L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Mann’s SAD (A) backs Ramoowalia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 3
The election campaign of the Lok Bhalai Party (LBP) candidate, Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, received a boost as the rank and file of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), headed by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, announced their support to him.

To mark active campaigning for the LBP, Mr Simarjeet Singh Bains, SAD (A) councillor (Ward No 24), organised an election rally in Kot Mangal Singh here late last evening. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Bains said in the course of extensive campaigning, the party activists would hold rallies and move door to door to garner support for Mr Ramoowalia. The party also intended to go on a ‘pad yatra’ in various localities on the last leg of the electioneering. A public rally would be held in the Grain Market here on May 7.

Mr Ramoowalia, taking a dig at the SAD and the Congress, charged these with betraying the masses during their respective tenures at the Centre and in Punjab. He said the farmers were pushed towards ruination and farming was no longer a economically viable profession, thanks to the anti-farmer policies of the two parties.

Similarly, corruption at all levels in government departments and the corridors of power was also a regular phenomenon when the SAD or the Congress were in power.

During the day, the LBP chief addressed election rallies at Atam Nagar, Baba Jiwan Singh Nagar, Dholewal Chowk (Ward No 23), Sant Singh Nagar on the Kakowal Road (Ward No 6), Sham Nagar (Ward No 35), Basant Park (Ward No 25), Ucha Tibba, near Gopal Mandir, Rajgarh village, Jarg, Payal, Rauni and Rarra Sahib.

Meanwhile, Congress candidate Manish Tiwari, while addressing a rally, jointly organised by the party units of Ward Nos. 32, 40 and 42 at Urban Estate Dugri, vowed to provide a lasting solution to the problems of the industry, particularly the small and tiny sector. He said while the focus of his party would be in setting up more big industrial units, which could generate more employment, necessary steps would be taken to restore the good health of the existing industry. The Punjab Minister for Jails, Mr Malkiat Singh Beermi, Mr Satwinder Singh Jawaddi, Mr Gurmel Singh Mela, Mr Jasbir Singh Chadha, councillors, and Ms Barjinder Kaur, secretary, PPCC, were also present.

Speaking at an election meeting organised by Mr Ramesh Joshi, secretary, PPCC, at Chander Nagar last evening, Mr Tiwari dwelt on the development agenda for the city. He said the growth of the city and the rise in population had necessitated the upgrading of infrastructure.

Prominent among others present were Mr Madan Lal Bagga, councillor, Mr Pushpinder Bhanot, general secretary, Punjab Youth Congress, and Mr G.S. Bhatia, vice-president, DCC.

Mr Tiwari later addressed rallies at Bharti Colony, Bahadur Ke Road, Kwality Chowk, Chimney Road, Dholewal, GT Road, Kanganwal, Barota Road, New Simlapuri and Dashmesh Nagar in the city.

In yet another election meeting organised by Congress councillor Jasbir Singh Chadha in New Shivaji Nagar, party leaders, including Mr Surinder Dawar, MLA, Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, member of the outgoing Lok Sabha, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mayor, his deputies, Mr Prem Mittal and Ms Sushil Gupta, made a fervent appeal to the electorate to vote for Mr Tiwari.

Intensifying the election campaign of SAD-BJP nominee Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, the district president of the BJP, Dr Subhash Verma, opened election offices in Sunder Nagar, Bajwa Nagar, Prem Nagar, Amar Pura, Kidwai Nagar and New Shivaji Nagar, covering north and east mandals. Seeking support of the electorate for the SAD-BJP combine, Dr Verma claimed that the NDA government had took the country to a new height and the economy had improved a lot. BJP workers launched a mass contact programme to mobilise the voters in New Shiv Puri, New Madhopuri, which the party activists maintained, had evoked an overwhelming response.

Functionaries of the SAD Labour Wing took out a ‘mazdoor chetna’ cycle rally in Urban Estate, Jamalpur, in support of Mr Dhillon. The rally, led by Mr Sitamber Singh, was flagged off by Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, district chief of SAD, Mr Amrik Singh Aliwal, former MP, and the party adviser, Mr Vijay Danav. Activists of the Bharatiya Masihi Dal went on a door-to-door campaign in Issa Nagri to mobilse the electorate in favour of the SAD-BJP candidate. The campaign was led by veteran Akali leader Mr Kulwant Singh Dukhia and Mr B.M. Frederick, general secretary of the Masihi Dal.



Ramoowalia giving jitters to rivals
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 3
Even though the D Day is just a week away, the usual tempo and heat generated by an election is yet to be seen in this industrial hub of the state, thanks to the crackdown by the Election Commission on poll violations.

There are 18 candidates in the fray for this seat but political circles maintain that the main contest is between the Shiromani Akali Dal - BJP combine candidate Sharanjit Singh Dhillon and Congress nominee Manish Tewari.

However, former Union Minister and president of the Lok Bhalai Party Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, who has emerged as a force to reckon with, is giving sleepless nights to his rivals. Such has been the response to his public, door-to-door and village to village meetings that it has compelled the political parties and the intelligence agencies to sit up and take notice.

They are putting their heads together to assess the number of votes likely to be polled by him and whose vote bank was being eroded. He might, it is being felt, with every passing day, upset the applecart if he is able to garner substantial votes.

Harbhajan Maan, popular Punjabi folk singer who generally accompanies Ramoowalia during his campaign, is a star attraction and a crowd-puller. The large crowds at party functions have sent a signal that people were flocking around him.

On the other hand, candidates of other parties are also leaving no stone unturned in pulling crowds. While the BSP candidate rides an elephant, his party symbol, during his roadshows, the SAD depends on giddha and bhangra teams in the cities to keep the people engrossed.

The Congress too, uses dancers and singers to pull crowds.

In the meantime, political bigwigs and heavyweights of the NDA and the Congress are likely to campaign for their respective candidates in the next two to three days. Amongst those who are likely to visit this constituency are Priyanka Gandhi Wadhera, Sushma Swaraj, Dr Manmohan Singh, a former Union Minister, cinestar Dharmandera and Arun Jaitely.

Even though the SAD-BJP combine and the Congress are claiming the upper hand, the former exudes more confidence than the latter.


Behave responsibly, SAD tells CM
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 3
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has reacted strongly to the statements of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh saying that the latter was making all kind of remarks out of frustration faced by the Congress nominees across the state. Asking the Congress to reign in Captain Amarinder Singh, the SAD leadership said it was capable of hitting back but was refraining to do so with a view to maintaining decorum during the elections, senior Akali leader and SAD general secretary Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal said.

Mr Grewal further said that the Chief Minister had resorted to rebuking and abusing everyone and anyone thinking that they were all his subjects from the erstwhile Patiala state. “The Chief Minister should realise that he is living in a democracy where every citizen has equal rights, I would ask him to behave like an elected leader”. By stooping so low, the chief minister has shown little regard for morality and decency. Mr Grewal was specifically referring to comments made by the Chief Minister calling the SAD’s Ludhiana parliamentary seat nominee, Mr Sharnajit Singh Dhillon names. “Mr Dhillon is a dynamic, educated and youthful leader who has no match in the entire Congress party”.

Mr Grewal demanded that the Captain should not remain in public office if he continues to behave in what he called “irresponsible manner”. By praising Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler, who were responsible for anti-Sikh Delhi riots in 1984 and letting lose threats and indulging in terror tactics against farmers and employees, he has alienated himself, Mr Grewal said.

Meanwhile, the election activity in the city has picked up. The BSP candidate, Mr Rabinder Singh Sohal, has adopted a unique way of canvassing by using an elephant to ride through the streets of the city. Elephant is also his party symbol. He is beginning to garner support. He has claimed that the Ramgaria Board that has a lot of following among the community with the same name has extended support to him.

He has issued a statement saying that the Ramgarhia Board president, Mr Kulwinder Singh Virdi, and his supporters have announced that they would openly campaign for Mr Sohal. The Ramgarhia community runs several engineering workshops in the city. He has also received support from Mr Jagjit Singh Jandu, Mr Mohinder Singh Khural, Mr Dharampal Singh, Mr Ajit Bhanwer and Gurjit Singh, all Ramgarhia community leaders.


Khanguras campaign for Tiwari
Tribune News Service

Kila Raipur (Ludhiana), May 3
For Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura and his son Mr Jassi Khangura it is a nostalgic call to their roots. These days the father and the son are slogging it out in the dust and din of the Kila Raipur assembly segment in support of the Congress candidate from the Ludhiana parliamentary constituency, Mr Manish Tiwari.

While the elder Khangura stays here most of the time, the junior one has specially flown in for the elections from London. Khanguras have a hotel and software business in the United Kingdom. Although the Khanguras claim to be deeply attached to their roots, it got “further strengthened” when the wife of the senior Khangura, Ms Gurdial Kaur Khangura, was allotted the Congress ticket from the Kila Raipur assembly segment during the last elections in 2002.

Since then the Khanguras have reportedly launched various development projects with special emphasis on computer education. Their detractors have been attaching political motives to these welfare measures.

Mr Gurpreet Singh Gurm, a resident of Dhelon, one of the important towns in Kila Raipur assembly segment, said that the Khanguras enjoyed a lot of goodwill among the people.

This is because of the fact that they have so far not resorted to any political intrigues and factionalism, probably for the reason that they are relatively new to politics.

Interestingly, Khanguras were ardent supporters of Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib when he was lobbying for the party ticket from the Ludhiana parliamentary constituency. They had also organised a public rally at their native village Latala in support of Mr Galib.

The rally was attended by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, the AICC general secretary, Ms Ambika Soni, the PCC president, Mr HS Hanspal, and several other central leaders.

Now they are supporting Mr Tiwari in the same measure. “We respect Mr Galib, but at the same time our loyalties remain with the party and when the party decided to field Mr Tiwari and we welcomed the decision and are supporting him as if we are fighting our own elections”, Mr Jassi Khangura said, adding that this was the longest period he had stayed in India.


People urged to shun candidates offering intoxicants
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 3
“Drug distribution during elections is a threat to democracy itself and we will work to make society drug-free.” These were the views expressed by all major contesting candidates from the Ludhiana constituency, while filling a declaration form proposed by the Social and Health Services Directorate, Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle. They have also asked the people not to vote for candidates offering drugs and alcohol to voters.

All important candidates, including Mr Manish Tiwari (Congress), Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon (Akali Dal), Mr Balwant Singh Ramoo alia (Lok Bhalai Party), Mr Rabinder Singh Sohal (BSP), and Mr Mohinder Lal Lalka, have signed the declaration form.

Addressing a meeting of the state council here at head office of the study circle yesterday, Dr Deepinder Singh, Director, Social and Health Services Directorate, said, “We are approaching all candidates contesting from various constituencies in Punjab to fill the declaration form. He asked the candidates to make sure that they all fulfill the expectations of the people. The chief secretary of the study circle, Dr Charan Kamal Singh, also spoke at the meeting.


BSP leader joins SAD
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, May 3
The policies of the Congress government have proved to be anti-people and so the people should vote in favour of the SAD-BJP candidates for the Lok Sabha elections in the state. This was stated by Mr Kirpal Singh Libra, former MLA and former chairman, PUNSUP, at a function of SAD candidate from the Ropar parliamentary constituency Sukhdev Singh Libra at Loha Bazar here yesterday. At the function senior advocate and activist of the BSP Rajinder Singh Mehta declared to join the SAD along with his supporters.

The state government has failed to fulfil any promise made to the electorate at the time of the Vidhan Sabha elections. Now everybody seems to be dissatisfied with the performance of the Congress Government, Mr Libra asserted.

Former Minister and election in charge of the Ropar parliamentary constituency, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, alleged that the Congress government had surpassed all previous records of corruption under the garb of anti-corruption drive while the bureaucracy had raised the rates of corruption.


Cong to take action against erring activists
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, May 3
The Congress would take disciplinary action against party workers indulging in activities detrimental to the party interests, said Mr Raj Pal Singh, state general secretary of the party, Mr Gurinder Pal Singh and Mr Joginder Singh Maini here yesterday. They were addressing mediapersons after holding a meeting with traders and industrialists of Mandi Gobindgarh at Sunshine hotel here.

“The Congress will win all Lok Sabha seats in the state as the SAD has no welfare programme for the people. Moreover, the voters have no doubt in their minds how the Badal family looted the public money with both hands and how the SAD government reached a compromise on Punjab waters with former Haryana Chief Minister Haryana Devi Lal,” they said. Mr Badal had recommended the case of Ravi Sidhu, former chief of the Punjab Service Commission, to the Prime Minister for nomination to the Union Public Service Commission, they said.

Criticising the ‘feel-good’ slogan of the BJP, they said the people had not given any response to the propaganda as the prices of petrol, diesel, steel, cement and kerosene had gone up sharply.


Park management committees turn ‘political’
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 3
The Park Management Committees (PMCs)’ which have been clamouring for the payment of their unpaid dues for the past more than two years’ have decided to go political and resolved to vote against the Congress party in protest against the raw deal given to them by the government and the civic administration.

A meeting of the Federation of Park Management Committees held here on Sunday to review the situation in the wake of an order by the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) on December 19, 2003, stipulating payments to PMCs as per their agreements and maintenance of parks and green belts in the city, noted with dismay that the payment of dues, amounting to approximately Rs 25,00,000, was still not forthcoming in spite of a number of meetings held with the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Commissioner S.K. Sharma and the Minister for Higher Education Harnam Dass Johar. Representatives of the PMCs lamented that false hopes were being given to them and the payments were being deliberately delayed on one pretext or the other.

According to Mr Pawan Sood, general secretary of the federation, the MC Commissioner, at a meeting held on January 31, 2004, had entrusted this matter to the legal advisor of the civic body, Mr Ashok Bajaj, and at a subsequent meeting with Mr Bajaj and the Executive Engineer (Horticulture) on February 5, it was promised that the instructions of the PSHRC would be implemented in letter and spirit and the pending payments would be settled within a week’s time. The minutes of the said meeting were sent to the federation on February 16 and bills of 31 PMCs were submitted on February 23 and March 5.

The meeting, however, noted with regret that arbitrary cuts, ranging between 10 per cent and 40 per cent, were imposed on these bills, which were drawn at the agreed rates. The PMCs maintained that there was no provision in the agreements for the imposition of cut and no documentary evidence was available to justify these deductions since the pending bills relate to the period over the past two and a half years, during which no inspections were carried out of the parks. Moreover, the MC had served no notice of the work having been partly done or left incomplete or being sub-standard to the PMCs concerned.

“Applying cuts on the outstanding payments at this stage is tantamount to deceitful, treacherous and unlawful behaviour to harass the PMCs with the ulterior motive to slash their legitimate payments to the level of 50 per sqm. Now these truncated bills have been referred to the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) of the MC to cause further delay although this committee has no power to overrule the agreements,” the meeting placed on record.

Inquiries made by Ludhiana Tribune from the sources in the MC, however, revealed that the bills of the PMCs had already been processed for payment and it was a statutory requirement to seek prior approval of the F&CC for all payments made by the MC, whether or not bound by an agreement. The delay had been caused due to the fact that after the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections in last week of February, the F&CC had not have any meeting till now and the next meeting of the committee was expected to be convened by the middle of this month.

Though the MC officials were not prepared to go on record about the reasons for deductions made in the bills of the PMCs, it was reliably learnt that reports submitted by the supervisory and field staff of the horticulture wing had formed the basis of cuts. It was also being mentioned that the F&CC might rule against the cuts imposed on the bills in the wake of inordinate delay in the settlement of the pending bills.


Fervour marks Id-Milad-un-Nabi
Our Correspondent

Muslims take out a procession on the occasion of Id-e-Milad-u-Nabi in Ludhiana on Monday
Muslims take out a procession on the occasion of Id-e-Milad-u-Nabi in Ludhiana on Monday. — Photo by Inderjit Verma

Ludhiana, May 3
The birthday of Hazrat Mohammad, the last Prophet of Islam was celebrated with gaiety here today.

Thousands of Muslims offered Niaz and Nazar, lit mosques, “madrsas” and “khanqahs” and houses. Community meals were served at several places all over the city.

A number of Muslim devotees took part in the procession of Id-Milad-un-Nabi, which started from Sunni Noori Jama Masjid in New Shiv Puri, after the “Zohar” prayer. The procession passed through Shiv Puri, Daresi ground, Madho Puri, Rahon road, Basti Jodhewal chowk and Kabir Nagar before reaching the GT Road where it turned into a conference.

Addressing the gathering at Sunet village, near Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Maulana Farooq Aalam Razvi, Khateeb and Imam of Jama Masjid Ghausia said all Muslims must pray to God, have faith in religious rites. They should follow the Sunnat of Hazrat Mohammad by earning their livelihood through hard work and serving the country.

This is the true teaching of Islam, said the Maulana. He further said the love towards Hazrat Mohammand was a proof of true faith in Islam and the Creator. The person who loves Hazrat Mohammad always thinks of the betterment of others.

The Muslims of the country have bravely faced crisis faced by the nation, whether it was the war with Pakistan, the Kargil war and the war of Bangladesh.

Maulana Farooq urged Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, to give representation to the Muslims in administration in the state at the district level. He demanded that Muslims be given at least 10 per cent reservation in government jobs. Loans should also be given for the education of Muslim youth and an Urdu Academy be set up. All graveyards, mosques and other places of Muslims, which were under the possession of the government, must be vacated without delay. The Maulana also demanded that Id-Milad-un-Nabi, Id-ul-Fitar and Id-ul-Zuha be declared gazetted holidays.

On the status of women in Islam, Maulana Irshad Alam Razvi, the Kateeb and Imam of Jama Masjid at Shiv Puri, said female foeticide was banned in Islam.

Others who addressed the gathering were Maulana Hakim Mohd. Ibrahim from Basti Jodhewal, Mufti Qamar-u-Huda, head teacher, Madarsa Razvia Barkatia, Giaspura, Qazi Sayeed Nasim, Masjid Bilal, Sherpur, Maulana Younus Razvi, Noori Masjid, Sherpur Khurd, Maulana Azim-ul-din, Sunni Mohammadi Masjid, Giaspura, Maulana Abdul Jalil, Sardar Nagar, Maulana Shams-ul-Haq, Gharib Nawaz, Majid Meharban, Maulana Makhdoom Raza Razvi, Sunni Raza Masjid, Meharban , Maulana Nasir Raza, Ashrafi Jama Masjid, Shera Pind, Maulana Raid-Ud-din, Sunni Munawra Masjid, Dhandari, Hafiz Saghir Ahmed, Sunni Madina Masjid, Ram Nagar, Mundian, Sufi Mohd. Sharif, Malerkotla, Maulana Shakeel Razvi, Patiala, Qazi Abdul Subhan, Jalandhar, Maulana Sabir Noori, Bathinda, Maulana Shafiq Ahmed Bukhari, Bhikhi (Mansa), Janab Mukhtar Ahmed, Ahmedgarh, Sayed Nazir Ahmed Nazir, Phagwara. Qazi Ashraf Raza Khan, Bareli Sharif, Haji Ghulam Abbas Banarsi, Chaura Bazar, Haji Abdul Sattar, Shiv Puri, Janab Abdul Rashid, Sarabha Nagar and Naseem Ahmed Ansari, Kundan Puri.

Mr Abdul Shakoor Thind, president of the Muslim Welfare Front, Punjab, and an Independent candidate for the Ludhiana parliamentary constituency, Haji Shamim Akhtar and Haji Jamal Akhtar also paid tributes to Hazrat Mohammad.

The devotees recited the Naats and Manqabats written by Hazrat Mufti-e-Azam Hind Barelvi. They were shouting, “Nara-e-Takbeer Allah-U-Akbar, Narea-e-Risalat, Ya Rasool Allah”, Mere Nabi ki yeh hai shan, Baccha Baccha Hai Qurban, and Ghaus Ka Daman Nahin Chhorenge, Maslak -E-Ala Hazart Zindabad”.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Aman Society of Punjab also took out a shobha yatra from New Kundan Puri in the Civil Lines here. The shobha yatra, which was led by Mohammad Naseem Ansari , passed through Upkar Nagar, Damoria bridge and Daresi grounds before culminating at the Sunni Noori Jama Masjid in Shiv Puri.


Residents resent air-polluting unit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 3
Residents of the local Ashok Nagar area near Salim Tabri are up in arms against a plastic-recycling factory located in the colony for the past many years.

They claimed that the factory, which used to heat plastic products to prepare plastic pellets was creating a lot of air pollution, thereby causing diseases among the area residents. They claimed that despite their complaints to various authorities, nothing had been done.

The factory heats old plastic products bought from scrap dealers in a machine. In the process, it releases stinking gases that cause eye, nasal and respiratory problems to residents. Many residents claimed that they had contracted respiratory disorders due to the all-pervasive smell that filled their houses and environment.

Ms Darshana Devi, a resident, said that she was an asthma patient The constant irritating smell added to her problems. She said that the work was on for 24 hours in the unit and they were not even able to sleep on their terraces.

“If in summers there are power cuts at night, we have to keep sitting inside as we cannot stand the smell.” she said. Mr Dharminder said that he had discontinued his morning walk because of the smell problem. “You cannot walk on the streets without covering your nose. It is an obnoxious smell,” he regretted.

A shopkeeper, Mr Kasturi Lal, said he was a heart patient and finding it difficult to rest in his house due to the pollution. “My doctor has advised me rest. But I am all the more stressed as I keep losing temper. Is it a residential area where the factory is playing with the health of people?” he asked.

His wife said the residents could not dry clothes in the open due to the smoke emanating from the unit. She added that the curtains of the houses turned black after every washing. Ms Parkash Kaur said whenever there were strong winds, plastic bags, collected by the factory workers for recycling, filled their houses.

Mr Rajinder Kumar Verma, a factory owner, however, refuted all allegations. He said he was fighting a civil suit against a resident of the same colony who was instigating others to speak against the factory.

Showing some documents issued to him by the local MC, he claimed that he had set up the unit with the permission of the authorities 15 years ago. He added that he had installed electric chimneys, to check air pollution. Moreover, he said that he had installed electrical heaters, and no furnace and electric heaters could cause air pollution.

Meanwhile, area residents complained to the DC about the unit, who marked the complaint to the local Pollution Control Board office. The pollution board authorities are yet to take any action.


Life term for killing brother
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 3
Mr Baldev Singh, Sessions Judge, has sentenced Pardeep Kumar (27) of Atam Nagar, Jagraon, to undergo life imprisonment for killing his elder brother, Pal Singh, alias Palli, in August, 1999. A fine of Rs 12,000 was also imposed on him.

Delivering the verdict, Mr Baldev Singh said it had been proved that the accused had developed illicit relations with a woman of loose character. The accused had killed his brother since he objected to the same. The court also declined the plea of leniency by the accused.

A case was registered against the accused under Sections 302 and 201of the IPC at Jagraon police station on August 7, 1999, following a complaint lodged by Raj Kumar, maternal uncle of the accused.

According to the prosecution, the deceased sold fruits at the shop of his maternal uncle at Jagraon bus stand.

The accused developed illicit relations with a woman to which Pal Singh objected. The accused, however, maintained relations with the woman.

They would often quarrel because of this. Sometimes, their maternal uncle would intervene.

On August 6, 1999, the accused told his uncle that his elder brother had died in an accident, near Phillaur, and his body was lying in the CMC. Following this, Raj Kumar went to the CMCH but failed to find the body, as the information was false. Later, when he met Pardeep, he told his uncle that the body had been cremated. His uncle grew suspicious since they were Christian and body was to be buried and not cremated.

The uncle, thereafter, reported the matter to the police. The accused was arrested on August 9. During interrogation, he confessed to the crime. The body was recovered from the graveyard in Atam Nagar, besides a spade, which he had used to commit the crime. A statement of Hem Raj was recorded who claimed that he had last seen Pal Singh with the accused.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty and alleged that the complainant, Raj Kumar, had murdered his brother but had implicated him in the case.


The ‘R’ force behind Prime Ministers
Our Correspondent

Samrala, May 3
No person whose name did not have the letter “R”, had ever become the Prime Minister of the country, nor there is any such likelihood in future, says Dr P.K. Sharma, an astrologer of Panchkula.

The first Prime Minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, and the present Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, both have “R” in their names.

Mr Rahul Gandhi or Ms Priyanka Gandhi can become the Prime Minister of India, but not Sonia Gandhi as the letter “R” is not included in her name, he says. Some years back, the name of
Sanjay Gandhi was in the news for the post, but he died and after Indira Gandhi, Rajeev Gandhi became the Prime Minister.

However, Ms Sonia Gandhi can become the Prime Minister, if she changes her name so as to include the letter “R”. At present, stars are in favour of the NDA and it is again likely to form the government at the Centre.

He said, “Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav and Mr Sharad Pawar can become Prime Minister, but the same cannot be said about Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav.”


‘Womanly Voices’ floors audience
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, May 3
“Womanly Voices” brings out the pathos of a woman’s heart, pathetic condition of the tribes dying for want of food, and a sensitive teacher’s love for his pupil in the three stories dramatised at Guru Nanak Bhavan here on Saturday evening.

The Ludhiana Sanskritik Samagam brought “Womanly Voices”, directed by Lillete Dubey. The three stories that comprised “Womanly Voices” were “Uttran”, “Shishu” and “The Teacher’s Story” written by Wajeda Tabassum, Mahasweta Devi and Gita Mehta, respectively. The plays retained the regional flavour, with the free use of Bengali, Hindi and Hyderabadi.

“Uttran” (cast-off clothes) is the story of Chamki, a maid of Pasha, a feudal lord’s daughter. Chamki hated to wear the “uttran” of the rich girl and always asked her mother, who was also a servant at the palace, why she had to wear Pasha’s cast off clothes and why Pasha never wore her cast-offs. Her mother told her that it was their lot. Stung by Pasha’s sarcasm, Chamki seduces Pasha’s husband-to-be. to take revenge. It gives her satisfaction to tell Pasha that now she would use her Uttran all her life. The story penned in 70’s had caused furor as it was not expected of a Muslim girl to write such a daring work.

“Shishu” penned by Mahasweta Devi is a sad reflection on bureaucracy that how it misuses the ration sent for the starving people. In the play, an honest officer goes to a tribal area to distribute ration to the starving people living on the banks of Narmada. He is horrified at the pathetic condition of the tribes, who keep singing death songs, awaiting their death. The sight of dwarfed and starving people was depicted through the light and sound effect provided by Innayat Ali Sami and Kapil Samat respectively. In spite of harassing stories, the officer is told, he stays back and realises why children steal. Zafar Karaciwala played the role of the officer.

Joy Sengupta in the role of harried and suffering teacher at the hands of his battle axe of a wife was simply mind-blowing.. His ambition to cut a record goes awry as his voice cracks. Fond of Sufi music, he leaves his home to go to Kolkota to listen to Sufi qawaali. A poor Muslim woman leaves his blind brother in his custody. In spite of his wife’s sharp tongue and horrific behaviour, he brings him up in Muslim tradition. The boy has an angelic voice and becomes famous. He is killed by a rich man. The heart-broken teacher commits suicide. A lot of questions are left unanswered.


At The Crossroads
Musings at 75
N. S. Tasneem

Ludhiana, May 3
There is not much to feel exultant at having added 75 years to my life span on the first of May this year. Time runs its course and the circumstances determine the period of a day’s stay in the world. Wishes are seldom fulfilled, but they should not be attached much importance in retrospect. It is the quality of one’s mind in the backdrop of heredity and environment that plays the ultimate role. A time comes when one looks back at the rugged path of life that had in fact prompted one to move ahead. In the thick of the struggle for existence, there is no scope for harbouring the idea of retreat, even when one is fighting a losing battle. The show must go on.

Longings have spun the warp and woof of my life. I have a dislike for contentment as it smacks of smugness. One should be forever restless to achieve something unknown. This feeling unleashes creative powers and these powers harness the savage in man. The balance between the solar energy and the lunar soothing restores the calm of mind. There is no conflict between the restless mind and the appeasement of senses. These are the two facets of the same reality. I have no concept of any destination as the horizon recedes further and further as I move forward. During the period of three score and 15, I have been craving for something inscrutable. But if somebody were to ask me to name the nameless, I would feel nonplussed.

Incidentally, I have never accepted the surroundings in which I have been placed by circumstances. The narrow and dingy streets of Amritsar, where I was born and brought up, urged me to go for greener pastures. When in Shimla, I found the ambience dearer to my heart but my conscience pricked me for not facing life squarely. Life demanded confrontation with the forces that hindered the attainment of my goal. At long last I achieved whatever I had longed for, although I had not set my aims too high. There is something unknown deep down in the inner recesses of the mind. Of course, there is no end as every end is a new beginning. From beginning to beginning, life marches forth.

The autumn of 1959, when I was 30-year-old, was for me like a period of shedding the old leaves which had turned pale. It also heralded the emergence of new buds and blossoms in the near future. The old was giving way to the new in an imperceptible manner. The change of course was unmistakable. The rejection and the acceptance appeared to be a continuing process. On a Sunday morning in October, 1959, I wrote the first two pages of my novel, Sogwar, while residing in Shimla with my wife and children. These two pages gave a start to the novel and these also turned out to be the last pages of the last chapter of the novel. The novel had been written in the flashback technique.

Sogwar, my first novel in Urdu, was published in 1960 and the second one, Mona Lisa, came into existence in 1962. Then there was a spell of three years due to the change in the medium of my expression. I switched over to Punjabi in 1965 and wrote my first novel Parchhaven, in that language. The change had been a smooth one, with no regrets whatsoever. During the last four decades, I have written ten novels in Punjabi, besides a number of books of literary criticism, both in Punjabi and English. My mode of narration is mainly concerned with the interior monologue of my characters. Instead of presenting the story in a chronological order, my endeavour is to portray the atmosphere of the mind of today’s man. A collection of my 100 essays entitled, The Facets of Human Life, has appeared recently.

Now at this time of my life, I am poised at viewing life as an onlooker. There is no scope for any pretensions of having run the race in a successful manner.

Like a traveller in the fast moving train, I look back to take stock of things and then look forward to accept the coming events. But in the case of literary activities, there is no respite for me worth the name. In the meanwhile, my creative work may have taken a backseat but I am still at the hub of intellectual reappraisal. The pen I hold is like a key to the door that opens up to new vistas of ideas and sensitivity. I still adhere to the Greek concept of ‘the good, the beautiful and the true’ to be the ultimate goal of mankind.


Nishkam Seva Dal distributes ration
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 3
The Punjab Nishkam Seva Dal held a function at Sankat Mochan Hanumam Temple here yesterday. The president of the Dal, Mr Sushil Prashar, along with the chief guest, Mr Surinder Dawar, MLA, distributed rations to 51 needy and hapless widows. Present on the occasion was Mr Rakesh Prashar, counsellor of Ward No. 49.

Mr Dawar said the Dal was doing a commendable job by serving the cause of humanity in their own small way.

Members of the Punjab Nishkam Seva Dal distribute rations to needy woman at a function organised on Sunday.
Members of the Punjab Nishkam Seva Dal distribute rations to needy woman at a function organised on Sunday. — Photo: IV



Accident victim dies in hospital
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 3
The police yesterday registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC on the statement of Mr Ajit Singh, resident of Pabia village, near Jagraon, against the unidentified driver of a Tata-709 vehicle.

The complainant had stated that the accused had hit his nephew Jaswant Singh near Bharat Nagar Chowk on Saturday and injured him. Jaswant Singh was admitted to the CMC Hospital, where he succumbed to injuries yesterday. No arrest has been made so far.

Cheque bounce cases

The police yesterday registered a case under Sections 406,420,506 and 120-B of the IPC on the statement of Mr Tejinderpal Singh, who runs a business in the Minerva Complex near Ghanta Ghar Chowk and lives in Mohan Singh Nagar, against Kunal Kapur, Bala Kapur and Harbhagwan Kapur, who live at Majitha Road in Amritsar.

The complainant had stated that the accused had purchased goods worth Rs 2,51,000 from him and given cheques in lieu of the payment. The cheques were dishonoured by the bank concerned. When he asked the accused to make the payment in cash, the accused refused and threatened him. The accused had committed a fraud on him, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

The police yesterday registered a case under Sections 406,420 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr. M. K. Doga, Executive Director of Radha Raman Agro Oil Private Limited at Rajkot in Gujarat, against Viren Devgan alias Varinder Sharma, proprietor of Shri Ganpati Traders in Panjab Mata Nagar on the Pakhowal Road, and Sanjay, an associate of the main accused.

The complainant had stated that the accused had purchased goods worth Rs 5,73,1985 from his firm and had given cheques for payment. The accused had committed a fraud on his firm as the cheques were not honoured by the bank concerned. No arrest has been made so far.

Fraud alleged

The police registered a case under Sections 420, 407 and 120-B of the IPC on the statement of Mr Manoj Garg, who lives near the Panjab Warehouse in Phase 5 of Focal Point, against a truck driver identified as Satnam Singh working in Harpreet Roadlines located in Transport Nagar.

The complainant had stated that he had sent a truck loaded with scrap to Gobindgarh on April 22, but the driver of the truck had not delivered the consignment. By doing so, the truck driver had committed a fraud on him, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

Land occupation bid

On the statement of an engineer of the Nagar Sudhar Trust, the police registered a case under Sections 448,511,427,353 and 186 of the IPC yesterday against Anil Kumar Gupta and other persons. The complainant had stated that the accused had made an attempt to occupy government land by demolishing the wall of a vacant plot in Sarabha Nagar and building a temple there. The accused interfered in the discharge of duty by a government servant, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

Two injured

The police yesterday registered a case under Sections 279 and 338 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Jagdish Kumar, resident of Mohinder Nagar, against Nirmal Singh, resident of Rinwa Gujran village, near Koom Kalan.

The complainant had stated that when he was going on a scooter along with his nephew on Saturday, the accused , who was driving a Tata-407 vehicle, rammed it into the scooter near Cheema Chowk, as a result of which they were injured. They were admitted to the Civil Hospital. No arrest has been made so far.

Defacement of property

Two cases were registered yesterday against unknown persons under the Prevention of Property Defacement Act, of 1997. The first case was registered against unknown persons for pasting posters of Congress candidate Manish Tiwari on the outer wall of the government school at Dhandra village and the other case was registered against unknown persons for pasting posters of Shiromani Akali Dal candidate Sharanjit Singh Dhillon on the outer wall of the government dispensary at Ladowal village.

Knife seized

The police yesterday arrested Satish Kumar, resident of Model Colony on Rahon Road, following the recovery of a ‘kamanidar’ knife from his possession and booked him under the Arms Act. The accused was nabbed near Alamgir village, added the police.

Iron plates seized

The police yesterday arrested Pankaj Kumar, resident of Basgat village in Muzzaffarpur district of Uttar Pradesh, now living near Dandi Swami Chowk, and Raju, who hangs around the local railway station, and booked them under Section 411 of the IPC. Stolen iron plates had been recovered from the possession of the accused.


Man booked for fraud
Our Correspondent

Khanna, May 3
The Khanna police yesterday booked a man for committing fraud against an automobile company .

According to information, Bhagwant Singh, a resident of Dhandari village, had purchased a Rota Peter machine in 2000 during an exhibition at Issru village from M/s Parkash Motors, Khanna. He promised to pay the company Rs 1.25 lakh in instalments.

But he did not pay the amount even after three years. Mr Sat Pal, owner of the company, then lodged a complaint at the Sadar police station.

After an inquiry by the anti-fraud wing a case was registered against Bhagwant Singh under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |