Wednesday, August 20, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Exam Controller’s stamps available in city
Students prepare forged documents
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
Shocking but true! Stamps bearing the signatures of Mr Sodhi Ram, Controller of Examination, Panjab University, Chandigarh, are easily available in the city putting a question mark on the validity of the various university documents carrying the stamp.

And the illegal use of this stamp can be manifold. It can be used for impersonation, for preparing forged certificates and other examination related documents. Sources in colleges say that a large number of students have already prepared forged documents and have used the stamp for impersonation.

One such stamp carrying Mr Sodhi Ram’s signatures is in the possession of The Tribune also. The signatures on the stamp are exactly a replica of the original stamp and only a forensic science expert can distinguish between the two.

Pleading anonymity some students who had prepared this stamp, while boasting about it, said that they had got it prepared from a vendor after forging the signatures of Mr Sodhi Ram. They said that it was a very difficult job as almost all the vendors knew that he was the Controller of Examination.

Tribune investigations revealed that the stamp was used in impersonating as well as preparing the Detail Marks Card (DMC) of various examinations. Some students had even prepared fake degrees using the stamp.

Describing the modus operandi, the students said that it was easy to use the stamp for impersonation as a fresh admit card was prepared affixing the picture on an impersonator. ‘‘It is mostly used in supplementary exams as our friends are free and they dont have to appear in the exam. We choose the best student of the subject, buy a new admission form, remove the admit card slip and paste a new picture.

“Each detail is matched with the original admit card. Even various coloured pens are used for the same. The picture is stamped and a new card is ready after lamination. Nobody can make out that the admit card is not original, ’’ said a student.

He added that the impersonation was done in language papers mostly as the impersonator is not supposed to study much before the exam. He said that the stamp was used the most by students of a particular college and it was a well-known secret among the students.

Another student said that it was not very difficult to forge the signatures of Mr Sodhi Ram as his signatures were not complicated. ‘‘Just try it a hundred times and you are there,’’ he said. To match them perfectly it is the time to look for a block vendor, who will prepare a block. After a block is prepared it is very easy to prepare a stamp.

‘‘It’s the block vendors who demand a lot of money as they claim it is an illegal task. They say it can put them behind the bars. Once we convince them that nothing would happen to them, they agree,’’ he added.

A student said that he knew many students who had used the stamp for attesting various forms, preparing a fake DMC and take admission in another university, preparing a migration certificate after scanning the original copies of the same on a computer and take a print on a similar paper. 



Seven injured in cylinder blast
Tribune News Service

The scene of a cylinder blast at Kashmir Nagar in Ludhiana
The scene of a cylinder blast at Kashmir Nagar in Ludhiana on Tuesday. — A Tribune photo

Ludhiana, August 19
Seven persons were injured in an LPG cylinder blast that took place in the inner room of a cycle mechanic shop in Kashmir Nagar near Samrala Chowk this morning. The place was being used for illegal refuelling of gas cylinders.

The illegal practice remained unchecked in this place during a drive launched against such shopkeepers by the police or the authorities of the District Food and Supply Controller office (DFSC) a few months ago.

A team of gas experts from an oil company in Jalandhar inspected the site in the afternoon. Team members said the leakage occurred when the gas was being transferred to small cylinders. A fire broke out when an employee switched a bulb on. A couple of small cylinders exploded in the fire.

The DFSC office has not recommended registration of a case against the shopkeeper so far. The Division No. 6 police had sought the recommendation necessary under the rules. The officials told the police to wait till Thursday. Police sources said the DFSC department conducted inquiry in such cases and made recommendations.

Paying the price for unsafe refuelling are seriously injured shopkeeper Chetan Lal and his two servants Ranjit and Bablu. The four other persons injured are three next-door neighbours and a passer-by, Ram Shakeel, Pradeep, Bijli Chand and an unidentified person.

Ram Shakeel was taking bath in the open when the blast occurred. He was buried under the debris and rescued by neighbours.

Three persons were thrown out of the room due to the impact of the blast. The roof caved in within seconds. The injured were admitted to the CMC with burn injuries.

The blast rocked the area. People rushed to the cycle mechanic shop as the blast was heard at quite a distance.

Fire tenders were called but the fire had doused on its own when it arrived at the site. The blast took place much before the market opened, otherwise there could have been more casualties.



Village gesture keeps pilot’s memory alive
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Saharan Majra, August 19
Setting an example of remembering the martyrs, this village is abuzz with activities to pay homage to Air Force pilot Kuldip Singh Johal, who died in an air crash while saving the village on August 21, 1962.

An ‘akhand path’ began in the village today. The villagers remember their saviour every year on this day.

However, villagers of Birdhano in Patiala district have forgotten their promise made to a Hyderabad-based couple about erecting a memorial to their pilot son who died in 2000 in an air crash while saving the villagers.

Despite receiving no help from the government for the past 31 years, residents of Saharan Majra have been remembering the pilot, who reportedly opted to get charred in his fighter plane, full with ammunition, than to bail out.

Mr Charanjit Singh Fauji, president of the Kuldip Singh Yadgari Committee, said the committee had been organising ‘sehaj paths’ for the past couple of years to pay him homage.

He said: “Though the base depot instructed him to bail out, he managed to steer the burning plane a little away from the village”.

The committee has been observing the day with the contributions received from villagers and relatives of the martyr. The office-bearers of the committee accused the successive governments of showing indifferent attitude towards the pilot and urged the Congress government to construct a memorial.

Recollecting the sequence of events on that fateful day, Mr Gurdev Singh, an ex-serviceman, said: “We were working in the fields when a flash appeared in the sky at around 5 pm. It was a fighter plane, which was flying at a low height. The plane fell near Laharan Majra village”. He said officers from the Halwara Air Force station later affirmed that the pilot had been asked to bail out, but he preferred to ensure the safety of the village first.

Ms Jagir Kaur, sarpanch of the village, said: “The committee organised a ‘path’ at the place of the accident and donations were utilised for constructing a room in his memory at the government school of the village. Another memorial was constructed at the crash spot. 



Janmashtami shobha yatra taken out
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 19
The Shri Sanatan Dharam Mahotsav Committee took out a shobha yatra in connection with Janamashtami amid chanting of hymns and singing of bhajan dedicated to Lord Krishna, here last night.

The yatra started from the Daresi ground with the breaking of a coconut by Mahamandleshwar Swami Ved Bharti. Led by Swami Ved Bharti, Gosain Sham Lal and Pandit Bhim Sen Vashisht, the yatra was formally flagged off by Mr Anurag Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner. A flag-hoisting ceremony to mark the occasion was performed by Mr Narinder Pal Singh, SSP.

The Deputy Commissioner and the SSP congratulated the committee and the people on the occasion of Janamashtami and described the shobha yatra as a symbol of goodwill and brotherhood. They also prayed for the country’s progress.

A number of ‘chhabeels’ and ‘langars’ were organised by various shopkeeper associations and other organisations all along the lengthy route of the yatra.

Before the start of the yatra, a ‘havan’ was performed by office-bearers and members of the committee and the Ramlila Committee at Sita Mata Mandir, Daresi ground. Prominent among those present on the occasion were Mr Prem Prashar, Mr Kewal Krishan Marwaha, Mr Madan Lal Chopra, Mr Sat Pal Bawa, Mr Des Raj Saini, Mr Rajiv Kundra, Pandit Bal Krishan, Mr Sanjay Gupta, Mr Kamal Bassi, Mr Ram Narayan Chhabra, Mr S.K. Chawla, Mr Gurcharan Singh, Mr Narinder Singh and Mr K.K. Arora.

Tableaux depicting scenes from the childhood of Lord Krishna and the Mahabharta attracted a large number of people. Various bands that took part in the yatra played tunes of devotional songs. The yatra passed through Partap Bazar, Chaura Bazar, Ghass Mandi, Chauri Sarak, chowk division number 3 and Khwaja Kothi areas, before culminating at Haridev Mandir.

Among associations that welcomed the yatra on the way were the Mata Rani Chowk Shopkeepers Association, the Ghanta Ghar Chowk Association, the Girja Ghar Market Association, the Chaura Bazar Shopkeepers Association, the Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray), the Front Line Traders, Sarrafa Bazar, the Basati Bazar Shopkeepers Association, the Shivala Road Shopkeepers Association and the Chauri Sarak Shopkeepers Association.

An ‘aarti’ was performed at the division number 3 chowk by the head priest of Mata Vaishno Devi Mandir. Mahant Narayan Dass Puri of Sanglan Wala Shivala also welcomed the yatra.



Tiny ‘Krishnas’ steal the show
Our Correspondent

Dressed like Krishna, Radha, Meera and Sudama, students of Mother’s Touch Play School wait to participate in a Janmashtmi function
Dressed like Krishna, Radha, Meera and Sudama, students of Mother’s Touch Play School wait to participate in a Janmashtmi function in Ludhiana on Tuesday.

Kids of Small Wonder Nursery School at a Janmashtmi function
Kids of Small Wonder Nursery School at a Janmashtmi function in Ludhiana on Tuesday.
— Tribune photographs

Ludhiana, August 19
Puja ceremonies, aarti, raas lila, cultural shows, fancy dress contests and group dance competitions marked Janmashtmi celebrations in several city schools here today.

At New Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar, an inter-class group dance competition based on raas lila was held. As many as 43 students from different classes participated. The first prize went to Class VI, students, the second by students of Class VII, and the third by Class VIII.

A fancy dress show was held in the school in which 25 students from lower primary classes participated. Kashish and Karan dressed as a Punjabi couple won the first prize. Simrat Kaur was declared second. Muskan and Bharti dressed as Radha-Krishan stood third.

The judgement was pronounced by Ms Radha Khanna, Ms Hemani Sharma and Ms Monika Malhotra, school teachers. Mr Sunil Maria, President of the school managing committee, lauded the efforts made by the students and teachers. Mr Baldev Prakash, chief manager, State Bank of India, presided over the function. Mr H.C. Gupta, Principal-cum-Deputy Director of the school, presented a vote of thanks.

The birth anniversary of “Makhan Chor” was celebrated at Dil’s Nursery School, Model Town Extension, here today. The tiny tots came dressed like Krishna, Radha, Meera, Yashodhra and gopis. At least 11 students, including Suraj, Harshbir, Pawan Kumar and Raj Ishwar Singh, Mehakpreet Kaur, Harleen Kaur and Simarjot Kaur won prizes. Karamvir Singh, Anna and Jasmine Kaur, who enacted the role of Meera were also given prizes. Jashanjot Singh acted as Vasudev. Ms Harbans Kaur Dil, Principal, gave away the prizes.

Lovely Lotus Play School, BRS Nagar, celebrated Janmashtmi in a novel way. Boys chose to wear peacock feather crowns and the girls peacock tikkas.

Recreating history in its own style, Love Dale Montessori Home children enacted scenes from the life of Lord Krishna.

Singing devotional songs in chorus, students of Bharatiya Vidya Mandir, Kitchlu Nagar, also celebrated Janmashtmi here today. Tiny tots of pre-nursery, nursery, KG and Class I were dressed up like Radha and Krishna. In a fancy dress show, Nimrat, Muskan and Manan won the first, second and third prizes, respectively, among Pre-Nursery kids. Uditansh, Diksha and Aditi won the first, second and third prizes in the Nursery section. As many as 107 students from KG participated. Achyut was declared first and Chirag stood second. Palak and Anushree shared the third prize.

The first, second and third prizes among Class I students went to Ashwarya, Yashica and Diksha, respectively. An essay competition was also held in which students from Classes II to X participated. The topic was ‘Life of Lord Krishna’. Mr Goutam Gupta, Principal, gave prizes to the winners. A function was also held in the Udham Singh Nagar branch of the school where children presented bhajans.

Janmashtmi was celebrated at USPC Jain Public School, Jamalpur. Geeta Updesh was the main attraction of the function.

Tiny tots of Jain Vidya Mandir, New Kitchlu Nagar, came dressed as Krishna. They depicted “Bal Leela”. A skit on the life of Lord Krishna was also staged.

At Hollyhock Nursery School, Civil Lines, a cradle of Bhagwan Krishna was decorated with flowers. Children were seen rocking the cradle.

At Cutes Nursery School, Sarabha Nagar, kids came dressed as Krishna, Sudama and Radha while the teachers acted as Yashodha. They played dandiya.

At Pearls Nursery School, Diksha and Diya, twin sisters, enacted as Lord Krishna and Radha. Spreading the message of Lord Krishna through songs and dances, kids of Mother’s Touch Kindergarten celebrated Janmashtmi aarti and puja.

At Spring Dale Public School students danced on ‘Maiya Yashodha yeh tera kanhaiya’. Teachers recited bhajans.

A swing decorated with flowers was the main attraction for kids of Small Wonders Nursery School. Bhavya and Kushika gave a performance on ‘Madhuban mein jo’.

A cake was cut to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna. Teachers played hide and seek with the kids. 



They wait for this day
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, August 19
They wait for Janmashtmi. This is one day in their life when they do not bear the indifferent attitude of society. Inmates of Kusht Ashram, Leprosy Colony, Islam Ganj, count their blessings when the hale and hearty people spend nearly full day with them, share their joys and sorrows, offer prayers with them and eat the ‘prasad’ prepared by inmates.

Janmashtmi is celebrated with religious fervour by these lepers each year. It is believed that if the hale and hearty people seek their blessings, they would always remain happy and prosperous.

“Normally, people just ignore us and avoid to talk to us. But this is one day in the whole year, which they deliberately spend with us. We feel on the top of the world when they seek our blessings”, feels Rajdhar Pandey, the temple priest in the ashram.

More than 12,000 invitation cards have been sent by the ashram this year. The afflicted as well as normal people will turn up for the celebrations on August 20. Lakhs of rupees are spent on the celebrations each year and the funds are raised by the philanthropists in and around the city.

The ashram is more than 100 years old and more than 150 persons live here. Mr Ram Sanuj Pandey, the president of the ashram, said: “Our livelihood depends on the donations by the philanthropists and Islam Ganj Market shopkeepers. Those who can go for begging, go for two hours to get something from shopkeepers, industrialists and the residents”.

The ‘community’ has children who are normal as others. But they do not stay with their parents. “We tell them to live separately because we do not want that the shadow of this deadly disease falls on them. Our children are dear to us. They do visit us at times. They send us money, but staying away from them is another curse, we do not have any other option also”, feels Babbar Singh, vice-president of the ashram.

Mr Ram Sajan, a leprosy patient, whose wife is also afflicted with the same, says that his son feels sorry for them. “He is all well and I tell him that we had done wrong in the past, so we have been punished by the Almighty. He understands but hardly share his feelings with us”, said Ram Sajan.

Usha, another patient, said she had been suffering from the disease for the past 25 years. She said: “I have got two sons who are well settled. They join us whenever they get time from their busy schedules. They seek our blessings. I am happy with whatever I have. I thank God for making my sons absolutely normal. I cannot change my fate so why grumble?”.

Another octogenarian feels happy to see normal people coming to them on this day. “I never curse anyone even if I suffer public wrath. At times, people avoid even talking to us. I can get the feel of a curse. I believe in God and this too shall pass (the phase)”, said he.




LUDHIANA has achieved the dubious distinction of being one of the most congested, filthy and haphazardly planned city in Punjab. Despite its best efforts, the administration is unable to keep the city neat, clean and green. But last Sunday was a day city residents would remember fondly as it was in one day that the civic authorities painted the entire town (nearly), removed overgrown grass and cleared the filth from the roads as the Chief Minister was in town going around to different venues. Though the visit of a VIP brings unwanted misery for the residents, but for once the residents feel that the Chief Minister must visit Ludhiana more often.

‘Bhadon’ blues ahead

Well, with the month of Sawan coming to its end on Saturday last, people are getting ready to bear the heat, peculiar of the month of Bhadon. Indeed the first day of the month which fell on Sunday, was typical of the proverbial heat that is associated with this month. Punjabi legend has it that a farmer, who was removing weed from his maize crop in Bhadon, became so dizzy with the oppressive heat that he decided to say goodbye to farming and became a mendicant. But farmers of today do not labour in maize fields anymore. Moreover, means of comfort like the air-coolers and air-conditioners have made their way into the rural areas as well. But still Bhadon is Bhadon. There is no way an ordinary, poor man can escape its fury. He has to bear the oppressive heat that pricks the body like sharpened needles and makes the body sweat like anything.

Don’t buy the media

Mammon is the key to everything in Ludhiana. Some people even think that they can buy the media also. The other day a colleague called up a political leader to take his views about the cancellation of one of his plots due to some irregularities in allotment. He came up with a reply, ‘‘You are like my younger sister. Come to my resort some day I will give you a discount card which would enable you a discount of 60 percent in the restaurant.’’ Well Mr Hotelier don’t think you can buy the sacred space of a newspaper also.


Punctuality is one thing that is the biggest casualty in the various functions organised in the city. The invitations sent by organisers mention the time of the function but unfortunately even after half an hour of the proposed time nobody is seen at the venue. Mediapersons are facing a lot of difficulty as they have to wait for hours before the function starts. The other day a function at a local club was to start at 8:30 p.m but even at 10 O’ clock it was not started as the chief guest had not arrived. One wonders when will Ludhianvis start valuing time.

Clean Up

The visit of the Chief Minister to the city comes as a whiff of fresh air if the massive cleaning operation is any indication. On the penultimate day of his visit the roads from where the cavalcade of the CM had to pass were sweeped clean. The garbage piled at various places was also cleaned. The wild growth along the roadside was removed. Encroachers were forced to hibernate along with their paraphernalia. Footpaths had a new lease of life. They were painted afresh overnight. The residents were thanking the CM as what the MC could not do despite their repeated requests, a single visit of the CM was enough to do it.

CM’s grouse

The fact that the old city was devoid of any green cover was once again highlighted by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh during his address at the state level function organised in the city to observe Van Mahotsava. Stating that he wanted to plant a tree in the old city the CM said that whenever he flew over the city he saw that not even a single tree was planted in the area and it was a concrete jungle all over. ‘‘I was surprised to see that my officers could not find a single place where I could plant a tree in old city. I had told them a fortnight in advance to look for a place but unfortunately there was no place for a tree.’’ said the CM.

CPI martyr

Martyr Karnail Singh Issru, who sacrificed his life during Goa liberation was a leftist. His effect was so strong in his village that it was known as leftists’ village in the region. But the things have changed over the years. During the various political conferences on the occasion of his martyrdom day, the rally organised by the CPI had no takers. While the rallies of other leaders had a good response not many takers were seen in CPI rally. Interestingly the CPI camp was claiming that the martyr belonged to them.

Bovine rule

The huge bulls just make themselves comfortable bang in the middle of the road — be it Civil Lines or Deepak Cinema Road or Chaura Bazaar or any other busy road. Sometimes a couple of them plonk themselves in the centre of the busy road thus throwing the traffic in a disarray. They seat themselves in a majestic manner least perturbed by the vehicles, and cars honking at them. They keep chewing food oblivious of the traffic jams they are creating. The way they keep sitting placidly throwing the traffic out of gear makes one believe that bovine rule prevails in the city.

Mockery of dry day

Independence Day was declared as ‘dry day’ for obvious reasons. Though the shops were kept closed, yet from the slots provided at the bottom of the shutters of shops, liquor was sold without any fear. Selling of liquor went unabated right under the nose of the authorities.

Good day

The labourers who were waiting for an employer near Haibowal the other day had never had it so good. While they were thinking of leaving the place sadly, workers of a Congress leader approached them and offered to pay them Rs 50 each if they were ready to accompany them to a function. After some time the labourers saw themselves sitting in the air-conditioned Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan and they got to know that the CM had to reach there after some time. It was a good day for them as otherwise they had to labour hard in the sweltering heat while they enjoyed a musical day in the cool environs of the bhavan.

Ignorance is not bliss

Most of the city schools organised Independence Day functions in their schools. But sadly information about important national symbols were not given to the students. In a survey conducted, it was found that the students ‘ knowledge’ of our flag , National Anthem, National song is pathetic. When asked who wrote the National song, Vande Matram, most of the students replied A.R. Rehman. They did not know in how many seconds the National Anthem was sung. Instead of telling the students to dress up as national heroes (no originality) the schools should organise quizzes or competitions in which the knowledge about everything concerning Independence Day should be given and tested.

Telephone blues

Recently, the Tribune office received several calls asking for one Mr Honey. More than 30 calls were received by reporters, photographers and attendants. Each time, the caller would say, “Honey naal gal kara do” (Let me talk to Honey). Fed up with these wrong numbers, the staff members politely said that this was office number and no Honey was there. But again the wrong numbers did not stop. Everyone in the office was talking about “Honey”. One of the reporters, losing his patience, asked the caller as on which number he had called. The caller gave him one mobile number. To solve the matter, the reporter called on that cell number and he was shocked when the same number rang up at The Tribune office only and was picked up by one of his colleagues. Later, all came to know that “Mr Honey” had diverted his cell calls on Tribune Office number.

Bad example

The other day two traffic policemen on their official motor cycles driving in front of the Leisure Valley slowed their vehicle in order to hold hands of the two friends riding a scooter. Both the vehicles slowed down so that they could hold hands and talk. It was a display of terrible manners on part of the police men. They would challan others for doing the same things. Then another day the policemen got a college bus to stop in the middle of Ferozepur road and alighted from the bus. The vehicles coming behind the bus had to break suddenly and just missed hitting the bus. The police men are responsible for maintaining law and order and when they flout the laws without a thought, then surely a bad example is being set for the public.




SC urged to come to jailed Sikhs’ aid
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
The Khalsa Panchayat has urged the Supreme Court to come to the aid of Sikh youths detained in various jails for the past several years under repealed laws like TADA.

Mr Bhupinder Singh Nimana, a panch of the outfit, said the apex court had done the right thing by asking for a report on the number of Pakistanis who had completed their prison terms but were still languishing in jails across the country. Directions to this effect were issued by a Bench comprising Justice V.P. Reddy and Justice Ruma Pal. An order to this effect was issued by the court recently.

He said it was ironical that the court had taken note of the plight of Pakistanis in Indian jails but had not come to the aid of scores of Sikh youths who had been held in jails even after the completion of their prison terms ranging from 15 to 18 years. One such example was that of Ranjit Singh Kuki who continued to be in prison even though his 16-year term ended some time back. There were many like him who did not know if they would be released in the near future, he pointed out.

The panch said the Sikhs had made a significant contribution towards Independence struggle. He said it was a matter of shame that justice had been denied to widows of the 1984 riots. While the perpetrators of the crime continued to roam freely, mocking the judicial and law enforcement machinery, the hapless widows had been made to run from pillar to post for the past 19 years to seek justice, he added.



Buddha Dal drive against drugs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
The Shiromani Akali Buddha Dal has started a campaign against drug abuse to awaken the masses against the danger posed by self -styled sants and the mushrooming of deras in the state.

Addressing a district-level meeting here today, Jathedar Kulbir Singh Khalsa said it was unfortunate that the people were turning their back on religion.

He said intoxicants were freely available across the state and the youth were taking to these to beat unemployment blues. The state had miserably failed to provide employment avenues to the educated youth. The condition of the rural areas was even more deplorable with land-holdings dwindling.

The jathedar said the mushrooming of deras in the state was one aspect which threatened to ruin the social and moral fabric of the state. Ironically, nothing has been done to counter the self-styled baba’s who were taking the people for a ride. The Gurus were being denigrated and gurbani distorted. Dharam Parachar by the SGPC had remained ineffective.

Mr Khalsa said that they were not against deras, but were for regulating these. A mechanism was needed to keep a tab on their activities and in case of irregularities these must be closed down.

He said they had divided the district into various zones and duties had been assigned to office-bearers. An appraisal meeting would be held after a fortnight to take stock of the situation and chalk out the further course of action.

Among those who attended the meeting at Gurdwara Pheruman were Jathedars Ran Singh, Mr Surjit Singh, Mr Pritam Singh, Mr Pala Singh and Mr Raj Singh.



Taraksheel mela amid tension tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 19
The controversy of celebrating a Taraksheel mela near the samadh of Baba Nanu Sidh at Maksoodra on August 21 by the people of Guria Patti along with Taraksheel Society, Punjab, much against the wishes of the people of Channo Patti and supporters of Baba Darshan Singh was resolved today on the intervention of the district administration.

The barsi of Baba Nanu Sidh is celebrated every year by both sections, people of Guria Patti and supporters of Baba Darshan Singh, separately. This time the village panchayat will organise Taraksheel mela in which the theatre team of Arts Centre, Samrala, shall perform two plays namely — ‘Saar Sati’ and ‘Dev Purash Haar Gaye’.

Supporters of Baba Darshan Singh, on the other hand, are opposed to such celebrations and have given an application regarding this to the Deputy Commissioner.

The village panchayat is adamant on holding Taraksheel mela at any cost while supporters of Baba Darshan Singh do not want such a mela to take place as they think that it is intentionally being organised to hurt their religious sentiments and can spoil the “atmosphere at Dhakki Sahib.”

On the other hand, the organisers of Taraksheel mela and the village panchayat claim that the main aim of the mela is to foster a scientific temper among the people by bringing them out of the clutches superstition.

It has been decided at the intervention of the administration that Taraksheel mela shall now be held at a changed venue. As earlier, the mela was to be held near the samadh of the Baba near the ‘controversial land’. Now it will take place near a gurudwara situated inside the village.



LIC staff hold protest
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 19
In response to a call given by the All-India Insurance Employees Association, employees of the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) held a demonstration during lunch hour here today demanding early negotiation and settlement of charter of demands.

Speakers including Mr P.P. Singh, branch secretary, and Mr Gagan Deep, president of the branch unit no II, observed that performance of the LIC during the last financial year had surpassed the previous years in number of policies and the total premium income. In a competitive and hostile atmosphere, created by the policies of the government, the LIC had retained the market share of 95 per cent in first premium and 97 per cent in number of policies. The cost of wage as a percentage of premium income had also come down to 5.4 per cent which was low even in comparison to international standards while per employee servicing of the policies had reached an all time high of 1,400 policies.

The trade union activists emphasised that all these factors were reasons enough for the employees to expect a handsome wage revision. “But to our dismay, the negotiation for expected wage revision has not even started which has created widespread unrest among the employees.” Mr Singh announced that the employees would continue protest demonstration on August 22, 25 and 27 and would observe a two-hour walkout on August 28.

Meanwhile, a deputation of the Punjab Non Gazetted Employees Organisation, led by Mr Pritpal Singh, president, and Mr Uma Kant Tiwari, general secretary, met the Chief Secretary Mr Jai Singh Gill, in Chandigarh to press the demand for withdrawal of the proposed reduction in commutation value of pensions which would cause massive financial loss to the government pensioners.

According to Mr Tiwari, the deputation also urged upon the Chief Secretary to revive the policy of providing employment on compassionate ground to next of kin of the deceased employees and further that the employees should not be forced to draw their salaries from banks since it would cause unnecessary harassment to employees and wastage of time. Other demands raised during the meeting pertained to withdrawal of ban on fresh recruitment, grant of 4/9/14 years time scale, enhancement of medical allowance and payment of arrears of bonus.



Police gets tough on sloppy parking
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 19
Policemen from the Kotwali police station swooped down on the haphazardly parked scooter and motorcycles in front of Calibre Plaza market, opposite Bhadaur House, and impounded around half a dozen vehicles here this afternoon.

It may be mentioned that the road connecting Deepak Cinema road with GT Road at Mata Rani chowk, one of the busiest roads of the city, remains blocked most of the time because of haphazardly parked scooters and motorcycles.

The Tehbazari Department of the Municipal Corporation has been impounding such vehicles from time to time and releasing these only after the payment of Rs 500 per vehicle as fine.

In the past, the police has restored order to the parking scene outside Calibre Plaza but without taking away any vehicles.

Today’s police action was different in that more than half a dozen vehicles were carted away to the Kotwali police station in Chaura Bazar. Police sources said the violators would be booked under Section 283 of the IPC on the charge of impeding traffic.



Khud Mohalla fire victims remembered

Ludhiana, August 19
A “kirtan darbar” was organised by the Dhan Pothohar Brotherhood, Punjab, at Gurdwara Dashamesh Singh Sabha here yesterday to pray for the victims of a devastating fire in Khud Mohalla locality.

Bhai Harpal Singh Nimana, Bhai Pritam Singh Mitha Tiwana, Sikh Phulwari Patiala and Bibi Varinder Kaur Khalsa rendered gurbani kirtan.

Mr N.S. Nanda, president the association, highlighted the achievements, sacrifices and contribution of the Pothohari community to the South Asian civilisation. He said their services towards art, culture and literature was unsurpassed. He urged the Punjab Government to set up suitable memorials in the memory of Pothoharis, who had laid down their lives during the partition of the country.

Several prominent doctors of the local CMC Hospital, Oswal Hospital and Civil Hospital were honoured for their efforts in saving the lives of many injured persons in the tragic fire. Some residents of Khud Mohalla were also honoured. The Gurdwara Management Committee bestowed “Pothohar Gaurav” on Mr Nanda for his meritorious services to the brotherhood.

Others who spoke were Mr Ravinderpal Singh Khalsa, Mr Harpal Singh Jaggi, Mr N.S. Kohli, Mr T.P. Singh Bindra, and Mr Sohan Singh Nanda. A community kitchen was also organised. OC



Action against suspended  principal lauded
Our Correspondent

Samrala, August 19
Social and literary organisations trade union leaders and intellectuals here have lauded the police action against suspended Principal Jasbinder Singh Dhillon of Malwa College, Bondli-Samrala.

Some time back, a complaint was lodged with the SSP Khanna and Ludhiana against Mr Dhillon for issuing a fake certificate showing one Manpreet Singh of Kot Gangu Rai as a regular student of Malwa College. The latter was never on the rolls of the college. Making use of the certificate, Manpreet migrated to Australia.

Mr Narinderpal Singh, SSP, ordered an inquiry which was conducted by SP(D) S.K. Agnihotri and Samrala DSP Jasvir Singh. Consequently, a criminal case under Sections 420, 466, 467, 468 and 471 was registered against Dhillon. The accused was arrested by the Samrala Police on August 13.



Union Minister to open bridge on Beas
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 19
The Union Minister for Surface Transport and National Highways, Mr B.C. Khandoori, will inaugurate a Rs 35-crore bridge on the Beas near Naushehra Pattan in Gurdaspur on August 20. The Minister for Civil Aviation, Mr Sripad Naik, would accompany him.

Giving this information here today, Mr Jaswant Singh Chhapa, convener, Bharatiya Janata Party Kisan Morcha, said the opening of a strategic bridge on the day of the death anniversary of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal would be a “gift for the people of Punjab from the NDA government at the Centre”.

He said the party MP from the district and Union Minister Vinod Khanna had ensured the project was through on schedule.



Four booked for abducting girl
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 19
Harveer Kaur, a young girl living in Lalton Khurd village near here, was allegedly abducted from the village on the morning of August 17, the police said here today.
A case under Sections 363 and 366 and 120-B of the IPC was registered at the Sadar police station yesterday against Raja, and Sony, residents of Hassan Pura Dakha village, Punam, a resident of Lalton Khurd and another unknown person accompanying them. The father of the girl, Mr Amandeep Singh, had stated in his complaint that the accused had conspired and abducted his daughter at about 10.20 am on Sunday and taken her to an undisclosed place. No arrest has been made so far.

Man dies in mishap: The Sadar police yesterday registered a case under Sections 279, 337, 336, 338, 304-A and 427 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Harjinder Singh, a resident of Gahore village, against a driver of a Maruti car. The complainant had stated that while he was going from Ludhiana to Gahore village along with his father on a scooter, the accused hit the scooter, and another Hero Honda motor cycle (PB-10 Q-0232) near the Jaharballi bus stand on Monday night. The accused sped away with his car. As a result of the mishap, both the scooter and the motor cycle were damaged and his father died on the spot, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

Shopkeeper assaulted: The Shimla Puri police have registered a case under Sections 324, 323, 452, 380, 506, 427 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of a shopkeeper in New Shimla Puri, Mr Raj Kumar, against Neeraj Kumar, Bhola, Makhan Singh and Jaggi, residents of the same locality, and Tirath Kumar. The complainant had alleged that the accused came to his general store on the Daba road and beat him up and threatened him. The accused beat up his wife also and took away his gold chain from around his neck and damaged the shop goods before going away, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

House burgled: The Sadar police yesterday registered a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Randhir Singh, a retired IAS officer, who lives at 67-B, Sarabha Nagar, against unknown person(s) who broke open the lock of kothi No 144 in Agar Nagar on the Barewal road and stole water taps. No arrest has been made so far.

Man beaten up: On the statement of Ms Rajni, wife of Mr Manjit Sharma, a resident of Maya Wali Gali near Dr Kali Charan chowk, the Division No 3 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 341, 506, 354 and 34 of the IPC against Avtar Kumar, a resident of Mohalla Dharam Pura, and Manoj Kumar, a resident of Mohalla Hargobind Nagar. The woman had alleged that the accused stopped her on the road and teased her and also beat up her husband and threatened him. No arrest has been made so far.

Woman beaten up: The Jodhewal police registered a case under Sections 451, 323 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Ram Pal, a resident of Mohalla Ramesh Nagar, against Sohan Datt, Ber Moti and Monu. The complainant had alleged that the accused came to his house and beat up his wife and son. No arrest has been made so far.

Two arrested: The Division No 4 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 323, 341 and 506 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Ram Dhari, a resident of Mohalla Fatehgarh, against Raju, a resident of the same locality. The complainant had alleged that the accused, who had intercepted him on the way, had beaten him up and also threatened him on Monday. The police said today that the accused had been arrested on the spot.

Knives seized: The Division No 2 police yesterday arrested Vijay, a migrant from UP, now living in a slum near Gurdwara Pherooman Sahib, and seized a kamanidar knife from his possession and booked him under the Arms Act.

The Sarabha Nagar police also arrested a man identified as Kulwinder Singh, a resident of Harnam Nagar, and seized a kamanidar knife from his possession and booked him under the Arms Act.

Liquor seized: The Division No 4 police yesterday arrested Naratta Sharma, a migrant from Nepal now living near the local railway station , seized 25 bottles of illicit liquor from his possession and booked him under the Excise Act, the police said here today.



Car driver killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, August 19
The driver of a car was killed in a head-on collision between the car and a tempo at Jandiali School, near Sahnewal, yesterday evening.
Ranjit Singh, who was working in a cooperative bank, was coming from Ludhiana and heading towards Samrala when a speedy tempo (PB10P-9585) hit the car, injuring the driver.

He was declared brought dead at Mohan Dai Oswal Hospital, Ludhiana. A case under Sections 304-A, 427 and 279 of IPC has been registered against the driver of the tempo on the complaint of Daljit Singh, a resident of Adarsh Nagar Samrala and brother of the deceased. The driver of the tempo is at large and no arrest has been made so far.



Rising steel prices push up goods prices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
The impact of the continuous rise in the prices of steel in the country has started showing up with all steel products ranging from small parts to big vehicles getting costlier. It is for the last one year that the prices of steel are continuously rising in the country.

Meanwhile, the president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Mr Simranjit Singh Mann has raised the issue in parliament also. Mr Mann, in a fax statement released here today, said he had raised the issue of continuous rise in the prices of steel during Zero Hour today, where in he had sought the immediate intervention of the government to check the steel prices.

Industrial sources pointed out, since steel happens to be the basic raw material (directly or indirectly) for the entire industry, the rise in its prices is bound to have impact everywhere. While the prices are rising for last one year, the impact has started showing up now.

The sources maintained that most of the industry works on contract system. Different types of industries usually have long time contractual commitments with the steel suppliers. Usually these contracts last for a year or so. Since the contracts with the suppliers are expiring, now the manufacturers will have to buy the steel on the current prices, which is about 60 per cent more than the last year.



Protest against exim form
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 19
A number of traders and industrialists today held a demonstration against the move of the Punjab Government to introduce exim form in the state. They were also protesting against the rising prices of steel that had had adverse impact on the industrial production.

The demonstration was organised under the banner of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association and supported by various trade and industrial organisations. The demonstrators asked the Punjab Government to reverse its decision on exim form, as it would sound a death knell for the trade and industry in the state.

They were sore with the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, who yesterday ruled out the reversal of the government decision on exim form. They regretted that the Chief Minister had not taken industrialists and traders into confidence and had acted at the behest of some bureaucrats. Yesterday, the Chief Minister had said that the government had no other option but to introduce exim forms.

Addressing the demonstrators, the president of the association, Mr D.S. Chawla, alleged that the government was not bothered about the plight of the industry in the state. He said neither did the government take into confidence the industry about introduction of the exim form nor it do anything about the rising steel prices.

Mr Inderjeet Singh Pradhan, president of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU), said the industry was passing through a critical phase. He observed that the introduction of the exim form would only lead to harassment to traders and industrialists.

Among others who addressed the dharna included Mr Hira Singh Gabria, Mr K.K. Seth, Mr Sunil Mehra and Baba Jit Singh.



City girl wins Rs 1 lakh
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 19
Reetika Kalsi, a resident of Model Town, has won a prize of Rs 1 lakh in “Surf — Colour Your Future” contest organised by Hindustan Lever Limited.

The company will give five prizes — one mega prize worth Rs 5 lakh and four prizes worth Rs 1 lakh — to the winners during the next three months. It may be mentioned that Shweta — Prerna of “Kasauti Zindagi Ki” — had visited the city recently as one of the judges for the contest.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |