L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Kin of burns victim stage dharna 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July25
Parents and relatives of Sukhwinder Kaur, a 31-year-old woman of Sayian village near Dehlon who had succumbed to her burns at the local DMC hospital yesterday, staged a demonstration outside the residence of the SSP here today.

After an hour of demonstration the protesters were whisked away by the police and taken to some undisclosed place.

They were demanding action against woman’s husband, Iqbal Singh, a constable with the Mohali police, alleging that he had an illicit relation and used to torture Sukhwinder. The mother of three children, Sukhwinder was brought to the DMC Hospital on July 7 after she had sustained burns.

Led by Sarpanch of Sayian village Inderjit Singh, around 200 persons, including a number of women, raised slogans against the Punjab police and Iqbal Singh and demanded that he should be booked for allegedly burning her wife to death.

The agitators also staged a dharna outside the hospital before coming to the SSP’s residence. Mr Tara Singh, father of the deceased, said her body was still lying in the mortuary of the hospital and they would not claim the body until her alleged ‘‘murderer’’ was booked.

‘‘Are the girls, whom we bring up with care and love, meant for burning?’’ asked Mr Tara Singh, when he was being pacified by DSP Simrat Pal Singh Dhindsa and DSP R. K. Bakshi.

He alleged that she was tortured for not bringing more dowry and was set ablaze. Still she, out of her love for her husband, had given a statement to the Magistrate that she was responsible for her death, her father claimed.

‘‘We cannot bear that our daughter was killed like that. And instead of feeling sorry for her, relatives of Iqbal Singh dared us yesterday that we would not be able to harm them. They had come to us yesterday at the hospital and threatened us with dire consequences if we took any action against them,” said Mr Tara Singh.

Woman’s relatives said she was married to Iqbal Singh some eight years ago. She was not happy as her husband was allegedly having illicit relations. They used to quarrel over this issue.

On July 7 they had received information that Sukhwinder was not well. They rushed to Mohali to see her and found that she had been burnt. Then they brought her back to their village and got her admitted to the hospital, they added.



City police shows scant concern 
Abduction of minor girl

Ludhiana, July 25
Does the city police act promptly only on the complaints of the rich and the influential and ignore the poor?
Going by what a poor couple is experiencing these days, the answer to the question seems to be in affirmative.

There is no end to woes of 45-year-old Sompal and his wife, who live in New Sham Nagar in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, as even after a month of registering a case under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC , the Sarabha Nagar police has not been able to trace their minor daughter who was allegedly abducted by a youth living in their neighbourhood on June 12.

According to the FIR lodged on June 25 by Som Pal, he has six children and Mamta, 14, was his third child. On the morning of June 12, Bhola , came to his house which was not unusual. Though he was busy with some work in the house. It was around 11 am when he noticed that both of them were not in the home. The youth had eloped with his minor daughter promising her to marry her.

Soon after the registration of the FIR Bhola’s father Chaman Lal, fearing police action, went underground.

The harried couple told Ludhiana Tribune that whenever they met the investigating officer and urged him to take some action, they were told to find the suspects on their own and inform the police about their whereabouts.

When they tried to pass on a lead to the investigating officer which could have led to the arrest of the suspect, the officer reportedly declined to act suggesting that innocent people should not be dragged into the case.

Som Pal is a private sewerage cleaner and hails from Saharanpur in UP.

Attempts to contact the investigating officer went futile.



Now an ‘ATM’ to pay power bills
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
Paying your electricity bill would not be a hectic task any more. With a view to making bill payment easier for its consumers, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) is planning to start ‘Sewak Machines’, similar to an ATM machine of banks, through which consumers would be able to pay their bills. The machines would likely to be put to operation within 10 to 15 days.

The facility would be available to power consumers throughout the city. “It is with a view to providing convenience to our customers that we have decided to install these machines,” said the Chief Engineer, PSEB, Ludhiana, Mr P.K.Aggarwal said.

The machine, which would be installed by Tata Infotech Media, would function like an ATM machine wherein one could feed his details and make the payment.

During the initial phase, two machines would be installed, one at Janta Nagar and the other in the CMC division. According to board officials, a decision to make further investment in such machines would be made after seeing the success of these two machines.

“We would see the popularity and success of these two machines for some time and only after that a decision would be taken to install more such machines. Later we could even install machines at public places,” an official said.

In Punjab, the board has such machine in Mohali and after its success the board decided to provide the facility in Ludhiana as well, officials said.

The machine would have a touch screen, using which a customer could feed in his account number. The machine would contain the entire database of customers and once a consumer filled in his account number, it would show details of his latest electricity bill.

The machine would accept cash, currency between Rs 5 and Rs 500, and also cheques. However, unlike an ATM machine, one could not put currency notes or cheques in envelope. Each currency note would have to be deposited separately. “The machine contains security features as prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). When a customer puts in a currency note, the machine would check it and counterfeited notes would be rejected. Thus, machine would also ensure security,” the officials said.

After the money was deposited, a customer would also get a printed receipt for the payment made.

Customers would have the facility to make payments round the clock and PSEB would deploy a person to guide people in using the machine and depositing their bills. 



Farmers to hold statewide protest in August
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
Five farmers’ organisations, at a meeting held here today, decided to hold district-level protests at district headquarters in August.
The meeting was attended by Mr Pishora Singh Sidhupur of the BKU (Ekta), Mr Kuldip Singh and Mr Sukhdev Singh of the Kulhind Kirti Kisan Sabha, Mr Kulwant Singh Sidhu and Raghubir Singh of the Jamoori Kisan Sabha, Mr Kulwant Singh and Mr Avtar Singh Gill of the People Kisan Sabha and Mr Gurdarshan Singh Khatra and Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhopal of the Khetiwasi Kisan Vikas Front.

Demonstrations will be held on August 8 at Jalandhar and Kapurthala, August 9 at Ferozepore, August 10 at Ludhiana, August 11 at Amritsar, August 17 at Gurdaspur and Nawanshahr, August 18 at Faridkot, August 19 at Bhatinda, August 22 at Patiala and Fetehgarh Sahib, August 23 at Sangrur and Hoshiarpur, August 24 at Ropar, August 25 at Mansa, August 26 at Moga and August 29 at Muktsar.

At the demonstrations the anti-people policies, especially those affecting farmers, of the Central and state governments will be exposed. The farmers will press the governments for the acceptance of their demands, including the restoration for free power and water to farmers, waving loans of farmers, reduction of rate of interest, provision of subsidies on the inputs and insecticides, remunerative price for crops and the withdrawal of hike in petrol and diesel prices.

Farmer leaders condemned the arrests of ETT teacher and demanded their immediate release and acceptance of their demands. The meeting also urged the governments to withdraw all cases made against the farmers during the kisan agitation. 



Passing Thru

Baldev Singh
Baldev Singh, Deputy Director of Sports, Haryana, and former coach of the national hockey team.

What is the status of women’s hockey in Punjab?

Punjab women’s hockey remained a force to reckon with till 1980s. A number of players from the state represented the nation and the game got its due during that period. But after that, sports wings in colleges were discontinued which affected the game most. Moreover, the game was not promoted properly by the organisers.

Women’s hockey in Haryana has progressed a lot, why?

Whereas the game was ‘ignored’ in Punjab, the authorities in Haryana did a lot to improve the standard of women’s hockey there. As Deputy Director, Sports, I also took pains to tap the talent at the grassroots level. For this purpose, a hockey nursery was started which has borne fruit this year.

Trainees at this academy gave a stunning perforrmace during the 53rd edition of the National Women Hockey Championship held at New Delhi early this month. The girls held the national champions for the past 20 years to a one-one draw and shared the winner’s trophy.

— Anil Datt



Amendment to labour laws sought
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
Ms Santosh Chaudhary, Chairperson, National Commission of Safai Karamcharis, said here today that the commission had recommended to the Central Government to amend labour laws so that safai karamcharis were not exploited. She regretted that some of the municipal corporations in the country were hiring services of these karamcharis on contract basis that ultimately led to their exploitation.

However, she appreciated Punjab Agricultural University and the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation for providing all possible facilities to these karamcharis. She also exhorted upon the safai karamcharis and other sections among the downtrodden to ensure that they provides education to their children. She said education was the best way for them to progress.

Ms Chaudhary, who visited PAU, Ludhiana. While addressing safai karamcharis of the university, she regretted that they were still living a miserable life in some states. She said some of the municipal corporations were exploiting these workers by adopting contract system.

She expressed satisfaction that there was no contract system in PAU and the safai karamcharis were getting their salary, uniforms, residential facilities and medical allowance in time as per government rules.

The safai karamcharis working as daily wagers in PAU told Ms Chaudhary that they were getting all facilities in time. She said around 1600 crore had been spent on the welfare of these karamcharis.

Dr Kirpal Singh Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said two schools were being run on the PAU campus for educating children of these karamcharis. Besides, free medical facilities were being provided to them in the PAU hospital. Dr Aulakh presented a bouquet to Ms Choudhary.

Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mayor, Mr S. K. Sharma, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, Dr Sarjit Singh Gill, Director of Extension Education and Director of Research, Dr A.P.S.Mann, Dean, College of Basic Sciences and Humanities, Dr V. K. Sharma, Registrar, Dr V. R. Sharma, Estate Officer-cum-Chief Engineer, Dr M. K.Dhillon, Dean, College of Home Science and Dr Lal Singh Brar, Director Students’ Welfare, were also present on the occasion. 



Senior Citizens Conclave launches projects
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 25
The Senior Citizens’ Conclave here formed barely four months ago by senior retired civil, military officers and prominent businessmen of the city with the objective of serving society launched its social welfare activities with a bang during its general body meeting last evening.

On an appeal by its President, Mr Karkara, IAS (Retd), the members donated money on the spot to give scholarships and financial assistance to 20 needy students belonging to poor families.

The meeting was held at Rotary Bhavan, Sarabha Nagar, and was attended by Mr Prem Nath Gupta, president, Nehru Sidhant Kendar Trust, and patron of the Senior Citizens Conclave.

On a proposal moved by Mr Prem Aggarwal, vice- president of the conclave, it was also decided to give financial aid to Bal Bhavan at Sarabha Nagar and Vridh Ashram in Model Town Extension.

It was also decided to make amendments in the constitution of the organisation to highlight its charitable nature.

Dr S.B. Khurana, member of the SCC and former principal of Dayanand Medical College & Hospital, Mr Lajpat Rai an eminent eye specialist, gave talk on healthy living.

Dr Amarjit Singh and Dr Harbans Singh spoke about the quarterly newsletter for members proposed to be brought out by September 1, 2005. Mrs Neelam Khosla and Dr O.P. Takkar entertained the members with melodious songs and Dr Kewal Dheer and Dr S.B. Bangia recited couplets.



INTUC pleads for open darbars
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
The Indian National Trade Union Congress(INTUC) has urged Capt Amarinder Singh and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Shamsher Singh Dullo to restart open darbars at the district headquarters for redressal of public grievances.

INTUC Punjab president Balwant Rai Kapoor, vice-president Sunder Lal Mehta and general secretary Shiv Gupta said in a press note that INTUC had submitted a memorandum to the government regarding this.

Restarting open darbars would not only add to public convenience, but would also improve the government’s image.

It also said that the MLAs, MPs, civil servants and government officials should declare their assets and liabilities for greater transparency in administration.

Members of the Congress said cases of corruption should be made public and quick action be taken against those found guilty. They also demanded that INTUC members be nominated to various government committees.



Faith makes them perform daring feats
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 25
Many a South Indian has settled in the walled city of Ludhiana. Though a new generation of South Indians have sprung up, they have not forgotten their rites and rituals. They take out religious processions dedicated to Mariamma regularly.

They are devotees of Mariamma, also known as Sheetla Mata. They revere Her deeply and have such a faith in Her that they can perform feats that otherwise seem unimaginable. On Sunday, they took out a procession in honour of their deity from Daresi Grounds. Many had pierced their cheeks with iron rods. On enquiring, they said neither did they feel any pain nor did they develop any wounds after removing rods from their cheeks. They fast for a few days before the great day.

A slightly built man in the procession had hooks put into his back. Shankar, a 45-year-old man pulled a Maruti car tied with rope and looped into those hooks. They are also training their children to perform these unique feats of faith.

They have even inspired some Punjabis to perform such feats and surprisingly they also participate in these rituals and take part in these processions. 



Insane woman finds home in ashram
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, July 25
Bhoori, an insane girl, apparently from Uttar Pradesh, is about six months pregnant.
She was spotted outside the Nishkam Sewa Ashram by the gateman. He said he noticed her loitering around carelessly without anything covering her body. She did not even fear him when he went near her. Later, he found that she was insane.

He handed her over to the female attendants of the ashram. They found it difficult to make her wear clothes. She was not able to understand the local language and refused to talk to anyone initially.

But after she found that she was being taken care of by the attendants, she opened up.

She would speak in Hindi with UP ascent. She even disclosed the name of her father as Megha.

According to Mr Shrawan Kumar Sharma of the Nishkam Ashram, they are trying to establish her identity. Since the girl is not in her senses she is not able to tell her residential address.

Conversation with her during the last few days only suggests that she has been raped by someone who would tell her that he would marry her.



Engineers condemn attack on JE
Kuldip Bhatia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 25
The Council of Junior Engineers of Punjab State Electricity Board (Central Zone) has condemned the acid attack on a junior engineer at Kot Kapura on Saturday by an infuriated consumer whose ‘kundi’ connection was removed by the PSEB official during an enforcement drive.

In a statement here today, Mr Sukhwinder Singh, president of the association, called upon the state government and the PSEB authorities to provide a comprehensive safety net to the staff entrusted with the task of enforcement and checking power theft.

He said PSEB employees had been working round the clock to provide uninterrupted power to the agricultural sector during the paddy season and such a heinous act would affect the morale and day-to-day working of the staff.

The council further asked the government to take stern action against the accused persons to check recurrence of such acts in future.



“Suvidha Camp” today
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 25
The Sub Divisional Magistrate, Raikot, has called upon residents of the Sudhar Kanungo area to avail of the facilities available at “Suvidha Camp” being organised at Guru Hargobind Khalsa College Sudhar tomorrow.

The camp will be presided over by Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana. Separate counters would be installed for various public dealing works, including issue of revenue record (farads), caste/ resident certificates, issue and renewal of ration cards, domestic and agricultural power connections, birth and death certificate, learner’s driving licence, water connection, passport and arms licence documents, employment inquiries, disability certificates and regularisation of old-age or widow pension cases.

Officials of at least 24 departments would be present for on-the-spot disposal of cases. 



Tributes to Udham Singh

Ludhiana, July 25
The 65th martyrdom of Shaheed-e-Azam Udham Singh will be commemorated by the Shaheed Udham Singh Memorial Trust here on July 31 at the Pensioners’ Bhavan.
The secretary-general of the trust, Dr Jaswant Singh Chamak, said chairman, G.R.D. Group of Academics as well as the Nirwana Club, Mr Raja Singh, would be the chief guest.

Mr Gian Singh Thind from Canada, well-known poet and economist, Dr Gurmukh Singh Gill from the USA, the Principal of G.R.D. Academy, Mr Gurshaminder Singh Jagpal, and Mr Baldev Singh Pandhu from Jalalabad would be the Guests of Honour. OC



Coop Bank chief election today
Iqbal Singh

Khanna, July 25
Hectic activities have been started by both the SAD and the Congress to get their man for the post of Chairman, Primary Cooperative Agricultural Land Development Bank, Khanna, elected. The election for the post of Chairman and three other posts is scheduled for tomorrow.

The election for the six Directors for the bank was held last month. The Akali Dal won four seats and the Congress two.

The Congress is trying to get the support of at least one Akali director.

Beside the Congress, factionalism in the Akali Dal is also creating problems. Sources said due to pressure from both sides, a senior local Akali leader had sent all four Directors to a secret place in Chandigarh.

Sources also said many local Akali leaders had visited the place and held meetings with the Directors.

Many Akali leaders had visited senior Akali leader and former MP Bibi Satwinder Kaur Dhaliwal at her residence in Chandigarh to chalk out a plan for the election of the Chairman.


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