L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Bomb Hoax at Capt’s Rally
Call traced to venue
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
A day after the bomb hoax created panic hours before the PPCC president, Capt Amarinder Singh's, rally at Giaspura, police investigation has revealed that the anonymous call was made from barely a few meters away from the venue of the rally.

Confirming the development, Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashish Choudhary said the call was made in the Giaspura area. He said the police was very close to nabbing the caller. Police sources said the culprit made the call using a SIM card which was purchased on fake identity proofs.

The city police was in a tizzy barely a few hours before the arrival of Capt Amarinder Singh when an anonymous caller claimed he had planted a bomb under the stage from where the leader was to address the rally.

The police conducted a thorough search operation at the venue. Later, a dog squad and explosive detection team also went through the area. Police teams examined the stage, chairs and vehicle parked nearby. Vendors were asked to move away from the place. But nothing was found in the two-hour operation, which ended minutes before the arrival of Capt Amrinder Singh.

Taking a potshot at the Opposition, Amarjit Tikka said that the heavy turnout of supporters at the rally proved that they were not scared of false threats and were determined to bring the Congress back into power in the state.

Amarinder was unfazed

When Capt Amarinder Singh was informed about the bomb threat after his chopper landed, he told me that he had witnessed many such threats in the past.

— Amarjit Tikka, Media in-charge of the PPCC



Supporters of Bains, Gabria at loggerheads again
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Tempers between supports of independent candidate Simarjit Singh Bains and SAD candidate Hira Singh Gabria rose again at Model Town area here today. The incident took place here this afternoon when the supports of both Bains and Gabria indulged in a heated argument while canvassing in the colony located near Krishna Mandir.

The situation could have turned ugly, but the police reached the spot on time and separated the two groups.

The supports of Simarjit Singh Bains have levelled an allegation that the supports of Hira Singh Gabria had torn the posters of the independent candidate.

According to SHO Jaswinder Singh, Model Town, the police has received a complaint in this regard and initiated the investigation.

He further said an action would be taken against the culprits. It is not the first time that the supports of Gabria and Bains have locked horns with each other.

Both groups had exchanged blows barely a week ago. The Shimlapuri police later resolved the matter.



Experts to take care of faulty EVMs
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
The Election Commission has deputed a dedicated team of engineers which will take care of non-functional EVMs. The Chief Electoral Office (CEO) has asked the Senior Marketing Manager, ECIL, Hyderabad, to send 67 engineers to Punjab on January 23, the day when EVMs will be set accordingly by returning officers at their respective polling booths.

Besides, 31 and 27 engineers, respectively, will be deputed in the state on January 30 and March 6, i.e. the days of polling and counting.

These engineers will report a day earlier to the respective DC-cum-district election officers. They will sit in their offices and the moment any EVM malfunctions they will rush to the spot and rectify the error.

An official said: “The EC takes every step to ensure that the EVMs are set accordingly and then sent to and collected from polling booths in the most scientific and transparent manner. However, long-distance transportation, like the present set of EVMs have been transported from West Bengal, and inept handling at times by poll staff lead to faults in these EVMs,” said the official.


MC official in dock for delay in RTI info
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Taking note of the delay in providing information to a city resident under the Right to Information Act, the State Information Commission has ordered the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation to be present in person on the next date of hearing.

A city resident, Sat Pal Sharma, had sought information from the MC regarding the construction of a workshop by the owner of a sweet shop in Street Number 1, Durga Puri, in the Haibowal area.

“It is a residential area and the owner of a sweet shop is still running the workshop there. I had asked for information under the RTI Act regarding the building plan of the workshop, MC officials who gave sanction for the construction of this building and what action MC has taken to check this illegal workshop,” said Sharma.

During the case hearing today, the State Information Commissioner ordered: “The case was last heard on November 29, 2011, through Video Conferencing when none was present on behalf of the respondent. Jagdish Ram, appearing on behalf of the appellant, informed the commission that information provided to him is incomplete and incorrect. Accordingly, directions were issued to the PIO to supply correct and complete information to the appellant within 15 days after affording any opportunity of personal hearing to him.

“He was directed to explain reasons for the absence. He was also directed to depute APIO on the next date of hearing, i.e. today (December 21), along with complete and correct information so supplied to the appellant.”

On December 21, no official was present on behalf of the respondent. “Taking a serious view of the disobedience of orders of the Commission shown by the PIO, he is directed to be present in person on the next date of hearing to explain reasons in writing/orally as to why provisions of Section 20(1) and 19(8)(b) be not invoked against him for wilfully not supplying complete and correct information to the appellant. He is also directed to supply complete and correct information to the appellant within 15 days and bring one copy of the information so supplied to the appellant on the next date of hearing.

“He is also directed to submit a list of PIO’s who remained posted since October 19, 2010, the date of submission of RTI application by the appellant so that responsibility for the delay in supplying complete and correct information to the appellant could be fixed.”



Man strangled to death
Police suspects robbery behind murder
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Panic spread in the Mundia area last night after the body of a man, draped in a quilt, was found on the pavement at 33 -foot road here last night. Initially the resident thought that the man, who seemed to be in his earlier twenties, perhaps died due to cold, but later it was turned out that the victim was strangled to death.

The incident took place around 11:30 pm when the watchman of the locality saw the body draped in quilt. He raised the alarm and informed the area residents about the incident.

Teg Bahadur, watchman, said the man’s face was covered with a sack and muffler was tightly knotted around his neck. Preliminary investigation suggested that the victim was thrashed and strangled to death and later his body was dumped on the roadside by the killers.

Soon after receiving the information, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Sahnewal, Jaswinder Singh reached the spot.

The police suspects that the victim was strangled to death with a muffler. Kulwant Singh, SHO, Jamalpur police station, said prima facie it appeared that the man was killed and his body was dumped on the road side.

The case would be registered after receiving postmortem report,” said the SHO.

Victim identified

The victim, who was found dead in Mundia on Friday night, has been identified as Mohd Ajmal from Bihar. He used to sell peanuts in the Jamalpur area. Police sources confirmed that robbery was the cause of murder. The victim’s father claimed that his son was carrying Rs 30,000.



Violation of norms
Fuel station staff fill petrol in bottles
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Flouting the Election Commission’s (EC) guidelines with impunity, fuel station employees are seen filling petrol in bottles and giving it to residents of the city. The filling of petrol in bottles has further enhanced the concerns of the city police that is currently grappling with hoax bomb calls.

Petrol is an important component used in improvised explosive device (IED). Following the intelligence input that terrorist groups could target high-profile politicians during the Assembly elections, it is suspected that anti-social elements could make use of highly inflammable easily available in the market.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ashish Choudhary took serious note of the issue and sent instructions to all petrol station authorities not to fill petrol in the bottles and canisters.

On the other hand, Suresh Chaddha, president of Ludhiana petrol pump dealers’ associations, said if any employee of the petrol station was found filling petrol in bottles and flouting EC’s guidelines, a strict action would be taken against the employee.



Human simulators for MBBS students
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Now the students of the MBBS at Christian Medical College and Hospital will get practical training not by dissecting animals but through human simulators. The decision was disclosed while conducting a Continuing Medical Education based on a PETA based project “replace animals in training classes” held at the CMCH.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India is sponsoring a series of free medical education workshops on alternatives to the use of animals in Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) programmes at Indian medical colleges.

Dr Dinesh Badyal, professor and head of department of pharmacology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, said the series was developed after the adoption of a policy by the Medical Council of India in 2009 that cleared the way for medical schools to end all the use of animals in the MBBS training. He said that the CMCH has already stopped dissection of animals and teaches students with the help of CAL (Computer Assistant Learning).

"By relegating the use of animals in training to the history books, India's medical colleges will ensure that the students are given the most modern educational tools available," says PETA, India science policy adviser, Dr Chaitanya Koduri. " The students across the country can now learn life-saving techniques without participating in cruel classroom exercises that defy the physicians' Hippocratic Oath to help, heal and save lives." Dr Kim Mammem, associate director, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, emphasised the role of alternatives in medical education. Dr, SM Bhatti, principal, Christian Medical College, Dr Kulwant Singh, Member, Punjab Medical Council informed that the CME is a good initiative. About 100 delegates from various medical colleges of Punjab and the adjoining states attended the workshop and they plan to use these alternatives in their institutes.

What is human simulator?

Dr Dinesh said, “Human simulators are like mannequins but with all artificially operated internal organs that are attached to different medical equipments used during treatment. All these organs are linked to the monitor through electronics. And while imparting practical training to the students, these are being used partially at the CMCH now. To test as whether a student is doing right treatment or not, the heart of beat of human simulators is increased by equipment by the concerned professor and the student is asked to treat upon the patient (human simulator). If the students diagnose rightly and treat rightly, the heart beat comes to normal and if not correctly, the human simulator’s heart beat dips, means the treatment is wrong and patient has collapsed. Just by clicking the button of an option, the human simulator can be revived again for further practice.”



assembly elections
Constituency Watch: dakha
Drug menace rules the roost
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
An Assembly constituency comprising 108 villages and Mullanpur Dakha towns, the Dakha Assembly constituency has its share of problems that are different from the urban Assembly constituencies of Ludhiana. Many villages of Sidhwan Bet, Jagraon, Sudhar, Pakhowal, Raikot, Ludhiana I and Ludhiana II blocks fall in this constituency.

Drug addiction is rampant in these villages and healthcare facilities still leave much to be desired. Unemployment among the youth is another major issue in these villages.

Post delimitation, the Dakha Assembly constituency, which was earlier a reserved constituency, was declared a general constituency.

Fact file

Total voters: 1,56,322

Male : 82,868

Female: 73,454



‘Residents have become wiser’
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Tall poplar trees stand in attendance. A group of old men, sitting on the roadside, is taking a stock of each passing vehicle. They do this work at a leisurely pace, as it's not a busy road, not even in the Assembly poll season. Ghamnewal village, which falls in the Dakha Assembly constituency, is one of the less prosperous villages of Punjab. Its neighbouring villages, Baniewal and Maniewal, are equally unremarkable.

A few poll-related posters pasted on the walls of some houses here have a jaded look.

The senior citizens talk about pension, unemployment and drug addiction. They have definite views on these. “If our children are jobless, do you think that we would be happy?” asked a septuagenarian.

Healthcare issues are their major concern. “In the Bet area, there are many cases of hepatitis C. The medical facilities here are insufficient, to say the least. The nearest health centre from our village is at Hambran, that is about 7-8 km from here,” says Gurnam Singh.

“The saving grace is that despite politicians, we are a united lot. We don’t fight over petty political issues,” adds a former sarpanch.

The people have become wiser. They no longer discuss their political preferences in the public places. The youngsters chat with elders, but they don’t reveal much, observes 65-year-old Bachan Singh.

Government Primary School at Maniewal wears silence. A big flask of water is the most eye-catching thing in the school. A teacher, while offering us the luxury of “flask-water”, tells us that potable water is still a distant dream for the residents.

“The general awareness level among the residents is still low. But talk of mobile phones and bikes, the youngsters here would sound quite knowledgeable,” he says.

Party flags make “interesting toys” for the children in these villages. These flags flutter beautifully in the wind, say the children.

Politics wise:

  • Since 1967, the SAD (B) has won from this constituency eight times.
  • In 2007, sitting MLA Darshan Singh Shivalik defeated Congress candidate Malkit Singh Dakha.



Legal fraternity joins poll bandwagon
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 21
It’s not only supporters who are campaigning for their candidates but now the legal fraternity of the city has also jumped into the fray. Legal wings of the Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) have asked their members and office-bearers to take charge of various constituencies.

The legal cell of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) has even issued a list of its coordination committee (legal), who would be campaigning for its candidates in all constituencies of the district.

Senior lawyer Trilok Singh Sood and Congress legal cell chairman Dharamjit Singh Khera yesterday released the list of 35 lawyers, who will coordinate with the Congress candidates for mobilising lawyers in their respective constituencies.

Former Bar Council chairman Balwinder Goel, ex-Congress legal cell chairman PD Sharma, legal cell convener Ashok Bhakri, Ramesh Lakhanpal, Kamaljit Sharma, Jaswinder Sibbal and BK Rampal were the prominent lawyers of this team.

Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) legal wing president Parminder Pal Singh Ladi said they were also in the process of deputing the office-bearers of their wing for helping the SAD-BJP candidates. BJP legal wing head Rajesh Kashyap and state secretary Rakesh Bhatia stated that the members and office-bearers of their wing had already started campaigning for ensuring the victory of their party candidates.



Environmental body supports Simarjit Singh Bains

The Environmental and Welfare Association has decided to support rebel Akali and now independent candidates, Simarjit Singh Bains and his elder brother, Balwinder Singh Bains from Atam Nagar and Ludhiana south constituencies, respectively. A meeting of executive members of the association in this regard was held here today.

Bhattal visits Sahnewal constituency

Congress leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal today visited the Sahnewal constituency for the third time ever since her son-in-law Vikram Singh Bajwa got the party ticket from this constituency. She launched a campaign at Mundian, Bhamian and Dhandari Khurd villages. Bajwa, too, tried to make people realise that he is no more an outsider and that he would work for the development of the area if given a chance.

Bedi extends support to Bansal

Harish Bedi, sitting MLA from the Ludhiana north constituency, today extended support to Parveen Bansal, a BJP candidate from this constituency, saying voters should cast their vote in his favour. Satish Nagar, a BJP councillor from Chhawani Mohalla, also appealed to people to support Bansal, along with Madan Lal Bagga, vice-chairman of Punjab State Traders’ Board.

Bhaini is DCC (rural) chief

Major Singh Bhaini took over as the president of District Congress Committee (DCC) (rural) today. Meanwhile, Satpal Beri, a former councillor, who was now associated with the SAD (B), along with his supporters, joined the Congress under the leadership of Manish Tiwari.

Contributed by Puneet Pal Singh, Lovleen Bains, Anupam Bhagria, Gurvinder Singh



Ludhiana industry faces labour shortage
Workers going home to cast their vote
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
The Assembly elections have taken a toll on the industry. Since most of the workers in the factories are migrant labourers, they are leaving for their hometowns to exercise their right to franchise.

With 60 per cent of the migrant labourers coming from Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Uttarakhand, the city industry is facing tough times, as the number of migrant labourers going to UP is comparatively high, as they are being given lucrative offers to cast their right to vote. It is even getting difficult to get daily wagers.

Jeevan Gupta, an electroplating unit owner, said 60 per cent of the labourers working in his unit are going on a holiday to cast their vote. “Since migrants are being offered money, they are wasting no time but packing their bags and speeding towards their homes,” he said.

Vinod, working in a local dyeing unit at Bahadur-ke-road, said he was going home and would be back only after elections. “I do not want my vote to be wasted. I will cast my vote and will also get a chance to see my family,” he said.

Another industrialist, Hemant Sood, adding further said the elections had resulted in 40 per cent of labour shortage in the state. “The industry is already facing labour shortage and now these elections are taking a toll on us. The industry is feeling the heat of the elections as labourers are going home to cast their vote,” said Sood.

Another industrialist, Kishen Jindal said, “Since most of the workers of his unit have gone home, he thought of hiring daily wagers to carry the work smoothly in his factory.

But to my utter shock, it is even difficult to get daily wagers as well and those available in the market are charging double the prices.”



Former VC addresses Maur’s rally
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Former Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Vice-Chancellor and leading economist, Dr SS Johl, addressed a rally in support of Dharam Pal Maur, a CPI candidate of the Sanjha Morcha from Ludhiana, in PAU.

He appealed to the people to vote for the change this time, as they have seen successive misrule of the Congress and Akali-BJP alliance, who have ruined the economy of the state. He said the Sanjha Morcha has been formed with the conviction to lift the economic condition of Punjab through inclusive growth.



PAN essential to file VAT return
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Permanent account number (PAN) is essential for filing value added tax (VAT) return and even those who have applied for the number will not be able to upload their e-return.

Initially, the return of those, who have applied for their VAT number was uploaded by writing AF against the column, but now only those returns will be uploaded successfully, which mention PAN.

e-filing has been made mandatory for all those who have Punjab VAT registration number. Traders who do not have PAN will fail to upload their return, said a senior official from the department.

Gurmeet Singh, a trader, said he was not able to upload his quarterly VAT return, as he did not possess PAN. “I have applied for the number and wrote AF against the PAN column. But my return was not uploaded and now I have to wait till my PAN arrives,” he said.

Taxation Young Lawyers’ Association president JK Khurana said PAN was mandatory for filing VAT return, failing which the VAT registration number of the person would be blocked and in addition to that goods at the barrier would not be allowed to pass.



Internal exams postponed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
The education department has postponed the date of internal examinations in the government schools as the teaching staff will remain busy in the election duties. The Director General School Education has issued a new date sheet of the examination.

According to the new date sheet, the exams will now start on February 1.

The education department holds internal examination under the continuous comprehensive evaluation (CCE) to evaluate the academic performance of the students.



Experts discuss dentistry techniques

Ludhiana, January 21
Two-day multi-speciality continuing dental education prgramme being organised by the Ludhiana branch of the Indian Dental Association in collaboration with the International College of Continuing Dental Education started here today. The programme is being held under the aegis of the Asian Pacific Dental Federation/Asia Pacific Regional.

Dr Bhagwant Singh, chief organiser of the event, said around 300 doctors from Himachal Pardesh, Delhi, Punjab and Haryana were participating in the programme.

During the workshop, Dr Vikas Jindal, Director, Himachal Pradesh Dental College, spoke about platelet-rich plasma which is beneficial for regeneration of tissues. Dr Sailesha K Mistry from Mumbai talked about aesthetic dentistry.

The Asia Pacific Dental Federation also held a convocation with the IDA as the host branch. Fellowships were awarded to 28 aspirants to study in the International College of Continuing Dental Education. — TNS



Operation Walk-2012 begins

Ludhiana, January 21
DMCH managing society president Sunil Kant Munjal inaugurated “Operation Walk-2012” today. Under this project, free hip and knee replacements would be done for 100 needy patients. The patients have been selected from all over North India after extensive recruitment camps.

This would be carried out in association with a team from the USA led by Dr Paul Khanuja, director, Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopaedics, and Prabhjot Likhari, director, Operation Walk, Maryland. — TNS



School games
Surinder hogs limelight in hammer throw
Tribune News Service

Players participate in a hurdle race in 57th National School Games at Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana on Saturday
Players participate in a hurdle race in 57th National School Games at Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana on Saturday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, January 21
On the fourth day of the 57th edition of National School Games, Surinder Pal Singh of Punjab won a gold medal in the under-19 hammer throw event. Meanwhile, R Juma Sarkar from West Bengal made a new record in the under-17 100-m race with 11.8 seconds yesterday. Jyoti from Punjab also clinched a gold medal in the under-17 1,500m event.

Results: U-14 discus throw (girls): 1st Ekta Sangwan from Haryana; 2nd Arpandeep Kaur Bajwa from Punjab; Nivedita P Savent from Karnataka.

U-19 5,000m (boys): 1st Rajindera Bibdi from West Bengal; 2nd Ranjit Kumar Patel; 3rd Kuldeep Chauhan from Uttarakhand.

U-19 5,000m (girls): 1st Thara MD from Kerala; 2nd Mamta Kanwer from Uttarakhand; 3rd KM Shiva Shakya from UP.

U-19 hammer throw (boys): 1st Surinder Pal Singh from Punjab; 2nd Gurmeet Singh from Punjab; 3rd Shirion Yadev from UP.

U-17 triple jump (girls): 1st Rocheele Mari Mac Farlane from Tamil Nadu; 2nd Athira Shrendran from Kerala; 3rd Sawathy VC from Kerala.

U-19 long jump (boys): 1st Samsheer from Karnataka; 2nt Bright Kdevassya from Kerala; 3rd P Anbu Raja from Tamil Nadu.

U-19 400m hurdles (girls): 1st Ayna Thomas from Kerala; 2nd Mariya Jiled from Kerala; 3rd Sonali Malik from West Bengal.

U-19 100m hurdles (boys): 1st Gurwng Ambre from Maharashtra; 2nd Ashok Yadev from UP; 3rd Jer Jos from Kerala.

U-19 400m hurdles (boys): 1st Jithu Baby from Kerala; 2nd Jashanjeet Singh from Punjab; 3rd Anmoldeep Singh from Punjab.

U-19 100m (girls): 1st Dutte Chard from Orrisa; 2nd Sunanda Sarkar from West Bengal; 3rd Baby Sumaya from Karnataka.

U-14 100m (boys): 1st Rohit from Haryana; 2nd P Silva from Andhra Pradesh; 3rd Sanjay Bauri from West Bengal.



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