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When all roads led to yoga venue
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
Thousands of people today attended the yog chikitsa shivr (yogic healing camp) conducted by Swami Ramdev at the Basant Avenue. For a while it looked as if all roads were leading towards the same venue. As the camp was scheduled to start at 5 a.m. people started taking positions much earlier. The Dugri Road, which leads towards the Basant Avenue, remained congested and the traffic moved at a snails pace for a couple of hours.

Swami Ramdev combined ayurveda and yogic healing. The organisers said although all tickets were sold much earlier, inquiries and requests for more tickets were still pouring in. Interesting feature remains that there are several people who have attended his earlier camps and have felt much better. Some of them even claimed to have got rid of some chronic cardiac ailments as well.

A Kolkata resident, said he had lost about 20 kg of weight when he attended the camp for 10 days. Most of the persons coming to the camp are those suffering from overweight, hypertension and diabetes. There are hundreds others who are suffering from other diseases and hope to get treated for the same.

Another person, Mr Satpal from Himachal Pradesh, said, he was suffering from a cardiac problem as some of his arteries were blocked. He had been advised surgery. But when he went to Swami Ramdev’s ashram he was told that it would take about six months for the blockades to remove. He believes it was a miracle that within six months he felt a change and now he was feeling normal. He had come to attend the camp for the second time.

Although the exact number of people attending the camp could not be confirmed, it is believed that the number would be well over 10,000. While the organisers have sold thousands of tickets, there is an equal number of special pass holders. The huge rush could be noticed along the route as people had to park their vehicles at least 2 km ahead of the venue. The organisers will need to work more on making proper parking arrangements.

Swami Ramdev demonstrated each and every posture himself giving an elaborate explanation interpreting all aspects of the particular posture and its benefits. However, his pranayam (controlled breathing) practice is considered to be most simple and practicable. Most of these pranayams have healing powers and help in treatment of several diseases.

During his discourses Swami Ramdev said the Vice-President, Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, had offered him to experiment the yogic healing practices on the patients of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). The camp started today and will continue till April 11.

It was a long queue of people that could be seen awaiting to occupy their place in the sprawling venue. The organisers had installed two giant screens to ensure that those sitting far could also have a better view of the postures. Two more screens will be installed tomorrow.



‘But who will fill the void in our lives?’
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

The parents and sister of Jagroop Singh, a student who died due to corporal punishment inflicted by his school teacher
The parents and sister of Jagroop Singh, a student who died due to corporal punishment inflicted by his school teacher, at Bhaini Rora village on Sunday. — Photo by Inderjit Verma

Bhaini Rora (Ludhiana), April 4
Lakhbir Singh, a middle-aged farmer of this village stares at the orders of a district court awarding punishment to a school teacher for beating his son to death last year with blank expression. He then looks towards the street leading to the school, on which he has not dared to venture since that tragic incident in July last year. His feelings are shared by his daughter, who was a witness to the fatal corporal punishment meted out to her brother in Government Senior Secondary School, Pakhowal. She could not go to the school again and had to appear for examination as a private student.

Finally getting justice nine months after they lost their teenaged son the parents of Jagroop Singh have atleast something to compensate for after a local court sentenced the guilty teacher to five years’ imprisonment.

While they feel that the punishment would not fill the void that has been left in their lives after the untimely death of their 17-year-old son, they are convinced that the judgement would save many students from the ire of the convicted teacher.

“We are feeling bit relieved that the teacher who had hit our son causing him brain haemorrhage and finally his death is behind the bars for five years. We hope and pray that when she comes back she is a changed person.” said Lakhbir Singh, who despite being an owner of three acres of land is a debt-ridden man. He had to borrow money for the treatment of his son and later fight for justice. Pakhowal, Jagroop had lost his life at the hands of his class teacher, Ms Jinder Kaur (58) in July last year. He was “mercilessly” beaten up by the teacher for not bringing a note book of Punjabi subject.

“Against all odds, we continued our fight for nine months. With the judgement in our favour, the feeling of anger against the teacher has been given a vent.

Still the big question stares us in our faces that who will look after us in the twilight of our life? He was our only son and hope.” said Ms Gurminder Kaur, the mother with tears rolling down her cheeks.

Jagroop’s elder sister, Sukhminder Kaur, who was also a witness in the case said now hate the sight of schools. “Are they the temples of education or butcheries where students of tender age are beaten up mercilessly and are even killed for a small fault. I am taking up my studies privately. I have decided never to go to a school. ” she said while recounting the difficult times when her brother was kept in the school premises after he had become unconscious and then he was taken to a Pakhowal-based doctor, who had referred them to Ludhiana based neuro hospital.

Said his father: “His untimely death has aged us much before our age. We lost him at the hands of a teacher who was supposed to shape his future and brush him up like a good citizen we could have been proud of. But see here the teacher turned out to be a murderer.”



Good response to pulse polio drive
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 4
Thanks to wide publicity given to the Pulse Polio Programme, parents brought out their children in large numbers to polio booths set up at several places. Besides government agencies many private and humanitarian associations had set up booths to participate in this noble cause of eradication of polio.

The District Health Department had set up a wide network of 1964 polio booths to administer the polio drops to children. The Civil Surgeon, Dr S.N. Tiwari supervised the operation. The aim was to give polio drops to over five lakh children. The city was divided into 1400 zones and 400 supervisors overlooked the polio operation. At least 8000 workers were deputed to make the programme a success. To tackle the migratory population, 100 mobile units were utilised to administer the polio dose.

The Rotary Club of Ludhiana North also participated in Pulse Polio Immunisation programme. The club was allotted the booths falling in the area under the Government Civil dispensary, Model Town and Abdulapur Basti. Members of the club monitored the work of administering polio drops in 20 booths. About 10,000 children below the age of five years were given polio drops in this area. Grewal, Mr R.N. Sehgal, Mr Navneet Sehgal, Mr S.P. Singh Dua, Secretary Mr R.S. Behal, Mr Gurjit Singh and other members of the club participated in this campaign.

The State Bank of India, Civil Lines, had set up a pulse polio camp at Vrindavan Road , Shiv Mandir, it was inaugurated by the Assistant General Manager. On the occasion 255 children were given polio doses.

Under the guidance of the Programme Officer Mr H.K. Mayer, NSS Unit of Government Multi-Purpose Senior Secondary School, Naulakha Road, gave polio drops to 300 students . A team from Civil Hospital include — Ms Malkiat Kaur OTA and Mr Dawar visited the school. NSS volunteers had brought children from their homes.



Brother, 3 others held for murder
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 4
The police has solved the murder case of Devinder Singh of Dhamot village in Payal subdivision with the arrest of four persons, including a brother of the victim.
According to Mr Pramod Ban, SSP, Khanna, Devinder was murdered on March 25 and his body was recovered on March 27. On the complaint of Mr Mukand Singh, father of the victim, a case was registered. The SSP said during investigations it was found that Balwinder Singh, elder brother of the victim, his wife, Binder Kaur, and his brother-in-law, Satnam Singh, had hatched a conspiracy to murder Devinder. A dispute over property was the reason for the murder. Binder Kaur gave Rs 33,000 to Satnam and promised to give him Rs 1 lakh more. Satnam allegedly hired Malkit Singh of Salana Dula Singhwala village and Paramjit Kaur. The trio — Satnam, Malkit and Paramjit — assembled near a gurdwara of the village and called Devinder before allegedly murdering him. All accused were arrested by the SHO, Payal, Mr Paramjit Singh.



Cong deriving mileage out of Tohra’s death: Badungar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
The Congress is trying to exploit the death of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee President and veteran Sikh leader Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra for their nefarious designs of earning political mileage in the coming Lok Sabha poll.

This was stated by Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar, a former SGPC President, here today. He was here today in connection with ‘Gurmukh Chetna March’ on the occasion of 500 birth anniversary of Guru Angad Dev which started from Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran here this morning.

The Sikhs would not be misled by these gimmicks as they had not forgotten the role of the Congress in Operation Blue Star and followed by genocide of the Sikhs in 1984, he said while talking to mediapersons. He said the Congress should not forget that the spirit of G.S. Tohra could never forgive the party that had always humiliated the Sikhs and harmed the interests of Punjab, he asserted.

It was unfortunate that the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had started a baseless controversy regarding the shifting of the SGPC chief from an Amritsar hospital to Delhi.

He asserted that this was done in accordance with a unanimous decision of the SGPC, family members and leaders of the SAD.

Moreover, he was shifted with best intentions to the best heart centre of the country. The Chief Minister was only vainly trying to create misunderstanding and confusion in the minds of people. The congress leaders were only hypothetically shedding crocodile tears to claim the legacy of G.S. Tohra.

Tohra’s death is a great loss to the community and the party and the crucial juncture when the Sikhs were going to celebrate three important centenaries and were in the midest of the Lok Sabha poll.

The former SGPC chief called upon the Sikhs to follow in the footsteps of the great Gurus whose centenaries were being celebrated this year, rather than going through these only as a ritual.



Cong campaign picks up 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
The Congress campaigning in the city has picked up considerably during the past 24 hours. It launched the campaign yesterday. The state Congress President, Mr H.S. Hanspal, and ministers namely Mr M.S. Birmi, Mr Rakesh Pandey and Mr Tej Parkash Singh have been working overtime to compensate for the delay in the launch of the campaign.

Today, Congress leaders held several meetings. One of the meetings was chaired by Mr Hanspal in which local leaders, including local MLAs, the Mayor and block presidents from the rural and urban segments, chalked out the details of the campaign strategy. Mr Hanspal will share his plans chalked out here with candidates and leaders at a meeting to be held in Chandigarh tomorrow.

Mr Hanspal said some Congress leaders, who were initially agitated over denial of the party ticket to the sitting MP, Mr Gurcharn Singh Galib, had promised to abide by the party directive. He said at this point there was no need for disciplinary action against anyone and the high command was closely monitoring the Ludhiana seat.

Meanwhile, relatives of Mr Manish Tewari, Congress candidate from Ludhiana, today felicitated him and presented him with a cheque for Rs 1 lakh. Also present on the occasion was Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura, a leader and hotelier, who commands considerable hold in the city and the Kila Raipur block.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Tewari said he was very pleased with the response he had got here. Reacting to reports about dissidence in the party over his candidature, he said there was never any dissidence within the party. Only a handful of activists at the instance of Akali leaders were trying to create such an impression. “Not a single instance of anti-party activity has been reported from anywhere since the party launched the campaign”, he added.

Sources in the party indicated that the high command had prevailed upon Mr Galib to join the campaign at the earliest. They said Mr Galib had been assured that he would be suitably rewarded for his service to the party, possibly by nominating him for a Rajya Sabha seat.



SAD forgets its morcha shaheeds
Tribune News Service

Kup Kalan, April 4
Leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), a party which prides on the history of sacrifices and morchas fought for the redressal of the problems of the masses, were too busy in electioneering to observe the 21st death anniversary of 12 persons, including Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus, killed in the police firing in the state on the eve of the dharam yudh morcha on April 4, 1983. As many as 12 persons were killed and 65 were seriously injured during the rasta roko stir.

No leader of the party, organised a function or even contacted the kin of the deceased. The bereaved families today offered prayers in their homes and village gurdwaras. They lamented the indifference of the leadership towards those who sacrificed their lives for the stake of panth.

Such was the resentment among the people over the incident that the then Congress MLA, Ms Sajda Begum, had to resign on the issue.

Those who died in the firing were Bhag Singh (Jandali Kalan) Inderjit Singh (Dudhal), Gurmit Singh (Manvil), Gurcharna Singh (Kanganwal), Ujjagar Singh (Jogi Majra), Jagir Singh and Aman Kumar (Khanpur), Mohammad Ismail (Ranwa), Mohammad Rafiq (Malerkotla), Amarjit Singh (Madiala), Gurdial Singh (Uppar Kheri) and Maghar Singh (Lasoi).

Mr Hari Singh, President of the Dharam Yudh Morcha Shaheed and Peerat Parivar Committee, who lost his father Bhag Singh in the firing at Kup Kalan Chowk was angry and indignant. He lamented: “Factionalism has eclipsed the sacrifices made by the people for the state to lay the foundation of the party. It is a telling comment on the party that in 1983 during the Congress regime the SGPC had drawn an elaborate plan to immerse the ashes of the 22 martyrs at Kiratpur Sahib. In 2000 during the SAD regime, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, then Chief Minister and Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister, had announced special facilities to martyrs’ villages. They had promised to erect a memorial here, but today, none even bothered to pay us a courtesy call,” he said.

“I have been pursuing the cause of families of the martyrs for the past 21 years but to no avail. The promises made by Mr Badal during his Chief Ministership have not been fulfilled. Some of their families are finding it hard to eke out a living. What can we expect from the present regime when our own people have deserted us?” he sighed.

Balbir Kaur of Jogi Majra, alleged her husband, Jagrup Singh, was bayonetd by policemen, during the rasta roko stir when he was trying to carry two injured persons to safety. Her condition is deplorable as the family had to sell their small land holding to meet the costs of the treatment of Jagrup Singh for more than two years. Their infant son, too, due to lack of care, she claimed.

He participated in the morcha out of conviction but did not know that the party would let him down. Though senior party leaders like Mr Badal, Mr S.S. Barnala and late Mr G.S. Tohra used to call on her husband, no one offered any financial assistance even then.

Commenting on the role of Akali leaders, she said: “But for Rs 500 in cash and a couple of siropas from the party, no meaningful assistance has been forthcoming. We used to be called on the stage at the samagams, but lately they have dispensed with this formality too,” she remarked.

She manages the household with the meagre income from selling milk. She regrets that she could not ensure the proper upbringing of her three sons during the SAD regime.

Mr Hari Singh claims that the stories of the other widows are no different. He said the demands of the committee including round-the-clock power supply, a memorial at Kup da Tota a grant of Rs 3 lakh each for the village panchayats bodies and bus permits for their dependents were accepted by the then Akali government. But these were never implemented.



Feel good factor a poll ploy: samiti
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 4
The Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Suraksha Samiti today ridiculed the “feel good factor” of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Party activists staged a dharna against what they termed as the attempt by the major partner in the NDA government to fool the masses. Functionaries of the samiti held the BJP leadership directly responsible for the exploitation of the labourers by private sector employers and recessionary trends in trade and industry in the state.

Some of the demonstrators, had tied themselves with ropes and iron chains and others were wearing torn clothes. They maintained that the feel good factor, being propagated by the BJP was an election gimmick.

Senior functionaries of the samiti, including Mr Rajiv Tandon, Mr Sunil Datt, Mr Raj Kumar Agnihotri and Mr Om Parkash Saini challenged the claims of the BJP leadership of creating massive infrastructure like roads and bridges, which had made the people prosperous. They said the prevailing scenario was totally opposite. “The working classes are being treated as slaves, the small traders and industrialists are virtually being crushed under the burden of loans and taxes and the small and tiny units have become completely dependent on big units for their survival.”

Meanwhile, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has also lambasted the BJP leadership for its wrong policies and failure to practice what it preached. Mr Kesar Singh, state unit president and Mr Krishan Lal Sharma, vice-president of the party, in a statement said the BJP leaders had made big issues of 'Ram mandir' in Ayodhya and now Mr Lal Krishan Advani's rath yatra, which practically held nothing for the common people.

In total contrast to what the government claimed, the poor masses were finding it difficult to make both ends meet in the wake of skyrocketing prices of essential commodities. They said the NDA government had forgotten the promises made with the people at the time of last parliamentary elections but the electorate remembered everything and they would make the BJP leaders pay for their betrayal in the coming poll.



Lok Sabha candidates share a common manch
Our Correspondent

An NRI, Dr Avinash Sharma, addresses a seminar on national awakening organised by the Punjab Jagriti Manch
An NRI, Dr Avinash Sharma, addresses a seminar on national awakening organised by the Punjab Jagriti Manch in Ludhiana on Sunday. — Photo by IV

Ludhiana, April 4
A seminar on national awakening, organised by the newly formed Punjab Jagriti Manch at Punjab Extension Library here today, achieved its objective partially as SAD nominee from Ludhiana parliamentary constituency Sharanjit Singh Dhillon and Lok Bhalai Party candidate Balwant Singh Ramoowalia shared a common platform to put forth their agenda before the electorate. Congress candidate Munish Tiwari, who could not attend due to other preoccupations, was represented by Prof Satish Sharma.

Mr Ramoowalia, President of the Lok Bhalai Party, said it was unfortunate that the politicians failed to build a relationship based on mutual trust with the masses. He vowed to transform this relationship with love, strong bonds and commitment. Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon called upon the electorate to not only exercise their right to vote but make a right choice too. He said he firmly believed in working for the people. Prof Satish Sharma, expressed his concern over civic and other problems of the mega city like traffic congestion and migratory labour issues, besides crisis ridden trade and industry.

Earlier, announcing the launching of the Punjab Jagriti Manch, Dr Y.S. Walia remarked that it was floated with a vision to provide a platform where politicians and masses could interact together for creating a new Punjab.

Among other prominent speakers were advocate and former president of the District Bar Association Harish Rai Dhanda, who invited intellectuals to come forward and play their part in strengthening the democratic system. A former councillor and general secretary of Punjab, Mr Sunil Mehra, of the BJP lauded the objective of the manch, saying it would play a significant role in filling the communication gap between the masses and their elected representatives. Former minister Jagdish Singh Garcha also echoed the same views.

Dr Avinash Sharma, an NRI psychotherapist form Canada and a Governor Award Winner, insisted on mental development of masses and educating them about their right to vote. Col Jagdish Brar (retd) insisted on social security of families of the members of armed forces, who were fighting a valiant battle for the country. Mr Manjit Singh Matharoo, representing the industry, extended full support to the organisation while Mr Teja Singh, a representative of Punjab Aided Schools, expressed his anguish over mis-utilisation of funds meant for education.

Mr Sanjiv Puri, secretary of the manch, acknowledged the efforts of all leaders of political parties and prominent representatives of the people, who had came together to lend a helping hand to the cause and commitment of the body. He made a special mention of project ‘Sambhav’, which had provided the inspiration for formation of the manch.



Shiv Sainiks make bonfire of obscene posters
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 4
Activists of the Shiv Sena (Hindustan) today organised a protest march against the pasting of indecent posters in the city. They also removed such film posters from various places. Later, the protesters made a bonfire of these posters at the Raikhy Cinema chowk here calling upon the people to rise against the social evil.

Addressing party workers, the general secretary of the Shiv Sena, Mr Pawan Sharma, and the district unit president, Mr Krishan Sharma, took strong exception to the activities of some of the cinema owners in the city who were showing pornographic movies to corrupting the young minds. They charged the district administration with criminal neglect by giving a free hand to the unscrupulous elements.

Mr Pawan Sharma alleged that a nexus between some of the cinema house owners, and police officers. He cited an instance in which prints of some pornographic movies were seized from certain agents of film distributors and cinema house owners about two months ago in the city. While the kotwali police had registered a case in this connection, no arrest had been made because some influential persons were suspected to be involved in the case.

The senior Vice-President of the party, Mr Shiv Murti Sharma said it was shameful that obscene films were being shown to make money while the police and district administration were watching the situation like mute spectators. Indecent posters were put up mostly outside schools and colleges. This had made the lives of young girls miserable. They have to face obnoxious remarks from anti-social elements.

The Shiv Sena functionaries urged the social, religious and cultural bodies to launch a concerted campaign to expose the nefarious activities of some of the cinema house owners. The district and the police administration should also start a crackdown against this ‘cultural pollution’ of young minds.

Mr Sanjeev Pathak, Mr Parveen Mittal, Mr Anil Singla, Mr Krishan Bansal, Mr Ved Parkash, Sharma, were also present on the occasion.



Dissolve barriers, says Pak delegation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 4
“The time has come when both the governments of Pakistan and India should see the writing on the wall. They should understand the common man’s heartfelt desire to come together. Soon the politicians will have to accept it and will have to scrap the visas between the two countries, allowing free movement” said the District Nazim of Sahiwal, Mr Rai Hasan Nawaz Khan, a cousin of Mr Rai Aziz Ullah Khan, the leader of a 27 member delegation on a visit to the city.

The delegation was honoured by the Baba Bulleh Shah Foundation this morning at Punjab Agricultural University. “Pakistan and Indian relations are very close. That is why after a long separation, we are interacting with each other very warmly, whether it is sports, literature, culture, and religious events,” said Dr Kripal Singh Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor of PAU, chief guest at the function.

Dr Aulakh highlighted the relationship of the Rai family of Raikot with Guru Gobind Singh and how the family was blessed. After reciting a few lines of Bulleh Shah, he said that if we all follow his teachings, there would be less strife. Mr Gurcharan Singh, president of the foundation, welcoming the members said it was time that both countries should break down the existing barriers and allow more freedom to the people.

Mr Rai Aziz Ullah Khan said within a few days, he had visited India twice and the boundless love he had got from his forefather’s friends in Raikot and Ludhiana was beyond description. Prominent among the delegation were Malak Jaluldin Wahid, MLA, Sahiwal, Janab Choudhry Wahid, Malak Mohammad Yar, Deputy Nizam, Sahiwal.

Prof Nirmal Jaura, general secretary, proposed a vote of thanks while Dr S.N. Sewak and Rt Jetwani, and Mr Deepak Singh from Amritsar, too, addressed the gathering.

A function, ‘Inter-city of peace and goodwill — Indo-Pak Friendship’ was organised by the Rotary District 3070 last night at Shingar Cinema. At least 300 Rotarians expressed their goodwill towards Pakistanis. Mr Gurcharan Singh, counsellor of the Ludhiana North East Rotary Club, said it was in the interest of both the governments to improve the relationship as it would help the trade and business to thrive between two countries. The members also conveyed the message that it was high time that politicians think of improving ties as the new generation had forgotten the horrors of the Partition and they want to move ahead. 



Car stolen from Johar’s house
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
A white Lancer (Pb-10 T- 8002) belonging to Mr Ajay Johar, son of Higher Education Minister Harnam Dass Johar, was stolen from outside their house in Model Town late last night.
A case has been registered at the Model Town police station. Mr Ajay Johar stated in the FIR that he had parked the car outside his house, 21 Model Town from where it was stolen.


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