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


Communal amity marks Id celebrations
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 28 — The Id celebrations here today were marked by a sense of brotherhood among different communities. A number of people belonging to different communities, including ministers and senior leaders of different political parties, attended the special programme organised in front of the local Jama Masjid in the Field Ganj area before the Id prayers.

Prominent among those present on the occasion included the Minister for Technical Education, Mr Jagdsih Garcha, the Minister for Agriculture, Mr Gurdev Singh Badal, senior Akali leader, Mr Balwinder Singh Lyalpuri, vice president of the Shiromani Akali Dal Mr Amarjeet Singh Bhatia, district president of the Ludhiana Youth Congress, Mr Parminder Mehta, president of the Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Pritipal Singh Pali, state vice-president of the Bahujan Samaj Party Dr Khosla. The function was presided over by the Punjab unit president of the Indian Muslim Council Maulana Atiq-ur-REhman Ludhianvi.

The spirit of communal brotherhood was probably reflected best when noted poet Sardar Panchhi presented a poem in honour of Prophet Mohammad. While Panchhi was reciting the couplets in honour of the Prophet, the entire crowd shouted in response with Allahu Akbar.

Hundreds of Sikhs and Hindus had gathered at the Jama Masjid, offering greetings to their Muslim bretheren. The entire area wore a festive look with the shopkeepers having erected special stalls to mark the occasion.

About 1 lakh devotees offered prayers on the Id. There are about 5 lakh Muslims living in Ludhiana, most of them from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal and Jammu and Kashmir.

However, the absence of an Idgah was greatly felt here. Maulana Atiq-ur-Rehman regretted that so many Chief Ministers of the state had promised to provide land at concessional price for the Idgah, but none of them had fulfilled the promise. He reiterated the demand for an Idgah so that the Muslims had not to offer the Id prayers on the roadside.

Responding to the demand, Mr Gurdev Badal announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh for the Idgah. Both Mr Badal and Mr Garcha said that they would take up the issue with the Chief Minsiter. They also appreciated the contribution of Muslim community to Ludhiana’s economy. Most of the craftsmen and designers working in hosiery industry belong to the Muslim community.Back


Anti-Ahmedia slogans raised
From Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 28 — It was the anti-Ahmedia sentiment that dominated the Id congregation here, with a strong crowd of about 1 lakh Muslim devotees denouncing the Ahmedia faith and passionately shouting slogans against the sect. It was not just the slogans but also the tone and tenor of the speakers which reflected the aversion and hatred among the Muslims against the sect, which challenges the basic Islamic tenet that Muhammad was the last prophet of Islam. Even the banners were put on stage and around, denouncing the Ahmedia faith and describing it as anti and non-Muslim.

Addressing the congregation, Maulana Atiq-ur-Rehman Ludhianvi, the Punjab unit president of the Indian Muslim Council, while denouncing the Ahmedia faith demanded ban on the sect and its activities. It was almost after every 5 minutes that slogans were shouted with raised hands.

One of the speakers alleged that some Ahmedias were trying to convert the Muslims to the sect and had also tried to physically assault the Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid Ludhiana, recently. He warned that it may take dangerous connotations and could also harm the peace in the state. Equating the conversion campaign of the Ahmedias with that of the Christian missionaries, the unidentified speaker, carrying a cordless mike, who would frequently emerge from the crowd, urged the government of India and the state to curb and check its activities. He was seconded by speakers on stage and the crowd sitting there.

Ahmedias who are mostly based in Qadian, near Gurdaspur, and are the followers of Ghulam Ahmad Qadiyan do not accept Muhammad as the last prophet of Islam. In fact they have awarded the prophethood to Ghulam Ahmad Qadiyan. The Ahmedias have already been declared as non-Muslims in Pakistan and a similar demand is being raised here also.

The Muslim speakers also regretted the controversy raised by the Prime Minister’s statement on the Ayodhaya issue. Maulana Rehman warned against the construction of the Ram temple at the disputed site. He declared that the Muslims across the country will not tolerate the construction of the temple where Babri Mosque stood. However, he clarified that the Muslims were not against the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhaya. The only objection was that it should not be constructed where Babri Mosque stood. He demanded reconstruction of the Babri mosque at the same place, with a thunderous approval of raised hands, accompanied by the war cry of Nalai Taqbeer Allahu Akbar from the crowd.

The Maulana also criticised the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for “trying to disturb peace and brotherhood in the country”. He recalled the sacrifices of the Muslim community for the freedom of the country. However, he regretted that their patriotism was being suspected. He alleged that there were some “communal officers” in Ludhiana who were harassing Muslims and demanded their removal.

The Maulana also expressed serious concern over the treatment meted out to Urdu in the state. He demanded that Urdu be introduced at least up to the middle level so that their children could learn the language. He pointed out that no school offered Urdu as one of the subjects, leading to difficulties for their children as most of the Islamic literature was in Urdu.


Boy sodomised to teach employer a lesson
From Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 28 — An 18-year-old boy, allegedly sodomised by three youths in the office of an oil depot in the Industrial Area here on the night of December 24, suffered the ''torture'' as the alleged the accused wanted to settle a score with the depot owner in whose shop the boy was working as a servant.

The shocking case which also brings forth an example of sexually perverted minds came to light last evening when the boy, a migrant labourer, reported the incidence to his employer who had just returned from a tour. The employer immediately lodged a complaint with the police.

The police arrested Goldy, one of the accused, while the other two, Jasbir Singh, alias Kala, and Sukhdev Singh, a photographer, are yet to be arrested. The police has booked the three under Sections 377, 457, 506 and 323, IPC.

Inquiries made by the Ludhiana Tribune have revealed that the boy was sodomised in order to teach his employer a lesson. A talk with the victim and Goldy has revealed that Jasbir Singh, alias Kala, who worked as a driver of the employer, Mr Susheel Malhotra, allegedly conspired to harm the employer's depot after he had a tiff with him over some matter.

When on December 24, the three accused, in an inebriated condition, went to the oil depot and damaged a windowpane when the servant (victim) stopped them. The three enraged by his resistance pounced upon him and sodomised him.

Goldy (24) is married and his wife is pregnant. Sounding remorseful while admitting the act, he said: ''Dimaag kharab ho gaya si (we had gone mad). Claiming that he was only accompanying the other two, he said that he had not sodomised the boy but had just locked his arms.

Recounting the events he said he along with the owner of the oil depot and the two other accused had consumed liquor at some open space. On returning the driver, Kala, who was drunk, had an argument with his employer, Mr Malhotra, over the manner in which he was driving the car. The employer also rebuked the driver.

According to Goldy, the driver felt deeply insulted and later, along with him and a photographer entered the depot to damage it. The servant boy stopped them and the driver pounced on him and began performing the unnatural act.

While Goldy claimed that they had no motive to harm the boy, the alleged victim, who was still to recover from the shock, said the three had earlier also tried to harm him in a similar manner but he managed to save himself. He was, however, beaten up. The victim, while admitting that Goldy had only grabbed him, alleged that the three had performed the act in a planned manner. He said he kept quiet till his employer returned as he was upset and was feeling shy because of the social stigma attached to the act.

Shattered by the incidence, the boy said he was at a loss to understand the torture. ‘‘I had come to this city four months ago to earn bread and butter for my parents and two younger brothers living in Madhomani district in Bihar. I had not imagined that I would suffer such a thing,’’ he said pathetically.

Mr Dilip Kumar, in charge of Vardhman police post, said the other accused would be shortly nabbed.


Bonded labourers freed
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 28 — After getting wind of a raid on his premises by a warrant officer appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in order to release some bonded labourers, a Gobindgarh based industrialist released five bonded labourers along with their wives and children here last evening.

Claiming this at a press conference here today, activists of a Phillaur-based voluntary organisation, People’s Vigilance Committee ,said they had taken up the case with the High Court for which the HC had appointed a warrant officer, Mr Gyan Singh Khas, to get the labourers released and report the proceedings to the court on December 28.However, before the warrant officer could reach the industry, the bonded labourers were released by the apparently panic-stricken industrialist.

Ms Prabhjot Kaur, a volunteer of the organisation, who presented the released labourers and their family members before the mediapersons today, said they were in illegal captivity for the past five months. They had been allegedly employed by the owner on the promise of a monthly salary of Rs 10,000.

However, when they demanded the money after one month, the owner refused and also beat them up. When the labourers refused to work , they were told to return Rs 25,000, the owner claimed he had spent on them.

She said the owner sent one of them out to arrange for the money. The labourer, Barrey Lal, somehow got in touch with the organisation president, Mr Jai Singh, in Phillaur. He met the SSP Fatehgarh Sahib and reported the matter but no action was taken.

Meanwhile, the family of the labourer, who was sent to arrange the money, was tortured regularly allegedly by the owner. The organisation learning about the torture moved the high court. Ms Prabhjot Kaur said the Transit Rehabilitation Centre of the organisation was presently taking care of the freed labourers and their family members . 


‘Underworld conspiracy to tarnish Hrithik’s image’
From Asha Ahuja

LUDHIANA, Dec 28 — Four people were killed and many others injured in Kathmandu, due to a clash between police and the demonstrators who were up in arms against Hrithik Roshan for making derogatory remarks against Nepalese and Nepal. On the other hand, Hrithik says that he has great love for Nepal and said , “Let any one show the transcript of a statement that carries the remarks where I have said that I do not like Nepal and its people.”

The actor wants to convey to the people of Nepal that he never gave any interview to any TV channel and never spoke against the Nepalese people hence there was no question of an apology.

Many experts are not surprised that Hrithik Roshan has been implicated falsely in such an embroglio. His father had also been attacked earlier and it is quite likely that he has been used as a pawn by warring groups of underworld and his name has been dragged in controversy.

Talking to a number of people, it was found out that people had different reactions. Mr Suresh Sharma, a businessman said, “He got married a few days ago. He is a very soft person. After his father’s narrow escape from death, one cannot expect him to make such irresponsible statements. He is a heart throb of younger generation, so why he will involve himself in a controversy when he is at the height of his career. He is being unnecessarily maligned”.

Surinder Pal a physics Lecturer, said, “No one can force anyone to love. So it was his free opinion, as a person, to say whether he likes Nepal or not. Probably he never even made this remark. The press is playing up and giving unnecessary coverage to the whole issue”.

Rippy, an M.Sc. student said, “There is no smoke without a fire. If so much violence has taken place then some iota of truth must be there. Even if he has said it, he is not a God that people should pay so much importance to his words. People should have ignored his views and should not have created so much of hungama. Some people might have stirred this controversy in order to gain mileage for themselves.”

Aney Malik, who works for Connect Telephones, was of the view that these are mere rumours. He said, “In my opinion, the whole thing should be investigated thoroughly and if he is responsible for instigating violence, then he should be punished. Truth should be found out because four lives have been lost.”

Mr S. Sandhu, a professional photographer says, “I put the responsibility for violence at the doors of media. When Hrithik was constantly denying that he never made any statement against Nepalese, then why were his denials not being highlighted by the press. No one knows who started these rumours. But I believe in Hrithik’s innocence.”

“He is a young chap and he might have made this statement as a passing reference. I do not think it should have been taken so seriously that riots should have started that resulted in the death of four people. The whole thing is horrendous and the Nepalese people have really gone over board in their defence of the country. May be some underworld people want to finish him off and hence they are playing a serious game plan to destablise him and tarnish his image to finish him off,” said Vishal Dhiman.

Satinderjot Singh said emphatically, “Hrithik is innocent. He has clarified his stand a number of times. Had he been guilty, he would not have hesitated to apologise. Earlier his father was targeted, in my opinion, it is the mafia that is trying to involve him in a controversy to finish off his career.”

Subi Singh said, “I do not think Hrithik can make such irresponsible statements. I have been following the newspapers very thoroughly and I feel that he is telling the truth when he says that he never made those statements. Perhaps, this is a move on the part of mafia to implicate him falsely and tarnish his image. I think many people are jealous of his success and will go to any extent to pull him down from the high pedestal where the youngsters have placed him.”


City may get well-planned bus stand
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 28 — If all goes well with the ambitious plans and efforts made by the Punjab Urban Development Agency (PUDA) and Punjab Roadways, Ludhiana is likely to have an overdue well-planned bus terminus. With the city's population almost touching the three-million mark it is high time that the common man's transport system gets a facelift.

It is learnt that the roadways authorities have conveyed to PUDA that the existing bus stand structure spread over 9.92 acres was needed to be renovated and properly maintained. According to roadways officials, the existing bus stand was in dire straits as for the past five years it had not received any grants for renovation and maintenance from the state government. The local depot of Punjab Roadways gives about Rs 1 crore annually to the state government and if 10 per cent of it was utilised for the maintenance regularly, it would have not been in such miserable condition.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune here, an official of the roadways said that proper construction of the ill-maintained main entrance road to the bus stand was the main demand of roadways authorities. The entrance road is almost damaged with pits and filth allround. It may be a cause of some mishappening if a bus loses its balance at the entrance only.

The second major demand is that of operational counters. The existing counters at the bus stand are over 20 in number whereas the authorities concerned have demanded about a dozen more such counters.

The existing bus terminus is lacking proper unloading platforms and the roadways people have asked PUDA to arrange for the unloading counters for the convenience of the passengers.

Another problem at the bus stand is lack of toilets. There are about nine toilets available for the passengers but the officials have demanded construction of eight more toilets and have asked for the proper maintenance of the existing toilets. It may be mentioned here that the toilets are in bad shape.

The roadways have asked to provide more drinking water chambers for the general public. Though PUDA had even asked whether the old structure of the bus terminus be demolished to replace with a new one, the authorities concerned only demanded renovation and maintenance of the existing structure.


Confusion over change in history syllabus
From Deepkamal Kaur

LUDHIANA, Dec 28 — Confusion prevails among students and teachers of class 10 of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) regarding the changes introduced in the history syllabus this year. While teachers and students of some schools are following the entirely new syllabus, others are teaching the old chapters along with the new ones.

The teachers said that since they had not received any written notice from the board, they were not very sure whether the changes have to be incorporated from this year. The teachers said that they came to know about changes in the syllabus only when they saw the books. The teachers following the old as well as new chapters in their school said that they were doing so because they feared that the board may not put some questions from the old syllabus. The students and teachers of such schools have been over-burdened as they are following 12 big chapters — eight as per the old syllabus and four which have been introduced this year.

It may be mentioned that from this year, the first four chapters of History on ‘Imperialism and Communalism’, ‘First World War’, ‘Russian Civilisation’ and ‘1919 to Second World War’ were deleted and in lieu of these three chapters of History of Punjab were introduced. These included ‘Ranjit Singh — Early life achievements’, ‘Anglo-Sikh wars and annexation of the Punjab by British’ and ‘Contribution of Punjab towards struggle of freedom’. An additional chapter on maps has also been added in which the students are being taught to locate cities, historical places and rivers of Punjab.

The recent statement of Dr Kehar Singh, Chairman, PSEB, when he visited the city has further added to the confusion. He had said that the question paper will not be set from the new chapters as new books could not be published and circulated at proper time. Contradicting his statement, the local teachers said that they got the books on right time and as soon as they received these books, they started following the new syllabus.

‘‘If the question paper will not be set from new syllabus, will it be set from just four chapters which have been retained from the old syllabus this year,’’ asked the uncertain students and teachers.

The teachers said that in the state of such confusion, they were following the instructions of the school Principals. While some of these Principals are telling the teachers to follow the new syllabus others are telling them to follow the old chapters along with the new ones. The teachers from the latter schools are finding it hard to complete the gigantic syllabus of 12 chapters in their classes within the stipulated time.

Even the students of such schools are finding it difficult to learn all the chapters because they are in a dilemma whether they would get them all in the examination this year. ‘‘We are not just learning four extra chapters, we have been told to learn nearly 150 extra pages and 25 extra events with exact dates of every event’’, said the students of Class Tenth in chorus.


Nearer to the heart's desire
By N. S. Tasneem

IT is never too late to turn a new leaf in one's life. Of course it is dangerous to change horses midstream, but it is advisable to change one's profession even after a decade. Job satisfaction is a must to enable a person to lead a purposeful life. In the absence of satisfaction in one's job, the mind remains restless. In its restlessness, it either turns inwards or projects itself in outward activities. In its inwardness, the mind makes the person morose. In its outward manifestation, the mind becomes the devil's workshop. It then gets satisfaction in demolition and devastation.

To earn one's livelihood is the primary need for a person but it is not the sole objective of existence. The craving of the mind and the longings of the soul need be attended to in earnest. The imbalance in personality leads either to the stunted or lopsided growth. The result is that the past gnaws into the future while the present remains unclaimed. Life then holds no promises, not even the false ones. There is growth which is a natural process but no development that requires initiative. Development does not occur in a vacuum or as a tangent to work. One needs to blend direction and focus in one's pursuit of excellence.

It is essential to diversify one's activities if the job is not to one's liking. A good hobby or some other creative work can bring back the much-needed ray of light in the darkness of existence. In that state of mind, the job itself becomes interesting. One looks forward to the evenings with eagerness when one will pursue the work nearer to the heart's desire. The problem arises when one is neither here nor there. That is the time to usher in a new dawn in one's life. The old quilt has to be discarded even if one has to face inclement weather for some time. What more is needed when the proper performance of work is the end in itself.

It is not roses all the way when the train of one's activities changes the track. The time lost earlier will remain at the back of the mind for a while. New dichotomies will creep in and sometimes new regrets and new remorse will take an upper hand in the new field of one's involvements. These are, of course, the passing phases which further stimulate one to move ahead with new determination. The virgin should need be upturned into a pasture where a thousand roses bloom. The inner satisfaction and the peace of the mind have no substitutes in the dictionary of life. The chosen path may have numerous thorns and the feet may be bleeding but these prove to be no impediments in the pilgrim's progress.

Ask not what others can do to you. Ask what you can do to yourself. The rule of life is to move up or move out. There is no place for stagnation. It is another matter that most of the people move up for some time and then they start vegetating. The best example that comes to my mind is that of certain school teachers and college lecturers. They start resting on their oars much before they have achieved anything worthwhile. It is not the question of the requirements of the class but that of the constant need to augment knowledge. The more one satisfies the hunger of the mind, the more it gets whetted. The fabric of knowledge is seamless and the sea of wisdom boundless.

At long last the paradise lost will take the shape of the paradise regained. New horizons will come into existence beckoning the sails to unfurl themselves. The day, of course, will steadily move towards the twilight. At the end of the day, one will have the satisfaction of having accomplished the work assigned.


Prolonged dry spell may damage rabi crops
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 28 — Prolonged dry spell with hardly any signs of rain continue to worry the farmers. Their worries are shared by the farm scientists at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here, who feel that the continued dry spell may spell doom for the rabi crops.

While most area in the state is canal irrigated, about 10 per cent of the land remains rainfed. It is in this belt where the farmers are worried the most. They feel that in case the rain does not come for another week, seeds may not sprout on time or they may not sprout at all. Besides warm temperature may cause poor tilling, which may lead to fall in the yield also.

According to Dr M S Bajwa, Director Research, PAU, the situation is dismal for browny areas, the land which is rainfed. There are about 2 lakh hectares of land in Punjab which are rainfed. This area is entirely dependent on rain for germination.

However, Dr Bajwa said that there was still some hope. Even if rain comes in the first week of January it may help in good germination. But there is no forecast of rain for the time being.

It is for the first time in the last 140 years that the winter has been unusually warm. Dr Bajwa said the warm atmosphere is also harmful for good germination. Little fall in temperature could help in better tilling of seeds. If the temperature remains as it is going on currently, there are chances that one seed will be one plant only. But if there is a slight fall in the temperature, there can be many plants on one seed, which improves the yield.

PAU scientists pointed out that the temperature was still running a few degrees above normal. Moreover, they said that the ongoing dry spell in the region was likely to continue for a few days more.

Another worrying factor caused by the prolonged dry spell is that inversion in the dry spell may lead to frost formation which can prevent the germination of seeds.

While the farmers, particularly those in the rainfed areas, continue to be a worried lot, the scientists still hold hope for them. Scientists are hoping that the rains may come in the first week of January, which can still save the situation.


DYC (Urban) office-bearers announced
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 28 — The District Youth Congress (Urban) President, Mr Parminder Mehta, has nominated the office-bearers of the party unit, which have been approved by the Indian Youth Congress Chief, Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala. According to the list released here today by Mr Mehta, the district unit will have one senior vice-president, 15 vice-presidents, 15 general secretaries, 17 secretaries, 11 organising secretaries, 9 propaganda secretaries, a treasurer with the status of general secretary and a press secretary.

In addition, the Chairmen of various cells and a programme planning committee has also been named.

Following are the office-bearers: senior vice-president — Mr Sarbjit Singh Bunty; vice-presidents — Mr Abbas Mohammed, Mr Nirmal Singh Bittu, Mr Rajinder Nihala, Mr Balbir Singh, Mr Hardeep Chawla, Mr Charanjit Singh Channi, Mr Bhupinder Singh, Mr Jasbir Singh Gill, Mr Mohinder Singh, Mr Rakesh Malhotra, Mr Dharam Vir, Mr Gurwinder Singh, Mr Anil Sharma, Mr Vipin Sharma and Mr Kulbir Singh Neeta; general secretaries — Mr Anil Sachdeva, Mr Sarbjit Singh, Mr B.S. Thakur, Mr Surinder Nayyar, Mr Neel Kamal Sharma, Mr Aneesh Dawar, Mr Rajinder Pal Gogna, Mr B.S. Mangat, Mr Gagnesh Prabhakar, Mr Damanveer Singh Dimple, Mr Sukhwinder Singh Bhangu, Mr Janak Raj Bhagat, Mr Pal Bhogal, Mr Sukhjinder Singh Sukha and Mr Sonu Kapoor.

Secretaries — Mr Satpal Ghai, Mr Ram Saran, Mr Amandeep Syan, Mr Lakhbir Singh Rana, Mr Sanjay Bawa, Mr Arun Joshi, Mr Phool Chand, Mr Shavad Rudra, Mr Sanjiv Verma, Mr Mukesh, Mr Pradeep Verma, Mr Uttam Kumar, Mr Anil Malhotra, Mr Devinder Sharma, Mr Raman Jagdambey, Mr Gurdev Masih and Mr Ajay Gupta.

Organising Secretaries — Mr Bachittar Singh, Mr Sanjiv Shahi, Mr Rajesh Sood, Mr Bobby Sharma, Mr Jawahar Lal, Mr Gourav sood, Mr Satnam Singh, Mr Vipin Bhatia, Mr Avinash Bali, Mr Harminder Singh Ballu and Mr Varun Dhawan.

Propaganda secretaries — Mr Daljit Matharoo, Mr Surinder Dravid, Mr Ashwani Kanojia, Mr Bittu Tocka, Mr Ashok Arora, Mr Devinder Kumar, Mr Parminder Johar, Mr Gurdip Singh and Mr Deepak Dhawan; press secretary — Mr Kewal Arora; Cashier — Mr Inderjit Parmar.

Labour Cell: Chairman — Mr Sarbjit Pandey; convener — Mr Ravi Mishra; SC/BC cell: Chairman — Mr Ramesh Nahar, vice-chairman — Mr Rajpal Happy; convener — Mr Balbir Sidhu; Sports and Cultural Cell: Chairman — Mr Jugal Batra, Convener — Mr Sourav Soni; Programme Planning Committee: Chairman — Mr Varun Mehta, vice-chairman — Mr Deepak Verma, convener — Mr Rakesh Lekhi.


Tribune Crusade
Remove encroachments from Gaushala Road too
From D.B. Chopra

LUDHIANA, Dec 28 — Residents of Gaushala Road and Islamia School Road feel that these roads should also be included in the list of roads earmarked for removal of encroachments by the traffic police.

The traffic police had submitted a list of 12 roads in the old city to the MC Commissioner, Dr S.S. Sandhu, a few days ago, which needed to be cleared of all encroachments to facilitate smooth traffic in the congested parts of the city.

Both of these roads originate from Division Number 3 Chowk which continues to be a perfect picture of chaos in the presence of non-functional traffic lights and the absence of traffic regulating cops in the area. In addition to extensions made by shopkeepers to facilitate their respective businesses, there is a plethora of rehris and other footpath establishments on these roads.

Dr B.L. Malhotra, a medical practitioner on Gaushala Road, says the road must be free of encroachments to facilitate the movement of funeral processions on way to the Gau Ghat cremation grounds which comprise thousands of people at times. Serious patients advised to be shifted to the CMC Hospital, could be delayed on the way on account of these encroachments, he adds. He informed that a group of persons from the area had called upon Mr S.S. Bhatti, SP Traffic, a couple of days ago in this connection. Mr Bhatti assured the delegation that he would give top priority to the matter.

A resident of Islamia School Road, which runs almost perpendicular to Gaushala Road, says that the electricity transformers outside the school must be shifted to some other suitable place to begin with if the road was to be imparted a wider look. Shopkeepers too should be persuaded to pull back their extensions besides regulating the movement of rehris in the market.


Dosanjh meets Punjab Speaker
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 28 — The British Columbia Premier, Mr Ujjal Dosanjh, today met the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, at his residence in Model Town Extension here. Mr Dosanjh, who is on a private visit to Punjab, was accompanied by his wife, Ms Raminder Dosanjh, son Mr Amber, Under Secretary in the External Affairs Ministry, Mr N.P. Singh and Liasion Officer Mr Arun Pal Singh.

On his arrival at Mr Atwal’s residence, Dr Dosanjh was accorded a warm welcome by the Deputy Commissioner Mr S.K. Sandhu, the Additional DGP Mr G.S. Aujla, the DIG Ludhiana Range, Mr Paramjit Singh Sandhu, the SSP, Mr Kuldip Singh, and the SDM, Mr Kuldip Singh.

Mr Atwal presented the award of ‘Great Son of Punjab’ to Mr Dosanjh on behalf of the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, while Ms Atwal presented a shawl to the wife of the British Columbia premier.

The chairman of Baba Farid Foundation (International), Mr Pritam Singh Bharowal, presented a picture of Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib, taken by noted photo artist Mr T.P.S. Sandhu.

Mr Dosanjh held discussions with those present at the occasion about development of Punjab and promotion of social and cultural relations between Punjab and Canada. He also discussed the problems of traffic and migrant population in the city.


Dalit alleges daughter’s rape
From Iqbal Singh

KHANNA, Dec 28 — A Dalit, Jarnail Singh, of Madonpur village near Payal has complained to Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana and SSP, Khanna, to take action against a young man Gurdip Singh of the same village for allegedly raping his daughter repeatedly.

His daughter delivered a female child after three months of her marriage, who was allegedly thrown in the fields near Amloh. The girl is in judicial custody and the child is being brought up at children’s home in village Rajpura . SSP Khanna R.N. Dhoke said that inquiry about the complaint has been completed and opinion of DA (Legal) has been sought.

Jarnail had complained that his daughter was a labourer in village fields. He alleged that Gurdip Singh, alias Deepi, of the village repeatedly raped her. He threatened to kill her and family if she reported the incident to anyone. Jarnail said in his complaint that without knowing the facts of rape he had married his daughter to Bhajan Singh of Bugge Kalan village near Amloh. After three months of marriage, she delivered a female child at Gurpreet Nursing Home, Mandi Gobindgarh, on September 7. Jarnail Singh alleged that Gurdip Singh Deepi reached the hospital and promised to marry his daughter. After that the newly born child was thrown in the fields of village Mallowal Tibby near Amloh. Jarnail alleged that Gurdip Singh had got arrested his daughter by police with his contacts.

According to information from sources, the child is being brought up at children’s home Rajpura and Amarjit is in judicial custody at Patiala. A case had been registered on September 8 at Amloh police station under Section 307/317 IPC against Amarjit Kaur.

When contacted SSP Khanna R.N. Dhoke said that inquiry about the complaint has been completed and opinion from DA (Legal) has been sought. Gurdip Singh Deepi could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.Back


‘Adopt agro-techniques to face WTO’
From Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 28 — There was no alternative before the farmers of India except to cut the cost of production and improve the quality of their crops. The farmers should adopt modern agro-techniques which emphasise the production of eco-friendly crops through integrated pest management, judicious use of natural resources and bio-technical methods.

These were some of the views on which a consensus emerged among experts in the agriculture field and the agriculture technocrats of Punjab after a heated debate for two days. The workshop on WTO: Its impact on the Indian agriculture concluded in Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here today.

No doubt, it was very difficult for the small farmers to understand the implications of the WTO. The government, the agriculture experts opine, has failed to caution the farmers against the global competition. But the Agricultural Technocrats Action Committee whose members were closely linked with the farmers of the state, has decided to take an initiative to create awareness among the farmers about the impact of agriculture. The farmers may then force the government to take corrective measures to save the agriculture and other sectors of the economy.

Participating in the debate, Dr Anoop Singh of Gurdaspur, argued that the limitations in the public sector do not mean that multinational companies were promoted in the country which may work against the interests of the farmers. The trade unions of agriculture technocrats and PAU employees must motivate their workers against the lack of work culture, corruption and the bureaucratic attitude” among government employees.

Dr Satnam Singh, General Secretary, AGTAC, said, “The government was creating a wrong impression that there was a surplus of foodgrains in the country. The truth, on the other hand was that more than 30 crore people were not able to have meals twice a day. The government can easily provide relief to the farmers and these starving people by following the food-for-work policy.”

The speakers were concerned about the future prospects of the peasantry in Punjab. Some suggested the need for promoting cooperative farming and marketing through a mass awareness campaign in the rural areas. It was very difficult for the small and marginal farmers to compete with the big farmers and multinational companies individually.

While criticising the role of the MNCs in Punjab agriculture, Mr Balwinder Singh Sohal, Joint Secretary, AGTAC, said, “The companies like Pepsi had not kept their promises of giving remunerative prices to farmers for potato and tomato. Rather they exploited the farmers.”

Earlier Prof Joginder Singh, Head, Department of Economics and Sociology, PAU, suggested that the government should take serious measures to save agriculture from the negative impacts of the WTO. He suggested to start again the meat plant at Dera Bassi so that uneconomical buffaloes and cows could be culled.

After the wheat, rice and cotton crops the dairy sector was the only hope for Punjab. But it needed planned and sustained efforts on the part of researchers and extension services and the government. At present, the animal husbandry was contributing about 14 per cent to the state domestic product. However, one-third of the total 80 lakh milch animals in Punjab were giving just 1 to 3 litres of milk. If the Governments of Rajasthan, UP and Bihar could allow the slaughtering of uneconomical animals, why the Punjab Government was not allowing the working of meat plants in Punjab, asked Prof Joginder Singh.

Later the participants went to a farm of Mr Daler Singh in Ladowal village where he had adopted bed seed farming. He is sowing mentha between the two crops of wheat and rice, thus earning about Rs 12,000 per hectare.

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