L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Tension after clashes between two groups
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
Tension gripped New Kundan Puri and Naali Mohalla this evening following fresh outbreak of violence between two groups of youths having a history of violent rivalry over oneupmanship.

A massive dharna was staged later for over half-an-hour by area residents against the incident as well as the police inaction in arresting the accused. The dharna stagers blocked the busy Domoria Bridge road, causing a huge traffic jam.

A similar clash had taken place two months ago. The old rivalry assumed further serious proportions when members of both the groups openly named leaders of different political parties of shielding the other party. The immediate cause of provocation was that the police had not arrested members of one of the involved groups which had beaten certain members of the other group two months ago.

At least four persons, including a cop, were said to be injured when the groups hurled stones and bottles at each other. They also allegedly attacked each other with long knives and iron rods and also indulged in man-to-man fights. Heavy police force was rushed to the area to maintain law and order.

Though unconfirmed reports said the police had to fire shots in the air to defuse the tension, the police was denying it. DSP Simratpal Singh Dhindsa told Ludhiana Tribune that there was no need to fire any shot as the police had controlled the clash swiftly.

The police, however, has decided to keep anti-riot squad deployed in the area during the night as well as tomorrow to prevent any further untoward incident. The police had also rounded up several persons and were questioning them about the clash.

According to eye-witnesses, the groups have been at loggerheads with each other for supremacy in the area. They have been clashing on and off but serious violence took place two months ago when one of the groups attacked a shop and a house of members of the other group in a planned assault. By the time the victims regrouped enough damage was done.

The police force had remained deployed in the area for almost a week then. Though cases were registered, none of the accused were arrested allegedly due to the pressure of some local politicians. The tension between the groups thus simmered.

Today, the groups came to a head in New Kundan Puri and attacked each other with stones and other weapons.



Kisan Mela begins today
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
Punjab Agricultural University will organise a two-day Kisan Mela from tomorrow on the campus. The Chief Minister of Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh, will inaugurate the mela. According to Dr Amrik Singh Sandhu, Director of Extension Education and Chief organiser, the mela is aimed to acquaint the farmers with the latest varieties of kharif crops and their production technology. This year the mela is being organised on the theme “Diversify Farming to Conserve Natural Resources”.

Various departments of the university will put up their stalls in the mela to demonstrate the new farm technology and other innovations. The Departments of plant breeding, genetics and biotechnology will display varieties of wheat like PBW 502 and PBW 509 and Triticale — TL 2908. The department will also display the newly developed varities of maize (PMH-1, FMH-20and fooder (Cowpea CL 367). He said, the Department of Agronomy and Agrometeriology will demonstrate the cultivation technology for aromatic and medicinal plants. Economically viable and stable cropping systems and nutritional requirement for three systems will also be demonstrated. besides the effect of changing weather on crop yields and their susceptibility to disease will also be demonstrated.

The Department of Soil will collect soil and water samples for testing and will also demonstrate balanced use of fertiliser to realise high yields. The department will also demonstrate use of organic manures and inorganic fertiliser improved breeds of cows and buffaloes will be shown by the Department of Animal Sciences.

The Department of Zoology will demonstrate various techniques to control rodent and bird population in the fields. It will also demonstrate technology for successful fish farming. The department of Farm Power and Machinery will demonstrate the use of various machines in the fields like multicop planter, paddy planter, sugarcane planter, pulverising roller, strip-till-drill, rice nursery seeder, cotton ridge plant etc. Scientists of plant disease clinic will provide on-the-spot diagnosis of diseases. Farmers will get first hand information regarding the use of these machines.

College of Home Science will demonstrate different technologies to farm women for income generation. College will also organise competitions in various skills like seviyan making, vegetable peeling etc. A big agro industrial exhibition will also be held in the main pavilion where different companies will display and sell their products.

According to Dr Gurkirpal Singh, Director, Farm, Seeds the latest crops will be a major attraction for farmers in the kisan mela. This year the university will distribute about 12,000 bags of seeds of paddy varieties PR 118, PR 116, PR 114, PR 108 ad, PR 06, R 104 and asmatic 386/super. Besides seed of kharif crops and 15,000 vegetable kits will be distributed.



Progressive farmers to be honoured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
Three progressive farmers, Mr Mohinder Singh Sidhu, Mr Daljit Singh Gill and Mr Harbans Singh will be honoured on the occasion of annual PAU Kisan Mela here tomorrow.

Disclosing this here today, Dr Amrik Singh Sandhu, Director, Extension Education, said Mr Mohinder Singh Sidhu of Sheron village, tehsil Sunam in Sangrur district, is a progressive farmer in the field of agriculture. Adopting the way of diversification in agriculture, he started producing oil seed crops. Besides adopting the poly-house technology, Mr Sidhu produced the hybrid seeds of tomato, lady finger, beans, bittergourd, muskmelon and watermelon. He used 13 acres of his land for cultivating ber, guava and amla. Mr Sidhu is also a successful cattle breeder and bee keeper. Mr Sidhu was honoured with Dalip Singh Dhaliwal Memorial Award in 1999. He was also awarded with Punjab govt certificate in 1998 for his achievements in the field of agriculture.

Mr Daljit Singh Gill of Sadarpura village, tehsil Jagraon in Ludhiana district, is also a progressive farmer in the field of animal husbandry. With the help of his younger brother Jagdish Singh he started a dairy farm in 1997. Instead of crossbred cows, he started rearing HF pure cows and by using modern scientific techniques, and succeeded in increasing the milk yield.

Besides installing a milk chiller plant he gave employment to the migrant labourers. Mr Gill is presently the president of Punjab Dairy Farmers’ Association and member, Punjab Dairy Development Board. Mr Gill has won the second position in the competitions organised by PAU Society for Advance Research in Animal Science and got the award in 2000 for winning the position in North zone Animal Fair.



Police fails to locate investigation record
Re-appearance of Army ‘deserter’ after 20 years
Tribune News Service

Tugal (Sudhar), March 3
Police investigation into the mysterious re-appearance of a soldier who had reportedly deserted the Army, over two decades ago, has hit a stumbling block as the old police record of investigation into the case has gone missing. He had returned to his village on January 13 this year.

The Sudhar police and the Army had conducted investigations when the soldier, Surjan Singh, had gone missing from an Army camp in Jammu and Kashmir in 1984. He was declared a deserter by the Army. The Sudhar police had conducted incomplete investigations about his activities prior to desertion.

Though nothing suspicious was found in his conduct the policemen posted in the police station here were trying to find out the details to help them in conducting fresh investigations.

Meanwhile, more than one-and-a-half months after Surjan Singh returned to his native village, mystery continues to shrouds the reason behind his disappearance and about his whereabouts for about two decades. Interestingly, no military intelligence officer or any other official from the deserter’s unit has contacted his family members so far.

Surjan Singh also continues to respond with a blank look on his face whenever a family member or mediapersons ask him about his past. He has not talked much after the marriage of his daughter.

Surjan Singh, who had gone missing from his regiment, Bengal Engineers, in October 1984, had returned, as mysteriously as he had disappeared, to his village late night on January 13 when the Lohri celebrations were going on.

All efforts made by the members of the family and villagers to make him recall the events of his life proved futile and those concerned chose to wait till the marriage of his daughter Harpreet was solemnised. A visit to the village today revealed that Surjan Singh had not talked much after he returned to his family.

Mr Gurmail Singh, elder brother of Surjan Singh, told Ludhiana Tribune that the Sudhar police had been summoning them to the police station in connection with investigations into the man’s disappearance on the instructions of the unit of the soldier. But the police has been unable to trace any record pertaining to the investigations.

Mr Shawinder Singh Dhillon, SHO, Sudhar police station, claimed that he had got the available records searched but no document pertaining to the investigations by the Indian Army had been found. “Keeping in view the mental state of Surjan Singh and family atmosphere before the marriage of his daughter we did not question him much,” said Mr Dhilon.

Mr Gurbax Singh, former sarpanch of the village, said no officer from the Indian Army had visited the village after Surjan Singh returned home. He also claimed that the soldier had not disclosed anything to his friends or relatives so far.



Decks cleared for railway overbridges in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
The long-awaited railway overbridges in the city will soon be completed with the Railways agreeing to provide the necessary support needed from it. Since the mandatory approvals needed for such projects had not been taken at the time of launching the project, the work was delayed. Now it will be expedited and the overbridges will be completed at the earliest.

Stating this here today, the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary, Mr Manish Tiwari, said a delegation led by him met the Union Minister of State for Railways, Mr Narain Bhai Ratwa, yesterday at Rail Bhavan in New Delhi.

He said the minister assured that all pending projects in the city would be completed in a time-bound manner. He said the progress taken report would be regularly monitored at the highest level and it would be ensured that the work would be completed on time. Mr Tiwari said as there was a lot of traffic problem in Ludhiana, a number of railway overbridges were required. “We hope to get some more overbridges approved by the ministry”, he said.

The overbridges which are awaiting completion include one at Dhandari Kalan in the city outskirts and another at Lakkar Pull.

The AICC secretary said the delegation had mooted fresh proposals for constructing five more overbridges at different places. These include one at the Giaspura railway crossing (the main line), the Pakhowal railway crossing, Ferozepur Road, the Dana Mandi railway crossing on the Dhuri line, Southern bypass along the canal on the Dhuri line, southern bypass along the canal on the Ferozepore railway line and near Lodhi Club.



Release funds, say councillors 
Our Correspondent

Khanna, March 3
As many as 23 councillors of Khanna Municipal Council along with the local MLA Ms Harbans Kaur Dullo, today presented a memorandum to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, at his residence in Chandigarh. Mr Sant Ram, president of the Municipal Council, Khanna, said the Chief Minister had listened to the councillors and had promised to consider their demand positively.

The councillors had decided on Wednesday to meet the Chief Minister in Chandigarh to press him to release funds for the completion of sewerage project started three years ago. The council had decided to meet the Chief Minister following a letter from the sewerage board in which the board had demanded an amount of Rs 1.35 crore if the council wanted to complete the sewerage project started at a cost of Rs 8.52 lakh.

The councillors presented a memorandum to the Chief Minister in which they sought the release Rs 2.5 crore Excise Duty pending with the state government. The councillors have also demanded the release of a sum of Rs 2.13 crore which had been promised by the previous government.



Dismiss Jharkhand Governor, demands BJP
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
Hundreds of the BJP activists today took out a demonstration in protest against the “unconstitutional move” of the Jharkhand Governor to invite JMM chief Shibu Soren to form the government without having the majority. They also burnt an effigy of the Governor at Clock Tower.

Addressing the demonstrators, the district BJP president, Dr Subash Verma, said: “It is the murder of democracy. The Governor had acted at the behest of the Congress high command. Instead of acting as the guardian of the Constitution, the Governor had behaved like an agent of the Congress.”

Earlier, the activists took out a processing shouting slogans against the Governor and the Congress. They alleged that it was at the behest of the United Progressive Alliance government that the Governor had installed the Soren-led government.

The BJP leader regretted that while the UPA government was wailing over the “murder of democracy” in Nepal, at home it was itself committing similar crime.

They appealed to the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, to dismiss the Governor.



Two-third of rape victims are aged 15 or younger
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 3
The problems of adolescents are multi-dimensional in nature and require a holistic approach. This was the consensus which emerged during a one-day workshop on “adolescent health issues — challenges and promotion”, organised by the postgraduate students of the College of Nursing of Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) with an objective to promote awareness.

Prof (Ms) K.J. Gill, in her introductory remarks, said this was a stage in the lifecycle when profound biological, psychological and social growth occurred. The thought process and actions of adolescents became abstract, conceptual, experimental and future-oriented. Also there was an increase in risk-taking behaviour which made them prone to drug abuse, alcoholism, violence and similar other activities.

“About 40 per cent of teenage deaths are attributed to traffic accidents. One in every five adolescents is affected by a mental health problem at any given time and at least one in 10 have a serious mental disturbance,” she observed.

Taking part in the discussion, Prof Usha Sharma said four out of every five young people belonged to developing countries and a very large number lacked formal or informal education. Adolescents was a transient period from childhood to adulthood from the onset of puberty to the termination of physical growth and attainment of final adult height and characteristics. According to the WHO, children in the age group 10-19 years were considered adolescent which constituted 22.8 per cent of our country’s population. This stage in life was characterised by rapid physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual changes and evolving personal relationships.

“According to a survey conducted in 1999, around 45 per cent girls and 20 per cent of adolescent boys were found undernourished. It was also noticed that 54 per cent boys and 30 per cent girls joined the labour force and most of them worked in unsupervised and unsafe conditions. It was further noticed that sexual relationships in adolescents occurred before they acquired skill and experience in self-protection. Worldwide, young people between the age of 10 to 25 years of age make up for 50 per cent of new HIV positive cases.”

Prof Sharma, speaking in the context of adolescent problems in India, remarked that early marriage and pregnancy were other causes of concern. As many as 54 per cent girls under or at 18 years were married, 36 per cent of the married adolescent between the age group 13-16 years and 64 per cent of girls in age group 17-19 years were either pregnant or mothers. Also, about two-third of rape victims worldwide were 15 years or younger. Complications of pregnancy, childbirth and unsafe abortions were other major causes of death for girls in the age group of 15 to 19 years.

The workshop, while discussing at length the issue of adolescent problems, noted that the CMCH had been hosting a series of lectures and group discussions on related topics like growth and development during adolescence, general health problems, mental health, adolescent sexuality and prevention of mental illness and promotion of mental health.

A booklet on adolescent health was released by the chief guest, Dr John Pramod, acting Director of the CMCH. Mr Pennamma Ranadive, Principal, College of Nursing, and Ms Sudesh David, nursing superintendent, were also present.



Police shielding accused: family
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
More than a month after the local Focal Point police had booked seven members of a family, a contractor of the Municipal Corporation and some officials of a nationalised bank for allegedly cheating a widow and trying to grab her share of property, the widow has alleged that the police was shielding the accused.

The police is, however, claiming that after the registration of a case, an inquiry was into progress and until the report was submitted nothing could be done in this regard.

On the complaint of Ms Reema Jindal, her 75-year-old — father-in-law Om Parkash Jindal, brother-in-law Ajay Jindal, his wife Renu Jindal and sisters-in-law Minakshi and Anu, their husbands K.K. Gupta and Sanjiv Garg, Varinder Garg, an MC contractor and staff members of a UCO bank were booked under Sections 403/406/424/467/ 468/471/376/511/429 and 120B in January this year.

While Reema’s family is now alleging that an IAS officer of Haryana and another influential person of Chandigarh were helping the accused in the case, the SHO of Focal Point area, Mr Surinder Mohan said that they had complained to the DGP with the same allegations and an inquiry was under way. He added that a case was registered by the police and arrests would only be made if the preliminary inquiry upheld the allegations. He added that Superintendent of Police, (City-II), was looking into the matter.

In her complaint to the police, Ms Reema Jindal, wife of Sanjay Jindal, who had died of cancer at his residence in local Vikas Nagar, had alleged that the accused had cheated her and claimed her property. She even accused her father-in-law of attempting to rape her.

Mr Om Parkash Jindal, father-in-law of the complainant, had been refuting all the allegations, while claiming that widow of his son was being instigated and misled by some of her relatives. The sole motive of the false and baseless criminal charges against him and other members of his family was to pressurise him and secure a share in assets and property which were acquired by him.

Ms Reema, in her complaint, alleged that when her husband died of cancer in March, 2004, her father-in-law started having bad intentions towards her. He had even taken advances towards her when he was alive. But her husband could not say anything to his father who had even tried to rape her.

She alleged that these persons, in connivance with the bank staff altered and destroyed the facts in documents by stealing them. She also alleged that the accused tried to grab the share of her husband in two firms M/s Jindal Electric Company and M/s Jindal Engg Works.

Mr Jindal had been claiming that his son was carrying out independent business and all his business and property was in the possession of his widow.



CM sends Rs 2.15 crore grant for War Museum
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
It was a day of mixed feelings for those managing War Museum, near Amaltas, here. While the staff was once again disappointed at the postponement of the Chief Minister’s visit to formally dedicate the museum to the state, they rejoiced at receiving grant of Rs 2.15 crore from the Punjab Government for creating more galleries and adding more attractions to the place.

The Chief Minister, Punjab, Capt. Amarinder Singh, has postponed the inauguration function of the war museum, citing his busy schedule in the city tomorrow even as the War Museum staff and the District Sainik Welfare Board remained busy giving finishing touches to the new galleries on Kargil war and ancient history added to the existing ones.

The Deputy Director, Sainik Welfare Board-cum-Manager of the War Museum, Lt. Commander (retd) Tarlochan Singh, was quite upbeat at receiving the grant. He declined to comment about the postponement.

He said the War Museum had already added two more galleries called the Kargil War and Ancient Soldiers Section. The main attraction in the latter section is the ‘Talking Soldiers’ in which soldiers of the past narrate their tale at the push of a button.

The War Museum has already prepared a blueprint about the new attractions where fresh grants would be used. The museum will have a post-Independence history gallery, a uniform gallery and a Signal’s gallery.



BSNL staff stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 3
Led by activists of the joint action committee of the United Forum of Executive Associations, employees of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd today staged a dharna in front of the General Manager’s office here in protest against the non-acceptance of their demands. More than 500 executives of the BSNL joined the protest.

The employees vowed to intensify the agitation if the BSNL management continued with its indifferent attitude. Mr Inderjit Singh, chairman of the committee, said a protest day would be observed on March 10 and all employees would wear black badges on that day and hold demonstrations at the telecom headquarters throughout the country. He announced that from March 15 the employees would resort to work-to-rule protest for three days.

The demands of the employees included the implementation of non-post based time-bound promotion policy, grant of cent per cent service weightage, stoppage of parallel post-based promotion and recruitment of management trainees and one-time placement of JTOs and SDEs in the next higher grade as per assurance given by the management.

Among others, Mr Sanjeev Gupta, district secretary, Mr Harbhajan Das, district president, Mr A.P.S. Chawla, spokesperson, Sanchar Nigam Executives Association, Mr S.K. Jain, district president, Mr Ajit Singh, district secretary, Mr Nirmal Singh, assistant district secretary, Mr G.S. Batra, assistant circle secretary, and Mr Kanwaljit Shankar, press secretary, All-India BSNL Employees Association, addressed the employees.



Hostesses in the sky
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 3
Excitement was writ large on the faces of city-based Inderpreet , Soni and Kretki who have been selected by Yemen Airlines and would be flying all over Europe by the end of March. All the three young women , two of them in their teens, would soon be flying to Sana in Yemen.

Inderpreet , a post graduate student of the local GGN Khalsa College, had joined FrankFinn Institute and after six months of training she got the job of an air hostess. Talking to Ludhiana Tribune , she said, “Our interviews were fixed in Mumbai. I was thrilled when I was selected as I have always wanted to soar in the skies and visit distant countries. I think the job of an air hostess is very exciting as one gets a chance to meet new people on every flight .Since I am a very restless sort of a person, this job suits my temperament too. I am just waiting to be in London, Paris, Singapore, etc.”

Soni joined the local institute after doing Plust II from Kundan Vidya Mandir. After 10 months of training, she has got a job with Yemen Airlines. She said,”I feel flying was my destiny. I am waiting to soar in the sky and be in my dream destination-Paris.”

Ketki , who had done her Plus II from RS Model School said,”I always found the job of air hostess very glamorous. So when I was selected to fly for Yemen Airways , I was on top of the world .I am so very excited to travel to different parts of the world. We will touch base in Mumbai in a fortnight. And that would be our only link with India for at least a year.”

All three have signed a three-year contract with the airlines. 



Awareness programme for women inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 3
A five-day awareness programme on women education, rights and empowerment organised by Jagraon Citizens’ Welfare Council, was inaugurated at Baba Namdev Public School, Chaukiman, here today by Mr Jarnail Singh Dhaliwal, SP, Jagraon. Nearly 100 women attended the programme.

In the introductory session, Dr Ashok Sharma and Mr H.S. Aulakh welcomed the chief guest and highlighted the progress of women awareness programmes over a span of five years. In the technical session, Ms Amarjit Kaur, Inspector, spoke on the rights of women during police custody and settlement of marriage disputes. Dr Dilbagh Singh and Mr B.K. Bansal, former Employment Officers, spoke on vocational training for women empowerment. Ms Rosy Goyal gave a lecture on moral development of character and conducted some yoga exercises.

A free check-up camp was also organised and free medicines distributed to the needy.

Other speakers expressed concern over the falling sex ratio, female foeticide, drug addiction, AIDS epidemics, dowry deaths and domestic violence against women.



Cash, goods worth 1.5 lakh stolen from shop
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
The Bhadaur House market remained panic-stricken today following the theft of cash and valuables worth nearly Rs 1.5 lakh from the Empire Trading Agency, a wholesale dealer of Fevicol products and locks.

The shutter locks of the agency’s office were found broken at about 3 a.m. by an area night watchman.

Inderpal Singh, owner of the agency revealed that burglars had decamped with cash worth Rs 1.5 lakh and some stocks of locks and other things. He said the burglars had cut open the shutter locks. The police later found a number of fingerprints from the site.

The police has detained a number of suspects and is also questioning the employees of the agency.

A number of hotels are also situated in the area due to which the movement of people continues in the area round the clock. So, everyone was shocked at to how the burglars managed to cut open the shutter locks without anyone coming to know about it.

: Two persons allegedly selling counterfeit state lottery tickets were arrested by the police. On the complaint of Deputy Director, Punjab State Lottery, Chandigarh, the police arrested Lalit Goel, son of Vinod Goel of Raikot Road, Jagraon, and Surinder, son of Rajinder Pal of Mohalla Mahanta, Jagraon, and recovered from their possession counterfeit state lottery tickets alongwith Rs 6,090 in cash. A case under Section 294 of the IPC, Section 7(B) and 8 of the Lottery Act has been registered.

BURGLED: Some un-known persons allegedly committed burglary at Raj Medical Hall, Raikot Road, and stole Rs 24,800 in cash from the shop after breaking open the shutter. The police has registered a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC. In another incident the Raikot police recovered a stolen diesel engine from the premises of Surjit Singh, son of Gajjan Singh of Shafipura. A case under Section 411 of the IPC has been registered.

Four persons, including a woman, received injuries in a clash between two families in Salaudi village 3 km from here,on Thursday. All the injured have been admitted to Civil Hospital, Khanna.

According to information, resident of the village, Sajjan Singh, placed some of his articles near the gate of Om Parkash today morning. Om Parkash objected and asked Sajjan Singh to remove his goods.



Industry flays fixed charges clause by PSEB
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
“The Punjab State Electricity Board, while submitting its annual revenue report for 2005-06 to the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission has added an additional clause of fixed charges per kilowatt of the sanctioned load per month for all categories of consumers. The fixed charge has led to an additional burden on consumers and would act as a severe blow on industry in the state,” this was stated in a statement issued by the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings.

While domestic consumers will have to shell out an additional Rs 20 per kilowatt per month, commercial users will have to pay an additional Rs 50 whereas this amount would be Rs 75 per kilowatt per month for small and medium power consumers and Rs 100 per KVA per month for large supply users, the chamber said.



Diesel auto-rickshaw launched

Ludhiana, March 3
Bajaj Auto Ltd launched a diesel-run auto-rickshaw here today. With the launch of this vehicle, Bajaj Auto plans to consolidate its position further in the auto-rickshaw market which is currently growing at an average annual rate of 10 per cent, said the area manager, Mr Piyush Mitra, while addressing mediapersons.

“Our current market share in the auto-rickshaw segment is over 75 per cent. This share is around 30 per cent in case of Punjab and with this launch we are expecting a 50 per cent share in Punjab,” he said. The vehicle, RE Diesel Mega, is powered with a 8.5 BHP Japanese-Kutoa diesel engine. TNS


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