Wednesday, January 10, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Protest against killing of youth
Cop’s house torched; Traffic blocked
From Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

From left: The slain youth Avtar Singh, wailing relatives of the victim and an angry mob stages a dharna at Aarti Chowk in Ludhiana on Tuesday. — Photos by Inderjit Verma

LUDHIANA, Jan 9 — An angry mob today set on fire and damaged the house of Gurmeet Singh Pinki, a Punjab Police cop, accused of killing a city youth Avtar Singh in a shootout incident at Maya Nagar here on Sunday night.

Earlier agitated relatives, friends and residents of the city staged a dharna and blocked traffic for well over five hours at the busy Aarti Chowk in the city in protest against the death of Avtar Singh.

The family of the victim was not willing to cremate the body till the police arrested the accused. A judge from the Punjab Human Rights Organisation was also reportedly recording statements of members of the aggrieved family.

A large number of police men were deployed at the place to prevent any untoward incident. The protesters, however, threw stones at some buses and broke the window panes of a private bus which was trying to force its way through the mob. No one was hurt.

Meanwhile, sensing the gravity of the situation as reported by district officials to him, the DGP, Punjab, Sarbjit Singh immediately ordered the reversion of Inspector Gurmeet Singh to the rank of a Hawildar. He has also issued instructions to all district police chiefs to look out for him and arrest him immediately.

The protesters were, however, not pacified by this move and demanded that the cop’s services should be immediately terminated and he should be brought to book for his alleged heinous crime. Adding to the tension were the allegations levelled publicly by Mr Amrik Singh, father of the slain youth, who was also injured in the shootout, that some police personnel had got his signatures on a blank paper and he was apprehending “some concoction of the case.”

Mr G.S. Sandhu, SP (City), however, said that the matter of the blank paper was resolved. He said that the guilty cop deserves extreme punishment and he would not be shielded.

Normal traffic at the busy chowk which stands on the Ludhiana-Jagraon road remained disrupted till the dharna was staged. Vehicles were diverted to other roads, causing great inconvenience to the public. Life at the Ghumar Mandi market and adjoining areas was also thrown out of gear as angry protesters forced the closure of shops.

Meanwhile, heart-rending scenes were also witnessed at the dharna. Relatives of the slain youth, including her three sisters, father, mother and grand uncles and aunts were weeping inconsolably. They had squatted on the road and were unwilling to leave the place till the police punished the guilty.


Cats at it again
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 9 — The alleged involvement of Gurmeet Singh, alias Pinki, in the mindless killing of Avtar Singh has once again brought to the fore the backfiring of the Punjab Police policy of recruiting terrorists as Cats in the force.

Pinky who was one such cat is already facing other cases, besides the latest murder charge. Earlier another cat Bhapp was in news for the murder of an Akali leader Balraj Gill. Bhapp was subsequently found guilty and is presently undergoing a sentence in the jails here.


DC, SSP fail to pacify mob
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 9 — The dharna by the angry mob at Aarti Chowk was continuing till late in the evening. Deputy Commissioner S.K. Sandhu and SSP Kuldip Singh visited the site but failed to pacify the agitating residents.

The mob has demanded that the post-mortem of Avtar Singh should be conducted again as they alleged that the post-mortem report had mentioned that the youth did not die of a bullet injury.

The last rites of the youth could not be performed today.

The DC and the SSP, addressing the mob, said the ‘‘vehshi darinda’’ would be behind bars soon. However, the mob refused to relent.

Meanwhile, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, talking to mediapersons said that stringent action would be taken against the guilty.


Pinki — a habitual offender
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 9 — The name of Gurmeet Singh Pinki allegedly involved in the case is not unknown to most of the local residents. A known terrorist, he decided to side with the police by adopting the famous policy of ‘police cats’ started by Mr K. P. S. Gill, former Director-General, Punjab Police, during the height of terrorism in the state .

His constant supply of information to the police brought him one promotion after another. From the position of a Cat, he became an SPO and was soon enrolled as a Constable. His work and links saw him rising to the rank of a Head Constable and Inspector in a short time. Insiders say, he was tipped to become a DSP shortly.

Though credited with helping the police in catching a large number of terrorists, he was also accused of being responsible for the death of several innocent youths. Though none of the allegations were proved, Pinki remained a terror not only for the public but also for the police officials as well.

As a matter of fact, it is not the first time that his name is involved in a criminal activity. Earlier too, he was accused of being the brain behind several incidents of theft and robbery in the city. A Central Jail inmate Dr Swaran Singh had even submitted affidavits to the state police that Pinky was forcing him to commit thefts by taking him out of the jail in the night and later sending him back their after the work was over. The case stands still there.

A senior police official, preferring not to be quoted, said the city police was helpless to control his activities. ‘‘He is well-connected’’ he said, adding that whenever some action was taken, senior police officials had stopped it as Pinky had threatened to expose them. He is also close to certain politicians of the state, the official said.

Pinky also accused of beating two journalists, who dared to write against him, enjoys security staff. Though posted to Jalandhar and later to Moga he still enjoys four policemen of the district police and even a cook as his personal security staff. According to reports, he also carries weapons not allowed according to rules.


Police caught napping 
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 9 — The death of 21-year-old youth, Avtar Singh, in Sunday night’s shootout incident and the subsequent allegations levelled by residents that the alleged goondagardi of the cop Gurmeet Singh, alias Pinki, was going on in the colony Maya Nagar for the past two weeks or so has found the city police napping.

Agitated residents told Ludhiana Tribune that the main accused Pinki was constructing a house in Maya Nagar and was visiting the place regularly. He was always accompanied by friends and gunmen and used to indulge in late night parties at the house and at the road, causing great inconvenience to the residents living nearby and also to passersby.

They say it was in the backdrop of this that the matter flared up on that fateful Sunday night. The residents said that all this while the police, especially the Ghumar Mandi Police post, was ignoring the happenings. They claimed that the police was several times informed about it, but yet no one stopped them.

The residents also sought to expose the tall claims of the police about controlling the law and order problem by starting the night dominations exercise and mobile police patrolling on motor cycles. They said no one ever patrolled the area.

DSP Gurmail Singh and Ghumar Mandi Police post in charge Mukesh Kumar, however, denied having knowledge of any such information. They said that no one had approached them.


Badal ignores dharna
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 9 — The Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, who was here today, ignored the demonstrators who had gathered in the form of a mob at Arti Chowk since afternoon. Mr Badal was on a visit to the PAU to attend a function and was just at a stone's throw away from the dharna site but chose not to meet the demonstrators.

Though the police said he did not come for security reasons, there was a feeling in the city that had Mr Badal come to the site the agitating persons would have been pacified. 



ST Dept raids on railway station again 
Tribune News service

LUDHIANA, Jan 9 — The traders coming by Jaipur-Jammu Tawi Puja Express and the railway staff were totally surprised when at 11.45 p.m. officials of the Sales Tax department raided at the railway premises to check the goods coming from New Delhi. They seized goods worth lakhs of rupees on which sales tax had not been paid by the traders.

According to Mr T.L. Jindal, AETC, about 75 bags have been confiscated. The goods include packets of clothes, cosmetics, medicines and other general items. Later the officials informed the railway parcel office and the railway police.

The department has asked the traders to show the proper bills of the payment of taxes and the goods will be released immediately. At present the goods are in the custody of the RPF.

When asked about the allegations of unnecessary harassment by ST Department officials, Mr Jindal said,‘‘ It is unfortunate that the railway officials are not cooperating with us. The traders are drawing undue benefits because of this conflict. We just want the proper payment of sales tax. The railway officials should understand that they can not generate business at the cost of state exchequer.’’

On the other hand the railway officials repeat the same argument, ‘‘ It is none of our business to check the payment of sales tax. We want revenue, and under the Railway Parcel Act we just have to check the weight and nothing else. The ST Department officials can check the goods outside the railway premises. We will not allow them to enter the railway station. ’’


Man alleges murder of wife, child
From Our Correspondent

DORAHA, Jan 9 — A man has alleged rape and consequent murder of his wife and newly born child by three of his relatives, who allegedly threw them into Sirhind Canal almost an year ago.

According to the FIR, it was on February 5 last year that Baljinder Kaur and her newly born child were coming from Sahnewal along with four of their relatives in a Maruti car when it fell into the Sirhind river near Doraha. As a result, the child was drowned and Baljinder Kaur and one of the relatives, too, died on the spot. Their bodies were recovered by the police along with the car. It was also reported that the other three relatives managed to save themselves somehow. One of them, named Daljit Singh, jumped out of the window of the car, while the other two, Rajwinder Singh and Charanjit Singh, swam their way out.

Till that time, various complaints were lodged by Amarjit Singh, the husband of Baljinder Kaur and a resident of Bauje Majra in Ropar, against those who managed to come out unscathed out of the accident. He alleged that Daljit Singh, alias Bittu, of Bijlipur in Samrala, Rajwinder Singh, alias Raju, of Kubbe in Samrala and Charanjit Singh, alias Channi, of Bahlolpur in Ropar, had first raped his wife and then with a view to close the story once and for all, they had intentionally let the car go into the river and themselves managed to escape. As a result of the complaint made with SSP, Ropar and SSP, Khanna, the case was handed over to DSP, Payal for inquiry in which the deaths were proved to be accidental rather than intentional, to which Amarjit Singh had reportedly given his consent to some extent.

However, with the passage of time, the doubts cropped up once a gain in Amarjit’s mind. He lodged a similar complaint with the Additional Director General of Police (Crime). Now with the inquiry report having arrived, a case has ultimately been registered against the accused (on January 8 this year) yesterday under section -304-A of IPC at Payal police station. 


Panjab University plans new correspondence courses
M.Com, M.Lib from next session: VC
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 9 — The Panjab University Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak, was here last evening at the sports meet held at Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, Udham Singh Nagar.

While talking to Ludhiana Tribune about the reshuffling of colleges between the three universities of Punjab, Professor Pathak said that it was the decision of the Punjab Government and all universities have to abide by it.

Regarding the proposal of the establishing a regional centre at Ludhiana, he said, ‘‘The Principals, Senators, Syndics and lecturers need to come out with a well-defined concept as per requirements of the city. If they present their problems in the right manner and with some force, the proposal may be given due consideration.’’

Professor Pathak, while talking about the various targets before the university, reiterated that the major challenge was to bring the results on time so that the students do not suffer while taking admission in other courses. He said that he was much concerned over this issue, as last year the university had received several complaints from students, parents and teachers.

He further said that to avert the ongoing financial crunch, correspondence courses would be started by the university from the coming session. These would include courses in Masters in Library Science and M.Com, he said. He also said that efforts were also made to introduce some soft vocational course.

Professor Pathak also mentioned that the BCA course had been upgraded and made for four years for those taking it as honours course. ‘‘Another two-year course in Master in Information Science (MIS) has been introduced. But if the students want to take up a BCA (honours) with MIS, they will have an option to join it as a five-year integrated course and save one year,’’ he said.



Travelling in buses at night can turn out to be a nightmare. A colleague went through such a nightmare the other day while travelling from Ludhiana to Patiala. The bus belonged to a local travel agency.

After crossing Sirhind, the bus turned towards Patiala. All the passengers were feeling sleepy. The bus came to a sudden halt. The passengers were surprised at this unscheduled halt. The conductor went out of the bus to a nearby wine shop to buy a bottle of whisky. The passengers had to wait for about 10 minutes before the conductor returned with the bottle.

When a woman complained, her husband asked her not to protest. He said it was a routine. When someone gathered courage to ask the conductor how could he drink while on duty, he said, “It is none of your business. We have to work for more than 12 hours a day at a salary of Rs 2,000 per month. Can’t we have some fun? Besides, the liquor is inexpensive here.” Passengers were speechless and the bus continued on its way.

Admission blues

After the New Year celebrations are over, parents are in a Catch 22 situation. It is time to put children in school. To get admission in the KG is as tough as getting an IAS berth these days. The ordeal of parents starts with the registration as queues in prestigious schools grow bigger everyday.

Registration fee, too, is not affordable. When the child returns from one of the various pre-nursery schools that have mushroomed in the city, there is no respite for him or her. Parents prepare their children for the interview by asking them to identify colours, cars, flowers and various other things. Parents have vague sources that tell them what questions to expect during the interview.

No school has a syllabi for the admission interview, but parents accumulate it from various sources and force their children to learn things that are beyond their comprehension. They take them to various schools to make them familiar with the conditions on the interview day. Anxiety increases as the day approaches. When the results are declared, parents of the kids who cannot make it, take it as a personal defeat.

For parents, it is a matter of prestige to see their children get admission in certain schools. Parents approach every person who is even remotely connected with anyone working in the school for this purpose. Parents should take it easy and stop torturing children because they underperform when they are tense.

Anti-dowry front

Dowry seekers, beware! Women of the city will not suffer them anymore. They have formed an Anti-Dowry United Front. This front has been staging demonstrations at Old Courts Chowk for the past two days.

Hundreds of women, including politicians, vowed to take action against those who tortured women for dowry. The front urged young women to join the fight against this menace. The front chief said the body was formed in view of the increasing number of dowry cases.

Cop with a heart

Those who believe that policemen are heartless, think again. Everyone has emotions, irrespective of his or her profession. The other day, a policeman who was on duty at a roundabout, declared his love to a young woman journalist. He got fascinated by the girl after watching her cross this roundabout daily on her scooter. The curious policeman started digging for information about her whereabouts.

He was overjoyed to know that the girl of his dreams was unmarried. He approached the girl with his proposal and said, “I know that this action of mine can create put me and my services into trouble, but everything is fair in love and war. I like you and, now, it is for you to decide,” The girl could not say anything, but just smiled and walked away from there.

Kite-flying fever

In north India, after Amritsar, Ludhiana is where people have a great passion for kite flying. Much before Lohri, kites appear on the Ludhiana sky. Different kinds of kites like pari, chajja, tukkal, stara, coop and Rampuri are brought here from places like Jaipur, Kanpur, Calcutta, Nagpur and Amritsar.

The thread called preta comes from Banaras. On the Lohri day, kite-flying competitions are held in the walled city. Camps declare their victory by beating tin cans and shouting “Bo Kata”. Children collect kites that have detached from the thread. Lohri here is the time for kite flying.

Questionable answer checking

Teachers of local Government Senior Secondary Schools were busy this week. They were doing something that they had not been doing well for the past few years. They were checking the answer sheets of examinations conducted in December. They used to dump these sheets unchecked till the past year. This year, since the results were to be checked by the three Deputy DEOs, marking the sheets became necessary.

However, teachers were smart enough not to spend much time on checking answer sheets. Most of them were seen doing this in a hurry. “The Deputy DEOs have to only glance at the register on which the result has been marked, they do not go through answer sheets,” said some teachers.

The scenes in the Education Department were rather absorbing this week. Many school principals and teachers were seen in queues outside the offices of the Deputy DEOs, awaiting their turn for getting the signatures of the official concerned on the register.
— Sentinel



Eve-teasing complaints in locality
By Shivani Bhakoo

LUDHIANA, Jan 9 — Residents, mostly women and young girls, of Major Sham Lal Road are being harassed by boys of a college in that area. The harassment is due to the fact that houses of residents face the back gate of the college, which is invariably crowded with boys during college hours.

The residents allege that boys park their scooters, cycles and motorbikes in a haphazard way and do not give way to any passerby. Their alleged abusive and vulgar comments have become unbearable for the residents.

Mr Sat Pal Uppal, a resident of the area, said that due to chaos and nuisance at the back gate of the college, the women residing in the area feel insecure. He said it was difficult for the women to go out or pass from the area as boys pass vulgar comments. He said the boys keep standing in groups and stare at young woman and girls who pass by.

Residents said that they had complained to the police and traffic authorities time and again regarding the problem but to no avail. Mr Ram Prakash, another resident, said, “I have talked to police officials but they have failed to provide any solution to the problem. There is so much eve-teasing on the way that we are really fed up”.

Another woman resident of the area, who did not want to be identified, said that she was coming back to her house in her car. She narrated, “It was around 12 noon. A group of college boys was standing in the middle of the road. I started giving horn but the boys did not pay any heed. I lost my patience and banged the car into a scooter. All of them started using abusive language and I had to leave the place with tears in my eyes”.

The residents informed that they had also approached the college. Principal several times, who expressed his helplessness to solve the problem. Mr Ram Prakash said, “The college authorities say they can not do anything outside the college premises. The students have been asked not to park their vehicles on the roads by the college authorities but the boys did not listen to us”.

Mrs Suman Rajeev, another complainant, said one side of the road in the area has already been opened for laying telecom cables. The boys park the vehicles on the other part of the road, causing hindrance to the traffic.

Mr Sharma said that rehris of various eatables add to the problem. The rehriwalas throw waste material on the road itself. He added, “we can not say anything to the rehriwalas as they have the support of these college boys. They do not listen to us and stand outside our main gates”.

Meanwhile, Mr Bharat Bhushan Ashu, councillor of the area, said he would discuss the issue with the traffic police and would definitely find some solution to the problem. 


Govt agencies ready for procurement: Mittal
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 9 — Punjab Food and Supplies Minister Mr Madan Mohan Mittal today claimed that all arrangements for procurement and storage of wheat in the coming season had been finalised and procurement of wheat would be made smoothly as per fixed rates and norms.

Talking to mediapersons here, Mr Mittal said that to create sufficient place for storage of wheat in the state, all the procurement agencies — Markfed, Food and Supplies Department, Punjab Agro Industries Ltd., PUNSUP and Punjab Warehousing Corporation, had initiated the process to create additional storage capacity as per their respective requirements and had already called applications for the creation of new plinths and covered storage areas from the private parties. He further informed that a large number of applications had been received by different government agencies and the process to sort out the applications was in progress

The minister said that the milling of paddy was also being speeded up, since the prevailing cold season was most suitable to get better quality rice. He said he was shortly going to Delhi to meet the Union Food Minister to take up with him the matter of rice to the other states, so that more storage capacity could be made available for wheat.

Mr Mittal said that there was a lot of scope in improvement of quality of rice in Punjab and called upon the experts of PAU to accord top priority for the improvement in the quality of paddy. He said that in the international market there was much demand for good quality rice and wheat. He said that with the improvement in the quality, Punjab produce can be exported on a large scale to the countries deficit in food grain.


Traffic awareness rally conducted
From Our Correspondent

DORAHA, Jan 9 — During the Road safety week observed by district police, Khanna, the first traffic awareness rally was taken out by Doraha police with the collaboration of B. S. B Welfare Society (regd) in which 450 school children participated. The rallyists marched to Kulvir Palace, Doraha, where they were addressed by prominent personalities.

The traffic awareness rally was presided over by Mr Amarjit Paul, SDM, Payal, and the Chief guest was Mr Ram Singh, SP, Operations, police district, Khanna. Apart from these, those who attended the occasion were Mr Manjit Singh, ADTO, Ludhiana; Mr Gursharanjit Singh, General Secretary Punjab State apex Body of NGO’s; Dr Ishwar Singh MC and former president, Municipal Council, Doraha; Mr Tarlok Singh Jaggi, president, Karyana Association and Mr Joginder Singh Oberoi, MC, president, Sarab Dharam Welfare Sanstha (regd), Punjab.

In his address, Mr Ram Singh, SP, Operations, said that construction of traffic parks would begin at the earliest . “Educational institutions should enlighten students regarding maintenance and conduct of traffic rules,” he said. Mr Amarjit Paul, SDM, Payal, appreciated the role of the first-aid post, Doraha, which has under the charge of ASI Harbans Singh, saved, 1683 precious lives by providing timely aid. “It was,” he said, “the first model first-aid post and it has proved its worth”.

Mr Sham Sunder Juneja, In charge, children traffic training centre, said that every year in India, 65,000 people die and 3.50 lakh are disabled, due to violation of traffic rules. “So a detailed information regarding the traffic rules must be imparted to the public in general and children in particular.”

Talking to newspersons later, Mr Ram Singh said,” The police district Khanna has challaned 6,706 people for violating traffic rules and collected a fine of 22 lakh rupees as compared to 11 lakh rupees collected for 5,612 challans, last year. Under the traffic awareness week being celebrated from January 1 to January 7, 2001, we are actively involved in setting up pollution check centres at various places. A special team of doctors shall check out the drivers who were drunk, coloured tapes in order to serve as reflectors would be put up free of cost on tractors and trolleys, road marks of white, yellow and red colour would be drawn and awareness campaigns would be organised at various places.

On-the-spot declamation and painting contests were conducted and the winners were honoured. 


PAU to develop Ladowal farm 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 9 — Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has drawn up an elaborate plan to develop over 1200 acres of a sprawling farm at Ladowal which has been recently transferred to it by the Punjab Government partially in lieu of the sugarcane research farm at Jalandhar where the government wants to set up a medical institute.

In an interview with the Ludhiana Tribune today, Dr M.S. Bajwa, Director of Research, disclosed that a blueprint for optimum utilisation of the farm had been almost finalised. He said that wheat had already been sown in about 100 acres.

As for the exploitation of the remaining area of the farm, Dr Bajwa said that 200 acres would be set apart for research on sugarcane and almost an equal area had been earmarked for horticulture, adding that orchards for different fruit crops would be set up.

Dr Bajwa said that the Ladowal farm was ideally suited for seed production of different vegetables and other general seed production. Therefore, a sizeable part of the farm would be put to use for vegetable seed production, he informed. The main campus of the university, Dr Bajwa said, had little area for research on agro-forestry. Therefore, it had been decided that nearly 250 acres would be utilised for agro-forestry experiments and research.


Swami with a message
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 9 — Swami Balaji has an ashram in Hollywood where he teaches meditation for four or five months and then returns to India where his followers wait for him. These days he is in Ludhiana to open a meditation centre.

According to Swamiji, wrong type of meditation taught by certain ‘spiritual’ teachers can be harmful. “I have started Blue Lotus meditation in the USA and it has proved successful. The blue colour is associated with spirituality, calmness, and friendship. In a hall, a blue carpet is spread . All my pupils wear blue robes. The lighting is also blue. I ask people to meditate only for half an hour. After that they feel relaxed and calm enough to cope with the stress and strain of life.”

According to Swamiji, “Meditation involves viewing your thoughts consciously and soon one drifts into weightlessness. Of course, this comes with practice. But once a person is able to meditate, he can make strong auto-suggestions and even cure his diseases. I would advise people to sit still and meditate for 20 minutes. Too much of it is not good. My message to the youth is, work is worship Work with sincerity. Do not be greedy for greed kills. Develop discipline. Do not aspire for things beyond your reach. Limit your desires within a framework. Work with love and responsibility. Do not be jealous of others’ prosperity. Try to help people solve their problems. Money is important but use it in a good way. Live happily within your means. Be creative, for your tomorrow is born from today.”


Masti non-stop, courtesy Joshilay
By Asha Ahuja

LUDHIANA, Jan 9 — Joshilay, (of Muniya fame), performed before a crowd last evening in the open. Due to intense cold, people had not gathered in large numbers. The function started two hours late. Mini Mathur from MTV was the anchor.

Julius, Jasmeet and Jolly, the trio called Joshilay dressed in white blazers and black shimmering trousers came on to the stage amidst bursting of crackers. They began with Muniya re muniya, their most hit song till date. They sang Tere jaisa koi nahin, Maa tujhe salam, but the crowd wanted Punjabi numbers. So they switched over to Punjabi numbers. When they started singing Balle balle tor punjaban di, the crowd broke into a dance. On persistent demand from the crowd, they had to keep singing Punjabi numbers only. Komi rail chalai proved to be another favourite. Before finishing off, they sang Muniya re muniya once again.

Talking to the Joshilay, this correspondent found them to be full of ‘Josh’ and of a charming disposition. Jasmeet said, “Jolly and I have been together for the past seven years. We met Julius three years ago. Julius was looking for someone to sing in Hindi and Punjabi. So we got together and decided to bring out an album. Joshilay was a great hit. The song Muniya Re Muniya rocketed us to fame. I like Kishore Kumar all the way, whereas Julius likes Michael Jackson.”

Julius said, “We do fight a lot. But it is healthy to fight. For after fighting, we come out with the most amazing music. While I compose the music, Jasmeet and Jolly write the songs.” All of them said, “We loved the Ludhiana crowd. In spite of being cold, people cooperated with us and danced, that really encouraged us to sing more. Our new album is called Chad Ke Na Jaa. We are shooting it in Mumbai and it is being produced by Moving Picture Company. We have child characters in this video and we are sure people are going to love it.”

“We love performing before a live audience and we have performed a hundred and five shows in India and abroad too. We think people love music and that is why more and more music videos are being released. Music speaks the language of love.”

Mini Mathur bound by the contract by MTV could not speak to the press.


DYC demands judicial probe into cow deaths
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 9 — The Congress and Youth Congress activists today staged a dharna at the Municipal Corporation headquarters here demanding a probe by CBI or a sitting judge of the High Court into the death of eight cows at the MC run gaushala due to poor maintenance and pathetic living conditions. The District Youth Congress (DYC) president, Mr Parminder Mehta, served an ultimatum to the civic administration that the party would launch a mass agitation from January 23, if the demand was not conceded till then.

A large number of party functionaries, carrying twigs of green fodder and raising slogans against the MC ‘maladministration’, staged a protest march from Congress Bhavan to MC headquarters, where they sat on a dharna and held a rally in which they held the callous and indifferent attitude of the MC employees, posted in the gaushala for the death of the cows.

Speaking at this occasion, former Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker and vice-president of the PPCC, Mr Harnam Das Johar, alleged that massive funds released for cattle fodder and upkeep of gaushala were misappropriated by corrupt employees and officers, who, he demanded should be personally held responsible for the death of the cows and prosecuted against under the appropriate laws enacted for protection of animals.

Mr Mehta castigated the BJP, which had maintained a criminal silence over the matter so far. “The party, which openly seeks votes in the name of ‘gaumata’ (cow) and leaves no opportunity at any time to exploit the ‘Hindu card’ was a mute spectators.

Mr Mehta further maintained that the enquiry ordered by the Local Bodies Minister, Mr Balramji Das Tandon, was a mere eyewash, because the accused persons themselves (MC Officers) would be conducting the inquiry against the alleged bungling and irregularities committed by MC employees and officials. “Nothing less than registration of criminal cases against the guilty persons, responsible for death of cows and an inquiry by CBI or a sitting High Court Judge will satisfy the ends of justice.”

Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka, vice- president of Punjab Youth Congress, warned that if the administration and the state government continued with its indifference towards the issue, the Congress and the Youth Congress would intensify the agitation and a detailed programme would be announced at a party rally to be held here on January 23 to mark the maiden visit of the IYC president, Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, to the city.

Prominent among others who addressed the rally and the dharna were Mr O.P. Angrish, Convener of the Congress Councillors Group; Mr Bittu Bhullar, vice-president, Dairy Farmers Association; Mr Abhilash Sharma, secretary, Gau Rakshani Sabha; Mr Hans Raj Gagat, Mr Ishwar Jot Cheema, Mr Ravinder Syan, Mr Sarbjit Pandey, Mr Sarbjit Bunty, Ms Sheila Masih and Ms Geeta Thakur.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Government has issued orders that Mr V.K. Ohri, Joint Secretary to the Local Government Department, Punjab, would conduct an inquiry. Earlier, the Minister for Local Bodies had entrusted the probe the MC Additional Commissioner, Mr Dilip Kumar.

On the basis of a preliminary inquiry report submitted by Mr J. S. Heer, Joint Commissioner of the MC, the Commissioner, Dr S.S. Sandhu has placed under suspension with immediate effect, a sanitary inspector, Mr Avtar Singh. The report has indicted the said civic employee, who was responsible for sanitation and clearing of mud and cow dung from the gaushala.

Dr Sandhu has further instructed the Joint Commissioner Mr J.S. Heer, along with Medical Officer (Health) and Chief Sanitary Inspector, in charge of management of cattle pond to visit the gaushala every day and keep a constant watch on its proper maintenance. 


PAU vets support animal sport
By Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 9 — A day before the start of rural games at Phallewal village, organisers and participants of events where animals are to perform were happy to learn that veterinarians of Punjab Agricultural University supported the conduct of such games.

This has given a new twist to the controversy regarding the use of animals in such games. The administration, under the pressure of the PFA, had banned these games, but later, gave its conditional approval for organising such events.

The PFA had alleged that animals used in these sport were treated cruelly in the name of tradition. Regular participants had refuted this charge, saying they treated the animals well. They said lakhs of rupees were spent on the diet of these animals.

Dr A.S. Grewal, senior immunologist of the PAU Department of Biotechnology, and Dr Jarnail Singh Narangwal, another veterinarian, said the ideology of the PFA was misconceived. They said there was no law that advocated a ban on animal sport in general and bullock-cart races in particular. Dr Grewal said hundreds of such events were held worldwide as part of popular festivals. Rodeo was a big festival in North America.

Dr Grewal also said animals also needed physical exercise and owners of these animals took great care of their health. Such events also helped veterinarians prevent animal diseases, improve cattle breed and preserve germplasm.

Dr Grewal said the most cruel thing was to kill animals for eating on the pretext that meat was good for health.

The doctors said the law stated that cruelty to animals should be prevented, but there was no bar on their participation in such games. They said cockfights could injure the birds, but bullock-cart races did not harm the animals.

Dr Grewal and Dr Narangwal said the practices like pricking animals with nails could be easily checked by including veterinarians in the organising committee of these events.

Meanwhile, the farmers who have been participating in the rural sport meet at Kila Raipur are in a Catch 22 situation. One such farmer of Gill village said he had spent thousands of rupees on the diet of his bullocks, but now, he was not sure whether the games would be held or not. He said the Sarabha village games were also banned on the day of the tournament.


Change in school timings
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 9 — The Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, has changed the school timings with effect from tomorrow keeping in view the changing weather and foggy conditions in the morning.

As per the notice, all government, government-aided, private and affiliated schools in the city will open at 9.15 a.m. and close at 3.15 p.m.

Mr Sukhdev Singh Rana, President, Government School Lecturers Association, has thanked the DC and has urged the DCs of other districts to make similar changes for the welfare of the students.



Ethiopian team visits PAU today
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 9 — To study the operation of the technical and vocational education system of Punjab Agricultural University, a delegation from Ethiopia will visit the varsity from January 10 to 12. The delegation will visit the PAU under the leadership of Dr H. E. Tekleheimanot Hailesclassic, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Education, Ethiopia.

The delegation will also visit the agricultural institute at Gurdaspur.

Besides, they will also visit the Departments of plant breeding, farm power and machinery, Processing and Agriculture Structure, PAU Dairy Farm and the College of Home Science. The delegation will hold discussions with the Vice-Chancellor, Dr G.S. Kalkat, and other senior officers of the university.

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