Friday, January 3, 2003, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Villagers rise in favour of accused
Dispute over 120 kanals in Jaspal Bangar village
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
The controversy surrounding the possession of 120 kanals of agricultural land in Jaspal Bangar village, near here, has refused to die down with villagers rising in the favour of Sher Jung Singh’s family and writing to the Chief Minister for justice.

Allegations and counter-allegations had been flowing in the village for the past one month when a group of villagers allegedly tried to plough this piece of land in the presence of around 18 persons. The opposite group had complained to the police and the Shimla Puri police had registered a case against 18 persons and seized four rifles, two tractors and a car.

The villagers who have come up in support of Sher Jung Singh and his family have claimed that the land was originally given to fore-fathers of Sher Jung by one of the Sikh gurus and it was a declared Waqf property.

The villagers further state that the land had been in possession of Sher Jung’s family for hundreds of years and it was surprisingly given on lease by Dilbagh Rai of the opposite group to an NRI, Ms Baldev Kaur. The villagers stated that this land was a part of 2,000 bighas given by Sikh Gurus in around 27 villages.

Alleging that Dilbag Rai illegally executed a registered lease deed for 99 years in May, 2002, in favour of the NRI, the villagers said then Sher Jung Singh and his family had objected to it on grounds that vide government instructions (memo Mo. 11/39/82-J-II/Rv/1968, Chandigarh) the religious institutions couldn’t be disposed of by the mohatmims or mahants of these institutions in violation of the ‘Shahi Farman’. They claimed that the SDM-cum-ADC, Ludhiana, after upholding the objection rejected mutation Mo. 648 on October 8, 2002.

“Infuriated over the rejection of mutation at the instance of Sher Jung Singh and brothers, Avtar Singh, attorney of Baldev Kaur, lodged an FIR with the Shimla Puri police station and a case was registered by the police under Sections 307/447/336/379/427/148/149 and 506, IPC, against Sher Jung and his brothers. But the police dropped the charges under Sections 307 and 379 IPC,” claimed villagers.

The villagers have written to the Chief Minister demanding justice in the case who has marked the complaint to the Deputy Commissioner.

Ms Sarabjit Kaur, sister of Sher Jung Singh, alleged that the police was siding with Dilbagh Singh Rai who was related to her also. There was a dispute over this piece of land and the matter was already in the court.

She said as per the revenue record the land was in the name of her brothers, but Dilbagh Singh Rai had got his name included fraudulently in a girdawari. 



Near clash between Talwandi, 
Badungar supporters 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
Tension prevailed in Gurdwara Tahli Sahib, near Raikot, here today following deployment of armed supporters by rival Akali leaders Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, and the SGPC president Jathedar Kirpal Singh Badungar, to allegedly take possession of the ‘deewan’ stage tomorrow.

Though the Raikot police and Civil administration officials managed to broke some ice in the evening and succeeded in sending away the armed persons, sources said the situation was still alarming. Police sources said that they were not taking any chances and would remain on high alert tonight and tomorrow. Holding of religious ‘deewan’ in connection with Gurpurab celebrations is an annual affair. Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, is scheduled to attend the function. The tension reached its height today when the alleged supporters of Mr Talwandi occupied the main stage and the member of a task force of the SGPC, formed to organise the show, also reached there.

Fortunately, the police and civil administration officers reached the stage and prevented a clash. The SDM, Mr Ajmer Singh and the DSP, Raikot, Mr Harjit Singh Brar, then held a meeting with the warring parties and succeeded in convincing them to disperse.

Police sources also conceded that the supporters of both leaders were camping near the area and a strict watch was being kept on them. The police and administration officials were kept on their toes by several telephone calls made to them by local workers of both the leaders. They were demanding intervention of the administration in their favour. The cause of tension is being traced to sore relations between former SGPC president Jagdev Singh Talwandi and former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

The rivalry of the friends turned-foes has now spilled over to the issue of calling the shots in tomorrow’s function.

Mr Talwandi belongs to the area, while Mr Badal and Mr Badungar claim the right to hold the centre stage as the SGPC is the organiser of the show.

The immediate provocation is said to be the reported statement of Mr Talwandi challenging Mr Badal or other Akali leaders to make speeches in his domain. The statement was published in a section of the Press. Mr Talwandi, however, has also issued a denial of the statement. The statement also included series of oft-repeated charges against Mr Badal.

Sources said political scene in the area had become hot because of the strong stand taken by rival leaders. While Mr Talwandi gave vent to his ire through statements, the SGPC joined the issue by constituting a six-member committee for the organisation of the show. The constitution of the committee was passed in a general house meeting of the SGPC at Amritsar.

The committee members included, Mr Kewal Singh Badal, Mr Harsuhinder Singh Gill, Mr Bhagwan Singh, Mr Gurmail Singh Sangowal, Mr Devinder Singh Cheema and Bibi Harbans Kaur Sukhana.



SAD infighting to the fore
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
Reacting to reports about the issue of presidentship of the local unit of the SAD, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, has reiterated that he is the chief of the unit and not Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia, as claimed by the latter.

He urged the party high command to constitute a high-level panel to go into the issue so that the matter was settled once and for all in the larger interests of the party.

Mr Avtar Singh Makkar and Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia have been old contenders of the coveted post of District President, SAD(Urban), of this industrial township. Their rivalry over the issue is no secret and the city has witnessed several bloody clashes between them. The issue remained controversial for the past five years owing to the alleged indecision of SAD President Parkash Singh Badal over the matter.

Both leaders claim proximity with Mr Badal. Mr Makkar had been claiming success over his rivals by way of being appointed acting president of the district unit. Supporters of Mr Bhatia have been claiming that the appointment is a stop-gap arrangement and Mr Bhatia enjoys “equal powers”.

The rivalry is also reflected in the loss of votes to the SAD in the Assembly and other elections.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Mr Makkar said he had the support of 10 councillors, who were testimony to the fact that he had actively campaigned for their election in the municipal elections.

The councillors present on the occasion were Mr H S Dang, Mr J S Bhola, Mr Bhairaj Singh, Mr Swaran Singh Maholi, Mr A S Cheema, Mr B S Mankoo, Mr D S Bitta, Mr H S Golwaria, Mr G S Grewal and Mr Hakam Singh.

He also claimed the support of two members of the local Gurdwara Committee, Mr Tehal Singh and Mr Teja Singh. Besides this, he said he enjoyed the support of seven central body delegates of the party and members of the local Gurdwara Management Committee.

Two members of the central body, too, have allegedly switched sides to make the case of Mr Makkar stronger before the high command.



Students brave cold to attend school
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, January 2
As the New Year was about to dawn, rain caused the mercury to dip to as much as 7 degrees Celsius. Today most of the schools reopened after the winter vacation.
Due to the cold and foggy weather some students living far away like Sahnewal, Doraha and Khanna had to leave for schools early.

It took them an hour or even more to reach school. Parents, apprehensive of poor visibility on account of the fog, speaking to Ludhiana Tribune said: “When the fog has become so dense, the school authorities should have postponed the opening of the schools. Fog is delaying trains and flights.

Naturally, we are worried about the safety of our children travelling in the foggy weather. Moreover, it is dark at 6.30 am when we wake children. It is real torture for small children as they cry when woken up.”

Not all parents seemed so anxious. Some said, "We want our children to be brave and tough. Winter days are sometimes foggy, but that does not mean that we should stop normal activities.

Since the weather is always inclement, we have to adapt ourselves to the weather and not vice versa.”

School corridors that remained quiet for the past 10 days reverberated with laughter today.

Some schools reported lean attendance. Ruchika, Sheetal and Meghna of Class X said: “Since our board exams are from March, we leave our homes at 7.30 am and go for tuition. Imagine, at times we can hardly see beyond a few yards. Since we are a group of six students, we find it adventurous to travel in the fog. It is quite eerie, but at the same time romantic.

At times we are scared. But we are happy to be in school. It is fun to share lunch and tease teachers. Gosh! we miss the fun. Coming to school means more home work, more revisions and more lecture from teachers to study hard for our exams, but that is part of school life.”

Principals feel that though it is foggy, yet it is not viable to extend the holidays as working days are barely enough to finish the syllabi. “Revision has to be carried out.

For board classes, pre-board exams take several days. Then internal (practical) exams begin. Where are the days left”, they argue.

Hawkers outside schools are happy as vacation means loss of business for them.

Most students are happy to be back in school. Veenu, Sharan and Rajan say: “At home, too, there is no peace, as our parents nag us to study”.



No respite from cold yet
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
As the sun keeps ducked behind clouds, it is going to be cool ahead for another few days. However, today there was a marginal increase in the night temperature from 3.6°C to about 6°C. But the day temperature was again quite low and people mostly preferred to remain indoors. Hundreds of bonfires could be seen during the night hours with people herding around to keep themselves warm. There was relatively less fog.

According to Dr S.S. Hundal of the Department of Agronomy and Agrometeerology, the weather is likely to be cloudy and cold for at least another two days as the western disturbances are continuing. With upper reaches of the region having witnessed massive and continuous snowfall during the past few days, the snowy winds have brought the temperature down further.

The New Year night was the coldest so far with the night temperature recorded at 3.6°C. This was unusually low temperature during this season. The mercury had plunged straightaway by about seven degrees from 10.2°C on the previous night.

The continuous cold during the past few days seems to have hit the normal life. While the government offices, banks and other institutions functioned normally the attendance in the schools was relatively low. Since most of the schools start early in the morning it makes difficult for the children to reach the school in time.

The foggy weather has also hit the movement of vehicles and trains. Most of the trains had been running late while two trains were cancelled. Railway officials were not sure about the arrival and departure of trains causing a lot of harassment to passengers. Hundreds of passengers were stranded at the local railway station as the trains were delayed.

Some passengers said they had to wait for over six hours in this cold at the railway station. “First we were told that the train was late by two hours then they said it would be late by four hours and now we are told that it is running late by about six hours”, said Mr Bikramjit, a passenger who was travelling with his family.

However, he agreed that the Railways could not be blamed for the delay. The railway officials also expressed their helplessness and maintained that once a train got late due to the foggy weather, it was difficult for it to make up as it couldn’t pick up speed. Instead it keeps on delaying further and further.

Meanwhile, several parents demanded that the district administration should change the timings for the schools for January. The timings should start at 9 a.m. Some parents disclosed that certain schools started at 7.30 am or 8 am in the morning. Even some parents suggested that the schools should be closed for another week as it is difficult for children to attend classes in the intense cold. 



After Padamjeet, its Cheema’s turn
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, January 2
After the transfer of Mr Padamjit Singh, non Chief Engineer (Enforcement), the Punjab State Electricity Board has witnessed a similar episode with Mr H.S. Cheema, Director, Mobile Meter Testing Squad, being posted at an unimportant post. Mr Cheema an SE rank officer is considered an upright and honest officer and known as terror among power thieves. Mr Cheema has unearthed the biggest-ever power theft at two industrial units at Dera Bassi and Malerkotla. In case of Dera Bassi, the power theft was estimated at Rs 4.11 crore while at Malerkotla, it was estimated at Rs 1.82 crore. Mr Cheema had
served as Director (Enforcement) for less than a year and during this period power thefts worth about Rs 20 crore had been detected.

He was posted as Director, Mobile Meter Testing Squad, here in April. It is learnt that he had found at least 12 meters of big consumers tampered with in the city, Khanna and Gobindgarh. The transfer of Mr Cheema to the post of Director (Disposals) has sent a shock wave among power engineers of the PSEB. A strong resentment prevails among them.

Earlier, the PSEB had shifted Mr Padamjit Singh, Chief Engineer (Systems), in December following his opposition to signing of an agreement for purchase of power from an Orissa-based private company. The PSEB Engineers Association held an agitation in protest against the move and the PSEB had to make amends by appointing Mr Padamjit Singh as Chief Engineer (Enforcement).

The Orissa-based company had offered to purchase power for the PSEB at the rate of Rs 2.06 paise per unit against Rs 2.07 paise per unit agreed upon by it in an October agreement. The company was supposed to supply 24 lakh units of power daily in a continuous process from December. Despite the failure of the company to supply power to the PSEB, the agreement has not been cancelled so far.

PSEB engineers allege that the political interference in the functioning of the PSEB is increasing day by day as a result of which the efficiency of the board is suffering.



BJYM to observe 2003 as ‘anti-terrorism year’
Kuldip Bhatia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 2
The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) will observe the year 2003 as ‘anti-terrorism year’ throughout the country. This was announced by Mr Sukhminder Pal Singh Grewal, member of the national executive of the morcha, while addressing a workers’ meeting here today.

Giving details of the programme, he said an International Youth Conference on terrorism would be organised in New Delhi on February 10 and 11, which would be attended, among others, by Ambassadors, senior diplomats, Union Ministers and dignitaries from all over the world. Noted experts on the subject would submit research-based presentations on global terrorism in the conference, which would be presided over by the BJYM National President, Mr G. Krishan Reddy. A comprehensive exhibition of photographs and multi-media presentation of terrorism-related incidents would be the special feature of the conference.

Mr Grewal observed that terrorism had become the biggest menace in civilised world. The country was constantly fighting terrorism, including cross-border terrorism. “Terrorism is tearing off the economic fibre of India and retarding development activities and progress of the country.” The international meeting on terrorism, he added, was being convened in this backdrop with objectives to identify factors breeding terrorism, find out means to check the menace and initiate a global dialogue for peace.”

Opposing income tax on the farm sector, as suggested by the Kelkar Committee, the BJYM functionary said the matter had been taken up with Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and the Union Finance Minister because bringing farmers under the income tax net could create several problems.

Alleging that development activities in the state had came to a halt eversince the Congress government took over the reins in Punjab, Mr Grewal said the government was ignoring core issues and real problems of the people while pursuing directionless policies.

He claimed that the SAD-BJP alliance was all set to stage a comeback and the forthcoming municipal elections in Punjab would prove decisive in this regard. He said several senior SAD functionaries, including former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, would actively campaign for BJP candidates in the coming Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh.



Guddu victim waits for justice, but ...
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
Almost eight years ago, a city industrialist took up cudgels against the now suspended Inspector Shamsher Singh Guddu regarding his alleged involvement in a dacoity in his Industry.

Despite several inquiries and court orders in his favour and the recent crackdown on the controversial cop, he is still awaiting recovery of several lakhs of stolen machines and action against the cop. Justice delayed is justice denied, But no one seem to have remembered this in the case of Maninder Singh. Apart from the cop, the other accused persons were also influential. Despite that, he won the cases.

While the cost of the stolen machine is pegged at over Rs 27 lakh, the loss of business due to the closed industry is estimated at over a crore. Yet, the industrialist is facing increased losses due to continuous delay in justice.

The cop was recently booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act by the state Vigilance Department. The registration of the case brought a litany of complaints against him from people, who could not raise their voice earlier. Persons like Maninder Singh, who were fighting legal battles and police cases against the cop, are hopeful that their tale of woes will end now.

“But not much seems to be done”, laments Maninder Singh. His tale reflects how difficult it was for an individual to fight for justice. None other than an IPS officer, Varinder Kumar, posted as SSP, Gurdaspur, had upheld the allegations against Maninder Singh.

He had recommended registration of a case against the cop and associates as well as immediate recovery of stolen property and handing over the factory to the industrialist. The inquiry report and the recommendations were submitted to senior police officers, but nothing much has been done so far.

Maninder Singh’s case file states that in July, 1995, his factory was robbed but nothing was done by the police. The accused cop and others, as stated in the inquiry, had conspired to steal the machines as well as forcibly occupy the industry. 



Protest march against Machhiwara police
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, January 2
Dalits of Powat village held a protest march against the Machhiwara police in protest against dispossessing them of the land they had held for the past 50 years and implicating them in false cases of theft.
The left parties supported Dalits in organising the protest rally.

In a memorandum presented to the BDPO, Machhiwara, Ms Rana Partap Singh, to get their message conveyed to the state government, it was demanded that stern action should be taken against the erring police officials for registering false cases of theft against Dalits. It was also demanded that the land in question should be given back to the Dalits.

Addressing the rally, Mr Lachhman Singh Manderan, district president of the Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union, Mr Ranjit Singh, president of the Samrala, Mr Bhajan Singh, president of the Nagar Council, Samrala, Mr Sucha Singh Mughlewal, president of the Punjab Kisan Sabha, Samrala unit. Mr Sandeep Sharma, secretary of the CPI’s Machhiwara block, Mr Gurcharan Singh Sohi, district president of the Punjab Kisan Sabha, Mr pal Singh Powat, CITU leader, Mr Sunder Lal, president of the Lal Jhanda Palledar Union’s Machhiwara, Mr Hari Singh, president of the Dalit Struggle Committee, expressed concern on the excesses being committed on Dalits by the police. Speakers sought a probe into the case so that the role played by senior police officials could be known. They condemned the state government for not only befooling the Dalits by promising to allot free plots, but also dispossessing them of the plots with the help of the police which they already having had. 



Mayor must be shown due respect: Lapran
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
While the District Congress Committee president, Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran, and Dakha MLA, Mr Milkiat Singh Dakha, had alleged that they, along with the city Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, were humiliated at the new year function organised at the Satluj Club here on December 31 night, Mr Gill today denied anything of the sort and said he had left the function to meet other commitments.

On the other hand, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, who is also ex-officio president of the club, maintained that all three were properly attended to when they came to the club on the new year eve. He said, they left after about 15 minutes. He said he himself left 30 minutes later.

Mr Lapran, however, maintained that when he, along with Mr Gill and Mr Dakha, went to the club there was too much rush. The Mayor felt bad that there was no seat reserved for him as per protocol since he is the first citizen of the city. Upset, he decided to leave the function midway.

But Mr Gill today issued a clarification that some wrong information had been circulated about him. He said since he was busy in connection with many new year functions at different places, he had no plan to attend the function at Satluj Club. He stated since renowned Punjabi artist Jassi was to perform there he decided to mark his presence along with friends.

He said the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Aggarwal, and other officers present gave him due respect and offered them seats.

Meanwhile, two local legislators, Mr Surrinder Dawer and Mr Milkiat Singh Dakha, expressed displeasure over the incident. They said, notwithstanding the denial by the Mayor, he (the Mayor) was not accorded due respect in accordance with protocol. They pointed out, the Mayor was the first citizen of the city and ought to be given due respect.

Moreover they said, the club management should have ensured that when they invited guests, seats were reserved for them. “Elected representatives are the voice of people and they deserve better respect,” they observed.



Plan to beautify city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 2
The City Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh, has said the Municipal Corporation has chalked out a comprehensive plan for beautification of the city. Addressing a function to mark the commencement of work for providing sodium lights on the Jail road from Kucha No 16 in Filed Ganj locality to Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran, he said steps had been initiated to cover the open drain passing through the area.

The work for installation of lights on this stretch of road has been taken up at the joint initiative of Mr Sanjay Talwar, Councillor (Ward No 49) and Mr Rakesh Parashar, Councillor (Ward No 51), who have provided funds from their respective councillor quotas for the purpose.

Mr Surinder Dawar, Congress legislator, was the chief guest of the function. He said development work of the area would be undertaken on priority basis. Other major works in the pipeline, he said, were desilting of the open drain and construction of another drain to check accumulation of rain water.

Among others, Mr Sushil Parashar, Mr Ashok Parashar, Mr Jasbir Singh Chadha, Mr Kailash Kapoor, Mr Ashok Bagga, Mr Raj Mehra, Mr Gursharan Singh, Mr Satish Kumar, Mr Kanwaljit Singh Bobby, Ms Pinki Arora, Ms Darshana Devi, Mr Vikas Dua, Mr Goldy Sabharwal, Mr Inderjit Singh Manga, Ms Madhu and Mr Chander Sabharwal, were also present on the occasion.



‘Gaon chalo abhiyan’
Our Correspondent

Khamano, January 2
Under the BJP’s countrywide ‘Gaon chalo abhiyan’, a meeting of the BJP Mandal here was held at Khamano Mandi under the chairmanship of BJP working committee member Punjab Ran Singh Kalsi.

Giving details, Mr Kuldip Madaan, in charge of the gaon abhiyan in Fatehgarh Sahib, said out of 74 villages, 30 party units been constituted in 30 villages and the rest villages would be covered by January 31. He said 7,000 members had been admitted to the party and 3,000 more would be included soon.

He said other mandals, including Amloh, Sirhind and Bassi had been covered under this scheme, This meeting was addressed, among others, by Mr Lal Chand Jindal, Mr Dharampal, general secretary, SC Morcha Punjab, and others.



Crippled, yet unfazed
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, January 2
Mr Balbir Singh Deol, a 73-year-old inmate of the Senior Citizen Home, Sarabha Nagar, has never had a cushy life. In spite of being physically challenged, Mr Deol has a fierce determination, a sunny nature and an optimistic outlook towards life. “My positive outlook has helped me to adjust in all circumstances, however, adverse they might have been. While other inmates feel sorry for themselves, specially on festive occasions like Divali and New Year, I do not feel alone or lonely, as I think one not only has to adjust to the circumstances, but also to fight out difficulties,” he says.

“Since I have not married, I have been quite happy. My parents died four five years ago and now my relatives have filed court cases against me so that they can deprive me from my share of the property. Thinking that I am physically challenged, they feel, I will not be able to fight a legal battle, but I am fighting and I will continue it till the end. We own a family house in Model Town. I do not like injustice. Our society has never been kind to a physically or mentally challenged person,” he says.

Giving examples, he says even a porter at station will charge more from us and so will do a rickshaw puller. ‘Everyone thinks that we can be taken for a ride. For a physically challenged person in India, life is definitely not a bed of roses,” he says.

Palio forced him to take to crutches, but that has never deterred his desire to be financially independent. Self taught, he started his radio mechanic shop in Model Town. In seventies and eighties, when radio was popular, he earned enough. Because of his good nature, he made friends with intellectuals, photographers of repute and other prominent persons of society. His investments earn him enough interest money to live comfortably. He says,” The government has reduced interest on small savings and that has really affected me, but I can’t lament over my misfortunes, I live for each day and I want to live it to the fullest for life is a unique gift of God”.



LMA seminar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
LMA is organising a seminar on “The long road for India, to being a global player” tomorrow. This was stated by Mr Rajinder Gupta, president, and Mr V.K. Goyal, general secretary, LMA, in a press note issued here today.

“Mr Walter Vieira, a certified management consultant of international fame, who is coming all the way from Mumbai to address the members, is President of the Marketing Advisory Services Group which happens to be the first marketing consultancy company in India”, Mr Goyal said.

“He is also the ex-Chairman of International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI-World apex body) and was among the first to be elected Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants of India in 1995.”

Speaking on the significance of the subject Mr Goyal said: “are witnessing a sea change in the social and business environment. World markets are rapidly opening up and the way we used to do business is fast changing. There is practically nothing which can be taken for granted and the contingencies must be prepared for.

India has experienced unprecedented changes and growth in many areas in the past decade and is fast-awakening to the challenge of competing globally and replicating, if not surpassing, the success stories of China and other east-Asian tigers.”

“However, this is a mere prelude to what could potentially lie ahead. There is still a long way for India to go and business needs to adapt and change even more quickly than ever before,” he added.



Confrontation averted
Tribune News Service

Khamano, January 2
A confrontation was averted when people of ward no 2 here gheraoed the crane of a PWD contractor that was used for digging land illegally in the jurisdiction of the Market Committee adjoining houses of ward no 2 residents.

This contractor is constructing the G T road at Khamano. Men picking soil from the site dug were putting the same by the roadside with the help of tractor-trailers. Sensing the mood of the people, the contractor stopped the work.

Dr Amarjeet Sharma, block president of the Congress, Mr Devinder Kumar Thapar, Mr Surinder Kumar Sharma, and Mr Gian Chand of the Akali Dal, who were leading the people alleged that the contractor was doing this knowingly. They said digging posed a danger to children. It was about 5 feet deep. The contractor and crane driver said he had orders from the higher authorities. When the Secretary of the Market Committee, was contacted, he said he had not permitted digging. The people alleged that the contractor was doing this for personal gains.



A prayer for 2003

 Rolled by 2002

leaving behind its memories - sweet and sour

engraved on the pages of history

The new rising sun of 2003 with its inspirations and aspirations

is knocking at our door

Let us pray for structuring a new human brotherhood

Based on a new philosophy of life

Let us make strides in togetherness, take steps 'hand-in-hand become a new strength

and guard the human and moral values of life

Let us extend the warmest welcome to the rising sun of 2003

Let us sweat to bid good-bye to politicking for vanishing self-seemingness,

Abhorrence, grouses and grudges and distances.

Let us liberate ourselves from the false ‘I’ and ‘Me’ and

the sense of domination and dare to call a spade a spade

and condemn the clownish and ludicrous

Let us bead the pulse in the form of scattered and spattered friends

In the thread of unity and pray for a boom and bloom for all

in the arenas of peace and prosperity, heart and health,

From the core of my heart I wish for all 2003 to be the year

of boom and bloom and jingles and joys

Kuldip Singh Kreer

New Year wishes

A Happy New Year, Ludhiana! May the New Year fulfill the following boons for the citizens: A Pollution free Ludhiana to breathe easy. A good intra city transit system to commute easy. A Wide and unencroached roads to drive easy. A to get unadulterated milk and other products to consume easy. To get only standard medicines to heal easy.


Harsh Kelkar report

Kelkar report is quite harsh and unfortunate for senior citizens, pensioners and the salaried class as well. It will adversely affect nearly one crore pensioners across the country, if implemented. The Union Finance Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, is urged not to accept the report in anyway. He is further urged to retain all the incentives and concessions already available to the salaried class, senior citizens, pensioners and serving women. Rather, there should be more incentives encouraging them to save more. Raise in tax exemption limit for them is yet another point worth consideration.

To add to it, enhancement in the rates of interest fixed deposits made by the senior citizens in banks as well as post offices may help them financially in the evening of their life.

Yash Paul Ghai


Liberalisation in India has given birth to a never satiating consumerism. This has reduced everything even the school education, to the economics of demand and supply.” Thousands of the so- called ‘public school’ have been flourishing on the growing weakness of parents to send their children to ‘English Medium’ schools, barring a few reputed and established names, most for them are nothing more than ‘teaching shops’. They mint money at the cost of ignorant and credulous parents. The ‘modus operandi’ of all these ‘public schools’ is very simple. They give tempting advertisements in newspapers highlighting their academic achievements school holds a test for admissions. This is nothing more than a deed formality.

Actually, it is just a play to throw dust into the eyes of unsuspecting parents. Admissions are granted not an merit. The fatness of the capitation fee decides the fate of the child. It is fraud on parents and children both. No responsible government can remain a mock spectator to this illegal looting and fraud. Accepting donations or capitation fee in admissions be made illegal and a cognizable offense. Let our schools schools remain temples of learning. Let us not bury them deep in the dung of wealth and gold.

Rahul Trehan



Con man dupes lensman of video camera
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 2
A conman travelling in a stolen car robbed a videographer of his camera near Vardhman Mills on the Chandigarh road last night.
According to information, a man, who identified himself as Rajinder Kumar, arrived at the shop of Mr Satnam Singh in Jamalpur. He said he wanted to get his son’s birthday party at his residence in Sector-32, PUDA Urban Estate, videographed at the evening. Mr Satnam Singh, sent his assistant Gurdip along with a video-camera, batteries and charger along with the conman. On the way, the latter asked him whether he wanted a drink. He got an answer in the negative. The conman then asked Gurdip to fetch him a pack of cigarettes from a roadside vend. But the assistant told the conman he did not touch tobacco.

After that the man drove the car to the rear of Vardhman Mills. He pushed the assistant out of the car and sped away. The assistant, who received some injuries, telephoned his employer, who informed the police. The car was found abandoned on the road by the police. It had been stolen a few days ago from Mall Road area. The division number seven police has registered a case.

Arson alleged: The Shimla Puri police has registered a case on the statement of Ms Rani, a resident of Tower Colony, against Raj Pal, a resident of the same locality. The woman had alleged that the accused had set fire to her kitchen on the night of December 30.

Cases of beating: The Haibowal police, on the complaint of Mr Jytoi Sharma, a resident of Chander Nagar, has registered a case of beating, theft and intimidation against Ranjit Singh and some of his colleagues posted at the Panjab State Electricity Board’s office in Chander Nagar. The complainant had alleged that the accused had forcibly entered his house, beat him up also threatened him. The accused had also taken away a CD player and three electric motors from his residence.

The division number eight police has registered a case on the statement of Mr Varinder Kumar, a resident of Guru Nanak Pura, against Krishan Lal and Harish Kumar. The complainant had alleged that the accused had tried to take forcible possession of his shop and beat him up.

The Basti Jodhewal police has registered a case of beating on the statement of Mr Kirpal Singh, a resident of Baba Jiwan Singh Nagar, against Surinder Singh, Madan Lal, Sonu and Chand. The complainant had alleged that the accused had beaten him up.

Fraud alleged: The division number eight police has registered a case of alleged fraud on the statement of Mr Thakur Singh, a resident of Model Gaon, against Sohan Lal and Tinu, both residents of Naveen Nagar, Sonu, Sarabjit Singh, Jatinder Pal Singh and Tinku. The complainant had alleged that the accused had withdrawn Rs 10,000 from his bank account with the help of forged signatures.

Kidnapping alleged: The Sadar police, on the statement of Mr Mukesh Yadav, a resident of Gill village, has registered a case of alleged kidnapping against Pamma Singh and five of his accomplices. The complainant had alleged that the accused had abducted him in a car from the factory he was working in at Gill to a factory belonging to the accused and kept him in illegal confinement for three hours there.

Cases of theft: The Sarabha Nagar police has registered a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Kapil Sood, a resident of Randhir Singh Nagar, against unknown burglars who allegedly stole Rs 4500 and valuable items from his house.

The Civil Lines police has registered a case of alleged theft on the statement of Mr Baldev Singh Dhaliwal, a resident of Gurdev Nagar, against his NRI brother Harpreet Singh. The complainant had alleged that the accused had entered his house and damaged his household goods.

The Model Town police has registered a case of theft under Section 379 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Yadwinder Singh, a resident of CRPF Colony, Dugri, against Dalwinder Singh, a resident of Damoria Bridge. the complainant had alleged that the accused had stolen his Tata Indica car

The Sarabha Nagar police has registered a theft case on the statement of Mr Narinder Pal Singh, a resident of Ranjit Nagar. The thieves took away his Maruti Zen car from outside his residence.

The division number seven police has registered a case under sections 452,380,427,506 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Amrit Lal, a resident of Focal Point, against Kuljit Singh and his brother Balbir Singh, Surjit Kaur, wife of Kuljit Singh and Sunita, daughter of Kuljit Singh. The complainant had alleged that the accused had come to the TV-VCR shop where he was employed and damaged and stolen goods.

Forgery alleged: The Salem Tabri police has registered a case of forgery on the statement of Mr Inderjit Singh, sarpanch of Kasabad village, against Harjit Singh and Sukhjit Singh, both brothers, Jaspal Kaur, wife of Harjit Singh, Lal Singh, Rupinder Singh, Bhag Singh and some other residents of the village.

The complainant had alleged that the accused had prepared forged papers pertaining to the panchayat shamlat land and got it transferred in their names.

Suicide: Rakesh Kumar (19), a worker in an industry on Machhiwara road, allegedly committed suicide by hanging in his room on Tuesday night. The deceased was reportedly passing through a state of depression for unknown reason.

Theft in insurance
company office: A theft has been reported in the Sirhind branch of National Insurance Company. According to Mr Harjit Singh, manager of the branch, the thieves entered the office situated on GT Road by breaking the grill of the ventilator from the back of the building. The thieves stole Rs 19,028 by breaking the locker and then broke the cash box. They used sophisticated equipment to break the locker and the heavy cash box, he said. A case has been registered. OC



Stolen car traced to suspended ASI
Our correspondent

Samrala, January 2
During nakabandi near the ITI today under Inspector Tejinder Singh Sandhu, a Maruti car (PB-10-R-1004) was traced by ASI Nachhattar Singh to a suspended ASI of the Police Department in Jalandhar. A woman sitting in the car has been challaned.

According to sources, the car belonged to a manager of an insurance company of Ludhiana.

Both accused were produced in the court of the Judicial Magistrate, Samrala, who gave them one day’s police remand.



Minor crushed to death
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 2
A 10-year-old girl was crushed to death by a truck on the Doraha-Neelon road, early this morning. The deceased has been identified as Salma, daughter of Pappu, a resident of Sapera Basti, Doraha. She was crossing the road in foggy weather when the accident took place.

According to sources, the truck driver has been arrested by the police. The body of the girl has been sent for a postmortem examination.


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