L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Suspected thief beaten to death
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Members of a rich farmer’s and some other residents of Dhandra village in Sadar police station beat a suspected thief to death late last night. The alleged thief was caught in the process of stealing valuables from the house of a farmer, Ram Singh, when he was allegedly caught red-handed.

The deceased was yet to be identified. The police has sent his photograph to other police stations. Nobody in the village and surrounding areas recognises the suspected thief. His finger prints have been sent to Phillaur for matching with the record of the criminals kept there.

ASI Darshan Singh, acting SHO, Sadar police station, told the Ludhiana Tribune that they had registered a case of theft and trespass against the deceased person. No case had so far been registered against the persons who beat him to death.

Two of them were identified as Avtar Singh and Harjit Singh, brothers of Ram Singh. The police said these two and others acted in self-defence when the thief attacked them with a knife.

Ram Singh had gone to some other city with his wife to attend a social function. His aged mother Surjit Kaur and two minor children were at home at that time. Ram Singh and his two brothers live in their respective houses constructed in a row outside the village. His house is located in the centre of the three houses.

According to the police, the suspected thief had broken into the house at about 10.30 pm. The aged woman Surjit Kaur, hearing some unusual noises, woke up and raised the alarm. Hearing her cries Avtar Singh and Harjit Singh reached there with others and cornered the thief.

According to their statement to the police, the thief, who wore a turban, attacked them with a knife. However, they pounced at him and managed to overpower him. The thief collapsed after receiving some lusty blows and kicks. He died on the spot only. His post-mortem examination stated that he had suffered blunt injuries all over his body but there was no stab wound.

Meanwhile, an announcement about the incident was made from the village gurdwara and, in no time, almost the entire village gathered at the site. The Sadar police was also called and it took possession of the body.

ASI Darshan Singh said they explored the possibility that the suspect could have some personal enmity with the family of Ram Singh but no clue was found to establish anything. He said circumstantial evidence and their investigation so far corroborated that the deceased was a thief.



Happy days ahead for city power consumers
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
City residents can look forward to happy days ahead as the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has taken measures to ensure regular power supply in these areas this season. With an investment of almost Rs 2 crore, the PSEB has augmented its distribution network in the city west circle by erecting new feeders. As many as six new 11 kv feeders have already been installed whereas another five feeders would be installed in less than two weeks from now. The areas covered include domestic and commercial consumers in Model Town, Shimlapuri, Mall Road, Ghumar Mandi, Haibowal, Gurdev Nagar, Rajguru Nagar and nearby areas.

“This has been done to ensure better power supply this summer. Not only would consumers witness an improvement in distribution network, augmentation of conductor size would help the board provide regular power supply,” said Mr D.B. Arora, Deputy Chief Engineer, city west circle, PSEB.

In order to avoid tripping problem, the board has also replaced 150 overloaded 100 kva distribution transformers with 200 kva transformers.

Among various problems faced by the electricity board is power theft by tampering meters or directly tapping power from bare low tension (LT) joints and wires. To curb this menace, the board has got shifted meters from consumers’ premises and installed them in pillar boxes in a group of 20 meters. These pillar boxes are fed through insulated cables instead of bare LT wires, that helps curbing theft. The board, in the west circle, has installed nearly 400 pillar boxes in theft-prone areas within the last six months. “This has resulted in a drastic reduction in commercial losses,” Mr Arora said.

He revealed that a case study in a certain theft- prone locality after installing these pillar boxes showed a major reduction in losses from 85.8 per cent to 3.02 per cent. He said the current power cuts were due to maintenance and would be soon over. “City residents will not be troubled by such cuts.” he said.

PSEB has also installed high tension (HT) shunt capacitates on 98 11kv feeders where the load is more than 150 amps. Mr Arora said that re-engineering of the LD system had also been done in several cases .



Council to get tough with docs violating laws
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 26
The Punjab Medical Council (PMC) has decided to no longer remain a mute spectator to the blatant violation of medical ethics and relevant laws by medical practitioners in the state. The PMC will now come down heavily upon the defaulting members of medical profession.

Taking a strong note of the objectionable and unlawful advertisements being issued by doctors, hospitals and nursing homes, both in the print and electronic media in the state, a meeting of the council held in Chandigarh on Sunday, resolved to take suo motu action in this respect. In the first instance, show-cause notices were issued to several hospitals and private nursing homes, including some of them in the city.

According to sources, the PMC had taken cognizance of several press and television ads pertaining to the availability of medical and surgical services of all natures which was unethical and was also against the Punjab Medical Council Act. Those being proceeded against included a nursing home in old city and an infertility centre in a posh area of the city, the sources maintained.

It was learnt that the defaulting medical professionals had been asked to explain their conduct regarding the violation of the relevant laws which forbade all kinds of advertisements of medical services.

A couple of months back the PMC had taken action against a doctor couple running an infertility centre here for splashing ads in newspapers and their registration was suspended after they were served show-cause notices. Although, the registration of the said doctors was restored at a later date after they gave an undertaking to discontinue the practice, the action taken by the PMC had served the desired purpose of sounding a note of warning to medical practitioner indulging in unethical and unlawful practices.



Valmikis stage dharna against branding incident
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Activists of the Punjab Pradesh Valmik Sabha today organised a demonstration to protest against the alleged branding of an undertrial in Jalandhar jail. The demonstration was held outside the office of Deputy Commissioner here.

Terming the incident as ‘‘shameful’’, activists demanded that the alleged victim, Mohan Lal, should be shifted to Ludhiana jail as there was a danger to his life now. They alleged that he was allegedly tortured because he belonged to a lower caste and word ‘‘neevi jaat’’ was tattooed on his back.

Mohan Lal, a co accused in Lalla murder case had alleged in front of some mediapersons yesterday that he was branded with hot iron rods by jail officials when he was going to a temple on the jail premises. The jail officials had, however, denied the incident and had counter-alleged that he had himself done so with an intention to settle a score with the ‘‘strict’’ authorities.

Activists, including a number of women, gathered outside the DCs office, staged a dharna and raised slogans against Jalandhar jail authorities. They also submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner in favour of their demands.

Mr Mangal Nath Bali, general secretary of the sabha, said the entire Valmiki community was upset over the alleged incident and they would intensify their agitation if proper action was not taken in the case.

He demanded that the guilty should be booked immediately and legal action should be taken against them. He threatened that if action did not follow they would hold a protest in district headquarters and activists from all over the state will participate in it.



Virus threat keeps computer owners wary
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 26
Owners of most of the computer centres and personal computers kept their computers switched off today fearing the ‘invasion’ of virus. The apprehension came on account of the day being termed as the computer virus day.

Mr Chander Mohan Parinje, a computer engineer, said he had disconnected all his PCs to save them from possible attack. He had earlier suffered massive losses when around six to eight PCs run by him were virtually paralyzed for three years due to virus attack.

Referring to information received from available data on the subject Mr Parinje claimed that computers had got affected on the same day four years back and since then some virus had been getting activated on the same day every year.

Ripu, another hardware engineer, said he had been receiving a large number of central processing units for massive repairs during the last week the month of March for the past three years.

Earlier, love bug virus had interrupted the functioning of a large number of PCs. ‘‘Having received message with slug I love you everybody was tempted to open the e-mail, explained Amar Singh, a computer instructor.



Tax evasion case: bail denied to PPCC functionary
Rakesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, April 26
Dismissing the anticipatory bail application of a senior functionary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) in a case of allegedly causing losses to the tune of crores of rupees to state exchequer by sales tax evasion, a local court has held that his custodial interrogation was necessary to unearth the conspiracy.

The bail application of Bhupinder Singh Randhawa, General Secretary, PPCC, and a PA to a minister was rejected by the court of the Additional Sessions Judge, S.S. Khaira.

A case of sales tax evasion by forging the bills of hosiery manufacturers was registered under Sections 420, 467, 486, 471, 120-B, 148 and 149 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at PS Division No. 3 on March 15, 2005 on the complaint of Mr Naveen Sood.

“After perusing the police record it has been found that the applicant Bhupinder Singh Randhawa is the same person who is mentioned in the FIR as Randhawa only and this fact is clearly mentioned in a “zimney” during investigation by police”, observed the judge.



Passing Thru

Manpal Tiwana
Manpal Tiwana, theatre personality

What is the status of theatre right now?

Theatre remains as rich and appealing as ever. No entertainment can be as rich and lively as the theatre. Because here an instant rapport is developed between the artists and the audience. While watching a live show is the most entertaining experience, performing in it is the most exciting.

Do you think CDs has encroached upon the space of theatre?

May be to some extent, but not much. Theatre would not interest everyone. Only a select and distinct group or class love to watch theatre performances. Such people would not switch over to the CD culture. So theatre will always retain its share of audience, may be a limited one, but certainly the committed one.

Do you agree that the theatre in Punjab is losing appeal?

You cannot make out such a harsh judgement. People still do come in great numbers to watch plays. You can see the number of people having come for this play (Sirhind De Deewar). I am of the strong belief, give them a good play and they will give you the best response.

— Vimal Sumbly



BJP leader resents ‘privatisation’ of health services
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former MP, Lajpat Rai today criticised the reported move of the Punjab government to privatise education in the state. He alleged that this would lead to the denial of opportunities to thousands of children belonging to the economically and socially weaker sections of the society.

The BJP leader in a statement pointed out that free education had been envisaged in the Constitution of the country.

He said the government spends huge amount of money for providing free education to the people. “Handing over the education to the private sector would simply amount to denying the same to those who cannot afford the exorbitant fee charges by the private institutions”, he observed.

Mr Rai ridiculed the claim of the government that it was not the privatisation but only the “private participation” as the control will remain with the government. He claimed that the euphemism was being used by the state to mislead the public.

“Otherwise the government will have to face massive protests”, he said, while adding that it wanted to ward off these protests.

Similarly, the BJP leader remarked, the privatisation of the health services was also fraught with dangerous consequences as the poor and needy would be denied due healthcare.

He said, the state cannot shirk from its responsibility of providing better healthcare to its people.

He warned that the BJP would oppose this move rigorously everywhere and it would not allow the education and healthcare “sold out” to the private sector of providing any service.



Generators increasing  pollution
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
As the mercury soars the city is witnessing long power cuts. Use of diesel-run generators is picking up once again, leading to alarming rise in air pollution.
While the pollution levels have already reached alarming proportions, the industry, the public transport system and the generators, residents and the district administration seem to be in deep slumber.

Even as the suspended particulate matter, (SPM), is already very high due to the harvesting operations of wheat crop, the thick smoke of generators worsens the matter. It becomes impossible to breathe.

According to rough estimates, almost all households in the city have a diesel-run generator, which emanate thick smoke contributing to rise in pollution levels. The condition worsens as soon as the summers come.

As there is a rise in temperature and power cuts, residents switch on their generators sets run on diesel. The pollution caused by diesel generators has compounded the degrading environment condition in the city.

While the gen-sets emanate thick smoke it becomes near impossible to breathe. Callous Ludhiana residents have devised novel means to instal their generators away from their living space.

Domestic areas, industrial areas and the markets are the best places to witness the menace of pollution caused by these generators. Residents have installed them on their roofs with the long exhaust pipes discharging poisonous gases up in the air.

According to the official figures on pollution, the suspended particulate matter (SPM) in the city is between 500 to 600 microgram while the permissible limit is only 200 microgram. These are the startling revelations of the Punjab Pollution Control Board.

The data of the presence of sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen are also not less alarming. Both the pollutants are equivalent to 80 microgram, while other cities in the state do not have more than 10 to 12 micrograms of these pollutants. 



SAD to hold dharna on May 20 
Iqbal Singh

Khanna, April 26
Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President of Shiromani Akali Dal, will release a “chargesheet” prepared by a committee of the Akali Dal on May 20. This was stated by Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, former minister and Member, PCA of the Akali Dal at a meeting organised at Gurdwara Kalgidhar today.

Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, Member, PCA also addressed the meeting, which was organised to mobilise the workers for the dharna to be held on May 20. He said that it was the duty of every Sikh to reach Mukatsar to pay obeisance to 40 Muktas at Mukatsar.

Bibi Satwinder Kaur Dhaliwal, former MP alleged that the Congress government has started selling the state’s property, specially those belonging to the schools and hospitals.

Bachan Singh Cheema, Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhatti, Sikandar Singh, Mr Ranbir Singh Khtara were among those who spoke on the occasion.



Applications for awards invited
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
The district administration has invited applications/ nominations for national awards for child welfare from individuals and organisations. The awards have been instituted to give state recognition to volunteers and organisations in the field of child welfare and development.

Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, said today that five institutions and three individuals would be selected for the awards at the national level. Each institution selected for the award will be honoured with a citation and a cash prize of Rs 3 lakh and the selected individual will be honoured with a citation and a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh.

He said the criteria for the selection of the institution would be that the institution should not be entirely funded by government. The institution should have been in the field of child welfare for some years. The branches of the institutions working independently will also qualify for the award. The selection will be made on the basis of quality of performance and the number of children served by the institution.

Mr Verma said the criteria for the selection of the individual would be that the individual should have worked for the cause of children for some years. The paid officers of the institutions would not be eligible for the selection.

Initially, the selection will be made from amongst individuals and institutions in a state/Union Territory. The final selection will be made by the national committee.



‘Sweet’ threat made him quit drinking
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
What years of requests and counselling could not do, a ‘‘sweet’’ threat did within a few days only!
It was the diabetic wife of a tippler, who made him quit drinking by threatening him that she would binge on sugar if he continued to risk his life.

The man, Mr Surinder Singh, a 50-year-old resident of local Himmat Singh Nagar, is now a baptised Sikh. Only a fortnight ago, he had vowed not to touch liquor after he realised that his wife was determined to consume sugar and risk her health if he continued drinking.

A former Junior Engineer with a private company and now a contractor, Mr Surinder Singh, was a habitual drinker. Though he drank moderately, his habit did not find favour with his wife. She had always been inploring him not to drink. But her requests always fell on deaf ears.

This father of two children, Mr Surinder Singh was rendered helpless one day, when his wife held out a threat. ‘‘She declared that when ever I will drink at home, she will sit with me with a jar of sugar and consume it. I was scared as this would have posed a threat to her health and, ultimately, life as she is a diabetic, ’’ said Mr Surinder Singh.

He decided to quit drinking. He even asked his friends to excuse him from drinking. ‘‘Though it was hard for me quit as I was addicted to alcohol, the determination of my wife gave me strength. For some days, I felt off colour but now things are returning back to normal. To cap it all, we are a happy family now.’’ he said. 



Malhi assumes charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Dr Nachhattar Singh Malhi, a maize expert, yesterday took over as Head, Department of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology.
Bom in Raunta village of Moga district and after doing his BSc, MSc and PhD from Punjab Agricultural University, Dr Malhi started his professional career in 1978. Dr Malhi will continue as Head of the department till 2009.




Ludhiana, April 26
A migrant labourer was found murdered in Bhamian Kalan village this afternoon.
The deceased identified as Nizam-ud-din was found dead along a link road. There were several stab wounds on the body. The Division No. 7 police has registered a case of murder. TNS



Cash stolen

Khanna, April 26
Thieves reportedly stole Rs 62,000 from a vegetable commission agent shop at local vegetable market on Monday night. The police has rounded up two persons for interrogation.
According to the police, some thieves entered the shop of Bishan Dass by opening the lock of the shutter and took away the cash . OC


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