L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Medicos continue anti-quota stir
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 20
The students of the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) were today joined by the senior and junior residents in their anti-quota stir today.
The senior residents also observed fast to voice their resentment against the special quota for the OBCs.

A spokesman of the students, Dr Aman Inder Singh, said that the OPD and operation theatres also remained closed as the senior joined them in their strike.

He said they had also staged a dharna at the entrance of the hospital. Later, the students accompanied by their seniors and also the students of the Lord Mahavira Homoeopathy College, took out a procession through various areas of the city.

They were carrying banners and placards with the messages saying that the merit should not be sacrificed in the name of the caste.

The students pasted handbills in various markets, including the Ghumar Mandi. They were supported by other people and the passersby in their protest against the special quota for the OBCs. The resentment was more pronounced against the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Mr Arjun Singh.

Earlier while addressing the dharna, the speakers alleged that there appeared to be some nefarious design in raking up the issue of reservation. They said the country had seen the worst during the anti-Mandal strike in early nineties.

They were probably keen to repeat those incidents for their own ulterior motives, the speakers said, while appealing the people to rise against this dangerous move.

They said the meritorious students would feel frustrated as they would be denied their rightful due. They warned that this trend would turn dangerous and could harm the development of the country.

If India needs to move forward and compete with the other progressive countries, then the policies like special quotas must be dispensed with, the students demanded. 



Chairman SC ST panel advocates debate on reservation
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 20
Mr Niranjan Singh, Chairman SC ST Commission Punjab, talking to the mediapersons here said there should be an open debate on the issue of reservation in prestigious educational institutions and termed the recent violence by certain section of society as unfortunate.

He said violence should not be there and while deciding the issue of reservation there should be no politics and matter should not be politicalised and decided on merit. He stressed that there should be no casteism and caste-based atrocities must be curbed with heavy hand. At the same time he agreed that there should not be misuse of the Atrocities on SCST Act 1989.

Mr Niranjan Singh had come to Fatehgarh Sahib to inspect various ongoing welfare schemes for the SC ST Section of society and he held a meeting of all district officials at Bachat Bhavan and enquired from them about the implementation of government-sponsored welfare schemes.

He said that commission would ensure the implementation of the Atrocities Act 1989 to redress the grievances of the SC and ST.

He said that seminars would be organised in all districts to create awareness as well as to highlight various welfare schemes. The commission had received 1194 complaints under various categories and out of these 220 had been decided and the rest were pending, he added.

In her address Mrs Jaspreet Talwar Deputy Commissioner, assured the Chairman that whatever welfare schemes were initiated by the government would be implemented in the district in latter and in spirit. She also assured that justice would be provided to this section of society on a priority basis.

Mr Shiv Kumar Verma, SSP, assured that the police would speed up all pending cases under Atrocities Act and ensure justice.



10-month-old murder case solved
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 20
The suspicion about the criminal background of gangsters arrested in connection with the Rajesh jeweller murder case has come true with the city police claiming that the gang kingpin Rajiv, alias Raja, had connived with three other persons to kill another jeweller in the city in July last.

SP (Detective) Gurpreet Singh said in a press conference here today that further interrogation of the six arrested persons had revealed that Rajiv and another member of the gang, Anil Kumar, alias Kaka, had murdered an aged jeweller, Jaswant, and wounded his wife, Bhagya Devi, in Tajgunj Colony, Division No 3 area, on July 27 last. They had stolen Rs 80,000 from the couple. The case had remained unsolved till now. Anil Kumar was one of the six accused arrested three days ago in the Rajesh jeweller murder case. However, the prime accused Rajiv was still absconding.

Two other accomplices in the Jaswant Rai murder case, Jatin Kumar, alias Jimmy, and Pradeep Kumar, alias Kaku, had also been arrested, the police said.

The police has found that Atul Kumar and Vicky, two other accused arrested in the Rajesh jeweller murder case, also had a long criminal record. They were wanted in cases of murder, possessing arms illegally and robberies.

The police said many other cases of similar nature were likely to be solved with the further interrogation of the accused.

The SP (Detective) said raids were on to arrest Rajiv and Pooja, alias Neeru. But they were untraceable till now.

On the early morning of July 27, Jaswant Rai, a 75-year-old jeweller and financier, was stabbed in the stomach and the chest. His wife, Bhagya Devi, (70), was also injured in the attack. The accused had taken away the jewellery she was wearing.

The elderly couple used to stay alone in their home. Their two sons lived nearby with their families.



Thapar accuses Sarna of misappropriation of funds
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 20
The Delhi-based general secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Mr Omkar Singh Thapar, today alleged that the offerings made to the golden “palki sahib” 
that was taken to Pakistan had not been deposited with the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Managing Committee by Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, former president of the committee.

However, Mr Sarna, who was also in the town later, denied the allegations. He said, neither he nor any other member of the DSGMC had taken any collection. In fact, they did not even count the money themselves, he said.

He challenged Mr Thapar to prove the charge of misappropriation levelled against him. “If he was able to do so, I would resign from all posts,” he said.

Mr Thapar said all religious programmes of the Sikhs should be organised jointly. He observed that the Sikhs might have personal or political differences amongst themselves, but they should always be together on religious issues. He appealed to Mr Sarna to join the programme of the 400 anniversary of the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev.

The SAD general secretary criticised the Congress government in Punjab. He alleged that the corruption was at its peak. He said the recent instance of selling out prime land to Reliance Industries only established that the state government was neck deep in corruption. He said, the government had failed to explain as to what benefit the people would get from the Reliance investment.



Wheat godown looted
Our Correspondent

Khanna, May 20
A wheat godown of a Mumbai-based company was looted by around 10 armed robbers at Rasulra village near here last night.
NCMSL company had stored wheat in a godown near Rasulra and had posted Jaswant Singh of Bhao Majra for the security.

Around 1.30 am, while Jaswant Singh was relaxing on the rooftop of the security room near the main gate of the godown, he was overpowered by four persons. Later, six others persons reached there in a Tata 407 truck. They decamped with 87 bags of wheat.



Tiwari lauds Muslims’ contribution in nation building
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 20
The secretary, All India Congress Committee, Mr Manish Tiwari, today lauded the contribution of the Muslims towards nation building. He said the Muslims had made an immense contribution in building up a strong India.

Mr Tiwari was addressing a Sirat Nabvi conference organised by the Muslim National Front and the Indian Muslim Welfare Council at the local grain market. He pointed out the Prophet Mohammad had introduced civilised reforms. He said it was high time to learn from the teachings of the Prophet who had strongly opposed the killing of girl child about 1500 years ago.

The AICC secretary regretted that some people were bent upon spreading terrorism in the name of religion. He lauded the Indian Muslims for defeating the designs of the sectarian and communal elements. He said the Indian Muslims had always rejected chauvinism and communalism.

Among others present on the occasion included Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Dr Harbans Lal, Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Surinder Dawer, Mayor, Nahar Singh Gill and senior Congress leader, Mr Pawan Dewan.

The Muslims raised some demands which included allocation of space for the graveyard and an Idgah. They said there was a substantial number of Muslims living in the city and still there was no proper graveyard or an Idgah. Mr Tiwari assured them that he would take up their demands with the government. 



Sewer choked at Rani Jhansi Road
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 20
A sewerage pipe is overflowing at Rani Jhansi Road for the last couple of days but it has not been repaired so far.
Residents of the area said that the situation has worsened due to rains and various complaints to civic authorities did not yield anything.

‘‘The water is collecting near an electricity pole. It poses threats to commuters on the road. Anytime a tragedy can happen as wire carrying current can come in contact with the water. Perhaps the MC is waiting for some tragedy to happen. Only then they would wake up,” said a resident of the area.

They added that the MC was not equipped to handle even a light rain as far as drainage was concerned. They said that despite storm water sewerage the rain water did not get discharged easily and collected at various places. 



Ex-sailor fighting for disability pension for 33 years
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Vadish Kumar Gupta
Vadish Kumar Gupta

Ludhiana, May 20
Declared invalidated by the Indian Naval Services 36 years ago, on account of his ill mental health, a resident of Ludhiana, is fighting a long battle for getting disability pension for the last 33 years but to no avail.

Mr Vadish Kumar Gupta, a former Writer-II with INS Hamla Ships Company at Mumbai, was discharged from the services with a diagnosis ‘schizoid in personality’ in 1970.

His claim for disability pension was rejected during 1970. His schizophrenia was considered by the medical board as neither attributable nor aggravated by Navy service. Hence he could not be provided with disability pension.

Since then he had been writing at various platforms to various naval authorities for considering his case on the grounds that he was invalidated during the service and was hale and hearty when he joined it.

Mr Gupta had joined the Indian Navy on October 14, 1967. After completing basic and divisional training of January 18, 1968 he was posted at INS Hamla, Mumbai. He remained posted there till May 1969. Later he was posted at INS Angre till October 1969.

‘‘I reported blood in sputum one day and was asked to report to sick bay in INS Angre. I was sent to psychiatric ward, INS Asvini, Colaba, Mumbai. I was discharged from there with the stigma of being a schizophrenic. Though I was declared fit for working in any of the civil occupations, I was declared unfit for military services, ’’ says Mr Gupta.

Since then life has not been very kind to him. Years of writing letters to Naval Headquarters, President of India and Prime Minister of India to consider his case sympathetically did not yield anything.

Finally, he gave his case to a Congress leader, who wrote to the Ministry of Defence on his behalf. It was after his intervention that he received a letter by Controller Defence Accounts (Pensions), Allahabad (dated December 15, 2005) which said that in such cases, the appeal is to be decided by Army Headquarters, Government of India, Ministry of Defence only.

The letter further stated that ‘‘the government’s letter dated February 7, 2001, is applicable when the medical board found the disability related to Military Service as the percentage is assessed. In this case the attributability aspect has not been decided by the Re-Survey Medical Board (RSMB), as such government sanction is required. The claim is therefore returned to obtain decision on appeal against rejection of disability pension.’’

“I had served in the Navy and had received the disability schizophrenic reaction while I was serving the Indian Navy on active service. Hence the same is aggravated and attributable to the Naval service. As such I was quite fit medically at the time of my recruitment with the Navy service.’’ he said.

He added, ‘‘I have not been granted disability pension even after so many years of correspondence. I am entitled to more than 50 per cent disability pension for life along with the arrears and further increment of the same.’’

The District Sainik Welfare Officer, Lt. Commander Tarlochan Singh (retd) has also written a number of letters to the Naval Headquarters to expedite the case of Mr Gupta.



Kanwaljit flays govt policies
Our Correspondent

Amloh, May 20
The Punjab Government has failed to fulfill the promise to abolish octroi in its election manifesto but now to mislead the people in the coming elections it is going to impose new taxes of Rs 700 crore under the garb of octroi abolition. This was stated here today by Capt Kanwaljit Singh, general secretary, SAD and former Finance Minister, Punjab.

He was addressing a meeting of SAD activists of the Amloh circle at the grain market here yesterday.

Elaborating the conditions of tax payees in the state, he said people of the state were already paying VAT, Central sales tax, Central excise duty and octroi and the government was earning Rs 950 crore only from VAT. As such, there was no need of new taxes.

He flayed the policy of the state government to allot land at throwaway prices to the multinational companies, especially to the Reliance Group. He demanded a session of the Vidhan Sabha to discuss issue. 



World peace march on May 28
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 20
Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle is organising a world peace march on May 28. The march will commence from the head office of Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, Model Town Extension, at 7.30am and will culminate at Sri Akal Takht Sahib, Amritsar, at 3 pm on the same day.

All the marchers would then offer prayers for world peace and dedicate themselves to achieve their aim.

This march would be dedicated to the 400th martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev, the ‘prophet of peace’, which falls on June 16 over 400 youth symbolising (the 400th year of martyrdom) on motor cycles will be carrying placards and banners with his teachings written on them, spreading the message of world peace through the entire route.

Principal Ram Singh, chief organiser, study circle, said that Guru Arjan Dev gave us the message of peace and universal brotherhood 400 years ago. Today UNESCO is observing the decade of peace. He appealed to people to participate in this march and spread the message of peace. He has asked temples and gurdwaras to organise “chhabeels” enroute.



Ex-MC chief dead
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, May 20
Former MC chief Nand Kumar Gupta, who headed the Mandi Gobindgarh civic body for over 26 years, died here today after a brief illness. He was discharged from Apollo Hospital, Ludhiana, only a few days ago.

He had been the cashier of the Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee and a member of the All-India Congress Committee for several years and was the head of many social and religious organisations. He is survived by his son, Mr Joginder Paul Singla, former MC chief, and a daughter.

Nand Kumar Gupta was born on January 25, 1929, at Bandni Kalan village (Moga). He become the MC chief in 1965 for the first time. He held the post for 26 years.

He was given the Punjab Rattan Award by the Governor in 2004.

He served the Mahaveer Charitable Trust for 25 years. He also remained patron of the Steel Chamber of Commerce, the Zymkhana Club and the Krishna Gaushala.



Undertrial escapes after drugging cops
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 20
The Jagraon police is yet to initiate action in a case where an undertrial prisoner, lodged in the Central Jail at Ludhiana, escaped from custody of two constables somewhere between Barnala town and Halwara village yesterday. The cops had reportedly become unconscious after drinking drug-laced soft drink. The undertrial then fled from their custody.

Mullanpur police personnel had rescued the unconscious cops and informed the Ludhiana police about the incident.

Meanwhile, the Sudhar Police recorded statements of the constables. They said the undertrial had escaped at Raikot Bus Stand.

According to Mr Harjit Singh Brar, DSP Mullanpur, Gurbax Singh, an undertrial, had escaped from custody of constables Ram Lal and Kulbir Singh, posted at Ludhiana. Gurbax was being brought back after being taken to a Barnala court in connection with hearing of a case registered under NDPS Act against him in Sadar Barnala police station.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the policemen and Gurbax Singh had boarded a bus from Barnala to Ludhiana in last afternoon. After the bus reached Halwara village the passengers and staff of the bus saw that two constables were unconscious and the undertrial had escaped. A Highway police team, on getting the information, shifted the unconscious constables to the Civil Hospital Mullanpur and reported the matter to Mr Dharam Pal, SHO Sadar Mullanpur.

“As the constables were not in a condition to narrate the sequence of events we could not initiate any action against them or the absconding undertrial. However, we have informed our seniors and the police station concerned on the basis of information provided by the documents recovered from their possession,” said Mr Brar, while talking to the Ludhiana Tribune.

Meanwhile, the Sudhar police has recorded the statement of the constables who said they had been drugged at Sanghera village near Raikot. “A vendor selling a mango drink pouches, boarded our bus at Sanghera bus stop and Gurbax purchased three pouches. He kept one pouch for himself and offered one each to us which we drank while sitting in the bus,” stated the constables to Mr Jangjit Singh, SHO Sudhar.

While Ram Lal had gulped the whole pouch, Kulbir tasting it bitter discarded a portion of it. But both became unconscious immediately after cosuming the drug-laced drink and Gurbax managed to escape. 



Remand for two in rape case
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 20
Two persons arrested in connection with a three-month-old rape case were produced in a local court here today. Ms Jitender Walia, SDJM, remanded them in judicial custody till June 2.

According to information, Beerpal Singh and Ram Naresh of Manuke intercepted a girl of their village on February 28 while she was going to the market. They forcibly took her to a nearby workshop and allegedly raped her.

A case was registered on the statement of the victim.

Liquor seized: Mehar Singh of Gurusar Kaunke was arrested from near Lakha village with around 80 litre country liquor.

His accomplice, Satvir Singh, however, managed to flee. A case has been registered and efforts are on to arrest Satvir.

5 held for theft: Mohindro, Meera, Paramjit Manjit and Shanti all residents of railway station Mullanpur, have been arrested by the Sidhwanbet police in connection with a theft.

The case was registered at the instance of Daljit Singh of Dhothar under Section 454, 380 of the IPC for the theft from his house.

Killed in mishap: Sukhjinder Singh, (37), of Gurusar Kaunke who was going with his daughter Prabhjot Kaur on his scooter to his village was hit by a bus near Kothe Baggu on the Jagraon-Moga Road, 2 km from here on Saturday. He was killed on the spot and his daughter was injured.

Train hits tractor: The driver of a tracter-trailer escaped unhurt when his vehicle was hit near the New Grain Market by a train bound for Ferozepure.



Wool export promotion council sets up $ 500m target
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 20
The Wool and Woollen Export Promotion Council has set a target of US $500 million for exports in 2006-07. Mr Ashok Jaidka, chairman of the council, said an encouraging trend in exports was witnessed last year which has led to the setting up of an ambitious target for this year.

“Export of wool and wool blended textiles and readymade garments, including knitwear, registered a jump of nearly 7 per cent at Rs 1,583.07 crore during the period April to December, 2005, in comparison to Rs 1,480.67 crore during the corresponding period of last year. Encouraged by this trend, an export target of $500 million has been set for 2006-07,” he said.

He said that in order to attain this target, the council has also finalised an export promotion programme under which its members would participate in ‘magic show exhibition’ to be held in Las Vegas.

Besides, the council would send a study cum sales team to CIS countries, South Africa, Latin American and Scandinavian countries. “We are hopeful that our members would not only get to know the latest trends, they would also manage to procure major orders through such participation.”

Attributing the growth in export of wool and wool blended products to government policies, Mr Jaidka said it had been possible due to liberalisation and simplification and policies like the Textile Upgradation Fund (TUF) scheme by the ministry of textiles.


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