Saturday, December 1, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



CIA wing sets up office on disputed land
Claimant alleges police high-handedness
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
Hardly a week after being set up, the CIA wing of the Ludhiana police at Dhandari in Focal Point has run into a major controversy with an old villager alleging that the police, in an abject case of high-handedness, had forcibly occupied his house and set up the CIA head office in it after throwing out his belongings. The complainant possesses a stay order from a district court about the status of the disputed land.

The police claims that the land does not belong to the claimant. It, however, concedes that the land does not belong to it also. According to the police, the land was a disputed property with an ex-serviceman, and the co-operative society fighting the case in the court.

What awaits a proper explanation from the police in the whole case is that if the dispute is between the cooperative society and the villager, then how come the police has the right to occupy it. In normal cases of disputed lands, the police usually puts up security at the place but it is a rare case when the police erects its own office in the disputed land.

According to claims and counter-claims, the cooperative society says it owns the piece of land as the registry of the land was in its name. A police official quoting cooperative claims said the society had bought the land from the villager, Ram Singh, in 1961 but did not get the mutation in its name. Ram Singh, however, claims that he had not sold the land to the cooperative society. He argues that even if the cooperative society had bought the land from him, it had to get its mutation within a specific period of time, which it had not done.

Ram Singh, who is an ex-serviceman and also lives just near the new CIA office, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune claimed that the plot and the house were his ancestral property and no one had any claim on it. He alleged that the cooperative society had made a false claim to the place and he had got a stay order by a local court. Ram Singh fears a threat to his life and other property.

Showing documentary evidence, he said the stay order meant that a status quo on the plot was to be maintained. However, allegedly throwing all the rules to the wind, the police forcibly occupied the disputed piece of land early this week. He also alleged that the police threw out a number of his household items stored in the disputed building.

While the SSP, Mr H.S. Sidhu, and the SP (city-II), Mr Pramod Ban, could not be contacted despite repeated attempts, a police official said the police had opened the CIA wing at the place as a police picket existed there from 1992 till mid-2001. He said the police picket was removed recently. The place was vacated. However, as there was no other place for the new CIA office, the police opened it here. He denied any high-handedness on the part of the police and said the police had taken the building from the cooperative society. The official did not know if any rent was being paid to the society by the police.

Incidentally, Ludhiana Tribune witnessed a heated exchange between some officials of new CIA and the claimant villager inside the CIA wing. While Ram Singh was arguing with the officials about his right over the place, a police official was extremely rude to him and was even abusive. The police official bluntly shut up Baba Ram Singh and told him to get out of the place.

Ram Singh said he had gone to complain to the Deputy Commissioner in the weekly sangat darshan programme yesterday but no one allowed him to air his resentment or meet the Deputy Commissioner. He said an official of the administration directed him to meet the SSP first. He could not meet the SSP yesterday and had sent him his complaint through registered post.



Woman sells grandsons to farmers
Kids made drug addicts
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
A woman of Jindra village in Dharamkot tehsil of Moga district has allegedly sold two of her grandsons to two farmers for an annual ‘remuneration’ of Rs 2500 and Rs 1500. The two children are reportedly still in the custody of the farmers where they are working as ‘bonded labourers’. The boys, Deepak and Vishal, are aged 12 and 10, and they were allegedly sold 4 years ago. Their mother has been alleging that their masters had addicted them to opium at this tender age. Opium is said to enhance the work efficiency of a person.

The case came to the notice of the People’s Vigilance Committee on Bonded Child and Migrant Labour, a Phillaur-based non-governmental organisation working for the release of bonded labourers, when the mother of the children, Jyoti, approached it for getting her children released. According to Ms Poonam, a volunteer working with the NGO, the case would be taken up with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). A formal complaint has also been lodged with the Moga police for getting the children released form the illegal custody of their ‘masters’.

In a signed affidavit submitted to the committee, Jyoti, wife of Jeevan Kumar and the resident of Phillaur, claimed that she had sent Deepak and Vishal to her mother in Jindra village for education and upbringing about four years ago. However, she could never expect that her two little kids would meet this fate. Whenever she would go to her mother’s house she would meet her children there in normal course. At no stage could she suspect that her children had been sold to the rich farmers of Kamalkay village for labour.

She came to know about it only recently when her husband, Jeevan Kumar, went to Jindra to bring his children back. To his utter shock the two farmers, Pargat Singh and Lal Singh, told him that they had “purchased” his children by paying an amount to his mother-in-law. Besides, they were paying her Rs 2500 and Rs 1500 annually as labour. While Vishal is working as a “bonded labourer” with Pargat Singh son of Atma Singh of Kamalkay village, Deepak is working with Lal Singh, son of Kartar Singh of the same village.

Jyoti claimed that her husband was allegedly bullied and threatened by the two farmers in case he reported the matter to the police. The farmers have been maintaining that they have every right to get work from the two kids since they had paid for it. Moreover, Jyoti said the two farmers are claiming that the two children are being provided good food, clothes and shelter, which in fact they are not. “They have been made drug addicts”, she said.

Jyoti alleged that her two minor children were made to work for more than 12 hours during the day. She claimed that their masters made them work in the farms and dairies for the entire day without sufficient food. Jyoti stated that their masters had made her sons “drug addicts” to extract maximum work from them. She said that both the boys had already become dependent on opium at this young age.



PSEB staff to observe fast from Dec 4
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 30
The Employees Federation of Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has decided to intensify its agitation to press pending demands and highlight the anti-employees attitude of the management. Accordingly, batches of 11 employees each would sit on a chain fast every day near the main gate of the PSEB headquarters at Patiala from December 4 to 13 and the employees from all over the state would stage a demonstration at the same place on December 14.

The delegate session of the federation discussed, in detail, a report submitted by the general secretary. The anti-employees policies of the PSEB management came in under sharp criticism and the employees resolved to fight till justice was achieved.

Giving details, Mr Surjit Singh Goraya, vice-president, informed that through various resolutions, the PSEB employees vehemently opposed the Electricity Bill 2000 and the move for privatisation of the board. Pleading for radical changes in the prevailing set up, the federation called for making the PSEB, a truly autonomous body, which should be free of all government controls.

The federation took strong exception to POTO, which it apprehended would be used for repression and further demanded that all Punjabi-speaking areas, including Chandigarh, be handed over to Punjab, the state be handed over control of all hydel projects and river waters disputes be resolved on the basis of the riparian law. The session also condemned incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib by supporters of Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara and reign of terror let loose by the USA against innocent people of Afghanistan.

A new state committee was elected for a two-year term with Mr Surinder Singh and Mr B.S. Sekhon as president and general secretary respectively.



Gurpurab celebrated with fervour
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 30
Gurpurab, the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, was observed with religious fervour and zeal all over the city and in surrounding villages and towns today.

At Gurdwara Nanaksar, near Jagraon, which was tastefully decorated with lights, devotees started thronging to take a dip in the holy sarovar shortly after midnight. A large number of city residents went to the gurdwara for the purpose.

Hectic activity started early in the morning in all gurdwaras of the town as women devotees cooked langur for the devotees. Kirtan and shabads filled the air all over the city. A large number of private and social organisations had also organised langars at various places.

Besides government offices, some private establishments in the city also observed a holiday.


Thousands of devotees participated in ‘Nagar Kirtan’, which was taken out by several Sikh organisations here today to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

The procession started from Singh Sabha Gurdwara and passed through the link road, Lajpat Rai road and main bazar. Many social organisations and shopkeepers had put up stalls to provide sweets and tea. Students from many school took part in the procession by playing band. Mr Bhag Singh Mallah, MLA, Chairman Punsup; Mr Baldev Krishan, president municipal council; Mr Gurcharan Singh Grewal, president Sikh Students Federation; participated in the procession.



Army Band to perform at closing ceremony of National Games
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 30
Whether it is war or time for celebration, the soldiers never lag behind to discharge their duties. During the closing ceremony of the prestigious 31st National Games at Guru Nanak Dev Stadium, Ludhiana, spectators can enjoy some of the favourite tunes to be played by the Territorial Army Sikh Allies Regiment Band on the occasion. The band will make the function exciting with seven bagpipes, two drums and base drum.

This Army band has an excellent track record of playing music. Before independence, the band had performed at places like Taku Forts, Paybwa, Abyssinia, Chaprasia, Kabul, Chitral, Gaza, Sharon, Maiktila, Rangoon, Peliwarkotal, Gandhar, Egypt and Burma.

Despite the presence of police band from other districts of the state, these well dressed and disciplined soldiers stand out. The band master, Hawaldar Chitra Bhadur, who has been serving in the Army for the past 25 years, had joined the band just after three years of his service. Till now, he passionately performs his favourite tunes like Sare Jahan Se Accha, Vande Materam, Deshon Ka Sartaj Bharat and Kadam Kadam Badaye Ja. These tunes would be played at the concluding function of the mega event. Besides, the band will conclude the function by playing a long musing tune by bagpipes.

The experienced band master has performed on many big occasions like the Republic Day Parade and the Independence day march. He is the person who has performed in many mega functions as a performer and leader. Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, he proudly said, “During my service, I have served the nation with the best of my capacity and creativity. All Jawans in my band have not performed in the Republic Day parade at Delhi, which is dream of every band member. Their performance in this mega event would help them to get a chance to perform at the Rajpath on the forthcoming Republic Day”.

“Our battalion has the good record of playing some excellent tunes abroad before Independence and we would try our level best to maintain that image till our last breath,” said Chitral Bhadur. The humble band master said, “We are very grateful to the organisers who have given us a chance to play music in this event.”



Horse ‘play’ for National Games concluding function
Kamal Kishore Shankar

Ludhiana, November 30
For giving a colourful ending to the closing ceremony function of the 31st National Games to be held tomorrow, Tota Singh, an eight-year-old horse, would depict the cultural heritage of Punjab by dancing to the beat of Punjabi dhol.

Ivory coloured, Tota Singh with a shining coat, in colorful tradition outfit, would depict the rich culture of Punjab when he will dance in front of thousands of sportspersons and officials, guests and spectators who have come from the different part of the country.

It would be a wonderful and surprising experience, especially for the players from south Indian who have never seen a horse dancing who will dance as per the instructions of his master Darshan Singh, alias Waras Shah.

Master of the horse, Darshan Singh has come along with this well-trained horse from Talwandi Sabo near Bahinda to participate in this mega event.

During a break, while rehearsing at the Guru Nanak Dev Stadium, talking to Ludhiana Triune, the seventy-year-old trainer said proudly, “Tota Singh is one of my best horses, I ever trained for cultural shows. Not only the cultural activity this horse is well-trained to be used in any manner. “

When the Darshan Singh was asked about the strange name of the horse, he replied that earlier children used to call the colt, Tota and later everybody started calling it Tota Singh as it is part of his brigade.

This is the first time that Tota Singh will present a dance show in this stadium on the concluding function. Tota Singh has earlier performed many times at Anandpur Sahib, Chamkor Sahib and Damdama Sahib on different occasions like Hola Mohalla, Baisakhi and Magho.

This is an age old practice which Sikh warriors called Nihangs follow and organise a dance of horses and sports related with horses as a recreation for soldiers. The other idea of organising the horse dance was to judge the ability of a soldier as a horse trainer. The master of the best dancing horse was rewarded and encouraged. Moreover this is a tradition that on every auspicious function, horse dance is presented for good luck.



today is world aids day
AIDS: biggest challenge to humanity
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, November 30
AIDS knows no favourites and it kills males, females, rich or old and children of all races and communities. It kills without conscience and without remorse. December 1 is the World’s AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) Day. According to a UN report: “Asia faces the threat of ‘major, generalised epidemic’ of AIDS, driven by unsafe sex, intravenous drugs and tainted blood.”

Christian Medical College and Hospital admitted its first AIDS patient in 1986. In all these intervening years, CMC has admitted 262 patients severely infected with HIV from not only Punjab, but HP and Haryana as well. Dr J.S. Dhanoa, acting Principal of CMC, said: If a patient is diagnosed with HIV and then his wife and children are tested, usually they too are found to be infected. Then what next! A large number of patients do not have money for their treatment. The treatment is lengthy and heavy on the pocket. Moreover, due to a lot of stigma attached to the disease, the patients generally do not want the society to know about their disease and live like fugitives, scared and tormented by the reality that sooner or later they will contract serious diseases and because of their weakening immune system their battered bodies will not be able to resist these diseases.

“The HIV may take 5 to 10 years to manifest itself and then diseases like pneumocystus carnii can cause severe lung infection. The patients contract tuberculosis of worst kind,” according to Dr Dhanoa.

The problems faced by doctors is that they can follow up for a certain time only as patients tend to disappear. Dr Dhanao said: “As a matter of precaution the doctors are told to take every possible precaution as they never know which patient is positive.”

The first phase of informing people about aids and its dangers has been carried through media, and now the government and NGOs have to plan about the means to handle patients and their traumatised families once they are diagnosed.

“The ignorance of people make them shun AIDS victims. People have to learn that touching, kissing, eating, sharing the same toilet seat with AIDS patient will not infect to them. Similarly, children with AIDS will not infect their classmates. By now every one knows that those who indulge themselves in unsafe sex and frequent changing of sex partners, use unsterilised needles and get infected blood acquire AIDS. The main role of doctors is to counsel people. The one who is HIV positive has to learn his responsibilities,” says Dr Dhanoa.

These days the blood is being tested for HIV, while the blood infected with HIV is burned in incinerators. Unfortunately, migrant labourers and truck drivers, due to lack of education, go back home and infect others. But now besides educating them commercial sex workers are being told by organisations like Saheli to insist their clients to use condoms and this can go a long way in preventing the spread of AIDS.

AIDS bomb is ticking in India. According to a report, 3.86 million people are living with AIDS. Entertainers from Mumbai are going to stage a show to create awareness among people about the causes of AIDS and are collecting sums for its treatment Even in the West, hip-hop singer Combs is going to take up the cause of AIDS. More than ever before we need to focus on AIDS now, he says.



Sikh museum opened
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 30
On the occasion of Gurpurab, a Sikh museum on the subject of ‘ardaas’ was opened today at gurdwara Shri Guru Singh Sabha at Kartar Singh Sarabha Nagar here.

Mr Jatinder Singh Sandhu, Chairman, Library and Museum, said in a press release that the purpose of the museum was to present the Sikh heritage and culture through telling pictures.

To begin with, 43 pictures by eminent photo artist Tej Partap Singh Sandhu have been put up in the museum.

All those who contributed to the museum were presented with siropas. Among other prominent persons present on the occasion were Mr. M.S.Cheema, Mr Gurbhajan Gill, Col Chanan Singh Dhillon, Mr Ranjodh Singh and Principal Amarjit Singh Grewal. Mr Mohinder Singh Grewal thanked the congregation for gracing the occasion.



Study reveals preference for male child
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 30
Preferring male child and the simultaneous rejection of the girl child is reflected in the adoption of methods to beget a male child and subsequent resort to female foeticide. In a survey conducted in 2001, 33 per cent of households (with couples in their reproductive age) acknowledged having undergone sex determination tests. While in 2000, 17 per cent of the households mentioned abortion and 45 per cent mentioned use of methods including traditional modes such as pilgrimages etc. to predetermine the sex of the foetus.

The respondents were reluctant to mention abortion, fearing legal and religious repercussions. Strata and location variance in practice of female foeticide was also found . By far the largest user of pre-natal diagnostic techniques was the upper income group in which 53 per cent found to have used these methods. Middle income group and lower income group mentioned undergoing these tests to the extent of 37 per cent and 19 per cent, respectively. Variations in terms of location show that the larger urban and the rural areas have greater preponderance of the use of these techniques (38 and 33 per cent respectively) while the semi-urban areas reported the least use of these techniques with only 27 per cent having undergone female foeticide.

Regarding the utility of sex determination tests, 32 per cent of the respondents were of the view that these tests helped in the selection of a male child and another 24 per cent even mentioned that these helped in not having a female child.

Ten per cent of the females were of the view that it helped in family planning. It was mentioned that this method helped to restrict the size of the family by not packing the family with female children in the hope of giving birth to a male child. The option of sex choice in the contest of patriarchy is reflective of the unfavourably status of women.

Only 10 per cent of the respondents cited the use of these tests to detect biological deficiency in the foetus. The preference for the male children in the socio-cultural milieu of Punjab was found to be an important factor in the use of sex determination tests, constituting pre-birth gender violence.

In a survey in Punjab, 81 per cent of the respondents were candid in mentioning the necessity for a male child, with female respondents registering a higher preference of 84 per cent in comparison with 78 per cent male respondents.



VRTC refutes allegations
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 30
The Vocational Rehabilitation Training Centre (VRTC), Kitchlu Nagar, here has refuted the allegations levelled by Mr Rajesh Mohan, representative of the Handicapped Institution Employees Federation (HIEF), that the VRTC was exploiting the handicapped employees by giving them meagre salaries and taking immense work from them.

In a press notice issued here today in response to news reports published in various newspapers, Dr E.M. Johnson, Director, VRTC, said the allegations levelled by Mr Rajesh Mohan were baseless and false.



Polybag factory creating health hazards, allege residents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
A polybag factory in Gaspura locality along the GT Road is proving a great health hazard for the residents. The residents said that the factory owner was making recycled polybags and flouting all pollution control norms. Although they had brought the problem into the notice of the Pollution Control Board (PCB) officials, no action was taken.

They then submitted a complaint to the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, and the case came up for hearing today. But the executive engineer concerned of the PCB failed to turn up. One of the residents, Srabjeet said that the complaint had been submitted about two months ago and still the PCB officials were not moved.

Sarabjeet pointed out, the polybag factory was emitting poisonous gases due to this many persons were already suffering from diseases related to respiratory tract. Although the factory was in industrial area, yet, the residents pointed out, it should follow all norms of pollution control.

The factory was creating health problems for about 80 families who were living in the vicinity. The residents alleged that the PCB officials were shielding the factory owner and not initiating any action against him for obvious reasons. The DC ordered an inquiry to be completed within two weeks’ time.



DC proposes, minister disposes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
It is a typical case of minister proposing and official disposing. That is what happened to an inquiry ordered by Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner, S. K. Sandhu into the allegations of embezzlement in the sale of girders of a school in Shakur village.

A former sarpanch of the village had complained to the DC that the sarpanch had sold the girders and not deposited the money with the government. The DC had asked the local BDO about two weeks ago to go on the spot to inquire into the case.

However, when he submitted the report today, the complainants were not satisfied with the inquiry report. They alleged that the BDO had prepared the report in his office and not visited the spot. When the DC asked the BDO whether he had gone to the spot, the BDO admitted that he had not gone to the spot as he was told by some minister to prepare the report in his office only.



Police harassment alleged
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
Harbhajan Singh, a resident of Khanna, alleged that the police had declared him a history-sheeter although he had not been involved in any criminal activity for the last seven years. Besides, he said, he had been acquitted in all the cases before that.

Presenting his case at the weekly sangat darshan programme here yesterday, Harbhjan Singh alleged that the police was deliberately harassing him. He alleged that he wanted to live a normal life which the police was not allowing him to live.

Taking serious note of the case, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, ordered the SDM Samrala, to inquire into the matter and file his report in the next sangat darshan programme.

Surprisingly, the police officials present at the sangat darshan were not able to explain the reasons as why Harbhajan Singh was declared a history-sheeter.



Woman booked in beating case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 30
The Focal Point police has registered a case under Sections 324,323 and 34 of the IPC against a woman, Sukhdeep Kaur alias Deepi, a resident of Moti Nagar, for beating another woman, a tenant of her’s with an iron rod yesterday.

The complainant , Ms Veena Rani, wife of Mr Jagmohan, stated that Deepi beat her up and injured her after she (Deep), had cut the power- supply wire of the tenant. Mr Dalip Singh, ASI, is investigating but no arrest has been made so far.

Case registered

The Jodhewal police registered a case yesterday under Sections 452 and 323 of the IPC on a statement of Seema Rani, daughter of Mr Ram Sharan, resident of Mohalla Dabar Colony, on the Rahon road, against Gurmit Kaur, wife of Mr Darshan Lal. The complainant stated in the FIR that the accused came to her house on November 27 and beat her up. No arrest has been made so far. Mr Kashmira Singh, HC, is investigating.

Embezzlement case

On the basis of a complaint made by the in charge of the Panjab Poultry Development Corporation, Ludhiana, the division number 8 police has registered a case of embezzlement under section 409 of the IPC against an employee of the corporation.

The in charge alleged that Amrik Singh, son of Baba Singh, resident of Krishna Nagar, who was in charge of the feed stocks, committed a criminal breach of trust with his department by embezzling the feed from September 1,1988 to September 8,1988.

Fraud case

The division number 8 police registered a case under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC on the statement of Mr Sham Lal, son of Mr Lekh Ram, a resident of Chander Nagar, Ludhiana, against Ala Ram, son of Mr Isher Dass, resident of Civil Lines, Shambhu, care of Goel Property Dealer, Durga Puri, Haibowal.

The complainant stated to the police that he had entered into an agreement with the accused for the purchase of a plot and paid Rs. 60,000 as initial money binding them for the deal. But the accused neither went ahead with the sale of the plot , nor returned his money. No arrest has been made so far.



Machine tools industry asked to meet global challenges
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 30
Mr S.K. Singla, Head of the Department of Business Management in Punjab Agricultural University here, has emphasised the utilisation of available resources at the optimum level and austerity measures to check the deteriorating economic condition of the country.

Speaking at the general body meeting of the Ludhiana Machine Tool Makers Association (LMTMA) here last evening, he said the economic slowdown had worsened after the terrorist attacks in the USA and subsequent military action in Afghanistan. The local administration, Mr Singla rued, had failed to exploit the opportunities for the industry during the National Games in the city.

Mr Sukhdial Singh, president of the association, chaired the meeting. Mr D.S. Chawla, president, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, shared with entrepreneurs his experiences of a recent visit to China. He assured the members that there was no need to be apprehensive about the Chinese invasion of the Indian market or the WTO. Lamenting the role of the government in the present scenario, he said the industry could expect nothing from the government until it changed its style of working as a regulator rather than facilitator.

Mr Manjit Singh Matharoo, joint general secretary of the association, while expressing his views said that we should start looking after our interests to the best advantage of the industry as no outsider will come to our rescue.

The guest of honour and the president honoured 13 members of the executive body of the association for their support and contribution for the welfare of the machine tool industry.


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