L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Kundan Puri residents block traffic
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
Residents of New Kundan Puri today staged a demonstration before the Division No 8 police station and blocked traffic for half an hour near Kailash Cinema Chowk, in protest against the alleged “goondaism” of a group of youths who attacked a shopkeeper and a family in the colony this afternoon.

The police had to deploy heavy force in New Kundan Puri and Nalli Mohalla in the evening following fears of escalation of tension between the two groups. Old rivalry between the two was stated to be the reason of today’s attack and the subsequent tension.

Munna a (minor boy) and a barber, Raju, were among five persons injured in the attack by a group of 10 -12 youths who allegedly belonged to Nalli Mohalla near Domoria Bridge. The youths were armed with sharp edged weapons and iron and wooden sticks.

The residents staged a demonstration and blocked traffic and alleged that the police had been a mute spectator to the incident. They did not respond promptly to the calls of residents. Some residents alleged that the police was dilly-dallying about registration of a case. The police officials, however, denied the charges.

A case under various Secitons of the IPC was registered against over 10 unidentified youths in the evening, the police said.

The incident took place in the afternoon, when a group of armed youths attacked Raju in his shop in New Kundan Puri. They beat him up mercilessly and manhandled some customers also. The shop was also damaged.

The attackers then damaged a number of vehicles outside the shop and then attacked the house of Bhupinder Singh, a resident of the area. They ransacked his house and damaged the furniture besides beating a minor boy and other family members.

One of the victims of the attack, Bhupinder Singh, later claimed that he had identified the youths and submitted a list of their names to the police. 



10 hurt as bus collides with parked truck
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 8
At least 10 persons, including the driver and conductor of a bus, were injured when the bus collided with a truck stranded on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road at Lehra village, near here, this morning. The accident is reported to have taken place due to poor visibility and the non-motorable condition of the road.

While the condition of the driver of the bus was stated to be serious, the other injured were discharged after medical treatment.

Punjab Roadways bus (PB 12 A 8747) heading for Maloudh village collided with the truck (PB 10 T) that had been stranded near Lehra village on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road since yesterday. The accident that took place at around 9.15 am left around 10 bus passengers injured. The injured were removed to the rural health centre of DMC Hospital at Pohir village. Mr Jasbir Singh, driver of the bus, was shifted to a private hospital here.

While talking to this correspondent at the local Sood Hospital, Mr Darshan Singh, conductor of the bus said poor visibility due to thick fog and the non-motorable condition of the road had caused the accident. Mr Sukhdev Singh, Additional SHO at the Dehlon police station recorded the statement of the conductor to register a case.



Pak journalists visit cycle factory
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
Pakistani and Indian journalists shared experiences at a function organised by Hero Cycles here today. Over 50 journalists from Pakistan, on a visit to India to attend the Panj Darya Media Conference at Chandigarh, visited the cycle factory and interacted with mediapersons of the city.

“The meeting gave us an opportunity to interact and remove misconceptions regarding issues and cultures,” said Chandigarh Press Club secretary-general Ramesh Vinayak.

Mr Arshad Ansari, president, Lahore Press Club, appreciated effort of Hero Cycles to organise the event, said the meeting had helped promote friendliness. He lauded the Hero Group for emerging as a big player in global markets. “Hero cycles are very popular in Pakistan. When my son will get a brochure of the Hero Group he demand one cycle though these are not available there,” he said.

Mr Satyanand Munjal welcomed delegates Journalists were also given a presentation on the business showed the journalists round the factory. Majority claimed that the press in Pakistan was “free” but they felt freedom of press in India was more. “We are free to write on whatever issues we want to, though of course a lot matters on how things are presented,” said Akbar Alam, senior editor, Daily Jinnah . “But yes, Indian Press has more freedom,” another journalist added. They talked about facilities, rights, status of women to trade and industry. But they preferred to remain silent when it came to talking about Kashmir.

“All issues are interconnected. Without resolving political matters first we cannot expect other issues like trade to be resolved,” said senior correspondent Daily Jung Parvez Bashir. On Pakistan not giving Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India they said the matter would more be in favour of India. “Free import of Indian goods would prove a threat to the industry there,” said Mr Bashir, adding, “this is not the only issue. A host of other issues need to be cleared regarding trade.”

The media in Pakistan was also witnessing changes and electronic medium was getting more popular, said Ali R Farooq Malik, staff reporter, Daily Pakistan. On facilities, he said it depended on the category of newspaper- A, B or C- one was working in and journalists were among the highest paid ones there. “Plus there are a host of other facilities like recently the government allotted us plots,” said Mr Malik.

He said specialisation was gaining popularity and more than newspapers, electronic media was witnessing an increasing number of women journalists.

Mr Malik said Pakistan was not as conservative as was probably being projected. Indian films are very popular there and so are Indian channels. The culture is also witnessing changes, he said.



Skin show in Pak ‘a non-issue’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
Women form more than 65 per cent of the number of students studying journalism in Punjab University at Lahore. Journalism is so popular among women that even electronic media is witnessing entry of a large number of girls and most of them prefer reporting, said Ms Farah Warraich, News Editor, The Daily Jung, Pakistan. Ms Warraich, the only woman accompanying the delegation of journalists from Pakistan, opined that the exposure that women got in Pakistan was no less than that of their counterparts in India. Be it jobs or studies-they are equal participants in all fields, she said.

On working culture, particularly among journalists, she said they were given equal opportunities. “They cover all beats and are as involved in editing as much in reporting,” she said.

However, women there do not cover crime, “for it requires to work till late hours. Law protects us on that. Unlike women journalists in India who do not get any relaxation when it comes to working hours women there are not required to work beyond 7 p.m, unless, ofcourse they themselves want to.”

She said she worked in night shifts. “It all depends on your own requirement also. But women journalists do get that much relaxation,” she disclosed.

While culture of special pull-outs for city editions was not as popular as was in India, newspapers there were also getting highly competitive and were employing more representatives.

“There are more women journalists that we get to see particularly in the electronic media.” On increasing skin show in movies and television, she said such issue did not exist in Pakistan. “One will not get to see women exposing their bodies in our channels so that issue does not really exist,” she said.



Commission on revenue stamps: people feel harassed
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara January 8
The Punjab Government and Postal department has locked horns over revenue stamps and commission. As a result revenue stamps are not being sold at any post office. When anyone goes to a post office to buy revenue stamps, he returned by saying “the revenue stamps are out of stock.”

When officials of local post office were contacted, it is known that revenue stamps have not been supplied from Head Post Office in the past six months.

Unavailability of revenue stamps has affected in-service persons who get salary by affixing a revenue stamp in salary register. Moreover many a businessmen are also feeling harassed as they exchange money with the revenue stamps.

As per rules of the government, the Post Office Department’s commission is taken from state government for purchasing revenue stamps.



Labourers move rights panel for dues
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 8
Despite the intervention of the Bonded Labor Liberation Union, a group of migrant labourers, who had reportedly worked at a brick-kiln at Dakha village, could not get their salaries from the owner of the brick-kiln.

After shuttling between various offices at Dakha and Ludhiana for a long time, two of the 10 labourers have approached human rights organisation to seek justice.

Sadhu Ram and Ram Pher, residents of Banda and Partapgarh districts of UP, respectively, accused the brick-kiln owner, who is a resident of Dakha village, of withholding wages of the labourers totalling Rs 1.25 lakh. The brick-kiln owner had assured them and Kailash, Rajesh, Sanjay, Ajay, Raj Kumar, Ghokal, Satya Narayan, Vijay and Rohit that he would pay their wages after later. The brick-kiln was closed down in June, 2000.

The labourers had approached the headquarters of the Bonded Labour Liberation Front in Delhi. After receiving a representation through the organization, the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, directed the SDM, (West) Ludhiana, to look into the matter.

Rohit (22) and Munna (12), son of Sat Narayan, died reportedly for the want of medical aid.

The brick-kiln owner had stated before the SDM on October 14 that he would come to his office on October 18 along with his records but he did not turn up on the due date.

When president of the front Swami Agnivesh reminded the DC, Ludhiana, of his earlier communication, the latter directed the SDM to ask the DSP, Dakha, to investigate the matter.

The DSP, Dakha, summoned the brick-kiln owner who promised to come to the office of the SDM on October 29, 2004.

Referring to information received from Mr Jatinder Singh Khaira, DSP, Dakha, Mr Rajiv Ahir, SSP, claimed that the case was supposed to be dealt either by the administration or the labour court and the office of the DSP had already written to the SDM for seeking further orders.

The front had urged the National Human Rights Commission to intervene in the matter earlier also.



3 developers booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
The police today booked directors of Vikas House Company for cheating two local families by not honouring a land deal. The directors, Yogesh Bhalla, Piyush Bhalla and Ayush Bhalla have been booked under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC on a complaint of Mr Rajpal and his wife Santosh and another couple Umesh Kumar and his wife Urmila.

The FIR states that the two families had purchased a piece of land measuring 250 sq. yards each from the developers. They paid the entire price money to the developers, but the pieces of land were not transferred in their names.



Businessmen die in mishap
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 8
Two businessmen of Ludhiana — Mr Rumeet Singh and Parveen were killed in an accident in Ahmedabad (Gujarat) on Thursday. They had gone to Ahmedabad for business. Cremation of Mr Rumeet Singh took place in Ludhiana while body of Parveen was sent to Patiala he belonged to.

Management of the Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women (Gujjarkhan Campus) closed the college as a mark of respect to departed souls. Mother of Rumeet Singh teachers music in the college. Chemists and druggists also closed the market to sympathise with bereaved families.



Sustained policy on Indo-Pak affairs needed: Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
A meeting of the Rotary Club was held here last night. Major-Gen Himmat Singh Gill (retd) delivered a lecture on international affairs and India Starting with the Non-Alignment Movement in India, General Gill discussed the Indian status during the regime of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. He appreciated the tasks undertaken by the present government headed by Dr Manmohan Singh.

He said India was not able to be a democratic nation after Independence despite efforts for development in various fields.

Discussing the relationship with Pakistan, he suggested the LOC should be legalised and we should have a sustained policy on evaluation of affairs. He stressed on new markets and new sources of energy to strengthen relationship with neighbouring countries and the overall development of the nation.

He, however, appreciated the policies of the Vajpayee government. He said Mr Vajpayee was a master statesman but unfortunately the unanimous decisions taken by his government could not be implemented.

Answering queries, General Gill said further development of India was possible if every citizen had a passion to live in a better India.

General Gill had been honoured with the Da Sha Khidmat Pe Khatir award by the President of Afghanistan in 1982 in recognition of his contributions to furthering cooperation between the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and India. 



A doughty bread-winner for her family
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, January 8
Seema’s youth has never known any fun and frolic. The only bread-winner of her family she seems to have achieved maturity at a rather young age of 22. An accident that rendered her father physically unfit, forced Seema to assume the role of bread-winner in the very prime of her lie. Her iron will and determination made her overcome the obstacles in her way.

Unlike other girls of her age, Seema gets up at 2 a.m. every day and studies for the next two hours. At the day break, she collects newspapers from a local news agency and distributes these in the town till 8.30 a.m. She then goes to the playground for her regular practice of athletics. She is also doing her post-graduation in Political Science from Guru Nank National College. In the evening, she manages a small shop near a railway crossing on the Doraha-Neelon road.

Seema has decided to remain single throughout her life as she feels that she has the responsibility of looking after her bed-ridden father and other members of the family.

Seema is doing well in academics and has proved her mettle in the field of sports too. She has been declared the best athlete of the college for four times in a row. Besides she secured the fourth place in both 1,500 metre and 5,000 metre in the inter-college athletic meet organised on the PU campus. She is also a player of kho-kho and kabaddi. She has participated in cross-country several times. She is a senior under officer in the NCC. She has also been declared the best NSS volunteer of the college. If any government or other organisation comes to her rescue, only sky is the limit for her.



A heaven for destitute children
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
Three-year-old Minakshi, (not her real name), had lost her mother due to illness. She was left to the mercy of her alcoholic father, who started begging by making her sit on the road asking the people to donate for her food. But all money collected was used for buying liquor.

Minakshi’s health deteriorated and her haemoglobin levels fell at an alarming low. A neighbour could not see her plight and he reported the matter to SGB Children’s Home at Dham Talwandi Khurd near Jagraon. A team from the home reached the spot and rescued Minakshi from the clutches of her alcoholic father.

Now she is living amidst 24 other children under the love and care of her ‘‘home mother’’ like several other children who have a hair raising tale to tell at the tender ages. The story of another 4-year-old boy, Suresh (name changed), is not less pathetic.

His mother was widowed. Being very poor, she had no option but to remarry to keep the kitchen fire burning. Her family decided to hide the fact that she was already married and had a son too. So he was left at the children’s home with his maternal grandmother taking a promise that his parents names would never be disclosed.

Mr Jagdeep Singh, brain behind the SGP Children’s Home said that all children living there had a startling past which was buried the moment a child entered the home. He requested the Tribune not to disclose the identities of these children.

“Started on the lines of SOS Children’s Home at Rajpura, it was the effort of Swami Shankeranand Bhuriwale, who donated land for the school and is providing money to run the home through Swami Ganganand Bhuriwale Trust. He was the one who motivated me to start the project in this village which finally saw the light of the day in February 2001”, said Mr Jagdeep Singh.

He added that most of the children had found their way to the home with the help of Jagraon police. SSP, Jagraon, Mr Rajiv Ahir said that the police came to the rescue of many destitute children and found that they had a good future in the SGB home. He appealed to people to contact him if they came across any such child needing immediate help.

Already having three family houses, with eight children in each, many other houses are under construction which would be a home to more than 100 children. Every house has a ‘home mother’ each, who looks after the children as her own, feeds them, cooks for them, washes their clothes and helps them study.

“Selecting a home mother is a very difficult decision. We want a woman who is free from any domestic responsibility, has motherly instincts, can inculcate values, character and above all has all the qualities of a woman,” said Mr Jagdeep Singh who has the experience of managing SOS villages children’s home at Rajpura in the past.

A home mother, Dr Jasbir Kaur is a qualified doctor and being a disciple of Swami has decided to work for such children in her life. She stays in the home itself throughout the day. The homes are identical, well furnished houses with a drawing cum dining room, three bed rooms, a kitchen and multiple toilets.

“We want these children to be accepted by the society and their friends at school. Whenever a friend visits them he is bowled over by their house and does not ask questions about their fathers”, adds Mr Jagdeep, who is an MBA and has left various jobs to work for the children.

The home also looks for the medical needs of the children and invite various personalities to spend time with them. Dr Rajinder Singh, a city-based eye doctor and SSP Jagraon, Rajiv Ahir and their families are regular visitors to the place where they sit with these children and play with them.



Social Security Dept holds Lohri function
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 8
A Lohri function was organised by the Social Security Department at Channan Devi Senior Secondary School, Saleem Tabri, here today. Mr S.R. Ladder, Director, Social Security Punjab, presided over the function and presented 21 newly born girls and their mothers with baby suits and shawls.

Addressing the function, Mr Ladder said the alarming decrease in the number of women as against men in Punjab had created imbalance in society. He said girls were in no way inferior to boys, rather they were much ahead than the boys in many fields like education, sports, service and home management.

The state government has decided to launch an awareness campaign, involving NGOs, among the people to check female foeticide. The doctors and nursing homes involved in this illegal activity would be sternly dealt with, he added.

Among others who addressed the function were Mr Madan Lal Bagga, councillor, Mr Surinder Kumar, District Programme Officer, Ms Rajinder Kaur, president of the SKS Education Trust, and Ms Barjinder Kaur, organising secretary of the Punjabi Istri Sabha.

Students from various schools presented a cultural programme that highlighted the problems of female foeticide and deteriorating sex ratio. 



Experts warn of water scarcity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
Scientists of the Department of Soils and Water Engineering, Punjab Agricultural University, here have warned against water scarcity in the state. The scientists have found during a survey on ‘marketing response for water table in Punjab’ that water table in central districts of Punjab had gone down considerably obviously for the wheat-rice pattern which farmers are too reluctant to change for several reasons.

The study blames an excessive sale of submersible pumps as against earlier used centrifugal pumps. According to Dr H.S. Gulati, head of the department, the survey took into consideration only four major selling brands of pumps.

The sale of centrifugal pumps had come down to 11,266 units in 2003-2004 as against 7,204 units in 2001-2002. At the same time the sale of submersible pumps has increased substantially from 17,666 in 2001-2002 to 23,399 units in 2003-2004.

Submersible pumps extract more water as against centrifugal pumps thus causing concern about an already depleted water table in some districts.



Meeting of NGOs working for consumers held
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 8
A meeting of Non -Government Organisations (NGOs), working to protect the interests of the consumers, was called by District Food Supply Controller here. The meeting followed the Consumer Awareness Week celebrations from December 24 onwards.

The meeting was called to collect and furnish details of the office-bearers of these organisations to Dr B.C. Gupta, Principal Secretary, Food Supply and Consumer Affairs, Chandigarh. The meeting was attended by 10 executive members of the Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat. Executives from other organisations such as the Ludhiana Consumer Protection Forum, the National Forum of Consumer Rights, the Punjab Khapatkar Sangh and the Manav Seva Samiti, also attended the meeting.



Road encroachers gallore 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 8
Encroachments on roads are on the rise in the Focal Point area, one of the outer areas the town which still offers a lot of open space and scope for development. Since all roadside spaces within the old city had been encroached upon a long time ago, pressures had been mounting gradually on the outer areas, such as Samrala chowk, Jalandhar bypass and Haibowal.

In spite of tall claims of the Municipal Corporation that it was adopting a tough stance against all unauthorised structures in the the Focal Point area, many structures are coming up along the Metro Road.

These structures are mostly in the form of garden grills and gates etc. They are being built by residents of the Punjab Housing Board Colony, at the back of their house, in violation of the master plan.

Apart from converting the vacant space at the back of their houses in to private gardens, a number of residents have made commercial extensions. The road running along the colony has been converted into a market.

There is no check on the menace of roadside encroachments which has grown with time. 



Keralites send relief material for tsunami-hit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
The Confederation of Ludhiana Malayalee Association (CLMA), in association with different associations of Keralites, including Shree Ayyappa Temple and churches, the Mar Thoma Syrian Church, St Mary Jacobites Syrian Orthodox Church, St. Thomas Catholic Church, St Gregotrios Orthodox Syrian Church, have sent a truckload of relief material amounting to Rs 15 lakh for the tsunami-hit people in the south.

The truck was flagged off by Mr Harnam Das Johar, Education Minister, from Model Town this noon.

He also announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh to the NGOs. The organisations which contributed to the relief consignment include Kerala Kalavedi, Kerala Club, Ludhiana Malayalee Association and Udhaya Kerala Arts and Sports Club.



People’s cooperation sought to root out graft
Our Correspondent

Amloh, January 8
Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Parliamentary Secretary, inaugurated elementary school building at Haibatur village today. He sought people’s cooperation to root out corruption. On sugar prices, he indicated raids to unearth artificial shortage.

Mohan Lal gave tricks of magic at the magic show organised in the school campus. School teams of Nehar Club, Amloh, Haibatpur and Dashmesh Public School, Mallowar presented Giddha and Bhangra.

Mr Dharmsot also laid the foundation stone of link road joining Haibatpur with Bhambri village.



Magazine launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
Parliamentary Secretary Power, Housing and Urban Development Surinder Dawar has called upon advertising organisations to adopt latest technology so that consumers got information regarding quality and availability of the products while sitting in their own houses.

Mr Dawar was speaking after launching a monthly magazine, City Live, by World/Auto Flash. He appreciated providing the magazine free of cost to every one on demand.

Mr Prem Mital, Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Bhupinder Singh, Councillor, Mr Ramesh Joshi, Secretary, and Mr D.P. Singh were among the speakers.



Motorcyclist killed in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 8
Jit Singh, son of Mehar Singh of Malak village, was killed while coming on a motorcycle on the Ludhiana-Jagraon GT Road, about 6 km from here, in the evening yesterday.

According to the information, the deceased had gone to attend a marriage party in Kamal palace, situated on the Sudhar Road, was coming back home when his motorcycle was hit by an unknown vehicle.

Darbara Singh of Sherpur Kalan village, who lodged the complaint with the police said the police post, at Chowkiman informed that Jit Singh was found lying on the side of the road bleeding profusely at night and was immediately brought and admitted to the Civil Hospital, here, but he succumbed to the injuries.

The accident is alleged to have occurred in the evening just 2 km from the police post, chowkiman, on the GT road which had heavy traffic at the time of accident.

The police here has registered a case under Section 304-A of the IPC.



210 kg of poppy husk seized
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 8
Sub-Inspector Gagandeep Singh on a tip-off raided the area near the embankment of drain Boparai Kalan this morning and noticed Amandeep Singh alias Babbu and Sukhdev Singh alias Laddu both residents of Kul Gehna village, allegedly possessing bags containing poppy husk for sale in the area.

According to information, the two managed to flee on seeing the police party. The police claimed to have seized seven bags containing 210 kg of poppy husk. A case under Sections 15-61-85 of the NDPS Act has been registered.



Two held for gambling
Our Correspondent

Khanna, January 8
The police here arrested two satta operators from two different places on Friday night. Under a drive against anti-social elements. Gurdev Singh head constable has arrested a satta operator from Billan Wali Chhapri and recovered some satta slips and rupees 330 from him.

The accused was identified as Bant Singh son of Surjeet Singh of Billan Wali Chhapri Khanna. In another incident Sham Lal head constable of Sadar police station arrested Amolak Singh son of Kartar Singh village Dehru.Police has recovered Rs 336 and satta slips from him. Both were released on bail.



Biz Clips

The Ludhiana Electrical Merchants Association on Saturday informed that the association would observe a holiday on Lohri. Mr Jasmeet Singh, PRO, informed in a press note issued that following were elected office bearers: President: Mr Manjit Singh; general secretary: Mr Satwinder Singh.

Seminar on VAT: Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings organised a seminar on Value Added Tax (VAT) here on Friday. A press note issued on Saturday said Mr Manmohan Singh, Deputy Commissioner, The Excise and Taxation Department, presided over the seminar in which representatives from various industries participated.

Launched: Lotus kaleen, in association with Krono Span of Germany, has launched pure wooden flooring in various designs. The wood is being sourced from various countries.

TCL India: TCL India Holdings Private Limited conducted dealers meet here on Friday. The meeting was headed by deputy zonal director (North) Mr Cabin Bo Pingshui, a press note said.


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