Thursday, July 26, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Admn seeks Army help to dispose of explosive scrap
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
The district administration here has sought the assistance of the Army for the disposal and diffusion of explosive material and other ammunition from the heavy melting steel scrap (HMSS), lying in the Container Freight Station (CFS), managed by the Punjab Warehousing Corporation at the Dry Port, Dhandhari Kallan, near here.

A high-level meeting of the civil and military officials was held here today in the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S K Sandhu. Besides Mr Sandhu, the meeting was attended by Brig Sunil Dhawan, Commander Hq 715 AD Brigade and other civil and military officials.

Although the details of the meeting were not available, it was learnt that the procedure for disposing of the highly explosive material from the HMSS was chalked out. The scrap is imported from various countries, including the Gulf. This includes unexploded artillery shells without fuse, misfired ammunition, rockets and other material which pose danger to life and property.

It was learnt that the meeting decided that explosive experts of the Indian Army would inspect and examine the scrap to find out whether it contained any explosive material. And if such material was found, it would be instantly defused or disposed of by experts.

Several steel manufacturers of Ludhiana have been importing scrap from foreign countries, particularly the Gulf, for production of high-quality steel. The scrap lying in the CFS is believed to have been imported from Kuwait after the Gulf War which left huge quantity of scrap.

It is believed that scrap dealers after noticing some unexploded devices or any other ammunition in their imported scrap usually dump it in a canal. Several accidents have also taken place on this count, claiming a number of lives. On July 21, 1997, four children were killed when they picked up unexploded shells from the canal. Subsequent search in the canal led to the discovery of 112 live bomb shells which are still lying in the Payal police station.

After an accident last year, Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner S.K. Sandhu brought the issue to the notice of Chief Secretary N.K. Arora, urging him to take up the matter with the authorities of the Western Command. In his communication to Mr Arora, he said that since the civil administration had neither the men nor the material to dispose of the explosive devices, only army was best equipped for the job. Since the local Army authorities could not do it on their own, the matter was taken up with the Western Command at Chandigarh.

It was after a prolonged correspondence between the civil and Army authorities that they decided to sit together and find a solution to the problem. The local administration has been feeling quite concerned given the gravity of the situation. The explosives which have come with the scrap are believed to be very powerful and can cause massive damage if anything goes wrong anywhere. Besides, anti-social elements can also misuse the ammunition.

It has now been made mandatory that the Customs Department which clears all consignments certifies that it does not contain any explosive material. The responsibility will now be with the department and if any importer of scrap, whose consignment contains explosive material, is found without the customs certificate he will be held responsible for its disposal and all the cost will be borne by him. This has been done to ensure that the importers of scrap do not take the matter casually and take the due precautions.


Court order brings relief for cops, ‘rape victim’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the local Senior Superintendent of Police to conduct a high-level probe into the allegation of rape that a Dalit woman has levelled against a local Akali worker.

Two prominent leaders of the district unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal are reportedly supporting the opposite parties in this case for settling personal scores.

In a petition given in the High Court, the woman has alleged that she used to be physically exploited in a hotel owned by a prominent Akali leader. Earlier, newspapers had reported that the hotel was a centre of flesh trade in the city. The reports had also said that the police was ignoring this fact because the hotel owner was an influential politician. The politician has been denying the charges all this time.

The intervention of the High Court may bring some relief for the woman and the police who have been pressurised by the two leaders so far. While Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia, Vice-President of the district unit of the SAD, was supporting the accused, his rival, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, acting President of the district unit of the SAD, was backing the woman.

Their rivalry is an open secret and their supporters have clashed several times in the past. The police sources said the case was a prestige issue for both leaders and they had been pressuring every police official who was handling the case.

Unaware that she has become a pawn in this game of political hegemony, the woman has been approaching several authorities to seek justice. However, the political pressure has made the police indecisive on this issue and, so, it hasn’t registered a case against either of the parties.

According to a copy of the High Court order that was received here today, Mr Justice V.M. Jain has directed the Ludhiana SSP, Mr Kuldip Singh, to order a high-level probe into the complaint lodged by Monika Rani, a 21-year-old mother of two. The case cannot be handled by a police officer below the rank of an SP, according to the court order.

In her petition, the woman had alleged that the police was not taking any action against the Akali worker, even after six months of the lodging of the complaint. She alleged that her husband had been implicated in a false case and thrown in Central Jail, after which, she had been looking for a job to support her family. In January, a youth had introduced him to an Akali worker, who had than promised her a job.

However, the Akali worker had allegedly taken her to the hotel and raped her. The incident took place on January 5, after which she was forced to have an illicit relationship with the Akali worker. When she became pregnant, the Akali worker forced him to abort the child, after which, she could not take it anymore and complained to the police.

However, the police did not take any action on her complaint and, in June, the accused and his goon allegedly barged into her house and assaulted her. The allegedly threatened her to withdraw the complaint.

While the SSP, Mr Kuldip Singh could not be contacted, a senior police official said the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr Gurjit Singh, was conducting this inquiry. The DSP could not be contacted as well. Senior police officials said they suspected that the woman was living with the man willingly.


Power plants face coal shortage
PSEB fails to make payments to suppliers, Railways
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 25
The cash-starved Punjab State Electricity Board was finding it difficult to arrange an adequate supply of coal to its three thermal power stations and the same have limited stocks of coal.

Sources said because of the financial crisis, the PSEB was making part payments to the coal suppliers and the Railways. The Ropar thermal plant needs nearly 20,000 tonnes of coal daily and at present it has stocks for six days only (1.24 lakh tonnes).

Similarly, the two other thermal plants at Bathinda and Lehra Mohabbat have 1.15 lakh tonnes (for 20 days) and 1.75 lakh tonnes (25 days) of coal in stock, respectively.

All the units of the three thermal plants were working normally and helping the state tide over the difficult power supply position. The three units were generating about 470 lakh units daily. The PSEB was also buying more than 200 lakh units of power daily from the Central projects. The hydroelectric units were also generating 246 lakh units daily.

The Anandpur Sahib hydroelectric project had to be closed yesterday following the closure of the water supply to the canal from the BBMB as a truck fell into the canal. Water supply to the canal feeding the Anandpur Sahib hydroelectric project is expected to be restored by tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the water level in the hydroelectric stations has started rising following heavy rains in the catchment areas. The water level in the Gobind Sagar reservoir was reported at 1581 ft. and Pong Dam at 1333 ft. against 1315 ft last year.

The water level in the Ranjit Sagar dam was also rising and it was reported at 506.4 metres against the required level of 518 metres. The authorities were hoping that the optimum level of water would be achieved by August 31 and all the four units of the Ranjit Sagar dam would go into generation.

The inflow of water in the Gobind Sagar reservoir was reported at 45,500 cusecs against the release of 18,500 cusecs, Pong Dam 43,300 cusecs against release of 7,300 cusecs and Ranjit Sagar 23,400 cusecs against the release of 6,900 cusecs, respectively.

The Mukerian hydroelectric project was not running to the full capacity due to a low release of water and it requires 11,500 cusecs of water daily to generate 49 lakh units of power.


MC razes unlawful structures
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 25
A team of Municipal Corporation enforcement wing, headed by Mr Harjinder Singh, Joint Commissioner, here today demolished 38 structures to clear the way for widening of the road in Kashmir Nagar locality, near Shingar cinema.

The unlawful structures, mostly shops and cemented buildings, partly occupying the area of a road, were razed to the ground in a smooth and swift operation without much resistance from the owners once the MC officials made it clear that they meant business.

The MC demolition squad, along with a large number of labour and bulldozers, descended on the site and started the demolition work. As the work progressed, owners of adjoining buildings, hurriedly removed their belongings and stocks from the premises. Some shopkeepers alleged that the MC officials did not give them enough time before the demolition operation and their stocks and valuable goods were damaged.

The MC Joint Commissioner, Mr Harjinder Singh, told Ludhiana Tribune that the owners of the buildings had been served notices to clear the area more than six months ago but they had failed to comply. He said some persons whose structures were brought down today were later convinced that they were occupying more land than was shown in their respective title deeds. “Due to this, the work for widening and resurfacing of the road was held up for long,” he added.


‘Verdict on Bhondsi shows law prevails’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 25
Residents of the city have welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court to ask the Haryana Government to takeover 500 acres of Bhondsi Ashram of a former Indian Prime Minister, Mr Chandra Shekhar. They say that the decision will go a long way in discouraging politicians from allotting land to a chosen few.

They say that the verdict also shows that the apex court has taken a serious view of the issue as it has sought a report from the officials concerned within a week.

A senior advocate here, Mr N.M. Mohindra, was all praise for the decision. He said the verdict was a lesson for those who grabbed land and property through political influences. He criticised those who grabbed land in the name of religion. He said, “The judiciary should punish such persons who are befooling masses in the name of religion to grab public property.”

Another advocate, Mr Rajiv Duggal, Secretary of the District Bar Association, also appreciated the decision of the apex court. He said, “It is sad that our representatives cheat us in such a way. We vote them to power for making policies for the country’s development, but they abuse this power to gain wealth for themselves.”

Dr S.S. Randhawa, a resident of Ludhiana, said this was a fair and landmark judgement of the apex court. “It has reassured the countrymen that the rule of law still prevails in India and everybody, whether a politician or a bureaucrat, has to be accountable to the law of the land. Politicians are supposed to plan for the development of the country and not their favourite citizens. This judgment will surely give such elements a setback and deter those in top positions from misusing their powers,” he said.

Mr Kewal Krishan, a trader, also appreciated the judgement. He said such judgement was really needed now. “Nobody is above the law of the land and the apex court has proved this. Everybody has to abide by the Constitution, whether a common man or a high-profile political leader. Such decisions boost the morale of ordinary citizens.”

Anjali Lavania, a professional model, said, the judiciary made the countrymen keep faith in the system. She said when politicians were amassing wealth at the cost of the exchequer, it was the judiciary that was keeping them under check.


Johar in PPCC poll manifesto panel
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 25
Mr Harnam Das Johar, former Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, has been nominated a member of the Punjab Pradesh Congress election manifesto committee by the All-India Congress Committee (AICC). The committee is headed by a former Union minister, Mrs Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder.

According to Mr Johar, the chairperson of the manifesto committee has convened the first meeting at the AICC office in New Delhi on July 28.


Building bylaws violation under vigilance probe
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 25
A team of vigilance officials in the Local Government Department, Punjab, headed by the Chief Vigilance Officer, Mr L.C. Sharma, today inspected several commercial complexes and other buildings in the city to ascertain the alleged violation of building bylaws. The vigilance officials also examined the relevant files and took in their possession some of the files and other documents for scrutiny.

Mr Sharma told Ludhiana Tribune that the purpose of the visit was to verify certain complaints of gross violations of bylaws in the construction of commercial complexes and other buildings. In addition, the team would conduct a random check of some other buildings under construction in the city.

The vigilance team, he added, would also conduct an inquiry into the alleged irregularities in the promotion of an employee in the Fire Brigade Department. According to a complaint lodged with the Vigilance Department, an employee, who did not fulfil the laid down criterion and possessed a bogus degree, was promoted by the MC administration.


God in the guise of Samaritan
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, July 25
Amar Singh, who was suffering from a severe heart problem, needed immediate double valve replacement but had no money for the expensive treatment. He had lost faith in God until a good Samaritan, whose identity was not known, rendered him the financial aid for his treatment. The person paid an amount of Rs 90,000 to the hospital for his surgery.

The surgery was conducted at the Hero DMC Heart Institute by Chief Cardiac Surgeon, Dr V.M.Kohli. Amar Singh, who is recovering after the surgery, looked hale and hearty.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, he said the problem started four years ago when he had balloon angioplasty at a heart institute in Delhi and spent a huge amount on the treatment.

After coming back to Ludhiana, he consulted a doctor, who suggested that he should go for permanent treatment. He said,”I was the only bread earner in the family and had no money. So I kept on delaying the treatment”.

In the meantime, his doctor found that another valve of his heart needed replacement. The cost of double-valve replacement was around Rs 2,10,000. He said, “I was always the first one to help my family members. But even my elder brother refused to provide any financial help for my treatment. A few years ago my brother had undergone a surgery and I had paid the entire amount”.

A wealthy gentleman from Jalandhar, who runs a charitable hospital, had gone through an open heart surgery at the Hero DMC Heart Institute recently. Dr V.M. Kohli, who operated upon this wealthy man said, “He wanted to give financial help to someone on the condition that his identity would not be disclosed”.

Amar Singh got admitted to the hospital with only Rs 3,100 in his pocket. “A few friends of mine had promised to help me for the surgery”, added Amar Singh. Dr Kohli, however came to know about the monetary condition of Amar Singh and acted as a bridge between the Samaritan and Amar Singh.

On the day prior to his surgery, the heart institute received a cheque of Rs 90,000 by the anonymous person and the rest amount of money for the treatment of Amar Singh was pooled in by his friends. Amar Singh was successfully operated upon and was discharged from the hospital yesterday.


SHSAD activists join SAD
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 25
Many activists of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal have switched their loyalty to the ruling SAD headed by the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. At a meeting, convened by Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Director, Markfed and party in charge for the Ludhiana (Rural) assembly segment at Bhari Randhir Singh Nagar here, Mr Harjit Singh, Mr Manmohan Singh Kang, Mr Manwinder Singh, Mr Gurwinder Singh, Mr Rajinder Singh, Mr Dalip Singh, Mr Gurmeet Singh, Mr Chanchal Singh and Mr Ravinder Singh formally joined the SAD.

Welcoming the new entrants to the party fold, Mr Dhillon expressed confidence that party ranks would be further strengthened and the SAD would enter the forthcoming electoral battle with renewed vigour to give a drubbing to its opponents. He made special mention of Mr Sukhjinder Singh Jaura, General Secretary, Sikh Students Federation, who had played a significant role in bringing the SHSAD activists into the party. Siropas were presented by Mr Dhillon to the new party members.

Speaking on the occasion, the former SHSAD functionaries commented that they were feeling frustrated over anti-panthic activities of Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, who had always stabbed the Sikh community in the back at the instance of the Congress. "Mr Tohra has a long history of betrayals and working against the interests of Sikhs and Punjab.''


Continuing elevated road project a bold step’
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 25
A score of literary and cultural bodies, social organisations and political activists have hailed the elevated road project, the work on which has already commenced. The Rs 32 crore project, claimed to be first of its kind in the region, entails construction of a 2.5-km-long elevated road over the Old G.T. Road from Jagraon Bridge to Chand cinema in the city.

Those coming out in favour of the project described the MC general house approval as a bold step, taken with the joint efforts of the city Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, and Commissioner, Dr S. S. Sandhu, with the majority support of the councillors, in the interest of the traffic needs of the mega city.

A joint statement, signed by activists of several bodies, urged the trade and business community and some of the political parties, opposing the project to see reason and not to obstruct the way for development works in the city, which were necessary in terms of long-term planning.

The signatories to the statement include Prof Gurbhajan Gill, vice-president, Mr Kulwant Jagraon, secretary, Punjabi Sahitya Akademy, Mr Surjit Pattar, vice-president, Punjab Arts Council, Noted writers Mahinderdeep Singh Grewal and Sardar Panchhi, Mr Nirmal Jaura, President, Malwa Rang Manch, Punjab, Mr Jaswant Singh Chhapa, president, Mr Pritam Singh Bharowal, vice-president, Baba Farid Foundation, Mr Jagdev Singh Jassowal, chairman, Mr Pargat Singh Grewal, president, Prof Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation, prominent singers Mohammed Siddique and Surinder Chhinda, Mr Prithipal Singh, chairman, Rural Sports Promotion Council, Mr Randhir Singh Mehmi, president, International Punjabi Sabhyacharak Society, Mrs Harmeet Kaur, Principal, Ramgarhia Girls College, Mr Jaswant Singh Gill, Principal, Doraha College, Mr Harjit Singh Bedi, chairman, S Sobha Singh Memorial Foundation, Mr Gurdip Singh Pannu, chairman, International Punjabi Cultural Club, Mr Daljit Singh Jassal of Virasat Bhawan, Mr Devinder Singh Chhina, chairman, Punjab Cultural Promotion Council, prominent photo artist Tej Parkash Singh, Brig Avtar Singh Dhaliwal and Capt Amarjit Singh Sekhon of Ex-servicemen’s Association.

The members of the New Youth Welfare Club felicitated the MC Commissioner at his camp office and later distributed sweets to mark the approval of elevated road project in the general house. Besides Mr Karan Kapoor, president, Mr Deepak Puri, vice-president, Mr Amit Jain, general secretary and other office bearers of the club was also present at the occasion.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has appreciated the city Mayor for withstanding the immense political pressure and seeing the project of elevated road through. A party meeting, presided over by Mr D.P. Khosla, observed that majority of the councillors had refused to bow before certain opportunist and rootless persons, who were opposing the project for their vested interests. The BSP activists further reiterated the party’s commitment to the development works in the city.

Lt Col J.S. Garcha, general secretary of Ex-Servicemen’s Welfare Society, in a statement, has termed the elevated road project as a long-term measure to improve the traffic congestion in the city. In fact, the society wanted that the elevated road should be extended beyond Chand cinema upto Jalandhar bypass so that traffic should not get stuck in the most congested stretch on Old G.T. Road.

The New Millenium Club, in its meeting, placed on record its appreciation for the city Mayor for seeing the project through, despite stiff opposition from shopkeepers and a section of political parties.

Mr Tarsem Singla, president and Mr Kuldip Singh Kreer, general secretary of the club, condemned the role of certain councillors, who had staged a walkout from the MC house meeting.


Trust flays closure of ‘bhandaras’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 25
The Bhole Bhandari Charitable Trust has sought the intervention of Prime Minister regarding the matter of closure by the Jammu and Kashmir administration of bhandaras providing tented accommodation to pilgrims.

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, the trust has drawn his attention to a notice issued on July 4 by Tehsildar Kangan (yatra officer), Baltal, wherein langar organisations have been barred from allowing free night shelter to the poor pilgrims at bhandaras being run by them. The notice further warned that whosoever (NGO) provided tented accommodation to the yatris, its permission would be cancelled without further notice.

It has also been alleged in the notice that lanagarwallahs were deviating from the rules and regulations laid down for them. It was also stated that langarwallahs could not provide tented accommodation to the yatris. A bhandara from Delhi was forcibly closed down by the Additional Deputy Commissioner at Baltal.

The Prime Minister has been further informed that there was no such condition imposed in the permission letter granted by the Director Tourism, Kashmir. Submitting the photocopies of the original permission and the subsequent notices as well, the trust lodged its protest against the dictatorial, arbitrary and dastardly action taken by the administration as it was tantamount to illegal interference in the religious affairs.

The trust further observed that most of the pilgrims were financially weak and thus were unable to spend heavily on privately rented tents. Moreover, the very purpose of the NGO’s to provide free community kitchen and free tented accommodation to the pilgrims got defeated. Providing free tented accommodation to yatris was not a new practice, it said.

Bringing to the Prime Minister’s attention a score of other difficulties, which the Amarnath yatris were being subjected to, the trust requested him to personally intervene in the matter and direct the government to desist from such activities and ensure that no such conditions were imposed in future permissions.


Commercialisation of rakhi?
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, July 25
Rakhi in its new avatar has gone online, one can find musical and designer rakhis and the variety of rakhis that have flooded the market almost a month ago has taken the buyers by surprise. In a race for buying unique rakhis for one’s brothers, one does not perhaps even remember the genesis of rakhi. It can be originally traced to a story in Vedas, where Shachi, wife of Rain God Indra had tied a string round his wrist to safeguard him against the devils against whom he was waging wars.

Then Rani Karamvati, a Rajput queen, when surrounded by the enemy forces in the absence of her husband, in desperation tore a piece of her ‘odhni’ and sent it to Mugal king, Humayun, and sought his protection. He rose to the occasion and led his armies to protect his Rajput sister. That incident motivated the sisters in Rajasthan to send rakhis to their brothers and pray for their long lives as the Rajputs were a warring community. The valiant Rajputs swore to protect their sisters’ honour. During that period in the battle-ravaged Rajasthan, the girls were the first causalities to the lust of the enemies if the male members of their family were defeated. So the rakhi ensured those girls’ protection, when it was just a simple red thread or ‘mauli’.

But with the passage of time, the things have become more ostentatious. A shopkeeper said ,‘‘ We do not have a single pattern of last year. All of them are new designs. This year we have special rakhis for kids. To attract them, we have Mickey Mouse, jokers, and other popular figures from the cartoons’’.

‘‘Where is the sanctity of rakhi. Those rakhis are huge and would look quite funny on the tiny wrists of small children. Moreover, they have used artificial fur to make them look like miniature soft toys. Some children may be even allergic to them",said Mrs Prema who had come to purchase some rakhis. She further said,‘‘The market is inundated with rakhis of different kinds. The variety is mind boggling and confuses the buyer. The cost has also increased."

There are big musical rakhis available. But surprisingly the song heard is ‘Chal chaiyaan chaiya’ or some other number whereas the appropriate song would have been ‘Bhaiya mere rakhi ke bandhan ko nibhana’.

Silver bracelets with a silver coin with faces of Ganesh and Lakshmi imprinted are for those who want to spend more money.

Those who like finesse can buy rakhis with silver beads and Rudaraksh beads. The centre pieces of the rakhis have pretty pieces embedded with beads, glass pieces. Some of them have been embroidered with 'zardosi'. Sandalwood beads are also used in the making of rakhis. Ganesh is a very popular figure on the rakhis. Even the multi-coloured threads have new twists in them. The ingenuity of rakhi designers from Kolkata has to be seen to be believed.

There are rakhis to suit all pockets. The price range is quite variable. One can buy a modest thread at Rs 2 and for affluent sisters who want to pamper their brothers a diamond-studded rakhi can cost thousands.

Another custom from Rajasthan has been emulated in Punjab. Rajasthani women carry ‘kuppi’, an embroidered cone like thing or some gifts for their sisters- in-law. Colourful ‘kuppis’ are available in plenty. Another new feature is the availability of an attractive puja thali or earthen plate with four small containers for keeping rakhi, kumkum, rice and sweets.

No more of sending rakhi by slow mail overseas. The sisters can send not only rakhi online but can send sweets, kumkum and rice online too.

The sister, too, give gifts to the brothers. Small children love tying rakhis up to their shoulders, and the little and elder sisters, both are thrilled to get money and gifts. But the underlying spirit of rakhi has been lost in the commercialisation of the festival.


Glory gone with the wind of Partition
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 25
About seven decades ago, Meena Bazar, which is near Chaura Bazar, echoed with the sweet sound of the anklets of Begum Jaan and many other dancing girls like her.

At dusk, when the shops closed, out came beatle-leaf sellers and flower sellers from the huts, carrying tube roses and flower bracelets for the patrons of these girls. The Meena Bazar of 1930s had decked up girls standing in the balconies to lure clients as the place was famous for its carnal pleasures. The patrons left before the daybreak lest their deeds be known.

The present day Meena Bazar offers many things, from sweet ‘batashas’ for children to shrouds for the old, but the beautiful faces and the tinkling of the anklets have vanished. The oldest living inhabitant of the bazar, Mr Sujaan Singh, 86, said the bazar had lost its charm with the Partition. The shops here, that were sold at Rs 300 before the Partition, are priced at Rs 30 lakh now. It is said that Begum Jaan and her daughter Phoolan used to sing so melodiously that even birds were mesmerised.

Mr Beni Lal, who was born in Meena Bazar 70 years ago, said, “Next to my house, there was a big ‘haveli’ of Rani — the queen of ‘scarlet ladies’. When she travelled on an elephant, her glory was to be seen to be believed. In the adjoining ‘haveli’ lived three muslim brothers who made soap. The son of one of the brothers, Bannu Khan, a handsome man, would fly kites on the terrace and all woman would swoon over him.”

However, the Partition changed all that. One brother was killed by a bullet in the riots, which made the family leave India. Now their ‘haveli’ is in a dilapidated condition.

Mr Harbhajan Singh Dua, Chairman of the Meena Bazar Shopping Association, said, “The bazar now has shops of confectioners and general merchants, besides some cardboard factories. A stench has replaced the sweet smell of roses and, instead of pretty damsels in balconies, a cluttered mesh of power and telephone cables is seen all over. There is a constant danger of fire due to short circuit. Rickshaws, carts, stray animals and shoppers trudge over the potholed roads here today, raising dust, as if to bury the glorious past of Meena Bazar.


Without power supply for 8 days
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 25
Residents of Ward Nos 10 and 11 of Mohalla Behlanwala and Jattpura in Sirhind city have been living without power supply for the past eight days. The children, patients and old people are the worst affected.

According to Mrs Anita Takyar, Municipal Councillor, the transformer near the Post Office, Sirhind city, remains out of order and the repeated requests to the higher authorities of the PSEB have fallen on deaf ear and every time they assure that new transformer would be installed.

Succumbing to the public pressure, the local lower level staff of the PSEB made temporary arrangements and power supply was made available from another transformers for an hour or so.

The residents have demanded action against the erring officials of the PSEB, and immediate installation of a new transformer.


Prediction on summit comes true
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
Ludhiana astrologer Vinod Kumar Gupta’s prediction about the failure of the Indo-Pakistan summit has come true. On July 8, Mr Gupta had predicted that the summit would not yield any positive results and was bound to end in failure. The prediction was carried in several newspapers on July 9.

Mr Gupta, who is working as an engineer with the Bakhra-Beas Management Board, had also predicted that there would be more skirmishes and bloodshed between the two countries. He had predicted that there was no scope of improvement in relations between the two countries till January, 2002.

Warning that the relationship between the two countries may touch a new nadir, he said there could be more clashes also along the border. Mr Gupta said in the annual horoscope of the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, up to December 25, 2001, mercury would be in the third house. Although it gave him strength, he would not be able to forge friendship or peace with Pakistan. Also in the annual horoscope of the Indian Republic, there are chances of bloodshed, even war, between the two countries as the mercury in the eighth house aspects mars in the second house. Similarly, according to the annual horoscope of President Pervez Musharraf, he may not be able to arrive at any settlement with India till August 11, 2001. 


For spreading Guru’s message
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 25
The newly elected head of Takht Sri Harmandir Patna Sahib, Mr Mohinder Singh Romana, said a special campaign for religious propagation in north India would soon be launched at Takht Patna Sahib.

Mr Romana arrived here from Patna on Tuesday after taking charge of the Patna Sahib management committee. He was received at the railway station by functionaries of the Shiromani Akali Dal (B) and representatives of various other local religious and social organisations. Those present on the occasion included Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia, Vice-President of the local unit of the SAD (B); Mr Pritpal Singh Pali, President of the management body of Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran; Mr Tejinder Singh, Mr Gurdip Singh, Mr Jaspal Singh Sandhu, Mr Jatinder Pal Singh Saluja and Mr Parlad Singh Dhall.

Mr Romana stressed the need for making religious propagation a mass movement for spreading the message of the Sikh Gurus nationwide. He said Takht Sri Harmandir Patna Sahib would soon become a hub of religious propagation, particularly in Bihar, eastern Uttar Pardesh, Orissa, Uttaranchal Pardesh, Jharkhand and North East.

Mr Romana said, after becoming the head of the managing committee, he had met the head of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Mr Laloo Parsad Yadav, and the Bihar Chief Minister, Ms Rabri Devi, who had assured him of all possible help.

He also said a ‘kar sewa’ would soon begin on the site of Guru Nanak Bhavan for finishing the construction work there that had begun in 1969 to mark the fifth centenary of the birth of Guru Nanak Dev. The managing committee would also support four educational institutions and try to improve the facilities there. He said plans were under way to construct a gurdwara at Puri in Orrisa.

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