L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


5 lives snuffed out in car mishap
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Charanjit Kaur recuperates at a hospital.
Charanjit Kaur recuperates at a hospital. Tribune photos

Mandi Gobindgarh, July 25
In a major accident, five members of a family, including a child, were killed on the National Highway-1 here this morning.

The ill-fated Maruti car in which the Ludhiana-based family was travelling to pay their obeisance at Fatehgarh Sahib Gurdwara was hit by a truck trying to overtake it around 10.15 am.

Police officials investigating the matter said the truck, laden with stones (meant for the widening of road), tried to overtake the car. In haste, the truck’s rear side hit the car, as a result of which the car driver lost control of the vehicle and it hit the road divider.

The truck then fell over the car, killing five of its six occupants on the spot. The sixth occupant is battling for her life at the Civil Hospital, Fatehgarh Sahib.

Those killed have been identified as Paramjit Kaur (45), her son Jagjit Singh (22), Gurmeet Kaur (40), her son Daljit Singh (18) and Kunwarpreet Singh (8). All were residents of the Shimlapuri area of Ludhiana and the family was into iron casting business.

Jagjit Singh was driving the ill-fated car.

Charanjit Kaur (18), daughter of Paramjit, the lone survivor of the tragedy, sustained multiple injuries and a hip fracture.

Traffic remained blocked on the the stretch and it took more than two hours to salvage the bodies with the help of cranes.

The stretch has become very narrow lately due to the ongoing construction work.

Heavy machinery like trucks and cranes remain parked haphazardly on the road, often leading to accidents.

This is third such accident in the past one year on the stretch.

On August 27 last year, five members of a family from Kathua were killed on the same road.

The Kathua family’s car had rammed into a stationary truck, just 3 km from the scene of today’s accident.

Also, four “raagis” (Sikh hymn singers) had lost their lives in an accident at Mandi Gobindgarh on February 17.

The police has booked the truck driver in this connection. No arrest has been made so far.



All lost for the family
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
In the fag end of their lives when brothers Sukhdev Singh and Jaspal Singh were planning their life after retirement and looking forward to spending time with their wives and children, they were left alone.

The cruel hands of destiny snatched their wives and children in today’s road accident.

Sukhdev (55) lost his wife Paramjit Kaur (49) and son Sajjan Singh, while his daughter Charanjit Kaur (18) is recuperating at the hospital.

Similar, was the fate of his brother Jaspal Singh (52), who lost his wife Gurmeet Kaur and son Paras (20) in the accident at Mandi Gobindgarh.

The fate of Manjinder Singh, their younger brother, was no less cruel as his son Kunwar (8) also died in the accident.

Tragic scenes were witnessed at the cremation ground near grain market on the Gill Road where the bodies from the family were brought to perform the last rites.

The three brothers had to be cajoled to go near the bodies and perform their last rites.

“My entire world has been shattered. I wish I had now allowed them to go in the morning. Nobody knows how my heart bleeds, as I leave my dear ones back in the cremation ground. They will be just ashes now,” said inconsolable Sukhdev Singh.

He said the elderly of the family were opposed to all of them going together in the same vehicle in the morning. “But they did not pay any heed. They said they wanted to have fun together on the way,” said a broken Jaspal Singh.

Manjinder’s wife was saved as she could not go due to paucity of space in the car.

As Kunwar was little, she allowed him to go, only for him to come home among the dead.

“I wish I had gone instead of him,” the wailing mother was heard blabbering amidst her sobs.


Aspiring BEd Teachers
Police uses force, detains protesters
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Protesting aspiring BEd teachers being rounded off near the bus stand in Ludhiana on Sunday.
Protesting aspiring BEd teachers being rounded off near the bus stand in Ludhiana on Sunday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, July 25
The police resorted to mild force to disperse protesting aspiring BEd teachers here today, after the latter got agitated and threatened to block traffic to lodge their protest. A number of protesters were rounded up as a precautionary measure but were later let off by the police.

The problem started around 1 pm at Chatar Singh Park, where over 600 members of the Berozgaar BEd Teachers’ Front and the 50-50 Bachao Front were protesting amid heavy police presence.

After a meeting with the members, the association leaders decided to march to the Bharat Nagar Chowk, one of the busiest city roads, and block traffic.

When senior police officials intervened and asked the protesters to peacefully hand over the memorandum of their demands to the authorities concerned in a meeting, the latter got agitated and started scattering in various parts of the city, threatening the law and order situation.

“A few protesting leaders were rounded up, purely as a precautionary measure,” said ACP Parmod Ban.

However, the protesters alleged they were lathi-charged and thrashed by the police.

“Many of our members were injured when the police resorted to lathi-charge at the Bharat Nagar Chowk, where they had gathered to block the road,” alleged Berozgaar BEd Teachers’ Front president Harjeet Singh Jeeda.

Another protester Parminder Singh alleged that many of their front members were taken into police custody and taken to the police stations at Sarabha Nagar and Division No 5.

“Many protesters sustained injuries when the police resorted to lathi-charge,” he alleged.

The ACP, however, denied the allegations. “Those who were rounded up were immediately let off after a warning against blocking road. They were not taken to any police station. Neither were they cane-charged,” Ban asserted.

Meanwhile, situation remained tense for a long time and senior police officials, including ADCP (west) Raj Kumar and ADCP I Harsh Bansal took stock of the situation in various parts of the city.

The Bharat Nagar Chowk area was cordoned off by the police while heavy police was deployed at bus stand, Chatar Singh Park and Link Road to avoid any untoward incident.

Why the protest

The Front members were protesting to press for their demand of appointment under the 50-50 scheme.

Front president Jeeda said: “We had been recruited last year against the advertised posts of master and lecturer under the 50-50 rule of the government wherein 50 per cent seats are reserved for women and 50 per cent for men. After completion of all formalities, we were to be handed over our appointment letters by March this year but in January, 2010, the apex court passed an order to make all appointments on merit and dissolve the 50-50 rule.”

“But as per the court’s directive, our appointments were to be made under the 50-50 scheme as they were announced last year before the new rule came into effect. However, the government dissolved the rule and announced our appointments as per the new rule, which turned things against a majority of us, who stood to lose appointment under the new direction,” Jeeda added. 



Alert as swine flu rears its head
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
With the first positive case of swine flu surfacing in Jalandhar, the department of health and family welfare in the city has taken a double-check on the preventive and curative measures to fight against the disease.

Ludhiana, having witnessed 100 positive cases of swine flu followed by 30 deaths in the last year’s pandemic, has borne the brunt of the disease in the past.

As a result, the department had sent 5,000 doses of “Panenza vaccine” (preventive vaccine against H1N1 influenza) for doctors, nursing staff, paramedical employees deputed at civil and private hospitals to treat swine flu patients.

Dr Deepak Bhatia, state nodal officer for the integrated disease surveillance programme, said the swine flu positive case in Jalandhar was an “indigenous” one, adding: “We are already tracing all contacts to give them the required treatment.

The department is following the old line of treatment, which includes administration of antibiotic “fluvir”.

“We have instructed the civil surgeons in all districts, including Ludhiana, to rejuvenate the campaign against swine flu, as we have to be on alert looking at positive cases and subsequent deaths in Delhi this week. We just cannot sit back and relax, thinking the weather is not conducive to the swine flu virus to survive, as the first case of H1N1 in Punjab was reported in March, last year,” Dr Bhatia went on to add.

On “Nasovac”, the intra-nasal swine flu vaccine introduced recently by Serum Institute of India Ltd, available at some hospitals in Patiala, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Chandigarh and Mohali, Dr Bhatia said he would get in touch with the state drug controller to have a dialogue with the company’s representative for its availability for general public in Punjab.

“However, this will be a paid vaccine, as we do not have any instructions from the union government on it.”

At the same time, the hospitals have been instructed to keep isolation wards ready, followed by the availability of ventilators in case of emergency.


Don’t ignore symptoms

The symptoms of common cold (influenza) and influenza H1N1 are similar and hence doctors feel it is important to exercise caution if one develops cold, cough, high fever and respiratory problems after coming in contact with a swine flu positive case or even a suspected one. Doctors also term the late arrival of such patients to hospitals as a major reason for deterioration and complications, resulting in multiple organ failure, which proves fatal.



Real-life Bunty & Bubbly on honeymoon trip
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Jagroop Singh Ruby
Jagroop Singh Ruby

Ludhiana, July 25
Jagroop Singh Ruby, a resident of Talwan village, near Bilga, who has become the face of crime in the city after he snatched Rs 42.45 lakh from the employees of Bonn Food Industries, is on a honeymoon trip.

The criminal, who is said to be the head of a gang, had eloped with a girl and got married just four months ago.

If sources are to be believed, the wife of Jagroop Singh is also actively involved in the gang.

Son of a mechanic, Jagroop has a hefty criminal record and is wanted in several cases. He was arrested by the Bilga police and further sent to jail in Patiala, where he met other criminals and formed a new gang.

He fled from police custody at Samrala Chowk on December 15, while he was being produced before a court.

“He had spread the word in his village that he fled to Dubai following his marriage,” said SI Hussan Lal.

However, Ruby did not go anywhere and instead formed a gang along with new accomplices, whom he met in the jail.

According to the sources, he wanted to involve his old and close aide Dharminder Singh, alias Bhinder, in the gang but the latter refused to join his criminal activities. Bhinder is still living in the village.

The sources said Bhinder gave crucial inputs to the police about the location of the accused.

Ruby had formed a gang and robbed an Toyota Fortuner from a Patiala resident recently.

Later, they committed a series of robberies in Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Patiala and was dubbed the notorious “SUV gang”.

Following the Rs 42.45-lakh robbery, the gang members spilt. While some went to Dharamsala, others headed towards Kullu-Manali.

If the sources are to be believed, some of the gang members were arrested by police in this connection.


Love interest

Bhinder told the police that the girl fell in love with the criminal activities of Ruby. After committing a robbery, Ruby used to buy expensive gifts for her. Bhinder claimed that even the girl expressed her intention to join Rubi’s gang. According to the police, after committing a robbery, the couple used to head for a vacation at a hill station.

Driver in the dock

Jasvir Singh, driver of Bonn Food Industries, who was caught on charges of being hand-in-glove with the robbers, is learnt to have been working for Ruby. Jasvir had tipped-off Ruby about the cash following which the robbers waylaid the car and fled with the cash leaving behind the Honda Accord they had robbed on June 19.

Suspected robberies by ‘SUV gang’

May 6: Armed youths rob an industrialist of his laptop and luxury watch after a chase in Focal Point, Phase V

May 13: Armed robbers snatch Rs 29 lakh from Seehra village sarpanch on the Bajra road

May 21: Robbers flee with an SUV at gunpoint in Sarabha Nagar

June 12: A bag containing Rs 10 lakh robbed from a forex dealer on the Hambra road; and a car taken away at gunpoint near Sarabha Nagar

June 19: A youth robbed of his car while he was returning home after watching a movie with his friend



Lax admn fails to discipline auto, bus drivers
Mahesh Sharma

A driver halts his bus to fix a fault at the Bharat Nagar Chowk in Ludhiana.
A driver halts his bus to fix a fault at the Bharat Nagar Chowk in Ludhiana. File photos by writer

Ludhiana/Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 25
The administration has failed to tighten the noose around private bus operators and auto-rickshaws drivers, who violate traffic norms with impunity, thereby putting the lives of passengers as well as others in danger. Drivers of Punjab Roadways and Pepsu Road Transport Corporation are no exception.

Though it is not unusual for the region, if managers and owners of these two public modes of transport advise their staff to respect others commuting on road, at least 75 per cent of the accidents could be avoided.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that negligence on part of drivers of public transports or auto-rickshaws was the main reason behind a majority of accidents taking place in the area.

Sudden application of brakes on seeing a passenger and sharp turns by these two modes of transport did not allow enough reaction time to drivers of two-wheelers and other vehicles tailing behind them. Hundreds of commuters had suffered due to this tendency in the past several months. Some of the accidents have been fatal.

Drivers and helpers of erring vehicles don’t even bother to help victims of accidents taking place due to their fault. In a majority of cases, they flee the scene, leaving the injured at the mercy of passersby. Even if some driver is caught, he is got freed by his fraternity through pressure tactics.

Dr Ravinder Sharma, a social activist of Ahmedgarh, said he was lucky to save his car from colliding with a private bus, when it suddenly stopped to pick up some labourers standing on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla Road, a few days ago.

“Had I not steered my car to extreme right of the road, it could have collided with the bus ahead as its driver had applied brakes too abruptly for me to react. I was fortunate that no vehicle was coming from the opposite side otherwise it could have been fatal,” said Sharma. He regretted that the bus driver instead of realising his mistake threatened him with dire consequences in case he (Sharma) tried to lodge a complaint.

Mohinder Singh, a bank official, got his both scapulae fractured while saving his scooter from three auto-rickshaws, which stopped suddenly to pick up a passenger from roadside near the Government College for Women in Ludhiana some days ago. None of the three drivers bothered to look at Mohinder Singh, who was dragged by a car following his scooter.

Though situation had improved after the introduction of the commissionerate system in the city and surrounding localities, it became uglier after a few months.

Let alone taking action against those violating norms on parking and halting at busy places, the police seems to be blind to vehicles running in prohibited lanes. Scores of buses, including private and state transport ones, enter the bus stand from the wrong side, with no action ever taken against them. Drivers of these buses rank their time and money above occupants of vehicles abiding rules.

Dropping of passengers, hitting of vehicles going ahead and unnecessary stoppage at busy crossings was a come scene in the area.



SDM orders reopening of drug stores
Our Correspondent

Raikot, July 25
Coming to the rescue of ailing residents, the SDM ordered the reopening of drug stores of Raikot that had proceeded on a three-day summer break in the area.

Since the chemists had downed their shutters, the residents felt harassed for they had to go to nearby towns like Jagraon, Mullanpur Dakha, Sudhar, Ludhiana and Mandi Ahmedgarh to get medicines.

Many persons contacted Raikot SDM Mukand Singh on Friday and asked him to intervene in the matter. The SDM, after consulting the Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, ordered the chemists shop to arrange some alternative keeping in view the problems of the patients.

He ordered that any among Dashmesh medical store or Punjab Medical store or Happy medical store, or Passi Medical store should be opened for these three days. Following orders of the SDM yesterday, the chemists of Raikot revised their earlier decision to close down opened their shops.

Not only the chemists but also various associations of Raikot keep their establishment close for three days during summers.

This year, the association had announced closure in Raikot for three days i.e. from July 23 to 25. Formal announcements, including notices in vernacular dailies, had been issued regarding this closure.



Badal a rogue trader: Tewari
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 25
Ludhiana MP and national spokesperson of the All-India Congress Committee Manish Tewari today branded Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal as a trader, saying his family was out to exploit political power to fill up their coffers.

“They are not politicians, but rogue traders who have total control over bus service, cable network, sand and land trade in Punjab. Their lust for money and abuse of state power had pushed Punjab on the verge of economic bankruptcy,” the Congress MP said while addressing largely attended public meetings in ward numbers 1 and 4 here.

He said the Congress workers who dared to expose the misdeeds of governance were hounded after by the state machinery and implicated in false cases. “But this political vendetta, unleashed by Akalis, will get befitting reply once the Congress comes to power,” Tewari warned.

Claiming that he had made sincere efforts for getting developmental schemes as well as financial assistance for the city, the MP said Rs 50 crore had been sanctioned for the cleaning of Budha Nallah, Rs 66 crore was got sanctioned from the Central government for city bus service and due to his personal efforts, a local passport office was being opened in the city soon.

Accompanying him at the meetings were former minister Malkiat Singh Birmi, District Youth Congress president Dimple Rana and PPCC general secretary Pawan Dewan among others.



SAD-BJP govt ‘misusing’ Central funds
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 25
Terming the tall claims being made by the SAD-BJP government on development front in Punjab an eyewash, Ludhiana MP and national spokesperson for the All-India Congress Committee Manish Tewari alleged that communal harmony and economy of the state had suffered jolts during their regime.

Tewari was talking to Ludhiana Tribune after addressing a gathering of Congress activists at Latala village, near here, on Saturday.

Jasbir Singh Jassie, legislator from Kilaraipur Assembly segment, presided over the function.

Accusing SAD and BJP leaders of misguiding masses about sources of development funds, Tewari alleged that the ruling coalition in the state was not only misusing and misdirecting Central grants but also defaming the Centre by accusing it of being anti-Punjab to draw political mileage.

Tewari presented cheques worth Rs 5 lakh for development of the village.

Former minister Malkit Singh, legislator Gurdeep Bhaini and Congress office-bearers Pawan Dewan, Satwinder Singh Jawaddi, Parminder Latala and Manmohan Singh Narangwal also spoke.



Sedentary lifestyle behind rising osteoporosis cases
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 25
Agricultural labourers and other workers doing their jobs while squatting suffer most from degeneration of ankle bones. Similarly, a changed lifestyle is fast leading to a rise in the cases of osteoporosis in urban residents.

This conclusion was arrived at by a group of doctors led by Dr Pankaj Jain, MS (ortho), after examining 200 patients suffering from skeleton ailments during a camp organised by a local unit of the Rotary Club at Sood Hospital here today.

Referring to information collected from the examined patients, Dr Jain said the degeneration of ankle bones and lower limbs was noticed in marginal farmers and agricultural labourers who had to squat for hours daily. Also, labourers and owners of milch cattle who milked cows and buffaloes were also prone to the disorder.

A sedentary lifestyle and change in food habits also affected the strength and alignment of skeleton. Decreased mineral content and accumulation of fat resulted in postural diseases and osteoporosis. The bone mineral density was very low in those who consumed more junk food.

Patients were provided with free medicines by the organisers. 



‘Changing lifestyle reason for dreaded diseases’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 25
Terming changed lifestyle as a major factor behind increased incidences of cardiovascular, neurological and malignant disorders, medical specialists called upon office-bearers of social, educational and religious organisations to launch a coordinated movement to aware masses about causes and consequences of these dreaded diseases.

An appeal was made during the awareness meeting of the Rotary Club, Ludhiana Midtown, organised here yesterday. Padma Bhushan recipient Dr Naresh Trehan was the chief guest and Dr Devinder Garg presided over the meeting.

Various speakers, including Dr Trehan, Dr Garg, Dr AN Jha, chairman of the neurosciences department at the Medanta, and Dr Ashok Vaid, chairman of the department of oncology, maintained that the changed lifestyle, full of stress and hazards, was the major factor behind most of the dreaded diseases, including heart attack, neurological disorders and cancer.

Maintaining that prevention was the only measure to combat the menace of increasing incidences of these diseases. The specialists called upon the social organisations to launch the coordinated move to spread awareness about the causes and consequences of these ailments.



From Schools & Colleges

LUDHIANA: Vanamahotsava was celebrated by the Eco Club of Saraswati Modern Senior Secondary School, Hambran road, here. Tiny tots of classes I, II and III planted saplings. A cultural programme was also presented by the students to mark the occasion. The chief guest encouraged the students to actively participate in such events. The principal delivered a speech to motivate the students to develop their all-round personality.

Toppers felicitated

Toppers day was held at BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School to salute the outstanding achievements of students, who brought laurels to the school by bagging top positions in the CBSE board examinations of classes X and XII. Dr Yadava, regional director, CBSE, Panchkula, was the chief guest and inaugurated the event. Over 120 toppers were honoured during the award giving ceremony. The students who cleared competitive exams too were felicitated, along with 22 teachers in recognition of their accomplishments. A cultural programme was also organised.

Parents day

Parents’ day was celebrated at GMT Public School, Jalandhar Bypass Chowk, on Saturday. There was a greeting card-making competition for classes I to X. The students were acquainted with the importance of parents in their life. The students were guided to respect their parents, as they are the guiding forces for a child. Principal Amarjit Dhaliwal also shared her views with the students and encouraged them to bring fame to their parents.

Vimmy best singer

An inter-section English solo song competition was organised at Green Land Senior Secondary Public School. Students of classes IX and X participated in the competition with great zeal. Vimmy lifted the best singer title, second prize went to Kritika and Atul of class IX, while Gurleen of class IX and Bhanu of class X stood third. Principal Baldeep Pandher congratulated the students and gave away trophies and certificates to the winners.


Parmeen Komal, a student of TPS, was honoured for standing first in the commerce stream in class XII CBSE exams with 91.2 per cent marks. She was honoured by Dr Ambedkar Foundation, ministry of social justice and empowerment of youth of India. Parmeen was given Rs 20,000 and a citation by Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari on Friday. Under the Dr Ambedkar National Merit Award Scheme for meritorious students belonging to the Scheduled Castes, girls are encouraged with cash award and citation.

Annu bags top spot

Annu Gautam of SDP College for Women brought laurels to the institution by standing first in the college with 80.4 per cent marks in PGDCA result declared by Panjab University. Sonam Behrhi bagged the second position with 77.7 per cent marks, while Jyoti and Karamjit Kaur stood third securing 77.5 per cent marks. — TNS



Army Recruitment
870 take written exam

Ludhiana, July 25
Out of 37,575 aspirants participated in the Army recruitment rally, only 870 could make it to the written examinations, which was conducted at Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

The hour-long examination contained 50 questions.

Colonel Sharad Dhindaw, director Army Recruitment, said a majority of the participants failed in the physical test, while several youths were shown the door during physical measurement. The remaining candidates were returned home after their certificates were found fake. — TNS



250 examined at eye camp
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 25
Over 250 patients were examined and rendered a follow-up advice at a free eye check-up camp held at Shiv Shakti Mandir in Partap Singh Wala (New Kitchlu Nagar) here today. The camp was inaugurated by Ludhiana MP Manish Tewari.

A team of doctors and supporting staff led by Dr IL Gogi conducted the free eye check up. A total of 60 persons were given free spectacles and some two dozens were selected for free corrective surgery.

At another free eye check up camp organised by the Baba Amar Nath Langar Committee with the assistance of New Hope Netra Dan Society at Basti Jodhewal here, a team of eye specialists headed by Dr Ramesh examined nearly 500 pilgrims. Free medicines and spectacles were distributed among the needy persons.



‘Clinical Establishment Bill to safeguard people’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
The Clinical Establishment Bill would not have come into existence had the doctors followed their professional ethics, opined Dr Naresh Trehan. He was addressing a gathering during an interactive session on the “Quality Healthcare in India, where do we stand,” organised by Hero DMC Heart Institute on Friday.

Dr Trehan, chairman, Medanta, the Medicity in Gurgaon, said the Bill would safeguard the interests of general public as a large number of doctors were indulging in malpractices which had to be curtailed through the legal system.

Dr Trehan said: “The standard of healthcare in India used to be benchmarked by the standards existing in the West. Earlier, there was no institution that was willing to challenge this norm. Even when we established Escorts Heart Institute in 1988, our role models were the institutions in the West. Now, our effort is to change this pattern and the purpose behind establishing Medanta-Medicity has been to give us our own benchmarks in quality healthcare.”

He also said the results of the cardiac surgeries conducted with stem cell therapy in 30 per cent of the cases had given very good results, especially in cases where people had lost hope of any recovery. Briefing about the advancements in the cardiac surgery in India, Dr Trehan said the team of surgeons in Medanta would soon start artificial heart replacement, which had not been done in India so far.



IMA, YC activists plant saplings
Our Correspondent

Dr AK Mehta, assistant civil surgeon, waters a sapling planted at the Civil Hospital in Ludhiana.
Dr AK Mehta, assistant civil surgeon, waters a sapling planted at the Civil Hospital in Ludhiana. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, July 25
Members of the Ludhiana branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) launched a plantation drive here today for providing lungs to the city choked with environmental pollution of the worst kind. Led by the IMA president Dr Narotam Dewan, the doctors planted 50 saplings of medicinal plants in the Civil Hospital premises.

Dr Dewan along with assistant civil surgeon Dr AK Mehta planted a “neem” sapling in the hospital park. Another 50 saplings were planted in the IMA House at BRS Nagar later in the day.

In a fervent appeal to the city residents and members of the medical fraternity, Dr Dewan emphasised the need for more and more green cover in the industrial hub of the state. "Let each one of the city resident plant a sapling and nurture the plant till it is able to support itself."

Speaking at the occasion, Dr Mehta lauded the initiative of the IMA towards tree plantation, which, he added, was need of the hour to tackle the alarming level of pollution in the city and diminishing green cover.

Meanwhile, the District Youth Congress organised a plantation campaign in Ward No. 69 at Dholewal where the DYC president Dimple Rana and block secretary Chetan Thapar planted saplings.

Rana said as a part of community welfare programmes, the party was carrying out tree plantation drives in different parts of the city in its bid to check high level of air pollution in the city. He urged the people to not only plant more and more saplings, but take care of the plants till their maturity.



Financiers form welfare body
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 25
Local financiers have constituted a Financier Welfare Society to address the problems faced by them.

A working committee of the society has also been formed. It includes Daljit Singh Gill, Nirmal Singh Bariar, Billu Akhara, Harvinder Singh, Davinder Singh Khela, Gurpreet Singh, Harjit Singh, and Iqbal Singh.

It was stated that the recovery of money was becoming difficult by the day as debtors adopted different of tactics to embezzle their money. The committee advised financiers to refrain themselves from unlawful activities.



Bollywood next destination, says reality show winner
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Shiraz Khan
Shiraz Khan

Ludhiana, July 25
Reality shows are for real, asserts pretty and petite Shiraz Khan. The beautiful young girl, who shot to fame after winning a reality show on a Punjabi television channel, rubbishes all allegations of such shows being scripted and fixed.

“All daring stuff, drama and action are for real. People who lose always make such allegations,” says reality show winner-turned model Shiraz.

The teenybopper adds, “A lot has been said and written about the reality shows. Some call it fake, others dismiss it as a mere publicity gimmick for attention seekers, but the fact remains that surviving the turmoil of a reality show is no mean feat.”

“One has to be really tough, mentally, to survive the pressures of being watched by the camera 24X7.

Fakes cannot survive in the world of reality television,” Shiraz says.

In the city to be a part of lifestyle exhibition, “Bride and Groom”, Shiraz gives all credit for her success to the reality television. “I am what I am because of the reality show that I won. It opened the doors of modelling world for me,” says Shiraz, who has modelling assignments for brands like Madame, Liberty, Style Check among others to her credit.

Just like others in her situation, Shiraz, too, is cashing in on her overnight success that the show brought along. “Bollywood is my next destination,” grins the starry-eyed girl.

Aspiring to make her Bollywood dreams come true soon, Shiraz claims to have laid hands on some good Hindi films with big production houses. “I have got numerous offers from the leading Hindi filmmakers for lead roles in the films. I will soon shift base to Mumbai to be able to concentrate with a clear focus on my career in Hindi films,” Shiraz says before signing off.



Media, society dependant on each other: Film producer
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
Social cost, carbon credit and environment conservation are some issues, which are needed to be addressed and balanced with development.

In this regard the media and society had to play an important role, said Sundeep Singh Bedi, a film producer, while addressing members of the Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) on the topic “Need vs Greed” at a hotel here.

LMA president VK Goyal, general secretary Dr KNS Kang, dignitaries and other members of the association were also present on the occasion.

Sundeep Singh Bedi, while addressing the members, said the media had to play an important role in this world where battle between the need and greed was fierce, where needs were eclipsed by greed and conflict was severe than any other conflict of religion or nation.

He also brought forward the fact that the media and society are dependant on each other. Even in the field of education, entertainment is playing a major role to arouse interest among students regarding social and environmental issues and in imparting quality education. The new league of movies like “Munnabhai series”, “Tare Zameen Per” and “3 Idiots” has also brought the change in the mindset of people.



Pyar mein kabhie kabhie enthralls audience
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
Everyone has watched Poonam Dhillon on screen, but last night the city people got a chance to watch the live performance of the actress in a play “Pyar mein kabhi kabhi”. This romantic comedy was staged by Ludhiana Sanskritik Samagam at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan.

The play is set in the backdrop of a hill station. In the opening scene the audience is acquainted with a Sikh husband, Happy Singh, and his Bihari wife Malai Devi played by Anil Aggarwal and Prerna Aggarwal, respectively.

After a small clash of ideas Malai Devi leaves for her parental house and Happy Singh, the owner of a restaurant, is left alone. The main characters, Poonam Dhillon and Aasif Sheikh, made their entry in the second scene.

Roshni (Dhillon) and Deepak (Sheikh) both land in Happy Singh’s restaurant. Roshni is an artist who has come to the hills in search of peace to complete her painting. Deepak, a consultant in a firm, is going through turmoil in his personal life. Roshni is also fed up of her boring lover.

Deepak is a jolly-go-lucky person and then starts their arguments and they ultimately fall in love, but both of them keep it to themselves and do not confess before each other.

In between the scene Happy Singh makes people laugh with his funny antics. His wife has left and he does not know cooking. The situation lands him into a dilemma. He only knows how to cook khichdi and make both of them agree to eat the same.

Both Roshni and Deepak go back to their worlds, but something in their hearts calls them back to the same restaurant after few days. They both confess their love to each other and while sharing their life experiences with each other they come to know that they were childhood friends who were in love with each other, but had lost contact. Both were happy to be together again and start life afresh.

While this romantic comedy enthralled the audience, but the plot of the play was loose. The play becomes stagnant at various places, but overall the acting of the lead pair, Dhillon and Sheikh, was enjoyed by everyone present in the auditorium.



Ex-services league threatens protests
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 25
The Indian ex-services league of Punjab and Chandigarh today threatened that if their demands are not fulfilled soon, they will initiate their protests dharna at New Delhi.

A meeting of all district presidents was held at Jagraon today, which was presided over by league president, Col Bhag Singh Tihara. In the meeting today, it was unanimously decided that they would be celebrating a day in the honour of ex-servicemen in September every year and thereafter state-level rallies will be taken out in each of the district.

Col Tihara said the league had taken up the matter of “one rank one pension” at all levels of the state and national decision makers, including Chief Minister, Defence Minister, Prime Minister and President of India. He added that no increment had been given to the holders of honorary ranks, widows of deceased servicemen and reserved ex-servicemen. He said their cases had been forwarded to the tribunals of the Armed forces and the Indian government had also been intimated of their cases.

The meeting was attended by league vice-president Col TS Grewal, Col MS Ghuman, commandant KS Dhillon, Capt KS Grewal, general secretary, Commander AS Gill, Delhi vice-president, BS Ghuman, Col Gurmail Singh, Barnala president, Col Daya Singh, Bathinda president, and others.



Farmer dies of suffocation
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, July 25
A farmer of Gurahoor village near here died of asphyxiation this afternoon. The deceased, identified as Balwinder Singh (42), had gone to his fields today to irrigate them.

However, when he reached to his field the water pump did not lift the water in several attempts.

In order to examine the fault, Balwinder Singh went down the tubewell. He fell unconscious due to the poisonous gases present in the well.

Mukhtiar Singh, another farmer working in the nearby fields, saw the scooter of Balwinder Singh parked near the tubewell room. As he was not seen nearby, he went to his tubewell bore and found Balwinder lying in the well.

He informed the villagers and the family members of Balwinder regarding the incident. The villagers had a tough time in extracting Balwinder out of the well. By the time he was taken out he died.

Balwinder Singh had been the president of the local Gurdwara Management Committee and the secretary of the Co-operative Milk Society of the village. He is survived by his wife and three daughters.



Gastro toll reaches 3
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, July 25
Tension prevailed in Phillaur town today when hundreds of activists of the Bahujan Samaj Party and Ambedkar Sena along with relatives of Mamta (15) of nearby Chack Dhotrre village, who died due to gastroenteritis after struggling for life for more than five days in a nearby hospital of Dhahan-Kaleran today morning, went to the Phillaur SDM office and sat on a dharna in support of their demand for adequate compensation to the family members of the deceased.

After Mamta’s death, the death toll of Shamshabad village and Chack Dhotrre had risen to three. The protesters lifted the hours-long dharna after SDM Pritam Singh’s assurance, who announced Rs 2.25 lakh compensation.

The use of contaminated water was said to be the cause of gastroenteritis, which gripped some localities of the village. The SDM said three water samples had been taken from different houses of the village.



Farmers given loan worth Rs 3.57 cr
Our Correspondent

Amloh, July 25
The Reserve Bank of India has reduced the interest rate from 7 per cent to 6 per cent for farmers for agriculture purposes as 80 per cent economy of the state (Punjab) depends on agriculture, said Deputy General Manager RS Nikhawat while addressing a Kisan Loan Mela organised by the State Bank of Patiala (SBoP) here yesterday.

Loan cheques worth Rs 3.57 crore were distributed among farmers at the mela. Nikhawat further said the SBoP was the oldest bank in the state, which helped farmers get loans for dairy farming, beekeeping, fishery, etc.

Zila Parishad chairperson Rajinder Kaur Salana was the chief guest.



Youth killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 25
A youth was killed on the Humbran road at Sidhwan Bet on Friday night when he was hit by an unidentified vehicle. The deceased, identified as Gurpreet Singh (25) of Nathowal village, near Raikot, was taking sand from the Satluj from the Sidhwan Bet area on his tractor trolley.

On way he stopped for a while near Gorsian Kadarbakhsh village to get the air pressure in the tyres checked. While he was standing near his trolley, he was hit by a speeding vehicle coming from the Ludhiana side.

The youth was killed on the spot while the driver of the vehicle that hit him managed to abscond from the accident site along with the vehicle. ASI Gulzar Singh of the Sidhwan Bet police said a case against the unidentified driver has been registered under Sections 304-A, 279 and 337 of the IPC on the statement of Gurdev Singh, father of the deceased.



Drug peddlers turn smart
Transact ‘business’ away from their native place
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 25
With an intent to evade action against them, drug traffickers neither transact illicit business in the vicinity of their area nor employ unknown persons as their helpers.

Interrogation of a notorious drug peddler, who had been smuggling drugs and narcotics from neighbouring states to various parts of the border state in his truck for the past eight years, revealed this tendency.

Karnail Singh of Kalakh village in Ludhiana district, who was nabbed by the Jodhan police along with 175 kg of poppy husk contained in five bags, confessed to having distributed drugs and narcotics in various parts of the state without being booked even for once.

Investigations by cops led by Inderjit Singh, SHO, Jodhan, revealed further that nobody in his village and surrounding localities ever suspected Karnail Singh of being involved in any anti-social activity. Rather he, along with his friends and other members of family, used to take active part in religious and social functions of the village.

Though lending and borrowing of small quantities of poppy husk and opium was a routine among drug peddlers, Karnail never gave even a spoonful of these products to any of the villagers. All consignments brought by him in his truck from Rajasthan were stocked in farmhouses.

A Tata Indica (PB 10 AC 0286) was used to distribute the contraband among drug peddlers for selling it in the retail market to addicts of their respective areas. The police has also seized a car used for smuggling drugs.



5 booked for raping physically challenged
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 25
The Sidhwan Bet police has finally booked the five youths accused of raping a physically challenged girl of Bharowal Khurd for three days.

The polio-infected girl had complained that she had been gangraped by five youths of the nearby villages. The Bhundri village police as well as the Sidhwan Bet police, instead of ensuring justice to the victim, was busy in helping the accused by giving them ample time to reach out a compromise with the family of the victim.

The Tribune reported the tale of woes of the victim in these columns on July 19. After the breaking of the news, DSP, Jagraon, Joginder Singh summoned all records and yesterday ordered the SHO, Sidhwan Bet, to book all the accused. However, though the victim had identified all five youths, the Sidhwan Bet police booked only two by name and marked the remaining three as unidentified.

The 18-year-old girl had accused that she was overpowered by someone from behind when she had gone to the fields in the village to get cow dung cakes to cook food on the afternoon of July 2.

She was taken to a tubewell room in the nearby fields and was administered some sedatives and thereafter her nightmare started with all five youths raping her, taking turns, for the next three days.

The rape victim had accused the police of not providing her justice as it was reluctant to register the case against the accused.

She said though she visited the Sidhwan Bet civil hospital, the doctors there refused to conduct her medical check up without the police approval and turned her out of the hospital.

Interestingly, the hospital staff claimed that they had conducted the medical examination of the girl, but as the girl had left the hospital on her own and there was no case registered in the police station they were keeping the medical report with them.

After the instruction from the DSP Joginder Singh, the Sidhwan Bet police booked Harjinder Singh and Sukhdev Singh of Gorsian Khan Mohammad village and their three ‘unidentified’ accomplices under Sections 376, 365 and 506 of the IPC on the statement of the victim.

No arrest was, however, made. The family of the victim is accusing the police of shielding the remaining three accused identified by the victim as Malkait Singh and Tara Singh of Gorsian Khan Mohammad village and Harjinder Singh of Kot Umra village.



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