L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Tribune impact
Birth certificate row deepens
School lodges formal complaint, Civil Surgeon conducts probe
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 28
The authorities of Sacred Heart Convent School here today lodged a formal complaint with the city police against the alleged cheating done by a youth Akali leader for the admission of his son to the school.

Investigations in this regard suggest that the certificates were not forged, but one of them was made on the basis of false information allegedly furnished by the Akali leader, Mr Inder Mohan Singh Kadian.

Investigations by Ludhiana Tribune have revealed that many people were taking advantage of the lack of a centralised scrutiny of the certificates issued by different agencies. The Akali leader had submitted two birth certificates, one issued by the district Civil Surgeon’s office and the other by Salem Tabri police station.

Both issuing authorities said today that they would take strict action against the Akali leader or his companions for getting two certificates issued by furnishing false information.

Earlier, only the Birth and Death Registration wing of the Municipal Corporation issued such certificates for areas under its jurisdiction while the Civil Surgeon’s office issued these for outside the MC limits. However, from last year, the state government had authorised the police stations and recently, the panchayats were also empowered.

The district Civil Surgeon’s office today conducted an internal probe and claimed that none of its employees was involved in the birth certificate scandal as only one of the two birth certificates was issued by the office.

Dr S.N. Tiwari, Civil Surgeon, revealed that after learning about the birth certificates controversy published in Ludhiana Tribune, he ordered immediate investigation and found that one of the certificates was genuine.

He said the certificate stating the date of birth of Ishwarjot Singh Grewal, son of Inder Mohan Singh, as June 26, 1999 was genuine and was issued by the Civil Surgeon’s office. However, the second certificate, which stated the date of birth as June 26, 2000, was not issued by the office. He said he would report the matter to the police.

The second certificate was issued by the Salem Tabri police station. The SHO, Buland Singh, confirmed that the certificate was issued by his police station. He maintained that if there was any discrepancy in the date of birth, it was the responsibility of the parents of the child or the village Chowkidaar.

The latter is empowered to maintain a register of births and deaths and fill the form on the basis of which the certificates are issued by the police station concerned.

“We will question the village Chowkidaar and the parents of the child,” he said, adding that anyone giving false information would be prosecuted.

The SSP, Mr Narinderpal Singh, has, meanwhile, marked the complaint to the Sarabha Nagar police station, which is likely to register a case after investigation.

The complaint, lodged by Sister Helema, the Principal of the school, said the Akali leader first allegedly got a birth certificate for his son issued from the office of the Civil Surgeon, but when his son failed to secure admission, he got another birth certificate issued through the police station.



Ex-MP’s kin to face trial in forgery case
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 28
Disagreeing with the cancellation report filed by the police, a city court has summoned the former Chief Pharmacist, Ludhiana, Budh Singh and Harmail Singh of Bharowal village, a close relative of a former MP to face trial on the charges of forging an opium licence under the signatures of the Civil Surgeon. The Judge has fixed March 12 for their appearance in court.

The summoning orders were passed by Mr B.S. Deol, Judicial Magistrate, following the protest petition filed by the Sukhwinder Singh, president of the Punjab State Health Department Subordinate Offices Clerks Association, on whose complaint an FIR was registered against the accused.

''It is clear that the inquiry has not been conducted in a fair manner and there being sufficient evidence on record against the accused, they are liable to be tried for offences allegedly committed by them'', remarked the judge, while passing the order.

Earlier, the police had booked the accused under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471, IPC at Haibowal police station in September 2001. Later the police exonerated the accused after an inquiry was conducted by an SP of the Punjab police and filed the cancellation report. In the report the police said the accused Harmail Singh was innocent. The licence was provided to him by the then Malaria Officer, Mr Baldev Singh, after getting Rs 2,000 as fee, it said.

Believing the licence to be genuine, the accused produced the same for renewal and the things came to light. When the accused enquired about the Malaria Officer, it came to his knowledge that he had died in 1998. Aggrieved with the police report, the complainant filed the protest petition, alleging that the cancellation report was procured by the accused in connivance with police officials. 



Scheme for would-be mums
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 28
Poor and needy pregnant women who can’t afford to consult gynaecologists will now be given free consultation by doctors. The Central Government, through its scheme “Vande Mataram,” has decided to provide safe motherhood service to pregnant women in the country.

On the ninth of every month, the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Society of India (FOGSI), on a call of Ms Sushma Swaraj, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, will render antenatal and postnatal services to women free of cost. The service would be formally inaugurated in the district on February 9.

Giving details of the scheme, Dr S.N.Tiwari, Civil Surgeon, said maternal mortality rate in India was high. Against the 3,043 community health centres in the country, there were only 780 that were providing services pertaining to obstetrics and gynaecology.

Under the scheme, over 18,000 obstetricians and gynaecologists would provide consultation to pregnant women on the ninth of every month.

The scheme envisaged provision of free OPD services, including antenatal check-up, to pregnant women and family planning counselling to new mothers by private doctors.

The doctors would be expected to maintain a maternal and child health card. Chief Medical Officers had been asked to call a meeting of the FOGSI members and distribute the details of the scheme among the doctors and NGOs.

The women would be given an enrolment card, tablets, TT injection and contraceptives free of cost.

The Chief Medical Officers had been directed to hold motivational enrolment meetings and inform the authorities about the progress on a regular basis.

Dr Tiwari said the major causes of maternal mortality were ante and post-partum haemorrhage, anaemia, hypertensive disorders, and quick repeated pregnancies. “The deaths due to these causes could be prevented if pregnant women were given due attention and consultation. A district household survey (1998-99) revealed that about 33 per cent of pregnant women do not go in for even a single ante-natal check-up session,” he said.



Wife, daughter foil attempt to rob industrialist
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, January 28
Three robbers attempted to snatch cash bag from a local industrialist at gunpoint late night last. But the attempt was foiled by his daughter and wife. Miscreant escaped after injuring the industrialist.

Sources revealed that Mr Nem Chand Jain, a cattle feed manufacturer, was asked to part with the huge cash he had bought from a business tour. Miscreants threatened to shoot him when he refused to hand over the bag containing cash.

Mr Prem Chand Jain, a close relative of the victim, said, “The three youths, who had reportedly been waiting for his arrival, asked him to part with the bag and threatened to shoot him with a pistol, when he refused to hand over the bag.” He said the attempt was foiled when Ms Jyoti and Ms Anita, daughter and wife, respectively, of the industrialist came out and dragged him into the house. Robbers, though three in number and armed with a pistol, had to run away when both Jyoti and Anita tried to overpower them.



Asst District Attorneys promoted
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 28
The Department of Home Affairs and Justice, Punjab, has promoted 20 Assistant District Attorneys as Deputy District Attorneys on the recommendation of the Departmental Promotion Committee.

Mr Iqbal Singh, Assistant District Attorney, and Mr Makan Lal Solanki posted at Khanna have been promoted as Deputy District Attorneys. Apart from them, Mr Harmander Singh(Ferozepore), Mr Daulat Ram Prihar (Bathinda), Mr Ramesh Chander Garg, Ms Preet Inderjit Kaur, both from Sangrur, Mr Ravinder Pal Singh Sibia(Samrala), Mr Bhupinder Singh Badwal (Ropar), Mr Ved Paul Saini, Mr Mann Singh, Mr Sukhdev Singh, Mr Kulwant Singh (Amritsar), Mr Charnajit Lal Narang (Gurdaspur), Mr Gurmeet Singh Grewal( Ferozepore), Mr Raghbir Singh Dhillon (Patiala), Mr Tarsem Singh (Bathinda), Mr Roop Lal Khera (Kapurthala), Mr Surinder Kumar (Nawanshahr),Mr Jagdish Kumar(Gurdaspur) and Mr Balwant Singh (Chandigarh) have been promoted.



Class X pupil killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, January 28
A student of Class X of Government Senior Secondary School was killed in an accident while trying to save himself from stray dogs near Jandiali village this morning.

Schools in Sahnewal were closed to mourn the death. Surinder Pal Rainku [17 ], son of Satpal Singh of Bhairomunna, was coming on his bike after attending tuitions from Sahnewal when on the way near Jandiali he was attacked by a group of stray dogs.

Confused and petrified, he made a sharp cut ,as a result of which the bike slipped and he fell down.

He received a serious head injury .He breathed his last on the spot. Surinder Pal was a bright student a veil of gloom descended on the school as news of his unexpected death spread .




These days ‘Indo-Pak’ things is in. The Ludhiana Sanskritik Samagam (LSS), an organisation dedicated to the promotion of art and culture has joined the race. And it was a race well run and well won. The LSS organised Indo Pak Sufiana Kalam Sammelan. Noted Sufiana singer Hans Raj Hans from India and Javed Bashir and his team from Pakistan created a symphony of peace at the jam packed Guru Nanak Bhawan.

The entire audience was held in rapt attention. The poets they sung were Bhulle Shah, Shah Hussain, Hazrat Sultan, Safdar Shah.

Culture at last

At last, culture seems to be catching up with the Ludhianvis. Ludhianvis are known to be vainglorious. Flaunting everything at public places is an old trait here. Ludhianvis were seldom known to switch off their cell phones, even at functions. However, it was heartening to observe that during the LSS function where noted Sufiana singers from India and Pakistan performed, no cell phone was hard during four hours. The LSS officials had made only a formal announcement urging people to switch off their cell phones. Everybody did as told.

Rs 1 lakh vs “chhutti”

What would please a school student the most-a grant of Rs 1 lakh or a holiday? The answer was latter during the Republic Day celebrations organised at Government College for Boys. When the chief guest, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal announced a grant for Rs 1 lakh for the schoolchildren participating in the cultural show, there was an applause by the students. But when the Deputy CM announced a school holiday the next day, the response was overwhelming. And why not ? These students had worked hard preparing for the function for the past many days.

Basanti Republic Day

It was a rare day, — city residents celebrated Republic Day and the festival of Basant Panchmi on the same day. Some kites landed on the grounds where Republic Day celebrations were in progress. They were received with cheer, lending a new vigour to the celebrations.

Feeling cheated

People who bought expensive woollens from a local showrooms at exorbitant prices last week feel cheated with most retail outlets putting up end-of-the season sales. Pullover available for close to Rs 2000 at the factory outlets in the city are now going a begging for half the price with no takers. Genuine sales are only a recent phenomenon in the city. If the buyers turn, now to keep the shop owners at the tenterhooks.

Pampering the media

Some local organisations are so media savvy that they will go to any extent to please the media. One such organisation that celebrated Republic Day decided to honour local scribes by issuing commendation certificates. As if that was not enough, the organisation sent several blank commendation certificates to media offices with a request that these be filled as will !

Truant traffic lights

Traffic lights in the city continue to play truant. Every other day one or the other lights either stop functioning or develop a snag, causing confusion to commuters. The latest is the lights along on the Ferozepor road from the Verka plant to the Rajguru Nagar. The red and green light at about five crossings on this route light up simultaneously. This leaves the commuters puzzled whether to move or not.

Different shades of khaki

The district police does not present a disciplined picture as far as their uniform is concerned. If one wants to see all possible shades of khaki, there is no need to go to a paint shop, but a sheer look at the policemen’s dress is enough. Eight out of 10 cops wear different shades of khaki. There are reports that the government plans to change to blue but till then, the department will do well to ensure only one shade of khakki is worn.


Photo by Inderjit VermaIts an era of marketing and advertisement. Over the years advertisers have gone aggressive. They have not spared trees, walls, electric poles and mountains. The advertisers in Ludhiana have gone a step further and have put up banners on traffic lights with the notion that these are read the most by commuters.

National anthem

On the occasion of Republic Day function organised at Government College for Boys, the national anthem was in the progress. The guests, students and chief guest were standing still but a well-dressed man in the front row of the V.I.P. section was seen dialling a number on his mobile. A local channel was seen walking from one corner of the ground to another to direct his cameraman to click the pictures of the chief guest.


Scribbled on a board put up on a roadside:‘‘Saving time at the risk of life is no bargain. ’’




Ration depot holders want better profit margin
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 28
The Federation of Punjab Ration Depot Holders has urged the state government to strengthen the public distribution system, ensure a better margin of profit to depot holders, review stringent laws and make arrangements for sale of LPG through ration depots to ensure easier availability.

At a meeting with Punjab Minister for Food and Supplies Avtar Henry at Chandigarh, a delegation of the federation led by Mr Dharam Pal Verma sought the intervention of the government for exhaustive review of the PDS Licensing Control Order, 2003.

The minister assured that he would personally look into the implications of the legislation and if a similar law was not in force in adjoining states, it would be withdrawn.

In any case, some of the harsh provisions in the order would be suitably modified.

Besides the Secretary, Department of Food and Supplies, and other officials of the department, Mr Jagdish Verma, general secretary of the federation, Mr Jagan Singh and Mr Kewal Krishan Sharma were present at the meeting.

Pleading that the margin of profit of the depot holders was too meagre for subsistence, the federation demanded that the carriage charges should be immediately increased in proportion to the hike allowed to wholesalers recently.

The depot holders also made a strong case for transfer of ration depots to the next of kin in case of the death of the holder.

According to Mr Verma, the minister responded in a positive manner to the proposal that the ration depots should be associated with the sale of LPG to make its availability easier.

He said the government would take up the matter with LPG companies and the respective distributors. The depot holders drew the attention of the minister towards the grave disparity in rate of sales tax on kerosene, which was ,perhaps ,the highest at 22 per cent in Punjab as compared to 8.8 per cent in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh and called for slashing the same to bring it on a par with neighbouring states.

Mr Avtar Henry outlined various steps being taken by the government to streamline the working of the Food and Supplies department and to strengthen the PDS.

He said the 'below poverty line' (BPL) families would be identified afresh by the department with the help of respective gram panchayats and local bodies.



Palledar Union threatens stir
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 28
The FCI and Punjab Food Agency Palledar Union has threatened to launch an agitation if the sacked workers are not reinstated in accordance with a court order and 14 others transferred are not sent back to their original places of posting at the earliest.

In a statement issued here yesterday, Mr Karamjit Singh Kila Raipur said 26 handling workers and 14 ancillary workers were recruited in the Gill Road depot of the FCI in 1997, with the total strength of workers being 60 at that time. The District Manager of the FCI had given appointment letters to 40 of them on the ground that only that much number of workers were needed and the rest were sacked without being given any notice.

He said while disposing of the plea of nine dismissed workers, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had left it to the discretion of the FCI management to recruit the number of workers depending upon the requirement of the particular depot.

Mr Karamjit Singh said the then District Manager had also filed an affidavit in the court that not more than 40 workers could be posted at the Gill Road depot of the FCI. However, the management, in gross violation of the directions of the court and the Central Government, had increased the number of workers in this depot and another 14 workers were transferred here from Chava Payal. The transferred workers had also taken up the matter with the FCI officials against their transfer.

Mr Karamjit Singh claimed that the in another order, the Delhi High Court had ruled that in case of any new recruitment in the Gill Road depot of the FCI, the nine sacked workers would get precedence and fresh recruitment would be carried out only after they were provided employment.

He served an ultimatum on the FCI management to concede the demands of workers within a fortnight or be prepared for an intensified agitation by the union.



Maintain parks, demand residents
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 28
Residents of Kidwai Nagar are sore over the deplorable and pathetic condition of parks opposite Devki Devi Jain College and Sufian Chowk in the colony. They say despite repeated pleas the civic administration has done a little to maintain the parks.

According to functionaries of the Kidwai Nagar Welfare Society, the parks are in a state of utter neglect and are frequented by stray animals. There was no provision for gardeners and caretakers which led to proliferated growth of weeds and shrubs.

Some portions of the parks are being used by residents to dump garbage which creates further nuisance for the residents living around these parks.

A fountain installed in the park at a cost of Rs 4 lakh a few years back has also gone non-functional due to poor maintenance of the parks.

In particular, residents of Improvement Trust flats feel that they are being discriminated against as far as providing basic amenities are concerned. The streets all round the flats are in a bad shape and there are no streetlights.

The matter was brought to the notice of the area councillor, Mr Parvin Bansal, without evoking any positive response so far, the affected residents claimed.

The residents have urged the authorities concerned to take necessary steps for proper maintenance of the parks.



Book of Urdu poetry in Hindi released
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 28
“Ashiyan”, a collection of Prof Sulekh Chander Kanwal’s Urdu nazams and ghazals transliterated into Hindi, was released at a function organised by Adeeb International (Sahir Cultural Academy) at Punjabi Bhavan.

Hindi poet Naveen Kamal, who works as a Senior Hindi Officer in the Railways at Patiala and is the president of Triveni Sahitya Parishad, has done the transliteration. Literary personalities like Kashmiri Lal Zakir, Balraj Komal and Surjit Pattar were present on the occasion.

Dr Kewal Dheer welcomed the audience on behalf of Adeeb International and spoke about the book and the author. Prof N.K. Kalia did a critical appraisal of the book. He emphasised the various aspects of Professor Kanwal’s poetry.

Kuldeepak and Ramneek recited the poet’s nazams while Kulwant Singh, Rakhi, Ashima, Ravneet, Arun, Rajneesh and Hardeep rendered his ghazals. 



More sops for urban dwellers on anvil
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 28
Close on the heels of providing relief to the city dwellers in Punjab, by waiver of interest on accumulated arrears of water supply and sewerage charges as well as slashing the interest rate on unpaid civic charges from 18 per cent to 9 per cent, the Punjab Government is learnt to have yet another package of sops for the urban population, obviously with an eye on the coming General Election.



Gurjit SinghDSP elated at award
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 28
The Sarabha Nagar DSP, Mr Gurjit Singh, is elated at being selected for the President Police Medal. He is the only police officer from the district chosen for the honour. He said he was thankful to his seniors for recommending his name for the award. He has already been awarded 25 certificates.



Ex-partner tries to ‘occupy’ hotel
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 28
The owners of a local company have alleged that their former partner tried to forcibly occupy their hotel on Sunday.
In an FIR registered with the police, one of the directors of the hotel, Mr Tarunjot Singh, alleged that on January 25 , Davinder Singh, a resident of the Ferozepore road, Jaspreet Singh, alias Raju, a resident of LIG flats at Dugri, and Surinder Singh , a resident of Sarabha Nagar, forcibly entered their hotel on the Ferozepore road, beat him and also threatened him. The accused also snatched Rs 4,000 from a drawer of his hotel, added the complainant.

A case was registered against the accused under Sections 452, 380, 323, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC at division number V police station. No arrests has been made so far.

According to Mr Harjit Singh, another director of the company, Surinder Singh used to be their partner and had resigned from the post sometime ago. He added that Davinder Singh was a brother of Surinder Singh and Jagpreet Singh was their cousin. The trio forcibly tried to occupy the hotel. 



Woman attacked
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, January 28
Two miscreants entered a house behind the local grain market and injured a woman in the house with sharp-edged weapons last evening.
The miscreants, with their faces covered, knocked at the main door of the house of Mr Sudhir Marwaha. His wife, Ms Meenakashi Marwaha, opened the door and found the armed miscreants standing there. She and her children raised the alarm, following which neighbours gathered at the place. The miscreants attacked Ms Meenakashi with a knife and fled.

Mr Marwaha was informed about the incident at his shop. A case has been registered.



Man arrested for killing uncle
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 28
A man was allegedly murdered by his nephew when the former did not give money to the latter for gambling.
According to information, Lakhan Singh was staying with his nephew Joginder Singh at Bassian village. Since Joginder Singh used to gamble regularly, he would generally demand money either from his wife or his uncle. When Lakhan Singh refused to give him money, he allegedly hit his uncle on the head with a water pump handle, killing him on the spot.

The Raikot police has registered a case under Section 302, IPC, and arrested the accused.



Small-scale units rue political indifference
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana January 28
The small-scale industry feels that the Government of India continues to patronize high-end manufacturers. industry representatives maintain that custom duty on various types of special steel has been reduced to 10 per cent and for some it is 15 per cent.

This steel is used in making cars and two-wheelers by large manufacturers.

According to Mr PD Sharma, president, Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, spring steel, free -cutting steel , valve steel alloys, steel bars, alloy steel of various grades used in engine valves and silico manganese steel used for injection parts now enjoy custom duty of 10 per cent only.

About 15 types of special steel have got special consideration of the Finance Ministry for custom duty of 10 per cent, says Mr Sharma . The custom duty on other materials used by large manufacturers has also been reduced to 10 per cent. This includes aluminum in various grades ,such as aluminum alloys used for piston assembly. Similarly custom duty on copper-based goods used in automobile has also been reduced.

He says large automobile manufacturers have been asking the government for the reduction of duty in view of Free Trade Agreement with Thailand. The government has ignored the voice of automobile component manufacturers in the small and medium sectors.

Pig iron and steel is widely used for bulk of components used in the automobile industry. The government has ignored the voice of small manufacturers and favoured large manufacturers.

Mr Sharma claims that various facts confirm that the government of India fully backs steel producers who are out to "shatter" the iron and steel- based segment of economy. He regrets that no opposition leader has raised voice against the rising iron and steel prices.

He points out that the leader of the opposition in The Lok Sabha has been crying against the injustice done to farmers and youths , but not a single word has been said about the small- scale industry.



Govt seeks information

Ludhiana, January 28
The Ministry of Small- Scale Industry has sought information regarding the reasons for price discrimination in steel items in the domestic and international market and the measures for bailing out the SSI sector from the problem of high prices and shortage of iron and steel .

Stating this here today, president, FOPSIA, Mr VP Chopra, said that the government seemed to have realised the adverse affect on the engineering industry which was on the brink of closure. TNS



Industrialists sore with Congress
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 28
While local industrialists are sore with the Congress for its alleged support to striking labourers led by the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), the local legislator, Mr Surinder Dawer, maintained that he was never in favour of any strike or closure of the industry.

He said he had always supported the industry which was the backbone of the economy.

The industry is upset over a series of strikes sponsored by the INTUC in various industrial houses like Hero Cycles, Bhogal Sons, Avon Cycles, Nova Cycles and Ralson Tyres. This has adversely effected the growth of industry and also discouraged the industrial houses.

While the role of the INTUC is quite expected since it only espouses the cause of the workers, the industry regretted the role of some Congress leaders, who, on the one hand had been swearing their support to the industry, while also supporting the striking workers.

However, Mr Dawer, who recently attended a function organised by Mr Sarbjit Singh Sarhali, the youth wing president of the state unit of the INTUC, was categorical in his statement that he would not allow any strike in any industry.

He said, he had attended the function as it was being organised in his Assembly segment.

He said while he was a strong supporter of the workers’ cause, but he would never support any move that disrupts the functioning of the industry.


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