L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Violence at CMC over death of youth
2 lensmen among injured as hospital staff,
mob clash; cops deployed
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 4
The death of a dengue-inflicted youth in CMC Hospital triggered violence this morning. Blaming the death on the doctor’s negligence, the anguished relatives went berserk and damaged costly medical equipment while the hospital staff retaliated by beating up the relatives and some mediapersons covering the clash.

A police force was rushed to the scene and it could control the unruly mob only using force and physically separating the warring parties, having over 50 members each. A team of the Commando Battalion and IRB has been stationed in the hospital to prevent further outbreak of violence.

Two press photographers—S P Singh and Vijay Kumar—both of Dainik Jagran, were rescued after much struggle from the illegal detention of the hospital by the police, mediapersons and some other persons.

The two were allegedly locked in a room, their cameras broken, and a mobile and a watch snatched. They were beaten black and blue. They along with other mediapersons had reached the spot to cover the clash, but were allegedly targeted specifically by the hospital attendant and security staff.

The security staff have, reportedly, a history of forcibly stopping mediapersons from taking photos on the premises, which had led to several ugly situations in the past too.

The drama continued for over two hours. By the time it was over, several persons were injured. A computer in Ward no. 6 of the hospital, nebulizers, medicine trolleys, tables and other furniture and hospital equipment were damaged.

Later, the CMC authorities, the parents of the deceased youth, Anish, aged 22 and the injured mediapersons submitted separate complaints in Division no. 3 police station seeking FIRs as per their version of the event.

The DSP, Mr Jatinder Singh Khaira, said the police had recorded the statements of the different persons and the FIRs would be lodged only after taking legal opinion from the district attorney.

The parents and relatives of the youth have sought the registration of a criminal case against the doctors and the hospital authorities for their alleged negligent treatment causing the death and later beating up the aggrieved relatives and illegally detaining them in a room. They alleged that they were not being handed over the body by the ‘rude’ staff. They said they did not start the rioting but had to retaliate when provoked and pushed out of the rooms and wards by the hospital staff.

The mediapersons have in their complaint termed the attack on the freedom of the press that was a neutral party in the clash and was doing its duty of reporting it. They have demanded criminal cases against the authorities for manhandling them, breaking their equipment and illegally detaining them in a room. The two injured photographers underwent medical examination also and appended the reports in the favour of their charges.

Hospital equipment damaged: CMC

The CMC authorities have demanded an FIR against all those involved in the attack on the hospital staff, ransacking of the hospital wards and damage to machines.

Dr John Pramod, Director of CMC, in a press release also sought to clarify the stand of the medical institution. He claimed, ‘‘The CMC today went through a total chaos caused by a mob of 40-60 rowdy persons this morning. It all began with the death of patient Anish , who was admitted in Ward 6 on August 2 with diagnosis of complicated dengue fever. He was brought to CMC in a very critical condition and his platelet count, at the time of admission, was just 20,000. Attending doctors did explain to the relatives of Anish at the time of the patient’s admission the gravity of the illness and chances of survival were dim as any practising physicians would understand.’’

He further claimed that the staff on night duty aided the patient with all possible support and care. The condition of Anish further deteriorated and he was put on ventilator at 4 am. Despite the best care and efforts, Anish expired at 5am. The relatives of the diseased created a commotion in the ward then.

He alleged that without paying the bill and claiming the body, the relatives left only to return after four hours with a much bigger crowd having a sinister plan and intent of damage. They started shouting slogans against the hospital. The internal security personnel when tried to stop were physically manhandled. They entered Ward no. 6 and manhandled the staff on duty and damaged the hospital property. They smashed the medicines of other patients and broke all the medicines on the emergency trolley.

During this frenzy they kept asking the whereabouts of the head of the treating team. Creating nuisance in the ward, they left and marched to the Private Out Patient Area where the head was examining the patients, he added.

The mob swelled and forced its way into the private OPD and misbehaved with the staff on duty. They ransacked the area, tore away the medical record files of other patients, broke the furniture, smashed the telephone set and threw away the computers. They then forced themselves into the Senior Doctor’s chamber and they physically abused and manhandled this Professor who was later hospitalized.

Dr Pramod said the police was outnumbered by this crowd. Therefore, the employees of CMC had to intervene for the safety of our doctor and the property. An unauthorised person doing videography was caught and handed over to the police. Another person who had manhandled the Professor was also handed over to the police.

This whole incident may have caused inconvenience to some patients, relatives and unknown media persons to whom CMC management has rendered apology.

Of late, it has become a routine activity by some persons that in case they decide not to pay the bill, they resort to similar activities, he claimed.



Dullo lashes out at Badal
Says only Congress can keep country united
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, August 4
Mr. Shamsher Singh Dullo, president, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, today claimed that the Congress government had fulfilled 65 of the 66 promises made in the election manifesto. Remaining relating to employees would also be fulfilled by the end of this month.

He claimed that the development made during the five years of Congress Government was more than that during the total past 55 years after the independence. Mr. Dullo was addressing a the mass contact conference here today.

Strongly criticising Mr. Parkash Singh Badal for his "misleading propaganda", Mr. Dullo said he had always been exploiting the sentiments of people in the name of religion and caste.

He asserted that only the Congress could keep the country united and ensure the fast growth with its secular and far-sighted policies.

He said that Badal had been misleading the people by terming Congress Party as anti-Punjab and anti-Sikh, whereas, in reality, it was only the Congress Government which had given liberal funds for the development of the state and had stood by the Sikhs during their difficult periods.

Mr. Dullo said that Mr Badal had been misguiding the 1984 riot victims and did nothing for their resettlement during NDA's government rule, whereas Dr. Manmohan Singh's government had given a package of Rs. 718 crores for compensation to the victim families.

He claimed that Congress had given important posts of President of India, Prime Minister, Head of Armed Forces, and Governors to the Sikhs, whereas, Mr. Badal arranged a ministerial berth for his son in the Ministry of Mr. Vajpayee.

Mr Dullo also cautioned the people about the "misleading caste based propaganda" of the BSP President Ms Mayavati and said that in spite of much hue and cry, she could not carve out a small pocket in the state for her party.

Addressing the conference, Mr. Lal Singh Minister for Rural development, Panchayats, Food and Supply, announced that the government had decided not to further sell any sugar mill in the state and asserted that these would be made functional and be used as a power tool for diversification by persuading the farmers for sowing sufficient sugar cane to run the mills. 



2 friends booked for Manish Jain’s murder
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 4
The police today booked friends of Manish Jain, who had drowned in Sutlej river, for kidnapping and killing him. This finally brought some consolation to the parents of the deceased who had suspected foul play in their son’s death.

Parents of Manish Jain, who were running from pillar to post to get a case of murder registered against his friends, had been alleging that their son had not drowned rather his ‘‘friends’’ had hatched a conspiracy to kill him.

Manish Jain’s body was recovered from Sutlej river on July 17. He had left his Jagat Nagar-based hosiery unit with his friends on July 16 afternoon. They had allegedly taken him from his factory to take a dip in the river that day. But he did not return.

The Salim Tabri police has registered a case of murder against Manish’s friends, including Tarun Sharma, a resident of Purana Bazar, his mother, Neelam Sharma and Aditya Jain, a resident of Sardar Nagar.

A case under Sections 366/302/120-B and 34 of the IPC has been registered against the suspects.

Tarun’s mother was booked in the case as she kept on misleading the family that Manish was admitted to a hospital in Phillaur on the fateful day and later she said she had never talked to the family.

The police has, however, booked only two friends of the deceased while his father had been demanding action against five youths.

In his complaint, Manish’s father, Mr Rajesh Jain, had said Manish had gone with his five friends at 2.30 p.m on July 16.

He was carrying Rs 7,000 cash, which he had to pay to his workers. ‘‘He told them that he would come back after some time and pay them. But he never returned ’’, said Mr Jain. He added that after two hours, his friends came back with Manish’s motorcycle. They allegedly told his younger brother Avneesh that there was no fuel in it and Manish would come back soon.

‘‘But one of his friends spilled the beans as he called up Manish’s mother, who was in Delhi that day and told her that he had drowned. As I was in Chandigarh, she called up our relatives back home to find out what the matter was, ’’ he added.

‘‘I also rushed to the city and inquired about Manish. Neelam Sharma kept telling me that my son was safe as he had been rescued and was in a hospital. But I could not find him anywhere. We informed the police which started the search. At 6 a.m my son’s body was found near Jamalpur Lally village. He had injuries on his head and one of his shoulders was also fractured. His body was found at a place where the water was only two feet deep, not enough for a grown up man to drown,’’ he added. 



Textile dyers form body; to list defaulters
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 4
Believing in taking initiatives themselves instead of waiting for the government, textile dyers in the city have got together with an aim to save their industry which is in doldrums.

These dyers, who formed an association today, decided to display list of defaulter industrial consumers in their meetings and take various measures to save industry from heavy losses.

"We have been facing problems like high default rate and rise in input costs. Due to these factors, many textile dyeing units are on the verge of closure. To save the industry, we have got together and formed an association. Instead of waiting for the government to take a step, we have decided to take the initiative ourselves," said councillor Mr Parveen Bansal, who is the organiser for the association.

The first decision that this association, named Ludhiana Textile Dyeing Association, took today was to increase yarn dyeing rates by Rs 2 per kilogram.

"The costs of inputs like chemicals, machinery and also labour significantly increased over the last few years. However, since the industry was not together, services were being rendered at previous rates only. We decided to increase the rate marginally so that it does not affect our industrial consumers much."

The textile dyeing industry has small scale units that cater to over 1,000 small and medium textile enterprises. Cost differentials were resulting in reduced margins as a result of which several units are on the verge of closure.

The association also decided to prepare list of defaulter consumers, who availed services and then shifted to other dyers.

"The problem had been getting graver and there are a large number of industrial consumers who would get the work done for a few lakhs of rupees from one dyer and then move on to the other dyer without paying the amount," Mr Bansal said.

To check such practice, textile dyers decided that a consumer, if wants to shift to another dyer, will have to obtain an NoC from the previous dyer he availed services from.

"Besides, we would hold monthly meeting in which the list of such people would be displayed so that industrialists are beware."

Not restricting themselves to merely solving their own problems, the association also said it would solve problems o f their consumers too if they came out with any. 



Forward trading, a bane for farmers and consumers
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, August 4
The commodities markets future trading was made online two years ago to free the farmers from the clutches of middlemen like distributors, wholesalers or dealers. But during a short period of little less than two years, the situation with regard to future trading, particularly in agro products, has worsened.

An alarming situation has developed on the price front and the consumer is upset with the unprecedented rise in the essential commodities, especially pulses and edible oils. The prices of various commodities like milk, milk products, sugar, edible oils, cereals, rice have witnessed constant rise during the past seven or eight months.

With the commencement of online futures trading in the commodities market, big landlords and traders have started hoarding these commodities. It has become easier for them to manipulate the markets in the future trading due to the inability of the government to control them.

The objective of the online future trading was to help the farmers get better price for their produce and help in attaining better price discovery. However, the farmers have not benefited much and the hoarders have been able to make huge profits. The future trading has taken the shape of ‘satta’ as the regulations to check the irregularities in this trade are not as stringent as are applicable in the stock exchanges by the SEBI.

In Ludhiana, futures trading is carried on by LSE Commodities Trading Services Limited (LSECTS) which was originally incorporated as a subsidiary of LSE Securities Limited which in turn is a subsidiary of the Ludhiana Stock Exchange (LSE).

Subsequently, it was delinked from the LSE on instructions from SEBI.

LSECTS comprises members of the Ludhiana Stock Exchange and has a strength of approximately 90 and is headed by Mr Jaspal Singh, former president of LSE.

LSECTS has obtained the membership of two commodities exchanges —Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX) promoted by independent third party and National Commodities and Derivative Exchange Ltd (MCDLX) promoted by the NSE, ICICI Bank and NABARD. Both these exchanges are regulated by the Forward Exchange Commission under the Forward Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1952.

Many in the trade are of the view that the economics of demand and supply always play a part in arriving at the price of a product/commodity but the ground reality is that the hoarders have taken advantage of the situation as a result of which the prices are shooting. The buffer stock of foodgrains has come to a precariously low level and the government had to import wheat at a higher price which was more than what the government paid to its own farmers. The government also had to put a ban on the export of sugar. It had a salutary effect for the time being but nothing has changed for the housewives and general consumers.

It has been observed that the volumes traded in commodity exchanges are 30 to 40 times more than the actual supply of commodity.

The trading volume in the commodities exchanges went up by a staggering 274 per cent in 2005-06 and the rate of growth continues to be very high, according to reports.

The enquiries also say that such high volumes of trading in the commodities exchanges is taking place because the regulations are not as stringent as SEBI has made for the stock exchanges.

Mr Jaspal Singh maintains that since there is availability of finances, the commodity exchanges are witnessing a high volume of business. He asserts that this will help the farmers next year. Even this year, the government was not able to make targeted procurement of wheat because of high prices fetched by the farmers. They are having forward trading commodity shares transactions worth Rs 150 crore and forward trading in commodities worth Rs 100 crore daily, respectively. There are no defaulters in the LSECTS, he claims.

There has been great hue and cry over the rise in the prices of essential commodities in the country.

Enquiries made by this reporter have further revealed that the NDA Government in 2002 abolished the license system and converted the country into a single market. The stockholding limit was also abolished and the traders can have any quantity of stocks.

A senior official of the Punjab Food and Supply Department say that as a result of the abolition of the license system and conversion of India into a single market, the states had very little scope to take action against the hoarders. Earlier they could check the stocks piled by the traders.

The Punjab Government has decided to supply pulses at cheap rates to the people in the state through the public distribution system. Punsup will supply pulses to the people, according to Mr S S Ghuman, Managing Director of the Punsup. The scheme will be launched on August 17 and every ration card holder will get 3 kg of pulses at a no-profit no-loss basis.

The Peoples Awareness Forum president, Prof Prithipal Singh Kapoor, former Pro-Vice Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, and Principal Gurcharan Singh, general secretary, have urged the Central Government to stop forward trading in agri-products as the hoarders are manipulating the prices. The traders are indulging in ‘satta,’ they allege.



Bandh evokes partial response
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 4
The bandh call given by various organisations of the Valmikis and the Mazhabi Sikhs today evoked partial response in the city.

While working in some business establishments and government offices was affected in the old city, there was virtually no impact of the bandh in the Civil Lines area. The call for the statewide bandh was given to press for the reservation of 12.5 per cent to the Valmikis and the Mazhabi Sikhs within the quota reserved for the Scheduled Castes.

Valmiki and Mazhabi Sikh leaders, however, claimed that the bandh was complete in most of the city areas.

Groups of youths started making rounds in the city forcing shopkeepers to close their shops. However, as soon as the youths moved away shops were opened again.

The members of the two communities also held a rally. They alleged that the state government with the influence of some non-Valmiki and non-Mazhabi Sikh ministers had weakened the case that led the Punjab and Haryana High Court deciding against them.

They demanded that the “reservation within the reservation” be restored to them at the earliest.

The president of the Bhartiya Valmiki Dharam Samaj, Mr Vijay Dhanav, said there was a deliberate attempt by some influential ministers in the government to keep them away from the mainstream.

He asserted that there was a need for providing “reservation within the reservation” as they were economically and socially backward and downtrodden as compared to other sections among the Scheduled Castes.



Difficulty due to non-availability of ‘C’ forms 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 4
Local industry is facing problems due to non-availability of ‘C’ forms which are to be submitted by September.
In a letter to Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Punjab, members of Knitwear Club said as C forms were not available customers involved in inter-state sales expressed their inability to furnish C forms in time.

“These forms, for the year 2005-06, are to be submitted by September. However, as consumers are not able to furnish them, we are facing problems. It would not be possible for the industry in such a case to comply with the government’s instructions of submitting C forms,” said Mr Vinod Thapar, president, Knitwear Club.

The association pointed out that the government has already promised to phase out the Central Sales Tax, which would automatically dispense C forms. “If ultimately C form has to be done away with, the government can do so now.,” the members of the club said.

They urged the government to waive the condition to submit C forms for the year 2005-06 by September 6 this year. “IT would be a great relief to industry,” said Mr Thapar.



Patwari in Vigilance net
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 4
Tarlok Singh, patwari, at Janetpura today fell in vigilance net and arrested on tehsil premises while accepting a bribe of Rs 9,000 from a women of Janetpura for entering mutation with regard to the inheritance of one Amolak Singh.

It is reported that the said patwari was harassing the women in the matter of the mutation. Feeling aggrieved with the conduct of the patwari, she was compelled to settle the deal. Meanwhile, she complained to the Vigilance Department. Patwari was caught red handed when he received the amount.

A case under the Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered. 



Voters’ card
Our Correspondent

Amloh, August 4
In the coming Assembly elections only those voters will be allowed to cast vote who have voter’s identity card, the SDM-cum-Electoral Officer stated in a press note yesterday. The booth officers would report by August 15 regarding the number of voters with identity cards and their names entered in the electoral roll.



Suicide by  industrialist
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 4
Financial losses have allegedly driven an industrialist to commit suicide here today. Sharanjit Singh, 48, a business partner with the well-known Bonn bread manufacturing industry, was found hanging from a pillar of a godown in the factory premises.

He was reportedly missing since last evening. The police sources said the man was under depression for the last few days after he lost quite some money in business deals. He used a plastic rope to hang himself.



Chemist held
Our Correspondent

Khanna, August 4
A chemist was arrested for allegedly selling the medicines without a doctor’s prescription by the Machhiwara police today.
ASI Sikander Singh got a tipoff that Harmesh Singh, a chemist at Machhiwara, was selling medicines without prescription from a doctor. The police party raided the shop and seized some medicines. Harmesh has been booked under Section 188 of the IPC. 



Nurse commits suicide

Ludhiana, August 4
A nurse employed with the CMC allegedly committed suicide in her room in the girls' hostel on Wednesday afternoon. The incident came to light only today when her Orissa-based parents reached here to claim her body. TNS



One held for cheating

Jagraon, August 4
The Dakha police has booked Yadwinder Singh of Mullanpur on charge of cheating when the accused trespassed on the plot of Rupinder Singh of Green City. They tried to take possession of the said plot. The police has registered a case under Section 420, 447, 506 of the IPC. OC



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