L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Poultry farmers protest on railway track
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
In an endeavour to attract state government’s attention towards heavy losses being incurred by the poultry industry in the state on account of ban imposed by various states, poultry farmers blocked the railway track for around 30 minutes near Dhandari Kalan here today.

Blaming the government for not taking care of the suffering industry, the protesting farmers demanded that “irrational ban on inter-state movement of poultry products” by states like Jammu and Kashmir be checked and the government should take measures to ensure easy availability of credit to them.

Over 300 farmers from the state gathered in the city today to lodge their protest. The protest was part of a nationwide agitation on the issue being marked under the banner of the All-India Poultry Welfare Association.

The association kept a light engine halted for around 30 minutes and raised slogans against the government.

“Since the beginning of the bird flu episode, the industry in the state so far has incurred losses of more than Rs 70 crore. Absence of any centralised authority to control the situation is only aggravating our problem as states like Jammu and Kashmir have imposed irrational ban on the movement of poultry products, which is resulting in losses to farmers,” said Mr P.P.S. Gill, secretary, Punjab Poultry Farmers Association.

Owing to reported bird flu cases, farmers across the state have significantly reduced production. However, they said, even after reducing production, they were not able to even cover their production costs.

They demanded that the government should ensure loan repayment holiday for the industry for at least two years and direct banks to waive interest on finance given to them for that duration. Besides, there should be an exemption from income tax. They also sought compensation for poultry farmers.



Five held for theft, admit to murder
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 23
The local police has arrested five persons in connection with theft from the GT Road, near Aligarh, 3 kms from here. The accused have also admitted to committing a murder.

Balwant Singh, alias Bikko, of Mahal Gahilan, Banga, Jaspal Singh, alias Shanti, Rajiv Pal, alias Monu, Rajiv Kumar Dogra and Manoj Kumar, alias Lucky, all of Guru Arjan Dev Nagar, Ludhiana, were arrested from an Indica car (PB-10-AZ-9094) and 11 gold chains, weighing 75 gm, recovered from their possession.

The five have been booked under Sections 379 and 411, IPC.

During interrogation, the five confessed to having committed the murder of Mohinder Singh on August 17, 2003 and stolen 2,215 gm of golden chains from the victim.

According to information, the five were drug addicts and used to commit extortion.

Jaspal Kumar stated that Mohinder Kumar, who was known to him, used to work with SS Jewellers, Sarafan Bazar. He used to visit Delhi with gold chains for getting these polished.

On August 17, Mohinder returned from Delhi late and could not deliver the jewellery to his employer.

Seeing an opportunity, the accused visited Mohinder had drinks with him.

They drugged Mohinder by adding some intoxicant in his drink, after which he fell unconscious. They then strangulated him and took away 2,215 gm worth of jewellery.

Jaspal used a car taken from two of his friends — Rabi and Ashwani — to dispose of the body around 5 km off Mangowal barrier.

Jaspal later sold some gold and gave Rs 50,000 each to his accomplices.

SSP Jagraon R.K. Jaiswal told mediapersons that Sanju Verma, proprietor of SS Jewellers, had lodged a complaint with the Ludhiana police under Section 408, IPC, on August 19, 2003 against Mohinder Kumar for disappearing with 2,215 gm of gold.

The police had declared the person a proclaimed offender.

Mr Jaiswal said the police had been informed about the arrest of the five men.



City remembers martyrs’ sacrifice
Tribune Reporters

Students of Kiddies’ Paradise pay homage to Shaheed Bhagat Singh at a function in Ludhiana on Thursday
Students of Kiddies’ Paradise pay homage to Shaheed Bhagat Singh at a function in Ludhiana on Thursday. — Photo by I.V.

Executive Magistrate Mukesh Sharma garlands a statue of Shaheed Bhagat Singh at Ahmedgarh on Thursday
Executive Magistrate Mukesh Sharma garlands a statue of Shaheed Bhagat Singh at Ahmedgarh on Thursday. — Photo by Mahesh Sharma

Ludhiana, March 23
Cutting across party lines, functionaries of different political parties, representatives of social and educational institutions, employees, students and people from various other walks of life paid rich tributes to martyrs Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on their 75th martyrdom day here today. All through the day, different groups of people made it to Jagraon bridge to garland the statues of the martyrs and place on record their supreme sacrifices for the sake of independence of the nation.

Addressing a prayer meeting, organised jointly by the District Congress Committee, the Congress Sewa Dal, the Youth Congress and Mahila Congress at Congress Bhawan here, DCC president Jagmohan Sharma said that the day was more significant for the people of this city because Sukhdev Thapar, a native of Ludhiana, was one of the three martyrs who laid down their lives on this day in their fight against British rule.

The district president of the Youth Congress, Mr Dimple Rana, exhorted the youth to serve the nation with dedication and to remain prepared to defend the hard-won freedom. Ms Usha Malhotra, president of the Mahila Congress also addressed the meeting.

Activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party and its youth wing---the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha---observed the martyrdom day as 'sankalp diwas'. Led by their district presidents, Dr Subhash Verma and Mr Sanjay Kapoor, respectively, the party workers marched from party office at Clock Tower Chowk to Jagraon bridge, where floral tributes were offered to three martyrs. Former Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Assembly Sat Pal Gosain was also present at the occasion.

The BJP leaders urged the people to perpetuate the memory of those gallant sons of the soil who had kept the flame of freedom struggle burning even in the face of heavy odds and tyranny of foreign rulers. The party workers also took a pledge to safeguard the unity and integrity of the country and continue their fight against evils of corruption and drug addiction.

The PAU Employees Union, in collaboration with PAU Teachers Union and PAU Class IV Workers Union, organised a seminar and cultural programme to observe the martyrdom day. Earlier, the participants, carrying portraits of the martyrs, staged a march in the university campus.

Speaking at the function, Mr Amrit Pal, general secretary of the PAU Employees Union, sought to establish Bhagat Singh as a deep thinker and activist, who was not merely a traditional hero. He dwelt upon the philosophy of the martyr, who wanted to usher in a pro-people socio-economic system by ending not only British rule but also annihilating the entire imperialist forces worldwide.

Mr Dalbir Singh, Deputy Editor of Punjabi Tribune, and Mr D.P. Maur, president of the union, were other speakers at the seminar. A cultural programme and a play based on prison life of Shaheed Bhagat Singh were presented in the second session.

The PAU Students Union (PAUSA) organised a candle march in the campus last night to pay tributes to the martyrs. This morning the students gathered in the campus and observed two minutes silence to pay tributes to Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru. Mr Gurpal Singh Dhaliwal, vice president of Students Federation of India, and Mr Sarwan Singh Boparai, president, PAUSA, asked the youth to work for creation of a society in which there was no discrimination or exploitation on the basis of caste, creed or economic status.

Activists of District Youth Congress and Mahila Congress organised a blood donation camp at Naulakha Garden in memory of martyrs in which 31 units of blood were collected. Ms Shila Masih, member, AICC, Ms Sushil Gupta, Deputy Mayor, Mr Parminder Mehta, member, PPCC, Mr Sushil Kapoor, vice president, Youth Congress, Mr Sushil Parashar, organiser, Congress Sewa Dal, Ms Amarjit Kaur, Mr Amarjit Matharoo and Ms Asha Garg, all councillors, were present on the occasion.

Elsewhere, the district unit of Communist Party of India and Rashtriya Vikas Manch also paid rich tributes to the martyrs.

Also, students of Kiddies’ Paradise paid homage to Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru at a function here today.

Students dressed up as the three martyrs, sang patriotic songs like “Mera rang de basanti chola”.

School director Randhir Singh highlighted the sacrifice of the martyrs.

School Principal Radhika Mahajan urged the students to serve their motherland.


Various organisations of the town and surrounding areas observed the martyrdom day of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev.

March, rally and cultural programs were organised to mark the occasion.

Leaders of various organisations garlanded the statue of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and paid tributes to the martyrs.

Expressing concern over the deteriorating political scenario in the country, speakers regretted that successive governments had been ignoring the ideologies propagated by the martyrs and freedom fighters.

“Unfortunately, balance of power after Independence, remained in the hands of those who bothered least about the interests of members from the lower strata of society,” rued the speakers.

Mukesh Sharma garlanded statue of Bhagat Singh on behalf of the state government.

Municipal Council president Jatinder Bhola, Harbans Singh, Sikander Singh, Hari Datt, Rajvir Singh, Gurdev Raj Bhumbla, Harbhalav Dass, Tarsem Sharma, Raj Pal Garg, Karam Deol, Madan Singh and Vasakha Singh paid their tributes.

Tek Chand Dewana, a freedom fighter, was also felicitated.

Students from various schools presented patriotic songs and poems.

Some organisations organised marches and rallies on the occasion.

Marchers, carrying placards with patriotic slogans, marched through Guru Nanak Nagar Colony, bus stand, Chaura Bazar, main bazar, Railway Road before culminating the march at Bhagat Singh Chowk.

Rich tributes also were paid to martyrs Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev at a “shardhanjali samaroh” at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Public High School, Machhiwara.

The children vowed to follow the path shown by the martyrs.

The samagam started with a patriotic song. Two students, Damini chopra and Geetanjali, anchored the programme.

Jain preacher Shri Manjul Jyoti Ji Maharaj, Shri Basudha Ji Maharaj and Shri Bandita Ji Maharaj made a special attendance to the function.

Shri Manjul Jyoti Ji Maharaj urged teachers and students to inculcate the spirit of patriotism. School manager D.L. Jain made the students aware of the importance of freedom and sacrifice.

Chief guest Harjit Kaur Makkar councillor, Nagar Panchayat, advised the students to learn a lesson from the sacrifices of the martyrs.

Ms Makkar gave away prizes to outstanding students.

The students who were awarded for getting scholarships or who figured in the merit list were Rishi Badshah, Sukhjeet Kaur, Kanwaljit Kaur, Gurpreet Kaur, Ravinder Kaur, Manpreet Kaur, Prince Dhiman, Mamta Lehal, Mandeep Singh and Gurpinder Kaur. Gurpreet Singh Rehal, a student of Class VIII, was presented a medal and trophy for bagging third position in the state U-14 wrestling competition.



Hoarding lands MC in controversy
Iqbal Singh

Khanna, March 23
First, the president, Improvement Trust, here put up a board naming a complex being constructed at Railway Road, Khanna, as Bhagwan Shiv Shopping Complex without approving the name from the Local Body Department. When the name was rejected, he faced protest from some organisations.

Now, it was the turn of the president, Municipal Council, Khanna, to create another controversy. In the Amloh Road Chowk, a hoarding has been put up on behalf of the Municipal Council.

It is mentioned in the board that the Amarinder government has unmasked the policies of the Akali- BJP government, which had adopted a double standard on the SYL canal and who had cheated the Punjabis by making friendship with the Chautala government.

Though the board got approval a week ago, the Akali-BJP councillors could not understand that the council has condemned the Akali-BJP government. When the matter came in today's annual budget meeting, Vijay Sharma, an independent councillor, protested the fixing of the board.

Can a government body fix a hoarding condemning a political party? when this question was raised before Executive Officer of the Council Nazar Singh, he categorically denied it. When he was asked then how this hoarding had been fixed, he asked to get it clarified from president Sant Ram Sarhaddi who had got it fixed with his photograph. When Sarhaddi had been asked, he expressed ignorance.



Residents demand removal of generators
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
Although residents of flats in the Surya Kiran Building at Mall Road here had a narrow escape in a fire incident, all their pleas to the administration, the Municipal Corporation and the Punjab Pollution Control Board for the removal of dangerously installed generators in the area have fallen on deaf ears.

The generators placed close to each other are a threat to the building due to sparks caused while they are operated. Besides, they are a source of continuous noise pollution and a health hazard for the residents due to smoke emanating from the machines.

Despite several representations by the building residents and the media outcry following the last week’s fire incident, not a single official of the either department has visited the place to take stock of their problems so far.

Mr Jaswinder Singh, general secretary of the Surya Kiran Owners Welfare Society, said they had sent fresh representations to various government departments for redressal of their grievances. The residents had also decided to approach the Punjab State Human Rights Commission for ensuring their right to live was not compromised with.

The residents said a minor fire in the area might lead to a major tragedy some day. The fire fighters had had a tough time dousing the flames last week as they had to make their way through intertwined electricity wires, huge generators and spilled diesel.

Incidentally, the fire had broken out just two days after the Surya Kiran Owners Society had complained to the Deputy Commissioner against the generators installed by various commercial establishments. However, no action was taken on the representation.



Homage paid to Baba Bhan Singh
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 23
The Maha Sabha, Ludhiana, arranged a function in Sunet for paying tributes to Baba Bhan Singh, a freedom fighter, here yesterday. They also held a cultural function to propagate Punjabi culture.

Mr Gursharan Singh, alias Bhai Manna Singh’s, Theatre Company presented its famous play ‘Bhand Matka Chownk Chandigarh’. Choreography on the life of Bhagat Singh was also staged.

A nephew of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Prof Jagmohan Singh, spoke about how MNCs were monopolising Indian market and said that the government policies were anti- national.

Shaheedi Yaadgar Committee, Jalandhar, also pledged its support to Maha Sabha. The Taraksheel Society also participated in the function and told people not to believe in fake babas, and magic tricks etc. A special exhibition of books was also put up.

Artistes of Lok Sangeet Mandali, Sunet, presented patriotic songs to tribute to the great martyr. The programme was performed under the direction of Parkash Singh Sunet. Manpreet of this mandali presented a song about the girlchild in the womb pleading to her mother to bring her to this world.

Col JS Brar, president of Maha Sabha, told the audience that the sabha would soon put up a statue of Bhan Singh seated on a horse in the Gadri Park of Sunet village soon. He also said that shortly a museum and a library would also be set up.

A great grandson of Bhan Singh, Ranjit Singh Kannu, shared his experiences at Cellular Jail in Andaman’s that celebrated its 100th anniversary where Bhan Singh’s courageous behaviour was specially mentioned.

Prof Jaswant Singh, general secretary, conducted the proceedings of the stage.



Sonia’s resignation a victory for NDA: Dhillon

Ludhiana, March 23
Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, MP, has termed the resignation of Ms Sonia Gandhi from the Lok Sabha as a victory of the NDA alliance, which will translate into a big victory in the next Lok Sabha elections.

Mr Dhillon said in a communication to The Tribune here today that Ms Gandhi had to step down owing to the pressure exerted by the NDA government.

He said Ms Sonia Gandhi could have achieved some moral victory if she had resigned before the disqualification of Jaya Bachan. He said she resigned only after the government failed to amend the category of offices considered profitable. Terming it as a major victory for the NDA, Mr Dhillon said the party was ready to face the electorate over the issue and would win election comfortably. —TNS



Problems of farmers discussed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 23
The Rural Farmers' Welfare Society held Dr M.S. Randhawa Memorial Lecture at Punjabi Bhavan here today. President of the society Hardeep Singh Kadian welcomed farmers and speakers. Mr Janmeja Singh Johal, secretary of the society, said the aim of holding this lecture was to pay homage to Dr Randhawa and address the problems of the farmers.

Dr Balwinder Singh Sidhu, Director, Agriculture, identified eight major problems in agriculture and also gave simple solutions to these problems. Daljit Singh, senior editor, Punjabi Tribune, spoke about politicisation of problems of the farmers. "Instead of solving the problems of the farmers, political parties try to seek advantages for their parties," he said.

Dr S.S. Johal, ex-Chancellor, Punjabi University, spoke on the problems faced by the farmers and solutions.



64 couples tie the knot
Our Correspondent

Samrala, March 23
The Samaj Chetna Manch, under the leadership of Balbir Singh Rajewal, convener of the manch and national secretary of the Bharti Kisan Union, arranged mass marriage of 64 couples belonging to poor families in the local grain market here today.

On this occasion, Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab, came to bless the newly wedded couples. Besides giving cheques by the state government, the other household items like sewing machines, cycles, summer and winter clothes, bags, etc were also given to them. 



3 held for selling fake lottery tickets
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
The police has, in a raid conducted at some shops and houses near Clock Tower this morning, rounded up three persons on the suspicion of selling fake lottery tickets. Police sources informed Ludhiana Tribune that a lottery company from Delhi had informed the police about the fake lotteries in circulation. Company officials had got the information that the lotteries were being circulated from Ludhiana.

Acting on the tip-off, the police has rounded up three persons on the suspicion that they were running the fake lottery racket. A police official said the questioning of the suspect was underway and nothing could be disclosed at this juncture.

The sources said the fake lottery racket was causing huge loss to the public exchequer. The police was hoping to unearth a major gang in the business.


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