L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

City now a spying hotspot
Pak sending highly qualified young spies
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
The arrest of an MBA degree-holder Pakistani youth on charges of spying in Ludhiana has once again brought to the fore the spying activities in the city.

It has also exposed the new breed of spies, allegedly recruited by the neighbouring country for carrying out espionage activities in Punjab and Delhi.

The new breed of spies, as learnt from the questioning of the 22-year-old spy, is all possessing high qualifications so that they can easily carry out their operations requiring necessary technological expertise.

The arrested youth said he could have easily earned a good living in Pakistan but the motivation of helping his country for a cause led him into spying.

The arrest from this industrial hub of the city has again focused attention on the fact that Ludhiana remains the fulcrum of spy activities.

While the huge population of the migrants in the city provides an easy shelter, the proximity to Baddowal Ammunition Depot and to Halwara, which remain the main targets, also makes the city hotbed for the activities of the spy.

Moreover , police sources reveal Ludhiana being in the centre of the state allows easy mobility for the spy, all of whom have been know to frequent the state capital Chandigarh as well as the National Capital, New Delhi.

For the last four years, one or more Pak trained spy has been held in the city. The spies were either caught gathering information, circulating fake currency, smuggling or terrorist activities.

In March 2003, a terrorist was killed and another was nabbed in an encounter with the city police near Sahnewal. Both were Pak-trained. A few days later, a gang of 11 persons, led by Pak resident, Chowdhry Akram, was nabbed on the charges of circulating fake currency in the region.

In 2004, two Lashkar-e-Taiba militants were nabbed from the city for their alleged involvement in a train blast case. In November 2005, 3 Pak-trained militants were nabbed from Jagraon. They had obtained training from wanted terrorist Wadhawa Singh.

The Division No 6 police had also nabbed two ISI agents gathering information about the Army positioning in 2005. Another ISI agent was caught near Baddowal Ammo depot last year.

The most daring form of spying took place during terrorism era in Punjab. A colonel-rank officer of the Pakistan Army was nabbed. He used to live as a beggar on the footpaths of the city.

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Rich tributes paid to martyrs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
Rich tributes were paid to Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev at a function organised to observe their 75th Martyrdom Day, here today.

Prominent among those who paid floral tributes before the statues at Jagraon Bridge were Hira Singh Gabria Jails, Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Printing and Stationary Minister Punjab, Sat Pal Gosian Deputy Speaker Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Harish Rai Dhanda, Darshan Singh Shivalik ( both MLAs), Sumer Singh Gurjar Deputy Commissioner, R K Jaiswal SSP, Amrit Kaur Gill SDM (East), Santa Singh Umedpuri District President SAD and Subhash Verma District President BJP.

Paying tributes, Gabria said the martyrs were great patriots of the country who had launched an effective struggle to root out the British rule from the country. The patriots had to undergo a lot of hardships and sacrificed their lives for the motherland. Other patriots had followed their footsteps and further accelerated the freedom movement, which ultimately culminated into Independence. It was only because of their sacrifices that our country has attained its present status.

Gabria said it was unfortunate that the previous government had scrapped the holiday on the martyrdom day, and now Chief Minister Punjab Parkash Singh Badal, keeping in view the sentiments of the people, had declared March 23 and September 27 as holidays.

Sat Pal Gosian Deputy Speaker Punjab Vidhan Sabha while paying tributes said that these great sons of the country while making sacrifices had dreamt of a prosperous and peaceful country. He said while remembering them on the martyrdom day, we must rededicate ourselves to safeguard the freedom, peace and tranquility in the country and to accomplish their dreams.

Sumer Singh Gurjar Deputy Commissioner Ludhiana said that only because of the sacrifices of the patriots, we have got the opportunity to decide the policies and programmes for our own welfare. He assured that clean and transparent governance would be provided to the people, which will be the real tribute to the martyrs.

Among others who were present on this occasion included Sukhwinder Singh Grewal BJP, Baba Ajit Singh, Kanwal Inder Singh Thekedar, Jathedar Kuldip Singh, Jagroop Singh President PADB, Ajmer Singh Dhillon Director Milk Plant, Viajy Danav president Bhavdhas, Lakshman Dravid (Bhavdhas), Sanjay Kapoor, Kewal Gupta, Pal Singh Grewal, Pritam Singh Bharowal, Ranjit Singh Dhillon and Balwinder Singh Sandhu (both Councillors), Bibi Surinder Kaur Dayal and Mr. Pal Singh Grewal.

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Work On Memorial Begins
Sukhdev’s house got vacated after 76 years
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
Seventy-six years after martyr Sukhdev laid down his life for the freedom of the country, his house was finally got vacated for being preserved as a 0memorial to him. Things seemed to set rolling today when deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar inaugurated the gate of the memorial on his martyrdom day.

His house in Naughara mohalla in the Chaura Bazaar area was occupied by a tenant family for the past many years. The area residents and relatives of the martyr decided to give the house to the government for its preservation.

Though they had been trying to get the house vacated, they succeeded only last evening by paying Rs 3 lakh to the occupants so that they could find a house elsewhere.

A function and a yajna was organised in the house for the first time after Independence. The deputy commissioner inaugurated the Shaheed Sukhdev Memorial Gate at his house today and garlanded the statue of Sukhdev to pay tribute to the great martyr who belonged to Ludhiana.

The house was in fact given the shape of a memorial by the Shaheed Sukhdev Yadgar Committee led by a local doctor, Dr Hardeep Singh, two years ago. Till that time the house was a blot on the face of Ludhiana.

It had been a battle of sorts to get the things moving. Only two days ago a Chandigarh-based advocate had filed a PIL in the High Court demanding the conservation of his house following reports in these columns. The Tribune had been consistently taking up the issue at several times but it was not able to force the authorities concerned to wake up to the issue.

Gurjar said it was an occasion of great proud for every citizen of the country and we must remember him. He said sincere efforts would be made to arrange a suitable passage up to the memorial in the Chaura Bazaar, so that the vehicles could easily reach this place, as demanded by the Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Memorial Trust.

He said with the efforts of the administration and the trust the ancestral house of the martyr was finally got vacated last evening and it would now be properly preserved and maintained, so that the coming generations could seek inspiration from the sacrifices of the great martyrs. 

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VAT returns: Traders allege harassment
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
Local industry today said that the Excise and Taxation Department here is asking them to furnish their annual VAT returns as per previous date instead of the recently announced extended date, causing harassment.

In a letter to the minister for industry and commerce Manoranjan Kalia, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association said officials of the Department were asking industrialists to furnish the returns by March 31 despite the date for submitting annual VAT returns with form C having been extended to June 30.

Due to difficulties in obtaining form C, industrialists had urged the government to extend the last date for submitting annual returns, said general secretary of the association Varinder Kapoor.

"But," added Kapoor, "the Excise and Taxation Department is not ready to honour the decision." The department officials were asking industrialists to furnish the returns as per the previous date, failing which they have told traders and industrialists that they will have to bear penalty.

Urging the minister to instruct the department to issue written notification in this regard at the earliest, the association said the same would provide relief to the industry from hassles on this account.

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Tohra’s services to Panth hailed
K. S. Chawla

Ludhiana, March 23
The death anniversary of the Akali icon of the late 20th century Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra falls on March 25. On the eve of his death three years ago, his services to the panth were hailed by all and sundry who were concerned with the Sikh politics. Even the government of the time honoured his memory by getting a book prepared on his contribution to the Sikh cause. He still has the distinction of having remained the President of the SGPC- the most important Sikh institute for over 25 years.

The epicentre of Sikh politics today, Parkash Singh Badal has had love-hate relationship with Jathedar Tohra. Badal hailed him as a great leader of the panth at the time of his death. Now Mr Parkash Singh Badal is again in power. It is to be seen what steps will be taken to perpetuate his memory.

According to information available with this reporter, in the initial stages, the SGPC showed enthusiasm in the proposal for the establishment of the proposed institute of advance Sikh studies and the site was also selected at Mohali in the campus of gurdwara Amb Sahib.

However, no steps were taken to start the construction or establish the institute at another place till the building was ready. Even the Trust deed in this regard was never finalised or considered.

Prof Prithipal Singh Kapoor, former pro-vice chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University and a renowned Sikh scholar who was associated with the committee which prepared the proposal for the institute of advance Sikh studies said that the institute was to be established to further the cause of Gurmat Sidhant which was the need of the time.

'We do not have many proficient people who can act as preachers, granthis, kathakars and we do not have enough literature which can be made available to them for guidance.

The old scriptural literature on which they depend is replete with such stories and legends with which the sikh gurus and the martyrs could not be associated and such legends were against the Sikh doctrine also. If this institute is established it will be befitting memorial to the services of Jathedar Tohra who himself was very proficient in the sikh traditional knowledge. Why did the SGPC put this scheme in cold storage cannot be understood,' said Prof Kapoor.

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Punjab Act: IHRO backs Badal 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
The International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) has lent its support to the Akali Dal-BJP government for repealing Section 5 of the Punjab Termination of Agreement Act, 2004, while appreciating the previous state government led by Capt Amarinder Singh for abrogating the agreements and awards in order to re-establish the correct constitutional status of Punjab rights over its rivers.

IHRO chairperson D S Gill, general secretary M S Grewal and coordinator Sukhdev Singh Ramgarhsibian in statement here yesterday, said, "Section 5 of the said Act is a negation of constitutional rights and violates its very basics that that river waters and hydel power are a state subject upon which only the state had full and exclusive legislative and executive powers.

They asserted: "Punjab has an absolute riparian right over its three rivers- the Ravi, the Beas and the Sutlej and the neighbouring states of Haryana and Rajasthan, being non-riparian, have no legal right whatsoever over these rivers".

They maintained that the state assembly needed to get rid of this clause immediately in the interest of Punjab and its people.

Warning the present government about the urgency of the matter, the IHRO asserted that there was an immediate need to challenge the very vires of the provisions of sections 78-80 of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, that have taken away Punjab's riparian right over its rivers, enshrined in Entry 17 of the list II (State List) of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India.

Warning Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal of the intrigues and the blackmailing tactics being used by the Congress and its Haryana government against his government and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the IHRO has urged Mr Badal to hurry up with matter.

"The proposed formation of the Haryana Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee is nothing but an intrigue and a blackmailing tactics to delay or scuttle the move to repeal section 5 of the Act, 2004, by Punjab Assembly. Any delay, laxity or pretext in this regard would prove to be fatal to the Badal government and the people of Punjab," they concluded. 

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Bhagat Singh remembered
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 23
Doraha Institute of Management and Technology (DIMT) organised a seminar on Shaheed Bhagat Singh on his martyrdom day, said Dr R. K. Lekhi, Director DIMT in a press release issued here.

Japvir Singh, chief coordinator, DIMT, Supreet Kaur, coordinator, DIMT, Tapvir Singh, coordinator, DCE, Amarjit Singh, Trustee, Jaspreet Kaur (DCE), Chandanpreet Kaur, Raman Bagga, Neha Soni, Namita Sharma, Shavinder Kaur, Jyotinderpreet Kaur, Sukhvir Singh, were present on this occasion.

While addressing the students of MBA,BCA and BBA, chairman, S.Sukhpal Singh said he was an Indian freedom fighter considered to be one of the most famous revolutionaries of the Indian Independence movement.

For this reason, he is often referred to as Shaheed Bhagat Singh. He was one of the leaders and founders of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA).

V.J. Rai, Assistant Professor, DIMT, narrated that Bhagat Singh was born in Khatkar Kalan village near Banga in the Lyallpur district of Punjab.

His father was influenced by the Hindu reformist Arya Samaj. His uncles, Ajit Singh and Swaran Singh, as well as his father were great revolutionaries and they were the active members of the Gadar Party.

Ajit Singh was forced to flee to Iran because of the cases pending against him while Swaran Singh was hanged.

As a child, he was deeply affected by the Jalianwala Bagh Massacre that took place in 1919 and he became an active participant at the age of 13.

In 1923, Bhagat Singh famously won an essay competition set by the Punjab Hindi Sahitya Sammelan.

This grabbed the attention of members of the Punjab Hindi Sahitya Sammelan, including its general secretary Professor Bhim Sen Vidyalankar.

At this age, he quoted famous Punjabi literature and discussed the Problems of the Punjab.

He read a lot of poetry and literature which was written by Punjabi writers and his favourite poet was an Indian freedom fighter Allama Iqbal from Sialkot.

Director of DIMT, Dr R.K. Lekhi, while remembering Bhagat Singh asked the students to emulate the footsteps of the great Indian heroes Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev and what we can offer to our motherland.

He informed that on March 23, 1931, Bhagat Singh was hanged in Lahore with his fellow comrades Rajguru and Sukhdev.

Today let us unite together to remember the heroes who have made supreme sacrifices by laying down their lives for their countrymen.

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Tributes paid to Bhagat Singh
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 23
The youth of Doraha under the command of a renowned freedom fighter, Om Parkash Bector, today offered tributes before the bust of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, on the occasion of the martyrdom day.

While addressing the members of the youth Forum, Om Parkash Bector said: “We have a lot to learn from the life of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru.”

The American imperialism could be ousted from our country only when we make a joint effort to be free from any outer ill influences. Our efforts should be such that not only the present generation, but our progeny should feel proud of taking birth on this sacred land. The noble sense for which our martyrs lived and died should be brought home so that our youth imbibe those values that teach us to be true and dedicated in our efforts, he added

Later, the youth forum of Doraha marched in a procession towards Khatkal Kalan, the native village of Bhagat Singh, where they again offered tributes to the great hero.

Chairman of the forum Jandeep Kaushal condemned the opening of various private schools in Doraha, despite the fact that a holiday had especially been announced on this sacred and grand day.

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Donating blood is his passion
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
Driven by his gratitude towards the sacrifice of martyrs Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, a local resident, Sudhir Mudgal, today donated blood to commemorate their martyrdom day.

He becomes the first Ludhiana resident to have donated blood 94 times during his lifetime.

‘‘The martyrs laid their life for their countrymen. That is why I donated blood, that would provide life to someone,’’ said Mudgal, while donating the precious body fluid at local DMCH hospital today.

Dr Amarjeet Kaur,Head, Department of Transfusion Medicine, DMC, appreciated his bit.

‘‘I am moved by his endeavour to pay back to the martyrs who laid their lives for us. If all countrymen take a cue from him, the country would be a beautiful place to live in,’’ she said.

‘‘I will continue with my endeavour to give my blood every year on the occasion now, ’’ said the 41-year-old business man who started with this noble gesture when he was a college student.

He was shaken by the militancy in the state when he was a collegiate and his brother-in-law was shot dead.

He wanted to avenge the killing but then thought why not donate blood instead of shedding it.

‘‘Then I had decided that I will not spill blood but donate it. I will not kill people but save them. With this commitment, I have answered blood-requirement calls of many accident victims till date.

“I have found happiness in the smiles of many relatives of victims after they are saved.’’ says Sudhir.

Since then Sudhir's resolve has helped him donate blood so many times. Be it an important occasion of his family members or a day of national importance, Mudgal leaves no chance to donate blood.

He was recently honoured by a social organisation also for his commitment to this nobel cause.

His call for today's youth is that they should not only celebrate special occasions by donating blood but they should make sure that it goes to the right place and it is not wasted.

‘‘I only donate to certified blood banks. I have seen that in many camps, it is wasted as the organisers do not have required infrastructure to preserve blood. ’’ 

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NGO solemnises girls’ marriage
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, March 23
In continuation of its service towards the society, Nishkam Kirtan Sewa Society, Mandi Gobindgarh, organised marriages of two girls.

Soni Devi, resident of Tajpura village, was married with Pasrwinder Singh, resident of Hadedpura (Patiala), and Ranjit Kaur too of Tajpura village was married with Sapinder Singh of Loha Kheri village. The marriages were solemnized at Tajpura village in Fatehgarh Sahib district.

Household articles were given by the society to the newly wedded couples who were given blessings by the society chief, Karanjit Singh Bittoo.

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Trident founder is CII new chairman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
Founder of the Trident Group Rajinder Gupta is the new chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) Punjab State Council. J.R. Singal of Eastman Cast and Forge is the new vice-chairman, said a press note.

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Pledge to work on martyrs legacy

Samrala, March 23
Paying tributes on the Martyrdom Day of great trio of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, the PNB staff of local Samrala Branch reaffirmed their pledge to work for economic up-liftment of the poor through various bank schemes.

The staff led by AIBEA leader J P Singh and B B Goyal, branch manager, appealed to the youth to shun drugs and come forward to avail various loan schemes of the bank for their economic betterment. — OC

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PSB sells defaulters’ properties

Ludhiana, March 23
Punjab and Sind Bank sold off properties of four defaulters under Securitisation Act, 2002, said N.S. Anand, deputy general manager, Ludhiana zone today.

The properties that were disposed of were Navbhullar Industries in village Lohara, R.K. Copy Manufacturing Company in Ishwar Nagar, Chawla Cloth House in village Nandpur and another property in Santokh Nagar of New Shivpuri here. — TNS

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Summer collection
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
Monte Carlo has launched its designer summer wear collection. The new collection for men and women offers casual as well as party wear dresses. The collection focuses not only on fabric and texture but also on colours, the company said.

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