L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Threat to reporter: FIR after much ado
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 12
After much dilly-dallying, the city police has finally registered a case against the unknown driver of a car who had hit the vehicle of The Tribune sport journalist a week ago and threatened to shoot him with a pistol.

The case was registered on the directions of Deputy Inspector General of Police Parag Jain, who was apprised of the incident and the “lukewarm” response of the local police, which instead of registering a case had told the victim to trace the man on his own.

According to FIR No. 303 registered last night at the Division No. 5 police station, the unknown driver of car (PB 19B-0088) has been booked under Sections 279 (driving or riding on a public way so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life), 341 (wrongfully restraining a person) and 506 (criminal intimidation to cause death or grievous hurt) of the IPC.

The city police had not registered the case at the receipt of the FIR on the day of the alleged incident even though the directions of the Supreme Court makes it mandatory for the police to register an FIR and then investigate.

In a complaint filed before the police, Anil Datt, the reporter, had alleged that he was coming out of a stadium after covering a professional assignment when a rashly driven car coming from the rear almost hit him.

“When I protested with the driver, he abused and threated me, and trained a pistol on me. He threatened to kill me.” he alleged.

He said had it not been for some passersby who had stopped and intervened, he could have been shot by the accused. As the crowds gathered, the driver of the car fled the scene.

The incident and the response of the police was widely criticised on the grounds that there did not seem to be any fear of law in the city, as anyone could flash a pistol and threat to shoot.

Further, the police did not responded actively and effectively at the receipt of the complaint.

Adding insult to injury, officials at the Division No. 5 police station made the journalist sit at the station for two hours before coolly telling him to trace the car on his own.

SSP A.S. Rai had later shifted the SHO of the police station.



Over 4 lakh children given polio drops
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, November 12
More than four lakh children were administered polio drops in the city and elsewhere in the district in the course of pulse polio drive today.
Dr Yash Pal Singla, Civil Surgeon, giving this information, said almost 80 per cent of the 5.39 lakh children in the age group of 0-5 years were covered by way of some 2100 polio booths set up in the city and other places in the district.

Remaining children would be given polio drops during the next two days by teams of volunteers, who would go from door to door.

Dr Singla went on round to several slum areas in Haibowal Khurd, Haibowal Kalan and other localities on the periphery.

Similarly, Dr Om Raj Goldy, Medical Officer, Surveillance, and a representative of the WHO supervised the polio booths falling under the jurisdiction of ESI Hospital, Railway Hospital and Civil Hospital in the city. He later visited Civil Hospital, Khanna, and took a tour of several colonies in Khanna town.

Mr Rakesh Pandey, Minister for Science and Technology, Punjab inaugurated the polio vaccination campaign organised by the Rameshwar Welfare Trust in the Shiv Puri area in which more than 1000 children were given polio drops at a number of booths.

In the pulse polio camp, organised by NSS volunteers of Government Multipurpose Senior Secondary School at Naulakha Cinema Road, polio drops were given to more than 100 children. The camp was held under the guidance of the Principal, Mr H.K. Mayer.

Polio booths were set up at Sarabha Nagar dispensary, gurdwara near Guru Nanak Public School and at Pakhowal Road by NGOs where polio drops were given to more than 500 children , according to Dr Anil Dhir, Secretary, Indian Health Foundation.

Mandi Ahmedgarh:Over 3000 children were administered polio vaccine at nearly 200 booths set up in the local town and surrounding villages of Sangrur and Ludhiana districts. Though the turnout was not very encouraging, the authorities claimed remaining 50 per cent target would be achieved during door to door campaign during the next two days.

According to Dr K. C. Goel, District Health Officer, at Sangrur more than 23 thousand children were administrated polio vaccine at 152 booths at Ahmedgarh, Malerkotla and surrounding villages. Though the turnout was nearly 50 per cent of the total target group, the DHO expected to achieve the remaining target during door to door campaign on Monday and Tuesday.

The vaccine was also administrated at booths set up at various villages falling in Ludhiana district, including Chhapar, Ghungrana, Latala, Barudni. Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, MLA, Kilaraipur, alleged that the authorities had not bothered to make people aware about the schedule of vaccination. He administrated drops to children at Primary Health Centre at Chhapar village.

Polio drops were given to children below five years in 135 villages under the guidance and leadership of Dr N P S Virk, SMO of Government Primary Health Centre, Manupur near here, today.

In a press note, Lt Jatinder Kumar and Mr Manmohan Kumar Puri, In Charge, MPHC, Ghungrali Sikhan (Ludhiana) said 19 supervisors were detailed for duty at 84 booths and 14184 children were given polio drops. People of the area appreciated the work done by the health staff under the control and command of SMO Manupur.

Samrala: The inauguration of pulse polio programme was done by Dr Harvinder Singh, Senior Medical Officer, Civil Hospital, Samrala on the hospital premises.

Polio drops were administered to children under five years of age.

Approximately 2300 children were given polio drops at 16 posts in different parts of the city along with seven transit posts and one mobile post.

Remaining children will be immunized in the next two days on November 13 and 14 during house to house activity. 



City painted in Congress colour
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana November 12
With the countdown to the November 14 rally having begun, the city has been wrapped in the myriad colours of the Congress, with flags, banners, cutouts and buntings spread all over.

There appears to be a mad race among leaders and workers to erect hoardings and banners to assert their presence.

It was learned that the city was painted in Congress colour only after the Panchayat Minister, in-charge of the district, took serious note of the lack of publicity in the city about the rally yesterday.

He reportedly asked local leaders and workers to ensure that the city wore a "Congress look" with all prominent places and city landmarks full of hoardings and cutouts of senior leaders.

As a result, all main roads leading in and out of the city have been splashed with Congress flags.

This has also provided an opportunity to a large number of ticket aspirants to make their presence felt. These leaders have got thousands of posters pasted on the walls and lampposts across the city.

This may even provoke some people to raise objections over the defacement of public property. But that aspect, according to the workers, could be taken care of later on. Local party leader Sanjeev Sharma said workers have been assigned the job to mobilise people.

Besides, publicity part is being taken due care of. It has been made clear to local leadership that each and every spot in the city "speaks about the November 14 rally only".

And the loyal workers and leaders are following the orders with religious obedience. Since the November 14 rally comes in the aftermath of successful “Vikas Yatra”, the Congress leaders are expecting it to be a grand success.

Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) member Pawan Dewan said the turnout in the rally was expected to be in lakhs.

He claimed that there was a lot of enthusiasm among leaders and workers, as everybody was working hard for the grand show on November 14.

While local leaders, including Harnam Dass Johar, Surinder Dawer, Rakesh Pandey, Nahar Singh Gill, Jagmohan Sharma, Amarjit Singh Tikka and others, have been playing their role with Lal Singh monitoring the arrangements, the spadework for the mass moblisation has been done across the state with meetings organised at each of the 117 Assembly segments by the local leaders.



Journey from rags to books
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 12
While the entire world looks at them as encroachers, two residents of the city thought of providing education to the otherwise deprived children. Today, three schools opened in different slums by this duo are successfully making as many as 104 slum-children learn their first alphabets.

Kudos to Rajendra Sharma, an administrative officer with National Insurance Company, and Anuradha, a retired headmistress from a government school, these children - formerly working as rag-pickers and domestic helps - are promising to become educated citizens of this country traversing the notorious reputation of being children of encroachers.

The duo came up together in April this year and it was only due to their consistent efforts that 104 parents decided to get their children educated, sacrificing their additional monthly income from them.

Having opened three schools in slums near Cheema Chowk, Shimla Puri and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Mr Sharma and Anuradha are happy that their efforts have borne fruits.

The children had been consistent in attending to their classes without caring for rain or shine for the past seven months.

‘‘It was a task to impress upon their parents to withdraw them from various houses and send them to our school. But with the help of six teachers, whom we are paying from our resources, we have been quite a success. Still there is need for more. As only 20 per cent children attend the school. Others still go to their daily chores,’’ said Mr Sharma.

‘‘They may be children of encroachers and we might be looking at them with a scorn, but they too deserve something from their society. We hope they become respectable citizens in future,’’ he added.

At SBS Nagar, the duo is holding classes at Valmiki Dharamshala and at rest of the places there is no building. Classes are held in out in the open.

Only today, the students at SBS Nagar were provided with school uniforms funded by Gurdeep Singh of Jujhar Transport.

The children were given two pairs each of woolen uniform and shoes.

Ludhiana Improvement Trust former chairman M.M. Vyas, while addressing the students, asked them to work hard for building a better future. Another class for adults was also started at the school today.



Brick-kiln worker murdered
Our Correspondent

Khamano , November 12
A person working in a brick-kiln has been allegedly murdered by a youth, who was also working on the same site close to Bhari village, near here.
According to information, Balvir Singh (35) , a resident of Matroda village near Bhadson, was working at the brick-kiln and a youth, Harjinder Singh Kala,(21) was also working there as tractor-trailer driver.

Last evening, Nachhatar Singh, brother of the deceased Balvir Singh, came at the brick-kiln where Harjinder Singh reportedly told him that Balvir was forcibly trying to sodomise him.

Nachhatar Singh assured him that he would come tomorrow and talk to Balvir on the issue.

But when today he reached the brick-kiln, he saw Harjinder Singh allegedly burning clothes of his brother. He ran away on seeing him. When he entered the room , he saw his brother lying dead. There were some wounds on the neck, hands and other parts of the body.

Later it came to light that both Balvir Singh and Harjinder Singh had taken drinks in the evening and at about 10 pm, Balvir tried to sodomise Harjinder . Harjinder attacked Balvir with an iron pipe many times resulting in his death.

On getting information, the DSP, Khamano, Mr atinder Pal Singh, SHO, Khamano, Mr S. S. Virk reached the spot. A case under Sections 302 and 201, IPC, has been registered in this connection.



Ludhiana Calling

Government's pre-election appeasement moves might invite a lot of criticism, but even those condemning the government want to miss no chance to make the most of it. Recent case in point is industry that has been accusing the government of turning a blind eye to its problems. After repeated complaints when the Chief Minister met industrialists and agreed to one of their demands pertaining to submitting “C” forms, local industry took no time in organising meetings to express its gratitude toward the government. A few industrialists, who had been on the forefront of registering their protest, refused to come on record to admit that it was a pre-election appeasement move. However, while they did agree it was so, they added that they didn’t want to protest further as it was the best time they could get more demands fulfilled.

Ingenious ingenuity

While finance companies, banks, etc. continue calling people for credit cards, loans et al in spite of court orders against soliciting, a large section of those using database from other companies for marketing of their products have devised a novel way of avoiding any hassles - by sending text messages related to their products and giving phone numbers in case one is interested in purchasing the product. Innovation is the key to good business!


The coming days are likely to be full of challenges for mobile companies, so it seems. The initial euphoria of possessing mobile phones seems to be over and it is common to find people complaining of the nuisance these have been creating. Ever-ringing phones have not only become a source of disturbance but are adding to stress levels too. No wonder, companies have started publicising services like barring certain numbers. The day doesn't seem far when mobile service providers would start earning more from such services than from regular calling.

Stubble bubble

In spite of a ban imposed by Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Magistrate on the burning of stubble, it doesn't seem to have deterred farmers from going ahead with the practice this year. Consequently, environment is getting polluted more than ever, covering the region in a thick blanket of smog. It has rendered the region unfit for inhabitation with a large number of people, especially children, reporting to hospitals with respiratory disorders. One wonders if the authorities will just pass orders on paper or do something about it for the larger interest of community.

Whither winter?

The outset of winter seems to be getting delayed with each passing year. With half of November already gone, residents are yet to officially declare winter by taking out blankets or woollens. With afternoons still staying hot, hosiery manufacturers are praying to the weather god to come to their rescue lest they should suffer losses.

Politicians forever

Elections are round the corner and its fever has already started to grip politicians. But it is shocking to see the extent to which leaders can go and try to sidestep major issues like cleaning of Budda Nullah. A local politician tried his best to ensure that the meeting of Budda Nullah Cleaning Committee, constituted by state government, was postponed by some months. Sources say a local leader was hell-bent on making sure that the meeting was not held, as it would raise a lot of hullabaloo and the present government would be in the dock for the state of affairs.

Parents’ fancies

Schools fancy dress competitions can give parents a tough time, at least when it comes to selecting the dress for their wards. While parents want that their children to look different, their dress-sellers are falling short of ideas. So much so that a shopkeeper said mothers had lately started preparing dresses on their own instead of depending on readymade dresses. The run-of-the-mill fairy, Chacha Nehru, bride, groom and other characters are not finding any favours with today's mothers.

Road rage

The training of a revolver on a Tribune journalist by a motorist on the Club Road speaks volumes of the prevailing law and order situation of the city. If someone had the nerve to flash a revolver in the broad daylight, he could also have had no qualms about pressing the trigger in the heat of the moment. To everybody’s surprise, the casual attitude of police officials on the issue showed very poorly on their seriousness in dealing with crimes. Instead of trying to cover up such incidents, they should focus on routing the crime by catching defaulters.

Poor children

The Supreme Court's directive on child labour seems to have had a little effect on minors working in the city. With the enforcement agencies looking the other way, poor children keep working to eke out a living. Though media has generated a lot of awareness on the issue, employers are reluctant in admitting that they have a child working with them.

Contributed by Shweta Pathak, Kanchan Vasdev and Jupinderjit Singh



CITU alleges oppression of workers in Punjab
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 12
Mr M.K. Pandhe, president of the Centre for Indian Trade Unions(CITU), today alleged that the Punjab Government had let loose a reign of terror on the working class who were demanding genuine and legitimate rights. He alleged that the freedom of associations and the right of collective bargaining were being trampled in Punjab.

Inaugurating the 12th session of the three-day state-level CITU conference here , Mr Pandhe said the Government of India, and by implication the Punjab Government, was a signatory to the guidelines of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and it was their duty to ensure that these guidelines were followed. But, unfortunately, these were being violated here, he alleged.

The CITU president made a special mention of the Information Technology sector and the issue of Special Economic Zones(SEZs). He said while the workers in the IT sectors had not been granted the right to the union, under the SEZs, the government was facilitating the takeover of precious land of workers by the rich and powerful.

He demanded a special package for the workers in the IT sector.

He said these workers had quite long working hours which caused a lot of stress. He suggested regular breaks for these workers to avoid mental and physical problems to them.

Although Mr Pandhe criticised the labour policies of the state and Central governments, he expressed satisfaction over the implementation of the common minimum programme by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government (at the Centre).

He said, however, a lot needed to be done, particularly in the labour sector.

He also cautioned againsed the rabid liberalisation which was denying the neglected and downtrodden sections their economic freedom and security.

He warned that this could have dangerous implications.

The CITU secretary and MP, Mr Tapan Sen, also addressed the convention. 



Veterans’ core group merger hailed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 12
The Indian Ex-services League, Punjab and Chandigarh, has welcomed the merger of the All-India Veterans’ core group with the mainstream league and the joining of Brig H.S. Ghuman and the executive body in the league.

Lieut-Col Chanan Singh Dhillon (retd), president of the league, today said the policy, principles and strict non-political character of the league was explained to the core group.

Colonel Dhillon said the league recognised the efforts made by the group to highlight and seek the right for serving soldiers to cast their vote at their place of posting.

“The league would pursue the demand for voting right of soldiers, as this would help the armed forces to ask for their rights as enshrined in the Constitution. This would be one of the demands of the league along with other burning issues, particularly pertaining to pay and pension.”

The successive pay commissions had failed to evaluate the service conditions of the armed forces and had left a number of anomalies in their recommendations, as a result of which the defence personnel had suffered.

Colonel Dhillon said the current Pay Commission should ensure the fact that the service conditions of the armed forces were not diluted and justice was done to them by revising the pay and pension of the defence personnel.

While welcoming the steps taken by the Punjab Government to give increased monetary benefits to gallantry awardees and ex gratia to war veterans, it took a serious view of the action of the Directorate of Sainik Welfare barring Captains and Majors (and equivalent ranks of Air Force and Navy), who formed cutting-edge in the battlefield, from being included in the panel of selection for the post of Deputy Director.

The league was of the view that competition should not have been narrowed down and the guidelines of the Director General of Resettlement should be implemented.

The league criticised the attitude of the Director, Sainik Welfare.



Private banks’ staff a satisfied lot: study
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, November 12
Majority of employees working in private sector banks were satisfied with their jobs and found enough opportunities for growth and advancement. This was found by Tarandeep Shahpuri, an MBA student of Punjab College of Technical Education, Baddowal, in his study on 'Quality of work life in private sector banks.

Tarandeep, who did this study under his adviser, Mr Gautam Bansal, found that employees felt though they had to work hard in the private sector but it gave them an adequate and fair compensation in maintaining a socially desirable standard of living.

It was also concluded that most of the employees were having good relations with others and hence the environment in which they worked was satisfactory.

The study which was conducted on over 100 employees working in the private sector, however, found that most of the employees were not committed to work. The main reason was that they were not able to maintain a perfect balance in their work and personal life. Only 44 per cent respondents were able to maintain work-life balance.

At least 36 per cent of the respondents said they desired to work for their present organisation for fairly long time and found their job to be challenging.

Nearly 58 per cent of the employees were satisfied with the measures and arrangements made by their company for protecting and maintaining their health and safety. The respondents said their job offered them both security and stability.



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