L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Cane charge on protesting riot victims
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
Members of the Dang Peerit Welfare Association went on the rampage today accusing the district administration of “playing a cruel joke” on the 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims. The police later resorted to a mild cane charge to disperse the protesting crowd.

Over 2,000 riot victims assembled at Guru Nanak Bhawan after administration officials organised a camp to verify the 1,632 applications received for allotment of flats. Many applicants are said to have come from other districts in the state as well.

The trouble began when the administrative officials refused to accept the applications of riot victims
without an affidavit, stating that the "monthly income of the applicant was less than Rs 1,536".

This angered some of the applicants. In the meantime, Surjit Singh, president of the Dang Peerit Welfare Association, and Gurdeep Kaur, who heads the group’s women wing, led by their supporters entered the premises of Guru Nanak Bhawan and began shouting slogans against the Punjab government and deputy commissioner Rahul Tewari. The crowd also damaged furniture and smashed chairs on the floor.

While taking to The Tribune, Surjit said: "A daily wager is earning more than Rs 6,000 per month, who can you expect that a could teach his children and run the house with a monthly income of Rs 1536. The government is playing a cruel joke with us. They should straightaway declare that they don't want to give land to the riot victim, why they are testing our patience," said Surjit and further added that he would contest against the government's condition of taking an affidavit of Rs 1,536 monthly income before allotting a flat.

The situation became tense when a member of the association said the police would file a case of fraud against any riot victim who was found to be earning more than Rs 1,536 per month.

The riot victims assembled outside Guru Nanak Bhawan and attempted to enter the premises by breaking the security cordon. This led to a mild cane charge and the cops dispersed the crowd.

However, ACP Raj Kumar denied the cops resorted to a cane charge as baseless. “The police dispersed the crowd which was trying to forcibly stop the riot victims from filing their forms”, he added.

Paramjit Singh, a government employee, who was assigned the task of verifying the documents, said they had to complete the work by evening but due to the protest they verification work was suspended.

Riot victims to meet on Oct 6

Following today's incident leaders of the Danga Peerit Welfare Association has called a meeting on October 6 at the Dugri phase-I gurdwara to decide on the future course of action. 


Envy drives friend, 3 others to kill youth
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 3
A group of miscreants, at least four in number, killed the only son of a peasant family of Kangwanwal village by calling him to a deserted house on the pretext of finalising some programmethis afternoon.The police has initiated a probe into the incident but has not arrested anyone so far.

Mandeep Singh (25), grandson of a former sarpanch of the village, was stabbed to death by a group of miscreants armed with sharp-edged weapons.

The suspects have been identified as Chamkaur Singh of Kangwal, Pavittar Singh of Baurhai, Jassa Singh of Dhaler and an unknown youth of Jhammatt village.

Mandeep Singh, whose father Rajinder Singh is presently living in Greece, was alone at his house located on the outskirts of the village, when Chamkaur, one of his old friends, called him to his house on some pretext.

When Mandeep along with his two friends reached Chamkaur’s house, he found some miscreants armed with sharp-edged weapons in the courtyard.

Before Mandeep and his friends could realise the gravity of the situation, the miscreants attacked them withknifes and axes.

Though the friends accompanying Mandeep saved their lives by running away, Mandeep fell unconscious after being stabbed in the abdomen and back.

Profusely bleeding Mandeep was shifted to the local Civil Hospital in an in unconscious state by villagers.

Before doctors could start his treatment, he died at the hospital.

Sources said Mandeep was married around a year ago. Finding agriculture to be non-remunerative profession, he started pursuing a course at a computer centre here.

Chamkaur, who was one of his good friends at some point, started envying his interest in education. Separation and reunion was common trend between the two, which culminated in today’s murder.

While Rajinder Singh was yet to be informed about his son’s death, his mother Harpal Kaur was in a state of shock.

Amargarh DSP Gurpreet Singh Sikand, who visited the village in the evening, said he had directed Sadar SHO Amritpal Singh to raid the hideouts of all suspects who were at large.



Traffic cops ignore PCR vehicles parked wrongly
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
While traffic cops slap hefty fines on the city’s commuters for wrongly parking their vehicles, the rules appear to be different when it comes to the men in khaki. Though policemen are known to flout traffic regulations with impunity, the police department has still not launched any drive has to educate the cops about the rules.

The multiutility vehicles that were recently inducted into the PCR fleet to maintain law and order in the city have also added to traffic chaos and noise pollution. Rather than using these vehicles for clearing traffic, the cops seem to enjoy flaunting them. Besides unnecessary use of their hooters, the vehicles are often parked in the middle of the road, leading to traffic jams.

One such snarlup was witnessed in Field Gunj yesterday when the driver of a PCR vehicle parked it in the middle of a street and went to fetch an ice cream. The cops sitting inside the vehicle were unconcerned that this had led to traffic chaos.

City residents have often complained there is no coordination between PCR cops and the traffic police. Shopkeepers in Ghumar Mandi said traffic cops look the other way when a PCR vehicle keeps on honking its siren to clear the road.

"Whenever PCR cops park their vehicles wrongly it leads to traffic jams. The cops also add to noise pollution by unnecessarily using their hooters. Only yesterday the driver of a PCR vehicle parked it behind a wrongly parked car on National Road. This led to a huge traffic jam. In the meantime nearly six traffic cops stationed at Bhai Bala Chowk were watching the scene listlessly,” said a businessman."



Electric trees, fountains in parks go defunct
Manav Mander/TNS

Ludhiana, October 3
Electric powered palm trees and fountains that were installed to “beautify” public parks in the city about five years ago are in a shambles today due to lack of maintenance. The trees function only occasionally with only a few functional ones lighting up parks at night. Some have even been stolen by thieves.

Crores of rupees were spent on these trees, made of plastic and fibre, and fountains that now wear a shabby look due to neglect by the civic body. Contractors, MC officials and councillors have failed to ensure they are regularly maintained.

"Even if civic officials want to repair them it would not be possible as their condition is very bad. All the leaves of these artificial trees have withered out and the fountains are also in a really bad state," said one of the residents near the Jalandhar bypass. These ill-maintained trees are in bad shape. In fact, theses stand out as eyesores. If these have been installed after spending so much, the municipal corporation should have taken good care of these, he added.

The electric palm trees, providing light as well as beautifying the areas, were installed in many wards of the city by paying huge amount to the contractors. Each tree costs about Rs 30-35,000.

A fountain and a fancy tree lie non-functional at one of the parks in Ludhiana.
A fountain and a fancy tree lie non-functional at one of the parks in Ludhiana. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Hundreds of these trees were installed in parks, maintained by both maintenance committees and the civic body, on the Ferozepore Road lane, Jalandhar bypass, Dugri, Domoria bridge, Ghumar Mandi, Salem Tabri, Upkar Nagar, near Shingar cinema and BRS Nagar. However not a single one is fully functional today.

Meanwhile, councillors in whose area the trees were installed are blaming the contractors for not maintaining them. "Taxpayers’ money shouldn’t have been wasted on buying these decorative trees. Instead it should have been utilised on something else to promote environmental conservation," said a member of a park management committee.



Simultaneous Protests
Govt to face agitators’ wrath
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
Protesting teachers of the state are set to give the government a tough time in the coming days. Various teachers’ associations of the state have given an ultimatum to the Punjab Government, demanding fulfilment of their demands within a specific time frame, failing which they would launch massive protests.

The ETT Teachers Association and Government Classical and Vernacular Teachers (C and V) Union have been protesting for long and have given an ultimatum for October 6.

Government C and V teachers (art and craft, PTI, agriculture teachers) have been demanding pay scales on a par with the rest of the C and V teachers (Punjabi, Hindi teachers). Also, they are seeking promotion on a par with masters and MA pass C and V teachers on the Haryana pattern, besides regularisation of services.

The demands of ETT teachers include shifting of schools that were put under the zila parishad to the Punjab School Education Board and regularisation of ad hoc teachers.

At a meeting today, Balraj Dholakhia, senior vice-president of the ETT Teachers Union, alleged: “Instead of accepting our demands, the government is threatening us. This is not justified and we will not accept this. We will present a CD of pre-election promises made by the Badals to ETT teachers at Akal Takht on October 10.”

The faculty of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University had recently decided to support the protesting Punjab state veterinary officers for grant of non-practising allowance (NPA). The executive committee of the GADVASU Teachers Association had held a meeting last week and decided to extend help to the protesting field veterinarians.

It was also decided that GADVASU teachers would not attend functions like “pashu palan” melas being organised by the department of animal husbandry, dairy development and fisheries till the protest of veterinary officers continues.

The Punjab Agriculture University Students Association has also lent support to the veterinary officers.

Meanwhile, the ministerial staff of the state, including clerical staff of the state education department, is also set to go on strike from October 4-6 in support of their demands.



Manual meters outdated: PAU club
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
In order to save farmers from harassment in the name of excessive moisture content in the produce during procurement, the Punjab Mandi Board must train the farmers in using moisture test meters. This was stated by the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) kisan club recently.

Kisan club president Pavitar Pal Singh Pangli, speaking to The Tribune, said: “The manual meters are outdated and the Punjab Mandi Board must make provisions for the assessment of the moisture content through electronic meters. And farmers should be given training in small groups for the purpose.” He also urged the government to redress the issues of rice millers.

A progressive farmer and owner of a rice mill in Sahnewal, TS Sandhu, pointing at the plight of rice millers, stated: “Farmers are suffering as agencies have refused to lift even the good quality grain. Millers are being asked to give quality grain at the rate of damaged grain, which has been turned down by a majority of millers, who are bearing heavy losses as the previous produce has been dumped for no fault of theirs.”

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board, Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, addressing a gathering of farmers at the PAU today, stressed on diversification to vegetable crops from wheat and rice. “More than 70 per cent farmers have less than five acres of land which makes sustainability in agriculture very difficult, thus green house cultivation for fruits and vegetables is needed,” he said.

He also encouraged farmers to take to banana cultivation, for which the horticulture department, in association with the Punjab State Farmer's Commission, was providing subsidy of Rs 20,000 per acre.



Two-year grapple with incapacitating injury
Kabaddi player’s kin seek financial help
Mahesh Sharma

Dhatt (Mullanpur Dakha), October 3
Having failed to attract the attention of authorities in the sports department of the state, sports organisations claiming to be promoters of kabaddi and organisers of the much-publicised World Kabaddi Cup-2010, a Dalit family of laboureres of this nondescript village has sought the help of philanthropists to save the life of their member who is struggling for life.

Keepa lies on the bed flanked by his family members; and mementoes won by him.
Keepa lies on the bed flanked by his family members; and mementoes won by him. Photos by writer

The spinal cord of Kuldeep Singh Keepa had ruptured when he slipped while stopping a raider from the opposite team while playing in the World Famous Rural Sports Fair in February, 2008.

Though the organisers had shifted him to a multi-speciality hospital in Ludhiana, nobody bothered to enquire about his fate after the doctors declared that a huge amount would be needed for surgery and postoperative treatment.

Amar Singh, head of the family, said three out of his seven sons had been playing kabaddi since childhood. Despite meager income and large family to run, Amar Singh ensured to provide extra nutritious diet to the three sons playing the game.

It was during a match between teams of Jhande and Bath villages in 70 kg category that Keepa lost balance while stopping a raider from Bath team.

“That was the last time when my son stood on his legs and moved his arms properly. We were shocked when doctors told us that he would not be able to move either of limbs if the surgery was not conducted immediately,” said Amar Singh, adding that arranging for an amount as Rs 6 lakh was impossible for his family.

Even leaders of political parties who visited the family during the past Lok Sabha elections and promised financial help for undertaking treatment never turned up after the poll.

All appeals made by friends and relatives of the victim to leaders of their respective parties proved futile.

Kuldeep’s friends, including some kabaddi players, are helping the family to ensure his survival till some philanthropist or social organisations come to his rescue.

The family has already exhausted its savings and valuables in an attempt to relieve the unbearable pain of the stopper. The cost of medicines required every month comes out to around Rs 5,000.

Lack of professional care has also resulted in other problems, including bedsore.

Keepa, like his other two brothers, had started playing kabaddi at the age of 10. He had won scores of prizes during his active sports life.



‘Self-medication, sluggish lifestyle can cause heart diseases’
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 3
Showing concern over the increasing frequencies of various lifestyle diseases among men and women living in the urban areas and the disregard shown by the patients towards medical advice, experts in various medical fields called upon office bearers of social organisations to launch coordinated movement to educate masses about deleterious effects of the tendency.

Westernisation of food culture and sluggish lifestyle, besides self-medication, were identified as major factors leading to cardiovascular and gastroenteritis diseases.

After examining about 1,500 patients at a free medical check-up and heart care camp organised jointly by the Social Welfare Organisation and the Agarsen Sewa Sadan Trust a team of doctors observed that majority of patients had shown little concern towards their general health. They even showed disregard towards medical advice given by physicians prescribing their treatment.

Maintaining that prosperity of Punjabis has resulted in increased frequency of cardiovascular ailments Dr Naved Aslam, a cardiologist, said: “The prosperous people relish fat-laden and spicy foods, which increase chances of heart diseases.”

He claimed that a majority of patients who had been put up on a regular treatment did not stick to the regular administration of medicine. “It has been observed that a majority of them, including patients from higher strata of society, changed the dose and period of administration of life saving drugs on their own,” exclaimed Dr Aslam.

Earlier, the camp was inaugurated by Jasbir Singh Khangura, MLA, Kila Raipur, and Tarantaran Singh Bindra, Civil Judge, was the chief guest. ECG, EEG, ultrasound scan and other diagnostic tests were conducted free of cost. 



220 examined at health camp
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 3
220 patients were examined at a free medical check-up camp organised by Shri Raghunath Hospital at Bains village in the district today.The patients where given follow-up advice and free medicines.

A team of doctors comprising Dr Anupama Goyal, gynaecologist, and Dr Monika along with para-medical and supporting staff conducted the medical examination.

Dr Ritu Gupta, medical superintendent of the hospital, said the camp was in continuation of the efforts to reach out to the poor and needy patients who could not prioritise their health requirements.

This was also an effort to provide the basic medical care facility on the doorstep of the poor. More such camps would be organised in the future, she added.

Interacting with patients at the camp, Dr Anupama cautioned the people, especially women, to take care of their diet and keep an eye on signs of anaemia and osteoporosis — common deficiency diseases among women caused due to malnutrition.



Lawyers’ strike from today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
Condemning the registration of a criminal case by the police against a lawyer, Surinder Dogra, lawyers have decided to go on a strike from tomorrow.The president of the District Bar Association, Naval Kishore Chhibber, said indefinite strike would be observed until the case was withdrawn. He said apparently, Dogra had been falsely implicated in a case of cheating and forgery.

A case under Section 420, 465, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC was registered against the lawyer and seven others on the complaint of Jagtar Singh of Ayali Khurd in Ludhiana.

He claimed that he was the attorney of Gurdial Singh of Jabalpur, who had entered into a land deal at Birmi village in November 2007, but they could not make the payment and the sale deed was not registered.

It was alleged that later the accused hatched a conspiracy and prepared a forged agreement to sell the land on behalf of Gurdial Singh’s son. On the basis of the agreement, a civil suit was filed in court. 



Two-day yoga conference concludes
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 3
“With spiritual progress, the mind grows in magnitude. The mind increases its periphery until it finally merges in the Supreme Entity.” This was stated by the spiritual head of Ananda Marga Pracharaka Samgha (AMPS) Vishwadevananda Avadhuta during a two days meditation conference which concluded here today.

He said during the course of spiritual progress, a spiritual aspirant would develop many faculties or attributes, but one must always be vigilant that these faculties do not divert one from the chosen path, from the cherished goal.

Large number of people from all over India attended the conference. After the afternoon meditation, followers took out a procession in the city with banner and placards.

In the evening, the Renaissance Artists and Writers Association (RAWA) presented a colourful cultural programme based on “prabhata samgita” composed by Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar.

In his evening discourse, Vishwadevananda Avadhuta discussed the sayings of his Guru Anandamurti. He explained, “You should be engaged in doing punya (welfare of others) day and night,” while adding that whenever one was engaged in doing some welfare work, it was punya, and when one was working against public interest, it was sin.

The spiritual head of the sect further cited examples of great saints like Guru Nanak Dev, Bhagat Kabir and Meera Bai -- quoting many aphorisms and later added, “Through meditation and contemplation one must surrender oneself at the altar of the Almighty, merging one’s finite identity into the infinite.”

He added, “Only by surrendering one’s mind to the vast Macrocosm and becoming one with the Supreme Consciousness can one attain final salvation. The struggle for salvation is the struggle against those forces which strive to prevent one’s total self-surrender to the Supreme.”



Awareness camp at Kakowal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
An awareness campaign by SDP College at Kakowal village was held here as part of the day-night NSS camp organised, under the guidance of Balraj Bhasin, president, SDP College for Women, which entered its third day successfully on Sunday.

NSS volunteers have already made a visit to Kakowal village for creating awareness among villagers regarding causes and symptoms of some serious diseases like dengue, swine flu and AIDS.

Volunteers also provided valuable knowledge regarding various precautions available for prevention of these diseases. Volunteers also tried to provide complete knowledge regarding social responsibility to people.

They encouraged people to give their full contribution regarding welfare of society. A seminar was earlier organised on the college campus to provide knowledge to volunteers and present staff members about paintings, their formation, designing and sketching.

Ashok Kumar was the resource person at the occasion. He also made efforts in order to make it an easy task for the students who took keen interest in the seminar. Principal Meenu Sharma appreciated the students for their valuable efforts.

College president Balraj Bhasin congratulated and conveyed his best wishes to NSS camp volunteers for the successful completion of day three.



City first to have computerised FIRs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
Ludhiana today became the first city in the country to provide the facility of lodging a complaint with the police online through the newly launched web portal of the city police. Sukhbir Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister, today formally launched the web portal at Sahnewal today.

Badal said the endeavour of the government was to provide public-centric police service in a fair and speedy manner. He said in order to ensure efficient delivery of police services to the common man, the Ludhiana Police Commissionerate had designed a dynamic and interactive webportal www.ludhianapolice.in. 
Badal said the web portal would go a long way in improving the delivery of services to the people and would also enhance efficiency of the entire police system.

Ishwar Singh, Police Commissioner, Ludhiana, said the web portal was comprehensive, user friendly and interactive and contained brief information on the history of Ludhiana, public utility services like school, colleges, hospitals, hotels, blood bank, government offices and facilities offered by these offices.

It contained addresses and telephone numbers of various government offices and emergency services, besides details about the Ludhiana Police Commissionerate, its organisational structure, police stations, police posts and community policing resource centre.

Telephone numbers of police units and police employees manning these units could also be accessed. It also contained details about the police control room and helplines pertaining to the police, traffic, women and the elderly.

He said the portal also had information relating to proclaimed offenders, bad characters, missing persons, and stolen and recovered vehicles.

The complainant could download copies of these reports, especially FIRs. He said the status of passport verifications, arms licence verifications, police no-objection certificates, civil verifications, police clearance certificates, status of complaints lodged by individuals, servant/tenant/migrant verification and traffic rules and regulations (compounding fee etc) would also be available on the portal. 



Priestly model  
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Deepak Sharma performs aarti at a temple in Ludhiana.
Deepak Sharma performs aarti at a temple in Ludhiana. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, October 3
He invokes the Almighty from the depths of his soul and chants the most difficult of shlokas as though they were written on his heart. And he also walks down the ramp with equal ease. Twenty-two-year-old Deepak Sharma, priest-cum-model, is comfortable in both skins.

Sharma is serving as a priest at Shiv Shakti Mandir at Kidwai Nagar from the past six years. A graduate and originally belonging to Haryana, Sharma is eyeing the ramp. “I have done considerable number of ramp shows at the local level and have also taken modelling and acting classes to enhance my skills,” says Sharma.

He has won several singing and modelling competitions at college level and now wants to further explore his talent. “Since we are Brahmins I am serving in this temple. But my parents are always open to my joining any other profession. My parents stitch clothes of the deities back in Haryana,” he adds.

Sharma says the important thing is one should enjoy his work. “I enjoy my work. I wake up at 4.30 am and perform pooja and aarti in the evening. It is not that I am dying to become a model. If God has His will I will become a model. Otherwise I am happy serving Him,” he further adds.

The three Khans of bollywood, Aamir, Salman and Shahrukh, are his favourites and he considers them the epitome of acting. “They are my favourites and I want to be like them and I would like to meet them,” he says while preparing to perform 
an aarti.



Labourer bludgeoned to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
Panic gripped the Salem Tabri area after some people spotted a badly mutilated body of a labourer here today. According to the police, the victim had been bludgeoned and strangled. The victim has not been identified yet.

The incident came to light when residents of a “vehra” at Guru Harrai Nagar complained of foul smell emanating from a room. Balwant Singh, owner of the room, broke open the lock of the room and found the body wrapped in a mattress.

He immediately informed the police. Though Balwant Singh had rented out the room to Ishad, a labourer from Bihar a year ago, someone else was staying there on his behalf. The police suspects that the victim may have been killed two-three days ago.

A manhunt has been launched to nab Ishad and another person, who is reportedly on the run following the incident. 



Fun car rally for families
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
The 10th fun car rally was organised here today. The rally covered major areas of the city. All participants had to follow the traffic rules as they were not adjudicated on the basis of speed.The final winner was decided after the last participant crossed the finish line.

While four members from each family were allowed to participate in the rally, the highlight was the garnering of score by randomly picking up points from sealed envelopes and general questionnaire available at the marshal booths along the 50-km route.

The participant with the maximum number of points took away the winner’s trophy. The participants driving bedecked cars had come dressed up in their best attires to compete for the best dressed male and best dressed female.



Emphasis on home gardens
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 3
A three-day training workshop on “home gardening”, organised by AVRDC -- The World Vegetable Centre -- through its Regional Centre for South Asia (RCSA), Hyderabad, in collaboration with Sir Ratan Tata Trust (SRTT) and Punjab Agricultural University in the Department of Vegetable Crops, concluded here yesterday. About 25 trainees, comprising seven from Ranchi, eight from Bhutan and 10 from the PAU, attended the workshop.

Dr AS Dhatt, agriculture advisor, SRTT, while inaugurating the training workshop on the opening day, emphasised that the production of vegetables in home gardens was quite encouraging. However, the production should be sustained by ensuring availability of good quality seeds to the households.

Dr GS Chahal, executive director, Reviving Green Revolution Cell at SRTT, appreciated the training workshop and advocated the extension of the home gardening activity throughout Punjab.

Dr ML Chadha, regional director, AVRDC-RCSA, Hyderabad, welcomed the participants. He remarked that the AVRDC had over 35 years of experience in developing and promoting home gardens in the developing countries to raise the productivity and quality of life of people.

Dr DS Cheema, head, department of vegetable crops, presented an overview of research and development activities of the department and the home garden project going on in the university. “Home garden module in an area of 36 square meters has been developed to ensure access to a healthy diet with adequate macro and micro nutrients by incorporating a variety of vegetable crops for year-round vegetable supply,” said Cheema.

The training programme stressed the establishment, maintenance and utilisation of the produce from the home garden by delivering lectures followed by hands-on practicals and demonstrations. At the concluding function, certificates were awarded to the trainees.



At 14, he acts as ‘next of kin’ for unclaimed dead
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
While most children his age play and dream of a happy life ahead, he handles the dead, ferrying unclaimed bodies to crematoria. At the tender age of 14 he does not have any idea how many corpses he has cremated or how many funerals he has attended.

Meet Sonu, whose only job is to pick up abandoned dead bodies from different areas of the city for transporting them to a hospital mortuary and later taking them to various crematoria.

He has no friends, as kids his age are scared of him. He says he has “befriended” bodies and even claims he often “talks” to them.

As the district administration has no arrangements for performing the last rites on unclaimed bodies, Sonu depends on this “occupation” to earn his bread and butter by transporting them to funeral grounds. The rickshaw he uses to carry the corpses belongs to an NGO, Manav Kalyan Sangathan.

Hailing from Ambala, Sonu is the eldest among three siblings. His father died when he was only 12. Left with no option he had to give up his studies and later came to Ludhiana where he started ferrying unclaimed dead bodies along with his maternal uncle, ‘Bobby’.

"Initially I used to puke while carrying the corpses as sometime it used to be in a mutilated condition and emit foul smell. I couldn’t sleep for months, but now I’ve become immune to it”, said Sonu.

When asked whether he wanted to study he replied: "Yes, I want to but then how will I earn my livelihood and send some money back home to my mother?"

The NGO reportedly gave the rickshaw to ‘Bobby’ but he purchased another one and gave the old rickshaw to Sonu.

"We get Rs 200 for ferrying each dead body to the Civil Hospital mortuary, out of which I give a large share to Sonu," said ‘Bobby.’



Work on sewerage project begins
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, October 3
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today gave the green signal to the start of the much-awaited water and sewerage project here.

Targeting the Congress during a rally at the new grain market, he said the opposition had to cut a sorry figure as their failures could not match the accomplishments of their alliance, referring to the unsuccessful debate initiated by the Congress in the Punjab Assembly session.

“Hence, the opposition had to withdraw and return satisfied with no more queries or doubts left in their minds,” he added.

On shortage of electricity in the state, he said: “The four electricity projects aim at making the state energy surplus and ensuring 24-hour supply to all houses, tubewells and industry.”

Listing the achievements of the SAD-BJP alliance in the state, he said the first international airport was already functioning at Amristar, while another at Mohali would be operational within the next three months. Yet another one was expected to come up near Machhiwara soon.

On the education front, he said there was a dearth of around 35,000 teachers in schools when the previous government left the office. Their government had hired 26,000 teachers in schools, he added.

“Adarsh schools are being opened by our government where every year two lakh children would get education free of cost.”

The alliance had already spent Rs 1,100 crore on Ludhiana in the past three and half years, he said.

The construction of roads was in full swing with work on Ludhiana-Patiala, Ludhiana-Moga-Talwandi Bhai, Chandigarh-Bathinda, Amritsar-Pathankot, Amritsar-Faridkot, Amritsar-Bathinda roads either being carried out or aimed to be accomplished in the coming year, he said.

In sports, their government had put kabbadi on the international map and were looking forward to setting up 13 stadia in the coming year.

On the SAD-BJP alliance, he said they stood united unlike the Congress, which was riddled with factionalism.

Accusing the Centre of ignoring the state, he said a loan of Rs 70,000 crore was waived for other states, while Punjab figured nowhere on the list.


Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, in-charge, Sahnewal Assembly constituency, and Agro Industries Corporation chairman, while referring to the hurdles raised by Congress leader Sukhdev Singh “Libra” over the clearance of the railway flyover at Sahnewal accidentally referred to him as SAD leader Sukhdev Singh “Dhindsa”, much to the astonishment of party leaders and audience.


A separate bridge would be constructed at the traffic lights of Jamalpur at a cost of Rs 20 crore. Similarly, work on a bridge on the Satluj, near Mattewara village on the Ludhiana-Rahon Road, would be started in the next three months. Similarly, a sewerage and water supply project, costing around Rs 47 crore, in the Mundian Kalan and Jamalpur area had been approved and work on it would be started in the next 15 days. Sahnewal would be designated as sub-tehsil shortly. A sum of Rs 10 lakh had been given for the repair of the local government primary school.



Khangura questions fate of earlier projects
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 3
As Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal laid the foundation stone for another slew of projects at Sahnewal today, Congress MLA from Qila Raipur Jassi Khangura questioned the fate of earlier projects initiated by Badal in a similar manner amidst hype and media blitz.

Reminding Badal Jr of the numerous development projects promised by him to the people of Ludhiana, Khangura said: “You promised metro rail, AC city bus service, expressways, round-the-clock electricity, and making the city the fifth metro of the country. But have you kept a single promise so far?”

Referring to earlier projects for which Sukhbir had laid the foundation stones, Khangura asked the status of those projects. “Has any of these projects been completed or is work on any of these in progress or has any of these projects been started?” he said.

He said Sukhbir had the habit of laying the foundation stones and forgetting them the very next moment and, at times, laid the foundation stone a second time for the same project.

The government has been in power for nearly four years and it has not completed even a single project it had promised, he added.

The Qila Raipur MLA said let alone making Ludhiana a “fifth metro”, the city seemed to have turned into a “filth metro” with garbage littered everywhere. Traffic jams and power cuts were a norm in the city and Sukhbir wanted to make everybody believe that Ludhiana was the best city to do business in Punjab, he said. “If this is the best city, the state has no future under the current regime.”

Khangura said he promised to clean Budha Nullah but it remained as polluted as ever despite massive grants from the Centre. He said Badal Jr seemed to have developed a fascination for laying foundation stones to preserve his memories. “What is the guarantee that these new foundation stones do not represent yet another series of false promises and dodgy mismanagement,” he asked.



Stone laid for ultra-modern police station
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, October 3
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal laid the foundation stone for the Rs 2-crore ultra-modern police station here today.The design of the unique semi-urban police station has been approved by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D).

The aim is to provide citizen-centric services in a manner which is free from any kind of fear or inconvenience to public.

The police station has been divided into three parts. One area has been exclusively earmarked for citizen-centric services and will have a waiting hall to accommodate 100 persons.

The hall will have an LCD screen displaying the services being provided. A computerised counter will provide the available services to visitors.

This area will open into a room of the MHC, duty officer, family counseling cell and room of the SHO.

This area will provide access to the semi citizen-centric service area, which will have computerised workstations for investigative officers (IOs) (8 to 10), a small forensic lab and a hall for head constables/constables with cupboards.

A provision of one room for Additional SHOs, who will supervise investigations, has also been made.

The third portion of the police station will be meant for core police working and will have custody room, office of custody officer, male and female lockup, interrogation room, monitoring room, command and control room, etc.

The command and control room will be meant for supervising operations at ground level by senior police officers.

In addition, this will have an ultra-modern record room and malkhana.

The malkhana will further be divided into two parts i.e. bulk malkhana and small malkhana for valuables.

It will also have provision for canteen, which will open from outside and public will have access to it.

The first floor of the building will have accommodation for 50-60 police personnel, woman police employees, SHO along with toilet facilities.

It will also have a gymnasium and library hall for policemen.



Encroachments gone!
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, October 3
Encroachments that had been a perpetual headache for commuters, residents and shopkeepers and even the police department were suddenly found gone from the roads here today.The reason: Visit of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal.

While level crossing and traffic lights have been causing chaos on the roads, encroachments on either side have compounded the problem for residents.

In spite of the efforts by the police department as well as the media to keep a tab on the mess, encroachers have been having the last laugh.

The nagar panchayat has often been blamed for not cooperating with commuters and pedestrians who push their way in amidst extended shops and fast-moving vehicles on the road.

A resident rued: “The town gives a fresh look today. It’s like a whiff of fresh air to see encroachments on the either side removed. If these could be removed today, why not on other days?”



Level crossing not for Badal!

Sahnewal, October 3
The local level crossing, which is often found closed, remained open for the convoy of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal to pass here today. However, the level crossing was closed soon after his convoy passed, leaving his supporters high and dry. “The level crossing remains closed most of the time, testing the patience of commuters waiting on both sides,” rued a commuter.

“Once I had to take my mother to the hospital in emergency but had to wait for over half an hour at the crossing. My requests, too, remained unheard,” said a resident of a nearby village. — OC



Medical fraternity hails dropping of Bill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
The medical fraternity across the state has hailed the decision taken by cabinet ministers, MLAs and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to relinquish the enforcement of the Clinical Establishment (Rules and Regulation) 2010 Bill in Punjab.

The decision was taken during the ongoing session of the state Assembly.

IMA state president Dr RS Parmar said the decision was specifically beneficial to the private healthcare system, as private doctors were catering to the majority population in urban and rural parts of the state.

“The Bill, in the absence of availability of trained paramedical personnel, lack of infrastructure and other facilities, would have been disastrous. However, in future, if the government wants to enforce the Bill, the doctors can extend help to formulate it with precision, taking into account the existing infrastructure with reference to the paying capacity of the people,” said Dr Parmar.

He stated that the Punjab Medical Council (PMC) could regulate clinics like individuals in terms of registration and see to it that every medical establishment abided by the prescribed norms under various Acts.

Dr Narotam Dewan, Ludhiana IMA president, while addressing a press conference today said the union government should also look into “existing inadequacies” of the Clinical Establishment Bill before implementing it.

Terming the Clinical Establishment Bill anti-people in character, which will curtail freedom of medical practice, the doctors across the state have pledged support to the ongoing protest against the Bill at the national level.

Dr Hardeep Singh, another senior member of the Indian Medical Association, said Dr Daljeet Singh Cheema, political adviser to the Chief Minister, played a key role in the issue.

The government’s decision has also been welcomed by the Punjab Civil Medical Services Association (PCMSA). 



Title win for ace shuttler Kalla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
Ace shuttler Steffi Kalla won the final of Rajinder Singh Memorial Open District Badminton Championship played at Guru Nanak Stadium here today.In the penultimate day of the tourney, Kalla outclassed Reetu Vinayak (21- 17, 21- 13) to clinch the under-19 years girls’ final.

Meanwhile, Neha and Ronak made it to the final of the under-13 years’ age group category. While Neha thrashed Diksha (21-15, 21-13), Ronak showed the door to Simran (21-13, 21-19).

Mitash Gandhi and Abhi Singla would lock horns in the final of boys’ under-13 years’ age group category. Mitash defeated Palwinder Singh (21-18, 21-18) and Abhi Singla beat Prem Singh (21-13, 21-5).



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