Sunday, March 4, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Fraud accused refused bail
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, March 3 — The District and Sessions Judge has dismissed the plea of Mr Gian Singh, a local industrialist facing criminal charges of fraud, for anticipatory bail.

The accused was booked under Section 420 of the IPC on the complaint of Major A. Venu Gopal (retd), zonal manager of Parkash Roadlines, who had alleged that Mr Gian Singh had cheated the transport company on the false promise of getting a penalty of Rs 3.5 lakh, imposed by the Sales Tax Department, reduced to Rs 1 lakh. The transport company had paid Rs 1 lakh in cash to the accused for depositing the same with the Sales Tax Department.

However, the accused failed to provide the receipt of payment of penalty. Later, the transport company learnt that no payment had been deposited with the Sales Tax Department.

The court disagreed with the contention of the accused that he was falsely implicated in the case and that no fraud had been committed by him. The industrialist had further charged the transport company with misappropriation of goods worth Rs 25,000, which had not reached its destination. The transport company had implicated him in a false case of fraud, when he threatened them with legal action for recovery of the misappropriated goods, he alleged in his bail application.

Turning down the bail plea of the accused, the Judge observed, “Considering the stark allegations of fraudulent inducement on the part of the accused petitioner to swindle the complainant firm of the amount of Rs 1 lakh on purported misrepresentation of influence for reduction of penalty amount with the Sales Tax Department and for purpose of recovery of the incriminating amount, the custodial interrogation of the accused is required.”

The court further pronounced that the plea of the accused petitioner that his goods worth Rs 25,000 were swallowed by the complainant firm seemed to be double-edged weapon to counter his alleged act of cheating and was no ground to grant anticipatory bail, which would otherwise scuttle the investigation. The arrest of the accused industrialist was yet to be effected, the police said.


Depositors worried over fate of savings
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, March 3 — Confusion prevails among thousands of depositors who have deposited their money with the post offices under different schemes like Savings Bank, Kisan Vikas Patras and National Savings Certificate. The Department of Posts has already suspended all fresh deposits under these schemes with immediate effect from March 1.

This has apparently been done after the recommendation in the Budget proposals for reducing the interest rates on small savings. According to post office sources, the suspension of collections comes in the wake of directions issued by Ministry of Finance to various post offices asking them not to accept deposits under Savings Bank Accounts, Time Deposits (TDs), Recurring Deposits(RDs), National Savings Certificates(NSC) and Monthly Income Scheme(MIS) till they were intimated with the next orders.

While no fresh deposits are being received by the post offices, the old depositors are in a fix. All those depositors who have been depositing their money under various schemes have not been clarified about the status of their earlier deposits. Several depositors told TNS here that the postal officials were tight-lipped on the issue and were only saying that they have orders that no fresh deposits should be accepted.

Thousands of people, particularly belonging to the middle classes, and also farmers deposit their small savings under these schemes. These schemes are also exempted from income tax. Particularly in the month of March there is usually a heavy rush of depositors who make deposits to get exemption from income tax. All such depositors have been left confused.

Mr M.L. Summan, Superintendent, Post Offices, while speaking to The Tribune here today said that deposits in provident fund accounts were, however, accepted by the department. He said that the directions were communicated to all post offices in the country by the Ministry of Finance to stop all deposits under these schemes till reduced savings bank interests were notified by the Government of India as announced by the Finance Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha in his Budget speech.

Mr Summan said that the public was, however, allowed to withdraw money from their accounts till the next communication. He said that the directions were causing inconvenience to the public but this was a must to avoid the confusion that would prevail after the reduced rates of interest are notified by the government.

He said that they were expecting the further orders within two to three days as it would not take long considering the public inconvenience. 


Ghalib ko bura kehte ho, achha nahin karte
By Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, March 3 — Ghalib might have had the premonition of how his character would be portrayed by the future generations which made him to pen down the famous couplet Ghalib ko bura kehte ho achha nahin karte. Latest research about the life of Ghalib is proving wrong the myths existing about Ghalib. Contrary to the common perception prevailing about Ghalib, Kalidas Gupta ‘Riza’, a well-known authority on Ghalib, argues that Ghalib was a dignified man who lived an aristocratic life and not that of penury as is being made to be.

Riza, who is himself a renowned Urdu poet and has published 64 books, 22 on Ghalib, has been conferred with Padmashri. Although born in Punjab he is settled in Mumbai. He was recently here to receive Shiromani Sahityakar Award.

His Diwane Ghalib Kamil, a critique on Diwani Ghalib, has been quite popular among litterateurs and critics. His writings include Ghalib Dharoni Khana (Ghalib in his home), which is a biography of Ghalib. He has donated his entire life to the study and promotion of Urdu.

The Urdu scholar regretted that the Hindi film, Mirza Ghalib, by Saurabh Modi, and the TV serial, Mirza Ghalib, by Gulzar, presented Ghalib’s life in a distorted manner. He pointed out that Ghalib had been portrayed as a man who was obsessed with wine and women, which he was not. Ghalib may had been an epicurean in his taste but it is wrong to say that he was a drunkard who would do everything for wine and women, he asserts.

Bhupinder Parihar Aziz, another Urdu poet and a disciple of Riza, observed that Ghalib was caught between two extremes. One that of the fall of the Mughal empire, which he liked the most and the rise of the British empire, much to his dislike. “His was an existential dilemma that is found in every age”, he remarked. Riza and Aziz, after a research, have come to the conclusion that much needs to be done for exploring the versatile aspects of Ghalib's poetry, which unfortunately have been distorted and misinterpreted deliberately or inadvertently.

Riza, who is also the member of the National Urdu Council, is quite optimistic about the future of Urdu in the country. Riza disclosed that the Human Resources Development Minister, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, had raised the grants to the National Urdu Council from Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 9 crore.

The noted literary historian asserted that Urdu would survive in India. He pointed out that Urdu was born in India and it would not only survive but also flourish here. “We neither speak chaste Hindi nor chaste Urdu and neither do we need to. We have already evolved a synthesis of the two languages that is being commonly used, that is Hindustani and it owes its origin to both Urdu and Hindi”, he sums up and asks, “Can we banish Urdu”. 


A good night’s sleep for senior citizens
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, March 3 — The senior citizens of Old Age Home, Sarabha Nagar, will sleep well as the Red Cross Society, which runs the home received a cheque of Rs 50,000 from Mr K. I. Singh, Senior Regional Manager and the cheque was received by Mrs Manpreet, wife of Assistant Commissioner General, on behalf of the Red Cross. This money will be utilised to buy ortho-mattresses for the inmates of the home. Some of the inmates had been complaining of the crumpled and the broken mattresses. Mr Malik, the secretary of the Red Cross Society told this correspondent that with the money donated by the PNB, they are going to provide ortho-mattresses which are specially suited to reduce the stress of weary bones.

Some months back, the dilapidated condition of the home was reported by Ludhiana Tribune and it is heartening to note that a lot of changes for better are being brought in the home.

Mr Malik informed that after getting the exterior of the home painted, the interiors will also be painted. New curtains and new colourful paintings will be provided and he pointed towards the sofas, which have been upholstered. The inmates also seemed happier, basking in the sun.

Some of them also brought the brusque attitude of the supervisor, Babbleshvar, to the notice of the Deputy Commissioner.


Girl kidnapped from gurdwara
From Our Correspondent

SAHNEWAL, March 3 — A girl of Kohara village is reported to have been kidnapped by some stranger from the village gurdwara. A case was registered at the Sahnewal police station yesterday.

According to Mr Sujan Singh, a Namdhari of Kohara village, on whose statement the FIR was registered, his daughter Gurmit Kaur aged 21 years, went to the village gurdwara at 6.15am on February 15. After 20 to 25 minutes her mother went looking for her and thinking that she might have returned home in the meantime, she came back. To her astonishment she found that the girl had not yet reached home.

From that day onwards, their search for their daughter began, but to no avail. At last they registered a case at the local police station that some unknown person with the intention of marrying their daughter, has kidnapped her.

The girl was a student of Mai Bhago College for Women, Ramgarh, till two years back. She was now staying at home.


Two killed, 1 hurt in accident
From Our Correspondent

SAHNEWAL, March 3 — Two women were killed and a man was injured in a road accident here, late last evening.

According to the reports available, Swaran Kaur and Paramjit Kaur who were pillion riding on a scooter with Bittu Singh of Sahni village , met with an accident at the level crossing yesterday evening. After the train had passed the crossing and heavy vehicular traffic was passing Bittu Singh tried to overtake a truck from the wrong side and lost his balance and the scooter fell. He however, fell on one side and received minor injuries but Swaran and Paramjit were crushed by the truck. Swaran Kaur died on the spot while Paramjit Kaur breathed her last on way to the hospital.

The truck (No. PB 13 C-1967), was taken into custody by the police while its driver Baldev Singh of Sian village of Dehlon, is still at large.

A case has been registered under Sections 279 and 304 of the IPC.


Crackdown against quacks in city
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, March 3 — The Health Department has launched a massive crackdown against quacks operating in different parts of Ludhiana. A list of 63 quacks operating in different parts of the city was circulated in all the police stations with directions that the credentials of all these should be verified immediately. The 63 persons claiming themselves to be doctors reportedly have no valid degree or certificate to practise medicine.

The Health Department sources revealed that the crackdown was launched as a follow up action in connection with a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by two doctors in the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking direction to the government for stopping the practice by unauthorised unregistered doctors. The case is said to be scheduled to come up for hearing on March 7. The crackdown was launched just to show to the court that the government was already taking action against the quacks in the city. Hundreds of such quacks are operating in the city without any check.

There are thousands of unauthorised medical practitioners operating in Punjab and quite a number of them have their practice in and around Ludhiana. The court had earlier also directed the state government to initiate action against the quacks. However, due to widespread resentment the government reportedly went slow on the issue.

The two doctors again went to the court and brought to its notice the “go slow” attitude of the government. It was only after the government was threatened with contempt proceedings that action has been taken.

For the past few days the teams of Health Department and the police have been conducting raids on the premises of different unauthorised medical practitioners to verify their credentials. The officials were, however, not forthcoming in giving details regarding how many unauthorised practitioners were identified as the details had to be furnished in the court only. The two doctors who had filed the PIL have reportedly submitted a list of 63 such unauthorised medical practitioners to the court.

These quacks, who are operating from both the rural and urban areas, have been practicing without any degree, while they claim to possess different degrees, ranging from MBBS and Post graduate degrees.

All these degree are claimed to be awarded by different institutes and universities from outside the state. However, most of these quacks practise in the garb of being qualified in alternate medicines. Some quacks who are running big hospitals in the old city area have recruited part time qualified doctors.

The list mentions various charges against the quacks. One doctor is reportedly running a clinic and a 50-bed hospital in the Shiv Puri area. The doctor does not have any valid registration from the Medical Council of India or Punjab Medical Council. Despite that several patients are admitted daily in the hospital. Most of these patients are migrant labourers.


Janata Dal men prevented from attending rally
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, March 3 — The rally organised at Barnala on Friday to forge a third front of the Janata Dal, the Lok Bhalai Party and the Left parties, was a cause of problem for several members of the Janata Dal core committee and other activists, who were not only prevented from attending the rally, but were kept in confinement in the Peps Road Transport Corporation workshop till the evening.

According to Mr Inderpal Singh Nanda, general secretary of the district unit of the Janata Dal, a large number of party activists had reached Air Force Station, Halwara, to accord a reception to a former Prime Minister, Mr H.D. Deve Gowda. Mr Deve Gowda, who, was accompanied by Mr Ramoowalia, arrived in a helicopter there, asked his party workers to reach the venue of the rally.

Those responsible for the security arrangement at Barnala did not allow the Janata Dal activists, including the members of party core committee, to proceed to the rally. They were hoarded into the adjoining PRTC workshop and the main gate was locked.

Mr Nanda further claimed that the confined party workers had managed to send a list of those detained to senior party leaders at the stage but no one came to the rescue of Janata Dal activists. They were released only in the evening when the rally was over and the senior party leaders, including Mr Deve Gowda and Mr Ramoowalia, had returned to Delhi.

He apprehended that the move might have been initiated at the instance of Mr Ramoowalia because the number of Janata Dal workers in the rally far outnumbered that of Mr Ramoowalia’s Lok Bhalai Party. Mr Nanda also lamented that senior party leaders were hobnobbing with Mr Ramoowalia and others over formation of a third front, while the party activists at state level and district level were being ignored or maltreated.


40 local buses on ‘rally duty’ today
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, March 3 — The entire fleet of over 40 local buses will remain off the city roads tomorrow. The bus operators have been told by the district administration to transport the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and Bharatiya Janata Party workers to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s rally at Shahpur Kandi, near Pathankot, in Gurdaspur district. A letter to this effect has been issued by the Local Bus Operators Union to its members.

No senior government official was available for comments. When the Ludhiana Tribune team went the Mini-Secretariat, quite a few buses were parked there. Once the employees of the DTO office got wind that mediapersons had arrived, the buses were ordered to be shifted to some other place within minutes.

One of the bus operators commented that the business of the whole day would be lost and Rs 2000 to Rs 2500 would have to be spent for fuel.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that the instructions for arranging buses had been issued from Chandigarh at the instance of certain Punjab ministers, who had provided a list of their supporters to the district administration.


Workers quit Lok Bhalai Party
From Our Correspondent

KHAMANO, March 3 — A number of leaders and workers of Lok Bhalai Party units of Khamano, Machhiwara, Ropar and Samrala at a meeting here today decided to quit the Lok Bhalai Party and formed the Dalit Kisan Dal. Leaders of Lok Bhalai Party, Jabar Virodhi Action Committee, Bharti Kisan Union, Parvasi Bharti Welfare Committee, and Balmik Sabha and members of the women wing also took part.

Giving information about the meeting, president of Dalit Kisan Dal, Mr Iqbal Singh Kapurthala, and general secretary, Mr Bhinder Singh Ranwan, said the main objective of the dal would be to struggle for the rights of Dalits and kisans. 



A gentleman-politician
M. S. Cheema

Punjab has been administered by several Chief Ministers and Ludhiana has given quite a few of them. Mr Bhim Sen Sachar, Justice Gurnam Singh and Mr Beant Singh are among them. Mr Badal was returned from Kila Raipur. Mr Lachchaman Singh Gill had an affinity with Jagraon. The Chief Minister of PEPSU Mr Gyan Singh Rarewala, came from Rara Sahib.

The role of Justice Gurnam Singh is historic. He was the first non-Congress Chief Minister of Punjab. He headed a coalition with such die-hard opponents as the Jan Sangh and the CPI, and evolved a workable arrangement something which is still considered a political impossibility. Without losing his temper, he could hold a dialogue with his worst political adversary. As a student of F.C. College, Lahore, he was trained as a sportsman on the play-fields of Panjab University. In later life, sportsmanship became the hall-mark of his personality. He knew how to present his point of view, and he could also see the other person’s point of view.

Justice Gurnam Singh practised law at Lyallpur with success and rose to be the president of the Bar Association. After Partition, he was elevated to the Bench. From 1950 to 1959, he served the PEPSU High Court and the Punjab High Court, after merger, as judge.

He was returned to the Punjab Legislative Assembly in 1962 on the Akali ticket. He was the Leader of Opposition during 1962-67. In 1967, after reorganisation of the state, he headed the United Front Government. Later in 1969, he once again rose to be the Chief Minister of Punjab.

The gentleman-politician never sacrificed his principles. He never let down his political mentors or coalition partners. He experimented with diverse political parties to form a government.

Despite the political uncertainties, he raised the G.N.D. University (Amritsar), built the G.N. Thermal Plant (Bathinda), undertook rural electrification, initiated the link-roads project and assured fixation of a minimum procurement price for foodgrains by the Central Government.

He was chosen for a sensitive role and sent as India’s High Commissioner to Australia. Where he created an amiable image and earned a place in diplomacy. As ill luck would have it, he died in an air crash while returning to India .

As we look at his life spanning seven decades, we find him as a brilliant, hockey player captaining the P.U. team, representing India in international matches in England in 1928 and being declared the best athlete twice. He was awarded the prestigious Lady Maclegan Cup twice.

If the judiciary, legislature and executive make the trinity of power, Mr Gurnam Singh has been part of all three as a Judge of the High Court, as the Chief Minister of Punjab and as High Commissioner to Australia.

His contribution to Punjab and service to India form a golden chapter of Ludhiana’s history. He has added glory to Punjab, to Ludhiana, and in particular to his native village, Narangwal.

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