Wednesday, November 6, 2002, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Robbers strike at Bapu Asa Ram’s ashram
Tribune News Service

fact file

  • The police allegedly reached late at the ashram.
  • Some of the robbers, keeping an eye outside the rooms of ashram, were seen playing football, suggesting they were in no hurry to leave the place.
  • Last year also there was a theft in the ashram but the police is yet to solve the case.
  • Phone calls made from a tower near Sahnewal being scrutinised by the police as the robbers had mobile phones also.
  • Robbers strike at about 1.15 a.m.
  • Sewadars manage to inform the police at 2.15 a.m.
  • Sensing delay, the sewadars try the police phone again, but it is allegedly kept engaged.
  • At about 3.15 a.m., the police arrives, one hour after receiving information with only two cops armed with only one stick.

Ludhiana, November 5
In a daring incident, about 10 armed robbers entered the Bapu Asa Ram ashram on the Ludhiana-Doraha Canal road on the intervening night of November 3 and 4 and took away Rs 3.5 lakh, some clothes and valuables. A sewadar of the ashram suffered bruises and injuries when he was beaten up by the robbers for resisting their demands.

The robbers had complete control over the ashram for almost two hours, and the Sahnewal police allegedly responded very late to the SOS calls of the ashram sewadars. According to eyewitnesses, the robbers struck at about 1.15 a.m. and left the place after 3 a.m. Some sewadars managed to call up the Sahnewal police station at 2.15 a.m. but the police came at about 3.15 a.m. Police sources have also admitted laxity by the Sahnewal police.

The robbers had muffled faces and were armed with rifles, sharp-edged weapons, rods and sticks. One of them was wearing a khaki police uniform, while the other was wearing a commando uniform. They had mobile phones also. It is being suspected that they had come in two cars.

Eyewitnesses said the robbers were so confident about the whole operation that some of them played football in the parking lot while others were ransacking the rooms in search of cash and valuables. The police said this was a ploy of the dacoits to show that everything was normal.

According to sewadars, Ram Saran Das and Naval Kishore Pandit, the robbers first targeted night watchman, Rishi, and then took him to various rooms where cash and valuables were kept. They forced the watchman to get the doors opened. After ransacking the room, they locked the sewadars, who were sleeping in the room earlier, again in the room.

The two witnesses said the sewadars had no option as the robbers were threatening to shoot anybody daring to stop them. Sewadar Ram Charan Dass was beaten severely for resisting the robbers.

They said the ashram inmates were deeply angered over the attitude of the Sahnewal police. While some persons managed to call the police station, even when the robbers were inside the ashram, the police came only after an hour. They claimed that the police station people had even hung up the phone when some sewadars called several times.

The response of the police later capped it all. Only two police personnel armed with one stick only were sent to the ashram. But they allegedly kept roaming outside even when the robbers were inside. Later, senior police officials along with a heavy police force, finger print experts and a dog squad reached the place and conducted the necessary examinations.

Meanwhile, the police has prepared sketches of some of the accused which would be released tomorrow. Police sources said some insider from the ashram was “definitely” hand-in-glove with the robbers. They said the role of the Sahnewal police was being examined and action was likely against some cops for negligence of duty, if found guilty.

Ashram sewadars seemed pessimistic about police potential. The sewadars said that two years ago a serious theft incident had taken place in the ashram but the police was yet to solve it.

Many believe that the location of the ashram had helped the robbers. Situated in scenic but isolated surroundings, it was a cakewalk for the robbers. Only the canal side of the ashram has a boundary wall while the other side is open.



Plot ‘transferred’ from Patiala to Ludhiana
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
In a unique case of manipulation and twisting of rules a person got his plot transferred from Patiala to Ludhiana. In the course he not only bypassed rules and regulations, but also kept senior officers in the dark by getting the documents signed and verified at the junior level.

In 1991 Subash Gupta was allotted a 400 square yards plot by the Patiala Improvement Trust in Sewa Singh Thikhriwal Nagar, while he was working at Patiala. He was transferred from Patiala to Ludhiana. After his transfer to Ludhiana he applied to the Principal Secretary, Local Bodies, for the transfer of the plot to Ludhiana where he wanted to settle down. He cited the plea that he was the patient of severe backache for 22 years and could not shuttle from Patiala to Ludhiana for his job. He sent a copy of the application to the Chairman of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT).

The Principal Secretary, however, ignored the application since there was neither any rule nor any precedent. He not even asked for any comments from anywhere on the issue. Because the rules were silent on the issue and there is no provision in the law for the transfer of the plot allotted at one place to another, much less from one city to another city.

Interestingly the then chairman of the LIT, who had only received the copy of the application and could act only after the directions from the Principal Secretary, Local Bodies, put the issue on the agenda of the trust meeting. The trust referred it to the government for consideration, although there was no such provision in the law. While the matter should have gone to the Principal Secretary, Local Bodies, it was settled at the Under Secretary level. The Under Secretary “requested” the LIT to provide a plot to Mr Gupta. Here too, Mr Gupta “manipulated” the wording of the letter. While the Under Secretary’s letter had only “requested” the LIT to provide him a plot, he used the same letter with altered wording while applying for refund of the money he had deposited for the plot in Patiala. In the application for the refund he wrote, the Local Bodies Department had directed the LIT to provide him the plot hence his amount should be refunded. And he got the refund, although the amount is not refundable.

The LIT, which was developing BRS Nagar at that time, had no plot of 400 square yard area. The LIT decided to club two plots of 200 square yard each, despite a note from an official that under the Utilisation of Land and Allotment of Plots Rules 1983, that there was no provision of clubbing the two plots. He filed an affidavit with the trust that while the reserve price of the plots was at the rate of Rs 400 per square yard, he would pay 50 per cent extra. Even then it was far less than the prevailing market price. Under the Act the plots can be allotted either through an open auction or through the draw of lots or in compensation for the acquiring of the land. 



‘Harassed’ residents move rights panel
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 5
It is a classic case of ‘nearer the church, farther from God’. That the ‘sewadars’ of a gurdwara should adopt an ‘ungodly’ and hostile attitude towards their fellow human beings is reprehensible, if anything, going by the message of love, brotherhood and compassion that every religion stresses upon.

Charging the management and sewadars of the gurdwara with persistent harassment for more than two years now, a couple of residents and owners of shops in the Field Ganj locality, adjoining Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran here have decided to openly come out against what they termed as ‘expansionist’ intentions of the management and having unsuccessfully exploited all other channels, the victims have now moved the Punjab State Human Rights Commission to intervene and save them from persecution and intimidation.

Narrating the tale of woes and misery, a resident, Mr Gurmeet Singh, told Ludhiana Tribune that those who mattered in the gurdwara management had been pursuing a policy of intimidation for quite some time to force the residents and the shopkeepers in the vicinity of the gurdwara to sell their property at throw away prices and shift elsewhere. Fed up by intimidating tactics of the gurdwara management, more than 100 residents and shopkeepers had forsaken their properties and moved to other areas.

“It all started way back in August 2000, when we took up the repair work of our old ancestral house in the locality. The gurdwara management, specifically its president, Mr Pritpal Singh and his supporters not only threatened against going ahead with repair and renovation of the house and shops in one portion of the property but also seized control of 4000 bricks lying in front of the property. In continuation of their designs, the gurdwara management dumped a large quantity of crushed stone (bajri) in front of our house which has not been removed till now.”

Supporting the charges of his neighbour, another shopkeeper, Mr Harbans Singh, alleged that the harassment did not stop here. The gurdwara management had erected a wall in front of our property which was got demolished with the intervention of the administration after great efforts. Thereafter, a street to Field Ganj Kucha No 5 was blocked from one end to harass the residents and a temporary structure (kiosk) had been set up in front of our property”.

During the intervening period, the affected residents had repeatedly taken up the matter with senior district and police officials, including the Deputy Commissioner, the SSP, the DIG of Police, Ludhiana Range and the Commissioner of Municipal Corporation, calling for justice and action against the gurdwara management with absolutely no effect. Both Mr Gurmeet Singh and Mr Harbans Singh had also appeared in ‘Sangat Darshan’ programme of the local administration as many as three times during the year 2001 without evoking any positive response, apparently due to ‘political connections’ of the gurdwara management and its proximity to the then government of Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and BJP.

“With the gurdwara management continuing with its tactics to intimidate and harass us, and no one coming to our rescue, all our plans to renovate the house and shops and carry out some fruitful business have been grounded. 



Vishwakarma Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
To observe Vishwakarma Day, a function was organised by the Dayawan Vishwakarma Society at Janta Nagar, here today. Mr Tej Parkash Singh, Transport Minister, presided over it. Seven persons namely Mr Malkiat Singh, Dr Harneesh Singh, Dr Baldeep Singh, Mr Jarnail Singh, Mr Hajrit Singh Sond, Mr Tarlochan Singh and Mr Komal Singh were honoured.

Addressing the gathering, the minister said presently the country was facing problems of unemployment and big challenges from the multinational companies. He said the real tribute to the Lord was to follow his footsteps and to further improve the skills and professional competence of the coming generations. He said with a view to accelerate the industrial growth in the state, the Chief Minister had called representatives of the industrial associations to discuss their problems so that these could be redressed in the new industrial policy of the state. He called upon the youth to strive hard to acquire the latest professional skills to meet the international-level challenges.

Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, MP, appreciated the contributions of the followers of Lord Vishwakarma for bringing Ludhiana on the industrial map of the world and assured that the government was fully aware of their problems. He said the Chief Minister had called a meeting of industrialists from Ludhiana on November 6 to sort out their problems.

Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Public Health Minister, in his message through his political secretary announced a grant of Rs 25,000 for the society.

Among others who paid their tributes to Lord Vishwakarma were Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, MLA, Mr K.K. Bawa, president, DCC (U), Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran, president, DCC (R), Mr Pawan Diwan, Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka, Mr Makhan Singh, general secretary, DCC, and Mr Kuldeep Singh Lehra, president, Vishwakarma Dayawan Society.

Another function was organised at Vishwakarma Mandir, where Mr H.S. Hanspal, president, PPCC, Mr Tej Parkash Singh, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner, Mr Galib, Mr Dakha, Mr H.D. Johar, MLA, and Mr Dawar paid tributes.

The Deputy Commissioner distributed 51 sewing machines among women.




Although the festival of Divali was celebrated with usual fervour and enthusiasm in the city, one significant and welcome change in the festivities was a decline in the bursting of crackers and as a result a little lesser noise and environmental pollution on the Divali night. Several city organisations had given a call for observing a ‘crackerless’ Divali in the wake of ever increasing pollution in the city and the appeal evoked an impressive response, in particular among the students and elite class. However, there were others, who, with their unflinching faith in the big bang, not only burst tonnes of fire crackers but fired shots in the air from their firearms. A resident of the Civil Lines locality showed to the Sentinel a spent bullet from a small firearm which had fallen in the court yard of his house.

Power cuts

Power cuts have become a routine matter. Almost everyone has some alternative source of power supply in the form of generators or power invertors. But what happens if the electricity department chooses to cut the power supply of a government establishment? Well nothing much ! This is at least the experience of several unfortunate patients at the local Civil Hospital who had to suffer several hours of darkness when the electricity department chose to cut off the power due to non-payment of power bills. Several lives were endangered with most life support systems coming to a standstill and doctors being unable to perform any operations. But for the timely intervention of some influential relatives of some patients a major disaster would not have been averted.


Divali is one time when the administration turns a blind eye to most ills, gambling being one of them. The stakes almost always run into lakhs every evening. But what is interesting is that those very people who are involved in launching the anti-gambling drive during the daytime are themselves seen on the gambling tables in the local clubs in the evening. But what baffles most roadside gamblers is the attitude of the authorities that consider roadside gambling by the poor as illegal while chose to overlook the gambling in clubs by people who are part of the official machinery.


Much to the resentment and annoyance of a large number of Congress functionaries, particularly those who had lost the municipal elections at the hands of party rebels, the City Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, formally admitted two independent councillors into the party fold recently in the city at a function which was also attended by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. Several Congress activists, present at the function, lodged a loud and angry protest with the Chief Minister, saying the action will send a wrong signal in future. They charged that the party leadership had become a subject of ridicule because one of the two independents, being a Congress worker, had been expelled from the party at the time of elections for defying the directive of the high command and contesting as an independent against the official candidate from not one but two wards.

SGPC poll

In closing down a city hotel owned by a senior SAD functionary, Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia, who is also a member of the SGPC, for the alleged violations of building by-laws, the municipal administration seems to have clearly become a tool in the hands of government, which contrary to all claims of not interfering in the coming SGPC elections, is resorting to all kinds of ‘armtwisting’ to influence members of the SGPC and affect the outcome of the elections. The residents, political affiliations notwithstanding, are openly questioning the MC action on the ground that if non-provision of parking space in front of the hotel, constructed a couple of year ago, as has been made out by the civic officials, is the real reason for sealing the hotel, then there are hundreds of such buildings and commercial complexes in the city, which ought to have been demolished or closed down on similar grounds.

Delayed projects

Several of the ongoing projects for construction of flyovers and the one involving construction of an elevated road over the Old G.T. Road in the city have been delayed for one reason and the other. While some of these projects could not be completed within scheduled period others had failed to achieve the proportionate progress in accordance with the stipulated time for completion. The civic administration, however, maintains that the percentage of work done on all these major projects during past five or six months is far more in comparison with the entire year preceding this period. The reason attributed to delay is stated to be lack of funds during a substantial part of last year when octroi was abolished by the then government and the entire process of development works in the city was adversely affected.

Mayor plays TT

Ludhiana’s Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, has been too frequently mixing up with the people and sharing their good and the bad times. Recently he was the chief guest at the inauguration of a table tennis tournament in a local school. He evinced them interest in the game and the children that he stayed there for a couple of hours and also played table tennis with the children. “I would love to loose every time I play with the small children”, he remarked, after trying his hand at the table.

Streamlined traffic

For the first time in many years the local police paid attention to the streamlining of traffic on Divali. Though, Divali shoppers left no opportunity of clogging the roads with unmindful parking, but the deployment of temporary diversions patrolling by traffic policemen saved most people several hours of traffic jams. Though, the initiative was taken by the local police, the shopkeepers too cooperated realising that keeping away customers out of fear of being caught in jams would ultimately lower their sales. Whatever the reason, but people of the city have felt the difference and hope chaos remains off the roads for good. After all, if it can be done for a day, the same efforts can be made permanent.




SGPC member charged with irregularity
Appointment of office superintendent in college
Mahesh Sharma

Ahmedgarh, November 5
Close on the heels of the alleged attempt by the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission member, Mr Dara Singh, to get his “patit” son selected as office superintendent at an SGPC-run college at Talwandi Sabo, a similar case involving another SGPC member to get her “patit” son selected as office superintendent at the Mata Ganga Khalsa College for Girls, Kottan, in Ludhiana district has come to light.

Mr Jaswinder Singh, one of the candidates who appeared in the interview for the selection of an office superintendent at the said college, alleged that the selection committee had selected Mr Devinder Singh, a non-Amritdhari son of Bibi Kamlesh Kaur, an SGPC member from Patiala, by ignoring merit and “preference” for Amritdhari Sikhs. He alleged gross violation of rules and norms during the whole selection procedure.

Narrating the sequence of events, Mr Singh said that an advertisement for the said post had appeared in newspapers on August 25, vide which applications from graduates and postgraduates were invited. The college had received 20 applications and most of the applicants were Amritdharis holding post-graduate degrees, including the PGDCA and MBA. An accountant of the same college, Mr Baljinder, had also applied for the post. After cancelling the interview twice, allegedly due to disagreement among local members, another interview was held at Khalsa College Patiala on October 26.

Though a notice of 17 days is required for interview as per extant instructions, candidates were informed only telephonically one day before the interview. Only 16 candidates out of 20 could attend the interview. Even the college is said to have received the relevant communication dated October 25 on October 26. “Though my name appeared on top of the merit list prepared by the college, the secretary of the committee has issued appointment letter bearing no. 50491/dated 30.10.2002 to Mr Davinder Singh who is a simple graduate. Despite being son of the SGPC member, Bibi Kamlesh Kaur, he does not bear “kesh” and beard,” said Mr Jaswinder . He further said that a daughter of Bibi Kamlesh Kaur is also posted as Technical Assistant in Khalsa College Patiala, whereas SGPC regulations prohibit “appointment of a ward or blood relative of SGPC member as non-teaching employee of institutes run by the committee.” Moreover, she does not even qualify for the post whereas she has recently been confirmed on the post.

Sources in the college confirmed the report of the arrival of Mr Davinder Singh on the college campus to join on November 1, but he was reportedly not allowed to join because Principal of the college, Ms Manjinder Kaur, was not present at that time.

Ms Manjinder Kaur, when contacted today at her residence, showed ignorance about the fate of the interview. Bibi Kamlesh Kaur, member, SGPC, was not available for comments but her daughter Harkirat Kaur confirmed her appointment in Khalsa College Patiala. When asked about the present issue, she said, “We have got nothing yet in our hands. My brother was not allowed to join college yesterday and now he will go to Amritsar.” She claimed that Davinder Singh fulfills all conditions required for the post, "What is wrong with my brother, if he is not an Amritdhari. There are many cases of non-Amritdhari employees in Khalsa institute and many Sikh female staff members cut their hair.” When questioned about the notification prohibiting the appointment of close relatives of SGPC members as non-teaching employees, Ms Harkirat said,” I don’t think there is any such rule. Even daughter-in-law of Prof Badunger is working in non-teaching department of Khalsa College Patiala.” Ms Harkirat said that Bibi Kamlesh Kaur will be available for comments only after November 12 when the SGPC elections are over.

Mr Harbeant Singh, secretary, who is said to have issued the appointment letter was not available on his telephone no 0183-584559 and mobile phone.



Rice millers told to deliver levy rice
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, November 5
The Punjab Government has directed rice millers in the state to start delivering levy rice to the Food Corporation of India from yesterday. According to sources, the state government has also directed the rice millers to pay drought relief of Rs 20 per quintal to farmers through arhtiyas against the purchase made by them in the private trade account.

Under the statutory control, the rice millers are supposed to deliver 75 per cent of the total paddy procured by them to the central pool after milling the same at a rate fixed by the Central Government and the remaining 25 per cent can be sold by them in the open market.

The Central Government has fixed Rs 1024 per quintal as the levy price of rice to be supplied to the central pool by the rice millers. This also includes Rs 20 per quintal through the relief announced by the Central Government for paddy growers.

Mr Tarsem Saini, president, Punjab Rice Millers Association, has expressed satisfaction with the revised levy price of rice.

Enquiries reveal that since godowns of the state were full of paddy and rice, the rice millers were not encouraged to make purchases of paddy during the past few years. The millers had been purchasing up to 50 per cent of the total arrival of paddy in mandis a few years ago.

The purchase by them came down to 35 per cent and last year it was only about 12 per cent.

This year again, the rice millers have purchased about 15 per cent of the total arrival of paddy in the mandis so far.

The Central Government delayed the announcement of the MSP about 10 days and also the procurement by official agencies was late by the same period.

According to Mr Saini, the rice millers have purchased about 15 lakh tonnes of paddy this year from the mandis so far, out of total purchase of about 114 lakh tonnes.

The state is going to witness a record arrival of paddy despite drought conditions and will touch the mark of 115 lakh tonnes against 110 lakh tonnes procured last year.

Mr Saini said, the rice millers would pay about Rs 30 crore as relief to the farmers at the rate of Rs 20 per quintal.

The Central Government has also made little change in the mode of payment to the rice millers. This year the payment to the millers would be made by the FCI directly to them although bills would be submitted through the Food Supplies Department of the Punjab Government.

Earlier, the payment to the rice millers was made through the state government and the state government would first deposit the money in the state treasury and then issue cheques to the millers.

This was also causing a delay in the payment to the millers.

During the SAD-BJP government, the state government invariably diverted funds to other uses, as a result of which huge arrears had accumulated. The present government has cleared the arrears of levy payment to the rice millers.

The state government further assured the rice millers that there would be no delay in the payment to the millers and their cycle of payments would continue smoothly. The rice millers have been facing financial crisis in the past.

Mr Saini disclosed that the rice millers had still to realise a sum of Rs 600 crore from the Central Government for the past few years.

Mr Saini said the Central Government had reduced the milling rate of sela rice from Rs 20 per quintal to Rs 13.20 per quintal.

Moreover, the Centre would procure sela rice this year with the result 600 units would be closed down.

Punjab has as many as 2,600 rice mills, including 600 sela milling units.

Mr Saini has urged the state government to take up the issue of sela rice mills with the Central Government.

According to official sources, bills of the millers would be passed only when they show receipts of payments made to the farmers.



Playing safe — this year’s Divali mantra
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, November 5
Divali — the festival of lights was celebrated with traditional fervour by residents of the city and surrounding areas on Monday. The festival passed-off peacefully although a few cases of burn and eye injuries were reported from various city hospitals.

Dr Deepinder Singh of Lord Mahavira Homoeopathic College said every year thousands of people received burn injuries and were blinded on this day but this time it was comparatively a safer Divali as only minor burn cases had been reported.

Dr Waheguru Pal Singh, Medical Superintendent, Guru Teg Bahadur Charitable Hospital said as many as 40 cases of mild burn injuries were reported at the hospital this year. “Most of these burn patients suffered hand injuries due to crackers bursting in their hands. But these are all mild cases. We have received two patients with eye injuries and they are also stable”, said Dr Waheguru Pal Singh.

According to reports, nine cases of burn injuries were reported at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, five patients with eye injuries were admitted at Pahwa Hospital while Civil Hospital authorities claimed to have received only two patients with burn injuries.

Dr Deepinder Singh said private practitioners also received patients with minor injuries. “Most of these patients small children, who are more aggressive and are ignorant of the power of these crackers. When crackers are burst in small places, there are more chances of suffering injuries,” said Dr Deepinder.

Dr Amritpreet, a student of Lord Mahavira College said she had collected a data which revealed that Ludhianvis spent crores of rupees on crackers every year. “Last year Rs 610 crore were spent on crackers”, she said.

Meanwhile, Dr S.N. Tiwari, Civil Surgeon said, four tonnes adulterated khoya recovered by the Health Department will be destroyed on November 6 under Section 10 and Sub-Section 4 of the Prevention of Food and Adulteration Act as no one came forward to claim it.

Activists of District Congress Committee (Urban), led by its president Krishan Kumar Bawa distributed sweets and ‘laddoos’ in several city localities on Jail Road and Rahon Road to share the festivities of Divali here on Monday. Mr Bawa was accompanied by Mr Ashok Makkar, vice-president, Mr Surinder Singh Kooner, general secretary and Mr Surjit Singh, Secretary of the party, among others, on this occasion.

AHMEDGARH: A spell of darkness marred the Divali spirit here as the electricity people decided to impose a power cut around 10.30 pm yesterday. The bursting of fire-crackers, which normally lasts well past midnight, came to an early end because of the unprecedented power cut. Celebrations too came to an abrupt halt. Power supply was resumed at 12.30 midnight. Earlier in the day, the bazaars of the town witnessed hectic activity with people shopping at special roadside stalls of festival goods.

Divali celebrations in Jagraon were on a modest scale this time as far as the bursting of crackers was concerned. The absence of any enthusiasm for crackers among the children this time is being attributed to an increased awareness among them about the hazards of fire crackers. The other factor contributing to a ‘silent’ Divali in the town this time was the traders’ reluctance to deal in fire crackers for fear of a crackdown by the administration as a result of which sale of fire crackers remained low this time. Bazaars remained packed with shoppers throughout the day and the police had made elaborate security arrangements . No untoward incident was reported.

AMLOH: Divali was celebrated here with fervour on Monday. Sweets and gifts were exchanged. Houses were illuminated. In spite of a ban crackers and fireworks were used in abundance but no untoward incidence was reported. Mr Gadhu Singh Dharamsot, MLA, Amloh, distributed sweets on Nabha Road. Divali was also celebrated at Mandi Gobindgarh an industrial town of this sub-division.



Kargil martyrs widows wait for promised jobs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
After waiting for several years, Kuldip Kaur, widow of a Kargil martyr of Bhundri village, has been given a Divali gift in the form of a government job by the Punjab Government. But the festival has not brought any cheers for three other widows of Kargil martyrs who have been waiting for a promised job for over a year now.

Red tape and new formalities required from them by the Punjab Government in general and the Department of Education in particular, which was supposed to provide the jobs, has been allegedly delaying the posting orders.

The three women — Baljinder Kaur, widow of late Naib Subedar Mohinder Singh of Pherurai village: Jaspal Kaur, widow of late Naik Dharam Singh of Muskabad village; and Sukhwinder Kaur, widow of Late Naik Jagdish Singh — have been virtually moving from pillar to post all these months to get the promised job.

Their family members told Ludhiana Tribune that the District Sainik Welfare Board was taking up their cause but their case was moving at a snail’s pace for the past one year.

Sources in the Sainik Welfare Board and the District Education Office revealed that the cases were delayed because the files were stuck up in DPI office, Chandigarh, for over six months.

Then, the unprocessed files were returned to the District Education Department with a new direction that the government required police verification of the applicants in advance. Earlier, the police verification was required to be done after the applicants were recruited.

Sources disclosed that over a month has passed since the education department had requested the services of the police department to conduct the verification but no police personnel had visited the family of the applicants so far.

The Deputy Director Sainik Welfare Board, Wing Commander, M.S. Randhawa (retd), said there were certain new formalities required by the State Department of Education that were delaying the case of the three women. He said the women had completed all the formalities and were eligible for some Class III or IV jobs. He said his office had been sending reminders to the education department about the cases but some time was being taken.

Mr Bachittar Singh, DEO (secondary), said his office was taking up the cause of kith and kin of Kargil martyrs on a priority basis and said if there was any delay, it was because of the late completion of formalities by the applicants. He claimed some had not given certificates in time and secondly the police verification was not done. He said the new formality of advance police verification was a high-level decision.

The three women have, however, been given the promised monetary benefit of Rs 1 lakh by the Punjab Government. Their only grouse was about the continuous delay in getting the appointments. Family sources said they had sent fresh requests to the state government through the Sainik Welfare Board and hoped for an early and favourable response.



SGPC member bereaved
Our Correspondent

Samrala, November 5
Ms Mohinder Kaur (65) wife of Jathedar Kirpal Singh Khirnian member SGPC, died at Mohali hospital due to an illness. Several persons including former minister Inderjit Singh Zira, former Speaker of Punjab Charanjeet Singh Atwal, former MLA Sadhu Singh Ghudani, district president, Akali Dal Badal, Jathedar Daya Singh, District general secretary Dehati, Jathedar Joginder Singh Seh, senior Akali leader, Jathedar Kartar Singh Mehddodan, Jathedar Baldev Singh Ranwan, Jathedar Gurdev Singh Mushkabad, Anil Gupta Senior vice-president of BJP, Ludhiana (Dehati ), Akali workers of Samrala and Machhiwara area, attended the funeral today.



40 fire incidents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
At least 40 fire incidents, including three serious ones, were reported in the city during the past 24 hours.

While property worth lakhs was lost in the incidents, no loss of life was reported.



INTUC welcomes Kelkar recommendations
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) Punjab has welcomed the recommendations of the task force on direct taxes headed by Dr Vijay Kelkar. This was stated in a joint statement by INTUC president, Mr Balwant Rai Kapoor, and its general secretary, Dr Shiv Gupta, in a statement issued here on Sunday.

Dr Gupta, however, criticised Dr Kelkar Panel recommendations for abolishing standard deductions at the rate of 33 per cent of the income and also for lifting exemption on savings and other incomes such as rebate on interest on National Savings Certificates, Provident Fund, Public Provident Fund, LIC etc. under Section 88 of the Income Tax, as the exemption induced national savings rate, which had been constantly decreasing. He said at present the exemption was available up to Rs 60,000 only.

Dr Gupta appealed the Central Government to exempt Dearness Allowance from the taxable income, which had been an outstanding demand of the BJP when it was in the Opposition and also included in their election manifesto. But when the BJP government came to power, it forgot to exempt Dearness Allowance from income tax, he said.

Mr K.R. Tripathi, president of the National Organisation of Government Employees (NOGE) and president of Indian National Bank Employees Congress (NOBEC), accused the Central Government of being pro-capitalists, pro-industrialists and anti-labour class. Mr Tripathi condemned the recommendations of Dr Kelkar for abolishing the MAT, Dividend Tax, long-term Capital Gains, Wealth Tax etc.


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