L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Three injured in armed robbery
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Armed robbers struck at the house of a karyana merchant in Simranjit Colony, Tibba road, here just after midnight yesterday and injured three persons, one of them with a gunshot, before decamping with jewellery and valuables worth Rs 1.5 lakh.

This is the second robbery incident within 48 hours causing panic among the residents, especially those living on the outskirts of the city. Allaying the fears of the residents, SP-Detective Gurpreet Singh claimed that the police had identified the gang and one of its members and the culprits would be arrested soon.

The robbers brandishing .315 bore countrymade pistols, sharp-edged weapons and iron rods stormed into the house of Purshotam Lal at about 12:30 am. They hit the merchant and his wife Kanta Rani with an iron road causing injuries on their heads and arms and then shot at his son Ganesh Kumar in the stomach. The youth had grappled with the robbers.

The police has found that the robbers had fired twice. One of the shots hit Ganesh in his abdomen while the second missed him and hit a wall. The police has found a number of finger prints from the crime spot.

Ganesh was operated upon at the CMC Hospital and was stated to be out of danger. The other two were discharged late in the morning. The robbers took away gold jewellery and valuables valued at over Rs 70,000, it is estimated. They however failed to take away Rs 1.50 lakh as they had to leave in a hurry because of the family’s resistance. The exact loss was yet to be ascertained as the family was taking stock of the missing things.

Purshotam Lal’s brother, Sohan Lal Garg, who reached the house shortly after the incident, said that the family had seen four persons entering the house but they suspected that four or five more persons were waiting outside to provide cover to the criminals. The police, however, said that the number of robbers was four only. This assertion was based on footprints found from the spot and the street outside.

Sohan Lal said, besides the injured, Sunita Rani and Mala Devi, daughter and daughter-in-law of Purshotam Lal, were in the house. The family also owns a PCO-STD booth in the colony.

The family had shifted to their new house a few months ago only. They claimed that last week also some suspicious persons were spotted in the street. They, however, fled when challenged by the area residents.

The house was completely ransacked and pools of bloods had formed where the injured had fallen. The women members of the house revealed that they had pleaded with the robbers to spare their lives.

The incident has put a question mark on the much - publicised night-domination exercise of the police. Even senior officials are said to be on special night duty, especially on dark nights but still the robbers struck.

SP-Detective Gurpreet Singh said the gang was definitely not the dreaded kale kachchewale gang. He said the police would arrest the gang members soon as relevant clues had been found. He said the identity of the gang could not be disclosed at this juncture.



Residents suffer due to encroachment on road
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
In a case of encroachment on the public property, two residents of the H Block in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar have encroached upon the road thus leading to difficulties to other families in the area. Residents have made representations to the Punjab Urban Development Authority and other agencies seeking their intervention in removing these encroachments.

The residents disclosed that two of their neighbours with their houses on plot number 307 and 324 had occupied the road a few years ago. People used a vacant plot to cross to other side. As the owner of the plot constructed a house, their way has now been blocked. The two residents who have occupied the road are refusing to retreat.

This has affected the day to day movement of 25 families. They have now to take other route which adds to their distance. Since the vehicles cannot turn there, the children have to walk about half a kilometer to take the school vehicle. The residents pointed out, in case of fire or an tragedy neither the fire tender nor the ambulance can reach there.

Residents regretted that the two encroachers were not heeding to pleas when they themselves knew that they had encroached on upon the public property and which had led to harassment and so many problems to many others. The encroachers did not even pay any heed to local Councillor who had approached them.

The residents said that the authorities have so far turned deaf ear to their requests. At times those who have been raising their voice against the encroachments were being threatened with of dire consequences.

They appealed the PUDA authorities to ensure that the encroachments were removed at the earliest. They said, in case the authorities did not take cognisance of this offence they will have no other option but to move the court.



70 farmers go on fast in Jail
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Following the five-day fast by 11 farmers lodged in Central Jail here, 70 farmers followed suit today and refused to take food in the jail premises.
The farmers were protesting against the Ralla village incident in Bathinda where they were lathicharged while participating in a rail roko stir a few days ago.

The farmers were also demanding release of all farmers and withdrawal of all the cases against them.

Mr Darshan Singh Koohli, district president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta) said that 11 farmers had gone on fast on November 16 and to express solidarity towards the agitating farmers as 70 farmers also announced to go on hunger strike. They refused to take food since morning and threatened to continue protest.

He added that the protest was getting intensified as the number of farmers had become 70 now. He warned that if the farmers were not released and allowed to get treatment the state government would be held responsible for the consequences.

Mr Koohli said that some farmers lodged in jails needed medical aid after being injured in the incident and they were deprived of this help due to unavailability of doctors. He demanded that they should be moved to a hospital for treatment. He claimed that while the Mansa Judicial Magistrate had ordered re-check up of four injured farmers, the jail authorities were dilly-dallying and not allowing the check up on one pretext or the other.

He demanded that the farmers should be released unconditionally, cases registered against them should be withdrawn and their impounded machinery including tractors, trolley, scooters and other agriculture related machines should be given back to them. 



Encroachments on market road go unchecked
Our Correspondent

Doraha, November 21
Main market road here remains congested thanks to encroachments by shopkeepers and rehriwalas.

The footpath has almost disappeared as the shopkeepers have extended their sheds to eight feet and have spread their goods on the road. Rehriwalas station their rehris in front of the shops leaving a little space for pedestrians to move on the road.

Frequent traffic jams lead to accidents and quarrels. The encroachments seem to be mocking at the inability of the authorities to clear the road.

Real culprits are the rehriwalas who enjoy support of the shopkeepers and are hardly afraid of the administration.

The entire town seems to be reduced to a congested whole. Pedestrians have to jostle their way through the shops and the rehris. Minor quarrels have become a regular feature here.

Mr Surjit Singh, Executive Officer said, “we will remove the rehris and extended sheds.”



Row over portrait of Namdevji
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 21
Office bearers of Sikh organisations here have taken a serious notice of the traditional depiction of the portrait of Bhagat Namdev Ji who usually is shown with half naked body without turban.

The issue was discussed at a meeting held under the guidance of Mr Gurcharan Singh, the chief sevadar at local Bhagat Namdev Gurdwara on Sunday. Various Sikh leaders present on the occasion showed concern over the alleged attitude of the religious bodies towards the preservation of the cultural and religious heritage of Gurus and Bhagats.

“It was ridiculous that the commercial artists have been showing Bhagat Namdev without turban and naked without clothes” said Mr Gurcharan Singh.

Releasing a portrait of Baba Nam Dev, Mr Jagjit Singh Jajjie, president of the Gurdwara, called up on the Tonk Khshatria community to adopt the portrait. 



Former president Narayanan’s gesture appreciated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
A city resident has appreciated the gesture of former President K.R. Narayanan for donating his ancestral house for the purpose of setting up an institute to diagnose and treat ailments which have no cure in allopathy.

Mr S.R. Mittal, a taxation expert, said President Narayanan has donated his ancestral home at Uzhavoor for setting up an International Institute for Ayurveda and Siddha Research Centre for diagnoses and treatment of ailments and diseases that do not have a cure in allopathy. The estate comprises 75 acres with plantation and the institution will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on January 2.

He said it is for the first time since Independence that a President has made a sacrifice with the sole object of benefitting mankind, particularly, in the field of ayurveda and Siddha — the two important pillars of human health and happiness. The sacrifice of Mr Narayanan deserves appreciation from all corners of the country. However, others could not do act in such a manner as they were not so well off as the former President.

Mahatma Gandhi was a strong believer in the science Naturopathy. He established a number of institutions propagating this science for the welfare of mankind and had written a number of books on the subject in addition to large number of articles in his newspaper — Harijan.

His follower in politics have ignored naturopathy which is part and parcel of ayurveda. Leaders are invoking his name to garner votes seeking but the ground reality is that in independent India not even 1 per cent of the total budget on health (including expenditure by different ministries on health and corporations and semi-government organizations) is spent on sicence of naturopathy though we indulge in meaningless rituals at places connected with the visits of the Mahatma. Mr K.R. Narayanan held office from July 25, 1997 to July 25, 2002.



At the Crossroads
His heart beats for art and literature

To be honoured with Principal Teja Singh Puraskar (Sampadan) by Languages Department, Punjab, is a lifetime achievement for Purdaman Singh Bedi who has been editing Punjabi quarterly Mir since 1975. Besides this, he has also edited books on eminent writers and artists such as Surinder Singh Narula da Kav-Lok, Gurdial Singh da Novel Jagat, Sardar Sobha Singh Simriti Granth and Ishwar Chitarkar Simriti Granth. He has also written 10 books for children in collaboration with his wife (late) Jaswant Kaur, besides short stories, articles on artists and literary memoirs. He is a silent worker, happy to be away from the limelight.

Purdaman Singh Bedi was born on March 21, 1940 at Shehna (near Bhadaur) where his parents were living at that time. His ancestral village is Sawaddi (Ludhiana). He got admission in Guru Nanak Engineering College, Ludhiana, after doing F.Sc. in Diploma in Mechanical Engineering courses. But this diploma was not his first preference as his heart was in art, literature and culture. So he passed the examination of Honours in Punjabi and later obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree. He immersed himself in the publication of books under the logo ‘Jaswant Printers’ and dared to publish some controversial books that even landed him in jail in 1976 and 1987.

In his mid 60s now Bedi is a chastened person who has seen the ups and downs of life. He has also been in touch with art and literature movements in Punjab since 1955 when his first short story was published in Sahit Preet (Moga).

But from 1960 onwards he started contributing short stories and articles to Bal Sandesh, Jagriti, Jan Sahit, Preetam and Phulwari. This fascination with the written word prompted him to be an editor, printer and publisher. He is content to be serving his mother tongue without any selfish motive. For him his devotion to art and literature is an end in itself.

On being asked how he felt on the eve of receiving the award at Bhasha Bhawan, Patiala? he said “Indeed I am happy but I am happier that Syed Najam Hussain (West Punjab) has been selected for Sahit Shiromani Award by Language Department, Punjab. I have published after transliterating his seven books from Shahmukhi to Gurmukhi. His collection of literary essay Sedhan-te-Saran is a modern classic. Likewise I have translated 40 stories of Sa’dat Hasan Manto from Urdu to Punjabi and the book Manto Nama is ready for publication”.

He had always been in the wings, so to say, when great literary events took place, particularly in the city. What has he to say about it? “Yes, I was there when the foundation stone of Punjabi Bhawan, Ludhiana was laid in 1966 by Dr.S. Radhakrishnan, the then President of India. At that time, Fellowship was conferred on the novelist Nanak Singh and literary historian Dr Gopal Singh Dardi. I have also seen the birth of Kendri Lekhak Sabha in 1960 at the Gymkhana Ground (now Guru Nanak Stadium), Ludhiana”.

He must have been influenced by the writings of the great Punjabi litterateurs who shaped literature in the 20th century. What has he to say about them? “Of course I was influenced by the writings of Gurbakhsh Singh (Preet Lari), Prof Mohan Singh, Nanak Singh, Jaswant Singh Kanwal and others. Besides these, I had been in touch with the works of Maupassant, Tchekhov, Manto, Ismat, Bedi and Mohan Rakesh. I feel there exists no boundary between the art and literature of one country and the other. The creative works are the part of common heritage of mankind. At present the interaction among the artists, literary figures, classical singers and folklorists of both the Punjabs augurs well in many respects.

What has he to say about his magnum opus Sardar Sobha Singh Simriti Granth that has been hailed as a historic work? “I have been in love with art since my school days. Sardar Sobha Singh paid a visit to Govt. High School, Sidhwan Kalan in 1952 when I was a student there. At that time he was wearing turban which he later discarded. He exhibited some of his paintings, including the legendary painting of Sohni Mahiwal, there. Later I went to Andretta, where the artist lived in 1955 and many times thereafter.

I had resolved quite early in my life that I would bring out a book on the life and art of this great artist. The book got delayed due to one reason or the other and it turned out to be a commemorative volume as the artist had died in 1986. This volume has 328 pages and 80 photographs colour as well as black and white). Now its companion volume, “Ishwar Chitarkar Simriti Granth”, is in the offing.”

— N.S. Tasneem



Samples meant for seminar seized by Customs officials
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
It appears to be a classic case of inefficiency and arrogance. Samples of an exporter who had to sent these to Romania for presentation at a seminar and exhibition there were seized by the Customs officials on the pretext that these had been imported from Romania.

According to Dr Pradeep Nagrath, Managing Director of the Pentavox Herbals, he had booked sample of his medicines on October 1, 2004 to be dispatched to Romania, where he was to present these at an exhibition and a seminar. He had dispatched the samples in advance. But when he reached there he did not receive the samples presuming that these might have been delayed.

After one and a half months he received a notice from the Customs Department, Delhi asking him to submit the details of the product he had imported without complying with various legal procedures. He said, the Customs officials without verifying the details of the shipment to be sent to Romania sent him a notice.

He pointed out, it is the negligence of the Customs officials who picked up an outward shipment (meant for exports) presuming it to be an inward shipment (having been imported). All parcels which are exported and imported are checked at the Foreign Post Office in New Delhi by the customs officials.

During checking the officials mistook the outward shipment as inward shipment although the address was clearly written on it. The officials did not stop there. They slapped a notice on him asking him to furnish details and information for not complying with the rules of imports.

Dr Nagrath said, when he tried to contact the Customs officials on the telephone number mentioned on the notice, he was not given any hearing but asked to come down to Delhi to discuss the matter. He disclosed that he was filing a suit for damages against the postal and the customs department. He pointed out, he could not present his samples at the exhibition leading to loss of business. Besides he had to face humiliation and embarrassment for failing to present the samples at the exhibition due to the grave negligence of the customs officials.



Club donates Rs 1.25 lakh to 5 NGOs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
The local Sutlej Club yesterday donated Rs 25,000 lakh each to five NGOs which are engaged in providing education and medical facilities to the disabled and destitute children. Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, presented the cheques to the representatives of School for Deaf Children, Tagore Nagar, the Punjab Thalassaemics Welfare Society, the Social Action Group, Nirdosh School, Rotary Bhavan, Sarabha Nagar, and Ashirwad School, Vishal Nagar Extension, Pakhowal Road, at a function organised at the club.

Addressing the function, the Deputy Commissioner exhorted the NGOs to chalk out a programme to provide technical and financial assistance to the physically challenged children.

Appreciating the efforts of the NGOs, he said providing medical and educational services to the disabled children and suffering humanity was the real service to God and everybody should make some contribution towards the service to the underprivileged.

Mr Verma said earlier also the club had provided financial assistance to the Punjab Thalassaemics Society for the treatment of the thalassaemic children who required regular blood transfusion.

With a view to creating awareness among urban population about the fast increasing menace of diabetes and its cure through meditation, a special camp was being organised at the club in collaboration with Brahmakumaris on December 8, Mr Verma said.

He gave away prizes to the winners of a 4-day sports carnival organised by the club.

Among others present on the occasion were Ms Shweta Verma, Chairperson, District Red Cross Society, Dr Jaswant Singh, Joint Commissioner, Mr G.S. Laddi and Mr Varinder Goel, secretary and sports secretary, respectively, of club.



Readers Write
Support for setting up vet varsity

Recently, a news item appeared in these columns regarding the setting up of a veterinary university in Punjab, the idea of which was initiated by certain NRIs settled in the USA (The Tribune; October 28).

Subsequently, certain retired professors and the Dean of the College of Veterinary Science, Punjab Agricultural University, expressed their willingness to make available their services for the above-mentioned university (Ludhiana Tribune, October 31).

Since my name also appeared along with those of other professors, I took exception to this unethical act committed by the initiators concerned of this move when in fact nobody interacted with me to solicit my views regarding this important issue.

This action has caused immense hurt to me. They should have had the courtesy to consult me before taking such a fraudulent step. It is a clear case of usurping the independence of my speech and writing.

Last but not the least, I certainly want the project to reach fruition, notwithstanding the fact that many people with vested interests had been staunchly opposing the setting up of a veterinary university.

For the information of all concerned, I draw their attention to the recommendations of a committee chaired by the then Chief Secretary, Mr T.K.A. Nair, now serving with the Central Government, which are with the Punjab Government for approval and implementation as per the guidelines of the Veterinary Council of India (a statutory body set up by Parliament under the VCI Act, 1984). I may further add that an area of 600 acres stands earmarked by the said committee at Talwandi Sabo, Bathinda, as required by the VCI Act.

Let it be known that I also commit myself to render help in achieving this long-pending goal.

Dr Iqbal Singh Kalra, Ludhiana


The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed Punjab to fix responsibility in matters involving unnecessary litigation which burdens the courts with frioolous cases.

The judgement has been delivered keeping in view the sentiments of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about improving governance in the country.

It is a wonderful approach on the part of the Prime Minister and the high court. If we penalise defaulters responsible for uncalled-for litigation, substantial improvement in the working of our overburdened courts can be ensured.

The courts have a right to punish a person filing a false affidavit. If punishment for filing false affidavits is awarded frequently, a lot of harassment of all concerned can be avoided and more than 75 per cent of litigation will vanish within no time.

Pre-trial arbitration at the instance of either party is another mechanism for simplifying as well as speeding up adjudications.

In order to curb unnecessary adjournments a simple amendment to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, is the need of the hour.

Dr Manmohan Singh’s government must initiate these reforms in the larger interests of the nation.

S.R. Mittal, Ludhiana


Cases are often adjourned for long periods in the judicial as well as executive courts by the presiding officers which leads to a delay in justice.

Hearings in the Punjab State Human Rights Commission should not be prolonged where after the final orders, culprits are to be prosecuted in the judicial courts.

I request the commission not to fix the next date of hearing in any case beyond one and a half months in the interests of justice.

N.M. Hansi, Ludhiana

Post office

A few months ago it was announced by the head of Post Offices Punjab Circle, that some post offices would be opened in the state, four of which would be in Ludhiana.

I suggest that one of these should be opened in Dugri Urban Estate where one existed earlier but was closed down for reasons best known to the authorities.

Kuldip Singh Kreer, Ludhiana



Man, daughter held for scrap dealer’s murder
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
The police here today claimed to have arrested two of the three persons accused in the murder case of a 52-year-old scrap dealer within two hours of the recovery of his body.

The accused Satwinder Singh, his daughter Amandeep Kaur and her husband Charanjit Singh were dumping the body of a scrap dealer Niranjan Singh, resident of Kishanpura here was held late last night from near Nanak Nagar when they were spotted by a police party of Salem Tabri police station passing through the area.

The accused and the victim were scrap dealers. The accused had lured Niranjan Singh to their house for a business deal.

The accused who were bringing the body covered in a blanket on a bicycle fled at the sight of the police party. The police after identifying the body conducting raids and managed to arrest Amandeep Kaur and Satwinder Singh while the third escaped.

Addressing a press conference at the police station, SP- Detective Gurpreet Singh, SP- City-II Pritam Singh and SHO Arvind Puri revealed that the accused committed the murder to pocket Rs 20,000 that the man had withdrawn from a bank earlier in the day.

The accused in their confession to the police stated that they wanted the money to have a better life. They hatched a conspiracy of inviting Niranjan Singh to their place with the money. Once at their home they strangled him to death. The accused then planned to dump his body but were spotted by a police party.

The accused have a dubious history of murdering people. Satwinder Singh was on bail in a murder case while Charanjit Singh was facing trial in two murder cases. Amandeep Kaur had no listed crime against her but she had some mysterious burn injury marks on her face and body. She claimed she was burnt in an accidental fire that broke out in her house. 



Man held with pistol
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 21
The Sadar police on Friday arrested Vijay Kumar, a migrant from Uttar Pradesh, now living in Phullanwal village, and seized a country-made pistol of .315 bore along with a cartridge from his possession. He was booked under the Arms Act.

The police said yesterday that the accused was intercepted during checking at Kheri village last evening and on checking the weapon was seized.

Three booked: Rinkal Kumar, Suraj and Happy of Jagir Pur village were booked under Sections 341,323,427,506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Naresh Kumar, who lives in street number 1 of Model Colony in Basti Jodhewal. The complainant had stated that he was stopped and beaten up at a milk shop on November 15 evening when he went to the market to buy milk. The assailants also threatened him. No arrest has been made so far.

Fraud alleged: Sonu, a resident of Chhawni mohalla, was booked for alleged fraud under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC on the statement of Mr jaspal Singh, who lives in South Model Gram.

The complainant stated that sonu had been employed by him to collect money from his customers. Sonu collected Rs 37,098 on June 21 last but did not deposit it with him. He has been absconding since then. No arrest has been made so far.

Theft case: The Shimla Puri police registered a case under Section 380 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Jagmohan Singh, who lives in Urban Estate along the Dugri Road. The complainant said that some person stole a bagful of cycle parts from the main gate of his factory located in Chet Singh Nagar on Friday.

Copyright violation: Shamsher Singh and Iqbal Singh, alias Happy, both residents of Islam Ganj, were arrested and booked under various provisions of the Copyright Act.

Mr Jatinder Pal Singh, who runs a shop in Sidhu Complex in Kochhar market, had complained to the police that the accused had been selling pirated CDs of the company of which he was an authorised distributor. The police said on Saturday that 1,000 pirated CDs were seized from the possession of the accused, who were later released on bail.

Liquor seized: Pardeep Kumar and Raj Kumar were arrested and 12 and 14 bottles of country-made liquor were seized from their possession, respectively. They was booked under the Excise Act.

Cash snatched:
Arun Kumar of Arjan Nagar of Ludhiana has complained to the police that somebody has snatched Rs 5,400 from him in Hissowal village. A case has been registered under Sections 382, 341, IPC.

Man commits suicide: Sarwan Kumar of Sarabha has allegedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance. According to information, Sarwan Kumar and Baljinder Kaur were living as husband and wife for the past five years but a dispute led Sarwan Kumar to commit suicide. Baljinder Kaur has been arrested.



Biz Clips
Knitwear industry’s plea

The Knitwear Club has urged the Finance Minister not to de-reserve readymade garment industry from small sector. In a letter to the FM general secretary of the club, Mr Narinder K. Miglani, urged the minister not to de-reserve readymade garment industry as small scale units formed a major portion of this industry which was among the biggest employment providers.

Mr Miglani said the club had learnt that some big industries wanted to get knitwear or readymade garment industry de-reserved from the small scale sector.

“If the industry is de-reserved the small scale sector would be wiped out and it would be a big blow on employment opportunities,” Mr Miglani said.

He said de-reservation would mean that the industry would be dominated by the large scale units. The measure would also affect labourers engaged in the industry, he added. TNS


The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry will organise a workshop on service tax on November 24 here. Mr V.K. Garg, Commissioner, Central Excise and Customs, will inaugurate the workshop, while Mr Balbir Singh, advocate and an expert on taxation, will talk about legal issues and practical problems related to service tax. TNS


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