L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Encroachments removed in Pavittar Nagar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
Continuing with its anti-encroachment drive, following a directive by the High Court, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation today razed many houses, constructed on an irrigation channel in the Pavittar Nagar area here today.

Amidst protests by the alleged encroachers, the demolition squad, led by Ms Monica Anand, Area Town Planner and MC police, demolished the illegal structures, mostly kutcha constructions.

The team demolished a wall of a factory, Bona Knitwear in the Gopal Nagar area in the morning and then started its drive in Pavittar Nagar near Chotti Puli in Haibowal. Lot of hue and cry was raised by the alleged encroachers but the four JCB machines completed the work on an area of around half a kilometre.

Officials said these people had filled the channel that existed in the area around 25-years-ago. Then they constructed their houses on the land belonging to the MC and were living here for the past many years.

With the fresh demolition drive, the allegations that the MC was targeting the poor and sparing the rich, came to the fore once again. Residents of the Pavittar Nagar area, who had to face the axe said the civic body had once again removed the structures of poor people only.

Alleging that they were not even issued notices, the residents said that the civic body had rendered them homeless. They added that had the officials issued notices to them in time, they could have made alternative arrangements for themselves. Now, they would be forced to live under the sky.

While the drive was going on, alleged encroachers were seen collecting their belongings and shifting their elderly to safer places. Mr Karnail Singh, an 85-year-old man, who was rendered homeless. Showed resistance when a JCB was approached his house. But soon his house was razed to the ground. ‘‘I have been living in this house for the past 25 years. Now, they have come to throw me out in the twilight of my life when I have difficulty in moving,’’ he said.

Nidan Singh, another resident, was also carrying his old mother to a safer place as his encroachment was also cleared. Schoolchildren, who had come back from schools were shocked to see their houses demolished. ‘‘When I left in the morning, I had not known that I would be homeless by the afternoon,’’ said Gagandeep a school boy who was crying as the operation was going on.

The High Court had, in its direction on April 8, had asked the civic body to nail the big fishes as it was being alleged that it was only targeting the small encroachers. The court had also asked them to identify big encroachers and submit an action taken report against them till May 20.

The MC had identified 300 such defaulters and had already issued notices to them. Officials said the anti-encroachment drive would continue in the days to come.

They added that the rich and influential encroachers would also face the music within a few days as the MC was going through their objection petitions for the time being. They said they had asked the Deputy Commissioner to provide them with extra police force so that they could carry on with their work smoothly.



Delay in land clearance puts project
for shawl industry on hold

Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
Thanks to slow pace of work in government departments, the project for setting up a dyeing and finishing unit for the shawl industry here, under the Cluster Development Programme, is yet to see light of the day.

The Rs 17-crore project, being envisaged as a milestone in the development of the industry in the state, was approved in March, 2004. Now, though the government has approved a grant of Rs 6 crore, the Revenue Department is yet to give its clearance for the allotment of the land which has put the project on hold for the time being.

“The project could have started a year ago, but even today we are unsure as to when it will begin,” rued Ms Mridula Jain, vice-president, Shawl Club.

“Setting up of a dyeing and finishing facility would ensure availability of the latest technology and infrastructure, which the shawl industry here cannot afford on individual basis. If initiated, the project, Ludhiana Dyers and Processors Limited, would benefit shawl industry throughout the state. Though we were quite delighted at the approval of the project, the enthusiasm is turning into disappointment as despite a year having passed, they have not granted clearance for land,” she said.

The idea to set up a unit under the Cluster Development Programme was mooted over four years ago, following which the government gave approval to the Shawl Club, and even permitted a grant of Rs 6 crore. Even a couple of industrialists came forward to contribute their share towards the project.

Ludhiana is home to over 350 units in the shawl industry and is expected to become a hub of the industry. While the production here is considered to be even better than that in other states, units here have been suffering on account of high taxes. To top it, tax holidays in states like Himachal Pradesh has resulted in shifting of a few units from the state to Himachal.

Though Ludhiana did not witness shifting of any major units, it has failed to attract any new units. Taxes make the product here almost 10 per cent dearer than that in other states, rendering the industry here uncompetitive.

Industry here also suffers on account of lack of latest facilities in dyeing and finishing.

As per the plan, establishing a facility of dyeing and finishing will mean that the latest technology from other countries is imported.

“Though it is a small-scale industry, it has to compete with China, Belgium and France in global markets. It becomes imperative for us to produce the latest products of high quality at costs that are competitive. The unit would facilitate an improvement in quality that would give a boost to the industry,” Ms Jain said.

“Despite several representations to the government in this regard, nothing has been done so far.” We fail to understand the reason for delay even after the Principal Secretary and the Director Industries gave their nod. The delay is only harming the industry.



Candidates not allowed to sit for paper
Our Correspondent

Amloh, April 22
The conduct of matriculation and plus II classes of the CBSE at Maghi Memorial Higher Secondary School has come under a cloud after students were yesterday allegedly allowed to copy during examination.

Mr Rajesh Kumar, guardian of a candidate has alleged that the school has got affiliation up to middle standard but was made a centre for higher and senior secondary classes, though it does not fulfil the conditions of rooms, laboratories, etc. Last year under the open-school scheme the students appeared at the centre at Government Secondary School, Mandi Gobindgarh, but this year the centre was shifted here, causing inconvenient to examinees.

Meanwhile, certain students who were not allowed to sit in the fifth paper presented photo-copies of their roll numbers/identity cards issued by the Regional Centre, Chandigarh, to mediapersons and sought the intervention of the Chief Minister and National Institute of Open Schools, New Delhi, to provide them with a chance to appear in that subject. The candidates also presented a letter written by the Principal of Sacred Heart Secondary School, Mandi Gobindgarh, to the superintendent to allow them to sit in the subject, but in vain.

Dr Tarlochan Singh Sohi, Principal, Maghi Memorial College, who is also OSD of the centre, called the allegations as handiwork of some persons. The centre from Mandi Gobindgarh was shifted due to allegations of cheating at the centre were made. He further said the complaints of candidates were baseless as only those were eligible to sit in the subjects whose names were mentioned in the check-lists sent by the board.

Mr Manohar Lal Verma, superintendent of the centre, asserted that the school was duly affiliated with the Punjab School of Education Board. “We are sympathetic with the candidates but we cannot go beyond the rules. We have contacted the Regional Centre, Chandigarh, but they too refused permission,” Mr Verma maintained.

Ms Sakar Sudha, Principal, Sacred Heart School, Mandi Gobindgarh, said she had recommended the cases of students of the study centre to sit in the fifth paper yesterday on the basis of the subjects mentioned in their admission forms, copies of which have been maintained at the office.



Controversial cop Guddu surrenders
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 22
Shamsher Singh Guddu, a cop, who had been evading arrest for a long time surrendered before the court of the Additional Sessions Judge-cum-Presiding Officer of Fast Track Court, Mr Sunil Arora, today.

Guddu surrendered this afternoon and was sent to judicial custody by the court. Later, he was taken to local Civil Hospital for medical examination. At present he was posted, S.H.O Sadar, Patiala. The case is fixed in for hearing on April 25. More than four accused are already facing the trial.

The accused was summoned to face trial in a case registered under Sections 457, 380, 342 and 120-B of the IPC, which was lodged against several persons in 1995, following the complaint of Pritpal Kaur, at division No 6 police station.

The complainant had alleged that the several persons in connivance with Guddu, forcibly entered the factory of her husband, Maninder Singh, when he was away. They took away the machinery and other articles.

The court had issued non-bailable warrants against the Inspector, Shamsher Singh Guddu, but the same were not executed.



PUDA officials inspect colony
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 22
Responding to the initiative taken by the Janta Enclave Residents Welfare Society and to assess the need for development projects in the area, a team of PUDA officials took round the colony in Urban Estate on the Dugri-Dhandra road here today.

Giving this information, the president of the society, Mr Narinder Pal Sharma and general secretary, Mr Rakesh Pathak, said spot approval was accorded for widening of main road leading to the colony by another 6 ft.

The officials further assured that all street lights on Southern Bypass would be made functional during the next few days and sites for a community centre and a dispensary in the colony would be identified and allotted.



Married woman dies of burns
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
After battling for life for four days, a married woman allegedly set on fire by her husband died a painful death at the Civil Hospital here today. The police has so far found no clue about the whereabouts of the accused, who has been absconding since the incident.

The police, however, managed to get a photograph of the accused, Rajneesh. He had allegedly run away with all his photographs from the house connecting the crime. He also allegedly burnt some clothes and curtains of the house to make it appear as an accident, SHO, Haibowal, Gurpreet Singh said.

The woman, Shweta, was admitted here last evening. Earlier she was admitted to another city hospital from where she was discharged on the request of her parents. They have been the body to their native place in Abohar after a post-mortem examination.

SHO Gurpreet Singh revealed that the accused was a divorce also. He had two children from his first wife, who were living separately. The police said Rajneesh and Shweta had a two-year-old son. 



Attack on police: case registered
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, April 22
A case under Section 307 of the IPC has been registered in a local police station against the youth who had allegedly attacked a police patrolling party yesterday in Janet village.

The police team headed by ASI Husan Lal was allegedly attacked with sharp-edged weapons by some scooter-borne drug smugglers when they were intercepted by the team at a naka. The assailants managed to flee after the attack. ASI Husan Lal who sustained serious head injuries was admitted to DMCH here.

The other injured, including constables, Surinder Singh, Ramesh Kumar and Deepak, had been admitted to the Civil Hospital, Jagraon.



Passing Thru

Jaspal Bhatti
Jaspal Bhatti, comedian 

How do you find Ludhiana?

I find it a very happening city. Every time I come here, I find that it has grown . All the people I meet from the film and television industry, want to come here as they feel that the city can provide a lot of scope.

How do you get ideas for your comic acts?

I observe life. Actually by watching people and situations very minutely, I get a lot of ideas and then I don’t have to look for material. I always keep abreast with the political and social happenings and it is true that facts are stranger than fiction and I portray them in a satirical way.

What do you feel about Punjabi comedy?

I feel presently the Punjabi comedy is very superior. After my film “Mohaal Theek Hai”, a new genre of comedy came into the scene as we no longer have comedy with double meanings. A full-length comedy Punjabi film “Nalaik” has been released in which I also appear.

I think this movie would be a trendsetter. Punjabi comedians like Bhagwant Mann, Ghuggi and Jaswinder Bhalla are very good and maintain clean comedy. Comedy is a serious business and what appears casual to the audience actually is a result of a lot of effort by the artists to make it appear simple. We need comedy to break the monotony of life as it provides laughter. I maintain that laughter is the best medicine.

— Asha Ahuja



Gabria’s appointment may sound
death knell for factionalism
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
The appointment of Mr Hira Singh Gabria, ex-MLA, as the district president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) has not only removed the clouds of uncertainty hovering over the post but also helped in curbing the factionalism in the party in the Ludhiana district.

In fact, prolonged ambiguity on part of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, about nominating the district president of the party in Ludhiana had virtually split it in Ludhiana.

After Mr Badal parted ways with Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra in 1999, Mr Gabria, the then district president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, had sided with the latter, leading to the race among the loyalists of Mr Badal for the post of the district president.

Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia, vice- president, and Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, acting district president, turned bitter foes while claiming the post of the district president.

Once Mr Badal and Mr Tohra closed in the ranks, Mr Gabria was considered to be the natural choice for the post of the district president.

However, this was being resisted by the Badal loyalists who argued against his nomination while asserting that they should get the post as they had sided with him (Mr Badal) when he parted ways with Mr Tohra.

Surprisingly, Mr Bhatia and Mr Makkar had buried the hatchet to prevent someone else from grabbing the post. But even that new found friendship did not seem to help them either and Mr Gabria walked away with the job.

The bickerings and bitterness notwithstanding, all the factions within the SAD-B have now promised support to Mr Gabria for strengthening the party in the district.

Only yesterday all the leaders from the district, including two state general secretaries Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, Mr Amrik Singh Aliwal, former minister, Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, Mr Gabria, Mr Bhatia, Mr Makkar and others attended a party meeting held at the residence of Mr Grewal.

They reposed full faith in Mr Gabria’s leadership.

The meeting was primarily convened to chalk out a strategy for holding the district rally on May 20 against the various omissions and commissions of the government.

The rally is part of the SAD’s state-wide campaign against the government for “exposing its misdeeds”. Mr Grewal told the TNS that the rally would be one of the largest in the state as there was lot of resentment among people against the policies of the government.

He alleged that the state government had failed on all fronts with the result there was great disillusionment among the people.

The rally would give voice to the angst and resentment of the people against the wrong policies and non performance of the government.



Muslims pray for world peace on Prophet’s birthday
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
Muslims across the region today prayed for the peace in world. Addressing various religious congregations organised to commemorate the birthday celebrations of Prophet Mohammad, the Muslims leaders pointed out that the Prophet always preached peace. They said it would be the greatest tribute to his preachings to work towards the peace all over the world.

A number of functions were held all over the region today. The main function was held at the Jama Masjid, Field Ganj, where thousands of devotees offered prayers. Addressing the congregation before the prayers, the Shahi Imam of the Masjid, Maulana Habib-u-Rehman said Muslims had a great contribution in the evolution of the world civilisation. He said, the Prophet Mohammad had not only preached peace during a time when war was the norm of the day, but he had also ushered in social reforms.

The maulana said, the Prophet had stopped the age old practice of the killing of girl child. It was the most inhuman practice that prevailed in the Arab world at that time and the Prophet stopped it. He said, today when Punjab was faced with a similar and serious problem of the female foeticide as the girls were not even allowed to be born, the teachings of the Prophet held added significance.

The maulana also regretted the decision of the Punjab government for not declaring the birthday of the Prophet as a gazetted holiday. He pointed out, it was the most important of all festivals among the Muslims and they expected a gazetted holiday on this occasion. He claimed, it was the rightful due.

Addressing a separate congregation, the khateeb and imam of the Jama Masjid Ghausia, Sunet, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Maulana Farooq Aalam Razvi said the Muslims in Punjab were being sidelined. He demanded that special reservation be granted to them in jobs and education. He claimed that the Muslims had been left to their own fate. He disclosed that a number of places of worship of the Muslims, the graveyards and dargahs be got vacated as these were still in illegal possession of some people. An Id procession was also taken out which passed through various localities and concluded at the Jama Masjid.



Postal Dept celebrates Earth Day
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 22
Earth day was celebrated with zeal and vigour by the Department of Posts. In city Postal Division, the celebrations were inaugurated by Senior Superintendent of Posts Manisha Bansal Badal, IPS, by planting five trees in Head Post Office. In other departmental buildings like Millerganj post office, Model Town post office, central post office and Kutchery Post Offices, trees were planted by sub-postmasters of the respective post office. In other rented post office buildings, flowerpots were placed to give a green and fresh look.

A special cleanliness drive was also launched and old record was weeded out to give a more spacious and neat look to the post offices.

Ms Badal said the department’s drive on environment protection would be a continuous exercise and the department was making all efforts to synchronise the functions and operations of the department with environmental protection. She said besides contributing to environment protection, such efforts would go a long way in giving the offices a greener and more pleasant look.

LUDHIANA: Reiterating the theme of “Save our children and our future”, Earth Day celebrations at the PU extension library auditorium, organised by the Punjab Pollution Control Board and the Media Artists, were marked by a play Mata Dharat Mahat, written by Balram and directed by Samual John.

It brought out the tragedy of the earth, which is no longer recognised as “mother earth”. Utilitarian approach of man has turned it into an impersonal relationship. The play traced the story of the earth from the mythological account of Harnakshyap, the devil, who is said to have abducted it and went on to dwell upon her present predicament. The story is being repeated but now she can’t even complain against the perpetrators, her own children.

A team of folk music group ‘Malwa Hek’ presented songs. The songs were based on diverse but thematically uniform sources like Vedas and Gurbani etc. ‘Dharat Vandana’, based on ‘Prithvi Sukt’ from the Atharv Ved was the highlight of the musical session. The musical sojourn included songs of Surjit Patar, Shiv Batalvi, Bhai Veer Singh and Paash, besides other presentations.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa, chairman, Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) said, “All individuals and institutions have a mutual responsibility to act as trustees of the Earth, seeking the choices in ecology, economics and ethics that will eliminate pollution, poverty and violence and foster peaceful progress.” Mr Malwinder Singh, Member Secretary, PPCB, called upon the people to be the part of worldwide movement to protect our planet, our children and our future.

Celebrated poet and patron of the Media Artists, Dr Surjit Patar, extended vote of thanks.

The earth day was celebrated with zest on the campus of Alpine International Sen Sec School on Friday. Students gave speeches on the conservation of earth. Skits were also presented on polllution, and deforestation. Posters were put up to spread awareness on environmental issues.

The Principal, Mrs Dhir, exhorted students to make efforts to conserve environment. A plantation drive was also launched and students planted a sapling each.



Juneja elected taxation body chief
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 22
Noted taxation lawyer and chairman of the Punjab Tax Bar Association, Mr Ashok Juneja has been unanimously elected president of the local Taxation Bar Association at the general body meeting held here today.

Among other office-bearers of the newly constituted team are Mr Ravinder Garg — vice-president, Mr Ajay Paul Singh — general secretary, Mr Vipin Jangra — secretary, Mr Saurabh Beri — joint secretary, Mr Jagjit Singh — finance secretary, Mr Sandeep Sharma, Mr Deepak Chopra, Mr Balwinder Singh, Mr C.P. Bhardwaj and Mr Vinay Sharma — members of executive committee.

The office-bearers said in a joint statement that the Supreme Court and various High Courts had termed the status of bar members as equivalent to officials of the court. Accordingly, the bar would do its utmost to maintain the dignity and image of the profession.

The bar members would co-ordinate with the department in such a manner that all genuine difficulties and problems were solved from time to time by mutual discussions and better understanding so that work of the department and the bar was carried on effectively, smoothly and in a congenial atmosphere, the office-bearers maintained.



Pensioners meet on April 24
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 22
The Government Pensioners’ Association has convened a meeting of its activists on April 24 to discuss the Punjab Government’s move to hand over government-run hospitals, schools, ITIs and unbundling of the Punjab State Electricity Board. Being former employees, they share the concerns of the working staff who would be affected by the privatisation move.

Mr Yash Paul Ghai, additional general secretary, Punjab Government Pensioners’ Association, in a press statement today said pensioners felt that privatisation move especially in healthcare and school education was altogether ill-conceived, anti-poor and against the “guiding principles of the welfare state”. It would make these services beyond the reach of the poor.



Vegetable sellers’ strike called off
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 22
The Ahmedgarh Vegetable and Fruit Sellers’ Association has called off its strike after the authorities at local Market Committee assured them that the contractor would be charging market fee on the commodities strictly according the norms laid down in the law. The union leaders on the other hand promised that no transactions would be concealed from the authorities.

Dr Indu, SDM Malerkotla, told Ludhiana Tribune that the authorities at Market Committee had persuaded the union leaders to withdraw the strike with the help of local leaders.



3 held in theft cases
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
The police today claimed to have busted a four-member gang of robbers by nabbing a gangster besides recovering stolen goods from his possession.
Addressing a press conference here today, SP Gurpreet Singh said the nabbed gangster had been identified as Mohammad Itraaz of New Delhi.

The other three — Abid, Raja and Rizaul — belonged to West Bengal and were still absconding. A pistol had also been recovered from the possession of Itraaz, he added.

The officer said the four had broken into the house of a policeman in Police Colony near Jamalpur and decamped with cash and jewellery.

The gangsters took a house on rent near Clock Tower and indulge in crime and then fled from the city.

Mr Singh said the police had also solved a theft case of a local trader, Vishal Gosain, by arresting his maid’s husband, Amar Singh. Rs 6,000 had been recovered from his possession. The maid, Rita, was absconding. He claimed that the police had also nabbed an alleged snatcher, Vinod Kumar, who had decamped with Rs 43,000 by breaking the glove compartment of a motorbike in Vishawkarma Colony last evening.



Car, cellphone snatched
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 22
Two persons are alleged to have snatched a car, some cash and a cell phone at gunpoint here.
Amarjit Singh of Dehrka and Lakha made an Indica car (DL-3C-2440) to stop in Dalla village.

It had been hired by Manga Singh of Atal Nagar Jodhewal for his visit to gurdwara Mehtiana Sahib. He reportedly snatched car, Rs 1,000 and a cell phone at gunpoint and fled. A case has been registered.

Poppy husk seized: The police has seized 107 kg poppy husk from some unidentified smugglers at the Tehsil road, Agwar Gujjran, Jagraon. The smugglers managed to flee. A case has been registered.



Charas smugglers held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
The police today claimed to have busted a gang of narcotic smugglers, who were involved in supplying drugs to youths, by arresting its two members.
The two have been identified as Tiwari and Mohammad Imam from Bihar. Three kg of charas was recovered from them.

Addressing a press conference here today, DSP Simratpal Singh Dhindsa, said the smuggler used to get charas from Nepal as their village was close to the Nepal border. He said their main customers were youths.

A case under Section 20/61/85 8th Narcotics Act has been registered.



Woman kidnapped
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
Three unidentified youth, in a white Maruti car kidnapped Jagjit Kaur (22) at Kheri village near Khamano in this district. According to an information, the girl, along with her mother was returning from gurdwara at around 6 pm yesterday when these youth forcibly took her away in the car. A red alert has been sounded.



CII to concentrate on Ludhiana circle
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organised a session on “Enhancing Competitiveness Through Cluster Development” here yesterday.
Addressing the session, the Chairman of the CII, Punjab State Council, Mr M.C. Munjal said the CII had taken a lot of initiatives in the northern region to enhance industry competitiveness.

He said the CII believed in an educative approach and world class services to complement the efforts of individual organisations for overall growth of the economy. The confederation had already launched CII-LM Thapar Centre for Competitiveness for strengthening efforts in the northern region, he said. Talking about cluster development, he said after creating clusters in Mohali, Gurgaon and Faridabad, the CII had planned to concentrate on Ludhiana circle soon. The session explained to participating industrialists of small and medium enterprises in Ludhiana the services that would be offered for competitiveness.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |