L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Majithia’s roadshow: Public inconvenienced
Jagraon Bridge worst affected; SAD(B) leaders park their vehicles in the middle of roads to welcome Youth Akali Dal supremo
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service


A large cavalcade of vehicles and specially decked elephants of Youth Akali Dal supporters take up space on an otherwise busy Jagraon Bridge thus causing a major traffic jam; Litter lies scattered on a road soon after the roadshow; and a view of an ambulance (shown by an arrow) stuck in the traffic jam caused by the roadshow
From left: A large cavalcade of vehicles and specially decked elephants of Youth Akali Dal supporters take up space on an otherwise busy Jagraon Bridge thus causing a major traffic jam; Litter lies scattered on a road soon after the roadshow; and a view of an ambulance (shown by an arrow) stuck in the traffic jam caused by the roadshow. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, July 18
Commuters were inconvenienced as traffic was held up for more than an hour in different city areas owing to roadshow of the Youth Akali Dal organised to welcome Youth Akali Dal supremo Bikam Singh Majithia here in peak traffic hours today.

The worst point where the commuters remained stranded was the Jagraon Bridge where a big function was organised.

The situation was more or less the same on all roads from where newly appointed Majithia's cavalcade passed this morning. Even the roads adjoining these areas witnessed long queues of vehicles as traffic was diverted on them. The Mall Road, Fountain Chowk, Domoria bridge, Bus Stand Road, Vishwakarma Chowk, Gill Chowk and some other areas faced traffic jams.The volume of the traffic on Jagraon Bridge was such that even ambulances remained stuck on the road.

Today, the Jagraon Bridge, which mostly remains choc a bloc with traffic on normal days, saw long queues of vehicles coming from Bharat Nagar Chowk side, Vishwakarma Chowk and Jalandhar Byepass side.

Even the police on duty had a tough time managing the traffic as Majithia's cavalcade consisted of hundreds of cars, SUVs and bikes. Some of the Akali leaders could also be blamed for this traffic congestion as they parked their vehicles in the middle of road at many points.


Animal lovers cry foul
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
After four elephants were made to salute Bikram Singh Majithia during his road show at Jagraon Bridge today, animal lovers of the city have been left fuming.

They have alleged that while on the one side the state government is promoting animal-adoption schemes, on the other, it is exploiting animals for their own political gains, which is a violation of animal rights.

As part of his thanksgiving tour to Golden Temple, Bikram Singh Majithia passed through the city this morning. Akali leaders had arranged four elephants, which were made to salute him when his cavalcade passed from the Jagraon bridge.

Rakesh Jain, president, Bhagwan Mahavir Sewa Sansthan, rued that this morning he received information that the caretakers of these elephants had beaten them badly as they were not obeying their orders.

"I received many calls this morning and people were really perturbed over it. Politicians are doing all this for their personal gains," rued Rakesh Jain.

Another animal lover Dr Sandeep Jain from CAPE India rued that wild animals such as elephants should not be allowed at political or other functions. "At such functions, people usually burst crackers, which can make a wild animal go out of control. A few days ago, an elephant killed a man in Kerala, as he went out of control at a function. The wild animals, too, have rights and they should not be exploited in such a manner. It’s wrong," said Dr Jain.

Even at today's road show, the organisers had burst crackers several times.

Chief Wildlife Warden Gurbaz Singh said animals should not be exploited for commercial or political reasons. "I would have to look into the matter to comment further," he said.



Akali leaders fall over themselves to please Majithia
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
Akali politicians eager to make their presence felt at Monday’s roadshow of Youth Akali Dal (YAD) president Bikram Singh Majithia were seen trying to outdo others in ingratiating themselves to the SAD(B) youth leader.

While the entire stretch of the street through which Majithia’s vehicle drove was full of billboards with pictures of SAD (B) leaders, several politicos who did not find space to install their banners on the Jagraon bridge were seen raising them as soon as they got a glimpse of Majithia. Even the streetlight poles were not spared.

Majithia's trip, planned in such a manner as to give every Akali leader his “due’ by "allotting" a specific stretch for his “show of strength”. However, this led to traffic chaos on the streets, which were virtually turned into battlegrounds for various factions within the party.

The prominent Jagraon Bridge area was "allotted" to two SAD (B) leaders, Amarjit Singh Chawla and Maninderpal Singh Sunny. However, another Akali leader soon arrived there to share the limelight, with his supporters holding a big banner.

An Akali leader said a large number of people had put up their billboards on Jagraon Bridge since Sunday evening. "Last evening party leaders were seen desperately looking for a vacant space where they could put up their billboards, but they were unsuccessful as the entire area was already full of posters.”


  • Youth Akali Dal district president Simarjit Singh Bains arrived at the roadshow venue with hundreds of supporters on motorbikes and cars. "My supporters on motorbikes escorted Majithia's entourage the moment he crossed the Dholewal area," he proudly remarked oblivious of the inconvenience caused to the public.
  • Akali councillor Tanvir Singh Dhaliwal “arranged” for four elephants to be taken to the venue to “salute” Majithia
  • Akali leader Meetpal Singh Dugri had organised a large gathering near Palm City on the Chandigarh Road
  • When the long procession of vehicles arrived on Jagraon Bridge, a veteran Akali leader climbed on the hood of Majithia’s vehicle, causing considerable amusement



Being fat proved to be Sunita’s undoing: family
Relatives vandalise husband’s house
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
Being fat proved to be her biggest “mistake” as she was subjected to constant humiliation.

A day after the death of 27- year-old Sunita, who died after being allegedly administered a poisonous substance by her in-laws at her house in Focal Point, the victim's family alleged that their daughter was given poison in the form of slimming pills by her husband and in-laws.

The angered parents, along with their relatives, meanwhile, vandalised the house at Jamalpur late last night. They claimed that the victim’s husband and his parents fled with the dowry articles of their daughter.

Harnek Lal, father of the victim, said Sunita was constantly teased by her two unmarried sisters-in-law. "They used to mock at my daughter as she was fat," said Lal, a resident of Kurali near Jalandhar.

The girl's family members claimed that Sushil Kumar, husband of the victim who was a chemist, had given her poison by telling her that these were slimming pills.

"A few hours before her death, she spoke to her sister who lives abroad and expressed fear to her life. A few hours later, she died. It is not a coincidence. It is a cold blooded murder of my daughter," said Harnek Lal.

Sunita was married four years ago and has two children from marriage. ACP Balraj Gill said they have not yet recieved the postmortem report. "Till the time we do not receive the autopsy report, we cannot comment on anything," said Gill.



Thieves have a field day at Majithia’s yatra
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khamano /Samrala July 18
Thieves this morning had a field day during the yatra of Bikram Singh Majithia, the newly elected president of the Youth Akali Dal.

Different groups of Akali Dal welcomed him in different areas but after his cavalcade passed several leaders found that their purses were missing from their pockets. Kulwinder Singh, Bilaspur zila parished member, circle president of Akali Dal, Surjit Singh Mansoorpur, and a businessman were robbed of their purses during their stay at Khamano.

Interestingly, some persons spotted three purses at Neelon and contacted the above said persons and handed over the purses to them. After search, it was found that there was no money in them but important documents were left behind in all purses, indicating that the thieves were only interested in the money and after taking out the money they threw away the purses near another gathering that was waiting for Majithia at Neelon.

At Khamano Kulwinder Singh was robbed of Rs 7,000, Surjit Singh of 6,000 and businessman of Rs 30,000 by the thieves. At Neelon, the thieves decamped with about Rs 18,000 from the pocket of Bhupinder Singh and about Rs 8,000 from the pocket of sarpanch of Katana village but their purses could not be traced immediately.

Apart from the above incidents, other persons also found their purses and mobiles robbed after the event.

According to the police, they had information about the thefts during the yatra and it seemed that the thieves were moving with the cavalcade and the thefts were reported after the cavalcade passed from the area.



‘Be grateful to Centre for generous support’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 18
Ludhiana MP and national spokesperson of the Indian National Congress, Manish Tewari yesterday asked the Akali-BJP government in the state to show grace and be grateful to the Central government for its liberal and generous support.

Addressing a public meeting as a part of the mass mobilisation programme of the party organised by the District Congress Committee, Ludhiana (urban), in Ward 10 under the Ludhiana east assembly segment, Tewari said while Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was raising hue and cry in the state over the so-called discrimination against Punjab, he did not mind going every other day to the Prime Minister seeking grants for one thing or the other.

Tewari maintained that the days of Akali-BJP alliance government in Punjab were over, as their countdown had started. He said, at the most, the Akali were there for another seven months in case the elections are not advanced.



Ludhiana scan

Death anniversary observed

The management, doctors and faculty members of BL Kapoor Memorial Hospital on Monday observed the death anniversary of Dr Kapoor, a renowned gynaecologist by organising a havan on the hospital premises. Dr Wahiguru Pal Singh Sidhu, medical superintendent of the hospital, paid tributes to the late doctor. Dr Kapoor founded the hospital in 1947. He had originally set up the hospital in Lahore in 1930 as a small nursing home, which became a flourishing institution. It became a recognised maternity hospital in Lahore serving the poor.

Building shifted

Ek Prayaas, an institute for children with special needs run by Social Action Group, an NGO, on Monday shifted its premises to its new building at the Pakhowal road here. The building will benefit students as it has different sections under one roof. It comprises a school, a physiotherapy department, a speech therapy department and sheltered workshops, which will give employment to the children under proper guidance. In order to make a fresh start and for getting positive energy, a hawan was also organised at the new building where all management members, staff and students of the institute were present. — TNS



Experts dwell on importance of vaccination
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
The Ludhiana Academy of Paediatrics (LAP) organised the advanced science of vaccinology workshop here yesterday.

Dr TS Gambhir, LAP president, said the objective of the workshop was to disseminate knowledge of science of vaccinology amongst members of LAP.

Delivering talk on elementary epidemiology in vaccinology, Dr Anju said for vaccine users, epidemiology and immunology are two basic sciences that we need to learn for the appreciation of the promise and potential of vaccines for human health. While immunology is essential for understanding vaccine-host interactions, epidemiology is essential for understanding the implications of a vaccination programme in the community.

Dr Ajay spoke on adverse effect following immunisation (AEFI). He said an AEFI was defined as a medical event that took place after an immunisation, caused concern and was believed to be caused by immunisation. Adverse events may be common to rare and minor to life threatening. What is more important is that we must be vigilant.

Dr Gulati spoke on storage and handling of vaccine. He said vaccines were delicate products, which were easily destroyed if handled incorrectly. The new vaccines, which are now being introduced, are also expensive.

Fifty paediatricians attended the workshop.



Avoid unhygienic conditions to prevent epilepsy: Study
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
Beware of living and eating out in unhygienic conditions, as it may play havoc with your health to the extent that one can become an epileptic patient. This has been recently proved by a study conducted at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, meant to ascertain the link between epilepsy and worms. The study identified that every fifth case of epilepsy was due to neurocysticercosis, which is basically a disease acquired by unhygienic practices and lack of sanitation.

Dr Gagandeep Singh, professor and head of the neurology department of DMCH, said, “We conducted a research based on the data of 15,000 city-based patients of epilepsy and found that they suffered from this disease due to unhygienic conditions. It is Taenia Solium, commonly known as tapeworm, which causes this disease and it is found in unhygienic conditions. So if sanitation standards are improved, the cases of epilepsy would reduce substantially.”

While Prof Ley Sander, professor of neurology at the department of clinical and experimental epilepsy, UCL Institute of Neurology, London, who visited DMCH in connection with this research said, “The epilepsy either occurs due to Taenia Solium or due to round worms of dogs or from genetic problems. But in the research conducted by DMCH, it is found that the patients suffered from tapeworm and not from round worms of dogs.”

Prof Sander further said, “People with epilepsy are more likely to die earlier than normal persons. The risk of death in people with epilepsy was about 1 per cent every year. In addition, people with epilepsy have altered risk of developing various other ailments, including heart disease and cancer. That means the treatment of epilepsy must be taken seriously. The way to control epilepsy is to take the prescribed antiepileptic drugs regularly. In a small percentage of cases, in which epilepsy is not controlled with medications, surgery has a role in curing or controlling epilepsy.”



Rotary Club to launch drive-safe campaign
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 18
Unmindful of inconvenience caused to drivers of four-wheelers people prefer to keep their luggage under the seats instead of keeping them in the boot or shelves. Those sitting next to the driver’s seat don’t even hesitate in blocking his front view by keeping their bags on the dashboard. Empty bottles, utensils and bags on dashboards of cars and buses have led to numerous accidents, a few fatal ones. Besides these, tendency to overload has compounded the problem further.

Most of the drivers and conductors don’t even stop passengers from due to the fear of loosing them. Though they are aware of the fact this could prove fatal for others.

Admitting that this tendency had led to numerous minor and major accidents in the past, Harjinder Singh, an official in the traffic police department, said a few accidents were caused due to obstruction while applying brakes. “There have been instances where drivers had panicked and lost control over the vehicle after empty bottles and utensils kept inside the vehicles rolled under the brake paddle,” he added.

Mandeep Singh, a resident of Lasoi village, died when the car he was driving collided with a roundabout at Pohir village in a similar way. Earlier, Mukhtiar Kaur of Kanganwal village had died when Maruti car she was travelling in collided with a tree near Nabha on the Malerkotla - Patiala road due to the same reason.

Pushpinder Goel and Avtar Krishan Sharma, Rotary Club’s president and secretary, respectively, said the club had decided to spearhead a campaign to make people aware of the consequences of unsafe driving. “We have discussed the issue with officials in the traffic police department and will be soon launching a campaign to make people aware of the need of safe driving,” Sharma added.



‘Develop scientific temperament’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
As many as 326 students from different government and private schools of the district today participated in “inspiration award”, an event being organised by science and technology in collaboration with the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, Punjab, at GMT College of Education.

Shashi Trehan, district science supervisor, Ludhiana, said, “The aim behind this event is to inculcate scientific aptitude among students.” The students from Classes VI to VIII displayed their models on different subjects like natural calamities, environment protection, energy conservation, power conservation, balanced diet, etc. This exhibition will continue till July 20. However, from July 21 to July 23, the models prepared by students from Classes IX to XII will be exhibited.”

All 326 students have been given Rs 5,000 each for preparing these models. On the concluding day, 7.5 per cent students, out of the participating students, will be selected and paid an amount of Rs 1,000 each.



Speaking Out
The harassed lot at Ludhiana

Mahinder Aggarwal, a business I was coming from the District Courts Complex in my car and it took me an hour-and-a-half to reach Mata Rani Chowk, which otherwise takes just 10 minutes. There was a traffic jam on Mall Road, Fountain Chowk and the Domoria Bridge. It is sad that our politicians organise such functions which only ends up leaving a bad taste in our mouths.

— Mahinder Aggarwal, a business

Suman Kumar, a private employeeI was to go from Bharat Nagar Chowk to Miller Ganj but since the traffic was diverted towards Gill Chowk from Bharat Nagar Chowk, it took me 45 minutes to reach Miller Ganj. The same distance usually takes 10 minutes on a motorbike. It was one of my worst experiences.

— Suman Kumar, a private employee

Aman, a shopkeeperPoliticians should keep in their mind that such functions should not harass people. They organise road shows to garner support. But if we suffer due to such functions, people will get perturbed.~

— Aman, a shopkeeper

Manmohan Singh, a city residentI was stuck in a traffic jam near Bhadaur House. All political parties should keep in mind that it's the people who vote them to power and that they have no right to harass them.

Manmohan Singh, a city resident



Protest against death sentence to Bhullar
Our Correspondent

Samrala, July 18
Several political, social and religious organisations of the area today staged a dharna in front of the SDM office, Samrala, to express their anguish against the death sentence to Prof Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar.

They demanded that the death sentence should be changed into life imprisonment or waived, as he had completed several years in jail.

The speakers urged the Central government to take action against the 1984 riots accused, who are still moving freely. They also presented a memorandum to the SDM signed by hundred of persons demanding removal of the death sentence to Bhullar immediately.



pau notes
Training on precision farming kicks off

Ludhiana: A model training course on precision farming, organised by the PAU in collaboration with Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, commenced here on Monday, which will conclude on July 25.

The course involves the participation of 40 trainees from different state development departments of Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. The PAU subject-matter specialists will equip the participants with know-how of precision farming, with special emphasis on the hands-on experience.

In his keynote address, the PAU director of Extension Education, Dr MS Gill, highlighted the importance of precision farming and said that the adoption of this knowledge-based farming was the need of the hour for agricultural sustainability. Defining the precision farming as the use of right input, at the right time and at the right place, Gill said that it was an art and science of utility of advanced technologies for enhancing crop yield while minimising environmental threats.
A model training course on precision farming underway at PAU in Ludhiana on Tuesday
A model training course on precision farming underway at PAU in Ludhiana on Tuesday. a tribune photograph

Speaking on the use of laser land leveller for improving resource-use efficiency in agriculture, Dr Jaskaran Mahal, head, PAU Department of Farm Machinery and Power Engineering (FMPE), divulged that 4,200 laser levellers were operational in the state and about 20 manufacturers were involved in the manufacturing of the same. In view of the problem aggravated by unlevelled field, the laser-levelling technique levelled the field precisely and saved irrigation water up to 25 per cent. Mahal added that the technology also helped in water conservation, reduction of weed emergence and yield improvement.

PAU scientist, FMPE, Dr Gursahib Singh, gave practical demonstrations to the trainees for laser levelling, including elevation measurement. The participants will be provided knowledge and practical experience on various aspects of precision farming such as elevation measurement, measurements in problematic soils for maximising productivity, resource conservation technologies, use of mass media in transfer of technology, remote sensing and GIS for site-specific measurements, enhancing water use efficiency, rationalising nitrogen application with precision techniques, use of second generation machinery, post-harvest technology for improving food quality, conservation agriculture, high-tech horticulture, importance of rural area networking, biotechnological tools and pest management techniques relevant to precision agriculture. The programme will conclude on July 25.

Home landscape improves functional utility of area, say experts
The landscape plan should always be in harmony with the house
The landscape plan should always be in harmony with the house. a file photo

Landscape helps in improving the aesthetic and functional utility of the available open space around houses. The landscape plan should always be in harmony with the house. This was emphasised by PAU scientists of the department of floriculture and landscaping. The patio (verandah), drive way, play area for children, open space for pets, yard for games, social ceremonies and other functional spaces are some of the thrust areas of the landscape plan.They stated that combining both natural and artificial landscape elements would give a graceful and harmonious look to the garden, the experts said there were few artificial landscape elements like stone walls, stepping stones, walkways, gazebos, fences, fountains, ornamental lights, outdoor furniture, rock and water gardens, etc., which beautified the landscape of a home.
A landscape helps in improving the aesthetic and functional utility of the available open space around a house
A landscape helps in improving the aesthetic and functional utility of the available open space around a house. a file photo

PAU expert Parminder Singh further said that the selection of trees should be in accordance with the height of the building and direction. Plantation of deciduous trees on the southern and western side of a house provided shade during summers and sunlight during winter months, whereas plantation of evergreen trees on the northern and western side of a house could serve as windbreaks. Referring to the landscape design of a house, Singh said that the shape of the lawn could be any (i.e. round, oval or irregular) but preferably it should be devoid of straight lines. The entry of the garden should be near to the entrance of the house or the patio. Flowering beds should be at least three feet from the edge so that the mower could be run easily in between to cut grass. He emphasised that the size and shape of the beds should be in accordance with the shape of the lawn and in proportion to the available open space.

Another expert Ranjit Singh said that the dwarf to medium annuals plants should be planted towards the house and the large ones should be planted on the far side or the corners. The mound can be created in any of the corners of the lawn to break the monotony of the garden. Suggesting that the background plantation can be done with drooping type trees or bamboos, Singh said that the boundary plantation could be with upright trees such as Ashoka (pendula), juniperus, saru, etc. On the right side of the driveway, the available space could be used for permanent plantation of ground covers for creating any pattern, said the expert while adding that the pebbles could be used to distinguish different ground covers. The pillars or roof of porch or patio could be used for climbers to give softness to the hardscape, e.g. golden shower, jhumka bel and clerodendron, etc.

The scientists suggested that for home landscaping, generally dwarf to medium trees like queen flower, pagoda, bottle brush, etc.,were used. Amongst shrubs muraya, clerodendron, alier and duranta could be used for both edge and hedge making. They said that shrubs like chandni, hamelia, kaner and galphimia should be planted for beautiful flowers while motia, haar shingar and rat ki rani for their fragrant flowers. Bougainvillea can be used as hedge, climber or as flowering pot plant whereas climbers like jhaller bel can be trained as screen, along the boundary wall or from rooftop. The experts stressed that the indoor plants should be selected in view of their placement (Southern window, East or West window or Northern window) in the house and should be regularly revolved after every week or so. Ground covers like golden duranta, iresine (lal pati) and opheopogon, etc., can be used for edge making or for plantation in shady locations, where it is difficult to grow grass. They stressed that all plants requiring sun, shade, water, etc, should be grouped together. The landscapists added that the shrubs with similar flower colour should be planted in groups of three to five and flowering beds should be planted with single coloured annual to create the mass effect.



from schools
Plantation drive begins at Green Land

Ludhiana: A van mahotsava week commenced at Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, Jalandhar Bye Pass, Ludhiana, here on Monday with an awareness rally taken out by tiny tots of the school. Chairman-cum-director of chain of Green Land Schools Rajesh Rudhra and principal Baldeep Pandher flagged off the rally and impressed upon importance of trees. Students dressed up as precious gifts of nature, marched with placards in their hands making a plea to everyone to join the green revolution and love the Mother Earth.Later in the day saplings of palm tree were planted by the students. A house wise poster-making competition was held between the students of Class VIII and IX, on the theme ‘Importance of trees’ and ‘Environmental Issues’. About 50 students from class VIII and IX participated in the contest. Jagriti House stood first, Jyoti House bagged the second prize and third prize was won by Kirti House. Individual Prizes were also given to students. Saifu, Muskan, Simran and Malika stood first , Shailja, Mehak and Megha bagged the second prize, Manpreet Pabla and Jyotshna stood third. Sidhi, Kritika, Heena and Himanshu got consolation prizes.

Orientation course for parents

Kundan Vidya Mandir organised a welcome and guidance session for the parents and students of class XI. Navita Puri, Principal, presided over the programme. The programme aimed at giving students an opportunity to learn how to be at ease when they shose their desired streams. The programme started with a prayer. A multi-media presentation on motivation and goal setting was shown to the students. — TNS



Solitary MC park a safe haven for gamblers, tipplers
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, July 18
The solitary park of the Jagraon Municipal Committee in the town is turning out to be a safe heaven for gamblers as well as drug addicts. Some persons can often be seen gambling, playing cards, consuming alcohol and even taking habit-forming drugs on the park premises Besides, a large number of stray animals in the park are also a common sight. And this is happening before the eyes of senior officials and elected representatives of the local municipal committee in the broad daylight.

It is pertinent to mention here that this is the only park present in the city, named after great freedom fighter Punjab Kesari Lala Lajpat Rai. The park serves little purpose for the city residents. Situated in the middle of the town, this place hardly looks like a park in absence of proper maintenance.

Situated exactly in front of the office of the local municipal committee, the park speaks volumes of authorities’ apathy towards its preservation. In absence of proper maintenance of the park, the grass, flowering plants and most of the trees planted in the park have started dying or decaying.

But in spite of all this, no official has paid any heed towards preservation of the park. A few years back, this park was a favourite place for the residents particularly the senior citizens who used to come here for morning and evening walks. But today this park has become a favourite destination for gamblers and drug addicts. Irked over the casualness of the authorities concerned towards preserving the park, the residents have urged the Municipal Committee members to make proper arrangements for the maintenance of the park.

When contacted, MC president Baldev Krishan Dhir said he was not aware of any kind of wrong activity going on in the park. Though, he assured that he would look into the matter.



Baby girl rescued by grocer from clutches of drunkard
Child apparently abducted; MC, admin unconcerned
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
She is barely 10 months old and doesn’t know who her parents are or where her home is. Two days ago, after being slapped, beaten and thrown on the floor, she was about to be packed into a bag by an alcoholic near Ram Sharnam in the city’s Haibowal locality. Had it not been for a courageous grocer, Rajpal Bagga, who snatched the child from the drunk’s clutches with bypassers remaining mute spectators she might have been dumped in a garbage bin.

As if the brutality of the drunken man was not enough, the police and the district administration were no less insensitive to the child. Though more than two days have gone by since the little girl has been with Bagga’s family, no one in the administration appears to be bothered about restoring her to her parents.

Narrating the incident Bagga said: "The incident took place on Saturday afternoon. I was walking towards my shop and saw a huge crowd gathered around a drunken man near the Ram Sharnam hall in Haibowal. I was shocked when I saw he was beating up a little girl he was holding in his hands. The child was drenched in mud and crying profusely. A closer look revealed blood oozing out from the child's face. Due to repeated slapping the child had sustained bruises on her lips and nose. I couldn’t bear this brutality and snatched the child. Due to being beaten up the little girl had urinated and even defecated in her clothes”.

Area residents immediately called up the police about the incident. However, what followed speaks volumes about the force’s efficiency. The cops who arrived at the scene asked Bagga to give them an undertaking he would report to the police along with the child as and when required before handing over the little girl to him. They, however, did not make any effort to apprehend the drunk.

After that no district administration official or any police officer has contacted the Bagga family to enquire about the child.

"At least I should be told, whether the child would remain with me or the administration would act and start searching for her parents. It has been two days but no one seems to be bothered," said Satpal Bagga, Rajpal’s elder brother.

However, the presence of a little child has brought joy to the Bagga family. Rajni, Rajpal’s wife, appears excited as she had always yearned for a daughter after bearing two boys. "The child was under shock when my husband brought her home. I gave her a sponge and feed her. The child seemed to be hungry and gulped the food we gave her. Look at her - she’s so pretty and seems to be from a good family."

Rajni’s two sons are supporting her by cleaning the house and helping their mother in cooking the food. Naresh Jain, who owns a cloth shop near Bagga's grocery store, has made arrangements to provide clothes for the little girl.

Some area residents said the alcoholic had abducted the child in Chappra in Bihar.



Man posing as eunuch was in women’s jails earlier too
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
A day after The Tribune exposé, more skeletons have begun tumbling out of the closet. It now transpires it was not the first time Subash had stayed in a women’s prison, masquerading as a eunuch. He had earlier spent time in a similar disguise in jails in Hoshiarpur and Patiala for nearly two years.

Universal Human Right Organization (UHRO), a rights body that is pursuing the case, has claimed five women who came into contact with Subash have been infected with HIV.

According to UHRO president Satnam Singh Dhaliwal, Subash, a resident of Dera Bassi, spent nearly two years in women’s prisons in Patiala and Hoshiarpur in connection with a murder case filed in 2005-06. "He stayed for ten days at women’s jail in Hoshiarpur and served the rest of the term in a women’s prison in Patiala. I had asked on what grounds was he was allowed to stay in the Patiala prison, but the jail superintendent didn’t answer my queries," Dhaliwal stated.

UHRO activists expressed surprise as to how Subash managed to stay in women’s prisons and hoodwink jail officials for such a long time. “Even though the female prisoners were fully aware about his gender they chose to keep mum”, they claimed.

"This kind of thing can’t be possible without the active involvement of the prison medical officers and the jail staff. We want action to be taken against them for this huge lapse," said Dhaliwal.

Meanwhile, according to a medical report on a tuberculosis test, Subash has claimed he was castrated when he was aged 14.

Referring to an earlier case in which a female prisoner who had delivered a child in the jail toilet after a gynecologist at the city’s Civil Hospital sent her back to jail by stating the inmate had a tumor, Dhaliwal said: "What kind of doctors do we have who couldn’t differentiate between a man and a woman and a pregnancy and a tumor? If the health department fails to take prompt action against them we’ll file a PIL in the Punjab & Haryana High Court."



Rs 2,500 fine on MC for not giving info under RTI
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
The State Information Commission (SIC) has imposed a fine of Rs 2,500 on the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation for delaying an information sought by a resident of the city under the Right to Information Act. The commission has fined the civic body for the second time in the past three months. It had, earlier, imposed a fine of Rs 6,000 for delaying information sought by another resident of the city.

On March 9, Rohit Sabharwal, president, Council of RTI Activists, had sought certified copies of the comprehensive survey for constructions made in violation of the sanctioned plan or without obtaining the sanctioned plan from the corporation. But, the civic officials failed to provide this information on time and that is why I approached the commission, Sabharwal added.

The orders, which were passed by the State Information Commissioner Kulbir Singh on July 12, mentioned that the complainant (Rohit Sabharwal) stated that he had received the sought for information and was satisfied. But, the information has not been provided to him within stipulated timeframe as prescribed under the RTI Act 2005.

Municipal Town Planner Hemant Batra was directed to show cause by the SIC. On July 12, Hemant Batra filed his written reply in response to the order.

“I have carefully considered, the submission contained in the written reply and I have also looked into the facts and circumstances of the case. I don’t find any substance in request for the imposition of penalty. However, there are glaring systemic deficiencies in the office of the municipal corporation. Appropriate mechanism has not been provided to keep the record properly by the public authority due to which the information under the RTI Act are not being served properly. I am of the view that instead of penalising the PIO, the public authority be ordered to compensate the complainant on account of expenditure incurred by him in attending hearings,” read the order.

The commission awarded a sum of Rs 2,500 to Rohit Sabharwal and directed the municipal corporation to pay it within 15 days. "It is clarified that the amount of compensation is to be paid by the public authority(municipal corporation) and not by the PIO," read the order.

Lax MC

The State Information Commission had on April 27 imposed a fine of Rs 6,000 on the municipal corporation for delaying information to Sewa Singh, a resident of Indira Colony. He had sought information related to no-objection certificates (NOCs) for power connections being issued by the corporation in the Zone-B area.


Bakshish Singh gives imprints of his thumbs
Bakshish Singh gives imprints of his thumbs

Unique Identity Cards a ‘headache’ for residents
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
People seem to be becoming disenchanted with the process of making Unique Identity Cards (UIDs) in the city. They have started terming it as a “counterproductive” in the absence of clear-cut instructions, lack of infrastructure and “inefficient” staff deputed for doing the job. Most of them are furious with staff for unnecessarily sending them to get their documents attested or verified by councillors, sarpanches and government teachers residing in their respective areas.

A survey conducted by Ludhiana Tribune found that people were disappointed with the tedious procedure involved in its making. Since enrollment centres were lacking in machines meant for capturing the colour of eyes and fingerprints, the residents had to wait for hours to get their picture clicked.
A woman along with her child await her turn for getting unique IDs
A woman along with her child await her turn for getting unique IDs. Photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Besides, the “rude” behaviour of the staff has left many a residents fuming. Bachittar Kaur, a resident of Chhoti Haibowal, said, “Though I wasted one day in completing the formalities. I was called the next day to get my picture clicked. Our cards were to be made at Government Polytechnic Institute of Girls at Rishi Nagar. Employees were rude towards people waiting for 4 to 5 hours in the scorching heat. They were not even offered water or chairs to rest. I saw an old man, who was angry with arrangements, tearing his enrollment form,” she alleged.

Hari Singh Brar, a councillor, said there was no need to verify antecedents of people when they had submitted all proofs. “We have met the Director, Food and Supplies, in Chandigarh, but she refused to relax this condition. Genuine residents are unnecessarily being harassed,” Brar added.

Verification Not Needed

People need not get their documents or enrolment forms attested from anywhere. Two inspectors each have been deputed at every centre in this regard. People should bring documents and a form to get the Unique Ids made from now onwards. We will ensure that they aren’t pushed around to get their forms verified.

Rakesh Bhaskar, District Food and Supplies Controller



Man assaults wife outside SDM’s office in jagraon
Both had come for a court hearing in a property dispute case
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, July 18
A property dispute between a husband and wife took an ugly turn today when the former attacked his wife in public and injured her badly. The incident took place outside the office of the SDM today morning. They had come for hearing in a property dispute case between them.

The woman has been identified as Harbans Kaur (70), a resident of Pamal village near Sidhwan Bet. She sustained critical injuries during the incident. The attacker has been identified as her husband Sarwan Singh, a retired Army man.

Sarwan Singh, who was brandishing a sharp-edged weapon, attacked Harbans Kaur while she was sitting outside the SDM office. Sarwan Singh kept on standing in front of his wife after assaulting her. A police team from the bus stand police post reached the spot and arrested Sarwan Singh. He openly declared that he wanted to kill his wife due to her illicit relationship in the presence of police.

The police also admitted critically injured Harbans Kaur to the local Civil Hospital. From there, she was referred to a hospital in Ludhiana. The bus stand police post in-charge Chaman Parkash said the family of Sarwan Singh owns 6 acres at Pamal village. Harbans Kaur, who has been living separately, had filed a case claiming ownership of half of the land some time ago. Both husband and wife had come for a hearing in the case. Sarwan Singh attacked Harbans Kaur while she sitting outside the SDM office.

According to sources, both of them have been blaming each other for having illicit relationship. While Harbans Kaur claims that Sarwan Singh has illicit relationship with his own daughter-in-law Harminder Kaur, whose husband died some time ago. Sarwan Singh, on the other hand, claims that he attacked his wife because she used to indulge in immoral and wrongful activities.

Both of their sons had died under mysterious circumstances. They have been accusing each other for killing their own sons. Sarwan Singh was living along with his daughter-in-law Harminder Kaur and grandson at Mullanpur Dakha; Harbans Kaur was living alone in Jagraon.

A case has been registered against Sarwan Singh and his daughter-in-law Harminder Kaur. While Sarwan Singh has been arrested, his daughter-in-law is absconding.



2 held with 3-kg opium
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, July 18
SP Jaspreet Singh Sidhu at a press conference here today announced that SHO Bikramjit Singh Barar, Mandi Gobindgarh, and CIA in charge, Sirhind, along with Sub-Inspector Sewa Singh in a joint action nabbed Sachin Kumar and his brother, Gaurabh Singh, residents of Jalalpur village, Mozaffar Nagar district, Uttar Pradesh, and recovered 3 kgs of opium from their possession.

The police has registered a case against them under Sections 18, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act yesterday.



1 held with 60 bags of poppy husk
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, July 18
The Ludhiana (rural) police has arrested a person, identified as Jagdev Singh of Virk village near Sidhwan Bet, and recovered a huge quantity of poppy husk from his possession.

SSP Ludhiana (rural) police, Gursharan Singh Sandhu gave this information during a press conference held today. A case has been registered against the accused under various sections of the NDPC Act at the Jagraon Sadar police station.

The police has also confiscated as many as 60 bags of poppy husk from his possession, the SSP added.

The accused, Jagdev Singh is a SAD member panchayat of Virk village.

Giving details, Sandhu stated that a police party led by anti-narcotics cell, Jagraon, in charges Sub-Inspector Rawinder Singh and Sub-Inspector Surjit Singh set up a police check post on the bridge of a drain near Gurusar Kaunke village following a secret information.

“The police party saw a truck (PB-13Q-9028) coming from Gurusar Kaunke side. When the truck reached near the drain bridge, the cops indicated driver to stop following which the driver stopped the truck, but tried to fled. The cops gave him a chase and nabbed him. When searched, the police also found a large number of bags containing poppy husk from the truck,” said the SSP, while narrating the incident.

He further informed that during preliminary investigation, the accused admitted that he had purchased poppy husk from Jaipur in Rajasthan.

The estimated market value of the drug recovered from the accused is about Rs 20 lakh. Though the police has arrested only one person so far in this regard, but the involvement of other persons cannot be ruled out, keeping in view the huge quantity of drug recovered by the police.



Doc’s car snatched at gunpoint
Our Correspondent

Kohara, July 18
Three unidentified youths allegedly stopped a lady doctor, who was driving a swift car at pistolpoint near Chak Sarwan Nath village on the Ludhiana -Chandigarh road last night, snatched the keys and forcibly took away the car from her.

The doctor has been identified as Ramandeep Kaur. She is posted at Samrala Civil Hospital. The youths got inside and sped away with the car.



Jobless ETT teacher held
Dept yet to act against 139 ineligible ETT teachers
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
Pawan Kumar, vice-president, Unemployed ETT Teachers’ Union, and a few of his accomplices, who were arrested yesterday by the Sangrur police for duping innocent candidates on the pretext of passing in the Teacher Entrance Test (TET), has once again brought to the fore infamous ETT recruitment scam. At least 139 ineligible ETT candidates of the city got out-of-turn appointments. The accused ran an inter-state racket and had amassed over Rs 40 lakh.

The Zila Parishad and the Panchayati Raj Department had submitted a report pertaining to anomalies in the appointment of ETT teachers to the head office in Chandigarh about five months ago, but officials concerned have failed to act for reasons best known to them.

The department has not even bothered to ask 139 candidates, presently working as teachers in various primary schools of the city, to file a reply. According to sources, officials are bowing to political pressure mounted by ineligible ETT teachers.

Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development) Pardeep Kumar Aggarwal said: “We have filed a report in this regard and it’s for the department to take further action.”

These facts came to light following details procured by a city resident under the Right to Information Act (RTI). It indicated that Zila Parishad officials had flouted procedural guidelines for selecting ETT candidates.

Out of 8,920 B.Ed and ETT teachers, who had applied for 1,000 posts in the Ludhiana district alone, at least 990 were appointed after five interviews. Ten seats remained vacant as no eligible candidates were found.

The selection committee not only accepted no-objection certificates after deadline but also the character certificates of candidates issued by the latter’s family. Not only this, the certificates were attested by non-gazetted or retired officials in contravention of service regulations.

According to the sources, nearly 40 candidates managed to get certificates verifying eligibility for the sports category, which were mostly procured from non-gazetted Class III employees of the state sports department. The irregularities in the selection process could be gauged from the fact that a candidate was shown as medal winner to seek a job in the sports quota.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | E-mail |