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Protest against fleecing of cancer patients held outside BFUHS
Faridkot, September 16
Farmer organisations today staged a protest in front of the Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital (GGSMCH), Faridkot, demanding a high-level inquiry into the plundering of the cancer patients by forcing them to buy medicines from selected medical stores which are allegedly patronised by the accused doctors and university officials.

Farmers take out protest march in Barnala
Barnala, September 16
A large number of farmers, led by the state president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) Joginder Singh Ugrahan, today held a rally at the local grain market, demanding compensation and government jobs for the families of debt-ridden farmers and agriculture workers, who committed suicides in the past.

Mahla may continue as SAD district chief
Moga, September 16
The Moga district president of the ruling SAD, Tirath Singh Mahla, surprisingly appears to be a front-runner for continuing on this post for the second consecutive term in the absence of any other choice.

Army holds ex-servicemen meet
Bathinda, September 16
Lalgarh Jattan Military Station organised a meet for ex-servicemen of Hanumangarh District at Lalgarh Jattan Military Station recently under the aegis of 83, Infantry Brigade.


EARLIER STORIES


Pak intruder gunned down
Abohar, September 16
The Border Security Force (BSF) last night gunned down a Pakistan national as he made an intrusion bid taking advantage of the high velocity dust storm near BoP 1-S in neighbouring Sriganganagar sector.








 

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Protest against fleecing of cancer patients held outside BFUHS
Balwant Garg
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, September 16
Farmer organisations today staged a protest in front of the Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital (GGSMCH), Faridkot, demanding a high-level inquiry into the plundering of the cancer patients by forcing them to buy medicines from selected medical stores which are allegedly patronised by the accused doctors and university officials.

The protesters alleged while the Chief Minister's Relief Fund for cancer patients was lying unused due to inordinate delay in its disbursal among the needy and eligible cancer patients, the poor cancer patients were being fleeced in the sale of anti-cancer drugs, which are already expensive to buy.

"It is amazing that though we have provided a dossier of documentary evidence to prove the fleecing of cancer patients from some chemist shops, the authorities concerned are suffering from inertia and are taking no action on any of the complaint," said Gurpreet Singh, the president of Bhai Kanahiya Cancer Roko Society. The society is spearheading a movement against the fleecing of cancer patients. Punjab and Haryana High Court has already taken a suo moto cognizance of a complaint by this society and has directed the state government to regulate the prices of cancer drugs.

Today, besides Bhai Kanahiya Cancer Roko Society, farmers and other voluntary organisations from different parts of the district also reached Faridkot to raise their voice against the fleecing of cancer patients.

The tedious and complicated process is enough to exasperate the patients. While Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot, received Rs 12.35 crore as CM Cancer Relief Fund, the hospital could disburse only Rs 1.36 crore to 556 cancer patients in the last two years, alleged Charanjit Singh Sukhanwala, the district president of BKU (Sidhupur).

"Besides the CM's Relief Fund, the medical college was unable to utilise Rs 10 lakh which the state government sent to the medical college to buy cancer drugs for emergent situations. This fund was never used and no drugs were provided to any cancer patient in emergency," said Kultar Singh, senior vice-president of Cancer Roko Society.

"Cancer drugs are being sold at inflated prices from some selected medicine stores and patients are forced to buy drugs from these stores. The wrong-doers are continuing this practice with impunity because of their connection with seniors in the medical college and university. So, we demand a high-level inquiry into this swindling of already distressed cancer patients," said Gurpreet Singh.

Dr SS Gill, vice-chancellor, BFUHS, said the chemist shops were providing the drugs at subsided rates. "There is no truth in the allegations of cancer drugs being overpriced," he claimed.

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 Farmers take out protest march in Barnala
Tribune News Service

Barnala, September 16
A large number of farmers, led by the state president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) Joginder Singh Ugrahan, today held a rally at the local grain market, demanding compensation and government jobs for the families of debt-ridden farmers and agriculture workers, who committed suicides in the past.

After holding a rally at the grain market, the protesters took out a march from the grain market to the office of the deputy commissioner here, carrying photographs of the debt-ridden farmers and agriculture workers who had committed suicide. They also held a demonstration there and raised slogans against the state government.

Addressing the protesters, Joginder Singh Ugrahan said thousands of families of debt-ridden farmers and agriculture workers had sent their cases for compensation and jobs to the state government through the offices of the deputy commissioners, but the government had adopted delaying tactics so far. He said due to this, they had been compelled to stage a protest today.

Ugrahan said the state government should give Rs 2 lakh and a job to the family of every debt-ridden farmer and agriculture worker, who had committed suicide, as it had already made an announcement in this regard. He also demanded that the entire debt of farmers and labourers should be written off. He also asked the government to stop the arrests of those farmers and agriculture workers who were unable to pay their debt.

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Mahla may continue as SAD district chief
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Moga, September 16
The Moga district president of the ruling SAD, Tirath Singh Mahla, surprisingly appears to be a front-runner for continuing on this post for the second consecutive term in the absence of any other choice.

As the organisational polls were in progress, the local leaders of the party had authorised party president Sukhbir Singh Badal to nominate any local leader as the district president.

Although political circles were agog with rumours that Mahla had protected the cops who were allegedly arrested on charges of smuggling drugs, nothing concrete has been found against him so far as investigations were still in progress.

Sources in the SAD revealed that the party leadership was looking for a change but in the absence of any suitable candidate, Mahla may be asked to continue on this post.

Tarsem Singh Rattian, former chairman of the District Planning Board, could have been the best choice to replace Mahla but Rattian has recently undergone a spinal surgery. He was presently on rest on medical grounds.

The second choice could have been Colonel Darshan Singh (retd), a former member of the Zila Parishad whose father Tej Singh Samadh Bhai had thrice been the MLA from Baghapurana assembly constituency but it was learnt that all the four MLAs of the district were not unanimous over his name despite his being an honest person with leadership qualities.

It was also learnt that Barjinder Singh Brar, son of senior Akali leader Jathedar Tota Singh, is also interested in this post but he has publicly not declared his ambition so far, making it hard to make any political calculations.

Therefore, under such circumstances, Tirath Singh Mahla remains at the helm of the party as he claims to have the backing of all the MLAs of the district, besides other local Akali leaders of the area.

The local leaders of the BJP, an alliance partner of the SAD, also seem to be comfortable with him. "Mahla is a gentleman and we have been going on comfortably with him in local politics," said Vijay Sharma, former district president of the BJP. 

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  Army holds ex-servicemen meet

Bathinda, September 16
Lalgarh Jattan Military Station organised a meet for ex-servicemen of Hanumangarh District at Lalgarh Jattan Military Station recently under the aegis of 83, Infantry Brigade.

Brigadier Paramdeep Singh Bajwa, Station Commander, Lalgarh Jattan Military Station, said welfare of ex-servicemen and Veer Naris was one of the key result areas and veterans, Veer Naris and widows of ex-servicemen were part of the extended family of the Army. Their welfare and well-being remains the prime concern of the serving fraternity, he added.

While addressing a rally of ex-servicemen, he assured the gathering that the Army was sensitive to their needs and would take all steps to ensure that ex-servicemen and their families were adequately cared for and looked after in a befitting manner.

The event was marked by an educative lecture and information dissemination on various welfare schemes started by the Army for ex-servicemen. Various stalls were established to render assistance and spread awareness on pension, health, education, banking, insurance, placement, rehabilitation and recruitment to resolve the problems of ex-servicemen.

Ex-servicemen of Nohar, Rawatsar, Sangriya, Tibbi, Pilibanga, Bhadra and Hanumangarh tehsils were provided transportation to attend the rally. Free food, refreshments and medical care were also provided during the rally.

Colonel VK Chhibber, officer-in-charge, Zilla Sainik Board, Sri Ganganagar along with the ex-servicemen expressed their happiness over the positive attitude displayed by the Army in resolving the problems of ex-servicemen.

They claimed that such perseverance by the Army will definitely assist all ex-servicemen in resolving their problems. ó TNS

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 Pak intruder gunned down
Raj Sadosh

Abohar, September 16
The Border Security Force (BSF) last night gunned down a Pakistan national as he made an intrusion bid taking advantage of the high velocity dust storm near BoP 1-S in neighbouring Sriganganagar sector.

The intruder did not stop despite warning and was noticed trying to take out something from his pocket, sources said.

Srikaranpur DSP Sahi Ram Bishnoi and Kesarisinghpur SHO Narain Daan led cops in visiting the border after the incident. BSF DIG RS Rathore also visited the BoP. He has put all patrolling parties on high alert along the 205 km long international border since it is believed that the deceased intruder might have been used as an undercover agent.

At a flag meeting today, Pakistan Rangers denied that the intruder gunned down was a Pakistan national. They refused to take the body for cremation. Post-mortem was done near the border. In the search, only a box of matches was found in the pocket of the intruder who appeared to be around 30 years of age.

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