Tuesday, January 30, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


‘Spirited’ cops beat up councillor’s brother, friend
ASI booked, SHO suspended
By Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 29 — While the district police is already facing flak in the Dalit torture case and is trying hard to salvage its image by initiating police-public cooperation measures, two allegedly drunk policemen mercilessly beat up two youths last night. Both the youths sustained multiple injuries.

Acting swiftly, SSP Kuldip Singh ordered an immediate registration of a case against ASI Ranjit Singh and another policeman after a complaint was lodged by the two victims, one of whom is the brother of Mr Kuldip Janda, Municipal Councillor belonging to the Congress.The SSP has also put SHO Jodhewal, Dilawar Singh, under suspension for not taking timely action against the policemen.

In a minor re-shuflle the SSP has also ordered immediate transfer of Mr Balwinder Singh, SHO, Salem Tabri, to the Jodhewal police station, while ASI Dilbagh Singh has been appointed SHO, Salem Tabri.

The incident took place last late night near a liquor vend on the Tibba road in the Basti Jodhewal police station area.

Giving details Dharamvir Janda, said he was returning on a scooter from a wedding of a friend along with his friend, Vishal, and the latter's mother, when two policemen one in uniform and the other in civil clothes first followed them in a car and then forced them to stop near a liquor vend.

he alleged that the policemen demanded money from them to buy liquor and chicken. He said he showed them his empty pockets and told them that he had only Rs 100 and offered them the money. But the policemen started abusing them and also used foul language in front of the mother of his friend. He said they told them not to harass them.

At this, he alleged, the two policemen alongwith two others from the liquor vend pounced on them and showered blows on their faces. Later, they picked up some sticks and beat them mercilessly. The woman who tried to save the two youths was also allegedly pushed around.

The three were rescued by some persons returning from the same wedding. They were kept in the house of one friend in the night and admitted to the civil hospital today morning.

While Dharamvir sustained head injuries, and had a suspected fracture on his left arm, the other victim Vishal was barely able to move due to a fractured left ankle. Mr Kuldip Janda, Municipal Councillor, his supporters and other friends were visibly upset over the incident.

Talking to The Ludhiana Tribune, they said if such treatment was meted out to the brother of an elected representative, the condition of the common man in the city could be well imagined.

SSP Kuldip Singh said he had immediately taken action against the alleged culprits in order to make it clear to the public that no one is above the law. 


Chaos at school board exam centres
By Deepkamal Kaur

LUDHIANA, Jan 29 — Lack of proper infrastructure, erratic power supply and failure on the part of the external examiners to reach the centre, were some of factors that marred the smooth conduct of vocational practical examinations, which commenced at a number of local schools affiliated to the Punjab School Education Board today.

Most of the students simply filled their practical sheets and only a few could actually perform their practicals. At most of the centres, the examination began at least half-an-hour late, as students and teachers waited for external examiners in vain.

Ludhiana Tribune found that none of the five external examiners for different trades including computer, knitting technology, automobile repair, machine tool operations and typing turned up at Government Multipurpose Senior Secondary School, Cinema Road. Internal assessors asked students to wait for half-an-hour, after which they began the practicals. As soon as they started, there was a power cut which lasted for more than three hours.

Due to the power cut, students appearing for practicals in machine tool operations could not use the machines for drilling, threading or welding, all of which were power driven.

However, students wrote out their practical test on answer sheets and teachers took their viva.

For students appearing in knitting technology practicals, the hand driven, obsolete knitting machines proved to be a boon during power failure today. Had the machines been new and power driven, students would not have been able to perform their practicals.

At the same school, 12 students doing computer courses performed practicals on just one computer! The only computer installed in the school was obsolete, for it had never been upgraded since its installation in 1991. The students had electricity supply from another phase, which was up for almost one hour after the practicals started.

Ludhiana Tribune found that external examiners also did not turn up at Government Girls’ Senior Secondary School, Jawahar Nagar, where practicals for garment making, radio and TV maintenance and repair, typing, food and canning and commercial arts were held. The practicals began half-an-hour late here too, as teachers waited for external examiners.

Inadequate infrastructure hit the smooth conduct of practicals at this school too. For the 11 students appearing for a practical in typing, there were just two typewriters in working condition! They had to type a letter, a table, and a paragraph, using just two machines and, thus, the practical examination continued even one hour after the scheduled time.

Ms Usha Sidhu, District Education Officer (secondary), said, ‘‘The external examiners may not have reached the centres because of delay in dispatch and delivery of letters by the board authorities.’’ Principals at all the centres have been instructed to deploy internal examiners in case the external assessors fail to reach the centres in such cases,’’ she further explained.


Ludhiana quake aid crosses 40 lakh mark
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 29 — With more social, religious and other institutions coming forward with aid for quake victims in Gujarat, total contributions in Ludhiana made through different agencies have crossed Rs 40 lakh. Senior BJP leader and Member Parliament, Lala Lajpat Rai announced a contribution of Rs 20 lakh today, on behalf of various organisations he is associated with.

Talking to reporters he said that while he had contributed Rs 5 lakh from the MP’s Local Area Development Fund, Rs 15 lakh would be contributed by other social and religious institutions. Giving details he said, Rs 5 lakh each would be contributed by Kundan Vidya Mandir and Arya College and Rs 2.5 lakh would be contributed by the Durga Mata Mandir Trust. Besides some other organisations had also promised aid for quake victims. Mr Rai said, the RSS had set a target of Rs 15 lakh for Ludhiana for quake relief, which had been met on the first day itself. He said more relief material would be dispatched only after further instructions. He pointed out that only those things would be sent which were required there.

Contributions towards the specially-created relief fund by the local administration also crossed the Rs 20 lakh mark. While donations to the tune of Rs 12 lakh had been received till yesterday, Rs 8 lakh was received by the district administration here today, the Additional Deputy Commissioner Mr S.R. Kaler told TNS.

Mr Kaler said contributions had been continuously flowing in and the initial target of Rs 25 lakh set by the district administration may be reached tomorrow. He said, several institutions and industrial houses had also promised to provide generous aid. The amount excluded contributions being made in the shape of medicines, clothes and blankets being supplied by various people to the quake-hit area on their own.

The Indian Medical Association had appealed to all the doctors to donate at least Rs 1,000 each for quake victims. According to Dr Gursharan Singh, the district president, doctors had decided to contribute medicines also which would be classified under different categories to avoid confusion at the time of distribution. The IMA has asked doctors to deposit their contributions with any of the doctors listed below Dr Manoj Sobti at DMC, Dr Rajiv Gupta in Civil Lines Tagore, Nagar, Dr Balvir Singh Sekhon at Deep Hospital Model Town, Dr Sanjit Grewal at Gill Road, Dr Anurag Goswami at Sarabha Nagar, Dr Rajesh Sharma at BRS Nagar and Daresi area, Dr Yashpal Singh at CMC and Dr Gursharan Singh in the area surrounding Division number 3 police station.

The Christian Medical College and Hospital today dispatched an ambulance with a 14-member team consisting of medical and para-medical staff. The CMC has also sent medicines to the quake-hit areas. The team would stay there till relief work was completed.

The District Taxation Bar Association has announced an initial contribution of Rs 1 lakh. A meeting of the association was held here, which decided to cancel the election victory dinner scheduled for January 31. All collections for the dinner were contributed towards relief. Besides, it was decided that each member would contribute a minimum of Rs 500 each for the relief fund.

The GMT Public School management had announced an initial contribution of Rs 50,000 which was likely to be increased after contribution made by students. A special condolence meeting was held today in this connection.

Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle appealed to residents to come forward in aid of the quake victims. It said, help of any kind would be welcome for the needy in Gujrat.

A meeting of the District Youth Congress Urban Development Cell was held under the chairmanship of its state general secretary. The meeting condoled the deaths in Gujrat and appealed for generous aid from people.

Meanwhile, a condolence meeting, attended by the Principal, staff and students of GMT Public School, paid homage to the victims of earthquake in Gujarat and prayed for speedy recovery of the injured.

Addressing the meeting, Mr Gajjan Singh Thind, Director of the school, urged the staff members and students to come forward to extend maximum assistance to the families of quake victims and thousands of others who were rendered homeless. The meeting observed one-minute silence in the memory of victims and Rs 50,000 was collected for the relief fund. 

Quake scare at Focal Point 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 29 — Residents of Jamalpur Colony in the focal point area were hauled up from their cosy beds by worried neighbours a little before 4 am today .

The neighbours said they had received phone calls from their relatives in Delhi and elsewhere about an impending earthquake which could strike anytime between 4 to 5.30 am. All men, women and children, barring few, rushed out of their houses and assembled in parks in their respective blocks. Children were made to sit on folding beds which had been taken out in large numbers by the scared people.

Some of the religious minded persons could be seen reciting hymns and holy mantras in a bid to ward off the 'impending' disaster by prayers. Live telecast of Gurbani from Harmandir Sahib was on in almost every home.

However, by 5 o'clock, people had started returning to their houses as anxiety had waned to a great extent by that time.

According to reports received from other parts of the city, people in the CMC Hospital area, New Kundan Puri and the PAU campus also, came out of their houses around the same time following anxious calls from neighbours.

Reports of people abandoning their houses early today morning fearing quake have also poured in from Raikot, Malerkotla, Khanna and other towns of the district.

There is a general feeling that the rumours of an impending quake were spread in a calculated manner. The existence of an organised rumour mill cannot be ruled out. Today’s early morning exercise refreshed memories of the Ganesha episode when people were called up to offer milk to the Ganesha idols in the temples of their respective towns.

Machhiwara (FOC): Thousands of residents in the town locked their houses and spent a sleepless night in the open due to rumours of an impending earthquake which was supposed to take place at 4 am today. Some of them told The Ludhiana Tribune that they had received telephone calls from their near and dear ones regarding the possibility of an earthquake. 


Basant Panchmi celebrated
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 29 — A large number of Bengalis, in colourful clothes, gathered at Bangiya Samsad, Chotti Jabaddi, for Saraswati puja, on the occasion of Basant Panchmi today. The puja was attended by a large number of students and their parents. Saraswati is the goddess of learning.

The puja started at 11 o' clock and continued till 1 o'clock. It was performed in traditional style following all the rituals. Devotees enjoyed Bengali food after the puja.

As per the Bengali tradition, the idol has to be immersed in water. At 4 o'clock, the idol was carried in a truck to Doraha for immersion. People chanted prayers and went in procession for the ceremony, which marked the culmination of the festival which heralds the advent of spring.

Meanwhile, students and staff of Alpine International School, Barewal branch, celebrated Basant Panchmi here on Monday. The programme began with a havan. Later the senior section students flew kites. Sweets were distributed among the students. Ms Raajeshwari Dhir, Principal, told the students about the importance of the day.


Land encroached upon in Model Town
By Kuldip Bhatia

LUDHIANA, Jan 29 — Certain property dealer, in connivance with prospective buyers, have allegedly encroached upon a piece of prime land in Model Town extension area in the city. Taking advantage of four consecutive holidays (January 26 to 29) in government offices, including the Municipal Corporation and the Improvement Trust, foundation of a building was laid in a 125-square-yard piece of land, adjoining plot numbers 1346 and 1283 in D block of the locality. The land forms part of a common passage, as shown in the original drawing of the Improvement Trust.

According to Mr G.S. Midha, General Secretary of the Welfare Society, Model Town Extension-D, Part II, the area encroached upon by certain people was part of a public street from plot No 1295-D to 1283-D, which takes a turn towards plot No 1346-D. Moreover, in the registered title deed of plot No 1346-D, no residential or other plot is shown on the east side, which obviously is the area left for public use.

The residents of the locality further alleged that the move to encroach upon the land, earmarked for common use, enjoyed the backing of certain influential political leaders, including a councillor. ‘‘The matter was brought to the notice of senior officials of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) and the Municipal Corporation, with no apparent effect so far,’’ Mr Midha lamented.

While no senior MC official was available for comments as offices were closed due to Basant Panchmi, the LIT Chairman, Mr Madan Mohan Vyas, told Ludhiana Tribune that even though the area had been transferred to the MC for maintenance, no encroachment or unlawful structure would be allowed to come up. He said the Engineering Department of the LIT would look into the matter and any unlawful construction would be demolished.


Labourer suspected of murdering woman
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 29 — A migrant labourer, who allegedly murdered a married woman after raping her , was caught by certain alert residents of a colony near Housing Board flats on the Pakhowal road today morning.

The 22-year-old victim had reportedly tried her best to resist the man, who was allegedly in an inebriated condition. She also inflicted a number of injuries on the attacker’s head before finally being murdered by him.

The scene in the room of the deceased, whose husband was working as a watchman in the housing board flats, where the struggle took place, wore tell-tale marks of the intense struggle. Not only was the furniture and other items, including clothes, lay scattered all around, certain items like the TV were also completely shattered.

The suspect, who was handed over to the Sadar Police today morning, has been booked under section 302, IPC. The FIR is likely to be amended tomorrow when the suspicion of rape is cleared after the post-mortem examination report is finalised.

The incident took place at about 3 a.m. today. According to Mr Ramandeep Singh, SHO Sadar, the suspect, Mangu Kumar ,and the victim's husband lived in adjoining houses near the housing board flats. The suspect was allegedly waiting for an opportunity to find the victim alone. He got this chance last night when the husband of the victim had gone out on duty. According to the police and a number of eye-witnesses the suspect, who was allegedly drunk, tried to rape the woman and also inflicted a number of injuries on the women's body especially on the head. The suspect also sustained injuries in the scuffle and was about to leave the place when other residents caught him.


Local lad for Gladrags Manhunt Contest
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Twenty-five-year-old, six-feet-one-inch-tall, Rajat Chander Lal has been shortlisted to participate in the finals of Gladrags Manhunt Mr India Contest to be held on March 10 in Mumbai. He won the first runners-up title in the semifinals of the Manhunt Contest held in Delhi, earlier this month.

Extremely shy as a child, Rajat was sent by his parents to study in Birla School, Nainital, to interact with others and become an extrovert. Their assessment proved to be correct. He says, “I started understanding my responsibilities and developed confidence. I took to bodybuilding for a lark. I participated in the Graviera Best Male Model of the World (India) in 1996. I was only 18 then and felt a thrill when I was shortlisted as one of the 10 finalists. The other guys were professionals and I could not compete with them in the real sense of the word. I thought to myself, ‘failure is a stepping stone to success’.”

After finishing school, I joined my father in his insurance business but now I want to become a Web Programmer. He got another chance to participate in the Gladrags Manhunt Contest. Out of the 10,000 applications received by Maureen Wadia, the organiser of the show, 500 were shortlisted and Rajat was one of them.

In the January 24, Manhunt Contest eminent personalities like Ram Jethmalani, Vir Sanghvi, Reena Dhaka, Romi, Sunit Verma and Maureen Wadia were judges. Rajat was given the title of Mr Clean Comb for his hair. In the swim suit round, five candidates were declared finalists. He was asked the question “Where do you see yourself after ten years from here?” Rajat, brimming with confidence replied, “I see myself training Gladrag models with Maureen Wadia.” His confidence won him the first runner-up prize. On being asked if he was nervous, “Yes” he replied. “In fact, being a little nervous helped me, as I kept checking myself in the mirror and told myself not to commit any mistakes.”

Now, I train for one-and-an-half-hour in the evening and half-an-hour in the morning. I take diet rich in protein, as it builds muscles. I love junk food but I never have it because it is not good for my system. I think anyone can reach the stars, if one works hard. I would advise youngsters to improve their personality through a good physique. My suggestion is to live life to the fullest, handle it with care as it is fragile, stay away from drugs and make the world a better place to live in.”

Rajat says if he wins the title he will be sent to Milan for the International Manhunt Contest. Maureen Wadia has helped to groom him. Here is wishing our local lad the best of luck!


Madhok is chief of midtown chamber
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 29 — Mr Balwinder Singh Madhok was unanimously elected as president of the Ludhiana Midtown Junior Chamber.

According to a press note, Mr Mahesh Arora has been appointed as secretary and Mr Anil Sood and Mr K.D.C. Arora as vice-presidents. The zonal president of the chamber, Mr Mandeep Singh, Mr Mukesh Pahwa and Mr Mukesh Arora, were present on the occasion among others.


Suicide attempt by woman
From Our Correspondent

DORAHA, Jan 29 — A married woman, who received 90 per cent burns in a suicide attempt yesterday, is at present fighting for life at the DMC, Ludhiana.

It has been learnt that a married woman, a mother of two children, shut herself and her children in the kitchen and poured kerosene and set all three on fire. In the meantime, the door was broken and she was immediately taken to a nearby hospital from where she was shifted to the DMC, Ludhiana. Her six-year-old son was saved.

In a statement given to the police, she said that her father-in-law and mother-in-law were responsible for her suicide attempt. They used to quarrel with her over petty issues. A property dispute was the main bone of contention between them. The Doraha police is actively following the case, but no FIR has been registered so far.


Two arrested
From Our Correspondent

KHANNA, Jan 29 — The Khanna police has claimed to have busted a gang of smugglers and arrested two persons. The police also claimed to have seized 20 bags of poppy husk from them.

The SSP Khanna, Dr Rajindra Namdeo Dhoke, said while talking to mediapersons that Satnam Singh, in charge, CIA staff Khanna, has stoped a truck (CHR-07-9451) on a naka as per the directions of SP (Detective) Gurmail Singh Sidhu and seized 20 bags of poppy husk and arrested two persons who were identified as driver Kuldip Singh of Chomo village and Jeewan Singh of Sohian village in Jagraon police district.

After interrogation they confessed that they were smugglers and one of their companion Jodh Singh of Kulahar village was already in jail on smuggling charge. They said that they were involved in smuggling of poppy husk for the past six months. They purchased poppy husk from Badayoun district of Uttar Pradesh and sold it in Punjab. The police has registered a case under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.

The police also claimed to have arrested a thief and recovered some stolen goods from him, including a television.


VDS to benefit small and medium-scale units
Tribune News service

LUDHIANA, Jan 29 — The Punjab State Electricity Board's reintroduced and modified voluntary disclosure scheme (VDS) is expected to benefit thousands of small and medium-scale units in the city. Mr Sikander Singh Maluka, Power Minister, had announced on December 30 that the PSEB would reintroduce VDS from January 1 to March 31. Consequently, on January 19, the board notified the VDS scheme for the industrial consumers.

The industrial associations had been lobbying for the reintroduction of the VDS, but without the condition of ‘No Objection Certificate’ from the Municipal Corporation and the Pollution Control Board as was mandatory under the previous scheme. They had argued that it was almost impossible to get an NOC from the MC and the board because of cumbersome procedure.

Under the new scheme, the industrial units falling under small and medium-scale category are eligible for regularisation of unauthorised load. According to the circular issued by Director (sales), PSEB, Patiala, the small-scale units can get their unauthorised loads regularised up to 100 per cent of their sanctioned load and medium-scale units up to 50 per cent.

The consumers would have to submit an NOC from the Pollution Control Board within six months of the regularisation of load if the conditions applied. However, the PSEB will not insist on NOC from the MC and PUDA, in case the units were functioning in the residential area.

The board has clarified that the medium-scale units would be required to install transformers and meters and declare their contract demand, in case they fall under large-scale category after the regularisation of the load.

Various associations have welcomed the decision of the board. The Ludhiana Traders and Manufacturers Association in a meeting held here today welcomed the decision of the board. Mr Dhiraj Rai Gupta, president of the association, while welcoming the role of the Power Minister in the introduction of VDS has urged that the scheme should also be made applicable for the large-scale units. Secondly, the representatives of the industry should be included in the dispute settlement committees of the board. He reminded Mr Maluka to fulfill his promises in this regard that he had made in the meeting of traders and manufacturers held last month.

He further demanded that the board should allow the industries to install two meters on their premises, if required. It was necessary in case of those units where two or more brothers had inherited the property.

While welcoming the introduction of VDS, Mr Sukhdial Singh and Mr Kirpal Singh Sagar, president and general secretary of the Ludhiana Machine Tool Makers Association, respectively, have appealed to the industrialists to avail themselves of the opportunity.

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