R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

Regional potpourri

  • A memorial in phases
  • A push for self-reliance
  • Jeep travel sans insurance

Car stolen: Unidentified persons stolen a car numbering PB-35-F-3800 belonging to Arvinder Singh, a resident of Ranjit Avenue from outside the district court complex here on Saturday. Arvinder Singh in his complaint lodged at civil line police station, said that he had gone to the district court complex to meet his father. When he returned, he found his car missing.

Teenage girl enticed away: A teenaged daughter of Naranjan Singh, a resident of Dogra mohalla, was enticed away by a close relative on June 6. The police has registered a case under Section 363/366 IPC at police station city, Batala. Police parties have been dispatched to trace the culprit.

Post office repair on: The Superintendent of Post Offices, Mr RP Sharma, on Saturday said the department was committed to providing hygienic and clean working environment to its staff and public. He said the Sirki Bazar post office building was being repaired to avoid any inconvenience to employees and customers.

Opium seized: Inhabitants of Gogo Mehtabpur village helped in the seizure of 2.5 kg opium on Saturday. According to the police sources, inhabitants noticed that an unidentified person was roaming in a Maruti car under suspicious circumstances. When they tried to stop him, he threw a bag and escaped. Police reached there. After searching the bag, the police seized 2.5 kg opium from it.

6 hurt in road mishap: Six persons, including two women and three children, were injured when a Santro car (HR-70-3950) bound for Dhanoya village (Mukerian) from Kurukshetra and an Alto car (DL-3CZ-8401) going to Delhi from Vaishno Devi shrine collided head-on near the Darapur bypass (Tanda), 35 km from here, on Sunday. All the injured were admitted to the Civil Hospital, Tanda. The injured were identified as Narinder Kumar Jain and his daughter Komal Jain of Mohan Nagar, Kurukshetra, Ravita, Rohit and Suman, daughter, son and wife of Jai Inder, respectively, and Laado, wife of Raghubir Singh, all of Mubarakpur, Delhi.

Blood donation
: A blood donation camp was organised at Jalandhar Central Cooperative Bank by the union of its employees here on Saturday. Over 200 employees and volunteers donated the blood during the camp. It was inaugurated by Mr Ajit Singh Kohar, an MLA and a former Minister.

Memo against petro price hike: Activists of the district units of the SAD and the BJP on Friday submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner for submission to the Governor, registering their protest against the recent hike in the prices of petrol and diesel by the Congress-led UPA government here on Friday. Mr Resham Singh Thiara, district SAD president, Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, general secretary, SGPC, Mr Ashwani Ballagan, district BJP president, among others, were present on the occasion.

Philanthropist dead: Ved Parkash Laroyia, a veteran Arya Samaj leader and philanthropist, died here on Friday. He remained associated with the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, Punjab, and local Arya institutions for a long time.

Health camp: The local chapter of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) organised a free health check-up camp at Gurukul Public School here on Saturday. Dr Paramjit Mann, a renowned paediatrician, examined as many as 70 children. Free medicines were also given to needy patients, informed Ms Laxmi Jindal, Principal of the school.

Elected: The following have been elected office-bearers of the district unit of the Rural Medical Service Provider Association, Punjab: president — Dr Renu Verma; general secretary — Dr Singara Singh; treasurer — Dr Sunita Rani; and press secretary — Dr Deepak Sharma.

Gang busted
: The local police on Saturday arrested three persons alleged to be part of a gang involved in wayside robberies. The arrests were made a police team led by City Police Station SHO Gurwinder Singh. The accused were identified as Bhajan alias Bhajoo, Narinder Singh, both residents of Jahangir village in Amritsar district and Sucha Ram, a resident of Hazuri Bagh Colony in Ludhiana. The accused have reportedly confessed to have snatched a mobile phone and Rs 3,000 from a passerby in Phagwara on April 3 and a scooter and mobile phone from a another passerby at the Akalgarh village on May 9.

Minor girl raped: The local police has arrested Rajdeep Singh, a resident of Kanjhla village, for allegedly raping a 13-year-old local girl. The police has also arrested Gagandeep Kaur, an accomplice of Rajdeep Singh. The police has registered a case under Sections 376, 120-B and 342 of the IPC. Mr Baljit Singh, city in-charge, local police station, said on Saturday that Gagandeep Kaur sent the victim to Rajdeep Singh, who allegedly raped her.

Motivational programme: Small Industries Service Institute (SISI), Ludhiana, in association with the District Industries Centre (DIC), Malerkotla, and District Employment Office, Sangrur, organised an industrial motivational programme here on Friday. The main objective of this programme was to create awareness among the prospective entrepreneurs and students about various aspects of industries.



Man shot dead
: Rambir, serving in the Army and resident of Bhawar village here, was shot dead in the village while going to his uncle’s house on Saturday. On the complaint of his mother, Ms Kishni Devi, the police has registered a case against 13 persons of the same village including three women.

Missing girl’s body found: The body of a six-year-old girl, who had gone missing from her house in a Deha Basti here, was found on Friday in the Western Yamuna Canal here. As per police sources, Sangeeni, daughter of Gian Chand, had gone missing on Wednesday. It was suspected that she had drowned in the canal. The fears came true when her body was found stuck along the banks of the canal near Fatehpur village.

2 bodies found: The naked body of an unidentified man in his mid-thirties was found struck at one of the banks of the Awardhan canal here on Saturday morning. Another unidentified body was found lying along railway track near Pansra crossing here. The police took the bodies in its possession and made efforts to establish their identity.



3 baratis injured
: Three cars were damaged and three baratis injured when a tree fell on them near the Narda Sharda temple at Nagrota Bagwan on Friday, the police said. The baratis had come from Rehloo village along with a barat. The accident took place when the bride was being given send-off. A woman was killed when a tree fell on her there during a storm on May 20.

3 youth nabbed: Three youths were arrested by the Dharampur police for roaming under suspicious circumstances on the Kalka-Shimla national highway on Friday. Anurag Jain (21), Gurjinder Singh, alias Kalu (18), from Chandigarh, and Vishal Kumar (18) from Kharar were nabbed near Sanwara at around 7 a.m. along with Tata 407. The trio had allegedly not paid for petrol that they got from a petrol station, Dharampur. The petrol station staff called up the police. After around half an hour, the police party rushed towards Sanawar and nabbed the three.

Martyr remembered: The sixth death anniversary of Sikender, a sepoy in 10 Dogra Regiment, was observed at his native Bohali village near here on Saturday. Sikender had laid down his life during operation Rakshak. He was hit by infiltrators’ bullets during an encounter in Rajouri area of J&K. Mr Singh Ram Food and Civil Supplies Minister was the chief guest on the occasion.

Youth found dead
: Ravinder Kumar of Gangath town in this subdivision died in mysterious circumstances. According to the police, the deceased, who was married in March, left his home on Friday evening and did not return till late night. The family members of the deceased started a search and found him lying near a rivulet. He was declared brought dead in community health centre at Gangath. The police has registered a case.

Suicide: A Beldar of PWD on Friday committed suicide by hitting him self with a broken bottle. Balak Ram (46) had gone to take lunch in a room, but broke a bottle and injured himself in his stomach. He was immediately taken to a hospital where he was declared dead. The body of the deceased was handed over to his relatives after post-mortem examination. According to PWD officials, the deceased looked perturbed for the past few days.



Regional potpourri

A memorial in phases

The outer view of martyr Sukhdev’s house with his bust in Ludhiana

A plaque mentioning the place as his memorial
The outer view of martyr Sukhdev’s house with his bust in Ludhiana(top); (and below) a plaque mentioning the place as his memorial.
Photos by Inderjit Verma

Ludhiana's place of fame in India's freedom struggle has sadly been transformed into shame, thanks to the continuous neglect of martyr Sukhdev's memorial in the Nau Ghara area, where he was born and brought up.

It was in this house that the martyr took his first lessons of patriotism and kissed the gallows with Bhagat Singh and Rajguru for the freedom of the country. But for a handful of people led by a doctor, the ancestral house of the martyr would have collapsed by now.

It was after the initiative of Dr Hardip Singh, a Ludhiana doctor, that the memorial was saved from crumbling.

A non-government organisation, Shaheed Sukhdev Yaadgar Committee, under the aegis of the Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Committee, Jalandhar, in collaboration with a UK-based NRI organisation, Indian Workers Association, initiated this project a year ago and preserved the outer portion of his house.

The NGO took up the project after successive governments' promises to conserve the house did not yield anything. A number of political leaders, bureaucrats and film-makers though provided a lip service to preserve the memorial.The promises were never transformed into reality.

Some years ago, Raj Babbar, a Bollywood actor and politician, came to the city and raised a lot of hue and cry that the martyr's sacrifice was not remembered, as his house was in a state of utter neglect. He had promised some money for the preservation of the house, which is yet to arrive.

Things have come to such a pass that stench emanates from a pile of garbage just at the entrance to his house.

And while the government and the self styled patriotic leaders ignore the memorial, it is left to the Sukhdev Yaadgar Committee to think about it.

"We completed work on the first phase of the memorial by renovating the front of the house, besides installing the statue of the martyr. We would take up the second phase also and a memorial gate of the historical mohalla Naughara, where the martyr was born and brought up, would be constructed," said Dr Hardip Singh.

A push for self-reliance

The Society for Development, Research and Action (SDRA), a non-government organisation at Ganhi Lagor, near Nurpur in Himachal Pradesh, has been formed by local residents with the objective of undertaking social development activities at grassroots level, laying particular emphasis on the socio-economic uplift of the poor sections. The SDRA is committed to conduct and coordinate research studies, seminars and workshops related to different issues of development. It has been operating through an advisory-cum-governing body having members from different fields representing various parts of the country.

The SDRA recently organised four women empowerment programmes at Malkot, Jhanjrada and Ganhi Lagor villages in the Nurpur subdivision and Fatehpur in the Jawali subdivision. The programmes have been organised with the objective of providing a platform to the women self-help groups to have an in-depth interaction with officials of various departments. The programmes are being attended by as many as 100 women self-help groups as well as officials of different government departments. The groups were educated about various income-generating activities like mushroom-cultivation, “pattal”-making, soap-making and bamboo-crafting etc.

Jeep travel sans insurance

The next time you see a jeep approaching you on any highway in Haryana, run for cover. God forbid if you happen to have a brush with it, you or your kin will not get any compensation. The reason — insurance companies no longer offer any kind of insurance cover to these kind of vehicles since most of these ply illegally. Besides, official figures reveal that these “maxi-cabs”, as these are technically known in Haryana, account for over 50 per cent of the total road mishaps in the state annually.

In the wake of a spate of serious accidents in Rohtak and Hisar districts involving these vehicles, which claimed dozens of lives, Commissioner of Rohtak Division N. C. Wadhwa recently wrote to the Deputy Commissioners concerned to act against the errant jeeps. He pointed out that during his tours he had found that passengers were travelling on rooftop, bonnets and even rear doors. The vehicles were being driven at breakneck speeds to avoid apprehension by the Transport Department officials. Mr Wadhwa's communication directed the DCs to ensure that those travelling on rooftops and bonnets should be booked for attempting suicide, for travelling in such a manner amounted to this.

He also pointed to the fact that insurance companies were no longer offering any kind of insurance cover to these vehicles because of the large number of mishaps these vehicles were involved in. In case of mishaps, the next of kin of the deceased were left without a bread-winner and no compensation at all. It has now been decided to launch a mass awareness campaign to educate the masses about the perils of dangerous travel.

Interestingly, officials find it virtually impossible to book the offending drivers because of political involvement. Although these “maxi-cabs” are authorised to carry passengers for point-to-point travel, all of these are plying on routes averaging 20 to 30 km, picking up and dropping passengers every few hundred metres. However, the ban on insurance has led to a piquant situation.

Jeeps are a popular mode of personal transport in the desert belt of the state and the adjoining areas of Rajasthan because of the nature of the terrain. Those owning jeeps for personal family travel too are finding it hard to get insurance cover.

— Contributed by Kanchan Vasdev, Raman Mohan and Rajiv Mahajan


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