L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

HC clears cops of molestation charge
Now, I can face my daughters: Accused
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
The police was all cheers today with a verdict of the Punjab and Haryana High Court upholding its claim that no one was molested during the police action against veterinary students and teachers when they were agitating for jobs outside the PAU campus in September 2006.

The much publicised case had not only sullied the image of the Punjab police, but had also become a major election issue.

SAD-BJP leaders had made the incident part of their campaign against the Congress.

The incident had taken place when former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh was presiding over a function at the PAU.

The high court had taken suo motu notice of the pictures published in an English daily even as Capt Amarinder Singh defended police officials and did not order any inquiry into the matter.

As information about the verdict reached here, police personnel reacted happily, terming it as their victory.

The case had special significance for the image of field officers and the SSP, R.K. Jaiswal.

At the time, he was posted as the SSP, Jagraon, but was deployed as security in charge outside the campus following the agitation of teachers.

Officials directly concerned with the case and accused of molesting the girls said they would be able to face their children now.

Wishing not to be quoted, a police officer said they were not able to face their children when news reports and pictures were splashed all around, showing them as “perverts” who could molest women in full public view.

“Now, I would be able to hold my head high before my daughters”, said another officer who had spent sleepless nights following the molestation charge.

Police officials were venting ire at a newspaper that had carried out a campaign against them. The officials are contemplating to sue the newspaper for damages.



Grandpa champions for the girl child
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 11
With meager resources at his disposal, Harbans Singh Brahmpuri, a retired school teacher, has found a novel way to attract people’s attention. He makes people aware of the ill-affects of female foeticide by displaying slogans on his mobike.

“Earlier, I used to convey my message through songs and poems in organized manner only. Now, I can impress upon those who seem to be interested in my slogans,” Brahampuri added.

Terming gender bias as the reason behind overpopulation, Brahmpuri argued that the size of family increased due to preference for a male child.

“We have found that the family size remains small if the eldest child happens to be a male,” maintained Brahmpuri. A few elite families have large number of children with youngest one being a son.

Brahmpuri has been spreading awareness for the pat few years. He tries to disseminate his message through educative songs and poems written by him. Though he does not get regular financial help from any organization, a few officials, including heads of educational institutes, had been supporting him.

Recently, deputy commissioner Sumer Gurjar had given him aid worth Rs 4,000. “I utilized the money for installing public announcement system on my vehicle. Now, it is easy for me to address people,”Brahmpuri said.

He called upon people to discourage those singers who had been making fast buck by degrading women. “Rather anyone writing or presenting such songs should be booked,” he demanded.



City to get playgrounds
MC to identify sites
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
The MC would provide playgrounds in various parts of the city after identifying sites. This was announced by the commissioner, Vikas Partap, during a meeting of park management committees here today. He assigned the SE, Dharam Singh, the job to

conduct a survey of the open MC spaces and find out where a playground could be developed.

The commissioner made this announcement after the president of the Federation of Park Management Committees took up the matter with him.

The commissioner said the PMCs would come into effect from March 1 and they could start the work accordingly. Credentials of the new PMCs would be checked before signing an agreement with them.

Partap said the MC would neither allow the PMCs to organise functions in parks, nor would they allow them to prune trees without the prior permission of the MC.

He said it had come to his notice in the past that the PMCs were pruning trees during winter. This would not be allowed. Representatives of the PMCs aired their problems in front of the commissioner. Federation president Chana said there was no need to check the credentials of the existing PMCs as those were tried and tested.

He demanded that there should not be any need for fresh registration of old PMCs. He also said gardeners who were paid Rs 7.5 lakh by the MC per year should be assigned work in parks.

He said high density crops should be planted along main roads. The Leisure Valley-II should be developed immediately as Rs 45 lakh from public money had already been spent on it, he said.

He said he had written to the chief secretary not to allow the conversion of green belts of old courts into a concrete jungle. He also cricised the using of parks in the optimum land uses of the state government. 



Power Outages
Work hit as employees grope in dark
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Frequent power outages have been creating problems in abundance for employees of various departments located on the second floor of the mini secretariate. Employees of the education department and the district town planning department are the worst hit, as they are virtually working in the dark.

While the secretariate has a generator, it provides power only to offices located on the first floor.

Employees of the education department complain that due to the ongoing power crises, they have to work in pitch-dark.

“Though there has been some respite as the weather has remained pleasant for the past few days, it has almost been impossible for employees to work during power cuts, as it gets dark inside.

It is difficult to spot files,” said an employee of the education department.

The supply is suspended around 11 am and restored by lunch. Soon after, it is again cut till 4 pm.

Due to the cuts, employees are forced to do overtime to catch up with the pending work.

People who come from far-off places also suffer on this account, as their work remains undone and have to visit again.

Gurcharan Singh of Ayali Village said: “I have been coming here for past three days to get my work done but have been asked by the employees time and again to go back, as they cannot search files due to poor visibility.”

Deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar was not available for comments.



Civil hospital lacks infrastructure
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
On one hand the state government is “trying hard” to promote medical tourism whereas on the other it is not providing basic healthcare facilities to the common men. In the absence of proper neo-natal nursery, staff and infrastructure at the civil hospital here, it has become difficult for the authorities, too, to take care of the brought them in critical condition.

Savitri, was admitted to the civil hospital about three days ago. She delivered a baby girl, who was born prematurely born in the seventh month and later died at Christian Medical College and Hospital yesterday evening.

“Though it was a normal delivery but the baby was too weak to survive without incubator and proper trained staff. I was told to take the infant to the CMC or any another hospital. I work as a domestic help at one of the residents in the old city. I had refused to take my first child to a big hospital as I was unable to bear the expenses of her treatment. But thanks to my employers, who, without thinking twice took her for better care. It was destined and she could not survive”, said Krishan, Savitri’s husband, who had brought her from Nepal just for safe delivery.

But not everyone is as lucky as Krishan or Savitri. It is learnt that a few such children are born at the hospital on regular basis but in the absence of proper infrastructure, they had to be referred to other hospitals, where getting treatment was not everybody’s cup of tea and majority of them could not survive in the absence of proper care.

The hospital authorities said they refused to admit such critical patients at the hospital, they were often criticized. “But what else can we do? It is the policy-makers, who have to take care of everything. The doctors are to be there round the clock but we are running short of trained staff. The government and not we should be held responsible for the sorry state of affairs here”, a doctor complained.

Kuldeep Kaur Sahni, SMO, civil hospital, said there were no incubators in the hospital and such immature babies needed round-the-clock attention by trained nursing staff as chances of their survival were very rare. “So we refer them to other hospitals. We have regularly been demanding for staff and infrastructure, let us see what happens”, she added.



Fed up, industry decides on bandh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Failing to move the government into action despite daily protests against the rise in steel prices, the industry today decided to observe a bandh on February 14. Traders and industrial units in Jalandhar and Phagwara too have decided to observe bandh on that day. This decision was taken at a meeting of over 60 industry associations here this evening.

Despite protest rallies, dharnas and a relay fast for nine days, the Centre has been mum on the issue so far. Adding to the industry's woes, large steel producers have indicated that they may further increase prices.

"We are determined to get the issue resolved and will not rest till the government rolls back the hike. On February 14 we will observe a bandh and thereafter decided the next course of action," said Narinder Bhamra, president, Fasteners Manufacturers Association.

Steel consuming industries, including cycle and parts manufacturing units, and also hosiery industry have been protesting against the hike in steel rates by leading steel producers.

The increase by over Rs 7,000 per tonne in a short span has placed the units in jeopardy, particularly those in the small and medium categories.

The protest during the last nine days saw the industry adopt several tactics, from pulling rickshaws to selling papads.

As the protest entered the ninth day today, members of the Punjab Beopar Mandal and Small Scale Manufacturers Association went on a relay fast today. 



Four booked for stealing car
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 11
The Sudhar police has booked four persons under Sections 379 and 411of the IPC for allegedly stealing a car from Mullanpur yesterday. Two of the accused were arrested from Hissowal village today and the stolen vehicle was impounded.

Jaspreet Singh, Paramjit Singh Pamma, Narinder Singh and Sandeep Singh of Bank colony, Mullanpur, were booked for allegedly stealing the car from Mullanpur yesterday. Jaspreet Singh and Paramjit Singh were arrested today. According to Ludhiana (Rural) SSP, a police party intercepted the vehicle near a drain on the outskirts of Hissowal village today. 



At the Crossroads
The missing silver lining

The definition of truth has always been elusive. But reality is that the sombre colours of dishonesty and falsehood are taking a deeper hue. It is difficult to pinpoint the wrongdoers as they know the craft of turning tables on others when they find themselves in trouble!

Some months ago Mukesh Sharma met me at a magazine shop in the heart of the city. He touched my feet in reverence and stood up in all humility. I looked into his eyes, shining like stars. I was still in the process of putting some strain on my memory, when he said, "Sir, I was your student in the government college some years ago."

"You are the person who has been promoted as Tehsildar out of turn?"

"Yes sir, you must have read in the newspaper that I have been rewarded for my honesty."

"Perhaps I didn't tell you in the classroom that honesty is a reward in itself."

"But sir, as you know these are the ways of the world. I never looked up for this recognition but the circumstances so conspired that a more responsible duty has been assigned to me."

"This boy with you is your son?"

"Yes sir, he is studying in the eight class and is doing well."

The boy looked up at me and I noticed a glow on his face. He was evidently proud of his father who had earned fame for doing the right thing. I visualized that he would hold his head high while following in his father's footsteps. I patted both the father and the son as a gesture of my blessings.

Now, I feel disturbed that Mukesh is recoiling from the onslaught of the corrupt system. It is more or less a punishment to ask an individual in white clothes to remove all the soot by doing the work of a chimney sweeper. When the entire system is doddering, no single shoulder can act as a prop. The process should start at the base so that the structure has a sound foundation. The men at the helm of affairs are 'willing to strike but afraid to wound'. Moreover, the mentality of passing the buck to others at the slightest sign of resistance must change.

I expect that the person, who is still not in the proper frame of his mind to resume duty, will meet me by chance on the roadside as he did earlier. Then my advice to him will be - "Please do not buckle under the weight of the corrupt system but stand up to face the opposing forces with determination. Even the flickering flame of a tiny lamp can hold out a challenge to darkness".

Still such a slogan cannot assuage the disturbed minds of the right thinking people who form a silent majority. What has happened will not be easily swept under the carpet. Its repercussions are far-reaching and they tend to put the clock of progress backward.

The younger generation is more alert than the older one. It will not easily forget that their role model has been compelled to bite the dust. No doubt he will stand up as a victor but the harm has already been done. With the passage of time his work will again be on an even keel. But the boy, the son of an honest officer, must be feeling cheated at this turn of events.

— N.S. Tasneem



Electricity woes in govt offices

Even as the whole world is progressing at a rapid rate, government offices here seem to be still lost in the 18th century. A few days ago, I went to the passport office in the court complex to make an enquiry. I was asked to come a few hours later as there was no electricity and computers were thus not functioning. I again visited the complex the next day and was shocked to note that the condition was same as the day before. Finally I returned, sans the information. Generators and invertors are common these days and used everywhere. So why not in government offices where important information is sought by the public? I want to request the authorities concerned to take corrective measures at the earliest.

Iqbal Singh Ghuman



US scientist stresses sustainable  agriculture
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Dr Adrian Johnston from the International Plant and Nutrition Institute (IPNI), Georgia, today gave a lecture on “Balanced nutrition in Indian agriculture: First step to sustainable agriculture” on the PAU campus.

He said the population of the world was increasing and it had become alarming in Asian countries, including China and India. These countries would require more food in the coming years.

“Going through the production pattern, it is noticed that there is a gap between the prevailing yield and potential yield. To bridge the gap, there was a need to focus on soil health,” he stressed.

There was less recharge of nutrients as compared to its consumption. “The IPNI, by focussing on global development programmes, had made strategies to help achieve food, feed, fibre and fuel security,” he said, adding that the requirement of fertilisers in Asian countries would also increase to 30 per cent in the next 20 years.

For deciding fertilisers, soil testing was equally important. He said the food production goal could be achieved by changing cultural practices. Crop residue management was necessary in relation to nutrient status of soil.

Dr K.N.Tiwari, director, IPNI India, also shared views with the PAU faculty. Vice-Chancellor M.S. Kang released a book written by Dr M.S. Aulakh on integrated nutrient management for sustainable crop production.

The book has 12 chapters, contributed by 41 authors from 20 countries. Aulakh was also given IPNI Award of $5000 and a plaque on the occasion.



From Schools
Tiny tots celebrate colours of Basant
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Yellow was the colour of the day for children from Kiddies Paradise School, Kochar Market, who celebrated the advent of Basant with great enthusiasm and joy, here today. Students were all excited as their kites hit the sky.

Director of the school Randhir highlighted the importance of ‘basant’. Principal Radhika Mahajan appreciated the efforts of the staff and tiny-tots for putting up a gala show.

GMT Public

Basant Panchami was celebrated at GMT Public School on Friday. Students and teachers wore yellow dresses and a kite-flying competition was organised. Directors Kashmir Singh Thind and Jasbir Singh Thind, and principal Amarjit Dhaliwal wished the students on the occasion.

Bal Bharati

Bal Bharati celebrated Basant utsav and marked the advent of spring with full fervour at the school premises today. Principal Punam Dogra inaugurated the event and extended her warm greetings to all present on the occasion.

The main attractions on the occasion included a kite- flying competition, a baby show, nutritional tiffin recipe competition and numerous other games.

Participants were also given a chance to exhibit their culinary skills and a panel of experts judged the dishes. Winners were awarded for nutritional content and overall presentation of the dish. 



430 patients examined at medical camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Under its rural health outreach programme (RHOP), the Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) in association with Avon Cycles organised a medical camp at Mata Kaushalya Devi Pahwa Charitable Hospital, Hambran, which is one of the satellite centers run by CMCH.

The camp was held in the memory of late Sohan Lal Pahwa and was attended by 430 patients.

The camp had experts from medicine, gynaecology, pediatrics, ENT, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, surgery and skin department. The team included Dr Akashdeep Singh, Dr Amit, Dr Kailash Chander, Dr Jyotika Singh, Dr Annie Acharaya, Dr Reema, Dr Geetika Dheer, Dr Dilraj Kaur, Dr Navneet Kumar, Dr Sandeep Anand, Dr Vanadan P John, Dr Ashish Paul, Dr Rohit Lamba, Dr Parvez David Haque, Dr Viju Abraham and supporting staff of paramedics and technicians.

All the patients were checked, given follow-up advice and free medicines.

Other distinguished people present included Dr John Abraham, principal CMCH, and Onkar Singh Pahwa. Dr Abraham in his message stressed on the institution's commitment towards providing quality health services in the region. 



GSMCH to set up first rural health centre
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 11
The Gian Sagar Medical College and Hospital (GSMCH) is opening its first rural health centre at Gajju Khera village, near Rajpura, on Patiala-Chandigarh road.

Dr B.P. Gupta, head of community medicine department of GSMCH, said the health centre was being established with a view to catering to the healthcare needs of the people of Gajju Khera and Manakpur villages, which were located a short distance from each other.

Dr Gupta said the GSMCH department of community medicine had already undertaken a detailed survey of these two villages.

He said that all children under five years of age, adolescents, eligible couples and senior citizens had been identified so that comprehensive health care services could be made available to them.

He said other medical services like immunisation and contraceptive services would also be made available. Besides this, consultants from different departments of GSMCH would visit the centre to provide specialist services to the people of the area.



Bihla village win kabaddi match
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 11
Kabaddi team of Bihla village emerged victorious in 52 kg category on the opening day of the fourth Nirmal Singh Nimma Memorial Kabadi Cup Tournament at Kalakh village near here today. The host team was declared runner-up.

The tournament, being jointly organised by the Punjab Kabaddi Association and the NRI Kabaddi Federation, was inaugurated by Jagdish Singh Garcha, former minister, and Gurjit Singh Majri was the chief guest.

According to Surinder Singh Toni, Punjab Kabaddi Association president, in each category of kabaddi matches only 18 teams were allowed to play.

In 62 kg category, Kalakh and Kakrala teams had reached finals by defeating Jandali and Jaladiwal teams, respectively. In open, one village category Dhulkot defeated Rangian and Lohgarh village lost to Mohi boys. Khaira team defeated Sanghain in open kabaddi.

Boys of Jogi Majra defeated those of Kalakh in volleyball shooting.

Toni Kalakh claimed that as many as eight international kabaddi teams would fight for Nirmal Singh Nimma cup tomorrow. The winner team would be presented cash prize worth Rs 1.11 lakh whereas the runner-up will get Rs 81,000. 



Sant Baba Nasket Singh Memorial Tourney
Pakhowal defeat Mehama Singh Wala 2-0
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 11
Football teams of Pakhowal, Dangon and Narangwal villages reached semifinals after defeating their rivals on the penultimate day of the fourth Sant Baba Nasket Singh memorial tournament being organized by the village welfare society and the gram panchayat of Mehma Singh Wala today. 

Charanjit Singh Grewal from the USA inaugurated today’s session and Satbir Singh Grewal was the chief guest.

Addressing the gathering, Chanarnjit and Satbir urged residents of the area and sports enthusiasts to make optimum use of funds being provided by the NRIs for promoting sports. “Instead of wasting money on non-productive things and settling scores with political rivals the locals should honour the spirit behind the contribution. While spending money they should realize that the amount NRIs were contributing was hard earned one and they (NRIs) have other social and personal commitments as well,” they added.

Pakhowal team defeated Mehama Singh Wala by 2-0 today. Ghudani lost to Dangon in tiebreaker and Narangwal team won Latala in penalty corners by 5-4. Sarabha was leading Mehma Singh Wala by 1-0 at the close of day. 



Bachan Singh academy wins
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 11
Fine batting by Nirmal Sharma (53), Ram (26) and Arjun (25 not out) steered Sarpanch Bachan Singh Academy to register an easy 103 run victory over the Grewal Cricket Club in the first match of the Friendship Cricket Cup Tournament being played at Balloke, near Haibowal Khurd, here yesterday.

Batting first, Sarpanch Bachan Singh Academy scored 189 runs for the loss of seven wickets in the allotted 25 overs. Nirmal top the chart by hitting 53 runs, followed by Ram (26), Arjun (25), Gopi (23) and Varinder Patwari (21).

For the Grewal club, Sanjay sent down five overs and took three wickets for 33 runs while Rahul chipped in with two victims for 32 runs in four overs.

Chasing the target, the Grewal club was shot out for 86 runs in 15 overs. Only two batsmen could reach the double figure. Bharat Bhushan made 16 while Rahul contributed 14 runs.

For Sarpanch Bachan Singh Academy, Aman Toor was the most successful bowler who captured three wickets for 17 runs. Satinder Bhullar, Baijnath and Luv Devedi grabbed two wickets each.



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