Sunday, August 20, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


PPCC gearing up for mid-term poll
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 19 — The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee appears to be all set to face the mid-term assembly elections in the state and despite repeated assertions by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to the contrary, is carrying out hectic political activities to finalise its poll manifesto. These indications were given by PPCC president Captain Amarinder Singh, who was in the city to interact with members of trade and industry, intellectuals and professionals over the policies and programmes of the party.

Talking to media persons in circuit house here today, he reiterated that the Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal, who also headed the ruling SAD(B), had no choice but to go for mid-term poll in the state and that, too, latest by February 2000, before the union and the state budgets were presented. Elaborating further, he explained that the Chief Minister had made a commitment, both with the Planning Commission and the World Bank to withdraw free power facility to the farm sector, which was now a matter of time.

Another major reason for the ruling Akali Dal having to opt for a mid-term election, according to the PPCC chief, was the refusal of the Union Government to procure food grain from next year onwards. Massive stocks worth Rs 30,000 crores were lying with the Union Government and the central procurement agencies and there was no more storage space available, nor was the government willing to make available needed funds for this purpose.

Commenting on the economic scenario in the state, Captain Amarinder Singh observed that the situation was dismal, to say the least. The financial burden of debts on Punjab had shot to a staggering Rs 36,000 crore, more that 5000 industrial units had reportedly closed down, land holdings were diminishing, the cost of education, both in schools and colleges, had gone up, the power situation was bleak and the rural indebtedness had reached new heights under the regime of the SAD(B), which claimed to be a champion of peasantry.

The PPCC president further alleged that during the last three years, the cost of civic amenities had increased by an unbelievable 330 per cent, whereas almost 60 per cent of the towns in the state, still had no sewerage facilities while 40 per cent were yet to get the piped water. The most disturbing factor, he added, was the failure of the government to come to terms with the rapid process of urbanisation and increasing influx of rural population to the nearby towns.

Asked on faction-fighting, both in the PPCC and the Punjab Youth Congress, he made it clear that political activities by various senior party leaders in their respective constituencies did not amount to factionalism. But at the same time, he minced no words to convey the message to the dissidents that all conferences and conventions would be held under the banner of the PPCC and any one indulging in anti-party activity or acts of indiscipline, which included challenging the authority of district or state president or levelling charges against elected MPs or MLAs, will not be spared.

The PPCC president refuted the charge of the SAD(B) that the congress had played a double role on the Udham Singh Nagar issue. “We have been supporting the agitation of the people of US Nagar, we opposed the bill on Uttaranchal Pradesh when it was introduced in parliament and the congress MPs from Punjab staged a walkout and did not vote in favour of the bill.”

He said that it was the ruling SAD(B), and in particular the chief minister Mr Badal who had stabbed the people of US Nagar in the back. Being a member of the three-member committee, set up by the Centre to assess the situation and to know the opinion of the local population, Mr Badal failed to take any steps to safeguard the interests of the people of US Nagar.Back


Rs 2 crore sanctioned for Jagraon development
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 19 — The Centre Government has cleared a special development project of Rs 2 crore for Jagraon town in this district. The project would provide sewerage facilities, repair of roads and construction of a shopping complex in the town.

This was disclosed by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S S Sandhu, while addressing a meeting of citizens at Jagraon last evening. According to a press note issued here today the DC assured that necessary steps would be taken by the administration to clear encroachments in the town.

Mr. S. K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, expressed the need of a cordial relationship between Bench and Bar, so that the litigants could be provided a speedy justice in courts.

Earlier, addressing a meeting of the Bar Council at Jagraon, about 40 kms from here, he called upon the lawyers to extend their full cooperation to the Courts for early clearance of the pending cases.

He also appealed to the lawyers and law officers to inform the poor litigants about the free legal service arrangements made by the Legal Service Authority at district and sub-division level, so that the poor people could avail maximum benefits of the scheme.

He further said that the Bench and lawyers should also help in getting the maximum number of cases settled in Lok Adalats, organised from time to time at district and sub-division level, with mutual understanding of the parties.

Referring to the demands of the Bar Association, he assured that toilets and parking facilities would be provided in Jagraon court complex at the earliest.

Addressing the meeting, Mr Jaskaran Singh, SSP, Jagraon, said that it was the duty of both administration and lawyers to serve the people with full dedication and to guide the illiterate litigants properly . He assured that, as demanded by the Bar Association, required security would be provided in the court complex.

Mr Jaspal Mittal, SDM, Jagraon, and Mr Santokh Singh, President, Bar Association, also addressed the meeting.

Mr Bhag Singh Malha, MLA and Chairman PUNSUP, while welcoming the Deputy Commissioner on his first meeting with the citizens of Jagraon, demanded early implementation of the sewerage project sanctioned by the government and the construction of a bridge on the railway crossing which was a major traffic bottleneck of the city.

Mr Kewal Singh Badal, Vice- President of SGPC, Mr Harsurinder Singh Gill, member SGPC, Mr Darshan Singh Brar, ex- minister, Mr Baldev Krishan Dhir, President Municipal Council, and Mr Vijay Jhanji, President of the Aahrtia Association, also addressed the meeting and apprised the Deputy Commissioner about the various problems of the town.Back


Fake licence racket busted: 2 arrested
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 19 — The police today claimed to have busted a fake licence racket operating in the state with the arrest of two persons — Rakesh Kumar, alias Bobby, and Rakesh Bansal. The two accused are also alleged to have stolen all stationery required for the purpose from the various District Transport offices.

Mr Gurkirpal Singh, Superintendent Of Police (Detective), while addressing a press conference here today said that they had recovered 12 fake registration copies, nine fake licences, a few stamps, the licence forms, pollution control forms and route permits. He said that the accused were operating in Faridkot, Ferozepore, Amritsar and Jalandhar. He also said that the police was ascertaining the involvement of any employee of the DTO offices in this racket.

The SP (Detective) said that the accused were arrested from the premises of the Old District Courts during a special raid done by the CIA In-charge, SI Gurpreet Singh. It is alleged that the two accused along with Rakesh Kumar, alias Lambu, and another Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Janak Puri, were working together and were befooling people by taking money from them and then supplying them with fake licences, certificates, challan forms, RCs etc. It was also informed that they were charging between Rs 700 to Rs 1000 for making RCs and between Rs 500 to Rs 700 for making a licence.

Meanwhile, it is also learnt that one of the accused, Rakesh Bansal, had earlier been booked in the case of making fake licences in the focal point police station a few weeks ago along with Rakesh Kumar of Janakpuri. While the latter had been arrested from Daba Road, the former had succeeded in making good his escape.

A case under Sections 420, 465, 467 and 471 of the IPC has been registered against the accused.Back


Protesters burn Hizb effigy
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 19 — Four local organisations staged a demonstration in the Ghaas Mandi here on Friday against Pakistan for its role in supporting terrorist activities in India. Shouting slogans, the angry demonstrators burnt an effigy of militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen and also threatened to disrupt the bus and train services between the two countries if the NDA government did not stop the services immediately.

Activists of the organisations namely —The Hindu Shiv Sena Punjab, Sarv Dharam Shaktivan, Chaura Bazaar Shopkeepers Association and Mandir Committee took part in the demonstration. They also blocked traffic in the busy and narrow market for few hours .

Addressing the demonstration, representatives of these organisations condemned Pakistan for its continuous support to militancy in India, especially in Jammu and Kashmir. They also criticised the NDA government for continuing the bus and train diplomacy with Pakistan in spite of the fact that it was triggering violence in our country.

The main speakers were Mr Neeraj Verma, Mr Ashok Thapar , Mr Pawan Garg and Mr Adesh Bhatia. The speakers also dared Pakistan for an open combat with India if it wants to see our real might. They termed it as an act of pure cowardice on the part of Pakistan to continue the proxy war instead of coming out in the open.

Mr Neeraj Verma later talking to reporters said the demonstration was the first in the proposed series of such agitation against Pakistan and the inability of the Indian government and the security forces in curbing terrorism. He urged the central government to stop the bus and train service to Pakistan and threatened to disrupt it.


Mentally challenged boy for national trials
By Asha Ahuja

LUDHIANA, Aug 19 — Kulwinder Singh is 18. He is mentally challenged with an intelligence quotient (IQ) almost half of a normal person. Yet, this student of Nirdosh, a school for mentally challenged, will participate in the national floor hockey camp to be held at Bangalore from August 21 to 30.

Floor hockey is different from normal hockey in that it is played with a straight stick which does not have a bend at its end. Kulwinder was selected for the camp at trials held at Patiala in which 85 players participated. He was among the five players short-listed at the camp. At Bangalore he will face competition from about 50 players. If he succeeds, he will be in the team that will go to Alaska for the Olympics for the disabled. His coach, Mr Surat Singh, thinks Kulwinder has a good chance of success. He will bring laurels to the school, feels everyone at Nirdosh.

Kulwinder was born a normal child with a normal IQ. When he was eight, he fell from the roof and injured his head. The external injury healed, but the brain inside was damaged. Then he lost his mother and his father was taken ill.

Kulwinder did not know that he had entered a new, different world. He was sent to a hostel for mentally challenged children in Morinda and then for some time to Bhaini Sahib Gurdwara which runs a school for such children. Now he is in Ludhiana, getting vocational training at Nirdosh, a school, run by Inner Wheel. Mr Surat Singh, Principal of Nirdosh, says, “Kulwinder is a well-behaved student. He does not create any problems.” His elder brother, Harinder Singh, said, “He is not at all fussy about food. He eats whatever we give him. He listens to music and plays with my baby.” He started playing floor hockey a few months ago.

Mr Surat Singh says Kulwinder can sign his name. But the main thing is to make him financially independent. For this, he is being given training in candle-making and craft work.


Sikh League for a confederal India
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 19 — The Sikh League has suggested to the Constitutional Review Commission that the nation should be restructured on confederal lines so that its people could feel the glow of freedom in practice, because the stark choice for India was between confederal polity and disintegration. “It now seems difficult to keep India orderly and prosperous in a usurped unitary polity that we have today.”

Addressing a news conference here today, the Sikh League secretary general, Mr D.S.Gill, also urged upon the Akali Dal leadership to converge upon their political goal as enshrined in the Anandpur Sahib resolution and the Amritsar declaration, as both demanded a ‘sikh state’ for Punjab within India.

“This is necessary since the people of Punjab have been misled by certain politicians for attaining political power in the state, utterly ignoring the interests of Punjab and the Sikhs, in the past,” observed a Sikh League memorandum sent to the chairman of the Constitution Review Commission Mr Justice M.N.Venkatachaliah. On the other hand, continued the memo, the Akali leadership, including Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, had presented a memorandum to the visiting UN Secretary General, Mr Boutros Boutros Ghali, in 1992 in New Delhi, seeking UN intervention for a plebiscite among Sikhs on the issue of a Sikh state in Punjab.

Mr Gill asserted that there were no major differences between the two historic Akali Dal resolutions (Anandpur Sahib and Amritsar), as both demanded an autonomous Sikh state within the Indian Union. The highest degree of federalism in any polity (like the USA and as enshrined in the Anandpur Sahib resolution), amounted to a confederal set up envisaged in the Amritsar declaration.

While welcoming the commission’s home-work exercise, the Sikh league believed that the Indian political leaders, at this juncture, were not playing with the sentiments of the people but were merely preparing their manifesto for the next elections. “However, we have decided to submit our view point before the commission, trusting that it would listen to the voice of sanity and reason and give its conclusion correspondingly,” he added.

The Sikh League secretary general explained that the memorandum submitted to the commission was mainly based on a paper of the International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO), the promoter of the sikh league, entitled — ‘Anandpur Sahib resolution and Amritsar declaration demand sikh state within India’ that was read at a seminar at Jalandhar in 1997, presided over by Justice Kuldip Singh (retd.), and organised jointly by SAD (panthic) and SAD (democratic).

Mr. Gill further said that the Sikh League had resolved to submit this paper as a base document annexed with copies of the Anandpur Sahib resolution, and the IHRO’s research work as a backgrounder.


Club structures demolished
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 19 — Staff of the building branch of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation raided the Lakshmi Ladies Club and demolished several structures built in violation of building bylaws.

Dr S.S. Sandhu, Municipal Commissioner of Ludhiana, told TNS here that while carrying out the illegal construction work at the Lakshmi Ladies Club premises, workers had dug up telephone lines, disconnecting hundreds of telephones in the locality. The “dead” telephones included those installed at the residence of the Municipal Commissioner in Rakh Bagh.

Some office-bearers of the club later contacted the Commissioner and apologised for the inconvenience caused to him as also for the illegal construction activity at the club premises.


Youth Congress factions trade charges
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 19 — Fierce factionalism between supporters of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Captain Amarinder Singh and former Punjab Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and between groups led by Punjab Youth Congress chief Mr Devinder Singh Babbu and former PYC president Mr Jasbir Singh Dimpa has percolated down to the district level, with the two groups openly trading charges and blaming each other for organisational crisis.

The Youth Congress functionaries, owing allegiance to former PYC president, Mr Jasbir Singh Dimpa, were lying low since the reins were taken over by Mr Devinder Singh Babbu. But after the change of guard at the national level and appointment of Mr Dimpa as one of the general secretaries of the All-India Youth Congress (AIYC) by the new party president, Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, the Dimpa supporters got a shot in the arm and launched what has come to be known as ‘remove Babbu’ campaign, which apparently has the tacit approval of Mr Dimpa.

The Dimpa supporters in the city, with majority of those owing allegiance of Mrs Bhattal among them, have been holding meetings here and were shooting off statements charging the PYC with poor performance, blaming the leadership with acting in an autocratic style and failure to revive the organisation at the district level.

In one such statement issued by Mr Parminder Mehta, Mr Amarjit Tikka, Mr Suresh Rudra, Mr Ishwarjot Cheema, Mr Surinder Singh Cheema, Mr Dinesh Tak, Mr Harwinder Happy, Mr Pardeep Malhotra and Mr Amarjit Singh Matharoo, all former office-bearers of the DYC and PYC, it is stated that the Youth Congress activities were confined to closed doors. The criminal elements and money power were dominating the party and loyal workers were being ignored.

More statements, almost on similar lines, came in from Mr Sunil Puri Shammi, former general secretary of the PYC, Mr Varun Mehta, an executive member of PYC, and Mr Anil Gagat, former secretary of PYC. The YC functionaries, claiming the support of former Punjab Assembly Speaker Mr Harnam Das Johar, and PPCC secretary Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran, called upon the PPCC chief Captain Amarinder Singh and the AIYC president Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala to bring about a change in the leadership of the state unit of the Youth Congress and also to cleanse the party of criminal and ill-reputed elements, which were bringing a bad name to the party.

The Babbu group retaliated and described those behind the campaign as ‘isolated and frustrated’ elements, who were out to weaken the party for their personal and selfish motives. A statement issued by DYC (urban) president Mr Pawan Diwan and Mr Manjit Singh Humbran, president DYC (rural), along with senior party activists Mr Gopal Monga, Mr Jaswinder Singh Sathi, Mr Rajwinder Singh Sandhu, Mr Jasvir Singh Jassal, Mr Gurbhej Chhabra, Mr Pawan Kharbanda has claimed that the PPCC leadership, as also the newly elected AIYC president, Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, were completely satisfied with the performance of the state unit of the party.

Mr Surjewala, the statement added, had convened at least three meetings of the district presidents and PYC executive at Chandigarh, in which had had lauded the role played by the party in Punjab and, in particular, congratulated the PYC chief Mr Babbu for the dynamic leadership being provided by him.

The Babbu supporters further claimed that the PYC president had successfully revitalised and rejuvenated the party and the organisational set up had been strengthened, right down to the ward and village level. They said a deputation of the PYC and DYC functionaries would soon meet the AICC and the AIYC leaders and apprise them of anti-party activities of former office-bearers of the Youth Congress and the PPCC leaders supporting them.

Highly placed party circles, however, maintain that with the process for organisational elections already in motion, any change in the leadership of the Youth Congress in Punjab, at least for the time being, seemed to be a remote possibility. Some others pointed out that the Dimpa supporters might be trying to build up ‘pressure’ on the PYC leadership to bring about a reorganisation in the party structure, in which it (Dimpa group) was given due representation, both at the state and the district level.


Fitness craze can be hazardous

Macho film stars like Salman Khan, Sanjay Dutt and Hrithik Roshan flex their muscles. The girls go crazy and the boys turn green with jealousy.

To impress the girls and to have a perfect V shaped body, more and more boys are joining ‘health clubs’ to improve their bodies with weight lifting and bench presses. Girls too, join gyms or health clubs to acquire shapely figures, specially before marriage for marriage.

There are, no doubt, advantages of joining the gyms or the health clubs, but the main disadvantage is the lack of trained instructors at these clubs. In a survey, it was found that most of the instructors did not possess a diploma from a recognised institution. The coaches utilise techniques learnt from other coaches and tips received from former players.

According to Mr Harbans Singh, weight-lifting coach at Guru Nanak Stadium, “A one-year diploma course is conducted at National Sports Institute, Patiala. Three centres in Bangalore, Gandhi Nagar and Salt Lake (Calcutta) impart training in weight-lifting. A person gets admission to these institutes only if he has qualified at national level.”

Obviously not many qualified coaches are available, says Mr Harbans Singh .“To tell the trainees is not enough. One has to watch the weight-lifting actions like a hawk. During weight-lifting, if a wrong muscle is stressed, it can do more damage than good. There are a number of boys in a class. The coach tells them to ‘warm up’ and explains the schedule of the exercises for the chest, shoulders, back, arms, legs and abdomen. Then the students are left on their own to exercise. Herein lies the problem for the boys do not know whether their actions are correct or not.

To start a gym, an investment of about Rs 4 lakh is required. The gym have a prime location and has to be air conditioned. The owner charges a membership fee of Rs. 150 to 200 and a monthly fee of Rs. 400. Even the new entrants are asked to do bench presses or dumbles without proper guidance, with the result that they sometimes get kidney or liver problems and suffer cramps.

Mrs Molly Joshi, the chief dietician in the CMC said, “Many a time, the people suffer from effects of wrong pressure and they get a lean and a lift shoulder. The balance of the shoulders becomes lop-sided. There also are myths about the diet. One cannot prescribe a general diet for all. One has to take into account, the nature of the job and the age of a person. The intake of calories depends on the calories that are burnt. If there is an imbalance, the person will put on weight even after exercising.”

Many health clubs provide their own protein health drink and at times give steroids to the unsuspecting clients. They are able to build the muscles fast but it causes long-term problems.

Rockey said, “I wanted to put on weight, so I started weight-lifting. I built up my body, but in my enthusiasm, I picked up 10 kg of weight instead of 5 kg and I sprained my shoulder and now I am off exercises.”

Asha Arora said, “the reason for joining the club is to lose weight. I have to lost 10kg and I want to lose 10 kg more. I exercise daily for 2 hours.”

Arpana Duggal said, “I am an ordinary housewife. I was overweight. Moreover I have asthma, senisitus and after I started exercising, I have to take less medication. I have maintained a steady weight. But no one here is competent to teach us. We do whatever we feel like. Moreover it is fun being together talking and exercising.”

Other girls present who did not want to be named said that they were there to lose weight but it was tough keeping a regular routine. As soon as they lost some weight, they stopped exercising. Obviously the weight would come back.

Taranpreet said, “We are choosy about our diet now-a-days. We avoid cold drinks and fried food.” But they all sighed that it was a hard job sticking to the exercising regime.

Sunil Malhotra, a business man, commented, “I am fitness conscious. I do the work-out for one hour. I have always been plump. Now I wish to get married. So I want to lose some weight. Sixty to 70% of my friends have also joined gyms. We lose some weight then we get elated and stop the exercises. We put back all the weight.”

The gyms with their glistening machines look impressive and it has become a fashion to be telling others, “I go to a gym every evening”. Let the health benefits not turn into health hazards by faulty exercising. — AA



The winds of change
by N.S.Tasneem

SOMEONE has said very aptly that the city stopped growing a long time ago; it has merely expanded in the recent years. Now so much is happening at the same time, and that too at such a fast space, that one feels bamboozled. The best course is to fall in line with others and to “Do in Rome as the Romans do”. Still there is a great need to pause and think and plan. This is a passing phase as all phases are.

The winds of change that blow bring with them the seeds of reproduction also. As a great poet has said, “Out of the Chaos, harmony began”. It means harmony is already present in the chaos and needs time to emerge. Even now there are such signs as can be noticed by the discernible eye. The younger generation is more talented and more competitive. Earlier, the outstanding ones were taken notice of because they were the exceptions. Now they are not glorified so much as they are the rules.

To bemoan that Ludhiana cannot now boast of the stalwarts in the fields of art, literature and culture is merely an expression of nostalgia. That was an age when modernity was much admired and the thinkers were applauded for their new ideas. There used to be large audiences and big circles of readers . The reason being, the performers were few. Now the times have changed. Mass culture has taken the place of the elite culture. Everyone wants a place in the sun. It is not proper to deny someone the opportunity to come forward and leave behind footprints on the sands of time.

Of course, the sands of time because time is ephemeral by nature. The phases that pass take the shape of milestones and these milestones indicate the distance that has been covered in quest of knowledge, goodness and beauty. Taken together, the city has produced more artists, writers, poets, singers and professionals in the last one decade than it had done in the four decades after the partition.

There appears to be some sort of a method in the madness prevalent in the world of fashion. The models create fantastic illusions, transporting the viewers to the domain of dreams. The pride of possessing a graceful figure and a beautiful face has a justification of its own. Inhibitions, no doubt, stunt the growth of a well-balanced personality. Still there is a need to draw a line of demarcation between charm and modesty. Otherwise, the moral fabric of the society will lose its compactness and become threadbare.

The senior citizens are also trying to catch the speed of the modern times. They are not lethargic any more but are, on the contrary, more agile and mobile. True, the peace of mind has eluded them to some extent. But there has been ‘abundant recompense’ for this loss. They do not sit back in their rooms to ponder over the hardships of life. They consider action more important than contemplation.

If one must contemplate, one may do so on the joy of life. The pleasures and pains are transitory in a person’s life, whereas the joy of life defies the onslaughts of time as it is the very texture of existence.


Beautify focal point’
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 19 — The Focal Point Industrial Sheds Association of the city have urged the Municipal Corporation to beautify the Focal Point area besides providing basic amenities to it.

The demand was made in a memorandum handed over to Commissioner S S Sandhu at the annual function of the association held last evening at Focal Point. The function was organised to highlight activities of the association and to honour Lala Lajpat Rai, Member Parliament and the Commissioner, M.C. Mr Sandhu.

The memorandum said the MC should organise open darbars for follow up of the orders issued by it and for better solutions to public problems. The association said the darbars would also make MC officials accountable to the public.

Mr Rajnish Ahuja, president of the association said the development of Focal Point should be taken up immediately. He complained that the area was a neglected lot even though it was providing highest revenue to the city.

Detailing their grievances, he said no streetlights existed in the area, sewerage system remained choked, roads had big potholes causing accidents and traffic jams.

Responding to the demand, the Commissioner invited the industrialists to form a committee and prepare a proposal about beautification as well as the necessary repair work in the area. He said the proposal should enlist the priorities and assured that the MC would implement it at the earliest.


The Noble Dr Brown

by M.S.Cheema


These “seven sisters” of Ludhiana are not siblings in the biological sense. Their devotion to work in their respective fields made them different from the ordinary run of people and is a matter of pride for the city. They never assumed an air of superiority. Even the most ordinary of tasks were done by them with distinction. None of these noble women is alive today, but one can have an idea about their greatness from an outline of their work.

The most striking of them was Dr Edith Brown, an Irish woman. Till the partition of the country, the only road named after a woman bore her name, the Brown Road. It continues to be known as such. Dr Brown was not a missionary; her life itself was a mission. Rather than converting others, she transformed herself. Her religion was not merely denominational; it was spiritual. She demonstrated through her work what selfless service could achieve. She inspired several women to join her in cleaning dirty houses of the poor and bathe their children. She provided food and clothes to the needy, the poorest of society and the down-trodden. She was a unique revolutionary and had the mind and bearing of Annie Besant. She loved India, but politics was not her domain. She trained nurses and guided physicians. She founded institutions to remove illiteracy and serve the suffering mankind. She was wedded to her work which carries her stamp of nobility. She came to Ludhiana in response to a spiritual calling and embodied the ideals propagated by Florence Nightingale.

Dr Brown was honoured with the title of Kaiser-e-Hind by the British Government. That this noble woman lies buried in an unknown grave in Kashmir, near Baramula, is sad. Her work makes her immortal.


Janamashtmi date confusion
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 19 — Even as the city is gearing up to celebrate the first Janamashtmi of the new millennium, uncertainty prevails regarding the final date of celebration.

While some temples like the one at Dandi Swami, have announced that Janamashtmi celebrations will be held on August 22, there are scrores of others which are planning it the next day, on August 23.

Shobha yatras are being taken out in different parts of the city by various mandirs and religious organisations. The biggest of these shobha yatras is most likely to be the one to be taken out by Sri Sanatan Dharam Mahotsav Committee on Monday, August 21.

Shri Gyan Sthal Mandir Sabha has been observing a Janamashtmi mela for the past four days or so. As part of the week-long celebrations, a mahan kirtan darbar would be held tomorrow night from 7 p.m. uptill midnight under the supervision of Jathedar Pritipal Singhji. They plans to celebrate the festival on August 23.


Fraud of 18 lakh detected
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 19 — A fraud of over Rs 18 lakh in the Punjab Mandi Board has come to light with the civil engineer of the Board registering a case against a Jagraon based transport company for allegedly lifting goods from the Mathura Oil Refinery and not depositing these goods at the local office here.

It is learnt that a Jagraon based company, Akal Carriers, had been assigned the tenders for lifting of coal tar for the Board from the Indian Oil Corporation, Mathura or Panipat. It is alleged that though the said transport company was picking up the coal tar from the Mathura Oil Refinery, it was not being delivered at the Mandi board office here. In this way, the company committed a fraud of Rs 18,52,008.

The fraud came to light only when the Board was examining the yearly records. It was then that the Board started sending reminders to the proprietor of the firm, Mr Inderjit Singh; but instead of nine reminders being sent to him, he did not reply.

The Board then procured a list of all the invoices/challans issued by the Mathura Oil Refinery to Akal Carriers for lifting the coal tar and then approached the police for help.

The police has now registered a case under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC.Back


1 held for embezzling Rs 23 lakh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 19 — The Economic Offences Wing has arrested a commission agent of a local textile company for embezzling a sum of Rs 23,46,000 from the company.

It is alleged that the accused, Ramesh Kumar, who was arrested by the police yesterday, was a commission agent in Uttar Pradesh for Adinath Textiles and was promoting and selling the company’s products in various towns like Hardwar, Saharanpur, Haldwani and Dehra Dun. Other than selling the products the accused was also collecting the payments on behalf of the company.

It is alleged that the accused started embezzling from amongst the payments made to him and also set up a few fake firms on his own and began selling the fibre to these and collecting the money himself. In this way, the accused is alleged to have embezzled over Rs 23 lakh.

Ramesh Kumar was arrested by the police last evening under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC and has been kept in police remand till August 21.


Bus taken away at gun point
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 19 — The police has booked 10 persons for taking away a bus at gunpoint from the Jalandhar by pass on August 13.

According to the FIR registered at the Sadar Police Station under section 382 of the IPC, the general manager of the Hoshiarpur Express Transport Company, Mr Manjit Singh Grewal, alleged that the accused led by Inderjit Singh Walia took the bus at gun point from the driver, Bikar Singh and the conductor, Ravinder Singh, around 1:30 pm when the bus bearing registration number PB-07F-1685 was about to enter Ludhiana from Nawanshahr.

Theft by servant: A servant is alleged to have decamped with cash and jewellery worth Rs. 1.35 lakh. The accused, Pandit Shakil was employed with Mr Sanjeev Kalra at his Miller Ganj workshop. It is alleged that the accused decamped with jewellery and cash with the total amounting to Rs 1.35 lakh on the night of August 17. A case under section 381 of the IPC has been registered against the accused at police station division No 2.

Poppy husk seized: Around 10 kg of poppy husk was seized from Satinder Pal Singh alias Bittu during patrolling duty from near Barewal village, by SI Jagtar Singh. A case under Sections of 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act has been registered against the accused.

Thief caught: In a rare incident of people bravado, a thief, Arun Kumar was captured by the public in the Focal Point area while he made an unsuccessful attempt to snatch a purse from Ms Kanta Devi, last evening. A case under Sections 356 and 379 of the IPC has been registered.Back


My father, brother held illegally’
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 19 — The continued illegal detention of a father-son duo by the local police has recently come to light. This is in spite of the fact that a warrant officer of the high court has already raided the police post where they were detained and has recovered one of the three family members originally detained.

It is learnt that one of the sons of Gurdip Singh, a resident of Haibowal Kalan, was wanted by the police in connection with a case of arson and violence. He was accused in a case of armed attack on Rana in the Sessions Chowk, a couple of days ago.

After the police was unable to arrest him, it allegedly detained the two brothers of the accused, Jaswinder Paul Singh and Amarjeet Singh, and his father, Gurdip Singh, on August 11, in order to put pressure on the accused to surrender.

It was then that a relative of the accused, Amarjit Singh, filed a writ in the high court and a warrant officer was appointed. The warrant officer raided the Kailash Nagar police post and one of the detainees, Amarjit Singh, was recovered on August 13.

Amarjit Singh alleges, “The police, however, managed to keep my father and younger brother in hiding and till date we are unaware of their whereabouts.”


Woman alleges assault
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 19 — A woman has accused her mother, two brothers and sisters-in-law of beating, threatening and keeping her in illegal confinement.

According to an FIR registered under Sections 364, 323, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC at the Model Town Police Station, the victim has alleged that she had a property dispute with her two brothers and they wanted to evict her from a factory that was co-owned by her with her younger brother, Inderjit Singh. She said that her family had forcibly married her off to a drug addict, so as to transfer the ownership of the said firm wholly in the name of the accused, Inderjit Singh.

She alleged that after she left her husband, barely a fortnight after marriage, and wanted take control of the business that she had herself set, her family turned against her. It was alleged that on the night of August 14, her two brothers, Inderjit Singh and Harinderpal Singh, her mother, Rupinder Kaur, and her sisters-in-law, Harpreet Kaur and Kuldeep Kaur, entered the premises of the factory in Dugri, where she had been staying alone and beat her up with sticks.

The accused then forcibly took her to their residence in New Model Town and again beat her up. They wanted her to sign papers regarding the transfer of property into the name of her brother. Some persons heard her cries for help and she was rescued as all the accused managed to run away.


Hot profits in readymade trousers
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 19 — Almost three years after their appearance in the market of this megacity, readymade cotton trousers are still in great demand and the sales are soaring higher and higher.

The popularity of the cotton trousers and their use especially in the summer months has provided an excellent opportunity to the Ludhianvi businessmen for making profits in the hot weather. Earlier the sales were mainly confined to hosiery items in the winter season.

While established foreign brands like Ven Heusen, Allen Solly and Louis Philippe and Hallmark enjoy being the centre of attraction for the consumer, national and local brands have also made a market for themselves. According to a survey by Ludhiana Tribune every third street in the city has one or more factories involved in the manufacture of readymade clothes.

The showrooms and the manufacturers are having a field day, but the good old tailor next door is fast vanishing from the scene. A survey revealed that the readymade clothes have caught the fancy of the consumers to such an extent that formal clothes have almost been forgotten, spelling doom for the tailors. Casual wear has even become a popular office wear. With school children also going in for readymade uniforms the tailors business has gone awry.

Mr Keshav Beri a trader in readymade clothes said few years back the readymade variety was termed as fit only for the affluent class due to the high prices. But later, as more and more foreign and national manufacturers jumped into the fray, the prices fell. This allowed the middle class or the working class to use the variety which immediately catapulted its popularity.

Soon local manufacturers of the city, who earlier stitched formal clothes only began copying the branded clothes. This allowed the lower middle class to have a taste of them, which turn further added to the popularity of readymade clothes.

According to Mr Sushil Sood, another trader, the business has really picked up in recent months with the advent of unisex, wrinkle-free khaki and uncrushable varieties of cotton trousers. He said they were easy to use, comfortable and more durable than the earlier stitched formals. Even the prices were slashed to make the product within the reach of the large middle class. These days a good pair of trousers cost as less as 400 with maximum range upto 1300. Though there are costlier varieties also but this range is affordable and the trousers costing within it are topping the sales chart.

But the survey has snatched happiness from the tailors. Mr Rajinder Singh, a tailor of Sita Nagar area, sighed, “Our work is confined to alteration of the readymade trouses only”.

He informed that the business for tailors has fallen by as much as 50 per cent and the future seems more bleak. According to him many tailors have began copying the readymade variety and then selling them as popular brand items.


Federation’s plea to PM
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 19 — The Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India today urged the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, to convene and chair a meeting with the “real representatives” of the tiny and small scale sector at the earliest before declaring the proposed policy for village and small scale industries on August 30.

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, Mr Joginder Kumar, President of the federation, stated that there were strong apprehensions that with the enhancement of investment limit of 8 to 9 sector from Rs 1 crore to 5 crore, enhancement of equity participation from 24 per cent to 49 per cent, dilution of export obligations from 50 per cent to 30 per cent with FDI would have an adverse impact on the future of the tiny and small scale industry.

Mr Joginder Kumar further requested the Prime Minister to ask the group of Ministers headed by Mr L.K. Advani to go for an in-depth analysis and ascertain the ground realities from the representatives of the tiny sector which comprised the 99 per cent of the total village and small scale industrial units and un-registered units before making the policy announcement on August 30.

If such a meeting was not possible in the short time, the Prime Minister should defer the August 30 announcement, added the federation president.Back


Country Club in city soon
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 19 — Ludhiana is among the major cities identified by Country Club (India) Ltd., a part of the Hyderabad-based Amrutha group of companies, for setting up franchise clubs in different parts of the country within the next one year.

Mr Rajeev Reddy, Chairman and Managing Director, Country Club (India), told a media conference here today that as many as 84 clubs in India and 25 clubs abroad were affiliated with the club. Chandigarh Club and Chandigarh Golf Association were also affiliates.

He said that for the benefit of the members, membership was transferable from one city to another within the network of country club franchises. Keeping in view the high demand for world class clubs in Punjab, it was proposed to set up clubs in major cities of Punjab, including Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Jalandhar.

In Ludhiana, a number of marriage palaces along the Ferozepore road offered a good potential in this regard.

Giving background of his group, he said, it had a track record of around 20 years in real estate development and had developed over 3 million square feet of commercial and residential property in Hyderabad and Chennai. The group forayed into the leisure and service industry more than 10 years ago. The country club in Hyderabad was established in 1989. The club house was a heritage building. It was the palace of the Prime Minister of Nizam of Hyderabad. Country Club International, a club of world class standard with golf, drive-in theatre and other sporting amenities is presently under development on an expanse of 175 acres of land on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

The country club Bangalore was established in 1997. Another club, Country Wood, is presently under development in Bangalore. The club has 31,000 members between Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai.

Amrutha Castle, the Country’s first Castle Hotel, is a prized possession of the group in Hyderabad which has total annual turnover of Rs 100 crore.

Mr Reddy said that community-oriented programmes, events and shows were being organised by the club on a regular basis. Well-designed swimming pools, health club, multicuisine restaurants and other amenities had also been provided by the Country Club. Some of the celebrities who have attended events at the Country Club include Sushmita Sen, Hema Malini, Remo Fernandes and Mr K. P. S. Gill. 

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