L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Rights panel takes notice of urchins’ deaths
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 29
Acting on a complaint of the president of the Subhash Chander Bose Society for Blind, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission has taken cognisance of the death of three minor children whose badly decomposed bodies were found in a locked car in Amarpura Colony here two months ago.

Mystery continues to shroud the death of the children, as the police is yet to receive report of chemical examination of viscera of the deceased, who were street urchins.

While the father of the deceased had accused the owner of the car of murdering his sons, the suspect pleaded innocence.

A double bench of the commission comprising Mr R.L. Anand, acting Chairperson, and Mr N.K. Arora, has taken cognisance of the death of Rinku (7), Kaka (5) and Billu (4), whose badly decomposed bodies were found in a locked car. “After careful consideration, we take cognisance of the matter and would be seeking a report in this regard under Section 17(1) of the Protection of Human Rights Act from the Principal Secretary and the SSP, Sangrur”, reads a communication received by Mr Tarsem Sharma, president of the society.

The children had gone missing on August 12. Their bodies were found in an Opel Astra car (HR 10 B 4353), owned by Insurance agent Karamjit Singh, at a plot owned by Kulwinder Singh, a transporter on August 14. Karmajit Singh said he had parked the car on the plot on August 11.

Tapa Nath and his wife Anita had been living in the town for more than decade. Following a marital dispute, Anita left her home. Her youngest son was only six months old then.

According to Tapa Nath, he had been living at Ludhiana for more than three years. He brought up his sons with a great difficulty.

He had earlier demanded a probe into the incident, alleging that the owner of the car had tried to impress him not to pursue the case.

“I know my sons were naughty, but they were not so wicked that they should be finished”, he said, adding that the car owner had promised him to compensate for his “loss” with money and a piece of land. “If he is innocent then why did he offer me compensation. How can I receive consideration for the murder of my three children whom I had brought up with great difficulties”, said Tapa Nath.

Mr Karamjit Singh, the owner of the car, said: “I do not know how the children got into the car”. He denied having offered any compensation for the death of the children to Tapa Nath.



Local police feels crippled as UP Police ‘shields’ accused
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 29
Having failed to recover case property, including a vehicle owned by a complainant and travel documents of an accused, the local police feels crippled as the Uttar Pradesh Police is allegedly shielding the accused, booked two months ago for duping innocent Punjabi youths in the name of marriage.

Despite seizure warrants by a court at Malerkotla, the investigating team has to hire services of a private counsel for seeking court orders, as the Uttar Pradesh Government refused to provide it an independent public prosecutor to fight the case in a court at Gorakhpur.

The perusal of records at Sadar police station revealed that the case property in the case of an FIR registered against Dr Parwinder Kaur, daughter of Gurdeep Singh Sandhu of Marwah Khurad, Yamunanagar district, and an NRI mother of two daughters, for allegedly duping Kuldeep Singh of Manakheri village of Rs 12 lakh by marrying him dishonestly and deserting him later, was still in the possession of the Uttar Pradesh Police that was allegedly shielding the accused.

Viney Swaroop, an accomplice of the NRI woman is still at large.

Mr Tara Chand, an ASI, who was sent to Gorakhpur to take the possession of a Scorpio (PB 10 B 3615), owned by the complainant, and other documents and goods belonging to the accused, reported to his senior that he had failed to take the possession of the case property as the Uttar Pradesh Government had refused to provide services of a public prosecutor in the court.

“Instead of providing us an independent public prosecutor, they suggested that the counsel who was opposing us would be arguing in our favour also. Though I tried my level best to convince the judge and produced documents in favour of our claim, we failed to take orders for getting possession of the case property for lack of legal advice,” claimed Mr Tara Chand.

The police has now approached the higher court and would be hiring a private counsel.

Meanwhile, the address of Viney Swaroop, the accomplice of Dr Parwinder Kaur, as told to police and recorded at the Gorakhpur hotel, turned out to be fake.

Mr Darshan Singh, SHO, had earlier reported to the higher authorities that the Gorakhpur police had tried to favour and shield the accused by registering a fictitious case against them, after the registration of a case here.

“Instead of enabling our team to recover evidence, including the Scorpio and certain documents, which were lying in a room at President Hotel at Gorakhpur, the police allegedly with connivance of the accused, seized the Scorpio and other articles concerned with the case on the pretext of recovering Rs 80,000 as pending bill of the hotel after registering an FIR under Sections 419, 420 and 406 of the IPC against Parwinder and Viney Kumar , on September 8,” Darshan Singh told the SSP, Sangrur.

Dr Parwinder Kaur was arrested by the local police in connection with a case registered under Sections 420, 494, 406 and 120 B of the IPC for allegedly duping Kuldeep Singh of Manakheri village of Rs 12 lakh by marrying him dishonestly and deserting him later.

Parwinder had stayed with Kuldeep for around two months and left on the pretext of visiting her relatives. Before going she convinced Kuldeep to buy a new Scorpio, as hiring taxi would be expensive according to her.

When Parwinder did not return for a long time, Kuldeep lodged a complaint with the local police and a party, led by Mr Darshan Singh, swung into action. Parwinder was arrested a week ago when she was about to dupe Beant Singh, a youth of Momnabad village near here.

During investigations, Parwinder disclosed that the Scorpio and other relevant pieces of evidence were lying at Hotel President at Gorakhpur.



Students enact plays on violence against women
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 29
The second day of Panjab University’s Zonal Youth and Heritage Festival was marked by excitement and enthusiasm at the SDP College for Women here today. Some students looked nervous and lost.

Students from over 14 women colleges of Ludhiana Zone-B took part in the events like drama, histrionics, percussion and non-percussion, Indian orchestra, group folk orchestra, folk instruments, poem writing, poetical recitation, debate, elocution, skits, mime and mimicry, etc. Everybody appreciated their performances.

The students presented discrimination against women through various forms of drama with the message of shunning violence against the woman.

One of the candidates said they had practised hard. “I think we have done justice to our job if the applause given to us is any indication”, she added.

Meanwhile, Mr I.D. Singh, General Manager, Punjab National Bank, presided over the morning session of the festival. Principal of the college Veena Maan, on behalf of the management, students and staff, welcomed the chief guest. Mr Balraj Kumar Bhasin, president of the SDP Sabha, along with Ms Maan, gave away the prizes to the winners of the evening session on the first day of the festival, which was presided over by Mr S.R. Kler, Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA.

The following are the results:

Indian classical music (vocal): Himani, Ramgarhia Girls College, 1; Inderpreet Kaur, MTSM College for Women, 2; and Navneet, Government College for Women and Karanpreet, Khalsa College for Women, 3; geet/ghazal: Navneet, Government College for Women, 1; Arshpreet, Ramgarhia Girls College 2; and Nimrata, MTSM College for Women, 3.

Folk songs: Gurlej Akhtar, Guru Nanak Khalsa College, 1; Mandeep, National College for Women, Macchiwara, 2; and Narinder Kaur, Ramgarhia Girls College, 3.

The evening session of the festival was presided over by Mr B.D. Budhiraja, Dean, College Development Council.



Ludhiana Calling

Shifting of statue of martyr Kartar Singh Sarabha from under the elevated road created quite a controversy in the city. It seemed that the district administration was in no mood to shift the statue if the issue was not taken up by some political leaders. It was finally shifted a few hours before the elevated road was opened to public by the Chief Minister. It is now resting at the War Memorial before it would be finally installed at Pakhowal Road, which connects the martyr’s native village.

Pruning drive

Punjab State Electricity Boards’ drive in city to prune trees badly has invited severe criticism from all quarters. Residents of the Barewal Road, Jamalpur and Sarabha Nagar areas have registered their protests as a number of trees were pruned very badly by the employees who claimed that these threatened power supply lines. Well, they seem to have a reason, but the residents won’t appreciate. They say the board could have pruned the trees, but not so badly and that, too, in this season.

Smog blanket

Thanks to the burning of paddy stubble by the farmers along the countryside, the city gets a thick blanket of smog every morning and evening. The level of suspended particulate matter has become so high in the air that it is difficult to breathe in the open as well as to see clearly. One wonders when we would wake up to the hazards of pollution and do our bit to save the environment.


With the mercury dipping with the each passing day, there has been a natural check on the spread of the dreadful dengue fever. Though not many people are reporting to hospitals with the fever compared to the past one month, panic still prevails among the residents. They keep on complaining against ineffective fogging operations in the city. They have, of late, started praying to weather gods to come to their rescue as the virus causing fever dies its own death when temperature falls.

Overzealous cop

This is a classic example of an overzealous policeman. A sentry on duty in the corridor of the Police Headquarters in the Mini-Secretariat here was seen forcibly stopping people from talking over the phone. When asked, he said those were the orders of the SSP and showed a poster of the orders pasted on the wall. However, the orders clearly say mobile phones are not allowed inside the office of the police official. Yet, the overzealous policeman insisted, the orders covered the corridor only.

Even a clarification by the SSP in this regard does not seem to have any impact as the policeman continues to stop people from talking on the phone.

Statutory warning

The annual orders of the DGP, Punjab, prohibiting the policemen from accepting Divali gifts have been just reduced to a statutory warning. It is just like the warning on the liquor bottles that drinking is injurious to health. Similarly, the policemen take the order in the same spirit as they accept gifts in heaps on Divali. It is an open secret that not only does they accept gifts from civilians but also from junior officials.

DIG office

The incomplete construction of a flyover in place of the dilapidated Lakkar Bridge has not only caused financial loss to the Municipal Corporation and traffic problems near the old courts area, but has posed problems for the office of the DIG, Ludhiana, too. The office staff had closed two gates and carved out a new one from the boundary wall to find a way in and out of the office. But, with the flyover construction in limbo for over a year now, the third gate is also causing problems for smooth entry and exit.

Often the vehicles running on the road have to be stopped in order to facilitate the movement. Now, it seems the third gate would also have to be closed down and a fourth gate would have to be made.

Hidden talent

Parties of journalists may be a normal feature in places like Chandigarh or New Delhi, but the only time the members of fourth estate huddle together in this city is when they organise dharnas. But, last weekend, it was rare moment when all mediapersons organised a party on the Divali eve. Apart from expressing rare camaraderie, the event was a first to showcase hidden talent among many of the journalists. While some regaled with jokes, others narrated funny real events. Still some, usually shy, recited one couplet after another. One just hopes the party culture goes on.

Docs leave garbage

Doctors always advocate maintaining hygiene. They do their best to avoid littering of the hospital compounds. But, a group of doctors, involved in organising the transplant games, had scant regard for cleanliness. They threw around disposable coffee cups, cold drink glasses and packets in which they were served eatables. A number of sportspersons requested them time and again to use the bins for the purpose. Not only did they leave a trail of destruction in the stands but also left garbage, polythene bags, used napkins on the ground.

Clever excuse

A city journalist had never thought that the death of a national political leader would come in handy for him to save him from the fury of his wife. The journalist was always at the receiving end of his wife’s anger as he frequently forgot the house hold chores or things he was supposed to ring home in the evening. He had failed to remember booking an LPG cylinder for four days when his wife gave him an ultimatum. The poor media man, however, again forgot. The moment he entered the house he was in for trouble. But, he invented an excuse, “Don’t you know, there is a national mourning because of the leader’s death. All offices are closed.” The credulous wife had no idea that there was no national mourning and private offices like the gas agencies do not close down!

Open urinal

The city police has recently renovated a memorial to police martyrs at the Police Lines. A road and a courtyard in front of the control room have also been paved afresh. But an open urinal near the place is quite an eyesore. Even though efforts have been made to improve the standard of the Police Lines, the open urinal has escaped attention. Not only senior state police officials visit the place but many a time important media conferences are held here.

Prized rest

A city policeman had a first-hand experience of how important it could be to serve a senior official’s dog. It so happened that the officials rottveiler dog had to be sent to Chandigarh, where the family of the senior police official resided. The constable was considered on duty for the day he went to the city beautiful and given two days’ rest also by the benevolent police official. l

— Sentinel



Congress fomenting trouble in Punjab, alleges Badal
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 29
Former Chief Minister of Punjab and president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Parkash Singh Badal today charged the ruling Congress in the state with fomenting tension and throwing the state in turmoil through its henchmen.

He said the government was stooping too low to draw political mileage from non-issues.

Talking to mediapersons here after presiding over the national working committee meeting of the All-India Aggarwal Sammelan here, Mr Badal, however, maintained that his party would not allow the peace to be disturbed at any cost.

“It appears that the ruling Congress has not learnt any lessons from its earlier unsuccessful attempts to divide Sikhs for political ends.”

Terming the Kathunangal incident as most unfortunate, he blamed the Congress government for using Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, president of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) to turn a religious function into a battle ground.

He expressed hope that better sense would prevail and Mr Mann would not fall prey to nefarious designs of the government.

He reiterated that the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee was a duly elected body that carried with it the absolute verdict of the Sikh community, which ought to be shown due respect.

Even as the SGPC had recently honoured Mr Mann with a “siropa” (robe of honour), the latter had always been adopting a confrontational approach.

“The sole purpose of Mr Mann (in creating trouble at different platforms) is to gain cheap popularity and pleasing his political masters,” remarked Mr Badal while asking the SAD (A) chief to give up his way of working which is bringing disrepute to the community and creating bad blood between different sections.

Replying to a question, Mr Badal stated that his party would contest the coming Assembly elections with the BJP as its coalition partner.

He strongly refuted that there were any differences between the SAD and BJP over distribution of seats. “There is no controversy over seat sharing and minor differences, if any, will be settled very soon.”

Earlier, addressing a session of the All-India Aggarwal Sammelan, Mr Badal responded positively to the demand for social security of the business community and simplification of taxation laws.

He assured that once the SAD-BJP alliance was elected to power, which was a certainty now, suitable steps would be initiated to ease the taxation burden, pave way for the growth of business and industry and introduce a social security cover for private entrepreneurs in Punjab.

Mr Pradeep Mittal, president, All-India Aggarwal Sammelan, Mr Amrit Lal Aggarwal, state president of the body, were also present.



Badals ‘assure’ Bikramjit of Dakha ticket
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana October 29
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and his heir apparent, Mr Sukhbir Badal, today reportedly assured Mr Bikramjit Singh Khalsa, son of late Basant Singh Khalsa, of the party nomination from the Dakha Assembly segment. Mr Bikramjit Singh has represented the Dakha constituency from 1997 to 2002.

The Badals, who were here to attend the 10th death anniversary of Basant Singh Khalsa, reportedly assured Mr Bikramjit Singh that his services would be duly acknowledged and utilised. Mr Sukhbir Badal remained closeted with Mr Bikramjit Singh and his mother Balbir Kaur for about an hour while most of the Akali leaders waited outside.

With another potential ticket aspirant, Mr Darshan Singh Shivalik, also lobbying hard and known for his close proximity to Mr Badal, Mr Khalsa reportedly made it a point with both Mr Sukhbir Badal and Mr Parkash Singh Badal to clear doubt about the party nomination from Dakha.

SAD sources revealed that Mr Bikramjit Singh Khalsa and his mother wanted categorical commitment from the Badals that he (Bikramjit) would get the party nomination. However, they managed to get an assurance only. They are learnt to have argued that at the time of unity between the Badal and Tohra factions, the Assembly constituencies once represented by the Tohra loyalists should be allotted to them only. Mr Bikaramjit Singh was a staunch Tohra loyalist and had sided with him when Mr Tohra parted ways with Mr Badal. Besides, the Badals were told that Mr Bikramjit Singh was being offered nomination by rival Akali factions and the third front who wanted to field him as a common candidate.

Mr Shivalik,on his part, has been strongly lobbying for party nomination from Dakha. He contested unsuccessfully from Dakha in 2002 against Mr Milkiat Singh Dakha. He is considered to be quite close to Mr Sukhbir Badal and Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon.

Both Mr Sukbir Badal and Mr Parkash Singh Badal by attending the death anniversary function of Basant Singh Khalsa apparently wanted to make a point lest it might be construed that the erstwhile Tohra loyalists were being ignored and isolated and could possibly even be denied tickets. The father-son duo wanted to dispel the notion that the erstwhile Tohra loyalists were being marginalised, if not cleansed off, the sources said.

In fact, the Badals can ill afford to let such a notion prevail in Ludhiana with senior and influential leaders like Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, Mr Hira Singh Gabria and Mr Bikramjit Singh Khalsa having a strong base here. Besides, late Surjan Singh Thekedar also belonged to this place.



Sukhbir apprehends booth-capturing by Congress
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana October 29
The Shiromani Akali Dal general secretary and Faridkot MP, Mr Sukhbir Badal today apprehended that the Congress might resort to booth-capturing in the forthcoming assembly elections in the state. He alleged that the way the Congress, assisted by the police, had captured booths in Jalandhar and Patiala municipal bypolls, only indicated its frustration and despair.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Sukhbir Badal also sounded a warning to police officials who were siding with the Congress. He warned that those officers who were blatantly supporting the Congress in such activities would be firmly dealt with once his party formed the government.

He alleged that the incidents at Kathu Nangal were sponsored by the Congress. He demanded that a case must be registered against the Punjab Director-General of Police as he had let the situation to take this ugly turn although he knew too well that it could happen.



Aggarwals to ‘stake claim’ for place in politics
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 29
Having successfully established its mettle in the trade and industry in every part of the country, the Aggarwal community will now stake its claim for a rightful place in the political set-up, both in the Centre and states.

This was stated by Mr Pradeep Mittal, national president of the All-India Aggarwal Sammelan, while addressing a news conference here last evening.

Mr Mittal was here in connection with the annual session of the working committee of the body.

He made it clear that the community would support only those political parties which agreed to granting due representation to its members at different levels.

“We are going to hold a national-level rally at Ramlila Grounds in Delhi in January next year, which will aim at telling all political parties in no uncertain terms that they cannot survive without taking the Aggarwal community along.”

Mr Mittal and the president of the Punjab Pradesh Aggarwal Sammelan, Mr Amrit Lal Aggarwal, who was also present at the conference, claimed that more than five lakh persons, including prominent leaders of the community from all parts of the country, were expected to take part in the rally.

The Aggarwal Sammelan, maintained Mr Mittal, had achieved success in the implementation of several policies and programmes, which were finalised in the general house session at Raipur on October 2.

He said under the 11-point programme adopted by the general house, significant work had already been done towards literacy, free computer education, employment, welfare of widows and physically challenged persons, campaign against female feticide, conservation of environment and drive against social evils.

Mr Amrit Lal Aggarwal said the Punjab unit of the body had launched a mass awareness programme with a massive blood donation camp in Bathinda. Thereafter, the functionaries of the sammelan had carried out extensive tour of the state to mobilise members of the community in order to bring them on a single platform and achieve political success in the coming Assembly elections in Punjab.



Drive aimed at conserving infrastructure
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 29
The state unit of the Bairagi Maha Mandal will launch a move to create awareness among the masses about the conservation and maintenance of the infrastructure set up by the present government during the past years. This was stated Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, president of the mandal, here yesterday.

Mr Bawa said much more was required to be done to meet needs of swelling population of the state. At the same time it was obligatory for the public to preserve and maintain the infrastructure erected at heavy costs.

“It is high time we understand that the infrastructure should be protected at all costs if we want to handover a smooth running system to our future generations”, said Mr Bawa.

Claiming that the present government had succeeded in strengthening networks of roads and bridges more than any other past government, Mr Bawa said all residents of the state, irrespective of caste and creed and political affiliations, would reap benefits.

He said the mandal would launch a move to make people aware about consequences of overexploitation of the infrastructure.

Mr Ravider Nandi, general secretary of the mandal, also addressed the gathering.



Benefits of surya kriya yoga highlighted
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 29
A three-day training camp for sidhhamrit surya kriya yoga, which was invented by Swami Budh Puri, head of Shabad Surat Sangam Ashram, Mallke village, Moga district, concluded here today with hundreds of trainees attending the yoga session on the last day.

Addressing the trainees on the PUDA grounds on Dugri Road, Swami Suryendu Puri, a disciple of Swami Budh Puri, said a number of “asnas” and pranayam were getting popular not only in India but also in several Western countries. In the modern fast-paced life, people needed to resort to a “maha yoga”, which could ensure physical and mental health as well as spiritual ascendancy.

The swami said all modern cures gave temporary relief in stead of removing the root cause of the various diseases. That was why the modern world was drifting towards alternative therapies, such as reiki, acupressure, yoga and so on.

All those alternative therapies had their limits. But, sidhhamrit surya kriya yoga was effective in all diseases. It not only cured physical and mental disorders but also ensured simultaneous spiritual ascendancy. That was why it was called “maha yoga”.

The camp was conducted by Swami Suryendu Puri, Sadhvi Yoganjli Chaitanya and Brahmchari Shiv Chaitanya, all disciples of Swami Budh Puri.



Chhath Puja concludes
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 29
A two-day festival of Chhath Puja concluded here today.

Hundreds of migrant families from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar offered prayers to the rising and setting sun on the banks of the Sirhind Canal near here yesterday and today.

Mr Ashok Singh, a labour contractor from Uttar Pradesh, said Chhath was a festival of prayer and propitiation and they observed fast for 36 hours. They took meal only after performing rituals.

Devotees were seen standing in knee-deep water in the canal to observe the Chhath Puja.

Devotees said they slept on the floor and wore unstitched clothes. At the sunset, holy water and milk were poured in the nearby river or canal and given “argya.”

Canopies of banana columns presented a spectacular scene for locals, who thronged the canal to watch the migrants perform puja.



Indo-Thai joint venture for bicycles launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
An Indo-Thai joint venture for bicycles was announced here today.

La Soverign Bicycles Pvt Ltd is the first-ever joint venture between Thailand and India-based companies to market bicycles and kids toys of very high quality and world-class designs and innovation for the Indian consumer. The bicycle range covers ages starting 02- 60 years and includes children bicycles, BMX, city trekking, hybrid, cross bikes, folding bikes, mountain bikes and road bikes.

Mr Rohit Kalra, MD, La Sovereign, Mr Vinai Gandhi, Director, La Sovereign, Mr Sujeev Gandhi, Director, La Sovereign, and Prakit Lertyaovarit, MD, La Bikes, Thailand were present on the occasion.

The company will also launch e-bikes on an extensive basis in the coming months. This product is already being successfully sold in Thailand. E–bikes are fuel efficient and low-cost bikes which run on battery and have been made using American and European technology.

Sovereign is an Indian company and has been in the bicycle trade for the past 40 years. They have a strong brand presence in the Indian and export market and are one of the leaders in the trade.

La (Thailand) is a Thai company manufacturing bicycles, toys and electric bikes for Asian, European and North American markets. La is a leading brand in Thailand and commands about 90 per cent of the market share.



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