Sunday, April 7, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Aggrieved family awaits justice
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

The aggrieved family. From left: Mehtaab Singh, Mohinder Singh (father), his grandson and mother, Surjit Kaur, in their house at Saharan Majra and (inset) a file photo of the victim. —Photo Inderjeet Verma

Saharan Majra (Ludhiana), April 6
With tears rolling down their wrinkled cheeks, an aged couple of this village stare with feeling of sadness and little consolation, in turns, at the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court awarding them an interim compensation of Rs 1 lakh for the disappearance of their son and at the youth’s worn out picture, who was allegedly killed by Uttar Pradesh police in connivance with Punjab police in a fake encounter 9 years ago.

Their younger son, Harjit Singh, was one of the several youths of Punjab, who were allegedly sacrificed at the altar of a police officer’s promotion or ambition for a bravery medal. Nine years after fighting the police, their touts and legal battles, the family was finally awarded an interim compensation of Rs 1 lakh by the High Court on Friday. The main case of allegedly killing the ‘innocent’ youth by branding him as a famous terrorist of Punjab is continuing in the Special CBI courts, Patiala.

DSP R.K. Singh, Inspector Brij Lal Sharma and another cop Onkar Singh of the Uttar Pradesh police and Inspector Harinder Singh of Punjab police are facing charges of killing the youth in a fake encounter at a remote place in UP.

‘‘May be we will smile on the day these culprits are punished’’ said a sobbing Surjit Kaur, the mother of the youth, Harjit Singh. Kissing the picture of her lost son, she only said what kind of compensation could bring back her young son, who was innocent and branded a famous terrorist. She was still, thankful, that some agency was there to provide them some kind of help.

Living in this sleepy village, about 40 kms from Ludhiana, the couple earn their bread and butter by working as labourers. They had two sons. Major Singh, the elder brother of the disappeared youth, also lost his life due to police harassment. Mohinder Singh, the father, revealed with a choked voice that his elder son had committed suicide to save himself from police harassment, which was increasing rapidly in those troubled days.

When Ludhiana Tribune tracked the couple in their dilapidated house in this village, Mohinder Singh had already gone out for the day’s work. Surjit Kaur working in the open kitchen revealed the man was roaming all day to arrange for more money to meet the legal expenses and travelling to Patiala and Chandigarh for the case. They were thankful to a former Judge Ujaggar Singh and lawyer Navkiran Singh for coming to their aid.

Surjt Kaur and Mohinder Singh (who was called home by their grandson) narrated the tragic sequences which they said have become a part of the worse episode of their life. That year some cops from the Maloud police station raided their house and took away unmarried Harjit Singh, saying they will sent him back after little questioning. The youth never returned.

The couple along with concerned villagers made repeated rounds of the police station only to be told after a few days that he was in the custody of Payal police. When they went to Payal police authorities, they were told the youth was not with them. After a week or so, someone told them that a newspaper had reported that a famous Punjab terrorist Harjit Singh of Saharan Majra village was shot dead by UP police in an encounter at Bilshand Bajurga village in that state.

“The sky seemed to have fallen on us. Our son, a terrorist? And that too a famous one, wanted in several cases? It all sounded unbelievable’’ said Mohinder Singh. They could not get his body and after remaining too shocked to react for several weeks, they decided to move court.

However, a lawyer in Chandigarh allegedly cheated them by withdrawing the case after fighting for more than a year by taking some money. The couple met some Judges and got it reopened.

‘‘No one came to our help other than some of our close friends’’ they said. Hurling abuses at the political leaders of the state, who talk much about coming to the aid of families like us, the couple revealed not a single politician came forward to help them. ‘‘We knocked the doors of Chief Ministers, Ministers, MLAs and any person, whom we heard can help us but no one responded”.

The compensation will give us some help but most of the money will be spent in paying back the debt of over Rs 2 lakh they now owe to several friends. ‘‘We only await the final orders and the other main aim of our life is to give high education to our grandson (their elder son Major Singh’s son).”

The fears of the family also continue. Mehtaab Singh, a close friend revealed that every now and then some cop or their tout comes to the house and either tries to win them over by offers of money or intimidates them by reminding them the powers of the police.



First convocation of Partap College of Education
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
The first convocation of the Partap College of Education here today saw 60 students receiving degrees from principal of the college Balwant Singh. Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, was the chief guest on the occasion.

The college was primarily set up to encourage rural students. The principal said the entire batch of 60 boys and girls had passed in first division. Prof Pathak in his address said that teachers' education is undergoing rapid changes. The teachers have to be very dynamic and prove worthy of their jobs and their prime aim is to enrich the personalities of students in all respects.

He said another aim of teachers should be to synchronise the idea of teaching and learning. Teachers are agents of change and have to lead the students from ethnic prejudices to tolerance and from autocracy to democracy.

Punjabi writer, Surjit Patar , said that the teachers who would be going out from this institute should be like candles lighting the world.

Prof Pathak said that a women's cell to register complaints of girl students has been in operation for sometime now. Ms Promila Vasdev is the councillor of the committee. It has been approved by the Syndicate and the Senate. The rules are very well defined. It would be obligatory on the part of the colleges to follow these. So far no complaints have been registered.

He said special efforts are being made to promote Punjabi. There is a school of Punjabi studies where lexicography work is done where translation of difficult words is being undertaken.

Prof Naresh, who heads the Bhai Vir Singh Chair, is trying to translate Sanskrit, Arabic, and Persian words in Guru Granth Sahib into Punjabi at Hoshiarpur and we would be publishing the work soon. Sadly there is paucity of renowned scholars and the moment I find eminent and able scholars, I will give them the responsibility of chairing the chairs that are lying vacant.

Prof Pathak said the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) based in Bangalore would assess the performances of the colleges, and on the basis of performances these would be graded. Already some colleges have paid a fee of Rs 50,000 to get grading. By 2003 if the colleges do not get accreditation, they would not get government aid. He said that it was a fallacy that Panjab University is spending Rs 5 crore on the salaries of teachers between ages of 60 to 65. The university is spending Rs 60 lakh for the Senate, which has 71 members, has passed the rule. If Senate changes its decision, then this expenditure can be stopped.



HIV-infected child’s mother still positive
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, April 6
Future seems bleak for Manjit Singh (not his real name), two-and-a-half, who was born with the HIV. For his mother, who is ignorant that he has this disease, her only child is her only hope for the future. Her husband, a truck driver, died of AIDS a year ago.

The mother, Baljit Kaur (not her real name), is running from pillar to post to save the life of her child, but she does not know that he has the same disease as his father. The family forced her to marry her younger brother-in-law and doctors suspect that, by now, even he may have acquired the virus.

The child is admitted to a local private nursing home, but Dr Baldeep Singh, attending doctor, has no hope for the child and his mother. The doctor says, “I am referring the case to the PGI in Chandigarh, but I am sure that the family will not be able bear the cost of treatment — about Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 every month. We have not told the mother anything yet because she may not be able to bear the shock. However, one of the child’s aunts, who is with the family, has been briefed.”

The mother, Baljit Kaur, who is in her early 20s, says that the child has been suffering from breathlessness, congestion, cough and fever for the past six months. She also says that the family has taken the child to every ‘vaid’ of the village, but to no avail.

“I have great expectations from my son, Manjit. Doctors say that he has tuberculosis, but I am sure that it can be cured with proper treatment. His father also had TB, but we could not save him because the disease had not been detected at an early stage,” says Baljit.

Her truck-driver husband used to stay away from home for many days and he possibly got the virus from a brothel in Kolkata. She says, “I am so worried about the health of my child that I, too, get restless and feverish at times.” The attending doctor says that these may be signs of infection.

The child’s aunt says that she has been shocked to know that her sister-in-law and nephew are HIV positive. “By now, even my younger brother (Baljit’s present husband) might also have been infected. Doctors will tests him for the HIV tomorrow,” she says.

Dr Baldeep Singh said this was the eighth HIV positive child he had seen in this nursing home. “The incidence of HIV infection in children is increasing alarmingly, so, there is a need to create awareness among the masses. The HIV-detection tests before admitting any patient should be mandatory in all hospitals,” he said.

Manjit’s aunt, who knows the reality, is shattered. She says, “We would not have forced Baljit into remarriage if we knew that she had AIDS.”



Farmers go manual, labour cost up
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
The shortage of straw (‘toori’) has forced farmers of this district to harvest wheat manually and not use combines and reapers. This has proved to be good for migrant labourers, who are much in demand now, while combine owners are cursing this development.

More than 30 per cent of the crop in the district has been harvested and the work is progressing at a good pace. Farmers who had sown the late varities are yet to begin harvesting. In places like Issewal, Gill, Dehlon, Jhamat and some villages near Mandi Ahmedgarh, most farmers have employed migrant labourers to harvest the crop.

In 2001, about 70 per cent of farmers had harvested wheat with the help of combines and reapers as it saved time and effort. However, then, farmers suffered an acute shortage of straw because the husk produced by combines was of poor quality and not liked by cattle. The cost of straw in the market had increased manifold due to the shortage and many dairy farmers were forced to sell even their healthy animals due to this. Keeping these animals was proving to be costly.

Agricultural experts had, then, advised farmers to harvest the crop manually — to produce straw and store it for future use. Farmers took the advice and switched over to traditional methods of harvesting.

Mr Gurpreet Singh, a farmer, said, though manual harvesting was time-consuming and labourers wanted high wages, farmers had gone for it to save money that would otherwise be spent on buying straw. Mr Gurdhan Singh, a former Sarpanch of Issewal village, said the straw from threshers after manual harvesting was better than straw from combines. He said he, too, was going in for manual harvesting as, last year, it had become difficult for him to keep cattle without good-quality straw.

Cheers for labourers mean tears for combine owners, who used to earn a lot of money by giving combines on rent to farmers in the harvest season. Mr Satwant Singh, a combine owner of Mandi Ahmedgarh, said his business had been hit hard due to manual harvesting and, if this trend continued, combine owners would face more problems ahead.



SGPC poll likely to be delayed
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, April 6
The Akali factions and the Congress government seem to be heading for confrontation on the issue of registration of Sehajdharis as voters. The Akali factions have alleged that the Congress government was interfering in the affairs of the SGPC. Moreover, the elections to the general house of the SGPC are likely to be delayed with the latest extension in the deadline for the registration of voters for the SGPC for another two months till May 27.

Enquiries show that the general house of the SGPC on November 30, 2000, passed the first resolution seeking disenfranchisement of Sehajdharis. The second resolution to this effect was passed on March 30, 2001, at the budget session of the SGPC and later on March 30, 2002. The general house called upon the Union Ministry to issue an ordinance barring the Sehajdharis from casting their votes in the SGPC elections. Enquiries further show that the first resolution which was passed on November 30, 2000, when Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi was elected president of the SGPC was sent to the Union Home Ministry, sent the same to the Punjab Government for its comments. The Punjab State Gurdwara Election Commissioner gave a noting that the State Government had nothing to do with the matter and that the matter should be settled between the SGPC and the Home Ministry. The then Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, chose to sit on the file for one and a half years and did not take any interest in the same.

During the Punjab Vidhan Sabha elections, Mr Badal allegedly asked the Chief Secretary to write to the Home Ministry endorsing the SGPC resolution. However, the Chief Secretary did not oblige and chose to ignore his advice.

Captain Amarinder Singh also did not involve himself personally in the matter and put the matter before the Cabinet and sought its approval.

Enquiries further reveal that quite a sizeable number of sehajdharis have been registered as voters and according to latest information more than 20 per cent of the total registration of votes for the SGPC so far, are sehajdharis. In 1996 SGPC elections, the total votes of sehajdhahris were not more than 5 per cent.

Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, president, SGPC, when contacted on cell phone today maintained that the state government had no role to play in the Sikh Gurdwara act 1925 and it was between the SGPC and the home ministry to settle the issues.

When asked why the SAD government kept mum over the file for one-and-a-half-years, Mr Badungar said that the Home Ministry deliberately referred the resolution to the Punjab Government when it had no role to play.

The SGPC chief even challenged the latest decision by the Punjab Cabinet under Captain Amarinder Singh seeking status quo on the issue and maintained that no state Cabinet had any right to interfere in the affairs of the SGPC.

He charged that Congressmen were actively engaged in the registration of sehajdhari voters, and Muslims and Christians had been registered as sehajdhari voters. He alleged that Captain Amarinder Singh was directly interfering in the SGPC affairs and wanted to take control of the same.

He said that the working committee, political affairs committee, MLAs, MPs and members of the SGPC and district presidents of the SAD would be meeting in Amritsar on April 10 to take stock of the situation.

Prof Jagmohan Singh, general secretary, Akali Dal (Amritsar), said the Akali Dal (Amritsar) and other Panthic organisations would file objections against the large number of sehajdhari voters who had filed their applications.

Prof Jagmohan Singh also supported the contention of Mr Badungar. There was no provision in the Sikh Gurdwara act or the rules framed there under the Act to seek the opinion of the State Government.

Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, president, Akali Dal (Amritsar), said that under no circumstances will we allow the sehajdharis to cast votes. We will wait for the judgment of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in this regard and then plan our next legal and political moves. It may be mentioned here that Prof Jagmohan Singh and Mr Baldev Singh Sehajdar, member of the SGPC executive, have filed a writ in the high court seeking disenfranchisement of sehajdhari votes. Dr Paramjit Singh Ranu, president, Sehajdhari Akali Dal, has also filed a writ petition in the High Court challenging the petition of Prof Jagmohan Singh and Baldev Singh. This is to come up for hearing on April 22.

As many as 170 members are elected to the general house of the SGPC. There are 30 double constituencies reserved for women and 20 double constituencies reserved for Scheduled Castes. Fourteen members are nominated and cooped, including five Sikh high priests.



MC’s dream schemes to boost income
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 6
Having suffered a big dent in the revenue generated from advertisement tax during the past two years following directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on banning display boards and hoardings on National Highways and other main roads within the city, the Municipal Corporation has chalked out ambitious plans, which would not only be a damage control exercise, but perhaps boost earnings from display of advertisement boards.

From an annual income ranging between Rs 60 lakh to Rs 75 lakh from advertisement tax, the revenue had dwindled to a mere Rs 9.90 lakh in 2000-2001, while it registered a small hike (Rs 15.51 lakh) in the year which ended on March 31, 2002. Encouraged by the massive response to various schemes, devised to generate more funds from display of signboards at different places in the city while scrupulously abiding by the directions of the High Court, the civic body has fixed an ambitious Rs 2.5-crore target of income during the current financial year.

Outlining various plans, which were in different stages of implementation, the MC Additional Commissioner, Mr Raminder Singh, told Ludhiana Tribune that various internal roads of the city had been identified, where small signboards have been allowed to be displayed on central verges and on telephone and electric poles. Similarly, advertisement slogans and boards were being displayed on several garbage container sites, bus shelters and utilities allotted to different advertising agencies on reserve price for maintenance with the rights to put up ads for their clients.

Going still further, the MC has formulated a plan to allot sites for public utilities to private companies for construction and maintenance, at their cost and displaying their advertisement message. The MC would thus, not only save money in building and maintaining public utilities, but service would yield reasonably good revenue for the cash strapped civic body.

Next on the list for generation of income from advertisements are public parks, developed and maintained by the MCC. The Finance and Contracts Committee (F&CC) of the civic body had recently approved a proposal to invite bids for putting up boards and slogans inside Nehru Rose Garden, Mini Rose Garden, Rakh Bagh, Leisure Valley, Daresi Ground Park and Basant Park. While the reserve price of rights to put up ads in all these parks put together, has been fixed at Rs 30 lakh, the actual receipt was expected to be much more if the earlier response to similar schemes was any indication.

The MC also intended to squeeze something out of the members of trade and industry in its bid to generate funds from advertisement tax. While thousands of commercial establishments and industrial units in the city were getting away after putting up numerous sign boards about their products and services at every conceivable vacant space outside their premises, in the days to come, only one sign board will be allowed to be put up free of cost, while every additional sign board would have to be accounted and paid for. Says Mr Raminder Singh, “The approach is very clear. We are being conscious that the advertisement display boards put up on these roads do not in any manner distract the attention of the vehicle drivers, which, in letter and spirit was the underlying motive of the directions issued by the Hon’ble High Court.” He further remarked that there would be no hoardings or sign boards on National Highways passing through the city and only environmental and developmental slogans were being put up at some places.

Beaming with optimism at the budget estimate of advertisement income for the current year, he said there seemed to be no impediment and given the response to these schemes, the MC would, in all probability, achieve the target.



Shiv Sena ward presidents to meet tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
The Shiv Sena headed by Mr Jagdish Tangri will hold a meeting of the ward presidents and other office-bearers here on April 7 to discuss various organisational matters and to chalk out a strategy for the coming civic elections in the city.

Disclosing this, the party chief, Mr Jagdish Tangri, told party activists that the meeting would discuss, among other crucial issues, the widespread corruption in all walks of public life and the exploitation of the poor and the weaker sections of society. “The ward presidents will be asked to focus on these problems and they will also be given special powers to effectively deal with the prevailing situation.”

He said the process to strengthen the organisation had already been initiated and the vacant posts of the ward-level units and other office-bearers would be soon filled. Mr Tangri announced the nomination of Mr Vijay Sharma as organisational secretary of the Beopar Mandal. He was critical of certain political parties whom he charged with using the members of trade and industry for their selfish and political motives.



Spurned by sons at 90
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

G.S. Sandhu
Desperate anger: Ninety-year-old G.S. Sandhu narrates his tale of woe outside Bachat Bhavan in Ludhiana. —IV

Ludhiana, April 6
Ninety-year-old Gursharan Singh Sandhu of Jassian village, who has been spurned at this advanced age of his life by his two sons, has no place to go.

He was disappointed when he was turned out of the Bachat Bhavan, unheard and unattended. He had gone there to present his case before the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, at a weekly meeting to redress of public grievances (earlier called sangat darshan). He rushed out of the hall shouting in his feeble, but forceful voice, “We are slaves, we are slaves”.

One of Sandhu’s sons is settled in Canada, while the other controls his land here. Sandhu seemed so angry with his sons that he did not want to tell even their names. “They have already died for me, so do not ask about them again”, he shouted back, when asked to tell their names or avocation.

“They simply do not care about me, so why should I care for them”, he said, when asked as whether he tried to seek a rapprochement with his sons.

Sometime ago, the village panchayat had decided that each of his sons would pay him Rs 600 every month for his daily needs.

But none of them cared to obey or honour the panchayat decision. “Who cares about panchayat decisions, they are not bothered even about the police” he said.

Since all his land remains in the control of his son, he does not have any source of income.

The Deputy Commissioner, seemed to be the last resort for him, where he hoped he would get justice. But to his dismay, he had a different experience. As the police officials saw some reporters talking to him, someone came out with a message that he could meet the DC. But he declined, to meet him, in protest.

Initially he was not prepared to talk to anyone. It was only after a lot of persuasion that he narrated his tale of woes. “Even you will not be able to do anything”, he said in a desperate tone, while looking away with his feeble legs and a long stick that seemed to be his only support. 



Dupattas have traditional significance

From simple chinon dupattas for daily wear to silk bandhinis for the formals, the range of dupattas is unlimited. Dupatta, which is a common wear, is not just a part of a dress but spells a fashion trend. A dress comprising salwar and kameez is considered incomplete unless not accompanied by a dupatta. Dupattas seem to be have a traditional significance and in Punjab dupattas have their importance directly due to the cultural values and the norms of this state. Unlike the belief that the dupatta is just a piece of cloth, the variety available is mind-boggling.

It’s not just two, three or more kinds available but these days if you go for dupatta shopping you will find a good range of dupattas from cotton to silk and from plain to embroided stuff. The changing fashion and the wearers becoming more demanding has resulted in different trends in the market. “Ludhiana is a hub of fashion lovers. People love to have variety. They look for a difference in everything, that may be from dress material to eating out”, says the owner of Gaba Dupatta house, housed in the hitherto unknown chunni market in Model Town of Ludhiana that does flourishing business.

City famous Chaura bazaar, the chunni market of Model Town, Ghumar Mandi and other popular markets offer a wide range of dupattas. College students prefer Ghumar Mandi due to the proximity factor . But housewives in search of better options choose Chaura Bazaar to move freely on foot without any parking problems like in Ghumar Mandi.

Bandhini, Phulkari, garchola, batik prints, net dupattas, painted ones are few names in the long list. Bandhinis are made by tying knots with the thread followed by the dyeing process. Garcholas from Gujarat are the checks in golden mainly on the maroon, red and other like shades. Based in Jaipur batik prints are made out of the cracks that appear after dyeing of the dupatta covered with wax. Paints include mainly the floral designs or some figures are used for the purpose.

The bandhini dupattas are in trend these days due to different designs and colours available in this type. Originally from Rajasthan the colorful dupattas comprising small white-colored circular rings are available on the cotton, satton, pure chinon, semi dishin, chhifon and silk stuffs. Single, twin-coloured or three colours used in a dupatta all attract the customers.

“Cotton bandhinis are in more demand as they come within the range of every customer” says another shopkeeper in the chunni market of Model Town, adding “otherwise, there is sale of every kind of dupattas”. The cotton dupattas range from Rs 60 to Rs 320.

Dupattas with simple as well as phulkari embroidery with silken threads are on the sale but are limited to a selective group of customers. These cost the minimum of Rs 200 and go up to Rs 450 depending upon the ground material used. Mostly these dupattas are bought for the purpose of weddings and for decorating the car used for the ‘doli’ time.

Net dupattas with bead work, painted ones and thread work range between Rs 30 and Rs 300. The most common dupattas used for daily use is chhifon, which is in demand more than it’s supply. Other dupattas are cotton wrinkled, self dupattas, cotton with lines, painted dupattas, dupattas with border designs and many more.

There is no end to the list, so go and get a one you like.

Suruchi Arora



Relax IT rates, demands PSEB
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
The Employees Union of Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEBEU) has condemned the union government for not giving any relaxation to government employees in this year's budget. Moreover, the PSEBEU feels that the government has put more burden of income tax on those employees whose annual salary is more than Rs 1.5 lakh.

The General Secretary of PSEBEU, Mr Prakash Singh Mann has, in a press note issued here today, said that PSEB employees need relaxation in income tax and they should be given rebate while charing them for consumption of energy.

The PSEBEU has also demanded that as per the election manifesto of the ruling party, the promise of time-bound pay should be implemented. Mr Parkash Singh Mann said that the union had a lot of expectations from the new management, which included speedy disposal of employees' grievances. It was decided that the employees would go on strike, if the already admitted demands were not implemented soon.

The meeting was presided over by vice-president, Mr Raghubeer Singh Senior while others present on the occasion were Mr Amarjeet Singh Bawa, Mr Balbir Singh Maanipur, Mr Parkash Singh Mann, Mr Jagjit Singh, Mr Balraj Singh Sekhon and Mr Gurmukh Singh Mangat.



Appeal to make correct voters’ list
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
The New Millennium Club has appealed to the state government that it should take the forthcoming Municipal Corporation elections in the four major cities of Punjab seriously. Making a new voters’ list only would not help in conducting free and fair elections.

According to a press note issued here today, the General Secretary of the club, Mr Kuldeep Singh Kreer said, “All old lists had been nullified because there were several deficiencies in them. Particularly the names and house numbers of many voters had been wrongly mentioned.

Mr Singh said, ‘While making the voters’ list, the correct names, house numbers and ward numbers of the voters should be written while making the entries in the prescribed proforma. Moreover the persons deputed for this purpose must visit each and every house and no voter should be ignored.” He further suggested, “These persons must complete their process by the stipulated date fixed by the government which may be extended in case of incompletion of their work. They may get the assistance of the various organisations, societies, councils, clubs operating in the concerned wards.



Fast unto death for martyr’s memorial
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
The state government has been talking time and again that a memorial would be constructed at the birth place of martyr Sukhdev Thapar at Naughara in Chaura Bazar area here. But the memorial could not be constructed so far.

However, a Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Memorial Trust has also been made by the Thapar community with the objective of construction of the memorial and promotion of patriotism among countrymen.

A member of Thapar community, Mr Dilip Thapar, a resident of old city area, taking serious view of this matter, decided to go on fast unto death from tomorrow morning. While talking to Ludhiana Tribune, he has said that I will start my march from Naughara to Daresi at 9 am and at 9.40 am, I will begin my fast.


Exhibition of flowers, bouquets
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
An exhibition of artificial flowers, plants, trees, bushes and designer bouquets is on at 2C , Sarabha Nagar here. The exhibition is on till April 14. The exhibition has the visitors admiring the colourful flowers like Bird of Paradise, irises, orchids, daffodils, carnations and a host of other flowers. The exhibition is being held by Hema.

Sanjeev Kumar Goyal, organiser of the exhibition, commenting on Vastu Shastra, said, “Vastu means land. Vastu means creating God or devil in the house. After the house is corrected as per Vastu norms, God in the form of positive energy fills the house. Each and every member residing in the house can feel the changes and can experience good health, wealth and prosperity coming their way.”



Undertrial dies in Civil Hospital
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
An undertrial at the Central Jail here, allegedly suffering from tuberculosis, died today at Civil Hospital where he was admitted early this week. Jasbir Singh, the deceased, was arrested by the city police a month ago under the Excise Act. The police did not suspect any foul play behind his death.



One stabbed in family feud
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
Mr Surinder Singh, a resident of Guru Nanak Colony, falling under the Sadar police station, was allegedly stabbed in the stomach by his brother-in-law at the latter’s residence in Shimla Puri here yesterday.

Mr Singh, who has been admitted to the Civil Hospital in a serious condition, said that he had married Saranjit Kaur about two years ago but following certain differences between him and his wife, she left home and went to live with her parents in Shimla Puri. He had been called up by his in-laws for working out a patch-up. But when an altercation took place between him and his mother-in-law, a brother of his wife stabbed him in the stomach. He also alleged that his in-laws had been demanding Rs 5 lakh from him for securing a divorce. The Shimla Puri police has registered a case and investigation is under way.

Child drowns: Monu, a 20-month-old son of Phoolmanti, a slum-dweller, was drowned in a tub of water when his mother and other family members were away to work. When the woman returned to her shanty later in the afternoon, she found her son drowned in the tub of water.

Succumbs to burns: Fifteen-year-old Mamta, daughter of a vegetable seller, Mr Dev Raj, in the Focal Point area, who sustained serious burns a couple of days ago while cooking due to an accidental fire and had been admitted to the Civil Hospital, died her last yesterday. The police has handed over the body to her father after an autopsy.

Chain snatched: Two scooter-borne youths snatched the gold chain of Ms Santosh Bansal, wife of Mr Anil Bansal, a resident of Aggar Nagar Extension, while she was having an evening walk along with her aunt here last evening. According to information, the aunt-niece duo was strolling near the Libra’s residence when the scooter-borne snatchers accosted them. The youth, riding the pillion, got down the vehicle and snatched the 20-gm chain. The police has registered a case and is trying to find a clue.

Cash snatched: The Focal Point police has registered a case under Sections 323,324,379,341, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Dyal Singh, a resident of Gyaspura village, against Kulwinder Singh and two unidentified women. The complainant had alleged that while he was going on his motor cycle, the accused intercepted him and beat him up. Before making good their escape, the accused also snatched his wrist-watch and Rs 2,150 that were on his person, he added.

Cases of beating: The Civil Lines police has registered a case on the statement of Mr Prabhjot Singh, a resident of MIG flats, Dugri Road, under Sections 324,32 and 34 of the IPC against Harkamal Singh and Ladi. The complainant alleged that the accused intercepted him and beat him up before fleeing.

The Division No 6 police has registered a case under Sections 452,427,323,506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Rajiv Kumar, a resident of Baba Thaan Singh Chowk, against Rinku, Lucky, Bittu and others. The complainant alleged that the accused, out of some old enmity, forced their way into his office on Thursday, damaged the office furniture, beat him up and threatened him as well. No arrest has been made so far.



Sales mock

Ludhiana, April 6
Banners advertising ‘Sale’ are generally put by retailers, for clearing the extra stock at the end of every season. But don’t go by what you see. Some of main markets, including Chaura Bazar, Gur Mandi and Field Ganj, have sales all through the year.

For these retailers the beginning or end of a season do not matter. During winters, they capatalise on the word ‘Sale’ by selling hosiery items and in summers, they use the same trick to sell T-Shirts, Bermudas and other cotton clothes. They also mention the percentage of discount to be given during the whole year ranging between 25 to 50 per cent, as a gimmick to cheat customers.

Interestingly, these retailers allure customers by terming the ‘Sale’ as ‘Lucky Size Sale’, ‘Sale On Sale’, ‘Loot and Run’, and ‘Get Two At The Price Of One’. These are some of the attractive slogans which one can witness anytime posted in these markets.

The whole year through these retailers attract customers by placing ads in newspapers, magazines and other media of advertisement.

A shopkeeper, Mr Chander Khurana says that in the 1970’s he never used the word ‘Sale’, but now because of so much of competition in the market, even he has to move with the times.

Another store owner, Mr Amarjeet Singh, states that they have to put their goods at ‘sale’, because people are attracted by the word ‘sale’ itself in his long innings as a shopkeeper, he has learn a lot about the psychology of the people. He added that they put attractive slogans to attract customers who came to the market to have ‘dekho’, and it was their dealing only that they purchased stuff.

These retailers also give attractive gifts to their customers. One of the shopkeepers admitted that they covered their costs from customers.

While commenting on these all time sales in the market, Mrs Puneet, a housewife says that she did her shopping from the shops, advertising ‘sales’ only as she gets a good variety at lower rates no matter whether these were all the time sales.

Pooja, a university student states that she purchased her causal clothes from these shops, but for her formal clothes, she likes to go the big stores.

So, next time you decide to shop, don’t get fooled by the mock sales that sell you goods at a regular price. The couplet of Mirza Ghalib is quite appropriate for these type of mock sales,

‘Humen maloom hai jannat ki hakikat, Dil ke behlane ko Ghalib khyal achha hai.’

Satwant K. Sekhon



‘Heels and Toes’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
Sant Group, the leading chain of footwear stores in Punjab, launched a new brand name, ‘Heels and Toes’. The first showroom was formally opened in a major commercial centre of Ghumar Mandi in the city on Friday.

Talking about this new concept of brand marketing at the occasion, Mr Surjit Singh Kakkar, managing director of Sant Footwear Private Limited, said “The city already had two showrooms of the group and there was no use of displaying same designs and range of the footwear in other showrooms.”

Through ‘Heels and Toes’, the Sant Group intended to focus on new designs and range for the ladies and kids. According to Mr Kakkar, the entire concept, designing and variety was quite different from existing range, available at Sant showrooms. “In this brand we have endeavoured to introduce the footwear at reasonable prices, so that customers get the real value of money.”

Showman exhibition: The concept of displaying several things under one roof was started by Showman in July 1998. The aim was to get a large number of manufacturers, brands and the latest innovations under one roof in order to cater to the needs and educate people about the latest offering in the field. Their exclusive exhibition of consumer products is on at Welcome Palace and ends on Monday.


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