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Murder victim’s brother cries foul
Says Deputy Mayor given clean chit under political pressure; moves HC for CBI probe
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Gagandeep Singh, the victim, Deputy Mayor RD Sharma
Gagandeep Singh, the victim, Deputy Mayor RD Sharma

Ludhiana, April 6
A day after Deputy Mayor and BJP leader RD Sharma was given a clean chit in the alleged honour killing case involving a 22-year-old youth, the victim's brother Rashem Natt accused the police of being hand in glove with the leader.

Rashem Natt said the registration of the case was complete eyewash as the police were working under political pressure.

"Since the very onset of the case, I knew the police will exonerate RD Sharma. First, they were reluctant to register the case and once the case was registered the police were working overtime to give a clean chit to Sharma," said Natt.

He questioned the “alacrity” shown by the police in closing the investigation. "While the police take months to investigate petty crime cases, they finished the probe in a murder case in barely 15 days. Instead of Sharma, if a common man had been booked in a murder case, he would have been behind bars," he added.

Natt claimed when he was implicated in the case pertaining to the murder of a jeweller in 2011, the police completed the investigation in 11 months. On the other hand, the police took barely 15 days to wrap up the investigation and give a clean chit to Sharma.

He had filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, demanding a CBI probe into the matter as he knew the police were going to favour Sharma.

On the allegation of the Government Railway Police (GRP) Circle Inspector, Murlidhar, that Rashem Singh did not join the investigation despite repeated summons, the latter said he was busy performing the last rites of his brother so he could not join the investigation at that time.

"I will challenge the clean chit given to Sharma in the court. I will give my statement in the court. I have some key witnesses in the case who will also testify in the court," said Natt.

On the issue of 530 calls exchanged between Gagandeep and the girl working at a salon from March 1 to 17, Rashem Natt said the girl who worked at the salon was a mediator. Gagan and Sharma's daughter allegedly used the mobile phone of the "parlour girl" as the leader had forbidden his daughter from using a mobile phone.

Brother disputes police theory

“My brother should have suffered fatal injuries if he had been killed in a train accident, as claimed by the police. He had injury marks on one side and minor injury marks on the head,” said victim's brother Rashem Natt.

The case

Deputy Mayor RD Sharma, who was booked in a case of murder at the Salem Tabri police station, was given a clean chit by the GRP on Saturday. The victim, Gagandeep Singh, was found unconscious near a railway track in the Salem Tabri area on March 17. He succumbed to injuries on the way to the hospital. His brother Rashem Natt had alleged Gagandeep was killed by Sharma's goons as the former was having an affair with his daughter.


Couple robbed at Madhopuri
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
Two armed persons robbed a couple of gold ornaments and valuables at Madhopuri Chowk last midnight.

The victims, identified as Sunny, a resident of Balmiki Mohalla, and his wife were returning home after attending a “jagran” at the house of their relatives in Amarpura.

Sunny told the police that when they reached Madhopuri Chowk, two motorcycle-borne youngsters accosted them. Before Sunny could confront them, the pillion rider pulled out a knife and placed it on his wife’s neck. They asked Sunny to handover their valuables or else they would kill his wife.

Sunny said the assailants took away a gold chain of his wife, a purse containing Rs 2,000 and a debit card. He told the police that there was no number plate on the bike.

Man arrested, kin booked in rape case

A middle-aged man was booked for raping a girl on the pretext of offering her a job in the city.

The accused has been identified as Gurcharan Singh. The police have also booked a girl, who is Gurcharan's relative, in the case.

Inspector Harwinder Singh said the victim, who hailed from Himachal Pradesh, worked at a mobile store in Chandigarh and was putting up in a rented accommodation at Kharar.

Gurcharan's relative shared the room with the victim. She, along with Gurcharan, managed to take the victim to Ludhiana on the pretext of offering her a better job opportunity. The victim visited Gurcharan's home at Basant Vihar on Noorwala Road four days ago.

She reportedly approached the police on Saturday night. She complained Gurcharan had raped her. The police recorded her statement in the morning and arrested the accused. Gurcharan was produced before the court that sent him to police remand.

A medical examination of the victim was conducted and her relatives were informed about the incident. 



Suicide attempt by couple: Woman dies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
A day after a man and woman consumed poison after the exposure of their alleged extramarital affair, the 26-year-old woman also died today.

Yesterday, the woman and 28-year-old man, identified as Ashok Kumar from Ambedkar Nagar, had consumed poison near the Model Town Extension gurdwara. While Ashok died at the hospital soon after consuming poison, the woman’s condition worsened this morning and she died. However, she reportedly told the family that she had no affair with Ashok and the area residents were spreading false stories.

Raman Kumar, woman's husband, said Ashok was his friend.

The matter had reached the police. Ashok, who was a peon in a bank, had been blessed with a second baby boy barely two months ago. He had been depressed for the past few days, said the members of his family.

Similar was the case with Raman's wife. Before dying, she reportedly told the police that they met at the gurdwara and decided to end their lives. Soon Ashok brought pesticide and both of them consumed it. After consuming the pesticide, Ashok called up his nephew and narrated the entire incident to him. His nephew reached the spot and rushed the duo to the hospital. Ashok died at the hospital yesterday.

The bodies were sent to the Civil Hospital.



Two drug peddlers nabbed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
The local police have arrested two drug peddlers and recovered 15.2 gm marijuana from their possession. The accused have been identified as Balwinder Singh and Jatinder Singh of the Dhandra area.

They were carrying the contraband in a bag when they were arrested in Moti Nagar Market. The police got suspicious about their movement in Moti Nagar Market and stopped them. Their search yielded 15.2 gram marijuana.



PAU can’t spare officers for poll duty
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
Fearing disruption in university functioning, the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) authorities have written to the District Administration for the cancellation of the election duties of their director-level officers.

The PAU officers, who have been appointed presiding officers for poll duties, include Dr Jaskaran Singh Mahal, Additional Director Research (Farm Machinery and Bio-energy), Dr Jagtar Singh Dhiman, Additional Director Research (Natural Resource and Plant Health Management), Dr Ashok Kumar, Additional Director Research (Food Science Nutrition and Engineering), Dr Pushpinder Singh Aulakh, Additional Director Research (Horticulture) and Dr Piara Singh Chahal, Associate Director Research, PAU.

The PAU authorities have shot the letter to district electoral officer Rajat Aggarwal.

On the other hand, senior district administration officials feel as the procurement of wheat is about to start in the next few days, they have not deputed staff from Punjab Mandikaran Board and other such agencies associated with procurement on election duty. “There is already a shortage of staff for election duty,” said a senior district administration official.

A PAU officer said if they were deputed on election duties, the PAU functioning was bound to suffer. “As the procurement season is about to start, we will be having several meetings with the state government over this as well as other agricultural issues. We will not be able to discharge our election duties properly,” said the officer.

Meanwhile, Isha Kalia, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development), said she was aware of the matter. She would see to it that the issue is resolved.



Sunscreen lotions cause vitamin D deficiency: Experts
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 5
Summers are already here. People avoid stepping out in the sun without applying sunscreen lotions. Seldom do they know these can actually lead to the deficiency of vitamin D.

It is estimated that around 80 per cent of the Indian population has vitamin D below the normal level. Most people are not even aware of vitamin D deficiency and its consequences. Sunscreen lotions prevent absorption of vitamin D, which we get from the sun, by our skin.

"Sunscreen lotions are not suitable for the Indian skin since it can cause vitamin D deficiency. Indians are already deficient in vitamin D. Sunscreen lotions do no good to them. These lotions should allow the sunlight to enter skin," said Dr Shashank R Joshi, president of The Association of Physicians of India.

"Tests have shown the use of sunscreen lotions do lower the amount of vitamin D absorbed by the skin. The cases of bone condition rickets, caused by the deficiency of vitamin D, have risen fourfold as the use of sunscreens has increased," said Dr Mangla S Gulati, Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Maryland Medical Center, USA. She was recently in the city to participate in a conference.

In ancient times, apart from umbrellas and hats, people used a variety of sunscreens made from herbal extracts or mineral crusts to protect themselves from the sun. The herbal sunscreens used by them included ingredients like rice bran oil, iron, clay and tar.

Food rich in vitamin D

Apart from sunlight, one can get vitamin D from food and supplements. Fish oil, salmon and sardines, soy milk, eggs, fortified dairy products, mushrooms, etc, are rich in vitamin D. 



ludhiana votes 2014
AAP workers campaign on bicycles
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers today campaigned in the city in a novel way by not only asking for votes, but also promoting clean air, clean water and clean politics.

AAP supporters cycling in the city distributed disposable packaged water to the local residents. The message on the glasses read ‘clean air, clean water and clean politics’. They also asked people to endorse Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for the development of the city. The cycle rally started from AAP office in Sarabha Nagar and passed through various localities. AAP workers in huge numbers participated in the rally.



SAD-BJP candidate campaigns in Khanna
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 6
SAD-BJP candidate from Fatehgarh Sahib Lok Sabha constituency Kulwant Singh today campaigned in the city. Kulwant Singh along with some other Akali Dal-BJP leaders of the area visited Guru Ram Dass Market, Karnail Singh Road, Subhash Bazar and main Bazar and appealed the people to cast votes in his favour.

He said he is demanding votes on the name of development and assured the people that he will work for the development of the area. He asserted that with the joining of Congress MP Sukhdev Singh Libra into SAD his election campaign had gained momentum.



Bittu holds public meetings
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
Ravneet Singh Bittu held public meetings at Malerkotla House and Mangat Park Shanti Niketan. He met the members of the Pakshi Sewa Samiti at Rakh Bagh. He expressed concern over the decreasing population of birds and the polluted environment. He said birds and animals are national assets and that he would work to protect their habitat.

Among the Congress leaders who were with Bittu in his campaign today included legislator Bharat Bhushan Ashu and senior leader Amarjit Singh Tikka.

The Congress has claimed to have the support of Baba Vishawkarma International Foundation. The party claimed that the foundation members conveyed their decision to legislator Gurkirat Singh Kotli and senior Congress leader KK Bawa.

Speaking at a programme organised by the foundation, Bawa said the SAD-BJP alliance is in the habit of building castles in the air, whereas the Congress, instead of making tall claims, believes in action.



CP seeks arms details

Ludhiana, April 6
The Commissioner of Police has asked the weapon dealers to submit details of weapons that have been surrendered by the residents at the police stations concerned in the wake of Lok Sabha election.

The directions were issued under Section 144 of the CrPC. Commissioner has further stated that the weapons should be returned after one week of the elections. — TNS



260 skip rehearsal, DC to issue show-cause notice
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
The first rehearsal of employees for conducting forthcoming Lok Sabha elections smoothly was held here today at different venues under the supervision of assistant returning officers of concerned Vidhan Sabha constituencies. The Lok Sabha elections are scheduled on April 30.

District administration has deputed 14,148 employees on election duty but some of the employees skipped the rehearsal. Rajat Aggarwal, district electoral officer-cum-deputy commissioner, Ludhiana said, "We are already facing shortage of staff for election duties. We will act tough against the employees who did not attend the first rehearsal today. The Election Commission of India is very strict this time. Employees have tendency to get their election duty exempted with lame excuses, which is not a healthy trend. We will issue show cause notices to all those who did not attend to rehearsal today."

Aggarwal said, "Many a times it happens that employees get medical certificates showing that they were sick. But we will verify such cases from the concerned authorities. But if a person is genuinely sick, he or she will be given exemption after verifying the facts. Only yesterday I received an application from an employee who has been suffering from cancer but was put on election duty. So I exempted him."

Meanwhile 260 employees from three Vidhan Sabha constituencies did not report to their duty today. Sources at the office of election tehsildar said, "The data of employees who did not report to duties today from 11 constituencies will be compiled tomorrow by the concerned assistant returning officers." SP Thankur, general observe for Ludhiana Lok Sabha constituency will visit on April 8. 



MC employees await salaries
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
More than 5,000 employees of the civic body are yet to get their salaries for the month of March. They had threatened the government with protests if their salaries were not paid by April 10. The employees, including safai sewaks, beldaars and gardeners, said their salaries were delayed even when the MC was financially sound.

Vijay, general secretary of the Safai Labour Union, said the civic body had not paid the employees. “We have never been paid salaries on time for the past one year. We have to run house hold and when salaries are not given on time, we feel helpless,” said he.

Chairman of Municipal Karamchari Dal Vijay Danav said this issue was serious and authorities could not take it lightly as families of over 5,000 employees depend on the matter.

“Ex-Commissioner Rahul Tiwari had assured us once everything is done online, the salaries will be disbursed in time. But it has been more than two months now salaries are not paid on time. Whenever authorities get some funds, the priority should be paying to the employees rather than making payments to contractors. I will take up the issue with Mayor and Commissioner tomorrow. And if need be, we will talk about the delayed salaries with the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal too,” said Danav.

It may be mentioned that last month too, the employees had held protests for salaries. Few months back, the civic body had withdrawn amount from the fees generated by the MC through regularization of properties but it was paid back when they got funds from other resources recently. 


Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria said he will take-up the issue of salary disbursement. "I will make sure that employees get the salaries as soon as possible, we will make the arrangements," he said.



Reporters Diary
Bridge inauguration sans leaders

One part of the Lakkar Bridge was opened to public recently. For a change, it was a quiet affair and there was no "pomp and show" of VIPs or police nakas or alterations in routes. The officials were not on toes to welcome the political leaders, who leave no opportunity to take the "due or even undue" credit of such development work. Instead some young officials including Dr Sumit Jarangal, additional commissioner, MC, Isha Kalia, ADC-D, Shena Aggarwal and Surubhi (IAS trainees) opened it for public. And this has been appreciated by the residents who feel that the youngsters should be given an opportunity as they contribute to bring improvement in the city, to listen to the woes of public. "Due to Code of Conduct, no VIP could inaugurate the bridge. Residents were saved from suffering unnecessarily, "said a senior citizen.

Say no to Congress, SAD-BJP, AAP

Leader of a city-based political outfit, who himself could not file nomination papers to contest Lok Sabha elections as his name did not feature in the voter list, has made a strange appeal to the electorate. He has said people should neither vote for the SAD-BJP combine, nor for the Congress as these parties were involved in scams, drug trafficking and spreading communal hatred. He has also dubbed Kejriwal's Aam Admi Party as a tool of certain vested interests as an agent of forces having their roots abroad. "Instead, the voters should either cast their votes in favour of honest and well-meaning independent candidates, or else where no independent candidate is in fray, they should opt for "none of the above (NOTA). The said leader has, however, not elaborated as to how a handful of independent candidates, even if elected to Lok Sabha, will form a stable government.

Political dress code

City has completely immersed in the spirit of elections. Every second car has a sticker of one or the other political party speaking about their support for the particular candidate. So much so that even the dress code of the youngsters has taken a whirl and they have switched to kurta-pyajama these days. "It goes with the political scenario around us. We go to support candidates so wearing a kurta-pyajama gives a rich look during elections. I just got four new pairs of kurta pyjama," said one of the students from a local college. It is tailors who are having hay days and making quick bucks while the sun shines.

Dutiful mother

Elections are just round the corner and employees of various government departments have been assigned different responsibilities for the smooth conducting of elections. Recently, during the election rehearsal we saw a mother-son duo together. "I had no other option but to bring my son along with me at the rehearsal as there was nobody at home who can take care of him," she said. But unlike other women she did not cribbed about the fact that she has been assigned an election duty. "Duty is duty and I never skip away from it. Presently I am doing two duties together, duty of a mother and duty of being a government employee. I love challenging situations which make us tough," she said with a smile.

Contributed by Shivani Bhakoo, Kuldip Bhatia, Manav Mander



Kher mesmerises audience
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
Veteran actor Anupam Kher regaled, amused, inspired and amused the audience in the packed auditorium as he enacted and revisited his life in his autobiographical play ‘Kuch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai’.

The autobiographical play was staged at Guru Nanak Bhawan last evening.

In an honest take, he showcased his dreams, moving to Mumbai, his struggle, strife and 
failure too.

He shared his struggle and wait to get one of his first roles as an old man in Saraansh. He showcased his first meeting with legendary actors Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachan. He funnily shared the experiences of meeting them for the first time. He talked about launching of his production company, its failure and bankruptcy. He captured his association with Mahesh Bhatt, Subhash Ghai and his friends.

Weaving his life's story, he also took an honest take on some of the realities of the film industry, amusing audience telling about the realities of an actor's life.

He endearingly made fun of himself relating to his experiences, his facial paralysis, eventually conveying the message that failure is the biggest teacher. Reading one of the poems by his friend, he said failure is a challenge and the lessons it teaches to people.

Parents of actress Parineeti Chopra, Pawan and Reena Chopra were present during the show. They had come from Ambala Cantt as special invitees. Reena shared that Parineeti has learnt a lot from Anupam during the shooting of film Daawat-e-Ishq. Parineeti has been quoted saying that she wants to do more films with Kher, she added. Contrary to popular perception, she said Parineeti never wanted to become an actress, but she was offered a role when she was working as a management executive with Yashraj Films.



Pulse polio drive begins in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
Five-day pulse polio drive kick started in the city today. World Health Organization (WHO) has declared India as polio-free but people should not take this disease casually and administer the drops regularly to the kids.

On Day 1 total houses visited by the teams stand at 1,72,503 while total number of children vaccinated on the first day were 80,537.

Kids in the age group 0-5 years were administered polio drops today. Door-to-door campaign was started to administered polio drops while health teams were also present at railway station and bus stand to administer drops to the kids.

District immunization officer, Dr Sanjeev Hans said polio drive will be carried out in every city and village and each and every house will be covered during the drive.

During this five-day drive health department plans to cover 3,80,000 urban, rural and migratory kids living in Ludhiana. For carrying out this drive successfully 1,579 teams have been formulated out of which there will be 99 mobile teams and 67 transit teams. Apart from this 302 supervisors have been appointed to make this drive a success.



Rs 40 lakh budget for setting up kennels, operation theatre
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
To curb the menace of stray dogs in the city, the civic body has made a budget of about Rs 40 lakhs for making kennels and an operation theatre for the dogs. The four-walls of the kennels has already been constructed at the veterinary hospital of the Municipal Corporation at Haibowal, while to start the project even more quickly, authorities are in hunt for a building which could immediately be converted into an operation theatre.

A meeting of the officials was held here yesterday and Commissioner Corporation, Shruti Singh has asked the officials to start the project as early as possible so that residents could get a respite from the stray dogs, as these had created panic everywhere.

Dr YP Singh, senior veterinary doctor at Veterinary Hospital of MC, who is taking care of the project, said kennels will be constructed within 15-20 days but there is a problem for the operation theatre. "The construction of operation theatre will take some time. To save time, we are also on a look-out for a building nearby so that dogs could be sterilised there", said Dr Singh.

He also added that officials of a Hyderabad- based company were ready to start the project and they were waiting for nod of the MC. "After completing the construction of kennels and operation theatre, we have to inform company officials to start the project. Initially, for first few days, we are keeping a target of sterilisation of about 150 dogs, once things get stream lined, the company has assured us to perform about 1,200 operations every month", said Dr Singh.

In the last survey, which was conducted about 3 years back, the estimated population of dogs was about 30,000.



ludhiana scan
Power shut down

11 KV Ghumar Mandi feeders and 11 KV National Road feeders, fed from 66 KV DC office complex sub station, will remain shut down for urgent repair and maintenance work on April 7 from 10 am to 3 pm. During this period, power supply to Ghumar Mandi, Krishna Nagar, Dyal Nagar, National Road, Mall Enclave, Sham Singh Road, Gurdial Singh Road, HIG Flats areas will be affected.

Medical camp

To mark the World Health Day, 9 Air Force Hospital, Halwara, organised a health camp for ex-servicemen and their families at Abbuwal village, under the leadership of commanding officer Group Captain KJS Makker. It was inaugurated by Air Officer Commanding 9 Wing AF, Air Commodore RGK Kapoor (VSM). Patients were examined for general ailments by medical specialist Wg Cdr MM Pasha, surgical specialist Wg Cdr MK Goswami, gynaecologist Dr Archana Gupta, pathologist Lt Col Kanwaljit Kaurand, dental specialist Gp Capt RK Sharma. Samples were collected for laboratory investigations. At the information booth, Wg Cdr MS Nataraja gave health education talks and displayed movies on harmful effects of drugs and alcohol. Medical information pamphlets were also distributed. On-the-spot ECG, physiotherapy and immunization were also conducted. Patients were distributed medicines free of cost. The event was facilitated by Lt Col (Retd) Zora Singh and Hony Capt (Retd) Pavitar Singh of Abbuwal village. A large number of veterans were benefited by this initiative of the Indian Air Force.

Writers awarded

A function was today held at Punjabi Bhawan. Fifteen writers were awarded by Punjabi Sahit Akademi. Speaking in the occasion Dr SS Johal said persons who get satisfied after getting an award never progress further. "Life should be seen as a staircase and one should keep climbing new heights," he added.

Residents donate blood at a camp organised by the Niswarth Sewa Society in Ludhiana on Sunday.
Residents donate blood at a camp organised by the Niswarth Sewa Society in Ludhiana on Sunday. photo: inderjeet verma

Blood donation

Niswarth Sewa Society organised its eighth annual blood donation camp at Shri Aadinath Jain Mandir in Civil Lines. A free medical checkup camp was also organised with support of Pancham Hospital. The blood donation camp was organised with the support of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital and Shri Krishna Charitable Hospital. 

Bird feed distributed

To mark the Mahavir Jayanti on April 13, bird feed packets and earthen bowls to provide them water in hot summer weather were distributed by Care of Animals and Protection of Environment-India (CAPE-India) at Shri Aadinath Jain Mandir, here today. More than 3,000 water bowls and bird feed packets had been distributed so far. Dr Sandeep K Jain, chief coordinator, CAPE-India and member, Animal Welfare Board of India (Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India) told that major cause of dwindling population of house sparrows is due to modern architecture of our houses and use of pesticides and agrochemicals. — TNS



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