L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Dalit child beaten up by chhabil organiser, dies
Mahesh Sharma

Gurpreet Singh
Gurpreet Singh

Lehal (Ahmedgarh), June 29
A Dalit child Gurpreet (12) of this village died on Tuesday after he was beaten up by an organiser of chhabil, organised near a religious place of the village on Monday. Negligence on part of doctors attending the child was also suspected to be reason behind the death.

The Malaudh police has arrested Jatinder Singh, a local resident, accused of beating up the child. He has been booked under Section 304 of IPC.

According to sources at Malaudh police station Jatinder Singh was arrested last evening from Malaudh bus stop while he was trying to leave. He had been booked for allegedly causing death of Gurpreet Singh who had died on Tuesday.

According to complaint lodged by Raghbir Singh, father of the deceased, Gurpreet and his mother Paramjit Kaur were passing near a chhabil when the volunteers offered a glass of sweetened water to them. “The glass of water slipped from the hands of Gurpreet after which Jatinder Singh started thrashing him,” Raghbir told to the police on the basis of information received from his wife. Gurpreet was kicked on his private organs also. Paramjit Kaur had further told his husband that the accused had threatened them of dire consequences in case she complained about the incident to police.

Though the child was taken to the Civil Hospital, Malaudh, in the evening, the staff on emergency duty, instead of keeping him under observation, sent him back after giving him some analgesic.

The child was again taken to hospital on Tuesday when the pain persisted. “It was then that the doctors examined Gurpreet minutely and found that he had received internal injuries on some vital organs. We were asked to take the child to the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, but he became serious on the way and we took him to a private hospital at Doraha. There the doctors declared him brought dead,” said Raghbir Singh to the police.

Tara Singh, grandfather of the child, alleged that the accused had an old enmity with the family. “He had been harassing us on the instance of certain political persons. Though we had apprehended danger to our life and property earlier, the police, instead of initiating action against the suspect, had been harassing male members of our family,” alleged Tara Singh in presence of other villagers.

Mr Badri Dass, SHO, Malaudh Police, said that Jatinder Singh was arrested when he was trying to leave the area yesterday. The accused had admitted before the police that he had beaten up the child under fit of rage. “As he had shown disrespect to chhabil water by throwing the sweetened water, I lost temper and acted under fit of rage,” Jatinder told the police.

Referring to information received from doctors performing post-mortem on the body, the police maintained that no external injury marks were noticed.

Dr R C Garg, SMO, Civil Hospital, affirmed that the child had been brought to the hospital on Monday. However, he did not confirm whether the doctor attending the child had examined him according to norms and maintained the record about the functioning of vital organs. “However, I have directed my staff to examine such cases minutely and keep them under observation according to need in future,” claimed Dr Garg. 



2 women die after surgery
Mob fury leads to probe 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 29
Mr S.R. Ladhar, Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur, constituted a special team to probe the cause of death of two women whose kin had accused a private doctor of showing negligence in performing an operation on them.

The Malerkotla police has registered a case under Section 304-A, IPC, against the doctor after a mob resorted to brickbat and blocked traffic in front of the doctor’s residence whose staff ran away after locking the hospital.

Meanwhile, the IMA, Malerkotla unit, struck work today to protest against the alleged inaction against the rioters who, according to them, had taken law in their hands without any provocation.

The IMA office-bearers claimed that the unit would urge all units in the Sangrur district to launch a protest in case security of life and property of doctors was not assured by tomorrow.

According to Mr Surjit Singh Grewal, SP(D) Sangrur, Mr S.R. Ladhar, DC, had constituted a committee to probe the allegations leveled by kin of Akbari (40) and Rashda (35) who, according to them, had died due to the alleged negligence of the doctor practising at Malerkotla town.

Dr Indu, SDM, Malerkotla, and Mr Rachhpal Singh, DSP, Malerkotla, would head the committee consisting of at least two medical specialists.

The DC had consented to order a magisterial inquiry if the complainants felt the need for same, maintained Mr Grewal.

Mohamad Akhtar and Mohamad Faruq, brothers of Akbari and Rashda, respectively, had alleged that their sisters had died due to negligence of Dr V.P. Goel who had operated on them recently. According to Mohamad Akhtar, Akbari had been taken to the hospital run by Dr V.P. Goel in the first week of this month.

As the pain, the patient had complained about, persisted even after the treatment the doctors advised that the complication should be corrected through surgery.

“As we were not conversant with the medical profession we consented for the surgery that was conducted on June 10. The doctor had to repeat the surgey the next day also,” Mohamad Akhtar reported to the police.

When the condition of the patient worsened, she was referred to DMC, Ludhiana, and later to PGI, Chandigarh, where Akbari died on June 14. Accepting the tragedy as their fate, the family decided to keep quiet.

Similar allegations were levelled by Mohamad Faruq who alleged that his sister Rashda had died due to negligence of Dr Goel.

According to him, Rashda Parveen had been shifted to Dr Goel’s hospital after she complained of abdominal pain on June 7.

Diagnosing the ailment as hernia, the doctor advised an operation that was conducted on June 20. On worsening of her condition post operation, Rashda Parveen was shifted to DMC, Ludhiana, where she died on 27.

The death of Rashda Parveen angered both families who started demanding an action against the doctor. The situation went out of control in today morning when a mob attacked the hospital and residence of the doctor.

As the staff of the hospital had evaded confrontation by locking the hospital, no person was hurt in the brickbat that damaged windowpanes of the hospital and the doctor' residence.

The police had to call additional forces to handle the situation and ultimately the protestors lifted the blockade after the constitution of the committee.

Though Dr Goel was not available for comments, Dr Charanjit Singh and Dr V.K. Kakkar, secretary and president of the Malerkotla branch of IMA, respectively, said doctors had struck work to protest against the inaction against the rioters.

“We do feel bad about any death that follows a treatment of any nature. Rather, we consider the patient’s death as our own professional bereavement.

“But this is not the way to hold a doctor, who is a saviour of humanity, responsible for the death,” said Dr Charanjit.

He said the IMA would welcome any probe into the matter and the doctors, if found guilty, should be ready to face the consequences but at the moment doctors of Malerkotla were feeling threatened.

He held that the association would extend the protest call to all branches of Sangrur district if need arose.

Referring to the information received from Dr Goel, Dr Charanjit said Akbari was suffering from Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation, a serious complication, and doctors had transfused 27 units of blood to save her life. 



Fourth centenary of Akal Takht a low-key affair
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, June 29
After the quadri-centenary of martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev , the quadri-centenary of establishment of Akal Takht by Guru Hargobind comes on the heels. It is to be celebrated on July 2, 2006. Since Akal Takht is the central point of the Sikhs and is supposed to symbolise the concept of sovereignty in Sikhism and all the Sikhs are expected to abide by the edicts issued from it, the Akali as well as SGPC leadership wants to keep it a low key affair.

It is understood that under the present circumstances, the Akali supremo, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, will not like to generate any enthusiasm for the Akal Takht quadri-centenary celebrations. If enthusiasm is generated and a number of functions are organised, then the enthusiasts will surely make repeated references to the concept of sovereignty in the Sikh system.

In fact, Akal Takht was established in 1606 by Guru Hargobind to symbolise that Sikhs are born sovereign and they bow and accept the sovereignty of Akal, the Almighty only. The Takht throne which was raised by Guru Hargobind was larger in size than the Mughal throne constructed at Agra. The Sikhs called the Guru 'Sachha Patshah' and Guru Hargobind wore two swords on his right and left symbolising the spiritual and temporal powers as integrated in the Sikh system.

The veteran Akali leader, Master Tara Singh, used to assert: "We play in the political arena for upholding our religion and its value. With such background, the Akali Dal would have antagonised its allies -- the BJP and the NDA-- particularly at a time when elections to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha are not far off. Already Akal Takht has taken note of the activities of the RSS-floated Rashtriya Sikh Sangat and the statements of Mr Rajnath Singh and Mrs Sushma Swaraj delivered on the occasion of the quadri-centenary martyrdom function of Guru Arjan Dev held at Tarn Taran on June 16.

Jathedar of Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti has also issued a statement in the name of the Sikh multitude in this regard.

The SGPC is organising a seminar on this occasion. Not many Sikh intellectuals have been invited or consulted for this purpose. No special guests have been invited. Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, president of the SGPC, is away to the USA and Mr Parkash Singh Badal may attend the same. The bhog of Sri Akhand Path will conclude on July 2 at Akal Takht and a congregation will be held there which will be addressed by the Akal Takht Jathedar and jathedars of the other Takhts.

This attitude towards Akal Takht quadri-centenary will be surely noticed by those who have many a time advocated that Akal Takht is supreme authority and the Jathedar of Akal Takht must be a person with impeccable credentials who can command respect in the entire Panth and that the system of selection of Jathedar must be transparent.

The present anxiety of the Akali leadership is to ensure that the present position of Akal Takht and opinions regarding the affairs and the men concerned with it must be kept aside. 



Youth may have eloped, says police
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
Three days after a local youth was allegedly kidnapped from the Sarabha Nagar market in the city, the police continued to be in the dark about his whereabouts even though officials disclosed that they were not working on the abduction theory alone.

Although none of the senior officials of police confirmed whether they were working on the theory that the youth, Vikramjit Singh Vicky could have gone on his own or eloped with someone also, a senior cop said ‘’nothing could be ruled out at this point of time.’’ The officials said that they were working on theories and there was no circumstantial evidence to prove any of these though the police had constituted various teams to follow various leads.

“Due to operations reasons, we cannot divulge any details. Our biggest concern is the safety of the youth. But nothing is confirmed and nothing is ruled out, ‘’ said Mr Hardeep Singh Dhillon, IG-Zonal, who had constituted a Special Investigation Team to investigate the matter.

“Primarily we are working on the abduction theory only. But other angles have not skipped our attention, ‘’ he said.

He added that abduction was on the top of the theories list of the police and they had registered a case in this regard only. 



CM to get bullet-proof bus for state tour 
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, June 29
The Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh will soon ride a bullet-proof bus to have contact with the mass of the state and tell them about the achievements of his government .Two buses are being readied—one will be used by the Chief Minister and his colleagues and the other for the mediapersons—for the tour of the Chief Minister.

Capt Amarinder Singh has already begun touring the state and addressing rallies of the Congress in different parts of the state. The bullet -proof bus is being readied to enable the Chief Minister to move in rural areas so that he can establish contact with the rural mass in view of the ensuing Punjab Vidhan Sabha elections.

The bullet-proof bus will be fully airconditioned and will have a seating capacity of about 10 to 12 persons.It will also have facilities of a kitchen, bath room and other provisions. The other bus will have seating capacity of about 25 persons with modern media gadgets like the computers, fax machines and TV coverage arrangements. The buses will be ready within a period of one month.

According to Mr B.I.S. Chahal, Media Advisor to the Chief Minister, the Chief Minister will not address the people from the bus. The Chief Minister, he said, will get down from the bus and meet the people personally and address them.



Anti-bribery campaign under RTI from tomorrow
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
A group of citizens and non- government organisations has come together to launch an anti bribery campaign using the Right to Information (RTI) Act from July 1 to 15 in Ludhiana. This is a part of a nationwide campaign which will cover 42 cities in the same time period. Venue for the camp will be SCO-8, second Floor, Model Town Extension Market, Ludhiana. RTI Experts and trained RTI volunteers will be present at the site and will write applications under the RTI Act for citizens who come to them with their grievances and also guide them further on the procedures to follow.

According to Mr Jaskirat Singh, coordinator of the campaign: “RTI is a very powerful tool in the hands of the citizens of this country and it empowers them to obtain any information from government offices. This can be used to force corrupt officials to provide services to the ordinary citizens without taking bribes or delaying their work indefinitely.”.

Jaskirat Singh pointed out: “It is important to note that we can assist them only if they have a grievance pending before a government department whose time limit has passed, for example. it takes a month to issue a new ration card,10 days to issue a tatkal passport and 45 days to issue a regular passport. RTI cannot be used before the time limit prescribed by the government department or the citizens charter, for the given work has passed.”

Mr Hitendra Jain, general secretary, Resurgence India, who is a very well known RTI activist of Punjab, has also extended full support to the campaign. “I am very happy to know that RTI activists are now getting together in Ludhiana. Their coming together will give a big boost to the use of RTI and bring about a lot of positive changes and transparency in the functioning of departments and agencies”, he said, while warning that it will require lot of hard work to bring about such changes.

Any one who comes to the camp for getting their RTI applications written must remember to bring photo copies of the receipts of their original applications submitted to the departments concerned. If they do not have the receipts they should bring photo copies of the original application itself.

Issues which people might bring to the camp can include issue of passport, license, various certificates like marriage certificate, death certificate, birth certificate, SC/ST certificate, OBC certificate etc, inclusion of name in voters’ list, issue of voter ID cards, correction of water, electricity, telephone bills and other legitimate problems with a department like change of faulty meter, providing new water or electricity connection, filing of FIR,claiming various kinds of refunds or payments like tax refund, medical reimbursement, Provident Fund etc.



Razia doles out Rs 58 lakh; seeks proper use 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 29
Ms Razia Sultana, Parliamentary Secretary and Chairperson, Wakf Board, Punjab, has urged residents of the town to ensure optimum use of the grant of Rs 58 lakh for various construction projects .

The said buildings would be raised by the Municipal Council using grant of Rs 58 lakh distributed by Ms Sultana under the Punjab Nirman Yojna yesterday.

She interacted with the office-bearers and activists of these organisations at nine functions organised by the respective associations in the town.

While addressing a gathering at the concluding function organised at MGMN Secondary School, Ms Sultana claimed that she had brought grants and funds worth crores from the state government and it was for the first time that an MLA of the area had kept promises with the residents of the town.

“Now when I have succeeded in impressing Captain Amarinder Singh to sanction maximum grants for my constituency it is your turn to make optimum use of these funds.

“What I wish is that people of my constituency should feel that the Congress government has done something for masses irrespective of their political alliance,” she stressed.

Mr Jatinder Kumar Bhola, president, Municipal Council, assured that full transparency would be maintained in utilising funds for various projects.

Besides declaring development projects to be completed at a cost of Rs 5 crore, Ms Sultana presented grants worth Rs 58 lakh to the office bearers of various organisations.

These grants would be spent on construction and renovation of Maharaja Jassa Singh Ramgarhia Bhavan (Rs 1.5 lakh ), Bazigar Basti Dharamsala (Rs 2.5 lakh) Dhanak Basti Dharamsala (Rs 3 lakh), Community Hall on Bajrang Akhara Road( Rs 5 lakh), Aggarwal Dharamsala (Rs 5 lakh) and Vidya Parcharak Sabha Park(Rs 3 lakh).

Guru Nanak Nagar Dharamsala (Rs 2 lakh), Ambedkar Nagar Dharamsala (Rs 2.5 lakh), Guru Ravi Dass Dharamsala Jandali Road (Rs 2.5 lakh) and Jagera Road (Rs 2.5 lakh) were other places to be covered by the grant.



Information panel summons MC officer
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
The Punjab State Information Commission (PSIC) has summoned the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation for not providing information on the upkeep of public parks under the Right to Information Act.

Acting on the complaint of a local resident, the PSIC has directed the PIO to appear before it on July 19 either in person or through a representative.

Mr Pawan Sood, an office-bearer of the Federation of Park Management Committees, had complained to the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) after the local body had supplied him with incomplete information, including some details he had never asked for.

The MC authorities had worked hard to prepare a four-page reply to his letter but most of the information given had nothing to do with that required by him.

Fuming at the reply, that took months to reach him, Mr Sood had shot off letters to Mr Rajan Kashyap, the Chief Information Commissioner, Punjab.

Besides, Mr Sood shot off a letter to the Public Information Officer of MC apprising him of the situation. Asking him to read the questionnaire carefully, Mr Sood asked for the item-wise information as soon as possible.

Mr Sood said he had asked the MC for providing him the details of allowances given to the employees for development of parks in the city but he was told about the money spent on their salaries every month.

In yet another question, he had asked the MC to give him the details of the expenditure incurred on every park in the city during the past four years.

He had asked in detail about the money spent by the Parking Management Committees (PMCs) and the contractors, respectively, on every park.

The MC, however, provided him with a list of amount released to some contractors during the past four years.

He was supplied with this much of information only after he had complained to the Chief Information Commissioner against the MC authorities for not supplying information under the Right to Information Act in March this year.

In a letter written to Mr Kashyap, Mr Sood had stated that he had requested the MC Commissioner to furnish details of expenditures incurred on the maintenance of parks and green belts during the past four years.

He added that he had personally handed over the letter to the Commissioner's office on February 17.

‘‘I got the information in May and that too was of no use to me. There is no park-wise information on money spent on fountains, lights, construction of boundary walls, grills and their painting. Moreover there is no detail about maintenance of lawns and flower beds etc, ’’ he said.

The issue of management of parks has been a bone of contention among the MC authorities and the Park Management Committees.

The city has witnessed a battle of sorts between the two with the issue reaching the Punjab State Human Rights Commission also.

While the PMCs in the city have been managing the parks well on their own in comparison to those maintained by the MC, which are in a state of neglect, most of them were not provided with the funds. 



Want a demand draft, forget it!
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 29
The common man is facing a problem here in getting a draft made from nationalised as well as private banks.
When a local advocate approached the State Bank of Patiala at Tehsil Road, Jagraon, for issuance of a draft for Rs 50 in favour of Nagar Council, Jagraon, the officials of the bank pleaded that the machine was out of order and advised him to contact some other bank.

When he approached the Oriental Bank of Commerce on Tehsil Road, Jagraon, the officials there pleaded that no draft was to be issued today. At this, the advocate went to the HDFC Bank, they demanded Rs 197 more for the making the draft and ultimately it was the State Bank of India which issued a Bankers’ Cheque.

The customer resented this attitude of the banks which fall in public as well as private sector. 



Abolition of octroi duty hailed
Our Correspondent

Khanna, June 29
The decision of the Punjab Government to abolish water and sewerage charges in respect of residential houses up to five marlas in the municipal areas would benefit the urban poor, said Mr Bhalinder Singh, president, District Congress Committee (Rural) Ludhiana, in a press release issued here today.

Praising the Congress government, he said the Punjab Government had allocated funds to the tune of Rs 1,154 crore in the Budget for the year 2006-07, which was about Rs 28.85 of the state plan outlay. To help the 11 lakh old, aged, widows, orphans, handicapped beneficiaries, a special corpus fund of Rs 450 crore has been created, the release added.

Asserting that the better finance management and implementation of VAT has resulted in the increase in the revenue collection to 5,500 crore, he welcomed the decision regarding the abolition of the octroi duty in the state.



One booked for cheating
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 29
Satnam Singh, a resident of Punjabi Bagh, Kacha Malak road, Jagraon, has been booked for preparing a false document of Mrs Karnail Kaur. The Jagraon police has registered a case at the instance mrs Karnail Kaur. No arrest has been made.



Bank takes possession of mortgaged house
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
The State Bank of India, Brahampuri branch, Ludhiana, officials took the physical possession of the residential house mortgaged in the account of M/s N. S. Traders in Master Colony, New Shivpuri, Road, Ludhiana.

According to officials, the party availed certain credit facilities from the branch and defaulted in the repayment of bank dues of Rs 11. 8 lakh.

Even as the bank served a 60-day notice to the borrower, they failed to respond, following which bank authorities decided to take physical possession of the property.

“The premises were duly locked and sealed,” the bank said. The entire procedure was carried out with the assistance of GATS Financial Reconstructors Limited.



Tubular battery launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
Mr Gautam Chatterjee, director, Exide Industries Limited, inaugurated Exide Power Centre here today. He also launched invagold tubular battery on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Chatterjee said, “We are focussing on increasing our presence in all markets of the country with a special emphasis on small towns. Through the wide product range that we offer, the aim is to cater to needs of all kinds of customers.

He said the company that recorded a turnover of Rs 1,800-crore in the past financial year, was the largest producer of lead acid storage batteries for auto and industrial applications.

Regarding the new invagold tubular, Mr Chatterjee said it was the first tubular battery in the country with a zero maintenance specifically made for inverter applications.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |