L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


10 hurt in clashes at Hero Cycles
Claim, counter-claim by both sides
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
The three-day confrontation between the management and workers of Hero Cycles, one of the largest cycle manufacturing units, turned violent today when clashes broke out between labourers belonging to groups supporting and opposing the strike, injuring 10 of them.

The management and agitating labourers traded charges against each other for abetting violence.

Ten labourers were admitted to the local Civil Hospital with wounds this afternoon. Three of them were labourers from the agitating side.

The labourers alleged to the police and mediapersons that the management had sent “hired goons” to forcibly end the strike.

They claimed that they were sitting on a “peaceful” strike outside the factory gate when “hired goons” assaulted them with sticks.

Mr Raghunath Singh, general secretary of the state unit of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions — who are supporting the demands of the striking labourers — claimed in a press note that the local police was siding with the management to suppress the strike by force.

He said labourers on strike were being falsely implicated in criminal cases at the behest of the management.

However, Mr B.D. Arora, legal adviser to the management, claimed that it was the labourers on strike who had indulged in violence and use of force against labourers who were working and not supporting the strike.

He alleged that even management staff were being targeted by workers on strike. He claimed that workers and staff were prevented from entering the office and beaten up by a group of labourers this morning.

Later, the same group attacked other labourers and senior management officers and damaged their offices, he alleged. He said the labourers injured were Ashok Kumar, Rajinder Singh, Pritam Singh, Kuldip Singh, Neelam, Avdesh Kumar and Sham Shanker Shukla.

DSP R.K. Bakshi said the police was in the process of registering a case regarding the incident.

He said as per the investigation so far, labourers on strike had been preventing other labourers from working. The management had made a complaint in this regard, he said.

The police is verifying the claims and taking statements of labourers on strike too, he added.



Docs lure patients despite ban by medical council
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, April 14
With the Punjab Medical Council having taken a strong note of advertisements by doctors in the media, some of them have taken recourse to alternative ways by putting handbills in newspapers.

Recently, a leading doctor’s handbills were found in newspapers circulated in the city. The handbills offered treatment for gynaecological and other ailments at concessional rates.

The doctor, who practises in the Field Ganj area, offered treatment for issueless couples and abortions at Rs 500, painless delivery at Rs 1,000, ultrasound at Rs 150, removal of kidney stones, operation for hernia and appendicitis at Rs 3,500 and laparoscopic removal of uterus at Rs 3,999 in the handbills.

It may be mentioned that the medical council has time and again warned doctors from not indulging in the unethical practice of advertising.

But leading doctors in the city have been doing so for the past many years and as a punishment medical licenses of some of the doctors have even been cancelled by the council.

The doctor when contacted said he was not aware of the medical council’s directions. “We had organised a concessional camp for various gynaecological and other problems. The handbills were distributed so that maximum patients could benefit from it,” he said.

Dr Gursharan Singh, a member of the council, said it was unfortunate that despite the ban, medical professionals were indulging in such practices.

“Patients should not be lured like this. The medical council is very clear about this and violation of any kind will not be tolerated,” said Dr Gursharan.

Dr Charanjit Singh, Assistant Civil Surgeon, said if there were specific complaints, department officials thoroughly examined the case. “Appropriate action is taken only when one is found guilty,” he said.



Animal scientists resent VCI move on registration
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
Even as farmers of the state are hailing the government for setting up Guru Angad Dev Veterinary University in Ludhiana, veterinarians at Punjab Agricultural University are alarmed following a missive by the Veterinary Council of India (VCI) asking the former for a list of experts/professionals who are registered with the VCI.

The development has disturbed a large number of animal scientists who comprise almost one third of the total faculty of the veterinary college and are feeling demoralised to pursue their career.

This has caused resentment and frustration among a large number of animal scientists who had been merged from College of Agriculture with the College of Veterinary Science for the better development of livestock sector some years back.

Scientists, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said most of the animal scientists had years of experience in teaching, research and extension services in animal sciences and had made significant contributions in various areas of animal sciences, including animal nutrition and feed technology, animal breeding and genetics, animal production and management, animal products technology, etc.

But now these scientists were not being recognised as experts/professionals by the VCI because they did not come from the veterinary stream and had their degrees in agriculture with animal science as an elective subject. While transferring these faculty members from the College of Agriculture to the College of Veterinary Science, the academic council of PAU had decided that these teachers would not be put to any disadvantage in their career advancement and other professional duties and would be treated at par with their counterparts from the veterinary stream.

They demanded that since the government was establishing a new veterinary university for the development of livestock sector, it would be necessary for those involved in the planning and development of the university to ensure that such animal scientists, who did not come from the veterinary stream were given due recognition.

The training and specialisation in animal products technology also involved a distinct course curriculum work, which includes mathematics, economics, chemistry/biochemistry, microbiology and different fields of engineering. This was vastly different from the curriculum of veterinary science, they added.

Vindicating their point, they claimed that the contributions of the National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal and Central Food and Technology Research Institute, Mysore, in the development of animal products technology were known to everyone. The scientists dealing with animal health subjects came from the veterinary science stream.

‘‘It is, therefore, necessary that the administrative set-up of the university of veterinary and animal sciences should be such that there is no bias against the animal production and technology disciplines. The academic structure of the university should preferably be such that specialisation in animal production and technology remains open to students with background in agriculture, veterinary and basic sciences,’’ they added.

Any institutional arrangement for rules and regulations which discourage non-veterinarians from entering and progressing in the animal production and technology streams would be a great setback to the dairy and livestock development programmes in the state, the scientists warned.



Petroleum dealers’ strike on April 18
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
All 1,300 petrol pumps in the state will remain closed on April 18 in protest against the government’s inaction on the long-standing issue of an increase in dealers’ commission and grant of temperature variation allowance.

President of the Punjab Petroleum Dealers Association J.P.Khanna said in a press conference here today that the strike would be a part of the nationwide strike being observed on a call given by the Federation of All India Petroleum Traders (FAIPT).

According to the dealers, while on the one side increasing prices of crude oil were resulting in a decline in their commission, on the other side, taxes being imposed by the Punjab government had made petrol and diesel the costliest here.

“For decades now, we have been demanding that dealers’ commission should be given on a per centage basis. While we are demanding a 5 per cent commission, currently this commission is merely 1.58 per cent,” Mr Khanna said, adding that, “we are expected to provide services as per international standards but the commission being given to us is far lower than that prevailing in other countries like Malaysia, where it is 6 per cent, Pakistan 5 per cent and Thailand 7 per cent.”

He said the dealers’ commission had witnessed a major decline over the years. While it was 8.2 per cent in 1965, it reduced to 1.92 per cent in 2001 and had further come down to 1.58 per cent now.

Condemning the inclusion of petrol and diesel in VAT by the Punjab Government, Mr Khanna said petrol and diesel had become the costliest in comparison to other states in the region. “Our sales have declined by over 50 per cent in the past two years.”



Passing Thru

N. Santosh Hegde
Justice N. Santosh Hegde, a Supreme Court Judge-cum-Executive Chairman, National Legal Services Authority, Delhi

How serious is the problem of pendency of cases in courts?

Holding only courts responsible is a fallacy. Media should have holistic approach towards the Judiciary. It always publishes the stories about the huge pendency of cases in courts but it never writes how many cases were disposed of by the overburdened judicial officers every year. Journalists should present a true picture before the society by mentioning that how many cases were filed in a year and the number of cases disposed of by the courts.

What is the main reason of huge pendency of cases in courts?

Paucity of judicial officers is the main hindrance in the speedy disposal of the cases. The population of our country has crossed 100 crore and subsequently the filing of cases in courts has increased tremendously but the number of judges is not increased in that proportion.

Are you satisfied with the prevailing legal education system?

The system encourages students to confine their practice to metropolitan cities, high court and the Supreme Court only. Law students should be encouraged to work in sub-urban and taluka (Tehsil) level courts to struggle for the rights of underprivileged.

Rajneesh Lakhanpal



Challan against man for poisoning cows
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 14
After receiving the forensic report confirming the presence of some poisonous substance in the viscera of some cows that had died at Maa Parmapati Gau Dham at Kaind village three months ago, the Dehlon police has presented a challan against one of the suspects.

Nine cows had died under mysterious circumstances at Kaind village in that incident. Though the cause of death could not be known then, the management of the gaushala had named a person of the village who they alleged had fed some poisonous substance to the cows.

The viscera of the cows was then sent for further examination to the forensic laboratory in Patiala.

According to a complaint lodged by Mr R.R. Sharma, manager of the gaushala, a sevadar had seen some cows lying unconscious on the morning of the day the incident happened. When Mr Sharma reached the spot he found four cows dead and four others in serious condition. Later, nine animals were declared dead by a team of doctors.

Dr Surinder Wahia, in charge at Government Polyclinic, Barundi, had apprehended that the animals had died after eating some poisonous substance.

Residents of the area had also impressed upon the authorities to conduct an inquiry into the matter.

DSP (Dakha) Jatinder Singh Khaira had constituted a team led by SHO (Dehlon) Amarjit Singh Khaira to investigate the matter. Preliminary investigations by the team revealed the Amar Chand had allegedly poisoned some cows leaving nine of them dead.

SSP (Jagraon) Rajiv Ahir said the Dehlon police had been directed to monitor the situation closely. The police had been told to keep an eye on the development anticipating some vested interests exploiting the situation in the name of religion.

Now when the chemical examination report received from the forensic laboratory has confirmed the presence of poisonous substance in the viscera of some cows, the Dehlon police has booked Amar Chand of Kaind village under Section 429 for allegedly poisoning the cows.



Muslims seek land for mosque
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
Members of a minority community residing in Sector 32-A, a Punjab Urban Development and Planning Authority (PUDA) developed colony, are sore with the latter for not providing them land for constructing a mosque.

Claiming that they have to go all the way to Field Ganj or to Kidwai Nagar to pay obeisance and offer prayers, the residents of the area said that though it was the policy of the state government to allot land for religious places, their request for the same was not considered.

They said that although a number of Muslims stayed in the area, there was no worshipping place for them and they were feeling let down. They said that PUDA had allotted the land for a temple and gurdwara in the area but their repeated requests were not paid any heed.

Mr Arif Anjum, president of Indian Muslim Welfare Society, Punjab, said that they had applied for the allotment of space for a mosque on July 28, 2001, and deposited Rs 50,000 with PUDA for allotment of land also.

PUDA had invited applications from religious societies for allotment of land in PUDA developed colonies in all the district and the society had submitted an application also. Later, they were called for an interview, which was later postponed.

‘‘We have held meetings with the Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, who had said that we will have to go to the head office at Chandigarh.Then we had gone there also. We had met the Chief Minister's secretary, who had assured us that something would be done soon,’’ said Syed Yaqoob Hussain Naqvi, president of Muslim National Front, Punjab.

While all the meetings and correspondence were going on, a letter from the Chief Minister's office was sent to the council stating that the allotment could not be done this time and the matter would be taken up again.

‘‘We do not want to occupy the land forcibly. Many religious places function from such lands and nobody wants to touch them. But we do not want to do so. We can only request the government to allot us land peacefully, ’’ added Mr Naqvi.

He said that they were ready to pay the money demanded by the authority. ‘‘There are a number of Muslims staying in Sector 32 and Sector 39, Jamalpur, Tibba Road and Labour Colonies. If a mosque would be constructed in Sector 32, all these people will heave a sigh of relief because most of them go walking to Kidwai Nagar or Field Ganj to visit a mosque. The problems of many devotees would be solved with the allotment,’’ he added. 



CBI raids IT Commissioner’s flat
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
Sleuths of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today raided a flat of a Commissioner Income Tax, at the fourth floor of Surya Kiran Complex, Mall Road today afternoon.

The flat was allegedly owned by Commissioner Income Tax Baldev Singh Sandhu, at present posted at Ahmedabad. The raid was going on till the filing of this report. The CBI team, having 13 members, was led by Mr D. S. Dogra, a senior official CBI Special crime branch.

Inspector Ashok Kalra of the CBI briefed mediapersons that the raids here were a part of simultaneous raids being conducted at Mr Sandhu’s properties in Delhi, and Patiala.

He said the CBI had found a number of incriminating things and documents but could not disclose those at this juncture.



Dr Ambedkar remembered
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 14
The 114th birth anniversary of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar was celebrated by the Bharatiya Valmiki Dharam Samaj at Daresi grounds here today. The function was attended by a number of political, religious and social leaders. Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, Deputy Speaker, Lok Sabha, was the chief guest.

A function was also organised at Chawni Mohalla to mark the occasion. Rich tributes were paid to the father of the Constitution. Mr Ajay Sidhu, president Dharmik Ekta Club, said youngsters should follow in the footsteps of the great Indian visionary.

The Bharatiya Ambedkar Chetna Manch celebrated the birth anniversary of the messiah of Dalits. Members of the manch said the leader had made great sacrifices for getting equal status fro Dalits. They, however, condemned the state government’s decision of not declaring holiday on the day.

Mr Shiv Ram Saroy, president, Vishwa Guru Ravi Das Mission, condemned the Congress government for not declaring holiday in the government offices today. He alleged that this decision had proved that government policies were anti-dalits.

The Dr B.R.Ambedkar Youth Federation, Punjab celebrated the anniversary at the Balmiki Dharamshala, Shahi Mohalla. The chief guest on this occasion was Mr Prem Mittal, Senior Deputy Mayor of the Municipal Corporation. Mr Mittal said Dr Ambedkar had contributed a lot for the country. “The great leader made assured that people in the country were given equal rights. He worked hard for the welfare of Dalits and backward classes”, said Mr Mittal.

The District Youth Congress I (Urban) and the Ambedkar Chetna Sangh, also organised functions.



Draft constitution of Sikh body discussed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 14
The Institute of Sikh Studies (IOSS) had passed a resolution on November 16, 2003 to form a representative body of the Sikhs on the global scale to spread the Guru’s message of service to mankind. As a follow up to that and to elicit the opinion of Sikh intellectuals and Sikh organisations on the draft constitution, a meeting was hosted by Lt-Col Chanan Singh Dhillon recently, according to a press note here today.

The meeting was attended by members of the Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, Sikh Missionary College, and Sirjindhara, a literary society.

Dr Kharak Singh highlighted the aim of the proposed International Confederation and Ashol Singh Bagarian highlighted the religious traditions and ethos.

Gen Kartar Singh Gill (retd) read out the draft constitution and invited suggestions from participants.

Suggestions were made regarding the organisational aspects and emphasis was laid on certain zones and organisations. The president of IOSS and its members assured the participants of looking into the suggestions and incorporating these into the agenda of the next annual meeting to be held in October.



BKU (Rajewal) to honour Escorts Director
Our Correspondent

Samrala, April 14
The Bharati Kisan Union (Rajewal) has decided to honour Dr T S Kaler, and Director of Delhi Escort Heart and Research Centre, at Amritsar as Mr Kaler belongs to Amargarh village, near here, according to Mr Balbir Singh Rajewal, the general secretary of the union, while talking to mediapersons here today.

Mr Rajewal said Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will honour Dr Kaler in a function to be held at Maharaja Palace, Samrala, on April 18.

Mr Rajewal also said the Chief Minister will also be honoured by the union for solving water problems of Punjab.



One assaulted, robbed of Rs 73,000; four booked
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 14
Balwant Singh, Kuldeep Singh alias Rana, Prem Singh and Gurdip Singh, all of Chowkiman are alleged to have inflicted injuries on Jasmer Singh of Pamali village and robbed him of Rs 73,000. The police has registered a case under Sections 379, 323, 324, 341, 427, 34 IPC Balwant Singh, one of the accused has also suffered injuries.

Jasmer Singh and Balwant Singh are admitted to the Civil Hospital Ludhiana . Some land dispute is stated to be the reason behind it. No arrest has been made so far.

Illicit liquor seized: Rajpal alias Raju of Malsihan Bajan was arrested by the Humbran police and the police allegedly seized 22.5 litres of illicit liquor from his possession. A case under Sections 61/1/14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

In another incident Hari Singh of Khurshaidpur was arrested by the police and seized 6.750 litres of illicit liquor. A case has been registered.



Woman crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
An overflowing pond on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road, which was causing traffic problems for the last two weeks, took a life today. A 30-year-old woman was crushed under the tyres of a truck after she lost balance of her scooter.
Darshan Kaur, who lived near Dholewal chowk, died on the spot while her two children escaped unhurt miraculously.



Poppy husk seized, 1 held
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 14
The Khanna police claimed to have arrested a smuggler and seized 30 kg of poppy husk from his possession yesterday.
A police party stopped a man coming on a motor cycle (PB55-A-6335). During search, the police seized 30 kg of poppy husk from his bag. The accused was identified as Jai Inder Singh, resident of Lopon village. The accused was produced in a local court and remanded to the police custody.



Colourful fabrics rule crafts bazar
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 14
Cool cotton fabrics woven by Indian craftsmen from Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Bihar, Kolkata, Lucknow, in bright and attractive colours are on display at Nehru Sidhant Kender. The exhibition got underway yesterday and would continue till April 22.

The artefacts from Rajasthan, including picture frames ornately carved in muted colours attracted the attention of the visitors. Equally interesting was the enormous variety of pieces of silver jewellery embedded with semi-precious stones which are hot selling items. For those looking for inexpensive jewellery, a large variety of artificial jewellery was also available at much lower rates.

Durries, mats, cotton carpets in bold designs, throws in colourful shades were also available in plenty. Vying for attention was huge variety of colourful pottery from Khurja. Mugs, tea sets, place mats, soap dishes, flower pots, plates in bright hues were available.

Brocade cushion covers, table cloths embellished with mirror work and heavily embroidered, settee spreads were also on display. Rangoli moulds, filled with different coloured powder having beautiful patterns, chikan work kurtas and suits were available in plenty. Embroidered and mirror work girls tops by designer Anu Patel from Kutch region specially handcrafted in white colour were selling in large numbers. Handmade-coloured leather bags and bamboo furniture were other special features of the exhibition-cum-sale.

The best part of the exhibition was that the artisans had brought their wares and were directly selling to the customers thus excluding the middleman. This direct selling was made possible due to Akhil Bhartiya Dastkar Samiti, New Delhi. “It keeps on organising such exhibitions from time to time to bring the artisans in direct contact with the customers,” said Mr Iqbal Singh, president of samiti.


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