L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Gang of car thieves busted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
The Division Number 5 police today claimed to have busted a gang of car thieves, besides recovering three stolen cars, about 10 stolen ATM and credit cards and one pistol with live cartridges. One of the accused had procured the Press card of a media organisation based in London.

The accused have been identified as Sumit and Manoj Sharma, both residents of Jaipur district in Rajasthan. Addressing mediapersons here today, SP (City-I) Rakesh Aggarwal said both were inter-state car thieves and were involved in a number of car thefts in Rajasthan also.

Both had come to Ludhiana recently with the motive of stealing luxury cars and had been successful in stealing two cars from different areas of the city.

The police arrested Sumit Sharma along with a stolen Indica car, which he had allegedly stolen from the parking lot of a local hotel on the night of November 19. He was intercepted at a naka from where the police arrested Manoj Sharma going in a stolen Tata Safari car. He had allegedly stolen it from a marriage palace. He was also carrying two gold sets worth Rs 1.5 lakh.

According to the SP, the police also recovered another Indica car, which they had stolen from Jaipur and had left at the parking lot of the DMC hospital. He said that Sumit Sharma had also got a fake identity card of a media organisation, which he had shown to have made in England.



After Budda Nullah, dyeing units polluting forest land
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
After having polluted Budda Nullah to alarming levels by discharging toxic chemical residues into it for years, dyeing industrial units of the city are now not sparing forest area on roadsides by dumping their waste water on it.

Of late, the dyeing units are throwing chemical-laced waste water on the Ludhiana-Jalandhar road, which is taking a toll on hundreds of trees. The units are discharging untreated water on the forest land and the Punjab Pollution Control Board seems to be sleeping on the problem.

At least 100 eucalyptus trees have dried and several others are struggling for survival, as water mixed with toxic chemicals is being discharged by the dyeing units, not showing any concern for environment. The trees are suffering on the 2-km stretch on the GT Road starting from near Greenland School up to the octroi post on the Jalandhar road.

While some residents said that the waterlogging of the forest belt was caused due to overflowing sewers, the husband of the councillor of ward number 4, Mr Ashok Kumar, said that the water was being thrown by the dyeing units. He added that they had asked them to stop this practice, but they were not listening to anyone.

‘‘Earlier we too thought that the water was coming from some broken sewerage pipe. But when we checked, we found that it was actually water mixed with chemicals. After inquiries, it was revealed that the units collected water in pits inside their premises and were later discharging it into water. We have asked them not to do so but only the PPCB can enforce this.’’

A tea-vendor on the GT road said that he was seeing the trees dying for so many months. He said it was difficult to stand near the water throughout the day, as a strong smell of chemicals emanates from the place. The entire area was filled at night and then left to get dried up. After some days it was filled again.

‘‘Now we are seeing that trees are dying. They start drying up and branches start breaking. Finally, the tree falls. Some people keep on clearing the trees as they use the wood as fuel. Over the years, just a few trees have been left and those too are dying, ’’ said residents.

They added that only soil testing can reveal the reason behind this. It seems that the groundwater has also got polluted, as the practice of dumping waste water is going on for such a long time, they added.

Inquiries by The Tribune revealed that the practice was going on for quite some time. A number of industrial units in Ludhiana and around the city prefer to dump the waste generated in their units in surrounding villages or forest belts to save the cost of treatment.



Doctor accused of fraud, denied bail
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 21
A homoeopathic doctor, running a nursing home near Jalandhar bypass here, booked under various sections of IPC for cheating, misrepresentation and fabrication of documents, along with Section 15 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, has been denied anticipatory bail by the sessions court.

The city police had registered a case against Dr Sunil Lakhotra of Harmilap Nursing Home on the basis of a complaint lodged by one Harmesh Lal following a preliminary inquiry by the health officials and the police.

In the FIR against the practitioner, it was maintained that even though holding a homoeopathic degree, Dr Sunil Lakhotra was claiming himself to be an MD doctor, prescribing allopathic medicines for which he was not authorised, and making claims of being former medical officer at various local hospitals.

The doctor, in the bail application, moved in the court of Mr Gurbir Singh, Additional Sessions Judge here, alleged that the complaint filed against him by Harmesh Lal was baseless. He asserted that he held a genuine homoeopathic degree, and that running a nursing home by employing doctors was not an unlawful act.

However, opposing the application for grant of anticipatory bail, the Additional Public Prosecutor submitted that he had never worked in the local hospitals or held an MD degree, as was being claimed by him.

Rejecting the plea of the doctor, the judge observed that even though merit of the case was not to be seen at this stage, allegations levelled against the accused were very serious.



Man falls into dry well, rescued
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 21
The Raikot police had to lower a cop into a 45-foot-deep dry well at Bhaini Baringa village, near here, last evening to rescue a resident of Kalsian village.

The rescued person became disoriented after falling in the well. The police was trying to know the purpose of his visit to the fields situated at a distance from his native village and the link road.

Sarabjit Singh (35) was rescued from the well by cops led by Mr Dharam Pal, SHO, Raikot. He is recovering at the Civil Hospital in Raikot.

Mohinder Singh, a cultivator of fields, belonging to Bhinder Singh of Bhaini Baringa village, had informed the police that some unidentified person had fallen into the well and was calling for help. The police reached the spot and started the rescue operation that lasted more than an hour.

As the well was deep, the rescuers were unable to see anything on the bottom. A basket tied with ropes was then lowered into the well, but the victim, later identified as Sarabjit Singh of Kalsian, failed to fit himself into it. Another person was then lowered, who dragged a semi-conscious Sarabjit into the basket. The rescuers had to use a pulley to pull the basket up.

According to Mr Dharam Pal, SHO Sarabjit was so disoriented initially that he could not explain even his address and the reason of coming to the fields, which were situated from his village and the link road.

"We focused our attention on the rescue operation only and will be investigating the matter after Sarabjit becomes fully conscious. Further action would be taken after he submits plausible account of the sequence of events leading to his fall," said Mr Dharam Pal.



Foreign fellowship for Ludhiana doctor
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 21
Dr Harpreet S. Gill, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Satguru Partap Singh Apollo Hospitals, Ludhiana, has been awarded the prestigious 'Depoy Johnson & Johnson' foreign fellowship for the year 2006-07 by the Indian Orthopaedic Association (IOA).

The award was announced at the IOA’s 51st annual conference held in New Delhi. For the fellowship, the IOA selected one orthopaedic surgeon from all over India, providing him an opportunity to visit a joint replacement centre and work with a reputed joint replacement surgeon for a period of one month in the UK or in other European countries.

Dr Gill said the IOA had a very long and distinguished history of having served the members by organising fellowships and exchange programmes to help them visit various centres, attain training and attend conferences in India and abroad.

Dr Gill had also delivered a guest lecture at the IOA’s annual conference and chaired a session on shoulder problems. He was also invited to the knee and shoulder arthroscopy workshops at the conference.

More than 4,000 orthopaedic surgeons from all over India, the SAARC region and the other parts of the world attended this conference.



Postal employees hold dharna
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 21
Led by activists of the Joint Council of Action of Service Union, postal employees today held a day-long dharna at the Divisional headquarters of Ludhiana City Division at Head Post Office in Bharat Nagar Chowk here to press their pending demands. The dharna was staged in response to a call given by the National Federation of Postal Employees.

Speakers at the dharna, while focusing on acute shortage of staff in all cadres, rued that more than 38,000 posts had been scrapped since the year 2001 while new schemes were being introduced by the Department of Posts without providing adequate staff strength.

The protesting postal employees demanded that the Department of Posts be exempted from the purview of reduction of staff, the scheme for franchising of postal outlets be scrapped, the move to close down post offices, RMS offices and merger of post offices and divisions be halted and the process of downsizing of head and branch post offices be discontinued with forthwith.

The postal employees further asked the government to fill up all vacant posts, revive justified posts of postmen, group D and other categories, as also concede all other pending demands listed in the charter of demands submitted during the March 2005 strike.

Among others, Mr Iqbal Khurmi, Divisional Secretary, Group C and Mr Ramesh Kumar Kakkar, Divisional Secretary, Postmen and Group D of All India Postal Employees Union addressed the protesting employees.



Ludhiana girl enters tele dance semi-finals
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Jahnvi Jain, an eight-year-old student of Sat Paul Mittal School, has done the city proud by entering the semi-finals of a dance competition show ‘Dhamaal Be Misaal’ on Zee's Channel SITI.

Jahnvi's performance was liked by the judges and they specifically appreciated her energy with which she danced on the floor.

Jahnvi has participated in a number of competitions and won many.



Business house to charge DRI with defamation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
After getting a clean chit from the Supreme Court following raids conducted by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) against it, the Girnar Group of companies has now planned to file a defamation suit against DRI to the tune of crores of rupees.

The DRI reportedly conducted raids on Girnar Group in October, 2003, and freezed their accounts and documents apart from seizing their containers. Mr Adish Jain, managing director of the group, said while addressing a press conference here: "The court took notice of all the cases filed and won against DRI like de-freezing of bank accounts, unconditional release of documents and seized goods illegally detained by the DRI and categorically held that all cases contributed vital material which should have been placed before the detaining authority..... It also observed and noticed averments made by the DRI in regard to statements from our side."

Alleging that the entire case was developed to wreak vengeance by the then Joint Director, DRI Ludhiana, Mr B.S. Nunwal, against the Girnar group, Mr Jain said he would take legal recourse and get erring officials accountable for their acts of ommission and commission.

"We will file a defamation case as the entire process which started from the year 2003 not only led to great harassment but also tarnished our image."



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