L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Man held on rape, blackmail charges
Mother, relatives also booked
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Phillaur, December 9
In a shocking case, a multiple health worker employed with a government dispensary near Phillaur allegedly raped and blackmailed a female patient for four years after taking her nude pictures. Taking the exploitation too far, the accused even sent the pictures to the girl's prospective in-laws based in the UK and got her engagement cancelled.

The alleged victim, Rachna (not her real name) aged about 25, finally got some relief today when the Phillaur police registered a case against the main accused, Pradeep Kumar, and arrested him.

The girl's first complaint was made to the Nawanshahr police from where it went to Jalandhar police. Finally, the DIG, Jalandhar, ordered the registration of a case and directed Phillaur DSP Gursharandeep Singh to investigate the case.

On the girl's affidavit, the police also booked Dr Harjit Lal Bharti, in charge, Primary Health Centre, Apra, for helping the accused. Besides, a number of other accomplice of the accused, including the accused's mother Shakuntla Devi and other relatives and friends Santokh Singh, Sukhwinder Suhki, Jasbir Singh and Ramanpreet Kaur have also been booked.

Accused Pradeep, however, said he had an affair with the girl and wanted to marry her. He said all allegations were part of a carefully cooked up story as the girl's parents were against their marriage.

SHO Phillaur Jaskaran Singh told The Tribune that Pradeep had been booked under Sections 376, 294, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC. The other accused have been nominated as co-accused in the case. The girl had alleged that they all knew about her victimisation and had actively helped the prime accused.

However, none of these have been arrested. Police sources said they all had been booked primarily as per the claims of the victim. Their exact role in the sordid episode would come up during the investigation only.

According to the FIR, the girl claimed that about four years ago, she had gone to the government dispensary in Jajja Khurd village for taking medication for an ailment. Pradeep introduced himself as a doctor and injected some intoxicating drug to her.

He allegedly raped her and took her nude pictures. He used those shots to blackmail and force her to succumb to his desires. The girl further complained in the FIR that the accused even took Rs 35,000 from her in two installments.

She claimed that the boy always exploited her. Few months ago, her family finalised her marriage in England. The accused did not tolerate it and sent her pictures to the prospective in-laws. The girl told everything to her parents after her engagement broke.



Family living in fear
Mahesh Sharma

Kila Rehmatgarh, December 8
Apprehending danger to their lives, members of a family of this hamlet near the erstwhile Malerkotla estate, which lost three members in firing by a former Punjab police ASI some months back, will approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the decision of Session Courts, Sangrur, that awarded death sentence only to the police officer and exonerated six others.

The family apprehends that even this convict might be granted clemency at a later stage by the authorities.

According to them, they had started threatening them of dire consequences in case they pursued the case any further.

“Even if we do not move the high court we are not sure whether the death penalty will be carried out. There are instances where dreaded killers, awarded death sentences by the courts, were later granted clemency on one pretext or the other,” argued the victims family.

Substantiating their claim, the family argued that women who had instigated Des Raj to wipe out their whole family over a petty issue of dumping garbage in the street were equally conscientious of the heinous crime in which three hapless persons had died and four others were injured. Those who escaped unhurt did so by sheer luck, they pointed out.

The prosecution had observed that the accused, who was president of the Ravi Dass committee, in the village had fired indiscriminately on members of the Dalit family after an altercation with Ms Jaswant Kaur and Ms Manjit Kaur.

While Ms Manjit Kaur, Mr Bhagwan Singh and Mr Lal Singh, were killed on the spot, six others, including Mr Chand Singh, Mr Shamsher Singh, Mr Tirlok Singh and Rabina received bullet injuries. The Malerkotla police had then registered a case under Sections 302, 307, 148, 149 and 114 of IPC and 27 of Arms Act against the accused.

The affected family alleged that the crime committed jointly by Des Raj and his associates had ruined three families as the incident had resulted in physical, psychological and economical agony to all members.

“Though we tried our best to make our children feel normal they were still shocked over the incident, “ explained the remaining members of the family.

While Chand Singh had to manage his family alone, Ms Labh Kaur and Ms Bhim Kaur, wives of the deceased, have the onerous task of raising eight children.



Ludhiana excels in ACP implementation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
The district has made impressive achievements in implementation of the annual credit plan (ACP) for the year 2005-06 and under priority sector schemes, loans amounting to Rs 1660 crore have been released by banks in the district up to September 2005, against the target of Rs 1425 crore.

Addressing a meeting of officers to review the progress in implementation of the ACP here today, Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, also released the potential linked plan for 2006-07, projected by NABARD.

Giving more details, the Deputy Commissioner informed that in the agricultural sector, the district also achieved 99 per cent of the target by lending loans amounting to Rs 625 crore against a target of Rs 636 crore and the district also achieved a target of 116 per cent by releasing loans amounting to Rs 533 crore against the fixed target of 478 crore in the industrial sector under different schemes for small scale industry.

Mr Verma said the district had disbursed loans amounting to Rs 482 crore under OPS till September 2005, against a target of Rs 312 crore and registered a record achievement of 154 percent.

Referring to the overall performance of banks in Ludhiana district, Mr Verma said on the whole, the banks of the district had done well, but more efforts were needed to further enhance the performance so that the weaker sections, Scheduled Castes and women beneficiaries could be served in a better way.

He said Ludhiana was also leading in credit deposit ratio in the country by mobilising deposits of Rs 11,880 crore and made the advances amounting to Rs 10,695 crore registering an increase of Rs 1186 crore.

Mr Verma claimed that the credit deposit ratio of Ludhiana district was 90 per cent higher than the CD ratio of the state. The DC directed the banks to accord priority to release of loans for setting up of more processing units in agriculture and allied sectors like bee-keeping, dairy, poultry etc so that young entrepreneurs could be encouraged and benefited.

He directed all the BDPOs to extend their full cooperation to the banks in implementing different schemes and to regularly attend the meetings of bankers in their blocks.

Referring to the newly prepared potential linked credit plan by NABARD, the DC said under the proposed potential linked plan (PLP), the NABARD had based it on the potential of different activities in each block and proposed the schemes accordingly.

He informed that in the PLP, loans for priority sectors had been proposed at Rs 4263 crore which is 40 percent higher than the current year’s figure of Rs 2640 crore for this sector. He informed that 22 per cent increase had been projected in the agricultural sector, which would be Rs 1790 crore against Rs 1272 crore under the current year's ACP.

Mr Verma said term lending had been given a steep increase in the proposal from Rs 80 crore in 2005-06 to Rs 301 crore in 2006-07.

The DC further disclosed that under the PLP, major stress would be laid on farm diversification and agro-allied ventures like dairy farming, poultry, piggeries fisheries etc so that gainful employment could be provided to unemployed youth belonging to weaker sections of society.

He said the potential linked plan would be put on the website of the district administration www.ludhiana.nic.in and appealed to bankers, entrepreneurs and others concerned to have a view of the PLP from the website and send their suggestions if any, which would be kept in mind while incorporating the PLP in the annual credit plan for 2006-07.

Mr Jeet Singh, Lead Bank Manager, called upon banks to accord top priority to implementation of the ACP and to clear the liberal loans to beneficiaries. He also requested the Deputy Commissioner to take up with the state government release of subsidies under different schemes for SCs and other weaker sections, so that the entire target could be achieved.

He informed that block-level meetings to discuss the PLP provisions in particular areas would be conducted shortly. He further informed that till September 30, 2005, crop loans had been disbursed to 97,935 farmers and term loans to 6025 farmers, besides 7454 new farmers were covered under crop loan schemes.

Others present in the meeting included Mr Pryank Bharti, ADC (D), Mr Rajiv Mahajan, DDM, NABARD, Mr Vishaw Bandhu, General Manager, DIC, and Mr Gurmit Singh, Lead Bank Officer.



Schools to have photographs of top scientists
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 9
Mr Harnam Das Johar, Education Minister, Punjab, has announced that the photographs of renowned scientists along with their achievements would be installed in the science rooms and laboratories in all schools of the state so that, the students could seek inspiration from them to promote their scientific skills and to create new ideas for scientific research.

Mr Johar was addressing the students at a function, after inaugurating 34th State Science Exhibition organised by the State Council of Educational and Research Training (SCERT) at Atam Public Senior Secondary School, Atam Park, here today.

The Education Minister announced that with a view to equip students with best scientific and mathematical knowledge, the subjects of science and mathematic would be made compulsory in all elementary and high schools. He said the required staff and science labs would also be provided by the government.

The Education Minister advised the students to choose science as their career option, as this field offered many job opportunities. He also appreciated the chart making competitions of the students and declamation contest of the teachers on the spot. Mr Johar said the theme of exhibition was the real need of the hour because the science and technology could only play good role in rural development. He further said the youth of rural areas must be well versed with the latest science and technologies. He announced that the exhibition would till December 14 instead of December 11and directed the DPI (P) and DPI (E) to ensure that the students from all schools should see the exhibition.

While welcoming Ms Harcharanjit Kaur Brar, Director (NCERT), Punjab, informed that 800 students, 500 teachers from 17 districts had displayed 223 items at the exhibition.

The theme of the exhibition was ‘Science and Technology for Rural Development’ and the exhibition was specified by National Council of Education and Research, she added.

Among others who were present on this occasion included Mr Sadhu Singh Randhawa DPI secondary, Mr Jagtar Singh Khatra DPI (E), Ms Inderjit Kaur Deputy Director SISC, Mr Yash Pal Mehra DEO, Mr Varinder Sharma Science Supervisor, Mr Hira Lal Jain, president Atam Public School, Mr Narinder Kumar Jain, Ms Usha Jain Principal APS, Ms Veena Sobti, Dr Babita, Prof Khem Singh and Prof Mewa Singh Mehmi.



Motorcyclist robbed at pistol point
Our Correspondent

Khanna, December 9
A motorcyclist was robbed by two persons at pistol point on Thursday morning.
According to the police, Kamal Jit Singh, son of Normal Singh, a resident of Siar village was coming to Rossiana village. When he was on the way, two motorcyclists stopped him. They snatched his mobile phone, gold chain and a wristwatch at the pistol point. The police has registered a case against the unknown accused at the Payal police station.





Kulbinder Kaur does city proud
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 9
“I am very happy to become a Class 1 officer. It is all thanks to NCC. I would recommend all students, even science stream students to take up NCC as one gets good career opportunities after this,” said Lieut Kulbinder Kaur while talking to Ludhiana Tribune.

Brig H.S. Gill, SC Deputy Director General NCC, awarded the Director General National Cadet Corps commendation card for high degree of dedication, excellence in professionalism, exemplary contribution and zeal in the pursuit of excellence to this lady officer from Ludhiana, in NCC Directorate, Chandigarh, today.

On being asked about the key to her success, she said, “It is the blessing of God and parents, support of family, well wishes of senior officers and friends in conjunction with determination, straight forwardness, hard work and updated knowledge of my work/task. My success is the combination of all these factors which has worked well for me.”

A highly qualified officer herself she has already completed M.A. (Pub Adm), MBA (Marketing), M.Sc (IT), MCA besides a Diploma in Pharmacy and Computers. She had been an NCC cadet of 3 Punjab Girls Bn NCC (same unit where she is serving as an officer today) when she was pursuing B.Sc (Medical) from Government College for Women, Ludhiana.

Eversince her commission Lieut Kulbinder has been keenly involved in the conduct of numerous NCC camps at unit level, Ludhiana group level and at directorate level. These included trekking expeditions, training camps for ‘thal sena’ Delhi, National Integration Camps, training camps for Republic Day. She has also delivered motivational lectures in various institutions from time to time to guide the students about NCC. She has been honoured by the former Governor of Himachal Pradesh, Mr Suraj Bhan, Chief Minister of Himachal, Mr Virbhadra Singh and many other dignitaries.

During the Republic Day camp this year Lieut Kulbinder Kaur Sandhu was nominated to participate in the capacity of officer in charge in the best cadet competitions. Her guidance to the cadets helped them to a great extent and for the first time a junior wing cadet of her unit bagged a gold medal for being the second best cadet at National level during RDC - 2005. She did commendable work and was appreciated by one and all. Kulbinder has also been conducting workshops on AIDS awareness and rallies at various levels.

Lieut Kulbinder, Administrative Officer of 3 Punjab girls Bn NCC, was commissioned to the first batch of UPSC entry - Whole Time Lady Officer under the Ministry of Defence. During her training in Officers Training Academy, she was also adjudged best in drills and passed out with ‘A’ grade in her course. She had the proud privilege of commanding the Passing Out Parade of this first batch of lady officers of NCC. She was awarded gold medal by Maj General Sharma, former Additional Director General NCC (B), for commanding the Passing Out Parade in December 2002.



At the crossroads
Colonel with passion for Urdu

Those were the days when Urdu was the first language for the students in Punjab. Punjab at that time included both the Pakistan and Indian Punjabs plus Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Lahore was the capital of Punjab and the centre of publications in Urdu-newspapers, journals and books. Most of the Urdu litterateurs lived in Lahore, whereas quite a few lived in Amritsar and Ludhiana also.

In the early 1940s, Ludhiana was vibrant with the creative writings of Sahir Ludhianvi, Iben-e-Insha, Hameed Akhtar, Hafiz Ludhianvi, Ajaib Chitarkar and others. After Partition Kewal Dhir, Satyapal Anand, Kumar Vikal and Krishan Adeeb, among others, made Ludhiana their dwelling place. Still the name of Sahir acts as a catalyst to bring together the admirers of this language.

However, the present-day scenario is not all that gloomy as far as the Urdu language is concerned. The old people are, of course, conversant with the script and are in touch with Urdu literature. The young generation has no knowledge of this script but they use many Urdu words in their routine conversation, apart from quoting Urdu couplets in their talks and speeches very often. Urdu language is indeed a vibrant one and it has the tendency of influencing other languages of the region. Ludhiana has kept alive the taste of its residents for Urdu poetry by holding “mushairas” every now and then at Nehru Sidhant Kendra Auditorium, Guru Nanak Bhavan and Punjabi Bhavan.

Adeeb International, the organisation of which Dr Kewal Dhir is the general secretary since its inception, has kept alive the memory of Sahir Ludhianvi by sponsoring Indo-Pak “mushaira” annually. The rich heritage of Urdu poetic literature is the force that binds the like-minded persons of the region. On its part, Gulistan-e-Adab is serving this language no less by holding, on the last Saturday of every month, a “mushaira” at Divshree Bhavan (Gokul Road).

Dr Gian Singh Maan has spearheaded this organisation all these years. Urdu Alive, the bi-annual journal edited by Urdu poet Prof Aziz Parihar, has been playing its role admirably for the promotion of Urdu poetry since 1998.

Col Inderjit Singh Gill who has collected thousands of Urdu couplets in four hefty copybooks also lives in Ludhiana. He has copied the couplets in his own hand in black ink with such dexterity and it seems to be the work of a calligrapher. He is one of the few persons in Ludhiana who imbibed this language in all its sweetness and learnt its script with all its niceties in the good old pre-Partition days. He never pretends to be a connoisseur of Urdu poetry, nor does he claim to have culled the best couplets of both the classical and modern Urdu poets. He has simply satisfied his urge for gaining access to the Urdu couplets that soothe the mind and delight the heart.

Colonel Gill was born in 1926 at Lyallpur (now in Pakistan). He received his education first at Malwa Khalsa High School, Ludhiana, and then at Govt. College, Ludhiana. At that time Abdul Hayee, later known as Sahir Ludhianvi, was also on the rolls of this college. During the Second World War, Inderjit Singh Gill joined Military School, Jhelum in 1943 and was commissioned in 1946. He retired in 1976, after putting in meritorious service for 33 years, as Lieut Col. In the years to come he busied himself with jotting down Urdu couplets of his choice in a notebook. He had learnt Urdu and Persian from the Urdu poet, Maulvi Faiz Ahmed Fayyaz. Ever since he had been immersed in the classical Urdu poetry of Mir, Dard, Sauda, Mas-hafi, Aatish and Nasikh.

In 1987, his wife expired and to divert his mind from grief he started collecting Urdu couplets, of both the classical and modern poets. Before long he had gathered more than 10,000 couplets in his kitty. His ear for music also helped him select such couplets as could touch the inner cords of the human heart. His endeavour attracted the attention of Lt General Mohd. Ahmed Zaki, the former Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islami, New Delhi. As a result, a systematic poetwise collection, entitled ‘Mehfil’, from Mir and Sauda to Iqbal and Jigar was published in 2001 by Book Palace, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi.

Meanwhile, he has arranged thousands of Urdu couplets under sub-headings of various topics of general interest. Now ‘Nagina’ in four volumes awaits the attention of a good publisher. Perhaps the Languages Department, Punjab, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi or National Book Trust, India, can help this indefatigable collector of the best in Urdu poetic literature in preserving the invaluable treasure in the form of books. The earlier, the better.

— N.S. Tasneem



HDFC set to attain 300 pc growth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
HDFC Standard Life is aiming to tap rural sector. The company is all set to attain 300 per cent growth at the closure of third quarter of 2005-2006 in comparison to the corresponding previous quarter of 2004-05, said Mr Sandeep Sharma, regional head, retail sales, while addressing a regional meet here today.

The meet was attended by over 400 distributors of HDFC Standard Life and staff members from the company’s offices in 10 states.

Addressing the participants, Mr Sharma said the company was eyeing rural markets that held immense growth potential for the insurance sector.

This market, he said, needed innovative product and better coverage of risks instead of routine policies.

Emphasising on a customer centric approach, he said it was the key to their growth. In the last fiscal year, HDFC Standard Life was able to generate business premium income of Rs 486 crore which was expected to grow more.

In the past fiscal year, HDFC Standard Life had seen the growth of 132 per cent and expected to grow by more than three times.



Industry association flays power hike proposal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
The Ludhiana Electro-platers Association yesterday condemned the proposal of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) to increase power tariff.
Mr Joginder Kumar, president of the association, said industry in the state would not be able to absorb any hike in power tariff. ‘‘Industry is already reeling under recession for the past over a decade. Any further hike in tariff would affect operations and increase the cost of production and would also render the industry uncompetitive,’’ he said.

He said Punjab already had locational disadvantage and the government needed to take measures to give a fillip to industrial growth instead of resorting to measures that obstructed the smooth functioning of the industry.

The electricity board should cut down its own expenditure, reduce wastages, losses like transmission and distribution, in order to avoid losses, which were the highest in the country, the association said. He said if any further hike was affected, then the Industry would be forced to close down, which would create several other problems in the state.

The association has urged the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission not to accept the proposal of PSEB .



Biz Clips
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
Wills Clublife has launched a new collection of designer wear and accessories for men and women. According to a company press note, women can select designer shirts in various fabrics and styles and also trousers whereas men can go in for slim fit shirts in prints and patterns and trousers from uncut corduroy or flocked velvet. Jackets and accessories like as hand bags, belts, stoles, and shoes are also a part of the new range, the company said.

Portico: Portico has come out with its festive high fashion home textile collection. The new collection offers innovative and contemporary designs in rich and bold colors, the company said in a press note today. Portico’s festive collection comes in three home fashion concepts called Paisley, Flower Power and Siena Stripes each offering unique collection of bed linen and variety of coordinated home furnishings.


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