L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Swine Flu Strike-II
Top doc down
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
Prominent orthopedic surgeon Dr YC Markan, a former director of the city’s ESIC Model Hospital, today tested positive for swine flu.

Dr Deepak Bhatia, state nodal officer for the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, said Markan was in home quarantine care where he was being administered the medicine for H1N1 infection. "Also, the rapid response team for swine flu has administered treatment to Markan’s family members and all others who came in contact with him during the past two days," Bhatia added.

After retiring from the ESIC Model Hospital Markan joined Christian Medical College & Hospital (CMCH).

Health officials confirmed this was not an "indigenous" case and suspect the doctor might have come in contact with a swine flu patient inside or outside the hospital.

At the same time, the officials pointed towards the reluctance on the part of the doctors to get a shot of preventive vaccine which, they said, had resulted in the deaths of a dozen doctors during last year's pandemic.

The Punjab health & family welfare department had sent stocks of Panenza (a preventive vaccine for H1N1 influenza) to the city but some doctors were said to have refused to take the shots.

Surprisingly, only 4,500 medical professionals from both government and privately run hospitals including Dayanand Medical College & Hospital, CMCH, SPS Apollo Hospital and Oswal Cancer Hospital had been given the Panenza vaccine by health officials.

Meanwhile, the health department has called upon all doctors at private hospitals to get themselves vaccinated against H1N1. Bhatia said staff deployed at all hospitals for dealing with the swine flu cases must get a shot of Panenza vaccine as, according to him, they were more susceptible to being infected.


7 city notables selected for state awards
Anshu Seth/Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
Great joy together with a sense of achievement makes the occasion of being conferred an award a double bonanza for the recipients. This is evident from the comments of some of the luminaries from the city who have been picked to receive the state award from Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at the Independence Day function in Ferozepur on Sunday.

Davinder Singh Cheema, professor and head of the department of vegetable crops at Panjab Agricultural University, who has contributed to the development of 12 disease resistant varieties of vegetables, has been chosen for the state award. "I took up my first challenge way back in 1989 when I developed a variety of tomatoes to compete with the hybrids produced by PEPSICO," he said.

Yashpal Bangia, a retired public relations officer of the postal department who has dedicated over 35 years to philately and has emerged as a prolific writer, will also be conferred with the state award. He took the initiative to begin the thematic philately club in the city with 150 members from all walks of life. The stamp gallery at the science city in Kapurthala and his recent books on senior citizens, ‘Dhalti Umar’ and ‘Badhte Kadam’ are his latest achievements.

Taking into account his work on road safety and traffic management, Kamalzit Soi, member of the Punjab State Road Safety Council, has also been selected for the state award. He did his doctorate on the subject of road safety and has worked in the field of accident prevention for the past 15 years. His concept of creation of "no fatality zones", which has been well received by foreign as well as Indian road safety experts, will soon be implemented in some countries.

Dr BS Aulakh, the noted kidney transplant surgeon and urologist at Dayanand Medical College & Hospital, Ludhiana, is also amongst the recipients of the prestigious state award. Having achieved a record for carrying out the largest number of maximum kidney transplants in Punjab, he is promoting the cause of organ donation through his NGO, Gift of Life Organ Donation Awareness Society (GLODAS).

"The government should come up with a legislation for cadaver donation of brain dead people as 150,000 people in India suffer from kidney failure and require transplantation but only 3,000 to 4,000 patients undergo transplant as there are no donors," Aulakh observed.

Ustad Vilayat Khan Ragi, Radha Krishan and Sukhwinder Singh are the other three recipients of the state award.



DAV kids caught posting offensive material online
Charu Chhibber/Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
Misuse of social networking sites by schoolchildren led to a furore when following numerous complaints, authorities of the local DAV Public School were forced to warn their parents about the practice and direct them to immediately impose curbs on the Internet usage by their wards.

The matter came to light about three days ago when a schoolteacher found out that a few students were posting objectionable material on a social networking website and harassing their classmates.

Talking to The Tribune, RS Patiala, principal, DAV Public School, BRS Nagar, said: “Following the revelation, we conducted an in-depth probe with the help of the teacher.”

He added, “Shockingly, we found out the students were not only posting objectionable material on the profiles of their friends in the school and sending vulgar messages, that too, at odd hours; but a lot of them were also operating on various social networking websites using fake identities.”

“A few of them had even created fake profiles in the names of their classmates and were using these to circulate vulgar messages,” Patiala revealed.

He added that a few students were identified and summoned. “On being interrogated, four students, who were found to be indulging in such activities, were identified. Later, they confessed too,” the principal said.

Patiala said following the incident a large number of students came to him and said the practice had become a source of major harassment and embarrassment for them, especially girls. The authorities then sent SMSes to all parents directing them to restrict Internet access to their children.

The SMS read: “It has come to the notice of the school authorities that students are engaged in chatting and have created their own as well as fake IDs on various social networking websites. Don’t give your children independent access to computers/ Internet/ mobiles. If any student is found guilty of hurting the modesty of others, strict disciplinary action would be taken against them.”

Patiala remarked, “In case anyone is found doing this again, I will make sure that strict action is taken.” Meanwhile, the SMS has shocked the parents. They panicked on knowing that the children as young as 14 to 15 years of age were indulging in such a behaviour. Most of them were worried about their children being secretly indulging in such activities. However, the information was welcomed by a majority of them.

Hate sites

This is not the first time that a case of misuse of technology by school children has come to fore. Last year, derogatory and offensive material was posted by a student on a social networking website about a school principal. Apart from that, a survey revealed that students used these sites to vent their ire against teachers and classmates. Shockingly, there are more than 1,000 communities on one particular site alone, related to Ludhiana, of which more than 60 per cent are in the category of ‘alumni and schools’ or ‘schools and education’. Almost all educational institutes have a community named after them on the site. And not quite amusingly, every such community has one or more ‘teacher hate’ forums, where members interact about their most-hated teachers.



Fusion music his passion
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Taz (centre) of Stereo Nation with co-singers Imran (right) and Rana Shaad in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, August 14
Music has the power to transcend all boundaries and gifted musicians have the rare ability to bind hearts together in loving affinity through their melodies. Not only has Taz of Stereo Nation fame amalgamated East with West in a beautiful harmony with his fusion, but has also been working for two decades to take Indian music across the globe.

The Ludhiana Tribune caught up with this ‘Prince of Pop’ from the UK, on his visit to the city for the promotion of his collaboration with Antiquity Club Fusion. He was currently involved with ACF’s ‘East Meets West’ season and was accompanied by co-singers Imran and Rana Shaad today.

“My music unites two totally different worlds together. I feel proud as well as humbled by the way the world, especially India and its people, have embraced my music,” Taz remarked, adding that the overwhelming love and affection from Indians had been bringing him back to the country every now and then.

Born Tarsem Singh Saini, the UK-based singer had struck a chord with the motley of music lovers across the world. “I did not forget my roots. I am a true Punjabi at heart and extremely proud of it,” he smiled.

Riding high on the worldwide success of his music in Gurinder Chadha’s ‘A Wonderful Afterlife’, Taz was now busy with his upcoming projects, including two Hollywood productions. “Both flicks are yet to be named and I am excited about those,” he said.

On his latest album ‘Twist and Shout’, Taz said it was fusion, just like the rest of his compositions, but came with a feel of the 1960s. “The album is about contemporary music, full of party numbers, with an array of different shades. It has influences ranging from the 60s to the modern era. There are nine songs and 15 remixes,” he said.

“The crowds will love the songs. I hope to get a great response, especially from Punjabis. In fact, my visit to the city was aimed at getting a feel of the public reaction to the album,” said the singer.



Iron Trader’s Murder
Police gets hold of CCTV footages
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
In the latest development, CCTVs installed outside a few houses where the iron trader was murdered has grabbed images that could provide vital clues to the police in arresting the assailants.

A few unidentified assailants had shot Shiv Sharma, 38- year- old iron trader, dead in Dugri Phase- II on Thursday night. The trader was shot twice from the point blank range. While the first bullet hit his back, the second pierced Sharma’s chest. This ultimately led to his death.

According to the police, the images of two persons involved in the trader’s killing have been grabbed by the CCTVs installed outside these houses. Since these images aren’t clear the accused could not be easily identified.

“We have sent these footages in our special laboratory. We hope that experts will be able to extract the clear images of the accused. The CCTV footages will prove vital in identifying the accused,” said ADCP Sushil Kumar. Meanwhile, the victim’s cremation and the Independence Day celebrations have delayed the investigation.

Even today the police was busy in deployment of its personnel for the smooth conduct of the Independence Day function. Owners of these houses had informed the police about the images. The CCTVs installed outside these houses are night vision cameras, which could grab the images in low visibility as well.



Despite ‘taint’, Kahlon official flag-hoister
Denied bail by CBI court at Patiala
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
Despite the rejection of his anticipatory bail plea in a corruption case by a CBI court at Patiala today, Punjab Legislative Assembly Speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon would unfurl the National Flag here tomorrow.

The rejection of the petition put the state machinery in a fix over the Independence Day function being addressed by him tomorrow. As soon as the news reached here this evening, senior local functionaries took up the matter with senior state officials. It was finally decided that he would unfurl the flag and address the gathering.

“The matter was discussed at the government level and a consensus was reached that he would be the chief guest tomorrow,” said Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari. He added that according to legal opinion, Kahlon could not be arrested by the Punjab Police as the charge-sheet against him had been filed by the CBI. “The CBI is the only authority competent to arrest him. There is no situation that he can be arrested by the police at the function tomorrow, leaving the government embarrassed,” he said.

SS Aggarwal, Chief Secretary, talking to the Ludhiana Tribune over telephone, said as long as Kahlon was the Speaker of the Assembly, he could unfurl the flag and it did not matter whether his bail application was rejected or not.

Kahlon had applied for anticipatory bail in connection with the filing of a charge-sheet against him by the CBI over his alleged involvement in rigging the selection of 909 panchayat secretaries during the SAD-BJP government in 1997-2002. The application came up for hearing at Patiala today and was rejected.

Admn Justifies

The CBI is the competent authority to arrest a person whose bail plea has been rejected by court in a case filed by the independent agency. He cannot be arrested by the local police as it does not have his arrest warrants. He can reach the venue, unfurl the Tricolour and go back amid police presence.

— Rahul Tiwari, Dy Commissioner



Lost moral right: Cong

Ludhiana, August 14
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee Legal Cell has asked Nirmal Singh Kahlon, Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, for not to unfurl the National Flag on Independence Day in Ludhiana.

Cell Chairman Dharamjit Singh Khera said it was shameful that the SAD-BJP was adamant in not replacing Kahlon for unfurling the flag despite rejection of his anticipatory bail. — OC



Independence Day: Mere farce for many
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, August 14
For the common man, ‘independence’ now seems a synonym for ‘slavery’. “Freedom is just a word. Even after 63 years, we are no better. The situation has taken a turn for the worse. If this is the end for which thousands sacrificed their lives, we should denounce such hollow celebrations. We should bow our heads in shame in the midst of falsehood, corruption, deceit, suppression, want and disease,” rued a freedom fighter.

“We seem to have reversed altogether the purpose for which our freedom fighters strove hard. The casteless, classless and equal society envisioned by them has been shattered. The big gulf between the haves and the have-nots is impossible to be bridged. Inflation has reached a high level, which is sure to lead to catastrophe, if things are allowed to go their way. When teeming millions are starving, or even dying, in their attempt to make both ends meet, does the flag-hoisting ceremony on every Republic Day and Independence Day or initiating development projects worth crores hold any good,” he stated.

“After 63 years, what have we got? The maturing of independence has added to our woes, misery, oppression and torment. Every year, we are provided with more and more rags to hide our bruised bodies. The disease, misery and squalor we live in is no better than the grave. The tall promises of successive governments have fallen flat miserably. The ever-increasing crime rate, especially among the younger generation, is the aftermath of degrees achieved, but promised jobs denied,” a teacher elaborated.

“The farming community has nothing to offer to or receive from the motherland. There was a time when land yielded us good revenue, but the callous attitude of subsequent governments and their total disregard for sons of the soil forced us into penury and, ultimately, suicide. Instead of Independence Day celebrations, we should mourn our disabilities and subsequent failure to achieve every target in its true sense,” he said.

“Mental suppression has added to the woes of the common man. It seems that the poem by Rabindranath Tagore, in which he had envisioned an India not broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls, would remain a distant dream. The financial, judicial, educational and social reforms by the British, though with purpose, could at least be termed as reforms. The deformed stage through which we are passing at present is sure to lead us to further annihilation and ruin,” said a history student.

“Frustration is writ large on the faces of agitators. Finding all doors closed to them, they are forced to go on the rampage and lay siege to whatever comes their way. Only a grand revolution can save our country from total annihilation,” said an unemployed youth.



Teachers’ protests lead to cancellation of CM’s visit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
The repeated protests by various teachers’ unions have led to the cancelling of visit of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for the Independence Day function.

It would have been the fourth visit of the CM in the city during the I-Day function. Sources said frequent protests by the Elementary Teacher Training (ETT) Teachers Union, BEd Teachers Trust and Computer Teacher Union have led to the cancellation of the state-level function in the city.

The city has of late turned into a hot bed for all kind of protests due to its strategic location. Due to easy accessibility and transportation facility, the industrial town has become the favourite destination for the agitating organisation to launch their protest.

Sources said the ETT teachers were planning to disrupt the I-Day function and even told the State Jail and Tourism Minister Hira Singh Gabria about the plans during their recent meeting.

Sukhdeep Singh, president of the BEd Teachers Front, said: “We had planned to raise slogans during the I-Day function in Ludhiana, but unfortunately the state-level function would be organised in Ferozpore -- considered to be the stronghold of the CM.”

In the meantime, the intelligence agencies are also having talks with the teachers’ organisations and trying to convince them not to create any kind of disturbance during the I-Day function.

However, the city police is in denial mode and refused to comment on this issue.



Security beefed up for I-Day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
The city police has beefed up security following threats by terrorist organisations to disrupt Independence Day celebrations. Barricades have been erected and several key locations and all vehicle entering the city are being thoroughly frisked.

Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh held a meeting with all police officials of the city today to ensure the smooth conduct of the Independence Day function. Besides conducting a search at busy market places, the police checked the bus stand and the railway station.

Security in front of shopping malls and cinema halls was tightened. Door-frame metal detectors were installed at various private establishments.

The police also conducted a search at the district courts complex. Luggage and bags of persons suspected were frisked.



Safe release of trapped simian
Forest dept doesn’t give a monkey’s
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
Monkeys have been creating nuisance in residential areas of the city lately. The recent incident wherein a monkey wandered into the Tajpur dairy complex brought to the fore the lackadaisical attitude of the district forest department.

After coming across the monkey a few days ago, residents of the Tajpur road tied it to a tree near the Tajpur dairy complex. They called up a district forest official to take away the simian and release it safely in the wild. However, the department officials have failed to turn up so far.

“While the monkey poses a threat to residents, chaining it to a tree amounts to cruelty toward animals,” said Jaipal Singh, a resident.

District forest officer DS Brar said if people had caught hold of the animal, they should have taken the responsibility of releasing it in the forest, too. “I will ask the range officer to get in touch with the residents concerned and help release the animal,” the DFO said.



Facile win for Nav Bharti cagers
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 14
Nav Bharti Public School, Ludhiana, scored a facile 48-6 victory over Gurdial Singh Sports Club, Ludhiana, to register their second win in the youth boy’s section in the second week matches of the inaugural edition of the Mahindra NBA Basketball Challenge League held at Guru Nanak Stadium here today. They had earlier defeated Doraha Public School 63-12 in their first match. The match got off to a flying start with Nav Bharti players dominating the proceedings and giving no chance to their opponents to settle down. They went into the lead and kept adding the pressure to wrap up the issue quite comfortably. Gaurav and Many Pal contributed 20 and 13 points, respectively.

The second match played in the youth boy’s section between Ace Club, Khanna, and Doraha Public School too turned out to be a lacklustre affair with the former emerging winners without facing much challenge 34-8. The winners were leading 18-5 at half time.

In the third match, Government Model Senior Secondary School, PAU, Ludhiana, survived a scare before emerging triumphant against Guru Nanak Club 29-21.

The main scorers for the winners were Gurpreet Singh and Sandeep Kumar who chipped in with 10 points each, while Harpreet accounted for 7 points for the losing team.

In another match, New Public School, Chandigarh, defeated DAV Public School, BRS Nagar, Ludhiana, 28-10 after leading 18-7 at the end of the second quarter.

In the youth girl’s section, Government Senior Secondary School, Jarkhar, Raja Porus Club, Gidderbaha, and Government Senior Secondary School, Amritsar, scripted victories in their respective matches.

Jarkhar girls outplayed BCM Senior Secondary School, Ludhiana, 19-6 with the main contributions coming through Gagandeep Kaur and Sandeep Kaur who netted nine and eight points, respectively.

In the second match, Government Senior Secondary School, Amritsar, drubbed Polo Centre, Patiala, 23-2. Shikha scored eight points to help her team win with ease.

Raja Porus Club, Gidderbaha, trounced Gymkhana Club, Ludhiana, 25-3. Jalwant Kaur scored 10 points for the winning team.



Inter-Zonal Cricket
KVM lads script PAU Zone’s title victory
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 14
Abhinav Bhatia, Sunny Pandey, Abhijit Randhawa, Abhishek Talwar and Mrinal Partap Singh, all students of Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines branch, made useful contributions to help PAU Zone beat Ludhiana Zone II by 22 runs and emerge champions in the Ludhiana District Inter-Zonal Cricket Tournament (u-19) at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Punjab Agricultural University, ground here today.

The tournament was organised by the education department.

Batting first after winning the toss, PAU scored 132 runs in 19 overs. Their innings revolved around Abhinav Bhatia, Sunny Pandey and Piyush Likhi who scored 28, 28 and 24 runs, respectively, while Abhijit Randhawa made 12 and Abhishek Talwar chipped in with 10 runs.

For Ludhiana Zone II, Sahil was the most successful bowler who captured three wickets for 14 runs, while Parth grabbed two wickets for 11 runs.

Sandeep’s fine innings of 53 runs went in vain as Ludhiana Zone II innings folded at 110 runs after 18.4 overs.

Other notable contributor was Sarabjot Singh who scored 18 runs.

For PAU Zone, Abhinav Bhatia, Abhishek Talwar, Abhijit Randhawa and Mrinal Partap Singh shared the bowling honours, scalping two victims each, while Amritpal Singh took one wicket to restrict Ludhiana Zone II to deny them the victory.



Thai Boxing
2 local lads make their presence felt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 14
Two students of local Jesus Sacred Heart School, South City branch, brought laurels to their school as well as the country as they finished among medal winners in the International Thai Boxing Championship organised by the Thai Boxing Federation in Thailand, recently.

School principal Anju Banga said Pritpal and Shivam, students of VIII class, were members of the Indian contingent that competed in the meet in which participants from all over the world took part and won gold and silver medals, respectively.

Pritpal clinched gold in the under-40-45kg category, while Shivam bagged silver in the open category and on the basis of their performance in the meet they were selected for a training camp to be held in Malaysia.

Both also received scholarships for three months’ training in the US.

School chairperson Amarjit Kaur Sehgal appreciated the students’ performance.



Basketball meet from Aug 17
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 14
Eighteen teams in the boys’ section and 16 in the girls’ section will vie for top honours in the 61st edition of the Punjab State Junior Basketball Championship to be held from August 17 to 20 at Guru Nanak Stadium here.

According to Teja Singh Dhaliwal, honorary secretary, Punjab Basketball Association, cagers born on or after January 1, 1992 are eligible to participate in this tournament. Four top teams in the boys’ and girls’ sections will slug it out in the semifinal league to decide the title holders.

Performance during this championship will be taken into consideration while selecting the Punjab squads for the National Junior Basketball Championship scheduled to be held in Mumbai from October 24 to 31.



Basketball trials

Ludhiana, August 14
Trials to select probables for the Ludhiana District Basketball (junior boys and girls) will be conducted at Guru Nanak Stadium on August 16 at 4 pm. According to Teja Singh Dhaliwal, secretary, Ludhiana District Basketball Association, players born on or after January 1, 1992, are eligible to take part in the trials. The selected boys and girls will represent Ludhiana in the 61st Punjab State Junior Basketball Championship to be held in Ludhiana from August 17 to 20. Interested players have been asked to bring along their birth certificate. — OC



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