L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


150 buses lined up for Sukhbir’s show
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
District transport officials remained on the beck and call of political bosses of the state throughout the day today.

The DTO office remained locked as the officials were busy in “confiscating” vehicles for the mega event of Sukhbir Badal’s elevation as Deputy Chief Minister at Amritsar tomorrow holding up the public works for the second consecutive day today.

Transporters rued that they were being forced to send their vehicles for the event. DTO Chander Gaind camped in Dana Mandi throughout the day today when the buses were being lined up for the show. He was accompanied by his staff members also who remained on their toes to please their political bosses. All this while, their office in the mini secretariat was locked throughout.

What cannot be cured must be endured. This is not happening for the first time, said an official. He added they had no option but to bow to the wishes of leaders.

Not only SAD leaders but several BJP leaders also kept on demanding buses and cars from the DTO, who was at his wits end to make arrangements. As many as 150 buses were lined up by the evening.

“It is saddening that the PM of country is himself going to the transport office in New Delhi to get his licence renewed and a leader, who would be the Deputy Chief Minister tomorrow, is causing harassment to so many people. If it is like this in Ludhiana, what would be the condition in other districts? We do not want such leaders,” said Pritam Singh, a resident.

Meanwhile, all was set for the elevation ceremony. The MLAs of the district were given different duties like arranging for the vehicles, food and even leaders to put up a show of strength at Amritsar. All roads were leading to the holy city.

A few gurdwaras were also asked to prepare langar for the army of workers who will be reaching the holy city.


Bodies of industrialist, children taken out
from Sirhind canal

Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 20
The bodies of an industrialist and his children, who had been missing for nine days, were spotted by a passersby in the Bathinda branch of Sirhind Canal at Khatra village near here today.

Bhupinder Singh reportedly drove his car in the Bathinda branch of Sirhind Canal near Khatra village near here.

According to sources, the industrialist took the extreme step after he was unable to come out of shock following the death of his wife.

The bodies surfaced after the water level in the canal receded today.

Bhupinder Singh, an auto parts manufacturer and resident of Partap Colony Model Gram, Ludhiana, allegedly committed suicide along with his son Rishu (10) and daughter Harleen (6) by driving his car in the Bathinda branch of Sirhind Canal presumably on January 11.

The trio had come to pay obeisance at Karamsar Rara Sahib Gurdwara after watching a movie at a multiplex in Ludhiana on the fateful day. Desperation due to the sudden death of his wife due to fall on occasion of her daughter’s birthday was reported to be the reason behind the extreme step the industrialist took.

Investigations revealed that Bhupinder Singh, along with his children, had left his house on the morning of the fateful day. According to last telephonic conversations held with his parents, the trio had gone to pay obeisance at the gurdwara after watching the movie. During his last conversation with one of the relatives, Bhupinder had stated that his car had been stranded due to blockade on road on account of a religious procession. After that, his mobile phone was found switched off. A missing report was registered by the family at Division Number 5 police station in Ludhiana after they failed to search them at religious places in Punjab and surrounding states.

They had expected that Bhupinder might have gone to religious place due to his mental stress. But their hopes dashed to ground when the police informed them about the recovery of a white Maruti from Sirhind canal. Members of the family who went to identify the bodies were inconsolable. Preliminary investigations by the police revealed that Bhupinder Singh had probably thrown his car in the canal deliberately. The vehicle was in neutral gear at the time of the incident and the ignition key was off. It seems that the children had tried to come out of the car by opening the window panes. The Dehlon police handed over bodies to the kin of the deceased after conducting the post-mortem examination under Section 174 of the Cr PC.



Sexual Harassment Case
Brar told to file reply by Feb 5
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Dr Dulcha Singh Brar, accused in the sexual harassment case at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), has been asked to reply to the charge-sheet issued by the authorities till February 5. For this, he has been provided with all the necessary documents and the evidence by the varsity. This was confirmed by the Vice-Chancellor of the varsity Dr MS Kang here today.

Dr Kang further added that things would be cleared only after getting Dr Brar's reply. "If there is admission of guilt then the authorities will take the action accordingly and if not, it will be decided whether to constitute a new committee or not to conduct the probe again", said Dr Kang.

When asked whether the complainant in the case would be getting an extension as certain PAUTA members had demanded not to provide extension to her services, Dr Kang said there was no reason for not giving her the extension. He also said no one (PAUTA representative) had approached him on this issue.

A woman employee of PAU working under Dr Brar had filed a written complaint of sexual harassment against the Director, Students Welfare (Dr Dulcha Singh Brar), in September. Dr Brar was immediately relieved of his duties and a four-member committee, headed by the Dean, College of Home Science, Dr Neelam Grewal, was constituted to probe the matter.



Disgruntled, rural doctors eye jobs outside Punjab
Pen-down strike from today in protest against
not regularising their jobs
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Disgruntled over the “unfulfilled promises” of the state government, more than 50 per cent rural doctors working on contract under zila parishads in the state have taken their experience certificates to seek jobs in other states and overseas.

The doctors were appointed on three-year contract in rural dispensaries of Punjab by the Congress government in June, 2006. The Badal government had promised to regularise them during elections but has failed to do so.

A s many as 102 doctors in Ludhiana district, 108 in Jalandhar, 100 in Ferozepur, 90 in Sangrur , 64 in Patiala, 44 in Muktsar, 32 in Moga, 30 in Mohali, 12 in Faridkot have already taken their experience certificates from ADC (D) while the remaining doctors have applied for it.

The doctors are considering to apply against 1,200 vacancies in the CRPF /BSF, 600 in Haryana, 500 in Dubai and 250 in the Army.

Meanwhile, the Rural Medical Services Association (RMSA) at a recent meeting held in Ludhiana has decided to start a pen-down strike from tomorrow wherein the 1,200 doctors serving in rural dispensaries across the state will boycott immunisation programme and no prescriptions will be made.

Dr JP Narula, adviser to the RMSA, stated that keeping in mind the convenience of the people, announcements had already been made in village gurdwaras.

Absence of in-service benefits, including no earned leaves, missing incentives and allowances, no provision of postgraduation for rural doctors, have demoralised the doctors working in rural dispensaries.

Further expressing their resentment over the denied postgraduation to the young rural doctors, Dr Rajesh Sharma said, "It is rather sad to see that the Punajb Civil Medical Services (PCMS) doctors having 48 years of age get a chance to their postgraduation as they have 60 per cent reservation whereas a doctor aged 35 is denied his PG just because he is serving in a village on contract.

Another doctor from Muktsar, while citing a recent example of unavailability of doctors, presented a letter wherein he was deputed on VIP duty during SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal on his recent visit to Lambi.

The rural doctors while pointing towards the three Ps (Promoting, preventive and protecting health) have called upon the government to regularise them before the termination of their contracts on May 31.



Allotment of Flats
Smart cards for the poor after biometric survey
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
The municipal corporation will hire a company to conduct biometric survey and issue smart cards to the poor who would be allotted flats that are being constructed under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

The flats are coming under the Basic Services for the Urban Poor - a sub-mission of JNNURM.

According to sources, the civic body has recommended a Delhi-based company Ewit Infotech for the purpose and the proposal has been sent to the Finance and Contracts Committee for its final nod.

They revealed that the survey would help to ensure that at the time of the allotment of flats the right beneficiary should get the benefit and there should be no-pick-and-choose policy nor any allegations. Besides, it would help in transparency of the whole process.

In the detailed project report - 1 (DPR-1) that has been approved by the Centre, the municipal corporation has given the following data of the household survey conducted by it.

The survey report says that Jamuna Colony in Sarabha Nagar has 300 jhuggis, where 2,100 people reside, while around 7,000 poor are living in 1,300 jhuggis at Labour Colony. Similarly, 2,775 people have been reported to be residing in 470 houses in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, whereas 2,500 people are living in 500 jhuggis at Rajeev Gandhi Colony.

Notably, the construction of 1,280 flats has been already started in Giaspura village where three contractors are undertaking the work. These flats have been divided into various blocks and each block consists of 16 dwelling units where each flat has one bedroom, one living room along with a kitchen and toilet as accommodation.

The work orders for the construction of these flats have been issued on October 1, 2008, and the contractors have to complete the construction within 18 months span.



‘Ghajini’ cue for city cops
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
SSP RK Jaiswal, taking cue from the Bollywood’s recent blockbuster “Ghajini”, has instructed all SHOs to put a reminder alert on their mobile phones or computers to keep a tab on their routine work.

Unlike “Ghajini’s” hero Amir Khan, the local police is not suffering from the short-term memory loss, but is certainly struggling hard to cope with the increasing work load, growing crime rate and repeated visits of politicians, due to which complainants suffer and lodges complaints with their seniors.

To make the police more responsive, the SSP met the SHOs concerned yesterday and directed them to set reminder alerts on their mobile phones for better policing.

“Call it an idea taken from the film or technological advancement, but the police should know the judicious use of the latest technology for improved policing,” said the SSP and admitted that the cops were suffering due to the staff shortage. Such steps would help in improving their efficiency, he added.

The SHO has to tackle pressures from society. In such a case it is necessary to use the available technology to their advantage. However, the SHOs have given a mixed response to the SSP’s direction.

Though almost all SHOs have latest mobile phones, only a few know how to use them.

An SHO, on the condition of anonymity, said, “I am not the “Ghajini” hero who is suffering from the memory loss. Further, I don’t know how to set a reminder on the mobile set.”

On the other hand, a few find this idea quite beneficial. “Often routine jobs are overlooked in the fast pace of the world. It would prove beneficial if officers put reminders on their cell phones. It can improve our efficiency,” said an SHO.



Drug peddler gets 15-yr jail
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 20
Drug peddler Amarjit Singh alias Ambi of Hoshiarpur has been convicted on the charges of possessing 100 bags of poppy husk by a local court. Holding him guilty, Additional Sessions Judge M S Virdi ordered him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 15 years. The convict was also ordered to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh apart from undergoing imprisonment.

“The menace of drugs was rising day by day. It has spoiled lives of numerous youths. Persons found to have indulged in this illegal trade needed to be curbed with sternly’, observed the judge, while turning down the plea of leniency raised by the accused.

An FIR was registered against him at the Sidhwan Bet Police Station in April, 2002, under Section 15 of the NDPS Act.

According to the prosecution, then in charge CIA staff Jagraon Gursharan Singh along with a police party was checking the suspected persons at Dharampur Sidhwan Bet Road near a deserted petrol pump.

At about 12.30 pm, a Tata 709 was seen coming from the side of Kishanpura. He was followed by a Tata Sumo. A signal was given to the person driving the Tata 709. He stopped the vehicle and tried to flee. But the police officials apprehended him.

Whereas all persons sitting in the Tata Sumo managed to escape.

During the trial, the accused pleaded innocent. He claimed false implication in the case. But after appreciating the evidence on record, hearing the arguments advanced of Additional Public Prosecutor R S Sibia, the court found him guilty and sentenced accordingly.



Employees protest for regularisation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
The Punjab Subordinate Services Federation, the Punjab and UT Employees' Joint Action Committee and the Joint Council of Trade Unions here jointly organised a dharna today at the Mini Secretariat for the release and implementation of 6th Pay Commission.

A large number of employees from various departments and organisations joined the dharna. The employees demanded that the state government must accept the proposed scales by the Punjab Subordinate Services and the Punjab and UT Employees' Joint Action Committee.

The employees demanded 7 per cent rate of annual increment, pay be fixed in the revised scale after merging interim relief with effect from January 1, 2006, and 25 per cent house rent be granted to the employees residing in B-1 and B-2 cities on the pattern of Chandigarh. They also demanded that the vacant posts be filled on regular basis and the employees working on daily and contract basis be regularised.

The employees also protested against the privatisation of departments. They also demanded that the departments given under the control of Zila Parishads be taken back.

While addressing the gathering, Charan Singh Sarabha demanded the of grant minimum pay scale of Rs 13,000 to Class-IV employees. Gurmel Medley said the employees must be given at least two advance increments while ignoring the ACP.



Export front for engg goods still dismal

Ludhiana, January 20
Contrary to expectations, the export front for engineering goods has not shown any improvement and the response remains poor.

Industrialists were hoping that things would be better after Christmas with the opening of European and West Asian markets. The European markets remain closed for about a month ahead of Christmas and New Year.

Avtar Singh, general secretary, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, Ludhiana, said the situation had been very bad so far as the export of engineering goods was concerned for the past four months due to global meltdown. There had been no buying by foreign buyers. It was estimated that engineering goods worth about Rs 1000 crore were lying with local manufacturers. These goods include bicycle parts, fasteners, auto-parts and hand tools, nut and bolts and machine tools.

He said they were hoping that after January 10, the European and West Asian markets would open. But so far there was no response at all.

“Our representatives are now in Cairo and Dubai for procuring fresh orders. I received call from my agent from Cairo last night only who informed me that there were no fresh orders for their goods,” he said.

The situation in European markets was particularly bad, he said.

The chamber leader said the bailout given by the Centre had not given any benefit to small-scale industrialists. The banks had refused to extend credit limits despite instructions from the RBI.

Avtar Singh called upon the Central government to extend incentives to encourage exports and curb the rise in prices of raw materials to help the industry.



Murder case solved
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
The CIA-II police has arrested a youth and claimed to have solved the blind murder case that took place at on October 22 last year near Old Jail Road.

The accused Chhabu Nath (20), a resident of the Railway Colony, was nabbed by the police, while his accomplice Rohit managed to flee from the spot.

According to SP (D) Gurpreet Singh Toor, the police received a tip-off from a source that the accused were planning to commit another crime near Jalandhar Byepass.

The CIA-II team reached the spot and nabbed Chabbu Nath, while Rohit, a resident of Shangla Wala Shivwala area, gave the police a slip. The police also seized a Bajaj motorcycle.

During the preliminary interrogation, the accused admitted of committing the crime.

According to the police, the accused is a drug addict. On the night of October 22, the accused met the victim, Human Surat, near a liquor vendor, near Rakhi cinema. The victim was in a highly inebriated condition. The accused, in lieu to help him, took the victim to near Old Jail Road, where they robbed him and hacked him to death with a sharp-edged weapon.

The SP said they had seized the weapon used for the crime. He said the accused was being questioned to find the whereabouts of his accomplice.



Commissioner pulls up MC officials
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Municipal Commissioner GS Ghuman today held review meetings with different departments of the Municipal Corporation and instructed officials to take on their work seriously.

Once again, officers of the building branch, especially Zonal Commissioners BK Gupta and Vinod Sharda, were on the receiving end for their failure to keep a check on the unauthorised construction going on in the city.

Ghuman also asked the officials to take his communications seriously failing which he would be forced to complain about them and an action would be initiated.

Interestingly, the Commissioner had made a list of the buildings that were not being constructed according to the building bylaws and took a stock of the latest position of the buildings.

Once again, ATPs too were in the dock, who themselves were not able to make it out whether they have to work in accordance with town planning wing or under the Zonal Commissioners of the building branch. The Commissioner also held a meeting with the tehbazari department and asked officers SI Naveen Malhotra and Daljeet Singh to prepare fresh and fix rates that should be charged for encroachers for returning their products that were seized during anti-encroachment drive.



Half-burnt body found
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
The entire area near Deepak Cinema was gripped with panic when the body of an unidentified man was found on a vacant plot in Dhobhi street near Deepak Cinema here this morning.

The incident came to light when a resident spotted the body on a plot. The resident soon informed the police about the incident.

According to the police, the man was hacked to death with a sharp-edged weapon and later his body was set on fire.

Except his face, his entire body received burns. After day-long investigation, the police could not establish the identity of the deceased. Meanwhile, the police is questioning the residents regarding the incident. The dog squad and fingerprint experts were pressed into service.

According to SHO, the investigation is on but no clue has been found so far. Meanwhile, the body has been sent for post-mortem.



PAU to evaluate mid-day meal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
To take the stock of the mid-day meal, being served in primary and upper-primary schools, the state education department has given a project to the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), said Krishan Kumar, Director General, Punjab school education.

Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice- Chancellor, PAU, confirmed that the college of home science would undertake the survey to evaluate the mid-day meal. Dr Kang emphasised that the scheme was meant for the poor students and the quality of food must be ensured.

Prabhcharan Singh, general manager of the scheme, said the university would assess the quality of food and the hygienic content. He further said that PAU teams would visit the schools and get first hand information by inspecting the quality.

Manager, finance, Jindal said there were 21,390 primary and upper-primary schools in the state, where the meal was served to 21.69 lakh students.

According to him, a sum of Rs 75.64 crore is spent on the scheme and the revised estimate of 192 crore has been sent to the Central government for the next session.

Under the scheme, dal, roti, sweet rice, salted rice and halwa are served to the students of primary classes and rajmah, chawal, dal, sabzi and roti to the students of the upper-primary classes.



PAUTA rift deepens as vice-chief refuses
to attend meeting

Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
The Punjab Agricultural University Teachers' Association (PAUTA) held its meeting today under the leadership of Mukesh Siag, general secretary of the association, in which the vice-president Dr B.S.Sohal refused to participate. With this, the rift among the PAUTA executive (Mahal and Siag) seems to have deepened.

Dr Sohal, who did not agree with the resignation put up by the president of the association Dr M.S.Mahal on Sunday, said they wanted to sort out things amicably by initiating a dialogue while the other party (Siag group) seemed to be in an agitational mode. "We want to work unitedly", he stressed.

With all these developments taking place among the PAUTA executive, the rival group got an opportunity to hit back. A statement issued by the rival group, including Dr Amarjit Singh, Dr M.L.Sharma, Dr Ramesh Khera, Dr S.K.Singla, Dr A.S.Joshi and Dr Jaspal Singh, here today says that an annual general body meeting should be convened at the earliest by the PAUTA executive to sort out their internal deadlock.

The members said this was the crucial time when the important matters regarding the varsity teachers were to be addressed but it was unfortunate that present executive was busy with their internal conflicts. "How can any union move? The president has resigned, the spokesperson has relieved of the charge, the new spokesperson refuses to comment, vice-president does not attend today's meeting etc, all this shows that the differences have been deepened", said one of the faculty members of rival group.

Vice-Chancellor MS Kang said it was their internal matter. But the recent charter of demands sent by the association were an "assault" rather than memoranda. The VC also said he was ready to listen to the teachers at any forum except for protest rallies or strikes. "Rather than addressing our personal agendas, we should work for the betterment of institution", said he.



Industrialist goes missing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
A 30-year-old industrialist of Model Town extension had gone missing under mysterious since last eveing.

Vikas Gupta, who runs a cardboard business, went to pick up his relative's son from tuition classes near Marriott Hotel but did not return.

The matter came to light when the tuition teacher called at the residence and told the family to send someone to take their child.

According to Achhru Ram Gupta, father of missing businessman, they found the scooter of Vikas from a vacant plot near Dhuri Railway lines.



Experts discuss joint disorders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
As many as 100 members of the National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA) attended a seminar on rheumatology. The seminar on joint disorders was conducted under the Continued Medical Education (CME) project of the organisation.

Dr Parshant Aggarwal, consultant rheumatologist and immunologist, DMCH, was guest faculty.

District NIMA president Dr Surendra Gupta advocated strong and focussed community-based efforts to take measures to reverse the increasing incidence of auto-immune diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and other connective-tissue disorders. As the NIMA doctors were primary healthcare experts, so it is their foremost duty to deal the cases of connective tissue disorders at the earliest so that the crippling effect of the disease could be averted and precious national human resources saved from otherwise incurable long-term complications, the doctor added.

He said the theumatoid arthritis was known as aam-vaat in Ayurveda. Measures like consumption of light and easily digestible food stuff help in reduction of the symptoms.

Dr Parshant Aggarwal, in his talk on treatment approach, said there were more than 100 causes for joint pains, and laboratory tests could often be misleading. Hence, accurate assessment and diagnosis was critical for optimal outcome.

Owing to the prevalent misconceptions, a majority of patients suffering from arthritis and various other rheumatic disorders failed to get adequate healthcare despite the significant recent advances in management of these illnesses, said Dr Parshant.

He further said the treatment of these disorders went beyond simple pain-killers and incorporated various disease-modifying therapies. With the recent advances in healthcare, the chronic arthritis illnesses were curable like other chronic conditions, like diabetes and hypertension. With the currently available treatment modalities, most of the patients were able to maintain an active, independent and normal lifestyle.



Special angioplasty technique
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
A new technique for opening the blocked arteries supplying blood to the heart has been selected by the third International CTO Live 2009 organised at Seoul.

RP Singh, senior consultant and coordinator, SPS Apollo Hospitals, had opened a severely-blocked coronary artery of a patient through a special angioplasty technique.

The paper on this technique was sent to International CTO Live. This new technique was appreciated and the doctor was invited to Seoul for presenting the case.

This disease is the narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries caused by the buildup of fatty deposits and inflammatory cells (called plaque) on the inner walls of the arteries that restricts blood flow to the heart.



Cop sent to lines for inaction
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Taking strict action, SSP RK Jaiswal has sent a police officer to serve in the police lines for his failure to arrest the accused who shot at two brothers and injured them seriously on Lohri.

ASI Jagroop Singh has been sent to the police lines for its failure to arrest the criminal almost a week after the incident.

The SSP even sent a show-cause notice to the SHO Division No 4 in this regards.

"The cop has been sent to the lines as he was stressing to make a compromise between the two groups rather than arresting the accused", said the SSP.

The “cutting’’ of kite led to a clash between two groups in which two brothers, Tarun and Kashav, were shot at from point blank range by the accused Harsh and Maddi on Lohri.

The victims are reported to be out of danger and recuperating at CMCH.



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