L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Candidates seek Governor’s intervention
Admission to MBBS in CMCH
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 18
Some of the general category candidates seeking admission to MBBS in Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) here have charged the college management with bungling in the admission process. The candidates have alleged that against nine seats reserved for the general category candidates, only three students, clearing the 2006 entrance test, had been admitted.

The CMCH management has, however, refuted the allegation, terming it as far from truth and distorted.

In a memorandum submitted to the Governor, who is also the Chancellor of the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, the affected candidates maintained that out of the general category seats for MBBS batch 2006, the college authorities had offered six seats to last year’s candidates sent by the university as per an order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Since only four candidates (out of six) had claimed these seats, the CMCH management was reportedly out to fill the remaining two seats with Christian and NRI candidates in a “fraudulent” manner. The candidates pointed out that the last year’s left out candidates should have been admitted at the cost of those who had cleared the 2006 entrance test and were eligible for admission on general category seats.

They further charged the college authorities with showing utter disregard to the directions of the Supreme Court that no seats could be reserved as staff dependent seats by admitting two students under “faculty development quota”.

The aggrieved candidates have made an appeal to the Chancellor to intervene and scrap the 2006 admissions made by the CMCH in the interest of justice.

Refuting the allegations levelled in the memorandum, the CMCH Director, Dr John Pramod, said the admissions were made strictly in accordance with the conditions laid down in the prospectus and directions of the high court.

“As per the court directions, six candidates selected by the Baba Farid university for batch 2005 were offered general category seats, out of which only four sought admission this year. In addition, three candidates were admitted from out of those who had cleared the entrance test in 2006. One more seat is in the process of being filled as the candidate concerned is to take a final decision and one seat is still kept vacant.”

The Director said none of the general category seat had been converted into any other category nor the management had any such intention to do so.



SSF activists burn effigy of Cong govt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
Activists of the Sikh Students Federation (Mehta) today burnt an effigy of the Congress government for its alleged involvement in the multicrore scam in the Ludhiana City Centre.

The activists led by the federation president, Mr Gurcharan Singh Grewal, staged a demonstration at the mini secretariat before setting fire to an effigy of the government.

They also submitted a memorandum to the Governor through the Deputy Commissioner seeking the dismissal of the government.

Addressing the dharna, Mr Grewal alleged that the Congress government was neck-deep in corruption. He claimed that the federation activists would stage demonstrations all over the state to protest against the scam and seek punishment to the guilty.

The SSF president said the government had lost the moral authority to be in power. To ensure a fair probe into the scam, the government should be dismissed and the main culprits put behind bars.

He said the government stood exposed before the public. He claimed the government was involved in other scandals like handing over educational institutions to the private sector in lieu of pay offs.



3 thefts in 24 hours
Need to start servant verification drive
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
Incidents of servants decamping with cash and valuables from households have increased after the police stopped the migrant verification and registration drive. In the past 24 hours, three crime incidents were reported in the city.

While yesterday a servant decamped with Rs 5,000 from a house near the Rani Jhansi road, another servant Rajan drugged a woman and looted cash and jewellery from her house in Gellewal village under the Basti Jodhewal police station this afternoon.

The victim’s husband, Mr Harbir Singh, has lodged a complaint.

In the third incident, domestic help Ramu, hailing from Nepal, broke open an almirah of Mr Harbhajan Singh in Professors’ Colony, Barrewal, on Saturday night.

This afternoon when Mr Harbir Singh returned home, he was shocked to find his wife lying unconscious in a room with the entire house ransacked. He then heard the cries of his another servant Terath, who was locked in the bathroom.

Terath told him that Rajan had locked him in the bathroom and allegedly drugged the aged woman. The woman was admitted to a hospital.

The incident has once again stressed the importance of verification and registration of the migrant labourers and servants.

The police had stopped the drive after a clash between a group of labourers and residents in Sunder Nagar.

The drive was stopped due to some political pressure. However, the police did not provide the residents any alternate system of keeping an eye on the activities of the migrants.

Police sources said in the absence of a valid address of the accused or his photograph, they face an uphill task in tracking him down.



2 journalists blackmailing ex-PCS officer: IHRO
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
The International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) today claimed that two journalists from different TV Channels had been trying to blackmail a former PCS officer, Mr A.R. Darshi, on the pretext of releasing some ‘fictitious’ story on the channels.

Mr Darshi and the IHRO chairperson, Mr D.S. Gill, said the journalists claimed that some person had written a letter to the police that Mr Darshi having a pro-Khalistan ideology was involved in the hitherto unsolved murder case of Bikramjit Singh, son of an industrialist.

However, the two journalists not only denied the allegations but also announced to sue the complainant for defamation. One of the journalists claimed that he had done a story featuring Mr Darshi and it was duly released by his channel.

The story concentrated on Mr Darshi’s alleged association with the ideology of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale. The journalists claimed that when they went to Mr Darshi’s residence the latter claimed he had no association with Bhindrawale, but there was a large photo of Bhindrawale hung in the drawing room.

The second journalist named as the co-accused counter claimed that he had neither talked with Mr Darshi any time over the phone nor had ever met him.

The IHRO had submitted a complaint to the local police seeking police action against the journalists.



People's forum seeks CBI probe
City centre scam
K S Chawla

Ludhiana, September 18
The People's Awareness Forum-an NGO-today expressed shock and anguish over the Ludhiana City Centre scam of the Ludhiana improvement Trust and demanded immediate a CBI inquiry into the same.

The general body of the forum, which met with Prof Prithipal Singh Kapoor, former Pro-Vice Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, in the chair, also sought resignation of Local Bodies Minister Jagjit Singh Chaudhry.

Prof Kapoor, initiating the discussion, observed that it was extremely sad that politicians, administrators and economic giants entrusted with the growth of the country had lost credibility. Corruption had attained new heights.

The general body sought that the Ludhiana Improvement Trust be disbanded and the working of the other improvement trusts should be reviewed. It felt PUDA and improvement trusts had outlived their utility.

Prof Gurcharan Singh, general secretary of the forum, who released the proceedings of the meeting to the press, said the forum also took notice of the abandoning of the site for an international airport at Ladowal and leasing out 300 acres of land to a private company at throwaway rates.

The meeting felt that Ladowal was the most suitable site for an international airport as it was close to the industrial town of Ludhiana as well as the Doaba region, from where the maximum number of people had migrated abroad.

The meeting took note of the failure of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation to make a foolproof plan for the development of Ludhiana under the Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewable Programme and asked the authorities concerned to present a revised plan to the Prime Minister before his visit to Ludhiana.

The meeting also took note of the fact that the first draft did not have any plan for the cleaning of the Budha Nulla. The Prime Minister was urged to extend maximum financial help to Ludhiana city for its development.

The meeting congratulated the media for waging a relentless war against corruption.

The forum called upon the Union Government to bring about reforms in the judicial system and police administration to provide justice to the innocent.

The meeting welcomed the resumption of talks between the India and Pakistan and pleaded for more confidence-building measures to restore normalcy between the two countries.

The meeting congratulated the residents of Gurdev Nagar and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar for raising their voice against the inferior material being used in their localities. The meeting criticised the Improvement Trust for "neglecting" Rajguru Nagar colony.

Prof Gurcharan Singh highlighted the events taking place in the different parts of the world and called for more awareness among the people about the same.



Dengue claims one life
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 18
Even as the health administration and the district authorities keep claiming that situation with respect to dengue and other water-borne diseases was well under control, stray cases of dengue continued to trickle in the city hospitals. One dengue patient hailing from Jalandhar had reportedly died in the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here last evening.

According to doctors at the DMCH, middle-aged woman Pawan Kumari Sharma was brought to the hospital in a critical condition on September 13 and her serology tests had confirmed it to be a case of dengue. The patient had suffered a cardiac stroke and was on ventilator for the past two days.

Confirming the dengue death, the District Epidemiologist, Dr Ajit Singh Chawla, however, maintained going by the official reports not more than a dozen cases of dengue had been reported by the hospitals and other medical institutions.



Darbar Sahib replica in cardboard
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
Deep attachment and a strong sense of belonging with the Sikh religion, culture and symbols have prompted Kanwalpreet, a language student from Ludhiana, to develop a replica of the Dabar Sahib complex in thermocoal and cardboard. Kanwalpreet has tried his best to replicate each and every part of the complex to make it look like a mini Darbar Sahib.

It took him one and a half years of hard work to develop the replica. He said it was primarily with a purpose to propagate the Sikh culture and its symbols. “I have tried my level best to replicate every detail meticulously and minutely”, he said, while adding in a humble manner, “But I am not sure to what extent I have been successful”.

Kanwalpreet said he would be developing more and more such replicas to be displayed at public places for the people who had no idea about the Darbar Sahib complex. He pointed out, “Darbar Sahib is not only a holy place from the Sikhs alone, but for the people of all religions...it is a heritage site and reflects different facets of the Sikh culture”.

The Golden Temple, the holy sarovar, Akal Takht, the langar hall and other buildings of the complex have carefully been included in the replica to ensure that it give a real “miniature like look”. He said, “I have tried to be as elaborate as possible within the limited dimensions of 16 by 12 feet”.

Kanwalpreet is likely to develop more such replicas not only of the Darbar Sahib complex, but also of other historical Sikh gurdwaras as well. “By this way I hope to propagate the great Sikh culture and its great symbols”, he said, add the that he felt immense joy once he saw his replica complete and in full form. He received lot of appreciation for his work which, he said, had given him a lot of encouragement.

Kanwalpreet has multiple interests. He has studied French, Russian, German, besides English. He wants to study and master a few more languages. He said although it was difficult to find time for such varied and multiple interests, “but your passion always makes you perfect time manager”.



Probe into assets of Sibia sought
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
The All-India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha (AIKMS) has sought the arrest of Wing Commander Paramjit Sibia, chairman of the dissolved Ludhiana Improvement Trust, in two FIRs registered in 2004.

Mr Hardev Singh Sandhu, President of the organisation, said the sabha has been fighting for the arrest of Mr Sibia for using muscle power to demand money from farmers, which he had loaned as a commission agent in Raikot since 2004.

The police allegedly acted under pressure and recommended cancellation of the cases. Mr Sandhu said Mr Sibia was not even once arrested in the cases.

Seeking the revoking of decision of the police, Mr Sandhu said the government should order a probe into Mr Sibia’s assets which allegedly are beyond his known sources of income.

Mr Sibia has been claiming innocence and false implication in both the FIRs. SSP R.K. Jaiswal said inquiries into the two FIRs had found him innocent and hence the cases were recommended for cancellation in a court of law.

The two FIRs were registered in 2004 at Raikot on the complaint of Gurjant Singh of Bopa Rai Khurd and Mehar Singh of Bassian village.

In the first FIR, the complainant Gurjant Singh of Bopa Rai Khurd village had alleged that he had taken a loan from Mr Sibia and had repaid it. Mr Sibia allegedly took into his possession a tractor of the complainant besides manhandling him.

The police later got the tractor recovered and a case under Section 382 was registered against Mr Sibia and his alleged supporters.

Mr Sibia, in an earlier interview to the Tribune, had said that Gurjant Singh was a driver of a farmer who owed him Rs 12 lakh. He said the farmer had not repaid his loan and had got a false case registered against him.

In the second FIR, Mehar Singh of Bassian had alleged that Mr Sibia and his supporters had forcibly got signatures on the transfer of a piece of land. The complainant had a dispute with Mr Sibia over the repayment of a loan and had furnished documents to the police claiming that he had cleared all the dues.



Installation ceremony of Lions Club
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 18
Dr Sunil Lakhotra was installed as president of the Lions Club Ludhiana Samrat for a year by former District Governor, Mr Charanjit Singh. Dr J.S. Kohli was installed as secretary while Mr Ravinder Sehgal was installed as treasurer of the club, alongwith other office-bearers.

In his address, the District Governor of Lions District 321-F, Mr R.K. Rana, stressed on the sight first programme. He appealed to the office bearers of the Lions Clubs to conduct free eye operation camps.

Ms Minakshi Garg, Ms Gurmeet Kaur, Ms Gurmeet Kaur and Ms Sonika Gogna were honoured as Best Teachers. Councillors Mr Madan Lal Bagga and Mr Sunil Dutt were honoured for their contributions to society.



Bank staff observe "demands day"
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
On a call by the State Bank of Patiala Employees Federation, employees of the State Bank of Patiala observed a "demands day" and held a demonstration at Bharat Nagar Chowk here today.

The employees alleged that the management's attitude was rigid and uncompromising. Addressing the employees, Mr Naresh Gaur, joint secretary, said in spite of efforts by the federation to "normalise" the situation," an egoistic and unilateral approach is being preferred by the management."

Threatening to revive their agitational programme, the employees opposed re-deployment of staff "unilaterally", review of transfers affected by re-deployment policy, end to outsourcing of jobs, adequate recruitment of staff in all cadres and end to suspension or transfers on administrative grounds.

They also demanded refund of unauthorised recovery from head cashiers.



Dairy owners to increase milk prices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
After Verka increased the price of milk by Re 1 per kg, local dairy owners and milk suppliers are also likely to increase the prices.

A meeting of the Dairy Owners and Milk Suppliers was held here yesterday where a hike in the prices of the milk and milk products following a "substantial rise" in input costs was indicated.

The meeting was attended by two area councillors Balkar Singh Sandhu and Bharat Bhushan Ashu. The dairy owners said the prices of the input costs, like fodder, had increased manifold, while the prices of milk remained the same for the past several years.

The dairy owners pointed out Verka had also increased the price of milk by Re 1 per kg. The increase was likely to be announced in a couple of days.



Banks misusing freedom: chamber
Variation in interest rates

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
Alleging that commercial banks are grossly misusing their freedom and resorting to levying heavy service charges, industry representatives today said industrial borrowers were facing problems on account of varied interest rates charged by different banks.

“The Finance Ministry has granted freedom to banks in matters like deciding their interest rates. However, the freedom granted to them is being grossly misused,” said Mr P.D. Sharma, president, Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“In case of industrial borrowers, while some get cheaper credit, others get credit on high interest rates. This disturbs competition,” added Mr Sharma.

He said that following various complaints by borrowers and industry leaders, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had constituted a special group to report on the matter. “The group gave a report and found some of the service charges to be unfair, lacking transparency and, in several cases, banks could not justify the same.”

Mr Sharma said the group also observed that banks were not following the advice to price their services reasonably keeping in mind the average cost of service or the customer’s profile.

“In 1999, banks were given freedom to fix their own fee for services that they offered. Earlier, they were setting service charges in accordance with those fixed by the Indian Bankers Association. But later, they wanted to compete and sought freedom to fix their own charges,” he said.

He said that the apex bank had advised banks to charge prices in consonance with the services rendered. The group has also advised banks that certain services should be charged at different rates for pensioners, senior citizens, rural area customers and individuals as against non-individual entities, he added.



SBI holds customers’ meet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
The State Bank of India (SBI), Kesar Ganj branch, organised a customer relation programme under the presidentship of Mr J.K. Takkar, Regional Manager, region I, zonal office, here today.

Mr N.K. Gosain, Branch Manager, highlighted various deposit and advances schemes being offered by the bank.

Mr Takkar also launched the SBI Tax Savings Scheme, 2006, for income tax payees so as to extend the benefit of Section 80 C of Income Tax Act, 1961. Mr Anil Verma, Chief Manager, SBI Mutual Fund, explained the SBI Fund and advised customers to invest in systematic investment plans.

Mr Rajesh Sood, Manager, SBI Life, highlighted various schemes meant solely for the bank’s customers.



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