L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

PM to visit city on September 27
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
A red carpet reception awaits the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, on his visit to the city on September 27.
Preparations are in full swing for the Prime Minister’s visit. The Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone of the prestigious North-East Railway Freight Corridor. He will also lay the foundation stone of a chain of cold stores belonging to Bharti’s Farm Fresh Food Ltd. The farm is spread over 300 acres.

The Prime Minister may also likely to inaugurate the much awaited elevated road between the Jagraon bridge and Chand Cinema. The programme is yet to be finalised and cleared.

According to official sources, the Prime Minister’s aircraft will land at Halwara. From there he would take a helicopter to the Punjab Agricultural University grounds. From there he will head for the venue of the function. Later, he will address a public rally at Guru Nanak Stadium. The Prime Minister is learnt to stay in Ludhiana for about five hours.

The North-East freight corridor, which the Prime Minister will inaugurate, will facilitate smooth and uninterrupted flow of goods between the North and eastern parts of the country.

The General Manager of Northern Railways along with other senior officials have been camping here for the past one week to finalise the arrangements for the visit.

The visit is being viewed with keen interest here given the fact that elections are less than five months away. It would be his second visit to the city after becoming the Prime Minister. He visited the city outskirts last year also to inaugurate a hospital and address a meeting of the District Congress Committee.

The Prime Minister had at that time only initiated the campaigning by asking people to return the Congress again to power.

The ruling party is expecting that the Prime Minister to announce a special package for the agriculture and industry in the state.

Like in Maharashtra, where the Prime Minister announced a package for the farmers, the powers that be are asking for something similar.

On the other hand, the industrial sector is also quite optimistic, particularly after the UPA government extended a tax holiday package by another five years for hill states like Himachal Pradesh.



Use of stadium for PM’s function triggers row
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, September 17
The sports fraternity is upset over the use of Guru Nanak Stadium here as the venue of inauguration of railway’s freight corridor by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, on September 27.

They were unanimous in criticising the local administration and the police to hold a function other than sports in the stadium.

In the past too, the stadium was used for various activities other than sports. It had been the venue of cultural programmes and wrestling shows, besides political functions. The sportspersons as well as sports organisers had voiced their resentment and anger but the authorities went ahead with the scheduled programmes. Heavy vehicles ferried into the ground and poles were erected which caused damages to the ground.

The Prime Minister’s visit is set to derail sports activities in the city as Guru Nanak Sports complex, where a number of sportspersons come daily for routine training, has been closed. The main stadium has been sealed by the police for security reasons. The complex, which houses an athletic stadium, an indoor multipurpose hall, a table tennis hall, basketball courts and an indoor badminton hall, will now be out of reach for the sportspersons.

A number of persons, including sportspersons, sports organisers, called it unfortunate that the authorities did not find any other site than the stadium to hold the function.

“The infrastructure available in the city should be used properly and wisely. The proposed function could damage the synthetic track and it should be avoided,” they opined.

All precautions should be taken while making preparations in the ground so that the synthetic track as well the grassy ground in the stadium could be saved from vandalisation during the visit, they suggested.



Timely help saves three lives
Relatives find family members unconscious, neighbours come to rescue
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 17
Chance arrival of relatives of the Dulkot family and timely help from villagers saved the lives of three of its members, including mother and two children here today. The three were found unconscious under mysterious circumstances this morning.

Shoba Dixit (45), wife of Inderjit Dixit, a resident of Dulkot village, near here, her son Aman (19) and daughter Hema (18) were rescued by villagers after Ramesh Chander, one of their relatives, found them unconscious in their house.

They were shifted to a local hospital in an unconscious state.

“We were shocked to see the three members of the family lying unconscious on their beds around 10 am. We raised the alarm and villagers rescued them,” said Ramesh Kumar, a relative, of Khadoor village, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune at the hospital.

Giving information gathered from neighbours, Ramesh Kumar said all members of the family were fine till last evening. While Inderjit, head of the family, had gone to Beas, his eldest son, Sunil, had left the house for night shift at a mill at Malikpur.

Aman, one of the victims, who works at a photo laboratory in Ludhiana, had returned around 10 pm yesterday.

Ramesh and his wife found the gate of the house and doors of the rooms open when they reached the house. They could not confirm if valuables of the family were missing.

“We have failed to understand why Sunil, who came home in the morning after completing his night shift, left the house with his friends even when three of his family members were lying unconscious,” said Ramesh.

Dr Gurjit Singh, attending on the victims, said they had consumed some toxic substance that had affected the central nervous system.

However, the exact nature of the toxin would be confirmed only after a chemical examination was done at a laboratory, said Dr Gurjit Singh.

SHO Dehlon Rashpal Singh said the police had started investigation into the matter, but nothing could be said till the victims regained consciousness.

The police is yet to develop a hypothesis. The three were not fit to give statement as yet, it added.



Poster contest to promote organ donation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 17
The organising committee of the 9th All-India Transplant Games and SAARC Transplant Olympics will hold a poster competition to promote organ donation as part of World Day for Organ Donation here on October 27 to coincide with national-level competitions in track and field events for donors and recipients of organs.

Giving this information here today, Dr Baldev Singh Aulakh, urologist and head of transplant unit, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), who is also the chief organiser of the events, said the theme for the poster competition would be “Donate organ — gift of life”. This would be a collective effort to motivate the public for cadaver organ donation for the benefit of society as there was a shortage of organs available to meet the growing need of organ transplantation.

The All-India Transplant Games, along with SAARC Transplant Olympics, would be held for the first time in the country at Guru Nanak Dev Stadium here on October 27 and 28.

“We feel education is key to raise organ and tissue donation. Visual art is a powerful means of communication and paraphrasing. The aim of this poster event is to educate the community and spread the message for promoting the cause of cadaver organ donation,” said
Dr Aulakh.

The number of people needing a transplant, he remarked, was expected to rise steeply over the next decade due to an ageing population, an increase in kidney failure and scientific advances, resulting in more people being suitable for transplant. For several reasons the number of available organs was also falling.

“Only a small number of people die in circumstances where they are able to donate their organs because organs have to be transplanted soon after someone has died. In normal circumstances, cadaver organ donation is possible only when someone dies in the hospital. At present, annually about 1 lakh patients in India require kidney transplantation but only around 3,000 to 4,000 transplantations are being done due to scarcity of organ donations.”

Dr Aulakh pointed out that another major reason for not many people coming forward for organ donation was that most of them have not given a thought to the idea or they have not discussed its possibility with their families.

“Through this poster competition the message will go to every home and family. The schoolteachers will also play vital role as they will be actively involved in the competition. With the participation of students in the event, there will be a wave of awareness in society for the noble cause of organ donation, thus fulfilling our basic aim of the poster competition.”

Dr Virendar Pal, Dr Anurag Tiwari, Dr Sangita, Mr Suresh K. Sharma, Ms Shruti Sachar and Dr Gill, all coorganisers of the competition, stated that the details of the poster competition had been communicated to the schools and these will soon be available on the website www.transplantdmc.org. Students from VII to XII standard were eligible to take part in the competition and invitation were extended to nearly 150 schools in the district to send participants for this event, they said.



Woman clubbed to death

Ludhiana, September 17
A jilted lover allegedly got so infuriated with his former paramour’s liking towards another man that he reportedly clubbed her to death with a hammer near the Tajpur road late last night.

According to the FIR registered at the Basti Jodhewal police station, the man, identified as Naresh Kumar (40), an electrician, confronted the 35-year-old woman, Kiran Bala, alias Rubina, on the Tajpur road when she was going with another man. The woman asked him not to create a scene on the road, at which she went to his house located nearby.

The accused had another heated argument with the woman and her male accomplice. The police said the accused was demanding the restoration of their old relationship, which was unacceptable to her. The allegedly angered man then clubbed her with a hammer till she died on the spot. A team of the Basti Jodhewal police later caught the man while he was trying to flee from the area. SHO Gurbans Singh Bains said the woman was married twice. Her second husband was a 50-year-old labourer. She was allegedly having an illicit relationship with the electrician. — TNS



Police not finding child, say parents

Ludhiana, September 17
A migrant labourer couple has alleged that their two-month-old boy was “kidnapped” three days ago but the police has neither registered a case nor made much efforts to trace him.

Munna Lal said his son was kidnapped allegedly by his relative but the police had not questioned him much. The police had detained the suspect but released him later, claiming he was innocent. — TNS



Ludhiana Calling

Dog has always been man’s best friend. And it is true for all sections of society in the city. While the rich in the city roam around their pet dogs, in swanky cars, showing off the costly breeds, economically weaker do away with stray or mixed breed ones.

The breed may be inferior one, the food served may be less, the stray ones may not be pampered but when it comes to duty, there is no short fall. This dog is spotted often on the city roads with its master Tangawallah barking at the horse as a guide and protecting the items on the cart when the master is away.

Mobile thieves

Mobile thieves are on the prowl in city hospitals. The menace has seemed to increase so much that the hospital staff has to paste warning posters all over the premises warning patients and relatives as well as the staff to protect the gadgets.

Earlier, the staff had to warn about the pickpockets, but, of late, the pickpockets seemed to have graduated to mobile lifting. The tension of the disease or illness takes away the attention of the patients or relatives from their mobile sets, which seem to provide easy chance of lifting for the accused, the staff believes.

A rotten apple

A rotten apple spoils the entire basket, goes an old saying. It has come true in the case of the community police officers (CPO) scheme of the city, police under which trained watchmen replace the normally aged watchmen patrolling the city roads at night.

The projected image of honest guarding was spoiled when a CPO was caught stealing petrol from a van this week. And the public furore that followed the incident made it hard for the police to explain that for one black sheep, then entire flock could not be punished.

Water drainage

The much-publicised rain water drainage project, completed in several colonies of the city, has come under scrutiny, with just one season of rain. The walls covering the drainage pipes have caved in at several places in Gurdev Nagar, and Sarabha Nagar, raising doubts about the quality and becoming a potential accident site.

At some places, residents have tried to cover the ever-widening craters with sand on their own. Municipal corporation officials have not bothered to fill them even after weeks of wait.

Reflectors please

The police, civil administration and social agencies have been tired of telling tractor-trolley drivers, cart-wheelers and rehrawalas to instal reflectors on their means of transport. But very few have obliged them. These people do not mind to decorate their vehicles by fixing various items, but not to have reflectors. A horse cart has rear-view mirrors installed at the front side instead of having reflectors at the rear. He had a ready reply when asked, “What is the need to have reflectors when I can see the vehicle and give way?”

(Contributed by Kanchan Vasdev) 



Encroachments continue with impunity
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 17
The encroachment mafia of the city is allegedly busy once again, gobbling up all available space in commercial hubs as well as residential colonies with impunity, thanks to the approaching Assembly election.

Activists of various political parties, depending on their clout in various pockets of the city, are also not very far behind in this regard.

According to information available with this correspondent, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is deliberately turning a blind eye to the menace of encroachment on public land , especially the roadside in several busy commercial areas of the city. The corporation has a whole lot of encroachment-related complaints which are hanging fire for years because the encroachers allegedly enjoy political patronage. Some of the corporation’s own employees are alleged to have occupied portions of public road for building shops.

The district administration is equally lethargic in tackling with the menace of footpath encroachments in the Mini Secretariat which houses the offices of the Deputy Commissioner as well as the Senior Superintendent of Police.

Even the newly constructed judicial complex , which houses the district courts, is being used by all kinds of roadside sellers. The District Bar association has requested the SSP to take action against all illegal occupants who are doing business in the complex. In addition, there are hundreds of other sellers who keep moving from one floor to the other soliciting business even on the stairs. The association has sent the request through the District Sessions Judge.

Only time will tell whether these elements flee the complex or stay put/

Over the past six years, various Deputy Commissioners have tried to remove congestion from the Mini Secretariat by removing footpath sellers, but none had been very successful. Following orders of the Deputy Commissioner to “vacate the premises within 24 hours”, the footpath sellers vanished on a number of occasions. But returned within 24 hours.

Rampant corruption in the Ludhiana Improvement Trust is also allegedly helping the encroachment mafia in a big way.



PUDA set to target 8 illegal colonies
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, September 17
After having taken action against three unapproved colonies, PUDA is preparing to take the remaining eight unapproved colonies in its grip.
According to information, PUDA officials have directed the local sub-tehsil officials to produce revenue records pertaining to all these unauthorised colonies.

The colonies whose record have been demanded include Bank colony, two colonies located opposite Gurdwara Charan Kanwal Sahib, Ranjit Singh Nagar on Balibeg Road, a colony on Kirpan Bhet Road, Model Town on Rahon Road.

It is worth mentioning that in spite of PUDA’s earlier action against the three colonies, construction on other unauthorised colonies continued to take place.

Colonisers of the area are visibly upset as they fear that their colonies will get the same treatment as the three unapproved colonies.

Deputy Director, Local Bodies, Ludhiana region, S.R. Kaler, who is also executing the powers of Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, said the Revenue Department had been asked to produce records of the eight colonies.

If investigations reveal that the colonies are illegal and unapproved, legal action will be initiated against these, Mr Kaler added.



Call for waging war against communal forces
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 17
The Indian Society for Cultural Cooperation and Friendship (ISCUF) has given a clarion call to the people to strive for world peace and fight against communal and divisive forces which were out to strike against national integrity.

Welcoming the delegates to the 18th national conference of ISCUF here yesterday, the chairman of the reception committee and former legislator, Mr Dewan Jagdish Chander, noted with regret that the world was far from being peaceful. The USA and the UK’s aggressive postures against Iraq, the Israeli attacks against Palestine, terrorists and extremists forces, working practically in all countries of the world, had endangered global peace.

“Our own country was feeling the strong heat and bitter taste of the terrorists activities, not only in Jammu and Kashmir but even in Mumbai and Southern parts, putting a break to normal relations with neighbouring nations,” he said.

“There is an unparalleled rise in divisive, communal, religious and regional forces throughout the length and breadth of our land, striking against patriotism and nationalism.”

Recalling the role of Punjab in the freedom struggle, he said the people had faced the rigors and turbulence of foreign invaders. It was Punjab that laid the foundation for the freedom movement against the British rulers. Ludhiana had also played an important role in this struggle for Independence.

Focusing on the role of ISCUF in fostering global peace and tranquillity, he said the society stood for cordial and close relations with all nations, including Russia, China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Burma.

“The ISCUF considers that cultural and friendship relations in India are of the foremost importance to work for international cultural cooperation and friendship. India has to rise and develop to be an equal partner in the international community.”



Cops ‘extort’ money from scrap dealers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
Members of the Moulders and Steel Workers Union today staged a dharna outside the Focal Point police station in protest against some police personnel, who extorted money from them by beating them up.

The activists said two scarp dealers — Ram Singh and Dharminder — were going to railway godowns at Dhandhari this morning. As they reached near the godown, two policemen stopped them and allegedly demanded money from them. When they refused to oblige them, the cops took them to the Focal Point police station.

“Then the cops stripped them and took Rs 1,000 each from them. They even threatened the scrap dealers not to reveal the incident to anybody,” said Mr Jaswant Singh Jeerakh, an office-bearer of the union.

The protesters raised slogans against the cops and demanded that the extorted money should be given back to the scrap dealers. The accused cops were, however, not in the police station at that time.

The victims got themselves examined at the Civil Hospital.

Addressing mediapersons, Mr Jeerakh said they would fight till they get justice for the scrap dealers.



MP seeks CBI probe into city center scam
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
While dubbing the Chief Minister the epitome of corruption, SAD MP Sharanjit Singh Dhillon today demanded a CBI probe into the Ludhiana City Center scam. He said this while addressing a rally held by the youth wing of the party at Satkar Palace, Khanna, today.

He ridiculed the Chief Minister for accusing the SAD of the corruption stating that the LIT scam had exposed the working of the Congress.

Mr Dhillon also asked the Chief Minister and the Minister for Local Bodies to own up the responsibility for the scam and resign from their posts. The MP added that corruption was rampant in all government offices.

He said the state was known for agriculture and supplied food grain to the entire country. But today it depicted a picture of neglect because of burgeoning unemployment and abnormal price rise.

The Dalits and poor were not being provided with requisite facilities, he added.

MP Sukhdev Singh Libra, former MLA Bachan Singh Cheema, Rajinder Singh Jeet, Lakhvir Singh Kalal Majra, Gurmeet Singh Cheema, Jatinder Pal Singh, Prince Shukla, Soma Singh, Hardip Singh Rasulra were among those present on the occasion.



Garcha assails Cong govt 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 17
Terming the suspension of SAD and BJP legislators from the Assembly session an assault on democracy, Kilaraipur constituency segment MLA Jagdish Singh Garcha today called upon people the state to boycott functions of the Chief Minister and other Congress leaders and demand a CBI inquiry into the multi-crore Ludhiana City Center scam.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune after convening a meeting at Hargobindpura village, near here, Mr Garcha alleged that Capt Amarinder Singh had manipulated to get opposition MLAs suspended during the session, as he had no answer to the questions of the legislators.

“Apprehending embarrassment on various issues, including the Ludhiana City Center scam, the CM allegedly preferred to gag the voice of legislators,” said Mr Garcha, adding that the act was equivalent to curbing the voice of the people of the state.

He said Congress ministers, including the Chief Minister, would face strong protests from people. “People have now come to know that Congress leaders and ministers who had been pocketing crores of rupees by illegal means are now trying to pose as saints,” he said.



Shahi Imam seeks action against corrupt maulvis
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Ludhiana Maulana Habib-u-Rehman has sought action against some maulvis who have been found issuing fatwas after taking money from the complainants.

The Shahi Imam appealed the four top madrasas, the highest seats of learning of Isalm, across the country to summon these corrupt maulvis and initiate stringent action against them.

Reacting to the reports of some corrupt maulvis being trapped red-handed accepting cash for issuing fatwa against people, the Maulana said it was a sad day in the history of Islam that such people, who claim themselves to be the guardians of the religion, were acting that way.

He regretted that it was people like these who had been tarnishing the image of Islam.

In a statement, the Maulana said these Maulvis, instead of harassing and issuing false fatwas against innocent and poor Muslims, should issue fatwas against those who were vitiating the peaceful atmosphere in the name of Islam.



Prominent people honoured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
Prominent people of the state who have contributed towards various fields of life were honoured at a function here last night by the Friends of Ludhiana. The function was presided over by former Mayor of Hounslow, London, Harbans Kanwal.

Prominent among those honoured were senior Congress leader G.S. Aujla, Director General of Police, R.K. Jaiswal, Senior Superintendent of Police, Jagraon, Harpreet Sandhu and others.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Kanwal said the association wanted to acknowledge the services of people to the state. He especially acknowledged Mr Jaiswal, who cracked the Reema Jain murder case, and Jagpal Singh Khangura.

He said Mr Khangura had proved to a catalyst in transforming the rural areas of Kila Raipur. “Everybody can go and see in Kila Raipur what Mr Khangura has done there,” he asserted.

The function was attended by a number of people representing a cross section of society.



MCPI(U) holds rally
Our Correspondent

Doraha, September 17
A number of MCPI(U) leaders and workers of the town and surrounding areas attended a rally in Chandigarh today.
District Preparatory Committee general secretary Lakhwinder Singh Buani and state preparatory committee member Pawan Kumar Kaushal said around 8,000 people attended the rally.

They said the policies of imperialistic globalisation, privatisation and liberalisation and the commercialisation of education were discussed in the rally.



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