Sunday, April 21, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Political rivalry behind attack on railway official
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
Political rivalry among different unionists in the Railway department is emerging as the strongest reason behind last night's attack on a Chief Inspector (Ticket). The official, Mr Bipin Chand Sharma, was shot at and seriously injured by two unidentified assailants outside a railway colony near the engine shed late last night. Mr Sharma is also a senior unionist and holds the key position of general secretary of the Uttariya Railway Mazdoor Union (URMU), an apex body of the employees of all the division of the Northern Railways.

The official was operated upon in the CMC hospital last night and his condition is now stated to be out of danger. Four shots were fired out of which three hit the official. The police has got no clue about the identity of the assailants as the official was yet to give a statement to the police as he was still not medically fit. The police was also awaiting the report of forensic experts to identify the kind of weapons used. The recovered cartridges indicated that there was a possibility that two weapons, a .32 bore and a countrymade pistol, could have been used in the attack.

Angry at the attack on their senior leader, hundreds of activists of URMU and unions of other employees’ category held a protest rally outside the railway station demanding the immediate identification of the accused and stringent punishment for them.

Mr Parveen Kumar, divisional president of the union, termed the incident as an attack on trade unionism and warned an agitation if the culprits are not brought to book immediately. The unions also held a meeting and unanimously condemned the incident. Mr Parvesh Sharma, a delegate of the Ticket Inspectors Union, also condemned the incident in a statement issued to the press.

Highly placed police sources said that preliminary investigations strongly suggest that the official was attacked out of some rivalry among the unionists. The police believes that the roots of the attack were likely to be found in New Delhi, hub of the union politics. The police was awaiting the statement of the injured official before embarking on any raids or detaining any person.

Mr Sharma's union belongs to the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), which is affiliated to the Congress, while other unions like the Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh and the Hind Mazdoor Sangh are affiliated to the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Communist Party (Marxist). Mr Sharma was elected for a three-year-term early last year. Mr Sharma was also the vice-president of INTUC.

Police sources said the manner of the attack clearly indicated that the official was shot at due to some personal rivalry, which in his case was political rivalry. Railway sources informed that attack on the union leaders was not uncommon. Six months ago, a senior unionist of the Railways, Ram Parkash, was attacked in a similar manner in Moradabad. He also received gunshot injuries but survived the attack. Some minor clashes had also taken place in the recent past.

Police sources also added that questioning of the family members had also not provided any clue so far on the possibility of the injured's person’s enmity with some person.

Mr Sharma had returned from New Delhi from the Shatabdi train last evening. After sitting for few hours in the union's office at the local railway station, he left for his house in the railway colony near the engine shed besides the Jagraon overbridge on his colony at about 9:15 p.m. and was shot at about 9:45 p.m, just at the entrance gate of the colony. The assailants ran away and the badly bleeding official was rushed to the hospital by the residents of the colony.

The incident was, meanwhile, also condemned by local Congress leaders. A large number of Congress workers and leaders assembled at the CMC hospital. Senior Congress leaders K.K. Bawa, Parminder Mehta and R.K. Gupta have condemned the incident and demanded speedy investigation of the case. Mr Varun Kumar, a congress youth activist, has also demanded a high level inquiry into the incident.



Communication gap between admn, people
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
There seems to be a lot of communication gap between some senior officers in the district administration and local people, primarily on account of the language. Most of the top officials in the district administration here are not comfortable speaking Punjabi, common language of the people, particularly those belonging to the countryside.

Besides Punjabi being the official language of the state, common people mostly conversed in Punjabi, irrespective of the fact whether the persons they were talking to knew Punjabi or not. The administration was facing a similar problem. Most of rural people were unable to speak in any language except Punjabi and that too in its chaste form, thus making the things difficult for the non-Punjabi speaking officers.

The problem normally arose during the public hearing of grievances and complaints at the fortnightly meeting for the redressal of public grievances. Although some seniormost officers might have appeared attentive while listening to the problems of the people, but ultimately most of the issues remained unresolved for the lack of understanding. And these officers had to depend a lot on the junior and local officers for the interpretation of the problems raised by the people.

Although some of these officers were making efforts to converse in Punjabi with local people, but being unable to adopt to popular idiom they could not understand people’s problems and also be understood by them. As a result many complainants at the grievance redressal meeting had to return disappointed, without being understood, even after being heard.

Several people had been complaining that they were not able to put across their point properly during the grievance redressal meetings since they could not speak in Hindi or English. An elderly man, G S Sandhu of Jassian village, said ‘‘We do not want interpreters to convey our problems to the senior officers. We want to communicate with them directly,’’. In fact he walked out in protest during one such meeting because of some misunderstanding.

Some people were at a total loss, while responding to the queries from these officers. The communication gap at times also led to confusion and misunderstanding with some persons feeling that they were not being properly heard.



Farmers upset over Fire Brigade demand
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
While there has been a spurt in fire incidents in wheat fields due to which crops worth lakhs of rupees have been gutted, farmers are deeply upset at a demand of advance payment’ by the Fire Brigade office before dispatching the fire fighting engines to their rescue.

The villagers alleged that during a fire incident the Fire Brigade staff did not turn up even after a phone call and they said that somebody should come to the office and submit Rs 300 and only then they would be leaving for the rescue work at fields. The villagers said that as it was difficult to reach the office of the fire brigade in case of a fire and this demand could only lead to the fire to get uncontrollable till the time the brigade reached the spot.

Farmers of Tusse and Halwara, who lost wheat in hundreds of acres of land on Thursday, said that while the fire was spreading wildly in their fields, they kept on telephoning the Fire Brigade office but to no avail. The attendant on the phone told them to come to the office and pay Rs 300 first. In the meantime the fire kept on spreading and crop in hundreds of acres was gutted, they said, adding that had the brigade arrived in time the losses would have been much less.

Farmers of Dakha and Kailpur village, where wheat worth Rs 5 lakh was gutted few days ago, also complained against the Fire Brigade. Mr Jasmail Singh, a farmer, whose wheat had also caught fire said that he kept ringing up the Fire Brigade office but the staff kept insisting that if a payment of Rs 300 would be made in advance at the office, only then the service of dousing the fire would be provided.

It is demanded that the authorities of the department as well as the government should issue orders to the Fire Brigade to reach the spot immediately after receiving information of a fire incident.

An eye witness, Mr Gurpreet Singh of Churchak village, who informed the Ludhiana Fire Station, said villagers from adjoining villages pitched in to help.



Fire destroys 38 acres of wheat crop
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, April 20
Standing wheat crop in 32 acre was destroyed in a fire at Ghaloti village, yesterday.

The field owners, Master Harjit Singh, Jagwant Singh, Darshan Singh and Jagga Singh of Ghaloti village have demanded compensation for the loss of the crop.

Mr Surinder Singh Shahpur, President, Punjab People's Welfare Organisation and a social worker of the area, in an application to the SDM, Payal, Mr Sucha Singh Mast, has asked for a compensatory loss of Rs 15,000 and provision for a fire brigade for Payal sub-division in case of such emergencies.

In another incident, fire destroyed 6 acre of wheat crop at Majara village, today afternoon. The standing wheat crop was gutted when the electricity wires passing through the fields produced sparking and the sparks fell on the crop.

The police and the fire brigade were called immediately. The fire was doused after sometime with the help of villagers. The fields belonged to Kulwant Singh Kanti of Majara village. He has submitted a written report to the police for adequate compensation.



Playwin retailers in fix over HC orders,
 stop operations
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
The Association of the Retailers of Playwin Online Lotteries has decided to suspend its operations in deference to the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The association held a meeting today and expressed its helplessness saying it did not have any specific and clear guidelines whether they could operate the lotteries or not.

The president of the association, Mr Sunil Prabhakar, said they were told that the high court had banned the operations. Apprehending “harassment” by the police and the administration they decided to discontinue their operations.

However, the association regretted that the role of the Punjab distributor of the lotteries, M/S Barnala Automobiles or the SL Group the promoters of the Playwin lotteries was not satisfactory either. It said that both of them had maintained a silence and not issued any directions whether they should continue operations or stop these.

Today's meeting unanimously elected office-bearers, who include, besides Mr Sunil Prabhakar as president, Mr Nairndepal Singh as vice-president, Mr Chandermohan Gupta general secretary, Mr Vinod Kumar as propaganda secretary, Mr Harpla Singh as secretary and Mr Tejinderpal Singh as cashier.

Playwin lotteries had become quite popular in Punjab with thousands of people queuing up outside the lottery machines to get a ticket.



SHSAD forms panel to select candidates
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 20
The Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal led by Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra set up a six-member committee here today to select its candidates and explore alliance possibilities.

A meeting of senior leaders of the SHSAD was held in the house of Mr Surjan Singh Thekedar here, which was attended by Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, secretary general of the party; Mr Karnail Singh Panjoli, president of the youth wing of the party; Mr Hira Singh Gabria, a former MLA; Mr Maheshinder Singh Grewal, a former minister; and Mr Bikramjit Singh Khalsa, a former MLA. They discussed prospects of the party in the Ludhiana MC elections.

According to Mr Maheshinder Singh Grewal, a six-member committee led by Mr Surjan Singh Thekedar and comprising Mr Hira Singh Gabria, Mr Maheshinder Singh Grewal, Mr Swaran Singh, Mr Bikramjit Singh Khalsa and Ms Kuldip Kaur was formed at the meeting. Mr Grewal said the SHSAD would hold talks with parties opposed to the Congress.

When asked if the party would like to go with the SAD (B), Mr Grewal said it could be possible if the party leadership was willing to do so. The Akali Dal, before the split had 20 councillors in the Ludhiana MC, but, after the split, the number of councillors affiliated to the SHSAD was 13. The party received a setback last week when its six councillors, including the Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, defected to the SAD (B). The Congress has also set up a committee under the leadership of Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, MP, to select its candidates. Mr Amarjit Singh was appointed the office secretary of the party here.



Maintenance of parks: MC staff panel urges probe
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 20
Indiscriminate allotment of public parks in the city to various Park Management Committees (PMCs) by the Municipal Corporation administration has assumed scandalous proportions with allegations of gross financial irregularities being levelled against the officials of horticulture wing.

The MC was paying over Rs 21 lakh per month as maintenance amount at the rate of Re 1 per square yard area of various parks to the PMCs every month whereas in several parks the maintenance work was still being done by the employees of horticulture wing of the civic body.

Corroborating the allegations of irregularities and siphoning of funds by the PMCs, Mr Khelar Chand Gupta, president of Municipal Workers Union, has further alleged that the parks have been allotted for maintenance to many such societies, which exist on paper only. He says despite hefty maintenance amount claimed by the PMCs, the actual work is being put in by the MC employees.

Charging the officials concerned of the MC with being hand-in-glove with the functionaries of PMCs and sharing the booty, the union has urged the MC administration to hold a high-level inquiry into the working of horticulture wing, especially in the context of allotment of parks to PMCs, so that the guilty can be exposed and action taken against them.

The District Youth Congress (DYC) has also raised it voice against alleged corruption and irregularities in the horticulture wing.

In a memorandum submitted to the state government and the MC administration, the YC functionaries have alleged that the payment being made to the PMCs is double than the rate fixed by the government, which in other words meant that funds of the civic body worth several lakhs are being squandered away every month.

The horticulture wing has also been charged with bungling in purchase of plants from several nurseries, allowing the use of sub-standard building material for construction of parks and installation of poor quality of playway equipment in public parks, which has caused quite a few serious accidents in the past.

Focussing on the raids conducted by the Vigilance Bureau in December 2001 on the horticulture wing, the DYC has called upon the government to order a high-level reshuffle in the horticulture wing of the MC before ordering a probe in to its functioning.



Rush for tickets for MC poll
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
There seems to be a great rush for tickets for the forthcoming elections to the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation.

According to the District Congress Committee (urban) president, Mr K. K. Bawa, 905 application forms were sold for the 70 wards, with an average of 13 applications for each ward indicative of the difficult job ahead for the party to choose the final candidates. Although the party has already constituted a 12-member committee headed by local MP Gurcharan Singh Ghalib to select candidates, yet the ticket aspirants are looking beyond the committee for getting party nomination.

Mr Bawa said that the committee had not held any formal meeting so far. It is likely to hold its first meeting after April 23, when the case for rotation of the wards comes up for hearing in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The decision of the government not to change the ward reservation for women this time has been challenged in the Punjab and Haryana High Court and is listed for hearing on April 23.

Senior Congress leader and the MLA from Ludhiana East, Mr Surinder Dawer, said that the party was “faced with the problem of plenty”. He said, “We have a number of able and efficient party workers and it may really be a difficult choice to be made.”



Animals a nuisance on city roads

ANIMALS moving freely on the city roads have become a traffic hazard, besides causing nuisance for the public. Cows, donkeys, dogs, pigs, you name it and you will find them roaming all around the city.

The animals move from one place to another in search of food for their survival. This in turn hampers not only the movement of the passersby but also the pedestrians. People are afraid to get hurt by these animals. In the recent past the news about the dog eating a man and a small girl having been eaten up by cats, have created terror among the people. School-going children sometimes do not find way to pass through the road blocked by cows.

Herds of cows treat roads as their homes. They are found on a number of roadsides passing their time and wasting the time of passersby. After the cows are unable to produce milk they are left on roads to die. A cow which is considered as holy by the Hindus deserves to be treated like a living animal, if not divine. But the authorities are not concerned at all about their condition. The worst affected areas include Ghumar Mandi, Rani Jhansi Road, College Road and not to speak of the interiors, which are full of stray animals.

The road leading to the Damoria Pul is always blocked by a bull which is either sitting or standing in the centre or is walking in its own mood, making it difficult for commuters to pass. Rishi Nagar seems to be favourite haunt for pigs, where almost every lane has five to ten pigs living in it. They are a source of terror for children playing in parks as well as in lanes. They destroy small gardens maintained by residents and they are also unhygienic.

It is not just cows but also dogs, donkeys and pigs that keep on sitting and roaming on roads, leading to the traffic jams. Dogs when they are old, and donkeys, when they become incapable of carrying load, are left in the lanes, roads and residential areas. They are looked down upon and are fed with the waste and stale food only.

— Suruchi Arora



Denial of amenities irks residents
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 20
Irked over the Municipal Corporation's lack of action over persistent lack of basic civic amenities, the residents of Dugri Urban Estate locality here came out in the streets and held a demonstration outside Phase I water reservoir recently.

Focussing on the grievances of the residents of the area, Mr B.R. Kaushal, president, Dugri Urban Estate Residents Welfare Society, said that the locality was a victim of apathy and callousness of the civic administration. "The residents are denied basic facilities like potable water and a functional sewerage, the roads are in a state of disrepair and dotted with pot holes, sanitation leaves much to be desired and the parks in the colony suffer from poor maintenance."

The most unfortunate part, according to Mr Kaushal, was the sheer apathy and indifference on the part of senior MC officials, who had failed to respond despite repeated representations and personal meetings with deputation of the welfare society.

A delegation of the residents, led by Mr Kaushal, met the MC Commissioner, Mr R.L. Kalsia, yesterday to apprise him of the pathetic conditions in the entire locality and to impress upon him the dire need for providing basic civic amenities to people. The MC Commissioner assured the residents that immediate remedial measures would be taken to tide over the scarcity of water and to bring about qualitative improvement in other amenities.

Meanwhile, residents of Kabir Nagar Colony in Ward No 24 have complained that direct water supply had not been provided so far in several streets like Street Nos 7 to 10, 10A, 10B, 10C, 10D, 10E and 11 to 14. As a result, the residents had no alterative but to use the highly polluted water, drawn out by hand pumps. Further, some of the streets in the locality were sans sewerage lines and others, where this facility was available, were facing the problem of choked sewers.

According to Mr Bhajan Singh Bhamra, vice-president, BJP, Ward No 24, there were no street lights in the entire area and none of the 15 streets had been ever recarpeted by the MC. He said the MC Commissioner, Mr Kalsia had visited the locality in the past and had announced 40 streetlight points for the area at the spot but thereafter no further action had been taken to undertake any kind of development works.



Constraints of cinema owners add to problems 
of cinegoers

Cinema is the cheapest means of entertainment for the working class, specially for the slum dwellers and labourers. For those three hours that they spend in a theatre, they can suspend their beliefs, forget the worries, and grim realities of life.

Conditions and facilities provided at a theatre can mar or enhance the viewing pleasure of the cine goers. In summers specially when the mercury is rising, people want the cinema halls to provide cool air. The cinema halls in the walled city had been constructed more than six to seven decades back when only fans could provide the cool air. Now these cinema halls in the walled cities have got air coolers.

In a survey done by Ludhiana Tribune, it was found that the toilets in cinema halls needed to be improved. The toilet bowls were chipped and toilets were stinking, though it was claimed by the cinema owners, that the sweepers cleaned them regularly. Only Raikhy Cinema had clean toilets.

The water arrangement was also poor. The taps were too few and the placements of taps was wrong. They were placed too low and people had to sit down to drink water. In all halls there were no provision of separate taps for women. Actually the canteen owners might be behind this arrangement as they wanted the people to buy soft drinks. Moreover, hardly any shade was provided over the taps and the water was not cool.

Deepak Cinema hall had many broken seats. It did not have fire fighting equipment as well. A bucket placed inside the hall was minus sand. The price of the ticket at this cinema hall was Rs 15 as people did not have the paying capacity.

Other cinema halls were equipped with fire fighting equipment. After Uphaar’s Cinema tragedy in Delhi, the authorities had become strict on this account, every year there were checkups before a cinema hall’s license was renewed.

The canteens sold the usual fare — hot dogs, pastries, popcorn and wafers. The quality these could be improved. The soft drinks were in abundance. The prices were competitive.

One could not condone the irresponsible behaviour of the movie goers. Some section of people came armed with blades. When power supply failed they took out their anger on hall seats. In the few seconds it took for the generator to come on, some of them ripped through the chairs and the foam spilled out. Moreover they, too, were responsible for the poor state of toilets. Paan spitting was another common but deplorable habit of cine goers. The littering of cinema hall with peanut shells, tetra packs of soft drinks and other eatables made these halls rats infested.

Though the administration had allowed them to sell the tickets at the rate of Rs 25, but except Society ,the other cinema owners had to sell them at Rs 20 as the labour class could not afford to pay more. However, entertainment tax was charged at the rate of Rs 25 instead Rs 20.

According to Vikas Raikhy, the cinema owners could not compete with fast changing technological world. The pirated CDs DVDs cut into chunk of their profits. New movies were only released at newer picture halls. So the halls in walled cities had to run low budgeted movies with provocative titles to attract people. The cinematography Act made in 1952 was redundant and a new Act had to come in practice so that they could make changes in their already existing theatres. They wanted the customers to be happy and provide the Dolby system, but they did not have the hardware for it.

Mr Bhupinder Singh of Society Cinema said that due to short sighted policies of the government, the cinemas were dying. ‘‘After paying our chunk of income in taxes, what can we do? Let the government allow us to charge Rs 5 for maintenance per person, (tax free) and definitely we can give more comforts to the viewers’’, says Raikhy.

Both Naulakha and Raikhy Cinemas had open drains inside and outside their halls. They had complained about this a lot of times but no action had been taken. These drains got choked as the dhabas nearby threw their waste and other rubbish which got accumulated. The government could charge the taxes but do nothing in return, cinema owners lamented. If the movie was engrossing, the audience bore all discomforts, if it was boring they took out their ire on poor seats. The owners barely finished repairing the seats when again they were torn. Raikhy Cinema had plastic seats with iron base to solve this problem of mutilated seats.

Asha Ahuja



Earning their living in their own way

Chaura Bazaar, a famous market of the city is providing livelihood to many people in its own way. As you enter the market you find there are people running to you saying “yeh le lijiye, mahange nahi hai”. They are people earning their livehood by selling small things like cotton buds, gas lighters, purses, pesticides to kill rats and many more such small things that does not cost you more than Rs 20.

Sometimes we may buy a thing because we need it and at other times we buy a thing if the sellers insist on buying. Popularly known as ‘chalta firta bazzar’, these people earn their living by selling these small things.

The people selling these goods carry them in their own hand and sometimes they earn Rs 50-60. These people are quite satisfied with their life as they can move to any other place if they don't earn good. They are away from the tensions to pay shop rent or any other taxes that the shopkeepers have to pay.

Krishan, a person selling pesticides for the last 10 years in this market, is satisfied with his life as he just has to stand anywhere he likes in the market and sells his pesticides. He added that he does not want to leave this place as now he is having his regular customers who come to him to purchase the pesticides.

Presently there are about 20 to 25 people on the single lane only who sell their things. Some people have a good experience, while others are small children of 15-16 years who have to leave their studies to earn a living.

Raju, Kaku, both good friends, are in the market for the last 4 months. They left their studies as their parents did not have much money to educate them in a school. They say that they purchase goods from Gur Mandi and sell them on the main lane at Chaura Bazaar. In a day they earn Rs 50-60. According to them the best time is at the time of New Year when foreigners are in the city as they come daily to the market and purchase things from them at their insisting.

There are people who have come from Delhi just to try their luck if they can earn anything. They are selling hangings for Rs 40 which they have brought from Jaipur to sell in the market. They are of the view that as they do not have to pay any shop rent, it is the best way even if they earn Rs 50 only. S.S.



Ghalib gives 2 lakh grant for development
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 20
A senior Congress leader and Member of Lok Sabha, Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, yesterday presented a cheque of Rs 2 lakh to Mr Girdhari Lal, Sarpanch of Harkishan Vihar, Rahon Road, for development works of the village.

Addressing a function at this occasion, Mr Ghalib reiterated the commitment of the Congress party for allround development of towns and villages, without any discrimination. He said the government as well as the elected representatives of the people would make sure that the development projects did not suffer in any manner due to paucity of funds.

Prominent among those present at the occasion were Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran, president, District Congress Committee (Rural), former Deputy Mayor Mr Prem Mittal, Mr T.R. Rajan and Mr Jagjit Singh Lambra, former Chairman, Panchayat Samiti.

Mr Sham Lal, member of village panchayat and several other prominent residents expressed gratitude to Mr Ghalib for providing funds for the development works.



He created stars but now cannot move
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, April 20
Jugal Kishor Chawla has created history in the world of sports by training more than 100 state and national-level players. Call it the irony of fate, he is unable to move today as both his kidneys have stopped functioning. He is not in a position to go for the transplant on his own due to financial constraints.

A resident of Rishi Nagar, Choti Haibowal, 45-years-old Jugal Kishore is suffering from blood pressure for over last two-three years. He joined the Sutlej Club in 1971 as a marker. By the year 1998, he trained over 100 state and national-level players in sports like badminton, snooker, table tennis and lawn-tennis.

“About a year ago, I was shocked when I came to know about the disease. I am a sportsman, How can you expect that a person like me will become a bed-ridden for life-long? God has really been unkind to me”, said Jugal Kishor.

Jugal Kishore has two sons, Vijay and Rajeev, aged 16 and 14 years respectively. He used to get around Rs 5000 per month. “Everything was running smoothly till the time we got to know about his disease. We have already spent around Rs 50,000 on his treatment in the last one year. He was admitted to DMCH, but after medication he was discharged. Doctors recommended immediate transplant but we can not afford the cost of treatment”, said Mrs Jugal Kishore.

“I have trained players like Sanjeev Vohra, Ashish Dhanda, Achint Verma, Jaswinder Bhogal, Nitin Gupta, Sanjiv Bhalla, Rishi Oswal and Sunil Aulakh, who have played at the state and national levels. But now I am helpless, completely bed-ridden”, said Jugal Kishore.



Ram Navami shobha yatra
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 20
Shri Sanatan Dharam Mahotsav Committee took out its 51st shobha yatra on the eve of Ram Navami here last evening.

The yatra, which started from the Daresi Grounds in the afternoon, was led by Mahamandleshwar Swami Ved Bharti, Swami Nigam Bodh and Pandit Bhimsen, passed through Partap Bazaar, Girjaghar Chowk, Chaura Bazaar, Chowk Vaishno Devi, Chowk Division Number three, Khwaja Kothi and Sanglan Wala Shivala, before culminating at the Haridev Temple.

The main attractions of the yatra were Shri Ramayana Rath, a vanar-sena from Amritsar and tableaux depicting the life of Lord Rama during his ‘vanvas’, ‘Tarka-vadh’, Love-Kush and a giant Hanuman.

Tableaux prepared by a number of temples of the city were attractive with children dressed up as Lord Rama, Laxman, Bharat and Shatrughan.

The yatra was led by an elephant, which was followed by a horse-riding Lord Rama and his brothers. Several women satsang sabhas and devotees sang Rama hymns atop vehicles decked with flowers. Before the start of the yatra, a function was held at the Daresi Grounds at which the yatra was inaugurated by Mr Anurag Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana.

The various temples that participated in the shobha yatra were Sanatan Dharam Mandir, Jawahar Nagar, Jwala Mandir, Lakkar Bazaar, Laxmi Narayan Mandir, Chhawni Mohalla, Durga Mandir, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Shri Sankat Mochan Hanuman Mandir, Haibowal, Shri Shiv Mandir, Chaura Bazaar, Prem Kutia, Tilak Nagar, Sita Mata Mandir, Daresi, Krishna Mandir, Shastri Nagar, Shri Mahavir Mandir, Amarpura, Krishna Mandir, Model Town, Shri Radhe Shyam Mandir, Lakkar Bazaar and Haridev Mandir, Bagh Wali Gali.

Among representatives of various religious organisations who took part in the shobha yatra were Mr Prem Prashar, Mr Sham Lal Malhotra, Mr Hakumat Rai Jain, Mr Kewal Krishan Marwaha, Mr Satpal Bawa, Mr Ram Nath Kapur, Mr G.L.Pahwa, Mr Amar Nath, Mr Darshan Lal, Mr Devi Chander, Mr Jagdish Sharma, Mr Varinder Mittal, Mr Krishan Chand Gupta, Mr Vinod Sharda, Mr Subhash Malhotra, Mr Raj Kumar Sharma, Mr Krishan Lal Dua, Mr Navin Mittal, Mr Gian Chand Ahuja, Mr Rakesh Uppal, Mr Ram Kumar Khurana, Mr Madan Lal Chopra, Mr Om Parkash Vig, Mr Manohar Lal Narang, Mr Madan Lal Kochar, Mr Balbir Gupta, Mr Naresh Sharma, Mr Sanjay Gupta and Pandit Bal Krishan.



Kartar Singh Sarabha remembered
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 20
The Dhan-Pothohar Brotherhood, Punjab, organised a function at a local hotel here which was dedicated to the memory of Kartar Singh Sarabha. On this occasion, the sacrifices made by all martyrs of Punjab, particularly at Jallianwala Bagh were recollected and tributes were paid to all freedom fighters, who went to jail, suffered losses and death of dear ones at the time of Partition.

Mr N.S. Nanda, president of the brotherhood, said it was a matter of great pride that Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha and Sukhdev were the sons of this soil. He also highlighted the achievements of Dhan-Pothohar Brotherhood. He spoke about the contributions of Master Tara Singh; Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir; Mr Inder Kumar Gujral, a former Prime Minister of India, who are originally ‘pothoharis’ and belong here. He further announced that a All-India cultural conferences would be held in August here in which eminent literary personalities would be honoured for their services.

Dr G.S. Mohey, a writer, presented a book ‘Kartar Singh Sarabha’ written by him to Mr N.S. Nanda, president, on this occasion. Mr Nanda appreciated Dr Mohey for his authentic research on Sarabha and publishing the book.

Prof M.S. Cheema, Mr Karamjit Singh Aujla, President, Sirjandhara, Kulwant Jagraon, a poet, Devinder Sikha, a novelist, Dr Sharanjit Kaur, a story writer and critic from Chandigarh, Dr A.S. Sikka; Mrs Gurcharan Kaur Kochhar, poetess; and Mukhtiar Mittar also spoke on the occasion.

The programme started with a shabad by school children and a cultural programme.

Mr Lochan Singh Bhan, Mr Harpal Jagi, Mr Ravinderpal Singh Khalsa, Mr S.S. Lamba, Mr T.P.S. Bindra, and Mr N.S. Kohli were also present on the occasion.



Auction for entry fee collection cancelled
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 20
The auction for the contract of collection of entry fee at the local bus stand has been cancelled as no bid came above the reserved price. In all 11 bidders came to the Municipal Council hall, but all of them bid far below the reserved price of Rs 22.67 lakh.

Yesterday it was the second time when the auction for entry fee contract was cancelled . The previous date of auction was April 2. On that day the bidders were also bidding below the reserved price. On both occasions bidders raised objections about condition of a 100 per cent bank guarantee.



SDM assumes charge
Our Correspondent

Amloh, April 20
Mr Amarjit Singh Shahi, has assumed charge as SDM Amloh in place of Ms Raghbir Kaur Khera who has been transferred to Moga.

Mr Shahi called a meeting of procurement agencies, arhtiyas chairperson and secretary, Market Committee Amloh on Saturday here and impressed upon them to speed up the lifting process of the wheat procured.



‘No move to replace Rinwa’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 20
“There is no move to replace the state chief of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Mr Brij Lal Rinwa,” said Mr Ashok Juneja, general secretary of the BJP Legal Cell, at a meeting of the party workers here.

He said some persons were also trying to drag the name of senior party leaders like Mr Balramji Dass Tandon and Mr Madan Mohan Mittal in a bid to overthrow the party’s state leadership. Mr Juneja said partymen had organised meetings at various levels to introspect the reasons for the party’s defeat in the recent Assembly elections. 



Steps to bridge gap between police, public
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
While addressing a gathering in the Rotary Club here last evening, Mr Rohit Chaudhry, DIG, Ludhiana range, said the several steps were being taken to bridge the gap between the police and the public. He informed that a police-public meeting would be held on first Sunday of every month in specified police stations.



Labourers given drug-laced tea, robbed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 20
Two migrant labourers from Bihar who arrived at the local railway station on Thursday night from Moga to catch a train for Begusarai were allegedly given drug-laced tea by a gang of four robbers and robbed of Rs 12,000.

Mahesh (20) and Dinesh (22), who worked as masons at Moga, were admitted to the Civil Hospital yesterday by passersby who noticed the duo in an unconscious state near the Rakh Bagh. According to the victims, they were waiting for the train when four unknown persons hailing from Bihar came to them and started gossiping with them. After a while, the alleged robbers told them that since the train would arrive in the morning , they could stay for the night at their residence near the railway station. When the gullible migrants agreed to this, the robbers took them to a tea shop near the Guru Nanak stadium and offered tea and biscuits to them. Soon they lost consciousness.

Rape bid alleged: The division number seven police has registered a case under sections 498-A,376,511,506, 509 and 323 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Manju Bala, a resident of Urban Estate on the Chandigarh road, against Manoj Kumar Mishra, a resident of Moti Nagar and a relative of her husband.

The complainant had alleged that the accused had entered her house on the evening of April 17 in the absence of her husband, Mr Pradeep Kumar, and tried to rape her. When she resisted the efforts, the accused resorted to beating and threatening her. The accused has been arrested.

Forcible possession alleged: The Jodhewal police has registered a case under sections 448,506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Dhanwant Rai, a resident of Phagwara, against Kulwant Singh, a resident of Sekhewal village, and his family members. The complainant had alleged that the accused took possession of his house in his absence and when he asked the accused to vacate the house, they allegedly threatened him of dire consequences.

Fraud case: The Model Town police has registered a case of alleged fraud under sections 420,467,468 and 471 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Gulal Singh, a resident of Laddian Khurd village, against Baljit Singh, a resident of Dugri village, Ashwini Kumar and his wife, residents of Urban Estate, Dugri, Satwinder Singh, a resident of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar and Pritam Singh Lambardar, a resident of Chhandra village. The complainant had alleged that he had finalised a deal to buy a plot from the accused and had made full payment for the same. But later, the accused neither got the plot registered in his name nor returned the money to him.

Held for jamming traffic: The Kotwali police, on a complaint by Mr Pritpal Singh, a Head Constable, registered a case under sections 283 and 186 of the IPC against Kuldeep Singh, a resident of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, and Surinder Kumar, a resident of Tibba Road. The complainant had alleged that the accused parked their truck on the road and obstructed the flow of traffic. When he tried to persuade them to do otherwise, the accused grappled with him.

In another case, the Kotwali police arrested Ajay Singh, a resident of Laxmi Puri in the Salem Tabri area, and booked him under Section 283 of the IPC for allegedly parking his three-wheeler in a wrong manner on the road and obstructing traffic.

Held for murder:
The police has arrested Beant Singh, alias Beani, for the murder of Sukhdarshan Singh. According to information, Sukhdarshan Singh had retired from the Army. Surjit Singh, brother-in-law of the deceased, made a complaint to the police against a cousin of the deceased, Balwinder Singh, alias Billu, and some other persons. The police registered a case u/s 302/34 of the IPC at the Sidhwan Bet police station.

Balwinder Singh is absconding. According to the police, it has transpired that the wife of Sukhdarshan Singh, Baljit Kaur, had illicit relations with Balwinder Singh, alias Billu, and Baljit Kaur had run away earlier for about two-three months but returned home after persuasion by relatives.

Prior to this Baljinder Kaur, came to condole on the death of Billu’s sister, and there Billu disclosed her that Sukhdarshan Singh harasses his wife. Baljit Kaur also met Bindro and told her about the harassment, at which Bindro assured for arrangement for killing Sukhdarshan Singh by hired killers by paying “supari”. It has also been revealed that Bindro thereafter arranged a meeting between Billu and Beant Singh of Kothe Pona Jagraon and a deal was struck for Rs 40000. Later Billu and Beant Singh reportedly murdered Sukhdarshan Singh with sharp-edged weapons in broad day light. The police arrested Baljit Kaur and Bindro and later Balwinder Singh, Billu the hired killer.

One held for assault: The Dehlon police has arrested Gurdip Singh of Butari village in a case under Sections 452/323/34 of the IPC. According to the complaint, Gurdip Singh along with Hardip singh, Gurmit Singh and Mohinder Singh assaulted Paramjit Singh, alias Chinda, of the same village after entering his house. Political rivalry was said to be the reason behind the assault.

Mandi Gobindgarh
Body found:
The Mandi Gobindgarh police found the body of a missing businessman/money lender, Devinder Mehan (40) from Sirhind canal on Friday. After a post-mortem the body was handed over to the deceased’s family.

The police has registered a case under Section 174 Cr. P.C. According to sources, mother of the deceased Ms Saroj Rani had made a statement to the local police on April 12 that her son was missing. The scooter of the deceased (PB48-2228) was found abandoned near Floating Restaurant Sirhind on April 13. According to Ms Saroj Rani her son had a quarrel with some persons on April 11. Her son had complained against some persons to the SSP, Fatehgarh Sahib. The deceased had two minor children. 



10 booked for attempt to murder
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 20
The Khanna police has booked 10 persons on the charge of attempt to murder. The accused had allegedly fired at a local resident Shivinder Singh at the Malerkotla road on Thursday night. The accused have been identified as Surinder Pal Singh, Yadwinder Singh, Amolak Singh Gandhi and seven others. They all are absconding. According to Mr Swarn Dass, SHO, the accused had fired at Shivinder Singh at the Malerkotla road. A case has been registered under Sections 307 and 506 of the IPC and Sections25, 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act.



‘Govt non-committal on capital subsidy’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
There is no chance of immediate release of capital subsidy worth Rs 500 crore pending towards hundreds of small-scale units in the state since June 1996. It seems that the state government is looking for a way out to wriggle out of the catch-22 situation, as neither can it pay the subsidy amount due to financial crunch nor can it take the risk to face the wrath of the industry, with whom it had made a promise to make the payments at the earliest after coming to power.

Mr T.R. Sarangal, Director and Secretary, Department of Industry and Commerce, in an interview, said the department had sent a proposal to the Finance Department to release at least Rs 185 crore in the coming budget that was promised by the former Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, during the last budget. He was in the city yesterday to attend a seminar.

He admitted that due to lack of funds, the government was not even in a position to conduct a survey of the closed-down units in the state during the past few years. There was no question of providing any new subsidy to the small-scale sector. He agreed that thousands of tiny and small units in the powerloom, re-rolling sector in Ludhiana, Mandi Gobindgarh, Khanna, and Jalandhar had closed down, but the department had no information about them due to lack of any authentic data in this regard. Though a quarterly report is issued by the RBI, on sick units but the data was limited to only those units, which were financed by the financial institutions.

Asked about the new schemes of the industry department, Mr Sarangal said, ‘‘At present we have no scheme for the industry except that we have submitted proposal to the Union Ministry of Textiles to grant about Rs 20 crore grant for the development of an apparel park in Ludhiana. Secondly, we have submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Commerce to sanction the development of three special economic zones ( SEZs ) in Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar. For this purpose, the state government would acquire about 500 acres of land in each district.’’

Regarding the demand of the textile industry to sanction a grant for the establishment of a training-cum-research institute in the city on the pattern of the National Institute of Fashion and Technology (NIFT), Mohali, Mr Sarangal said, ‘‘We have proposed to open five franchise institutes of NIFT in Ludhiana, Patiala, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Bhatinda. After watching the response from the industry, the government would take decision to open any new institute.’’

He evaded the questions regarding the provision of the PSEB to seek "no objection" certificate issued by the Punjab State Pollution Control Board, before increasing power load to the industrial units. He said that he was not in a position to say anything in this regard as the Punjab and Haryana High Court was involved in the matter. 



Cool Lakhnavi suits for hot summers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 20
An exhibition of exclusive Lakhnavi chikan suits is being organised at a local hotel here. Suits in cool colours like pink, blue, lemon with Laknavi embroidery are on display. Embroideries, including shadow work, kangan work, keel work and patch work on pure cotton suits are also included in the exhibition. The suits range from Rs 400 to Rs 3,200.

Different types of work as panel work and all-over embroidery can also be seen on display. All suits in the exhibition have been brought from Lucknow. Ms Indu, organiser of the exhibition says, with the coming of the summer people are in search of quality cotton stuff, which she has attempted to offer. Special georgette sarees with handwork and sequin work are also available.

Exhibition of Chinese items: An exhibition of Chinese crockery, decorative and other gift items is on display at a local hotel. The exhibition will continue till April 22. The speciality is that all items have been hand painted and the outline has been done with 24 carat gold. The range of items is between Rs 200 to Rs 70,000. Different types of figurines and, crockery which include dinner sets, tea sets, soup sets, imported from China are on display. There is another range of dolamite articles which includes baskets, bowls and airtight containers. Ceramic seats of different sizes are also on display.

The main attraction of the exhibition is a 6-foot hand-painted pot with gold outline. The material used in these items is ceremic and porcelain. Wall plates and other decorative items like a small sofa set, small tea sets, table lamps, elephant seats are also on display. Different feng shui items are also available. Mr Premjeet Singh, organiser of this exhibition said as city residents had good taste and the money to purchase the items, he had imported them from China. Some of the items have an Italian look with Satsuma and Ming art work on them. 



Industrialists list grievances
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, April 20
The industry of Mandi Gobindgarh has been facing many problems during the Akali -BJP rule in the state due to which many units in the town have closed down, said Dr Harbans Lal, State Minister of Forests, Food and Supply, at a meeting held here on Friday with industrialists. The function was presided over by Mr Sadhu Singh, MLA, Amloh.

A memorandum was also submitted by the Gobindgarh Steel Chamber of Commerce and Industry which included the demands of construction of truck stand, the opening ceremony of which had already been done.

Moreover, administrative protection was demanded to save the business community from unscrupulous persons who flee with crores of rupees payable by their firms to the business houses. Other demands were abolition of 'C' forms in sales tax which would promote interstate trade and no further hike in power tariff.


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