L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


‘Love-lorn’ Girl commits suicide
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
A 21-year-old sociology student who was allegedly madly in love with a former Mr India committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan at her house in Chet Singh Nagar near Gill Chowk here today.

The deceased, Sonia Verma, was reportedly upset after her parents broke her engagement with former Mr India Sandeep Kumar and fixed her marriage with an engineer in Chandigarh.

The death of Sonia, a student of Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Model Town, triggered a protest by area residents, who demanded strict action against Sandeep Kumar.

Residents, led by area councillor Kashmir Singh Sheera, also raised slogans against the Shimlapuri police for conducting inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Cr PC.

The incident came to light in the morning when Radhey Sham, father of the deceased, went to her room and saw her hanging from the ceiling fan.

He raised an alarm and immediately informed the police about the suicide.

Stating the reason behind the suicide, Radhey Sham said, "The girl was previously engaged with Sandeep Kumar, who lives in our neighbourhood. But soon after the engagement, we @@ found out that except bodybuilding, the boy does nothing, so we broke the engagement and fixed Sonia's marriage with an engineer in Chandigarh."

Councillor Kashmir Singh Sheera said:”Sandeep did not like Sonia marrying somewhere else and started pressurising her. That might have forced the girl to commit suicide. Perhaps the boy might have been in possession of some objectionable photograph or MMS of the girl."

However, the suicide note procured by the police states a different story. It said the victim committed suicide after being pressurised by her parents, who wanted to marry her somewhere else.

On the other hand, the family members have raised doubts on the authenticity of the suicide note.

While Sandeep was not available for comments, his relatives dubbed the allegations against him as baseless. 

Profile of Sandeep

Mr India Sandeep Kumar had obtained the fourth position in the World Bodybuilding Championship held at Los Angeles, USA, last year

Content of suicide note

I, Sonia Verma (21), am a resident of Chet Singh Nagar Radhey Sham. My family is forcing me to marry but I want to study. If I commit suicide, my family would be responsible for it. If I run away from home, I would be solely responsible for it 

Confusion on suicide note authenticity

Sub-Inspector (SI) Gurbachan Singh said the suicide note was handed over to the police by Sandeep's brother-in-law. Meanwhile, Jaswinder Singh, SHO, said they were sending the suicide note to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory to verify its authenticity. Further action would be taken after receiving the report.


Patients suffer as doctors join dharna at Chandigarh
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
The OPDs at the Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital and government dispensaries in the district wore a deserted look as doctors working here went to Chandigarh to participate in the state-level dharna held by the PCMS Doctors Association outside the office of the Director Health Services, Punjab.

Throughout the day, the patients kept making rounds of the OPDs and returned without getting themselves checked up. However, the emergency services were provided.

Confirming this Dr Karanvir Goel, Senior Medical Officer, Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital, said,"There were doctors on the postmortem duty as well as for the dialysis and in the emergency ward, but not in the OPDs. All these doctors went to Chandigarh to participate in a dharna." Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Dinesh Sharma, a resident of Janakpuri, said,"I came here for getting my knee checked but after reaching here I got to know that doctors are not available here today."

Seema Rani, suffering from eye infection, wanted to see an ENT specialist, said,"I came from Islam Ganj, but there is none to check up my eye today, so I am going back."

Meanwhile, indoor patients had to return without being checked up by doctors. However, the paramedical staff was there to help them.

Meanwhile, Dr Hardeep Singh, president, PCMS Association, Punjab, said,"After the dharna at Chandigarh, we held a meeting with adviser to the CM Dr D S Cheema and Principal Secretary Karan Avtar Singh. They have assured us of issuing the notification of our long-pending demands by tomorrow."

The demands include increment to postgraduate doctors as per the recommendations of Vth Pay Commission, non-practising allowance should be treated as the basic pay for calculating house rent allowance, conveyance allowance to all doctors, 5 per cent house rent in lieu of rent-free accommodation and retirement age should be 58 years only and should not be 60 years.



triple murder
Kingpin held, has no remorse
Calls victims a nuisance for villagers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
“I have no regrets. I have killed the three in the interest of Jassowal village residents,” said Jagtar Singh Sukha after being arrested by the police today for the brutal murder of three youths, including Gurpreet, Jasbir and Inderjeet Singh Indu.

The three were killed by Sukha and his accomplices on the intervening night of December 7 and 8.

Sukha was arrested while he was escaping the area. The accused said he did not regret committing the crime.

Sukha said the three along with other youths addicted to drugs of other villages used to gather at his tube-well.

They had formed a gang and had become a nuisance in the area.

Further, the three had been indulging in eve-teasing. “Ask any girl in the village and they will be relieved to hear about the death of the three,” said Sukha.

He added that if he had not killed the three, they would have eliminated him and his gang.

“We have been preventing them from indulging in anti-social activities. So the three — Indu, Gurpreet and Jasbir — wanted to kill us,” said Sukha.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Gurpreet Singh Sikand said a hunt was on to arrest the remaining accused — Gurpal Singh Guri, Ravi, Satvir Davinder Kheri and Keetu, all resident of Jassowal village.

Shawinder Singh, sarpanch of Jassowal village, said: “Now Sukha is trying to be a hero and claiming that he has done it in the villagers’ interest. He was no less a headache for the villagers. Sukha and his partners in crime had also been involved in anti-social activities and drugs addiction.”



kolkata tragedy
MC ill-equipped to fight similar fire
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
The death of over 70 people in a fire at a hospital in Kolkata has opened the Pandora’s box, as the fire department here is ill-equipped to deal with such incidents.
A fireman uses the shoulder of his colleague to scale a wall during a fire-fighting operation in Ludhiana
A fireman uses the shoulder of his colleague to scale a wall during a fire-fighting operation in Ludhiana. File photos

Barring a few, most private hospitals in the city lack firefighting arrangements on their premises.

And, due to political interference, the fire department seldom carries out checks at these hospitals.

“Even if we conduct a check on the premises of any private hospital, we get calls from political leaders, especially councillors, calling such drives a ‘harassment’. Some private hospitals and commercial buildings maintain firefighting arrangements till the time they get a no-objection certificate,” said a senior fire department official, while requesting anonymity.

The fire department, which should be the most advanced and up-to-date department of the city, is one of the most neglected departments of the Ludhiana municipal corporation. For a city having a population of over 16 lakh, there are just 65 employees, including drivers, with the fire department.

Besides, the employees are ill-equipped to the extent that they don’t even have masks to cover their faces, let alone other safety gear.

Employees said though the corporation had got the green signal to employ staff in the fire department, due to some political reasons, the matter got delayed.

“Instead of eight-hour shifts, we have been working for 12 hours every day for the past several years. I wonder why no official has taken firefighting arrangements in our city seriously,” rued another official.

Kartar Singh, assistant divisional fire officer, says they have been making do with the available resources.

Even the firefighting vehicles, which are 33 in number, are very old and the civic body gets them repaired regularly to ensure there is no shortage of vehicles.

According to experts, the life of a fire engine is only 10 years and the fire department is still working with vehicles made in 1980s.

Only 10 new vehicles have been inducted into the fleet since 2002.

There is a shortfall of at least 40 firemen in the department. The department currently has just three leading firemen and 42 firemen.

Fact file

n Only 48 firefighters, as against a sanctioned fleet of 86 for a city with 16 lakh people

n Only 11 drivers for 33 firefighting vehicles

n Department manages with just three leading firemen

n 40 firemen needed immediately

n No 54-metre ladder for high-rise buildings

n No hydraulic ladder



Delhi-city flight lands in Chandigarh
Poor visibility due to fog the reason
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
The passengers on board the Delhi-Ludhiana Air India flight received a rude shock today when instead of landing at Sahnewal, the flight was taken to the Chandigarh airport, roughly 100 km from here. The reason cited for this by the airport authorities was poor visibility at the Ludhiana (Sahnewal) airport in the afternoon.

Air India officials said when the flight took off from Delhi, visibility was good at Ludhiana airport. But when the flight reached here, the visibility deteriorated due to foggy conditions, which resulted in the flight finally landing at Chandigarh.

Amrik Singh, manager, Air India, Ludhiana airport, said, “They were expecting its arrival on time. “The visibility today was 5 km and that is why, the flight took off from Delhi. But by the time it was to land here, the visibility decreased and then it was decided that the flight should be taken to Chandigarh.”

Moreover, the 14 passengers, who were to board the flight for Delhi, were also surprised as they had already checked in and were waiting for the flight.

Aman Phallar, owner of a holiday planner company, said, “Due to the poor track record of this flight, we have stopped taking this flight. Most of the times, the flight remains cancelled and passengers prefer either boarding a flight from Amritsar or Chandigarh. If our airport is upgraded, most airline companies can make big money as a large number of people are willing to avail this facility provided flights operate on regular intervals.”



Workshop on BEd syllabus revision
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
The Malwa Central College of Education for Women, Civil Lines (Ludhiana), organised a workshop on the revision of BEd syllabus for the academic session 2012-13 on the guidelines of the NCTE.

Teachers from various colleges of education affiliated to Panjab University, Chandigarh, attended the workshop.

Experts and subject teachers revised the syllabus of The Learner Nature and Development (Paper- ii) and Teaching and Learning Process (Paper-iii) for the forthcoming session.

The principal of the
college, Dr Ravinder Kaur, inaugurated the workshop.



Farmers block traffic
Dump potatoes on road over low pricing
Our Correspondent

Samrala, December 9
A few farmers led by BKU president Balvir Singh Rajewal threw potatoes on the main chowk and also set afire a heap of Basmati. They also distributed potatoes among passersby. The traffic on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road remained suspended for about 20 minutes due to this.

Rajewal accused the Central and state governments of working against the interests of the farmers. He called upon the farmers not to sow crop from the coming paddy season, as the Central and state governments were not paying well as compared to cost incurred on its cultivation. More than 20 lakh bags of potatoes are lying in cold stores for the past one-year and no one is bothered about the losses suffered by them, he added. This has forced the farmers to throw potatoes on roads.

He added that the rates of Basmati had been reduced by the Central government, but the input cost is increasing day-by-day. This issue has been discussed with Union Minister for Agriculture Sharad Pawar and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on numerous occasions, but they have refused to heed to demands of the farmers, he added.



Focus on eye disorders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
The Department of Ophthalmology of the Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) in collaboration with CBM, an NGO, organised a workshop on common eye disorders in the hospital’s auditorium here today. At least 100 general practitioners from the NIMA (National Integrated Medical Association) and the AIIMA (All-India Integrated Medical Association) and others attended the workshop.

Deputy Medical Superintendent and Head of the eye department Dr Nitin Batra said the workshop focused on the awareness and primary management of common eye disorders like diabetic retinopathy, pediatric cataract, computer vision syndrome, glaucoma, lids and ocular surface disorders.

Dr Kim J. Mammen, Associate Director, was the chief guest. Dr Kanwal Masih, Medical Superintendent, was the guest of honour. 



teachers’ protest
Two exams postponed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana December 9
Term examinations slated for Thursday and Friday were postponed in all government-aided private colleges of the city following a two-day strike by teachers today. Only university semester examinations of PG classes were held in the colleges.

Teachers of government-aided private colleges have been staging protests for the implementation of pension and gratuity.

Harish, a student of BA (II) at Arya College, said: “Our house tests are on but two of these have been postponed due to the teachers’ strike. We had been preparing for these examination for over a month. It is quite disappointing to hear this, as all our hard work has gone down the drain.”

Gitika, a BA (III) student: “We were to take elective English examination today. We are confused as to how long the teachers’ protest will continue.”

Meanwhile, the protesting teachers criticised the government policies. “The Punjab government has failed to fulfil its promise of implementing pension and gratuity schemes for teachers of government-aided private colleges,” said VK Bhardwaj, state secretary, Punjab and Chandigarh Teachers Union.

“We are aware of the fact that studies are suffering but we have been forced to protest as the government has failed to fulfil our demands,” said Prof Gurnam Singh.



Diversify in livestock sector, farmers told
240 students given degrees at vet varsity’s first-ever convocation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
“Punjab farmers should adopt subsidiary occupations to diversify agriculture in the livestock and fishery sector for better livelihood,” said Dr S Ayyappan, Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE)-cum-Director General (DG), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), while delivering his address at the first convocation of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) here today. Several members of the board of management were present.

Dr Ayyappan said the challenge before the veterinary and animal scientists was to increase productivity per animal. He called for the diversification of agriculture in livestock and fishery sector.

“Globally, livestock in developing countries contributes up to 80 per cent of the agricultural GDP, providing livelihood to some 600 million rural poor people. Livestock is the best insurance against the vagaries of nature like drought, famine and other natural calamities. Research needs to be undertaken on the impact of climatic change on livestock and fisheries and their mitigation strategies.”

He praised the crossbred herd of the university — one of the best performing herds in India with 305-day lactation milk yield of over 6,000 kg.

Artificial insemination needs to be improved continuously and new technologies like embryo transfer, cloning, etc. need to be standardised.

Dr Ayyappan congratulated the recipients of degrees and awards and their teachers for imparting quality education, skills and values.

Presenting the convocation report highlighting research, teaching and extension achievements of the university, Dr VK Taneja, Vice-Chancellor, GADVASU, spoke about the future strategies.

Dr Taneja said emphasis was being laid on practical hands-on training and entrepreneurial exposure of students through experiential learning and internship training.

In all, 240 students, who have completed their programme since the inception of the university, were awarded degrees.

These included 20 PhD, 39 MVSc, four MVSc/MSc (animal biotech), three MFSc and 174 BVSc and AH degrees.

The gold medallists include Amandeep Singh, Mamta Singh (Dr SC Dutt Gold Medal), Namita Mitra, Mir Nadeem Hassan (Dr SS Dhillon Gold Medal), Mamta Singh, Maninder Singh (University gold medals for BVSc and AH). 



‘Youths can help build Indo-Pak ties’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
Dr HA Qayyum, a professor at Pakistan, while interacting with students of the art and culture of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), said the younger generation was strengthening the bond between India and Pakistan.

Speaking at the function organised by PAU directorate students’ welfare, Dr Qayyum said need of the hour was to have global existence and youth should be worldly wise.

Earlier, Dr DS Cheema, director students’ welfare, PAU, welcomed the Pakistan delegates and participants. Appreciating the efforts of Pakistan professors in enhancing the knowledge of students, he said the same would be helpful in shaping their future personalities. He also presented a set of PAU publications to the delegation members.

Dr Qayyum distributed certificates to the winners of the North-Zone Inter-University Youth Festival. The mime team of PAU clinched second position. During the event, students also demonstrated their talent and skills through literary, theatre and music items.



Primary teachers sans salaries
Technical glitch, fund crunch to blame
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
Technical snag and shortage of funds have led to a delay in the disbursement of salaries to a large number of elementary teachers of various primary education blocks of the district.

As a result, teachers have been waiting for their salaries for the past two months. Hundreds of teachers from Primary Ludhiana 1, Ludhiana 2, Ludhiana 3, Mangat 1, Mangat 2 and Mangat 3 are sceptic of getting their salaries any time soon.

The new technology, meant to streamline the process, has ended up putting teachers to inconvenience, as the software introduced recently by the department has misplaced the data of these teachers.

On the other hand, the teachers who get their salaries in person have received their dues in time.

Besides the technical difficulties, the department is also facing the shortage of funds. Teachers have not received their salaries for November due to lack of funds.

An elementary teacher, Rakesh Kumar Sharma, said: “Apart from supporting our households, we have to pay for the mid-day meal from our pockets. We have been forced to borrow money, in the hope of repaying the debt once we receive our salaries. However, salaries are nowhere to be seen.”

“Teachers are finding it hard to sustain their families. The government should take urgent steps to solve the technical glitch and release teachers’ salaries as soon as possible,” said Dhana Singh Sawadi of the District Government Primary and Elementary Teachers Association.

Ranjit Singh Malhi, District Education Officer (Primary), said: “I don’t know when the department will release the salaries. Data of some education blocks has been misplaced. Moreover, the department doesn’t have adequate funds to release the salaries.” 



  Reduce edc charges: Realtors 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 9
The policy for regularisation of unauthorised colonies, notified by the Punjab government in December 2010 is incomplete, self-contradictory and unjust to the extent that it has defeated the very purpose for which it was brought into force. There was a general consensus on the policy during a seminar organised by the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) here today.

Builders and property developers, while discussing the various provisions of the policy, opined that it was full of procedural wrangles, coupled with the compounding fee as well as hefty external development charges (EDC) and time-bound commitment for internal development of the existing colonies, made it difficult, if not impossible for the developers to opt for regularisation.

Dinesh Garg, director, Basant Avenue, said the external development charges, especially for the colonies developed before August 2007 (the cut off date under the policy) was on a very higher side. “At that time, the PUDA and other local development authorities were levying the external development charges at the rate of Rs 3.5 lakh per acre. And for a colony developed before the cut off date they were charging four or five times more external development charges (Rs 400 per square yard). This is unjustified.”

Garg and other colonisers added that provisions of absolute ownership of the promoter at the time of regularisation, bank guarantee against completion of internal development works within one year and obtaining multiple no objection certificates (NOCs) from various departments need to be scrapped or simplified. They said the bank guarantee for internal development works of the unauthorised colonies ought to be taken only for the remaining part of development. The developers should be given the option to offer bank guarantee for the installments of the external development charges as well.

The colonisers said unless the existing policy was simplified, the rates of compounding the offence and the external development charges were slashed to a reasonable level and procedural wrangles done away with, the very purpose of the policy, would remain a pipe dream. The unauthorised colonies would continue to thrive across the state, they added.

Additional Chief Administrator of GLADA Jaswant Singh, who presided over the proceedings, assured the property developers that feedback received from them would be conveyed to the government for necessary action.



Man falls from roof, dies
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
Chander Shekher (35), a native of Uttar Pradesh who was working in a factory here, died after falling from the roof of his house located in the Gyapura area during the midnight.

The incident came to light when employees of a gas godown arrived and saw the dead body of the Chander Shekher.

They informed the police about the incident. The investigating officer said Chander was living alone in the room located close to the godown.

The police is investigating whether Chander Shekher was drunk and accidentally fell from the roof or he was pushed 
down to death. 



Sarpanch killed in accidental fire
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
In a freak incident, SAD worker Inderjeet Singh (40), sarpanch of Khaira Bait village, died due to an accidental fire here today. The investigating officer said the sarpanch died due to the accidental fire while he was presumably cleaning his .32 pistol at his residence early this morning.

Inderjeet was a close aide of Manpreet Singh Ayali and MLA Darshan Singh Shiwalik.

Gurpreet Kaur, wife of Inderjeet, said, "It was raining and the sound of lightning was deafening. The incident might have taken place at around 5 am in the morning when Inderjeet left the room and sat in the drawing room. Suddenly, there was some odd sound and I thought it to be that of lightning. I kept sleeping in the room. When I woke up at around 7 am, I was shocked to see Inderjeet lying in a pool of blood."

Harmail Kaur, mother of Inderjeet Singh, was inconsolable. "I do not know what happened, but this deadly weapon has led to the death of my child."

The police said the bullet hit his right temple. "He might have been cleaning the weapon when it incidentally went off," said the police.

Inderjeet was cremated here this evening. 



school notes
Kids show their athletic side

Ludhiana: Junior athletics meet of Kindergarten began on the premises of GMT Public School here today. Students of pre-nursery II took part in the athletics meet today. Students of classes III to V will take part tomorrow. The meet began with the recitation of shabad. Students of the junior block took part in the march past. Directors of the school Kashmir Singh Thind and Jasbir Singh Thind, respectively, along with principal Amarjit Dhaliwal declared the meet open. Children of pre-nursery took part in 20m, 40m, frog, banana, 50m, cycle and 100m races, respectively. Results: 20m race for pre- Nursery: Gurnadan, Anureet and Ayushi stood 1st, 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Boys: Krishnav, Sukhkaran and Tanil were declared the winners. In 40m race: Akshay, Danish and Moksh stood 1st, 2nd and 3rd, respectively. In girls 40m race A: Arshpreet, Ishpreet and Drishti were declared winners. In frog race for LKG: Ayush, Durga and Manjot were declared winners. In frog race for girls: Tamanpreet, Gurkirat and Vandana stood first, second and third, respectively. They were awarded gold, silver and bronze medals.

Painting contest

Painting competition was organised at St Bawra Public High School today. The event was organised by Indian Overseas Bank, Pakhowal Road branch. Children of Classes VII, VIII, IX and X too part in the competition. They were asked to paint on themes like Chacha Nehru, Save Trees Save Life. Senior manager of the bank Arun Chopra and manager Ashok Swami were present on the occasion. Rohan Bhagat, Komal and Deeksha Chhabra stood first; Robin Singh, Paras Oberoi and Gurpreet Kaur stood second; Harpreet Kaur, Japneet Kaur and Harkirat Singh stood third.

Sports day

Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, BRS Nagar, celebrated its annual sports day today. Sajjan Singh Cheema, ADCP (Traffic), was the chief guest. Cheema unfurled the flag and the function began with the march past of all the participants of four Houses. The sports captain on behalf of the entire school took the oath. Ball race for tiny tots, 100m, 200m and relay race entertained the onlookers. The function came to an end with the prize distribution. The award for the best athlete (boy) was given to Akshay Kaura and best athlete (girl) to Deepinder Kaur Sekhon. Gandhi House was adjudged the best.



Woman robbed of gold jewellery
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 9
The gang of con women has once again become active after remaining underground for the past two months. A few members of the gang snatched gold jewellery from an old woman near the Sidhwan Bet road here last evening.

The victim, identified as Balwinder Kaur, a resident of Jandi village near Sidhwan Bet, in a complaint lodged with the police, said she was waiting for a bus after meeting a relative at Ajitwal yesterday evening.

Two women stood besides her and started interacting with her. They asked Balwinder where was she going. Balwinder told them that she was waiting for the bus to reach Jandi village. At this, they said they, too, were going to Jandi village for attending marriage of one of their relatives. They offered a lift in their car.

According to the victim, one of the women made a call from her mobile following which a car arrived at the spot. One more woman was sitting inside the car. Three of them, including the victim, sat in the car. After traveling a few kilometers, the women removed the gold earrings and bangles the victim was wearing and dropped her at an isolated place.

A case has been registered against three unknown women and a man at the city police station.



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