L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Migrants’ house demolished, land grab bid alleged
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
Tension gripped the Nehru Nagar area following the demolition of a house of some migrants by a local resident in the morning here today.
The migrants, who had been staying in the house for the past many years, alleged their house was demolished by a resident of Bal Singh Nagar, who was eyeing the prime land.

Ram Chander, a migrant living in the house, alleged the man accompanied by a woman and around seven labourers, armed with iron rods, swooped on their house that around 11.15 am and demolished rooms, boundary wall and toilet.

He alleged they even threatened them of dire consequences if anybody offered any resistance to them. When some of them tried to oppose them, they threatened to kill them and throw the bodies in the Sidhwan canal, he added.

He said the labourers accompanying the accused threw out the items lying in the house and demolished the structure. Some of the items, including asbestos sheets, were taken away by them.

He said the alleged land grabber had recently got a ‘false’ case registered against his aunt, Shanti, who had been working as a domestic help. She was booked under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC and was arrested.

Following her arrest, the alleged land grabber found a good opportunity to demolish the house today. Ram Chander also said that Shanti had been living in the house for the past many years. When she came to Ludhiana, she had erected her jhuggi on the plot that used to be in the form of a depression in the area.

She had constructed a jhuggi after raising the plinth level on small part of land. Over the years, migrants started levelling the land and constructed more houses. He added that Shanti had been living here for the past 45 years.

In a complaint to the SSP, Ludhiana, Ram Kumar said the alleged land grabber had procured thumb impressions of Shanti on some papers and had prepared a deal agreement of the land. Then he got a case registered against Shanti on the charge of defrauding him although she did not know anything about the case.

The police has arrested two persons and a case has been registered under Sections 107 and 151 of the CrPC.



Mandi Ahmedgarh MC chief to face no-confidence motion
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 10
Having failed to win confidence of the majority of councillors, the chief of the local civic body will have to face another no-confidence motion soon.
The decision to move such a motion was taken at a meeting of 11 councillors led by leaders of the opposition at the council office on Wednesday.

Mr Jatinder Kumar Bhola and Mr Sham Sunder said a requisition to call a meeting to consider the no-confidence motion against the council chief, Mr Rajnish Sharma, had been submitted to the authorities concerned.

The councillors had alleged that the council chief had been ignoring their suggestions that led to unhygienic conditions in a major part of the town. Though the council had received enough funds for development, the arbitrary decisions taken by the chief led to chaos and unequal allocation led to unnecessary spending in deserted areas while thickly populated areas got ignored.

Mr Ravinder Kumar, president of the local unit of the Congress, said Ms Razia Sultana, MLA from the constituency, had persuaded councillors to elect Mr Rajnish Sharma the president of the council unanimously around two years ago.

Though everything went on smoothly for some time, majority of the councillors started feeling ignored and they started accusing the chief of adopting partisan attitude about development of the town.

Ten out of 15 councillors moved a no-confidence motion in the council against him in June last year. The motion declined on technical grounds and the opposition had to knock at the door of the high court against the decision of the state government.

Though Mr Sharma continued in the office, the councillors having alliance with the opposition succeeded in maintaining their pressure.

Various social and political organisations of the town had resented the callous attitude of the president and demanded that work on pending projects be started immediately.

Eleven councillors have now approached Ms Razia Sultana and apprised her of the conditions prevailing in the town.

Mr Kishori Lal Bhadhan, former president, Mr Jagwant Singh Jaggi, Mr Jaswinder Sodhi, Mr Mohinder Multani, Mr Yaseen Mohamad, Mr Sham Sunder, Mr Jatinder Bhola, Ms Veena Puri, Ms Chitter Rekha, Ms Ramandeep Kaur and Ms Santosh Rani were among those who met the MLA and attended the meeting held yesterday.

Mr V.P. Jindal, executive officer at local municipal council, said he had received a communication from some councillors, which would be forwarded for necessary action to the authorities concerned.

The supporters of the president, on the other hand, maintained that Mr Sharma had been doing his best for the development of the town, but some councillors were opposing him as he had facilitated some of his close associates to occupy offices in MGMN Senior Secondary School. The group led by the opposition leaders ousted these members from their respective offices recently.



Problems galore in this locality
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
Potholed roads, garbage littered on vacant plots, bad condition of public parks and pigs are the problems being faced by residents of the local Sector 32-A colony, developed by PUDA.

The residents are up in arms against PUDA for not providing them with basic civic amenities. They complain that they had constructed houses in the colony thinking that PUDA would be providing them with the best civic amenities, but it failed to do so.

They say that after rains in the past three days, the roads in their colony got submerged as there was no proper drainage system. Moreover, the uncarpeted roads added to the woes.

“We hate rain as it makes our life hell. We cannot walk on roads,” said Mr Ravinder Kumar, a resident of the area.

He added that they had written to PUDA a number of times but to no avail. The residents claimed that while the roads in the entire city had been recarpeted a number of times, they had to do with kutcha roads. The residents said since the day they started living in the colony the roads had not been carpeted.

“It seems as if we are living in a village. The Sanjay Gandhi colony meant for labourers has metalled roads,” says another resident.

He added that the public parks in the colony are in a bad shape with weeds and congress grass grown all over. Although PUDA had earmarked these with iron grills but no efforts were made to develop these. They were now being used as garbage dumps.”

Residents claimed that some vacant plots in the colony were also being used as garbage dumps. They said these plots were perfect breeding grounds for various diseases. Pigs roamed around in these plots the entire day. Stink emanated from the garbage, causing inconvenience to the residents.

“We keep our windows and doors closed to check foul smell emanating from the garbage from entering our houses,” some residents said, demanding that throwing of garbage on vacant plots should be banned.



Make Nanavati report public, demand riot victims
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
The victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots today deplored the attempts of the Union Home Ministry to “hush up” the findings of the Justice Nanavati Commission, which submitted its report to the Union Home Minister, Mr Shiv Raj Patil, yesterday.

The president of the Danga Peerit Welfare Association, Mr Surjit Singh, alleged that Mr Patil was trying to shield those who were held guilty by Justice Nanavati. He observed that Mr Patil was trying to hush up the report, at least till the election process in Bihar and Jharkhand gets completed.

He demanded that the findings of the commission be made public.

Mr Surjit apprehended that Mr Patil, who belongs to the Congress, was obviously trying to shield his party and its leaders by keeping the findings under close wraps.

The riot victims, who are mostly concentrated in and around Dugri and Urban Estate, alleged that it (the submission of the report and keeping it confidential) only amounted to rubbing salt on their wounds. They said they did not expect justice from the Congress-led UPA government. Another victim, Manmohan Singh, who had come here from Janakpuri in New Delhi, said they had hoped that the government would make the report public.



Johar asks officials to shun lethargy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
Punjab Education Minister Harnam Dass Johar today directed officials of various departments to strictly implement the decisions taken on public complaints within a fixed time frame and warned that any kind of laxity in grievance redressal would be taken seriously.

Mr Johar was addressing a grievance-redressal function organised at Midha Chowk, Jawahar Nagar, to attend to the complaints of the people of Ludhiana (West) constituency here.

As many as 150 complaints were presented and the directions to redress the problems were issued by the Minister to all the officers present.

Mayor Nahar Singh Gill, Wing Commander P.S. Sibia, Chairman of the Improvement Trust Ashok Kumar, SE of MC S. C. Dua, SDM, Ludhiana (West), Amrit Gill also attended the function.

After listening to general complaints regarding the cleanliness, maintenance of parks, patch work on road, sewerage system, the Minister directed the officers of the Municipal Corporation to accord top priority to clear the garbage and to properly maintain all the parks in his constituency.

Some people raised the issue of illegal plying of private buses in Jawar Nagar and on the cremation ground road near bus stand, the Minister directed the Zonal Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, to put up barricades on the roads.

He also directed SP (Traffic) to depute at least two police cops near the bus stand to check the parking of auto rickshaws on the main road.

He said he would personally visit these areas to ensure the implementation of his orders.

On a complaint regarding the slow speed of the construction of elevated road and railway overbridge near Lakkar Bridge, Mr Johar asked the Mayor to speed up the work on these projects as these were causing major traffic problems in the city.

He further claimed that the bridge would be completed by the end of this year.



Beopar Mandal backs ‘Bharat bandh’ call
on February 21

Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 10
Making clear their intention to wage a decisive battle against the Congress Government in Punjab for its anti-trade policies, in general and its attempt to push through value added tax (VAT) in the state from April 1 in particular, the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal has announced its total support to a call given for ‘Bharat bandh’ on February 21 by the Akhil Bhartiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal (ABUVM).

In a joint statement here today, Mr Sunil Mehra, state general secretary, Mr Kasturi Lal Mittal and Mr Mohinder Aggarwal, president and general secretary, respectively, of the district unit said the trade and members of industry were united against state VAT and a strategy was being prepared to make the government see reason and force withdrawal of the new tax regime.

The national president of ABUVM, Mr Sham Bihari Mishra, former MP and general secretary, Mr Bihari Ram Kansal, would also visit the city to interact with the trade and industrial organisations and to motivate them to join the agitation against VAT.

The functionaries of the mandal maintained that political affiliations apart, the traders and industrialists would not take things lying down because the new tax regime was bound to have serious repercussions as far as relations of the government with major players in the state economy were concerned.

They lamented that the unreasonable attitude of the state government had proved beyond any doubt that the government was pursuing anti-trade policies. “The powers that be are not even prepared to talk to the representative bodies of trade and industry, who are going to be directly affected with the implementation of VAT from April 1.”

The leaders claimed that representative bodies of trade and industry had lent their support to the nationwide call for bandh on February 21.

Meanwhile, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has strongly criticised the Punjab Government for not disclosing the contents of the proposed draft of VAT passed by the state Cabinet and for its refusal to remove harsh, undesirable and complicated provisions, which were expected to harm trade and industry.

At a state-level meeting of the trade and industry cell of the party, held here today, the call for a nationwide bandh on February 21 against VAT was endorsed. Addressing the meeting, the state chief of the cell, Mr Sat Paul Gosain, said in several other countries, the respective governments had withdrawn all other taxes like octroi, CST, service tax, toll tax, turnover tax and excise duty before introducing VAT which was not the case in India.

Mr Rajinder Bhandari, state general secretary, Mr Ashok Juneja, finance secretary and Mr Anil Sareen, state secretary of the BJP, were of the view that shifting of around 70 per cent of commodities from tax slab of 8 perc ent to 12.5 per cent, coupled with unjustified withdrawal of promised exemption and additional collection of tax on value addition, an unbearable additional tax burden of over 30 per cent would be put on trade, industry and common public.

Other speakers flayed harsh and penal provisions of VAT like checking of cash, stock, services, harsh penalties for minor offences, double audit system and power of cancellation of licenses for contravention of any provision.

Mr Subhash Verma, district president, Mr Ashok Loomba, Mr O.P. Bhardwaj, both general secretaries, Mr Lalit Sharma and Mr Arun Katyal also attended the meeting.



Officials asked to gear up for census
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, today asked the officials of the district to gear up for fifth economic census to be conducted in April and May this year. He was addressing a meeting of the officials concerned today.

Mr Verma said the census would give the official count of all entrepreneurial units in the country involved in economic activity of either agricultural (excluding crop production and plantation) or non-agricultural nature, production or distribution of goods or services which are not for own consumption.

He appealed to general public to provide correct information to enumerators to help in proper economic planning.

The DC further said 2,500 enumerators would be engaged in the task of collecting data.

Mr Verma added that the information during the census would be collected through three schedules, house list, enterprise schedule and address slip. The fourth schedule, enterprise abstract would be prepared from the entries contained in the enterprise schedule. In addition to this, the state government has decided to collect data regarding unemployment in the schedule.

He further said in rural areas block development and panchayat officers will be appointed as charge officers and in urban areas executive officers of municipalities will be appointed as charge officers of their respective blocks.

In case of large blocks and cities officers such as tehsildars, sub-divisional engineers and GM, District Industries Centre, and chief agriculture officers may also be appointed as charge officers.



BSP dharna on Feb 14
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will stage a demonstration on February 14 in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Jalandhar against the alleged atrocities being committed on Dalits in Punjab. Stating this here today, the state president of the BSP, Mr Avtar Singh Karimpuri, alleged that the state government had failed to provide relief or justice to the victims.

Earlier, the BSP held a meeting to review the progress made by the police in the alleged honour killing of a couple here about a month ago. The BSP leader said although the party was not satisfied with the progress in the case, the police had sought some more time.

The BSP leader held that the number of atrocities against the Dalits in the state had increased at an alarming proportion.

Mr Karimpuri criticised the state government decision to declare April 14, the birthday of Dr B.R. Ambedkar, a restricted holiday instead of a gazetted one. Demanding that the government review the decision and restore April 14 as a gazetted holiday, he said the BSP would launch a mass agitation in this regard.

He warned that in case the government did not review the decision, no Congress leader will be allowed to garland the statue of Dr Ambedkar anywhere in the state.



Railway workers hold protest rally
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 10
Led by the Uttariya Railway Mazdoor Union (URMU), the railway employees today held a gate rally at the diesel shed here to protest against the alleged anti-labour policies of the government and voice their demands.

The rally was a part of series of gate meetings to be organised at various places from February 7 to 11.

The URMU functionaries called upon the government to appoint 6th Pay Commission, withdraw contributory pension scheme, grant upgradation restructuring to left- over categories, stop outsourcing for activities of perennial nature, reduce duty hours of running staff and immediately finalise the report on running allowance..

Various speakers, including Mr Manohar Parashar, divisional organising secretary, Mr Ajaib Singh, divisional treasurer and Mr Raman Malhotra, assistant divisional secretary, flayed the government policies and demanded abolition of intermittent classification, adequate provision of new posts in safety categories, stoppage of surrendering of posts and downsizing of staff, withdrawal of orders for payment of wages through banks and filling up all vacancies in all grades.

Other demands raised by the union leaders at the rally included grant of artisan's scales to trackmen and gangmen, entrusting maintenance of track machines to mechanical workshops, restoration of casual leave, provision of additional resources for improvement of staff quarters and construction of new quarters and permitting manufacture of spare parts in workshops and production units.

Prominent among speakers at the rally were Mr Amrit Lal Ahuja, Mr Bhajnik Singh, Mr N.K. Trikha, Mr Sukhjinder Singh, Mr Biran Singh, Mr Rajinder Sharma, Mr S.K. Gharu and Mr Gurmel Singh. 



Ravinder Ravi honoured
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 10
From obscurity to fame. His graph to fame has been of short duration, but very sharp and swift. The person in question is Ravinder Ravi.
In the Indian Idol contest being telecast by Sony, Ravinder Ravi, a painter by profession, ascended heights of popularity.

Green Land Senior Secondary School organised a function to honour him here today. The most astonishing fact about him is that he has had no formal training in music. The chief guest of the function was Mr H.S. Hanspal, president of the PPCC. Ravinder Ravi was honored by Mr Hanspal, Mr Rajesh Rudhra, director of the school, and Ms Baldeep Pandher, Principal of the school. A sum of Rs 11,000 was given to Ravinder Ravi by the school. management.

Mr H.S. Hanspal applauded the achievements of Ravinder Ravi. He said determination and dedication could help anyone achieve anything. He made an offer to Ravinder Ravi and said he could hone his talent by learning classical music at Bhaini Sahib free of cost. He said they would extend all help to him to make his life comfortable.

Mr Rajesh Rudhra, director-cum-chairman of the school, acknowledged his achievements and urged the students to learn from his life. He promised to give free education to Ravi’s children in the school and provide education to Ravi, if he so desired.

Ms Baldeep Pandher proposed a vote of thanks to the chief guest and the guests of honour.



Workers flay state govt on privatisation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
Activists of Punjab Subordinate Services Federation and Punjab and Union Territory Employees Action Committee today held a protest show against the privatisation policy of the state government outside the office of Deputy Commissioner here.

They demanded that the notification of pension commutation should be withdrawn with immediate effect, new appointments of teachers should be made, bonus of last years should be released and the interest rate of PF should be hiked to 12 per cent. 



PHRC Chairman in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PHRC), has urged the state government to include human rights as a compulsory subject in the curriculum of the Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, so as to sensitise the policemen.

This was stated today by Mr B.C. Rajput, Chairman of the PHRC, who was in the city today.

During a meeting of various officials of the district, Mr Rajput said it was saddening that the police topped the list of bodies against whom complaints of human rights violations were received in the state.



Pothohars greet J.J. Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 10
An executive body meeting of the Dhan Pothohar Brotherhood, Punjab, was held at the Punjabi Bhavan here today. The meeting was presided over by its president, Mr N.S. Nanda.

Giving details of the meeting, Mr Nanda said the body congratulated Lieut-Gen J.J. Singh for taking over as the Chief of the Army Staff.

He said it was a matter of pride and pleasure for the Dhan Pothohar region as it had already produced two Prime Ministers of India, Mr I.K. Gujral and Dr Manmohan Singh.



Escorts centre
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 10
The Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre, New Delhi, has set up a facilitation centre here to extend its reach to the city and its neighbouring districts.
The centre at Karuna Healthcare in Civil Lines would provide all support and assistance to the local people.



18 kg of poppy husk seized
Our Correspondent

Khanna, February 10
The Khanna police has seized 18 kg of poppy husk and 10 bottles of liquor from two different places and arrested two persons.
According to information, ASI Malkit Singh nabbed a person during patrolling from Bhamdi village and recovered 18 kg of poppy husk from him. In another incident,the Payal police arrested Chanan Ram,a resident of Jarg, at a special naka near the Jandali canal bridge.

The police recovered eight bottles of illicit liquor from his possession. A case under Section 61-1-14 has been registered in this connection. Meanwhile, the Khanna police has arrested two satta operators and recovered Rs 1535 and some satta slips from them. According to information, the police arrested a man identified as Salim, son of Shamshad, a resident of Bazigar Basti and recovered Rs 1010 and some satta slips from his possession.


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