Tuesday, May 22, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Armed robbers loot workshop, injure two
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 21
An armed gang of robbers struck for the second consecutive time within 15 days in the district and managed to escape after looting cash and jewellery and injuring two persons. Though the villagers informed the police well in time and raised an alarm, the police failed to turn up in time giving opportunity to the robbers to escape.

Mr Charan Singh Punia, owner of Punia Truck and Bus Body Builders GT Road Sirhind, told this correspondent that last night at about 1 a.m. a gang of clean-shaven robbers having patkas on their heads and iron rods and a .12 bore gun entered his workshop. The gang members, who conversed in mixed Hindi and Punjabi and in some other language among themselves, woke up the four persons sleeping in the retiring room of the workshop. There they started beating two customers Gulam Hassan and Shokat Ahmad — who had come from Anantnag, a watchman and Sukhwinder Singh Cheema, a worker, and tied their hands and legs. They also locked two of the employees and started removing the tyres from the trucks. They broke open the almirahs and took away the cash worth Rs 1 lakh. The robbers also took gold jewellery worn by the four persons. He said as the robbers were busy searching the premises, one of the workers managed to escape from the workshop and raised an alarm in the nearby village Tarkhan Majra and the villagers marched towards the workshop. On sensing trouble the robbers fired at the villagers and escaped from there.

Mr Varinder Rattan, general secretary of the Truck and Bus Body Builders Association alleged that the villagers had made a telephone call to the police station Sirhind, which is at stone’s throw but nobody attended the phone. Then they telephoned the SSP at his residence, but the police party came after a long time. He said such incidents would hit their trade as majority of the trucks come for fabrication from nearby states particularly the J&K. He demanded security for the truck and bus body builders.

A few days ago an armed gang of robbers had struck at village Nabipur, 5 km from here, the robbers has looted the cash and jewellery and killed one member of the family and injured five others.

The police has registered the case under Sections 458, 336, 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act.



Man gets life imprisonment
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 21
The Additional and Sessions Judge, Mr B.S. Mehandiratta, has convicted Ashok Kumar for murdering his wife. Ashok Kumar was sentenced to life imprisonment and fined Rs 5,000 under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code. The accused murdered his wife, Sunita, at Khanna on June 19, 1999. 



Tension over truck union poll
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
Tension prevailed in Mandi Ahmedgarh township here today over the controversy surrounding the elections of a truck union, in which a ruling Akali leader was alleged to have played a role in favouring one group.

Heavy police was deployed at both the old and new offices of the Ahmedgarh Truck Union, where leaders of rival factions, both claiming to be the elected representatives of the union, had set up their camps. One group was led by Sukhdev Singh Walia, while the other was led by Gurjeet Majri. Both owe allegiance to the Shiromani Akali Dal.

The groups had clashed yesterday afternoon over the issue of the elections of the union. While Gurjeet Majri claimed that he was unanimously elected president in place of Sukhdev Singh Walia, the latter claimed that the election was not proper as it was postponed by him. Even some gunshots had reportedly been fired in the air.

The intervention of the police averted the flaring up of the incident. It managed to disperse the operators who tried to hold the daily pukar at Old Union Office here at old Bus Stand Road. In the meantime, pro-Akali group garlanded Gurjit Singh Majri, the chairman, Market Committee, Kila Raipur, as unanimously elected president of union.

According to the police, the atmosphere remained tense on Sunday due to the elections, which the dissident group claimed had been postponed. The supporters and members of both groups appeared ready for any situation and many were carrying arms. The police had to call in extra force from Malerkotla when they heard that a shot was fired by a .12 bore gun.

In the afternoon, the opposing group, including Sukhdev Singh Walia, previous president, tried to hold pukar at old office. A large number of operator belonging to the ruling faction also came there and the situation became critical. The SHO city and SHO sadar persuaded both factions to leave the place. The group led by Gurjit Majri locked the office and went to the new building of the Union at Pohir Road. After the pukar there, Majri was declared president unanimously.

Meanwhile, Karnail Singh Zirakh, president of Truck Operators Union, Dry Port, Dhandari Kalan, alleged that a number of irregularities had been brought to his notice. He assured the opposition operators that fresh elections would be held if it was established that trucks from outside had been entered, as alleged by them.



2 recommended for PAU posts
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
A four-member selection committee of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) is believed to have forwarded the names of Dr G.S. Nanda, Head, Department of Plant Breeding, and Dr M.S. Tiwana to the board of management, PAU, for appointment as Director, Research, and Dean, College of Agriculture, PAU, respectively.

Although their appointment is not official yet, sources close to the university authorities have confirmed it. The announcement will be made after the appointments get a nod by the board of management of the university, which is scheduled to meet on May 28.

The interview for the two posts was held at PAU yesterday, which was conducted by the four-member selection committee headed by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh. Other members of the committee were Dr Kirti Singh, former Chairman of Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board, Dr Charanjit Singh, former Horticulture Director of Himachal Pradesh, and Dr J.S. Samra, Deputy Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

Fourteen faculty members of PAU had applied for the posts, but only nine members appeared for the interview. Four candidates which were conspicuous by their absence were Dr A.S.Dhatt, Dr Darshan Singh, Dr S.P.S. Brar and Dr Buta Singh Thind.

Interestingly, Dr Dhatt and Dr Darshan Singh were seen as prominent candidates for the posts. The campus was rife with the speculations during the last days that these two candidates were trying their level best to be selected for these posts. Dr Brar and Dr Dhatt had applied for both the posts while Dr Darshan Singh had applied only for the post of Dean, COA.

Dr Aulakh, when contacted, said the final decision would only be announced after the meeting of board of management, which would be held in Chandigarh on May 28. He said the two candidates were informally selected by the four-member committee yesterday.

Dr Aulakh said the meeting of board of management was being held on May 28 because the officiating Dean of COA, Dr Ranjit Singh, would retire on May 31. Dr Ranjit Singh had taken over as the Dean last month only when Dr Pal had left the office after getting an assignment from the World Bank in Delhi.

Dr M.S. Bajwa, Director, Research, would retire on August 31 on superannuation. The Vice-Chancellor said the selected candidate for the DR would take charge on September 1 and Dean, College of Agriculture, would join office on June 1. He said the interview of Comptroller of PAU, which was postponed on May 19, would be held soon.



Rise in crime fuels need for arms licences
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
There has been a spurt in use of licensed weapons in property disputes and brawls in the city and in the issuance of licensed weapons by the district administration over the past four months. The figure of licences issued in the first quarter of this year has almost touched half the figure of last year.

Several incidents of crime, especially robbery and snatching incidents in the first four months, coupled with flaring of tempers in property disputes, are being attributed as the main reasons for the large number of aspirants for an arms licences. Due to the rate of the crime, a deep sense of insecurity seems to prevail among the residents. The recent shootout incident has put a question mark on the trend of issuance of high number of licensed weapons.

The most recent cases worth mentioning are the death of three persons in a shootout over a property dispute in Sunet village and the killing of a person and serious injuries to two others in Khanna earlier this month. There have been several cases of gunshots being fired in the air from licensed weapons in property disputes. One of them took place at Agar Nagar south end, while a few cases were reported from Jagraon police district. Last month a nephew of a Congress MLA was killed in a shootout in a dispute over a liquor vend in Samrala. There were scores of other minor cases as well.

According to figures available from the district administration, the spurt in issuance of armed licenses has been witnessed since January. While last year only 152 arms licences were issued in the first month, 444 were issued in the first month, 444 were issued this year. In February too, 245 licences were issued this year compared to 187 last year. The month of March had 448 licences this year compared to only 227 this year. In April also the figure was 339 this year, while last year it was 258.

The Additional Deputy Commissioner said the trend showed that this year, the number of arms licences issued by the district administration would be lot more than the number issued last year. He said the number of applications received was much high and despite discretion used by the administration, the number of licences issued was still increasing.

According to him, people desired arms licences for several reasons. Prominent among these was the fondness of rural people to possess a weapon and the second was a security threat to people. He said people from villages normally said they feared attacks of robbers, and thus needed a weapon for their safety. A number of applications were also received from towns where people were fearing theft or robbery incidents.

Commenting on the use of licensed weapons in recent crime incidents, the ADC said they issued a licence after a complete verification of the applicant. A case was given a nod only when the police verification report went in favour of the applicant. He said they had no right to deny a person a licence when he completed all the conditions.



Security arrangements go hi-tech
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, May 21
The horror of being attacked in one’s own house and the helplessness to protect one’s family leaves behind permanent scars of unpleasant memories on the minds of the victims. The recent spurt in crime has given rise to a sense of insecurity among the city residents. They are no longer satisfied with the traditional security arrangements of hiring a night watchman, double locking the doors and arranging for stronger grills and doors.

Ludhianvis are now opting for modern security gadgets like electronic burglar alarm, fire-detection system, close-circuit television, spy cameras and access control systems for their protection.

Mr Ramnik Gill, a local resident, feels that these gadgets provide complete security. He says,” Many such incidents could be prevented if the residents were more active and attentive towards their security”.

With the police arrangements proving ineffective in dealing with the rising crime in form of burglaries, robberies, kidnapping incidents, murders, assaults, abductions and rapes, city residents are not left with much choice except to go in for modern gadgetry.

Most of the industrialists in the city have installed electronic security devices at their workplaces. Even the common people have installed these gadgets at their homes. The latest electronic devices include control panels, key pads, digital communicators, magnetic switches, infrared sensors, microwave sensors, beam detectors, panic buttons, smoke detectors and strobe lights.

One of the popular security devices is a close-circuit TV camera which is connected with a television. This can also be connected to a VCR to identify and record the presence of visitors.

Mr Naresh Jain, an industrialist, says that this gadget is neither very expensive nor it needs a qualified person to operate. He feels, “one should not mind spending a few thousand rupees for security purpose”.

The residents have also opted for digital communicators. In emergency, this gadget dials up to three pre-programmed telephone numbers informing either the police, fire brigade, doctor or two of your friends depending on the nature of emergency within eight seconds time. The message through this device is repeated four times on each telephone number. Most of the city jewellers and factory owners have opted for this device.

Other sophisticated electronic security devices include passive infrared and microwave sensors which pick up human body heat on movement. Once switched on, any person who make moves within the protected area is picked up by the electronic eye and an alarm is raised.

Certain city VIPs have also opted for the card access control and proximity control systems. These sophisticated devices can keep a watch on the entry and exit of about 20 to 2000 people.

Car alarms are the most common security devices adopted by the city residents for the protection of their vehicles. An alarm is raised, which can be heard far and wide, whenever the vehicle is touched.



Judge’s gunman held on theft charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
A two-year-old case pertaining to the mysterious disappearance of an AK-56 assault rifle from the record room of the court of a Chief Judicial Magistrate of Ludhiana took a new turn today with the arrest of a gunman of a serving judge in the city by the CIA police here. The gunman and his one accomplice have been accused of stealing the gun and later attempting to rob a liquor vend in Sangowal village near here.

According to sources, Gulshan Kumar, on SPO posted as a gunman with an Additional Sessions Judge, had in connivance with his brother-in-law, Jaswinder Singh Kala, a daily wager, had allegedly stolen the gun from the record room on October 10, 1999.

The two were arrested by the CIA police from the outskirts of the city today. While the CIA officials were tight-lipped about the arrest, an official on the condition of anonymity confirmed the arrest.

According to the official, the two have been booked under Sections 25,54 and 59 of the Arms Act. The gunman has confessed to the police that he had stolen the gun two years ago with a motive to rob liquor vends.

He, however, claimed that he had only once attempted to rob a liquor vend in the Sangowal village, but the liquor vend employees foiled the attempt by locking themselves in the vend.

He said the failure in this attempt discouraged him and he did never made any such attempt again.


Youth killed, sister hurt in blast
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
A youth was killed and his sister was seriously injured in an explosion that took place in scrap at Durga Colony Focal Point here today evening.

Mool Chand (17) died on the spot while his sister, Behni (19) has been admitted to the Civil Hospital. Her condition is stated to be critical.

According to DSP Gurjit Singh the incident took place around 6p.m. when Mool Chand was trying to break a lump of scrap bought by him. The police has registered a case under Section 304A of the Explosive Act.

The police said that Mool Chand was working in a factory. This evening he brought some scrap to his hut. The police believe that this explosive (likely to be shell) material was a part of the scrap.Back



Amarinder ready with treatise on Kargil war
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
The President of the Pradesh Congress Committee, Capt Amarinder Singh, may be very busy with the party work, addressing the party rallies and leading the demonstrations after the Tehelka expose to follow his leader and AICC President, Ms Sonia Gandhi. Besides, he may also be planning the strategy to checkmate his rivals within and outside the party, yet he manages to take out some time for his academic pursuits. Currently he is busy recreating the images of the Kargil war in his second book titled “The Kargil War — 1999”. The book is expected to be released in the month of July.

According to Capt Amarinder, the 400-page book has been divided into four parts giving historical background, listing the geography, terrain and the detection of the intrusion and the consequent operation. Given his military experience of 10 years and the familiarity with the terrain, he says, it was not difficult for him to compile the book, which he describes as a “military study”.

He has served in Kargil for about four years during his decade-long tenure in the Army. He was posted there during the 1964 war. “Kargil was an important topic for military research,” he said, without revealing what his observations are about the performance of the government and the Army. Not prepared to court any controversy by promising any sensational revelations beforehand, he asserted “it is a simple case of military study and nothing else”. Army, besides politics, continues to remain his favourite subject of study.

The scion of the Patiala’s ruling family has written a book “Lest We Forget” earlier also. The book was also a military history of India. After the Kargil war finished, he spent quite some time in Kargil trying to recreate the images of war, given his own experience of the area in early sixties. “In fact when Chhitisinghpura massacre took place in March, 2000, I was in Kashmir at that time,” he recalled. He spent some time in Kargil talking to the people and the defence personnel at the outposts. Besides, he talked to several other people who have since been posted out to different places of the country.

And how did he get so much time for such a serious study and then documenting it, while at the same time negotiating the tough tricks of politics and that too as a leader of a national party heading an important state at an important time, when elections to the state Assembly are not too far. “Where there is a will, there is a way,” he remarks, while maintaining that he does not feel having done anything extraordinary, “but serving my own interest (in defence forces)”.


BJYM geared up for poll
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 21
The Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha, the youth wing of the BJP, is fully geared up for the forthcoming Assembly election in Punjab and the party rank and file is all set to give the opposition parties a befitting reply. This was stated by Mr Kamal Chatley, district president of the BJYM, while addressing a party workers’ meeting in the party office here last evening.

Under a comprehensive plan to mobilise the masses in favour of the party and to apprise them of the programmes and policies of the government, the BJYM would launch a campaign to motivate the youth for constructive works. In addition, the party would organise blood donation camps and special camps for redressal of public grievances. It would also provide financial assistance to poor and needy school children, added Mr Chatley.

Speaking on the occasion, the BJYM general secretary and councillor, Mr Harish Tandon, remarked that the party workers were given duties to interact with members of the public at all levels to propagate the party policies. They would also clear the confusion created by the propaganda of opposition parties.

Other speakers claimed that mass contact programme in all the 70 wards would be completed before May 27, when the party would meet again to give final touches to the electoral strategy. They appealed to all mandal presidents, working committee members and other party activists to work for the success of the party campaign.



A vital railway junction

LUDHIANA'S recent history has some important landmarks. The Phillaur fort was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The Baddowal-Aliwal battles of the first Anglo-Sikh War (1845-46) made it a temporary cantonment town. The realignment of the ‘Jarnaili Sarak’, the present GT Road, was a big step towards modernisation. But it was the railway that represented the big leap forward for the region.

Ludhiana appeared as a railway station on the Ludhiana-Ambala main line on October 12, 1869. Ambala Cantonment had already been linked with the Saharanpur-Meerut section. The Amritsar-Lahore line was inaugurated on January 1, 1869.

The then East-India Company geared up all economic resources to build sea-ports from Karachi to Chittagong. In England, towns like Darlington and Stockton were linked by rail in the third decade of the 19th century. The Company and Imperial Britain realised new potential of commerce, trade and industry and the Indian ports were linked with the hinterland with rare speed: Bombay to Thane (21 mile) on April 16, 1853; and Howrah to Hooghli (24 miles) on August 15, 1954. Within two decades most of the main lines were laid with trains running with steam engines. Forest wood provided the fuel. The construction of bridges and providing the infrastructure was a major engineering feat.

The railway expanded on three fronts. The East-India company made the debut, the Imperial Government took the lead, and certain companies purchased shares. The princely states also financed or provided land for the construction of railway tracks in their territories. Ludhiana offers an interesting study in this respect. It was linked with Jakhal via Dhuri on January 1, 1901. The rulers of Malerkotla and Jind had collaborated to help their states. The branch line between Ludhiana and Ferozepore Cantonment (77 miles) was ready in 1905.

Meanwhile, Phillaur was planned to be linked with Nakodar with a further link-up with Lohian Khas on the Jalandhar-Kapurthala-Ferozepore line. Subsequently, when Nakodar was joined by rail with Lohian Khas, Ludhiana was directly linked in 1913.

Ludhiana had earned an important place on the railway map of the then North-Western Railway (NWR) All mail and express trains halted here. It was directly linked with three main ports — Calcutta, Bombay and Karachi.

Ludhiana grew as an important railway station and gained prominence as a rail junction. During the NWR era, all trains halted at Jalandhar Cantonment, but not all at Jalandhar city. But all did stop at Ludhiana. It became a popular railway station due to its branch lines catering to the countryside. Students, armymen, visitors, traders and business men added to the popularity of this junction.

The railway yard has expanded to full capacity. The railway quarters and colonies have proved too small for the large number of employees. The loco-shed is a landmark of organisation of the vital rail junction. Electrification of the rail track is a recent step in modernisation. Shadows of the city’s expansion are falling on Laddhowal, Gill, Jassowal, Sahnewal and Doraha railway stations.

Jammu has been linked with all railheads or terminals in India and most of the traffic has to pass through Ludhiana. Trains originating from Amritsar also pass through Ludhiana which has became one of the busiest railway junctions. Yet much needs to be done to provide facilities, sanitation, reservation, information, etc. The citizens are also waiting anxiously for the Ludhiana-Chandigarh rail link.



Corruption at PSEB office flayed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
Mr Joginder Kumar and Mr Man Mohan Singh Ubhi, president and secretary of the Ludhiana Electroplates Association, respectively, have criticised the widespread corruption in the divisions of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) in the city especially in Model Town Division. They have alleged that the consumers had to ‘bribe’ officials at every stage to get the work done in that division.

Mr Joginder Kumar alleged the newly appointed executive engineer at Model Town, who has been transferred from Jalandhar, was acting in an irresponsible way and his attitude was far from being impartial. Mr Kumar further alleged, ‘‘The Executive Engineer is using abusive language against particular persons at the behest of some persons. It does not behove a public servant. The matter has been brought to the notice of Mr V.K. Virmani, Superintendent Engineer but no action has been taken so far.’’

Regarding the day to day mismanagement of the board, he said,‘‘ The officials do not observe the norms while checking the meters. It has been brought to association’s notice that two officials who were on inspection duty, had opened the door without knocking at it in the afternoon in Sandeep Nagar where only one old lady was there. They did not disclose their identity. The matter has been brought to the notice of Mr J. S. Grewal, Chief Engineer (Central Zone) who has joined recently.’’

Mr Kumar observed that the meter readers do not take the reading properly as a result the consumers had to run from pillar to post to get their bills corrected. There were large number of complaints in this regard.

Both the leaders urged the Chairman of PSEB and Chief Engineer (Central Zone) to take stern action against the corrupt officials in the district. They demanded the overhaul of the Model Town division immediately. 



Designer jewellery captures hearts
Our Correspondent

Stone-studded      jewellery is also in great demand.
Stone-studded      jewellery is also in great demand.

Ludhiana, May 21
Jewellery! It conjures pictures of rich traditional jewellery fit for queens — the lovely tiaras, signet rings, lovely bracelets, and heart-shaped pendants to keep the pictures of lovers. Through the ages women as well as men have been wearing jewellery. But trends change with changing times and jewellery has come a long way from the pre-historic ornaments made of bones, feathers and leather.

The jewellery worn by maharajas and kings was opulent using diamonds as big as “Kohinoor”. Nizam of Hyderabad’s jewels have been crafted with meticulous care and have used rare jewels. Indians, have a special fascination for gold and have the maximum amount of gold jewellery. Gold is hoarded as it is considered to be good value for money. Indian women have always cherished their ‘Rani Haars’, broad bracelets and ‘kadas’. But jewellery studded with stones and diamonds has not been very popular primarily because it was not considered to be of much value. But tastes have changed with changing times.

But now Modern woman does not want to wear the traditional heavy chunky ornaments to work. So many working women are preferring trendy, inexpensive, jewellery that goes well with their dresses. ‘Oysterbay’ has revolutionised jewellery by crafting elegant pieces of designer jewellery all priced under Rs 5000.

“Silver jewellery set with precious stones is becoming a hot favourite with young trendy crowd. The designer jewellery is what matters. Stones both semi-precious and precious set in elegant designs are very popular with young college students and young married people, “ says Pranav Kumar Singh.

Mr Vinod, owner of a reputed jewellery shop says, “There is a marked change in the trends of jewellery. People do buy traditional ‘jadao’ ‘kundan’ and long gold “Rani Haars”, but only to be given during the weddings. The women prefer designer jewellery these days. That means we have to make one set of each design. We, use stones of different colours like sapphires, rubies, emeralds, amethyst, garnets, jade and many other stones.

The people prefer to match their jewellery with their dress so they want to buy jewellery set in different coloured stones at an easily affordable price.

These days, we are using 22 carat gold with DJ 916 stamp which is in accordance with the international standards. These kinds of sets costs Rs 25,000 upwards. The women are wearing collar type necklaces and long earrings. Jewellery of diamonds and precious stones is also in vogue.”

Gold and diamond jewellery works out to be quite expensive. So the latest trend is to use Zircons commonly known as American diamonds, which look just like diamonds but are comparatively much cheaper, with gold.

But for not so upwardly mobile, there is a lot of imitation and costume jewellery with different stones. It looks quite elegant and cost 1/10th of the real thing and is also in great demand. Some enterprising young people have also started making jewellery items out of junk by using glass beads, wires and other such stuff. Some are into making paper jewellery embellished with stones. These are preferred mostly by young girls. Inexpensive black metal and brass jewellery, chunky beads, and strings of different kinds of stones with matching ear rings are preferred for every day use.

“There is a demand for such jewellery, which is attractive and affordable by youth, “ says Mr Vasant Nangia of a jewellery fashion house.



Rajiv Gandhi remembered
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 21
Youth Congress activists observed ‘anti-terrorism day’ and organised a scooter rally and a blood donation camp in the city to mark the 10th death anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi.

In a ‘shardhanjli samaroh’ held at Punjabi Bhavan, Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, MP, Mr Surinder Dawar, president, District Congress Committee, Mr Pawan Diwan, chairman, Urban Development Cell of the Indian Youth Congress, Mr M.S. Dakha, a former minister, and Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, PPCC Secretary, among others, paid glowing tributes to Rajiv Gandhi. Two minutes silence was also observed.

Mr Ghalib administered a pledge to the party activists to work for communal amity and unity, irrespective of the caste, religious or linguistic differences. He described Rajiv Gandhi as a progressive, far-sighted and dynamic leader, who had laid down his life for the sake of unity and integrity of the nation. Mr Dawar recalled the contribution made by him in giving the foreign policy and science and technology a new direction.

Mr Diwan, elaborating the significance of the anti-terrorism day, observed to mark the death anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, said the underlying purpose was to mobilise and educate the masses against terrorism and violence of all kinds. Mr Bawa said the then Prime Minister had done a great service to the youth by giving voting rights at the age of 18. Mr Akshay Bhanot, district chairman, Urban Development Cell, described Rajiv Gandhi as a pioneer of information technology who had vision for the future.

Mr Ghalib gave away free exercise books and stationery items to students of RBM Model School, on behalf of the Urban Development Cell. The function was attended, among others, by Mr Jaswinder Singh Sabi, Mr Gopal Monga, Mr Kala Jain, Mr Jasvir Singh Jassal, Mr Gurbhej Chhabra, Mr Sushil Malhotra, Mr Charanjit Singh Sonu, Dr R.S. Yadav, Mr Mohan Lal, and Mr Tarlochan Singh Grewal.

The activists, led by Mr Parminder Mehta, took out a ‘goodwill scooter rally’ to mark the anniversary. The rally commenced from the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Old Town Hall and passed through main roads in the city, while paying floral tributes at the statues of martyrs, Kartar Singh Sarabha at Chowk Clock Tower, Major Bhupinder Singh at Bharat Nagar Chowk, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev at Chowk Jagraon Bridge, on the way.

Mr Pankaj Sood, Mr Ashok Arora, Mr Sukhwinder Fauji, Mr Raj Kaushal, Mr Anil Sachdeva, Mr Surjit Kaushal and others paid rich tributes to him.

The blood donation camp was organised at the District Red Cross Society jointly by Mr K.K. Bawa, secretary, PPCC, and Mr Sushil Malhotra, a former general secretary, Punjab Youth Congress.

The Muslim Aman Society, Punjab, also organised a function to observe the martyrdom day of Rajiv Gandhi.

Mr Paramjit Singh Tikka was the chief guest. He said Rajiv Gandhi’s ‘sacrifice’ would keep intact the unity and integrity of the country. The society president, Mohd Naseem Ansari, described Rajiv Gandhi as a ‘great son’ of India. A number of poor school children were given uniforms. A large number of Youth Congress activists garlanded a portrait of Rajiv Gandhi.

To mark the ‘anti-terrorism day’, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, administered an oath to members of public to strengthen mutual brotherhood, peace, unity and integrity and to denounce terrorism at all levels, in a function, held at the Mini-secretariat here today. Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, Minister for Technical Education, Punjab, Mr Rakesh Pandey and Mr Bachan Singh Cheema, both MLAs, Mr S.R. Kler, Additional Deputy Commissioner, and Ms Anita Darshi, Assistant Commissioner (Grievances), were present on the occasion.


Christians seek ban on book
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
The Punjab United Christian Forum for Human Rights has demanded a ban on the book ‘Satguru Nanak Dev Ji (Sampuran Jivan) Ate Mukti Marg’ which it claimed contained blasphemous and derogatory remarks about Jesus Christ.

The book has been written by Mr Satnam Singh and published by Gurmati Prachar Kendar, Sher Shah Suri Marg, Amritsar. The forum has also demanded the registration of a criminal case against the author, besides Mr Upkar Singh Chhabra, who it claimed had financed the publication of the book.

In a memorandum submitted to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, the forum alleged that the book has defamed “the Christians and the Christian community of Punjab, India and all over the world”. The forum while objecting to the contents of the book pointed out that the author had defamed Jesus Christ and had also cast aspersions on his character. It also alleged that the author had defamed the Christians also.

Hundreds of Christians led by the forum vice-president Pastor K. Koshy marched to the Deputy Commissioner’s office here and presented the memorandum. The processionists dispersed off peacefully after presenting the memorandum to the DC for forwarding it to the President of India. 


Local talent shines in fashion show
Our Correspondent

Models display outfits at the ‘Face’n Figure’ show held in Ludhiana on Sunday.
Models display outfits at the ‘Face’n Figure’ show held in Ludhiana on Sunday. — A Tribune photo

Ludhiana, May 21
The “Face-n-Figure — 2001” fashion show organised here last night has marked the beginning of new trend in the city. This time professional models from Delhi and Mumbai were accompanied by budding models from the city. The young aspiring models were specially trained during a five-day grooming workshop organised by the Soft Reach company to promote the young talent in the city. The workshop had started here on May 16.

Despite the show starting two hours late, the crowd waited patiently. In the first round of “professional sequence”, the models wearing trendy dresses walked on the ramp very confidently. The dresses were brightly coloured and included shorts and mini skirts.

The second round was a blend of Indian and Western outfits which was inspired by the mirror and was named ‘Aks’ (reflection) round. The enthusiastic budding models of the city walked on the ramp shoulder to shoulder with professional models.


Gunjan, Nidhi win beauty contest
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 21
A May Queen Ball organised by the Gayatri Ladies Club was held at Sutlej Club to choose May Queen here today.

The participants were dressed in cool shades of summer. They wore chiffon and net sarees in pastel shades of pink, yellow, beige, sea-green and blue.

The participants were divided into two categories over - 40 and under - 40 years. More than thirty contestants participated in the contest. There were a total of three rounds — ramp walk round, questionnaire round and final round.

Ms Gunjan Bassan was declared May Queen in the below-40 age group. Ms Gunita was adjudged first runner-up, while Mr Amandeep Bawa was declared second runner-up.

Ms Nidhi Naz was declared May Queen in the above-40 age group. Ms Anita Nagpal was chosen first runner-up and Mr Kikky Behl was declared second runner-up.

Ms Meneka Choudhry and Ms Shaban were given surprise gifts for best hairstyle and best dress. Ms Bindu Jain was declared Ms Attractive. Ms Rajni Kalra in above-40 age group was given a special prize for glowing skin.


PSEB JE arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
The vigilance Bureau, Ludhiana, today arrested a junior engineer of the PSEB on charge of accepting a bribe of Rs 4,000 from a woman.

Mr R.P.S. Bajwa, SP (Vigilance), said today that Sampooran Singh, the accused, was caught red-handed from his residence in Mohali by a team of vigilance officials led by DSP Malwinder Singh.

He was arrested on the complaint of Mrs Sunita Ahuja, a resident of Ropar. She stated that she lodged a complaint for the change of a faulty meter. However, the accused made an allegation that she was indulging in power theft. He demanded money and threatened to take action against her if his demand was not met.


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