L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Burglars have a field day as cops ‘protect’ CM
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
A Chander Nagar family had to pay a heavy price for the security cover being provided to the visiting Chief Minister. Bhag Ram Sidhu and his family members were reportedly drugged by burglars who later decamped with goods and cash worth over a lakh, as claimed by the family. The stolen goods included 10 tolas gold and a mobile phone, besides cash.

However, the family was in for a rude shock when only an investigating officer turned up at the crime scene as the rest of the team, including fingerprint experts and the dog squad, was busy in the security duty for Parkash Singh Badal’s visit to the city.

Sidhu, his wife Kanta Rani and his younger son were sleeping in the courtyard while his elder son and daughter-in-law were sleeping inside. Burglars allegedly drugged them by either putting some intoxicant-laced cloth on their face or sprinkling it in the cooler, which was outside.

Sidhu’s elder son first heard some noises but he could not do anything as the burglars had reportedly locked the door from outside. On hearing his alarm, the neighbours rushed to their house but the burglars had already escaped by then.

The neighbours woke up Sidhu and his wife, who suspect that there were about three burglars on a scooter. They said they had heard the sound of a two-wheeler and footsteps in their house within moments of each other.

The family alleged that the investigating official had nothing with him to collect the evidence. They added that there was a possibility that the burglars were residing across Budda Nullah, which flows near the house, and that tracker dogs could have caught them.

Police sources said the squad was deployed in CM security duty and that it was a minor burglary. They said a dog squad or fingerprint teams are rarely helpful as generally the victims and the neighbours unknowingly destroy the evidence by roaming around the crime scene.



  Sukhdev birth centenary function on May 15
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana May 13
Hira Singh Gabria, the minister for jails, tourism and cultural affairs, Punjab, has informed that a state level function will be organised on May 15 to mark the 100th birth anniversary of Shaheed Sukhdev. The function, to pay tributes to the martyr, who was executed along with Bhagat Singh and Rajguru, would be held at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan here.

Manpreet Singh Badal, finance and planning minister, Punjab, would preside over the function.

Sat Pal Gosain, deputy speaker Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Harish Rai Dhanda chief parliamentary secretary, Punjab, Bikramjit Singh Khalsa parliamentary secretary, Punjab, Sharanjit Singh Dillon, MP, Sukhdev Singh Libra, MP, Harish Bedi, Darshan Singh Shivalik, Jagjiwan Singh Khirnian (all MLAs) and senior leaders of political parties are likely to attend the function.

Gabria said Manpreet Badal and other dignitaries would pay floral tributes at Shaheedi Samarak at Mohalla Naughara in Chaura Bazar at 9 am and at the statues of the martyrs at Jagraon Bridge at 10 am before attending the state level function at Guru Nanak Bhawan.

Gabria today also presided over a meeting of the officers and senior leaders of SAD and BJP. The meeting had been organised to chalk out the programme and make arrangements for the state level function at Bachat Bhawan. Addressing the meeting, Gabria said the government was committed to give due respect to the martyrs who had laid down their lives during the freedom movement by observing all such occasions.

Gabria disclosed that the department of information and public relations, Punjab, was also publishing a booklet on Shaheed Sukhdev, which would be released and distributed at the state level function. Gabria appealed to the people to participate in the function and pay tributes to the great hero of the nation.

Sumer Singh Gurjar, Deputy Commissioner, asked officers of the departments concerned to make proper arrangement to make the function a success. He told the MC authorities to carry out proper cleanliness drive at the three venues where functions would be held on that day.



Neighbour booked for setting man on fire
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
The Haibowal police has booked the family members of Bank Colony resident Kulwant Singh for allegedly setting his neighbour, Rakesh Gupta, on fire yesterday over a long raging property dispute.

The police has booked Kulwant Singh and his wife Kuljit Kaur for allegedly attempting to murder Rakesh.

The alleged incident took place late last evening. However, there were different versions of the manner in which the burn injuries were caused. The registration of the case strengthens the allegation of the victim, Rakesh, that he was first called to the house of Kulwant Singh for finding some solution of the property dispute and then the accused set him on fire. The fire also engulfed Joginder Kaur, mother of Kulwant Singh. Both of them are undergoing treatment at CMC hospital.

Kulwant Singh had yesterday claimed that Rakesh had set himself on fire and had grabbed his mother.

No arrest has been made so far.



15 hurt as car crashes into tent, 2 booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
The Division No. 2 police has booked two youths for accidentally driving their car into a shaman at Issi Niagara where a religious function was in progress late last night. As many as 15 persons sustained injuries in the accident.

One of the youths was identified as Jimmy. According to reports they were learning car driving when the vehicle (No CH - 03 Z - 3895) went out of control and crashed into the shaman.

Asa Smasher Sines said both the youths were absconding. Four persons are still admitted at comic hospital while the other were discharged this evening.



Teenager waits for information about missing mother
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
For Kamaljit Mother’s Day did not bring the balmy feeling of love, rather it left him more depressed as he waited in vain to get any information about his missing mother. Nineteen-year-old Kamaljit Singh, a resident of Guru Amardass Nagar, took every call on his cellphone praying to God for a miracle on the special day today that the caller would give the news of his mother's whereabouts. But the entire day passed and his hopes were dashed to the ground by the evening.

This boy's frail shoulders are not only burdened with the task of finding his mother, who he fears has been murdered, but he also has the responsibility to earn money to look after his schizophrenic father and to pay for his teenaged brother’s education.

His mother, Amarjit Kaur, (42) had left her house on April 11 last year to visit a religious place in Himachal Pradesh. She had told the family that she would return by the evening or would call up if she wanted to stay there. But she neither returned nor called.

His father's schizophrenia worsened and Kamaljit had to leave school to fulfill his duties. He reported the matter to police and the police registered a case against a shopkeeper of BRS Nagar who was often seen with his mother.

Later, the police arrested the suspect but he was soon released on bailed. Since then there has been no clue to the whereabouts of his mother.

”Now I run a garment shop in BRS Nagar as I have to arrange for two square meals and the school fee of my younger brother. I could not study as I had the responsibility of the family. Now I only hope that my mother comes back.”

He added that the suspect, who was booked under Sections 363/366, IPC, was often seen with his mother, who used to run a general store in their locality. The residents of the area had raised an objection to his frequenting the shop. Thereafter the family had closed down the shop. But their relationship had continued.

"I suspected that man as he was also missing for some days after the incident. But later he returned and when asked he said he did not know anything about her. Now he is sending feelers to us to withdraw the case and accept money as he was not involved in it,” said Kamaljit.

“We just want our mother to come back. My younger brother became so sick after the episode that he had to miss school for a year. If she comes back, it would be like a new lease of life to us.” 



Ludhiana Calling

The Punjab chief minister, Parkash Singh Badal while addressing a function, organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Ludhiana on Sunday, offered practically nothing to the industry and still got too much of applause. While it took about half a dozen of current and past office bearers of the chamber and other for and a couple of hours, to read out the long list of their demands, Badal summed up his answer and explanation precisely in brief and that too without any aid or assistance, in not more than ten minutes. Instead of offering the industry anything, he cried hoarse about the sorry plight of the state finances. "I can give you just an assurance and nothing else.” he said. Interestingly, Badal got a good round of applause for, obviously not what he spoke, but how he spoke.

Back to paranthas

If guests barge in your home without intimating and you order packed food from Prestigious Club at Rakh Bagh. Then beware! your order may land you in an awkward situation Recently when sudden guests arrived at a fellow journalist’s place, three vegetables were ordered from the club. To her dismay, two out of three vegetables when served were rejected by the guests for being stale and giving bitter taste. Poor fellow had to prepare stuffed paranthas to entertain the guests.

Stuck in the middle

Household budgets in the past one year or so have been forced to stretch beyond limits. The middle class remains the sufferer, although the recent decline in vegetable and wholesale prices could have given some relief. The retailers have been unwilling to pass on the benefit of reduced prices to consumers as it would mean lesser margins for them. Middle class woes, it appears, are there for long to stay.

Water woes

Despite orders by the Municipal Corporation against wastage of potable water, callous Ludhianvis are continuing to do so caring little about the consequences of water table going down. Various appeals by the PAU authorities, environmentalists and administration have failed to bring any result. One wonders when people would wake up to the grim reality.

Sun ‘protection’

Men in uniform always make a good picture. If they are posted in a heavy posse or a wielding a stick, or help an elderly, they are always a photographer’s delight. In the picture the cops were seen sitting under a shelter on Ferozepur Road when the chief minister, Parkash Singh Badal, was attending a function in a local hotel. They chose to keep the sun away as long as the CM was safe inside the hotel premises. (see pic)

Obscenity rules

Obscene posters are back in the city. In every corner and street, the posters embarrass people. A former deputy commissioner had a crackdown on the cinema owners responsible for the mess but later on with the change of guard, these came back. Several NGOs in the city, who took up the cause are also keeping silent this time. Nobody knows when would they wake up to move the authorities, who need to be shaken up.

Rise above rice

A local resident is running a campaign of sorts, all by himself to save the declining water tables. Wherever he goes he asks the people not to have rice as every kilogram of the grain consumes atleast five litres of water. This resident reminds people that Punjabis always like wheat instead of rice and they should once again switch over to those grains.

Rightly suspicious

The long ignored industry is suddenly in limelight. With the new government everyday announcing something concerning industry- be it subsidies or power supply- industrialists were euphoric. However, repeated announcements of formation of industry boards that would be led by the industrialists are yet to be fulfilled. With the government postponing the issue every time, those in business appear to be rightly suspicious.

Pollution control

Most industrialists prefer following the convenient route when it comes to rules and regulations. At a recent meeting with pollution control board, an industrialist posed a question that reflected on this attitude. The industrialist contended that if the water they disposed in sewerage was to be treated and thrown in sewerage only what was the use of treating water in the first place? Shocked, the officials did not hesitate to tell the industrialists that apart from their business they had a certain responsibility towards maintaining clean environment.

Contributed by: Vimal Sumbly, Shveta Pathak, Jupinderjit Singh, Kanchan Vasdev and Shivani Bhakoo



Moms exhibit talent on Mothers’ Day
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 13
Love Dale Montessori Club organised a ‘Talent contest’ for mothers to celebrate the Mothers’ Day.

Almost 50 mothers participated in the contest. They exhibited talents while singing songs, dancing, poetry recitation and mono-acting.

The event was judged by Honey Walia from Khalsa College, Sonia, an interior designer, and Gurpreet Kaur from Sacred Heart Convent School.

Children were the spectators who lauded and encouraged their mothers all along the function.

The children of Club had prepared snacks and cake for guests and participant mothers. They also prepared a special dance to thank their mothers for being so loving and caring. Later, the children presented flowers and hand made cards to their mothers.

In the end all mother-children duo walked the ramp.

Mothers won prizes in the following categories: Mumma no I- Sonia, mumma beautiful- Vandana, mumma confidence- Kiran, mumma well-dressed- Anupama, mumma best catwalk- Kashish, mumma best hair-style- Neetu, and mumma sweet smile- Navjot. First in dance- Manu, Second in dance- Kamaljeet and Sangeeta, third in dance- Roshni and Vandana. Singing/poetry- first- Puneet, second- Dr Sumita, third- Monica. 



Europe-based Punjabi poetess releases journal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
Punjabi Sahit Academy welcomed Netherlands-based Punjabi poetess Dr Amar Jyoti who had visited Punjabi Bhawan recently.

Received under their programme ‘Jee Aayan Nun’ for NRI litterateurs, the academy presented Dr Jyoti with a set of their recently-published books as well as a copy of Dr Sarup Singh Alag's publications.

‘Forbidden Fruit’, the English version of Dr Jyoti's selected Punjabi poems, along with the recent issue of her bi-annual journal ‘Amber’, were released on the occasion.

Besides others, Dr Surjit Patar, Prof Niranjan Tasneem and Prof Ravinder Bhathal talked about the poetess’ contribution to Punjabi literature.

Dr Jyoti has been trying to spread awareness about Punjabi language, literature, art and culture in Amsterdam, where she went in 1982 as a broadcaster. Not only this, she has also tried to make her Punjabi readers aware of the richness of Dutch literature.



IMA for lower taxes on medicines
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) made a strong case for the reduction of taxes on medicines, medical equipment and health care delivery so as to make the treatment affordable for the common man.

In his presidential address at the first general body meeting of the IMA after election of the new office-bearers, Dr Arun Mitra, president of the local branch of IMA, unfolded the future plans of the association. He said besides taking steps to improve the working of the IMA for the benefit of the entire medical fraternity, it had been decided to hold CMEs and other academic programmes on a regular basis.

The IMA House would be renovated by making suitable additions and alterations, he added.

Vice-president Dr Narotam Dewan said the unity among the medical professionals could be translated into achievements by upholding the dignity of the profession and serving the ill. He strongly opposed the proposed service tax on the doctors as he said this would further raise the cost of medical treatment

He also talked about the benefits of granting liberal educational loans, soft loans for medical facilities, tax holidays and other incentives like subsidised power to the private medical institutions, clinics and nursing homes to encourage creation of these facilities to meet the growing need.

Chief of PCMS Association Dr Hardeep Singh, while terming the proposal of service tax on doctors as an ill-conceived idea, threatened to launch an agitation jointly with the IMA if the government went ahead with this move.

IMA secretary Dr Rajeev Gupta discussed several measures initiated to streamline the working of the association. He said a legal notice had already been served upon the person who was illegally occupying a portion of the IMA House and running a beauty parlour on its premises.

The civil surgeon assured the members of the association that there would be no unnecessary and undesirable harassment of medical professionals. He added that the health authorities would expect them to scrupulously follow the ethics of medical profession, and in particular, abide by provisions of the PNDT Act to fight the menace of female foeticide. As many as 350 doctors from the city attended the meeting. Civil surgeon Dr S.P. Sharma and IMA’s state president Dr Amrit Sethi were the chief guests.



Residents apprised of traffic rules
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 13
A road safety week was observed at Doraha by Sidhu Hospital.

During the week, doctors, staff of the hospital and students of Sidhu School of Nursing, participated in the seminars and group discussions related to road safety.

A mock rescue operation by the para medical staff was carried out in order to demonstrate the correct procedure of extricating accident victims and providing them with first aid.

The traffic police personnel delivered a lecture and held discussion on rules and regulations of road and also on Motor Vehicles Act. A large number of people participated in the proceedings while on their visit to the hospital.

In a sample survey, it was noticed that the awareness level regarding the traffic rules and speed limits was lacking while majority of road users were not able to distinguish the various road signs, said Dr Gurdip Singh Sidhu, director of the hospital.

The survey further revealed that a large number of two-wheeler vehicle drivers, even though knew the benefit of a helmet, did not wear helmet while driving.

Speaking at the concluding day, Dr Sidhu expressed concern at the increasing number of road accidents. He said the victims of these road accidents included drivers, passengers, bystanders, cyclists and pedestrians.

He asked people to follow the road safety norms and traffic rules, and also wear helmets and seat belts while driving.

A quiz and poster-making competition was organised which evinced huge interest among the participants and the public.

Manpreet Singh, an OPD assistant, secured the highest marks in the quiz contest, while Jagtar Singh, also an OPD assistant, won a prize for a poster he made on ‘The essence of safe driving’.



Magic of starry sky rules kids’ rooms
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
Here is a good news for parents who like to dress up their children’s rooms. They can now create a ‘Magic starry sky’ in their child’s room for just Rs 500. This star kit, with twenty years guarantee, includes complete galaxy with more than 150 stars, one moon, one rocket and an aeroplane.

Baljit Singh Walia, Managing director of P2V Group, who has decorated more than 500 rooms in the city in the past two months said the concept of decorating children’s room was fast catching up with city residents. He told that the kits were procured from Mumbai. The stars were charged with the help of sunlight and tubelight. The charging depends on the light, more light helped stars to sparkle more. “Once the lights are switched-off and it is darkness in the room, the effect of galaxy can be seen.” said Walia.

Walia stated that the kit covered 150-200 sq.ft.area.

He informed that while pasting the stars, many things were to be kept in mind. The stars should not be pasted near the rockets, aeroplane, etc. These are pasted in such a way that it gives a glittery look to whole area of the room.

“People, especially the kids have really liked the idea of having room with starry sky. These are basically self-charging glow stickers that are last long. Even after creating galaxy, the room can be white-washed for four times at least. The stickers do not get destroyed. The multi-coloured sky (the ceiling) attracts the babies a lot.” said Raman and Rajesh, who are room decoraters.

Anupma, a parent living at Civil Lines, Ludhiana, said this was an excellent gift for the kids. “Once there is complete darkness in the room, the galaxy glows throughout the night. My three-year old daughter used get scared while sleeping in her room but now she enjoys being in her room at night. She keeps on looking at the twinkling stars at night.” she said.



Martyr Sukhdev’s ancestral house to be preserved
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
The Naujwan Bharat Sabha in association with the Shaheed Sukhdev Yadgar Committee today decided to fight for the conservation of martyr Sukhdev’s ancestral house at Naughara Mohalla. This house has been lying ignored by the successive governments.

During the function, organised to commemorate the birth centenary of martyr Sukhdev, representatives of both the organisations pledged that they would get the house preserved into a memorial by following every possible means.

While speaking on the function, Dr Sewa Singh, renowned historian of revolutionary freedom movement, stressed upon the combined efforts of the Indian public to build the new socio-political system as per the vision of the revolutionary martyrs.

Condemning the caste system, Dr Singh said this division was the only hurdle in the broader unity of the country. He said this social evil was encouraged by various political masters for their own vested interests.

Ajaypal Singh, convener of the sabha announced to go ahead with the revolutionary spirit and ideology of these martyrs to build a new India free from any exploitation.

Dr Hardeep Singh, convener of the Sukhdev Yadgar Committee, resented the apathy of successive governments toward the ancestral house of the martyr. He said the committee would join hands with the sabha to create awareness about the importance of this place as well as ideology of these revolutionaries.

On the occasion, a book on Shaheed Sukhdev written by the Late Mathura Dass Thapar, younger brother of Sukhdev, was also released in its complete form by Prof M.S. Wraich. Another book edited by Prof Jagmohan Singh, describing brief biography of Shaheed Sukhdev, was also released.

Dr Darshan Kheri, convener of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Study Circle, owned responsibility to distribute this type of literature in all parts of the state.



Teachers resent curtailing of vacation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 13
Members of the Democratic Teachers Front got together to protest against the decision to curtail the summer vacation. Saudagar Singh Begowal, president of Doraha branch and secretary Kuldip Singh Mangewal, said Upinderjit Kaur, education minister, had curtailed the duration of the summer vacation from 45 days to 30 days. This was unfair to the teachers.

They said the decision of holidays in autumn was also pointless.

“The teachers are forced to attend seminars during summer vacation, despite the fact that these seminars are nothing but a waste of time. Seminars are arranged just to spend the grants allotted by the government. The teachers have been in miserable position as they are assigned on census work and sometimes on atta-dal scheme. As a result, the teachers and students are suffering”.



Sangat Darshan on May 16
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
The Municipal Corporation will organise a Sangat Darshan to redress the greivances of residents of Zone C on May 16 here.

This was announced today by Additional Commissioner, M.S. Kainth, who said complaints related to water and sewerage, TS-1 and unrepaired roads would be solved on the spot. The progarmme would be held in the Zone C office of MC. 



‘Attract big players to revive small-scale units’ 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) urged the Chief Minster to immediately redress the problems of the industry.

Speaking at a function organised today to felicitate Parkash Singh Badal, chairman, Punjab Committee, PHDCCI, Rajiv Bali urged the government to impress upon the Centre to extend its economic package to the district.

He said a reason for the languishing state of industry was the absence of large industrial units here. He asked the government to motivate big industrial houses to set up base in Punjab, as this would help revive the small scale units.

Chairman of Modern Steels Amarjit Goyal advocated the reduction of electricity duty from 10 per cent to 5 per cent and the removal of 4 paisa per unit octroi on electricity.

Co-chairman, Punjab Committee, R S Sachdeva suggested the formation of a monitoring committee to review the implementation of the policies and agendas at regular intervals and work for their speedy implementation.

He added that due to its proximity to Himachal Pradesh, there was enough scope to set up food processing units in Punjab. He also suggested that the government provide assistance to encourage such projects.

Industries minister Manoranjan Kalia said the government was coming up with the new Industrial Policy and added that it would be focus on issues like the Single Window Service, Maintenance of Focal Points, etc.

Assuring the industry, chief secretary R I Singh said the government was taking up the recommendations made by the PHDCCI, including the PSIDC issue of gas pipeline, railway corridors for freight and passenger and setting up a branch of Indian Institute of Foreign Trade in Punjab to boost the state's exports.

Presenting the vote of thanks, vice-president, PHDCCI, Satish Bagrodia said world-class infrastructure would help in the growth of industry, agriculture and the rest of the state economy. He added that PHD Chamber would be pleased to work with the state for promoting inter-state projects of power, roads and airports.

Chairman, Regional Development Council and former president of PHDCCI Ashok Khanna shared the agenda of regional development with the concept of Northern India Common Economy (NICE) coined by PHDCCI. He sought the CM’s support in implementing the recommendations made by PHDCCI.

Chairman, Hero Group, O P Munjal; former president, PHDCCI, Vineet Virmani; chairman and MD, GNA Group of Industries, Gursharan Singh; and P D Sharma of Apex Chamber of Commerce, Ludhiana were present on the occasion.



Kalia rules out review of ward delimitation
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
The minister for industries and local bodies, Manoranjan Kalia, today said there would be no review of the delimitation of Municipal wards. He said, although a number of objections had been raised after the delimitation, it was not possible now to review these.

Talking to The Tribune here today, the minister said, the elections to the five municipal corporations of Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Amritsar and Bathinda would be held in July. He said, there would be no change in the delimitation of wards. He observed, “it is quite unlikely that everybody would be pleased with the delimitation”.

However, he clarified that there were no political motives in the delimitation as even all leaders of the ruling alliance were not happy with it.

The minister also claimed that investments worth Rs 10,000 crore only had come to Punjab during the previous Congress regime against the claims of Rs1,00,000 crore. He also announced that the state government was seeking the help of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) for formulating the new industrial policy.

The minister claimed that after going through the industrial projects claimed to have been brought to the state during the previous regime he found that the investments were to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore only. He said, he had enough records with him to prove his claim. He alleged, the previous regime had created a false hype about investment worth Rs 1,00,000 crore coming to the state.

Had that been the case, he argued, then it would have been obvious. “Where has so much of investment gone?”, he asked, while trying to reinforce his point that the previous regime had lied about such massive investments.

On the industrial policy, the minister said, the state government had approached the UNIDO for guidance. He said, Gujarat and Orissa governments had also taken the help of the UNIDO and it had worked very well there. Since it is a UN agency it takes into account all aspects regarding the industrial development and has been invariably successful.

He also announced that all industrial focal points in the state had been handed over to the municipal bodies for civic management. He said, a special fund of Rs 45 crore had been granted to these bodies for this purpose.



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