L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Mob fury at toll barrier
Disciples of Nirmal Singh Bharomajaray vandalise booths at the toll plaza on the issue of free transit
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Phillaur, April 7
A peaceful religious procession turned violent and the mob broke all 12 booths at the Sutlej toll barrier on the NH-I here this afternoon.

The police fired into the air and resorted to canecharge to disperse the crowd.

The incident took place when the procession consisting of around 100 vehicles and ferrying about 800 followers of Nirmal Singh Bharomajaray were stopped by toll plaza employees.

The procession was returning back after celebrating the birth anniversary of Guru Ravidas in Hardwar.

According to an eyewitness, they requested the toll plaza authorities not to take toll from them as they had not paid any toll when they crossed the toll plaza on their way to Hardwar on an earlier occasion.

But the toll employees said they could allow only the vehicle carrying the Guru’s palanquin to cross without the toll.

In the meantime, other vehicles also tried to cross the barrier, to which the toll plaza authorities objected and stopped the vehicles. A hot argument then followed.

A follower alleged that the mob turned violent when a security guard at the toll plaza used objectionable language regarding the sect and its followers.

They then broke all 12 booths and smashed computers installed there. A police personnel who tried to intervene was also beaten up.

They then sat on a dharna which resulted in a massive traffic jam.

A team headed by the DSP (rural), Parampal Singh, reached the spot and reportedly fired five shots into the air and canecharged the crowd. Five protesters are supposed to have sustained serious injuries. The injured were rushed to a hospital at Phillaur.

The matter was resolved after a meeting between the sect head and the DSP. The toll plaza authorities refused to comment on the incident. Sources said the toll plaza authorities were not filing a case against the followers, who belong to Nawanshahr, Banga, Appra and Phillaur. The DC said action would be taken only after receiving a complaint in this matter.

The contract of the toll plaza is going to end soon. An employee said earlier such processions were given free transit by the authorities, but since the contract was going to end soon, strict instructions had been given to the employees to charge toll from every vehicle.



Inter-bank ATM services fail to work
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
In spite of the RBI’s ruling to throw open the use of ATMs owned by a particular bank to customers of another bank free of cost from April 1, hundreds of city residents are still complaining that they are unable to get such transactions processed.

Rajan Sood, a businessman, complained that he tried ATMs of several banks, but to no avail and ultimately, had to go to the ATM of his own bank.

He rued that even after a week since the facility was to be officially implemented across all banks, customers were still being denied smooth transactions. Akash Bhatia, a student, said he was unable to operate the ATM of IDBI Bank with his HDFC Bank ATM card.

Another harried customer, Shweta Singh, said both UCO Bank and Canara Bank were not accepting ATM cards other than their own. “While UCO Bank’s ATM did not accept the card, that of Canara Bank was unable to process the transaction,” she said.

“It is not the same with every bank’s ATM. There are ATMs of certain banks from which one can withdraw cash or make balance enquiries, but the facility is still not available at most ATMs,” a private bank official, requesting anonymity, said.

Sources in the banking sector said several banks had been unable to synchronise their ATMs. Bank officials said the ATM facilities run by banks with large ATM-using customer base of their own could not cope with the pressure when customers of other banks shifted to their ATMs.

The RBI had said from April 1, customers using inter-bank ATMs would not be charged any fee. Earlier, customers had to pay around Rs 50 per transaction and about Rs 20 for making balance enquiries.


Violation of Election Commission orders
Pamphlets being circulated without print line
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
In violation of the directions of the Election Commission, political parties in Ludhiana are circulating poll material like pamphlets and have put up posters without mentioning the name and address of the printer.

According to Section 127-A of the Representation of the People Act, the EC had made it compulsory that every election pamphlet, handbill, placard or poster which was printed or multigraphed by any process (except copying by hand) must bear on the front the name and address of the printer and the publisher.

For the past three-four days, pamphlets of Manish Tewari, Congress candidate, are in circulation. The pamphlets are being circulated with newspapers in English, Hindi and Punjabi languages.

A cable hanging in front of Manish Tewari’s office and a banner at SAD candidate Gurcharan Galib’s house also does not carry any print line, raising a question whether they come under the category of printed material or are signboards.

When the Deputy Commissioner-cum-returning officer, Vikas Garg, was asked about it, he said: “We have already issued directions to printing press. I would be able to comment only after enquiring into the matter.”

The instructions also state that four copies of printed material and the declaration of publishers should reach the authorities concerned within 10 days of its printing, failing which it would be treated as violation of the provisions.

Besides, the printer is also directed to furnish a copy of the printed material with particulars like quantity and price charged for the job in a proforma prescribed by the commission and duly signed and authenticated by the printer.



Emergency contraceptive pills
Rampant sale hits AIDS campaign
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
With the sale of MTP pills and emergency contraceptive pills going up by 100 per cent and a steep decline in the sale of contraceptives, the campaign by the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) for protected sex to control the incidence of HIV/AIDS stands defeated.

A majority of chemist shops/drug stores are selling these pills without the prescription of medical practitioners, which is a violation of the Drug and Cosmetic Act and the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. There is a warning on every pack of the pills that reads: “To be sold by retail on the prescription of a registered medical practitioner only”.

The surveillance report of NACO states that the dominant mode of transmission of HIV infection in the country still remains heterosexual contact which needs to be curbed through promotion of protected sex.

Despite the fact that Ludhiana, with the maximum number of HIV/AIDS cases, has been declared a sensitive centre in the state, the district health authorities have failed to initiate action against drug stores guilty of selling the pills without prescription.

MTP pills like misipristone and mesoprostol induce abortion and are not a contraceptive. Hence, selling these without prescription is illegal.

Similarly, emergency contraceptives like Ipill and Unwanted that are to be administered under medical supervision in case of failure of a contraceptive are being misused by people. A large number of women/girls develop complications that may prove fatal.

Going by advertisements of these pills on television, young boys and girls are indulging in the rampant use of these pills instead of contraceptives.

The additional director of Punjab Aids Control Society, NM Sharma, agreed that the infringement of the Act was hindering their campaign referred to as ABCD wherein A stood for abstinence of sex for unmarried youth, B for being faithful to your partner, C for promoting condoms and D saying no discrimination against HIV/AIDS patients.

“We have already taken up the matter with the department of health and family welfare and are waiting for action,” he added.



Teenagers nabbed from hookah bar
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
Parents who were thinking their children were burning midnight oil for examination were shocked to see them being handcuffed at a hookah bar in Kitchlu Nagar last night. These teenagers were caught puffing hookah at the Kitchlu Nagar market late last night.

The police raided the hookah bar and detained several underage students. They were later let off following a strict warning. According to the SHO of Division No. 8, Mandeep Singh, they received secret information that underage boys and girls were being allowed to use the hookah.

The SHO called their parents at the bar and they were surprised to see their children in delirium. A police source said some children could not even stand steady.

The police said most of the children had told their parents that they were going to stay at a friend’s house to prepare for the examinations.

The bar claimed that it added only 5 per cent of nicotine in flavoured hookah. The samples have been sent for analysis.



Graft: No relief for LIT officials
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 7
Avtar Singh Azad, executive officer of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), could not get any relief in his anticipatory bail application here today. He had been booked in a corruption case.

His application was taken up by the court of Additional Sessions Judge GS Saran as the Sessions Judge had entrusted him with the hearing. The court issued a notice to the police for April 10 with the direction to produce the record.

The court also issued notice for the same date while taking up the bail plea of the co-accused, Paramjit Singh, LIT superintendent. The lawyer representing the officials had sought interim relief to protect them from arrest during the pendency of the bail plea.

The duo had been booked under Section 13(1)(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act at the Civil Lines police station on April 4 on the written complaint of the Deputy Director of the local bodies department.

They were facing accusations of favouring a defaulter allottee by allowing him to deposit instalments against rules of the LIT.



Rally against fee hike 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7s
The Hindu Sikh Jagriti Sena took out a motorcycle rally comprising 100 bikes against the hefty fee hike by the schools affiliated to CBSE.

The rally was organised by the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sports and Welfare Club, which started from Karpal Nagar and passed through main business centres, including Chaura Bazaar, Clock Tower, GT Road and concluded at Jagroan bridge.

The participants raised slogans against school president Gurvinder Singh Bindra and vice-president Varun Sood.

The club extended support to the agitation launched by the Hindu Sikh Jagriti Sena. Today was the seventh day of the relay fast by the sena activists. 



PAU VC seeks apology
‘Gagging’ of management board 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
In a letter sent by PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr MS Kang to university management board member Avtar Singh Dhindsa seeking public apology, as the members were not allowed to ask about the functioning of the university.

Condemning the move, one of the members Hardial Singh Gajnipur said the members should be allowed to clear doubts on various issues during the board meeting. “We have come to know that an apology letter has been sent to Dhindsa by the VC, but he is not in the city yet. We will discuss the matter with other members once he is back,” he added.

The former member of the board and former PAU VC, Dr GS Kalkat, termed it as a surprising incident, as all members of the management should be allowed to raise questions during the meetings.

It is pertinent to mention here that the VC has sent an apology letter to Dhindsa as the latter had raised certain objections during the recent meeting on March 31 in Chandigarh.

Meanwhile, Dhindsa confirmed to have received a letter by Dr Kang. He further said he would talk about it after he comes back on April 13. 



MC team to study water projects
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal along with some MC officials left for Chandigarh to study two water supply projects today.

Bansal said: “One of the projects is chlorination of water in which the water is treated with 100 per cent chlorine gas. This will ensure clean water supply and the project will be coming under the JNNURM.”

Similarly, under another project, SCADA, all water tubewells of a city would be operated from one room. Under the project, Rs 2 lakh would be spent on one tubewell.

Bansal said the projects would help bring a major change in water supply in Ludhiana.



Work on rly health unit begins
Sigh of relief for staff
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 7
The Northern Railway has started the civil work on the railway health unit (RHU) following the demands of serving employees and railway pensioners to make it a sub-divisional hospital.

The health unit will be equipped with latest clinical equipment.

The senior divisional medical officer at the divisional headquarters has submitted a list of equipment worth Rs 17 lakh intended to be added to the hospital to the chief medical director of the Northern Railway at New Delhi.

Officials concerned said the serving employees and pensioners would be provided with services of various specialists at the hospital.

According to Northern Railway Pensioners’ Welfare Association chairman Sher Singh, the railway authorities had taken a right step by commencing the development work in a bid to provide better medical facilities to the employees and pensioners.

"At present, there are no specialists available at the health unit. Moreover, laboratory and diagnostic tests like lipid profile, ultrasound and echocardiography are not available,” he added.

On behalf of the association, Sher Singh appealed to the authorities concerned both at the divisional and central headquarters to look into the problems of the pensioners. "The authorities will speed up the work and provide necessary equipment without any delay,” he added.



Workshop on nursing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
Around 30 schools and colleges of nursing from the state attended a two-day workshop on “Critical care nursing” at the DMCH.

The two-day conference saw presentations by faculty members and experts. Latest research and protocols in the field were stressed upon, like the new ventilator management strategies for management of respiratory distress syndrome.

Dr Jasbir Kaur, principal, College of Nursing, DMCH, and Dr Daljit Singh, principal, DMCH, along with Dr Kanwaljit Gill, state president, Trained Nurses Association of India, were also present. 



Preneet holds rally at Chehal
Our Correspondent

Amloh, April 7
Congress candidate from the Patiala Lok Sabha seat Preneet Kaur addressed a rally at Chehal village, 3 km from here, today.

She said the UPA government had achieved its goals to uplift all categories of people.

Talking to mediapersons, she said she did not confine herself to raising the problems in the house alone. She strived to achieve results, be it the depleting underground water, floods in Tangri Nadi, Ghagar overflow in the Ghanaur area or Rs 50 crore as relief to people, she added.

She, however, refused to remark on Jasjit Singh Bunny’s announcement to contest as an Independent candidate from the seat.

Earlier, she addressed a rally of around 20 newly attached villages from Amloh Vidhan Sabha constituency to Nabha constituency, a part of Patiala Lok Sabha area.

She said the UPA government had watched the interest of all categories and passed Domestic Violence Act for the protection of women.

MLA Sadhu Singh Dharamsot said the previous Congress government in the state had established four memorial gates at Fatehgarh Sahib, while the district status was also given to it by the Congress government.

Former MLA and coordinator of Patiala Lok Sabha constituency Ramesh Singla said during the five-year tenure of the Congress, there was no problem in lifting of crops from grain market.

Nabha MLA Randeep Singh criticised the SAD for misguiding people over development works that, he claimed, the Congress had planned and got funds for the same from the Centre.

Patiala market committee’s former chairman Rajinder Singh Tohra, Nabha’s former block samiti chief Mahant Harvinder Khanora, Bhadson sarpanch Chunni Lal and district Congress general secretary Lal Singh Tohra also spoke.



MCPI (U) raps govt
Our Correspondent

Doraha, April 7
The Marxist Communist Party of India (United) has condemned the “anti-people and pro-imperialist” policies of the ruling party which they alleged is forcing the country towards recession.

In a state committee meeting especially organised under presidentship of Pritam Singh yesterday, members lashed at the “authoritarian tactics and dictatorial strategies” being followed by the dominating parties. They blamed the “corrupt politics and the self-centred modes” of ruling parties to be behind the recession the country is presently passing through.

Kuldip Singh Grewal, MCPI (U) state secretary, alleged that the ruling parties like the UPA and the NDA government, following the guidelines of the IMF, World Bank and World Trade Organisation are dragging the nation towards unemployment, inflation and starvation.

The party leaders also condemned the condition of electricity supply in the state and the faulty supply of clean drinking water to the common man, which they lamented, is adding to their woes every now and then.

District general secretary Lakhwinder Singh Buani asked the people to vote sensibly in the coming Lok Sabha elections.

The members also condemned the allotting of party ticket to Titler by the Congress as they opined that it is being viewed as igniting communistic feelings in different sects and religions. Members present included Pawan Kumar Kaushal, Amarjit Singh Faizgarh, Surinder Shehzaad, etc.



SAD, BJP under fire from Khalsa panchayat
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 7
The Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat today made scathing attacks on the ruling SAD-BJP combine in Punjab, charging the coalition partner with shedding crocodile tears over massacre of the Sikhs in anti-Sikh riots of 1984 and politicising the issue for electoral gains.

Speaking at a meeting of the body in Amarpura locality here, its convener Bhupinder Singh Nimana said it was not only the Congress that had committed atrocities against the Sikh but many other political parties, including the SAD and the BJP, had played with the sentiments of the Sikhs ever since the genocide.

Asking the Sikhs to remain cautious against the evil designs of “anti-Panth” forces, he ridiculed the statement of Sukhbir Badal and BJP leader Balbir Punj that if voted to power, the NDA would take steps to bring the Congress leaders, responsible for inciting mob violence against Sikhs, to book.

“If the SAD and the BJP were really sympathetic to the cause of the Sikh and earnestly wanted the guilty punished, they could well have done something worthwhile between 1999 and 2004 when Centre had the NDA government and the state was ruled by the SAD-BJP combine,” Nimana asserted.

He further alleged that certain top leaders of the SAD had played a dubious role behind some of the key witnesses against Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar turning hostile during the trial and strong evidence to substantiate the charges in this respect was available with the Khalsa Panchayat.

“SAD-BJP leaders in Punjab are raising the issue of injustice against the Sikhs and spitting venom against Congress leaders just to rouse Sikh sentiments and garner votes in the Lok Sabha elections,” the panchayat maintained.



Symposium on early ageing 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
The chief dermatologist and cosmetologist, SPS Apollo Hospitals, Dr Jastinder Gill, highlighted the benefits of botulinum toxin, introduced as Neuronox by Ranbaxy, at a symposium organised at the hospital today. Gill spoke on, 'say no to ageing' on the occasion.

Jugdeep Singh, managing director, inaugurated the symposium.

“Neuronox contains 100 units of botulinum toxin which is a natural protein derived from a bacteria called clostridium botulinum. It is commonly used for prevention and amelioration of dynamic wrinkles, crows feet, frown lines,naso-labial fold and horizontal neck lines. It can be given easily, safely and repeatedly. It is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures of recent times,” said Gill.

While explaining the procedure, Gill said Neuonox was injected into specific facial muscles. It relaxed the muscles and thus reduced wrinkles. The effect took seven to 10 days and the full effect could be seen in two or three weeks. The effect would last for six to nine months and sometimes even for a year.

Speaking on preventive measures, which can delay the onset of ageing, Gill said ageing was a natural process and secondary factors like stress, pollution, sun damage, led to early ageing. Various procedures available for different types of wrinkles and skin types could help in retaining good skin texture.



Karamchari Dal chief meets employees
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, April 7
Karamchari Dal chief Karamjit Singh Bhagrana held a meeting with employees here today. Talking to mediapersons, Bhagrana said veterinary pharmasists had been given the designation of veternary inspectors.

Also, the SAD government had applied for permission from the election commission to implement the recommendations of the fifth pay commission, he said.

He said Badal had accepted the demands of laying sewerage, road from grain market joining GT Road through villages, new bus stand, Government College at Bhagwanpura village during a sangat darshan programme at Amloh.

Work estimates had been prepared and an amount of Rs 2 crore had been released for the laying of sewerage of Amloh town and widening of road from Amloh to Shamashpur, he added.



Move to shift PSEB office
Villagers up in arms
Our Correspondent

Samrala, April 7
Residents of Katani Kalan village some adjoining villages, near here, are up in arms against the move to shift the sub-divisional office of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) from Katani Kalan to Shri Bhaini Sahib.

Village sarpanch Mahinder Partap said the office had been running from the village since 1955 and now the board was trying to shift it on the demand of the Bhaini Sahib Raian Development Board.

He said the office was situated on the Bhaini Sahib-Katana Kalan road and the village panchayat looked after it without charging any fee or rent for the office.

He said the Chief Engineer of Ludhiana circle had assured them of keeping the office at the village. However, efforts were on to shift it, he added.

Sarpanchs of 15 villages falling on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road had sent a signed letter to the Chief Engineer Patiala via XEN, Ghulal, urging them not to shift the office as it saved people time and money.

The board authorities Patiala division, in a letter memo No. 2236 dated 27-2-2009, had ordered to shift the office to Bhaini Sahib.



Treasury officials occupying shed
Visitors to police dept exposed to elements
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
Complainants visiting mini-secretariat to get their grievances redressed from senior police officers have to either sweat it out in the scorching sun or get drenched in rain. For, the shed designated for them is currently being occupied by the treasury department.

The department’s decision has caused much inconvenience to hundreds of applicants who visit mini- secretariat every day.

Iron grills have been installed to cover the shed and complainants have to manoeuvre their way through the shed to save them from sun. However, treasury department officials are in no mood to leave the place.

The move is part of expansion of the treasury office following complaints by employees of shortage of space.

A department source said the police authorities had requested treasury branch officials not to occupy the place, but the latter refused to budge from their stance.

According to a department officer, construction work would finish by May-end and the shed would be included in the treasury department.

“The shed belongs to the treasury department and they have every right to occupy it. If people are uncomfortable with it then it is the job of the police department to provide them with a sitting space,” a treasury department official said.

Davinder Singh, a complainant who visits the SSP officer frequently, expressed anguish over the rude attitude of bureaucrats.

He said the authorities should make some arrangements to provide shelter to visitors.

“What kind of treatment is this? Officers who call themselves public servants sit in cozy rooms, while general public is made to suffer in heat,” said Kehar Singh, a resident of Gill village.



Road named after fashion brands
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
The road leading to Mint Gumri Chowk at Model Town has been named the ‘Brand Road’.

With many major fashion brands available on this road, including Madame, Cotton County, John Players, Miss Players, Rage, Liliput, Black, TNG etc, it has been given this name.

Though the recession has hit almost every sphere of the society, it could not affect the brand-conscious Ludhianvis.

“As the prominent colleges are located in this area, thus, many branded stores have opened on this road.

Youngsters compare the Brand Road with Mumbai’s Fashion Street.

“This is Ludhiana’s Fashion Street. This road has all major fashion brands, be it clothes, shoes or saloons. We don’t need to go to any other place for shopping,” MBA student Ishita said.

“This road has turned into Model Town’s forte. You name the brand and it is there,” added another younster Vikram.



Justice Gill inspects jail
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 7
Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge Justice Mehtab Singh Gill today inspected the Central Jail here today. He heard the problems being faced by jail inmates and passed necessary instructions. He was accompanied by Sessions Judge GK Rai, the Deputy Commissioner and the Senior Superintendent of Police.

Later, he inspected the working of courts at Samrala. He was given warm welcome by Samrala Bar Association president Jaspreet Singh, Bar Association’s former president Uttam Chand and other office-bearers. The lawyers raised demand for setting up a court of Additional Sessions Judge at Samrala.



Man stabbed, robbed of Rs 10,000
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 7
A middle-aged man was stabbed by three youths before being robbed of over Rs 10,000 here yesterday.

The victim, Mangat Singh (45), of Kothe Hari Singh village, near here, is an employee of the local FCI Department.

The incident occurred when the victim was returning home after withdrawing his salary.

Injured Mangat Singh, who was admitted to the local civil hospital, claimed that he was carrying Rs 10,000, which he had withdrawn as salary, besides currency with serial Nos. 786 worth Rs 1,600.

He said the scooter-borne youths rammed their vehicle into his bicycle, forcing him to fall in the fields.

They then stabbed the victim five times in the abdomen and chest and fled with the cash and a gold ring.

The victim, who was badly hurt in the assault, fell unconscious.

Two PCR personnel of his village, while returning home late in the evening, saw the victim lying in the fields and took him to a hospital.

He said though the police was informed of the incident last night, no one had so far approached him for his statement.



Cricket buffs celebrate India’s victory
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 7
Cricket fans here have hailed the India’s historic win over New Zealand in the Test series.

The Indian team created a history today by clinching the series in New Zealand after a gap of more than four decades.

In the series, India outplayed Kiwis on their home turf to clinch the series 1-0 to stamp its authority. The visitors, after romping home victorious in the first Test, survived anxious moments in the next game but eventually managed to force a draw.

In the third Test at Wellington, India dominated the proceedings from the beginning and was all set to win.

The cricket buffs celebrated the victory at various places in the city. The budding cricketers at the regional coaching centre, run by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association here on the Arya College grounds, also celebrated the victory by distributing sweets.



Navdeep, Neha emerge best athletes
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, April 7
The Desh Bhagat Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology held its athletics meet here today.

Dr Raj Kumar, sports director, Punjabi University, inaugurated the meet.

International boxing coach and Dronacharya awardee GS Sandhu, NIS Patiala, distributed prizes to the winners.

He congratulated the students on their performances and appreciated them for putting in efforts.

Navdeep Singh and Neha from Desh Bhagat Engineering College were declared best athletes. 



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