L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


14 shops gutted, goods worth lakhs destroyed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
Garments and shoes worth lakhs were reduced to ashes when a massive fire broke in the congested Chaura Bazar, destroying 14 shops this morning here today.
The fire started from a shop near the Kotwali police station at around 7.15 am and soon engulfed 14 shops, reducing the goods to ashes. Fortunately, the fire did not spread further as a street separated other shops.

It took around 40 fire engines to douse the fire as 40 employees of the fire department struggled for more than three hours to contain it. The structures of the shops that were made of wood and tin were also destroyed.

Fire officer R.K. Sharma said the cause of fire was yet to be ascertained. He said according to some eyewitnesses, sparking in a transformer installed behind the shops, had caused the fire. As the shops were made of combustible material and stored clothes, it did not take much time for the fire to spread. Fire fighters had a tough time controlling the fire as hundreds of onlookers gathered on the spot within a few minutes.

After the fire was controlled, the department had to employ trucks to clear the burnt goods.

Shocked shop owners were seen witnessing the incident helplessly.

They said it was due to the negligence of the electricity board that had made them suffer losses. They said the board had put old supply lines with numerous joints near the shops. They said it was due to sparking that the fire taken place.

The fire fighters said the shopkeepers had not made any arrangements to tackle such an eventuality. They did not even have fire extinguishers.

The department had pressed the 13 engines into service. Some of these had to be refilled.

Mr Sharma said, the fire engines had reached the spot at once. They started the operations even before the local office of the Punjab State Electricity Board could disconnect the power supply to the area. They risked their lives as thick cables were passing through the shops. Nobody was injured in the operation.

Following the news of the fire, the Deputy Commissioner, the SSP and some political leaders reached the spot.



BKU asks govt to fulfil promise on free power
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 13
The Bhartia Kisan Union (BKU) has lambasted the Congress government in Punjab for its failure to provide free water and power to farmers as had been promised during the Assembly elections in the state.

The union further made it clear that the condition of upper limit for land holdings at 7 acres was not acceptable to the farmers and if the government continued its evasive attitude on this issue then the BKU would be left with no other alternative than to launch a mass agitation to seek justice.

In a statement here today, the BKU acting president, Mr Manjit Singh Kadian, and other functionaries said the farmers were being denied free water and power despite the fact that the Congress government had promised to restore this facility immediately after coming to power.

He said not only the government should take immediate steps to provide free power and water to the farmers in the state but the power and water charges recovered from them during the intervening period should be refunded.

Mr Kadian termed the government proposal to provide free water and power to farmers with land holding of less than 7 acres as shortsightedness and impractical. “It is a known fact that funds available with the mandi board are utilised for construction and repair of rural roads. If these funds are diverted to make up for the loss of the PSEB due to free power supply then the work for repair and construction of roads in the rural areas will suffer.”

The BKU chief called upon the government to provide funds to the PSEB on account of free power supply to farmers from its own sources so that the rural people were not made to suffer on account of bad roads or poor road network in the villages. He further urged the government to initiate necessary measures for payment of bonus of Rs 20 per quintal on paddy purchased during the year 2000. Criticising the erratic power supply to the rural feeders, Mr Kadian wanted that daily 10 hours power supply should be ensured.



Power cuts leave farmers high and dry
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 13
Paddy-sowing is either complete in some of the villages or is in full swing in others.
The farmers, thus, are in need of electricity to run their electric motors to irrigate the paddy crop which faces ruin if water is not made available.

The farmers of Dholan village in particular narrated their woes about the availability of the supply for 4 hours daily before June 10 and added that after June 10, the supply has been only for an hour.

When Mr Bikar Singh, JE, Mr Kishan Singh, officiating SDO, Sub-Division, Doomi, were contacted they said the supply lines were overloaded resulting in fregnent tripping. The farmers are crying for regular fixed 8 hours supply at least.



Erratic power supply irks residents, industrialists
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
Despite tall claims of ensuring regular power supply, the state government has so far failed to deal with the ongoing power crisis.
Residents, industry and agricultural consumers are complaining of unscheduled power cuts daily stretching as long as 8-10 hours.

The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) had announced that in order to ensure eight hours of regular power supply to agricultural consumers during the paddy plantation season scheduled cuts would be imposed for three to six hours in residential areas, besides weekly off for industry and alternate-days power supply to arc and furnace units.

However, not only are residents complaining of long unscheduled power cuts, industry is also suffering due to cuts apart from the usual weekly off.

Even agricultural consumers say they are not getting the regular eight-hour power supply as promised by the electricity board.

While residents in Ghumar Mandi complained of power cuts for six to seven hours, those in Civil Lines area, Sarabha Nagar and surrounding areas also said the cuts lasted for more than three hours.

The situation is no better in Miller Ganj, areas near Bus Stand and residential areas located near Jalandhar Bypass, where residents said cuts for over four to five hours were being imposed.

“There is no prior information about these cuts. Not only during the day, we spend sleepless nights as cuts of half-an-hour to one hour as more are imposed several times at night also,” rued Mr Kulwinder Singh, a resident of Krishna Nagar.

The PSEB has decided to impose a 24-hour weekly off for industry. “But that is not the only time when there is no electricity. We are suffering badly as unscheduled cuts for several hours are imposed even during the day,” said Mr Varinder kapoor, general-secretary of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

While officials claimed that situation had improved after cuts on arc and furnace units had started since yesterday, industrialists said there had been no change in the situation.

“This has become the norm. The government has failed to tackle this problem due to which industry is suffering heavy losses. Infact several industrial units are even planning to shift base from the state to neighbouring states due to power problem,” Mr Kapoor said, adding, “as a result of unscheduled cuts not only are our schedules disturbed and we are not able to meet our orders, prices of certain raw materials also rise, which brings additional trouble for industry.”

Meanwhile, agriculturists say they are not receiving the eight-hour power supply as promised by the PSEB. “The supply lasts only for six to seven hours a day. Even during that, there are voltage fluctuations due to which irrigation suffers,” said Gurdev Singh, a farmer in Pakhowal village.

PSEB officials, however, maintained that cuts in residential areas were only for three hours and there were no unscheduled cuts. “The situation has in fact improved after we have started imposing cuts on arc and furnace units,” an official said.

According to PSEB sources, unscheduled cuts are likely to continue. “There could be minor improvement in the current situation but demand far exceeds supply. Even after the supply from Kerala, the demand-supply gap remains wide due to which the crisis is likely to continue,” said sources.



Power cuts hit furnace units hard
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
Power cuts have not only hit industrial production, but prices of ingots and MS rounds have also registered an increase as the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has decided to supply power on alternate days only to the arc and furnace units in the state.

The production in arc and furnace units has come down by 50 per cent as a result of which demand has fallen short of supply, leading to an increase in prices. This has affected light engineering industries as well.

While prices of ingots have increased by nearly Rs 1,000 per tonne, a similar increase has been recorded in case of MS round prices also.

“The light engineering industry is suffering as a result of this increase. Due to unscheduled power cuts, the problem is aggravated as prices of raw material witnessed an increase”, said Mr Varinder Kapoor of United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

Said Mr K.K. Garg, president, Induction Furnace Association of North India, “Prices have increased due to power cuts. But this is a temporary phenomenon. Soon as power situation will be restored to normal, prices will adjust accordingly.”



City woman delivers triplets
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 13
Balwinder Kaur (29) a local resident, delivered triplets on June 11 at City Nursing Home here. The triplets, two boys and a girl, born premature are normal and two of them are being kept in an incubator.

Dr Ajit Kang, the gynaecologist, said the babies and their mother were normal. They will be kept under observation for a few days more. “They were born premature through caesarean method as the mother was suffering from pre-ectamplic toxaemia — a condition with very high blood pressure. Mother’s life was at risk and we wanted to save her at any cost. By the grace of God they are all fine and the family is extremely happy”, Dr Kang said.

The couple has a son already, who is two years old. Balwinder’s husband is a government teacher. I know it is very difficult to upbring three of them but God has given me this opportunity. Now he will give me strength. I am very thankful to the doctors who have saved us all”, Balwinder said.

Dr Manjit Kaur, said two of the babies weigh 950 gm each while one baby is approximately 1.9 kg. “They are under observation round the clock. 



Sarabha’s sister cremated with honours
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
The mortal remains of Bibi Jagdish Kaur (96), sister of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha, member of the freedom movement, were cremated with full state honors at Sarabha village, 20 km from here, today. She expired late last night.

Her body was brought to the cremation ground from her ancestral house in a funeral procession in which thousands of people from different sections of society bade adieu to the most revered daughter of the village. There were many a moist eye when a Punjab Police contingent reversed arms and fired a volley of shots in the air. A bugler sounded the last post before the pyre was lit by Lt-Col Manwinder Singh, a grandson of the deceased.

Before the cremation, wreaths were laid by Mr Rakesh Pandey, Minister for Science, Technology and Industrial Training, Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner (on behalf of Capt. Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister), Mr Rajiv Ahir, SSP, Jagraon, Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, MLA, Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura, Mr Jagmohan Sharma, President, DCC (on behalf of Mr H.S. Hanspal, President, PCC), Mr M.S. Jaggi, SDM (West), Mr Darshan Singh, DPRO, Ludhiana, Mr H.S. Brar, DSP, Mullanpur, Mr Balwant Singh, DSP, Raikot, and Mr S.P. Malik, Secretary, District Red Cross Society.

Earlier, Mr Pandey and Mr Verma, along with other officers, went to the house of Bibi Jagdish Kaur and mourned her death with her son, Mr Bhupinder Singh Khangura, a former Army officer and other members of the bereaved family.

Mr Pandey said Bibi Jagdish Kaur was one of the few survivors, who witnessed the freedom movement and assisted the fighters. He said Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha was an ideologue of revolutionaries of the freedom movement, who launched the struggle outside the country and later galvanised the movement in India. He said Bibi Jagdish Kaur were educating the people regarding the dreams of patriots.

Mr Verma also paid tributes and added that Bibi Jagdish Kaur was a noble soul and a living legend of the freedom movement. He said she was a great source of inspiration for the younger generation.

Prominent among others who participated in the cremation included Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura, Mr Avtar Singh, Chairman, Block Samiti, Pakhowal, Mr Bhag Singh Dardi and Navsher Singh. 



Sarabha memorial, her unrealised dream
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
Her cherished dream of setting up a befitting memorial of her cousin, Kartar Singh Sarabha, a “gadar” martyr could not be realised during her life time. Bibi Jagdish Kaur, a life committed to keep the memories of her beloved martyr cousin alive, finally died at Sarabha village late last night.

With the demise of Bibi, first cousin of martyr Sarabha, a chapter in the history of independent India has come to an end. Despite her best efforts to get the ancestral house of the martyr protected into a memorial, the last days of her life were dotted with miseries and agony of official apathy.

The death did not wait for her dream to be realised, Bibi Jagdish Kaur passed away leaving the task of commemorating the great sacrifice of her cousin, in the hands of the countrymen.

Even during the twilight days of her life, Bibi Jagdish Kaur left no stone unturned for moving the authorities and state government to convert the ancestral house of martyr Sarabha. It was only due to her efforts that the work on preservation of memorial was started five years ago. But thanks to the height of official apathy, the memorial is yet to be completed.

The memorial, which is the native house of the martyr, had always been in the news due to the slow pace of work. Despite keeping bad health, Bibi had been known to agitate against the state governments demanding the completion of work on the memorial.

Bibi had threatened twice to go on relay fast in front of the house of the Chief Minister if the work was not started on it. She had even gone to the extent of saying that she would renounce the title ‘‘Punjab Mata’’ bestowed upon her by the Badal government. She had said angrily that the government was not bothered for the contribution of the martyr.

Bibi Jagdish Kaur, who had been suffering from uterine cancer for the past many years, had sent SOS calls to the state government also. She had to suffer from a controversy that had erupted due to her being referred to as a “Punjab Mata”. The present government had refused to acknowledge her title.

It was after a protest by Bibi that the work on the memorial was started by the Akali government in 2000. A grant of Rs 101 lakh was announced for it and Rs 40 lakh were released in three installments. Later, not even a single penny was released.

The house which was declared a protected monument by the Archaeological Department of Punjab in 1998 stands abandoned. Bibi had been running from pillar to post to get the house of her brother, where he was born and brought up, converted into a memorial.She claimed that she had donated the house to the government and requested every Chief Minister to raise a memorial on it. The former CM had accepted her plea and declared it as a protected monument. But it is yet to see the light of the day. 



3 brokers robbed of Rs 16.5 lakh
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 13
In a daylight robbery, three robbers snatched Rs 16.5 lakh from three insurance brokers at gunpoint near Dehlon here today.
At 2 pm the Qualis-borne robbers stopped the car of the brokers by breaking the windscreen with a stone.

They then snatched the money and fled towards Malerkotla. Mr Ashish Bansal, a broker, said they had left Ludhiana with the money which was to be deposited with the PNB at Ahmedgarh. He said they usually carried cash to be deposited in their account in a bank at Ahmedgarh. The Dehlon police has registered a case in this regard.



Bassian fire incident: 4 Cong leaders quit panel in protest
Mahesh Sharma

Raikot, June 13
The Bassian fire incident took a U-turn, when four local Congress leaders resigned from police public committees constituted by the Jagraon police as a protest against the arrest of an accused who later escaped from police custody.

These leaders accused the police of betraying the confidence of the leaders and succumbing to the pressure of leaders of opposition parties. They threatened to approach the Chief Minister in case their grievance was not heard by the DIG Ludhiana.

The police, on the other hand, blamed the Congress men of interfering unnecessarily in the investigation of the Bassian fire incident and felicitating the escape of Harinder Kumar, alias Happy, who had been arrested four days ago.

Led by Mr Sudarshan Joshi, president of the local Municipal Council, Mr Ramesh Kumar Kaura, member District Women’s Cell, Mr Lalit Jain, Mr Pal Balwinder Singh Talwandi and Mr Ramesh Sharda (members of Finance Dispute Settlement Committee) resigned from their respective memberships of police public committees in protest against the alleged non-cooperative role of the local police.

The leaders alleged that the police officials had betrayed their faith by arresting Harinder Kumar who was brought by them to the police station for routine investigation. “As Harinder Kumar had been found innocent in an inquiry conducted earlier by SP (D), we believed the contention of the police that his statement was to be recorded. Astonishingly they detained him at the police station and later concocted a false story that he had been arrested by a police party led by CIA in charge,” said the leaders.

Terming the escape of Harinder Kumar as stage managed by the police the Congress leaders alleged that he had been sent to some untold place and apprehended that police would try to implicate him in some serious crime.

Mr Ajwinder Singh Sibia and Mr Saudagar Singh, chairmen of market committee, said they had forwarded the representation received from the local Congress leaders to DIG Ludhiana and would be taking up the matter with the Chief Minister in case their grievances were not redressed.

The police on the other hand denied the charges and accused the Congress leaders of influencing the inquiry being conducted into the Bassian fire incident. “We have full respect for the leaders of all political and social organisations and had been recognising their role in solving local problems. Unfortunately in the present case, the leaders were misguided by the accused, who committed another crime by escaping from custody,” said Mr Rajiv Ahir, Senior Superintendent of Police, Jagraon. Reacting to the allegations of stage-managing the escape Mr Ahir said: “Escape of an undertrial is stigma and not bravery. No police officer would let his image be maligned unnecessary.”



Massive rally against privatisation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 13
Government employees held a massive rally against the move of privatise schools, health services. PSEB, IIT’s, sugar mills etc and burnt the effigy of the Punjab Govt at Mini-Secretariat, here, this afternoon.

The call for rally was given by Anti-Privatisation Sangarsh Committee, Punjab, and 6 district conveners Jasdev Singh Lalton, Baldev Mangat, Gurmail Singh, Shiv Kumar Kapuria, Harbhajan Singh, Dayal Singh and Major Singh supervised the rally jointly.

Female as well as male workers had turned up in large numbers in over 2 dozen buses, tractors, and hundreds of 2 wheelers. The rally was a great success in spite of imposition of Section 144 and a massive police cordon.

The workers shouted slogans against the Central and state govt’s anti-workers policies.

The main demands of the workers were that the idea of privatisation of all schools, PSEB, health services etc should be given up. Secondly, they demanded the govt not to down-size the departments as it would lead to unemployment.

Thirdly, they wanted regular recruitment for those working as daily wagers and also for those on contract basis. They wanted these people to be made permanent.

The leaders further said they would oppose the govt tooth and nail on the issue of privatisation and from tomorrow intensify their struggle in the villages by taking the support of panchayats and masses.

On June 23, 24, 27 and 28, they will give their demand letters to Tehsildars.

Next month, on July 14, they will take out a very huge rally in front of the Moti Mahal to press their demands before Captain Amarinder Singh.



Bitta advocates stringent anti-terrorism laws
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 13
The All-India Anti-Terrorists Front (AIATF) chief, Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta, today pleaded for more stringent laws than POTA and special anti-terrorist courts to effectively deal with terrorism attempts to revive militancy in Punjab and elsewhere in India. He also made a strong point against the proposed scrapping of blacklist and release of anti-national elements from jails.

Addressing a press conference at Circuit House here, he also placed on record efforts of the Delhi police and its Commissioner, Dr K.K. Paul, in apprehending self-styled chief of Babbar Khalsa International and an accused in the assassination of Beant Singh, who had managed a dramatic escape from the Burail jail (Chandigarh) last year. He asked the government to recognise the services of the Delhi police team that had thwarted the attempt of terrorists on reorganisation and regrouping.

Mr Bitta, who survived two bomb attacks on him, came down heavily upon the Punjab Government and its intelligence agencies for what he described as a complete failure in monitoring the movement of Jagtar Singh Hawara and his accomplices, who were operating under the very nose of the Punjab Police in Fatehgarh Sahib district after their escape from the Burail jail. “The government should also look into the suspected involvement of certain senior officials and political functionaries in the escape of Hawara and two others from the jail,” he said.

He opposed the proposal to scrap the blacklist and allow hardcore terrorists, staying in several foreign countries, to come back to the country.

The move, along with another proposal to release militants lodged in jails, would spell disaster for the nation as those named in the blacklist, had a well-oiled network in countries like the UK, the USA, Canada and Germany. Once allowed to come to India, they were likely to spread their sinister activities in the country, he said.

On the contrary, the government should make an all-out efforts for identification and extradition of terrorists roaming freely in foreign countries, including Pakistan, so that they could be brought to book.

Mr Bitta said while the attempts being made on restoration of bilateral relations with Pakistan were welcome, the government, in its over enthusiasm on improvement of relations with the neighbouring country, should not overlook the fact that a number of hardcore militants and protagonists of Khalistan were still being provided asylum in Pakistan. Moreover, the ISI agents, both in Pakistan and India, were making another bid at creating communal tension and recent bomb blasts in Delhi were definitely a handiwork of these elements.

He demanded a strict vigil on the Indo-Pak border and the train link — Samjhauta Express — between the two countries while alleging that large-scale smuggling of drugs and fake currency was taking place through that train.



Gen Aurora was votary of Hindu-Sikh unity
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, June 13
The late Lt-General Jagjit Singh Aurora, hero of the 1971 India-Pakistan war, was very much concerned about the Punjab situation after Operation Bluestar and was also keen that the Hindu-Sikh unity in the state did not suffer any setback. General Aurora who visited some cities of Punjab after Operation Bluestar on an invitation from the Punjab Kalyan Forum which had the backing of the RSS ensured that his visit would not in any way disturb the communal harmony.

Lt-Col Chanan Singh Dhillon (retired), president, Indian Exservices League, Punjab and Chandigarh who headed the Punjab Kalyan Forum at that time, was told by General Aurora before coming to Punjab that he was associated with a group of eminent Punjabis who were concerned about the Punjab situation namely Mr I.K. Gujral, Mr Kuldip Nayar, Dr Amrik Singh and Mr Rajinder Sachar.

He was more concerned about the Punjab situation as a whole, according to Col Dhillon. He laid down conditions for strengthening Hindu-Sikh unity.

Col Dhillon was supported in his efforts by Lala Lajpatrai, a senior BJP and RSS leader in the Punjab Kalyan forum and he was one of the sponsors of the visit of General Aurora to Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar. The Punjab Kalyan Forum was disbanded later by Col Dhillon.

Col Dhillon, who is involved in the welfare of the ex-servicemen in Punjab and Chandigarh feels sore that young Army personnel who are discharged from the Army are not provided jobs despite the fact that the government has fixed 13 per cent quota for them in the paramilitary forces . There is no monitoring of the same and even widows of the exservicemen are not being treated well by the authorities. The widows are harassed by the kin when they get compensation and the government does not take any steps to check their harassment.



Search Within
Whatever is worth doing is worth doing well

It is essential that everyone must work to earn his livelihood. Sir Walter Scott known for his industrious nature wrote to his son Charles when at School: I cannot too much impress upon your mind that labour is a condition which God has imposed on us in every station of life; there is nothing worth having that can be had without it, from the bread which the peasant wins with the sweat of his brow, to the sports by which the rich man gets rid of his ennui. As for knowledge, it can no more be planted in the human mind without labour than a field of wheat can be produced without the previous use of the plough.

Southey, another writer who witnessed the industrial revolution in England, wrote these words when he was only 19.''Certainly a fourth part of my life; perhaps how great a part! And yet I have been of no service to society. The clown who scares crows for two pence a day is a more useful man; he preserves the bread which I eat in idleness.

It is this attitude to labour that is the key to progress of individuals and societies. Unfortunately, the youth of the day addicted to entertainment and pleasure has almost developed an abhorrence to all kinds of labour.

Unfortunately the attitude to work in our land is so negative that it is the one element wrecking the reputation of all governmental offices in our nation. Go to any public counter that has to do business with the common man, you will find apathy and indifference as the hall mark of the people who man the offices.

One major reason for our industrial backwardness and lack of economic progress is the absence of a good work culture. Go to any public utility maintaining land records or dealing with collection of taxes; the man on the street has to grease the palm of the public servant employed by the state to serve him.

Getting a birth certificate, a ration card or a driving licence or even payment of power or telephone bills could be a frustrating experience. This happens to be the state of affairs in a state like Kerala where more than 90 per cent of the collection of revenue is spent on the payment of salaries to its employees. It is also a state where strikes and hartals by workers is an everyday happening disrupting normal life. So long as the trade unions are strong and indifferent to the issue of making workers work, and the government lacks the political will to set things right, there is no hope of redemption.

While the trade union movement in the country is reputed to have secured for the worker his legitimate rights and equipped him with bargaining power, there is no corresponding effort to ensure that every worker puts in labour that justifies his wages.

The absence of discipline and the disinclination to put in a honest day's work had wrecked not only industrial progress but also agriculture in Kerala. As a result of the spread of literacy, men are no longer willing to do manual labour; it has become difficult to find enough farm hands to work in the fields; often their demands are so unrealistic as to make it uneconomical to employ them.

It seems there is a justification for the following statement of Martin Luther King Jr to be engraved on the walls of each government office, factory or other work place:'' Whatever your life's work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead and the unborn could do it no better. If it falls to your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, like Shakespeare wrote poetry, like Beethoven composed music.

MPK Kutty



Peaches flood city markets
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, June 13
Fruits of varied kinds are available in abundance during the summer. One can see a variety of fruits like mangoes, plums, apricots, litchis, grapes. and carts full of pink and golden- coloured peaches. Girls often crave for milk and peachs complexion and will do anything to get it. Cashing on this craze for good flawless peachy skin , humongous variety of cosmetic creams have come into the market.

Peach is a fruit which is within the reach of most people. Its juicy tangy taste makes it a popular choice, Peach Melba, an ice-cream is most sought after. Canned peaches with icecreams, too, make a lovely dessert. Perhaps, when you know how peaches reach you , you would be more appreciative of it.

Peaches have been cultivated in China for millennia. Traders on the silk road took the peach from China to Kashmir and over the Central Asian mountains to Iraq.

The nutritional value of peach is good. One peach (of around 100 gram size) supplies abouts’ 5 per cent of an adults’ minimum daily Niacin (B3) needs. Fresh and canned peaches have about the same amount of vitamin A, with one medium-sized peach having about 530 international units. 



701 widows get relief
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 13
Shri Gyan Sthal Mandir Sabha held its 94th monthly widow pension function here yesterday at which relief in the form of ration and items of daily use was disbursed among 701 widows.

The programme began with a sankirtan held by Mr. Surinder Arora and party and the holy flame was lit by Mr. R.K.Sharma, DSP City-I.

The mandir sabha also honoured brilliant students of the city who had secured more than 90 per cent marks in Class X and plus two exams this session. Among the students honoured on the occasion were Geetika Gupta, Nidhi Bhatia, Safurti Jain, Rishab Marwaha, Nitika Mahajan, Poorva Bhatia, Upma Vermani, Priya Bansal, Archit Grover, Ankit Jain and Pankhuri Narula of KVM School, Anshuman Dhawan, Kishi Kumar, Jatin Vasudeva, Sonam Malhotra, Sahil Pancchi, Nitika Gupta, Shubham Jain, Anchal Arora, Muneer Beri and Tushar Mehan of BVM School and Shyna Singh Virk and Amrita Pannu of Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar and Varun Sharma of Atam Public School. Parents of outstanding students were also honoured by the mandir sabha on the occasion.

At a simple ceremony, two poor girls were also married off.

Mr H.S. Hanspal, who was the chief guest at the function, said in his address that crores were being spent on marriages in the city. By holding simple functions people could contribute a lot to the overall welfare of the society.

Among others who attended the function were Mr Jagdish Bajaj, Mr Rahul Sidana, Mr Amarjit Singh, Mr Davinderpal Saggar, Mr Arun Gupta, Mr Chandan Mishra, Mr Raj Kumar Jindal, Mr Joginder Kapur, Mr Sant Lal Bajaj, Ms Gurmit Kaur, Ms Puja Syal, Ms Vandana Sharma, Ms Jaswinder Kaur and Ms Neelam Chawla.

Mr Hanspal donated 151 blankets and 151 suits to the mandir sabha on the occasion.



3 kids, 4 others sustain burn injuries
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, June 13
Seven persons, including 3 children, were charred due to a gas leak fire in a house behind Krishna Mandir here today.
Mrs Kanta Rani, a tenant in the house of Mrs Asha Rani, was using a gas cylinder which was leaking and it led to fire.

Three children Deepu, Chetan and Lovely, who were present in the kitchen were wounded.

The land-lady Asha Rani and Gopal Sharma who tried to save them were also injured besides Surinder Singh and his wife Kanta Rani got burn injuries. All the injured were admitted into the local Civil Hospital.



Rice millers seek Saini’s re-election
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, June 13
A meeting of rice millers from Machhiwara, Khanna, Samral, Chawa and Payal was held in the local Indian Rice and General Mills.
In this meeting, which was presided over by district president Gurdyal Singh, it was unanimously resolved that Mr Tarsem Saini (former president) be elected president again.

Those who spoke on the occasion included Satish Mittal, president, Rice Millers Association Machhiwara, Sanjay Ghai from Khanna, Nagar Council Chief Anil Sood, State Youth Congress vice-president Kasturi Lal Mintu.



Lodhi Club to conduct summer camp
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 13
The executive members of Lodhi Club, including the general secretary Mr K.L. Chabbra, held a press meet in the club premises today. Mr Sanjeev Dhanda, cultural secretary of Sutlej Club also participated in the meeting.

Addressing the meeting, an executive member said that a summer camp would be organised from June 17 to June 30 at the club premises for the first time.

Ms Shewta Verma, wife of Mr Anurag Verma , IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana will inaugurate the camp on June 17 at 4.45 p.m. at Celebration Hall of the club.



Women thieves active in city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 13
Mr Paramjit Singh, who retired as a senior clerk in the Moga Municipal Committee, withdrew Rs 1.5 lakh from a bank in Moga on Friday and kept Rs 5,000 at home. The rest of the money he put in a bag as he had to deliver the money to his son at Jamalpur. He reached Ludhiana at around 1 pm and took an autorickshaw to Jamalpur.

It took him about 30 minutes to reach his son’s house but he was horrified to see that the money was missing. He recalled that soon after he had taken the auto rickshaw, four tribal women, carrying an infant, had also hopped in. On the way, one of them borrowed a “bidi” from another passenger and started smoking. Though they had told the driver that they would get down at the Jamalpur chowk, they did not do so. The Focal Point police, which was informed later in the evening, is investigating the matter.

The places where people carrying money are targeted are the railway station and bus stand. Since the locals are familiar with these women thieves, they take adequate precautions against their wily moves which are aimed at distracting the attention of the person. An outsider is more likely to get robbed.

The police had sometime ago busted a gang of four Sansi women who operated in autorickshaws running between Clock Tower and the general bus stand. These women would target unsuspecting women commuters and remove gold chains. According to the police, the women belonged to a village near Amargarh in Sangrur district which is known for its population of the Sansi tribe.

In some cases, auto-drivers are hand-in-glove with the gang members and stand at pre-arranged spots on a particular route.


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