L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Spreading awareness against copying
PSEB hoardings loaded with SAD achievements
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, March 22
In another bid to propagate the achievements of the SAD-BJP government, the state government has gone a step ahead of its predecessors by using funds allocated to the PSEB for “eulogising” itself through hoardings.

The hoardings made with a view to discouraging copying carry pictures of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, education minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan and PSEB Chairman Dalbir Singh Dhillon.

A long list of achievements of the SAD-BJP, including the implementation of the semester system and change in syllabi, have been highlighted in the hoardings.

But the actual message against copying is summed up in seven points, none of which strongly convey the message to students.

Government Senior Secondary School, Samrala, Government Senior Secondary School, Jagraon, Government Senior Secondary School, Payal, Government Senior Secondary School, Raikot, Bharat Nagar Girls School and Machhiwara Girls School are among the 10 schools where the hoardings will be installed.

Taking a jibe at the government, a retired teacher said: “The hoardings with the pictures of the CM and the Deputy CM will be put outside the schools located at prime locations, but the menace of copying is a problem in schools situated in remote villages.”

Instead the hoardings should have carried caricatures along with interesting remarks on the repercussions of copying on the professional and personal lives of students, he remarked.

Another teacher termed the hoarding drive as nothing but a political gimmick of the ruling party to make its presence felt in specific pockets. “It is to woo the rural populace for votes,” the teacher said.

Good Step: DDEO

This is a good initiative by the PSEB. The hoardings will help in curbing the menace of cheating. We have even put up a hoarding outside the office of the District Education Officer (DEO), appealing to visitors, teachers, employees and students with regard to the menace of cheating and the plans of the government to fight it.

— Paramjit Kaur Chahal, Deputy
District Education Officer (DDEO)


PSEB turnabout
Cancels centre before appearing in court
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, March 22
Acting smart, the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) cancelled a disputed examination centre yesterday, just before it had to appear in the Punjab and Haryana High Court for hearing in the said case.

The High Court had summoned the state government and the PSEB to give clarification in a complaint filed by a Ludhiana teacher to cancel an examination centre.

The complainant, Sukhdarshan Singh, said the PSEB Chairman had passed the orders for the cancellation of the centre just before the hearing.

Soon after receiving the orders from the PSEB Chairman, the District Education Officer (DEO), Ludhiana, was asked to cancel the centre and shift it to Harkrishan Public School (Dabba road) immediately.

A colleague of Sukhdarshan Singh said: "During the first semester examination in September 2010, the centre superintendent, Sukhdarshan Singh, had a dispute with the authorities of Shalimar Model High School, Ludhiana, over the ongoing copying in the exams which became a major issue.”

"The principal of Shalimar Model High School compelled me to let the school help students in the very first paper in the class X exam conducted in September 2010. As a superintendent, I refused. But the school authorities told the DEO to shift me from the school. Thereafter, a member of the flying squad misbehaved with me on September 15. I complained to the DEO and the authorities, but nothing came out of it," claimed Sukhdarshan Singh, adding that he had demanded action against the particular flying squad official. Sukhdarshan then approached the High Court. A student appearing for class X exams rued: "The board should have taken care of the problem before hand as a large number of students still do not know about the change."

Deputy DEO Paramjit Kaur Chahal confirmed that the staff and the students had been asked to shift to Harkrishan Public School but added that they did not face any inconvenience as the school had good infrastructure.



Insanitary conditions behind outbreaks
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 22
Heaps of garbage, stagnant sewage water in the low-lying areas and litter generated from unauthorised meat, chicken and fish counters have added to unsanitary conditions in and around the city. This, ultimately, has helped in spreading of numerous contagious diseases.

Summers bring with it diseases like gastroenteritis, jaundice, malaria and even hepatitis. Improper garbage disposal and impure potable water is not just a problem for those living in slums, but is a matter of concern for those residing in posh localities as well.

More than 12 deaths and 450 plus cases of gastroenteritis followed by 319 cases of malaria in 2011 has put a question mark on the insanitary conditions that city residents are forced to live in.

But what is more shocking is that there isn’t any change in the health and sanitary conditions of the city and its peripheries under the “prevailing conditions.”

The slums that stink are Laxmi Nagar, Sherpur Nagar, Jivan Nagar and Dashmesh Nagar, Dhandari Kalan, Shankar Colony, Puneet Nagar, National Colony, Indira Colony at Basti Jodhewal, Ambedkar Nagar.

A team of experts from the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), New Delhi, and the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, visited the city.

Dr GP Mangla, district epidemiologist, said officials from Delhi and Chandigarh had reviewed sanitary conditions in the city and its peripheries and met authorities of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation in this regard but to no avail.

Unauthorised meat/ chicken shops and fish market operational in various parts of the city dispose of the waste in drains or on the roadsides. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had, recently, appointed a team of advocates to initiate action against illegal meat and poultry shops in Ludhiana following the PIL filed by a few city residents.

Lawyers were roped in by officials of the Health and Family Welfare and Animal Husbandry departments as well as the municipal corporation for conducting raids on such shops. The drive had to be shelved on the second day on the pretext of “leak” by a few employees of the corporation.

Gastro outbreaks in “vehras”

Gastro outbreaks are common in “vehras”. At least 50 to 60 persons live in 12x 12-foot pigeonholes. An illegal sewerage line caters to the multiple families in these ‘vehras’. This leads to frequent leakages in pipelines supplying potable water.

Lack of Awareness

The Department of Health and Family Welfare has failed to spread awareness about steps to be taken to prevent various diseases from spreading in slums. Funds have been allocated in this regard in every district. But, it’s nowhere to be seen. People should be made aware of symptoms, preventive steps and treatment through leaflets, banners, lectures and other activities throughout the year.



LIT nets Rs 4.23 cr
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 22
Of the 24 commercial sites and four residential plots put under the hammer by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) here on Monday, all four residential plots were sold at a handsome premium while only five built-up commercial booths -- two in Model Town Extension and three in Gian Singh Rarewala market -- could be sold in an auction which continued till late in the evening.

The auction yielded Rs 4,23,70,000 against the reserve price of Rs 2.16 lakh, a premium of nearly 96 per cent.

With the fourth auction of residential properties and commercial sites in as many months, the LIT has so far collected Rs 29.9 crore by selling 57 units which had a reserve price of Rs 20.42 crore.

Two residential plots of 100 sq yards each in Dr Kitchlu Nagar scheme (Block F) were sold for Rs 37 lakh and Rs 37.75 lakh as against the reserve price of Rs 23.10 lakh. Similarly, two plots of 150 sq yards each in the same scheme with a reserve price of Rs 34.65 lakh each, were sold at Rs 70.5 lakh and Rs 75.6 lakh, respectively.

Two built-up booths in the Model Town Extension scheme, Block A and Block C attracted the highest bids of Rs 18.05 lakh (reserve price Rs 14.7 lakh) and Rs 35.1 lakh (Rs 16.17 lakh) while three built-up booths in Gian Singh Rarewala market, with a reserve price each of Rs 17.1 lakh, went for Rs 57 lakh, Rs 50.05 lakh and Rs 43.65 lakh.

The LIT Chairman said bids for a couple of properties were not entertained as these were below the expected premium while some other commercial sites/built-up properties were not put under the hammer since there weren’t many bidders.

Out of the total plots/commercial properties offered for sale yesterday, the 19 unsold sites included four booths in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar and 15 booths in blocks A, C and D in the Model Town Extension scheme.



GLADA does better with Rs 15 cr
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 22
The Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) today sold 30 freehold residential plots of varying sizes in Dhandari Kalan (Phases I and II), raising Rs 15.22 crore in the process as against the reserve price which stood at Rs 13.99 crore.

The highest bid offered for one of the plots, each having a reserve price of Rs 20,900 per sq yard, was Rs 26,700 while the lowest successful bid was Rs 21,000. Out of the 34 plots offered for sale at the auction, four sites remained unsold.

The GLADA additional chief administrator, Jaswant Singh, said the sale proceeds were nearly 9 per cent over and above the reserve price. More than 50 bidders, each having deposited an eligibility fee of Rs 50,000, participated.

The response and yield at the auction of plots ranging between 151 and 500 sq yards was unlike the one witnessed on March 17 when 19 residential plots in Sector 39-A on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road were sold at a premium of 123 per cent. Against the reserve price of the plots at Rs 12,000 per sq yard, the highest bidder had quoted Rs 33,000 per sq yard for a corner plot.

GLADA officials said the plots in Dhandari Kalan could not be compared to those on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh Road, which had locational advantage of being a prime residential area. “Keeping the location and sizes of the plots sold at the auction in view, the response can be termed quite satisfactory,” they claimed.

Among the unsold plots which attracted no bids were three in Phase I and one in Phase II.



6 members of inter-state gang arrested
Stolen goods worth Rs 50 lakh seized
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 22
The local police today busted an inter-state gang of thieves, which used to steal mobile phones, laptops, LCDs and batteries from showrooms. Kingpin of the gang Chetan, alias Arjun, however, is absconding. But, the police has succeeded in arresting six of their accomplices. Stolen goods worth Rs 50 lakh have also been recovered from them.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Yurinder Singh Hayer, said Raj Kumar, alias Raju (Gurdaspur), Lakhwinder Singh, alias Lucky (Kurukshetra in Haryana), Deepak Bansal (Sonepat in Haryana), Raj Kumar, alias Raji (Ludhiana), Sukhchain Singh (Sahnewal) and Pawanpreet, alias Ladi (Sahnewal) were arrested after being tipped off that they were heading towards PUDA office near the Ferozpur road in an auto (PB 10 CP 4430). The police also recovered brand new laptops and an inverter from their possession.

“About 11 laptops, 14 inverters, two LCD pen drives, nine watches, one camera, 50 batteries and over 510 mobile phones have also been recovered from their possession. About a dozen theft cases have been solved with their arrest. They have been remanded in police custody and we hope to arrest other members of the gang shortly,” the Deputy Commissioner of Police added.

The members of the gang used to roam in an auto-rickshaw in daytime and used look for targets. “They used to strike at night by breaking seals of shops with rods and other sharp-edged tools. All members had a criminal background and a few of them had met in jails only. The market value of the stolen goods is estimated to be around Rs 50 lakh. We hope to recover other stolen goods soon. A case under Section 413 of the IPC has been registered against the thieves,” the Deputy Commissioner of Police added.

Police remand

About a dozen cases of theft have been solved with the arrest of the accused. They have been remanded in police custody



The disabled not getting their due, still
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 22
Despite having the financial means at its disposal the Punjab government has sorely neglected to provide educational and employment opportunities for the disabled. It has made no move to ensure equal treatment in schooling, jobs and other facilities for the physically challenged, making their “inclusion” in mainstream society a distant dream.

Sharing her dejection, Shalini (name changed), a teacher, lamented: "Despite being cleared at all stages including a medical examination, I was denied a job for being visually impaired. What hurt me the most was the fact that despite having better merit I was rejected on the basis of my disability”.

The teacher was attending a one-day workshop of the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI), New Delhi, held in the city on Tuesday in association with the RCI zonal coordination committee at the Vocational Rehabilitation Training Centre for the blind.

Getting their disabled children admitted to “mainstream” schools is another area where their parents feel helpless.

Hemlata, deputy director of the National Centre for Disability Studies, IGNOU, New Delhi, said Ludhiana, being an industrial city, could become a "trendsetter" in the country in terms of employing the disabled.

"There’re numerous examples wherein disabled people are working as lawyers, lecturers and medical representatives. But the need of the hour is to fix accountability of officials in the government departments concerned to implement reservation policies and other programmes initiated to safeguard the rights of persons with disabilities," Hemlata observed.

It is unfortunate though some city industrialists had promised to take the initiative on imparting training to the disabled followed by jobs during a conclave organized by the National Trust in 2009, nothing has been done till date.

The trust, a statutory body set up under the social justice & empowerment ministry for the welfare of people afflicted with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and other ailments, is equipped to deal with the social, economic and legal problems faced by people with disabilities

“The visually impaired, deaf and dumb, those afflicted with cerebral palsy and people with physical disabilities have proven to be dedicated workers as has been observed by employers worldwide”, stated Sushma Sharma while doing a critical analysis at today’s workshop.

What govt must ensure

n VAT exemption for vehicles modified for disabled
n Opening up vocational training institutes in public sector
n Sensitization of professionals towards needs of disabled
n Reservation of seats for disabled in buses, trains
n Jobs reserved for disabled be given to them only
n Proper seating arrangements, ramps in public-dealing offices
n No denial of admission of affected children to “mainstream” schools



Solid Waste management
Study Trip to Leicester City
3 members keep mum during key meeting
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 22
Putting a question mark over the utility of their visit to Leicester City to study the modalities of solid waste management there, three senior members of a delegation of the municipal corporation remained mum during a meeting on solid waste management held here today.

Ever since their return from Leicester City, the three elected members — MC Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal and Finance and Contracts Committee (F&CC) member Pal Singh Grewal — have been asserting that they have been highly impressed with the way solid waste management is being undertaken abroad.

However, they failed to raise even a single point on the issue during the meeting in which officials of the state government, top brass of the municipal corporation and representatives of the private company assigned the task to execute the work in the city were present.

Though Grewal and Bansal reached the meeting on time, Mayor showed his apathy towards such crucial events by arriving in the last leg of the meeting.

The three remained mum on the subject even as discussions were held on making the city clean.

Sources said none of the leaders made any query regarding the work to be undertaken by the company.

The sources added the three also did not bother to give details of their visit on a similar project a few days ago, thus putting a question mark on the utility of such visits.

After the meeting got over, an MC functionary asked the three to give details regarding their visit. Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal then gave the details regarding the solid waste management in Leicester City to the Finance and Contracts Committee.

Though Giaspura was not available for comments, Bansal said they were listening to the proposals of the company, that had given its presentation on the matter, during the meeting. He added that there was no need for giving information to the company regarding their experiences.

“There was no need to discuss the matter at the meeting. Rather, we will give the information regarding our visit to our officials at an appropriate time,” he added.

Grewal asserted that the project prepared by the officials was of high quality and there was no need to discuss the observations made at Leicester City. “The basic purpose is to get the city clean for which their project is sufficient,” he added.

‘Will discuss at appropriate time’

There was no need to discuss the matter at the meeting and give information to the company involved in the execution of the solid waste management project. Rather, we will give the information regarding our visit to our officials at an appropriate time

— Praveen Bansal, Senior Deputy Mayor

‘Project already of high quality’

The project on solid waste management prepared by the officials here is of high quality and there is no need to discuss our observations made at Leicester City

— Pal Singh Grewal, Finance & Contracts Committee member



Libyan Crisis
End to military aggression sought
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 22
The Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) today deplored the military intervention in Libya by the US and its allies.

In a joint statement here, president Dr LS Chawla and general secretary Dr Arun Mitra said the action reminded of aggression on Iraq in 2003.

“This time again, they (the US) have subtly taken the approval of the UN Security Council and engaged in a brutal attack on an Arab state. A large number of civilians and soldiers are reportedly dying and getting injured besides destruction of infrastructure.”

The collateral damage, they added, would have long-term consequences on the security, not only of the region but the entire world.

“This was a direct attack on the sovereignty of a nation. The propaganda of the allied forces, of checking violent retaliation by the Libyan authorities, was a hoax as the attack had caused many times more damage in a short span.”

The IDPD has sought an immediate cessation of the aggression and appealed to the United Nations to immediately and effectively intervene to stop the aggression while also facilitating normalcy through mutual dialogue between the warring groups.

“Let the people of Libya decide their own future. No external power or coalition should have the right to impose its will on the Libyan nation,” they emphasised.



Municipal Corporation
Poor Civic Amenities
NGO seeks action against erring officials
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 22
Irked over the lackadaisical attitude of the municipal corporation authorities in providing basic civic amenities to city residents, an NGO has lodged a complaint with the MC Commissioner to take action against the erring officials.

In a letter written to MC Commissioner AK Sinha, Anti-Corruption and Crime Investigation Cell president Rohit Sabharwal has asserted that due to the lackadaisical attitude of MC officials, city residents are being deprived of basic civic amenities.

Citing the example of a public toilet constructed in the Model Town market, Sabharwal says it has been in a state of neglect due to the lax attitude of MC officials.

He says the government has constructed the toilet for the convenience of people and it is the responsibility of the officials to ensure cleanliness at the conveniences.

He asserts that the officials have adopted a casual approach towards the matter, as a result of which insanitary conditions prevail in the toilet, causing inconvenience to shopkeepers as well as visitors.

He adds that the lack of cleanliness in the toilet has also been posing the risk of spread of deadly infections.

He rues the fact that shopkeepers of the area have lodged numerous complaints in this regard to the MC authorities in the past but no action has been initiated by the civic body staff, reflecting their indifferent attitude towards the grievances of residents.

Sabharwal has sought stern action against the officials who are not performing their duty in a proper manner.

He has also requested the MC Commissioner to issue directions to the officials of the civic body to ensure that regular cleaning of the toilets takes place.



Scrutiny of IT Returns
Small taxpayers, pensioners can breathe easy
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 22
In order to streamline the procedure for the scrutiny of income tax returns, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has reviewed its selection procedure. It has been decided that during the financial year 2011-12, cases of senior citizens and small taxpayers filing returns in ITR-1 and ITR-2 will not be subjected to scrutiny. Only those cases will be scrutinised where the income tax department will be in possession of credible information pertaining to tax evasion.

The scrutiny of returns is an important mechanism for ensuring taxpayer compliance and to counter tax evasion. However, it has evoked concern from small taxpayers and senior citizens in view of prolonged enquiries and selection of the same cases in scrutiny year after year.

“While those filing returns in ITR-1 and 2 will not be scrutinised unless the department has some information related to tax evasion, those filing the returns in ITR-3 to ITR-7 will be scrutinised as normal. Different categories of taxpayers fall under these categories. This move will decrease work pressure in the department,” said a senior official from the department.

J Khurana, president of the taxation young lawyers association, said it was a positive step and it would not only lessen the workload of the department, but also help in the speedy disposal of refunds.

“Only senior citizens and small taxpayers will be kept out of it while the scrutiny of the business class and those having professional income will be undertaken,” he said.

ITR-1 is filed by salaried persons and pensioners while ITR-2 is filed by people getting commission income, interest income, income from property, capital gains and other sources. Senior citizens for this purpose would be individual taxpayers who are 60 years of age or more. Small taxpayers would be individual and HUF taxpayers whose gross total income, before availing deductions under Chapter VI-A, does not exceed Rs 10 lakh.



Class-XI student run over by truck
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 22
Prabhjot Singh (16), a resident of Meharbaan village, near here, was killed after being run over by a speeding truck here today. The victim was on his way to take an examination.

According to sources, Prabhjot Singh, a student of class XI, was going on a bicycle when a speeding truck, laden with rice bags, ran over him near the Tajpur Road this morning.

Some passersby took the victim to a nearby hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. The driver of the truck was nabbed by passersby and handed over to the Basti Jodhewal police.



153 students get prizes at SCD college
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 22
The annual prize distribution function of SCD Government College was held at Sahir Auditorium here today. Chander Shekhar Talwar, special finance secretary, Government of Punjab, awarded the prize winners.

Principal Jasbir Kaur Makkar presented the college report. Makkar said from the next academic year, the college would start seven new professional programmes to bring innovations in course curriculum. These programmes include MCom business innovations, hospitality and tourism, information technology and computer sciences and business administration.

On this occasion, 153 students were given merit certificates. Rohit Kapur of BSc (II) was declared the all round student of the year.

Saving Water

Students of Green Group of Government Evening College (unit of SCD College) organised an awareness campaign to save water on World Water Day today. The in charge of the evening college, Prof Rajdeep Gill, said Green Group had about 15 students and they tried to create awareness about environmental issues.

"Today, we generated awareness to save water. In case we do not make judicious use of the most important natural resource, future generations will be in great trouble. We have distributed pamphlets to residents to save water", said Prof Gill.


n Make right use of water at home
n Instead of washing cars, just clean vehicles with cloth and a bucket of water
n While brushing teeth or shaving, make sure that taps are closed
n After washing clothes, use left over water to clean washrooms/sinks
n Make arrangements for rainwater harvesting while construction of new houses



Shaheed Bhagat Singh remembered
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 22
The Punjab Medical Representatives Association (PMRA) organised a blood donation camp at Punjabi Bhawan on the eve of the martyrdom day of Shaheed Bhagat Singh here today. At least 51 persons donated blood and those present paid tributes to Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev.

A team of doctors and supporting staff from the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital conducted the camp. According to Rajesh Kaul, president, and Anurag Singh, unit secretary of the PMRA, an interactive session was held with potential donors and their queries on voluntary blood donation were dealt with. Those present were apprised of thalassemia and other blood diseases that required regular blood transfusion.



‘Cotton Fab’ a big draw
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 22
“Cotton Fab”, an exhibition showcasing creations of weavers drawn from various part of the country, drew visitors in their droves on its opening day here today. The exhibition is being organised by the Rashtriya Sanskriti Avom Sabhayata, New Delhi.

Printed fabrics; cotton, silk and embroidered fabrics; ready-to-wear clothing and home furnishing are on display at the exhibition.

“Kalamkari rugs, Punjabi durries, tablecloths, curtains, and printed and weaved bed covers are some of the main attractions at the exhibition. Besides, home furnishings, Bombay chicken, Lucknow chicken, Gujarati, kantha and phulkari are definite crowd-pullers,” felt Heena, a visitor to the exhibition.

Exhibition coordinator Rakesh Kumar said such exhibitions and craft bazaars are the only way of bringing weavers and customers together.



MC gears up for work on managing waste
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 22
Getting set for the ambitious project on disposing and recycling solid waste in the city, scheduled to get under way by May 31, officials of the Punjab government and the municipal corporation held a joint meeting with representatives of the firms that had evinced interest in the project. Among those present were MC commissioner AK Sinha, local bodies department chief engineer Manmohan Singh, senior deputy mayor Praveen Bansal, MC finance & contract committee members Pal Singh Grewal and Simerjeet Singh Bains and superintendent engineer VP Singh.

A detailed discussion on the solid waste programme, initiated with the aim of providing relief to city residents, took place at the meeting. It was decided tenders for the project would be floated on April 25 and work commenced by May 31.

Representatives of six of the eight private firms that had evinced interest agreed to sign up for the project and assured the civic body they would take part in the tendering process. However, they said as for taking part in tenders effectively they need sometime to get survey done so they asked the civic body officials to give them one month in which they could study the total garbage produced from the city and its adjoining areas so that they could decide about the type of machinery, technology and manpower that is to be used for the work.

However, MC officials asked the firms’ representatives to ensure the residue left after solid waste management was not more then 10 per cent of the total garbage produced in the city.

Besides Ludhiana the project will cater to a dozen municipal committees including those of Khanna, Samrala, Machhiwara, Raikot, Mullanpur and Jagraon. Four solid waste management plants will be set in Jamalpur and two in Jainpur at a later stage. These plants would cater to 1,075 tons of garbage, of which 975 tons are produced in the city alone.

According to the DPR the project will entail an expenditure of `100 crore of which ` 94 crore would be spent for treating solid waste in Ludhiana with the rest spent for that in other places.



Custodial Deaths: Rights panel suspects foul play, demands CBI probe
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 22
In Punjab Police lock-ups, inmates have used seemingly impossible things and methods for hanging themselves. One of the inmates died after hanging himself from a ventilator grill with his own trousers in the Khamano police station, another hanged himself from a tap in the Gurdaspur police station.

Strangulation has in fact been the most common method used in four alleged custodial deaths that had taken place in Punjab during the last eight months. One of them was a woman. She had used her dupattas for hanging herself. Surprisingly, no one noticed them committing such an act. Witnessing striking similarity in the custodial death cases, the Universal Human Rights Commission Organisation (UHRO) and the Women Justice and Equality have demanded a probe into these deaths by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Perusal of the case reports available with an NGO and its women’s wing fighting their cases present these interesting facets.

The list includes the recent custodial death of Sohan Singh (56), an alleged member of the Khalistan Commando Force (Panjwar group), who died inside the Special Operation Cell in Amritsar on March 15 after hanging himself with a ceiling fan. The victim had allegedly used his turban for committing suicide.

Similarly, Sarbjeet Kaur, alias Shabo, was found hanging with a ceiling fan inside the Gate Hakiman Police Station in Amritsar on June 20.

In the third incident, 28-year-old Hardeep Singh Bunty committed suicide by tying his trousers with a ventilator spoke in a toilet at the Khamano police station on November 10, 2010.

In the fourth incident, Sanjiv Kumar committed suicide by hanging himself with a tap at Dhariwal village in Gurdaspur on January 20.

“There is more into the custodial death cases then meets your eyes. How four persons, including a woman, died in identical fashion? I suspect that all these incidents were stage-managed. How the victims managed commit suicide in the presence so many police officers. What ever it could be but these deaths are certainly not suicide,” said Satnam Singh Dhaliwal, president of the Universal Human Rights Commission Organisation (UHRO).

Method Used

Strangulation has been the most common method used in four custodial deaths that had allegedly taken place in Punjab during the last eight months. This has forced the Universal Human Rights Commission Organisation to demand a probe



Assembly Poll: BJP seeks two more seats
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 22
Much to discomfiture of the SAD; its alliance partner, the BJP, is now vying for two more seats from the city. This could put a dent in their alliance once its top brass get together to distribute seats among themselves for the Assembly election.

The BJP currently represents two seats in the city. Veteran BJP leader and Deputy Speaker, Satpal Gosain, represents the Ludhiana (East) constituency and MLA Harish Bedi represents the Ludhiana (North) constituency. However, the party, which has a large number of councillors in the city, including a senior deputy mayor and a deputy mayor, now feels that its deserves more seats in the district which is largely dominated by urban population, considered to be a traditional base of the BJP. Leaders are seeing good prospects of the party in Ludhiana (Central), Ludhiana (North), Ludhiana (East) and Ludhiana (West) constituencies carved out in the city. Senior leaders have conveyed this to the party’s top brass in several meetings.

Senior leaders say they have right to claim more seats as its number has increased in the fresh demarcation of the Assembly. But, Akalis are asserting that a large number of villages have become a part of the city due to the rapid urbanization in the past several years. Traditional vote banks inhabit most of these villages so we must get these seats, the Akalis added. Insiders in the BJP revealed that the party wants additional seats so as to fit its new aspirants of ticket like vice-chairman of the State Planning Board Rajinder Bhandari, Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal and District BJP President Rajiv Katna. As the party doesn’t have seats thus it is finding difficulty in adjusting them.



Elopement of Girl
Father threatens to commit suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 22
A few members of a family, whose girl had reportedly eloped with her boyfriend on December 28, sat in front of the deputy commissioner’s office in the mini-secretariat yesterday. Girls’ father, Subash, even threatened to commit suicide. They were demanding speedy action in the alleged elopement and abduction case of the girl.

The police, including SHO Sandeep Wadhera, assured family members that the girl would soon be reunited with them and accused Jatinder Kumar, alias Happy, who beguiled the girl into eloping with him, would be nabbed.

Subash alleged that despite numerous visits to the Kochar Market police station the cops had failed to take any action against the accused.



Anomalies in question papers
PSEB urged to award grace marks
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 22
A teachers’ body has asked the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) to compensate the students of classes X and XII with at least five marks following anomalies in the board’s class-X science and class-XII chemistry question papers. Both examinations were conducted on March 21.

Association of the Punjab School Education Board president Rajinder Sharma alleged that the question papers were not in line with the syllabi prescribed for the two subjects by the board authorities.

Sharma said: “According to the syllabus for class X, ‘short answer type questions’ needed to be from the entire syllabus. However, in the question paper, these instructions were not followed and ‘short answer type questions’ from the first semester syllabus were missing from the question paper.” “Similarly, the ‘short answer type questions’ in the chemistry question paper were only from the second semester syllabus instead of the entire syllabus.”



150 docs attend CME on swine flu
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 22
More than 150 doctors attended a CME on swine flu at the IMA house yesterday. The CME was organised by the IMA, Ludhiana.

Ludhiana Civil Surgeon Dr Satwant Bhalla was the chief guest. He called upon doctors to work in unison so as to eradicate the disease. Dr Bhalla emphasised on the importance of controlling the deadly disease with full might.

Dr Karamvir Goyal welcomed delegates. He said there was no need to panic and people could safely guard themselves from swine flu by observing simple hygienic methods and sterilisation precautions like washing of hands, wearing of masks and avoiding coming in contact with a patient. He said people having flu symptoms should cover their faces while coughing and avoid coming in contact with others.

Dr GP Mangla, the district epidemiologist, gave an account of cases being reported in Ludhiana,.

Dr Narjit Kaur, Dr Manoj Sobti, Dr Arun Mitra, Dr Anakhvir Gill, Dr R K Sharma and Dr DPS Arora were also present.



Seminar on environment safety
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 22
The Government College for Science and Research in association with the Punjab State Science and Technology Council organised a seminar on environmental safety at the college auditorium recently.

An exhibition of more than 30 plants having medical significance was also organised during which a number of plants like black pepper, cloves, etc, were exhibited.

Besides, more than 150 plants of different categories were planted on the college campus by college director, Prof Jaswinder Singh Brar.

Earlier, the seminar started with a two-minute silence observed by staff members and students in memory of the victims of earthquake and Tsunami, which claimed thousands of lives.

Two students, Rajdeep and Jyoti, delivered speeches on the need of protecting environment from pollution.



Labourer electrocuted
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 22
A labourer lost his life after being electrocuted by a high-tension cable at Bhoondri village, near Sidhwan Bet, yesterday. The victim has been identified as Sukhwinder Singh (30) of Kotman village in Ludhiana district.

According to sources, Sukhwinder Singh was working at a construction site at Bhoondri village. He came in contact with a high-tension cable passing overhead while fixing a shed and got electrocuted.

Villagers took the victim to a private hospital where the doctors declared him brought dead.

Building owner Inderjit Singh also suffered injuries while trying to save Sukhwinder. He fell to the ground while trying to save the victim and suffered injuries. The injured has been admitted to a private hospital at Mullanpur.

The deceased had got married a year and half ago and is survived by his wife and a child.

A case has been registered at the Sidhwan Bet police station in this regard.



Khushdeepak excels in boxing

Ludhiana, March 22
Khushdeepak Singh of Jalandhar, a BA-II student of GTB National College, Dakha, cornered glory in the inaugural edition of the Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh Punjab State Games conducted in the state from February 28 to March 6.

College principal, Dr Assa Singh Ghuman, said Khushdeepak secured a silver medal in boxing (56-kg category) and received a cash prize of Rs 35,000 for his achievement. — OC



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