L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

DC's cook brews trouble for master
Medical associations up in arms against Gupta
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 24
A scuffle between a minor son of a cook at the Deputy Commissioner's residence here and his neighbours which could have ended amicably, has now blown into a major controversy with allegations flying thick and high.

The Punjab Medical Students Coordination Committee and representatives of several other bodies like the Medical Teachers Association of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, the Indian Medical Association, PCMS Association, Punjab and Punjab Nurses Association at a press conference here today charged the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta, with lending support to his employee and in the process threatening Paras Sharma, an MBBS student in DMCH, who was stated to be the victim of unruly and indecent behaviour of the son of Sham Lal, who is employed as a cook at DC's residence.

The Deputy Commissioner, however, termed the allegations as baseless, motivated and an after thought by the family of the medical student.

Mr A.J.S Dhaliwal, Convener of Coordination Committee, said some rowdy elements were abusing and making obscene gestures in front of Paras Sharma's house near Fountain Chowk when his sister was studying in the varandah. When confronted by Paras, the hooligans started abusing him. Later, when Paras went to the house of his neighbour Sham Lal to complain against the undesirable behaviour of the boy, he was allegedly attacked by family members of Sham Lal and had to run away to save his life.

According to Paras Sharma on the night of December 18 an unruly mob ransacked his house when he was away and his father was out of town on an examination duty. The pleas made by the mother and sister of Paras went unheard as the mob trespassed, misbehaved, abused and ransacked the house. Next morning, the police also came to the house to take Paras to police station.

The misbehaviour on the part of the employee of Deputy Commissioner, made a delegation of colleagues of Dr Jagjiv Sharma (father of Paras Sharma), who is Professor and Head of Forensic Medicine in DMCH, along with members of PCMS Association and Punjab Nurses Association, meet the SSP and DC on December 20. In this meeting also, the DC's behaviour was one-sided according to activists of coordination committee. Rather than holding his staff member guilty and reprimanding him, Mr Gupta started finding fault with the family of the victim.

The deputation protested against the partisan behaviour of the Deputy Commissioner and asked him to pull up his cook (Sham Lal) for bossing around and using his name. Thereafter, the Deputy Commissioner offered to sort out the matter for which Paras was called at DC's residence in the evening. However, Paras said he was once again humiliated and Mr Gupta himself repeatedly used derogatory remarks against him and his mother in the presence of his cook and some outsiders.

In a memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister, the associations of medical students, medical teachers, doctors and nurses while demanding his transfer, have maintained that in this incident, the Deputy Commissioner had acted in a manner which was reminiscent of colonial rule. "The DC had failed to act in a non-partisan manner, misused his authority and position, failed to ensure rule of law. His conduct has brought disgrace to the good office of Deputy Commissioner."

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Gupta, however, claimed that he had intervened in the matter to save the medical student from being involved in a criminal matter as Sham Lal had lodged a complaint with the police. "I had called both the parties on December 20 and the matter was sorted out with both parties apologising to each other."

The DC said he had failed to comprehend as to what had provoked the family of Dr Sharma to level such unfounded allegations and make a mountain of a mole hill.



Man murders estranged wife
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
Frustrated over his marital problems, a resident of Mangli Tanda village allegedly murdered his estranged wife near the village this afternoon. He first poured acid on her face and then stabbed her several times.

The man almost cut her body into pieces. The incident took place in the presence of several residents, but none could dare to stop him from carrying out the murder or catch him while he was running away.

The victim, Neena (35), was returning to the village after some work in the city when her husband Harjinder Singh attacked her.

Both had an altercation yesterday in the court complex where they had gone for the hearing of their divorce case.

Koomkalan police sources said Harjinder had absconded. Sources said the man held the woman responsible for the marital dispute thus making their personal life public.

Village sources said the accused was the second husband of the woman. She had two sons from her first marriage and a daughter from the second.

The sources said both developed some serious differences after some years of marriage.

Though village elders tried their best to resolve the differences, the couple took the matter to the court.

The sources said Harjinder used to threat her often.



Applications welcome Vikas Yatra
Mahesh Sharma
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 24
Residents of the town and adjoining villages yesterday thronged the nearby town of Malerkotla to welcome Vikas Yatra and to show strength in support of the MLA of the constituency.

Besides expressing gratitude for grants for the area, they handed over memoranda. Enthusiastic Congress activists carried large quantities of flower petals to shower on their leaders.

Mr Jagwant Singh Jaggie, a local councillor and general secretary of the district unit of the SAD, however, alleged that the organisers of the yatra had used power and money to make employees of the civic body join the Congress activists.

Led by Ms Razia Sultana, Parliamentary Secretary, and Mr Jatinder Bhola, President of the Municipal Council, the residents, predominantly Congress supporters, gathered at Jarag Chowk and Grewal Chowk to welcome the Chief Minister.

Besides submitting applications for transfer, job and grants for sports and cultural associations to the Chief Minister, farmers sought continuation of temporary power connections to their tubewells.



Underprivileged though, they pray for others’

Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

A tastefully decorated hut made by the inmates of a home run by the Missionaries of Charity in Ludhiana
A tastefully decorated hut made by the inmates of a home run by the Missionaries of Charity in Ludhiana. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, December 24
Their celebration spirits are as high as their rich and privileged counterparts or may be better than them. For them, Christmas, the festival of happiness, joy and love, means more than that. They share their thoughts, feelings, and though being a deprived lot themselves, they pray for the peace of mankind.

More than 100 inmates of Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa's Home, belonging to different caste and creed are all prepared to celebrate Christmas. They have decorated the premises in a simple but attractive way. A cradle for Jesus Christ, a log-wood house decorated with Christmas trees, buntings, balloons and artificial snow, etc, add to the beauty of the building.

It seems as if they try to forget their worries by playing together, chatting and celebrating the festival in a simple manner.

Sister Linda Mary, in-charge of the Home, said she felt good to see smiles on the faces of these underprivileged. “God has given us a chance to serve them. We try to provide them maximum happiness in whatever little we have. The Samaritans are kind enough to provide us financial support at times”, she said.

Though each and every inmate of the Home has gone through the phase of pain and agony, all of them put-in their best efforts to celebrate the festival. The ones, who can walk properly, will be taken to the nearby church to offer prayers. They will be offered cakes and sweets.

Maria, around 45, a mentally challenged woman, said her parents had left her as she used to trouble them a lot. Though she “promised” her family that she would behave properly in future, she was not listened to. And the worst part is that she had never been visited by any of them for more than five years. But, she is well adjusted in this new Home.

The inmates who have been abandoned, miss their loved ones. One such young inmate Rajni said she had become a burden for the family because of her paralysed legs. “May be they were not able to bear the expensive treatment, so I was left here”, said Rajni with tears rolling down her cheeks.



Detractors of ‘Dasam Granth’ to be prosecuted
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
Giving a new turn to the controversy over the Dasam Granth, various Sikh scholars and religious outfits have come together to form a committee which will prosecute all those who criticise the Granth through books, newspapers and any other media, in the courts.

A meeting in this context was held at Sarabha Nagar gurdwara today wherein a seven-member Prosecuting Committee comprising Baba Harnam Singh, Damdami Taksal, Principal Gurmukh Singh (Akhand Kirtani Jatha), Gurmat College, Patiala, Giani Sher Singh Nihang (Buddha Dal), Gurdwara Manji Sahib, Ambala, Baba Avtar Singh Nihang, Sursinghwale (Tarna Dal), Dr Jodh Singh, Punjabi University, Mr Gurcharanjit Singh Lamba, Editor, Sant Sipahi, and D.S Gill, Chairperson, IHRO, was constituted.

Those present were of the view that Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the Guru of the Sikh Panth and that the 10th Master's bani- Sri Dasam Granth - is sacred and has been accepted by the sangat worldwide.

Commenting on the deliberations, Mr Gill, who is also coordinator of the committee, said all those who doubt or create misunderstanding about the Granth are enemies of Sikhs who are bent upon running down the Panth and were creating confusion about the compilation.

The critics of the Granth, while gratifying their masters, are playing into the hands of the intelligence agencies which are entrusted with the task of luring the Sikhs away from their political issues and Panthic goals by involving them in unnecessary controversies relating to the Dasam Granth, Raag Mala, etc, he pointed out.

He said the Granth is the only inspiration and source of Khalsa's rehat, udesh, kakaars, banis of Nit Naem- 'Jaap Sahib', 'Chaupayee Sahib' and 'Tuve-Prasaad Sawayeeae', ardas, mehma, concept of dharam yudh, salutations, character and concept of chardi kala of the community.

"Therefore, we are of the view and strongly believe that Dasam Granth is Granth of the Khalsa, without which Khalsa is meek and docile. Only those persons can correctly comprehend the Granth who have full faith in the ideology of the Gurus, he said.

The gathering was of the view that Guru Granth Sahib is the sole scripture of the Sikhs which has been conferred the status of the Guru by the 10th Master himself. This status cannot be accorded to any other Sikh scripture. “We also caution those who are wittingly or unwittingly trying to create confusion on this count”, he warned.

Mr Gill said some people are trying to condemn the Dasam Bani, quoting it as Triya Charitar. "We want to clarify that the Triya Charitar's full connotation is 'Charitropakhyan' (a Sanskrit word), which literally means tale, true or lift up. And Bhai Mani Singh in Bhagat Mala has said, "Charitar acts as a warning so that the devout do not get trapped in women's intrigues and machinations, " he said.

Lastly, the controversy about the Granth was resolved in 1931 when the entire issue was reviewed under the aegis of the Darbar Sahib Committee of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) which vindicated the earlier conclusions that the Dasam Granth was entirely the work (bani) of Guru Gobind Singh, he added.

Others present on the occasion were Dr Harpal Singh Pannu, Prof Anurag Singh, Bhai Manjit Singh, Taksal (Mehta Chowk), Principal Ram Singh (Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle), Bhai Hardip Singh, Taksal Bhindran, and Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta.



Ludhiana Calling

Thanks to political considerations, a minor incident wherein Excise and Taxation Department officials tried to take action against sales tax evasion, has stirred a huge controversy. It was about imposing a fine on goods worth Rs 5,000, which the department officials said were not supported by a bill. An interesting aspect was the absence of the owner of goods due to which the entire controversy started. Not only did some industry leaders try to take mileage from the issue by creating a controversy, but political figures like the DCC president, Mr Jagmohan Sharma, also joined in. What surprises one and all is the fact that the same leaders failed to utter a single word when officials of various departments took much stern measures towards industry. Clearly the forthcoming elections are doing the entire trick!

New Year gift

If there is any worth while gift that the city police can give to the residents in the New Year, it is the smooth regulation of traffic. The traffic movement has become so bad that long queues are seen at traffic light chowks. While some blame the tardy police work, the improperly regulated traffic lights that don’t allow the traffic to clear from one end, others insist that the city roads cannot hold so much traffic pressure. It seems the time is not far when the residents would need elevated roads all over the city.

Dark and dingy

The Mini Secretariat is a fit example of poor architecture. While experts all over lay more stress on space and provision for ample sunlight to enter rooms in a building, this ‘corridor of power’ remains engulfed in darkness even during daytime. The lack of sunshine entering the building compounds the problem in winters when dampness causes allergies to employees and visitors. The government can still help matters by making some changes in the building to allow more sunlight and this would also cut the electricity bill considerably.

Hassled moms

As school kids enjoy their holidays, the workload of working mothers has doubled. With staff shortage at its peak in most offices, those who are not able to get leave are a hassled lot. For, one, there are no holidays for them and on the other side, kids too are unhappy with mothers as they are unable to devote time to them even during holiday season.

Off the record

Its a lesson the new age journalists need to learn. This time it comes from the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill. At a function, when journos got him talking, he said the views he was expressing were "off the record". When someone at the meeting pointed out that journalists could still write the same, the Mayor quipped, "In that case I would contradict the statement."

Shopping time

Heavy shopping by city residents has revved up markets at this time of the year. The sale of woollens, leather garments, eatables etc is on an all time high. Adding to the shopping activity are Christmas and New Year festivities. Business houses too are making the most of it with a large number of new outlets being opened in the city.

Conference confusion

Industrial bodies have developed a habit of calling press conferences at the drop of a hat. Recently, industry bodies resorted to calling three meetings within a span of four days. What was worse was that industrialists themselves came unprepared for meetings as a result of which they issued contradictory statements. Not only did the journalist community got irked due to the wastage of their precious time, they also got irked with the organisers and asked them to do their homework before calling the next press meet.

Development woes

In this city you would be lucky if your area does not face a sewer blockage or if a telephone company does not decide to expand its network because in either case the roads are dug up and then left as such. The most recent case in the list involves Krishna Nagar in Ghumar Mandi where a portion of road was dug due to sewer blockage. While residents got relief from that problem, but now they are facing the threat of using a dug up road.

Mayor in the jam

Situation got tricky for city Mayor Nahar Singh Gill when industrialists started condemning the ruling government at a meeting where the Mayor had been invited. Caught unawares, Mr Gill's instant reaction was, "was it this that you called me here for?" Later, he even attempted to walk out of the meeting but was persuaded by industry to stay back. However, the Mayor was not to be seen at protests that continued on the same issue later. Probably wisdom at the first stage itself would have helped him better.

Contributed by: Shveta Pathak, Kanchan Vasdev and Jupinderjit Singh



Sabha seeks holiday on Parshuram Jayanti
Our Correspondent

Doraha, December 24
The state unit of the Shri Brahmin Sabha has condemned the alleged biased attitude of the government in not declaring Bhagwan Parshuram Jayanti that falls on April 19 next year as public holiday.

The sabha has said Mr R.R. Bhardwaj, Deputy Chairman, Punjab State Planning Board, Chandigarh, had assured them in this regard. Mr Bihari Lal Saddi, organising secretary of the sabha, has termed the action of the government as injustice to 11 per cent Brahmin population of the state.

Mr Saddi has requested Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to reconsider his decision and declare April 19 as a public holiday. He has demanded a Parshuram Chair be set up in Punjabi University, Patiala.



Bawa heads Bairagi Maha Mandal
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 24
Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, president of the All-India Bairagi Maha Mandal, has recast the Punjab state unit with Mr Hari Das Bawa as its president. Mr Ravinder Nandi has been nominated secretary general of the national body with the additional responsibility of in charge of Punjab affairs.

The new state chief has been authorised to nominate office-bearers of all district units in consultation with Mr Nandi.

Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa presided over a state level-meeting of the mandal at Aggar Nagar Community Centre here today.

Mr Nandi announced that each Assembly segment in the state would have a 312-member executive committee.



Xmas carnival gives a taste of adventure
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana December 24
Club Nirvana buzzed with festivities today as "Christmas Carnival" enraptured audience. With the first of its kind event held in Ludhiana the carnival offered adventure activities like hot air balloon rides, bungee jumping, zorbing, Burma bridge, flying fox, children’s dance competition and fashion show. The kids enjoyed each and every moment of the carnival. Fun and frolic was the highlight of the carnival with members and their guests enjoying to their heart’s content.

To add to the festive spirit, there were exotic dishes to pamper the taste buds of the little ones and their families.



Nitin — a model to watch out for
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, December 24
Modelling is not in his blood, but surely in his heart and soul. His naturally modelled physique, attractive personality, charming spirit and expressive features, all paved Nitin’s way towards his most sought-after goal of distinguishing himself as a super model.

Nitin’s dedication towards the perusal of his aim is unsurpassable. He has already carved a niche for himself in the field and continues to do so with an unsatiated heart. Having modelled significantly in advertisements like Tata Indicom, Xhale Mintparle and Hyundai Getz with Sania Mirza, he is all set to make his presence felt in ads like Kotak Mohindra and MTV Rodies Cargo releasing shortly. He has also modelled in the music video ‘Amity College’ by Svanand Kilkare. His work in direction, too, has been initiated with his co-directorship in the Hindi film Sarkar. He is now focused on directing TV serials through Balaji and BAG Films and films through Aryan Productions.

Nitin passed Class X from Sacred Heart Boys School, Ludhiana, where he had throughout been a best actor and a best dancer. Adopting the commerce stream at Khalsa College, Ludhiana, Nitin continued with his exhibition of his god-gifted capabilities of acting and dancing. He won the best dancer and best actor title for three years of his stay in the college. He is indebted to his teachers Ms Rita Gupta and Mr Newton for enabling him to discover the actor-cum-dancer in him, while at college he owes a lot to Prof Bedi who he says, “has been instrumental in setting his future goal.

Back home, the original reluctance from his parents has transformed into acceptance and a sound moral support. Mr Kunj Lal Nayyar, Nitin’s father, wanted him to join his business. Nitin’s repeated entries yielded results and he was given an year’s time to prove his worth. Luckily, the apple of Kunj Lal’s eye not only shone within the assigned period, but also made his presence felt among the top models of the world. The proud father now identifies himself with his son’s name and on his part, Nitin is satisfied to see his father exulting in his success.

Residing at Lokhandwala in Mumbai, Nitin views life as an opportunity, which if missed, brings failures and disappointments but if, on the contrary, grappled with strong will and a determined spirit, can place you on top of the world. Commenting about his role as a model, Nitin says,“Making just your physical presence felt is not called modelling. It should come from within. Your total energies be it physical, intellectual or spiritual should be focused on the role you are assigned to assume and only then can you leave an imprint on the minds of the onlookers.’’



Undertrial escapes from custody

Ludhiana, December 24
Just a day after an undertrial escaped from police custody in the district courts complex here, another undertrial made his escape good on the way to a court in Khanna yesterday.

Devinder Singh allegedly escaped from the custody of Head Constable Jaghdhir Singh near Samrala Chowk. — TNS



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