L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Hospital staff absent, services go haywire
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 11
Medical services at the local civil hospital were affected as most of the staff went away to celebrate Diwali.

Absence of medical assistance forced patients to go to other hospitals. Two patients complained to the Ludhiana Tribune today that the attendant at the civil hospital refused to attend to them due to unavailability of the doctors concerned. The X-ray attendant also skipped duty.

Only one doctor was on duty but he refused to attend to the patients, saying he did not have adequate staff. The poor patients said they had come to the civil hospital to avoid paying heavy bills of private hospitals.

For Sushil Kumar, it was a tough time as he suffered from searing pain for two long hours at the hospital. The attendants claimed that after two long hours, they were told to look for another hospital as the required facilities were not available.

"We are poor, we cannot bear the heavy bill in other hospitals. He has sustained wounds all over his body but on reaching here we were told to go somewhere else as the staff was not available," said Rakhi Devi, mother of Sushil.

Another patient Bablu Kumar, who sustained a serious injury on his nose in a street brawl, was also told to look for another hospital as the X-ray attendant was not present.

Commenting on the situation, Kuldeep Kaur, chief medical officer (CMO) of the hospital, said she had specifically put two doctors on duty on the Diwali night. She said the allegations seem to be motivated as doctors were on duty.

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Shingaar sees huge rush again
Movie buffs lap up new releases

Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 11
Believing in Raj Kapur’s mantra that the show must go on, Shingaar cinema is once again back to business with huge rush of movie buffs for the recently released Bollywood movies “Om Shanti Om” and “Saawariya”.

Residents stand in long queues to get tickets for the movies, which are being screened at Mini Shingaar and Shingaar. Seeing the huge rush of fans at the cinema, nobody could believe that there was a bomb blast just a month back, which claimed lives of six persons and injured many.

One of the managers of Shingaar cinema said people definitely had short memories. He said response was good for both the movies. “Not everyone can afford to see movie in PVRs. The migrant labourers or the city residents prefer to see films in theatres, which can easily be approached (in terms of money).

“We got very good response yesterday as all the factories and industrial units were closed because of Vishwakarma Day and labourers passed their time watching movies here,” he said.

Ramta, working in an industrial unit in the Industrial Area said he was reluctant to see any movie in Shingaar after the bomb blast. “It was my friend who made me understand that this (bomb blast) could happen anywhere, anytime”, said Ramta.

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NRI murder: Hunt on to nab husband
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Bija (Khanna), November 11
Five years back when British resident Manjit Kaur married a young man from Punjab Jagpaljit Singh in hope of finding a father for her teenaged daughter in one of the courts in England, little she had expected that the wedding would end up in her own death. The husband, who is now absconding, is believed to have hatched a conspiracy in connivance with his family members to kill the 43-year-old woman.

The SSP said a notice had been circulated at all international airports to prevent the accused from fleeing the country. He said the matter was still being investigated and a positive outcome was expected soon.

Manjit Kaur, who had helped him settle in England, was murdered on Diwali night. She had migrated to England about two decades back where she had been working at the Heathrow airport after she divorced her first husband. About five years back, she met Jagpaljit Singh, who had just arrived in England in search of better prospects and both decided to get married. This helped Jagpaljit Singh, a native of Bija village near Khanna, to get permanent citizenship of England.

Manjit Kaur's brother Arvinder Singh, a resident of Phagwara, told The Tribune that for the past two years Jagpaljit Singh had been mounting pressure on his sister to transfer the property that she owned in England in his name. He said he also wanted her to stake claim in her parental property in Phagwara.

The brother said recently Jagpaljit had even started beating his sister and his father Sukhdev Singh had to visit England to persuade her to get separated from her second husband. However, she had refused to do so, Arvinder Singh said. He said he had even traumatised Manjit's daughter, who later shifted to a local hostel in England to save herself from the wrath of her step-father.

He said a couple of months back, Jagpaljit Singh had forced Manjit Kaur to transfer half of her property in England in his name and had even asked them to pay Rs 4 lakh. He alleged that as his sister had now refused to transfer any of her property in his name, Jagpaljit Singh decided to eliminate her. Arvinder Singh said on the fateful day, Manjit Kaur had called him up at around 11 am and had asked her to take her away from the clutches of Jagpaljit Singh. He said that Manjit had even expressed apprehension that her husband might kill her. Jagpaljit Singh had initially tried to mislead the police by claiming that Manjit Kaur had been hit by an unknown vehicle on Payal road while they were on way to pay obeisance to a nearby gurdwara and this had resulted in her death.

However, when Manjit's family member stated that she had been killed, the police investigate the matter and concluded that she had not died due to accident. Khanna SSP Gautam Cheema said from the evidence collected by the police, it appeared that Manjit Kaur had been murdered.

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In Basta
Girl’s body found in trunk
Incomplete clue confounds cops
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 11
She did not lose presence of mind even in dying moments and tried to leave clues for the police. Unfortunately, the cops failed to develop the leads leaving the shocking one-year-old "body in train trunk" case unsolved.

It was on November 8 last year that the body of a young girl, about 20-years-old, clad in a top and blue jeans was recovered from an abandoned trunk on board Indore-bound Malwa Express at the Ludhiana railway station.

On the right arm of the body, the girl had while taking last breaths tried to scribble phone number of her father. Death won as she could not complete it. Only “Papa- 0562265...”, was found written on the arm.

Cops believed it to be a good clue that could lead to her family and eventually to the murderer. The numbers formed the telephone code of Agra.

But over a year and three days after, the railway cops have not been able to even establish the identity of the girl, let alone find the reason of the murder.

The body of the girl bore tell-tale signs of intense struggle. She seemed to have been tied with ropes before she was throttled. She was not raped but there were ample signs of beating. A sari, a top and a pair of jeans were found from the trunk.

Investigating officer Gurnam Singh, SHO, Government Railway Police, said the police has tried everything to find her identity, "Our teams have visited all cities and towns of the train route but to no avail. Now, we have pasted the pictures of the body on the Malwa Express and stations en route hoping someone would identify her. Once, her identity was known, the investigation would get a kick start."

The motive of the murder was baffling. Usually, sex is the main motive but in this case, the autopsy ruled it out. Cops suspected it could be hate crime or honour killing by family members. The theory of honour killing was not sound enough as the girl would not have written "papa" and tried writing his phone number.

The theory of hate crime could be followed only if the girl was identified. Cops suspected some jilted or jealous lover could have killed her. Eight families came to recognise the body claiming a female relative of same age. The girl was not known to them.

The cops tried to follow the place where the trunk was made or sold but remained unsuccessful. The clothes recovered from the trunk also could not provide a breakthrough.

The timing of the attempt to scribble the phone number was also a mystery. Cops found it quite baffling. The girl could not have written it inside the trunk. There was no nail scratching in the trunk as are normally seen when someone gasping for breath struggled for opening it. There was no pen inside also. And, if the girl was killed elsewhere and body dumped in the trunk, then the person doing it could have easily erased the number.

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Four killed in accidents
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 11
Four persons were killed and three injured in separate vehicular accidents that took place in the area during the past 24 hours.

Paramjit Singh of Latala was crushed to death when his scooter he was driving was run over by a private bus (PB 09 B 8331) owned by the Dhillon bus service. The Dehlon police registered an FIR against driver who had fled the spot.

In another accident, Sher Khan of Bishan Garh village was run over by a Sumo at Jhuner-Sandaur road near here yesterday. He was declared brought dead at the civil hospital at Malerkotla. Rafiq of Jamalpur, the pillion rider, was injured in the incident. The Sandaur police registered an FIR against Bahadur Singh, the driver of the Sumo.

Meanwhile, Bogha Singh died after the tractor being driven by Jasbir Singh turned turtle on Ramgarh Sibia-Saharanpur village road.

According to Surjit Singh, he, along with the deceased and other members of the family, were working with tractor in fields. The tractor had turned turtle on the road later. While Bogha Singh, his nephew, had died on the spot, Beant Singh, Jagtar Singh and Sukhchain Singh were injured in the incident. The injured were shifted to Rajindra Hospital, Patiala.

Gurdip Singh Peeta of Manuke, cleaner of the truck was killed when the truck collided with a tree. The fatal collision took place after the driver of the truck lost control on being hit by a van (PB AC 1438).

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Ludhiana Calling

Even with increasing concern for conservation of environment and awareness about the high level of pollution caused by firecrackers, a majority of the Ludhianvis, especially the younger generation, has not been able to resist the temptation of celebrating Diwali with firecrackers. The city people not only purchased and burst crackers worth several crores on this occasion, some two dozen children, and a few adults, also sustained burn injuries as a result of their failure to observe safety measures and precautions in bursting crackers. This was despite a concerted drive by many schools and advisories, carried by the print and electronic media on safe bursting of crackers.

Undeterred

Busting of a synthetic khoya racket, seizure of a large quantity of the stuff on way from the railway station to the halwai shops and dozens of samples taken from sweetmeat makers in different parts of the mega city during the week preceding Diwali, failed to dampen the spirits of Ludhianvis if the sales of all kinds of sweets during the festivities is any indication. Even the fact that on Diwali eve, eight samples of khoya were declared unfit for human consumption by the Government Laboratory, did not deter the people from buying sweets. So it was the halwais who went laughing all the way to the banks!

Way to riches

It was not just the jewellery shops, gift shops or the crockery shops which witnessed a huge rush of Diwali shoppers. The confectionery shops selling ‘puja samagri’, too, were pulling crowds. The seeds of the lotus flower were in great demand by religious women who dipped these in honey and put it in the fire to become prosperous. One of the women said that a TV channel had telecast on Diwali morning that people performing these rituals will get ‘shanti, shakti, samridhi, sanyam’. "I am doing to get all in life", she said.

Good business

After selling gifts and other items worth several lakhs of rupees, the shopkeepers seem to be relaxed and contented. During Diwali and Dhanteras, the crockery shops hired nearby godowns to dump their stocks. For this, one of them even paid Rs 20,000 to the godown owner for just a day. He said it did not pinch at all because he made lakhs in return.

Positive sign

Health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla's directive to the health department to not accept Diwali gifts as she was putting up spy cameras in offices has come as a relief for the residents who had lost all hope that corruption would ever be nailed. Though people are arguing that they would accept gifts at home instead of doing so in the office, many others see it as a positive sign towards a corruption-free society. ‘‘At least they would not accept gifts while in office,’’ said a resident.

Traffic blues

Traffic signals installed at road crossings are proving more troublesome for traffic than helping in its smooth flow. While switching on of both green and red signals was usual, frequent breakdown was also becoming regular. To cap it all, repairing of the signals takes many days. Wide and deep holes dug for repairing the signals are left open for days (see picture) altogether, causing hiccups in the flow of vehicles.

— Sentinel

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COMMUNITY
 

At The Crossroads
The reverse gear of time

Every age seems to be a transitory age and nothing appears to be everlasting. In the absence of the “visionary gleam”, things turn out to be commonplace, shorn of charm and grace. Time moves on and the mind tries to grasp the fleeting images.

At a particular stage, the storehouse of impressions is sometimes reluctant to accept new images. This is what has happened to me during the past fortnight. The Indo-Pak Festival, organised in Amritsar under the banner of Punarjyot at Spring Dale, turned out to be a hilarious event. Time stood still as long as Suraiya Khanum and Aarif Lohar, besides Lakhwinder Wadali, held the stage.

What happens to the audience which is spellbound and declines any suggestion to be aware of the approaching midnight? Both time and space lose their significance when music overwhelms the thirsty souls.

Reverberations of singing voices and musical instruments conspire to create an ethereal image of man's destiny on earth. Nothing seems to be of any value when common language and composite culture unite the hearts that beat at different tunes in their own lands.

Back home in Ludhiana, folk dances and folk songs, accompanied by folk musicals, lifted up the burden of mundane existence and revived the memories of the times when life was the cradle of primordial desires. For a short while, the moments spent in the youth festival were stretched into eternity and the pageant of the rich heritage of Punjab gladdened the hearts. Nothing seemed to have altered and the continuity of sequences was maintained. The past merged into the present imperceptibly and the present headed towards the future unimpeded.

The proverbial “good old times” never lose their sheen but the younger generation demands attention and reveals its hidden potentialities. So the onward movement is accelerated in no uncertain terms and the ideal of achieving all that is good, beautiful and true once again grips the mind. It is not the achievement but the objective that matters.

The occasional display of the niceties of human activity makes life worth living. It is not merely a silver lining in a dark cloud but the glow of sunrise after a long wait during the dreary night. Still the dismal scenario of social injustice, political uncertainty and economic disparity looms large on the horizon of consciousness. Things move on at a pace, slow or fast, but deep down in the heart there is an uncanny sensation that leads to unsavoury feelings.

It is true that at times phantom fears melt into the thin air and forebodings prove to the unreal. There is always another day in the life of man who is full of expectations and resultant achievements. The changeover from one stage to another may not be smooth; rather it may turn out to be an arduous affair. Still the burden of life need not be depressing in any way. It should be “like a lover's pinch that hurts but is desired.”

At this time of my life, I am in the grip of mystic feelings. Time has taken wings and its shadow is hovering over the valley below. This chiaroscuro has its own charm but, at the same time, it leads to wistful memories. These revived memories invoke the time past and the mind is lulled into dreamy wakefulness. Nostalgia opens up age-old vistas that are a bit hazy but attractive still. The teacher and the taught have an esoteric relationship that cannot be comprehended easily by others.

With the passage of time, the irksome incidents are forgotten and the pleasant events are imparted with a new spectrum. In the absence of the impediments of time and space, a strong sense of bonhomie develops. The news that Prabha of HMV has retried and Harmit of RGC is retiring has reversed for me the movement of time from 60 to 16. They had been at the helm of affairs in their colleges for more than a quarter century. The march of time has plunged my mind into the rigmarole of illusions and disillusions.

— N.S. Tasneem

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Assault Case
Police accused of shielding sports promoter
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 11
Accusing the Raikot police of shielding a sports promoter, who has been booked for allegedly assaulting a youth of Lakhowal village, organiser of a nursing college has alienated himself from the case in which he (organiser) had been accused of instigating the assailants.

He accused the police of inaction against the promoter who according to him had been harassing students of his college.

Refuting charges levelled by the organiser of the college, the police claimed that action had been initiated against both parties who had levelled allegations and counter-allegations against each other. However, inquiry in connection with complaint lodged by the organiser against the sports promoter was being conducted by the SP Jagraon.

Dr Ramesh Jain, organiser of a nursing college, alleged that the Raikot police had falsely implicated in a case registered on the statement of Sehaz Preet Singh of Lakhowal village.

Perusal of records at Raikot police station revealed that Shubh Deep Singh Grewal, a sports promoter, living on back of hostel of the nursing college, and some of his associates had been booked on November 8. The case had been registered on the statement of Sehaz Preet Singh of Lakhowal village.

Later, during investigations Grewal reported to the police that Ramanjit Singh, Binder, Karma and Raju had allegedly attacked on him on the instance of Dr Ramesh Jain. Old rivalry was stated to be reason behind the assault. The Raikot police making a cross case involved Jain as conspirer of the attack.

Accusing the police of shielding Grewal, Jain today maintained that he was in no way concerned with the case. "The police had allegedly involved my name to pressure me to withdraw complaints I had filed against Grewal," alleged Jain.

Jain alleged that Grewal had been harassing students of his college. "And when he opposed his sinister designs, he opened fire at me and threatened to eliminate me," alleged Jain.

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Safety of life and property of people
Examine Sirhind canal banks, demand residents
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahhmedgarh, November 11
Accusing canal authorities of adopting an indifferent attitude towards the safety of life and property of lakhs of people living in villages and towns on the banks of the Bathinda branch of the Sirhind canal, residents of the area have urged the higher authorities to conduct a survey and verify claims by the authorities regarding the condition of the banks.

Mining of sand, allegedly by illegal methods using tractor-operated machinery, was cited to be main reason behind deterioration of the embankment.

Though the Ludhiana Tribune had carried a number of stories regarding the alleged slumber of the canal authorities, no concrete action was taken. Apprehending recurrence of breaches and subsequent losses, the residents have once again urged the authorities to get the course of the canal physically verified.

Senior functionaries in the canal department, including the special secretary, had taken notice of stories published in The Tribune but nothing concrete was done.

In a communication to Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab, irrigation minister and the deputy commissioner, the residents of the town and the surrounding villages have accused the canal authorities of adopting a dismal attitude towards the safety of life and property of lakhs of people living in villages and towns on the banks of the canal.

They alleged that the authorities had been misguiding the civil works department with false claims regarding the condition of the banks of the Sirhind canal.

Though the banks of the canal are being continuously eroded, the canal management authorities are yet to wake up from their slumber. Villagers of the area have been sending SOS messages to the authorities concerned, but to no avail. A breach was caused near Jagera Bridge leading to flooding of the area along Pohir village a few years ago.

The problem was compounded by use of the alleged illegal method of mining sand by the contractors. Banks had been cut at many places to facilitate entry of tractors and machines. The contractors used to plug such fissures by stacking sand filled gunny bags. These areas were prone to breaches.

The executive engineer, Ropar Head Works, instead of initiating action against negligent officials, had claimed that there was no risk to the lives of people living along the canal.

Responding to a letter written by the SDM, Malerkotla, a long time back, he had claimed that the condition of the bank near Jandali Kalan and Malikpur was not bad. He had based his claim on the inspection report of the SDO, Doraha.

Even after a long time after the claim made by the authorities, the situation is grave in the area. Ignoring the completely eroded bank and the encroached metalled road, at many places the authorities have been trying to evade responsibility, claiming that no harm had been caused to human life in the past.

The complainants have urged the authorities to conduct an on-the-spot verification and take action against the erring officers.

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Tributes paid to freedom fighter
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 11
Rich tributes were paid to renowned freedom fighter Paritam Singh Bhinder (Neelokheri), a companion of late Partap Singh Kairon, former Chief Minister, Punjab, at a Shardhanjli Samaroh organised on the occasion of his Antim Ardas at Gurudwara Singh Sabha, Model Town Extension, here today.

Prominent personalities among others who participated in the samaroh included Hira Singh Gabria, jails minister, Amarjit Singh Chawla former member, PPSC, Rajinder Singh Mehta, member, SGPC, Paramjit Singh Khalsa, president, Sikh Student Federation.

Paying tributes Hira Singh Gabria said Neelokheri had played an important role in the freedom movement of the country, along with Jawahar Lal Nehru and Partap Singh Kairon and faced a lot of hardships.

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25 suffer burns
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 11
While there was a decline in burn injuries on this Diwali, children complained of chest congestion and bronchitis.

There were 25 burn injuries, most of them were minors, over 500 children suffered from chest congestion and related problems. Parents were seen lining outside the clinics of chest specialists today morning as children suffered from cold, fever, sore throat, chest congestion and difficulty in breathing.

Some parents gave bronchiolitis to their children and made them sleep early.

The rush of such patients was more at small hospitals or private clinics with major hospitals catering like the CMC, DMC and Apollo hospitals catering to seriously ill.

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CRIME
 

Five booked for assault
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, November 11
In two separate incidents, the Sidhwan Bet police has booked five persons on the charge of assault. In the first, Kuldip Singh and Sarabjit Singh of Bhundri village allegedly waylaid Harprit Singh of their village and assaulted him. The police has registered a case under SectionS 341, 323 and 34 of the IPC. Sudden quarrel is said to be the reason behind the incident. In the other, Surjit Singh, Balwinder Singh and Gurdev Singh of Gorsian Kadar Baksh village allegedly assaulted Nahar Singh of their village. The police has registered a case under similar offence. The injured has been admitted in the local civil hospital. The accused allegedly stopped the children from playing in the temple but when Nahar Singh objected he was assaulted. No arrest has been made so far in both the cases.

Two killed

Two persons were killed in two different incidents. In the first, Gurprit Singh of Manuke was killed when a truck (No. PB-10BV-843), driven by Harjinder Singh, in which he was travelling first hit a maruti car and later a tree. Then the truck rammed into a house. It is alleged that Harjinder Singh was under the influence of liquor and was driving the truck at fast speed. The local police has registered a case under Sections 304-A, 279 and 427 of the IPC. In another incident, Bagga Singh of Barnala was killed near Sahjahanpur village when a tractor turned turtle due to fast speed and killed him. The Raikot police has registered a case under Sections 279, 304-A, 337 and 338 of the IPC. The tractor driver has been arrested.

Fraud

The local police has booked two persons under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC on the charge of committing fraud. According to information, Jagroop Singh and his father Jabir Singh of Dalla village illegally made changes in the copies of girdawari of the land of Nasib Kaur of Zirakpur. No arrest has been made so far.

Theft

Joginder Singh of Sherpur Khurd was arrested by the Sidhwan Bet police on the charge of committing theft of a foundation stone under Section 434 and 379 of the IPC. According to information, Sharanjit Singh Dhillon laid foundation stone three months before in Sherpur Khurd in connection with the project of construction of streets and drains. When the foundation stone was found missing, Sarpanch Sukhdev Singh reported the matter to the police and during investigation Joginder Singh has been arrested.

Arms seized

In two separate cases, the Dehlon police has arrested two persons and recovered arms from their possession. In the first, Binder Singh of Bajrang Akhara, Ahmedgarh, was arrested from Latala village and the police recovered one spring knife from his possession. In the other, Vikram Singh of Basti Khana was arrested by the police from the same area and the police recovered one country made pistol .12 bore alongwith three live cartridges from his possession. Cases under the Arms Act have been registered.

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Motorcyclist rams into sweets shop, 6 hurt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 11
Six persons sustained burn injuries, two of them being serious, in a freak accident when a speeding motorcyclist lost control over the vehicle and went straight into a halwai shop at Gaushala road on Diwali.

A 13-year-old employee with the shop, Vikas, sustained 35 per cent burn injuries and was under treatment at DMC Hospital while the motorcyclist, Gurcharan Singh, was referred to CMC Hospital with 40 per cent burn injuries.

Doctors said their condition was serious.

The incident took place when Gurcharan Singh lost control and rammed straight into the sweets shop. The impact was so strong that the entire boiling mixture of sugar fell on the people standing there.

Besides them, four persons, who suffered minor injuries, got treatment at a private hospital. They were discharged after first aid. The Division No 3 police has recorded the statements of the injured. No case has been registered so far.

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