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Good Samaritans to rape victim’s aid
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 22
Moved by the plight of a rape victim, a number of good Samaritans today approached district police officials and doctors at Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital and offered financial or other help for the treatment of the four-year-old girl who was raped allegedly by a drunk auto-rickshaw driver more than a month ago.

The girl will finally be operated upon tomorrow after an agonising wait for funds for treatment since February 6.

The girl has been in a bad condition since then as her poverty-stricken parents were not arrange funds for her treatment. Her father is a labourer while her mother irons clothes. The girl is the youngest of four children. Till now, Shimla Puri policemen were helping them in the treatment of the girl. However, a huge amount of money was required for a major surgery and the subsequent plastic surgery.

Her plight was highlighted in Ludhiana Tribune today and by the afternoon, policemen and doctors at the hospital were flooded with calls from people willing to give money or render any kind of assistance.

Dr Waheguru Pal Singh, Medical Superintendent of the hospital, said they had accepted Rs 10,000 from Mr M. Deewan of Vidya Infosys, who was one of the first to contact them. The doctors were highly appreciative of a youth, Munish Kumar, who donated blood for the victim.

The hospital authorities have already waived the operation costs and hospitalisation charges. Still, Rs 15,000 were required for medicines and other expenses. Dr Waheguru Pal Singh said the hospital would bear the remaining expenses of Rs 5,000.



Sukhdev’s preserved memorial opened to public
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 22
Around 56 years after Independence, the memorial of martyr Sukhdev Thapar, who went to the gallows with Bhagat Singh and Rajguru on March 23, 1931, was opened today for the public in Nau Ghara area of the city, a day before his martyrdom day.

The memorial has been constructed by a non-government organisation, Shaheed Sukhdev Yaadgar Committee. Without seeking any assistance from any government agency, this committee under the aegis of Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Committee, Jalandhar, in collaboration with a UK-based NRI organisation, Indian Workers Association, had initiated this project.

Mr Rajeshwar Singh, eminent freedom fighter and a representative of Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Committee, Jalandhar, inaugurated it. He said the work on the first phase of the memorial was completed and the front of the house was renovated besides installing the statue of the martyr.

He added that soon in the second phase, a memorial gate of the historical mohalla Naughara, where the martyr was born and brought up, would be constructed. In the third phase a gate outside the Chaura Bazar area would also be constructed.

Dr Hardip Singh, convener of Sukhdev Yaadgar Committee, while speaking on the occasion, presented the memorial to the nation and said that they had kept the promise of completing the preservation work before the martyrdom day of the martyr.

Speakers on the occasion said that they were sore over the attitude of the state government who had not bothered to do anything about the preservation. Dr Hardip appealed to all the revolutionary and democratic organisations and individuals to cooperate with the NGO.

Besides inaugurating the memorial, a book on the biography of the martyr, ‘‘ Shaheed Sukhdev: Naughara ton Phansi tak’’, written by his brother, Mathura Dass Thapar, printed and published by the yaadgar committee, was also released on the occasion. The book is priced at Rs 20.

Ms Santosh Thapar, wife of late Mathura Dass Thapar, was also present on the occasion. She said that the family was unhappy with the government for not having cared for the house of the martyr, which the family was ready to give to the nation for the erection of memorial. She thanked the yaadgar committee for preserving the memories of martyr.

Dr Hardip Singh said that the committee would preserve the inside of the house also after making arrangements for the tenants, who were living inside the house for last many years. He said that they would not ask them to vacate the house and would find an alternative place for them. He added that he had asked the relatives of the martyr to provide some of his belongings for the museum to be set up in the memorial.

Sukhdev was born in the Chaura Bazar area called Nau Ghara (nine houses) in the city. While the house remained unknown to anybody till three years ago, the Thapars of the city set up a trust named Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Memorial Trust (SSTMT) to look after the historical place and to create awareness among people about the great martyr. The Thapars and the district administration had then decided to set up a memorial at the birthplace of the great hero of the freedom struggle. But nothing had come up so far. The house remained in dilapidated condition till two months ago when the yaadgar committee decided to preserve it. 



Poppy husk worth Rs 8 lakh seized
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, March 22
The Jagraon police today claimed to have busted a major inter-state gang of drug peddlers smuggling narcotics from Rajasthan with the arrest of a key member of the gang. As many as 65 bags of poppy husk weighing 22 quintals and 75 kg, worth Rs 8 lakh were seized from him. The booty was being brought in a truck from Rajasthan.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr H.S. Bhullar, SSP Jagraon, said a team of the CIA Wing led by Inspector Mukhwinder Singh caught a smuggler Gurnam Singh alias Gamma, at a special naka near Seeloani village last evening. His accomplice, however, managed to escape. Mr Bhullar said the accomplice had been identified and police parties despatched to nab him.

During interrogation, Gurnam Singh revealed that they brought powder from Bhilwara (Rajasthan ) to Punjab which was used for preparing plastics. They covered the poppy husk bags with powder bags. The dhaba owners of Rajasthan played a major role in settling contracts with the cultivators of poppy husk, They paid Rs 3200 per kg and the same was sold for Rs 15,000 to 18,000 in Punjab. He said he had already conducted five trips.

The SSP said a special team had been constituted to arrest the escaped accused. A case under Sections 15/25/29 - A/61/85 of the NDPS Act had been registered at PS Raikot. 



3 hurt in car-scooter collision

Ludhiana, March 22
Two scooterists and the driver of a car were injured when their vehicles collided on the Jagraon-Moga GT road, near Bhora Sahib Gurdwara, here today.
Sarbjit Singh and his friend, Pawan Kumar, both residents of Moga, were returning home from Jagraon when a Maruti car coming from Moga side, hit their scooter. The car was being driven by Satinder Singh. The scooterists and the car driver were rushed to the Civil Hospital, Jagraon, from where the scooterists were referred to the DMC, Ludhiana. — OC



Row over route of Advani’s yatra
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, March 22
Differences have cropped between the police and the BJP leaders over the proposed route of Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani’s ‘rath yatra’, which is scheduled to pass through the city on way to Amritsar on March 25. There is also a controversy over the venue where Mr Advani will address his supporters.

Sources said the BJP leaders had planned to greet Mr Advani at Ghanta Ghar Chowk, but the police had put an objection to it on the plea that it would create traffic congestion and lead to security problems.

The BJP was insisting that the yatra should pass through the Samrala Chowk, Dholewal Chowk, Jagraon Bridge and Ghanta Ghar areas. However, the police was not clearing the route.

According to the police, the proposed route always witnesses traffic congestion. Moreover, the ongoing construction of the elevated-road has compounded the situation.

Sources said the police was suggesting that the yatra should take the bypass road from Samrala Chowk.

Only 48 hours have left before the yatra reached the city, but a final decision on the route is yet to be taken. The police has also not so far informed the public about the road diversions for the day.

Mr Advani’s ‘rath’ is followed by a large cavalcade of vehicles. It is expected that more vehicles will join the cavalcade in the city.

The police is scheduled to have a meeting with the BJP leaders later tonight or tomorrow morning to sort out the issue. A senior police official said the problem would be sorted out soon and that the police was rendering all possible help to the BJP for the event.

Meanwhile, The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is gearing up to accord a rousing welcome to the ‘rath yatra’.

Presiding over a meeting to review the arrangements, the district president of the party, Dr Subhash Verma, said while the route of the yatra through the city remained unchanged, the public meeting proposed to be held at Clock Tower Chowk here would now be held at Cheema Chowk due to security reasons. The yatra would reach Jamalpur at 11.30 am and passing through Samrala Chowk, it would arrive at Cheema Chowk at 12 noon where Mr Advani would address a public rally.

The Yuva Lok Janshakti Party and the Lok Janshakti Party have threatened to stage black-flag demonstrations against the rath yatra at all places in Punjab, saying it is an election stunt aimed at befooling the people.

Addressing a news conference here on Sunday evening, the state president of the Yuva Lok Janshakti Party, Mr Varinder Singh Sant, charged the BJP with raising communal issues. 



Election meeting in support of Dullo organised
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, March 22
An election meeting was held in support of the Congress candidate from the Ropar Lok Sabha constituency (reserved), Mr Shamsher Sing Dullo, at Ajnali village, 2 km from here, yesterday.

Speaking at the meeting, Dr Harbans Lal, MLA, said, “The ‘feel-good’ campaign of the NDA government at the Centre has failed to get a favorable response from the people here. The Central Government has failed to control the prices of petrol, diesel, sugar and other necessities of life.”

He said the NDA government had promised in its election manifesto to provide employment to the youth, but the unemployment had increased in its regime.

He also lashed out at the performance of the previous SAD-BJP government in the state. He appealed to the people to elect Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo again.

Mr Om Parkash Tangri, vice- president of the District Congress Committee was critical of the NDA government for allegedly maintaining silence when the Bangladesh authorities put 15 BSF jawans in prison and later they were tortured brutally and their dead bodies were thrown on the border.

The BJP had raised voice against the purchase of Bofors guns during the regime of Rajiv Gandhi, but the same guns proved good during the Kargil war, he said.

Ms Hardeep Kaur Virk, Mr Parshotum Singh Mann (members of the Zila Parished), Mr Ashok Kumar, president of the truck operators’ union, Mr Pawan Kumar, president of the petrol pump owners’ association, Mr Gurdev Singh Tarkheri (media in charge of Mr Dullo) and Mr Tilak Raj Ajnali also addressed the gathering.

Surpanch Harcharan Singh thanked the MLA and other guests. Pal Singh Kheri and Bibi Gurmeet Gill presented folk songs.



Yajna to welcome Vikrami Samvat
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 22
“Names of the Indian new year — Vikram, Saka, representing the present transformations of ‘varsha,’ ‘sharad,’ samatsar’ and ‘madhu’ based on relativity of space and time show the development of science in ancient India.” This was stated by the philosopher-poet, Professor Suresh Chander Vatsyayan while addressing members of 13 branches of the Ludhiana region of the Bharat Vikas Parishad. The members were here to celebrate the advent of Nav Vikram Saka year 2061 on the premises of Viklang Sahayata, Punarvas and Sva-Rojgar Kender, Rishinagar, here yesterday.

A large-scale yanja, with 11 havan kunds, was performed by Mr Sharavan Kumar Batra, in collaboration with the Arya Samaj, Model Town, with the chanting of hymns by the disciples of Arya Kanya Gurukul, Ludhiana.

Professor Vatsyayan dwelt at length on Earth’s rotation around the sun, known even today as ‘varsha’ constituted by ‘ahoratra’ (days-nights), ‘hora’ (hour) with thousands of ‘kalans’ (fractions of seconds. He said ‘saptaha’ of Sanskrit and ‘haftah’ in Persian connoted a closed kinship of the two leading to the order of solar and lunar months. He said it was irrational to name a month Julius Caesar (July) and Augustine (August) by allotting the maximum of 31 days span.

Among others who spoke, included Mr Yashpal Gupta, national secretary of the BVP Viklang Yojna, Mr Vijaynand, Sewa Parmukh of the BVP zone-1, Mr Chander Mohal, General Secretary of BVP Punjab North, Mr I.V. Thaman, Secretary of the BVP Punjab North and Mr Rajesh Rattan, president of the BVP, Ludhiana region, spoke on these topics.



Patar, Noor file names for presidentship 
of Sahit Akademi
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 22
The outgoing president of the Punjab Sahit Akademi and poet, Dr Surjit Patar, and Dr Satinder Noor of Delhi today filed their names for the post of president of the Akademi. The biennial elections for the akademi will be held on April 4 in Punjabi Bhavan.

Talking to this correspondent, Dr Noor said, “Dr Patar is a good friend and poet but he lacks organisational skills. The akademi has not involved other Punjabi organisations like Punjab Sahit Sabha, Kendri Lekhak Sabha, universities and colleges. He should have decentralised the activities and taken some of these to universities and colleges. He should have been in touch with Sahit Akademi, Delhi and Bhasha Parishad, Kolkata, to exchange ideas.”

Dr Noor alleged that no efforts had been made by the akademi during these two years to share new thoughts with international literary writers.

On being asked how he would conduct the affairs of the akademi since he lived in Delhi, he said, “I keep coming to Ludhiana frequently. I have been involved in all activities.”

When this correspondent talked to Dr Surjit Patar regarding the performance of the akademi over the past two years, he said, “I have had a discussion with Mr. Noor and told him about the activities undertaken by the akademi. We had organised six literary seminars, 12 ru-b-ru with writers. Writers from abroad had attended these seminars”.

Refuting the charge that college and university students were not involved, he said the akademi had organised two international mother tongue days in which college students recited their original poems. They also painted posters on the importance of mother tongue.

Besides, the akademi had arranged 23 musical evenings in which lyrics written by Punjabi writers were sung. We also organised mushairas in which Pakistani poets took part. A function highlighting Sufi poetry was also organised, he said.



Misbehaviour by cops alleged
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 22
The toll manager posted at the toll plaza of the NHAI here has alleged misbehaviour by policemen when the toll authorities asked the latter to show their identity cards last evening.

Mr Manish Dubey, toll manager, stated that a private car coming from Ambala to Ludhiana was stopped at the plaza by the toll authorities for verification. He said their supervisor, Mr Shyam Kumar, was on duty at the VIP gate No 1. The latter went near the vehicle and asked for the identity of the person. The man told the supervisor that he was a police officer. The supervisor asked him to show his identity card. In the meantime, a police Gypsy came and the men seated in the vehicle, all of whom were in an inebriated condition, used abusive language with the supervisor and started beating him up. They hauled him into their Gypsy but released him on a request by the people nearby. He said higher officials of the NHAI would contact the IG (Jalandhar zone) for the purpose.



BSNL employees hold rally
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 22
The district unit of the BSNL Employees Union organised a rally at the Rishi Balmiki Nagar Exchange Complex to celebrate fourth anniversary of the union. The union flag was hoisted in front of the exchange building by Mr Balbir Singh, circle secretary, Punjab.

Mr Balbir said the BSNL was formed at Vishakhapatnam on March 22, 2001, by merging seven unions. These included the All-India Telecom Employees Union (Class III), the All-India Telegraph Traffic Employees Union (Class III), the All-India Telecom Administrative Officers’ Union, the All-India Telecom Civil Wing Employees Union, the Indian Telecom Employees Union and the All-India P&T Industrial Workers Union. Mr Balwinder Singh, district secretary, BSNL, also addressed the workers.



Woman posing as collection agent of Reliance arrested
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 22
Officials of Reliance Infocomm have apprehended a young woman who was posing as a collection agent of the company and collecting cash payments from cell phone subscribers.

The fraud, involving around Rs 2 lakh, came to light when a customer came to the Reliance Infocomm office and complained that in spite of making payments, the services on his cell phone had not been reactivated. Preliminary investigations conducted by company officials revealed that the receipt with the customer was fake. The duped customer informed that a woman, claiming to be a collection agent of the company, had collected cash against outstanding bills and given him this receipt.

In a bid to catch the culprit red-handed, Reliance Infocomm officials fixed a meeting between said customer and the woman. On being caught and subsequently interrogated, the culprit, identified as Jyoti Sharma (23), confessed that she had been involved in this fraudulent activity for the past three months, with an estimated total collection of Rs 2 lakh from unsuspecting subscribers.

Mr Kapil Taneja, city head of the company, said the woman had got the receipts printed, which looked like Reliance India Mobile receipts. He said she would call up the customers with a view to extract money from them. He said the company staff kept track of her activities for some time and managed to apprehend her. A complaint has been lodged with the local police against the culprit, he added.



Kidnapped boy recovered
Our Correspondent

Khanna, March 22
A minor boy who was kidnapped on March 16 was recovered near Bhadson village in Fatehgarh district yesterday. A case has been registered against six persons in this connection.

According to police sources Daljit Kaur, a resident of Rattanpalon village, lodged a complaint that Jagwinder Singh, son of her brother, was living with her for the last many years. He was studying in Class VIII. On March 16, when Jagwinder Singh was coming to the village on a motor cycle with his cousin, a Maruti car blocked his way and dragged Jagwinder Singh into the car. However, his cousin, Soni escaped and fled away leaving behind the motor cycle. He later told her that Jagwinder had been kidnapped from near Baghaur village.

Daljit Kaur alleged that Jagwinder Singh was kidnapped by his father Sukhwinder Singh and his associates to grab land falling under his name.

A case under Sections 365 and 148, 149 of the IPC was registered at Sadar police station, Khanna, against six persons namely Sukhwinder Singh, Sucha Singh, Inder Singh, Rakha Singh, Dilbara Singh and Charanjit Singh.

The kidnapped boy was found on Sunday near Badhson town. He was handed over to Daljit Kaur but no arrest has been made yet.


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