Friday, November 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Migrant killed for ‘falling in love’
Police exhumes decomposed body
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 14
A migrant labourer was killed, allegedly, because he had dared to fall in love with a Punjabi woman of Gaunsgarh village. His body, that had been buried at an abandoned plot near the village on September 16, was exhumed in a decomposed state by the Basti Jodhewal police on September 28. The police says that the case has been solved.

The police sources said a love affair had prompted the murder of the youth. The Basti Jodhewal police has, reportedly, arrested the accused, who may be produced before reporters tomorrow.

The case resembles the Jassi murder case. Jassi, a Canada-based NRI, had fallen in love with an auto-rickshaw driver of Kaunke Kalan village near Jagraon. Upset over this, her parents had got her killed by some contract killers. The youth in love with Jassi had managed to survive the attack on him.

The labourer, Sonu, who belonged to a low caste, had fallen in love with a woman of Gaunsgarh village. Not only the relatives of the woman, but also the rest of the villagers resented the affair and all efforts to stop the woman from seeing the youth had proved futile. The youth had been threatened and beaten up several times. On September 16, the youth went missing under mysterious circumstances, following which, his relatives lodged a complaint with the police.

On September 28, the police received an information that a body had been buried at an abandoned plot near the village. It was exhumed, but, by then, it had decomposed so much that it was hard to tell whose was it. The clothes and some other things found on the body led the police to deduce that the body was of Sonu.

Some informers in the village, then, told he police about the affair and the resentment it had caused among villagers. Investigations led to the raids on the houses of the woman’s relatives and the accused. The police said it would disclose the details of the case to newsmen tomorrow.

Meanwhile, a large number of villagers of Gaunsgarh gathered outside Meharban Chowki today after the news of the discovery of the body spread. While some villagers supported the police theory, the others contested it.



Public support helps demolition drive
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 14
Encroachments in one of the most congested commercial areas in old city, Kucha Number 5 of Field Ganj, were demolished here today. Defaulters cooperated in the drive.

The staff of the Buildings and Roads Wing, Operations and Maintenance Wing, Sanitation Department and building branch of the Municipal Corporation commenced the clean-up early today to reduce congestion, unclog drains and drain out stagnant water. There was no resistance by any person of the area, for a change. Shopkeepers and landlords did not stop the MC staff from removing cemented extensions that had been raised in front of the buildings.

The councillor of Ward 49, Mr Rakesh Parashar, was present on the spot. He said, since long, inhabitants of the area had been complaining of insanitary conditions, choked drains and rapid encroachments that had reduced the width of the commercial area to half.

“Every shopkeeper here had covered the open drains with cemented platforms and goods had been stacked on these illegal extensions. This had made the task of cleaning the drains difficult, so, these remained choked. The overflowing of the water into the street had created insanitary conditions,” he said.

Mr Parashar also said the matter had been taken up with the MC several times. He said: “Everyone here was persuaded to cooperate in removing encroachments and its results are for all to see.”

The cleaned up market presented a different look, as the drains had become unclogged and the water no longer overflowed into the street. Moving in the street, suddenly, became a lot easier than before.

A senior official of the MC praised the initiative taken by the councillor. He said, usually, such drives were nightmare for the MC staff and caused violence at times.



Children who need blood, not bash
Shivani Bhakoo


  • On November 14, nation celebrates Children’s Day, but remains ignorant of National Thalassaemia Day.
  • About 10,000 children are born with thalassaemia major every year in India.
  • Punjab is one of the worst-affected states.
  • Thalassaemic children die between the age of 2 and 5.
  • Bone-marrow transplant, ultimate treatment, costs at least Rs 7 lakh and requires a matching bone-marrow.

Ludhiana, November 14
While the nation is busy celebrating Children’s Day, few are aware that National Thalassaemia Day also falls today. Various schools, social organisations and children’s clubs have been celebrating Children’s Day on a grand scale, but little is being done for thalassaemic children.

Thallasemia is the genetically inherited form of anaemia with fragile haemoglobin that breaks continuously. For survival, thalassaemic children need blood transfusion every second or third week. About 10,000 children are born with thalassaemia major in the country every year.

Dr Praveen Sobti, paediatrician and head of the Punjab Thalassaemics Welfare Society (PTWS), said the number of thallassaemic children in the country was increasing rapidly. “About 17 per cent of India’s population carries the disease. It is found in children who are 6 months to two years of age. If not given timely treatment, the children die between the age of 2 and 5,” said Dr Sobti.

He said thalassaemia was a common inherited disease in the world and Punjab was one of the worst-affected states. About 15 per cent of Punjabis had traits of thalassaemia, but awareness about the disease was low. “Many thalassaemics die because of the unavailability of blood, as such patients require nearly two units of blood every 15th or 20th day, lifelong. More blood donations will save many such children,” Dr Sobti said.

To an extent, the disease could be prevented. “If both parents are carriers, 25 per cent chances are that their child will be born with thalassaemia major. This can be detected during pregnancy and the foetus should be aborted. The survival of thalassaemic children depends solely on voluntary blood donations,” said the doctor.

Bone-marrow transplant was the ultimate treatment of the disease, but, too expensive. “It costs between Rs 7 lakh and Rs 12 lakh, depending on where it is done. The problem is of finding a matching bone-marrow. Siblings provide the perfect match,” said Dr Praveen Sobti. Expensive and rare drugs are also given to thalassaemics in the form of injections or capsules. These drugs pump the iron content out of the body and cost between Rs 4,000 and Rs 10,000 per month per patient.

A 10-bed ward for thalassaemic children has recently been inaugurated in Dayanand Medical College and Hospital. The ward offers 24-hour service and free tests.



Sunil Dutt pained by system failure
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 14
Noted film star and parliamentarian Sunil Dutt is pained by the incidents taking place in the country. He called for a thorough introspection so that a national consensus is evolved for making the country prosperous. He, however, said, he did not blame any particular individual, institution or party. “This is the failure of the system and all of us are part of it”, he told The Tribune in an exclusive interview after being confessed upon the Sat Paul Mittal National Award for outstanding contribution to the humanity by the Nehru Sidhant Kender Trust.

Mr Dutt said though he was a Congress man to the core, he did not oppose or criticise any other political party or the leader. “I am wedded to the Congress philosophy visualised by Gandhi, Nehru, Patel, Azad and others and I think the Congress is still guided by those ideals only”, he said, adding, “I may have some differences with some individuals, but the Congress philosophy is my conviction”.

The matinee idol said he was concerned about two crucial things facing the country — communalism and rising population. He suggested that his party should take population explosion as an important issue threatening the country. “We cannot think of progress and development without controlling the population”, he pointed out.

Asked as what did he think was the way out, he said there should be a national consensus for peace. “We should not fight on the basis of religion. We should start thinking like Indians only and not anything else”, he observed, while warning “if the situation continued like this, it may not take long when there would be total anarchy”.

But there was still some hope. There were saner elements who had always been rising above these considerations and coming out in support of democracy. In the same context he lauded the bravery of the people of Kashmir who defied terrorists’ threats and came out to vote and form a democratically elected government there. “We had a similar problem in Punjab also and we overcame it”, he said.

To a question as whether he would like to return to films, he remarked, “This (his current role as a politician and a philanthropist) is also a film I acting in”. He said, he was too involved in social work to think about anything else.

Earlier, Mr Dutt was presented the award, which carries Rs 2 lakh in cash, a medal and a citation, by the Punjab Assembly Speaker, Dr Kewal Kishen, here today.

According to Mr Rakesh Bharti Mittal, vice-president of the Trust, Mr Dutt was unanimously selected for the award out of a total of 71 nominations received from across the country by the Sat Paul Mittal Award Committee at a meeting held on October 14.

Mr Dutt is the founder of the Nargis Dutt Memorial Foundation, Mumbai, which provides modern facilities for treating cancer patients in India. The foundation has donated specialised equipment worth around $ 3 million to charitable hospitals of the country.

The citation reads: “Sunil Dutt’s concern and endeavour to alleviate human sufferings is not confined to cancer patients alone. His empathy and solidarity with human sufferings indivisible and encompasses all aspects, including natural and man-made catastrophes...on a large plane, Shri Dutt has been moved by events to essay the role of the nation’s conscience keeper. The sadhbavna yatra he undertook to Jammu and Kashmir for peace, harmony and national integration of the country attests to concerns of a different kind — that of trying to safeguard the social fabric of the nation”.

Acknowledging the honour bestowed upon him by the trust, Mr Dutt said he felt great since it was the reward for sticking to the ideals of a great leader like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, on whose 113th birth anniversary he was honoured. He said, Pandit Nehru was a great visionary who had visualised a progressive and developed India much ahead of others.

He lauded the secular and democratic traditions adopted by Pandit Nehru, which he said, was the only antidote to the divisive politics being practised these days that threatened the very existence of India. He also praised Sat Paul Mittal, whom he described as a true disciple of Pandit Nehru.

The trust was founded in 1983 by the late Sat Paul Mittal to propagate the ideology of Pandit Nehru. It is involved in providing help to the poor and weaker sections of the society irrespective of caste, creed and religion. It also provides scholarships to the deserving students every year amounting to around Rs 11 lakh.



Kya Masti Kya Dhoom on Chacha Nehru’s birthday
Tribune Reporters

Chacha Nehru cuts a cake: A student of KVM School dressed up like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru offers cake to his friends
Chacha Nehru cuts a cake: A student of KVM School dressed up like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru offers cake to his friends, in Ludhiana on Thursday. — A Tribune photograph

Tiny tots of Small Wonder Nursery School wait for their turn at a fancy-dress competition in Ludhiana"
Tiny tots of Small Wonder Nursery School wait for their turn at a fancy-dress competition in Ludhiana on Thursday. — A Tribune photograph

Students of GMT Public School at a fancy-dress competition on Children's Day
Students of GMT Public School at a fancy-dress competition on Children's Day, in Ludhiana on Thursday. — IV

Ludhiana, November 14
Today, the birthday of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was a day truly for children. Dressed in party clothes, they danced in gay abandon to latest numbers played by DJs, participated in skits, dances and won prizes by the dozen.

Students of Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, had a gala time, dancing to the tunes of the DJ from Studio 69. The best dancer, the best-dressed student were also given prizes.

Gupta Model High School, Club Road. organised a fancy-dress contest. The first prize was won by Shabnam. Ramit and Jatin bagged the second and third prizes, respectively. Sumit and Jai won the consolation prizes.

GMT Public School also organised a fancy-dress competition on the Children's Day, today.

In Group A, Gurjot stood first , Manvjot got the second prize and Jasmeet won the third prize. In Group B, Simran , Pardeep and Anbir won the first, second and third prizes, respectively.

In Group C, Komal Walia won the first prize , Parul stood second and Chinky and Nirvair shared the third prize . In Group D, Binkal won the first prize, Jimmi, Bhupinder and Deepak stood second and Naveta got the third prize.

In the science chart and model making competition, Devinderjeet, Taranvir and Archana. stood first, second and third, respectively.

Students of Everest Public Senior Secondary School presented skits, dances and short speeches on Chacha Nehru's life. Dheeraj Sharma read extracts from “ Discovery of India” and “Letters from a Father to the Daughter”.

Schoolchildren of Small Wonders Nursery school, Civil Lines, dressed up as fairies, soldiers, clowns and famous personalities for a fancy-dress competition. Keshav as a minister, Stavya, a boy dressed up as Barbie Doll, won the first and second prizes, respectively. Nishit as Daler Mehndi won the third prize.

Fancy-dress dance competition was organised for students of Kiddies' Paradise. Besides this, a tricycle race and a frog race were also organised.

Dayanand Public School celebrated the day with a cultural programme and plays. The children sang songs and participated in a “gidda”.

A fancy-dress competition was organised in Tagore Public School. One-minute games were organised on the occasion. Students of Class I and II presented dances.

The kindergarten section of DAV Public School celebrated Children's Day by singing songs. Senior and primary students held a bulletin-board competition.

SAN Jain Model Senior Secondary School also organised a fancy-dress competition for students of primary classes. Gold, silver and bronze medals were presented to the winners.

This day was celebrated in Government High School and Government Primary School, Shahpur Road, with a cultural programme. Mr Rakesh Prashar, Councillor, spoke on the life of Pandit Nehru on the occasion.

Rameshwar School organised an inter-school patriotic song competition. SDM Senior Secondary School stood first and the host school got the second prize.

Children' Day was also celebrated in Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar, New Central Model High School, Janta Nagar, and Greenland Senior Secondary School.

Primary and kindergarten students of BVM School, Kitchlu Nagar, were asked to bring their favourite cassettes to dance on. Senior students read papers on various current topics, including “ prevailing corruption” and “pollution”. Fruits were also distributed by the Principal.

In Spring Dale Public School, students had food together and participated in games organised by their teachers. Speeches, a cultural programme, and a fancy-dress competition by kindergarten children were appreciated by teachers and parents alike.

In New SMD School, a child dressed up like Pandit Nehru and cut a cake.

The day was celebrated as an “oath- taking day” by students of Jamuna Model Senior Secondary School. Mr Kewal Arora, vice-president of the Youth Congress, while speaking on the occasion said it was sad to see millions of children working as child labourers.

In all schools, principals and chief guests spoke about the achievements of Pandit Nehru and asked students to emulate him.

Samrala: Children’s Day was celebrated in Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Samrala, which was divided in four houses and competition in declamation contest and songs relating to Children’s Day were held among the houses. In the declamation contest Pawanpreet Kaur of class XII, Kartar Singh Sarabha House, stood first and Inderjit Kaur of class XI, Lala Lajpat Rai House, stood second. In song competition Rupinder Kaur of class XII, Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha House, stood first and Manjeet Kaur of class XII, Shaheed Udham Singh House, stood second. Mr Bachittar Singh, Principal of the school, gave away the prizes to the winners.

Ahmedgarh: Children’s Day was celebrated in various schools here today. Children presented cultural programmes and participated in sports and athletics meets.

Ms Priyanka Sharma inaugurated the sports meet at Sanatan Vidya Mandir. Students took an oath to follow the ideologies of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and committed their future to the cause of Nation.

Maharani Jhansi House won kho-kho tournament and Mata Gujri House was the runners up in the competition. Julekha Ranbir Singh, Navpreet, Hardeep Singh, Luxmi Karan, Randhir Singh, Navtej, Gurbir, Maninder, Kamal Preet, Chetan, Preeti, Mohammad Rafi, Gurpreet and Lovedeep were declared best in their respective groups in different events. Ramneet, Harleen, Deepak, Sandeep, Ramandeep, Aman and Ravinder also won prizes.

Sports meet was also organised at Mahatama Gandhi Memorial Natyam National Senior Secondary School, presided over by Mr Mangat Rai Jain. Mr Sukhdev Raj Sharma was the chief guest and Mr Pardeep Sharda, president and Mr Satish Jain, secretary of the Rotary Club gave away prizes to winners of various events, including athletics, tug-of-war and cycle race. Mr Ashoo Tosh Vanayak, secretary, Vidya Parcharak Sabha, spoke on the occasion.

Similar function was also organised at Government High School, Chhapar, where Mr Darshan Singh Dhaliwal gave away prizes to winners and distributed sweets among them.



Tohra denies any liaison with Cong
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, November 14
Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra, president, SHSAD and member, Rajya Sabha, denied any sort of connection with the Congress or its chief, Capt Amarinder Singh.

He was here to attend the barsi of Shaheed Ajmer Singh Grewal at Dharaur village, near Sahnewal, yesterday.

Answering queries of the press, Jathedar Tohra said, “I am a staunch Akali and need not have a certificate of the same from Mr Badal. I always hold Akali principles in words and deeds.”

Speaking on the law and order situation in Amritsar on the occasion of the SGPC poll, he said, “Such precautionary steps were a must to conduct a peaceful poll. Had it not been so Mr Badal and his supporters would have taken the law in their hands and that would have been an anti-religious move.”

Recalling the services of Shaheed Ajmer Singh Grewal towards his nation, he said, “Ajmer Singh was a great freedom fighter and he would live in the hearts of the people for years together.”

He also advised the young generation to shun violence and say no to drugs so that they may serve the nation like Shaheed Ajmer Singh Grewal.

Among others who offered tributes were Mr Maheshinder Singh Grewal, former minister, Mr Heera Singh Gabria , former MLA, Mr Bikramjit Singh Khalsa, former MLA and Mr Baljinder Singh, sarpanch , Dharaur village.



Writers discuss falling standards
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 14
A meeting of the Punjabi Literature and Art Parishad (Ludhiana) was held in Model Town here yesterday. At the meeting presided over by Prof Niranjan Tasneem, creative writers and critics discussed literary and cultural activities in the state.

Prof M.S. Cheema said literary standards were falling and cheap cultural functions were also a matter of concern. Prof J.S. Bedi, who is based in Chandigarh, said there was no proper literary climate in Punjab, which was resulting in the publication of substandard literature and eulogising of mediocre writers.

Dr Kewal Dhir, an Urdu litterateur, said reading habits were declining, as the electronic media had taken up the mind space that literature had been occupying not so long ago. Mr Gurbachan Singh Grewal, an academician, said the standards of dance, drama and music should be raised by discontinuing with the practice of treating women as commodities.

Prof Kulwant Jagraon said the poor response to literature and art was a passing phase. He stressed the need for presenting the problems of common man in literature.



Two run over by train
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 14
Harneet Singh, a young NRI, who came to the city from Canada in December last to take part in his cousin's marriage here, was run over by a train in Vijay Nagar here yesterday.

According to information, the NRI, who originally hailed from Adampur village in Jalandhar district, had allegedly got addicted to smack in Canada. He was staying with his maternal uncle in Vijay Nagar near Manju cinema.

In another incident, a Bihari youth, Johri Lal, was also run over by a train near Sherpur yesterday. The migrant had gone to the railway tracks to relieve himself.

Woman dead: Ms Manjit Kaur (25), a resident of Shahi mohalla, who had allegedly consumed some poisonous substance under mysterious circumstances on Monday last, died in Arora Neuro Centre here yesterday. According to information, the deceased was suffering from some chronic disease. She leaves behind an infant and her husband who is employed as a porter in the Railways here. Her body was handed over to her family by the police after an autopsy.

Body found: The body of an unidentified man aged about 65 years was found in a park near the bus stand yesterday. The body wore multiple injuries on the head, back and other limbs.

Lineman injured: The police of Division No 8 has registered a case under Sections 353, 186 and 323 of the IPC against some residents of Tagore Nagar on the complaint of Mr Kashmir Singh, a lineman of the Punjab State Electricity Board. According to the complainant, he was member of the PSEB team that had gone to the area to install a transformer yesterday afternoon. About 50 residents, including several women, who were objecting to the installation of the transformer at the spot, resorted to unruly behaviour and attacked the PSEB party comprising, among others, an SDO and a JE as a result of which he was injured.


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