L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


UID cards being made at doorstep
Unscrupulous persons charge money from workers in lieu of sparing them the hassles
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Want to get an Aadhaar card made without showing your residence proof or standing in a long queue for hours. Just pay a few bucks and the entire paraphernalia, including finger-print machines, cameras, etc, will be brought to your doorstep. The only condition is that there should be at least 30 card seekers.

The "workers", who claim they can deliver Aadhaar cards within three months, can only be contacted by a person known to them and the latter arranges for the premises and sufficient number of card seekers, a majority of whom are migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

One such "camp" was held at Industrial Area here where finger prints and pictures of more than 25 workers were taken by the "workers". Gulshan (name changed), a migrant worker from Uttar Pradesh, said workers do not mind paying Rs 350 or Rs 250 for getting their Aadhaar cards made.

"Rs 350 is charged by those who don't have any residence proof while Rs 250 is charged by the others. A majority of us do not have residence proofs or bank accounts but have been residing here for the past 10 years. We went to Sherpur to get the cards made but we were told to bring some document as a proof of residence. We lost hope as we did not have any such proof. But then a fellow worker told us about these persons who make Aadhaar cards.

"We approached them and they agreed to come to our factory premises. We sought permission from our employer since photographs had to be clicked late in the evening and we didn't want disruption in the functioning of the factory. Their only condition was that they would bring the machines late in the evening or during the night," said Gulshan.

The information gathered by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that these "workers" worked for one of the companies, which had been awarded a contract for making Aadhaar cards. Till the office hours, these "workers" work at the designated place where cards are made under the central scheme free of cost. But during the evening hours, a group of "workers" take the entire machinery to different factories and take workers' pictures and finer prints for a small charge.

When The Tribune asked one of the factory workers that why he was paying Rs 350 when the government was making the cards free of cost, he replied: "We do not want harassment. Second, they tell us to bring documents, which we may not have. They will arrange everything on our behalf and we have to pay just Rs 350. Since the card will be of great help, we will not mind spending the amount to get life-long benefits," said the worker.

The Tribune Correspondent spoke to two persons on the phone and both of them claimed that they could check the status of Aadhaar cards online and would pay the amount only after getting the enrolment list (receipt). At the same time, the person said: "We will tell you just two hours before coming at the venue and you will have to keep it a secret and close the gates once we are inside as we do not want a huge rush there".

Despite repeated attempts, both the DFSCs in the city did not pick up their phones for comments.

Ready to take tough action: Officer

Meanwhile, the Nodal Officer for UID, Punjab, Parminder Singh Sandhu, said they were getting complaints that certain persons were charging money from residents but none came forward with any proof. "Though we have allowed that in colleges or universities or factories (with a good number of persons), etc, the enrolment for Aadhar cards can be done but that is absolutely free of cost. Certain persons in connivance with our workers may be charging and exploiting innocent residents and we are going to act tough against them. There are certain penalty clauses as well. We want people to come forward and complain to us so that we can take immediate action," said Sandhu.


CMC admission scam: More skeletons tumble out
Gurgaon-based woman alleges involvement of two CMC employees in the case
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Two days after the Muzaffarnagar police visited the city and questioned Valentine, additional finance officer of Christian Medical College (CMC) for his alleged involvement in the admission racket, which was unearthed recently, more skeletons have started to tumble out of the closet. Valentine is one of the persons named in the FIR.

It is learnt that the Delhi police has also launched a probe after a Gurgaon-based woman alleged that two CMC employees, in connivance with an education service provider from Rohini in Delhi, pocketed more than Rs 11 lakh on the pretext of facilitating their daughter's admission to an MBBS course.

Nidhi Jain said: "We were looking for MBBS seats under the management quota for our daughter and put our contact details on a few educational websites."

In December 2011, two education service providers, identified as Ankush Sagar Khatri and Amit Passi, who ran their office at Rohini, Delhi, contacted Nidhi and her husband.

"The duo claimed that they deal in admissions under the management quota in the medical stream. In March 2012, they claimed that they had a tie-up with the management circle of the CMC, Ludhiana, and can get an MBBS seat for their daughter in 2012-13 batch. To strengthen their claim, they contacted Sunny George, manager, corporate billing and medico legal section, CMCH," said Nidhi.

The deal was struck at Rs 22 lakh. Nidhi Jain and her brother-in-law Gaurav Jain handed over a cheque for Rs 5 lakh in favour of EDU STORE to Ankush Sagar Khatri and gave Rs 50,000 in cash to Amit Passi for the booking of a seat in the MBBS course at the CMC.

As the middlemen started pressing for more money to ensure the booking of an MBBS seat for her daughter, Nidhi paid Rs 3 lakh to them in April. "In June 2012, Ankush Sagar Khatri met my husband Sanjay Jain and assured him of the admission. They mentioned that 90 per cent of the work was done and handed over a copy of a recommendation letter from DIOCESE of Jalandhar, Bishop's House. The letter turned out to be fake," said Nidhi.

Subsequently, Nidhi made a third payment. "Ankush assured the allocation of an MBBS seat to my daughter in the CMC, Ludhiana, during the first counselling on July 16, 2012," she said.

On the day of counselling, Ankush introduced them to Valentine. Nidhi stated in her complaint that Valentine had assured her that all the arrangements had been made for her daughter's admission.

She came to know about the fraud when her daughter failed to get admission in both the counsellings. Nidhi stated that after sometime, Ankush, Valentine and Amit Passi stopped attending to their phone calls.

Nidhi sent a legal notice to Ankush and the latter returned the money paid to him through cheque. But, all the cheques bounced due to insufficient amount in his account.

Finally, Nidhi filed a complaint with the Delhi police.

Ankush Saggar Khatri said: "The money-related issue was settled. Yes, we had assured admission under the management quota, but it could not be done."

Valentine has been denying all such allegations since the beginning and termed it as a controversy to defame him.

The Muzaffarnagar police has recently booked SM Bhatti, Principal, CMC, Valentine and four others, including a priest, in a case of fraud.

Allegation baseless, says CMCH official

Sunny George, manager, corporate billing and medico legal section, CMCH, has termed the allegation as baseless. He said, "This guy, Ankush, came to my house one day and showed me the visiting card of Father Hormis Nirmal Raj, former director of Sacred Heart Convent School, Jamalpur. Since Father Hormis is close to me, I entertained him. Ankush told me that he was looking for an admission for his niece to an MD course in the CMC. Ankush, who claimed he was a doctor, asked for guidance so that her niece could crack the exam. Since Valentine's son has done an MD from the CMC, I introduced Ankush to Valentine. That is all I know. Before levelling allegations of kickbacks in lieu of admission, she (Nidhi Jain) should have supported it with evidence. I met Father Hormis recently and he told me not to entertain Ankush as he is a fraud and not a doctor," said Sunny George.



Two nabbed with contraband
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
With the arrest of two persons, the city police has claimed to have busted a drug smuggling racket. It has recovered 25 kg of opium and 35 gm of heroin from the arrested persons. The ADCP (Crime), Harmohan Singh Sandhu, said two persons had been arrested in separate incidents and a huge quantity of drugs recovered from them.

According to the police, Kuldeep Kumar was arrested with 25 kg of opium while Rakesh Kumar was held with 35 gm of heroine. The price of 25 kg opium is said to be Rs 25 lakh while the heroin is worth Rs 17.5 lakh in the international market.

The police has started investigations in both the case after registering separate FIRs.

The ADCP said the in charge of the anti-narcotics wing, Harbans Singh, and his team had been checking the vehicles at a check point on the Fabra road on Saturday night.

Kuldeep Kumar turned towards Noorwala road from the Fabra road on his scooter. On seeing the police at the check point, the accused tried to escape. The policemen suspected his movement and gave him a chase, and nabbed him.

Kuldeep was carrying a suitcase and when Harbans asked him to let him open the suitcase, Kuldeep insisted that he would open the suitcase in the presence of a gazetted officer.

The ACP, Dhrumal Nimable, reached the spot, and the suitcase was opened. Five packets of opium were found in the suitcase. Kuldeep was arrested. He told the police that he was running a tea stall and had been smuggling opium for the past four years.

In the second incident, the Division 6 police, during a 'naka' at the Cheema chowk, stopped a man. His search yielded 35 gm of heroin. The accused has been identified as Rakesh Kumar, a resident of the Kochar market. He used to operate a taxi in the city.



Together for a green cause
Green Welfare Club dreams of greener Mandi Ahmedgarh
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 10
They are waiting for the time when their dream to see trees all the way on the roads and streets of the town come true. Not only they plant costly samplings of ornamental trees and shade trees on special days, they also look after them everyday during their scheduled morning walk.

Activists of the Green Welfare Club, led by Jyoti Rai, Gaurav Singla and Rajan Goyal, have undertaken a project to plant saplings on all the roads and streets, for which they have taken permission from the civic body. The variety of saplings is decided depending upon the width and type of a road or a street.

"We do not claim that we can cover the whole area with plants but our dream to see our surroundings green will soon come true," said Jyoti, maintaining that a large number of residents have come forward to nurture saplings planted in front of their houses and establishments. The rest of the plants are looked after by the volunteers of the NGO during morning walk.

Environmentalists said they scheduled their morning walk routes according to the location of plants growing in various areas of the town.

The office-bearers of the organisation have been felicitated by certain constitutional organisations, including the municipal council.



Police shuts eyes to spitting on platforms
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Though littering and spitting on a platform is a punishable offence in the Railway Act, not a single case has been registered at the RPF police station Ludhiana since the Act was implemented in December 2012. Ironically, a number of employees of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) are not aware about their power to fine someone.

A railway policeman said if the station supervisor registered a complaint against someone, then we would act on the complaint. On the other hand, the Deputy Station Supervisor said the RPF employees were not aware of their powers.

The Northern Railway has been advertising in newspapers to make people aware of the Act to ensure cleanliness on railway stations.

The Railway Ministry constituted the Indian Railways (penalties for activities affecting cleanliness on railway premises) Act, 2012, on November 26, 2012.

According to this Act, the Railways can charge fines of up to Rs 500 from those who spit and litter on platforms. According to the notification, no person shall throw garbage, spit, take a bath, cook, feed birds, defecate, urinate, wash utensil and clothes, repair or wash vehicles, paste posters on walls, store personal objects and deface walls or train compartments.

During a visit to the local railway station, passengers and vendors were seen violating the rule in the presence of the railway police.

Yashwant Singh, Inspector, RPF, said: "No one came with such a complaint till date. Actually, Ludhiana Railway Station is very neat and clean. So there is no need to take such action against passengers."



Ex-soldier drugged on bus
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
A swindler fled away with Rs 24,000 and other important documents after sedating a 50-year-old retired soldier while the latter was returning from Jalandhar by a bus. Narrating the incident, the victim, Bachan Singh, a resident of the Guru Nanak Pura area, here, said he went to the Jalandhar Cantt area to receive his pension.

After receiving the pension, he boarded a bus for the city. He said a person sitting next to him befriended him. He asked the man to fetch a bottle of cold drink for him. The man offered him his cold drink. After taking the cold drink, he fell unconscious.

The swindler then took away his Aadhaar card, bank pass book and cash.

When the bus reached the Jalandhar bypass, the conductor found Bachan Singh unconscious.



Ludhiana calling
Commuters break law only because they can

City people love to break rules and it applies especially when it comes to traffic rules. While standing at a red light today, I observed that many people were crossing the road at the red light. Generally, policemen are there at the lights and I was wondering if they were not on duty today.

At one corner of the road, I saw the police busy issuing challans to some law-breakers while every driver who was crossing the red light, and breaking the rules were doing so by looking at the policemen. They were literally escaping the eye of the police while crossing the lights point. It really amused me that how childish the nature of people is. They cannot wait for two minutes and like small children are escaping the eye of policeman to cross the light.

Not spick and span

Rail passengers and other visitors of the railway station in the industrial capital of the state, keep fuming and fretting at the poor sanitation level at the railway station while the railway authorities, despite making big announcements at regular intervals about giving a new look to the railway station, do nothing worthwhile in this direction. There being no provision for dustbins at the railway platforms, people have no other choice but to throw the waste material, disposable plastic cups and plates and paper or plastic bags on the rail tracks or else wherever, they feel like. As a result, the railway platforms, and also the tracks give a dirty look. The sweeping of platforms and rail tracks is also erratic, or leaves much to be desired. No body knows as to when Ludhiana railway station will become a "model" railway station, but the least the railway administration can do is to give a clean look to the complex.

Concern for grandmother

Gym of Sutlej Club is generally occupied with the "health-freaks" who keep on doing exercises to keep themselves fit. During the afternoon hours, the gym does not get many visitors. The other day, when one of my friends went for her daily exercise-routine, she found an old woman doing cycling and she was accompanied with a small boy, who had books in his hands. As the woman was doing exercise, the boy was studying quietly. As she got up, the boy hurriedly came to her and asked, "Nanni, which exercise now you want to do? I think you must do treadmill for 10 minutes as advised by the doctor." And the concerned boy climbed on the treadmill and demonstrated everything to his grandmother. It was so touching that at such times when grandparents/parents were being neglected by their wards, there were families, who still taught to respect and care for their grandparents.

Value of oil

An attendant at a petrol station in the city was holding a jug containing red 'sharbat'. Wondering how client-friendly people at petrol station had become, I was taken aback to see the guy pulling out a small container from which he poured out the 'sharbat' and poured it in the scooter tank. When asked why he had put lubricant oil in a kitchen-jug, the attendant grinned, "Just wait for a couple more years. The way fuel prices are shooting up, you would be using kitchen utensils as these are going to become more precious than perhaps what you eat."

Martyr still serving!

Thanks to the indifferent attitude of the government and the civic authorities, the memorial statue of the Indo-Pak (1965) war martyr is being used to dry clothes. The statue, installed near the Government College for Girls, in the memory of Major Bhupinder Singh Vir Chakra, a squadron commander of Hudson Horse III, is being used by beggars and homeless people, who sleep on the plane surface of the memorial, wash the clothes from the nearby tap and dry the clothes on the boundary of the memorial.

Contributed by Manav Mander, Kuldip Bhatia, Shivani Bhakoo, Gurvinder Singh and Charanjit Singh.



Muga silk sarees in great demand at North-East expo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
The North-East Trade Expo at Harry's Kumra Palace has eco-friendly products ranging from decorative to products of everyday use. The exhibition epitomises in creating cane and bamboo products.

Various stalls at the exhibition organised by the North-East Handicraft and Handloom Development Corporation has products from the North-Eastern states. At the exhibition, furniture, trays, mugs, decorative pieces, flower vases to flower pots, wooden toys for children, lamps of various designs, candle stand, pen stand, footwear, kitchen trays, purses made mostly from cane and bamboo, made by artisans of the North-Eastern region are being showcased. Handmade silk and cotton sarees and mats are also on display.

Furniture items like 'sofas' and recliners made of bamboo and cane look impressive. These are not only eco-friendly, but good quality cane furniture can also last up to 30 years, says Gogoi at the exhibition. "The cane furniture is light-weight and can also be used outdoors as garden furniture," said an attendant at another stall.

Muga silk sarees and suit pieces are in great demand here. “The kind of Muga silk you get from the North-Eastern region is unlike the one that you get to see anywhere else,” says Mridula, a resident, looking at the fine pieces of silk. “Sarees made of Muga silk, 'pat', 'nanee,' KT silk are specialties of the North-Eastern region, says Pumpa Devi at a stall."Pat and nanee silk sarees are bridal wears in the North-Eastern region," she added. The exhibition would remain open till March 13.

Another exhibition, Gandhi Shilp Bazaar, is organised at the Rotary Bhawan by Office of Development Commissioner of Handicrafts, Ministry of textiles. It has clay artifacts, Jodhpuri footwear, decorative art work from Ajmer to wooden artifacts and utility items from artisans of Saharanpur. Silk clothes from Bihar and other products from different parts are also being exhibited.



Ludhiana scan
Rekha enthrals audience

Singer Rekha Bhardwaj performed at the Sutlej Club during a Sufi Rock evening here on Saturday. The Bollywood singer sang songs from her movies as well as of singers like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Prior to her, a Delhi-based rock band “Nasya” also performed singing Punjabi Haryanvi and sufi songs.

Mahashivratri celebrated

Mahashivratri was celebrated with religious fervour in the city. The day was celebrated at Swaminarayan Mandir here on Sunday. A blood donation and medical check-up camp was also organised on the occasion.

Rally on environment

V-MAD (We Making a Difference), a Ludhiana based organisation organised an environment awareness rally in the city to celebrate Sikh Environment Day-2013 in collaboration with an International environment body Eco-Sikh USA and Gurmat Gian Missionary College. The day was celebrated in honour of seventh guru of the Sikhs, Guru Har Rai on his enthronement day. This year over 1,500 organisations worldwide, are taking part in celebrating this Green Gurpurab to take initiatives on environment protection, according to representatives of the organisation.

Prize distribution ceremony

Charanjit Singh Atwal, Speaker Punjab Vidhan Sabha said the government is trying to raise the level of sports in the state so that our players can achieve bigger milestones at national and International level. He said while presiding over the prize distribution ceremony organised by Baba Sukha Singh Gill Sports Club at Dhamot Kala village.

Statue of martyr installed

A statue of Kartar Singh Sarabha was installed at Baba Bhan Singh Memorial Park at Sunet village on the occasion of 100th anniversary of formation of Gadar Party. A free medical check-up camp was also organised on the occasion. The programme was organised by the Maha Sabha Ludhiana and Jaago NGO's in association with Baba Bhan Singh Memorial Trust.


A meeting of members of the Punjab State-Aided Schools Teachers and Other Employee Union was organised at NM Jain Senior Secondary School in the city. It was presided over by Gurcharan Singh Chahal. The state committee members said if the arrear are not paid according to the new pay scales by March 19, they would protest against the government, according to the representatives of the union. They also demanded the merging of government and aided schools apart from other demands.

Protest held

Democratic Mid-day Meal Cook Front would organised a protest against the government on March 17, according to representatives of the organisation. They said that wages paid to the mid-day meal cooks in schools are inadequate and not given on time. They also demanded that training of cooks should be given at block level and minimum qualification clause for such training should be removed for training, according to the union members. — TNS



No headway in stolen car cases, residents feel insecure
Lovleen Bains

Doraha/Sahnewal, March 10
Even as a gang of car thieves is active in and around Ludhiana for the past more than a month, the police is yet to make any headway. Harjit Singh Dhillon, a resident of Sahnewal, had parked his Getz car (white colour), number PB 10 CL-8172, outside the Apollo Hospital on March 8 evening when a person with trimmed hair, broke open the lock and fled away with the car even as the car owner was standing at a distance of few metres from the car at the time. A case was registered with Sherpur chowk police who was informed there and then. But no trace of the car could be found till the filing of the report.

Similarly, it was on January 6 that Amarjit Singh of Rattan Heri in district Khanna had lodged a complaint to the Sahnewal police that his Balero number PB10 DE-0570 had been stolen from Rich Mount Palace located on Chandigarh road. He had come to attend a ceremony at the palace and when he went back to pick his vehicle from where it was parked, he found the car missing. The theft took place during day time.

In another such incident, Balero number PB23K-3313 had been reportedly robbed during day time from Jifco resorts on 17th January. It was owned by Balwant Singh of village Dadheri in Gobindgarh Mandi. Shockingly and interestingly, another Balero with number HR44D-3947,owned by Karam Chand of Bal Singh Nagar, Ludhiana, has been stolen from Garden Resorts at Sahnewal. In all the cases, the FIR’s have been registered but no arrests have been made so far.

“Those who have already lost their vehicles are passing through a tormenting period but as the season of marriages is at its peak, the ones who have booked different palaces for organising different functions are really a worried lot at present. Though those owning Baleros have to be more conscious yet the others too are not at rest in any way. If the police finds it difficult to trace the thieves, then at least some sort of security arrangements should be made by the owners of the palaces so that the public may safely park their vehicles in the parking place and rest assured,” expressed a worried resident, who have booked one of these palaces for the marriage of his daughter.

The situation is no less critical in front of hospitals. The thieves, without any fear or fret, break open the lock and flee away with the vehicles, least bothered about the consequences.

In another such incident, which took place on January 19, an Innova car number CH 04-8395 was stolen from Gursimran Palace located at Kaddon road at Doraha. Sukhvir Singh of Ramgarh village in Sahnewal, the owner of the car had parked it outside the palace and as he returned from the palace after attending the ceremony in the afternoon, he found the car missing. An FIR to this effect has been lodged at Doraha police station.

Similary, Baldev Singh of Bohapur village district Samrala has complained that his swift car with temporary number PB 10 T-1394 has been stolen from outside Gurudwara at Kaddon village while marriage ceremony was being solemnised inside the gurdwara.

An FIR in this case has been registered to this effect. It is heard that the Swift was taken away by the thieves in a tow-away style. As per information, a Balero has been found to be missing from Green Land Palace in Khanna. Not only this, reports of vehicles being stolen in and around Ludhiana are being reported as a matter of routine.

As per Sahnewal and the Doraha police, two of the Balero cars have been recovered but the thieves have not been found yet.

Additional Deputy Commisioner-II, Bhupinder Sidhu when contacted said, “The police is on its toes. We have put nakas at every place and are trying our level best to nab the thieves. Although the search has been initiated at a large scale yet the arrest is yet to be made.”



New pedestrian Underpass stinks
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has failed to maintain the recently inaugurated pedestrian underpass (PUP) opposite the Mini-Secretariat. With the MC in deep slumber, the new underpass has literally been reduced to a urinal by some residents, who seem to be least bothered about the cleanliness of the place.

The Rs 3.5 crore PUP is the first-of-its-kind project of the state and was inaugurated in November last year. The foundation stone of the project was laid by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in November, 2010, and municipal officials were expecting its completion by November 30, 2011. But due to delay in payment to the contractor, the project was delayed and was finally readied last year.

But ever since it has been constructed, a very few residents actually use it to cross the busy Ferozepur Road. Otherwise also, the PUP is open from 7 am to 7 pm on weekdays, as remains closed on Saturdays, Sundays and other public holidays.

A total of nine shops, each measuring 15.64 sq feet, are located at the PUP. Earlier, the MC had planned to auction the shops before throwing the project open. The auction of these shops has been postponed twice. At the first auction, only one person attended it, and in the second, no one turned up. The MC has kept a base price of Rs 18 lakh for auctioning these shops, which will be given on a 30-year lease.

Since the shops are yet to be auctioned and in the absence of any public urinal near the Mini-Secretariat, which is thronged by thousands of people daily, the PUP is now being used as a urinal.

The MC has even deputed a security guard at the spot, but still the 'measures' taken by it are insufficient and the underpass continues to stink badly.

The security guard who is deputed at the PUP told Ludhiana Tribune that it was hard to catch people urinating at the spot.

When contacted, MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma said that he had taken note of it. He further said that "Very soon we will be auctioning the nine shops and once they are auctioned, we hope this problem will not exist. Even the city residents should understand that the PUP is for their use and they should keep it clean."



PCMS docs to hold protest from March 18
Demand rollback of new PG admission policy by state government

Ludhiana March 10
PCMS doctors all-over the state will observe "Protest week" against the Punjab Government for demands of doctors from March 18 onwards. This was decided in a state executive meeting of the Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) Association held here today.

The doctors will observe a protest week from March 18 onwards by wearing black badges and holding protest meeting at the district and sub-divisional headquarters.

State president of the PCMSA Dr Hardeep Singh said they are already on a war path to roll back new the PG admission policy and to get specialist increments.

"We are worried about the present status of Punjab health depart as the post of doctors, 26 per cent (general duty) and 38 per cent (specialists) in various health institutions has been vacant for a long time. Meanwhile, 252 newly appointed doctors have refused to join the PCMS jobs," said Dr Hardeep.

Dr Gagandeep, general secretary of the PCMS Association said, "State health services have been facing an acute shortage of doctors. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has directed to lure the young doctors to join the PCMS service and stressed upon more incentives for doctors serving in rural areas. But on the contrary, the anti-doctor policies of the Punjab Govt is discouraging the doctors for these services. Negative reversal of the rural area incentive and discriminatory post graduation increments for specialists has further discouraged the doctors."

According to new the PG admission policy, a doctor has to serve for 6 years which has been increased from three years as per the previous policy.



Jagraon SHO made scapegoat, allege truck union members
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, March 10
A general feeling among the police and political circles was that SHO city Mohd Jamil, who has been put under suspension by the police department, has been made a scapegoat in the police action against a local businessman who has close ties to a senior leader of ruling party.

A delegation of local truck union members lead by Youth Akali leader Didar Dhillon met local MLA SR Kaler and raised the issue. During the meeting, the union members alleged that SHO Mohd Jamil has been suspended owing to the pressure of certain factions of the ruling party.

According to the members of the truck union, SHO Jamil had rounded up a local trader after his name surfaced during the investigation of theft case. “But the trader took it as his insult and used his political influence to suspend the SHO,” claimed a member of the delegation.

Kaler has assured them of taking up the issue of suspension of the SHO with the SSP Jagraon Ashish Chaudhry on Monday. “I have assured them of taking up this issue with the SSP tomorrow. I think the action might have been taken on basis of strong evidence,” said MLA Kaler.

SSP Ashish Chaudhry, on the other side, clarified that the SHO Jamil has been suspended on the basis of a complaint of misbehavior by a local trader. He denied the reports of any kind of political influence in this regard.

Traffic incharge Kanwarpal Singh Bajwa has been appointed SHO City Jagraon in place of Mohd Jamil. Meanwhile, some Congress leaders have also decided to raise the issue with the SSP.



7.2 pc HIV+ cases due to syringes: Experts
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
There are over 21 per cent ill-fated AIDS patient among others, who got affected with the use of aids affected needles during injecting the drugs. According to the statistics, the ratio of such youth in across the country is 7.2 percent.

It has been revealed by Dr Inderjit Dhingra, medical superintend from Dr Kotnis Acupressure Hospital Salem Tabri, during an AIDS awareness programme held at the Civil Hospital recently.

Dr Inderjeet has been working for four years in a government sponsored Target Interventions Project (TI) for injective drug users. They have set up an Opiod Substitution Therapy (OST) centre for the treatment of injecting drug users due to which the numbers of HIV positive cases are on rise.

According to the Dr Inderjeet, they have found 823 drug addicted youth four year ago and they start distributing needles and syringe free to avoid the further infection. They motivated them to shift from injecting drugs to pills. Moreover, Dr Inderjeet provides them with free medical service to cure their injuries and conduct HIV test twice a year. Dr Inderjeet said the number of such patient has been decreased with the implementation of TI project.

"As many as 40 percent of these youth are home less and resides at public places. Their families have been expelled them from houses due to bad habits. They belong to well off families. We detoxified over 60 youths with the motivation and around 132 families rejoin their family member after we revive their hygienic conditions," informed Dr Inderjeet Dhingra.

"Despite all the efforts such youth failed to get employment after detoxified. Employers do not believe on them so they again start consuming drugs. We want the government to make arrangements for rehabilitation of such youth for 100 percent success," he added.



From schools
Graduation ceremony

Children perform a dance during the annual function at Mother’s Touch Kindergarten School in Ludhiana. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana: Cherubs the Preschool, Dugri, celebrated its first annual day and graduation ceremony here on Sunday. The theme of the event was "colours of the world". The tiny-tots organised a a dance performance. The students also gave a lesson to save nature. Everyone was spell bound to see the mesmerizing performance of the tiny-tots. The parents also performed salsa and tango for their kids and the audience. The event ended with the annual prize distribution and graduation ceremony. The little ones went on stage in graduation gowns and caps to receive their kindergarten degree.

Annual day at Bachpan

Bachpan Play School organised its annual concert at Nehru Sidhant Kendra in which Avtar Singh Makkar, president SGPC and Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, Mayor were the guests of honour. Little children displayed their talent on the theme “Respect for parents”. The main highlights of the programme were the fashion show in which the young ones dressed up as different brides and bridegrooms of different states of India.

Annual function held

The annual function at Mother’s Touch Kindergarten marked the tenth year of its existence. The theme for the event was “3Ds-dream, dare and dance”. In accordance to the theme, acts were performed which were very daring for kids at such a tender age. Dance acts ranging from puppet to Tollywood to Charlie Chaplin enthralled the audience. A play on the fairy tale “Snow White” and the “Seven Dwarfs” was also enacted live by the students. To commemorate the 10th year, there was a reunion of children who studied in previous years, came together to the dance floor to mark the occasion. — TNS



Residents celebrate Shivratri with fervour
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 10
Religious fervour and enthusiasm marked the Shivratari celebrations in the local town and surrounding localities including Rohira, Payal, Malaudh, Dehlon, Raikot and Sihar. Devotees of Lord Shiva paid their obeisance at Ram Mandir, Shiv Mandir, Luxmi Narayan Mandir, Sat Narayan Mandir and Hanuman Mandir here and Shiv temples at Rohira, Pohir, Kanganwal and Barundi villages. Chanting of mantras and bhajans marked the celebrations at most of the temples.

Residents thronged temples, decked up in colourful lights, to celebrate the marriage of Shiv and Parvati during Maha Shivratri. They offered milk and fruit to the "shivling". Ticklers and bhaang lovers had a field day.

At Payal, the festival was celebrated at Parachin Mahadev Mandir was renovated by management committee. Different types of "rudrabhishek", "bhasmabhishek" and "chatuperhari lingarchan" were performed.

The temple was decked up with flowers. Temples at different villages and towns, including Rohira, Pohir, Kanganwal, Malaudh, Dehlon, Barundi, Chhapar and Pakhowal, wore a festive look as devotees kept thronging the temples throughout the day.

Besides paying their obeisance at the local temples, a large number of devotees visited ancient Shiv Mandir at Ranike, near Dhuri town and Harnayake in Haryana.



For him the world is ‘micro’
Painter Vijay Kumar Momi paints fine details on grains
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Every time painter Vijay Kumar Momi creates something new, he leaves onlookers spellbound. For him, the world is 'micro' as he can paint fine details of any object with precision on something as small as a seed or a grain.He has gained mastery over the art as he has been at it for the past 15 years, says the 30-year-old from Phillaur. He has created miniature painting of Maharaja Ranjit Singh on a grain of rice. He was in the UK lately, and created London Bridge on half the almond. He has also created the national flag of Britain on a sesame seed, he says. He would be visiting the UK again this month and would like to show his work to the Queen of England.

It takes immense concentration to create such art pieces, but the pleasure he derives after they are complete is ineffable, he says. He says his works make him stand, as not many artists can paint with so much precision on grains and seeds, he says.

He said that he had also shown his work to the then President of India APJ Abdul Kalam in 2005. He was also honoured by the state government . Besides being a painter, he is also a folk singer. He says he doesn't work for monetary rewards, but is passionate about art.



Women protest against police inaction in Jagraon
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 10
Some women staged a protest against the alleged inaction of the police officials in a woman harassment case. The protest was held outside a police chowki, Kaunke Kalan, under the Jagraon police station.

One of the protesting women alleged that she had lodged a complaint of being harassed by a local youth many months ago. But no action was taken. “Some of the police officials even asked vulgar questions from me during the course of investigation,” alleged Anganwari Workers Union president Kuldip Kaur during the protest.

The protesting women alleged the police was taking no action against the accused youth who belonged to a politically well connected family.

“It is due to the strong political background of the youth against whom we had registered case that the police is taking no action against them,” alleged another protesting woman.

SHO Jagraon Sadar Rachpal Singh said some women were not satisfied with the police investigation. Now the issue has been resolved and the protestors have expressed satisfied over our investigation, he added.



IGNOU organises induction meeting
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
An 'Induction Meeting' of Indira Gandhi National Open University, was held in the IGNOU Special Study Centre at Everest Public Senior Secondary School, Moti Nagar, on the eve of the commencement of the new session.

Dr Anjana, Assistant Regional Director, IGNOU Regional Centre, Khanna, was the chief guest on this occasion. Dr Anjana gave detailed information about the policy and programmes of the IGNOU. She said at present there were more than 40 lakh students, getting education form the IGNOU and its centers were not only in India but through out the world.

Regarding Punjab, she said that in the state, IGNOU was offering different value added need based education to thousands of students through the network of 46 student learner centers. She said that the IGNOU provided education with minimum fee structure without any fee for study material. It also provided the flexibility for the completion of courses with in maximum duration.



Aanganwari workers protest outside MP's residence
Demand same status as government employees
Tribune News Service

Aanganwari workers protest in Ludhiana on Sunday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, March 10
On the call given by Federation of India, Aanganwari workers staged a protest and gheraod the residence of MP Manish Tiwari here today. The workers demanded that government must provide government employee status to the Anganwari workers. The workers said that the Central Government had not fulfilled its promise and did not provide any grades to the workers and the helpers.

About 28 lakh workers all over the country were up in the arms against the Central Government and were staging protests in different states. The workers said that on April 26, they would go to Parliament House to protest against the government.



Three booked for fraud
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
The city police has booked three persons for committing a fraud of Rs 1.45 crore. The accused have been identified as Harpreet Singh of Professor Colony, Barewal Road, Jaswinder Singh of Kotkapura, and an unknown person for duping Baldev Singh, a resident of Baddowal road.

The case was registered following a probe. Baldev Singh said that Harpreet and Jaswinder along with their accomplice transferred cash-credit limit (CC- Limit) of Rs 85 lakh and a bank guarantee of Rs 59.86 lakh in their account, by making a fake voter identity card and other important documents.

Bootlegger held

The police has nabbed one person for bootlegging here last evening.

The accused has been identified as Manmohan Singh, a resident of Field Ganj.

The accused was caught at a checkpoint at Kucha No 11, following a tip-off. On spotting the police the accused tried to flee the scene, but the police managed to overpower him.

On searching his belonging, the police seized 10 boxes of country made liquor from his possession.

One nabbed with contraband

The police has nabbed one person and seized huge quantity of pharmaceutical drugs from his possession.

The accused has been identified as Gaurav Sharma, a resident of Kamla Nagar. On spotting the police near the Polytechnic College, the accused tried to flee, but was soon nabbed by the police. On checking the bag he was carrying, the police found a large quantity on psychotropic drugs, including injections, cough syrups and tablets.

A case under Sections 22, 61, and 85 of the NDPS Act has been registered against the accused.

Minor girl kidnapped

The police has booked Rahul, a resident of Doraha, for kidnapping a 14-year-old girl on the pretext of marrying her.

The incident took place on March 4, 2013.

The victim's mother, a resident of Hargobind Nagar, said that her daughter was alone at home.

Rahul entered their house and lured her daughter on pretext of marrying and kidnapped her.

The police has registered a case under Sections 363 and 366 A of the IPC against the accused for kidnapping the girl.

The duo is still on the run.



Youth held on molestation charge
Our Correspondent

Khanna, March 10
A seven-year-old girl had a narrow escape when a youth tried to molest her. Her parents and neighbour heard her cries and gathered on the spot and saved her from the clutches of the youth.

The incident occurred at Azad Nagar, Khanna, when the victim, a student of Class I, was playing in front of her house. Suddenly, the accused, Jaswinder Singh (24), a resident of Rahon Majra village, who had come to visit his relatives living in the locality, began molesting the girl.

The girl sensing trouble raised the alarm and soon the youth was overpowered by parents and neighbours. On being informed, the police arrested the youth. He was booked under Sections 294 and 354 of the IPC and later he was released on bail.



Speed Fund scheme
Rs 5,500 not enough for sportsmen: Experts
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Last year, the Sports Department, Punjab, revised the fund that was being given for refreshment to sportspersons, yet the sportsmen covered under the Speed Fund Scheme feel that they are getting less funds. Sports experts said the money which a sportsperson was getting under the scheme was insufficient to get all facilities.

The government has created the speed fund to promote sportspersons of 14 games. Under this scheme, sportspersons get Rs 5,500 for their diet, equipment transportation, and other expenses.

Only those sportsmen who excel are selected through trials. Experts feel that to enhance their performance they should be given more money for their diet etc.

Kartar Singh, District Sports Officer, said, "Due to inflation, Rs 5,500 per month for a sportsperson is not enough. All these sportsmen are medal holders so the department has to take extra care of them. The issue has been raised at the recent meetings of the department. I hope that department will increase the fund being given to them.

Meanwhile, Sohan Lal Lotey, Deputy Director, Sports Department, Punjab, said, "It is true that the money is insufficient. The proposal is in pipeline as the department has already discussed the issue with the government. We have proposed to the state government to increase the fund under the Speed Fun Scheme. We are expecting that the fund will be increased by four times".



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