L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


4 held for dumping carcasses on road
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
Allotment of a piece of land at Laddowal village to a private company for a project, cost four contractors of cattle carcasses dear. When they could not find a place to dump dead cattle, they threw as many as 10 carcasses of buffaloes on Tajpur Road, thereby blocking traffic and causing inconvenience to residents of the area.

The contractors including Hussan Lal, Pawan Kumar, Balwinder Kumar and Mohan Lal were booked by the local police under Section 283 of the IPC for blocking the traffic. The contractors said that as the hadda rori in Laddowal was closed down due to the private company’s project, they were not able to find any place to throw the corpses and were finding it very difficult to dump them.

In the morning today, they collected as many as 10 dead buffaloes from various parts of the city and when they did not find any place they threw those on the road only as a mark of protest. To cap it all, they raised slogans against the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation for not providing them a place to do the dumping.

After some time, stench emanating from the carcasses and the traffic was also blocked on the busy road in the office hours. Residents complained to the police and a police team went to the place of incident.

The cops directed the contractors to clear the road and registered a case against them. The contractors said they took the corpses and dumped these on the roadsides only at far away places. Later they were arrested by the police.

They said when they did not find any place to dump the carcasses they had no other way to show their protest. They added that their problem was genuine.



CMCH to aid of girl with heart disease
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 8
Life became an agony for little girl, Rupinder, after she was diagnosed with a heart disease. At the age of 11, she started complaining of chest pain and palpitation. After a vicious circle of going to a local physician, her parents took her to the rural centre of Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) at Rauwal in this district, from where she was referred to the parent institution here. Rupinder was diagnosed with rheumatic mitral valve disease.

Says Dr Rajiv Gupta, cardio-thoracic surgeon at the CMCH: “In this condition, the leaflet of the valve gets thickened and retracted. That leads to leakage of the valve and congestion of the lungs. The patient is not able to carry out even the routine activities because of breathlessness. Rheumatic fever is the principal cause of mitral valve disease and usually occurs in childhood or adolescence (8-12 years of age). The disease creates an inflammatory infiltration of the myocardium and valves. Perhaps because the disease afflicts young people, many years pass before symptoms are manifested. Prior history of rheumatic fever is often difficult to confirm.”

Once it was established that Rupinder needed heart surgery for replacement of the defective heart valve, it was an uphill task for the father of the patient, a farmer with a meagre income, to raise such an amount for the treatment of his daughter. The doctors at CMCH tried to keep the patient stable with medication. But the situation was getting worse with the passage of time.

It was at this juncture that the hospital management, especially Mr S.N. Maini, Chairman of the advisory committee of CMCH came to the rescue of the family and decided to provide the best quality valves for this young patient. In the words of Mr Maini, “A child who has a long life ahead, has the right to live it to the fullest and should not be deprived in any way. This is the underlying objective with which a unique ‘heart valve bank’ has been established at the CMCH for any deserving poor patient, requiring cardiac valve replacement performed at this hospital.” This valve replacement of Rupinder was the first cardiac surgery performed through the rural health outreach programme of CMCH.

Mr Maini, who had been instrumental in establishing a paediatric ICU in the institution and motivating fellow citizens as well to follow up with setting up of a state-of-the-art general ICU, said he himself, and the Heart Valve Bank at the CMCH, were open to all the needy people, especially children.

Rupinder had undergone surgery for valve replacement and was recovering well, informed Dr Gupta.

According to Dr John Abraham, Medical Superintendent of CMCH, even after financial assistance from Mr Maini and the CMCH, the patient was still in need of funds for extended follow-up treatment. All those who wish to help Rupinder Kaur could contact the Medical Superintendent’s office at CMCH, Ludhiana. All payments should be made in favour of Christian Medical College and Hospital with ‘Treatment of Rupinder Kaur’, written on back of cheques or drafts.



PAU gets arrears of Rs 5 crore
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, December 8
The Punjab Government has released a sum of Rs 5 crore as arrears to the Punjab Agricultural University after more than 10 years. The Punjab Government had acquired the land of the sugarcane research station at Jalandhar for the establishment of the medical institute and had promised to pay Rs 15 crore to the university in lieu of the land and for the establishment of new research station and got Rs 10 crore.

According to Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, the university authorities had been pressing on the state government headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal and other senior functionaries for the past 10 years for the release of Rs 5 crore and a number of meetings were held with the senior bureaucrats of the state government. At long last, the university got the arrears of Rs 5 crore with the intervention of Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister.

Punjab Agricultural University has already set up a research station at the site of the central state seed farm at Ladowal and research on sugarcane and wheat is being undertaken there. The university is also having seed multiplication programme for wheat and other crops at Ladowal farm. Besides, the university has set up some laboratories there, said the Vice-Chancellor.

According to Dr Aulakh, the amount of Rs 5 crore would be invested on undertaking research at Ludhiana. The university has also constructed houses for the Ladowal farm staff on the Ludhiana campus.

Meanwhile, the PAU has received another grant of Rs 2.66 crore from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for undertaking development works on the campus.

Dr Darshan Singh, Dean, Post Graduate Studies, said today that renovation of Pal Auditorium would be undertaken with the development grant. The auditorium would be made centrally airconditioned with a sum Rs 46 lakh. Besides, the renovation of hostels and upgradation of the undergraduate and postgraduate laboratories would be taken up.



IT officials raid industrial units
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 8
Several teams of Income Tax officials, with supporting staff and police, today conducted raids on almost one dozen premises of two leading industrial houses in the city.

Besides, the factories of these units, located on Humbran Road and Gill Road here, the search and seizure operations were also carried out on godowns and residential premises of these units.

Bank lockers, maintained by the owners and their family members were also reported to have been sealed and these would be inspected later.

While the department officials refused to give out details of the operations, it was learnt that a team of as many as 150 income tax sleuths, led by the Additional Director, Mr S.S. Rana, had swooped down on the premises of these units and a thorough inspection of books of accounts, computer data, sale and purchase records and stocks was conducted.

At some places, the gates of the premises were closed and entry was restricted. The owners of the units being raided were also not allowed to communicate on telephones, including mobile phones, according to sources.

The search and seizure operations were continuing till the filing of this report and more details would be available after the seized documents were processed, the department officials said.



1500 kg poppy husk seized; 1 held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
The Focal Point police today claimed to have arrested a man on the charges of smuggling poppy husk from Madhya Pradesh and selling the same at a much higher price in and around Ludhiana.

Besides, the police recovered over 1500 kg poppy husk and the car in which the man allegedly used to smuggle poppy husk. He has been booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

Addressing a press conference at the Focal Point police station here today DSP, Industrial area, Mr Satvir Singh Atwal, and SHO, Focal Point, Mr Waryam Singh, claimed that they nabbed the man from his house in Jandiali village following a tip-off that he was involved in the smuggling of poppy husk. The man has been identified as Harjinder Singh, a resident of Jandiali village.



Passing Thru

Dr Chandra R.K.
Dr Chandra R.K., internationally- acclaimed nutritional immunologist and Vice Chancellor of Universite Internationale des Sciences de la Sante, Switzerland

Your comments on the scenario of deficiency diseases in India ?

In the wake of widespread deficiency diseases and impaired immune responses among the children as well as grown ups, we need a massive government sponsored nutrient supplementation programme. Particularly in India, with poor medical care and basic health facilities, nutrition supplement is the only way to achieve a better health level, as also to avoid infections and other deficiency diseases.

Any scientific data to support nutrient supplementation programme ?

Studies conducted among high school children in several parts of India revealed that nearly 85 per cent of the them were suffering from nutrient deficiency. After supplementation, the children showed better academic performance and were also seen to be less prone to infections. The elderly people had also displayed encouraging response to nutritional supplements.

Since you intend to shift your base to India, your future programmes ?

I intend to settle in Gurgaon near Delhi. My desire is to set up more research in the field at different places in India and to work for motivating the governments to adopt use of nutrition supplements for the masses. Time permitting, I shall also devote some time to offer consultation to patients in immunology and deficiency diseases.

— Kuldip Bhatia



BJP to launch campaign against govt policies
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 8
The BJP has decided to launch a “jan-jagran campaign” against what it termed anti-people policies of the Congress government in Punjab and its failure on all fronts. The party would hold district-level rallies from January 16 in the first phase of the agitation, which will be addressed by senior state and national-level leaders.

In a statement here today, state secretary of BJP Anil Sarin said the state-level agitation would “expose the misdeeds” of the government, led by Captain Amarinder Singh, including the deteriorating law and order situation, rising unemployment and corruption at all levels in government offices. He said the economy of the state was in a shambles and crimes against women, dalits and weaker sections had witnessed an alarming rise under the Congress regime.

The BJP leader alleged that the law-enforcement machinery appeared to be clueless to tackle the situation where anti-social elements, land mafia and criminals were virtually holding the people to ransom. Corruption in high places had increased to such an extent that even Congress legislators were openly charging ministers and other government functionaries with amassing wealth and misuse of political power.

Mr Sarin informed that that first rally in the series would be organised at Amritsar on January 16 followed by Pathankot on January 23, Jalandhar on January 30, Fazilka on February 4, Hoshiarpur on February 6, Phagwara on February 13, Ludhiana on February 20, Rajpura on February 27 and Nangal on March 6.

In a bid to strengthen the agitation and to motivate farmers in support of the party, the BJP Kisan Morcha would organise a farmers’ rally at Fazilka on February 4 to focus on the “anti-farmer policies” of the government, he added.



District police goes hi-tech
Our Correspondent

Khanna, December 8
Now one can register first information report at any police station here from January 2006, through email SSP Khanna, Mr Naunihal Singh claims. The SSP said it would be possible because all police stations have been computerised and would be connected with internet by January.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune Mr Naunihal Singh said the computerisation began with only four computers in September. He said they have now increased to 51 computers.

He told, in the beginning the ratio per computer was for 272 persons, which now has been decreased to 22. He said there were only six computer operators who were doing all the work. He said after computerisation 213 policemen have been trained in computer education. He also disclosed that other 272 policemen have applied to learn computer. The SSP said he wanted to educate the children of policemen. He said earlier a person took three days to prepare a weekly dairy and now it just takes only half day.

The SSP said he would send all six-computer operators to Indira Gandhi Open University to learn soft ware development.

He said all five police stations including Khanna City Police station, Khanna Sadar police station, Payal, Samrala and Machhiwara police stations and District police office have been computerised and would be connected with internet by January.

After connecting all computers with internet facility, registration of FIRs would begin on emails, he said.



Volunteers resent sacrilege in J&K gurdwaras
Our Correspondent

Harbans Singh Jandali
Harbans Singh Jandali, president of the Ontario Sikh Gurdwara Council Canada.
— A Tribune photograph

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 8
The Ontario Sikh Gurdwara Council has urged the Sikh organisations and the state governments of Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab to look into the incidents of sacrilege in gurdwaras in the Poonch area. Volunteers of the council had visited these gurdwaras for distributing relief to the quake victims from the Guru Nanak Relief Fund generated by sangat of Canada.

SGPC president Jathedar Avtar Singh was not available for comments but Mr Gurbachan Singh, who claimed to be his secretary, said the matter was not under the purview of the committee.

Mr Harbans Singh Jandali, president of the Ontario Sikh Gurdwara Council and leader of the volunteers who visited quake hit areas, alleged that the people of the border state, especially the security force personnel, were not serious about maintaining the sanctity of the religious places of the Sikhs.

Referring to the incidents of sacrilege at religious places in the Baramula and Kupwara areas, he alleged that their sanctity was not being maintained. Though the marayada, according the council delegates was not being followed in most of the gurdwaras there, the condition was worse at gurdwaras occupied by armed forces personnel.

“We were shocked to see pieces of burnt cigarettes and biris on the premises of Gurdwara Tapiana situated in Salkot village in the Baramula area. When we resented the sacrilege, the jawans staying there and the sevadars maintained that it was a routine there and it could not be helped,” he revealed.

He told that the religious place had been constructed in the memory of Sant Bhai Rocha Singh, who was known for meditation at one time.



Indo-Pak tourism potential to be explored
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
A delegation of the Punjab Hotel and Restaurant Association and Dhan Pathohar Brotherhood Punjab is going to Pakistan to explore the huge potential of Indo-Pak tourism.

Stating this in a press note issued here on Tuesday, Mr N.S. Nanda further informed that he would also meet Rai Aziz Ullaha Khan, member, National Assembly, and Chairman, Tourism and Cultural Committee, and Mian Mohammad Aslam Jqbal Tounsm, Minister, West Punjab, to extend an invitation to them for attending the Annual Convention of Hotel and Restaurant Association of Punjab to be held in the month of Janaury at Ludhiana.

Mr Nanda said since Indo-Pak relations were moving in the right direction now, it was the right time to exploit the huge potential of tourist traffic between both the Punjab’s. He requested the governments of both the countries to adopt liberal visa policy to build more people-to-people contacts.



Yana plays tambola with fans
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
Ludhiana rocked as the Czech model-turned actress Yana Gupta came to town in a megastore recently. This time she played the game of tambola with her fans. The game was open for those who bought the tickets in the past two weeks by shopping for Rs 1,000 in the store.

The game was earlier played in the store on November 20 and November 27. Here the winners took back with them prizes worth Rs 1 lakh. The stakes were much higher as the highest prize to be given by Yana Gupta was worth Rs 50,000.

The winner of the game Mr Sanjiv Mahajan won prize worth Rs 50,000. Other lucky winners took with them prizes worth Rs 10,000 each.



Sahota elected MC chief
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, December 8
Election to the posts of president and vice- president of Municipal Council of Mandi Gobindgarh was held here today.

Mr Sandeep Hans, SDM, Amloh, was the presiding officer. Out of 19 elected councillors, 15 members were present in the meeting.

Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot Parliamentary Secretary, and MLA from Amloh was also present in the meeting

Former council chief Joginder Pal Singh proposed the name of Mr Jagmeet SIngh Sahota for the post of president, Mr Gurmeet Singh councillor from ward No. 7, seconded the proposal. For the post of vice-president Mr Jagmeet Singh Sahota proposed the name of Mr Suresh Kumar Babli and Mr Rajeev Sood, councillor from ward number 4, seconded it .

Four councillors of SAD — Rajinder Kumar, ward number 12; Sukhwinder Singh, ward number 13; Jagdev Singh, ward number 1; and Ms Kamaljit Kaur, ward number 11, abstained from the meeting.



PSEB staff strike
Our Correspondent

Samrala, December 8
On a call by the joint struggle committee of the PSEB, all the employees of the local PSEB offices observed a strike here today and held a big rally in front of the complaints office.

The rally was addressed by TSU representatives Mr Jaswant Singh, Mr Bhupinder Pal Singh, and Mr Genda Mall.



26 quintals of wheat stolen from godown
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 8
The Sudhar Police station has registered a case against unknown persons under Section 380 of the IPC for stealing 26 quintals of wheat belonging to a state food procurement agency.

Jagtar Singh, inspector and depot in-charge at godowns owned by PUNSUP at Halwara, informed Shawinder Singh Dhillon, SHO Sudhar police station, that some unknown persons had stolen 26 quintals of wheat stored in the godowns.

Referring to information received from the watchman posted at the godown he told the police that burglary was made during the night.

“When the watchman informed me about the theft in the morning I along with my colleagues re-counted the stock and found that 26 quintals of the foodgrain had been pilfered from a total of 376 quintals that had been stored in the godown”, the depot in-charge told the police.

The police registered a case of theft against unidentified persons. Preliminary investigations revealed that the thieves had used a four-wheeler to take away the wheat.



BSNL staff rally against disinvestment

Ludhiana, December 8
In response to a call given by the Sanchar Nigam Executive Association (SNEA) and All-India BSNL Executive Association, telecom employees held a massive lunch-hour demonstration in front of the office of GMT here today against disinvestment of BSNL and unbundling of its local loop.

Addressing the protesting employees, Mr Balbir Singh, circle secretary of BSNL Employees Union, Punjab circle, said the government was out to ruin the BSNL by allowing the sharing of last mile copper wire of the public sector telecom companies (BSNL and MTNL) by private companies. Further, the government had also indicated that the BSNL would be disinvested to the tune of 10 per cent.

He made it clear that BSNL employees, irrespective of their association with any unions and associations, would fight with all their might against the disastrous policies being pursued by the government. Mr Balbir Singh termed the formation of joint forum at All-India level as a welcome step. He also called upon the workers to make the proposed January 5 strike a success.

Speaking at the rally, Mr Inderjit Singh, national vice-president of SNEA, said the steps of the government to reduce licence fee for ILD and NLD from Rs 2500 crore and Rs 100 crore, respectively, to a uniform Rs 2.5 crore would badly affect the state-owned companies. “As a result of reduction in ADC charges, the BSNL will lose Rs 5000 crore.”

Mr Ashok Kumar Khanna, circle secretary of BSNL Executive Association, while addressing the workers, said by introduction of ‘one nation — one rate’ under the new telecom policy 2005, the BSNL will suffer a further loss of Rs 11,000 crore. He remarked that the TRAI was playing in the hands of World Bank, IMF and multinational companies and issuing such instructions that might harm state-owned telecom companies.

Mr Balwinder Singh, district secretary, BSNLEU, Mr Jasbir Singh, district secretary, SNEA, and Mr Randhir Kumar Puri, district secretary, BSNLEA, observed that there was widespread uncertainty among the BSNL workers over their future while the government policies were brewing discontentment among all cadres. — OC



INTUC holds dharna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
Protesting against the state government for not fulfilling the promises it made regarding demands of government and semi-government employees, employees of several government departments and companies, affiliated to the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), held a dharna outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office here yesterday.

Mr Swaran Singh, president, INTUC, said the Punjab Government had failed to fulfil its promises, forcing the working committee of the union to hold dharnas at various district headquarters.

The demands raised by the employees were related to bonus, ban on privatisation, regularisation of services of workers, putting an end to contractual system and restarting of factories in the state.


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