L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Birmi faces assault charge
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi, Minister for Jails, and his gunmen are in the centre of a controversy over an alleged assault on the cultural secretary of the Satluj Club, Mr Sanjeev Dhanda, that came at about 2 am today at his farmhouse on the Pakhowal road.

The victim was allegedly beaten up by the gunmen in the presence of the minister and a large number of other VIPs for not supporting certain candidates in the recently concluded elections of the club.

However, no case has been registered even though a complaint was filed in the Sadar police station a few hours after the incident. Mr Birmi has denied his involvement as well as his presence at the time of the incident.

‘‘I will conduct an inquiry into the incident. I may even request the SSP, Ludhiana, to order an inquiry. However, as per my information, no such incident has happened. I was definitely not witness to any such incident during the party last night.’’ Mr Birmi told Ludhiana Tribune.

According to a copy of the complaint, Mr Malkiat Singh has been named as the main suspect and his three gunmen allegedly beat up the victim on the orders of Mr Birmi.

Mr Dhanda said in his complaint that the party was organised by some office-bearers of the club to celebrate their victory. He was also invited though he had campaigned for the rival candidates. He said he went there for courtesy sake, but was at the receiving end of taunts of his rivals. He was called to the basement of the building and beaten up by the gunmen of Mr Birmi and other persons. Mr Birmi was also present there.

He somehow managed to run away, but the suspects followed him and gave him another thrashing at his farmhouse, situated in the neighbourhood. He received injuries on the arms and the abdomen. The suspects took away his watch and a gold chain. A medical examination conducted at the Civil Hospital has confirmed the injuries.

Mr Dhanda said he went to the Sadar police station, but no FIR was lodged and he was made to wait for hours. Mr Rajinder Sohal, SHO, Sadar police station, however, claimed that he had not received any complaint.



Protests against water scarcity motivated: Mayor
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 8
The city Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, has termed the demonstration by residents of ward No 22 in the city against scarcity of potable water as most unfortunate and politically motivated. He said area councillor Surinder Sharma (who belonged to the BJP) had led the protest to draw political mileage in the wake of Lok Sabha elections even though being fully aware that most of the localities falling in the said ward were undeclared and the Municipal Corporation could not provide civic amenities in such areas.

In a press release here today, the Mayor further maintained that with a commitment to all round development of the city and provide better infrastructure to the people, the MC had been providing adequate funds on actual need basis to all wards without any political bias and during last two years, huge financial allocations were made to all councillors for improvement in civic amenities and delivery of services.

Mr Gill said the very fact, mentioned in the memorandum submitted by the concerned councillor to the civic authorities, that undeclared areas in the city should be declared so that the residents of such localities could get basic amenities at par with their counterparts in other areas of the city, went on to establish that the problem of scarcity of safe drinking water was being faced by the residents of ‘undeclared’ areas. He observed that notifying ‘undeclared’ areas was under the purview of the state government and a policy for such areas in the entire state was already being formulated by the government.

On the delay in installation of a new tubewell in the area of ward No 22, the Mayor claimed that the orders were already issued in this respect but selection of a suitable site was a time consuming process. A site for sinking of a new tubewell had been identified and verification of ownership and other revenue record was being undertaken. Work was expected to commence in the tubewell in next couple of days, he added.

Giving details of the work carried out to augment water supply in the city, Mr Gill said presently 346 tubewells were functional in the city, feeding potable water to a network of 1480 km water supply lines and covering a population of around 13 lakh. Since June 2002, when the Congress took over reins of the civic body, 35 such tubewells, which had achieved their average life, were taken up for replacement. During this period, 38 new tubewells were also sunk and 144 km of new water supply lines were laid.



DC launches Rs 3,139 cr credit plan
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, today launched the annual credit plan pegged at Rs 3,139 crore for the district.
Addressing a meeting held at Bachat Bhavan here, Mr Verma said this year the credit plan had been increased by 13 per cent. He said as per the plan, Rs 2,458 crore had been earmarked for priority sector. Out of this, Rs 993 crore would be lent to the agriculture sector; Rs 706 crore to the SSI sector; and Rs 759 crore to other sectors.

Mr Verma said the national target for the priority sector advances was about 40 per cent, whereas in the credit plan for this district 79 per cent of the total advances had been earmarked for the priority sector. This would give a boost to the agricultural sector and the small-scale industries.

Mr Verma hailed the contribution of Punjab and Sind Bank towards the success of the plan. The credit plan had been prepared keeping in view the potential of each sector.

The Deputy Commissioner said the district had achieved 111 per cent of the targets in three quarters completed up to December 31, 2003. The target-wise achievement was 134 per cent for small-scale industry; 109 per cent for agricultural advances; and 89 per cent for other priority sectors.

Mr Verma asked bankers to properly examine the loan cases before sanctioning loans. He assured the bankers that the administration would provide full cooperation to them in recovering the dues.

Mr Narinder Singh Anand and Mr Gurpal Singh Malik, Zonal Manager and AGM, respectively, of Punjab and Sind Bank, and representatives of various banks attended the meeting.



Dhillon promises jobs for youth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
More employment avenues for youth, better living conditions and setting up of an international level industrial development centre are among the priorities of SAD-BJP candidate Sharanjit Singh Dhillon.

Addressing his first press conference after the Congress announced its candidate, the lawyer- turned-politician said he will do his utmost in redressing the problems of the people if elected. He said he had drawn up a detailed plan for the overall development of the rural and urban segments of the constituency.

Flanked by Koom Kalan MLA Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal and senior members of the party, Dhillon said he wanted to restore the lost glory of the Manchester of India. The industry was facing a crises with spiralling prices of raw materials. The need of the hour was to provide subsidies to the sector so that they could tide over the current difficult phase. Similarly, new technology should be imported so that the cost of production could be lowered. He also reiterated his resolve of making the Dhandari dry port of an international level.

Commenting on the thaw in ties with Pakistan, he said he would urge the government to allow trade through the Hussaniwala and Wagah borders. This way we can benefit from trade with Iran, Afghanistan and other mid- western countries by exporting readymade garments, cycle, hosiery, wheat and fruits. The trade will add to the prosperity of not only Ludhiana but other states as well.

Mr Dhillon said for the development of villages more agro-based processing units would be set up. It was an era of diversification and there was need for setting up food processing units so that the youth could earn their livelihood in the villages.

The loans to such youths would enjoy zero per cent interest.

Condemning the Congress, he said the government had done nothing for the development of the state. The bureaucracy and the ministers were busy lining their pockets. No one cares for the people who now have no option but to teach the regime a lesson in the polls.

He also said he was confident of winning due to the policies of the Vajpayee government and his work among the electorate.

Moreover, both candidates -Manish Tewari of the Congress and the Balwant Singh Ramoowalia of the Lok Bhalai Party, were outsiders and were unaware of the problems of the constituency.



Workers pledge support to Tiwari
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
Hundreds of labourers working in various government and private sector agencies today pledged their support to the Congress candidate from this parliamentary constituency, Mr Munish Tiwari. They observed that the Congress was the only party which could take care of the interest of the workers.

A function was organised here today by the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) under the chairmanship of Mr Dev Dutt Sharma, secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (Labour and Employment Department). Speakers exhorted the workers to ensure that Mr Tiwari to win by a massive margin.

The Minister of State for Jails and Urban Development, Mr Milkiat Singh Birmi, said Mr Tiwari belonged to family of a martyr who had laid down his life for safeguarding the unity and integrity of the country.

Mr Tiwari today conducted an extensive tour of the Payal Assembly segment. Accompanied by the Transport Minister, Mr Tej Parkash, who also represents the segment, Mr Tiwari was greeted by people in villages.

Addressing these meetings Mr Tiwari promised that he would ensure to come up to the expectations of people. He said only the Congress was suited to rule the country as it had a secular and progressive approach.

He pointed out that it was the Congress leaders like Beant Singh, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi who had laid down great sacrifices for the safeguarding the unity and integrity of the country. He said, he was overwhelmed by the response of people in the villages.



I haven’t quit Cong: Galib
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, April 8
Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib who has been denied the Congress ticket from Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat has denied that he was quitting the Congress and joining the Akali Dal. These were fabricated reports, he said.

Refuting the reports in a section of the press, Mr Galib who was elected twice to the Lok Sabha from this Lok Sabha seat on Congress ticket told this reporter today: “There is no question of my leaving the Congress. I have been a loyal Congress worker for the past 50 years. Asked how he would reconcile to the situation after denial of ticket, Mr Galib said he would talk to his workers and supporters and then take the decision.

There are reports that Mr Galib might go to Patiala for the campaigning of Mrs Preneet Kaur as he is described close to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.



I am being threatened, alleges father
of dead infant
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, April 8
Mr Sukhdev Singh, whose infant had died due to the alleged “negligence of a doctor couple here recently, has alleged that he was being threatened by some unidentified persons. Fearing danger to his life, Sukhdev Singh, yesterday lodged a formal complaint in police station division number 8.

Mr Sukhdev Singh said four unidentified persons stopped him last morning, when he was going to get medical report of his daughter from Dayanand Medical College and Hospital. “Two persons were on scooter while two others were on a motor-bike. They stopped me near the Kailash Chowk and asked me to withdraw all complaints against the doctors. They threatened me of dire consequences, if I failed to do so”, alleged Mr Sukhdev Singh.

After threatening him, the persons fled away from the scene. Mr Sukhdev Singh, along with his friends approached Basti Jodhewal police station. “They refused to entertain me. But later they said my complaint could be lodged with PS Division number 8 where I lodged a complaint said Sukhdev Singh.

The Civil Surgeon, Dr S.N.Tiwari, has already constituted a three-member committee to probe into the matter on the basis of a complaint filed by Mr Sukhdev Singh. Mr Sukhdev Singh had alleged that his child died on March 7 due to negligence of Mr S.S.Arora and Dr (Ms) Satinder Arora of Preet Nursing Home. He also alleged that senior IMA members of the district, who had given ‘clean chit’ to the doctors saying they were not responsible for his son’s death, were also pressurising him to make a compromise with the “guilty” doctors. 



Death of Jaspal’s nephew mourned

Ludhiana, April 8
Rich tributes were paid to Mani Paul Singh, a nephew of Mr D.S. Jaspal, Principal Secretary, Information and Public Relations, on the occasion of his antim ardas held at Gurdwara Shri Guru Singh Sabha, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, here today. The deceased was also the nephew of Dr Tajinder Paul Singh, former Chairman, Punjab Homeopathic Council and Dean, Baba Farid Medical University, and grandson of renowned homeopath, Dr Karam Singh.

People in large number from all walks of life expressed their sympathy with the aggrieved family. Prominent among others who were present on this occasion included Mr. Sardool Singh, Excise and Taxation Minister, Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi, State Minister for Jail, Housing and Urban Development, and Mr Rakesh Pandey, State Minister for Printing and Stationery. TNS



Christians gear up to celebrate Easter
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 8
Tomorrow is Good Friday. ‘This day reminds everyone that no one in this world can escape sorrow. While most of us carry a cross in our life but Jesus carried the Cross for the entire humanity, says Father Daniel of Holy Cross Church, Sarabha Nagar.

Christians of the city are fasting on Good Friday as Christ was crucified on this day. In the Catholic tradition, the liturgy of the day consists of reading the passion, the ceremony of the veneration of the Cross, and communion from the sacrament consecrated the day before.

On Easter Saturday, there will be night vigil at Holy Christ Church in Sarabha Nagar and other churches of the city. Easter Sunday is a day of feasting as the Christian festival of Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. On Sunday before the feasting starts, the Christians attend the High Mass in the churches of the their parish. Easter eggs and greetings are exchanged.

Easter marks the resurrection of Jesus for millions of Christians worldwide. The name Easter is derived from the Easter festival, named after the pagan goddess of spring. Accordingly, it encompasses the celebration of rebirth and new life.

“Tomorrow a Good Friday service will be held from 12 noon to 3pm in CMC&H. But before Easter celebrations, we hold prayers of thanksgiving in the hall of Christian Dental College. Students of Christian Medical, Dental and Nursing College arrange this beautiful service called ‘Sunrise Service’. It is conducted on Sunday at 5 a.m. Of course Pastors conduct the service which is largely attended by students and doctors residing in CMC College and Hospital campus” said Dr Joy Joshi, Principal, Christian Dental College.

After this service a special Easter Service is held in all churches of the city around 10 clock “ We greet each other. We host lunches for our friends, exchange Easter eggs. On the whole a spirit of bonhomie prevails. Easter is a celebration of hope in respect to the human predicament. God raised Jesus on the third day of his death and rising from death is a remarkable thing and hence we celebrate, "says Ms Gita , a school teacher.

“Easter is associated with Hot Cross Buns, Easter Bunnies, celebration cakes and all these are available in plenty in the bakeries”, says John Baptist.

Of all the symbols associated with Easter, the egg, the symbol of fertility and new life, is most identifiable. The customs and traditions of using eggs have been synonymous with Easter for centuries. Decorating eggs has been practiced by many difference cultures. Eggs are painted with bright colours to represent spring designs.

Two traditional favourite games played on Easter are called are the Easter Egg Hunt and the Easter Egg Roll. On Easter morning children join in a search to find the eggs that the Easter Bunny has hidden while they were asleep. Prizes of candy are awaiting the child finding the most eggs. The rules of the Easter Egg Roll are to see who can roll the egg without breaking it, usually down a grassy hillside or slope.



Labourer held on murder charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
The local police has solved the murder case of a migrant labourer, Mansa Devi, with the arrest of Anil Kumar, a labourer. The woman was murdered on April 5 due to enmity.
The DSP, Mr R.K. Bakshi, and the SHO, Focal Point, Mr Surinder Mohan, told mediapersons this evening that the accused strangled her at her residence.

They said the woman had not allowed the accused to exploit her niece.

The accused was beaten up by her husband and others reportedly at her behest. The accused was made to leave Giaspura colony where they all lived.

He nurtured a grudge against the woman and killed her.

The police officials said the accused had also taken some money from the victim’s husband and was not returning it. Their relations were strained on this issue also.



Monte Carlo’s summer wear for women

Ludhiana, April 8
While so for Monte Carlo was fulfilling the taste of men and women in winter wear, now it has broadened its base by introducing a special range in women’s wear for summers. A company official said these collection were simple and stylish in casual, formal and evening wear. The range will have both style and substance for the women who are dynamic and elegant. TNS


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