L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Police holds flag march to quell labour unrest
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 5
In a strong move to quell labour unrest in the city besides sending warning signals to criminals , the local police today took out a massive flag march in select areas. Police teams from Khanna and Jagraon police were specially requisitioned for this exercise. Such a flag march has been taken out for the first time in the last five years.

The flag march comes just two after the District Magistrate had imposed section 144 in the city in the wake of the reports that a number of organisations were staging dharna and demonstrations at their will. A number of labour unions were also staging protests outside different Industries in the recent past.

Though the police was not talking about the labour unrest problem officially, informed sources revealed that the march was carried out after police pre-empted law and order problem as some major Industrialist wanted to shunt out large number of labourers. Sources also assert that the reserved police force has also been put on high alert in Ludhiana and adjoining districts to meet any eventuality.

The police officials clarified that the flag march had no connection with the ‘Ghalughara’ week or to meet some challenge by the terrorist following the twin blasts in cinema halls in Delhi on awarding of life imprisonment to Daljit Singh Bittu. The march was carried out only in those areas having more concentration of migrant labour population. These were Focal Point, Division No 7 police station area, parts of Shimla Puri and specific colonies in the Industrial area.

The cops went around on several vehicles in these areas spreading anxiety among the residents. People were surprised to see such large number of cops. The sudden police exercise caught mediapersons unawares too. It was thought that some major crime incident had taken place due to which heavy police force was rushed in.

Mr R K Jaiswal, SP, incharge of the exercise stressed that the flag march was undertaken more for the general prevention of crime. He said the police wanted to send a message that no law and order problem would be tolerated. He did not specify the problems.

Sources revealed that the flag march was aimed at the labour unrest. There were reports that prominent industrialist of the city who were at the receiving end in the recent past because of the labour unrest and continual strikes had approached the District Magistrate and the SSP for putting an end to the problem which was allegedly aided by labour mafia.

Sources said the section 144 imposed two days ago by the District Magistrate was a part of the move and the police carried out the march for strict implementation of the orders.

Some Industrialists have also inserted advertisements in some newspapers appealing to their employees of staying away from the labour mafia or those labourers whose main interest was to disrupt work for personal gains.



Congress, Sena oppose SGPC move on memorial
Our Correspondent

Shiv Sena activists burn an effigy of terrorism in Ludhiana on Sunday to protest against the SGPC move to construct a ‘martyrs’ memorial in the Golden Temple
Shiv Sena activists burn an effigy of terrorism in Ludhiana on Sunday to protest against the SGPC move to construct a ‘martyrs’ memorial in the Golden Temple. — Photo by I.V.

Ludhiana, June 5
The minar-e-shaheedan (martyrs’ memorial) proposed to be constructed in the Darbar Sahib complex at Amritsar by the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) with the tacit approval from Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) has drawn flak from the Shiv Sena and Congress who have termed it as a provocative step which can lead to communal tension in Punjab again.

Activists of the Shiv Sena, led by national general secretary, Mr Pawan Sharma, and the district president, Mr Krishan Sharma, today took out a protest march from Raikhy Cinema to Clock Tower Chowk, where an effigy of terrorism was burnt.

Calling upon the state government to intervene and stop the SGPC from its provocative acts, aimed at sentimental and political exploitation of the Sikh masses, the Shiv Sainiks maintained that construction of the proposed memorial would once against revive the memories of the black days of terrorism and rub salt on the wounds of the victims.

The protesters charged the government with soft pedaling the vital issue of internal security of the country and pursuing a policy of appeasement towards the militant outfits, which had led to revival of violence and a spurt in anti-national activities at several places in the country including the national capital.

Taking strong exception to opposition by the ruling Congress leaders to the proposal for construction of memorial for ‘martyrs’ of Operation Bluestar, the chief of Sikh Students Federation (SSF), Mr Gurcharan Singh Grewal, today threatened that if the move was blocked by ruling party or its allies, the SSF would demolish the memorial of Beant Singh, slain Chief Minister of Punjab, who was responsible for massacre of thousands of Sikh youth during his regime.

In a press release issued here, Mr Grewal announced that volunteers of SSF would stand guard at the proposed site for the memorial in Darbar Sahib complex from June 5 and any attempt to block the construction by the ruling party would get a befitting reply.

Retaliating to the threats of SSF chief, the secretary of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Parminder Mehta, has urged the state government to impose a ban on the SSF and take legal action against its president, who was trying to foment communal tension in Punjab.

He said the idea of construction of a memorial for the martyrs was politically motivated by the SAD which was in the habit of raising such provocative and communal issues only when it was out of power.



Sale of cut fruit goes on despite ban
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, June 5
A couple of days ago, the Deputy Commissioner, in an order to check instances of cholera and gastro-enteritis in the city, issued an order banning the running of sugarcane crushers and the sale of cut fruit in the open.

The order directed various officials of the Health Department, including the Civil Surgeon and District Health Officer, to ensure that no unhygienic food was served in the open anywhere in the city. The order also made it mandatory for all ice-cream and mineral water manufacturers to get the water tested from the state-appointed bacteriologist to ensure that it contained no harmful bacteria.

But a round of the city reveals that all sellers of cut watermelon, papaya and sugarcane juice are doing brisk business totally ignorant of the DC’s orders. A migrant, crushing sugarcane in the Miller Ganj area along the Dhuri railway line, said he was not aware of the DC’s orders and that no official from the Health Department had told him about it.

He had invested Rs 8,000 for procuring the engine and the crusher and he wanted to make an adequate profit this summer, he said. “ Jab koi ayega to band kar denge”, he says sardonically.

The sale of cut fruit is going on everywhere in the old city areas of Mandi Kesarganj, Daresi, Chhawni Mohalla, Division No 3 and so on. However, the sale of these ‘forbidden’ fruits and fly-infested sugarcane juice is more brisk in areas inhabited by the migrant population.

The city witnesses cases of cholera and gastroenteritis every year, particularly in Fauji Colony in Sherpur Kalan , Giaspura in Focal Point and some areas of Haibowal, which resemble slums due to general lack of sanitation and garbage disposal . These areas, which are mostly inhabited by migrants , are more prone to outbreaks of water-borne diseases as there is a general lack of sanitation coupled with shortage of clean drinking water.

Sources in the Civil Surgeon’s office reveal that the orders of the Deputy Commissioner, which are issued every summer season, are treated only as routine by the officials concerned as the office of the Civil Surgeon had become a den of corruption. No health official is bothered about doing his duty. It is only when cholera or gastroentent’s breaks out in a locality that health officials reach the spot to distribute chlorine pills to purify drinking water, add the sources.



MoU with Canadian civic bodies
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, June 5
Three municipal corporations of Punjab namely Ludhiana, Amritsar and Patiala have signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with civic bodies of Canada to develop social and economic relations besides undertaking technical and environmental collaborations.

Disclosing this here today Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mayor of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation who returned from tour of Canada on Friday, said that the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation had entered into collaboration with civic body of Surrey, Winnipeg and Brahampton. They would also have trade relations besides water management.

The mayor of Amritsar Municipal Corporation, Mr Sunil Dutt, and Mr Vishnu Sharma of Patiala Municipal Corporation have signed MoUs with civic bodies of Brahampton.

Mr Gill said that the mayor of the Surrey Corporation had visited Ludhiana Municipal Corporation a few months ago and had discussed problems of the town with the local municipal corporation authorities. The officials of the Canadian civic bodies would be visiting Punjab in the month of February next to discuss the modalities. Mr Gill claimed that such an agreement had been signed for the first time by a Punjab Municipal Corporations.

Before proceeding to Canada, a delegation of Punjab led by Mr Rakesh Pandey and comprising the mayor of Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and Principal Secretary Local Bodies, had also visited China for a week to study the solid waste plant in China.

A Canadian firm Richway company will establish a solid waste plant at Ludhiana with a total cost of Rs 200 crores. The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has signed an MoU with the Canadian firm and the corporation would provide land for the same on a lease basis. The lease would be for 30 years and the plant would generate power too.

According to the mayor, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation was already engaged in establishing a sold waste plant at Ludhiana on Tajpur road.

Besides, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation was also going to take up the construction of flyovers at Bhai Bala Chowk and Bharat Nagar round abouts to streamlining traffic. These are the busiest crossings of the town.

Mr Gill said that the corporation had invited tenders for these two flyovers. The municipal corporation had provided Rs 40 crores for the development works during the current financial year. Dhuri Railway line flyover was also being expanded, he added.

Work on the elevated bridge from Jagraon Bridge to Chand Cinema had been intensified and the same was likely to be completed by the end of this year.

The Mayor said that there was no interference of any sort in the Canadian civic bodies.



Ludhiana Calling

Photo by I.VThe city police and the Municipal Corporation keep on cribbing that they don't have funds for development. The departments, however, do not show much concern in maintaining existing infrastructure. Traffic lights installed near Raikhi Chowk and dismantled due to the construction of an over-bridge are a prime example for this. The lights and related equipment is lying abandoned in the centre of the road for the last several months. No one has bothered to pick the equipment and install the lights somewhere else. The maxim, a penny saved is penny earned, does not have any takers here.

Number plate graffiti

A city youth has not taken any clue from the price a youngster paid for writing ‘ NO FEAR’ on the number plate of his mobike, who was challaned by police. This youth has written a slogan, ‘sab farre jaange’ (all will be caught). One wonders what the youth exactly wanted to convey by this message. He was yet to be caught by the police but could not escape the Sentinel’s eye. Needless to say there was no number on the number plate. He seem to say that everybody, but him, would be caught.

No bomb disposal squad

Though a large number of scrap bombs are found in the city and many lives have been lost when these bombs explode. Yet, the city police do not have a bomb disposal squad of its own. Some times the squad is called from the PAP Jalandhar or experts in Army are requested to do the job. This causes much delay in the disposal of the explosives and causes anxiety among the residents as well as the cops guarding the bombs. At times the wait is stretched to weeks altogether. It is high time the police starts thinking on investing in this field.

Insensitive society

The other day, a colleague witnessed a woman taking her aged and physically challenged father to a local hospital. While the woman was finding it difficult to virtually drag her father to the doctor, it was quite shocking that none of the attendants present at the hospital came forward to help the patient. It took around 5 to 7 minutes for the woman to take her father inside the OPD from the hospital door but no body, including attendants of other patients waiting in the room, came up to help her. Finally, gasping for breath, she managed to take him inside. He was seen immediately by the doctor on sympathetic grounds but then again it was an uphill task for the woman to take him back. Another elderly man, who could not watch both of them in distress, finally decided to lend a hand. This despite the fact that many youths were also sitting but nobody offered help.

Beauty conscious guys!

Gone are the days when only the girls used to be beauty conscious only. Not any more now as the boys are also jumping on the bandwagon. They have also learnt to protect their skin from sun. Its a common phenomenon in Ludhiana to witness such beauty conscious boys wearing sun gloves and other sun protectors. The overzealous ones even drive a scooter using an umbrella. The wearing of helmets can be compromised but not the protection from the sun. To cap it all the beauty saloons witness more boys asking for anti tanning treatment where they do not mind paying a huge amount.

Water not so precious

Despite the various appeals by the Municipal Corporation to the local residents to exercise restraint in watering the gardens, the residents continue to do so caring little for the precious water. The practice is prevalent in the city as many residents are seen watering their lawns at least once if not twice a day. Some residents even water their lawns by waking up in the wee hours because at that time pressure is maximum. Surprisingly the condition of our neighbouring states that has been highlighted by the media prolifically has no effect on them. Some years ago the MC had initiated a drive to book the persons flouting the rules. But this year no such action has come to light.

Digital lights

Chandigarh has it and even Mandi Gobindgarh has it but digital time-set traffic lights are yet to be introduced in Ludhiana, the financial capital of Punjab. The lights have been received well in Chandigarh and Mandi Gobindgarh. A digital clock showing the reverse counting tells the commuters the time left for the green signal. This is of immense use. It saves petrol and allows the vehicle driver to be ready in time. This helps in controlling pollution also as the drivers switch off the ignition knowing exact time was left. However, the technology is yet to be brought in Ludhiana, which has the highest volume of traffic.


A signboard in a government office read : Don’t make noise. Someone added ‘otherwise we may wake up’.

— Sentinel



YC chief vows to rejuvenate party
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 5
The newly nominated president of District Youth Congress Dimple Rana has pledged to rejuvenate the local unit of the party, which he felt, had digressed from its real path in the recent past.

He said the loyal and dedicated workers of the party would be given due recognition in the reorganisation of the district unit in the next couple of days and party cadres would be motivated and mobilised to reach out to the masses.

Addressing a felicitation function at the residence in New Kundanpuri locality in ward No 69 here today, Mr Rana gave a call to the YC workers to gear up for the bigger challenges lying ahead and to give a fitting reply to false and motivated propaganda by certain opposition parties and communal bodies in the state.

Mr Gaurav Saggi, speaking on behalf of the party workers, observed that Mr Rana had taken over the reins of the district unit when the rank and file of the party workers were feeling frustrated over the dubious activities of certain opportunist and self seeking YC leaders.

He assured the new president of all support in his attempt to reorganise and revitalise the district unit of YC.

Among others, Mr Vishal Joshi, Mr Manoj Juneja, Mr Ramesh Bhagat, Mr Rajiv Chauhan, Mr Kiran Kumar, Mr Prem Chand, Mr Pali Dhaliwal, Mr Honey Dhillon, Mr Vinay Tanda, Mr Som Nath, Mr Jagdish Verma and Mr Dasondha Singh also attended the function.



Saplings planted to mark environment day
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 5
The Parliamentary Secretary for Power, Housing and Urban Development, Punjab Mr Surinder Dawar, today stressed the need for planting more trees to conserve environment and to check the alarming increase in pollution in the industrial hub of Punjab.

Presiding over the ‘World Environment Day’ celebrations organised by Watawaran Sambhal Society in Government High School Sarabha Nagar here, he expressed concern over depletion of water table and increasing air pollution due to vast number of polluting industries and motor vehicles. Bringing more area under plantation could play a vital role in addressing these problems in an effective manner, he added. He also called upon the people to curb air, water and noise pollution, which was leading to several diseases.

Mr Pawan Diwan, member, Punjab State Environment Council, echoing similar sentiments, called upon the state government to immediately impose a ban on plastic bags.

Mr Jagjit Singh Maan, president of the society, announced that among other steps by the society for checking pollution, the members of the society had vowed to plant at least 1000 saplings in city localities every year.

Mr Dawar planted saplings in the school playground whereas around 200 saplings were distributed among area residents for plantation at different places.

The students delivered speeches and recited poems on conservation of environment.

Besides the area councillor, Ms Amrit Varsha Rampal, Mr Sushil Malhotra, Mr Akshay Bhanot, Mr Ravinder Syan, Mr B.K. Rampal, Mr Bhupinder Singh Grewal, Mr Jaswinder Singh Grewal, Mr Manjit Singh, Mr Harbhagat Singh, Mr Harjit Ratan, Mr Ravinder Ravi, Mr Amrit Pal Singh, Mr Vinod Bathla, Mr Avtar Singh, Mr Gurdeep Singh and Mr Jasbir Singh attended the function.



LIC’s awareness seminar
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, June 5
The Life Insurance Corporation of India, Divisional Office, Chandigarh, organised an awareness seminar on pensions, group insurance schemes, and other LIC plans on Friday. It was attended by officials of LIC, industrialists and employees at Gymkhana Club here. Mr Raj Kumar Bansal, vice-president, Induction Furnace Association was the chief guest. The topics discussed included LIC’s group insurance and group gratuity scheme. Ms Manjeet Kaur Sawhney, Divisional Manager, LIC Chandigarh, welcomed the guests.

Benefits of various schemes for investors were discussed at length. It was pointed out that the Employees Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme, 1976 provided benefits of life insurance to all employees. Under this scheme as amended on June 24, 2000, the insurance benefit is available to all employees who are members of the provident fund scheme, which is equal to the average balance in the credit of the deceased employee in the PF during the past 12 months.

It was pointed out that the premiums paid by members were eligible for income tax rebate under Section 88. The benefits paid under the scheme are tax free. The sum assured paid on death is also free from income tax. Mr Diwankar Mittal, Business Development Manager, spoke about the advantages to employees of the Group insurance scheme.

Mr Joginder Kumar, Senior Branch Manager, spoke about group gratuity scheme. Under the scheme, in the event of premature death of a member, a sum equal to the gratuity payable irrespective of the anticipated service is available as life cover, subject to overall gratuity limits. Mr Parveen Sudhir, Mr R.L. Jaryar, Branch Manager, Mandi Gobindgarh, also spoke on the occasion.



City Jaycees back from China
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 5
A team of local Jaycees was accorded a warm reception yesterday on its return from Macau in China where it had gone to participate in the Asia Pacific Conference of Junior Chamber International (JCI) held from May 26 to 29.

According to Mr Kulwant Singh Sall, president, Ludhiana Young Jaycees, Mr Sunil Gupta, president of Ludhiana City Jaycees, Mr Madhu Sudan and Mr Munish Jain both of Ludhiana Central Jaycees, were the members of the Indian delegation.

During this tour, the participants, which included members of Jaycees Clubs from many countries, took part in various activities and shared their experiences.

The Indian delegation won various awards, including best community programme, best international program, IELTS orientation in Jaycee training programme, best youth activities programme and overall activities of the youth.



Havildar held for cheating
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 5
The havildar posted at Press Cell of the SSP office at Ludhiana, who duped innocent persons on the pretext of verifying National Status Certificate in connection with their relatives who applied to settle permanently abroad has been arrested. After receiving the settled amount the cop used to destroy the documents, keeping the certificate seekers waiting for the same.

He was arrested by the Sudhar Police for allegedly receiving money from a family of Kailey village in Ludhiana district.

Mr Rajiv Ahir Senior superintendent of Police, Jagraon said Joginder Singh of Bankar Gujjran a havildar had been arrested

Joginder Singh was arrested when he had come to receive Rs 1500 from the parents of Ranjit Singh of Kailey village. Harbans Singh of Sudhar village, a close relative of Ranjit Singh disclosed the police that Joginder Singh posing as a CID inspector, had demanded a huge amount from the family for issuing NSC in connection with Ranjit Singh who had gone to Italy recently. The family had agreed to pay Rs 3000.

When the family got suspicious about his identity, they informed the police who arrested him and registered an FIR under section 420 has been registered against him.

He had earlier been booked in a similar case at Sadar Police Station Ludhiana in 1994.

Preliminary investigations by the police revealed that the accused used to steal the relevant documents from the SSP Office at Ludhiana with the connivance of the concerned clerk. After receiving the settled amount from the family of the certificate seeker he used to destroy the documents.

The accused admitted to have duped around 30 such families in the recent past. The National Status Certificate was required by those persons who had reported in the foreign countries that their pass- port had been lost there. 



Youth robbed of motorcycle at gunpoint
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 5
Two youths wearing turbans and brandishing a pistol took away the motor- cycle of a youth near Basti Jodhewal in broad daylight yesterday. A red alert has been sounded by the police in the district following the incident as it fears that they may use it for some crime.

Kailash, a resident of Chowni Mohallah, was going to a construction site when at about 12.30 pm two youths stopped him at an isolated place and asked him to give them the motorcycle.



Woman’s body found
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 5
The body of a woman was found lying on the Gurusar Kaunke road, 7 km from here. The body has been sent to the local Civil Hospital for post-mortem. Sources disclosed that the woman was mentally distressed and used to roam in the area. The body did not bore any mark of assault. The police has initiated investigation under Section 174 of the Cr.PC.



Biz Clips

Fortune rally:
Maruti Udyog Limited (MUL) organised ‘Maruti Suzuki Wheels of Fortune’ rally for Maruti owners here Sunday. After a breakfast served to all participants, the rally was flagged off by Mr S.R. Kler, Deputy Director, Local Bodies and Mr B.S. Soni, assistant general manager (service) MUL. Dr Naresh Malhotra and Mr Anil Malhotra of Stan Autos were also present. The participants were required to decipher encrypted clues during this 45 km route having seven check-points. Each participant took around two hours to cover the route. Maruti genuine accessories worth Rs 15,000 were given to the winner in general category Mr Nitin Lekhi, followed by second and third prizes of stereo and central locking to Mr Lekh Raj and Mr Amit respectively. Special prizes were awarded to Ms Satwinder Kaur and Ms Shikha Gupta in the women drivers category while senior citizens also received consolotation prizes at the end of the rally. OC

Achievers’ night: The Computer Applied Systematic Teaching and Learning Experience (CASTLE) celebrated achievers’ night on Saturday. All students of the institute, who had scored high marks in mathematics and science in Class X were awarded mementoes and merit certificates. Achievers from the institute included Gurleen Dhillon, Anshul Singhania, Tarun Pal Khera, Harshit Singla, Lokesh Chawla, Sonam Mehendru, Priyanka Singla, Kunal Diwan, Abhinav Bhakkoo, Manan Modi, Sidharth Khanna, Raunaq Singh, Sushant Sukhija, Ankush Passi, Krishn Mahajan, Charu Malhotra, Bhavna and Sheetal. OC

Robotech institute: Robotech, a Canada-based institute, providing vocational training and international diploma for live-in caregiver programme and personal support worker, was inaugurated by Ms Pawandeep Kaur Dhillon in BRS Nagar here on Sunday. Mr Manpreet Singh Ayali, Mr Darshan Singh Shivalik, a former minister, Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha and Mr Jasbir Singh Riat, chairman, G.S. Auto were also present. OC


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