L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Gastroenteritis resurfaces, claims one more life
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 31
Some of the localities are once again reported to be under attack from gastroenteritis with a five-year-old girl, Afsana of Tilak Nagar who was admitted to the Civil Hospital here, having died yesterday. Three other children from the same family have also been affected by the disease.

Almost a dozen colonies in the city had been struck by gastroenteritis and cholera, affecting hundreds of people and claiming a life earlier this month. For the past more than a week, the situation had improved.

According to Dr Manjit Kaur, Senior Medical Officer of the Civil Hospital, nine patients from different parts of the city, were suffering from diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration and were being treated. She said this was routine during such weather conditions. Three siblings of Afsana, she added, had been discharged from the hospital following a request from their parents.

District epidemiologist Ajit Singh Chawla said medical teams and supporting staff of the Health Department had visited the Tilak Nagar locality after cases of gastroenteritis were reported from the area. While the residents complained that the disease had been caused by the supply of contaminated water, it was a fact that the sanitation level of the locality was abysmal.

Dr Chawla said some residents of the area, who showed mild symptoms of the disease were given medicines and people were apprised of preventive measures against water-borne diseases.

Local hospitals and private nursing homes have also recorded an increase in the number of out-patients seeking treatment for gastroenteritis and other related problems.

The steps initiated by the district administration to monitor the quality of drinking water, have failed to have any impact if the reports of water samples in the recent past are any indication. It has been learnt that more than 80 per cent of the samples, taken from different localities, had failed the chlorination test while almost 40 percent had found to be unfit for consumption.



Udham Singh trust seeks probe into land allotment row
Land for martyr’s memorial given to club
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
Resolving to erect a memorial of Shaheed-e-Azam Udham Singh, trustees of the Ludhiana-based Udham Singh Memorial Trust today decided to take their years’ old battle to a logical conclusion on the 65th martyrdom day of Udham Singh here.

Deciding to knock at the doors of the Local Bodies Minister, Ch. Jagjit Singh, the trust said it would demand an independent inquiry into the controversial issue of land allotted to a local club which was earmarked for setting up a memorial and a library in the memory of the martyr.

Dr Jaswant Singh Chamak, secretary general of the trust, addressing a gathering at the martyrdom day function, said they had already made representations to the Chief Ministers, asking them to restore the land to them, no headway had been made into the case. The 1500 square feet at Udham Singh Nagar was at present in possession of a club.

Dr Chamak claimed that at the time when Udham Singh Nagar was created, the plot was reserved for raising his memorial which had remained unoccupied for a long time.

‘‘We will intensify our efforts to get the piece of land for the memorial. It should have been provided in Udham Singh Nagar by now. But who cares? A library in his name is at present being run from a rented building,’’ he added.

Dr Chamak stated that he had written a letter to the Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, regarding the issue, who had marked an inquiry to the Local Bodies Department, a copy of which was sent to him also. He said, he did not know anything about the inquiry. He alleged that as the club was of the rich and the matter was, perhaps, never taken up.

While paying rich tributes to the martyr on the occasion of the Shaheed’s martyrdom day today, the trustees urged upon the Chairman of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust to hand over the piece of land to its rightful owners and help in raising a community hall, a library and a dispensary in the name of the martyr who had shot dead the perpetrator of the Jallianwallah Bagh massacre, General Michael O’ Dyer.

Improvement Trust officials had been claiming that sources in the Improvement Trust, however, said in revenue records the land was given to the Lion’s Club in 1970 and since then it had been its sole occupant.

Meanwhile, Mr Raja Singh, chief guest on the occasion, unveiled the picture of the pistol of Udham Singh, which fired shots at General Dyer on March 13, 1940. This pistol was now lying in New Scotland Yard Black Museum, London.

A free medical and dental check-up camp was organised at Gurudwara Nanaksar here where Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi, Parliamentary Secretary, inaugurated the camp. Another function was organised at Jawahar Nagar camp where Mr Dimple Rana, a Congress leader, paid rich tributes to the martyr.



Admn for 2 barriers on Dhuri line
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
The district administration has reportedly recommended two railway barriers instead of one to avoid confrontation between two groups of residents, seeking barriers at different places on Dhuri line.

With this recommendation, the administration has wriggled out of the controversy by putting the ball in the court of the Railways Department, which will take the final decision in this regard. A senior official of the administration wishing not to be quoted said there have been precedents where railway barriers have been erected within a distance of few hundred metres.

The dispute over the selection of the site for erecting a railway barrier at an unmanned crossing near Bhai Himmat Singh Nagar continues even as officials of the Northern Railway and the district administration had announced that the barrier would come up at the unmanned crossing where an accident took place yesterday.

An action committee of a section of residents that were demanding the barrier at the 66-feet road connecting Himmat Singh Nagar and Guru Tegh Bahadur Nagar have stated that they will not allow the same at the site announced yesterday.

The administration had been in the centre of controversy for the past few months when it had recommended that the barrier should be set up at the unmanned crossing.

A group of residents of Guru Tegh Bahadur Colony , Baba Deep Singh Nagar and several other colonies had even staged a demonstration and stopped the Ludhiana-Hisar train for several hours blaming the action committee and the administration for delaying the setting up of the barrier which led to the accident.



Register trade unions: Yechury
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
The Honda incident would not have occurred if Honda Motors and Scooters India had a registered trade union to ensure smooth communication between workers and the management, said CPM leader Sita Ram Yechury while addressing a district rally of CITU here today.

Demanding the registration of all trade unions across the country, he said if the government failed to do so “we are not to be blamed if the situation goes out of hand.”

Mr Yechury said registration of trade unions would not only give workers their due rights, but also ensure a cordial industrial environment.

On the impact of the Gurgaon incident on foreign investment, he said there was no reason to worry as “cordial industrial environment prevailed in the country.”

Mr Balwant Singh, state secretary, of the CPM, said previous governments had time and again said they were approaching NRIs for investment “but the key issue is what are they doing with the money of local Punjabis that is deposited in banks. Only 27 per cent of the money is used in Punjab, the remaining 73 per cent goes out of the state,” he alleged.

CITU, meanwhile, submitted a memorandum to the registrar of trade unions, demanding registration of trade unions. The association said the existing labour laws in Punjab had failed to protect the interests of the working class.

Mr Raghunath Singh, general secretary, CITU, Punjab, demanded that the Lal Jhanda Hero Cycle Mazdoor Union, Ludhiana, Lal Jhanda Rockman Cycle Mazdoor Union, Ludhiana, and Lal Jhanda (Mangli Division) Hero Cycles Workers Union, Ludhiana, be registered and a registration certificate issued to them within 15 days. He threatened to launch an agitation if the department failed to do so.

Mr Sukhwinder Sekhon, secretary of the district committee of the CPM, and Mr Lambhar Singh Taggar, senior leader of the CPM Punjab unit, also addressed the rally.



Postal worker held for fraud
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 31
A woman postal employee, who duped about 18 saving account holders of Rs 10.62 lakh ultimately fell in the police trap. Miss Jyoti Bala, 27, a resident of Moga and employed in the Head Post Office, Jagraon, used to enter the amount in passbooks of account holder but did not show the entries in the computer for the past about one year.

The fraud came to fore when she had absented herself from duty since July 15 and an alternative arrangement was made. When the account holders came to withdraw amounts but the entries of their passbook did not tally with that of the computer. A case under Sections 409 and 420, IPC, was registered Mr Hari Mitter, SI was asked to enquire the matter.

The police recovered Rs 20,000, a computer, jewellery and a mobile set from her. It was further revealed that Jyoti had opened a joint account with her brother in which Rs 1.15 lakh stood deposited. Rs 3,32,000 also deposited in her accounts. 



Passing Thru

Sangeeta Ghosh
Sangeeta Ghosh, TV actress

Do you enjoy your visits to Ludhiana?

Very much so. This is my third visit to Ludhiana. I come to the city as the people here are warm and loving and they keep inviting me and I just cannot help but respond to their invitations. Last time when Tanishq had invited me, they had given me a banana cake. It was so nice that when I am in the city, I ask every one to look for that cake!

It has been noticed that you like to work with Aroona Irani.

Yes! I have developed an excellent rapport with her working in her serials. She is such an inspiring person that she makes you give your best. She is on the sets doing hundred things from direction to acting. I just finished working with her in “Des Mein Nikla Hoga Chand” and now I am acting in her serial “Rabba Ishq Na Hove”. It was a wonderful experience shooting in foreign countries.

How do you rate your serials?

I think they are very watchable by the entire family. Aroonaji and we all are very particular that we do not show any vulgarity that may offend the sensibilities of the family while watching the serial together.

— Asha Ahuja



Ludhiana Calling

Teej celebrations have gripped college-going girls, ladies clubs and schoolchildren. Whether the festival is actually celebrated remains a debate, but one section that seems to be affected most by the fervour of it is little girls who enjoy the most. From getting dressed up traditionally, wearing jewellery to having malpuas, Teej sure brings joy to all.

‘Naming’ game: After the unceremonious exit of the district president of the Youth Congress, it seems to be the turn of the president of the District Congress Committee to be replaced which was imminent after the new PPCC chief took over. Functionaries of the Congress here say that more often than not, the names doing the rounds for any post are the last to be considered. Several of them did not want that their names should be mentioned in stories. Some others insisted that “so and so” should be mentioned among the front-runners so as to minimise their chances!

Technology bane: While euphoria over the benefit of technology continues, people have started getting a taste of the bane of technology. Mobile phones, in case of which complaints range from poor network to over-billing, credit cards that are misused, to banks where ATM snags are giving residents sleepless nights, the list seems to be only increasing. A large number of complaints are received from people who go to withdraw money using an ATM card and are debited twice. In several cases, banks show their helplessness stating that such snags could even take a month to rectify. The misuse of credit cards also continues. Says an irked resident, “If they cannot have a foolproof system, why do they go for such technological upgradations that they cannot handle?”

Pig menace: Pigs are a menace for residents of Sarabha Nagar. They enter green belts developed by residents outside their houses and start digging into the earth. The lush lawns are spoiled by the pigs. The residents say that they cannot put iron gates around the green belts as it would amount to encroachment.

Tailpiece: At a restaurant, Sentinel heard two men insisting on footing the bill. One said he would pay and the other said he would pay the bill. They argued for a very long time, until another customer, tired of the noise, said “stop”. Both were surprised and then said sheepishly: “Actually we are ‘jeeja’ and ‘sala’ and hence the insistence!” — Sentinel



Suicide in custody: SSP refutes charges
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 31
The Khanna district police chief has termed the reports regarding suicide by a detainee in the police custody as misleading as the deceased had come to the Malaudh chowki willingly.

He has also refuted the charges levelled by some leaders of SAD and the CPI that the police had acted on the behest of a Congress MLA while registering a case against the President of Nagar Panchayat, Malaudh, and two others.

Mr Naunihal Singh, SSP, Khanna, claimed that Surinder Kumar of Malaudh, who had been reported to have committed suicide in the police custody, was not brought to the chowki by the police.

“The reports were true to the extent that he committed suicide inside the premises of the chowki by piercing his chest with a piece of glass. He had come there in connection with a complaint lodged by some residents of the town against him,” said Mr Naunihal Singh.

Briefing about the progress of investigation, Mr Singh said, besides calling for a magisterial inquiry he had deputed Mr Darshan Singh Mann, SP, to supervise the investigations. The post-mortem had been conducted by doctors and the viscera had been sent to the state Forensic Laboratory for chemical examination. All concerned with the investigation had been videographed and details sent to the National Human Rights Commission, Delhi, claimed the SSP.

Reacting to the allegations levelled by some leaders of SAD and the CPI, he claimed that the case had been registered on the basis of the statement of Raj Kumar, son of the deceased. We could not ignore the allegations levelled by members of the aggrieved family and registered a case under the IPC,” argued Mr Singh.

The Malaudh police had registered an FIR under section 306 against Mr Sanjiv Puri, President Nagar Panchayat, Malaudh, Toni and Noni for allegedly abetting Surinder Kumar to commit suicide. Surinder had killed himself by piercing his chest with a piece of glass in presence of a large number of persons who had come to the chowki in connection with a dispute on Friday.



August 13 to be observed as Anti-Dowry Day
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 31
“The women can claim Rs 3,000 if they are contesting a case in the high court and Rs 2,000 for a legal battle in lower courts under the Dowry (Prohibition) Act, but very few women know about it,” said Mr R.L. Kalsia, Principal Secretary, Social Security, Woman and Child Development.

He was in the city as the chief guest of a function organised by the Nishkam Sewa Ashram.

Talking to the media, he said, “We have brought in a lot of changes in the Dowry (Prohibition) Act. New anti-dowry rules came into existence on August 13, 2004. Hence from this year, August 13 will be observed as Anti-Dowry Day every year. On this day, the people will be told of the new developments in settling marital dispute cases.

We are also going to involve registered NGOs like the Red Cross the Nishkam Sewa Ashram and others. In November, a Lok Adalat would be held in which judges from Supreme Court, and high courts would settle dowry cases. We expect to solve 250 cases this way.”

The marital disputes would now be directly reported to the SDM and not to the police. The statements of both parties would be recorded and an inquiry conducted.

Finally, the case would be submitted to the Chief Judicial Magistrate who would decide on it under Section 498-A of the IPC.



Liquor, mobile phones killers on road: report
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 31
Driving under the influence of liquor and using mobile phone while on wheel were the two main reasons for road accidents during recent years, according to a study conducted by the District Sangrur Traffic Control Society headed by Mr Harinder Singh Chahal, Senior Superintendent of Police. The study disclosed that leniency by the traffic police resulted in an increase in road accidents.

Mr Chahal stated that 412 persons had died due to accidents in Sangrur district during three years, commencing January 1, 2002. The number of deaths increased from 123 in 2002 to 155 in 2004. This number was inversely proportional to a decrease in the number of challans issued in 2002 i.e. 19,508 to 12,106 in 2004.

Mr Chahal further said smoking, chatting and fun making during long drives were some other reasons for accidents. Stating unchecked driving by teenagers to be most dangerous, Mr Chahal claimed that the highest death toll was reported in age group of 15 to 45 years.

Showing concern over the increasing threat to life due to the traffic chaos the SSP warned that the number of accidents in India had risen from 2,20,000 in 1996 to around 3,00,000 per annum now. This had brought our country atop the list of accident-prone nations. Having only 1 per cent of world’s vehicle our death share stood at 6 per cent of the world toll.

“A survey undertaken in 68 countries of the world revealed that 35 Indians died per 10,000 number of vehicles annually in comparison to 1.6 deaths in Japan and 2.6 in America for the same number of vehicles,” added Mr Chahal. More than 80,000 persons died in our country every year, making the toll 6 per cent of the total world death toll. Property worth Rs 700 crore was destroyed in accidents annually.

Mr Harinder Singh SHO at local police station and secretary of the society, said a special team for creating awareness among masses about traffic safety had been constituted by the police chief.

“With a view to creating awareness among youngsters special lectures had been delivered in high and senior secondary schools and volunteer students accompanied traffic control teams,” elaborated Mr Harinder Singh on the issue.

Local Sanatan Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, MGMN Senior Secondary School and Government Senior Secondary School, Kanganwal, were involved in campaign against traffic violators, the SHO claimed.



Suvidha—a successful experiment
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, July 31
Suvidha, a facility created by the district administration to help people in meeting their day-to-day needs, has proved successful. Under this facility, preparation of affidavits, driving licences, passports, renewal of arms licences and getting copies of different official documents has become easy.

The preparation of affidavits, in particular, has become an easy job now. Earlier, the deponents had to run to different persons, including lawyers, for getting the verification done and people had to pay heavy amount for the same. Now they have to just pay Rs 20 for the affidavit which is attested by an Executive Magistrate. The deponent has to simply file the affidavit on a stamp paper of Rs 15 and he need not go in search of a lawyer and find an ‘agent’ to get verification done.

The district administration has fixed 14 identification documents and presentation of only one of these helps in getting the affidavit attested in a few minutes. These 14 documents include ration card, income tax PAN number, voter’s identity card, driving licence, service identity card issued to the employees by the state and Central governments, public sector undertakings, local bodies or other private industrial houses, passport, student identity card issued by any recognised educational institution, railway identification card, freedom fighter identity card and arms licence. For SC/ST and OBCs, the certificates issued by the government, and for ex-servicemen, the cards issued by the Sainik Board are valid for verification.

Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma said seven computerised counters had been setup at the Suvidha where the affidavits were attested by an Executive Magistrate.

Out of these seven counters, two were reserved for women. An affidavit took just five minutes for attestation.

Mr Verma said there was a provision for a photograph of the deponent on the back of the affidavit to check impersonation.

The system would also help in eliminating the ‘nambardar’ who puts his signatures on documents in order to identify the persons during the purchase and sale of land deeds.

Suvidha, also deals with routine jobs of people such as getting arms licences renewed, filing of applications for passports and arms licences. The facility is working like a single-window system, according to the DC.

According to Mr Verma more than 500 affidavits are attested daily and more than 30,000 affidavits have been attested under this facility since the launching of the scheme in April, 2005.



Suvidha camp on August 5

Samrala, July 31
The Suvidha camp at Machhiwara which will be presided over by the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, Mr Anurag Verma, will be held on August 5 and not 4 on August as published in the Ludhiana Tribune, according to Mr Baldev Singh, SDM, Samrala, here today. All necessary arrangements to solve the problems of 38 villages falling in Machhiwara kanungo had been made, Mr Baldev Singh added. OC



Rs 10 lakh relief sought for accident victims
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
The Lal Bahadur Shashtri Social Forum has demanded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each for the victims of yesterday’s train-car collision at an unmanned level crossing near Himmat Singh Nagar, while announcing it would call on Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav to install barriers at all such level crossings.

The forum expressed grief over the death of three persons in the collision. The president of the forum, Mr Sushil Malhotra, Dr Shiv Guptaa, secretary-general, have conveyed their condolence to the aggrieved families. The forum had submitted a memorandum to Mr Yadav, saying that this unmanned level crossing had caused many accidents.

Forum members and representatives of various social organisations will urge Mr Yadav to install barriers at such crossings in Ludhiana district. These include those at Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Rajguru Nagar, Threeke village and some in Jagraon tehsil.



Dharna against poor maintenance
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
Activists of the Civil Lines Young Society today staged a dharna in the Kitchlu Nagar market against non-functional fountains and poor maintenance of parks in the area. They said if the complaints weren’t looked into, they would gherao the Mayor.

Led by Mr Sandeep Kapoor, Chairman of the society, the residents claimed that they had submitted complaints to the area councillor a number of times but nothing had happened.

They said the parks were actually fields of wild vegetation and the fountain in the market had not worked for a day since it was installed. Rainwater had collected near the fountains and was a breeding place for mosquitoes.



The legendary samosa shop
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, July 31
Samosa, a popular snack of northern India, is available at innumerable places throughout the city. From hotels to roadside shops, this fried snack can be had with a variety of chutneys and masala chana. But Kalia Sweet Shop outside Government College for Boys is the only shop in the city where hot samosas are served with curd though chutney is also available on demand.

It was opened by the late Amin Chand Kalia in 1919. The shop attracts college students and others alike. In the pre-Partition days, the shop was a favourite haunt of Sahir Ludhianvi, then a student of Government College when Mr Harvey was the college principal.

Stung by the popularity of Amin Chand’s samosas, many other samosa-makers tried to follow suit but in vain Mr Amin Chand would not let out his secret recipe even to the best of his pals.

After the Partition Amin Chand started getting letters from Pakistan by Muslim students of Government College who had opted to live in that country. Each of these letters contained requests for the secret recipe of the famed samosas, but Amin Chand would only write back to say that he used salt and pepper, which was available in Pakistan too.

During the pre-Partition days, Amin Chand had employed Muslim servants at the college tuck shop. Two of them- Mohammad Ali and Shamin- later migrated to Lahore. Both made a good fortune there. They came to India in 1965 to meet Amin Chand. With tears rolling down their cheeks, they expressed gratitude to him for having saved the lives of three Muslim girls during the Partition mayhem, sheltering them and later uniting them with their parents in Pakistan.

Mr Lekh Raj Kalia, 66, who has inherited his father’s business, recalls the emotional bond Sahir had with the shop. Whenever he came to the city from Bombay, he would come to the shop, hug his father and say” “ Panditji, I am hungry. Where are your samosas”.

Amin Chand would then serve him hot samosas with curd and garam masala.



Marriages of poor girls solemnised
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 31
Maa Bhagwati Club arranged the marriages of three poor girls at Shri Guru Singh Gurdwara here today. The president of the Club, Mr Ashwani Sikka, and other members of the club were present to give their blessings to the couples.

The couples were given household articles. The parents of the couples were happy as they had fixed the engagements but had no funds for the marriage.



Chemists warned against sale of intoxicants

Samrala, July 31
A march comprising 42 vehicles was taken out recently under the banner of Samaj Chetna Forum to warn chemists against sale of drugs and intoxicants to youths.

The march went to chemist shops at Chablan, Nilon, Mehdoodan, Bagli, Bardhalan, Rajewal, Kulewal, Otalan, Gharkhanan Manki, Barwali, Khamanon, Hedon, Jatana, Toderpur, Sihala and Balion villages. Mr Balbir Singh Rajewal, who led the march, said their next target would be drug inspectors and CMOs of the state who would also be issued a warning in this regard. OC


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 |