Wednesday, October 3, 2001, Chandigarh, India

 

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


 

Banks put on alert
Real-like fake notes in circulation
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
Banks and the other financial institutions of the state, particularly those in this district, have been put on alert following the busting of fake-currency rackets at Khanna and Ludhiana. Though the interrogation of those who have been arrested has not established the involvement of a foreign hand in the rackets so far, the police has not ruled out such a possibility.

Sources in the police said, after failing to cause disturbance in the state, the ISI-backed terrorist organisations were trying to cripple the country’s economy by circulating fake currency in the market. They said, though the racketeers were operating on a small scale, such nexuses could easily spread out.

The CIA wing of the Ludhiana police has arrested two persons with about fake notes of Rs 55,000 with the seized wads including notes of Rs 50 to Rs 500 denominations. The two persons who were arrested yesterday from an undisclosed place in the city possessed a computer and a scanner for printing fake currency. A police official said the gang was local and its two other members operating in Mahmadpur village near Mandi Ahmedgarh were yet to be arrested. However, sources said a Ludhiana police squad had already arrested these persons in a raid. Those who have been arrested are Devinder Singh and Gurbachan Singh, residents of Amritsar.

The police said the gang members used to scan real currency notes and print these on a hard paper. After this the fake currency used to be circulated among small shopkeepers and roadside vendors because they could not pick out the difference easily.

The Khanna police recently busted a more complex network of such elements with the arrest a man with fake notes of Rs 4.5 lakh. Mr R.N. Dhoke, Senior Superintendent of Police at Khanna, said the arrested man had confessed to receiving the fake notes from Dubai, so, the possibility of a foreign hand could not be ruled out. The links are difficult to establish because the man, in spite of being a history-sheeter, is new to this trade. He is learnt to have given the police clues to the whereabouts of some of his fellow tradesmen who operate from New Delhi.

Mr Dhoke said the police was on a maximum alert as the seized fake notes were almost identical to the real currency. The notes were printed on a fine-quality paper.

According to the police, the busted networks are only a tip of the iceberg and more such local and international racketeers are active in the state. While the local gangs take the help of new technology and use computers and scanners to print fake notes, the international racketeers use ultra-modern heavy machines to print fake currency outside the country and smuggle it into India.
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Near-total bandh in Ludhiana
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
A near total bandh was observed in Ludhiana today in response of a bandh call given by the Shiromani Akali Dal (Panthic Morcha) to protest against the burning of the Birs in different parts of the state and the inaction of the government to arrest and punish the culprits.

Minor skirmishes between the supporters of the bandh and some shopkeepers and businessmen who did not want to observe bandh were reported from some parts of the city and the police had to intervene to prevent the situation from taking an ugly turn.

Right from the morning the supporters of the bandh brandishing naked swords and other weapons moved around various markets of the city forcing the shopkeepers and other businessmen to keep their establishments closed. Although they did not meet any resistance at most of the places, as the police also preferred not to intervene, there was a scuffle between some shopkeepers and the bandh supporters.

The morcha activists also took out a procession from Gurdwara Akalgarh in Chaura Bazar. It passed through different parts of the city and concluded at the gurdwara only. The protesters were raising slogans against the controversial sect leader, Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara, and the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. They alleged that Mr Badal was trying to shield him.

The police also detained two youths in the area falling under Division Number 6. The youths were forcing the shopkeepers to down their shutters. The morcha activists also alleged that the police manhandled Mr Devinder Singh, son of senior leader, Mr Surjan Singh Thekedar, outside Gurdwara Akalgarh when he was enforcing the bandh.

Later, talking to reporters, the Panthic Morcha leaders, including Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal and Mr Charan Singh Lohara, accused the government of inaction. Mr Grewal also thanked the people of Ludhiana for showing the traditional communal harmony and giving undisputed support to the bandh.

Mr Grewal also demanded an amendment in the Indian Penal Code, seeking capital punishment (death) for any person convicted of any sacrilegious act. Those responsible for burning the Birs should be booked under Section 302 of the IPC as they deserved to be hanged for having hurt the religious sentiments of millions of people, he said. He demanded: “Sacrilege of any religion should invite capital punishment so that nobody dares to hurt the religious sentiments of any people”.

Another morcha leader Mr Charan Singh Lohara while extending his thanks to the people of Ludhiana for supporting the bandh criticised the government for not taking any action against those responsible for burning of Birs. He said: “While the government transferred the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation Commissioner within hours of the demolition of a disputed structure, it is yet to take any action against the culprits responsible for burning of Birs”. However, Mr Lohara condemned the act of demolition and said any such act of desecration needed to be condemned in strongest words.

The morcha leaders were jubilant and excited over the success of the bandh as they had wanted to checkmate the ruling Akali Dal-BJP, which would claim a strong hold over the city, particularly after BJP managed to close down the city and get the controversial Municipal Commissioner, Dr S.S. Sandhu, transferred from Ludhiana after the demolition of a disputed structure outside the Durga Mata Mandir Temple.

Today’s bandh was more of a challenge to the BJP’s supremacy over the city than anything else. Otherwise why should Panthic Morcha call for the bandh in Ludhiana only, when the sentiments of the people of entire state were hurt over the burning of birs and also when there is already a call for Punjab bandh on October 6 on the same issue?
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SGPC says arrest culprits, maintain calm
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 2
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has condemned the incidents of sacrilege against Guru Granth Sahib and urged the Badal government to punish the miscreants.

Participants at a meeting of the Dharam Prachar Committee of the SGPC in Gurdwara Alamgir near here blamed the supporters of Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara for the “anti-Panth” activities that had “hurt the religious sentiments” of the Sikh community. Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, President of the SGPC, attended the meeting. The others who were there included Giani Gurdit Singh, Dr Darshan Singh, Sant Hardev Singh, Sant Vir Singh Maddoke and Mr Joginder Singh Ahirwan.

In a resolution adopted at the meeting, the SGPC asked its members to maintain vigil at all places of worship to prevent miscreants from creating communal tension.

The Dharam Prachar Committee of the SGPC said there was a conspiracy to disturb the hard-won peace and communal harmony in Punjab. It urged the masses to fail the evil designs of the “anti-Panth forces” and defend the sanctity of Guru Granth Sahib.

An emergency meeting of the District Akali Jatha (urban) was held in Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha of Model Town extension here. At the meeting, the acting President of the jatha, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, condemned the recent act of sacrilege at Tarkhan Majra village and demanded that those responsible for it be charged with murder.

Mr Makkar asked the masses to remain calm in the face of provocations and maintain communal harmony. He urged all activists of the party to convene meetings of managing committees of all gurdwaras and the other Sikh bodies to discuss the security of gurdwaras.
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AISSF (U) calls for end to ‘Bir’ burning
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 2
The All India-Sikh Students Federation ( United) today urged the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to ensure that no more ‘birs’ were burnt in the state and that there was no repetition of circumstances which prevailed in 1978.

In a joint press release by Mr Gurdip Singh Leel, member, high-level planning committee of the federation, and Mr Kamaljeeit Singh Grewal, another federation leader, said both the Punjab Government as well as the Central Government should ensure the registration of criminal cases under Section 302 of the IPC against anyone desecrating pious books.

The leaders further said that all Punjabis, even those living abroad, had been greatly shaken by the current burning of the holy ‘birs’ all over the state and they were agitated against the Punjab Government for not taking appropriate measures to stop the same.

The federation leaders also warned that if circumstances prevailing in 1978 were repeated as a result of government inaction, the state, which has already suffered a lot due to militancy, would again be plunged into days of terrorism.
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Gandhi Jayanti celebrated in schools
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 2
National group song competitions, painting contests, quizzes and speeches marked the Gandhi Jayanti celebrations in city schools today.

The Bharat Vikas Parishad, organised national of group song competitions at two schools. At Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, over eight schools and colleges affiliated with the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) participated in the senior group and five schools participated in the junior group. In the junior group, students from Springdale Public School presented the song, ‘Apni dharti apna ambar’; BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Focal Point, team sang ‘Koti koti kanthon ne gaya’, the team from USPC Jain School presented the song, ‘Bada desh hai badi samsaya’ and KVM students sang ‘Lakshya na ojhal hone paye’.

Finally, students from Guru Nanak International Public School was declared first in the junior team, followed by the students from BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, and DAV Public School, BRS Nagar. In the senior group, students from the Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women bagged the first prize, followed by the teams from BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, and the Arya College for Women.

A similar contest was also held at Atam Public School where students from schools affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) participated. In the junior group, students from RS Model Senior Secondary School received the first prize and New SMD Senior Secondary School team won the second prize. The teams from Defence Public School and Shanti Niketan Adarsh Vidyalaya were bracketed together for the third prize. Again in the senior group, students from RS Model Senior Secondary School and New SMD Public School were declared first and second, respectively. Third prize went to Jain Public School students who presented the song, ‘Jinse meine seekh liya’.

Mr Suresh Mehndi Ratta, Ms Balbir Kaur, Ms Sukhjit Kaur, Mr Vidya Sagar Rampal and Mr Devdidar, all artists, formed the panel of judges. Mr Rakesh Gupta, president of the parishad, Mr Kewal Bansal, secretary, and Mr Amritvir Singh Makkar, project in charge, were present during the contests.

The Private School Welfare Association organised a painting competition at Haibowal where over 200 students from 15 private schools of the area participated. Students from Classes I to IV painted the national flag, group II students from Classes V to VIII painted slogans of ‘Be Honest’ and ‘Jai jawan jai kisan’ and group III students from Classes IX to X painted the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi.

At S.K.N. Model High School, Tilak Nagar, a brief cultural programme was organised which included poetry recitation on Mahatma Gandhi by the tiny tots. Ms Sakshi, Ms Ritu, Ms Dulari Kaura and Ms Ravi Kapoor, all teachers of the school, narrated the anecdotes from the life of Father of the Nation. Mr K.D. Arora, Principal, told the students to follow the path of truth and non-violence.

At Springdale Public School, students and teachers sang patriotic songs, recited poems and delivered short speeches on the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Besides, a quiz contest based on the life of Gandhiji and other national heroes was also conducted. Ms Avinash Kaur, Director, urged the students to follow the path envisaged by our national leaders.

Besides, the District Congress Sewa Dal held a ceremony to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi. Mr Sushil Prashar, chief organiser, Mr Kulwant Singh, district in charge, Ms Gurpreet Kaur, in charge of the women wing, were present on the occasion.

FATEHGARH SAHIB: A large number of Congress activists and Congress Sewa Dal workers led by Dr Harbans Lal, MLA, today organised a function at G.T. Road, Sirhind, and celebrated the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Addressing the gathering, Dr Harbans Lal urged the people to follow the path shown by Mahatma Gandhi.

Earlier, a two-minute silence was observed as mark of respect to Madhavrao Scindia, a senior Congress leader. They also condemned the burning of “Birs” at Tarkhan Majra and urged the government to arrest the culprits.
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FOLLOW-UP
Changed face of Gandhi’s memorial
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
Over 50-year-old memorial erected in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi at Phillaur on the banks of Sutlej has got a new lease of life as the Phillaur civil administration along with activists of the Punjab Pradesh Congress and noted Gandhians of the region cleaned up the memorial premises to prepare it for a function to pay homage to the Father of the Nation.

However, it remains to be seen whether the memorial would be maintained regularly or like the past, the administration would spruce it up on the birth and death anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and then forget about it.

The civil administration’s action coincides with a Ludhiana Tribune report which gave details about the neglected condition of the memorial.

A pained and concerned Gandhian, Mr Brij B. Goyal, informed Ludhiana Tribune today that the matter was reported to the authorities in the past also but nothing was done. Earlier, on the ashes immersion day (February 12), people from various villages assembled at the place and paid homage to the great leader and even offered spun yarn at the memorial, he added.

The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee organised the main function at the memorial today morning. An impressive public meeting was held in which a ‘sarvdharam’ prayer meeting was organised. Mr Charanjit Singh Channi, Member Parliament, presided over the function. Mr Gurbinder Singh Atwal, General Secretary, PPCC, the organiser of the function, while speaking on the occasion deplored the pathetic attitude of the government towards the memorial.

Mr Channi called upon the people to remember the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi and also criticised the local administration for ignoring the place. He demanded that a link road connecting the memorial to the GT Road be constructed for the convenience of the people.

Others who spoke on the occasion were Mr Amarjit Singh Samra, President, DCC, Jalandhar, Dr Lekh Raj Sharma and Mr Preet Kamal Advocate. The speakers demanded that the memorial be converted into a research centre for the Gandhian thought.
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Is transfer of Sandhu a victory for politicians?
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
The transfer of the Municipal Commissioner, Dr S.S. Sandhu, is being viewed as a victory by various parties. But all that transpired after the demolition episode has caused a serious setback to the image of these persons in public minds. A closer look into the whole episode raises the question that for how many more times would the city be held to ransom by such sentiments?

While the controversy over the demolition of the alleged illegal structures of a city temple goes on despite the transfer of the Commissioner and a police officer, those who had witnessed the entire show are unable to overcome certain disturbing scenes that seem to have been etched permanently on one’s mind. The scene describes that contrary to the popular belief of highhandedness of the police, there were incidents that seek to narrate a tell-tale story of completely different version of the event.

A car carrying a pregnant woman in acute labour pains was not allowed to pass through the dharna despite requests by accompanying relatives. A police officer tried to intervene but was abused and pushed around. It was disheartening to note that people who claimed to be the saviours of the sentiments of public had no empathy with the woman. The car had to ultimately approach a different road.

While some persons in the crowd were trying to stop the people from turning violent, whereas some self-styled leaders known for their criminal background were openly provoking the agitators. Some of these were even instigating minor children, mainly rag- pickers, to pelt stones at the police.

In a similar disturbing incident, a policeman who was on the night duty, which was extended till afternoon due to disturbed circumstances, finally took leave from his officers as he had to bring his children from a school. He tried to pass the dharna from a corner but was mobbed by agitators. He suffered head injuries after being hit by a stone.

While the protesters were busy with the agitation, they perhaps did not realise that the act was causing inconvenience to thousands of persons who had nothing to do with the demolition.

One may not be amazed to see the intensity of the protest but what was more amazing was the fact that young children were accompanying their fathers, who were encouraging their children to raise slogans.

Interestingly, some of the political leaders who issued statements the next day to maintain peace and harmony were the ones who were seen reaching the spot with hundreds of supporters.

Number of leaders with criminal background were spearheading the agitation and were provoking minors to pelt stones at policemen. They were even seen manning the stage and speaking loudly to provoke the hundreds of persons which had assumed the form of a mob.

In another case an old woman, who was limping, reached the temple from an adjoining colony. The moment she reached near the temple she saw protesters pelting stones at the police. She ran towards the Jagraon bridge with a great difficulty. She was then escorted by a cop who left her at a distance from the mob.
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Transfer of MC Commissioner condemned
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
The Punjab Agricultural University Employees Union has condemned the transfer of the Commissioner of Municipal Corporation, Dr S.S. Sandhu, after the demolition incident and demanded that the order of his transfer should be revoked immediately.

The president of the union, Mr D.P. Maur, in a press statement issued here today said that the Commissioner had done the right thing by demolishing the illegal structure of the temple which was being encroached upon by the management committee of the temple. He further said that while he had done his duty, the management became instrumental in pressurising the government to transfer him under the garb of religious sentiments.

Mr Maur further said that the government by bowing under the pressure has set a wrong precedence which would encourage more illegal structures in the city. He demanded that the encroachments, be it religious, private or public, should not be allowed at any cost.

The president also said that this was a daring step by Dr Sandhu who chose not to compromise on this issue like many other officers. Stating many development schemes implemented by the Commissioner, Mr Maur said such daring officers should be encouraged and be given a free hand.
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Sandhu to be honoured
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 2
Prof Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation floated by Mr Jagdev Singh Jassowal, has decided to honour the outgoing Municipal Corporation Commissioner, Dr S.S.Sandhu, with the Dr Mohinder Singh Randhawa Memorial Great Panjabi award.

The decision was taken at an emergency meeting of the foundation here today, according to a foundation press release. The award would be given to Dr Sandhu at the 23rd Prof Mohan Singh Memorial international cultural festival to be held in the city in the near future, the release added.
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LUDHIANA CALLING

COME October and the city is agog with festival-related activities. While the cityfolk in general look forward to a happy Dasehra and Divali, various mela mafias in the city look forward to minting as much money as possible by employing every possible trick in the trade. Number one source of their income is from the ‘ring stalls’ where people are lured into winning a fancy soap cake or a 20-rupee note wrapped around a cassette cover by throwing the ring around the object in such a way as satisfies the ring stall operator. School children and the gullible buy and throw ring after ring only to get disappointment in return. Nobody returns a winner in this game.

Then, the second best money spinners are the variety shows where girls gyrate their hips with all the vulgarity on a stage which, with cardboard fittings on all sides, gives the appearance of a big TV screen. These variety shows which hardly last 20 minutes or so are great money spinners for the mela mafia. Public land is rented out for exorbitant amounts by the mela mafia bosses. The fee they charge from various stall operators also includes protection money.

Though Dasehra is still weeks away, mela activity in the Focal Point has already started. Swings are being put in place, to begin with, some of which have also started doing business. It won’t be long before we have the ring stalls and variety shows.

Dyed chicks

Even as we celebrated the World Animal Day on Tuesday, much is left to be done to take care of animals. Several people who are found guilty of harming the animals are allowed to go scotfree. Last Friday when a man selling dyed chicks was nabbed by the People for Animals (see picture) and handed over to the police, the man was set free with a warning and his chicks were seized. The chicks dyed in such a manner usually die after two days as the harmful toxicants that attract the eyes of customers reduce their lives to two to three days.

Precious time

At the end of every function, the person proposing the vote of thanks always expresses gratitude to the chief guest for sparing his/ her valuable time out of his busy schedule. Generally the chief guests arrive late, more so if they are politicians. At times 1000 people come to attend the function, taking out time from their busy life, and have to wait for an hour. If one totals the time of people that was wasted waiting for the chief guest, it turns out to be staggering 60x1000= 60,000 minutes which comes to be more than 100 days. This does not include the time spent at the function. Imagine the time wasted of the people who otherwise could have utilised it doing a number of chores. Whose time is more precious?

Relax doctors

The other day Mr. Raghu Rai was presenting a ‘slide show’ of a few of his famous works in Dumra Auditorium, which is located in Dayanand Medical College & Hospital. The function was attended by medical students and doctors of the hospital, among others. A doctor was asked to introduce Raghu Rai to the audience. The funny thing was that the stethoscope was slung carelessly over his shoulders. Turning around one noticed many a doctor had draped the stetho. One knows that doctors are busy , but at cultural functions , they could dispense with their stethos or do they like to assure the audience they are always at the service of people or are they showing off that they are finally doctors after hard studies? They should learn to relax and shake off their stethos and be themselves.

Don’t laugh

While on the one hand the city police is apprehending those drinking at public places and roadside dhabas and confiscating liquor bottle, water jug and glasses etc, the lowly ranked cops and hawaldars continue to drink by the roadside at fast food rehris and so on. Sentinel keeps noticing from time to time incidents of roadside drinking by the city cops, irrespective of the time of the day. Only the other day, rather night, a couple of cops made quite a scene at the busy intersection on Metro Road in the Focal Point area. Occupying the lone table put up by a rehriwallah selling eggs, soup and noodles, they ordered boiled eggs to go with their drinks. One of the cops appeared to be tipsier than his colleague. At the end of it all, however , they drove away on their scooter but not before asking a migrant rickshaw-puller standing nearby to stop laughing. The migrant was quick to purse his lips. In his opinion, which the tipsier cop expressed in a style peculiar of the inebriated, Punjab could not be happy unless the bhayyas stopped laughing. The hapless rehriwallah stood mutely as he did not dare ask for the money they owed him.

Loudspeakers

The orders banning the use of loudspeakers in the city were given two hoots by followers of Panthic Morcha, who made good use of them in their procession on three-wheelers as part of the Ludhiana bandh in protest against the burning of Birs. (Guru Granth Sahib). The participants in the procession were using abusive language on the loudspeakers against the CM,and Baba Piara Singh, allegedly involved in the case. Some of the shopkeepers alleged that they were threatened, manhandled and thrashed by some of the hooligans in the mob, though leaders tried to pacify the rowdy youth. One of the shopkeepers asked? “Don’t we have any administration in the city to stop the use of loudspeakers in this manner? Will we have to witness the old days again?’’

Plight of women

The other day a family of migratory labourers employed in the construction of roads was returning home. It was seen the men had staffs in their hands and were practically running. The women folk could not keep pace. They were pleading with their men to go slow as they were tired but their pleas were falling on deaf ears. Finally in desperation, the women were taking off their ‘jutties’ while walking fast. In her haste, a woman tripped and cried out in pain for help. But the heartless men did not even once look behind to help her. Finally groaning with pain, the hapless woman picked herself up with great difficulty and limped off.

National Anthem

It appears as if the National Anthem no longer inspires national pride. Now it has become more or less a play to be played by anyone, on any occasion in order to attract public attention. At a fashion show which was organised recently to promote a cosmetics company, a working journalist of a leading Hindi daily who was the compere invited the persons having knowledge about the National Anthem on to the stage. But the gentleman did not even know that the National Anthem (Rashtriya Gaan) and National Song (Rashtriya Geet) were two different things.

A wrist-watch as a gift for the person who would come on the stage and recite the National Anthem was announced. Soon three gentlemen hurried to the stage as the prize was to be given on a first-come first-serve basis.

But after viewing beautiful girls and handsome guys on the ramp, the audience were not in mood to listen and sing the National Anthem. With the result, it was not well received. Immediately, after the National Anthem was over, male and female models resumed the seductive proceeding of the show.

Sentinel

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Cong men mourn Scindia’s death
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 2
A pall of gloom descended on the Congress circles here as the news of tragic death of senior party leader Madhav Rao Scindia was received. The District Congress Committee (Urban) held a meeting in the Congress Bhavan here to mourn the death of their leader.

Addressing the party activists, the DCC President, Mr Surinder Dawar, expressed shock and grief at the irreparable loss in the sudden death of Madhav Rao Scindia. He said the party had lost a dynamic leader with a clean image and mass appeal. The party workers observed two minutes silence to pay homage to the departed leader and prayed to the almighty to bestow peace upon his soul.

Among others present at the meeting were Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Dewan Jagdish Chander, former MLA, Dr Harbans Kaur, Mr Varinder Gandhi, Mr Chander Shekhar Sahota, Mr Balraj Singh Sekhon, Mr Parveen Grover, Dr Amarjit Singh, Mr Subhash Kharbanda, Ms Baljinder Kaur, councillor, Mr Mela Ram Mela, councillor, Mr Rajan Shukla, Mr Tej Pal Parashar, Mr Mohan Lal Rajasthani, councillor, Mr Kala Hans and Mr Krishan Lal Malhotra.

In another prayer meeting organised by Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, Chairman, Labour and Employment Cell of the PPCC, the Congress functionaries expressed grief on the tragic death of Madhav Rao Scindia.

Mr Prem Mittal, Chairman, Industry and Trade Cell of the PPCC, Mr Pawan Diwan, Chairman, Urban Development Cell of the Indian Youth Congress, Mr Manjit Singh Malerkotla, office secretary, PPCC, Mr Sushil Malhotra, Mr Gurbhej Chhabra and Mr Jagdev Singh Jasowal, former MLA, among others paid homage to Mr Scindia. Those present in the meeting observed two minutes silence in remembrance of the departed leader.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Union of Journalists held a meeting under the presidentship of Mr Harjinder Singh Lal to mourn the tragic death of four mediapersons, accompanying Mr Madhav Rao Scindia to cover a Congress Party function in Kanpur. While expressing their heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved families, they urged the government to grant a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the families of the deceased journalists. Mr Ashok Singhi, Secretary, National Union of Journalists, also expressed deep sense of shock and grief at the demise of four journalists, along with senior Congress leader Madhav Rao Scindia.
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Implement accepted demands: pensioners
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
The Punjab State Pensioners’ Confederation organised a dharna here yesterday to protest against the non-implementation of the demands that the government had already accepted.

Addressing the meeting, Mr B.R. Kaushal, district president of the association, said, “Capt Kanwaljit Singh declared on April 25, that the government would accept their demands including increase of pension in 5 per cent and 10 per cent at the age of 65 and 75 years, respectively, instead of 70 and 80 years.”

Other demands accepted by the minister were grant of 0.5 per cent increase in basic pension on every half-yearly service over the qualifying service of 33 years, merger of 97 per cent D.A. as on July 1, 1973, into the basic pay for determination of death-cum-retirement gratuity and allowing of 50 per cent pension on the last pay drawn in revised pay scales of January 1, 1996, on the Central Government pattern, he added.

The Himachal Pensioner’s Kalyan Sangh, a state-level pensioners body, represented by its president Mr B.D. Sharma and general secretary Mr Vishnu Dev Sharma, Ex-servicemen League represented by Col Bhag Singh Tiara, Col H.S. Kahlon, PVC, Major H.S. Neelon and all India Railway Pensioners Federation represented by its working president also supported the Punjab pensioners’ demands. Later a 15-points demand charter was submitted to Mr S.K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana.
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