L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Unsafe, pulled down
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
A demolition squad of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation today pulled down an unsafe building in the Malli Ganj area.

The building belonged to Ashok Thapar and was rented to Kewal Krishan. Both were fighting a battle in a court.

The MC had declared the building unsafe many years ago.

According to Thapar, the court had recently directed the MC to deal with the case of the building as per the law. So a team of the MC led by SE Arun Kumar demolished the building.

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Dead woman executes sale deed!
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
A dead woman sold her house in the Kundan Puri area four years after her death if a sale deed executed by her in the presence of a former sub-registrar is to be believed.

The woman, Sheela Rani, died on June 28, 1976, and her death was registered with the Registrar of Birth and Death on July 12 that year. Shockingly, another woman, identified as Sheela Devi by lambardar Sujan Singh executed the sale deed of her house on September 12, 1980, and transferred the house in the name of Nand Kishore.

Sheela’s son, Sunil Kapoor, came to know of the fraud many years later and since then he is making rounds of the police to register a case against the accused.

Sunil has been carrying a file with him having the death certificate of his mother and a copy of sale deed executed by his mother.

He claimed that the woman, Parkash Rani, who was identified as Sheela by the lambardar was known to his brother and was living in that house only. But the family did not come to know that she in connivance with Nand Kishore, Kewal Krishan and lambardar Sujan Singh committed a fraud.

“I have been running after the police explaining this fact to them that when my mother died in 1976, how could she sell her house in 1980. This is such a blatant case of fraud but none of the police officials have registered a case against the accused. Instead whenever I go to the police station, they misbehave with me,” rued Sunil.

He added that he had even shown the signatures of his mother that did not match with the ones on the sale deed. “The accused did not care about the law of the land. They kept on claiming that my mother had given the house to them as a gift. When I asked them to show the papers, they showed me the sale deed. Initially I was also taken a back but when I saw the date everything was clear to me.”

He pointed that the police keeps telling him that it was a matter of a civil suit. “But it is a matter of fraud. Then why the police cannot book these people under appropriate sections?” asked Sunil.

Sources in the revenue department said lambardar Sujan Singh of Taraf Saidan village had also died years ago. So, no inquiry could be done on him.

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Now, get your complaint redressed on priority
State govt to set up grievance redressal panels
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
For early redressal of complaints, the state government has set a criterion to set up redressal grievances committees in each district and sub-division. Now you can address the problems and complaints to the redressal committee.

The committee members will work as mediators between the public and the government. They will be given the right to look into the complaints against government officials and agencies.

The sub-divisional magistrate will be the chairman of the committee. While the deputy superintendent of police will be it’s member and tehsildar as member secretary representing the government.

The non-government members of the committees include one political leader nominated by each party. Other members will represent categories like freedom fighters, ex-servicemen, Scheduled Castes and backward classes, youth wing, etc. One woman representative will also be nominated.

The common man can lodge their complaint with any of the committee members. Besides listening to people’s complaints patiently, the members will also make a note of the common problems and complaints against the police officials.

Though the term for the nominated non-government representatives will be for three years, the government has every right to terminate the term, if needed.

The committee will be convening its monthly meeting before 10th of every month.

After discussing the complaints in detail, the complaints will be forwarded to the deputy commissioner concerned.

According to sources, the committees will look into the transparency of work. They will make it sure that government officials don’t misuse their powers.

It has also been directed that if complaints were not settled in two months, the cases will be forwarded to the ministers and the departments concerned.

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Koom Kalan mosque back with Muslims after 60 years
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Koom Kalan Khurd (Ludhiana), July 5
It is after 60 long years that the azan (the call to Muslims for prayers) has started reverberating in the skies of this small hamlet. The doors of the mosque were opened after it was handed over to the Al Habib Charitable Trust on June 25 by local residents led by sarpanch Karnail Singh Kelly.

The mosque was opened in the presence of the trust members, who included Atiq-ur-Rehman, Mohammad Usman and Mufti Jamaludin, besides villagers led by the sarpanch. Although there are no Punjabi Muslims living in the village now, there are quite a number of others who have come here from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar as labourers. They have now started offering five-time prayers in the mosque regularly.

The village had a sizeable population of Muslims till 1947. The entire population migrated to Pakistan after Partition. The mosque was converted into a gurdwara by the people who had migrated here from Pakistan. It was used as a gurdwara till 1971 when the locals constructed a new gurdwara there. Since then, the mosque had remained closed.

However, recently sarpanch Kelly, who is also the organising secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, decided to return the mosque to the Muslim community as a goodwill gesture. He told The Tribune most of the village population was born much after Partition and there was no bitterness among them.

Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Sani, Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid, said it was a great gesture on the part of the majority community. He said there were so many mosques in Punjab which were still closed. He hoped that these would also be returned to the community the way Koom Kalan mosque was handed over to them.

He claimed that there were about 25,000 mosques in the united Punjab (Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh) at the time of Partition. Most of these were closed or converted into temples or gurdwaras. However, over a period of time, about 4,000 mosques had been opened and returned to the community. The Jama Masjid of Ludhiana was also returned to the Muslims at the behest of Pt Jawaharlal Nehru.

Expressing gratitude to the Sikh community, the Maulana said it would go a long way in consolidating the mutual ties between the communities.

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Monsoon Blues
Dress right this season
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
Confused on what to wear on a rainy day? With the monsoon setting in, selecting a dress that doesn’t get spoilt or look awful after you get drenched in the rain bothers many people. A seminar was organised in this regard here recently.

At the seminar, Satnam Dhillon of the Department of Clothing and Textiles, PAU, said one should wear light or medium weight fabric than pure cotton in this season.

“It dries easily and catches fewer stains as compared to cotton. Though synthetics are easier to manage, they are not skin-friendly and can cause allergies or skin ailments,” he pointed out.

Guiding on the colours to be worn during the monsoon, Dhillon said though all colours look pretty in this weather, people should opt for bright colours than dull.

Neelam Grewal, head of the department, observed that one had to be careful not only with materials, colours or embellishments but also with the dress designs. She opined that people should avoid wearing figure-clinging outfits and transparent clothes throughout the rainy season. One should be careful while selecting accessories, especially the footwear with the dress, she added.

Nowadays, fancy water-friendly accessories are also available, so take your pick accordingly, suggested Grewal.

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Intoxicants seized
Crackdown on chemist shops
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
In a massive crackdown against chemists selling medicines used as intoxicants, the local police and the state drug controller department raided 40 shops in selected areas of the city today.

Drug inspectors from five districts and a heavy posse of police struck about noon at the Kakowal, Samrala, Tajpur,Shimla Puri, Model Town, Haibowal, Meharbaan roads on the basis of information that medicines used as drugs or intoxicants by the people of all ages were being sold at these shops.

Chemists at the Kakowal, Tajpur and Meharbaan roads ran away after locking their shops when the joint team struck.

SSP R.K.Jaiswal and SP (Detective) Gurpreet Singh said the drug control department was preparing an inventory of the seized drugs. They said the chemists should not sale a number of medicines like phensydryl without proper prescription as it were being misused as intoxicant.

They said the police all over the state was cracking down on drugs like poppy husk and opium. The local police had taken the lead over others in cracking down on the illegal sale of such intoxicants, which were being widely used by the youth and even adolescents.

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Chhabils on highways 
No forcible stopping of vehicles, say intellectuals 
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 5
Gory incident in which six persons, including four children, were crushed to death by a speeding truck at Sayana village on Sunday has set off a debate on the practice of organising chhabils and langars on highways and roads.

While a few intellectuals feels that perhaps Punjab is the only state where people forcibly stop you, not to harm but to make you eat and drink which can sometimes go beyond your capacity; others maintain that younger generation has become mechanical and stopped respecting the institute of langar and chhabil.

However, most of them are of the view that organisers of langars and chhabils should not forcibly stop passersby and make them eat and drink without need.

Ludhiana Tribune found out that a large numbers of langars, organised along the route of various nagar kirtans and other religious processions, besides reflecting the devotion of Punjabis in general and Sikhs in particular, had darkened the future of many families.

Residents of Gujjarwal village here had to reserve their comments after they lost one of their senior citizens and former state-level kabbaddi player Jaswinder Singh at one such langar two years ago. Jaswinder Singh, who worked as a PRTC bus driver at Chandigarh depot was allegedly stopped and mercilessly thrashed by sevadars at a langar organised at Salani village near Amloh in December, 2004. On that fatal day he was going to Malerkotla. The bus conductor averted a major tragedy as Jaswinder Singh had succumbed to injuries while on wheals and the alert conductor had save the bus from dashing into a tree.

Money, a four-year-old child was crushed to death by a bus at a chhabil at Mandiani village in the district last year. He had reportedly come to the chhabil for drinking sweetened water but lost his life for nothing.

Chairman of the Global Punjab Foundations Harjinder Pal Singh Walia said the attitude of sevadars at most of the langars and chhabils had drastically changed during past decades. Instead of politely requesting the occupants of the vehicles to stop for partaking langar and sweetened water, groups of youngsters usually equipped with lathis and sticks block the road and forcibly stop every vehicle and make them “relish” the preparations which they do not need.

“The Sayan tragedy also seems to be outcome of negligence on the part of the truck driver as well as organizers. Had organisers chosen a place slightly away from the main road the tragedy could have been averted,” argued Walia while asserting that drivers usually get irritated on being frequently stopped on highways.

Municipal council’s vice-president Jagwant Singh Jaggie and SAD general secretary Kuldip Singh Karwal on the other hand alleged that the younger generation had become mechanical and stopped respecting the institute of langar and chhabil. “Though we understand the problems of long distance drivers, they should also respect the sentiments of organizers and volunteers,” argued Jaggie and Karwal.

Jagdev Singh Ghaloti suggested that social and religious organizations of a particular area should coordinate with each other and plan langars and chhabils in sequence to avoid such situations.

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Martyrdom Day of Maharaj Singh
Government accused of hijacking function 
Our Correspondent

Uchi Rabo (Mandi Ahmedgarh), July 5
Office-bearers and members of the Baba Maharaj Singh Yadgari Committee, the host of annual martyrdom day function of the first-known martyr of the freedom movement, were disappointed over the role played by senior SAD leaders who according to them had ‘hijacked’ the event to gain political mileage out of it instead of paying tributes to the martyr. What to talk of accepting their demands they were not allowed to read out the charter of demands on the stage.

While talking to the Ludhiana Tribune after the function organised to observe the martyrdom day of Baba Maharaj Singh, the office- bearers of the committee alleged that the administration had hurt the sentiments of admirers of the martyr by not letting them remind the Chief Minister of the demands that were accepted between 1998 and 2001.

“Though, committee’s executive member Darshan Singh was supposed to read the charter of demands in the presence of the Chief Minister he was not allowed to do. But, leaders in order to harness political mileage out of the function continued speaking unnecessarily,” rued Sinder Singh and Pyara Singh, president and secretary of the committee, respectively. Accusing the governments of ignoring their demands Pyara Singh alleged that none of the demands accepted by Parkash Singh Badal were fulfilled.

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Embroidery centre opened

Khamano, July 5
An embroidery centre for girls has been opened at Ria village, near Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sports Club, with the help of Vehar Yuva Kendar, Fatehgarh Sahib.

While inaugurating the centre, Paramjit Singh, youth coordinator of the club, gave information about the importance of embroidery for married girls for being self-dependent. Apart from girls of Ria village, many girls of nearby village have also taken admission in this centre.

Club president Iqbal Singh in his address appealed to the girls to get benefit from the centre for their better future. — TNS

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Programme on yoga 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana July 5
A programme on yoga, including meditation, was conducted at Nirvana Club here from July 2 to 5. Prof Ranjit Singh Bhogal, principal, Kaivalyadhama, Pune, conducted the programme.

In the programme, techniques of yoga, as per Gitanjali Yog Sansthan as well as techniques of meditation were explained and practised on July 3 and 4.

S.R. Mittal, naturopath, explained certain aspects of science of naturopathy that helped people keeping healthy and happy.

Mittal gave simple tips on longevity of life with good health, free from stress and strain. A presentation on science of naturopathy was made to officers getting training at Punjab National Bank where in benefits of nature cure were explained by experts.

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At the Crossroads
Novel bares trauma of kidney patient

Like a recluse he had distanced himself, after retirement, from the hustle and bustle of life and devoted himself fully to creative writing. It seemed as if he wanted to share with the readers his observations without any loss of time. In 1977 he had published his first novel “Fire in the cupboard” in which he had depicted disillusionment born out of clash between generations because of their lifestyles. In 1989 his second novel “The Forbidden Smile”, wherein he had described the trauma of a young man who had undergone kidney transplant, was received in the literary circles with high hopes. He did not, of course, belie the expectations of his readers.

M.L. Sood retired in 1993 from the Postgraduate Department of Mathematics, Government College,Ludhiana. He had earned fame in his subject with the book on quantum theory that dealt with fundamental particles. But, the creative urge in him manifested itself in more fictional works. His novel “Somewhere to Go” (2000) depicts the story of an attractive teenage Dalit girl who has been employed as a housemaid. With the passage of time, she feels that she has no identity of her own. She longs for a place which she can call her own. As she attains puberty, her longing for a companion become acute. But she meets the fate that is generally portioned out to the lower strata of society. She finds herself to the wife of an already married middle-aged man.

Born in 1935 at Sidhwan Dona (Kapurthala), Sood did his schooling and college from Ludhiana. Later, he made this city his home. His untimely death on 16 June, 2007, has plunged his relatives and admirers into grief. He has left behind his wife Urmil Sood, who is principal of Guru Nanak Model Senior Secondary School, Doraha. His daughter, Bindu, a postgraduate in English literature, is teaching English as a second subject in an educational institution at Fairfax County in Virginia. Rajiv, her husband, is a computer consultant of repute in Washington D.C. The loss of this novelist was mourned on 27 June in a public gathering where glowing tributes were paid to him by his colleagues and men of letters.

On this occasion, his novel “Contours of Passion” (2007) was released. Incidentally, he has dedicated this novel to his granddaughters, Zina and Shivon, with the prophetic words -' Lest we forget'. The novel revolves around a retired banker, Shekhar, who finds life miserable after the demise of his wife. His son and daughter have already been married off and well settled in life. He takes another plunge into matrimony to ward off the blues. Shortly afterwards his son and daughter-in-law come to live with him as the change in profession brings them to hometown. The young couple finds it unpalatable to see an elderly person at home seeking pleasure in the company of a woman, not their mother. Thereafter originate cold vibes between them that ultimately lead to the conflict with an impulse to lead a comfortable life.

Not long ago I had a tęte-ŕ-tęte with M.L. Sood regarding his involvement in literature. In an unassuming manner, he said -“I know Punjabi and Hindi but I can express myself in English only. In fact, I was drawn to fiction quite early in life. I did not, however, find my teaching career at variance with my interest in music, art and literature. In the days gone by, I used to play violin with gusto. Gradually the novels of V.S. Naipaul inspired me to write directly in English. His lucid style and the choice of words left an indelible impression on my mind. I am also an ardent admirer of Vikram Seth and Amitav Ghosh. Indeed, I have been all along an avid reader of Indian English novel.”

— N.S. Tasneem 

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‘High spending attracts exhibitors to city’

Ludhiana, July 5
An increased spending power and even more than that the willingness to shell out money is attracting exhibitors from national and international levels to the city. These exhibitors also see Ludhiana as a gateway to the region so far as marketing and popularising their products are concerned.

Director of International Trade and Exhibitions Private Limited Kiran Sharma says city residents are quite open to not just spending but also accepting international trends.

“People here are quite receptive that is why even when it comes to shopping for weddings they are opting for not just traditional but also western wear. The spending capacity, of course, is the key advantage,” she says.

The company that has been into this business for over 15 years is organising an exhibition here shortly.

“We noticed that people from Punjab, particularly Ludhiana, evincing keen interest in buying goods from exhibitions,” she says.

The company has conducted various jewellery exhibitions abroad as well. — TNS

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