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Tension in village over place of worship
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
Tension has engulfed Bhaura village since last evening after members of two communities threw stones at each over the issue of ownership of a religious place. Heavy police force from the Salem Tabri police station has remained posted in the village since the incident to prevent any fresh outbreak of clash.

Five persons had suffered injuries in the stone-throwing incidents. A team of police was also allegedly attacked by members of a particular community. The police had rounded up some persons who were later released.

The controversy surrounds the ownership of a religious place where villagers have been performing the path of Guru Granth Sahib since Independence. However, the Muslim community living in the village and elsewhere has been claiming that the religious place used to be a mosque. It has been demanding that its possession be handed over to them.

Both parties have been fighting the case in a local court. However, last evening a strong group of 100 persons allegedly stormed the place after breaking open the locks. They also allegedly injured Avtar Singh, a granthi. The group attempted to offer Namaaz there when villagers gathered at the place. After a bitter exchange of words, the groups started throwing stones at each other. The Salem Tabri police separated the groups.

The Muslims were claiming that they had been empowered by a court order to offer Namaaz at the place. However, they were not able to show the documents to the police.

Salem Tabri SHO Arvind Puri said the district administration would decide on Wednesday the course of action regarding the old dispute over the religious place. He said the two groups were already locked in a legal battle. He said the district administration was the right authority to verify the veracity of the court orders, as claimed by one group.

The police has called the leaders of both parties to support their claims through documents by Wednesday. The leaders have been asked to sit and talk about the solution of the controversy. He said, in any case, the district administration would take a final decision and the police would go by it.

Meanwhile, an organisation, the Vishwa Guru Ravi Dass Mission, speaking on behalf of the villagers,. has condemned the alleged attempt by a group of persons to possess the religious place. Mr Shiv Ram Saroay, president of the mission, said the mission was fighting the case and had been warning the administration about such an incident.



Farmers allege duping by colonisers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
Junior level officers of the Ludhiana police are conniving with some colonisers of the city to deprive farmers of their valuable lands. The nexus between policemen and colonisers at the thana level has been brought to the notice of the senior police officers, but no concrete step has been taken on one pretext or the other. In most cases, the colonisers enter into an agreement to buy land around the city from unsuspecting farmers and they try to usurp the same through pressure tactics.

The Vikas House Building Company is one such company that floated the South City, a Punjab Urban Development Agency (PUDA) approved colony, but scores of farmers are yet to be paid the cost of the land for some agreements that were signed way back in 1997. There are allegations that the promoters of the company, Mr Yash Pal Bhalla and his son Mr. Ayush Bhalla are using arm-twisting methods to ease out some farmers from their lands in four nearby villages like Ayali Khurd, Ayali Kalan, Barewal and Jhamtan, Mr. Nachattar Singh of Village Ayali Khurd told The Tribune.

“In one particular case in our village, the company has got an FIR registered against an 85-year old farmer Harjit Singh on charges of theft, merely to force his younger brother to compromise, even though he himself is not a party to any sale agreement. My father Mr. Hukam Singh was being harassed even at age of 100 and so he made a complaint for registering a case of forgery against the Vikas House Building Company in May 2002. My father has died, but the police is yet to act on the complaint”, Mr Nachattar Singh said.

Mr Nachattar Singh alleges that the company officials even forged his signatures to grab his land. “I went to the police to get a case registered against proprietors of the Vikas House Building Company, but despite assurances I am still awaiting police action”, he said.

Mr Amolak Singh, of Ayali Kalan Village says that several farmers like him have written to the PUDA for cancelling the license of the Vikas House Building Company on charges that the operations of the company are based on “fraud” and many innocent farmers are being taken for a ride by the promoters of the company.

In a recent case, on October 29 Vikas House Building Company in violation of a “Status Quo” order from the court of Mrs Manjinder Kaur, Civil Judge (Junior Division), Ludhiana started construction of a wall on the property of Mr. Harjit Singh, Mr. Amolak Singh and others. The crop of the said farmers was also damaged and debris was scattered in the fields to give an impression that construction was going on in the area. Though, the SHO, P.S. Haibowal received the complaint from the land owners and entered it at serial number 298 on November 2, no action has been taken against the guilty till date, Mr A.C. Gupta, counsel in this case said.

Ironically, on October 26, the Vikas House Building Company got a FIR registered against Harjit Singh, Amolak Singh, Nachattar Singh, Paramjit Singh, Swarn Singh and Gurcharn Singh, all land owners. The application for registration was incidentally routed through the Inspector General of Police, Jalandhar range and was registered without any proper investigation. All except Paramjit Singh and Gurcharan Singh were illegally detained in the Police Station, Haibowal without arresting them. They were let off after they succumbed to the police pressure of entering into a compromise for which they however backed out later.

According to villagers the company enters into an agreement with farmers by paying a token amount and then offers to give them plots in their developed colonies in adjustment of the remaining amount thereby causing them double loss.

In one case of Harjit Singh, Amolak Singh and others, the Vikas House Building Company had agreed to pay the entire amount by October 30, 1998. But has not done so even till date. Even though the recent revenue records dated October 29, 2004 are in the name of the land owners. But the Vikas House Building Company is now trying to establish their possession with the help of junior level police personnel. Technically the agreement between the farmers and the company was automatically stood terminated when the company failed to make the agreed payment.

Villagers say that the land prices have escalated over the past few months thereby making the company to act on its expired agreement. Mr. Y.P S Bhalla when contacted denied all allegations and said that the construction was being done to segregate the area in dispute from the property of the Vikas House Building Company. He said that he was aware of the “Status Quo” order, but the same had not been violated in any manner and this had been verified by the police.



32 incidents of fire on Divali
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
As many as 32 incident of fire were reported from different places of the city on Divali night. Most of these were caused by sparks of fire crackers. Of these major incidents took place at Preet Studio, Salem Tabri which was gutted in fire, a house in Namak Mandi near Talaab bazaar where besides the building a car and a scooter were badly damaged and at Bhattian village where three youths were injured when a bag of crackers caught fire.

There was no casualty in any incident but at least six persons were injured and property worth lakhs was destroyed in the fire incidents

The festival of light and joy brought lot of work for the firemen who remained on their toes through out the night to save the life and property or to at least minimise the damage. A fireman Harmail Singh had deep cut on one of his legs when he fell on broken glass pieces while dousing the flames in Namak Mandi.

Two fire incidents were curious. One of these took place when three youths Dimpy , Vicky and Pankaj Kumar of Bhattian village were returning home after buying a bag full of crackers. The bag caught fire mysteriously and all of them were thrown at a distance due to the ensuing blast. The two-wheeler was damaged to such an extent that the wheels were thrown off at a distance and the body was completely burnt.

The second curious incident took place in Budha Nullah near Chander Nagar where the badly polluted water of the drain caught fire. Some Industrialist had thrown waste raw material in the drain which probably caught fire when some fire rocket fell on the heap. The fire was quite threatening as the flames over 10 feet to 14 feet.



Cloth shop burnt
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, November 13
Divali brought despair to a cloth merchant, Sandeep Ghai, when his shop, located at the local Gandhi Chowk, suddenly caught fire. A loss of lakhs of rupees has been reported to be caused by the fire.

Roopam Silk Store’s owner, Mr Ghai, had just gone to a temple after closing his shop when neighbouring shopkeepers saw smoke coming out of his shop. As the shutter was locked, it took quite some time to trace Mr Ghai and get the shop opened. Though the crowd gathered there was able to prevent the fire from spreading around, the stock of cloth in Mr Ghai’s shop was damaged by fire and the water used to control the fire.

In a report lodged with the local police, Mr Ghai stated that the shop caught fire due to a short-circuit. He said cloth worth Rs 6.5 lakh had been burnt.



Students celebrate Divali
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 13
Ryan International School here celebrated Divali. A special assembly was held to offer prayers to ensure a safe and peaceful Divali, followed by an inter-house antakshri. Principal Jaishree Gupta flagged off an eco-friendly campaign to encourage the students to celebrate Divali in an eco-friendly manner.

Divali was celebrated with enthusiasm at the BNSM College of Technical Education, Alamgir. Students of the college organised path in the college. Competition was held, in which students of the BCA (III) won the first prize in the class decoration contest and the students of the BCA (II) won the first prize Rangoli competition.

The Rotract Club of the college planted 50 saplings on the occasion. The students of the club decided not to burst crackers to avoid pollution.

Children of the Chanda Mama Kids Club had lots of fun for their Divali party. They played games like pushing ping-pong balls, balancing books on heads, finding coins from a tub.

Divali was celebrated with great pomp and show at BCM School, Basant Avenue, Dugri. The school was decorated with rangoli, diyas and candles. The students had designed and decorated different types of wax candles, gell candels and diyas.

The message of pollution-free Divali was highlighted through different innovative slogans and posters.



Health Dept employees observe black Divali
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 13
The Class IV Government Employees and Workers Union has claimed that more than 50 per cent of Health Department employees all over the state observed a black Divali due to non-payment of salaries to them. Functionaries of the union further charged the government with deliberate delay in issuing the circular for the release of festival loan of Rs 1,000 to class IV employees just two days before Divali, which led to non-disbursement of the loan to them.

In a joint statement here today, activists of the union, Mr Harbhajan Singh, Mr Sampooran Singh, Mr Avtar Singh Gill, Mr Sukhwinder Singh, Mr Kewal Singh, Mr Nirbhai Singh and Mr Didar Singh, called upon the government to immediately release the held-up salaries of the Health Department, scrap the committee formed for recruitment on compassionate grounds on the basis of old policy and empower the civil surgeons at district headquarters to issue posting orders of class IV employees.

The trade union leaders said the employees of the Health Department were gearing up for holding protests at the district level all over the state against privatisation on November 30 in close coordination with employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board, other government departments and farmers' organisations.



BSNL sends bill for disconnected phone

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 13
A former subscriber of a land line phone connection of BSNL has urged the higher authorities to impress upon the local office to stop sending bills for the services which she never availed.

Ms Indira Rani a resident of local ward number 11 said she had been a subscriber to the telephone connection of BSNL under the telephone number 01675241232 for a long period but had applied for the disconnection allegedly due to poor service. The telephone set was also deposited with the department as required by the local officials.

Though the office of the GMTD had sent the cheque number 431974 worth Rs 2400 as the refund of the security after adjusting all dues till March 2004 Ms Indira Rani received a bill for Rs 1065 recently. As the department has already disconnected the telephone no calls were metered according to the bill details.

Being disappointed over the callous attitude of the local staff in dealing her case Ms Rani has now urged the higher authorities to intervene and close the account in books also.



Attempt to loot bank at Khanna
Our Correspondent

Khanna, November 13
Some unidentified persons yesterday tried to loot a bank at Lalheri Road. According to a report, when employees of United Commercial Bank, Khanna, reached their office today morning they noticed a hole in the bank's wall. They informed the bank Manager, Mr Netar Singh, who in turn informed the police about the incident.

A police team led by the DSP, Khanna, Mr Rajeshwar Singh Sidhu, and the SHO, city police station, Mr Rajan Parminder Singh, reached the spot and found an oxygen gas cylinder, one cutter, iron rods, a saw blade and acid bottles. Finger print experts were also pressed into service.

According to the police, the thieves entered the bank by breaking the door of a vacant plot near the bank. They used acid to corrode the cement layer on the wall. Meanwhile, someone noticed the thieves but they fled away leaving behind the articles.

The DSP said a few persons had been rounded up for interrogation. However, no one was arrested till filing the story.

The bank manager said Rs 3 lakh lying in the bank was safe.

A case has been registered in this connection.



Malwa residents look forward to CM’s visit
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 13
Residents of this belt of Malwa are looking forward to the visit of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to Malerkotla on the eve of Id as they would urge him to order immediate repair of the only road connecting this area with the rest of the state.

The Ludhiana-Malerkotla road is a small stretch on the150-km Ludhiana-Khanauri road that is being set up under a World Bank Project for constructing a total of 400 km link roads in the state. While the Punjab Road and Bridges Development Board might take another couple of years to complete the work on the road, the residents of the area would have to face inconvenience on the Ludhiana-Khanauri road which has become a death trap on account of numerous potholes on it.

Many fatal accidents have occurred on the road but the administration lent no ear to the grievance of the public. The department concerned instead of repairing the road has chosen to wait for the road to be widened and reconstructed.

The condition of the about 150 km span of the road joining Ludhiana with the neighbouring Haryana has been deteriorating for the past 10 years. Except for some patch works or temporary repairs near major towns of Malerkotla, Dhuri, Sangrur, Sunam, Patran and Khanauri no major repairs were undertaken by the authorities concerned. At certain places some social organisations got the road repaired.

The diversion of heavy traffic from the National Highway Number 1 has led to further deterioration of the road. Drivers preferred to take this road to evade toll tax. Vehicles bound for West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have virtually left local commuters search alternative routes.

Though a tender notice for the construction of the Ludhiana-Khanauri road was issued two years ago, sources at the Punjab Roads and Bridges Development Board, Chandigarh, disclosed that the final decision for strengthening and widening of the road was yet to be taken.

Mr P.N. Aggarwal, in-charge of the World Bank Project, said a preliminary inspection of the road had been done recently. He claimed that there were no hindrances in the widening of the road and it would be widened only at those places where the space permitted. No demolitions would be required, he added.

Meanwhile, Ms Razia Sultana told a delegation of local Congress leaders that the road would be repaired soon. “I have sought extra grant for the immediate repair of this span of the road and repairs would be undertaken soon. No doubt we wish a more strengthened new road be constructed but we can not afford wait for another year to see the vehicles of the residents stranded at places.” she said.

Local leaders have decided to give a memorandum to the Chief Minister regarding their demands on his visit to Malerkotla.



Workers hold rally
Violation of labour laws
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
Protesting against the alleged violation of labour laws by cycle manufacturing industrial enterprises, hundreds of workers, on a call given by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), today conducted a rally at Giaspura here.

Addressing the rally, CITU president Balwant Singh said the government had not taken any action against industrial units for violating rules and non-registration of trade unions. The workers did not even celebrate Divali in protest , he said.

He said the workers would intensify their struggle if the government did not take a concrete step in the direction to provide justice to workers.

CITU general secretary Raghunath Singh alleged that the Labour Department and the Punjab Government were helping big industrialists instead of acting against them.

The union will stage a dharna in front of the Labour Office from November 23 to November 26 and also hold a rally at the Punjab Secretariat, he said.

The rally was also addressed by Jagdish Chand, Tarlochan Singh, Dev Raj, Hanuman Prasad, Sukhminder Singh Lotey, Rajesh Kumar, Ram Virkh, Vijay Kumar, Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon and Chaudhry Jagdish, among others.



Vishwakarma Day celebrated
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, November 13
A state level Vishwakarma Day Function to celebrate the Parkash Utsav of Baba Vishwakarma was organised at United Cycles Parts Complex, Gill Road Ludhiana, today

Mr H S Hanspal, President Punjab Pradesh Congress, presided over the function. Paying his tributes to Baba Vishwakarma, Mr. Hanspal said that Baba Vishwakarma was the founder of Art, Craft, Architecture and technology, which had been the base for the modern technological developments at the world level.

He said that the industrialists and artisans during the past half century had contributed in a big way for the overall economic and social development of the country. He suggested that to further propagate his philosophy, Baba Vishwakarma University cum Educational Complex should be set up with the involvement of International Vishwakarma Foundation and other related Organizations in Ludhiana District on minimum of 100 acres of land.

On the demand of the Vishavkarma Foundation, Mr Hanspal on behalf of the Chief Minister Punjab announced a grant of Rs 10 lakh for the under construction Research and Development Centre .

Mr Harnam Dass Johar Education Minister Punjab, who represented Capt. Amarinder Singh Chief Minister Punjab, that it was Baba Vishwakarma who created the Art, and Technology had laid the foundation of the present fast technological developments. He said that his followers had made substantial contributions in the Industrial development of the Country.

The Education Minister said that to enhance the technical skill of the youth, the state government had decided to start the computer education in all the government high schools and a MOU have been signed with Bill Gate Foundation, a multi- national education company.

Paying his tributes to Baba Vishwakarma, Mr Surinder Dawer, Parliamentary Secretary Power and Housing Punjab said that the philosophy of Baba Vishwakarma was the foundation of the modern technological developments in the whole world. He said that his followers had done a great service to the country after the independence in making it a formidable developed power in the world. He appreciated the Ludhiana Industry for earning a big name for the whole state in the industrial production and endorsed all the demands of local cottage industry running in some residential areas for further continuation at the present places.

Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha MLA paying his tributes said that the followers of Baba Vishwakarma had played a vital role in the economic development of the state. On this occasion four prominent personalities including Mr Shamsher singh Ghansi, Mr G S Julka, Dr Manjit Kaur daughter of late Giani Zail Singh and Sh Om Parkash Sarpanch Mansuran were awarded with Jassa Singh Ramgarhia Award by Vishwakarma Foundation. ufactures Association.

Amloh: The Managing Committee of Bhagwan Shri Vishwakarma Mandir here celebrated Vishwakarma Day today. Mr Harchand Singh, president of the committee, performed the pooja. Mr Sadhu Singh Dharmsot, Parliamentary Secretary (Home and PWD), called upon people to adopt the right path shown by Bhagwan Vishwakarma. He announced a grant of Rs 31,000 for development works in the area.

Later, Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra, member of the Lok Sabha, laid the foundation stone of a dharamshala. He spoke on the life of the founder of the Nirman Kala.

In another function, Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra laid the foundation stone for the work of the improvement of streets and drains of Dev Nagar Basti on the Annian road here. Addressing the gathering at Sethi Feed and General Mills, he flayed the action of the authorities concerned to withdraw a mobile van which was provided to Shahpur village to help accident victims. All expenses on the maintenance of vehicle, salary of driver, construction of shed had been met by the panchayat.

MANDI GOBINDGARH: Vishwakarma Day was celebrated at Dussehra Ground here. Social worker Seth Kanaya Lal lighted jyoti for the pooja. Mr S.K. Alhowalia, Deputy Commissioner, was the chief guest. Mr Harjit Harman, Nazar Mahi and Jassi Jassar enthralled the audience with folk songs. Mr Balwinder Singh Gogi, president of the Baba Visavkarma Education Association, and the Social Welfare Trust welcomed the guests. The chief guest announced Rs 11,000 for the club besides promising to pay tuition fees of children who have lost their parents, out of District Red Cross funds.



Vishwakarma Day celebrated
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 13
Shri Vishwakarma Maha Puja Utsav was celebrated at local Dehliz Road Vishakarma Mandir today. Ms Razia Sultana MLA of Malerkotla constituency segment and Parliamentary Secretary was the chief guest and Mr Gurdev Singh Jagdev inaugurated the function by hoisting the flag.

Addressing the gathering Ms Razia Sultana said the modern society owed great to Baba Vishavkarma who paved the way for all mechanical and technical advances.”

It was all due the foundation laid by him that man thought of exploring the outer universe. Fundamentals laid by the great architect led humanity to the age of ultramodern gadgets and space aircrafts,” she claimed. Mr Surinder Singh Chhinda and his party presented a collection of religious songs and hymns on the occasion.



Muslims get ready for Id 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 13
Mr Atikur Rehman, president, Indian Muslim Council, Punjab, says that moon would be sighted tonight which would mean Id will fall on November 14 and that Id-ul-Fitr-namaz would be held in Jama Masjid of Field Ganj here at 10.15 am, at Phagwara at 9 am, Idgah Kapurthala at 9.30 am, Mandi Ahmeadgarh at 9.15 am, Idgah Khanna at 10.15 am and Masjid Sarai, Doraha at 10.30 am.

He wished Id Mubarak. to everyone yesterday. There was a huge gathering for Jumma prayers .

The Muslim community is getting ready for the big day. Clothes and gifts are being bought to be exchanged. After Friday’s Namaz at Jama Masjid in Field Ganj, the people were busy buying ‘sewaians’ so associated with Id-ul-Fitr. It is a coincidence that both Divali and Id have come very close to each other. Muslims and Hindus are exchanging gifts and wishing each other warmly.



Residents wary of encroachments
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 13
Residents of Model Town extension colony, along Sidhwan Canal, are living in a pathetic condition due to official apathy. To further add to their woes transporters, mostly dealing in building materials, were dumping their goods on foot paths, public places and around commercial booths in Block A of the colony.

Even the roads, parks were badly maintained. Due to non-stop loading and unloading of bricks and sandstone, residents have to daily inhale dust and sand. Mr Jagdev Singh Grewal, a member of the Model Town Extension Welfare Association, said repeated pleas and meetings with senior municipal council officials had failed to evoke any response so far.



Rs 53000, gold stolen

Khanna, November 13
Some unidentified persons stole rupees 53000 in cash and 180 gm of Gold from Krishna Nagar area today after noon. According to information the victim Mr Satinder Goel, who had shifted in the said house in Krishna Nagar , few days back went to attend a function at Mandi Gobindgarh at 12 noon. When Satinder Goel came back to the house he found the door of the house was broken. He found Rs 53000 and 180 gm of gold missing. He informed the police. A case has been registered. OC


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