L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC worker loses Rs 65,000; cops beat him up
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
The Basti Jodhewal police and an employee of the Municipal Corporation here are in the centre of a controversy involving the mysterious disappearance of Rs 65,000 belonging to the employee on January 20.

The City SSP, Mr Narinderpal Singh, has directed DSP (Rural) Manjit Singh Dhesi to conduct a thorough probe into the case.

The alleged victim, Basant Singh(50), a watchman of the Municipal Corporation, has alleged that some persons had stolen his Rs 65,000 but the police, instead of registering an FIR, beat him up in the police station for allegedly making a false complaint. He was also allegedly forced to name a woman of the area as an accused in the case.

However, the police claims that the man was making a false complaint and had admitted this before a large number of people of the area. The police said the man had actually given the money to a woman and cooked up the story to save himself from the ire of his wife and relatives. The police even claims that they had conducted an on-the-spot verification of the employee’s complaint and found that the man was lying.

In a complaint made to the City SSP, Basant Singh said on that day, some unknown person(s) had stolen the cash which he had withdrawn from a bank and was taking home. His bicycle developed some problem and after parking it on the roadside, he went to a nearby shop to borrow tools to repair the bicycle. When he returned, he found that the money was not in the bag. Someone had made a large cut in the bag and taken out the money.

He complained to the police on phone and later to Basti Jodhewal personally. The police came and took him to the police station. However, he said he was shocked when they started beating him up saying he was making a false complaint. He was allegedly stripped and beaten up again. The man claimed that the police forced him to name a woman of the area as they had to settle score with her.

Intense drama took place outside the woman’s house on the same day. When the man reached there with the police, the woman called neighbours and area councillor H. S. Gogi. The residents, numbered around 200, defended her claim that she had nothing to do with the incident. The man was again beaten up there by residents and cops for naming the woman. He gave it in writing that he had named the woman in nervousness and would search for his money himself. His signed statement was counter- signed by Mr Gogi and other residents of the area.

Inspector Gurbans Singh, in charge, Basti Jodhewal police station, claimed that the man had given the money to a woman with whom he had some relationship. He said he had verified the alleged site of the stealing of money and found several contradictions in the claims made by the man.

He said the man had claimed that a long cut was made in his bag but the police found that a polythene bag in which the money had been kept inside the main bag was intact and there was no cut in the bag. He denied that the man was beaten up or even roughed up.



200 panchayats rally around Harnek Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
The beleaguered head of the Nanaksar Ashram Thath at Siahar village, Baba Harnek Singh, has something to cheer about as panchayats of 200 villages besides a large number of NRIs have come in his support openly.

Baba Harnek Singh was expelled from the Sant Samaj and was named as murder accused in an FIR by the Khanna police recently. These 200 panchayats have demanded a judicial probe into the impasse continuing at the religious place.

This was stated by NRI supporters of Baba Harnek Singh, who had here come from Canada to declare their support in favour of Baba Harnek Singh, at a press conference held here today. The NRIs said the disciples of Baba Meehan Singh, founder father of the trust, believed that Baba Harnek Singh was his true successor.

Mr Gian Singh, executive member of the Nanaksar Ashram Thath at Canada ,said they would submit a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma , to demand a judicial inquiry into the matter on February 10.

Giving a clean chit to Baba Harnek Singh, the NRIs said the supporters of Baba Mann Singh were levelling false allegations against him because they were eyeing the property owned by the trust. They said Baba Harnek Singh was the head of the thath for the last many years but the founder father's sons raised an issue here after they lost a legal suit claiming the property of trust in Canada.

They alleged that many villagers of Siahar were supporting Baba Mann Singh as he had promised them to arrange for the immigration of atleast one member of their families to Canada. Denying the allegations that Baba Harnek Singh had forced his nephews to take divorce from Baba Mann Singh's nieces, they produced copies of divorce petitions of both the couples. These were incidentally applied by the nieces of the latter only.

Mr Gurdeep Singh, another NRI and a member of the trust ,said the allegations of Baba driving in an inebriated condition were false as he was on medication for his cardiac disease and had never consumed alcohol. He added that his blood reports had showed the traces of those drugs.

Stating that the support of 200 panchayats were not a big issue for Baba, Mr Jagdev Singh Aandloo, a spokesperson, said as he was able to gather support of millions of people.

However, he was not allowed by the sangat to visit Siahar due to a case registered under Section 302, IPC, against him. He claimed that the Baba was not apprehensive of his arrest but it was the sangat who was holding him back. 



CMC claims cancer treatment technique
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 4
At Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH), a more permanent type of catheter is being used to avoid repeated painful needle pricks into veins during chemotherapy of cancer patients, claimed Dr G. D. Singh, Lecturer, medical oncology. This allows a patient to do a wide range of activities, even bathing etc.

These permanent catheters are called central venous catheters or implanted ports. To use a port, a needle is inserted through the top skin surface to access the port. Chemotherapy, blood and IV fluids can be given through this port and blood can be drawn from the port.

Chemotherapy helps cure cancer and prevent it from spreading. Chemotherapy is usually delivered through the intravenous route. Because of the toxicity of the drug and repeated injections over a period of minimum six months, the patients suffer a lot because of multiple pricks, leaking of the toxic drugs into the skin, difficulty in finding the veins and excruciating of pain.

An implanted port is round in shape and is usually surgically inserted under the skin surface on the chest wall between the neck and shoulder. A port is placed by a surgeon, said Dr Rajeev Kapoor. Because it is completely under the skin, the risk of infection (the most common complication of central venous catheters) is reduced, claimed Dr Kapoor.

Meanwhile, Dr Satish Jain, Medical Superintendent, Mohan Dai Cancer Hospital, said the procedure had been practised in India for quite a long time now. He said, “The procedure is quite expensive. But you have to take care of the patient and give all the necessary instruction to follow. This is a sensitive procedure and could be a bad source of infection — life threatening also. The procedure is not useful in ordinary chemotherapy but for the long-term chemotherapy, it is very effective. The average cost of treatment of ports can be up to Rs 15,000 ”.



NRI to set up welfare trust at Kila Raipur
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
For Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura it is the call of his roots. Having left his native place, Latala, in the late sixties and settled in England to grow into a prosperous businessman, Mr Khangura remained attached to his roots. Although he continues to own a big fortune there, he still remains attached to his native land. In order to contribute his bit he has decided to set up Babu Joginder Singh Benevolent Trust in memory his father.

To start with, Mr Khangura and his wife, Gurdial Kaur, have decided to provide 50 computers in 11 local senior secondary and high schools, besides 114 sewing machines to poor women in 20 villages in the Kila Raipur assembly segment. Ms Gurdial Kaur had contested the assembly elections from Kila Raipur in 2002.

The Khanguras maintained that they decided that providing computers to the local schools would be the best way of helping the students of the rural areas who are, otherwise, deprived of the latest technology. They pointed out since the Kila Raipur assembly segment was predominantly rural, the schools did not have the latest facilities.

Outlining various activities proposed by the trust, Mr Khangura said a website, www.qilaraipur.org had been set up to provide information on each village in the Kila Raipur area for residents, NRIs and other interested people. He said it was the first phase and the site would be regularly updated with the news and information from the villages.

A dedicated trust hotline 0161-2771797 had also been set up for the people to pass on information such as weddings and other important occasions for inclusion on the site. The Khanguras also own a reputed software development company.

Mr Khangura said the trust would regularly be reviewing its activities and identifying potential areas where people or institutions would need any help. He said the village website was the first of its kind. He hoped that it would set a precedent and very soon most of the villages would come within the web. He emphasised, "Our purpose is not just to set up the website and make others to access it, we want to involve the local people so that they provide a regular feedback to the site and develop a reverse interaction". He assured that it would be a continuous process and trust would continuously remain active in welfare measures.



Teacher forced to end life
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
After suffering harassment allegedly at the hands of her in-laws for three years, a 30-year-old school teacher committed suicide by consuming celphos tablets in the Kothi Megh Singh colony here yesterday.

Sapna Jain, a teacher of Jain Public School, suffered in silence all these years but did not die without making a complaint. In a suicide note recovered from her house, she gave all details of her agony ever since she got married to Sulesh Jain, an unemployed person, three years ago.

She has named her husband, mother-in-law Satya Devi and several other relatives in the note as the persons responsible for making her life a hell and forcing her to take the extreme step of ending her life.

The police has registered a case under Section 304 (abetment to suicide) on the basis of the suicide note. Police sources said the woman had committed suicide and the post-mortem examination has confirmed the suspicion. However, for final analysis the viscera of the body has been sent for examination to the Chemical laboratory in Patiala. The sources said though the body had been recovered early in the day, the case was registered in the evening only when the suicide note was found.

The sources said the woman was the only regular earning hand of the family and her in-laws used to force her to give all her earning to them. The police investigation has revealed that the woman’s husband remains idle most of the times. The woman had recently started living separately in a rented apartment but her in-laws had traced her down and used to frequent her new house. The sources said the neighbours had confirmed that the in-laws used to come here and beat her up.

Sources in her school said she was a hard-working and disciplined teacher and was a favourite with the students.

Residents of the colony said the woman even used to teach some children of the colony and was liked by all.



Farmers' bodies to intensify agitation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 4
As many as eight organisations of farmers comprising Kirti Kisan Union, Kul Hind Kirti Kisan Sabha, Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, Bhartai Kisan Union-Ekta (Sidhupur), Bharati Kisan Union-Ekta (Ugrahana), Punjab Kisan Sabha, Kisan Sangharsh Committee and Punjab Khetibari Vikas Front, have decided to intensify their agitation against the ''anti-farmer policies'' of the Central and state governments.

In the first phase, a state-level convention would be held in Grain Market at Gill Road here on January 21 for pressing the long-pending demands of the farming community. These included solution of stray cattle by the government, minimum support price for wheat and continuation of procurement by government agencies, recovery of sugarcane arrears of farmers, restoration of free power and water supply, recovery of arrears of already announced bonus on paddy, scrapping the policy of contract farming which would allow multinational companies in this crucial sector and would ruin the small and marginal farmers, steep hike in diesel, petrol and input prices.

This decision was taken at a meeting of the representatives of these bodies held here today under the presidentship of Mr Raghubir Singh Benipal. Among others, Mr Hardev Singh Sandhu, Mr Kuldip Singh, Mr Prem Singh Bhangoo, Mr Sukhdev Singh, Mr Gurdarshan Singh, Mr Kulwant Singh Sandhu, Mr Joginder Singh Ugralan, Mr Jhanda Singh Jethuke, Mr Ranjit Singh Tallewal and Mr Harjit Singh Ravi attended the meeting.

According to Mr Kuldip Singh, secretary, All-India Kirti Kisan Sabha, the meeting also described the recent sops announced by the Central Government as mere election stunt in which nothing substantial and solid relief had been given to small and marginal farmers as was being projected and propagated by the Central and state governments. "Nothing substantial has been done by the government to reduce unemployment and debt burden of the small and marginal farmers." The farmers' bodies also opposed the eviction of farmers from the forest land, especially in the border districts of the state.

In a resolution, the meeting condemned the incident of a death of a students in private bus accident and supported the struggle of students at Muktsar. It urged the government to accept students' demands without any further delay to normalise the situation.

In another resolution, the meeting expressed solidarity with the struggle of the Punjab State Electricity Board Employees Union against privatisation of the PSEB. It strongly felt that the proposed move would render thousands of employees jobless and, on the other hand, would make power costlier and out of reach of the common man.



Congress observer meets workers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
Senior Haryana Congress leader and former Lieut-Governor of Pondicherry, Ms Chandrawati today visited the city to assess the poll prospects of the party in the constituency. She held a meeting with local party workers .

The District Congress Committee (DCC) urban and rural unit presidents, Mr Jagmohan Sharma, and Mr Harmohinder Singh Pradhan ,respectively, were also present at the meeting. They briefed her about the party activities and the performance of the legislators and the MPs.

Talking to The Tribune, Ms Chandrawati said she met a cross -section of workers. However, she refused to make any observations. She said she would submit the report to the high command. Referring to the demands by various sections of workers who sought ticket for different candidates, she said it would be decided by the party high command. She categorically stated that she had not come here for seeking the opinion of the party workers about the prospective candidates, but to assess the state of party in the constituency. She will also visit other parliamentary constituencies, including Sangrur, Bathinda and Patiala.

Different sections of workers proposed certain names for fielding from this constituency. Some of the workers sought the nomination of the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) President, Mr H.S. Hanspal as the party candidate from Ludhiana, while others suggested the name of sitting MP, Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib ,and former minister, Mr Darshan Singh Brar. The city Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, who is also pursuing the idea of contesting on the party ticket had his bunch of supporters, including some sitting councillors .

Ms Chandrawati said she was quite satisfied with the party activities here. She maintained that the Congress government led by Capt Amarinder Singh had “performed wonders by eradicating corruption from the state”. She claimed that the anti-corruption drive of Capt Amarinder had become quite popular across the country and the party were bound to benefit from it.

She expressed confidence that the party would do “phenomenally well” in the parliamentary elections. She observed that the outcome of the Assembly results would not have any impact on the parliamentary elections as the issues involved were entirely different.

She asserted that the Congress would form the next government at the Centre and Punjab would have a substantial contribution towards it.



Punjab BSP ready for poll alliance 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
The Bahujan Samaj Party is ready for a poll alliance with the Congress and other secular parties but a final decision will be taken by the party high command in the coming days.

State unit chief Avtar Singh Karimpuri said the party was of the view that the BJP and its allies should be kept out of power. In the state, parleys were on with the Congress, but an alliance would be forged only after the same is cleared by the high command. The NDA alliance had failed on all fronts. All sections of society are feeling betrayed and the burden on the common man had increased, he said.

He alleged that the feel-good factor campaign was nothing but hot air. The entire exercise was a well-perceived propaganda which would fail to click with the masses as the people had seen through their game plan.

Mr Karimpuri said the party had been strengthened by the homecoming of its dissidents. The party would accord due honour to all and at the same time appeal to all to come together to ensure the success in the parliamentary poll.



Misleading of commission won't be tolerated: Shastri 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
The Chairman of the National Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Commission, Mr Vijay Sonkar Shastri, has said that anybody misleading the commission would not be spared and would be punished with an imprisonment of six months to a year.

Talking to mediapersons at the local Hero DMC Heart Centre late last night, Mr Shastri said any official found guilty of misleading the commission in cases pertaining to the harassment of Dalits would be dealt with strongly. He was visiting the ailing father of Mr Vijay Danav, a Dalit leader.

Mr Shastri was referring to a complaint filed by Mr Ram Chander Yadav, councillor of ward number 13 here. The councillor had claimed that the municipal corporation authorities had misled the commission, stating that it had completed as many as six development projects in his area.

Mr Yadav had even invited Mr Shastri to visit the area to take a stock of the situation. Mr Shastri said he would take up the matter with the authorities concerned.

He said the commission would not tolerate harassment of Dalits, either by individuals or officials. He cited a case in Uttar Pradesh where the commission had taken action against two IAS officers for harassing Dalits.

Mr Shastri said he had launched a campaign to make Dalit voters aware of their voting rights in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. He added that they would be educated to vote for a representative who would keep their interests in mind.

Recalling events of Jat-Dalit clashes in the state during the recent past, Mr Shastri said such incidents tarnished the image of the state. He, however, said that the number of complaints about the harassment of Dalits had fallen during the past one year.



Serve suffering humanity, says sant
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 4
“Lending a helping hand to the weak, the poor and the deprived sections is the real service to God and a truly noble deed.” These observations were made by Sant Amrik Singh Panjbhainian-wale while addressing a largely attended religious congregation at Lal Quarters in Basti Abdullapur here today.

He said in today’s fast pattern of life, if the people could find a little time to help their less privileged fellow human beings, it would not only make their life more meaningful but would also give a new purpose to their existence.

The area councillor and adviser to the SAD (B), Mr Rajinder Singh Bhatia, and prominent Youth Akali Dal activist, Mr Jatinder Singh Gilhotra, made a fervent appeal to those present to devote time and some of their resources to ameliorate the sufferings of the poor and the weaker sections. “Helping those in need, naam simran and serving guru ghar (gurdwaras) should be the sole purpose of one’s life.”

Mr Bhatia and Mr Gilhotra were presented siropas and siri sahibs at the occasion. Prominent among others present at the function were Mr Gurmeet Singh Billa, mukh sewadar, Bir Khalsa Dal, Mr Jagbir Singh Dogra, Mr Gurdeep Singh Randhawa, Mr Surinder Singh Dang, Mr Darshan Singh, Mr Rakesh Bhandari, Mr Avtar Singh Arora, Mr Balwinder Singh Lovely, Mr Joginder Gambheer and Mr Varinder Singh Dhaliwal.

Meanwhile, the district (urban) unit of SAD-B has launched a mass contact campaign at ward level in the city to mobilse the masses in support of the party for the coming Lok Sabha elections. Addressing a party workers meeting in ward no. 3, the district chief of the party, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, exhorted the rank and file to apprise the people of the achievements of the previous SAD-BJP government and those of the BJP led NDA government at the Centre to expose the hollow claims of the Congress Government in Punjab.

In this connection, a joint meeting of the wards 69 and 70 was convened under the presidentship of the circle president of the Civil Lines Mr Kuljinder Singh Bajwa in which party activists were entrusted with specific areas to hold meetings to mobilise support for the SAD-BJP combine and to propagate the progressive and welfare policies of the Centre.



Punjabi Manch honours Dr Alag
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
International Punjabi Vikas Manch, Patiala, honoured eminent Sikh scholar Dr Sarup Singh Alag, Chairman, Alag Shabad Yug Charitable Trust, Ludhiana, at its special function held here recently for his selfless meritorious services being rendered to society for the last over 30 years.

Mr Tarlochan Singh, Chairman National Minorities Commission, Government of India, felicitated Dr Alag who is known to the world over for his superb and research-based writings.

Mr Tarlochan Singh said Dr Alag was a single man army who was fighting for us all.

Rs 51,000 were given to Dr Alag by the manch for his noble cause of distribution of soul-lifting and character-building literature free of cost. Two beautiful souvenirs were issued by different societies to mark the occasion.

At the function, two books of Dr Alag concerning quat-centenary of Guru Granth Sahib were also released by Mr Tarlochan Singh copies of which were distributed in the audience.



Readers Write
Government ignoring pensioners

The Congress government, during its 23-month rule, has utterly failed to fulfill even a single promise made in its manifesto on the eve of Assembly poll in February, 2002. The promises included a raise in medical allowance and grant of house rent allowance to pensioners.

Incidentally, MLA- pensioners in Punjab have been allowed old-age allowance at the rate of 5 per cent, 10 per cent and 15 per cent of their basic pension on attaining the age of 65, 75 and 80 years, respectively. However, the Punjab Government pensioners are given this benefit only at two ages, i.e. 65 and 75 years and the benefit at the age of 80 years is denied to them despite the Third Pay Commission’s recommendations.

The income tax on the ministers’ salaries are paid from the state exchequer and, now, the Punjab government is all set to pay the income tax on the MLAs salaries also. However, the pensioners have been denied this benefit despite the Fourth Pay Commission’s recommendation to refund the income tax paid by the Punjab Government pensioners.

The government has money for ministers, MLAs and former legislators but its coffers are empty for the pensioners.

Yash Paul Ghai, Ludhiana

Is anyone listening?

These days construction and repair work of roads is on in Sunet. The work is being supervised by Mr Ankhi Ram. One of the workers of the contractor, while digging a drain, cut down some Ashoka trees outside a house against municipal bylaws and against the wishes of the owner. To add insult to injury, one of the workers took the foliage and trunk for cooking purposes. Not content with this, the same workers axed two Ashoka trees in front of house no. 455/11.

The work for lining the drain is substandard and being done at a wrong angle. While one side of the work is according to rules and regulations, the quality on the other side is very poor. No gravel lining has been done prior to laying the pipes while brick lining has been done only on one side.

Similarly, a bulldozer piled a heap of gravel in front of house no. 455/11. The workers are yet to spread it on the road. This has not only resulted in a traffic bottleneck but the sewerage water from many houses has now accumulated on the road making movement impossible. This trouble was brought into the notice of ward supervisors, Manjit Singh and Mr Joginder Singh.

Hardyal Singh, Sunet

Issue-based politics is need of the hour

There are many things in life that will catch your eye. But only a few will catch your heart. Pursue those. The cards are open. The nation is gearing for another electoral battle. The Vajpayee-led NDA ruled the roost for five years. The saffron supporters are of the view that these were the best years in the recent past.

In fact, the nation has paid a heavy price during this period. Remember, the post Godhra happenings. The ‘fascists’ have shown that the people still believe in the socio-religio-political clashes. Regular threats were given to the minorities.

The coffin scam kept the government on edge as the Opposition boycotted Defence Minister. The party was once again caught on the wrong foot when Bangaru Laxman and Judeo were caught accepting cash on camera.

The steep hike in the price of onions has severely struck the common man. History tells that during the rule of King Fiurone of Egypt, a similar hike was recorded. Foreign policy remains in shambles as government has been unable to cope up with the USA led attack on Iraq. It took many days to pass the resolution condemning the attack on Iraq.

Again, seven lakh defence personnel remained amassed on the border unnecessarily. The BJP is worrisome about Priyanka and Rahul. This is not fair. Personal attacks on the sister-brother duo is distressful. Lets not forget that Aryans too were foreigners. Being foreign-born is not a issue. Its time we came out with issue based politics. India has been shining due to the sacrifices of Bapu, Bhagat Singh, Nehru, Indira, Rajiv, etc. and dedication of million who work hard daily to make India shine independently with faith in God and humanity. The nation will not accept a saffronised India.

Dr Jasvinder Singh, Ludhiana



Cash, gold stolen; one arrested
Our Correspondent

Khanna, February 4
Thieves stole cash and gold from a house at Marhia Road on Tuesday night. The residents caught one of them on the spot and handed him over to the Sadar police.
According to the information, thieves entered the house of Mr Kewal Singh, an employee of AS Modern School, Khanna, on Tuesday night when the house owners had gone to the market.

Neighbours saw some unidentified persons in the house and raised the alarm. The thieves tried to fled but the neighbours nabbed one of them. The other thieves fled with the stolen goods. 



Steel consumers decry interim Budget
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 4
A meeting of the Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India and its affiliated associations was held under the chairmanship of its president Joginder Kumar to take stock of the impact of interim budget.

Participants decried that no relief had been provided to the steel consuming industry (light engineering industry) which was mostly in the tiny and SSI sector and had been crying since 2002 for its survival and demanding relief in custom duties.

They pointed out that the Parliamentary Standing committee on industry heard the representatives of industry from all over the country at a meeting held on January 21, 2004, in the Parliament annexe under the chairmanship of Mr P.C.Alexander. But no concrete steps were taken by the government to mitigate the suffering of the steel industry.

They further lamented that five major steel producers of the country had further increased the rates by more than Rs 2,000 with effect from February 1,2004. “It appears that the producers enjoy the patronage of the government at the cost of domestic industry, reasons best known to the government”, said Mr Joginder Kumar.

Mr Kumar, meanwhile, welcomed the raising the credit limit of the SSIs from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 10 lakh and the issuance of credit card at concessional rates. They demanded that the credit may be made available to tiny/SSI units upto Rs 1 crore at par with the farmers below nine per cent so as to make this vibrant sector competitive internationally.


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