Sunday, July 15, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Villagers on alert after leopard attack
Big cat kills calf; woman escapes unhurt
Tribune News Service

Villagers show the carcass of the calf which was killed by the leopard and (right) Babli of Baddowal village, who was attacked by the leopard. RB

Baddowal (Ludhiana), July 14
Panic gripped residents of Baddowal and Pamal villages near here after a leopard strayed into a dera outside Baddowal. The leopard killed a calf and attacked a woman who tried to save it.

While the police rushed to the spot and spent the entire day in search of the leopard, the local wildlife officials preferred to stay away. Reportedly, a team of experts is said to have been sent here from the Chhat Bir zoo, which is expected to reach the village in the evening. The search operation is expected to continue all night.

The police had also pressed its sniffer dogs into service. Eyewitnesses said the big cat had attacked a calf in Dera Bhai Ghanayia at about 12.30 am. The leopard was seen first by a 35-year-old woman, Babli, an attendant of the ‘dera’. She said, “When I came out of my room, I saw that a calf was being attacked by a dog-like animal. When I fetched a stick from my room and attacked it, I was horrified to see that it was not a dog, but a bigger animal. It jumped on me, which made me rush back to my room and lock the door.”

She told all this to her husband, Mr Satbir Singh, who rushed out to catch the animal, but found only a profusely bleeding calf there. Mr Satbir Singh told her that she had been lucky to escape unhurt as the leopard could have killed her as well.

Babli said, she and her husband had entered the room barely 20 minutes before the incident. It seems that these 20 minutes were enough for the leopard to finish off the calf. Balbir said she was amazed that a couple who had been in a room near the cattle shed had not heard any noise. She said it might be because villagers had switched on their generators at that time.

Before the incident, Balbir and her husband were planning to sleep outside with their children, but decided otherwise, fortunately. Had they been sleeping outside, the leopard might have killed them as well.

The news of the leopard attack spread quickly in the village and no villager could sleep throughout the night. The Baba of the ‘dera’ went to the nearby gurdwara at Pamal and made announcements on its public address system to alert the villagers against a possible leopard attack.

Mr Sukhminder Pal Singh Grewal, President of the local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, said he had contacted officials of the Wildlife Department several times on the telephone, but the calls had proved fruitless. He said the villagers had even visited the office of the DFO, which had been closed due to a holiday.

Villagers said they had spotted the leopard a day before the incident as well, but nobody had taken the news seriously. A person named Mr Chamkaur Singh said, “I saw a huge cat in front of my tractor, while I was returning home at about 1 am yesterday. I even told the village elders about it, but nobody took me seriously.”

Mr Parmod Ban, Superintendent of Police (City II), had reached the spot and confirmed that the animal was a leopard after examining the scratches on the carcass and and pugmarks on the ground. The SHO, Mr Ramandeep Singh, who was supervising the search operation, said he had formed about 15 teams of villagers to join the search operation with the police.



Gang of robbers busted, four arrested
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

These men, who have been accused of robbery and theft, were arrested by the Sadar police in Ludhiana on Saturday. 

Ludhiana, July 14
They first took to drugs and then in order to pay for these drugs they began committing petty crimes. As their need for a ‘kick’ grew they began indulging in serious crimes like robbery and dacoity at gun- point.

This is the tale of four young members of a gang of robbers arrested by the Sadar Police here today. The four include Manoj Kumar, Kulwinder Singh, alias Kuki, Paramjit Singh, alias Sonu and Gurdev Singh, alias Kidda. With their arrest the police claims to have solved many cases of robberies at liquor vends, car and scooter thefts.

And finally it was their habit of taking drugs which led to their arrest. They were nabbed by the police in Chabbra Colony where they were all sitting together and taking drugs in a vacant plot. Later they confessed that they had looted three liquor vends in various villages including Meherna, Racheel and Doraha village.

The gang was active in almost all parts of the city as well as villages near here and had also stolen two scooters from Hambran and Pakhowal.

Their modus operandi was that one of them used to look around for a place which was not crowded. Then he used to report about this immediately to the other gangsters and they immediately used to rob people at gunpoint.

They also used to visit various parking places in the busy areas of the city and one of them used to steal a car while the rest of them guarded him standing at different places.

Their gang comprised five gangsters out of which four were arrested. One of them is still at large. The police is searching for the fifth one, Gurcharan Singh, alias Channi.

They were active in the city for the last five to six years. The police had earlier also arrested two of them and a case was still on against the two.

The police said that they had stolen many cars from the various parking places in Bhadaur House. They had also stolen two Maruti Zen cars from Sector 17 at Chandigarh.

The police is yet to recover the stolen goods from them. Sources said that the teams had been dispatched to recover these things.

They have also confessed that they were behind the looting of many kiosks in Chabbra colony. The weapons which they used in various robberies, have been seized by the police. These include. 12 bore pistol and three knives.

The police said that they were still under the influence of the drugs and were not in their senses.

They said that when they would gain consciousness many more cases would be solved.

They have been remanded in police custody till July 17.


Foreign university students visit PAU Rural Museum
Asha Ahuja

Foreign students at Rural Museum, PAU, Ludhiana, on Saturday.

Ludhiana, July14
‘‘I feel, it is my mission to educate American university students both of Indian and foreign origins to know more about South East Asia. This is my fifth trip to India and I have brought 63 students from six universities so far to study Punjabi culture, Punjabi language and Punjabi history,’’ said Prof Gurinder Mann of Sikh studies from University of Columbia. They were driving from Chandigarh to the Rural Museum, PAU, Ludhiana this afternoon.

He had brought 18 students from six countries — Australia, France, Sweden, England, Canada and the USA. The students were drawn from 19 disciplines. This programme was advertised for Punjabi studies and in response students from different universities had joined it.

Prof Gurinder Singh Mann is the Director of Punjabi studies course from last five years. He brings the students during summer for a six-week course. The group is into the second week of the course

They visited Bhaini Sahib Gurdwara enroute to Ludhiana. The group comprised young boys and girls drawn from graduate, postgraduates and faculty members. Four of these students were Punjabis who were born in Punjab but had later settled in America.

The students were dressed casually in kurta pajamas, salwar kameez and seemed relaxed. They were trying to converse in Punjabi. Professor Mann said that the course was of six weeks duration.

From Monday to Friday the classes were conducted in Punjabi History and Punjabi culture. During the weekends, the team travels to different regions of Punjab getting information about its environment, people, food etc.

He said that the team had travelled to Sirhind, Sanghol Museum, Kiratpur, Anandpur Sahib, Naina Devi. They would tour central Punjab, Amritsar, Kangra. Professor Mann felt that these trips enable them to speak Punjabi language, learn about Punjabi history and culture and get a glimpse into real Punjabi life, its landscape and it geography.

Gibb Schereffler from USA said, ‘‘This is my second visit to Punjab. I am studying Punjabi folk music. I am specialising in playing of dhol. I want to learn all rhythms of dhol — which dances and other activities it goes with like gatka, bhangra, wrestling. After completing my studies, I will be writing my thesis on the subject. I am enjoying my stay.’’

Pritpal, born in Ludhiana, has now settled in UK, she said, ‘‘I am doing Ph.D in Punjabi history. That is why this trip is important for my research work and will help me write my thesis. I came here three years ago and during these three years, I have seen tremendous growth in this region."

Timothy, a student of Harvard, is studying Hindi. He got to know of this programme from e-mail. Moreover, his Hindi teacher encouraged him to enroll for this course. He said, ‘‘I am more than happy to have joined this course as I have had a very wonderful and excellent time despite the humidity. My subject is comparative religion. I am going to draw parallels and contrasts between Hinduism and Christianity. My visit to India will help me to know more about Hinduism, but six weeks is definitely not enough for me to learn everything.’’

Another young fellow from Santa Barbara, California, had his lips pierced and was wearing a ring in his lips. He said, ‘‘I do not mind the ring for it does not hurt. I have taken up religious studies and my focus is on Buddhism and Jainism.

When we go to Dharamsala, I will get more knowledge about Buddhism. I saw a stupa in Sanghol museum. The food is great. People are very hospitable and we are all enjoying our studies and trip.’’

Emille from California, Santa Barbara University, joined this course to get a travel opportunity to India. She is fascinated by Indian music. She has been captivated by the children singing Punjabi songs and wants to learn them. Her greatest experience was to interact with the girls of Mission School, Kharar.

Replying to the question how the second generation Punjabis fared in America, Professor Mann said, ‘‘Parents do not have sufficient knowledge about the culture.

The second generation Punjabis are in search of their roots and want to know more about Punjab, its culture and its history. In programmes like this the research students find the material for their research and the Punjabi children understand their parents background. Somehow the parents suffer from insecurities hence do not speak in Punjabi.’’

He further said, ‘‘In the last five years, we have created material for teaching, travel guides and soon we want to produce audio and visual material.

Punjabis are a very small minority in North America. At present, they are not much concerned about us but through these programme they will be more aware of our existence.’’


2 smugglers escape from police net
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
Two accused opium smugglers who were arrested by the police recently, escaped from the Dugri police post here today. The two, Sukhdev Singh and Shamsher Singh, were arrested by the police and 10 kg of opium was seized from them.

The police has registered a case against Munshi of the post Kulwant Singh, and Santri Charanjit Singh, who were on duty when they escaped, under Sections 223 and 224, IPC.

According to the police, the two managed to unscrew a door and escaped in the morning. Sukhdev Singh was remanded in police custoday for eight days and Shamsher Singh was to be presented before the court here.



2 discharged in corruption case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 14
The Special Judge, Mr G R Banyal, discharged a former Director, Seed Certification Authority, Punjab — Dr Balkaran Singh and Girja Shanker Shukla, the then Regional Seed Certification Officer, regional office, Ludhiana, on technical grounds, in a corruption case, registered against them on November 6,1999, at Police Station Focal Point, Ludhiana, under Sections 7(1)(9) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Delivering the verdict, Mr Banyal held that the sanction placed on the file for prosecution of accused Girja Shanker was not legal and valid therefore the court was not to take cognizance, in this care. Even photocopy of the sanction order pertaining to accused Dr Balkaran Singh was also not admissible in evidence.

Moreover, no explanation had been given by the prosecution as to what prevented it from placing on the record the sanction order to prosecute accused Dr Balkaran, in original.

The Special Judge also held that invalid sanction order was such a legal lacuna that if court took cognizance, fate of the case was quite clear, accused would be acquitted alone on the above said lacuna.

Though legal lacuna could be filled at this initial stage by returning the challan to the prosecution and to present the same after getting and placing on record valid sanction order.

According to the prosecution, Girja Shanker accepted Rs 5000 as bribe amount, by making a demand from Kamaljit Singh, resident of Kanganwal village, Jugiana, on the plea that allegedly Dr Balkaran Singh was demanding Rs 10 as bribe per quintal, for issuing seed certificate regarding wheat seed, produced by the complainant.

Kamaljit Singh allegedly gave bribe under compulsion, as his about 1,600 quintal seed of wheat were ready for disposal, for which certificate from the seed certification authority was essential.

But he later presented an affidavit to Mr Ramesh Inder Singh, Principal Secretary, Chief Minister, Punjab, who then directed the SSP , Ludhiana, for probing the matter.

A case was registered against the accused, after completion of investigation, as police found them guilty prima-facie. 


Hope among parents of 29 jailed Indians
Our Correspondent

Khamano, July 14
The visit of President Pervez Musharraf has raised a ray of hope among the parents of 29 youths of Punjab, detained in the Baluchistan Jail, in Pakistan, since more than five months. They have appealed to the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to take up the issue of their early release with the President.

Among those 29 youths are Kulwinder Singh of Khamano, and two other youths of nearby villages Des Raj of Mustfabad, and Gurdeep Singh of Burj. The Pakistan government had demanded verification reports of the detained youths from their district police headquarters. Though these reports were forwarded to the Union Home Ministry by the Punjab government, the youths have not yet been released. 



SISI to register ODS-producing units
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
The Small Industries Service Institute (SISI) has been authorised to register all those manufacturing and repair units that were contributing to the ozone depleting substances (ODS). The Government of India was committed under the Montreal Protocol to phase out all the ODS by 2010. Under that Protocol, ODS producing units were eligible to get grant from the Multilateral Fund for adopting the alternative technologies.

This information was disclosed here today by Mr J.S. Kular, Director, SISI, in a press conference. He disclosed that all the ODS producing units, whose capital investment is less than Rs 1` crore can register themselves with the institute by July 19. The units having investment more than Rs 1 crore should register them with the Director, Ozone Cell, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India.

He said,‘‘ Under the protocol, the manufacturing of aerosol products or pressurised dispensers, polyol for foam products, foam products, mobile airconditioners and charging at automobile industry, manufacturing of other refrigeration and airconditioning products ( excluding compressors) would be phased out by January 1, 2003. Only those units would be provided alternative supply and technology that had registered by July 19,2001. So the units engaged in the manufacturing of foam products, refrigeration and airconditioning equipments, aerosol products, fire extinguishes and enterprises using ODS as solvents should register under the Ozone Depleting Substances ( Regulation and Control ) Rules 2000 under the Environment Protection Act, 1986.’’

Mr Kular revealed that man made chemicals like Chloroflurocarbons (CFCs)— different combinations, Halons, Carbon Tetra Chloride ( CTC) and Methyl Chloroform (MCF) were the main ozone depleting substances. The ozone layer that was spread over the earth’s atmosphere at a height of 25-30 km protected the mankind and other life by absorbing certain wavelengths of Sun’s ultraviolet radiations, which could otherwise damage the human eye and skin, and resulting in cancerous diseases, upsetting the balance of eco-system and acceleration the degradation of plastics.

He pointed out that India was a member country, of the protocol and its industries were eligible for technical and financial assistance through Multilateral Fund set up for that purpose. Enterprises, which prescribed norms of ODS consumption and have been in existence prior to September 17, 1992 were eligible for financial assistance as grant for switching over to non ODS based products, technologies and services.

The enterprises can submit a project report for adopting the new technologies and services to the SISI or the Ozone Cell in the Environment Ministry for the financial assistance. That would be made available for incurring capital cost as well as recurring cost for a prescribed period under the norms, he added.

How you can save the ozone layer:

1. Buy products (esrosol spray cans, referigerators, fire extinguishers etc) that are lebelled ‘ozoen friendly’ or ‘CFC free’. 2. Dispose of old refrigerators and appliances. CFC and HCFC refrigerators should be removed from an appliance befor it is discarded. 3.Portable halon fire entinguishers that are no longer needed should be returned to the fire protection authority for recycling. 4. If you see methyy bromide for soil fumigation, consider switching to effective and safe alternatives that are currently being used in many countries to replace this ozone damaging pesticide. 5. The CFC gas from refrigerators and airconditioners should not be released to the atmoshpere. 6. Become an environment leader in your office or company. 7. Replace your OSD from your units or premises. 8. Inform your family, friends, neighbours and friends about the need to protect ozone layer and help them get involved. 9.Get in touch with the National Ozone Unit and learn how you can get involved on an individual level. 10. Save your skies as early as possible.



BJP legal cell calls for speedy justice
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 14
The Bharatiya Janata Party (Legal Cell) has urged the Union Government to initiate steps to ensure that justice was granted to litigants in a speedy manners and needed infrastructure and other facilities be made available to the judicial system for this purpose.

Mr Ashok Juneja, general secretary, BJP (Legal Cell), Punjab, said in a statement here today that a deputation would soon meet the Union Law Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley to press upon him the need for providing adequate funds and make budgetary provisions for the Law and Justice departments on the pattern of other departments like defence. The government would further be asked to simplify the legal procedures and to immediately fill the vacant posts of judges and other judicial officers to cut inordinate delay in dispensation of justice.

Mr Juneja observed that there was dire need to bring all kinds of civil and criminal cases under limitation for decision as was mandatory for the cases under the Income Tax and Sales Tax Acts. Moreover, the procedural complications in the legal system and the influence that the criminals and influential persons wielded on the judicial process, was also a big deterrent.


Youth Cong workers hold meeting
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
A meeting of the state Youth Congress was held here today. The meeting was presided over by the state president, Mr Devinder Singh Babbu. It was attended by senior party functionaries and district presidents of the party from all over the state.

Briefing mediapersons after the meeting, Mr Babbu said the meeting was held in connection with an election programme drawn up by the party president Ms Sonia Gandhi for the organisational election within the Youth Congress.

In the first phase, a membership drive would be launched at the block and booth levels from August 1 to 31. It would be followed by election of the block-level presidents. While the election for the booth-level presidents would be held between September 15 and 21, the election for the block-level presidents would be held between October 1 and 15. A national convention of all the block-level presidents would be held on November 19, in New Delhi, which would be addressed by the All-India Congress Committee president, Ms Sonia Gandhi.

Mr Babbu said the Youth Congress would launch a mass movement in the state against the Badal government. He alleged that the Badal government was succumbing to the separatist pressures and was allowing separatists, like Mr Zaffarwal and Dr Chauhan into India. Mr Babbu claimed that the statement by Dr Chauhan that Captain Amrinder was his friend, had been made at the behest of the Chief Minister to damage the image and reputation of the PCC chief.

The PYC president also regretted that the state had been left headless with the Chief Minister’s visit to the USA without nominating any person to officiate. He pointed out that it was a unique example in the history of democratic India when a state had to remain headless as the Chief Minister did not seem to trust any of his colleagues.

Mr Babbu warned any soft corner for separatist and extremist forces lest it might endanger the hard-won peace in the state. He said the Congress had laid many sacrifices for the peace in the state and it would not allow it being sabotaged.

Today’s meeting was attended by all district presidents or their nominated representatives, besides other senior party leaders. They included chairman of the Indian Youth Congress (Urban Development Cell), Mr Pawan Dewan, the Chairman of the Labour and Employment Cell of the PCC, Mr K.K. Bawa, the Ludhiana District Youth Congress (Urban) president, Mr Parminder Mehta, and the president (rural) Mr Manjit Singh Humbran. 


Punjab Lok Morcha announces agitation programme
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
The Punjab Lok Morcha (PLM) today announced its agitation programme against the wrong policies of the government. The programme was jointly announced by the members of its core committee after a meeting held here today. Those who attended the meeting included Mr Kuldip Singh Wadala of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Democratic), Mr Harish Khanna of the Janata Dal (Secular), Prof Teja Singh Tiwana of the Samajwadi Party, Mr Kuldeep Singh of the MCPI, Mr Karan Singh of the Nationalist Congress Party, Mr Arshi of the RPI and Mr Darshan Singh Cheetah of the Samajwadi Janata Party.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Mr Harish Khanna said the morcha will organise a massive rally in Ludhiana or Jallandhar on September 5, which is expected to be addressed by four former Prime Ministers , Mr V.P. Singh, Mr Chandershekhar, Mr H.D. Deve Gowda and Mr I.K. Gujral. The covnenor of the Peoples Front, Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav, will also address the rally. The rally would be preceded by district-level conventions to be organised in all the districts throughout the months of July and August. First convention will be organised on July 20 at Mukerian and Gurdaspur. In Ludhiana the convention will be organised on July 25.

Mr Khanna said the PLM will endeavour to mobilise and consolidate all the non-Congress, non-BJP and non-Akali forces to create a viable alternative. He claimed that the third front will prove a great success in the state as the people were fed up with both the ruling Akali-BJP alliance as well as the Congress.

He said the third front will endeavour to restore the pride of Punjab, which the Badal government had failed to do. He disclosed that various promises made by Mr Badal have remained unfulfilled. He pointed out that the Akali Dal had promised full autonomy within the constitution to the state but there was no mention of it. Nor had the Badal government appointed any judicial commission, as promised, to probe into the killing of innocent people during the militancy. He claimed that 95 per cent of the promises made by the Akali Dal and the BJP before coming to power had not been fulfilled.

Referring to the economic state of Punjab, the Lok Morcha leader said, the Badal government had brought the state to the brink of bankruptcy and disaster. He disclosed that when Mr Badal took over as the Chief Minister there was a debt of Rs 18,000 crores on the state and now within four years it had crossed Rs 30,000 crores. Similarly the industry was passing through a critical phase as there was no governmental support to it, he added.


Ghadar — Ek Desh Prem Katha
M. S. Cheema

PUNJAB projects patriotism and preserves historicity to be discovered by others. Punjab has created glorious history, but few historians. Its history is written by non-Punjabis, some aliens and a few of those unfamiliar with its spirit or ethos. The freedom movement is glory of modern history of India. Punjab contributes a major share to it. The historic role of Ajit Singh, Lala Lajpat Rai and others changes the very character of struggle for freedom. ‘Pagri Sambhal Jatta’ was just not a song, it was a war cry against the colonial rule. Punjabis sowed the seed of Indian nationalism with the dawn of the 20th century. The next phase of our history witnesses the addition of the Ghadar Movement . The hero of this movement was Kartar Singh Sarabha. Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh was inspired by the sacrifice of Sarabha. He kept Sarabha’s small photograph in his pocket to remind him of his national duty and resultant role. While the first decade, provides the seed, the second supplies the sweat of willing sufferers and blood of martyr-Ghadarites. The third presents the trio — Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. In the freedom struggle you can clearly see the dominant faces of Punjabi. Among the Punjabis, the role of Ludhianvis is clearly visible.

It is a coincidence that the hero of Ghadar — Ek Prem Katha — is Sunny Deol (A Ludhianvi of ancestral Dangon village). As against this reel hero, we have a real hero from historical Ghadar : Ek Desh Prem Katha. It is a chain of glorious heroes, zealous fighters, martyrs.

Pre-Partition Punjab provided the vast battlefield to the valiant brave men of freedom movement. Majha was the pivot, Doaba contributed its rich share with Malwa rubbing shoulders in an enviable manner. Rawalpindi, Gujarat, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Lahore, besides other districts, made indelible imprints.

Dr. G. S. Deol made a critical study of the Ghadar Party to determine its role in the National Movement. His rare research got him a doctorate. A learned Ludhianvi hailing from Boparai Kalan, Dr. Deol examined rare archival papers, studied micro films and worn-out documents to prepare a list of all those who made sacrifice under the impact of the Ghadar Movement. It is an exhaustive scholarly study. Besides other facts, under Lahore Conspiracy Case I , are listed seven Ghadarites, who were condemned to death. Among them figures Kartar Singh s/o Mangal Singh of Sarabha. In the second list are Nand Singh (son of Ram Singh also of V. Kailey) and Rulia Singh (son of Jagat Singh of Sarabha village) who were sentenced to death with forfeiture of property . The Viceroy changed it into a life term. According to the third list, six patriots of Ludhiana had their death sentences changed to life, besides forfeiture of their property. It certifies rare valour on their part. Bhan Singh (son of Sawan Singh, Sunet village), Chuhar Singh (son of Buta Singh, Lilan), Gurmukh Singh (Hoshnak Singh, Lalton), Inder Singh (Ala Singh, V. Malla), Kharak Singh (Ganda Singh) and Kirpal Singh (Narain Singh ) both of Bhuparai, Puran Singh (Hoshiar Singh of Isewal). The fourth list details lesser punishments to Dewa Singh (Sahib Singh, Nandpur) and Krishan Das (Khazan Singh, Babarpur). It testifies political awakening at village level.

The Lahore Conspiracy Case II is another land mark that throws light upon march to freedom by Ghadri Babas.The lists includes Udham Singh (son of Jita Singh, Hans village). He was sentenced to death along with five others and hanged.Another 45 youngmen were awarded life sentence and among them those hailing from Ludhiana numbered 15. Arjan Singh (Lal Singh, Jagraon ), Dalip Singh (Hamir Singh , Phulewal), Harbhajan Singh (Fateh Singh, Chaminda), Harnam Singh ( Narain Singh, Gujarwal), Indar Singh (Phuman Singh, Sheikh Daulat village), Jagat Singh (Dewa Singh, Gujarwal),Karam Singh (Sunder Singh, Kot Ajner ), Lal Singh (Udhey Singh, Narangwal), Mohinder Singh (Narain Singh, Majri), Mastan Singh (Mahtab Singh, Narangwal), Nahar Singh (Thakar Singh ) and Surjan Singh (Mahan Singh) both hailing from Gujarwal. At this historic trial Bhai Randhir Singh (Santji) and Sajjan Singh both from Narangwal were tried and sentenced to transportation for life with forfeiture of property. It is a record of true bravery.

The list of Ludhianvis continues with other daring youths who underwent various sentences. Kahan Singh (Sarup Singh, Hanspur), a brave Muslim Hafiz Abdulla son of Nizam Din of Jagraon) were sentenced to death and executed. Kehar Singh (Sahnewal) underwent life sentence. Mandalay (Burma) conspiracy case took its own toll. Three Ludhianvis were sentenced to death and hanged: Challia Ram (Sahnewal), Narain Singh (Sangatpura) and Pala Singh (Sherpur); while Kapur Singh ( Mit Singh, Mohie) Hardit Singh (Bhagwan Singh, Lemmen) were transported for life instead of death by hanging. Amar Singh (Sherpur) was similarly tried in Case II. Blood of Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims flowed in the common river of patriotism. At the San francisco trial (California, USA) Gopal Singh (Sohian) was sentenced. Ferozeshah incident cost the life of three martyrs from Ludhiana: Bakhshish Singh (Khanpur), Lal Singh (Sahabana) and Jagat Singh (Binjhal). That makes the roll call of real life heroes.

Parallel to the National Movement for Freedom in India, the Punjabi activists associated with the Ghadar Movement were playing their role in printing literature in Punjabi and Urdu. K.S. Sarabha was in the forefront. The Kamagata Maru adventure unfolds the zeal of patriotic Punjabi youth linking Singapore, Burma, Hongkong, Japan and Canada.

Renowned scholar, Mark Juergensmeyer, has compiled sources throwing light on Punjabi revolutionaries in America. Matter for further research is preserved at Stanford University Libraries, Stanford; Hoover Institutions for War, Revolution and Peace. Also at Universities of California Library (Berkeley), South/South East Asia Library Service, USA. Library of Congress, Washington, DC. Many sources exist at Centre for Research Libraries (Chicago) also at the India Office Library (London). Ghadar was reality in life, it is real love story of Punjabi patriotism. Ludhianvis glorify the national legacy of sacrifice in their rare way. 


Superstitions still rule the roost
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 14
On one hand people are thinking of going for a vacation to moon but on the other a majority of people are still steeped in superstitions that have its genesis in illogical and irrational thoughts.

Recently a national daily asked its readers whether Saurav Ganguly’s performance improved after he sported a new hair style, 29 per cent people answered in affirmative. “But the fact that such a question was asked proves that the people are still superstitious. Superstitions are steeped in our psyche once I complimented a person for doing extremely well, he at once said, “touch wood”. Though in the latter part of the conversation he spoke vehemently against superstitions,” said Dr Bhardwaj, a social scientist.

Superstitions! These are certain beliefs that cannot be explained by reason or science. Whether we like it or not, the fact remains that we are superstitions in one way or the other.

There is no area of life which is untouched by superstition.

If a person misses the transport or gets firing from the boss in the morning, he is bound to claim,” I don’t know whose face I saw in the morning.” It is quite certain that he must have seen one’s own face in the bathroom. Again if a person is leaving the house, some one sneezes or calls the person back, the person is incensed as both are considered bad omens. To eat spoonfuls of curd before leaving for examination is supposed to bring good luck. Similarly to see a sweeper at the onset of a journey is a good omen.

Superstitions are a plenty at the time of marriage. Astrologers confound the problem when they tell the parents to reject a perfectly nice girl because she is ‘manglik’. That means her ‘mangal greh’ is strong and her perspective husband may die.

In our country, ‘tantriks’ advise child sacrifice to a barren woman. Such kinds of superstitious beliefs send shivers down the spine, for many women do kill innocent children. Then there are some film stars and sportspersons who will shoot only on certain days. They carry their lucky mascots and wear the same dress for the ‘muhurat shot’.

In the villages superstitions rule the roost. Even disease like chicken pox are given religious overtones. The disease is considered to be the wrath of ‘mata’. So instead of medicines, measures are taken to appease her, though the neglect may lead to the death of the patient.

The list is endless. If one has to progress one has to leave such beliefs behind and the media should not encourage such beliefs.


Protesters block national highway
Our Correspondent

Doraha, July 14
Residents of Doraha, including members of some political parties and various organisations, yesterday blocked the national highway in protest against the failure of the police authorities to arrest the killers of Dinesh Kumar, a Doraha-based 25-years-old youth, who was shot dead by two robbers outside the Bank of Baroda, near Dholewal on July 2.

They had earlier given an ultimatum to the administration to arrest the killers by July 12, failing which they had decided to block traffic after the bhog ceremony of the deceased today.

The traffic on the G.T. Road was obstructed at Kaddon Chowk at about 3 p.m. and the mob raised slogans against the police and the Badal government.

The police party arrived half an hour later which included Mr Balraj Singh Sidhu, DSP, Mr Charan Singh Atwal, SHO Payal and Karnail Singh, in charge police chowki, Doraha.

The angry mob, marched towards the main market after blocking traffic for one-and-a-half hours.


One dies as well caves in
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
A labourer was killed while two others escaped miraculously with minor injuries when the upper crust of a well they were digging caved in at Latala village late last night.

Sehrad Khan, (20) was buried alive under heaps of sand at around 8 p.m. last night. His body was extricated from the 35-feet deep well only today morning at around 10 a.m. For 14 hours a rescue team of the police and Civil Administration kept digging the well with the help of a crane and tractors.

According to the police, during the rescue operation a stage had come when there was a possibility of saving the labourer’s life. Just a few hours after the caving in, the rescue workers managed to reach the labourer but just at that time the other sides of the well started caving in. The rescue team also escaped miraculously but could not save the life of the labourer.


Endless wait for body
Tribune News Service

Ahmedgarh, July 14
Residents of Dehliz village have got tired of waiting for body of Satar Mohammed (35), who died of a heart attack in Saudi Arabia on June 9 while reportedly driving a truck there.

According to Habib Mohammed, a family friend of the deceased, official formalities have delayed the despatch of the body so much that now the relatives of the deceased here want the body to be buried in Saudi Arabia itself. But his employers are adamant over their decision to send his body to India.

Mr Munir Mohammed, president, Muslim Youth Front; Mr Keshari Lal Badhan, president, Municipal Council; and Mr Kalu Khan, a municipal councillor; have requested the External Affairs Ministry to help expedite the matter so that the last rites of the deceased could be performed.


Exporters seek ST exemption on licences
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 14
The bicycle and bicycle parts’ exporters are forced to pay double taxation on the import of steel due to the reported confusion in the sales tax department. The exporters say that though the steel is now available in the open general licence category and anyone can import it, but it was not possible for the small exporters to import a ship of 20,000 tonnes steel. So they get advance licences from the Director General of Foreign Trade to import steel, and give it to the ‘consolidators’ at the ports to import steel on their behalf.

Mr S.C. Ralhan, Chairman, Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC), North Region, says,’’ We have to pay double sales tax on the imported steel. Once we pay sales tax when we sell the advance licences to the consolidators and second time when we get steel from them. Though we have just given them the right to import on our behalf.’’

Mr Satish Dhanda, Vice Chairman, Engineering Export Promotion Council, and a leading exporter disclosed that the decision to impose sales tax on advanced licences had been taken after the Andhra Pradesh won a case against an exporter. However, many states like UP, had withdrawn the tax after the opening of the imports under the general category. The Punjab Government had not taken any positive decision in this regard. Consequently, the engineering exporters of Ludhiana alone had to pay about Rs 8.5 crore as sales tax on about Rs 200 crore imported steel per annum, resulting in increased costs of production.

Mr Ralhan said that the officials of the ST department were convinced about the double taxation and had promised to look in to the matter. However, due to the CBI raids on some of the officials, the decision had been delayed.

The EEPC has urged the State Chief Minister to review the double taxation faced by the exporters. The government should abolish sales tax imposed on the advance licences and announce the export promotion policy at the earliest.


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