L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Hospital staff protest gets violent
Administrator among those roughed up
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 5
Apparently an ongoing battle for supremacy between two factions of employees in Dr B.L. Kapur Memorial Hospital here took an ugly turn today in which hospital employees struck work and resorted to a dharna in the hospital.

In the free for all, which prevailed for quite some time in the hospital, administrator B.D. Sharma; president, Hospital Employees Union, Manjit Toor; and Surjit Singh Sekhon, claiming to be the president of rival staff union, were roughed up.

Toor alleged that the administrator had made sexual advances towards her. She said some of the staff members assaulted her at the instigation of Sharma this morning without any provocation.

On the other hand, the administrator charged the supporters of Toor with slapping him and making an assault on Sekhon.

Toor, complaining of pain due to physical assault, was kept under medical supervision and put on intravenous fluids. Doctors attending on her said she appeared to be in shock and X-rays would be taken after some time when she stabilised to ascertain if she had any fracture.

Majority of the hospital staff staged the demonstration right in front of the emergency ward with the result that all work relating to patient-care and administration came to a halt.

Fearing law and order problem and further violence at the hands of agitating employees, the hospital management called the police, who were making preliminary inquiry from staff members and the management.

The SHO Division No 4, who was present on the spot, said on receipt of a formal complaint from the parties concerned action would taken.

Dr Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu, medical superintendent, said a few days ago a woman employee had lodged a complaint of sexual harassment against the administrator and a doctor had been asked to institute an inquiry into the allegations.

“Since the administrator was on leave for four days, and joined duty only today, the inquiry could not make any progress till date,” he said.

He, however, did not rule out the possibility that the staff might have wanted to settle score with the administrator, who was known to be stickler for discipline and used to openly rebuke those neglecting their duty or showing slackness. Dr Sidhu regretted that rather than sitting with the management across the table to sort out the matter, the employees had chosen to agitate, thereby causing a lot of inconvenience to patients.

The hospital staff, resorting to slogan shouting and obstructing the routine working, also alleged that the management was giving them an unfair deal.

“The employees are not paid minimum wages, forced to put in extra hours, denied due payment for emergency duty and those raising voice against injustice, are threatened with dismissal and other penal actions,” said one of the protesting employees.

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Graft Case
MC employee gets 2-yr RI
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, October 5
Special judge Gurbir Singh has convicted municipal corporation’s employee Prem Kamal Behal of Bal Singh Nagar,Basti Jodhewal, Ludhiana,in a graft case. The judge has sentenced him to undergo two years imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on him.

Pronouncing the verdict,the judge held that the prosecution had successfully proved the guilt of the accused on the grounds that he had taken Rs 1,000 as a bribe for changing the ownership record of a property.

“If we want to make India as dreamt by Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi then the corruption issues needs to be handled firmly”, the judge observed while declining the plea of leniency raised by the accused.

Accused who works as a senior clerk with the municipal corporation was booked under Section 7, 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act on May 9, 2002, at the Vigilance Bureau police station in Patiala following the complaint lodged by Hardip Kumar of Patel Nagar, Civil Lines, Ludhiana.

The complainant had told Vigilance Bureau’s DSP Sarup Singh that he was residing in house No: 738 at Patel Nagar. The said house was in the name of his grandfather, Piara Lal, who had expired on March 30, 2002. His grandfather had executed a will in favour of his mother, Sita Sharma.

In order to get the ownership changed in the corporation’s record, he had moved an application in the Zone-D. He had provided all relevant documents and attached all proofs with the application. On May 8, 2002, he went to the corporation’s office, where the accused, who was issuing TS-I forms, met him. He requested him to issue the form but Behal demanded Rs 2,000 for doing the job. Then, he agreed to charge Rs 1,000 for issuing TS-I, the complainant added.

According to prosecution, instead of paying the bribe, the complainant informed Vigilance Bureau officials, who apprehended the accused while taking money. However, during the trial accused pleaded innocence. But, after appreciating the evidence on record and hearing the arguments advanced by Additional District Attorney M.L. Solanki, the court found him guilty and 
sentenced him. 

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Industrialists, taxmen clash
Trader alleges he was manhandled
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 5
Over 300 industrialists were up in arms against officials of the Sales Tax Department who were verifying documents of a cycle parts manufacturer near Sherpur Chowk here today.

While industrialists alleged that the officials resorted to manhandling of the owner of Monica Industries, the cycle parts unit, they condemned industrialists for hampering their functioning. The matter was later resolved after discussions between both parties.

It was around noon when ETO B.K. Birdi, along with four constables, stopped goods of the unit. “The officials demanded documents of goods which the owner had. Later, they started frisking the industrialist for the documents. Soon, a neighbour of the unit owner saw he was stopped by the officials and his mobile phone was snatched and they resorted to manhandling,” alleged a representative of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

The industrialists alleged that the department officials agreed on accepting a certain amount of money to stop the procedure for which they had visited the factory. “It was then that the industrialists got together and protested against the department.”

Over 300 industrialists gathered near the factory and protested.

Refuting the charges, the department officials said the industrialists started the problem during the verification. “They got together and resorted to protest. It is quite unfair to hamper our functioning. The industry has set a bad example by resorting to this,” said an official of the department.

Later, after intervention by senior officials, the matter was resolved between both the parties.

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Villagers baffled at peacocks’ death
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 5
Peacocks are dying mysteriously in Uchi Daud village, near Malaudh, and villagers are worried that a disease might be killing them.

There are nearly 15 peacocks in the village and during the past one week two peacocks have died and another has fallen sick. Villagers visited Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University today to consult doctors and find out the reason behind these deaths.

According to Chand Singh, a villager, a peacock died four days ago. They did not take it seriously, thinking it was a natural death. Then somebody spotted another peacock carcass in the fields yesterday. They reported the matter to the panchayat.

The doctors have given medicines to the ailing peacock and told the villagers to keep it under observation. They conducted a postmortem and a lab test of viscera. No trace of any poison was found in the test. 

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Solid waste; hollow management
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 5
Even as the Amritsar Municipal Corporation is working on a project for generating electricity from solid waste, the local civic body is still grappling with the idea on how to manage the garbage despite various ambitious projects that could not see the light of the day.

The city generates 800 metric tonnes of solid waste everyday that is collected from bins kept at a few points, transported to two sites near Jamalpur and Jainpur village on the Humbran road.

The city still has to set up door-to-door solid waste collection system. There are 251 mohalla sudhar committees (MSCs) within the city, representing specific localities, which are responsible for the house-to- house collection of solid waste by engaging a few sweepers.

Dumping of the waste still continues in open. Thus, the waste keeps on lying near the dump and rag-pickers are often seem rummaging through it. The only saving grace is that the city had put in place a bio-medical waste treatment plant with 200 kg per hour disposal capacity. However, nothing substantial has been done to manage it.

The solid waste has been making its way into the Budda Nullah thus making it more polluted. Recently, principal secretary P. Ram had also visited the garbage dumps to find out how the municipal corporation was treating it.

Commissioner Vikas Partap said the solid waste management was on the priority list of the city development plan. It would be taken under the Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM) and Rs 140 crore had been it.

He added that they were in the process of selecting a consultant for the the project that would be taken up on the public-private partnership.

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Sukhbir to host Iftar tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana,October 5
City Muslims have hailed SAD acting president Sukhbir Badal’s decision to host Iftar on October 7 at the Government College for Women.

Addressing a press conference here today,Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Sani Ludhianvi said, “It was for the first time that any ruling party in the state had organised Iftar for commoners. Earlier there used to be VVIP Iftar parties only, he added.

Shahi Imam disclosed that the invitation of Sukhbir Badal had been extended to all Muslims and they would be taking part in the Iftar in large numbers. He said, “The function will start immediately after assar namaz (prayers) offered ahead of the Iftar. The magrib prayers (offered immediately after breaking the fast) will jointly be held in the college.

Prominent among those who will attend the party are Hira Singh Gabria, Harish Rai Dhanda, Sharanjit Singh Dhillon and a few legislators from the city.

Meanwhile, deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar and SSP R.K. Jaiswal along with Shahi Imam visited the college for reviewing the arrangements made for the party. 

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Financer, 2 other hurt in firing
Clash over money lending
Our Correspondent

Khamano, October 5
Avtar Singh and his two aides were injured when they were shot at in a quarrel that took place at Panjkoha village near here.

According to information available, Jeet Mistry of the nearby Sidhupur village has taken loan from Avtar Singh of Panjkoha village, who happens to be a financer, but failed to return it. Jeet was working at the house of Balwinder Singh of the same village.

When Avtar Singh came to know about it he went to Balwinder’s house and questioned Jeet. Feeling insulted Balwinder came out with 12 bore rifle and fired at Jeet in the process three persons Avtar Singh, Pargat Singh, a resident of Sanghol, and Kulwinder Singh of Maheshpura, were injured. They were rushed to a civil hospital at Fatehgarh where they are undergoing treatment. The Khamano police has registered a case under Section 307 of the IPC against the accused. 

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Govt to set up youth welfare boards
Our Correspondent

Khamano, October 5
The Akali-BJP government in the state is going to set up a development board for the welfare of youth. This was stated by Harsukinder Singh, chief spokesman for the Youth Akali Dal, while talking to mediapersons at Dana Mandi.

He said the youth would be adjusted in corporations, boards, market committees and other key posts in the state. On the directions of the Chief Minister, a grant of Rs 50,000 each would be provided to youth clubs in the villages.

Iqbal Singh Bali, Balamjeet Princi, Joginder Singh Jogi, Rajdeep Lali and a few other Youth Akali leaders honoured Harsukinder Singh with ‘Siri Sahib’ and a memento on the occasion. Later, he distributed trophies among singers who took part in a cultural programme at Lakhanpur village.

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Pandey PSEB staff body chief
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 5
Sabha Pati Pandey and Lakhwinder Singh have been elected president and secretary of the local unit of the Punjab State Electricity Board Employees Federation.

Madan Jit Singh and Nirbhai Singh, supervisors of the election meeting, told Ludhiana Tribune that the team had been elected for two years.

Baljor Singh Yadav and Kulwinder Singh were elected vice-president and joint-secretary while Tota Singh Bhatti was made finance secretary. 

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Letters
Blocking traffic

To make protest a fundamental right of the public is sometimes disadvantageous. People resort to block trains and road traffic at important points for hours together, to attract the attention of police or civil administration. Few days back, the Students blocked the traffic at Dhandari and Samrala chowk, without realising the inconvenience to those held up for not any fault of theirs. Sometimes patients and passengers suffer a lot because of the delay caused by such protests. Blocking traffic is not justified and public sympathies go against those who indulge in blocking the way. Dharnas should be arranged at the door step of the authorities ignoring their duty and grievances of the public.

Sher Singh, Ludhiana

Readers are invited to mail letters (not more than 200 words) at "ludhiana@tribunemail.com" or post the same to The Tribune, 1, 2 Improvement Trust Building, Badaur House, Clock Tower, Ludhiana.

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Give benefits to industry: Bhandari
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, October 5
President of the state unit of the BJP Rajinder Bhandari said industrial units were heading to other states that were offering special concessions due to the discriminatory policies adopted by the Central government. He said this while addressing a function here on Thursday. He had taken up this issue with the Chief Minister also.

District BJP chief Lal Chand Jindal and Ran Singh Kalsi highlighted the problems faced by the industrial units in the state. Jindal presented a cheque for Rs 5 lakh to Bhandari. The SAD working committee member Randhir Singh Bhamry, mandal chief Rakesh Gupta, Amloh mandal chief Vinod Mittal, Balmukand Sharma and other mandal presidents of the district also spoke on the occasion.

Sunil Kumar Kala was also honoured on the occasion for joining the BJP.

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Wooing customers with discounts
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 5
The business community is passing on an array of heavy discounts and promotional offers to people with a view to attract customers as the market witnesses a slack period due to the ongoing Shraadhs. This spells good news for customers as the offers are expected to be even more attractive during the forthcoming festive season.

Added to it are off-season discounts as companies clear their stocks. Right from apparels, home furnishings, home appliances to cars, food and even travel, most traders are offering heavy discounts.

“There are discounts and offers everywhere. Despite it being shraadhs, which are not considered auspicious for purchases, I bought some furniture as I was getting almost 60 per cent off on it,” said Shalini Sharma, a home-maker.

Traders said sales record a 30 per cent to 40 per cent decline during this period and they did not want to lose out on customers. “It is wiser to pass on some discount and clear stocks instead of piling them up for an entire year and wait for them to sell next time,” said Gurinder Singh, a shop owner in Chaura Bazaar.

Car companies are also offering discounts ranging between Rs 10,000 and Rs 40,000. Jewellers, who are expecting a profitable festive season ahead, too have come up with gift schemes. Other segments following the line are footwear sellers, furniture and home appliances traders.

What cheers customers all the more is that nearly 10 days down the line companies would come up with many more offers for the festive season.

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Bull Run
Wait & watch, the best policy for now
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 5
Rally in the share market has left investors a confused lot. While experts warn of a correction and say that small investor should stay away from speculation, investors are unable to decide on their strategy.

Brokers in the city said while a small segment was booking profits, most investors were adopting a wait and watch policy.

"The jump from 15,000 to nearly 18,000 was quite dramatic. Even as a few experts expected strong fundamentals of the economy to sustain this bullish trend, a correction has to happen," said Dinesh Sharma, an investment adviser.

Confused investors said they were unable to decide whether to book profits or stay in the market. "It is definitely not a period to buy but I have been undecided so far whether to book profits or to stay invested. I sold off a few shares but am now holding my investments as long-term approach will yield better fruit," said Gurinder Singh, an investor.

"A long-term strategy is always better. People must avoid speculation at all cost. For the less aggressive investors, it is better to opt for mutual funds and systematic investments as returns are more or less assured," added Sharma.

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Tata launches new Safari
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 5
Tata Motors today announced the launch of a new Safari DICOR 2.2 VTT range, powered by a new 2.2 L direct injection common rail (DICOR) engine. Its range starts from Rs 7.33 lakh (ex showroom, Ludhiana), with an enhanced two years warranty or 75,000 km. The entry-level TCIC diesel model incorporates all aesthetic and convenience features of the 2.2 DICOR VTT model and is now available at Rs 6.47 lakh, said S.G. Saxena, national head, UV Product Group, while addresing a press conference here today.

Talking about safety, Saxena said, “It is the among the safest SUVs in its category. It meets full frontal crash safety norms of Europe (as per 74/297/EEC) and is available with dual airbags and ABS with EBD in its range.”

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