L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Siahar family waits for justice
Kanchan Vasdev and Mahesh Sharma
Tribune News Service

Siahar, January 6
Even as the Siahar imbroglio continues, with seemingly no solution in sight, the family of the 50-year-old man, who died in the violence that took place on October 11 last year, continues to wait for justice as his alleged murderer evades arrest.

The only bread winner of a family, which presents a picture of abject poverty, Ajit Singh had passed away on October 25 after he had received grievous bullet injuries in October 11 violence. A bullet had hit his backbone and he could never recover and succumbed to his injuries.

More than two months after his death, the police has not been able to arrest the accused, who was named by the victim himself in his statement to the police. The widow of the deceased and his two student sons are left on the mercy of their uncles, who are now fending for them.

Sukhwinder Kaur, his wife, is forced to think what she lost and found during the battle of two camps for the headship of Nanaksar Ashram Thath that is hitting headlines for past many months. The entire village is sympathetic towards her and her two children as they believe that Ajit Singh had laid down his life for a noble cause.

Her single room house in the village, where cattle are also housed along with humans, stinks as the air is filled with the smell of dung. She is being helped by her elder son, who is a school student to look after the small fields that came in the family’s share.

While narrating the incident to a Tribune team in the village, Sukhwinder Kaur wipes her tears frequently. She finds it difficult to talk as her throat chokes everytime she tries to make a point. ‘‘He was sitting at home when we heard the announcement that some persons from the thath had started firing bullets. As both my sons had gone to thath to do sewa, my husband got worried. He ran to save them. He was stopped by his brother also who had said that his sons were smart enough to ensure their safety. But the father’s heart did not left him sit back. He went there only to be the only person who was killed in the violence.’’ she said.

He had entered the main gate of the thath accompanied by two three village elders. While he was around to enter the inner gate, a known employee of the thath shot at him with a rifle. Although police had recovered all the arms and ammunition from the villagers some days ago before the incident, nobody knew from where the rifle came. ’’ she added.

Mr Bhajan Singh, elder brother of Ajit said that he was a very decent man. He had never fought with anybody. ‘‘And they say he had gone to throw stones. Can anybody go to throw stones in a place where his sons are stuck up?’’ asked his brother.

‘‘We are upset with the authorities because they would pick up the entire village if shots are fired in the air. But now an innocent man has been killed and the accused has not been arrested though he has been named in the FIR,’’ added Mr Bhajan Singh.



Inspiring youth his mission
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, January 6
Dr Rajwant Singh, president of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE), Washington DC, was in the city here today to deliver a lecture at the College of Agriculture, Punjab Agricultural University. He said, "I have come here to inspire the youth and inculcate leadership qualities among them. The youth of the country are searching for a role model. I would like the youth to have a larger vision in life"

He said that SCORE was formed in 1980 with the view to promoting Sikhism. "After the September attack in the USA, crime against Sikhs settled abroad has increased. The organisation played an important role in protecting the Sikhs. We held several rounds of talks with President George Bush to protect the Sikhs. Though the US Government supported us, there is need to create a network to improve the image of the Sikhs worldwide," he said.

For more than two decades now, Dr Rajwant, a dentist, has been promoting awareness about Sikhism at numerous inter-faith meetings. SCORE is backing nationwide efforts by many gurdwaras to invite Americans to observe Sikh prayers.

He said under the Sikh Human Development Foundation, which was formed in 1999, scholarships were given to the needy students (Sikhs and non-Sikhs) who could not afford higher education. "Under this programme, the students are given Rs 800 - Rs 1200 per month. We also adopted 12 Muslim students from Gujrat (after the riots) recently," he said. "There is need to provide education to all. Secondly, employment opportunities should be created for the youth and the youth should be provided with a healthy atmosphere. They should enjoy better health. This is what Guru Angad Dev dreamt of.”

Dr Rajwant said 100 children were being given training in gatka, Gurbani and kirtan at a camp in Washington and half a million prominent Sikhs in the USA were working towards the promotion of Sikhism.

Dr Rajwant has also been invited to deliver lectures at Guru Nanak Dev University, Punjabi University, and at the Punjab School Education Board in Chandigarh and Mohali.



Gosain case: Dawar summoned on defamation charges 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 6
After an electoral battle in which Congress candidate Surinder Dawar had trounced the BJP heavy weight and the former Deputy Speaker, Mr Sat Pal Gosain from the Ludhiana East Assembly constituency in the city, the stage has now shifted to the local courts were the two are embroiled in a criminal case.

In a criminal suit filed by Mr Sat Pal Gosain against Mr Surinder Dawar, the Judicial Magistrate, Mr Ravinder Kumar Condal, has summoned the Congress legislator on February 15 to face trial under Sections 500 and 120-B of the IPC.

In his orders, the magistrate observed that after going through the documents presented by the complainant and hearing the testimony of some of the witnesses, he had found sufficient grounds to summon the accused.

Giving details, Mr Sat Pal Gosain told at a news conference here today that on May 31, in a press conference, convened in a city hotel, Mr Surinder Dawar, along with a co-accused Vishkarma Singh Bhogal, had levelled reckless allegations against him. The Congress legislator had alleged that the complainant (Mr Gosain) was having links with a notorious criminal Anil Kumar, alias Lalla, who had been apprehended by the local police during those days for his alleged involvement in several criminal cases.

Mr Dawar had further charged Mr Gosain with being involved in various shady deals and having amassed property worth crores by dubious means. According to Mr Gosain, the accused persons had even claimed that he (Mr Gosain) had sought their help for saving Anil Kumar from the police net because once arrested, the said criminal person might disclose his links with the BJP functionary..

In his detailed orders, the Judicial Magistrate, Mr Condal had observed that among other defamatory allegations levelled by the accused persons against Mr Gosain were his relations with a woman party worker, providing political patronage to Anil Kumar, alias Lalla by giving him recommendatory letters.

Moreover, the other co-accused, Mr Vishkarma Singh Bhogal, at present a resident of Germany, had held Mr Gosain responsible for extortions during his tenure as the Deputy Speaker of Punjab Assembly and in this connection it was claimed that the complainant had threatened Mr Bhogal and got some papers relating to a property deal, signed from at pistol point.

Among the witnesses examined by the magistrate before holding the charges prima facie true, were Mr Sat Pal Gosain, Mr Gurdip Singh and Mr Satish Kumar.

Among other witnesses sought to be examined by the prosecution included Mr Brij Lal Rinwa, former state president of BJP, Lala Lajpat Rai, MP, Mr Balramji Das Tandon, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, both former ministers, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, district president, Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), Mr Harbans Lal Sethi, former district president of BJP, Mr Gurdeep Singh Neeta, Mr Parveen Bansal, both BJP councillors and Mr Sunil Mehra, a former councillor and general secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal.



34-year-old divorcee found murdered 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 6
A 34-year-old woman, employed as a nurse with a prominent infertility hospital here, was found murdered in a gruesome manner at her house in Sunder Nagar, near the Chandigarh road, early this morning. The police was suspecting that alleged illicit relationship of the deceased could be a reason behind the crime.

The woman, Sharda Sharma, was found lying in a pool of blood on the floor of an inner room of her house by a colleague, Daljinder Kaur. She was stabbed several times mainly in the abdomen while there were bruises and signs of beating all over the body.

The police has rounded up a few suspects, including a man, who used to frequent her house regularly. The woman was a divorcee and lived alone here. She had three children who were living with their father in another area of the city.

The police said investigation revealed that the woman was close to two men. One of them was being questioned about his whereabouts last night.

The man has admitted that he was with the woman till 9 p.m. but left her hale and hearty. He said he later talked with her over the mobile phone also.

Police sources said they were trying to verify his claim from the mobile phone company but it would take some time. The police was looking for the second man who could not be located till the evening.



Ludhiana Calling

Photo by Pradeep TewariLohri is still a week away, but the people of the city have already started preparing for the festival. Kites and strings have surfaced, so have the traditional kite thread makers. With open spaces shrinking, these thread makers have put up poles at most obscure places, sometimes along walls of the houses and on road sides. Thread makers are much in demand during this time of the year. But for the weather playing a spoil sport, its great season for kite flyers and sellers too.

Occasion to oblige

Kaju or coconut burfi are relished by all. But burfi made of 'til' is a delicacy that is seen only around Lohri. No wonder the sweet is being freely distributed among friends to mark the occasion. It is a different matter if the packet of sweets is accompanied by a branded garment with the message "Happy New Year". People of the city who became rich after Partition are always on the lookout to oblige friends and officials and has provided, just one more excuse to do so .

Holiday blues

Holiday blues continue. Earlier it was the year end rush to exhaust casual leaves in most departments and now it is the holiday hangover. Attendance in most of the government offices continue to be thin and even if people go to work, they find laziness compelling them to put off the work till tomorrow. Even as most of them share the President's view of transforming India into a developed nation by year 2020, not many believe in contributing their bit towards this goal. It time for Indians to become realistic and work towards the goal set by the first citizen of the country.

Untrustworthy breed

Strange are the ways of the Indian politicians. Rebel Congress legislators who had adopted a 'do or die' attitude till yesterday have changed their month- old stand by saying that "the Congress is a large family and in large families misunderstandings do take place. These misunderstandings have been removed by our leader and now we are working together". For many bright youngsters this has been eye opener, who now say that politicians have once again proved to be the most untrustworthy breed among human beings.

Nobel gesture

Winters in North India are always harsh and a few days in December and January take a heavy toll on human lives. Sitting around a bon fire is the only way to stay warm (See picture). A lady with a philanthropist heart has adopted a novel idea to contribute towards reducing the misery of not so fortunate ones. She fills her car with unwanted woollens and wherever she spots a needy person, she offers a sweater or whatever is in the car. This way she ensures that clothes actually reach the needy rather than lying stacked in the stores of voluntary organisations. Indeed a noble gesture

Media hungry

These days people really want to see their names in the print. A press note is sent even if a small function is organised at their institution. Sadly the vital information about the function is missing but the emphasis is on the names of the people who attended the function. A large number of polio camps were organised yesterday. Several press notes were received that stated which organisation organised the function, who inaugurated it and who were present but the vital information as to how many children received the polio drops was found missing.

Arches — a nuisance

On every religious occasion, arches are erected for celebrating guru's , saint's or a holy man's birthdays. The arches are so erected that they narrow the road further and hence there is a lot of traffic problem. Already the traffic problem in the city are of gigantic nature. With the arches being erected, traffic jams are caused. A uniform policy should be made by the administration that no arches would be allowed to be erected on any saints or guru's birthday irrespective of the caste, community or religion.

Late diaries

Diaries and calendars are generally distributed during the beginning of the year. But most people take it rather easy and start ordering diaries and calendars in January year after year. As a result there is a great demand for these during the beginning of the year. But two to three weeks into the New Year there is a glut and most diaries and calendars end up in store. No wonder you see people pleading with others to put up the calendars and diaries of their organisations. Year after year people do not realise, in putting up calendars the principal followed is "only the first gets the importance".

Samosa friendship

The number of journalists, especially of the vernacular press is growing so fast that every other day one or another anecdote about such press card holders comes up. The latest anecdote about local scribes doing the rounds in the city relates to two persons who were brought close by the popular Indian snack, samosa. One such journalist used to freebies went to the shop of a halwai to have samosas for his family. Not inclined to pay he first asked why the sweets were lying in the open and then took one samosa as a sample on the pretext of showing it to the district health authorities. The shop owner refused to surrender and roared, who the hell the man was. The journalist showed his identity card but was floored when the halwai showed a similar card of another vernacular paper. Both had a hearty laugh and the friendship grew when they shared a plate of samosa.

SMS a boon

The short messaging service popularly known as SMS has come to the help of crime reporters of the city. Gone are the days when reporters got irritated when a police official did not answer the calls over the mobile. The police official's statement regarding the version of a story was very important for crime reporting. Now, the reporters simply SMS the question to the police official who more often choose not to respond immediately. This way the police official can never claim that he was not contacted. Hats off to the new technology. Sentinel



Workshop on self-management
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 6
'While competition is necessary to improve upon and grow, yet in a mad race, we have created a number of problem for ourselves, including imbalance in the personal and professional life which must be eradicated. By putting on too much stress on mind and body, people have certainly achieved success but they are not able to enjoy the real fruits of the same.'

This was stated by Swami Anand Vairagya from Osho Commune International while addressing a workshop on 'Self Management for Good Health and Work Efficiency' at Vardhman Training and Development Center here yesterday. The co-coordinator of the workshop was Mr D.K. Sindwani, Chief Executive, Vardhman Special Steels. It was attended by more than 50 senior managers of the Vardhman group. While commencing the workshop, Mr Sindwani shared his personal experiences with the participants.

Swami Anand Vairagya said a peaceful, and energised mind was more effective for achieving success and growth in the corporate world compared to a mind which was agitated and disturbed. During the workshop, he demonstrated with the help of small exercises as to how meditation could help in rejuvenating and re-energising the mind. He maintained that such meditation had profound effect in improving the mental, physical and emotional health of an individual.

Mr D.L.Sharma, President and Executive Director, Mahavir Spinning Mills Ltd , in his concluding address said that the power of mind, if used constructively by the managers, could lead to phenomenal growth of the corporate world.

Swami Anand Vairagya conducted another workshop on the same subject in the afternoon at Hotel Majestic Park Plaza which was attended by more than 75 professionals and entrepreneurs of prominent business houses of the city. In this workshop, too, participants went through a number of meditation exercises for relieving the tension and anxieties.



Appeal to repair Samrala road
Our Correspondent

Samrala, January 6
The condition of a part of the Samrala-Khanna road from Samrala to Sacred Heart English School, Ottalan, 3 km from here, is in poor condition.
The road is full of potholes and is a hazard to the public. Several fatal accidents have taken place during the past two years here since the road has either been repaired nor widened.

About 5,000 vehicles ply on this road daily as it links Samrala to Khanna. The sarpanch of the village, Raghbir Singh, president of the Youth Sports Club Avtar Singh Otal, and social worker Rupinder Singh, among others, have appealed to the Deputy Commissioner and the SDM to look into the matter.



Fire in health centre

Ludhiana, January 6
A fire broke out in the physiotherapy wing of the Dr D.N. Kotnis Health and Education Centre, Salem Tabri, here earth this morning. Dr Inderjit Singh, Medical Superintendent of the hospital, said that entire physiotherapy equipment, furniture and the building were damaged. "The loss is expected to be worth Rs 10 lakh. The fire was put off with the help of the Fire Brigade and the police after an hour," said Dr Inderjit Singh. — OC



Hike in steel prices puts industry in spot
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 6
The hike in steel prices made by the main producers a few days ago has put the small-scale industrial sector, consuming iron and steel items as basic raw materials, in a spot.

This untimely and unbearable hike has sounded the death knell of the sector and many entrepreneurs will have no option but to down their shutters.

One of the main producers of raw material — SAIL — has made an increase of Rs 2,100 per tonne.

Ordinary rounds being used in units manufacturing fastener items are now available at Rs 21,500 per tonne.

Steel scrap has gone up to Rs 14,500 per tonne, Ingots have reached Rs 19,000 per tonne and sponge iron has touched an all time high of Rs 30,000 per tonne.

Flaying the hike, Mr Jagat Singh and Mr Charan Singh Kohli, president and general secretary, respectively, of the Ludhiana Motor Parts Association, said it was a conspiracy to eliminate the small scale industry in the country in general and Punjab in particular to benefit certain big industrial houses.

Mr Kohli said the present hike had exposed the malafide intentions of the Centre which had done nothing to protect their rights but had connived with main producers at their cost.

That was the reason why in spite of several representations, the government had done nothing to curb this exorbitant hike till now and the trend continued.

He said Punjab was at a disadvantage since it was far away from raw material-producing state and in the absence of freight equalisation scheme in Punjab and hike in other basic inputs the local auto parts industry had become noncompetitive.

No orders were being booked while the ones in hand were not being executed and all productive activities in the sector had come to a grinding halt.

Mr Kohli expressed his concern that the day was not far away when the state steel consuming industry would come to a halt and this would adversely affect the economy of Punjab.

To face this critical situation, the association has extended its full support to steel consumers forum framed in Punjab which has given an ultimatum to the Central Government to control this trend of increase in steel prices. In case the government does not see reason, the whole industrial sector will be compelled to adopt an agitational attitude. They appealed to the Centre to take corrective measures and appealed to the authorities to take up the issue with the ministry concerned for an amicable solution.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |