L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


GNEC students meet Vedanti
Principal rules out removal of ‘erring’ teacher
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, September 16
Agitating students of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College (GNEC) met Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti at Alamgir Gurdwara since it is run by the SGPC management. They claim that Mr Vedanti gave them assurance that if an inquiry indicted Dr J.N. Jha, his services would be terminated.

The strike by students entered its third day today. They burnt an effigy of Dr Jha again today and took rounds of the college raising slogans against Dr Jha and the Principal of the college, Dr R.P. Singh. The students were adamant that Dr Jha should resign for slapping Akaljot , a third year student, and hurting the sentiments of the Sikhs as his turban fell off during the slapping incident. Moreover, they also demanded the Principal should also resign.

Teachers tried to persuade the students to end the strike but the students said they would have nothing short of the resignations of Dr Jha and the Principal. At the time of the filing of this report, the talks between the students and teachers were under way.

The Principal said Dr Jha was a very able member of the faculty and there was no question of his being removed from his post. Actually a few 5th semester students of the college, as well as other technical colleges under PTU, were on strike after they failed in PTU examinations and were not allowed to study in the 5th semester as per PTU rules. The problem arose then and now to give communal colour to the situation the students were protesting over non-existent reasons.



PAU suspends two employees
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 16
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has suspended its two employees who were allegedly booked in May this year in a dowry harassment case.
The employees, Chander Shekhar Singla, a Draftsman with the Department of Processing and Agricultural Structure, and his relative Satpal from the Department of Economics, PAU, were suspended after the victim's family had taken up the matter with the PAU authorities.

Under the rules, an employee who remain in the police or judicial custody is suspended. However, in this case, the university did not do it on its own and acted only after the victim demanded the action, university sources said.

The victim, Lena Rani, a resident of Green Park, Ambala Cantonment, was married to Chander Shekhar Singla in December last year. She was allegedly harassed for dowry and beaten by the accused, his mother Sneh Lata, brother-in-law Pankaj Singla, sister-in-law Himanshi and his uncle, Satpal, all residents of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar here.

A case under Sections 498-A, 406 and 34 of the IPC was registered against the accused in Ambala. The two PAU employees, Chander Shekhar and Satpal, were arrested but the university had not suspended them.



PAU institutes award for extension worker
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 16
The PAU Academic Council has approved the institution of an award in the memory of Dr (Ms) Satwant Kaur for the best extension worker.
Dr V.K. Sharma, Registrar, said the award will be given every year to the best extension worker which includes Rs 3100 in cash and a citation. The amount for this award was deposited last year by Col Chanan Singh Dhillon, father of Dr Satwant Kaur Bhangu.

He said the decision for this award will be taken in the committee comprising of Dean, PGS, Director of Research and Director of Extension Education. The eligible candidates are required to explain their extension activities for the farmers and farm women.

On the basis of evaluating the detail of his contribution in the extension field, the name of the candidate will be recommended for this award, Dr Sharma said.

This includes adaptive trials conducted, field demonstrations conducted, kisan melas, or campaigns organised, training camps organised/attended as a resource person, exhibitions organised, participation in seminars/symposia/workshops, special lectures, TV/ Radio talks, feed backs given, queries attended, rapport with other extension agencies and sale of PAU publications/products.



Congress hits back at BJP over flag burning
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 16
Reacting to the burning of its flag by some activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress today hit back at the party describing it as an act of "sheer frustration and madness". Congress leaders, including district president Jagmohan Sharma, senior vice-president of the Pradesh Youth Congress Pawan Dewan and secretary of the Pradesh Congress Committee Mr Parminder Mehta flayed the BJP for burning the Congress flag.

Mr Sharma regretted that the BJP, which was claiming itself to be a principled and disciplined party, had resorted to such a shameful act. He said the BJP should resort to constructive activities rather than wasting its time and energy in such disgraceful acts.

Mr Dewan, while condemning the burning of the Congress flag by BJP activists, said on the eve of the 'Tiranga Yatra', which was not drawing any response, the BJP had now resorted to such activities just to attract public attention. The Youth Congress leader claimed that the BJP high command was panicked over the yatra and had now asked its activists to raise communal passions wherever they can.

He observed that the BJP was used to such type of tactics and the people had already understood their gameplan. The Congress leader warned that in case the Congress activists also started resorting to such acts, no BJP flag will be seen in the city. However, he added, the Congress was not used this culture of hooliganism and vandalism and it always respected the sentiments of others.

Mr Parminder Mehta said the BJP, after thrown out of power by the people of the country, was now resorting to cheap politics. He pointed out that even some senior party leaders were using foul language, unexpected and unimagined in country's parliamentary history, against the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and the Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi.

Mr Mehta warned the BJP activists that they should desist from such activities lest they provoke the Congress activists' wrath and anger. The PCC secretary asked the BJP leaders to first install the "Tricolour at the RSS Headquarters" and only then take out the national yatras. He pointed out that the RSS, the ideological fountainhead of the BJP, had not accepted or adopted the National Flag. 



Kalakh hospital a picture of neglect
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 16
The hospital in Kalakh village has been without power for more than two years.The hospital, according to official records, has to cater to the needs of at least eight villages of the area - Kalakh, Majri, Rangoowal, Jurahan, Narangwal Kalan, Narangwal Khurd, Assi Kalan and Kote Aggan.

Housed in a building reportedly declared unsafe by the department concerned, the hospital lacks essential facilities.

An X-Ray machine, incubator, equipment of operating theatre have become junk as these remain locked in the rooms the roofs of which leak in the rainy season.

As far as facilities available to the staff are concerned, they have to take shelter under a few trees on the premises of the hospital. There is no boundary wall around the hospital. With almost all walls and roofs cracked, the staff prefer to mark their presence in verandah than to sit and wait for the patients.

Even after 25 years of its construction the building meant for residences of doctors and other staff was yet to be approved by the authorities concerned. Surrounded by long and thick grass, harbouring reptilians, including snakes, the residential building has since lost its doors, windows and other fixtures. According to hospital sources, the snakes were casual visitors to the hospital rooms also.

Mr Gurjit Singh Majri, former chairman, Marketed Committee, Kilaraipur, and Mr Amarjit Singh, SAD leader, said residents of the area had contributed more than Rs 2 lakh at the time of the construction of the hospital.

The authorities, instead of making suitable arrangements, sent a doctor and other paramedical staff on deputation to other hospitals. Against a sanctioned strength of around 25 staff members, including two doctors, there are at present only 12 staff members posted here. Out of two doctors, one goes twice a week to the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana. There are two pharmacists, two ans, one MPH, and five Class IV employees here at present. Shifting of a radiographer and a laboratory technician had rendered the respective equipment useless even if power was available.

The residents of the area have urged the authorities to get the building repaired and provide all facilities normally available at a 25-bedded hospital.



Motivating youth to join armed forces through cinema
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 16
His mission in life is to motivate youngsters to join the armed forces. Having served the Army as an emergency commission officer, Capt N.K Mehta after his discharge from Artillery has dedicated his life to generate interest among the youth for the defence services. Captain Mehta has produced several short documentaries and video messages staring celebrities for this purpose. His productions have used the services of ex-servicemen like music director Khayyam and lyricist Anand Bakshi to further the cause.

Currently on a visit to Ludhiana to visit his son, Captain Mehta says the Indian Army faces a shortage of 12,550 officers, the Navy, 900 and the Air Force, 700. His aim is to tell the youth that becoming a soldier is not merely an act of employment, it is a service to the nation and that the armed forces do not provide a job, but a fulfilling career. Citing the example of Major Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who won India its only silver in the recently concluded Olympics, he says the defence forces give you encouragement, facilitate personal development, give you an opportunity for professional and educational enhancement and encourage you to maintain physical fitness.

Captain Mehta made his first documentary "Ran Bhoomi Se Karam Bhoomi" in 1989 for Doordarshan featuring ex-servicemen, Squadron Ldr Rajesh Pilot (then Union Minister), Col S.P Wahi, then Chairman of the Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC), film lyricist and singer Anand Bakshi who has served in the Signals and EME regiments, former Army Service Corps (ASC) man and music director Khayam, besides the Infantry soldier and music director late Madan Mohan. Khayam and Madan Mohan are national awardees for music. "My objective to put these ex-servicemen on the screen was to tell the youth that a soldier can become a celebrity in any field", he told The Tribune.

During the Kargil War in 1999, he made "Mind of a soldier in the battle field" in English that was shown to young students, highlighting the fact that an Army man was as macho as any Hollywood star. "Fauji Ke Rang" (shades of life of a soldier) was made in 2003 with poetess Lata Haya as the anchor. Legendary Manna Dey has also pitched in in Captain Mehta's latest venture, a public service massage "Saalam-e-watan" that depicts the sacrifices made by Indian soldiers.

He says that his effort is to release these public service messages just before the Combined Defence Services (CDS) and National Defence Academy (NDA) exams to inspire more youngsters to take these exams. These exams are held bi-annually for entry into the academies in January and July and advertisements for them appear in all leading national dailies in September / October.

"I have tried to use music and cinema to convey the message of service before self”, he says. Interestingly, Captain Mehta's wife, Mrs Sudesh Mehta, is the script consultant for most of his films. Though, she is an ordinary housewife, but the theme inspires her and she, too, puts in her best for the cause, according to him.

He disclosed that even actor Prem Nath and Madan Mohan were ex-servicemen, film director Mohan Kumar was in the defence forces before joining the film line. When people like Manna Dey and Prem Dhawan give out their messages through his productions, the impact is phenomenal, he adds and wants the cream among the youth to give the defence forces a shot before deciding on other careers. 



Pak MP to visit city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 16
Member Parliament and Chairman of the Tourism Department of Pakistan, Mr Rai Aziz Ullah Khan, would be visiting Ludhiana on September 24. This was stated today by Mr Gurcharan Singh, chairman of the Baba Bulleh Shah Foundation, who said that the ADGP, Dr G.S. Aujla, and the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, Mr Anurag Verma, would preside over a function organised by the trust to honour the guest from across the border.

He added that the chairman of the standing committee of Pakistan, Mian Aslam Bodla, would also accompany him.



2 crushed to death by train
Our Correspondent

Doraha, September 16
Two persons were crushed to death under a train while two others were injured by a car at Kaddon chowk, early this morning.
Dharampal Singh of Doraha town committed suicide by throwing himself before the train. He was mentally upset over the past few months. The police has initiated investigations under section 174 of CRPC. Also Surjit Singh who was coming back to his village after dropping his children at school, was caught unawares and crushed to death under a train.

In yet another incident, two students of Guru Nanak National College Doraha, Sandeep Kaur of BA I class and Amandeep Kaur of MA I class, who were coming on their respective cycles from their village Kaddon and heading towards their college were injured by a ford Car number PB05H-0015 being driven by Harpreet Singh son of Jaspal Singh of Kutabowal, Ferozepur who was crossing the chowk on the national highway. Another girl, Mandeep Kaur had a narrow escape.

The injured were taken to a hospital by the driver of the car. Both are under observation and their position is reported to be stable.



Complainant ‘beaten up’ by police
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 16
A complainant who went to a police station to lodge a report against a tractor driver whose vehicle had hit the jeep in which he was travelling was allegedly beaten up by police personnel.

Mr Gurcharan Singh of Gorsian Khanna Mohammad, who was admitted to the Civil Hospital at Jagraon, said he was going in his jeep towards Bhundri when on the way a tractor trailer collided with it. He lodged a complaint with the Bhundri police station .However, the police effected a compromise in the matter.

The complainant alleged that immediately thereafter, police personnel, who were under the influence of liquor, beat him up. However ,the official in charge of the police station denied the charge.



Police-public interface organised
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, September 16
A police-public meeting was held here yesterday. The meeting was presided over by the DIG, Ludhiana, Mr Prag Jain and the SSP, Khanna, Mr Parmod Bann. The speakers at the meeting raised issues like the sale of drugs and the safety of the arhtiyas on the Samrala-Machhiwara road.

Mr Anil Sood, President of the nagar council, expressed concern over the unsolved cases of thefts in the town. He also demanded police patrolling on the Samrala -Machhiwara road during the paddy season as arhtiyas travel on this road in the season and carry huge amounts of money.

Mr Kasturi Lal Mintu, vice-president of the Punjab Youth Congress, appealed to the police officials to check the sale of prohibited drugs.

Another Congress leader, Mr Sohan Lal Sherpuri, demanded the intervention of police officials to get the bridge across the Sutlej at Machhiwara Rahon completed and repair the Machhiwara-Kohara Road.

Councillor Ujagar Singh demanded the deployment of traffic police personnel at Gani Khan Nabi Khan Gate Chowk.

Sarpanch Kuljeet Singh of Rajgarh village demanded the process of procuring arms licences be made time-bound.

The SSP said a campaign against chemists to check the sale of prohibited drugs would soon be launched in the Khanna police district.

The DIG said such mass contact programmes helped the police in establishing good relations with general public. He said he had ordered all senior police officials of the four districts of Ludhiana range to conduct police-public meetings every fortnight. 



Dr Hamrahi’s book on city released
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 16
“Ludhiana Bolda Hai,” a book authored by a Punjabi writer, Dr Atam Hamrahi, depicting all aspects of the city, was released here today by Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, at a function organised by the Baba Bulle Shah Foundation.

Talking about the book, Mr Verma said it was a valuable, historical document authored by Dr Hamrahi. It gave a wealth of information about various aspects of Ludhiana, including literary, political, religious, geographical, social and industrial, etc. He said the book would not only prove to be a useful document for the present generation, but it would also provide all kinds of first- hand information regarding the history of Ludhiana district to the coming generations.

Appreciating the contribution of Dr Hamrahi in the field of Punjabi literature, the Deputy Commissioner said Dr Hamrahi had authored about 50 books and written more than 350 life sketches of prominent personalities from different fields. He said because of the writers, the coming generations get themselves acquainted with the heritage of the past. Mr Verma also announced that the District Red Cross Society would provide artificial legs to Dr Hamrahi.

The Deputy Commissioner also released another book, “Atamta”, compiled by Mr Nirmal Jaura. It contains valuable articles on the contribution of Dr Humeri in the field of literature.

Mr Gurcharan Singh, Chairman, Baba Bulle Shah Foundation, said writers and artists were valuable to society and cultural organisations should honour writers.



Gold, cash looted from dera
Our Correspondent

Khanna, September 16
Six robbers attacked a dera in Jarg village last night and looted 130 grams of gold and cash.
At about 1am, the robbers entered the dera of Baba Shah Tota Ji and tied up two persons of the dera in a room. Four robbers went into the bedroom of dera chief Baba Swarn Dass and his wife Jasbir Kaur and forced them to get the room of their son and daughter-in-law opened.

The robbers snatched gold ornaments of the daughter-in-law of the dera chief. They also took the cash donated by devotees for kar sewa.

The robbers remained there for over two hours. A case has been registered.



Proclaimed offender arrested
Our Correspondent

Khanna, September 16
A proclaimed offender, who had been on the run for the past eight years, was arrested yesterday.
Karnail Singh, son of Gurmeet Singh of Mulan Pur, under the Dakha police station, was arrested in 1994 under Section 304-A. But he absconded.

Child crushed under bus: A 13-year-old boy was crushed to death under a bus near Hole village on Wednesday. Babu of the same village was returning from his school in a private bus. When the bus reached the village, the child alighted from it and walked to his house crossing the road from the front side of the bus. In the meantime, the driver started the bus crushing the child.


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