L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rose Garden weeps as the VIP cup of sorrow overflows
300 wreaths prepared overnight by gardeners for Surinder Badal’s funeral
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 25
City’s Rose Garden, also known as its lungs, was stripped of hundreds of flowers as its gardeners went into overdrive throughout last night to prepare wreaths for the deceased wife of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

As Surinder Kaur Badal’s body was taken to her husband’s native Badal village for cremation, the district administration and municipal corporation authorities were on their toes to arrange for 300 wreaths, that were to be laid on her by VIPs.

The flowers and leaves were chopped off mercilessly and the branches swept clean by the morning, as the local administration dispatched a truckload of 300 wreaths. Morning walkers were in for a rude shock to see flowers missing and raised a noise.

While maximum flowers and leaves were drawn from Rose Garden, spread over 27 acres, more had to be procured from local florists at the last minute owing to the shortage.

Sources told The Tribune that the district administration was asked to arrange 300 wreaths and the officials directed the MC to rise to the occasion since the civic body had two major green parks, including Rakh Bagh and Rose Garden. The MC then put its gardeners on the job.

While MC Commissioner Ajoy K Sinha said he did not know anything about his employees preparing the wreaths, sources said a senior official of the district administration had supervised the massive wreath making operation. “I have no idea about it,” Sinha said.

A senior official posted in the city, however, said a truckload of wreaths was being sent to Badal village. He said many wreaths were arranged from Delhi as well.

The morning walkers regular to Rose Garden said they were shocked to see flowers missing. “Till yesterday, the garden was full of flowers. I did not know what happened overnight. I then found out that the flowers and leaves were chopped to make wreaths,” said SP Sharma, a morning walker.

An employee told The Tribune that they stayed awake throughout last night. “As many as 130 wreaths did not have the desired amount of flowers. These were mostly leaves with a flower or two tucked in. The rest 170 had ample flowers, including marigolds and roses,” he said praying anonymity.

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari was away to Delhi to attend a meeting.


Top police officers’ absence hits work
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 25
The common man suffered as a battery of senior officials from the police, district administration and other offices descended on Badal village in Muktsar district to attend the cremation of Surinder Kaur Badal, wife of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today.

People visiting the government offices for work had to return disappointed in the absence of the officials concerned. Many of them said they symapthised with the Chief Minister and his family, who had suffered an irreparable loss, but the police should have made alternative arrangements so that public work did not suffer.

The Police Commissioner’s office wore a deserted look as all senior officials had gone to Badal village, while some senior officials from the Deputy Commissioner’s office were also away to attend the cremation.

The police officials deputed at the Commissioner’s office said almost all senior officials had gone to attend the funeral.

“Because she was the Chief Minister’s wife and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal’s mother, no one wanted to give it a miss,” an official said.

The Police Commissioner’s office, which on a normal day is a abuzz with activity, wore a near-deserted look today. Some people who had come to meet Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh had to return disappointed as he was also away.

Mohan Thakur, a migrant sitting outside the Police Commissioner’s office on hunger strike since 9 am today, rued that no one from the police department came to meet him the entire day. “I wanted to meet the Commissioner of Police but realised that he had gone out of station. In the evening, the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police came to me to accept my memorandum,” he said.

Another resident who had come to the office with his complaint regarding physical assault rued that the officials should have made some alternative arrangements before proceeding to Badal village.

“When we reached the Police Commissioner’s office, we came to know that most of the top officials had gone to Badal village. It may not be wrong but the common man is suffering due to their absence,” he said.

Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh said he had gone on his own to Badal village. While the other officials were in the city, he claimed.



tribune impact
Minister to post docs in dispensaries
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 25
Health Minister Satpal Gosain today said he would post permanent medical officers in all eight dispensaries in the city immediately that have been without doctors. Reacting to a news-item in these columns today highlighting the ailing healthcare in the health minister's city, Gosain said the doctors would be posted in the first week of June.

‘‘I am really shocked to hear that in a city like Ludhiana where pollution is taking a toll on the health of people, there are no permanent doctors in dispensaries. I will start from here only, ’’ said Gosain.



More than two dozen city students make it to IIT
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 25
More than two dozen students from city, studying in various leading schools, including BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar, Sacred Heart School, BRS Nagar, Kundan Vidya Mandir, DAV Public School, Shamrock Christian School, Hambran Road etc have made it to the IITs this year.

The students who cleared the IIT examination include:

Name Rank

Kanav Rampal 496

Aatish Goyal 584

Atabak 713

Harsimran Singh 764

Amanjot Singh 801

Ashish Dhingan 951

Namit Jain 1111

Vineet Singla 1273

Sukhdarshan 1868

Sumeet Singh 1989

Chinu Khurana 1997

Mohit Gupta 2090

Hemant 2613

Gursimran 2822

Puneet Sharma 3083

Utkarsh Garg 3226

Abhishek Bansal 5000

Yogesh Kumar 5327

Priyanka Sharma 5324

Ayush Gupta 5622

Niket Gupta 5800

Manav Sohal 6048

Harsh 8033



Kanav makes city proud
Figures in 500 after more than 5 yrs
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 25
It was after five years that a student from Ludhiana district made it to the top 500 positions in the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) examination. Kanav Rampal, a student from the KVM, has scored the 496th rank in the IIT exam, the results of which were declared today.

As per previous available data, the top scorer from Ludhiana in 2010 got the 731st rank in the IIT, while in 2009, the top scorer secured the 587th position. In 2008, the highest scorer in Ludhiana district had achieved the 508th rank.

Deepak Goyal, owner of a coaching centre whose students have been the toppers in IITs in the past three years, said this time, the cut-off marks were increased to 229, which last year were 192 out of the total 480 marks. There is a difference of about 37 marks. Previously, the difference was not more than 10-15 marks but this year it was huge cut-off. "This means the merit has gone up tremendously. The competition has become even more tough. In 2004, students had scored the best IIT positions. The two top scorers from Ludhiana had scored 23rd rank and 138th rank. It is now 2011 that students have again performed well.



Trio from city bags top 3 IIT slots in district
Ranked 496, 584 & 713, they befriended each other at coaching centre
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 25
Three friends - Kanav Rampal, Aatish Goyal and Atabak Ashfaq - made the city proud when they secured the first three positions in Ludhiana district in the IIT examination, the results of which were declared on Wednesday.

Having been placed at number 496, 584 and 713 respectively, the three youngsters always believed in healthy competition. As they used to attend the same tutorials they competed among themselves to score better. But they never envied each other; instead all the three motivated each other to get through the exam. For them the success mantra was consistency, hard work and dedication to reach their goal.

"We became friends when we joined a local coaching centre. We used to discuss the problems and find solutions. We never knew we’d be grabbing the three top positions in this district, ’’ they said in unison. ‘‘We’re happy for each other. One can always say we could’ve done better, but it’s like a dream come true”, said Kanav as he and his buddies were celebrating their success.


In a first for the city, a large number of students have cleared the IIT joint entrance exam this year, breaking all previous records. In previous years, not more than 10 students used to clear the exam, but this year, the performance has been overwhelming as more than 25 students have cracked it.


  • Boys leave behind girls
  • Rural students fail to make a mark
  • One successful city girl got training from "Super 30" in Bihar

Still a distant dream for them

IIT seems to be a "distant" dream for students hailing from rural background. None from a rural background could make it past the prestigious engineering entrance test. Experts running various coaching centres feel that lack of awareness and resources and ‘complex’ to compete with urban students were the main reasons why ruralities could not make it to IITs. Earlier, when the CET conducted the examination, rural students joined academies for crash courses. But this time, their presence was almost negligible.



Girls take back seat in IIT exam
Only two make it from city
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 25
Just two girls from Ludhiana have made it to the IIT this year. Gursimran Kaur Ahuja, a student from Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar, and Priyanka Sharma, a local resident, who took coaching from Patna, secured 2822 and 5324 ranks respectively. Out of all the successful students, just two girls were able to make it in the prestigious IIT examinations.

Talking to The Tribune, Gursimran agreed to the fact that the percentage of girls in IITs was too less as compared to the male counterparts. "I feel that girls have to come out from their bookish approach. This exam needs thorough knowledge. You have to clear your doubts, be very practical while answering the questions. Secondly, girls cannot move around freely as boys. Boys can go for several tuitions at even odd hours. But it is a limitation with the girl students. They cannot move out at late hours. I feel this is also a major fact that girls are behind boys in IIT exams but I am sure in times to come, the girls will outshine the boys", said Gursimran.

Agreeing to the fact, Deepak Goyal an IIT Graduate from Delhi said, "For this, parents also need to change their mindset. They are reluctant to send their daughters to different parts of the city for tuitions. Joining one good tutorial is the best option for girls. But the girls need to get an exposure as their male counterparts. We must provide them enough opportunities so that they can compete well with the boys in IIT too", said Goyal.

Ram Kumar Sharma, father of Priyanka Sharma said parents need to provide support to their daughters so that they can succeed in life. " Otherwise, girls are ahead in every field. We need to focus on IIT as well. It was a difficult decision to send my daughter to Patna but after looking at the campus and environment there, there was no second thought. She has come out with flying colours", said Sharma.

Profile of toppers

Kanav Rampal: Rank 496 (1st in district)

For Kanav, his long cherished dream has come true. A meritorious student of Kundan Vidya Mandir (KVM), he knew this was his ultimate aim. To achieve his goal both his parents, who teach at Punjab Agriculture University, extended all the necessary support.

Kanav wants to get admission in one of the best IITs - either Delhi or Bombay. "I used to hear about these institutes. I consider myself lucky I’ll be part of them", he said.

Self study: 5-7 years apart from tutorials, school

Owes his success to: Tutor, teachers, parents

Ultimate aim: Wants to join an MNC

Success mantra for younger generation: Must channelize efforts in right direction

Stress busters: Watching movies

Preferred course: Mechanical or electrical engineering

Aatish GoelAatish Goel: Rank 584 (2nd in district)

A student of Sacred Heart School, BRS Nagar, Aatish believed in himself. He was "pretty sure” he would make it in the IIT exam with a good rank. Throughout school, he never scored less than 90 per cent marks. His father is a doctor and his mother a housewife.

Like his friend Kanav, Aatish wants to join the IIT at Delhi or Bombay.

Self-study: 4 hours apart from tuitions & school

Owes his success to: Parents, teachers

Ultimate aim: To join father in his business of manufacture of orthodontic materials

Success mantra for younger generation: Work hard, it always pays

Stress buster: Listening to good music, watching movies

Preferred stream: Mechanical engineering

Atabak AshfaqAtabak Ashfaq: Rank 713 (3rd in district)

For Ashfaq it was a testing time in the morning when he was checking the results on the Net. His happiness knew no bounds when he saw his roll number in the category of successful candidates who had passed the IIT exam. A student of KVM, he said his teachers in school and at Tutorials took great pains to make their pupils "perfect" to take the exams.

Self-study: 3 hours daily apart from tuitions & school

Owes his success to: Teachers, encouraging parents

Ultimate aim: To work on top position in IT

Success mantra: Believe in healthy competition

Stress buster: Playing games, watching movies

Preferred stream: Computer, civil or electrical engineering



Comprehensive evaluation leads to delay in class X results
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 25
Continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) system adopted by the CBSE board will no doubt make the evaluation stress free but the new system has resulted in delay in the declaration of results. The results were initially planned for May 16, but were postponed to May 20 and then to May 25 and eventually to May 27. The board claims to be working on the compilation of report cards.

This year, continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) result cards will replace conventional mark sheets. According to the new system students will be evaluated on their 13 non-academic aspects using descriptive indicators and grades.

Paramjit Kaur, principal of BCM Arya Model School said, “This year the system has been changed entirely. The results will also be prepared using a new software and I have come to know that there has been a snag in the software due to which the results have been delayed otherwise it would have been declared by this time.”

The new report card

The report card will be divided into three sections and further into two sub-sections each, elaborating on the performance in scholastic areas, co-scholastic areas and co-scholastic activities. It will mention the students' formative assessment (co-scholastic) and summative assessment (scholastic) and the final grade point on a scale of 10. Another section will grade a student on a five-point scale for their performance in work experience, art education and physical and health education.



He pedalled his way to success
City lad overcame tough odds to clear IIT examination
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Puneet SharmaLudhiana, May 25
For Puneet Sharma, who scored the rank of 3083 in the IIT examination, the results of which were declared on Wednesday, achieving his goal was not an easy task and he had to face tough odds to realize his dream.

Sharing his thoughts with The Tribune, he said: "I’m so happy I got through the IIT exam. My parents were even more worried about before the results were posted. Only I know the circumstances in which they provided me the best of coaching as well as encouragement and motivation".

Belonging to a lower middle class family, Puneet's father, Suresh Kumar Sharma, works as a consultant in a soap-company. A student of the city’s Shamrock Christian Senior Secondary School, Hambran Road, Puneet said he literally pedalled his way to success.

"As it was so difficult for my father to bear the expenses of my school fees and then tutorials, I didn’t want to burden him more. I started going to a coaching centre on a bicycle. Though it was time consuming and tiring I never let my parents know about it. When I fell sick in the hot summer last year and my dad asked me to go in an auto rickshaw", said Puneet.

“I’m lucky I was surrounded by helpful friends who never let me feel deprived of anything. Since one of them also used to go to coaching classes and lived at little distance, he asked me to come to his place from where we used to go together on his motorbike. I feel sorry for him he couldn’t make it to the IIT. But he played a vital role in ensuring my success”, said Puneet.

He also thanked his mathematics teacher at school, Inderjeet Singh for supporting him and tutoring him free of cost. "He not only taught me but gave me references through which I gained so much. Tutorials provided me the right direction to excel", he added.



38 live cartridges, wires found
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Police displays the live cartridges Ramgarh Chowki on Wednesday
Police displays the live cartridges Ramgarh Chowki on Wednesday. Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, May 25
What appeared to be a treasure, discovered by a godman in Bhukhri Kalan village located near Jhabewal area 25 km from the city, turned out to be a plastic box containing 38 live cartridges and a bunch of wire.

Bhole Shah, who is looking after the shrine of Jeeve Shah, claimed that he found two bottles containing gun powder, a bunch of wires and 38 cartridges from a plastic box, while digging the earth located behind the shrine.

He said the labourers were deputed to construct a pillar for installing a roof in order to extend the area of the shrine.

The 38 live cartridges included 10 (9mm), 10 live cartridges (7.62 mm), 10 live cartridges (303) and one live cartridge (.315). Bhole Shah said the ammunition were found on Sunday morning.

Sikander Singh, former Sarpanch of the village said the police was immediately informed about the recovery of ammunition.

While confirming the recovery, Gurtej Singh, SHO, Sahnewal, said the recovered cartridges would be sent to the forensic lab at Chandigarh to find out the details about its origin and age.

The matter that was kept under wraps came to light when the residents of the village began talking about the heavy police presence in their village.

ASI Dalbir Singh in charge of Ramgarh Chowki said as the cartridges were found from a common land and the matter was being investigated and no FIR had been registered yet. Bhola Shah was informed by a migrant labourer on Sunday morning that he had found two bottles and a plastic box while digging the earth. Thinking he had found a buried treasure, he opened the box quickly. But he was shocked to find cartridges in it.

''I did not know what to do with it as I was too shocked to react after seeing all this. Honestly, a thought even crossed my mind that I should dump it somewhere and stay away. But then I decided to contact my former Sarpanch Sikander Singh, who further informed the police," claimed Bhola Shah.

However, Dalbir Singh declined to recovery of gunpowder, but maintained that cartridges and a bunch of wire had been found from the spot. "Actually one bottle broke, while labourers were digging the land so we could not establish what was in the bottle," claimed Dalbir Singh.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Balraj Singh Gill said there could be possibility of more such ammunition lying buried in the surrounding area of the village.

Panic spread in the area after the recovery of cartridges from Bhuthri village.

It is learnt that hardcore terrorists, owing alliance to the Babbar Khalsa, Khalistan Liberation Force and the Khalistan Liberation Force (Panjwar) Group) had remained active in the area during the terrorism days.

Not the first time round

It is not the first time when ammunition has been found while digging in remote areas of the city. On December 25 last year, an earthen pot containing live cartridges and hand grenades were found from Gujjarwal Village.



Bodies of two missing boys recovered from canal
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Gagandeep SinghLudhiana, May 25
The worst fears came true for the parents of Gagandeep Singh and Sidharth Sharma as after two days of extensive search, the bodies of the two were found floating in the canal in the Assi Kalan area here today.

While Gagandeep’s body was spotted in the morning, Sidharth’s body was found floating on the surface of the canal in the evening.

Sidharth SharmaDehlon SHO Naveen Singla said: “The bodies of students Gagandeep Singh and Sidharth Sharma were found from the Assi Kalan bridge here today.” Gagandeep Singh (18), a resident of Dhandra Road, and Sidharth (16), a resident of Model Town, had bunked school along with three of their classmates - Sunny, Ishan Monga and Nipundeep Singh - and gone to Karamsar Gurdwara in Rara Sahib on Monday. Several students from other schools, too, had accompanied them on their trip. According to Sunny, before returning home they decided to make a halt at Gurdwara Flahi Sahib.

“Sidharth jumped into the canal to swim but soon began to drown. Gagandeep then entered the water in a bid to save Sidharth but both were swept by the current,” the students said. As soon as residents broke the tragic news to Davinder Kaur, mother of Gagandeep, she fell unconscious. Elderly women of the locality started wailing.

After regaining consciousness, Davinder said there was nothing left for her and she did not want to live anymore. Gagandeep was her only hope for a possible good future as her husband Harpal Singh was suffering from prolonged illness.

As Harpal was out of job, Davinder took the responsibility upon herself and was doing odd jobs to make both ends meet. “I never compromised on the studies of my son and ensured that he got the best of food and education. I don’t know why god has been so cruel to me,” lamented Davinder Kaur.

Gagandeep was cremated here this evening, following a postmortem. Harpal Singh said ever since Gagandeep had gone missing, he had been camping at the Kanganwal power grid of the Abohar branch Canal along with other residents to locate his son.



Finally, survey of illegal buildings in city
Four assistant town planners told to submit report by May 31
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 25
In an apparent bid to cover up the mess created in the city, the building branch of the municipal corporation has decided to conduct a survey of illegal buildings constructed in the city from 1997 onwards.

All four assistant town planners (ATPs) of the corporation have been issued orders by Additional Commissioner Kanwalpreet Kaur Brar and the officials have been asked to submit their reports by Tuesday. Else, they stand to face departmental action. Sources in the corporation said the orders were issued after a show-cause notice regarding the same was issued by the State Information Commission to Municipal Town Planner (MTP) Hemant Batra.

In 2008, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered the corporation to undertake “a comprehensive survey of the entire municipal area of Ludhiana to identify unauthorised encroachments/constructions on government land and municipal land as also constructions made in violation of the sanctioned plan or without obtaining the sanctioned plan”.

On March 9, Council of RTI Activists president Rohit Sabharwal had sought information under the Right to Information Act regarding the report of the comprehensive survey conducted by the corporation.

On May 18, the corporation officials replied that no such survey had been conducted by the corporation. Sabharwal alleged that MC officials were themselves to blame for the mess of illegal buildings and structures in the city. “The building bylaws are being violated with impunity and the MC officials are not even conducting a survey despite the High Court orders,” he alleged.

The Assistant Commissioner said all ATPs had been asked to prepare a report of all illegal buildings and structures in their respective areas.

“They have been asked to submit a detailed report by Tuesday, else they would be liable for departmental action. Once the reports are submitted by the ATPs of all four zones, we will analyse them and take appropriate action against the violators under the law,” she added. Illegal buildings would be demolished if need be, she said.



MTP gets show-cause notice
Had failed to supply RTI info on illegal buildings in city
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 25
The State Information Commission has issued show-cause notice to Municipal Town Planner (MTP) of the municipal corporation for not supplying information within the time frame as prescribed under the RTI Act, 2005. The information was sought by a social activist regarding the number of illegal buildings in the city as per the MC official records.

Council of RTI president Rohit Sabharwal had on March 9 sought a certified copy of the comprehensive survey report for constructions made in violation of the sanctioned plan or without obtaining the sanctioned plan.

The second information sought was for providing a certified copy of the entire file along with their note sheets in which responsibility was fixed on officers for conducting the survey and also the action taken on such orders.

The order by State Information Commission reads: “Respondent states that partial information was provided to the complainant on May 18. He further states that regarding information relating to zone-D, it is to be provided by Hemant Batra, Municipal Town Planner. It is observed that none is present on behalf of the building branch.”

“Hemant Batra is directed to show cause as to why supply of information as per the RTI request sent to him has been delayed, why penalty be not imposed upon him for not supplying the information within time as prescribed under the RTI Act, 2005 and why complainant should not be compensated for the harassment and financial loss suffered by him in getting the information,” the order issued yesterday read.

The order issued by the SIC directs Batra to file an affidavit in this regard before the next date of hearing (July 19). He has also been directed to be personally present along with complete information on the next date of hearing.



Thalassaemia: Single test can make the difference
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 25
After witnessing continuous suffering of their 22-year-old son Rishu, who suffers from thalassaemia, Parkash Arora and Neeru Arora went in for the requisite blood test of their would-be daughter-in-law along and their elder son Vinod Arora before solemnising their marriage.

Parkash Arora says: “On getting this test done, we learned that my son is thalassaemia minor, while my daughter-in-law Deepika is normal. As there was no risk, we solemnised their marriage.”

These parents are also spreading this message to their near and dear ones to avoid the suffering caused by the disease. Arora said: “At the time of our marriage, I was neither aware of this inherited disease nor about the test. At the time of Rishu’s birth, I used to run two shops. I had to sell my shops to arrange money for Rishu’s treatment. Thereafter, we had to spend money on my treatment, as I suffered a heart attack. He is now being looked after by Salaam Zindagi, an NGO that has adopted 67 children suffering from thalassaemia. We got to know about his disease when he was one and half years old as he used to have pale skin and week body.”

While Kiran and Harsh Kumar, residents of Shimla Puri, who are looking after their daughter Vanshita (10) and their brother’s daughter Ragini, both of whom suffer from thalassaemia, said: “Our nephew is of marriageable age but we have told our relatives not to marry him without checking the report of the blood test of his fiancée.”

Kiran said: “Ragini is my brother-in-law’s daughter. Her wife delivered twins — a boy and a girl — three years ago. The boy was normal, while Ragini was diagnosed with thalassaemia. Her mother took the son away and left her father following Ragini’s disease. Now I take care of Ragini along with my daughter Vanshita.” “Instead of visiting an astrologer, one should first visit a doctor before the marriage of their children,” she adds.

Thalassaemia is inherited

The incidence of thalassaemic trait or minor is 5 per cent in Punjab in North India. However, it is 3.5 per cent in India. It is an inherited disease, but preventable. If two thalassaemic minors marry, there remains 25 per cent chance of a child being born as thalassaemic major. To prevent this from happening, the couple should take a blood test before marriage. If one is thalassaemic minor and other is normal, they can go ahead with the marriage.

-Dr Parveen Sobti, professor and head of paediatric haematoncology, DMCH

Run test during pregnancy

If a thalassaemic minor couple cannot avoid marriage, they must run the test after pregnancy. The pregnant woman should go in for chorionic villus sampling (CVS) test, through which one can determine if the future child is a thalassaemic major. It the foetus is thalassaemic major, it should be aborted.

-Dr Joseph John, associate professor, clinical haematology, haemato-oncology & bone marrow transplant unit, CMC

NGO to start campaign

NGO Salaam Zindagi has already adopted 67 thallasseemic children from poor families in the city. We spend Rs 3.5 lakh per month on their treatment and provide them with free blood transfusion, free medicines, ration for four persons of their families, etc. We plan to start an awareness campaign in colleges within the next few months. We will show documentaries to passing-out students and hold interactions with them and their families. It is important to know that this disease is inherited and preventable if the blood test is done before marriage.

-Manjeet Saini, founder, Salaam Zindagi



4 hurt as fire breaks out in hosiery unit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 25
Four persons suffered minor burn injuries when a fire broke out at two hosiery units located in the same three-storey building on street No. 1 of the Shivpuri area early this morning. Goods and machinery worth over Rs 70 lakh were gutted.

The injured, including factory owner Charanjit Singh, his brother Gurmeet Singh, father Harnek Singh and neighbour Viney Gupta, are currently undergoing treatment at the Christian Medical College and Hospital. They are stated to be out of danger.

Fire department officials suspected short-circuit to be the cause of the fire.

Two hosiery units — RP Verma Knitwear and Shyam Knitwear — operate from the same building located near Shani Dev Mandir in Shivpuri.

Tarlochan Singh, owner of RP Verma Knitwear, said one of his neighbours who was passing by around 4 am informed him about smoke coming out of his factory.

“The smoke was coming from the third floor. We informed the fire department officials, who reached the scene.”

The fire department pressed five fire tenders into service and it took them over four hours to douse the flames.

“The fire was so intense that ceiling fans and other machines turned into ashes. We tried to douse the flames before the fire department officials arrived at the scene. We received burn injuries in the process. I have been discharged from the hospital, while others are still there,” said Tarlochan Singh.

The fire tenders reached the scene within minutes as there was no traffic on the roads since it was early morning.



Con man posing as bank staff dupes liquor vend employee of Rs 83,000
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 25
An employee of a liquor vend was duped of over Rs 83,000 by a con man at a bank here on Monday. The incident took place at the local branch of the State Bank of India where the victim had gone to deposit Rs 4.83 lakh given by the vend contractor.

According to Nirmal Singh, a resident of Rampura Mohalla here, he went to the bank and joined a queue at the cash counter.

“When my turn came, I gave the money to the cashier. However, the cashier accepted the big currency amounting to Rs 4 lakh and asked me to deposit the remainder with the other cash counter.

“I moved to the other counter, where a well-dressed man, who was filling out forms of other people, approached me and introduced himself as Harjit Singh, a bank employee. He offered to deposit the remaining money,” claimed Nirmal Singh.

Nirmal then moved to the first counter to collect the receipt of the deposited money. However, moments later when he turned around, he could not find the man who had taken the money from him.

On enquiry, he learned that no extra money had been deposited. He searched the bank but could not locate the con man. He then informed the bank employees about the incident.

SHO city Inderjit Singh said he had received a complaint in this regard and the police was investigating the matter. The police was also trying to obtain the CCTV footage installed at the cash counter, he added.

However, bank manager S Arora said the bank was not responsible for any loss of property, especially when money was handed over to unknown persons. He added that the security camera was not working at the time of the incident and that footage was not available with them.

Bank not responsible, says manager

Bank manager S Arora said the bank was not responsible for any loss of property, especially when money was handed over to unknown persons. He added that the security camera was not working at the time of the incident and that footage was not available with them.



One killed, eight hurt in road accidents
Our Correspondent

Khanna May 25
One person was killed and eight sustained injuries in two road accidents near here. In the first accident, a cyclist was killed when some unidentified vehicle hit him and he fell on a heap of bricks near Khattran village. The victim died on the spot.

He was identified as Inder Singh (67), a resident of Khattran village, near here.

His body was handed over to his relatives after a post-mortem examination. The police is investigating the case. In the second accident, eight persons were seriously injured when a Scorpio car in which they were travelling overturned near Biza town. According to sources, a family of eight persons, including three women and two children, was going from Khanna to Ludhiana when a tyre of the vehicle burst and the vehicle overturned near Mandiala Kalan village. All occupants of the vehicle sustained injuries.

The police with the help of residents extricated the injured from the vehicle. They were taken to a private hospital at Biza. The victims have been identified as Shahid Hussain, Shahid Alam, Prona Fatima, Nisha, Lia Yatan, Acat Fatima, Shahid Jamid Hussain and their servant Lucky, all residents of Ludhiana.



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