L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


  Construction of elevated road leads to traffic chaos
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 4
Today was a day of traffic chaos near the Damoria bridge here as traffic remained blocked throughout the day following closure of the Mata Rani chowk for the construction of the elevated road.

Long queues of vehicles gave a tough time to cops, who remained on their toes to clear the jam. The Damoria bridge road, the Arya College road and the Deepak Cinema road were the worst affected areas and it was near impossible for anybody to cross the road even on foot.

While the cops had to divert the traffic for sometime, there was no respite for the commuters, who had to wait for more than half an hour to cross the bridge. The chaos prevailed till evening.

Policemen said traffic on the old GT Road towards the Jalandhar side was diverted near the Damoria bridge.

The bridge is known for traffic jams. There is not even a single day when the traffic flows smoothly.

The major causes of traffic jams at this point is the narrow road and unchecked flow of traffic from other sides. Encroachments on both sides of the road also lead to the jams.

“It is not a day’s problem. We have to face it everyday. If you have to reach your destination in time, leave home at least half an hour in advance. I have never found this place free from traffic chaos,” said a shopkeeper in Bhadaur House.

The life is very difficult for the commuters, who have to reach the Bhadaur House market, the Clock Tower market, the Air-Conditioned market and Phillaur, as they have no other option but pass through the bridge every time.



Timely help saves accident victims
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 4
Timely help by passersby and a rescue team of the local police saved precious lives of two youths who were hurt seriously when their car collided with a tempo near Kup village on the Malerkotla-Ludhiana road yesterday.

The Sangrur district police has sought a report on the rescue operation so that the facilitator might be honoured as announced earlier.

Sukhwinder Singh, son of Mr Gurmukh Singh of Ludhiana, and Nachhatar Singh, son of Mr Bhajan Singh were hurt seriously when a speeding Tata 407 (PB 10 B 3888) hit the car (temporary number PB 10 BB 2421).

Residents of the area informed Mr Balwinder Singh, SHO, at Sadar Police Station, who immediately pressed a rescue van into operation and got the injured shifted to Civil Hospital, Malerkotla. Though the condition of the injured was stated to be out of danger by the doctors, they were declared fit to make a statement.

The victims were returning to Ludhiana after attending a marriage at Malerkotla, it was learnt.

Mr Rachhpal Singh, DSP Malerkotla, who supervised the rescue operations, said a case under appropriate sections of the IPC would be registered against the accused after the victims were declared fit for making a statement.



Cong set to gain from ‘palki’ march
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, December 4
The procession from Delhi to Nankana Sahib with Guru Granth Sahib in the golden palki has left a trail of questions in Sikh politics. Sukhbir Singh Badal has tried to take advantage of the absence of the Sarna brothers from Delhi and successfully got a notice issued by the general secretary of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) regarding the holding of the annual election of the office-bearers without caring for the reaction by Sikhs who accorded a warm reception to the procession in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana.

Mr. Avtar Singh hit, president of the SAD (Badal) in Delhi, candidate for the presidentship of the DSGMC, has claimed that they will remove Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna from the presidentship of the DSGMC. On the other hand the Sarna brothers were not caught unawares. They were conscious of the designs and dangers that could be caused by their absence from Delhi. But they also knew that such a huge event could be managed only by their presence in the nagar kirtan throughout.

Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab, while extending cooperation to the nagar kirtan, was conscious of the Sikh psyche and kept himself away from any controversy. While reacting to the boycott by the Akali Dal (Badal), he said the tragedy was that they did not think as ordinary devotees. “They wanted to manage Sikhism which was unbecoming.”

The turnout of Sikhs along the GT Road from Delhi to Wagah border was so impressive that the Akali rank and file felt that the boycott had gone unresponded by the Sikhs and it seemed that the threat to Sarnas’s position came only as a consequence of this fact. That is why political observers think that this may not prove to be a real threat.

The younger Sarna, Harvinder Pal Singh, on his immediate return from Pakistan tried to clear the clouds by saying that the general secretary could not issue the notice as per provisions of the Delhi Gurdwara Management Act. This was followed by the threat given by elder Sarna, Mr Paramjit Singh, that he would call general elections to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee in March. These moves are likely to put the Badal Akali Dal as well as Sikhs in Delhi to serious thinking. It has to be seen how the situation develops.

Another unhealthy aspect of the nagar kirtan episode was the role of the Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, who appealed to Sikhs not to participate in the nagar kirtan. As head of the supreme temporal authority of the Sikhs and as a religious leader, he should not have indulged in such a controversy because this was a purely religious procession. The Jathedar of the Akal Takht should stop proving his loyalty to individuals and work as a true servant of the Sikhs. Captain Amarinder Singh seems to have earned mileage out of the palki affair. He has tried to project himself as a devoted Sikh and has also tried to appease the Sikh sentiment by repeatedly demanding that Amritsar-Nankana Sahib bus service should become a reality before long. He went out of the way to request his Pakistani counterpart, Mr Parvez Elahi to move in the matter. Captain Amarinder Singh feels confident, as of now, that he will be able to wean away the peripheral Sikh votes from the Akali Dal and he is in perfect election mode now.

The Akali Dal, meanwhile continues to dither. Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, president, SGPC, at one time declared that he recognised the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. But he was quick to retreat the next day.

He assured all support and help to the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in restoration of maryada in all Sikh shrines in Pakistan. However, Mr Prakash Singh Badal has preferred to remain silent on the entire palki affair.

Beyond doubt it can be said that both Akalis and the Congress are keeping their eyes on elections to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in 2007 and every event in Punjab is looked upon from this perspective. Will the Congress be able to erode the Akali vote with the Chief Minister presenting himself as a devoted Sikh remains the million dollar question.



Setback to efforts to solve businessman’s murder
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 4
The special police team formed to investigate the brutal murder of octogenarian high-profile businessman, Prem Nath Devgun, owner of MEFA Needles manufacturing unit, is struggling hard to unravel the complexities of the latter's relationships, especially with women, and the tumult it caused in his life as well as after his death.

The importance of the relationships has surfaced following the tracing of a Will, prepared by Devgun in 1999, in which he had named Vikram and Yashpal, sons from his first marriage, as the main beneficiaries.

Initially, the police suspicion had turned towards his second wife, Kulwant Kaur, a Chandigarh based advocate, who did not get anything in the Will. The police had also learnt that the relationship between Prem Nath Devgun and Kulwant Kaur were quite bitter at the time of the preparation of the Will.

The suspicion was further strengthened by the fact that Kulwant Kaur had slammed several cases of seeking claims from him.

However, the police hopes of being close to solving the case were hit hard when Kulwant Kaur briefed the investigating officers, with supporting documents that her relationship with Prem Nath had improved over the past few months and she had withdrawn most of the cases.

She also stated that Prem Nath had started visiting her house and meeting their daughter and a son at Chandigarh. This has shifted the focus to other relatives who could have sensed some danger to their property rights due to the improvement of relationship between the two.

The understanding of the relationships of the slain businessman, who had assets worth over 100 crore, is the key to the solution of the murder, police sources said.

Sources revealed that in the Will, Prem Nath Devgun, had specifically mentioned that he had a second wife Kulwant Kaur from whom he sired a son and a daughter. He stated in the Will that he had already given them a house in Chandigarh and taken care of the children. Kulwant Kaur, however, was unhappy and had sought more share.

Police sources have also found that Kulwant Kaur's family was known to Prem Nath Devgun when she was a minor girl only. Sources claimed that Prem Nath Devgun had inspired her to pursue studies and become a lawyer.

Sources added that the police was waiting for some days to question other family members of the deceased as the members were in mourning after the death. The police had already questioned most of the workers of the factory and other employees who were present in the factory on Saturday night when the murder took place.



New gurdwara at Umaidpur
NRI couple’s humble contribution to native village
Amardeep Bhattal
Tribune News Service

Sahnewal, December 4
The newly-constructed gurdwara at Umaidpur village near Sahnewal was inaugurated after bhog of 'Sri Akhand Path' last Saturday. Built with financial support of over Rs 25 lakh from NRI couple Major Gurcharn Singh Jhaj and his wife, Mrs Raminder Kaur, the gurdwara with a big hall has been constructed adjacent to the old building which was built before Partition.

"Its a dream come true for me as I always wanted to give something back to my community and village," said Major Gurcharn Singh Jhaj, an engineering graduate from Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani. The former Army officer, who served in the EME till 1971, is now settled in Chicago, USA.

A congregation of the devout sat through the ceremony spread over several hours as wafts of 'Gurbani' to the accompaniment of devotional music from the tabla and harmonium added to the serenity.

Bhai Gurcharn Singh, hazoori ragi, Sri Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, Bhai Sukhminder Singh from Takht Sri Damdama Sahib, Bhai Dilawar Singh from Tibba and the ragi jatha from Baru Sahib, Sirmour (Himachal Pradesh) performed kirtan which was followed by a 'dhadi darbar' featuring girls from Baru Sahib.

Highlighting the supreme sacrifice of Guru Teg Bahadur through 'vaars' the young girls from Himachal delved deep into history to pick and propagate the message of Sikhism.

Baba Iqbal Singh, president of the Kalgidhar Trust, Baru Sahib, who addressed the huge gathering, exhorted the Sikhs to follow the path shown by the great Gurus.

The congregation listened with rapt attention as Darbar Sahib hazoori ragi Bhai Gurcharn Singh recited " Bin Bhagaan Satsang Na Labhe …”, a shabad of the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan Dev, enshrined in the holy Guru Granth Sahib.

Among those present on the occasion were Dr Khem Singh Gill, former Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Mr Kirpal Singh, secretary, SGHUH Trust, Sidhwan Khurd, NRI Hardev Singh from England, Major Isher Singh, Mr MS Dhaliwal, Dr Bhupinder Singh, SGPC members, retired Army officers, and local leaders.

Residents of Umaidpur later presented siropas to the NRI couple. Siropas were also presented to the ragi jathas and others who had contributed towards the holy cause. Mr Santa Singh, a resident of Umaidpur, conducted the stage.

Compact discs of ‘shabads’ sung by prominent ragis were also distributed among the devotees. A cheque for $2500 was also presented by Major Gurcharn Singh Jhaj to Baba Iqbal Singh of Baru Sahib.

Guru Ka Langar was also served on the occasion.



Two youths die in mishap
Our Correspondent

Khanna, December 4
Two youths were killed in a head-on collision between a bus and a car near Nawan Pind village in Payal subdivision last night. The victims were travelling in the car. The police has registered a case against the bus driver.

The youths were identified as Gursewak Singh and Kulwinder Singh of Rahon Majra village in Khanna subdivision. They were coming from Payal to Khanna. The bus belonged to Kumar Bus Service.

Rape case: The local police has arrested Avtar Singh Tari, the main accused in the rape of a minor girl near Bassi on September 15.

The SHO city police station said today that the girl was allegedly raped by Anil Kumar and Avtar Singh. The police has registered a case under Section 366-A, 376 and 506 of the IPC against the accused. Anil Kumar was arrested on September 16. Avtar Singh would be produced in the court tomorrow.



Ludhiana Calling

Recently, when the city police blocked a few roads due to some minister's visit, one could find residents going to police personnel, trying to convince them to let them go through the blocked roads. It was interesting to note a man who, after an unsuccessful attempt at wooing a policeman, came back cribbing "imagine I am a Municipal Corporation employee and I too have to put up with such rules". One kept wondering as to what royal treatment he expected.

Cruelty to animals

Despite the fact that various animal rights organisations continue to work towards sensitising the masses for not being cruel to animals, it seems that the drive does not make any difference to some especially, butchers. Carrying hens for slaughtering by tying them together and hanging these on a vehicle is a common sight, especially in rural areas of the district. The other day a man was spotted carrying hens like this only. Poor birds! If only they could resist this treatment.

Sigh of relief

Finally, the Sarabha Nagar residents have heaved a sigh of relief after the Municipal Corporation has started recarpeting roads in the area. Waiting for more than a year, the residents were suffering due to the dug-up roads. The work of recarpeting, though moving at a snail's pace, has brought cheers. After all the bumpy ride and dust that used to settle in the houses have become a thing of the past now.

Damp squib

A young man recently came to the Tribune office and said that he was Lord Krishna. He started giving long confusing explanations about being Krishna which did not make any sense. He said he was adept in 18 “kalaian” in which Krishna was adept. When asked if he could dance, he gave a vigorous performance of “break dance”, which had everyone in fits of laughter. Finally, when told that he was causing disturbance to others, he tamely walked out. One hopes that was the last one saw of the self-acclaimed “Krishna”.

Traffic jams

Recently there was the “mother of all the traffic jams” in the city due to the marriage of a VIP's son. The traffic was diverted and the result was a massive traffic jam which could not be managed by the traffic police. When Sentinel asked one traffic policeman as to why they could not manage traffic well , he replied lamely, “Ki kareye. Saade apne aadmi phase hoin hain”. Ludhianvis are constantly stressed by poor traffic management due to poor planning. Something ought to be done like not giving undue weightage to politicians and stopping religious processions.

— Sentinel



Master Tara Singh remembered
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, December 4
A living legend, champion of human freedom and staunch advocate of female education, Master Tara Singh, was fondly remembered on the 38th Founders Day at Master Tara Singh College for Women here last evening. The programme was initiated with recitation of the shabad followed by lighting of the lamp.

Dr (Ms) Madanjit Kaur Sahota accorded a warm welcome to the august gathering. Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Member Parliament, was the chief guest on the occasion while Mr Amarjit Singh Chawla, member, PPSC, was the guest of honour. Dressed in colourful outfits, students presented a spirited extravaganza comprising classical and western songs, skits, group and solo dance performances which added zing to the festive occasion.

A one act play ‘Man dian man vich’ was a class apart which portrayed the theme of increasing menace of drugs amongst the youngsters. Traditional folk songs provided exciting moments.

Mr Dhillon exhorted the students who form the vibrant and dynamic segment of society to remain receptive to new challenges and new ideas in the vast ocean of knowledge to build a better world. Mr Chawla opined that with spirits stirred and hopes reinforced, the generation would indeed be the messenger of a new dawn and would see India shining. Mr Swaran Singh, president, managing committee, proposed a vote of thanks and reiterated his resolve to keep the torch of knowledge aloft which the great Master Tara Singh kindled during his lifetime.



Reconstruction of Gill bridge demanded
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 4
Despite various representations and protests by commuters on Gill Road for reconstructing the bridge over Sidhwan canal, which had collapsed around a year ago, the authorities are yet to wake up from their slumber, as the collapsed bridge continues to cause traffic problems.

City residents had organised protests in favour of its reconstruction and had repeatedly requested the authorities but to no avail. Even the area councillor had protested against the non-construction of the bridge but the residents had failed to intensify their protests.

The residents had been claiming that following the collapse of the old bridge, the new bridge was forced to bear the burden of traffic for long now. But the MC authorities have been maintaining that it was the PWD, which had to construct the bridge. At the same time, they argued that there was already a new bridge existing adjacent to the old bridge. So the protests of commuters were uncalled for.

On the other hand, the PWD officials had been accusing the MC authorities of not repairing and maintaining the bridge properly. The bridge had been closed to traffic in October last year when media reports pointed to some cracks in its surface and pillars. However after that, no repair work was undertaken even as files moved from one department to the another with claims and counter-claims on fixing the responsibility for its repair.

The MC had also been claiming that the Sidhwan Canal was maintained by the Irrigation Department and hence the bridge should also be maintained by this department only. The Irrigation Department officials, however, point finger towards the PWD and the MC for the work. They argued that the PWD constructs, while the MC maintains. The PWD officials maintain that it is not their job and the MC or the Irrigation Department should be asked about the delay in the repair work.



PSVOA condemns union’s statement

Ludhiana, December 4
A meeting of the Punjab State Veterinary Officers’ Association executive was held here today under the chairmanship of Dr Ashok Sharma, state president, PSVOA. He said their association condemned the statements made by Veterinary Pharmacists Union, Punjab, against PSVOA which has been published in a section of press today.

Dr Ashok Sharma said VPUP had alleged that the PSVOA had been issuing fake health certificates for animals and also issuing fake post-mortem reports. Moreover, they alleged bungling in PSVOA’s purchase of medicines and equipment besides purchase of mobile dispensary vans. — OC



57 women get woollens
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 4
The 26th ration distribution camp was organised by the Punjabi Nishkam Seva Dal at Sankat Mochan Mandir, here today. Mr Sushil Prashar, president of the dal, supervised the camp. Fifty-seven women were given sweaters along with monthly ration. The sweaters were given by Vice-Chairman of the Khadi Board, Mr Sewa Singh Chauhan.



Jalandhar police raids computer centre
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 4
The Jalandhar police today raided the premises of a computer centre in kutcha number 12 in Field Ganj and confiscated some documents used for preparing fake certificates of a language test required for immigrating to other countries.

Following complaints by immigration aspirants, who were allegedly duped by the centre owner by accepting thousands of rupees and giving them fake certificate, a police team from Jalandhar, led by CIA Chief Harbhajan Singh, raided Target Computer Centre and arrested a person related to the owner and confiscated computers and other materials.

Police sources said the computer centre used to propagate itself as a recognised centre of International Language Testing Centre (ILTC) and provide certificates for having passed a language test by accepting Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 from candidates. Later, they came to know that they were duped and complained to the police about the matter.



Three booked for stabbing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 4
The Phillaur police has booked three persons for stabbing a resident in Santokhpura colony. One of the accused, Daniel Masih, was also charged with threatening a journalist after the stabbing incident.

SHO Jaskiranjit Singh told mediapersons that Daniel, Nikku Masih and Chhindu had been booked for stabbing Vakil Chand. The accused had stabbed him several times after a heated argument over some issue.


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