L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Riot victims sit on fast-unto-death
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
Victims of 1984 genocide, whose files were not considered by the district administration for compensation, sat on a fast-unto-death here today to protest against the alleged "discrimination" against them.

Four persons, including Gurjit Kaur, Harbans Kaur, Sukhbir Singh and Harbans Singh, sat outside the Deputy Commissioner's office on the fast. They said they would kill themselves of hunger if their demands were not met with immediately.

Claiming that the district administration refused their forms on trivial grounds, the riot victims said they would sit outside the office until they were considered for compensation.

They said they had provided a number of proofs to the authorities but nobody was considering their cases.

Raising slogans against the government, Mr Surjit Singh, an office-bearer of the Danga Peerat Welfare Society, which is backing these victims, said they would not withdraw their protest until their grievances were redressed.

He added that they would sit on an indefinite fast outside the residence of Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, if the forms of the victims were not accepted within two days.

Mr Sukhbir Singh, one of the victims, said he was allotted a ration depot by the state government as compensation. But his file was not accepted by the district administration on the grounds that he could not prove himself to be a riot victim.

Gurjeet Kaur, who was widowed during the riots, said her file was also rejected. "We have lost everything in the riots. We suffered so much that we are not scared of putting up a fight now. We will fight this battle also. " she said.

She added that her husband was killed mercilessly during the massacre and everybody knows about it. But the authorities said they had no proof to say that she was a riot victim.

Mata Harbans Kaur, an 82-year-old-victim, the oldest among them, had also lost her husband, son and son-in-law in the riots in 1984 in Delhi.

"I was forced to leave my house. Today, I am not being considered a victim. I think I will have to keep fighting throughout my life, " she said while crying.

But she was also not accepted as a victim. ''What shall I do to prove myself ? We lost everything and now we are being called liars. This is disgusting,'' she said.

Harbans Singh, another victim said he was waiting for the promises of the respective governments to be fulfilled as far as '84 victims were concerned. "But it seems that we will not get our due during this lifetime. " he said.

''What can we do? We have no option but to sit on hunger strike. The more disgusting is the fact that the Deputy Commissioner has not even bothered to listen to our grievances. Our relatives died. We will also die. But nobody will bother about our sacrifice." he said.



Order reserved on Addl DC’s bail plea
Petrol station scam
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 12
The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Gurbir Singh, today reserved the order on the anticipatory bail application filed by Additional Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana Ajmer Singh, for April 13.

A case had been registered against him by the Vigilance Bureau, Ludhiana, on the charges of wrongly issuing a ‘‘no objection certificate’’ to a party for setting up a petrol station in gross violation of norms.

The Vigilance Bureau had booked several persons under Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, and 465, 468, 471, 120-B of the IPC on March 5, 2006, and had also arrested some of them. The arrested persons had been sent to judicial custody. They have also moved regular bail applications.

The orders on the pre-arrest bail application filed by Area Manager of BPCL Rajeev Mishra; Territory Manager Mukul Joshi; Ms Ritu Sharma, wife of an alleged beneficiary of NOC Kamal Sharma; and Surain Singh, an official of the Forest Department, were also reserved for tomorrow, after hearing the contentions of the prosecution and defence counsel here today.

The arrested persons, include Assistant Town Planner, Varinder Singh; Forest Officer, Santokh Singh; Kamal Sharma and Vishwanath. The orders on their bail application will also be pronounced along with the orders on the bail applications of the other co-accused.



130 soap company workers expelled
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
The management of Amrit Soap Company Unit II, established at Mandiani village near Mullanpur Dakha, has expelled 130 workers out of a total of 200 working in the unit. The workers claim that the action had been taken because they demanded fair increment as per the Factory Act.

The workers staged a rally at Mullanpur Dakha to protest against the high- handedness of the management and gave a memorandum to DSP, Dakha. They would also give a memorandum to the Naib Tehsildar, Dakha, and Assistant Labour Commissioner, Ludhiana, tomorrow.

Giving details the workers revealed that the management paid a meagre sum of Rs 1300 per month to a new worker, in violation of the Factory Act under which the management has to pay a minimum of Rs 2355 per month to unskilled labour. In addition to this the management is not giving ESI cards, Provident Fund, overtime, medical allowance, gazetted holidays, casual leave etc, the workers alleged.

While the factory owners could not be contacted, police sources said they were looking into the charges but it was mainly a labour issue and so the police could not do much. They said the factory owners had denied paying meagre salary and had claimed that on the contrary they were treating the labourers well.

The expelled workers demanded their immediate reinstatement and provision of all facilities as per the Factory Act to all workers working in the unit. 



Ducks need foster parents
Jupinderjit Singh

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
Despite efforts by the PFA (People for Animals), an NGO, to get ducks at the Mini Zoo in the Nehru Rose Garden adopted, the ducks continue to wait for a better place to live due to lackadaisical attitude of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation.

Almost six years ago the zoo was closed and most of the animals were shifted to other zoos. But the ducks left there as the Wildlife Department could not take their possession as the birds do not fall under the wild animal category.

Over the years, the number of ducks has mysteriously come down from 50 to just nine.

The water level inside the enclosure was too low for the ducks to swim in it. An attendant of the corporation said the civic body did not provide him any funds for food for the ducks. He said it was only due to his efforts that the birds were surviving. He, however, could not say anything about their declining number.

He said he let out the ducks outside the enclosure as these found the enclosure too small. They were sometimes killed by dogs.

Dr Sandeep Jain, president of the local chapter of the PFA, said he had found a number of farmhouses in the district whose owners were ready to adopt them, but for the corporation their adoption was the last thing on priority.



3,132 riot victims to get compensation from today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
The district administration has informed that the process of disbursement of compensation among the 1984 riot victims settled in Ludhiana (East) and Ludhiana (West) subdivisions would begin from April 13 from 12 noon onwards at 10 counters set up at different places in the city.

Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta , Deputy Commissioner, said out of a total of 4,315 applications submitted in the district, sanctions in the cases of 3,466 claimants have been received from the state committee, out of which 334 belong to the outer subdivisions i.e. Khanna (110), Samrala (57), Jagraon (70), Payal (65), Raikot (32), where the disbursement work had already been started from April 11.

The remaining cases are being processed and would be finalised within a period of one week and the compensation amount would be disbursed.

He said the lists of the sanctioned cases had been displayed on the notice boards in the offices of SDMs concerned and had also been put on the official website www.ludhiana.nic.in.

Mr Gupta said in order to facilitate the claimants to check the status of their case, separate counters had also been set up in the Bachat Bhavan.

Giving details of the disbursement counters and the proposed alphabetic groups of 3,132 claimants attached to each counter, the Deputy Commissioner informed that these included Government College for Boys for claimants whose names start with alphabets A and B; Multi Purpose Hall Guru Nanak Stadium for C and D alphabets; Valmiki Bhawan for E and G alphabets; Public Park opposite old PUDA Office behind Vardhman Mill Chandigarh road for H and I alphabets; Public Park in Sector 32 –A opposite BCM School Jamalpur, for J alphabet; Zila Parishad Complex, near Sadar Police Station for K and L alphabets; Extension Library, Fountain Chowk, for M and N alphabet; Gurdwara Shaheedan Model Town for O and P alphabets; Guru Nanak Bhavan for S alphabet; and Bachat Bhavan for the claimants with names starting with Q to Z alphabets.

The Deputy Commissioner said if need be the counters would continue to function even on the holidays, i.e. April 14 to 16.

He appealed to the claimants to bring their ‘‘Red cards’’ in original and one passport-size photograph with them. The claimant will have to submit an indemnity bond on a stamp paper of Rs 50, which would be prepared at the counter and attested by the Executive Magistrate/ Notary Public available at all counters.

Mr Gupta asked the claimants to cooperate with the administration for the smooth disbursement of the compensation amount.



At the Crossroads
Six decades of creative writing

Nearing 90, Prof Surinder Singh Narula is still alive to the changing patterns of human life around him. He has been with the times ever since his first novel 'Peo Putter' (Father and Son) appeared in 1946. This novel was hailed as a pioneering work in Punjabi realistic fiction.

The novel depicts the plight of Hira who has love-hate relationship with his maternal grandfather. While relating his story, he pauses at times to think aloud and this enables the reader to enter into the mind of the hero. This would not have been possible if the story had been told from the omniscient point of view. Formless as the novel is, it would have fallen apart but for the adhesive of autobiographical technique. In this novel the Punjabi reader is made aware, for the first time, of the reality of life, both physical and psychological.

'Peo Putter' is considered his magnum opus, although it is Professor Narula's first novel. He thinks highly of his debut work, although he nurses a grudge against the literary critics who have more or less ignored his other novels. Prof Sant Singh Sekhon has, however, commented favourably on his novels such as 'Nili Bar', 'Rang Mahal', 'Jug Biti', 'Sil Aluni', 'Rataan Hoeyan Wadian' and 'Rahe Kurahe'. Still the novelist's views about his first work have a great significance .He says: "The story of 'Peo Putter' is the story of my father's days of struggle. He was sore at my realistic, rather naturalistic, approach and accused me of washing the dirty linen in public. In fact, it is not possible to present an entirely realistic portraiture of life as the writer has to be choosy enough to reclaim something substantial out of the splendid waste of life."

Meeting Professor Narula at this time of his life is an experience of mixed feelings. One is happy to find him mentally alert, but it is somewhat depressing to see him physically helpless in a wheel-chair. His legs are impaired, but he gesticulates energetically with his arms while expressing his views. Luckily his eyesight and hearing faculty are almost normal. His mind appears to be forever occupied in thinking new thoughts.

In a mild tone, he conveys his feelings : "I have been through the full gamut of life. I have given my best to literature and teaching. I passed my MA in English examination in 1942 from Khalsa College, Amritsar. My first appointment as a lecturer was at Brijindra College, Faridkot. Later, I was transferred to Government College, Ludhiana, from where I retired in 1975. Now nothing matters to me except the wish that my readers should not easily forget me when I am gone."

— N.S. Tasneem



MCPI (U) supports agitating farmers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
The state preparatory committee of the Marxist Communist Party of India -United (MCPI-U) has condemned the "callous and dictatorial attitude of the Punjab Government" towards farmers in general and those from Dhoula, Sanghera and Fatehpur Chhanna villages near Barnala in particular.

In a statement issued here yesterday, the MCPI(U) expressed sympathies with the farmers whose land had been acquired by the government at throwaway prices to be given to the Trident group of industries. The party said, "This is an anti-farmer and pro-capitalistic policy of the Punjab Government to uproot farmers from their precious lands".

Expressing sympathy with the family of deceased farmer Sarmukh Singh and the agitating farmers, the state secretary of the MCPI(U), Mr Kuldip Singh, has urged the state government to accept the demands of the farmers of these villages and release the arrested farmers forthwith without any conditions by withdrawing the false cases against them.

The MCPI(U) expressed serious concern over the worst-ever power situation in the state. Long power cuts and poor power supply falsifies the claims of the Punjab Government and the PSEB of 24-hour power supply to most of the villages in the state. Despite the poor supply, board officials and Congress leaders continue to make hollow claims.

The MCPI(U) has asked the Punjab Government and the PSEB to improve the power situation in the state and not make false claims in this regard. People are worried that if this is the situation in the beginning of the summer, what will happen when full summer season comes

The MCPI(U) has also opposed the import of wheat when the new crop has already come in the markets and asked the Central Government to withdraw this anti-farmer and anti-national decision.



Sahnewal level crossing perpetual headache
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, April 12
The level crossing of Sahnewal remains a perpetual headache not only for daily commuters but also for resident shopkeepers and pedestrians who suffer frequent traffic congestions on the single main market road of Sahnewal.

The level crossing remains closed for most of the times and each time the passersby have to kill at least half an hour of their precious time before they are allowed to pass. This happens nearly 10 to 15 times in a day.

According to the owner of a known garments shop, "The daily shoppers face great difficulty as they have to literally push their way to reach their place of shopping. Hardly does the long vehicular traffic clears, a fresh line follows as the crossing is shut down for the passage of another train. Sometimes the crossing is lifted only after two or three trains are made to pass."

Mr Santa Singh Umaidpuri, former Chairman, Market Committee, Sahnewal, says: "The level crossing of Sahnewal is a perpetual problem. The frequent pleas and requests to the administration and government have fallen on deaf ears. So grave is this problem that the long vehicular traffic reaches the national highway that affects the traffic on the G.T. Road too."

Another shopkeeper complains: "The vehicles are so mingled with one another that frequent traffic jams have become the order of the day. Also, minor accidents and scuffs due to severe congestion are common. Moreover, the vehicles, instead of following a particular line, make four to five lines, thus creating further confusion for the pedestrians. Also, the scene after the clearing of level crossing is worth seeing as every driver is in a hurry to make an early passage."

Mr Somnath, another shopkeeper of the area, says," The dust raised in the process leads to severe health problems as most of the residents are suffering from asthma or other breathing problems ."

Thus, Sahnewal town is facing a grave problem due to the frequent closure of this level crossing. According to a sweet-shop owner," Eatables, sweets and fruits are covered with dust and dirt rising due to the traffic congestion and are, hence, despised by buyers. Our sales are affected to a great extent and most of the material is wasted at the end of the day."

The problem assumes serious proportions on the days when the produce is brought to the centrally located grain market of Sahnewal. The only main market road is filled to the brim with trolleys, trucks, rehris etc . No efforts are made by the administration to clear this chaos that gets aggravated in the harvesting season. The problem has still worsened after the implementation of toll tax at the Doraha toll barrier. The commuters, in order to evade tax, prefer to follow the Sahnewal-Kohara route, instead of following the Doraha-Khanna route. Not only this, Sahnewal town is the main shopping centre for people of adjoining villages for which they frequently visit it. Sahnewal town seems to be left entirely at the mercy of God in such a pathetic situation.

The residents have demanded a bypass or some sort of traffic diversion so that Sahnewal town may be relieved from this perennial problem.



‘Renew licences of stamp vendors’

Samrala, April 12
Litigants and parents of students are facing problems to receive non-judicial papers from the local treasury. They have to stand in queue for hours, as licences of stamp vendors have not been renewed by the district administration. People are compelled to get papers from the treasury.

Meanwhile, leaders of the political parties have demanded from the SDM, Mr Baldev Singh ,to grant special permission to stamp vendors sitting in court compounds. They should also be allowed to draw non-judicial papers from the government treasury so that the public does not suffer.

Rice-millers body meet

In a meeting of the All -India Rice Millers Association, Mr Tarsem Saini, president of the Punjab Rice Millers Association, has been elected president unanimously.

This information was given here today by Mr Tejinder Singh Rajewal, vice-president of the Punjab Rice Millers Association, and Mr K.L. Mintu, press secretary, of the association, jointly. OC



Protest against opening of liquor vend
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
Residents of Mohalla Parkash Puri, near the Dhuri line, staged a protest and submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner today. They were protesting against the opening of a liquor shop in their area. They said the shop was just 30 metres from a temple.

They said they were protesting against it for the past 10 days and various media had highlighted their protest also. None of the authorities came for their rescue.

The residents said the opening of the shop would create problems for children and womenfolk. They threatened that they would not allow its opening at any cost.

They sent a copy of the memorandum to the Chief Minister, the Chief Justice, Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission and the Excise Department for ordering the closure of the shop.

In a signature campaign against the vend, residents said that the opening of the shop would amount to harassment to them, so it should not be allowed.



11 booked for bid to dupe widow
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 12
After an inquiry conducted by the DSP of Payal, 11 persons have been booked under Sections 420, 467, 471 and 120 B of the IPC for attempting to dupe a childless widow, Amarjit Kaur, a resident of Dhaul Kalan (Payal), of a piece of land measuring about 37 kanal.

According to the information available, Amarjit’s husband Sadhu Singh had died in February 2005. Sadhu’s brother Karnail Singh along with his two sons—Kulvinder and Harvinder— and a nephew, Darshan, fabricated a will that was witnessed by Mohinder Singh, Ujagar Singh and Harnek Singh, Nambardar. The application submitted to the SDM of Payal for the mutation was decided in favour of Amarjit on August 22, 2005.

During this period, Beant Singh, a relative of Sadhu Singh, fabricated an ‘‘ikrarnama’’ for the sale of the said land for Rs 11 lakh. The agreement had the signatures of Jarnail Singh and Ran Singh as witnesses. For the enforcement of the agreement a civil suit was filed in a court in Ludhiana, the judgement however went in the favour of Amarjit Kaur.

During the inquiry DSP, Payal, noted that the agreement was bearing thumb impression of the deceased Sadhu Singh, where as he was literate enough to sign his name and his signatures on the ration card proved the lie of the fabricated ‘‘ikrarnama’’.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |