Monday, March 10, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Light coming to Sarabha Nagar streets 
Rs 6.11 lakh streetlight project inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Residents and shopkeepers of Sarabha Nagar (block I and J) have reasons to cheer as their 20-year-old demand of providing streetlights in the entire area is going to be fulfilled.

Ms Amrit Varsha Rampal, local councillor, today inaugurated the Rs 6.11 lakh project that would illuminate the market of block I and several parts of the residential areas of blocks I and J.

Mr Ravinder Kumar Ahuja, president of the shopkeepers association, said they had been demanding, streetlights for the past 20 years. The demand gained momentum following a number of chain-snatching incidents in the recent past. “These blocks are considered posh areas of the city. The market is open till late hours and people like to go out for walk in the evening. Absence of streetlights was a discouraging factor. It was, however, encouraging anti-social elements. A number of minor theft cases had taken place in the area because of the absence of the streetlights,” he said.

Addressing a gathering at a function held in the market after inaugurating the project, Ms Varsha Rampal said the project would be completed within two weeks. She said the grant for the project came from her discretionary quota. She also listened to other demands of the area residents and ensured that she would take up these issues with the MC officials.

A press note released by Ms Varsha Rampal said iron grills would be installed on the canal side and widening of the roads in Sarabha Nagar (from blocks A to G and Gurdev Nagar) would be completed soon.

She said a tubewell would be installed at Sarabha Nagar in front of Guru Nanak Public School and one submersible pump would be installed at Jagjeet Nagar, shortly. She said sodium lights would also be installed in the area.

Mr Ravinder Kumar Ahuja exhorted area residents and shopkeepers to protect and maintain streetlights. He said the market was indebted to the councillor and the local MC for approving the project. He hoped that the residents, especially women, would feel more comfortable to venture out in evening hours.

Prominent among those present at the function were Mr B.K. Rampal, Mr Ravinder Kumar Ahuja, ex-MLAs, Mr Harnam Singh Machiwara and Jagdish Deewan, geneal-secretaries of the market association, Mr Devinder Pal Singh, cashier, and Mr Rajesh Goyal and Mr S.S. Sukhi members.



Undertrial’s medical check-up today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
All eyes are focused on the medical examination of an undertrial here tomorrow, who had alleged in an application to a district judge that three employees of Central Jail and two other undertrials had tattooed ‘chor’ on his back for not bribing them.

The medical examination, to be conducted by a board of doctors, will establish the facts in the case as an internal inquiry by the Central Jail authorities claims that the undertrial could have cooked up the story to pressure jail officials for allowing him certain benefits in the jail.

The undertrial, Kewal Singh, had in an application before a district judge, claimed that jail employees — Harvinder Kumar, Gurnam Singh Fauji and Dalip Singh (all constables), along with undertrials Amarjit Singh and Gurpreet Singh, had beaten him up on January 21 when he refused to bribe the jail employees in return for a favour.

The undertrial said he had no option but to wait for his next trial date in the court to complain about the ‘torture’. He claimed that the five caught him and one of them tattooed him. The undertrial is facing charges of theft. He belongs to Cheema village in Jagraon subdivision of this district.

The district judge has ordered a medical examination of the accused.

Mr G.S. Rai, officiating Superintendent of Central Jail, said the allegations were a bundle of lies. He claimed that the jail staff had conducted an internal inquiry and it was found that no such incident had taken place. He said the inquiry also incorporated the statement of other undertrials who were lodged in the same barracks with the alleged victim.

Mr Rai said the jail officials had sent a report regarding the allegations to senior jail officials as well as the District Courts. He claimed that the undertrial was caught several times and the word could have been engraved anywhere.

Incidentally, this is not the first time that any undertrial has accused jail employees. At least four such incidents have taken place in the past. In all these cases, the undertrials were proved wrong. 



27 couples tie knot at mass marriage
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 9
Today was a joyous day for 27 couples who got married at Nishkam Sewa Ashram this morning according to their religious rites. The brides sat with their heads covered with glittering ‘dupattas ’whereas the boys looked bright in gleaming 'sehras'. Coloured flags were erected on the road.

These young couples had given up hopes of tying a wedding knot due to financial constraints. But Nishkam Sewa Ashram, an NGO in service of the destitutes and needy, made the dreams of these boys and girls come true.

The NGO is involved in a lot of social activities like giving students free quality education, free treatment at its dispensaries and free computer education and training in its stitching centres. Advertisements for couples wanting to get married are given out on local channels and displayed at the centres run by the NGO.

Ms Shashi , who runs a tailoring centre, said,“ The precondition for marriage is that the couple should be engaged and should have a certificate signed by a counsellor to authenticate their status, and after verification by Nishkam volunteers marriages are arranged.” Mr Sarwan Kumar, chairman of the Ashram, said to help the couples start their lives, they were provided with utensils, clothes, furniture and other essential items.

The couples were selected on the basis of their needs and no one was discriminated on the basis of caste, creed and religion. In fact maximum numbers of couples were from Sikh community. The couples could invite 35 close relatives.

This morning, when 27 bridegrooms reached the Ashram at Pakhowal Road, Mr Sarwan Kumar and volunteers of the NGO were ready with blankets to be given to the bridegrooms and their fathers at 'milni' ceremony.

Mr Anurag Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner, blessed the couples. Mr Sudarshan Bakshi from Canada ,who donated over Rs 1 lakh, also blessed the couples. Lala Lajpat Rai, addressing the gathering said the NGO was doing a wonderful job of serving the needy section of society .He donated Rs 11 lakh to it.

At around 1pm, the Sikh couples were married according to Sikh rites and Hindu couples got married according to their own.

Some couples came from Himachal Pardesh. Some bridegrooms hailing from villages near Barnala did not even know the names of their spouses and had to inquire from their relatives. 



SSF backs Gill on Bhullar
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Hailing the decision of a former Punjab Director-General of Police, Mr K.P.S. Gill, to launch a counter-offensive against those lobbying for amnesty for Davinderpal Singh Bhullar, the Sehajdhari Sikh Federation (SSF) has declared to support the move since the pro-terrorism forces in the country are trying to shield the accused, who was allegedly responsible for the 1993 Delhi bomb blast in which 18 persons were killed.

Talking to TNS, Dr Paramjeet Singh Ranu, national president of the outfit, said while the world powers were coming on one platform to combat terrorism, the Akalis were trying to muster support to seek amnesty for the accused.

He said the forces seeking amnesty for Bhullar were agents of Pakistan's ISI. He urged the Union Government to perceive the motives behind the move. “The constitution of the country is binding for every Indian and when a person is declared a criminal he should be dealt with in accordance with the law”, he added.

Dr Ranu said if amnesty was given, then other organisations like the VHP or the RSS would also seek amnesty for murderers like Dara Singh. He said his party would join cause with Mr Gill in opposing the amnesty move. His party would meet the President in this context and submit a memorandum to ban the organisations seeking to help the terrorists, he added.



Anti-graft cell formed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 9
A 21-member anti-corruption cell, led by a councillor, has been formed in the city to expose the alleged corruption in the local municipal corporation.
Stating this in a press note issued here today, Mr Simarjit Singh Bains, councillor, said the local MC was claiming to be one of the best in the country and had won an award for this feat. However, he claimed that corruption was rampant in all departments of the MC. but no one was exposing it.

He said a number of like-minded leaders and area residents had come together to form a platform for exposing the alleged corruption.

The cell would collect information and evidence against MC officials, along with details of their property, and supply it to the government through the Vigilance Bureau for necessary action. 



Chamber’s memo to Centre
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Director Industries S.K. Sandhu has assured the industry that the government is committed to facilitating the industrial growth in the state. He pointed out, the industrial policy, which was to be implemented from April, would address most of the problems of the industry and very soon the state would be on its way to industrial growth and development.

Mr Sandhu was speaking at a function organised by the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry here today. He said, various provisions of the policy had been drawn up after thoroughly considering the concerns and needs of the industry. The issues would be resolved gradually, he added.

In a memorandum submitted to the Union Government, the chamber said, there were many units which manufacture items under exemption and others under excise net. Now, it said, the Budget provided for clubbing of these two sales and it could hit many SSI units. 



YC activists hold march against USA
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Hundreds of activists of the Indian Youth Congress, led by a former district president, Mr Parminder Mehta, today took out procession against a possible attack on Iraq by the USA. The activists were carrying anti-war posters and banners. They condemned the USA for its belligerent attitude towards other nations.

The procession passed through various parts of the city and ended at Clock Tower. A rally was also organised at Clock Tower which was addressed by several leaders, including Mr Mehta. The Youth Congress activists also burnt an effigy of the US President, Mr George W. Bush.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Mehta said the purpose of organising the rally was to register protest against the US attitude towards Iraq and also express solidarity with the people of Iraq.

The Youth Congress leaders criticised the “ambiguous” stand taken by the National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre on the issue. Mr Mehta said the government of India should clearly spell out its policy on the issue. He pointed out that the USA was not a friend of India as it had always sided with Pakistan on crucial issues of terrorism.

Prominent among those who attended today’s rally were Mr Sarabjit Singh Bunty, Mr Balbir Singh, Mr Pankaj Sood, and Mr Inderjeet Parmar.



Cong wins Payal council poll
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, March 9
The Congress has won the elections to all 11 wards of the Payal Nagar Council, which were held on March 2.
The Congress candidate from Ward No. 1,Mr Kewal Singh, Ward No. 2,Ms Gurmit Kaur, Ward No. 3,Mr Nirmal Singh, Ward No. 4,Mr Harbans Singh , Ward No. 5, Ms Anju Baal , Ward No. 6,Mr Satish Kumar Soni, Ward No. 7, Mr Mohan Singh (Congress), Ward No. 8, Ms Harjit Kaur, Ward No. 9, Mr Malkit Singh, Ward No. 10, Mr Shiv Kumar Soni, Ward No. 11,Ms Kulwant Kaur, have won. the election.



Women’s Day celebrations
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 9
A free medical check-up camp for women was organised by the Lions Club Ludhiana, Venus, here today. The camp was organised as part of the International Women’s Day celebrations. The club president, Dr Sandeep Chauhan, supervised the arrangements at the camp that was held at Sandeep Hospital, Haibowal Kalan. More than 100 patients were examined at the camp.

Dr Seema Popli, MD (gynaecology), advised women to take nutritious diet and maintain personal hygiene. She also highlighted the importance of light exercises and morning walk.

Mr Ashok Sharma, Mr Harminder Singh, Mr Rajneesh Lakhanpal, Mr Chander Mohan Chauhan, Mr G.C. Chawla, Mr Vijay Sharma and Mr Vineet Beri played an active role in organising the camp.

Satinder Infotech celebrated International Women’s Day today at its head office at Sherpur. Three women officials were also honoured at the function. Ms Cheema, Ms Shelly Gujral and Ms Raman Dhillon, all from Emmtel Group, received awards form MD of the company, Mr S.P.S. Chadha.

Mr Chadha announced special concession for those women entrepreneurs of the state who wanted to participate in IT revolution. Mr Chadha also offered employment, training and part-time jobs to unemployed women on pay and commission basis. Women and girls living in villages and remote areas would be preferred, he said.

He also requested Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister of Punjab, to extend government help to promote girl education in the state. A special request letter in this regard has also been sent to Ms Sonia Gandhi, Ms Shabana Aazmi, Ms Sheila Dixit and all women MPs, MLAs and prominent party leaders.

The VLCC Woman of the Year Contest-2003 was organised here today. The contest was divided into working women and non-working women categories. Dr Anil Mittal, Ms Bassi and Ms Inderjit Gill Vashisht, Principal of the Government College for Women, were the judges.

Winners in the working women category were: Dr Pankaj 1, Navneet 2, Narinder 3, Rajbir 4 and Jasbir 5.

Winners in the non-working women category were: Tanu Dewan 1, Rohiti Malik 2, Swatanter Sethi 3, Sangeeta Dutt 4 and Sunita Singla 5.



Vendetta alleged behind councillor's arrest
Our correspondent

Khanna, March 9
Mrs Jaswant Kaur Jassal, wife of the Municipal Councillor, Khanna, who was arrested yesterday by the police on the charges of fraud, had alleged that the case was registered against her husband due to political vendetta. She demanded an inquiry into the matter.

In her complaints to the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L.K.Advani, the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, the Governor,Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob(retd), the Human Rights Commission, Punjab, state president of the BJP, the local SSP and the SDM, she alleged that to harass her husband and the family some Congress leaders had pressed the police to implicate him in a false case.

Meanwhile, Mr Jassal was today produced in the court of Mr Munish Arora, Senior Sub-Judge, Khanna, , which sent him to judicial custody till March 21.



Woman’s death: dharna by kin
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 9
Relatives of a married woman who died under mysterious circumstances last week, staged a dharna on the national highway for half an hour at Doraha today.
They demanded action against the woman’s husband, who is a constable. They, however, relented after the husband gave them an affidavit, stating that he would not remarry and would take care of his children. According to the husband,

The woman, Rajinder Kaur, died at her home under mysterious circumstances on February 28. 


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