L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Suicide case: inquiry report misplaced
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 25
Even after more than two months of the indictment of examination supervising staff of MGMN Senior Secondary School in the infamous student’s suicide case, the DC, Sangrur, has yet to act on recommendations of the SDM, Malerkotla, who had proposed action against the Superintendent, the Deputy Superintendent and the Invigilator on duty at the centre on the day of the incident.

It is suspected that the staff concerned has managed to get the inquiry report misplaced in the DC office so as to evade action.

In her inquiry report submitted to the DC, Sangrur, in the first week of April, the SDM, Dr Indu, had held that the “supervising staff violated the rules and created such an environment in the examination hall that caused fear psychosis among the candidates.”

The inquiry report said while pindrop silence was required in the examination hall, mobile phones of certain staff members were ringing constantly and an altercation over the issue of joining duty by a couple had caused a lot of disturbance there.

The students could not concentrate as they were repeatedly frisked by the staff on duty, said the report.

The SDM had added, “Teachers are more than parents. But they created so much fuss over a trivial issue that students could not perform well and one of the students committed suicide as he failed to do well in the examination.”

On receiving a complaint about the death of the student, Dr Indu had during the exam days recommended the transfer of the staff at the centre as she had found that disharmony among the staff members had driven Sarabjit Singh, a youth from Ghungrana village, to commit suicide.

Kewal Singh, father of the deceased, had also told the police that Sarabjit Singh had hanged himself to death after returning from the school in the evening as he had not fared well in the chemistry paper.

After investigations, Dr Indu had observed that an altercation between Deputy Superintendent Baltej Singh, his wife Inderjit Kaur, and Superintendent Manjit Singh had caused inconvenience to the students.

Mr Baltej Singh and Ms Inderjit Kaur had, however, denied the charges. They maintained that they were being framed as they had been working to curb the menace of copying.

Though Dr Indu had recommended a departmental inquiry against the erring staff, the DEO, Sangrur, and the CEO, Nabha, were yet to receive orders from the DC office.



Worries of Badal on the increase
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, June 25
The arousing of religious sentiment in the wake of quadri-centenary of martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev notwithstanding, the focus of politics of Mr Parkash Singh Badal has always been how to seek power. His worries and anxieties have increased with the approaching of February 2007 Punjab Vidhan Sabha elections.

His frequent convening of meetings of MLAs, MPs and members of the SGPC as well as the political affairs committee indicates that he has serious worry how to keep his herd together. All Akali sources testify this fact. Although the senior most Akali leaders, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, and Captain Kanwaljit Singh refuse to admit that their relationship with Mr Badal are not very warm sofar as the mutual confidence is concerned, by and large at all the meetings the district and ground level workers are listeners only or at best they open their mouth to eulogize Mr Badal for his efforts to prepare the party for the elections. Only seldom is there a voice that leaves everyone bewildered.

At the last PAC meeting a senior functionary of the party came out with the remarks that there are dangerous signs as Captain Amarinder Singh had definitely created a foothold in Majha where he was able to hold a parallel function in connection with the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev with respectable audience. Similarly his programmes are also creating fissures in the rank and file of the Akali Dal. A senior advocate of Tarn Taran opined that with the creation of Tarn Taran as district, Captain Amarinder Singh had influenced not less than 15 per cent voters of Majha belt. This might be an exaggeration, but certainly the peripheral vote will be influenced and that might come out to be decisive in the outcome of the elections.

In view of this situation, the PAC decided to hold conferences all over Punjab and also a Dalit conference to ward off the influence of quota politics. Earlier also, the Akali Dal had organised a Dalit rally at Jalandhar.

The Akali Dal has not been able to appreciate that there is a seachange in the politico economic situation in the country which has equally affected the governance and the developmental programme. To condemn each and every project which Captain Amarinder Singh seeks to bring to Punjab is having adverse impact on the masses. The total employment potential that has to be generated will come through only with such mega projects and this will be affecting the youth voters wing.

Captain Amarinder Singh has aggressively started posing these questions to the Akali Dal for playing negative politics in the matter of economic development of the state. The Akali think tank in this regard is yet to respond.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal has an uphill task before him. He has the organisational difficulties as well. The Tohra phenomenon influences only marginal voters in various select areas of Punjab. But one has to concede that sometime marginal vote becomes decisive. Stalwarts like Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta and Mr Maheshinder Singh Grewal find themselves cornered and constantly placed at the receiving end. The leadership has never taken any effective steps either to assuage their feelings or rehabilitate them. Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta’s place in the religious stream remains unassailable.

He has taken the position which embarrasses Mr Badal quite often. He says, “I cannot compromise on religious issues or denigration of Panthic issues for the sake of political expediency. But as a half-century old committed Akali, I refuse to walk out of the Akali Dal. I wish only reforms and Sikh concerns to be attended. Almost similar is the case with the Sarna brothers in Delhi. Notwithstanding their hob-knobbing with the Congress high-ups, the Sarna brothers Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna and Mr Harvinder Singh Sarna avowedly state that they are Panthic and committed Akalis. They also find themselves in a position where they have to fight with a back to the wall to maintain their position in Delhi. Mr Harmail Singh Tohra and Mr Surjit Singh Kohli have chosen to become mute followers of Mr Badal.

The presence of Dr Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister and his relevance in the Punjab politics is also a factor worrying Mr Badal. His (Badal) recent outburst against Dr Manmohan Singh for not attending the quadri-centenary of martyrdom functions of Guru Arjan Dev can be explained in this perspective. Mr Badal fears that if the Prime Minister campaigns in Punjab his image, credibility and integrity are going to impress the voters.

Meanwhile, Captain Amarinder Singh on his own is doing his best to extract what ever he can form the Centre in order to further boost the image of his government. In his recent meeting with the Prime Minister and his senior colleagues, the Chief Minister has rightly demanded package for farmers of Punjab to waive of their loans. The Punjab state is also likely to get some financial assistance for the families of those farmers who have committed suicide as the Centre has decided to extend help to five states in this regard. The Chief Minister is also pressing for the defence university in Punjab and some relief for the trade and industry in the state.

Captain Amarinder Singh seems to be riding high but he has to pay immediate attention to some of the burning problems like the rise in the prices of essential commodities and he has to rein in some of the ‘most favoured’ bureaucrats. The Chief Minister must ask his favourite officers to account for their achievements for the foreign jaunts undertaken by them. This is a very serious issue before him and the people of Punjab seek answer from him since he is their chief spokesman.

Another significant development which has taken place in Punjab in the recent past pertains to the merger of the Shiromani Khalsa Dal headed by Mr Daljeet Singh Bittu with the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) headed by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann. Mr Mann and Mr Daljit Singh Bittu will make a good team to raise Panthic issues and the issues concerning the Sikh multitude and attract youth.

The Akali Dal (Amritsar) is also in dialogue with the Akali Dal (Longowal ) for having an alliance for the ensuing Vidhan Sabha elections in Punjab. Mr Chandumajra has some pockets of influence in Malwa belt.



Violence on TV can have adverse effect on kids
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 25
“Children in India are, nowadays, watching more hours of television and such programmes that contain violence or other undesirable contents that can greatly influence the developing value systems and shaping behaviour.”

According to Dr Paramjit Singh Khurana, consultant neuro psychiatrist and drug de-addiction specialist at Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital here, several studies on the effects of TV programmes containing violence, on children and teenagers have revealed that the regular viewers could become immune to the horror of violence, gradually accept violence as a way to solve problems, imitate the violence they observe on television and, in some cases, even identify themselves with certain characters, victims and/or perpetrators of criminal acts or violence.

“Studies have shown that extensive viewing of television violence by children causes greater aggressiveness. At times, watching a single violent programme can increase aggressiveness. Children who view TV serials depicting realistic violence, frequently repeated acts of violence or the guilty going unpunished, are more likely to imitate what they see. Still worse, the children with emotional, behavioral, learning or impulse control problems may be more easily influenced by TV violence.”

He opined that the impact of TV violence might be immediately evident in the child’s behaviour or could surface years later, and young people could even be affected when the family atmosphere showed no tendency toward violence. He pointed out that while TV violence was not the only cause of aggressive or violent behaviour, it was clearly a significant influencing factor.

On saving children from the adverse impact of TV programmes, Dr Khurana advised the parents to keep an eye on the programmes their children usually watched and occasionally give their children company for TV viewing. The parents ought to set limits on the amount of time that the children spent with the television and if called for, consider removing the TV set from the child’s bedroom.

“The kids need to be told that although the actors in TV programmes have not actually been hurt or killed, such violence, in real life, results in pain or death. The parents should assert their authority and refuse to let the children see shows known to be violent, and change the channel or turn off the TV set when offensive material comes on, albeit with an explanation of what is wrong with the particular programme.”

He further observed that the parents would do well to disapprove of the violent episodes in front of the children, stressing the belief that such behavior was not the best way to resolve a problem. To offset peer pressure among friends and classmates, initiative should be taken to contact other parents and agree to enforce similar rules about the length of time and type of program the children might watch.

Dr Khurana cautioned that the amount of time children watched TV, regardless of content, should be moderated because TV viewing took away time which could be spent on more beneficial activities such as reading, playing with friends, and developing hobbies. If parents experienced serious difficulties setting time-limits, or had concerns as to how their children were reacting to television, they should seek professional assistance.



‘UPA govt appeasing minority’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 25
The UPA government is following a minority appeasement policy since it itself was in a minority. The decision of the government to grant 15 per cent reservation to Muslims was nothing but votebank politics.

This was stated by Mr Ram Madhav, a member of the working committee of the RSS, while addressing participants at the concluding function of a 20 day camp held at BVM, Kitchlu Nagar, late last night.

The former spokesperson of the outfit said this minority appeasement policy was not in the interests of the nation and would prove counter productive in the years to come. This would give a filip to communalism and result in anti-national forces gaining ground in the country.

This was the reason why the country was now battling communalism and terrorism and no corner of the country was free from this scourge. The striking capability of the terrorist can be gauged from the fact that they have even struck at our Parliament. The recent strike was at the Nagpur-based headquarters of the RSS, he pointed out.

Mr Madhav revealed that 75 such camps have been organised since 1938 in which more than 20, 000 members have gained training in the party ideology.

Others present on the occasion included former minister Manoranjan Kalia, former MP Lala Lajpat Rai, Bibi Gurcharan Kaur, Mr Baldev Raj, Mr Mitter Sen, Dr Balbir Kapila, Dr Subash Verma, Mr Sukhminder Pal Singh Grewal and Mr Vinod Jain.



Taan Trikz, DJ Bhanu rock Ludhiana
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 25
Taan Trikz, a musical group from Delhi and DJ Bhanu from Ludhiana gave a scintillating performance here on Saturday night. It was a glitzy invite that brought together the best to the city.

Fling Vodka party — Dare to Belong organised by the Seagram’s was a heady mix of contemporary dance music and electrifying DJing. Taan Trikz’s — the Goan foursome of Brauilo Soares, Ulrich Gomes, Tony Fernandes and Greg D’souza who have two albums to its credit — ‘Wet and Wild Mix’, ‘U and Me’, which were both a resounding success, besides playing crowd pleasing hit numbers made the audience rubbing their shoulders with leading lights of today’s DJ community — Bhanu.



Social worker Gurmel Singh dead

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 25
Mr Rachhpal Singh Hara, DSP Malerkotla, was bereaved when his father, Mr Gurmel Singh, passed away following a prolonged illness last evening.
Eighty-year-old Gurmel Singh was a renowned social worker and sports promoter of the area. He contributed significantly by producing quality kabaddi players. He was cremated at his native village, Nandpur, in Ludhiana district today. — OC




Even as the city has developed a dance culture, the absence of a discotheque where residents can spend some quality time and hone up their skills, is being largely felt.

With no regular platform for dancing, the crazy fans of the art of gyrating give vent to their passion only at one or two annual functions being organised by a hotel and some disc jockeys.

The enthusiasm at such dance functions can only be seen to be believed. Yet, no one seems to offer a regular place for dancing to the city residents.

Coping with cops

The city cops are learning tricks of the share market and financial dealings to handle the economic offences better.

They are also organising special health camps to make them aware of their health problems and how to remain fit. But one thing the cops are ignoring is to teach the men in khaki how to handle the media.

The cops work on their own time and whims and feel free to call the mediapersons for press conferences about minor things. And then there are no sensitivities regarding the timings.

Just another day, the mediapersons got an early morning call for a press conference at 9 am.The mediapersons who usually sleep well only after midnight were startled to receive the calls.

To their utter shock, they learnt at police lines that it was just a medical camp of the cops where they were invited.

Orphaned residents

The vote politics assumed more shocking proportions for residents of street no-1, Madhopuri.

Though belonging to the city with ration cards etc, the residents were still no one's baby as their names were not mentioned in the electoral rolls.

Without the power of votes, the residents were thus at the mercy of the municipal councillors.

No wonder that no councillor was willing to own them. As a result, the residents were left bereft of civic amenities even though the areas around them were enjoying the services.

Mall bubble

The reports that shopkeepers at the only mall that had started functioning in the city were suffering losses sound ominous for the scores of under-construction malls and multi-complexes in the city.

The mushrooming of these buildings were being projected as the sign of development in the state.

But the real sign of development, the buying power, eluded the citizens and thus questioned the claims of growth.

Power woes

Power woes of the citizens are an apt reminder of the urgent need to conserve energy.

While it is easy to criticise the government for the lack of power generation, the residnets can do their bit by saving energy thoughout the year so that the generation of power meets the demands in the sultry weather.

Mobiles and banks

The ban on carrying mobile phones in the banks is being implemented on paper only.

Though notices informing the public about the ban scream loudly at the entrance gate and walls yet no one seem to bother.

A large number of snatching and robbery incidents have taken place outside the banks.

Mobile phones have been used in all such incidents with one robber informing the outside robber about the victim through his mobile phone.

Despite that the security guards of the bank and PCR cops do not stop anyone from taking the cell phones inside.

No ‘shreeman ji’

‘Shreemanji’, the polite way of addressing persons visiting the police station or calling up over the phone, has been conveniently forgotten.

The policy of addressing the complainants in the police manner was launched in the state four years ago but no cop use the expression now. The routine rude way of addressing has returned.

No wonder it is believed that the Punjab Police can never learn to be polite.

—Contributed by Jupinderjit Singh and Kanchan Vasdev



Aggarwals want their share of power pie 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 25
A zonal seminar of the Punjab Pradesh Aggarwal Sammelan today vowed that the community would no longer let itself be used by political parties without being given its due share in the power structure.

It was further decided that in the absence of an acceptable proposal from national or regional parties, the community, with sizeable presence in the region, would put up its own candidates in the coming Assembly elections in Punjab.

The seminar, attended by a large number of delegates from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and Delhi, was presided over by Mr Pradeep Mittal, president, Akhil Bhartiya Aggarwal Sammelan, while state president of the body, Mr Amrit Lal Aggarwal, moderated the proceedings.

Mr Mittal expressed serious concern over the steep rise in prices of essential commodities like edible oils, power and petroleum products. The government ought to effectively curb the price rise and deal firmly with criminal elements, he added.

Deliberating on the ever-increasing exposure to satellite channels, exhibiting overdose of sex, intoxicants and violence, coupled with the menace of camera mobile phones, the seminar observed that these were having a devastating effect on the youth.

In particular, more and more instances of misuse of camera mobile phones were being witnessed each day and in most of the cases, innocent young girls were made to suffer humiliation.

It called upon the government to evolve a fool-proof mechanism to regulate satellite and cable TV channels and also curb misuse of mobile phones with camera.

Mr Amrit Lal Aggarwal said, on its own level, the Aggarwal Sammelan would also launch a comprehensive awareness and education programme to wean away the youth from the increasing influence of Western culture.

Focusing on the grim scenario of elementary education, Mr Aggarwal urged the government to strengthen primary and elementary education programme, take remedial steps against school dropouts and provide free education up to graduation level.

He further stressed that for the post-graduate and the professional courses, the criteria for admission should be purely on merit of the students. The seminar reiterated its demand to declare public holiday on the birthday of Maharaja Aggarsain.

It was pointed out that the then SAD-BJP government did declare a public holiday on Maharaja Aggarsain anniversary, which was later withdrawn.

The government was asked to declare holiday on the birthday of Maharaja Aggarsain, the symbol of equality, democracy and emancipation of the downtrodden people.

Through other resolutions, the sammelan called upon the government to scrupulously follow the directions on the size of the state cabinets, cut down wasteful expenditure by ministers, bureaucrats and other political appointees and impress upon the different government departments to accord due respect to the business community and tax payers.

The other demands were to devise a system in which there would be no political interference in the day-to-day administrative and police working and chalk out an elaborate action plan to root out terrorism from all parts of the country.



Orchestra organiser, ex-employee bury the hatchet
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 25
A girl, who had accused the organiser of an orchestra group of pressing her into flesh trade, has withdrawn her complaint saying the misunderstanding between complainant and the suspect has been removed by elders in society.

The orchestra organiser, who happened be a former employer of the complainant, has also withdrawn allegations that the girl had stolen money from her office.

The police confirmed receiving complainants levelling allegations and cross-allegation, but a written compromise was produced before the police could ascertain truth in the case.

Nasreen (name changed), organiser of an orchestra group at Outer Mandi area, had accused a former employee of her office of stealing a huge amount. Before the police could initiate any action on the said complaint, the girl alleged that her former employer pressed her into flesh trade.



Traders’ conference on July 9
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, June 25
A state-level conference of the business community of Punjab will be organised on July 9 to highlight the grievances of the community and to protest against non-acceptance of their pending demands.

This was stated by Mr Tulsi Dass Jaitvani, president, Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, while addressing the executive committee meeting recently held at Ludhiana. He said the state government was not listening to the problems of the business community and a show of strength and protest would be staged on that day and a large number of representatives of the All-India Beopar Mandal would also participate.

Mr S.P. Jain, general secretary, All-India Beopar Mandal, was a special guest on that occasion. He said traders should condemn the anti-trade policies.



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