Tuesday, August 14, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



PUDA shops — double trouble for buyers
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 13
The buyers of the 17 shops auctioned by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) in the commercial area, near Old Jail in Field Ganj locality, feel cheated. While the possession of shops sold to them way back on March 2, 2001 has not been handed over to them so far, PUDA authorities have been asking for payment of the second instalment with interest which the buyers feel is unjust and uncalled for.

The land adjoining the Old Jail in Field Ganj was transferred to PUDA by the state government and it was proposed to develop two pockets of shops, which were later put to auction early this year.

However, residents of the adjoining locality claimed that part of the said land was a public street and on the basis of a notification issued by the Municipal Corporation, a local court had granted a stay on the scheme. As a result, the ongoing development work had to be halted due to stiff resistance from the residents.

The buyers of these shops — Mr Tarwinder Kumar, Mr Darshan Singh Halwai, Mr Narinder Singh, Mr Amarjit Singh Bajaj and Mr Jagat Bhushan Johar, among others have alleged that the PUDA officials had failed to represent their case in the court, which had led to an ex-parte stay being granted to the residents.

They said as the shops had not been handed over to them within one month of the auction, as per the provisions of the agreement, rather than demanding payment of the second instalment along with interest, the PUDA should either refund the money deposited by them and pay interest on the amount or in the alternative they should be provided shops in the adjoining pocket.

However, the PUDA Additional Chief Administrator Mr G. Ramesh Kumar allayed the apprehensions of the buyers saying they were overreacting and the matter would be sorted out soon.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, he said the notification of an 18-foot public street was issued by the MC after the land had been handed over to PUDA.

Although the court had granted a stay in respect of 18-foot public street, some mischievous elements were spreading the canard in connivance with certain residents and police officials, he said. PUDA had approached the MC for withdrawal of the said notification and a plea would also be made before the court for vacation of the stay on the next date of hearing i.e on August 16.

Mr Ramesh Kumar further observed that the buyers of the shops were not at fault and necessary steps would be taken to safeguard their interests as also to save them from any financial loss or such payments that they were not liable to make.



Three murdered in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
Three persons have been murdered in separate incidents in the city and its adjoining areas since last night. According to reports, one man was murdered over reported illicit relations, while another, a watchman, was stabbed to death while returning home. In the third incident, a young farmer was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Doaba Bhiani village near Sahnewal.

According to a complaint registered with the police, Harmesh Kumar (31) was killed under mysterious circumstances, allegedly for having illicit relations with a woman of his locality. A resident of Shivpuri, the body of Harmesh was recovered from Azadpur.

According to the complaint lodged by Subhash Kumar, brother of the diseased, Harmesh accompanied two friends, Shammi and Chinda, around 11 p.m. But when he failed to return, a hunt was lodged for him and his body recovered from Azadpur. In the complaint, five people — Raja alias Narinder Kumar, Chitta, Shammi, Surinder Kumar and a woman — have been named as the suspects.

It has been alleged that the woman had illicit relations with Harmesh Kumar, who was already married and fathered three children. Harmesh’s brother, Subhash Kumar, a local Shiv Sena activist disclosed that Harmesh was into hosiery business.

In the second incident, one watchman, Man Bahadur, was stabbed to death while returning from Dugri. Initial police investigations suggest that he was confronted by some unidentified persons who stabbed him to death. In Doaba Bhiani village, near Sahnewal, unidentified gunmen shot dead a young farmer Gurinder Singh. The motive of the murder has not yet been ascertained.

A bullet-ridden body was found near the fields of Bhaini Duaba village, on Monday morning. According to sources, Gurinder Singh of Dhanansu village had gone to Mangat village on his motorcycle (PB 10 AN-8719) at 9:30 pm on Sunday. When he did not return from there, his wife Jaswinder Kaur and father Karnail Singh went looking for him. They found his body, ridden with bullets on the face and chest, near the fields of Sarabjit Singh of Duaba Bhaini. His motorcycle was lying over his body. A case in this regard has been registered under Sections 302, 25, 54 and 59 of Arms Act and 302 of the IPC.

While the police has registered cases under the relevant sections of law in these cases, the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Ludhiana, has ordered an enquiry into the alleged misbehaviour by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Najinder Singh Rana with two newly wed couples who were returning late last night after visiting a mandir on the occasion of Janamashtmi. The enquiry would be conducted by the SP (Traffic), Mr Arunpal Singh.


Probe ordered into missing answersheets case
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, August 13
The mystery over the disappearance of answer-sheets supplied by the Council of Homoeopathic System of Medicine (CHSM) for examinations conducted by the council has taken a new turn, with the council ordering an inquiry against the principal of a local college.

In a meeting chaired by Dr Bhupinder Singh, Chairman, CHSM, Punjab, a two-member committee, comprising Dr Rachpal Singh Deol and Dr Om Parkash Vig, was constituted to hold an inquiry into the missing answer-books during supplementary and annual exams for 2000-2001 held in March and April in the examination centre at Lord Mahavira Homoeopathic Medical College, Ludhiana.

A sub-committee constituted by the Board of Studies, which includes the Registrar-cum-Secretary of the council, would conduct the inquiry and report within two weeks the exact reason for misplacement of the attempted answer-sheets of the students of the exams held during April last.

The council had recently debarred several students from sitting for the next supplementary examinations, besides cancelling their exam on the ground that they were suspected to have cheated in the examination.

One of the reasons for this action against the students by the Unfair Means Committee of the council was that all the answer-sheets in the answer-books were not uniform and contained irregular stamping and printing. Though no specific charges of cheating were established against the students, they were penalised on the basis of some findings of the council members, not been disclosed to students, much to resentment among parents.

The inquiry, which will directly look into the role of the officials of the college, is also likely to throw some more light on the alleged misconduct in the last annual and supplementary examinations conducted at Ludhiana and other centres.

The parents of the students have been demanding that their wards have been wrongly penalised and action of the council be reviewed, while Dr Bhupinder Singh has said proper investigation has been conducted, after which a clerk was suspended and appropriate action as per rules was taken against the defaulting students.

Dr Ravinder Kochhar, Principal, Lord Mahavira Homoeopathic Medical College, when persistently asked about the missing answer-books from his college, refused to comment.


Fervour marks Janmashtami
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 13
The town was virtually dipped in religious elixir yesterday as people lined outside temples to have a glimpse of the ‘newly-born Krishna’ at midnight to mark the occasion of Janmashtami.

All small and big temples of the town had been decorated with flowers and lighting all around. Kids dressed as Krishna and Radha adorned all temples and there was an incessant flow of people all through the day to have a glimpse of the divine couple.

Devotees had started visiting the temples in their respective vicinities since early morning. Simultaneously, there was a large number of beggars on the town’s streets who were sure of having a good day on account of public donations on the occasion of the divine festival.

All day through, the city reverberated with the sounds of holy hymns and songs being played at the temples and elsewhere.

But the crowd outside temples started growing in the evening and kept on swelling till the eleventh hour. The police had a tough time controlling the crowds at many places.

The Krishna Temple in Shastri Nagar presented a Kumbh-like scene with hundreds of saints from Varindavan and other holy places who had been especially invited for the occasion.

At the Krishna Temple in Model Town, the centre of attraction was Khadia Baba, known as such because he remains standing all the time. Various tableaux depicting the life and times of Lord Krishna were an added attraction for the devotees. The temple management gave away clothes to 1500 saints on the occasion.

Also in Model Town, tableaux depicting the exploits of Lord Krishna attracted a large number of devotees, which were opened for the public by Lala Lajpat Rai, MP, by lighting a lamp. He also promised a grant of Rs 6 lakh for an ambulance of the Krishna Charitable Trust Hospital.

To celebrate Janmashtmi by worshipping cows, Shri Gobind Gaudham held a function which was inaugurated by Mr Balramji Dass Tandon. Fifty cows were worshipped and treated to 56 kinds of dishes on the occasion. Toffies and candies were distributed free among kids.

In Focal point, a shobha yatra was taken out early morning by the temple management and there was a great rush of people on the Metro road in the evening to have a glimpse of the divine child at the time of his birth at midnight. Migrants organised a separate function on the boulevard along the Metro road where bhajans continued to blare till this morning.

The enthusiasm of the festival among migrant population was definitely much more than the locals.

The Shri Radha Krishna Welfare Organisation, New Shivpuri, celebrated the birthday of Lord Krishna at the Tootian Wala Mandir in Shivpuri.

However, no untoward incident connected with the Janmashtami celebrations has been reported in the city.


Family hired killers for murder: police
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The Ludhiana police today claimed to have solved the murder of an aged farmer, Buta Singh, in Bhamian village yesterday. Investigations have revealed that the murder was the handiwork of contract killers engaged by the family to get rid of Buta Singh for the alleged ill-treatment meted out to family members, including his wife and sons.

Terming this as yet another case of contract killing, the district police said the killers were familiar with the house and the settings and thus had no difficulty in bypassing the pet dog and entering in the house. The weapon used in the crime and the money stolen from the site has been recovered.

“The money was stolen from the site to mislead the police. It is the work of insiders and we have arrested some people already”, Mr Pramod Ban, SP City II, said here today.

According to sources, the police is unwilling to disclose all its cards but has found evidence of the involvement of the wife, two sons and a daughter-in-law of Buta Singh in murder. Mr Ban said that he was registering a case of murder and conspiracy against the accused.

The investigation team found out that the family took this desperate step in retaliation to the gross misbehaviour of Buta Singh towards his family and alleged advances towards his daughter-in-law for the past several months.

The police is understood to have arrested some of the accused but the officials were remaining tight- lipped about the exact number of persons arrested.



National Games ‘must be held’
Kamal Kishore Shankar

Ludhiana, August 13
Postponing the National Games for the third time has affected the morale of the sportspersons who are going to participate in the games as this has disturbed the schedule of training programmes. These youngsters have been waiting for this mega event for the past one year. But every time they complete their training for the games, the games have been postponed. The games were scheduled to be held in Ludhiana and other cities of the state.

“The training programmes of the players are drawn up, keeping in mind the date of events. Postponing or delaying the event affects the performance of the player. Many players selected to participate for the games across the country, have to go through the same hectic training programme again and again. This demoralises the players. This is a kind of punishment for these players for doing nothing wrong”, said national player Indu Bali.

She was of the view, “This is the golden chance for the state to hold this mega event and postponing it for the third time is quite disgusting. This is the height of inefficiency on the part of the concerned authorities who are going to organise these games.”

“Being the host of the National Games would be a wonderful opportunity for Punjab to expose the people living in other parts of the country to the atmosphere of tranquillity and peace prevailing in the state. Those who have never visited the state and have misconceptions about the state that the situation in the state is still chaotic would find that it was not true. This big event would be an eye-opener for them,” said Ms Harinder Kaur Dhillon, Principal, Khalsa College for Women.

Ms Dhillon lamented, “If Karnataka could grab the event and hold it with such a perfection, why cannot we hold it in time. This is quite disappointing for me, being a Punjabi. We are considered to be the best host in the world and we could host any event better than others. But the lack of initiative and interest of the authorities concerned is the main reason for the postponing of these games. This is the first National Games to be held in Punjab and the state should not miss this opportunity.”

A national badminton player, Najma, who is going to participate in the forthcoming National Games was very disappointed with the postponing of the games. She lamented that the sports authorities concerned were torturing the sportspersons. She opined that if the government was not in the position of holding such a big event, it should not have agreed to hold the games here. She was of the view if the games would be postponed again, the sportspersons would suffer the most.

An international player and national champion power lifter Mandeep Kaur criticised the government decision of postponing the games for the third time. She was of the view that “postponing the games disturbs the schedule of the sportsperson. Being an athlete, I know that we have to go through rigorous training session to participate in an event. Postponing and delaying the event affects the performance.” She expressed that no excuse of the authorities concerned would be acceptable to any sportsperson, in case of such a big events. She said this was the clear inefficiency on the part of them.

A businessman Mr Rajnesh Bedi was in favour of holding national games in time. He was of the view, “The state government is determined to lose this opportunity of holding the mega event. Postponing of the games would discourage the sportspersons and sports lover of the state and in other parts of the country. Being a sports lover and a sportsman, I am not interested in any excuse. I just want to witness the mega event here.”


New insect molecular biology lab
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 13
An insect molecular biology laboratory only of its kind in any agricultural university of the country has been established in the Department of Entomology, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. This laboratory is equipped with the latest state-of-art equipment. The mandate of the laboratory is to develop diagnostic tools and molecular kits to identify biotypes and insecticide resistant strains of crop pests.

The research is being undertaken by a team under the guidance of Dr V.K. Dhaliwal and Dr V.K. Gupta, both have experience in the fields of entomology and genetic engineering gained from extensive trainings at lead research institutes of Germany and USA. Within a short span of four months of its inception, the scientists have developed diagnostic tools for cotton leaf curl virus and cotton whitefly which inflicts major losses to cotton directly and also by acting as vector for cotton leaf virus.



Remember this martyr?
Manoj Kumar

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
We may be celebrating the Independence Day on the day after tomorrow, but the city has almost forgotten its hero, the defender of the Kashmir valley, Flt Lt Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon, the first Param Vir Chakra awardees of the Indian Air Force, whose statue has been lying in a dilapidated condition in a corner at the Mini-Secretariat for the past two years. A resident of Issewal village, about 15 km from here, Sekhon is said to be the only Param Vir Chakra awardee of the Indian Air Force.

Labourers and the villagers visiting the courts sit by his statue and play cards. On Sunday and on holidays, children play by climbing on the statue and the model aircraft standing nearby. The administration may remember the martyr officially on his death anniversary, but unofficially the martyr has been almost forgotten by the ungrateful city of Ludhiana.

The politicians and administration of that day had made big announcements to set up a suitable memorial in the memory of the hero. Sekhon had thwarted the attack of the Pakistan air force almost single-handedly in the 1971 war by destroying four planes. Today the city has almost forgotten its hero. The condition of the statue proves this point.

Initially the statue of the martyr had been installed at Samrala Chowk. About two years back, it was shifted to the present location. The panchayat of Sekhon's native village, his parents and colleagues had opposed the administration's decision to install the statue at the present place, as they had feared the younger generation would not be able to get any inspiration from the martyr.

Ms Jagnandan Kaur, sister-in law of Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon, said, "He gave up his life for the country. Now his statue is lying dumped in a corner without proper care. It should be either shifted to some suitable public place such as in front of the Verka milk plant or the administration should ensure proper care of the memorial by constructing steel mesh around it. It can be also shifted to the war memorial museum."

She said her mother-in- law, Ms Harbans Kaur, who died about two years back, had opposed the installation of the statue at the present place. Flt Lt Tirlok Singh (retd), Mr Sukhwinder Singh, father and brother of the martyr, respectively, had pleaded to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, along with the members of village panchayat a number of times to shift the statue to a suitable place or arrange its care in a proper manner, but to no avail.

Interestingly, Wing Comdr M.S. Randhwa, Deputy Director, District Sainik Welfare Board, is not in favour of the shifting of the statue. He said, "The statue was shifted from Samrala chowk due to increase in traffic. Now it has been installed at the second best place and we remember the martyr every year."

Born on July 16, 1945, Sekhon died on December 14, 1971, while defending the Kashmir valley. He was later awarded the Param Vir Chakra for his bravery in defending the country from the enemy forces. The ex-servicemen and a retired Commandant of the BSF had written a letter to the DC and the Deputy Director, District Sainik Welfare Board, to shift the statue to in front of the Verka milk plant or in front of some college.


Handicap is no handicap for this gutsy girl
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, August 13
Grit, firm resolution and a strong will power can help a person overcome severe physical handicaps to come out a cropper as in the case of Mohini Batta. Polio struck the delicate frame of Monica when she was just one year old in spite of polio drops having been administered to her. After an extensive treatment, she regained the use of her body torso upwards but the legs below the waist remain lifeless. When this correspondent met her she came on her low-wheel “patra” rolling with the help of her hands. She heaved herself up on the chair. She said her parents have ordered a special wheel chair for her.

When one door closes, the other door opens. Though the fate took away the power of walking from her but filled her mind with keen and sharp intelligence so much so that right from her childhood, she could copy the drawings from books very well. Her enlightened parents felt that Monica should be self-sufficient in spite of her handicap. She was not only encouraged to develop her art talent but the parents also provided her ample opportunities to complete her two postgraduation studies.

Monica says,” People have been very nice to me. They have never made me conscious of my handicap. I was rather scared when I had to go to Kurukshetra for teaching practice for my B.Ed examination. I had to stay in a hostel. Initially I was nervous but the girls there were very helpful and made me feel quite at home. I had got my legs operated in Jaipur and have got Jaipur foot. With the help of Jaipur foot, I can walk slowly and drive my special Kinetic scooter too.”

But her passion has been art. She kept engaging tutors to keep herself abreast with the latest techniques of paintings. She is currently teaching 27 kinds of paintings ranging from nib painting, ivory painting, making of golden tree with pearls and beads, pot painting, stained glass, traditional painting and many more popular styles of painting. During the summer vacation, she handled 150 students. She is teaching 50 students.

Monica says: “I have always had the courage to face my handicap. I always say to myself that if God has given me the handicap, he would give me the strength to bear it. I am fortunate to have parents who wanted me to stand on my own feet and be self-sufficient. I feel I am immensely lucky that I am self-sufficient. I can go out shopping on my scooter. My parents have ordered a car specially designed for the handicapped. I am very excited as the car would give me extreme mobility. My advise to my fellow handicaps is: “never give up”. Most of the time we, the handicapped, suffer from mental block. Once we overcome it, sky is the limit for us.

Rosy, her younger sister, said: “My sister has been an example of courage. I am always amazed at her enthusiasm. We organised two painting exhibitions of hers. Both were smashing hits. She executes paintings on orders. Many NRIs take her paintings with them when they go back. I am very proud of her.”

Monica’s grit and her courage to live with her handicap can be a source of inspiration to many like her.


Survey to locate stray dogs in villages mooted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
In order to check the menace of stray dogs in the rural areas, which has already claimed the life of a small baby, the district administration has decided to launch a massive search for these dogs in these areas. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr S K Sandhu, has directed the Animal Husbandry Department to complete the survey as early as possible, so that immediate remedial measures could be taken.

The orders have come in the wake of the killing of a two-year-old baby by stray dogs in Mullanpur village near here. The incident has created shock waves in the surrounding villages. It is not just the children, but even the grown ups who are keeping indoors and avoiding the dogs in the area.

In a similar incident a few months back, a youth, who was riding a scooter, was also seriously injured when some dogs pounced at him in the Sherpur area during the night. The dogs had brutally mauled him and he remained on the road in injured condition for the whole night. It was only in the morning that he was noticed lying unconscious by the passers-by.

Mr Sandhu said here today that he had also directed the Sub Divisional Magistrate concerned and the Deputy Director of the Animal Husbandry Department to visit the spot. He said, the two officials would submit their report within a couple of days.

He said, the preliminary investigations had revealed that most of these dogs remained around the animal flaying centres in the villages. In most of the villages there are specific spots where dead animals are left and flayed. The stray dogs feed on the dead animals there. These dogs are said to be most ferocious and violent.

The Deputy Commissioner said, the department has been asked to catch these dogs and get them medically examined and the follow up action would be taken subsequently. He also said, there can be a possibility of erecting fencing walls around the flaying centres to discourage the dogs from getting their. He said, all measures would be taken strictly in accordance with the Animal Protection Act, without causing any harm to the animals, but at the same time taking all precautions about the safety of the people so that the gruesome incidents like that in Mullanpur were not repeated.



Delay in sales tax notification resented
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 13
The Ludhiana Tractor Parts Manufacturers and Traders Association has lamented the delay in issuing notification regarding sales tax on tractor parts and has called upon the state government to take up the matter immediately.

Addressing the 3rd annual general body meeting of the association last evening, Mr Munshi Ram Malhotra, president, and Mr Jagdish Rai Monga, general secretary, observed that the government had already taken a decision in principle to do away with the policy of charging sales tax at first stage on tractor parts but inordinate delay in issuing the notification to this effect had caused widespread resentment among tractor parts manufacturers and traders.

In another resolution the association urged the state government to allocate separate area at a suitable place in existing or proposed Industrial Focal Points to the tractor parts manufacturers.

Mr Jagdish Rai Monga, while addressing the meeting, provided a detailed account of the working during the year and focussed on the future agenda in the wake of policies of globalisation and WTO regime. Among others, Mr Anoop Sagar, Mr Romesh Bhalla, Mr Prem Singh and Mr Balbir Singh Gulati spoke on the occasion.

Meanwhile, Mr Munshi Ram Malhotra and Mr Jagdish Rai Monga were unanimously re-elected president and general secretary, respectively, for another term.



Feng Shui items charm Ludhianavis
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 13
An exhibition of various good luck symbols and charms in on at Batra Hotel for those having faith in Feng Shui. The exhibition has been brought to the city by Mr Premjit Singh for the second time. However, the last time the exhibition had not received as warm a response as this time as more and more people have become interested in it now, he said.

As many as 300 items are on display. Mr Premjit says they are certified importers from the Chinese Republic and all artifacts are genuine.

Long bright red coloured ‘money bags’ at the entrance are among the many objects that can bring good fortune. The “pacua mirror” has a mirror on one side and on the other side is the symbol of Yin and Yang. The mirror has to be facing outside as it will not allow the negative energies to enter the house.

A very interesting object was a turtle on turtle. It protects the family from evil. A three-legged frog brings money into the house. It can be placed in the drawing room with its face towards the wall, but should be placed under some piece of furniture.

Laughing Buddha is a very popular symbol of good luck specially the one with arms stretched over the head.

A huge fish with a pearl in its mouth keeps the spirit of the family up, and is considered very auspicious. The favourite symbol of the Chinese — from where Feng Shui has originated — is the ‘dragon’.

It protects one from enemies and evil. Beautiful sparkling crystals in varying sizes dispel negative energies from the house and bring in good energies, romance and prosperity. A cute pair of love birds is supposed to bring harmony and romance. A money sword and three lucky Chinese coins strung in red ribbon protect the money in the house.

Mr Premjit said no mirrors should be hung in the bedroom as they create negative energies. A bowl full of salt should be placed in the window sill of the toilets to dispel the negative energies and if you want the boss to become kind and helpful, place the photograph of the boss in the North-West direction of your house.

According to him, the architect should be consulted and the costly items like big Chinese vases and other objects should be placed at the right place to maintain prosperity, wealth, health and good humour in the house.



Society’s appeal for blood
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 13
The Punjab Thalassaemics Welfare Society has appealed to the residents of the city to come forward and donate blood for the thalassaemic patients.

Mr J.S. Sohal, president of the society, said the society was formed in September 1999. It has been organising various camps with the cooperation of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital. The hospital has provided one doctor, nurse and an attendant to the society.

Mr Sohal said, “Blood transfusion is done every Tuesday and Saturday. The society has more than 80 patients from the different cities of Punjab. We are providing them help for transfusion of blood on nominal charges”. 



Residents concerned over rising population
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 13
The fact that the industrial hub of the state is also the largest populated city of Punjab and with the ever increasing influx of migrant population, the city was already bursting at the seams, was the focus of discussion at a meeting of The Ludhiana Welfare Society held here last evening.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr Manjit Singh Matharoo observed that the rise in city population, over the years, was a matter of great concern. With majority of city residents already deprived of basic civic amenities, the stepped up arrival of migrants from other states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, seeking employment in industry and agriculture sectors, would completely wreck the civic system. He said the proliferation of city population was also causing shrinkage of land under cultivation, which could in due course, create several serious problems.

Mr Matharoo lambasted the political parties, who, he said, were trying to draw political gains out of the alarming problem of migrant population. ‘‘The interests of local population are being sacrificed for the sake of migrants for the simple reason that certain political parties are out to consolidate their vote bank’’, he said.

Mr Sadhu Singh, senior vice-president of the society, referred to the general impression, which was corroborated by the police records, that with the rise in migrant population, the crime rate in the city had also increased. He said in the absence of proper identification documents, the anti-social elements from other states could easily get away and simply disappear without leaving a trace after committing crimes in the city. Mr Inderjit Hassanpuri, a noted filmmaker, suggested that the migrant workers should asked to bring identification documents from their native places before being employed here.

Prominent among those who attended the meeting were Mr Bhupinder Harsh, Mr Surinder Singh, Mr Ravinder Sohal, Mr Balbir Singh Khalsa, Mr Ashok Kumar, Mr Rohit Bhandari, Mr Chander Mukesh Thakur and Mr Santokh Singh Mann.



Cong begins spadework for poll
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
These are hectic days for the Congress. With nobody sure as when the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, will recommend elections in the state, the party leaders are not taking any chances lest’ they should be caught unawares. That probably explains the presence of two central observers here for the past one week. A senior leader and the All India Congress Committee treasurer, Mr Moti Lal Vohra, visited Ludhiana twice during this period. And he is scheduled to visit Ludhiana again on August 15.

According to sources in the District Congress Committee (DCC) the central observers are visiting different places, talking to people irrespective of their post or position and seeking their opinion about the functioning of the party leaders. This exercise is believed to be done for the purpose of selecting the probable candidates for the elections. Moreover, the observers are learnt to be identifying various issues to be raised during the elections.

Although the observers did not disclose how many people had come out with their applications for the tickets, they said, a number of probable candidates had approached them. Dr Ajit Anand Degvekar and Mr Ganga Ram Sharma, central observers for Ludhiana rural and urban, respectively, said that choosing the probable candidates was not their mission. “We just want to assess the situation here and to have a feedback from the grassroot workers and the common man and submit our report to the high command”, Dr Degvekar said.

Mr Sharma said they were also more concerned about identifying the issues which would appeal to the local people. “We want to raise those issues with which the common man will identify himself”, he said.

They said people wanted candidates with a clean image as they were fed up with corruption and other malpractices. “They (people) seem to have great expectations from the Congress and the party will not let them down”, Dr Degvekar said.

Although the observers refused to disclose as to how many candidates had so far approached them with their claims for the ticket, it is learnt that for each constituency there were not less than 10 candidates and even more. The observers have to make it clear to all such aspirants that they have not come here for shortlisting of candidates, but for studying the mood and atmosphere.


Two die in road mishaps
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 13
Two persons have died while five other received injuries in road accidents in the past 20 hours at Doraha.

According to sources, Swaran Singh, a resident of Rampur village, died on the spot when the scooter he was driving was hit by a car (PB-11R-8778) coming from Patiala. Ms Palwinder Kaur who was riding pillion with the deceased was injured and admitted to a local hospital. Mr K.R. Rawal, Mr Sati Rawal and Mr Rajesh Rawal occupants of the car were also injured in the incident and admitted to the local Sidhu Hospital. The accident took place at Kaddon Chowk on Sunday. A case has been registered by the police.

In another incident, Vinod Kumar (8), native of Sultanpur in Madhya Pradesh, was killed when a speeding vehicle hit him while he was playing near the road.

In yet another incident, a tanker carrying charcoal fell into the Sirhind canal on Sunday. High beam lights from an incoming vehicle allegedly stunned the driver leading to the accident. The driver received minor injuries while the other two occupants of the truck managed to escape unhurt.



Cong lashes out at Punjab Govt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The leaders of the District Congress Committee today criticised the SAD-BJP government in the state for its alleged corrupt practices and called upon the workers to ensure that this government was shown the door in the forthcoming Assembly elections. They also claimed that only the Congress could provide a corruption-free government in the state.

The meeting was presided over by the District Congress Committee (urban) president, Mr Surinder Dawer. It was attended among others by the central observer for Ludhiana (urban), Mr Ganga Ram Sharma, the PCC General Secretary Mr Nahar Singh Gill, the chairman of the PCC Labour and Employment Cell, Mr K.K. Bawa, a former minister, Mr Milkat Singh Dhaka, the local MP Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, and senior leaders, Mr Jeevan Dhawan, Ms Bajinder Kaur and Ms Harbans Kaur.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Ganga Ram Sharma announced that the party would organise programmes at the block level. He said separate meetings would be organised in each of the 15 blocks of the district to strengthen the grassroot level party network. He exhorted upon party workers to rise to the occasion and ensure that the party was voted to power in the next elections.

Mr Dawer claimed that the party workers were in an upbeat mood and hoped that it would be translated into electoral victory. He said the party was completely united and all the leaders and workers were working together to ensure that the party emerged victorious. He claimed that the party had taken a lead in exposing the corrupt practices of the state government and had mobilised the masses.

Addressing the meeting, Mr Nahar Singh Gill lashed out at the SAD-BJP government. He said the government had crossed all limits and had set new records in corruption. He expressed confidence that the Congress would come to power as the people were fed up with the government.


Frame policy on youth: BJYM
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 13
The Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) will ask the Union Government to frame a policy for youth. The front organisation of the ruling BJP will also prepare a charter of demands on behalf of the youth and a ‘code of conduct’ for them.

This was disclosed by Mr Ajay Partap Singh, national convener of the Constructive Cell of the party, here today. Addressing a news conference after a meeting of the state executive, office-bearers and district presidents, he maintained that the BJYM did not believe in the quota system for youth in the allotment of party tickets. However, the party had always given preference to the youth and a large number of councillors, legislators and Members of Parliament from the BJP were from among the youth, he added.

The state president of the BJYM, Mr Sukhwinder Pal Singh Grewal, the vice-president of state unit of the BJP, Mr Balbir Chand Kapila and the district president of the BJYM, Mr Kamal Chatley were also present on the occasion.

Mr Ajay Partap Singh further said that the next annual session of the BJYM would be held in Agra on October 3 and 4 and nearly 50,000 delegates from all over the country are expected to participate. The Union Home Minister, Mr Lal Krishan Advani, would inaugurate the session, while the concluding function would be presided over by the Prime Minister Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee.


Cong flays police inaction
Our Correspondent

Samrala, August 13
Workers of the Congress led by Mr Ishar Singh Meharban, general secretary of the PPCC, took out a huge rally in front of the old tehsil courts complex here today. The workers protested against the failure of the police to arrest the murderers of Sukhdev Singh Mangewal, former vice-president of the DCC.

The speakers flayed the Punjab government for not pursuing the case. Mr Amrik Singh Dhillon, the local MLA, was conspicuous by his absence.


Woman booked for cheating
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 13
The police of division No. 2 has registered a case of cheating against a woman of Field Ganj. Mr Amarjit Singh, a resident of the same locality, complained to the police that the accused, Asha Rani, took Rs 2 lakh from him on interest under a written agreement. But now the accused was refusing to repay the money or the interest thereof, thus committing a criminal breach of trust and fraud. The economic offences wing of the police has registered a case under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC.

Gamblers held

Mohan Lal alias Sonnu, son of Mr Sita Ram, Sanjay Kumar, son of Mr Suresh Kumar, Joginder Singh, son of Mr Kishan Singh, Gurmukh Singh, son of Mr Gurbachan Singh, all residents of Killa mohalla, were arrested by the police while they were busy gambling at the Daresi grounds. A case under Sections 13,3 and 67 of the Gambling Act has been registered.

In another case, an amount of Rs 175, along with a pack of playing cards, were seized from Pawan Kumar, son of Mr Om Parkash of Surinder nagar, Sukhwinder Singh alias Gandhi, son of Mr Avtar Singh of Killa mohalla, during special checking. A case under the Gambling Act has been registered against the accused.

Liquor seized

The Model town police yesterday arrested Rakesh Kumar, a migrant from UP, and seized 11 bottles of illicit liquor from his possession. The seizure was made at a special naka at the Dugri bridge. The accused has been booked under the Excise Act.


Eve-teaser beats up cop
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 13
The city police booked boy for teasing a girl on the Gaushala road near the Shiva temple yesterday and later assaulting a constable when he was stopped from doing so.

On the complaint of Mr Sarwan Kumar, a constable posted at the police division number 2 police station, a case under Sections 294, 353, 332 and 186 of the IPC has been registered against Ravinder Pal Singh, son of Mr Harbhajan Singh of Dhokan mohalla near Shingar Cinema.

According to the FIR, the accused attacked the constable when the latter tried to stop him from teasing a girl on the road.

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