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Navy man to get pension after 3 decades
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
A 33-year-long battle of a former writer with the Indian Naval Services (INS) to get pension has finally ended with the Review Medical Board upholding that his mental sickness was aggravated by military service with 30 per cent disablement for life.

Vadish Kumar Gupta was invalidated from the INS 36 years ago and was not given any pension all these years as his schizophrenia was considered by the medical board as neither attributable to nor aggravated by the Navy service. Hence all his pleas for pension was rejected.

The fresh report of the review medical board has been sent to the Controller of Defence Accounts, Pension Cell, Mumbai, with a direction that the necessary endorsement may be made on claimant’s sheet roll.

Gupta, a former Writer-II with INS Hamla Ships Company at Mumbai, was discharged from the services with a diagnosis ‘Schizoid in Personality’ in 1970. All these years he had been moving from pillar to post for getting his case accepted on the grounds that he was invalidated during the service and was hale and hearty when he joined it. His plight was highlighted in these columns several times.

His case was forwarded to the Naval authorities by the local Sainik Welfare Office with clippings of The Tribune describing his tale of woes. Finally, he was heard and he is all set to get pension.

“I am waiting for the day when I will get pension. It will not take long”, said an enthusiastic Vadish Kumar showing a letter from the Ministry of Defence.

Gupta had joined the Indian Navy on October 14, 1967. After completing basic and divisional training of January 18, 1968, he was posted at the INS Hamla, Mumbai. He remained posted there till May 1969. Later, he was posted at the INS Angre till October 1969.

“It all started when I reported blood in sputum one day. I reported at the Sick Bay in the INS Angre and then I was discharged with a stigma of being a schizophrenic. I am living with it all these years”, he said.

Since then life has not been very kind to him. Years of writing letters to Naval Headquarters, the President and the Prime Minister to consider his case sympathetically did not yield anything.

But things have changed now. “I am grateful to all those who helped me in my struggle. Though I would not forget the three decades of struggle but all is well that ends well”, he said. 



Policeman, wife arrested for Bassian youth’s murder
Mahesh Sharma

Raikot, April 6
The Bassian murder case took a new turn when the police arrested a policeman, his wife and paternal uncle for their alleged involvement in the incident that led to the death of a youth. The youth allegedly had illicit relations with the lone female suspect.

The involvement of other accused named in the FIR was yet to be established.

The arrest was made after investigations under the supervision of SSP, Jagraon, Shiv Kumar Verma raised doubts about the statement of the complainant.

Spitter Singh, a policeman posted at the local police station, his wife Sandeep Kaur and paternal uncle Jinder Singh, all residents of Aaulakh Patti Bassian, were arrested for allegedly conspiring to murder Bahadur Singh of the same locality on Tuesday night.

The case took a turn when senior officials led by SSP Verma were not convinced by the statement of the complainant, father of the deceased, who had claimed that he had witnessed the murder taking place.

“Finding the statement of Balaur Singh and that of his wife contradictory, I directed Narinder Pal Singh, DSP, to start fresh investigations and question members of the family of the woman with whom the deceased allegedly had illicit relations,” said Verma, adding that when further questioned the trio disclosed the new version.

Referring to information received from the DSP, Raikot, and SHO Amarjit Singh Khaira, Verma stated that now Jinder Singh was the main accused in the case.

Investigations revealed that Balaur Singh had dared to complain to Spitter Singh about the alleged illicit relations of Bahadur Singh with Sandeep Kaur (Spitter’s wife). In a fit of rage Spitter reprimanded his wife, who denied the charges. Convinced by the arguments of his wife, Spitter asked his uncle Jinder Singh to clarify on the issue to the parents of Bahadur Singh.

The accused admitted that Bahadur Singh was killed during a scuffle that followed Jinder’s visit to his house on Tuesday.

“When I knocked at the door of the house of Balaur Singh to apprise him of the situation, Bahadur came out with a wooden grinding rod (ghotna) and attacked me without any provocation. As I was empty-handed, I tried to use a brick as weapon of defence,” Jinder was reported to have stated to the police.

Investigations further revealed that the blood-stained shirt belonged to Jinder Singh. The police was yet to establish whether fatal blows with bricks were given by Jinder Singh or his other associates, who were yet to be identified and arrested.

The police had earlier registered an FIR under sections 302, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC against Pindi, Jassi and their four accomplices for allegedly murdering Bahadur Singh by stoning him in front of his house on Tuesday night. Balaur Singh had stated that he had seen the accused stoning Bahadur to death. But intensive investigations by the SSP created doubts about the sequence of events.



Aulakh only PAU VC to resign in protest
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
Finally, K.S. Aulakh was relieved of the post of vice-chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, by the Board of Management that met in Mohali this afternoon. He happens to be the first vice-chancellor in the 45 years’ history of the university to have resigned in protest, two years ahead of the completion of his tenure.

Although his predecessor G.S. Kalkat had also relinquished his office ahead of the completion of his tenure, but the circumstances then were quite different. Kalkat had resigned only to pave the way for Aulakh to become vice-chancellor. Aulakh at that time was the pro vice-chancellor of the university. Interestingly, Aulakh was appointed vice-chancellor during the previous regime of the SAD-BJP combine led by Parkash Singh Badal.

Aulakh is one of the few vice-chancellors who got the second term in the PAU. While the founder vice-chancellor P.N. Thapar served for six years, his successor M.S. Randhawa served for eight years. Amar Singh Cheema served for five years, while Sukhdev Singh served for eight years.

In fact, Sukhdev Singh’s first tenure lasted for 22 days only. Although he was appointed vice-chancellor by then Chief Minister Giani Zail Singh, he had to leave as Prime Minister Indira Gandhi wanted Cheema to be the vice-chancellor. Those were the days of the Emergency in the country.

Sukhdev Singh was succeeded by Khem Singh Gill, who served for three years, followed by A.S. Khehra, who served for four years. Kalkat, who took over from Khehra, served for three years.

Aulakh would be remembered for several other things as well. Not only that he took a stand and relinquished his post, but also he had some more things to his credit. He would be remembered for enforcing strict discipline on the campus. Second, he had been a staunch votary of the introduction of BT cotton and crop diversification in the state.

Till 2005 the BT cotton trials were not allowed in the state. The farmers would import BT cotton seeds from other states. Aulakh played an important role in lobbying for allowing BT cotton trials.

In fact, it was in the presence of former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh during a kisan mela that he (Aulakh) received the confirmation that the Union agriculture ministry had allowed Punjab to conduct trials for the BT cotton. The results were too there for everybody to see. There was bulk cotton production and farmers got huge returns. 



Prayers light up hearts on Good Friday
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana April 6
Members of the Christian community today took out a shobha yatra to mark Good Friday. The procession started from Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, and after passing through various localities in the city concluded at the same place.

Different functions were held at different places and churches in the city.

Holding the holy cross, men, women and children participated in the march which passed through Sarabha Nagar, Gurdev Nagar, Ferozepur Road, Ghumar Mandi.

Special prayers and services were held churches spread across the city.

Ludhiana has a substantial number of Christians. While some of them have come from different parts of the country, quite a number of them are natives.



Acid attack victims can’t afford cure
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
The recent case of acid attack on girls in the city on a busy road has once again brought to the fore the issue of safety of the girls at work places, public places and at educational institutions.

The acid attack on four girls by a disgruntled youth, which also resulted in the loss of sight for two girls, burn injuries and also disfigurement of face speaks volumes of lack of respect to human values and life.

Stating this at a news conference here yesterday, doctors at the Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH), treating the injured girls, Sandeep Kaur and Rajwant Kaur, daughters of daily wager parents with no financial resources, said that this bizarre incident was not an isolated act of barbarism done in some remote or deserted area, but took place in broad day light and in full public view.

According to Dr Satish Thomas, an eye specialist at the CMCH, Sandeep had sustained damage in her left eye besides around 40 per cent burn injuries. She was still in the ICU with little chances of sight in the affected eye being restored.

Even though Rajwant had rather minor burn injuries on her body, but both her eyes were damaged and she might not be able to see even after fully recovering from burn injuries.

While the victims of the acid attack were yet to recover from the trauma of disfigurement and loss of vision even though they are receiving best medical care in the premier institution, the inability of their poor parents to afford the expensive and prolonged treatment was standing in the way of their complete, or rather doubtful, recovery.

Dr Rajesh Kaul, Dr Bharti Uppal, both deputy medical superintendents and Dr Vijay Obed, plastic surgeon, who were present at the press conference, said that parents of the girls, being unable to pay for the treatment, had approached the treating doctors, requesting for the discharge of their daughters.

"The CMCH management, as also the doctors, fully understand that these girls definitely need to remain in the hospital for quite some time, which translates into huge financial involvement, one that the institution can ill-afford," said Dr Kaul.



Women’s panel seeks reports from police, admn
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
The Punjab State Women Commission has expressed serious concern over the security of women in the wake of the acid attack on four girls allegedly by a spurned lover of one of them on Sunday.

While praising the local police for promptly arresting accused Balkar Singh, chairperson of the commission Parminder Kaur has sought the detailed action taken report from the police. She has also sought a report from the district administration on how it was helping the girls in treatment and rehabilitation.

The girls belonged to poor families. The police and social workers were arranging money for their treatment so far. The intervention of the commission may provide respite to the girls if it tells the administration to pay for their treatment.

Parminder Kaur told Ludhiana Tribune that the incident was shocking, “Though the accused has been arrested, the commission is concerned if the police has done the investigation work properly to ensure the conviction of the accused”.

She said the commission was also concerned about the treatment of the girls and their rehabilitation. She had sought a report from the administration and if needed a suitable order would be issued on Monday, she added.



Saarc Car Rally
Apollo team back with fond memories
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
SPS Apollo Hospital's emergency medical response (EMR) team returned from the Saarc car rally after the conclusion of the Jaipur leg with fond memories as the Saarc flag, signed by the participants from eight countries, was handed over to the team as a gesture of gratitude.

The local hospital had provided its state-of-the-art ambulance along with a team which comprised a doctor, a para-medic and two drivers. The team had a life-time experience and all participants of the Saarc car rally appreciated the assistance lent by the Apollo team.

From Jaipur, the rally was scheduled to move via Ahmedabad to Mumbai, from where the participants will proceed by air to Colombo (Sri Lanka) while their cars would be taken to Colombo by sea. After a five-night stay in Sri Lanka, the participants will leave for Male.

According to Dr S.P. Singh, the ambulance which accompanied the Saarc car rally up to Jaipur, was fully equipped with all life-support equipment like defibrillator, ECG, cardiac monitor, portable ventilator, suction machine, resuscitation kit, pulse oxymeter, oxygen and emergency medicines.

He further said that the medical response (EMR) team of Apollo had been recognised for its high level of quality performance, clinical practise, equipment, training and overall emergency preparedness.



Scrap Public Enterprises Dept: BSNL staff
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
Led by activists of the BSNL Employees Union (BSNLEU), telecom employees held a demonstration in front of the office of the general manager at Bharat Nagar Chowk, here, today.

The demonstration was held to press upon the UPA government at the Centre to scrap the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE).

The call for the protest was given by central public sector trade unions.

Addressing the agitating employees, BSNLEU circle secretary Balbir Singh said the DPE had issued certain guidelines regarding the wage negotiation of Groups C and D, which were against the interests of the employees.

The union was firm on its demand for a maximum tenure of five years for any agreement in this regard. At the same time, steps should be taken to improve the logical relativity between the pay and benefits of the workers and the executives, which had turned widely adverse during the last round of wage negotiations, he added.

Listing other pending demands of the employees, the circle secretary called for an annual increment system as percentage of the basic pay to be calculated cumulatively every year, wage revision for the employees of sick PSUs, along with financial and policy support for their revival, wage hike for the contract workers in PSUs, ensuring at least the minimum wage and benefits available to the permanent workers, merger of DA equal to 50 per cent of the existing basic pay with effect from April 2004 and filling of all vacancies in PSUs through fresh recruitment.

District secretary of the union Balwinder Singh announced that the central unions would organise a week-long relay dharna in all PSUs from June 12 and send telegrams to the PM to press for the acceptance of their demands.



Villagers come out in support of VC
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, April 6
People have come out against the agitators who are demanding the removal of Swaran Singh Boparai, vice-chancellor, Punjabi University, Patiala. Sarpanch of Sakrali village Som Singh, youth leader Abjinder Singh Grewal Nanoki, sarpanch of Chaswal village Shanti Devi, cooperative society chief Sukhwinder Singh of Sakrali village and other residents of various villages signed a memorandum to retain Boparai as vice-chancellor and sent its copies to the state Governor and the Chief Minister today.

They said the anti-VC agitation had been launched by disgruntled elements who were not allowed to disturb the peaceful atmosphere of the university in the past by Boparai.

Boparai had got 300 acres free of cost for the university, established centres at Talwandi Saboo and Rampura Phul of the university for the convenience of rural students.

Speaking to this correspondent, Boparai said he was determined not to wield under pressure from any quarters.



Every year 30 lakh kids become labourers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
Despite stringent laws against the child labour, it is on the rise in India. Every year, 30 lakh children are added to the existing number of children working at various places.

This was stated today by Jyoti Setia, vice chairperson of the Child Labour Advisory Board, Government of India, who was in the city today to take a stock of the situation.

She said there were only 17 lakh children working as labourers in the entire country in 2001, but suddenly it registered a spurt and now every year 30 lakh more were being added to the existing numbers.

Calling it a shameful act of society, Setia said that stringent laws would ensure that it came to a stop. She was collecting datas in the north India and had already visited Jalandhar to find out how the Act had helped children. 



Bhaini Sahib to be spruced up for Kuka function
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
The government will organise a year-long celebrations to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Kuka movement and a state-level function will be held on April 15 at Bhaini Sahib, the headquarters of the Namdhari Darbar.

This was stated by Jagjit Puri, secretary, Information and Public Relations Department, while presiding over a meeting of senior officers at Bachat Bhawan here today.

He informed that the government had decided to celebrate the anniversary of the Kuka movement launched by Satguru Ram Singh in 1857 to liberate the country from the British and is was also hailed as the first non-violence movement.

Puri directed the heads of the departments concerned to make arrangements for the event. Colourful literature based upon photographs depicting the heroic deeds of the Kukas was being published on a large scale so that the people could know about their sacrifices and the philosophy of Satguru Ram Singh.

The secretary said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal would preside over the function which would be addressed by many national leaders, CMs and senior Akali leaders. Suitable memorials in various places where Kuka martyrs had laid their lives during the freedom movement would be set up.

He has directed the PWD to repair all roads linking Bhaini Sahib. The Municipal Corporation and Municipal Council, Sahnewal, have been asked to ensure cleanliness in and around the sect HQ.

The police has also been directed to make arrangements for the security and highway patrolling to ensure the foolproof security and smooth flow of traffic on April 15. The DDPO has been told to immediately repair the streets and drains inside the village and the PWD to make arrangements for the clearance of the sewerage before the function.

Puneet Goel, administrative officer of the PR Department, has been designated chief project officer for both the state-level function and year-long celebrations. He will coordinate with the representatives of the Namdhari Darbar for the celebrations.

Hoardings and banners depicting the sacrifices of the Kukas and the mission of Satguru Ram Singh would be installed at various places in the state.

Surinder Namdhari, representative of the Namdhari Darbar, informed that a large number of followers of Satguru Ram Singh from all over India would participate in the function.

Earlier, Puri chaired another meeting to make arrangements for the state-level function to celebrate the 116th birth anniversary of Bharat Rattan B R Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution, being held on April 14 at Daresi Ground, Ludhiana. 



44 colleges participate in campus placement
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, April 6
The RIMT-Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), Mandi Gobindgarh, organised a two-day campus placement drive for New Delhi-based Compare Infobase Ltd (CIL), which concluded here today.

Two thousand students from 44 colleges (30 from Punjab and 14 from Haryana) were registered in the camp.

CIL is an e-commerce business solutions company with over 200 portals to its credit.

Company officials said they were looking for freshers for various web development posts like trainee programmer-PHP, in which the candidates would have to work on LAMP (Linux Apache, MySql and PHP) technology, trainee programmer-HTML would have to work on website development on HTML & javascript platform, website maintenance, scripting in HTML, javascript, conceptualisation and testing, and trainee search engine optimisation.

“We are pleased that we have been able to help our students and of the 43 other colleges of the region to get an opportunity to work for a globally respected company like Infobase,” said Hukam Chand Bansal, chairman, RIMT-IET.

He informed that the French MNC, Schneider Electric Ltd, had also visited RIMT-IET and shortlisted 20 electrical engineering students from different colleges.

The colleges which participated include Adesh Institute of Engg & Tech , Faridkot, Ambala College of Engg, Ambala, Amritsar College of Engg & Tech, Amritsar, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engg College, FatehgarhSahib, Beant College of Engg & Tech, Gurdaspur, Bhai Maha Singh College of Engg, Mukatsar, Bhutta College of Engg & Tech, Ludhiana, Ch. Devi Lal Memorial Engg College, Sirsa, Chandigarh College of Engineering, Landra, DAV Institute of Engg & Tech, Jalandhar, Department of Computer Science & Applications,Panjab Univ, Chandigarh, Doon Valley Institute of Engg & Tech, Karnal, Dronacharya Institute of Mgmt & Tech , Kurukshetra, Faridabad Institute of Tech, Faridabad, Giani Zail Singh College of Engg & Tech, Bathinda, Guru Jambheshwar University of Science & Tech, Hisar, Guru Nanak Dev Engg College, Ludhiana, Guru Teg Bahadur Khalsa institute of Engg & Tech, Malout, Haryana College of Engg, YamunaNagar, Indo-Global College of Engg, Mohali, Institute of Engg & Tech, Bhaddal, Lala Lajpat Rai Institute of Engg & Tech, Moga, Lovely Institute, Phagwara, Ludhiana College of Engg & Tech, Ludhiana, M.D. University, Rohtak, Maharaja Agarsen Institute Mgmt & Tech, Yamuna Nagar, Malout Institute of Mgmt & Tech, Malout, N.C. College of Engg, Panipat.



Best kid auditions tomorrow

Ludhiana, April 6
The singing and dancing auditions for the best kid of Ludhiana-2007 competition, being organised by Kidz Land Playway School and the Kashish Club, will be held on the club premises on April 8.

Besides the winners, there would be two runners-up. Other categories include beautiful face, beautiful eyes, curly hair, photogenic face, best personality, best expressions and chubby cheeks. So far 100 registrations had been received. — TNS



Sportking picks up 5 LCET students
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
Five MBA students of the Ludhiana College of Engineering and Technology (LCET) have been picked up by the garment manufacturer, Sportking, during a campus recruitment drive held here.

Ashish Verma, Sandeep Goyal, Sandeep Sharma, Sushil Kumar and Harbinder Saini were recruited as trainee marketing executives.



Mechanical engg students bag sports trophy
Our Correspondent

Doraha, April 6
The week-long annual sports festival of the Bhutta College of Engineering and Technology (BCET) concluded here today.

Mechanical engineering students bagged the overall championship trophy, whereas students of electronics and communication engineering (ECE) and computer science and engineering (CSE) got the second and third position, respectively.

The winners in various competitions were awarded running trophies as listed below:

Football (Men): Electrical engineering

Basketball (Men): Electronics and communication engineering

Volleyball (Men): Computer science and engineering

Badminton (Men): Mechanical engineering

Badminton (Women): Computer science and engineering

Chess: Mechanical engineering

Table Tennis (Men): Electronics and communication engineering

Kabaddi (Men): Mechanical engineering

Athletics (Men): Electrical engineering

Athletics (Women): Computer science and engineering

The students who brought laurels to BCET in the PTU sports competition were honoured with cash prizes.

Medals and trophies were given by the chief guest, Dr Tejwant Singh, director, students welfare and dean, College of Basic Sciences, PAU, Ludhiana.

He congratulated the winners and encouraged the students to take part in sports and other co-curricular activities, as these help in cultivating good qualities for personality development.

Director A.S. Bansal presented the annual report of sports activities of BCET.



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