Tuesday, December 17, 2002, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


1971 war martyrs remembered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 16
Tributes were paid to Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon and other martyrs, who laid down their lives while guarding the borders of the country during 1971 Indo-Pak War, at a function organised to observe the ‘Vijay Divas’ at Mini Secretariat here today.

War heroes of 1971 war, Air Marshal Manjit Singh Sekhon, Col Harbant Singh Kahlon, Mr Sukhwinder Singh, brother of Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon, Mr Tara Singh, father of 2/Lt Jatinder Singh, and Capt Mohinder Singh, whose four generations served the Army, were honoured on the occasion.

After paying his tributes to the martyrs, Mr Tej Parkash Singh, Transport Minister, Punjab, said the government was committed to the welfare of the families of the martyrs and ex-servicemen and had directed all departments to fulfil the 13 per cent quota from the ex-servicemen and their kin in the government posts in the state.

He said our brave soldiers had shown exemplary patriotism and always made great sacrifices while giving a befitting reply to the enemy whenever a challenge came from across the border. He said our Army was considered among the best disciplined armies of the world and as a part of the world peacekeeping forces of the UNO, our soldiers had performed their duties with utmost dedication and devotion and brought a good name for their motherland.

He claimed that the Punjabi soldiers had always remained in the forefront to safeguard the frontiers of the country and in the Kargil War, known as one of the most difficult wars of the world, Punjabi soldiers had again risen to the occasion and recaptured the occupied areas by the Pakistan army.

The Transport Minister also appreciated the role of the Army during the peace time while fighting the terrorism and performing other duties of saving the lives and providing emergent help to the victims of the natural calamities. Stressing upon the need to give proper respect to the families of the martyrs, Mr Tej Parkash Singh said the nations who remember their martyrs always made exemplary achievements in the world and those who forget their, vanish from the scene.

He said to keep the morale of our soldiers and ex-servicemen high, the state government had announced a substantial enhancement in the monetary benefits for the gallantry award winners from Punjab and the monetary benefit for the PVC awardees has been enhanced from Rs 1.50 lakh to Rs 25 lakh, for Ashok Chakra awardees from 1.25 lakh to 22.50 lakh , for Mahavir Chakra awardees from 1.20 lakh to 15 lakh, for Kirti Chakra awardees from 75000 to 12.50 lakh, for Vir Chakra awardees from 50,000 to 10 lakh, for Shaurya Chakra from 40000 to 7.50 lakh and for Sena Medal from 30,000 to 5 lakh.

He said to apprise the people of the deeds of the brave Punjabi soldiers, the state government had set up at Ludhiana, where artifacts relating to the three services depicting the contribution of the Punjabi soldiers during the pre and post Independence era have been displayed, so that our coming generation could seek inspiration from the brave deeds of the soldiers. The minister assured that the interests of the soldiers and the ex-servicemen were fully protected in the hands of the government headed by Capt. Amarinder Singh, who also took part in the war on the frontiers.

Paying his tributes, Mr Kulbir Singh Sidhu, Special Secretary, Defence Services, Punjab, said the government would accord top priority to dispose of the routine works of the ex-servicemen and their families in the government offices and asked the officers to give proper respect to them whenever they visit their offices.

Addressing the function, the Director, Sainik Welfare, Brig Kuldip Singh Kahlon, said the state government was making all efforts for the resettlement of the ex-servicemen and for the welfare of the families of the Army martyrs. He informed that since 1999, ex-servicemen were provided with eight PCS, 18 Class A, 94 Class B and 44 Class C posts in the state and the families of all the 256 gallantry awardees were being given pensions.

He said 1261 ‘Vir Naris’ (war widows) were being given travelling allowance, besides a financial help amounting to Rs 34.18 lakh have been disbursed among the ‘Dharmi Sainiks’ in the state. He also informed that the government had decided to release monetary remuneration in lieu of five acres of land to the remaining 10 war widows.

Mr Anurag Agarwal, Deputy Commissioner and President District Sainik Welfare Board, said the government was committed to accord proper respect to the ex-servicemen and sufficient financial assistance to the families of the martyrs.

He informed that during the past six months, 83 elderly ex-servicemen had been provided with old-age pension amounting to Rs 24 lakh and a financial assistance of Rs 15 lakh was disbursed to 230 gallantry medal awardees by the District Sanik Welfare Board.

To Provide medical assistance to 23 serious ex-servicemen patients, an amount of Rs 12 lakh have been spent and travelling allowance amounting to Rs 2.81 lakh have been given to ‘Veer Naris’ in the district, he added.

Wg Cdr M. S. Randhawa, Deputy Director, Sanik Welfare Board, while proposing a vote of thanks said the District Sanik Welfare Board was extending financial assistance and all kind of help to the ex-servicemen and families and help in the re- employment of ex-servicemen in the government and private sectors. During the current financial year, a grant of Rs 2.85 lakh have been released for the marriages of daughters of ex-servicemen and a distress grant of Rs 1.5 lakh was given to 122 ex-servicemen and their dependents, he added.

At least 17 ‘Veer Naris’ of the martyrs of 1971 war were also honoured and cheques of ex-gratia grants were presented by the chief guest to the families of eight Army martyrs.



War veterans allege politicking
‘Award ceremony a mere eyewash’
Tribune News Service

Brig P.S. Toor talking to mediapersons on Vijay Divas
Brig P.S. Toor (retd) talking to mediapersons on Vijay Divas in Ludhiana on Monday. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, December 16
The Vijay Divas celebrations here ran into a controversy today when a few war veterans alleged that politicians had also not spared such functions from politicking.
Unruly scenes were witnessed after the celebrations when the veterans expressed their dissatisfaction at the attitude of the organising committee for failing to invite and honour some of the decorated soldiers who had shown remarkable gallantry in the 1971 war.

Brig P.S. Toor (retd) alleged that while the government was organising a glittering function for paying tributes to the martyrs and honouring war widows, it had failed to invite highly-decorated soldiers who are settled in the city. He even alleged that the choice of invitees depended on the party in power.

Visibly disturbed at the seating arrangement, the Brigadier said he did not mind sitting with war widows but was annoyed because the highly-decorated soldiers like Maj Jagir Singh Khokri (87) and Col Gurjit Singh Bajwa were left unnoticed.

Brigadier Toor said Major Khokri was the seniormost officer in the district and was decorated twice for his exemplary valour and gallantry. He said he was awarded Vir Chakra and Shaurya Chakra for saving Kashmiris from Pakistan after the Independence. He said even Colonel Bajwa, who was awarded Vir Chakra, was not invited for the function.

The duo, however, refused to comment and said they were happy coming to the function on their own and meeting old friends. Many other veterans, who did not want to be identified, expressed their dissatisfaction with the behaviour of the authorities. Maj Kuldip Singh, who was also present in the function, was not invited.

Brigadier Toor said the honouring ceremony was a mere eyewash as the respective governments had failed to keep their promises as far as most of the war widows were concerned. He said he had taken up many cases with the authorities concerned but had not succeeded.

Wg Cdr M.S. Randhawa, Deputy Director, Sainik Welfare Board, however, refuted the claims of Brigadier Toor and said he was very much invited. He said he had not invited some other officers as he had thought that the day was being observed in the memory of 1971 war martyrs and invited only 1971 war veterans.



IHRO: Punjab has absolute riparian rights
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 16
The International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO), which has been authorised by the Opposition to pursue the issue of the Satluj-Yamuna Link Canal (SYL), has submitted its observations to the state government. The apex court has already given its verdict against the State of Punjab on a suit filed by the State of Haryana requiring the Punjab Government to complete construction by January 10, 2003.

It may be recalled that a deputation of the organisation had been summoned for talks by the Punjab Chief Minister in Chandigarh last month. The members were asked to submit their views so that the case challenging the completion of the canal, to be filed by Punjab in the Supreme Court, was exhaustive and covered all aspects of the sensitive issue.

Talking to TNS, Mr D.S. Gill, chairperson of the organisation, said in the given circumstances, “we have to say that Haryana is gloating over the course of events, more so after the SC decision in its suit (No 6 of 1996) under Article 131 of the Constitution. We must realise the gravity of the situation. The SC decision is based on unequal, illegal, unconstitutional agreements, which are anti-national and anti-international laws and practices. We need to start afresh and challenge the very vires of the so-called agreements and awards in order to re-establish the correct constitutional status of Punjab rights over its rivers”.

“We must be explicit in asserting that Punjab has absolute riparian right over its three rivers — the Ravi, the Beas and the Sutlej. And, the neighbouring states of Haryana and Rajasthan, being non-riparian, have no legal right, whatsoever, over these rivers. Therefore, Punjab has nothing to do with “sharing of waters” with these neighbours. Punjab has also nothing to do with the “60:40 ratio” as far as its riverwaters are concerned. It may be relevant for territorial matters.”

“Sharing of riverwaters can be possible only with co-riparian states”, he explained.

The Centre (Parliament) could legislate only with regard to inter-state rivers (Entry 56 of List I Union-List) of the Seventh Schedule and Article 262 of the Constitution and not on waters of state rivers over which the concerned state alone had the full and final authority.

The suggestions submitted are:

a. We need to challenge the very vires of the provisions of Sections 78-80 of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, that have taken away Punjab’s riparian right over its rivers.

b. Article 21 guarantees the right to life and Punjab’s riverwaters are the lifeline of its people. The riparian Punjab has its sovereign right over its rivers that cannot be taken away by any means.

c. This riparian right has been acknowledged by the tribunal made under the Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956, in case of the Narmada that passes through MP, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

d. The view of Mr Justice S.M. Sikri, former Chief Justice of India, regarding the right of Haryana in Punjab rivers is: “The fact that the Central government paid to Pakistan a sum of 62 millions pounds (Rs 110 crore) in order to obtain unrestricted use of all waters of eastern rivers, the Sutlej, the Ravi and the Beas, is irrelevant to the question, namely, what if any, are the rights of Haryana in the Ravi and the Beas.

e. The compensation paid to the west Punjab (Pakistan) was regarding the cost of essential works of diversion of the Jhelum and the Chenab waters to old Punjab canals and not for the cost of riverwaters of Sultej, Beas and Ravi. The proprietorship of these rivers was accepted as that of East Punjab (India) in the same way as that of West Punjab on the Chenab, the Jhelum and the Indus. The Chief Engineers of the two Punjabs concluded at Shimla two agreements on April 18, 1948. The final agreement ratified by India and Pakistan incorporated these proprietary rights over respective rivers of both East and West Punjabs.

f. We also need to challenge the provision (Section 14) of the Act, 1956, whereby the amendment was made to enable the Centre to refer the matter to a tribunal, in addition to Sections 78 to 80 of the Act, 1966. 



Few takers for woollens make sellers jittery
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Despite the onset of winter, a lot of people here are yet to switch over to woollens. And this is not good news for thousands of manufacturers of Ludhiana dealing in the woollens and other kinds of knitwear. Market sources pointed out that with the first half of December already over, people have still not started wearing woollens. And in case the trend continues for another week, this is going to be the worst season for the woollen manufacturers.

Several leading and middle-level manufacturers revealed that there were huge stocks of the last year waiting to be cleared.

The manufacturers were very cautious this time. Not many of them could clear last year’s stocks with the result that most of the manufacturers, including some top brands, have set up clearance sales offering handsome discounts.

Mr Sunil Dat of the Sunil Hosiery said that a number of people like him had focussed their attention on the regions with cool climate. He said that he had shifted most of his business to Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. He had started it only a few years ago and today he feels relatively satisfied with the sales there. “Otherwise it would have been difficult to sell sweaters in the plains like Punjab and Delhi”.

Mr Girish Kapoor, another manufacturer of a leading brand of sweaters, said he did not expect any miracles at least now during this winter.

He pointed out that this has been happening for the past three four seasons now. “In fact this has led to change in the dressing habits of people as not many of them use full-sleeved sweaters anymore”. However, the weather has been such that people are not even using the half-sleeve-sweaters either.

The changed habits have led to large-scale manufacturing of light-weight jackets and sweat shirts, which are the warmer version of the T-shirts used during summers. According to Mr Adish Dhawan and Aneesh Dhawan of Gitane Exports, the sale of jackets and sweat shirts has been relatively satisfactory as compared to other winter wear.

In fact, several leading brands have started manufacturing sweat shirts and light weight jackets, which are said to be the “in thing” now.

Mr Aneesh Dhawan pointed out that sweat shirts and jackets appear to be more attractive and popular among youth than the traditional sweaters. He pointed out that jackets have even started replacing the coat and people use it as a formal dress also.

Manufacturing deviations and diversions notwithstanding, by and large the woollen industry appears to be in a shambles, thanks to the warm winter.



DMCH Union threatens stir
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 16
The stalemate between the management and union of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital continued for the second day today with both sides remaining adamant on their stands. The management is adamant that it will not take back the sacked Law Officer, while the union wants the officer reinstated.

Union members have threatened to resort to a ‘peaceful’ agitation from Wednesday if the management fails to accede to its demand.

It may be recalled that the management had issued a press note yesterday, saying that Mr S.S.Saini, Law Officer was on probationary assignment, which would expire on December 31, 2002. As the legal cell had been abolished, his services would not be required.

The press note said: “It is not a case of victimisation because the whole legal cell is being disbanded and junior permanent employees being given alternative assignment in the Department of Human Resources. In order to help Saini, the hospital authorities are ready to help him find alternative employment by giving suitable references/recommendations”.

Mr Chander Mohan Kalia, union president, said since DMCH was being run by a trust and was not a private property, no one was paying attention to its progress. “We have given time till tomorrow afternoon to the ad-hoc management committee to withdraw its decision. If it fails, to do so, we will be forced to resort to a peaceful agitation”, he warned.

The management, however, maintains that because of events in the past, DMCH has come under a severe financial crunch.



Book for kids on Sikh Gurus released
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 16
Local Punjabi writer, film songwriter and director Inderjit Hasanpuri’s book of poems for children, “Guru Darshan”, was released by the famous actor Dharmendra in Mumbai on December 11. Hasanpuri, on his return from Mumbai yesterday, told Ludhiana Tribune today that the book was released at the residence of Dharmendra, where his two sons, Sunny and Bobby, were also present along with their mother, Parkash Kaur.

The book introduces Sikh Gurus in a simple language in poetic form and will play a great role in connecting young students to Sikhism, he said.

The film star, a friend of the poet, remarked on the occasion that the book was a wonderful effort on the part of Hasanpuri to introduce children to Sikhism. Being a Punjabi living in Mumbai, he would do his best for the distribution of the book in schools and other Sikh organisations.

Speaking to Ludhiana Tribune, he said he had dedicated the book to the late Ajit Singh Lotey. He said he wanted the book to reach Punjabi families residing abroad. He stated that these Punjabi poems would be translated into English soon, so that Sikh children settled abroad could easily understand the text.

Hasanpuri said Dharmendra would visit Punjab in 2003 as he was desirous of producing a Punjabi film, with focus on Punjabi culture and traditions.

Hasanpuri said he also wanted to make a film on the same subject. He has to his credit a Punjabi film, “Teri Meri Ek Jindari”, in which the filmstar had worked for free. He has penned famous songs like “Je Mundya Tu Sadi Tor Vaikhni”, and “Terian Mohabbatan Ne Maar Sutya”, which have been sung by Punjabi singers like Surinder Kasur and Narender Biba.



BJP mood upbeat after win
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 16
While the mood is upbeat in the BJP camp over the outcome of the Gujarat Assembly elections, it is quiet and sombre in the Congress camp. Leaders and workers of the Shiromani Akali Dal here joined their BJP colleagues in the victory celebrations.

Reacting to the results, senior BJP leader Lala Lajpat Rai observed that the Gujarat results would set a new course in country's history. In a statement here, he said: "Against the venomous campaign launched by the Congress and other pseudo-secular political parties, it was the nationalist appeal of the BJP to which the voter responded".

The octogenarian BJP leader said the Gujarat elections were fought on the issue of combating terrorism. "The Congress had to pay for communalising the issue". He pointed out that the issue of terrorism concerned the entire nation and was not exclusive to a particular people.

He maintained it was not just concern for the Godhra incident but the terrorist threat to the nation which was reflected in the Gujarat results. Mr Rai said the Congress should accept the defeat and desist from alienating the nationalist majority’.

On the other hand, Congress Senior Vice-President of the Pradesh Youth Congress Pawan Dewan and General Secretary Gurinder Singh Grewal attributed the BJP's success to "total polarisation in Gujarat along communal lines". They alleged that the nation should feel concerned over the Gujarat developments as these did not portend well for the secular fabric of the nation.

The Congress leaders said it was time that the BJP reformed itself and tamed people like Mr Praveen Togadia who was known for spreading fear and hatred by his inflammatory speeches. 



Govt flayed for not keeping poll promises
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 16
Activists of the Ludhiana Sewa Sangh, led by its President Mr Suresh Gupta, held demonstration against the Congress Government for what they termed as backing out from the poll promises of providing free water supply and sewerage facility in urban areas in the state.

Carrying placards and water supply and sewerage bills issued by the Municipal Corporation, the demonstrators raised anti-government slogans.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Gupta said the Congress Government, headed by Capt Amarinder Singh was continuing the anti-urban population policies. “During last Assembly elections, the Congress had promised to do away with the water and sewerage charges. But in a volte face, the government has approved a policy to further enhance the water and sewerage charges in a phased manner which is tantamount to stabbing the people in the back.”

He said the plea that the free water and sewerage facility could not be granted due to the poor financial condition of the state was not tenable in view of the good financial health of the civic body which could well afford to sacrifice the meagre revenue that the water and sewerage charges from domestic consumers generated in the city.



Panchayat Secys in a fix
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, December 16
Mrs Soma Devi (55), mother of a sacked Panchayat Secretary, Parveen Kumar, is in grief as her hopes of marrying her only son have been dashed again. After a process running for seven years, her son had been selected for the post, only to be relieved.

Repenting his decision to join the post, Mrs Soma Devi says,” Parveen was working as a teacher in a private affiliated public school and earning enough to support her and his ailing parents. He left his job and joined as a Panchayat Secretary in Ahmedgarh. “We were about to finalise his marriage when the news of his removal from service was published in newspapers and the girl declined the proposal,” she said.

Frustrated over the decision, Parveen Kumar told Ludhiana Tribune that the government had taken seven years to complete the process of selection and shattered the future within no time during pendency of a court case. “We applied for the post in 1995 and were asked to pay Rs 1 lakh fee in 1996. On a writ petition by some female aspirants, the department invited applications in 1997 and conducted a written test in 1998, whose result was declared in 2000. We were interviewed in 2001 and allowed to join in 2002 after selection,” he said.

Chamkaur Singh, a Dalit youth and another relieved Secretary, is now planning to pursue education again. He will not hesitate to do manual labour because he has to look after his family consisting of his ailing mother, younger brother and a sister. “I was only 13 years old when my father died.

For more than 10 years, my mother worked hard to get me the education, which I had to leave unfinished when I got the job of a Panchayat Secretary . The government’s decision will also affect the performance of my brother and sister, who are appearing in board examinations this year, "says Chamkaur Singh.

Harpreet Singh, another Dalit youth, repents having left the job of construction supervisor with a private contractor. Though he does not have many social or family obligations to meet, he feels they should not be “penalised for political reasons”.

Kiranjeet Kaur, another sacked Panchayat Secretary, is back in the kitchen. “Had we not been living in a joint family, our survival could have been difficult, because my husband is doing ETT.

He joined the course again after leaving a private job with the hope that my salary would be enough to meet the family expenses.” she said. She accuses political leaders of doing vengeful activities to settle their score and harassing innocent youth. “Let the government examine my merit and decide if a double MA B.Ed with consistently high percentage in all classes has weightage in its eyes,” says Kiranjeet.



Rehabilitation of beggars sought
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 16
The People for People Society has sought the rehabilitation of all the beggars and urged people not to encourage beggary by offering them alms. In a statement, the chairman of the society, Mr D.P. Grover said instead of offering alms to beggars, people should donate to various NGOs working for the settlement and rehabilitation of the beggars.

Mr Grover said nobody was sure whether the money offered to the beggars was utilised by them on themselves as there were so many begging mafias who make innocent and physically challenged people to beg without offering them anything out of their “earnings”.

He appreciated the efforts of some people who had filed a writ petition for rehabilitating the beggars. In this context he said the society was already working in this field. Mr Grover has done extensive research on the beggars and stayed and begged with them for several days. The society was planning to set up an ashram where beggars would be rehabilitated with preference to the physically challenged. 



Ban cow slaughter, says seer
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 16
Shrimajagadguru Shankaracharya Jyotishpeethadhishvar Anantshree today demanded that the Union Government should enforce a law banning the slaughter of cows in the country.

He was in the city today. While addressing mediapersons he said he was deadly against the slaughter of cows and wanted the government to ban it. He also wanted to take care of ageing cows and not to use machines for milching.

He also said the government should oppose the US move to get cow’s urine patented for medicinal purposes. Emphasising his point he said Indian therapeutics were using it for curing deadly diseases since times immemorial and now foreign countries were trying to get these remedies patented in their names.

He hailed the Tamilnadu and Uttar Pardesh chief ministers for banning conversions and cow slaughter, respectively, and said the example should be emulated by chief ministers of other states.

He lauded BJP victory in elections in Gujarat and said he was against mixing politics with religion but in the case of Gujarat the victory of the BJP was very important for sustaining peace in the state. 



Mayor releases directory
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 16
The Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, reiterated the commitment of the civic administration to provide better civic amenities to the residents. He said the Municipal Corporation would soon receive another instalment of the loan for the Rs 150 crore sewerage project and on the completion of the project, the facility would be extended to several new localities.

Addressing a function to mark the release of the residents’ directory of Passi Nagar, Mr Gill lauded the effort of the Passi Nagar Welfare Association in coming out with the directory, which would play a significant role in bridging the communication gap and promoting better relationship among the residents.

Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, a local MLA, focussed on several welfare schemes initiated by the government. He expressed confidence that the civic administration would be able to fulfil the aspirations of the masses and would bring both qualitative and quantitative changes in the basic amenities. Mr Jasvir Singh Jassal, Mr B.K. Sharma, Mr Nahar Singh, Dr Hans Raj, Mr Amar Singh Mansooran, Mr Kewal Singh Khandoor, Mr Piara Singh Passi and other speakers raised the issue of apprehended dislocation of a large number of residents of the colony due to proposed 300-foot southern bypass.

Among others who present on the occasion were Mr Sarbag Singh Passi, Mr Rajinder Singh Dhaliwal, Mr Devinder Singh Bittu, Mr Satwinder Singh Jawaddi, Mr Baldev Singh, Mr Tara Singh Sohi and Mr Randhir Singh Sekhon.

Meanwhile, a tubewell was commissioned in a government school in the Field Ganj area.

Giving details of other development projects for the locality, the area councillor said a project for disposal of storm water had been finalised at an estimated cost of Rs 8 lakh. Preliminary work had also been taken up for coverage of open drain from Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran to the cremation ground, which would entail an expenditure of over Rs 2 crore.

Mr Rakesh Parashar, Ms Anju Bagga, Mr Kailash Kapoor and Mr Raj Mehra, all councillors, Mr Kewal Chhabra, Mr Krishan Lal Chhabra, Mr Nand Lal, Mr Vikas Dua, Mr Paramjit Singh, Mr Harbans Lal Talwar, Mr Kanwaljit Singh Bobby, Mr Kulwinder Singh Gulati and Mr Raju Tiger attended the function, among others.



Advocating women’s rights
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, December 16
The ghazals of Amarjit Kaur Naz, a city-based educationist, designer and poetess, advocate the rights of women in a male-dominated society. She has departed from the current trend of penning romantic verses and has touched upon issues like female infanticide, foeticide, uplift of the poor and the downtrodden, and love for the homeland. In most of her verses, Naz has stressed the need for imbibing the spirit of love and amity to dispel the darkness of violence. These comments were given by Prof Joginder Singh Bedi, a Chandigarh-based writer and the author of a reference book on Punjabi poetry, “Modern Punjabi powers and their vision”.

A literary luminary, Prof M.S. Cheema, applauded the maiden attempt of Naz in the field of Punjabi ghazals. Commenting on the gist of the book, Professor Cheema said only a woman could understand the pain of a woman, adding that Naz had been able to project it in her ghazals.

Prof Kulwant Jagraon, a journalist and poet, said the technique adopted by Naz in writing ghazals was unique. Praising the poetess, Professor Jagraon said “Hanerean Nu Alwida” was a land mark in the world of Punjabi literature as it spoke volumes about Punjabiat. The ghazals depict the social scenario of Punjab and transmit the message of communal amity to combat the divisive forces in society, Jagraon said.

Among the others who spoke on the occasion were novelist S.S. Narula, columnist Biba Kulwant and Kuldip Singh Bedi, a journalist.

Dr S.S. Johl, in his presidential address, congratulated Naz for writing meaningful Punjabi ghazals and wished her all success in the field of poetry in the times to come. The function was attended by 300 writers, intellectuals and educationists.



Dalits’ body backs minister
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 16
Taking exception to protest against Punjab Social Welfare Minister Choudhry Santokh Singh by the General Categories Welfare Federation in Phillaur, the Ambedkar Youth Federation has threatened to retaliate if such protests continued against the minister. Members said the minister was merely trying to give the Dalit community its due.

In a joint statement, Mr Kala Hans, national president and Mr Chander Shekhar Sahota, state president of the body urged the government to immediately give effect to 81st, 82nd and 85th amendment in the Indian Constitution. Placing on record their appreciation for the efforts made by the minister in this regard, they said in doing so Choudhry Santokh Singh had been instrumental in honouring the directions of the Constitution, the Indian Parliament and the Apex Court. Mr Hans and Mr Sahota further observed that the federation would stand by the minister in his earnest attempt to fulfil the dreams of Dr B.R. Ambedkar.



Virender Yaadgari Mela from Dec 21
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 16
Virender Yaadgari Mela will be held at Mullanpur on December 21. The mela is organised by the Virender Yadgari Sabhyacharak Welfare Council every year in the memory of renowned Punjabi film actor Virender.

According to Mr Surinder Cheema, chairman of the Virender Yadgari Sabhayacharak Welfare Council, as many as 3 Punjabi folk singers and artists will entertain people for the whole day. Virender Yadgari Award will be given to Randeep Virender son of late actor for his contribution to Punjabi literature. Randeep Virender organises Punjabi programme for Punjabis settled abroad on Alfa TV Channel. Pammi Virender, widow of Virender will also participate in the mela.

Virender, renowned Punjabi film actor, director and script writer was gunned down by militants while he was shooting for his Punjabi film “Jat te Zameen" at Talwandi Rai village on December 6, 1988. Virender had started his acting career with Punjabi film ‘Terimeri Ik Jindri’ and his other hits included ‘Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaoon,” “Santo Banto,” “Takra” and “Saida Jogan”.



One booked for abducting minor
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 16
The Kotwali police has registered a case of alleged abduction of a 15-year-old girl under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC and started investigations.
According to information, Ms Bala Rani, a resident of Naali Mohalla near Deepak Cinema, had complained to the police that Bunty, a resident of the same locality, had abducted her minor daughter and had taken her to an undisclosed place.

The Division Number five police has registered a similar case on the statement of Ms Jagdeep Kaur, a resident of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, against Jatinder Singh, a resident of Machhiwara village and Pintu and Sukhdev Singh, residents of Lakkanwal village. The woman had alleged that because of an ongoing property dispute, the accused had kidnapped her brother Mandip Singh and taken possession of the land belonging to her brother.

Murder bid: The Division Number five police has registered a case of dowry harassment and attempt to murder on the statement of Ms Harpreet Kaur, a resident of Maya Nagar, against her husband, Surinder Singh. According to the complainant, she had been married to the accused about four years ago and he had been harassing her and demanding more dowry ever since then. She alleged that on Sunday evening, her husband beat her up mercilessly and tried to strangulate her with a dupatta. Mr Dayal Singh, grandfather of the woman, said when he went to take her away after the incident, the accused beat him up as well.The complainant was got medically examined at the Civil Hospital.

Assault cases: Mr Raj Kumar, a resident of Deep Nagar in the Civil Lines, was injured after he was attacked allegedly by a woman living in his neighbourhood on Sunday. According to Mr Raj Kumar, who has been admitted to the Civil Hospital, two of his nephews were playing outside the house when a child from the neighbourhood also joined them. In the meantime, a tiff occurred between the children and a woman started hurling abuses at them. When he asked her to calm down, the woman attacked and injured him, he added.

The Civil Lines police has registered a case of assault under Sections452,354,506,148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Harsimran Kaur, a resident of Krishna Nagar, against Ravinder Singh, Satnam Singh and Amarjit Kaur, all residents of Sector 40 , Chandigarh, and Gian Singh Fauji, a resident of Street Number 7 in Shimla Puri. The woman had alleged that her husband Ravinder Singh, forced his way into her house along with the other accused and beat her up. The accused also threatened her, she added.

On the complaint of Ms Neelam Rani, a resident of Naginder Nagar, the Basti Jodhewal police has registered a case against her husband Tara Singh who allegedly beat her up and also threatened her.

The Model Town police has registered a case of assault on the statement of Mr Happy, a resident of Manohar Nagar, against Teeta, Satti, Mohan, Ashu, Nandu and some other unidentified persons accompanying them. The complainant had alleged that the accused accosted him outside his house and beat him up as a result of which he was injured.

The Division Number 7 police has registered a case of beating on the statement of Mr Teju, a resident of EWS Colony on the Chandigarh Road against Kiran, Babli and Rakesh, who live in the same locality.

Arrested: Following a tip-off, the Division Number 6 police nabbed two persons while they were drinking at a public place and booked them under Sections 61,1 and 14 of the Excise Act. The arrested men have been identified as Gurmel Singh, a resident of Jamalpur and Ramesh Kumar, a resident of Shivaji Nagar.

Knife seized: The Division Number 2 police has seized a kamanidar knife from Sunil Kumar, a migrant from UP, who was arrested and booked under Sections 25,54 and 59 of the Arms Act.

Jeweller held:
The local police has arrested two persons, including a proclaimed offender. According to information received from Mr Amandeep Rai Senior Superintendent of police at Sangrur, the local police arrested Raj Kapoor, a jeweller from Meena Bazar, Ludhiana. He was wanted by the police in connection with a case of burglary.

A thief caught by the police recently had disclosed that Raj Kapoor and Ashok Kapoor of Ludhiana used to purchase stolen ornaments at throwaway prices. Mr Rajbachan Singh constituted a team led by Mr Kamikar Singh, SHO (City), to nab the two. After a chase the police party arrested Raj Kapoor and recovered gold ornaments that had been stolen from the house of Mr Vijay Kumar, a local trader. Ashok Kumar, however, is still absconding.

Mr Sanjiv Kumar, ASI, on the other hand nabbed Gorakh Singh, alias Gorkha, of Kalyan village who had been absconding since 1995 and had been declared a proclaimed offender subsequently. He was wanted by the police in connection with an FIR registered under the Excise and Taxation Act.



6-yr-old crushed to death
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 16
Sahil (6), son of Mr Naresh, a resident of Shimla Puri, was knocked down by a motorcycle on Bareta Road in the locality yesterday morning. He was rushed to the CMC Hospital in a serious condition where he breathed his last. The Shimla Puri police has registered a case against the unknown motorcyclist responsible for the mishap.

In another accident Yashpal Singh, a resident of New Partap Nagar, died on the spot after he was hit by a car on Sunday. The Division Number two police has registered a case against the unknown car driver and started investigations.



Industries oppose security deposit clause
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 16
The Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association (FOPSIA) has flayed the condition of a mandatory security deposit under the self-certification scheme, recently notified by the Punjab Government to ensure compliance of 12 labour laws by the industrial sector.

Mr V.P. Chopra, president of the federation, said in a statement here today that the mandatory security deposit ranging between Rs 10,000 and Rs 25,000 for small and large-scale industries was uncalled for and unjustified, particularly in the wake of the crisis facing the industry due to recession. Moreover, the condition of a security deposit indirectly meant that in the eyes of the government, the industrial fraternity was not law-abiding, he said.

“The demand for security deposit is a virtual blot on the integrity of the entire industry in Punjab, which provides a sizeable revenue to the government exchequer and vast employment avenues, so badly needed in the state,” Mr Chopra observed.

He said in making industrial units pay security deposit for compliance with labour laws, which even otherwise were being followed, the government had defeated the purpose of the self-certification scheme, besides negating its claims to put an end to “inspector raj”.

He said the “conditional” scheme was bound to provide more teeth to the bureaucracy to harass the industry and would put financial burden on the ailing industrial economy. Unlike Punjab, several other states had introduced the self-certification scheme for the industry, albeit without any security deposit, he stated.

The FOPSIA chief stressed the need for removal of the security deposit clause from the scheme in the larger interests of the state industry, which would also be in keeping with the government’s commitment to provide clean governance.



Food Expo concludes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 16
The Food Expo 2k2 concluded here on a grand note with about 50,000 people visiting it. About 40 companies, both domestic as well as multinationals, had set up their pavilions offering a wide range of products mostly related to the food or its processing.

Mr Maninder Singh and Mr Karan Kashyap, organisers of the expo, claimed that this was for the first time that such an expo related to food processing was organised in Ludhiana. The expo attempted at spreading awareness among people about the latest trends in food technology. Visitors also evinced keen interest in these things with most of the stalls remaining overcrowded throughout the day.

Some top brands like BDM, Cremica, Nestle, Priyagold, American Soya Association (ASA) and Poonam’s Cakes were a superb hit with the visitors. In fact the ASA utilised this occasion to spread awareness about the soyabean and soya products. The ASA organised a seminar also. The seminar was presided over by Mr N.S. Nanda, president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association, Punjab.

A range of on-the-spot contests were organised for the children, men and women during the expo. The first, second and third prize in Cremica dessert competition was bagged by Ms Jyoti, Ms Vidsi and Ms Seema, respectively, while the Samsung and Bonn microwave contest was won by Ms Meghna and Ms Neena Mehta. 



Bicycle industry seeks excise exemption
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, December 16
The bicycle industry has demanded the abolition of excise duty on bicycles. At its meeting held here today, the cycle manufacturers unanimously demanded that the government should exempt the bicycle industry from excise duty keeping in view its survival in exports as well as in the domestic market.

Mr D.S. Chawla, president, and Mr Varinder Kapoor, general secretary, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, said the meeting was attended by the representatives from the All-India Cycle Manufacturers Association and the Engineering Export Promotion Council.

The members were of the view that bicycle industry having turnover of over Rs 3600 crore, employing directly to more than 2 lakh people in nearly 4,000 manufacturing units, with a dealer network of 2000 people was providing livelihood to more than 25 lakh families, which were directly or indirectly dependent on this trade.


Loan mela by bank
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 16
The Bank of Punjab, one of the leading private sector banks, organised an auto loan festival which lasted three days. The festival was aimed at creating awareness among customers about various customer-friendly schemes.

According to Mr Arvinder Singh, senior vice-president, retail banking, the key features of the loan schemes indulge simple and quick documentation, personalised services, easy payment terms, attractive interest rates and low equated monthly instalments (EMI).

The BoP has over 100 branches spread over 15 states and 50 cities. It has already introduced several technology-oriented schemes like global debit card, internet banking, mobile banking, e alert and other facilities. The bank was rated the nation’s most efficient bank by a business weekly recently.



INTUC seeks social security
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 16
The Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) demanded social security for workers in private factories from the Punjab Government at a meeting held here today.

Dr Shiv Gupta, General Secretary INTUC, Mr K.R.Tripathi, President, Indian National Bank Employees Congress (INBEC) and Mr Sunder Lal Mehta, Vice-President, INTUC Punjab in a press note today said the Punjab Government should ensure workers interest and social security in the private factories. All hosieries and factories where 10 or more than 10 workers were employed whether on a fixed wages or on contract basis, the ESI Act and the Provident Fund Act must be implemented .


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