L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

10 hurt in clash between migrants, local residents
Police resorts to lathi charge; cases of rioting and attempt to murder registered
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 25
A protest by over 600 migrant labourers against the mandatory migrant verification scheme of the local police turned violent in Sunder Nagar this morning, resulting in probably the first major clash between the migrants and the local residents in the state.

More than 10 persons belonging to different warring groups, besides six cops, suffered injuries when the migrants pelted stones at the police, beat up a man and his son riding a two-wheeler and brutally assaulted an unidentified woman travelling in a rickshaw.

A number of migrants too were injured when local residents launched a counter attack. Later, the police also lathi-charged the violent mob. The injured also included a journalist who was covering the event. He was rescued from certain death by the police when a group of migrants were beating him up mercilessly.

The city police later registered a case of rioting and attempt to murder against 13 identified persons and several unidentified persons. All these were arrested. Inspector G S Bains, SHO, Basti Jodhewal, said the list included a local leader, Sarbjit Lal, who had allegedly regrouped the migrants and brought them back again at the clash spot after the police had dispersed them once.

At one time the clash threatened to take communal color with majority of labourers belonging to the Muslim community. However, there was no communal tension in the city with the residents maintaining calm and leaders of different religious organisations also trying to cool tempers.

Religious leaders have claimed some anti-social elements in both the warring parties had resorted to violence and there was no communal angle to it.

As per the claims of the police, the local residents, the labourers and eye-witnesses, the trouble arose at about 9 :30 am, when hundreds of migrant labourers on way to the Basti Jodhewal police station to submit a memorandum against the migrant verification scheme suddenly sat on a dharna in Sunder Nagar.

The migrants allegedly did not allow the traffic to pass and raised slogans against the local administration. Panic -stricken shopkeepers closed down the shutters. A small team of the police was also keeping guard. The tension grew when a father-son duo tried to pass through the dharna claiming their house was nearby.

However, a group of labourers suddenly got up and beat them black and blue. On the other side, a labourer wearing knuckle-dusters punched a woman in the head , when she, travelling in a rickshaw, requested them to let her pass. The woman immediately fell on the ground with her head bleeding profusely. The labourers allegedly beat up another group of girls too.

This angered the local residents who were till then watching the dharna from a distance. Soon more residents came in droves and then it was free for all till a large contingent of the city police arrived.

The police launched lathi charge immediately and rounded up several persons. The police was at the receiving end of the migrant's fury for quite some time as the labourers resorted to heavy pelting of stones.

Many of the labourers later saved themselves from the police and local residents' counter attack by hiding in those very shops which they had attacked.

SHO, Basti Jodhewal, G S Bains, said besides the local leader Sarabjit Lal, others booked and arrested were Master Feroz, Hasif Taseem, Mohd Alam, Noor Alam, Ramesh Pradhan, Kuldip Singh, Naveen Kumar, Shamsher Mansoor, Khet Kumar, Jaml-ud-din, Gafoor Alam and Aslam.

Meanwhile, a delegation led by Punjab chapter of the Indian Muslim Council, Atiq-ur-Rehman, met the city SSP A S Rai and demanded stern action against those indulging in the violence and falsely attributing it as a communal clash.

He said the labourers were carrying out a peaceful march to protest against the slow process of the verification and the issuing of identity cards to the labourers. He claimed the labourers' complaints were genuine as the police was harassing them a lot.

He said some anti-social elements had entered the mob and triggered violence. Mr Rehman who is also the president of the minority wing of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, said anti-social elements provoked violence to malign the Congress Government.

The Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Suraksha Samiti has also condemned the incident and sought strong action against those resorting to violence. Mr Rajiv Tandon and Mr Rakesh Kapoor of the samiti said no one would be allowed to hurt the religious sentiments of any community.

The district unit of the Communist Party of India has also submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner claiming they were protesting against the police repression on the labourers who were holding a protest march.

CPI leaders Ramesh Rattan, Dr Arun Mitra demanded the arrested labourers should be released and cases lodged against them be withdrawn immediately, besides action against the erring cops.



Induction furnaces reopen
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 25
Induction furnaces, the closure of which had been ordered by the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), started functioning today. Following the decision regarding power supply, more than 15 industry associations that had started a protest yesterday, ended their agitation.

“We have received orders to supply electricity to induction furnaces for three days a week,” confirmed Mr K.D. Chaudhry, chief engineer, central zone, Ludhiana, PSEB.

The electricity board had stopped power supply to induction furnaces while continuing the same to arc furnaces in the state. As per the order now, both arc and induction furnaces would get supply for three days in a week. “We began functioning from this afternoon.

Though there still is a shortage of electricity, we are happy that there is no discrimination now,” said Mr K.K. Garg, president, Induction furnace Association of North India.

Induction furnaces, along with over 15 industry associations, had protested that the PSEB was supplying electricity to arc furnaces in the state whereas induction furnaces had been closed for an indefinite period.



3 minor girls abandoned
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 25
Barely a few days after the recovery of numerous female foetuses from a Patran nursing home shook the state, a mother abandoned her three minor daughters at the Ludhiana Railway Station, leaving them to mercy of strangers.

While their biological mother deserted them, a rickshaw-puller’s wife looked after them for two days and then reported the matter to the General Railway Police. The unfortunate girls have found a new home at SGB Childrens’ Home, Dham Talwandi Khurd near here.

Identifying themselves as Gudiya (5), Poonam (2) and Sapna about six moths old, the girls are yet to give details about their house and parents’ names.

Gudiya, the eldest among them, is in a state of shock and is mum about her mother and father. She says her mother left her with an ‘‘aunty’’, promising to come back.

With agony of being separated from their parents writ large on their faces, the girls, especially the elder one, are trying to come to terms with reality. ‘‘Mummy said she would come back within half an hour. But she did not. We were with aunty and now we are here,’’ said the eldest one, mixing Hindi and Punjabi languages.

Dr Jagdeep Singh of Childrens’ Home said they were trying to make the girls comfortable. They were being given love and care so that they did not miss their parents. ‘‘They were trying to play with other inmates but it will take time for them to settle down. After all, they are amidst complete strangers,’’ he said.

He said their condition was miserable when they were brought to the children’s home, but now were recovering from the shock of losing their parents. ‘‘No child wants to be left alone by his mother at this tender age, even for an hour. But these poor girls are living through this misery.’’

He said if their biological parents wanted them back, they would give them back to them. But if nobody turned up, then they would be considered for placing in adoption as per the law.

Dr Jagdeep Singh said he was disappointed at the attitude of the GRP authorities, who despite clearcut guidelines from the Director Social Security, Child and Woman Development, Punjab, and a follow-up letter by the District Social Security Officer to all police Stations, did not make effort to contact the organisation.

They continued to keep them with a rickshaw-puller’s wife. “It was only through a news item in the vernacular media that we came to know about the girls and brought them home”.

The SGB Children’s Home is an agency recognised by the government which admits orphan children up to six.



Protest march by Sikh bodies
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 25
Activists of various Sikh organisations of the town today held a protest march against the cutting of hair of a Sikh youth in Jaipur. The march passed through various areas of the city.

Condemning the incident, they demanded action against the culprits. Prominent among those who led the protesters were Mr Kuldip Singh Karwal, general secretary of the youth wing, SA(A), Mr Ajit Singh president of the Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Railway Road, Mr Piara Singh, president of Dr Ambedkar Society, Mr Swaran Singh Ubhi, general secretary of the Vishawkarma Mandir Committee, Mr Parminder Singh Cheema of SAD (L), and Mr Hakam Singh Ghungrana of SAD.

The protesters were holding banners and placards demanding strict action against the culprits.

They condemned the incident, terming it as a deliberate mischief aimed at hurting the sentiments of the Sikhs.



Milk adulteration: IHRO wants action
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 25
The International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) today flayed the individuals and officials conniving with food adulterators in the state of Punjab, while its political front, the Sikh League, took serious notice of the incident of forced hair cutting of a Sikh youth in Jaipur in Rajasthan.

IHRO general secretary Mohinder Singh Grewal, Prevention of Food Adulteration for Better Health Project Coordinator Sukhdev Singh Ramgarh Sibian and secretary women’s affairs Inderjit Kaur said their outfit had expressed concern over media reports of large-scale milk adulteration in Ludhiana where all 200 milk samples taken recently were found adulterated and unfit for human consumption by the Dairy Development Department.

A team of their activists met Dr I D Goel, District Health Officer (DHO), and contacted Ms Laj Sarna, Deputy Director, Dairy Department in this regard, besides consulting the local Food and Supplies Department authorities, said Mr D S Gill, chairperson of the organisation.

According to a preliminary report of the team, the Health Department seemed to complete the quota fixed for collecting samples as they were not officially aware of any prosecution results of failed samples, while on the other hand, the dairy department seemed only interested in creating public awareness about adulteration without adopting a pro -active role in curbing the menace, added Mr Gill.

The organisation is of the opinion that there is no coordination among the concerned departments, not even with the prosecution agency, and that is why the offenders could not be prosecuted. “Therefore, we cannot rule out the possibility of connivance among officials and alleged offenders,” he pointed out.

Since food adulteration was a heinous crime, the IHRO would continue approach the higher authorities for punishing milk vendors and officials, if found guilty, Mr Sukhdev Singh added.

Meanwhile, the Sikh League has condemned the assault and forced haircut of Inderpreet Singh in Jaipur by some misguided youth and called upon the Sikh people worldwide to remain vigilant against “fascist” forces in and outside India.



A child prodigy
Our Correspondent

Antriksh Salwan
Antriksh Salwan

Ludhiana, August 25
“It is said that the future is known from man’s present and what we do in the present is the result of our deeds of the past from the age of 10, I started expressing my views through poetry and slowly I collected 42 poems. My tree of poetry was nourished by myself and my ‘Book Flight of Childhood Thoughts’ gives a detailed version of life’s cycle”, says Antriksh Sharma in one of the pages of his poetry book.

Antriksh Salwan got his first English poetry book ‘Flight of Childhood Thoughts’ released at his alma mater Sacred Heart Convent School, Maria Nagar, Samrala (Ludhiana), by the former principal of the school.

The function was attended by Principal Paul Kulwant Rai, teachers, students, his parents and other dignitaries. Antriksh read out title poem from his collection titled “The Day I Waited For’.

Antriksh is studying in Class X and is 15 years old. He started writing poetry when he was in Class VI. He said: “I was greatly inspired by my maternal grandfather — Mr Cr Moudgil — who is an excellent writer of prose and poetry in English. His articles appear regularly in newspapers. I thought I should also follow in his footsteps and make a name for myself through poetry.”

“My book contains 42 poems in all. Out of these, 10 poems pertain to nature, 10 to social customs and social problems and 22 to relationships.”

Sr Gilees in her address emphasized the role of teachers, parents and said she felt honored that a student of her school had created a milestone in field of literature. Mr CR Moudgil, chief guest appreciated the school for helping the young student to achieve his ambition. He said, “many a child may die on the roadside selling things for wont of opportunity”.

When Antriksh was asked what were his future plans, he replied: I am just a small microbic dust of this world. I would try to make my nation feel proud by becoming an outstanding poet. This year, I have to devote more time to my board examinations but God willing, I will find the time and energy to pen a few poems.



Unscheduled power cuts condemned
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 25
The Ludhiana Electroplaters Association today said that unscheduled power cuts were adding to the industry’s woes.

“Power cuts imposed by the BBMB without any intimation to consumers are uncalled for. There is great resentment in the industry which is already subjected to a two-day compulsory weekly off,” said Mr Joginder Kumar and Mr Chander Prakash Sabharwal, president and secretary of the association, here today.

“A power cut was imposed today too without prior intimation from 10.30 am to 1.45 pm,” he added.

Urging the PSEB to take measures in this direction, Mr Kumar said the PSEB’s measures could save the industry from losses occurring due to such unscheduled cuts.



He got interview letter 15 days late
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 25
He received his interview letter after 17 years of enrolment at the Employment Exchange, Ludhiana, 15 days after the interview was carried out.
Mr Buta Singh, son of Piara Singh, a resident of Khanpur village, received the letter on August 18. He had enrolled himself with the Employment Exchange last week. He was shocked to observe that the scheduled date for the interview had lapsed a fortnight before the receipt of the letter sent by post.

Buta Singh was enrolled with the exchange on July 17, 1989. “But I did not receive a single interview letter during the 17 years. The only one I received last week proved futile as the scheduled date had lapsed a fortnight earlier,” said Mr Buta Singh.

Accusing officials concerned of acting on the behest of agents mediating between employees and employers, Buta Singh alleged that the letter had been delayed to “accommodate” other aspirants.

“The way they have tried to keep me out of interview shows that the authorities are in hand and glove with certain agents.”

He urged the authorities to provide him a chance to prove his worth. 



Khatri sangh asks NGOs to fight social evils
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 25
Mr Jatinder Mehra, president of the Akhil Bharatiya Khatri Mahasangh, has urged leaders of various social and religious organisations to join hand with the sangh family in a crusade launched against social evils, including dowry system, female foeticide and drug addiction.

While addressing a meeting of office-bearers of the local unit of the sangh, Mr Mehra apprehended that the community would suffer an irreparable loss in case adequate steps were not taken to nip evil in the bud.

“These evils if allowed to go unchecked would cause irreparable loss to society in general and Khatri community in particular,” said Mr Jatinder Mehra.

Referring to information received from Mr Hari Bhagwan Thapar, president of the local unit of the sangh, Mr Mehra claimed that the NGO had launched a crusade against social evils with the coordination of other NGOs of the area.

“We have suggested office-bearers of our organisation to serve all sections of the society irrespective of caste and colour,” claimed Mr Jindal.

Acting on the suggestion of Mr Narinder Kumar Nindi, the meeting resolved that the national body should be asked to impose a ban on serving liquor at marriages arranged by the members of the sangh.

“After discussing the issue at state level, we will place a resolution demanding ban on serving of liquor during celebration of marriages in the families of members of the sangh at national convention scheduled to commence at Varanasi on September 3,” said Mr Mehra.

Mr Ravinder Puri, Mr Nindi Matkan, Mr Ramesh Dheer, Mr Vijay Thapar, Mr Baldev Raj, Mr Inder Kumar Handa and Mr Tara Chand Batta were present.



Mentally challenged girl untraced
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 25
Mystery continues to shroud the whereabouts of an allegedly mentally challenged girl, Devinder Kaur, who had run away from the Nishkam Sewa Ashram, Daad village on August 19.

Though another girl, who had allegedly run away from the ashram with Devinder Kaur, was traced yesterday from a nearby village, Devinder Kaur was yet to be found.

A spokesperson of the Ashram said the police has been informed and the search was on for the girl. 



Teej celebrated

Ludhiana, August 25
Members of the Sarabha Ladies Club on Thursday celebrated Teej. President Shammi Bindra was present. Solo dances and songs were presented by members on this occasion. Mr Surinder Dabur and Mr Rajinder Singh Basant, along with their wives, were the chief guests. — OC



Cash, jewellery stolen
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 25
Gold ornaments of nine tolas and Rs 12,000 have been stolen from the house of Beant Singh of Hassanpur village. The Dakha police has registered a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC.

Husband booked: The Sidhwan Bet police has booked Raju of Salempura village on the charge of assaulting his wife Jaswinder Kaur of Salempura and demanding dowry from her.

The police has registered a case under Sections 498 A, 406, 325, 323 of the IPC. She has been admitted to Civil Hospital, Sidhwan Bet.

No arrest has been made so far.

Woman dead: Shallu Rani (32) of Shastri Nagar, Jagraon, today died of burn injuries. According to information, she was preparing tea in the morning when her clothes accidentally caught fire.

Sources disclosed that at the time of the accident her mother-in-law had gone to a temple and her husband was sleeping. Her father-in-law could not even walk.

On hearing her cries, neighbours and her husband rushed to her and took her to the local Civil Hospital. She was brought with 90 per cent burn injuries and later on succumbed to the injuries.

Ved Parkash, father of the deceased, arrived from Barnala and the local police initiated proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC.

The deceased was married five years ago and had a three-year-old son.



Cash, jewellery stolen from teacher’s purse
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 25
The Sadar police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC on the complaint of Ms Ranjit Kaur, resident of Lalheri Road, on Tuesday.
The complainant, an art and craft teacher at Government Senior Secondary School, Lalheri, stated that she was having Rs 20,000, 12 tolas gold jewellery and 1,000 Canadian Dollars in her purse on August 12 when she went to the school.

After finishing her duty when she was returning home, she opened the purse for taking out a book. She found that the cash, jewellery and the foreign currency was missing.

Earlier, a theft had taken place at her residence on July 31 when she was not at home.



Akme plans premium township project
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

 Anil Nanda
Mr Anil Nanda, chairman and managing director, Akme Project Limited — Photo by Sayeed Ahmed.

Ludhiana, August 25
Akme Projects Limited announced the launch of a Rs 250-crore premium integrated township project in the city today. The project, named AkmePolis, would offer luxurious designer villas and apartments apart from commercial space for setting up of malls, multiplexes and superstores.

Located on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh highway, the township would be spread over an area of 76 acres. “Keeping in mind the increasing per capita income of Ludhianavis, we decided to cater to their penchant for luxury through premium and state-of-the art project,” said Mr Anil Nanda, chairman and managing director of the company.

He said residential complexes, roughly 700-800 in number, that would be launched in October would be completed within 18 months. Giving details of the development, he said: Besides easy accessibility, civic amenities like schools, and a healthcentre would be there, apart from a clubhouse, a swimming pool, a food court and gyms. Also, landscaped parks, gardens, verdant walkways and lagoons would surround the township.”

He said there would be 3.73 lakh square yards of developed land of which 1.27 lakh square yards was earmarked for independent plots for villas. More than 43 per cent space of the entire development would be open.

Talking about the boom in the real estate segment, Mr Nanda said it was the right time to take advantage of the buoyancy and bring in the best in quality, service designs and management skills.

Ms Shruti Chaudhry, director, Akme Projects, revealed that the company’s total investment towards real estate development in the coming two years would cross Rs 1,200 crore.

“Apart from the current project, where the estimated investment is Rs 250 crore, our next project in the pipeline is a joint venture with Cathedral Financial Consultants. The project, that would come up in Ludhiana, involves an investment of around Rs 550 crore. There is another project in Bangalore where an investment of nearly Rs 450 crore is being made.”

On the company’s focus on North Indian markets, Mr Nanda said: “The success of Escort tractors has not only been a business success, but also helped us gain a place in people’s hearts. Punjab has a high potential and we expect an encouraging response for this project too.”



Biz Clips

Samsung digital products
: Samsung India on Thursday announced its plans to launch products like the NV series having six-in-one multifunction camcorders within the digital camcorder segment, said Mr R. Zutshi, deputy-managing director, Samsung India. The ‘NV’ series in comprises NV10 - the world’s first 10 mega pixel digital still camera (DSC), NV7 - a slim camera with powerful 7x zoom and NV3- world’s first camera with MP3 and stereo speaker in-built functionality. With the introduction of the new DSC range, Samsung has 11 DSC models priced in the range between Rs 8,990 and Rs 49,990. In the DVD camcorder category, it launched its VP-DC 163i and VP-DC 565wi DVD camcorders with powerful optical zoom. — TNS

Max Life new products: Max New York Life has launched two new products, Max Mangal Endowment Plan and Max Vriksha Money Back Plan. Max Mangal is an endowment plan, which requires the customer to make premium payments for a limited term and yet enjoy full-term coverage and benefits of a regular endowment plan. The plan guarantees 110 per cent of sum assured at maturity and offers increasing death benefit at the fixed rate of 6.5 per cent of original sum assured per year. Max Vriksha is a money-back plan which comes with triple benefits – high guarantees, regular money back payments and increasing protection. The maturity benefit of Max Vriksha is 115 per cent of the initial sum assured along with survival benefits like regular guaranteed money back payments made every year and a reduction in premiums after the fourth year. The death benefit also increases by 4 per cent every year and the plan requires customers to pay premium for a limited term. — TNS

Launched: TTK Prestige, a kitchen appliances company, has launched “Prestige Nakshatra”, a pressure cooker in the inner-lid category. According to a company press note issued here on Thursday, the new product comes with a three-stage safety system and has features like a resetable safety device, an improved pressure regulator and also a fail-safe body bracket. — TNS



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