L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Commuters harassed as traffic diverted for PM’s visit
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, September 26
Life went out of gear today because of the jam on The Mall for more than two hours. The sealing of the entire road from Fountain Chowk to Mata Rani Chowk in view of the Prime Minister’s visit here tomorrow, led to chaos and harassment to hundreds of local residents. It took at least 40-45 minutes to reach Bharat Nagar Chowk, which is half-a-kilometre from Fountain Chowk.

The adjacent Sutlej Club road, too, was full of traffic because of traffic diversion.

The worst affected were the schoolchildren who had to bear the scorching heat sitting in vans, autos and rickshaws. Only two-wheelers were allowed to enter the Club Road.

Ms Rachita, a parent of 12-year-old Shuchi, who lives on the Club Road near Rakh Bagh, said that she got panicky when her daughter’s school van reached 35 minutes late than the usual time.

“Since it is the Prime Minister’s visit, security arrangements are needed to be perfect but not at the cost of small schoolchildren. The driver had to persuade the policemen to let him drop the children at Club Road,” she rued. She further added, “The driver has asked us to take our wards from school tomorrow as the roads would be sealed. If this is the scene then the district administration should have announced a holiday in schools tomorrow.”

A policeman on duty at Fountain Chowk on condition of anonymity said it was an exercise as a security measure for Prime Minister’s visit tomorrow. “The Guru Nanak Stadium Road would be sealed for at least two-three hours today and traffic is being regulated from other routes. We have got strict orders not to let any four-wheeler enter the road for security reasons,” he said.

A lot of verbal confrontation was seen between the commuters and policemen on duty during the traffic jam. Even the cars of some of the officials with red lights on top were seen stuck in the jam.



Tumultuous reception awaits PM 
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
As the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, arrives here tomorrow on a day’s visit, a tumultuous reception awaits him in the city. This is not his maiden visit to the city after becoming the Prime Minister, as earlier he had come here to inaugurate Apollo Hospital. However, that was on the outskirts of the city only. This did not give a feel of the Prime Ministerial visit to the people of the city.

It is for the first time after becoming the Prime Minister that Dr Manmohan Singh would be landing in the heart of the city, Guru Nanak Stadium. Besides, he would be addressing a public rally. The earlier visits were not open to the general public. This time there is a lot of enthusiasm among the people in the city to receive the Prime Minister.

The local administration has been busy with the security and other arrangements. So is the local unit of the Congress. Local ministers, legislators and office-bearers of the Congress have been organising small and large meetings to ensure maximum presence in the rally.

However, given the enthusiasm and excitement among the common man about the visit, the rally is likely to prove a big a draw without much efforts by the ruling party. Rather people are keen to see Dr Manmohan Singh because of his clean and unblemished image.

Given the massive security arrangements because of the scheduled visit, there has been a lot of inconvenience caused to the people. As traffic has been diverted at most places within the city there has been a lot of chaos prevailing on roads. However, people are not protesting this time.

In the usual course of any VIP security arrangements people would always complain. But this time the people seem to be more than cooperative. Although they are facing a lot of problems due to long routes they have to take, they are saying that they do not mind it, a police official involved with the security arrangements disclosed. Because the Prime Minister’s visit is considered to be an honour for the city.

The Prime Minister’s special plane is scheduled to land at the Halwara airbase at around 9 in the morning. From there he would fly in a helicopter to PAU for his onward journey to Guru Nanak Stadium where he will inaugurate there projects besides addressing a public rally. He would be accompanied by the Railway Minister, Mr Lalu Prasad, and senior officers of the ministry.

At the Halwara airbase he would be received by the Governor, Lieut-Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and his Cabinet colleagues.

Although the Prime Minister would fly from Halwara to PAU, the administration has made alternate arrangements by road also in the even of inclement weather.

The Prime Minister will spent most of his time in the stadium only. From the stadium he will inaugurate the North-East Dedicated Freight Corridor, the Amritsar-Hardwar Shatabadi Express and the Chandigarh-Morinda railway line. He will also address a public rally in the stadium. From the stadium he would go to Ladowal to formally inaugurate the FieldFresh Agriculture Centre owned by the Bharti group of companies.



DGP oversees security for PM’s visit
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
The DGP Punjab, Mr S S Virk, today announced that all arrangements for a peaceful visit of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh to the city tomorrow have been finalised. He personally inspected the venue of the Prime Minister’s scheduled function at Guru Nanak Stadium tomorrow and finetuned the security arrangements.

Expressing satisfaction at the measures, he asserted to mediapersons that even as there was a general threat of terrorist attacks in the country, as feared by the PM himself recently, the Punjab police had not received any security threat so far. The DGP was seen personally checking some hand pumps and roadside spaces and pointing it out to the other officers that such places could be used for causing some damage.

Police sources said the DGP referred to his personal experience of combating terrorism in the state and pointed out the possible areas of work. Addressing a press conference this evening, he said he was over all satisfied at the security arrangements.

The DGP said in this era of hi-tech terrorism any place where thousands of persons gather is a volatile terrorist target and when the visit is of the Prime Minister, the threat perception is much high.

He said because of such high security, restrictions on movement of vehicles was being imposed but maximum effort would be made to avoid harassment to the public. He also appealed to the public to cooperate with the police.

Meanwhile, heavy police force, including commandos, have been deployed on all the entry and exit routes of the city as part of the security measures. The DGP also supervised a rehearsal of the security measures.



Photos of cops' action on vets embarrass DGP
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
The DGP Punjab, S.S. Virk, today faced embarrassing moments at a press conference here this evening when a mediaperson showed him a photo of the last week’s police action on agitating veterinary doctors in which a police officer appeared to be molesting a female doctor.

The DGP was shown the photo when he was defending the police action on the vetrinary doctors. However, after seeing the photo, he said, ‘‘This is very serious. It is wrong too. I would take action .’’ he announced.

The mediapersons were confronting the DGP on why no action had been taken against the cops who had allegedly handled the girls in such a manner.

He handed over the photo to SSP A. S. Rai and said would take strict action against the guilty cops.



A statue for PM, with love
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
Terming it as a tribute to integrity and honesty of Prime Minister, Mr Manmohan Singh, a local resident has sculpted a wax statue of the PM wishing that he squezees in some time from his busy schedule to just have a look at it.

This is perhaps the first wax statue of the PM in the country. When the sculptor, Mr Chander Shekhar Parbhakar, a senior citizen started making PM’s statue two months ago he had never imagined that its completion would coincide with his visit to the city.

‘‘I gave final touches to the statue only today on the eve of PM’s visit. I was thinking that I will take my own time to complete it. But when I learnt about his coming to the city, I worked day in and day out to complete it. I wish if only I he could see it for once,’’ he says.

Mr Parbhakar was into chemical business till five years ago when he had undergone a heart bypass surgery. Doctors told him to stop working and he was a diasppointed man. It was a visit to Wax Museum at London that he rediscovered himself and came back with a mission.

He started making statues and he has around 20 wax statues of eminent personalities to his credit. Around 15 including that of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Mother Teresa, Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi are exhibited at a local water park. The rest are with him at his Dugri Road residence.

‘‘I was hearing news on some channel rating Mr Manmohan Singh as one of the honest Prime Ministers. I was inspired to sculpt his statue and got on the job. And his life size statue is ready, ’’ he said while standing near his creation which looks just real.

To make it look very real, he has made the statue wear a khadi jacket, a sky blue turban and a pair of spectacles. His efforts have borne fruit and it seems to an onlooker that it would start speaking.



IHRO forms panel on Buddha Nullah
To find causes of pollution, diseases
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
The International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) has formed a panel of high-profile dignitaries and experts to find the reasons that are causing pollution and diseases from the flow of sewerage and industrial waste in the Budda Nullah, passing through Ludhiana.

The IHRO has submitted the panel to the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC). It would also suggest ways and means as to what remedial measures should be taken by the Municipal Corporation and the government to plug the pollution and stop the spread of diseases to a assuage the agony of the people living around the source of pollution, the dirty drain, disappointedly named as ‘Ganda Nullah.’

This was stated by IHRO chairperson D S Gill and Clean Budda Nullah Project executive associate Sukhdev Singh Ramgarh Sibian who represented the NGO complainant—IHRO—before the commission.

They added that panel members from different fields, as desired by the Full Bench Commission, would act as amicus curiae for the commission and suggest remedial measures that should be taken by the Municipal Corporation and the government to plug the menace.

Panel members taken from their respective fields are Dr K S Aulakh, VC, PAU, Dr L S Chawla, former, VC, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Mr K. S. Chawla journalist, Dr Daljit Singh, Principal, DMCH, Mr Kanwar Sandhu, Resident Editor, Hindustan Times, Dr Inderjit Kaur, Pingalwara Bhagat Puran Singh and Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal (Sultanpur Lodhi).

Regarding the summoning of the respondents to know their part of the job or duty in the matter of the Buddha Nullah episode and ordering of an inquiry into the corruption and criminal negligence by the public servants, including the Municipal Corporation, to be held first by the Commission’s Investigation Agency or State Vigilance Bureau followed by the CBI, would be taken up by the Division Bench of the commission on October 4, the next hearing of the case, said IHRO activists.

Meanwhile, the IHRO has urged the President and Prime Minister of India, apprising them of the urgent necessity and gravity of the matter, to use their good offices in order to put pressure on the state Punjab state government to show generosity and promptness in this matter.



Vet student breaks fast after six days
Not convinced by VC, other students continue protest 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
Dr Abdul Majeed, a student of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University broke his fast after six days here last evening. He was offered juice by the Vice-Chancellor, Mr D.S. Bains. Dr Majeed had started to press for the demand of recruitment of veterinary doctors by the state government.

Since the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, promised on September 21 to get the process of recruitment started within one week, the notification for interviews at Zila Parishad offices has already been issued.

A spokesman for the university said yesterday that Dr Majeed decided to break his fast after the assurances by the Vice-Chancellor. Moreover, the government had already started the process of recruitment by announcing the date of interview on September 27.

While the spokesman claimed that the students had also withdrawn the strike, students denied the claim. They said only Dr Majeed had broken his fast. They said although the government had announced the process of recruitment, other pending issues like the recognition of the university by the Veterinary Council of India were still pending. They said they would continue the dharna as long as all pending demands were not met.

The students continued their strike as meetings with the Vice-Chancellor remained inconclusive. The students burnt any effigy of the Vice-Chancellor alleging that he was behaving more like a bureaucrat than the academic head of a university.

The university announced the decision to review the diploma in veterinary and animal health technology.

The students also desired that the degree awarded by the university should be recognised before the convocation is held. Accordingly, steps have been taken by deputing the Dean College of Veterinary Science to visit the Veterinary Council of India office for expediting the case of recognition of BVSc & AH degree.

Meanwhile, the students continued with their dharna. They said as long as they did not have adequate proof that the diploma course was not scrapped and the Veterinary Council of India had recognised the university, they would continue with their dharna. They regretted that the unemployed veterinarians had betrayed them after the government announced the recruitment process for them.



Ramzan, the month of spiritual cleansing
D.B Chopra

Ludhiana, September 26
Ramzan, the ninth month of the Hijri calendar, which starts yesterday, has special significance for Muslims, who fast and pray during this month.
The austere month provides ample opportunity to devout Muslims to get in touch with their inner self by observing ‘roza’ or ‘siyam’, which literally means ‘‘to refrain from’’.

By abstaining from food, drink and sex for a month, one aims to achieve total cleansing of the inner self. Abstinence from food apart, one observing Roza is also required to stay away from all unethical acts. Nothing bad is to be seen, heard or uttered during the month of Ramzan. The Holy Prophet had ordained that ‘‘fasting is not only abstinence from food and drink, fasting is to refrain from obscene acts as well’’.

And to follow the Prophet’s saying, one must have full physical and mental control. The senses and the organs that need to be controlled are the tongue, eyes, ears, hands and the heart. Once these are under control, there can be no question of any wrong being committed by the devout. But as it is very difficult indeed in these modern times to go about one’s daily routine in the cities without coming across scantily dressed women and without hearing falsehoods, malicious and otherwise, a number of Muslims do not observe ‘‘rozas’’ for these reasons. But still, in the rural areas, there are devout Muslims who do not venture out of their homes during the month of Ramzan.

The month of Ramzan also offers an opportunity to promote social harmony as the month is meant not only for fasting and praying but also for charity. For, according to the Prophet, to be nice and gentle to one’s neighbours and all those with whom one comes in contact during Ramzan, is the best kind of charity. The month is meant to foster the spirit of love, brotherhood and friendship. Relationships are built in this month and old hatchets are buried.

The Prophet calls upon all Muslims to put an end to all family feuds, mutual dislikes, grudges and communal hatred and open a fresh chapter with fellow human beings because God does not dwell in malicious hearts. The accent is definitely on spiritual ascent during the holy month which also bans Muslims from engaging in any kind of aggression against anyone.

In short, the month of Ramzan is the period of spiritual training during which Muslims are required to desist from all ills and subdue their greed. The month, which is also called the month of giving and sharing, is an annual reminder to wealthy Muslims to be kind to their not-so-fortunate brethren.

The lessons that Ramzan teaches are many. If one can abstain from eatables that are allowed in order to please Allah, then why one should take things which are not allowed by the Prophet.

In this month, the devout observing ‘rozas’, take food (Sehri) before 5 am after offering namaaz and the ‘roza’ is broken at around 6.15 pm. For more than 12 hours, even drinking of water is not permitted. 



Excesses on vets: SAD, BJP stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
Activists of the SAD and the BJP today staged a demonstration outside the Mini Secretariat in protest against the police excesses on girl students on the PAU campus on September 21. They demanded strict action against the erring cops.

The activists were led by Bibi Jagir Kaur, a former SGPC President, Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla, a BJP leader, and Ms Surinder Kaur, wife of the former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

The demonstrators while condemning the police action sought an independent probe into the police excesses. They regretted that the government had not taken any action against the guilty cops. They said the way the girls were misbehaved and humiliated only showed the brute callousness of the government.

The SAD-BJP leaders warned that once the alliance comes to power the guilty cops would be brought to book. They said this was the desperate reaction of a desperate government which was not able to solve the problems of different sections of society, particularly the unemployed youth.

The leaders claimed that the government had failed the expectations of everybody. They pointed out that it had postponed the interviews of the veterinarians several times which drew them to such desperate ways.



Overbridge for pedestrians opened
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
The Commissioner, Mr Vikas Partap, today formally opened an overbridge for pedestrians in Salim Tabri here.
Constructed at a cost of Rs 23 lakh, the overbridge will help pedestrians. It was a long-pending demand of the residents as minor accidents were reported on the road.

Mr Madan Lal Bagga, area councillor, was also present, among others, at the inauguration ceremony.



Journalist hurt in attack
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 26
Five unidentified persons, armed with crude edged weapons have attacked Paramjit Singh Kothala, a senior correspondent and patron of the Press Club, Malerkotla, at Khatra village in Sangrur district, near here. Passersby who forced the assailants to run away and rescued him. They shifted him to the Civil Hospital, Malerkotla.

Mr Rachhpal Singh Hara, DSP, Malerkotla, said the police had taken the incident seriously and would leave no stone unturned to nab the assailants.

Meanwhile, Mr Razia Sultana, MLA of the constituency, has condemned the attack and directed the police to expedite action against the suspects. Mr Hara appreciated the role of passersby in rescuing Mr Kothala.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the assailants were five in number and within age group of 20-25 years. They were all clean-shaven and had come in a white Maruti car. The rescuers had tried to nab the miscreants by pelting stones on their car but they succeeded in fleeing away. 



5 booked for abduction of girl
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 26
The Sidhwan Bet police has booked Gurjit Singh, his sister, Jinda, Kuldeep Singh and Sonu of Ramgarh Bhullar on a charge of abducting Surjit Kaur (20) from Ramgarh Bhullar in the wee hours on Sunday. A case has been registered on the complaint of the father of the girl, Paramjit Singh.

One held for gambling: The police has arrested Hardeep Singh of Agwar Khawaja Baju on a charge of gambling at a public place and seized Rs 400 from his possession. A case has been registered.

Two face theft case: The Sidhwan Bet police has registered a case under Sections 457 and 3801, IPC, against Gurpreet Singh and Harjinder Singh at Jathu of Sherpur Kalan on a charge of stealing a centrifugal fan worth Rs 4, 000. The police has registered a case on the complaint of Harman Singh of the village.



PNB Housing announces festival bonanza

Ludhiana, September 25
PNB Housing Finance, a subsidiary of Punjab National bank, today announced a festival bonanza that will continue till December 31.
Under the bonanza, the company will not charge any processing fee on home loans where the borrower directly approaches the company. The company has also lowered its maximum interest rates on home loans by 0.25 per cent for 20 years' maturity. TNS



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 |