L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Plagued with corruption? DC just a call away
Rahul Tewari makes his mobile phone number public
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 26
Even as the SAD-BJP state government is supporting social activist Anna Hazare, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari has found a novel way to tackle corruption in the district administration, many departments of which are notorious for being neck-deep in graft.

Tewari has made his mobile phone number public. “If any naib-tehsildar, tehsildar or a district administration official is demanding bribe for genuine work, people can call me at 9988113236. I will not tolerate corruption in the entire district,” he asserted.

Out of all the departments under the district administration, the revenue department is often dubbed the “den of corruption”. City residents often allege that the moment one enters the compound of any office of the Sub-Registrar, they are welcomed by scores of agents, who offer their “special services” to get work done.

Tewari said the problem with the revenue department was that the sale and purchase of land was a long and complicated process. “It is not only complicated in India, but also across the globe. To save time, some people fall prey to such persons, who seek bribe for genuine work. But I have been appealing to residents that they need not pay money to anyone in government offices for getting their work done. They only have to pay the fee fixed by the government,” he said.

Arvind Sharma, a resident of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, said: “The DC should not wait for people to call him up with their grievances. Rather, he should take a proactive approach. He should visit government offices often and interact with the people there. This way he will be able to get more accurate information about officials indulging in corruption.”


No check on patients exiting 
Civil Hospital ward
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 26
It appears there is utter lack of monitoring at one of the Civil Hospital’s wards where unidentified patients brought in emergency ambulances by the police and health officials leave the ward on their own without informing doctors or nurses.

Shiv Ram Saroy, a member of the Rogi Kalyan Samity said: "Recently a middle-aged man named Harish Kumar was found roaming at the hospital premises in a bad shape as he was suffering from a stomach disorder. After being treated he left the hospital without informing anyone. The very next day his relatives came here and asked about his whereabouts. Again, about five days ago a man involved in a theft case tried to exit the hospital but, after the staff raised an alarm, he was caught and handed over to the police”.

A similar incident occurred about fortnight ago when Surjeet Singh, an octogenarian, who was admitted to the ward, but left without informing anyone at the hospital. It has been found the passage that leads to this ward on the hospital’s second floor has no security check with people entering and exiting at will. 

,"How can we keep a check (on this ward) as we’re already short of staff with one nurse having to take care of 50 patients at night?” asked a female hospital employee.

Meanwhile, Dr Subhash Batta, senior medical officer and Ludhiana civil surgeon, said: "We are short of staff. We have five security guards but the hospital premises are large and only two are deputed on duty. Also, most of the patients we receive belong to the lower strata of society and can’t understand the pass and time bound visiting hour system. Moreover, who will keep issuing and collecting passes from visitors? If a criminal leaves the hospital without permission it’s the responsibility of the police”.



Now, auto dealers to issue RCs for new vehicles
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 26
In a move that has come as a relief to city residents who have to shuttle between district transport office and the Suvidha Centre to get hold of vehicle registration certificates (RCs), the onus of completing the necessary paperwork and delivering the certificate to a vehicle buyer will now be on the auto dealership.

Giving details about the initiative, district commissioner Rahul Tiwari, who chaired a meeting with a team of road safety experts from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, said the district transport office was working out the details and the new procedure will commence within a fortnight.

"Just imagine the volume of traffic on the city’s streets with nearly 300 people applying for vehicle registration at the Suvidha Centre every day. No wonder the staff is overworked," he added.

Special counters were recently set up at the Suvidha Centre to speed up processing of preparing vehicle registration certificates. However, instead of doing any good, the initiative backfired as many applicants complained they had to make repeated visits in the absence of proper guidelines while touts continued to fleece them.

According to sources close to the district administration, Tiwari, taking note of the complaints, recently called a meeting following which it was decided to entrust auto dealers with the responsibility of completing the vehicle registration formalities and handing over the certificates to their customers.

"This will reduce hassles for city residents. The employees working at automobile showrooms are experts in completing documentation. For them preparing a RC would be routine job and it would also ease the pressure of the employees," said district transport officer Ashwani Sharma.

The administration is said to have roped in a leading auto dealership in the city to launch the initiative. "If colleges could make learning license then why can't the automobile dealers handle processing of vehicle registration certificates?" asked Sharma.

However, Kamaljit Soi, vice-chairman of the Punjab State Road Safety Council, felt the administration should keep a strict check on vehicle registration processing by auto dealerships. “The move may encourage corruption among the dealerships, not to mention touts, as they may overcharge customers for the certificates”, he said.



Sub-Registrar fined Rs 7,000 
Failure to comply with orders of info commission
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
tribune news service

Ludhiana, August 26
The State Information Commission (SIC) has fined the Sub-Registrar of Jagraon Rs 7,000 for non-compliance of its orders.

On June 6, the commission had imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on the Sub-Registrar after he failed to provide appropriate information to a complainant, Ginny Ujjal Singh of Chandigarh. The case was adjourned to July 29 for confirmation by the respondent (Sub-Registrar) that the order of June 6 had been complied with. 

“However, no one appeared on behalf of the respondent on July 29, nor was a compliance report submitted. The case was then adjourned to August 25,” the order read.

A clerk had appeared on behalf of the respondent yesterday and submitted that the compensation had not been paid. 

“This attitude of the respondent has resulted in two adjournments and wastage of the time of the complainant and the commission. I, therefore, deem it fit to enhance the compensation amount to Rs 7,000, which shall be delivered to the complainant by way of a cheque by the respondent’s department. A copy of this order shall be endorsed to the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, by name so that appropriate departmental action is taken against the Sub-Registrar for causing further loss to the state exchequer due to non-compliance of the order,” the orders passed by the Chief Information Commissioner, RI Singh, stated.



IIT team in city to study traffic chaos
To recommend ways to reduce congestion
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 26
“Monstrous” traffic proportions brought an IIT Delhi team to the city today. The team, which will study traffic problems and find a solution, met top officials and made them aware of the pattern of traffic and how fatal accidents could be reduced. 

The team was invited to study traffic following an initiative of transport minister Surjeet Kumar Jiyani.

Separate meetings were conducted with the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner, District Transport Officer, Commissioner of Police and SP (Traffic) Jagraon.

The team included Dinesh Mohan, a professor at IIT who is the Delhi coordinator for the transportation research and injury prevention programme. 

Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, Mohan, who was in town at the invitation of Kamaljit Soi, vice-chairman of the Punjab State Road Safety Council, told The Tribune: “Lack of education is the major cause behind the failure of development projects. In China 7,000 people do their PhD in engineering, while in India a mere 500 students pursue engineering”.

While referring to the “reckless” construction of flyovers and the ensuing delay in completing them, Mohan said: "Most of these ventures are engineering disasters and don’t serve any purpose. First they construct a flyover, which instead of easing traffic creates more problems. Then they erect another bridge or a ramp but the problem remains the same. I am sure your city would be facing similar problem. The solution is to take the advice of experts before going ahead with such project."

Mohan has been actively contributing in improving road safety measures for over two decades. He is also a member of American Society of Biomechanics, Institution of Engineers, India.



Education top official caught napping
Unaware of ban on student unions in state
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 26
Punjab’s Secretary for Higher Education Roshan Sunkaria is perhaps not aware that at present, student unions do not exist in the state.

Passouts are all smiles at the convocation of the SCD Government College in Ludhiana
Passouts are all smiles at the convocation of the SCD Government College in Ludhiana on Friday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

This was reflected today when he was talking to The Tribune after the annual convocation at the SCD Government College here.

Asked if student unions should be revived or not, he said, “Student unions already exist in the state. Is there a problem?” The student poll was a political issue and perhaps, that was the reason he was not aware of it.

When told by this correspondent that these had been banned, he evaded a proper answer and said, “It is a political issue. I have nothing to do with it.”

Talking about new government colleges, Sunkaria said, “These are in areas where the enrolment rate is low. New batches have started and buildings are partly ready.”

On the occasion, he awarded the roll of honour to 30 students for their achievements in academics, cultural events and sports.

The college awarded postgraduation degrees to 400 and graduation degrees to 700. 



Four hospitals found violating bio-waste norms
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 26
A team of the Punjab Pollution Control Board today visited five hospitals in the district and found four of them violating bio-waste norms.

Rajiv Sharma, executive engineer of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), said veterinary civil hospitals at Doraha and Sahnewal were not bio-waste disposal norms. “We found gross violations. Neither were they segregating syringes nor shredding blades. Everything was being dumped in one bin,” he said.

The other hospitals which were inspected were Sahnewal Clinic, which was complying with biomedical waste rules, and Inder Hospital at Sahnewal and Grewal Hospital, which were violating norms. He said the PPCB would take action against violators under the Environment Protection Act.



Protest against overcharging
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 26
City residents along with BJP workers held a protest against the contractor of a parking due to alleged overcharging at Ludhiana Municipal Corporation’s Feroze Gandhi Market parking lot. The protestors alleged that the parking lot contractor is openly overcharging and when anyone objects to it, his staff misbehaves.

Anilesh Mishra, convener of Investor Cell of BJP alleged that when he came to visit an office in Feroze Gandhi Market on his scooter today, he was given parking slip of Rs 10.

“As per the rates fixed by MC, any person who parks his scooter for less than four hours pays Rs 5. And if the scooter remains parked for more than four hours, the rate is Rs 10. This clearly shows that the contractor is indulging in overcharging and is openly flouting all rules,” alleged Mishra.

On the other hand, parking contractor Amarjit Singh stated that this issue arose when one of his staff members issued a wrong parking slip to Anilesh Mishra. “When they were holding a protest, I had gone to pacify them and had even felt sorry on behalf of my staff. I assured that such incident would not take place in the future,” claimed Amarjit Singh.



Callous water board irks LIT
Sewerage lines yet to be repaired, road near city centre washed away
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 26
The Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) has taken a serious note of the failure of the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board (PWSSB) to carry out timely repair and restoration of water and sewerage lines in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar here that had suffered extensive damage due to the heavy rain on the night of August 12. The incessant rain had also washed away 750 to 800 foot of the main road near City Centre.

While residents of the 475-acre residential scheme are bearing the brunt by way of choked and overflowing sewage and disrupted water supply, the LIT is facing the wrath of the people even though the work of operation and maintenance of water supply and sewerage has been assigned to the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board.

According to LIT chairman MM Vyas, board officials were telephonically intimated about the damage caused to the water supply and sewerage lines in the locality with earnest request that repair and restoration work be carried out on priority basis. “After telephonic intimation, letters were written to the senior board officials on July 19 and 23 to reiterate the urgency of the work.”

More than the failure of the board to carry out the assigned task of repairing and restoration of the water supply and sewerage lines in SBS Nagar in the desirable manner, the LIT has taken strong note of the evasive and indifferent attitude of the agency. In a strongly worded letter, the engineering branch of the LIT has expressed its displeasure at an irresponsible statement made by an official of the rank 
of SDO that he was not aware of the problem till yesterday.

The officials of the engineering branch of the LIT assert that even after being told to submit a detailed estimate of the work required to be done for repair and restoration of damaged water supply and sewerage lines, the board had failed to do so till now. “On July 16, the board had sent a tentative estimate of Rs 11.50 lakh for replacement of damaged lines but we are still to receive the detailed estimate for releasing the funds,” the officials added.

The LIT has decided to drain out the overflowing sewerage water in the affected areas at its own level to ward off the threat of outbreak of an epidemic. 



State-level haematology quiz at CMCH
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 26
A Punjab and Himachal Pradesh state level quiz was held at Christian Medical College and Hospital on behalf of the Indian Society of Haematology and Transfusion Medicine (ISHTM), a today. Postgraduate students from six different medical colleges i.e. CMC Ludhiana, DMC Ludhiana, GMC Patiala, GMC Amritsar, Adesh Institute Bhatinda and RPG Medical College Kangra participated in the quiz.

Dr Neha Talwar, Navin Mathew and Jessita from CMC Ludhiana were the winners and Dr Kavita, Vivek Rana and Amit Madaan from Government College, Patiala were runners up in the quiz. DMC Ludhiana bagged third prize.

The quiz was conducted as part of the 1st National Haematology quiz for postgraduates. The state and zonal coordinator Dr Naveen Kakkar said the unique nature of the quiz was a three-member team with postgraduates from medicine, paediatrics and pathology.

National coordinator Dr M Joseph John, Associate Professor & Head of Clinical Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant at CMC Ludhiana commented, the goal of initiating this event at the national level was to increase the awareness of Haematology as a sub-speciality among the students.

“The three-member team would stress on the importance of clinicians and pathologists working together to render the best care for the patients,” he added

The winners and the runners up would take part in the North zone competition on October 5th at PGI, Chandigarh. The grand finale would be held at the same venue during the national ISHTM conference on 11 November.



Boozers outwit traffic policemen 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 26
Ingenious boozers of the city have devised new ways to outsmart policemen and get away with it even after being examined by an alcoholmeter. Innovative methods adopted by tipplers have put the traffic police in a tizzy. Despite being well aware of the fact the vehicle driver has consumed liquor, it has to let the offender go as the alcoholmeter suggest that the amount of liquor consumed was within permissible limit.

Exposing the tactic often used by the boozers, a traffic cop said, “The residents have become really smart. When they are asked to throw the air in the alcoholmeter. They fill air in their mouth, but instead of passing it through the mouth they throw it through their nose. The alcoholmeter either fails to detect the amount of liquor consumed or projects it under the permissible limit in majority of the cases, though it is evident that the person was driving the vehicle under the influence of liquor.”

“As the tipplers are frequently adopting this technique to escape from being challaned, we had started pinching their nostrils so that they throw the air into the alcoholmeter,” the traffic cop added.

Even Additional Deputy Commissioner (Traffic) Sajjan Singh Cheema had admitted that boozers were using this trick to escape from being challaned.



Seeking justice via RTI Act
Parents of teenager crushed under MC truck want information
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 26
Making the right to information (RTI) Act a tool for seeking justice, parents of Abhishek Maingi, who died after being crushed under a Ludhiana municipal corporation (MC) garbage truck on August 6, have sought information under the Act about the details of the vehicle, its worthiness certificate issued by the transport department, details about the driver and other details from the MC.

“Enough is enough. Many innocent people have lost their lives to MC garbage trucks. When I get this information, I will be able to present my point of view by suggesting some alternatives to the civic body as well as the state government. It will not only help society, but put a stop to such deaths, which are very unfortunate,” said Akhilesh’s father Lokesh Mohan Maingi.

Lokesh prepared an RTI application, with 26 questions, which had been sent to the public information officer (headquarters) of the MC.

“It is sad that people are being treated like animals in the city. Despite several deaths, the MC has failed to put brakes on this menace. Whenever someone dies in such incidents, MC officials come with a compensation cheque for Rs 2 lakh. Does they mean that the cost of a human life is Rs 2 lakh? It is shameful on their part,” rued Maingi.

He pointed out that MC trucks ferries garbage from 10 pm to 5 am in some cities. “Why can the MC not fix these timings when it knows that traffic on roads will be comparatively less? Instead it fixes morning and afternoon hours, when a large number of people are using roads. That is why such incidents take place,” said Maingi, who had formed the NGO Akhilesh Maingi Welfare Society.



NRHM employees’ dharna continues
Tribune News Service

National Rural Health Mission employees protest in Ludhiana
National Rural Health Mission employees protest in Ludhiana on Friday. photo: inderjeet verma

Ludhiana, August 26
Dharna by National Rural Health Mission employees continued today also.

Rajinder Singh state spokesman of NRHM said,"Today our representatives are holding a meeting with Health and Family Welfare Minister Satpal Gosain and we hope to get some positive response. In case our demands are not fulfilled, we will plan our next mode of action."



LIT’s Rs 15-cr offer to government
To get into infrastructure development
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 26
Responding to the appeal made by the Punjab government to urban local bodies and improvement trusts in the state to contribute to infrastructure development in industrial areas and at industrial focal points, the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) has submitted a proposal to undertake development projects worth Rs 15 crore at the industrial focal point here or at other industrial belts in the city.

LIT chairman MM Vyas said a special meeting of the trust held here the previous evening adopted a resolution under section 69-A of the Punjab Town and Country Development Act to undertake infrastructure development projects with the funding of a minimum amount of Rs 15 crore in any of the industrial belts suggested by the government.

He said once the proposal got the nod of the government, the trust would take up the matter with the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation or the Secretary of the industries department, depending on the site given to the LIT for a development project.

“Though it will be too early to say anything about the nature of the project that the LIT will undertake at the industrial focal point or at any other industrial belt in the city, we have suggested the construction of a exhibition and trade fair centre with modern amenities for members of the industry,” he added.

According to Vyas, the construction of dwelling units for economically weaker sections, industrial workers and the migrant population was another project which the LIT could undertake, provided a suitable piece of land was provided by the government for the purpose.

“If land is provided to the LIT for flats, we will take care of the planning, design and construction of flats to make available affordable houses to the industrial workforce and jhuggi-dwellers,” he stated.

The LIT chairman further stated that though the road network and disposal of sewage and rainwater at the focal point and other industrial areas in the city was in dire need of repair and renovation, this work could better be assigned to the municipal corporation, which had also been asked to take up infrastructure development in these areas.



Industry up in arms over proposed toll hike
Urges govt to prevail upon NHAI to review its decision
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 26
Up in arms over the proposed hike of more than 10 per cent in toll charges at Ladhowal and Shambhu on the National Highway No 1, industrialists have urged the state government to prevail upon the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to review its decision.

A meeting of leading industrialists and public representatives, which was convened by the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) here today, observed that hefty toll tax being charged by the NHAI had hit the common man hard.

General secretary of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) Avtar Singh said those travelling in car, van and the Jeep would have to shell out Rs 94 for single trip and Rs 140 for round trip at Ladhowal toll plaza. Similarly, people will have to pay Rs 54 and Rs 80, respectively, at Shambhu toll plaza. The hike in toll rate will be effective from September 1 till August 2012.

Narrating the woes of the industrialists, he remarked that the state was land-locked with no raw material. The local industry had to bear additional cost in freight, central sales tax, entry tax and other local taxes with the net result that goods produced in Punjab were costlier to neighboring states. “Thus, burden of excessive toll tax is unbearable. Moreover, the exorbitant rate of toll tax has increased the transportation cost, which will lead to further hike in prices of basic commodities,” he added.

Upkar Singh, joint secretary, CICU, and others pointed out that the NHAI was collecting huge revenue by way of toll tax at Ladhowal and Shambhu. In addition to toll tax, the Centre was currently collecting a cess of Rs 2 on petrol and Rs 1 on diesel to finance the NHAI. As such Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 crore was being made available annually through these means depending on the average price of petrol and diesel.

The leaders of the industry have asked the NHAI to make public the details of hefty toll tax collections and availability of funds from cess on petrol and diesel as also the expenditure being incurred on maintenance and development of national highways in the state. The state government, at the same time, ought to take up the matter with the NHAI to oppose the proposed hike in toll rates.



Contamination sparks protest at Gobindgarh
Our Correspondent

Khanna, August 26
Residents of about a dozen villages protested against the Mandi Gobindgarh nagar council here today for not giving their problems a proper hearing.

The protesters alleged that the civic body had started dumping garbage and discharging polluted water on land purchased by it for the installation a water treatment plant.

Baldev Singh said the nagar council had purchased six bighas near the villages about five years back. He stated that the water was used for agriculture, affecting crops.

He added that the villages affected included Badali, Barounga, Fatehpur, Wazirabad, Mudriyan, Mullanpur Kalan, Mullanpur Khurd, Wazir Nagar, Kheri and Jalalpur.

Gurmeet Singh alleged that residents of villages were getting afflicted by cancer, paralysis and skin diseases from the garbage and contaminated water.

Girjinder Singh claimed that the authorities had assured them at the time of land purchase that a water treatment plant would be installed there.

When contacted, Amloh SDM Tejinder Singh said the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed municipal councils not to dispose of garbage and contaminated water in this manner.

He asserted that an inquiry was pending in this regard and appropriate steps would be initiated in this regard.



Hospital’s ayurveda dept opens tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 26
The Deep Hospital at Model Town here is set to be the first hospital in North India to open an independent ayurveda department. It will be operational from August 28. The department will be headed by Dr Gauhar Vatsyayan.

Disclosing this, hospital director Dr Baldeep Singh said, “With 20 medical super-speciality departments, the hospital will offer ayurveda treatment, with a regular OPD and IPD. Of the 200 beds, 20 have been reserved for ayurveda indoor patients. Advance ayurveda procedures for chronic patients will be available.”

Dr Vatsyayan said, “The department will offer treatment for a number of ailments like gastroenterological diseases, neuro- muscular problems, auto-immune diseases, degenerative and geriatric diseases, psychiatric diseases and stress and lifestyle disorders.”



4-day dance carnival ends
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, August 26
A four-day dance carnival came to an end at Om Parkash Bansal Modern School, Mandi Gobindgarh today. The carnival was organised for pre-primary and class I students to select the best dancers of the class. Total Four students, two from pre-primary Nilesh and Divyatas, and two from Class I-Preena and Iva were given principal's prize for their performances.

RIMT wins overall swimming championship

RIMT-Institute of Engineering and Technology, Mandi Gobindgarh won overall championship trophy in the inter college women swimming championship, held at IET Bhaddal, Ropar.

Sports director Deepak Randhawa said college student Manjot Kaur Sidhu, bagged six gold and one silver medal in various events. He added that she has also bagged the award of Best Swimmer 2011 for the second consecutive year.



Students yes, teachers no
Gurvinder Singh

Ludhiana, August 26
Children in uniform walking in rows and praying together in assemblies are a common sight in the mornings at government schools in the state, but these assemblies are increasingly becoming devoid of teachers.

It is not unusual to see schoolteachers having breakfast in the staff room or marking notebooks of students while hearing prayers. Call it their callousness or compulsion, the absence of ‘role models’ in assemblies will defeat the purpose of having these.

Most teachers attribute it to their attempt to make the most of time. “It takes me more than 40 minutes to reach school. I commute by three vehicles. Hiring a vehicle to board the bus and then hiring a rickshaw to the school sometimes takes me more than an hour,” said a teacher, requesting anonymity.

“Many of my colleagues and I have requested that we be deputed at schools at or near our hometowns, but nothing has been done so far,” the teacher rued. “Forget one or two, there is no teacher at morning assemblies,” claims a student of the government school at Sidhwa Bet.

Responding to queries on the issue, DEO Sudesh Bajaj said, “It is not that teachers do not attend assemblies. If some teachers do not do so, they cannot be forced.

Notices are being served regularly as and when any such matter of indiscipline comes to our attention. As a result, things are now improving.”



Anna wave continues
Hunger strikes, rallies, protests all around town
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 26
Hunger strike by Kamal Kumar Babla, an activist of CB Welfare Association, to support Gandhian Leader Anna Hazare reached its third day. Many activists and office bearers of various social, political and trade organisations continued to demonstrate and protests in the region.

Ravinder Puri president of the Journalist Association, with few fellow members perpetuated the chain fast organised by the organisation to show solidarity with the crusader against corruption.

Tarsem Garg, patron of the organisation said, the decision to support Anna Hazare Kranti was taken with an intention to press upon the local administration to communicate feelings of residents to the Union Government.

The activists marched through the streets and raised slogans against corruption.

A torch rally was organised from statue of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha at his native village to Jagraon Bridge at Ludhiana last evening.

Former Minister and SAD leader Jagdish Singh Garcha led the protestors demanding implementation of Jan Lokpal Bill drafted by the Anna’s team.

Activists of Government Teachers’ Union, Punjab, led by Baljit Singh Latala president organised a protest rally on Ludhiana-Malerkotla highway at Dehlon. Later they handed over a memorandum to Harbans Singh, Naib Tehsildar. 



Woman dies of burns
Our Correspondent

Samrala, August 26
An elderly woman residing in Himat Nagar here succumbed to her injuries at the PGI in Chandigarh two days after she received burn injuries in the explosion of a stove at her kitchen of her house on August 24.

Her family rushed her to the civil hospital here. From there, she was referred to the PGI in Chandigarh in a critical condition.  No case was registered in this regard. She was survived by five sons and daughters. Her husband had died earlier. The body was handed over to her family after post-mortem examination.



166 bags of contraband seized
Were to be used during SGPC poll, suspect cops
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, August 26
Following the seizure of two huge consignment of poppy husk and opium by the Ludhiana (Rural) police within 20 days, speculations are rife among political circles and local residents that these, recovered by the police in two operations, were meant to be used during the SGPC poll scheduled to held on September 18.

The Sidhwan Bet police had recovered more than 90 bags of poppy husk from the truck (PB07-2486) on the Janetpura-Sadarpura link road near Sidhwan Bet in the first week of August.

Though the police had arrested the drug peddler - truck driver Rajinder Singh alias

Bhola of Bagha Purana-some of his accomplices succeeded in escaping from the police custody.

A joint team of the Sudhar and Raikot police led by DSP Raikot Pirthipal Singh, held two drug peddlers, including a proclaimed offender Dharamjit Singh and a migrant from Uttar Pradesh Ram Singh with huge consignment of poppy husk and opium.

The police recovered 76 bags of poppy husk and 4.8 kilograms of opium from the truck and a car owned by Dharamjit Singh near Kelley village on August 24.

According to sources in the police department, the accused in both cases admitted during the preliminary investigation that there was rise in the demand of poppy husk. Proclaimed offender Dharamjit Singh, who is involved in drug paddling since long, has also confessed to supplying huge quantity of poppy husk and opium in the area recently.

Though the police officials are neither denying nor confirming the possibility of the drugs-seized during the past three weeks-were to be used during the SGPC elections.

However, sources assert that the sudden spurt in the demand and smuggling of the drug is a strong indication that the drugs were to be used during the SGPC elections to attract the voters.



20 days on, accused roaming free, alleges victim’s kin
Kamal Verma of Raikot sustained serious injuries in attack on August 5; cops working under pressure, says family
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 26
Apparently having learnt no lesson from two previous incidents of honour killings, which embarrassed the police department, yet another incident of murderous attack on a youth by family members of a girl hailing from different caste is being taken lightly by it.

Five persons allegedly attacked Kamal Verma, son of Ram Gopal Verma, a resident of Raikot, while he was returning to his house after closing his jewellery shop on August 5.

Kamal Verma sustained serious injuries and the thumb of his left hand was sliced.

The accused had clashed with family members of Kamal Verma on numerous occasions in the past. The accused had reportedly been threatening the family members of the youth to leave the city.

The reason behind the attack on Kamal Verma was that he was in love with a girl belonging a Jat Sikh family of one of the accused.

Family members of the girl got angry when they came to know their relationship and threatened to kill the youth. The family members of the youth lodged numerous complaints with the Raikot police, but the cops failed to act.

They also approached the SSP Ludhiana (Rural), Chief Minister and the DGP but to no avail. They then moved the Punjab State Human Rights Commission. The commission directed the SSP Ludhiana (Rural) to give protection to the victim’s family.

It was only after this that the family returned to Raikot. But, the police failed to provide security to the family and Kamal Verma was attacked on August 5.

The police booked five persons-Baljinder Singh, Pardeep Singh and three unidentified persons-for attempt to murder. But none of them have been arrested even after more than 20 days of attack on the youth.

The family members of the victim youth have blamed the police for not arresting the accused under political pressure.

The family members of the victim fear that the accused might attack the youth and even kill him if the police fails to arrest them at the earliest. 



Snatching incidents make cops tizzy 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 26
Beware, a gang of snatchers is on the prowl in Sarabha Nagar and BRS Nagar as three incidents of snatching have been reported in the past one-week. The police claims that a large number of snatching cases have not even been reported so far.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ashish Chaudhary said: “Yes we know that an organised gang is on the prowl. We have beefed up security in the area and are keeping a close watch on them.”

Two snatchers came on the motorcycle and took away a gold chain worn by Minakshi while she was standing outside her house on August 18. The gang also snatched the gold chain worn by Suman Sehgal while she was walking near a school in BRS Nagar on August 21. The snatcher fled with a gold chain of Gora Lal while he was going towards his house in Sarabha Nagar.



Stolen truck traced
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 26
The goods container laden with export-quality forging tools worth Rs 20 lakh, which went missing from the freight station in Focal Point on Wednesday night was found parked in Jamalpur Colony today morning.

Residents spotted the truck parked in the colony and informed the police, which took it into its possession.

Avinash Gupta, owner of RN Gupta and Company, confirmed the development. He said, “The police informed us today that the truck was spotted in Jamalpur. We have not only been saved from huge monetary lose, but it could have harmed our reputation as we would not have been able to deliver the goods on time.”

According to the Focal Point SHO, the truck was abandoned but material was intact. No one has been arrested so far. Sources said the thieves had laid their hands on the material, but failed to decamp with the entire lot. 



Punjab karatekas win 33 medals 
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 26
Karatekas from Punjab won several medals in the National Shito-Ryu Karate Championship held on August 20 and 21 at Kolkata.

The Punjab squad consisting of 65 players (between six to 12 years) won about 33 medals, including 11 gold, 13 silver and nine bronze medals. All of them have qualified for the Asia Pacific Games to be held at Sydney in Australia from October 17.

On the basis of their performance in Kolkata, the Punjab contingent was adjudged the best team while coach Ashok Chouhan was adjudged the coach.

The medal winners were honoured at a function held at Guru Nanak Stadium, here today.



IS Bindra XI declare at 600 for 7
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, August 26
IS Bindra XI batsmen went on a leather hunt as they declared their first innings at 600 runs for the loss of seven wickets on the second day of the second match against Chaman Lal Malhotra XI in the PCA Players’ Emerging Cricket Tournament being organised by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association under the patronage of Punjab Cricket Association at Punjab Agricultural University here today.

Resuming the second day’s proceedings at 243 for two, IS Bindra XI hoisted a mammoth total of 600 runs, which came off 127.3 overs.

Overnight not out batsmen, Manan Vohra (139) and Gurkirat Mann (48) began today’s innings on a cautious note, but the former could add just five runs to his score before he lost his wicket. However, Gurkirat was in his true element and played a brilliant innings of 199 runs.

Taruvar Kohli made 94 runs while Ishan Malhotra contributed 62 runs and Geetansh Khera remained unbeaten on 28 runs.

For Chaman Lal Malhotra XI, Rahul Singla was the most successful bowler, claiming three wickets for 194 runs. Amrinder scalped two victims for 140 runs while Mohit Mohindra and Sidharth chipped in with one wicket each.

Chaman Lal Malhotra XI, too, started their reply on a sound note with 61 runs on the board without losing a wicket. Jeewanjot Singh and Shiv Love were at the crease with 30 and 31 runs against their names.



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