P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Suspected dengue case reported

PATIALA: Even as the authorities concerned have been making efforts to prevent dengue from spreading in the district, another patient suspected with the disease was reported in the town late last evening.

Gaurav Bhargav (17), who had come to the town to attend a marriage, was admitted to the local Rajindra Hospital after being referred by a private clinic, where he had been undergoing treatment for the past few days.

Yesterday, Harpreet, an engineer working at Ghaziabad, was admitted to the hospital with suspected dengue. He had been running temperature for the past one week and his platelet count had gone down drastically.

While Gaurav Bhargav is being kept under close watch in the isolation ward of the hospital, doctors attending to the patient suspect it to be a case of dengue.

Dr Rakesh Gupta, Civil Surgeon, said Gaurav, who originally hails from Faridabad (Haryana), had been running temperature for the past six days.

His platelet count had gone down a little. An anti-bodies test conducted at the private hospital had come negative for dengue. The Rajindra hospital would again conduct the test to draw to a conclusion.

He added that the condition of both Harpreet and Gaurav was stable and both were responding to the treatment. The fever was also under control.

Admitting the fact that there was an acute storage of sweepers, Dr Y.S. Banga, Health Officer, Municipal Corporation, said efforts were on to maintain cleanliness in the city.

He added that all garbage dumping sites had been cleared and fogging had been initiated. Insecticides were also being sprayed on the heaps of garbage.

Municipal Corporation would recruit 400 sweepers.

Meanwhile, Dr Paramjit Singh, Chairman, Sudhar Sabha, has alleged that some residential areas were not habitable for lacking sanitation.

He added that the sabha had appealed to the CM to do the needful to improve the sanitation in the city.



Mentally challenged pregnant woman in dire straits
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

The mentally challenged pregnant woman who has been squatting at the District Courts, Ropar, for the past two months.
The mentally challenged pregnant woman who has been squatting at the District Courts, Ropar, for the past two months. — A Tribune photograph

Ropar, October 6
A mentally challenged eight-month pregnant woman (24) has been living in abject poverty at the District Courts for the past two months.

To add to her plight, she cannot speak. She has been surviving on the alms given by advocates and visitors to the courts.

In spite of the fact that her plight has been brought to the notice of the district administration on a number of occasions, no one has come forward to offer succour to the woman.

Women advocates at the court say the woman is nearing the date of delivery and negligence may prove harmful to the baby.

The woman has made the corridor of courts and advocates chambers her home and sits there even during working hours.

Advocate Sarbjeet Singh said the woman took refuge in the corridor outside the advocates’ chambers around two months ago.

Unable to speak or write, the woman is enduring a miserable existence.

“We have informed the administration to provide her with shelter in homes run by the Social Welfare Department for homeless persons. Or she should be handed over to an NGO, which can take care of her,” he said.


CM’s clean chit to SSP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, said today that Mr Sukhbir Badal got done the sting operation against four policemen of Nawanshahr for allegedly selling poppy. He also gave a clean chit to the SSP, Nawanshahr, Mr Surinder Pal Singh saying “The SSP does not have any role in the alleged act committed by his subordinates”.

The Chief Minister said “All these conspiracies and operations are being manipulated to demoralise my officers”. This was being done to target the SSP, Nawanshahr, who is the prosecuting officer in the cases of corruption against the Badal family. Following the sting operation, two policemen, including SHO of Banga Jagdish Singh, were dismissed from service.


Badal seeks Rs 30,000-cr package
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The Shiromani Akali Dal President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today demanded an economic package of Rs 30, 000 crore from the Centre to bail out the beleaguered farmers of Punjab from the crushing debt trap. Mr Badal also demanded that the minimum support price of Rs1,150 per quintal for wheat in the coming season.

He said the MSP should be fixed at least six months before the sowing season.

In a statement here, Mr Badal also supported the views expressed by the Chairman of National Farmers Commission, Dr M.S. Swaminathan, that the prices of agricultural products should be fixed 50 percent above cost of production. He said the time had come to change MSP into minimum profit prices.


"Join hands to curb female foeticide"
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 6
The declining sex ratio is a great matter of concern and every section of the society must take it seriously. For, if the trend continues, it could lead to social disorder. Female foeticide is not only a blot on the society but it also a misuse of technology for personal interests, said Dr Harbans Lal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, while addressing the seminar on female foeticide organised by the District Social Security Department.

District Social Security Officer and Child Development Project Officers of Sirhind, Khera, Bassi Pathana alongwith chairpersons of these blocks presided over the function. The artists from Punjabi University performed a play on female foeticide. Ms Amrit Bala, DSSO, urged women to fight for their rights and not to succumb to any pressure to undergo sex determination.

Mr Lakhbir Singh Rai, President, DCC, and Mr Gurwinder Dhillon, Chairman, Block Samiti Bassi Pathana, in their address said the society as a whole had to change its attitude towards women. They said social organisations should come forward to curb social menace like dowry, crime against women and female foeticide. Due to consistent efforts of the district administration, sex ratio in the district has improved, but still a lot needs to be done. Dr R.S.Bawa, a social worker, Mrs Nutan Suri, District Program Officer, Dr Jaswant Singh, president, Human Rights Organisation, also gave detailed information about the consequences of female foeticide, implementation of the PNDT Act and the protection of rights.


Social activist dead
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 6
Mr Amar Singh Kamboj, a social activist of the town, died on Thursday evening due to cardiac arrest at a local private hospital. He was 89. Amar Singh Kamboj, was elected the first municipal commissioner of Patiala state unanimously in 1942.

He had converted his house into a school for deaf and dumb and blind children. The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, expressed his deep sorrow over the demise of Amar Kamboj. His funeral was largely attended.


Yuva padyatra members reach Ropar
Tribune News Service

Ropar, October 6
A Swarnim Bharat Yuva Padyatra led by Bhrama Kumar Rajni, from Jammu reached here on Wednesday. Members of Bhrama Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya accompanied the padyatra. The members delivered lectures in educational institutions on the role of youths in value- based society and challenges and choices before youths.

Giving details, the Media Coordinator of North region for Bhrama Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya, Mr Karam Chand Saini, said the padyatra aimed at spreading awareness among the people to channelise the energy of youths in creative pursuits, had started from 31 places in the country.

During their stay in various cities, the members also addressed gatherings and organised seminars.


4 hurt in mishap; close shave for cops
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, October 6
Four persons were injured in an accident here today.

According to police sources, an Innova car rammed into a tractor trailer, which was overtaking a truck parked on the road side. The four occupants of the vehicle—Gurpreet Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Tarsem Singh and Jagtar Singh—were injured in the accident.

The injured were shifted to the local civil hospital.

Meanwhile, two police personnel, who were inspecting the accident spot, had a narrow escape when a truck coming from the Ambala side hit their motor cycle. While the motor cycle was damaged, the police personnel jumped to safety.


1,000 buses added to roadways fleet
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 6
The State Transport Department has purchased 1000 new buses for transport and out of these 362 buses had been added in the fleet of Punjab Roadways and 200 in Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) fleet. Rest of the buses are being fabricated and 60 to 70 buses would be ready every month.

Besides this 10 new Super air conditioned buses are being started on trial basis and if required number of such buses would be increased, said Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri Minister for Transport, here today. He was here to inaugurate the Malhotra Motors, a service centre of Maruti Udyog at Sirhind town.

He said Punjab Roadways had earned profit of Rs 14 crore for the first time.

He said DTOs had been directed to check plying of illegal buses, tourist buses without permit, and overloading in trucks.

Earlier Dr Harbans Lal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary raised the demand of a modern bus stand at Sirhind, Punjab Roadways depot and starting of super deluxe bus from Fatehgarh Sahib to Delhi.

The minister announced Rs 80 lakh for the construction of new bus stand and assured to set up roadways depot.

Mr Pardeep Malhotra General Secretary, PPCC, Vaid Hari Krishan, member, PPCC and officers of Maruti Udyog were among the speakers.


20.90 tonnes of paddy bought
Tribune News Service

Ropar, October 6
Various agencies have purchased 20.90 metric tonnes of paddy from grain markets of Punjab so far. Last year, the procurement was 11.59 metric tonnes till this day. This happened as we started the purchase of paddy two days earlier this time, said the Principal Secretary, Food and Civil Supplies, Ms Tejinder Kaur, after inspecting the Morinda grain market here yesterday.

Meanwhile, farmers brought to the notice of the Principal Secretary that in comparison to other agencies, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) had purchased very less quantity of paddy so far.


Dutt sworn in as Chief Vigilance Commissioner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The Punjab Governor, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), today administered the oath of office to Justice Amar Dutt as state Chief Vigilance Commissioner at a brief ceremony in the Punjab Raj Bhavan here.

Mrs Jean Rodrigues, the first lady, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and ministers, MLAs, senior civil and police officers were present. Relatives, friends and well-wishers of Justice Dutt also attended the ceremony.

An alumnus of the Doon School, Justice Dutt joined Superior Judicial Service in 1983. He served as Additional District and Session Judge at Ludhiana, Amritsar, Ferozepore and Patiala and then as District and Sessions Judge at Amritsar, Chandigarh and Ropar.


Revenue Commission set up
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, October 6
To streamline functioning of the Revenue Department, the Punjab Revenue Commission has been constituted to recommend amendments to be made in various Revenue Acts like the Land Acquisition Act, the Stamp Duty Act and other acts.

This was stated by Mr S.S. Dawra, Chairman, Punjab Revenue Commission at a meeting of the officials of Ferozepore Division which was attended by Mr Nasib Singh Gill, Member, PRC, Mr Surinderjit Singh Sandhu, Commissioner, Mr Dilip Kumar DC Muktsar, Mr V.K. Meena DC Moga, Dr, Arvinder Singh DC Ferozepore and other revenue officials of the division. Mr Dawra said that the Punjab Revenue Commission would look into every aspect of the prevailing revenue acts from people’s perspective and suggest changes accordingly. He said that the commission would tour all districts of the state and interact with Revenue officials working at grass roots levels to have first-hand knowledge of the ambiguities in the functioning of the Revenue Department. The meeting, discussed resumption of land by the government, land acquisition, and other procedures.


2 held for NRI’s murder
Our correspondent

Hoshiarpur, October 6
The police claims to have solved murder case of NRI Surinder Singh, alias Chinda Walaiti, son of Ram Krishan of Mehlanwali village after more than 10 months and arrest two persons.

SSP, Hoshiarpur, R.N. Dhoke stated here this afternoon that Jasbir Singh son of Bakhshish Singh of Manan and Gurtej Singh Teja son of Chattar Singh of Daulatpur Gillan had been arrested for the murder of NRI Surinder Singh.

On the evening of December 19, 2005, some unidentified persons called NRI Surinder Singh to his fields for purchasing his land. Next day his body was found in shrubs in the fields. Marks of injuries were found on the head and neck of the body. The Sadar police has registered a case under sections 302 of the IPC in this connection.

Jasbir Singh, who remained absent from his house for a long time, was the main suspect the police arrested him and during interrogation he revealed that in November, 2005, Joginder Singh son of Anoop Singh called him at his house where he told him that Gurtej Singh Teja was interested in purchasing the land of NRI Surinder Singh. He asked him to bring NRI Surinder Singh to show his land to Gurtej Singh Teja.

On December 12, 2005 Parvesh Kumar and Gurtej Singh Teja came to his residence and asked him to bring NRI Surinder Singh to the fields. In the evening he took NRI Surinder Singh to the fields where Parvesh Kumar and Gurtej Singh Teja were present. After seeing the land, they sent him to fetch water from the village. When he returned, he found body of NRI Surinder Singh near bales of straw and Parvesh Kumar and Gurtej Singh Teja missing. He returned to his village and next day the duo came to his residence and threatened him with dire consequences if he told the incident to anyone and Parvesh Kumar instructed him to go for a far away place by giving Re 3200/- to him.

Jasbir Singh further revealed that he remained at Mumbai and did not return for fear. Now, he had returned due to the ill health of his wife.

The SSP said that the motive behind the murder was that Joginder Singh had to pay Re 3 lakh to deceased NRI Surinder Singh and the latter he was demanding his money.


Rs 2 lakh robbed
Tribune News Service

Moga, October 6
Three motorcycle-borne persons looted Rs 2 lakh from two persons near Bagh cinema here today. The victims received injuries as robbers attacked them with sharp-edged weapons to snatch money bag.

According to information, owner of (Singla Traders) sent on a motorcycle his two employees, Sukhdev Singh and accountant Satish Kumar, to State Bank of Punjab (SBoP) at Saheed Bhagat Singh Market, to draw Rs 2 lakh today.

When they were returning after drawing the money at 11 am, three persons hit their motorcycle near Bagh cinema and one of them tried to snatch the bag containing money from Sukhdev Singh.

When he resisted his attempt, another robber attacked Sukhdev on his arm with a sharp-edged weapon. The robbers also attacked Satish Kumar and fled from the spot after snatching the bag.

The injured were admitted to local Civil Hospital. Sukhdev’s condition is reported to be critical.

An FIR under section 394 of the IPC was registered by the police in this regard. However none could be nabbed.


Shops selling LPG on black market raided; 3 booked
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 6
After “ignoring” the sale of LPG cylinders on black market by shopkeepers on the Haji Rattan road for long, the District Food Supply Department today raided some shops and seized 12 cylinders from owners.

These shopkeepers, which included chemists, cloth merchants, tailors, motor mechanics and even barbers had the audacity to put a couple of cylinders outside their shops to indicate that LPG was available for sale on the black market with them. They would charge anywhere between Rs 300-Rs 400 per LPG cylinder. They would also steal three to five kg of gas from a cylinder before putting up for sale.

Sources said one of them had a stock of 20 cylinders at any point of time, which he used to keep at his nearby home. Sources said the authorities concerned were reportedly aware of this practice, but had closed eyes to it due to reasons started malpractice. Sources said they started action only when a private TV channel aired the malpractice.

District Food Supply inspectors Satpal Rahi, Harjas Singh and Shingara Singh along with the police raided these shops at 8 am. Apprehending police action many of the shopkeepers put up the shutters and ran away. The cylinders seized from the shopkeepers’ possession were of Indane, Bharat Gas and HP. Sources in the department said an inquiry into the entire matter would reveal the names of the gas agencies with which these shopkeepers connived to make a quick buck. Three shopkeepers — Ashok Kumar, Surjeet Singh, and owner of Lucky Light House have been booked under Section 420 of the IPC and Section 7 of the Essential Commodities (EC) Act.

When contacted, District Food Supply Controller, Sukhdev Singh, said they had also rounded up a couple of shopkeepers in this regard and added that they would carry out more raids to check black marketing of the LPG. However, he denied any prior knowledge of this matter and said their staff was busy in procurement activities for the last one month.


Undertrial dies in jail
Tribune News Service

Ropar, October 6
A 30-year-old undertrial, Harinder Singh, died under mysterious circumstances in the district jail here this evening.

He was taken to the local Civil Hospital where he was declared brought dead at 6 pm.

A jail official said after attending the hearing of his case at the District Courts here this afternoon, the undertrial was brought back to the jail around 3.15 pm.

The undertrial had a tray of eggs with him when he returned, but was asked to leave the tray with the jail officials.

Around 5.25 pm, he felt uneasy and fell unconscious. Thereafter, he was taken to the hospital here.

The police sources said the undertrial was a drug addict and might have taken an overdose of drugs while being kept in the makeshift enclosure in the courts or the district jail.

Deputy Superintendent of Jail Gurpal Singh, who took the undertrial to the hospital, said Harinder Singh had been facing a case of causing grievous injuries and assault and lodged in the jail for some time.

He said the cause of death could only be revealed after the post-mortem examination report come out. The examination will be conducted tomorrow.

DSP Didar Singh said they had been investigating into the cause of the death and a case would be registered after the post-mortem report.

Currently, 378 undertrials are lodged in the jail but no permanent doctor has been deputed in the jail. The jail has a capacity of 500 persons.


PAU inks MoU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 6
Punjab Agricultural University, New Zealand-based Massey University and Landcare Research Organisation have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the aim of sharing knowledge and entering into collaborative and cooperative teaching and research.

The MoU identifies six areas of synchronised functioning, namely: sustainable and integrated land use for agriculture; greenhouse gas emissions in relation to agriculture; post-harvest technology and management; agri-processing and management; agri-business; food technology and food sciences.

While Vice-Chancellor K.S. Aulakh signed on behalf of the PAU, Chief Executive Warren Parker signed on behalf of Landcare Research New Zealand Limited and Vice-Chancellor and President Judith Kinnear on behalf of Massey University.

India’s High Commissioner to New Zealand Kadakath Pathrose Ernet signed the MoU as a witness. The promoter and initiator for the MoU was Dr Surinder Saggar, Principal Scientist and Research Leader with Landcare Research New Zealand Limited.

The MoU, according to PAU Dean (Postgraduate Studies) S.S. Chahal, links New Zealand and India in agricultural, food, environmental research and education efforts.


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