L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Woman, 2 others held for hubby’s murder
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
The Haibowal police has nabbed a woman and two of her accomplices for murdering her husband in cold blood. The trio murdered the man in a bizarre manner by first putting potash, a potassium compound often used in agriculture and industry, in his mouth. That was not all. They then pumped two shots from an air rifle in the chest of Varinder following which the victim fell unconscious. The accused then gagged him.

The accused have been identified as Puja (29), wife of Jatinder Kumar, alias Happy (32), Sukhdip Singh and Amanpreet Singh, all residents of Haibowal. They were arrested today.

Though, the cops nabbed the trio, but the main accused Rajinder Singh aka Bobby managed to give them a slip.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Narinder Singh said Munish Kumar, a resident of Durgapuri in Haibowal, lodged a complaint with the police that his brother Jatinder Kumar, who was working as a sand-quarrying agent, went missing under mysterious circumstances on June 24.

“After receiving the information the police swooped into action and special investigation teams were formed to investigate the matter,” said ACP.

Gurvinder Singh, SHO, Haibowal, said it was the varied statements of the Puja, which raised suspicion.

Puja and Jatinder were married nine years ago. The couple had two children and was living separately from the family for past few years.

During the investigation the police came to know that Puja was having an illicit relationship with Rajinder Singh Bobby.

Following the information the cops started keeping a close watch on the woman.

The police received a tip off that Sukhdip Singh, Amanpreet Singh, Rajinder Singh Bobby had abducted Jatinder from the latter’s house on June 24.

The police laid a trap at the Haibowal road and nabbed Sukhdip Singh and Amanpreet Singh. However, Bobby managed to escape.

Sukhdip and Amanpreet spilled the beans and narrated the entire episode to the police. The police immediately swung into action and arrested Puja. The accused cracked soon and confessed having committed the crime.

Puja said she along with her paramour, Bobby, and his two accomplices had planned to eliminate Jatinder as the latter used to complain about her relationship with Bobby.

On June 24, Bobby and his accomplices entered Puja’s house and hid themselves in a store. Puja said Jatinder, who was in an inebriated condition reached home late. Till that time children were fast asleep.

Finding an opportunity Puja hit on her husband’s head with a log. Meanwhile, Bobby and his accomplices came out of the store and overpowered Jatinder. At around midnight they placed the body of the victim in the boot of an Indica car and drove towards the Sidhwan Canal. The trio threw the body into the canal, while Puja stayed at home.

The police said the killing was so meticulously planned that none of the relatives had inkling about the involvement of Puja in her husband’s murder.

The ACP said manhunt had been launched to nab Bobby. The accused were produced before the court and remanded in the police custody.


Abusive caller walks into honeytrap
Ingenius fire department staff help catch the culprit

Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
The voice of a girl proved to be the undoing for a youth, who used to abuse helpline operator of a fire brigade located near Laxmi Cinema. The abusive caller had become a headache for the fire department as he had made it a routine to call on this number.

The youth identified as Sunil Kumar, a migrant labour from Bihar, who is currently residing at the Hambra road, had been giving the fire officers a slip as all efforts to nab the youth proved futile.

Finally, the fire department decided to conduct a sting operation. According to fire department employees, one of the firemen, who was good at speaking in female voice, was given the task of attending all calls during the night as well.

At around 11pm on Monday, the youth again called and started using abusive language. The fireman did not lose his cool and kept on speaking to the youth in a female voice.

The fireman, posing as a girl, enticed Sunil and the latter promised to him again.

Nursing a Grudge

Sunil, who was working in a paper mill at the Hambra road, either used to call from PCOs or from the mobile of their roommates after they used to fall asleep. He admitted that he was nursing a grudge against the fire department. The paper mill where he worked caught fire a few days ago. The owner suffered a huge loss and he lost his job as the firefighters failed to reach the spot on time

“On Monday evening, Sunil again called at the helpline number and told the fireman, who was posing as the girl, to meet him at Goverdhan Mall on Tuesday evening,” said Amarjit Sharma, additional divisional fire officer. The Division No. 1 police and the fire officers laid a trap and  nabbed the accused. During interrogation the youth confessed having used abusive language while talking to the helpline operator. He said he had been calling at the helpline number of the fire department for the past 15 days. Sunil, who was working in a paper mill at the Hambra road, either used to call from PCOs or from the mobile of their roommates after they used to fall asleep. He admitted before the police that he was nursing a grudge against the fire department. “A few days ago the paper mill in which I was working caught fire and the owner suffered huge loss. I lost my job as the firefighters failed to reach the spot on time, he lamented. 



Cong leader shot at
Rakesh Gupta

Jagraon, June 30
Pritam Singh Akhara, a Congress leader, was shot from a point blank range at Akahara village today morning. Akhara, a former district general secretary of the Ludhiana district and the right hand of Jagmeet Singh Brar, a former MP from Faridkot, was attacked when he along with other villagers were returning from a crematorium.

According to an eyewitness Balbir Singh, a youth wearing a blue headgear, who was sitting on a bench alongside the street got up and mixed with the group. Suddenly, he took out a pistol and fired at Akhara from the point blank range. The bullet hit his neck.

All other persons accompanying him ran for a shelter. The assailant also sneaked out of the place. Pritam Singh was taken to the DMCH, Ludhiana, where his condition is stated to be stable. The doctors said the windpipe of Pritam Singh somehow escaped from getting damaged.

There are three notorious gangs operating in the region. In an attempt to show their supremacy they usually indulge in armed conflicts. Akhara always confronted them over their illegal activities.



5,000 taxpayers to file returns again
Rs 60 cr goes to suspense account
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
The income tax department has transferred Rs 60 crore to the suspense account as the e-TDS returns filed by nearly 5,000 tax payees were found to be incorrect. All 5,000-tax payees will now be required to file their returns once again. The returns had been filed for 2008-09.

During the scrutiny of the returns, the PAN and other particulars did not match and the department is issuing notices in this regard.

A senior official in the department said they had been issuing notices to the income tax payees whose particulars failed to match during the scrutiny. They would now have to revise their returns. The department has given a month’s time to them to revise the returns.

Ankush, an income tax payee, said these returns were filed for 2008-09 and the department could have informed them earlier. “If there is any mistake in the returns, it should be conveyed to the tax payees at the earliest and not after a year,” he said.

Jatinder Khurana, a lawyer, said generally people came to get their returns filed during the last few days when there was heavy rush of clients. “In a rush, sometimes they forget to bring their PAN and later dictate it over the phone while sometimes the bank receipt of the TDS deposit does not bear a proper stamp due to which the problems occur at a later stage,” he said, adding that the department should adopt a liberal view. “The department should not be strict with tax payees as they have submitted their returns. Heavy penalty should also not be imposed in such cases,” he added.



Electric trees on the blink
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

One of the electrical trees in Ludhiana that need maintenance
One of the electrical trees in Ludhiana that need maintenance. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, June 30
The project of installing electric trees, put up as a “beautification mark” throughout the city about four-five years ago by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, has turned out to be a complete failure. Installed by paying crores of rupees, neither the authorities nor the contractors or the area councillors have paid any heed towards its maintenance, with the result that all these trees have “died”. Even if they want, the authorities cannot make these functional again due to their bad condition.

These electric palm trees, providing light as well as beautifying the areas, were installed in many wards of the city by paying huge amount to the contractors. The price of one of the tree was about Rs 30-35,000. Hundreds of these trees were installed in public parks maintained by both the park maintenance committees and the civic body, main the Ferozpur lane, Dugri, Domoria Bridge, Ghumar Mandi, Salemtabri, Upkar Nagar, Near Shingar Cinema, BRS Nagar etc but not a single one is functional today.

The councillors, in whose area these were installed, have blamed the civic body authorities and the contractors for not maintaining these expensive decorative plants. Amarjit Singh Bhatia, husband of Surjit Kaur Bhatia, councillor of ward No. 46, complained that despite making rounds at the corporation’s office, these trees could not become functional.

He told The Tribune,” In my ward alone, the decorative trees worth Rs 40 lakh were sanctioned. About 75 such trees were installed at several points but none is in working condition today. Thanks to the callous attitude adopted by the corporation which is hardly bothered about the upkeep of these expensive beautification marks,” said Bhatia adding that despite repeated efforts, proper light points could not be provided to trees. ‘In the absence of proper electricity connection, how could these trees become functional? This apathetic attitude is not possible without connivance of the municipal officials with the contractors. Once the bills of contractors are passed then nobody in the department listens to your woes. This kind of development is unfortunate where you spend crores of rupees and entire money is wasted within six to eight months,” rued Bhatia.

Congress councillor, Parminder Mehta, said thieves had stolen a few of these small trees. “Had the entire money been spent on some good shady trees, it could have been much better. Not only more green cover could be provided to the city, but also the shade could provide much respite from the scorching heat. It is not just the electric trees, which have not been maintained, the corporation has failed to maintain even the fountains, installed in the city by paying several crores of rupees. Had all these beautification marks been maintained properly, the city could have presented a much better look,” said Mehta.



‘Punjab is where our hearts belong’
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Rapid fire round

Turning point in career

Jimmy: Still waiting for it

Neeru: When I signed up ‘Assa Num Maan Watna Da’

Wish unfulfilled

Jimmy: Want to buy a Ferrari

Neeru: I’m a contented person

Passionate about

Jimmy: Films, music and my country

Neeru: Films

Incomplete without

Jimmy: My family

Neeru: Work

Any regrets in life

Jimmy: No regrets

Neeru: I always follow my heart, so no regrets

Dream role

Jimmy: Sanjay Dutt's role in ‘Munna Bhai’

Neeru: None. Every role I play is close to my heart

Director I’d like to work with

Jimmy: Gulzar

Neeru: Sanjay Leela Bansali

Lucky charm

Jimmy: Believe in God

Neeru: Recite my prayers

Ludhiana, June 30
Having fallen head over heels in love with ‘Punjabiat’, actors Jimmy Shergill and Neeru Bajwa are ready with their next Punjabi flick, ‘Mel Karade Rabba’. With both of them hailing from the state, they love to act in Punjabi movies even though there is no dearth of offers from Bollywood.

Both stars were in the city at Waves Multiplex to promote their forthcoming film.

Neeru followed her heart and migrated to India from Canada, where she was brought up, to be close to her roots. Happy over her decision she says, "Recently I went to Canada and got bored within a week. I always wanted to return to Punjab - this is where I belong".

Ditto for Jimmy. "Since I belong to Punjab I was pretty excited when I was first offered a role in a Punjabi movie, ‘Yaaran Naal Baharan’. After that came ‘Mannat’ and ‘Munde UK De’, and both turned out to be huge hits. I’ve now made it a point to do at least one Punjabi film every year," he says.

Jimmy was destined to be an actor. Planning to become a chartered accountant he decided to act in films instead. "I was never a professional actor and worked working hard on everything that came across me”, he admitted candidly.

‘Haasil’, ‘Mumbai’, ‘Yahan’ and ‘A Wednesday’ were Jimmy's critically acclaimed films. "Working with Naseerudin Shah during ‘A Wednesday’ was a wonderful experience while imbibing acting lessons from him as well," he quipped.

Commenting on Punjabi films, which she said, do “great business” abroad, Neeru said they are a craze among Punjabis residing there. “It’s their link with Punjabi culture. One film in year is not enough for them”, she remarked. She says a big "no" to television and reality shows.

Countering her boyfriend Amit’s claim that he quit the ‘Big Boss’ TV show as he missed her, Neeru said: “He didn’t give up because he was missing me. Since we’re no longer in a relationship he’ll be in a better position to give an answer. But he surely didn’t quit the show because of me”.

Avers Jimmy: “Films with a social message are a good idea but at the same time they need to be entertaining as people have to earn money as well.

Nobody has a gold mine to spend money on imparting social messages, so entertainment and social messages should go hand in hand”.

The duo believes one should “explore the west but not forget their own roots”. “This is where you belong," they sign off.



Man, daughters allege hospital apathy
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, June 30
A man and his two daughters, who were admitted to the local civil hospital on Saturday, have alleged that the doctors did not treat them properly. They also complained that the police, too, was not ready to take immediate action against those responsible for landing them in such a position.

Harbans Singh, a resident of Dakha village, complained that Sultan Singh, his father Jeeta Singh, brother Buta Singh, nephew Gurmit Singh, along with his mother, sister and another accomplice, entered their house on Friday night and attacked him and his two daughters Ramandeep Kaur and Jaswinder Kaur with sticks.

“The incident took place as one of my daughters had accidentally gone to the neighbour’s house and saw Sultan Singh and a girl in an objectionable position. The accused got cautious and out of fear of being publicly exposed attacked us,” he added. The trio said they had lodged a complaint in this regard at the Mullanpur Dakha police station.

They also alleged that they went to the civil hospital at Mullanpur Dakha from where they were sent to Jagraon. But here doctors refused to admit them till they got acceptance from the civil hospital at Dakha. From Mullanpur Dakha they were sent to the Sahnewal civil hospital where again they were asked to leave the hospital by one of the doctors on the pretext that one of them was absent from the hospital for more than three hours.

Ramandeep Kaur said on telephone that despite the injuries they were made to move from pillar to post for no fault of theirs. They were reportedly not even treated by the staff present at the hospital.

Dr Chahal, who was on round-the-clock duty at the Sahnewal civil hospital said on Monday that the medico legal report of the victims had been prepared by the doctor who was on duty an evening before. “As far as the refusal of admitting the three is concerned it is an entirely baseless allegation,” he added. He also added that Jaswinder Kaur was missing from her bed for about three hours. He declared her ‘absconding’.

“I did that as per the law. The overall condition of the three is quite good and are not in need of further medical attention,” he added.

Whereas ASI Devinder Singh, who is posted at the Mullanpur Dakha police station, said Harbans Singh, along with his family members, had lodged a complaint and the case was being investigated. “We have taken down their statements and are moving ahead with the case,” he added.



Price Rise
BJP, farmers’ body for mass agitation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 30
As the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today held a “thali kharkao” (beat the plate) protest here to mark what it terms a mass agitation against rising prices of essential items and hike in prices of petroleum products, the Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta) rapped the government for decontrol of oil prices and announced that 17 bodies of farmers would hold a statewide protest at district and sub-division levels in Punjab on July 7.

Led by district president Rajiv Katna, the BJP workers beat empty plates at Clock Tower chowk to symbolise the effect high prices of essential food items has had over the common man.

Addressing party workers, Katna made scathing attacks on the Congress-led UPA government at Centre, which, he stated, had not only failed to check inflation but made the life of people miserable by jacking up prices of daily food items as well as petrol, diesel and cooking gas.

“Ever-rising prices have broken the backbone of people and the demon of inflation is killing the common man.”

The BJP leader said the UPA government had failed on all fronts. So-called welfare schemes had not produced the desired results. The government policies had made it abundantly clear that those in power only cared for hoarders, black marketeers, bureaucrats, corporate world and oil companies who were minting money by exploiting the common man.

Castigating the Centre for oil price hike, Katna said the domestic budget of not only the poor but even of upper middle class had gone haywire with the rise in prices of petrol, diesel and LPG.

The cascading effect of hike in price of petroleum products on the prices of other commodities of daily use was yet to become visible and further add to the woes of the masses.

Echoing similar views, Bharti Kisan Union-Ekta (BKU) district chief Darshan Singh Koohli termed the decontrol of prices of petroleum products, especially diesel, fatal for the farm sector, while adding that the government had given a free hand to oil companies to raise prices of their products at will and fill their coffers.

In a statement, the BKU leader said the government had earlier ordered decontrol of fertiliser prices and then permitted the oil companies to fix prices on the basis of market trends.

Pursuing similar policy of privatisation, the Punjab State Electricity Board was disbanded, road construction works were handed over to private sector, and even essential services like transport, education and health were also privatised.

“If every service is to be provided by private operators then what is the government there for?” he said.

Making a strong plea for a rollback of oil prices, Koohli said the BKU along with 17 other bodies of farmers will stage protests all over the state on July 7 and continue the agitation till the government relented.



BKU decries experimentation with modified seeds
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 30
Lambasting the state government for permitting experimentation with genetically modified seeds of different crops, the Bharti Kisan Union-Ekta (BKU) has alleged that soil, water and air in the state had been polluted to the extent of being poisonous.

BKU district president Darshan Singh Koohli said in a statement here today that genetically modified seeds like BT-cotton and BT-maize, developed by multinational companies, were being sown in Punjab instead of locally developed seeds, which were more suitable for local soil and weather conditions.

“For example, BT-maize is said to make fertile land barren and its sowing is prohibited in countries like the US. But the Indian government had bowed to the powerful lobby of multinational companies and allowed sowing of BT-maize seed on experiment basis. Going a step further, unlike his counterparts in other states, who refused to allow sowing of genetically modified seeds, Punjab Chief Minister has given the nod to experimentation with BT crops,” he observed.

According to the BKU leader, the experimentation with modified seeds would hit the farming community in more than one way. While the already debt-ridden farmers will become dependent on expensive BT seeds, and multinational companies will get richer, the BT crops would also have fatal effect on environment and health of the people.

“In the Malwa belt, the disastrous effects of genetically modified seeds are manifesting in the shape of physical deformities and mental disorders among newborns. High degree of uranium and other toxic substances in soil and water in the Malwa region is also causing many other life-threatening diseases but the government is not willing to accept the fact, which has been substantiated by soil and water tests carried out by a German laboratory as also Bhaba Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai,” the BKU leader maintained.

Koohli appealed to the government to take effective measures against sowing of genetically modified seeds in Punjab and save the environment from becoming poisonous.



Doctor’s Day Special
Living up to Hippocratic oath

“We make living by what we get but we make a life by what we give,” the adage of Winston Churchill is the principle adopted by some doctors in the city, who have chosen to make charity a part of their professional etiquette. The Tribune having looked into the benevolent side of these professionals has acknowledged their small acts of kindness, which are giant steps for mankind. Anshu Seth talked to a few of them:

No child’s play!

Dr Inderpreet SohiDr Inderpreet Sohi — The pediatrician at Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) known for keeping a low profile is elemental in facilitating the treatment of children born in families of migrant labourers. “I have formed a group of doctor friends who are placed in different countries and they contribute generously to help the poor pediatric patients coming to the CMCH,” says Dr Sohi. Dr Brett from England is amongst the most regular contributors when it comes to “saving the precious lives” of innocent children. The doctor is more than ready to go out of her way to get concession for poor patients from the hospital authorities and does not hesitate to foot the bills from her personal account also. “I do not see ‘helping patients’ in distress as charity. On the contrary, I feel this comes naturally to every doctor,” opines Dr Sohi.

A golden heart

Dr Sarju RalhanDr Sarju Ralhan — The young cardiac surgeon at Hero DMC Heart Institute has formed a Cardiac Sehyog Society, which generates funds for cardiac procedures of poor and needy patients. The surgeon has contributed majorly to the funds donated for patients since the inception of the society. “The society is still in its infancy and I am hopeful of getting response from city philanthropists so that we can help maximum patients coming to the institute for treatment,” says Dr Sarju. A passionate professional yet a “surgeon with a golden heart”, Dr Sarju is famous in medical fraternity for his compassion as he even goes to the extent of not taking his operation fee from poor patients. “I aim to perform cardiac surgeries free of cost for at least six patients in one year as many patients are unable to get their procedures done despite getting help from the hospital. Arranging Rs 50,000 is also a problem for those living in the lower strata,” the doctor feels.

A keen eye

Dr Rajinder SinghDr Rajinder Singh — The eye surgeon running an NGO, Sahyata, is accredited with having helped orphans and downtrodden elders in the city in particular and the state at large. Not only did Dr Rajinder Singh volunteer to take over Bal Bhawan (the orphanage) run by the Red Cross, he also made effective changes by ensuring education and good health for the children. He also runs three dispensaries in three villages adjoining Ludhiana wherein people get free treatment from doctors involved in the project. “To have been able to run a school and sponsor the studies of 100 students is the most rewarding part of the charitable work that I have undertaken in the past five years. It is my wish too see these children grow up to become professionals in varied fields,” the doctor says. His involvement with like-minded doctors in the US and Canada has matured into a “joint venture” under which three-week-long special camps are organised in villages across the state.

A good head

Dr PS KhuranaDr PS Khurana — The head of the department of neuropsychiatry and drug de-addiction centre at Guru Teg Bahadur Charitable Hospital has fortified his campaign against drug-addiction among adolescents. Taking time out of his busy routine, the doctor spends hours counselling youth against addiction. “You do not need to form an NGO to carry on the good work as it can be done without a name or a banner,” feels Dr Khurana. Having penned two books, “Nashe di aadat” and “Mansik rogan bare jaankari”, Dr Khurana makes sure that every drug addict coming to him for counselling goes through these. Arranging meetings in the rural as well urban areas, Dr Khurana is works towards making self-help groups of addicts so as to reduce the chances of “relapse”. “I am writing some more books which will carry illustrations for better understanding of causes, symptoms, types and repercussions of drug-addiction,” says Dr Khurana.

Thalassaemics’ hope

Dr Praveen SobtiDr Praveen Sobti — The paediatrician and thalassaemia expert at DMCH has been a ray of hope for hundreds of children with thalassaemia in the region. The doctor with her never-say-die spirit has worked round the clock to set up a special thalassaemic day care unit at the DMCH. The founder of Aprita Cancer Society, Dr Sobti with her philanthropic zeal approached donors for contributions for ailing children and the benevolent supporters readily agreed to adopt her project. “With the help of the hospital authorities and generous donors, I have constantly been able to help majority of thalassaemic kids in the thalassaemic ward wherein the patients get the state-of-the-art facilities,” says Dr Sobti. Trained nurses, doctors and the special ward currently cater to 276 children from Punjab. Dr Sobti has called upon the state government to include thalassaemia patients under the free healthcare programme.



Booking of Sarpanch
Village chiefs rally around accused
Our Correspondent

Raikot, June 30
Sarpanches and other key figures of the area have come out in support of sarpanch Jagdeep Singh of Rajoana village, who was booked recently for forcibly laying a pipeline through the fields of a villager, opening fire and intimidation. They accused the Sudhar police of implicating the sarpanch in a frivolous case.

A meeting in this regard was organised at Ghuman village and was presided over by Jaswinder Singh Ghuman, district vice-president of the SAD, Gurbachan Singh Heran, president of the Sarpanch Union, and Mehar Singh Dhaliwal, vice-chairman, Block Sammiti.

Sarpanches Bhupinder Singh (Ghuman village), Kamikar Singh (Abbuwal village), Jasvir Singh (Toosa village), Charan Singh (Rupapatti village), Harinder Singh (Burj Hari Singh village), Baljit Kaur (Budhel village) Jarnail Singh (Saholi village) and others criticised the booking of the sarpanch.

It was also decided to send a deputation to Ludhiana (rural) SSP Harinder Singh Chahal to seek his intervention in resolving the issue.

It was also decided that till the FIR against the sarpanch was not withdrawn, none of the sarpanches of the Sudhar block would mediate in any village dispute.

Jagdeep Singh along with 25 others was booked under Sections 447, 427, 506, 336, 148 and 149, IPC, on the statement of Nirmal Singh, a villager.

Jagdeep Singh had his fields on both sides of the fields owned by Nirmal Singh and had a dispute over irrigation.

Nirmal Singh had procured a status quo on the issue from the court.

On May 10, Jagdeep Singh along with his accomplices, including Surat Singh, Harjot Singh, Harbant Singh, Gurjant Singh, Arvinder Singh and others reached the fields with earthmovers, tractors and laid a pipe after digging the land of the complainant.

The case was registered after Jagraon SP (headquarters) Gurpreet Singh Toor visited the scene and recorded the statements of witnesses and members of both sides.



Chemists allege harassment by health officials
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
Following the "checks" conducted on retail pharmacies in Jawahar Nagar Camp and adjoining areas by health officials, a group of chemists locked up their stores and handed over the keys to civil surgeon Dr Satwant Bhalla at his office. The chemists told him they were being “harassed for no fault of their own” by the health & family welfare department.

Ludhiana Retail Chemists Association president Amandeep Ahuja alleged the checks were a deliberate move to hassle retail pharmacies with the aim of forcing them out of business. "It’s a step initiated by the big pharma companies who plan to open drugstore chains. A campaign has been launched to eliminate small chemists shops," he claimed.

A drugstore owner, Ajay Kumar, accused the health department of having failed to take action against the “real culprits” behind the sale of habit-forming drugs. “The wholesalers in connivance with pharma firms are responsible for the huge rise in the drug addiction in Punjab”, he added

At the same time, the retail chemists registered their protest against pharmaceutical companies manufacturing drugs for specific hospitals and nursing homes, which have inhouse pharmacies, in the city.

However, the chemists, when briefed on malpractices at retail drugstores, assured the civil surgeon to extend support in curbing the drug menace. The retailers also promised none of them would dispense medicines without a valid prescription.

When contacted civil surgeon Satwant Bhalla said: “The checks conducted on drugstores today were in response to complaints about unqualified people dispensing medicines in pharmacies. A large number of people in the city procure licenses in the names of pharmacists but the drugstores are run by unqualified people, which is a violation of the Drugs & Cosmetics Act”.

“Some chemists are even running OPDs, which needs to be dealt with strictly”, she added.



Dist Planning Committee
Chairman for speeding up of development works
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
Bhag Singh Malha, chairman, district planning committee, Ludhiana, has asked officials of various departments to speed up the pace of ongoing development works in the city. He also asked the officials to ensure that funds under public welfare schemes were properly utilised.

Addressing a meeting of officials at Bacchat Bhawan here today, Malha said the state government had initiated several development projects for villages falling under the district, through which basic facilities would be provided to the rural population.

He said a budget of Rs 31.12 lakh had been allocated as first installment to the district planning committee out of which Rs 13.6 lakh would be spent on villages and Rs 17.2 on development works in the city.

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari also asked the officials concerned to spend the funds allotted for development works judiciously.

Among those included ADC Devinder Singh, Sukhwant Singh, Akhtiar Singh Roomi, Jeewan Dhawan, Amardeep Singh Gujral, RK Bakshi, Baldev Singh Beerh, etc.



Vet Varsity
Most seats filled in first counselling
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
Almost all 59 seats of Bachelors in Veterinary Science (BVSc), 19 of Bachelors in Fishery Science (BFSc) and 26 of BTech Dairy Science Technology of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) have been filled in the very first counselling here today.

The counselling for all three undergraduate courses was conducted at Silver Jubilee Block of the university. The three courses include BVSc and AH, BFSc and BTech, dairy technology. As many as 805 students appeared for the CET, GADVASU 2010, which was conducted by university on June 23.

About 424 aspirants appeared for counselling. Three seats in disabled and reserved category were yet to be filled, said Dr SPS Sangha, controller of examination.

GADVASU started with its popular courses, including BFSc and BTech in dairy science technology, last year in this region. The second counselling will be on July 27.

In counselling sessions Dr PD Juyal, registrar, Dr Simrat Sagar Singh, dean, College of Veterinary Sciences, Dr KS Sandhu, director of extension education, Dr SPS Sangha, controller of examination and dean, Dairy Science Technology College, and Dr Kamaldeep Kaur, dean, College of Fisheries, were present.

Vice-Chancellor Dr VK Taneja congratulated all new entrants.



From Colleges

Annual day

LUDHIANA: Talwinder Singh bagged the Mr Sethi Study Circle (SSC) title and Rupinder was crowned with Miss SSC during their annual day event titled Horizon organised here today.

Harsimranjit was judged the first runner up (boys) and the first runner up for girls was given away to Manpreet. Roll of honour was given to Chetan and Gurleen. Vandana won the first prize in solo dance and Navtej and his group was adjudged the winner of group dance competition.

Chief guest Meena Girhotra appreciated the show put up by the students of the SSC. She said that the enticing performances of the participants added effervescence to the show. The guest of honour, Harjot Kalsi from British Council, while applauding the performances said the events had a perfect blend of contemporary and traditional colour.

Principal of LGC

Renowned scientist and engineer Dr MP Kaushal, who retired as head, department of soil water and engineering of Punjab Agricultural University, joined as the principal of Ludhiana Group of Colleges (LGC), Chaukimann, Ferozepur Road, here.

Brij Pal Sachdeva, chairman, LGC, welcomed him on the campus. Dr Kaushal, who has many international and national publications to his credit, has been very actively involved in training farmers in groundwater recharge and water conservation technology.

A fellow of Institution of Engineers (India) and a recipient of commendation medal by Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers and National Research Development Corporation award, Dr Kaushal has authored seven books on various engineering subjects.

Dr Kaushal, in his address, said the engineering studies should not be limited to coverage of the syllabus only, but teaching methodology should also focus on practical project work.

PCTE to offer PGDM

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), a body of Government of India, approved PCTE Group of Institutes as integrated campus for running Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) programme.

The programme is of two-year duration and is equivalent to MBA course. Students who had graduated in any stream are eligible to get admission in the programme. Dr KNS Kang, director general, PCTE Group of Institutes, said that PCTE was one of the premier institutes in Punjab who got approval for running PGDM programme.

The PCTE group has decided to involve the industry of the region in running this programme. The programme would also attract high degree of international exposure where students would be sent abroad and taught in universities of repute, added Dr Kang.


Students of BTech final year (eighth semester) of Ludhiana College of Engineering and Technology brought laurels to the college by achieving excellent result in Punjab Technical University examination. From CollegesRESULT: Rajni (85.02 per cent from CSE), Vishal Batta (84.86 per cent from ECE), Sandeep Sharma (82.50 per cent from IT) and Sanpreet Singh (75.76 per cent from ME) have bagged the first positions. — TNS



PAU Notes

Course for farm women

LUDHIANA: The Directorate of Extension Education is organising a course on ‘Using domestic materials for preparing decorative and useful items’ in the Kairon Kisan Ghar from July 27 to 29. The director of Extension Education, Dr MS Gill, said the course for farm women would have expert tips for the participants on transforming domestic junk into useful items.

The subject matter specialist will demonstrate how attractive sceneries, flower vases, spoon stands, magazine holders, cushions, mobile phone covers, etc. could be prepared from waste wool, wood and cardboard. An exhibition will also be organised on the items prepared.

Dr Gill said the course coordinator was Dr Rupinder Kaur while the technical coordinators were Dr Surinderjit Kaur and Dr HK Saggu. The registration for the course will be at 9 am on July 27 at Kairon Kisan Ghar.


As many as 30 students of BTech and MTech (agricultural engineering) from the College of Agricultural Engineering & Technology (COAE&T), Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), have been placed in top national and multinational companies through on-campus interviews conducted by the training and placement committee of the college.

The organisations which visited PAU for recruiting agricultural engineers included Mahindra & Mahindra (Mumbai), Kirloskar Group (Pune), TAFE (Chennai), CLAAS India (Faridabad), John Deere Farm Equipment (Pune), Escorts (Faridabad), Sonalika Tractors (Hoshiarpur), Fieldfresh Bharti Enterprise (Ludhiana), Green Fiesta (Ludhiana).

Experts from these organisations appreciated the college infrastructure, teaching facilities, laboratories and training workshops for enhancing students’ practical knowledge base.

Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, distributed the appointment letters to the selected graduates and congratulated them for their achievement in their professional life. He said wherever they happen to be in professional jobs, they should be ambassadors of the PAU and should prove worthy of the education and knowledge they attained from PAU.


To bid farewell to Dr Vinod Kumar Dilawari, controller of examination, at PAU, who attained an age of superannuation today, a function was held in the committee room of the Vice-Chancellor wherein deans, directors, officers, and additional directors of the PAU participated.

The efforts of Dr Dilawari, especially in the modernisation of facilities, creation of research labs for insect ecology, insect molecular biology and electro-microscopy and nanotechnology, were highlighted in the function.

Dr Dilawari, throughout his professional career spreading over 36 years, served PAU in various capacities such as lecturer, associate professor, professor of ecology and controller of examination. — TNS



City lad to weave magic on TV
Tribune News Service

Rajesh Kumar Ludhiana, June 30
City lad Rajesh Kumar will be participating in “India’s Magic Star”, a show to be telecast on a private entertainment channel. This show will open the doors to the rarest of magic forms such as levitation, teleportation, escapology etc.

Star One has combed the length and breadth of the country to handpick 10 of the choicest of magicians to conjure unheard-of tricks in magic. Rajesh (17), a medical student, has never been trained under anyone. But the charm and love for the art has made him his own teacher.

“My knowledge of magic comes from the Internet and other such sources. My family has always loved and supported me to become a renowned magician one day. I am very close to my mother in particular and get my strength from her,” he said.

Being from a small town does not makes Rajesh shy or introvert. Confident, talkative and with a child-like character in him, he surely can woo the audiences with his linguistic and magical skills once put on stage.

Commenting on the new programme Nikhil Mirchandani, GM, Star One, says: “Star One is thrilled to launch a non-fiction show like ‘India’s Magic Star’! Keeping our promise of bringing to viewers extremely innovative content, we will unveil in the show the rarest, biggest and newest of magic tricks with every episode. After pioneering successful formats like ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’ and ‘Nach Baliye, we hope that this show will set a milestone for non-fiction formats on Indian television.”



Lineman electrocuted
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, June 30
A lineman of the Punjab State Electricity Board, Satnam Singh, was electrocuted in nearby Masani village today when he was working on a power transformer to repair the electric lines. He was taken to the Civil Hospital, Phillaur, where he was declared dead on arrival. The body of the deceased was handed over to the family members after conducting the autopsy.

In another incident, Sunita Rani, a resident of UP, reportedly committed suicide by hanging herself with the ceiling fan in Mohalla Kohlian in Noormahal last night. The police said Sunita was undergoing depression which led her to take this extreme step.



Six held for snatchings
Tribune News Service

Balwinder Verma, a goldsmith and father of one of the accused Johny Verma, was also actively involved with the criminals.

According to the police, he used to melt the stolen and snatched gold ornaments and further sell them in the market. The accused then used to share the booty. The police has also recovered $250 from the possession of Balwinder Verma

The snatchers have forgotten how many snatching they have committed so far. During the interrogation one of the accused confessed before the police he had committed over 40 snatchings near the Fountain Chowk and Bharat Nagar Chowk area

Ludhiana, June 30
With the arrest of six persons the city police claims to have busted a gang of snatchers, who had been active since last few months. According to sources, the gang was behind over 100 snatching incidents as several cases went unreported.

The accused have been identified as Amrinder Singh, alias Jimmy, Johny Verma, Mohit Kumar, alias Mani, Baljeet Sharma, Sonu, alias Lambu, and Sunny, all residents of Basti Jodhewal, Tibba Road, and surrounding areas who were nabbed by the police from different locations of the city. Monu, the seventh member of the gang, is still at large.

The gang had been active in Jawhar Nagar, bus stand, Sham Nagar, Mall Road, Sham Singh Road, Fountain Chowk and the Civil Lines area. ADCP Jasdev Singh Sidhu said the modus operandi of the accused was well devised.

The accused used to ride on three motorcycles. Amrinder Singh and Johny Verma used to lead from the front and spot the victim. The duo then used to indicate their accomplices who then committed snatchings. While the snatchers riding on third motorbike was used as cover.

The ADCP said the accused even used to attack the victim if he or she posed resistance.

All accused are said to be chronic drug addicts in pursuit of quick money and lavish lifestyle.

The police has recovered 18 mobile phones, gold ornaments, £700, $600 and Indian currency totalling over Rs 3.75 lakh from their possession.

The accused were booked under various sections for snatching, theft and other criminal offences. The accused were produced before the court and further sent to police custody.



2 held for tampering with stamp duty receipts
Mahesh Sharma

Ludhiana, June 30
The police has arrested two members of a gang of swindlers which had been cheating the government treasury by tampering with stamp duty receipts issued on behalf of sellers of property.

Another gang that is suspected to be involved in printing fake receipts is yet to be identified. The police has also sought details of sale deeds made on stamp duty receipts bearing numbers similar to suspected fake receipts.

Manjit Singh, the kingpin, and one of his accomplices Ravi were arrested by a team of cops led by SHO, division number 6, Gurdev Singh from different places in the city while they were trying to leave the area.

The suspects confessed to have tempered with at least six stamp duty receipts, which had been noticed by an audit team about a fortnight ago.

One of the receipts bearing number 014215 was found to be fake as the issuing branch of State Bank of India had never issued this series of receipts.

Apprehending more such fake receipts, the police has asked details of all transactions made on basis of receipts bearing similar number.

Investigation further revealed that Manjit Singh and Ravi had purchased stamp duty receipts on different dates from treasury branch of State Bank of India during the last quarter of 2008.

With an intention to evade identification, they had tendered the amounts under fake identity of some Amar Singh.

These receipts were later tempered with to make their worth appear much higher than the deposited amount.

The scam remained buried for about 18 months as the authorities at the sub-registrar office had neither confirmed the particulars of the receipts by accessing online account at the time of approving deed, nor tallied these with the treasury office, Ludhiana, where two copies of all challans are sent daily by the bank.

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

In one of the cases, the authorities had passed a title deed 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. It is suspected that this receipt was prepared and tempered with by members of some other gang.

Interestingly, neither the purchaser nor the seller could be identified in some of the cases.

In a similar case, Vicky Malhotra of Hoshiarpur area had cheated the government by tampering with at least 49 receipts worth over Rs 75 lakh. At least six revenue officials, including those verifying deeds, were suspended for their alleged negligence in that case.



Man held with 50-kg ganja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
The Focal Point police has nabbed a person with 50-kg ganja from the GT Road, near Dhandari. The accused has been identified as Vijay Rao, a migrant from Bihar. The accused was carrying two black bags on a rickshaw. On suspicion the police asked Vijay to open the bag.

Sensing trouble, Vijay left the bag and tried to flee from the spot. However, the police overpowered him.

The accused was carrying 25 kg of ganja in each bag. He told the police that he purchased the contraband from Nepal for Rs 1,000 per kg and used to sell it in the market for Rs 10,000 per kg.



Man shoots at youth for stalking daughter
Our Correspondent

Raikot, June 30
A man shot at a youth who was bothering his daughter for quite some time. The victim has been identified as Gurpreet Singh Grewal, an NRI. The girl, who was taking IELTS coaching from Pandori village in Barnala district, was being stalked by the boy.

The girl complained the matter to her father Gurmail Singh, who took her on his scooter to Raikot. When the father-daughter were returning from Raikot, the boy tried to stop the scooter.

Soon they entered into an altercation and Gurpreet started abusing Gurmail. When a passerby tried to intervene, a shot from Gurmail’s gun accidentally went off.

The police has summoned both the parties. No case was, however, registered against anyone till the filing of report.



Obscene CDs
Crackdown on shopkeepers
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 30
The Ludhiana police has launched a drive against shopkeepers selling pirated and obscene CDs and DVDs in the area. The Jagraon Sadar police raided Galib Kalan village and arrested Sanjeev Kumar of Shastri Nagar with 75 pirated CDs.

Also, Bawa Singh of Kaunke Kalan village was arrested with 774 pirated CDs. Both were produced in court but were bailed out.

Similarly, the Jodhan police booked unidentified shopkeepers of the town for dealing in sale of duplicate and obscene material, including CDs and DVDs. SI Sukhvir Singh said they were identifying shops involved in the trade.

The Dakha police also registered a case against music shops of the town following a tip-off. A police team, led by SI Chaman Parkash, has started a search for objectionable material. The Sudhar police booked Harchand Singh of Halwara, a shopkeeper at Halwara village, following a tip-off. The accused was found indulging in the sale of pirated and obscene video films from his shop. SHO Jasbinder Singh seized 16 obscene CDs and around 150 pirated CDs from his shop. The accused has been booked under Sections 420 and 292, IPC, and 51, 52A, 63, 68 of the Copyright Act.

The other accused have been booked under Sections 51, 52, 52A, 63 and 68 of the Copyright Act at various police stations.



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