L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rain Pain: GT Road stretch goes
Kanchan Vasdev

Tribune News Service

A car that broke down at Mata Rani chowk in Ludhiana on Friday.
A car that broke down at Mata Rani chowk in Ludhiana on Friday. Photo by Inderjeet Verma

The road near Sherpur chowk caves in after it got washed away into a basement under construction.
A tree that was uprooted in mini secretariat in Ludhiana on Friday.
A tree that was uprooted in mini secretariat in Ludhiana on Friday.
Employees of DTO work in a watelogged office in the basement of DC office.
Employees of DTO work in a watelogged office in the basement of DC office. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, June 27
Heavy and constant downpour for five hours in the morning deluged the city, damaged roads and vehicles, uprooted trees and completely disarrayed the normal life.

A part of the GT road washed away near Ghanta Ghar chowk in front of Kartar Lok building. A patch of 10x15 feet was washed away near the staircase of basement of building.

Fortunately, not many people were commuting on the road at that time. The road was not waterlogged while the other lane was submerged. Otherwise, any untoward incident could have taken place as someone could have fallen into the hole.

It raised concerns over the safety of the elevated road constructed with hundreds of crores of rupees. The damaged road was just 10-12 feet away from a pillar of elevated road. The rain stopped at 10 a.m. and further damage was controlled.

The MC started repairing the road within a few hours. XEN Parmod Chadda was handling the repair. He said fears of shopkeepers were unfounded. There was no threat to the elevated road. The road washed away due to a fault in the basement of building that was constructed right next to the road, he said.

A tree was uprooted in mini secretariat complex in front of the DTO office after the rain stopped. The tree fell on a parked car when there was nobody in it. The tree was removed and road cleared within a few minutes.

Due to flooding of main roads like old GT road, Rani Jhansi road and Damoria Bridge road, many vehicles broke down in the middle and massive traffic jams were experienced. It took more than two hours for the roads to get cleared and traffic cops preferred to stay away from the scene.

Some houses with low-plinth level were also flooded and residents had a difficult time in manually draining the water.

Many residents had to wade through knee-deep water at several places as it took quite some time for water to drain out.

All low-lying areas were inundated. Water entered in several houses and residents had to drain it manually. Sub-registrar's office on Ferozepore road was waterlogged. So was the basement of deputy commissioner's office.

Seepage witnessed in several buildings and residents had to brave the rain to carry out emergency repairs. Roads in Haibowal were submerged. There was knee-deep water on old GT road, Mata Rani Chowk, Damoria bridge and low-lying areas. The road in front of DC's office was also inundated.

Many vehicles broke down under the Damoria bridge and Samrala chowk. The residents were delayed in reaching their destinations. Many children could not attend their schools.

Sherpur road caves in

Yet another road near Sherpur chowk caved in due to waterlogging in an underconstruction basement of Saini Motors. Half of the road was washed away. Shopkeepers in the vicinity said cave-in was threatening their buildings. The sewerage system was also washed away along with the road. Arun Goyal, a shopkeeper, said if something was not done about the basement, their shops would be damaged.

94.6 mm rain

According to Agrometeorological experts of Punjab Agricultural University, the city experienced 94.6 mm of rain today. They said the city was likely to experience more heavy rain. They said in June only 266 mm of rain was experienced which was quite heavy compared to the previous years and normal weather trends. Rain was very good for paddy farmers and would reduce pressure on underground water.


Squall knocks out power supply
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 27
The heavy downpour caused major disruption in power supply both in urban and rural areas. Due to storm that accompanied the incessant rain, several transformers in Rahon Road, Sunder Nagar and Basti Jodhewal in the city and villages around Gausgarh were reported to have fallen while main transmission and feeder lines, as also electric poles, were damaged causing failure of power for several hours.

Superintending engineer of the PSEB, City East Circle, H.S. Randhawa, told The Tribune that the power supply on some 35 to 40 feeders in the city was disturbed due to snag in the transformers.

"We had deployed the staff to restore power supply as soon as the rain stopped and, except for the areas where transformers or electric poles have fallen down, which takes time to reinstall, power supply in the city areas is restored since afternoon," he maintained.

Information gathered by The Tribune revealed that residents in many city localities, which were inundated, remained without power for several hours in the morning. Reports of power failure were received from several areas in Model Town, Civil Lines, Sarabha Nagar, Haibowal, Old G.T. Road, Millerganj and many other localities on the periphery of the city.

The rains brought some relief from power cuts.

While power cut of around three hours was imposed in different parts of the city in a staggered manner yesterday, the PSEB imposed a single cut of half an hour in the morning today. It was attributed to the widespread rain which had led to reduction in demand for power from the agricultural sector.



Water in Diesel
Protest after vehicles break down
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
A number of drivers of vehicles belonging to the municipal corporation today protested when their vehicles broke down after getting water-mixed diesel from a filling station in Haibowal.

Led by Balbir Moong, the drivers parked their vehicles outside the petrol station, staged a protest and started raising slogans against pump owner.

They got fuel filled in plastic bottles and showed water mixed with diesel. They said 10-12 vehicles were parked outside and and 5-6 were stranded on different road.

Moong said they would take up the matter with city mayor Hakam Singh Gyaspura and would ask him to buy diesel from some other station.

Raju Sharma, owner of filling station, said the problem was not with their fuel but with the MC vehicles. Fuel tanks of 3-4 vehicles did not have lids and rain water entered into these.

He said after the reports, an official from the Indian Oil Corporation also visited their station and found everything alright.

Sharma alleged that the drivers of Zone A did not want to take fuel from their pump and wanted it to be shifted to another one in the city where they had been taking it in past.



Cops challan DPS buses
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
As many as seven school buses of Delhi Public School (DPS) were challaned, leaving hundred of students stranded on a rainy day here today.

While, the police released three buses after a hefty challan, the rest of the four buses were still impounded by the Sarabha Nagar police till the filing of the report.

The school authorities have alleged that the police has deliberately targeted the school as certain admission have been denied by the school authorities.

Police officials targeted our buses as admission to a close relative of a high-rank police official has been denied by the school. — Principal

Seema Malik, principal, Delhi Public School, expressing anger at the challaning of the school buses, told Ludhiana Tribune, "Police officials targeted our buses as certain admissions to a close relative of a high-rank police official have been denied by the school. The police stopped seven buses of our school soon after they left from school at 6:30 in the morning."

She further said, "When the school authorities asked the reason for stopping the buses as the school is following all rules”, the officials said, “There are 101 ways to challan a vehicle”.

While hundreds of parents and students had a harrowing time arranging transportation for the school on a rainy day, much to their disappointment when they reached the school, they were told that the school had been closed for a day.

"We kept waiting for school bus but after due wait I asked my father to drop me. When I reached school I was told that the school was closed today," said a student.

Davinder Kumar, SHO, Sarabha Nagar police station, was unaware of any such development.

He said, "I am in Chandigarh for an official work. I do not know any thing about the buses being impounded by the police."

Hundreds of parents and students of two prominent convents of the city had suffered transportation hassles with school van operators refused to carry students in protest against the challaning of their vehicles by the district transport department two months ago.

Sanjiv Kalra, IG, Jalandhar range, said: "I had not ordered anyone to impound the buses of the DPS. After coming to know the matter, I have ordered the DIG, Ludhiana, Iswar Singh, to release the buses as soon as possible."



NRI Murder
Let UK cops handle case, parents to CM
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Khanna, June 27
With no faith in the Punjab Police and investigations moving at a snail's pace, the parents of deceased NRI woman have approached Chief Minister, Punjab, to hand over the case to the British police.

NRI Manjit Kaur was allegedly murdered by her husband Jagpaljit and his family members when the couple had come to meet Jagpal's parents in Bija village here on Diwali last year.

Manjit's friends and relatives in London are pursuing her case with the British police.

The British police keeping an eye on the case had already asked the Punjab Police to give them the investigation report. The British police are interested in the case as the deceased NRI was a permanent UK citizen.

A special investigation team (SIT) was formed to investigate the matter. But it was yet to find evidence against the accused. The team is now hoping that a narco-analysis test of the accused husband may provide some substance against him.

Doubting the delayed police investigation, Manjit's parents have approached the CM seeking fair probe.

NRI Manjit Kaur married Jagpaljit in 2001. Both were working at Heathrow Airport, London. It was Manjit's second marriage and she had a 13-year-old daughter from the first marriage.

After six years of marriage, when Jagpal became permanent resident of the UK, his family allegedly started harassing Manjit for dowry. She had already transferred half of her property, worth millions, in name of Jagpaljit.

She was found dead under mysterious circumstances on November 9, 2007, when the couple had come to meet Jagpal's parents in Bija village here on Diwali.

While Jagpal and his family claimed that Manjit had met with an accident, her relatives claimed that there were no accidental injuries on her bodies and that she had been killed. "Jagpaljit told us not to reveal about the incident to any other relative," said Sukhdev Singh, Manjit's father.

Sukhdev Singh said that a few days before her death, she shared her fear with her friend at London that her husband may harm her over property dispute.

He added that the Khanna police registered a murder case against Jagpaljit and his parents. "Cops were cooperative during the preliminary investigations. The police had also assured British police officials of early report, but nothing concrete has been done so far," he said. He alleged that all of a sudden Punjab police officials have stopped co-operating.

"British police officer Ray Omelasz, investigating the matter, expressed dissatisfaction over course of investigations. We have brought this matter into the notice of higher officials in London, who assured us to look into the matter", said Gurdev Kaur, Manjit's aunt in London. Despite circumstantial evidences provided to the Punjab Police, nothing has been done to arrest Jagpaljit, she alleged.

DIG Ishwar Singh said an inquiry report had been submitted by two SP-level officers, which recommends narco analysis of the accused.



Bank seals defaulters' property
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
Officials of the Union Bank of India, Guru Tegh Bahadur Nagar, Hospital branch, took possession of properties of three defaulters here today. The borrowers had defaulted in repayment of dues to the tune of over Rs 19 lakh.

Officials said property mortgaged in the name of Parminder Kumar Sharma in Shimlapuri, Tarvinder Singh on Baba Gurmukh Singh Road in Shimlapuri and R.N. Industries through its proprietor Vivek Chopra on Daba Road were sealed.

The amount due towards the borrowers was Rs 4.10 lakh, Rs 4.04 lakh and Rs 10.88 lakh.

The bank served a 60-day notice to the borrowers in November, 2002, but they failed to come forward. Officials, hence, took physical possession of their properties. The premises were locked and sealed today.

The process was carried with the assistance of GATS Financial Reconstructors.



Doraha voters to boycott council poll
Our Correspondent

Doraha, June 27
Disillusioned by the disappointing role of the earlier council, a majority of the voters of Doraha town and village have resolved not to exercise their right to franchise at all.

Voters of some particular wards and especially the residents of Doraha village allege that due to the “non-involvement” and “highly callous” attitude of the councillors all these years, their miseries have multiplied manifold. Leave aside providing sewerage or water or lighting facility in the area, the council has not bothered to repair the damaged roads or fill up the low-lying areas. Even the single main market road of the town is in pitiable condition. The potholes can prove dangerous, resulting in minor or, in some cases, major injuries to commuters.

The voters further complain that the sanitary conditions especially at Doraha village, Kaushal Street, Gobindpura mohalla and the street adjoining the Sher-e-Punjab Dhaba are no better. Even a slight downpour is enough to provide an easy passage for the sewer water to fill the streets and enter houses.

Some of the voters said, ”It is really amazing that these people who showed complete apathy towards us all these years can suddenly muster the courage to come up to our doors and demand votes. Why should we waste our precious votes for them when they are going to spend their period of empowerment in hybernation?” they question.

With frustration writ large on their faces, the residents of Gobindpura Mohalla allege, “The actual hell is nothing as compared to the one we are living, nay surviving in. Foul smelling water, poor hygienic conditions, sewer water in and out living places, heaps of garbage embellished with mosquitoes and flies are our eternal companions. Every time we are the heralders of typhoid, jaundice, gastroenteritis, diarhoia etc but the administration had entirely failed in its mission to provide even momentary relief to us”, they complain.

A majority of the inhabitants of Doraha village, too, are in a defying mood and have refused to vote. “It has been months together now; not even a single official has ever visited the place. Can elections hold any significance for us when our own survival is at risk? Moreover, why should we bother to support one or reject another, when all are chips of the same block”, the villagers said.



Panth riddled with factionalism
K S Chawla

Ludhiana, June 27
Sikhs all over the world are celebrating the year of anointment of Adi Granth as Guru Granth Sahib by Guru Gobind Singh at Sachkhand Hazoor Sahib, Nanded.

It is unfortunate that during this very year a serious crisis has enveloped the Sikh clergy. The five jathedars of the five Takhts have fallen out with one another.

Jathedar Iqbal Singh of Patna Sahib and Jathedar Kulwant Singh of Hazoor Sahib have chosen to defy the diktats issued by the jathedar of Akal Takht from Amritsar.They have gone to the extent of challenging his credentials.

The crisis has worsened with Darshan Singh Ragi, a former jathedar of Akal Takht , declaring the Dasam Granth was not written by Guru Gobind Singh and could not be equated with Guru Granth Sahib.

He has opposed the installation of Dasam Granth at Patna Sahib and Hazoor Sahib along with Guru Granth Sahib. Darshan Singh says the Sikhs recognise Guru Granth Sahib alone as the “eternal guru.”

In retaliation, Giani Iqbal Singh chose to excommunicate Darshan Singh.This has evoked a strong reaction from the Sikhs with people levelling serious charges against him. Hazoor Sahib jathedar Giani Kulwant Singh alone has come to the support of Darshan Singh.

Giani Iqbal Singh has threatened to summon and excommunicate Avtar Singh Makkar, president of the SGPC.The latter maintains that the entire community is celebrating Gurta Diwas and the aberrant actions of Giani Iqbal Singh could not have been at a worse time. The SGPC president maintains that Akal Takht is the supreme Takht and the Dasam Granth should not be placed alongside Guru Granth Sahib.

Baba Sarbjot Singh Bedi, chairman, Gurmat Sidhant Pracharak Sant Samaj, feels there should be unanimity among the jathedars of all Takhts as no “Gurmata’ can be acceptable without it.

He too says the Akal Takht is supreme and Dasam Granth cannot be equated with Guru Granth Sahib, which is “the eternal Guru.”

Prof Prithipal Singh Kapoor, former pro-VC, Guru Nanak Dev University, and a renowned Sikh scholar, says there is no priestly class among the Sikhs.

The jathedars as such are not representatives of the community. They are installed by elected representatives for service at historical shrines where they are required to perform duties strictly in conformity with Sikh traditions.

The management of Takht Patna Sahib has many a time changed hands. Mohinder Singh Romana, member of the SGPC owing allegiance to the Akali Dal, is chairman. Earlier, this board was headed by SS Ahluwalia, BJP member of the Rajya Sabha, and Giani Iqbal Singh is the appointee of Ahluwalia.

The management of Hazoor Sahib, similarly, is riddled with factionalism. Local Sikh groups often fight among themselves and government interference is frequent. It was only during the period of Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra that these groups lived in harmony and several reforms were introduced.



40 species of trees face extinction
Shivani Bhakoo

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
An alumnus of Punjab Agricultural University Balwinder Singh Lakhewali has identified about 40 species of trees in Punjab, which are on the verge of extinction. "Sincere efforts from all fronts are needed to save these precious species", he said. Some of these rare medicinal species include “arjun, bael, baheda, kadam, kareer, lasuda, roheda, van, tej-patar, imli, karaunda, reetha, mahua, goolar etc”.

Dr Avtar Singh, head of the forestry department at PAU, said several species of trees were perishing in Punjab. "Climate change, improper germination of seeds, traffic congestion, etc were some of the major reasons which contribute towards their disappearance", he said.

Giving various reasons for several varieties of trees going extinct, Balwinder said many factors contributed towards the loss. "Devotees put oil, milk and other foodgrains in the roots causing damage to the trees."

To protect these trees, Balwinder has started working towards developing a heritage park where all rare species of trees will be planted. "Two acres of land has been provided by Sewa Singh, a priest at Gurudwara Khadur Sahib, near Raiya (Amritsar), for this noble cause. I will be providing seeds/ saplings free of cost for this heritage park. For accomplishing this task, we will take help from the Dehradun Forest Research Institute as well", he added.

Appealing others to join in this challenging task, Balwinder said diversity of tress had gone down drastically in recent times. "Whereas even only 20-30 years ago, a single village would have been home to hundreds of old, huge trees of indigenous origin, today we would be lucky, if we can find more than one or two trees of those particular varieties", he said.



Poor deployment of cops behind rising crime
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, June 27
This industrial and financial capital of Punjab has witnessed a rapid change in its demographic structure and the crime pattern is also changing accordingly. The inadequate deployment of police personnel is posing difficulties for the administration to keep crime under check.

The state government does not feel concerned over the deteriorating crime situation. There is increase in the crimes like theft of vehicles, snatching of purses, gold necklaces and wayside robberies. Some of the big robberies have also taken place in which robbers have looted money worth lakhs. Ludhiana revenue district was divided into three police districts - Ludhiana, Jagraon and Khanna - during the militancy to control the militancy and Ludhiana police range was also created by including Ropar district in the three police districts of Ludhiana district. Jagraon police district has now been designated as Ludhiana rural and Khanna police district remains under the charge of an officer of the rank of SSP.

The poor deployment of police personnel in Ludhiana town will show how serious is the state administration in keeping crime under check. Police division No.1, which was earlier known as city kotwali, has the sanctioned strength of one inspector, seven ASIs, 14 head constables and 204 constables.

But the actual deployment is one sub-inspector, two ASIs, three head constables, 14 constables, seven SPOs, and 13 home guards - total deployment 40 against the sanctioned strength of 226. Police division No.1 covers the main business centres of the town, including Chaura Bazar, Girja Ghar and Ghanta Ghar areas.

The Sarabha Nagar police station, which looks after the posh colonies of the town has 46 police personnel, including one sub-inspector, five ASIs, six head constables and seven constables against the sanctioned strength of 169 personnel. Besides, looking after the posh residential areas, Sarabha Nagar also covers Punjab Agricultural University campus. Similarly the focal point station which covers the industrial areas, Sherpur and Dhandari Kalan, has only 48 personnel against the sanctioned strength of 102 policemen. The focal point area is dominated by migrant labourers, who are employed in the factories and this area also witnessed wayside snatchings.

Basti Jodhewal police station, Sadar police station and Salem Tabri police station are some other police stations which are very sensitive so far as crime is concerned. Anti-social elements remain active in these areas.

Mall Road and Ghumar Mandi have become the busiest business centres after Chaura Bazar. A number of businessmen have shifted their establishments to these areas from Chaura Bazar. These are very congested areas and crimes of vehicle thefts, snatchings of purses, gold chains are maximum in these two centres. These areas also pose serious traffic problems for the traffic police. The shopkeepers do not cooperate with the administration and they take shelter with the politicians. The shopkeepers in these areas neither allow the traffic police to make one-way traffic arrangement nor allow the municipal corporation to remove the encroachments. Thanks to the protection of the politicians of all hues.

Ludhiana town has now 23 police stations and police posts and the total police strength is little over two thousand. The requirement of this town is more than 5,000 police personnel.

The city has witnessed phenomenal expansion during the past few years and the demographic structure of the town has completely changed. The present population of the town is estimated about 40 lakhs. The migrants from Bihar, UP, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Chhattisgarh are found in all the four corners of the town. No doubt, they dominate the industrial areas, Rahon Road and the town is totally dependent on the migrant labour for all purposes. They work in the factories, fields and construction activity and business establishments have young migrants. The migrant women work in the homes as domestic help.

Ludhiana has the distinction of having more than seven lakh Muslims who have come from UP, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and other states.

With the presence of huge migrant labour, they celebrate all their major religious festivals, including chhat puja and Jagannath Yatra. The religious activities of these migrants also call for more security in the wake of the incidents of terror in other states and bomb blast in shingar cinema at Ludhiana.

To be continued



PAU security leaves cricketer in lurch
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
Strict security at Punjab Agricultural University cost dear to a cricketer who received his driver’s licence after three days.

Sukhpal Singh, who had represented Punjab state team in the recently concluded National 20 cricket tournament, would never have thought that he would have to pay repeated visits to recover his document due to the carelessness of the security guards.

Security guards, deputed at PAU Gate Number 2, misplaced his licence, which he submitted at 9:45 am on Monday. Sukhpal Singh said, "While I was returning home after playing a match, I asked the security guard to return my licence.

I was shocked when he told me that they could not find it. I showed my entry on the register, but I was told that the licence would be available in the morning as the officer concerned was not present."

Describing the ordeal, Sukhpal said, "I reside close to Samrala Chowk, at least 10 km away from PAU, but the security paid no heed to it. In the morning, when I reached there, I was asked to come again by the security guards. Since then, I paid several visits but to no avail.

It was only yesterday evening that they returned the licence. The security told me that it was given to a woman by mistake and she had returned the licence today." The security was stepped up following a recent brawl on the PAU campus. The beefed-up security has left many visitors fuming as it is causing great inconvenience especially during the current admission season. Despite repeated attempts, PAU security officer R S Dhillon could not be contacted for his version.



High steel prices drive away customers
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
Customers are eluding small and medium enterprises in the engineering, cycle and parts manufacturing industries with steel prices recording a fresh high.

Steel rates have increased by 26 per cent within the last one month, rendering steel-consuming industry in trouble. Unable to supply on previously agreed rates and forced to quote higher prices, manufacturers are now suffering as their buyers are turning to competitors like China for making product purchase.

Industry experts said their problems had aggravated after China stopped export of steel. The increased demand in south-east Asian countries was now being met by India. As a result of rise in exports, domestic prices were spiralling.

"After the phase of steep price hike in steel rates last year ended, it took us there-four months to stabilise. We had not even recovered from the shock when the prices started rising again. The situation is worse than earlier and buyers are unwilling to place orders at such high rates. For us, it is not possible to supply on previous rates," said S.C. Ralhan, regional chairman, Engineering Export Promotion Council.

Machine tools, hand tools, bicycle and parts, auto parts, sewing machine and fastener units are feeling the heat. "We are unable to afford the raw material. The impact would lead to a rise in prices of most finished goods on one hand and on the other, if the situation continues, small and medium units would be forced to shut down," said Avtar Singh, general secretary of Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU).

Industrialists said the government should take a cue form China and stop exports. "China shut units near Beijing in view of the forthcoming Olympics. However, to ensure that its local industry was not affected, it banned exports. Steel rates in China came down by 3 per cent, while here they have gone up by more than 25 per cent. For consumers, the price differential has widened which is why they want to procure the end product from China. The Indian government, too, should make similar efforts and save the domestic industry," said Ralhan.



Demonstration against protests in J&K
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 27
Activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Bajrang Dal and the Durga Vahini today held an angry demonstration at Mini Secretariat. They later submitted a memorandum to the district authorities against what they termed as continuous attacks on religious symbols and culture of the Hindus from various quarters in different parts of the country.

Addressing protesters, Swami Dayanand of Vrindavan Ashram and Rupinder Kumar, organising secretary of the VHP, said on the one side certain TV channels were portraying Hindu religious idols in an indecent manner while on the other, separatist elements were making attempts to disrupt the ongoing pilgrimage to shrine of Amarnath.

In this context, the protesters took a strong exception to violent protests in Kashmir against allotment of land to the Amarnath Shrine Board in Srinagar.

The memorandum submitted to the district authorities called for stern measures to curb the anti-Hindu acts of TV channels and effective steps to maintain law and order in Jammu and Kashmir.



Chinese items

The China-made items, viz watches, calculators, mobile phones, toys, sanitary material, crockery, railway engine pistons, etc are easily available in the market and adjudged to be stylish, cheaper and durable from all angles.

This means that China's business activities are spreading acros the world especially in India.

Although some of the items do not carry any guarantee, Indian engineers or mechanics are not able to rectify them easily, on nominal changes, if they become defective. This means that Chinese technology is far better than India.

Our government should give incentives to industrialists, manufacturers to upgrade their technology on a par with global standards and to produce world-class items at cheaper rates. This can only happen if our government provides industrialists, manufacturers all possible help.

Jai Gopal Kusla, 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.



Illegal abortion centre unearthed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 27
The health department claims to have unearthed an illegal centre for terminating pregnancies, being run by a mid-wife in Haibowal Kalan, with the help of a decoy patient.

Giving details, the civil surgeon, Ludhiana, Dr Satpal Sharma, said they were receiving complaints against Manjit Kaur, a trained mid-wife, for indulging in termination of pregnancies illegally for long.

An employee of the local civil surgeon’s office was sent to the mid-wife as a decoy patient. She asked the mid-wife to abort her two-months pregnancy. It was claimed that the mid-wife agreed to remove the pregnancy against the payment of Rs 800.

Meanwhile, Dr Reena Sandhu, district family welfare officer, and Dr Balwinder Kumar, in charge, Haibowal dispensary, raided the centre. When the officials enquired from the mid-wife, she refused that she indulged in doing MTP. She said she was only helping with the deliveries.

But when the clinic of the mid-wife was searched, one MTP set, certain instruments and medicines were recovered. Even a woman having three-month pregnancy was found sitting there. The officials claimed that she was admitted for removing her pregnancy.

During the proceedings, the mid-wife allegedly escaped from the spot. The matter was reported to the Haibowal police station. Even certain police personnel have reached at the spot. The list of recovered articles was handed over to the police, he added.



Ex-MC's son held with cartons of liquor
Tribune News Service

Khanna, June 27
Son of a former municipal councillor was arrested today with nine cartons of liquor to be distributed allegedly among voters in the forthcoming municipal elections.

The police has arrested Surinder Pal, son of Mahinder Pal, from the city along with the country-made (desi) liquor. The police acted on a tip-off and Surinder was arrested carrying the liquor boxes in the city. A case under Section 61 of the Excise Act was registered against him and he was produced before the magistrate in Khanna.

He was sent to one-day judicial remand. Police officials said the mother of the accused was a candidate from Ward Number 18 and his father was a former councillor.



Rs 76,000 stolen from Reliance centre
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
About Rs 76,000 in cash was stolen from Reliance Mobile, Customer Care and Billing Centre near Dandi Swami chowk here in the wee hours this morning.

The owner of the Reliance Mobile centre, Surjit Khurana, said the thieves broke the locks of the front gate and entered the office. They stole Rs 76,000 from the cash counter and fled.

A case has been registered.



Tennis championship begins today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 27
More than 300 entries have been received from different parts of the country for the annual PAU AITA Total Tennis Talent Series Championship to be held on the Punjab Agricultural University campus courts from June 28 to July 3.

According to a press note issued here today by Pawan Kapoor, chief organiser of the Total Tennis Academy, during this event players from various places like Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, etc matches will participate.

The matches will be played in the boys and girl's under 12 and 14 years sections in the singles and doubles categories. Almost 300 entries have been received so far from India.

All qualifying matches will be completed in two days on June 28 and 29 while the main draw matches will be played from June 30 onwards, Kapoor added.



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