L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Bank Strike Day 1
Transactions worth Rs 600 cr hit
Shveta Pathak
Tribune news Service

Ludhiana, September 24
Businessmen suffered losses worth crores of rupees and common man suffered the most as employees of public sector banks went on strike thereby bringing banking services to a halt here today. Over 200 branches of 21 public sector banks remained closed today.

The first day of the two-day strike roughly affected clearing transactions worth more than Rs 600 crore as no clearing took place. Even as private sector banks were open, work was affected due to inter-dependent nature of banks’ functioning. “There was no clearing today. Daily volume is around Rs 900 crore, whereas during the last days of the month, it’s around Rs 600 crore,” confirmed K.L. Sethi, general secretary, MCR Clearing House.

The impact of the strike is likely to be more intense this time with half-yearly closing only six days away.

Business community, which conducts high value transactions on daily basis, complained about the stoppage of entire commercial activity.

“It was very tough as we were unable to deposit our cash today. Worst still, the strike will continue tomorrow also. I also needed to transfer money to some other city but was unable to do so due to the strike,” rued Ashok Kumar, an entrepreneur.

Numerous customers could be seen returning disappointed from bank branches. “I had come to make a bank draft. But now, I have to return, its sheer harassment. Bank employees should resist from action that causes inconvenience to the public,” said S.K. Chaudhary, a senior citizen.

The call for the strike was given by the United Form of Bank Unions in support of demands like stopping privatisation and mergers, no amendment in the Banking Regulations Act Section 12 (2) which will enable full voting rights to the foreign direct investors in the banking sector and expediting implementation of an agreement between UFBU and the Indian Bankers Association (IBA) on important issues like pension option, compassionate appointments, wage revision etc. The employees also took up the issue of rejection of recommendations of the Raghuram Rajan Committee and Anwarul Hoda Committee.

A protest rally was held outside Canara Bank in the Bharat Nagar Chowk. Employees also held rallies outside their respective banks to raise their demands.

Naresh Gaur, secretary, Ludhiana unit of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation, said: “It is to draw the attention of the government to our genuine demands that we are forced to strike work. If the present policies are not reversed, we would be forced to intensify our struggle.”



Bank employees strike work
Tribune Reporters

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 24
In response to a nationwide call given by the United Bank Unions Forum, hundreds of activists of trade unions from various branches of nationalised banks from the town and surrounding villages struck work and staged a protest near the grain market branch of State Bank of Patiala today.

The protest was staged under the banner of the All-India Bank Employees Association.

A large number of activists of unions from local branches of Punjab National Bank, Central Bank of India, Punjab and Sindh Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce and State Bank of Patiala gathered in front of the main branch of the SBoP in the morning and raised slogan against the union government and management committees of their respective banks.

Accusing successive governments of ignoring the demands of employees of financial organisations, speakers alleged that the authorities had shown scant respect to labour laws.

Instead of exploring chances of promoting human resources in their respective institutes, top officials had been focussing their attention on mechanisation of banking.

Urging the government to review demands of employees regarding pension option, wage revision and foreign direct investment (FDI), Hari Ram Bharti, office-bearer of the CBI Employees Union, said the organisation would oppose any move to merge banks.

Gian Chand, Jagdish Singh and Jagjit Singh of the SBoP also addressed the rally

Khamano: On the first day of the two-days strike call, employees of different banks of Samrala observed strike today. The employees protested against privatisation of public-sector banks and their merger.

They also demanded the implementation of the memorandum signed on February 25 on issues like pension option, appointment on compassionate grounds, wage revision, etc.

The Samrala unit of the Punjab National Bank Employees Federation held demonstration in front of Punjab National Bank.

The rally was addressed by J.P. Singh, organising secretary of Punjab Bank Employees’ Federation.


Delay forces Rahul to skip train journey
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 24
The Amritsar-New Delhi Shatabdi Express missed its VVIP passenger as delayed schedule of All India Congress Committee general secretary Rahul Gandhi forced him to skip the train journey at the last minute, and instead he chose to fly back late in the evening on the conclusion of the last leg of his three-day visit to Punjab here today.

As per his original programme, he was to board the executive class chair car coach at platform No. 1 and a large number of the Government Railway Police (GRP), Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the Punjab Police personnel, along with senior railway officials remained on their toes throughout the day, to ensure a safe journey for the “heir apparent”. Officers of the National Security Guards, responsible for the VVIPs security, coordinated the entire security arrangement.

Even though both main entrance gates of the railway station, platform No. 1, and the entire railway complex for that matter, was swarming with security personnel, with the metal detector gates also functional, the entire security set up was not too obvious and the deployed personnel were carrying out their assigned duties in a very subtle manner so as not to cause much inconvenience to other passengers.

The only apparent signs of extra tight security at the railway station till today evening were members of the GRP anti-sabotage squad, who were scanning every bit of the railway station, the parcel office and administrative offices to detect explosives and contingents of police and the RPF, who were keeping a close watch on the metal detector gates at the entry points and resorted to random frisking of passengers.

Senior GRP officers, including the SP and the DSP with their headquarters at Jalandhar, were also camping at the Ludhiana railway station till the departure of New Delhi-bound Shatabdi Express.

In anticipation of the VVIP traveller’s visit, the entire railway station had been thoroughly cleaned up, the platform No. 1 was being washed and scrubbed and lime powder was dusted all along the railway track to give it a clean look.

Ashok Salaria, station superintendent, who was personally supervising all arrangements, remarked, “We shall breathe easy only after the train carrying its VVIP passenger, leaves the railway station and nothing goes wrong.”



Activists force MC staff to beat a retreat
Bid to remove Rahul’s hoardings
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
Activists of the District Congress Committee today forced a municipal corporation’s squad to beat a retreat when they were trying to remove illegal banners and hoardings put up to welcome AICC general Secretary Rahul Gandhi here today morning.

Led by joint commissioner B.K. Gupta, a team of municipal officials and employees started removing posters and banners of Rahul Gandhi in the Bharat Nagar Chowk. The district Congress Committee activists led by their president, Jagmohan Sharma stopped the municipal officials from doing so. They staged a protest in the Bharat Nagar Chowk and forced the officials to retreat without taking an action. The protest pressed panic buttons as the city police was already on its toes in view of the Rahul Gandhi’s visit. A police party from division No. 5 along with SHO Shavinder Singh Dhillon was sent to the spot.

The activists were pacified. Sharma alleged that the municipal corporation as taking action as the posters belonged to the Congress. Otherwise they did not stop any Akali or BJP leader from putting up illegal posters.

“When we were in power, we never stopped them from putting up posters like that. They are doing it now. We will not allow this to happen. And, we have already told them that we wanted these for a day. We will remove them after his visit ends, “ added Sharma.

He said they had put up posters only today so as not to harass the municipal officials. Still they were so swift with their action that they started their drive early in the morning. But they had to return, he said. After the protest, the posters and hoardings stayed put throughout the day. The entire stretch of the Ferozepore Road up to the PAU was dotted with huge hoardings and billboards carrying Rahul’s pictures. Flags of the Congress and the Youth Congress were also put up on the roadsides as well as dividers.



Rahul leaves many a Cong man heartbroken
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Residents jostle to have a glimpse of AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Photo: Rajesh Bhambi

Ludhiana, September 24
AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi today left a large number of Congress workers, who had waited for him for four hours at the Ludhiana-Jalandhar road near Amaltas tourist resort, high and dry as his convoy did not stop there since he was running late from the schedule.

Thousands of Congress and Youth Congress leaders and workers were told to gather on the road near the resort on the Jalandhar road for listening to Rahul Gandhi for a few minutes.

Enthusiastic leaders, workers and residents were seen swarming the Jalandhar road from flyover till the resort on both sides of the road. Rahul’s convoy reached the spot at 4.15 pm. The Mercedes car he was travelling in slowed down after the crowd cheered him. He was given a rousing welcome.

Reciprocating, Rahul opened the door of his car and waved at all those gathered there. He stopped for a few seconds at Hardy’s world and the resort, where a few leaders crossed the barricades to shake hands with him.

The rest kept on waiting for him to stop and say a few words but were left disappointed. “I was told he would meet us there. But he did not stop. I am really heartbroken,” said a Youth Congress leader.

There were others who felt enthused at his visit. “It has provided a new lease of life for the Congress. We have gained so much of confidence that our party would surely do well in the parliamentary election,” said Varun Mehta, former secretary, Punjab Youth Congress.



Go easy on butt!
Ban on smoking in public, private buildings from Oct 2
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
Just one week on and smokers here will have to mend their ways as the centre direction banning smoking in public and private buildings will come into effect from October 2.

From next Thursday, smokers will have to take recourse to streets and roads to have a puff. Besides, those smoking at the risk of their health in private in their bedrooms need to have the permission of their wives.

Talking to The Tribune, deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gujjar said the administration had put up warnings on various notice boards regarding ban on smoking in public buildings and literature had been distributed to caution people against hazards of smoking.

Urging city residents to comply with the rules, he said if someone was found violating the law the district administration would initiate proceedings accordingly.

Ludhiana civil surgeon Satpal Sharma said creating awareness was the best way to discourage smoking, which could lead to various diseases, including lung cancer and heart ailments. He added that those found smoking on the premises of hospitals would be liable to punishment irrespective of whether they were employees, patients or their attendants.

Head of the department computer applications at Ludhiana College of Engineering Technology S.S. Grewal said smoking on college campus had already been banned.

He said youngsters took to smoking for pleasure, which later became a habit.

He urged students to keep away from it as it not only harmed an individual but also the environment.

Harpreet, a housewife and a mother, said the rule was good only if people followed it. “One can find people smoking everywhere, including hospitals and petrol stations, where smoking is strictly prohibited,” she added.

However, Pradeep, a smoker, said it was easy to make rules but tough to enforce them.



‘Kidnapped’ NRI found murdered
Rakesh Gupta

Jagraon, September 24
An NRI, Basant Singh (50), who was reportedly kidnapped from an eatery on the Ludhiana Road here, has allegedly been murdered by his kidnappers. His semi-decomposed body was found near the Dholewala bridge of the Kailewali canal on the outskirts of Dharamkot (Moga).

Some passersby had informed the Dharamkot police about the presence of a body in the canal. Victim’s brother Kuldeep Singh later identified the body.

Basant, originally hailing from Jalalabad village, near Dharamkot, had been living in Finland for some time. He is survived by three daughters and a son, beside his wife.

He was allegedly kidnapped along with Babbi (25) on September 19 by some unidentified masked men from Pehalwan ka Dhaba, an eating joint.

However, the staff of the eatery refused to acknowledge the incident. They claimed that the two had left the eatery after having dinner there.

Sources said the two were allegedly forced into a vehicle by the alleged kidnappers and taken away. Their Scorpio car was also driven away by the alleged kidnappers.

The two were returning home after meeting victim’s maternal brother Nirmal Singh of Malakpur village. The whereabouts of Babbi are still not known.

ASI Sukhpal Singh of the Dharamkot police station said injuries were found on the head and face of the victim and the body was thrown into the canal after murder.

The police handed over the body to the victim’s family after a post-mortem examination. The post-mortem indicated at murder having taken place four days ago.

The viscera has been sent to Patiala for further investigation.



Employee found pilfering vaccine
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
In yet another incident of “storeroom corruption” in civil hospitals across the state, one of it s employees in Ludhiana has been found guilty of pilfering from the stock of anti-rabies vaccine of 2007.

The incident has invited criticism from the medical fraternity as hospitals across the state are already facing scarcity of this vaccine, ever since its manufacturing was suspended at CRI, Kasauli.

People coming to government hospitals with dog bites have to buy alternate vaccine “Human Immunoglobins” which costs around Rs 5,000 is beyond the reach of the economically weaker sections.

A set of 270 vials was sent to the local civil hospital in January 2007, but the store in charge Kulbhushan Singla did not enter these vials in the stock register thereby depriving the civil hospitals and the primary health centres in the district of the anti-rabies vaccine. The total cost of this vaccine was Rs 58,000.

Manorama Avasthi, district immunization officer, who is also the investigating officer for the case, said, “Kulbhushan Singla, the store in charge at the civil hospital, has been found guilty of not entering a single vaccine in the stock and I have forwarded a report to the health department after an inquiry. The appropriate action would be taken against the guilty,” said the investigating officer.

However, sources at the civil hospital said there was no quarterly supply of vaccine as the Punjab Health System Corporation had supplied it after a gap of almost two years in January 2007.

The district health department’s figures point towards the increasing cases of dog bite wherein people have to be administered anti-rabies vaccine within a stipulated period. There were 334 cases of dog bites in the district in 2006, which increased to 469 in 2007.



Industrialist’s kin seek pvt eye’s help
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
As the city police gropes in dark about the whereabouts of the missing industrialist, Vinod Adya, alias Kittu’s body, his family has decided to approach a private investigating agency for providing them with some lead.

The police had, a few days ago, claimed that three truck drivers had killed the industrialist and thrown the body into a canal after putting it into a gunny bag.

Still, the police has failed to found Adya’s body from the canal even though a few divers were pressed into the service. The divers finished their job yesterday.

While the aggrieved family remained tightlipped about the entire episode and the police role, sources close to family said while the police had not helped in cracking the case.

So sick are the family members, now, that they have decided to take the help of a private detective agency.

“It’s a nightmare for them ever since Kittu went missing on August 12. As he was a happy-go-lucky man, they thought he might have gone to Amarnath shrine and wanted to give the family a surprise by calling them from there. But, when he did not return, they lodged a complaint with the police,” said the family sources.

“The police also did not do much to locate him till the family provided them with some leads. After a day or two, the police called them up to inform that they have located the body in the morning. The family went into a state of shock. They brought to show his clothes to them in the morning but they were of a dwarf man, although it was clearly stated to the police that Kittu was a 6 feet two inches tall and hefty man. Later the postmortem of that body revealed it was of a 25-year-old youth,” they added.

There were several theories propounded by the police about his murder. Questioning of some suspects had revealed that Kittu was murdered at Baddowal and later dumped ahead of Gill village. “The police wants us to believe that Kittu was strangulated with a shoe lace. Then he was put in a gunny bag. Is it so easy for anybody to kill a 95 kg man with a shoelace and then put him in a gunny bag? And what about the motive? They could have easily dumped him. Why kill a man and for what?” the sources asked.

They added the varied statements were only making the life of his elderly father, wife and two children miserable. “They are already passing through a very bad phase. But all these statements are making things worse,” they added.



School for slum children sans building
Students forced to attend classes on footpath
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

A class in progress on a footpath at Rishi Nagar, Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, September 24
Despite tall claims of the government to improve the education situation in primary schools, nothing much is being done.

In a classic case of the government apathy, 50-odd students of a slum school in Rishi Nagar here have only a footpath for classroom, a small blackboard, some tattered mats and a tree for shade in the name of infrastructure and two teachers. They don’t even have uniforms and proper study material. Interestingly, the school was opened under the much-hyped drive of the then education minister Harnam Dass Johar to provide education to slum children.

Braving the summer sun, the monsoon fury and now, ready to face the approaching winters, the students of this school are being made to study in conditions averse to a learning environment.

The teachers of this school rued, “We don’t even have a roof on our heads, forget about basic amenities like drinking water and toilets.”

“We have complained to the area councillor a number of times but in vain. This school has been running for the past two and a half years. The land adjacent to the footpath from where the school is running was allotted for the school building, but we don’t know what happened to that,” added one of the teachers.

During rains, the teachers said they had to take shelter in the corridor of the adjoining market.

Besides, the teachers complained that they had not got their salaries for the past two months. “This happens quite often. Many times, the area councillor is not available to sign the attendance register which results in delay in the payment of our salaries,” they said.

Gurinder Singh, president of Rishi Nagar slum area, said they had talked to councillor Balkar Singh and even to local MLA Harish Rai Dhanda a number of times about the problem. “We even asked him to let us shift the school to the nearby park, but our request was turned down,” he said.

When contacted, area councillor Balkar Singh as well as the district education officer (elementary) shied away from the issue, assuring to give details later. However, later they could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.



Guilty will be punished, says Kang
K.S.Chawla and Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, September 24
There is no slow-down in enquiry against the Director Students Welfare, Punjab Agricultural University, and the matter is under investigation as per the procedure. This was stated by Manjit Singh Kang, PAU vice-chancellor, while talking to The Tribune here today. He refuted the charge that the matter was being hushed because of political pressure. “We are apolitical. If found guilty, officer will be punished”, he added.

Kang explained that he had received a written complaint against Dulcha Singh Brar, DSW, from a woman employee of his (DSW) office for alleged sexual harassment and the same had been marked to the dean, postgraduate studies.

“We are following the procedure laid down by the UGC, Punjab Government and the National Commission for Women (NCW) regarding the complaints of sexual harassment. The university already has some norms fixed for such complaints. However, there was no record available about the complaints of sexual harassment”, said the vice-chancellor.

Dr Kang said a new committee might have to be formed to look into the complaint against the DSW since he is also a member of the committee to look into the complaints of this nature. “Now, when the complaint is against him, he will have to stay out of the same”.

Asked if the issue of the formation of a committee would go to the academic council, Dr Kang added,” No, I can order the formation of the committee without taking it to academic council”.

The vice-chancellor further added that complainant had already been shifted from the DSW office to another department and she had been given the charge of girls’ hostels. Even otherwise, the complainant was recruited to look into the complaints of girl students.

Kang denied he was under any political pressure to suppress the complaint. “We are not concerned about the political pressure. We have to maintain discipline on the campus,” he said.

There is a general impression on the campus that the DSW has a strong political backing and he also brags about his personal relations with the state’s first family. Meanwhile, Dulcha Singh Brar has already denied the allegations of harassment of women employee and has told the vice-chancellor that; “I am prepared to face an enquiry since I have not committed anything wrong”.



Day of rallies, strikes at PAU
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
It was a day of protests, strikes and rallies at the Punjab Agricultural University here today. The PAU Teachers Association (PAUTA), the PAU Students Association and the Non-Teaching Employees protested against the management for various reasons.

The students of all colleges of the varsity went on strike today against the “callous” attitude of the management in implementing their long-pending demands. PAUSA president Gurpreet Singh Brar told The Tribune that they would continue with the strike till their demands were met.

“We don’t want to take such a step but we have been forced to do so because of step-motherly treatment meted out to us by authorities. Each time we went to officials concerned, we were told that they were helpless. ” said Brar.

The students have been demanding reopening of students’ home canteen and the library till late hours during examinations, free access to internet in students’ home, proper funds for meeting the expenses for preparations of cultural activities, new office for PAUTA and bus pass facility etc. The members of the Non-Teaching Employees Union also condemned the management for being biased towards them. Condemning the recent appointment of a teacher as the secretary to the vice-chancellor, Lakhwinder Singh Sandhu, senior vice-president of the union, said the post was meant for non-teaching employees of the varsity.

D.P.Maur, former president of the employees union, said in Chapter V of statutes regarding the appointments of employees of the university other than officers and teachers, it was clearly mentioned that the secretary to the VC should be selected by the vice-chancellor from among the university employees. The persons selected shall be liable to reversion to their previous position or to their parent cadres at the discretion of VC.

Lakhwinder Singh said they had given charter of demands to VC in February and employees were called in July. “But nothing has been done so far. We have no grudges against the vice-chancellor but other senior officers have adopted a dilly-dallying attitude. They are biased against the university employees”, said Sandhu. At least 1,000 non-teaching employees today protested near Thapar Hall.

Even the PAUTA members wore black badges against “callousness” by the UGC and the Indian Council for Agricultural Research . M.S.Mahal, president, and Mukesh Siag, general secretary of the PAUTA, said the Federation of North Zone Agricultural University Teachers, which covers 10 agricultural institutes from five states like Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh were of the view that both UGC and ICAR should hold the pay-review committees at the earliest.



Training camps degrade education quality: Parents
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 24
The central training camps of teachers posted at the government elementary and primary schools have further degraded the standard of education at these institutes.

Some of these schools, being managed by a single teacher, remain closed for at least two working days in each month.

Parents of affected students have urged authorities concerned to direct block-level officers to ensure that classroom teaching continues on all working days. In a communiqués addressed to the higher authorities, including the Chief Minister, and the education minister, residents alleged that studies of the students of the elementary schools had been adversely affected after the authorities started organising the central training camps for the teachers. Condition was grave at the schools where only one teacher was posted to teach all classes.

Investigations revealed that the elementary schools at Vishawakarma Mandir locality, the Jagera road, ward No 2, and Susheel Basti, was being managed by only one teacher each. The school at ward No 1 has since been closed. The government elementary schools at Bazigar Basti and Dehliz Khurad have two teachers each and those at Maherna Khurad, Rasool Pur and Chhanna have three educators each. While Dehliz Kalan School, with five teachers can afford to send one teacher to attend the camp in turn, the studies at other schools get interrupted at least for two days in a month.

Apprehending further deterioration of the studies due to other reasons, the parents urged the authorities to review the decision to hold the camps that do not seem to yield positive results. The quality teaching should be ensured on all working days, they demanded.

Sikandar Singh Jartoli, president of the Punjab School Teachers’ Union, said office-bearers of a few employees’ unions had also urged the higher authorities to withdraw the decision.



From Schools and Colleges
Students pay tributes to blast victims
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
Keeping in view the increasing violence in the world, New GMT Public School, celebrated Peace Day here today. The celebration commenced with a speech and a poem by the teachers. Tiny tots lit the candles to pay tributes to those who lost their lives in the Delhi bomb blast. Students made posters and all the teachers dressed themselves in white suits to mark the day. School principal, Jasbeer Kaur Bhalla, along with staff members and students took a pledge to maintain peace.


Ludhiana College of Engineering and Technology (LCET) organised a seminar "Quality Assurance through Meteorology and Standardisation" for the college faculty and students here today.

The keynote speaker on this occasion was Dr. Anil Jain, president, Vaiseshika Electron devices, Ambala and adjunct professor, BITS Pilani.

Principal LCET, Dr Pawan Kumar, introduced the speaker and highlighted his achievements. Dr Anil said quality assurance and standardisation in all fields of engineering could be achieved by metrology and calibration. Even it was applicable to the human life and could develop an individual to his excellence. Dr. Anil also elaborated the process of meteorology and calibration and listed the elements of that process, concept of calibration, hierarchy of traceability, echelons of traceability of accuracies etc.



Police ‘tortures’ shop employee
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
Receiving a phone call turned out to be the worst nightmare for a mobile shop employee who was still in a state of trauma after the alleged torture by the police.

Sanjay Kumar (35), who was allegedly beaten up by the policemen of the Sherpur police post on late Monday evening, was admitted at DMC where his condition was stated to be stable.

He alleged that the police beat him black and blue as he received a call from a man who eloped with a girl.

Sanjay, a resident of Ambedkar Nagar, who worked as mobile phone mechanic at Sherpur Chowk, was allegedly picked up from the shop on Monday evening in connection with the investigation of the eloping of a girl with Ravinder Kumar.

Sanjay alleged that he was beaten up at the police station due to which he fell unconscious and was taken to a nearby hospital.

According to Sanjay’s brother Ajay, Ravinder called up Sanjay to get his mobile phone recharged which the latter refused. When the police got hold of the call details of Ravinder’s mobile they called Sanjay for questioning at Sherpur police post where he was allegedly beaten up by the police.

Denying the allegation, Sherpur Chowki in charge Harjinder Singh said, “His family and area resident gave me in writing that Sanjay was suffering from fever and it is not due to the questioning of the police that his condition worsened.” However, Ajay said the police had offered them money for the medical expenses of the victim.



CMCH launches low-cost heart surgery
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 24
Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH), the premier institution that pioneered cardiac surgery in Punjab, is offering low-cost cardiac surgery in the region. The department has been revamped under the guidance of CMCH director Dr Abraham Thomas.

According to Dr Shylesh Kumar Kunnaanattil, head of cardio-thoracic unit at the CMCH, the cardiac surgery programme kicked off with closure of a hole in the heart of Sumeen. He was supported by “Missionaries of Charity”. A team of cardiac surgeons, along with supporting staff, performed the operation. Recovery of the patient was uneventful. He had been discharged and was doing well.

True to its objective as a charitable institute, the low-cost cardiac surgery programme in CMCH would benefit patients who were waiting for funds and needed early surgery. Dr Kunnaanattil said the aim was to add the CMCH on the map of high volume cardiac surgery centres in the world.



Students stage protest against authorities
Our Correspondent

Raikot, September 24
Students of Seth Madan Lal Memorial School of Nursing staged a protest outside the gate of the institute.

The students of the institute were up in arms against the ill treatment meted by the administrator of the institute and inadequate facilities provided by the institute. The students said the institute had only six teachers. There is no administrative staff. They alleged of having no equipments in computer laboratory, practical room and nutrition lab. The hostel facilities were also refused to the students. They were demanding all facilities needed for study, regular practices and immediate removal of administrator Capt. Sukhdev Singh. However, Dr. B.L. Bansal, owner of the institute, claimed to have all equipments in the institute.



Govt’s decision on free deliveries welcomed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
The Rural Medical Services Association (RMSA), Punjab, and the Punjab Civil Medical Services Association (PCMSA) in separate statements issued today welcomed the decision of free institutional deliveries taken by the Punjab government.

The decision was taken in a recent cabinet meeting following the article carried in Ludhiana Tribune on September 21 on “Increased expenses of childbirth at civil hospital across the state”.

RMSA president, Dr Aslam Parvez, in a statement issued stated that the decision of the state government would motivate poor people for the institutional deliveries and would be a great help in bringing down the post delivery complications, infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate.

The association further called the government to make provisions for a regular supply of free medicines, blood and appendage required in caesareans.

Similarly, the PCMSA hailed the decision of the Punjab government for the free delivery to mothers after waiving off the hospital charges in the government-run hospitals.



Kabaddi, bhangra competition from today
Our Correspondent

Khamano September 24
A Kabaddi tournament and Bhangra competition of Sugarfed Punjab will be held at The Budhewal Co-operative Sugar Mills, Budhewal, from September 25 to 27 in which players of Sugar Mills from all over Punjab will participate.

Stating this, chairman of the mill, Dharamjit Singh Gill, said that on September 27 Punjab co-operative minister, Capt. Kanwaljit Singh, would distribute prizes to the winners.

A seminar will also be held in which editor Punjabi Tribune, G.S. Sidhu and Capt. Kanwaljit, will be the main speakers.

Apart from this, deputy speaker of the Lok Sabha, Charanjit Singh Atwal; chairman Mandi Board, Ajmer Singh Lakhowal; MP Sharanjit Singh Dhillon; MLA Samrala Jagjivan Singh Khirnian; former MLA, Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal; chairman Sugarfed Punjab, Pritam Singh Kaunta and Gen. Mgr. Sugarfed Punjab V.K. Bhalla will also participate in the function.



Bank holds customer meet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
Sutlej Gramin Bank, Sherpur Khurd branch, organised a customer meet at the village yesterday.

Bank manager Sanjeev Monga made customers aware of various deposit and loans schemes. He said in addition to savings and fixed deposit accounts, people could avail various types of loans as per their needs like loans for agriculture and allied activities, business, industry, etc.

Village sarpanch Gurcharan Singh also addressed the gathering.




Fogging required

This is with reference to the news published in Ludhiana Tribune dated September 18 under the headline “Dengue stalks posh localities”. Fogging in the city is not done as per the requirement. For example residents of urban estate, Dugri, have seen the fogging done by the municipal corporation only once a year, though doctors are of the opinion that the fogging should be done as early as possible to check mosquitoes menace in the posh localities.

The Indian Medical Association should approach the MC authorities on priority to impress upon to send the fogging machines to the required localities for spraying.

People of the city should also keep their surroundings free from stagnant water and should make efforts to keep their surroundings clean.

Manjit Singh Mehram, Ludhiana

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Bribery Case
Judicial remand for tehsildar, 2 others
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 24
Chief Judicial Magistrate Lachhman Singh today declined the request of the Vigilance Bureau to further extend the police remand of tehsildar-cum-sub-registrar Arvind Parkash Verma and two employees of his office in a bribery case. All accused were remanded in judicial custody till October 8.

The Vigilance Bureau’s public prosecutor Sukhchain Singh had stressed for extending the remand of the accused persons. He pleaded that due to strike in banks today, the bank accounts, as disclosed by the accused tehsildar, could not be verified. Moreover, the prosecution also wanted to probe regarding his alleged benami properties.

However, the defence lawyers strongly opposed the plea of extension of remand. It was pleaded that the VB officials have failed to show any progress in the investigation of the case in the last two days of the police remand. They were not entitled to get any further remand due to this. It was alleged that the tehsildar was a victim of political vendetta by the ruling party.

Verma again broke down in the court today and started weeping. He stated before the court that it was height of political vendetta that a case was registered against him under the Arms Act for keeping the arms without licence. He produced copies of the valid arms licences before the court to show that he was falsely booked. He further alleged that at midnight he was taken out of the lock up and an ASI slapped him several times.

Verma was arrested on the charges of accepting Rs 10,000 through his employees few days back. He was then remanded to two days police custody. The VB sleuths had also raided the house and shop of brother of Verma at Jalandhar. Even his brother was booked under the Excise Act.

Meanwhile, one clerk of tehsildar office Gopal Krishan booked in this case today moved an anticipatory bail. The Additional Sessions Judge G.S. Sran adjourned his bail application with directions to the Vigilance Bureau for producing the case file on September 30. He was not given any interim bail.



Management of sports injuries discussed
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, September 24
The Directorate of Students’ Welfare, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, in association with the Nursery of Cricket Centre of Excellence organised a seminar on sports injury, their causes, management and rehabilitation here at the College of Agriculture, PAU, which was attended by more than one hundred sportspersons drawn from different disciplines.

The seminar lasted for over two hours during which Dr Sanjeev Mahajan, a specialist in sports injuries, delivered a lecture on problems faced by sports persons, including knee twisting, stiffness in shoulder and back, muscle pull and others that could jeopardise one’s career. The participants were shown video clippings of different stages of various injuries and what precautions a player should take. They were also told about the treatments available to overcome such problems.



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