L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Day Two
Students block rail, road traffic
3 trains delayed; stir called off after assurance
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
Continuing with their protests against ‘‘callous PCR cops’’, who did not treat the body of an accident victim student with dignity, students of Central Tool Room, along with activists of various students unions, blocked road and railway traffic near Giaspura. As a result, Malwa Express, Flying Mail and Howrah Mail hab been delayed for two hours in today.

Satvir Singh had died in an accident on Tuesday and his body had been lying on the G.T. Road near Giaspura for three hours.

The students alleged that the cops on duty did not allow him to be shifted to a hospital.

Though the police had arrested the driver, Swaran Singh, of the tanker that had hit Satvir and had announced the suspension of two PCR cops, the students blocked railway traffic and even the road at Giaspura.

Vishawajit Singh, a student leader, argued that the police had made a hit-and-run case against the driver while he should be been booked for causing death due to negligence.

He added that the police had even allowed the transporter party to remove the container from the truck while they did not allow anybody to lift Satvir.

He said they had held a meeting at Focal Point police station in the morning but it had remained inconclusive. The dharna was lifted after the police assured the students that their demands would be met with.

Snarls of heavy vehicles could be seen on the GT Road due to the blockade. The police had to divert it from Sherpur Chowk on one end and Dhandari overbridge on the other.

Not only the commuters were inconveniened, but also railway passengers too had to wait at Dhandari and Ludhiana railway stations for more than two hours. Commuters had to travel a long distance to reach their destination.

Vishwajit said they had called off the protests today after assurances by the police.

He added that they did not want to cause inconvenience to train passengers and had stopped a goods train only. They did not know that passengers were also affected.

DSP Harmohan Singh said they had ordered the suspension of two PCR cops. The police was in the process of identifying them as six PCR cops were on duty from that police station every night.



Martyr’s Centenary
Long queues greet march
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
A contingent of 100 youths, dressed as Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, perched atop a decorated jeep and three buses left for Amritsar from the Jagraon bridge here today to take part in the birth centenary celebrations of the martyr at Jallianwala Bagh.

Minister Hira Singh Gabria and DC Sumer Singh Gurjar flagged off the procession.

Functions were held at three places, including the ancestral house of Shaheed Sukhdev, at Naughara Mohalla, Sarabha village of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha and at Bhiani Sahib.

At Naughara, the function was presided over by Gabria, at Sarabha by former minister Jagdish Singh Garcha and at Bhiani Sahib Surinder Singh Namdhari.

School students presented patriotic songs and freedom fighters of the area paid tributes to the martyrs. At the Jagraon bridge three youths holding a torch along with 10 others led the procession in an open jeep.

It was an emotive scene, charged with patriotic fervour. Thousands of school students and people stood on both sides of roads, welcoming the procession with slogans of “Shaheed-e- Azam Bhagat Singh amar rahe."

The procession was also given a rousing welcome at all villages and towns located on the road. Village panchayats and municipal councils had erected welcome archs and put up banners to welcome the procession.



Paddy Lifting
Farmers opt for private agencies
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Khanna, September 27
With the commencement of paddy procurement by government agency, discontent gripped farmer who either expressed reluctance or simply refused to sell their produce to the government agencies given the fact that private players were still paying more than the MSP fixed by the government.

The first day of procurement was dominated by private traders who bought paddy at Rs 720 to Rs 750 per quintal. They bagged the lion's share of the total paddy that was traded at the grain market. Though the government agencies bought around 750 quintals of paddy yesterday, the private players purchased more than 5,500 quintals of paddy.

Jagtar Singh, who came here with three trucks loaded with paddy, said the sheller owners and other traders were offering Rs 745 to Rs 748 per quintal. He stated that till private traders were in the game, he would not sell his produce to any government agency.

The farmer kept on reiterating the demand for a substantial increase in the MSP being offered by the government. Nijjar Singh of Khanna said farmers, who would not be able sell their produce to the private traders, would feel cheated by the government, which would be buying the produce at a lesser rate of Rs 675 per quintal.

Meanwhile, paddy arrival in the grain market picked up momentum with a large number of farmers bringing in their produce for marketing. Till yesterday a total arrival of 45,760 quintals of paddy was registered here.

Market sources said though the government agencies did not buy much paddy, procurement by these agencies was likely to increase in the days to come. As of now, the Warehouse Corporation bought 150 quintals, Markfed bought 300 quintals, Punsup purchased 150 quintals and Pungrain procured 200 quintals of paddy. The Food Corporation of India and the Punjab Agro are yet to start procurement process.



Gurdwara on Mission Green
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
In order to preserve the green environment and encourage the plantation of trees, the Gurdwara Shaheedan, here has started serving plant saplings in place of “prasad”. The practice finds favour among devotees and more people come to the gurdwara for saplings.

President of the gurdwara Balwinder Singh Lyalpuri said the plants would be served during the seasons when these could be planted. He said the idea struck him as he himself felt that something must be done to help preserving the environment. He disclosed that he discussed the idea with some religious scholars who welcomed it.

Lyalpuri pointed out that people hold the “prasad” in highest respect and they would do everything to preserve it and ensure it grows.

He said although plants were held sacred according to the tradition, but a plant served as “prasad” would have a different sanctity. It would be ensured that it grew to its full length.

He inherited the headship of the gurdwara from his father Kishen Singh Lyalpuri, who passed away recently. He said his father was also a great lover of trees and he would always ensure that trees were planted in any piece of land.

The young president of the gurdwara said the practice would continue now for good. It was about two weeks since he first started serving plants as “prasad”.

Gursharan Singh a devotee, said initially he felt the idea "very strange". But later he realised that it was a brilliant thing to be done. He pointed out that while the usual “prasad” was consumed at the same time, the "prasad" would remain there for always and it keep on growing. "A tree planted as a ‘prasad’ will always have the holi ambience around it", he observed, while pointing out even Gurbani preaches planting of trees.

Lyalpuri said he had been receiving messages from people congratulating him for floating this idea as this would certainly help to a large extent in preserving and safeguarding the environment, particularly in the urban areas where the greenery was vanishing.

Plants of all types are offered in “prasad”, including those which can be grown in the flower pots to suit the convenience of those who do not have land for growing big trees.



Wax sculpture of martyr unveiled
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Youth start their journey towards Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar while carrying a tourch in front of martyrs’ statue in Ludhiana on Thursday.
Youth start their journey towards Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar while carrying a tourch in front of martyrs’ statue in Ludhiana on Thursday. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, September 27
If sculptures could be brought to life it would be his latest one that city resident Chander Shekhar Prabhakar would have chosen. For, this wax statue is not just an addition to his previous creations, it is a tribute that the patriot in him wants to pay to the great freedom struggle hero Shaheed Bhagat Singh.

To Prabhakar, a senior citizen engaged in the art of making wax statues, Bhagat Singh has always been an inspiration and as the completion of this statue, that took an effort of 3 months, coincides with 100th birth anniversary of the freedom fighter, Shekhar feels proud of his art.

“My father was a freedom fighter which increased the intensity of my feelings of respect towards those who were a part of the struggle. Bhagat Singh has always fascinated me and through this creation I want to pay my tributes to the great hero,” he said.

It was a visit to Madam Tussaud’s museum in year 2001 that made him enter into this art. “When they expressed their inability to open another museum in India, I decided to go ahead and make such statues myself.”

He taught himself and his more than 20 creations include statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, former President Kalam and several others. For Prabhakar, work is a hobby for which he charges nothing. Many statues created by him can be seen at the Hardy’s World here.



Gift to Ludhianvis on Bhagat Singh’s birth anniversary
Picture of noose that he kissed released
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
In the euphoria surrounding the birth centenary celebrations of Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, a city-based Ayurveda practitioner has claimed that he is the proud possessor of a rare picture of gallows that were kissed by the martyr and his two comrades in Lahore in 1931.

Dr Ravinder Kumar Vatsayan wants to share the picture with Ludhianvis on the hundredth birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh. The gallows, which were a part of Lahore Central Jail, where the trio were kept before execution, were demolished by the Pakistan government in 1965.

The picture, in possession of Dr Vatsayan, is a part of an Urdu book Pass-e-Diwar-e-Zindaan (meaning-behind the walls of prison), penned by Agha Hassan Shorish Kashmiri, a Pakistani writer that was bought by this city resident during his visit to Lahore in 1994.

‘‘I wish that every Indian has a look at the picture of the scaffold. Had it been there today, it would surely have been a mecca of Indian patriots, ’’ says Dr Vatsayan.

Reading out the caption of the picture in Urdu, Dr Vatsayan said the picture was clicked by the author after the martyrs were executed.

‘‘I somehow went to meet the author during my visit to Lahore and I came across this book that would be of immense interest to every Indian. When I read it I was astonished to see the picture in black and white. The martyr had kissed these for our country. The very look at it is enough to shake every Indian and fill him with a sense of gratitude for these martyrs, ’’ he added.

Recalling the days after the Independence, Dr Vatsayan said he was quite young when the issue of demolition of Lahore Central Jail had cropped up in 1965. There were protests from this side of the border and even the Indian government had taken up the matter with Pakistan urging upon its government not to raze the structure that could have been a national monument for India.

As Dr Vatsayan narrates the event, one is reminded of noted writer Kuldip Nayar's lines in his book ‘‘The Martyr’’ when he writes, ‘‘There is no arch, no plaque, not even a stone in Pakistan to commemorate the execution of Bhagat Singh and his two comrades. Lahore Central Jail, where the three revolutionaries were hanged on March 23, 1931, has been demolished. Their cells have been razed to the ground as if the establishment did not want any sign of their execution to remain.’’

He adds that after demolition a residential-cum-commercial complex-Shadman (meaning Abode of Happiness) was constructed in its place and a round about in place of the scaffold.



Procession welcomed
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 27
A large number of people and the students from various schools today received and welcomed the procession taken out in the memory of Shaheed-e-Azam, Bhagat Singh, on Ludhiana- Moga G.T. Road, near the office of the local SDM. On its way from Ludhiana to Amritsar, it passed through the town on the occasion of national-level birth centenary samaroh, which is being celebrated at Amritsar on September 28.

The students raised slogans of “Shaheed Bhagat Singh Amar Rahe”. This procession was led by three youths in the guise of Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru and Sukhdev, who were garlanded by Gurdip Singh Bhaini, MLA (Congress), Bhag Singh Malah, former MLA (SAD). Rajinder Oberai, tehsildar, Jagraon, received and welcomed the procession on behalf of the local administrative. Later the procession left for Amritsar.



Front to pay tribute at Hussainiwala
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 27
Accusing major parties of exploiting the birth centenary celebations of Shaheed Bhagat Singh for harnessing political mileage, the Republic Democratic Front has urged the leaders of social and non-political organisations to reach Hussainiwala to pay tributes to the martyr at a function being organised by the front.

Karam Singh Deol, joint secretary of the front, was talking to Ludhiana Tribune after flagging off a jatha to Hussaniwala here today.



Strike by SBI banks

Samrala, September 27
The associate banks of State Bank of India observed one-day strike against merger of the banks. The strike call was given by the All India Bank Employees Association. The State Bank of Patiala, Samrala branch, observed one-day strike here today. The functions of the branch were disrupted and the public faced inconvenience.

More strike calls will be given if the government does not stop from further merger of their associate banks, said Com J P Singh, zonal secretary of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation. — OC



Demand for IIT, IIM in state
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
The Welfare Society for Engineers, Scientists and Managers (WSESM) held a meeting today at Chandigarh road which was chaired by Deepak Narula.

The society discussed on many technical and social issues like reservation, outsourcing policy, salary structure in private and public sector, etc. General secretary Vikram Pustake stated that even a small state like Kerala was also having an REC, IIT and IIM. UP was having three IITs and one IIM institute. But there was no IIM or IIT in Punjab or even in neighbouring state like Haryana.

The members felt that these colleges were the need of the hour in this competitive era for providing better education. The society leaders also said they had requested the Punjab Chief Minister to highlight this matter before the HRD Ministry.

The members also condemned the working outsourced policies adopted by the private sector. "They are using the highly educated person as labour. There should be a policy in the private sector", said Narula.

The members were of the view though reservation was a good option, it did not mean that merit should be compromised in it. There was a need to redefine the reservation.



Patwaris stage demonstration
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
Members of the Revenue Patwar Association, Ludhiana, today staged a demonstration in support of their demands. These include promotion as kanungos and other pending incentives promised from time to time.

Darshan Kumar Sharma, a spokesman of the association, said the government was sitting over their demands for a long time. They alleged there was too much stagnation and they did not get any promotion for years.

They appealed to the government to consider their demands on a priority basis failing which they would be "forced to intensify" their strike.



Manish Tewari felicitated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
Several local Congress workers and leaders today felicitated Manish Tewari for being appointed the secretary of the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) for the third time.

Addressing a function, Tewari expressed gratitude to the workers and leaders of Ludhiana for reposing trust in him. He said he would continue to come up to the expectations of the people who voted and supported him. He said as promised he had maintained a regular rapport with the people of Ludhiana even when he had not managed to win the parliamentary election from here.



City resident wins Rs 50,000 in lucky draw
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
Suman Garg, a city resident, was declared lucky winner of a draw by Maspar here today. Rajesh Mahajan, company’s CEO, presented Rs 50,000 worth company’s merchandise to the winner.

Talking to mediapersons, Mahajan said the company was adding more stores in Punjab. "We will soon come up with a store in a mall in Zirakpur. "

Talking about organised retail, Mahajan said:"The segment has high potential that is still untapped. An increasing number of companies are focusing on home furnishings and the phenomenon is not restricted to India, it is worldwide.

Earlier it was the business of apparels, now it is home furnishings that will witness record growth."



Couple pledges to donate their bodies
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 27
Sarbjit Singh and his wife Paramjit Kaur of Shakti Nagar, Jagraon, today pledged to donate their bodies after death for the purpose of carrying experiments by the medical students.

The duly sworn affidavit to this effect was handed over by the couple to Rajinder Oberai, tehsildar, Jagraon, at the time when a procession in the memory of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, passed through this town. Paying rich tributes to Shaheed Bhagat Singh, the couple, who both are government school teachers, pledged and desired that their bodies after death should be handed over to CMCH, Ludhiana, so that their eyes, kidneys and vital organs could be transplanted in the bodies of the needy persons and further the experiments could be carried out.

Stating the intention, they attributed the duty to their only daughter Parbhjot Kaur of informing about their death to the concerned authority with in one hour of their respective death. 



PF office launches campaign
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
The office of the regional provident fund commissioner has started a special campaign to distribute blank social security numbers (SSN) and business numbers (BN) here.

Regional provident fund commissioner A.K. Lal said the employers who were not able to collect their forms last week could still collect the same before September 28. “It is a time-bound programme and employers have to furnish information and fill forms without any delay, ” he added.

He said the culmination of “Re-Inventing EPF India” campaign would benefit subscribers and employers. Under the new regime, subscribers would be allotted a unique SSN which would remain unchanged during their entire service span.



Bar discusses creation of new district
Our Correspondent

Samrala, September 27
The local bar association met under the chairmanship of its president Uttam Chand for discussing the news item that was published in Ludhiana Tribune regarding the proposed creation of a new district within Ludhiana district. Talking to mediapersons at the local civil rest house, association’s secretary Gaurav Chopra said all bar members were of the view that Samrala being the oldest subdivision of Ludhiana district deserves to be made a district headquarters. Moreover, the land is available for constructing necessary infrastructure for district headquarters, he added.

Chopra also said, “The town is situated on two important highways one leading to Chandigarh and the other from the GT Road, Khanna, to Jalandhar. It has also been decided that local Akali MLA Jagjeewan Singh Kheernian and others be urged to take up the matter with the government and to strongly put up their case in favour of Samrala. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal during electioneering had promised to make Samrala a district.



Jobless to get work as per skill: Shergil
Our Correspondent

Mandi gobindgarh, September 27
Additional deputy commissioner (development), Fathegarh Sahib, Balwant Singh Shergil, while talking to mediapersons at Desh Bhagat Institute here today said. “ The time has come for fulfilling the Chief Minister’s 1978 dream for controlling the unemployment in the state.”

Elaborating the plans launched by the Chief Minister at a meeting held in Chandigarh last month, Shergil said the project had been launched to enroll unemployed people between 16 and 40 years in each block at the village level and ward-wise in towns. The process will be completed by the end of the month.

He further said the unemployed people would be covered under various self-employment schemes for providing loans while others would get employment as per their skills. 



Railway platform ticket

The current outstation and railway-platform tickets are issued from the same window at Ludhiana railway station. At times, the rush of the ticket seekers is so great at the single window on the western side (rakh baag) booking office that it is extremely difficult to buy a platform ticket in order to enter the station, especially if the time at disposal is short. This way one has to go inside either without platform ticket and pay penalty, if caught by the ticket checkers, or part with at lest 20 times the value of platform ticket to grease the palm of checking staff. The revenue of the railway is thus eroded. The railway authorities are requested to solve this problem.

Dr G.S. Bahl, Ludhiana



Poland ready for joint ventures
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
Poland today invited Indian entrepreneurs to forge joint ventures and invest in that country. At a seminar organised by the Engineering Export Promotion Council, in association with Embassy of Poland, M.M. Gogia said, “Poland has high potential for joint ventures and it offers a conducive environment for doing business.”

Addressing the gathering, he said exports from India to Poland in the past three years had significantly increased. "The balance of trade is in favour of India and still there are numerous areas where associations can be made,” he added.

Among the industries that have high potential are engineering goods, chemicals and textiles.

During the session, entrepreneurs from the state described difficulties faced by them in conducting trade with Poland. They raised issues like procedural delays in getting visas, which Gogia assured to get rectified.

Among others present at the seminar were S.C. Ralhan, regional director, EEPC.



Biz Word
Anand Rathi opens branch
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
The upward trend in equity market would continue due to strong fundamentals of Indian economy. For investors, however, it would be better to stay invested and reap gains, said Pushpinder Singh, regional director, Anand Rathi Securities, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune here today.

The company opened its first branch office in Punjab in the city today. Singh said the company, which has 350 branches across the country, has aggressive expansion plans for this region. “We would open 20-25 branches within this financial year in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.”

Giving details of services, Singh added that these would include wealth management, broking, commodity broking, depository services, insurance, mutual funds distribution, internet broking and investment banking.

Regarding distribution of investments, he opined that those with high risk potential could invest as much as 50 per cent of their savings in equities. On increasing number of financial frauds and selection of brokers, he said the investors should be cautious in their selection and before trusting anyone with their money, find out the credibility of a company or person they are dealing with.



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