R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

Regional potpourri

  • In memory of Battle of Baddowal

  • Silent success

  • Licence and liberty


Body found: The body of Nikki (12), daughter of late Banwari Lal Meghwal, a resident of Kerakhera village near here, was found floating at the tail-end of a sub-canal near Usmankhera village on Saturday evening. Family sources said Nikki had gone to pluck cotton in the fields on Wednesday but never returned.

BSF constable held: One S.C. Gautam, constable, 77 Battalion, Border Security Force (BSF), who had lodged complaints against an Assistant Commandant and some other authorities, for allegedly hatching a conspiracy against him and punishing him without any reason has reportedly been taken into custody. Mr Gautam had levelled serious allegations of inhuman treatment, mental and physical harassment against his senior officials.

3 cops booked: The Ferozepore police has registered a case against three policemen following escape of an undertrial Bangladeshi prisoner from police custody when he was being taken to appear before the trial court on Friday morning. The Superintendent Central Jail, Mr Sukhdev Singh Saggu, said on Friday the policemen had escorted nine undertrial prisoners lodged in the jail to Abohar and Fazilka in a Punjab police bus for appearing before trial courts there but when they returned in the evening, one prisoner, Sri Krishna Dass, was found missing.

Invited: Dr Rakesh Mohan Sharma, Principal, SPN Postgraduate Degree College, Mukerian, working on the UGC-sponsored project, “Identification of communication linguistic barriers among students of backward areas for developing redressal mechanism”, has been invited by Alison Barrett, ELT Support Manager, British Council, India, for interactive presentation on teaching methodology and teaching knowledge test on December 15 at CII, Chandigarh.

Two held: In continuation of a drive against anti-social elements, the district police arrested two peddlers of smack on Saturday night. According to police sources, the Mahilpur police has arrested Santokh Singh, alias Tokhi, of Chack Jhandua under Sections 21, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act and seized 100 gm of smack from him. Similarly, Hariana police has arrested Sandip of Ajit Nagar, Jalandhar, and seized 15 gm of smack from him.

Kisan Morcha
: Kisan Morcha would hold a state-level farmer’s rally in Ferozepore on December 12 against the upcoming WTO’s ministerial meet in Hong Kong, said the All India President of the Morcha, Mr Om Prakash Dhankad on Saturday. The protesters would also send a memorandum to the Union Minister, Mr Kamalnath, he added. Mr Dhankad said the rich nations were trying to gain total access into the country’s market which was unfair since India’s agriculture was not as highly subsidised as theirs.

UPS Store: Mail Box Etc Inc, a subsidiary of UPS, has opened its first UPS Store in Mumbai. It would be the country’s first full-service retail concept combining packaging, shipping and other business services such as airline ticketing.

Notes adjudicated: The Punjab & Sind Bank adjudicated mutilated notes at its branch on Saturday. Currency notes amounting to Rs 10,5093 were adjudicated during the exchange programme, informed the bank’s Deputy General Manager, Mr S.P.S. Bains in a release. Also present was Deputy General Manager, RBI, Mr S.S.Bedi, he added.

Cultural show: DRV DAV Centenary College, Phillaur, organised a cultural programme on Sunday. Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, Deputy Speaker, Rajya Sabha was the chief guest on the occasion. Also present was Dr Subhas Chander Chawla, principal of the college.

Gang busted: The district on Saturday got major success when a police party led by Mr Manjit Inder Singh Bal, DSP, Malout, arrested eight members of a gang and recovered four pistols, live cartridges and sharpedged weapons from them. Mr L.K. Yadav, while talking to media persons, said that on a tip-off, police party gheraoed Jandwala where these youths were planning a robbery, and arrested eight youths.

Office-bearers: The following have been elected office-bearers of the governing body of Prem Sabha High School, Sangrur: president — Mr V.P. Maghan; vice-president — Mr Girish Kumar Garg; Secretary — Mr Megh Nath Singla, joint secretary — Mr Parkash Chand Jain; treasurer — Mr Jagan Nath Goyal; and Manager — Mr Pawan Kumar Gupta.


Case against prisoners
: The Civil Lines police has registered a case under Section 302, IPC, against two prisoners, Manjeet Singh and Pawan, of the Bal Sudhar Graha, Sonepat, on the charge of murdering their co-prisoner, Manoj, alias Minto, whose body was found lying in the barrack of Bal Sudhar Graha here on Saturday. According to police sources, Manoj, who belonged to Loni village in Ghaziabad district of UP, was a member of the criminal gang headed by Surinder.

Arrested: The Kundli police on Friday claimed to have arrested Surjeet, alias Kala, of Siraspur village (Delhi) in connection with the dowry death case. A case was registered on the complaint of Ms Rekha, She had alleged that she was sat on fire by her husband and other members of the family for not bringing adequate dowry.



Move to close sub-PO opposed: There is an outcry among residents of Kakira township, about 25 km from here, against the recent move of the Department of Posts (DoP) to merge the local sub-post office with the Bakloh sub-post office. The sub-post office was opened in 1977. Residents are demanding that the authorities of the DoP should withdraw the move.

Science Congress: About 25 students and teachers from the state will take part in the National Children Science Congress being held at Bhubaneswar from December 27. The State Council for Science, Technology and Environment is sponsoring the team which has been selected on the basis of scientific survey report competition held during the state-level Children Science Congress recently at Kangra.

Unidentified body recovered
: An unidentified body of a woman was recovered by the police from a nullah lying near Saproon on Thursday. A team of policemen led by ASI Anil Dhaulta which reached the site on receiving an information first found two legs, bearing white patches, about 20 to 22 meters below in the nullah. The skull was found lying at another five meters ahead.
As the entire body was not found it was difficult to ascertain the identify of the woman. She was wearing a salwaar kameez and black canvas shoes. The women appears to be in her midfourties. The body has been taken for a post-mortem examinatiion to the regional hospital here. The police has appealed to the people to provide whatever information they could so as to ascertain her identify. Injurymarks were found on the body.


Regional potpourri

In memory of Battle of Baddowal

Col Amarjit Singh Sekhon (retd) in front of the war memorial that he is building near Ludhiana
MONUMENTAL EFFORT: Col Amarjit Singh Sekhon (retd) in front of the war memorial that he is building near Ludhiana. — Photo by Inderjit Verma

FOR the last more than 10 years, he has been working single-handedly to preserve the memory of the historic Battle of Baddowal, fought almost 160 years ago.

Col Amarjit Singh Sekhon (retd), who is now settled in Pamal village near Ludhiana, has been putting together his resources to construct a memorial and a museum in the village to commemorate the battle. He dedicated the memorial to the nation on the previous Independence Day.

Fighting against all odds to complete the museum, Col Sekhon feels it will help educate the coming generations about the Anglo-Sikh War that was fought near Baddowal. Having named the museum, Desh De Raakhe, this Army officer is collecting paintings and weaponry related to the battle and is even trying to procure some historical documents that record the chronology of events.

‘‘The government machinery has failed to do anything to preserve the memory of the battle. I do not want that the bravery shown by soldiers in this part of the district be forgotten. The future generations should know what their forefathers did for the country,” says Col Sekhon.

“At times, I am disappointed that not many people in his village know about the battle. That is why after retirement I decided to settle down here and build the memorial,” he says.

 He had laid the foundation stone of the memorial on January 28, 1995, to mark the150th anniversary of the battle. “I thought this would be a befitting tribute to all those heroes who died unsung,” he adds.

Silent success

Pradeep Mundeja of Karnal receives an award from President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in New Delhi
Pradeep Mundeja of Karnal receives an award from President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in New Delhi.

HE has not allowed his disability to come in the way of achieving success in his field.

Pradeep Mundeja (36), a resident of Sector 9, Karnal, lost his hearing power at the tender age of seven, but in the process acquired a determination to overcome the odds.

Working as a rajbhasha adhikari at the Punjab National Bank’s (PNB) regional office at present, he was recently honoured with the national award for best employee by none other than President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. The award was presented to him on the International Day for the Disabled in New Delhi.

His father, Om Prakash Mundeja, and mother, Kanta Rani, have played an important role in encouraging him to reach his present position. His father, who recently retired as a manager from the SBI at Hisar, used to personally coach him.

ENT specialists at AIIMS, New Delhi, had diagnosed Pradeep’s case as a loss of hearing power either due to excess medication during typhoid/ measles or due to hereditary factors. But unlike children who are born deaf-dumb, Pradeep can speak.

After doing his matriculation from Tagore School, he did his B.Com from Dyal Singh College. In 1988, he was recruited as a typist in the New Bank of India, which merged with the PNB in 1993.

Pradeep was promoted to the officer cadre in 2004. He simultaneously continued his studies, doing an MA in Hindi, diplomas in translation and journalism and a postgraduate diploma in computer applications.

He now leads a happy married life with his wife, Parveen Kumari, two sons Lakhshay (12) and Kartik (3), and daughter, Cheshtha (9).

Licence and liberty

A car at a checkpost near Jammu, with the rear licence plate missing
A car at a checkpost near Jammu, with the rear licence plate missing. The vehicle, simply one among many, had no problem getting past the cops. — Photo by the writer

Wanting a more liberal policing regime in Jammu and Kashmir is one thing, but freedom from the mandatory display of number plates on vehicles is surely a little too much. Take a drive on the crowded NH-1A leading from Punjab into Jammu, and soon after you get past the J&K border checkpost, you will find numerous vehicles with number plates completely missing.

Many condescend to display one at least in the front. Presumably, it is enough for the police to see you coming. If you get up to something (whether you throw a grenade or jump a traffic light) and speed away, they don’t want your licence plate number; false or otherwise. Or it may just be that in a state plagued by separatist activity and terrorist violence, the police can’t be bothered with little details like number plates. They forget that the devil is in the detail, and good policing is being meticulous about the seemingly small things.

In any case, the most telling comment of this negligence was the sight of a motorcycle, brightly coloured in yellow with feline stripes, parked at a Punjabi dhabha on the highway. Its rear licence plate read, in stylish script, “Freedom.” Indeed.

Contributed by Kanchan Vasdev, Sridhar K Chari and Dharmendra Joshi


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