L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Kin protest after infant dies in DMC
Accuse authorities of being insensitive
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
Angry relatives of an infant, who died at the local Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here today, staged a dharna outside the hospital premises to protest against the alleged delay on part of the hospital authorities to transfuse blood to the infant.

The infant died at 11.30 am when the family was arranging blood for transfusion. They claimed that while the hospital had the blood in the bank, they declined to transfuse it as they wanted the family to arrange for blood as replacement.

A resident of Rishi Nagar, near Haibowal, had brought his five-day-old son to the hospital last night after he was referred by a local hospital. The family members said the infant was suffering from pneumonia and when his condition deteriorated the doctors attending on him referred him to the DMC.

He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the DMC at 7.30 pm last evening. According to Mr Surjit Singh, an uncle of the infant, the doctors attending on the infant had told the family that blood was required for transfusion. “They said the infant’s blood group was B -ve and that the family would have to arrange for it, as they could only provide blood if the same amount of it was given to the bank by the family. Since it was a common practice, we agreed. But the authorities insisted that transfusion would take place only after fresh blood was arranged by the family from the bank,” he said.

“I contacted around 40 youths to give blood but nobody’s blood group matched with that of the infant. At last, I found two boys whose blood group matched. Around 11.30 am, when the hospital staff was arranging for transfusion, a doctor came to us and told that the infant had died,” said Mr Sunil Kumar, a relative of the deceased.

After the news of infant’s death broke, the family staged a dharna outside the hospital and raised slogans against the hospital authorities. “Had they given blood in the morning, our boy would have been saved. But they did not budge from their stance even as we kept assuring them that blood would be arranged. We would have arranged more units than were required. But they did not listen and we lost our son,” said Mr Sunil Kumar.

The grief-stricken family lifted the dharna after some time. They said they felt all the more grieved as nobody from the hospital came to sympathise with them as they raised slogans. “We lifted the dharna since we had to perform the last rites of the infant. Moreover, the condition of the mother was very bad so we could not just sit on the road,” they said.

The DMC authorities, however, refuted the allegations. They said the infant was brought to the hospital in a critical condition. They said he was in a state of shock and was already suffering from respiratory failure. There were minimal chances of his survival.

They added that the infant was already given platelets and the hospital staff had asked them to arrange for blood in anticipation only.

They said it was typical example of improper diagnosis and had the relatives brought the patient earlier, he would have been saved.

Dr Sandeep Puri, Medical Superintendent of the DMC, said he was not aware of the case but the hospital had never delayed in providing blood to a patient if it was available with the blood bank. He added that there were chances that the bank did not have blood of that particular group.


DGP evades question over Tej Parkash issue
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
The Director General of Police, Mr A.A. Sidiqui yesterday evaded questions about the referring of a complaint to the Chandigarh Police, by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau against the Transport Minister, Mr Tej Parkash. Mr Sidiqui was here last night to preside over a seminar 'Social and Ethical Issues related to Practice of Medicine' organised by the Ludhiana chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

Talking to reporters he said, this was a political issue and he was not in a position to comment. He refused to comment when it was pointed out that he also happened to be the head of the police force in the state, of which the Vigilance Bureau is a part. Instead Mr Sidiqui preferred to delve on other issues related to the welfare of the police.

Earlier speaking at the seminar he called upon the doctors to go for introspection. Pointing out that they were performing a noble job he said, "as doctors are demigods or next to God, so the expectations from them are more as compared to the others".

He stressed that greed was the main reason for the degradation in the society. Obviously it affected all the sections, be it the police or doctors or any other professional all over the world. He said that doctors and police should complement and supplement, all over the world. He congratulated the local unit of the IMA for organising such a seminar which helps in building up effective interaction among the members of important section of the society.

Mr Kanwar Sandhu, Resident Editor, The Hindustan Times, in his concluding remarks observed that he would like to see the brighter medical profession of old days when District Collector, SSP, Session Judge and the Civil Surgeon enjoyed the same status. He emphasised that in house regulatory body is the best way to develop confidence in public and thereby taking the profession to new heights.

President of the local chapter of the IMA, Dr Gurcharan, emphasised that in cases of sudden death of the patients doctors cannot be labelled negligent in more that 10 per cent of case.

Dr. S.N. Tiwari the Civil Surgeon brought many new points vis a vis doctor in government jobs and police problems in medico legal cases.

Dr Balbir Shah, Dr OPS Kande President IMA elect and Dr R.C Garg immediate past president honoured the DGP by memento from the IMA. Dr Mohan Verghese Principal, CMC, and senior cardiologist Dr Carlton honoured the guest of honour Mr Kanwar Sandhu.


CM should come clean on son: Johar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
The Higher Education Minister, Mr Harnam Dass Johar, today sought an independent investigation into the referring of a complaint against Mr Tej Parkash to the Chandigarh Police by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau. He said, in case Mr Tej Parkash had to resign as he had threatened to, all other dissident ministers and legislators would resign along with him.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Johar said, there appeared to be a deep- rooted conspiracy behind the entire episode. Whosoever was found responsible for the same should be brought to book, he asserted, adding this development had shocked everyone in the Congress.

Reacting to a news report, which sought to drag the name of Mr Raninder Singh, son of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh in a financial deal, Mr Johar said, the Chief Minister should set up an independent inquiry into the episode and get the name of his son cleared. He pointed out, "we should make it clear that our fight is against corruption and not against the Akali Dal alone".

Mr Johar reiterated his stand that the decision about the change of leadership in the state was still to be announced by the AICC President, Ms Sonia Gandhi. "We are waiting for the supreme authority to pronounce her judgement and it will be acceptable to us", he asserted, while adding that the situation would get cleared only after that.

To a question as whether he would attend the Cabinet meeting scheduled on December 30, Mr Johar said, it would depend on his convenience and availability.


Bilingual, online FIRs from Jan 1
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
Year 2004 would witness major change in the criminal documentation process as bilingual FIRs, in English and Punjabi, would be introduced all over the state. There has been hectic activity at the local police stations for the past two days in order to be well prepared on January 1, the day chosen for the introduction of the new computerised and people-friendly FIRs.

The local police is going a step further. It has decided to give a copy of the FIR on the spot to the complainant. Police sources say complainants require a copy of the FIR immediately. At present these are being supplied by post.

Long meetings were held at the police headquarters last evening as well as today for educating the police rank and file on the new system. Sources say that the new FIRs would have the complaint registered first in Punjabi and then in English.

The system is being introduced on the directions of the National Crime Record Bureau. It would ensure a complete record of each FIR lodged in the state, the details of criminals and gangs and their backgrounds on the computers. The district headquarters would fill all details in English on a computer connected to different computers all over the state, besides one with the National Crime Record Bureau.

Mr R. K. Jaiswal, SP (Headquarters), who educated the Station House Officers (SHOs) today regarding the new system, told Ludhiana Tribune that the move was aimed at standardising FIRs all over the country as well as maintaining a record of each criminal.

He said all states would lodge the FIRs in English besides the state language. This would enable both the residents of the state as well as the educated immigrants to understand what is written in an FIR. Above all, this would enable the National Crime Record Bureau to maintain a record of police processes all over the country.

The exercise is part of a major modernisation programme for police systems. Even police officers on duty outside their own state face difficulty in understanding FIRs, as these reports are written in the state language only.

According to sources, the actual benefit of the exercise would be realised only when the National Crime Record Bureau puts all the information on the Web for easy accessibility to the public.

Sources say the munshis need not translate complaints from Punjabi to English for the realisation of the scheme. They would just have to fill a form in English, which would provide all details about the case.


Flooded road causes problems
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
Hundreds of commuters and many shopkeepers having shops alongside the road connecting local railway station to Ghanta Ghar chowk are having a tough time as they have to wade through ankle-deep water in chilly weather. Thanks to the choking of sewer that is causing the manholes to overflow in the area.

While the authorities claim that the sewer choked after the construction of a part of elevated road, the shopkeepers said they had complained to the Municipal Corporation authorities several times but to no avail.

They claimed that they were virtually living in stench emanating water for the past three days. Besides the collected water was affecting their business as the buyers were preferring to stay away.

Hari Singh, a commuter said that it had become very difficult for them to cross the road that was looking like a pond. He said that as the road near the railway station was filled with water it was very difficult to reach the railway station and the travellers were having a difficult time.

‘‘We had complained to the authorities but nobody turned up. Some workers had come yesterday and cleaned the manholes but the water is still there. 


Looters of labourers arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
The Salem Tabri police has busted a notorious gang of robbers, who specialised in looting migrant labourers just after they got their monthly salaries. The gang had become a headache for the police in areas with high migrant population.

Sub-Inspector Buland Singh, SHO, Salem Tabri, told Ludhiana Tribune that three members of the gang had been arrested. They used to rob migrant labourers in the last week of every month, as labourers get their salary on the 25th. Their modus operandi was to way lay the labourers late at night.

The three, Luv Kumar, Daljit Kumar and Rinku, have been arrested under Sections 382, 506 and 34 of the IPC and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act. 


Memo to Finance Minister
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 28
The Steel Re-rolling Mills Association of India has called upon the Union Finance Minister to grant concessions to the steel industry to meet the competition in the world trade.

In a memorandum to Mr Jaswant Singh, Finance Minister, the association's zonal president, Mr R.P. Bhatia, has said that with the rise in the prices of the steel products as such high cost economy is involved in the business transactions.

He has demanded that the income tax rates should be lowered for both the corporate and non-corporate sectors. The income tax rates in India are high as compared with other countries in the world. By joining the WTO, the world trade had increased and become very competitive. Mr Bhatia further pointed out that the wealth tax was charged on the earned income which was normally tax paid." It is high time that either wealth tax is abolished or its limit for taxation is raised so that the small scale industrialists get total exemption from the same."

The memorandum has further sought relief in the central excise duty on iron and steel products which are being used for construction and other infrastructure activities.


Two poor girls married off
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 28
Two girls belonging economically weak families were married off at Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Deep Nagar, here today. They were extended financial support by Maa Bhagwati Club and Bharat Vikas Parishad (BVP), Shivaji branch.

The parents of the two girls were rejoiced and thanked Mr Ashwani Sikka, president, Maa Bhagwati Club, and Mr Sukhdev of the BVP, for help. The chief guests, Mr Narinder Bangia and Mr I.V. Thaman, lauded the efforts of the organisations and said they were doing a good deed. Mr Dimpi Makkar, chairman of the club, Mr Honey Sikka, Mr Ramesh Kalra, and Mr Harish Goyal were among others who attended the function and blessed the couples.

The couples were provided with clothes, bedding, elementary furniture and utensils by members of the organisations.

Mr Ashwani Sikka said they had undertaken the responsibility of getting two girls married every three months. They bear all expenses of marriages, which include offering food to the guests, wedding dresses and arranging household articles.


‘Jashan’ to welcome New Year
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 28
With a few days to go for the New Year, Gabru Punjab De and Win Cable organised a cultural programme, “Jashan 2004”, at Nehru Sidhant Kendra on Saturday night to usher in 2004 in style. The city Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, inaugurated the programme by lighting the traditional lamp.

The main attraction of the evening depicting rich Punjabi culture were singers Parminder Sandhu, Yudhvir Manak and Diljit, who made the audience dance wildly to their tunes. Bhajna Amli had the audience in splits by cracking rib-tickling jokes.

A tiny tot, Sandip, amazed everybody with his bhangra performance. Parminder Sandhu’s song “Aaja doven nachiye” had the crowd dancing. Sukhwant of Punjab Agricultural University presented a song, while Balbir Boparai rendered his self-composed couplet. The Mayor was presented with Maan Punjab Da Award. Mr Jagmohan Sharma, District Congress president, was also present at the function.

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