L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Closure of rly barriers leads to traffic snarl-ups
Tribune News Service

Heavy traffic near the Shastri Nagar level crossing in Ludhiana on Monday
Heavy traffic near the Shastri Nagar level crossing in Ludhiana on Monday. — Photo by I.V.

Ludhiana, August 1
Traffic was disrupted and commuters had a harrowing time when four railway barriers on the Ludhiana-Ferozepore railway line, which passes through some of the most heavy traffic areas, remained closed for more than one hour.

The barrier on the Shastri Nagar railway crossing remained closed for almost two hours, causing inconvenience to commuters.

The problem, reportedly, occurred as gravel on the recently laid track on the Ludhiana-Ferozepore line pressed the wires that connected the barriers. These had been laid to raise the level of the track by a few centimetres.

Gravel had to be laid on the track but as they were laid on sides, they pressed the wires, leading to the closure of the barrier which could not be opened,” a gatemen at one of the crossing said.

The problem ended only after the stones were removed from the sides manually.

Moreover, there was no traffic policemen to man the traffic, leaving hundreds of people stranded. People were even seen manually lifting the barrier to cross it.

“For more than an hour we have been standing here,” an irked commuter, whose car goes stuck in the traffic chaos, said.

One of the busiest traffic areas, the barrier on the Shastri Nagar railway crossing took two hours to open as even the machine that had removed gravel failed to clear the area as a result of which wires remained pressed.

Railway officials, however, expressed ignorance about the matter. “We have no information about any such incident.” a senior railway official said 



Move on quacks stirs up hornet’s nest
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 1
The drive to weed out quacks launched by the Health Department in the district, has provoked unregistered medical practitioners into action. They have roped in support from sections of the rural population, and panchayats, besides their own fraternity, running into large numbers.

Claiming that as a result of the campaign to close down clinics run by nearly 8,000 medical practitioners in the district, including those practicing in ayurvedic, unani and homoeopathic systems, the Medical Practitioners Associations, Punjab, (MPAP) has asserted that more than 50,000 persons would be affected by this “indiscriminate” action.

A meeting of the association held here yesterday said association of private medical practitioners had met the Civil Surgeon and the Additional Deputy Commissioner, besides holding a protest in the Pakhowal block where the authorities had proceeded against medical practitioners in Ghungrana and Kaalakh villages. The association made it clear that if the administration persisted with its action, the agitation would be intensified.

However, the health authorities here maintained that the department was committed to check quackery, that was flourishing and there were directions to Senior Medical Officers all over the district to take action against unregistered and unauthorised medical practitioners.

According to the Civil Surgeon, Dr Rajinder Kaur, the department could not remain a mute spectator to the fact that untrained, and in some cases, even illiterate persons were engaged in medical practice.

Sometimes ago, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had issued a directive to the Punjab Government to check unlawful medical practice by such persons and to enforce the Punjab Medical Council Act.

Dr Rajinder Kaur said all medical officers in the city and other towns in the district, and Senior Medical Officers posted at primary health centres in the rural areas had been asked to initiate action in their respective areas.

She said besides a large number of unregistered medical practitioners, several others, registered in indigenous systems” in Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, UP, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir, were also carrying on medical practice which was against the provisions of law. “We are contemplating proceedings against such medical practitioners as well since they are not authorised to carry on medical practice in Punjab, she said.”



Police team in Delhi to trace woman
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
The Ludhiana police is learnt to have dispatched a team to Delhi to trace Rima Jain, who is claimed to be missing since Saturday morning. Although the relatives of Rima are alleging that it is a case of abduction, it is learnt that the police is working on various theories. Sources said the incident might even have been stagemanaged.

The sources said Rima, who was involved in litigation over the ownership of properties and business worth crores with her brother-in-law Anil Jail, alias Micky, was supposed to finalise a settlement with him on Sunday. She had reportedly been influenced by some common relatives and friends to settle down for a compromise. Although she was reluctant to go in for a compromise, she had agreed to it later. Investigators are looking into whether this is one of the reasons as she wanted to postpone the settlement since she remains in total control of the business and the properties.

The police has already rounded up several persons for questioning, including her brother-in-law Micky. Micky’s relatives alleged that he was once again being falsely implicated. Micky was acquitted of murder charges in 2002. Rima had alleged his involvement in the murder of her husband. They said as she could not succeed in implicating Micky at that time, she had now enacted the “kidnap drama”.

They alleged that despite being cooperative towards the police in the investigation, Micky was still under police detention. They feared that he might once again be framed on false charges. They said why should Micky get her “kidnapped” or harmed, particularly at a time when the settlement was already reached.

The police has already registered an FIR in the case and started investigation. Senior police officials ruled out victimisation or intimidation of anyone. They said the police would strictly go by the merits of the case. It had already questioned several persons.



State-aided schools to remain closed on August 10
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 1
The district president of the Punjab State Aided Schools, Mr Ranjit Singh, at a meeting held at Shri Guru Singh Sabha School, Model Town, here yesterday said in a press note that they appreciated PPCC chief Shamsher Singh Dallo’s efforts to make ETT teachers break their fast.

He said they wanted the same consideration to be shown towards those teaching in aided schools. The teachers had not got pensions from May 31, 2003.

The results of private aided schools were far better than government schools. Mr Ranjit Singh said these schools came into existence during the British Raj and had been helping the cause of education. During those times, many Khalsa and Arya Samaj schools had come up and they had motivated people to help patriots. He said the parity between private aided teachers and government teachers was deplorable. The government was now thinking of closing down these schools, he said.

The press note said all private aided schools would remain closed on August 10 and the teachers of these schools would meet in Arya Senior Secondary School for Boys, Sabzi Mandi and chalk out the plan for action.



Depressed gynaecologist commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 1
Dr Vijay Sikri, a gynaecologist, running a private nursing home at Ghumar Mandi, today committed suicide by hanging himself with a ceiling fan. He is survived by his wife and two sons.

Dr Sikri, in his mid-fifties, was stated to be seffering from depression for quite a long time, the family sources disclosed. One of his sons was also undergoing treatment in a local hospital and was discharged only one day ago.



DMCH to start OPD in emergency block
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 1
Dayanand Medical College and Hospital has decided to start new private OPD in its emergency block. Consultants will be available in the OPD from 8.30 am to 2.30 pm and again from 5 to 7.

According to a DMCH spokesperson, OPD will had department like general surgery, neurology, neurosurgery, endocrinology, oncology, psychiatry, pediatrics, pediatrics surgery, dermatology, plastic surgery, orthopedics, obstetrics, gynecology, ophthalmology and ENT.



Passing Thru

Ranjit Singh
Ranjit Singh, general secretary, Punjab Sports Authority of India Coaches Welfare Association.

What is your association doing to safeguard the interests of the coaches who have been transferred across the country?

We are not against the transfer of coaches as this is a routine process. The SAI corporate office has dumped them. At some centres, there are more coaches than the number of trainees. Other Centres have been deprived of their services. This would affect the performance of the players. The association wants that the coaches should be properly deployed so that their services could be utilised and the best results could be attained.

Has the association asked the coaches not to join the duties at the new places of their postings?

No, the association has not asked any ‘transferred’ coach to join at the new place of posting. In fact, the transferred coaches have been relieved and almost every coach has joined at the new place. Only a few coaches have been transferred to places where there is no infrastructure and the number of players is negligible. — Anil Datt



Damdama Sahib Jathedar settles gurdwara row
Mahesh Sharma

Barundi (Ahmedgarh), August 1
Giving his verdict on the issue of shifting of Guru Arjan Dev Gurdwara from Bhoju Patti here to a more spacious building, Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Jathedar, Takht Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo, pronounced that Guru Granth Sahib had been placed inside the old building of the gurdwara by some antisocial elements who wanted to exploit the religious sentiments of Sikhs of the area for narrow political gains.

He also directed both warring parties to maintain “maryada” at the religious place. Tension had been simmering after some miscreants had tried to sabotage the shifting of the gurdwara to the new and spacious premises.

Meanwhile the Jagraon district police thanked the religious and political leaders of the area for maintaining peace and efforts made for restoring normalcy in the village.

Hectic activity was seen in the proximity of Guru Arjan Dev Gurdwara today. Supporters of the both groups gathered at old building of the gurdwara and tried to garner support in their favour. Representatives of the administration led by Mr Harjit Singh Brar DSP and Amarjit Singh Khaira SHO Dehlon preferred to watch the situation from a distance.

Though leaders of various political, social and religious organisations kept on pouring, uncertainty prevailed till Baba Balwant Singh Nandgarh arrived and took stock of the situation. Before starting the meeting he sought the consent of both groups to accept the decision to be given by him in consultation with the SGPC members of the district and representatives of other organisations. He listened to the leaders of both parties and Mr Harjit Singh Brar, DSP, who had been called for the meeting.

After inspecting the interior of the devan hall where the holy book, claimed by one party to be lying locked for more than three years, was placed, he pronounced that holy book did not seem to be lying there for more than five days. “It is my firm opinion that some sinner has tried to exploit the religious sentiments and implications of Sikhism. So the foremost thing to be done is to shift the holy book to the newly built gurdwara,” the jathedar added.

He directed the management of the old gurdwara, to not to place Guru Granth Sahib in the building till a samadhi constructed there was demolished and the maggiage Palace shifted to a new place. He urged the DSP to cancel the criminal case registered against members of a faction.

Besides other leaders, Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi former president, SGPC, Mr Harpreet Singh Garcha, Mr Raghbir Singh Saharanmajra, Mr Balwinder Singh Bains, Mr Kewal Singh Badal, Mr Gurmel Singh Sangowal, Mr Surinder Singh Gill, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, Mr Kewal Singh Thekedar, Ms Balwinder Kaur Khatra and Ms Harbans Kaur Sukhana attended the meeting and appreciated the decision taken by the jathedar.

Earlier acting on a complaint lodged by Mr Jaswinder Singh, president of the committee, the police had registered a case against Banta Singh, Hardeep Singh, Paramjit Singh, Mohinder Singh, Hardeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh and Bikram Singh of the local village for allegedly placing Guru Granth Sahib inside the old building of the religious place by breaking open the locks. 



Honda episode: trade unions want erring cops booked 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
Protesting against the Honda incident, nearly 20 employee unions, under the banner of the Joint Council of Trade Unions, held a rally outside the DC office here today. The protesting members demanded that cases should be filed against the erring police personnel and all cases against workers be withdrawn.

The associations that joined protest included the PSEB Employees Federation (AITUC), the Punjab Bank Employees Federation, the PAU Fourth Class Workers Union, the PAU Daily Paid Labour Union, the Hosiery Workers Union and nearly 15 other associations.

Alleged Mr D.P.Maur, general secretary, Joint Council of Trade Unions, Ludhiana, “the brutal incident of lathicharge on the workers of Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India at Gurgaon by the Haryana Police was in connivance with the company’s management.”

He said it clearly portrayed how multinationals ignored the law of the land.

“It is also unfortunate that the administration is hand in glove with the management rather than looking after the interests of employees.”

The associations demanded that all cases registered against the workers at Gurgaon should be withdrawn unconditionally.

They also said cases under various sections should be registered against the erring police official and civil administrations who ordered the lathi- charge.



Power restored after 24 hours in Sirhind
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 1
Residents of Sirhind are without any power and water after 24 hours yesterday. Residents, who were getting drinking water from hand pumps, alleged that the Sirhind had become the most neglected town of the state.

They said there was no power in the town since the last 24 hours. It was only restored today noon. The council had also failed to supply of drinking water to the residents. To add their woes there was no one to redress their grievances, including the municipal authorities, elected representatives or PSEB officials.

Many residents, who had queued up at a hand pump early morning today clashed as some residents wanted to take two buckets, while others objected saying only one bucket would be allowed. They alleged that when there was no power from the last 24 hours no official was attending to their complaints. Rather the complaint center phone had been put on hold, whree as higher officials of PSEB, including Chief Engineer, Senior, XEN and other officials were enjoying at a cocktail party of Rotary Club, Sirhind.

Similarly they alleged that Municipal Council had only one water tubewell to cater to the need of entire town.

Also the main motor at the tubewell near a cinema house had gone out of order and only a temporary motor had been installed. The newly-constructed tubewell had not been started.

They alleged that though the council had installed a high-power generator at water tubewell, but it was out of order, where as they alleged that the maintenance and diesel bills were regularly cleared.

The man posted at the tubewell said the real motor of this tubewell was lying with mechanic and he was not giving it back as the council had not cleared his repair bill.



Heavy rain in parts of city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
Heavy rain lashed parts of the city today afternoon with areas like Gurdev Nagar, Sarabha Nagar, Aggar Nagar and Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar getting inundated. But other parts of the city remained dry.

There was knee-deep water in the low-lying areas of these localities. People had to wade through the water there. However, condition along the Ferozepur road was worse. Here the roads have been dug by some telecom companies. A number of vehicles got stuck in the mud. There was no relief from the intense humidity. 



IMA hails police initiative
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 1
The Indian Medical Association (IMA), Punjab, has hailed the initiative taken by the police here offering rewards to people for taking victims of road accidents to hospital.

In a communication to the Director-General of Punjab Police, the state president of IMA, Dr R.C. Garg, said the move by the Ludhiana police was commendable and needed to be emulated in all other districts of Punjab. He said the general tendency of the people was not to get involved in rushing to the rescue of victims of road accidents for fear of harassment at the hands of the police and once there were no misgivings of this sort, many of those involved in road mishaps would be saved by timely medical assistance.

According to the IMA secretary, Dr Gursharan Singh, the action of the police assumes significance in the wake of directions of the Supreme Court in this regard. He said a large number of victims of road accidents lost their lives only because they were not shifted to hospital in time.



Janmashtami shobha yatra on August 24
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 1
While Janmashtami will be celebrated on August 26, a shobha yatra will be taken out through various parts of the old city on August 24 by the Shri Sanatan Dharam Mahotsav Committee.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the committee here yesterday which was chaired by Mr Madan Lal Chopra and attended by a large number of representatives of temples and various other religious and social organisations.

Mr Madan Lal Chopra told Ludhiana Tribune today that several holy saints and religious heads, including Swami Ved Bharti, Sri Anand Swami, Mahant Narayan Dass Puri, Rishi Onkar Dutt, Pandit Kashi Nath Tripathi, Pandit Bhim Sain and Pandit Raj Kumar, had assured them their cooperation for making the shobha yatra a grand success.

Among others who attended the meeting were Mr Om Parkash Vig, Mr Tarsem Lal, Mr Rajinder Aggarwal, Mr Laxmi Narayan, Mr Jagdish Duggal, Mr P.L. Singla, Mr Naresh Sharma, Mr Sant Ram Jindal, Mr Hakumat Rai, Mr Inderjit Nanda, Mr Baljit Rai Sharma, Mr Varinder Mittal, Mr Subhash Chopra and Mr Dilbagh Singh Rana.



Moped rider succumbs to injuries
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 1
Balbir Singh, who was riding a moped, and was hit by an auto rickshaw on July 18, succumbed to his injuries at the CMC Hospital. The police has registered a case under Section 304-A, 279 and 427, IPC, on the statement of Pawandeep Singh of Dhuman mohalla. No arrest has been made so far.

Lahan seized: Amrit Pal Singh of Jalaldiwal has been arrested by the Raikot police for possession of 40 kg of Lahan. A case under the Excise Act has been registered.


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