Monday, March 11, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Money orders pile up 
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Thousands of money orders (MO) and high value money orders (HVMO) reaching Ludhiana from around 150 cities are not getting delivered, thanks to a snag in the V-Sat that has appeared for the past many days.

While the authorities of the V-Sat office in the General Post Office here have given up solving the problem as they say that the problem has appeared in the host server in Delhi, and hence the MOs and HVMOs have been diverted to Railway Mail Services (RMS) where these are being piled up for want of adequate man power to do the job of sorting and delivery.

The residents who have not received their money orders even after two months are also a harassed lot. They are tired of making rounds of the General Post Office as well as RMS office.

One peeved resident said that he was sick of visiting both the places as GPO authorities were turning him to RMS office and vice versa.

Sources in the Postal Department said that around 15,000 money orders were lying undelivered at RMS as these were being diverted here from the V-Sat in GPO for the past many days.

The sources also said that the staff was getting overburdened as the entries were not being sent through the satellite. Earlier the data was sent by RMS office to the V-Sat server in the GPO through the computers but due to some problem in the system the work was required to be done manually.

They said that they were getting many complaints from the residents as their money orders were not delivered from the past two months. The RMS, which is already short of staff, is finding it difficult to deal with the complainants as well as the money orders. Most of the money orders have been sent by the Armymen, bank managers and migrant labourers.

An employee of the General Post Office, on the condition of anonymity, said that the problem would not exist for more than 15 days as the host server in Delhi was being updated. He said that since the delivery through the V-Sat was started in the state there was no such problem but this was a technical problem and would continue for some days. He said that till then the sorting and delivery would be done by the RMS employees only.

An official in RMS office said that there was no such problem. He said that the problem had started just two days ago as the money orders were being sent back to the RMS by the GPO. ‘‘But now we have been told verbally that we have to do this job. They have sent an employee on deputation to RMS for the same. We hope that the problem will be sorted out soon.’’ 



Donation for Lord, spending on His prasad

Last evening, a group of seven persons, one of whom was holding a picture of Lord Shiva and another one a receipt book, were spotted moving from shop to shop on the GT Road opposite the Railway Station.

They would approach a shop and all of them would chant in a chorus, ‘‘Shivaratri hai. Bhandare de layee, jo shardha hovay deo.’’ There was hardly any one who refused to contribute.

This correspondent, who was close on their heels, overheard one of them when he suggested to his companions that now they should call it a day as enough money had been collected. Obviously, it was the fag end of their collection tour. But his suggestion was not accepted unanimously. The man, who appeared to be their leader, said there were still a couple of places to be visited and it would not take long. So the march went on till the group entered the premises of Laxmi Cinema.

This correspondent decided to wait outside. The group came out of the cinema premises a happy lot. The picture of Lord Shiva and the receipt book had been put in a plastic cover, which meant it was the end of their collection drive.

The group members then marched back the way they had come. But they did not go farther than the ‘theka’ opposite the railway station. Only Lord Shiva knows whether they spent all of the collection there or spared some money for His bhandara.

Come any festival and you can see such hordes of opportunistic people who exploit the public’s religious beliefs and faiths, going around on such collection sprees. While some of these groups are genuine, there are others who, instead of holding the promised bhandara or langar, just spend the money collected thus on wining and dining.

And there is no dearth of festivals and holy days which provide an excuse for such collectors, who do not mind using the name of God for the sake of fulfilling their ‘ungodly’ desires.

This correspondent has witnessed cases where young boys, because they are organising a ‘jagran’, block a road with a help of a rope and ‘force’ the passersby to donate.



Gujarat cagers register 2 wins
Kamal Kishore Shankar

Ludhiana, March 10
The Gujarat cagers have registered two victories over Chhattisgarh and Pondicherry, in the 52nd Senior National Basketball Championship underway here at Guru Nanak Stadium.

This probably happened for the first time when the girls team from Gujarat is not participating due to communal tension there. The Assistant Coach of the team, Mr G.B. Gohil, while talking to this reporter said that the girls who were attending camp for this big event, had to stay back because of security reasons. He said, however, boys had performed well in the two initial matches, but as their coach, he knew that they were playing under extreme pressure.

Mr Gohil said, ‘‘Every member of the team is so depressed and worried about their families at home, that they are daily calling them twice of thrice in a day and bearing an expense of 150 to 200 per day for ensuing their well being only. He said, ‘‘The players as well officials do not go out for any leisure activity as they do while participating in any championship in other states like shopping or visiting special tourist spot.’’

A team member, Mahander Jadeja who belongs to Bhav Nagar, said, ‘‘For this championship we were undergoing a training camp at Bhav Nagar when we heard about the Godhra incident and soon after the incident riots began.’’ He said that the situation was so bad that the police had to escort us till we were out of the state on our way to Ludhiana.

Another team member, Vipul Sarvariya said that the team left Bhav Nagar under tight security for Ahemdabad to board Delhi Mail destined for New Delhi. The six-hour journey was horrible as the hooligans were shouting and pelting stones to stop the train at every major and small railway station on the way, but train was stopped only at Ahemdabad. 



Neem leaves to surgeon’s knife
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 10
Kulwant Kaur came to Dewan Hospital with an enormous 15-kg tumour in her breast. As the tumour kept growing rapidly over the past seven months, the patient was taken to various places in the hope of a miraculous cure.

She was made to visit many “holy” places, including a village where neem leaves were tied to her and many rituals were performed on her. In the bargain, her money reduced while the size of the tumour increased.

Finally, she was taken for a surgery.

Dr Narotam Dewan, Chief Surgeon, Dewan Hospital, successfully operated upon her and removed the tumour. He said it was a special type of tumour called ‘Cystosarcoma Phylloede’.

Dr Dewan said women in the developed world were being encouraged to do self-examination of breast. Women could palpate their breasts between their thumbs and fingers while taking bath.

They could also palpate breasts against their ribs while lying on the bed.

The self-examination of breasts helped in detecting breast tumours at a very early stage and increased chances of recovery.

There are various types of breast tumours. The most dreaded are cancerous tumours. These tumours infiltrate into the adjoining parts like muscles, fat, bones and skin. These also grow in the blood vessels. Tiny particles of these tumours break and flow with the blood to get implanted in other parts of the body.


89 students given degrees
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, March 10
Dr Tarlok Singh Anand, Dean, Academic , Punjabi University, Patiala, while speaking on the 29th Convocation -cum-prize distribution function of Jawahar Lal Nehru Government (Girls) College, Mandi Gobindgarh on Saturday said the real aim of education had taken a back seat in the modern day world and teachers as well as the students were responsible for it.

Mr Anand suggested to each degree holder to teach at least two illiterate children or adults. The chief guest promised that the university would provide the required help to start science, commerce and M.A. classes in the college. He donated 10 books for the college library. As many as 89 students were conferred with degrees of Bachelor of Arts by the chief guest in the convocation.

Ms Amar Shobha, Principal of the college, made a mention of the achievements of the college which included securing of first position by NCC cadets on all-India level at the National Integration camp held in Mysore from February 3 to 12. The report further mentioned that the students of the college had performed well in other fields also, including securing first position continuously for six years in the zonal competitions, first position in lok geet, sitar vadan, tabla vadan, rangoli making and debate, in zonal Yuvak Mela and second position in Inter- Zonal festival.

Anju Gupta, Deepaki Shorie, Ashma Rani, Renuka Pera and Shieka Jain, whose names had appeared in the university merit list in BA final were awarded college colours. A cultural programme was also organised by the students.



Shop burgled, 1.35 lakh stolen
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
A general store in Old Sabzi Mandi was burgled last night causing a scare among other shopkeepers in the market. The burglars decamped with cash and goods worth about Rs 1.35 lakh. Cash worth Rs 70, 000 and grocery items were reported stolen by the owner of the shop.

According to the owner, Darshan Singh, he came to know about the burglary at about noon today when he had gone to the shop. He said normally he did not open the shop on weekends but went today as he had some work. He was, however, shocked to find the locks open and the shop ransacked.

The Division No. 4 police has registered a case of burglary and suspects that some persons knowing about the cash were involved in the burglary.

The shopkeepers in the market have questioned the security arrangements and alleged that they had seldom seen the PCR motorcycles or policemen patrolling the area. They have urged the SSP, Mr Harpreet Singh Sidhu, to deploy security men in the area. 



Make Birmi minister, urge Ramgarhias
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Leaders of the Ramgarhia community from across the state yesterday demanded that Mr Milkiat Singh Birmi be inducted into the ministry. Otherwise, they said, they may be forced to reconsider their support to the Congress. However, Mr Birmi has tried to strike a reconciliatory note.

The members of the community had gathered here under the banner of the Vishwakarma Ramgarhia Council of India to felicitate Mr Birmi for winning the Ludhiana Assembly segment seat by a margin of over 30,000 votes. Some leading industrialists were also present at the felicitation programme.

Mr Birmi assured them that he would ensure that all their problems were taken care of. Moreover, he would put forward expectations of the community before the party leadership. Although the community constitutes about 13 per cent of the state's population, only two of its members have romped in the Assembly. They include, besides Mr Birmi, Mr Surjit Singh Dhiman from the Dirhba Assembly segment as an Independent. Mr Dhiman has since announced his support to the Congress.

The Ramgarhia leaders claimed that they hold a decisive balance in at least 30 Assembly segments and had supported the Congress in all these segments. "Now we want due representation in the ministry also", they asserted, while claiming that their population was more than the support bank of Mr Kanshi Ram.

The community leaders said that they constitute 13 per cent of the Other Backward Classes, who have 27 per cent reservation in various fields. "We will claim 13 per cent share everywhere, including the allotment of tickets, for Parliament, Assembly and local bodies elections also", they said. 



YC rally against price rise
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 10
The District Youth Congress activists today lambasted the Union Government for bringing in an anti-people budget, especially for the hike in prices of kerosene oil and cooking gas. Addressing a party rally at Dr Ambedkar Chowk here, the DYC President, Mr Parminder Mehta, observed that by adding excise burden on bicycles and parts, which would also affect cycle-rickshaws, the government had proved itself to be anti-poor.

Charging the government with being feudal minded, Mr Mehta lamented that the bicycle and cycle parts manufacturers, mostly in the small scale and cottage sector, would suffer the burden of double taxation, as the major raw material—iron and steel—was already under the excise net and would result in duty on finished products. “The government has not only made an attempt to throttle the small and tiny industrial units, it has also not spared patients since the life-saving surgical instruments will have to bear the burden of excise duty.”

The DYC president said the latest notification on excise duty on bicycles and parts would further compound the problem. “In order to sidetrack the issue, certain senior BJP leaders are talking in terms of the Union Government sending a team of officials to the city to assess the condition of local industrial units.” Mr Mehta said the unprecedented financial crisis facing the industry and the recessionary trends were known to everybody. The government should adopt a clear cut policy to save the industry from ruination.”

He announced that the DYC would take up the matter of rise in prices of kerosene oil and cooking gas, as well as imposition of excise duty on bicycles and parts with the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

Meanwhile, the Municipal Workers Union, affiliated with the Punjab Nagarpalika Karamchari Sangathan, has also condemned the Union Government for increasing the prices of kerosene and cooking gas.

Addressing a meeting of the executive committee here recently, Mr Gajraj Prajapati, its president, said the government had put an extra burden on the common man by hiking the prices of essential items. “The hike in the prices of daily-use items will further add to the miseries of the poor,” he said.

Mr Ram Jatan Pal, general secretary, condemned the alleged ‘anti-poor’ polices of the Union Government. The government, he added, would do well to reconsider the decision and withdraw the hike in prices of essential commodities.



Legislators  honoured 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 10
The Punjab Minister of State for Printing and Stationery, Mr Rakesh Pandey, Mr Harnam Das Johar, Mr Surinder Daver and Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha (all Congress legislators) were presented with a sword and a doshala each at a felicitation function organised by the District Congress Committee (Urban) at Congress Bhavan here yesterday. The DCC office-bearers, led by its president, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, also distributed sweets among party workers.

Mr Pandey, who won the election from the Ludhiana North for the third time in succession, observed that although the party victory was an occasion to rejoice, the Congress functionaries should be alive to the enormous responsibilities so that the new government could fulfill the expectations and aspirations of the masses.

Mr Johar, in his brief address, assured the part workers that the government would stand by its commitment to provide a clean and responsive governance.

Mr Dakha said the party high command deserved to be congratulated for the induction of both Mr Pandey and Mr Tej Parkash Singh in the state Cabinet.

“The step is in fact a tribute to those who sacrificed their lives in the fight against terrorism for the sake of the country.” Mr Dakha also congratulated the party rank and file for the victory in Assembly poll.

Mr Bawa announced that a meeting of all district, block and ward-level office-bearers, front organisations, DCC cells, freedom fighters, terrorism-affected families and veteran party functionaries would soon be convened for increased involvement of all of them in the working of the party and to further strengthen the organisation.

Prominent among others present at the function were Mr Pawan Diwan, vice-president, Punjab Youth Congress, Mr Gurbhej Singh Chhabra, Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka, Mr Ashwani Sharma, Mr Ram Krishan Gupta, Mr Varinder Gandhi, Mr Kanwardeep Singh Pappi, Ms Indu Parashar, Mr Mohan Lal Rajastahni, Mr Jasbir Singh Chadha and Mr Mewa Singh Chauhan.



INTUC to join March 14 protests
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 10
The president of the state unit of the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), Mr Balwant Rai Kapoor, Dr Shiv Gupta, general secretary, INTUC, and joint general secretary, Indian National Bank Employees Congress (INBEC) and Mr K.R. Tripathi, national president (INBEC) and general secretary, PPCC (Labour Cell), in a joint press note issued here have appealed to the government employees, bank employees and employees of private sector, public sector to join protests to be organised on March 14 against the government’s anti-worker and anti-people policies. The press note stated that the voluntary retirement scheme that had been floated was likely to render more than 12 lakh employees surplus. “The government also intends to render the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, to empower the private factory owners to implement “hire and fire” policy to retrench and terminate services of workers without any compensation in units where less than 1,000 workers are working”.

Dr Shiv Gupta, general secretary, INTUC (Punjab), stated that trade unions throughout the country would participate in National Protest Day to protest against the Centre’s policies of privatisation, labour law changes to favour the employers, closure of public sector profit making units, amendments in the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. 



Mass marriage solemnised
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, March 10
The Nishkam Sewa Ashram organised a mass marriage of 18 couples at Daad on Sunday. It was attended by more than 2,000 persons, according to the chairman of Nishkam Sewa Ashram, Mr Sarvan Kumar. He said such marriages were ment for those belonging to lower strata of the society. Since couples were both Hindu and Sikh, the marriages were solemnised according to Hindu and Sikh rituals in two sections of the hall. Each couple was provided with beds, watches, 31 utensils comprising pressure cooker, pots and pans. The brides were given silver jewellery, a pair of gold earrings and a sewing machine. They were also given five suits, shawl and sweaters, while grooms were given a set of clothes.

The local Lok Sewa Society on its third ‘Samuhik Kanya Daan Mahayagya’ solemnised the marriage of 23 needy couples in Grain Market on Sunday.

The members of the society contributed towards the ceremony. Various articles were also given to the couples. Chairman Gulshan Arora and secretary Rakesh Singla stated that marriage of 21 and 37 couples had earlier been solemnised by the society in two ceremonies.



Eradicate female foeticide’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 10
Swami Anandvesh stressed the need to eradicate female foeticide in his address at the start of the three-day programme at the Arya Samaj, Dal Bazaar, being held in connection with birth anniversary celebrations of Dayanand Saraswati here on Friday.

The swami said Dayanand Saraswati had waged a war against child marriage and widow remarriage. It was a co-incidence that the birthday of Dayanand Sarswati fell on International Women’s Day. “All of us must take a pledge today root out the evil of female foeticide”, he added.

Mr Roshan Lal Arya, president, Arya Samaj, presided over the function. Among others who attended the function were Mr Sanjiv Sood, Ms Karuna Sood, Mr Narinder Malhotra, Ms Chand Rani Malhotra, Swami Sumnamati, Mr Atam Parkash Arya, Mr Sant Kumar Arya, Mr Devpal Arya and Pandit Surinder Kumar Shastri.



Kaushal re-elected pensioners’ chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Mr B.R. Kaushal and Mr Mohinder Singh Parwana have been re-elected president and general secretary, respectively, of the Punjab State Pensioners Confederation for a term of two years. The decision was taken at the special general body meeting held here today at Malwa Senior Secondary School, under the aegis of a three member panelists comprising Mr Avtar Singh Mr Sardara Singh Gulal and Mr Vinay Kumar Garg. More than 100 delegates from 50 federated units of the pensioners from all over the state participated in the meeting.

The house authorised the elected leaders to nominate the remaining members of the state executive. The members in a resolution expressed their gratitude to the National Congress Party(I) for including in its poll manifesto to provide relief and concessions to the pensioners, as recommended by the Punjab fourth pay commission in Part-III of its report to the Punjab Government. The delegates urged upon the Punjab Government to implement the recommendations soon.



Advocate’s body found
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
The body of Dalbir Singh Turna, 40, a local lawyer and industrialist, was found at Kaunkekalan village, near Jagraon, late last night. The body had three stab wounds on the chest and the neck.

On Friday, Turna had left his home for the district courts. He was carrying Rs 1 lakh.

His wallet was found outside the Khalsa College of Girls in Ghumar Mandi. His car was found parked near the old district courts complex. The post-mortem examination has confirmed Turna was poisoned. His viscera has been sent for a detailed examination.

The police are investigating the case jointly. A case about his missing has been lodged with the Kailash police station and the case of murder with the Jagraon police station.



Woman arrested with opium
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 10
During checking at Lohara bridge on the Sidhwan canal on Friday, the Shimla Puri police intercepted Swaran Kaur, a resident of Urban Estate, Phase I, Dugri, and seized 450 gm of opium from her possession. She has been booked under the NDPS Act and further investigations are on.

Assault case: The Division Number 7 police has registered a case of assault on the statement of Mr Mohinder Singh, a resident of Mata Rani Colony on the Tajpur Road, against Raj Kumar and Ram Shankar, both residents of Maharani Colony on the same road. The complainant had alleged on Friday that the accused had beaten him up and injured him. No arrest has been made so far.

Rickshaw-pullers booked: The Basti Jodhewal police has booked rickshaw-pullers Ramvir, a migrant from Muzaffar Nagar, Bala Ram, Babu Lal and Shrikant, migrants from Bihar under Section 283, IPC, on the charge of obstructing traffic in Shiv Puri on Friday by parking their rickshaws on the road.

Theft alleged: The Division Number 3 police has registered a case of alleged theft under Sections 452,384 and 506 of the IPC, on the statement of Mr Inderjit, a resident of Iqbal Ganj Chowk, against Billa, a resident of Harnam Nagar. The complainant had alleged that the accused forced his way into his shop on Friday, threatened him and took away Rs 150 from the cash-box.

Theft: The Sherpur police on Saturday registered a case of theft against unknown persons, who broke open the lock on the shutter of a shop and decamped with a colour TV set and a CD player. According to information, Mr Mukesh Goyal, a resident of Vijayendra Nagar in Sherpur, who runs a business of giving TV and CD player on hire, reported that his shop — had been bungled on Friday night.

Case registered The Division Number 8 police has registered a case of alleged fraud on the statement of Ms Bimla Devi, a resident of Gulchaman street, against Joginder Singh and his wife, Sudesh Rani, both residents of Jamalpur. The complainant had alleged that she gave a loan of Rs 2.5 lakh to the accused who later refused to repay it.

Worker dead: Factory worker Raju Tiwari, son of Chhote Lal, a resident of Tajpur Road, died here on Saturday. The division number three police has registered a case. He was working in a factory in Madhopuri when he became giddy and fell on a running machine. He died on the spot.

Three injured: Ramesh, Sonu and Vicky were passing by the octroi post on the Rahon Road. They saw a shopkeeper beating a child. They tried to restrain him. This enraged the shopkeeper further. The shopkeeper got his muscle men to beat up the inquisitors with sharp-edged weapons, who have been admitted to the Civil Hospital with injuries. The Jodhewal police has registered a case against eight persons.

Car-stereo thief nabbed: The Focal Point police, on information that a car stereo had been stolen from the HM Colony a few minutes ago, put up a naka and arrested Ravinder Singh, a resident of Mundian Kalan village, and recovered from his possession the stolen stereo and a bunch of keys.

Bachelors evicted: Two bachelors from Haryana, who lived in a rented room in Model town extension, were forcibly evicted from the room by angry neighbours who objected to their ‘indecent’ behaviour after they were caught with a couple of girls in their room here on Saturday. Two young girls entered their room in the morning. Soon after that, some neighbours noticed that one of the boys had locked the room from outside and gone away. The angry residents laid a siege to the room and later beat up both the boys and the girls. When residents were about to inform the police, the boys and girls started apologising. They were spared on the condition that they must vacate the room immediately.

One held with poppy husk: The Jagraon district police on Saturday intercepted Tehal Singh, a resident of Raikot and seized 30 kg. of poppy husk from him. The accused has been booked under Sections 15,61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.



Pandey opens steel plant
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 10
“The Punjab Government is committed for all-round development of the state and in particular to promote the industrial growth. The industrial economy, which is faced with a crisis like situation and prolonged stagnation due to various factors, has to be put back on the rails.” This was stated by the Minister of State for Printing and Stationery, Mr Rakesh Pandey, while presiding over the inaugural ceremony of a steel plant of Kamdhenu Ispat Ltd, the largest steel making group in Northern India in collaboration with M/s Aar Kay Industries, here today.

Mr Pandey maintained that the new Congress government would strive to create an atmosphere which would be conducive for industrial development and several impediments standing in the way of growth would be removed on top priority. He said being an elected representative from Ludhiana, he had an added responsibility towards the trade and industry. Mr Satish Aggarwal, Managing Director of the company, claimed that the steel plant, based on German technology, was already operational at Mandi Gobindgarh and had started production to its full installed capacity. With a vast network of distributors and dealers in Himachal, Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana and Punjab, the company had a market share ranging between 20 and 40 per cent in sale of branded steel. The total turnover, he added, was also slated for a quantum jump from Rs 95 crore to Rs 120 crore in the next financial year.

Mr Sunil Aggarwal, Director and in charge of operation in Punjab, and Mr Pradeep Aggarwal, Marketing Director, also addressed the function.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |