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Contaminated parshad claims nambardar’s life
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, December 23
Contaminated parshad which was distributed on the second night of the Jor Mela at Gurudwara Shri charan Kanwal Sahib by some unidentified woman has claimed the life of Nambaardar Hardit Singh Makkar of Mithewal village while his son Sohan Singh and his in-law Sardar Singh are undergoing treatment at a private hospital at Nawanshehar. One more woman was brought to the local hospital with a similar complaint.

Sohan Singh who became conscious this morning today, revealed that they (all the three) had been given 'deg' by some unidentified woman at the gurdwara the previous day. After eating 'deg' , we settled in the Diwan Hall of the gurdwara to hear dhadis , said Sohan Singh. It is reported that Sohan Singh became unconscious and was referred to the Nawanshehar Hospital after having been given the first aid at a local private hospital.

Soon afterwards Hardit Singh and Sardar Singh were rushed to the Nawanshehar Hospital where Hardit Singh (90) breathed his last at 4.45 am. The remaining two (Sohan Singh and Sardar Singh) are stated to be out of danger.

Dr Balbir Singh who was on emergency duty in the PHU, Machhiwara, told that a woman Jaswant Kaur of nearby Hedon Bet village was also brought to the local hospital with similar symptoms last night. This woman also fell ill after consuming contaminated parshad. She was also referred to some other hospital. Her condition was stated to be serious till the latest information received. Talking to mediapersons Dr Balbir Singh said the victims might have suffered from 'neuro toxin" disease.

As the bereaved family did not lodge any complaint with the local police, no postmortem examination of Hardit Singh's body was conducted. Hardit Singh was cremated here at Machhiwara in the afternoon today.

Commenting on the most unfortunate incident SGPC supremo Jathedar Avtar Singh expressed grief while talking to this correspondent on the phone. A committee to investigate the matter was formed which comprised Jathedar Kirpal Singh Khirnian, Bibi Bhupinder Kaur Mehlon, Jathedar Ranjit Singh Mangli and Jaathedar Gurmail Singh Sangowal. Jathedar Avtar Singh appealed to the sangat to remain very watchful and not to take parshad from any unidentified person in the coming melas.



Paths that eat into forest cover
Environment society seeks probe
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
The Environment Protection and Welfare Society, Ludhiana district, has alleged that a nexus between the timber mafia, developers and some government employees was eating into the forest cover of the state in the name of creating paths for petrol stations, dhabas, liquor vends and colonies along the state and national highways.

Taking a strong note of a news report in The Tribune highlighting how the developers were cutting trees by exploiting certain loopholes in an amended order on the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, the society has called for a high-level inquiry into the formation of paths leading to these business houses and involvement, if any, of the forest staff.

Mr Kamaljeet Singh, president of the society, said though the media had been highlighting the issue, the state Forest Department was ignoring the scandal at the cost of the forest cover.

He said unless the government took strong action against the erring forest employees, the forest cover was going to deplete further.

The forest area along side the canals and roads are particularly under threat. The Act states that two petrol stations should be located at a distance of 5 km from each other outside the municipal area. But the catch is in the line that the requirement of 5 km distance can be relaxed if no tree felling was involved.

Using the clause cleverly, the developers, especially petrol station owners, gradually remove trees, while the forest conservation staff turns a blind eye to it. This way the developers can prove to the Ministry of Forests that no felling of trees is required and get the clearance conveniently.

What the forest staff or the ministry officials overlook is that such paths cannot be made naturally and the trees cannot disappear on their own in a straight or diagonal path.



Divided industry takes U-turn
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
The local industry made a mockery of itself when it took a U-turn from its previous stand of fighting against Excise and Taxation Department officials. The industry, which had threatened a statewide agitation demanding suspension of Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner D.K. Verma, looked placated today and said the "misunderstanding has been cleared".

A meeting between representatives of industry and the AETC was held at Focal Point in the morning in which it was decided that another meeting would be held on Tuesday to redress the industry's grievances. Insiders said the industry succumbed under political pressure on the matter.

In a press meeting by the industry associations, industrialists said the issue was resolved for the time being. Interestingly, representatives of the industry looked divided on the issue itself. While a section of them said the matter had been resolved, the other half said they would continue with their struggle if they were not "convinced" at the meeting that would be held on Tuesday.

"Let us forget and forgive. They have assured us that industrialists would not be harassed and that they would redress our other grievances due to which the matter is resolved," said Mr K.K. Seth of Neelam Cycles. He was contradicted by Mr Somnath Grover, president, Pradesh Beopar Mandal Punjab, who said the meeting to be held next week would decide their future course of action. "Our demand to suspend corrupt officials stands. For the time being we would not protest. But in case we are not convinced even after the meeting on Tuesday, we would continue with our struggle."

Mr Varinder Kapoor, general secretary, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, who had alleged misbehavior by department officials, today said:"Even as the matter has been put on hold for the time being, we are getting details about corrupt officials from our own sources."

The issue had stemmed after a team of Excise and Taxation Department stopped a vehicle carrying plastic tricycles "in order to check sales tax evasion".

The matter took a political turn when District Congress Committee President Jagmohan Sharma ventured forth.

Quite interestingly, not only did Mr Sharma distanced himself from the entire issue after the first day, Mr Jaswinder Singh, the owner of tricycles factory Mallik Chand and Sons, whose vehicle was stopped, was nowhere to be spotted at the meeting.

Mr D.K. Verma, when contacted, said: "It was the industry that was levelling allegations.

We were not playing the game of levelling allegations." Confirming that a meeting was held with industrialists this morning, he added:" Another meeting would be held next week in which we would redress their grievances."



Aided-school teachers cane-charged
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 23
Activists of the Private Aided School Teachers Union who had gone to lodge a protest against the Punjab Vikas Yatra at Dhuri were cane-charged and later rounded up by the district police before the arrival of the yatra.

According to Mr Pardeep Sharda, Principal, MGMN Senior Secondary School, and Mr Amrit Pal, president, Sangrur district unit, 300 members of the union were cane-charged and rounded up from public places at Dhuri. Even woman members were manhandled and dragged.

“The police, not caring for the age and sex of the activists, treated them in the most inhuman way.” Mr Amrit Lal told Ludhiana Tribune.

Mr Rekha Kumra, a teacher of Gandhi School, said the police had resorted to lathi charge without any provocation. “In fact the activists after gathering at Arya School Dhuri had dispersed in the markets. The police dragged us from the shops and abused us,” said Ms Kumra. 



Doctors collect details of Ramdev’s patients
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana December 23
Following instructions from the Union Health Ministry, some leading medical institutions in Ludhiana, including Dayanand Medical College and Hospital and Christian Medical College and Hospital, are learnt to have been collecting details of all those patients who had stopped taking their allopathic drugs after attending to yoga camps of Swami Ramdev or adopted his prescription.

It is learnt that a number of patients have been approaching doctors and leading institutions after they suffered a lot of complications as they stopped taking their routine allopathic medicines. They had switched over to Swami Ramdev's prescription of ayurvedic drugs and yoga.

The Union Health Ministry has already served a notice to Swami Ramdev under the sections of Drugs and Magic Act accusing him of making bogus claims and misleading the general public. Swami Ramdev has already clarified that the notice should have been sent to his Divya Pharmacy not to him.

As elsewhere in the country, Swami Ramdev is quite popular in the city as well. He has conducted two camps here during the last two years. Several leading doctors told The Tribune that they have been receiving patients after they suffered complications by stopping their allopathic drugs to start the ayurvedic drugs and practice yoga as preached by Swami Ramdev.

While leading ayurveda experts and allopathic doctors said they were not disputing the claims of Swami Ramdev, but at the same time they pointed out, it was not possible to make general prescriptions.

Leading ayurvedacharya, Dr Ravinder Vatsyayan, maintains that every individual has his own body constitution, which is distinct from others. He said one drug may have one type of impact on one person, while it may have different effect on others. He said, moreover, even personal examination of the patient is always mandatory before prescribing any medicines, without which any treatment can be quite difficult, rather impossible.

Dr Sandeep Puri, Medical Superintendent, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, said that there was absolutely no reservation on having faith in any system of medicine. People could be cured by taking homoeopathic, ayurvedic or allopathic medicines by the respective doctors. For general problems, there could be a general cure but individual problems could be cured only after examining a patient.



Badal asks CM to accept people's ‘fatwa’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
Former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today asked the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to accept the earlier “fatwas” served on him by the people of Punjab and resign. Reacting to Chief Minister's remarks that the success of Vikas yatra was a “fatwa” against Mr Badal, the latter remarked, “Let him accept the earlier “fatwas” like the one during Parliament elections, when he lost 11 of the 13 seats and the other at Moga on December 8 and accept defeat.”

He was talking to reporters before addressing a function organised by the legal cell of the SAD here today.

The SAD supremo asserted that the yatra was being organised by government officials and was blatant misuse of the state machinery.

Two prominent Congress leaders Jagjit Kaur, sister of Animal Husbandry Minister Jagmohan Kang, and Mr M.S. Gill, brother-in-law of former Union Home Minister Buta Singh joined the SAD.



CPI (ML) to contest ten seats

Ludhiana, December 23
The CPI (ML) will contest 10 seats in the forthcoming Assembly elections in Punjab. This was stated by party general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya while addressing mediapersons here this noon.

The seats are in Mansa, Ludhiana, Sangrur and Barnala districts.

He said the party’s election campaign will be directed against corruption and issues like agrarian crisis and debt burden. — TNS



Rotary Club distributes woollens
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 23
The Rotary Club of Ludhiana (North) distributed 55 sweaters and 30 trousers among poor students of Government High School, Bassian Bet village, situated along the Sidhwan Canal, about 20 km from Ludhiana.

Ms Neelam, Headmistress, and Ms Balbir Kaur, sarpanch of Basian Bet village, welcomed members of the club and thanked them for their help.

The school was adopted by the club three years back.

A cultural programme was held by students to mark the occasion. 



76 proclaimed offenders arrested
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 23
Having nabbed 76 proclaimed offenders during a special drive launched under the directions of the state police chief, the Jagraon police chief asserted that crime rate would shrink in the following years.

The crusade was launched as a part of a state-level campaign conducted under the directions of the Director-General of Police. “The state police chief had opined that crime rate could not be brought down until offenders were nabbed. Acting on the advice of our senior, we constituted a special cell and succeeded in arresting a substantial number of persons who had either jumped bails from various courts or had been evading arrest after committing a crime,” said Mr Jaiswal while talking to Ludhiana Tribune.

He appealed to social and political leaders to shun sheltering bad elements adding that arrest of these POs would check the crime rate in future.

He said they should not succumb to the pressure of these anti-social elements and should furnish required information to officials of their respective areas.

According to Mr Jaiswal, special teams led by Mr Amarjit Singh Khaira and Mr Shawinder Singh Dhillon had succeeded in arresting at least 76 offenders wanted in various cases in the district.

Perusal of records revealed that 44 persons declared under Section 299 of the CrPC (those who were arrested but jumped bails later) were arrested while 32 others were those who had been absconding after committing a crime. Files of 12 under-trials were to be closed as they had been reported dead.



7 booked for not registering domestic helps
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
The city police has begun acting tough with those residents who do not register domestic helps with the police, despite orders by the District Magistrate in this regard.

The police launched a drive to register cases against employers of domestic helps from Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar. They booked 7 persons under Section 188 of the IPC for violating the orders of the District Magistrate.

Interestingly, the cases were booked on the basis of one complainant only. The FIRs mention the complainant as Ritesh, whose address was not mentioned.

The drive which was discontinued several times in the past due to opposition by residents, especially by the government officials and influential industrialists. It has now been restarted by the Police Department.

Police sources said the registration was necessary as domestic helps were responsible for many thefts in the city. The police had initially decided to make registration of migrant labourers only. But after several thefts committed by these domestic helps, the police has decided to bring them into the registration ambit.



‘Crafted Emotions’ on display at Sutlej Club
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
Crafted Emotions - a three-day exhibition of gold and diamond jewellery, began at the Sutlej Club here today. With the motto of commitment, trust and perfection, the organisers claimed that they were catering to every segment of society.

The range includes bridal collection of all kinds, solitaire, danglers in gold and diamond, Bombay bangles, Italian chains, designer watches and bracelets for men, Kundan and Polki sets from Jaipur, Bikaner and Ahmedabad, light-weight jewellery in gold ensembled with colourful stones for daily wear, attractive strings from rainbow, emerald, sapphire, ruby, coral, feroza, amethyst etc.

Ms Mala Dhanda, one of the organisers, said they were in the profession since 1948. "The range caters to everyone. The small light-weight items start from Rs 1,000 and then the range is unlimited. We have collection of round and square solitaire, which is every woman's dream", said Ms Dhanda.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Mr Vijay Jain, Commissioner, Income Tax, Range 7. 



V Mart opens outlet
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 23
V Mart, a chain of lifestyle and home essentials stores, opened its 15th outlet in the country here on Saturday. “We are planning to increase the number of our outlets to 50 by the end of this year. In Punjab, this is our third outlet and we would increase this number to around 20 in a year,” said Mr Dinesh Harbhajanka, proprietor.



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