Friday, December 21, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



20 families seek justice
Face house demolition threat
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
About 50 persons including old men, women and children, of 20 families of Sansi community, from Nasrali village, near Payal, came here today to seek justice at the weekly sangat darshan programme.

They wanted that the administration should take action against certain landlords belonging to upper castes, who had threatened to demolish their houses, constructed on the village shamlat land, provided by the village panchayat about 40 years ago.

The hapless, illiterate persons, were shocked, when the contents of the application, they had brought to submit to the district administration, were read out to them by a clerk. The application read that they were requesting the administration that their houses be demolished and the land vacated. Obviously the application has been written by some mischievous person of the village at the instance of the opponents who wanted to get the land vacated where poor people are living.

They got another application re-typed to make a fresh submission to the administration. Their turn came only at the end of the meeting, after much pleading with the security official.

Said Mr Ranjit Singh, “Our forefathers had been granted land by the village panchayat decades ago, and we are living there by constructing our small huts and rooms. Now some families of the village, with the support of a local leader of the ruling party, want to encroach upon the land, by demolishing our houses.” He alleged that seven persons of the same villages, who were infamous for highhandedness in the village, had been threatening them either to vacate the houses, or be ready for dire consequences. The village panchayat and the police had failed to take any action despite repeated complaints, he said.

Ms Surjit Kaur (40), a member of the group, said, “We are living by working as labourers in the village, and nearby towns. No one had asked us to vacate the land ever since I came here about 20 years ago after my marriage, and now some persons want us to leave the village. We have no place to go. Can’t anyone restrain them and let us live here in peace.” she pleaded.

It is learnt that the village has more than 100 acres of common land. Recently a former minister belonging to the Congress had also tried to encroach upon the land. These villagers are now running from pillar to post to get justice. Interestingly, Mr Jagtar Singh, sarpanch of the village, is also supporting their case, but he is unable to come in the open due to political pressure of the ruling party.

Mr A.K. Sinha, ADC (Development), who was heading today’s sangat darshan programme, is reported to have asked Mr Jaswant Singh, ASI, of Issru police station to conduct an inquiry. When asked about his views, Mr Sinha said, “I cannot do anything except to order the demolition of any encroachment on the panchayat or public land, if the persons concerned failed to produce documents to prove their legal possession.”

Needless to mention, the panchayat had not provided any documents to these hapless people which could have helped them to prove their legal possession. Mr Sinha, however, assured to intervene if the enquiry report supported their case. Mr Jagtar Singh, village sarpanch, could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.



Case registration scheme fails
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Case-I: A two-year-old child dies in a local hospital. The family belonged to a village near Jalandhar and had brought the child here after the doctors there expressed their helplessness in saving the child. The aggrieved family lodged a complaint against a Jalandhar-based doctor with the police. They alleged that the negligence of the doctor had led to the death. The police following the free registration of cases scheme launched few months ago, promptly registered a case. The doctor is now running from pillar to post for help. The police’s act of booking him without any verification ensured his harassment and tarnishing of his image.

Case-II: Sheela (not her real name) was not able to adjust with her in-laws. Quarrels between the two parties had become a routine in their house. In the heat of one such moment, Sheela lodged a complaint with the police of suffering harassment at the hands of her in-laws due to insufficient dowry. All were booked immediately as per the new scheme. Later investigations revealed that the complaint was false and the police recommended cancellation of the case. The recommendation is pending in the court. The affected family has spent some months in jail and is now awaiting action.

Case-III: Ramesh and Suresh, two brothers and partners separated due to certain differences. As the relationship worsened, lodging of complaints against each other started. They just used the police as a tool against each other and lodged complaints on flimsy grounds and all were registered without any verification.

There are many such cases. Every police station in the Ludhiana police district is flooded with such complaints. Here the complainant’s aim is only to implicate someone in a false case or force the person to some kind of compromise after causing him harassment through the police. Though the police has always been used as a tool for settling scores with someone, but thanks to the new policy adopted by the Ludhiana police where the misuse of the police force is at the maximum.

SSP H.S. Sidhu had initiated the policy in August, 2001. Earlier, in an with Ludhiana Tribune, he said the scheme would ensure action on every complaint and no harassment would be caused to the general public as the police would arrest a person only after investigating the complaint. If the complaint was true, action would be taken accordingly and if it was false, action against the complainant under Section 182 of the IPC for filing a wrong complaint would be taken.

But what was probably not taken into consideration was the image of the person booked by the police under the scheme. Imagine the condition of a citizen, who has been booked on a false complaint by the police. For him his very mention in a criminal case is an unerasable lifelong blemish. Police sources said though working has become very smooth for them but they are at their wits end to tackle the pleadings of an innocent man implicated in a false case.

The scheme has also been criticised on the ground that once proven innocent, there is no end to the miseries of the ‘accused’ person. The police send the file to the court concerned and it takes months to formally cancel the case.

Legal experts have also questioned the scheme on the grounds that it was causing more burden on the judiciary. The number of cases were piling up and judicial process has further slowed down.



Winter brings misery for homeless
Kamal Kishore Shankar

Ludhiana, December 20
While leadership of the nation often reminds us of the cyber age that we have entered into and the so-called blessings of global economy that has set in with the advent of multi-national companies (MNCs) here, yet they sadly and conveniently forget the millions of homeless people who spend their nights either on pavements or railway platforms.

While we have no shame in crying from rooftops that socialism has ushered in, but contrary to such hollow claims people are dying of cold because of no shelters.

When this correspondent and a lensman visited the local railway station in the odd evening hours, they witnessed hundreds of people lying on platform, without even the basic necessities required for the season.

Whether it be a freezing winter night, a rainy day with thunderstorms or scorching sun, these homeless people have the easiest alternative to sleep at the railway platforms where life gets easier because of public utilities. Happy days do not last longer for these people as they often have to leave the platform when authorities launch operation clean-up to reduce crowd at the railway station. In that situation, lucky ones gets shelter at a bus stop or in corridors of various buildings or markets while others have to spend the nights on pavements.

Leaders have never bothered to provide shelter to teeming millions except making false promises, either in their speeches or election manifestoes. The political leadership, irrespective of party affiliations is guilty of this crime against humanity. Probably, the only exception in north India, is the “Rain Basera” in Chandigarh which came into existence in early 90s due to the efforts of the then Member of Parliament, Mr Harmohan Dhawan.

“Rain Basera” is situated in Sector 17 of Chandigarh where shelter is provided to homeless people at nominal rates. Moreover, the poor are given blankets in winters. 



K3G tickets being sold at a premium
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
The entry tickets in Aarti theatre, which is running the blockbuster Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, are allegedly being sold at a heavy premium. Hundreds of people alleged that during the past three days there was no counter sale of tickets and these were available only on the black market with the price ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 150.

Some people complained at The Tribune office here that they kept on waiting for at least two hours in advance to book the tickets for the night show, yesterday. But the counter did not open. Instead the tickets were being sold outside by the agents at a premium.

Repeated attempts to contact the management of the theatre, however, failed as nobody picked up the telephone. Since the movie has been getting a good response and drawing huge crowds, selling tickets on the black market seems to be a good proposition. Interestingly, none of the police officials could be seen on duty while the agents were having a field day. 



Factory owners booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
The district police today began investigations into the scrap blast case that took place in a furnace unit on the Kanganwal road at Dhanadri Kalan after registering a case against the factory owners and managers yesterday.

The police said today contrary to the reports published in a section of the press, the case was registered yesterday. According to the FIR, the police on the basis of secret information booked Rajiv Garg and Sanjiv Garg, the owners of the Garg Furnish unit Kanganwal, accusing them of being responsible for the alleged blast. The FIR stated that the alleged blast took place due to the negligence of the factory owners. It said the scrap brought from the dry port was supposed to be checked by the factory owners whether it contained any explosive material or not.

Interestingly, the police has booked the two owners for cheating and criminal breach of trust and no mention has been made in the FIR about the violation of the orders of the District Magistrate. 



Youth Akali Dal blasts Cong, morcha
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 20
The Shiromani Youth Akali Dal (Badal), while focussing on the achievements of the SAD-BJP government in Punjab, headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, made scathing attacks both at the Congress and the Panthic Morcha, saying both these parties were out to exploit the masses for their political motives.

Addressing a news conference here today, the SYAD vice-president, Mr Kulwant Singh Ranike, claimed that Mr Badal had created a history of sorts by undertaking massive development works in the state during his tenure. He made a fervent appeal to the electorate to give the mandate in favour of another term for the ruling coalition so that the state could move still further towards lasting peace and prosperity. “Only a SAD-BJP government can safeguard the interests of all sections of people and provide a clean and stable government.”

Besides Mr Ranike, several other activists of the party, including Mr Manjit Singh Raja, Mr Gurdip Singh, advocate, Mr Surjit Singh Khalsa, Mr Tejinder Singh Pinki and Mr Baljinder Singh Chahal were present at the occasion.

Lambasting the erstwhile Congress governments for all ills that the state had to face during last few decades, Mr Ranike charged the party with compromising the interests of Punjab in general and the sikh community in particular. “It was the Congress which engineered an attack on Sri Harmandar Sahib, caused a fierce blood bath in Punjab and sparked off the 1984 riots which saw thousands of Sikhs being massacred in Delhi and elsewhere.” “The party (Congress) stood thoroughly exposed and it would no longer be able to hoodwink the people, he added.”

He termed the Panthic Morcha, a conglomerate of several breakaway Akali factions, as another enemy of the people of Punjab. The morcha has no mass base and it was deliberately pursuing such policies that would result in indirect gains to the Congress. Pointing an accusing finger towards the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal President and a prominent Panthic Morcha leader, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, Mr Ranike said he was an agent of the Congress.

The SYAD functionaries said in no uncertain terms that they would foil the evil designs of the Congress, the Panthic Morcha and the Lok Bhalai Party, headed by Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia. “The SYAD workers are fully prepared to give a befitting reply to these opportunist political parties in the coming Assembly elections.”

Mr Ranike further observed that the party would take up with the high command for allotment of tickets to Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon from Ludhiana Rural and Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, the Acting President of SAD(B) from Ludhiana West constituencies. A delegation of SYAD functionaries would soon meet Mr Badal in this connection, he added.

The party activists also demanded that the youth wing be revitalised with immediate appointment of its president since the cadres tended to lose focus and direction in the absence of dynamic and effective leadership. It may be recalled that after the removal of Mr Aliwal from the post of president for quite some time now, the youth wing of the ruling party remains headless till now.



City BJP unit gears up for ‘rath yatra’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 20
The local unit of the BJP is gearing up for the proposed “rath yatra” to be taken out in the state from December 30 in a bid to mobilise the masses in favour of the party for the ensuing Assembly elections.

Addressing a meeting of the party office-bearers of the district and mandal units and district presidents of Yuva Morcha here last evening, the District (Urban) President of BJP, Mr Harbans Lal Sethi, informed that the state party chief Mr Brij Lal Rinwa, would lead the rath yatra, which would commence from Rajpura on Dec 30 and pass through all Assembly segments, from where BJP candidates would contest assembly poll, before concluding at Nangal on January 11. The Union Home Minister, Mr Lal Krishan Advani, would flag off the “rath yatra”.

The “rath yatra”, according to Mr Sethi would arrive in the city on December 30 and the party activists would receive it at Sherpur Chowk, the entry point to the city. The next morning, the “rath yatra” would be taken to Assembly segments of Ludhiana West, Ludhiana East and Ludhiana North.

Claiming that the rath yatra would provide a new direction to the election campaign, Mr Sethi was confident that the programme would infuse momentum and determination among the party cadres. The party would get a new platform to apprise the public of the development works, completed during the past five years and expose the disinformation, being fed by the Congress and other opposition parties.



Setting the tone for New Year celebrations

Ludhiana, December 20
The New Year eve is always a keenly awaited event and Ludhianvis, who are always in search of occasions for celebrations, have every reason to cheer about. Like every year, people in the city are busy making plans to celebrate New Year eve as they enjoy this occasion with bash and gusto. Recession in the market is no dampener on the celebration spirit of Ludhianvis. The event is celebrated in style and nobody hesitates to spend lavishly on such occasions.

For various hotels and clubs, it is an occasion to provide Ludhianvis taste for their money. Elite clubs and hotels have arranged special programmes to celebrate the New Year eve.

Mr A.S. Chawla, general secretary of a club said their club had arranged a special musical night to welcome New Year. He said the New Year eve would be celebrated in the club lawns with Singer Sonu Nigam. Mr Chawla said, “The singer will entertain the club members with his troupe which will include one male and one female singer. A six-member dance troupe from Mumbai will also perform on this occasion: Besides, Bollywood actresses, Deepti Bhatnagar and Riya Sen, and mimicry artist D.Ramesh will also keep the night alive.”

The club will also celebrate Christmas on December 25. “The club will be tastefully decorated and the Santa Claus will give gifts to the children on this occasion”, said Mr Chawla.

On the other hand, different leading hotels in the city have offered special packages for different sections of people.

Mr R. Dayal of Majestic Park Plaza, said, “Lots of events will organised to celebrate the occasion. The decorations will start from December 21 onwards. A huge Xmas tree will be decorated and on December 24, a Turkey buffet Dinner will also be organised. Magic shows will be held for children on the Christmas eve.”

Mr Dayal said,”Joshiley- a musical band from Mumbai, along with leading singer Harminder Kaur will entertain Ludhianvis on December 31. It will be a “space theme” party in which grey and white colours will be used to give an ambience of space”.

Renowned Punjabi troupe ‘Ghuggi’ and his members will entertain the members and guests of the Ludhiana Club.

Meanwhile, people have also made different programmes for themselves. Mr Saranjit Singh, a businessman, said,”We plan to go to the hills this year. I want to spend time with my wife and kids. I’m looking forward to enjoy the eve with light music and bonfire”.

Ankit, a final year student of Arya College, said December 31 would be a party night. “We can not go out because of our exams, but we’ll definitely organise a small dance party for friends”, added Ankit.



FM lays stone of truck stand
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, December 20
“By abolishing octroi in the state, the SAD-BJP government has fulfilled its promise made at the time of last elections. The abolition of octroi has provided a relief of about Rs 550 crore to traders and consumers. Moreover, no employee of any municipal council has been retrenched.” This was stated by Capt Kanwanljit Singh, Finance and Planning Minister, Punjab, while talking to the mediapersons here on Thursday. He said the municipal employees would be paid salaries from the government treasury.

Earlier, the minister laid the foundation stone of a truck stand at Chatarpura village, near here. He said Rs 300 crore received from the Central Government had already been released for various development works.

Later the minister addressed a public gathering in the indoor-stadium and lashed out at the Congress for its anti-Punjabiyat, approach during its about 50 years of rule.He said the Congress had spoiled the social-economic and religious life of the people in the state of Punjab.

Mr Balwant Singh Shahpur, MLA, Amloh, spoke about various development works in Amloh constituency. Mr Vikas Partap, Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib, also spoke about the development works in the district. Mr Chanan Singh Matharoo, former vice-president Mr AISRA, Ran Singh Kalsi, BJP leader, Mr Sukhwinder Singh Bhanwari, president and Mr Dharampal, vice-president Municipal Council, Mandi Gobindgarh were also present on the occasion. 



Baba Bedi seeks impartial poll observers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 20
Baba Sarbjot Singh Bedi, Convener, Panthic Morcha, urged the Chief Election Commissioner today to appoint impartial observers for the Punjab Vidhan Sabha elections.

Baba Bedi said the CEC himself had stated that the bureaucracy in Punjab was favouring the present government and added that the free and fair elections were not possible under the present regime in the state.

Baba Bedi also hailed the statement of the CEC that the Election Commission would take note of the alleged lapses in the preparation of electoral rolls in Punjab.

Baba Bedi said the best thing would be to organise the elections under the President’s Rule as recommended by Mr M.S. Gill, former CEC.

He demanded that the impartial officers should be appointed in the police and civil administration in the districts.

Baba Bedi said the Panthic Morcha’s agenda for the elections included revival of supremacy of Akal Takht and redressal of wrongs done to the Sikh community from 1978 to 1997.

He said that no panthic unity could be thought without redressal of the panthic grievances. Bhai Ranjit Singh must be reinstalled as Jathedar of the Akal Takht, he demanded.

The Panthic Morcha would also fight the corruption in the state administration, unemployment and revival of the agro-industrial economy.



MAS calls for communal harmony
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 20
Mr Mohammad Nasim Ansari, president, Muslim Aman Society (MAS) Punjab, today called upon the Muslims of the country to be ready to make any sacrifice for the country in view of the terrorist attack on Parliament on December 13.

The Muslim leader said here today that the attack on Parliament by a handful of terrorists had lowered the prestige of Muslims all over the world and it appeared as if Pakistan had contrived the attack.

He assured the Indian Government that 30 crore Muslims of the country were ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of the country. He expressed confidence that Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians living in the country would not allow Pakistan to succeed in its nefarious anti-India designs.



Valmiki leader passes away
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 20
A veteran leader of Valmiki community and a noted Congress activists, Mr Rakha Ram Hans, passed away following a cardiac arrest here today.

A large number of his followers and dignitaries from all walks of life, including political leaders, visited his house to pay their last respects.

Among those who layed wreaths at his body were Choudhry Jagjit Singh, leader of the opposition in Punjab Assembly, Mr Rakesh Pandey, MLA, Mr Surinder Dawar, president, District Congress Committee (Urban).

Mr Sarup Chand, state president, Mr Sudesh Gharu, district president, and Lal Jiwan Lal, vice-president, Bharatiya Valmiki Sabha, and Mr Jarnail Singh Saaqi, among others, have expressed grief at the death of Mr Hans, which they termed as an irreparable loss to the Congress and the Valmikis in particular.


Young Voice
“Designing is my passion”

Sunil Vinayak
Sunil Vinayak

For me, fashion is a relationship between body and clothes and for making this relationship attractive, a designer has to work very efficiently and actively, feels Sunil Vinayak, a diploma holder from the National Institute of Fashion Designing (NIFD). He has recently received the ‘Designer’s King Award’ at a fashion show here.

Sunil wants to become one of the top designers of the country. He says that dress designing is a very demanding job as people have become fashion conscious. “Everybody wants to look attractive, different and smart”, says Sunil. He says that the traditional Indian dresses are appreciated by the western people also.

For Sunil, his parents are the real inspiration. He says, “They have always been very encouraging and my mother also gives her ideas regarding themes for his dresses”. One of the unforgettable moment of Sunil’s life was when leading models of the country including Aditi Govitkar, Helen Brodie and Nethra Raghuraman wore his dresses and appreciated them. “I always keep my ears and eyes open while going out, as one never knows when a unique idea hit the mind”, feels Sunil.



Endangered animal rescued
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
A case has been registered under the Wildlife Protection Act against two persons for displaying an endangered animal, Civet. One of the persons, a ‘madari’ has been arrested while the another managed to escape. The animal was rescued by Mr Sandeep Jain, president, PFA, on the complaint of Dr Rajiv Bhandari. The local wildlife department has taken over the possession of the rescued animal.



Man held for snatching
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 20
Kishori Lal, who originally belongs to UP but now lives in Ludhiana, was arrested by the Dakha police when he was trying to snatch a bag containing about Rs 13,000 from Ravinder Kumar, a salesman of Shivalik Gas Agency at Mullanpur. He has been booked under Sections 382 and 511 of the IPC.

According to a press note issued by Mr Balkar Singh, SSP, Zora Singh, a nephew of the accused, is employed as salesman in Ludhiana branch of the agency and often used to visit the Mullanpur branch of the agency. He, along with his uncle, threw pepper in the eyes of Ravinder Kumar with the intention of snatching the bag from him. But the people standing nearby caught hold of Kishori Lal. However, Zora Singh managed to escape.

Five booked: The police has booked Nachhattar Singh, Pardeep Singh alias Pippu, Paramjit Singh alias Pammi, Manjinder Singh and Gurpreet Singh under Sections 307, 341, 323, 506, 427, 148 and 149 of the IPC, on a complaint of Harinder Deep Singh of Hans Kalan, president of the students’ association of LR DAV College. He alleged that the accused along with some other persons, attacked him near octroi post No 5, when he was coming from his village on scooter.

Booked for lodging false complaint: The police has registered a case against Sohan Singh of Bhaini Araian village for making a false complaint that a theft had been committed at his residence. He reported to the police that some unidentified persons had committed theft on the night of October 14 and had stolen gold ornaments weighing about 30 gm.

However, the police investigations revealed that a member of the family had given the ornaments to someone and to conceal this information a false report was lodged with the police. In another case the police has claimed that complaint of Gurbhajan Singh of Jalaldiwal about snatching of Rs 2,30,000 was also found complaint of to be false.

Arrested: The police has arrested the fourth accused involved in a rape case of a minor girl from Halwara near here. The case was registered on May 23, 2001, against Hardev Singh, Bikramjit Singh and Ms Manjit Kaur of Halwara and Dr Krishan Chand. The police had arrested the trio but Dr Krishan Chand was absconding.

Booked for wrong parking: The Focal Point police has booked Lakhbir Singh, a resident of Dhalla village in Gurdaspur district, for parking his truck in the middle of the road and jamming the traffic. A case has been registered.

Gamblers held: The Shimla Puri police has registered a case under the Gambling Act against four gamblers who were nabbed in two different raids on Tuesday. Those arrested are Raj Kumar alias Raju, a resident of Preet Nagar, Ravinder Singh alias Sonu, a resident of Sahibzada Fateh Singh Nagar, Makhan Singh, a resident of Shimla Puri and Billa Singh, a resident of Preet Nagar.

Booked: The Division No 6 police has registered a case under sections 279 and 427 of the IPC against a driver of a bus who hit and damaged a car. According to the complaint lodged by Mr. Baljit Singh, a resident of mohalla Bhagwan Nagar, he was driving from Kohara to Ludhiana on Tuesday when the bus hit his car near the Samrala chowk and badly damaged it. The driver fled from the spot.



Industrialists resent recovery of house tax 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
The industrial units in the Focal Point, Phase VI and VII have resented the decision of the Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, to charge house tax from 1995-96. They claimed that Mr Parkash Singh Badal,Chief Minister, Punjab had announced that house tax will be charged from the industrial units in Focal Point from the date when the area was taken over by it for maintenance.

Mr Ram Lubhaya, president of the association, said,‘‘The phases VI and VII of Focal Point, were taken over by the Municipal Corporation, in January, this year but house tax recovery notices have been issued with retrospective effect i.e. from the year 1995-96. Though the CM had directed the secretary, Local Government on October 12, 2001, for issuing a notification to this effect.’’

He said a delegation of the association had also met Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, Minister for Local Government, Punjab, and demanded his intervention. However, nothing has been done so far. He claimed that inquires made from Mr J.B. Goel, Director, Local Government, Punjab, at Chandigarh have revealed that the above matter was under process for issuing notification, but the corporation was making forcible recovery of house tax from the industrialists for the period when the area was maintained by Punjab Small Industries Export Corporation Limited.

The association has urged the Chief Minister to direct the corporation to stay the recovery of house tax from the industrial units for the period prior to January, 2001.


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