Saturday, July 29, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


9000 undertrials in Punjab jails
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 28 — There are around 9000 undertrials and a mere 3200 convicts lodged in the different jails of Punjab. The total capacity of the 16 jails in the state is, however, a mere 9600.

This was revealed by Mr K.L.Sharma, Inspector General of Police, Jails, while talking to media persons after inaugurating a blood donation camp for the staff of the Ludhiana Central Jail and Bostral Jail here today. Later, he also presided over a seminar on “Training and Skill Development Programme For Women Inmates of Women Jail.” This seminar was organised by the Vocational Rehabilitation Training Centre through Punjab State Social Welfare Advisory Board.

While admitting that the seven Central Jails, four district jails, two open agricultural jails, and one each Bostral jail, female jail and maximum security jails were overcrowded, he said that he was making maximum efforts for the benefit of the convicts as well as undertrials. He said that the jails in Punjab were one of the best and all possible facilities were being provided to them.

When asked about the alleged repeated smuggling of liquor, cigarettes, cellphones and other VIP facilities being allowed to a few influential undertrials and convicts in the different jails with the collusion of certain jail officials, Mr K.L. Sharma denied this.

Mr Sharma informed that the government had initiated several new vocational courses mainly for the benefit of the convicts. “We have started vocational training in manufacturing of footballs in the Jalandhar Central Jail, and computer education and a printing press has been started in the Patiala Central Jail. The convicts (undertrials in case they volunteers) are taught the skills and later a cottage industry is started in the jails,” he said.

The IGP also said that the durri weaving, and furniture industry in different jails was also doing well as was the literacy campaign in jails. He also said that the government had started a new programme by appointing a non-official visitor for different jails for a period of two years each for better administration. These people are being appointed from amongst the general public.

In answer to a question about the Faridkot jail complex being declared unsafe on account of it being very old, the IG, Prisons, informed that while ninetyfour convicts of the Faridkot jail had been shifted to the Ludhiana jail, the remaining undertrials had been sent to the Ferozepur jail as it would be easier to transport them to Faridkot for their case hearings.


Resident thwarts robbery 
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 28 — After a daring robbery in Humayunpura village on the night of July 26, the Kaale Kachchewale gang made another unsuccessful attempt to rob a house in the Ashok Vihar locality in the wee hours of the morning today.

Their attempt was, however, thwarted by an alert resident of the locality, Rajinder Singh. However, before the five miscreants left, they pelted stones at Rajinder Singh and injured him.

According to Rajinder Singh, a farm hand in the farm house of Mr Pramod Jain, he got up at around 4 am to let the cattle off for grazing. It was then that he saw five people wearing only black underpants standing in front of a house situated right across the road.

Informs Mr Rajinder Singh, “When I saw the five men standing close to the wall, I got suspicious and called out aloud to them. They were wearing a piece of cloth around their waist and had tied sharp stones in it, which one of the robbers began pelting at me. In the meantime, I raised an alarm and while the other farm hands in the farm got up and came forward, all the miscreants quickly ran away”.

Later, the police was informed and they came to the spot for inspection. The Additional SHO of Haibowal Police Station, Mr Darshan Singh said, they would increase the patrolling in the area.

Another robbery conducted at Barewal village at around 2.30 am today is also being attributed to the Kaale Kachchewale gang. It is learnt that a few robbers struck at the house of Mr Nirmal Singh and decamped with jewellery worth a few thousand after ransacking the entire house.

It is learnt that Mr Nirmal Singh heard a few noises around 2.30 am, and also took out his pistol to go out and check, but his daughter stopped him. After an hour, they heard another noise and this time when he got out of the room with his son, he found that the entire place had been ransacked and jewellery kept in an almirah missing.

The robbers had broken into the house by prying open the iron grills and had also placed flower pots outside the doors of the rooms where the family members were sleeping so that anyone coming out of the room would trip over these and alert the gang members.


Martyr's widow waits for promised land
From Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 28 — The family of Naik Paramjit Singh, who sacrificed his life in Operation Rakshak, is still to get a compensatory plot as promised by the state government.

Although a letter (EO-PUDA-99/8402) in this regard was issued by the district unit of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority to Ms Kamaljit Kaur, widow of the martyr, in October past year, the family did not get the plot in spite of several reminders even by the District Sainik Welfare Office here.

The widow, Ms Kamaljit Kaur, along with her three children and in-laws, was honoured on Wednesday in Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum here. Though moved by the gesture, she was in tears while narrating the story of her long wait for the promised plot. She even conveyed her grievance to the civil and the Army authorities present on the occasion.

Talking to this correspondent, the widow said her husband had achieved martyrdom on January 12, 1999, at a border post in Jammu and Kashmir. The state government had subsequently announced compensation in the form of cash or a plot of land for the family, apart from the other benefits given by the Army. She opted for the plot and after some struggle, the state government, through the local unit of PUDA, allotted her a 200 sq yard plot in Dugri Road Urban Estate here.

She said even though 10 months had passed since the orders, she was still to get the possession of the plot. She said PUDA authorities had told her that she had not produced the original letter of allotment issued to her. However, even when she produced a photocopy of the original letter accrued by her from the Sainik Welfare Board head office in Chandigarh, she was not given the possession of the plot.

Wing Commander M.S. Randhawa (retd), Deputy Director of the Sainik Welfare Board here, said his office had also sent several reminders to PUDA, but without the desired result. He said he had written a letter on April 6 to some local officials of PUDA, in which, he had mentioned that the widow had not received the original letter of allotment and had procured it from the board's head office in Chandigarh.

The letter also said the plot should be given immediately on the basis of the photocopy of the original letter, but there was no response from PUDA. Efforts to contact PUDA officials were in vain as they were always busy.


India's first website on Bhagat Singh
From A.S.Prashar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 28 — India's first website on Shaheed-e-Azam Sardar Bhagat Singh has become operational putting rare and invaluable information about revolutionary's life, ideas and writings just a mouse click away.

The site which has been named Web Punjab and contains original documents of Indian freedom movement, has been prepared by the Sardar Bhagat Singh Research Committee set up way back in 1967 at Khatkar Kalan, the birth place of the martyr, to commemorate the memory of Sardar Bhagat Singh. The site has been painstakingly prepared by Prof Jagmohan Singh, Professor of Computer Sciences and Electrical Engineering at Punjab Agricultural University, who is a nephew of Sardar Bhagat Singh.

Prof Jagmohan Singh told TNS here today that as many as 101 articles, letters and photographs of the martyr along with those of his family and compatriots, Sukhdev and Rajguru, had put on the site. Two more articles written by Sardar Bhagat Singh had discovered in a language newspaper of the time, Matwale, which are being added to the site.

"This is the only site of its type on Sardar Bhagat Singh. Although several attempts have been made to develop sites on Swaraj Movement but this is the only one of its type." claims Prof Jagmohan Singh.

Sardar Bhagat Singh died early but he was prolific writer. His set out his philosophy on life, the country's freedom struggle, Mahatma Gandhi, the Ghaddar Party and others in a series of articles he published in the newspapers and the personal letters he wrote to his friends and relatives. Also available on the website is an article, which is a sort of a critique, offering a vivid insight into the mind of Sardar Bhagat Singh. His assessment of Mahatma Gandhi was that here was an individual who had been able to take the idea of self-rule to peasants throughout the country.

The site has been divided into two parts. The first contains his letters and articles while, the second part deals with the books which deeply influenced him. Sardar Bhagat Singh has been interpreted in a different manner by different people, says Prof Jagmohan Singh.

Hence, the need for an authentic website offering a peep into the original documents relating to Sardar Bhagat Singh.Back


Forced to live in filth and stench
From Kuldip Bhatia

LUDHIANA, July 28 — Residents and shopkeepers on the Harnam Singh Makkar road, near the main commercial centre of Campa Cola Chowk, are destined to live with the filth and stench caused by overflowing sewage for quite some time now.Thanks to the indifference and apathy of the civic authorities.

It sounds unbelievable, but the president of the Ludhiana Steel Traders Association, Mr Tejinder Singh Dang, and many other shopkeepers in the locality allege that the main sewerage in the area is blocked for nearly two years . As a result, the main road and lanes in the area remain flooded with stinking water, comprising mostly acidic and hazardous chemical effluent, and at times the overflowing water also enters the shops and other commercial establishments, causing immense damage.

The inundated roads and streets make movement of traffic difficult and adversely affect business activities. Many residents of the area complained that the perennial overflow of sewage had led to contamination of drinking water and outbreak of epidemics might only be a matter of time.

"We have been endlessly taking up the matter with MC officials, both through personal visits and written complaints, but so far these have failed to move the authorities inaction," rue the members of the association. Numerous officials, right from the XEN to the JE of the MC, have visited the site and promised action, which is yet to materialise.

Agitated over the total inaction on the part of the civic body, they now intend to adopt other means to stir the MC machinery in action." We shall now resort to staging dharnas and even block traffic on the main road, if the problem is not rectified immediately, as the rainy season is on and the accumulated rain water would further add to woes of the people," Mr Dang cautioned.


A body of blood donors
From Shivani Bhakoo

LUDHIANA, July 28 — Even in the materialistic world of today, there is no dearth of persons like Mr Mast Ram Joshi, who are selflessly devoted to the poor and the needy.

Mr Joshi, who is a trader in Khanna has donated blood in the various districts of Punjab at least 49 times. When asked how this noble idea struck him, he replied,” I was to be operated at the CMC hospital and required blood but unfortunately there was no one to help me. However with God’s grace, I was successfully operated upon without needing blood. The whole incident put me thinking and I decided to do my bit by donating blood”.

He has been serving humanity since 1979. His registered society, the Blood Donor Association, Khanna, has 550 active members. Mast Ram said,”. Initially, we were 20 family members and we used to donate blood to the needy, but with the help of Master Sham Sunder, the president of the association, Mr Gill, SDM Khanna, Mr Vijay Diamond and Mr Ashok Tiwari, our membership has increased to include 550 persons”.

The association has 27 female members also. All blood groups are available with their association. They donate blood to the needy throughout Punjab, including the Christian Medical college and Hospital, Dayanand Medical College, PGI, Chandigarh, Civil Hospital, Khanna, Escorts, Delhi, and Oswal and Kakkar hospitals, Amritsar. Mr Joshi said that,” Our association includes school and college students, businessmen and servicemen. Whereever there is a requirement for blood in Punjab, the members go and donate blood. We do not take money from anyone”.

Even a major surgery did not discourage him from helping the needy. Mr Joshi’s bypass surgery was performed at the Sigma Hospital in March this year. After that too, he donated blood. When asked about his family’s reaction, he replied,” My wife and my kids have been a pillar of strength to me, throughout rather, they encouraged me. Dr Murtaza Chishti of Sigma Hospital performed the surgery. Rs two lakh was provided voluntarily by the people of Khanna, Nawanshahr, Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana”.

Mr Joshi has three children. His son is in the fifth standard and his two daughters are studying in the ninth and tenth standard respectively.

Mr Joshi gives a ray of hope to the needy patients by saying,” We are always there to help. Any body who is in need of blood can contact our association. I am really thankful to Master Sham Sunder ji who himself has donated blood 33 times, for his cooperation.

Mr Joshi wants to be of some help after his death as well. he has donated his body to the CMC Hospital for use of any organ for any needy patient.



Enhanced relief issue contentious
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 28 — Mr Joginder Kumar, Mr O.P. Jindal, Mr Vinod Dhall, Mr Rajan Gupta and Mr Manmohan Singh Ubhi, President, Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India, President and General Secretary, Focal Point association, President, Focal Point Phase -IV-A Association and Secretary, the Ludhiana Electroplaters Association, respectively in a joint press statement while reacting to the concessions announced by the PSIEC,extending the date for payment to August 10 for the defaulter allottees alleged that the Board of Directors of the PSIEC had not considered the issue of enhanced compensation of Phase-V in the right perspective.

The leaders said that while developing Industrial Focal Points, the government acquires land and it is then developed by the PSIEC, it being a nodal agency. While 60 per cent of the area is developed around 40 per cent of the area is carved out for the development of roads, sewerage, parks and area under HT wire. The total cost of the land is recovered from the allottees of the 60 per cent developed areas, including their own development cost.

Mr. Joginder Kumar pointed out that the honourable Punjab and Haryana High Court had awarded a sum of Rs 2.13 crore in 1993 as enhanced compensation to the farmers of Phase -V. PSIEC had demanded from the allottees of Phase-V, Focal Point, Ludhiana Rs 22 per sq. yard as part of the enhanced compensation. The matter had been taken up from time to time with the Managing Directors of the PSIEC for that the amount to be recovered by the sale of encroached plots and vacant plots, parks and under HT wire areas in Phase-V. It was also decided that if the full amount is not recovered, the balance amount may be recovered from the allottees proportionately.

Mr Joginder Kumar said that since the PSIEC has sold about 1 lakh sq. yard of Phase-V land during 1994-95, out of 40 per cent of land at Rs 350 per sq. yard and has recovered more than Rs. 2.13 crore paid by PSIEC as enhanced compensation. He alleged that the corporation has no moral right to recover the amount from the allottees of Phase-V as compensation.

The leaders strongly urged upon the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to convene a meeting with the representatives of industry to sort out the contentious issue which has been an irritant to the allottees for long.



Jassowal’s biography released
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 28 — The much-awaited book on the life and achievements of Mr Jagdev Singh Jassowal, the cultural czar of Punjab, was released here today by Dr L.S. Chawla at a function held in Punjabi Bhavan. Harbhajan Mann was also present on the occasion.

The book, which has been penned by Ninder Ghugianvi, is the 12th by the author. He has to his credit books on Lal Chand Yamla and Hans Raj Hans.

The book is titled, Jagdev Singh Jassowal, Life and Personality. The Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana, who was to release the book, could not attend the function because of the visit of Mr Parkash Singh Badal to the town.

The function was organised by the Professor Mohan Singh Foundation. Noted Pakistani poet Ashraf Gill was also honoured by the foundation and was presented a Siropa by Mr Pargat Singh Grewal, President of the foundation.

Meanwhile, in a chat with the Ludhiana Tribune, here today, Mann said, Punjab music cannot escape the influence of western music Mann recalled his first meeting with Mr Jassowal in Canada eight years ago and felt indebted to him for persuading him to come to India.


Refreshing rains

Come Monsoons, come Sawan. What a change of mood and to the mind frame it brings! The whole atmosphere changes; from the dry sultry weather, it becomes refreshingly pleasant. Rain! There is magic in the very name. It rains, it pours, it drizzles. There are showers of rain. There is rainbow in the sky much to everyone’s delight.

Rain kindles romance in the heart. Even the animals are affected by the rain drops, like peacocks.To see a peacock dance in its glory, is one of the prettiest sights in the world.

The poets write romantic poems describing the unfulfilled desire of the separated lovers. Kalidas, the great Sanskrit writer, wrote a whole epic titled ‘Meghdoot’ and poured out his heart not through a courier service, but through ‘clouds’ and hence the name ‘Meghdoot’. Megh means ‘clouds’ and ‘doot’ means messenger. Only a romantic heart motivated by the dark clouds of the monsoon could have written such an epic.

Akbar the great also loved rains. If you happen to visit Fatehpur Sikri, the red sand stone capital of Akbar, the guide will point at two beautiful structures with water troughs around it called Sawan Mahal and Bhado Mahal. Akbar, with his wives, and courtiers would sit in the ‘mahals’ and watch the rain fall. Tansen would sing ‘Megh Malhar’ in a very melodious voice.

Rain drops revive the magic in one’s heart. How freely, happily and with gay abandon, Shuba Mudgil sings: Ab ke sawan aise barse, whereas Mika sings with passion, ‘Sawan mein lag gayi aag.’ In the film, Milan, Nutan sings Sawan ka mahina pawan kare shor.

Indian films are also deeply inspired by rains. A number of films have been titled on rains, like, Barsat, and Barsaat ki Raat.

Madhubala meets Bharat Bhushan in ‘Barsaat ki Raat’ in which a wet, sexy Madhubala makes a deep impact on Bharat Bhushan and he sings soulfully, Zindgi bhar nahi bhoolegi, yeh barsaat ki raat. There are countless scenes filmed on the heroes and heroines drenched in rain, a scene from Mr India, which has Sri Devi dancing all wet and looking enticing in the song Kate nahin kat te yeh din yeh raat.

What joy rain brings to the children? Nothing is so pleasurable as to get wet in the rain and go purposely through the puddles of water or splashing water, or to sail paper boats. The ‘poor kids’ have a whale of time swimming in the muddy canals.

People in the West, too, get affected by the rain though they don’t have monsoons. There was a famous song ‘Singing in the Rain’ and another crooned by Lobo, ‘Rain, rain rainbow, coming alive’ can stir the chords of every romantic heart, and our desi Anu Kapoor also bursts out in a romantic manner, ‘It’s raining, it’s raining.’

After getting wet in the rain, one feels exhilirated and feels revived after the sweat and grime of hot summers. After a good drenching in the rain, nothing is more delicious and satisfying than to eat yummy pakoras and drink a hot glass of tea. It is simply a rememberable and pleasurable experience.

Another great pleasure of rain is the bounty of nature in the form of juicy fruits that it sends to mankind. The delicious mangoes, apricots, jamuns tickle the palate.

In India there is no other season known better for romance than ‘rainy season’.

‘Rain-Rain, do not go away’

Please come soon and do not keep us waiting till another monsoon.


‘Kids are becoming depressed’
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 28 — Dr Rajeev Gupta, a consultant psychiatrist, gave a lecture to the teaching staff of the GRD Academy on “stressed out children yesterday”. He told that various psychological and behavioural problems were increasing among school-going children. He blamed the excessive expectations of parents and difficult and monotonous courses which were making students lose interest in studies. The children were being driven to depression, anxiety, emotional outbursts, indiscipline and drug abuse.

According to Dr Gupta, unless teaching is made a lucrative career, teachers will lose motivation to teach in schools and private tuitions will become an alternative institution for imparting education.

Dr Gupta stressed that Indian education laid a premium on memorising only and did not encourage creative thinking and innovation, which was why India had one of the largest pools of scientists and engineers but had hardly any invention to its credit.


Fire in power station
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 28 — A big fire broke out yesterday noon in the Jamalpur power station here that engulfed 5 transformers.

According to fire brigade sources, it took four hours to control the fire. The cause of the fire has not been ascertained so far.


ASI arrested, flees
Tribune News Service.

LUDHIANA, July 28 — An Assistant Sub Inspector of Police, posted at Ludhiana, who was caught red handed by a flying squad of the Vigilance Bureau, Chandigarh, while accepting a bribe last night, ran away from police custody.

It is learnt that he had been taken and kept in a police station at Samrala, while on the way to Chandigarh. He later escaped from the police station.

According to the information available, ASI Jarnail Singh, In charge of Mirado Police Post, was caught while accepting a bribe of Rs 5000 late last evening from Mr Amarjeet Singh.

It is learnt that the said police officer had caught Amarjeet Singh driving in an ineberated condition a few days ago and was demanding Rs 5000 as bribe to let him off the hook.


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