L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Gaiety, fervour mark Gurpurb celebrations
Tribune Reporters

Devotees partake langar at a gurdwara in Ludhiana
Devotees partake langar at a gurdwara in Ludhiana on Saturday.

Panj Piaras lead the nagar kirtan taken out on the occasion of Gurpurb at Machhiwara
Panj Piaras lead the nagar kirtan taken out on the occasion of Gurpurb at Machhiwara on Saturday.

Devotees prepare langar at a gurdwara
Devotees prepare langar at a gurdwara in Ludhiana on the occasion of Gurupurb on Saturday. —
Tribune  photographs

Ludhiana, November 8
Festive celebrations marked the birthday of Guru Nanak Dev here today. The Gurpurb was observed with traditional fervour, zeal and gaiety all over the city. Unbound enthusiasm marked the occasion at neighbouring villages and towns. It was a celebration time with joy and jubilation writ large everywhere.

In a befitting tribute to the great apostle of peace, the day also witnessed heartening scenes of brotherhood among Punjabis with people belonging to different communities sharing greetings on the occasion of the Guru’s birthday. The festival was not made an exclusive affair of any particular community, but an occasion to celebrate the spirit of humanism that was championed by Guru Nanak Dev.

Devotees had started reaching Gurdwara Nanaksar, near Jagraon, since last night to have a dip in the holy sarovar.

Shabad and Gurbani recitals started early in the morning amid hectic activity at all gurdwaras of the town. Women devotees prepared langar which was served to the devotees. Kirtan and shabads praising Guru Nanak Dev as the saviour of mankind poured out from loudspeakers all over the city. A large number of private and social organisations also put up langars at various places.

Nagar kirtans were taken out from various gurdwaras in the city. All main gurdwaras, including Gurdwara Kalgidhar, Field Ganj, Gurdwara Guru Nanak Satsang Sabha, Civil Lines, Gurdwara Model Town, Gurdwara Sarbha Nagar, Gurdwara Dukhniwaran and others, were illuminated to mark the day.

Nagar kirtans were led by the Panj Piaras. They were welcomed by people with bowed heads and folded hands along the entire way. A number of gatka parties also exhibited their talent at various places on the way. Bands played religious hymns and devotional songs in praise of the Guru.

Various educational institutions and other organisations also held functions to mark the occasion. Sargodha National Public Senior Secondary School organised ‘akhand path’. It was followed by shabad kirtan by music teacher Sukhjinder Singh and students. Members of the management also attended the function.

Mandi Ahmedgarh: While Gurpurb was celebrated with fervour at the gurdwaras of the town and surrounding villages, residents of nearby Siahar village had to suppress their enthusiasm as the Khanna district police had promulgated Section 144 in the village and vicinity of Nanaksar Ashram Thath. The promulgation was made keeping in view the tension prevailing over the control of Nanaksar Ashram.

The Khanna police chief had prohibited the rival groups from celebrating ‘puranmashi’ at Thath. He had to intervene after a group of followers, led by Baba Mann Singh, reached the religious place to start a path on Thursday.

Mr Amrik Singh Minhas, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Payal, said Section 144 was imposed on Friday afternoon. An announcement to this effect was made and people were prohibited from moving in groups and carrying weapons. He said the supporters of Baba Harnek Singh celebrated ‘puranmashi’ and Gurpurb at a Thath at Dhai Payee, another village in the Kila Raipur constituency, and those supporting Baba Mann Singh were free to hold celebrations at Siahar gurdwaras.

Mr Kanwaljit Singh (husband of the village Sarpanch) said religious ceremonies in connection with the birthday celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev were held at the village gurdwara. (Compose)

Mandi Gobindgarh: The 535th birthday of Guru Nanak Dev was celebrated with fervour, at Mandi Gobindgarh here today.

Addressing a gathering after Akhand Path bhog at Gurdwara 6th Patshahi, the SGPC chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, spoke or the Sikh history. He appealed to the youth to maintain Sikh principles and keep away from intoxicants.

Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra, a Member of the Rajya Sabha, Mr Jassa Singh Ahalluwalia, a member of the SGPC, Mr Karnail Singh Panjoli, a youth Akhali leader, Mr Chanda Singh, president of the SC BC wing, Dr Naseeb Singh, Mr Inder Singh, president of the local gurdwara committee, Mr Randhir Singh Bhambri and Mr Harchand Singh Nasrali, Mr Jagdev Singh Bhambri, councillors, also addressed the gathering.

Gurpurb was also celebrated with enthusiasm at Amloh. A nagar kirtan was taken out from the Gurdwara Singh Sabha here yesterday. It passed through various bazaars. Parbhat pheris were also taken out. A langar was served to people at the gurdwara.

Machhiwara: To mark Gurpurb, a nagar kirtan was taken out from Gurdwara Shri Charan Kanwal Sahib here today. The procession was lead by Panj Piaras.

The bhog of Akhand Path was held in the morning. Devotees had also been taking out parbhat pheris for the past 10 days. The International Dasmesh Gatka Akhara presented gatka during the nagar kirtan.



4 booked in widow suicide case
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 8
The local police has booked four persons of Railan village in Ropar district under Section 306 of the IPC for allegedly forcing a widow to commit suicide. The action has been taken on the complaint of Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, President, Lok Bhalai Party, who had brought this to the notice of the Senior Superintendent of Police, Sangrur, after going through the columns of Ludhiana Tribune.

Referring to the information received from Ms Manpreet Kaur, a resident of local ward No. 2, Mr Ramoowalia had informed the police that a widow, Surinder Kaur, mother of the girl, had committed suicide on July 26 after being allegedly compelled into doing so by Gurvinder Singh, Surmukh Singh, Sukhwant Kaur and Gurinder Singh, husband, father-in-law, mother-in-law and brother-in-law of Manpreet Kaur, respectively.

The Superintendent of Police, Sangrur, Mr Amandeep Rai, had deputed Mr Rachhpal Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Malerkotla, to investigate the case, which led to the registration of the case.

Investigations by Mr Rachhpal Singh revealed that Ms Manpreet Kaur was married to Gurbinder Singh of Railan village on February 6. Ms Surinder Kaur had given Rs 3.5 lakh in dowry. Though she had to dispose of a major portion of her property for the marriage, the suspects were not satisfied and started harassing Manpreet Kaur.

Investigations revealed that Manpreet Kaur was made to undergo abortion and she was turned out of her home after which the matter was reported to the local police, which registered an FIR under various sections of the IPC of the Dowry Act. The suspects were granted bail by a court at Sangrur.

The DDR at the local police station revealed that the suspects had refused to accept Manpreet and insulted the complainant and Surinder Kaur, leading her to commit suicide.



SMS messages were sent from BSNL service centre
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 8
The mystery surrounding the case of a local youth’s suicide early this year, who allegedly took the extreme step after being harassed by some person through SMS messages, has grown murkier with the investigation revealing that the messages were sent from a mobile phone belonging to some BSNL employee in Chandigarh.

However, the identity of the person sending the messages is still not known. The BSNL authorities have, however, claimed that no one can send messages from 94170-9995, as it was a mobile service centre number in Chandigarh.

Mr N.M. Hansi, however, believes that the authorities are shielding some BSNL employee, who could be responsible for the death of his son.

The revelation made to the local police team by the BSNL authorities came after Mr Hansi knocked the doors of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission. The BSNL authorities dithered for some time after the orders, but persistent police pressure forced them to reveal the telephone number from which the SMS messages had been sent and calls were made to Ashish Hansi, the deceased.

Mr Hansi himself is a BSNL employee but faced a lot of difficulty in procuring information.

The PSHRC has directed the police to find out why the information was not being provided and file the report by November 13. Meanwhile, the police had formed a special team to investigate the matter. Mr Hansi said he had written to the BSNL office several times to provide him the details of the number but in vain.

Ashish had committed suicide on February 20 by hanging himself from a hook in his room. He was a very hard-working student and was preparing for the IAS exam.



Rights panel directs MC to provide amenities
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 8
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has directed the Local Bodies Department, Punjab, to ask the Municipal Corporation for making streetlights in the city localities functional and to ensure that defective bulbs and tubes were replaced immediately.

Justice N.C. Jain, Chairperson of the commission, while disposing off the complaint of Mr Gurcharan Singh Natti, general secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal and resident of Sunder Nagar locality, near Dhuri Line in the city, observed that the corporation ought to be responsive to the problems of the residents and for a simple matter like replacement of bulbs or tubes or for that matter non-functional streetlights, there should be no need for them to approach the senior officials or bodies like the PSHRC.

The commission asked the Director of Local Bodies to take up the matter with the corporation chief without any delay and report about the compliance when the case next came up for hearing on February 5.

The complainant, Mr Natti, had submitted that streetlights in a part of Sunder Nagar locality (Ward No 36) were non-functional and that a pole had electric current in it, which could prove fatal for the residents. After repeated complaints to the Executive Engineer (Electricals) of the MC, including telephonic talks, the MC employees visited the spot and disconnected the exposed electric wire from the pole. However, the streetlights still remained non-functional.

Mr Natti said when the residents persisted for making the streetlights functional, the officials concerned washed their hands off saying there were no bulbs or tubes in the MC store and replacement would be done only when fresh stock was received. The complainant further maintained that during the intervening period the civic body installed new streetlights in ward Nos. 35 and 36, but the existing streetlights were not repaired or made functional. He wanted the civic body to be responsive towards the day -to-day problems of the residents and that the delivery of civic services be improved in the city.



Jaya’s action invites scribes’ ire
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 8
People in general and journalists in particular today condemned the dictatorial and authoritarian attitude of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms J Jayalalithaa for trying to “muzzle” the freedom of press. Reacting to the reports of the police raid on the premises of The Hindu and the Murasoli in Chennai on Friday, a meeting of the Ludhiana chapter of the Chandigarh-Punjab Union of Journalists was held here today under the chairmanship of its president Karan Kapoor. It condemned the Tamil Nadu Assembly in this regard.

Addressing the meeting, Karan Kapoor urged the people of the country to unanimously condemn such acts of authoritarian behaviour.

Prof Satish Sharma, an educationist and member of the Panjab University Senate, has also condemned the act of the Tamil Nadu Government. He pointed out that such things must not be condoned in a democracy as these could encourage dictatorial tendencies among people. He said free Press was important in a democracy.

Senior vice-president of the Punjab Youth Congress, Mr Pawan Dewan, has also condemned the sentence. 



BJP district unit office-bearers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 8
The district President of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Dr Subhash Verma, has named Mr Subhash Bhatia, Mr Ruldu Ram, Mr Kamal Chatley and Ms Santosh Kalra as new vice-presidents, of the district unit of the party. Mr Ashok Loomba and Mr Om Parkash Bhardwaj will be the general secretaries of the unit.

Dr Verma, who took over the reins of the party last month, has also nominated following as the office-bearers of the party: Secretaries — Mr Pushpendra Singla, Mr Uma Dutt Sharma, Mr Rajendra Khatri and Mr Jitendra Mittal; cashier — Mr Prem Sagar Aggarwal; media in charge — Mr Rakesh Gautam.



Police meet concludes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 8
The fourth Punjab Police Inter-Zone Policy Duty Meet concluded at Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, last evening.
In all, 349 participants from five Punjab Police zones, namely Border Zone, Jalandhar Zone, Patiala Zone, PAP Zone and the Combined Zone, participated in eight areas of professional specialisation i.e. scientific aids of investigation, police photography, videography, police bands, dog squads, computer awareness, anti-sabotage checking and rifle shooting.

All events were keenly contested. The Combined Zone contingent was adjudged the overall best. It bagged the championship trophy for overall best performance while the PAP Zone claimed the runners-up trophy. The Combined Zone won 34 medals in different events and the PAP Zone had an aggregate of 13 medals to its credit. The Patiala Zone, with a total of eight medals in its kitty, was the last race for medals.

The concluding ceremony was presided over by the Director, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Police Academy, Dr G.S. Aujla. He gave away the prizes to the winners. He lauded the spirit of sportsmanship displayed by the participants and exhorted them to maintain the same in their day-to-day professional life. Dwelling upon the imperativeness of acquiring professional proficiency, he urged the police personnel to put in their heart and soul into the ongoing process of acquiring specialisation in different areas of professional working.



Barwali Khurd village gets library
Our Correspondent

Samrala, November 8
Mr Mota Singh Sarai, advocate and UK representative of the Punjabi Sath Lambra, visited Barwali Khurd village, 13 km from here, yesterday and inaugurated the Bapu Kartar Singh, Mata Harnam Kaur Memorial Library on behalf of the Punjabi Sath Barwali Khurd.

On the occasion Dr Nirmal Singh, patron, presided over the function and described the activities that Bapu Kartar Singh and Mata Harnam Kaur rendered for the area of Samrala subdivision. He also presented his views on the preservation of Punjabi heritage and culture in Punjab and Europe.

He expressed concern on the day-to-day developments of the dera culture, obscene songs and drug addiction among Punjabi youth. He also donated Rs 5,000 and more than 100 books for the newly established library.

The portraits and works of the persons honoured so far by the sath will be kept and preserved in the library, Mr Mohinder Singh Manupuri, president of the sath, declared.



Protest handiwork of miscreants, clarifies proprietor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 8
Kumar Industrial Corporation has said the reported protest by some workers over the alleged manhandling of a worker, as reported in the media, was the handiwork of some miscreants as the said worker had neither been thrashed nor turned out of the job.

Mr Anil Kumar Sood, proprietor of the corporation, said, “Balraj Singh has resigned in writing of his own will and wish and the company has accepted the resignation and cleared his all accounts due to him”.

He added, “We feel that he, under the influence of some bad elements (miscreants), had lodged his complaint with the police that he had been manhandled and forced to sign on blank papers”.

Mr Sood claimed, that the case had been investigated by the police and facts verified and the complaint was found to be baseless.



A date with Prince Charles

The visit of Prince Charles to India has brought back vivid memories of my meeting with him, way back in 1986. I was a student at Cambridge University and all of us from Commonwealth Countries were invited by the Prince of Wales for a reception at the Kensington palace. After the reception was over, drinks and snacks were held in the magnificent Cupola Room, a part of the palace not open to tourists. Being a group of naive students, we were briefed about Palace etiquettes, the right way to stand, not to ask questions, the proper dress code, etc.

We were split in groups of 10 students, each representing a country. Brought up as we were on stories of Indian princes and the grandeur associated with royalty, we waited with bated breaths for the entry of Prince Charles. The Prince breezed in dot of time without any usherer saying “ba adab ba mulahaiza hoshiar” like in period films.

Yes, there was royal aura around him but his very presence made us feel at home. He went to each group, talked to and shook hands with every single person. He seemed to be genuinely interested in everyone, even non-entities like us, and did not rush through the conversation. I still remember him asking me from where I was. I said, “ Punjab”, to which he replied, “The Golden Temple is beautiful.”

Next day in the department every student wanted to shake hands with me— the only person who had shook hands with Prince Charles.

Seema Bedi, Ludhiana

Good show, Vigilance Bureau!

The report that the Vigilance Bureau (VB) acted on a long-pending case of Batra Hotel of repeated violations of building bylaws, in connivance with Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) officials, as per newspaper reports on October 31, is a welcome news. The action was long overdue and an important step to check corruption. Further, perusal of records of other commercial buildings is likely to shed light on alleged connivance between MC employees and builders.

I am sure that the VB will also initiate action on bylaw violations in residential areas, including posh colonies like BRS Nagar, Ludhiana, which can also reveal the modus operandi of MC officers at different levels for allegedly conniving with offenders. In this connection, it is understood that the VB is taking notice of public complaints, reports and the feedback appearing in local newspapers.

The basic architectural structure of well-planned colonies, which otherwise should have been like SAS Nagar or Panchkula, has been destroyed due to rampant bylaw violations. These posh areas now look more like big slums. Under-the-table gratifications due to a lack of proper governance in civic body has led to stark bylaw violations, including obstructive illegal structures.

The role of executive heads, bureaucrats and politicians for encouraging and protecting those indulging in such violations need to be thoroughly investigated. A stern action is a must as well. The offenders and other persons involved should, therefore, be dealt with a heavy hand. This will send the right message to other such violators.

Thank you Vigilance Bureau for taking a bold action, which you must sustain. This would not only root out the real cause behind such violations but also would lead to an administration, which is responsive to the people. This would also likely to activate the functioning of the municipal corporation, leading to efficiency and transparency in governance.

The offenders who have developed alliance with bureaucrats and the politicians will also come to senses. The civic body will soon be on the right track. And hopefully, its blatant lies and high claims, contrary to ground realities, would become a thing of the past.

Dr Gurkirpal Singh, Ludhiana

MC in the dock

I endorse the views of Mr S. S Channa, expressed by him in a letter published in Ludhiana Tribune on October 30, and also of many other citizens, belonging to the different areas of Ludhiana, who have been writing to expose the blatant lies of the Municipal Commissioner, Ludhiana, through columns of various newspapers in Punjab, both English and vernacular.

Even the media has written a lot about the poor civic conditions in Ludhiana from time to time. All this has had no effect on the Municipal Commissioner, who is adamant in doing whatever he likes, not caring about aspirations and needs of residents of the city.

Even politicians, particularly MPs and MLAs of the area, have turned a deaf ears to the pleas made by people and organisations.

Anyone really concerned with the welfare of humanity is welcome to visit localities like Karnail Singh Nagar, Vikas Nagar, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Urban Vihar, Dugri Urban Estate, Phase I and II Simlapuri, Dashmesh Nagar, Janta Nagar and most of the roads in Industrial areas. And about roads in old city across the railway line, particularly those under and around the elevated road, the lesser said the better. God only knows how the people living and operating in these areas are bearing with the corporation's perpetual neglect.

Parks in the town have since been converted into junk yards, full of filth and dirt, barring a few which are being maintained by NGOs in the area.

If the Municipal Commissioner has any doubts about my statements, he can come out of his air-conditioned bungalow, being maintained at public cost, and see for himself the apathetic condition of the city . But he apparently does not have time to do so as he is always busy preparing press statements to highlight his “achievements”.

Politicians too are busy in their games to save or secure their chairs and bureaucrats are busy minting money, protecting their corrupt staff and preparing false statements, fooling the public and the politicians alike.

Regarding the 100 per cent supply of safe drinking water to the entire population of Ludhiana, a lot has been written which needs no further elaboration. But the HIG colony in Dugri and Urban Estate, Phase-II, are not getting water on the first and second floors for the past three months.

When the people go to lodge complaint with officials concerned, the stock reply is that the population has increased and the number of tubewells to cover for the area have remained the same. In a nutshell, the water supply by PUDA, during its control, has been deteriorated ever since the MC took over the charge.

A delegation of the Dugri Urban Estate Residents, consisting of retired Class-I officers, Army officers, businessmen and industrialists, called on the Municipal Commissioner at his official residence office in September.

Initially, he was reluctant to grant them a hearing, but after heated exchanges between him and a member of the delegation, he agreed to listen. He promised the delegation that all bad roads in the Dugri Urban Estate, Phase I and II , would be repaired by October 30. However, till date the roads are in the same condition, and even worse than what these were before the meeting.

Major S.S. Khosla, Ludhiana


Much has been said and written in the media about the poor working of the Municipal Corporation Ludhiana. Contrary to this, the Municipal Commissioner and Mayor are harping on 100 per cent supply of water and sewerage within the limit of the MC.

This claim fails as in a few localities in the outskirts, these facilities are not available. Moreover, there are complaints about contaminated supply of water and choking of sewerage from several parts of the city. This is the reason why the city is in the grip of dengue and other diseases.

The public wants civic amenities in sincerity and not just statements in the media. Ludhiana Tribune had written a report, “Target Gill Road”, on August 22 with photographs about encroachments on road by taxi-stand owners. Framers are selling vegetables on tractor-trollies, parked on roadsides and footpaths are being used to sell fruits and vegetables.

Karyana shops are being extended on the road by erecting verandahs with iron pipes and iron sheets. All this leads to frequent traffic jams and accidents. On street No. 7 of New Janta Nagar, scrap dealers do loading and unloading of scrap in trucks and tempos on street, causing chaos and traffic jams.

All this is in the notice of corporation staff and its senior officers. But no action has been taken. It is high time the MC acts firmly against the encroachments on the Gill road.

Sher Singh, Ludhiana

Thank you cops!

I, on behalf of the IMA, Ludhiana, congratulate the district police for nabbing an inter-state gang of dacoits, who had committed murders and looted innocent people. The crimes committed by the gang were extremely brutal. Such culprits have no sense for human values and should get exemplary punishment to avoid such acts in future.

We also appreciate your gesture of presenting victims, who had suffered at the hands of these dacoits, which probably happened for the first time in India. Such an exercise will infuse confidence in the public.

We appreciate efforts of the team of CIA staff and its leader for catching such dreadful criminals. Our organisation will always support, encourage and cooperate in such moments.

Keep up the good work, Dr Gursharan Singh, Ludhiana



Cash counters for phone bills sought
Our Correspondent

Amloh, November 8
To facilitate subscribers, cash counters should be opened at Amloh and proper arrangements made for the distribution of telephone bills. This was pointed out by Mr Raj Pal Garg, a member of the Telephone Advisory Committee (TAC), at a recent meeting of the panel.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Mr Garg said he had also suggested that telephone connections should not be disconnected without prior notice. He had also emphasised the need to increase the capacity of the telephone exchange here.

Mr Garg said as many as 4,000 telephone bills were distributed by only one postman which resulted in the delay in payments and long queues could be seen at the post office, specially on the last day of the payment. In some cases, bills did not reach subscribers on time and they were penalised for late payment, he added.



Novelist awarded Nanak Singh Purskar
Our Correspondent

Samrala, November 8
Avtar Singh Billing, a noted novelist and story writer in Punjabi, has been awarded the Nanak Singh Purskar for his Punjabi novel “Khere Sukh Vihre Sukh” by the Language Department, Punjab, Patiala. Published in 2002 by Ravi Sahit Parkashan, Amritsar, this is his fifth book in fiction.

“Maut De Saye Hetth” (1991), “Apna Khoon” (1994), “Niaz” (1998), all short story books, and a novel “Niranjan Mashalchi”, have already been published. He portrays social and cultural life of the Dhaha area, a region which falls between Puadh and Malwa.



Bank Director from Chennai visits village branch
Our Correspondent

Samrala, November 8
Mr Rohit M Desai, Executive Director, Indian Overseas Bank, Chennai, visited the branch of the bank at Katani Kalan, 10 km from here, yesterday.
He checked the working and progress of the bank.

Addressing the gathering, the Senior Manager of the bank, Mr Mohan Lal, said the branch had achieved the target of 25 kisan credit cards and disbursed more than Rs 50 lakh as loan to farmers in this year.

Mr Rohit congratulated the Branch Manager and his team for their extra-curricular activities and achievements.

Mr P.S. Anttal, Deputy General Manager, while addressing mediapersons said the bank had made a profit of Rs 293 crore, which was a record and also 82 per cent more as compared to the previous year. He also disclosed that the Katani Kalan branch would be a high-tech branch in the near future.

On the occasion distinguished personalities of the area and customers of the bank, including Sarpanches, Panches, and Lambardars of the area, along with Mr J.K. Gupta, General Manager, Mr A P Singh, Regional Manager, and Mr Grover, Chief Officer, were present.


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