L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rain brings much-needed relief
* Low-lying areas inundated * Buddha Nullah causes havoc
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 6
While intermittent rain since last night brought cheers in general, people living in low lying areas of the city had a harrowing time negotiating the swelling waters on the roads and streets.

Though clouds had been hovering over the city for the past couple of days, it was only around 2 am last night when it started to rain moderately. Soon it picked up momentum at around 4 am. As a result of the overnight rain, residents of the city woke up to a wet morning. Water level, especially in low lying areas of the old city, started rising as the rain did not stop in the day either. A Tribune which toured the low-lying areas of Shiv Puri, New Madhopurim, Bajwa Nagar and Sunder Nagar off Daresi witnessed waterlogged street and roads. The main arterial road of Shiv Puri area was a dangerous trap for scooterists as it had some nasty potholes. At one place, shopkeepers were putting up a warning sign near one such pothole.

As the rain refused to relent water level in the polluted Buddha Nullah rose and caused havoc in New Mahavir Nagar near the Haibowal police station. The nullah water entered several houses as area residents made efforts to plug the breach.

A massive mulberry tree opposite Mata Rani municipal parking fell this after noon under the impact of continuous rain as a result of which electricity supply was disrupted in the area. However, no loss of life was reported from anywhere in the city.

Several other roads such as the Post Office road, Mata Rani chowk, Chaura Bazaar, Saban Bazaar and Mandi Kesar Ganj, were also water-logged and the water level was gradually increasing as a steady rainfall continued to lash the city.

Low-lying areas around the CMC Hospital, namely the Janak Puri, Hargobind Nagar and the Khud Mohalla were also water logged. The area of Field Ganju, extending from the jail Road to the industrial area, was also water logged at several places as also the area around the Dholewal chowk.

New Kundan Puri, Guru Nanak Pura and the adjoining locality of Shahi Mohalla were also water-logged due to the incessant rainfall As a result of the continuing rains, retail business was also affected as few ventured out of their homes.

The stretch of old GT Road between the Chand Cinema and the Jagraon bridge, particularly around the Sabzi Mandi chowk, was all slush due to the on-going construction of the elevated road.

The low-lying areas of Salem Tabri locality was also water logged at several places.

Children in large numbers could be seen enjoying the rainfall almost all over the city , roaming around in groups either on foot or on bicycles and scooters.



Attack a failure of Centre and state govt: RSS activists
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
Activists of various organisations affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) today took out a procession to protest against the terrorist attack on the makeshift Ram temple in Ayodhya on Tuesday. The protesters marched towards the Mini Secretariat where they submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, addressed to the President of India demanding the dismissal of the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh governments. The activists also burnt an effigy of ‘terrorism’ to convey a symbolic message that terrorism will not be tolerated in India.

The protest march was jointly taken out by the RSS, the BJP Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad, Bharitya Yuva Janata Morcha, Sewa Bharti, Durga Vahini, Bharitya Mazdoor Sangh, Vanvashi Kalyan Asharam, Bajrang Dal, Dharmayatra Maha Sangh and Punjab Shad Darshan Sant Samaj, all affiliates of the RSS.

While lauding the efforts of the security forces which managed to kill all terrorists before they could cause any major damage, in the memorandum addressed to the President, the sangh activists demanded the dismissal of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre and the Samajwadi Party Government in Uttar Pradesh. It pointed out, since the place had been taken over by the centre, it was the duty of the UPA Government to ensure security there. It added that the UP Government was responsible for the ouster ring security which had been breached by the terrorists for which the government of the state deserved to be dismissed.

The sangh affiliates alleged that both the UPA Government at the Centre and the UP Government were resorting to appeasing the Muslims and thus were not taking any action against the terrorists. They warned that such appeasement only led to the divisive tendencies and the terrorist and subversive elements were getting emboldened.

The memorandum said the entire nation was thankful to the brave and courageous security personnel deployed at the temple who had foiled the attack. It demanded special honours and awards for all those who participated in the action against the terrorists. The memorandum pointed out, had the security forces not shown the valour and courage the terrorists would have struck in a major way and caused a lot of damage.

The sangh activists warned that such actions of the terrorists could have grave ramifications and repercussions and urged the President to take everybody responsible to task. They said, had it not been for the alertness shown by the security personnel, the terrorists were all the way heading for their mission which obviously was a security failure. They said, the centre and the state governments were trying to put the blame on each other while actually both were to be blamed and taken to the task as both had failed in their responsibility.



No security for city temples
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, July 6
A national alert in the wake of terrorist attack on Ram Mandir at Ayodhya notwith-standing, no security personnel have been posted inside or outside various temple complexes of the city.

A team of Ludhiana Tribune which visited Durga Mata Mandir near the Jagraon bridge, one of the busiest temples of the city, as also the Hanuman Mandir and the Ved Mandir in the Daresi grounds did not find any security in or around these places of worship.

Daresi grounds, which houses a number of Hindu temples and also the Bhagwan Ram Charitable Hospital located at one end of the vast grounds, is considered a strong Hindu bastion. It was in this ground where half a dozen morning walkers were gunned down in the militancy days.

Mr Narinderpal Singh, SSP, could not be contacted for comments despite repeated attempts to do so.



Widespread condemnation of attack in Ayodhya
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 6
Peeved over the aborted attack on the makeshift Ram temple at Ayodhya yesterday, the people here have shown resentment over the callous attitude of the government in safeguarding the sanctity of the Hindu shrines.

Irrespective of their alliances, leaders and office bearers of various political, religious and social organisations condemned the attack and urged the government to make necessary security arrangements at and near all such places where separatists might strike in future.

Mr Romesh Ghaie, president of the local unit of BJP and Mr Jagwant Singh Jaggie, councilor and president of the city jatha of SAD condemned the attack on the temple at Ayodhya. They said any law abiding person belonging to any sect would condemn such a dastardly nasty act.

They hoped that the terrorists and the anti-national forces would not succeed in their divisive and sinister designs.

Mr Jatinder Kumar Bhola, former vice-president and councilor and Mr Ravinder Superfine, president of the City Congress Committee, said it was comforting to learn that the security forces had killed the terrorists before they could blow the temple and cause any loss of life.

Chiranji Lal Puri, former member of the National Executive of BJP and Mr Ajay Malhotra a Bajrang Dal office-bearer, while expressing grave concern over the incident warned that such acts must be nipped in the bud.

He blamed the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre and the Samajwadi Party Government in Uttar Pradesh for failure to check the activities of the terrorists.



50 pc cases with PHRC false
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 6
Awareness among the common people about the provisions of the Human Rights Commission has brought the Punjab Police on the backfoot during the recent years, when around 50 per cent of the cases forwarded to the commission turned out to be false.

In a majority of the other cases the complainants either arrived at a compromise with the ‘accused’ or submitted that no action was wanted on his complaint. Only four cases were registered on the basis of the orders passed by the commission during a period extending over five-and-a-half years.

In most of the cases the complainants had been instigated either by the agents of the councils pretending to be human activists or some officials in the Police Department who felt ignored by their seniors. In some cases the real victims were taken for a ride by the regional leaders who wanted to pressurise the police of their area for obvious reasons.

Observations at the police stations falling under the jurisdiction of Sangrur, Barnala, Khanna and Jagraon revealed that the common people had been threatening the police of their area to move to Human Rights Commission in case it did not act according to their wishes.

Referring to cases brought to his notice by social and political leaders, Mr Rajiv Ahir, SSP, Jagraon, claimed that moving the commission had become a routine during the recent past. They admitted that in some cases the intervention by the commission had helped the police give justice to the victims. “But in a substantial number of cases even antisocial elements had sought the intervention of the commission by misrepresenting facts. In such cases the investigating officers were demoralised to the extent that they started hesitating to handle tough cases,” said the cops.

Besides, commoners, travel agents, drug traffickers and land grabbing gangs tired to evade the action of the police by misguiding the commission, claimed the officers. Further observations by The Tribune revealed that about half of the cases referred to the police turned out to be false. Perusal of records at the office of the Senior Superintendent of Police, Jagraon, revealed that only four cases were registered at the police stations falling under the jurisdiction of Jagraon district on the direction of the commission during the past six years whereas more than 1200 orders were received during this period.

Out of a total of 1216 complaints received through the commission from January 1, 2000, to June 15, 2005, around 600 complaints were found to be false, whereas the decision on 35 cases was pending. Only 20 complaints were found to be received through the commission during the year 2000, out of which only three were found based on facts. While 11 complaints were found totally false, compromise was arrived at in case of four complaints and two were sent to judicial courts.

The district office received 181 complaints through the commission during 2001, out of which 85 were found to be false. A compromise was arrived at in case of 23 cases whereas 10 complainants submitted that they wanted no action on their respective complaints. Four cases were referred to court.

In 2003 the commission sent 311 complaints out of which 49 were found to substantiate the matter and an FIR was registered in one case. Fortytwo persons wanted no action on their complaints and a compromise was arrived in case of 17 applications. As many as 16 cases corresponded to other districts, 19 were sent to court and 167 were found to be frivolous.

The highest number of cases (391) was received by SSP, Jagraon, in 2004. As many as 196 complaints were found false, 15 persons wanted no action and a compromise was arrived at in case of 63 complaints. Besides registering two cases, the police sent 41 cases to respective courts.

The PHRC had forwarded only 148 complaints to the Jagraon police up to June 15 this year. With the final action on 35 complaints still pending, 60 complaints were found false. No action was required in case of 18 complaints and a compromise was arrived in 12 cases. Ten cases have been forwarded to court and 8 files returned to the commission as these did not relate to the jurisdiction of the Jagraon police. 



3 infants, mother survive roof collapse
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, July 6
Four members of a family were wounded when the roof of a house in Sangatpura Mohalla here suddenly collapsed at 12 noon today and four members of the family were buried under the roof material. Mrs Kiran (25) did not lose heart after the incident. She first managed to remove earth from her body. Unmindful of her injuries she succeeded in saving her three infants from beneath the fallen roof. Her fourth son Pawan (10) was not present at that time of the incident as he was playing in the street and the family head Jai Bahadur was away on his duty.

Residents of the “Mohalla” gathered there and took the injured to the local civil hospital. Among the wounded, the condition of two kids is serious. The family lived in a rented house. The landlord Mohan Singh. revealed that the family had been living in the house for the two past and a half years. Some time ago he had asked the family shift from the house as he wanted to rebuild it.

Mrs Kiran had several times complained to the landlord that the roof of the room leaked during rain to which the landlord assured the victim family that he would arrange a house for them. 



New adoption rules a setback for childless couples
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, July 6
The recent decision of the Government of India aimed at amending the guidelines for adopting children by various people has come as a major shock to hundreds of childless couples. The latest amendments are learnt to have made it mandatory that there would be no direct adoption of the children by the couples even from among the relations. Instead some authorised non-governmental organisation with good credentials will monitor it.

Although the latest guidelines are yet to be released the couples who have no children of their own and are keen to adopt, mostly from their relatives, are feeling upset and disappointed as they will have to face another hurdle of taking some NGO into confidence. These people feel that such a procedure will only complicate the adoption process and would lead to several malpractices. They maintained that this system will not be able to retain transparency and the couples interested in adopting and those prepared to give their child for adoption would be left at the mercy of others.

A childless couple married for the past 10 years is running from pillar to post to adopt a child for the past two years. “We were hopeful to get a child of our own. About four years back, one of our relatives had offered to give us her daughter but we refused. But now when doctor has advised us to adopt one, it is too late”, said the couple.

Another couple, who did not wish to be quoted, said they had approached an NGO for adopting a child. But there is already a long queue. “I had gone to Nishkam the only NGO here, that could solve our problem. A present, there is no baby in the shishu-sadan who can be adopted. Even if we register our case today, we will be getting a child after a long time”, he said.

The couples complained that government in its recent guidelines had created hurdles for hundreds of issueless couples. They alleged that it was easier to adopt a child of a relative but involving an NGO for that, was a kind of harassment. Moreover, they could not keep it a secret.

Mr Shrawan Kumar Sharma of Nishkam Sewa Ashram said government had introduced the guidelines to follow a proper legal process. Involving an NGO meant that no couple could be deceived by middlemen or relatives. “We have got registered approximately 15 childless couples. A majority of them have no preferences for a boy or girl but in absence of any child, they cannot be accommodated. 



Action against bank manager sought
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 6
Jagraon police has sought departmental action against the manager of Boparai Kalan branch of Punjab National Bank for trying to conceal an incident in which a gang of burglars had made a futile attempt to remove cash worth Rs 5.5 lakh after breaking open the locks of the bank on Sunday night. The police has registered a case against unidentified persons under sections 457, 380 and 511 of the IPC.

Mr Rajiv Ahir, Senior Superintendent of Police, Jagraon, said he had apprised the authorities of PNB, including Chairman and Zonal Manager, of the circumstances that led to an attempt by unidentified burglars to steal cash from the branch of the bank on Sunday night.

Referring to information received from Mr H S Brar, DSP, Mullanpur, the SSP alleged that the attempt had been made due to the negligence of the manager. Violating the norms, the manager had opened the branch on Sunday and did not take enough care to safe-guard the belongings like cash and valuables of the clients.

“The role of the manager became dubious after he tried to conceal the burglary attempt and instead of informing the police started daily business thus destroying the evidences that could have led to the arrest of miscreants,” said Mr Ahir.

The police investigations have revealed that the miscreants had broken open the locks of the main gate of the branch situated at Boparai Kalan on Sunday night. The incident was noticed by the staff on Monday morning but the manager instead of reporting the matter to the police allowed the staff to start work at their respective seats.

Sudhar police received the information from the residents of the area and started investigations on their own. Preliminary investigations revealed that the branch had remained open till afternoon on Sunday. The burglars could have taken away around Rs 5.5 lakh in cases they could have succeeded in opening the lock of the safe.



Fleecing of migrants at railway station continues
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 6
The migrant labour coming from states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to the industrial capital of the state here in search of employment or those travelling back to their native places, were being fleeced, intimidated and harassed by railway employees and the police at the railway station here, with the authorities persistently ignoring the misdeeds of their subordinates.

The claims of the railway officials to the contrary were shattered to pieces when a senior booking clerk, Mr M.C. Mukherji, was caught red handed while overcharging for a rail ticket from Uday Prasad, a resident of Adhupur village in Saharan district of Bihar a couple of days back. In the past, there had been several instances of extorting money from persons holding valid tickets by railway employees or personnel of railway police without any action having been taken against the guilty persons.

Capt Rajesh Mittal, a member of the Zonal Railway Users Consultative Committee, who was present at the spot and was instrumental in exposing the wrong-doing of the railway booking clerk, brought the matter to the notice of the chief booking supervisor, Mr Sohan Lal, and a written complaint against the erring railway employee was forwarded to the Area Traffic Manager, Northern Railway, here. The railway authorities had issued a charge sheet to the employee and assured that disciplinary action would be taken against him.

However, Mr Mittal, in a communication to the Union Railway Minister, Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav, had stressed the immediate need to strengthen the vigilance network and regular checking at the railway station here, and elsewhere, to curb the malpractices and fleecing of poor and uneducated migrant labour.

Demanding exemplary punishment to those guilty of exploitation of railway passengers , Capt Mittal further asked the Railway Ministry to initiate necessary steps to increase the number of computer counters at the railway station to cope with the heavy rush at reservation counters, as also to set up more authorised railway booking agencies in different parts of the city to enable passengers to purchase tickets and get railway reservation at their convenience.



City in need of domestic help providing agencies
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, July 6
“I am not going to work any more in this house, find a replacement,” said Babblu, a domestic help. Why did he want to quit because the mistress of the house had the “courage” to ask him why had he got up as late as 8.30 am? “I was shocked for he was in the wrong yet he was trying to boss around”, said Ms Choudhry Babblu’s employer.

She further said, “We get up at 7am, make our own tea, fetch milk, and then this fellow gets up and shows his temper when asked why he is so late in getting up. These servants cost quite a packet. We have to provide them from toothpastes, to brushes, to soaps both for bathing and washing clothes, food and clothes that include all the goodies like exotic sweets that come in with wedding cards and seasonal fruits. No doubt they work in the hot kitchens, but they get rest during the afternoons. If one sends them to market, they take their own sweet time as they find umpteen number of friends. I felt like chucking him out at once but he had taken advance. But why are not there any agencies that provide domestic servants and maids with good references like in Delhi and other metros.”

The need for an agency to provide domestic servants has been keenly felt as it is difficult to find reliable servants. the servants are decamping with cash and at times even killing their masters too. At least with registered agencies providing maids, nannies, cooks, the employers will feel more comfortable.

Ms Rajani said, “We paid our servant more than 3,500 per month. After painstaking efforts we made him learn to cook exotic dishes. Everyone praised his preparation of dishes. May be on the sly, someone might have even offered him Rs 4,000 because his behaviour suddenly became very arrogant and rude. The other day my husband asked for a cup of tea, and he found him mouthing silent abuses. My husband had to exercise tremendous self control as he felt like hitting him. He was fired on the spot and we are on look out for another cook. The thought of training him all over again is a nightmare. I wish our city had an agency that supplied servants and who worked on contract for certain period like in metros. Our city desperately needs agencies that can provide trained cooks and maids.”

Ludhiana is a thickly populated city and with both husband and wife working, definitely maids, housekeepers and servants are in great demand. “Here if one’s servant leaves, one has to ask 10 friends to find a new one through their servants. The new arrivals want fat salaries and claim that they can cook Chinese, Thai and even puddings when in reality, they just know how to make simple ‘dal ‘ and roti’. Beggars cannot be choosers and hence you begin to train them to cook food according to your taste. Then one day out of blue, the friend’s servant who had brought him says that the servant’s mother/wife/father is very ill and he has to go home immediately. ‘iska hisab kardo, ise raat ki gadi chadana hai’. It is all lies for a day or two later you find out that he is working in another house. How I hate being taken for a ride. My blood boils? Can’t we have some agency supplying reliable servants”, said a harried housewife.

Most of the people who pay more than Rs 2,000 to their servants told Ludhiana Tribune that they have had to pay them advance money too. Some people have paid advances around Rs 30,000 in order to retain them. Madhuri says,” All members of the family are working. Our servant is reliable and understands our requirements, hence we have to keep giving him money in advance We are so used to him that we pay him advance money. But definitely we would have liked to get a servant from an agency on contractual basis.



Beniwal compiles book on positive thinking
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, July 6
Jagpaul Singh Beniwal, a resident of Sehjo Majra village has brought laurels of the village by compiling ‘Wonderful Revolutionary Thoughts, a book comprising thoughts related to positive thinking, physical health and religion.

After getting premature retirement from the post of Development Officer in LIC India about 20 years back, Mr Beniwal didn’t sit idle. I preferred reading constructive literature to doing anything else,” said Mr Beniwal. He further added that he had developed a taste for reading and writing after reading a book named ‘Poor Vocabulary Betrays Your Personality’. “After reading this book. I never looked back and started reading books by great authors,” said Mr Beniwal. He further told that he had noted down good thought and had given these thoughts the shape of a book.

Giving his comments on the book , ‘Mr Kanwaljit Verma, an eminent educator, said the book compiled by Mr Beniwal would go a long way in boosting the morale of depressed people.



Amusement park owner booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6
The local police has booked owner and employees of Hardy’s World, an amusement park, for allegedly assaulting some visitors on Sunday.

Those booked are Tarun, Bittu Chhabra, Pardeep Chhabra, Deepak, security guard, Jarnail Singh, Jagtar Singh and the General Manager of the Hardy World.

According to the FIR, Surjit Singh, Gurpreet Singh and Sukhpreet Singh, alongwith their families went to the amusement park. Following an altercation between visitors and amusement park employees, the visitors were allgedly beaten up.

The visitors were allegedly thrashed with bottles.

The police has registered case under various Sections of the IPC.



LSE Securities gears up to implement SEBI amendments
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6
Acting on the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) guidelines regarding changes in the role of stock brokers and sub brokers, the Ludhiana Stock Exchange (LSE) Securities Ltd is re-structuring its software and hardware system, apart from making administrative changes.

After the implementation of the new guidelines, aimed at protecting interests of investors in securities and promoting the development of and regulating the securities market, clients of sub-brokers would be directly dealing with the LSE Securities Ltd for matters like contract notes and registration, that was earlier done by sub-brokers. Besides, no sub-broker would hold a position of director in the board of directors of the company.

“The idea, apart from protesting investors interest and increasing transparency in dealings, is to avoid conflict of interest. As the party involved in transactions would not be involved in administrative matters, it would bring major changes,” an LSE official said, adding, “reduction in the number of intermediaries would increase transparency.”

While earlier SEBI had excluded subsidiaries of recognised stock exchanges registered as stock-brokers and their registered sub-brokers from implementing the changes, it has now included them. This means that subsidiaries of all registered stock exchanges will have to implement the amendment regulations.

According to the previous system, a sub-broker was able to use the float of a client on net basis, now the money would rest with the subsidiary of the stock exchange. However, the amendments would not affect the business of stock brokers in anyway, said Mr Naresh Bishnoi, CEO, LSE Securities.

To implement the changes, the LSE Securities has tied up with a Reliance Group’s company called Exchangenet.com for the software. The company is spending over Rs 60 lakh on the software.

“Web based connectivity to all our sub-brokers would be provided. The software facilitates direct interaction between the client and the stock broker on real time basis,” Mr Bishnoi said. The software would be operational in a week or so, he said.

Stock exchanges were earlier reluctant to implement the amendment guidelines by SEBI. Several representations by the Federation of Indian Stock Exchanges (FISE) against the same were given to the regulator. However, SEBI did not agree to the same and subsidiaries of stock exchanges are now in the process of implementing the regulations. The exchanges , after making the required amendments, would also need to communicate status of implementation in their Monthly Development Report.

It would cost LSE Securities almost Rs 1 crore to effect the changes, officials disclosed.



Chicken prices rise
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6
Owing to decline in production of birds, chicken prices in the city have increased from Rs 70 per kg to almost Rs 105-110 per kg within a fortnight. With demand registering an increase in the rainy season, prices might record an increase further.

“The increase is due to decline production, which has happened on account of various factors like last year’s bird flu and extremity of temperature, “ said Mr Sanjiv Bassi of Punjab Poultry Farmers Association.

The last year’s bird flu led to a major decline in consumption which affected the business of hatchery owners and farmers. According to sources, at least 25 per cent of them even closed business.

Besides, in peak summers, 10-15 per cent of the birds were killed. Around 5,000 birds are estimated to have died during summers, resulting in a reduced production and a consequent increased rates. Wholesale rates have increased from around Rs 40 per kg to Rs 55 per kg.

Ludhiana consumes around 8,000 birds daily. Since the demand in rainy season is likely to increase further and there are no chances of an increase in production, prices might register a further increase, though minor.



MPS air conditioner
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6
LG Electronics has launched a multi-power systems (MPs) commercial air conditioner. Claiming the product to be the first one of its kind in India, the company said the technology for the air conditioner had been developed by the research and development department of LG.

Wills: Wills Clublife has come out with ‘Lounge Chic’ collection. A company press note said that the latest collection, which is in line with international trends, is fit for party wear for both men and women.


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