Tuesday, December 19, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Traffic cops target 12 roads
Anti-encroachment drive in city
From D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, Dec 18 — The local traffic police has identified 12 roads in the city for removing encroachments from these. A list of these roads has been submitted to Dr S.S. Sandhu, Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation.

The CMC Road, Jail Road, stretch from Book Market to Mali Ganj Chowk, road from Old Sabzi Mandi to Kakowal road, road from Division No. 3 Chowk to Samrala Chowk, road from Division No. 3 to the CMC Chowk, road from Division No. 3 to Subhani Building Chowk, road from Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital to Montgomery Chowk, road from Ghanta Ghar to Division No. 3 Chowk, the Ghumar Mandi road, the Kochhar Market road and the Haibowal Bazar road are among those that have been identified for the purpose.

The list was submitted to Dr Sandhu on November 27, four days after his meeting with Mr S.S. Bhatti, Superintendent of the traffic police, where they discussed ways of reducing traffic congestion in the city.

Mr Bhatti said operations to remove encroachments on the GT Road and Katchehri Road were on. He said it was sad that shopkeepers encroached upon roads again soon after an anti-encroachment drive. He said there was a nexus between officials of the Municipal Corporation and shopkeepers that could be busted by amending the relevant municipal Acts.

Mr Bhatti said the traffic police needed an anti-encroachment wing of its own. Presently, the traffic police can only tow away vehicles that have been parked on roads. The goods that are seized in raids are deposited with the civic body, from where, traders reclaim these.

On the issue of non-functional traffic lights near Division No. 3 Chowk, Mr Bhatti said the project to install new traffic lights had been stalled for some reason. He said there was no traffic policeman at the place because he did not have enough manpower.

Meanwhile, some of the roadside vendors who were chased away from Guru Tegh Bahadur Market near Ghanta Ghar two days ago, have returned. There are rumours that a deal has been struck between policemen and the vendors.


Postal strike called off
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 18 — Postal services were restored here today with members of all the three unions of the department resuming work. The decision to call off the strike came in the wake of the Delhi High Court order directing all the employees to resume work, failing which, contempt proceedings would be initiated against them.

The work has resumed in most of the 48 post offices in the city. The distribution of the pending mail has been started.

There was visible change in the scene of the post offices. The rooms wearing a deserted look for the past 12 days were abuzz with activity. At the Head Post Office, Ferozepore Road, here, employees were busy with work and not slogan shouting.

Mr M.K. Khan, Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, said work in all the 48 post offices of the city had become normal. He claimed that 40 post offices had started functioning yesterday.

Phone bills

The Telecom Circle, Ludhiana, has extended the last date of depositing of telephone bills to December 20.

The department had already extended the date for depositing the bills in three banks. The latest decision has been taken as a large number of telephone subscribers had not received their telephone bills due to non-delivery of mail by the striking postal employees.


Jassi and Sunita make Ludhianvis dance
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 18 — Jassi and Sunita Rao performed in Hotel Magnet Resorts here. Jassi, who was looking energetic as ever, began with a devotional song, followed by his other popular numbers. The number Dil Lai Gai Kudi Gujarat Di made the crowd dance. One could see persons dancing on chairs, in the aisles and anywhere else they could find a space. The others tolerated their kicks.

The stage was massive and lights appeared good when these changed colours. The ambience of an MTV show had been created on the stage. The popular numbers that he sang included Gud Nal Ishq Mitha, Gabroo Jattan De, Pindan Vichon Pind Sunee Da, Surma Nima Nima, and Kudi, Kudi, Sahmane Rehndi Hai. Jassi was like a live wire who could pass on his energy to the crowd. The crowd was enthusiastic, but unruly at times. Jassi improvised a lot during his performance, which was appreciated by the crowd.

Sunita Rao appeared on the stage out of a smoke screen and dimmed lights. She was wearing a black saree with a golden border. Like Jassi, she, too, began with a devotional song Alla Tero Naam, followed by a medley of patriotic songs. Members of her dance troupe carried the National Flag and earthen lamps on the stage when she sang Dil Diya Hai Jaan Bhi Denge, I Love My India, Bharat Humko Jaan Se Pyara Hai, Yeh Desh Hai Veer Jawano Ka', Ai Mere Watan Ke Logo and Vande Mataram.

She changed the mood of the evening by switching over to Pari Hoon Main. Foot-tapping beats and the beautifully modulated voice of Sunita mesmerised the audience. Besides Sara Shehr Jagega, Main Sabki Ninden Uda Doongi, Ik Ladki Ko Dekha, Piya Tu Ab To Aaja and Amma Dekh, she also sang Ab Ke Baras Yeh Haal Hai from her album Ab Ke Baras. The speed with which Sunita and her troupe changed their costumes was awsome. She ended her performance with Chumma Chumma Doge.

A member of the audience, Mr Rajan Sharma, said the behaviour of the crowd was shocking. He said, “People drink during the dance nites in the USA, but still behave decently. We would have enjoyed the show more if some persons had behaved properly.”

A woman, who was also part of the audience, said, “Youngsters drink heavily and then can’t control themselves and use obscene language. I should not have brought my children here. The administration should ban the drinking of alcohol at such events.”

Another member of the audience, Mr R. P. Singh, said, “How can we feel safe when the policemen on duty are on a drinking binge themselves?”


Punjabis want more than bhangra: Sunita

Pop star Sunita Rao loves to visit Punjab. “Punjabis love their bhangra beats, but appreciate the other kinds of music as well,” she says.

She also says, “I don’t believe in rat race. In creating pop music or fusion music, I always try to give my best. My success is the result of a sustained effort from the age of 15. Once you believe that you have reached the top, you can only go down from there. The success has not spoilt me because my family has given me good values.”

“My song Ab Ke Baras is fetching me tremendous appreciation after the phenomenal success of Pari. Talaash and Kesaria were hits, too.”

“My work affects my personal life only in a positive way. I have a passion for my work and my family gives me a good support.”

“Pop music cannot push out classical and folk music of India. I use a lot of traditional instruments in creating music for my songs.”

“If you are young, things will be difficult for you, but persistence will take you to success.”


Sarabha’s cousin to renounce title
By Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

SARABHA, Dec 18 — Ms Jagdish Kaur, the cousin sister of Kartar Singh Sarabha, has decided to renounce the title, Mother of Punjab, that was conferred on her by the government. She says that she is angry because the Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has failed to keep his promise of preserving the ancestral house of the martyr.

She said this while talking to the TNS at her residence here today. She said she was disappointed at the “attitude” of the government as it was unable to get the restoration work started.

The 95-year-old cousin of Sarabha is suffering from the cancer of uterus. She said we would sit on a dharna outside the residence of the Chief Minister in Chandigarh on January 25. “After this, I will return the honour and stop accepting the Rs 2,500 honourarium that I get every month from the government. “This honour means nothing to me if the government does not care about my brother who sacrificed his life for the country,” she said.

“I will sit on dharna alone. People are welcome to accompany me, but I want to fight my battle alone,” she said.

Although many grants for restoring the house have been issued by the state governments over the years, the restoration work has not begun so far. The CM’s promise had raised the hopes of residents of Sarabha village and relatives of the martyr.

On November 16, The CM had even made the Deputy Commissioner of the area declare publicly that the work on the memorial would be completed within a month. He had also announced a Rs 20 lakh grant for this purpose. A month has already passed since then, but nothing has been done. The house that was declared a protected monument by the Archaeological Department of Punjab in 1998, stands abandoned for repair.

“I have been running from pillar to post to get the house converted into a memorial. I donated the house to the government and requested every CM since then to raise a memorial on the land. Only a board has been installed so far at the place,” the martry’s cousin said.

“My brother belonged not to the family, but to the nation. He should be remembered forever. I am suffering from cancer and can pass away anytime. I think that the government will fulfill its promise only after I am dead,” she said.


Youths forcibly take away scooter
From Our Correspondent

JAGRAON, Dec 18 — A new Bajaj scooter was snatched from Mr Joginder Singh of Patti Sudhar while he was returning to his home near Sudhar last night.

Mr Joginder Singh, who is an employee of Punjab State Electricity Board, said three persons in their mid-twenties who were travelling in a white Maruti car stopped him while he was on his way home. Two of them came out of the car and asked him to hand over the keys of the scooter. They snatched the keys and made good their escape alongwith the scooter which bore no registration number.

A case has been registered and police is investigating. No arrest has been made so far.

2 brothers booked

The Focal Point police registered a case against two brothers for the alleged forcible occupation of land belonging to a trust at Jagiana village here on Sunday.

According to the FIR, Ms Raminder Kaur, a trustee, complained to the police that two brothers, Ajit pal Sandhu and Pritpal Sandhu, had forcibly occupied the trust land. The police conducted a few raids but no one was arrested. 


Will Aman Sood’s murderers be booked?
From Jupinderjit Singh and Iqbal Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 18 — Dharnas have been staged. Suspects have been arrested and freed. Police officials have been transferred. The Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has directed the police for speedy investigation into the case. But those responsible for kidnap and murder of six-year-old Aman Sood of Khanna have not been arrested.

The police continues to cut a sorry figure even five months after the gruesome murder. The arrest of a finance company employee in Khanna on Wednesday has not given any lead in this case.

The manner in which, the police has, on two occasions, rounded up more than 100 persons for questioning in the case and allegedly tortured an employee of the finance company two days back also points to its desperation.

“I have lost all hope”, says Mr Naveen Sood, father of Aman. He said though the arrest and punishment of criminals would not bring Aman back, but it would prevent such crimes in future.

The concrete achievement in the case is the arrest of a health club owner of the town, Parkash Singh, alias Kuki, a neighbour of the Sood family. However, he has been given bail.

The SSP, Khanna, Mr Rajinder Namdeoke, says in such cases the police either achieves complete or no success. He adds the police was working on different leads.

The Sangharsh Committee after agitating for two months, has become silent.

The chronology of the case.

Aman Sood, a six-year-old son of Naveen Sood, an industrialist of Khanna was kidnapped on August 1 near his house when he was returning from his school. The family received a telephone call demanding a ransom of Rs 10 lakh. The kidnappers never called again.

On August 3, a Sangharsh Committee was formed to fight the case

A call for observing a bandh in Khanna was given by the Sangharsh Committee

Aman Sood was found murdered on August 6 in a sugarcane field near the town.

The Sangharsh Committee staged a dharna demanding the then SSP’s transfer.

More than 100 persons, mainly villagers, who had spotted the body, were detained.

The Sangharsh Committee delegation meets the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. The CM orders inquiry by the Crime Branch.

A health club owner is arrested and a case is registered against him.

The SSP, Mr R.L. Bhagat, is transferred in October.

The new SSP, Mr R. Namdeoke, joins. More than 100 people are again rounded up.

The police rounds up an employee of a finance company last week. Allegations of police high-handedness alleged.


They create rainbow colours
By Asha Ahuja

LUDHIANA, Dec 18 — They are commonly known as ‘Lallaris’, and have been in the business of dyeing dupattas, turbans, woollens, sarees and what not from time immeorial.

Rajinder and Ravi, have been dyeing dupattas and any other dress material for the last 30 years. Rajinder’s brother, the late Deesha, was known for his dyeing skills. He had taught these skills to Rajinder.

“Our business is seasonal”, he says. “We come to work at sunrise and go back at sunset. These days, it has become a fashion to get dupattas dyed in multicolours. It takes more time, but we get more money too. We charge Rs. 30 to 40 a multicolour dupatta compared to Rs. 15 or 20 for a single colour dupatta. We earn Rs 150 to Rs 200 per day.”

Earlier, they used to get many complaints from their customers because the chemicals and the dyes were not effective. But now, the chemicals are of good quality and there are hardly any complaints.

Prem Pal, another dyer, is 25 years old. He works from nine in the morning till seven in the evening. He learnt the art of dyeing from an ‘ustad’, who is now dead. It took him one and a half years to learn the trade.

He operates from a pavement. He has a big stove, a table for keeping the dyes, a few buckets and a tub. A long clothes line has been stretched to dry the dyed stuff. He has rented a shop to store his material and the clothes that the customers sometimes do not collect.

The big shopkeepers in the bazar charge their customers Rs 20 to 30 for dyeing a dupatta but pay him only Rs 10. On being asked why he accepted the low rates, he said, “I have no choice. The big shopkeepers are my lifeline. They provide me with business. I have some personal customers too, but I can’t rely on them since they are not many.

About the ill-effects of constant contact with chemicals, he says their eyesight is affected. Most of them also develop respiratory problems.

Business is better in winter than in summer. They earn hardly enough to keep the kitchen fire burning even if by virtue of their trade they bring colour in the lives of others.


Cows loiter in grain market 
From Our Correspondent

DORAHA, Dec 18 — Finding no other home, stray cows of the surrounding villages have accepted the grain market of Doraha as their permanent abode.

The matter is acquiring serious proportions day by day but the administration seems entirely unconcerned about the havoc being created each day by these stray cows. The dairy farmers in and around Doraha leave their non-lucrative cows at some distance from their houses to roam about in the open and sustain themselves on their own.

Most of these cows have selected a permanent residence and that is the grain market of Doraha. Others keep on roaming here and there, on roads and streets, thus causing nuisance for the passersby and residents of the area. This already existing problem becomes intense when grain starts pouring in the market. These cows come on the roads as a result of which there has been a regular spate of road accidents in and around the town.

In the past 3 years approximately 150 cows have died on the roads due to heavy vehicular traffic, and due to the habit of procrastination on the part of the authorities concerned, these ‘dead’ cows become the cause of the death of human beings. Nearly 25 people lost their lives on the road due to the non-clearance of these cows. To quote an example in this regard, about six months ago a grain merchant of Doraha, when coming from Neelon side lost his balance on the scooter as he could not notice a cow in his way due to darkness. As a result he was hospitalised and has not regained consciousness till date. 


Ludhiana Bar has a ball? 
By Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, Dec 18 — The code of conduct issued by the Returning Officer, Mr Bhajan Lal Saini, for the elections of the District Bar Association, to be held on December 20, notwithstanding, it is party time all the way for lawyers, with contestants throwing parties where booze flows like water.

The notice-board in the Bar room in the old judicial complex has party notices spilling over the edges. One finds the invitation cards stuck on the walls outside the bathroom. One such notice reads a ‘Super Grand Party’, hosted by the Young Lawyers Welfare Association states, “Please enjoy leg, peg and music.”

Though the big bash was organised purportedly to celebrate the unanimous election of Mr Rajesh Bali as finance secretary and six others namely Mr Paramjit Saini, Mr Jaspreet Singh Jassi, Mr Amrik Singh, Mr Vir Inder Singh, Mr Navjeet Singh and Mr Paramjit Singh Dev to the executive committee.

In clear violation to the code of conduct the courts complex was dotted with multi-coloured posters and big banners. A debate organised by a group of lawyers fizzled out as all major candidates preferred to stay away.

The case issue in the election is the construction of lawyers' chambers in the new judicial court complex. With the two candidates for the post of the president — Mr Kimat Rai Sikri and Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, who is seeking re-election — making contradictory claims. Mr Dhanda maintains that the construction of chambers will begin soon. Mr Sikri refutes the claim.


YC protest against ‘sale’ of donated blood
From Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, Dec 18 — Hundreds of Youth Congress activists, led by Mr Komal Khanna, general secretary of the Punjab Youth Congress, organised a march in front of the Civil Surgeon’s office to focus on the alleged sale of blood in the Health Department.

The protesters, carrying blood bottles, raised slogans against the department. Mr Khanna alleged that poor patients were maltreated, life-saving medicines were sold in the open market and wrong medico-legal reports were issued on criteria other than merit in local civil hospitals.

Later, they submitted a memorandum to the health authorities demanding overhaul of the working of civil hospitals, strict vigil over distribution of blood and an effective drive against adulteration of food products and eatables. They warned that the YC would gherao the Health Minister if remedial steps were not taken immediately.

Among others, Mr Rakesh Sahota, Mr Amrit Bansal, Mr Rakesh Handa, Mr Surinder Happy, Mrs Santosh Sachdeva, Mrs Kuldip Kaur and Mr Vinod Aul were present on the occasion.


Society set up for welfare of vets
From Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, Dec 18 — The city mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, has stressed the need for providing better healthcare for cattle. Effective and affordable treatment must be provided to the animals and poultry birds so that the dairy and the poultry farmers could have better returns.

Mr Grewal was presiding over a function organised by Care Vet Pharma here on Sunday, in which a lucky draw was also taken out. Dr Nachhattar Singh (Patiala) won the first prize of a Bajaj scooter. The second and third prize in the draw went in favour of Dr Gurcharan Singh (Mullowal, district Sangrur) and Dr Ram Kumar (Patiala), respectively.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr Pavittar Singh Grewal, Managing Director of the company announced the setting up of 'Care Vet Society for the Welfare of Veterinary Practitioners Family.' He said the society, besides providing various facilities to the veterinarians, would honour brilliant children of the veterinary practitioners, who would secure 75 per cent or more marks in the 10 plus 2 examinations or those who would get admissions in professional courses like BVSc, BDS, MBBS or BE.


SPCA to construct veterinary hospital
From Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, Dec 18 — The Ludhiana chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) will go ahead with the construction of a veterinary hospital at Fazal Garhi near Mattewal village on the land given for the purpose by the Deputy Commissioner.

This was stated by Mr Suresh Gupta, secretary, SPCA, while speaking at the conclusion of a free animal check-up camp at the local gaushala yesterday.

Medical teams headed by Dr Prabhjit Singh, Dr Rajiv Bhandari and Dr Pawan Tiwari examined and vaccinated as many as 125 dogs, mules and horses. Ailing cows of the gaushala were also given treatment by veterinary doctors of the government Animal Husbandry Department.

Those who brought the animals for treatment to the camp were made aware of disease-preventing measures and animal rights as well by the camp doctors. They were told to be nice to the animals and take the society's help in preventing cruelties to them.

Silence was observed for two minutes in the end to pay tributes to the departed society member Roopali Jindal.


Cong policy on temple decried
From Our Correspondent 

KHANNA, Dec 18 — Mr Vijay Diamond, vice-president, BJP, Ludhiana district, condemned the Congress for pursuing vote bank politics on the Ram Mandir issue, here today.

Mr Diamond said the Congress leaders demanding the resignation of BJP ministers should themselves resign because they have been defeated by a majority in the Parliament on the issue.

He said the dreams of Congress (I) of having a mid-term poll would never be fulfilled because all NDA allies were firm to run the government for the full term.

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