L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Residents protest against poor state of roads
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
Angry residents of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar today staged a dharna in the colony and burnt the effigy of the Improvement Trust Chairman in protest against the pitiable condition of roads in the colony.

The residents were agitated that on the one hand the government was constructing a multipurpose building in the colony and on the other, residents were forced to live in conditions worse than those in under-developed rural areas.

The residents raised slogans against the Congress government and claimed that several accidents had taken place due to the large, deep potholes which were assuming the form of craters.



A "stinking" protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
Shopkeepers of the Sarabha Nagar Block-I market have found a ‘stinking‘ way of protesting against the demolition of the only urinal by the Municipal Corporation. They urinate all along the walls of a park near the market.

This has put the residents in a bind. They were the ones to complain about the urinal, situated outside the market -end of theme park. They complained the urinal, used by shopkeepers and their employees, emanated a pungent smell, much to the chagrin of evening and morning walkers and children playing there.

But now the market persons have started urinating all along the wall. "Earlier, only the place near the urinal used to smell but now more than half of the area along the park wall emanates stench."

Mr Ravinder Kumar Ahuja, Mr Devinder Singh ‘Lucky’, Mr Rajesh Goel, Mr Harsh Duggal and a number of car mechanics, representing the shopkeepers, said the Municipal Corporation had acted in an arbitrary manner, demolishing the urinal without providing them an alternative place.

They rued that they had no option but to use the open space available to them. They accused the area councillor, Ms Amrita Varsha Rampa, of favouring the resident s alone. However, the councillor said the MC had acted on the complaint of the residents.

Mr S S Channa , a retired IFS officer and a resident of the area, said the shopkeepers needed a urinal but that did not mean that the urnial should be near the park where people come for fresh air. 



Missing girl’s parents send cops on wild goose chase
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
A family of migrant labourers today sent the city police to a wild goose chase by claiming that their 12-year-old daughter, missing for the past 20 days, was murdered and buried in a children's burial ground near the Daba-Lohara road this morning.

The police promptly dug up the site only to exhume the body of a four-year-old girl, who had died a natural death and buried a few days ago. The body was exhumed in the presence of an Executive Magistrate and a team of forensic experts who were specially called there.

Sources said a relative of the missing girl, Anjila, dreamt that she was murdered and buried there. The girl's father, Johar Lal, and other relatives discussed the dream with a self-styled tantrik , who confirmed that the girl was killed after rape and buried there.

When the body was exhumed, the parents started crying bitterly claiming they had recognised the locket worn by her. However, when the police pointed out that the height of the body seemed to be of a four-year-old girl, they become quite.

Later, another group of persons reached the burial ground, protesting against the exhuming of the body. They were pacified by cops.

Mr D P Singh, SP City-II, justified the police action, saying they had no option but to investigate. He said the police had followed the law by exhuming the body in the presence of a Magistrate.

The girl, Anjila, had gone missing on August 19 . The police had lodged a "missing" person report and efforts were on to trace the girl. 



Sajida's brother seeks probe into her death
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 9
Pakistan national Fayyaz Khan, who is the legal heir of the late Sazida Begum, the youngest queen of the last ruler of erstwhile Malerkotla state, has demanded a probe into the sequence of events leading to the death of his sister.

He urged the administration to expedite handing over of the diwankhana to the Waqf Board so that the same might be put into use for the welfare of the community.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune at Rohira village, near here, Fayyaz, son of Abdul Majid Khan, a resident of Sheikhupura in Pakistan, urged the Chief Minister and the DGP to order a probe into death of his sister.

Terming the death of Sajida Begum as a murder, Mr Khan alleged that certain persons had conspired to grab property worth millions and in an attempt they forcibly removed loyalists of the Begum attending to her, including a nurse, so that their path to property was cleared of all hindrances.

Referring to information received from his acquaintances, after coming to India Mr Khan said:"Not only they forced some attendants to leave the residence of my sister during the last days of her life, they bathed her with cold water on the preceding night of her death when she was suffering from acute pneumonia."

Appreciating the role of Dr Indu, SDM, Malerkotla, in safeguarding the diwankhana and other properties of his late sister, Mr Fayyaz Khan apprehended that the suspects could have grabbed the property immediately after her death.

He disclosed that he had given in writing to the civil administration that the sealed rooms are opened in his presence and belongings be kept in custody of the authorities. Diwankhana should be handed over to the Waqf Board without any further delay so that community might benefit from it.

As Sajida Begum died issueless, the administration had to intervene in the matter of inheritance of her property. Names of Zahida Begum, one of her sisters-in-law, and Sajid Ali, one of the nephews had, surfaced as claimants in India. However, experts in Muslim personal law said that Fayyaz Khan, the only surviving brother living in Pakistan, was the legal heir. 



Pre-arrest bail plea denied in dowry case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 9
The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Sanjeev Berry, has dismissed the anticipatory bail application filed by Raksha Rani of Atam Nagar, involved in a dowry harassment case.

Declining the bail plea, Mr Berry held that the custodial interrogation of the accused was a must, keeping in view the allegations and circumstances of the case. She, along with her son, was booked under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC at the Division No. 5 police station on August 26 following a complaint by Sonia Sood.

It was submitted by the complainant that she was married in 1997. She was taunted for bringing “less” dowry. The demand for more dowry was repeatedly raised by the accused persons.



Community policing scheme irks Dugri residents
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 9
The representative of welfare associations of Urban Estate Phase I, II and III in Dugri here have rejected the community police officer (CPO) scheme introduced by the police for providing security under a community policing concept.

A meeting of the welfare bodies of the area, held here today under the presidentship of Master Surjit Singh Albela, was of the unanimous view that monthly charges of Rs 100 per house for the CPO scheme were unaffordable by majority of the households.

Speakers at the meeting, including Mr H.S. Lamba, Mr Jasvir Singh Jassal, Mr Shiv Kumar Gupta, Mr B.R. Kaushal, Mr Som Nath Sharma, Mr Sanjeev Malhotra and Mr K.K. Joshi, pointed out that the scheme initiated by district police with much fanfare provided for coverage of 50 houses by one CPO for which private security agency had been hired by the Police Department. In other words, an aggregate sum of Rs 5,000 shall be payable to one CPO (security guard), which was higher compared to wages paid to private security guards.

Moreover, other private security agencies were ready to provide guards at a monthly payment of Rs 2,500. Therefore, the monthly subscription per household should not be more than Rs 25 for the residents in various blocks of houses in different categories in this locality, they added.

The meeting also made a strong case for waiving off other miscellaneous charges of around Rs 2,500 per month under the scheme, or else the police or the state government ought to bear these expenses.

Several other issues like accountability of the CPOs for crimes committed in their respective beats, identification of private watchmen in the area, minimum tenure of service of the CPOs were discussed at the meeting.

A coordination team was appointed to discuss all suggestions with the police. It was further decided that till the scheme was given the nod by the residents, no payment should be made since the concept of CPOs was voluntary in nature and could not to be forced on the residents. 



At the Crossroads
When the land becomes motherland

The world is shrinking fast but the human mind is shrinking faster. Vande Mataram is not merely a national song, it is a symbol of our struggle for freedom. In the mid-forties of the last century, particularly 1945-46, the mention of these two words ignited the spirits of the youth. The college students of our city marched forward to Jallianwallah Bagh, raising the slogan “Inqilab Zindabad”. There the two veterans of freedom struggle, Dr Kitchlu and Dr Satyapal, addressed the gathering. The air vibrated with their high-sounding words and the blood ran swiftly in the veins of the young ones.

When somebody recited Nandlal Nurpuri’s song, “Main watan da shaheed haan, meri yaad bhula deni”, the hair on the young skins stood on their ends. At that time some persons in the audience picked up a tiny part of the sacred earth of the historic Bagh and applied it on their foreheads like tilak. That was Vande Mataram in the real sense of the term.

That spirit is gone now. Politics has made grooves into our thinking, not sparing even our love for the country. All political parties are equal in blowing their own trumpet but some are more equal than others. This type of assertion annoys others and they react not against the national song but against the attitude of a particular political party.

That’s the reason why Javed Akhtar had to assert : “If a maulvi insists I shouldn’t sing it, I’ll sing all the verses. If the RSS and the BJP say I must, I won’t recite even one line”. Likewise, Imtiaz Ahmad opines, “There’s a meeting of interests between the BJP and Muslim orthodoxy. The issue is, in fact, political, not substantive”. So the issue became murkier and the September 7, 2006, passed with the singing and the non-singing of the national song, leaving behind bitterness in the minds.

With a view to expressing their love for the motherland, some institutions in the Muslim-dominated areas resorted to Dr Mohmmad Iqbal’s Tarana-e-Hindi (“Sare jahan se achha Hindustan hamara”). As is well-known, Dr Iqbal was a nationalist to the core of his heart. In his early poems, he praised Guru Nanak (“Hind ko ikk mard-e-kamil ne jagaya khaab se”), Swami Ram Tirath (“Ah! khola kiss ada se tu ne raaz-e-rang-o-boo”) and Ram (“Hai Ram ke wajud pai Hindustan ko naaz”). In his poem “Naya Shivala”, he says: “Aa ikk naya Shivala iss des mein banayen”.

Later, he came under the influence of the Muslim League and participated, as its representative, in the Round Table Conference held at London. He advocated only for a larger muslim-dominated province where the minority community could have the taste of power. Under some misconception, he has been hailed as the one who conceived the idea of Pakistan. Of course, he revised his Tarana-e-Hindi as Tarana-e-Milli.

Cheen-o-Arab hamara,

Hindustan hamara

Muslim hain hum, watan

hai, sara jahan hamara

In this revised version, the emphasis has been laid on the words “Muslim” and “Sara Jahan”. The whole word is considered the motherland of Muslims. India is just a part of the whole world that cuts across the boundaries of all the countries. This way of thinking has been ingrained in the psyche of some Indians, more by design than otherwise.

The country in which a person takes birth is indeed known as his motherland. That is why Iran and Iraq have been guarding their territories zealously all these years, although both are Muslim countries, the Shias and the Sunnis notwithstanding. The Indians love their motherland and take pride in singing the national song , Vande Mataram. The words may change in one language or the other but the context remains the same.

Perhaps, the hangover of the colonial past persists as yet. But the new generation is thinking on different lines and has full faith in the solidarity of India. The misconceptions will be removed as the people are educated on secular lines in the years to come. Ali Sardar Jafri predicted, a long time ago, that superstitious beliefs will vanish into the thin air when the people’s minds are enlightened :

Juhul se paida huwe hain

Ilm se mar jaayenge

— N.S. Tasneem



Plea to donate eyes

Ludhiana, September 9
Though the idea of eye donation is catching up fast with the active cooperation of service clubs, social, religious and educational institutions as well as NGOs, there is a dire need to promote the noble cause and make it a mass movement in the state.

The appeal was made by Dr Ramesh, state-awardee eye surgeon and Medical Director of Punarjot Eye Bank of Punjab, while addressing a function to mark the conclusion of the national eye donation fortnight here last evening.

He said with the collective efforts of the Lion Club, Rotary Club, a large number of religious and social bodies, gram panchayats and dedicated individuals, the eye bank had received donations of 322 eyes during the year, which was the highest number in the history of the eye bank. Last year, the number of eye donations was 273.

Lauding the support lent by eye donor families towards the corneal blind persons, Dr Ramesh said eye donations had come from each and every corner of the state. He called upon the service organisations and other bodies involved in the noble cause to further strengthen the movement so as to eradicate the curable corneal blindness, which has affected nearly 30 million persons in the country.

“We still have to go a long way to promote eye donation, create awareness and dispel myths and beliefs associated with cadaver eye donation so that the curable corneal blinds can see this beautiful world once again,” he said. — OC



Alag distributes 40,000 books in western hemisphere
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
Eminent writer and Sikh historian, Dr Swaroop Singh Alagh, has distributed about 40,000 books free of cost in the western hemisphere during his three-month tour to the Europe and the US.

During his tour, he was honoured at several places for his contribution in creating awareness about Sikh history and culture by way of distributing books free of cost among people. These books are written in English, Hindi, Punjabi and several other foreign languages.



Devinder is Cong panel secy

Samrala, September, 9
Mr Devinder Kumar has been appointed organising secretary of the Block Congress Committee, Samrala (Urban). The appointment has been welcomed by local MLA Amrik Singh Dhillon, Mr K.K. Sharma, block president (city) and Mr Harpal Singh Dhillon, chairman, Market Committee, Samrala.—OC



Rattan is Nagar Council vice-president

Samrala, September 9
Master Ram Rattan has been appointed vice-president of the Nagar Council, Samrala, according to Mr Jasveer Singh Dhilon, president of the council. At a meeting of the Nagar Council held under the presidentship of Mr Baldev Singh, SDM, Samrala, Master Ram Rattan was appointed unanimously. OC



Tata Motors launches new Indigo range
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
Tata Motors launched a new version of Indigo and Indigo Marina here today. Mr Deepankar Tiwari, assistant general manager, Tata Motors, who unvieled the new variants, said at a press conference that the company had so far sold 1.25 lakh Indigo and Indigo Marinas across the country.

Talking about the features in the new versions, he said: "The Indigo sedan range comes with premium features like new dual chamber headlamps, chrome-lined fascia, dual tone ORVMs, sill valence covers and chrome insert rub rails, all of which lend a sporty character to the vehicle."

The new Indigo Marina, he said, would have a new bumper and monochrome full-length tail lamps. Two new luxury trims along the lines of SX series of Indigo had also been added.

The range was available in three new colours, citadel grey, venetian blue and champagne swirl in the price range of Rs 4.60 lakh to Rs 6.29 lakh (ex-showroom Ludhiana).

Mr Mudit Gupta, deputy product manager, Tata Motors, Mr Suraj Dara, chairman, Dada Motors, and Mr Rishi Dada, director, Dada Motors, were also present at the press conference. 



Connect launches new package
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
Connect, a telecom service provider in Punjab and Chandigarh, has launched a combined package of fixed line and mobile phone connection with unlimited free calling facility between both connections.

In a press note here yesterday, the company said under the offer, called “Hum Tum”, there was no monthly rental on the mobile phone connection.

Mr G.D. Singh, vice-president, operations, HFCL, Infotel Ltd/CBSL, said the offer was specially designed for subscribers who looked for maximum facility and benefit in one connection. This offer provided them single billing for both connections and low rates for local and STD calls, he added.



ICI Paints launches Inspira
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
ICI Paints, the company that owns renowned brand Dulux, launched Inspira, a super premium paint here today. The new paint imparts a subtle pattern finish with a soft texture to walls. With the launch of this product, the company expects to capture a sizeable share in decorative coatings.

"Uniqueness is what people look for these days. With a textured look, walls get a premium finish," said Mr Manish Bhatia, head, sales.

Talking bout the industry, Mr Bhatia said growing income levels and a robust economy had initiated high growth rates in the Indian paints industry as well. In the coming five years, the industry was expected to grow from Rs 5,000 crore to more than Rs 8,000 crore, he said.

Mr Pushkar Jain, senior product manger, said : "Punjab is a high potential market for decorative coatings. The state, which is among our top three consumers, is quite receptive to products in premium range."

Mr Munish Tandon, sales manger, Punjab was also present on the occasion.



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