L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Schoolchildren brave chill to rehearse for R-Day function
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, January 22
With temperatures dropping considerably and icy winds lashing the city for the past several days, schoolchildren are having a tough time while going to schools in the morning hours. Though authorities of a majority of schools have already changed morning timings, students have been facing difficulty in coping with the unabated cold wave. Not only this the students have to rehearse for the Republic Day parade even in rain.

A majority of parents of small children voiced their concern over this and said that the schools should either commence late or the authorities should close the schools for a few days till there was a respite from biting cold.

Sanjay Mathur, student of a local school, said the students were told to continue with the R-Day parade practices in the grounds despite the drizzle and cold. “We have to rehearse for more than two to three hours everyday. The students get a dressing-down by the teachers if they dare to complain about cold”, he said.

Ms Asha Mittal, a parent whose six-year-old daughter goes to school, said it was very difficult to send small children to school in such chilly winds. "The school commences at 8:20 in the morning and the van comes around 7:30 as our house is quite far from the school. At times, there is dense fog. Though I make her wear plenty of warm clothes, she feels very cold. As the cold wave has intensified in the past two-days, I have not sent her to school", added Ms Mittal.

Another parent Ms Sugandha Sharma, said her son who was studying in UKG always cried while going to school. "He feels very cold and recently he suffered from cold, cough and high fever. The doctor had advised him complete rest. But he can not miss school for more than four- five days. The school managements should do something to save children from biting cold", said Ms Sharma.

However, a teacher of a reputed school here said if the authorities changed the school hours or declared some holidays, the students studying in higher classes would suffer. "Their board exams are near and the syllabuses are to be completed fast", she said.

Meanwhile, some of the senior officials with the district administration maintained that they were thinking of requesting the school authorities regarding the matter.

Sources in the metrology department in PAU, however, said weather was expected to remain cold and dry all over Punjab. Isolated rains and thundershowers were also expected to occur in the next few days. 

L udhiana is in the grip of intense cold for the past 24 hours with day temperature going down to 14 degree centigrade. Also showers although mild further contribute to the mercury dipping thus ensuring that people did not come out of their homes. The metrological experts disclosed that the weather was likely to remain like this for the next 24 hours. In fact the temperature could dip further as there was all likelihood of rain in the region. The mild drizzle that continued throughout the day at one place or the other ensured that the temperature remained low.

The icy cold winds that were blowing out in the day made it difficult for the people to come out. Although the schools, the banks and other business establishments functioned in normal course, but business transactions remained far too low as compared to normal days.

Even the attendance in schools and other educational institutions also remained low.

Probably for the first time in the season the day temperature remained too low. Yesterday it was 14.2 degrees C, today it came down to 14 only. As cold icy winds continue to blow throughout the day, the temperature was likely to go down further thus forcing people to stay indoors. Hustle and bustle in the markets was absent as it was chilling cold outside. All markets wore a deserted look and the shopkeepers said, they would better prefer not to open their establishments as it only adds up to the day to day costs like electricity and generators while the business turnover remains all time low.

According to Dr LS Brar, Head of the Agro-meteorology Department in the Punjab Agricultural University, the weather is likely to remain cold in the coming days. He pointed out, with the upper reaches witnessing snow, the cold winds continued to blow in the region thus bringing down the day and night temperature substantially. While he maintained that the weather may mostly remain dry, he did not rule out the possibility of mild showers at some scattered places.

Dr Brar said, the weather will not have any significant impact on the wheat crop. In fact he said, the low temperature is better for the wheat crop right now as it should take some time to mature.

Otherwise the farmers were worried as the wheat had started maturing early.



Over 2,000 tsunami victims treated by CMCH team
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 22
After a 40-bed base camp was set up by a medical team from the local Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) at Bishop Peter Teachers Training Institute, Devanampattinam, Cuddalore (Tamil Nadu) on January 7 for the tsunami victims, as many as 2,000 persons with various medical problems have been treated there while 85 of them were admitted as in-patients for treatment.

A majority of the patients were suffering from respiratory tract infections and malnutrition and quite a few cases of malaria, typhoid and gastroenteritis were also reported. All services, including medicines, were being provided free of cost to the patients.

The medical relief team of CMCH, working in close association with National Lutheran Health and Medical Board, Joseph Eye Hospital, Trichy, and Bethesda Hospital, Ambur, comprised 30 members inclusive of medical personnel, para-medics and community health specialists.

According to information received from Dr Narjeet Kaur, Deputy Medical Superintendent of CMCH and the team leader, a group of community specialist doctors, health workers and paramedics had visited over 15 nearby villages in a radius of 10 kilometres from Devanampattinam to conduct comprehensive screening and surveillance. The team had practically adopted these villages with a total population of 19,886 to collect data on micro-nutrients, health education, nutritional supplementation and, at the same time attend to eye problems within a period of four weeks.

The feedback received from the relief team suggested that a major part of the relief and rehabilitation work constituted psycho-social support counselling to the tsunami affected people. The team intended to impart training to volunteers or area leaders to monitor and provide psycho-social support to the people in these villages. Prevention of mental health disorders and promotion of productive mental health among the victims to come back to normal life would be the main objective. As many as 500 volunteers from the government sector (health and education), villages and other voluntary bodies would be trained over a period of next one month as the training of the first batch was presently going on at the base camp.

Dr Narjeet Kaur intimated that the medical relief team had received extensive support from the local district administration in making the camp activities meaningful and successful. Mr Venkatapathy, Union Minister of State for Law, Deputy Director of State Health Services, Tamil Nadu, film actor Vivek Oberoi, members of the Khalsa Dal from Canada Mr Nick Singh Kandala and Mr B.P. Singh, among others, had visited the base camp and appreciated the work being done by the CMCH team.

Dr John Abraham, Medical Superintendent of CMCH, who had just returned from Cuddalore remarked that tsunami had caused extensive damage over a wide area which would require large scale and long term rehabilitation of the affected population. “There is not only fear of epidemic outbreaks but many injured require surgical interventions. There is a lack of secondary medical care in these areas. We are sending another five member team of orthopaedic, anaesthetic and nursing personnel within the next couple of days to provide the needed professional support to our medical team.”



Cong leader, son accused of duping people
Our Correspondent

Khanna, January 22
Five persons have alleged that a Congress leader of Punjab and her son have duped them of Rs 10.5 lakh.
The victims had lodged a complaint against Congress leader Harbans Kaur and her son, Sunny, and another person, Kesar Singh to the SSP, Khanna.

The Congress leader, a secretary of the Punjab Pardesh Congress Sewa Dal, has denied the charges and said she had given Rs 65,000 each to the complainants as loan through her finance company.

The complaints — Dalbir Singh of Katani Kalan, Ludhiana district, Inderjit Singh of Ghumait village, ludhiana district, Jasvir Singh of Kot Gangu Rai, Ludhiana district, Gurmeet Singh of Ambe Majra and Jatinder Sodhi of Chuni Kalaln —at a press conference organised at the local Golden Grain Club this evening alleged that Kesar Singh had promised them to send England through a company named Cheema Sun N Shine in London. He told them he was a partner in the Harbans Kaur’s finance company.

They alleged that Kesar Singh, Harbans Kaur and Sunny visited their residents repeatedly and told them that they would be adjusted as tractor driver at Cheema Farms in London. They demanded Rs 6 lakh from each of the complainant. But when they said they were not in a position to pay such a huge amount, the suspects told them that they would arrange a part payment for them.

They were told by Sunny and Kesar Singh that their visa papers had to be prepared and were made to sign blank papers and photographs. On October 30, 2003, they were told that all formalities for sending them to the UK had been completed. They were asked to reach Prem Bhandari Park, Khanna, and pay Rs 2 lakh each.

The victims reached the said spot and paid the sum. Inderjit Singh paid Rs 50,000 extra as he wanted the post of manager in a gurdwara.

In July, 2004, they came to know through news reports that the suspects had duped some other people also by promising them to send abroad. After that they asked them to return their money but the suspects refused to pay back the money and threatened them with dire consequences, the complainants alleged.

The SSP has deputed an officer of Economic Offence Wing, Khanna, to inquire into the matter. The police had called both parties on January 28. Harbans Kaur said the complainants had hatched a conspiracy to blackmail and defame her.

DSP, Khanna, Rajeshwar Singh Sidhu said action would be taken if any one was found guilty in the inquiry. 



Boy was given insecticide-laced tea: report
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 22
A five-year-old boy of Pakhowal village, who was allegedly poisoned by his neighbour, and had died at a private hospital in Ludhiana on November 8, was given insecticide-laced tea, according a chemical examination report.

Mr Hari Mittar of the Raikot police revealed that the chemical analyst to the Punjab Government in Patiala had submitted a report after examining the five viscera samples of Amandeep, a resident of Pakhowal village, who died at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital on November 8.

The report revealed that a chloro-compound, a group of insecticide, was found in samples taken from boy’s stomach, intestine, liver, spleen and blood.

Amandeep, son of a Dalit leader of Pakhowal village, was admitted to the local Hind Hospital in unconscious condition on November 5. Later, he was referred to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital where he died on November 8.

The Raikot police had registered a case under Section 307 of the IPC against Usha Devi. She was remanded in judicial custody. Section 302 of the IPC was included in the case after the child’s death. The boy’s father, Suresh Kumar, had alleged that Amandeep was poisoned by their neighbour, Usha Devi, as she had a score to settle with the family.

Amandeep was the youngest of four children of Sunita Devi and Suresh Kumar. Sources revealed that Usha Devi made him drink to poison-laced tea when his parents had gone out for work.

The police had sent the vomit swabs and viscera of the deceased to the Forensic Laboratory in Patiala. It will now present the chalan in the court on the basis of the report submitted by the chemical analyst. 



Worker dies after being set afire; factory owner held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
The police has arrested a local factory owner for beating and setting an employee on fire.
According to the police, 28-year-old Ravinder Singh had been working at Sohal Cycle Factory in Shimlapuri for the past many years. Of late, his employers began suspecting that he was stealing material from the factory.

He was beaten up severely and when he said that he was not a thief, they poured kerosene on him and set him on fire. He was rushed to Pahwa Hospital but was referred to the GTB hospital in a serious condition. He breathed his last this evening.

The police has arrested Bhola Singh and registered a case under Section 302 of the IPC.



MC staff, VB in no mood to relent
Arrest of draughtsman, inspectors
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Vigilance Bureau officials and employees of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation appear to be in no mood to relent over the arrest of a draughtsman and two inspectors of the building branch. The MC employees are already on a strike in protest against the arrest.

The bureau officials said the way the MC employees had gone on a lightening strike in protest against the arrest of its employees in a corruption-related case indicated that they did not want any action against the corrupt.

The officials who did not want to be identified said in case everybody acted like the way the MC employees were there could be no action against the corrupt. They said if the employees really wanted to help their colleagues, let them present their case in the court of law.

Mayor Nahar Singh Gill told the Ludhiana Tribune that nobody was against the anti-corruption drive of the bureau. The MC had always cooperated with the bureau. He also denied that he had ever said the bureau was harassing the MC employees.

He said the bureau was welcome to probe the allegations but at the same time it should not antagonise the employees. He said the employees were upset and angry the way the bureau had summoned the three officials for seeking some information in a case and later arrested them.

The Mayor regretted that it was being made out as if the MC employees wanted to shield the corrupt. He said the employees were well aware of their responsibilities and would always extend due cooperation to the bureau, but they should also act in a proper manner.

Summoning suspects for questioning and arresting them is not fair, the Mayor observed.



Ahmedgarh roads virtual deathtraps
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 22
Most of the roads and bridges here have become virtual deathtraps for want of repair but the authorities concerned continue to be indifferent towards their upkeep.
Main roads and link roads have become virtual deathtraps for night travellers and for those who have to travel during early hours. With the ensuing foggy season, many accidents have been reported in the area.

Drivers find it difficult to negotiate turns at the Jagera bridge and the Kaind bridge thanks to the pitiable condition of the road here. Many a live has been lost in accidents on these bridges.

The old Jagera bridge that had been declared unsafe before the construction of the new one is still open for traffic. Though the old bridge at Kaind has since been closed for traffic, blockades erected by the authorities concerned are positioned dangerously. Similarly the turns on the roads at Pohir, Dehlon, Sarinh and Gill villages were also accident-prone.

Railings of many small and big bridges on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road and link roads have damaged. A major accident is waiting to happen at a small bridge near Jartoli village as it has no railing at all. 



Police holds camp to redress grievances
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Keeping up with the resolve of organising people-friendly camps to redress grievances on the spot, the Ludhiana police today organised such a camp for complainants falling under City Divisions 1-2.

Despite chill and cold weather conditions, hundreds of people visited the Lions Bhavan in Tagore Nagar since early morning. The camp covered six police stations falling under the charge of SP City-I, Mr R K Jaiswal.

The camp was inaugurated by Ludhiana Range DIG Parag Jain and he was accompanied by SSP Narinder Pal Singh and the respective SDPOs. As many as 170 parties - complainants and accused - turned up on the occasion and by the end of the long day, 155 complaints had been disposed. As many as 15 cases were referred to senior officers for action.

Talking to TNS, Mr Jain, who interacted with score sof complainants, said the idea behind such camps was to have a platform where the people could seek redressal of complaints. It has been one of the major grouse of the people that the police had the tendency to take up only important matters and petty matters are often ignored.

“Such camps will be held once every two months where all the officers concerned would be present under one roof to dispose of the complaints pending before them on the spot,” he pointed out.

The DIG said the policing of yore had changed and the new trend favoured community involvement. It has been observed that the crime rates fall where the community members and social organisations are vigilant or are sensitised towards their obligations of reporting any wrongdoing crime in their respective areas.

Mr Jain also revealed that a special cell will be set up within the district and the personnel will be trained to tackle the increasing cyber crime. he also added that he had instructed that the officials should register FIRs without any delay and the tendency not to do so will be taken seriously.

Commenting on the double murder case some days ago, he said that there was no political pressure on them and if the accused were innocent they will be let off.



State award recommended for Naib Tehsildar
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 22
Mr Jagjit Singh Jajjie, president, Kalgidhar Federation, Mr Des Raj Sharma, president, Bharat Vikas Parishad’s local branch, and Mr Munir Mohammad, president, Muslim Youth Front, welcomed the decision of revenue authorities to confer state award on Mr Mukesh Kumar Sharma, Naib Tehsildar, at the revenue office.

Dr Harkesh Singh Sidhu, Additional Secretary (Revenue), said his office had recommended the name of Mr Sharma for the award. He is posted at Sub- Registrar’s office here. He will be awarded for showing unparalleled honesty while executing official duties.

Dr Sidhu said Mr Sharma was one of the best revenue officers of the state. “Ater recognising his resolve to fight corruption we have asked the Finance Commissioner (Revenue) to consider his name for conferring state award on him,” he added. He might also be promoted as tehsildar.



De-addiction centres in villages: DC’s appeal to NGOs
Tribune News service

Ludhiana, January 22
The district administration has invited applications on prescribed proforma from the NGOs working for the eradication of abuse of drugs and intoxicants along with the detailed report of financial resources, infrastructure and past achievements for setting up of De-addiction Centers in the district.

The proforma can be obtained from the Assistant Commissioner (General) in the Deputy Commissioner’s Office in the Mini Secretariat. It has to be submitted in this office within 15 days.

Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma said the state government had decided to set up more de-addiction centers/ counseling centers in the rural areas to fight the menace of drug addiction.

He said 20 such de-addiction centres were already being run by the NGOs in the state.

These centres were being given special grants by the Centre to carry out the counselling and de-addiction activities.

Mr Verma said the de-addiction – cum- rehabilitation centres would be supported to offer services for the identification, motivation/counselling, de-addiction, after care and re-integration of addicts into the social mainstream.

He said the centres would also function in close coordination with the treatment facilities available for hardcore addicts in government hospitals.

A de-addiction- cum – rehabilitation centre may either be a 15-bed or a 30-bed facility. 



PSSF meets to plan dharna
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 22
Punjab State Subordinate Services Federation activists held a meeting at the Municipal Children Park here on Friday. Mr Lal Singh Dhanaula, district president, of the federation chaired the meeting.

Mr Siaknder Singh Jartoli State General Secretary, said the meeting was convened to review preparations for joining state level dharna scheduled to take place at Chandigarh on January 27.

The leader said that the federation had launched an agitation to impress upon the government to review anti-employee decisions in the past. The federation had been demanding the reversal of orders that withdrew higher grades, allowances and pensioner benefits. It also demands improved facilities for public including drinking water, un-interrupted power supply and medical assistance.

Mr Harbans Singh Cheema, Mr Harbans Singh Aulakh, Amarjit Singh Malerkotla, Pritam Singh Mehal Kalan, Joginder Singh Nagg and Jarnail Singh Mithewal spoke in the meeting.



Bank staff strike on Jan 24
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
In protest against the management’s decision to reduce government capital from 71 per cent to 51 per cent and entering into the capital market, employees of Dena Bank will observe strike on January 24.

Mr Naresh Gaur, secretary, the Punjab Bank Employees Federation, said that employees of the bank, on a call given by the Dena Bank Employees Coordination Committee will observe a strike and hold a rally.

Dena Bank will come with it’s public issue on January 24 through which the management plans to reduce government stake from 71 per cent to 51 per cent.

“The decision to float a public issue is a step towards privatisation which we strongly oppose,” said Mr Gaur. He said the strike would be supported by the Punjab Bank Employees Federation.



Trust chief visits Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 22
The newly nominated chairman of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust, Mr Paramjit Singh Sibia, along with other officials, visited Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar on the Pakhowal road here today.

Members of the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar Action Committee, led by former councillor Pran Bhatia, apprised Mr Sibia of the nuisance being caused by jhuggi-dwellers in the area. They said those unauthorised occupants consumed liquor at public places and passed indecent remarks on women.



Security awareness week
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Punjab National Bank will organise security awareness week from January 24 to 29 in its branches in Punjab zone.
Mr Harwant Singh, General Manager, PNB, said during this period security equipment would be displayed at the local zonal office and mock drills would be conducted in selected branches of the zone. A quiz competition will also be organised on the occasion. 



10 held for selling poppy husk
Our Correspondent

Khamano, January 22
The police here arrested 10 persons, including three women, on the charge of selling poppy husk in villages and seized 164 kg of poppy husk from their possession.
SSP Fatehgarh Sahib Varinder Kumar in a press note said that raids were conducted in villages and 10 persons including three women were arrested with poppy husk.

They were identified as Soma resident of Hoshiarpur, Manjit Singh of Alowal, Reshma of Kingra, Mohinder Pal Singh of Kingra, Mandeep Singh of Talwandi Kalan, Kuldip Kumar of Talwandi Kalan, Ram Lubhaia of Bhungrni, Palo of Samrali and Charno of Kingra.

The SSP said the arrested persons revealed that they brought poppy husk from Sanjhapur (Rajasthan) for sale in villages. They were booked under Sections 15-61-85 of the NDPC Act and produced in a court at Fatehgarh Sahib which remanded them in judicial custody. They were arrested Maheshpura, Mansurpur, Farour, Barwali Khurd, Ajner, Kheri Naudh Singh villages.



3 booked for bid to murder
Tribune Reporter

Jagraon, January 22
Nachhattar Singh, son of Chand Singh, Surinder Singh, son of Milkha Singh, and Jarnail Singh son of Kulwant Singh, of Akhara, 5 km from here, allegedly fired shots on Chamkaur Singh, son of Arjan Singh of their village, with intention to kill on January 12. The local police has registered a case under Sections 307 and 34 of the IPC on the complaint of Chamkaur Singh after nine days of the incident.

Scooterist killed: One person was killed and another injured in a scooter-car collision. Darbara Singh and his servant of Shehbazpura were going on scooter in the area of Jalaldiwal in the evening when a Maruti car No. HR-51-6758 driven by Harjinder Singh, son of Hazoora Singh of Gobindgarh PS Focal Point, Ludhiana, hit the scooter, killing Darbara Singh on the spot and injuring his servant. A case under Sections 279, 8383, 427 and 304-A, IPC, has been registered on the statement of Amarjit Singh of Shehbazpura.

Car stolen:
An Esteem car (HR-24E 5840) was stolen from outside the Hotel Le Baron recently. The car belonged to Suresh Rai. An FIR number 12 of 2005 was registered in the Sarabha Nagar police station. Number of car thefts from various places in the city has registered an increase.



Company records 49 pc increase in profit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Vardhman Acrylic has recorded a Rs 7.99 crore profit after tax for the quarter ending December 31, 2004, compared to Rs 5.36 crore profits for the corresponding quarter of previous year, resulting in an increase of 49.06 per cent. The company informed that its profit after tax for the nine-months ended December 31, 2004, stood at Rs 13.97 crore.

According to the company improved performance in the first nine months of the current year was on account of higher sales realisation and higher sales volumes.

It was stated that consumption of acrylic fibre-based products during this period remained weak. Moreover, international prices of acrylonitrile (ACN) were also on the higher side which did not allow costs to come down, the company stated.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |