L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Friend held for killing SAD leader’s son
Mahesh Sharma

Machhiwara, March 23
The police has arrested Baljit Singh of Rahimabad for allegedly murdering his friend Ashwani Kumar (40), son of an SAD leader of the same village, five days ago. The body was found in the fields on the outskirts of the village.

Investigations revealed that the victim and the accused were close friends and were allegedly involved in the trafficking of drugs. Recently, they had separated their dealings. When Baljit came to know that Ashwani had earned substantial profits, he started envying him and allegedly decided to kill him. He also wanted Rs 50,000 that Ashwani had withdrawn from the Pangrayian branch of a bank.

On the fateful day, Baljit called Ashwani on the pretext of discussing the prospects of expanding their business and took him to the fields on the outskirts of the village, where he allegedly attacked him with a weapon hidden in the fields.

“I hit him on the head from behind with a weapon that I had hid in the fields earlier,” he confessed before the police.

The police has recovered the weapon used in the crime and Ashwani’s mobile phone from the possession of the accused.




Holi brought out the worst in some
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
Holi was celebrated with enthusiasm by young and old alike, but some unsavoury incidents took place in the city yesterday.

As many as 111 medico-legal reports were prepared in the civil hospital pertaining to those injured in brawls.

A majority of victims were migrants and were involved in street brawls. A group of youths wielding swords and knives forcibly closed shops in Akal Garh market last morning. They wanted the shops to be closed due to Hola-Mohalla. They beat up shopkeepers who resisted.

At Phulanwal village, some youths attacked Sant Peepal Dass dera after their request to play Holi with the dera head was rejected. The dera head along with three other followers was injured.

Several incidents took place along the Dhurri railway line where different groups of youths clashed with each other over the issue of spraying colours at some girls.

Reports of beating and clashes kept pouring in from migrant colonies late at night also. After the day-long festivities and drinking sessions, many people had a clash with their neighbours or rivals.

The traffic police was on its tenterhooks throughout the day and challaned about 300 violators. Most of these were motorcyclists.

The police rounded up over 100 persons. A majority were let off in the evening or this morning after the influence of liquor subsided and warring groups reached a compromise.

The police also punished youths creating nuisance by asking them to do sit-ups.

A police force had to be rushed to Akal Garh market in Chaurra bazar, Sherpur, Basti Jodhewal, Tajpur road, Phulawal, Tibba road, Giaspura and other colonies of migrant labourers. Those rounded up were either high on liquor or bhang. 



In Basta
Bank robbers still at large
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
Six months after two youths looted Rs 7 lakh at gunpoint from the Oriental Bank of Commerce, the police is still clueless.

Though a special squad of the CIA was also reportedly working on one of the biggest bank heists in recent times, it has not even been able to identify the robbers.

Sources reveal that the investigating team is hoping the youths would be caught committing some other crime.

The SHO of Division No 8, Ravinder Singh, said no fingerprints had been found. “The only clue we have is that they were speaking Punjabi,” he said.

The foot prints could also not be picked up with bank staff and others running here and there after the robbers left. It was on September 6, 2007, that two youths brandishing guns and with their faces covered, stormed into the bank.

According to eyewitnesses, the robbers pointed a gun at a woman clerk and threatened to shoot her if anyone resisted. One of them put the money inside a polythene bag and disappeared. All this took place in only 10 minutes.

The SSP had said the bank was without a security guard for more than a year; the cashier’s door was not bolted as required by law; and the burglars’ alarm was not functioning.

The robbery prompted the police to check the security arrangements of other banks and meetings took place between the police and bank managements to prevent such crime. Most of the decisions that were taken have not been implemented so far.



Fire in forest area near PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
The forest area in front of Punjab Agricultural University caught fire in the afternoon.

Thick smoke emanated from bushes and wild grass as two cops tried to douse the fire. Within a few minutes, the entire 500-metre stretch of the area was under fire. The police informed the fire department and a fire engine reached the place when the fire had already been controlled.

Fire fighters said the fire was either caused due to a cigarette stub or because somebody burnt garbage. As the grass was dry, it spread to the entire stretch.

Several saplings were destroyed.



World TB Day
PPSC to recruit 100 doctors daily, says Chawla
Tribune Reporters

Mandi Gobindgarh, March 23
The state government has directed the Punjab Public Service Commission to recruit 100 doctors daily to fill the posts lying vacant in various hospitals in the Malwa belt. This was stated by health and family welfare minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla at a rally organised by the Punjab health society at Dalip Nagar today.

She emphasised on the need for launching a campaign against corruption and adulteration and media to play a meaning role in this regard.

Presently 36,175 patients were being treated. Nearly 85 per cent of the patients get cured which is at par with the national level. A large number of DOT centres have been opened and dot providers trained for carrying out the job in all districts and villages. There are 13,788 Dot centres in the state. Mission director T.R. Sarangal, civil surgeon Dr S.M.S Sidhu and deputy commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ashok Kumar Singla were among those who attended the rally. Magician Ved Parkash entertained the audience with his tricks based on prevention is better than cure. A play “Hashye ton murrdi zindgi” was staged by district TB centre, Mansa. The minister also distributed prizes among two district societies like Mansa and Faridkot.

Ludhiana Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) will celebrate World TB Day tomorrow with a focus on implementing revised national tuberculosis control programme (RNTCP) and DOTS for treating this infectious disease.

Every year World TB Day is celebrated on March 24 to make people aware of this deadly disease. Today, a few million people, mostly in the third world countries, are dying of this disease. It was on this day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch discovered the reason behind tuberculosis, the TB bacillus.

According to Dr Rajinder Gulati, TB remains the major killer, affecting adults living in the developing countries. TB has the dubious distinction of being the most-persistent scourge of the mankind. India, Dr Gulati stated, accounts for nearly one-third of the global burden of tuberculosis and two-thirds of the total cases in South-East Asia.

Nearly 40 per cent Indians is infected with the TB bacillus. Each year, 1.8 million new cases are surfacing, of which 0.8 million are highly infectious new smear-positive pulmonary TB cases.

This year world TB day is being celebrated with the slogan ‘I am Stopping TB’. The event will mark the commencement of a two-year campaign that belongs to people everywhere who are doing their part to stop TB. 



Night cricket a big hit
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
They do not use a proper score sheet and don’t have time to play during the day. They do not even have proper equipment and use bricks as wickets. Yet, the passion for the game exists.

They are the spirited members of Terminator Club which organised the first Jagpreet and Babbu Memorial Night Cricket Tournament.

As many as 12 teams played in the tournament, which was attended by Harish Rai Dhanda, chief parliamentary secretary, and some Akali leaders. The tournament was in memory of their friends who died in an accident near Samrala last year.

“We do not want to mourn the death of our friends. We want to remember them in a good manner. They used to celebrate every moment of their life. With the same spirit, we organised the night tournament in the fond memory of our friends,” says Prince, one of the organisers of the tournament.

Most participants belonged to different walks of life and the tournament helped them showcase their latent talent.

Sunny, a cloth merchant, said, “It was a special Saturday as I played with my heart. I do not get enough time to play cricket during week days and Sunday is spent with the family so, the tournament came as a pleasant surprise.”



City salutes martyrs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
Tributes were paid to martyrs Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on the occasion of their martyrdom day today.

Various functions were organised in the city to remember the patriots who kissed the gallows for the country.

Minister of jails and tourism Hira Singh Gabria garlanded statues of the trio at Jagraon Bridge in the morning. Mayor Hakam Singh Gyaspura, senior deputy mayor Parveen Bansal and MLA Harish Bedi were also present.

While addressing the gathering, Gabria said the trio had waged a war against the British and it was because of the collective effort of the martyrs that the country had attained freedom. The Students Organisation of India (SOI) held a car rally through the city. They reached Jagraon Bridge to pay their tributes to the martyrs.

Gurpreet Singh of the SOI said the martyrs were the guiding light for the youth in the country. But the youth of state was falling prey to drugs. He added that under the banner of Healthy Youth, Healthy Punjab, they were ready to rehabilitate the addicts free of cost provided they were willing to say no to narcotics.

The Desh Bhagat Yadgari Society observed the day at Circuit House here. President of the society Jagdev Singh Jassowal said martyrs had conveyed a message of love and harmony to their countrymen. It was the duty of the latter to keep up their words.

Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary Parminder Mehta, along with his associates, garlanded the statues of the martyrs.

The Active Anti Corruption Group organised a function and chief parliamentary secretary Harish Rai Dhanda was the chief guest. Dhanda said the biggest enemy of the country was corruption and if this menace was nailed, the country would become a heaven.

The Rashtriya Vikas Mach and All-India Human Rights Committee also paid tributes to the martyrs.

Shaheed Sukhdev Memorial Trust observed the day by organising a havan. The ceremony was attended by people from different walks of life. District Congress Committee chief Jagmohan Sharma and MLA Harish Bedi also attended the function.



Sutlej Club Poll
Bhambi elected vice-president
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
Rajesh Bhambi has been elected vice-president of the Sutlej Club unopposed as his lone opponent Gaurav Chaudhry withdrew his nomination on the last day for withdrawal on March 21. The elections of the club are scheduled for March 30. Neeraj Malhotra has also been elected unopposed as bar secretary. All other contestants in fray are trying their best to get elected to the rest of the posts.

Meanwhile, Sunil Jain "Sheela", contender for the post of general secretary, withdrew his nominations in favour of another contender Yogesh Bansal. He told The Tribune, "I have withdrawn in favour of Bansal. I personally feel Bansal will be able to come up to the members' expectations, if elected."

With Sheela's withdrawal, the contest for the post of general secretary has become a triangular fight between Yogesh Bansal, Sanjiv Dhanda and Varinder Goel. The supporters of all three candidates claim their respective contestants to be "in strong position".

The majority of the club members are upset over the fact that despite the enforcement of code of conduct, parties are being organised on the club lawns by the candidates and their supporters. Leading industrialists, bureaucrats, medical practitioners etc are openly canvassing for their favourite candidates. The campaigning is not limited to parties alone, the candidates are seeking votes of members through telephones and other acquaintances as well.

One of the senior members of the club, enjoying a party on the club lawns on March 21, said "supporters" of various candidates spent huge amount on parties everyday. "Who bothers about code of conduct here? This will go till the day of elections. Our evenings are generally spent in the club. Nobody wants to decline the free lunches after all," he said adding that members were smart enough to decide whom to vote. "At the same time, we do not want to miss the sumptuous dinners hosted by various members," he said.

Meanwhile, for the post of executive members, Amita Satija, Arvind Nayar, Rajesh Kakkar, Dr Sumita Gulhati, Dr Bhagwanti and Tripta Dalmia are in the fray. Three are to be elected out of which one executive has to be a female member.



Marriages of 7 poor girls solemnised
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 23
The JCI, Jagraon, today solemnised marriages of seven poor girls today. About 500 persons attended the function.

People donated household articles to be given as gifts to the couples. Bhupinder Singh, DSP (city), appealed to the people to undertake more such work. He also gave shagun to the couples.

The president of the JCI, Sanjay Bansal, said gifts to each couple amounted to Rs 30,000, apart from gifts given directly by donors.



Easter celebrations
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
Christians all over the city celebrated Easter Sunday to commemorate Resurrection of Lord Jesus three days after His crucification on Good Friday.

Prayer services were held in all churches and a special mass was said. Colourful easter eggs were exchanged.

People in their Sunday best attended the prayers. A function was organised at Kalvary Church. Various prominent personalities attended the function.



A novel way to draw youngsters
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
These days Rakh Bagh-morning walkers’ park-is buzzing with activity. A number of institutes are adopting novel ways to catch attention of the youngsters who have just got free from exams.

A Delhi-based e-education company-Ebizel-is creating computer awareness by means of ‘nukkar natak’. There are 200 associates working for the company to promote the cause of computer literacy among the deprived people.

Nakul, a 12-year associate of Ebizel, is the lead orator in these street plays. "We are conducting confidence building classes here as speaking amongst the crowd is always difficult. Such oration eliminates the fear when we perform on stage," said Nakul.

"It is sad that despite being credited as the industrial capital of the state, most of the people here are computer illiterate. It is our mission to spread computer awareness among people so that more jobs can be generated," said Mohit Khurana.

Sachin, another associate of the company, said, "Ebizel conducts free computer education camps for those children who can not even think of computer education. Our motto is to educate people of all ages and help them to reap benefits from the vast powerhouse of information-the internet."

He further said, "The purpose is to enable them to build their own website and earn through the internet." 



Root out drug addiction

The use of alcohol, tobacco, opium, heroin, poppy husk, smack etc has increased substantially in the youngsters. Recently, a survey revealed that Punjab was on the top as regards the intake of opium, heroin etc. Sportsmen are also falling prey to drugs.

These narcotics are being smuggled into India from neighbouring countries. Border states of Punjab are totally under the grip of drug addiction.

The use of drugs affects health of the addicts besides creating trouble in their family life.

In my opinion, the local administration, NGOs, medical personnel and political leaders should make serious efforts to find out healthy solutions to root out the evil.

Jai Gopal Kusla, Haibowal Kalan

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.



Aphid strikes wheat, mustard crops
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 23
Farmers cultivating wheat and mustard crops are under serious threat as a sap-sucking aphid “tela” has attacked a large area under cultivation. The farmers fear that they might suffer losses due to fall in yield and quality degradation.

Besides suffering losses due to poor income the farmers have to part with substantial amounts for purchasing pesticides.

Observations by The Tribune revealed that the white-backed aphid, “tela” was voraciously feeding on the wheat and mustard plants thereby destroying these in a large number. Farmers of Chhappar, Latala, Jartoli, Rachhin, Barundi, Andaloo, Halwara, Barundi, Rauni, Kalakh, Ghungrana, Dhulkot, Khera and Pohir villages were the worst affected.

Lakhbir Singh, a farmer of Jartoli village, said he had spent huge amount on purchasing pesticides. Last year also he had suffered losses due to degradation in quality and fall in yield.

Bahadur Singh and Kamal Preet Singh of Latala village apprehended that losses due to attack of “tela” aphid would be around 20 per cent. “Though we were expecting yield of 20 quintals per acre initially, the damage due to aphid attack will reduce it to 15 to 16 quintal per acre,” farmers said.

Jasbir Singh of Chhapar village, a botanist, said severe winter preceding sowing season and low relative humidity during growing period resulted in pests spreading over the affected areas. As the early-sown varieties had started fruiting before attack of the aphid damage caused to them was less severe. 



650 examined at eye camp
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 23
Terming ignorance about eye care and poverty to be major causes of visionary defects and blindness, Dr Dharamvir, an ophthalmic surgeon, called upon office-bearers of social organisations to associate with the Eye Bank Society to create awareness among the masses.

Dr Dharamvir was talking to The Tribune after the concluding function of the 31st free eye camp organised by the Mahavir Dal Shri Sanatan Dharam Parcharak Sabha, Punjab, on Saturday. Swami Rameshwar Giri inaugurated the camp while Rajnish Oswal, CMD, Shryans Group of Industries, and Dr K.C. Goyal, district health officer, Sangrur, were guests of honour. More than 650 patients were examined during the camp and 140 intraocular lenses were implanted.

Dr Dharamvir stated, “While some of the patients could not afford a nutritious diet and proper check-up by physicians, others were not aware of the importance of eye healthcare.” The majority of surgeries could have been avoided, had the patients consulted doctors earlier, he added. 



Seminar on benefits of endoscopic ultrasound 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 23
Associate professor, department of gastroenterology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Dr Gurpal Singh Sandha, delivered a lecture on “endoscopic ultrasound” at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) today.

He discussed about the latest techniques in diagnostic endoscopy namely endoscopic ultrasound which combines the advantages of endoscopy and conventional ultrasound.

Being a relatively new diagnostic tool,
the uses for endoscopic ultrasound were still being developed and, presently, it was being utilised in areas like staging of cancers of the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, rectum, staging of lung cancer, evaluating chronic pancreatitis and other masses or cysts of the pancreas and studying bile duct abnormalities, including stones in the bile duct or gallbladder, or tumors in the bile duct, gall bladder or liver.

He also laid stress on the advantage of this technique in diseases pertaining to the esophagus, stomach, duodenum and hepato-pancreatico-biliary diseases, besides its role in mediastinal disease.

Rural medicare

Under its rural health outreach programme (RHOP), the Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH), along with the Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, organised a medical and dental camp for people residing at Rauni village in the district yesterday.

Dr Pratish George from the department of medicine along with other specialists examined 657 patients and distributed medicines free of cost at the camp.

President of the Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, Rauni, Ram Singh, was the chief guest.



Iqbal Singh tae kwon do assn chief
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 23
MLA from Dhuri Iqbal Singh Jhundan and Jaspal Singh have been elected president and secretary-general, respectively, of the Punjab Tae kwon do Association during the general body meeting in Ludhiana.

Punjab minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa has been appointed chief patron of the association. Other office-bearers are: Senior vice-presidents - Balkar Singh Brar, Aman Kumar Kumra and Bharat Bhushan Ashu; vice-presidents - Baldev Singh Bhatti, Swaranjeet Singh and Ashwani Kumar; joint secretaries - Preet Tarlochan Singh and Dr Iqbal Singh; executive committee members - Kamal Kishore Kanojia, Ramesh Sehgal and Rajeev Arora; legal adviser - Navita Sharma and press secretary - Pardeep Kumar Singh.



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