Saturday, January 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Tension over plot dispute
Leaders try to draw political mileage
Tribune News Service

A scene of the disputed plot
A scene of the disputed plot. —Photo Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, January 25
A seven-year-old dispute between the Local Wakf Board and members of the Rajashtani Samaj over the ownership of a 2,250 sq ft plot opposite the Civil Hospital resurfaced today when officials and members of the warring parties collected at the disputed site to claim possession after a gas agency owner was allegedly trying to encroach upon the plot.

Not to be left behind, especially in the election days, workers of several political parties led by candidates of the constituency also assembled in large number at the site. The leaders, however, had to face the music of angry members of the samaj, who took them to task for not giving them the possession of the plot.

The tension arose this morning when a few workers of the gas agency allegedly tried to encroach upon the land. Immediately, board officials reached the spot and told the alleged encroachers to pack up their things. In the meantime, hundreds of activists of the samaj reached at the plot and hoisted their flags. The Division No. 2 police also arrived and was camping there till late this evening.

A meeting was called for resolving the dispute this evening with the mediation of the police and other officials. With claims and counterclaims doing the rounds about the ownership of the plot, it was not clear who was the actual owner. The samaj representatives claimed that they were allotted the plot by former Chief Minister Beant Singh and the board officials claimed to have a court order about the plot in their favour. However, the situation remained tense throughout the day. Heavy police force was deployed at the site.

According to the board officials, the plot is their property. They claimed that they had even won the ownership of the plot in the court. On the other hand, Mr Suresh Nirwana of the samaj claimed that Beant Singh had awarded them the plot. He, however, added that the formal orders could not be obtained as Beant Singh expired shortly thereafter. Then the samaj got assurance from Mr H.S. Brar, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and Mr Parkash Singh Badal, but everyone assured them and did not fulfill the promise.



Decision on Tricolour a sell-out
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
With the amended code providing liberty to the citizens to hoist the National Flag in houses, offices and shops coming into force from January 26, there has been a brisk sale of the Tricolour in the city for past two-three days.

The state-run Khadi Bhandar situated in Chaura Bazar of the city has witnessed an all-time high sale of the Tricolour. It has sold almost all its stock. While earlier, only schools, colleges and government offices used to buy it, this time commoners are thronging the showroom which is the only authorised agency to sell the Tricolour.

“We have sold hundreds of flags this time and are left with only a few. Around 200 flags of the largest size available with us have been sold till now,” said Mr Manjeet of the Khadi Bhandar.

“The sale always picks up before Republic Day and Independence Day, but this time the sales have been all-time high, thus linking it with the amended code,” he said.

The amended code has been well received by Ludhianvis who are quite enthusiastic as the court has provided freedom of hoisting the Tricolour to everybody. “We are very happy as we can take pride in hoisting the flags on any day. Mr Navin Jindal who had moved the Supreme Court demanding the right to fly the flag had done a good job as we all have been allowed to do so,” said Mr Deepak Khurana, a resident of BRS Nagar.

The flags available at Khadi Bhandar are priced between Rs 38 and Rs 596.

The Ludhiana Tribune team met many city residents, including women and children, at the shop. “I always wanted to hoist the flag at the rooftop of my house, but have got the opportunity only now,” said Mr Manjit Kaur, a schoolteacher. She said a large number of schoolchildren and teachers have also bought the Tricolour.

Mr Gurdial Singh, an ex-servicemen, was very excited and said he could not wait till tomorrow. He hoped that hoisting of the Tricolour would instill a new patriotic feeling and national spirit among the masses.



Baba who makes women strip and drink his urine
Shivani Bhakoo and Mahesh Sharma

‘Tantrik baba’ with one of his disciples, near his ‘dera’ at Chomo Ber Kalan.

Chomo Ber Kalan (Ludhiana), January 25
Residents of this village are venting their anger against an 82-year-old ‘tantric’ quack who has been duping innocent persons and indulging in objectionable practices like making young women and girls stay with him overnight and pray after removing all their clothes. Many complaints have been filed against the baba.

The ‘tantric’ claims that he can cure diseases like cancer. The list of his patients, he says, includes a former chief minister of the state, besides several other VIPs. He uses the urine of mammals for treating ailments, asking each man to bring with him five litres of woman’s urine and women are told to bring the same quantity of man’s urine. He, reportedly, mixes some “medicines” with the urine and boils the mixture to make a concentrate that he gives patients to drink. The baba, who has come here from Haryana, has been given shelter by a villager in a room near his tubewell.

Villagers accuse baba of exploiting illiterate Dalit women and girls. He makes them get addicted to his “medicine”, which he, reportedly, prepares from some hormones and chemicals mixed with the urine. He forces young women and girls to stay at his “dera” overnight and take a “holy dip” in the urine water at wee hours. “After this, he performs an “aarti” with the naked women and distributes Rs 5 and Rs 10 notes among them,” said a resident, on the condition of anonymity.

Two women of the village, who were receiving treatment from the baba, said the baba had urinated in two glasses and asked them to drink the liquid. “When I started vomiting due to the foul smell, baba forced me to pay Rs 100 for insulting what he called his pious nectar,” one of them said.

“A minor girl had died after consuming the urine recently, but no one dared lodge a complaint against the baba because of his links with police and influential politicians,” a girl said.

A village boy was also asked to drink the urine, after which, he stopped visiting the ‘dera’, because, he said, the baba gave money to girl disciples only.



NCC contingent to replace police for R-Day parade
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
With police force getting occupied in providing security cover to the candidates in the impending Assembly elections in the state as well as managing routes of VIPs, the subsequent shortage of staff for normal policing work and other duties is being affected gradually.

The immediate effect will be on the Republic day parade celebrations. For the first time, the celebrations in the city as well as in other parts of the state will be without the complete participation of the police. Due to the acute shortage of staff, the Police Department has expressed its inability to provide over 150 men for participating in the Republic day parade. Due to this an NCC contingent will be commanding the parade. Normally it is the police that command the parade.

The Republic Day celebrations will be held at S. C. Dhawan Govt College here. Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance and Planning Minister, will be the chief guest and will hoist the National Flag at 10.00 a.m.

Sources informed Ludhiana Tribune that there is heavy pressure on the force for providing security to the candidates as well as in sensitive areas identified in the district. The candidates have been given two to four gunmen each.

Due to the shortage, senior police officials in consultation with state police officials decided not to send the police contingent for the Republic Day parade. The district police authorities have reportedly requested the government for additional police force from the reserve battalions or from the CRPF to meet the demand.

Meanwhile, SSP Harpreet Singh Sidhu said that the police had made elaborate security arrangement for the Republic Day celebrations. He said even though the state-level function was not in the city, the police was taking all precautions. 



Stolen drafts for Rs 24.25 lakh recovered, 3 arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
The CIA wing of the city police today claimed to have achieved a major success against a gang, which was operating in the city and indulging in thefts of bank drafts from the railway station, by arresting its three key members.

Those arrested have been identified as Surinder Handa, a resident of Sarabaha Nagar and two brothers, Rajesh Kumar Jain and Raman Jain, both residents of Rishi Nagar Haibowal. The accused have been remanded in police custody.

CIA police officials said they got an information about the presence of the alleged gang members at a place. A raided was conducted and the accused were arrested.

Stolen drafts worth Rs 24.25 lakh have been recovered from their possession. The police said it expected recovery of more stolen drafts from the alleged gang members.



Woman poisoned by in-laws
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 25
A woman has alleged physical and mental torture and consequent poisoning by her in-laws of Kaddon village, near here.

Satvir Kaur, wife of Navraj Singh has lodged a complaint with the Payal police that she was forcibly given poison by her in-laws but it was because of sheer good luck that she was saved. She also complained that her husband, brother-in-law and her husband’s uncle and aunt used to force her to bring more dowry from her parents’ house and when she expressed her inability to do so, she was put to subsequent physical and mental torture.

A case has, however, been registered against the accused who have absconded after the incident



Panthic Morcha supporters join SAD
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 25
The election campaign of the SAD candidate for the Ludhiana Rural seat, Mr Amrik Singh Aliwal, received a big boost as a close supporter of Mr Hira Singh Gabria and Panthic Morcha activist Mr Teja Singh, president, SC/BC Cell of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, joined the SAD and pledged his support to Mr Aliwal. A large number of other supporters of Mr Teja Singh were also formally admitted to the party at a meeting.

The new entrants to the party announced that they would move in the constituency to canvass support for the SAD in general and Mr Aliwal in particular.

The acting president of the District Congress Committee (Urban), Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, convened a meeting of block and ward presidents and party councillors to step up the election campaign for the party candidates in the city. Mr Bawa maintained that the party workers had been entrusted specific duties to coordinate their activities with the respective party candidates and to mobilise the electorate in favour of the Congress.

The group leader of the Congress councillors, Mr Surjit Singh Ahluwalia, said that the councillors were working hard to ensure victory of the party nominees in their respective constituencies.

The District Youth Congress (DYC) organised a series of meetings in the Ludhiana West and Ludhiana East assembly segments. Addressing the meetings, the DYC chief, Mr Parminder Mehta, and other party activists lambasted the BJP and charged it with rampant corruption. The BJP stood thoroughly exposed with the party functionaries themselves levelling serious allegations against BJP ministers and senior leaders. The YC further held the SAD-BJP combine responsible for utter neglect of the interests of urban population during its tenure.

Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, six times president of the District Bar Association and an Independent candidate from Ludhiana West, branded all political parties corrupt. Addressing a well-attended meeting of professionals, he said the Shiromani Akali Dal was no longer a follower of Master Tara Singh, nor the Congress had any traces of Mahatma Gandhi.

The All-India Ramgarhia Youth Federation, in its meeting held at New Amar Nagar under the presidentship of Mr Harpreet Singh vowed to support the Panthic Morcha candidate from Ludhiana Rural, Mr Hira Singh Gabria. Placing on record the work done for the development of the constituency by Mr Gabria, a sitting legislator, the federation president claimed that with the kind of response from the voters, the Panthic Morcha candidate, who won the last election with a massive majority of over 61,000 votes, would score a still bigger victory in the February 13 elections.

Mr Harnam Das Johar, Congress nominee from Ludhiana West, continued electioneering in Harnam Nagar, Deep Nagar, Dera Kalsia, Railway Colony, Guru Nanak Nagar and Improvement Trust Colony. 



ABVP rally against terrorism
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 25
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad unit of Arya College organised a rally against terrorism here yesterday.

All the students boycotted their classes and expressed their protest against terrorism by burning its effigy. The students took a pledge to fight terrorism. Addressing the students, Mohit Goyal, secretary of the unit, said that students’ power could help in the eradication of terrorism from the country and he urged all the students to be ready to sacrifice their lives for this cause.

Mr Sandeep Kapoor, president of the district unit, said that the ABVP would boycott the forthcoming Punjab Assembly elections to protest against the indifference of the Punjab Government towards welfare and democracy of the students. He said that after 1984 there had been no elections to the student organisations in Punjab, though elections for the Assembly and Parliament had a normal process. The district president demanded that the ban on elections be lifted so that all college students could choose their own leaders.



E.O. rejects four nominations
Our Correspondent

Amloh, January 25
After scrutiny of the nomination papers of the Amloh (reserve) assembly segment, papers of four candidates were rejected today.

The papers of Mr Gurnam Singh (Independent) were rejected as his name was missing from the voters’ list, the name of Mr Jit Singh, NCP candidate differ from the Scheduled Caste certificate which indicates as Ajit Singh, the papers of Mr Sant Singh (Shiv Sena-covering) and Shiele (Congress-covering) were found defective and rejected.



MC seeks public help to improve sanitation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 25
The Municipal Corporation has sought cooperation of the city population to bring about a qualitative improvement in the overall sanitation level in the mega city and steps were being taken in several directions to make the sanitation drive a mass movement.

The MC Commissioner, Mr R.L. Kalsia, interacted with representatives of NGOs, office-bearers of the mohalla sanitation committees and prominent members of public. Mr S.K. Sharma, Additional Commissioner, Mr Harjinder Singh, Mr B.K. Gupta and Mr O.A.K. Sondhi, all zonal commissioners, were also present.

Mr Kalsia termed the task of maintaining a reasonably good level of sanitation in the city as gigantic. Around 2,000 safai workers of the MC and another 2,500 engaged on contract basis by the sanitation committees were far too inadequate for the job.

He observed that once they took upon themselves to keep their own surroundings clean, the members of public could play a significant role in the improvement of the sanitation level. "The sanitation drive has to become a mass movement and the residents have to be committed to the cause."

The MC Commissioner urged the NGOs and groups of citizens to impress upon the residents to take the responsibility of disposing their domestic garbage in nearby containers or filth depots and to cut down the use of polythene bags, which tended to choke the drains and sewer lines.

Mr Kalsia, however, made it clear that if the people failed to respond in a positive manner, the civic body would be forced to invoke penal clauses for littering and throwing garbage on streets and roads, dumping malba on roadsides, keeping animals in houses without permission of the MC.



Campaign against female foeticide
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 25
The Department of Social Security, Women and Child Welfare has started an awareness campaign about the importance of girl child in a family. As female foeticide is threatening the social fabric in the state with the declining sex ratio, the department has decided to launch a massive campaign to check this threat. The campaign coincides with the ‘Women Empowerment year as 2002 is been dedicated to the empowerment of women.

A function was organised today at Kot Mangal to launch of the programme which was presided over by the Child Development Project Officer, Mrs Neeta Gupta. It was attended, among others, Mr Santokh Singh, councillor of Kot Mangal Singh, Mr Sewa Singh and Mr Manmohan Singh Matharoo. Block supervisors, anganwadi workers, helpers and the medical officer of the area also attended the function.

Mrs Gupta while addressing the gathering condemned the pre-natal sex determination tests and the female foeticide. She warned the declining sex ratio would lead to social tensions.

The gathering was also told about other schemes of the department which were run for the betterment of the girl child like balika sarithi yojna and kanya jyoti scheme.



Martyrs’ families honoured
Our Correspondent

Amloh, January 25
The second ‘barsi’ of Gurbakhash Singh, who laid down his life on January 23, 2001, while defending the country in the Kargil sector, was organised at Bhadal Thuha village, near here, yesterday.

Mr Ajit Singh, father of Gurbakhash Singh, Ms Mohinder Kaur, mother of Shaurya Chakra awardee Jagdev Singh of Noorpura village, Mr Mehar Singh, father of Gurmail Singh of Akalgarh village, and Mr Baljit Singh, brother of Naik Jaswinder Singh of Bhari Panechan village, were honoured by Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, President, Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal. Mr Mann Singh Manhera, a BSP candidate, Naik Virsha Singh (retd), Subedar Sukhpal Singh (retd) and Davinder Singh Punia paid tributes to the martyrs.

A team of Gursharan Singh staged ‘'Kammian Di Maut’ and ‘Begam Di Dhi’, which were appreciated by the audience.



Three booked in dowry case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 25
The Division No. 3 police has registered a case under Sections 406, 498-A and 34 of the IPC on the complaint of Ms Neelam, a resident of Neemwala Chowk, against her husband, Gurcharan Singh, brother-in-law, Gurmit Singh, and sister-in-law, Devinder Kaur. The complainant alleged on Wednesday that the accused often used to harass her for bringing ‘insufficient’ dowry

Eve-teaser booked: The Division No. 3 police has booked an eve-teaser for using dirty language on the telephone. On the complaint of Ms Bhavna Toor, a resident of Ajit Singh Park, a case has been registered against Sanjiv Kumar, a resident of Lakkar Bazar. The complainant stated that the accused often threatened her on the telephone and used foul language.

Fraud alleged: The Division No. 8 police has registered a case under Sections 467, 468, 471 and 420 of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Suresh Sharma, senior manager of a private company based at Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, against Ram Kishan Bhatia and Parveen Bhatia, both residents of Deep Nagar. The complainant had alleged that the accused committed a fraud of Rs 26 lakh on an ayurvedic firm on the Hambran road.

Three booked: On a tip-off, the Salem Tabri police on Wednesday registered a case under Sections 420 and 379 of the IPC against three persons who are suspected to be involved in stealing bank drafts from courier services and post offices and later getting the same encashed. The three accused are Surinder Handa, a resident of Gujjarmal road near Circuit House, Rajesh Kumar and Ramesh Jain. According to the police, all the accused are at large and are reported to be moving about in the city in a Tata Indica car.

Power theft alleged: The Haibowal police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC and Sections 39 and 910 of the Electricity Act on the complaint of the Assistant Executive Engineer, Haibowal, against Kabul Singh, a resident of the Dairy complex. It has been alleged by the complainant that the accused was stealing power by using a ‘kundi’ connection.

Illicit liquor seized: The Shimla Puri police on Wednesday arrested Varinder Singh, a resident of Basti Jodhewal, and seized 13 bottles of illicit liquor from his possession. The accused has been booked under Sections 61,1 and 14 of the Excise Act.

: The Payal police has claimed to have arrested Navittar Singh of Dhamot Kalan and Jora Singh of Rano under the Gambling Act.

Attack: The Sahnewal police has booked Charanjit Singh Channi on the complaint of Avtar Singh Lali under Section’ 336 of the IPC and 25, 27 and 54 and 59 of the Arms Act.

Avtar Singh Lali of Nandpur village complained that the accused attacked him with a gun in his hand. Family dispute is said to be the cause of the incident.


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