L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Probe Amarinder's visits to Dubai, says Sukhbir
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Mattewara (Ludhiana), August 19
Shiromani Akali Dal general secretary and MP, Mr Sukhbir Badal, today reiterated his demand for an inquiry by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and other central agencies into the "frequent visits" of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to Dubai. He alleged that the Chief Minister was frequently going to Dubai on "one pretext or the other" to settle his accounts there.

Addressing a series of meetings in the Koom Kalan assembly segment, represented by Mr Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, Mr Badal claimed that the DRI should investigate his visits to Dubai in relation to Mr Natwar Singh's alleged "role in food for oil scandal".

He observed that there is all possibility that the Chief Minister might be misusing his position to take away important documents and other things related to the case. He pointed out that Mr Natwar Singh was closely related to the Chief Minister.

Criticising the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre, he regretted that even after 60 years of independence of the country, the Parliament was yet to debate the plight of the farmers. He pointed out that lakhs of desperate farmers had committed suicide.

He blamed the Congress, which had ruled for about 50 years since independence, for all the ills being faced by the farmers.

Asserting that the Congress government in the state was on the way out, Mr Badal pointed out that the way this government was appointing its favourites to various long term posts only indicated that it (the government) had reconciled to the fact that it would not get a second chance.

Addressing the meeting, the local MLA, Mr Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, expressed his gratitude to Mr Badal for sparing time for his assembly segment. He said he was thankful to the people of Koom Kalan for giving him so much love and support. Despite there being an "unfriendly government" in the state, he tried his best to ensure proper development.

He promised that once the Akali government was formed in the state, which according to him was certain to happen, the area would see to transformation. He thanked the people for turning in great numbers in the party programmes and pointed out that it only indicated that they wanted the Akali Dal to come to power.

The rally was also addressed by the Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, former minister Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia and others.



Promised memorial still a dream
Kanchan Vasdev and Mahesh Sharma
Tribune News Service

Saharan Majra (Ludhiana), August 19
Villagers of this small hamlet have been remembering this hero of Indian Air Force for the last 36 years but a befitting memorial promised by IAF authorities to perpetuate the memory of late Flying Officer Kuldeep Singh Johal is yet to see the light of the day.

So much so that a villager even donated a piece of land for erecting the memorial for their hero, who had chosen to get charred to death in a crashing plane instead of ejecting from it to save the villagers of Saharan Majra on August 21, 1970.

Since then the villagers unfailingly commemorate his supreme sacrifice of losing his own life to save scores of others. Like every year the villagers have organised an Akhand Path in his memory. The bhog of ongoing path would be organised tomorrow. But this time love for their hero would be accompanied by disappointment as no effort was made to erect a memorial as promised by some IAF officers last year.

During the last year's function, Sqn Ldr Piyush Dhawan from Air Force Station, Halwara, while paying floral tributes to the martyr on behalf of Air Officer Commanding and his staff, had announced from the dais that his unit would ensure that the sacrifice of the great hero was documented.

Responding to a demand made by the villagers and the Pandher Sports Club, Sqn Ldr Dhawan had said he would take up the matter with Air Commodore Anil Chopra. He had categorically stated that the late pilot had taken off his last sortie from their base and it was both a prerogative and duty of the station to perpetuate his memory for ever.

"A villager, Ms Jaswinder Kaur, has especially kept this piece of land where the plane plunged after crash. But nobody has come to even have a look at this. The officials came last year and we are hoping they would come tomorrow," said Mr Sukhbir Singh, an office-bearer of Pandher Sports Club.

He said that they would find it difficult to face Johal's relatives tomorrow, who would attend the function after coming from Jalandhar. "Last year they were very happy at the announcement and were thanking us again and again. They had left hoping to see a memorial this year. I do not know what will be their reaction tomorrow," he added.

It was on August 21, Rakhi day, that Johal had sacrificed his life. When he took off form Halwara, his plane developed a technical snag when it was flying over the Saharan Majra village.

Even though the officer had an opportunity to bale himself out he had chosen to sacrifice his life as he saw that he was flying over a residential area. He wanted to save the village and manoeuvred the plane away from the area. A huge blast took place in his plane and he could not survive the crash.



City turns into drug peddlers’ haven
Delhi cops come calling on drug trail
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
The city is fast emerging as a transit point for international smuggling of high-value narcotics, becoming a place where smugglers not only hide but even probably manufacture drugs.

This has come to light with the movement of a team of the Anti-Narcotics Wing of the Delhi Police.

The Delhi Police team is busy taking a Canadian-born Indian and allegedly an international drug smuggler, Gurdeesh Toor, around the city and searching his hide-outs.

The accused has been brought here on a police remand to find out his hide-outs and contacts. One of his other accomplices, Parminder Singh Devgan, also belongs to Ludhiana.

The disclosure is of immense significance in the backdrop of several criminal cases where criminals indulged in looting and even murders in the city in order to arrange money for drugs.

Various social organisations have been voicing their concern about the increasing menace of drugs in the city from time to time.

The residents of Talwandi Kalan near Laddowal even carried out a rally to highlight the problem of drug menace in their area.

Highly placed police sources revealed that the Delhi cops had arrested Gurdeesh from Delhi a few weeks ago.

During interrogation, he revealed that he had taken a Kothi near Ferozepore road, Ludhiana, on rent.

He said he was using the place for stacking a chemical, Ephedrine hydro-chloride, which was used in the manufacturing of several drugs like cocaine, heroin and smack.

The Delhi Police has searched several other hide-outs and raided some places in the city to find out the contacts of the accused. The local police is assisting the Delhi police in the raids.

The officials do not want to reveal the quantity of drugs recovered or the contacts on the plea that it will hamper investigation.

Gurdeesh is the second NRI of Canadian origin who is allegedly involved in supplying the drugs in the region.

Earlier, a team of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence had arrested a Canadian NRI, Gurwinder Singh Dhaliwal, for allegedly trying to smuggle heroin to Canada. A truck driver carrying heroin worth Rs 35 crore was also nabbed near Ludhiana.

The local police is also on its heels to catch the drug smugglers. The Salem Tabri police caught two quintals of poppy husk yesterday while the Division No 7 police announced today that it had recovered over one quintal of poppy husk.

The police, however, has not been able to catch the kingpins of the gang. Last year, the police had succeeded in arresting Sanjeev who was an important cog in the narcotics wheel if not the kingpin of the trade in the region.



Chakka jam by truckers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
The response to a call for a chakka jam by the Punjab Truck Operators Union and the Punjab State Goods Transport Association was complete as trucks and tempos stayed off the road in the district.

Addressing a gathering of truckers at Transport Nagar here today, leaders of the agitators said they wanted the release of 15 leaders, including Charan Singh Lohara, chairman of the association, and action against the management of Gujrat Hinduja Cement factory.

Mr Subash Gupta, vice-chairman of the association, said they had been agitating for the past one month but no action had been taken against the factory management. Instead their leaders were booked on allegedly trumped-up charges by the Ropar administration and were now in jail.

He said the partisan role played by the DSP, Ropar, should be investigated by police officers. It is intriguing that the leaders were beaten up without provocation and booked on serious charges as they were protesting peacefully. The silence of the government on such a serious matter was baffling.

Transporters could be seen whiling away their time in their offices during the day. Trucks were parked all along the roads in the area. No goods were either booked or offloaded during the day.

The truckers said in case the government did not step in to break the impasse, they would be forced to start a nationwide agitation. 



Tributes paid to Shaheed Udham Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
The 66th martyrdom of Shaheed Udham Singh was commemorated by the Shaheed Udham Singh Memorial Trust at the Pensioners' Bhavan here today.

Dr Jaswant Singh Chamak, secretary-general of the trust, highlighted the heroic deeds of the martyr and said he was a great revolutionary who avenged the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Nurturing revenge for 21 years of chase, Udham Singh had shot dead the perpetrator of the ghastly incident, Michal Francis O' Dwyer, in the Caxton Hall of London on March 13,1940.

A special feature of the function was that a large number of students of BVM Senior Secondary School and DAV Public School took part in the poetry recitation and declamation contests.

The chief guest, Mr Ajay Johar, on behalf of Public Health Minister Harnam Dass Johar, paid rich tributes to the hero and said Udham Singh had named himself Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, which was a testimony of his secular ideology.

Mr Mohinder Singh Mehrok, who presided over the function, said Udham Singh's life and sacrifice would continue to inspire the coming generations. He would be remembered for his fearlessness, fortitude and determination.

Five resolutions were also passed which included grant of demanding 10,000 sq yards of land for Shaheed Udham Singh Bhavan, possession of 1500 sq yds land (illegally occupied by the Lions Club in Udham Singh Nagar since 1970-71) to the Shaheed Udham Singh Memorial Trust, bringing home more than 3000 documents relating to the martyr now lying in England, sanctioning of the corpus grant of Rs 10 lakh for the Shaheed Udham Singh Memorial Trust Library, putting up a photograph of Shaheed Udham Singh in the gallery of the Lok Sabha and inclusion of the life history of the hero in the textbooks of schools and colleges across India.

A large number of executive committee members of various pensioners' associations, trustees of the Udham Singh Trust, members of the Kamboj Welfare Society, the Tarksheel Society, the Nau Jawan Sabha, the Bhai Ghanaiyya Society, scholars, academicians and other dignitaries participated in the function.

Others who spoke on the occasion included Mr Baldev Singh, chairman, Shaheed Udham Singh Trust, Mohali, Mr Jaswant Jeerakh, Mr Mukhtiar Singh Gill and Prof. Hazara Singh.



Chhabra set to join SAD
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
After flirting with the Congress for four-and-a-half years, Mr KL Chhabra, councillor from Ward 43, has decided to join Shiromani Akali Dal once again. He would formally be inducted into SAD tomorrow in presence of the party president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

Mr Chhabra had won the election to the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation as an independent candidate in 2002 from Ward 43. He had even made a bid for the post of the Mayor and had lost by a narrow margin to Mr Nahar Singh Gill of the Congress. However, he later aligned himself with the Congress.

Basically a coloniser and real estate dealer, Mr Chhabra also enjoyed good relationship with Mr Milkiat Singh Birmi, a former Chief Parliamentary Secretary all these years. He is believed to have made up his mind to leave the Congress ever since Mr Birmi was removed from the post of the CPS.



Dug-up road awaits recarpeting
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
Commuters on Humbran Road are having a tough time for the past many days as a part of the road dug up for laying sewer has not been recarpeted so far.

The road was dug many days ago. Pipes were laid but the road was left unrepaired.

Residents said the dug-up road was causing inconvenience to residents, especially at night when they could not anticipate the ditches. They added that they had requested the authorities concerned a number of times, but to no avail.

“The other day a school student cycling on the road met with an accident after falling into the trench. Some shopkeepers saw him and pulled him out,” said Mr Jang Singh, a resident.

He added that many pedestrians were facing problems at night due to absence of streetlights. “Anybody can fall in it anytime. If it rains it will be a bigger problem,” he added.



Rally marks Akshay Urja Divas
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, August 19
Hundreds of students from various schools took out a rally to celebrate Rajiv Gandhi Akshay Urja Divas to create awareness among people regarding the use of non-conventional energy sources.

A function was organised by the Ministry of Non-Energy Resources as a part of a nationwide campaign to encourage people to tap other sources of energy.

Deputy Commissioner Ashok Kumar Gupta appealed to the people for the maximum use of the non- conventional energy in their houses and business establishments. He also said the use of non-conventional resources meant saving on power costs.

The objective of the event is to remember the late Prime Minister who wanted that the nation should take up non-conventional energy in a big way. He also started several schemes during his tenure which had been successful. Rajiv Gandhi was also remembered for his contributions to the field of science and technology.

Mr Priyank Bharti, Additional Deputy Commissioner, said Ludhiana had already started new projects in the field of non-conventional energy sources like hydro- electrical, biomass and solar photovoltaic thermal technology.

Mr Anupam Nanda, District Manager, PEDA, also explained about the 1 MW power generation which was running successfully in the Haibowal dairy complex. Similarly, more than 10 MW hydro- electrical stations had been installed and were generating power on the Bathinda and Abohar canals.

New project for generating 20 MW of electricity had also been identified for power generation in Ludhiana, he said.

Samrala: ‘Akshay Urja Divas’ was celebrated here at the Senior Secondary School for Boys to mark the birth anniversary of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

In this regard, a tehsil-level function was organised in which poster-making, model-making and declamation contests were held.

The results are: Poster-making

Rupinder Kaur of GSSS Ghungrali Sikhan (First ) Rimpedip Kaur of GSSS, Kuba (second) and Gurjinder Singh of GSSS, Samrala, (third).

Declamation contest

Navjot Kaur of GSSS-Girls (first), Sandeep Kaur of GSSS, Samrala, (second) and Satnam Singh of GHS, Sihala, (third).


Amandeep Singh of GSSS, Samrala, (first), Sangita Rani and Manpritkaur, GSSS, Machhiwara, (second) Punit Kumar, Gurjit Singh and Gurjit Singh of GSSS, Samrala, got third position.

In each event, the students got Rs 1250, Rs 750, Rs 500 respectively for the first, second and third position.

The prize distribution function was presided over by Tehsildar, Samrala, Ms Savita, and Principal Sawarn Singh. Senior lecturers Rajinder Kaur and Yadwinder Singh were also present on the occasion.

A rally was taken out in the city under the supervision of Mr Harinderpal Singh Grewal and Jawahar Singh Grewal.

Dr Gulzar Mohd Gorig conducted the stage and thanked the distinguished guest.

Sahnewal: Declamation, Painting and Model-display contests were organised at the tehsil-level to mark the ‘Akshay urja Diwas’ at the Government Senior Secondary School, Kaddon, on Thursday.

Hardeep Kaur of the Govt Senior Secondary School, Payal, was declared first in the declamation contest

Similarly, Rajvir Singh of the Saraswati Model Senior Secondary School and Sandeep Kaur of the Govt High School, Rampur, was placed on the second and the third positions, respectively.

Kamaljit Singh of Govt Senior Secondary School, Kaddon, came first in the painting competition. Similarly, Sandup Singh of Govt Senior Secondary School, Kaddon, and Nehal Goel of Saraswati Model Senior Secondary School stood second and third respectively.

Amarinder Singh of Saraswati school came first in Model Dispaly competition.

Gurdeep Singh of Senior Secondary School, Kaddon,and Hakam Singh of Senior Secondary School, Shahpur, were declared second and third, respectively.

The winners were awarded cash prizes worth Rs 1250, Rs 700 and Rs 500 according to their respective first, second and third positions. Mr Tejinder Singh Dhaliwal, SDM, Payal, presided over the function

The Rajiv Gandhi Akshay Urja Diwas especially focuses on the conservation of energy and the utilisation of renowable sources of energy.

Mr Harbhajan Ram principal of the school extended the vote of thanks . Mr Major Singh Conducted the stage.



Police team returns empty-handed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
A team of Patiala police has return empty-handed without arresting a number of accused persons in a case of attempt to snatching, kidnapping and beating a city residents allegedly after a senior officials of the Punjab Police stopped them from arresting the accused.

Harassed victim Manmohan Singh today alleged that the accused identified as Manav and Kala were booked by the Patiala police under sections 382, 364, 511, 323, 341. 142 and 149 of the IPC for beating his son and trying to kidnap him.

He said the accused were not arrested as a Ludhiana-based police official and a senior rank police official was helping them.

According to the FIR, the victim has alleged that his son runs a tour and travel company and had gone with a group of teachers of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and their families to Nainital, Mussorie and Haridwar.

When they were travelling in five Innova cars and an Indica car, they had some argument with the accused near Haridwar. The accused allegedly forcibly stopped his son and two passengers near Rajpura and beat him up. They tried to attempt to kidnap him also.

The victim has urged the DGP Punjab to look into the matter and restrain the police officials who were helping the accused.



VLCC offers new services
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 19
The VLCC beauty zone announced its new package of services, including face life, cream, head massage, make-up, wax bar and wart removal for its consumers here today.

Dr Shobha Sehgal, Chief Technical Officer, VLCC Healthcare, said in about 45 minutes, one could get an absolute glowing and ravishing look.

Besides, it would offer nail extension, nail art, manicure, pedicure, skin jewellery, body art, etc.



Latest interiors attract consumers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
Innovations in home décor and interiors seemed to attract city residents and also the business community to the ongoing show on interior design and furnishings, “Inside Outside” here.

“Finding the latest products like home-showers, taps, floorings, ceilings and shades all under one roof, it gives an opportunity to compare and select whatever suits one,” said designer Mr Vinay Goel.

During the show, latest products like hard glass, strength of which is comparable to plywood and marble, German windows and doors by Supreme, Italian wall coatings and showers attracted people. Besides, furniture, paintings, stylish blinds and utility items for home and furnishings too captured their attention.

“Though our national launch is scheduled later this year, we decided to launch our product for the Punjab market in this show,” said Mr Vivek Kochhar, director of Vimal Exports , a company which launched showers that have an inbuilt temperature control mechanism.

Apart from those making their homes and ones looking for forging business ties, students also visited the show. As many as 70 students of architecture from the RIMT institute, Gobindgarh, visited the show today.

Mr Anup Sachdeva, organiser, said: “The show has been receiving quite an encouraging response in Ludhiana. People from various places like Jalandhar, Amritsar, etc have visited the show and we are expecting the turnout to grow in the coming years.”



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