L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Spurned, boy throws acid on girl
Iqbal Singh

Khanna, March 25
Enraged at the refusal of his friendship proposal by a girl, a boy threw acid on her in the local Shivpuri Mohalla today. She had been admitted to the Civil Hospital, Khanna, with 20 per cent burns but was later taken to a Ludhiana hospital. The police has registered a case against Karan Maheshwari, his brother Sunny and two other youths in this connection.

According to the victim, Seema Sharma of Shivpuri Mohalla and Class X student of Sacred Heart Convent School, Karan Maheshwari, a student of the same school, came to her while she was celebrating Holi with other girls in the street and started harassing her.

“He asked me to play Holi with him. I refused, but he kept pestering me. When I ticked him off he went away and came back after a while with his brother and two other youths,” she said.

“He was carrying a can filled with acid. He threatened to throw the acid on me, if I refused to be friendly with him. I tried to escape but he caught up with me and poured the acid on me,” she recalled.

Dr M. S. Bhasin, Doctor of the Civil Hospital, Khanna, said the girl had suffered 20 per cent burns on her neck, back and arms. Mr Rajeewan Sharma, uncle of the victim, said the youth had been harassing the girl since the past five months and other girls had also been his victims.

After the incident, parents of another girl also complained of similar harassment of their daughter at the hands of the boy.

The DSP, Khanna, Mr Rajeshwar Singh Sidhu, and the SHO (City), Mr Wajir Singh, visited the spot where the incident had occurred. The police recorded the statement of the girl. The suspects have absconded. 



Acid rubbed on boy’s head
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 25
The festival of colours brought trouble for 16-year-old Sahil Sodhi when the grandson of a councillor allegedly rubbed acid on his hair along with gulal in Rari Mohalla here today.

Sahil, whose hair came off after the incident, was rushed to the Civil Hospital where the doctors referred him to the CMC. Doctors at the CMC said his condition was not serious.

Members of the victim’s family, however, said the doctors had told them that the boy would never grow hair as their follicles had been damaged badly. They have demanded a strict action against the suspect.

No case had been registered till the filing of this report.

Police sources said the Sections would be decided after getting a report from the doctor. It was not established whether acid or hair remover was rubbed on the boy’s head, they added.



Holi brings no colours to these families
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 25
For Kiran Devi and Bimla Devi, Holi brings no colours. Instead it brings back the horror which they find difficult to forget. Their husbands were gunned down on Holi 13 years ago by terrorists.

After Mr Beant Singh took over as the Chief Minister of Punjab and started getting popular among the masses, terrorists struck in desperation on the Holi eve in the Field Ganj area, killing 17 people. They included Jaipal, husband of Kiran Devi, and Amar Singh, husband of Bimla Devi. Both were in shoe business and hailed from Rajasthan.

Kiran Devi recalls the horror of the evening. She said her husband was on his way back home from his shop to celebrate holi with other members of the family. But he never reached home. Instead they had to get his body from the Christian Medical College and Hospital. Besides Kiran Devi, Jaipal left behind his four small children Puja, Arti Monty and Tony. The eldest was seven, while the youngest was not even one. Since then Kiran Devi has been living in continuous trauma. The horror haunts her. Even when she tries to forget, Holi brings it back. She has managed to survive with Rs 2500 pension that the government started providing to her. Besides, she had got Rs 50,000 compensation also. Her in laws helped her with a small house. The horror appears to have gone deep into their life. She said, “Not just me, even my children do not dare to venture out on Holi as they fear that they would be shot like their father”. They all sit indoors.

For Bimla Devi life is equally traumatic. Her husband had returned and even had food so that they could leave for Holi celebrations with relatives. After having his food, Bimla Devi recalls, “Ajmer told me ‘you get ready and I will just go out and have pan’…but he never returned and we got his body only”. Life has been very difficult since then. Although the government, relatives and friends did provide all moral and financial support they needed, the psychological vacuum remains..

Bimla Devi had four daughters and a son. The eldest was just eight at that time. “My children have been living an orphaned life and they were orphaned on Holi itself”, she says, adding that “Holi colours only smell of blood”. The trauma is so deep that the children are afraid of colours, fearing it is the blood of their father that is being splattered around and people are playing with the blood of their father.

Both Kiran Devi and Bimla Devi said peace might have returned to Punjab, but for them life came to an end in 1992 itself. For them, Holi is only a tragic memory, which was played with the blood of their husbands.



Hues of Holi colour the city
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, March 25
Shouts of ‘Holi hai’, pulsating beat of dhol, accompanying shrieks of unsuspecting victims being forcibly applied gulal on their cheeks and groups of boys riding their two-wheelers was the common sight in the city today.

A serpentine procession of boys on their two-wheelers went by shouting and throwing gulal with a ‘dholi’ accompanying them in the streets of Madhopuri and Purana Bazar. More groups of girls and boys were seen celebrating Holi in the city than in the suburbs.

Mohit, a college student, said, “We planed days in advance how many boys would be in our procession. We pooled in money to buy gulal and other things. After celebrating Holi we had a lot of snacks. We love Holi as the ‘child lurking in us’ comes out.”

This year, Anjali, an avid lover of Holi, said, “we and our friends bought environment-friendly gulal as last year the gulal did damage our eyes and roughen up our skin.”

In posh localities, Sarabha Nagar, BRS Nagar, Tagore Nagar, Aggar Nagar, almost all families were going in their cars to celebrate Holi.

The coloured roads spoke of the intensity the Holi was celebrated in the areas. Young children were the happiest lot exploding water balloons on people and using their Chinese pichkaris. Many gulal vendors did a brisk business as the celebration went on.

The police was deployed to check incidents of eve-teasing and group clashes. However, many people did not celebrate Holi as it was a working day for them today.

JAGRAON: Hundreds of youngsters, on their scooters and motor cycles, drenched in different colours and carrying gulal were seen roaming in a joyous mood in different areas of the town. 



Swindler dupes residents by selling mortgaged property
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 25
A swindler allegedly duped some residents of the town and surrounding villages by selling them property worth millions that had already been mortgaged with a bank. The residents have threatened to launch a stir in case they were forced to dispossess their respective properties.

Led by councillors, Mr Jatinder Bhola, Mr Sham Sunder and Mr Jagwant Singh Jaggi, the owners of more than 20 plots alleged that Satish Kumar Arora and Satyawati Arora had duped them by selling property that had been mortgaged with the local branch of the Punjab and Sind Bank.

Most of the complainants, including owners of Kennedy Public School, Krishan Singh and Sons, Raja Mill store, Durga Timber Store, S K Boring and Sanitary and a building housing a telephone tower, had purchased their plots from the accused around 10 years ago and had spent lakhs on constructing houses.

Surprisingly, the bank authorities did not raise any objection at the time of execution of the sale deed of any of the properties. There was no lien marked in the records of the revenue department, hence, the deeds were registered without any hindrance.

Some of the plots were reportedly resold to the present owners and most of them have constructed buildings after getting the construction plan approved by the civic body authorities. The buildings house shops, godowns, schools and a tower of a mobile telephone company.

Two victims, Mr Gurmit Singh, a local resident and Shagir Mohamad of Dehliz village, said, “We had purchased our plots after confirming that there was no lien on the land from the revenue records. How can we approach each and every financial organisation to confirm whether the land was mortgaged with them or not?” they asked.

The owners were shocked to learn that the Debt Recovery Tribunal had appointed an auctioneer to auction land measuring more than 5700 sq yards with similar description purportedly in the name of Shakti Steel Rolling and General Mills. The proceeds of the sale would be utilised to settle a loan above Rs 151 crore.

Apprehending dispossession, the victims today held a meeting and threatened to launch a stir in case they were forced to vacate their premises. They urged the police to register a criminal case against the suspects for defrauding them.

Mr Vijay Kaushal, court auctioneer, when contacted, maintained that he had received an order from the tribunal to auction the said property, which would be auctioned on “as and where is” basis.

Sources at the local police station revealed that a written complaint had been received but investigations were yet to be initiated.

“However, we cannot interfere in the auction process,” said Mr Harinder Singh, SHO, city police.



Passing Thru

Rocky Kalra
Rocky Kalra, general manager operations, Nirula’s 

What kind of potential do you see for food business in the region?

Punjabis are food lovers and have money to spend too, which makes it a high potential market for food business. The response we received for our Chandigarh and Ludhiana is a proof of the fact.

Is expansion on the anvil?

Certainly. We are currently having 35 outlets north of Delhi and are planning 15 more outlets within a year. This kind of an expansion, which entails an investment of Rs 30-40 lakh per outlet, is being done only because we are positive about the market potential.

What are you offering through your ‘Car Khana’ service?

Under this service, we provide our customers the convenience to order for and have food in their car only. They can place orders on the phone or to our waiters who would be available in parking area of the Sarabha Nagar market.

What are your strategies to combat increasing competition in this field?

We are launching new services, like the latest car food service. In foods, while ice-creams are our specialty, we offer 21 different flavours, our focus is also on providing the most exhaustive range of eatables.

— Shveta Pathak



Illegal construction issue echoes in Assembly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 25
The Local Bodies Department has sought a reply from the local Municipal Corporation on the issue of “illegal” shops constructed by the councillor of Ward number 32 in the city.

The issue was raised during question hour by a local MLA, Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, in the state Legislative Assembly. He had alleged that the councillor of ward number 32, Ms Gurdeep Kaur, had constructed shops in a residential area earmarked in the master plan.

Officials of the MC were in a quandary over answering to the question. The councillor, Ms Gurdeep Kaur, owes allegiance to the Shiromani Akali Dal.

It is being alleged that on December 15, 2004, the councillor was getting her shops constructed and building inspector, Mr Jasdev Singh Sekhon, had stopped the work. The matter was also reported to the authorities. Later, another Akali councillor, along with some supporters, got the construction completed in the evening.

The MC had issued demolition orders in this case on January 13. Ms Gurdeep Kaur, the councillor, said that she was a widow and she had constructed shops in the house as a source of income. But some people had political rivalry with her and her husband when he was alive. It was out of political vendetta that they were complaining against her.

The issue has been hanging fire in the city for quite some time. It came to light when the MC demolished shops of a former councillor, Mr Satpal Puri, who was sacked from the MC House some time ago.

The matter was picked up by Congress councillors who were opposing it tooth and nail. But some Akali councillors supported the construction stating that they would side with the councillor of their party. Hence, the matter was raised in the Assembly by a Congress MLA. Mr Dakha, however, refused to comment on the issue and said that he would discuss it after taking it to its logical conclusion.



Tension in Transport Nagar over cremation at religious place
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 25
Tension prevailed in the Transport Nagar area here today following the death of a nihang, head of a chawni, a religious place of Nihangs, when his followers tried to cremate him in the premises of the chawni itself.

The head of Akal Bugha Sahib Dashmi Chawni, Nihang Ranjodh Singh, had died at his residence in Salim Tabri following a heart attack last midnight. As he was the elected head his followers wanted him to be cremated inside the religious place.

Transporters in the Transport Nagar witnessed some workers collecting logs of wood and other combustible material for the cremation and they raised a protest. While the followers were adamant that he would be cremated inside the precincts only, the transporters said numerous shops and offices were located in the area and they would not allow such a thing. They also argued that this was not permitted as per the rules.

Transporters called up members of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee to intervene in the matter. They then called up the police and a heavy posse of cops was posted outside the religious place.

A group of transporters then held two rounds of talks with the followers and family members of the nihang who later decided to cremate him in the Salim Tabri cremation grounds only. He was cremated in Salim Tabri amidst tight police security.

Balwant Singh, Sub Inspector, who was posted on duty said the police did not have to resort to force as the talks only proved fruitful. He added that had the followers not listened to transporters they would have to use the force as rules do not permit the cremation of a persons in a religious place.



MC told to change the course of proposed drain 
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 25
The civil authorities have been told to change the course of the 7-km main line of a drain that is to be set up from main disposal tank to the Maherna drain. Heads of civic bodies of nearby Chhapar and Hargobindpura villages had locked horns over the construction of the main line.

Referring to the outcome of the meeting of the officials from BDO, Pakhowal, and the local Municipal Council held at Malerkotla, Dr Indu, SDM, said the council had been directed to change the course of the proposed main line.

“The MC authorities have been asked to prepare a plan to set up the drain along the road passing through Dehliz, Chhapar and Maherna villages, minimising the chances of passing the pipeline through private lands,” said Dr Indu.

She said Mr Hussan Lal, Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur, had taken up the matter with his counterpart in Ludhiana district. Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, reportedly directed the authorities concerned to cooperate with the civic authorities here in the project.

Mr Gurpartap Singh Dhanjal, AME, Mr Ved Parkash Jindal, Executive Officer, told the SDM that the disposal tank of Mandi Ahmedgarh overflowed due to unauthorised discharge of waste water by the residents of Chhapar and Hargobindpura villages. The disposal lines on the Dhulkote road, Jagera road, Pohir road and Raikote road had to be closed due to jurisdiction problem.



SAD condemns Budget proposals
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 25
Mr Amrik Singh Aliwal, former MP and national general secretary, Shiromani Akali Dal, yesterday said the Punjab Budget was the most hopeless Budget presented so far and would result in only worsening the economic condition of the state.

Stating that education and health play a key role in strengthening any community, he said Punjab Finance Minister’s focus on privatisation of education would deprive the economically weaker sections of society of education.

“The government has already washed its hands off any responsibilities by privatising public sector organisations and now it is moving towards privatising education too,” Mr Aliwal said.

He said that the budget had also disappointed farmers. “Finance should be made available to farmers at an interest rate as low as 5 per cent. Besides, there should be provisions to compensate farmers in event of crop destruction so that they do not suffer,” he said.



Good Friday observed with religious fervour
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 25
“Good Friday is the day of prayers, fasting and penance for the Christians. Since morning, they visit churches located in their parish like Sarabha Nagar, Kitchlu Nagar, Tajpur Road and other places to attend Mass . Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. According to the Gospel, Jesus was put to death on the Friday before Easter Day. Hence, the Christans do penance”, said RamLal Farwah, Priest of Kalvari Church, Brown Road .

In the Roman Catholic Church, the Good Friday liturgical service involves three distinct parts. The Christians in the first part did readings and prayers, including the reading of the Passion from the Gospel of St John;the second part was the veneration of the cross followed by a general communion service (formerly called the Mass of the Pre-sanctified), using bread and wine consecrated the previous day.

Many Christians had turned up in Sarabha Nagar Church from the Halwara Air Force Base and other neighbouring towns of Ludhiana to participate in the prayer services.

Many churches had “mourning services” from noon until 3 p.m. to symbolise Jesus’ last hours on the cross. Some congregations also re-enacted Jesus’ procession to the cross in a ritual known as Stations of the Cross.



BKU flays hike in diesel prices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 25
The Punjab unit of the Bharatiya Kisan Union has criticised the Punjab government for increasing the price of diesel at the rate of Re 1 per litre. The BKU leaders, Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal and Mr Manjit Singh Kadyan, observed that this would hit the farmers who have to use diesel in various farm operations.

Reacting to the Budget proposals presented by the Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, in the Punjab Assembly on Tuesday, the BKU leaders said that there was no provision for providing relief to the farmers. Although the government was harping on crop diversification, there was nothing concrete on the issue in the Budget that would benefit the farmers, they said.

The BKU leaders demanded that the government should provide the minimum support price for the alternate crops that the farmers were being advised to sow. Until the farmers got assurance that their yield would be purchased they would ill afford to opt for other crops, they said. They hoped that the government would ensure that the farmers were not made to suffer losses.



Search Within
Holi celebrates the warmth and beauty of spring

Spring is here. So too Holi. Bright sunny mornings and boisterous children going around with their water-filled balloons are the first sign of this festival of joy and mirth.

Holi heralds the arrival of Spring - the season of hope and new beginnings - and marks the rekindling of the spirit of life. Flowers are in full bloom in the gardens. Mango trees, with their yellow blossoms are a delight for the eyes. In gardens, meadows and lawns, nature presents itself in a riot of colours and imparts to us the beauty and freshness of the whole of creation. Out of the cold dullness and darkness of winter emerges joy-giving spring. That is Holi. The celebration is held on the last day of Phalgun

Many legends are associated with Holi. The killing of Putana by Krishna when he was still an infant is one. This tradition identifies he with Holika. Kamsa, who wanted to murder Krishna, gets her to go and offer the infant her poisoned breast. Krishna sucks her very life out of her. The villagers burn her body on a pile of wood. Scholars are of the view that Putana is a personification of diseases afflicting children.

The Narada Purana links the celebration to the commemoration of the burning of Kama by Shiva or the burning of Holika who was a terror for Prahlada.

Prahlada’s egoistic father Hiranyakashipu ordered his people to worship him as god. His son Prahlada, defying his father’s orders, continued his worship of Lord Vishnu. The king, wanting to kill Prahlada, and wipe out the very name of Lord Vishnu, dispatched his sister Holika, for achieving his sinister purpose. She had a boon that she will never perish by fire. She took Prahlada on her lap and entered into a blazing fire. Surprisingly, she was devoured by the flames while Prahlada remained unscathed.

The Sikh community celebrates Holi with much feasting and merriment and call it Hola Mohalla. Rangapanchami is the name given to this festival in Maharashtra. In South India, specially in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the legend that is popular is of Kamadeva, the love-god. In spring he moves through woodlands and hunts birds, beasts and men. Once in his foolish pride, he aimed his arrow at the mighty Lord Shiva who was in deep meditation. Lord Shiva opened his third eye and burnt him to ashes. Grief-stricken Rati, Kamadeva’s wife, besought the Lord to take pity on her and restore her husband to life. Shiva relented and granted her the boon that she could see her husband but he would remain “anang”— without the physical human form. Holi is also seen as a funeral of the old year and the beginning of the new.

One of the features of the Holi celebration is the obscene talk and behaviour indulged in by members of both sexes. This has been seen as a piece of “sympathetic magic” to induce fertility. Just as before fecundation can take place, man needs to be aroused, so too nature needs to be aroused before it gives fecundating rains. Further the obscene behaviour is interpreted as a form of psychological purification. There is a lot of suppressed passions in man and the Holi revelry serves as a catharsis.

However, of late, there has been strident criticism of the wild and unrestrained manner in which the festival is celebrated causing problems of law and order. The habit of daubing strangers’ faces with coloured dust and throwing water on unwary passengers and teasing of women had often led to unpleasant consequences.

Perhaps an interesting feature is the Holi-milan during which people greet each other and even strangers with warm embraces. The exchange of the kiss of peace and the applying of colour ignore all social distinctions based on caste, religion, wealth, or status. Holi is a call to man to free himself from a narrow understanding of religion.

This coming together of neighbours is the need of the day. As man turns inward with selfish pursuit of wealth and power and becomes more and more individualistic, he must lose his joy of relationships in the larger community. Festivals like Holi, regardless of the legends and mythology surrounding them and the rituals accompanying them offer excellent opportunities for renewal of relationships in the community.

MPK Kutty



Rajvinder, Tej Partap get MS Randhawa award
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, March 25
Germany-based ‘poet-laureaute’ Rajvinder Singh was conferred Dr Mohinder Singh Randhawa Award while Tej Partap Singh Sandhu, photographer, was honoured with Randhawa Memorial Award at a programme organised by the National Literary and Art Parishad at Swaran Hotel here yesterday.

Rajvinder Singh was conferred the award for his writings in Punjabi and German. He not only has mastered the German language, but also he has to his credit eight books published in the foreign language.

Mr Sandhu received the award for capturing the harsh realities of life in his photographs.

Dr Ranjit Singh, chairman of the parishad, accorded a formal welcome to the dignitaries. Mr Satvir Singh, general secretary, highlighted the achievements of the awardees. Prof Gurbhajan Gill, litterateur, said, “We feel proud of Rajvinder Singh who carved a niche for himself abroad and that too in a foreign literature.”

About Mr Tej Partap Singh Sandhu, he said he had earned name and fame through is ‘unique’ photographic skills. Mr Budh Singh Grewal of Canada was also honoured by the parishad.

Among those who graced the occasion were Mr Jagdev Singh Jassowal, patron, Mr Maheshinder Singh Grewal, former minister, Mr Jarnail Singh, Dr S. S. Dusanj, Mr Sham Singh, Mr Inderjit Hassanpuri, Mr Santa Singh, Mr Jasvir Bhullar, Mr Harbhajan Sagar, Mr Ramesh Kumar, Mr Swaran Singh, Mr K. K. Bawa, Mr Tarlochan Singh Grewal, Dr Jarnail Singh, Mr Nirmal Jaura, Mr Gurcharan Singh, Mr Jaswinder Singh Balianwal.

Hardiyal Parwana regailed the audience with his Punjabi ghazals. 



Kehar Singh Roopa awards presented
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 25
A function was organised in the Pal Auditorium of Punjab Agricultural University yesterday to distribute Mr Kehar Singh Roopa memorial awards among the students. Addressing the function, Dr Sardara Singh Johal, Deputy Chairman, Punjab State Planning Board and former Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala, said people should perform their duties cautiously in order to enjoy their rights.

Dr Johal said Mr Roop Singh Roopa has set an example by donating the money for instituting Mr Kehar Singh Roopa memorial awards in the memory of his father Kehar Singh Roopa. He added Mr Roopa Singh Roopa had acted as president of the Non-teaching Employees Union for a long period. Dr Johal said those awards would strengthen his ties with the PAU employees. Dr Johal gave away the awards to three students of the PAU.

Mr Roop Singh Roopa, at present based in the USA, donated Rs 6 lakh to the Punjab Agricultural University for instituting the awards out of the interest on this amount. The PAU has now Rs 10 lakh for these memorial awards.

Dr V. K. Sharma, Registrar, Punjab Agricultural University, said the awards would be given to the students of College of Agriculture, College of Agricultural Engineering, College of Veterinary Science and College of Home Science. Twelve awards in total would be given to the students.

First award will carry Rs 5,000, second Rs 3,000 and third Rs 2,000. Mr Roopa said that amount was just a token of love for PAU employees. He added he still remembered the day when he had been shot at by terrorists opposite the PAU hospital and 500 persons were ready to donate blood for him.

In his presidential address, Mr Jagjit Singh Anand, Chief Editor, Nawan Zamana, said that Mr Roopa had been a guiding force for me. He always spoke on favour of employees. Mr Anand said with the support of his family, Mr Roopa could be able to donate Rs 10 lakh to the PAU, Rs 1 lakh to Punjabi University, Patiala, on the occasion of World Punjabi Conference and Rs 2.25 lakh to Yadmindra Engineering College, Talwandi sabo.

Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, MLA, Mr Dharampal Maur, President, Non-teaching Employees Union, PAU, and Mr Amritpal Sehra, General Secretary of the union, also addressed the function while Mr Paramjit Singh Gill, Senior Vice-President of the union proposed the vote of thanks.



Ex-servicemen to hold rally at Jagraon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 25
The Indian Ex-services League, Punjab and Chandigarh, will hold a rally at Jagraon to disburse financial help to Second World War veterans and widows which has been secured from Royal Commonwealth League, London.

The league is affiliated to the Royal Commonwealth League (RCL) that represents veterans of 52 nations and has also been recognised by the Government of India. Col Bhag Singh (retd), president of the Ludhiana chapter of the outfit, said the organisation is organising a rally at Lopon Ashram, Jagraon, on March 29 at 11 a.m. for this purpose and Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, will distribute the cheques to surviving war veterans, widows and ex-servicemen.

He said the league was the lone organisation which was receiving financial help such as RCL grant, distressed grant, medical grant and educational stipend for Second World War veterans, widows and ex-servicemen.

He appealed to all ex- servicemen of Punjab to attend this rally in honour of war veterans and war widows and project their long outstanding demands such as one-rank-one-pension, to remove the 33 years condition of armed forces for earning full pension, to increase the enrolment for Punjabis and various other issues which will be taken up with the Centre and state government during this rally. 



Indian docs on peace mission to Pakistan
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 25
To strengthen the ongoing peace process and ensuring cordial relations between India and Pakistan, a padyatra is being organised from Delhi to Multan. Dr Arun Mitra, general secertary, Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD), said the yatra would culminate at Multan on May 11.

The padyatris were flagged off from Hazrat Nizamudin in Delhi yesterday and would cross Wagah border on April 18.

About 100 persons form both countries were taking part in the event.

The padyatra was being led by peace activist Sandeep Panday.

He said the yatra would cross Rajpura on April 5. Passing through the towns of Sirhind, Khanna and Doraha they would reach the city on April 8.

The jatha would hold series of meetings and organise cultural programmes on April 9. On April 10, they would leave for Phillaur.

To coordinate this event and to accord a befitting welcome to the peace activists an Indo-Pak Peace March Coordination Committee was formed here today.

The meeting was chaired by Dr L.S. Chawla, President, Indian Doctors for Peace and Development, and founder Vice-Chancellor of Baba Farid University of Medical Sciences, Punjab.

The following are members of the committee: Dewan Jagdish Chander — All-Indian Freedom Fighters Organisation, Mr Ranjodh Singh, President, Ramgarhia Education Council, Ms Harmeet Kaur, Principal, Ramgarhia College for Women, Dr Balbir Singh Shah, general secretary, Indian Medical Association (IMA, Ludhiana), Dr R.P.S. Aulakh and Gurpreet Singh, President, Plant Doctors Services Association, Dr Daler Singh, Society for Sustainable Development, Mr Hardev Singh Grewal and Mr Shaminder Singh, Kudrat Manv Kendar Lok Lehar, Ms Gurchaan Kochher, Punjabi Lekhak Kala Sangh, Mrs Kusum Lata, Government Senior Secondary Model School, PAU, Mr Naresh Gaur and Mr Ashok Malhan, Punjab Bank Employees Federation, Dr Arun Mitra and Dr Shakti Kumar, Indian Doctors for Peace and Development, Maj Sher Singh Aulakh and Mr Krishan Lal Malik, Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha, Ms Jeet Kumari and Ms Avtar Kaur, Punjab Istri Sabha, Mr Tejinder Mohi, PSEB Employees Federation, D P Maur, PAU Non-Teaching Employees Union, Mr O.P. Mehta AITUC, Mr Kuldeep Singh Binder, AITF.



Record octroi collection
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 25
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has recorded the highest-ever collection of octroi duty of 119.18 crore for the current fiscal year. The amount is likely to increase as the recorded collection is up to March 22 only.

Claiming this here yesterday, MC Commissioner S.K. Sharma said against the budgetary income of Rs 122 crore, the MC had already collected Rs 119.18 crore from the octroi head only.

This was for the first time that an amount of Rs 850 lakh, more than that of last year, was collected by the MC. This is around Rs 40 to 50 lakh more than the budgetary income.



Iron broker’s murder; arrest warrant issued
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 25
The court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr G.C. Garg, has issued an arrest warrant against Narinder Kapoor, a resident of Tagore Nagar, who was allegedly involved in the murder of iron broker Vipin Jindal.

Vipin Jindal was murdered on August 29, 2000. In his dying note Jindal had stated that Narinder Kapoor, an iron merchant, had forced him to consume some poisonous substance. The statement was recorded by Dr N. Sridhar Rao of DMC Hospital.

However, the police did not register an FIR. The victim’s friend, Mr Ram Kumar, moved the State Human Rights Commission. Thereafter, the commission ordered the registration of the case. The police registered the case but filed cancellation report in the court, with the plea that there was nothing in the case.

But the case took a turn when the Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Sukdarshan Singh Khaira, disagreed with the findings of the lower court and ordered reopening of the case.



Proclaimed offenders nabbed

Ludhiana, March 25
The Ludhiana police today claimed to have nabbed a proclaimed offender who was evading arrest since 1978. Dharampal, an accused under the Narcotics Act case, was declared a proclaimed offender by a local court. Since then he had been evading arrest by changing his residence. He had rented a house in Samrala Chowk, shifted to Guru Arjun Dev Nagar and later to New Subhash Nagar.

The police led by ASI Navin Kumar and Baldev Singh nabbed him following an information. Another PO Narinderpal Singh, alias Nindi, was also nabbed from Balmik Nagar after 10 years of being declared a PO. TNS



9 hurt in accident

Jagraon, March 25
Nine persons, including three women, were injured in a bus and truck collision today. According to information a Punjab Roadways bus of Moga depot, and a truck collided head on near Dalip Filling Station on the Jagraon-Ludhiana road resulting in injuries to Rajinder Singh, Jagjit Singh, Jagir Singh, all of Ludhiana. Ms Pawandeep Kaur, Ms Sarbjit Kaur, Ms Manjit Kaur, Aalam, and Jagjit Singh of Raqba driver of the bus. The injured have been admitted to local Civil Hospital for treatment. OC



Bank’s move to take over properties stalled
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 25
The process to take physical possession of the properties in the name of Mr Pritam Singh Deol, who is the president of the NRI Sabha here, by the Oriental Bank of Commerce was stalled late last evening.

The Senior Manager, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Mullanpur Branch, Mr Vinay Singal, said the process was stalled when a third party ownership deed and a stay order was presented.

The bank officials were taking possession of the alleged defaulter’s properties under Securitisation Act, 2002, yesterday and had locked the premises and pasted notices of possession at the properties located in the periphery of Bhanor village and the other in Vishal Nagar.

“But late in the evening we got the information that the borrower’s family members had presented stay orders , following which the process had to be stopped,” said Mr Singal, adding, “it was quite unexpected.”

The bank had taken the decision to take physical possession of properties in the name of Mr Pritam Singh Deol for non-payment of dues to the tune of Rs 57.65 lakh.

Bank officials said the loan was taken for working capital purposes by Deol Motors Ltd, Mullanpur, and Mr Pritam Singh is a partner in this business.

Officials also said the borrowers had another business against which over Rs 1 crore was due.



Industry blames migrant labour for problems
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 25
In a memorandum to the Inspector General Police, Mr Rajinder Singh, industry representatives said they were facing problems due to increasing number of migrant labour in the city.

The United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, at a meeting with the IG said law and order situation was worsening due to increasing number of migrants coming here.

“The problem of migrant labour has led to not only problems in maintaining law and order, it is causing other problems including traffic congestion as well,” said Mr Varinder Kapoor, general secretary of the association.

The association pointed out towards high traffic density and said better co-ordination between the police, municipal corporation and the district administration was required to streamline traffic. “Construction of flyovers has accentuated the problem instead of solving it,” the association said, adding, “planning for flyovers needs to be done afresh.’

Stating that three-wheelers were the major cause of traffic chaos, the association said autorickshaw drivers did not follow traffic rules. “Of the 40,000 three wheelers in the city, only 1,800 are registered with the transportation department,” the association said.

Industrialists also demanded that search of cash and valuables at places like railway stations, which they carried for business transactions, needed to be stopped.


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