Monday, December 25, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Land grabbing cases on rise
From Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 24 — A new land mafia appears to have come up in Ludhiana. The matter has also come to the notice of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal who has asked the Deputy Commissioner to file a report on the issue within one week. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, recently announced the formation of district and subdivisional level committees to look into the matter.

The State Government is also reported to have directed all Deputy Commissioners in the state to identify and mark the government land which is lying unclaimed. A large area of government land is reported to be lying unclaimed as it has not been documented anywhere. The DCs have been asked to prepare the documents for this land, which the government is reportedly planning to sell on the market price. A considerable portion of this land has, however, been grabbed by the land mafia and there are strict instructions for getting this land vacated and cleared of the encroachments.

The land grabbing is allegedly being carried out by the land mafia in connivance with the police and the patronage from the politicians, including some ministers. Only yesterday a local resident accused one of the ministers in the Badal government of attempt to grab his land situated in a prime locality. He has submitted his complaint, attested with an affidavit, to the Governor, the Chief Minister and the Chairman of the Human Rights Commission.

The real estate dealers here attributed the recent spurt in the cases of land grabbing to the steep rise in the prices of land in Ludhiana. The real estate prices in Ludhiana have increased manifold during the past few years, making unclaimed and disputed land the target of the land sharks.

According to sources in the district administration and the Municipal Corporation dealing with the land encroachment cases, most of these relate to those plots which are disputed and are lying vacant or unclaimed. This is allegedly being done in collusion with some revenue officials and the police. Even some politicians, particularly those in power, are also alleged to be involved in some cases, which makes it difficult for the police to act in an impartial manner.

The revenue official disclosed that the number of cases relating to the land grabbing has been phenomenal. Although he did not specify the exact number, he revealed that hundreds of cases had been reported during the past one year only. He said a significant number of these complaints come up for hearing every week during the sangat darshan programme.

It is not that the land grabbing cases have been reported from urban areas only. The rural areas are not untouched either. Although the magnitude of the problems is not that much as compared to urban areas, several cases have been reported where the panchayat and shamlat land has been grabbed by influential people.

Taking note of the enormity of the problem Deputy Commissioner S.K. Sandhu said in order to deal with the cases regarding the disputes of possession, ownership and other complaints regarding the landed property at a single place and to avoid multiplicity of action, district and sub-division level committees have been set up in Ludhiana district, so that such complaints could be amicably solved at the earliest without any confusion.

Giving details, Mr Sandhu informed that the district level committee would be headed by him, where SSP, District Attorney and DDPO would be the members and sub-division level committees would be consisting of SDM, Deputy Superintendent of Police and BDPO. He said that these committees would hold their meeting once a week to decide the course of action on the complaints received regarding property disputes. He said the new mechanism had been devised to bring about uniformity in dealing such cases. 


Tantarix — the band with magic tunes
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 24 — The PAU grounds appeared to have turned into fairy grounds with coloured flags, hustle and bustle, and spirit of bonhomie during the CII fair held here recently. Amidst all noise, melodious, foot-tapping music of Goan band Tantrix could be heard distinctly. One could hear the strains of Mera Joota Hai Japani from a distance. Rome of the East, in its new avtaar, is rechristened, Tantrix, as Tony explained that taan means tune and tarix means magic.

The quartet — Bismarck Pinto, the lead guitarist, Tony Fernandez, the drummer, Baulio, the base guitarist and Ulrick on the key board — hail from Goa. “Sea has something musical about it. The waves touching the shores, keep making different kinds of music, sometimes soft, when it gently taps the shores and, sometimes with great ferocity when it is in anger. Music is in our blood,” says Tony.

They have been playing for the last few years in Pizza Pizza Express in Delhi and now the urge to play at different places has overcome them.

In fact, this was their maiden appearance at a public function in Ludhiana. Their music got tremendous response from the public. Ulrick said, “We never knew that the response would be so good. We were really surprised to see a lot of girls dancing for we had an idea that Ludhiana would not have such a hep crowd.”

The beauty of our band is that we have no lead singer. We all chip in. We can play all instruments, so we take turns to playing different instruments. Their first album has been cut and they are awaiting the music company to release it and Roy Menazis, who launched Euphoria group, is behind the launching of Tantrix too.

All the four armed with professional degrees still choose to get into music. They live in Delhi. Their favourite group is Boy Zone. They have been entertaining crowds with varied kind of music from Konkanis to English pop, and Tony has even mastered singing pop Punjabi songs much to the delight of the crowds. For New Year, they would be performing in Jammu and then in Goa in January.


War against TB begins today
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 24 — AASHA, a social organisation in association with the Department of Health and Family Welfare of Punjab, is going to launch a state-level tuberculosis eradication and awareness programme under the leadership of Dr Baldev Raj Chawla, Punjab Minister for Health and Family Welfare, and Ms Mohinder Kaur Josh, State Health Minister of Punjab, tomorrow in Guru Nanak Dev Bhavan here.

Dr Puneet Girdhar, Chief Coordinator of the TB Project, is working as a link between the government and the body. He has tried to bring the medical organizations like the IMA, the IDA, the NIMA, the AIIMA and social welfare bodies on one platform to spread awareness, regarding the eradication and control of the TB.

According to Dr Puneet Girdhar, the TB has re-emerged as a threat to the lives of millions of people. This disease spreads faster in congested and unhygienic conditions of urban slums where most of the poor people live. This causes a huge loss of human resource, and stalls the development process.

Dr Rajinder Kaur, Civil Surgeon said, about 40 per cent of the world’s population was suffering from tuberculosis. Out of about 20 million patients of the TB 95 per cent, are in developing countries. Every year, the disease kills 5 lakh persons in India, more than 1,000 every day and one 1 every minute. The TB infects AIDS patients more because their immune system is weak. There are about 6 million HIV positive persons who have TB.

The District TB Officer, Dr Anil Verma, said , “The disease TB spreads through air when patients cough or sneeze. Though the disease affects the lungs mostly, it can also damage bones, joints, glands and the brain. If a person complains of persistent fever, cough, chest pain, loss of appetite, loss of weight and blood stained sputum and if these symptoms persist for three weeks, he or she should be checked for the TB. Three samples of sputum should be examined under the microscope for accurate diagnosis.”

Dr Iqbal Singh Ahuja, Patron of AASHA, said the TB was completely curable, provided treatment was taken for a full duration as advised. The course should be completed without any interruption, otherwise, a more serious form of the TB may develop. Generally, patients need not be hospitalised, but without treatment, half of them die within five years.

Mr Mukesh K. Aggarwal, General Secretary of AASHA, said the campaign was being launched for an early detection of the disease and ensuring uninterrupted treatment of the patients. Large-scale service-cum-awareness camps will be organised under this campaign. The success of this gigantic campaign depends on massive social mobilisation, networking and active participation of all sections of the society.


No light-and-sound show at Jor Mela
From Surinder Bhardwaj

FATEHGARH SAHIB, Dec 24 — Various social and religious organisations of the district have criticised the move of the government not to stage the traditional light and Sound program,” Sirhind Ki Dastan”, a main attraction of the Three-day annual Saheedi Jor Mela, held in the memory of two younger Sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh. It would be for the first time in the history of the mela and during the regime of Akali Dal, that it is not being held. The program used to be staged by employees of the Public Relation Department, but now instead of that, a private contractor, a close relative of SAD(B) leader, has been given a contract to organise just two shows of a religious play Gobind De Laddle, at a rate of Rs 35000 per show.

The two shows of the play would be organised on December 25 and 26 and all other expenses like loading, unloading, carriage, boarding and construction of the stage would be borne by the government. The mela continues for more than five days and the show will be held on only two days. Whereas the light and sound program used to be staged for five days and sometimes on the demand of the public, it was also extended. Devotees from all over the country used to watch this program and it was highly appreciated by them.

Interestingly, a news item carried in The Tribune that the government had not sanctioned the light and sound program this year, was contradicted by the Public Relations Department, claiming that the program had been sanctioned a month earlier.

Sources revealed that artists of the department had started preparation for the show and completed all the arrangements, but at the last moment they were informed that the government had decided to postpone the light and sound program and a private party had been given the contract to hold two shows of a religious play. Resentment also prevails among artists of the department. Certain artists, on condition of anonymity said that when the department had its own employees, then why had the contract been given to someone privately, especially to one, who is also an employee in one of the government departments. 


Firing in Kidwai Nagar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 24 — Panic gripped the Kidwai Nagar area here last night when some unidentified youth fired at the house of Mr Gurdeep Singh Nittu, political secretary to the Deputy Speaker Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mr Satpal Gosain.

According to reports, two unidentified youths who were riding a scooter and were in police uniform came at around 12 in the night. They reportedly inquired about the residence of Mr Nittu from the children who were playing.

When they were led to the house, the two youths knocked at the door of Mr Nittu but nobody came out to open the door. They reportedly fired some shots at the gate. However, they managed to escape from the scene under the cover of darkness. The children playing there also fled in panic.

Meanwhile, Mr Nittu said that he was surprised over the incident since he had not any enmity with any one. The police has registered a case and started investigation. No arrests have been made so far.

Meanwhile, an official of the Municipal Corporation Ludhiana was allegedly manhandled by the driver of a tempo and his accomplices at the focal point area yesterday. According to an FIR registered in the police station focal point, octroi inspector Bheem Sen was manhandled by a tempo driver and several others.

The report said Bhim Sen was on routine checking when he stopped a temp carrying maida. While talking to the driver, the conductor of the tempo reportedly telephoned some people from a nearby PCO who arrived soon and started manhandling the inspector. The FIR said that the tempo was carrying the maida without any octroi slip.


Flouting PSEB rule on fire-fighting systems
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 24 — Most of the schools in the city are flouting safety norms with impunity in the absence of the implementation of the Punjab School Education Board rules which make it obligatory for the school managements to install proper fire-fighting equipment on their premises.

Even though the minimum fire-fighting infrastructure costs between Rs 5000 and Rs 15,000, most of the schools here are avoiding the expenditure, jeopardising the safety of school children in case a fire breaks out. The offending school authorities seem to have forgotten the Dabwali fire incident killing 462 school students and injuring 50 others.

The Punjab School Education Board rule states that schools have to get a no-objection certificate from the Chief Fire Officers of the respective district for getting affiliated to the board. The Chief Fire Officer gives the certificate after satisfying himself that all fire-fighting measures and equipment exist on the school premises.

But still a large number of affiliated schools have managed to obtain affiliation without getting the necessary equipment installed. A school principal, when asked whether she is planning to install any fire equipment, replied: ‘‘I think it will be an unnecessary expenditure as our school has a much open space. So we do not face any fire danger.’’

However, a fire official in the local Fire Brigade said that the schools were not any safe places. Among the possible causes of fire were electric short-circuits, inflammable goods such as petrol, spirit, acids and other laboratory chemicals, he informed.

The schools, which are not following the fire safety norms, must fall in line to ensure the safety of their students, said the District Education Officer, Ms Usha Sidhu.


Traders shift station to avoid taxmen
From Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 24 — Hosiery traders, railway employees and booking agents seem to have once outsmarted officials of the Excise and Taxation Department. The sales tax officials had increased their vigil at the local railway station after the December 5 raids to expose the “nexus” between traders, railway staff and sales tax employees.

Traders have begun to send their consignments from the nearby stations of Khanna, Jalandhar, Ferozepore Cantt, Phagwara and Phillaur. Checking of the sales tax bills by sales tax officials on these stations is almost negligible.

Traders, in order to avoid paying the sales tax, prefer to transport their goods first by road to these stations and then book the wagons for sending these to the desired destinations. “We have to spent huge money on transporting goods by road, but the savings in the sales tax not only compensate for this, but also help us make a lot of profit,” said a booking agent, on the condition of anonymity.

Enquiries at the railway parcel-booking office showed that, due to the shifting of the booking operations, the earnings of the local railway parcel office had reduced drastically. Mr Ishwar Dass, head parcel clerk said, “we used to book about 2,500 hosiery consignments during this period and earnings were about Rs 5 lakh. However, now the earning have dropped to about Rs 2 lakh.

On December 22, the railway officials had booked 1,027 consignments, including 765 of hosiery goods and earned Rs 2,31,205. Next day 1,375 consignments were booked, including 1,118 of hosiery goods. The earnings were the same. The fall in the earnings is allegedly due to the decrease in bookings of the hosiery goods at the local railway station.

Mr Sunil Dutt, a leading hosiery manufacturer, said some traders were also sending their goods by road as they saved sale tax by this method.

Another hosiery trader said, “the margin in this business is so less that traders are ready to adopt even illegal ways to increase their profits. The slump in the market and the competition have forced us to look for such loopholes in the system to save money.


The first Christmas of the millennium
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 24 — Christmas— it is a time to celebrate, time to put up multi-coloured baubles, to bake plum cakes, hang misetle-toe on doors, put colourful streamers, hang up stockings, and place prettily wrapped gifts at the base of a Christmas tree. Most Christian homes also put lighted stars outside their homes.

The town is in a mood to have a swinging time. Starred hotels organise fabulous programmes. A baker, Mr Rajat Madan, said, "Every year the sale of plum cakes zooms. Last year, we had prepared two quintals of plum cakes, but this year the demand has risen dramatically. We have baked three quintals of plum cake. Our only fear is that we may run out of them." Many a family prepares plum cakes at home. The preparations start a month ago as they wish to give these cakes to their friends.

Shops near the CMC are well-stocked with requisite decorations. They display pudgy Santas in all sizes. Churches all over the city are gaily decorated and gear themselves up for midnight mass. The prayer service in Girjaghar Church, a presbyterian church was conducted by the priest, Clarence Bansi Lal. The church was decorated gaily, had a traditional Christmas tree and stars hanging from it. The priest informed, "We will be going for carol singing to the homes of people. Tomorrow we will hold a prayer service at 11 o'clock in the morning. A mass will be conducted at night at the Sacred Heart Convent School."

Christmas is also a time for retrospection. It is a time to think where one is heading for and whether man is doing the deeds that God had sent him in the world for. It is time for sharing your good fortune with those who have not been so fortunate. It is the time to promote brotherhood. At the same time, Christmas means fun, parties, exchanging gifts, and eating roasted turkey. One of the starred hotels is offering a Turkey Buffet on Christmas eve — dinner at its scrumptious best. In the evening, Santa Claus will distribute gifts to the children and a group of singers would sing carols like 'Silent Night, Holy Night, All is Calm, All is Bright'. People give money to carol singers, who in turn give it away for charity purposes.

Christmas is a time to celebrate the end of a year and start of a new beginning, to greet the light of the new century and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


They weave comfort for us

EVERY household has beds, chairs, stools etc. In this age, people have discarded time-tested baan for making of charpoys. Earlier, bamboo cane was commonly used for interlacing lounge chairs, sofas, stools etc. But now, gone are the bamboo cane, niwar and baan and in place of these has come all pervasive nylon, in various gaudy colours.

Many a young entrepreneur earns his livelihood by carrying on his cycle a number of spools of gaily-coloured nylon strips to use for criss-crossing and weaving beautiful patterns in chairs and charpoys. They provide service at your door steps and save you the inconvenience of carting chairs and charpoys to regular shops for repair.

Ram Krishan, a young man of 26 who hails from UP, is one such entrepreneur. In a day, he cycles more than 20 km, going from one colony to another in search of work. He says, ‘‘My earnings vary. Sometimes, I do not find work for 2-3 days and sometimes, I make Rs 200 to 300 a day. I learnt the art of weaving from the members of my family. I charge Rs 50 to 60 for a chair. The rates vary depending on the size, the pattern and the material used. For a charpoy, I charge Rs 125, including the material cost.

"We buy material from wholesalers. It is quite tough carting material on our cycles for long distances. Our work suffers in summers as it is too hot for us to cycle long distances. Anyway, even in winters, we have to brave chilly winds. Rainy season also provides us no help. Our life is tough and we earn money by the sweat of our brow, " he said.

Phoolwati, an old widow, who has been thrown out of her house by her children, earns her livelihood by making mats and weaving chairs, and charpoys. She says, "Some shopkeepers bring me the nylon strings at home. I have fixed customers who send me a message whenever they want something to be repaired or woven. I just earn enough to make the two ends meet. I thank God that I can live with dignity. I have no savings and I do not know what will happen if I fall sick. I have left everything to God."

Our life will be very difficult without these roadside entrepreneurs, who help us by providing service at our door steps and make our lives easier, though their own lives remain full of hardships.

— Asha Ahuja


A tribute to Mohd Rafi
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 24 — "Dil ka soona saaz tarana dhoondega

mujhko mere baad zamana dhoondega"

"Tere aane ki aas hai dost

sham phir kyon udas hai dost

mehki mehki fiza yeh keh rahi hai

tu kahin aas paas hai dost"

Mohammad Rafi immortalised himself by singing endless number of songs which still enliven our hearts. To pay tributes to the great singer, Rafi Memorial Nite was organised by the Rafi Memorial Society at Nehru Sidhant Kendra last night.

The programme began with a devotional song Alla tero naam, ishwar tero naam by Rajinder Kalra and rest of the singers sang in the chorus. Rajinder Kalra, who won a prize in TVS Sare Ga Ma, was awarded by Mr Naushad Ali, one of the most versatile music directors.

The other singers, too, were winners of the Zee TV Sare Ga Ma. Nikahat Ali sang a popular number of Rafi, woh chup rahe to, Rinku Kalia and Veenu Kautish sang a duet, mere dil ke diye jaltein hain while Prachi rendered an evergreen number of Mohammd Rafi, bachpan ki mohabbat ko dil se bhula na dena. The other singers, Narinder, Amarjit, Devinder Kaushik, R.L. Anand and Rimi Chopra regaled the audience by singing the most popular numbers of Rafi.

Jasbir Singh Heer, Joint Commissioner, gave away the prize-s and Dr S.S. Sandhu, was the chief guest of the evening.


Garhwalis hail Uttaranchal creation
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 24 — The Garhwal Sabha here has hailed the creation of the new Uttaranchal state. The Garhwal Welfare Society (Haibowal Kalan), today organised a cultural programme to celebrate the creation of the new state.

The president of the society, Mr Shiv Singh Kathat, along with the vice-president and general secretary of the society, requested all people living in Punjab and belonging to Garhwal region to come together and work for the welfare of the society.

The local Member Parliament, Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, was the chief guest. The atmosphere was marked by festivities. Members of the community observed that the state had been created after sustained efforts and sacrifices by the people. They hoped that a separate state for the people of Uttaranchal would help in speedy development of the area, which was otherwise neglected.

A colourful cultural programme was organised to mark the occasion. Ethnic programmes peculiar to the Garhwal region were presented by the people. Hundreds of people from the Garhwal region participated in the cultural programme.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Ghalib congratulated the community over the formation of Uttaranchal and said it was a long cherished dream of the people of the hill region. He said, the people of Punjab would always cooperate with the community in their welfare and other constructive work.


No threat to NDA govt: Dhindsa
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 24 — The Union Minister for Fertilisers and Secretary General of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, today criticised the Congress for its attempts to create fissures among the partners of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Mr Dhindsa, who was here today, while talking to reporters claimed that the NDA was "as firm and strong as a rock and nobody can shake it''. He said there was no division in the alliance and the government was perfectly placed in the saddle. However, the Akali leader agreed that there could be some differences among the alliance partners on different issues. "The NDA is an alliance of about 24 parties and difference of opinion is bound to be there, but this should not mean that there is any division or threat to the government," he sought to explain.

The minister pointed out the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, had time and again reiterated that the government had no agenda except that of the NDA and its partners were convinced about it. However, he criticised the Congress for disrupting the proceedings in the Lok Sabha and trying to create a wedge among the NDA partners on the Ayodhya issue.

Mr Dhindsa accused the Congress of being power hungry. In its bid to grab power, it is trying to use different methods. But it will never succeed in its designs to grab power, he said.

The minister disclosed that a fresh fertiliser policy was on the anvil and it would be finalised before the budget session. He said discussions were already going on. He revealed that it would be a pro-farmer policy and at the same time it would not ignore or neglect the interests of fertiliser producers.

Commenting on the removal of Ramandeep Singh from the national hockey squad, Mr Dhindsa, who till recent past was the union Sports Minister, observed that the Indian Hockey Federation should reconsider its decision since Ramandeep was a talented player. His services, Mr Dhindsa felt, could still be utilised at the national and international levels.

Mr Dhindsa, who is also the President of the Punjab Olympics Association, declared that the national games scheduled to be held in Punjab in March would be held on time.


Govt pursuing Sangh Parivar agenda: CPI
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 24 — ‘‘It is not the NDA agenda which is being currently followed by the Vajpayee led NDA government, but the Sangh Parivar agenda. The PM was implementing the hidden agenda in a subtle manner. The politics of Ayodhya, the venom against the minorities and the continuous attacks on religious places were all aimed to ruin the rich heritage of our country,’’ said Mr Bharat Prakash, the veteran communist leader and freedom fighter.

‘‘The communists would do their utmost to defend the secular and democratic fabric of the country. They would work hard to save the self-reliant economic development in the interest of the vast majority of the poor, workers and masses,’’ he said.

While addressing workers of the CPI on the 75th anniversary of the party, he warned the workers against the onslaught of the MNCs on the interests of the workers. Ms Amarjeet Kaur, member of the central committee of the CPI in her address, urged the younger generation to struggle against the policies of liberalisation. The removal of quantitative restrictions on the trade of 1529 items is already showing its negative impact on the local industry, dairy and agricultural production.

Mr O.P. Mehta urged the workers to unite together to oppose the policies which were ruining the small scale industry.


Seminar on ayurveda
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 24 — A seminar on ‘Ayurveda in Modern Era’ was held yesterday, by the confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and Bentavox herbal, jointly.

Mr Baldev Raj Chawla, Health Minister, presided over the seminars.

The seminar started with Vedic mantras, after which experts expressed their views and presented different papers on ayurveda.

Mr Sanjay Popli, Director Ayurveda, Mr Akhilesh Sharma, Adviser to Delhi government and Dr Raj Kumar were present on the occasion. They presented papers on panchkarma therapy, diabetes and ayurveda. Dr Sanjay Popli opined that drug manufacturing should be of high quality.

Dr R. Vatsyayan spoke an ‘Role of Ayurveda in stress-related disorders’. He said, “Wrong life style is responsible for stress in life to quite an extent.” He informed that ayurveda provides ample guidelines so as to lead stress free life. He also suggested that classic ayurvedic medicine may be used for the purpose.

Mr P.K. Jain, Dayanand Ayurvedic College,chaired the session. He said that the government should reduce the gap between ‘saying’ and ‘doing’ so that people can benefit from ayurveda. Mr Chawla informed that the Punjab Government was making a ‘Herbal Protection Board’ to encourage ayurveda. 


Traffic chaos in town
From Our Correspondent

KHANNA, Dec 24 — The traffic problems here have multiplied over the years with an increase in the population and the number of vehicles.

A lack of parking lots and haphazard parking habits of residents have often led to traffic jams and accidents. People say that it is difficult to find a vehicle in the town that has not been damaged in an accident.

Mr Naresh Mehta, a social Activist of the town said, “The parking spaces and roads in the city have become so congested that vehicles are bound to get dented. Most of the times, accidents occur nor because of rash driving, but due to overcrowding on roads”.


Punjabi writers honoured
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 24 — The Punjabi Sahit Trust, Dhudike, in collaboration with Punjabi Sahitya Akademi, honoured six Punjabi writers in its annual function at Punjabi Bhavan here today.

Fiction writers, Dr Amarjit Singh Gorki, Dr S. Saki, poetess, Dr Gurminder Kaur Sidhu, and poet, Sukhminder Rampuri were among those honoured on the occasion. The writers were awarded Rs 10,000 each.

Mr Jaswant Singh Kanwal, noted novel writer and former chief secretary of the Punjabi Sahitya Akademi, was the chief guest on the occasion.


Woman commits suicide
From Our Correspondent

JAGRAON, Dec 24 — Ms Sukhdip Kaur, a PCO owner and also ran a beauty parlour, reportedly committed suicide by jumping in Akhara Canal at Jagraon. Before committing suicide, she gave a telephone call to her family members at Raikot. The police recovered a suicide note from her scooter in which she said that no one should be held responsible for her death. The police has reportedly traced the diary of Ms Sukhdip Kaur.


Scooter stolen
A scooter has reportedly been stolen by two young men when its owner was attending the call of nature in the nearby fields. The owner of the scooter was on his way back to his native village.

According to the FIR registered at the Payal police station, Mr Ramandeep Singh of Ranwan village, Machhiwara, had come to Ghaloti village, Payal, to meet his aunt. On his way back home on December 21 at about 3.30 p.m., he stopped to attend the call of nature in the nearby fields. Two young men allegedly fled away with his scooter numbered PB 43-0841. A case has been registered under Sections 379 and 34 of the IPC.

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