Sunday, July 22, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Molestation charge slapped on DSP
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 21
The police has registered a case against a suspended DSP for allegedly molesting a woman head constable posted with the local women’s cell.

According to information, a woman head constable in a complaint to the SSP, had alleged that on July 4 the DSP came to the women’s cell office and asked the cell in-charge to send the head constable and a constable to Fatehgarh Sahib Gurdwara on the pretext of settling a dispute in his family. The in-charge sent her, along with another woman constable, to the gurdwara.

She had alleged that the DSP sent the woman constable to another side to locate his family members and took the complainant towards the other side. She said the DSP, then, tried to molest her but she escaped. She further alleged that the DSP followed her when she was going to her house at Bassi Pathana on scooter. She alleged that the incident weighed on her-mind and she had to be hospitalised.

Following the complaint, the SSP marked an inquiry to the SP (H). The SP (H) in his report said the facts mentioned in the complaint were found to be correct and recommended registration of a case.

Following the report, the SSP directed the Sirhind police to register a case against the DSP. The police registered a case under Sections 354, 294, 341, 356, 506 of the IPC.

The DSP, is presently, posted with the IRB and earlier he was DSP at Dhuri from where he was suspended on charges of corruption.

When contacted, the DSP refuted the allegation and said he had become a victim of some conspiracy and departmental politics. He said he would meet the women constable and sort out the problem. The SSP was not available for comments.



LSE brokers seek SEBI help
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
Brokers of the Ludhiana Stock Exchange (LSE) have urged the SEBI to intervene at the earliest to save the LSE and other regional stock exchanges that are on the verge of collapse due to the beginning of rolling settlement system and the failure of the US-64 scheme of the UTI, which have hit the small brokers and investers.

The brokers said the business of the LSE had come down drastically from Rs 40 crore per day to Rs 3-4 crore now over the past six months. It was only due to the trading at the BSE and NSE terminals through its subsidiary LSE Securities Limited that the LSE brokers were able to survive.

Echoing the sentiments of the brokers, Mr M.S. Sarna, a leading broker said, “Our average volumes have come down from an average of Rs 20 crore per month to Rs 50 lakh, though the costs of maintaining office, terminals, staff have increased manifold. The small investers are not ready to invest in the regional stock exchanges. The investment of thousands of investers have been blocked in the US-64 scheme resulting in the loss of business.’’

Mr H.S. Sidhu, GM, LSE, admitted that the future of the LSE was not safe if the prevalent conditions continued for some more time. He said, ‘‘The LSE’s annual income during the current financial year is expected to remain around Rs 3 crore like the past year. But the expenditures have increased manifold. Further more than 60 listed companies have been suspended as they had failed to deposit the annual listing fees.’’

No new company has been listed over the past two years. The future of LSE is quite grim. The brokerage fees has come down from 2 per cent to 0.005 per cent during the past few years. The rate of brokers’ ticket has also come down from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 2 — 2.5 lakh during the same period, he said.



Students protest gate closure
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
Students of Senior Secondary Model School, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), organised a march from Kitchlu Nagar and staged a demonstration in front of the residence of the Vice-Chancellor to protest against the closure of gate No 6 of the university this morning.

Schoolchildren carrying placards saying "PAU VC don’t kill us, open gate No 6".
Schoolchildren carrying placards saying “PAU VC don’t kill us, open gate No 6”.

While schoolchildren braved rain to reach the Vice-Chancellor’s residence, he preferred to stay indoors. The Security Officer of the university, Mr R.S. Grewal, who came to meet the protesting students on behalf of the University authorities, bluntly told them to go away as the university would not revoke its decision.

The students were protesting against the closure of the gate on the plea that it was a safe route to their school in the campus. The other route was from Shaheed Joginder Pal Pandey Road which has heavy vehicular traffic. This road had incidentally been four-laned to use it as a bypass for heavy traffic coming from Ferozepore and heading towards Jalandhar. The traffic on Hambran Road also utilises this road. It is an accident-prone area.

The students, accompanied by their parents, gathered near gate No 6 at Kitchlu Nagar around 8 a.m. Then they proceeded towards the residence of the Vice-Chancellor carrying placards saying “PAU V-C don’t kill us, open gate No 6”. Then they went to the PAU school to ask the Principal to accompany them.

The Principal, however, refused to come with them. Around 8.45 a.m, the students reached the VC’s residence. After 15 minutes, the Security officer of the PAU reached the spot.

While the parents were pleading that the students had to reach the school from gate No 4 which was located on a busy road and they could meet with an accident the Security Officer, in the presence of media persons, said that accidents happened everywhere in Ludhiana. “Are your children special? All parents send their children to schools which are located far away from their houses. If you have such a problem, drop your children yourself at school,” he said.

He further said the parents should have sent their children to the school instead of asking them to stage a demonstration. He said the gate had been closed to stop trespassing and for security reasons.

He asked them to send a representation to the VC in this connection. Mr R.K. Behl, a resident of Kitchlu Nagar, said he had just come for the sake of children’s security. He said if the gate was not closed even during terrorism students how it was closed now.

After listening to the Security Officer the students returned to the school. The parents said they had already given in writing to the Principal of the school as well as the VC that the gate should be reopened but in vain.

The VC had ordered the closure of gate No 6 a week ago and a wall constructed to close the gate overnight. The residents had protested but to no avail. Then PAUTA had intervened and the VC had agreed to open the gate partially. An S-type gate was opened through the wall three days ago. But the students were still not happy as they were going on bicycles to reach the school and the gate was meant only for pedestrians.

Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor has stepped up security on gate No 1 of the university. He made it mandatory for all visitors to enter their names, purpose of the visit and time of visit in the gate register. The Security Officer said that this was being done to discourage trespassing.


Boy born again?
Our Correspondent

Khanna, July 21
A six-year-old boy, Taranjit Singh, has claimed that he remembers his previous life. Talking to mediapersons at Alluha Miana village, 18 km from here, he said, in his previous life, he was born in Chakkchele village in Jalandhar district. His name was Satnam Singh and his father’s name was Jeet Singh. He was a student of Class IX in a school in Nihalwal village at the time of his death. He said on that fateful day, he was returning home on bicycle from his school, along with his friend Sukhwinder Singh, when a scooter hit him. He received serious injuries on his head and died the following day.

His father Ranjit Singh told mediapersons that the boy started demanding to be taken to Chakkchele when he was just one-and-a-half-year-old. He also used to threaten to run away from home and would say, “I have to go to my village. My mother would be weeping there.”

On July 9 this year, one of the family members, Mr Rajinder Singh, went to Government School in Nihalwal village, where he enquired from an old teacher whether some years ago, a boy named Satnam Singh had died in an accident. The teacher told him this was true he also said that Satnam’s village fell in Ghahkot tehsil. Then, the family reached the house of Jeet Singh at Chakkchele, and narrated the whole story.

After a few days, Taranjit Singh’s ‘previous life’ brothers and sister, Lakhvir Kaur, came to Alluha Miana to meet him. According to Lakhvir, she had shown the photo of her marriage to Taranjit and asked him to recognise his ‘previous birth’ photo. He immediately recognised his photo. Kewal Singh, Taranjit’s ‘previous life’ brother, told the mediapersons that his accident took place on September 9, 1992, and he had died the following day.



Few takers for evening courses
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, July 21
With the opening of several technical courses through correspondence and distance education programmes, the number of students opting for evening courses in city colleges has gone down significantly this year.

While in late 1960s when the three boys’ colleges of the city started evening shifts, the number of students opting for the courses hovered around 700 in each college, which now stand at around 200. At GGN Khalsa College, nearly 80 students have applied for admission, while there are nearly 120 students each at Arya College and SCD Government College this year.

Most of the students opting for the evening shift were those who were employed and could spare time for studies only in the evening. The only course offered by Panjab University for evening batch was that of the Bachelor of Arts. These colleges had a separate principal or in charge and eight to 10 teachers for the evening shifts.

However, with several universities offering a variety of professional and technical courses through correspondence and distance education programmes, the number of students opting for courses like BA for evening shift has come down. This year there were more than 3,000 applicants for various distance education courses started by Punjab Technical University. These courses include BCA, BBA, BSc (IT), MSc (IT), MCA, PGDCA, Postgraduate Diploma in Software Technology (PGDST) and Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Teaching (PGDCT).

The number of students opting for nearly 25 courses offered by Kurukshetra University, including BA, BCom, BBA, MA, MSc, MCom, PGDCA, PG Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication, PG Diploma in Export Marketing Management, PG Diploma in Translation, PG Diploma in Tourism and Hotel Management, Bachelor of Library Sciences, Master of Library Sciences and Master of Financial Management, is quite high this year.

Raghav Shukla, taking BCom through correspondence course with Kurukshetra University, said since his father had expired two months back, he had to go to his father’s shop. He said that he would not be able to attend college regularly. Earlier, he had decided to go in for evening classes at some college, but since they offered only BA, I preferred BCom through correspondence.

Atul Sharma, opting for BCA through distance education programme of PTU, said that he had opted for the course since he did not want to join a regular course. He said a three-month course in programming from a private centre would help him get a job. For three years, he would gain experience and simultaneous he would be spending two hours a day at his college for BCA.

Mr V.K. Mehta, Principal, Arya College, said the number of applicants for evening courses in the college was very low. He said students were now opting for several new professional courses being offered by other universities through correspondence. He said the expenses incurred on maintaining infrastructure and appointing staff for the courses was bound to surpass funds collected from the applicants, making the viability of courses difficult.


PAU may order inquiry into patwari’s appointment
Kanchan Vasdev

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) is likely to initiate an inquiry into the appointment of a patwari in the Estate Office of PAU. The appointment was made last year by a selection committee assigned by PAU.

The inquiry has been marked to the Deputy Registrar of PAU, Mr Balraj Sharma, and he has been told to submit his report within a month. The inquiry has been marked after the four persons who were chargesheeted in the case said that all the allegations levelled against them were false and they had played no role in the appointment of the patwari.

The university had chargesheeted Mr D.S. Cheema, Superintendent, Mr L.S. Sarkaria, Senior Assistant, and Mr Gurpreet Singh, patwari. The chargesheet was also issued to Mr H.S. Sehgal, Senior Architect of PAU, as he happened to be a member of the selection committee. Mr Cheema was a Superintendent in the Estate Office at the time of appointment and he was later transferred to the office of Dean, College of Agriculture.

It was alleged that there were irregularities in the appointment of Mr Gurpreet Singh who was appointed last year. Sources in the university revealed that at the time of appointment candidates other than Gurpreet Singh had alleged that they did not receive the interview letters in time as these were posted only through ordinary mail while these were to be sent through the registered mil.

It was also being alleged that certain employees of the Estate Office allegedly connived to get a particular person employed in the office. In order to do that they allegedly caused a delay in posting the interview letters to other candidates.

After the appointment was made it was being alleged that the selected candidate did not even possess the required qualification for the post. When the allegation was levelled the PAU authorities issued chargesheets to all the four persons, including the patwari, that why no action should be taken against them for the appointment.

Interestingly, the four persons have denied that they had any role to play in the whole procedure of the appointment. They said that whatever happened was not deliberate and one of the employees had even said that he had mailed the interview letters through the registered post only.

So the university had to initiate an inquiry which would be ordered in a day or two. The inquiry officer would be given a month’s time to inquire into the matter and fix the responsibility on the persons who are indicted in the inquiry.

Sources disclosed to Ludhiana Tribune that the decision for the inquiry was final and the orders were typed. The only thing that was left was the signatures of the Registrar on the order.



Decision to join nationwide stir
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
Brokers of the Ludhiana Stock Exchange have decided to join the nationwide stir of brokers on Monday. The decision was taken at a meeting called here yesterday. The call for the one day strike has been given by the newly formed National Securities Industries Association of India, an association of the stock brokers at the national level, to protest against the SEBI’ s decision to start the rolling settlement system on July 2, 2001, without providing any alternatives of the carry forward system.

Mr Tarvinder Dhingra, Chairman, informed that the brokers of the Ludhiana Stock Exchange had decided to join the strike on Monday. He said,‘‘The SEBI has started the rolling settlement system without providing adequate alternatives to the brokers. It has resulted in drastic fall of the volumes at the BSE, NSE and the regional stock exchanges. The combined trading volume of BSE and NSE that used to be about Rs 18,000 crore every day has come down to just Rs 2,000 crore per day after the introduction of the new system.’’

He added that the daily turnover of the LSE, which used to be Rs 50 crore per day before the rolling settlement system, has come down to Rs 4 crore. He said though the LSE would officially remain open on Monday, but the brokers would boycott the trading on that day. The brokers have urged the SEBI to review its decision at the earliest otherwise they would be forced to intensify their struggle.



Cong MP charges govt with nepotism
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 21
The Congress MP, Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, has charged the SAD-BJP government, headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal with nepotism, corruption and failure on all fronts. Addressing a meeting at Hargobindpura, in the course of mass contact programme of the party, he described Mr Badal and his close family members as “autocrats”, who were holding the entire state to ransom.

Making scathing attacks on the government, Mr Ghalib observed that trade and industry were being crushed under the burden of taxes, government posts were being put to open auction, prices of essential commodities had sky rocketed and the power tariff had been jacked up once again, despite vehement protests by consumers of all categories.

He further commented that law and order situation in the state had taken a turn for the worse and there was a general sense of insecurity among the people. The criminals and anti-social elements, allegedly in complicity with the police and politicians, were ruling the roost and the law enforcement agencies were watching the situation like a mute spectator. Focussing on the plight of the farming community, Mr Ghalib said as a result of the utter neglect of the interests of farmers, they were denied remunerative prices of their produce while the prices of farm inputs had registered a sharp increase. It was most unfortunate that in a predominantly agricultural state like Punjab, farmers were forced to take the extreme step like suicides.

The District Congress Committee (Urban) President, Mr Surinder Dawar, who presided over the meeting, described the sangat darshan programmes of the Chief Minister as a fraud, being perpetuated against the electorate in order to win the next elections on the basis of ‘money power’. The people of Punjab, he was confident, would see through the nefarious designs of the ruling combine and would not be misled by false promises and tall claims.

Mr Gurdev Singh Lapra, President, District Congress Committee (Rural) criticised the government for according a hero’s welcome to Pakistan’s President General Pervez Musharraf during Agra Summit.

Among others, Mr Sham Sunder Malhotra, Councillor, Mr Mohan Lal, Mr Jasbir Singh Chadha, Mr Ishwarjot Cheema, Mr Sanjiv Bhargav, Mr Sanjay Bansal, Mr Sham Lal Sapra, Mr Ajaib Singh and Mr Jiwan Dhawan were present at the meeting.

Earlier, Mr Ghalib, accompanied by Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran, president and Mr Dharamjit Singh Khera, advocate, general secretary of the DCC (Rural), distributed development grants worth Rs 21 lakh in several villages of Kila Raipur constituency, including Pakhowal, Latala, Sihar, Jangpur, Chaminda, Ballowal, Gujjarwal, Dhurkot, Bhaini Rora, Nangal Khurd, Sarabha, Saholi, Saharan Majra, Sayan Khurd, Pandher Kheri, Dhaul Khurd, Kaind and Kila Hans.



Favourite with crooks, beggars
D. B. Chopra

Ludhiana, July 21
Club road, which connects Jagraon bridge with Fountain chowk via Guru Nanak stadium and Ludhiana Club, is becoming a favourite haunt of crooks, beggars and babas, thanks to the indifference of the authorities concerned.

The busy road of the upbeat Civil Lines area is fast turning into a slum due to the presence of the Mata Rani temple at the Jagraon bridge end of the road. It is the temple and the distribution of charity in the form of free food and cash which attracts a large number of babas, destitute men who have lost everything, beggars and above all, crooks who throng the place in search of food, alms and gullible victims.

Outside the temple, there are a number of flower shops catering to the devotees’ needs. There are a number of tea and parantha shops which also do brisk business throughout the day. In front of the temple, and along the boundary wall of Government College for Women, there are built pigeon holes for keeping shoes of the devotees. Most of these pigeon holes are out of use and as such flower sellers have put up their stalls along the road. A large number of these wooden stalls serve as resting and sleeping place for the idlers hanging around the place.

Dotted along the roadside are several destitute men, women and children, who are always on the lookout for dainty dishes served in charity. They always want more. Those who have not found any space for themselves close to the temple have chosen to erect makeshift canopies in the space along the wall which has been reserved for plants by the Municipal Corporation. One of these babas along the wall, who remains naked, also uses the place as a toilet.

In fact, all the idlers hanging around and living on the road use the green belt along the road as an open toilet. As a result of this gross misuse of public property, the belt has become out-of-bounds for pedestrians. A small roadside temple which has been erected by an enterprising baba provides enough space to a number of babas for resting and sleeping. On the other side of the road, there are some mobile babas, who are quick to spot a prospective party.

A big jhuggi has come up opposite Guru Nanak stadium on the green belt reserved for plants. A red flag has also been put up, indicating that one day a temple will come up at the site.

The menace of idlers, beggars and crooks hanging around the Mata Rani temple is not restricted to club road alone. A bus stop meant for local buses built recently for public use has been occupied by the babas and their cronies who are using the place as a permanent residence.

The filth spills over further towards Bharat Nagar chowk along the boundary wall of Government College for Women. A number of shady characters and drug addicts also sit here and there.

In a recent complaint to the Deputy Commissioner, a city resident, Mr Prem Bhasin, had echoed the sentiments of Club road residents. He had explained in detail the problems and suggested some solutions as well.

Tea shops adjacent to the Mata Rani temple have encroached upon about 600 square feet on Club road. These stalls have nothing to do with the religious sentiments and can be stopped by the police.

Opposite the temple, there are 50 to 60 tables arranged for the sale of flowers. Hardly four or five tables remain occupied by flower sellers. Some of these flower sellers also do the business decorating cars.

The rest of the tables are misused by rickshaw-pullers, beggars and shady characters throughout the day. These tables should be removed. There is sufficient place on the temple premises where these flower sellers can be accommodated.

The place for shoes of devotees, which is now on opposite side of the temple, should be shifted adjacent to the temple outside the temple wall. The move can provide plenty of relief to the devotees.

The devotees distribute chapatis and rice on the roadside, creating commotion. Chapati distribution should be stopped on the roadside and shifted to the serai where food should be served during fixed timings.

The beggars living along the boundary wall of Government College for Women should be ordered to vacate the area within 24 hours.

Mr Bhasin had also drawn the Deputy Commissioner’s attention to the behaviour of the temple trustees as well. “We learn that the trustees enjoy the luxuries of the temple offerings in the serai. They are simply interested in creating slum-like situation around the temple for their personal benefits. Opium, ganja etc is being sold around the temple with the patronage of trustees and they share the profits under the cover of religion,” he had alleged.

The Deputy Commissioner had been requested to take immediate steps and remove the encroachments by tea stalls and beggars.


Epitome of Punjab’s valour

India-born, Punjab-bred and Jalandhar-educated, Jagjeet Singh Hans, better known as Tiger Jeet Singh, belongs to Sujapur-Hans village, Ludhiana. Jeet means victory. Jagjeet, a world champion. He is victor, a winner. That too in the field of human valour, physical prowess with a matching degree of mental alertness. His specialised field is free-style wrestling. He is a star of WWF. By tradition he gets the Singh part of his name. By action, through achievement, he justifies it. Jeet Singh Tiger is a lion of a man. He does not have the ferocity of the forest lion, he is a highly cultured and thoroughly civilised Canadian gentleman. The Tiger part of his identity is bestowed upon him by his fans the world over, mostly the Japanese. His admirers, the Arabs, who adore him all the more for the evident fact that his son, popularly known as Ali-Singh, is a star. Ali is a real crowd-puller at any mat, any arena any where in the world from Miami to Vancouver in America. Singapore to Tokyo in Asia, Cairo to Rabat in Africa. There is a tradition of wrestling in Turkey, Iran and Arabian countries. Out of love the Amirs and Sheikhs bestowed upon the title Ali, upon the younger Tiger, Gurjeet Singh Hans. The youngest is Tiger Kulvir Singh. All are loved and admired. The Father-Tiger has his seniority. It is a repeat of Rustam-Sohrab line, minus the challenge and the bout.

Jeet Singh Tiger as a person is taller than most and stronger than many more. He is known to all those who watch sports or wrestling. To many more who read sports magazines or collect of posters and play sports-cassettes. He is a man-mountain, condensed energy — no fat. Senior Tiger is a complex human dynamo and an equally amazing machine. Amazing in the sense that he feels, he thinks, he does. He plans more. Promises grand and meets grander.

Jeet Singh Tiger lived mostly with his father, Major Gurbachan Singh, Corps of Engineers, in different cantonments. He visited his ancestral village for small durations. All were pleasantly surprised when he recently raised an arch gateway in memory of his father. This shows health of his roots. If the roots are healthy, the tree bears forth ripe fruits. Tiger feels and thinks for his people, Punjab and India. The lifestory of Jeet Singh’s rise to fame and glory would sell like hot cakes. No matter whenever it is done, whosoever writes it. His exterior is eye-catching. His interior is surprising, some shades are mind boggling.

Last year, I had the opportunity to see the Tiger in his forest. The forest was in the Canadian state of Ontario; close to its important city, Toronto. Jeet Singh has purchased a fabulous estate in Milton, a corporation town, close to the famous Niagara Falls. It is an ideal location, hills forming the background. A stream runs through the estate. It has a beautiful scenic panorama dotted by trees, shrubs, farms besides playgrounds, a mini zoo, open gym, etc. Living amidst these rich surroundings, the son of the soil dreams about his ancestral Sujapur. That makes him different. He is muscle, mind, heart and brain compounded one in his person.

We phoned him. He was waiting at his lodge, a palace-like huge and modern mansion. We made a small caravan of visitors. As the cars stopped, a lean but strong-voiced dog sent out waves of barks. We noticed, it is having a strong collar and string chain holding it fast. We made bold and rang the porch door-bell. After a few minutes Tiger responded asking us to wait. He received us with pure affection. His family followed, his grandson, too, joined us. He apologised for the delay in receiving us at the porch for the compulsion of security. We were amazed to learn that such a gem of mankind feels threats to life. Needs security at all! He said that security is multi-layered. Our arrival was monitored, checked and cross-checked. He added that the ferocious set of black dogs have their high pedigree: descendents of Herr Hitler’s security dog-squads. They don’t bark, only attack! The door would open with a remote control with the security. At native Sujapur if one dog barks, all anywhere in the area would follow.

The security became a dire necessity because of jealous rivals and money-bags. A historic 45-Rolls Royce wedding party of Ali was a grand caravan which hurt the green-eyed monster. A land where Punjabis could not land, I was pleasantly surprised to watch the change and trend of time. Tiger symbolised new Asians, new Indians as real Punjabi.

We saw rows upon rows of gold medals. Also, racks full of huge trophies, a vast display of certificates citations, an assortment of flags and emblems in the lobbies of his palatial residence. Dr Dheer, a collector of antiques and awards, was surprised beyond words, so were his fans Anup, Harjinder Mann, Ravi and others. Tiger took us to his princely bar. The range and quality made it was a la Las Vegas. Ali, as a duty-bound son, stood by. The youngsters were thrilled. We were taken for the lunch to one of the finest downtown restaurants. It was a royal meal at a rare place. Ali did not join us as we were his father’ guests. He looked after the arrangement and supervised service. And that in the money-minded western world. His younger son, Kulvir S. Tiger is marrying next month. We pray all goes well. We wish we could participate.

Tiger is a pioneer of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). He is Mayor of Corporation of Milton (ONT). As a member of NG/ECOSOC, he is deeply associated with the United Nations, New York. Tiger does Punjab proud, Ludhiana the most.



BJP MP for Art 370 abrogation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 21
“The abrogation of Article 370 appears to be the only solution to the vexed Kashmir problem in the present political scenario”. Mr Lajpat Rai, a senior BJP leader and member of the Rajya Sabha, said here today.

He said people of all shades and hues, with varying political affiliations, should sit together and join hands in finding out the permanent solution. The scrapping of Article 370 would not in any way undermine the interests of anybody. It was also wrong, he said, to associate the party with the interests of any single community in the country.

Talking to media-persons, the BJP leader said all political parties should rise to the occasion, setting aside their narrow political interests in favour of the larger interests of the country.

Mr Lajpat Rai said that the Agra summit between Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee and General Pervez Musharraf made it clear that Pakistan was not prepared to stop or discourage cross-border terrorism at any cost. Pakistan’s intentions, he added, were clear from the fact that instead of accepting the fact of large-scale terrorist violence in Kashmir, General Musharraf did not hesitate from calling it a “freedom struggle”.

“General Musharraf conveniently forgot that millions of Muslims continued to live in almost all parts of India. In fact, the number of Muslims living in India was higher than those in Pakistan.

He suggested that instead of harping on the old tune of “Kashmir is an integral part of India”, we must ourselves complete this process of integration by taking it to its logical end and bring the state on a par with other states in the country by abrogating Article 370 once and for all.



Bhutta’ roasted in sand delicious
Asha Ahuja

Cobs of corn roasted in burning sand and served hot at any time of the day are a great hit with the people of Ludhiana. Moreover, this mode of cooking ‘chhallis” is unique to Ludhiana. Many people believe that the cobs are first boiled and then roasted. “But this is not true. When we take out a ‘chhalli’, all its leaves are intact. We peel off the layers of leaves in front of the customers. If these were boiled, the arrangements of the leaves would be disturbed,” says Lachman who has been in this business for many years.

“Bhutta” or “chhalli” is a favourite with almost everybody. Persons sitting on the roadside and roasting corn cobs on charcoal fire is a common sight, yet the popularity of steamed bhuttas is definitely more than that of the ones roasted on fire. This fact is borne out by the innumerable cart-wheelers with cobs buried in hot sand that go round the city. The smaller ones are priced at Rs 3 and bigger one at Rs 5.

Vijay Kumar, a bhutta seller, said: “There are ‘thekedars’ or contractors who have set up large ‘bhattis’ in Salem Tabri. They get cart loads of sand and heat it in huge iron karahis. Then the hot sand is sold to persons selling bhuttas for Rs 150 to Rs 200, depending on the size of the cart.”

Bhiku, another bhutta vender, said, “I heat my own sand. The heat is so intense that you may not be able to stand before it for more than a minute or two. We have to heat the sand for two hours and our bodies have got accustomed to the heat. Our carts are lined with a mixture of mud and straw which acts as an insulator, and keeps the bhuttas warm till the evening. I walk 15 to 20 kilometers every day to earn about Rs 100.”

Vijay explained that the bhuttas were brought from Hoshiarpur every day. The local variety of bhutta is hard and is not favoured by customers.

Ramdas, a migrant from UP, hires a cart for Rs 400 a day and finds the work very hard. He said: “Most of the corn sellers have their fixed beats and if anyone moves into another person’s area, there is a big fight. As outsiders, we often get a raw deal.”



Love and care at Mother Teresa’s home
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 21
The 24 psychic inmates of Mother Teresa’s Home run by Missionaries of Charity suffering from schizophrenia, uncontrolled epilepsy and mental retardation have been abandoned by their parents. All of them do not know their age. They have no knowledge of their past, of their hometown. Dr R.S. Deswal, Head of Psychiatry Department, Christian Medical College & Hospital, visit the Mother Teresa’s Home every last Saturday of the month. He said, “Most of these inmates have two out of three diseases and for this reason, they have been abandoned by their families as these diseases are life-long and incurable and they will have to be on medication throughout their life.” While the doctor from CMC and Mr A. Khan from Family Welfare Department monitor the health of the patients, the drugs are supplied by Guru Gobind Singh Charitable Trust.

“Schizophrenia, the word means split personality. It is a psychic disorder. Most of the times, hereditary factor contributes towards it but environmental factors enhance this. The patients suffer from delusions, have vague fears, suffer from persecution complexes, and live in their own world far away from reality,” explained Dr Deswal. Sangeeta, suffering from acute schizophrenia, was speaking English fluently. She is MA in English. Her brother is a doctor but when she developed this disorder due to the social stigma she has been abandoned by her family. This correspondent was told to take a diary and pen for her and she was very happy to receive the gift. She said, “My thoughts are blocked. I am not upset. I was talking something intelligent to the doctor but I have forgotten.” She started writing her name but mid-way her thoughts were distracted. Most of the times, she is doodling.

It was a heart-rending sight to see boys and girls of different ages sitting slumped up in their world of their own. Dr Deswal explained that psychotic patients lose touch with reality. Their world is their own . When the doctor asked questions about the health, most of them after saying ‘theek hai’, mumbled some irrelevant words which did not have any meaning. Sister Siperan, the only sister present, said that almost all the inmates were abandoned and found wandering on the roadside. Some are found by the police and they bring them to home as they know that no one is turned away from the Home. She said that the police found a girl abandoned at the railway station. She was in a great shock, was bent double and has not uttered a word for last one week. No one knows what despicable things would have been done to her.

Veeru has uncontrolled epilepsy. He is under the treatment of doctors. Another inmate gets convulsions while sleeping. Most of the inmates have been given names by the sisters as they have no clues about themselves and their whereabouts.

Their illness is a refractory kind of problem and had it not been for sisters of Missionary of Charity, one shudders at their fate. No one has ever come to take them back. These children of a lesser God are given shelter, food and clothing. So far only one boy, Peter, has been cured and has found a job.

The people of Ludhiana are generous and provide rations and clothes and at times money. Rarely are the sisters short of money, and when they are then they have to ask help from Mother’s Home in Calcutta.



Sabha condemns temple demolition
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 21
The district Arya Sabha today strongly condemned the demolition of Arya Samaj temple at Minto Road in New Delhi.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Roshan Lal Arya, president, Arya Sabha, Ludhiana, said he had written to the Urban Development Minister, Mr Jagmohan, that the government must get the temple rebuilt at its own expenses in accordance to an earlier governmental assurance to this effect.

He warned that if the demand was not conceded, the whole of Arya Samaj would take to the path of struggle and any losses resulting due to the struggle would be the responsibility of the centre.



Musharraf’s posters burnt
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 21
Activists of the All-India Safai Mazdoor Congress and Bhartiya Valmiki Sabha (BVS) today burnt the effigies of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf to register their protest against the Agra summit, which cost the state exchequer dear, without achieving anything worthwhile.

Speakers at the protest rally, including Lala Jiwan Kumar, Mr Sudesh Gharu and Mr Kala Hans, deplored the NDA government for inviting a military ruler from Pakistan for the summit in gross violation of all democratic traditions. The Pakistan government also came under sharp attack for disturbing peace in the region and in India by indulging in cross-border terrorism.



Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 21
In the report titled “Cong to issue charge sheet against SAD-BJP alliance” in the July 21 issue of Ludhiana Tribune, the name of Mr Surinder Singla, media in charge of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, has been inadvertently mentioned as Mr Sant Ram Singla.



10-yr jail term for trafficking opium
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 21
Mr B.S. Mehndiratta, Additional Sessions Judge, Ludhiana, has convicted Sompal (35), resident of Ajitwal, Moga district, and sentenced him to 10 years’ imprisonment of possessing 1 kg opium.

Mr Mehndiratta also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh upon the accused and ordered that in the event of failure to pay the fine, the accused would have to undergo imprisonment for one more year.

An FIR was lodged against the accused on August 8,1999 at Sidhwan Bet police station under section 18 of the NDPS Act. At about 3 pm, when police was about 1 km away from Galib Ran Singh village, they saw the accused coming from the village with a bag in his hand. The accused tried to escape, but the police nabbed him and opium was recovered from his bag.



Gang of robbers busted, 4 held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
Residents of a number of villages in the Pakhowal-Raikot belt of Jagraon police district may get a reprieve from a sudden spurt in snatching incidents, allegedly committed by two scooter-borne robbers, as the Jagraon police today claimed to have busted a gang involved in such incidents.

The police said the four members of the gang, who were arrested here today, had confessed of having committed two main robberies, besides an attempt, it had got information about their involvement in other cases also.

According to Mr Jaskaran Singh, SSP Jagraon, the Latal police arrested four persons, identified as Paramjit Singh, Gurdev Singh, Manoj Kuma and Kulwinder Singh, while the fifth, Gurcharan Singh, alias Channi, was absconding.

According to the police, the accused had, at gunpoint, robbed more than Rs 2000 from a fruit seller on July 2 near a power grid on the outskirts of Latala village. The victim used to sell fruits on the Barundi-Latala link road and was returning home when he was robbed. The robbers had come on a scooter and brandished a pistol at the fruit seller.

Later the same persons had gone to a liquor vend near Mehar Kalan village and tried to loot it. Their attempt failed as they saw some cars heading towards the liquor vend from Mandi Ahmedgarh side and thinking it to be police jeeps, fled the scene.

The police had launched a search operation to nab the fifth accused.

The residents of several villages in Jagraon had been complaining about the activities of such a gang in the region for the past one-month. They had alleged that two youths had come on a scooter and robbed several persons in the past few weeks. Some of these persons had lodged complaints with the police while the others did not do so.

According to sources, a resident of Sarabha village was looted of Rs 800 by two scooter-borne youths. Mr Surinder Singh, resident of Rajgarh village was also looted at gunpoint by two youths, who decamped with a gold ring and bracelet. The two robbers snatched an artificial bracelet from another villager employed as a clerk in a school in Tajpur.



New bikes launched
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 21
Two-wheeler giant and leading player in the scooter market in the country — Bajaj Auto — has introduced three new models of motor bikes to make its aggressive presence felt in this sector. Mr R. L. Ravichandran, vice-president (Business Development and Marketing) unveiled the new models of the bikes — Kawasaki Bajaj Boxer CT, Kawasaki Bajaj Aspire and Caliber Croma — at a press conference here last evening.

Speaking on the occasion, he said the new models of the bike were designed to maintain a vivid balance between style and function and host of new features were provided to ensure value for money to the customers. Priced at Rs 37,903, Rs 42,050 and Rs 43,610 (ex- showroom in the city), the bikes would cater to the needs of entry level, executive level and those looking for luxury bikes.


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