L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Security beefed up in city, trains delayed
Bomb diffusal squad put on alert
Jupinderjit Singh and Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
Security was beefed up at all major places in the city today in wake of the bomb explosion that took place in the Samjhauta Express this morning. The local railway station, bus stand, religious places and other crowded places witnessed heavy deployment of police personnel and strict vigil. Most of the trains were delayed by several hours on account of the incident.

The police also conducted search operations in the city and questioned people who had come from outside. Security in areas with heavy population of Muslims was also tightened.

At the local railway station, security personnel were deployed right from the entrance. A special checking of trains was conducted in a joint operation by the city and the Railway police.

The police also used sniffer dogs at the Railway Station. Most of the trains today got delayed by a couple of hours. While Tata Moori, that was scheduled to arrive here at 2.35 am, was 11 hours late than the scheduled time, Pooja Express (Jaipur to Jammu) reached here at 11.30 am from its scheduled time of 3.15 am. Train no. 5707 Amrapali, from Katyar to Amritsar, was late by four-and-half-hours and arrived Ludhiana at 9.05 am. Dadar Express too was delayed by three hours. Jhelum Express was late by 9 hours, Swaraj Express by 4 hours. Dadar Express, scheduled to arrive at around 2 pm, was late by over 3.30 hours.

Even Amritsar-bound morning Shatabdi was late by one hour. Shan-e-Punjab was also delayed by five hours. The Railway staff, however, said that no enquiries were received at the helpline number (0161-2760006) given to get information about victims of the Attari Express blast.

"So far we have not received enquiries. May be people would start calling form late evening of tomorrow onwards as they get aware of the incident," a Railway employee said.

SSP A S Rai told Ludhiana Tribune that the residents can breathe easy in the city as the police was upto to the task. He said it was noticed that terrorists spend a lot of time at the place before they chose it to strike. Taking this point in view, cops are verifying details of strangers in the city. Bomb diffusal squad to have been put on alert.

Further, as the explosions seem to have targetted muslims, security in muslim areas has been tightened, added Mr Rai.

Unaware of the unfortunate incident that happened this morning, most passengers said they wondered why their trains were getting delayed and of the reasons of heavy security at railway stations.



ISI behind train fire, says Shahi Imam
Appeal to maintain harmony 
Tribune News Service

Muslims pray for peace in the country in Ludhiana on Monday
Muslims pray for peace in the country in Ludhiana on Monday. — Photo by Inderjit Verma

Ludhiana February 19
Religious leaders in the city representing Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Muslims have condemned last night's fire incident in the Samjhauta Express, which claimed more than 100 lives. The Muslim community, in particular, has expressed shock over the incident n in which several innocents, including women and children lost their lives, near Panipat.

Terming the incident to be a barbaric , the Muslims feel that it was an act of a terrorist outfit, which aimed at spreading disharmony in the country. They have appealed to the countrymen not to lose their tempers and be united at any cost.

Talking to TNS here today, the Shahi Imam of Ludhiana, Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Sani Ludhianvi, held Pakistani Agency ISI responsible for this incident. He said that both Indian and Pakistan Governments were trying their best to initiate cordial relations among the people. To an extent, they had succeeded in bringing the Hindus and Muslims together. "But certain unscrupulous elements do not want peace in both the countries. These were the traitors, who, under the name of religion wanted to divide people. This is the time when we should maintain our calm", stressed Mr Rehman.



Samjhauta blast: Action against culprits sought
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 19
Shocked with idea of their relatives or friends having been trapped in ill-fated Samjhauta Express, two bogeys caught fire at Dewana village near Panipat, members of the Muslim community at the local town and surrounding villages of the Malerkotla subdivision remained busy in contacting their relatives in India and Pakistan.

As the Punjab Government did not make any arrangement to provide the first-hand information about the victims, residents in the subdivision felt disheartened.

Terming the blast as dastardly act of some inhumane organisation, Ms Razia Sultana, MLA and chairperson, Punjab Waqf Board, sought action against the culprits.

"No religion or sect allows killing of innocent people, particularly when a majority of them were asleep. As it is an attack on humanity, the culprits should be given severe punishment," said Ms Razia while talking to The Tribune. Though the detailed information about the victims was not available, she assured them to make the necessary arrangements in this regard.

Observations by The Tribune revealed that the Muslims of the area had started contacting their relatives and friends immediately after the news about causalties of the incident was flashed on TV channels in the morning.

According to Mr Zamil Mohammad and Mr Babu Khan, residents of the Dehliz road area, most members of the community were concerned about the probable interruption in peace process between India and Pakistan.

"As the jolt came one day before Pakistani Foreign Minister Khursheed Kasuri was to arrive in New Delhi for talks on the ongoing peace process, the incident will cast its shadow on the process," said they.

Meanwhile, the police is on high alert at sensitive points including railway stations, bus stops and public offices.



Death at de-addiction centre: main accused arrested
Our Correspondent

Amloh, February 19
Amloh police party led by SHO Ajaypal Singh yesterday nabbed the main accused Harjinder Singh (26), son of Gursewak Singh and a resident of Kharar Mohali district, from Nasha Chhadau Kender, Nangal, for allegedly involved in the death of an inmate of de-addiction centre here.

According to FIR lodged by Dara Singh, son of Khangan Singh, a resident of Amloh, he got his brother Sudagar Singh admitted at the Nasha Chhadau Kender here which was allegedly run by Harjinder Singh and an advance payment of Rs 5,000/- was made to him. It was alleged in the FIR that Jaily, a resident of Sannata village, Jaggi, a resident of Fatehgarh Sahib, Maghan, a resident of Sirhind, Soni, Banti s/o Dalbara Singh of Amloh and Avtar Singh resident of Mannu Pur used to work at the centre.

Sudagar Singh, who was admitted at the centre on January 15, was allegedly tortured in the wee hours of January 19. He succumbed to his injuries. Those running the centre o locked the centre and escaped. The police had registered a case u/s 302, 323, 342, 506,148,149,120-B, IPC.



ETO killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 19
Raghbir Singh (42), Excise and Taxation Officer (ETO), posted at Fatehgarh Sahib, died in a road accident near Mundian village on Ludhiana-Chandigarh Road on Saturday night. His colleague, Mr V.P Singh, ETO posted at Mandi Gobindgarh, who was accompanying him in the car, was injured in the accident. He has been admitted to the Christian Medical College and Hospital.

The deceased ETO, a maternal cousin of Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, MLA from Dakha, along with his colleague, was returning from Chandigarh after attending a marriage. He is survived by his wife and two sons.

After post-mortem, the body was handed over to his family and cremation took place at BRS Nagar cremation ground last evening.

Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, President, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mayor, Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, Mr Tej Parkash Singh Kotli, Mr Amrik Singh Aliwal, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, Mr Neel Kanth Awadh, Additional Commissioner Excise and Taxation, Mr T.L. Jindal, DETC, Mr S.K. Riar, AETC, Fatehgarh Sahib, Mr Darshan Singh, District Public Relations Officer, Mr Jagmohan Sharma, President, District Congress Committee, Col H.S. Kahlon, Mr Jagpal Singh Khangoora and Mr Harmohinder Singh Pardhan were among those present at the cremation.

In a meeting, the Punjab Excise and Taxation Officers Association condoled the untimely and tragic death of Raghbir Singh.



7-year-old boy shot dead
Our Correspondent

Samrala, February 19
The “Ladies Sangeet” of the marriage function of Balwinder Singh at Hedon village, 9 km from here, turned sour when Rajinder Singh, an uncle of Balwinder Singh, shot at Harjot Singh (7), son of Sumandeep of Kheri Bhaika village, near Bassi Pathana, last night.

Harjot was rushed to the PGI, Chandigarh, but he died on the way. Harjot was a student of Class II at DPS School, Chandigarh.

The local police has registered a case against Rajinder Singh and Pardeep Singh on the statement of Sumandeep Singh.

The post-mortem of the body was held at the local Civil Hospital today. All accused are absconding, according to Mr Mukhminder Singh Bhullar, Deputy Superintendent of Police.



D.K. Oswal dead
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 19
Mr D.K. Oswal, Chairman and Managing Director, Sryansh Industries Ltd and Adinath Textile Mills Ltd, died last night at Apollo Hospital, Delhi, after a protracted illness. He was 67.

Mr D.K. Oswal was a pioneer in the cotton textile industry. He was the founder Director and also Managing Director of Vardhaman Spinning and General Mills.

He was elder brother of Mr S.P. Oswal, now Chairman and Managing Director of the Vardhaman Group of Industries.

Mr D.K. Oswal also started Sryansh Industries, a paper mill, at Ahmedgarh, and another paper unit at Hoshiarpur. He leaves behind his widow and three sons. His cremation, which took place today at the Civil Lines crematorium, was largely attended.



Abolish Article 356, says MCPI(U)
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
The MCPI (United) has strongly opposed the dismissal of the Mulayam Singh government by using Article 356 of the Constitution.
It will be unconstitutional and undemocratic step , said Mr Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, national general secretary and Kuldip Singh, member, Politburo's member of the outfit.

Welcoming the stand of the CPI(M) in this regard, both hoped that CPI (M) leadership would continue to oppose the imposition of President's rule in UP.

Both the Congress and the BJP have been widely misusing the Article 356 of the Constitution in toppling the state governments of regional opposition parties.

The successive Central governments of various parties have will fully overlooked. The recommendation of Justice Sarkaria Commission for abolition of Article 356 of the constitution. The MCPI(U) stands for abolition of the article and further demands that majority should be tested in the floor of the legislature assembly and SP be given a chance to test the same.

The MCPI (U) has also expressed its serious concern over the rising of prices leading to inflationary trends in the Indian economy, which is the result of policies of pro-rich globalisation dictated by the WTO, World Bank and the IMF. These policies of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation and dismantling of public sector i.e. ignoring the social sector like education , health and employment etc are harmful.

Mr Lyallpuri and Mr Kuldip Singh lambasted the role of the CPI(M) leadership in this regard which was finding fault with the policies of the Congress government at the centre on the one hand but on the other hand supporting the same anti-people government ,thereby ignoring the interests of common man who is being crushed under the weight of sharp price-rise.

Even reduction in petrol and diesel prices is very belated step and that too is unsufficient reduction. The MCPI(U) demanded further reduction in petrol and diesel prices in proportion to fall in the prices of international market, they pointed out.



Architects’ body releases directory
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
The Ludhiana Architects Association (LAA) released the second edition of its membership directory here last evening. Mr Jit Kumar Gupta, member council, Indian Institute of Architects, was the chief guest on the occasion.

Mr B.D. Kapoor, chairman, Punjab and Chandigarh Chapter of the Indian Institute of Architects spoke about the achievements of the institute. Those present on the occasion were Mr Ravinder Khosla, president, LAA, Mr Vinay Jain, general secretary and Mr Sanjay Goel, organising and press secretary of the association.



Society solemnises marriage
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, February 19
Continuing series of marriages being solemnised by the Nishkam Kirtan Sewa Society, Mandi Gobindgarh, the 59th marriage was solemnised between Geeta Rani, daughter of Raj Kumar, resident of Amloh,with Sonu, son of Surinder Kumar, resident of Bassi Pathana, at Amloh yesterday.

Mr Naib Singh from the Deputy Commissioner office, Fatehgarh Sahib, Society chief Karamjit Singh Bittu, vice-president Mr Ravinder Singh Ravi and other members of the society graced the occasion. 



City to have platinum multiplex
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
MBD Group has tied up with Fame Shringaar for its Ludhiana multiplex and PVR for its Jalandhar property. With this tie-up, the company will bring its first platinum multiplexes to Ludhiana and Jalandhar.
The company today said that Shringar Cinemas, which made its foray into the world of multiplexes with Fame Adlabs launched in Mumbai in 2002, is also expanding presence across the country apart from Ludhiana.



Cotton County opens outlet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
Cotton County, a readymade garment brand, opened its 8th outlet in Urban Estate here on Sunday. With this, the company has 205 showrooms.
It will soon foray into women and kids wear segments. The company has set a target of opening 250 retail stores by the end of this fiscal and 1,000 outlets by 2010.



Samsung rolls out slim TV

Ludhiana, February 19
Samsung India has introduced the world's slimmest flat TV in the market.
A company press note today said the new television set is 40 per cent slimmer than the conventional flat TV set and has been designed to fit in small and narrow spaces. — TNS



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