L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Riot victims, parties hold protests
Tribune News Service

Activists of the Sikh Students’s Federation and victims of the riots hold a protest in Ludhiana on Tuesday
Activists of the Sikh Students’s Federation and victims of the riots hold a protest in Ludhiana on Tuesday. — Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, August 9
Widespread demonstrations were held here today in protest against the ‘inaction’ of the Congress led-United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre on the recommendations of the Nanavati Commission that probed the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi.

Separate demonstrations were held by the riot victims, the activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Sikh Students Federation and the Youth Akali Dal.

The BJP activists burnt an effigy of the Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, holding her responsible for shielding the main culprits like Mr Jagdish Tytler.

The riot victims, accompanied by activists of the SSF and its president, Mr Gurcharan Singh Grewal, staged a dharna at Sherpur Chowk. They blocked traffic on the GT road. They were holding banners and placards. They burnt the effigies of the three main accused, including Tytler, Bhagat and Sajjan Kumar. They accused the Congress-led UPA government for deliberately shielding the culprits.

Mr Grewal alleged that the Congress had once again proved that it had scant respect for the sentiments of the people. He observed it was a test of the sincerity of the Congress towards the Sikhs whose wounds were yet to be healed. “Instead of healing their wounds, these have been reopened”, he regretted.

A separate demonstration was held by BJP activists. They burnt an effigy of the Congress president. They alleged that it was at the behest of Ms Gandhi that the main culprits, who had been found guilty by the commission, were not being punished.

They warned that this would prove dear to the Congress as it had lost the trust of the Sikhs across the country and in Punjab in particular.

Former Deputy Speaker and senior BJP leader Satpal Gosain, in a separate statement, alleged that the Congress had never shown interest in punishing the guilty. This only proved that the riots were planned and organised at the behest of the Congress.

A separate demonstration was held by activists of the rural unit of the youth wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal. Led by former district rural youth president Inder Mohan Singh Kadyan, held a protest demonstration at the Jalandhar bypass.

Former minister and the general secretary of the Shiormani Akali Dal regretted the inaction of the Central Government in punishing the guilty.

In a statement, Mr Grewal said although the Nanavati Commission failed to deliver justice to the victims of the 1984 carnage, even then it had indicted senior Congress leaders like Jagdish Tytler.

He regretted that the action taken report of the government was mere eyewash and had exposed the “secular” credentials of the Congress.

Mr Grewal pointed out the killers of Ms Indira Gandhi had already been punished. Those found involved in the attack on Parliament had also been punished. “Can the Congress government explain as to why the killers of thousands of Sikhs must not be punished in a similar way”, he asked.

Samrala: The Central Government has humiliated the Sikhs and has hurt the sentiments of more than 4,000 Sikh families who had been looking for justice since they lost their members, business and everything in the anti-Sikh riots in 1984. After the revelations in the Nanavati Commission’s report on the riots in Delhi and other parts of the country, it is clear that the killers were sheltered by the then government. These views were expressed by Mr Rupinder Singh Mundi, national general secretary of the Shiromani Youth Akali Dal (B) at the local civil rest house today.

Mr Mundi said the Sikh Panth had no hope of justice from the government at the Centre headed by Mr Manmohan Singh because it was a group of ‘criminals’ like Mr Jagdish Titler and Mr Sajjan Kumar. He said the SAD was an organisation which represented the sentiments of the Khalsa Panth. As such it was deeply shocked by the action taken report of the Central Government.

The SAD would continue its struggle until the Sikhs don’t get justice, he said, adding that the anti-Panthic role of Mr Manmohan Singh and Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab, had been proved.

Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhaini Sahib, Mr Sukhdev Singh Mithowal, Mr Davinder Singh Bajwa, Mr Gurnam Singh, all office-bearers of the SYAD, were accompanying Mr Mundi.



Flag sellers cash in on patriotic zeal
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Schoolgirls carry the Tricolour as part of preparations for the Independence Day
CELEBRATING THE SPIRIT OF INDEPENDENCE: Schoolgirls carry the Tricolour as part of preparations for the Independence Day.
— A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, August 9
With the Independence Day less than a week away. The Tricolour sale has recorded an all-time high.
Not only the state run Khadi Bhandar in Chaura Bazar has witnessed good sale, but many other shops are doing brisk business.

Almost all stationery shops are selling the Tricolour in different sizes ranging from Rs 10 to Rs 100. City markets are literally wearing a Tricolour look going by the spirit of shopkeepers to cash on the patriotic spirit of the residents.

Mr Brahm Kumar, a shopkeeper said he had sold a number of flags during the past fortnight. While earlier only school, colleges and government-run offices would to buy flags, now everybody wanted to have a flag on his table or a miniature one in the car.

“The response was such that I had to place an order twice. Even then, people are buying more and more. Even small children are making a beeline for flags, even if they are able to spare just Rs 10 from their pocket money,” he added.

Mr Manjit of Khadi Bhandar in Chaura Bazar said he was getting a lot of customers.

The flags available at Khadi Bhandar are priced between Rs 38 - Rs 596. The cost of various sizes includes Rs 38, Rs 60, Rs 90, Rs 170 and Rs 596. A dealer told Ludhiana Tribune that if the sale continued to pick up, Khadi Bhandar Udyog may increase the production of the flag.

“The Independence Day renews the feeling of patriotism in us every year”, said Ms Sucheta Singla, a resident.

Mr Deepak Kishore, another resident, said he was amazed at the spirit of manufacturers of these flags. “I bought a pair of Tricolour with a double tape on it so that I could fix it on the dashboard of my car.” 



Corruption can’t be wiped out, says Dullo
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 9
Corruption can only be reduced in degrees but can never be wiped out completely, said the President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, whose party which had claimed in its election manifesto to end corruption.

Mr Dullo praises the Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, sacrificing the post of Prime Minister of India and appointing a Sikh as the Prime Minister of country.

He assured that he would struggle for the welfare of state and its masses. He assured the legal fraternity that their problems would be sorted out on a priority basis.

Mr Dullo was addressing the lawyers at a function organised by the District Bar Association here today at District Courts complex. Earlier, he was given a warm welcome by president B.K. Goel.



Two youths hurt in group clash
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 9
At least two youths were injured and a car was damaged in an alleged clash between two groups of students, are affiliated to the Congress and the other to Akali parties at Government College for Boys here today.

Some gunshots were allegedly fired, but no one was hurt. Trouble began when Mr Gurkirat Singh, senior Youth Congress leader, appointed Mr Rajwinder Singh ‘Ravi’ president of the college union at a meeting here today.



Passing Thru

Smriti Irani
Smriti Irani,  television artiste.

Over the years, “Tulsi” has become a household name. How much do you think is Tulsi in reel life different from Smriti Irani in real life?

Some reel life roles are very much like the real life roles. Tulsi is an ideal role that personifies various identities of a woman, who is a mother, a daughter and also a mother-in-law at the same time. To a great degree you can say, it is not much different, or if we put it differently, it is much like a real life role.

Having emerged as an iconic television character, do you feel like going to the big screen?

I may or may not. You never know what the future holds for you. Right now, I feel totally involved with the character of Tulsi. Not that I would decline a good offer from the silver screen. It is not at hand so I do not think much about it. But I do try to devote some time to the theatre as well. Because theatre is a lively experience.

Has your honeymoon with politics come to an abrupt end?

No, it is not like that. I am very much active and involved in politics. However, the involvement varies from time to time. It was more during the elections. I am fully associated with the party and its programmes. But at the same time I cater to my professional demands.

— Vimal Sumbly



Award to Punjab Govt a stunt, says MCPI
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 9
The state committee meeting of the Punjab Marxist Communist Party of India (MCPI) was held here today under the presidentship of Mr Bal Krishan. Prominent members of the state committee from various districts participated.

The state committee of the MCPI described the award given to the Punjab Government as the number one state in governance as a political stunt although it is well-known fact that the government had failed on all fronts and Punjab had come down to the fifth place as far as the per capita income was concerned. 



Quit India Movement Day observed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 9
The District Congress Committee (Urban) and (Rural) and the Youth Congress today observed the Quit India Movement Day by organising a peace march and pledged to follow the path of martyrs.

The peace march started from the local office of the Congress party, situated near Clock Tower under the supervision of Mr Jagmohan Sharma, president DCC (Urban), Mr Harmohinder Singh-president, DCC (Rural), and Mr Dimple Rana-president, Youth Wing.

Mr Tej Prakash Singh, former minister, Mr Avtar Singh Brar, general secretary, Mr Isher Singh, Mr Darshan Singh Brar, Mr Dharamjit Singh Khera also joined the peace march. They paid floral tributes at the statues of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi in front of the Municipal Corporation office and martyrs — Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Sukdev and Rajgura — at Jagraon Bridge.

Freedom fighter Diwan Jagdish Chander was also honoured by the Congressmen on the occasion.



Sapling plantation drive
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 9
As part of community policing, local cops celebrated vanamahotsava by holding a seminar on the significance or ecology and preservation of planet. Over 1,000 sapling of shady and fruit trees were planted at common places, including schools and college.

Addressing the students of Sanatan Vidya Mandir jere, Mr Harjinder Singh and Mr Harinder Singh, SHOs at Sadar and City Police Station, respectively, claimed that the youth of the state could save the environment. They should also adopt saplings planted at various places today. “Mere planting of the saplings would mean nothing to the society. The youth, including students, can ensure the survival of these plants by adopting individual sapling and looking after them till they become self-sustaining,” they added.

Saplings were planted in the grounds of MGMN Senior Secondary School, SVM Senior Secondary School, Janta College for Women, Government Senior Secondary School Kanganwal, Government High School Jandali, Ram Bagh crematorium and crematoria of surrounding villages. 



Lovers attacked at SDM’s office
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 9
A boy and a girl, who had come for registering their marriage at the local SDM’s office, were attacked allegedly by the parents of the girl today. A local youth, Amit Khanna (21) and an Amritsar-based girl Amanpreet Kaur (18), had come to the marriage registration office after their families disapproved their marriage.

Around eight to 10 persons, related to the girl and armed with rods and sharp-edged weapons, attacked the couple outside the office. The girl raised an alarm following which the police and several other persons intervened and saved the girl from being taken away by her parents.

The couple were shouting that the armed persons would kill them.

Later, the couple and the attackers were taken to the Division No. 5 police station. The police was mediating to sort out the matter amicably.



Ex-councillor arrested in caste certificate case
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 9
Acting on a complaint filed by a councillor and advice of the SCBC Welfare Department, the police arrested a former councillor for allegedly getting prepared a caste certificate to get the benefit of reservation for candidates of backward classes in civic body elections held in March 2003. The other accomplices of the accused were yet to be identified.

Claiming to be a BJP leader, the accused said he had been falsely implicated in the case.

According to Mr Harinder Singh Chahal, Senior Superintendent of Police, Sangrur, Kishori Lal Verma, a former municipal councillor, had been arrested by the police after being booked under Sections 420, 419, 198, 465, 468, 471 and 120 B of the IPC.

The accused had been booked on the complaint of Mr Mohamad Yaseen a Congress-supported municipal councillor from ward number 6.Mr Yaseen had objected to the candidature of Mr Verma, who had claimed himself to be belonging to Soni caste that had been declared backward class by the Welfare Department. The candidature of Mr Verma was cancelled by the then SDM Malerkotla and Returning Officer. Mr Yaseen sent a separate complaint for the registration of a criminal case against Mr Verma.

The SSP said that during investigation, Mr Rachhpal Singh, DSP, Malerkotla, had sought clarification about the issue of two certificates, mentioning different castes of the same person. The SCBC Welfare Office at Chandigarh had mentioned that it was illegal to get two certificates issued and the person who had tried to take the advantage of the caste certificate should be dealt with according to law.

Investigations revealed that Mr Verma had got a certificate for swarankar caste, issued by Tehsildar of Malerkotla on June 28, 2002. The same authority issued him another certificate of Soni caste on February 20, 2003.

Mr Verma presented the caste certificate of Soni caste before the returning officer for civic body elected held in March 2003. Though his candidature was cancelled, the complainant urged the police authorities to initiate action against him. 


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