounded

Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School had organised a wonderful programme in the school yesterday. But the problem was that there were so many things to see, and the weather was so humid that the minute one entered any room, one was bathed with sweat. There were hundreds of charts, models, information on IT development, competitions like mehndi and flower arrangements, park on biodiversity etc. There were so many things to view that one was left flabbergasted. Moreover, as there was no check on entry, a lot of undesirable elements entered the premises. So many things had been displayed that it caused visual fatigue. Had the function been better organised, the parents and visitors would have enjoyed it more. Undoubtedly, the staff and students had worked a lot towards the success of the function but weather was just not right.

Ludhiana... the happening city

Did you know why the most prestigious launches — be it expensive watches like Rado or Omega, or latest models of cars, or even a new range of suitings — are in Ludhiana city? Yesterday, Grasim Suitings launched its latest dress material ‘Freedom’ in Ludhiana. The reason given by the officials of Digjam Suitings was that the city residents own the maximum number of Mercedes numbering 375. No other city has that many Mercs. It means that Ludhianvis are fond of possessing good things of life. Moreover, the city residents are always ready to experiment with new things. They like to be adventurous and hence all the big companies make a beeline to Ludhiana to launch their products.

Banana trail

Last week the whole city was completely revamped as a part of the preparations for the President’s visit. The areas around Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan and Punjab Agricultural University, the venues for the functions, were being given special attention. However, as the rehearsals for schoolchildren were being held in the bhavan, the safai karamcharis there were really fed up. After the rehearsals, the students were given bananas as refreshments and students used to go out of the bhavan eating the bananas on their way. Since there were no dustbins on the road there, a trail of the banana peels used to get formed all through the way on both sides of the road.

No pass

It was a rude shock for hundreds of residents, including doctors, advocates, businessmen and other professionals who were given VIP passes for the three functions that were held in the city last week for the President’s visit. Such passes were not entertained by the security forces deployed on the day. Many of them were not allowed entry and there were still others who were not allowed to park their cars in the vicinity. So were those passes distributed to simply oblige them and make them feel important (though not practically)?

Tie for anchor

For the occasion of the President’s interaction with school children, three lecturers from local institutions volunteered to participate. One was a teacher from Kundan Vidya Mandir, another from Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, BRS Nagar, and yet another was a lecturer from Khalsa College for Women. All the three took the trials and spoke very well. The competition was so stiff that it was difficult even for the Deputy Commissioner to pronounce the judgement. Since one of them was also a fomer finalist of Mrs India Contest, she naturally had an edge and was finally chosen to anchor the show.



Cong vows to end graft at Chhapar Mela
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, Member Parliament, today said the state was all set to witness fast integrated development and a sum of Rs 1500 crore was being spent through Infrastructure Development Board to undertake various development projects, including construction of link roads, railways over bridges, strengthening of major roads and construction of the buildings of hospitals and schools in all parts of the state owing to the substantial improvement in the financial condition of the state.

He was speaking at a Congress rally on the second day of Chhapar Mela. He claimed that in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Congress party would win all seats in the state.

Addressing the conference, Mr Galib said the Congress Government headed by Capt Amarinder Singh was fully committed to providing clean, corruption-free and transparent governance and during the past about one year, a large number of former ministers of Badal government had been booked for corrupt practices and had been put behind the bars.

He added that the drive against corruption would be accelerated in the near future and it would continue till its eradication at all levels. He exhorted the people to cooperate with the government in this regard. Mr Galib said if this drive was successful, then, in future, no political leader and officer would dare to adopt unfair and corrupt practices to mint money by fleecing people.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, MLA, said the state government was firmly committed to empowering Panchayati Raj Institutions. He informed that on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti on October 2 the state government would organise a special function for handing over the responsibility of elementary education, primary health, veterinary sciences, rural drinking water supply, social welfare and social security to NRIs and Ms Sonia Gandhi, President, AICC, would be the chief guest in the function.

Mr Harmohinder Singh Pardhan President DCC; Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura, Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka, senior vice-president Punjab Youth Congress; Mr Jasbir Singh Khangura, Mr K.K. Bawa, former president, DCC, Mr Mohinder Singh Rachin, Mr Manjit Singh Humbran, president, DYC, Mr Dharamjit Singh Khera and Namdhari Suba Mela Singh, were among others who spoke on occasion.

In order to handle large number of people expected to visit the mela the district administration has claimed to have made elaborate security arrangements. Mr M.S. Chinna, SSP, Jagraon, is personally supervising all arrangements. He informed that all main political parties were organising conferences, which would be addressed by senior state level leaders.

He further informed that as many as 1800 police personnel had been deputed.



No takers for animals
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 9
The indifferent attitude of state government has discouraged the traders who once used to visit Chhapar Mela to buy good quality equestrians. Authorities have been accused of not making proper arrangements for the animals brought to the fair.

Sewak Singh, a trader from Ahmedpur village in Moga district said he had been sitting idle at Chhapar Mela and no trader has even enquired about the rate of an animal. “Indifferent attitude of Mandi Officer and his staff towards the traders has resulted in their disinterest in animals. In the absence of any amenities provided by the department we have to make our own arrangements during our stay here,” said Sewak Singh.

Shafi Mohammad, a resident of Matoi in Malerkotla subdivision said animal traders from northern states, including Haryana, Himachal, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir had been coming to this fair for buying good quality horses and mules. But this year no buyer had turned up. He said,” Though local people came to enquire about colts or fillies, there are no buyers for horses and binnies, obvious reason being their bad experience during the recent past.” He alleged that for the past two days he could not get in touch with Mandi Officer or any of his employees. OC



Mann to attend 9/11 prayer meeting
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 9
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, President, Akali Dal (Amritsar), will participate in a prayer meetings in New York on September 11 in memory of those killed during the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Mr Mann left for a tour of the Europe and the USA for three weeks on September 4. In the first leg of the tour of Mr Mann will visit the UK and in th second the USA, according to Prof. Jagmohan Singh, general secretary of the Akali Dal (Amritsar).

Last year too Mr Mann along with Prof Jagmohan Singh had attended the prayer meeting at the Central Methodist Church in England held in the memory of victims of the attack on the World Trade Center in New York.

Prof Jagmohan Singh said here today that the participation of Mr Mann at such functions was aimed at dispelling the prospects of hate campaign against the Sikhs in various parts of the world. Such solidarity would help the Sikhs, especially those in the USA.

He said Mr Mann had also pressed on the Central government to issue an advertisements in the newspapers in the USA and other countries about the Sikhs and remove the misgivings of the natives of those countries.



18-year-old dies of heart attack
Our Correspondent

Amloh, September 9
Amandeep Singh (18), a first year student at the Regional Institute of Management and Technology, Mandi Gobindgarh, and son of Mr Jaspal Singh, Naib Tehsildaar, Rajpura, died of a heart attack at his residence in ward No. 2 on Sunday.

He was cremated in Kiratpur Sahib today.

Amandeep was a promising student and a good singer. The cremation was attended by many, including Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, MLA, Mr Baldev Singh Aulakh, Amloh council chief, leaders of political parties and bureaucrats from Patiala and Rajpura.

The antim ardaas will be held in Nirankari Bhavan, Khanna road in Amloh on September 14.



Vets flay Rana’s statement
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
Members of the state executive of the Punjab State Veterinary Officers’ Association (PSVOA) have criticised the statement made by Dr Dilbag Rana, a PAU alumnus and an NRI veterinarian, that had evoked protests from the veterinary students of PAU.

According to Dr Pirthi Sharma and Dr Nirmaljit Singh, general secretaries of the association, the statement made by Dr Rana was an irresponsible one and it had put a question mark on the quality of BVSc and AH degree of Indian universities (PAU also). “BVSC and AH degree of PAU is highly respectable and is recognised throughout the world.

This degree is duly recognised by the Veterinary Council of India (vide Act 52 of Indian Parliament). Such a statement may hamper the prospects of Indian as well as Canadian graduates. One year training as proposed by Dr Rana should never be compulsory,” they said.

The meeting was convened specially to discuss the elections of British Columbia Veterinary Medical Association Council (BCVMA) to be held on September 18.

Veterinarians said the election of BCVMA Council had a long term impact on the future of thousands of veterinary graduates. Out of 955 voters 55 were PAU graduates. Two PAU graduates — Dr Dilbag Singh Rana and Dr Hakam Bhullar — were in the fray.

Dr Dilbag Singh Rana had indirectly challenged the BVSc and AH degrees of PAU as well degrees given by other universities of India to veterinary graduates. Dr Rana’s statement that had evoked protests from PAU students stated “BCVMA may need to introduce a separate exam like the California Board because PE (Canada Proficiency Exam) conducted by CVMA is a futile exercise to test the knowledge of practitioners. I doubt that without such experience any one can do justice to the profession.”

The association maintained that Dr Rana was advocating that before appearing for routine written exam (NAVLE) and practical exam (CPE), one should get a one-year training followed by exam, which is presently conducted in the USA only. This special training may cost a fresh graduate from India $ 50,000.

According to Dr T.P. Saini, Punjab State Veterinary Officers Association (PSVOA) had sent a word and requests to all veterinary graduates, especially those in British Columbia Canada not to be misled by such statements. Such a statement is misleading and is full of vested interests, he said.



PFA man attends animal rights’ meet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
In China, where people depend on animals and insects for food, the awareness for the rights of animals is growing. This was stated here today by Dr Sandeep Jain, an office-bearer of the local chapter of People for Animals (PFA) who returned recently after attending Asia for Animals, a summit of animal welfare organisations of Asia at Hong Kong last week.

He said he was pleased with the fact that the people had started caring for animals and certain organisations were coming up to protect animals’ rights.

Dr Jain said more than 100 participants from India, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Nepal, Phippines, Korea, Japan attended the conference. Extensive lectures and discussions were done on subjects like animal welfare issues in Asia, their overpopulation and control, cruelty to animals in China and Korea etc.



3 held in dowry case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 9
The local police has arrested three persons of nearby Momnabad village in a dowry harassment case.
The father of the harassed woman, Mr Sardara Singh, a resident of Sherpur Sodhian, stated in his complain that his daughter Ms Kamaljit Kaur was married to Amrit Paul of Mamnabad in October 2002. Her parents gave a car, gold jewellery and household articles. The family spent around Rs 5.5 lakh on the marriage on the demand of parents of the groom.

Immediately after marriage Amrit Paul started compelling Kamaljit Kaur to bring more dowry. He used to beat her at the instance of his mother Baldev Kaur and father Balwinder Singh. Kamaljit’s parents gave some more household articles, including a desert cooler and a generator, to them but things didn’t change for her. When Kamaljit refused to bring any more dowry, including a new Indica car, she was beaten mercilessly and thrown out of her in-laws house. She was left at civil hospital Sangrur from where attendants of some other patient informed her parents who later informed the police.

The police registered a case under Section 498 A of the IPC and Sections 3, 4 of the dowry Act and recovered all items given as dowry and arrested three persons — Amrit Paul, Balwinder Singh and Baldev Kaur.


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