Sunday, June 24, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Attack on train condemned
Ensure security, Vedanti urged
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 23
Activists of the SAD, the Sikh Students Federation, several trade organisations and other Sikh bodies were among those who registered their protest against the attack on pilgrims at the Uttarpara railway station, near Kolkata. The protesters termed it as an attack on the ‘Sikh religion, which the community will not take lying down.’

A large number of shopkeepers and traders from Chaura Bazaar and adjoining markets, led by Mr Amarjit Singh Happy, president, Akal Market Shopkeepers Association, staged a dharna at Clock Tower chowk and blocked vehicular traffic for about half an hour.

On the persuasion of Mr Gurcharan Singh Grewal, president, All-India Sikh Students Federation, and Mr Pritpal Singh Pali, President, Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran, who joined the dharna a little later, the traffic was restored, while the protesters continued to sit on the dharna and recited ‘Gurbani’.

Speakers at the dharna condemned the West Bengal Government as well as the Union Home Ministry for failure to provide adequate security with the ‘special train’ and registration of false cases against the Sikh pilgrims, who on the contrary, were victims of an assault and stone-pelting by miscreants. Mr Grewal threatened to resort to ‘direct action’ if the government failed to bring the culprits to book and withdraw false cases against Sikh pilgrims.

Mr Kulwant Singh Dukhia, councillor, and a prominent Muslim leader, Mr Atiq-Ur-Rehman, speaking on the occasion, termed the incident as most unfortunate but pleaded for restraint and not to be provoked by mischievous elements, who wanted to create communal disharmony.

The Sikh Students Federation (Sandhu) has, meanwhile, served an ultimatum to the Union Government to arrest the culprits within one week failing which the federation would not allow any train to enter Punjab.

The SSF president, Mr Tejinder Singh Sandhu, addressing a news conference at Circuit House here today, remarked that sentiments of the Sikh community were deeply hurt by the most provocative act and unless the government acted swiftly and effectively to apprehend the culprits, the situation might take a turn for the worse. He said the Sikh community had great respect for all other religions and in the same manner it expected reciprocal feelings from other religious groups.

Mr Sandhu also made an appeal to the Head Priest of Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, to ensure such arrangements that in future all religious ‘yatras’, taken out by train or buses, were provided adequate security so that such incident did not recur.

A meeting of the SAD-B, circle Model Town, held under the presidentship of Mr Arvinder Singh Tony, while condemning the act urged Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, President, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, to take up the matter of safety of the Sikh community in other states with the National Minorities Commission.


Admn gears up for flood control
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 23
Keeping in view early rains, the district administration has strengthened the flood control measures and directions have been issued to maintain round-the-clock vigil at strategic points all over the district. As a result, the district and sub-division level flood control rooms will become functional from June 25 to constantly monitor the situation.

Giving detailed information of measures taken up in the wake of coming rainy season, Mr S.K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner, informed that the main district-level flood control room would be set up in the Mini Secretariat (phone no 400150) and the District Revenue Officer would be the over all in charge. Similarly, the sub-division-level flood control rooms would be started in the offices of the respective SDMs, who would be the over all in charge to supervise all flood protection measures.

Apart from these, control rooms will also function in the office of Executive Engineer, Drainage Department at Ludhiana (phone number 409041) and in the office of the local Fire Brigade (phone number 101). All these control rooms would be functioning round the clock, where all information regarding the flow of water in the river, discharge of water from the Ropar Head Works, the location of equipment and trained personnel would be available.

Mr Sandhu further informed that the administration had drawn up a comprehensive plan to properly supervise the 99-km long Dhussi Bundh along the Sutlej and the entire stretch of the Budha Nullah passing through the district.

As a part of the exercise, the work on the flood protection works on vulnerable sites on the Dhussi Bund were being carried out at a cost of Rs 2.20 crores.

These include construction of 12 new studs and two spurs, reinforcement of five armed spurs, raising and strengthening of 2000 feet Dhussi Bund and stone pitching of two armed spurs. He claimed that the work on all these sites would be completed positively by end of first week of July.

Asserting that the administration was maintaining a high alert to deal with any eventuality, Mr Sandhu informed that at Madhepur two new studs were being constructed and an old one was being converted into armed spur at a cost of Rs 27 lakhs. At the Rampur complex, 2000 feet bundh was being raised and strengthened at a cost of Rs 8 lakh and at the Talwandi complex one armed spur was being constructed at a cost of Rs 20 lakhs.

Other ongoing works included replenishment of armed spurs, construction of new studs and stone pitching of armed spurs at Khaira Bet, near Ladhowal Seed Farm, Kasabad, Jamapur Lilli, Matteweara, Ghumana, Dhulewal, Milkowal and Issapur on the bundh.

The Deputy Commissioner said that the Drainage Department would keep regular contact with the SDO at the Ropar Head Works to get latest information regarding the release of water. He said that to keep the full vigil all along the Dhusi Bundh, the SSPs of all three police districts have been asked to set up sufficient numbers of police pickets, equipped with wireless sets, covering all the vulnerable sites on the bundh. The SDMs of all subdivisions have also been directed to form the subdivision-level flood protection committees, comprising officers of the departments concerned including the police, drainage, irrigation, rural development and panchayats, revenue, agriculture, health, food and supplies and animal husbandry. He said the SDMs had also been asked to ensure regular patrolling on the bundh and night patrolling in the villages situated along the Dhusi Bundh in their sub-divisions.

Mr Sandhu further informed that the Health Department had constituted 26 teams of doctors and paramedical staff and a sufficient stock of medicine was also been kept ready in all hospitals and health centres, all along the Dhussi Bundh. He said that District Transport Officer and the General Manager, Punjab Roadways, had been asked to make arrangements to provide sufficient number of vehicles, in case of any kind of emergency and the General Manager, Telephones, would ensure to keep the telephones of sarpanches and other prominent persons in the villages near the Dhusi Bundh functional, to maintain the communication channels.

Referring to the availability of flood protection equipment, the Deputy Commissioner informed that six motor boat engines, 20 aluminum boats, 42 tents, 60 life jackets were kept ready for use in rescue operations, and the Army authorities were being contacted to keep ready sufficient number of divers in case of need.


BKU to launch agitation for farmers’ interests
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 23
The BKU has taken strong exception to the government move to leave the superfine variety of paddy (parmal) to market conditions and not providing minimum support price (MSP) to these varieties. The BKU secretary-general, Mr Manjit Singh Kadian, said in a statement here today that a mass agitation would be launched to safeguard the interests of the farmers and to force the government to review its ‘anti-farmers’ policies.

Mr Kadian said the Union Government had, in a letter addressed to the Punjab and Haryana Governments, communicated that price of fine variety of paddy would be governed by market conditions.

However, if the farmers wished they could sell their produce (superfine variety) to government agencies at the price fixed for coarse varieties, the government directive said.

The BKU activist observed that going by the cost of production of paddy, the farmers stood to lose at least Rs 300 per tonne for the simple reason that most of the farmers had sown superfine varieties because last year the government agencies had not purchased coarse varieties of paddy.

He called upon the government to immediately announce the MSP for superfine variety of paddy failing which the farmers would have to come out on the streets to seek justice.

Rejecting the Rs 10 per quintal hike in purchase price of paddy recommended by the Agriculture Costs and Prices Commission (ACPC), Mr Kadian remarked that the ACPC had virtually become a rubber stamp in the hands of its political bosses.

“In the wake of an estimated increase of 10 per cent in the cost of farm inputs during the last year, a hike of mere Rs 10 per quintal is a cruel joke with the farmers,” he added

He said the prices, recommended by the ACPC, were not acceptable to the farmers and government would do well to review the procurement price of paddy, cotton and other rabi crops on the basis of price index of 1966-67.

The MSP for coarse variety of paddy at Rs 689 per quintal and 10 per cent addition for superfine variety would be barely sufficient to cover the cost of production, he added.

Reiterating other demands of the farming community, Mr Kadian urged the government to remit all agricultural loans, ensure supply of good quality insecticides and pesticides for cotton crop, make adequate arrangements for procurement of cotton, make provisions for sufficient water in canals for irrigation purposes and ensure equitable distribution of irrigation water.

The BKU, he said, would convene a ‘Kisan Panchayat’ on June 26 at Ferozepore near the residence of the Punjab Irrigation Minister, Mr Janmeja Singh Sekhon.

The convention would discuss, among other demands of the farmers, ways and means to improve the availability of canal water by digging new canals and improving the capacity of existing canal network in the state.


VC issues guidelines for speedy file clearance
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
To bring about efficiency in the working of various offices of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), the authorities are issuing a number of guidelines to remove bottlenecks in the moving of a file from one official to another. A circular was issued by the Vice-Chancellor yesterday in which the guidelines have been listed to prevent delay.

The guidelines come in the wake of delay in delivery of orders regarding penalising a faculty member when the clerk concerned failed to issue the letter on time. The Vice- Chancellor went on to suspend the services of the clerk with immediate effect, but later he was reinstated. The Vice-Chancellor then held a meeting with other university officials to prepare instructions for smooth functioning in the university, especially while dealing with the files and ordered that those failing to follow these would be dealt with strongly.

The guidelines have also come as a relief to the retirees, who often complain that they do not receive the payments in the form of postretirement benefits at the time of retirement. The Vice-Chancellor had clearly written that the cheques should be handed over to the retirees on the same day. He said either the cases were not initiated in time by the heads of the departments or the cases sent to the Comptroller were incomplete. He also said the non-initiation of the cases in time or submission of incomplete cases would be viewed seriously and the dealing hand along with the office in charge would be held responsible.

In a circular issued to all deans, directors, officers, additional directors, heads of departments, director seeds and directors of all outstation research institutes, the Vice- Chancellor has said the case marked urgent should be disposed of the same day and the other cases should be disposed of within three working days. He also instructed them that once the case was approved by the competent authority, it should be sent back to the controlling officer within two working days. To ensure efficiency, the circular asks the dealing hands to put in extra efforts to adhere to the schedule and timely submission.

The circular reads that the cases requiring financial sanction of the Vice-Chancellor should be referred directly to the comptroller by the heads of the departments without routing them through the deans, directors and other officials of the university. A copy of the proposal may be sent by the head of the department to the controlling officer concerned for information.

The circular further says that the case approved by the Vice-Chancellor will be sent back to the initiating officers by secretary to the VC directly, with an intimation to the controlling officer concerned, registrar and comptroller, except the cases where the action is to be taken and orders are to be issued by any of the above authorities.

The various officials are also required to maintain a dak register, with the dak marked to him entered by the diarist in that register and the office in charge is required to obtain a weekly report from each official on number of cases received during the week and the number of cases not disposed of.


City’s contribution to Bollywood

THE world continues to look like a stage if seen from the eyes of the Bard of Avon. Sages of the Orient take life to be a dream. Putting it poetically, our mystics called it leela. Leela is poetic as well as dramatic. Drama or natak is inherent in the collective human unconscious self. Near our time, it developed as Parsi theatre.

The film metros demanded talent and Punjabis did not lag behind. Punjabis are where the action is and Ludhianvis rush to do well. Punjabis were one up during the early stages of Indian cinema. The made up the gap faster after the loss of Lahore. Bollywood was taken over by the refugees from Lollywood. The footprints of Ludhianvis are visible. The uprooted Punjabis took to reconstruction without loss of time.

Sharma started building a film studio here in the early fifties on the Ferozepore road at the site of present Kartar Bhawan. It bore the name Vishva Vijay Kala Mandir. Sharma is heard of no more, but his films survive. Ludhiana has been directly as well as indirectly contributing to the growth of Indian cinema.

Saadat Hassan Manto, the legendary story-teller, belonged to Papraudi village on the Samrala-Chawa-Payal road. He wrote stories and dialogues for films. Yash Chopra has roots here. B.R. Chopra was born here. Old-timers can recall Mirza Musharraf, whose face conveyed more wit and humour than dialogue. Remember Barsat Ki Raat and Ustaad Fitna Daj, the Punjabi-Hindi film by Hassanpuri? Anil Dhawan has links here. Sarshar Sailani (Sahnewal) wrote stories and lyrics.

Prabhu Dayal of Dakha worked with Dilip Kumar and others. He played many roles and married actress Nalini Jaywant. Arjan Bakhshi (Pamal) was well-known in his days. Sahir stands apart. To estimate his contribution to Indian films could be a life-long project with a die-hard critic of his.

Ludhiana in particular is proud of Dharmendra and his sons — Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol. There is also the clan of legendary Prithvi Raj Kapoor. Ajit Deol, besides Hema Malini, enrich the Ludhiana chapter of Indian film history. Then there are Mohan Sehgal and Asha Mathur.

Let us move on to the English medium. We recall the German Nobel laureate, Herman Hesse, and his classic Siddharth. The heroine opposite Shashi Kapoor was Simi Grewal. She is a challenge to critics and a delight to aesthetes. Anil Dhanda is making waves in cinematography and direction.

The sweet and silky voice of Jagjit Singh is magic. The Namdharis hold music in high esteem. He does equal justice to songs and ghazals. His voice is most welcome in the Urdu-ghazal world, besides the Hindi-Punjabi lyric world. He is also loved by Pakistanis.

Pannu (Sukhram Nagar) struggled and won. He played the role of Ranga in a Hindi film. Tragedy struck the Chopra children. The real Billa and Ranga were the culprits, but Pannu (Ranga) was questioned. He was let off later.

Jagraon has contributed TV film-camera artiste, Harjit, besides producer, Jagjit Gill. Kavita kamal (Kimi-Sonia Varma) heroine of Kehar, model and anchor, is making progress. Baldev Gill of Chan Pardesi fame is another noteworthy artiste. Bhupinder (Bhindi) is a well-known film artiste. Davinder Mann made a mark.

Harpal Tiwana, Neena Tiwana and Nirmal Rishi of (Laung-da-lishkara and Diva baley saari raat fame) are noted artistes. Daljit Kaur (Khangura House) is an unforgettable name. She was introduced by Inderjeet Hassanpuri, who produced Sukhi Parwar, Daaj and Teri Meri Ik Jindri. He became famous overnight. Hassanpuri discovered and introduced Mehar Mittal, Varinder, Dheeraj Kumar and Vijay Tandon. Darshan Bagga (Gill Road), Ajaib Grewal (Budhewal) and Sukhjinder Shera (Mullanpur) also did well. Singer duos M. Sadiq-Ranjeet Kaur and K. Deep-Jagmohan Kaur, besides several others, produced and directed, or sang for and acted in many films.

Singers of Ludhiana like Surinder Shinda, Kuldip Manak and many more have acted in Punjabi films. Kuldeep Kaur, Sukhwant Sukhi and Parminder Sandhu have acted or done playback singing. While shooting at Talwandi village near Dakha, Varinder was shot dead by terrorists.


King of fruits everywhere
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
It is ‘mangoes mangoes’ everywhere. One can see the fruit-sellers in streets, and fruit shops in every corner of the city, flooded with a single fruit. It is the season of the mango, the king of Indian fruits praised at great lengths Indian poetry. Mangoes of every variety, Dusheri, Langra, Sharanpuri, Tota, Neelam and Safeda are here. You name any major variety of mango and you can get it at a reasonable price thanks to the bumper crop in UP and other mango producing states especially in Andhra Pradesh.

About 300 tonnes of mango, loaded in 25 to 30 trucks daily reach Ludhiana, the biggest fruit market of Punjab. The fruit comes mostly from Malihabad, near Lucknow, Saharanpur in UP, and from Vijaywara in Andhra Pardesh. The mango crop from Punjab has not yet started coming to the market. It is expected to reach by the end of next month, though by that time, supplies from UP and other states’ will dry up.

Mr Inderjit Singh Nanda, a leading commission agent in fruits, says,‘‘ The mango crop has been really wonderful as compared to that in the past many years. Indeed, we had expected a better crop this year, as the general trend is that the fruit crop is good one year and the next year the yields come down due to unknown reasons.’’ The average wholesale rate of the Dasheri variety of mango in the market is Rs 55 to Rs 60 per box of 7 kg to 9 kg. However, the retail price is anywhere between Rs 15 to Rs 20 per kg.

Agents dealing in the fruit get supplies of the unripened fruit from Saharanpur and Lucknow. After that they apply chemicals on the mangoes to quicken the process of ripening. The fruit is ready within a day or two. However, during rainy days, there is no need to apply chemicals and the fruit ripes by itself within two days. The commission agents keep those in their godowns for sometime before bringing them to the market for sale.

Mr Amarjit Singh points out that the local market supplies mango to neighbouring markets such as Khanna, Phagwara, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Nawanshaher, Barnala and Kotakpura. About 15 trucks are sent to these markets and the remaining are sold in the city.

He agrees that most of the persons dealing in this business are making good money . Everyone is happy as the transporters, wholesale dealers and even small fruit sellers are making neat profits this season. Market observers say that the difference between the wholesale and retail rate is between 40 per cent to 100 per cent. Interestingly, the mangoes of Tota and Neelam varieties are available for just Rs 5 to Rs 8 per kg in the wholesale market, but are sold for Rs 10 to Rs 12 per kg in the retail market.

However, there are a few sceptics also. Mr Ashish Malik, another commission agent for more than a decade. says,‘‘ No doubt, the crop is extremely good this year. But people not have much money to buy the fruit due to bad conditions in the hosiery and cycle industry. A large section of the city’s population is dependent on these industries. Consequently, the sale of mangoes has been affected to some extent. In case of good conditions in these sector, the returns could have been abundant. ’’


Mud, slush in vegetable market
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 23
“Ludhiana’s main sabzi mandi is the largest of its kind in Punjab, doing business in lakhs daily, but if any one walks into the mandi, the stench and the filth will turn him away” says Mr Amrik Singh who went there today for the first time to buy vegetables for a party at his house. Never again will he visit the ‘mandi, he vows.

“Imagine that the vegetables and fruits one eats daily come from a place which is full of slush, mud and filth, said another buyer Mr Gore Lal. He wondered if any senior officer of the Health Department or of the Corporation had ever visited the ‘sabzi mandi’.

“The vegetable market is a ‘narak’ on earth,” said a commission agent. Whether it is a (commission agent) or a vendor or a buyer, all are unanimous in their opinion that the mandi is filthy.

When this correspondent asked the commission agents how they could ply their business in such squalor, and unclean conditions, Mr Jagbir Singh, a commission agent, replied: “There is a Sabzi Mandi Market Committee to look after its cleanliness. We pay them 4 per cent of our daily transactions and yet the results are before you. During the rains, things become worse as the drains are blocked.The roads become rivers of grime, full of rothing vegetables. The stench is most foul. I do not know how we survive in such conditions.”

Another commission agent, Mr Amarjit, said:” Can you expect the city not to have a gastro-enteritis epidemic? Look at the filth here. Inspite of giving 4 % of the total sale of fruits and vegetables which amounts to Rs 2 lakh daily, this is the condition of the market. We do business worth Rs 50 lakh every day. Yet we live in virtual hell. Sometimes the Mandi officials, say that a bulldozer is not available. At other times, labour is not available and yet at other times ,we are told that the area is under the corporation. Sometimes we have gone on strike and at times we have not paid them the 4% duty. For a few days, the market is cleaned and soon we are back to square one.

“The buyers fight with us for they say that their clothes get dirty on the muddy roads. They also claim that sickness originates from the dirty conditions of the market. There are hardly any toilets worth the name. Three small toilets were constructed recently. There is no provision for drinking water. The entire market is used as an open air toilet by the labourers who come in large numbers.

The secretary of the Mandi Board, Mr Charanjit, said: “We have employed eight sweepers to keep the place clean. During the rainy season, cleanliness becomes a problem but otherwise the ‘mandi’ remains clean.If the sewerage is blocked then it is the responsibility of the Municipal Corporation.

We have purchased 54 acres of land near Dana mandi to construct a modern ‘mandi’ there. The shopkeepers should also co-operate with us. They throw the rotten vegetables on the road which get crushed under the vehicles and worsen the situation. We have asked the people dealing in tomatoes, melons, watermelons and bananas to conduct their business outside the market. In the toilets, we have provided big drums for water.”


Missing boys recovered from Jagraon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
The fear of studies prompted two children, missing from Haibowal for more than two weeks, to run away from their homes. The Haibowal police recovered the children from Jagraon today morning. They were handed over to their parents in the afternoon.

‘‘We did not want to study’’ told 13-year-old Tarlok Chand and 11-year-old Anant Ram to mediapersons as the reason of their leaving their homes. They said they had not fared well in the class VI exams especially in the Hindi paper on June 6. The same day they decided to run away and make a living for themselves. The fathers of both the children are Class IV employees in the Punjab Agricultural University.

The SHO, Haibowal, said the children walked all the way to Jagraon and worked as servants in a dhaba where they were traced. The police said the breakthrough came when one of the boys rang up his parents informing them that he was well but did not disclose the place from where he was calling. The police later put the phone under an observation and when the boy called up again, they learnt that he was in Jagraon.

Though it sounds unbelievable, but the two boys insist that they travelled by foot to Jagraon. They claim to have covered a distance of about 40 kms in seven hours, ‘‘We walked along the track and after crossing several small stations we reached Jagraon. We had only Rs 10 with us and thus could not travel by bus or train’’.

The boys met a dhaba owner and requested him to keep them as servants. The dhaba owner first took them to a cinema where they saw a movie. Later they worked for two weeks at the dhaba at a promised salary of Rs 600 per month.


PFA holds meeting
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 23
A joint meeting of the People for Animals (PFA), the Ludhiana Police, traders and owners of bullock-carts and horse-carts, was held at Brij Lal Dharamshala, Bhutte Shah Mandi, near Kesarganj, here today.

In the meeting, owners of bullock-carts and horse-carts and traders were made aware of the maximum prescribed limit of load to be carried on animals as per the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Rules, 1965. The owners were persuaded to follow the rules, which had been framed for the welfare of animals and also in the interest of owners. Dr Sandeep K. Jain, member, Animal Welfare Board of India, assured that PFA would provide free veterinary aid to animals at various welfare camps to be organised at regular intervals.

Mr Arunpal Singh, SP (Traffic), said that an Animal Helpline would make all possible efforts to eliminate cruelties upon animals and provide relief to animals in distress. He said that in case of any cruelty or accident, one could dial phone number 100 and get necessary help with the support of PFA members. Mr Kamal Gupta, president, Ludhiana Traders Association, assured that he would make sure that all traders, bullock-cart and horse-cart owners, would comply with the PCA Act, 1960 and the related rules.


Talwandi defends sangat darshans
Our Correspondent

Samrala, June 23
Mr Ranjit Singh Talwandi addressing a conference of Akali workers in Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Samrala, here today claimed that the Congress party had been shaken with the success of sangat darshan programmes. He was here in the town to prepare workers for Akali conference on July 2 at Alamgir.

Mr Talwandi appealed the Akali workers to propagate the achievement of Akali government like shagun scheme, establishment oil refinery and railway line.

He said the government would ensure that entire paddy crop was purchased from the farmers. According to him number of free units of electricity to weaker sections had been raised from 50 to 100 units and provision for a grant of Rs 5,100 had been made for girls at the time of their birth.


Tributes paid to Sanjay Gandhi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
Tributes were paid to Sanjay Gandhi on his 21st death anniversary here today. A function was organised by the Indian Youth Congress (Urban Development Cell) at the district Congress headquarters. The function was attended by the national president of the cell, Mr Pawan Dewan, the District Congress Committee (Urban) president, Mr Surinder Dawer, the Pradesh Congress Committee secretary, Mr K.K. Bawa and the district chairman of the cell, Mr Akshay Bhanot.

Speaking on the occasion Mr Dawer recalled the contribution of Sanjay Gandhi in strengthening the organisation. He exhorted the Congress workers to reactivate themselves for the national reconstruction.

Mr Dewan urged the youth to seek inspiration from Sanjay Gandhi’s commitment to the party and the nation. He observed that the country needed dynamic leaders like him who possessed the courage to take bold decisions. He drew attention towards the ecological and environmental problems of the country. He urged the youth to resolve to ensure a clean environment in the country.

Mr Bawa said Sanjay Gandhi had a great vision for the country’s progress and development and in his death the country had lost a great leader.

Mr Akshay Bhanot also spoke on the occasion.


Storm uproots electricity poles
Our Correspondent

Samrala, June 23
A heavy hail storm accompanied by winds in the region resulted in the uprooting of a large number of electricity and telephone poles and both the services were out of order in most of the areas, creating problems for the public last night.

Mr R.P.S. Randhawa, senior Xen of the division, PSEB, while talking to this correspondent here today said that though the Board had suffered heavy losses due to the storm, yet the supply would be restored soon. Maximum staff had been deployed to reinstate the supply, he added.


Maj-Gen Nandrajog honoured
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 23
The old Nabhaites Association, the alumni body of Punjab Public School, Nabha felicitated Maj-Gen Om Parkash Nandrajog, an old student of the institution, at an impressive function, held here last evening.

General Nandrajog, held prestigious staff and command positions at several places, and was Brigade Commander, Kargil Brigade during ‘Operation Vijay’. He was also awarded the Vishisht Sewa Medal for his meritorious services.

Mr Navin Talwar, president and Dr Jashanjot Singh Bhangu, secretary of ONA, speaking at the occasion, observed that old students of PPS like Gen Nandrajog, had not only done the institution proud, but had also given the other alumni, a sense of achievement.

The function was attended, among others by Mr Manjit Singh Bedi, Headmaster, PPS, Nabha, along with many of the former and serving members of faculty.


Rotary Club office-bearers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 23
Mr Sanjiv Sethi has been elected as president of the Rotary Club of Ludhiana for 2001-2002. He is the youngest Rotarian to be elected as president of the club. He is the son of Rotarian J.K. Sethi, Past District Governor, Rotary District 3070.

Mr K.K. Chadha, an insurance consultant, has been elected as secretary of the club. The other office-bearers are: Mr S.S. Chopra — senior vice-president; Ms Meera Puri — vice president; Dr M.S. Sethi — joint secretary and Mr D.P. Puri — treasurer.

The Directors of the club committees are: Mr Harbhajan Singh, Dr B.S. Bal, Dr Akshay Vohra, Mr Jiwandeep Singh Ghai, Mr Ravi Mohan Batta and Mr A.S. Pandher.


Lapran is DCC (R) chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran has been appointed as president of the Ludhiana District Congress Committee (Rural). He replaced Mr Harmohinder Singh, MLA from Raikote.

In the party reconstitution today, Mr K. K. Bawa has been again nominated as Secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. Mr Nahar Singh Gill has been nominated as a member of the Disciplinary Committee, which was constituted today.

Mr Surinder Dawer, president of the District Congress Committee (Urban), will continue to remain in his current position. Party sources said Mr Harmohinder Singh had been replaced as the party wanted to implement the rule of ‘one person one post’.

Mr Lapran, a close associate of former Chief Minister Beant Singh, had quit the party and joined the SAD before the Assembly elections. However, after being denied the ticket by the party he returned to the Congress.


Man dies of electric shock
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, June 23
Mr Rajesh Kumar, 23, a pump operator of Municipal Council Ahmedgarh, died of electric shock on Friday morning, when he reportedly tried to operate the pump’s motor. According to the deceased’s father, Mr Sri Bhagwat, his son had gone to perform his duties as usual in the morning, but did not return home. In the afternoon, when he reached the pump house to see his son, he found him dead and informed the authorities and police. The police had handed over the deceased’s body to his parents after a postmortem.


Labourers shot at
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, June 23
Migrant labourers working in the fields at Bhopana village were fired at by some persons. The labourers were allegedly fired at around 6.45 p.m. on Friday.

According to Mr Amarjit Singh, on whose statement an FIR has been registered at the Sahnewal police station, he and his brother, Manjit Singh, had taken the panchayat land of Bhoopana village, near Koom Kalan, on contract basis and had employed labourers to work in the fields.

The other party, that was also interested in taking the land, came in a car and a jeep and not only threatened the labourers but also fired at them. The alleged accused are Mandeep Singh of Khanna, Balbir Singh of Kalas Khurd, Karam Chand of Bhoopana and Ragister Singh of Chaunta village. A case has been registered under Sections 336 and 34 of the IPC.

Dagger seized

The Sahnewal police has arrested a person for carrying a dagger without a licence.

Chowki in charge, Ramgarh, nabbed Darshan Singh of Bhookhri Khurd village near here and seized a dagger from him. A case has been registered under Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act.


Contractor booked for embezzlement
Tribune News Service

Ludhianan, June 23
On a complaint of the District Development Officer, the city police today booked a contractor for allegedly embezzling of Rs 1.70 lakh of the department by not completing the work.

According to the FIR, a DSP inquired into the complaint and found the allegations true. The department had assigned the work of installing electric meters in a large number of houses belonging to poor people, in different parts of the city to contractor Dhanwant Singh of M/s Guru Nanak Electrical Store. Though several months had passed since the deadline of the work was over, the meters had not been installed. The DSP said the contractor had been booked.


Opium seized
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 23
Mr Gurbachan Singh, Sub-Inspector, CIA, has arrested Pritpal Singh of Hathur village at Akhara village and seized 1.540 kg of opium from his possession. A case under Section 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act has been registered.

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