09092021-LT-01.qxd 9/9/2021 12:15 AM Page 1 c m y b Ludhiana TRIBUNE 2 PSPCL OFFICIALS INVOLVED IN CORRUPT PRACTICES: LIP LIP chief MLA Simarjeet Bains and other protesters met the PSPCL authorities and sought action against the officials. FORECAST PARTLY CLOUDY PAGE 2 AMAZON REVEALS RELEASE DATE OF JUSTIN BIEBER: OUR WORLD PAGE 3 GANGUBAI KATHIAWADI & RRR WILL NOT RELEASE ON OTT Amazon Studios will release filmmaker Michael D Ratner’s Justin Bieber: Our World globally on October 8. MAX 33°C | MIN 25°C | YESTERDAY MAX 33°C | MIN 26°C SUNSET THURSDAY 6:40 PM PAGE 4 Pen Studios released a statement that stated films like Gangubai Kathiawadi & Attack will only be released in theatres. SUNRISE FRIDAY 6:07 AM THURSDAY | 9 SEPTEMBER 2021 | LUDHIANA 2 members of ATM fraudsters’ gang arrested No Covid patient hospitalised in district; all 3,386 beds vacant Tribune News Service Positivity rate almost nil, active cases on rise, no patient on ventilator Ludhiana, September 8 The Khanna police claimed to have busted a gang of ATM fraudsters with the arrest of two of its members. The police also recovered 72 ATM cards from the duo. The accused have been identified as Sonu and Bhure, both residents of Uttar Pradesh. Khanna SSP Gursharandeep Singh Grewal, in a statement issued said the police busted an interstate gang involved in ATM frauds. Its members used to exchange ATM cards from people on the pretext of helping them in operating the ATM. The SSP said today that the police had got a tip-off that persons involved in fraudulent withdrawal of money from ATM cards of people were roaming in Khanna and they were waiting to target others. Nitin Jain 72 ATM cards recovered from accused The SSP said acting on a tipoff, a police party had set up a special naka at the Ratanheri railway crossing from where the two accused were nabbed and 72 ATM cards of various banks were recovered from them. During interrogation, it has come to light that the accused used to exchange ATM cards of old/gullible/illiterate persons by offering to help them and also fraudulently get their ATM PIN. Later, they used to withdraw money from victims’ bank accounts using their ATM cards. During questioning, the accused confessed that in recent months they have committed frauds of over Rs 10 lakh by fraudulently withdrawing money from accounts of people. Further probe is on to nab other members of the gang. Tribune News Service Contractual roadways employees take out a bike rally during the third day of their strike on Wednesday. PHOTO: ASHWANI DHIMAN Contractual staff to keep bus stands closed today Tribune News Service Ludhiana, September 8 As the state government “failed” to meet their demands, the contractual employees of the PRTC and PUNBUS have announced to intensify the agitation. They announced to keep the bus stands across the state closed on Thursday to mark their protest. Meanwhile, the contractual government bus employees continued their strike on the third day on Wednesday. The employees associated with the Punjab Roadways and PUNBUS Contract Workers Union Punjab also carried out a bike rally to mark the protest against the government. The employees have been demanding the regularisation of services of all PUNBUS and PRTC contractual employees for a long time. They are also demanding from the government to purchase new government buses to improve the transport service in the state. The union members said today’s meeting with the government authorities in Chandigarh remained unsuccessful. Shamsher BJP activists burn effigies of minister, LIT Chairman Kuldip Bhatia Ludhiana, September 8 As a mark of protest against the alleged swindling of hundreds of crores from the sale of public property by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust LIT) through e-auctions, a large number of members and office- bearers of the BJP , Bikram Singh Sidhu (advocate), a member of the state executive of the party, burnt effigies of LIT chairman Raman Balasubramaniam and Cabinet Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu here today. BJP workers and other protesters also raised slogans against corrupt practices and financial bungling going on in the LIT under the incumbent chairman and his political mentor – Ashu, terming both of them enemies of the public and traitors of the nation. Addressing the protest, Sidhu maintained land and properties of the LIT, which was a public institution, worth several hundred crores were auctioned at throwaway prices to grant favours to close aides of the minister and in the process, it is causing colossal loss to the state exchequer. Later, interacting with the media, Sidhu further stated that this recent auction of prime land in Model Town Extension to an industrial group was another ‘city BJP activists protest in Ludhiana on Wednesday. ASHWANI DHIMAN centre scam’ as over Rs 250 crore bungling was involved in the sale of this particular piece of land. “We will not let the issue rest till an appropriate action is taken against the guilty as city residents have been cheated. We demand a prompt highlevel investigation and registration of an FIR in the matter,” said Sidhu. DCC president comes out in support of Ashu, LIT chief Meanwhile, District Congress Committee (Urban) president Ashwani Sharma has come out in support of Cabinet Minister Ashu and LIT Chairman Raman Balasubramaniam by terming the ongoing protest by the BJP activists as “politically motivated drama” in a desperate bid to distract the attention of people from real and burning issues of public interests. Addressing a press meet here today, he said rather than wasting their time finding faults with the working of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust and Bharat Bhushan Ashu, the BJP leaders ought to ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reduce the prices of petrol, diesel and LPG which were skyrocketing. He said the local BJP leadership and even their senior state-level leaders were scared of their diminishing public image in the state, especially after the way the farmers’ agitation had been dealt with by the Centre. “BJP leaders should stop such cheap political gimmicks and focus on development of the city and the state,” the DCC chief said. OFFICIALSPEAK The district has been witnessing the ❝still can’t afford to let the guards downsafe trend but we ahead of the festive season and need to aggressively follow the fivepronged strategy comprising test, trace, treat, vaccinate and strict enforcement of Covid appropriate behaviour. Varinder Kumar Sharma, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER Singh, president of the Ludhiana unit of the association, said, “A delegation of the union met the Chief Secretary, Punjab, today but none of our demands was met during the meeting. Now, we will keep the bus stands in the state closed on September 9.” The union members said they would protest in Chandigarh on September 10 and gherao the farmhouse of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh. They have also announced that effigies of the Congress government would be burnt and highways would be blocked too in the coming days if their demands are not met. The contractual employees first protested at the Amar Shaheed Sukhdev Interstate Bus Stand, Ludhiana, and then took out a protest rally. Around 7,600 employees in the state, including about 600 employees of Ludhiana, had gone on an indefinite strike on Monday, demanding regularisation of their services and strengthening of the government bus service. Meanwhile, passengers opted for travelling by private buses due to the strike by the contractual staff of the PRTC and PUNBUS in the state. ber 7 and 30 on September 8. The district has also been having no serious or critical case since September 3 after the lone patient on ventilator was discharged on September 2. With the lowest monthly death count of four recorded in August, a single fatality has been reported in the district this month so far on September 6. While the recovery and cumulative case fatality rate has been static at 97.6 per cent and 2.4 per cent, respectively, since July 7, the daily CFR has been nil for over a month, barring five days – four in August and one in September — when a single fatality was reported in the district each day. The safe trend has been persisting since June when the district had made a remarkable turnaround by recording the daily positivity rate even below 1 per cent. The development holds significance as Ludhiana had earlier assumed the dubious distinction of being the worsthit district with the maxi- mum number of daily Covid cases and deaths till May. If it was mayhem in May when the second Covid wave had rapidly slid into a devastating crisis with the health facilities unbearably falling short, oxygen supplies running low and many dying even without seeing a doctor, June had given a sigh of relief with the signs of gradual retreat and impact of deadly virus plateauing and the safe trend continued in July, August and September when the hit rate further dipped to as low as nil on August 28 and 29. This U-turn is all the more significant as the daily positivity rate has dropped from the highest-ever ratio of 19.57 per cent in the past three months. The district had touched its peak of virus surge on May 2. The daily hit rate has been plummeting constantly since the last week of May. Ludhiana’s positivity rate had started at a high of 18.92 per cent on the first day of May, further rising and touching its peak of 19.57 per cent on May 2. Man held with habit-forming tablets One tests positive in district Property dealer arrested for raping divorcee Raikot, September 8 The Ludhiana (Rural) police claimed to have arrested a drug peddler when he was going to supply habit- forming drugs to his customers in the New Model Town area today. As many as 1,200 habit-forming tablets were seized from the accused, Baldev Singh Bawa of Molvia Mohalla, Raikot. DSP (D), Ludhiana (Rural), Rajan Sharma, said police officials had apprehended the accused on the basis of a tip-off, when he was looking for new customers on Wednesday. — OC Ludhiana, September 8 One fresh case of Covid-19 was reported in the district today. There are 31 active cases in the district at present. Deputy Commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma informed that a total of two patients — one from Ludhiana and one from other state/district — tested positive in the last 24 hours. He said now the total number of patients belonging to Ludhiana is 87,492, while 11,664 patients belong to other districts/states. He said the total number Take out bike rally to protest non-fulfilment of demands by state govt Harshraj Singh Ludhiana, September 8 In what appears to be a sign of gradual retreat and impact of deadly virus plateauing, no Covid patient is presently in hospital in the district and all 3,386 beds are lying vacant, the administration has confirmed. While the positivity rate, a key indicator of virus surge, is well under control (read almost nil), the number of active cases is on the rise in the district, the official figures have revealed. The Covid data compiled by the district administration, which is available with The Tribune, showed that all 450 beds in government hospitals in the district have been lying vacant since August 23 after the single hospitalised case was discharged on August 22, while all 2,936 beds in private facilities have also been lying vacant since September 4 after a single patient was discharged on September 3. The hit rate has been below 0.1 per cent since August 22 when it had dropped to 0.05 per cent from 0.1 per cent on August 21. On September 8, the positivity rate touched 0.01 per cent with only one of 9,069 tested persons turning positive in the district. However, the active case count has been rising since September 1 from 14 to 22 on September 2, 23 on September 3, 24 on September 4, 23 on September 5, 27 on September 6, 30 on September 7 and 31 on September 8. Similarly, the number of home isolation cases since September 1 from 9 to 12 on September 2, 21 on September 3, 22 each on September 4 and 5, 23 on September 6, 27 on Septem- Tribune News Service COVID-19 FIGURES SAMPLES POSITIVE ACTIVE DEATHS 23,45,388 87,492 31 1 2,098 of patients who lost their lives to the disease is 2,098 from Ludhiana and 1,049 from other districts. Meanwhile, Sharma said the district administration received a fresh stock of 70,000 doses on Wednesday morning and all doses would be utilised within 24 hours to ensure further speedy coverage of the remaining popula- tion in the district. He said vaccination is the only way to combat the virus and this would help society to return to normalcy soon. He asked the people to continue to observe Covid-19 appropriate behaviour, including wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and observing hand hygiene, despite getting both doses of Covid-19 vaccine. Answering a query, he said those who are not receiving the message on their registered mobile numbers after receiving the shot must contact nearby government health centre or hospital. MC staff seek FIR against contractors’ union president over ‘false’ allegations Jain had accused MC officials of charging commission for releasing payments Tribune News Service Ludhiana, September 8 Members of the Municipal Employees Sangharsh Committee, Ludhiana, staged a gate rally outside the MC Zone A office against Vinod Jain, president, Ludhiana Hotmix Plant Contractors Welfare Association. The protesting employees alleged that Vinod Jain had levelled false allegations against MC officials and they demanded c m y b Employees submit a memorandum to Senior Deputy Mayor Sham Sundar Malhotra and MC officials in Ludhiana. INDERJEET VERMA action against him. Vinod Jain had earlier accused the MC officials of charging a commission for releasing pending payments of the contractors. While raising questions over “prevailing” corruption in MC Ludhiana, Jain had announced that their association would boycott MC projects. Ashwani Sahota, chairman, Municipal Employees’ Sangarsh Committee, today said continued on page 2 Ludhiana, September 8 A property dealer was arrested on the charge of raping a divorced woman on the pretext of helping her in selling property. The accused has been identified as Avtar Singh, a resident of Ayali Kalan. The complainant told the police that she got married to Ajit Singh in 2003 and divorced in 2015. After taking divorce she started living alone in a rented accommodation and was earning her livelihood by running a beauty parlour business. The victim said she had a plot in Canadian Enclave which she wanted to sell. Property dealer Avtar contacted her and assured that he could sell her plot at a good price and he would also help her in buying a new plot at cheap price. On September 6, the accused on the pretext of showing her a plot took her to a room in Swaddi Kalan. “Before I could ask anything, the accused locked the room and forcibly put off my clothes, and raped me. When I protested the move of the accused, he threatened to kill me. He also warned me of dire consequences if I revealed anything to the police,” the victim alleged. Sub-Inspector Kamaldeep Kaur said a case of rape and criminal intimidation was registered against the accused yesterday and he was also arrested. — TNS
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