L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Five hurt in fire as crackers go off
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
A city-based family’s preparations of opening a beauty parlour in Street 11, Field Gunj, here went wrong when a short-circuit triggered accidental bursting of firecrackers stored by the shop owner and left five members of the family with burn injuries.

The family of Mr Kishan Lal, a printing press owner, had hired the shop from Tony, who used to sell fire-crackers and had stored these in the shop. The family members led by Mr Kishan Lal’s mother Sarla had hired the shop to open a beauty parlour and were renovating it. The beauty parlour was scheduled to be inaugurated tomorrow.

At about 11:20 a.m. some sparks caused by a short-circuit fell on bags lying on the floor in which firecrackers were stored, causing a loud explosion. The shop was engulfed in fire and Sarla, her sons Deepak (20) and Raj Kumar (35) and daughters Meenu (22) and Seema (25) suffered over 60 per cent burn injuries before being rescued by residents and firefighters.

The injured were under treatment at the Civil Hospital here and the condition of Raj Kumar was critical. Though the street in which the shop was located was a narrow one, firefighters managed to extinguish the flames, which threatened to engulf the neighbouring houses, most of which were owned by businessmen selling fire crackers.

The incident could have become a major fire tragedy if the flames were not extinguished in time. Later, the police recovered a huge quantity of firecrackers, most of which were large and banned for sale. The owner, Tony, fled from his house and was absconding.

Apart from senior police officials, Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma and SDM Prem Chand rushed to the scene and later visited the hospital. A large crowd gathered at the hospital, with people demanding action against Tony. A number of political leaders rushed to the hospital and enquired about the health of the injured.

Mr Verma ordered the registration of a case against Tony. He issued a warning to the public that nobody was allowed to store explosives without prior permission.

In a press note, Mr Verma said he had directed the Civil Surgeon to provide free medical treatment to the injured and a grant of Rs 11,000 each. He appealed to the residents to complain about the storage of such explosives so that such incidents could be averted in the future.



DIG’s naib reader booked on corruption charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
A couple of days after the Ludhiana Range DIG ordered the registration of a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act against three Jagraon police district officials, the Jagraon police today registered a corruption case against a naib reader of the DIG.

Head Constable Varinder Kumar, posted as naib reader with DIG Dinkar Gupta, was booked under various sections for allegedly taking money from complainant Uday Singh. The accused had threatened to book the complainant in a case of immoral trafficking.

The DIG ordered the suspension of the accused this afternoon. He was yet to be arrested. Sources said he had not been attending office for the past few days.

The Jagraon police and the DIG office denied that there was a tussle between the two. Mr Gupta said the case was registered in routine and he was informed by the Jagraon police. Mr H.S. Bhullar, SSP, Jagraon, and son of former DGP M.S. Bhullar, said not much should be read into both cases.

The inquiry into the corruption case against the naib reader was being conducted by the CIA wing of the Jagraon police for the past couple of weeks. CIA in charge Mukhwinder Singh was one of the three police officials booked in another corruption case on orders of the DIG.

It was alleged in the FIR by Uday Singh that the accused and other persons conspired to loot him by implicating him in a case of immoral trafficking.

He claimed that early this month, he was travelling in a car to Jagraon from Ludhiana and offered lift to a woman who pleaded some emergency. He was stopped a few km after crossing Jagraon by some plainclothes policemen, who claimed to be from the Ludhiana police.

The persons took Rs 40,000 from him for not registering any case against him. The man gave the money, but later approached the Jagraon police. The inquiry by the CIA revealed that there was only one policeman, who was the naib reader of the DIG.

The complainant had visited the DIG office and had recognised the naib reader. DSP (Detective), Jagraon, Gurmukh Singh was now investigating the case.

This is the third corruption case registered against policemen in less than a week. Jagraon CIA in charge Mukhwinder Singh and his juniors ASI Nidhan Singh and ASI Harjinder Singh had been booked for alleged corruption in Division 8. Later, ASI Sukhjinder Singh had been booked by the Division 6 police and now Head Constable Varinder Kumar had been booked.



SAD protests to EC against police, administration bias
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has lodged a protest with the Election Commission alleging that the Ludhiana district administration was acting as extension of the Congress and was helping the Congress candidate and obstructing the campaign of the SAD candidates. Senior Akali and BJP leaders said here today, “The election observers too are behaving in a partisan manner and they are not fair and are trying to help the Congress candidate”.

In a joint press conference, the SAD-BJP combine launched a scathing attack on the district administration and the election observers threatening to stage a dharna, gheraos and launch an agitation if the “behaviour of the officials did not change immediately”. Those present on the occasion, included former ministers Jagdish Singh Garcha and Maheshinder Singh Grewal, former Deputy Speaker Satpal Gosain, former Ludhiana Mayor Apinder Singh Grewal, besides Hira Singh Gabria, Avtar Singh Makkar, and Shakti Kumar.

Citing several cases of police highhandedness, the Akali-BJP leaders said the genuine violations by the Congress were being overlooked, while vehicles of SAD supporters, even with valid permits, were being challaned. They released copies of a challan for a Tata 407 vehicle bearing registration number PB11-G-6364 along with the permit for the same vehicle. The vehicle has been impounded for being used for election work without a valid permit.

Members of the SAD-BJP combine said they were not seeking transfer of the election observers as they wanted to give them a chance to improve.

An election agent of Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, the party nominee for the Ludhiana parliamentary seat, has accused the Ludhiana police of discriminatory attitude.

In the complaint, copies which were released today, the agent, Mr Jagjit Singh Sidhu, said the police was forcing SAD supporters to remove party flags and posters from their own houses in utter violation of the EC guidelines.

Mr Garcha said SAD supporters who had affixed party symbols on their vehicles were being harassed unnecessarily. Mr Maheshinder Singh Grewal said Congress workers were openly tearing the posters and banners of the SAD candidate. “Our complaints are ignored while the observers take suo moto notice on the complaints of the Congress”, he added.

Mr Gosain alleged that the Congress had recruited a group of people whose sole task was to tear the posters and banners of the SAD candidate. These people operate from midnight to early hours. He said the SAD-BJP combine was forming committees to counter the activities of this group.

He added the SAD-BJP leadership apprehended booth capturing and violence during the elections by Congress workers in a desperate bid to retain this seat. This he said, would not be allowed, and asked the workers of both the parties to remain vigilant.



Muslims demonstrate against Shahi Imam
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
Hundreds of Muslims here today staged a demonstration against Ahmad Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Delhi, for issuing an appeal to Muslims all over the country to vote for the Bhartiya Janata Party. They said the Shahi Imam had no business to identify the Muslims of the country with a particular political party.

The demonstration was held after the Friday prayers at the local Jama Masjid in Field Ganj area. There are about 50,000 Muslims residing in the city. Besides, there are about one lakh Muslims who have come from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in search of jobs.

Addressing the demonstration the Imam of Jama Masjid, Maulana Habib ur Rehman condemned the Shahi Imam, saying that he had no business to issue political appeals. He pointed out that the Shahi Imam’s role should be confined to religious affairs only and he should not indulge in opportunistic politics.

The Maulana said till the recent past, the Shahi Imam had been speaking everything against the BJP and now he had turned pro-BJP. He asked the Shahi Imam whether he had forgotten the BJP’s track record of being anti-minority.

The Maulana observed that voting should be left to the individual and it was quite undemocratic to appeal to an entire community. He claimed that there was considerable resentment against the Shahi Imam among Muslims.



Fund collectors making the most of elections
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 30
Amidst the din of Lok Sabha elections, political functionaries of all levels, shades and colours are making the most in the industrial capital of the state by resorting to collection of elections funds from every conceivable source.

Interestingly, a very small amount of the funds thus collected by leaders of almost all the political parties, find their way to the candidates while most of the money is invariably pockets by the collectors themselves.

If some of the prominent members of trade and industry are to be believed, a number of small time politicians, many among them flaunting self-styled designations in the party ranks, have been pestering for collection of election funds ever since the Lok Sabha elections were announced. If quite a few donors had resisted their attempts on the ground that the money would be paid to the concerned candidates, when they would directly approach, some others had obliged the ‘fund raisers’ for fear of their nuisance value or for the fact that at times, political connections were needed to settle small problems.

Not that the members of erstwhile ruling combine of SAD-BJP were lagging behind in any manner as far as the collection of election funds was concerned but in terms of numbers of collectors, believing in the old adage ‘make hay while the sun shines’, Congress Party was far ahead of other parties. Information provided by a cross-section of industrialists, business houses and trading community to Ludhiana Tribune revealed that party leaders of every rank, right from the ministers, legislators, office bearers of district unit and front organisations, councillors and other senior leaders in the civic body, were out to make easy money under the convenient and respectable name of election fund.

Some of the prominent city industrialists, irked by repeated visits of the political functionaries were learnt to have lodged a protest with the senior party leaders and the concerned candidates that even after they had made their contribution to the party fund, some self styled party leaders were making demands on them more election fund. A word had also been passed on the security staff and those manning the receptions in the corporate word not to allow any political functionary to have access to the top brass without prior appointment. Not only this, some activists of the front organisation have also brought the dubious dealings of some of their own colleagues in the matter of election fund collection, to the notice of the senior leadership, demanding stern action against the elements, which were bringing bad name to the party.

It was reliably learnt that upset over the pressure tactics of some of the senior political leaders in the civic body for collection of election fund, the local contractors had sent a memo to Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, pleading that they be saved from ruination.



Rally in Tiwari’s support
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
Hundreds of Congress workers today took out a bicycle rally in support of the party candidate from Ludhiana, Mr Manish Tiwari. The rally was flagged off by the Minister for Higher Education, Mr Harnam Dass Johar, from his Assembly constituencies Ludhiana West.

The rally passed through various areas of the city, particularly those in the Ludhiana West Assembly segment. The cyclists were carrying banners, flags and placards of the Congress and were waving the party symbol.

Mr Johar said the rally was pollution-free and did not involve any cost. He pointed out that while the impact of the cycle rally was the same as that of a car rally or a scooter rally, it did not cost anything.

Addressing the workers, Mr Johar appealed to them to ensure that Mr Tiwari won by the maximum margin. He pointed out that Mr Tiwari was a qualified person had vast political experience and exposure. Mr Johar claimed that the Congress candidate was in the lead and way ahead of others in Ludhiana.

The minister claimed that there was a lot of enthusiasm among party workers. He hoped that the election campaign remained clean and pollution-free.



Poll Round-Up
NDA pushed farmers to bankruptcy, says Ramoowalia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 30
Lok Bhalai Party chief and Lok Sabha candidate from Ludhiana Balwant Singh Ramoowalia today observed that as a result of the anti-farmer and wrong economic policies of the NDA government at the Centre, Punjab farmers had been pushed to the verge of bankruptcy.

Lashing out at the BJP-led NDA government at a rally at Rurka Kalan village in Kila Raipur Assembly segment, he said the government had permitted an annual import of foodgrain worth Rs 12,000 crore to the country which had led to the distress sale of domestic farm produce. Farmers had been forced to sell their produce at prices below the cost of production, he said.

“To make matters worse, the state government has taken a policy decision to encourage corporate farming. With the entry of multinationals and corporate companies in this sector, farmers will be reduced to farm labourers,” he said.

Calling upon the farming community to stand united to safeguard their rights, Mr Ramoowalia asked them to resist the entry of the corporate sector into agriculture. He charged the government with failure to ensure remunerative prices to farmers, streamline the procurement of farm produce and ensure subsidies. He told farmers to create a consensus against giving agricultural land on lease to corporate giants.

Mr Ramoowalia claimed that during an election tour of the Bet area undertaken by him on Thursday, a number of panches and sarpanches had quit the SAD and the Congress to join his party. Mr Naginder Singh, sarpanch of Khera Bet, Mr Rajinder Singh, former sarpanch of the same village, and Mr Gurmukh Singh, former sarpanch of Razapur, were among those who had come to his party’s fold. The Rehri Union of Chowk Dholewal, at a meeting organised near Manju Cinema last evening, extended its support to Mr Ramoowalia.

Meanwhile, the Congress, candidate Mr Manish Tiwari, made a fervent appeal to the electorate to vote for a stable and secular Congress government at the Centre under the leadership of Ms Sonia Gandhi. Addressing an election rally at Shahid Karnail Singh Nagar on Pakhowal Road, he said if given a chance to serve the constituency, he would strive for setting up of big industrial units in the region, which in turn would generate more employment opportunities. The party legislator, Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, was present.

Mr Tiwari, accompanied by Mr Surinder Dawar, MLA, addressed a series of election rallies in Ludhiana East Assembly segment. Speaking at a meeting in Field Ganj in Ward 49, the Congress nominee made scathing attacks on the NDA government at the Centre and the SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab. He offered prayers at Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran after the meeting. Later in the day, Mr Tiwari participated in elections rallies organised in Ward 52 and Ward 40.

Ms Malkiat Kaur, councillor, Ward 56, and senior vice-president of the district unit of the Mahila Congress, convened a meeting of party workers to assign duties for canvassing in the last phase of the election campaign. She announced that public rallies would be organised in different localities in the ward on Friday and Saturday, in which senior party, leaders including Mr Tiwari, would take part.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the Muslim Aman Society strongly reacted to the appeal by Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari to vote in favour of the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections. The president of the society, Mr Mohammed Naseem Ansari, addressing the meeting, recalled that senior BJP leaders like Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishan Advani, Union Minister Murli Manohar Joshi and the then Union Minister Uma Bharti were present at the spot when the Babri Masjid was demolished.

He observed that the BJP government in Gujarat had remained a mute spectator when communal riots continued for months together in the state. He said the BJP leadership had refused to shift Chief Minister Narendra Modi to assuage the feelings of the Muslim community.

Meanwhile, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) secretary general Kartar Singh Patna announced that the party had entered into an electoral alliance with the Samata Party. It had fielded three candidates — from Hoshiarpur, Faridkot and Ferozepore — whereas the Phillaur and Patiala seats were left for its alliance partner. He said the party would extend support to parties other than allies of the NDA at other seats in consultation with party President Ram Vilas Paswan. Mr Varinder Kumar Koffi, contesting on Liberal Party ticket, Dr Satnam Singh, Independent, and Panthers Party nominee Ravinder Kumar Jassi continued their electoral campaigns.



Punjab’s issues sidelined in campaigning 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 30
Campaigning in Punjab has been reduced to a personal fight between Mr Badal and his family and the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh. The charges levelled by them against each other in newspaper advertisements are too personal, sometimes vague and many a time aggressive.

Both parties are hardly talking about the pending issues concerning the Punjabis, such as the transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab, settlement of river waters dispute and inclusion of Punjabi-speaking areas left out of Punjab at the time of its creation in 1966.

The election manifesto of the Shiromani Akali Dal hardly mentions these issues. The state Congress has not issued any separate manifesto concerning Punjab and the explanation given is that the manifesto issued at the time of the 2002 Assembly elections still holds good.

The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee has adopted the manifesto issued at the national level for the parliamentary elections. Local issues and the image of the candidates are being discussed more than national or state issues. The scenario is such that two major national parties, the Congress and the BJP, the latter in alliance with a regional party, the SAD, cannot claim a tilt in their favour.



Galib refutes PVP claim of support
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
Senior Congress leader and sitting Congress MP Gurcharn Singh Galib has strongly refuted the claims of the Purvanchal Vikas Party (PVP) candidate, Dr Janardhan Prashad Singh, that Galib had extended his support to him. Terming the episode as a ‘mischief’, Mr Galib said Dr Janardhan conned him by offering to join the Congress, but had later issued pictures to the media claiming that he had Mr Galib’s “blessings”.

Mr Galib, who issued a signed statement here today, said he was a disciplined soldier of the party and was solidly behind the party’s official nominee, Mr Manish Tewari. Explaining how Dr Janardhan got himself photographed with Mr Galib, he has said the PVP candidate had visited his house offering to withdraw his candidature in support of the Congress nominee and in return, Mr Galib had offered to get him inducted into the Congress. The photo session had followed, this. But instead of keeping his word, Dr Janardhan had issued pictures and a statement to the Press saying that Mr Galib had decided to extend support to him. The PVP spokesperson, Mr Anil Jha, had said yesterday that Mr Galib had “extended his blessing to Dr Janardhan.”

When the PVP released the pictures, the Congress leadership had expressed surprise and had denied any such move on the part of Mr Galib. “Mr Galib has been actively canvassing for Mr Manish Tewari ever since the filing of nomination papers on April 21.

The purported claim by PVP candidate is a conspiracy hatched by him in connivance with rivals of the Congress to confuse the votes”, Mr Ajay Tewari, media in charge in the Congress nominee, had stated.

It may be mentioned here that the PVP has no mass base in the city and can bank only a handfull of supporters. The PVP candidate has come here from Patna to contest the election, and is banking on the migrant votes. But in the past such candidates have not been able to garner even 1,000 votes. In 1999, Mr Hira Jha, a Rashtriya Janata Dal nominee, could get only 921 votes, in 1998 Mr Karnail Singh of the same party had got only 867 votes.



’84 riots victims sore over political parties’ attitude
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 30
Victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots are unhappy over the attitude of all major political parties towards their problems. However, instead of going for a boycott they seem to be making up their minds to support an independent candidate who might raise their issue in the Parliament.

Mr Harpal Singh of Rangia village, who had lost his son in the riots, has received Rs 20,000 as compensation from the Bihar Government, but no financial assistance was given to him by any state or central government agency. His son was done to death with iron rods, at the doorstep of his teacher’s house where he had gone for tuition.

“Instead of looking for his body, I ran to save my other son and we took shelter in a hospital. I could see my wife Jasmail Kaur and young daughter only after two days.” Jasmail Kaur and her daughter hid for two days in a bathroom. “We had taken a gas cylinder with us, so that we could end our lives in case the rioters reached us. It was better to die than to be touched by them,” sighed Jasmail Kaur. The family had later migrated to Punjab, directly from the relief camp and could not bring even their household goods with them.

Jagtar Singh, a diesel mechanic and of resident of the local Amarpura area, had a flourishing business in Transport area in Meerut. On the fateful day he and his son had gone to repair a truck outside the city. “While my wife and other members took shelter with our neighbours. We hid ourselves in a sugarcane field, from where we were rescued by a Muslim family.” The family had to make a lot of efforts to get a ‘red copy’ issued by the Punjab Government, but it served no purpose. They did not receive any assistance from any agency. “Though General Manager, District Industrial Centre at Ludhiana, had recommended a loan of Rs 25,000, under normal scheme. We could not avail it as we had no land to stand guarantee.”

Nachhatar Singh, a resident of the Dhulkot Chowk area, succeeded in getting his son Jagdev Singh, a job as a driver in Punjab Roadways, but could not get any other grant for the family, on the basis of an identity card prepared by state government. Families of his two sons — Jagdev and Balwinder — had been living in Pua Street, adjoining Harmander Street in Patna. Being a Sikh-dominated area, both the families migrated safely to Punjab immediately after the riots. Balwinder died later allegedly due to shock of suffering financial loss and mental agony. “As far as financial assistance by government is concerned, we received Rs 2000 only for which we had to visit Malerkotla many times.

Jasbir Kaur said her brother Rajpal was injured seriously during riots. “We had taken shelter in a camp, that was organised by the Bihar Government. But we had to please and bribe cops, who were deployed for our protection.”



Minorities seek their rights from candidates
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, April 30
Minorities in the city are ready to support the candidate of any party, provided they are given their rights. They are not in favour of any particular party, but what they want is that the new government should be stable and supportive and should work for the welfare of the common man.

Dr J.L.Joshi, acting Director, Christian Medical College and Hospital, and Principal, Christian Dental College, will like to exercise his franchise in favour of the candidate, who will be able to provide basic civic amenities to the common man.”The government should provide us with our deserving rights. There should be peace of mind. The officials, bureaucrats and politicians should be accessible to everyone. The approach road to this institute is in a pathetic condition. We sincerely hope that the new government would find a permanent solution to this problem. We have extended all help to the past governments”, says Dr Joshi.

Ms Jamila Bano, an octogenarian residing in Issa Nagri, feels that the peace initiative steps taken by Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee deserve appreciation. “The leader set aside his ego and time and again tried to bring India and Pakistan closer. Though I do not know much about the game, but the support, love and affection provided by the Pakistani cricket fans to the Indian team is unforgettable. I was born at Rawalpindi. My sentiments are with that country and its people. I will like to cast my vote to the party which will bring peace to both countries”, she says.

Others feel that the minorities are not being taken care of by any government. Ms Anju M. John (name changed), staff nurse at the CMCH, says during the Gujarat riots, the rescue team of the CMCH had gone to Ahmedabad to provide relief, but the scenes witnessed there were shocking. “It is the duty of the government to safeguard the rights of minorities. I will like to cast my vote to the party which will understand us and listen to our problems”, she says.

According to reports, over one lakh people belonging to minority communities will cast their votes in the elections on May 10 in the city. A majority of the voters feel that candidates of various parties approach them during election days, otherwise promises remain only on paper.



Insurance surveyors, adjusters upset 
over IRDA decision
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 30
The local unit of the Institute of Insurance Surveyors and Adjusters is upset over the news in various sections of the media that the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) has decided to form a new institute of surveyors on the ground that there has been a split in the institute.

Mr Arun Kumar, national general secretary of the institute, in a press note said today that the institute referred to was the institute of Insurance Surveyors and Adjusters, which was an all-India body, having four zones, 22 chapters and 137 unit offices, with more than 6,000 categorised surveyors as its members.

The institute was registered under Companies Act since 1960, with its registered office at Mumbai, he added.

Since the reform in the insurance sector had been announced, members of the institute had given a representation to the Malhotra Committee to have a charter body of surveyors for proper regulation of the profession. This was appreciated by the IRDA and the Ministry of Finance. “We had completed all formalities, including recommendations from the IRDA, to award charter status to our institute. Our draft was approved and after certain legal formalities, was to be sent to a select committee for approval”, he said.

In the meantime, certain surveyors from Chennai moved out from the institute and tried to influence the IRDA by writing certain complaints against the institute, which should have been enquired by the IRDA. Instead of this, the IRDA wrote to the finance secretary regarding a split in the body and suggested the appointment of Bhandari Committee to reexamine the earlier decision for a charter body.

The national general secretary pointed out that in June 2003, the Bhandari Committee gave a report which was not only biased, but away from the truth. The report suggested the setting up of a new institute, which would be self-regulating and self funding for three years. If proved satisfactory, it was to be converted into a charter institute.

Mr Arun Kumar alleged that the Bhandari Committee report was biased and contradictory.

“We have finances, capacity to generate further financial infrastructure, experience of arranging training programmes and knowledge of solving consumer problems, which are more than the requirement of a charter institute. What we need is support from the IRDA and the Finance Ministry to prove ourselves”, he said.



Insurance workers submit memorandum
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 30
A delegation of insurance employees working with Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) submitted a memorandum on behalf of the all-India Insurance Employees Association to Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, candidate from Ropar, and made a representation on behalf of employees of public sector companies and LIC agents for safeguarding the interests of policy holders.

The association said in the memorandum that the government was contemplating steps to weaken public sector life and general insurance companies, which was in violation of the assurance given on the floor of the House in Parliament. The delegation pointed out that private insurance companies were refusing to take business. 



Jassowal felicitated on 70th birthday
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 30
The noted Punjabi folk singers like Harbhajan Singh Mann, Surinder Shinda, Ravinder Grewal, Sukhwinder Sukhi and hundreds of admirers wished Jagdev Singh Jassowal on his 70th birthday today. They presented flowers, bouquets, birthday cards and mementos to him.

Dr Surjit Patar, president, Prof Guebhajan Gill, senior vice president, Prof Kulwant Jagraon, member Executive Board of Punjabi Sahit Akademi, Ludhiana, spoke highly of Jassowal’s contribution to Punjabi language and culture. Prof N.S. Tasneem, Prof Maahinder Singh Cheema, Pragat Singh Grewal, Kuldip Paras, Jaswant Sandila, Jaswant Chapa, Dr Surjit Singh Gill, Nirmal Jaura, and others felicitated Jagdev Singh on his birthday and appreciated his role in popularising ‘mela culture’ in the Malwa region because of which his is known as Baba Bohar of cultural melas.

Jassowal thanked his fans and said he considered the world to be a huge mela and believed that individuals were there to enjoy life and play their parts in a meaningful way. He urged Punjabis to preserve their cultural heritage and guard mother tongue.

He advised the people to give up haste, anger and waste to make life more peaceful and advised the youth to keep away from drugs. He said, “It is not my age to celebrate birthdays but I had to yield to the wishes of my friends. My spirit to do more and more for the promotion of Punjabi is very strong inspite of failing physical strength. But I will continue to work for the cause of Punjabi.”



Rotary Club gives shoes to poor students
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 30
The local Rotary Club held a function at Government Senior Elementary School, Sarabha Nagar, here today at which a large number of Rotarians distributed about 100 pairs of new shoes among poor students of the school.

The president of the club, Mr S.S. Chopra, said this was one of the community service projects for the current Rotary year. He informed that a number of similar projects such, as distribution of free medicines at health checkup camps, providing ceiling fans in senior citizens homes and mattresses in Bal Bhavan, besides blood donation camps, were conducted by the club every year.

The Headmistress of the school, Mrs Gurjit Kaur, expressed her gratitude to the club members for their generous help to the poor students.



2 held for aged couple’s murder
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
The district police today claimed to have solved the blind murder case of an aged couple, found dead in their house in Street 4, New Madhopouri, on April 13.
The police arrested two persons, one of whom was the couple’s son, Vinod Kumar, the other being his brother-in-law Vikas Kumar.

They had killed the aged couple, Rameshwar Dayal and Satya Devi. The motive was that the accused had taken a loan of Rs 1.2 lakh from the deceased and were not returning it.

The body of the woman was found in a bathroom while the body of the man was found hidden a bedbox.



Three booked for abducting girl
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 30
On the statement of Mr Inderjit Singh, resident of the Ranjodh Park area, the Haibowal police on Wednesday registered a case under Sections 363, 366 and 120-B of the IPC against Suraj, Sudesh Sood and Varinder Sood, residents of the same locality.

The complainant had stated that the accused had abducted his daughter Kamaljeet Kaur on April 19 and taken her to some place. The girl is untraceable.

Smuggler held: A charas smuggler, Sikandar Kumar, who lives near the gurdwara in Salem Tabri, was nabbed by the Division No 3 police while he was going to deliver the contraband to someone near CMC Hospital on Wednesday.

A case under the NDPS Act was registered against the accused after the recovery of 490 gm of the contraband from him.

Robber arrested: The Division No 7 police on Wednesday arrested Gurdeep Singh, resident of street No 7 of Gobind Nagar, and booked him under Section 392 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Vikram Singh, resident of G.K. Estate in Mundian Khurd village.

The accused had entered the house of the complainant on Wednesday afternoon when his wife was at home along with an infant. The accused, pulled out a knife and threatened to kill the child and forced the housewife to part with her mangalsutra and a gold chain and demanded money. The accused was nabbed by the neighbours when he was trying to flee and handed over to the police.

The accused had reportedly worked as a labourer at the house a few days ago.

Purse snatched: The Jodhewal police registered a case under Sections 379, 356 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Sapna Khanna, a housewife living in Basant Vihar Extension, against Vicky, resident of Gandhi Nagar, and Sonu, a fish seller living in Shiv Puri.

The woman had alleged that the accused, who were riding a Hero Honda motor cycle, snatched her purse in Street No 4 of Heera Nagar on the Kakowal road on Tuesday. The purse contained Rs 2,500 and some silver ornaments, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

Cyclist killed: The Sahnewal police registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC on the statement of Mr Gurmit Singh, resident of Mangarh village, against the driver of a car.

The complainant had stated that while his brother Jagir Singh was going on his cycle near the village on Wednesday, the accused hit him killing Jagir Singh. The accused fled the scene. No arrest has been made so far.

Fraud committed: The Sadar police on Wednesday registered a case under sections 420 and 406 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Ashwani Aggarwal, resident of Inder Nagar on the Ferozepore road, against Rajinder Singh and his father Malwinder Singh, resident of the College road area.

The complainant had alleged that the accused had committed a fraud with him. The case was registered after the complainant sent a representation to the DIG of the Ludhiana Range. No arrest has been made so far.

Assaulted: The Haibowal police on Wednesday registered a case under Sections 457, 382, 341, 323, 294, 354, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Surinder Sood, resident of Durga Puri Mohalla, near Jassian Chowk, against Gurpreet Singh, resident of Ranjodh Park in the same area, Sunti Chaudhary, Sonu and Inderjit Singh, residents of Haibowal, and two other persons accompanying them.

The complainant had stated that the accused had intercepted him at Rajpura Chowk on April 10, abused him and beat him up. The accused snatched his gold chain and his mobile phone and abused his mother on the telephone, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

The Sadar police registered a case under Sections 323, 324, 341, 506 and 34 of the IPC yesterday on the statement of Mr Kulwant Singh, resident of Partap Singh Wala village, against Bhagwant Singh, resident of Khadur village, and two other persons accompanying him.

The complainant had stated that while he was going on a scooter with his friend Jagdeep Singh, resident of Doraha, on Saturday last, the accused intercepted them near Mullanpur and beat them up and injured them. Both of them were admitted to Civil Hospital in Ludhiana. No arrest has been made so far.

Stolen: The Civil Lines police on Wednesday registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Ramesh Chander Soni, resident of Sargodha Colony on the Pakhowal road, against unknown person(s) who stole his Santro car from outside his residence on Friday last.

The Division No 8 police registered a case of theft on the statement of Mr Vir Karan Puri, resident of Durga Puri in Haibowal, against unknown person(s) who stole his Hero Honda motor cycle from outside KVM School on April 19.

The Shimla Puri police registered a case of theft on the statement of Mr Sohan Lal, resident of Street No 19 of Janta Nagar, against unknown person(s) who stole his scooter from the State Bank of Patiala branch located opposite Pahwa Hospital on Tuesday.

Injured: The Sarabha Nagar police on Wednesday registered a case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Tinku Kumar, resident of Maharaj Nagar, against bus driver.

The complainant had stated that while he was going on the Ferozepur road on Tuesday in his auto-rickshaw along with a relative, the bus driver hit the vehicle near Nanaksar gurdwara and sped away from the scene. Both he and his relative were injured, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

On the statement of Mr Sukhdev Singh, resident of PAU Colony in Dashmesh Nagar, near Ayali Khurd village, the Sarabha Nagar police registered a case under Sections 279, 338 and 427 of the IPC against a car driver who hit his scooter near the traffic lights of Sarabha Nagar on the Ferozepore road on Wednesday and sped away from the scene. The complainant was injured and his scooter was damaged. No arrest has been made so far.

The Division No 6 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 279, 327 and 338 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Surjit Singh, resident of Bhai Daya Singh Nagar, against Hardish Singh, who lives near the Dholewal chowk.

The complainant had stated that the accused had rammed his scooter into him in Street No 7 of Nirankari mohalla on Monday as a result of which one of his legs was broken. The police said today that the accused had been arrested.

Liquor seized: The Koom Kalan police on Wednesday arrested Parminder Singh, resident of the Gaushala road area in Machhiwara, and booked him under the Excise Act.

The police said today that 36 bottles of country wine and 24 bottles of Director’s Special whisky, were seized from him.



Officials’ indifference irks industrialists 

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 30
A number of industrialists have accused senior Punjab State Electricity Board officials of having an indifferent attitude towards their complaints regarding erratic power supply. Authorities, on the other hand, denied these charges.

Mr Sanjeev Singla, a local industrialist, alleged that power supply to many industrial units situated on Ludhiana-Malerkotla Road has been unusually erratic. Besides the scheduled power cuts the supply of power remained disrupted for hours, he alleged. "Hardly had we resumed the pipe-making process that had been interrupted for six hours on last Saturday, that the power supply was shut down on Wednesday again without any reason."

Complaining against the callous attitude of local authorities he alleged that higher officials, including Mr D. B. Arora SE, Mr V.K Arora, and an aide of the chairman, to whom he had complained, had given him no satisfactory answer and had asked him to contact the local office for the "petty issue".

Board authorities on the other hand denied the charges and maintained that all complaints were properly attended to while Mr V.K Arora, Power Controller, told Ludhiana Tribune to contact officials concerned, Mr D. B. Arora, SE at Ludhiana, confirmed having received a complaint.



Small sector hit by rising steel prices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
The small scale industry happens to be the worst hit in the wake of continuously rising prices of steel in the country. Various industrial associations in the small scale sector have urged the union government to fulfil its commitment to ensure that at least the small scale sector gets the raw material at reasonable prices.

According to Mr V.P. Chopra, president of the Federation of Punjab Small Industries Associations, instead of providing any relief to the industry, which is already in crisis for short supply and skyrocketing prices of iron and steel, the main producers are adding to their woes. He revealed that there was a stock of 1600 metric tonnes of wire rod lying in the Ludhiana stock yard of the Steel Authority of India which was not being supplied to the industry concerned here for reasons best known to the officials.

He pointed out that holding back such huge quantities of stock of wire rod was also one of the main reasons for the short supply and rising steel prices which is uncalled for and unjustified. He wondered when the stock had been transported from other places to Ludhiana, why it was being held back an d not supplied to the industrial units here.

Meanwhile, a delegation of the Ludhiana Electroplaters Association president, Mr Joginder Kumar Met the Union Steel Secretary, Ms Binoo Sen in New Delhi in this regard.


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