L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Takht tells warring factions to
perform religious seva

Sihar Thath row 
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 28
Akal Takht has taken both warring parties in the two-year-old Sihar Thath controversy to task by directing them to perform ‘religious seva’ for committing sacrilege.

The orders issued by Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti were received at Sihar village, near here, today bringing again to the limelight the struggle for control over the thath by the two groups led by Baba Mann Singh and Baba Harnek Singh.

By holding both groups guilty on different counts, Akal Takht has sent a strong message that no dishonour to Guru Granth Sahib would be tolerated.

The decision of the priests of Akal Takht on the fight of the two groups warring for the control of thath at Nanaksar Ashram Sihar evoked a mixed response among the devotees of the late Baba Mihan Singh, the founder of the sect.

Though both groups of Baba Harnek Singh and Baba Mann Singh have started the process to follow the orders, there was resentment in the latter group. It termed the reports in a vernacular daily that they had been pronounced tankhayia as misleading . A copy of the orders with Ludhiana Tribune also states that they have been just told to do religious seva.

Referring to the history of the decision taken by the high priests at the Akal Takht at Amritsar on Thursday, Mr Malkiat Singh, former sarpanch and president of the gurdwara at Sihar village, said the gurdwara committee had appealed to Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, to look into the alleged sacrilege due to the activities of the supporters of Baba Harnek Singh.

The members of the committee when summoned at Akal Takht had alleged that Mr Darbara Singh and Mr Raj Singh were forcibly picked up by the police on the insistence of the leaders of the faction led by Baba Harnek Singh. They were picked up when they were performing a path at the Nanaksar Ashram Thath on October 11, 2003. Similarly other granthis namely Mukhtiar Singh, Bant Singh, Harnek Singh and Ajit Singh were also made to leave the religious place on one pretext or the other. This caused interruption in the akhand path amounting to religious sacrilege.

Members of both factions were summoned to Akal Takht at a meeting convened by five priests on Thursday and were asked to explain their respective positions. Considering the circumstances, the committee had pronounced religious seva to the members of both factions.

Commenting on the appearance of news items in a section of vernacular press, Mr Gurdev Singh Grewal, spokesman for the faction led by Baba Mann Singh, alleged that the news was misleading and no tankhah had been announced for any of leaders of his faction.

“How can one expect that the organisers of a path would interrupt the same when the onus of completing it lies on them. The priests had only directed Baba Mann Singh and the granthis to offer a donation of Rs 2,100 at Akal Takht and perform ardas for apology,” said Mr Grewal.

Mr Pal Singh, spokesman for the faction led by Baba Harnek Singh, held that the verdict of the high priests was binding on both factions. He said that the religious acts desired by the priests would be performed soon.

A perusal of the copy of the orders signed by Giani Joginder Singh showed that both groups had been asked to perform certain religious seva.

Mr Gobinder Singh and his associates had been asked to perform langar seva, shoe dusting Seva and listening to kirtan daily on the days when the akhand paths would be performed at Takht Kesgarh Sahib at Anandpur Sahib and Takht Damdama Sahib at Talwandi Sabo. They have been asked to perform ardas for apology at various gurdwaras and offer donations there. The word ‘tankhah’ had not been used in any of the letters addressed to both parties. 



SSP told to register case in land grab
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 28
Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma has asked the Senior Superintendent of Police to register a case against Tadbir Singh, Amarjit Singh and others of Lalton Kalan village on the charges of fraudulently getting land registered in their name.

Mr Verma said a case under Sections 419/420/ 467/468/471 and Section 120- B of the IPC would be registered agaist the accused for getting a false sale deed registered by presenting some other persons in place of Ms Jaswinder Kaur of Lalton Kalan and her son, who were owners of the property. The deed was registered in the office of the Sub-Registrar on February 22, 1993.

The Deputy Commissioner has also issued a show-cause notice to Mr Prem Lal Sarbrah, nambardar of Salem Tabri village, for identifying wrong persons during the execution of the sale deed.

The DC said he had received a complaint from Ms. Jaswinder Kaur regarding the grabbing of her land in Lalton Kalan village that Tadbir Singh and others had got a fake sale deed executed by presenting some other woman and a person in place of her and her son, Balbir Singh.

He said the complaint was marked for inquiry to the SDM (West), Mr M.S. Jaggi, who in his inquiry report established that the allegations against the culprits were correct. The woman in her statement recorded before the SDM said when she approached the patwari to get zamabandi of the said land, the patwari informed her that the sale deed of the said land had already executed in the name of Tadbir Singh and that Amarjit Singh had signed in place of purchaser at the time of execution.

Mr Prem Lal Sarbrah, nambardar of Salem Tabri, had identified the sellers and Jaswant Singh of Baddowal village was the witness to the execution of the sale deed. Ms. Jaswinder Kaur stated that she even do not know Tadbir Singh and she had never sold her land to anybody.

Mr Verma said the legal opinion in this case was also sought from the District Attorney who opined that prima facie offence under Sections 419/420/467/471 read with Section 120-B, IPC, appears to have been committed and accordingly a criminal case may be registered.



Sambhar hit by vehicle on highway, dies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 28
Incidents of wild animals dying after straying into urban areas due to paucity of food in their natural habitats in the Shivalik hills because of snow and harsh winter conditions are increasing.

A fully-grown sambhar was found dead on the National Highway No. 1 near Laddowal this morning. It seemed to have been hit by a vehicle. Just three days ago, a leopard was shot dead by the Phillaur police after it strayed into a school. A sambhar was, however, rescued alive by the PFA, Jalandhar, from near the city after it strayed there in search of food.

Dr Sandeep Jain, president, People For Animals, Ludhiana, said the sambhar seemed to have lost its way and was hit by a vehicle near Laddowal today. He got a call from the Laddowal police post about the recovery of the animal’s carcass.

The post-mortem examination of the sambhar was conducted at a Civil Veterinary Hospital at Haibowal. The examination confirmed that the animal died due to excessive bleeding because of injuries suffered in the road accident.

There were no bullet or any other injury mark on the carcass, which could have suggested some poaching activity in the region.

Dr Jain said that many areas in the Shivalik hills had experienced snowfall after several years. The snow coupled with harsh winter conditions had caused paucity of food for these animals, who were straying into forest areas in Mattewara or along side the Sutlej.

He urged people living near the areas not to panic at the site of such animals and also not to scare the animals. He said the animals put their own life and that of others to danger by running helter-skelter or by attacking in case it was a carnivorous animal.



Jobs for physically challenged
in industry demanded

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 28
A year after he had taken up the case of physically challenged job-seekers with the local industrialists, Mr Jagdish P. Pandey, president of All-India Handicapped, Widows, Helpless Persons’ Association, is sore with the industrialists here for not providing jobs to these people.

He is now conducting a survey of all private organisations in the city to find out whether the local industries are complying with the Equal Opportunities Protection of Rights and Full Participation Act, 1995, which says that all industrial units have to provide 5 per cent jobs to physically challenged.

‘’When I had come here in November 2003, I had met several industrialists who had lodged their protests over my statement that they were insensitive to the needs of physically challenged and promised that they would be appointing such people. But nothing has changed,’’ said Mr Pandey, who had come from Allahabad after he had learnt that Ludhiana had great job potential.

“Many people from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and many other states have found jobs here. But not even a single industry has appointed physically challenged men or women. Why cannot they invite applications from such people who can work on some positions?” he asked.

Talking to the TNS here today, Mr Pandey, who himself is physically challenged, said he had found out that none of the units had employed handicapped persons.

“I see most of the physically challenged are forced to beg,” he said. Having lost his right leg in an accident in 1989, this 47-year-old decided to work for the welfare of the physically challenged and formed the association.

Stating that there were around 25,000 physically challenged in the city, Mr Pandey said he would be setting up a local unit to provide help to such persons. He said they could be absorbed as telephone attendants, gatekeepers or for handling accounts. 



Verification of migrant labourers:
2,000 videographed, 20 detained
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 28
In one of its biggest drives ever, the Mohali Police yesterday carried out surprise checking and verification campaign of thousands of migrant labourers living in unauthorised colonies and villages in and around the township.

The campaign that lasted four hours started at 5 in the morning and was conducted by around 200 policemen from Mohali, Kharar and Morinda. Over 2000 labourers were videographed and registered by the police as part of the verification drive.

The police also rounded up 20 persons from these places who were later taken to the police station for questioning. The police has recovered a number of vehicles including cars and two wheelers that were without proper registration documents following the raids.

Five separate teams of policemen led by the SHOs cordoned off Mataur village, Kumbra village, Lambian village and the Shahid Bhagat Singh and Shahid Udham Singh colonies this morning. A door to door search was carried out by the policemen. None of the migrant labourers were allowed to leave the colony or the village till the campaign was over.

“During the door to door search, the police teams took note of all those residents whose standards of living did not match with their known sources of income. For example many of these people had cars and two wheelers and other had expensive electronic items,” said the SP Mohali, Rakesh Agarwal who supervised the drive. “Those who had vehicles without proper papers were told to leave these at the police station,” he added.

Following the search, all male migrant labourers above the age of 12 were collected together and video-graphed one by one. More than 1200 migrants were queued up in the Mataur gurdwara and government school. Every labourer spoke out his name, his father’s name and permanent address before the camera. After being video-graphed, each labourer was registered by the police. The name and address was again noted down on a register along with a thumb impression of the labourer. Mr Agarwal said verification of addresses would be done from the police stations in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa and Uttaranchal from where a majority of these persons hail.

“Such a campaign has more than one purpose. We now have a data bank of all these persons and it would help in solving criminal activities that take place in the township. Two months ago, we had done a similar campaign on a much smaller scale though for Guru Nanak Colony and the phase VI colony. We realised that small crimes like burglaries, gambling vehicle thefts etc decreased following the drive. This also means that these drives have an effect also on the criminal elements in these colonies,” he said.

Interestingly, the police at some places ‘fooled’ the labourers to collect at one place so that they could be video-graphed. “We were told that we would be given plots by the government and only those whose names are there is the register and whose photos were there in the camera would be considered for these plots.” said Ram Bhaj, a resident of Mataour village.

Some others thought they would be issued identity cards by the police. “The police would give us I- cards and these help a lot in getting jobs,” said Badri Nath.



Town records rise in migrant population
Ravi Inder Singh Makkar

Machhiwara, January 28
The increasing number of migrant labourers in this town has become a matter of concern.
The migrant labourers have built their huts in the Bali Beg Colony besides occupying six acres of land belonging to the Nagar Panchayat. Not only the labourers have managed to get ration cards issued but also have managed to get a separate ward (Ward No. 2) during the last Nagar Panchayat election. Mr Bindeshwari - a migrant labourer was elected as councilor from that ward.

The colony has a dharamshala and two EGS centres have been installed under the Sarab Sikhya Abhiyan campaign. Most of the residents of Shanti College, Mahavir Colony and Markfed Road Colony are migrant labourers who are not only ration card holders but also have the voting right in Ward No. 1, 2, 12 and 13.

An assessment revealed that out of 18,000 ration card holders, registered with the local food supplies office, 1500-1800 ration cards belong to these migrant labourers. As much as 90 per cent shops and vegetable and fruit rehris belong to them. Majority of the labourers, working in the industrial and agricultural units, including Markfed sheller, FCI godowns, are migrants.

Residents here said the leaders of various political parties encouraged immigration to expand their vote bank. However, the tendency of the people to depend on migrant workers was also playing an important part in encouraging the labourers to settle here, they said.

The number of migrant voters in the previous Nagar Panchayat election, held in June 2000, was 1500 but this number was likely to increase in the forthcoming election, sources said.

The authorities said the migrant labourers could get their ration cards prepared by submitting an affidavit. They further added that they were not even required to produce any evidence regarding the deletion of their names from their original ration cards in their native places.

Residents said the government should reconsider its decision about giving them the right to vote. They suggested that as in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and in some parts of Rajasthan, only the natives should be given such special rights.



Bumpy road in Dugri cause of concern
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 28
For the past three years residents of the Urban Estate, Dugri, Phase-I, are forced to travel on a bumpy road as it has not been recarpeted for years. Despite repeated complaints to the Municipal Corporation which have fallen on deaf ears, the road continues to be a cause of concern for all of them.

Only this morning, a school mini bus, carrying children was about to turn turtle after its wheel got stuck in a trench. However, the careful driver applied the breaks and a mishap was averted.

The residents said that the road was never metalled and gravels were put on it some years ago. But a layer of bitumen was required. The road over the years withered away exposing the sandy layer of the earth.

In rainy season water gets collected in potholes and road becomes slippery. “We have complained to the Commissioner of the Municipal Commissioner several times but to no avail. Nobody listens to our complaints. We bought houses in this locality thinking that we would be provided with all the facilities required in a model colony. But we are a disappointed lot now,” said Mr Karnail Singh, an area resident.

“Our children had a narrow escape today as the bus was going to overturn. The driver asked us to take up the matter with the authorities. What can we do now when nobody pays any heed to our complaints,” another resident, Mr Mohinder Singh, said. 



At the crossroads
Reflections on golden wedding

MOMENTS matter in life but years are counted when an event comes into existence. One pauses awhile when one is 50 years old but on the attainment of 75 years, one ponders over the past events of one’s life. To score a century in this field is a rare achievement, almost a distant dream. Likewise, silver and gold wedding anniversaries are the two stages that bring into focus the smoothness and ruggedness of the course of matrimony. Mostly the silver jubilee year is the period of time when the first child of the couple has been married. It is, however, the golden wedding anniversary that highlights the coming of age of the third generation, for which the occasion is both charming and wondrous.

To look back is to see things falling into a pattern. The initial two or three years are mostly devoted to understanding the working of the mind of each other. It is not the articulated word that is important but the unarticulated one. Silence defies verbosity and it reigns supreme in the corridors of togetherness. Hasty conclusions and impromptu decisions stand in the way of well-thought-out plans. The ego is hurt only when the tendency of one-upmanship is paramount. Some blunt remarks injure the feelings but these are not to be countered by harsh retorts. An angry person is generally on the verge of defeat and shortly afterwards he is in a penitent mood. The lid that is taken off the steam serves the purpose whereas putting a heavy weight on it is harmful.

There came the time when it was irksome to walk on the pebbles barefoot. The goal was indistinct but the urge to cover the path was intense. Slowing down the pace indicated the acceptance of the verdict of destiny. The firm belief that man is the architect of his own fate could not be discarded so easily. Setbacks there were many but the will to carve out a niche in the temple of learning was strong. At times it transpired that “the fault, dear Brutus, lies in us that we are underlings.” Once again the resolve was made to tap the inner resources instead of seeking succour from the outside. With the passage of time, teaching and learning turned out to be inseparable, like Juno’s swans. Creative writing was, in fact, the inner search for equipoise. There was no scope for discarding material comforts as these had never been acquired but literary activity provided “abundant recompense”.

Superannuation witnessed a cyclist rushing off home with pension papers tucked into his pocket. There had suddenly emerged a void at the core of daily rituals. Still there was no panic as faith in the toiling self had not deviated from its assigned task. At last, light at the end of the tunnel filled the mind with new determination. Henceforth, the journey was smooth even though there were some sharp bends on the way. At long last, teaching work came to a screeching halt but there were no regrets. In the meanwhile, the wayward winds gathered up in the form of a canopy over the head. The warmth of the hearth opened up new vistas of thought and expression. The door was, however, kept ajar to let the fresh air in.

Looking back prompts a person to look ahead also. Even if the evening seems misty, one can recall that the morning was also misty. It is the faith in the rising sun in the morning and the hope of the presence of the moon in the evening that sustains the zest for life. Not that one has still to cover long distances and scale new heights. It is enough to view the interplay of light and shade, when loose clouds flit across the sky. A rainbow can emerge suddenly after the incessant rain. As such, there is no lingering on the path still uncovered and no bemoaning of the lost opportunities. Icicles glitter when moonbeams fall on them, while the icy winds blow around.

The wedding anniversary, that was silver 25 years ago, takes a golden hue 25 years later. The celebration attached to it is inbuilt and not superimposed. The conjugal steadfastness is still considered a virtue in this fast-changing world. It is the heart that plays its role in keeping the twosome together. Mind intervenes when the intellect is devising new plans for breaking the bond. It is not that easy to dismantle an edifice even when there appear some fissures in it. Tolerance and patience can restore the past glory. At times the parting of the ways seems inevitable but there is always time to have second thoughts. Only then can there be an opportunity to celebrate with the children and grandchildren the golden wedding.

— N.S. Tasneem



Shiv Sainiks protest against quackery
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 28
In the wake of death of a migrant boy at the hand of a quack in Basti Jodhewal here yesterday, activists of Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) held a demonstration at Clock Tower today demanding strict measures to curb medical practice by unqualified and unauthorised persons.

Led by Mr Dharmendra Khera, president, and Mr Sanjeev Ghai, vice-president of the district unit, the protesters castigated the administration for its failure to come to terms with the menace of quackery. The party leaders observed that qualified doctors had to put hard work for more than five years and expenditure of lakhs of rupees before they could be allowed to treat the patients. But the quacks, most of the times not even registered in allied system of medicine, were thriving due to slack administration and connivance by the enforcement staff.

The Shiv Sena leaders further lamented that the poor and the migrant population fell prey to the nefarious designs of quacks, many of whom were even running high profile nursing homes on the periphery of the city while the health administration kept watching the situation like a mute spectator.

The district chief of the Bharatiya Hindu Suraksha Samiti, Mr Rajiv Tandon, along with a number of his party workers, joined the protest and added that soon, a joint delegation of the two organisations would meet the district and health authorities to seek effective steps against the quacks operating in the city.

Prominent among others present at the occasion were Mr Arun Bunty, Mr Parkash Khatri, Mr Bansi Daabi, Mr Subhash Chander, Mr Gopal Joya, Mr Joginder Miglani, Mr Sunil Agnihotri, Mr Amarjit Singh Shunty, Mr Som Nath Moong, Mr Rakesh Sharma, Mr Munna Tiwari, Mr Kirpal Singh Shunty, Mr Satpal Singh, Mr Jasbir Singh, Mr Jatinder Johny and Mr Manmohan Verma.



Improvement Trust passes 2 schemes
Our Correspondent

Khanna, January 28
A meeting of the site selection committee of the Improvement Trust, Khanna, was held at the Trust Office today with the Deputy Director, Local Bodies, Ludhiana, Mrs Sarojani Sharda Gautam, as the chairperson.

The meeting, which was attended by the Chairman, Improvement Trust, Mr Ashok Jindal, the Senior Town Planner, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, and the District Nagar Yojnakar, Ludhiana, passed two schemes. While one scheme is commercial and residential both would be implemented on 100 acres on the Samrala road, the other is residential to be implemented on 20 acres near Spring Dale Public School.

Mr Jindal claimed that the trust would provide facilities of a health centre, a community centre, a sub post office, a petrol station and parks, besides the basic amenities.

He said that transport nagar to be built on 100 acres on the Samrala road was under the consideration of the trust.


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