L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



LMC cocks a snook at state govt orders
Running of 2 parallel offices of Registrar (Deaths & Births)
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
Is the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation ( LMC) cocking a snook at the orders of the state government as far as running of two parallel offices of Registrar, Deaths and Births, is concerned?

The answer seems to be in the affirmative, as two offices of Registrar, Death and Birth, in Ludhiana near Clock Tower and Midha Chowk continue to function even as the state government had clearly asked the former Commissioner not to violate the Registration of Birth and Death Act, 1969, Section 7/1 which provides for only one Registrar to ensure the smooth functioning of the office.

Though the former Commissioner was transferred from here some time ago, two offices continue to function from two places. None of the two Registrars, Mr Sudarshan Sharma and Dr K.J.S. Kakkar, sitting in the Clock Tower and Midha Chowk offices, respectively, was available for comments on the issue. Mr Sharma was appointed Registrar by the state government and Dr Kakkar is the Medical Officer of the municipal dispensary in Midha Chowk.

The matter has been highlighted a number of times but to no avail. Residents had been complaining of the anomaly, as they had to shuttle between two offices for the registration.

Inquiries by The Tribune revealed that the Director of Census Operations, Punjab, Mr Inderjit Singh, had, in a letter dated September 10, 2003, asked the former Municipal Commissioner to streamline the functioning of the office of the Registrar. He had even asked the authorities to write back to him about the steps taken to streamline the same but to no avail. The direction was never followed.

Sources in the MC revealed that there was a problem with the compilation of the data of births and deaths, as an employee from the Clock Tower office was sent to the Middha Chowk office to get the same so that it could be fed in computers. Now the record of deaths from 1997 is lying in the Midha Chowk office and the record of births after 2003 lies in clock tower office.

In fact, the post of Registrar, Birth and Death, in Ludhiana has always been controversial, as the appointment of Mr Sudarshan Sharma as Registrar was challenged in the high court by Mr Bal Krishan Sharma, the then Additional Local Registrar in 1977. The HC had upheld the claim of Mr Sudarshan and gave a decision in his favour in 1999.

Mr Bal Krishan Sharma continued to act as Registrar even after the HC decision. Then Mr Sudarshan Sharma went to the high court and the former was repatriated to his parent state the Health Department. After him, it was the turn of Dr G.S. Grewal, the then Medical Officer, who acted like a Registrar till 2003.

Then he was transferred out of city. It was then that Dr Kakkar, who replaced him started issuing birth and death certificates.

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Two cops arrested for forgery
Case registered on SSP’s order
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 5
Two cops, posted at the local city police station, are cooling their heels in lock-up after being booked under Sections 420, 468, 471, 477-A and 120-B of the IPC for allegedly preparing fake documents in connection with issuing of passports.

The case was registered on the directions of Mr Harjinder Singh Chahal, SSP, Sangrur.

Balwinder Singh, Head Constable, and Sahib Deen, constable, posted as Moharar Constable and Assistant Munshi, respectively, at the city police station, were arrested for preparing fake documents and forging signatures of NGOs, including in charge of the police station.

According to the FIR registered, the accused had forged the signatures of Mr Gurdeep Singh, SHO city police, and Mr Surinder Pal Singh, ASI, on verification documents pertaining to some applicants, including Sandeep Kapoor, son of Mangat Kapoor of Jandali Road, Navdep Garg, son of Labh Chand Garg of ward number 6, Amrinder Singh, son of Balwinder Singh of Amarpura mohalla and Rajesh Kumar, son of Kastoori Lal of Ashokpuri mohalla.

Mr Gurdeep Singh, SHO City, during routine checking, detected their fraud and brought the matter to the notice of Mr Rachhpal Singh, DSP, Malerkotla. 

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Vikramjit case: Muslim girl theory back
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The theory that a Muslim girl was close to Vikramjit Singh, who had been murdered, once again gained ground, with his course mates telling the investigating cops that some girls used to talk to the victim, son of a prominent bicycle manufacturer, from Dubai.

The police had first started following this theory and the Dubai angle had appeared strong as an alleged ransom call had come from there, but the police could not trace the girl from the calls available with the phone record of the deceased and the theory was ignored after that.

Sources said a group of friends of the youth, doing a business management course with him in London, had told the investigation team that a girl used to call Vikramjit from Dubai.

These friends were questioned last week, nearly five months after the murder.

The sources said apart from this, not much light could be thrown on the case by the friends. The mystery about the existence of such a girl had deepened, with Angad Kalra, a friend and course mate of Vikramjit, alleging that Mr M. Gaffari, father of a Dubai-based Muslim girl, was behind the kidnap attempt on him on Wednesday.

Though a case had been registered, the police was doubting the veracity of the incident.

The sources said it was strange that Angad chose to speed his car towards Mullanpur rather than the city when he suspected that some persons were following him.

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Muslims protest against verdict on Saddam, burn Bush’s effigy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
Sharply reacting to the death sentence pronounced on deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, by a court, angry Muslims today held a procession in the Field Ganj area and held a demonstration against the US President George W. Bush outside the Jama Masjid.

They also burnt an effigy of the US leader.

Addressing the demonstration, the Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid, Ludhiana, Maulana Habib-u-Rehman Ludhianvi, condemned the US and its President for victimising Muslims and Saddam Hussein. He warned if this sentence was not reversed, this would lead to widespread resentment in the Muslim world and create hundreds of more Saddam Husseins.

The Shahi Imam alleged that the verdict was only delivered by the judges, while in actual it had been decided by George W. Bush while sitting in the White House. He said more demonstrations would be organised world over against the unjust decision of the court which is acting as a stooge of the Americans and the West.

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No case registered in threat case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The Supreme Court directions of registering an FIR immediately on the receipt of a complaint have taken a serious beating in the city, with the police yet to register a case against the person who threatened to shoot a journalist yesterday.

The police was stressing that it would first identity the car driver who threatened Anil Datt in front of the Guru Nanak Stadium here.

More than 36 hours after the incident, the police was yet to take action on the complaint that cops at the Division No. 5 police told the complainant to trace the car driver himself.

The police had not ordered any formal inquiry against the cops for their insensitivity towards a complainant who was made to sit for two hours.

The police was maintaining that it would trace the man from the car number first and then register a case against him.

This was contrary to the normal procedure, wherein the police registered a case against the unidentified person involved and then investigated.

The police was not showing any earnestness in registering a case against the unidentified man driving the car (PB-19B-0088), who took out a gun over a minor issue.

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8 booked for assault
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 5
The police has booked eight persons for assaulting and threatening to kill a medical practitioner of the Janta College area here after entering his clinic on the evening of November 2.

No arrest had been made so far despite police raids. A neighbour who came to his rescue along with others was also injured.

According to the FIR, eight miscreants attacked Dr Krishan Sharma with sharp-edged weapons when he was at his clinic. Four of the accused had been identified as Mano, Bittu and Gurpreet of Mandi Ahmedgarh and Lucky of Jagera village.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the assailants had come on scooters and motor cycles.

As they arrived branding swords and knives, nobody dared to intervene.

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Ludhiana Calling

Some localities in Ludhiana, like Dugri and Urban Estate, are reeling under the monkey menace with at least six persons, all of them women, being bitten. While people are scared to move out of their homes, lest they be bitten by the simian neighbours, the wildlife officials are also expressing their helplessness. Reason: it is too difficult to get hold of a monkey.

On the other hand, there are some people who maintain that the monkeys happen to be the original residents of the area. With rapid urbanisation most of the flora has vanished. Otherwise, these monkeys would seldom come out.

As their space has been encroached upon by the humans, they might be turning vindictive. Interestingly, it is learnt that all their victims are women only.

Killer road

The Ludhiana-Jagraon road is emerging as the main killer path in the district. Minor accidents take place every other hour here with at least one major accident occurring every week.

The road has not been widened despite being a poll promise of the Congress government. A move to widen the road was left in between. The road berms were dug to fill brick stone but were not filled. As a result, vehicles overturn the moment a tyre slips down the road.

One wonders how many more lives would be lost before the government wakes up.

Stadium in a shambles

The Guru Nanak Stadium here had been severely damaged due to the organisation of a political function there two weeks ago. But what shocks the sports lovers more is that the organisers, including the local Congress leaders led by Mayor Nahar Singh Gill, have not removed some stage stands and other equipment used in the rally from the grounds.

Not only does it hamper the players’ practice but continues to damage the surface.

Journalists or problem solvers?

It seems the public trusts media to be the solution of all their problems. It is common for the reporters to get complaints against non-working cops, bureaucrats and politicians.

There are requests also for journalists’ help in getting some work done. One such firm believer in the power of the press however took it too far when he called a newspaper office asking how the reporters can help him in tracing his missing cow.

He even asked if publishing the picture of the lost animal would help?

Trigger-happy district

The district is fast gaining notoriety for free use of firearms. What ever the provocation is, it doesn’t take much for the involved parties to take out their guns and go bang-bang.

While a car driver took out his gun at a hapless journalist, another groups exchanged several rounds of fire in Mullanpur over a minor issue.

Students, even school-going ones, have also been found carrying such weapons in the recent past. A youth was also shot at and robbed near Jamalpur few days ago.

Captive audience

Girls’ colleges in the city are known for their idiosyncracies in framing special disciplinary rules for the fair sex. One such college in its recent function ordered all girls to be present in the  auditorium and banned anyone from leaving their seats till the function was over.

Poor girls were made to sit through many less interesting events for several hours. Even a female journalist had a hard time in convincing the guards about her identity before leaving the function.

Where are CPOs?

Almost two months ago, the city police had launched the community police officers scheme with much fanfare. Under the scheme, young unemployed men were recruited for keeping watch at night on a police-public cost share basis.

But the residents are yet to see any thing substantial done by the CPOs. So much so that the Sarabha Nagar residents have not even spotted a single CPO manning the area in the night.

People of this posh colony are used to stay awake late at night like many others in the city but the CPOs are conspicuous by their absence from the roads.

Client educates lawyer

An experienced lawyer put his client in a fix when he asked him to remember the make of a car involved in hitting the latter so that he could get the accused identified.

Though his client kept telling him that he had the registration number of the car it was not sufficient for the lawyer who was insisting that he should have checked the make of the vehicle.

It was only after the client repeatedly said that every registration number was issued only once irrespective of the make of a vehicle that the lawyer realised his mistake.

Press I-card for freedom

The students of the Government College for Women lost their patience recently when the college management asked them to watch dance performances by Bulgarian and Polish artistes on the college campus.

As they were not allowed to leave the college till the function concluded, students blew horns of their two-wheelers non-stop at the main gate as a protest.

The Sentinel who had gone to cover the event was requested by the students to take them out. To make sure that Sentinel was a reporter and not a student, the gatekeeper asked for the press I-card. After showing her identity, when the Sentinel was about to leave the college, the students screamed “hamen bhi aise I-cards banva do, jo is kaid se aazad kara saken”.

Think it over

A thought-provoking message scribbled at the rear of a car said: "Smile at strangers for each of them is fighting his own grim battle of life.”

— Sentinel

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“Vikas Yatra” to enter city on November 9
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The district of Ludhiana is all set to give a rousing welcome to the “Punjab Vikas Yatra” led by Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab, and Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo being organised from November 8 to 12 from Nangal in Ropar district to Talwandi Sabo in Mansa district to apprise people about the “achievements” of the state government and to sort out local problems on the spot.

The “Yatra” will be received on its entry in the district on November 9 at Dhaulran in the Koom Kallan constituency and it will pass on the Guru Gobind Singh Marg. Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta, Deputy Commissioner, at a meeting of the SDMs and other officers directed them to ensure the proper arrangements of cleanliness along the road and smooth passage of vehicular traffic with the yatra in the district.

Mr Lal Singh, Development, Food and Civil Supply and Jails Minister, Punjab, and in charge minister of the district had assigned the duties to all MLAs concerned and other functionaries of the party by organising “jan sampark” rallies in all constituencies to mobilise maximum number of people from the adjoining villages to the villages, falling on Guru Gobind Singh Marg.

The people from the surrounding areas will gather at the villages falling on Guru Gobind Singh Marg, the route of the Punjab Vikas Yatra included Dhaulran, Jhar Sahib, Powat, Sehjomajra, Ratti Pura, Machhiwara, Garhi Tarkhana, Pal Majra, Neelon Kalan, Sahnewal, Alamgir, Jassowal, Himanyupura, Kheri Jhameri, Dollon Kalan, Mansooran, Jodhan Town, Khandoor, Mohi, Ghumaan, Sudhar, Heraan, Rajoana-1, Rajoana-2, Talwandi Rai, Burj Hari Singh, Raikot, Bassian, Jatpura, Lamman, Manooke, Lakha and Chakar befor entering Moga district.

Mr Lal Singh said that at the entry point at Dhaulran village, the Yatra would be given a rousing welcome and the entire route was being properly decorated. He said that sufficient arrangements for people gathering for the welcome of the Yatra were being made by the local MLA and other leaders of the Congress. He claimed that there was a great enthusiasm in the people about the yatra in the district. All MLAs concerned and in charges nominated of different constituencies by the party were organising meetings in villages.

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Tough sealing drive needed in residential areas
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana November 5
Ludhiana needs a tough sealing drive to cleanse residential areas of business and small industrial establishments. As the issue hogs the headlines these days amidst strong resistance by traders in Delhi, who have flouted all civic norms and congested and choked the residential areas, there is a dire need for the municipal authorities in Ludhiana to take a cue from the Supreme Court order on the Capital and take preventive and curative measures for the bulging city.

The civic laws in Ludhiana are being flouted with unabashed impunity. Giving a damn to the basic masterplan for different residential areas, commercial, business and even in some places, industrial complexes have come up. This makes life very difficult for residents of these areas.

A belief has started gaining ground that anybody can set up any commercial complex anywhere irrespective of the fact whether the land use law provisions allow it or not. Otherwise how can the municipal authorities explain the coming up of so many malls and commercial establishments and hotels in purely residential areas.

Take any area, be it the posh areas like Sarabha Nagar, Gurdev Nagar, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar or any other locality in the old city, commercial activity is being carried on in almost all residential areas.

The Flamez Mega Mall, which is coming up in Gurdev Nagar, has already shown its impact, with most of the residents whose houses were in the vicinity selling these off. Similarly in the same area a hotel has come up where every second day small and big functions are held with hundreds of vehicles being parked outside the houses of the residents. Even walking along the road becomes difficult not to speak of driving a car.

It is not only the hotels and commercial establishments, small and big shops have also come up in these areas. With Ludhiana having a large number of vehicles after Delhi in the entire north, the problem of parking gets too complicated.

Even the Ansal Plaza, which houses a number of commercial establishments, including the Piramyd Mall, has led to a lot of nuisance in the area. With limited parking space available in the plaza, the visitors park their cars on the road or in the vicinity, again in front of the houses of people living in the area. No wonder traffic jam is a routine affair during evening hours outside the plaza, thanks to the woefully negligent parking of vehicles on the road itself.

Residents of the area have started questioning the municipal authorities for allowing these big buildings to come up without any proper and sufficient parking space left by the owners. Even at Arti Chowk, a leading jewellery house has opened a big showroom, again without any space for the parking of vehicles, with all likelihood of making the vehicular movement more difficult in the area.

It is not only the problem of commercial and business establishments, people have been renting their houses to various government and private agencies like the banks and other organisations. Residents of the Rani Jhansi Road opposite the Khalsa College for Women have been crying hoarse over the harassment they suffer due to the wrongly parked vehicles outside the State Bank of India. As if that was not enough, another commercial establishment came up.

These happen to be small instances while the problem is of enormous magnitude. There is no end to the illegal coming up of such establishments in residential areas, thus defeating the very purpose of setting up of these localities. No one knows as to when a peaceful residential area may turn into a howling commercial area.

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Fervour marks Gurpurab
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, November 5
The city celebrated birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Ji today with great zeal and fervour. Devotion was in full flow, in keeping with the best traditions of Sikhism, and of course that of the city known for its affluence and charity.

The devotees, both Sikhs and Hindus, started thronging the gurdwaras in the wee hours so that they could perform one or the other ‘sewa’, including the cooking of chapatis, cleaning the premises and so on.

Akhand paths ( non-stop recitation) of Sri Guru Granth Sahib came to culmination in the morning after which langar was served to the devotees throughout the day.

These langars were not limited to gurdwaras but could be witnessed all over the city dotting the roadsides. Various associations of shopkeepers and well-to-do business houses had put up these roadside ‘langars’ which attracted one and all passing by.

Mandi Ahmedgarh: Thousands of devotees from the town and surrounding villages participated in Gurparab celebrations here on Sunday.

Students and staff of the Guru Nanak Ayurvedic Medical College and the Guru Nanak College of Education, Gopalpur, celebrated Parkash Utsav on the college premises, where a kirtan was organised by the students.

Dr Balwinder Singh Walia called upon students to follow the teachings of Guru Nanak.

The kirtan was organised under the aegis of the Pir Budhu Shah Seva Society and the Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee, Singh Sabha, at the gurdwara on the Railway Road here.

A religious procession was taken out from the Guru Teg Bahadur Chowk, which passed through various parts of the town.

Celebrations were organised by members of various organisations.

Students and staff of the Sanatan Vidya Mandi Senior Secondary School, the MGMN Senior Secondary School, the DAV High School, the Kennedy Public School, the Guru Nanak Kanya Mahavidyalaya, the GHG Khalsa Senior Secondary School and the Government High School, Amarpura, participated in the celebrations.

Langar was served at various places.

Machhiwara: The birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev was celabrated with great fervour here today.

On the occasion, a huge procession started from Sri Charan Kanwal Sahib Gurdwara. A Gatka team displayed its art, which was followed by Ragi Jathas reciting Shabad Kirtan. Apart from a huge number of followers, the procession was joined by Mr Ujagar Singh Benipal, president, Nagar Panchayat, Machhiwara, Mr Harjit Singh Sherian, circle, jathedar, SAD(B), Mr Charan Singh Bagli, circle president, SAD(A), Ms Bhupinder Kaur Mehlon ,member, SGPC, and Mr Avtar Singh Mehlon of the BKU(Lakhowal).

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NGOs hold meeting
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 5
A general meeting of all Ludhiana non-government organisations rendering humanitarian services was held at Nishkam Sewa Ashram Daad on the Pakhowal road.

Mr Sarwan Kumar, chairman, Nishkam Sewa Ashram, presided over the meeting. Representatives of the Art of Living Society, Aagaaz Charitable foundation, Ek Prayaas, Rotary Club, Deaf and Dumb School, Nirdosh, Swami Vivekanand Varidh Ashram, Nishkam Sewa Samiti Raikot and Nishkam Sewa Ashram attended the meeting. Mr Sarwan Kumar requested all NGOs to coordinate and share information about their experiences and services rendered to society.

Nishkam appealed to all NGOs to request others to plant one fruit tree each, as it gives fresh air and food. Mr Malhotra of the Art of Living Society suggested that in the case of natural calamities, all relief material should be collected at a common place to be sent to the affected areas. For this a sub-committe should be formed to monitor its distribution.

It was decided to hold a meeting on every first Sunday of each month. 

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