L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


50 youths barge into factory, thrash businessman
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
High drama was witnessed in the Shivpuri area last night when nearly 50 youths barged into the premises of a businessman and thrashed the latter with sharp-edged weapons. Before fleeing from the spot, they also opened fire in the air to create panic.

The fight broke out after the businessman, identified as Mohit Rampal, allegedly detained three youths, who were creating ruckus in the area and fighting with an employee of the factory unit.

The businessman and area residents had informed the parents of the youths and asked them to take them home.

The incident took place around 9pm when Mohit Rampal was sitting in his office and attending a client.

In the meantime, nearly 50 youths led by Meeta, a resident of Jodhewal Basti entered the premises and pointed a pistol at Rampal.

They thrashed the businessman with sharp-edged weapons and freed the three youths.

Narrating the incident, Mohit Rampal said, "The assailants attacked my head with a sharp-edged weapon. I fell unconscious. Later I was rushed to Civil Hospital for treatment. I should not have intervened in the matter to settle the dispute. They had nearly killed me. I am fortunate to have survived."

On the other hand, Teji, Rahul, Garry alleged that they were forcibly detained and thrashed by the businessman when they went to take money from a labourer employed in the factory of Mohit Rampal. They claimed that no firing incident took place.

Want to file a police complaint, take a pen along

Mohit Rampal’s mother alleged that when she went to the police station to file a complaint on Thursday night, Didar Singh, the “night munshi”, asked them to arrange a pen. "I was worried. I rushed outside the police station and purchased a pen. The cop should have shown some consideration," said the woman in distress.


The fight broke out after the businessman, identified as Mohit Rampal, allegedly detained three youths, who were creating ruckus in the area and fighting with an employee of the factory unit


Major fire at AC spare parts shop
No casualty; Six fire tenders pressed into service to douse blaze
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
A major tragedy was averted when a fire broke out at a shop dealing in spare parts of air-conditioners near Middha Chowk, here today.

The intensity of the fire was so severe that six fire tenders had to be pressed into service to douse the flames.

The fire department officials retrieved several gas cylinders, used for filling gas in air-conditioners and refrigerators, from the shop. Had these caught fire, it could have led to a major tragedy.

A large number of people gathered at the scene soon after the fire broke out.

Gurwinder Singh, owner of A One Spare Parts, said the fire started following a short-circuit in a room located on the first floor of the shop.

“We have suffered a major loss and are trying to ascertain the total loss. Goods worth lakhs have been destroyed in the fire,” he claimed.

He clarified that the gas in the cylinders was non-inflammable. “This gas is used in air-conditioners and refrigerators,” he said.

The fire department was informed about the incident around 12.15 pm. Six fire tenders were pressed into service.

Krishan Lal Kakkar from the fire department said they had to break a portion of the wall behind the shop to douse the flames.

“It took us over half an hour to bring the flames under control. Had we got late, the extent of the loss could have been much higher, as the fire could have engulfed some adjoining houses as well,” claimed Kakkar.



Ludhiana (West) goes unrepresented in state Assembly
No one has filled the void left by Harish Rai Dhanda
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
How would you feel if your area is not represented by a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA)? The Ludhiana (West), the constituency having one of the most posh localities of this industrial city, is without an MLA ever since Harish Rai Dhanda resigned on July 6.

Not having an MLA means that there is no person who can take up issues related to development of this constituency with the state government. And that also at a time when the state assembly elections are just around the corner.

This constituency, which has areas, represented by a total of 13 municipal councillors, such as Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Sarabha Nagar, Barewal, Tagore Nagar, Kitchlu Nagar, Civil Lines, Mall Road, Rakh Bagh, parts of Model Town, Ghumar Mandi, Model Gram, Jawahar Nagar Camp, besides others, presently has no one to represent its residents in the state assembly.

Not only these residential areas, this constituency also has Punjab Agricultural University, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, SCD Government College, Government College for Women, Ludhiana Stock Exchange, District Courts Complex, Mini Secretariat, Feroze Gandhi Market, which is often termed as the financial hub of the city, besides other important areas.

But former MLA Dhanda says that most of the development is carried out in the city by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and other state government agencies.

“Development would not suffer as the state government issues equal funds for development to all constituencies of the state. So as far as development is concerned, my former constituency would not suffer. Besides, the only thing through which the constituency residents would have suffered was related to the attestation of documents. But I have found that in the capacity of a former MLA, I can still attest the documents,” stated Dhanda.

Congress councillor Gurpreet Singh Gogi, whose ward falls in Ludhiana (West) constituency, says, “Though most of development is carried out by the councillors, not having a representative in the state assembly, and that also for one of the most posh areas, is something for which the residents are worried,” said Gogi.



Burning of banned fuel
Week’s closure notice to 2 dyeing units
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
After two dyeing units were found polluting the environment by burning unauthorised fuel, the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has served them with one-week closure notices. The units have been directed to shut operations for a week, starting August 22.

PPCB Executive Engineer Paramjit Singh said they had received a complaint that two dyeing units — Hindustan Dyeing House in Ganesh Nagar and Gangesh Cottex on the Tajpur Road — had been using unauthorised fuel to run their units.

“Hindustan Dyeing House was using plastic waste, while Gangesh Cottex was burning rubber waste, which was not permissible under the law. Both had appeared before PPCB member secretary Dr Babu Ram in Chandigarh, after which the orders were issued,” said Paramjit Singh. “The dyeing units have been asked not to run their operations for a week, starting August 22,” he added.

2.25 quintal poly bags seized

PPCB officials have confiscated 2.25 quintals of polythene bags, being sold by traders and shopkeepers in Samrala town of the district. The bags were confiscated during raids conducted to check if traders and shopkeepers were using polythene bags permissible in the state. Polythene bags have been banned in the state w.e.f. May 1 and this ban has been ordered under the Punjab Plastic Bags (Manufacture, Usage and Disposal) Control Act prohibiting the manufacture, disposal and use of polythene bags from virgin plastic of thickness not less than 40 micron.

PPCB Executive Engineer Rajiv Sharma said premises of two traders and three shopkeepers were raided. “All five were caught flouting the norms. Their polythene bags were confiscated by our team and two officials from the municipal committee of Samrala,” Sharma added.



blood donation
Health dept to book lab owner
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune New Service

Ludhiana, August 19
The district health authorities today caught hold of a person who was donating blood at a laboratory near Kitchlu Nagar, which is not an authorised one.

According to Dr Kulwinder Singh, District Health Officer, Ludhiana ,"It was around 5 pm today when we got to know that a person named Sandeep Kumar was going to donate blood at Punjab Clinical Laboratory for a patient named Kaushalya Devi, who is under treatment at Mittal Nursing Home. As we reached there, we found Sandeep Kumar being ‘bleeded’ for the required blood. We immediately took the blood back and other empty bags in our custody and started an inquiry."

He further said,"This laboratory is being run by a pathologist Dr RK Gupta, who is out of station. We are making investigations and will book him up under the Drug and Cosmetics Act after the completion of inquiry. "

Dr HS Bali, Chief Medical officer, Ludhiana, said,"It is the fault of the pathologist in whose laboratory the person was donating blood, as his laboratory has not been legally authorised. The licence for blood donation to any blood bank or hospital is given by the State Drug Controller. But this laboratory did not have this licence. So it is an illegal practice to bleed a person without licence."

Dr Bali further said,"These types of complaints come rarely, so we are consulting experts for proper action."



Bright ‘sonshine’ for Youth Akali Dal in district
Names of many Akali leaders' wards figure in the list of new office-bearers of the YAD
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
It's 'sonshine' for the Youth Akali Dal (YAD) in the district. The names of many Akali leaders' sons figure in the list of the new office-bearers of the youth wing of the SAD (B). The list was announced on Wednesday.

The list, according to YAD president Bikram Singh Majithia, sets "an example of social balancing by accommodating and giving representation to loyal and dedicated party workers from all fields and sections of life." No wonder, the balance has been set right and sons of the party leaders from the city have got 'adequate' representation.

The party leaders, whose sons have been nominated, find nothing unusual in it. "Children take a cue from what they see at home. In a politically-inclined family, it's but natural for a child to take to politics. My son has been assisting me in developmental works. On his own also, he keeps taking up developmental issues," says former MP Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, whose son Simranjeet Singh has been nominated as general secretary.

Former MLA Bhag Singh Malla says his son Kanwaljeet Singh Malla has been actively working for the party for the past 15 years. He must have caught the attention of the chief who nominated him as district president rural 1 (Jagraon), he adds.

Jails and Tourism Minister Hira Singh Gabria, while maintaining defensively that he had never asked anything from the party for his own self, says, "I had not written anything about it to the party high command. In fact, I came to know about the nomination of my son Rakhwinder Singh Gabria through media reports." He adds, "This nomination entails responsibility and I would have been happier still if other workers were given such an opportunity."

Former MP Amrik Singh Aliwal’s son Yaadwinder Singh Aliwal has also been nominated as general secretary.

Majithia, while dismissing the son-factor as inconsequential, states that this is just the first list. Another list would follow soon. "If any leader's son is capable, we cannot hold his father's position against him," he adds. 



‘August Kranti’ spreads in city, jagraon, Doraha
SAD demands dismissal of UPA government
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, August 19
Following in the footsteps of its alliance partner in Punjab - the Bhartiya Janata Party, the Shriomani Akali Dal-Badal today staged a dharna to express solidarity with the anti-corruption crusade of Team Anna at the Mini Secretariat here.

In a memorandum submitted to the President of India through the deputy commissioner, the party called for dismissal of the UPA government while charging the Centre with murder of democracy, repression and blatant attempts to scuttle the Jan-Lokpal movement launched by Anna and his supporters.

Hira Singh Gabria, cabinet minister and Santa Singh Umedpuri, presidents of urban and rural district Akali Jatha respectively, who led the protest, alleged the arrest of members of Team Anna in the national capital on August 16 as murder of democracy and denial of fundamental right of protest to the people. This undemocratic and unlawful act by the ruling dispensation was reprehensible.

DOHARA: Social activist Anna Hazare’s “August kranti” seems to have taken the Doraha residents too in its steed. Expressing solidarity for Anna and shouting slogans against corruption, a number of organisations and unions, including the Youth Forum, Doraha, Bhartiya Yog Sansthan, Anti-Crime and Anti-Corruption Unit and Durga Parchar Sewa Samiti took out a candle march last evening. Starting from the bridge and passing through the streets of the town it culminated at the statue of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. Even the heavy downpour failed to dampen their spirits as they shouted at the top of their voices, to put an end to corruption, once and for all.

“As we marched forward, more people joined us on the way. With fervour and zeal, the supporters moved forward and assured every possible support to Anna who they opined “has initiated a move which nobody else could do till date. Every Indian is fed up with the prevailing evil of corruption in society and we will go all out to do whatever we can in support of the great leader”, said the supporters.

It was astonishing that the women and children outnumbered the male supporters. The women showed real grit by shouting slogans in favour of the ‘great’ leader in whom they saw a saviour of their land. They opined that only Anna could save this country from deterioration and destruction and guarantee a corruption-free setup for the future generations.

Participants show disrespect to National Flag

Jagraon: The National Flag was disrespected at a rally organised by different NGOs and youths of the area in support of social activist Anna Hazare here today.

Just before the rally could take off at the Rani Jhansi Chowk here, the organisers placed the National Flags on the deck of a car before handing them over to the participants. Later, several National Flags fell on the ground a couple of times but the organisers and participants remained oblivious to what was happening.

Besides, most of the participants, including a large number of college students, were not even aware of the issue in support of which they were taking part in the rally. Though all participants were raising slogans in support of Anna Hazare, but when interviewed a majority of them expressed ignorance about the drafting of the Lokpal Bill, thus nullifying the very purpose of the rally.



Janamashtmi celebrated with fervour in city schools
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
Lord Krishna can be seen in city schools as Janamashtmi celebrations are on in several schools.

Festive atmosphere pervaded Ram Lal Bhasin School. Students attired as Lord Krishna performed a dance. Children dressed up as Radha, Krishna and Mirabai gave a dance performance at Green Land Convent School, Subhash Nagar.

'Ras Lila' was also performed at Everest Play Way and Nursery School showcasing different facets of life of Lord Krishna. They cut a cake on the occasion to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna. At HVM Day-Boarding School, the students of primary section wore colourful attire depicting different members of Lord Krishna's family. Principal Meena Sharma inspired the students to follow the teachings of Lord Krishna.

At Lovely Lotus School, children in attire of Lord Krishna ate makhan and dahi and danced with 'gopies'. They chanted 'Radhe Krishna, Radhe Krishna. At Green Land School, Jalandhar bye-pass, a swing was decked up with flowers with baby Krishna as the centre of attraction. Principal Baldeep Pandher highlighted Lord Krishna's Theory of Karma and stressed upon the students to give to the world the best they have. At Maple Bear Canadian Playway and Nursery School, Udham Singh Nagar, all the important episodes in the life of Lord Krishna were enacted.

The festival was also celebrated at Bachpan, a playway school. The kindergarten section of Guru Nanak Public School, Model Town Extension, was decorated with multi-coloured flowers, swings and portraits of Lord Krishna.



election duties
‘PAU Staff need official letter for exemption from work’
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
PAU VC Dr BS Dhillon has asked the employees, who have been put on election duties by the district administration, to get a written intimation by the officials in charge (elections) that the employees have to perform the election duties first, then PAU will exempt them to report at the farm university till August 30. Dhillon agreed that the employees could be exempted from reporting at the farm university provided the district administration wrote to the authorities that their (employees’) services were needed.

“We will exempt them till August 30, they can do the election duties on priority basis but we should be intimated about it by the district administration”, said the VC.

As many as 300 employees of the farm university gathered today at their union office and then went to meet the authorities after they received letters from officials in-charge of Gill and Dakha constituencies that they (employees) needed to report for election duties between 8 am and 5 pm. It also said the election work had to be completed by August 28.

Similarly, the PAU authorities had asked its employees to work at the farm university between 9 am and 5 pm and after that they could perform election duties. An employee on condition of anonymity said, “We are ready to work anywhere but the directions should be clear. There is a lot of confusion. We are in a fix as to what we should do”.



Ludhiana scan

Performance of banks reviewed

The annual credit plan of the district for the current financial year is Rs 11,987 crore, and different banks had exceeded the target for providing credit to the priority sector. Presiding over a meeting of the district advisory committee to review the performance of the banks, additional deputy commissioner (Development) Pradeep Aggarwal said financial assistance of Rs 1,106 crore was provided for agriculture and allied professions, Rs 906 crore to small-scale industry while other priority sectors were given loans worth Rs 403 crore. He pointedly asked the district coordinators to be personally present in such review meetings in future.

Govt violating poll code

The District Congress Committee president Pawan Dewan on Friday charged the Punjab government with violating the model code of conduct for SGPC elections in a desperate bid to paint a picture of development in the state with their eyes on the forthcoming assembly elections. Addressing a meeting in the course of mass contact programme in ward no 60 here, he said the law and order situation in the state was going from bad to worse while the senior government functionaries were indiscriminately laying foundation stones of various projects without making technical and financial provisions.

Bid to loot ATM

Thieves made a futile bid to break open an automated teller machine (ATM) at Dairy Complex, Hambra Road, in the wee hours of on Friday. The incident came to light when residents spotted the damaged ATM and informed the police. — TNS



Strike by medical laboratory technicians hits health services
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Services

Ludhiana, August 19
Patients, who wanted to get their diagnostic tests done, were at the receiving end today due to the pen-down strike by the Medical Laboratory Technicians here.

The medical laboratory technicians (both contract and regular employees) participated in this strike to press upon their long-pending demands and also held a protest dharna at the Civil Surgeon office. Although to cater to emergency services, they deployed one employee in each laboratory but other patients who wanted to get their tests done were not able to do so.

It was around 10 am when the laboratory technicians pasted a message outside the door of the laboratory of the Civil Hospital and blood bank that due to anti-employees policies of the state government, the lab technicians were on strike today, however emergency services were available.

There are about 150 medical laboratory technicians in the district. Talking to the Tribune, Medical Laboratory Technicians Association, district president Bharpur Singh Sekhon said," Our demands include regularisation of contract employees, increase in house-rent allowance from 5 per cent to 10 per cent, increase in risk allowance and revision of pay grades."



NRHM employees block traffic
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
The protest of the NRHM Union entered its ninth day today. The agitating employees blocked traffic for over two hours at Bharat Nagar Chowk and burnt the effigy of Principal Secretary Health Satish Chandra.

Union general secretary Prithpal Singh said: “The strike will continue and we will plan our next mode of struggle on Tuesday (due to a long weekend ahead).”

Union spokesperson Rajinder Singh said: “The Punjab government has given us several assurances of fulfilling our demands but to no avail. The governments of Bihar and Rajasthan have increased facilities and salaries of its employees. However, the Punjab Government is still paying lower salaries. This, despite the fact that funds for the NRHM employees are provided by the Central Government.”

Their demands included implementation of service rules, medical leave, earned leave, medical facilities, release of ex gratia, dearness allowance and maternity leave of six months along with pay to women employees.



Dowry: Woman poisoned to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
In yet another case of dowry death, a 28-year-old woman was allegedly poisoned by her in-law following a quarrel over dowry articles in the Field Gunj area here today.

The victim identified as Monika succumbed at Christian Medical College and Hospital. According to the victim's mother, Rupa Rani, Monika came to her house at Kali Sarak in Jodhewal Basti and started crying.

"She complained that her in- laws and husband Rajesh Malhotra torture her for dowry. In the meantime, her condition worsened. We took her to the hospital where she died," said Rupa Rani.

Monika was married to Rajesh for nine years and has a seven -year- old daughter from the wedlock.

The Jodhewal police has registered a case and started the investigation.



Three LPG cylinders, 2 computers stolen from school
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
Thieves struck at the Government Primary and Middle School at Bharo Munna village in Sahnewal and took away three cooking gas cylinders and two computers last night.

The incident came to light when teachers reached the school and found the premises ransacked.

According to the police, the thieves entered the school premises by breaking open the locks and fled with three LPG cylinders from the primary wing and two computers from the middle wing.

Nearly 100 students of Government Primary School, Bharo Munna, had to return home without food, as the midday meal could not be served today. Computer classes were also affected.



Police raids villages to arrest suspects
A Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 19
The local police yesterday raided several villages to nab the assailants involved in Wednesday’s attack on GADVASU students on the campus. PAU police station SHO Beant Juneja said they have constituted two teams to arrest the culprits. He said, “We are in possession of records and photographs of the attackers and will arrest them soon.” He added that the GADVASU authorities had been informed about their two students who were involved in the attack.

An FIR has been registered against six persons - Sandeep, Ally, Deepinder, Amit Garg, besides two others. The university authorities are yet to take action against their students involved in the incident. Dr Harpal Singh, dean, College of Veterinary Sciences, said, “We are awaiting the police investigation report but an FIR has been registered on victim Gundeep Singh’s complaint.”



Teenagers’ fight causes a flutter
Religious leaders intervene to resolve matter
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
Tension gripped the Salem Tabri area after a fight between two teenagers was lent a communal colour. So much so that residents even raised slogans against alleged police inaction.

The situation was saved by the timely intervention of leaders of the two communities, who heard the version of both teenagers and resolved the matter.

The incident took place last evening when two youths, identified as Prince and Captain, hurled abuses at each other and entered into a fight on a petty issue. Captain and his accomplices thrashed Prince. Prince's sister, who tried to save her brother, also sustained injuries in this process. The matter was brought to the notice of police and both sides were asked to record their statements.

Meanwhile, some miscreants spread the rumour that a boy belonging to a minor community was thrashed by eve-teasers. The rumour was that the girls were paying obeisance at a religious place when eve-teasers entered the premises and started harassing the girls. In the meantime, Prince came and entered into a fight with the eve-teasers.

The word spread like wildfire and rattled members of the community. They gathered at the religious place and demanded strict action against the offenders. The huge congregation of members of the particular group spread panic in the area.

Leaders of the communities arrived at the Salem Tabri police station. The truth behind the incident came to light when two youths and their parents narrated the entire episode.

SHO Salem Tabri Davinder Kumar said, "We have already registered an assault case and nabbed Captain and one of his accomplices in this connection."

Much ado about nothing

The incident took place last evening when two youths, Prince and Captain, hurled abuses at each other and entered into a fight on a petty issue. Captain and his accomplices thrashed Prince. Prince's sister, who tried to save her brother, also sustained injuries in this process. The matter was brought to the notice of the police and both sides were asked to record their statements. Meanwhile, some miscreants spread the rumour that a boy belonging to a minor community had been thrashed by eve-teasers.



Woman’s chain snatched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
Two unidentified youths, riding a motorcycle, snatched a gold chain from a woman hailing from Raj Guru Nagar here yesterday.

According to the victim, Minakshi, she was standing outside her house when the two youths came on a motorcycle and snatched her gold chain.

She raised the alarm but the miscreants fled the scene. The matter was reported to the Sarabha Nagar police.



Aditya bags three titles
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, August 19
Aditya Gupta hogged the limelight clinching three titles in the Open District Badminton Championship, which concluded at Shastri Hall near Guru Nanak Sports Complex here, recently.

Aditya clinched top honours in the boys U-15 (singles) as well as doubles besides emerging winner in the boys U-17 group (doubles).

In the boys singles group, Aditya, a class IX student of Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines branch, quelled a stiff resistance from Chirag Nagpal before winning 21-12 and 21-18.

Aditya along with Aayush Gupta got the better of Mitaksh Gandhi and Abhi Singla whom they defeated 21-14, 21-10.

Aditya added another gold medal to his kitty when he in association with Surya Goel outperformed the duo of Amit Bhasin and Guranjan 21-16, 21-11 in the boys U-17 (doubles) final.

However, in the boys singles final (U-17), Aditya went down fighting against Surya Goel. He waged a spirited battle in the first set but lost it 14-21.He surrendered meekly in the second set (5-21) which also cost him the title and he had to content with the runners up trophy.

Similarly, Steffi Kala too stole the limelight annexing three titles. She won titles in the girls U-19 singles, , senior women's and girls U-19 doubles to stamp her class.



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