L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Army man pushed to death from running train
Had heated argument with 3 passengers on board
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 11
In a shocking incident, a defence personnel was thrown to death out of a running train by three persons, including a soldier, after a bitter argument over closing a door of the railway coach, near Phillaur late last night. The accused, who were reportedly in an inebriated state, were blocking the door and did not allow the victim to alight from the train at Goraya to drink water, leading to the argument.

The victim soldier, Om Parkash, 38, who was returning home to Jodhpur after duty in the Rajouri sector, was pushed to death out of the Pooja Express. A co-soldier Om Parkash was a witness to the incident and helped the Government Railway Police Ludhiana to arrest two of the accused at the railway station here last night.

The Railway Police sources said the victim had a fight with the three accused after he could not step outside the bogey to drink water at the Goraya railway station. The accused, a defence personnel belonging to some other regiment D.K. Pradhan and two civilians Chakanda Suama and A.S. Banerjee, had occupied the door opening towards the railway platform and were allegedly harassing passengers.

The victim entered into an argument with them over the issue. The train left Goraya and the bitterness grew. Things came to such a pass that the three accused grabbed the victim and threw him out of the running train.

The train was later stopped by passengers between Phillaur and Ludhiana. The passengers managed to detain Chakanda Suama and A.S. Banerjee, while the third managed to run away.

The two were handed over to the Government Railway police station officials. SI Harbans Singh said the accused had been booked under Section 302 of the IPC for murder. The police has alerted the regiment about the third accused. 



Over 45 pc cast vote in SGPC poll in city
Tribune News Service

An election officer verifies the identity of a voter during the SGPC poll in Ludhiana
An election officer verifies the identity of a voter during the SGPC poll in Ludhiana on Sunday. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, July 11
The elections to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) passed off peacefully today with no untoward incident reported from anywhere in the city. There are 19 SGPC seats in Ludhiana. While one candidate Ms Sukhjinder Kaur Sukhi of the Panthic Morcha was elected unopposed from the Ludhiana south segment, 42 candidates were in the fray for the remaining 18 seats.

Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker, accompanied by his legislator son, Mr Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal cast his vote in the Model Town area in the afternoon. About 25 per cent voters had cast their votes by 12. The flow of the voters remained consistent all through the day.

While the officials maintained that the voting was fair and peaceful, there were some allegations of the bogus voting as well. At some booths the voters alleged that the officials did not verify the identity of the voters. With the result several voters had to return without casting their votes. Mr Gurinder Singh and his family members also had a similar experience at booth number 18 in the Ludhiana North constituency. When they went to cast their vote, they were told that the vote against their number had already been cast. The protest could not yield to anything.

While there were some independent candidates also in the fray, but the contest remained mainly between the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Panthic Morcha. Some prominent figures in the fray today included Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia, a sitting SGPC member and the vice president of the SAD who is locked in a tough fight against Mr Balwinder Singh Bains of the Panthic Morcha. Mr Bains is a close lieutenant of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann and is also the national president of the youth wing of the party.

Other prominent candidates included Mr Avtar Singh Makkar of the SAD against Mr Parvinder Singh Khalsa from Ludhiana West, Mr Kanwal Inder Singh Thekedar, the son of senior Akali leader Mr Surjan Singh Thekedar against Mr Jarnail Singh of the Panthic Morcha. Mr Jaswinder Singh Bhaliawal, whose wife was the sitting SAD member in the erstwhile house, is now contesting on the Panthic Morcha ticket against Mr Ranjit Singh Mangli of the SAD in Ludhiana Rural.

Ludhiana witnessed a high profile campaigning for the SGPC elections with senior Sikh leaders, including Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, Bhai Ranjit Singh, Baba Sarbjot Singh Bedi and others having come here in support of their candidates.



Hambran SHO held for extortion, illegal confinement
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 11
While the district is reeling under incidents of crime, a Punjab Police Inspector, posted as Station House Officer (SHO) at Hambran police station under Jagraon police district, was allegedly busy filling his pockets with extortion money after threatening to book ‘innocent’ persons for committing robbery and snatching.

His alleged activities could not continue for long as a city resident took up the cudgels against the cop and brought him to book. Senior officials of Jagraon too did not try to cover up the case or use the common pressure tactics of the police to scare away the complainant.

The accused cop, Inspector Manmeet Singh, is now cooling his heels in police custody along with two co-accused SPOs (special police officers). He was arrested late last night after an inquiry by DSP Jatinder Singh Khaira indicted him. He has been booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 342 of the IPC.

Mr Khaira informed Ludhiana Tribune that the accused cop had been booked for allegedly illegally detaining Mr Balwant Singh, a resident of Himmat Singh Nagar, Ludhiana, and forcing him to
pay Rs 1 lakh for his release. The cop had threatened to falsely implicate him for committing robberies in the region.

According to the FIR, Inspector Manmeet Singh and his accomplices, SPOs Bhajan Singh and Raj Kumar raided Balwant Singh’s house in Ludhiana and took him away. The cop told him that a complaint had been received against him in Hambran police station. Balwant Singh was picked up in the presence of his friend, Niram Singh Nimma.

Balwant Singh was taken to Hambran police station and kept in illegal confinement. Once at the police station, the SHO demanded Rs 2 lakh from him. The FIR states that the SHO told him to pay the money or get ready to be booked.

Balwant Singh took the help of his friend Jatinder Singh and paid Rs 1 lakh to the SHO for his release. Unable to digest this bitter experience, he complained to the Jagraon SSP, Rajiv Ahir. The SSP directed DSP Jatinder Singh Khaira to conduct an inquiry.

DSP Khaira in his report upheld the complaint and indicted the cops. They were arrested and remanded to two-day police custody.



Budget driven by political compulsions, says expert
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 11
Noted economist B.B. Bhatacharya has said that he did not expect the Budget to work any wonders with the Indian economy. Delivering the keynote address during a post-Budget seminar, organised by the Ludhiana Management Association here last evening, Dr Bhatacharya said this Budget declared and promised much but not many promises would be able to see the light of the day because of time constraint and some unrealistic assumptions.

Mr Bhattacharya said he found this Budget driven by the compulsions of the common minimum programme and political compulsions of the government. He said, “Usually the Budget is mainly (up to 90-95%) the recycling of the previous Budget. Therefore, it is very difficult to be very innovative and path-breaking always because you cannot turn away from plans and policies which are ongoing.” He predicted that an average growth of 6 per cent announced in the Budget would be difficult to meet, as no plans for big investments in the infrastructure had been unveiled.

He observed that some of the Budget proposals of the previous NDA government were misdirected and this Budget, in some way, had tried to correct the imbalances. Rural development and agricultural growth are the areas which had been grossly neglected over the years, and the main thrust of the Finance Minister had been in this area so that the growth in the agricultural sector would be able to push the demand for the industrial goods resulting in the overall growth of the economy.

Mr Bhatacharya maintained that previously the areas which were growing at a faster pace like telecommunication, banking, insurance, IT etc. were given precedence over the rural sector by allocating more resources but it had resulted in a lop-sided development of the economy. He revealed that in the past two years, the rural growth had been just 18 per cent and the net agriculture growth in the last two years had been only 2 per cent, resulting in overall slowdown of the economy.

Mr Sonal Sachdev, Investor Editor of Financial Express, gave a brief presentation of various provisions of the Budget, bringing out the salient features of the whole Budget document. He was of the opinion that the turnover tax imposed on the stock operations need to be reviewed.

Earlier, Mr V.K. Goyal, general secretary of the LMA, while welcoming Mr Bhattacharya and Mr Sachdev, expressed the view that although the Budget talked much but in reality it was very much suspect on the delivery aspects of the policies. He observed that the Budget should have been more pragmatic and should have addressed the issues relating to all sectors of economy.

Mr Anil Kumar delivered the presidential address, while Mr D.L. Sharma, past LMA president, presented the vote of thanks.



Search Within
Walk your way to happiness

A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all medicine and psychology in the world can, wrote Paul Dudley White (1886-1973), American cardiologist and founder of the American Heart Foundation.

White emphasised the importance of prevention of coronary disease and was a strong advocate of fitness and exercise in aiding its prevention. His use of bicycle was known throughout the world and the 17-mile of bike path in the Boston-Brookline area is named after him.

We may not all be fitness freaks, but walking is excellent from another angle also. It helps in overcoming boredom and lifting up spirits when one feels dull.

If you are looking for creative ideas or struggling with certain decisions, taking a good walk helps you think better. Philosopher Henry David Thoreau used to say that the moment his legs began to move, his thoughts began to flow.

What is more you note more of the beauties of nature. Nature’s peace will flow into you. The winds will refresh you and for a moment you are freed from the monotony of concrete walls and confined spaces.

The television has colluded in making the home for many a man or woman a sort of a couch. The urban dweller, if he is employed, finds little time to stir out and meet his neighbour. He is too busy to go for a walk. He does miss the joys of a morning walk or an evening saunter; he seldom looks at the stars, flowers on the wayside; he is also a stranger to the music of birds. To that extent, he goes through life blind and deaf to the joys of existence.

“I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least — and it is commonly more than that — sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements,” Thoreau comments in his essay on walking.

The human being is unique in possessing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions. With only a little self-observation, you will quickly realise that any time your physical being is sluggish or functioning below optimum level, your mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being also suffers. Those who walk regularly a couple of miles a day report improved metal clarity and emotional and spiritual well-being. This being so, we must use every opportunity that present itself in our daily schedule to keep our legs on the move.

For the city dweller, this means, avoiding elevators and escalators, and taking the stairs! If you need more vitality in your life, climbing a few stairs whenever possible will be a big step (literally) in the right direction. Also, if you ever have the opportunity to go for a walk or a hike in nature, you will be reaping even more benefit from the uneven terrain and chance to breathe fresh air, not to mention the benefits to your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being!

There’s a long tradition of getting the body involved in prayer and meditations if one examines the history of monasteries. Medieval monastery or convents had large open area where the monks and nuns would walk and pray. What’s more, prayer-walkers will argue that walking and praying or meditating offers greater satisfaction than sitting at a place for quiet reflection. And if one is able to select a beautiful spot like a seashore or mountain, this adds to the contemplation of the majesty of creation and the glory of the Creator.

Dr Fred A. Stutman, a medical officer with the US air force, established one of the first walking programmes for heart patients. Known as the father of walking revolution, he did considerable research on the subject.

According to him an increased oxygen supply and reduced carbon dioxide in the blood are two physiological changes that occur while exercising. The increased oxygen supply improves one’s thinking ability and memory, lengthens the concentration span and heightens the clarity of thoughts (during walking).

Recent studies also indicate that exercise may increase the concentration of two different groups of chemicals in the brain known as endorphins and norepinephrines. These substances appear to have a mood elevating effect and tend to impart a sense of well-being to the exerciser.

So get out of your seat and sedentary existence, go for a walk and see the difference for yourself. You may have then discovered a way to change your brain chemistry and through it, your mood.

— M.P.K. Kutty



‘Scope of Punjabi language needs to be widened’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 11
Leading Punjabi intellectuals today called for a thorough introspection to promote the Punjabi language. They stressed the need for widening the scope of Punjabi so that its existence was not threatened. At the same time they observed that the scope of Punjabi should not be restricted within a group of intellectuals, writers or experts but should be broadbased.

Addressing the first Punjabi language convention here today, Dr S.S. Johl a former Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala observed that the entire system needed to be held responsible for the plight of the Punjabi language. Referring to the working of Punjabi University Patiala, which now appears to be even defying its name, Dr Johl said, it was the responsibility of everyone there to ensure the promotion of the language. He also regretted that there was no weightage given to the score in Punjabi when it came to the admission in the postgraduate classes in the university.

Dr Johl maintained that there was no fun in opposing the introduction of English from the first standard as long as the people in the urban areas did not agree to the idea. He pointed out, in the public schools, which dominate the education system in the state, English was taught from the very beginning. So there was no fun in denying the students of rural areas the same.

Dr Harbhajan Singh Deol, a former member of the National Commission for Minority Languages also regretted that there was no concern for minority languages like Punjabi at the government level. He maintained that the commission was like a “sleeping beauty” without much powers. He suggested that such institutions needed to be strengthened as regional and local languages were equally important.

Mr Gurpreet Singh Mundiani, a Punjabi journalist said Punjabi should not be confined within the domain of the writers and intellectuals alone but should be popularised among the common Punjabis. He called for a strong movement to promote and strengthen Punjabi by rising above the narrow and partisan biases.

Mr Jaswant Singh Kanwal, president of the Punjabi Lekhak Sabha maintained that political will was needed to safeguard the interest of Punjabi.



Sabharwal felicitated

Ludhiana, July 11
The Dr B.R. Ambedkar Youth Federation Club, Punjab, has expressed gratitude to the Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, for selecting Mr Dharam Pal Sabharwal from the Valmiki Samaj for the Rajya Sabha.

A function to honour Mr Sabharwal was organised by the federation here today under the presidentship of Mr Chander Shekhar Sahota. The office -bearers of the club also urged the Congress President to induct Mr Sabharwal into the Union Cabinet. — OC



Woman killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 11
A woman was killed and two persons were injured when the car in which they were travelling rammed into a truck from behind on the Jagraon-Ludhiana GT road, about 5 km from here.

Inderjit Singh, owner of Fauji Tent House, Jagraon, along with his wife Harpreet Kaur, 48, and daughter Rani, was coming from Ludhiana in the car when the accident took place. Harpreet Kaur was killed on the spot. The police has brought the body of the deceased for a post-mortem examination to the local Civil Hospital whereas both the injured are under treatment in some private nursing home. The truck driver has absconded.



Marriages of poor girls solemnised
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 11
Marriages of five poor girls were performed by the local branch of the Akhil Bhartiya Shri Sanghmeshwar Seva Dal at the Janta College for Women. Mahant Shri Gangapuriji Maharaj, Arunay Dhamwale, blessed the newly wedded couples.

Mr Kewal Krishan Bhagriya, president of the Dal, said all couples were provided articles of daily use to start their marital life. Various social and religious organisations extended cooperation to the Dal in organising the marriages.



Steel prices shoot up
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 11
The steel prices have shot up by Rs 1000 per tonne as a result of hike in the central excise duty on the steel in the Union Budget.
The Finance Minister enhanced the central excise duty from 8 per cent to 12 per cent on the steel.

Mr R.P. Bhatia, Senior Vice-President, All India Steel-re-rolling Mills Association, has expressed his unhappiness over the increase in the central excise duty. He sad that the NDA government had reduced the central excise duty from 16 per cent to 8 per cent in January last when the steel prices were touching all the time high. The reduction in the central excise duty was effected to give relief to the engineering industries. The steel prices were already high and the levy of 12 per cent central duty would further affect the consumption of steel. The secondary steel plants were located at Ludhiana and Mandi Gobindgarh, he added.

Mr Bhupinder Singh said MS rounds of steel were sold at Rs 26,000 per tonne today and in got was sold for Rs 23,000 per tonne and there was an increase of Rs 1000 per tonne in the prices of the state.

Mr Bhupinder Singh said the international prices of steel were high at present and in view of the same, the reduction in the customs duty would not be of much help as there would not be much import of steel. He said that demand for steel had also fallen due to severe cut on the industries.

The industries in the state were being subjected for 48 hours power cut continuously as a result of which the steel production had also come down by more than 35 per cent.

Mr Inderjit Singh Pradhan, President and Mr Avtar Singh, general secretary Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, Ludhiana, also criticised the hike in the central excise duty on steel.



Motor parts manufacturers allege discrimination
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 11
The UPA Government at the Centre has been moving towards destroying the industry and trade in Punjab by making economical discrimination. These views were expressed by Mr Sharnjit Singh Dhillon, MP from Ludhiana while addressing the general body meeting of the Ludhiana Motor Parts Manufacturers Association (LMPMA) here today.

Mr Dhiilon said that the Central Government had continued with this discrimination with Punjab state by providing financial assistance to other states. He said that it was a matter of great surprise that the states which contributed only 25 per cent to the central pool in the form of taxes, received in return four times more the central funds, whereas the Punjab got same share against its major contribution to the centaral pool.

He further said that Punjab was the only state where about three lakh industrial units were registered with the Industry Department. However, by providing a special economic package to the neighbouring states- Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir along with Bihar and Uttranachal, step-motherly treatment had been meted out to Punjab.

Mr Dhillon informed that the Akali-BJP front of 11 MPs from the state would raise this issue in the forthcoming session of Parliament. He demanded a special package for the Punjab which had suffered a lot during two wars with Pakistan and also terrorism so that Punjabis could be saved from economic losses.

The MP announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh from his discretionary funds to the LMPMA for the welfare of industry and for research and development works.

Earlier, Mr Gurpartap Singh Kahlon and Mr Charan Singh Kohli, president and general secretary respectively of the LMPMA, while addressing the meeting appealed to the Central government to set up a Regulatory Commission to control the steel prices.

The meeting condemned the Union Government’s policies terming these as putting up unnecessary fiscal load on the consumers. It also demanded reduction in the bank lending rates for the small scale industries sector and it should not be more than 8 per cent.

Besides, the meeting adopted a resolution to raise the investment limit of plant and machinery for auto parts from Rs 1 crore to Rs 5 crore as has been done in case of hand tools, hosiery and textiles. Similarly the meeting expressed concern over the steep hike in steel prices and other inputs. The central excise exemption limit should also be raised from Rs 1 crore to Rs 1.5 crore, the meeting resolved.

Besides office-bearers of the association, Mr Joginder Singh Guliani, Mr Surinder Singh, Mr Jagtar Singh, Mr Manjit Singh Khalsa along with Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, president, CICU, Mr S C Ralhan, regional chairman, EEPC, Mr Rajiv Kapoor and Mr Ravi Kant, senior branch manager and joint manager of NSIC Ltd, industrialists- Mr Charanjit Singh Vishavkarma, Mr Jasbir Singh, Mr Joga Singh, Mr O P Kapoor, Mr Harjit Singh, Harjit Singh of Punjab and Sind Bank, Prof Charanjit Singh, Mr Rajinder Singh Nexo, Mr Mohan Singh Thukral were also present at the meeting.

Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon and other dignitaries were felicitated by presenting mementoes and shawls by the association on this occasion.


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