Wednesday, January 9, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Sweet company leaves children bitter
Mystery of the missing flavour
Shivani Bhakoo and Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, January 8
Max Walls company had given students of over 20 schools of the city and their parents some scheme posters. While the scheme required pasting a complete range of sweets wrappers on these posters, one of the eight flavours was not even launched in the city.

Everyone was, thus, allegedly cheated in this sale-promotion exercise, as students and their parents spent money on buying sweets, not knowing that one of the flavours was missing from the market. The children did not know how to become eligible for winning a computer in the scheme without the missing wrapper. The company has, so far, not announced any winner or the date when the winner’s name would be announced.

All confectionery shops were over-crowded yesterday with children who were pestering their parents to get them the complete range, so that, they could win a computer. Shopkeepers had never expected such a rush and did not have enough sweets in the stock to match the demand.

Each student was given a Max Walls poster, on which, he or she asked to colour the given picture and paste eight wrappers of the newly launched Max Magic sweets. The wrappers were required to be of flavours like ‘Max Masti orange’, ‘strawberry’, ‘blackcurrant’, ‘chockomax’, ‘mango’, ‘blackcurrant and orange’, ‘orange and mixed fruit’, and ‘strawberry and mango’.

The funny part of it was that ‘Max Masti mango’ flavour had not even been launched in this part of the region. Mr Sachin Kakkar, a representative of the Hindustan Levers Limited, when contacted, said, “This particular flavour is out of stock, but I am trying hard to make it available here as soon as possible,”

While, individually, it cost each parent a few thousand rupees, the company collected lakhs of rupees overnight in this exercise.

In a bid to promote their product among schoolchildren, the company probably showed them a marketing gimmick and ended up playing with their sentiments.

Shruti (not her real name), a primary class student of a Sarabha Nagar school, even missed her school today, as she could not find all wrappers to paste on the poster. Her parents said they were extremely upset, as their child had been weeping the whole night for not being able to fulfill the scheme conditions.

Another parent said he had burnt fuel worth Rs 100, searching for the ‘mango flavour’ till late yesterday. He said, “I got a telephone call from my wife to get a particular flavour, as she had failed to get one from Ghumar Mandi shops. I was shocked that, after searching for it in Dandi Swami, Civil Lines, Model Town, College Road and Sarabha Nagar areas, I could find that particular toffee, that might have cost on 25 paise.”

The parent said, after the incident, he had learnt that it was a promotional stunt, but, unfortunately, he had failed to make his child understand the situation.

A shopkeeper of Ghumar Mandi said he had purchased toffees worth Rs 400, as he had been aware that these would be sold quickly. However, to his surprise, the much wanted flavour was missing in his stock as well. He was shocked to learn that the company was playing game with retailers, too.

Even some common flavours went out of stock yesterday due to a high demand and some of the parents said they could get only five or six flavours after much searching.



When police enjoyed few hours of ‘triumph’
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
Facing wrath of the public for its inefficiency in controlling crime in the city for the past 10 days, the local police enjoyed about three rare hours of rejoicing on Sunday following the “confession” of two small-time thieves of having executed the LIC robbery and some other similar incidents that recently took place here.

The celebrations, however, short lived, as the thieves told the police that they had lied initially due to the fear of police beating. Interestingly, the thieves told the truth only after a police official told them to speak the truth as they would receive severe beating when the investigating police party would eventually learn about the real facts.

But by the time the two thieves confessed their lie, at least 10 persons, whom the thieves had named as co-conspirators, were picked up from several parts of the district and given a good thrashing.

It was only late in the night that the police after beating the suspects a number of times learnt that they were wasting their time on wrong people as the suspects had no connection with the crime cases.

It so happened that the two thieves were caught stealing Rs 7,700 from a district court on Sunday. A team from the Kailash Police station rushed to the site and arrested the accused. The stolen amount was recovered from them.

As the practice is, the policemen, hoping to solve more cases, continued to beat them asking if they were involved in the LIC robbery and other incidents. The joy of the cops knew no bounds when one of the thieves said they had committed the LIC robbery. The thief even named a place where the stolen money was kept and also gave names of other suspects.

The news spread like wild fire. The joyous cops and the senior officer were jubilant as they have finally achieved something substantial to claim about their efficiency to the public.

While raiding parties dispatched in several parts of the region brought the suspects, the police was making arrangements of preparing a boastful press release. The suspects rounded up, meanwhile, received a thrashing on where the money was. They named other suspects for escaping the police wrath.

The mediapersons were also, meanwhile, indulging in a wild goose chase as the local police’s act of picking up a person from Gujarwal village was rumoured as picking up of an ISI agent. The real facts were only learnt next morning.

Meanwhile, as the police began suspecting the veracity of the claims of the thieves, a police cop, not of a high rank, talked to the thieves in person. He told the thieves that they were in for a thorough thrashing as the money could not be recovered. The thieves fell on his feet and said that they had lied to the police fearing the beating only.

As reality dawned on the policemen, the disappointment was writ large on their faces, although some spirited ones could not help laughing at the whole episode.

By late night all suspects were released. One of these was from the Gujjarwal village. The police thus could only issue a press release of arresting the two thieves. After enjoying these few hours of jubilation, the police was thus again erecting nakas and sounding red alert.



BKU contests admn’s claim on illegal sand mining
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
The state unit of the Bhartiya Kissan Union ( BKU ) has contested the claims of the district administration that the illegal sand mining from the Sutlej river bed has been completely stopped. The BKU has warned the administration that it would be forced to resort to agitation if the illegal sand mining and the misuse of the village roads was not immediately checked.

Prof Manjit Singh Qadian, state general secretary of the BKU, said, ‘‘The administration should immediately ban the misuse of village link roads by the truck and tractor-trailer operators engaged in illegal sand mining from the Sutlej river bed. Despite the claims of the administration that no one was indulged in illegal sand mining from the government land, it was still continuing.’’

He said the union was not against the sand mining itself, but the way in which it was currently carried out. He pointed out that the state government had repaired the village roads after about a decade. The administration should allow sand mining near wide roads where the flow of water soon fills the pits with sand.

Mr S. R. Kler, ADC, however, asserted that there was no truth in the claims of the union. He said, ‘‘We have already demarcated the government land from the private land and put up signposts. The contractors are digging sand from private land that we cannot stop. Further we have asked them not to dig any sand from up to 60 meter from both the sides of the pillars of the Sutlej bridge.’’ Regarding the misuse of the village roads, Mr Kler argued that there was no law to stop anybody from using public roads. These roads could be repaired, but no one can be asked not to use them, he added.

It is learnt that the officials of the PWD had recently issued a letter to the village panchayats that these link roads were only meant for medium range vehicles and not for trucks. After receiving these letters, the village panchayats of Qadian, Kutwewal and other neighbouring villages had met the DC and asked him to ban the sand mining, which was damaging their crops and children. However, the administration has decided to stop the sand mining from the government land.

The villagers alleged that hundreds of tractors and trucks were still daily carrying sand illegally from the river bed resulting in damage to the bridge, dhusi bandh, crops and village link roads. The persons involved in this illegal trade had accumulated huge heaps of sand on both the sides of village roads, though storage of sand was banned under the State Mining Act.

Mr Kler claimed that the controversy was over and the PWD department Engineer has been asked to take back his letter. However, the BKU has warned that they would be satisfied only if action was taken against the real culprits. Prof Qadian urged the government to intervene or be ready to face the agitation of the farmers in the next few days.



Coffee becomes hot favourite
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 8
Ludhianvis, whose taste buds used to be in contact only with simple or ‘masala’ tea, have, now, graduated to different flavours of coffee, thanks to the coffee-shop culture that has arrived here.

Earlier, typical Indian espresso coffee and home-made coffee were common in Ludhiana, but now, over half-a-dozen coffee shops have opened up in the past few months, offering many flavours.

Most coffee-shop owners said coffee culture was common in metros only, as senior citizens considered it a good pastime and executives found it comfortable to hold their business discussions at coffee tables.

Mr H.S. Grewal, a coffee-shop owner of Pakhowal Road area said the thinking of city residents had changed a lot. “Senior citizens and the youth visit us in evening and do not mind spending Rs 25 to Rs 35 to get a particular flavour that gives them a rich taste.”

Buyers can get to taste a variety of flavours of India, Italy, France and Switzerland in these coffee shops. The common flavours include ‘Indian caffelatte’, ‘cappuccino’, ‘caffemocha’ in hot coffee and ‘fanttisimo with ice-cream’ and ‘Ice-blended vanilla coffee’ in cold coffee. These coffees range from Rs 25 to Rs 55 a mug and the more flavours you want, the more you have to pay.

A tea lounge of a five-star hotel here serves coffee round-the-clock to clients. A coffee-shop attendant said people were developing a taste for tea and coffee. “They demand English flavours, a wide range of flavoured teas of St Dalfour in France and special coffees of Italy — cappuccino, espresso and ristretto,” he said.

Mr Ashutosh, a coffee-shop owner of Sarabha Nagar, said the flavours were crowd-pulling. He said, “Our clientele includes families, senior citizens and college students. The business picks up in winter.”

“We serve coffee with and without milk, coffee with froth, strong and light coffees. English coffee, ‘tiramiso’, ‘butter rum’, ‘Irish creme’, ‘caramel’, ‘hazelnut’ and vanilla among cold coffees are much in demand. Cappuccino and chocolate-based ‘cafemocha’ remain favourites in hot coffee,” said Mr Ashutosh.



Auto centre ‘cheats’ buyer
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 8
The local police has registered a case against Deol Auto Centre of Hathur under Section 420 of the IPC on the complaint of Gurdip Singh Natt, a health worker at Hathur.

Gurdip said he had purchased a scooter at Rs 21,985 from the centre and paid Rs 6,685 in down payment. For all first three instalments that he paid, he was issued the receipt of Gill Finance of Jagraon. He was not issued the registration certificate or any temporary number.

In protest, the complainant stopped paying instalments, at which, workers of the centre “forcibly” took away the scooter on September 16, 1998. At this, Gurdip Singh went to centre with the entire balance amount. The amount was accepted, but he was told that his scooter had been sold, but if he applied again for a new scooter, the money would be adjusted. The complainant bought a scooter in the name of his wife, Manjit Kaur, but, this time, he was issued the receipt of Puri Auto Centre of Moga and asked to pay Rs 1,000 more for registration, Rs 450 for insurance and Rs 50 for the temporary number.

Though Gurdip Singh paid the amount, he was not issued any registration certificate and, on March 29, 1999, the auto-centre workers came to his house along with the village Sarpanch, Rajbir Singh, and others and again “took away” the scooter. Gurdip Singh had to run from pillar to post to get a case registered .



Husband, in-laws booked in dowry case
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 8
The Raikot police has registered a case under Sections 498-A, 406 and 506 of the IPC against four members of a family of Deepgarh, on the complaint of Ms Gurmit Kaur.

According to the complainant, she got married to Nirmal Singh on March 4, 2001, and her father gave dowry to the best of his capacity, including Rs 3 lakh in cash for purchase a car. But a few days after her marriage, her husband and in-laws, Mallah Singh, Gurmel Kaur and Charanjit Kaur, Nirmal Singh's father, mother and sister, respectively, started harassing her mentally and physically for bringing ‘less’ dowry.

They forcibly sent her to her parents’ house to bring Rs 7 lakh more for buying a bigger car. Though the accused took her back to their house after intervention of the Atrocities Against Women Cell, they again kicked her out of the house on December 5, 2001. She has been staying with her parents at Jaladiwal since then.




It is common knowledge that the police has a team of informers in different areas of the city to inform them regularly about criminals. But what is not known to many is that police officers have a battery of spies, who keep an eye on the activities of police personnel only. This practice is witnessing an unprecedented activity in the city as the police authorities have spread a number of such informers in the city. Their task is also an improvised one from the old practice. Apart from giving information to the seniors about the style of functioning, the informers have been given strict directions to note the police officers’ meeting with politicians and mediapersons. While the authorities themselves were close to some political leaders, they do not want the lower ones to have some influence. The policemen shy away from meeting mediapersons in the open or over the phone in someone’s presence, terming the fear of the lurking informers.

Absent from chowkis

Due to the recent crime wave in the region, the city witnessed one of the most stringent security measures. With a red alert remaining in operation for almost a week, the entire police force was on the streets. As a result, the complainants had to wait for a long time to get their grievances heard at the police stations or the posts. The situation was worse at the police chowkis as all the staff was on red alert. One such official told Sentinel that it has been 10 days since he got time to visit his police post.

Sun shines bright

With sun shining bright and spreading its warmth during the day, several college students prefer to sit and study in the sun. At Government College for Women, there is sufficient open space and girls are often seen sitting on benches and discussing their lectures (see picture). Some of them even make diagrams, complete their notes, solve numerical problems and eat their lunch in the sun. Some teachers even prefer to take classes out in the sun and bring their students in the open.

No applause

Ludhiana audience is known for not giving good applause during any cultural performance in the city. On New Year eve, when popular stars Sonu Nigam, Riya Sen and Deepti Bhatnagar performed at Satluj Club, the artists did their best to enthuse the public. They had to ask the visitors to clap, stand up and dance to the tunes played during the function and even still the response was too feeble. The only time the audience got up from their seats was when the clock ticked 12, that, too, to wish their friends a New Year.

E-mails return

On New Year several Ludhiana netizens sent their e-mails to their friends and relatives. After a day or two when they opened their e-mail account again expecting their replies, to their surprise they found their own e-mails sent back. The web gurus here say that the servers of some websites had been so much overloaded that most of the e-mails and e-greetings had to be sent back to remove the excess load. Thus, e-mails considered to be the most reliable message sender, was found to be much useless at the dawn of this year.

No to ghazals

Renowned ghazal singer Penaz Masani, who had come to the city to give her first ever performance faced a real tough time when she was forced to sing the Punjabi numbers only. The musical evening was organised by United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association recently and the audience was seen moving restlessly in the auditorium. The singer did every possible effort to impress the audience but Ludhianvis refused to listen to the all-time hit ghazals aaj jane ki zidd na karo, dil-e-nadaan tujhe hua kya hai. On her part Penaz tried her best to involve Ludhianvis. She repeatedly asked the audience to sing with her but when failed, she finally had to give in to the repeated demands of remix punjabi numbers. The dull atmosphere soon became lively with those Punjabi remixes.

Pati vs parmeshwar

‘It’s all about loving your parents’ seems to have done the trick for Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. The parents are bringing their children to the movie in droves so that they may learn some lessons from it. However, the movie also has a sub-theme — how a submissive Jaya Bachchan, in the role of Nandini, raises her voice against her husband Amitabh Bachchan, in the role of Yashvarhan. A husband, who had gladly accompanied his wife and children to the movie, was shocked when his not-so-submissive wife harshly said the other day: “You may be a ‘pati’ (husband), but do not try to become a Parmeshwar (God). Have you forgotten how Amitabh begged his family’s pardon towards the end of the movie? So, it is better to follow your wife and children if you do not want to repent later.”

No information please

Some officials in the Central government offices here seem to have decided to stay away from the mediapersons for reasons best known to them. Whenever someone from the press tries to get some information from the departments of Income Tax, Central Excise, Railways or even Unit Trust of India, he/she is generally told by the officials that the information cannot be disclosed as they have not been authorised to talk to the media. The other day, when a reporter contacted the branch manager of the UTI to get a little information about a scheme, he was tersely told to contact the head office in Mumbai. If mediapersons are treated like that, one can imagine the fate of the common people. Insiders, however, reveal that in the name of the Official Secrecy Act, officials want to avoid the press so that nothing is published against any misdeed going on in their offices.




Poll code to hit arrear collection
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 8
Thanks to the model code of conduct which came into effect in view of the ensuing Assembly election in Punjab, the city population will not be able to avail the facility of interest-free payment of arrears of local charges like house tax, water and sewerage charges.

Last year, responding to the proposal of the MC House, the state government had decided to provide a one-time opportunity to defaulters for payment of all arrears without any interest or penalty. The move had evoked an overwhelming response.

The last meeting of the MC House, in November, had adopted a unanimous resolution to the effect that the scheme be extended for a period of three months and the proposal was forwarded to the state government for approval. The MC administration and councillors were quite hopeful that the proposal would receive approval of the government and the civic body would be able to make significant collection of arrears of house tax, water and sewerage charges.

However, the coming into effect of model code of conduct has created a situation in which the government, even though willing, will not be able to grant the concession to the city residents.

Sources in the MC told Ludhiana Tribune that a large number of defaulters were holding their payments for the time being with their eyes on the government announcement which might not come their way now.

MC officials further said the drive for recovery of arrears was stepped up and the collections during the last month, particularly from house tax, had shown an upward swing. “Residents have been asked to come forward and clear their outstanding dues. They have also been assured that in deserving cases facility of payment in instalments will be extended to them”, he said.



Awareness campaign against smoking favoured
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 8
After the Supreme Court’s order of banning smoking in public places, there is a psychological pressure on smokers. Local residents, however, want all advertisements of tobacco products through any media to be banned. These, they say, allure young to adopt this deadly habit.

Senior citizen and retired bureaucrat, S.S. Chanana says that passing order for banning smoking at public places is not enough as its strict enforcement is also necessary. He further says that despite orders of the Supreme Court, a large number of smokers could be spotted on the premises of public institutions and work places.

Mr Chanana is of the view that besides effective implementation of the rules, a proper advertisement campaign about the ill effects of smoking should be launched by the government with the help of NGOs. Only then the purpose of this order would be served.

A senior college lecturer, Ms Deepika Dhir, is of the view that until we make “No smoking at public places” mandatory, it would not be possible for us to reduce passive smoking. She is of the view that besides implementing strict rules, the government should take the help of traditional and modern media to disseminate the message that smoking should not be done at public places.

An undergraduate student, Ms Mera Nagpal, is of the view that the best way to motivate the new generation and chain smokers is to launch a nationwide awareness campaign. She says that like the adult education project under the literacy programme of the union government, a programme ‘Leave smoking for healthy and long life” should be launched in the whole country under its drugs de-addiction programme.

Ms Nagpal is of the view that making rules is not the ultimate solution to any problem, as it is just the initial stage of removing a social evil. She says that law-enforcement agencies should make sure that the apex court’s order is actually implemented, otherwise there would be no meaning of such orders.

Another undergraduate student, Ms Gundeepika, says it appears as if this order has been passed just to console non-smokers. 



City Scan
Couple’s quest for knowledge

NATURE is the first and common teacher of all beings. Effectiveness of teaching in man-made institutions, however, depends upon the learners. Some are not willing to learn. On the contrary, some learn despite all odds. In the rare breed of book-lovers, we find Gian Singh Mann. His academic achievements are inspiring. He is an MA Hons (English, Hindi), BT DDE, PhD and D Litt. He is a keen reader as well as an enthusiastic writer. He has authored more than 50 books in Hindi, Punjabi, English, Urdu, etc. He has tried his hand on fiction, drama, poetry, philosophy, mythology etc. His fields of studies and interest include astrology, journalism, yoga, theatre, etc. Dr Mann is a former Fellow and Syndic of GND University, Amritsar. He had been on important academic bodies of Panjab University and Punjabi University. He is recipient of two national and five state awards, besides the prestigious Shromani Sahityakar Award (Hindi).

He was deeply moved by classics. His reading interest ranges from Kalidasa to Goethe and in fiction from Prem Chand to Leo Tolstoy. While opening Anna Karenina, he was stuck up at the opening sentence : Happy families are all alike, every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. It made him think deeper. Despite being one of the most eligible bachelors, he avoided marriage proposals, displeased well-wishers. The man became an enigma. In this period he pursued his literary activities. In an age of self promotion, he relies on inner strength. He had no mentors, no promoters. He has justified his academic achievements by guiding a score of research scholars. The list includes many notable names.

In the meantime, he met a girl who seemed to be a perfect match for him. Veena Verma and Gian Singh Mann were joined by marriage. Mrs Mann was inspired by her husband to do better.

She has a busy schedule, herself a senior college lecturer. She attends to extra-curricular assignments. She is a theatre personality, besides a compare, subject-specialist of repute with electronic media. She is associated with many academic and literary bodies and has a number of awards and honours to her credit. She got her PhD on “Modernity and Drama” from Panjab University in 1980. She has mastered the philosophy propounded by Dale Carnegie : How to Stop Worrying and Start Living . By her rarely cultivated wisdom, she knows how to live happily with an exacting husband. Dr G.S. Mann is a double doctorate, PhD and D Litt. Hold your breath, Dr Veena Mann is also a double doctorate PhD and D Litt. The couple has only one child, a son. Dr Gian Singh Mann is also an astrologer and soothe sayer. He has saved thousands from committing suicide. They live happily in their Kapilvastu in the Civil Lines. M. S. Cheema



Matoo felicitated for nomination
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 8
Activists of the Municipal Safai Mazdoor Union, the Valmiki Sabha, councillors and several other BJP functionaries felicitated Mr Balwant Rai Matoo for his nomination as trustee of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust at a function organised at the office of the union here last evening.

Several speakers expressed their gratitude to the BJP leadership in general and the Minister for Local Bodies, Mr Balramji Das Tandon, in particular for reposing confidence in Mr Matoo.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Matoo assured that he would discharge his responsibility with best of his ability.

Prominent among those present at the function were Mr Lovely Pal Disawar, Mr Jinder Bhumbak, Mr Jagdish Prasad Loomba, Mr Harish Tandon, Mr Madan Lal Josh, Mr Amar Kumra, Mr Kanshi Ram, Mr Pawan Garg, Mr Bharat Bhushan and Mr Dinesh Bharti.



City residents learn traffic rules
Our Correspondent

Participants take pledge at a seminar organised in the Government College for Women as part of the Road Safety Week. 

A pollution check-up drive in progress as part of Road Safety Week. Photos —Rajesh Bhambi

Ludhiana, January 8
The city police has started the Road Safety week to educate the residents and especially the schoolchildren about the traffic rules. During this special week, from January 7 to 13, school and college students, auto-rickshaw-pullers and others will be invited to attend special lectures and practical training programmes to know more about the traffic rules.

A senior police official while talking to Ludhiana Tribune said three head constables posted at the Children’s Traffic Training Park, Mr Sarabjeet Singh, Mr Jagmail Singh and Mr Sukhdev Singh, run various training programmes for the trainee policemen auto-rickshaw-pullers and students. Generally they educate students of a school everyday, but during this week, students of 25 schools would be jointly trained to prepare themselves before driving a vehicle at the road, he added. Moreover, those auto-rickshaw-pullers who would attend the training programmes daily, their eye check-up and the pollution check of their vehicle would be done free of cost.

Generally the auto-rickshaw-pullers do not bother about the heavy smoke emitted by their vehicle, but this can be reduced effectively by educating them as to how to maintain their vehicles,” the police official said.

Not only the police, but an educational institution and a public sector bank has also taken initiative to make the road safety week more effective and fruitful. A seminar on traffic rules was held here today at the Government College for Women, which was organised by Rotary Club, Ludhiana.

The seminar was attended by a large number of students and shared their point of view on the occasion. The others who were present there were Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Arun Pal Singh, and Principal of the college, Inderjeet Gill Vashisht.

The Punjab National Bank (PNB), Ludhiana Zonal office, celebrated the week in a different way as the bank provided free backlight reflectors to cyclists, scooterists, motorcyclists and rickshaw-pullers. The general manger, PNB, Mr P.N. Khurana, said, “Generally no backlight reflectors are fixed on bicycles, trolleys, rehras, tractors, scooters and motorcycles due which these vehicles are not visible at night and lot of accidents occur.”



India has shown some character’
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, January 8
“It is probably for the first time after Independence that rulers of our nation have shown some firmness on the issue of Kashmir. While the rulers of Pakistan had been constantly harping on Kashmir card, India had to suffer because of the weak policies put forward by its rulers.” These views were expressed by Flying Officer P.N. Kalia (retd).

Recalling incidents from history, Mr Kalia said, “India has been accepting defeat at the hands of Pakistan ever since the Nehru-Liaqat Pact was signed. On the one hand, Liaqat Khan’s family was sent by air from Ambala to Pakistan, on the other, trains coming from Lahore were found full of bodies of Hindus.”

Appreciating the role of Mr L.K. Advani during the Agra Summit, Mr Kalia said, “If a religious place in Pakistan can become impure by our Prime Minister’s holding prayer there, our national monuments also need purification after Gen Musharraf’s visit.” 



Ex-soldier awaits promised land
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, January 8
Mr Naginder Singh of Malikpur, a former soldier, feels dejected over not being able to afford good education for his children as he could not take possession of the land measuring 80,000 sq. yards, which was allotted to him as a token gallantry award.

Mr Singh joined the Army in 1941 and was straightaway sent abroad to take part in World War II. On the eve of Independence, he was sent to the Chhamb-Jourian border. He faced the enemy in the 1962 war also.

The Government of India awarded him the honorary rank of Naib Subedar and allotted him a piece of land at Talwari in Assam. He started preparing the infertile land for agriculture and invested a major portion of the money he got on retirement into it. Suddenly, he was asked to leave that land with the promise that he would be allotted another piece of land soon. But the promise remains unkept.

In the absence of any other source of a substantial income, Mr Naginder Singh had to work for Punjab Home Guards on daily wages. As a result, he could not get any of his children educated beyond matriculation. Lamenting that British rulers showed more concern towards people like him than the Indian government, he has once again appealed to the latter to allot him the promised land. 



Young Voice
‘Career is my first priority’

Hardiljeet Kaur
Hardiljeet Kaur

The residents of Khudani Kalan village near here are proud of their daughter, , who has been awarded a scholarship by the University of Nebraska- Lincoln at the USA to do a Ph D in the field of soil pollution. She has just reached there and has joined the university on January 7.

Hardiljeet Kaur (24), has always tried to excel in studies and extra-curricular activities. She is a gold medallist in BSc and has recently completed MSc in soil chemistry from Punjab Agricultural University. She also sings ghazals. She gives credit to his parents and teachers for her success.

She says confidently, “For me career is the first priority. I would like to marry a person who will encourage me in pursuing my career.” She has participated in number of national and international seminars. She has been invited to present a paper next month in Thailand.

His father, Mr Bhinder Singh, who runs a poultry farm at the village, is proud of her daughter and feels that she has proved not less than a son. He says that the family has spent about Rs 1.5 lakh to send here that but she has been granted a scholarship worth more than $ 26,000.



Grenades removed from canal
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, January 8
Local residents heaved a sigh of relief when Army personnel reached here recently and took away the 173 grenades and rocket launchers, that the villagers had first spotted in the Sirhind canal on December 29.

According to Mr Balraj Singh Sidhu, DSP, Payal, 15 Army men from the military camp of Baddowal performed the operation, which lasted for about an hour.

Similar type of explosives were removed from the canal in 1993. Four children were killed when they had unknowingly picked up these explosives and started playing with these. Again in April, 2001, 16 bombs were recovered. These, however, were cleared in time.



Bank meet organised
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 8
Punjab National Bank (PNB) here yesterday organised ‘Stars meet’ on its premises at the zonal training centre.

Dr M.A. Zahir , Dean, College of Basic Sciences and Humanities, Punjab Agricultural University, delivered a lecture on human behaviour and motivation. Mr Keshav Aggarwal, Deputy General Manager PNB, Mr Chand Singh, Deputy Zonal Manager, PNB, and Mr K.I. Singh, Senior Regional Manager, PNB, Ludhiana region, were also present on the occasion.

Delivering his key-note address, Mr P.N. Khurana , General Manager, Punjab National Bank, said that as on December 28, 2001, the aggregate deposits of Punjab National Bank made the Punjab Zone the only zone of the bank having deposits of more than Rs 10000 crore. The credit portfolio for zone stood at Rs 6732 crore, thus making the total business of the zone nearly Rs 17000 crore.

Mr Khurana mentioned that mobilisation of low-cost deposits, reduction in NPA, growth in credit under schematic lending, courteous customer service were the thrust areas for facing the stiff competition. 



... And now dialysis for dogs
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 8
Dr Rattan Deep Singh, a Ph D scholar of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, has successfully conducted dialysis on dogs for the first time in North India. This experiment has been conducted under the guidance of Dr P.S. Dhaliwal and Dr S.S. Randhawa.

This was disclosed by Dr Randhawa of the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, PAU.



A clarification
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
It was inadvertently reported in these columns yesterday that Amit Dhir, a resident of Iqbal Gunj, had committed suicide. The fact is it was Amit’s father, Surinder Dhir, who had allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a fan. Amit Dhir is alive and is presently in jail facing charges of dowry death. The error is regretted.



House burgled in Ghumar Mandi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
Continuing with the fresh crime wave in the city, a house was burgled in Ghumar Mandi yesterday and miscreants snatched cash and lottery tickets from a man near Shingar Cinema this afternoon.

The theft incident was reported from Ghumar Mandi. The house belonging to Mr Jain in a street near Dhoda house was burgled. Though the exact loss could not be ascertained as the owner was not in the town. The owner had locked the house and gave keys of the outer gate to a maid for cleaning the verandah and the porch. The maid, who found inner locks broken last evening, called neighbours, who informed the police.

Meanwhile, owners were informed about the theft but they could not reach here till this evening. Police sources claimed that the owners informed their relatives, who visited the house and checked belongings. The police claimed that nothing was stolen, but registered a case of trespassing.

In the second daylight incident, miscreants snatched cash and lottery tickets from Shiv Kumar. He has complained to the police but police officials refused to confirm it.

Liquor seized

The police registered two cases of illicit liquor under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act on Monday. A resident of Chaman Gali, Bhagru Mohalla, Puran Chand, was arrested for possessing 15 bottles of illicit liquor. The complaint against the accused was lodged by Mr Vijay Kumar, a resident of Kashmir Nagar, here. In second case, a resident of Shahi Mohalla, Sanjiv Kumar, was booked by the Division No 1 police station.

Beaten up

A resident of New Ashok Nagar, Seetal Singh, was beaten up by four persons in front of his house. A case has been registered under Sections 323, 324, 341, 148 and 149 of the IPC at the Salim Tabri police station. However, no arrest has been made so far.

Scooter recovered

The police claimed that it had recovered a scooter which had been allegedly stolen by Mohammad Kohrian, a resident of Malerkotla. A case has been registered under Section 411 of the IPC at the Shimla Puri police station.

Three booked

Karanjit Singh, Ved Parkash and Sunil Kumar have been arrested for gambling. The police has seized Rs 2,300 and a playing cards from them. A case has been registered at the Shimla Puri police station.

Adulterated kerosene seized

The police has seized 3,600 litre of adulterated kerosene from Mohinder Singh, Satti and Atul Saini. The accused were arrested by CIA staff of the district police. A case has been registered at the Focal Point police station.


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