L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Intended abortion of female foetus
Doctor remanded in police custody
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 1
Dr A.P.S. Gambhir, who was arrested under provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act and Pre-Natal Sex Determination Test Act for intended abortion of a female foetus of a woman at Jatinder Gambhir Hospital on Pakhowal Road here on Thursday, was remanded in police custody for one day by chief judicial magistrate Lachman Singh here today.

A four-member team of health department, comprising Dr Yash Pal Mehta, deputy medical commissioner, Dr Reena Sandhu, district family welfare officer, Dr Harvinder Singh, senior medical officer of local civil hospital and Dr Gurwinder Kaur, had conducted a raid on the hospital yesterday and found a woman being readied for termination of pregnancy in the labour room.

According to civil surgeon Dr Sat Pal Sharma, the woman, a resident of Rurka Khurd village, near Goraya, had told the health officials that she already had two daughters and had willingly come to the hospital for abortion after an ultrasound scan of the third pregnancy revealed that she was carrying a female child.

The ultrasound machine of the hospital was sealed and its registration was suspended for violation of the provisions of the PNDT Act and the police was called in.

The police arrested Dr Gambhir under Sections of 18, 25 and 26 of the PNDT Act.

The police said another co-accused, Dr Jatinder Gambhir, an obstetrician and gynecologist at the hospital, was yet to be arrested. The health officials said

Dr Jatinder Gambhir was not present at the hospital when the raid was conducted.

However, Dr Gambhir denied the allegations of intended termination of pregnancy, saying the woman had profuse uterine bleeding when she had come to the hospital and was taken to the labour room for examination.

He also refuted the charge that the woman had her ultrasound for foetal sex determination test at their hospital, while maintaining that she had come to the hospital for the first time on Thursday.


MC switches to solar traffic lights
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
With a view to saving electricity and ensuring the smooth functioning of traffic lights, the MC has decided to install solar lights at traffic lights in the city.

As a pilot project, two traffic lights in Kitchlu Nagar have already got solar lights. These would save electricity and function even during power cuts.

Talking to the Tribune today, the MC commissioner, Vikas Partap, said they would monitor the success of these traffic lights for two months and then extend the facility to other traffic lights.

He said the MC had to tackle inverter thefts at traffic lights. And whenever there was a power cut, traffic chaos followed.

“We often face the problem of wiring and control system. The appliances are usually stolen and we suffer losses. We had to call in people from Chandigarh to repair the lights,” he said.

Pritpal Singh of the company that has been entrusted with the task of installing the solar lights, said every traffic light would save 5.5 KW every day. It would use only about 500 W against 6 KW used by normal traffic lights.

“Generally, a bulb at traffic lights uses 150 W, but a solar light bulb uses only 11 W. Power consumption would be reduced by almost 15 times. The MC would save at least Rs 2,000 on every light per month,” he said.

To make these lights work during power cuts and at nights, batteries had been installed atop the poles. The batteries had been locked to avoid theft.

Every solar light costed the MC Rs 35,000. “We have to deal with a lot of power connections before connecting the light to a solar energy source. It would take a lot of time to streamline the system,” he added.



Terror Mail
Son’s arrest spells doom for poor parents
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
Thirtyfour years ago, a youth from Bihar, Shiv Shanker Pandey, came to the city with a dream of making a better future for his children. Today, he is in a fix as his son, Deepak, pursuing a chartered accountancy course, is in the custody of the Mumbai police as a terror suspect. The Mumbai police had arrested Deepak on the allegation of sending a terror mail to TV channels, saying that BJP leaders like L.K. Advani and Narendra Modi were the next targets.

Shanker, a mason, said: “I don’t know what my son wrote or did. I only know that he was very intelligent and was aspiring to be a chartered accountant.

“He is not a terrorist. But if the police has some evidence what can I do? I can only curse my luck,” he said. Shanker claimed that his children had never touched a computer in their life.

His wife is resigned to their fate. “What can we do? We are illiterate and have no means to fight the case. We don’t even have money to go to Mumbai,” she said. They do understand that once a youth is accused of involvement in terrorist activities, the way out is difficult.

They are concerned about their other two children. “My younger son is studying in a local school and has not attended classes since the arrest of Deepak. He is scared he would be teased,” Shanker said.

Their daughter is physically challenged. “Deepak would say that he would study hard to fund her marriage. We don't know what will happen now,” he said.

Harpal Singh, owner of a computer centre from where Deepak had sent the alleged mail, said Deepak had created a new ID and got printouts of his biodata. “We maintain all records and provided it to the police,” he said.



Ishmeet’s Death
Clubs, pools step up vigil
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
The death of Ishmeet Singh by drowning has spread safety concerns amongst all major clubs, hotels and government swimming pools. Most are taking special measures to avert a similar tragedy in the future.

Swarn Singh, a lifeguard at the MC swimming pool, Rakh Bagh, said: “The drowning of Ishmeet has impacted the psyche of parents who bring their wards for swimming here. We have always taken safety measures but after the tragic death of Ishmeet, we have become even more cautious.”

It is getting harder for swimming coaches to convince parents, who have started raising security concern at pools after Ishmeet’s death.

Rajinder Singh Boparai, a swimming coach at the MC swimming pool near Sutlej Club road, said: “Parents ask various questions concerning Ishmeet’s death by drowning. It is getting difficult to convince them about their children’s safety at pools.”

Even clubs and hotel authorities are claiming that they have got adequate infrastructure to ensure safety of swimmers. Sutlej Club general secretary Yogesh Bansal said: “We take special care of the swimming pool. We have deputed two coaches who keep a constant vigil on new swimmers.”

Housekeeping executive with Majestic Park Plaza N. Ravindra: said: “Whenever a guest indents to swim, a lifeguard always accompanies him to the pool. Further, an attendant provides the guest with everything required for swimming and jots down the time he has spent in the pool. We have fixed ‘no diving signs’ on all sides of the pool. The depth of the pool is only 4 feet 9 inches, which makes it perfectly safe for guests to swim.”



Surprise check at sub-registrar’s office
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
Additional deputy commissioner K.P. Brar today conducted a surprise check at sub-registrar (E) office following complaints of delay in release of registered documents of sale deeds here.

Brar reached the office in the morning and took along several records. She heard complaints of people who had been making rounds of the office for the past many days to receive their registered documents.

Visitors to the office thronged her with their complaints. They said though their sale deeds were registered a month ago, they were not being given the documents.

Many of them said they had taken loans from different banks and needed papers to take money from banks.

Brar talked to SR (E) Kanwar Narinder Singh for over two hours. She later went back with many documents from the office.

Sources said the check was conducted following the orders of deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar after he had received complaints of the delay from several residents. Brar, however, denied having confiscated any documents. She said she had just taken the register of the office and returned it just after photocopying it.

She would be able to say anything only after she was through, she added. Soon after she left the office, visitors started complaining to mediapersons.

Gurmeet Singh, a resident, said he had got his sale deed registered in the first week of July. He had been making rounds of the office ever since but had not received the document.



PAU employee saves lives of 2 minors
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
Without giving a thought to his own life, Lakhbir Singh, a messenger at the PAU vice-chancellor’s office, jumped into the Sidhwan Canal to save the lives of two minors on July 30.

Talking to The Tribune, Lakhbir said it was his duty to save the two drowning children.

Lakhbir was going to the office on July 30 when he saw two minors (both migrants from UP) trying to take out a coconut with a long stick from the canal.

“Suddenly, I saw one of them in the canal. I asked his friend what had happened and he said his friend had jumped into the canal to get a coconut. I did not bother. I had hardly peddled a few yards when I heard screams. I turned and saw both of them screaming for help,” he said.

Without wasting time, he jumped into the canal to save them.

Avtar Singh, another employee of the PAU accompanying Lakhbir, said the children held Lakhbir tightly and he was unable to swim.

He then asked them to leave his hands and hold his legs so that he could swim. After struggling for a few minutes, they managed to catch hold of some bushes along the bank.

Praising the brave act of Lakhbir, the VC, Dr M.S. Kang, said such selfless acts were rare these days. “He must be awarded for saving two lives,” he said.



60-year-old woman charred to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
A 60-year-old woman, Lata, was found dead at her house in Baba Deep Singh Nagar, Dugri, here today. Her whole body was charred except the right hand.

The woman was alone in the house when the incident took place. Her skeleton was found by her neighbour Rajinder Singh around noon.

The deceased’s son Rajan Kumar, who is an oil trader, said his mother could not commit suicide and alleged that she had been murdered. He became suspicious when he saw that her stove and cylinder were intact and there was no bottle or can of kerosene around the body.

SHO Waryam Singh said Rajan's wife had left him sometime ago to live with her parents. The background had forced the police to call a forensic team from Chandigarh. Finger prints would be taken and samples would be collected from the spot for further investigation.

Her neighbours said the family usually stayed aloof and rarely interacted with anybody. They would often fight with Rajan's wife, who finally left the mother-son duo sometime ago, they added.

They said they witnessed smoke emanating from Lata’s house, but did not react thinking that the family might have been performing a havan due to solar eclipse.

When the smoke turned smelly, they broke opened the door only to find the woman dead in her lobby.

The police is yet to register a case.



Dyeing unit fined for power theft
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 1
A dyeing factory in Phase 8 of the Focal Point here was found using a kundi connection on Wednesday. Power supply to the unit was disconnected on July 17 under the directions of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB).

The PSEB authorities have served a demand notice of Rs 38 lakh on the factory, besides initiating proceedings under the Indian Electricity Act.

The PSEB deputy chief engineer distribution, city east circle, said after the power supply was disconnected to the factory on July 17 for failure to conform to effluent discharge norms, the owners started drawing power from a kundi connection during nights and early mornings. Power was stolen with the help of a 30-metre low-tension cable.

“A junior engineer was sent to the factory on the night of July 30 and he found the unit was still operational. Senior officers of the PSEB, along with the police, reached the spot and caught the factory owners stealing power. The cable used to steal power from a nearby transformer was also seized,” he said.

The PSEB staff had also inspected some commercial, industrial and residential connections in Tej Enclave, Transport Nagar and Vijay Nagar where instances of power theft and unauthorised load had been detected.

The defaulters had been served with demand notices of around Rs 2 lakh.



Consumer Courts
Insurance co told to pay Rs 13 lakh
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 1
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has ordered United India Insurance Company to pay Rs 13,31,181 lakh to an aggrieved consumer who lost goods in a shop fire.

The forum also directed the company to pay Rs 10,000 as compensation and Rs 2,000 as litigation expenses.

It also directed the company to pay the claim amount along with interest at the rate of nine per cent from May, 2005 till the actual payment was made to him.

Delivering the verdict, forum president T.N. Vaidya and its member D.S. Bakshi termed the denial of claim to the consumer unjustified.

The decision came on a complaint moved by Prem Lal, owner of M/s Naveen Sales (India), Jawahar Nagar Middha chowk, Ludhiana.

The consumer had submitted that he was dealing in upholstery business and on September 18, 2004 had gone to Dera Beas.

He received a call regarding the outbreak of fire at his shop.

On return, he learned that the fire was extinguished with the help of the fire brigade. Almost the entire material kept in the shop was destroyed, causing a loss of Rs 21 lakh. The insurance company officials were informed about the fire and a company surveyor carried out a survey to assess the loss.

In spite of reminders, the complainant he was not paid the claim.

He finally received a letter dated March 31, 2005 from the company informing him that the claim was not payable.

Officials of the insurance company, however, submitted that keeping in view the report submitted by the surveyor, the claim was rightly repudiated for violating the general condition of the insurance policy.

After considering the submissions made by the insurance company as well as of the consumer, the forum held that the claim was wrongly denied.



Eclipse keeps people indoors
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
City roads wore a deserted look for over two hours as the solar eclipse kept most of the residents indoors. While many enthusiasts tried to view the eclipse by seeing Sun’s reflection through mirrors, X-ray films, glasses with solar filters and carbon plates, there were others who gave away alms to ward off any "ill- effects" of the eclipse.

In city, the partial eclipse was visible at around 4 pm. A slight cloud cover failed to dampen their spirits.

"There have been numerous warnings on how to view the eclipse. I could not resist myself and used my floppy to see it. I wish there were a planetarium here so that we could have a better view of the eclipse. I also wanted to capture the view on my camera but was scared to do so as a few of my friends contended themselves only with the image reflection on a piece of a paper," said Harsimran Singh, a student of Kamla Lohtia College.

Most of the temples, too, remained closed for two hours.However, temples of Lord Shani remained open due to heavy rush of the devotees.

Amid confusion, most people preferred not to view the Sun with naked eye. "Viewing it with naked eyes could permanently damage the retina. Those who want to see it, must be careful," said Dr Dinesh Garg, eye department, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH).



Ex-sarpanch killed
Our Correspondent

Khamano, August 1
Local Akali leader and former Khamano Kalan sarpanch Gurjeet Singh was killed while three others had a narrow escape when their Palio car fell into the canal near Khamano.

According to information, Gurjeet Singh along with nagar panchayat president Gian Chand, Kesar Singh and Mewa Singh of Dhanaula were coming to the town after attending a function around 8.15 pm last night when the car fell into the canal near Khamano Kalan. The car turned over in the water.

A youth, Bharpoor Singh, of Badesh Kalan reached the scene and rescued three persons out of the car.

However, Gurjeet Singh died while being taken to the local civil hospital.

The embankment of the canal was not made of concrete and some portion of the bridge was also in bad shape.

SDM paid a visit to the scene and directed the departments concerned to start repair work immediately.



IT dept receives 43,000 returns
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
The Income Tax department has received about 43,000 returns from salaried assessees till the last date of filing returns here. Officials told The Tribune that the department received 11,163 returns in July while another 31,572 were received prior to that.

Ludhiana has around 4 lakh assessees of the total 7 lakh in this region. Returns by firms, companies and other assessees are yet to be received.



Randhawa given farewell
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
PAU head, department of Horticulture, Dr Jasbir Singh Randhawa was given a farewell yesterday. Speaking on the occasion, dean, College of Agriculture, Dr Milkha Singh, Aulakh remembered contributions of Dr Randhawa in the area of post-harvest handling of fruits that recognised him as an expert of the subject.

He wished Dr Randhawa a prosperous and happy retired life. Director of extension education Dr N.S Malhi highlighted the docility of Dr Randhawa that endeared him as a popular teacher among students and faculty members.



Punjabi version of ‘A Brief History of Time’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
"Vernacular languages should be used to promote scientific temperament among people as scientific literature published in common languages can motivate people to a greater extent," prominent culture promoter Jagdev Singh Jassowal expressed these views while releasing the Punjabi version ‘Samay Da Sankhep Itihas’ of the world famous scientific book ‘A brief history of time’ by Stephen W. Hawkins at Punjab Agricultural University here today.

The book in Punjabi has been translated by Gurdit Singh Kang, who has been a contemporary of Prof Mohan Singh in the editorial work of "Panj Dariya", a literary magazine from the original English. Jassowal said the wisdom contained in books was of no use until it was read and grasped properly. He further added that scientific content of the book written in Punjabi would help motivate readers to know about the surroundings and develop scientific interpretation of the same. He complimented Kang for writing thought-provoking books and congratulated him for doing a good service to society in making available the best-seller scientific book in understandable and palatable Punjabi form.

PAU VC Dr Manjit Singh Kang narrated how he got inspiration from his father (Gurdit Singh Kang) in excelling in education. "We should leave the world better than we found" should be our motto, he expressed, adding that writing a book served a useful purpose for posterity. 



Docs favour medical cos

DocTORs prescribing costly medicines of reputed pharmaceutical companies for cash awards or costly tour package is indeed a matter of deep concern. I had taken up this issue with the medical council o f India, but could not get a reasonable response except that this is an administrative problem as the service class and retired employees believe in ethical medicines than generic ones. Generic medicines are less effective than ethical ones, as in case of generic medicines effective chemicals are only about 30 - 40 per cent.

Ethical medicines are for the elite who can afford. The pharmacist and chemists are flourishing at the cost of public. The authorities should immediately look into the matter and must take effective steps.

Sher Singh, Ludhiana

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



Fashion institute holds orientation programme for freshers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
A three-day orientation programme for the new batch of students started at the Sportking Institute of Fashion Technology (SIFT) here yesterday. The day began with registration of the new students.

Executive director Sunil Puri and president Anjali Avasthi welcomed and addressed the new batch.

The newcomers interacted with their seniors and faculty members. On the second day today, an address by Anup Gulati, a senior professional from Triburg Sportswear, New Delhi, was organised for the students.

He enlightened the students about new technologies and a wide range of opportunities available in the textile and garment industry. Students queries were skillfully handled by Gulati.

Later, the students were acquainted with the rules and regulations cited from the student’s handbook by Dr Surabhi Mahajan, registrar of the institute.

The inhibitions and anxieties could be seen fading from the faces of the new students as they interacted with their course teams and other faculty members today.



From Schools
Arnav, Sanchit best in recitation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
Little Kundanites entertained one and all with their mellifluous voices during a poetry recitation competition organised on the school premises. Poems from all walks of life were recited with such ease that it was a surprise for all that these children were on the stage for the first time. Arnav of LKG-E and Sanchit of UKG-D shared the first prize. Principal Rajiv Nagalia and in charge of the KG section Ranjana Dhanda appreciated the efforts put in by children and teachers.

Quiz: An inter-house quiz competition for Classes VIII and IX was held at Spring Dale Senior Secondary Public School, Sherpur, today. Students of Jasmine House bagged the first position followed by Rose House and Lotus House at the second and third positions, respectively. The winners were awarded with certificates.

celebratED: A colourful atmosphere prevailed at Small Wonders Nursery School, Sangat Road, Civil Lines, to celebrate spring season. Swings were decorated with flowers and colourful dupattas. “Kiddies Sangeet” was arranged. Children, who came dressed up in bright costumes, sat on the flower-clad swings and enjoyed themselves. Boys entertained all with their bhangra. Girls presented a song “Chhoti Si Munni”. Miss Punjaban and Master Punjab was selected. Diya and Krish bagged the titles, respectively. A typical Punjabi menu party was organised for the kids wherein the kids relished their favourite eatables. Principal Neeti Dewan said the purpose of celebrating festivals was to make children aware of their culture.



KVM in semis
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 1
Kundan Vidya Mandir School, Civil Lines, scored a 48-run victory over Government Model Senior Secondary School, Punjab Agricultural University, to advance into the semifinal of the Ludhiana PAU Zone Cricket Tournament (u-14) organised by the education department at Sarpanch Bachan Singh Academy, Balloke, here today.

KVM won the toss and opted to bat first. In the allotted 20 overs, they scored 112 runs for the loss of three wickets.

Their innings revolved around Rishav Walia, Shivam Kwatra and Nikhil Choudhary, who contributed 27, 23 and 22 runs, respectively.

Chasing the target, Government Model Senior Secondary School scored 64 runs for the loss of 9 wickets. Varinder and Nikhil made 6 runs each, while Gopal made 5 runs. For KVM, Nikhil Choudhary and Nimit Malhan scalped three wickets each after conceding 6 and 9 runs, respectively.



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