L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Temple body flouts building bylaws
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 7
In Ludhiana, almost everyone violates the building by-laws and municipal rules with impunity. While an ordinary man finds it hard to get away without the help of the officials concerned, if the violation is done by a VIP or a religious institution, it is considered regular. The management of the Krishna Mandir Trust, Model Town, that had acquired the existing premises of the mandir for building a charitable hospital has built several shops for commercial gains and is also in the process of encroaching on public land, much to the resentment of local residents.

Some years ago this piece of land in Model Town was allotted by the government for the temple and a charitable dispensary, but over the years, the temple management has put up a full-fledged market, which is being further extended now.

Even though officials of the municipal corporation were evasive or tight-lipped on the issue whether the temple management had been granted any permission to extend the building or a building plan for this purpose had been approved, the building activity is on in full swing and concrete pillars have been put up at the main entrance to the temple with the purpose of increasing the size of the shops on both sides of the entrance. The proposed extension of the building has overshadowed the actual structure of the temple, which has been hidden behind the row of shops.

Inquiries made by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that the MC had allotted the additional space, initially earmarked for a public park, to the temple management for setting up a charitable dispensary but realising the high commercial value of the prime land, the temple management had started making commercial use of the land in gross violation of the agreement signed with the civic body in this regard.

In taking up extensive expansion of the building, the temple management had not only showed utter disregard to laws and public convenience, but the life of the residents, living in the vicinity of the temple, had also become miserable due to congestion and hectic activity at the shops throughout the day.

In addition to flouting the building by-laws, the temple management has also put up a temporary shed outside at the entry gates and the makeshift structure, in all probability, appeared to be a tacit step towards further encroachment of public land. It has become a common practice in the mega city to erect temporary structures at public places as a prelude to permanent encroachments. In particular, the practice is more prevalent with the religious institutions that are under the impression that they can get away with anything in the name of ‘God’.

On their part, civic officials, responsible for enforcement, also act with utmost caution where the religious bodies were concerned. Also, most of the religious institutions claim proximity to one or the other politician. And more often than not, prominent local politicians were themselves members of the managements of these bodies. Particularly, after the unsavoury incident of the MC administration attempting to check the violation of building norms and encroachment by the Durga Mata Mandir in the city a couple of years ago, the civic officials have virtually closed their eyes towards the goings on in the houses of Gods in the city.



Identity of girl still a mystery
Post-mortem report states she consumed poison
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 7
Mystery continues to shroud the identity and the reason of the death of a young girl who was found dead in a bus that reached Jalandhar bypass bus stop here from Phagwara yesterday.

The post-mortem examination of the unknown girl revealed that she had consumed poison. However, for the exact classification of the poison, the viscera of the deceased was sent for chemical examination to the experts at Patiala.

The examination termed the girl to be around 25 years of age with no symptoms of any sexual assault or such a relationship in the near past. The Salem Tabri police suspected that the girl belonged to a Sikh family as she was wearing a ‘kadda’. The police said it was, however, possible that the girl belonged to some other community. She could have worn the ‘kadda’ just because she liked wearing it.

The girl was cremated at Daresi cremation grounds in the evening. Playing a good samaritan, the cops and some social workers pooled money among themselves to bear the expenses of the cremation.

Police sources said the girl’s clothes have been kept for her identification later on. All efforts of the police to get some clue about her name and address have not borne fruit. The police had circulated the girl’s description to all police stations in the state but no one has responded positively so far.

‘‘We have sent alert message about any missing girl matching her description but no such matter was reported in any police station so far,’’ said Mr Arvind Puri, SHO, Salem Tabri police station.

The girl had boarded a private transport bus from Phagwara and was found dead in the bus which reached here in the afternoon.

The girl was sitting on the front seat of the bus and had suddenly fainted when the bus reached Jalandhar bypass chowk. The conductor of the bus in a statement to the police said that the girl had boarded the bus from Phagwara. The police said they had made special inquiries from Phagawara but no such girl was reported missing from there. The police was checking up specially with the Jalandhar and Amritsar police as there was a possibility that the girl belonged to these places and could have belonged to these places and boarded the bus from Phagwara.

The police said the girl seemed to have scribbled the line, ‘‘mein apni maut ki khud zimewar hun’’ on her hands while sitting in the bus only.



Molestation case: PSHRC orders SSP to reply
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 7
Taking a serious view of the alleged laxity of the police in the molestation case of a house maid in Samrala, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has directed the SSP, Khanna, to reply as to why no challans have been submitted in the case.

The woman had complained to the commission that the accused, Jaswinder Singh, had raped her in his house but the Samrala police had registered a case of molestation only and that, too, after much harassment of the victim. She alleged that no accused was arrested till date.

The commission had also asked the police to inform it about the present fate of the investigation in the case.

The woman, belonging to Shamshpur tehsil, Samrala, has alleged that she used to work as a house maid in the house of Jaswinder Singh who lived in the house along with his wife. The incident took place three months ago. She had gone to the house to do work and on reaching there he informed her that his wife, Jaspreet Kaur, was not in the house. The complainant started doing the work and in the meanwhile Jaswinder Singh caught hold of her and raped her.

He threatened the complainant of dire consequences if the matter was reported to the police. However, she went ahead and the police registered the case after much harassment under Sections 173/506, IPC. The grievance of the complainant was that despite the fact that the statement u/s 173 had already been recorded by a Magistrate, the police had not effected any arrest.

The case would now come up for hearing on December 12.



Timely chill warms up hosiery industry
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 7
Thanks to timely cold, the hosiery industry in Ludhiana is all cheers. The industry is learnt to be flush with orders. The cold could not have started at a better time as the two most important festivals of the season Divali and the Id — are only a few days away.

Sources in the industry said that after about seven years the cold had set in at the right time. They pointed out that people had started using sweaters and jackets during the mornings and evenings. There could be no better news for the hosiery industry than this. During the past six years, people would not bring out their woollens till late December or early January.

Hosiery manufacturers said this year the cold had started at the right time. They pointed out that the night temperature was going down progressively and the industry hoped that by December, people would go for full-scale use the woollens, which was not the case during the past several years.

People usually shop for woollens and winter wear during the Divali season. With the Id also falling around Divali the demand has almost doubled and the manufacturers are busy meeting the delivery (of orders) deadlines.

However, the industry as usual is cautious in its reaction. Given the bitter experience of the past several years, there is not much scope for optimism. Mr Aneesh Dhawan, a garment exporter, said although the indications were positive, it was too early to predict the final outcome. But he added that in case the cold increases gradually as it appears the industry might get a reprieve after a long time.

During the past several years the focus had shifted from sweaters to sweat shirts and jackets. Now sweaters have again come in demand. Particularly in the cold regions like the upper reaches of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, the demand for sweaters is increasing. Mr Sunil Datt, another hosiery manufacturer, who mostly supplies his products to Kashmir, said that the demand had considerably grown there particularly because of Id.

The hosiery manufacturers are only praying that the cold continues to increase like this. Although the day temperature is still more than they would like it to be, it is the low night temperature that has been warming them up. 



PCCTU members’ strike, rallies today
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 7
The Punjab and Chandigarh Teachers’ Union (PCCTU) has decided to go on strike after the third period and hold rallies in support of its demand tomorrow. The demands include the release of salary arrears, HRA to rural colleges, parity of DPE’s and librarians, merger of 50 per cent DA in the basic salary, implementation of the pension and gratuity scheme and recommendations of the Johl Committee report.

The union has tried to persuade the Punjab Government to fulfill its promises, but the apathetic and dilly-dally attitude of the government has led to a lot of disappointment among teachers of non-government-aided colleges.

However, the union has once again urged the government to take early initiative to meet the demands of college teachers.

The union said it would intensify agitation if their demands go unheeded. Teachers would proceed on mass casual leave to hold a state-level rally at Matka Chowk on November 17. 



Enjoy Divali but spare a thought for animals
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 7
Divali is festival of lights, sweets and joy. Celebrate by lighting diyas and bursting crackers. But the smoke emitted poses a great threat to the asthmatics and heart patients. Perhaps one does not bother about the animals like cats, dogs, cows, and birds that are greatly stressed out by the deafening noise of fire crackers. They do not know why human beings are exploding crackers. They are scared and become aggressive at times The birds and nests get burnt.

Shun crackers say the members of People for Animals, Ludhiana. Stop the persons treating cruelly animals like tying crackers on their tail and then bursting it. Dr Sandeep Jain, of the PFA urges Ludhianavies to share festivities with deprived and the needy. People can feed stray animals or inmates of animal shelters.


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