L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Card holders of Park Plaza gripped by fear
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Panic gripped residents of the city today following the Park Plaza incident that hit the headlines. Many people who were availing privilege cards facilities of the five star hotel had been offered free stay for a single night in a year in the hotel.

The privilege cards, worth Rs 3750 were given by the hotel that enabled the card holders discounts on various services provided by the hotel besides a free night stay. Many residents of the city had availed the cards and had spent nights on important occasions of their life.

Following the news items of alleged bid to videograph a newly wed couple in a hotel room yesterday, residents were scared that they too could have been or had already been videographed. As there were no sources to ascertain they were seen checking the market for any CDs that were named after the hotel.

To add to their fears a CD titled Park Plaza was found available in the marked last evening only. Many buyers reportedly lined up at the shops for the same. Many of them told The Tribune on the condition of anonymity that they heaved a sigh of relief when they watched it at home and did not find themselves in it.

Frantic inquiries were being made from various newspapers offices about whether the police had of some clues to the case.

“It seems that this is a kind of suffering that I cannot even share with anybody. My friends laugh at me without understanding the gravity of the situation. I am not able to comprehend what would I do if I was also videographed,’’ said an official of a bank.

Another youth who had recently got married and had booked a room in the hotel said that he had celebrated his wedding night in a hotel room. He added that since yesterday morning he was not able to concentrate on his work. ‘‘I was not able to sleep throughout the night. I did not tell my wife about my worries. But this is really bothering me. Only two words-‘what if’ have made my life a hell since yesterday,’’ he said.

Then there was another category of people. These were the ones who had booked the room for spending their time with their ‘‘girl friends.’’ For them it was not the fear of being videographed and then selling like hot cakes in the form of CD. But it was the scare of their wives, who they claimed would leave the house if they saw them with ‘‘other woman.’’ 



Awards given to Punjabi writers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 5
“Change is the law of nature and there has been a great change in social milieu of our country. Realities always change for change is essential. Change should bring positive difference, but the change in Punjab has not been positive and has been a big negative change.

There has been growing unemployment, population explosion, farmers in debt and committing suicide,” said Prof Gurdial Singh to a question what changes he finds now and during earlier times. Mr Gurdial Singh was awarded with the Sarv Shresth Punjabi Kartar Singh Dhaliwal Award at Punjabi Bhavan here today. The award with cash prize of Rs one lakh, a citation and a shawl. The function was organised by Punjabi Sahit Akademi.

Padam shree Gurdial Singh, a doyen of Punjabi literature, shared Gyanpeeth Award with Dr Naamvaar Singh in year 2003. He stands tall amidst the contemporary Punjabi writers and is rated next to Amrita Pritam. His novels Marhdi da Diva has been made into a fim. His other works include Kuwela, Adh Chandani di Raat, anhohe. His latest book is Parsa wherein he depicts with great sensitivity the feelings of animals. Nayan Mati, his autobiography reveals the finer nuances of his life.

Talking to The Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Gurdial Singh said, “Ludhiana has shown development but only 10 to 15 per cent people have become prosperous. The common man is still struggling. One can see hundreds of labourers standing at labour chowks every morning waiting for some one to employ them. But the infrastructure for development has not been made with the result the lives of 90 per cent is devoid of comfort. Political parties and social institutions have to make the people come alive but in politics, every one is bothered about saving one’s chairs. With the result the changes in our society has been very negative”.

Kartar Singh Dhaliwal awards were also given to Amrik Singh, a Punjabi writer of repute who has translated writings of Paash and Prof Mohan Singh into English, Dr Kulwant Singh Dheer, a great writer and thinker, Tejwant Singh Gill writer of more than 24 novels, Om Parkash Gasso, novelist who has written 24 books, Dr Amltoz a great poet. Due to ill health he could not come to receive the award, and it was collected by his wife and daughter with a quaint name, Lori. Dr Gurdev Rapana also received the award.

Ajmer Sidhu received Nav Pratibha Award for his stories that tell reality and fantasy. Each award carries cash prize of Rs 21,000, a shawl and citation. The awards were given away by Prof J.S. Grewal, Chairman Indian Institute of Advanced Studies and former Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University. Giving the awards he said Prof Gurdial Singh has been so highly awarded that they are all honoured to present the award to him.

He said that he had requested him to spend some time with his ‘fellows’ and Gurdial Singh was kind enough to accede to his request, The fellows were so impressed with him that they still cherish the time spent with him.

Three sons of Kartar Singh Dhalwal, Mr Darshan Singh, Mr Charan Singh and Surjit Singh Rakhra MLA were present on the occasion. Mr Sharanjit Singh MP and Raja Narinder Singh, Ex-Minister also graced the occasion. Dr Surjit Patar, president, Punjabi Sahit Akademi, its secretary. Mr Rajinder Bhattal, and senior vice-president Mr Gurbhajan Singh Gill supervised the function. Guru ka langar was served to all.



Widow seeks security for NRI son
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 5
Having lost her husband in a murder a widow has urged the authorities to provide protection to the life of her NRI son who wishes to attend the bhog ceremony of his father but was scared of unknown killers. The police has assured security to the family members of the deceased.

Ms Hardev Kaur of nearby Gujjarwal village told the Ludhiana Tribune that unknown persons at Nabha killed her husband on Wednesday but police could not find any clue to his killing.

Harbans Singh Sohi (62) a permanent resident of Surrey in Canada came to stay at Nabha in November 2004. He had left his home paying obeisance at a gurdwara on a bicycle on Wednesday evening but did not return home. Next day when the family members approached the police station at Nabha to make a complaint they were asked to submit an affidavit. In the meantime body of Harbans Singh was found at a place near courts in the town.

Position of the body suggested that he had been stramled and the body was shifted to this place in same vehicle. Though the Nabha police initiated the investigation under supervision of Mr Preet Pal Singh Virk SP (D) Patiala no clue to murder was found.

Referring to apprehension by her only son Paramvir Sohi, living at Surrey Ms Hardev Kaur said, “My son wants to attend the ceremonies but is scared of unidentified killers who had killed her husband for nothing. I myself do not wish to put my son’s life in danger.”

Talking to this correspondent on telephone Mr Paramvir disclosed that majority of the NRIs were scared of visiting India as they feared threat to their life. “Spurt of killings of NRIs in the state has sent a wave of shock among members of their families. Those who had planned visits to India were now cancelling their schedule after coming to know about the fate of others,” said Mr Paramvir.

Dr Sanjiv Ahluwalia an NRI philanthropist urged the authorities to ensure protection of life and property of the NRIs who were falling prey to the bad elements. Mr Pritpal Singh Virk a SP (D) at Patiala said a special investigating team had been constituted to investigate the case at an earliest. “We would provide security to Paramvir on his visit to the state if he so wished,” assured Mr Virk.



Police officials honoured
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 5
A ceremony to honour police was held at a school here today. Police personnel were honoured by Chairman-cum-Director of the school, Rajesh Rudhra and Principal Mrs Baldeep Pandher.

Mr Parminder Mehta, Mr Om Prakash Malhotra, Mr Ashok Makkar (Congress), Mr Vijay Danav, Chaudhary Yaspal, Mr Ravinder Pal Singh Khalsa (Akali Dal), Mr Sunil Mehra (BJP), Mr Chhote Lal (President Urban Estate), Mr Ramanjit J-Jali (Lok Jan Shakti) appreciated the police official for checking crime.

The chief guest of the day, Narinder Pal Singh SSP, Ludhiana thanked school management for recognising their services, appreciating their efforts for encouraging them. He said that credit of success goes to his team of officers. He asked for co-operation of public to enable them to perform their duties in a better way and create a problem free and crime free society.



159 power theft cases detected
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has detected 159 power theft cases this year. While the PSEB primarily focussed on the agricultural sector in January, this month it planned to conduct massive checking in the industrial sector, said Mr T.S. Mavi, Chief Engineer, Enforcement, PSEB, while addressing mediapersons here yesterday.

He said the board had set a target of checking 1.40 lakh connections this year against the actual figure of 1.07 lakh last year. In January and February itself the theft amount detected was over Rs 17 crore.

“The PSEB would bring down transmission and distribution losses during 2004-05. In order to curb the losses the board started the drive,” he said.

He said the drive was carried in almost all districts, including Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar. 



Bank employees condemn policies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
At the general body meeting of the Punjab and Sind Bank Staff Organisation held here today, association members condemned government’s stand on reduction of capital in banks, entry of foreign direct investment (FDI), merger of public sector banks and other economic policies.

Addressing the meeting, general secretary of the organisation S.P.S. Virk said the announcement made by the Finance Minister directing banks to lay a roadmap for banking sector reforms like mergers and consolidations was only an example of misplaced priorities.

He said these measures would amount to ignoring real problems being faced by the industry and would weaken the public sector concept.

“Today the government is encouraging public sector banks to divest and dilute their equity and bring it to 51 per cent. This would pave the way for joint sector holding in public sector banks and would not strengthen the public sector concept,” he said.

The association said they would join the morcha to Parliament on March 11 and all employees, including bank officers, would observe strike on March 22.

The meeting was also addressed by Mr M.S. Sekhon, workman Director, Punjab and Sind Bank, Mr Sudesh Kumar, Chairman, Punjab Bank Employees Federation, Mr Naresh Gaur, zonal secretary, Punjab Bank Employees Association and Mr Dhanwant Singh, president, All India Punjab and Sind Bank Officers Association.



Pensioners want anomalies removed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 5
Office-bearers of the Punjab Aided School Teachers Pension Cell said that they received pension from February 2, 1994 onwards, but now they are not getting their just dues.

The retired teachers of Aided Schools were given pension on a par with government pensioners of Punjab. But the pension was discontinued and not revived after January1,1996. About 1200 Aided School teachers received their pension from Punjab Government after submitting 48 petitions in Punjab and Haryana High Court. It was after a first that the pension was renewed.

The government in its new instructions has merged 50 per cent DA with their basic pension, but this benefit has been denied to the school teachers of aided schools. These teachers have been denied this privilege and these teachers are getting 61per cent according to the old rate of DA.

President K.K. Tandon, Pension Cell Punjab and K.K. Rudra, General Secretary Pension Cell Aided School in a press note sent here today has drawn the attention of Punjab Government to the disparity. They have written to the DPI , Punjab to issue orders to merge 50 per cent DA with the basic pension and also to give them 14 per cent DA according to Government Counterpart Pensioners of Punjab.



Lord Jagannath’s rath yatra held
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, March 5
The Chandigarh branch of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) organised Lord Jaggannath’s 4th Rath Yatra in Gobindgarh today. Hundreds of ISKON devotees from all parts of the country and abroad had come for the Yatra and it looked like a real cosmopolitan affair.

Lord Jagannath, Lord Baldev and Devi Subhadra arrived in Ram Bhavan at 11 a.m. where They were offered offerings. The Yatra started at 1.00 p.m. with number of devotees started sweeping the road before the Yatra with golden brooms while other devotees started pulling the chariot carrying the deities of Lord Jagannath, Lord Baladeva and Devi Subhadra and Srila Prabhupada — the founder acharya of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). Local people, also joined the devotees in pulling the chariot, and in chanting and dancing before the rath. The 50-inch high steel rath with telescopic multi layer colourful canopy to adjust the height, which had been painted in bright colors and decorated with flowers, mango leaves and banana trees proved to be an attraction for one and all. As a large number of devotees were pulling the chariot, while many volunteers of ISKON were seen distributing packets of prasadam to all participants. Their Lordship were greeted with Bhoga offerings at different places on the route of the Yatra by devotees persons and then the Lord’s Prasadam was distributed to the devotees moving with the Rath. The Yatra concluded at 7-30 p.m.



Expert lauds proposal on tax slabs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
The Ludhiana branch of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, alongwith the District Taxation Bar Association, organised a seminar on Budget here last evening.

Mr Girish Ahuja, chartered accountant and a tax expert from Delhi, who was the guest speaker on the occasion, explained in details various changes made in the Budget. Appreciating the proposal to increase tax slabs and giving service tax exemption of Rs 4 lakh to small service providers, he said these measures were for common man.



Tricycles donated
Our Correspondent

Khanna, March 5
Office-bearers of the Khanna Vikas Club presented tricycles to handicapped persons. Tricycles were donated to Anil Kumar a resident of Khanna and Harinder Singh of Salana village. Mr S.K. Khanna, Advocate, Bansi Lal Tandon, Shashi Sharma, Dev Raj Kapoor, Munish Khanna nad Raju Wadhwa were present on the occasion.



Cash, cellphone snatched
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 5
Unknown persons allegedly snatched Rs 7000 in cash along with mobile phone and other documents from Tarsem Singh son of Sardara Singh of Overlock Road, Miller Ganj Ludhiana near Tusse village at gun point. Sudhar police on the complaint of the victim has registered a case under section 382, 34 the IPC. No arrest has been made.

In another incident, unknown persons broke open the locks of the shop at Mandi Mullanpur belonging to Rajjan Gupta and allegedly stolen ghee tins worth Rs 15000. The Dakha police has registered a case under Section 380, 457 the IPC.

Woman booked: Amandeep Kaur daughter of Jaswant Singh of Lohgarh allegedly produced a fake clearance certificate purported to have been issued by the police authorities or investigation, finding the same fake. Dehlon police has booked the woman under Sections 465, 468, 471 the IPC. No arrest has been made so far.

TV stolen: Colour Television, Deck, cassettes, tube light and cash is alleged to have been stolen by Tirath Singh son of Ajmer Singh of Bassian from the shop of Gursevak Singh of his village. Raikot police has registered a case under Section 457, 380 the IPC and arrested the accused.



Problems of sewing machine industry discussed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
A seminar on “Technology upgradation and modernisation of SSI foundries” was conducted by the Small Industries Development Institute, under the government’s Cluster Development Programme, for the sewing machine industry here yesterday.

Mr S.S. Bedi, Assistant Director of the institute, said the sewing machine cluster, which is located in the city and its surrounding towns, had nearly 800 units. The annual turnover of this cluster was almost Rs 300 crore, he said.

The chief guest, Mr Arvind Kumar, Principal Director, Process and Product Development Centre, Agra, spoke about technology in the sewing machine industry that could help reduce cost of production.

Experts from the development centre presented technical papers on the need for technology upgradation and modernisation, cost reduction through duplexing route, modernisation of sand plant and mouldings facilities for higher productivity and consistency in quality.

Mr Ram Kishan, president, Sewing Machine Development Club, Mr D.S. Dhiman, senior vice-president, and Mr Kulwant Singh, personnel relational officer of the club, spoke on various problems facing the industry in fields of design, manufacturing technology and finishing etc.

Mr Y.V.S. Mahadev, consultant, NISIET, Hyderabad, Mr R.C. Chopra, Director, SISI, and Mr Boota Ram Ratra, vice-president, Sewing Machine Development Club, were among others present on the occasion.


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