L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Gohana Spillover
Youths damage bus, security up
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
Caste tension in Gohana following the killing of a Dalit youth spilled over to the city when miscreants damaged a bus near Dholewal Chowk this evening, only an arm’s length from the Division No. 6 police station. No passenger was hurt.

Unidentified youths carrying sticks tried to create trouble at Bharat Nagar chowk and later targeted the Haryana Roadways bus of Ambala depot.

Witnesses said a group of 50 youths stopped the bus, ordered the passengers out and broke its window panes. They left throwing a burning towel into the bus. A bus seat was burnt.

Cops from the nearby police station doused the fire and impounded seven motorcycles. No arrest has been made so far. Stickers of a Dalit organisation were pasted on the bikes.

Earlier, activists of the Bhartiya Valmiki Dharm Samaj burnt an effigy of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in protest against the murder and the alleged lathi charge on a “peaceful” procession of Dalits in Gohana. The organisation has demanded the arrest of the “murderers” and Rs 50 lakh compensation for the family of the deceased.

They have threatened to launch an agitation if the Haryana government does not take action against the cops.

The police has beefed up security in the city. Cops have been deployed around Dalit colonies and at vital installations.

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Cops’ favourite, is that you?
Rebel Akali leader gets special treatment at court complex
Jupinderjit Singh /TNS

Ludhiana, August 28
Some undertrials seem to be getting preferential treatment from the city cops as far as maintaining rules at the Bakshi Khana in the district courts complex here is concerned.

While two undertrials have been booked by the police for clashing with cops at Bakshi Khana on August 25 over the issue of not getting permission to talk their relatives, the same cops had allegedly given special treatment to another undertrial by making him sit in a separate room.

Undertrial Kuldeep Singh Khalsa, a rebel Akali leader, who has been booked for opening fire at the supporters of another candidate and injuring two of them during MC elections campaign in Salem Tabri, was not kept in the crowded Bakshi Khana room along with other accused on that day.

Photographs in the possession of the Ludhiana Tribune show him sitting on a cot in a room adjoining the Bakshi Khana, The room is allotted to cops who guard the Bakshi Khana.

While other undertrials are packed like sardines in the Bakshi Khana, waiting for their hearing, the Akali leader is seen sitting in a relatively better environment. Also seen in the picture is Tarlochan Singh, who allegedly clashed with the cops. He and two cops are without their turbans, a tell-tale sign of the fight they had. Yet, the Division No 5 police has only booked Tarlochan Singh and his son Sarbjot Singh for attacking a public servant.

Interestingly, Salem Tabri SHO Kulwant Singh was shifted to police lines after the shoot out incident involving Kuldeep Singh Khalsa. A minister with the SAD-BJP government was quite miffed at the incident. It remains to be seen how the Akali government would react to the preferential treatment given to a rebel Akali leader.

Meanwhile, Harminder Singh , brother of Tarlochan Singh has moved the Punjab Human Rights Commission seeking action against an ASI, a HC and a constable regarding the August 25 incident.

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Sisters keep date with martyr on Rakhi
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Gill (Ludhiana), August 28
Wars snatch loved ones of scores of people, leaving permanent scars in their life. All those advocating bullet as a means to ending all disputes should meet two sisters of this village, whose only brother was taken away in 1999. Their pent-up emotions pour out in full public view every Rakhi festival.

Driven by their love for their brother, Baljit Kaur and Surjit Kaur tie rakhi on the statue of the late naik Paramjeet Singh at Shaheed Paramjit Singh Government High School in this village every year.

On this festival today, both kept date with their martyr brother and tied rakhis on his statue’s amid touching scenes at the school.

As they reached his statue with a box of sweets, tears welled up in their eyes. The gesture of their elderly father, Nachhatar Singh, of cleaning the statue with his towel left everybody with moist eyes.

Their grief was eclipsed by a feeling of anger when the family had to scale walls of the school to reach the martyr’s statue. “We come here every year on Rakhi, but the school authorities do not even spare a thought. They lock the main gate of the school. They can direct the watchman to keep it opened for the time we are here,” said Baljit Kaur, who visits the village every year on the occasion from her in-laws’ house in Bhatha Dhua village.

“Nobody respects our feelings here. Our father got this statue installed by spending Rs 50,000 from his pocket, but the school authorities cannot even keep it clean. They can be thoughtful at least to keep it clean for a day when we come,” said Surjit Kaur, martyr’s younger sister.

His wife, Kamaljeet Kaur, who seemed to have put on years compared to last year, said she was also pained to see the state of affairs at the school. “My sisters-in-law come every year on this festival and the authorities know. They can be considerate enough to ensure that they do not have to scale the wall to reach him.”

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MC — by the people, for VIPs

Ludhiana, August 28
Living up to its reputation of being the municipal corporation for VIPs, the local civic body has recarpeted the road in front of West End Mall while the entire road leading to Rajguru Nagar lies dug up for the past two months.

West End Mall has got the preferential treatment as Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and acting president of the SAD Sukhbir Singh Badal are visiting the city to inaugurate the mall on August 31.

No wonder a small stretch of the road leading to the mall was recarpeted within the past two-three days although residents of Rajguru Nagar, who remained cut off from the city due to digging, had been requesting the civic body to expedite the work.

The main Ferozepur Road near the mall was dug up months ago for laying a sewer system. The digging was done on the entire left lane of the road. While the work continues even today, the front of the mall, belonging to liquor baron Ponty Chadda, has been repaired.

“We have been requesting the MC to expedite the work considering our inconvenience. But it did not listen to us. Now, see how the things are moving at a fast pace. Only because the CM and his son are coming to inaugurate the mall,” asked a resident of the area. — TNS

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Train hits car, one dead
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
An unidentified man was killed and another injured when a Ferozepur- bound train rammed into a car at an unmanned crossing between Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar late this evening.

The train, 7LF DMU, hit the car at about 6.30 pm today.

The crossing is one of the three killer crossings. Several lives have been lost on these tracks.

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Jugiana village a shambles
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, August 28
Jugiana village under ward No. 75 is a shambles with filth and sewage having entered houses, posing threat of an epidemic.

The only pond, located in the heart of the village, has outlived its life. Even a small shower makes life hell for villagers with rainwater entering houses along with filth on streets.

This problem has been plaguing the village for months together. Villagers say some time ago, a pump was brought to the village by the authorities but was taken back after three days without taking pains to drain out even a drop of water. Drinking water pipes are immersed in dirty water, creating chances of sewage mixing with water in case of leaking pipes.

Migrants residing in the village have further added to the woes of the villagers. Most of them defecate in the open. Besides, they create unhygienic conditions by throwing waste near the places they live.

The village pond provides a congenial atmosphere to flies and mosquitoes to multiply.

Villagers complain, “Not even a single flogging machine has arrived in spite of repeated reminders. The sorry state of affairs is revealed from the fact that heaps of garbage can be seen around the pond, but no cleanliness drive has ever been launched in this forsaken village.”

The villagers contend, “It has been eight years since the village came under the municipal limits, but we are deprived of the basic amenities.”

Sweepers overlook the evergrowing heaps of garbage. There are no drums for collection of garbage and neither are there any vehicles for garbage collection.

The villagers are now planning to stage a dharna in front of the civic body in Ludhiana.

Irate villagers say that “the ministers who were earlier garlanded by us, shall now be welcomed with brickbats”.

The immediate demand of the villagers is the launch of a cleanliness drive and subsequent installation of a sewer system. 

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Earth exhibition comes to city on Sept 2
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
After touring the globe, the thought-provoking exhibition - "Seeds of Change; The earth Charter and Human Potential" will come to Punjab on September 2. The exhibition is being brought to India for the first time through the joint efforts of the Bharat Soka Gakkai, the Indian arm of the Soka Gakkai International, an NGO serving and protecting the cause of earth and environment and the UNESCO.

According to Geeta Bector, the local coordinator of the SGI, since its debut in Johannesburg in 2002, 'Seeds of Change' has toured several cities across the globe and attracted thousands of viewers. The exhibition will be inaugurated on September 2 by the Chief Minister, Prakash Singh Badal, at PAU, Ludhiana. The PAU is co-organising this event.

Initially created by the SGI and the Earth Charter Initiative for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, where it won the third place in the independent exhibits category, the now updated exhibition links panels on the state of the world with a hopeful message about the potential of even one individual to make a positive change. It is structured around the Earth charter - a declaration of ethical principles for building a just, sustainable and peaceful society- and presents the charter as a tool for understanding and achieving the vision of a sustainable world.

The Exhibition will be open to public viewing on September 3 in PAU and will follow up with five host schools viewing the same. Over 40 schools, including government schools, in Ludhiana, have accepted the invitation to view it. Bector said, "our effort is to make at least 30,000 children view this exhibition". 

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Education minister to meet teachers
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 28
Teachers of all aided colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh are looking forward to a meeting with the education minister on August 31. It is being taken as a positive signal from government’s side as far as the fulfilment of their long pending demands are concerned.

Dr Kuldeep Singh, general secretary of PCCTU, said “We have been trying to build up constant pressure on the government by holding rallies and organising dharnas in the colleges at regular intervals for the fulfilment of our long pending demands. Various governments from time to time have given assurance to them but sadly not even a single one have bothered to help them truly.”

Tomorrow, the teachers will be holding a rally at Ludhiana in front of the New Courts and they will hold two-period strike in their respective colleges. On September 5, a rally will be held at the Matka Chowk, Chandigarh, in which teachers will proceed on casual leave.21 teachers from all over the state will court arrest. On September 12, 19 and 26 also the teachers from various parts of the state will court arrest themselves in order to press upon the government.

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Taking up the cause of girl child
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
The Vice-Chancellor of the Punjab Agricultural University, M.S. Kang, warned that Punjab was heading towards economic and social crisis due to the fast declining sex ratio. He stated this during the inauguration of a ‘kavi darbar’ on female foeticide - ‘Rakhri Di Tand Khatrey Vich Hai’, on the campus. The Young Writers’ Association, PAU and Punjabi Culture Academy had organised the function.

Suggesting remedial measures, he said the need was to change the people’s conservative mindset. Education, media and a change in laws of inheritance would play a collective role, he added.

President of Punjab Sahit Akademy, Ludhiana, Surjit Patar, who presided over the function, said the varsity had taken a pioneering step in holding such an event on Raksha Bandhan. Amarjit Singh, former Head of Department of Journalism, said one should take inspiration from the event.

State information commissioner P.P.S. Gill averred that real democracy and development could not be realised by according low status to 50 per cent of the population.

Dean of college of basic sciences and humanities-cum-director, students’ welfare, Dr Tejwant Singh proposed a vote of thanks. Editor, ‘Changi Kheti’, Gurbhajan Gill coordinated the programme. Dr Kang released a book entitled ‘Kavita Vich Punjab’ by Daan Singh Komal. 

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Make eye donation a mass movement: Doc
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 28
The district health administration here is observing eye donation fortnight from August 25 to September 6 to propagate the message of eye donation.

Calling upon people to make eye donation a mass movement in the region, Dr Pradeep Sharma, oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who is also the programme officer for this project, observed, “Let someone see this colourful world through your eyes even after your death. You can enrich life of a visually-impaired individual with a precious gift without costing you anything.”

Commenting on the big gap between the requirement of corneas and the availability, he said there were few people enlightened enough to understand the significance of eye donation. As a result of misplaced religious and cultural beliefs, precious graftable tissues continued to be burnt away after the death of individuals. What people ought to do was simply pledge their eyes and continue to live even after death.

On the regulatory mechanism put in place, Dr Sharma stated that like any other noble cause, eye donation also needed protection from exploitation by unscrupulous elements in society. It was for this reason that the Human Organ Transplantation Act was framed with a broader view to curb unethical tissue transfers. Ethical requirements of corneal transfer demanded that the identity of the donor should not be disclosed to the recipient of the tissue and there should be no money involved. Any financial transaction in tissue transfer amounted to sale, and a criminal offence.

“However, a surgeon doing corneal transplantation surgery has the right to ask for a reasonable operative fee. The operating surgeon has to be a qualified ophthalmologist. The surgery has to be conducted in a hospital operating theatre since the union government has banned all kind of outdoor surgeries, including corneal transplantation in field make-shift operating theatres.”

According to Dr Sharma, most suitable donors for corneal tissue transfers were unfortunate youngsters who lost their life in accidents and the best time for tissue transfer was within six hours after death. But in hot and humid conditions, it could be as short as two hours. 

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PAUTA Election
Allegations, counter-claims rule poll run-up
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
It is election time at the Punjab Agricultural University as three groups are trying their best to capture the Punjab Agricultural University Teachers’ Association (PAUTA). The elections are scheduled for August 30 when 850 members of the association would exercise their right to franchise.

Traditionally, the contest used to see a direct clash between the Brar group and the Batra faction. While both have fielded their candidates for all the posts, the third group - led by Manjit Singh Mahal - has also entered the fray and is giving others a tough competition.

The Brar group has dominated the association for several years now, leading to anti-incumbency factor that might work against it this time. The group was accused of siding with the outgoing vice-chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh.

K.N. Sharma, who is contesting for the post of president, said: “Restoring the teachers’ dignity will be our topmost priority and nobody will be allowed to victimize them,” said Sharma, while listing other issues that his group has taken up.

Mahal also strongly advocates the restoration of the dignity of the teachers at the campus. He observed that the establishment exploited the rivalry between the two groups and the teachers had to suffer due to this. He claimed that his group was treading a neutral ground and would watch the interests of the teachers and the university.

For S.K. Singla, representing the incumbent group, restoring the financial position of the university would be accorded the top priority. Ridiculing the allegations of the rival groups that his team remained pro-establishment, he said: “Our group did not enter into a confrontation and adopted a consensual approach as we were dealing with our own establishment (the university authorities).” He said confrontation for its own sake was not advisable and would be in nobody’s interest.

K.N. Sharma of the Batra group said there was a lot of resentment against the incumbent PAUTA team as it not only compromised upon the interest of the teachers, but also surrendered before the authorities. He said it was not only the dignity of the teachers but also the merger of the departments that the association accepted meekly. Sharma added that nobody would be allowed to thrust the decisions on the university. 

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BJP disowns estranged woman leader
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
The city unit of the BJP today disowned the estranged Mahila wing leader, Neelam Kalra claiming that she was not even the primary member of the party. Rubbishing her allegations against a city MLA, the party said, it was initiating legal proceedings her and a defamation case was being filed in this regard.

Addressing a press conference here, the district party president, Subash Verma alleged that Kalra was herself accused in several cases which were registered against her in various police stations. He claimed, during his tenure she had not been appointed on any post and she was falsely claiming that she was the district vice-president of the women's wing of the party.

The BJP district president said, everyone was aware of the character of the MLA against whom she had levelled allegations. He said, the MLA enjoyed a clean and impeccable image among people and the charges were levelled by a frustrated leader.

Most of the party leaders were present at the press conference to convey the impression that there were no differences.

The allegations against the city MLA were being attributed to the growing factionalism in the party.

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Student’s death mourned

Ludhiana, August 28
A condolence meeting was organised at Ludhiana College of Engineering and Technology (LCET), Katani Kalan, today, in the memory of Padamveer Singh Dhillon, a fifth semester student of the Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering. Padamveer had died in a road accident.

Students, members of the faculty and management attended the meeting. The gathered expressed grief and prayed for the departed soul by observing a two-minute silence. — OC

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Two nabbed for blackmailing doctor
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, August 28
The Division No. 5 police has arrested two persons on the charges of blackmailing a doctor posted at the local civil hospital.

The accused Paramjit Singh and Suresh Kumar had allegedly forced the doctor to pay them thousands of rupees threatening to charge him with molesting a woman relative who had undergone treatment for piles from the doctor. The police recovered Rs 37,000 from the accused in a raid at their house.

Snatchers held: The Shimla Puri police today nabbed three youths, who had allegedly snatched Rs 55,000 from an employee of a wine merchant near Gill village. SP City-II Harish Kumar said Rs 32,000 were recovered from the three suspects, Jaspreet Singh, Raman and Rishu.

Jagraon
Trespass and assault: Sohan Singh, Baljit Singh and Kamlajit Singh of Sheikh Daulat and Satnam Singh of Talwandi Mallian allegedly trespassed into the premises of Chand Singh of Sheikh Daulat and assaulted him with bricks. The police has registered a case under Sections 452, 323, 34 of the IPC. The injured has been admitted in the local civil hospital. Some dispute of Panchayat election is said to be the reason behind this incident.

8 booked for theft: Parminder Singh, forest guard (under suspension) Ludhiana Range, Harjinder Singh, Kuki, Kuldeep Singh, Ranjit Singh, Faquira Singh and Chhinder Singh of Chonta along with Lakhwinder Singh Kalewal have been allegedly stealing trees, belonging to the forest department, from the area of Purian village and Bharowal since July 27. The police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC at the instance of forest range officer, Ludhiana. No arrest has been made so far.

Minor girl abducted: A minor girl of 17 years, of Rajoana village, had been abducted on July 9 and the Sudhar police had registered a case recently under Sections 363, 366-A of the IPC against Jagjit Singh of Rajoana Khurad at the instance of Kamaljit Singh, father of the victim. No arrest has been made so far.

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