L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Vendors allege harassment by police
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
A number of vegetable and fruit vendors of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar and New Sham Nagar, located near the Sunet level crossing, have alleged that some policemen had made their lives miserable by taking away their goods free of cost.

The vendors alleged that they were being harassed by PCR cops for the past many years and repeated complaints to senior officials had not yielded any results. They said after dusk, the cops would come to them and ask them to pack eatables. If the vendors asked for money, they would reportedly be abused and maltreated. They were also threatened of dire consequences if they “dared to ask a cop for money.”

A local NGO, Maha Sabha, has taken up their cause. Mr Jaswant Jeerakh, an office-bearer of the Maha Sabha, said they had been complaining to the SSP for the past quite some time but their complaints had gone unheeded. The Maha Sabha had prepared a database of the vendors and had documentarily recording the “excesses” by the police.

“The other day, a cop came to me to buy noodles. I was already packing noodles for two customers and sent my son home to fetch more. The fact that I had kept him waiting did not go well with him and he started abusing me. He told me that he would not allow me to sell anything from here,” said an owner of a fast food kiosk.

A vegetable vendor, Surinder Kumar, alleged that the cops took vegetables free of cost from him. “When I asked for money, he gave me Rs 10 which was less than the real amount. Later, he came with another policeman and both threatened me. He said he would implicate me in a poppy husk case,” he alleged.

The vendors also alleged that some PCR cops had demanded Rs 50 per month from each vendor and had threatened them that if they refused to pay, they would get them removed from the place.

Ram Avadh, another vegetable seller, said a policeman had purchased vegetable worth Rs 75 from him and had refused to give money. When there was an altercation, another cop came and asked his colleague not to take so many vegetables from a single rehri and instead take little amount from everybody. Since then they come in the evening, take vegetables and leave. There is nobody to question them,” he added.



Shiva devotees throng temples
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, February 26
Lord Shiva’s devotees thronged temples on the occasion of Shivratri today. Temples of Loard Shiva were beautifully decorated. At many places, langar has served by the devotees.
The Gyan Panthi Shiv Mandir established the Shiv Sutar Granth on its premises.

A shobha yatra was organised yesterday by Shivratri Mahotsava Committee. The yatra was led by Swami Ved Bharati of Mahamandelshwar. The procession passed through the city with devotees eagerly awaiting its arrival. The yatra had around 100 tableaux.

A CD and VCD was also released today with Shiva hymns.

Mandi AhmedgarH: Shivratari was celebrated with religious fervour and great enthusiasm here and in adjoining areas, Payal, Malaud, Raikot and Dehlon.

A large number of devotees paid their obeisance at Ram Mandir, Shiv Mandir, Jawahar Nagar, Luxmi Narayan Mandir, Sat Narayan Mandir, Gandhi Chowk, and Hanuman Mandir here. Chanting of mantras and bhajans marked the celebrations at most of the temples.

Residents thronged temples, decked up in colourful lights, to celebrate the marriage of Shiv and Parvati during Maha Shivratri. They offered milk and fruit to the “shivling”. Ticklers and bhaang lovers had a field day.

Prabhat pheris, havans, nagar kirtans and cultural programmes on the Lord Shiva’s life were organised across the town and surrounding areas.

At Payal, the festival was celebrated at Parachin Mahadev Mandir that was renovated by a newly constituted committee. Different types of “rudrabhishek”, “bhasmabhishek” and “chatuperhari lingarchan” were performed.

The temple was decked up with flowers. Chhabils were organised for the devotees at a number of places.

Temples at different villages and towns, including Raikot, Pohir, Kanganwal, Malaudh, Dehlon, Barundi, Chhapar and Pakhowal, wore a festive look as devotees kept thronging the temples throughout the day.

Besides, paying their obeisance at the local temples, a large number of devotees visited ancient Shiv Mandir at Ranike, near Dhuri town.



Farmers to hold panchayat in Delhi on March 21
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 26
Representatives bodies of farmers from northern region, including the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) will hold a massive panchayat in front of the Parliament House in Delhi on March 21 to protest against the government decision to import wheat.

This was stated here today by BKU president Ajmer Singh Lakhowal after his return from Delhi where he participated in a meeting convened by national president of the body Mohinder Singh Tikait. The meeting, held at the residence of former Union Minister Chaudhry Ajit Singh, was attended by office-bearers of the Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh units of the BKU.

According to Mr Lakhowal, the meeting rubbished the government move to import 5 lakh tonnes of wheat while demanding that the decision be scrapped in the larger interest of the country and farmers of northern states. They called upon the government to fix the support price of the next wheat crop at Rs 950 per quintal since the government was prepared to import wheat at a price of more than Rs 1,050 per quintal.

The leaders of farmers’ organisations made it clear that if the government persisted with its decision to import wheat, the BKU activists would hold protests and put up blockades at ports of Mangalore, Vishakhapatnam and Coimbatore where the imported wheat was scheduled to be unloaded.

Taking the Congress government in Punjab to task for what he termed as betrayal of the farming community, Mr Lakhowal lamented that immediately after coming to power the government had announced a bonus of Rs 30 per quintal on procurement of paddy. However, only a payment of Rs 10 per quintal had been made and the balance was standing in arrears for the past three years.

He pointed out that even though the government had restored free power supply to farmers for tubewell connections, the PSEB was still sending energy bills, and in many cases the farmers were forced to make payments.

“The PSEB should be clearly directed to refund all payments collected on account of energy bills against tubewell connections.”

Mr Lakhowal reiterated the demand for minimum 12 hours regular power supply to farm sector, remission of charges for canal water for the purpose of irrigation, writing off all previous farm loans and streamlining of old-age pension, shagun scheme.



India, Pak must liberalise visa policy: Birmi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Jails and Defence Services, Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi, has stressed upon the need to further liberalise the issuing of visas to delegations from both India and Pakistan and to set up such counters near the border so that the people did not face any kind of difficulty in visiting the other country.

He was addressing a seminar on “Social culture and trade relations between India and Pakistan,” organised by the Media Centre and the Punjab Union of Journalists on the second day of the visit of the delegation of journalist from Pakistan at PAU, here today.

Mr Birmi said the media had to play a vital role to further enhance the process of strengthening of cultural and trade relations between the two countries.

The present generation had no hatred in their hearts, which had been created during partition and the wars fought between two countries.

Mr Birmi said the Chief Ministers of both Punjabs, Capt Amarinder Singh and Mr Pervez Elahi had taken the lead to initiate the process of visiting of delegations and had organized many such events, including religious, cultural and sports functions in both Punjabs.

He said both Chief Ministers had successfully impressed upon the respective Union Governments to take concrete steps, including release of prisoners, plying of busses and trains and enhancing the number of visas to visitors.

He said there was an enormous potential for trade and tourism between both Punjabs. He said it was also the need of the future to further bring both Punjabs closer to each other and the writings of journalists could improve the environment for trade in both states. Mr Birmi, welcoming the members of the Pakistani media delegation extended thanks on behalf of the people of Punjab to the people of West Punjab through the journalists for their hospitality to the delegations from the East Punjab.

Mr Mahesh Munjal, MD, Hero Cycles, also spoke.

Others who addressed the seminar were Mr Avtar Singh, President, SGPC, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, a former Minister, Mr Darshan Singh Makkar, News Editor, Daily Ajit, Mr Shiaji Sarkar, Director, Mass Communication, GOI, Mr Radhey Sham Sharma, former Editor, Dainik Tribune, Dr. NK Trikha, president, National Union of Journalists, Mr Shyam Kholsa, chairman, Media Centre and Mr Ashok Singhi, Secretary NUJ, and Mr Rana Mohamad Aziz, president, Union of Journalists, Lahore.



SP’s appeal on loudspeakers

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 26
Mr Suhinder Pal Singh Bawa, SP (D), Jagraon, has warned the residents of the area against the swelling number of migrant domestic labourers.

He has urged leaders of various social, religious and political organisations to impress upon managers of religious organisations and other institutes to restrict the use of loudspeakers in view of the school and college exams.

Addressing a public meeting at the Sudhar police station yesterday, Mr Bawa said employment of migrant labourers for domestic chores would further deteriorate the law and order problem. He asked the residents

to get the antecedents of labourers working at their establishments and home attested by the police. He discussed issues regarding drug addiction, thikri pehra, security and eve-teasing with representatives of various organisations.

Mr Shawinder Singh Dhillon, SHO, Mr Hardeep Singh, ASI, Mr Jagtar Singh Sarabha, Mr Balvir Singh Tusse, Mr Jagdeep Singh Rattowal, Mr Charan Singh Heran and Mr Chanchal Singh Hissowal took part in the discussion on the issues. 



Ludhiana Calling

Despite the fact that there is not a single case of bird flu in Punjab, people have chickened out from eating poultry products. No form of reassurance that Punjabi chicken is free of the flu is able to convince chicken lovers. Only to send a message across the masses that there was no harm in consuming chicken, a poultry farmer invited mediapersons from all newspapers to “have loads of eggs and chicken delicacies.”

Language policing

English Language has weaved into our system so deeply that it seems no language can over shadow in usage. Yet, there are many who hate it and fight for similar acceptance and use of their mothertongue. One such ‘language policing’ police constable recently taught a city businessman a lesson for using the Queen’s language. The trader was caught violating traffic rules. He argued in English. The cop was so incensed that he told him he would have let him go with a warning but because he did not talk in Punjabi or Hindi, he would challan him. The trader taken aback, begged for mercy saying, “I am sorry” only to be rebuked for saying sorry in English. Eventually, he spoke in chaste Punjabi to escape heavy fine.

Congress tricks

Congress leaders in the state have vent their ire against the bureaucracy for not towing their line. But in the city the leaders are overstepping their line of duty by bending procedure to garner votes. The party has been distributing pension, ration cards and shaguns from their party office What they fail to realise is that if pension and other benefits were available without any hassle in offices, the masses would have been more happy with the political masters.

Religious ‘blocking’

It seems that following religious practices attracts immunity from the law of the land. This is reflected from the manner in which ‘devotees’ erect shamianas on road, blocking traffic. Even as Municipal Corporation laws specifically stress that blocking the road in such a manner is illegal and heavy fines will be imposed, people continue to flout the rules on the pretext of religious freedom.

Accolades for cops

The Jagraon police has earning accolades for finding Reema Jain’s body. But as far as the media is concerned, it failed miserably. Police officials got the body from Ludhiana but did not speak to the press. The police then went to Jagraon and convened a press conference at 9:30 pm. The Ludhiana press was already upset. The Jagraon media was also agitated. For, by 9:30 p.m. the Ludhiana media had already filed the story quoting sources. It seems the cops require a lot of training to avoid such unpleasant instances.

Polluting water bodies

The Sidhwan canal passing through the city is going the Budda Nullah way. The banks of the canal is being increasingly used as dumping sites for litter and garbage. A number of slum colonies where ragpickers live have come up over the years near the banks. All that hazarduous waste is finding its way in to the canal but no official seems bothered about it.

Southern bypass

The Southern bypass road project which would provide a convenient way for traffic between Doraha and Mullanpur-Dakha to avoid passing through the city seem to be lost in the dusty files of the system. The road which had to be developed into the bypass is full of craters. At places, the surface has completely given way. As a result, city roads have to carry more volume of traffic causing traffic jams and accidents. People are hoping that the Congress government in the last year of its tenure will do something in this regard.

Traffic bottleneck

The Damoria bridge in the city continues to be a traffic bottleneck despite efforts by the traffic cops to check chaos. Be it a busy hour or any time of the day, traffic is a problem here. To add to the problem are workers of the Sewerage Department who descend on the narrow road under the bridge and start digging. Perhaps they find time to work only during busy hours.

— Sentinel



Common man betrayed by MPs: expert
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 26
The Constitution of India was a complete document and there was no scope for confrontation. It was shameful for MPs to ask for money for asking questions in Parliament. The country had been betrayed by constitutional functionaries and not by the common man.

These views were expressed by Mr Satyapal Jain, senior advocate, Punjab and Haryana High Court, on the concluding day of the two-day seminar on “Relation in working of legislature, executive and judiciary - an introspection and prospective vision” here yesterday.

The seminar was organised by the University Institute of Laws.

He said people’s resistance had come to an end and they had reconciled to corruption. Judiciary had the power to expel members of Parliament under the Representation of the People’s Act, 1951.

Mr Justice S.K. Jain, chief guest at the valedictory function in his address said the past of the country was glorious and the future was bright, but it was the present in which there were certain controversies like differences between the legislature and the judiciary. But it was a transitory period.

To this controversy, there was an appropriate solution and the solution would be formed by the intelligentsia of the country. Judicial review was the unique feature of the Constitution. Supremacy of Parliament was subject to and limited by public opinion and international treaties.

Lala Lajpat Rai, former MP, guest of honour on the occasion said, it was unfortunate that two organs of the government were at the course of collusion.

Further, he said there were constitutional experts in the country and they should sit together and solve the problem.

The seminar was attended by 120 lecturers and students from all over India. Prof J.K.Chauhan, director of the institute, presented a vote of thanks.



Probe atrocities against Sikhs: NRIs
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 26
Various Sikh organisations of Canada have demanded a probe into incidents of alleged atrocities committed by certain police officials, who acted on behest of controversial person Sukhwinder Singh Sukhi, a terrorist-turned-police cat. They have threatened to knock the door of the UN in case the Indian Government failed to do what is needed.

Mr Harbans Singh Jandali, a native of nearby Jandali village and president of the Ontario Sikh Gurudwara Council, Canada, in a telephonic conversation with Ludhiana Tribune stated that the NRIs settled in Canada were worried about the well-being of their kin living in Punjab after they heard about the alleged extortion of Rs 90 lakh from NRI relatives of a resident of Jallowal village.

“We were shocked to learn that members of a force that claimed to have fought terrorism can go the extent of torturing Sikhs in Punjab to extort money from their NRI relatives. We are worried about our relatives who can be used as a bait by such antisocial elements for exorting money from us,” said Mr Jandali.

Referring to outcome of a meeting of office-bearers of at least 25 gurdwaras in Ontario held recently at Dixy Gurdwara, Mr Jandali said they had resolved to urge the Union Government to get the matter probed by a Supreme Court judge of some other independent agency. “In case the Indian government failed to initiate corrective measures, we will be forced to knock the door of the UN to ensure justice,” he threatened.



Marriage of 25 poor girls solemnised
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 26
The marriage of 25 poor girls from various villages was solemnised at a gurdwara in Cheemna village, 4 km from here by Guru Nanak Charitable Trust (Glasgow, UK).
Mr Sukhwinder Singh Gill, SDM, Jagraon, blessed the couples. Addressing the media, Mr Gurmel Singh, chairman of the trust, said Rs 10 lakh was spent on the marriages.


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