Sunday, June 15, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Probe ordered into ‘cop-on-the-run’ case
Accused spotted by mediapersons at Civil Hospital
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Policeman Paramjit Singh, who is wanted by the Vigilance Bureau, was seen with some police officials
Policeman Paramjit Singh (wearing cap), who is wanted by the Vigilance Bureau, was seen with some police officials at the Civil Hospital in Ludhiana on Saturday morning. — A Tribune photograph 

Ludhiana, June 14
The district police today ordered a high-level inquiry to find out how an ‘absconding’ Punjab Police Inspector Paramjit Singh, wanted in two cases by the Vigilance Bureau, marked his attendance in the register at the Police Lines on June 8.

The Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau has also written letters to the district police in this regard. Sources said the district police had been requested to arrest Paramjit Singh immediately if he was spotted anywhere in the district.

Interestingly, the accused cop was seen in the Civil Hospital complex today morning. He had come to the hospital for a medical examination. However, he left the hospital premises within five minutes. Surprisingly, the SHO of the local police station and two other cops were with him at that time. He was spotted by some mediapersons. However, he left the place before any mediaperson could talk to him.

Meanwhile, Mr Narinder Pal Singh, SSP, has deputed the SP (Headquarters), Mr Arunpal Singh, to conduct an inquiry into the case and to ascertain causes and fix responsibility on the official(s), who allegedly did not act as per the law and arrest the accused cop.

The police inquiry has been ordered after an exclusive news report was published in these columns today. The SSP, Mr Narinderpal Singh, told Ludhiana Tribune that he was shocked at the incident. “I have directed the SP(H) to conduct a probe and report to me at the earliest. This should not have happened,” he said.

Mr Kanwarjit Singh Sandhu, SSP, Vigilance Bureau, said he had written letter to the district police chief informing him officially about the incident. He said the district police had been requested to arrest the absconding cop the moment he was spotted anywhere. The letter also mentions the June 8 incident, when Paramjit Singh had come to the Police Lines here and marked his attendance. He had then proceeded on medical leave.

Sources said serious action was on the anvil against the persons responsible for the irregularity.

A preliminary inquiry by the police had already proved that the accused cop had marked himself present in the attendance register at the Police Lines on June 8.



Using slippers to foil robbery bid
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 14
Showing exemplary courage, a 33-year-old woman foiled a robbery attempt in her house at Model Town here today by beating four gun-wielding robbers with slippers, forcing them to flee. She also saved her three children, who were inside the house when the robbers struck. The house belongs to late BJP leader Khushi Ram Sharma, who was gunned down by terrorists in the late 1980s.

The woman, Ms Anu Sharma, was helped by her servant Mangal. He raised the alarm which attracted the attention of their neighbours and gunmen of former Minister, Mahesh Inder Grewal, who lives just opposite her house. The robbers, however, managed to escape.

The robbers with masked faces, were carrying two pistols. But the woman remained unfazed even when they fired two shots at her. Luckily she escaped unhurt. She later told Ludhiana Tribune that she had never realised that the robbers were brandishing real weapons.

‘‘I thought they were just trying to intimidate me. The gunshots appeared as noise of some crackers. I realised later that the weapons were real,’’ she added. The shots missed the woman and got embedded in a wall.

Senior police officers reached the spot and praised the woman. Police sources said as per her description of the robbers they appeared to be migrant labourers.

Mr Lalit Kumar Sharma, her husband, who is a bicycle-part manufacturer, said the family had not received any threat call.

Police sources said as per information with the police department, there was not threat perception to the family and it was a case of robbery only.

Narrating the incident to Ludhiana Tribune Ms Anu Sharma said she was in the drawing room when around 12.15 p.m. she heard her servant, Mangal, arguing with some people. The entrance to the inner building of the house was through the backyard and she saw four persons, all masked, shoving the servant.

‘‘I came out and inquired what they wanted. The robbers showed me a pistol and ordered me to get inside. I was mad with rage at them. I removed my chappals and started hitting me.’’

The robbers were taken aback and tried to catch hold of her. She received bruises on her face and neck but continued beating them up with her chappals. Meanwhile, the servant ran out of the house and called for help.

Gunmen of former Akali minister Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal rushed into the house but by that time the robbers had fled. The gunmen and some neighbours chased them but failed to nab them.

The police has registered a case and an investigations has started.



Vigilance conducts search operations
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 14
In a move to gather evidence against former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his family for alleged accumulation of wealth through corrupt practices, the Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau conducted several search operations in the city today. At least three establishments in the city were raided and copies of documents collected for scrutiny.

Informed sources revealed that police parties headed by Mr Kanwarjit Singh Sandhu, SSP, Vigilance, converged on a leading department store, a building in the Feroze Gandhi market and a city hotel. The parties spent several hours at these places and collected copies of documents to establish if Mr Badal or his family members had any share in these properties or enterprises.

At the hotel, the Vigilance team collected information about all regular customers at the hotel and its shareholders, besides the purchase of the plot by the company. It is learnt that the Vigilance did not come across any significant information that pointed even remotely towards Mr Badal.

At the other places, the teams reportedly took away copies of records that would be scrutinised by experts of the Vigilance Bureau here and at Chandigarh. The Vigilance Bureau is planning several similar raids at other places in the city.

It may be recalled that the Punjab Vigilance Bureau has arrested several close aides of Mr Badal, including a leading chemist who owns Gurmail Medical Hall. Recently, Mr Manjit Gill, a friend of Mr Sukhbir Badal, was also rounded up and later released. Mr N.S Dhillon, a cousin of Mr Badal, is also currently under detention. The Vigilance is believed to be working on information procured from these persons.



Colleges stop +1 admissions
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, June 14
Fewer admissions coupled with shortage of staff is forcing many local affiliated colleges to stop admissions to Plus One from this session. While GGN Khalsa College, Civil Lines, has withdrawn Plus One classes in all streams, including medical, non-medical, arts and commerce, the authorities of Arya College have decided to stop admission to arts and commerce, continuing only with the science stream.

Not only the aided or private colleges, admission to all three existing streams medical, non-medial and commerce in all government colleges of the state, including Government College for Women and SCD Government College is also likely to be stopped from this session. The teachers said that they had been told that Secretary, Higher Education, had already issued a notification in this regard to all colleges.

The college teachers said that this had been happening as many parents wanted their wards to continue in the schools as long as possible, wear the school uniform, regularly attend their classes and refrain from indulging in mass bunking, fashion and styles. Besides, many public schools of the city these days have qualified and experienced staff, well-equipped science laboratories and well-stocked libraries and, therefore, parents do not have any hesitation in sending them to the schools, the teachers said.

Giving such views, Prof Satish Sharma, lecturer in Arya College, said that infrastructure was not any problem in city schools these days except for a few aided schools that have a ceiling on fee structure. Out of stiff competition among them, they hold special classes for weak students in Plus One and Two, prepare and motivate them for various entrance examination and even send them back home quickly so that they have extra time for self study. Prof Sharma said that colleges have a problem of staff shortage these days and were, therefore, not able to attend to the students so well.

Prof Gurdeep Singh, Principal of GGN Khalsa College, said that since there were a few admissions in Plus One and Plus Two classes since the past three to four years and the response had been falling every session, the college management finally decided to do away with these from this year. He said that holding such classes did not help in generating enough funds for the college. The principal said that this time admission to Plus One will be stopped now and from next year onwards, admission to Plus Two will also be withdrawn.

However, Prof Jaipal Singh, President Government College Teachers’ Union, condemned the decision of the Punjab government saying that it would lead to under-utilisation of the existing facilities such as libraries and laboratories. He said that many parents and students were daily coming to the college to know the details regarding admission to Plus One but they got really disappointed when they were told that admission was likely to be stopped from this year. He said that there was no dearth of students desiring to take admission in Plus One in government colleges.

Even Prof K.B.S. Sodhi, former president of Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union, was also quite upset over the decision of the colleges. He apprehended that this decision of the state government to stop Plus One and Two in colleges might lead to closure of many colleges who could face problems of viability. He argued that even still the infrastructure available for the classes was better in colleges than most schools as only a handful of public schools had good facilities.

Prof Sodhi said that earlier the pass percentage of Plus One and Two was much higher in colleges than schools and many parents used to prefer getting their children admitted in schools. He, however, said that the trends had now changed as most parents wanted their children to continue Plus One and Two in schools so that they remain regular and disciplined.



Mann decries Tarlochan’s role
Tribune Reporters

Amloh, June 14
Akali Dal (Amritsar) chief and Lok Sabha member Simranjit Singh Mann has criticised the role of Mr Tarlochan Singh, Chairman, National Commission for Minorities, in forging unity between Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal and Shiromani Akali Dal leaders.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Mr Mann alleged that Mr Tarlochan Singh had earlier assured him during a meeting that he would not play any role in the unity move. Mr Mann said the Chairman has misused his position and violated the Constitution.

Mr Mann said on the basis of reports from Allahabad, the Christians had lost faith in the commission. With the announcement of Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra to continue their alliance with the BJP, the Muslim community has also lost faith in it, he said.

Mr Mann suspected that Mr Tohra was aspiring to become the SAD chief in connivance with Capt Amarinder Singh. Mr Badal and Mr Tohra are trying to empower Mr Sukhdev Singh Badal and Mr Harmail Singh Tohra, respectively, Mr Mann alleged.

Ludhiana: Addressing a meeting of the executive and district presidents of the party at Gurdwara Akal Garh on Saturday evening, Mr Mann said the unity between the two Akali leaders has once again made the ideological battlelines in the state clear. Mr Badal and Mr Tohra have been befooling the people of Punjab with their “Panth in danger” cry, he said. The Akali Dal (Amritsar) believes that it is time for the people to overthrow these leaders.

Mr Mann also released the party journal, “White Hawk”, which will highlight the policies, programmes and achievements of the party.

Party members condemned the “casteist” politics played by Hindu fundamentalists and opportunist political parties in Punjab. These attempts to split Sikhism portend a grave danger to the state, they said.



Akali unity evokes mixed response
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, June 14
The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) has hailed the unity between Akali Dal factions, headed by the former Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and former president of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, terming it a welcome and historic decision.

The former state president and member of the national executive of the morcha, Mr Sukhminder Pal Singh Grewal, in a statement here today said the Akali unity would usher in a new era in the state and the merging political scenario would lead to the downfall of the ruling Congress. The forthcoming panchayat and Lok Sabha elections would clearly demonstrate that the base of the Congress had eroded after the last Assembly election, he added.

Mr Grewal further asserted that the BJP, an ally of the SAD (B), had also been strengthened as a result of the coming together of the two groups. “The SAD had extended unconditional support to the NDA government at the Centre and the BJP leadership holds the Akali Dal in high esteem.” He was confident that the coalition (SAD and BJP) would strengthen further in the coming days and would be able to form the next government in the state.

Commenting on the plausible arrest of Mr Parkash Singh Badal on the basis of “fabricated” cases, he said the government, by doing so, would commit a blunder for which it would have to pay a heavy price in terms of political loss. The BJP would also stand by Mr Badal in such an eventuality and oppose political vendetta.

Meanwhile, terming the unity among two factions of the Akalis as opportunistic and in violation of the tenets of Sikhism, the Shiromani Akali Dal Panthic Morcha has said that unity among two persons cannot be termed ‘panthic’ unity. It is part of a strategy to consolidate hold of certain families over the Sikh community.

The morcha convener, Baba Sarbjot Singh Bedi, said the five years of misrule of the Akalis had shown that senior leaders brazenly violated the tenets and ethos of Sikhism and scarred the psyche of the community. Even the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs was brought into disrepute by these leaders for their personal interests, he alleged.

He said it was a matter of shame for Sikhs that the ‘hukamnama’ issued by the then Akal Takht Jathedar Bhai Ranjit Singh urging for unity during the tercentenary celebrations was conveniently overlooked by these leaders. “While the whole world knows about the edict, yet the ‘Singh Sahibans’ chose to let Mr Badal off the hook,” he said.

Ironically, it was Mr G.S. Tohra who took a stand against the matter that lead to the creation of the Panthic Morcha. Mr Tohra was a founder member and had declared that nothing short of an apology from Mr Badal would be acceptable to him. Yet he has chosen to shake hands with the very person he had been publically criticising all these years,” he said.

Mandi Gobindgarh: Mr Dalip Singh Pandhi, senior Akali leader and former minister, Mr Tejinder Singh Salana, former President of the Fatehgarh Sahib Bar Association, and Ms Paramjit Kaur Bhagrana, former Chairperson of the Market Committee, Amloh, have hailed the merger of the Sarab Hind Shiromani Akali Dal into the Shiromani Akali Dal. They have expressed hope that it will give a boost to the party in the ensuing panchayat elections, besides exposing the anti-people policies of the Congress.

The leaders have further stated in separate press statements that the unity has brought immense joy among party workers.

Meanwhile, Dr Sakinder Singh, former District Congress chief, while talking to mediapersons here today, said the merger of Akali dals was a futile effort to grab political power in the name of ‘panthic’ unity. “People of the state have experienced in the past that Akali leaders, when out of power, give a call of ‘panthic’ unity, but after coming into power, they do nothing for the welfare of the people, ” he said.

He said the unity of two Akali leaders would have no impact on the masses and they would not allow Akalis to jeopardise the development and prosperity of the state through false propaganda.

The Chief Minister was aware of the tactics of Akali leaders and he would not allow them to succeed in their motives and disturb the peace in the state. The unity would have no effect on the ensuing panchayat elections, he said.



Unity still a far cry in city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 14
The coming together of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, (SHSAD) headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, respectively, is expected to once again reopen the controversial issue regarding the presidentship of the district Akali jatha, which in any case has not been resolved so far.

While the pressure being mounted by the SHSAD to seek district presidentship of some important districts, including Ludhiana, is yet to be decided at the top level, the contenders for the posts have started intensive lobbying. At the time of the split Mr Hira Singh Gabria, a close supporter of Mr Tohra was the district unit president of SAD.

The issue of the presidentship of the unified party is vital and not easy to decide. This is apparent from the fact that during the past more than five years of the split the tug of war continued between two staunch Badal loyalists Avtar Singh Makkar and Amarjit Singh Bhatia for the post and an element of uncertainty was always there with both contenders claiming to be the acting president of the party.

Although Mr Makkar has a slight upper edge and has been working as the district president for all practical reasons, Mr Bhatia did not forgo his claim to the extent that he had threatened to contest the last Assembly elections as a rebel candidate against Mr Makkar, who was the official party nominee. It was at the last moment with the personal intervention of Mr Badal that Mr Bhatia was made to retract from the electoral battle. The political observers feel that with Mr Gabria also throwing in his hat the tussle for the presidentship was going to become more intense.

Sources in the Akali party maintain that as far as political stature was concerned, Mr Gabria, who has been a legislator from the Ludhiana rural segment, one of the biggest assembly constituencies, after winning the election on a SAD ticket with a record margin in 1997, stands head and shoulder above the other contenders from SAD.



Panchayat poll: LBP to contest 8,000 seats
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 14
The forthcoming panchayat poll and next year’s parliamentary elections will be an indicator of the popularity of the Lok Bhalai Party (LBP). This was stated here today by Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, party chief and MP. He was in the city to preside over a workers’ conclave.

He said in the panchayat elections, the party would contest 8,000 seats of sarpanches and panches all over the state to provide a third front based on ideology. This will also lay the groundwork for the parliamentary elections, where the party will contest six seats, he said.

Accompanied by senior leaders of the party, Mr Ramoowalia said the LBP would fight the poll on the issues of development of villages and justice for the masses. He claimed that no party had touched upon these issues in the past since the stress was to create groups in each village and target those villages which brought the Opposition-backed candidates back in power. The outcome was that while the villages of the ruling regime cornered all grants, the others were ignored for five years, he pointed out.

He said his party was not pursuing any big political agenda but concentrating on various socio-economic issues. He claimed that no political party was redressing such issues but misleading the people by making false promises.

Mr Ramoowalia said all wining candidates would be adjusted in senior positions at the village and tehsil levels and those who won by impressive margins would be suitably rewarded by party posts at the state level, he added.

He said more than 10,000 girls had been saved from the clutches of greedy in-laws and fraudulent NRI grooms in the past five years. The craze to send their families abroad also saw many families giving sums ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 14 lakh in dowry.

“We have taken up hundreds of cases where the dowry amount was returned. Unfortunately, the law is loaded against the brides since the property of fraudulent grooms cannot be attached in India and they can also not be brought to justice since such crimes do not come under the ambit of extradition treaties,” he pointed out.

“The Lok Bhalai Party is not only committed to take up the cause of farmers but will also strive to provide a better deal for the Punjabi youths stranded abroad, besides ensuring that girls who marry abroad are not harassed,” he added.

He expressed his deep gratitude to the people of Punjab for their whole-hearted support to the programme and policies of the party and appreciated their efforts in fighting corruption and other ills.

“The party feels that established political parties, on the strength of money and muscle power, are misusing religion to target people and deprive Punjabis of a better and clean society,” he added.

Mr Ramoowalia called upon the people to ponder over the rise in the criminalisation of politics in the past 15 years.

He said the Lok Bhalai Party wanted that people should identify such shady politicians and shun them.



9,68,144 voters to exercise franchise in panchayat poll
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 14
The Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Election Officer, Mr Anurag Verma today directed all returning officers to implement the directions of the state Election Commission to ensure free, and fair panchayat elections in the district. He was addressing a meeting of the returning officers and other officers concerned to review the arrangements in this regard.

Mr Verma said all returning officers were required to certify that the nomination paper filled by the candidate was complete with the necessary documents as per the new direction of the Election Commission.

The DC said all arrangements had been completed in this connection. As many as 1,194 polling booths had been set up and 9,68,144 voters would exercise their right during the elections. He said 6,600 officials had been put on duty at different polling stations for the purpose.

Mr Verma said the nomination papers would be received from June 16 to June 19 at the specified places and the scrutiny of the papers would be done on June 20. June 21 would be the last date to withdraw the nominations. A returning officer and an assistant returning officer had been deputed for accepting the nomination papers.

He said to ensure the availability of drinking water, power and security, the checking of polling booths had already been completed by the SDMs and BDPOs concerned. The dates for rehearsals of the polling staff had already been fixed at different subdivisions and the SDMs concerned had been told to carry out rehearsals, he added.

The DC directed the BDPOs to remain present at their respective offices to issue no-due certificates to the candidates and also ensure the presence of the staff concerned for the purpose. He directed the returning officers to procure the copies of the electoral rules in this regard.

Mr Sumer Singh Gurjar, ADC(D), Mr Mohinder Singh, DDPO, and SDMs of all divisions attended the meeting.



Riot victims’ society meets panel
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 14
A delegation of the Danga Peerat Welfare Society met the members of the committee constituted by the state government to look into the cases of 1984 riot victims and submitted a memorandum to them in favour of their long-pending demands.

Led by Mr Surjit Singh, president of the society, the delegation met the three members — Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri, Minister for Urban Development, Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Public Health Minister, and Mr Gurchet Singh Bhullar, Irrigation Minister — and alleged that their demands had not been fulfilled for the past 19 years.

The delegation said it was happy with the decision of the Punjab Government to constitute the three-member committee to listen to their demands and redress their grievances. Mr Surjit Singh said the ministers were told that the society was annoyed at the decision of the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) to allot the houses in which they were presently living to the public. He said the riot victims had been living in these houses belonging to PUDA for the past over 18 years, adding that PUDA had recently advertised that the houses reserved for riot victims would be allotted to the public.

Members of the delegation demanded that the 3,600 houses and 327 booths constructed in Ludhiana should be allotted to riot victims. They also demanded the construction of 200 booths each in Patiala and SAS Nagar for the victims.

Mr Surjit Singh said a 21-member committee of the victims had held a meeting with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh at the latter’s residence yesterday.

He claimed that the Chief Minister termed their demands as “genuine” and assured them that he would go through the report of the committee and discuss the matter in the Assembly.

Meanwhile, a delegation of the Punjab Danga Peerat Welfare Council met the members of the committee and submitted a memorandum to them in favour of their demands. The delegation was led by Mr Surinder Singh, president of the council.

They demanded allotment of residential flats at controlled prices, besides 327 commercial booths in Dugri, issuing of red cards to riot victims, ensuring pension to widows, allotting commercial booths to riot victims all over the state, increasing the quota for children of riot victims and giving free education to the children graduation.

Mr Surinder Singh claimed that the ministers gave them a patient hearing and assured them that they would speak to the government in favour of their long-pending demands. 



‘Follow Kabir’s teachings for peaceful life’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 14
Mr Sardul Singh, Excise and Taxation Minister, Punjab today sounded a note of caution against such vested elements who were bent upon creating dissensions in the peace-loving society in the name of caste, creed and religion for meeting their narrow political ends.

He stressed for making strenuous efforts to carve our a classless and casteless society, as visualised by Bhagat Kabir, a prominent saint of the bhagti movement.

Addressing a state level function here to mark the 605th ‘Parkash Utsav’ of Bhagat Kabir, the Minister said that the great saint strived hard throughout his life for promoting social, moral and ethical values and propagated the message of social equality, human brotherhood and oneness of mankind. “His valuable teachings and philosophy have been relevant in all times, especially in the present complex and materialist world.” He said that a real tribute to the great saint would be to follow his message in true spirit and make society an abode of peace and amity.

While dwelling upon various welfare schemes undertaken by the present government for ameliorating the lot of Scheduled Castes and weaker sections of society, the excise minister remarked that under social security schemes, a sum of Rs 126.21 crore had been released for grant of pension during the year 2002-03, while the previous government had been providing around Rs 51.13 crore at an average every year for this purpose. Further, Rs 20 crore had been given for purchase of plots to needy houseless people of Scheduled Castes and an attendance scholarship of Rs 50 per month was being given to girls of Schedules Castes community.

The minister announced that a Kabir bhavan will be constructed in the city and the government would extend all possible help for this project.

Paying rich tributes to Bhagat Kabir, Mr Tej Parkash Singh, Transport Minister, Punjab, said that the great saint, during his life, had raised a strong voice against the injustice inflicted against poor people on the basis of caste, creed and religion. His renderings (Kabir vani) amply reflected the real truth and the sufferings of the hapless people.

Mr Malkiat Singh Bermi, State Minister for Jails, Housing and Urban Development, paying tributes, said that Bhagat Kabir and other saints had shown the path of peace, justice and equality to the people. He said that the government had chalked out many new schemes for the welfare of weaker section and was making all-out efforts to spread education among the Dalits, so that they could improve their financial and social status.

Earlier the dignitaries garlanded the portrait of Bhagat Kabir and paid him floral tributes.

Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, MP, Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, city Mayor, Mr Surinder Dawar, Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha (both MLAs) and Mr Jagmohan Sharma, president, DCC (U), also attended the function.



Seminar on foeticide, legal aid
Our Correspondent

Amloh, June 14
“People of Fatehgarh Sahib district should come forward and cooperate with the district administration to develop it as a model district,” said Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, at a seminar on female foeticide, legal aid and lok adalats yesterday.

While speaking at the seminar organised by Mr Amarjeet Singh Sahi, SDM, in the local Government Senior Secondary School, Mr Ahluwalia lamented that the sex ratio in the state was below the national sex ratio. In his welcome address, the Amloh Council Chief, Mr Baldev Singh Aulakh, pointed out the problem of disposal of drain water in the town.

Mr Mohinder Pal, District and Sessions Judge, said cases in courts took long time to settle, while at lok adalats these were settled in very short period.

It was pointed out that as many as 3,278 cases were taken up in the district during the quarterly lok adalats held between 1998 and May, 2003, out of which 2,021 were settled and free legal aid was provided in 311 cases.

Speaking about the need for lok adalats, Mr S.S. Panesar, Additional Civil Judge (Senior Division), said there were more than two crore pending cases in the lower courts. People could get speedy justice through lok adalats. The main aim of the lok adalats was to settle cases in least time and expenditure, he said.

Mr B. Chandershekhar, SSP, said the law pertaining to noise pollution and female foeticide would be effectively implemented. Mr P.L. Goel, Civil Surgeon, also expressed concern over the declining sex ration in the state.

Mr Dinesh Partap, ASP, senior advocate, Mr Kirpal Singh Toor, and Bar Association president, Mr Harbans Singh Toor, also spoke at the seminar. A souvenir on free legal aid and lok adalats was released by the Deputy Commissioner and District and Sessions Judge.



Only art can bring inner joy: Sridhara
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, June 14
“While doing MD in community and industrial medicine at Bangalore, I got fascinated by my colleagues who were adept in performing Bharatnatyam. So interested I became in Bharatnatyam that I started learning it. Soon I got proficiency in it. Presently, I am practising medicine and teaching yoga at Bangalore. I give dance performances, whenever I am invited. Since the noted exponent of Bharatnatyam, Pratibha Pralhad, could not take dance classes organised by the Kala Sewa Society in Ludhiana, I filled in for her as she is a friend of mine,” said Dr Sridhara.

Dr Sridhara had been teaching Bharatnatyam to students of the city since June 2. The classes ended today. “I am very impressed with the students’ keenness to learn. To sustain the interest in this dance form, I have interacted with local dance teachers and senior students. We have been able to develop an interest among students for this dance form,” he said.

“Dance, medicine and yoga are inter-related as all of these help a person to get rooted to earth from where everything originates. Artists should get together and form cohesive ideas about how to promote culture in the country and then pass on these ideas to the government. Art is essential, but it comes only when the basic necessities are fulfilled,” he said.

“People and children of today are a bored lot. Only art can bring in inner joy,” he said.

He further said that the gender bias, as far as dance was concerned, existed in the North. In the South, this bias was just not there. “It only depends who wants to learn it. It does not matter whether the learner is a girl or a boy,” he said.

“Guru-shishya parampara” is the ideal way of transmitting performing arts. I do not teach dance, but I teaches yoga. Yoga gives complete exercise to both mind and body. It is a fact that if one does not exercise, muscular atrophy will set in and the muscles will degenerate. Yoga is a the most beneficial thing for everyone, irrespective of the age,” he said.



Nagar kirtan taken out
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 14
A nagar kirtan was taken out in the city today to mark the martyrdom day of Guru Arjun Dev. Despite the scorching heat a large number of people, including women and children, took part in the procession, which passed through several localities and major commercial centres. Due to the hot weather the organisers delayed the nagar kirtan by about two hours.

Led by panj piaras and Guru Grant Sahib, it comprised groups of schoolchildren, Singh sabhas, Kalgidhar Naujawan Seva Society, Bir Khalsa Dal volunteers, gatka and band parties, kirtani jathas, istri satsang sabhas, namdhari sangat and senior functionaries of several political parties, social and religious organisations. The entire route of nagar kirtan was dotted with “chhabils” and langars.

Commencing from Gurdwara Kalgidhar it concluded at the same gurdwara.



Old man goes missing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 14
Mr Sham Lal Kunra, a 75-year-old man of the local Patel Nagar, has gone missing since June 11.

Members of his family in their complaint to the police stated that Mr Kunra had left his house at around 5.45 p.m. on June 11 but did not return.

They said he had lost mental balance. They added that they had checked up with all their relatives and friends but in vain.



Youth killed in mishap

Ludhiana, June 14
A youth belonging to Sarabha village was killed in a head-on collision between a jeep and a Tata-407 truck near Lalton village this morning.

The deceased, Tejinder Pal Singh, son of a former teacher of the village school, Mr Bahadur Singh, was the nephew of Prof Avtar Singh Grewal of Punjab Agricultural University. Four persons travelling in the jeep escaped unhurt. TNS



Abducted child recovered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 14
The district police has rescued a five-year old child after he was abducted by his servant. The child, Gurjit Singh, was recovered from Haryana by a Sahnewal police team within eight hours of his abduction.

The Haryana police had laid up a special naka at Sanesar on information provided by the local police that the abductor could possibly pass through that area.

The child is the son of a farmer, Iqbal Singh of Chak Sarwan Nath village. He was abducted yesterday morning. The abductor, Pramod Kumar, was a servant of the house.

The boy’s father said he had given money to the servant to buy oil and the child had gone with him.



Housing loans division opened
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 14
CitiBank has launched its housing loans division Citi Financial Retail Services India under the charge of its Manager (Mortgage) Ashish Kohli, who inaugurated its direct marketing agency at Model Town today for the expansion of housing loans business in the city.

Mr Kohli said CitiBank would grant housing loans for the construction and purchase of houses, purchase of plots and loans against mortgage of property up to 100 per cent at the lowest and most competitive rates of interest (8.25 per cent).

CitiBank’s main target in the housing sector will be the salaried-class, self-employed people such as doctors, advocates, engineers, architects, etc. and businessmen.


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