L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Father of seven brings home abandoned infant
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 30
Poverty did not deter this man from embracing a few-hour-old girl, who was all set to be devoured by stray dogs. The girl child was abandoned by her biological parents and left on Basti Jodhewal Road here last midnight.

A father of seven children including four girls and three boys, Mohammed Dilshad, (40), a rehra-puller of New Shakti Nagar, even refused lakhs from some childless couples.

The family has named the girl Shamma. Too happy to have another addition, the family living below poverty line, has decided never to part with her. ‘‘She is an Allah’s gift to us. He is trying to test us by sending this girl, ’’ said Saira Bano, his wife, carrying the girl in her lap, while sitting in their humble rented apartment, which looks more like an animal shed.

‘‘Last night when my husband brought the girl, he asked me whether I could keep her and love her as my own child. Just after a glance at her, I could not say no. She is such a beautiful and innocent girl. How could anybody be so cruel and throw this girl on the road. They could have atleast left her in an orphanage, ’’ she added.

Dilshad said that at around 1:30 a.m. when he was returning home after a long-day’s work, he heard cries of the infant on Basti Jodhewal Road. He did not stop. As the cries became louder he came back thinking some child was in trouble.

He saw four dogs in the bushes licking the unwashed infant wrapped in a worn out towel. In the thick of night, he sat there, waiting for the baby’s parents for half an hour. But nobody turned up.

‘‘I felt that this girl was unwanted. I brought her home and handed her over to my wife. She was too happy with another addition to the family, ’’ said an elated Dilshad.

As the couple’s seven children were prancing about Saira Bano went about stitching new clothes for the little girl. “My eldest daughter, Gulsana, (17), stitched her first frock,” she added. 



Two quacks booked in Sudhar
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 30
The health department got a major success in its ongoing drive against quacks thriving in when two quacks were booked under the relevant provisions of the Medical Council of India Act, Drugs and Cosmetics Act, in addition to the Section 420 of the IPC at Gurusar Sudhar on Monday.

According to senior officials of the department here, the police had arrested self-styled “bone setters” Saroj Khan and Buta Khan from their “clinic” in Ghuman Chowk in the presence of Dr Inderjit Singh Bagga, Senior Medical Officer at the Primary Health Centre, Sudhar, and other officers of the health department. A sizeable stock of medicines, surgical instruments and an X-ray machine were also seized from the “clinic” The “clinic” was later sealed by the officials.

While the department had initiated action to prepare lists of quacks carrying on unlawful medical and surgical practice in the city and rural areas in the district for quite some time now on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, this was the first case registered against quacks in the district in the recent past.

The health officials further told that the raiding party led by SHO, Gurusar Sudhar, had nabbed the quacks while they were examining patients in their “clinic”. Following the arrest of the two, the police also recorded statements of some of the patients present in the “clinic” in addition to those of a number of other shopkeepers in the vicinity. The FIR against the quacks was lodged by the Sudhar SMO, Dr Bagga.

The SMO, Sudhar, was the first medical officer, who had submitted a list of as many as 12 quacks on the instructions of Civil Surgeon, Dr Rajinder Kaur. The list was forwarded to Jagraon police for taking appropriate action.

However, citing an ambiguity in the law, the police was dragging its feet in taking action against quacks. It was only after obtaining legal opinion from the DA (Legal) here that the police swung into action.

Senior officers of the health department told Ludhiana Tribune that the arrest of the quacks at Sudhar had come as a shot in the arm for the department and in the next couple of days, more lists of unregistered practitioners would be submitted to police officials.



Netaji’s guard suffers stroke
Kanchan Vasudev
Tribune News Service

Mullanpur Dakha, August 30
Mr Mehar Singh, a guard of INA chief, Netaji Subhash Chander Bose, is lying in a hospital. He is bitter for the district administration and political leaders, haven’t to inquired about his health.

Mehar Singh (84) who was held captive in a Singapore jail before freedom, suffered a stroke at Mandiani village yesterday. He was shifted to Pandori Nursing Home at Mullanpur Dakha. Angry at the ‘attitude’ of the political leaders and civil servants, Mr Mehar Singh, while talking to TNS from his hospital bed said that he had suffered the ire of the British for his countrymen, who did not care to pay a visit to him.

“They think that by paying pension to us, they have done their duty. Veterans of Azad Hind Fauj like me have already spent our lives in anonymity. May be we will also die like that,” says dejected Mehar Singh.

As per rules, freedom fighters are entitled to free treatment in government hospitals but Mr Mehar Singh is paying for his treatment.

For his contribution to the freedom struggle of India, he was given a tamra patra by Indira Gandhi. He gets a monthly pension of Rs 6000.

Mr Mehar Singh had joined the Indian National Army in the forties and served as a guard of Netaji at Singapore. Recalling his days with Netaji, he said that he used to stand guard at the gate of INA chief’s bungalow in Singapore.

“I last saw him on the day when he went missing”, he said.

“Whenever I used to salute him, he used to say that we both were soldiers fighting for the same cause. So I should not salute him. He was a gem of a person. Had he been alive after the Independence, India would have been a different country,” added Mehar Singh.

This INA veteran went to the USA along with his wife and children. He returned to his village alone and had been staying there alone. Loved by his village folks, he was rushed to the hospital by them yesterday.



DSP’s car wounded 2 basketball players
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 30
The police investigation into a two-week-old hit and run case in which the driver of a Mahindra Jeep had crushed and wounded two state-level female basketball players near Krishna Mandir has found that the jeep belonged to the family of a serving Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in Rajasthan.

The injured girls-Baljit Kaur of Model Town Extension and Ricky of Kartar Nagar are being treated for the injuries. The girls belong to poor families and are largely dependent on donations for their treatment.

A Model Town police team here is camping in Sikkar district of Rajasthan for the last three days to arrest driver, Krishan who had sped away after wounding the girls.

The vehicle (no: RJ-07 C-0722) was found in a garage without tyres.

Police sources suggest that the car owner was a father-in-law of a serving DSP. The DSP’s family, however, claims that he had sold the car to some persons. The family was yet to produce documents of the sale-purchase deal. No arrests have also been made so far.

SI Rajesh Sharma, SHO Model Town police station said he had put a special team on this case. The driver of the Mahindra Jeep was driving on the wrong side and at a high speed, according to the injured girls and eye-witnesses.’’ He said the police team was verifying the claims of the family of a serving DSP that they had sold the car.

The police has booked the car driver under Sections 279, 337, 338 and 427 of the IPC.

Baljit suffered a head injury while Ricky had multiple fractures on her legs. Their sports career has been seriously hit. The Punjab Basket Ball Association has tried to help the family financially but the injured still need lot of funds”, the association chief Teja Singh Dhaliwal said.



Mann to be released today
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 30
Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) chief and former MP Simranjit Singh Mann will be released from Central Jail here tomorrow after remaining in judicial custody for two-and-half months in a case of sedition.

His party sources disclosed here today that Mr Mann was granted bail in all the cases and the legal process for his release had been completed.

According to Mr Charan Singh Lohara, general secretary of SAD (A), after his release from jail, the party president, accompanied by office bearers and workers of the party, will proceed to Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, to pay obeisance.

On the way, he would be accorded a rousing welcome at Phillaur, Goraya, Phagwara, Jalandhar, Kartarpur, Dhilwan and other towns.

Setting at rest some confusion among party workers about the release of the party chief, Mr Lohara made it clear that in the case related to his speech at Anandpur Sahib, Mr Mann had appeared in the court on Aug 30, in which the next date of hearing was fixed for Sept 10.

“Mr Mann is being released on the morning of Aug 31 from Ludhiana Central Jail and there should be no confusion on this account,” he stated.

The party functionary has asked the ranks of the SAD (A) to reach Central Jail here at 10 am and join the welcome procession to be taken to mark the release of Mr Mann.



Admin, police gear up for Beant function
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 30
Elaborate arrangements have been made for the state level function to be held to observe the tenth death anniversary of Beant Singh, a former Chief Minister of Punjab. The function will be held at Payal tomorrow.

Today, Mr S.K. Sharma, IG, (Zone), Jalandhar, Mr Parag Jain, DIG, Ludhiana range and Mr Naunihal Singh, SSP, Khanna, visited the site and reviewed the security arrangements for the proper conduct of the function. Mr T.S. Dhaliwal, SDM, Payal, and other officers of the subdivision were also present and were monitoring the arrangements for the function.

Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, informed that different blocks had been set up for different categories like VVIPs, VIPs, Administration, Press, Ladies to enable everybody to listen properly to the views of the national and state level leaders who would be paying tributes to the departed leader.

He said arrangements for drinking water and langar, had been made for the large crowd expected to attend the function.



Factionalism to fore
Our Correspondent

Payal, August 30
While the administration has geared up to observe the martyrdom day of late Chief Minister Beant Singh, Congressmen of the area apprehend that the factionalism in the party would mar the function as they allege that it has become a “Kotli family function” instead of being a state affair.

Observations revealed that the function, that is being observed to pay tributes to the great leader, who had sacrificed his life for the unity and integrity of the country, will be affected by factionalism in the Congress and the detractors of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, will once again use the occasion against him.

Elaborate arrangements made here to organise the state-level function show that the administration has left no stone unturned to make it a success. But the pandal arrangements confirm the view point, of the Taksali Congressmen that the Kotli family has already subjugated Capt Amarinder Singh. The name of Chief Minister is conspicuously absent from the hoardings and posters displayed at the pandal and roads leading to it.

Though Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, President, PPCC, had claimed that factionalism would not be allowed to overshadow any of the party functions, the arrangements made for the function contradict his claims. The organisers have given an extra exposure to the state president.



PCMSA decries Finance Dept orders
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana August 30
The Punjab Civil Medical Services Association (PCMSA) has expressed its resentment against the recent orders of the Punjab Finance Department, denying DA merger pay fixation formula. Seeking immediate intervention of the Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, the association has demanded an end to this discrimination otherwise it might resort to an agitation.

In a statement here today, Dr Hardeep Singh, state unit president and Dr Balwinder Kumar, district general secretary of the PCMSA, said strong resentment prevailed among PCMS doctors all over Punjab against the unjust stand of the government. The decision regarding 50 per cent merger of DA was taken in the wake of the decision of the Government of India and it had benefited all employees of the state government. However, the PCMS doctors were being denied this benefit.

According to Dr Hardeep Singh, the PCMSA had demanded an immediate end to the discrimination and implementation of 50 per cent DA merger pay fixation formula for PCMS doctors on a par with their counterparts at Centre. 



Railways to adopt GSM system
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 30
The Indian Railways is migrating its rail communication to GSM-Railway for which it has awarded additional contracts to the Siemens Communications group. This was stated in a press note today.

The Siemens group would equip 2,200 kilometres of rail network in Delhi, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir with GSM-R technology, which would improve safety, security and reliability of rail traffic.

“In contrast to the walkie-talkie communication system thus far employed by the Indian Railways, the GSM-R would support conference calls between multiple people and assure a stable connection regardless of weather conditions,” the company stated in its press note.

In addition, pressing a single key would enable train engineer to automatically contact the control centre at the nearest station via GSM-R mobile handset without having to dial its discrete number, the company claimed.



Two arrested, heroin seized
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 30
The police seized 900 grams of heroin worth Rs 90 lakh and arrested two persons here today besides arresting two others with 200 grams of smack worth Rs 20,000.

Mr Gurpreet Singh, SP, Detective, told mediapersons that Sub-Inspector Waryam Singh, in charge, CIA-II, had arrested the accused, Parmatma Yadav of Jeewan Nagar here and Anil Kumar of Ambala.

The accused had brought the heroin from Ajamgarh in Uttar Pradesh. Mr Waryam Singh had posed as a customer and arrested the accused.



Cops hurt as car hits motor cycle
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 30
Two policemen of the PCR motor cycle squad were wounded when a car hit their vehicle at the Bhaibala road crossing last night.

The cops were rushed to the local Civil Hospital. They had suffered injuries on their legs. The Santro car that hit them has been impounded and a case registered against the driver.



Trade unions focus on migrant labourers
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 30
Following a spate of labour unrest incidents in recent past and changing industrial scenario, trade unions here are laying a special emphasis on generating awareness among migrant labourers. Unions feel their responsibility has increased and there is a need to make workers increasingly aware of their rights and also of their duties.

“Industry in the state cannot do without migrant labour, which forms almost 90 per cent of the total labour population working in the manufacturing segment. Instead of opposing labourers, who come from other states and get settled here, the need is to generate awareness among them so that mutual synergy is generated which is beneficial for workers, industry and also residents of Punjab,” said Mr Swaran Singh, president, District Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) Council.

With this motive in mind, INTUC is conducting regular weekly meetings in which workers are told about their rights and duties.

“It is mostly the migrant labourers who are unaware. Recently, a migrant labourer came to us. Despite having worked in a leading company for almost 17 years, the company refused to employ him after he returned from a two month leave. When we enquired, even the worker’s regular attendance had not been marked all these years,” said Mr Singh, adding, that “there are many such cases where migrant labourers do not even get a ration card made. It is not surprising that they are left unemployed.”

Union leaders emphasise that migrant workers form a major portion of total workforce in the industry. “The state would face acute labour shortage if migrant labour does not come and work here.”

Mr Jatinder Pal, CITU, said: “While we are opposed to the excesses of managements, we also realise the need for labourers to be aware, for which we are holding regular meetings, twice-thrice a week.”

Apart from holding meetings, the union is distributing literature and also seeking a higher participation from workers. “Incidents like the one that happened in Gurgaon are lessons for unions, who now have an increased responsibility to not just act as effective communication channels between workers and employers, they also need to be actively involved in educating labourers. Post-Gurgaon incident, we have got more active in conducting meetings. Our entire effort is dedicated towards making workers aware,” said Mr Jagdish Chand, joint secretary, CITU.”

He said in majority cases, workers from Punjab refused to work if offered lower wages and found other means of employment. “Problem exists at all levels, but it is more serious in case of migrant labour, who find themselves helpless when it comes to finding alternative employment options. Awareness is the only way to increase their plight. It would also help in improving industrial environment”.


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