L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

SC directive fails to deter child labour
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
The Supreme Court directive on child labour was thrown to the winds on the very first day of its coming into force as children below the age of 14 continued to work at various places. Even at mini secretariat, the corridors of bureaucracy, several children were seen busy doing routine labour work.

There was nobody to stop the children as well as their employers from going against the SC directive and the day passed like any other day for them.

In almost all parts of the city children worked as labourers, be it a dhaba, tea stall, house or any other establishment, where they have been working for the past many months.

In the office of the Additional Deputy Commissioner, young boys were seen selling knick-knacks of their employer and there seemed to be no one to stop them.

“I am selling things in this office for the past many days. Nobody stopped me even today. My employer told me to stay away from the police, especially today, but nobody came to me,” said Manku, a nine-year-old, who sells peanuts for a vendor.

The visitors to the ADC office who were buying peanuts from him said they were surprised to see that a young boy was working here despite the court orders.

But perhaps the orders were not enough for the authorities to wake up from their slumber. Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Magistrate Ashok Kumar Gupta was said to be away to Chandigarh to attend an official meeting.

A senior official in the administration said the SC had passed the orders and it was for the enforcement agencies to get it implemented. He added that if anybody was found flouting the orders he would be dealt with by the police.

A survey of the city revealed that small children, including girls, were working on the roadsides. There were children working with iron smiths, scrap dealers and a number of other places.

But the enforcement agencies seemed to be in no mood to respect the court orders what to talk about people who are employing domestic labour.

A housewife, who has employed a 10-year-old girl to work at her house, said she had asked the girl to bring her mother along today so if somebody came to her house she could say the daughter was accompanying her.

“But till 2 pm there was no action on anyone. Even the roadside dhabas were making children clean big utensils. Why should I bother? I sent the mother back,” she said.

Police yet to set up panel to implement order

The three-month time given by the Supreme Court to various enforcement agencies to implement the verdict on child labour was not enough for the district police, who is yet to constitute a committee to get the order implemented in “letter and spirit.”

Faced with the criticism of conveniently letting the day pass without caring about the implementation, senior police officials said they were yet to decide about how to implement the directive.

Failing to take any action on those flouting the orders on the day one, the district police chief, Mr A.S. Rai, said he would constitute a committee tomorrow so that the order was implemented and small children did not lose their childhood before time.

Talking to TNS today, he said he was yet to chalk out the details of the committee. “I will do it tomorrow after applying my mind on who should be included in the committee and how should we go about ensuring that no violation of the order takes place,” he said.



Another 11-year-old girl raped, murdered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
An 11-year-old girl, daughter of a migrant labourer, was found raped and murdered in Dhandari early morning today. This is the second rape and murder case of 11-year-old girl within three weeks.

The police said investigation so far was inconclusive to suggest the two incidents could be the handiwork of one person or two different persons. In the first case, another 11-year-old girl was found raped and murdered on banks of the Sidhwan Canal at Barewal on September 20. The accused was yet to be arrested.

The body of Reshma (name changed), daughter of a factory labourer, was found near bathrooms, situated at a distance from a labourer colony in Dhandari. She was a student in a local school. She had been missing since yesterday afternoon and was last seen leaving the school with other students.

The anxious parents reported to the police late last night after searching for her. The body of the girl was spotted in the wee hours near the bathrooms by a labourer. No one had reported hearing or seeing the girl with any person

She was declared dead by the authorities in the Civil Hospital. The post-mortem examination of the deceased revealed that she was strangulated by the accused. Her ribs were also broken.

SP City-II D P Singh said the police was suspecting some labourer, living near the house of the victim girl, seemed to have been involved in the crime. He said there was no evidence to suggests that some rapist was on the prowl in the city and targeting minor girls only.

Meanwhile, the incident had triggered panic in the Dhandari area and that had turned sour the Karva Chauth celebrations. The area residents led by local leaders raised slogans in the hospital demanding immediate arrest of the accused.



50 fresh cases of suspected dengue
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 10
Fifty fresh cases of dengue were admitted to various hospitals here during the past 24 hours.

In Dayanand Medical College and Hospital alone, 20 new patients were admitted, taking the total number of dengue-afflicted patients from September onwards to 107. Dr Sandeep Puri, Medical Superintendent, said 35 patients were still under treatment.

According to Dr Harcharan Singh, District Health Officer, 16 suspected dengue patients had reported to Mohan Dai Oswal Cancer Treatment and Research Institute, 13 to the CMCH and one to Bhagwan Ram Charitable Hospital till this afternoon.

While he was confident that the administration would soon be able to check the incidence of dengue by breaking the breeding cycle of the mosquito with fumigation and other preventive measures, resources available with the municipal corporation projected an altogether different picture.

It was learnt that out of 10 fogging machines with the MC, three had broken down during past couple of days. With just seven fogging machines, it was difficult to stick to the exhaustive fogging schedule drawn up by the MC in consultation with health officials, sources maintained.



Man convicted in cheque bounce case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 10
Mr Tarsem Mangla, Judicial Magistrate, has sentenced Vinod Sohal of Jawahar Nagar in a cheque bounce case. The accused has been ordered to undergo imprisonment for a year. He was also fined Rs 3,000.

The orders were pronounced while deciding a complaint filed by Mr Om Parkash of Ludhiana. It was submitted that the accused had taken a loan of Rs 40,000 from him. Thereafter, he gave a cheque for Rs 40,000 which was dishonoured. Despite being served with a legal notice, the accused failed to make the payment.



Pioneer of auto industry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
Mr Jagdish Behal may deservingly be described as the doyen of Ludhiana industry. In fact he happens to be one of the pioneers of the automobile industry in India. Way back in the early sixties, during the heydays of socialism and protectionist regime, Mr Behal had set up a joint venture with the Yamaha motor company of Japan for manufacturing two wheelers in India under the brand name of Pearl-Yamaha.

“It was a different era”, he recalls. Unlike today when anybody can walk in and order a four-wheeler or two-wheeler instantly, in those days people would book their two-wheelers five years in advance. “That was the licence regime”, he remarks, while adding that age had its own charm, this age has its own. During those days forming a joint venture with a foreign company was considered to be an ambitious idea.

That is not the only aspect of Mr Behal’s personality. Besides, he also set up textile machinery manufacturing unit in Ludhiana. The working of that unit had impressed the then Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri during his visit to Ludhiana.

Mr Behal has no regrets for having gone into oblivion from the limelight that he hogged for so many decades. Looking back with a sense of great consolation and complacency he remarked: “I am quite satisfied with whatever I did and achieved”. Summing up his decline, he said, “Sometimes the situation is beyond your control and you cannot do much and the best thing is to accept it and face it without regretting and lamenting about it”.



Bar ex-president Jain dead
Our Correspondent

Krishan Kant Jain
Krishan Kant Jain

Ludhiana, October 10
Former president of the District Bar Association Krishan Kant Jain (87) died here yesterday after a protracted illness.

He is survived by two sons and two daughters.

Mr Jain started practising law in 1949. He had an illustrious carrier. He remained associated with several social and religious organisations. He remained associated with the BJP and once contested the parliamentary election as a BJP nominee.

The District Courts remained closed yesterday as a mark of respect to the departed soul.

In a joint condolence meeting of the Bench and Bar, Additional Sessions Judge H.P.S. Mahal, Mr Sanjeev Berry, Mr Satvinder Singh, Mr Gurbir Singh, Mr A.K. Mehta, Mr Roshan Lal Ahuja, Chief Judicial Magistrate K.S. Cheema, Chairman of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana Harish Rai Dhanda, Bar president Naval Kishore Chhibber, secretary Rajneesh Gupta, and former Bar presidents Hemant Kalia, K.R. Sikri and Balwinder Goel paid tributes to the departed soul.

He was cremated last evening at Civil Lines Shamshan Ghat. His funeral was well attended. Former Speaker of the state Assembly Satpal Gosain, district BJP president Subash Verma, leader of opposition in MC Parveen Bansal, Mr Hira Lal Jain, Ms Ruby Fernandiz and several social leaders attended the funeral.

Mr Jain remained president of the Sammiti Kendra Charitable Trust, Manager of Lord Mahavira Homeopathic Medical College and general secretary of the Jain Mahasabha. He also served as a Judicial Officer.



Festive season revs up market
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
City markets bear a festive look this season, the latest trend witnessing a large number of exhibitions that involve participation from local small outlets as well. Right from jewellery, apparel to electronic goods, utensils and food items — there are attractive offers on all.

While previous years saw participation largely from market players located outside the city, this time city-based traders too are actively participating.

“Launch of new items is better noticed if displayed at exhibitions instead of one’s outlet only. City residents have become quite receptive to exhibitions and we find these expos a good platform for launch and display,” said Mr Rakesh Gupta, owner of Anmol Jewellers, which is participating in an ongoing jewellery exhibition. “This festival season the response is encouraging, particularly because gold prices, after witnessing a continuous increase, also have come down,” he added.

A large variety of high- tech products and rising incomes have generated another trend wherein potential buyers as well as sellers are laying an increasing focus on high-end items. “As rapid changes in technology take place, consumers want the latest products and hence find exhibitions a good place to get information as well as make purchases,” said Mr Maninder Singh, Director, Excelsior Public Relations, which is holding an electronics exhibition.

On participation from local players, he said: “While large corporates focus on involving their channel partners, small players are coming up in a big way to make their presence felt through festive season expositions. In comparison to any other mode of publicity, which is essentially one way, exhibitions give traders an opportunity to spot their customers and facilitate a two-way communication. Most of the players record highest sale through festive season expositions and the participation this time is much more than previous years.”

Besides exhibiting their products, traders are offering attractive discounts and gifts. Lucky coupon schemes, scratch cards, discounts etc are accompanying almost all categories of products available in the market. “Not only the original product, people are equally concerned about the gifts they get. If one brand offers a better deal they prefer it because most of the good companies offer good quality products and hence gifts do become a customer-generating factor,” said Mr Rajiv Kumar, who works with an electronics goods company.



Movies, cards favourite pastime on Karva Chauth
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, October 10
To ignore their thirst and hunger during the entire day, fasting women today kept themselves busy by watching movies in theatres, playing cards, organising small get-togethers and playing tambola here to observe Karva Chauth. Dressed in their best in colours like red, pink, magenta, orange and maroon, the women had a good chatting time with friends.

A rush of women and young girls was witnessed at some cinema halls in the city. Ms Mudita, a teacher at a local school here, said since it was a holiday in the school, she had already made a programme to watch movie with her friends. "We decided to watch a movie to pass the time. I did not feel like having anything during the day. After exchanging thalis with friends, we will have our tea in the evening", she said.

Cards sessions were organised at various ladies clubs and residences of women. Ms Anjana said she always played cards with friends on the day.

"Time passes so easily while playing cards. Our group of six friends is so close-knit that we share jokes while playing cards", she added.

Meanwhile various get-togethers were organised to celebrate the festival. Several women exchanged thalis in their homes, temples, societies and colonies.

About 100 women exchanged thalis at the HIG Colony, Rani Jhansi Road. After exchanging thalis, the decked-up women played tambola with friends till late evening.

Though several astrologers had warned that this year's Karva Chauth should not be observed by unmarried girls, the latter observed the fast with same enthusiasm like married women.



SAD (A) petitions President against death penalty
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), today petitioned the President, seeking abolition of death penalty. The party also held a demonstration to mark World Day Against Death Penalty.

A memorandum to the President said: “We are conscious of your humane nature and your strong advice given last year to the Government of India to examine all aspects of capital punishment in Parliament, which unfortunately the government has not done”.

The SAD (A) said this year’s campaign also coincided with the launch of the Anti-Death Penalty Network an initiative by Amnesty International to take action against death penalty in India, South Korea and Japan, among other countries in the region. More than 111 countries had abolished death penalty, including the Philippines which did so in June. To give a message to the world that India was serious about its world image, India should join the ranks of these countries.

It said in the case of Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar and Mohammad Afzal, the courts had dwelt upon extraneous law and order and political considerations, which had happened almost 10 years after the crime to affirm death sentences.

The SAD (A) said there were around 50 persons on the death row across the country, of which 16 were in Punjab.

It listed several arguments against death penalty, saying that death penalty was a failure of justice and a cruel and degrading punishment that violated the right to life.



Development claims false: MCPI (U)
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
The Punjab State Committee of the MCPI (U) met here under the chairmanship of Mr Didar Singh. State committee members from Bathinda, Amritsar, Faridkot, Sangrur, Patiala, Nawanshahr, Chandigarh and Ludhiana participated.

Mr Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, all India general secretary of the party, exhorted party workers to strengthen the party.

The state committee discussed the latest political situation in Punjab and came to the conclusion that false claims of development were being made by the Congress government.

Agriculture and industry, especially small-scale industry, was in deep crisis.

The Central Government had failed to give any economic package in the form of relief to farmers and concessions to the industry, it said.

According to Mr Kuldip Singh, secretary of the committee, the meeting of the MCPI (U) in a separate resolution expressed its concern over corruption in the police of Nawanshahr district, where a top police official was said to be involved in corruption.

It regretted that the Chief Minister had gone out of his way to defend the official that, too, without any verification and inquiry.

The MCP(U) has demanded a high-level probe into the charges of corruption against the SSP Nawanshahr and his immediate suspension.

In another resolution, the committee has demanded a CBI inquiry into the Ludhiana City centre scam.

In the last resolution, it called upon the government to protect the rights and possession of more than 75 Dalits over plots allotted to them at Mor-Patiala village near Barnala. Influential persons were trying to dispossess them, it added.



This mother-to-be needs help
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 10
Ms Julekha (35) and resident of Allahabad, was admitted to the CMCH here a week ago.

She is pregnant and is suffering from septicemia and uremic encephalopathy. Her husband Mohammed Ali, the sole earning member of the family, is not in a position to bear the cost of treatment, which, according to doctors, will cost around Rs 60,000.

Dr Mary Abraham said the CMCH had been providing all possible medical care to the woman at cheap rates, however, the meagre financial resources of the family stand in the way of her delivering the child and getting treated for her illness.

Those who wish to help her can contact the office of the Medical Superintendent, CMCH. Donation should be made in favour of “Treatment for Julekha” written behind the cheque, bank draft or on the covering letter.



Academy to take legal action against party

Ludhiana, October 10
Terming the allegations by the Lok Bhalai Party as politically motivated, the Air Hostess Academy (AHA) yesterday said that it would take legal action against the party for tarnishing its image. The party had alleged that the academy had misled its student, Tejinder Kaur.

“The allegations are politically motivated. The student gave interview and test , records of which are available with us. However, she was refused admission as she made some unjustified demands like issuing certificate without attending classes etc, due to which she was refused admission. It was after the refusal that she backed by the party, started making allegations and went to a section of the media,” said Mr I.P. Singh, spokesperson for AHA, at a press conference here yesterday. — TNS



Yoga camp from today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
Punjab National Bank will conduct a yoga camp in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar from October 11 to 17. A bank press note today said the camp would be held under the supervision of members of the Pitanjli Yog Training Samiti.



Valmiki’s birth anniversary celebrated

Ludhiana, October 10
Employees of the Sanitation Department of Christian Medical College organised a function to celebrate the birth anniversary of Maharishi Valmiki here yesterday.

Dr John Parmod, Director, CMC, exhorted people to follow the teachings of the Maharishi. A bhandara was also organised. — TNS



Man booked for assaulting woman
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 10
The Raikot police has booked Malkit Singh of Littran on a charge of assault under Sections 452, 323, 509 and 506, IPC. Malkit Singh allegedly entered the house of Jasmail Kaur of his village and assaulted her. The injured has been admitted to the Civil Hospital, Raikot. No arrest has been made so far.

Held with liquor

The Sidhwan Bet police has arrested Gurdip Singh of Bhundri and allegedly seized 6930 ml of illicit liquor from his possession. A case has been registered under Sections 61,1 and 14 of the Excise Act.

Shop burgled

Three persons have been booked for committing burglary in a shop they have rented out to a tenant. According to information, Dalwara Singh of Nurpura took on rent a shop at Raikot from Jagdev Singh, Gurdip Singh and Jaswant Singh of Johlan. He started business of paints. The trio allegedly broke the lock of the shop and stolen paints worth Rs 5,000. They have been booked under Sections 448, 380, IPC.

17 booked on assault charges

In three separate incidents, 17 persons have been booked on the charge of assault by the Sidhwan Bet and Raikot police.

In the first incident, the Raikot police has registered a case under Sections 341,323,148,149 and 307, IPC, against Jagtar Singh, Karam Singh, Jora Singh, Binderjit Singh, Iqbal Singh, Gurmeet Singh , Kuku and Pappa of Raikot on the charge of assaulting Karamjit Singh of Mohalla Molwian, Raikot, with sticks. The injured has been admitted to the Civil Hospital, Raikot. No arrest has been made so far.

In the second incident, the Raikot police has booked Bhag Singh, Jaspal Singh, Baljit Singh, Jinder Singh, Jugraj Singh and Deepa of Bassian on the charge of assaulting Pritam Singh of their village. A case has been registered under Sections 323,324,148 and 149 of the IPC. The injured has been admitted to the Civil Hospital, Raikot. No arrest has been made so far.

In the third incident, the Sidhwan Bet police has registered a case under Section 324 and 34 against Amrik Singh, Resham Singh and Gora of Sherpur Kalan on the charge of assaulting Surjit Kaur of their village. The injured has been admitted to Civil Hospital, Jagraon. No arrest has been made so far.

37 kg poppy husk seized

The Sidhwan Bet police has intercepted a scooter (PB-25-3093) in New Salempura village and allegedly seized 37 kg of poppy husk from the scooter. The accused fled from the spot. A case has been registered under Sections 15,61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.

3 held for gambling

In three separate incidents, the Dakha police has arrested Bhupinder Pal Singh of Mullanpur, Shankar Dayal of Chak Kalan and Gurmail Singh of Dakha on the charge of gambling in public place and allegedly seized Rs 350, Rs 350 and Rs 550 separately from their possession. Three separate cases have been registered under Sections 13-A, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act.



Nickel thieves on the prowl
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
Scare of nickel robbers has again haunted city industrialists with a gang of masked robbers, looting Ganpati Enterprises, Dhandari Kalan, on Sunday night after beating and tying up factory workers and security guards. The gang took away nickel and copper worth lakhs of rupees.

The police has, however, succeeded in keeping the incident under wraps till an FIR was registered today. The incident has brought the working of the Focal Point police under scrutiny as a rape and murder of another minor girl also took place in the area of the police station early today.

The nickle robbers had spread panic among the industrialists early this year by a series of strikes. The police had managed to bust the main gang active in the area but now the incidents have again started to surface after a lull of few months.

The industry had grown so scared that a delegation of manufacturers had asked the SSP to ensure security or they would be forced to leave the city.

Police sources said a group of 10 -12 persons stormed the Ganpati Enterprises on Sunday and beat up the security guards and a few factory workers. They tied them up and locked them in a room.

The robbers decamped with 40 kg of nickel, 50 kg of copper, Rs 7,000 cash and two bicycles. They had allegedly came on three-wheelers and took away the booty in those vehicles.

One of the workers suffered injuries on his head when he tried to resist and raise an alarm.

It was ironic that according to the FIR, the robbers were armed with iron rods, still they managed to force the guards carrying guns into submission.



City resident wins jewellery

Ludhiana, October 10
Mr Ravinder Sharma won diamond jewellery worth Rs 1 lakh as a Diwali jackpot in a promotion campaign launched by Pyramid Retail Holdings.

The store has started a two-week festival from October 7 to 22. Customers who purchase products worth more than Rs 3,000 would be entitled to participate in a lucky draw where they can win jewellery worth Rs 1 lakh every day.

The grand finale will be on October 22 where one lucky winner will get a cash award of Rs 15 lakh. — TNS



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