L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Lover throws acid on girl, mother
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
A dejected lover allegedly vented his frustration on a girl and her mother by throwing a glass full of acid on them in a labour colony situated on the Bhamian road this morning.

Shakunti, 16, and her mother, Lalita Devi, suffered burn injuries on the face and upper body.

They were admitted to the civil hospital. Doctors said their eyes were safe.

SSP R.K. Jaiswal said teams had been despatched to arrest the accused.

Police sources said Sanjay Kumar had felt humiliated when the girl had turned down his “offer”.

They said when the youth persisted, the father of the girl, Kedarnath, had allegedly beaten him up in full public view a few days ago. The girl had also reportedly slapped him.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Shakunti said: “The youth was harassing me and even threatened me. I complained to my parents when he teased me.”

This morning Sanjiv Kumar allegedly attacked the girl when she was coming out of her house. She said she had seen him carrying a glass in his hand. Shakunti’s mother, who was accompanying her, also got injured.

The SHO of the Division No 7 police station said the youth was booked under Section 307 of the IPC.



PSEB tightens noose around bill defaulters
100 meters removed in one day
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 2
In the wake of mounting arrears of unpaid power bills by thousands of domestic consumers in the city, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has decided to get tough with the defaulters. And to show that it means business, more than 100 power meters were removed against standing “permanent disconnection orders” from the residential and commercial premises of consumers in different divisions yesterday.

PSEB chief engineer, central zone, B.S. Bath said the arrears of unpaid power bills by domestic and commercial consumers in the city had risen to a staggering Rs 20 crore. In the course of special recovery drive, which was carried out in September, field staff recovered nearly half of the amount.

“The staff has been issued instructions to carry out the statutory action of removing the power meters of the consumers who are willfully holding payments of dues. The campaign for recovery of arrears will now continue on a regular basis so as to not allow the defaulting consumers to use energy, which is not being paid for,” Bath said.

It was learnt that till now, the huge arrears were not being taken seriously, and in routine, the power board used to carry out recovery campaigns twice a year - in March and September - which hardly yielded any result. In many cases, the lower-rung field staff of the board was also known to be in complicity with the defaulters, who would give underhand money to them to avoid disconnection of supply.

Bath said the PSEB top brass was concerned over the increasing arrears, which, coupled with pilferage and transmission losses, was putting an adverse effect on the financial health of the institution.

“We have decided to make it clear to the defaulting consumers to pay their bills on time, or else face not only instant disconnection but removal of power meter. In such cases, power supply will be restored only after all pending bills, and other charges, if any, are cleared,” he warned.



Medical students fume over fee hike
Increased from Rs 1 lakh per annum to Rs 1.75 lakh
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 2
The decision of the Christian Medical College (CMC) management to increase the tuition fee by about 75 per cent that too without any advance notice and in mid-session has evoked a strong reaction among students as well as their parents, who termed it as arbitrary.

However, the CMC authorities maintain that they are left with no other alternative than to increase the fee from Rs 1 lakh per annum to Rs 1.75 lakh at this stage to reduce the gap between the prevalent fee structure and the cost of education.

More so because some of the NRI seats remained unfilled in this academic year and the burden has to be shared by the students.

However, the students said the mid-term fee hike had come like a bolt from the blue. Particularly, the students belonging to economically weaker sections will be the worst affected.

Expressing resentment over the steep hike in the fee, a final year MBBS student, on condition of anonymity, said: “Our session is about to end in just two months and we have been asked to pay an additional fee of Rs 37,500 for the current semester. Logically, the new fee structure ought to have been brought in force from the next academic session when the new session begins.”

Coming in the support of the management decision to increase the tuition fee, Dr John Pramod, director, CMCH, said in 2005 the governing body had decided to charge a tuition fee of Rs 1.71 lakh per annum for undergraduate courses as against the estimated cost of education at Rs 6.60 lakh.

“In fact, the students paid an amount of Rs 1.71 lakh during the academic year 2005. However, the fee was again reduced to Rs 1 lakh in the next year on the plea made by the students and their parents,” he said.

The current hike in tuition fee, asserted Dr Pramod, was mere implementation of the governing body decision taken two years ago and the students were aware that this could happen at any time.

“For those who have limited financial resources, we have set up a corpus for economically weaker students and every one who had applied for the scholarship has received the financial assistance to continue studies,” the director said.



Tablets, cough syrup bottles seized
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 2
The drug enforcement staff and officials of narcotics cell conducted joint raids on a number of chemist shops in the city on Monday to check unregulated sale of narcotic substances and addictive drugs.

A team of officials, comprising district drugs inspector Sanjeev Garg, Devinder Singh Malli and Dr Devinder Bindra raided chemist shops on Phullanwal Road and Threeke village where physical verification of stocks was conducted, record of sale and purchase as well as other documents, were inspected.

According to Garg, 1,500 tablets and 300 capsules of different brands of addictive medicines, along with 12 bottles of cough syrup, were seized from a chemist on Phullanwal Road while search conducted at another retail chemist in Threeke village yielded 1,100 tablets, 360 capsules and three bottles of cough syrup.

The seized drugs, which were suspected to be sold to drug addicts in violation of the law, will be produced in a court to obtain possession and the defaulting persons be proceeded under provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and other relevant laws.

The team inspected some other chemist shops in different areas of the city till late in the evening but no seizures



Gandhi Jayanti ‘Spirit’
Liquor vendors make merry as sales go up
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
Liquor shops remained open till late last night as Bacchus lovers made a beeline for the liquor stores on the eve of Gandhi Jayanti, a dry day. In most of the areas in the industrial town, liquor vends remained open till midnight. Many of them were illuminated and decorated to attract more visitors.

“As October 2 is a dry day, I wanted to stock liquor,” said Maninder Preet, a city resident. Vends in areas like BRS Nagar, Dugri, Sarabha Nagar and in old city areas were seen open. As if to ensure that their buyers did not forget that it was a dry day today, shopkeepers had put banners that read ‘vends would be closed on October 2’. The results were for all to see as customers turned out in huge numbers and sales were brisk.

“This happens every year. Just one dry day sends the buyers in a tizzy,” a shopkeeper said. On the other hand, some citizens felt that it was unfortunate that the people did not understand the spirit behind the dry day.

“It is sad that people hoard liquor instead of understanding why Gandhi Jayanti is a dry day. Abstaining for one day and paying tribute to the Father of the Nation will not do much harm. However, this is possible only if the spirit of patriotism and respect towards national heroes is inculcated right from childhood,” opined Dr Mukhtinder Singh.



Shifting of industrial tribunal court irks lawyers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 2
Lawyers have expressed resentment over the move to shift the industrial tribunal camp court to Chandigarh from Ludhiana. The decision in this regard was taken by the presiding officer of Industrial Tribunal, Punjab, A.L. Verma.

The industrial tribunal has been holding the camp court in the city for more than 25 years in the city now and it has entertained cases pertaining to Ferozepur, Ludhiana, Moga and Faridkot districts.

A meeting of the District Labour Bar Association under the presidentship of Chaman Lal Vashisht was held to chalk out a strategy against this decision. During the meeting, lawyers decided to meet the principal secretary, department of labour, Punjab, the labour commissioner as well as the presiding officer of the Industrial Tribunal in Chandigarh on October 4 to apprise them regarding the difficulties being faced by the lawyers and labourers.



Bid to smuggle drugs in vehicle with beacon

Khanna, October 2
The police has arrested a man who was trying to smuggle poppy husk using a vehicle with red light atop.

According to SSP Gautam Cheema, acting on a tip-off the police laid a naka and arrested Paramjit Singh of Machhiwara and his two accomplices. Five bags of poppy husk were seized from the Scorpio vehicle in which he was travelling.

The SSP said the accused had procured the contraband from Gwalior and was taking it to Machhiwara. The accused is already facing several cases of smuggling.

The SSP said the accused was using red light on the vehicle in order to deceive the police. — TNS



Leaders differ on Karuna’s act
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
The recent Supreme Court censure of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi for going on strike despite its directive has drawn varied response here in political and legal circles. The leaders appear to be divided whether Karunanidhi had dragged the Gandhigiri too far by resorting to hunger strike like Mahatma Gandhi, on an issue which he could have pursued through other means also.

Harish Rai Dhanda, chief parliamentary secretary We always expect restraint from such great leaders. Fasting, as learnt from Mahatma Gandhi, is resorted to only as the last option. — Harish Rai Dhanda, chief parliamentary secretary

Harish Rai Dhanda, chief parliamentary secretary and outstanding lawyer, holds that Karunanidhi should not have acted the way he did by resorting to the hunger strike despite Supreme Court orders.

Manish Tewari, secretary All-India Congress Committee (AICC) and Supreme Court lawyer, however, defended TN Chief Minister saying he had done nothing "unconstitutional or illegal". Moreover, Tewari, who was here today in connection with the Gandhi Jayanti celebrations pointed out: "With all respects to the Supreme Court, we must take into consideration the stature of Karunanidhi, who is a mass leader and was pursuing a public cause", he remarked and said the issue must not be dragged too far.
Manish Tewari, secretary, AICC He broke his fast the moment he learnt about the court orders. We must take into consideration his stature who is pursuing a public cause. — Manish Tewari, secretary, AICC

The AICC secretary observed Karunanidhi only wanted to press for an issue, which, he thought, was in the interest of the public. Moreover, he never meant to disobey the court orders as was self-evident when he withdrew the strike the moment he learnt about the court orders.

Moreover, he said, Karunanidhi had taken recourse only to a peaceful and democratic means to support a project he had been pursuing for a long time.

Rajinder Bhandari, state BJP president First he questioned the existence of Ram, then he indulged in the contempt of court...he (Karunanidhi) seems to have lost his cool.
— Rajinder Bhandari, state BJP president

Prof Rajinder Bhandari, the state BJP president, was too critical of Karunanidhi saying, he was doing everything which a Chief Minister must not.

Bhandari echoed his party view saying, it was high time that Karunanidhi's government in Tamil Nadu was dismissed and President's rule imposed there. He said Karunanidhi had defied the apex court of the country and that too as the Chief Minister of a state.

"We must not set any wrong precedent by allowed a constitution head to defy the constitutional institution", he remarked.



Heart patient needs help
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 2
Devinder Singh (38), a physically challenged resident of Haibowal Khurd in the city and sole bread winner of the family, is battling for life with double heart valve defect. Till some time back, he was running a PCO when he was afflicted with the heart disease which restricted his working and sources of has income dried up.

Consultations and thorough investigation conducted by the doctors at Hero DMC Heart Institute (HDHI) here diagnosed the man to be suffering from double heart valve defect and advised "Double Valve Replacement (DVR)" and open heart surgery which involved an expenditure of Rs 2.60 lakh.

Only son of his old parents and three sisters, who are married, Devinder, is in no position to bear the cost of expensive valve replacement and open heart surgery.

"Good Samaritans, service clubs, NGOs and other are our only hope," said Devinder's father.

Consultant cardiologist at HDHI Dr Bishav Mohan opines that the timely surgical intervention alone could save this man and any delay will only deteriorate the condition.

All donations for Devinder Singh can be sent through cheques or demand drafts, drawn in favour of "DMC&H", payable at Ludhiana, to Hero DMC Heart Institute, Ludhiana, with "Treatment of Devinder Singh (CR No 66993) written on the back of bank instruments or on covering letter.



Bhagat’s on-screen father on patriotic mission
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 2
“Jo chithian tum mujhe likha karte the, veh meri zindagi ka sarmaiya hain,” the words uttered by Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s father during the last meeting with his son, brought tears to everybody’s eyes during the shooting of ‘23rd March 1931: Shaheed’. However, it could not perpetuate the ideology of the great martyr in the minds of the present generation.

Upset over the alleged apathy of successive governments towards the need for creating patriotic character among the youth, Ranjan Koshal, the local actor who portrayed Kishan Singh (Bhagat Singh’s father) in the film, has now urged the office-bearers of various social, cultural and educational organisations to join hands in promoting the cause.

“If we want our country to develop on certain ideals, we must motivate the youth to find their role model in Shaheed Bhagat Singh and other martyrs who had laid down their lives during the freedom struggle,” said Ranjan. He opined that mere ceremonies would serve no purpose until patriotism was handed down as a gift from generation-to-generation.

Putting this into practice, Ranjan said one period was devoted to the subject at Daffodils Public School, which is managed by his family.

Showing concern over the lack of information about the martyrs in various school textbooks, Ranjan accepted that he too understood various nuances of Bhagat Singh when he researched on the hero during the making of the film. “As I was to play Bhagat Singh’s father in the film, I studied all available literature supplied by director Guddu Dhanowa. Had I not taken the assignment seriously, I could have never known how great Bhagat Singh was,” he felt.



Political parties pay glowing tributes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
Glowing tributes were paid to Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary during a function organised by the District Congress Committee (DCC) at its local office, today. DCC president Jagmohan Sharma presided over the function and AICC secretary Manish Tewari was also present on the occasion.

Prominent among those present on the occasion included former MLA Surinder Dawer, youth Congress leader Pawan Dewan, among others. A separate function was organised by the party workers at Model Town, which was addressed among others by senior leader Amarjit Singh Tikka.

The BJP also organised a separate function at the Mata Rani Chowk outside the office of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation. The workers garlanded the statue of Gandhi. They resolved to ensure that the unity and integrity of the country.



Arhtiyas call off strike
Tribune News Service

Khanna, October 2
Arhtiyas at the grain market have decided to withdraw strike following the intervention of Mandi Board chairman Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, who has asked the local authorities to restore the spaces to the arhtiyas, as earlier.

A section of the arhtiyas in B yard of the grain market had called for a two-day strike, alleging indifferent attitude of the administration.

Swaran Singh, secretary of the Arhtiyas Association, said the association had given a representation to the chairman of the Mandi Board who immediately directed the authorities not to reshuffle the space allotted to commission agents.

The commission agents had alleged that there were being harassed by the administration, which wanted to oblige one of the commission agents, who was considered close to the Akali government.

The agents had been displaced from the places which had been used by them for the past 30 to 35 years for unloading of the produce.



Biz Word
Designer collection

Ludhiana: Nilibar, a store that offers apparel for women, launched collections of designers Niki Mahajan and Ravage by Raj Shroff and Neetu Gupta at the store to mark its 7th anniversary celebrations.

Uttam Singh, owner of the store, said: “Nilibar is the stop for complete trousseau shopping. We have introduced several renowned brands and designer collection and would continue to add more names to cater to our customers.” — TNS


Ludhiana: Sat Kartar Tractors, Khanna, a dealer of Swaraj Tractors, gave away keys of 21 tractors to farmers at a function held to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the dealership on Monday. R.C. Sharma, general manager, Punjab Tractor, was the chief guest. A cultural programme was also organised. — TNS



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