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BJP gets shot in the arm
Ex-councillor Puri dumps Cong
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Mr Satpal Puri  talks to mdeiapersons after joining the BJP in Ludhiana on Saturday
Mr Satpal Puri (second from left) talks to mdeiapersons after joining the BJP in Ludhiana on Saturday. — Photo by Inderjit Verma

Ludhiana, September 17
The BJP today pulled off a major coup with former councillor Satpal Puri joining the party on the eve of the Municipal Corporation byelection to Ward No. 66. Mr Puri’s appeal against his disqualification as sitting councillor is pending with the Supreme Court.

The byelection is poised for a close triangular contest between Mr Charanjit Bhargava of the BJP, Mr Subash Taina of the Congress and Mr Ajit Singh Dhillon, an Independent. With Mr Puri joining the BJP, the party candidate is likely to have an edge over others. Irrespective of his disqualification, Mr Puri holds considerable clout in the area. He had won the last election in 2002 by a margin of around 2,500 votes.

Mr Puri was reportedly keen on getting the Congress nomination for his son Deepak Puri. However, when the party refused the ticket to him, he started maintaining a distance. With less than 24 hours left for the election, Mr Puri quit the Congress and joined the BJP, which was already faced with strong contest from Mr Dhillon, who was being backed by some sections of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).

Senior BJP leaders Mr Satpal Gosain, Dr Subash Verma and Mr Praveen Bansal has hailed his entry into the BJP. Mr Gosain said with Mr Puri joining the BJP, the party candidate was all set to make it to the corporation with a big margin.

Welcoming Mr Puri into the party fold, Mr Verma said he had already talked to the state BJP president, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, about Mr Puri’s entry into the party. Dr Verma disclosed that Mr Puri would be suitably accommodated in the state party structure.

Talking to The Tribune after joining the BJP, Mr Puri alleged that he had been ditched by the Congress. He claimed that certain vested interests within the Congress had hatched a conspiracy to ensure his exit from the corporation.

He said, he was confident of getting justice from the Supreme Court. The SC had issued notices to the state on his petition, he added.

Meanwhile, the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, asserted that Mr Puri’s resignation would not have any impact on the outcome of tomorrow’s byelection. He maintained that the Congress was in a commanding position and confident of victory. He regretted that Mr Puri resigned from the party and that too at a crucial stage.

He claimed that the Congress had always stood by him.

The senior vice-president of the Pradesh Youth Congress, Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka, criticised Mr Puri for “ditching” the party at a crucial stage.



4 drugged, robbed at Chhapar Mela
No medical facilities at site
Our Correspondent

SSP’s appeal

Mr R. K. Jaiswal, SSP, Jagraon, has called upon the devotees going to Chhapar Mela not to accept any eatables from strangers, even in the form of parsad. He warned the visitors against swindlers, who despite sufficient security arrangements might dupe them in one or the other way. 

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 17
Though the civil administration had claimed to having made adequate arrangements at Chhapar Mela that commenced yesterday, the police had to shift a number of patients, including four persons who had been drugged by miscreants, to various hospitals in the town as medical facilities were not available at the mela site.

Sources at the local Civil Hospital said a police party, led by Mr Amarjit Singh Khaira, SHO, Dehlon, had brought a couple in an unconscious condition. They were later identified as Surjit Singh of Kalakh village and his wife Tej Kaur. Puran Singh, son of the couple, said his parents had been drugged by the miscreants.

Surjit Singh, in a semiconscious condition, said a woman had offered them laddoos, probably laced with some sedative. They fell unconscious after eating them.

The couple, lying on the ground in an unconscious condition, was noticed by the police. The miscreants had taken away the golden earrings of the old lady and their bicycle.

Buta Singh and Ajaib Singh, both residents of Latala village, were also drugged by some unidentified persons who took away a golden ring of the former after they fell unconscious.

“Both of us started feeling drowsy after eating laddoos offered by the unidentified persons. As I had consumed lesser, succeeded in taking Buta Singh to the cycle stand where we had parked our motor cycle.

“The miscreants removed his golden ring when I went to call help from a relief camp,” a semi-conscious Ajaib Singh said.

The child, Yuvraj, was admitted to the Hind Hospital in a serious condition after he fell unconscious at the mela site last evening. Ms Gurmit Kaur of Pohir village said she had to shift her son to the hospital as she could not find any dispensary or hospital at mela site yesterday. Yuvraj has been sent to the intensive care unit of a private hospital.



Political leaders throng Chhapar Mela
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 17
Devotees thronged Chhapar Mela to pay obeisance to Guga, the embodiment of “nag devta” here today. Local leaders of various political parties addressed their conferences today, though they had to take the help of singers and “dhadies” to attract people.

A large number of fun rides, including merry-go-rounds, swings, etc were doing brisk business. When asked about the no-objection certificates (NOCs), most of the organisers answered that the documents were with their owners who were not present on the site. The police had a tough time verifying the NOCs with the stall owners.

Local leaders of various political parties, including the Congress, SAD (A) and Lok Bhalai Party addressed their respective conferences today. Where as the Congress leaders recounted the achievements of state and Union government the opposition leaders termed the government as complete failure.

Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura, Mr Jasbir Singh Khangura, Mr Harmohinder Singh Pardhan, Mr Sukhdev Singh Walia, Mr Dharam Singh Khera (Congress), Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, Mr Mann Singh Garcha, Mr Rajinder Singh Kanjhala, Mr Jagwant Singh Jaggie and Mr Kuljit Singh Boparai (SAD), Mr Kuldeep Singh Karwal, Mr Darshan Singh Nathumajra, SAD (A) leaders and Mr Avtar Singh Mullanpuri, acting Lok Bhalai Party addressed the gathering.



Despite check, liquor being sold

Though the Jagraon police claimed to have plugged all ways for entry to liquor and weapons into the Chhapar mela site and its vicinity, wine contractors have found new methods to make fast buck these days.

Sources revealed that various brands of countrymade liquor and wines were easily available on the outskirts of the fair site.

Besides being available at some shops situated on the periphery of the village, a mobile vendors were also noticed today.

Interestingly, cops, including patrolling parties, were silent spectators to the open sale of the liquor that was available at some cycle stands also.

The Tribune team intercepted a mobile vendors who were reportedly selling “Jugni” brand of liquor near a medical assistance post.

Officials at the police control room denied having received any complaint regarding the illegal sale of liquor at or around mela site.



Cong leaders spit venom at Chhapar Mela
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
Congress leaders today criticised the Shiromani Akali Dal for all ills being faced by the state. They alleged that the previous SAD-BJP alliance government had taken the state to the brink of disaster with state economy almost going bust.

Addressing the rally organised by party on first day of Chhapar Mela here today, secretary, All-India Congress Committee, Mr Manish Tewari said it was the Congress government which had improved financial situation of the state. He alleged that the Akalis had institutionalised corruption in state and everything was up for sale.

Mr Milkiat Singh Dakha, MLA, Dakha, said with the farmers being provided free power and the Dalits also getting free power up to 200 units, the Congress government had fulfilled its promise. He said, moreover, the government was spending crores of rupees on the infrastructure development in the rural areas.

Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamkote, Mr Pawan Dewan, Mr Jagpal Khangura and Mr Jesse Khungara also addressed the gathering.



Liquor flows freely in Sahnewal on poll eve
Loveleen Bains

Sahnewal, September 17
With municipal council poll only a few hours ahead, supporters of various political parties or groups are leaving no stone unturned to ensure victory of their respective candidates, by hook or by crook.

Voters are being wooed with liquor, which is being distributed openly in the town and the adjoining village of Nandpur by different party. The whole town seems to be under an evil spell where residents have nothing to discuss but drinks and elections.

For the past one week, liquor, intoxication drugs and tranquilisers, including opium, poppy husk etc, have readily been provided to voters.

Although the supply of the intoxicants is initiated at the daybreak, in the evening it is in full swing when various groups are seen drinking and canvassing at the same time. Streets of the town assume the look of a fair as the night advances.

Under the influence of drugs, the drunkards resort to petty disputes, quarrels and even come to blows on the issue of winning or loosing of different contestants.

One or two party loyalists have reportedly been made in charge of the thorough and systematic execution of the work. People are of the view that while the administration and Police Department seems to look the other way, liquor and intoxicating drugs are in constant supply. Not only this, money is exchanging free hands as the price of the voter and his family members is fixed and paid accordingly.

The common man on the other hand, seems to be baffled by this sorry state of affairs as they no longer view democracy to be of the people, for the people and by the people. A resident observes, “As the final list of candidates was announced a few days ago, the voters are even ignorant of the candidates and their party symbols. They understand only the language of drink. Moreover, the internal rift between the parties shall lead them only to pay through their nose.”

Some of the residents allege that the tickets are allotted according to the bank balance of the candidate.

Another group opines, “ There is utter confusion among the voters. Their power to reason logically is being further debarred by intoxicating drugs and liquor. They give their approval to whoever satiate their thirst for liquor, drugs or ready cash.”

A resident of a particular word complains," Those who could not reach out to the people all these years even in dire need, are now reaching out to convince them by adopting most objectionable ways.”

A drunkard went to the extent of saying, “The government should do it better to postpone these elections for a week or so, so that we may get more time to enjoy and store some of the liquor for rainy days.”

Another resident views, “The common man has lost the right to vote as it is now the proud privilege of the contestant to ‘obtain’ or ‘grab’ the votes in his favour. With such pulls and pressures, the voter is torn in his mind and has lost the vision to distinguish between right and wrong. The written manifestoes seem to have lost significance in the wake of existing scenario.”

“Further, the loud speakers canvassing in favour of the candidates on the roads, streets and in party offices, are also telling upon the studies of the students whose examinations are fast approaching,” a teenager said.



Rima case: Anil Jain, 2 others held
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
The city police is learnt to have come close to cracking the Rima disappearance case following some vital clues. Though senior officials are tight-lipped about the issue, sources reveal that the main suspect Anil Jain alias Micky has been arrested along with two others in the case.

The Rima Jain disappearance case was hogging headlines in the city for the last more than a month after she had gone missing on July 29. She had left her house for swimming but did not return. Her son, Bhanu Partap Jain, had alleged that she was kidnapped and probably murdered.

While the police remained clueless about her whereabouts for all this time, Bhanu was alleging that the police was not doing anything in the case. With allegations and counter-allegations flying high, investigation was recently shifted to the Superintendent of Police (Detective), Mr Gurpreet Singh Toor.

Meanwhile, in a statement last evening, Sangeeta Jain, wife of Anil Jain, who is also a brother-in-law of Rima Jain, alleged that their family was being harassed by the police and her husband was called to the CIA police station on Thursday night and was in their detention only.

She also alleged that the police was harassing her family as on Thursday evening the police had summoned her and her husband to the CIA police station. “While I was allowed to come back after four hour’s questioning, my husband was not allowed to come back and is still in the police custody,’’ she alleged.

In her statement, Sangeeta Jain further claimed: “Rima Jain disappeared just one day ahead of the final settlement brokered by the relatives over the disputed properties. At the behest of some of her friends Rima would always avoid a settlement.”

“Why should we get her abducted?” she asked, while adding, “we would stand to lose from her disappearance”.

She said that the police should question those people who would be benefited from her disappearance and who were still in de-facto control of her business.

She said earlier also when Micky’s younger brother and Rima Jain’s husband Sunil Jain died, he (Micky) was charged with murder. He was acquitted by the court with strictures passed against the police for implicating him (Micky). She alleged that even a false case under NDPS Act was fabricated against her husband by the local police at Rima Jain’s behest. Later the police withdrew the case.

She alleged that once again some of her relatives were hell bent on getting her husband implicated. She maintained that ever since Rima Jain disappeared, Micky was being harassed. She said despite being cooperative and available whenever wanted by the police, he was frequently detained .

As the police hopes to solve the case within a few days, it would be a reprieve for them as it had become a headache for them for quite some time now. Other than finding the car of Rima Jain from the Delhi airport, the police was not able to make any headway in the case.



Passing Thru

William P. Burdick
Dr William P. Burdick Director of Education, Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER), Philadelphia

What do you think of healthcare facilities in India?

India is providing best healthcare facilities in the world. The cost of treatment is much low as compared to their western counterparts. May be this is the reason that people from abroad seek appointments for getting treatment here. And the medical fraternity is thorough professional.

Are you satisfied with the facilities provided by the CMCH?

Yes, I am here because of this only. Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) has got impressive healthcare facilities. The facilities for accident and emergency, especially the ambulance and mobike accident retrieval services started by the pioneer institution are commendable. The surgeons are world renowned.

What is FAIMER?

Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER) is committed to improving world health through education. We work in developing countries to focus on faculty development, accreditation of medical schools, migration of physicians and collection of data on quantity and quality of medical institutes.

— Shivani Bhakoo



Arrangements for poll

Amloh, September 17
The returning officer for the municipal council election, Amloh, has stated that arrangements have been made for polling tomorrow. Voters of ward No. 1 will vote at Government Elementary School, Mani Vehra of ward No. 2 at Sansi — Vehra School, of ward No. 3 at Government Secondary School (Boys) north wing, of ward No. 4 at south wing, of ward No. 5 at west wing of Govt Senior Secondary School.

Voters of ward No. 6 will vote at Govt Sec School for Girls (north wing), of ward No. 7 at Government Elementary School, Annian Road, Amloh, of ward No. 8 at SDO Office (Canal) of ward No. 9 at the Market Committee Office, of ward No. 10 at Govt Girls School (south wing), of ward No. 11 at MC Office, of ward No. 12 at the Tehsil Office and of ward No. 13 at Government Elementary School, Balmik Basti, Amloh. OC



Preserve ozone layer: experts
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 17
Ozone gas in the stratosphere around the earth helped in absorbing the ultra-violet rays and reflecting back the infrared rays. These rays, if entered the earth in large quantity will lead to rise in temperature thus adversely affect the flora and fauna and cause an increase in skin cancer, cataract, visual impairment, change in crop pattern and genetic changes in life on earth.

The Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha held a function at Govt Polytechnic College for Women, Rishi Nagar, here last evening to mark the International Day for the Preservation of Ozone Layer.

Dr Arun Mitra, general secretary of the jatha, while delivering the theme lecture to students and teachers of the college, said the depletion of ozone layer was occurring as a result of human activity.

He further pointed out that an average American put 36 times the load on environment as compared to an average person in the developing country. Because of this there was a rise in global temperature. This, could have disastrous consequences with melting of glaciers and rise in sea level.

Dr Rajinder Pal Singh Aulakh said with the entry of MNCs in the country under the WTO, the biodiversity of the country was under great threat. They were patenting even the age-old bio-products of the country, which had been used by the people.



FCI celebrates Hindi Divas
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 17
The Food Corporation of India here today organised a function to celeberate Hindi Divas.
Mr Pramod Kumar Sharma, executive member, of the Hindi Working Committee, said Hindi could be used in daily business.

He said: “We have certain hesitation to do official work in Hindi but it can be removed with regular practice. In India, only 2 or 3 per cent people know English whereas 70 per cent population knows Hindi. If we wish to make Hindi an international language, we will have to first popularise it in our own country.”

He further said we would have to promote Hindi with a missionary zeal without thinking of our religion, caste, etc as Hindi was a universal language of the country.



Move on factory opposed

Khanna, September 17
Municipal Councillor Ram Singh and other residents of Bhupinder Nagar, ward no 12, at Amloh road had written a complaint to Municipal Council to reject a map of a factory filed before the council to establish a feed factory in the area.

The complaint, signed by the Municipal Councillor and 40 residents, said Kesar Singh was willing to establish a feed factory in the residential area which was a threat to the residents. They had sent the copies of the complaint to The Chairman of the pollution board, General Manager, District Industries Centre Ludhiana, and SDO, Punjab State Electricity Board, Khanna.

They had urged the authorities not to approve the map of the factory in the residential area. Mr Nazar Singh, Executive Officer, Municipal Council Khanna, said if the residents had any objection, the council would not allow any factory in the residential area. OC



SOS to PM, President
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
The joint action committee of the PAU Employees and Teachers has appealed to the President and Prime Minister to save its senior members, Sat Pall Sharma, Accounts Officer, and R.S. Arora, Admn-cum-Accounts Officer, from the alleged atrocities of the PAU administration.

The two employees have been sitting on an indefinite fast since September 14 against their alleged victimisation and mental torture. Dr Balwant Singh, convener of the committee stated that the two had been subjected to harassment because as members of the committee they had raised voice against the alleged corrupt practices being carried on in the university. 



Four held in murder case
Our Correspondent

Khanna, September 17
The police today claimed to have solved an eight-month old murder case with the arrest of four accused in the past three days.
Mr Dilbagh Singh, SP (D), said the accused had thrown the body of Nirbhai Singh, a resident of Lall Kalan village, in Neelon Canal on January 6 after murdering him.

He said when Nirbhai Singh did not return to his home on January 6, members of his family set out to trace him, but to no avail. They lodged a complaint at the Samrala police station.

The relatives of the deceased suspected that Nirbhai Singh might have been murdered by Rupinder Pal Singh, a resident of the same village. Rupinder believed that that his father, Randhir Singh, was arrested in a theft case on an information of Nirbhai Singh, the relatives said.

A case had been registered against four persons under Sections 364, 302, 201 and 34 of the IPC.

During the investigation the police arrested Mandeep Singh of Lall Kalan village and Saudagar Singh of Bizlipur village on Thursday. They confessed to murdering Nirbhai Singh. They told the police that Rupinder and Sandeep Singh Seepa were also involved in the murder.

Both absconding accused were arrested when they were coming to the Samrala from Ludhiana in a yellow Maruti car yesterday. They confessed that they had killed Nirbhai Singh and thrown his body into the canal.

The police said one of the accused had already been booked in five different cases at the Samrala police station. 



CM to meet PM over sops to industry
Our Correspondent

Amloh, September 17
A delegation of industrialists and ministers led by Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, will meet Dr Manmohan Singh next month to urge him to accord concessions to industry in Punjab on the pattern of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal.

If done, this will attract industrial houses of the country and NRIs to make investments in the state, which will improve its economy and provide employment to the youth, asserted Mr Shamasher Singh Dullo, Punjab Pardesh Congress chief, during his chat with mediapersons at a function at the residence of civic body chief Davinder Pal Singla here last night.

Mr Mohinder Paul Gupta, Mr Raj Kumar Bansal, president and vice-president of the furance association, respectively, Mr J.S. Maini, state secretary, PPCC, Mr Harinder Singh Bhambri, member, PPCC, Mr Rajiv Sood and Mr Suresh Babli (both councillors) and social worker Seth Khanaya Lal were also present at the meeting.

When his attention was drawn to the Opposition’s propaganda that concessions were being made to woo voters for the coming elections, Mr Dullo quipped that the SAD had given free power to farmers only six months ahead of the elections. 


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