L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Farmers go on fast in Central Jail
Seek withdrawal of cases
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 16
As many as 11 farmers who were lodged in Ludhiana Central Jail after the Ralla village incident, went on an indefinite fast on the jail premises here today. They were demanding immediate release of all farmers and withdrawal of all cases against them.

According to Mr Darshan Singh Koohli, a farmer leader, the 11 farmers led by Mr Sudagar Singh Ghudani, under the aegis of the Sanjha Kisan Manch, had gone on fast to protest against the alleged high handedness of the state government. They added that they had refused to take food in the jail from today morning.

They demanded that they would continue to protest till all farmers were released unconditionally and their impounded machinery, including tractors, trailers, scooters and other agriculture related machines, were returned.

They claimed that some of the farmers, lodged in jails needed medical aid as they had been injured in the incident. They alleged that arrested farmers were suffering due to the non-availability of doctors. They demanded that they should be moved to a hospital for treatment.

Mr Koohli demanded a court inquiry into the Ralla (Bathinda) incident and a compensation of Rs 50,000 to every injured farmer besides stopping the raids that were being conducted at the houses of some farmers.

Rejecting the MSP of wheat and sugarcane, the farmer leaders said the cotton crop should be purchased by FCI and Markfed and the MSP of wheat and sugarcane should be fixed at Rs 800 per quintal and Rs 130 per quintal, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Bharati Kisan Union today announced that it would take out on November 18 a ‘‘Pagri Bachao-Zamin Bachao’’ march to demand that farmers’ loans should be waived and the rate of interest on agriculture loans be slashed.

The march would start from Bangla Sahib Gurdwara in Delhi. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting organised by the farmers here today.

Mr Manjeet Singh Kadian, Secretary, BKU, said the act of state government regarding the auction of land for non-payment of debts was worth criticism and if farmers’ land was auctioned they would have nowhere to go. He asked that if their only source of income was auctioned then they would not be able to pay the debts.

He said it was ironical that the debts of many industrial units had been waived off after declaring them to be sick units but farmers were supposed to pay the debt under any circumstances.

He also demanded the release of farmers lodged in various jails after the cotton agitation besides fixing the MSP of cotton crop.



Protest against seer’s arrest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 16
Various right wing Hindu organisations, including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Shiv Sena, today took out a procession in protest against arrest of Kanchi mutt Shankaracharya Swami Jayendra Saraswati. The procession started from Division No III police station and culminated at the Clock Tower.

The processionists shouted slogans against Central and Tamil Nadu governments for arresting the seer. They alleged that the two governments had acted in tandem to defame the highest institution of the Hindus and humiliate one of its most respected leaders.

Later addressing the dharna, VHP and Shiv Sena leaders, including Swami Atul Krishen, Swami Chetna Nand Teerth, Swami Dev Vrat Brahmchari and Mr Pawan Sharma, condemned the arrest and demanded the immediate release of the Shankaracharya. They warned that in case Central and state governments did not release him immediately the situation could go out of control.

Arguing that the Shankaracharya was arrested under a conspiracy for the reason that he shared the Hindutva viewpoint, the Hindu leaders pointed out, that the way he was arrested only raised several questions about the motives behind his arrest. “Why did the government arrest him on the eve of Deepawali and that too in the late hours of the night?”, they asked, while adding. “He was not a fugitive or a criminal but the head of a great institution set up by Adi Shankaracharya himself”.

Meanwhile, the Bhagwan Parshuram Brahmin Sabha of Ludhiana district today held a meeting at Sherpur Kalan to condemn the arrest of Kanchi seer who was arrested on Thursday.

The meeting was addressed by Ms Dharamavati Mishra, president of the mahila wing of the sabha, and Mr Krishan Rai Sharma, president of the sabha.

Ms Mishra, in her address at the meeting, said the Tamil Nadu Government had hurt the religious sentiments of millions of Indians by arresting the seer. This step of the government must be condemned, she added.

Mr Manmohan Sharma, vice-president of the sabha, alleged that the seer was arrested at the behest of the Home Minister, Mr Shivraj Patil, and Ms Jayalaithaa.

Mr Krishan Rai Sharma said in his address that the Brahmin community would not tolerate the insult of the religion at any cost and appealed to all religious, social and political parties to condemn the arrest of the seer.

Among those who attended the meeting were Mr Satpal Sharma, Mr Rajinder Sharma, Mr Dharam Pal Sharma, Mr Bans Raj Sharma, Mr B.D. Sharma, Mr Nand Kishore Mishra, Mr Kamal Kishore Gosian, Mr Jatinder Sharma, Mr Anand Tripathi, Mr N.K. Mishra, Mr Ravi Bhushan, Mr Rama Kant, Mr Rishi Parik, Mr Sanjay Kumar Modgil, Mr Ashwani Sharma, Ms Lalita Tripathi, Ms Anita Sharma, Ms Anju Joshi, Mr Ranjana Sharma and Ms Sangita Sharma.



Suicide bid by debt-ridden family
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 16
Four members of a debt-ridden family allegedly tried to commit suicide by setting themselves on fire in Kutcha No. 7 in the Field Gunj area last night. The victims, a man, his two sons and a daughter, suffered burn injuries before being saved by area residents.

They were admitted to the Civil Hospital after a high drama that took place in the street and later on at the Division No 2 police station. Policemen from the police staion were irritated at the family members for some unknown reasons. They even beat up the victims in the street and later at the police station and said they would teach them a lesson for taking such a step.

The cops even beat up 23-year-old girl, Jolly Chawla, who narrated the family’s tale of woes to mediapersons in the police station. The cops, however, ran for cover when photo journalists started taking pictures.

The family allegedly took the extreme step on being harassed by a financier who had loaned Rs 40,000 to them on 2 per cent per month interest. They pawned jewellery to him for the loan amount.

The family head Charanjit Singh claimed that he was paying the interest in time but the financier had suddenly started demanding the entire money back this week. Charanjit Singh informed that he had taken the money to set up a cracker stall shop on Divali and had paid back the amount.

Charanjit Singh, his son Harpreet Singh, daughter Jolly Chawla and another son were injured. They charged the Division No 2 police of supporting the financier allegedly at the behest of a Congress leader.

No case has been registered regarding the suicide bid, allegation against the financier as well as the cops on duty last night. Sources informed that the police took the statement of the victims today. They added that a case would be registered only after a thorough investigation.

A police official also claimed that the victim family had not made any formal complaint to the police so far. Charanjit Singh and his daughter Jolly had, however, claimed before mediapersons in the police station last night that the cops had turned a deaf ear to their complaints against the financier.



JE shifted for ‘inflating’ estimates
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 16
There is more to it than meets the eye in the new posting orders of a junior engineer from the buildings and roads (B and R) wing to the operations and maintenance (O and M) wing of the Municipal Corporation here.

While the orders issued by the Establishment branch simply say that the junior engineer, Mr Satish Kumar, along with Mr Surinder Kumar were to be shifted to the O and M wing from zones B-2 and C respectively, it was reliably learnt that the role of the former JE was under shadow for alleged manipulation in the estimates for quite a few major development works to be undertaken by the B and R wing of the corporation.

Inquiries made by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that tenders for civic works worth about Rs 2.5 crore were withheld by the corporation from out of a large number of works for which bids were invited on November 5 after complaints received by the senior MC officials to the effect that the estimates concerned were inflated at the behest of certain political functionaries, who wanted these particular works to be allotted to contractors close to them.

Highly placed sources in the MC further disclosed that councillors, both from the ruling party and the Opposition, were involved in a pitched battle to secure these works for their favourite contractors. However, the MC top brass got the wind of it and these ‘lucrative’ works were withdrawn from the offer. In fact, it was in frustration over the civic administration putting its foot down that the SAD-BJP councillors had resorted to a dharna, charging the Mayor with ulterior motives.

It was learnt that the said JE had been sent to the MC here from the Punjab State Tubewell Corporation and he should have, logically, been posted in the O and M wing, which looked after the water supply in the city. Attention to this fact had now been drawn by senior MC officials in the civil branch while moving the case for transfer of the JE to the O and M wing. MC sources pointed out that the said JE seemed to have arranged his deployment in the B and R branch through his political connections and he was reported to be trying to put political pressure for the cancellation of the transfer orders.



Panels of district NSUI unit dissolved
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 16
The Ludhiana district unit president of the National Students Union of India (NSUI), Mr Jaspreet Singh, today announced the dissolution of committees of the NSUI in the district. Addressing a press conference after presiding over a meeting of the district unit here today, Mr Jaspreet Singh said this had been done in accordance with the orders of national president Ashok Tanwar.

The NSUI leader said, the new committees would be constituted in consultation with state president Aman Parashar. Giving reasons for the dissolution of the committees, he said, it had been noted that various office-bearers of these committees were not students and this prompted Mr Tanwar to dissolve all committees in Punjab.

Mr Jaspreet Singh warned against some self-styled leaders claiming themselves to be representing the NSUI. He clarified that after the latest orders issued on November 9, nobody had any right to claim to be the member or the office-bearer of any committee. He also appealed the mediapersons not to entertain any such leaders till the new committees were constituted.

Earlier, while presiding over the meeting, he exhorted upon the student activists to work for the spread of knowledge. He also emphasised the need of mobilising more and more students and creating awareness among them about their duties towards the nation.

Those who attended the meeting, included Amritpal Singh Rimpy, Salil Passi, Gaurav Sharma, Deepak Narang, Sunny, Karan, Rahul, Inderjeet Grewal, Raju Lyal, Rajwinder Bumb and others.



Ludhiana Calling

Photo by Inderjit VermaTHE under-construction elevated road project over the GT road in the city is not only getting delayed time and again but is also causing damage to the existing infrastructure on the road. For instance, the traffic lights installed earlier on the road had to be removed because of the flyover. However, instead of preserving the lights for future use or installation at some other place, the authorities have allowed the builders to damage the lights and throw them on the road.

Name politics

The Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal and Shiromani Akali Dal merged last year. This had put some local leaders in spot who had joined Tohra’s SHSAD. These leaders had got printed several visiting cards and letter heads under the SHSAD name. These printed papers had no value after the merger. But the local leaders do not seem to go them waste like that. They have found a noval way to save their investment. The leaders continue to make press statements on the same letter heads only after cutting the words ‘Sarb Hind’ with a pen. Is it just saving money or the leaders are hoping that they may need the untampered letter heads again!

Press Day SMS

There was an unusual SMS greetings to the journalists on the Press Day that fell on Tuesday. The SMS which was circulated to all journalists read, ‘‘Happy Press Day. Let we journalists pledge to be human first than using power of pen.’’ Nobody knew the origin of the SMS, which was self explanatory.

Traffic chaos

Traffic chaos in the Feroze Gandhi Market Complex is an everyday feature. Thanks to the lack of adequate parking space. Although the market is known to have a lot of parking space as is designed on the pattern of sector 17, Chandigarh, traffic problems have always been creating problems for the commuters. The persons to blame are the contractors of parking lots who after charging their money allow the people to park on the roads itself. As the market is frequented by numerous people everyday keeping in view the location of Ludhiana Stock Exchange, Car Bazar and banks and many showrooms, controlling of traffic is always a problem.

Hot November

The wintry mornings and evenings during the first week of November had raised the hopes of hosiery manufacturers for a good sale this year. But even as the month is coming to an end, woolens are still not out due to sunny afternoons. Now the rain gods can only change the scenario and rescue the hosiery manufacturers who had been crying hoarse at facing losses for the last many years due to changing weather conditions. Last year there was a comparatively longer cold spell that had helped them coming back to normal.

Doctors turn nostalgic

For a while most of the city doctors took out time from the busy ‘cool and clinical’ schedule for the ‘warm and romantic’ get-together at the Satluj Club. The occasion was the felicitation of Dr Neelam Khosla after she won the Zee Antakshri contest. Most of the leading doctors of the city were present there. Some senior doctors like Dr L.S. Chawla, former Vice-Chancellor of the Baba Farid University of Medical Sciences, who fascinated the audience with his melodious voice. When Dr Chawla took the lead, others had all the reasons to follow. Dr Chawla happens to be the most respected doctor in the city. Besides the doctors, most of the city’s who’s who were present there.


Written on the rear wind screen of a teenager’s car: ‘‘My dad is my ATM. I can withdraw the money whenever I want.’’

— Sentinel 



NGOs invited for setting up helpline for women
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 16
The district administration has invited applications from NGOs for setting up a helpline for women and girls in distress. The objective of the scheme is to help the girls and women who are facing problems either at the hands of their own families, in-laws or from any other section of society.

Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma said the helpline would be a 24-hour outreach programme for women and girls who need immediate protection and shelter. Under the scheme, the government would provide monetary assistance to the NGO to pay the salary to the staff, the DC said.

A minimum of three staff operators will work in shifts of eight hours each. As much as Rs 1.80 lakh will be provided for this purpose. A grant of Rs 1,000 per month will also be given as rent for the premises, if required. A toll free number, 1091, will have to be set up by the NGO. Annual lease charges and bill of the toll-free line shall also be reimbursed by the government.

Mr Verma further said that in order to be eligible for financial assistance under the scheme, the NGO would have to be registered for a period of at least two years from the date of application. Its financial position should be good and should have been engaged in some full time women/community development activities.

The location of the helpline will be at the district headquarters. The voluntary organisation will be required to have properly constituted managing committee with the powers, duties and responsibilities clearly defined and laid down in the written constitution. The committee should also have adequate number of female members. Voluntary organisation should have facilities, i.e. infrastructure, managerial skill and experience to initiate the service.

This helpline will be open to all citizens of India without any discrimination on account of religion, race, caste or language, he added.

The DC further stated that need of the helpline was felt because of the increasing crime against women and girls, changing social scenario, social changes like break-up of joint family system, rapid urbanisation and an increased obsession with material gains leading to alleviated stress levels and absence of support system.

All this has given rise to emotional problems like loneliness, depression, suicidal feelings etc. He said it was in these circumstances that the women and girls need the services of the helpline.

Mr Verma said applications in this regard may be submitted to Mr Ajay Sood, Assistant Commissioner (General), D.C. Office, Ludhiana.



Send enforcement teams to factories: INTUC

Ludhiana, November 16
The Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) has urged the Punjab Chief Minister to direct the Labour Commissioner, Punja, to ensure strict compliance with labour laws.

INTUC demanded that special enforcement teams be sent to factories where more than 20 workers are engaged. — TNS



Two booked for fraud
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 16
The Division No. 2 police yesterday registered a case of fraud under Sections 420, 406, 506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Rohit John, a local resident, against Marsi Raj, who lives in Housing Board Colony, Mohali, and Borneo Jai Ibrahim of the USA.

The police said today that the case was registered after the complainant stated that he had given Rs 4.40 lakh and his passport to the accused for obtaining a visa of the USA. But the accused neither sent him abroad, nor returned his money or the passport to him.

Three arrested: The Civil Lines police on Monday registered a case under Sections 353, 332, 186 and 34 of the IPC against Manmohan Singh, Sandeep Ahuja and Munish Kumar, all residents of Moti Nagar, on charges of manhandling ASI Sumit Sood. The ASI stated that he was on duty when the accused, who were in an inebriated condition, caught hold of his uniform and tried to interfere in discharge of his duty. The accused were later released on bail.

Cases of assault: The Division No. 6 police on Monday registered a case under Sections 341, 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Darshan Lal against Rajesh Kumar, an employee of a liquor contractor.

The complainant stated that he had gone to buy liquor at the liquor shop in Transport Nagar on Friday. But the accused abused him and beat him up with the help of others.

On the statement of Dimple Kumar, the Shimla Puri police on Monday registered a case under Sections 323, 324, 148, 149, 451 and 506 of the IPC against Mukesh Rohtas, Dharaminder Mirchi, Sonu and others.

The complainant stated that the accused, who were armed with sharp-edged weapons and hockey sticks, arrived at his shop in a car and assaulted him.

The Koom Kalan police on Monday registered a case under Sections 456, 323, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC and various sections of the Arms Act on the statement of Mr Avtar Singh against Surjit Singh, Amandeep Singh and Bikramjit Singh, all residents of Doraha, along with five others.

The complainant stated that the accused barged in his house on Sunday and beat him up with a hockey stick. The accused were also carrying a gun.

Theft case: The Division No. 8 police on Monday registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC on the statement of Bittu Ram against Sanjiv Kumar of Mullanpur and four others.

The complainant stated that the accused came to his piggery in a vehicle and stole eight animals on Saturday.

Liquor seized: The Jodhewal police on Monday arrested Iqbal Ali, a resident of Shakti Nagar Mohalla, and seized 14 bottles of hooch. A case under the Excise Act has been registered against him.

Dowry case:
On the statement of Ms Rajwinder Kaur, a resident of Jandiali village, the Sahnewal police on Monday registered a case under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC against her husband, Gurbachan Singh, her father-in-law, Karnail Singh, and her mother-in-law, Sarabjit Kaur, who live in Ayali Kalan village.

The woman stated that after her marriage the accused were harassing her.



Robbery bid at industrialist’s house
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 16
More than 10 armed assailants stormed the house of a noted industrialist, Mr Jagdish Singhal, in Agar Nagar here today afternoon and tried to rob the family of cash and valuables. The family members, however, raised the alarm but the assailants managed to escape.

Mr Singhal, owner of Focal Point-based Eastman Cycle Industry, in a complaint at the Sarabha Nagar police station alleged that the assailants were sent by two other industrialists with whom he had an old dispute over some payments.


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