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Govt trying to ruin cotton growers: BKU
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 14
Lambasting the government for giving a raw deal to the farmers in general and cotton growers in particular, the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) has called for immediate release of arrested farmers and urged the government to ensure a minimum support price of Rs 2,700 per quintal to cotton growers.

Talking to mediapersons here today, the acting president of BKU, Mr Manjit Singh Kadian, who was accompanied by other office-bearers Mr Baldev Singh Barkandi and Mr Bhupinder Singh Mahesari, alleged that under a well thought out plan, the government was trying to ruin the cotton growers so that they could be forced to opt for paddy cultivation.

“The government has imported more than 15 lakh bales of cotton from Australia and dumped it in the market at a time when domestic crop is to hit the market.” As a result, traders, in active connivance with the government officials, were exploiting the cotton growers. Mr Kadian maintained that the Cotton Corporation of India and other procurement agencies were totally indifferent to the plight of farmers.

Charging the government with motivated action against “contract farming” initiated by the Punjab Agro Foods Corporation, the BKU alleged that the PAFC had failed to lift the basmati rice crop at the contracted price of Rs 1,000 per quintal. This had made the farmers sell their produce at throwaway prices to the traders. “The government is bent upon promoting paddy cultivation which is detrimental to the larger interests of the state and its farmers.”

Mr Kadian further said almost 27 lakh hectare area in the state was presently under paddy cultivation as the farmers had no viable alternative. With around 60 per cent of the river water of Punjab being diverted to other states, the cultivation of paddy was having a bad effect on the ground water table which had depleted to an alarming level.

However, the government was pursuing the policy of forcing the farmers to stick to traditional crop rotation of wheat and paddy which was evident from its ridiculous action against cotton growers.

Indicating that the BKU would launch a mass agitation to focus on the demands of the farmers and anti-farmer policies of the government, the BKU acting chief announced that a ‘kisan march’ would be organised on November 18 from gurdwara Bangla Sahib to Prime Minister’s residence in New Delhi and at the same time a movement to press for the release of arrested farmers in Punjab would also be intensified.



Shiv Sainiks flay arrest of Shankaracharya
Burn effigy of Tamil Nadu Government
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 14
Demanding the immediate withdrawal of the criminal case and release of Shankaracharya of Kanchi, activists of the Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) today burnt an effigy of the Tamil Nadu Government. At the same time, the protesters flayed the Union Government for the action, which they claimed had hurt the religious sentiments of crores of Hindus all over the country.

Addressing a protest rally held at the Clock Tower Chowk here, the district president of the party, Mr Amar Takkar, further demanded a public apology from the Tamil Nadu Government and the Union Home Ministry for the ‘reprehensible’ action against the Kanchi seer. He cautioned the government against any harassment to Shankaracharya in the jail which could have serious repercussions.

Mr Takkar and other speakers took a strong exception to the objectionable remarks against the religious leader by the DMK supremo, Mr M. Karunanidhi. They said if the DMK leader did not desist from such outbursts, the Shiv Sena workers would come out on the streets to give a befitting reply. “The government is pursuing a policy of appeasement of the minority community and in the process, the Hindus are being persecuted, whether in Jammu and Kashmir or elsewhere.”

Mr Ravinder Arora, Mr Neeraj Verma, Mr Sanjay Gautam, Mr Sandeep Thapar, Mr Ashok Samra, Mr Suresh Arora, Mr Ashwani Mahajan, Mr Jatin Chawla and Mr Om Parkash Saini were also present at the occasion.



‘Gilli-gilli pasha’, it’s magic time with Samraj
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Magician Samraj performs at a marriage palace in Ludhiana on Sunday
Magician Samraj performs at a marriage palace in Ludhiana on Sunday. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, November 14
Notorious dacoit Veerappan may have been killed by the Special Task Force, but for the Kerala born, Samraj Magician, Veerappan would be making special appearances in all his stage shows like before his death.

The internationally acclaimed magician, who is probably the only magician specialising in horror magic, has been ‘forcing’ the dreaded brigand to appear before the public for the past over a decade in his shows. The sandalwood smuggler’s death has not made any difference in the magician’s skills and he would continue presenting him alive before the masses. And that too with his trademark handle-bar moustache, which had disappeared before his death.

This obviously is one of the several tricks championed by the ace magician who has shot to fame in the Indian as well as international who’s who of magic after performing a sensational jail-break trick from Poojappura Central Jail, Thiruvanathapuram some years ago.

Later, he went on to perform the “Great Graveyard Escape Act” where he was chained, placed in a coffin and the coffin was nailed and buried. A huge haystack was lit over the buried coffin. He, however, emerged safe in a police uniform with in 35 seconds. He also transformed a train engine into a huge elephant in an exclusive show held at the Press Club of Thiruvanathapuram.

So the first thing which one would obviously ask the man is whether magic really associated with some super power or supernatural thing? Samraj, whose real name is George Sam, thinks for a few seconds before asserting that magic is basically a combination of fast movement of hands, sleek presentation and mass hypnosis. He was in the city to present a stage show at Maharaja Palace, on Sunday.

“Magic is an art. It has no supernatural element in it. But all magicians have their own secrets and this is what makes them different,” he said adding that if the secret behind the trick was revealed then there would be no fun in magic.

George Sam ‘Samraj’ is the first member of his family to have a fancy for this art. He wanted to be a magician since his childhood, but there was no one in his family to teach him, “I had a strong urge for magic and used to devise my own tricks” he said. It was only after getting a degree in engineering and while working in Gulf that he actually started practicing magic seriously.

He was helped immensely by Professor Kutty in the Gulf. Then he made his own tricks and after years of hard work reached this stage. Samraj believes that magic cannot be taught, “It is an inborn talent” in his words.

He stresses that unless a person is talented naturally for the art, he cannot become a magician. “There are several magic-teaching institutions in South India, especially in Kerala. As many as 500 students are estimated to pass out from the institutions every year but how many have become magicians?” he asks.

Samraj’s son, Jojee, is an audio engineer and helps him in the presentation of shows along with his mother Mary. His son is not interested in performing magic and Samraj has so far not found any fit heir to pass on his legacy. “I tried some students but talent cannot be injected.”

Samraj’s dream trick that he is dying to perform is the “Helicopter Vanishing Act”. He would chain himself to a helicopter which would vanish with him at a height of 100 feet. Samraj would appear in the audience safe and sound. But he does not want to reveal where the helicopter would be, “It would be safe, that is only what I can say” he said. Due to security problems he has not been able to organise the show so far. He tried it last year in Mumbai but the administration did not provide a security clearance. He tried it in Gulf but with the same results. But he is hopeful that he would manage to organise the show somewhere soon.



Contests mark Children’s Day
Tribune Reporters

A visitor and her child at the philatelic exhibition organised at Lions Bhavan, Ludhiana, on Children’s Day on Sunday
CHACHA’S FAVOURITE: A visitor and her child at the philatelic exhibition organised at Lions Bhavan, Ludhiana, on Children’s Day on Sunday. — Photo by Inderjit Verma

Ludhiana, November 14
Class VI students of Kundan Vidya Mandir today paid tributes to Pt Jawaharlal Nehru.
Sarthak Dutt, Sejhajpal, Sagar and their friends organised a patriotic songs competition and distributed prizes. They also cut a cake to celebrate the day.

Bal Divas was celebrated at R.S. Model School in a novel way. A village scene, depicting typical Punjabi culture, was set up.

The Bharat Vikas Parishad organised a function at the Geetanjali Club and distributed scholarships among school and college students. The college students were given Rs 1,200, while the schoolchildren were given Rs 1,000. Mr Gian Chand Jain was the chief guest and Ms Gurmeet Walia, president, Geetanjali Club, presided over the function.

Children’s Day was also celebrated at the Sutlej Club. Children participated in various contests, including essay writing, cooking, rangoli making, flower arrangement, painting, singing, poem recitation and dance.

Apart from these, the children also enjoyed tombola, magic and puppet show.

A function was organised at the local office of the district Congress. Mr Jagmohan Sharma, who presided over the function, urged the party workers to follow the path shown by Pandit Nehru. He also garlanded the portrait of Pandit Nehru.

The Ludhiana Philatelic Club and the Department of Posts organised a mela and a stamp exhibition, Lupex — 2004, at Lions Bhavan, Udham Singh Nagar.

Mr Rakesh Pandey, state minister, inaugurated the exhibition and the mela. Ms Manisha Bansal, Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, Ludhiana Division, presided over it. Mr Yash Pal Bangia, general secretary of the club, spoke about the importance of stamps and Bal Divas.

A kit was given to every child. More than 1,000 children and their parents visited the exhibition. Twenty philatelists displayed their collections.

A “boogie-woogie” contest was organised at Nehru Sidhant Kendra. More than 100 children participated in the dance competition.

The Rameshwar Welfare Trust organised a function at Labour School. Games like one-minute dance were organised. Mr Rajesh Kapoor of the trust said everyone should help the needy children.

The Vishva Guru Ravi Dass Mission also organised a function.

Mandi Ahmedgarh: The office of the Registrar of Births and Deaths celebrated Children’s Day at Town Hall here under the supervision of the SDM, Malerkotla.

The SDM said the registrar office had received 6,000 applications for the issuance of birth certificates.

At the function birth certificates were distributed, which was presided over by Mr Ved Parkash Single, Executive Officer. Students of Sanatan Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School presented a cultural programme.



Brahmin Sabha demands seer’s release
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 14
The Shri Brahmin Sabha, Samrala, at an emergency meeting held at Durga Mandir here today condemned the arrest of the Kanchipuram Shankaracharya, Jayendra Sarasvati on the charge of the murder of Sankaraaman, who had managed the accounts of the mutt during the period of Paramacharya Shri Chandra Sekerenda Sarasvati. It also deplored the fact that the Shankaracharya was held on Thursday night when he was performing the “trikal puja.”

The meeting held the Tamil Nadu Government as well as the DMK party responsible for the arrest. The arrest had shocked the Hindu community all over the world and in India.

The meeting demanded the immediate release of the seer. It also demanded that the Tamil Nadu Government should tender an unconditional apology for the act. “We appealed to the President of India to intervene and douse the spark before it turned into a conflagration,” added the meeting in a resolution.



PGPC biased against Indian Muslims visiting Pak, claims leader
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 14
A local Muslim leader has urged the Union Government and the SGPC to come to the rescue of the Indian Muslims who visit Pakistan to meet their friends and relatives and see historical places.

According to him, while Pakistan authorities were cordial with Muslim visitors from India, officials of the Pakistan Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (PGPC) discriminated with them and officials at Attari also exploited them on their return.

Citing a recent incident, Mr Zikar-ur-Rehman, general secretary of the Muslim Youth Front and an office-bearer of the local Islamia Public High School, said he was not allowed to see most of the Sikh shrines in various cities of Pakistan during his visit to that country.

Referring to the role of the PGPC officials at the memorial of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Lahore he alleged that he was not only stopped from entering the historical memorial but was also humiliated. “Despite my repeated requests they did not allow me enter the historic monument which was open to members of other communities. I wonder why I was deprived of the right to pay respects to the great Sikh warrior who had advocated human equality during his life time?” said Mr Rehman.

He urged the President of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) to take up the matter with PGPC head and ensure that members of all religions were treated equally.

Mr Rehman said he was allowed to see Shahi Qila at Lahore which reflected the history of Lord Rama.

The Muslim leader was also disappointed at the role of the Indian officials at Attari. He alleged that he had to ‘pay’ them for not bringing liquor for them. “One of the officials detained me and three other visitors from Malerkotla for a long time even after when we had got clearance to go obviously to benefit a group of taxi drivers who charged exorbitant fare for taking them to Amritsar city. We were asked to pay Rs 250 per person to the taxi driver where as bus fare was only Rs 13,” he explained.



City resident strikes lucky
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 14
Mr Raja and his wife Preet, residents of Model Town Extension, have won an LG Flatron CTV worth Rs 12,499 in the ongoing ‘Dhoom Macha De’ offer of LG Electronics. Raja had bought a microwave oven from Batra LG Shoppe, Ghumar Mandi, and got a ‘Dhoom Macha De’ device. Upon twisting the device, Preet found a lucky slip of an LG Flatron CTV.



Manch to hold seminar
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 14
The Shaheed Bhagat Singh Vichar Manch will organise a seminar on “The Gadhar Movement and its relevance today” at Dr Amarjit Kaur Nursing Home, opposite Aarti Theatre, here tomorrow at 1.30 pm. Dr Ved Vatuc, a former professor of Berkley University, USA, will deliver the keynote address and Dr Tejinder Sebia of California University will preside over the function. 



Police-public meeting today

Ludhiana, November 14
After a gap of three years, the local police will redress public grievances at Aggarwal Palace tomorrow. During the meeting, complaints of residents living in the Sarabha Nagar police station area will be taken up. The meeting will be chaired by the DIG, Ludhiana Range, Mr Parag Jain. TNS



Six booked for murder bid
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 14
On the statement of Mr Jaswant Singh, a resident of New Rajguru Nagar, the Sadar police yesterday registered a case of an alleged bid to murder against Rimpy, a resident of Mandi House at Threekay village and his five accomplices.

The complainant had stated that he was standing outside his house on Divali night when the accused, who were armed with swords and hockey sticks, came in a vehicle to his neighbour’s house. They created a ruckus and entered the house of his neighbour Sukhwinder Singh and attacked him as a result of which he was seriously injured.

When Mr Jaswant Singh tried to save Sukhwinder Singh, the attackers rammed their vehicle into him with the intention of killing him. He suffered a fracture in leg and had to be admitted to the New DMC Hospital. No arrest has been made so far.

Assault cases: The Jodhewal police yesterday registered a case under Sections 447, 511, 427, 506, 148 and 1349 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Chanan Singh, a resident of Geeta Nagar near Chawla Textiles Mill, against Harsha Singh, Harpal Singh, Jagtar Singh, all residents of Dakha village and Balraj Singh, a resident of Jangpur village.

The complainant had stated that one of the accused Harsha Singh was his brother. He and the other accused came to his farm house and demolished the room where electric motor had been kept and tried to take possession of the land. They also used a tractor to level a water path on the farm and also threatened Chanan Singh on Saturday morning. The accused were arrested and later released on bail today.

Another case of alleged assault was registered at the Salem Tabri police station under Sections 323, 341, 506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Kashmir Masih, a resident of Bhora village, against Rashpal Singh and Kala Ram, of the same village.

The complainant had alleged that the two had intercepted him on the way and had assaulted him. No arrest has been made so far.

Booked: On the statement of Mr Balwinder Singh, JE, PSEB, Unit-I, the Civil Lines police yesterday registered a case under Sections 353,186 and 506 of the IPC against Sawinder Singh, a resident of Model gram. The complainant had stated that he and his staff were checking meters in the locality and the accused interfered in the discharge of his duty and also threatened him on Thursday last. No arrest has been made so far.

Two held: The Sadar police yesterday arrested Ranjit Singh and Sukhdev Singh, both residents of Ghawaddi village, and booked them under the NDPS Act and the Excise Act.

The police said this morning that it had got a tip-off that the accused were engaged in the sale of poppy husk and liquor. A raid was conducted on the farm of the accused at Ghawaddi village and the police seized eight crates of countrymade liquor. Further interrogation of the accused was on.

Held for gambling: The Division Number 2 police yesterday arrested Karnail Singh, Jaswinder Singh, Rajinder Kumar, Gurinder Pal Singh, Piara Singh, Baljit Singh, Pawan Kumar and Subhash Kumar, all residents of Islam Ganj and booked them under the Gambling Act.

According to the police the arrested persons were gambling at a public place in a street near Karnail Singh’s house. A sum of Rs 30,045 and a pack of playing cards were seized from their possession.

In another incident the Division Number 7 police yesterday arrested Parminder Singh, Arya, Pardeep Kumar, Parkash, Ashok Kumar, Ajit Sharma, and Jagdish Lal, all residents of MIG Flats in Sector-32 of PUDA Urban Estate along the Chandigarh road and booked them under the Gambling Act.

The police said this morning that the accused were gambling at a public place and a sum of Rs 10,500 and pack of playing cards were seized from their possession. The accused were later released on bail.

The Focal Point police yesterday arrested Gurdeep Singh, a resident of MIG Colony, Raj Bahadur, a resident of Labour Colony Jeewan Jyoti, a resident of MIG Flats and Rohit, a resident of Jamalpur Colony and booked them under the Gambling Act.

The police said today that the accused were gambling in Dasehra grounds and a sum of Rs 1,200 and a pack of playing cards were seized from their possession.

The Koom Kalan police also registered two cases under the Gambling Act yesterday. Those arrested in the first case were identified as Bhagwan Singh, Ashok, Gujinder, all migrants from UP now living in Koom Kalan. The police said the accused were gambling along the Koom Kalan to Nathu Bhaini village road. A sum of Rs 180 and a pack of playing cards were seized from their possession.

Those arrested in the second case were identified as Veer Inder Singh and Situ, also migrants from Aligarh in UP. A sum of Rs 110 and a pack of playing cards were seized from their possession. All the accused were later released on bail, added the police.

Constable Tar Singh was injured when bus (PB 13 F 6765) of Dhuri Bus Service driven by Jasbir Singh hit him. The Raikot police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC against the driver and conductor of the bus.

Man assaulted: Baldev Krishan of Chakkar was allegedly assaulted by Hakim Singh, Pardeep Singh and Hari Singh of the same village with a sharp-edged weapon.

According to information, Baldeo Krishan and his wife were going to light a lamp at one of their ancestral places when the three allegedly attacked and injured him. The injured was admitted to the Civil Hospital here. A case regarding property is said to be pending between the parties in Jagraon courts.

Five hurt: Vivek Sharma and Sanjiv Kumar on one side and Gurjit Singh, Manjit Singh and Devinder Singh on the other of Kothe Fatehdin, 1 km from here, were injured in a quarrel which took place after an altercation between the parties. All five have been admitted to the Civil Hospital here. 


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