Saturday, April 14, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Baisakhi celebrated with fervour
Our Correspondent

Tiny tots of Cherryfields Nursery School perform bhangra to celebrate Baisakhi on Friday.
Tiny tots of Cherryfields Nursery School perform bhangra to celebrate Baisakhi on Friday.

Ludhiana, April 13
The month of Baisakh was welcomed in with usual fervour in and around the city today with the people attending various gurdwaras.

All gurdwaras of the town had been decked up for the occasion well in advance. Those who wanted to begin the month on an auspicious note started visiting gurdwaras of their respective areas since early morning.

Recitation of Gurbani and Akhand Path were held all over the town and in the surrounding villages to ensure peace and prosperity for one and all. Kirtan darbars were organised at several gurdwaras which were largely attended.

Langars were held all over the city. People in general got up early today to say welcome to the new month which has a special significance because of the beginning of wheat harvesting season and of course the summers.

There was a great rush of people from far and near at the historical gurdwara at Alamgir since early morning. Thousands of devotees had a dip in the holy sarovar.

However, Baisakhi this year was different from the point of view of weather which was totally un-Baisakhi like. It was cloudy and windy since early morning with a slight nip in the air. It drizzled at many places after 9 a.m. Cloudy weather persisted almost through and the day with the sun making only a brief appearance.

Meanwhile, dressed in colourful traditional Punjabi clothes, tiny tots of Cherryfields Nursery School celebrated Baisakhi here today.

A dance competition was held in which the students performed bhangra on various songs of Daler Mehndi. Chetan was declared the best bhangra dancer. On the basis of their dresses, Prerna Puri was adjudged the best Punjabi girl and Gurkanwal Singh was chosen the best Punjabi boy. Kritika Sharma won prize for being the most active participant and Aparna Gupta was selected All rounder.

Ms Santosh Sharma, Principal, distributed prizes to the winners and gifts to all the students of the school. She also told them about the importance of the day

Meanwhile, Officers Wives Club celebrated Baisakhi at the lawns of Sutlej Club last evening. The club members arranged various competitions to mark the occasion.

The contestants for the title ‘Punjabi beauty’ were divided into two groups. The first group included members below 45 years of age and the other group had members above 45 years. Ms Guldeesh Sandhu bagged the title in the first group while Ms Kanwaljit was declared second. Ms Sukhminder Kawal was chosen ‘Punjabi beauty’ in the second category and Ms Satpal Dhaliwal got the second prize. The consolation prize was given to Ms K. Sharma. Ms Bubbly Sandhu, wife of Deputy Commissioner, gave away the prizes to the winners.

Ms Malhotra got the first prize in the folk songs competition for her song ‘na ladeya kar dhola’ . Ms Pammi Toor won the second prize for the song ‘mela si baisakhi da’.

Ms Roopa Kahlon received prize for the best Punjabi Jutti, Ms Gursharan got the prize for carrying best phulkari. While Ms Balbir Jassan Singh and Ms Kawaljit were given prizes for wearing the best traditional Punjabi jewellery.

The club members also presented Giddha and songs on this occasion. Ms Bal and Ms Raman Gujral were the judges for various events.

Thousands of devotees took a holy dip at Baba Ishar Singh Sarovar at Gurdwara Nanaksar Sahib on the occasion of Baisakhi . The sarovar was built within a period of 28 days only. Thousands of devotees also had darshan of ‘bhora’ (underground built), the tap asthan of Baba Nand Singh Ji.

Baisakhi celebrated

Baisakhi was celebrated here with great pomp and show in the local gurdawara. However, due to rain the villages of the area could not reap their harvest.

The local SDM, Samrala, Mr Sandeep Hans, and the DSP, Samrala, Mr Sushil Kumar, had appealed the residents to follow the foot steps of Sri Guru Gobind Singh.Back


Baisakhi time is fun time

‘Shaheedon ki chitaon par lagenge har baras mele, watan par marne walon ka yahi baki nishan hoga’. The grateful nation remembers and pays homage to the martyrs who lost their lives in Jalian Wala Bagh at the barbaric hands of General Dyer a few decades ago.

Baisakhi has deep-rooted significance for Punjabis. April 13 marks the beginning of new ‘samvat year — our Indian calendar begins from this day. We do not consider 13 an unlucky number as Baisakhi falls on 13. So does Lohri, unlike people of the West. Traditionally, the farmers start wheat harvesting on the day of Baisakhi. And at night they all burst forth into a vigorous bhangra to celebrate. Our cultural activities are closely related to agriculture. Today, there will be a lot of celebrations. Almost all elite clubs are celebrating Baisakhi by inviting singers of repute. People will throng Gurdwaras. Langars will be served. One can see the city bustling with activity on account of Baisakhi.

Why does the administration give permission to build huge arches to welcome religious heads of different sects? They occupy so much space and restrict the smooth flow of traffic. Moreover, one spends so much money on putting up the archers. One is sure that the famous person, in whose honours, these archers are being built, would surely have liked the money to be spent on the poor people. Moreover, too many banners are put up which definitely add to the ugliness of the city. Already the walls are plastered with notices, advertisements. There should be some laws which should per cent people from defacing walls.

The latest movie theater, Orient, in Randhir Singh Nagar, is a feather in the cap of Ludhiana. It is showing the latest movie, Jodi No. 1. It is an out-and out an entertainer. It has Govinda and Sanjay Dutt with Twinkle Khanna and Monica Bedi as heroines. The two heroes had acted together in Haseena Maan Jayegi.

The summer fashion is emphasising on glitter. The ladies are going to shimmer whether they wear short tops, parallels. Even the sandals will glitter. One does not have to wear designer clothes. If one has the creativity, one can mix and match short figure fitting skirts. hep girls will wear parallel suits. Men do not have much choice. The emphasis will be on ease and comfort. Smart shorts will be preferred for informal evenings.

The depravity of human beings reached a new low when a mother killed her two under-ten children to be with her paramour. One cannot imagine a more barbaric act. The other mother was trying to marry off her young 12-year-old daughter with 41-year-old man with a daughter as old. Thankfully, the marriage was stopped by some alert people of the locality.

It is boom time for watermelon lovers. Big, small, striped, non-striped melons can be seen everywhere. They provide a lot of water, taste and flavour. But the cut ones are strictly not to be eaten. Avoid eating all the cut fruit presented well.

We wish all the readers a very happy Baisakhi. AA


All set for Dr Ambedkar’s anniversary function
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 13
All arrangements to organise the state-level function to celebrate the 110th birth anniversary of Bharat Ratan Dr B. R. Ambedkar, at Daresi ground here on April 14 have been made.

To give final touches to the arrangements, a special meeting of district officers and representatives of the Bhartiya Valmiki Dharam Samaj (BVDS) and Dr Ambedkar Sangarsh Morcha was held here last evening under the Chairmanship of Mr S. K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner.

The Deputy Commissioner informed that Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab, would be the chief guest and Mr Gurdev Singh Badal, Agriculture Minister would preside over the function. In addition, Jathedar Jagdev Singh Talwandi, President SGPC, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, Technical Education Minister, Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, Local Bodies Minister, Mr Sarwan Singh Phillaur, Welfare Minister, Mr Sat Pal Gosain, Deputy Speaker Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mr Gobind Singh Kanjla, Social Security Minister and Lala Lajpat Rai M. P. will also pay homage to Dr Ambedkar.

Mr Gurdev Singh Badal, along with the representatives of BVDS, including Mr Vijay Danav, Mr Lakshman Dravid, organised around one dozen meetings in different colonies of the city to mobilise the people for the function. Addressing the workers, Mr Badal said that it was only because of the farsightedness of Dr Ambedkar that every Indian citizen, irrespective of cast, creed, religion and economic condition, was enjoying equal fundamental rights.

He said that Dalits were extremely grateful to Dr Ambedkar, as he had provided them with enormous opportunities to progress in all walks of life.

Mr Vijay Danav claimed that people were being mobilised from each district of the state by the district units of BVDS. He said that after the state-level function, a shoba yatra depicting the mission of Dr Ambedkar would be organised from Daresi Ground, which would pass through the main bazaars of the city. He said that around 60 bhajan mandlis and tableaus would participate in the yatra.

Meanwhile, several other political parties including the BJP, have chalked out elaborate programmes to observe the birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar.

The BJP will hold a function at chowk Basti Jodhewal in the morning, which will be presided over by the Punjab Minister for Local Bodies, Mr Balramji Das Tandon. Detailed programme for the function was finalised in an emergent meeting of the party, held under the presidentship of Mr Harbans Lal Sethi, district president of the party.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the District Valmiki Sabha will organise a function at chowk Jalandhar by-pass to mark the 110th birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar. According to Dr D.P. Khosla, vice-president, BSP, Punjab, the party supremo Mr Kanshi Ram and vice-president, Ms Maya Wati, would participate in the function.


SP begins probe in land grab case
D. B. Chopra

Ludhiana, April 13
Thursday, 4.30 p.m. Scene I
Park of the Urban Estate on the Chandigarh road, opposite PUDA’s MIG Colony near Jamalpur. Underneath a huge colourful canopy are placed a score of ordinary hired chairs facing some expensive office chairs. Some cops and a few touts are moving about.

Soon there arrives a white chauffeur-driven Ambassador car. The cops become attentive. A tall, hefty man in plain clothes alights from the car. All the cops including the Focal Point SHO salute him. He is Mr. Nau Nihal Singh, SP, (Headquarters), who has come to conduct an investigation into allegations levelled by certain individuals and residents of the colony against Manju Verma against whom there are already a couple of cases registered at the Focal Point police station.

He occupies a chair. The SP reads out one name, Devinder Kumar, from a paper in his hands. He springs to his feet. But someone else, in all probability a tout, tells him that it was not his application which was being considered at the moment. So he stops in his tracks. Because, besides, the various applications against Manju Verma by three individuals, there is a common application signed by nearly 10 residents of the colony against ‘ the repression let loose by her on colony residents’

Two complainants, Devinder and Shameem, are told to go and bring in the rest of the complainants whose signs are affixed on the collective application. But both of them are unable to gather all persons who have signed the application. The third complainant, Shashi Sharma, who is a neighbour of the accused, is out of the town.

Scene II
Meanwhile, Mr Nau Nihal Singh gets up and walks towards the house of the accused which is just across the Metro Road. He is followed by the horde of cops present and this correspondent. Just when he reaches the road in front of the house of the accused, Manju Verma, who is burning incense inside the Pir Baba’s tomb like structure erected by her beside her house on the PUDA land, comes out of the structure and greets the SP with folded hands who reciprocates in the same manner. No words are exchanged. He turns back. One of the cops asks me if my name is also among those of the complainants. I reply in the negative. He does not bother me again.

The SP does not return to his chair under the colourful canopy. While standing near his car, he speaks to the Focal Point SHO for a while before leaving.

Scene III
As soon as the SP is gone, the Focal Point SHO burst out angrily against the complainants for levelling serious charges against the accused but not turning up to substantiate the same when called to do so. He says all the complainants should be hauled up in a vehicle and taken to the police station. While he is still fretting and fuming, Ms Shimla Devi, another resident and a former “pardhan” of the colony, arrives on the scene and requests the SHO to inspect the spot regarding the complaint of Devinder Kumar whose house, with the exception of a room , has been forcibly occupied by a woman at the behest of Manju Verma. He had submitted application after application but to no avail . One of the applications was also sent to the Focal Point SHO on March 26 last. Earlier, he had filed a similar application to the SSP on January 30 last.

The SHO tells Ms Shimla Devi that he does not intend to inspect the spot. ‘No murder has taken place there’, he says and off he goes.

Scene IV
The tent house men remove the colourful canopy and heap up the chairs. A cop tells the tout to pay the bill for the chairs to the men.

Devinder Kumar is so exasperated at the outcome of the investigation that he starts blaming the handful of cops standing aside of having joined hands with the accused in order to deny him justice. His voice is choked with grief. His wife , who has been watching the proceedings from a distance, joins him. She too is overwhelmed with sadness. “Is there no one in this world who can ensure justice to us”.

Scene V
Devinder Kumar’s room. Seven persons, including five children, have to live in a single room which serves as bathroom and kitchen which has been taken possession of by the intruder woman. He has given many an application but no police officer has bothered to see for himself the inhuman conditions his family is undergoing. The woman uses their only room as passage to the portion of the house under her possession. And as such they cannot even think of locking their room and going anywhere. Maybe, a Bollywood director would find the scene interesting for depicting repression by a goon who is in league with the cops.

Scene VI
As I come out of the colony after about half an hour, Manju Verma is standing outside her house with a cop in plain clothes. Suddenly she goes in while the cop waits outside.



Good Friday observed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 13
After a month of fasting during the period of Lent, today Christians held special prayer sessions.

In the city, a special Mass was held in Sarabha Nagar Convent School, which was presided by the parish priest of Sarabha Nagar church and attended by a large number of Catholics. The hymns and prayers continued for the whole day. Tomorrow, too, there will be prayers at 11 am and the second prayer session at 10 pm.

In the CMC, a prayer service from 12 noon to 3 pm at Kalvary church was well-attended. Girjaghar church also had a special prayer session.


DC assures inquiry into encroachment issue
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr S. K. Sandhu, today assured that an inquiry would be initiated into the Jagirpur village panchayati land encroachment issue. The controversy over the land has been simmering for the past several years but no permanent solution has been found so far.

The Deputy Commissioner told Ludhiana Tribune that he would get an inquiry conducted into the issue when he was asked to react on the allegations levelled by the representatives of the Bharti Bhalai Morcha, fighting the illegal land occupation issue, that they were harassed by the police and the district administration for taking up the issue. The morcha had even alleged that criminal charges were being framed on them by the police on the behest of certain influential villagers.

The Bharati Bhalai Morcha has been virtually running from pillar to post to get the land vacated but to no avail. The morcha had alleged that the land having mutation number 729 and 730 as per the revenue records (dated 24.7.1984) belonged to the panchayat of Jagirpur village and some people had illegally occupied it.

The morcha had further alleged that though the land belonged to the village panchayat as per the revenue records, the local administration was not doing anything to get it vacated and hand over to the original owner. The president of morcha, Mr Tarsem Singh, said that the fight between the village panchayat and occupants was on for the last more than 10 years. He said that the morcha had approached the Chief Minister and Rural Development and Panchayat Minister over the issue but despite promises nothing was done into the matter.

He said that the government had a number of times claimed that the land would be handed over to the panchayat but no action has been taken by the state government or the local administration. He demanded that the land should be given to the panchayat and it should generate funds from it instead of the illegal occupants.

Mr Tarsem Singh, in a written statement, alleged that whenever the matter was highlighted by the morcha its members were falsely implicated in criminal case or the other. He claimed that the morcha would not rest till the land is freed of the encroachment and restored to the village panchayat. He demanded that an inquiry should be initiated as soon as possible and justice should be meted out to the village panchayat. 


Khanna SHO suspended
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 13
The SSP Khanna, Mr R. N. Dhoke, has suspended the Additional SHO posted here after filing a case against him under Section 342 of the IPC for illegal detention of two minor children.

According to information, a school teacher, Labh Singh, of Farzula village was coming to Khanna from Khumand village along with his friend, Himmat Singh, in a car on April 3. They were carrying Rs 62,000 with them. As they reached near the railway crossing at Lalweri road, a child aged nine years threw a stone on the car. When Labh Singh chased the child his friend’s mind was diverted. Another child of the same age allegedly stolen the money.

Labh Singh said in his complaint to the Khanna police that he had searched the boys and they had been identified as Vakail and Vibal.

The SSP claimed that during investigation the boys confessed that they had stolen the money and handed over to their fathers. The police also claimed to have recovered Rs 30,000 from Vakail’s father and Rs 20,000 from Vibal’s father, Arshad Ali.

However, relatives of the children alleged that they had collected Rs 50,000 to handover to the police by taking from their relatives and friends to save their children. They also alleged that the children and their fathers were detained by the SHO for one week.

Following the illegal detention report, the SSP investigated the matter and ordered to file a case against the SHO.


Rival Congress leaders refute charges
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
Senior Congress leaders including a former minister and speaker, Mr Harnam Dass Johar, a local legislator, Mr Rakesh Pandey, and the District Youth Congress president, Mr Parminder Mehta, have regretted that some people in the party were trying to claim personal credit for the successful rally on April 11 and ignoring the contribution of other frontal organisations and thousands of party workers.

Reacting to the charges of the District Congress Committee president, Mr Surinder Dawer, that these leaders tried to sabotage the rally, Mr Pandey claimed that he remained involved in mobilisation of public for the past two weeks. He said that he had attended several meetings with Mr Lal Singh, PCC vice-president and in charge of the Ludhiana rally.

About the unruly scenes and the slogan shouting against Capt Amarinder Singh at the railway station, Mr Pandey said he had no knowledge as to who were the people who did it. About his scuffle with Mr Dawer at the Circuit House, the Congress MLA said, he had only objected to the role of the person as “he (Mr Dawer) was acting like a gatekeeper”. He said, he preferred to leave the rally early since an uneasy atmosphere had been created there.

Mr Mehta also expressed similar sentiments and alleged that Mr Dawer tried to ignore all the frontal organisations like the Youth Congress, NSUI, Seva Dal and the Mahila Congress. He said, the DCC president tried to make it a personal affair than a party programme. “Despite that we tried our level-best to make the rally a success because it was organised on the directive of the party high command,” he said.

Mr Johar alleged that the “attack” on him was preplanned. “Mr Dawer and Mr Ghalib wanted to humiliate me since they are feeling jealous of my stature and influence, as I am the AICC member and enjoy good influence among senior party leaders,” he said.

Asserting that he along with Mr Pandey and Mr Mehta had made contribution for the success of the rally, he pointed out, as a run up to the rally they organised several protest demonstrations against the NDA government and mobilised public support.

Mr Johar also expressed ignorance about the people who raised slogans against Capt Amarinder Singh at the railway station. 


Son awaits justice in suicide case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
In a strange case, the Focal Point police has expressed its inability to trace a person accused in a case of abetment to suicide. Instead, the police has told the deceased’s son to keep track of the whereabouts of the accused and inform the police whenever he is spotted.

This direction has been given to Anil Kumar, a city youth, whose father Munshi Roshan Lal committed suicide on January 29 after allegedly suffering harassment at the hands of his employer. More than two months have passed since the incident, but the police has been unable to arrest Sandeep Kumar, the accused.

While Arun Kumar has been running from pillar to post in pursuit of getting the alleged culprit behind bars, Inspector Santokh Singh, SHO, Focal Point, told Ludhiana Tribune that the police had conducted several raids but in vain. Interstingly, he said that the police could not make time owing to lot of VIP duties.

He disclosed that the police had told the complainant, Arun Kumar, to keep a tab on the whereabouts of the accused and report to the police if he was spotted.

According to Anil Kumar, his father Munshi Roshan Lal committed suicide on January 29. He had consumed some poisonous substance allegedly after being harassed by his employer Sandeep Kumar. The police initially dismissed the case by taking action under Section 174 of the IPC but later a suicide note was recovered from the house which alleged Sandeep Kumar as the person responsible for his act.

However, after dilly-dallying on the registration of the case for more than a month, the Focal Point police registered it only after Anil Kumar brought it to the notice of senior officials. But after getting the case registered on March 9, the complainant is now fighting to get the accused arrested.

The suicide note written by the deceased says that he was writing the note without the influence or pressure of anyone. He said that he was doing so because he was harassed by Sandeep Kumar, the son of the owner of the factory in which he was employed.

He said Sandeep Kumar had made his life virtually a hell. He even accused him of being addicted to liquor and also indulging in rape. He also alleged that the accused had obtained his signatures on certain blank papers.

Anil Kumar said that even though bail application of the accused has been rejected by a court here but the police was not arresting him. 


IYC rally on Monday
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 13
The Indian Youth Congress (IYC) will hold a massive rally to focus on national security outside the Parliament House in New Delhi on April 16, followed by a gherao of the Parliament. Besides the IYC president, Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, senior party leaders including Mr Madhav Rao Scindia, Mr Moti Lal Vora, Ms Ambika Soni, Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mr Kamal Nath and Mr Mukul Wasnik, all members of Congress Working Committee (CWC) will address the rally.

Giving this information here Mr Pawan Diwan, Chairman of the Urban Development Cell of the IYC, alleged that the desperate and frustrated constituents of the NDA government in Centre were issuing threats to Youth Congress activists, who were holding nationwide protests to demand dismissal of the government for its involvement in defence deals. The IYC workers, he added, would not be intimidated by such threats and would continue to oppose the corrupt and anti-national political parties.


Records tampered with: villagers
Our Correspondent

Samrala, April 13
More than 150 persons belonging to the bajigar biradari, in a complaint submitted to the Chief Minister, Punjab, alleged that the resolutions passed by the old gram panchayat of Dhilwan for the allotment of 143 residential plots have been tampered in the new panchayat’s record and the plots are now not shown as the property of bajigars but the gram panchayat itself is the owner of these plots and the records have been tempered with the help of 20 to 25 persons belonging to the jat community.

They demanded for the permanent allotment of plots and the applications have been forwarded to the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, which have been marked to the SDM, Samrala, Mr Sandeep Hans, to submit the report within 7 days.


Karnal resident wins Matiz car
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
Ms Deepti Khurana, a resident of Karnal, was today presented with the keys of the Matiz car, as she had won the first prize in the Aau Bune contest organised by the Vardhaman Spinning Mills, here today. Famous TV star Renuka Shahane presented the keys of the car to Ms Khurana. Several others prizes were also distributed on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion Renuka Shahane said, it was very good on part of the Vardhamans to recreate the interest among people about the art of hand knitting. “I feel quite nostalgic about the handknitted woollens”, she remarked while pointing out the growing craze for readymade garments.

She said she felt proud to be in Punjab and that too on the occasion of Baisakhi, a vibrant festival which brings out life into action in its different manifestations. “Earlier I used to hear about the festival and now I can experience the joy and pleasure of being present here physically and emotionally”, she added.


Dress lenders in dire straits
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 13
The people who give the bhangra dresses on hire are not happy with the business this year. “Very small stock of the dresses have been given on hire for the various functions at some hotels this year on the occasion while earlier people had to book the dresses in advance for their functions. But this year it seems the people have lost the charm of watching and performing bhangra at the grand festival of farmers. Earlier customers waited for us and now we are waiting for them”, said Tejinder Singh, owner of Mohan Musical House in Chaura Bazar.

Many institutions like schools, colleges, hotels and clubs take these dresses as it is very costly to get the dress stitched and then preserve it. A complete dress of bhangra can be hired for just Rs 30. The dresses are available for every age group.

Every year these dress lenders earn huge profit during the various festival seasons and especially at the time of Baisakhi. The mega city has a number of educational and other institutions which are big customers of these people. Moreover, Ludhiana is one of the most happening place where every festival has been celebrated with full enthusiasm and joy.

When asked what was the main reason of the declining business graph of dress lenders this year, Tejinder Singh replied: “Business graph has been going down for last three-four years, and one of the reasons of low profit is people’s diminishing interest in folk dances. Everybody wants DJs at functions “Perhaps the slump in the market could be the other reason for poor business.”


Objectionable ads: who is to blame?
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, April 13
Ignorance may not be bliss for hundreds of unsuspecting people who fall prey to the false and misleading advertisements put up on cable T.V. in contravention to the provisions of law that prohibit all such advertisements.

Screened locally by the neighbourhood cable operator for a few hundred rupees, these advertisements promise cure to baldness, an assured improvement in marital life, and promise of an increase in height or even de-addition of drug addicts or alcoholics in a jiffy. While all this goes on in violation of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954, the district administration remains unconcerned.

The Act clearly states that no person shall accept for publication or screening any advertisement that makes claims intended to lure the viewer or readers into believing that the advertiser could cure diseases like sterility in women, sexual impotence, gall stones, kidney stones, obesity or bladder stones and scores of other ailments listed in the schedule.

But the cable operators without being bothered about rules and punishment are misleading people by screening such advertisements on local channels which include “magic remedies” that are alleged to possess miraculous powers, cure, mitigation treatment or prevention of many diseases in human beings. Different hair oils that claim miraculous growth of hair on bald heads, drugs to cure infertility and sexual incompetence are advertised on the cable channel, not only in utter disregard to the Act, but also to the embarrassment of elders watching TV programmes with children.

Hundreds of protests by embarrassed and anxious parents everyday go unheard, perhaps not only out of utter disregard for the viewers, but also the lack of stringent punishment to the offenders of the Act. The penalty for flouting rules under this Act includes imprisonment upto one year or fine or both depending on the extent of crime.

By showing these kinds of advertisements, not only as the cable operators making money but the drugs or the person with whom the drugs are available also get a good response of people, and this kind of quackery flourishes.

Ms Anita Rishi, a housewife, complained that vulgar advertisements should not be permitted by the administration. She adds that it becomes embarrassing when watching a movie with the family members and advertisement of a drug for “improved sexual prowess” appears. “I do not feel comfortable watching such advertisements with my young children”, says Ms Rishi. When asked about the blatant violations of the Drugs And Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954, the officials of the district administration expressed their ignorance about the existence of such an Act. The office of the local Civil Surgeon was in no way better informed. Dr Tarlok Nath, Assistant Civil Surgeon, while talking to this correspondent said that he really could not comment on the issue because he was not aware.


Does Jadoo tona exist ?

Ludhiana April 13
Aahat, Zee Horror Show, Anhonee, Exorcist, Evil Dead, Dracula are very popular T.V. programmes and movies for they deal with supernatural phenomenon and mystic things that have hold over people all over the world. The stories of ‘bhoots’, ‘prets’ and evil spirits are interwoven in our folk tales and are a part of cultural beliefs from centuries. It is amazing that we have entered the new millennium and yet people, surprisingly literate people, too, believe in the powers of supernatural elements.

A young man walked in the graveyard near Begum Bridge. After that his life was never normal. Ramesh Chander felt he was living in black hole all the time. His life became a living hell. Neither could he eat nor could he sleep. Lt. Col. Toor (name changed) has an M.D. degree in Alternative Medicine. He is Master of Reiki, can do Pranik healing. Finally he heard of Dr. Mann and asked him to treat him. Col. Toor said, “When I put my hands on him, I received a big shock as a big negroid face with red looped earrings appeared from his head and tried to subdue me. I had to use all my healing powers and throw him in the dust. Ram Chander came to me for many days for treatment and after 28 days he was free from that monster. But in the bargain, I lost a lot of weight and I have decided never to treat patients possessed by devils.”

In another incident, a young girl is alleged to be possessed by the grandfather’s soul. It is so alleged that the grandfather led a very unholy life and he died when he was administered a wrong injection. One day, the grand-daughter went into the bathroom and she fainted. When she came , she spoke out in her grandfather’s voice which said that he would be living in her as his soul was not finding any place. Finally, they took him to a dera ‘Vadbhag Singh’ near Kartarpur. But he refused to come out. The girl is leading a miserable life but no one has thought of taking her to a psychiatrist.

A lady had committed suicide because she used to remain very depressed . The husband who had four kids from her married again after her death. The second wife and the children would often find their clothes with blood marks. Finally, the intrepid woman along with the four kids would pray and this way dispelled the ghost of the first wife. In yet another case, a family of weavers had migrated from Lahore during partition. One member of the family progressed a lot whereas others did not. One of the brothers died and the prosperous weaver alleges that his clothes burnt inside the trunks. Moreover, the soul of the deceased would never let them be in peace. Finally, they went to the Radha Soami ashram and the ghost has left them.

In another bizzare case, a woman found five chillies on either side of the gate. She thinks ever since she has not been keeping well because somebody has done toona on her.

This correspondent spoke to a psychologist and a psychiatrist to find out if spirits and jadu toona had any relevance. According to Dr D.B. Mishra, a clinical psychologist; “Most of the people with weak minds are very prone to suggestions and easily accept such like stories. These problems are due to psychiatric disorder. Some people can hear voices. It is because some area of the brain starts functioning without stimulation. Some people suffer from disassociation disorders. In this they assume a different identity and people think the person is possessed by ghosts. Similarly, there are people suffering from possession syndrome. They develop mental imagery and in a crowd, they might narrate an incident related to them and people think they are possessed by Mata. People cannot explain mental illnesses and thus attribute them to evil elements like ‘bhoots’ and ‘prets’.

Dr Vinay Gupta, a psychiatrist says: “As a psychiatrist I come across many patients with the complaint of being possessed by ‘bhoots’ or devi or devtas or spirit or other forces. I do not believe that anyone can be possessed by alien forces. Many a time, mental problems like depression and other mental ailments are linked with somebody doing jadu-tona or making them eat masan (powdered bone mixture). Such like believes have originated from ignorance in order to explain abnormal behaviour as till late, there were hardly any explanations about mental illnesses. Some women have certain conflicts in mind and since their faith in some devi is great, they try to cope with defence mechanism and assume the role of mata. These are unhealthy outlets to deal with conflicts, but they are harmless and we term them as neurotic disorders. In some psychotic cases disorders are more serious as these people believe strongly in ghosts and it does effect their lives.”

Sometimes, these poor victims of mental illness are taken to pirs, faqirs and others who thrash them ruthlessly to bring out the evil spirits. Sometimes, they lose their lives too. So people with mental illness should be treated sympathetically and be taken to psychologists and psychiatrists to cure them so that they can lead normal lives. AA


Man murders wife
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
In yet another murder arising out of marital discord, a 25-year-old man allegedly murdered his wife, Rubal Rani, by hitting a wooden stick repeatedly on her head at his house in Gurmeet Nagar, near Giaspura village, yesterday.

The accused, Madan Kumar, arrested by the police, has confessed the crime. According to Mr Santokh Singh, SHO, Focal Point police station, last night there was a dispute between them over some matter which resulted in her death.

The deceased’s father, Mahesh Kumar, who has lodged an FIR, alleged that his daughter used to stop her husband from taking drugs and liquor. He said the man was a habitual drinker and spent all his earnings on the liquor. After spending his money he used to demand more money from his wife which always led to fight between them. He said on that fateful day too, the fight began on this issue and ultimately ended in the tragic death of his daughter.

Satta operator held
The district police arrested a satta operator and a liquor smuggler under a special drive launched against anti-social elements here on Friday.

According to a press note of the SSP Khanna, the Sub-Inspector, Mr Gurnam Singh, of the CIA staff, Khanna, has arrested Sukhdeep Singh, a resident of Mandiala Khurd, while operating satta. A sum of Rs 920 was recovered from his possession. A case has been registered against him at the Sadar police station.

In an another case, the head constable, Mr Ranjit Singh, of the Neelon police chowki has arrested Suresh, a resident of Pal Ganj in Bihar, for possessing nine bottles of liquor. A case has been registered against him at the Samrala police station.


Fraud case
A case of fraud was registered by the Sahnewal police on the complaint of a former MLA of Gunnewal (Jagraon), Mr Dya Singh, yesterday.

According to an FIR, Mr Dya Singh has alleged that Sukhdev Singh of Dhol Majara village and Charanjit Singh of Umaidpur village bought a combine harvester from him in 1997. However, both refused to pay the full money.

The case has been registered against them under Section 406 of the IPC.


The Focal Point police has arrested two persons who were allegedly trying to dupe certain migrant labourers by giving them duplicate currency notes. Fulena Prasad and Santosh Kumar were caught red-handed by the police from a post-office near Sherpur chowk here today. The police said the modus operandi of the accused was to lure the labourers by offering them new currency notes in lieu of the old ones. They took old notes but give them fake notes in return.

A shopowner, Viney Kumar, has lodged a complaint with the Div. No. 5 police station complaining that his shop in Street No. 4, Manjit Nagar, was burgled last night. He claimed that besides a TV and other items, about Rs 2,500 were also stolen from the shop locker.

The Jodhewal police has registered a case against three persons for allegedly beating up a youth Sukhjinder Pal Singh, a resident of Iqbal Nagar. Three persons booked are Balwinder Kumar, Baljit Singh and Ashok Kumar. The complainant had alleged that the three had beaten him up with hockey sticks and the handle of a handpump. The police has yet to arrest anyone of them.

Manbir Singh, a resident of Assa Puri in the city, has alleged that a man named Sarbjit Singh of gajsal village near Phillaur has taken Rs 2.65 lakh from him promising him that he would send his son abroad. However, even two years after the payment, he has neither returned the amount nor sent his son abroad. The Sarabha Nagar police has registered a case.



Couple killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
A couple, riding a scooter, died when it was run over by a tractor trolley at the Gill Road here today. According to the police Chamkaur Singh was driving a scooter (PB-10B-9275) and his wife Kuldeep Kaur was riding pillion when a trolley ran over them. Both of them died on the spot. A case has been registered.

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