Sunday, November 5, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Suspected armed robbers kill constable
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 4 — In yet another incident involving suspected armed robbers, constable Jasbir Singh was shot dead in an open ground in Sector 32 of Urban Estate here past night. He was shot while trying to catch four robbers.

This is the first policeman killed by a suspected gang of robbers. About two days ago, one such gang had killed two persons of a family at Nandpur village near Sahnewal. With the latest incident, the number of armed robberies here has risen to 8. Robbers have killed 13 persons and injured 24 others in these incidents.

The police has rounded up 10 persons in connection with the killing, but there has been no clue to the identity of suspected robbers as yet. The police has stepped up vigil in the area. At least half of the local police force, including senior police officials, has been put on night duty.

The DIG (Range), Mr Paramjit Singh Sandhu, has constituted a special team of the Detective Wing personnel to investigate the killing of the constable.

According to the SP (City), Mr Pramod Ban, the incident occurred just before past midnight. Yesterday, the Tajpur police post received an information that about 4 persons were moving about in a suspicious manner in the area. Head Constable Gurpal Singh and Constable Jasbir Singh rushed to the spot and found the persons in an open area.

Commandoes called into combat robbers

Two commando battalions of the Punjab police will arrive shortly in the city to help the local police control the rising incidence of robbery here.
According to highly placed sources, the district police demanded an additional police force to deal with such incidents. Now, the demand has been accepted and the two battalions will reach the city shortly.
The police has been drawing flak for its inability to catch armed robbers who have committed 8 robberies in past one month. Robbers have killed 13 persons so far, including a police constable.
The police had rounded up several persons in connection with the various such incidents, but found no clue to the indentity of the gang.

The persons tried to run away when the policemen called them. Jasbir Singh caught two of them, but was shot dead by another person.

He was taken to Christian Medical College by some other policemen who arrived there with senior officials shortly after the incident. However, his life could not be saved. According to the post-mortem report, he died of a bullet injury and the shot was fired by .12 bore gun.

Almost the entire village attended the cremation ceremony of the policeman at Paadi village near Sahnewal. The constable was cremated with full state honour. A contingent of the Punjab police reversed arms at the funeral as mark of respect to him.

Mr Pramod Ban said, “The constable was respected by his colleagues for his work during the days of militancy in the state. From the rank of an SPO, he had risen to be a constable. He is survived by his wife and two sons.

The police suspects the murder to be the work of a gang of migrant labourers and some local criminals. The police sources said, after the paddy harvesting season, labourers left for their home states and some of these committed robberies before leaving.


College teachers complain of harassment
From Deepkamal Kaur

LUDHIANA, Nov 4 — The controversy surrounding the post of the principal of Master Tara Singh College, which has been simmering for the past few days, intensified further today as the staff of the college has submitted a written complaint to the Vice- Chancellor of Panjab University of being harassed by the principal.

The principal, Ms Kuldip Kaur, had sought extension in her tenure from the Vice-Chancellor and the state government. However, the majority of the college staff is opposing the move tooth and nail.

The statement, signed by 15 lecturers, states that the principal often insulted them in the presence of the clerical staff, students and even Class IV employees of the college. They have also pointed out that they were often threatened that their salaries would be withheld. The teachers have also alleged that ever since Ms Kuldip Kaur was granted a two-year extension, she had become autocratic and openly boasted of her political connections and total hold over the college. The teachers have also alleged that whenever they try to point out any shortcoming in her way of functioning, they were asked to give resignations.

The staff members have also sought an inquiry into the replacement of the attendance register in the college. They claimed that usually, the new register was introduced in January or April, but for reasons unknown to them, the register was changed last month. It is feared that entries in the register might be tampered with to use them against teachers. They have also alleged that the principal made some derogatory remarks against the faculty in a meeting of the student representatives held a few days back.

The teachers have also complained of several irregularities in the functioning of the college. They remarked that university rules, which state that two staff members should be taken in the managing committee, were being flouted. They said that since they had no representation, they were ignorant of all important decisions regarding the college.

The lecturers, whose posts were not covered, but were teaching in the college for long have also complained of non-payment of arrears. They have also stated that a student and staff committee for monitoring of amalgamated funds did not exist in the college. They have pointed that no staff advisory council had been appointed in the college for taking administrative decisions.

The staff has also pointed out that earned leave of eight days in a year was not being granted to them despite repeated requests. Even a university rule stated that the maximum number of students in a class-room should be 60, but in some classes there were more than 100 students.

Ms Kuldip Kaur, when contacted, refuted all allegations of harassment made against her. ‘‘I have never scolded any student in front of his class-mates or teachers, how could I insult any teacher in front of the teaching and non-teaching staff ?’’ she asked. She further explained that the attendance register was torn and was therefore replaced.

About the purpose of the students meeting, she said, ‘‘I never made any derogatory remark and instead I asked the students if they knew about any shortcomings in the functioning of the college.’’ Further refuting the allegations made by the staff members, Mrs Kuldip Kaur said, ‘‘The management has two staff representatives, Ms Gursharan Kaur and Ms Kuljeet Kaur, who are invited on all management meetings of the college.’’

A copy of the written statement has also been sent to the DPI (colleges) and Deputy Registrar (colleges).

Staff members have also demanded that since the principal had been given an extension for two years, their retirement age should also be increased to 62 years. It may be mentioned here that in a significant move, Ms Gursharan Kaur, lecturer in political science, whose retirement was due on November 30, had written an application to the president of the college management, Mr Arjan Singh, that her services be extended by another two years.

Meanwhile, Professor K.B.S. Sodhi, President, Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union, has written to Mr Arjan Singh that the tense situation in the college was disturbing and that needful efforts made to diffuse the crisis.


Crisis in milk products market not far now
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 4 — Dairy farmers in Punjab and other milk producing states are going to face one more crisis, this time its not due to over-production of wheat or paddy but due to inefficient milk production and processing .

The high cost of processing milk, poor quality of feed and low productivity of milch animals on the one hand, and over-subsidisation of milk products by western countries on the other hand, is going to lead to another crisis in the near future. According to WTO provisions, government has to open up import of milk products, besides other items next year. It is claimed that import of at least 10-15 milk products will be allowed through Open General Licensing (OGL).

These views were expressed by dairy experts of the region at a seminar ‘Impact of WTO on milk processing and marketing’ organised by PUNCOFED and MILKFED at the Punjab Agriculture University today.

Mr B.N. Mathur, director, NDRI, Karnal, in his keynote address said, ‘‘The WTO is a reality and the era of protected economies is over. The government will have to lower import duty on milk products in the near future, and Indian milk producers will find it hard to compete with foreign milk producers, where subsidy rates vary between 60-70 per cent.’’

Prof Karam Singh, senior economist, Department of Economics and Sociology, PAU, said,‘‘ The major issue was not import of small quantity milk products, but competition with quality milk products. Our milk producers will have to suffer a lot as in the case of paddy, because of poor quality of inputs like feed and fodder, and inefficient milk processing techniques of government protected milk plants. It is estimated that with the opening of the milk sector for foreign competition, milk prices will come down by 25-30 per cent.’’

Prof Joginder Singh, Head of the Department of Economics and Sociology, pointed out that though Punjab was producing about 75 lakh litre milk per annum which was about 10 per cent of the total milk production in the country which stands at 75 million litre, but yet there was great scope for improvement in milk producing, processing and marketing methods. The WTO could provide big international markets if the right kinds of strategies were implemented by concerned parties. The problem of unproductive animals and fodder production will also have to be tackled to face foreign competition, he said.

Dr G.S. Kalkat, Vice-Chancellor of PAU, Mr K.S. Jhanjua , Finance Commissioner, Cooperative, Mr Suresh Kumar, Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Prof P.S. Khatra and Dr O.P. Parmar, dairy incharge, PAU, also participated in the seminar.


Textile policy faces flak
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 4 — The government has withdrawn the small-scale-industry status from the garment sector. This has enabled the corporate sector to make huge investments in garment manufacturing. The foreign direct investment (FDI) upto 100 per cent, too, has been allowed. This way, there will be a free entry of corporate players and multinational companies in the domestic trade.

“It means that small players who have worked hard to develop the sector and the market will struggle for survival now,” said Mr Vinod Thapar, President of the Knitwear Club.

In a press note issued here, he said the small-scale units had a little chance of surviving against the financial power of multinational companies and the other big players in the industry. “The small-scale units will suffer due to the attitude of the policy makers towards these units,” he said.

He said the industry was aware of India’s obligations under the WTO agreement and the required changes in the policy to allow the FDI in this sector. “We would have appreciated it if the industry was provided with the required infrastructure and technology. The timing of the decision could not have been worse than this,” he said.

He said there was a massive gap between indigenous and foreign technologies. He said the decision was hasty and the policy should have been changed in a phased manner. “This would have given a sufficient time to the industry to increase its strength. The industry needs to upgrade its technology and meet the international practices in management, process and marketing,” he said.

He also said the garment sector had been a major contributor in export earnings of the country and its performance had been satisfactory. “However, the FDI has been allowed without any compulsory export obligation, which is another threat to domestic players,” he said.


‘Astrology begins where science ends’
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 4 — Well-known astrologers from across the country today claimed that astrology was a higher from of science and was defamed only by people who practiced it without thorough knowledge.

About 200 astrologers from different parts of the country have converged here to deliberate on various aspects of astrology at a two-day Astrological Meet organised by the Aryavrat Jyotirvigyan Sansthan at Punjabi Bhavan. Besides astrologers, hundreds of people from different walks of life attended the meet.

Leading astrologers who are participating in the conference include, Pandit Madan Lal Rajasthani of ‘Good Morning India’ and ‘Star Plus’, fame Pandit Prakash Bharadwaj of ETC fame and Dr Kailash Nath Tiwari. Pandit Rajasthani said astrologers would share feedback analysis with participants and dwell upon various aspects of astrology, which is also a science, he claimed.

Pandit Bharadwaj stood up for support of astrology. He pointed out that astrology was the study of stars, their movement and their impact on everything, including human life. Pandit Bharadwaj belongs to a family of Raj Jyotshis. His grandfather, Pandit Triloke Chand Bharadwaj, was the Raj Jyotshi of the Maharaja of Bikaner.

The noted astrologer admitted that some people, who had no knowledge of the subject were practicing it. That is why people started suspecting the credibility of all astrologers.

He pointed out that every human being was concerned about his future. “It is this sense of insecurity which prompts them to seek the advice of astrologers”, he remarked, while adding that astrologers need to do accurate calculations for accurate results.

Mr Bharadwaj argued that stars influenced the life of a person. However, he was unable to explain that when fate was predestined, how could astrology make a difference. He claimed that various remedial measures usually suggested by the astrologers after predicting the future, could certainly help an individual.

Pandit Madan Lal Rajasthani, under whose supervision the meet is being organised, went a step further claiming that astrology was more scientific than science itself. “Astrology begins, where other sciences end”, he remarked. However, he added, astrologers need to study and make only calculations. They should make predictions on the basis of astrological calculations and not their personal assumptions and interpretations.

Pandit Rajasthani felt the need for introducing astrology as a subject in the school curriculum. “That is the only way you can clear misconceptions and wrong notions about it “, he said, while disclosing that they will be making an appeal to the government for the same. Pandit Rajasthani’s latest book Bhog Rog Yog was also released today.

The meet will conclude tomorrow with the astrologers announcing joint predictions about the future of the country. Leading astrologers like Ajay Bhambi of Jain TV and Baijnath Dharuwalia from Ahmedabad are expected to attend the meet tomorrow.

Prominent local astrologers present at the meet include Prof Mohan, Dr Gian Singh Mann, Pandit Suresh Atry, Pradeep Dhall, Joginder Vyas, M. R. Jindal, Rajiv Sharma, Sanjiv Goyal, Acharya Satpal, Sunder lal, Kamal Sharma, D.P. Singh, Ramesh Soodan, R.P. Kalotra, T.D. Kohli and Rachna Sharma.


Residents hail demolition of structures
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 4 — In a rather unusual development, the welfare society of Shahid Karnail Singh Nagar (Phase II) on Pakhowal Road in the city, has not only lauded the action of the municipal corporation to demolish a large number of illegal structures in the locality earlier this week, but has claimed that in view of strong resentment among the residents, the society had impressed upon the MC authorities to swing into action.

According to Maj S.S. Aulakh, president of the society, certain influential persons, owning plots in the residential part of the colony, were constructing single room units, without obtaining approval from the concerned authorities and without making adequate drainage provisions. The tenement type units, meant to be rented out, would have become a nuisance for other residents by creating unhygienic conditions and puddles of stagnating water. By responding to the demand of the residents and removal of unlawful structures, the MC authorities, added Mr Bhajan Singh, general secretary of the welfare society, had in fact come to the rescue of the people.

Meanwhile, addressing a meeting of the welfare society, the area councillor, Giani Baldev Singh, said that a sum of Rs 74.59 lakh had been spent on various development works in Shahid Karnail Singh Nagar. Water and sewerage pipes were laid at a cost of Rs 30 lakh, Rs 12 lakh were spent on a tubewell, Rs 4.20 lakh on development of parks and Rs 9 lakh for providing street lights in the locality. The streets in phase II of the colony were paved at a cost of Rs 19.39 lakh.

He further said that a canal bridge alongside Pakhowal Road, costing Rs 43 lakh, was completed and work had been undertaken for the widening of Jawaddi canal bridge, which was estimated to cost Rs 70 lakh. The construction of a Rs 1.35 crore stadium would soon be undertaken in the locality.

Speaking on this occasion, the president of the society, Maj S.S. Aulakh remarked that with completion of most of the development works, the colony had been transformed into one of best developed colonies in the city. He stressed the need for plantation of trees to check the increasing pollution, adding that more than 500 trees had already been planted and the drive would continue. Other speakers, including general secretary Mr Bhajan Singh, Ms Inderjit Kaur, Ms Sukhwant Kaur and Mr Inderjit Singh Sekhon focussed on issues like landscaping of the green belts, early commencement of work on sewerage project and providing tree guards for the trees being planted in the colony.


Silent soldiers of fight against polio
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 4 — The country is going to launch a final assault on polio tomorrow. Though media, school and college students, teachers, voluntary and non voluntary organisations are participating in this campaign, however, the backbone of this fight is the infantry of anganwari workers. Their number is not in thousands, but in lakhs in the country.

They have been instrumental in collecting data regarding the children by conducting door-to-door survey. In rural areas they have created awareness among the mothers, mothers-in-law and male members of the family and large queues are expected at the polio eradication centres tomorrow morning.

Mr Ranjeet Kaur, an anganwari worker of Hasanpur village, about 15 km from Ludhiana, said we have been collecting data from the households in nine registers regarding mothers and children. Earlier people used to jeer at us and would not even allow to enter their houses. However, our continuous efforts have borne fruit. Now they come even to our houses if some child is left in the polio campaign. We may be given more work in the campaign but someone should take care of our financial position as well.


Nature at it again
From Our Correspondent

JAGRAON, Nov 4 — Ms Jaswinder Kaur, wife of Mr Gurcharan Singh, a resident of Jagraon, underwent a laproscopic tubectomy on March 11. At the time of operation, she was unaware that she was already in the second month of pregnancy. Later, when she developed labour pains, the doctors informed her about her pregnancy. She delivered a female child.


Anuradha visits city
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 4 — Anuradha Paudwal enthralled the audience at the second Vishal Bhagwat Jagran organised at College Road Civil Lines here today.

She sang Bhakti compositions. The crowd included a high number of women devotees.

The guests of honour included Mr Kamal Oswal, Mr Vinod Deewan, Mr Rajinder Sood, Mr Suraj Bhan Jain, Mr Rajendra Prasad Jallan and Mr Sunil Sheela Jain.

Some other artistes like D.P. Kaushik Muzaffar Nagarwale and Ashok Pataka were also there. The stage was decked with idols of Durga.


Little known facts about a school
by M.S. Cheema

IN the first half of the 19th century, the sapplings of European languages were planted in our region. Whereas Lahore was exposed mainly to French, Ludhiana watched the rise of English. Instructors of the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh were mostly from Europe. The Punjabi army obeyed instructions in French. Ludhiana housed a printing press. The Roman and the Gurmukhi scripts co-existed. Several schools set up then played a historical role. The Government Multipurpose Senior Secondary School is one such institution. To locate this rare institute of learning is ironically as difficult as digging out history from worn out manuscripts.

The main entrance presents a facade which is anything but academic. The Nizam Road side is tolerably commercial but intolerably noisy and traffic-choked. The other two sides can be visited only by a die-hard ‘digger’. These disappearing four walls once had an enviable staff.

One of the most popular Punjabi poets, after the legendary Waris Shah, is Mohan Singh of ‘Sawe Pattar.’ Professor Mohan Singh enriched our literary treasure with classics like Basant, Ambi da Boota, Anarkali, Noor Jehan and many such gems. He was on the rolls of this school as a lower middle student. Prof Mohan Singh’s father, Dr Jodh Singh Puri, headed the veternary hospital near the tehsil office close to Girjaghar.

General Harkirat Singh (Sri Lanka Peace Keeping Force) and his elder brother General Shamsher Singh studied here in the middle classes.Their father, Dr H.S. Shergill was posted here as civil surgeon. One of the masters of Urdu prose and a famous poet, Ibn-e-Insha, studied here. His school-time name was Sher Mohammed Qaisar. He hailed from Thallha( near Phillaur) and lived at the hostel . Hameed, Akhtar, hailing from a village near Jagraon, is a well-known literary figure of Pakistan. He edited the popular Urdu daily, Imroze. Though in his eighties now, he is still as young as an old ‘boy’ of his school. Ajaib Chitarkar and Niranjan Singh Nirmal were once on its rolls too.

It is worth recalling that the eminent Urdu poet , Josh Malsiani, contributed to the making of a literary atmosphere here. His son, a poet of note himself, Balmukand Arsh Malsiani, is another luminary alumnus.

Mr N.M.Rashid (popularly known as Noon Meem Rashid) visited this school as his son once headed it. The alumni of this school have earned name, besides money and fame in several fields, such as commerce, industry ,business administration, agriculture, arts and music.

Mr Sardar Mehmood (publisher in Lahore), Dr Yash Pal Lakra (practicing in USA), Dr Daljit Singh (an engineer in USA), besides many more, proved worth their salt. To the political field, the school’s contribution is the present Deputy Speaker of Punjab Assembly, Mr S.P. Gosain.


Cases against Naib Tehsildars
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 4 — A case was registered at the Jodhewal police station against 12 persons, including two Naib Tehsildars and a woman, for cheating and giving false evidence in the court.

According to the police, the accused include a Naib Tehsildar of Ludhiana and another of Jhangpura village. The other accused include Mohan, Kirpal Singh, Arjun Dass, Balwinder Singh, Joginder Dass, Satpal Singh, Tejinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Gurbachan Singh and a woman called Hardevi.

The case has been registered under Sections 420, 467 and 471 of the IPC. The accused had allegedly given the false evidence in a case of land dispute.


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