L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


ICICI Bank manager, worker held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
Taking a tough stand against illegal methods for recovering loans the Model Town police booked a manager of the recovery wing of ICICI Bank, along with two other employees, on the complaint of a woman of the area.

The accused were the manager Jatinder Bali and employees Harjinder Singh and Sukhpal Singh. The two accused were held today under Sections 382, 379, 354 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Balwinder Kaur Bawa, a resident of Punjab Mata Nagar.

The police took stern action as the accused had allegedly behaved in an inhumane manner with the complainant, her son and two girls who were travelling in a Santro car, that was forcibly taken away by the accused late last evening.

The car has been recovered and Jatinder Bali and Harjinder Singh, were arrested.

According to Rajesh Kumar, SHO, Model Town, the accused had used arm-twisting methods to take full payment of the car which was loaned by the bank. The police said no bank could take the vehicle without informing the local police, besides completing certain legal formalities.

As per the FIR, the complainant were stopped near Jawaddi by the accused last evening and forcibly pulled her out of Santro car. The accused had come in a Zen car and had blocked their way. They even pulled out the two girls and the complainant. They were also booked for outraging the modesty of women.

The police said it had given strict instructions to banks that proper procedure should be followed.



Rain lashes city, suburbs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
Heavy rains lashed Ludhiana today, bringing the day temperature down. About 7 mm of rain was recorded in the city and it was still raining. However, agricultural experts and scientists at Punjab Agricultural University said wheat crop was safe.

The scientists said the continuing cold conditions for some time more would prove to be helpful for the wheat crop.

Ludhiana has received 33.4 mm of rainfall this month as compared to last year’s 9.8 mm. The average rainfall during the month of February has been 29.8.

The city is likely to have more rain in the coming days.

Dr Hari Singh Brar, Professor of Agronomy, Punjab Agricultural University maintained that there was no reason for any apprehension about any damage to the wheat crop.

He said, however, in some area where the soil had minimum ability to absorb water there could be some problem like rust in case the weather did not clear out soon.

Dr Rajinder Singh, a wheat scientist, said only those areas which had been hit by hailstorm some damage was reported to the wheat crop.

However, the rain might cause some damage to potato crop along with other vegetables, Agricultural Department officials said.



‘Unsafe drinking water led to break out of diseases’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 15
It is official now. With all five water samples taken from Karamsar Colony on the periphery of the city having been declared non-potable, it can be conclusively said that supply of unsafe drinking water in the area led to outbreak of diarrhoea and jaundice last week.

According to Civil Surgeon Dr Rajinder Kaur, all five samples taken from municipal water supply from the colony on Friday had been declared contaminated after chemical analysis by the microbiology department of Punjab Agricultural University.

She told the Ludhiana Tribune yesterday that the chemical analysis report of the water samples had been sent to Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma and Commissioner of Municipal Corporation S.K. Sharma for information and necessary follow up action.

The MC Commissioner Mr Sharma, however, stood his ground to claim that the drinking water being supplied to the city residents by the civic body was safe. He said water samples were being regularly taken from the affected colonies for spot check of chlorination level and all of them were found potable. He asserted that there might be something wrong with the equipment or method of taking water sample by the health staff. “If contaminated water is being supplied to a particular area, the entire people, or at least majority of them, should have fallen sick.”

He said even though no leakage in sewer line or water mains had come to notice till now in the said colonies, which could have led to contamination of drinking water, the joint commissioner Dr Jaswant Singh had been asked to conduct an inquiry and submit his report within next two days.

The civil surgeon further informed that as far as quality of water supply was concerned, the Khanna town in this district fared no better. All 10 water samples taken by the health officials from Uttam Nagar colony, which had seen outbreak of jaundice earlier this month, were also found to be unsafe and unfit for human consumption.

Luckily for the residents of the affected colonies in the city, as well as for the health and civic administration, the intensity of water borne diseases was mild and brought under control immediately before it could take an epidemic form and cause more damage. Not more than six patients had turned up at the camp set up by the medical and para-medical staff of Basti Jodhewal civil dispensary during last 24 hours, who were examined and provided medicines.

The health officials confirmed that not even a single case of jaundice or diarrhoea had required hospitalisation and the situation as of now, was well under control. The district epidemiologist Dr Ajit Singh Chawla, talking to the Ludhiana Tribune said that the medical team of the department would observe the situation for a day or so and the special health camp set up in Karamsar colony might be closed down if no more fresh cases were reported.

The Health Department officials were of the firm opinion that the outbreak of water borne diseases was, practically a civic problem since the responsibility for supply of safe drinking water along with maintenance of reasonably good sanitary conditions, was the sole responsibility of the municipal corporation. The contention of the health officials was borne out from the fact that the area councillor concerned had gone on record to say that the colonies were being discriminated against and the quality of water supply in many localities was not up to the mark.



Vigilance initiates probe against MC ex-chief
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 15
The Vigilance Bureau has initiated an inquiry into a complaint lodged by a BJP leader against the local Municipal Council regarding alleged irregularities committed during the period preceding the present term of the civic body. The former president and officers of the council have denied the charges and alleged that the complaint had been made out of political vengeance.

A team led by Mr Rachhpal Singh, DSP Vigilance, visited the office of the local civic body to scrutinise records pertaining to the term of the council preceding January, 2003. Some of the records were taken by the team.

Sources in the council stated that the complainant had brought to light some irregularities about the functioning of the council from 1998 to 2003. Mr Kishori Lal Badhan, a Congress councillor and former President of the council, denied the charges and maintained that during the five years of his tenure development works had been undertaken with unanimity of the councillors and according to rules.

Terming the present complaint as vindictive, Mr Badhan alleged that it was politically motivated. “As I have been supporting a group of councillors opposing the president of the council, the husband of a woman councillor supporting the latter had made the complaint on behest of the council chief,” said Mr Badhan. He alleged that the president had threatened to implicate him in some case he did not stop supporting the other group.

The former president further stated that the inquiry into the said complaint had been made earlier also and investigation officers had detected no irregularities.



Aulakh stresses need for crop insurance
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
The Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Dr Kripal Singh Aulakh, today stressed the need for crop insurance. In his message to the agricultural officers on the inaugural day of the two-day workshop for kharif crops, Dr Aulakh said farmers should get crops insured to save the agriculture from natural calamities.

Dr Aulakh pointed out that due to the drought in Punjab the agricultural scenario had become grim. He observed that it was high time that the farmers paid attention to get their crops insured. “Keeping in view the changing agriculture scenario and the coming WTO regime, we should adopt new research and extension programme”, he said.

Narrating the targets and production problems in agriculture, Dr Balwinder Singh Sidhu, Director agriculture, Punjab, said the paddy cultivation should come down and attention should be diverted to other profitable corps like maize, bajra and cotton. He stressed the need of research on hybrid paddy.

Highlighting the salient findings in research on kharif crops, Dr Gurbinder Singh Nanda, Director of Research, said scientists of the PAU continued their research towards development of high-yielding varieties of different crops and standardisation of their complimentary production and protection technologies for sustainable agriculture in the state.

Dr Amrik Singh Sandhu, Director of Extension Education, said present situation of agriculture was becoming critical day by day because the marginal profit had decreased due to increased production cost. Dr M.S. Tiwana, Dean, College of Agriculture, welcomed all dignitaries present on the occasion.



Technocrats boycott workshop
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
Agriculture technocrats of Punjab today claimed to have boycotted the state-level Agricultural Officers Workshop (kharif crops) being held at PAU, Ludhiana, in protest against appointment of non-agricultural technocrat, Mr Balwinder Singh Sidhu, as Director, Agriculture (Punjab).

Addressing protesters, Dr Bhupinder Singh Shahpuri, Chairman, Agriculture Technocrats Action Committee (AGTAC), Punjab, its co-chairman Dr. Satnam Singh, the Secretary General, Dr Chaman Lal Vashistat, and the President, Plant Doctors Services Association (PDSA), Punjab, Dr Rajinder Pal Singh Aulakh said his appointment was illegal and against the departmental rules and interests of farmers of the state.

Among others who addressed the gathering were Dr Sushil Kumar Secretary PDSA, Dr Harjit Singh Grewal, Secretary PDSA, Ludhiana, and Dr Gurpreet Rattan, Kiran Randeep Singh, Fatehgarh Sahib. It was also decided to hold a state-level protest dharna in front of Director, Agri Office at Chandigarh on March 3, 2005.



Probe sought into alleged sacrilege of holy scripture
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 15
More than 20 prominent Panthic leaders, representing different Sikh religious institutions, have urged Head Priest of Akal Takht Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti to hold the hearing of alleged sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib reportedly by Bhanu Murti, who had translated the holy scripture in Telugu language.

Saying that it was not merely a case of translation of the holy scripture former jathedar of Akal Takht, Prof Darshan Singh Khalsa said here today that the person had gone to the extent of removing ‘lagan and matras’ in a whimsical manner, and thus had distorted the original version. The statement further alleged that Bhanu Murti enjoyed the patronage of certain senior Akali Dal leaders, both from Punjab and Delhi.

The representation, submitted to the Akal Takht Jathedar, which had a copy of the version of guru granth sahib with addition and deletion of “lagan” and “matras” asserted that Mr Murti had compiled a simple recitation version of Japuji Sahib in the 2002 in Gurumukhi script, in which “lagan” and “matras” were deleted. This particular edition of Japuji Sahib gutka was published by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC).

“The then functionaries of the DSGMC not only released the “gutka” but Mr Avtar Singh Hit, Mr Shamsher Singh Sandhu and Mr Parlad Singh Chandhok felicitated Mr Murti for his literary work which was virtually a blasphemy.” According to Prof Khalsa, the controversy over the gutka which ensued, forced the DSGMC to set up a three member panel , which had submitted its report in July 2003, recommending that the project be scrapped forthwith.

Signatories to the statement included representatives of the Sikh Missionary College, the Gurmat Gian Missionary College, the Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat, the Khalsa Action Committee, the International Dharam Parchar Council, the Sikh Misal Shaheedan, the Amrit Sanchar Sewak Jatha, the Gursikh Family Club, the Prof Gurmukh Singh Vichar Manch, Mr Ranjit Akhara, Sahibzada Jujhar Singh Missionary College, Dharam Parchar Committee.



Driver, conductor booked for assaulting passenger
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 15
Driver, conductor of Libra Bus Service and four others allegedly assaulted a passenger and snatched his cell phone. According to the information, Love Kush Bansal of Mullanpur Mandi was travelling by Libra Bus Service and some dispute took place over ticket on which, the driver, conductor and four others assaulted Love Kush Bansal and snatched his cellphone Nokia 6600. This happened on the G T Road near Sheikhupura. The Dakha police has registered a case under Sections 323, 341, 356/48 of the IPC.

Liquor seized, one arrested: ASI Rajinder Singh incharge police post Kaunke Kalan arrested Jagtar Singh of Dalla from his village and seized illicit liquor from his possession.

A case under Section 61.1.14 of the excise Act was registered at Jagraon police station.



Ludhiana Calling

Considering the hype and the extent of commercialisation created by companies, terming Valentine’s Day as a ‘Lucrative Day’ would not be an exaggeration. Apart from greeting cards and flowers, it appeared as if gifts had flooded city markets. Almost every sale was renamed with shopkeepers terming even routine sales as ‘special offers on Valentine’s Day’. As if apparel, decorative items, books, cassettes etc were not enough, some even sold dry fruits and eatables “to keep your Valentine’s heart in good shape”. Interesting ideas indeed!

Linemen’s woes

Shortage of power and resultant irregular power supply has not only affected the citizens but has also become a cause of worry for the PSEB linemen. Due to voltage fluctuation, a number of transformers keep on tripping putting extra pressure on the linemen to repair the transformers. It is too easy to criticise the department for the problems but one should spare some thought for the linemen too who work against all odds to continue whatever meagre supply we get.

— Sentinel



Kidnappings: DIG, four SSPs meet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
Rattled by Kidnappings of children in the state, the Ludhiana Police Range, comprising Ludhiana, Khanna, Ropar and Jagraon police districts today launched security measures to prevent such incidents. There was panic among parents.

A meeting of the SSP’s of all four districts chaired by Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Parag Jain decided to increase police presence near schools and colleges apart from sensitising the principals to the modus operandi of kidnappers.

The police has also toned up intelligence and was keeping an eye on the activities of criminals. The state intelligence department has also been told to focus on the movement of suspicious persons in garb of migrant labourers in the region.

DIG Parag Jain told the Ludhiana Tribune that police patrolling would be intensified near the schools and the cops would also be posted in mufti near these places. A programme to educate the drivers of school buses, rickshaws, auto-rickshaws and other vehicles would be undertaken.

He appealed to the parents to issue instructions to their children on safety measures.

Newspaper offices also received calls today after the news of the murder of a Hoshiarpur student spread here. Parents were anxious to know if it was safe to send children to school.

An anxious mother warned her two children not to come out of the school alone. 



‘Xclusive Expression-05’ ends
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, February 15
The four-day cultural-cum-sports festival “Xclusive Expression-05” being held at Desh Bhagat Institute of Management and Computer Sciences concluded today. Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, DC, Fatehgarh Sahib, was the chief guest. He appreciated the performance of the students and stressed the importance of such events in day-to-day life of a student.

Today’s attractions were musical events which included solo song, solo dance, group dance, choreography, modelling, face painting, fancy dress and Role play. The theme for choreography was women foeticide and dowry system, depicting the fate of a girl from birth to death. The group dance by students emphasised Punjabi culture. Western dance by students was also appreciated.

Prizes were distributed on the occasion. In sports events Eklavya House won table tennis, races and the over all-trophies. Chankya won the volleyball trophy. Kulvir Kaur and Deepak of Eklavya House were declared the best in sports among girls and boys, respectively.

Dr Zora Singh, chairman, Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes, welcomed the guest.

Ms Shalini Gupta, director, Desh Bhagat Institutes of Management & Computer Sciences, also spoke on the occasion.

The following students won distinctions in their respective events:

Discus: Parwinder (I) and Gursewak (II); shotput (boys): Gurwinder (I), Gursewak (II).

Shotput (girls): Harjinder (I) and Varinderjeet (II).

1600 m (boys): Adarsh (I) and Jagdeep (II).

1600 m (girls): Sandeep (I) and Nitika (II).

Javlin boys: Mandeep (I) and Gursewak (II).

Javlin (girls): Harjinder (I) and Zenia (II).

Debate: Rozy and Navjot (I) Jatinder and Neetu (II).

Software quiz: Ranbir, Daljit & Vikas (I).

Mehndi: Kirti (I) Reena and (II).

Rangoli: Nitika (I) and Jatinder (II).

Collage making: Manjeet, Harman (I) and Parminder, Megha (II).

Sack race (boys): Raman (I) and Mandeep (II).

Sack race (girls): Rozy (I) and Sandeep (II).

100 m (boys): Arijitpal (I). 100 m (girls): Zenia (I).

200 m (boys): Jaesem (I).

200 m (girls): Ravinder (I).

Quiz: Gurpreet, Daljeet (I) and Harpreet, Ashu (II).

Choreography: Chankya House (I) and Eklavya House (II). Modelling: Newton House (I) and Aryabhatt House (II). Role play: Nitika (I) and Jatinder (II).

Group dance (folk): Newton House (I) and Eklavya House (II).

Western dance: Eklavya House (I) and Newton House (II).

Solo song: Satwant (I) and Rozy (II). Solo dance: Sukhwinder (I) and Nitika (II).

Painting: Sonia Goyal (I) and Harpreet (II).



Factory staff meet Asst Commissioner
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
Workers of Riat Machine Tools Factory today met Assistant Commissioner and urged him to resolve the ongoing tiff between the workers and factory owners. The workers, led by the Moulder and Steel Workers’ Union, demanded that their salaries and bonus should be immediately released.

The workers have been protesting for over a month against the alleged compulsory retrenchment.

The workers blamed the administration and officials of the Labour Department for encouraging the factory owners.

“We are apprehensive that the date of February 16 fixed for a meeting at the Labour Office would be postponed further so that the workers are forced to accept whatever the management says,” they said.

Leader of the union, Mr Mahinder Singh, said the factory owners had not paid their salaries for January and also the bonus for 2003-04.

The workers also said they were willing to work but the management had forcibly retrenched them.

They demanded that they should be taken back on rolls after paying them their salaries and bonus.



Residents support move on recarpeting
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 15
A section of residents of Prem Nagar has strongly come in support of area councillor for recarpeting of a road which was at the centre of a controversy. The residents defended the councillor’s move of recarpeting the road saying that it was an old road and required repairs.

Water accumulated there in the rainy season and it became difficult for them to walk it. In a statement, signed by over 15 persons, claiming to be the residents of the street concerned, they said that they had demanded the same from the area councillor, Mr Raju Sushil Thapar, a year ago.

Countering the allegation that the though the road was in good condition still it was being repaired, the residents claimed that the repairs were urgently required in the area. They added that there were some ‘vested’ interests in the area who had lodged a protest yesterday. 


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