L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Youth beaten to death, culprits at large
Murder in busy area
Mahesh Sharma

Raikot, October 8
A scuffle over a petty issue cost a local youth his life as he was beaten to death last night by a group of miscreants who wanted to teach him a lesson for beating a member of their group.

The victim, Karamjit Singh Teetu, had got into a fight with Karam Singh, another youth of his area, a few days ago. The incident occurred on a busy street of the walled town in presence of a large number of persons but none dared to stop the assailants who thrashed the victim with sticks and rods till he fell unconscious.

Karamjit Singh Teetu, alias Jahaz, son of Surinder Singh, was beaten to death by Jagtar Singh, alias Raja, son of Jit Singh, Karam Singh and Zora Singh, sons of Mela Singh, Ravinder Jit Singh, alias Binder Jit, son of Manjit Singh of Johlan Road, Iqbal Singh, son of Major Singh, Gurmit Singh, alias Meeti, son of Zora Singh, and Kuku and Pamma.

Mr G.S. Aulakh, DSP, Raikot, said the accused, more than 10 in number, had attacked Karamjit Teetu near the Committee Gate when he was returning home at around 8.30 pm.

Raju, a friend of the deceased, had told the police that the accused, who were wielding sticks and rods, started beating him immediately after intercepting him.

“Teetu tried to escape but assailants surrounded him and started thrashing him,” Raju told Mr Dharam Pal, SHO.

Though the incident took place in a busy area and a large number of passers-by were watching the youth being beaten up, none came to his rescue.

Profusely bleeding, Teetu was immediately taken to the Civil Hospital from where doctors referred him to a multi-specialty hospital at Ludhiana. But he breathed his last on the way.

The police has registered a case under Section 302 of IPC against the accused who are still absconding.



Vihar to showcase Buddhist culture
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Kadyan (Ludhiana), October 8
This sleepy hamlet on the GT Road near Ludhiana, today sought to revive the past glory of Buddhist culture and history with the Union Minister of Steel, Chemicals and Fertilisers, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, inaugurating the Taxila Maha Bodh Vihar.

Taxila Maha Bodh Vihar has been developed by the Punjab Buddhist Society at a cost of about Rs 2 crore with donations from Punjabi Buddhists from across the world. The vihar was inaugurated to mark the golden jubilee of the mass conversion of Dalits to Buddhism under the leadership of Dr Ambedkar in 1956.

Mr Paswan congratulated representatives of the Punjab Buddhist Society for creating an edifice of Buddhist culture. He said it did not belong to Buddhists alone, but to the world as Lord Buddha preached peace to humanity.

He said Dr Ambedkar had taken a great decision for the emancipation of the exploited people.

Mr Vijay Desawar, president of the society, said the vihar had been named after Taxila University, which was a centre of learning during the golden days of Buddhism.

He said Punjab used to be one of the important centres of Buddhism. He said the vihar was an attempt to revive Buddhism in the state. There were about two lakh Buddhists living in Punjab.

Thousands of people from across the country and abroad had come here to witness the inauguration. The organisers said they had invited members and leaders of all religions and political parties.



PAU study suggests integrated water, land use policy
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 8
Punjab Agricultural University economists have suggested integrated land and water use policies for sustainable agricultural development in Punjab. These policies must match production patterns with soil capabilities and water availability.

Economists A S Bhullar and R S Sidhu have done a study on “Reforming policies for integrated land and water use for sustainable agricultural development—a case study of Punjab” to highlight the need for an integrated approach to conserve soil and water. They caution that deliberately planned or policy-induced divergence from integrated land and water use management may bring short-term rewards.

However, normally this squeezes the long-term sustainability of growth as well as resources. After scrutinising the government development processes and reviewing the policies, the study has concluded that “these policies helped to move the production patterns in favour of rice-wheat rotation plundering land and water resources. Little effort was made to match the production patterns with soil capabilities and water availability regions.”

The authors advocate that electricity charges should be linked to actual quantity (units) of power used by consumers rather than making power available on either flat rate or freebies. Possibly, this will induce farmers to economise on the use of electricity and consequently underground water through efficient use of farm water.

Dr Bhullar and Dr Sidhu are convinced after the state-wide survey that “pragmatic policies, institutional mechanism, rational input pricing etc. will remain redundant in the absence of effective legal framework.”

Thus far, ground water rights are vested in land rights. The legal owner of the land can pump out as much water beneath his land, as he desires. Since underground water movement obeys no land ownership boundaries, poor farmers, who can not invest in deepening their wells, would increasingly get devoid of underground water. And, in the absence of any legal framework, over exploitation of water continues without any consideration for either long-term sustainability or social cost Punjab farmers pay.

Therefore, groundwater must be declared “common property resource, tradable water rights should be allocated according to size of ownership of land and its use kept under strict regulation”. Thus, it is high time to regulate soil and water use in the state through policy and institutional mechanism. The need is for a land and water use regulatory body to act as a watchdog. The Punjab state farmers’ commission can lend a helping hand in this.

On electricity pricing policy the study comments that neither flat rate nor free supply of power to agricultural sector is the answer, wherein, because of such political decisions on the one hand marginal cost principle becomes inoperative, on the other hand, farmers prefer to grow water-loving crops. Thus, maximised pumping of ground water leads to over exploitation than rechargeable capacity.

In fact, policy-support mechanism: price, procurement, power and fertilizer subsidies and profitability brought out “divergence between soil suitability and soil utilisation”. As a result, thereof, rice is today grown in several districts, where soil does not augur well for its cultivation. This has resulted in out-substitution of traditional crops that were a major source of soil enrichment as these crops fix nitrogen in the soil. On the contrary, at present Punjab soil has not only become deficient in organic matter but is losing its fertility

“So precarious is the water situation in the state that if remedial measures are not taken now, in 20 years the situation would be critical,” the study warns.



Gates to come up on Banda Bahadur’s anniversary
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 8
The Bairagi Mahan Mandal, Punjab, has decided to erect six memorial gates on all entry points to the city for the 336th birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur here on October 16.

Announcing this at a meeting of the state body of the mandal here today, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, president, All-India Bairagi Mahan Mandal, stated that welcome gates in the names of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Swami Rama Nand (founder of Bairagi sect), Bhai Baj Singh (first subedar of Sirhind), Lala Lajpat Rai, Shaheed Udham Singh and Kartar Singh Sarabha would be installed at the Jalandhar bypass and Sherpur Chowk and on the Chandigarh, Ferozepore, Malerkotla and Pakhowal roads, respectively.

Mr Bawa further said during the birthday celebrations here Mr Ashok Bawa, president, and Mr Harbant Singh Deol, convener of the Canada unit of the mandal, along with Mr Inderjit Singh Mullanpur would be awarded gold medals.



Free ration given to 777 widows
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 8
The Shri Gyan Sthal Mandir Sabha and the Lala Jagat Narayan Nishkam Seva Manch organised a free ration distribution function in the temple here today.

As many as 777 widows got monthly ration. Marriage of two poor girls was also arranged by the Sabha on the occasion. The function was presided by Mr Surinder Dawar, Parliamentary Secretary.

Many people offered financial assistance to the organisers of the function. The brides were given silver jewellery , utensils and other articles.

Mr Prashant Aggarwal from the Narayan Seva Sansthan, Udaipur, and Sadhvi Purnima were presented with Lala Jagat Narayan Awards for their services to humanity.



Man held with 10 kg poppy husk

Ludhiana, October 8
The Khanna police has arrested a man and 10 kg of poppy husk has been seized from him. The police was on routine check-up duty near Naulri Manki village when it found Kirpal Singh of Bondli village carrying a bag with 10 kg of poppy husk.

A case under the NDPS Act has been registered.

Meanwhile, the Samrala police has booked four persons, including three women, under Sections 15, 61, 85 of the NDPS Act for selling poppy husk in dana mandi.



Ludhiana calling
Jinxed building

A building near the Verka Milk Plant, which used to house tick-borne diseases research centre and now is the campus of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, seems to be jinxed. The research centre had remained controversial and then it remained closed for years before it was shut down. Now, the university has been embroiled in controversies. Students were manhandled by the police.

Harassing people

Agitations are held to make the government accept demands. But whether or not the government is shaken, the common man is surely harassed. Demonstrators block roads or trains, inconveniencing commuters. Protesting may be a democratic right but the commuters, too, have a right to travel and live peacefully.

Hogging publicity

A large number of NGOs organise functions for helping widows and needy persons by distributing ration and other things among them but one wonders at their motive when they seek publicity. More often than not, one gets pictures of a widow receiving relief from 20 or even 30 persons. It seems these persons are more interested in boasting about their work than working for their cause.

Functions or nuisance?

Auspicious days are here again and residents are organising marriages and religious functions, often violating law. They erect shamianas in the middle of busy roads and don’t bother about the Supreme Court’s order on noise pollution.

Wake up, PSEB

The PSEB is perhaps waiting for a tragedy to happen before repairing two poles in Fatehgarh mohalla. The poles are tilted and the wires are hanging. Perhaps, it would wake up from slumber only when the poles fall on somebody.

— Contributed by Jupinderjit Singh and Kanchan Vasdev




Atwal alleges bias against SAD constituencies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 8
The Koom Kalan MLA, Mr Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, today alleged that the Congress government in the state was discriminating against the Assembly segments represented by the Opposition, particularly the Shiromani Akali Dal.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Atwal said during the past four and a half years the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had never bothered to visit his constituency. He said Koom Kalan was the largest constituency in Punjab with 237 villages. He alleged that the plight of other Akali-represented constituencies was the same.

The MLA alleged that the state government was getting the grants released by a former MLA, Mr Isher Singh, against rules. He said only the elected representative of the people could sanction grants in rural areas for development.

Citing the example of the bridge over the Sutlej between Machhiwara and Rahon, he said the project included a number of small bridges, overbridges and roads. He said the completion of the project was deliberately being delayed just because most of the development area was under the Koom Kalan Assembly segment represented by an Akali leader.

He also accused Mr Isher Singh of misbehaving and abusing a Dalit sarpanch of the area. He alleged that despite the matter being brought to the notice of the police no action had been taken.



Kidwai Nagar residents rue lack of amenities
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 8
The residents of Kidwai Nagar are a harassed lot as their pleas to provide basic amenities like drinking water, clean surrounding, proper sewerage disposal, traffic have fallen on deaf ears.

Parks in their area, particularly opposite the Devki Devi Jain College for women and Suffian Chowk are not being maintained properly. So many representations have proved futile.

There is no provision of lighting in these parks. Many incidents have incurred in the darkness. Some incidents of chain snatching have also occurred during the cover of darkness. Certain bad elements create nuisance too.

Residents complained that there is no provision of some official of horticulture and a gardener. There are no benches, the walkers’ path is not maintained , there are no toilets and other basic facilities.

The parks have been virtually turned into garbage dumps by the residents and were frequented by the stray dogs. ‘‘There is great resentment among the residents that they are being discriminated as there no other amenities available to them.’’said Mr R .R. Katyal, a resident.

He said that deep trenches have been dug up in the area for laying sewerage and underground wire by the PSEB paralysing traffic for the last 10 months. Till date, no arrangements have been made for repairing the road.

The conditions of roads in the Improvement Trust Flats is also pitiable and newly carpeted roads have been damaged as substandard materials had been used.



Triplets delivered
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 8
Multiple pregnancies in infertility-treated mothers commonly lead to miscarriage or premature birth of babies. Short-statured and underweight mothers are at a greater risk of these problems. Dr Vinita Agarwal, who is working as senior gynecologist at Sri Balaji Hospital here, advises yogic exercises to her infertility-treated patients which, she claims, has improved the results.

During last fortnight, three infertility treated mothers gave birth to multiple babies at the hospital. Dr Vinita said, “One patient, Soma Das, has been blessed with two baby girls and one baby boy. The delivery was in the seventh month. In the initial months of the pregnancy, the ultrasound scan showed that her uterus had three foetuses. The cause of concern was that Soma was very weak with a height of 4 feet and 10 inches and a weight of 37 kg.”

Dr Vinita said, “Soma was given training for yogic exercises and God showered his blessings in plenty.”

She informed that the weight of the babies ranged from 1400 gm to 1500 gm but they were doing well after 15 days of their birth.

The parents of the triplets were happy. “There was a time when I was going to doctors for treatment so that I could be a mother of one child, but God smiled at us and now I have three little angels to be with me,” remarked a happy and glowing Soma.



Shiv Sena (H) activists block trains
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 8
Activists of the Shiv Sena (Hindustan) today blocked the train traffic near Ludhiana railway station as part of the rail roko campaign against the alleged desecration of the idols of Lord Rama, Sita and Hanuman in a Bathinda village on Dasehra.

A number of Shiv Sena activists gathered on the track near the station and stopped the trains for some time. The traffic was later restored as the Sena activists dispersed peacefully.

They said their protest was symbolic as they did not want to cause any harassment to the public moving in the trains. They wanted to stress their demand for the registration of a criminal case against the culprits who had hurt the sentiments of people by desecrating the idols of gods.



Ashim is Antakshri winner
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 8
The semifinals and the final of Antakshari were conducted by anchor Annu Kapoor and his co-host Durga Jasraj last evening. Annu Kapoor’s wit, sense of humour, knowledge of both popular and classical music endeared him to the audience.

The programme finished after 11p.m. Annu’s vibrant energy matched by Durga’s alacrity and baritone voice of music director Anand Sharma provided a bonanza of entertainment for the city residents.

The programme was organised by the Ludhiana Sanskritik Samagam. Fortyeight contestants participated in the two semifinals.There were four persons in six teams in the semifinals. The final six teams were selected on the basis of marks they received in the simple and dhun rounds.

Ashim Nagpal’s, a businessman, team was declared the winner. Each team received a gift hamper. Mr Vikas Pratap Commissioner, Municipal Commissioner, was the chief guest.

The musicians were Shantenu, V. Paranjpe, Bhowmik and Girish Mishra.



Nurserymen’s body chief

Ludhiana, October 8
The Managing Director of Technocare Nursery, Lt-Col (retd) RN Kapoor has been elected president of the Indian Nurserymen Association. The association is a registered body recognised by the Government. Colonel Kapoor is the first president elected from Punjab. — OC



5 pc cash-back offer on Sahara flights
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 8
Cleartrip has announced a 5 per cent cash-back offer to customers on all Air Sahara bookings made on the website. The offer is available on select flights and sectors which the airline operates and will be valid till October 15.

Mr Sandeep Murthy, CEO of Cleartrip, said the company was determined to offer value propositions to its customers through tie-ups with partner airlines. These exciting offers would further the commitments of Cleartrip to provide additional value and make travel simple and cheaper.

“With the festive season approaching, we want our valued customers to seize these opportunities while planning their travel,” he added.



BMS cautions against IMF, WB clout
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 8
Mr Girish Awasthi, national president of the Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh, today cautioned against the increasing interference of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in the economic policies of the government.

Addressing the concluding function of the two-day workers’ training camp here today, he said the role of the labour organisations like the BMS had increased and become more important. With the WTO regime steadily coming into the force in the country, many problems were likely to crop up.

He said the BMS would continue to act as a watchdog of not only the interests of the workers, but the country’s economy as well. The BMS has been organising regular protests and would continue to do so to ensure that the country’s and workers’ interests are not compromised at any cost.



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