L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Accident-prone stretch
LIT chairman injured in car accident
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
Ashok Juneja, Chairman of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), had a miraculous escape when his car rammed into a tree near Guru Nanak Homoeopathy College along the Sidhwan Canal road here this morning. He sustained injuries on his head and ribs.

Juneja was alone in his I-20 car. He was taken to the DMCH in a serious condition and was later shifted to a private OPD.

According to the police, the incident took place at around 7.30 am. An eyewitness said Juneja lost control over the car due to the sudden incline and it hit a tree near the college. Commuters stopped and took him to hospital.

Juneja’s son Vikas said his father did not remember how the accident took place.




Two run over by truck
Tribune News Service

Samrala, June 28
Two persons were killed while five others received injuries when a truck hit seven persons near here this evening.

The deceased have been identified as Satvir and Vijay, both teenagers. The police said the victims were going to attend a wedding and had got off a bus when the accident occurred.

Police officials reached the spot and took the injured to hospital. The truck driver tried to flee, but was arrested with the help of some shopkeepers and commuters. The driver has been identified as Jasvir Singh, a resident of Mangarh village.

The police said the condition of the injured was stated to be serious.


Not a stray incident
CMCH patient’s kin assault guards, 5 hurt
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Security beefed up at the CMCH in Ludhiana on Monday.
Security beefed up at the CMCH in Ludhiana on Monday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, June 28
Over 15-armed assailants last night attacked security guards deployed at Christian Medical College & Hospital here for stopping a young relative of a patient admitted there from entering the hospital, as he did not possess a valid entry pass.

Later, other relatives of the patient created a ruckus outside the hospital entrance and injured five security guards. The latter have been identified as Rinku, Pawan Kumar, Anil Kumar, Kalam Singh and Jatinder. All of them suffered multiple injuries, with Jatinder and Anil reportedly sustaining fractures on their shoulders and fingers.

The incident took place at about 11 pm, when a youth identified as Manpreet Singh of Khud Mohala barged inside ward 3 of the hospital after refusing to show an entry pass, issued to the patient’s relatives, to security guards posted at the entrance.

Manpreet reportedly visited the hospital to enquire about the health of his relative, Kuldeep Kaur, 55, a resident of Bathinda, who has been undergoing treatment at CMCH.

According to an eyewitness, when Manpreet returned after meeting Kuldeep the security guards stopped him and asked for the entry pass. This led to a heated argument, which soon turned, into exchange of blows. However, the guards managed to overpower Manpreet and showed him out of the door.

The eyewitness said in no time Manpreet joined by over 15-armed men returned to the scene and thrashed the security guards. The assailants were equipped with swords, baseball bats and iron rods. They even damaged the office of the Group-4 security services located at the hospital.

It is learnt during the scrap Manpreet and his accomplices inflicted injuries on themselves in order to file a counter complaint of assault against the security guards.

Division No 3 SHO Raj Kumar said an investigation into the incident was on and the police was in the process of filing an FIR against the assailants. “We have launched a manhunt to nab the suspects, he added.

Sources close to the police said three of the assailants have been detained while searches were being conducted to apprehend the rest of them.



Jagraon Bridge ramp opened to traffic
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Just a few minutes after the up-ramp was inaugurated, serpentine queues could be seen in Ludhiana on Monday.
Just a few minutes after the up-ramp was inaugurated, serpentine queues could be seen in Ludhiana on Monday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, June 28
Much to the relief of daily commuters, the Jagraon bridge ramp, built at a cost of Rs 3.06 crore, was inaugurated today by Punjab Local Bodies & Industries Minister Manoranjan.

Giving details about the project, municipal corporation commissioner AK Sinha said the bridge ramp was 700 feet long and 16 feet wide. "It is another step to improve the city's infrastructure. The ramp will ease traffic congestion”, he added.

Commuters coming from the city’s interior areas will get the maximum respite as all these years, after the elevated road was constructed, they had to go through Field Ganj - the city’s most congested part, to reach Jagraon Bridge. Due to traffic snarls in Field Ganj it used to take took 20 to 30 minutes to pass through the small stretch.

MC joint commissioner MS Jaggi told The Tribune: “Commuters from congested areas including Clock Tower, Raikhy Cinema Road, railway station and Laxmi Cinema will now find it easier to reach Jagraon Bridge. It took about 18 months to complete this ramp”.

Rachita Goel, a resident of Khwaja Kothi near CMCH, said, "This is indeed a great boon for all of us. Till now we had to take alternative routes to reach our destinations, wasting a lot of time. As the bridge ramp has now become functional we will reach Jagraon Bridge within a few minutes".

Among others present at the inauguration ceremony were Punjab Jails & Tourism Minister Hira Singh Gabria, Harish Rai Dhanda, Harish Bedi, mayor Hakam Singh Gyaspura, senior deputy mayor Parveen Kumar Bansal, police commissioner Ishwar Singh, deputy commissioner Rahul Tewari and about 25 municipal councillors belonging to the Congress, BJP and SAD(B) parties.




VIP movement brings traffic to a halt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
Before commuters could take the ramp connecting the old city with Jagraon Bridge today, they faced a great deal of inconvenience due to the traffic jams caused by politicians and other ‘VIPs’ who had come for the project’s inauguration. Serpentine lines of vehicles were seen on the road from Dholewal Chowk to the bridge after the cops stopped traffic to ensure smooth movement of VIP vehicles on the bridge.

The VIPs had to reach the point connecting the bridge ramp with the elevated road, where the inauguration ceremony was to be held. As the cavalcade of politicians including Punjab Local Bodies Minister Manoranjan Kalia arrived traffic was paralysed.

As long as the VIPs remained on the bridge for the function, commuters were held up for over half an hour in the sultry weather. Traffic was allowed to flow only after the minister and his entourage left after the function

‘‘They have opened the ramp for the convenience of the public, but we’ve had to go through such a difficult time at the outset. Why cannot they just throw the ramp open to traffic? Where’s the need for VIPs to come all the way to take credit? When will we be mature?’’ asked Surinder Pal Singh, a commuter and a resident of Model Town.

Said another resident, Aman Kirat, fuming at the state of affairs: “The country attained independence six decades and its leaders had already taken enough credit in the past. But they are still doing it. I don’t know when they’ll grow up.”



Bravo! Jaspreet
Tribune News Service

Jaspreet KaurLudhiana, June 28
Accolades and appreciation poured in for Jaspreet Kaur who refused to marry the greedy groom at a gurdwara in Model Town here yesterday.

Her house at BRS Nagar I-Block still bore a festive look, but today Satwinder Kaur, her mother, and brother Manmeet Singh were receiving visitors for a different reason. Residents of the locality were seen thronging the house as the news of her refusal to marry was flashed on news channels.

People appreciated her courage. “It is better to regret once rather than repenting throughout life. She has taken the right decision. Everyone should have a daughter like Jaspreet,” her neighbour stated.

At the house, it was work as usual for Jaspreet, who was cleaning the house and washing utensils. “I was under a state of shock and could not sleep throughout the night. In the morning, I decided to help the family in cleaning the house and put the furniture back in its place,” she said.

Looking at her “mehendi”, she said: “Gurdeep told me that after the wedding, we would visit the Golden Temple to seek blessings, but it never happened.”

She claimed that his mother Amarjit Kaur dominated him. “She said in front of all guests that if he married me against her wishes, she would throw him out of the house,” Jaspreet said.

Nirmal Singh, father of Jaspreet, had met with an accident three years ago and remained bedridden for nearly a year. His leg was operated upon twice. Due to the accident, the family had been undergoing financial crisis. Manmeet Singh and Jaspreet had to leave their studies and take up jobs to support the family.

“My parent even agreed to sell off the house as Gurdeep’s mother had asked for ‘lavish’ furniture, but there was no end to their greed. I decided enough was enough and have no regrets,” she said.



Style Check
Red is passe; brides glow in yellow
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
Looking for that perfect colour for your wedding dress? Yellow seems to be the colour of the season for bridal wear this summer even as possibilities are endless when it comes to choosing from beautiful colour combinations for the biggest day of your life.

So go on, take your pick from amid bright hues - be it yellow, green, purple, turquoise or fuschia, make your imagination run wild as never before and play with colours.

"The mantra for brides of 2010 is simple. Think unique and don't shy away from experimenting. Do whatever, but stay away from the conventional bridal colours of red, maroon and pink," says Sonu Nilibar, owner of Nilibar Store.

Fashion designer Sonu Gandhi adds "Unconventional colour combinations are definitely a rage. So spotting a bride sporting a purple-yellow or a grey-hot pink combination is as common as finding one in a brown-burgundy lehenga. What you will not see this season is an all "red" bride."

Nilibar confirmed that for bridal wear, there is a massive demand for unique combinations in yellow and green; red with green; blue and beige; peacock green with maroon; green and crème; grey and magenta.

Nilibar and Gandhi add that this season there are as many options in bridal wear fabrics as in colours. One can choose from georgettes, Banarsi, chanderi, shimmer georgettes, metallic, etc.

"Gold is everywhere," Sonus remark. Both of them term show fabrics with gold or silver touch as the hottest selling fabric for bridal wear at the moment.

"No Indian wedding is complete without bling. So from heavy work in silver or golden, to stones, crystals and sequins, everything that glitters should be there on your wedding dress," they say.

The cuts in wedding lehengas, however, remain simple and clean with minimum of layering. "Light, smart bridal dress which is not complex and compliments the weather, is the perfect elegant and sensible choice," Gandhi says while Nilibar adds that bridal duppattas in fabrics like net are back in fashion. "They look elegant and are easier to wear for the already over-laden Indian bride," he suggests.



Jilted groom blames it on mother
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
A day after Gurdeep Singh’s fiancée decided to call of their wedding, the groom spent the day regretting his decision to agree to a demand for dowry made by his mother. He is said to have told the police his life had been “dominated” by his mother. However, at the same time, he said, “Even Jaspreet Kaur (the bride to be) was very domineering and I fell prey to two domineering women”.

However, in an interview with The Tribune in police custody today, Gurdeep rubbished Jaspreet’s allegations. “I was devastated by her decision to call off the wedding”, he said. However, he admitted the bride’s family had given him a gold ring and a gold ‘kara’ (bangle) as ‘shagun’.

Recounting the turn of events, Gurdeep said the trouble began during the ‘milni’ when the girl's family members gave an empty envelope to his mother. "My younger brother, Inderjit Singh, who is suffering from depression and spent three years in a mental hospital in Amritsar, was upset. He thought the girl's side had deliberately tried to humiliate their mother," he said in a choked voice.

“Inderjit then entered into an argument with a relative of the bride, which resulted in chaos”, he rued.

Gurdeep said he respected Jaspreet’s mother, a widow who had raised her two children alone. “The girl’s mother is working as an insurance agent on Ferozepur Road and is well respected due to her hard work and the sacrifices she had made”, he added.

“The incident had blemished her clean image. I agreed to her wishes out of respect and never disobeyed her”, said Gurdeep.

However, police sources have a different story to tell. They said both Gurdeep and Jaspreet’s mother had a heated argument in police custody”.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the girl’s relatives and the presence of a personal assistant of a politician added fuel to the fire, with the minor issue of an empty envelope snowballing into a major controversy. It was the PA who informed reporters about the incident.



Mazdoor union comes out in support of leader
Holds protest against registration of case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
The Punjab Nirman Mazdoor Union today protested registration of a “fake case” against its district president Hari Singh Sahni at Haibowal police station.

The union held a protest at the Courts Complex. Members of the union said Hari Singh was implicated in a false case and was not even summoned in the particular case.

Mahinder Singh Seelon, one of the leaders, said baseless allegations were levelled against Hari Singh, whose presence was also shown in the DDR of police. “How can he be declared a proclaimed offender (PO)? Someone has hatched a controversy to settle his scores. We condemn the chowki in charge for declaring Hari Singh as the PO,” said Seelon.

The union leaders asked higher officials to personally look into the matter to bring justice to Hari Singh.

Among others present were Varinder Yadav, Mohammad Akhtar, Manoj Kumar, Narain Sao, Subhash Chand Chauhan, Vipin Sahni, Om Prakash and Ram Paswan. 



‘Rainfall beneficial for Kharif crops’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
The weather during this Kharif season remained hot for the growth and development of crops, observed PAU agrometeorologist Dr KK Gill.

She said during the past two-three months both maximum and minimum temperatures remained above normal and accompanied by dust storms in the northern regions.

Both the day and night temperatures were nearly four degrees above normal in the months of March and April with the occurrence of only 6 mm rainfall against the normal of 45 mm.

Dr Gill stated that in June mercury plummeted with the occurrence of 24.2 mm rainfall. The relative humidity increased to 73 and 57 per cent against the normal of 51 and 26 per cent, respectively. Similarly the maximum and minimum temperatures remained below normal with 6.2 and 2.4 degree Celsius, respectively.

Dr Gill said the above-normal rainfall during the first week of June saved the irrigation requirement of farmers and upgraded the lower water table to some extent.

The current rainfall is quite beneficial for Kharif crops mainly for paddy. Farmers had started transplanting paddy in some districts, added Dr Gill .

Highlighting the forecast issued by the Indian Meteorology Department (IMD), she said, “This year good monsoon season is expected. The prevailing conditions indicate that the monsoon is likely to strengthen over southern parts of Gujarat, remaining parts of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar during the next 48 hours. 



Property Rights cell set up at PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
Punjab Agricultural University has set up a Technology Marketing and IPR Cell to create awareness about the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act (PPV&FRA) among farmers.

Dr Sandeep Kapur of the IPR cell said they apprised farmers about the significance of the Act through deliberations during kisan melas and other farmer-expert meetings.

“Lectures by experts are arranged on various fora from time to time. Efforts are also being made to popularise the Act among farmers through literature distribution and articles in the farm magazines of the university,” Dr Kapur stated.

Information about the PPV&FRA has also been incorporated in the PAU package of practices for crops of Punjab for wider publicity among farmers.

Dr Kapur said all this was being done under the special mission of creating awareness among students.

In addition, the PAU has filed 10 patents pertaining to use of solar energy (4), dyes of botanical origin (1), combine harvesting (1), barley noodles (1), indigenous tensiometer for scheduling irrigation (1), innovative propagation media for floricultural plants (1) and natural carbonated beverages (1).

He added that the university would soon have a “Students Intellectual Property Club”, wherein awareness about the theme would be created among PAU students.

Dr Kapur further stated that under its umbrella, the IPR covered activities relating to patents, trademark, industrial designs, geographical indications, protection of plant variety and farmers’ rights. He said, “PPV&FR Act-2001 was implemented on October 19, 2006, in the country to protect rights of breeders and farmers.”

Sharing various objectives of the Act, he said these included recognition and protecting the rights of farmers for their contributions made in conserving, improving and making available plant genetic resources for the development of varieties. It also encouraged the development of new varieties of plants for accelerated agriculture development, 
said Dr Kapur.

Breeder of a registered variety had an exclusive right to produce, sell, market, distribute, import or export a variety, he said.

“Farmers can share any old or exclusive material that they have maintained with the IPR Cell at the PAU. The cell will guide them and process their cases for registration of the material free of cost,” he added. 



Pathological lesions, stress attributed to epilepsy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
A large number of doctors attended a seminar on neurology organised by the local unit of NIMA. The seminar was organised under the continued medical education (CME).

Dr RS Bhatia of SPS Apollo Hospital discussed the recent advances in the management of epilepsy while Dr Surendra Gupta, secretary of NIMA, Ludhiana, said the increasing incidence of psychological and neurological disorders was the result of overburdened minds and overstressed bodies. Pathological lesions were also responsible for epilepsy, but overindulgence in television and computers could also induce seizures, he observed.

Dr Bhatia said epilepsy was still the most under-diagnosed disorder in India due to social stigma. Some patients fall into the trap of quacks. He said every year, newer and better molecules were being introduced to ensure best results. A patient should strictly follow the dosage schedule and duration of therapy, he said, adding that mothers on anti-epilepsy medicines could breastfeed.

Dr Rajesh Thapar, speaking on the clinical establishment Bill, said the Bill was not acceptable to NIMA as it would interfere with the smooth functioning of private healthcare centres and clinics.

The NIMA joint secretary, Dr Ranbir Singh, asked doctors to be vigilant about government moves that were damaging for private healthcare service providers and aimed at promoting multimillionaires to build five star hospitals.



Naxals behind violence
DGP misinformed, says forum
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
The Citizens Forum for Justice has taken exception to the Punjab DGP’s statement that the Naxalites were behind the violence that erupted in the city in December 2009.

Taking a dig at the statement, the forum said it was far from the truth, based on misinformation and was misleading. “We the citizens of Ludhiana had formed a committee those days to go into the facts of the incidents and visited the area several times over. We met people of different shades. Based on our detailed discussions we found the involvement of section of the ruling alliance in promoting and perpetrating the violence,” said Dr Arun Mitra, an office-bearer of the forum.

He added that they had documented the report and released it to the press. The team from the Jamia Milia University, New Delhi, submitted a similar report. “We are astonished at the DGP’s statement. This appears to be politically motivated and is an attempt to absolve the government and its administration of their failure to dispense justice and security to the people,” added Dr Mitra.

Such statements by responsible higher authorities, which are not based on facts, can give credence to problems, which no more exist in Punjab and can have long-term implications. There is apprehension whether under the name of the Naxalites the government is planning to crush democratic movements of the people, he added. 



Cows, sheep vaccinated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
Harish Rai Dhanda, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, and MLA Darshan Singh Shiwalik inaugurated a free animal welfare, treatment and training camp at the Civil Veterinary Hospital, Barewal, Ludhiana.

Cows, buffaloes and sheep were examined during the camp.

The animals were vaccinated at the camp.

Dr Joginder Singh, deputy director, animal husbandry, Ludhiana, said medicines were distributed among livestock owners under the ATMA scheme.

Visiting dignitaries honoured good livestock owners-Sukhjeet Singh Bhathal of Bhanohar village (Nukra horse), Sukhjeet Singh Grewal of Barewal village (Malwari stallion), Gurmail Singh (dog breeds), Parminder Singh (cattle), Ajaib Singh (cattle), Sohan Singh and Mohammad (goat).

Dr Harbans Singh Dhalla, organising secretary, said the Civil Veterinary Hospital, Barewal, organised special camps for sheep every year.

Different kinds of de-wormers were distributed among shepherds.

Dr HS Dhalla appealed to dog owners and pet lovers to come forward for vaccination which is in the larger interest of people.

All stray and pet dogs should be vaccinated against rabies and the area residents called upon the municipal corporation and animal husbandry department to vaccinate pets as well as stray dogs and cats.

Dr YP Singh SVO, Ludhiana, Dr A Sewak, Dr Parminder Kaur, Dr Neelam Kapoor vaccinated animals.



Railway men sit on indefinite fast

Ludhiana, June 28
Members of the Northern Railway Men’s Union (NRMU) today went on a joint hunger strike to press for their long-pending demands.

Led by Com Paramjeet Singh, around 11 members of the union sat on hunger strike for 24 hours.

The protesters said they had been taking up their demands with the authorities concerned for the past many years but to no avail.

Their demands include creation of 30 posts of safai karamcharis, changing room for women colleagues, overtime provision for staff, uniform for staff and a ban on contract system. — TNS



Heat and dust play spoilsport

AS if the scorching heat and stuffy climatic conditions were not enough, dust scattered all over the city due to several ongoing projects-a motorable railway overbridge in place of the Lakkar Pul, a mall at the erstwhile location of district and sessions court, a ramp on the Jagraon Bridge and a flyover at the Vishwakarma Chowk, have further added to the misery of the city residents. Occasional high velocity winds, common in this season, further compound the problem. Most of the roads around the Civil Lines, Fountain Chowk, Domoria Bridge, Gill Road, Link Road, Clock Tower and the Bhadaur House, to name a few, have thick layer of dust all over at any given time, causing avoidable nuisance to the people. There is no denying the fact that some price has to be paid for major infrastructure development and during the period such works are in progress, some degree of inconvenience is understandable, but then can’t the executing agencies-be they the government departments or private agencies- do something to lessen the suffering of city residents.

Just for a name

Journalists get lot many calls from acquaintances as well as strangers throughout the day, who feed former with story ideas. Some people are so media-savvy that they just like to see their names in newspapers. A few days ago, I got a call from a councillor in the Municipal Corporation, who provided ample information, which could make a good story for my newspaper. Calling me as ‘behanji’, sister, ‘beta’, and finally madam, the councillor asked when would the story be published? I told him, “Most probably, tomorrow.” The next day, the story got an excellent display on page one. The councillor called me in the morning and said, “Madam, never mind, it will get published tomorrow.” I told him that it was already there on page one. He said, “No, it is not there, I have gone through the newspaper minutely.” How could I believe this? I just asked, “Which newspaper are you looking at?” He named of a Hindi vernacular. I told him that I worked for The Tribune. He said, “That’s why, I never knew that you are working for an English newspaper. I kept on finding it in a Hindi daily, which I get in my house. Never mind, I will buy one to see my name published,” he added.

Unwittingly smart

Children can leave anybody surprised with their unwitting smartness. A six-year-old child was heard arguing with his mother over a lunch, refusing to eat the homemade food. Instead, the boy wanted Rs 10 to buy a pack of chips. The mother, reluctant to let the child eat junk, was trying hard to divert his attention with other food items. When the unrelenting child refused to eat, the mother asked him to go to his grandpa and ask for money, thinking the old man would definitely find a way to take the boy’s mind off the chips. The child’s demand of Rs 10 thus shifted to his grandpa. “Does money grow on trees that you keep asking for it every now and then?” said the grandpa in anger with a view to dissuade the boy. The child innocently replied, “No it does not that is why I am standing here in front of you pleading for it.” The innocent remark made the “angry” grandpa burst out in laughter.

Super moms

Getting ready, saying words of caution to the kids and instructing maids weighs heavy on the minds of working women every morning. Every chore is done in haste but adaptability comes naturally to them, as even applying make up while driving becomes a routine affair. The pre-occupation of the mind sandwiched between home and work at times becomes tricky causing undue embarrassment as it happened. A professional woman in order to reach for her meeting took out a pair of earrings from her purse and put them on while driving without even bothering to look in the rear view. She went to different places, met at least 12 people and it was only in the evening while returning back did she notice different earrings in her ears. “Oh! My God what a fool I have been” was all she could say to which her compassionate husband said, “of course not, dear, you look elegant even with different earrings,” saving her day.

Contributed by Shivani Bhakoo, Charu Chhibber, Anshu Seth and Kuldip Bhatia, 



Vendors cash in on lax authorities
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
The newly-evolved “commissionerate system” has given roadside vendors a free hand to sell cut fruits openly in the absence of the notification from the office of the Ludhiana police commissioner.

Prior to the commissionerate system, it used to be the prerogative of the deputy commissioner to ban the sale of cut fruits during the season. But with the change in the administrative set up, the Ludhiana police commissioner has been given the power to issue a notification on the sale of cut fruits.

In complete paradox, the matter that concerns “public health” has not been delved upon even after the rise in city’s temperature for more than two months.

But what is more surprising is the role of the officials concerned in the department of health and family welfare, who despite keeping checks on the sale of cut fruits for years have chosen to “ignore” the matter this time.

A large number of fruit vendors could be seen selling cut fruits like watermelons, melons, papayas and mangoes. Majority of these fruits become stale leading to diarrhoea, gastroenteritis and other microbial infections.

The vendors seldom cover their “rehris” on which flies could be seen hovering. They, also, serve the fruits to customers with unclean hands and use dirty water to wash the fruits as well as the dishes.

The OPDs of the gastroentrology departments in the city are full of patients who report sick after consuming the cut fruits. With no check from the administration’s side, the vendors can be seen selling cut fruits in every nook and cranny like the bus stand, railway station, Chaura bazaar, Pakhowal road, new sabzi mandi and even in the apni mandis.

“This is for the first time in the summer season that the cut fruits have not been destroyed. It is stark contrast to the “practice” that had been going on for more than a decade,” stated a retired health official.



Farmers to protest fuel, power price hike
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
Farmer and agricultural worker organisations convened a meeting under the chairmanship of Satnam Singh Pannu, president of the Kisan Sanghash Committee, here today.

They unanimously decided to start a campaign against the increased power bills and for the restoration of free power to tubewells and subsidy to Dalits and economically weaker sections of society.

They would hold protest dharnas at subdivisional offices of Powercom from July 11 to 25.

Joginder Singh Ugrahan and Sukhdev Singh Kokri of the Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan), Baldev Singh Rasulpur of the Pendu Mazdoor Union (Mishal) and Dr Satnam Singh of the Jamuri Kisan Sabha were among those present.

Kuldip Singh of the Kirti Kisan Sabha stated that the statements issued by Punjab DGP PS Gill on Naxalism and Maoism was false as farmer organisations had been jointly fighting for the protection of interests of the farming community.

They accused the state government of reneging from its promises to farmers in Punjab and objected to the hike in petro prices.

They expressed concern over the increasing air and water pollution, adding that the government had failed to take effective steps to implement rules and regulations in this direction.



NGO to wage war against addicts 
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
“Save My World”, a city-based NGO joined hands with the United Nation Organization Office on Drug and Crime (UNDCO) to wage a war against drug addiction in the state.

Mehtab Singh, the convener of the “Save My World”, has taken up the issue of the prevention of drug addiction at the school-level that has been ignored for long by the state government.

A teachers’ training programme was organised by the NGO in association with the UNDCO in the PAU today wherein those from the city and outer districts were given a presentation to effectively follow a drug-prevention programme in the classrooms.

Neha Bansal and Madhvi Osta, the UN officials, are in the city for three days to train the teachers.

Coming forward for a good cause, Airtel provided funds to the NGO and has promised to campaign against the vice through visual SMS for its clients, especially the young subscribers.

Dr Amanvir Mann, the project head, while referring to the confession of the department of social security and women and child development before the High Court that the school and college students in the state were hooked to drugs said, “It’s a sorry state of affairs as far as the government is concerned but the right people with right approach can make a difference.”

Last year, the government had stated that 66 per cent of the schoolchildren in the state used tobacco, every third male and every 10th female student had taken drugs and seven out of 10 college students took drugs.

Further delving on the issue, Hardyal Singh, a philanthropist from the city, emphasized upon “compassion and understanding” which he said must be practiced by the families of the addicts to de-addict them and bring them back into the mainstream society.

The office-bearers of the NGO will approach the state government for initiating action against drug trafficking in Punjab, which is the root cause of manifold increase in usage of the “narcotic substances” by the youth.



Rural docs to observe ‘Black Day’ on July 1
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
In a move to secure their rights as professionals without hampering the interests of the villagers, rural medical officers from across the state will observe ‘Black Day’ on July 1.

They will attend to patients at their OPDs, but will observe a three-hour pen-down strike to register their protest against the indifferent attitude of the SAD-led government, that has ‘failed’ to regularise their jobs, as promised in the election manifesto.

During a state-level meeting here yesterday, state president of the Rural Medical Services Association, Dr Aslam Parvez, stated that the government was apathetic towards rural healthcare in general and rural doctors in particular.

Addressing at least 150 office-bearers of all districts, he alleged that the government was ignoring the demands of regularisation, 60 per cent PG quota and pay at a par with PCMS cadre.

Extending support to the RMSA, state president of the Punjab Civil Medical Services Association, Dr Hardeep Singh, demanded that the government roll back its decision to re-employ doctors who were specialists.

He said the re-employment policy would put an extra burden on the state exchequer in the form of salaries, adding that the decision to re-employ specialists, who had been doing only administrative work for the last between 8 and 12 years, would harm the interests of employed as well as unemployed young doctors of Punjab.

A total of 1,193 rural dispensaries were handed over to zila parishads in 2006 with the aim to strengthen panchayati raj and rural doctors were paid Rs 30,000 each, which was more than the salary of regular PCMS doctors, to run dispensaries. In contrast to the services rendered by rural medical officers, the government had given them a marginal increase of Rs 6,000 without any additional benefit.

Dr Parvez termed the doctors recruited by the Punjab Public Service Commission in 2009 as VIPs, adding that they were getting a salary of more than 37,500 with additional benefits.

The state adviser of the RMSA, Dr JP Narula, lambasted the government’s decision over the glaring disparity in pay packages of rural medical officers and PCMS doctors, asserting that the latter, appointed three years after the former, were being paid 40 per cent more.

He said rural doctors had not decided to close dispensaries, taking health concerns of the rural population, under threat from the corporate sector, into consideration. The next plan of action would be decided during a meeting on July 11.



Fake bill scam guilty will be punished, says Kalia
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
Punjab Minister for Local Bodies Manoranjan Kalia said today those found guilty in the ‘fake bill’ scam would not be spared at any cost. “Even though the municipal corporation didn’t incur any financial loss and all the misappropriated funds were recovered, the guilty will be punished according to the law”, he asserted while interacting with reporters.

Kalia said the department concerned would “act tough” against those found guilty. “Those involved in the scam would not be given any ‘clean chit’. Though the embezzled money has been recovered, that doesn’t mean we’ll allow the guilty to go scot free. Since an inquiry into the case is pending the law will take its own course and action will be taken against the guilty accordingly", he added.

The scam, involving well-connected people, was detected last November last and had brought disrepute to the civic body. The three main project contractors involved had fraudulently claimed funds amounting to about Rs 75 lakh by allegedly submitting forged bills to the MC.

About a dozen MC officials were also said to have "gone out of their way" to favour the three contractors. Though all the officials concerned had claimed their signatures were “forged” by the contractors, the former were issued charge sheets and then suspended after an inquiry.

The scam became the talk of the town due to the alleged involvement of Sunny Gossain, grandson of deputy Punjab assembly speaker Satpal Gossain and one of the contractors, who later returned an “extra payment” of Rs 15.6 lakh to the municipal corporation on December 11, 2009.

The other two contractors - Kulbir Singh and Varinder Kumar - also paid back the extra Rs 60 lakh they had reportedly received to the civic body earlier this month.



Couple booked for cheating man of Rs 2 lakh
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 28
A couple has been booked for cheating a man of the same village of Rs 2 lakh on the pretext of sending him abroad. Jagjit Singh of Latala village in his statement to the police alleged that Manpreet Kaur and her husband Ranjit Singh, who originally hail from Ghall Kalan and are now residing at Latala village, had struck a deal worth Rs 6.5 lakh for sending him to Italy.

He paid Rs 2 lakh to them in 2009 and rest of the amount was to be paid on reaching Italy. They promised to send him to Italy through their relatives residing there. After taking the amount, the couple tried to evade him on one pretext or the other. Later on they flatly refused to entertain him. They even refused to refund the amount taken from him.

Having no option left, Jagjit Singh approached the Ludhiana (Rural) SSP on May 5. After an inquiry, the SSP ordered the SHO Jodhan to register a case against the accused under Sections 240 and 406 of the IPC. Both accused have been arrested.



Gang of dacoits busted
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 28
The CIA wing of the local police has recently busted a gang of dacoits that belonged to one family. Sources revealed Geeta, alias Gypsy, was the kingpin of the gang. There were 10 members in her gang. Her three sons and three brothers were also active members of the gang. Her sons, including Raja Ram, alias Ganja; Nannu Gobinda and Kalia, and her brother Deepak Paswan, Sikander Khachra and Raju, were dreaded criminals and could go to any extent to accomplish their mission.

Gypsy was living in a palatial house at Indira colony, Mullanpur Dakha. She had been living in this place since long and started indulging in criminal activities after her husband’s death. Earlier, she used to peddle poppy husk and opium to her potential customers and slowly increased her sphere of criminal activities when her sons grew up. She also acted as a main member of the gang for striking any deal or selling stolen goods to shopkeepers of Jagraon, Khanna and Doraha besides Mullanpur.

A few shopkeepers near the level crossings at Mullanpur Dakha are good customers of goods stolen by her. She used to sell them at half the prevailing market rates. The SSP said the dealers, who used to buy goods from her, were being identified and their names included in the FIR.

She is reported to have fled to Bihar along with her accomplices after her gang was busted.



Elderly man murdered by nephew
Tribune News Service

Samrala, June 28
An elderly man, in his late seventies, was murdered by his nephew last evening.

The deceased has been identified as Labh Singh, a resident of Gehlewal village near Samrala.

The police has arrested Inderjit Singh, nephew of Labh Singh, in this connection. Cops probing into the case said Labh Singh and the accused had been putting up in the former’s house for the past several years.

The deceased had recently sold off a piece of land and has kept some money in his house.

The nephew used to consume liquor and had been demanding money from his uncle, who refused to part with it.

The nephew in a fit of rage attacked his uncle with a sharp-edged weapon, killing him on the spot.



5 head of cattle die of poisoning
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, June 28
At least five heads of cattle belonging to Gujjars, who reside on the outskirts of Janetpura village near Humbran, have reportedly died of poisoning.

Shera, who owned these cattle, said he and his son had gone to graze their buffalos in the abandoned fields. At around 11 am yesterday two of their buffalos became in the fields while three others fell in the Budha Nullah passing nearby.

The condition these cattle soon deteriorated. They died before any veterinary doctor could examine them. About 12 other cattle also suffered the same fate. When the news reached village, Meehan Singh, the village sarpanch, reached the site with other villagers and saved other cattle.

He said it seemed to be a case of poisoning due to the spray of pesticides in the nearby fields. The sarpanch said either the cattle grazed in the pesticide-sprayed fields or inhaled much of its smell that resulted in the death. 



Evasion Of Stamp Duty
Cops zero in on swindlers
Mahesh Sharma

Ludhiana, June 28
The Ludhiana police has zeroed in on a gang of swindlers, which has been cheating the government treasury by tampering with stamp duty receipts issued on behalf of sellers of property.

The exact amount is yet to be assessed. Gross negligence of staff at the sub-registrar (east) office, registering title deeds, has emerged as the main reason behind this.

Suspects include helpers of prominent deed writers and stamp vendors of the city, whose identity has not been disclosed yet by the police.

Investigations by the Ludhiana Tribune revealed that a team led by Gurdev Singh, SHO, Division Number 6, and supervised by Harish Bansal, ADCP, had tightened the noose around a gang of swindlers, that had tampered with stamp duty receipts purchased from the treasury branch of the State Bank of India about 18 months ago.

The police had registered an FIR under Sections 409, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC after an audit team noticed difference between amounts mentioned on receipts and records at the treasury office about a fortnight ago. The suspects were found to have exploited the negligence of the staff and the authorities at the sub-registrar office.

There were instances wherein the authorities had approved the transaction without getting stamp duty receipt pasted on the documents. The registrars had not bothered to check the amount deposited, though they had been issued passwords.

Observations revealed that the suspects had succeeded due to the negligence and suspected involvement of some officials at the registrar office.

Had the registering authorities adopted standard routine, nobody could have succeeded in getting transfer deeds verified without depositing the stamp duty required in the government’s account, maintained at the bank.

The authorities had also not bothered to tally accounts with records maintained at the treasury office, where two copies of vouchers, carrying details of stamp duty, were sent daily by the bank.

The authorities had passed title deeds without affixing receipts on those. The fictitious number that was entered in the documents, showing Rs 1.4 lakh having been deposited as stamp duty, was different from the series of numbers written on other deeds made the same day.



Sarpanch, 24 others booked for laying pipeline
Our Correspondent

Raikot, June 28
The Sudhar police has booked a sarpanch and 24 unidentified accomplices for forcibly laying an underground irrigation water pipeline through the fields of a farmer.

Nirmal Singh of Rajoana Kalan village, near here, complained that Jagdeep Singh, along with about two dozen armed accomplices, had forcibly laid the pipeline through his fields without his consent.

He said he was aware of the intentions of the sarpanch and had procured a status quo order from court in this regard. He elaborated that the sarpanch had been facing problems in irrigating fields, which were on both sides of his fields.

On the night of May 10, the sarpanch, along with his accomplices, including Surat Singh, Harjot Singh, Harbant Singh, Gurjant Singh and Arvinder Singh, who brought JCB machines and tractors, reached his fields, dug up the land and laid the pipeline.

When he got the news, he reached the spot. The sarpanch and his accomplices fired in the air to scare him and threatened him of elimination if he objected to the proceedings.

After the Sudhar police refused to come to his rescue, Nirmal Singh complained to the SSP, Ludhiana Rural, Harinder Singh Chahal, who entrusted SP(H) Gurpreet Singh with the inquiry.

The SP(H) visited the site, recorded statements of witnesses and both parties and found sarpanch Jagdeep Singh guilty.

On the basis of his inquiry report, the Sudhar police booked the accused under Sections 447, 427, 506, 336, 148 and 149 of the IPC. No arrest was made so far.

Jagdeep Singh pleaded not guilty. He claimed that he was being implicated due to political rivalry.



Navdeep claims top spot in 21m
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, June 28
A large number of swimmers competed in the inaugural edition of the Open Swimming Competition organised by the Public Welfare Organisation (PWO), Punjab, at the Municipal Corporation Swimming Pool near Rakh Bagh last evening.

The main attraction of this one-day competition was 80- year-old Harnam Singh, who competed in the 21m free-style event.

Hira Singh Gabria, Cabinet Minister, Punjab, along with Ludhiana Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura and Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal, visited the pool and encouraged the participants.

Gurvinder Pal Singh, president of the PWO, Punjab, said the competition aimed at attracting youngsters towards swimming.

In the 21m free style, (boys U-17), Navdeep came out triumphant, while Navjot Singh secured the second position and Harsh had to content with third place.

In the girl’s section, Simran proved her mettle to win top honours. Ravijot finished runner-up, while Sirjna got the third position.

In the 17 to 25 years group, Pardeep and Gurpreet secured first and second positions, respectively, while Aman Behl stood third.

Similarly, in the 25 to 30 years category, Kamaljot Singh stamped his superiority over others to win the title, while Shubham Joshi and Mohit Sood stood second and third, respectively.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |