Thursday, April 18, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Demolition order creates panic
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 17
There seems to be panic among the people of about a dozen villages and newly colonies, near the Field Ammunition Depot of Baddowal over public notice that all structures within 1,000 yards of the depot will be demolished soon. Villagers say that while on one hand, the Union Ministry of Defence, is planning to shift the depot, on the other hand, local officials are trying to harass the people of the area.

Today the Commandant of the 17 Field Ammunition Depot, Col R.S. Dhillon, issued a public notice in some leading newspapers, saying, “Owners and prospective buyers of land in this area are being warned that any construction on this land is liable to be demolished.”

What has caused fear among thousands of persons of the area is the warning that “action for demolition of properties in the area is in process and demolitions will begin in near future”.

The notice comes at a time when the Ministry of Defence has already “in principle” approved the shifting of the depot. According to a communication from the Additional Secretary Home of Punjab to the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner. The ministry’s “in principle” approval is on the condition that the state government provides in advance suitable alternative land to the Ministry of Defence on exchange basis. This alternative land will have to be as near as possible to the present location which is important for logistics.

The ministry has already constituted a four member high level committee headed by the Chief Secretary of Punjab and comprising senior defence officers “to examine the proposed alternative sites and their feasibility in view of security imperatives.

The letter also contains a request to the Financial Commissioner (Revenue) of Punjab “to suggest alternative sites as per the requirements of the Ministry of Defence”.

Following an order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the local administration had demolished four marriage palaces. While the High Court had ordered the demolition of all structures within the 1000-yard radius, the administration had selectively picked up these marriage palaces and, later, issued notices to five others. However, some of the marriage palace owners had appealed against the High Court decision in the Supreme Court and got reprieve. The apex court has since, ordered a status quo.

The sarpanch of one of the villages within the 1,000-yard radius said today’s notice of the Commandant of the FAD was in violation of the Supreme Court order. He said, till the apex court disposed of the case or changed its orders on the status quo, defence officers could not issue such a notice.


NAAC picks 14 city colleges for accreditation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 17
After academic and administrative auditing, the National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC), of New Delhi has selected 14 city colleges for accreditation.

The principals of these colleges have now been invited to attend an orientation programme to be held in Panjab University on April 22 and 23. The principals will be told about ways of raising the standards of their institutions.

Mr P.S. Jaswal of the Department of Laws in Panjab University and the chairman of the inspection team that visited all colleges of the district last month, said 80 colleges of Punjab had been selected for accreditation, including 40 of Panjab University and 20 each of Punjabi University and Guru Nanak Dev University.

He said the orientation programme would be conducted jointly by the Government of Punjab, the UGC and Panjab University. He said the colleges selected from Ludhiana district included Ramgarhia Girls’ College, the GGN Khalsa College, the Khalsa College for Women, the Government College for Women, the SCD Government College, Kamla Lohtia Sanatan Dharam College, the SDP College for Women, the Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women, the Partap College of Education, the AS College at Khanna and GHG Khalsa College at Gurusar Sudhar.

Mr Jaswal said the inspection team had found that all these colleges had satisfactory infrastructure as per the standards of NAAC. He said, it was mandatory for all colleges to apply for accreditation and get it done by the end of 2003. He said that the remaining colleges of the district had been told to improve their standards. On its four day-tour in the mid-March, the inspection team had assessed different activities of these colleges like writing for journals, participation in conferences, holding of seminars and extension lectures. It checked for facilities like laboratories and libraries. It interacted with principals, staff and students of each college to assess the utilisation of the UGC grants for the Ninth Plan.

The other members of the team were Prof S.S. Johl, Prof V.K. Mahajan and Prof K.K. Kohli of Panjab University and the local PU senators like Prof Satish Sharma, Ms Harmit Kaur and Prof Mukesh Arora.

On March 30, Ms Nisha Sarda, DPI (Colleges), had said here that, in the inspection, those colleges that would secure at least 55 per cent marks would be given the accreditation.


Placement problem irks PAU students
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, April 17
Lack of sufficient job opportunities, low pay packages and laxity on the part of the authorities at Punjab Agricultural University is likely to hit the career prospects of the students here.

Even though there is a placement cell in each of the five colleges of the university but very few campus interviews were being arranged by them, pass-out students said. The students said even if a few of them got selected for a private company during such an interview, the salaries were too low for them to accept the opportunity.

The students said the in charges of the placements cells were usually senior professors of the departments who were already over-burdened with other responsibilities. They said they were not being able to spare time to develop new contacts with private companies, hold counselling of the students and prepare them for interviews. Instead, they were simply relying on a few companies who themselves approached the university for recruitment purposes.

Under such circumstances, the students said they had no other alternative but to themselves look into newspapers and send their resumes to private companies which rarely gave any call. This was slowly leading to frustration among several pass out students of the university. Even the students of MBA, who used to get jobs readily till previous years, said they were now facing problems.

Tejinder Singh, who has completed Ph.D in the Department of Horticulture, said he had visited the placement cell of his college twice and submitted his bio-data but in vain. He said he had heard that a campus interview was scheduled to be held last month, but later it was cancelled on some pretext. He felt humiated that despite having the highest degree offered by the university, he was without a job, he added.

Another student, now doing Ph.D in the College of Agriculture, said there were neither any job opportunities in the government sector nor on the campus itself these days. He said in such cases the university authorties should endeavour to develop new tie-ups with industry engaged in pesticides, fertilizers, seed production and contract organic farming or else the students would remain jobless. He said the placement cells should be handed over to the extension departments who have better tie-ups with such companies. Thrice he had sent his bio-data to the placement cell coordinator of his college but he was never informed about any job opportunity.

Dr Lal Singh Brar, senior agronomist and in charge of the placement cell for the College of Agriculture, agreed that job opportunities for the students had gone down. He also said that the pay packages of the company were also quite low which was causing much frustration to the students. He said that the students of Haryana Agricultural University and GB Pant University were also facing similar problems.

Dr Brar, however, said the university was making all efforts to provide suitable job opportunities to the students. He said that campus interviews were being arranged whenever a company approached him for recruitment purposes and notices regarding the same were being regularly put up in hostels, canteens, students’ home, notice boards of colleges and each concerned department. He said the university authorities were also planning to set up an independent placement cell and add a column for placements in its website where resumes of students could be put up and be made reachable to multi-national companies.


Woman raped, 7-yr-old son killed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 17
A seven-year-old boy was hacked to death in New Hargobind Nagar here yesterday, allegedly by a group of four persons who had forced their way into the house of Ram Milan, a migrant labourer, to rape the mother of the boy.

The four men entered the house when Ram was away and started raping his wife after beating her into submission. Seven-year-old Pawan, who was sleeping in the same room, got up on hearing his mother’s shrieks and tried to rescue her from the rapists. When he started shouting for help, he was allegedly killed with the help of a sharp-edged weapon. When the woman tried to save her son, she beaten up, as a result of which, she fell unconscious.

The incident came to the notice of some neighbours after Mamta, 10-year-old daughter of the woman, returned home from school in the afternoon and raised an alarm on seeing her unconscious mother and the body of her brother.

The Division Number 6 police rushed the woman to a hospital, where she gave some clues to the police, on the basis of which, two suspects were taken into custody for questioning.


Posh locality in dire straits
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 17
Thanks to the apathy and indifference of the civic administration, coupled with arrogance of the functionaries of a religious institution in the heart of the colony, residents of the so-called posh locality of Model Town Extension in the city are forced to live in the worst kind of insanitary and unhygienic conditions with no one to turn towards redressal of their persistent problems.

Rampant encroachment on footpaths all around and other open spaces by some of the transport companies, which also deal in building material like sand, bricks and sand stone, has made matters worse. In addition to dirty water, disposed of in the streets and lanes from the Gurdwara, the residents have to live with flying dust and sand all over their houses.

Mr Jagdev Singh Grewal, a resident, told Ludhiana Tribune that repeated pleas made by a deputation of residents through representations and personal meetings with senior MC officials for corrective measures had failed to evoke any response so far. As a result, the offenders had been further emboldened and they cared two hoots for the suffering and inconvenience, caused to the people.

“Rather than keeping the building material inside their premises, the transport companies, located in the area use the entire open spaces, footpaths and even part of the main road. With the result that sand and dust can be found all over the houses in the entire area. The transport companies also create nuisance with parking of vehicles right in front of the houses which further added to the misery of the residents.”

Mr Grewal was strongly critical of the management of Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Model Town Extension for having failed to make proper arrangements for disposal of dirty water which kept flooding all the surrounding streets and bylanes. “We have all the respect for the place of worship. But at the same time, the management is duty bound to be responsible and considerate towards the people all around.” He said the functionaries of the gurdwara could not go on creating problems for the entire locality and simply get away with it.


Cong, Left bodies protest against Gujarat violence
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 17
Leaders and activists of the Congress, the Lok Bhalai Party and the left organisations today staged separate demonstrations against communal violence in Gujarat. They were demanding the dismissal of the Narender Modi government in Gujarat and steps for restoring the confidence of the minorities in the country.

The Congress demonstration was led by the secretary, All India Congress Committee, Mr B.K. Hariprasad. A number of Congress activists took out a procession from the party office and reached the mini secretariat. They handed over a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner addressed to the President, Mr K.R. Narayanan.

The memorandum signed by 50 local leaders said; “Communal riots in Gujarat resulting in virtual massacre of members of the minority community have struck a fatal blow to the national pride of this great country all over the civilised world. The riots were deliberately not handled with an iron hand on account of complicity of the BJP government of Gujarat headed by Mr Narinder Modi. ...In view of these factors, very stringent action is called for against Mr Modi, the state Chief Minister”.

The memorandum, while urging the President to dismiss Mr Modi, said it was necessary to prevent further damage to the secular fabric of society. It also condemned the “BJP government-sponsored incident” of attack on the media at Sabaramti.

Prominent among those who participated in the demonstration included besides Mr Hari Prasad, Mr K.K. Bawa, Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran, Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, Mr Malkeet Singh Birmi, Mr Malkeet Singh Dakha, Mr Hranam Dass Johar, Mr Mohinder Singh Kalyan, Mr Pawan Dewan, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mr Ramesh Joshi and others.

The Lok Bhalai Party, as per the programme launched by the People’s Front, also staged a dharna under the leadership of Mr B.S. Ramoowalia, M.P., to express its deep anguish over the communal riots in Gujarat. It also demanded the immediate dismissal of the state Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi.

The Lok Bhalai Party condemned the Godhara train incident. The party also unequivocally condemned the Gujarat state machinery, particularly the “aggressive secterian and anti-secular attitude of the state Chief Minister in instigating communal violence and unleashing terror on an unprevented scale in which thousands of innocent men, women and children of minority community were wantonly killed, their houses burnt, properties looted and lakhs of them were rendered homeless”.

A demonstration was also organised by the members of various Left organisations to protest against the killings of innocent people in Gujarat. They also demanded the dismissal of the Modi government and said the guilty should be given exemplary punishment.


PPCC cell deplores Gujarat violence
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 17
The legal cell of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee has decided to observe “protest day” against the carnage being carried out in Gujarat. At an emergency meeting held here last evening under the chairmanship of Mr Dharamjit Singh Khera, the members took a serious view of the communal violence and killing of ladies and small children in the state.

According to Mr Pradeep Sharma, general secretary (press) of the PPCC Legal Cell, the meeting observed that the Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Narender Modi, had played a communal card and had proved to be a big failure in controlling the grave law and order situation in the state. “Mr Modi has failed to protect and save the life and property of innocent citizens of Gujarat, no relief has been paid to the deserving people who have faced destruction of life and limb. On the contrary, a partisan stand has been taken by the state government in handling the situation.”

The Legal Cell has demanded immediate resignation of the Gujarat CM and further called for imposition of President’s rule. Speakers were vocal in condemning the callous and partisan attitude of the Central Government toward the people of Gujarat. The meeting was attended, among others, by Mr J.S. Waraich, former president, DBA, Mr Balwinder Goyal, Mr Surinder Singh Khakh, senior advocate and Mr H.J.S. Rana.


Ghalib to pick Cong candidates
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 17
Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, MP will head a 12-member committee for picking the Congress candidates for the coming civic elections in the city.

According to sources in the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, the other members of this committee will include Mr Rakesh Pandey, Minister of State for Printing and Stationery and the party MLA from Ludhiana North, Mr Harnam Das Johar, Mr Surinder Dawar, Mr Malkiat Singh Beermi and Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, all legislators, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, general secretary of the PPCC, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, president of the District Congress Committee (Urban), Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran, president of the District Congress Committee (Rural), Mr Surjit Singh Ahluwalia, group leader of the Congress councillors, Mr Pawan Diwan, Dr Harbans Kaur and Ms Malti Thapar.

The district unit of the party has already sought applications from aspirants for the party ticket till April 18, and more than 700 applications, so far, have already been received.


Police reaches out to women
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 17
All police stations here and several others in the Ludhiana range would have reception rooms for women complainants and weaker sections of society.

At a press conference in his office here today, Mr Rohit Chaudhery, DIG of the Ludhiana range, said the scheme was aimed at strengthening public confidence in the police.

To begin with, 16 women policemen have been trained to be receptionists at various police stations.

They will maintain records of all visits and liaison with complainants to be their guides and counsellors.

The days of all-powerful ‘munshi’ seem to be over, but, in the absence of proper infrastructure, the reception centres would initially operate from waiting halls and the other spaces at police stations,” he said. The DIG said it had been seen that people had wait long at police stations and their grievances were not heard in spite of repeated visits.

Records of receptions centres would ensure that erring officials would be pulled up for not taking immediate and appropriate action on complaints. The centres open today at police stations at Khanna, Jagraon city, Dakha, Samrala and Ropar city.

On to the recent spurt in dacoity incidents at Khanna, the DIG said the police had formed an action plan to curb such crimes.

He said the gang behind the Khanna dacoities was that of Bawrias, a tribe in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

While some members of the gang arrive in advance in a village to collect intelligence on prospective targets, the dacoity is committed by gang members who specialise in the job and arrive only to carry out the operation and disappear.

These men are generally armed with iron rods and other weapons and they do not hesitate to kill if they have to.

A manhunt has been launched to nab various gangs of this tribe that are active in Ropar and Ludhiana districts because the police apprehends a rise in their activities in the wake of the harvest season when countryside coffers are full of cash.

About the closure of certain police pickets in crime-prone zones of the city, the DIG said that these could be reopened if the public demanded so.

He said the police was also considering setting up police pickets at hospitals to help the kin of accident victims.

In reply to another question, the DIG said the process of screening all tenants in the city would be resumed.


Kidneys gone, he survives on hope
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, April 17
Rajinder Moudgil is just living on hope because, he has nothing else, — both his kidneys are damaged and he cannot afford the cost of a transplant — over Rs 2 lakh. He hopes that some good Samaritans will bring him out of the death trap. His two children and elderly mother could not be more miserable as they fear the worst, but hope for the best.

Rajinder Moudgil, 43, of Haibowal Kalan, has already lost his wife Sarita Moudgil to cancer of the foodpipe.”She struggled for life for over two years and I spent about Rs 4 lakh on her treatment, for which, I sold my plot and a shop, but could not save her life,” said Rajinder.

He is diabetic and hypertensive and he came to know about his condition only a few days ago when he could not get up on his own as his body had swollen. He approached doctors of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital and was but on medication for a few days. The tests showed that both his kidneys were damaged.

Rajinder said, “I am the only bread winner of my family. I have an 11-year-old son and a seven-year old daughter to take care of my old mother, who stays with me, is shattered. If something happens to me, what will they do? I can not bear the expenses of the treatment because all my savings were spent on my wife’s treatment.”

Rajinder was working for Sanskar Channel and used to get about Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 per month, but he left this work when the doctors told him to take complete bed rest. “My family is, now, dependent on my mother’s monthly pension of Rs 2,000 and that I cannot do anything for her and my children. About Rs 3,000 is spent on my medicines and tests, every month and I cannot even think of getting a kidney transplant under such circumstances, but I always tell my children to think positive, even though I know that I cannot survive for long without treatment,” he said.

Both his children are now insecure. “They were deprived of their mother and, now, they do not want to lose their father,” said Rajinder’s mother.

Rajinder said he had no hopes from relatives or friends. “If it was a matter of a few thousand rupees, I would have asked them for favour, but I know that a huge sum is required for the treatment and no one will for help,” said Rajinder.

Doctors say that Rajinder needs an immediate kidney transplant, as both his kidneys have a 70 per cent infection. His is, now, waiting for a miracle to happen.


Man donates son’s eyes
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April17
Baldev Singh, a resident of Nathowal village, donated both the eyes of his son, Darshan Singh, who died recently due to massive heart attack, to the Eye Bank Mansuran.

Dr Ramesh, director, Eye Bank Mansuran, in a press note today said that the deceased died at an early age of 30. Mr Ishar Singh Bhuttar, a resident of the same village, motivated the family to serve for the humanity.

Dr Ramesh said that both the eyes were successfully transplanted to two patients of district Ludhiana and Pehowa, respectively.

Dr Ramesh pledged other villagers to donate eyes and serve for the humanity.


Release of DA instalment sought
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 17
The Punjab State Pensioners' Confederation in a press note issued here today has urged the state government to release the instalment of the dearness allowance that is due since January 1, 2002 to its employees and pensioners.

Mr B.R. Kaushal, president of the association, pointed out that the increased dearance allowance from 45 to 49 per cent has been sanctioned and disbursed long ago by the Central government to its employees and pensioners, raised by 4 per cent since January, 2001. However, the state government has not so far implemented the recommendation.

He claimed that inaction on the part of the Punjab government had resulted into unrest and discontent amongst this section of society. The association has urged the government to announce the sanction of increase in DA following the Central Government pattern. The association has reminded the government that the Congress had agreed to implement the decision during the elections as well.


Scooterist beaten up, hospitalised
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, April 17
A case under Sections 341, 323, 382 and 34 of the IPC has been registered at Sahnewal police station on Tuesday on the complaint of Harjinder Singh of Bilga village. He has alleged that Pavittar Singh Gholi of Nasrali village was on his scooter (PB 55-4505) when some unidentified persons attacked him and injured him. They also took away his scooter and absconded. The man was hospitalised at a local hospital in Sahnewal.

Driver booked: Constable Karamjit Singh booked a driver of Tata Sumo (HR 07C-4840), Partap Singh, of Samrala for blocking traffic in the main bazar of the town. A case under Section 283, IPC, has been registered.

One injured: A case under Sections 279, 427, 337 of the IPC has been registered at the Sahnewal police station against the truck driver, Paramjit Singh, of Sante Majra of Kharar on the complaint of Avtar Singh, driver of a Tata van (CHIG-1067) of Sant Ram Lohara Colony , Chandigarh. According to Avtar Singh who was injured and is in a local hospital at Sahnewal, Paramjit Singh with his rash driving bumped his truck into his van, injuring him.

One booked: A case of fraud has been registered under Section 420 of the IPC against Prem Nath of Ram Bagh, Amritsar. The man reportedly supplied adultrated oil to the people at his petrol pump.

Gamblers booked: Two cases of gambling have been registered at the local police station under Sections 13, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act against Pawan of Sahnewal Kalan and Jagroop, Vicki and Parmanand for engaging themselves in gambling at a public place in


One killed: A man, Bahadur Singh, died on the spot as he was hit by an unidentified vehicle. A case under Section 304A of the IPC has been registered at the Payal police station.

Scooterist dead: Sukhdev Singh died in a road accident near Payal. A case under Section 304-A of the IPC has been registered at the Payal Police Station, yesterday.

Liquor seized: A case under Sections 61, 1, 14 of the Excise Act has been registered against Jagdev Singh Jagga of Ghudani Kalan who was reportedly carrying five bottles of liquor from Chandigarh to his village, yesterday.


Poppy husk seized: The Dehlon Police on Kalakh chowk recovered 61 kg of poppy husk from truck No. Pb-12B/1497. The truck was coming from Majri village when it was signalled to stop. The police arrested Surjit Singh alias Maingal Singh of Pakhowal and impounded the truck. A case under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of NDPS Act has been registered.


Opium seized: The Khanna police has arrested a person under the NDPS Act and seized 500 gm of opium from his possession. According to the police, SI Gurcharn Singh of the CIA staff, Khanna, nabbed Ranjit Singh, son of Jagdev Singh, near Arraichan village and seized the opium from him. A case under Sections 18, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act has been registered against him. The accused was produced in the court.


Scooter stolen: Raj Kumar of Nichi Mangali has complained to the police that his LML Vespa scooter (PB 10-3494) has been stolen. A case under Section 379, IPC, has been registered.

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