L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Shooting outside gurdwara leaves 5 hurt
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 21
A long running political rivalry took a bloody turn when an Akali municipal councillor allegedly opened fire on the brother of a former Congress party councillor and his supporters, leaving five injured - one of them seriously - outside the Chhevi Patshahi gurdwara in Jwaddi Kalan, near here, today afternoon.
An injured in hospital
An injured in hospital

The injured have been identified as Rajwinder Singh, the brother of ex-councillor Satwinder Singh Jawaddi, the latter's nephew, Harpreet Singh Harry and his aides Gopal Mahajan, Rajesh Mahajan and Gurminder Singh Lucky.

Rajwinder sustained a head injury and is said to be in a critical condition.

According to Jawaddi, the confrontation began at a ‘bhog’ ceremony inside the gurdwara where his father, Manjit Singh Jawaddi, was addressing the gathering. He alleged Tanvir Singh Dhaliwal, councillor of ward no 59, and his aide Amandeep Singh Asa “created trouble” and accused his father of defaming them. "They (Dhaliwal and Asa) almost killed us," he said.

"When Rajwinder tried confronting them Dhaliwal and Asa opened fire with rifles and Mauser pistols," he claimed.

Eyewitnesses said about 200 rounds of bullets were fired and vehicles and property were also damaged, adding members of the other side fired back in return.

On the other hand, Dhaliwal claimed he was not present at the scene of the incident when the shootout occurred

"I was in the gurdwara’s dewan hall at that time. Jawaddi and his aides are trying to defame me by dragging my name into the incident. They are settling old scores with me because they couldn’t accept their defeat in the council elections," Dhaliwal stated.

Meanwhile, horrified scenes were witnessed at the scene of the incident. "I’m shocked beyond belief how a ‘bhog’ ceremony turned into a battleground for two quarreling factions. As soon as gunshots were was heard people began running for their lives, fearing bloodshed”, an eyewitness stated.

“There was pandemonium all around and we didn’t know what was happening and where to go," remarked another eyewitness, recalling the incident. The police had not registered any case till the filing of this report.


Dengue patients finding treatment unaffordable
Hospitals charging hefty fee for platelet transfusion
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 21
Patients undergoing treatment for dengue are coming under tremendous financial pressure with hospitals in the city charging anywhere from Rs 35,000 to Rs 50,000 for transfusion of platelets, which are blood components. Most hospitals are conducting the transfusions through SDP instead of random donor platelets (RDP), which costs between Rs 1,000 and Rs 5,000.

Patients are being charged from Rs 12,700 to Rs 18,500 per unit of platelet, which has become unaffordable for those coming from rural areas and belonging to economically weaker sections.

"We’re facing a tough time as the treatment and other hospital charges of my husband, who is suffering from dengue, has cost me over Rs 1 lakh, most of which I had to borrow from my relatives," rued Chandni, the patient’s wife.

It is rather shocking that the blood banks in many hospitals are charging patients for "kits" that do not cost them more than Rs 7,500, as is evident from the price printed on them.

At the same time, the cost of transfusion through SDP at the Mahavira Civil Hospital is fixed at Rs 6,700 but the hospital is getting only one or two patients every day. Dr US Sooch, the hospital’s senior medical officer, said, "People are welcome to come to avail of the testing facility followed by the platelet transfusion facility at the Civil Hospital. One transfusion takes around two hours and we are providing round the clock facility to the affected patients”.

Special dengue ward

The Mohan Dai Oswal Cancer Hospital has opened a special ward for dengue patients with a capacity of 40 beds. The hospital is providing both PRP (platelet rich plasma) and SDP (single donor platelet) transfusion facilities. Most importantly, the patients are educated on preventive measures against the disease.

NGO members donate blood

Manjit Saini, president of Salaam Zindagi, an NGO, said members were regularly donating blood to needy patients undergoing treatment for dengue at the city’s hospitals. "We have also called upon more people for come forward for the cause of voluntary blood donation as the life of platelets is not more than eight hours and blood donated at the right time can save a precious life," he added.



Police yet to make headway in scams
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 21
Six days after Laxman Singh, the prime suspect in the Rs 82 lakh Indira Awas Yojna fraud, gave himself up, the division no 5 police is yet to find any leads in the case. While the cops are being accused of “going soft” on the suspect, the district administration stumbled on another scam two days ago, discovering Rs 37 lakh was siphoned off from the Total Literacy Mission funds.

Additional deputy commissioner (development) Pradeep Kumar Aggarwal filed a complaint to the police, which registered another case against Laxman who is already in its custody.

It's become a matter of great concern that the administration has detected three frauds in different central government schemes during the past fortnight. The first scam, involving embezzlement of Rs 50 lakh from the Indira Awas Yojna funds, came to light on September 6. Then another Rs 32 lakh was found to have been withdrawn from the same account. And, last Sunday, yet another fraud was discovered. However, the police has failed to make any headway in all the three cases.

Meanwhile, a committee of six members set up by Aggarwal today drew up a list of records of the ADC's office, which were was locked in five different rooms, following the Indira Awas Yojna scam.

An audit department following the Indira Awas Yojna scam also visited the mini secretariat and went through the records after a special audit was ordered by the Punjab government after the fraud was unearthed.

The committee, led by Joginder Singh, naib tehsildar of Delhon, Mahinder Singh Grewal, district development & ‘panchayat’ officer, and Amardeep Gujral, secretary of the Zila Parishad as well as accountants of the Doraha, Pakhowal and Sidhwan Bet block ‘samities’ opened room nos 6 and 7, prepared a list and videographed the records today.

The ADC had ordered the rooms (numbered 6,7,9, 10 and 12) to be unlocked and a thorough scrutiny of the records located in the offices of Laxman and another scam suspect, Varinder Kumar.



Delay in houses for riot victims
HC notice to DC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 21
Delay in the allocation of accommodation in Ludhiana to 1984 riot victims has cost the district administration dear. Taking up a petition filed by the Ludhiana-based Danga Peerat Welfare Society, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued a show-cause notice to the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner and another official.

They have been asked to explain why the court orders have not been obeyed within the specified time and why an application for extension has been filed in a “belated, lopsided and indifferent manner”.

The Bench of Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and Justice Ajay Tewari said if the explanation was not satisfactory, appropriate strictures may be passed against the errant officers, along with directions to include the remarks in the annual confidential reports.

The welfare society was seeking allotment of 85 LIG houses in Dugri Phase II area. The petitioner had earlier contended that they had learnt that LIG houses were not to be allotted to the riot victims as these had not been included in the Cabinet decisions of October 21, 2008, and December 2, 2008.

The petitioner said this was despite the fact that the same had already been earmarked for allotment to the riot affected persons in accordance with the decisions of the Punjab government taken at the highest level.

Taking up the petition, the High Court had directed the state to make the allocations.



Man gets life for murder
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 21
The court of the Additional Sessions Judge, Manjinder Singh, has convicted Dashrath Verma of Fauji Colony, Sherpur Kalan, in a murder case. He has been sentenced to rigorous life imprisonment.

The court held that the prosecution had proved the charges against the accused. The convict had killed Onkar Singh, a factory worker, and a case under Sections 302, 201 and 34, IPC, was registered against him in 2004.

Hari Singh, a tea vendor, had seen Onkar Singh leave the factory with the accused. Later, the body of Onkar Singh was recovered with injuries on the head and other vital parts.



Power staff observe strike; supply unaffected
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 21
With technical and a section of clerical employees of the Punjab State Power Corporation (PSPRC) observing a day-long strike today to press their pending demands, routine work in the PSPRC (erstwhile PSEB) offices here was partially affected.

Senior officials, however, claimed that power supply was maintained in the city, cash counters at many places were fully functional and majority of individual complaints were also attended to by workers that chose not to go on strike. The trade union leaders maintained that the strike call had evoked good response in central zone of the PSPRC with around 65 per cent employees not reporting for work.

The striking staff organised rallies at Sunder Nagar, Focal Point and grid maintenance divisions under the banner of the Joint Forum of PSEB Unions and Technical Services Union (TSU), claimed Ramesh Kumar, zonal secretary, and Jagir Singh, zonal president of the TSU.

PSPRC officials asserted that strike by a section of employees did not have much impact on the routine working of the divisional, sub-divisional and complaint offices in different parts of the city.

“Power supply to the city was maintained, most of the cash counters were functional to receive payment of energy bills, while complaints regarding technical snags or line failures were also attended to with the assistance of available staff and contractual technical workers,” they added.

Addressing rallies at divisional offices, activists of the joint forum flayed the Punjab government and the PSPRC management for their failure to sign tripartite agreement with employees on service conditions post-unbundling of the Punjab State Electricity Board.

“In the absence of such agreement, the employees are feeling insecure as for the time being they have been left at the mercy of the corporations, which have been formed in place of the PSEB.”

Trade union leaders demanded rate of increment from 3 to 3.5 percent, restoration of two increments at the time of promotion, filling of vacant posts by regular recruitment on the basis of work load and restoration of recruitment on compassionate grounds for eligible family members of employees.



Youth Fest
Rudrakash attains top slot in debate
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 21
A large number of students from colleges of Ferozepur-Moga zone of Punjab University, Chandigarh, exhibited their talent during the second day of four-day Zonal Youth and Heritage Festival at Govind National College, Narangwal, near here, today.

Dr SS Gill, Vice-Chancellor, Baba Farid University of Health Science, Fardikot, presided over the inaugural session today. Manmohan Singh Narangwal, former chairman, Market Committee, Kilaraipur, gave away prizes to winners.

Items presented by participants from Dharmkot, Muhar, Jagraon, Moga, Narangwal, Dhudike, Sadhar, Mullanpur Dakha and Ferozepur were appreciated by all.

Morning session’s events included debate, elocution, poetical recitation, histrionics, drama and folk music.

Various speakers, including SS Gill, Jasbir Singh Khangura, MLA, and Manmohan Narangwal, emphasised on preserving and promoting cultural heritage of the state.

Dr Hardiljit Singh Gosal, principal, welcomed guests and thanked the participants.


Debate: Rudrakash of RSD College, Ferozepur, 1, Kuldeep Kaur of Guru Har Gobind Khalsa College, Sudhar, 2 and Prabhdeep Singh of DM College, Moga, 3; elocution: Manpreet Kaur of GN College, Moga, 1, Hapreet Kaur of DM College, Moga, 2 and Amrita Chawla of BKS, Muhar, 3; poem recitation: Raman Preet Kaur of GN College, Moga, 1, Karamjit Singh of AD College, Dharamkot, 3; group song Indian: BKS College, Muhar, 1, GHG Khalsa College, Sadhar, and Government College, Dhudike, 2; Sukhpal Kaur, Prabhjit Kaur and Markar won individual prizes.



BSNL staff assail management, Centre
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 21
The Joint Action Committee of BSNL Unions and Associations of the Punjab telecom circle organised a convention here today.

Officers and group C and D employees from all over the state participated in the convention.

The aim was to mobilise officers and workers for a three-day strike in October for which a call had been given by the committee against the “anti-worker and anti-people” policies of the central government and the BSNL management.

Addressing the delegates, JAC convener P Abhimanyu and co-conveners GL Jogi and Prahlad Rai urged the government to abandon the retrograde recommendations of the Sam Pitroda Committee.

The committee has recommended disinvestment of 30 per cent shares of the BSNL and retirement to one lakh BSNL officers and workers.

Abhimanyu said it was being done to pave the way for foreign multi-national corporations and Indian private operators to grab the government company.

On the one hand, the BSNL management had deployed more than one lakh workers through contractors and sourced out many services, on the other, they wanted to sack one lakh employees in the name of austerity.

Jogi sought free hand to the BSNL management to procure required equipment.

In the past, the government had twice invited tenders floated by BSNL management for procuring equipment. This had put the BSNL out of competition and helped private players.



Babri Masjid Case Verdict
Religious leaders urge for peace
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 21
Leaders of different religions today urged people to maintain peace and brotherhood ahead of the verdict in the Babri Masjid case to be given by the Allahabad High Court on September 24.

Shahi Imam of Punjab Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Sani Ludhianvi, president of Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib Pritpal Singh, president of Durga Mata Mandir Jagdish Chand Bajaj, father of Kalvary Church, Jamalpur, Yusuf Messiah were present at today’s meeting.

Shahi Imam said people should maintain calm as the happenings in the name of Babri Masjid and Ram Mandir were still fresh in everybody’s minds.

“I appeal to people of all religions, especially the Hindus and the Muslims, to maintain peace. Everybody should accept the decision taken by the court,” he added.



Differences with SAD
No threat to govt: BJP
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 21
Even as the state top leadership of the BJP — junior partner in the ruling coalition — did admit that there were minor differences of opinion with the SAD over certain issues, they asserted that these did not in any manner pose a threat to the government.

Briefing mediapersons after a meeting of the district unit of the BJP, state general secretary Kamal Sharma said the SAD and the BJP were two different parties with their own agendas.

“We have formed a coalition government on the basis of a common minimum programme, which is being pursued to the satisfaction of both parties. There might be certain issues over which the two coalition partners did not agree. But it does not mean that there is any threat to the government.”

That the party is all geared up to go into the election mode with Assembly poll just year and half away, was evident from the manner the marathon review meeting took stock of organisational matters in minutest details.

Besides state president Ashwani Sharma, state-level office-bearers and executive members from the city, legislators, chairmen and deputy chairmen of boards and corporations, councillors and functionaries of front organisations of the party attended the meeting.

Party’s state chief Ashwani Sharma discussed the organisational matters with mandal presidents and district president Rajiv Katna.

All party units were asked to set up executive committees and mobilise party rank to strengthen the organisation right up to the grass roots.

Addressing party workers, Sharma exhorted them to gear up for Assembly elections.

“The BJP will contest Assembly elections with full preparations and the party base comprising members of trade and industry, employees and farmers is being consolidated for this purpose.”

Party general secretary Kamal Sharma said an elaborate exercise was being undertaken to tone up the party affairs at all levels.

Meetings of elected representatives of the BJP, including legislators, councillors, sarpanches, members of zila parishads, block samitis and municipal bodies, were convened. Thereafter, the office-bearers of the state body and district units met at Pathankot which was followed by a meeting of the state executive at Jalandhar.

The ongoing meetings of district units and front organisations will be completed by December and the party will launch a full-fledged electoral preparations from the beginning of next year, he told party workers.



Jail gets rainwater harvesting system

Ludhiana, September 21
BJP MP Avinash Rai Khanna visited the Ludhiana Central Jail to launch a rainwater harvesting plant here today. Khanna is leading a statewide campaign for water conservation. Addressing jail inmates and staff, he said it was important to recharge underground water. He also took a pledge from 2,800 inmates to save and conserve at least a litre of water every day.

“Through the campaign, we intend to spread awareness about water conservation. I have visited 11 Punjab jails and I will spend MP funds for installing rainwater harvesting plants in the jails,” he said.

Jail inmates had also pledged not to waste water while washing places of worship in the jail. Quoting the Central Ground Water Board’s water level graph of the state, he said out of 138 blocks, 84 had already been declared dark zones, indicating gross water deprived areas. In 1980, 3,712 villages were water-deprived. The number increased to 6,287 in 1990 and 11,849 in 2006. “The next on agenda are jails of Nabha, Ferozepur and Jalandhar. I will also take up the issue of installation of rain water harvesting system in jails and other government buildings with my party at the Central level,” he added. — TNS



Road safety to be taught in colleges: Minister
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 21
Road safety would soon be introduced as a subject in state’s colleges to make the youth aware of the traffic rules at an early stage.

This was stated by Punjab transport minister Master Mohan Lal here today. The minister added that a meeting in this regard with vice-chancellors of all universities of the state would soon be held.

He was addressing a road safety conclave, “Road Safety — Need of the Hour” — organised jointly by the Punjab State Road Safety Council, the CMCH and NGO Raahat at the CMCH here today.

On the dismal situation of traffic and number of innocent lives lost, the minister said: “The calamity of the magnitude of tsunami did not claim as many innocent lives as road accidents do every year in the state. There is an urgent need to address the problem to save the loss of precious lives.”

The minister emphasised the need for holding such seminars at various levels so as to ensure effective awareness on traffic rules. He urged the masses to follow traffic rules seriously to help save precious human lives.

Mohan Lal also announced that bookings for PRTC and Punjab Roadways had been made online for the convenience of commuters.

BJP Rajya Sabha MP Avinash Rai Khanna said the first step towards solving the state’s traffic problem would be remove encroachments from roads.

He also stressed the need for holding such seminars to inculcate a keen traffic sense among the masses.

Ludhiana Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh said a mobility plan was under way in association with the administration and the local municipal corporation to solve the city’s traffic problem.

“In a Rs 2-crore project undertaken by the traffic police, traffic lights and CCTV are being installed at all important intersections of the city. This will not only help streamline traffic but also check violations and help nab violators,” he said.

The commissioner urged people to help the traffic police in solving the problem.

He also exhorted them to inform the police control room at 100 in case of any mishap or violations.

Dr Kamalzit Soi, vice-chairman, Punjab State Road Safety Council, said: “Traffic problem cannot be solved by individual efforts. It is important to form a cohesive group comprising police officials, administrators, citizens, and NGOs to find a concrete solution to the problem.” He added that the aim of the conclave was to provide a common platform for a combined effort towards road safety.



From Colleges
World Peace Day observed

Ludhiana: Students of Malwa Central College of Education for Women, Civil Lines, observed World Peace Day (Vishav Shanti Divas) today. All students and teachers vowed to promote peace.

Dr Sukhdev Singh, in charge of the peace club, spoke on the need of promotion of peace in modern times. Students also took out a rally around Ghumar Mandi to make people aware about the day. Students carried banners displaying slogans seeking peace across all countries of the world. They were also seen interacting with people to highlight the cause of peace.

Government College for Women

World Peace Day was observed at Government College for Women today. Students of the zoology department under the guidance of Madhvi Vashisht celebrated the day. Posters on the importance of the day were pasted across the college campus. Principal, teachers and students wore white clothes, the symbol of peace in the world.

Freshers party

De Samar Academy organised a freshers party-Rock On 2010 here today. Faculty of the academy also participated in the party with great zeal. Miss and Mr De Samar Academy contests were also held. Students showcased their talent in various events.

Newcomers welcomed
Students of Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women during a freshers party in Ludhiana on Tuesday
Students of Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women during a freshers party in Ludhiana on Tuesday. A Tribune photograph

Senior students of MBACIT of Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women held a freshers party “AAGAAZ-E-BAHAR--Bahaar” here today. Gurdeen Kohli, senior manager, business banking, Yes Bank, graced the occasion as chief guest. The programme started with lighting of the ceremonial lamp. Kohli exhorted students to join the banking arena, while highlighting the growth and advancement opportunities in the field. Dr Chawla welcomed the new entrants of MBACIT and apprised them about the promising prospects of pursuing professional courses. Delightful and thought-provoking entertaining activities consisting of cultural and dramatic performances were held.

Students hailing from Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan presented Himachali and Rajasthani folk dances, respectively. An eye-opening and enlightening choreography reflecting the loss of trained professional personnel of India to other developed national, left the audience thoughtful and concerned about the issue. The melodious slinging and lively dance performances made everyone tap their feet to tunes of the snappy music. The programme culminated with the announcement of results of Miss Fresher Contest. Sarika was crowned Miss Fresher, while Kanika and Bipleen were adjudged first and second runners-up, respectively. Geetika clinched the title of Miss Charming and Isha Gautam was crowned Miss Personality. — TNS



State govt diverting funds: Chaudhary
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, September 21
Congress MP from Hoshiarpur Santosh Chaudhary has alleged that the civil and police administration were being pressurised and misused by the ruling SAD-BJP alliance for their vested interest.

Talking to mediapersons here today, the MP alleged that MLAs and ministers, including Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister, were politicising the administration.

Chaudhary alleged that though the UPA-led union government was sending huge funds to Punjab for various schemes, the Badal government had failed to utilise these properly and most of the times the funds were diverted.

Chaudhary said the funds sent by the Centre under NAREGA, Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan and rural development schemes could not be utilised by the SAD-BJP government.

The MP urged the Centre to monitor the proper utilisation of funds sent to the state government and verify before issuing new installment of these funds.

Levelling serious charges of corruption on the state government, Chaudhary alleged that MLAs of the ruling alliance were indulging in corrupt practices and even SHOs were working as their agents and playing into their hands.

Congress sarpanches were being harassed and false cases were being registered against them.

The Congress MP added that certain officers did not even reply to the correspondence of Congress MPs.

Chaudhary reiterated that civil and police administration were collapsing, as officers were working under the fear of Akalis.



Chhapar Mela
Day 1: Huge turnout witnessed
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 21
Thousands of devotees thronged Guga Mari Mandir at Chhapar village, near here, to offer prayers and worship snake, an embodiment of “Nag Devta”.

The first day of Chhapar Mela, popularly known as “chowkis”, saw a large number of men and women attending the religious fair. The police faced difficulty in controlling the large gathering.

Being one of the largest fairs of North India, Chhapar Mela started attracting a large number of devotees since early morning.

Till noon, women outnumbered men.

The devotees offered wheat and salt as a mark of respect to “Nag Devta”. Some enthusiasts offered snake figures made of silver. Snake charmers had a field day today.

Organisers of some joy rides, magic shows and mini circuses did a brisk business on the first day, as children and women had come in large numbers. Stalls having snacks and other stuff were put up. The police had to make special arrangements near these stalls.

Claiming that enough security arrangements had been made to check eve-teasing or any untoward incident, Ludhiana (rural) SSP Gursharan Singh Sandhu said a special force was deployed to ensure security.

To keep a check on the sale and use of liquor, special teams had been constituted. Cops in plain clothes, including women, had been deputed at sensitive points.

The police would be assisted by cameras, which would keep an eye on anti-social elements, he added.

Sandhu said passes to enter the mela were issued to only a few four-wheelers. This, he said, would restrict the inflow of weapons and wine in the mela.

About the mela

Chhapar Mela, a village fair, that originated as a small gathering of locals for worshipping snakes, embodiment of Guga, has emerged as a mega festival.

According to a story narrated by elders of the village, a boy and a snake were born together in an agricultural family of Chhapar village. The serpent and the boy were so close that if one suffered a pain the other used to cry. Mother of the child had gone away in the fields after laying him on a small cot. To save him from scorching sun, the snake stretched its hood. On seeing a snake, a passerby killed it with a stick. The child died immediately after the death of the snake that left the family in sorrow. The family was then advised by the elders to worship Guga and Sidh. The place was named Mari Guga, where people from all walks of the life came to offer prayers.



Ailing youth needs monetary help
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 21
Puneet (26) of Ludhiana is suffering from renal failure and has to undergo dialysis twice a week at the DMCH. His family is not in a condition to support his treatment as his father, Ishwar Chander, is bed-ridden with chronic arthritis.

The family has exhausted all financial resources to carry on with the dialysis. The hospital authorities have appealed to philanthropists to extend monetary help to the patient’s family.

Those interested in helping the youth can send cheques/drafts to “Dayanand Medical College & Hospital” with “Treatment for Puneet” along with CR No. 89816 written behind the cheque or draft. For more information, contact public relations office (DMCH) at 4687514, 4687510.



Sites earmarked for cracker stalls
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 21
The district administration has identified eight sites for putting up firecracker stalls during Diwali. The stalls would be allotted through the draw of lots.

The sites include Improvement Trust land on Pakhowal road, Model Town Extension, fire station at Humbran road, Kwality Chowk at Shimlapuri, fodder market, Grain Market near Jalandhar bypass and Polytechnic College at Rishi Nagar.



Shopkeepers hold up traffic

Samrala, September 21
Hundreds of shopkeepers of Samrala and Macchiwara protested against officials of the health department. They blocked traffic and alleged that the department’s officials harassed them in the name of collecting samples for testing. They said due to the alleged harassment of the official, one of the shopkeepers had recently suffered a heart attack.

He is undergoing treatment at the CMC hospital, Ludhiana. MLA Samrala Jagjiwan Singh Khirnian was also called by the shopkeepers. The shopkeepers said whenever the department’s officials came to collect samples, they had to suffer humiliation at the latter’s hands.

“The health department should raid manufacturers and not shopkeepers,” said one of the shopkeepers.

The MLA assured them that he would take up the matter with the CM.

The shopkeepers added that they would not allow health officials to collect samples from Samrala and Macchiwara. The traffic remained held up from 9am to 11am.

A team of officials that had conducted raids yesterday tendered an apology.

Meanwhile, two local Congress leaders tried to cash in on the shopkeepers’ agitation. They asked shopkeepers to raise slogans against the Punjab government, but the former refused to do so. — OC



Rally against female foeticide
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 21
The district unit of Mahila Congress (women wing) yesterday took out a rally in Ward No 51 to urge people to come forward to eradicate female foeticide.

Carrying placards and banners, a large number of Mahila Congress Workers and other women from adjoining areas participated in the rally, which passed through general bus stand, Ashok Nagar, Sita Nagar and Harpal Nagar.

District president Leena Taparia, who led the rally, called for death sentence for those indulging in the heinous crime of killing the girl child in the womb. “The Indian women have made their presence felt in every field be it politics, sports, education or literature,” she added.

Leena exhorted people to rise against the widespread discrimination against girls.

The Mahila Congress would continue its relentless drive against the social evil of female foeticide through educative and awareness programmes, she added.

Ward president Paramjit said each and every party worker had vowed to mobilise people to give up their age-old preference for a male child and offer protection to new born girls.

A resident of the locality Vipin Ahuja, who had refused to accept dowry, and Poonam, a happy mother of three daughters, were felicitated at the conclusion of the rally.

Among others present were Shila Masih, Veena Sobti, Tinku Malhotra, Anu Adya, Asha Jyoti, Alka Malhotra, Anju Bala, Hardeep Kaur, Sarla Malhan, Shashi Devi, Chander Kanta and Vinod Aul.



Youths snatch earrings
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, September 21
Two motorcycle-borne youths made away with earrings of two women at new market, Goraya, and Sangh Dhesian village. Kanti Devi and Preeto Devi alleged that two youths came on a motorcycle and snatched their earrings. A case has been registered in this connection.


Ram Ishwar, a labourer, reportedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at Sabzi Mandi here last night. The deceased was said to be under depression.

Gytri Devi, wife of the deceased, also tried to end her life by jumping from the rooftop of her house. She was rushed to the Civil Hospital, Phillaur. A case has been registered.



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