Thursday, November 22, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Games fail to draw crowds
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
While about 10,000 athletes from across the country have converged on Punjab to participate in various sports disciplines, local residents seem to be too indifferent to this event.

The inaugural event had a packed Guru Nanak Stadium, albeit with most of it being filled by students brought from different schools. The subsequent days have been disappointing. While the organisers may not need to be blamed, they should own the responsibility in bringing the event closer to the people.

The general perception among people associated with the event is that not much publicity has been was given to it. During the inaugural function many persons were left out. Gurbhajan Gill, a Punjabi poet, whose theme song was presented by singer Hans Raj, Hans was not invited to the function.

Gill said the administration should have at least managed to ask management and teachers of schools in rural areas to make arrangements for showing the students these games. “If they can do it on the inaugural day, why cannot they do it on other days”, he asked.

There was no sporting event on the inaugural day and thousands of students were summoned to fill the stadium. It was not for showing them the cultural programme, but to ensure a good audience for the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, who declined to deliver a speech there.

The people do not seem to be interested in watching the events on television. A random survey revealed that a number of persons did not know that the National Games were being organised in Ludhiana.

The controversy over the suspension of top Indian cricketers in South Africa also could not have come at a bad time. While scores of scribes had descended here to cover the event, most of the sports space seemed to have been grabbed by this controversy. 



Thank God everything is all right: Milkha
Tribune News Service

Milkha Singh while lighting the National Games torch. — Photo by Rajesh Bhambi

Ludhiana, November 21
The Flying Sikh, Milkha Singh is a relieved man. So is his wife Ms Nirmal Milkha Singh, after he had a providential escape while lighting the National Games torch at the inauguration of the XXXI National Games. While commenting on the incident Milkha Singh, without blaming anything on anyone said, “thank God everything is all right”.

The Flying Sikh had a narrow escape when, while posing for photographers near the cauldron, gas was release and the flames jumped out of it. These flames almost trapped Milkha Singh. However, his quick reflexes saved from any major injuries.

Though he appeared to be tense, yet he remained hail and hearty all through the cultural extravaganza that was so well presented by the artists drawn from different parts of the state. The eyewitnesses said, the laces of his shows did catch fire but he managed to put them off instantly.

However, the great sportsman as he is, he did not lose courage but his fans could not wait and they rushed to enquire about his welfare. As he was safe and sound everyone heaved a sigh of relief. Milkha Singh did not allow any hue and cry to be raised, lest it might have created a bad taste during the colourful cultural programme.

Mr Teja Singh Dhaliwal, the general secretary of the Punjab Basketball Association, who is also a close friends of the Flying Sikh, was among the first to reach there. He said, it was probably due to some confusion that the gas operator released the gas to cauldron in advance. Heaving a sigh of relief, he remarked, “all is well that ends well”.



NCC cadets on National Games’ duty
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 21
While most college students are sitting relaxed at their homes and enjoying their holidays, over 100 NCC volunteers from these colleges are diligently performing their duties at Guru Nanak Stadium and Punjab Agricultural University, the two venues for the National Games.

The volunteers are working at the reception of the two venues, serving water and tea to the arriving teams, guiding and escorting the players and other VIPs to the grounds, looking after the parking lot and providing similar assistance to the teams. The students are working in three shifts of four hours each. While the morning and evening shifts are being managed by the boys, the girls perform duties at the afternoon shift.

Shilpa Sharma, NCC volunteer at Guru Nanak Stadium, from Sanatan Dharam Pracharak College for Women, said that 13 girls from the college were assigned various duties at the reception. “We have been working since November 16 when the teams with their coaches started pouring in. We were assigned duties at the reception set up for the arriving teams at the railway station,” the girls said.

Sukhjeet Pal Singh, under-officer of the NCC air wing at SCD Government College, said, “We were relatively more busy on November 18 and November 19 as we were assigned duties at railway platforms, receiving the players, escorting them to reception and then to the venues or their hostels. Now, we sit at the reception, provide them the required information and answer other telephonic queries”.

The volunteers from GGN Khalsa College were working in the parking lot. Students from Khalsa College for Women and Master Tara Singh Memorial College were also seen performing their duties at the stadium and PAU grounds.



Punjabi cuisine a hit with participants
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
It is not only the Punjabi hospitality that has left a mark on the minds of the participants of the National Games who have came from all over the country, but the Punjabi cuisine is also tickling their palates. The attraction for Punjabi food is so much that the stalls of south Indian food hardly have any takers. Some of the caterers are now in the process of arranging ‘makki di roti and sarson da saag’ for the non-Punjabis as the demand for this famous Punjabi food if growing rapidly.

A survey of various PAU hostels last night, where the sportspersons are putting up, has revealed that the Punjabi food was in great demand. This has left the organisers surprised as they had made special arrangements for south Indian delicacies.

The participants are fondly feeding on ‘paranthas’ and ‘chana bhaturas’ besides various delicacies of chicken cooked in Punjabi style. The Catering Committee, which is headed by the SDM, Mr Malwinder Singh Jaggi, had tried to make sure that there were dishes suiting the palate of everybody.

“It’s delicious” was the quick expression of a south Indian player who was relishing a chicken delicacy when he was asked about the food. “I never knew that the Punjabi food was so tasty. I have not even looked at the south Indian food ever since I tried various Punjabi delicacies,” he said.

There is a wide variety of dishes offered to the participants. The breakfast includes ‘alu puri’, veg sandwich, ‘mooli parantha’, Omelette, butter omelette, ‘idli’ and ‘vada sambhar’ and many more. The lunch includes ‘palak paneer’, dal makhni’, mixed vegetables, ‘alu raita’, ‘pulao’, ‘dosa’, ‘sambhar’, ‘missi roti’ and pickles.

Not to be missed are the dishes offered for the dinner which include cheese tomato, butter chicken, ‘rajmah’, ‘alu gobhi’, ‘boondi raita’, ‘pulao’ and ‘chana’ and ‘dahi’ and ‘bhalla’. South Indian dishes are also offered for the dinner.

According to Mr Harvinder Singh and Mr Surinder Singh, caterers, the participants are going in only for the Punjabi dishes. They said there was a great demand of ‘makki di roti’ and ‘sarson da saag’.

They said ‘gobhi paranthas’ and ‘chana bhaturas’ were also in big demand. Some participants want these three times a day. They will come closer and whisper in attendant’s ears, “gobhi parantha milega?” 



Lucre turns foes into friends
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Two local politicians, one an Akali leader and other a Congressmen, are each other’s die-hard opponents in the political arena. They criticise, condemn and level allegations of corruption against each other. But this all seems to be a convenient camouflage to ‘befool’ public as both are working together in a clandestine manner to mint money as partners in land mafia and in the illegal sand mining activity.

While the illegal sand mining in the Sutlej bed goes on unabated with claims and counter-claims being made by different parties involved over who was right or wrong, an investigation by the Ludhiana Tribune team has revealed that the two politicians’ desire to make a quick buck in the illegal activity was the root cause of the trouble.

It is a marriage of convenience for both the politicians. When it is the rule of the Congress, the Congress leader uses his influence and when the state is governed by the Akalis, the Akali leader comes in handy to keep the police and the district administration away. Highly placed sources in the Police Department said the partnership between the two is an open secret among the police and civil officials, but no one could dare to restrict their activity.

The modus operandi of the two politicians is to first arrange some of the contracts for sand mining for their men and then violate all norms of the Sand Mining Act to make as much profit as possible.

The government gets the royalty, but the actual amount of sand mined from the area is much higher. With the cover of the leaders, the miners freely quarry sand upto any depth unmindful of the damage they may be causing to the Dhussi bandh or the land as well.

Meanwhile, in a new twist to the sand mining controversy, a number of residents of Kutbewal village today alleged that the residents protesting the passing of the sand-filled -trucks were doing so as they were demanding commission. They said no one had the right over the roads.

In a representation sent to the Deputy Commissioner, they questioned the police, the district administration and the villagers about calling the sand mining from their land as illegal. Producing documents in their favour, they said they were the owenrs of the land and could use it for any purpose. The villagers said their land had come under the Sutlej bed after the river changed its course.



Contractors stay firm, boycott tenders
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 21
Contractors enlisted with the Municipal Corporation continued the boycott of tenders for various development works and there were no takers for the tenders scheduled to be received and opened today. As the stalemate continued, the Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, made a last-ditch effort in favour of retention of SGS India Limited, a quality control agency, through an item in the supplementary agenda for the general house meeting to be held tomorrow.

The contractors had been abstaining from offering bids in response to the call for tenders by the civic body for the past almost two months, with their main demands being a fixed time frame for the work executed and scrapping of the quality supervision agency.

Leaders of major political parties had given their written assent to the scrapping of the agency and approval of the general house was a formality. The contractors maintained that they had been betrayed as none of the decisions taken at their extended meetings with the new MC Commissioner, Mr R.L. Kalsia, had been put into effect.

The promise of releasing bulk of outstanding payments before Divali had not been met by the administration, they said. Contrary to the assurance given to the contractors, the item for termination of contract with the agency had not been mentioned in the agenda for the general house meeting, whereas an old report laid on the floor of the house on December 22 past year had been appended to the supplementary agenda.

Some contractors whom Ludhiana Tribune talked to, justified the decision to boycott the tenders and suspend all ongoing works.

They said they could no longer trust MC officials as the civic administration used to say something and do something else. Not a single decision or assurance of the authorities had been implemented so far, they asserted.

Countering the charge of the contractors, Mr Kalsia said during the past three weeks, over Rs 3 crore had been paid towards outstanding payments of contractors.

He added while taking a decision on the quality supervision agency was the prerogative of the general house, the contractors should understand resolve of the civic administration to ensure strict quality control of all works executed by the contractors.

“Whether the private agency retained for quality supervision remains or not, the contractors will have to deliver what they are paid for. There will be no compromise on quality and workmanship of the development projects,” he declared.

Mr Kalsia had recently issued an office order, stipulating steps by the MC engineering wing with reference to measurement and inspection of civil works, before final bills could be entertained and payments made to the contractors.



Family in turmoil needs Samaritans
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, November 21
For the mother of Pushpinder Singh life may not present a harsher picture it is now. She is helpless at the suffering of her son, a third-year student of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, who has been suffering from acute brain haemmorrhage.

A resident of Chauhan village, 21-year-old strongly built Pushpinder Singh is undergoing treatment at Apollo Hospital in New Delhi. According to his friends, his condition is very serious. The treatment will cost at least Rs 6 to 7 lakh and the family is unable to bear the expenses.

One of his friends Navdeep, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune, said Pushpinder’s mother was passing through this for the third time. “His mother is in shock. She lost her husband and brother recently. She will not be able to bear any kind of shock this time”, said Navdeep.

Another friend added that he had been brilliant in studies. “He is not only intelligent, but obedient. He used to be tense all these months due to the sudden deaths of his father and maternal uncle. He did not share his feelings with anyone and perhaps that could also be one of the reasons of brain haemmorrhage”, said the friend.

Navdeep said yesterday Pushpinder complained of severe headache and he was taken to a nursing home at Gill Road. From there, he was taken to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital. Doctors advised the family members to get an MRI test conducted. The test was conducted at a private diagnostic centre and doctors suggested to take him to Apollo as his condition was serious.

Pushpinder’s younger brother is studying in class X. The family is unable to bear the cost of treatment. “The only hope is that some voluntary organisations, educational institutes or good Samaritans come to their aid”, said one of his class fellows.

The staff, management and students of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, with the help of Samaritans, have collected and sent about Rs 2 lakh to Pushpinder’s mother in the hospital. His treatment has been started, but he needs to be operated upon immediately, according to the doctors.

Pushpinder’s friends and the college authorities have appealed to the general public to donate generously for this noble cause.

Drafts or cheques for the treatment of Pushpinder can be sent in favour of The Principal, Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana.



Robbery turns marriage celebrations sour
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Marriage celebrations of a karyana merchant’s daughter turned sour today afternoon, when in a baffling daylight theft, some unidentified persons stole about Rs 50,000 in cash besides some jewellery from his house in Dhal Sweets Street, Salem Tabri. Later, some jewellery was found lying under a heap of clothes.

The theft took place near the spot from where two robbers had snatched Rs 5 lakh from a trader two weeks ago. The police had intensified security in the area but yet another theft took place today.

The theft was committed between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the entire family and guests had gone to a nearby temple for the girl’s marriage and had locked the house. What was possible, according to the police was that the thieves could have committed the robbery by two methods only. But both theories, seemed impossible. The first way was that they could have entered the house by scaling the walls of the neighbour’s house, which seemed almost impossible as the walls are quite high. Further, neither the neighbours nor any other person in the street saw anyone scaling the walls or entering or leaving the house.

The police said the second way was that the thieves could have mingled with the crowd and somehow remained hidden indoors while the family members locked the house and went for the marriage ceremony. But this too seemed impossible as no one had seen them leave the house.

The theft was discovered just after 2 p.m. when Prem Chand, the bride’s father, along with other family members, relatives and guests returned home after solemnising the marriage in a nearby temple. They were shocked to see that the entire house had been ransacked. The locks on the main door were intact but the inner rooms had been broken open. The safe containing the cash and jewellery had been unscrewed and the cash and jewellery was missing.

When the Ludhiana Tribune team reached the site a pall of gloom had engulfed the house. The family members and the relatives were in a state of shock. The bride was bid farewell in a hurry. Jaswinder Kumar, the bride’s brother, told Ludhiana Tribune that they were too shocked to react over the manner in which the thieves had committed the theft within a span of three hours.

The Salem Tabri police pressed sniffer dogs into service but they failed to provide any clue. Not many fingerprints were found from the scene of crime.

The police was almost convinced that some person(s) in the marriage were behind the crime. The police said it was questioning the servants who had been employed for the marriage along with the servants of the entire colony. The police also conducted searches in houses in the colony. The police would also see the video of the marriage ceremony in order to identify some suspect.

A large number of people had gathered on the spot were especially perplexed at the way the theft had been committed.



MC bans polybags
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 21
In pursuance of a decision of the apex court and a subsequent notification issued by the Punjab Government, the manufacture and use of polythene bags of less than 20 microns, as well as recycled polythene bags, used as carry bags or containers for food stuff, has been banned.

Accordingly, no vender will carry bags or containers made of recycled plastic for storing or packaging of foodstuffs. The carry bags and containers made of virgin material are also required to be in natural shade or white. The minimum thickness of plastic carry bags made of virgin or recycled plastic would not be less than 20 microns and wholesale dealers plastic bags are required to be registered with the Punjab Pollution Control Board. Violation of this order is punishable under the provisions of the Environment Protection Act, 1986.

To chalk out the modalities for effective enforcement of the ban, Mr R.L. Kalsia, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, today convened a meeting of senior officers of various departments. Steps to enforce the ban were discussed. He elaborated that the civic body would organise public meetings in cooperation with other departments to educate the public. Instructions were issued to the Transport Department and the traffic police for check on vehicular pollution and to ensure that stipulated emission level were strictly adhered to.



Loudspeakers banned in Sukhdev Bhavan
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has imposed a ban on playing music in the Sukhdev Singh Bhavan on the campus here. With the ban, no loudspeakers would be put up in the Bhavan for any private functions organised here.

The Vice-Chancellor of PAU, Dr K.S. Aulakh, issued a circular here today declaring the ban and saying that violators would be prosecuted. The ban follows complaints by some residents of the campus staying near the Sukhdev Singh Bhavan who had said that the various functions organised in the Bhavan were making their lives miserable as the music which was played on the top of voice was giving them sleepless nights.

The VC, after taking up the complaint ordered that no music would be played at any hours, and all the persons renting out the Bhavan should not violate the orders.


Favouritism outweighs merit ?
Mahesh Sharma

Ahmedgarh, November 21
Though the Punjab Government has denied charges of corruption or favouritism for appointments to various departments, yet some candidates have alleged that selections have been made by ignoring the merits of deserving candidates.

Ms Jagvir Kaur of Bhogiwal village, a gold medallist of Punjabi University, is despondent that her medal could not get her even a school lecturer’s job. Having done her BSc, BEd, MA (Punjabi) and MPhil with excellent marks she had topped the Punjabi University in MA (Punjabi). She alleged deliberate manipulation by the Service Selection Board at the time of interview and said that she has been awarded only 5 marks out of 15 in the interview, whereas favourites of the board had been awarded cent per cent marks. She quoted a selected candidate’s case, who with 56 per cent marks in MA (Punjabi), had been given a higher ranking whereas her 72 per cent marks could not get her even the last rank among those selected.

Mr Jupiter Sharma, posted at the local paper unit, was anguished by the fact that he was not interviewed by the Subordinate Services Selection Board, even after he received an interview letter. He had applied for the post of a block extension educator in 1999. With all his qualifying certificates of a graduation, a masters in social work, an LLB and a couple of other degree and diplomas, he was told that he was not eligible for the post. When he tried to plead his case before the officials of the Board, they snatched his interview letter and ordered the security men to throw him out.

Ms Neetu Thapar, another post graduate of the local Ahata Bali Ram college, expresses surprise at the way the interview for the selection of Audit Inspector (Excise) was conducted. She said that it was simply a ritual to mark one’s attendance. She was not asked even a single question. She was not allowed to fill her post graduation qualification and experience in the proforma, which was supplied to the interviewers. She blamed the board authorities of working on the instance of political masters and helping ‘special’ candidates submit bogus experience certificates on the basis of which the board authorities could favour them.

Mr Ravinder Singh of Rangowal village had applied for the post of a Fisheries Officer. He blames the staff of the Service Selection Board officer for delaying interview letters of meritorious candidates deliberately in order to help the candidates of their choice ascend the merit list. When he approached the board authorities, there were many others who had received their letters after the interviews were over but nobody lent an ear to their grievances.



Badal protecting corrupt: Mann
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann has demanded the dismissal of the Badal government and asked for elections to be conducted under President’s rule. Talking to this correspondent here today, Mr Mann alleged that the Badal government had crossed all limits of corruption and it had lost the moral authority to govern the state.

The radical Akali leader alleged that the entire administration, right from the Chief Secretary to the peon and patwari; was involved in corruption with the approval of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. He said two seniormost bureaucrats, Chief Secretary N.K. Arora and Principal Secretary (Home) Bikramjit Singh, were facing corruption charges and yet they continued to hold office.

Mr Mann asked the reasons for the Chief Minister’s refusal to grant permission to the CBI to prosecute Mr Bikramjit Singh, against whom a charge sheet has already been filed. “Mr Badal is simply protecting the corrupt”, he alleged, while seeking the removal of the Home Secretary.

He said the Chief Minister should have resigned on moral grounds “There is a mad race between bureaucrats and ministers for amassing wealth and they want to outdo others, so why should they bother about the welfare of the state,” he pointed out. He suggested that the Governor, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), should recommend the dismissal of the Badal government and take charge.

The Akali leader warned that Mr Badal should not be trusted for conducting the elections and only President’s rule could guarantee a free and fair poll. Mr Mann said he should also be invited to various all-party meetings convened by the Prime Minister to deliberate on various issues concerning the country. 



Sectional officer’s appointment sought 
Our Correspondent

Khanna, November 21
The functioning of the mechanical wing of the local Municipal Council is suffering a lot due to the non-appointment of a full time Sectional Officer (Mechanical) for the past one year.

Local Municipal Council has a full-fledged mechanical wing which looks after the sewerage and water supply of the city. The council has one post of SO (Mechanical) since the sewerage and water supply system had been provided to the residents. At that time the population of the city was only 40,000 but now it has crossed the one lakh mark. New colonies have been developed and sewerage and water supply has also been provided to most of these colonies.

So the work load has increased manifold. But the local government department has not created any new posts for the purpose. Only one Section Officer is looking after the whole city, but it is not possible for a single person to meet the needs of development and repair of the whole city.

There are eight tubewells under the council for water supply, main disposal and thousand kilometre lines of sewerage and water supply. Most of sewerage and water supply lines are 25-years old and leakage from these pipes is a common problem which poses danger of sewer and drinking water getting mixed leading to diseases.

The MC has a single lineman for this purpose who also cannot meet the load of work.

Apart from not increasing the posts for the mechanical wing the local government has also not provided even a full time Sectional Officer for Khanna for the past one year. Mr S.K. Gupta has the charge of Sectional Officer, Khanna, he was given additional charge of Mandi Gobindgarh also thus affecting the work at Khanna.

Some councillors of Khanna have said where one full time Sectional Officer cannot meet the needs of one city, how he can supervise the functioning of two cities? They demanded that one station should be given to one officer at a time.



Patwari union to hold dharnas
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 21
The Revenue Patwar Union, Punjab, has decided to organise dharnas at all district headquarters in the state on November 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the agitation would be further intensified in case the accepted demands of the union were not implemented Mr Gurmail Singh, state president of the union, told mediapersons after attending the meeting of its district unit here today.

He supplied a Photostat copy of the memo which was submitted to Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab, on June 6 this year but no action had been taken by the government since then.

It was revealed in the letter that the union had suspended the continuous pen-down strike from June 19 to July 5,1999 on the assurance/announcement of government. Though the criminal cases registered against Patwaris during the agitation were withdrawn but only 29 of 32 Patwaris whose services were terminated had been reinstated. The cases of three were still pending.

Four office-bearers of the union of Fatehgarh Sahib district, Baljit Singh, Karamjit Singh, Jaswinder Singh and Ram Kishore had been re-instated and transferred to consolidation department at Jalandhar had not been brought back to their parent department.

Among other demands included, the increase of office rent from Rs 35 per month to Rs 500 per month, award of 5480-8925 grade for Patwari and 6400-10640 grade for Kanungo, termination period to be considered as duty period and payment of salary during the strike period. Likewise the case of Ministerial staff, and Rs 300/- be given as stationery allowance.



Faith brings them here
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, November 21
When one goes on a round of the city, particularly on Thursday evening, one finds rows and rows of people outside a ‘samadh’ or a ‘mazaar’, all waiting their turn to pay obeisance at the holy place. And there is no dearth of such places in and around the city. People who are in trouble of one kind or the other, people who are involved in litigation, people who are childless have their respective prayers to offer at the place which they believe can mitigate their sufferings. It is none but their sheer faith that brings them to the place week after week. It is not only the trouble-torn who visit such places, but also devotees for whom it has become a ritual to mark their presence every week at either of the places. Be it the popular ‘durbar’ of Mayya Sarkar at Phillaur or the Pir Baba’s ‘mazaar’ near the Samrala chowk or any such other place.

People come with sweets and mustard oil for the earthen lamps which they light at the place before offering their prayers. Many come with green sheets of glistening cloth which they spread over the ‘samadh’ or the ‘mazaar’. Yet there are some who put up a green flag atop a tree or a pole meant for the purpose at the place. Invariably, these are the people whose wishes and prayers have been fulfilled.

It has been rightly said: “Once you start believing in something, miracles would surely follow”.

It was only a miracle that compelled planners and builders of the air-conditioned multi-storied shopping paradise, Calibre Plaza, opposite Bhadaur House, to erect a miniature replica of the ‘mazaar’ that existed at the market site since ages.

Raju, an old-timer, said it used to be a nice place of worship which had been there even before the Britishers had landed in India. The place was then popularly known as one that of Lallan Wala Pir. This particular ‘Pir’ is said to be really very capable of performing miracles for the believers.



Postage stamp on Sobha Singh
Ludhiana, November 21

The government of India will issue a postage stamp to commemorate the birth centenary of eminent artist Sobha Singh which falls on November 29.

This was stated by the President of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal and a Rajya Sabha member, Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra.

He said he had received a letter from the Directorate of Communication to this effect.

Sobha Singh was born on November 29, 1901, at Sri Hargobindpur in Gurdaspur district. After serving in the Army as a draftsman for about three years, he resigned his job and established his studio at Amritsar in 1923.

Sobha Singh, well known for his legendary painting of Sohni Mahiwal, also painted Sikh Gurus. His portrait of Guru Nanak Dev is world famous. UNI



NTPC to step up anti-theft drive
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, November 21
The National Thermal Power Corporation has decided to step up its drive against power theft and misuse of power.

Stating this, NTPC senior manager K.K. Dada said the corporation would organise 2000 “road shows” in 60 districts in various states, including six in Punjab to educate people about “save energy”

He said the Union Government in a comprehensive plan, had decided to supply power direct to stations in the districts, where a big power meter would record it in units, which could be compared with units supplied to domestic and commercial consumers and PSEB officers of the districts would be responsible for any differences found in power supply units.


Recruitment rally from Dec 5
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 21
A recruitment rally for soldiers (general duty) in the Territorial Army will be held at the local camping ground, near the Jagraon Bridge on December 5 to 8.

In a press note issued here today, Mr K.B.Venugopal, Captain Adjutant, for the Commanding officer, 152 Infantry battalion (TA) Sikh, said the recruitment would be open to candidates of all classes from Punjab on December 5 and 6, from Himachal Pradesh on December 7 and from Jammu and Kashmir on December 8.

Those who have passed matriculation and are within the age group of 18 to 41 years would be eligible for screening at the rally. The candidates should bring original certificate of matriculation along with marksheets, proof of residence, character certificate and six copies of passport size photographs, he added.



Bus conductor booked for reusing tickets
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 21
The division number six police has registered a case under Section 409 of the IPC against a conductor with Panjab Roadways, Batala, for allegedly issuing used tickets to passengers while on a trip from Meerut to Patiala on November 8.

According to a complaint lodged with the police yesterday by the General Manager, Punjab Roadways, Batala, Satnam Singh, the conductor, a resident of Gouspura village, was on duty in the bus checked at Samrala chowk. An amount of Rs 94.85 was found in excess of the actual sale of tickets in his bag, which was attributed to the sale of old tickets. No arrest was made.

Case registered

The division number seven police registered a case under Sections 324, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Naresh Kumar of Gobind Nagar, Mundian Kalan, against Harpreet Singh, Sabu, Jaspal Singh, Daljit Singh, Heera and Pankaj, residents of H.E. Colony, Jamalpur, and other persons for beating him up and injuring him.

Five arrested

The sadar police, on a tip-off, reportedly averted a dacoity bid by arresting some persons and booking them under Sections 399 and 402 of the IPC. The police got a tip-off last night that some persons were making a plan near Fatehpur Gujjran village on the GT road. The persons arrested were identified as Sukhdev Singh, Harjinder Singh, Gurnam Singh, Jinder Saini and Darshan Singh. They had weapons at the time of their arrest.

Woman beaten up

The Salem Tabri police registered a case under Sections 323, 354, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Janki Devi of Bhora Colony, Salem Tabri, against the owner and three servants of a dhaba for beating her up and injuring her. No arrest was made.

Liquor seized

During special checking, the Division Number 1 police seized 12 bottles of illicit liquor from Ram Parkash, a resident of Islamganj, yesterday and booked him under Sections 61,1 and 14 of the Excise Act. In another liquor seizure case, the Division Number 2 police seized nine bottles of country made liquor from Sonu, a resident of Dr Ambedkar Nagar, from near the Dhuri Lines yesterday.


The division number 5 police has registered a case under sections 504, 506, 342, 336, 379, 427, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Joginder Singh, a resident of Jamalpur Colony, Ludhiana, against Surjit Singh , Gurdev Singh , Amarjit Singh, Thaman Singh, Didar Singh, Gurcharan Singh alias Channi, Surjit Singh, Gurdeep Kaur, Harbans Kaur, Preet Kaur. The complainant had alleged that the above said persons had attacked him and beaten him up and had also stolen his watch and Rs 2,000.


The Division Number 5 police has registered a case under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC on the basis of a complaint submitted by Ms Rajinder Kaur, daughter of Mr Kirpal Singh, a resident of Model Gram, Ludhiana, against Inderjit Singh , son of Mr Gurbax Singh, a resident of Housing Board Colony, Ludhiana. According to the complaint, the accused had got bogus loan from an insurance company for purchasing a computer by preparing forged claim documents for the purpose.

Man assaulted

The Model Town police has registered a case under Sections 323, 341, 506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Ram Ashish, son of Mr Ram Rattan, a resident of Dugri, against Jaswant Singh and Mohinder Singh, residents of the same locality . The complainant had alleged that the accused had assaulted him.



SSIs seek cut in furnace oil prices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
The small scale industries here have urged the Central Government to issue guidelines to cut down furnace oil prices in view of the fact that international oil prices had substantially come down recently.

In a press note issued here yesterday, Mr Joginder Kumar, president, Ludhiana Electroplaters’ Association, said, “The prices of crude oil has come down considerably from US $ 32 per barrel to US $ 17 per barrel.

However, the Central Government and oil companies have not brought down the rates of furnace oil or other petro products proportionately.” Rather the price of petrol, diesel, LPG and other products have been slightly increased by the government after the increase in the dealers’ commission, he added.

He alleged that the price of furnace oil, which has been revised every fortnight since April 1999, has seen on upward trend, except on November 1. It was high time oil companies re-considered and revised the rates of furnace oil, a basic input for forging and other allied industries, proportionately to the fall in the rates of the crude oil. Since, industry was passing through a severe recession, it could not cope with the existing rates of furnace oil.

He urged the Union Petroleum Minister, Mr Ram Naik, to direct the oil companies to bring down the rates to the pre-1999 period level , so as to enable the industry to compete internationally.



Market panel vice-chief takes charge
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 21
Mr Vijay Kumar Sood, a BJP functionary took over as vice-chairman of the Market Committee here yesterday.

Mr Sood was taken from the BJP office in a procession and was welcomed at the Market Committee office in Grain Market here by officials and party workers. Mr Brij Lal Rinwa, President, BJP, Punjab, Mr Avinash Jaiswal, Organising Secretary, Mr Sat Pal Gosain, Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mr Shakti Sharma, General Secretary, Mr Anil Sareen, Secretary, BJP, Punjab, Mr Madan Mohan Vyas, Chairman, Improvement Trust, Mr Vinod Jain, Chairman, Punjab State Industries Development Corporation, Mr Rajinder Bhandari, General Secretary, District BJP, and Mr Rajinder Khatri, Press Secretary, among others, garlanded Mr Sood on his arrival.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr Sood expressed his gratitude to the party high command for reposing faith in him and said he would discharge his responsibility sincerely and diligently.

Prominent among others present on the occasion were Mr Kamal Chatley, President, Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha, Mr Jiwan Gupta, Mr Satinder Mahajan, Ms Santosh Kalra, District President, Mahila Morcha, Mr Sanjay Kapoor, Mr Ruldu Ram Garg, Mr Jitendra Mittal, Mr Balwant Ram Mattoo, Mr Rajinder Pal Jain, Mr Arunesh Mishra and Mr Rajiv Katna.


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