L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Police post head suspended
For letting off an alleged accused
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 22
The city police today suspended Surinder Singh, in charge of Police Post Kochhar Market, for dereliction of duty. He had allegedly let off Raj Mehra, who was involved in an attempt-to-murder case and had been handed over to the cops by public.

The accused, Raj Mehra, husband of Congress councillor Santosh Mehra from ward no: 38, was allegedly involved in beating a lawyer, Harish Narang, who is a close confidant of SAD-BJP candidate from Ludhiana West constituency, Harish Rai Dhanda, a day before the elections.

The case was sensitive from the day one and as the news that the accused had fled from police custody spread SAD and BJP workers and lawyers started gathering outside the police post Kochhar Market.

Tension prevailed in the area in spite of the in charge of Kochhar Market police post being suspended.

A large number of supporters of the complainant gheraoed the police post and demanded immediate arrest of the accused Raj Mehra as well as of others allegedly involved in the attempt-to-murder case.

Initially the police had registered case under Sections 341, 148, 149, 506 and 120-B of IPC against Raj Mehra and his accomplices, on the complaint of Nitin Dhanda. The injured person had remained hopitalised in the Dayanand Hospital for several days and had to be operated upon.

Thereafter, the police had booked the accused under Section 307 of the IPC. Sources disclosed that today the injured got information that the accused was roaming around freely in Jawahar Nagar Camp. He immediately reached there and informed the city police control room. PCR men reached there, nabbed the accused and handed him at the police chowki.

Meanwhile, Harish Rai Dhanda also reached there and criticised the city police for letting off the accused. Vice-president of the District Bar Assocition Shingara Singh Mangat, finance secretray Karan Singh, joint secretary Rajan Chand have demanded immediate arrest of the accused in the case. 



Poll over, public works still on hold 
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 22
Elections are over and results are awaited but there seems to be no respite for the visitors to the District Transport Office (DTO), whose works are long on hold due to the election duties of the office staff.

Public members say that they had been making rounds of the office since January 25 but their works were pending as many staff members were put on election duty. Even though the elections were over, the staff had not come back.

A number of residents said that the public works were being looked after by a dealing clerk but she was not able to handle all the work that required clearance by senior officials.

‘‘I need a special number for a vehicle. Unless the DTO himself clears it, nobody can do anything. But we have not seen him for last one month. I am making rounds of his office for a month now. Elections were held on February 13. He should have been back. I fail to understand what is making these officials take so long. ’’ said a resident requesting anonymity.

Another resident complained that if the staff was on duty, they should have put up a notice outside stating that the officials would not be available. ‘‘We come all the way from far away villages and we are told the officials are not there. The staff keeps on telling us to come the next day but it is the same story everyday.’’

Waryam Singh, DTO, said that things would be normal again as the staff would return after election results. He said he himself was not able to attend to his duties in the office as he was the Returning Officer of Ludhiana Rural constituency, the largest assembly segment in the state. Hence he required maximum number of people.

‘‘The rural segment is four times than any other segment and has maximum number of polling booths. So we required people. I have put not only my staff on duty but employees from other offices also, ’’ he said.

He urged the people to take inconvenience in their stride for some more days. ‘‘After all we all are working for a democratic process. People should realise this.’’ 



All alone in their grief
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 22
They were the cynosure of all eyes a week ago when they were yet to cast their votes, but today they were all alone in their grief when they suffered a major jolt of fate with the snatching away of six members of their clan in an accident near Tangra village on the Amritsar-Jalandhar road.

Friends and relatives of Daljit Singh alias Babboo, son of Karam Singh of Kalarh village ( 19), Hardeep Singh, son of Swaran Singh of Sihar village, Onkar Singh, son Kulwant Singh Badowal ( 14), Teji of Pamal village ( driver) , Jitee Singh and Bharpur Singh, son of Ajaib Singh of Baddowal, who were killed when their vehicle had collided with a bus coming from the opposite direction, felt helpless as they unable to do much.

As the major male members of the victims’ families settled at Kalarh, Sihar, Pamal, Detwal and Baddowal had rushed towards Amritsar, the women, children and elders experienced agony alone. What to talk of extending help to the victims, the candidates or their supporters failed to call on these families to say a few words of sympathy.

This reporter faced an awkward situation when after coming to know that six members of a band party had died in an accident called on one of the victim families at Kalarh village. He found that they were not aware about what fate had done with them.

According to Maghar Singh of Gopalpur, none of political leaders had come to the help of the families which had lost six members in one jolt. “Even after twelve hours of the incident we have yet to know what exactly has happened with us,” rued Mr Maghar Singh, adding that even the party, including Karam Singh (father of deceased Daljit Singh) was not allowed to meet the survivors at Guru Nanak Hospital, Amritsar.

Similar situation prevailed at Dalit colonies inhabited by families of other victims at Sihar, Detwal and Baddowal villages. Thought the news of the mishap had spread like wild fire in the area in the morning, only close relatives and friends of the victim families showed their concern about the tragedy.

“Though other leaders and workers of various political parties had focused their attention on our families before the polling last week, none of them bothered to show even lip sympathy today,” aggrieved Nahar Singh, grandfather of Baboo.



Award for 2 progressive farmers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 22
Mr Mohinder Singh Dosanjh and Mr. Sukhpal Singh Bhullar, progressive farmers from the districts of Nawan Shahar and Bathinda, respectively, will be felicitated with Chief Minister's Prize during Kisan Mela on March 17 and 18 at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana.

The Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr. Vijendra Jain and the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Dr. K. S. Aulakh, will confer these awards along with a letter of appreciation and a shawl at the opening ceremony.

Revealing this, Dr. N. S. Malhi, Director of Extension Education, PAU, said the awards were instituted in 2003 by the Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh.

PAU had retained two of these awards for diversification and horticulture while the third one will be given by Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University.

Giving details, Dr. Malhi said that Mr. Dosanjh was chosen for his continuous efforts in diversification towards aromatic and herbal plants on a piece of 13 acre land. His contribution towards popularising new varieties, especially asparagus, is worth a mention.

Farmers from different places often visit Mr. Dosanjh's farm to witness exemplary farming of turmeric, bee-keeping and floriculture. Besides, Mr. Dosanjh had worked towards eradication of social evils like female foeticide, drug addiction and illiteracy through his writings.

Dr. Malhi informed that the other award recipient, Mr. Bhullar, had been selected in recognition of his work not only in the field of horticulture, but also due to strides taken in marketing, quality assurance and canning of fruits. Mr. Bhullar had been making use of the Internet for tracing new and profitable markets.



SAD youth activists seek blessings for victory
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 22
While enthusiasts of various political parties are waiting anxiously for the counting of votes, scheduled to commence on February 27, a group of activists of the youth wing of SAD have set out on Fateh Ardas Yatra which will conclude at Golden Temple, Amritsar, with prayers for victory of the party.

A jatha of six activists and youth leaders, including Kuldip Singh Karwal former general secretary SAD (A) holding the same portfolio in the SAD and Ashoo Tosh Vinayak, former organising secretary, Bhartya Jan Shakti Party, was flagged off for Amritsar by Daljit Singh Bhinder, president of the HP unit of the party.

However, the local and district organisation of the party dissociated itself from the move. Showing ignorance about the activity, Rajinder Singh Kanjhla, district president, said, "As we are still busy with the election in Valtoha, we can not think of any organised action other than canvassing for our candidate. However, the party activists and people in general were free to pray for the victory of the party," said Kanjhala claiming that the yatra was a personal matter of the participants and not a political issue.

Earlier, Bhinder while talking to the Ludhiana Tribune after paying obeisance at local Gurdwara Singh Sabha at the time of flagging off ceremony claimed that his party would certainly come to power after counting of votes a week later. He disclosed that the jatha would march on foot to the Golden Temple and ardas would be held on February 26.

Rakesh Verma, an office bearer of AISSF, Tapinder Singh Pohir, Amrik Singh, Pritpal Singh and Sohan Garg accompanied the jatha.



Heritage fair to remember Sarup Singh Johal
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 22
Mandiani village is all set to remember it's brave son, renowned freedom fighter, late Sarup Singh Johal, by organising a cultural and heritage fair in his memory on February 24.

Being organised by the Baljit Charitable Trust, prominent personalities of the village and district are on their toes in giving final touches to the arrangements.

Elaborating on the programme, Baljit Singh Johal, chairman of the Trust, and son the freedom fighter, informed that the cultural and heritage mela, exhibition would be conducted from 9 am to 7 mothered was great enthusiasm among the people of the area to pay tributes.

Johal, who is also the chairman of the business advisory council (Washington) to the US President, informed that in the morning, traditional events related to Punjabi heritage, including gatka, horse riding and an attractive exhibition which depicted the rich Punjabi culture would be presented.

He also informed that the needy handicapped students would be provided with tricycles and poor widows would be presented with sewing machines by the Trust.

Renowned Punjabi folk singers like Gursewak Mann, Ravinder Grewal, Kuldip Manak, Surinder Shinda, Sukhwinder Sukhi, Hakam Bakhtariwala, Jaswant Sandeela, Jassi Longowalia, Razia Dhillon, Jagmohan Sandhu, Jagdeep Gill would regale the audience while comedians Bhajna Amli and Santi would entertain the gathering.

Magician Mogambo, would also demonstrate his skills, he added.

Ashok Kumar Gupta, DC, Ludhiana, will be the chief guest of the function and Shiv Kumar Verma, SSP, Jagraon, will inaugurate the function in the morning.

He said nine prominent personalities who had made contributions for the preservation and promotion of Punjabi culture and heritage would be honoured and a special honour would be presented to Pritam Kaur, the widow of freedom fighter Sarup Singh.

Referring to the contribution of his father, Johal informed that he had participated in the freedom movement by joining the Indian National Army. He was also a close associate of late Giani Gurmukh Singh, a former Punjab CM. He was imprisoned in the notorious Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. After Independence, he played a pioneer role in the restructuring of the development process and promotion of rural education, particularly for girls in the rural areas.

He also added that his Trust had adopted 40 poor students of Government Senior Secondary school of the village for computer education.



At the Crossroads
Pursuit of excellence in writing 

Like a recluse, he is living in the bower of haunting memories, varied experiences and unnamed expectations. It had been an uphill task for a young lad to fend for himself after his schooling. In Khalsa College, Amritsar, he was drawn to Quit India Movement in 1942, for which he had to undergo imprisonment. As a result, the British Government confiscated his merit scholarship that he had earned on the basis of F.A. examination. Later, he was awarded Rattigan Gold Medal by his alma mater for standing first in B.A. examination in 1945.Starting his career as a lecturer in English at Khalsa College, Amritsar, in 1950, he retired as head, department of journalism, languages and culture, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, in November, 1982.

Prof Hazara Singh is primarily a poet, although his writings in the field of journalism are also of considerable significance. Starting with his first collection of poems 'Aspirations' (1980), he presented to the literary world 'Yearnings' (1987), 'Expectations' (1999) and 'Destinations' (2006). He is all the time eager to convey his thoughts on the various aspects of human existence. He is not easily swayed by sentiments, nor is he given to emotional outbursts. Sobriety is the hallmark of his poetic compositions. He is untiring in his search for new themes. He has also composed some Haikus that demand instant attention :

  • The intelligence gripped by greed loses its elegance
  • Ripening age led by restraint reflects grace
  • Truth, however candid tinged with taunts looks not splendid.

To be in the saddle for 85 years in pursuit of excellence in writing is a commendable feat. How does he feel at this time of his life?

"I feel satisfied with whatever I have achieved in life, both career-wise and family-wise. The mind, however, is ever in quest of new vistas of understanding. The more I move forward, the more I feel that the destination is far off." Writing seems to be his compulsion, particularly after his retirement. How so?

"I relish writing as it is my age-old and not merely old-age habit. Even when I was hard up, I did not write for money. Moreover, writing has been a shield for me to face the challenges of life. I consider crisis as a tonic."

Has he been rewarded for his contribution to freedom struggle, literature and journalism?

"I feel amply rewarded when I receive letters of appreciation from my readers. Slow recognition may be due to the fact that I am poet of the head, not of the heart. The poets who are led more by emotions than facts get a better response. Of course, as a freedom fighter I am getting a good pension."

Has he to convey any message to the younger generation?

"At present I am inclined to convey to senior citizens that they should act as saner citizens. They should not feel contented with their past achievements but should come forward to guide the younger generation for ushering in a better tomorrow."

What next? "I consider 'Destination', that embodies all my poetic compositions, my swan song. Likewise, I want to see my scattered prose-writings in one volume. Then I have to publish my short stories, one-act plays and essays in the form of books. It is a never-ending task. The flesh is weak but the spirit is strong."

— N.S. Tasneem



Rotary Club donates furniture to school
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 22
The Rotary Club of Ludhiana, North, donated 20 2-seater desks, one harmonium and one tabla set for the use of students of Government High School, Bassian Bet, Ludhiana.

President R.S. Behal, advised the students to work hard and get good marks to compete with the students of urban schools.

They are studying in a very calm and pollution-free atmosphere and they should make use of it. This school was adopted by the club during the year 
2002-03. Head mistress Neelam Chopra, thanked the club for donating desks and other materials.

Others present on the occasion were Ajay Verma, project chairman, Naranjan Singh, D.R. Chadha, V.S. Sachdeva and Gurjit Singh. 



Festivals of colour
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana February 22
Members of the Sarabha Ladies Club, under the presidentship of Shammi Bindra, celebrated the festivals of Basant, Valentine Day and Holi here today. The members were dressed in colourful outfits and enjoyed every moment of the occasion.

Many cultural items were presented. Women presented chitrahaar and danced to various new and old tunes of Hindi cinema. A fresh flower jewellery show was also organised by the members wearing colourful flower necklaces, earrings, rings, anklet etc.

The club members, including Seema Bakshi, Binny Sharma, Neelam Manchanda, Sarita Aggarwal and others extended all the help to make the event successful. Surprise gifts were given on the occasion.



Theft attempt foiled
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 22
A theft attempt in a shop was foiled due to the alertness of morning walkers at Bharri village bus stand, 12 km from here, today.

The owner, Mr Channa, has filed an FIR at Kheri Naudh Singh police station. The SHO, Mr Palwinder Singh, said that a case has been registered and enquiry was in progress.

Rail massacre condemned

The Samjhauta Express bomb blasts have been unanimously condemned by villagers at Bharri village. A meeting of the Human Rights Members was held under the presidentship of the national president of the outfit, Dr Jaswant Singh Khera today.

Those present observed a two-minute of silence in the memory of the ill-fated passengers and expressed their condolences to the bereaved families. Mr Amrik Singh and Mr Surjeet Singh Khattra, district chiefs of Ludhiana and Fatehgarh Sahib were also present in the meeting.



Mobile handset makers offer wide range of products
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 22
Mobile phone users in the country are quick in upgrading their handsets. Features like colour and music in handsets are attracting customers in a big way and there is a wide share of users who are keen to have a phone that gives them facilities ranging from camera, Internet to  video recording and music, said Sunil Dutt, director sales, Nokia India, during an interaction with Ludhiana Tribune here today.

He said it is not only metropolitan cities, even towns and rural areas have a high potential for this segment of users. " It is a high potential segment witnessing significant growth."

Growing competition among handset manufacturers has contributed to expanding the market."At a penetration of just 12 per cent, huge potential in mobile phone market exists. The key issues now are not only providing competitively priced phones for entry level but also phones with more number of features at low prices."

The company, he said, is quite buoyant on Punjab. " It is among the markets witnessing maximum growth. Customers here are stylish customers and also techno savvy which is good for phone companies."

On grey market,Dutt said government policies had contributed to significant decline in reduction of that segment. "Lowering of customs duties, Value Added Tax are moves which have helped curb grey market. As one can see, the market today has a large number of payers who are better visible than ever before."

Nokia today opened its first concept store in Punjab. With this, Ludhiana became the sixth city after Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Jaipur and Delhi to have such store.Dutt said the store, apart from offering a full range of Nokia products, would have a product and solution display area to provide customers with a first hand experience of products and also allow them to download new software and preview mobile phone applications and technologies. 



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