L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


BJP alleges police repression at MLA’s behest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 20
Bharatiya Janata Party leaders today alleged humiliation and harassment of its workers by the police at the behest of Parliamentary Secretary Surinder Dawer. They also demanded the transfer of the SHO of the Division No. 2 police station, Ms Gurmeet Kaur.

Addressing a press conference here today, BJP leaders, including former Deputy Speaker Satpal Gosain, district president Subash Verma, state general secretaries Ashok Loomba and Anil Sarin and former councillor Pran Bhatia alleged that the police had “let loose a reign of terror against the BJP workers, particularly in the Division No. 2 area”.

They alleged that BJP workers were being implicated in false cases. “They are being harassed and humiliated by the police at the behest of Mr Dawer, who is settling personal scores with some of the leaders”, they claimed, warning the administration of “grave repercussions” in case the victimisation of party workers was not stopped.

The BJP leaders alleged that the police had failed in maintaining law and order in the city and had instead diverted its resources and energies toward victimising Opposition workers. They said daylight robberies and car thefts had become the order of the day while the police appeared to be a mute spectator.

Levelling serious charges of corruption against the police, the BJP leaders even alleged there could be complicity on the part of certain police officials in the happenings in the city.

They specifically targeted the Division No. 2 SHO, Ms Gurmeet Kaur, for her “arrogance”. They alleged that she was acting at the behest of Mr Dawer and registering false cases against BJP workers. They said in case she was not removed within a week, they would come out on the streets.

Mr Surinder Dawer, on his part, denied these allegations and claimed that the BJP leaders were feeling frustrated and desperate. He claimed they were unnerved by his popularity as he was always accessible to the common people. He said he had no role in any of the cases registered against any person. “Moreover, I do not interfere in the functioning of the police”, he claimed.

SHO Gurmeet Kaur also denied the allegations. She said she was concerned with her duty as a police officer and it was her responsibility to maintain law and order. She refused to be drawn into any controversy saying if anybody had any complaint or grievance against her, he could approach senior officers. 



Police blames Rana group for clash
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 20
Police investigation into the clash between two gangs of criminals outside the district courts complex on Thursday has held the Rana gang responsible for the incident.

It has also found that the gang war was not limited to local musclemen. A number of those involved in the clash belonged to Jalandhar and seemed to have come specially for the purpose.

The police has claimed that the undertrials belonging to the Rana gang were not the “victims” and were not attacked as claimed by them. Instead, they had first abused the supporters of the Lalla group and then attacked them.

Police sources said Rana and three undertrials had incited others to prevent the recording of evidence in a case.

Rana and others are facing charges of murdering Anil Kumar, alias Lalla.

On the basis of these findings, the Civil Lines police yesterday registered a case under Sections 324, 341, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC against Narinder Singh and Rajinder Singh, residents of Jalandhar, Shanty, who lives in Abdullahpur Basti, Billu, Moti and Rockey, who live in Garhi mohalla here. They all belong to the Rana group. The case has been registered on the statement of Amit Sharma, who lives in Mota Singh Nagar in Jalandhar.

No member of the Lalla group has been booked in connection with the clash. Sources said supporters of the Lalla gang had assembled at the court complex for the safety of the witnesses in the murder case.



NRIs cheat businessman in land deal
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 20
A prominent businessman of the city has been cheated by four persons, including two NRIs, who allegedly got back an advance totalling Rs 61 lakh from him but returned fake sale-purchase documents regarding a property deal worth Rs 4.25 crore.

The victim, Kuldip Singh Ghai, owner of Ghai Estates, Feroze Gandhi Market, here and father of Mr Jeewan Ghai, who runs SantaBanta.com website based in Chandigarh, had sold off three plots for Rs 4.25 crores to the two NRIs — Joga Singh and Kamal Kumar — and local resident Jaswinder Singh through property dealer Vaikunth Lal.

The case was registered yesterday but no accused has been arrested so far. According to the FIR received today, the property included 4000 sqyd plot in Barrewal and a 500 sqyd plot opposite Verka Milk Plant here besides a 4700 sqyd plot in Zirakpur.

Mr Ghai took Rs 61 lakh as advance in the deal. However, the buyers later expressed their inability to make the payment and called off the deal.

After some common friends of the two parties intervened, Mr Ghai returned the advance amount even though he could have kept the money as per the agreement.

However the accused did not return him original copies of the agreement document.

Mr Ghai said he was in a fix as he would not be able to sell the property to some other person till the previous agreement was cancelled properly before a civil administration official.

Mr Ghai has also submitted to the police a bank certificate regarding the payment made to the accused. Police sources said the case was quite unique as the coloured photostat copies of the agreement looked quite real. The difference could be made out after close scrutiny only.

The police sources said raids were conducted to nab the accused.



Dist Cong panels dissolved
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 20
The District Congress Committee, Urban, president, Mr Jagmohan Sharma, today dissolved various sub-committees and announced that these would be reconstituted within two months.

However, 15 block and 70 ward presidents have not been affected by today’s order. The new office-bearers would have to undergo a three-day seva dal training-cum-orientation course.

Addressing a press conference here today, the DCC president said the decision had been taken on the orders of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president, Mr H.S. Hanspal. He said the new committee would also be constituted in consultation with him.

Mr Sharma said the new committee would be compact, comprising not more than 100 office-bearers. He said the DCC had made it mandatory for all those Congress workers and leaders interested in getting some party responsibility to attend the three-day training camp of the Congress Seva Dal.

He said the dal had been constituted to inculcate a sense of discipline and responsibility among the workers and leaders. Besides, the workers would be educated about the philosophy and constitution of the party. 



Cripple polio, not kids, says Rohit
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 20
He was barely a year old when he contracted polio and both his legs were paralysed for life. Almost 19 years after he contracted this crippling disease, Rohit Sahota, a local youth is struggling hard to help his widowed mother live a life of dignity.

A resident of the Bhadaur House area, Rohit, who is unable to stand on his legs has undergone surgery once but it did not improve his condition. He is forced to live life with a handicap. Giving a clarion call to all parents to get their children immunised against polio by administering them drops, Rohit has urged upon them to go to pulse polio immunisation camps beings organised in the city at various places tomorrow.

‘‘Please get your children immunised against this disease. If the vigorous campaign does not move you just look at my condition. They deserve a good life. If you have brought them to this world you must ensure that they live healthily,’’ says Rohit adding, ‘‘I know how much I and my parents have suffered due to this disease. My father died of a heart attack a few years ago. He was always worried about me and could not take the stress of having a physically challenged son. Had I got a strong physique, I could have achieved anything and helped my mother who works as a sweeper with the Municipal Corporation.’’

Rohit also works as an agent to help various street vendors get their impounded kiosks released on ‘‘superdari’’ from the MC office. ‘‘I earn very little from this work. Had I been completely normal I would have found a better job. But a handicap is a handicap. After suffering for so many years, I don’t want anybody else to undergo the same suffering and that too when it can be avoided just by taking a few drops.’’ he says.

Rohit, who has two sisters, while recalling his childhood days says that he was a year old when he contracted fever. Both his arms and legs were paralysed. He was taken to the hospital at once by his parents but doctors could not do anything substantial to save his legs.

While he can use his arms, his legs developed a permanent problem and he was not able to stand. At the age of five he was admitted to a local hospital for a surgery which also proved to be of no help. Today he can only crawl and can not walk.

But despite his handicap he is not a picture of sorrow and gloom but instead a personification of perseverance, and an embodiment of unimaginable strength to survive against all odds. ‘‘I started earning at the age of 15. At times I feel had I been able to walk and did not have to spend my energy in overcoming the handicap, I would have been a very successful human being. I still remember my childhood when I was not able to play the games that my friends used to play. While my friends went to the school themselves it was my mother who used to leave me there. Despite all the odds I studied upto matric.’’

On the eve of the polio immunisation day, Rohit has vowed that he would be going to all houses in the neighbourhood and ask parents of small children to take them to a nearby camp. ‘‘My parents have been helping me throughout. You help your children by getting them immunised and give them a healthy future,’’ he says. 



Gold prices fail to daunt buyers
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 20
Local markets have remained unaffected even as gold prices touched a high of Rs 6,685 (24 carat). Routine purchases have not seen any effect and there has been no major fluctuation in the demand despite the marriage season, according to city jewellers.

“The demand is not affected,” said Mr Sanjeev Dhanda of Paras Jewellers. He said the demand had witnessed a decline earlier but the increase in price now had not led to any change.

“It is only for the past four or five months that gold prices have started increasing. The demand for quite some time now has essentially been stable,” he said.

Mr Rajesh Kumar Dheer of Dheer Jewellers, Haibowal, also said the demand had not gone down with the price rise. “Those who make a decision to buy are not really affected. If someone has decided to spend a certain amount for marriage purpose, he would not change the decision,” he said.

The demand for gold over the past few years has declined only with people getting other options in jewellery as well as for investment.

“Diamonds are the latest craze. Not only do they appreciate, they make for the most delicate ornaments. Also, loading oneself with gold is not the in thing,” explained Mr Dhanda. Besides diamonds, real estate and the stock market too are being cited as reasons for the decline in the demand for gold. 



Shiromani award winners do city proud
Asha Ahuja

Darshan Singh Makkad
Darshan Singh Makkad

Bhupinder Singh Parihar
Bhupinder Singh Parihar

Ravinder Bhattal
Ravinder Bhattal

Surinder Singh Narula
Surinder Singh Narula

Sardar Paanchi
Sardar Paanchi

Ludhiana, November 20
Five writers belonging to the city have done the city of Sahir Ludhianvi proud with their contribution to the fields of literature and journalism. They have been selected for the prestigious Shiromani Puraskar for their contribution to literature and journalism. The awards were announced by the Punjab Government in Chandigarh on Thursday. They will be awarded in a state-level function to be organised in Patiala on November 28.

The awardees belonging to Ludhiana, include Prof Surinder Singh Narula (Punjabi Sahit Shiromani Sahitkar), Prof. Bhupinder Parihar and Sardar Paanchi (both for Shiromani Urdu Sahitkar 2003), Mr Darshan Makkar (Shiromani Punjabi Patarkar Puruskar — 2002) and Mr Ravinder Bhattal (Shiromani Punjabi Kavi Award).

An octogenarian Prof Surinder Singh Narula, though a Professor of English, has written in Punjabi. Despite being bedridden, he has a very sharp mind and memory. Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune he said, “I am happy to receive the honour. I have been bed ridden for the past 10 years but I plan to write a long poem on American Imperialism titled ‘Jago Jagi Jan.”

Prof Narula said he still cherished the memory of the compliment that he had received from the first Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Prof Jodh Singh, who had after reading his first novel “Peo Puttar” had said the novel had placed Punjabi literature in the category of first class literatures of the world. Prof Mohan Singh too had agreed to publish his seven poems in his literary magazine “Panj Dariya” at one go in 1943”.

Prof Narula has been written about in detail in the Journal of South Asian Literature, Michigan University by Mr A.S. Kalsi. He said his novel “Peo Puttar” was of the same stature as ‘Godaan’ written by Munshi Prem Chand. It has been translated into several languages all over the world and has had a lasting impact on readers.

Prof Narula said “Peo Puttar” was based on his life in Amritsar and was followed by other novels “Rang Mahal,” “Jagratta”, “Din Te Duniya” and many others . He taught English for 30 years in the Govt College for Boys and retired as a Principal. One of his students had even written a thesis on him. His literary works, include “Punjani Sahit Di Pachhan”, “Sade Navalkar”, “Bhai Vir Singh”, “Punjabi Sahit Da Itihas” and “Sahitya Samachar”. He was a Fellow of the Punjabi Sahit Akademi, Ludhiana, Shiromani Sahityakar Punjab Govt, Member P.E.N. (international).

Prof Bhupinder Parihar has won the award of Shiromani Urdu Sahitkar for the year 2003. At present he is teaching English in Govt College for Boys in the city. He is equally proficient in Urdu and has even has a post graduate degree in the language. Expressing his happiness over winning the award he said it was a complete surprise as he was very busy with his work. Talking about the future of Urdu literature in India, he said he was very optimistic because Urdu had asserted its cultural face and had disengaged itself from communal considerations.

At present Prof Parihar is working on a project arranged by Sahitya Academy, New Delhi, on a book titled ‘Beesveen Sadi ki Numaindi Shairi’. The 500-page book will cover eminent shades of nationalist, reformist, progressive, romantic, moderenistic post modermist shades of Urdu poetry. He has written “Khawab khuli ankhon Ke”, “Ek Manzir Kaissi” and has translated 10 original works in Urdu. He has also penned a book on Padamshri Josh Malsiyani, which was published by the Sahit Akademi. He paid tributes to Josh as he had taught him elementry Urdu. He said he owed his love for literature to his parents and teachers as they really inspired him.

Mr Darshan Singh Makkar started his career as a journalist in Ajit, a Punjabi daily in 1978. While talking to this correspondent he recalled the trouble torn days of militancy in the state in 1980s. He said they used to receive press notes with bullets and were asked to follow dictates of anti-social elements, but he never bowed under pressure. He is working as Chief News Editor of Ajit at present. He plans to write a book on political and social status of the country in near future.

Sardar Paanchi, another winner, has been very active in the field of Urdu poetry. He has participated in almost all mushiaras held in the city. His couplets have depth and his poetry has endeared him to the lovers of Urdu in the city. Sardar Paanchi expressed happiness on winning and said there were two aspects of the award: one was that the writer got encouragement and the second aspect was financial. He said the award money of Rs 1 lakh would come in handy in the publication of his books. His readers, who have read his ghazals and poetry books know that financial constraints had always come in the way of the publication of his books. Even then he had got five books published this year and four books will get published next year.

Prof Ravinder Bhattal has served as secretary of the Punjabi Sahit Akademi and has taken keen interest in the literary activities in the city. His poetry had earned him a lot of praise and now an award. He promised to keep fighting for social causes. He said as his two elder brothers had died so as per a superstition he was put in a ‘chaj’ and sold off symbollically so that he survived. With the result, he was sent to his maternal house where a famous dacoit Jana Maur also lived. They drank from the same well. Thus his poetry was influenced by the incident of his sale and living with a dacoit. The love, affection and revolt in his poetry springs from his childhood experiences, he said.



Breastfeeding not popular in district
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 20
Lactating mothers in Ludhiana do not seem to prefer breastfeeding. They are either ignorant about its importance or concerned about maintaining their figure. This can be gauged from the fact that the breastfeeding average for the district is a dismal 1.7 per cent as compared to the state average of 6.1 per cent.

These are the findings of a survey conducted by the Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India. The findings were released by the Minister for Women and Child Development, Ms Gurkanwal Kaur, in the city recently.

Talking to TNS, Dr Rajinder Gulati, coordinator of the organisation, said the survey — Status of infant and young child feeding in Ludhiana district — showed that despite being inhabited by educated families, breastfeeding was not an attractive proposition for the lactating mothers.

He said the incidence of initiation of breastfeeding within one hour after birth is only 1.7 against the state figure of 6.1. The target fixed by the Centre in the Tenth Five Year Plan is 19.3 per cent. Similarly, the incidence of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months is only 11 per cent against the state figure of 36.5 per cent, whereas the target to be achieved is 52.6 per cent.

Commenting on the reasons behind it, Dr Gulati said in most of the cases the mothers did not understand the importance of starting breastfeeding early. In addition to this, mothers are not advised about it by their mothers -in -law or elders and the harmful effects of giving pre-lacteal feeds and water to the newborn immediately in the pre-natal period. The mothers are also not clear about the exact meaning and duration of exclusive breastfeeding, he pointed out.

Citing an instance of the misconceptions about breastfeeding, he said none of the mothers said breastfeeding should be initiated after birth. In practice also no mother initiated breastfeeding soon after the birth. According to the quantitative survey, only 1.7 per cent mothers initiated breastfeeding soon after the birth, that is one hour. Interestingly, 50 per cent of the health workers said that breastfeeding should be initiated after the birth, while others were of the view that it should be done after 2 to 3 hours.

In view of these contradictions, there is need to counsel elders of the family along with the lactating mothers otherwise the desired changes might not be achieved, he added.

Dr Gulati said another problem area was regarding giving pre- lacteal feeds like honey and “janam ghutti”. Most women gave them to their babies as per age-old practice. Health workers were of the opinion that such feeds were harmful and should not be given but found it hard to convince the families in doing so. The percentage of women giving pre-lacteal feeds was as high as 97. 8 per cent, he pointed out.

He said it was also found that most women discontinued breastfeeding after 18 months, while health workers said it should be continued till two years or beyond. As many as 33 per cent of the mother said they had no problem in initiating and continuation of breastfeeding but insisted that family members should provide them support in such situations.

As many as 66 per cent mothers said that they wanted to receive counselling in infant feeding but reported that there would resistance from their mothers-in-law.



ASI dies during training
Tribune News Service

Phillaur, November 20
A 52-year-old Assistant Sub-Inspector of Punjab Police, undergoing an Upper Training course at Punjab Police Academy here, died of a cardiac arrest in hostel last night.

ASI Pritam Singh complained of chest pain at about 9.30 p.m. and died within few minutes. According to the post-mortem examination he had suffered a heart attack. He is survived by his wife and three daughters. He belonged to Tarn Taran.

One of his daughters was to get married on December 3 and the ASI had just returned from leave.



Jagtar Singh Alag dead
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 20
Mr Jagtar Singh Alag, managing director, Green Cycle Industries, and younger brother of Dr Sarup Singh Alag, died today.

He leaves two sons and widow. Mr Jagtar Singh was associated with many socio-religious societies.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |