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Abducted baby recovered; woman suspect held
Hospital officials accused of ‘foul play’
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 20
The 12-day-old infant who was kidnapped from Deep Hospital by a woman yesterday was recovered late yesterday evening when the woman suspected in the incident returned with him in mysterious circumstances even as the child’s family members accused hospital officials of ‘‘foul play.’’
Manpreet Kaur and Baljit Singh, alleged kidnappers of the child, in police custody
Manpreet Kaur and Baljit Singh, alleged kidnappers of the child, in police custody. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Manpreet Kaur, a resident of Jarkhar village who had allegedly abducted the baby boy, came back to the hospital at about 11 pm requesting Dr Baldeep, the hospital’s director, to examine the sick child. She was caught and handed over to the police.

The child's parents were immediately called to the hospital to identify the boy. However, they alleged they were reportedly encountered “derogatory” remarks and the infant was not handed over to them until after almost three hours.

Speaking to reporters, Mohammad Nasir, the boy's father, said today Manpreet had fled from ward no 6 to room no 309, which led to the hospital’s rear exit. “She knew about the exit and the guard didn’t stop her. Instead my mother who ran after the woman was stopped and scolded by a guard and Dr Baldeep himself,” he claimed.

A family relative, Mohammad Altaf Yoshar, who is general secretary of the All India Majlis-e-Ahrar, said that two vehicles bearing “VIP” registration numbers had escorted a Tata Safari SUV, the vehicle reportedly used by Manpreet.

Mustkeen, PA to the Shahi Imam, Punjab who was present at the hospital till the wee hours of the morning, alleged the hospital was somehow involved in the kidnapping incident. “We have called upon the city police commissioner to order a probe into the matter,” he added.

Denying the allegations Dr Baldeep said he would himself ask the police commissioner to order high-level investigation into the matter. “I will myself help in ensuring the culprit is sent to jail. Manpreet Kaur, who belongs to a big landlord family and is the mother of a 7-year-old daughter, was desperately looking for a male child. Even her family members were misled into believing she was pregnant”, he stated.

When asked about the surety given by Dr Baldeep to the family to trace the woman soon after the incident, the doctor said they had some clues as Manpreet had made a similar attempt two weeks ago.

“I received numerous calls to help both families strike a compromise, which I bluntly refused to do,” Dr Baldeep went on to add.

Police belies hospital’s claim

The police has contradicted the claim of Dr Baldeep, the director of Deep Hospital, that the woman suspected of having kidnapped the infant yesterday returned to the hospital with the child. In a press conference today, ADCP Sushil Kumar said the vehicle used by the kidnappers was intercepted last night at a barricade in Model Town Extn. The police has registered a case against the suspected kidnapper, Manpreet Kaur, and her husband, Baljit Singh, under section 363 & 365 of the IPC. When asked about Baldeep’s claim he said: “The Model Town SHO took the baby back to Deep Hospital so as to ensure its well being. The kidnapper would never have taken the child back to the same hospital”.

Unanswered questions

  • Why did the police conduct a probe inside the hospital from 11 pm to 2 pm?
  • Why did the suspect return with the child to the hospital, where the abduction took place?
  • Why did hospital officials let the woman roam about the premises if they were suspicious about her actions?
  • Why doesn’t the hospital have any CCTV cameras?
  • Why didn’t the hospital file a complaint when the suspect tried to kidnap another male infant a few days ago but her bid was foiled?


Protest against DC
Revenue officials to go on mass casual leave

Ludhiana, July 20
Public work in all the revenue offices of Ludhiana district is likely to suffer as the revenue officials will go on a mass casual leave to protest against the alleged “high handedness” of Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari.

Giving the protest call here this evening, Tehsildar-cum-Sub Registrar (West), Rajinder Oberoi, said no work would be taken up in the offices as the DC allegedly misbehaved with him and another revenue official, Naib Tehsildar Jasbir Singh Walia over a VIP duty in the Circuit House here today.

All the officials posted in different revenue tehsils of the district would go on mass casual leave. “We know the public would be inconvenienced but misbehaviour cannot be tolerated,” he said.

Oberoi said Walia was assigned on the VIP duty in the Circuit House today but he could not reach there on time. The DC called Walia and Oberoi in his office and used “objectionable” words. “We are not going to take it lying down. We have decided to protest,” said Oberoi.

The DC however said he did not know anything about it. He said he would talk to the officials tomorrow. — TNS



14 fresh gastro cases reported
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 20
With 14 new patients getting admitted in Toor Hospital in New Kundan Puri, the number of gastroenteritis cases has gone up to 55. A team of health officials, meanwhile, organised a camp in the area where a large number of patients were examined and gave medicines, chlorine tablets and oral rehydration solution (ORS) sachets.

District health officer (DHO) Dr DS Kochar said a special mobile van had been sent to the worst-affected areas of Tibba road today, as there had been reports of some new cases of gastroenteritis in Subhash Nagar and adjoining areas.

Another team of health officials conducted a camp in Shankar Colony, Puneet Nagar, National Colony, Indira Colony at Basti Jiodhewal which has been declared a "sensitive" area in a recent survey conducted by the health department. However, out of the total 51 people examined during the camp, the doctors diagnosed some people with mild diarrhoea, but no serious case of gastroenteritis.

A senior official, while pointing towards the poor sanitation conditions in Giaspura and Ambedkar Nagar, the areas with the history of gastro outbreaks in the past one decade, said, "It is just a matter of few days and these two localities will have gastro cases, as the authorities have failed to clear heaps of garbage and overflowing sewage in these areas."

The city has already witnessed three gastro deaths in the past 10 days and the situation is grim as no concrete steps have been taken to save the people from this water-borne disease. 

Authorities fail to act

The irony of the situation is that the department of health and family welfare has been taking water samples from the beginning of the year and the report of the failed samples is sent to the Ludhiana Municipal Commissioner and the DC. But nothing has been done to "provide" potable water in the areas where the water samples failed.



MC ignores choked sewers near gurdwara
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 20
Even though the main sewage pipelines near Guru Nanaksar Thaath have remained blocked for over ten days now, civic officials do not appear to be bothered about rectifying the problem. Jagir Singh, a member of the gurudwara management committee, said following the heavy showers the choked sewage had created a lot of problems to devotees.

"Due to waterlogging devotees are finding it difficult to visit the gurudwara. The foul smell emitted by overflowing sewage has become intolerable. We’ve urged municipal corporation officials several times to get the sewerage system cleaned but to no avail. This work should have been taken up on a priority basis", said Jagir.



Man electrocuted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 20
A man was electrocuted after coming in touch with overhead high-tension wires on the Churpur road near Haibowal here today. The victim, identified as Ramesh Kumar, was crossing a bridge when he came in touch with the wire and got electrocuted. He died on the spot.

Commuters informed the police about the incident, following which the police took the body in its possession. The police has started investigation under Section 174 of the Cr PC.



Transporter penalised Rs 1,18,94 for damaged goods
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 20
The Permanent Lok-Adalat has ordered M/s Punjab Andhra Transport Corporation, Nizamabad, to make a payment of
Rs 1,18,904 for the goods damaged during transit through their transport.

The orders were passed by the chairman of the Permanent Lok-Adalat (PLA) Sukhdarshan Singh Khaira, members RS Khokhar, Nand Lal while deciding the complaint filed by New India Assurance Company Limited and Rishab Spinning Mills of Ludhiana.

It was pleaded before the PLA that Rishab Spinning Mills had got insured a consignment of cotton with the New India Assurance Company, which was booked from Adiabad to Jodhan village in Ludhiana.

It was the duty of transporter to ensure the safe delivery of booked goods but it failed. When the goods were delivered, they were in a damaged condition. The transport company had also issued certificate to this effect. Later on, the insurance company assessed the loss at Rs 1,18,904 and paid it to Rishab Spinning Mills. Now the company was entitled to recover the same from the transporter.

The Lok Adalat justified the stand of the insurance company and ordered the transporter to make the payment along with the interest.



Step out and enjoy monsoon in crocs, flip-flops
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 20
Come monsoon season and everybody has to rack their brains as to what to put on and step out of the house. Be it clothes or footwear, everyone has to compromise in terms of dressing up not according to what looks best on them but as per the showers allow them.

Rainy season is not a good time for the fashion enthusiasts as it dampens their spirits of donning their best outfits and footwear. Footwear, especially, is taken much care of. It's very essential as the right kind of footwear helps us to tread through those frustrating potholes and muddy puddles. Plastic ballerinas, crocs and flip-flops are considered "hot" during the rainy season.

Crocs are funky, comfy and cool clogs that are so incredibly popular this season. Crocs turn to be one of the most popular shoes nowadays and they have numerous fans among both ordinary people and celebrities. While plastic ballerinas and flip-flops also top the chart of every fashion enthusiast who does not want to spoil their fashion statement while stepping out in the rain.

"More and more people are buying crocs these days. Apart from comfort, crocs bring happiness and put smiles on faces of people as they allow their feet to breathe," said a salesman at one of the shoe store at Mall Road.


Say no to leather

Do not wear leather footwear as they too have the tendency of sheltering bacteria and fungus. If it is necessary to wear leather footwear during the rainy season, feet should not be slipped in and out of the shoes directly, and must be opened only by the laces. Socks are a must; even if they get wet as they act as a barrier between the skin and the leather



Lack of Generator in Hostel
Girls raise slogans against authorities
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 20
Students of girls’ hostel undergoing graduate and postgraduate degree courses at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary University (GADVASU) came out of their hostel and raised slogans against the authorities last night.

The protesting students said they had been deprived of the generator facility. Also, the students are unhappy over the decision of the university authorities to use cubicle rooms as “double rooms” wherein two students will share one room.

A student said, “We have come to the university to get a professional degree and are paying the prescribed fee for the hostel facilities. Privacy is the first thing that a student in a professional college needs and the university is denying us the same,” rued the student.

Why should the students pay the price for the university authorities “short sightedness”, as they should have realised the need for ample space for the hostel students, objected another student of BVSc.

The university can always utilise the funds coming under various schemes for the expansion of the hostel facility, the students said.

Director student welfare (DSW), Dr KS Sandhu, when contacted said the first demand of the students for using generators had been accepted provided they pay for fuel expenses. “But we can’t accept their second demand of not accommodating two students in one room, as we have 140 students of BVSc, MVSc and PhD, who have to be adjusted in the existing rooms in the hostel. There are 74 rooms in the old block, 32 in the new block and the rooms despite being cubicles are spacious enough for two students,” added Dr Sandhu.



Award for farm scientist

Ludhiana, July 20
Dr Mohinder Kaur from the department of vegetable crops, Punjab Agricultural University, was conferred with Jawaharlal Nehru Award for outstanding postgraduate agriculture research on genetic transformation in brinjal.

The award consists a cash prize of Rs 20,000, a medal and a citation.

Union Agricultural Minister Sharad Pawar conferred the award on Dr Mohinder Kaur at a recent function organised at the National Agricultural Science Centre Complex (NASCC) on the foundation day of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in New Delhi.

Dr Mohinder Kaur is awarded for her work on in-vitro plant regeneration and genetic transformation in brinjal. She has standardised efficient plant regeneration protocols for brinjal for genetic transformation. — TNS



Narrow escape for 13 students as bus overturns
Rakesh Gupta

Raikot, July 20
A day after the bus of Guru Nanak Public Senior Secondary School, Bassian, overturned injuring a dozen students, another school bus overturned today, but the students had a narrow escape from any injuries.

The incidence happened at around 8.30 am on the outskirts of Bhaini Daredan village near here when GHG Public School bus (CH-03-J-4289) overturned when the driver applied brakes near a turn, but about 13 students boarding the bus had a narrow escape.

Interestingly, investigation revealed that the bus had no permit to ply on the road and it was not even passed by the transport department to carry passengers. Also there was no first aid kit available in the bus.

Rescue team from the Dhalian Gurdwara was called, who reached the spot accompanied by a tractor and other equipment and took the bus and students to the school.

Baba Jaswant Singh, chief sewadar of the gurdwara and director of the school, put the entire blame of the accident on the farmers, who have encroached on the roadside land.

The civil administration is yet to take an action against the erring schools.



Industrial unit a nuisance for residents
Manav Mander/Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 20
A small industrial unit in the Hira Nagar residential area here is giving sleepless nights to nearby residents.

The unit is engaged in the business of cleaning old vegetable oil and ghee tins with the help of hot caustic solution.

A resident of the area Satnam Singh alleged that the unit was causing water, air and noise pollution. "The water generated from washing is discharged into public sewer without any treatment," he added. He added that the unit also had a small furnace, and wood was used as fuel in it. The owner of the unit had not taken permission from the Punjab Pollution Control Board, he claimed.

Another resident added that thick smoke coming out from the furnace and noise from the factory were creating nuisance in the area.”The noise emitted while work is being carried in the factory is unbearable. The kids fail to concentrate on their studies due to the noise coming from the factory." Smoke emitted from the unit created problems for people with respiratory diseases.



Checking water-borne diseases
MC cutting connections in unauthorised colonies
Shivani Bhakoo/TNS

Ludhiana, July 20
To curb spreading of diseases in sensitive areas of the city due to contaminated water, the Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, has started cutting the "illegal" connections taken by the migrant population in the unauthorised colonies. But all such connections could not be cut as thousands of residents were getting water through these pipes in the unauthorised areas. However, the mixing of water and sewerage pipes remains the main source of contaminated water and seasonal diseases, including gastroenteritis and cholera etc.

Kamlesh Bansal, Executive Engineer, O and M Cell of the civic body, told The Tribune that he was on duty at Subhash Nagar since morning to ensure that residents did not get contaminated water. "Wherever there was any leakage or mixing of sewerage pipes, we cut those connections. Potable water is being supplied to residents along with chlorine tablets and pamphlets generating awareness", told Bansal further adding that chances of infections rose manifold during the rainy season.

"If we cut their illegal connections today, after few days they will attach their thin rubber pipes with the main water-supply without bothering about their own health", rued Bansal.

In sensitive areas, including Giaspura, Dhandari Kalan, Sherpur, Haibowal Kalan, Daba Road, Shanti Colony, Kundan Puri etc. maximum cases of gastroenteritis were being reported from vehras where eight to10 migrants were living in unhealthy and unhygienic conditions.

The officials in the civic body maintained that had it been due to contaminated water alone, there would be an epidemic-like situation. These were al stray cases. "Everyone in vehras consume the same water then why just one is down with fever or infection? No doubt contaminated water is one of the major source of water-borne diseases but unhygienic surroundings add to the problems", said another official with the MC.

Commissioner AK Sinha said it was not viable to cut all connections as thousands of people were getting water through the illegal connections. "But the rubber pipes which are broken or punctured, are being replaced by the MC. If we cut all connections, they may start getting more contaminated water. As many as 40,000 tablets of chlorine were distributed today in the sensitive areas. We have given Rs 2 lakh as advance for getting more chlorine tablets", said Sinha.

Precautionary measures

  • Start consuming boiled water
  • Broken pipes or punctured pipes must be replaced with new ones
  • Proper hygiene must be maintained to avoid spread of disease
  • Use chlorinated water

A project worth Rs 23 crore had been sanctioned by the state government for laying water pipes in the sensitive areas (old city). With this, much of the problems will be solved.

AK Sinha, MC Commissioner



JNNURM team detects ‘lapses’ by state government
May hold back release of funds
Shivani Bhakoo/TNS

Ludhiana, July 20
Lapses on the part of state government to implement reforms under the Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) may cast a shadow on the release of funds under the mission. It could be delayed. A two-member team of research officials from the National Institute of Urban Affairs, New Delhi, visited city to meet the higher-officials of the civic body here.

One of the official, who attended the meeting with the visiting members, told The Tribune (on condition of anonymity) that the MC had done "reasonably" good job in implementing reforms on various issues while the state government had adopted a "lackadaisical" approach in not giving a go-ahead to the MCL.

The team reportedly found that the progress on part of the civic body was satisfactory while the state government was not able to match the pace. The state government had not implemented the reforms on property tax, metered-watered bills.

As per the memorandum of agreement (MoA), the MCL or the state government had to meet the deadlines in year 2007-08 but now the deadlines have been extended till 2010-11 to bring necessary reforms under JNNURM.



Kissan Sabha threatens to launch stir
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 20
Holding the administration in the Drainage Department of the Punjab government responsible for the loss of lives and property of farmers, the Punjab Kissan Sabha has demanded Rs 10 lakh compensation for the deceased and Rs 30,000 per acre for damage to paddy crops.

To impress upon the government to implement their demands, the union leaders and activists will handover charter of demands to the Chief Minister through subdivisional magistrates and duty magistrates during the “Demand Fortnight’ to be observed by the outfit.

The sabha threatened to launch a statewide agitation in case the government did not accept genuine demands of the farmers. Charter of demands was finalised during a meeting of senior functionaries held at the local Dhulkot Road area here on Monday. State general secretary Lehmbar Singh Taggar patronised the meeting presided over by Tirlochan Singh.

Speakers, including Taggar, Tirlochan Singh, Sikandar Singh Jartoli and Baldev Singh Latala alleged that defective policies of successive governments had been forcing debt-ridden peasants to commit suicides.

To impress upon the government to accept their demands, the union leaders announced a programme during which charters of demands would be handed over to the heads of administration at the subdivision and tehsil level.

Activists led by their respective office bearers will organise protest march before handing over the memorandum at Raekot on July 23, Samrala on July 26, Jagraon 28, Payal and Khanna on July 29 and Ludhiana on July 30.

Demanding revamping of flood relief and preventive measures, the farmer leaders urged the Chief Minister to initiate action against those whose negligence and willful default had caused huge losses to peasantry.

Minimum 16 hours power supply for nurturing paddy crops, withdrawal of decision to charge electricity bills and canal-water fee from farmer owning 7.5 acre land, free supply of diesel for pump sets, withdrawal of price hike of petroleum products and desertion of government land tillers are major demands listed in the charter.

The union has also demanded minimum support price of agricultural products like paddy at Rs 1,350, basmati Rs 2,500, cotton Rs 4,000 and sugarcane Rs 300 per quintal.



2 booked for duping power company

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 20
The Dehlon police has booked two persons, along with some unidentified officials of Powercom, under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120 B of the IPC for allegedly duping the board by obtaining agricultural tubewell motor connection under ex-servicemen quota fraudulently.

The main accused have been identified as Gurpreet Singh of Momnabad and Manmohan Singh of Jhamatt villages.

According to the FIR, the accused had duped Powercom by obtaining power connection meant for only ex-servicemen fraudulently. Under the category, the consumer has to deposit security amount much lesser than other farmers. The ex-servicemen are also entitled for other concessions in periodic payments.

Investigation revealed that the accused had prepared forged revenue documents, including farad and zamabandis, to prove their claim as ex-servicemen.



Woman held with 25-gm charas
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 20
A jail official nabbed a woman who was trying to sneak in drugs and a mobile inside the jail here yesterday.

The accused, identified as Raj Rani, came to meet her husband Ramesh Kumar, who is facing a jail term in a drug peddling case.

According to the jail official, the accused was hiding 25 grams of charas in capsicum, while the mobile was wrapped in polythene and hidden in chicken curry.

The accused was nabbed when a cop suspected her activities and checked the material, which she handed over to her husband.

The woman has been booked for drug peddling. She confessed before the police that her husband was a drug addict and he pressurised her to provide drugs.

The jail officials said she hid the drugs in capsicum. She cut the capsicum into half, placed the drug in it and fixed it with adhesive.



Basketball League
LBA lads emerge champs
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, July 20
The Ludhiana Basketball Academy emerged champions in the boy's section in the Punjab State Junior Basketball League held at Malout from July 17 to 19.

After recording victories in their league encounters, the Ludhiana Basketball Academy boys romped home victors in all their semifinal league matches. In the semifinal league, the LBA players outplayed Muktsar district 72-53; defeated Amritsar 59-35 and beat Ludhiana district 52-49 to clinch the title. Ludhiana district secured the second position.

In the girl's section, Amritsar won the title while Gurdaspur and Ludhiana districts finished second and third, respectively.

The players of the Ludhiana Basketball Academy were given a warm reception on their arrival at the Guru Nanak Stadium here this evening. Teja Singh Dhaliwal, honorary general secretary, Ludhiana District Basketball Association, and Dr S Subramanian, former director, NIS, Patiala, were present on this occasion.



Sadawar to face Sahil in final
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, July 20
On the third day of the Punjab State Snooker Championship being held at the Sutlej Club here today, Sadawar Singh wrapped up all his matches to secure a berth in the final of the sub-junior category. Sadawar will take on top seeded Sahil Nayyar in the final. Sahil has also made it to the final in the junior section.


Sub-junior: Saurav Nanda beat Chetan 2-0; Sahil Nayyar beat Jatin 2-0; Raahat beat Vandit Kumar 2-1; Vikrant beat Abhishek 2-1; Vaibhav beat Pranay 2-0; Karan beat Tapin 2-1; Saurav beat Manish 2-0; Sadaveer beat Raahat 2-0 and Sahil beat Karan 2-0.

Junior: Navdeep Singh beat Sagar Seth 2-0; Rajat Sharma beat Karan 2-0; Sachin Kumar beat Amritpal 2-0; Nishu beat Raahat 2-0; Sahil Nayyar beat Varun 2-0; Kunwardeep beat Vijay 2-0; Gaurav beat Ashish 2-1; Sahil Sharma beat JS Dhaliwal 2-0; Yuvraj Monga beat Deepak 2-1; Navdeep beat Nitin 2-1; Varun Bansal beat Sajan Goyal 2-0; Sahil Nayyar beat Rajat 2-0; Sahil Sharma beat Gaurav 2-0; Kunwardeep beat Rajat 2-1 and Vaibhav beat Vikrant 2-0.



Pranav, Tarun lift doubles title
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, July 20
A local shuttler, Pranav Chopra, made inroads in the domains of seniors, as he came out triumphant in the All-India Senior Major Ranking Badminton Tournament at Bangalore.

In his maiden appearance in a senior section, Pranav, a trainee of the Ludhiana Badminton Academy, in association with Tarun K of Andhra Pradesh won the title in the doubles category.

Pranav and Tarun started as underdogs, but gave a scintillating performance defeating top seeded Arun Vishnu of Kerala and Akshay Dewalkar from Maharashtra 21-18, 12-21 and 21-19.

It was a battle of nerves as the match went into the third game and scoreboard read 19-19. Pranav and Tarun kept their composure at crucial junctures and eventually won the cliffhanger 2-1 battle.

Earlier, in the semifinals, Pranav and Tarun defeated ranked players, Jishnu Sanyal and Manu Atree, easily. They won it 21-12 and 21-14.

In the mixed doubles, Pranav, along with Prajakta Sawant reached the final after defeating Jishnu Sanyal and Jyotsna 21-10 and 21-15.

In the final slated for tonight, the pair will face top seeded duo of Arun Visnu and Aparna Balan.



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