L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

PPCB officials ‘harassing’ industrialists
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
Alleging harassment at the hands of Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) officials, industrialists along with employees of dyeing units, supported by various industry associations, held a rally outside the PPCB office here today.

Mr Surinder Daver, Parliamentary Secretary, and Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mayor, assured the industrialists that they would look into the matter.

Mr T.R. Mishra, chairman, Federation of Dyeing Factories Association, said: “Officials of the PPCB unnecessarily harass industrialists. Even if samples are cleared, they come for inspecting units several times.”

Urging the government to take action against ‘corrupt officials’, the federation said: “We want the government to act against the corrupt officials. The board officials should not be allowed to arbitrarily take samples from industrial units and harass industrialists. If the government did not control the situation, dyeing and other industrial units would be shut down.”

Members of the federation alleged that they had been forced to pay the bribe.

“If they were not bribed, they would harass us. We lodged several complaints against corrupt officials but no action has been taken,” they alleged.

Members of various other industry associations, including electroplating, cycle parts and hosiery industry, also participated in the rally.



Privatisation of rural dispensaries opposed
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 18
The move to privatise rural dispensaries in the state and appointment of medical and supporting staff on contract basis to provide health services to the people under overall supervision of zila parishads has proved to be a fiasco.

As nearly 30 per cent of the 1193 dispensaries, handed over to zila parishads in different parts of the state, were still awaiting doctors, pharmacists and class IV employees, many of those doctors, appointed on contract basis, were also learnt to be having second thoughts on being able to run these dispensaries on a lump sum amount of Rs 30,000 per month, which also includes salaries of the entire staff.

That the scheme launched by the government with much fanfare had proved to be a non-starter was evident from the fact that 21 dispensaries in Patiala, 35 in Sangrur, 36 in Amritsar, 14 in Ferozepur, 17 in Gurdaspur, 24 in Jalandhar, 30 in Kapurthala, 15 in Mansa, 4 each in Ludhiana and Bathinda, 6 in Hoshiarpur, 29 in Moga, 10 in Muktsar, 15 in Ropar and 3 in Fatehgarh Sahib did not have a doctor to treat patients.

If sources in the health department were to be believed, the government would be spending much more on the 'privatised' rural dispensaries, which will defeat the very purpose — that of reducing the financial burden on exchequer, of this controversial decision.

According to functionaries of Coordination Committee of Para-medical and Health Employees, Punjab, the monthly lump sum payment to nearly 1200 dispensaries worked out to be more than 3.5 crore which did not include medicines worth approximately Rs 1 crore, to be supplied to these dispensaries. It was claimed that the government could appoint regular staff and run the same number of dispensaries in less than half of this amount.

Terming the privatisation move as a retrograde step, Mr Amarjit Singh Pandher, co-convener, Mr Balbir Singh Kalia, chairman, and Mr Gurdip Singh, organiser of the coordination committee, maintained that the level of health facilities would deteriorate in times to come and the rural population, particularly the poor people, would be denied even the basic medical cover as a result of the flaws in the scheme.

In the wake of poor response from the medical fraternity to the privatisation of rural dispensaries, they urged the government to reverse the decision so that the government health institutions could continue to fulfill their commitment to the people.



Double murder case: Jagraon SSP to probe
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
The SSP, Jagraon, Mr R.K. Jaiswal, has been entrusted with the investigation of the sensational double murder case of a jeweller and his wife in Ludhiana. Earlier, the Ludhiana police was investigating the case.

Darshan Singh and his wife were murdered by the robbers in their house in Civil Lines on July 4.

Senior police officials told The Tribune that DIG Parag Jain would supervise the case.

The police has been claiming that a man had come to the house on the eve of the crime. He had reportedly told the servant that the vendor who supplied milk to the family had sent him. He claimed that he would come to supply milk in the morning as the vendor was busy for a few days.

The maid had told the police during questioning that she had given the message to Darshan Singh, who brushed it aside the information saying she could have misunderstood the man.

On the basis of the statement of the maid and the jeweller’s daughter, the police believed that three robbers entered the house by scaling the wall.

The robbers demanded cash and jewellery apart from demanding keys of the shop of the jeweller.



Eyeing Assembly seat, Mayor begins groundwork
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
With an eye on the Ludhiana Rural Assembly segment, Mayor Nahar Singh Gill has started visiting wards falling in the segment in a bid to contest on the Congress ticket.

Making things too apparent, Mr Gill has also chalked out a separate programme to visit the rural areas falling in the segment.

With sitting MLA from Ludhiana Rural and his bete noire Milkiat Singh Birmi having been removed from the post of Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Gill senses that half of the battle has already been won.

He along with Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Shamsher Singh Dullo had been instrumental in getting Birmi removed from the post. With a psychological advantage over his rival already, Mr Gill has been spending most of the time in different parts of the Assembly segment.

Mr Gill candidly admits that he has selected these wards and areas outside the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation to “learn about people’s problems”.

He claims that he has chalked out a programme for different areas in the city where he will redress the problems of people on the spot.

In order to ensure timely and on-the-spot redressing of grievances of people of areas he visits, Mr Gill has decided to take along all officers concerned there.

During these meetings, the general review of all undergoing works will also be made.

He has appealed to people to make optimum use of these special meetings and get their problems related to different departments of the Municipal Corporation, including sewerage, water supply, lights, roads, pavement of streets, cleanliness, etc. solved on the spot.

Giving details, Mr Gill says he will “listen to the problems of people” living in Muslim Colony and Sherpura Kalan on July 21, and organise a meeting at Gobind Nagar, Vishal Nagar, Ward No. 42, Gagandeep Colony, Shimla colony, Kaliash Nagar, Ward No. 7, Basti Jodhewal and Sector 32-A, Chandigarh Road, Ludhiana, on July 23. Incidentally, all these areas fall within the Ludhiana Rural Assembly segment.



Surinder Kaur rejoins SAD (A)
Our Correspondent

Khamano, July 18
SGPC member from Fatehgarh Sahib (reserved seat) Surinder Kaur, who had left the SAD (A) and joined the SAD yesterday, today rejoined the SAD (A).

She made her decision during a programme at Gurdwara Sahib Ranwan, near here.

The meeting was held in the memory of Avtar Singh, a member of local gurdwara committee who had died a few days back in an accident.

Talking to mediapersons, she said she had left the SAD (A) as some of the demands raised by her had been overlooked by the party in the past.

This had forced her to join the SAD. But the SAD (A) today contacted her and assured her of looking into her main demand pertaining to Dr Harjinder Jakhu, a Dalit leader.

Party’s SGPC member from Amloh Ravinder Singh Khalsa said the understandings had been cleared and the party was united.

Circle president Mohinder Singh Maneli, district general secretary Zora Singh and other leaders were also present at the programme.



Calcutta hits out at Badal
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, July 18
Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta has described the Shiromani Akali Dal led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal as 'directionless, has shown its ideals and is basically Badal centric.'

In a hard-hitting reply to the show cause notice of the disciplinary committee of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, who has been expelled from the primary membership of the Akali Dal for six years, has raised vital issues and has hit back against Mr Parkash Singh Badal and the working of the Shiromani Akali Dal and the SGPC

He maintains initially he did not like to reply to the show cause notice. But quoting from the gurbani that in such a situation guru says one should speak out the truth.

Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta says that he has never given any statement against the policies of the Akali Dal. He had at no point of time opposed the party. But as it is customary in democracy he only pointed out difference of opinion in the working of the leadership which was leading the party astray from the ideals set forth by the Akali Dal.

The Akali Dal has been reduced to the position of party of a family or at the most feudal Lords. According to the Sikh doctrine, the panthic politics has concern for itself for the amelioration of Sikhs particular and the goodwill of all (sarbat da bhalla). Basically, Akali Dal has be to be democratic and its fidelity has to be towards the panth and the country.

Mr Manjit Singh further has taken the stand that a political party of the Sikhs can in no way remain one-man show. The Akali Dal was established by a Sikh congregation at the Akal Takht and its commitment was the preservation of the ideals of the Khalsa panth.

At present, the leadership has changed this character of the party and had pointed out this fact at various meetings of the political affairs committee. The SGPC came into being after a long struggle and it remains the most representative of the Sikhs. It is answerable to only the Sikhs. The SGPC was headed by powerful and popular leaders like Baba Kharak Singh, Master Tara Singh and Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra.

"Now the SGPC has nominated presidents who have no identity of their own. They are simply pygmies and perform the duties of sycophants of Parkash Singh Badal. The lofty ideals of 'miri -piri' which the Akal Takht signifies has also been relegated to the background. Its appeals and edicts go unresponded by the leadership," he said.

Mr Manjit Singh in his 10-page reply has reminded Mr Parkash Singh Badal that even an appeal by Bhai Ranjit Singh, then Jathedar of the Akal Takht, to Mr Parkash Singh Badal to suspend fight with Jathedar Tohra and celebrate tercentenary of birth of Khalsa jointly went unresponded.

"The present Jathedar of the Akal Takht always remains under pressure of the Akali Dal (Badal ) and his position has been reduced to that of a tool," he has observed.

Taking strong exception to the participation of saffron leaders in the 400th martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev at Tarn Taran, Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta has alleged that the influence of saffron leaders was demonstrated full well on the Akali Dal (Badal). Mr Rajnath Singh and Mrs Sushma Swaraj made such statements as to demean the Sikh history and the Sikh doctrine.

Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta has questioned the impropriety of the discipline committee which levelled the charges of having secret meetings with the Congress leaders. "It is crystal clear to all that he refused to visit the state-level function organised by the Punjab government in connection with the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev. This I did as a disciplined soldier of the Akali Dal. I have been neither a seeker of favours from the government nor from anyone else," he said emphatically.

Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta has given the details of his 50-year career in the Akali Dal starting from 1953 and his participation in all the morchas launched by the Akali Dal for the Punjabi suba.

He has specifically brought out that he had even opposed Master Tara Singh in 1956 when the Akali Dal has fought the election on congress ticket... and this remains a democratic right of every political activist. He also opposed Sant Fateh Singh when he refused to recognise the fast unto death by Darshan Singh Pheruman.

Mr Manjit Singh has claimed that he has been the longest serving general secretary of the Akali Dal and he was responsible for the reconstruction and reorganisation of the SGPC after Operation Bluestar. It was indeed a challenging task and he rose like phoenix. He also claims credit for the establishment of the medical, dental and engineering colleges of the SGPC.

Concluding his letter, Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta says against all panthic traditions, all the powers are concentrated in the hands of Parkash Singh Badal. "I may not be strong enough to liberate the Akali Dal and the SGPC from this strangle hold. But I will continue to raise my voice, however, feeble it may be. I will dedicate rest of my life to the ideals of sovereignty of panth, district identity of the Khalsa and ideals of Guru Gobind Singh's democratic working through the 'panchpradhani' system".

Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta has since been expelled from the Akali Dal and is now busy in mobilising the forces against the Akali Dal chief Parkash Singh Badal and his style of functioning. He has convened a meeting of Sikh scholars and intellectuals in Amritsar on July 20 take stock of the situation.



Stir threat against ban on slogan

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 18
Reacting sharply to a reported ban on shouting of Bharat Mata Ki Jai slogan by pilgrims during Baba Budha Amar Nath Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir area, the state unit of Bajrang Dal has threatened to launch a protest in case the ban was not withdrawn. The decision was conveyed to activists of its local unit at a meeting organised at Shri Hanuman Mandir today.

According to Mr Vijay Chhabra, president, state unit, and Mr Ajit Malhotra, convener, Ludhiana division office-bearers and activists of the association had reacted sharply to the ban imposed on shouting of patriotic slogans on the land of India. “Our activists are questioning us that how could they believe to be Indians if they were not allowed to shout patriotic slogans like Bharat Mata Ki Jai in India,” argued the Bajrang Dal leaders.

The office-bearers said hundreds of activists from Punjab would be leaving for Dash Nami Akhara on August 3, and the banned slogan would be shouted the whole way.

The Dal leaders lamented that a Deputy Commissioner in Poonch area in J&K had banned the shouting of certain slogans to avoid disturbance. “We fail to understand how the shouting of a patriotic slogan would hurt feelings of a particular section of society,” wondered Mr Chhabra and Mr Malhotra.

According to them, the Deputy Commissioner had warned that stern action would be taken against those who were caught shouting such slogans. They termed the decision as an attempt to stop Hindus from paying obeisance at the shrine. OC



One killed in road accident
Our Correspondent

Khamano, July 18
One person was killed and another injured during a road accident, at Sanghol, near here.

According to information available, two persons were going towards Loharmajra village on motor cycle No PB-49-9667 from Khamano.

When they were crossing Sanghol village, a speeding Scorpio No PB-10-BS- 6702 hit them from behind resulting in the death of Gurnek Singh. His son Jasvir Singh. who was injured was rushed to hospital in Morinda.

The Khamano police has registered a case under Section 279 337, 338,427,304 A of IPC and is looking into the matter.



Opium peddler arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
The Basti Jodhewal police today nabbed an alleged opium peddler, who was carrying 4 kg opium worth Rs 1.25 lakh in the market.

Addressing media here today, Mr D.P. Singh, SP-City -II, said that Dinesh Kumar was nabbed carrying a bag containing opium. Investigation revealed that he had purchased it from the market for Rs 10,000 and would sell it to addicts for Rs 1.25 lakh.

He belongs to Madhya Pradesh and used to visit the city. A case under section 18/61/85 NDPS Act. 



One held with opium
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 18
Sukhjit Singh, alias Sukhi, of Gill Nagar Mullanpur was arrested near drain bridge Hissowal by ASI Jaswant Singh on Tuesday. The police recovered 1 kg of opium from his possession. A case under Sections 18-61-85 of the NDPS Act has been registered.

2 travel agents booked

Two travel agents allegedly cheated a person and sent him to Moscow instead of Italy. The matter was came to light when he returned to India. On the orders of the SSP, Jagraon, a case has been registered against the travel agents. It is reported that Darshan Singh of Mallanwala wanted to send his son abroad. He came into contact with Baldev Singh and Kirpal Singh of Bet area Jagraon three years ago. A deal was struck for Rs 5 lakh to send his son to Italy. A sum of Rs 3 lakh was paid to the agents. On March 19, 2004, agents managed visa for 11 months for Moscow and promised to send his son to Italy therefrom. Since his son did not get any job in Moscow and he returned to India. When Darshan Singh approached the agents for refund of the money. However, they refused to refund the money.

Tractor stolen

A Ford tractor (PBM-2559), belonging to Sukhwinder Singh, was allegedly stolen by Charanjit Singh and his son, Bittu, of Lamme village. The police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC. However, no arrest has been made so far.

10 booked for assault

Ten persons have been booked for assault in three separate incidents. In the first case, Sukhdev Singh, his brother Baldev Singh, wife of Baldev Singh and his brother-in-law, all of Gureh village, allegedly assaulted Lal Singh of the same village over some court case. In another incident, the local police booked Gurjit Singh, Daljit Singh, both of Rasulpur, and their three associates for assaulting Pal Singh of the same village. Row over the charge of a gurdwara is said to be the cause of the assault. Also, the Raikot police booked Deep Singh of Patti Kalley village for attacking Nirmal Singh following a dispute over power cable. The police has registered a cases under various Sections of the IPC. No arrest has been made so far. 



California varsity students visit PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
A group of students and teachers from University of California,(UC) Santa Barbara, USA, visited Punjab Agricultural University yesterday. The group led by Prof G.S. Mann, Director Programmes, is visiting Punjab to make the students aware of Punjab and its culture.

According to Dr Shinder Singh, who coordinated this visit, a large number of students in the USA, Canada, the UK and other countries have their roots in Punjab. Their forefathers migrated from Punjab to different countries long time ago. These students need to be made aware of their land of origin, its people and the way of life. “So they are here to explore the land of their forefathers and this trip is a part of their study during the summer vacations”, he said.

The students would visit various villages ,cities and religious places. The students would be exposed to the way Punjabis eat and dress. They would also learn Punjabi language, Dr Shinder said.

The students visited the Museum of Rural life of Punjab and M.S. Randhawa Library. They were also briefed about the agriculture of Punjab. 



NCC wing starts at school
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 18
To enable girls of Tagore Public School (TPS) to expand their horizons and be of service to the nation, NCC junior girls wing was inaugurated here today.

The chief guest, Mr Kirpal Singh Deol, Administrator of Ludhiana Aggarwal House Building Coop Societies, and the school, inaugurated the wing. The chief guest was given a warm welcome by Principal, teachers and students of the school.



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