L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Dowry victim on the brink of death
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
Unending greed of her in-laws for dowry has put a 30-year-old woman on the brink of death. She is fighting a nearly lost battle for survival at the local DMC Hospital.

Rajinder Kaur, a resident of Najibabad village in Uttar Pradesh, was married to a man of Rattan Nagar in Patiala in April 1988. On April 15, her in-laws, who had allegedly been demanding dowry from her, poured kerosene on her and set her ablaze. She was taken to a local hospital by her parents, whom she had called earlier on the phone.

Infection spread in her body and she was admitted to the Burn Intensive Care Unit at DMC, where she is now on a respirator. According to her relatives, the doctors have given up on her.

Her brother Happy alleges that Rajinder, who has a four-year-old son, was being harassed for dowry since the day of her marriage. Her family had paid Rs 1 lakh to Sarabjit Singh, her husband, who wanted to set up a medical store at Patiala. Happy alleges that her in-laws were demanding Rs 3 lakh and a car and she was beaten mercilessly.

On the night of April 15, she had given a call to her parents, complaining that she was being beaten. Listening to her tale, the parents reached Patiala, only to be told by the neighbours that she had received burn injuries. They took her to the hospital immediately.

Rajinder has given her statement to the Tehsildar-cum-Magistrate, Patiala, alleging that her mother-in-law and sister-in-law had poured kerosene on her and set her on fire. A case has been registered against her husband, Sarabjit Singh, father-in-law Amar Singh, mother-in-law Satpal Kaur and two sisters-in-law at a police station in Patiala. All accused have absconded.

Her brother says that the family is camping in a dharamshala as they have no relatives here.

“Now we are all waiting for her death. Doctors say she can die any moment. We can’t see her suffering any more. I wish I could have saved her, but I am helpless. I kept telling my parents to get her back home. But they were hoping that things would improve; and this is the result.” says her brother.


Marital disputes, domestic violence on the rise
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, April 28
Anita (not her real name), a 27 year-old girl from Ludhiana, who got married four months ago to a boy of her own choice, has left her husband’s house as she found her in-laws “interfering”.

She also blames her husband for showing his “true colours” after marriage. At present, she is being counselled by a city-based psychologist.

This is not an isolated case. Several city-based psychiatrists maintained that there was a rise in the number of cases of marital disputes and domestic violence in the city. The problem was prevalent in both rural and urban society. More awareness, higher education, women being more assertive about their rights were some of the major reasons due to which more and more such cases were being reported.

Dr Ravinder Kala, who works with Roshni, an NGO said in such cases, problems were on both sides. The husband, wife, in-laws and parents, were at fault. We are getting a number of such cases daily. Fortunately, a majority of the conflicts are resolved. But at times, the end comes with a divorce. Conflicts start where husbands are uneducated or less educated than girls, unemployed, drug-addicts, violent or in-laws are interfering or over demanding. Very few girls sit at home and blame their fate, while a majority of them come to us with their problems seeking advice or consultation”, said Dr Kala.

Dr Kala further stressed that such girls and families need thorough counselling. They should not be encouraged. They should be told that new relationships needed time to develop. “We are always there to help. But instead of being biased, we need to listen to both the sides patiently and draw conclusions after that. The parents should try to be non-interfering and should give ample time to their children to understand each other”, she said.

Ms Manju Mahendru, Reader in Psychology, feels that any kind of violence should not be tolerated by the girls. “But these days, girls, too, have become very short-tempered. They do not want to be dominated by anyone. This attitude should be changed. They need to get themselves adjusted to the new environment. Minor problems can be sorted out easily. They should demand liberty but to a certain extent”, stressed Ms Mahendru.

She stresses that the situation takes a serious turn where the husband is violent. “They physically or mentally torture their wives under the influence of parents, drugs or alcohol. Such situations are very difficult to handle. In such cases, we call husbands and in-laws for counselling sessions. And in serious cases, help from police is also taken”, said Ms Mahendru.


KVM Principal to resign on May 1
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 28
Alleging tremendous pressure on her by the management for admission of some students, Ms Neena Khanna, Principal, Kundan Vidya Mandir, today said that she would resign on May 1.

The Principal said she was being told to admit a few students who otherwise did not perform well in the interviews. She said since she could not bear injustice being meted out to other deserving candidates, she decided that she must resign. She said she had already conveyed the message to all members of the school management.

Not only Ms Khanna, Mr Prem Aggarwal, manager of the school, has also been replaced by Ms Inderjeet Gill Vashisht, former Principal of Government College for Women, some time ago.

The decision in this regard is said to have been taken in view of the ill-health of Mr Aggarwal for the past few months.

Lala Lajpat Rai, president of the management, was not available for comments. Ms Inderjit Gill Vashisht, when contacted, said that she had not received any communication from the Principal. Pertaining to allegations of being pressurised, she said it had never happened. She said that she or any other member of the management had never tried to put pressure.

Dr Lajpat Rai, treasurer, also said that he had not been conveyed any decision pertaining to resignation by Ms Khanna. He too denied any allegations of pressurising the Principal to admit any student.


Pbi varsity to hold joint MBA, MCA test
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, April 28
There is a good news for the MBA and MCA aspirants from Punjab. The students will no longer have to appear for independent entrance tests of the state universities. Instead, a common test will be conducted by Punjabi University, the exact date of which is yet to be decided.

This was stated by Mr K.K. Bhatnagar, Principal Secretary, Technical Education and Industrial Training, Punjab, during his visit to the city today. He was invited as the chief guest during the sixth annual prize distribution function organised by Satguru Ram Singh Government Polytechnic for Women, Rishi Nagar.

Mr Bhatnagar said earlier Punjab Technical University, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar and Punjabi University, Patiala were conducting independent tests for admission to MBA in the affiliated colleges. But this year a common entrance test will be conducted by Punjabi University. He said Punjabi University would conduct the entrance test for two consecutive years while Guru Nanak Dev University will hold the test for the next two years.

Mr Bhatnagar said decision in this regard had been taken as the department had received several letters from the students pointing out that a common test should be conducted for them. The students had complained that in the present circumstances they were being forced to waste their money, time and effort to appear for different tests. He said students would no longer have to buy separate admission forms and appear for three entrance tests at three different places.

The Principal Secretary said for the next four years Punjab Technical University was not being given a chance to hold the test as it was being felt that the university was already burdened with the task of conducting entrance test for engineering courses. He said since PTU was just five years old, in another four years it would get sufficient experience of conducting the tests.

The joint test will cover only three universities of Punjab. All those aspiring to take admission to MBA in Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, will have to appear for Management Aptitude Test (MAT) to be conducted by the All- India Management Association (AIMA) to be held on May 2. Besides, those interested in taking admission to Panjab University, Chandigarh, will have to appear for the Combined Entrance Test (CAT).

Talking about the recent decision of the state government to privatise all ITIs and polytechnic institutes, Mr Bhatnagar said only 10 ITIs of the state that have a building but were yet to appoint a staff, will be privatised. He said the rest of the ITIs and polytechnic institutes would continue to function as it is as the staff in such institutes was not willing to work under private sector.

Mr Bhatnagar said to regulate the fee structure of all medical and engineering colleges of the state, a committee to be headed by a retired judge, Mr G.R. Majithia, had been set up. The committee would work to check the fee structure of the colleges and ensure that exorbitant fee was not charged by the colleges.


Patient’s purse stolen from Civil Hospital
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
Quite a stir was created in the Civil Hospital here around midnight when a woman patient forcibly frisked other patients and their relatives claiming that her purse containing cash and valuables had been stolen.

The woman, a patient in gastroenterology ward, claimed that her purse that contained two gold rings, a mobile phone and Rs 800, that was lying near her bed had been stolen.

The patients alerted the authorities who in turn called cops from the Division No. 2 police station. The policeman had a tough time convincing the woman who insisted on checking all patients and their luggage.

Ultimately, all bags were checked but the purse was not found. The police had not registered a complaint in this regard till evening as the woman was yet to make an official complaint to the police.


Lookalikes of celebrities big draw in campaigning
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
Celebrities may be eluding the campaign arena in this parliamentary constituency but there are some celebrity lookalikes who have taken the centrestage of the campaign.

Mr Jeevan Sharma, a Varinder Sehwag ‘clone’, who originally hails from the city, has come back all the way from Mumbai to help Congress nominee Manish Tewari. The excitement and response of the voters in and around Ludhiana has forced other candidates to think of methods to match the Congress campaign.

Villages like Asi Khurd, Mehmasnghwaa and Kila Raipur were the main targets of Jeevan Sharma as these villages are strong Akali Strong Holds. Young and old alike vied with each other to have a picture clicked with the ‘duplicate Sehwag’. Those aware about the recent marriage of Sehwag asked about the whereabouts of his ‘new wife’, while children lined up for his autographs. Many wanted him to put his signatures onto the party flags he distributed among children, while promising him that they will ask their parents to vote for the Congress.

Earlier in the day the Congress nominee held a meeting with professionals from Ludhiana — professors, doctors, architects, etc that included Mr M.P. Singh, Mr B.P. Gaur, Principal (retd.) Government College, Mr Balkar Singh Councillor, Mr Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Dr Jai Parkash Sharma, Mr Balvindar Goel, president District Bar Association, Dr Bassi, renowned surgeon, Mr Ravi Kant (CA), and Prof Satish Sharma. They put forward the problems being faced by various professionals that Mr Tewari said he would try to get redressed if voted to power.

On this occasion Mr Malkit Singh Birmi, Jail and Social Welfare Minister, Mr Harnam Dass Johar, Higher Education Minister, and Ludhiana Municipal Corporation Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill elicited support for Mr. Tewari.

All the professionals who addressed the meeting assured Mr Tewari of their full support. Sitting MP from Ludhiana, Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, in his address has announced that there was no infighting in the Ludhiana congress and both he and Mr Manish Tewari were disciplined soldiers of the Indian National Congress performing the task assigned to them by the party high command.

On this occasion Mr Tewari, addressing the gathering, said that he believed in clean politics and was making an all out effort to abide by the election code.


SAD-BJP councillors challenge Mayor’s
claim of support to Tiwari

Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 28
More than 12 councillors belonging to the SAD and the BJP here have joined issue with the City Mayor Mr Nahar Singh Gill, challenging his claim that all 70 councillors in the city were working for the success of Congress candidate Manish Tiwari.

Addressing a press conference after a meeting of the councillors and other senior functionaries of the combine here today, the group leaders of the party councillors Mr Harbhajan Singh Dang (SAD) and Mr Parveen Bansal (BJP) said the Mayor was trying to draw political mileage through misuse of his position, which ought to be above party politics. The SAD-BJP councillors asserted that Mr Gill, belonging to the Congress, had every right to work for the party candidate, but at the same time, he should not deny the same right to councillors from opposition parties.

The district president of SAD, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, who was also present on the occasion, observed that the Mayor had shown political immaturity by his unfounded claim just in order to impress the Congress nominee Mr Manish Tiwari, and to please his party leaders. “The fact is that Mr Gill has been neglecting his real duty towards the development of the city and improvement in the delivery of civic services to pursue his political ambitions for the past more than two months.

Among others Mr Hakam Singh Giapsura, Mr Bhairaj Singh, Mr Jaswinder Singh Bhola, Mr Amarjit Singh, Mr Surinder Sharma, Mr Gurdip Singh Neetu, all councillors, attended the meeting.

Meanwhile, senior BJP leader and former Deputy Speaker of Punjab Assembly Sat Pal Gosain went on a door-to-door campaign in the Shivaji Nagar area in Ludhiana East Assembly segment in support of the alliance nominee Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon. Addressing a series of meetings, he described the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, as a political giant, who had an open and clear mind and strong moral values.

The BJP district president, along with other party activists Mr Sat Pal Saggar, president, BJP East Mandal, and Mr Ashok Solanki, president of Ward No 53, maintained in a statement that sensing its defeat in the coming Lok Sabha polls, the Congress was resorting to falsehood and gimmicks to misguide the people. Referring to a function organised at the residence of the Punjab Minister for Higher Education, Mr Harnam Das Johar, in which certain residents of Islam Ganj locality, described as BJP workers, had joined the Congress party, they claimed that the said persons had nothing to do with the BJP, nor were they primary members of the party.

Reacting to the Opposition propaganda that the Congress government had done precious little to improve the lot of farmers, the former director of Housefed, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, blamed the Akali Dal leadership for exploiting the farmers and ignoring them during the five years of SAD-BJP rule in Punjab. He said on the contrary, the Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, had sat on a dharna in Delhi to plead the case of the farmers.

Mr Bawa said the very fact that the SAD still had a representative in the central Cabinet in Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa while the farmers were being given a raw deal negated the claim of the Akali leadership of championing the cause of farmers.

Elsewhere, the independent candidate, Dr Satnam Singh carried out his election campaign in several villages on the periphery of the city, claiming that he had received an encouraging response from the voters. He further maintained that several bodies like Baba Namdev Sewak Society and Shiromani Bhagat Namdev Samaj Vikas Board were extending support to him.


Tiwari alleges excesses by admn
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 28
The Congress candidate for the Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat, Mr Manish Tiwari, has charged the local administrative machinery with committing excesses and over-reacting to minor violations during the election campaign. He said he was made to waste time in making representations.

In a written communication to the Election Observer, copies of which have also been sent to the District Election Officer and the Election Commission, Mr Ajay Tiwari, election officer in charge of the Congress nominee, has alleged that some bus shelters erected by the Municipal Corporation were rented out to put up banners, each of which cost about Rs 6000.

However, the banners, put up at Fountain Chowk and the Jagraon bridge, were removed by the administration without bothering to ascertain the real position from the Congress candidate, he alleged.

Mr Tiwari complained that during the past two days, the police and transport authorities had impounded a number of scooters of party supporters, besides three- wheelers, deployed for election propaganda on the ground that they did not have the permit to put up a flag atop their vehicles.


Intense campaigning by candidates
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
With the countdown for the elections having begun, the candidates in Ludhiana Parliamentary constituency have intensified campaigning. Several top leaders of the Congress and the BJP are expected to visit here as the campaigning enters its final phase.

All three main contenders for the seat, Mr Munish Tiwari of the Congress, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon of the SAD-BJP alliance and Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia of the Lok Bhalai Party have intensified their campaigns.

It was Mr Ramoowalia who took the lead in launching his election campaign. He had announced much before the elections that he would be contesting from Ludhiana Parliamentary constituency. It is his spadework during that period which is paying him dividends at least in terms of the turnout at his rallies and public meetings.

Moreover, the sensitive issue of the girls deserted by NRI grooms is finding so many listeners. But now he seems to be going for the kill. He begins his day early in the morning and ends it late in the night moving from place to place to ensure maximum contact with as many people as possible.

Mr Tiwari of the Congress was last to join the campaign as it took sometime for the Congress to finalise its candidate for Ludhiana. But Mr Tiwari seems to have made up the delay. Besides, the strong network of the Congress workers in the rural and urban areas is standing him in good stead. Moreover, during his tenure as the president of the Indian Youth Congress he has enrolled lot of workers in the area.

Supported by a strong network of the workers he has already gathered the much needed momentum. Moreover, the results of the exit polls, which show the Congress performing far better than expected has added to his confidence. He claims himself to be on a strong wicket. He hopes that some senior Congress leaders will visit the city in the first week of May.

The Akali-BJP alliance candidate, Mr Dhillon too is not leaving anything to chance. He tries to handle each and everything himself and work out the minute details himself. He is expecting some senior BJP leaders would come to Ludhiana. The results of the exit polls do not seem to bother him much, but these have definitely made him meticulous.

With the alarm bells ringing in the BJP camp, the party workers are now learnt to be actively participating in Mr Dhillon’s campaign. It is learnt that with the exit poll results showing poor performance of the BJP allies, party workers have been asked to work full time for the victory of the alliance partners.


The caste factor will play a crucial role
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
It is no longer Vajpayee versus Sonia here. The two exit polls predicting a “not so feel good” situation have once again brought the attention of the voters in this parliamentary constituency to local issues and candidates’ profiles. The election campaign that began with the Vajpayee factor eclipsing traditional election issues like caste, problems of roads, water, electricity, etc, is now moving towards personal contact and ability of each candidate to deliver. Every candidate is now using his own charms to mesmerise the voter, making the contest keenly contested.

With the focus moving away from national politics, factors that were being mentioned in whispers have become loud with the voters expecting each candidate to make their stand clear on the subject. With the absence of any celebrity in the fray or during campaigning, the election remains dull and lacklustre. The microscopic scrutiny of the poll process by the election observers has only yielded united protests from rival candidates, besides further dampening the hullabaloo.

The Lok Bhalai Party President and two times Union Minister, Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, has resorted to exploiting his personal contacts and is seeking votes on the basis of work he has done for the people over the last two years. His campaign is spearheaded by Punjabi pop sensation, Harbhajan Mann, and the crowds the two pull are becoming uncomfortable for the rivals. Highlighting issues such as “exploitation of women by NRI grooms” and educating women about their rights have helped Mr Ramoowalia make a sizeable dent in the vote bank. However, it remains to be seen whether Ramoowalia, the crowd puller, can manage to turn the heads that gather to listen to him into votes.

The caste factor will play its role in both the rural and urban segments. In the rural areas, Mr Ramoowalia and the Akali Dal nominee, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, being Jat Sikhs will garner support from this community. But on the other hand in the city the Congress nominee, Mr Manish Tewari, is hoping to cash on the sentiment that a Hindu has been awarded a ticket from this constituency after a gap of 20 years. The last Hindu candidate to contest elections from here on the ticket of a national party was Mr Joginder Pal Pandey of the Congress.

Militancy in Punjab during the 1980’s still casts its shadow here. While the Congress candidate is seen as a victim of militancy (his father Dr. V.N Tewari, a Rajya Sabha M.P was gunned down by militants) that earns him a lot of Hindu sympathy, the Akali candidate is bearing the brunt due to the close proximity of his family members to the police during the days of terrorism. This reported closeness of Mr Dhillon’s family with the police during the days of terrorism is being exploited by his opponents.

The ruling party nominee will benefit from the quick procurement of wheat from the farmers and almost instant disbursement of money for the produce. But it is yet to be seen how many votes the Congress is able to get from the rural segments of Kila Raipur, Dakha, Kum Kalan, Jagraon, etc which will be heavily contested between the Akalis and Mr Ramoowalia.

In the city the rising prices of steel is an important issue that has affected most of the industry. Some other factors that are likely to influence the voters mind are the commitment of the candidates towards reducing environmental pollution, cleaning up of the Buddha nullah, stand on abolition of octroi, regularisation of unauthorised colonies, etc. In the trading community, the issue of improved relations with Pakistan and a subsequent boost in the economy of the region is also a factor that will play an important role in this poll.


Trouble-torn industry put off by politicians
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, April 28
Industrialists of this city are indifferent to the election campaign. They are sore over political parties not having shown any sympathy with the industry suffering from the continuous rise in steel prices and labour hassles. They express disillusionment with all three major parties, the Congress, BJP and the SAD.

Mr Inderjit Singh Pradhan, president, and Mr Avtar Singh, general secretary of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, maintain that industries suffered during SAD-BJP rule as well as under the Congress government.

The SAD-BJP government made several promises during its tenure but did not fulfil any, they say. Similarly, the Congress government during the past two years has not done anything. The Chief Minister fixed meetings with the industry and then cancelled those, they complain. In fact, the Congress ignited labour trouble in the cycle industry and some other units in September last year, the industry representatives allege.

Both the Central and state governments, they allege, have failed to effectively handle the labour problems. The Punjab Government has the responsibility of maintaining industrial peace in the city, while the Centre has failed to check the rise in steel prices, which is crippling the small-scale industry, he says.

Mr Pradhan and Mr Avtar Singh said a meeting of the industrial association is being convened to discuss the situation and take a decision regarding the Lok Sabha elections in Punjab.

Mr V.P. Chopra, president of the Federation of Small Industries Associations, Punjab, also said the industry was indifferent to the elections because the state government had not done its duty. Mr Chopra said the Centre had taken steps for the welfare of the small-scale sector but had miserably failed to check the “loot of steel producers.”

Mr P.D. Sharma, president of the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was of the view the political parties had never thought of putting up good and competent persons who could look after the interests of the industry and trade. Parties were putting up lightweight candidates or outsiders who only looked after their bosses or selfish interests and never bothered about the interest of the trade and industry.

Mr S.K. Rai, Managing Director (Marketing), Hero Cycles, said they had raised the wages of the workers by Rs 600 to 1000 per month as a gesture of goodwill. Despite that, they were being instigated to go on strike, he added. Workers had struck work in four allied units of the Hero group. Besides, there was also trouble in about a dozen other units in this town, he said.


BKU attacks Cong for ‘anti-farmer’ policies
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 28
The Bharti Kisan Union (BKU), alleging that the Congress government in Punjab has been pursuing anti-farmer policies, has said that the party would have to pay the price for this in the coming elections.

In a statement here today, BKU president Ajmer Singh Lakhowal and general secretary Manjit Singh Kadian lamented that as a result of non-payment of sugarcane arrears and denial of the announced bonus for paddy, farmers were feeling frustrated.

The government was using repressive measures to suppress the voice of the farming community.

They said the government plea of the model code of conduct for elections coming in the way of the payment of sugarcane arrears was only delaying tactics. Sugarcane growers were finding it difficult to sow the next crop as a result of their bad financial condition.


No liking for books in the city
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, April 28
‘Reading maketh a perfect man’, said Francis Bacon, a writer of great repute. But that was in the 17th century. In the 21st century books are not everyone’s cup of tea. Rather in the industrial city of Ludhiana where people are engaged in a rat race and instant success, books have not much relevance.

First of all there are several book stores in Ludhiana but there is not much demand of books. The best sellers are also not available. Like Ms Neeru wanted to purchase ‘Eats, Shoots, & Leaves’ by Lynn Truss, a book which tells about the correct usage of prepositions, articles etc and is on the list of top selling books. It is not available in the city. The booksellers tell Neeru that since such books are not in demand, they do not order it. “Yes! You can get the book from Chandigarh,” they say, helpfully. Moreover, there are only a handful of libraries.

A book coffee shop is popular, but there is only one of its kind where readers can browse over books while drinking coffee. Even in schools, they have to make compulsory library periods to entice young readers. Prizes are given to the students who read the maximum books. Students Navneet and Rajesh of a convent school say?” Till we were in class V, we loved reading comics, and other story books. But now when we have to appear for board examinations, we do not have any time to read. As soon as we come from school , we have to go for different tuitions and then where is the time left for reading? Who is going to do our homework?”

Mr Balwan of Lyall Book Depot says that people are getting interested in non-fiction books like Shiv Khera’s ‘You can Win’, ‘Power of Positive Thinking’ etc as these books are marketed more aggressively. A few readers buy fiction too but since they are expensive , it also deters the readers.

But fun loving youngsters of the city say: “Who has got the time to read long novels. It would also mean that we have to be confined to our houses for long periods. Life is too short to be wasted on reading printed pages when so much is happening outside. Anyways, the bestsellers are generally made into movies. So we can watch them and there is no need to read them. The novelists are growing dime a dozen as authors are getting a lot of money. How can we keep tab on all the books?”

The saddest part is that the teachers also do not read books these days. The Principal of one popular school says that she has to maintain a register to check which teachers visit and get issued the books while other one says that she constantly has to remind the teachers to spend free time in the library to update the knowledge.

Ms Brar, a teacher, says that she always encouraged her children to give books as gifts on birthdays but sadly the gifts were never appreciated. Their friends said that clothes and other articles were better birthday gifts. She says,” People will make mansions with all kinds of rooms, including a ‘sauna room,’ but they fail to make a study room where a library could be maintained and reading can be encouraged. If the books are purchased , they are just mere fronts. Neither the parents nor their children are interested in reading. It is indeed sad when the milieu is not in touch with literature.”


Govt urged to declare holiday on May 1
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
The state unit of the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (labour and employment wing) have urged the government to declare a holiday on International Labour Day on May 1.

Mr Balwant Rai Kapoor, president, INTUC, and National Organisation of Government Employees (NOGE) general secretary Dr Shiv Gupta and Indian National Bank Employees Congress (INBEC) president K.R. Tripathi, said they had appealed to Union Labour Minister Sahib Singh Verma, Union Finance Minister Jaswant Singh and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to declare a national holiday on the occasion of International Labour Day which is celebrated throughout the world to pay homage to the labour leaders who had sacrificed their lives for the unity and integrity of the labour movement in Chicago.

The leaders further appealed to the Central Government to declare a holiday under the Negotiable Instruments Act, Factories Act, so that all the private factories labourers, workers, govt employees, banks and financial institution employees could observe the day.


Call for support to gurdwara corridor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
In a move to persuade politicians to take up the issue of the construction of a Kartarpur corridor to link Dera Baba Nanak with Gurdwara Dera Sahib in Pakistan, the Sangat Langha Kartapur, an organisation working for such a corridor, has appealed to the voters in this constituency to vote only for the candidate who declares open support for the project.

The chief sewadar of the organisation, Principal Harjinder Singh Randhawa, has issued an appeal saying since the politicians are not willing to come out openly in support of the corridor, the voters must take the opportunity to get the candidates in the fray to commit themselves to taking up the issue in Parliament. Leaders have not shown interest despite the fact that nearly 10 lakh Indians visit Dera Baba Nanak to have a glimpse of the gurdwara from a distance. It was during Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Lahore visit in 2000 that Pakistan offered to build a 2 km corridor to enable Indians to visit Gurdwara Dera Sahib without a visa or passport, he points out.

Dera Baba Nanak, the appeal says, is sacred to all religions as three shrines of Guru Nanak exit in the form of an Islamic grave, a Hindu samadh and the Sikhs’ angitha. Nowhere else in the world three shrines of a single person coexist.

Saying that the shrine is universal and does not belong to any one community, Mr Randhawa recalls even Sir Ceril Radcliffe could not divide Kartarpur. When he drew the line between India and Pakistan in 1947, the declaration gave the entire Gurdaspur district to Pakistan, but the plan fell threw and the re-division put Kartarpur on the border.


Readers write
Water problem continues

CITY Mayor Nahar Singh Gill may be right, to an extent, in terming the protests against water scarcity in Ward-22 as politically motivated (news item in Ludhiana Tribune of 9-4-2004) but he cannot deny the fact that water problem exists.

Even in the government developed colonies there is water scarcity which refutes the false claims of 100 percent drinking water supply in the notified area of the city. Closing eyes to the realities on the ground situation and believing blindly in the false claims of the administration is not going to help either politicians like the Mayor or the public at large.

For example the drinking water problem in government developed colony of Dugri Urban Estate-II continues and the people living on the Ist and II nd floor of the HIG flats have been suffering ever since the Congress took over. All complaints lodged with the water works staff of the corporation posted in Dugri have not been attended to till date.

In case of electricity failure in the area, which is quite frequent these days, the condition of water supply becomes more acute because the generating sets kept for running the tubewells do not function due to want of diesel, which the staff claims, is never supplied to them. They claim this was being done on the instructions of the Municipal Commissioner in the name of economy. Unless the present day politicians and the administration check the realities on the ground nothing will improve and the public will keep suffering.

Will the Mayor care to check the correctness of the complaint made as above by visiting the HIG flats, Dugri, Phase-II and see for himself the sample of the quality drinking water.

Major S.S. Khosla

Exemplary courage

Apropos the news item appearing in the Ludhiana Tribune on January 1 regarding the refusal of a girl to marry a greedy groom and his family. This is the most appropriate action under the given circumstances. Is it a sin to be the father of a girl ? Perhaps this is the reason behind the blind desire to have a son. One hopes to get a hefty dowry at the time of a son’s marriage. A girl child becomes unwanted at birth. This has led to skewed birth ratio.

In our region, this falling ratio has assumed alarming proportions. In fact these dowry seekers are responsible for this sorry state of affairs. The girl, Ramandeep Kaur, has shown these persons their right place by returning the marriage party without bride.

Anil Sharma


Body of murdered boy found
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 28
The body of Deepak Kumar (16), who had been missing since April 21 was found in a room on a vacant plot in Krishana Colony on the Rahon Road on Monday. The boy had apparently been murdered and his body found hanging from the ceiling.

The father of the deceased, Mr. Surinder Pal, who lives in Street 6 of Chander Lok Colony on the Rahon Road, told the police that his son was working in a motor workshop located near the Jalandhar bypass and had been missing since Tuesday last week. The body was sent to the Civil Hospital for an autopsy. The Jodhewal police has registered a case under Section 302 of the IPC and started investigations.

Dowry demand alleged

Division number 2 police on Monday registered a case under Sections 406 and 498-A and 120-B of the IPC on the statement of Ms Jaswinder Kaur, who lives in kucha number 12 of Field Ganj, against her husband Gurmeet Singh, father-in-law Ujagar Singh, mother-in-law Tej Kaur, and others, namely, Satpal Singh, Balwant Singh, Manjit Kaur, Harjit Kaur and Kulwant Kaur, residents of Kishore Nagar on the Tajpur Road.

The woman had alleged that after her marriage in 1999, the accused had been harassing her and demanding more dowry. No arrest has been made so far.

Fraud alleged

The Model Town police has registered a case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC on the statement of Mr Rupinder Singh, a resident of Hardasspur village, against Ajit Singh, Ravinder Singh Mohinder Jit Singh, Indra Devi, Dwarka Dass, Kasturi Ram, Davinder Kumar and the ‘patwari’ of the area.

The complainant had stated that the accused conspired to get possession of his plot in Kartar Nagar by preparing forged documents. No arrest has been made so far.

Rape alleged

On the statement of Ms Aarti Rani, a resident of Sat Kartar Colony on the Tibba Road , Division number 7 police registered a case under Sections 376,328,323,506 and 120-B of the IPC against Sanjay, his brother Ram Parkash and his sister-in-law who live in street number 2 of Puneet Nagar on the Tajpur Road.

The girl had stated that the accused called her to the house of his brother on some pretext where the wife of his brother Ram Parkash gave her some intoxicant mixed in tea. After taking the laced tea, she fell unconscious after which Sanjay raped her. The accused blackmailed her on the basis of obscene pictures and continued to rape her for some days before she decided to disclose the matter to a relative who informed the police. The accused are absconding.

Old couple looted

The Jodhewal police on Monday registered a case under Sections 420,454 and 380 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Muni Lal, who lives on the main road at Sundar Nagar, against four unknown persons.

The complainant had stated that the accused entered his house posing as Income Tax officers when he and his wife were at home along with a servant on Sunday . The intruders hit the servant in the head and looted the house at sword-point. The intruders took away Rs 60,000 and gold ornaments weighing 700 gm.

Cases of assault

Division number 2 police on Monday registered a case under Sections 323,341,148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Kuldeep Kumar, who lives in Jammu Colony, against Lally, Annu, Rajesh, Sammy and three other unknown persons accompanying them. The complainant had stated that the accused stopped him near the CMC Hospital on April 22 and beat him up as a result of which he was injured. No arrest has been made so far.

The Civil Lines police registered a case under Sections 341, 323, 506 and 356 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Bhag Singh, a resident of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar on the Dhandra Road, against Amandeep Singh, Harvinder Singh, Avtar Singh, Sukhdev Singh, Golu, Balwinder Singh, and Harjas Singh, all residents of Vishal Nagar.

The complainant had stated that when he, along with Sanjiv Kumar and Shingara Singh of Rattowal village , came to the new courts in connection with a hearing on Monday , the accused stopped him and beat him up. The accused also snatched Rs 4000, a gold chain and a mobile phone from him before running away, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

The Sadar police registered a case under Sections 341, 323, 506, 294 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr. Harnek Singh, a resident of Gill village, against Sunny, Honey and Mukhtiar Singh, residents of the same village.

The complainant had stated that the accused had stopped his servant, abused him and beaten him up. The accused also threatened the servant, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

The Haibowal police on Monday registered a case under Sections 379, 427, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr. Gorakh Goyal, who lives on the Mall Road, against Ravinder Singh, Balbir Singh, Gurjit Singh, residents of Partap Singh Wala village and six other unknown persons accompanying them.

The complainant had stated that the accused had forcibly entered his plot in Partap Singh Wala on February 17 by demolishing the wall and beat up the workers working there. The accused also dismantled the electricity board in the plot an took it away with them, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.


Satta operator arrested
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 28
The local police arrested a satta operator and seized a few slips and Rs 190 in cash last night.

A police party arrested the person in Dalip Singh Nagar under suspicious circumstances. Some slips allegedly with satta numbers on them and cash were seized from him. A case has been registered at the city police station.


ASI booked on graft charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
An Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police has been booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly taking bribe from a wheat floor trader .

The case was registered today on the complaint of Bittu, who runs a flour mill near Dholewal.

The case was registered on the orders of the city SSP, Narinderpal Singh.


Agro-industry can boost economy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
Agriculture, banking and industry experts today stressed the need for promoting agriculture-based industries in Punjab. They said agro-industry was best suited to Punjab conditions and it could transform the economy of the state.

Speaking at a seminar, Punjab Agricultural University Vice-Chancellor K. S. Aulakh, Punjab National Bank General Manager U. S. Bhargava, president of the Ludhiana Management Association Mahesh Munjal and general secretary of the association V. K. Goyal stressed that under the present conditions, agro-industry was the need of the hour.

Dr Aulakh said the standard and quality of agro-products needed improvement. Combining the interests of farmers and industrialists would lead to a win-win situation and improve the economy of the state.

Mr Bhargava said PNB had made an effort to put together experts associated with the food-processing industry to promote the setting-up of such industries. Mr Munjal observed that in view of globalisation and competition, coupled with challenges of recession, diversification was the need of the hour. Mr Goyal emphasised the need for organising such seminars and creating awareness among various sections related to the industry.


Stan Autos tops in customer satisfaction index

Ludhiana, April 28
Stan Autos, Ludhiana has topped in the countrywide ratings in the customer-satisfaction index (CSI) survey conducted among Maruti dealers by the JD Power Survey. Stan Autos tops among the 45 leading dealers in the country in the CSI.

Against the 768 average points of Maruti as a whole, Stan Autos has scored more than 830 points. In fact it has topped in all other individual services like service initiation, service adviser, in-service experience, service delivery, service quality, user friendly service and the problems experienced. TNS

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