L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


ITBP jawan killed as truck overturns
Tribune News Service

Hambran, April 20
An ITBP jawan was killed and 15 others were injured when the truck in which they were travelling overturned here this morning. According to information, the driver of the truck, Balwant Singh, who died in the accident, was apparently bitten by a wasp on the face, due to which he lost control of the vehicle.

The truck was carrying 16 personnel of the 12 ITBP Battalion (ITBP) from Bathinda to Kangra, where the battalion has been posted for poll duty.

According to ASI Amar Singh of Hambran police station, who arranged the rescue operation, the accident took place around 8.15 am. He said the driver died on the spot, while the other 15 injured were admitted to the Pahwa hospital.

Inspector Dwivedi, one of the occupants of the truck, told Ludhiana Tribune that he was sitting beside the driver when the accident took pace. “The driver suddenly clasped his face, crying that he had been bitten by a wasp close to his eyes. He lost control of the vehicle, which overturned after veering off the road.”

Twelve out of the 15 injured are Dara Singh, Sanjeev Kumar, Vishnu Dutt Pandey, Jodheshwar Sinha, Shiv Nath, Inspector Dwivedi, Bhupinder Singh, D.S. Bist, Radhey Sharma, Inderlal, Parvesh Chand and Sanju. The other three received minor injuries. The injured are stated to be out of danger.

Most of the personnel were sitting in the rear of the truck and fell out as the truck overturned.

Interestingly, LPG cylinders were being carried by the personnel in the vehicle.

The truck was badly damaged and the belongings of the jawans were strewn all over the road. Local villagers helped the police in gathering the belongings and also gave water and first aid to the wounded. ITBP sources said the battalion had set off early in the morning and some were on the way or had already reached Kangra.



Residents demand railway gates on killer tracks
Tribune News Service

The killer unmanned railway track in BRS Nagar
The killer unmanned railway track in BRS Nagar, Ludhiana.— Photo by IV

Ludhiana, April 20
The accident involving a train and a vehicle killing one and injuring another at the unmanned railway crossing, joining BRS Nagar with Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar yesterday has once again brought to the fore the increasing number of accidents at the unmanned railway crossings.

While there seems to be no respite for the residents of these areas as there are a number of unmanned crossings at a distance of few metres only as the railways cannot provide so many gates in the line, the residents still demand some solution to the problem.

According to the residents of the area, the accidents at the same site happened very commonly. Till date more than 25 such accidents have been reported and numerous lives have also been lost. The residents have off and on demanded that the crossing should be manned as it acted as a way for the residents of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar.

But nothing has been done so far. According to them, many school buses carrying school children also cross the line during the day time besides other traffic. Even after many deaths occurring on this track the authorities have been paying no heed to the residents’ requests.

A resident of BRS Nagar said that since this area was transferred to the local Municipal Corporation, it was the duty of the MC authorities to make payments to the Railway authorities or make some other arrangements so that the precious lives were not lost. He said there was no speed breaker near the crossing so that the commuters became cautious before crossing the gate.

Similar problem is cited by the residents of Threeke village and Rajguru Nagar which are connected by an unmanned railway crossing only. One of the residents said that the area was better known as ‘boli dharti’ (deaf land) as due to some scientific reason the noise of approaching train could not be heard and the vehicles collided with the running train. The residents of the area have even named these crossings as ‘khooni phatak’ (killer tracks) as these took the lives of many innocent people.

Improvement Trust officials said that a proposal was mooted to set up a permanent manned railway crossing near Lodhi Club. They said that the matter was taken up with the railway authorities and the Improvement Trust was told to deposit an amount of Rs 1 lakh for the same which they did a year ago.

A railway official said that he did not know anything about the payment or the proposal as it came in the jurisdiction of Ferozepore division. The Railway officials said that it was very difficult for the department to construct a manned gate at every crossing as due to the growth in population of the city and the area of the city expanding beyond limits the flow of traffic at these roads had also increased manifold. But the Railways have agreed to construct a gate at Lodhi club crossing only. 



Daily review system for civic complaints
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 20
The municipal corporation has introduced a daily review system for speedy settlement of complaints regarding water supply, sewerage and sanitation in the city in a bid to bring about qualitative improvement in the delivery of services.

Stating this, the MC Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, said in a press note here today that residents should lodge complaints, if any, related to civic services at their respective zonal offices at the given phone numbers (Zone A-2740131, Zone B-5004392, Zone C-2545877, 2545878, Zone D-2452977). If the problems remained unattended for 24 hours, the affected residents could contact the Joint Commissioner (phone No. 2745776).

Mr Sharma said it had been observed that city residents had acquired the habit of not lodging formal complaints with the zonal or sub-zonal offices and more often than not, they rushed to the print and electronic media with their civic problems. He said the residents should register their complaints with the MC office concerned and intimate the complaint numbers to senior officials if the problems were not redressed.

Referring to the problem of water supply in Mohalla Fatehganj (Ward No 52) in the old city, he said there was a technical fault with the tubewell as the electric motor had fallen in the bore and the water supply was dislocated. While alternative arrangements for supply of potable water were made, the Superintending Engineer of the O and M wing had been directed to get the tubewell repaired and make it functional immediately.

Mr Sharma asked the city population to conserve water in view of massive increase in the demand due to rise in temperature and to desist from use of water for washing cars and watering the lawns. The residents were also told to keep an eye on rusty and leaking water pipes, and get these replaced or repaired without any delay.


Sahir Awards for 3 Pak Urdu scholars
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 20
The Adeeb International (Sahir Cultural Academy), a society for the promotion of arts, literature and culture, will organise its 32nd annual Jashn-e-Sahir celebrations at Panday Auditorium in Nehru Sidhant Kender Trust, Feroze Gandhi Market, here on Saturday. Besides presentation of the annual Sahir Awards to eminent writers and artistes, an “Indo-Pak Mushaira” will also be held in which a galaxy of Urdu poets from India and Pakistan will participate.

Dr Kewal Dheer, writer and general secretary of the society, in a press conference said “Jashn-e-Sahir-2004” was a mega event devoted to friendship between the two nations. A number of eminent poets, writers and journalists from Pakistan would take part in the celebrations after a gap of 25 years. He said it would be another milestone of friendship between the two countries, especially when confidence-building measures had been initiated by the two governments.

Dr Dheer said the Sahir Awards would be conferred on three distinguished literary personalities form Pakistan — Begum Bushra Rahman, Urdu novelist, senior journalist, poetess and member of the National Assembly of Pakistan; Ahmed Faraz, Urdu poet and chairman, National Book Foundation of Pakistan; and Gulzar Javed, editor of monthly literary magazine “Chahra-soo”.

Sahir Awards are presented in recognition of outstanding contribution to literature, promotion of bonds, peace and human dignity through writing. Dr Dheer described the three scholars as literary ambassadors of friendship and peace.

The awards contain a gold medallion and a citation. The award was instituted in 1978 and has been conferred on Sunil Dutt, Shabana Azmi, Shatrughan Sinha, Ramanand Sagar, Javed Akhtar, Qateel Shifai, Sant Singh Sekhon among others.

Dr Dheer said the Adeeb Peace Awards would be conferred on Mohin Bhopatli (Karachi), Shahid Wasti (Lahore), Zakia Ghazal (Karachi), Azhar Javed (Lahore), Qaiser Najafi (Karachi), and Saroor Ambalvi (Rawalpindi). These Urdu scholars would also participate in the “mushaira” to be held on Saturday. Bekal Utsahi, Rahat Indori, Sheen Kaf Nizam, Saghar Khayyamia, Malikzada Javed, Nashir Naqvi, Ana Dehlvi, Nigar Azim and Mehak Bharti will represent India at the “mushaira”.



Horse show at PAU on April 23, 24
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 20
Punjab Agricultural University will host the first Punjab Horse Show to be organised by the Punjab Equestrian Association in association with the local police on April 23 and 24.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Narinder Pal Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police, and Mr Naunihal Singh, SSP, Vigilance, Ludhiana, said around 200 participants, including young promising riders from Punjab Public School, Nabha, who are the national champions in the junior section, along with riders from Yadvindra Public School, Patiala, YPS Mohali, Punjab Police, PAP, Jalandhar, BSF and GRD Academy, Ludhiana, will be seen in action during this two-day show.

They said the organisers had also invited Nihangs to perform martial arts, tent pegging, show jumping, horse dance, etc which are an integral part of Punjabi culture. Besides competitions in 24 events, the spectators would witness “tonga” and cart races (track).

The main attraction of the two-day show would be the display of Indian breed and thorough bred horses. Some international riders from the Punjab Police like Sat Pal (DSP), Prabhjot Singh, Jaswinder Singh, Jagdish Singh, Talwinder Singh and Prabhsharan Singh will take part in regular events.

Dr A.A. Siddiqui, Director General of Police, Punjab, will inaugurate the show on Friday at 5 pm. However, the competition will start in the morning at 8.30 am. Mr Rajdeep Singh Gill, ADGP, Punjab and President, Punjab Equestrian Association, will preside over the inaugural function.




As if fellow human beings were not enough to disturb the sleep of peace-loving residents of the city, a monkey that has strayed into the city from somewhere has decided to make its presence felt. Consequentially, the residents of Lajpat Nagar on the Pakhowal road are not only a harassed lot, but are unable to find means that would redress their problem. The police have refused to act saying that it is not their job to deal with monkeys, while the local PFA has shown little sympathy for the residents. The monkey menace has been growing with the animal deciding to help itself with clothes and food of its liking from the houses of Lajpat Nagar residents.

Absurd & ridiculous

Inaction and overreaction remain the hallmark of Indian bureaucracy. The Election Commission of India probably illustrates best (read the worst) both these tendencies. Prior to Mr T.N. Seshan, not many people knew much about the powers and functions of the Chief Election Commissioner of India. After he set some daring precedents, those who followed him did not want to be seen as less powerful and less resourceful. Day in and day out, during the time of elections, it is the Election Commission that seems to run the government. Most ridiculous and absurd appears to be veiling the hoardings and banners along the national higway which showed the picture of the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It looks so shabby and awkward to look at these covered hoardings. One wonders to how a picture along the national higway could influence the voters. There are umpteen instances like that.

Indifferent voters

Going by the reaction of the city voters to the parliamentary elections, indifference is the only word that comes to mind. Political leaders are seen addressing small gatherings in one part of the city or the other, but what is most visible is that the majority of the people attending these public rallies are the same — perhaps workers of the candidate. The voters have shown a lot of indifference towards to electoral process, making it harder for the candidates. The candidates are only hoping that the people listen to the appeal of the President ,Mr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, and exercise their franchise.

Vajpayee ‘obliterated’

Thanks to the serious notice taken by the District Election Officer of Karnal and intervention by the Election Commission of India about the propaganda slogan printed on the computerised toll receipts that the staff at toll barriers on Ludhiana-Delhi National Highway at Doraha and Shambhu border have become more alert. As a measure to ward off the charges of violation of moral code of conduct for Lok Sabha elections, the name of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is now being obliterated with a marker pen from the printed receipts which bear the message ‘Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Dream Project — NHDP’. In the process, the motorists have to wait for a little more time.

Kind attention... traffic police

Ludhianvi vanity is too generic to leave any scope for specifications. Here there is a tendency among people to claim more than they possess. Be it a car, a house, attire or anything else, the denizens will always try to ensure that they remain one up against their rivals, be they their own friends or relatives. They may not like to admit the age or their vehicles. There are several cars in Ludhiana, which have only temporary registration numbers, which are supposed to be confirmed within one month. Only with the purpose that these keep on looking new as long as these can last. And not just that... some of these cars carry red lights on top, besides dark tinted glasses and hooters. Only if someone could take note of it.

‘Also ran’ category

With the process of filing of nomination papers for the parliamentary elections having started there are some interesting people who have jumped into the fray. Their’s is a classic example of ‘also ran’. There are some candidates who file nomination because of habit. However, with the security amount having been raised there are not many such candidates. But there are some who manage everything. There is a candidate from Bihar, who cannot even name the assembly segments in Ludhiana parliamentary constituency, but still claims to win the elections. But they add colour to an otherwise colourless campaign as they use novel ways to woo the voters.

Superstitious Ludhianvis

A rationalist group claiming to have embarked upon a mission to cleanse the superstition from the minds of people recently conducted a survey to find out as how many Ludhianvis have belief in astrology. To their surprise, more than 90 per cent of the people they interviewed told the group that although they had no belief in astrology, but they did not have disbelief either. Interestingly, most of the people interviewed were wearing stones which cost thousands of rupees. And these stones, they said, made “a lot of difference” to their lives. The rationalist group decided to dump the study and not make it public.

— Sentinel



Observers ask DC to get posters removed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
Taking a serious note of defacement of property done by the Lok Sabha candidates, election Observers today asked the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma to get the posters of various candidates removed with immediate effect.

Mr Sunil Soni and Mr Dalip Singh, who held a meeting with Mr Verma to review the arrangements regarding parliamentary elections here today, directed that in case of repeated violations, F.I.R. should be lodged in cases of defacement of public property.

The observers witnessed the posters of various candidates pasted in all parts of the city flouting the model code of conduct.

The overzealous campaigners of the candidates have not even spared the mini secretariat where numerous such posters are pasted.

The DC told the observers that the district had sufficient number of electronic voting machines.

Appointment of polling staff was being done as per the directions of Election Commission of India that 50% of the polling staff shall be from outside the district.

Mr Verma also told the Observers that he had banned the carrying of arms under Section 144 Cr.P.C. The police authorities have impounded about 300 firearms.



Aggarwals back Cong nominee
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 20
The Punjab Pradesh Aggarwal Sammelan, representing the Aggarwal community, has decided to support the Congress candidate from the Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat, Mr Manish Tiwari, and has called upon members of the community to cast their votes in favour of the Congress in the city and elsewhere.

Addressing a meeting of the sammelan here last evening, its president, Mr Amrit Lal Aggarwal, observed that the BJP had been pursuing a dual policy during its tenure at the Centre and the party was more keen to implement its hidden agenda under the pulls and pressures of bodies like the RSS, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Shiv Sena. ‘‘BJP leaders, including the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, raise sensitive and communal issues like the Ram temple in Ayodhya to rouse passions while others like Mr Lal Krishan Advani take out rath yatras at the time of elections to draw political mileage.’’

Mr Aggarwal wondered as to why the matter of the Ram temple was raised only during electioneering. "On the one hand, BJP leaders assert that they will abide by the verdict of the Supreme Court and on the other they vow that the temple will be constructed without fail. Such double talk during the election period is aimed at befooling the gullible masses,” he said, adding that “in the present political scenario, the Congress appears to be a better alternative and members of the Aggarwal community will do well to vote for the party which stands for better and accountable governance, stability, development of trade and industry and to provide more job opportunities.”

Elsewhere, speaking at an election meeting, organised by Mr Prem Kumar Singla at Dugri village, the Punjab Minister for Jails and Urban Development, Mr Malkiat Singh Beermi, while seeking support for the party nominee, Mr Manish Tiwari, lambasted the Shiromani Akali Dal and the BJP for promoting corruption, nepotism and favouritism during their rule in Punjab. He said a former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and his family members were said to have amassed assets worth Rs 4,500 crore whereas the BJP was directly responsible for provoking communal riots in Gujarat, Bihar and Orissa.

Addressing the meeting, Mr Manish Tiwari pooh-poohed the feel-good factor being propagated by the NDA. He said no common man was feeling good in the prevailing circumstances when more than 12 crore youth were still unemployed, prices of farm inputs and other essential commodities had gone up, unemployed persons, debt-ridden farmers and other poor people were committing suicides and the economy was in a shambles.

Prominent among others present at the meeting were the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, the block Congress president, Mr Gurmail Singh Pardesi, Mr Wassan Singh Goraya, Mr Sushil Malhotra, Mr Jasvir Singh Jassal, Mr Shiv Kumar Gupta, Ms Barjinder Kaur, Mr K.R. Tripathi, Mr Pritpal Singh Ghayal, Ms Veena Sobti, Ms Simmi Pashan, Mr B.K. Rampal and Mr Ravinder Sehgal.

Meanwhile, Congress candidate from Ludhiana parliamentary constituency, Mr Manish Tiwari, was accorded a warm welcome by the councillor and the workers of the Ward Number 4. The function was attended among others by the Minister of State for Jails, Mr Milkiat Singh Birmi, the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill and the councillor Mr Madan Lal Bagga, who is also the president of the Punjab Aarthiya Association, Ludhiana.

Addressing the meeting Mr Birmi appealed to the voters to ensure that Mr Tiwari wins by the largest margin. He said people were fed up with the National Democratic Alliance government which was rocked by so many scandals. He said, only the Congress could provide a better government. He pointed out that Mr Tiwari was an educated young leader who had a lot of exposure.

Mr Tiwari thanked Mr Bagga and other leaders for bestowing so much love and honour on him. He promised to come to the expectations of the people of the area. He urged the voters to give him a chance and see the results. He said only the Congress with a secular and democratic vision could guide the country to become an economic power.

Speaking on the occasion Mr Bagga assured all support from his ward and workers. He claimed that Mr Tiwari will win the seat by the largest margin in Punjab.

Also, a gathering of nomads and Scheduled Tribes representatives has decided to vote for the Congress since the Akalis and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have failed to honour their promises.

Rana Bawa Singh Sansi, chairman, All-India Tribes Dal, said representatives of the tribes of Sansi, Boria, Barrar, Bangala, Natts, Deb, and Cihara came from Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Chandigarh, Punjab and Rajasthan to participate in the delibrations. It was felt that the BSP did nothing for the unemployed youth of the community.

These tribes would not take the primary membership of the BSP, he said. Similarly, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Akalis also promised to redress their grievances, but nothing concrete had been done till date. Both parties had promised in writing to include these tribes in the Schedule Tribes list, but did not do so. 



SAD united, says gen secy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
The National Democratic Alliance will avenge its defeat in the last parliamentary elections by winning the Ludhiana seat with a record margin.
This was stated by SAD general secretary Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal while interacting with mediapersons here today. He said much water had flowed down the Sutlej since the Punjab Vidhan Sabha elections, which the Congress won.

The ruling regime was funded by a big industrial house of India and ran a campaign based on total lies in lieu of scrapping the Bathinda oil refinery. The Congress leadership sacrificed the interests of Punjab's industry and unemployed youth, who would have benefited by way of getting employment opportunities.

He said the Shiromani Akali Dal was united this time in Punjab as well as in Ludhiana. Some individuals and disgruntled elements making noises in the media did not count since they had no following.

Mr Grewal expressed the hope that Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon would lead in all Assembly segments—Jagraon, Dakha, Kila Raipur, Payal, Koomkalan, Ludhiana Rural, Ludhiana East, Ludhiana West and Ludhiana North, by huge margins.

He claimed that industry, trade, commerce and professionals associations were supporting the NDA candidate. 



3 file nomination papers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
Three candidates — Bobby, Abdul Shakoor Thind and Mohinder Lal — filed their nomination papers for the Ludhiana parliamentary seat today, whereas Karnail Singh filed his nomination papers for this seat yesterday, according to Deputy Commissioner-cum-Returning Officer Anurag Verma. Four candidates have so far filed their nomination papers.

He further said nomination papers could be filed between 11 am to 3 pm on any day (other than public holiday) up to April 23 at the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Mini Secretariat.

Nomination papers will be taken up for scrutiny at 11 am on April 24. Applications for withdrawal of candidature may be submitted at his office before 3 pm on April 26.



CM convenes meeting of pensioners
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh has called a deputation of state pensioners to discuss their problems at Chandigarh on May 20.
Mr B.R. Kaushal, president, Punjab State Pensioners’ Confederation, said representatives of the confederation had met the CM at Patiala yesterday. Mr Lal Singh, Finance Minister, was also present at the meeting. The pending demands of the pensioners based upon the Congress manifesto released on the Assembly poll and the Fourth Punjab Pay Panel recommendations were discussed.

The CM agreed to release 2 per cent instalment of dearness pay of the basic pension on the Central Government pattern, raising it from 59 per cent to 61 per cent which has become due from January 1 this year. He further agreed to issue the executive instructions on the enhancement of rates incurred on hearing-aids, specs, innocular lens etc. as has already been approved by the Punjab Council of Ministers in its meeting before the introduction of the code of Conduct. Regarding the merger of 50 per cent of DA/DP in the basic pay/pension effective from April 1 of the in-service employees/pensioners, the Chief Minister assured to get this issue examined and in case it is found that there is no violation of the Code of Conduct, that, too, would be released, as the Punjab Cabinet has already authorised him to take the decision in this regard. He said the Chief Minister then called them for a meeting on May 20 where he would negotiate the settlement of pending demands. Pensioners representatives expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the meeting and have resolved not to go ahead with the agitational approach as announced. The dharnas/rallies proposed for April 20 at Patiala, May 3 at Sunam and other places stand cancelled.



British distorted history: don
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 20
A function was organised at Kamla Lohtia College on Sunday to mark the birth anniversary of Baba Sahib Amte. The topic chosen for the discussion during the symposium was “Distortion in History”. It was presided over by Dr Pawan Kumar Singla, Head, Department of History, Modi College, Patiala. The function was organised by the Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Samiti and the chief guest was Ms Kamla Jain, Principal of DD Jain College.

In his address, Dr Singla said every nation wrote its history after getting independence, but India was the only country that continued to teach the history written by the Britishers. This history was written to suit their interests.

A major distortion in the history introduced by the Britishers is that it says that the Aryans had come basically from Central Asia. But on the basis of historical facts, it is not the true connotation of the word. Arya is not based on casteism but on good qualities. By giving wrong interpretation the Britishers tried to divide India on the basis of casteism. The need of the hour is to create a feeling of patriotism amongst the youth, he said.



4 mobile sets robbed from shop

Khanna, April 20
Two unidentified scooter-borne youths robbed four mobile sets, worth Rs 25,000, from a shop in Guru Teg Bahadar Market this afternoon. According to Jasbir Singh Tiwana, owner of Tiwana Mobile Center, a clean-shaven youth entered his shop around 1.30 pm. After looking at some goods in the shop, he asked for some mobile sets.

As soon as the shopkeeper placed four sets on the counter, the youth picked these up and took off. He fled on a cream-colour Bajaj scooter, which was being ridden by a Sikh youth. A case has been registered. — OC



Pradhan likely to be re-elected CICU chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
Mr Inderjit Singh Pradhan, president of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU), is likely to be re-elected unanimously after Mr Mohinderpal Jain, president of the Fastener Manufacturers Association of India, decided to withdraw from the contest after an appeal by a senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member, Lala Lajpat Rai.

Mr Pradhan has served as president of the CICU since 1992. Mr Jain had decided to challenge Mr Pradhan this time. Had Mr Jain remained in the fray, it would have led to a keen contest as he also enjoys a lot of support and influence among industrial circles.


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