L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Minister seeks transfer of police chief, deputy
Says police unable to cope with lawlessness in city
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Health Minister Satpal Gosain, Commissioner of police Ishwar SINGH and Additional deputy commissioner of police Harsh Bansal
Health Minister Satpal Gosain, Commissioner of police Ishwar SINGH and Additional deputy commissioner of police Harsh Bansal

Ludhiana, June 19
Putting the government in an embarrassing situation, Punjab Health Minister Satpal Gosain said today that there was virtually no law and order in the city and demanded the transfer of police commissioner Ishwar Singh as well as additional deputy commissioner-I Harsh Bansal.

“I’ve arrived at this conclusion after observing the functioning of both IPS (Indian Police Service) officers. I will forward details of recent crime incidents in the city to Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal and bring to his notice the local police’s inefficiency”, the minister stated.

Drawing a parallel between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Ishwar, he said: "Both are upright and honest men but the police force under them is involved in corruption

Commenting on the recent crime incidents including the murder of assistant police subinspector Gurdial Singh, who was shot dead by an armed robber in Vikas Nagar, Gosain said: "Even the cops are not safe in the city, leave alone residents." Targeting Bansal, he said “he has a habit of sitting over cases. Justice delayed is justice denied”.

Commenting on the recent court orders in the Gurdial case, Gosain said: "The officer paid the price of being "partial". After a senior IPS officer, SS Gill, asked for an FIR to be filed following an inquiry into a land dispute, Bansal rejected the probe’s findings and quashed the FIR that was registered. Now he has to face the consequences. Instead of discharging their duty most cops are busy usurping land of innocent residents.

While lambasting the force for Saturday’s incident where a woman poured kerosene to protest police inaction, the minister said: "Cops in the city have become heartless. They should have first considered under what circumstances was the woman forced to take such a step.


ADCP Bansal gets backing

Even as members of an NGO, the Anti-Corruption Federation of India, are gunning for additional deputy commissioner of police-I Harsh Bansal, a resident of Gill village, Sachdev Singh, has come forward in his support. “The NGO might be after the officer as he refuses any favours and makes decisions on matters judging by their merit,” he said.

A local court's order to file an FIR against Bansal before July 6 for the latter's alleged involvement in a land dispute case has put the interests of over 1,000 village residents at stake. The IPS officer is reportedly conducting nearly 500 inquires.

The cops are currently in a fix if they decide to go ahead with the court's order then they would have to shift all the inquiries to some other officer which would greatly hamper the investigation process. There have been allegations against Bansal for delaying the process of investigation but his integrity was never being challenged before. So much so that inquiries from other districts in the state were also being conducted by him.

Bansal had often been at the receiving end of politicians for being “unbiased”. Said a police officer said: "We’re concerned because of the latest development.”



Residents protest mobile tower installation
Beat up house owner, throw equipment on road
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 19
Perturbed over the increasing number of mobile towers in their locality, residents of the Krishna Nagar area of Ghumar Mandi were up in arms against a resident who was to install a mobile tower on the roof of his house today.

The residents not only stalled the installation but even threw the batteries and other goods required for installing the mobile tower on the road and even manhandled the house owner, Jagdeep Singh, in full public view.

Residents were opposing the installation of this mobile tower for the past many days and when the installation work of this tower was going on last night, the Ghumar Mandi police was informed, which reached the spot and stopped the installation work.

"We wanted to send a strong signal that if the residents don't want a mobile tower installed in their locality, they can stall the work themselves. When we tried to contact the Municipal Corporation officials regarding whether the owner had procured a no objection certificate for installing this tower, they said that they can check only on Monday, as today was a holiday," area councillor Gurpreet Singh Gogi, who was accompanied by a large number of area residents ,including women, said.

Two days ago, a major tragedy was averted in THE Rishi Nagar area, when one such tower had fallen on another house due to thunderstorm. At that time also, the area residents had taken up this matter seriously with the MC officials.

Area residents alleged that such mobile towers emit radiations, which are not good for human body. “Jagdeep is already having one such tower installed on the top of his house and now he was getting a second one installed, which would not be tolerated at any cost. If the MC doesn’t take any action against the owner, we would get it dismantled on our own,” said Surinder Singh, an area resident.

Gogi further added that for getting any such tower installed, the house owner is to take a no objection certificate from the MC. “There is a clause that if the area residents object to it, an NoC could not be issued,” said Gogi.

When contacted Jagdeep Singh, a businessman, about whether he is having a no objection certificate for installing this mobile tower, he said he had no knowledge of it and only the company installing this tower would know that. “I had just given my house for installing this tower. If the area residents are having problem with it, I would not get it installed,” said Jagdeep.

751 towers in city

n There are 751 mobile towers in the city at present, out of which 475 are of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) alone. If any person is having any problem regarding such mobile towers, he can submit his complaint with the BSNL or MC officials.



Badal writes to PM on Lakkar Bridge
Seeks early completion of project
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 19
To speed up the work on the much-delayed Lakkar Bridge project, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to get the project expedited.

Before this letter was sent, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had also arranged a meeting of local bodies department officials with the Railways ministry officials at Delhi on Monday, but it was postponed for some reasons.

A large amount of public money has been wasted due to several delays in the Lakkar Bridge project, the cost of which has escalated more than four times. When the project was initiated, its estimated cost was Rs 13 crore, which has now skyrocketed to around Rs 58 crore.

Meanwhile, this was not for the first time that such a meeting was organised at Delhi. During the term of the UPA (I), Charanjit Singh Atwal, the then deputy speaker of the Lok Sabha, used to arrange meetings of the local bodies department with the ministry officials. These meetings gave positive results and works on various railway overbridges (RoBs) were speeded up.

Confirming this development, a government spokesman said the state government had written to the Centre about expediting the Lakkar Bridge project on several occasions. “We don’t see any logic for the delay of this project as up-ramps on Bhadaur House as well as Civil Lines side are ready. The MC has completed its part of the project and now the delay is just on the railways part.”

When asked whether Ludhiana MP Manish Tiwari can play any role in this project, he said, “Sure he can.”

In limbo for long

The much-hyped 933.162-m Lakkar Bridge project is hanging fire since the year 1997. It is a clear reflection of the sad state of affairs in the municipal corporation as well as the railways department that even after 14 years, a civic project that was aimed at reducing traffic congestion in the city remains incomplete.



IT dept to go public with names of tax evaders
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 19
Those thinking of evading tax beware! The income tax department is now working on plans to publish a list of tax defaulters, including assesses who are either untraceable or whose assets are not identifiable, in leading newspapers. This "out of the box solution" is aimed at exposing tax offenders in the public domain.

Said a senior department official: "We intend to publish a list of tax defaulters. Informants will be offered incentives that may include cash rewards, according to the proposal being worked out”.

The department also plans to give wide publicity to its scheme of tapping and encouraging informants to unearth tax evasion and tip off officials on the whereabouts of those who have evaded taxes in a big way.

According to sources close to the income tax department, assets of many tax assessees are not identifiable as either they are being created and invested under nonexistent heads or are not ascribed directly to the assessee and are in the name of his extended family members or friends.

Meanwhile a scare has spread among taxpayers and those who have evaded taxes are making their best efforts to find out if their names figure in the proposed list. Their problems do not end here and are also trying to woo the persons who are their close confidents as the department will also be giving incentives to informers.

Left with no option tax defaulters have kept their fingers crossed till the list is published, hoping their names will not crop up.



Self-immolation bid backfires, woman booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 19
Those contemplating to stage suicide dramas to exert pressure on cops will now have to face the consequences. The police has now booked the 35-year-old woman, identified as Mamta, who tried to set herself afire on Saturday, for attempted suicide under section 309 of the Indian Penal Code.

The timely intervention of cops and residents foiled the self-immolation bid by Mamta, who tried to end her life along with those of her three children by pouring kerosene outside the police commissioner's office. A resident of Simlapuri, she was protesting against the police for not taking action against her husband Raj Kumar who had begun living separately.

She arrived at the office with a can of kerosene and began raising slogans against the police. Later, she poured the flammable liquid on herself and her

three kids. The cops as well as people nearby who noticed her about to set herself afire snatched the matchstick from her.

According to the police, she married thrice but none of the unions worked. A year ago she met Kumar and both fell in love and got married, but after some time he deserted her. “Kumar beat me up and fled with my gold jewellery but the police failed to take action against him”, she alleged. Sources said she deliberately staged a suicide drama to put pressure on the police.

Minister backs ‘oppressed’ women

z Punjab Health Minister Satpal Gosain on Sunday came out in support of women who were victims of domestic violence and had accused the police of not taking any action against the offenders. “If the police doesn’t take stern action then I’ll sit on a ‘dharna’ (sit-in) to protest”, he added.



City Bus
Contract termination deflates residents
Another six months’ wait for project to take off
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 19
With the decision of municipal corporation to terminate the contract of Tata company for the much-hyped city bus service project, local residents are feeling cheated.

The MC officials had recently announced that the city would get this project soon but all hopes were dashed when the MC decided to terminate the contract and invite fresh tenders.

Ever since this project was announced, first in 2002 and then in 2008, it has remained on paper. The residents had hoped the start of the service when the trial run of the bus was conducted on January 18. However, the first jolt came when experts rejected to take delivery of buses, which were found to be more than nine months old.

These were the same buses that the Tata company had readied for West Bengal under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, but after the buses were found to be old, the MC officials rejected the proposal. The second setback came when the MC decided to cancel the contract and serve a notice in this regard on Monday. Now, the inviting of fresh tenders means a wait of at least six months before the project takes shape.

Experts say low-floor buses cannot be bought over the counter from anywhere. “They have to be specially made and the companies manufacturing these buses have designed their plants in such a manner that they start production only after getting orders,” MC Commissioner AK Sinha had earlier said.

Tata company was to provide 40 low-floor air-conditioned buses, while the Eicher company was to supply 160 non air-conditioned mini buses.

‘Delay’ cost Tata contract

Sources in the MC said the tenders were cancelled as the Tata company was delaying the delivery of buses and the state government wanted to start the service before the Assembly elections slated early next year. “The government wants to show this project as one of their major accomplishments and now they are in no mood to see any further delay, even if it means inviting fresh tenders,” they added.


residents speak

‘Project only on paper’

‘Rise in auto fare unjust’



Initial survey carried out in a car
Top officials conducted a trial run of the bus on January 18
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 19
Can buses ply on already chocked roads of the city? This is much talked about issue nowadays. Reason: Initial survey for starting the bus service was carried out in a car. At that time, officials might have failed to realise that the car is much smaller than the bus. The officials concerned have, so far, not done anything to increase the width of the roads.

This might make plying of the low-floor difficult. A few practical problems related to the traffic management were noticed even when the officials carried out the trial run of the bus on January 18.

Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha, senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal and a few
city councillors were on board this bus. It moved from Sinha’s residence near Rakh Bagh to the Fountain Chowk.

The bus moved to the Ferozepur Road via the Mall Road and the Bharat Nagar Chowk and returned to the Municipal Commissioner’s residence.

The bus even got stuck in a snarl-up near Durga Mata Mandir during the trial run. After it, a few councillors underlined the need for improving the in the city as sooner or later more than 200 city buses would be plying on the streets.

They also observed that due to the length and width of the bus, which is bigger than the normal buses, it takes more time for it to take a U-turn.

There are lakhs of registered vehicles in the city. Some of the councillors feel that they might face opposition from 30,000 odd auto-rickshaw and several mini-bus drivers who are already plying their vehicles on the roads.

The Municipal Corporation had also finalised about 22 routes for the city bus service. All the buses were to start from the bus stand, whose road was always chock-a-block with traffic.



‘Auto-wallahs’ often a law unto themselves
Over 50,000 autos hold city streets to ransom
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 19
With over 50,000 autorickshaws, including a huge fleet of those that can be summoned by dialing a number, about 100 taxis plying in the city every day, the streets have become increasingly congested leaving little space for ordinary commuters. If all the autos are lined up in a row about 23,000 of them can cover a 56 km long stretch, said a traffic expert.

A source close to the transport department said only 15,000 to 20,000 autorickshaws ply in the city illegally. In the absence of proper stoppage points they create interminable traffic jams on major streets and intersections. To cut costs many auto drivers run their vehicles on kerosene, releasing toxic emissions and polluting the environment.

Though the traffic police has time and again launched drives to ‘challan’ (fine) auto drivers flouting regulations, they have not met with any tangible success. The drivers still refuse to wear uniforms despite instructions issued by the traffic cops.

Most autorickshaw drivers do not heed traffic signals and openly flout other traffic rules. In turn, traffic cops choose to simply ignore any auto driver jumping red lights.

Two years ago city police commissioner Ishwar Singh, who was then deputy inspector general, Ludhiana range, took the initiative to start special traffic “awareness” classes for auto drivers, but the move was shelved after he was transferred.

Interestingly, a majority of the city’s auto drivers do not possess valid driver’s licences and most are also not conversant with traffic regulations. Even children aged from 10 to 15 can be seen plying autos on city streets.



Nine years on, pollution-free tag eludes Ludhiana
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 19
In July 2002, the then Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana had decided to upgrade the public transport system by deciding to launch a bus service for the city, identified the routes and issued permits. This step was taken to keep a check on air pollution caused by thousands of auto-rickshaws, which still remain wieldy used public transport system in the city.

The district administration had decided to ply mini-buses on roads to gradually phase out auto-rickshaws. Six roads, 24 routes and 13 terminals were identified for buses to ply and stop. The administration also took notes of peak-hour rush in these areas. Permits were issued to 69 persons for 20 routes in November 2002 (first phase). The then Deputy Commissioner had promised to start the much-awaited bus service on all major city roads in January 2003. In 2008, this plan was once again mooted. This time it was rechristened “City Bus Service.”

The then local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia had announced to start the bus service by August 2010. Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had after inaugurating the Gill Road flyover on May 25, 2010, announced to start it from December 2010. Ever since this project was announced in 2002, 2008 and May, August and December 2010, and later on March 31, 2011, it has remained in doldrums. Even the officials of the Municipal Corporation and ministers concerned seem doubtful about the exact date of the project to be launched in the city. It is learnt that the company, which was to supply 40 low-floor buses, kept on delaying the delivery of buses after it got another order of about 8,000 buses from the Tamil Nadu government. BOX: The Municipal Corporation will spend Rs 65 crores under the JNNURM for purchasing a fleet of 200 buses (40 AC low- floor and 160 non-AC). Civic officials have, so far, received Rs 16.30 crores from the Central government and Rs 6.62 crores from the state government. Besides this, a loan of Rs 19.56 crores taken by the MC after mortgaging the buses those are yet to be purchased.



Minibus operators fear tough competition from local buses
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 19
Even as city residents are waiting eagerly for the proposed local bus services to take off, there are several who say their livelihoods would be affected. These are the private minibus operators and autorickshaw drivers who feel once the buses begin to run in the city their business would take a hit.

"Though we don’t expect to be affected in a big way, we’ll nevertheless incur some losses. Many people will still prefer to travel in an auto as the buses won’t go inside residential areas," said Om Parkash Jodhan, president, Ludhiana District Autorickshaw Union.

The city’s mini bus operators say if their vehicles extend their services outside the municipal limits, it would lead to unhealthy competition with local buses. “The MC can ply these buses only within the city limits as the subsidy it’d be getting for purchasing the buses under the JNNURM is meant for this purpose”, they averred.

Jaswinder Singh Grewal, president of the Ludhiana Mini Bus Owners Association, claimed it would be “illegal” if the yet to be started local buses were allowed to ply on rural routes. “A city bus service is meant to operate within municipal limits. How can the MC allow the vehicles on rural routes? If it still goes ahead with this plan we’ll suffer huge losses in our business. There are roughly 200 minibuses ferrying commuters from rural areas to Ludhiana. If the planned local buses are permitted to ply on rural routes thousands of people will directly be affected," he asserted.



Vet varsity gears up for CET
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 19
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University is conducting its sixth Common Entrance Test (CET) on June 22. RS Model Senior Secondary School Shastri Nagar, Near Model Town, will be the main centre of examination, College of Veterinary Science in the veterinary university its other centre.

To expedite the preparation, the roll number-cum-admit cards have been dispatched to the candidates.

University registrar Dr PD Juyal said all arrangements for the examination had been completed and faculty and employees had been deputed to conduct the examination smoothly.

In all, 1,197 candidates are expected to take the entrance test. Dr SPS Sangha, controller of examinations, said like last year, this year’s test would be on set on the multiple choice pattern.

The university is conducting the combined entrance test for bachelor of veterinary science and animal husbandry (BVSc & AH), bachelor of fishery science (BFSc) and BTech (dairy technology).



essay writing contest
Felicitation of winners after six months!
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 19
If felicitation of outstanding performers is seen as a tool for promoting talent, the state education department doesn’t seem too keen on following the practice, for it may take at least six months to pat the winners of a scheduled essay writing competition on national integration and communal harmony for schoolchildren.

Though district nodal officers have been asked to send results of the competition - to be held on August 24 - to the head office by September 7, the winners will be felicitated during the Republic Day celebrations at their respective districts.

Educationists of the region and parents of aspirants have urged the authorities to review the schedule and announce the results immediately after the completion of the competition. This, besides persuading more students to participate in other similar competition during the session will rule out the possibility of foul play in preparation of results.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that the state education department has been asked to organise the essay writing competition on “National Integration and Communal Harmony” at district level on August 24.

Sponsored by the Home Ministry, Government of India, the programme envisages persuading more and more students to play an active role in fostering communal harmony among residents of their respective areas.

Perusal of a communication received by heads of government schools of the region from the Director General (School Education) revealed that district science supervisors of all districts would organise the competition at their district headquarters on the scheduled date.

The participants will be paid Rs 250 in addition to the fare for reaching the contest venue.

Though experts in the subject and languages (English, Hindi and Punjabi) will be engaged to evaluate the writings of the participants on the spot, two week have been given to prepare the results and the nodal officers have been asked to send the name of winners to the head office by September 7.

These names will be announced on Gandhi Jayanti on October 2.

The first three winners in each district will be given Rs 1,000, rs 600 and Rs 400 as prize. The prizes will be presented during district-level Republic Day celebrations on January 26.

Appreciating the government’s intent to publish books carrying essays, residents led by Bimal Sharma and Dilshad Khan have urged the authorities to announce the winners soon after the conclusion of the competition.

“Announcing the winners and felicitating them by organising a special function will motivate other students to participate in such competitions with greater zeal,” said Sharma and Khan, adding that the administration may honour the winners at Republic Day functions too.



Foundation stone of hospital laid
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, June 19
Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Satpal Gosain yesterday laid the foundation stone of a 30-bed hospital at Koom Kalan.

He was accompanied by Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, chairman, Punjab Agro Industries Corporation, and in charge, Sahnewal assembly constituency, Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, chairman, Punjab Mandi Board, Harish Rai Dhanda, Chief Parliamentary secretary, and Santa Singh Umedpuri, chairman, SS Board Punjab.

The building will come up at a cost of Rs 5.25 crore. It will include an ICU equipped with latest medical instruments, a separate gynae ward, a laboratory, an X-ray room and a special general ward. Before laying the foundation stone, path and kirtan were organised in a gurdwara at the village.

Ajmer Singh Lakhowal said more roads would be constructed this year. Dhillon thanked the Deputy CM for approving the project. He said some anti-social elements were spreading rumours that the hospital was being shifted to some other area, which was not true. 



Ludhiana scan

DCC chief raps MC

District Congress Committee (DCC) president Pawan Dewan has rapped the civic body and district authorities for their failure to make preparations for rains, which had wreaked havoc in the city. The BJP, which claimed to be the guardian of the urban population, came in for severe criticism for neglect of the city. Dewan said the monsoon was yet to start and mere two short spells of pre-monsoon showers had inundated the entire city. “Had the administration taken required precautionary measures, people would not had to suffer,” he stated while adding that the authorities, apparently, had not learnt from their past experience and the damage caused by rains had become a regular feature. — OC

Appeal for help

Savita, mother of a 14-year-old boy, Gishu has appealed to the people for financial help for the treatment of his son. Savita said, “I have only one son and he has been suffering from infectious lumps in the lungs. We have sold off almost all our household things for his treatment. But we still need Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000 for his treatment. We appeal to the public in general to help us for his treatment. A good Samaritan, who wants to help the mother and son can contact them at 9915803492. — OC

Ration given to needy

The Akhil Bhartiya Sewa Society distributed items of daily need to poor families, widow and destitute women at a function organised at Swami Ved Bharti Ashram at Shivpuri here. Society chairman Ahmed Ali Guddu and president Haji Guddu dwelt upon social work and other welfare projects being undertaken by them. They said besides extending a helping hand to those in need, the society was also providing financial assistance to deserving children of poor families for education. — OC

Father’s Day

New Hope, an NGO, celebrated Father’s Day at Swami Vivekanand Vridh Ashram, Model Town. NGO president NS Nanda, who was also the guest of honour, presided over the function. He said old men should not feel ignored and abandoned, as the NGO was with them. Ashram chairman Ram Parkash Bharti Mittal also applauded the efforts of Nanda, who celebrated every special day in the ashram. — TNS

‘Observe family values’

The Malwa Sabhyacharak Manch observed Father’s Day at a function organised in Rajguru Nagar here on Sunday. Manch chairman Krishan Kumar Bawa and patron Jagdev Singh Jassowal said even though it was a part of the western culture, in the wake of disintegrating families and indifferent attitude among youngsters towards their parents, there was dire need to emphasise the significance of fathers as well as mothers among the youth. “The new generation seems to have completely forgotten the family values and contribution of their parents in shaping their careers and professional lives in the din of gadgetry and material comforts. This trend needs to be reversed through a multi-pronged awareness and sensitisation programmes,” they added.

Foundation day

The Pensioners Information Centre Management Committee on Sunday celebrated foundation day of the Pensioners’ Bhawan here at the mini secretariat. SP Karkara, president of the Senior Citizens Welfare Association, Ludhiana, was the chief guest. BR Kaushal, chairman of Pensioners Information Centre Management Committee, said it was a self-funded project and self reliant without government assistance. — TNS

Directory released

The meeting of Ludhiana Tractor Parts Manufacturers and Traders’ Association was held here on Sunday. The directory of the association was also released and matters related to income tax were discussed at the meeting. Taxation Young Lawyers’ Association president Jatinder Khurana was the chief guest on the occasion. During the meeting, Khurana told them about the difference between a raid and a survey. “During the survey department officials can carry out their search operations on the business premises only, while during a raid officials can carry out the search operations both on the residential and business premises,” said Khurana. According to the new instructions issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes, a person on whose premises the raid or survey is being conducted can contact the Chief Commissioner or Additional Commissioner in case they face any problem. The orders of the search operations carried by IT officials also mention the numbers of officials in case they face any problem. — TNS

Tewari in US

Ludhiana MP and national spokesperson for the Indian National Congress Manish Tewari is attending the India-Yale Parliamentary Leadership Programme in the US. Recognised for educating leaders in government, business, and civil society worldwide, Yale University launched the programme in 2007, in collaboration with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the India-US Forum of Parliamentarians. — TNS

Financial help

A patient named Johnson, who is undergoing treatment at the department of neuro surgery at Christian Medical College and Hospital, needs financial help. According to a hospital note, “He came with a complaint of severe headache, vomiting and vertigo.” At present, he is on CPAP mode of ventilator. He still required 30-day hospitalisation and approximate expenses would be approximately Rs 2 lakh to 2.5 lakh. Dr Sanjeev Singh Grewal, professor and head of department, has appealed to the public to donate for his treatment. — TNS



Woman alleges kidnap by cop’s wife
Claim under cloud as six lenders accuse her of usurping money
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 19
A 45-year-old woman, Amarjeet Kaur, from Aman Nagar, near Jalandhar bypass, created drama in front of the house of Punjab health and family welfare minister Satpal Gosain here today after she levelled allegations against the wife of a policeman of kidnapping her.

However, the allegations came under a cloud after certain residents claimed that the debt-ridden woman was doing so to prevent other women, whom she owed money, from demanding their money back.

The woman demanded action against the wife of a head constable and her accomplices for kidnapping her. Showing her wounds, Amarjeet claimed that she paid a heavy price for borrowing money from the wife of a police official as the latter abducted her on May 31 and freed her on June 3. She claimed that she remained in the hospital for a week.

“On May 31, Parminder Kaur, wife of head constable Malkit Singh, who also lives in the same colony, came to my house along with Babbli, another woman of the colony. I walked to some distance along with the two. On the way, we had an argument over the money she had lent me. She had given me Rs 5,000 and was asking for Rs 7,000 in return. I expressed helplessness and told her that I could not pay so much interest,” claimed Amarjeet Kaur.

She claimed that after the argument, she turned back for home. “In the meantime, a black colour car, occupied by four persons, including two turbaned men and two women, approached me. Parminder told me that they would drop me home. When I got in the car, I got suspicious, as all four had muffled faces. Instead of going towards my house, they drove the car towards the main road. When I objected to it, I was thrashed and subsequently sedated. I was administered injections every time I woke up,” claimed Amarjeet Kaur.

On June 3, the son of brother-in-law of Amarjeet received a call from a PCO located in Jalandhar.

The man told the family that a woman was lying unconscious at Phagwara. The family took her to the CMCH, where she remained hospitalised till June 9.”

“Since then, we have been running from pillar to post but the police is reluctant to register a case,” said Avtar Singh, husband of Amarjeet Singh.

The flip side

The police, however, claimed that they were probing the case but so far had not come across any valid evidence that could substantiate the claim of Amarjeet Kaur’s kidnapping. Further, six women have complained against her for usurping money. According to 80-year-old Hardeep Kaur, Amarjeet had borrowed Rs 42,000 from her but she refused to pay back the money. Similarly, Amarjeet Kaur borrowed Rs 8,000 each from Chindo, Satpal Kaur and Balbir Kaur. Rashpal Kaur and Parminder Kaur claimed that Amarjeet had borrowed Rs 11,000 and Rs 7,000, respectively, from them. Sources said the call records procured by the police suggested that the woman was staying in Jalandhar with a youth named Laddi, who had procured a fake SIM card by submitting the documents of Tersem Lal of Batala. Shalu, a neighbour of Amarjeet Kaur, in a statement to the police claimed that Preeti, daughter to the woman, had used her phone to confirm that she was in Jalandhar. Hardeep Kaur alleged that Amarjeet wanted to target the wife of the policeman to create a sense of fear among the other women who had lent her money. On the other hand, Amarjeet Kaur termed the allegations baseless and stated that the policeman had used his influence to evade police action.



Bittu leads angry protest against Gadkari
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 19
Led by president of the Punjab Youth Congress (PYC) and Member of Parliament from Anandpur Sahib Ravneet Singh Bittu, the YC workers today staged an angry protest against BJP president Nitin Gadkari at Bhai Bala Chow here for his “objectionable” remarks against the Congress and its leadership.

Asserting that Gadkari had an unsound mind with a perpetual habit of putting his foot in the mouth, Bittu and other party functionaries conducted a mock “brain surgery” upon the BJP president’s effigy in the course of the protest.

PYC president and general secretary of Indian Youth Congress Vikas Upadhyaya said it was unfortunate that the national president of a major political party had been repeatedly making “stupid and foolish” remarks. “A person with such a diseased mind does not deserve to remain on the post of the president of a national party,” the YC functionaries asserted.

Bittu added that politicians of stature ought to maintain some decorum as also avoid mud-slinging and use of cheap language, which invariably proved counter-productive.

“Abusive and unparliamentary language, more often than not, causes more harm to those using it against their political opponents rather than the ones against whom such remarks are intended.”

DYC president Dimple Rana asked the BJP president to tender an apology to the Congress and the nation for casting aspersions on the Congress leadership or else face a persistent mass agitation from the Congress and its front organisations.

Earlier, the YC leaders met at the Circuit House to chalk out a strategy to counter the attack by the BJP president on the party and its senior leaders before taking out a march to the venue of the protest.

Among others present were Saabi Toor, Manish Shah, Rohit Dhir, Rajiv Rana, Gurpreet Dugri, Navdeep Cheema, Rupinder Singh, Harish Dua, Tejinder Chahal, Kuldip Sharma, Anil Parti, Meenu Malhotra, Rakesh Bharti, Sony Gill, Kanwaljit Brar, Rajesh Attri, Gurdeep Singh, Gagandeep Ahluwalia, Chetan Thapar and Sunil Shukla.



Quacks turn smart, display degrees of docs
Arrange expert or project themselves as their assistant
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 19
Quacks, who treat people suffering from bone and teeth problems, are not only befooling people but also health authorities of the district. They can be found in large numbers in Dehlon Mandi and its surrounding areas.

Dr Raghav Khanna, a dental surgeon practices at Dehlon, said, “These quacks are very smart. They treat the patients on their own and have displayed the certificates of a few doctors in their clinics for befooling the health authorities. When health authorities raid their clinics, they project themselves as an assistant of a particular doctor whose certificate they had displayed on walls. They are let off by the health authorities due to the lack of proof.”

Dr Khanna added: “Quacks who practices dentistry also examines patients with the help of X-rays. But, these patients are treated badly. I receive one or two patients daily. Once they come to know about any raid by the health department, they either arrange an expert to help them or claim themselves as that doctor’s assistant.”

Dr GS Malhi, Senior Medical Officer, said, “We received a complaint about quacks about four months ago. I sent my dental surgeon to conduct an inquiry. But he found a qualified dental surgeon treating the patient. He, thus, had to return without taking any action against the quack.”

The SMO said, “People who come across such quacks can send us the list. We will raid and take action against the quack.”



526 donate blood at camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 19
The Salaam Zindagi Foundation, an NGO, organised a blood donation camp at Dandi Sawami Tapovan in Civil Lines here today.

Addressing a gathering, Punjab health and family welfare minister Satpal Gosain appreciated the volunteers for donating blood and organisations for supporting the noble mission to serve thalassaemic patients. As many as 526 persons donated blood.

NGO president Manjit Saini and chief patron Bhagwan Singh appreciated Kamal Kishore Gill for bringing 104 volunteers to the camp for the camp.

The camp assumes significance as every summer a shortfall arises in the supply of blood at blood banks and hospitals due to rise in temperature. Teams of doctors from the DMCH, the CMCH, Red Cross and Krishna Hospital conducted the camp.

The camp saw eight Delhi Public School students donate blood for two thalassaemic children, whom they had adopted for blood transfusion. They also brought along 30 donors, including their parents and relatives, for the cause.

It’s 19th time for polio-afflicted man

Surinder Narang, a local businessman whose both legs have been afflicted with polio since birth, donated blood for the 19th time today. “I lost my wife in 2002 while delivering a baby at a local hospital. We faced a lot of difficulty in arranging blood for her. Since then, I have been donating blood regularly and encouraging others to donate it for the humanity,” he said.



Temple priest shows way to society
Pledges to donate body
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 19
Mahanand Shastri, a temple priest at Dandi Swami Tapovan, has set an example to serve society by taking a pledge to donate his body, vital organs and eyes.

The priest who came to donate blood at the mega blood donation camp organised by the Salaam Zindagi Foundation, an NGO, said, ”I have made this declaration through this NGO and would seek its guidance as to which hospital or organisation shall I donate my body after death."

Mahanand belongs to Haridwar and has a degree of “Aacharya” in Sanskrit which is equivalent to postgraduation. Father of two kids, this priest believes in setting a new philosophy of life after death.



Cops detain three drunken youths

Ludhiana, June 19
Three drunken youths were detained by the police for manhandling cops during a routine security check conducted in front of the Flamez Mall here today.

The incident took place at around 6.30 pm when the youths, who were in a car, were indicated by the cops on duty to pull over. But they refused to do so, as a result heated arguments were exchanged between them.

Later the youths started flaunting their political connection and when this did not work, they manhandled the cops, following which they were detained. — TNS



Local youth abducted, found unconscious in Ahmedgarh

Ludhiana, June 19
A 22-year-old youth who was abducted by a group of armed assailants from Vikas Nagar was found in an unconscious state at Mandi Ahmedgarh, 30 km from here, late last night. The victim, Dipesh, sustained head injuries in the incident. He was spotted in an unconscious state by a commuter and later hospitalised. He received 11 stitches on the head.

The incident took place around 7 pm when Dipesh was playing on the street along with his friends. Around 15 armed men came on motorcycles and in SUVs and abducted him. The police suspected personal enmity to be the reason behind the abduction. Dipesh claimed that the assailants took away his mobile, gold chain and Rs 1,800 in cash.

Sources said Dipesh along with his friends had gone on a pilgrimage recently and had a fight with a youth on the way.

The youth along with his accomplices had thrashed and abducted Dipesh to settle a score, the sources said.

The police has registered a case under Sections 307, 364, 382, 294, 148 and 149 of the IPC for murderous assault, kidnapping and snatching against the unidentified accused and started its investigation. — TNS



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