L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Road Rage
MLA’s son beat up father, son
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
MLA ((East) Harish Bedi’s son and his friends today allegedly beat up a man and his son and their friend at Partap Chowk this afternoon.

According to complainant Kuljit Singh, along with his father, Jatinder Singh, and their friend Banga were travelling in an Alto car when they were hit by a scooter. This led to a heated argument with the youth on the scooter.

The youth allegedly called up Bedi's son, Honey Bedi. Within a few minutes junior Bedi, accompanied by his friends, reached the accident site in his father’s official Qualis car with a red light.

Kuljit Singh alleged that Honey and his friends beat the three with lathis and damaged their car also.

They were taken to the Civil Hospital where they got their medical tests done.

They were given first-aid and discharged. SHO Mandeep Singh said they had registered a case under Sections 323,427,148 and 149 of the IPC for causing hurt, mischief and rioting.

Kuljit Singh said they informed the police which confiscated the official car of the MLA too.

Harish Bedi, when contacted, defended his son. He said:”We are representatives of the public and whenever somebody calls me or my sons, we are the first to lend help.”

He said his son got a call that there was an accident involving a scooter and a motorcycle and the victims needed help. ‘‘My son rushed to the spot with his friends to help them. How could they know that it was a case of road rage? ’’

Feigning ignorance about registration of a case, Bedi said the police would inquire into the matter. ‘‘If at all they have booked my son, we will demand an inquiry from the police into the matter.” 

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Brutal gangrape of migrant woman
Husband assaulted; couple left for dead
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
In a brutal incident reminiscent of the infamous Saavri rape case of Rajasthan, four men allegedly kidnapped and raped a low caste migrant woman, employed as a field worker after beating her husband with iron and wood rods in Cheemna village near Jagraon here last evening.

The assailants left the two presumably dead leaving a rod in the private part of the woman. Her husband tried to save her, but fell to the blows of assailants.

The accused barged into their house. When her husband tried to save her, he was assaulted.

Savita (name changed) and her husband are under treatment at the Jagraon civil hospital with doctors keeping their fingers crossed about their condition. The couple has three children, including two daughters. The children were locked in the house.

While the woman got grievous injuries on the head and private parts, the man suffered multiple fractures and injuries in the intestine.

Several hours after the incident, the couple was still in trauma and unable to relate the incident properly.

The woman shrieked at the sight of any man. She has been put on sedatives.

Harwinder Singh, a farmer, had heard their cries and rushed to find them almost dead. He and other villagers rushed them to the hospital.

SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said the assailants were yet to be identified. 

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Now, cycle-makers bank on Chinese technology
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
Alarmed by Chinese invasion on the Indian bicycle industry, manufacturers here are doing rounds of the neighbourhood country to adopt the technology being used there.

The industry finally has woken up to the jolt given by the dragon and are now making efforts importing the technology that ensures cost effectiveness. Chinese bicycles, it is estimated, have captured almost one-fifth of the total market.

“The technology being used by China is far superior to ours and it’s time that we too adopt it. Most of the machines the Chinese manufacturers are using are Taiwanese and now even China is manufacturing those machines. We have procured details of those producers and are now planning to import the machines,” said Charanjit Singh Vishwakarma of Vishwakarma Industries.

The domestic industry has been using technology that is quite old. As a result, the processes take longer and lead to an increase in cost. In comparison to that, a Chinese machinery facilitates quicker and lesser number of operations. Besides, those machines are relatively cheaper, said the industrialists.

“Declining share of Indian bicycles is alarming and we will have to emerge competitively stronger for which we are quite open to adopting new technologies. China has caused a major dent in our market share and all manufacturers, large, medium and small, have been hit,” said Varinder Kapoor of Malik Steel Industries, manufacturers of cycle bumpers.

Chinese bicycles were initially condemned for their poor quality. However, the last two years have recorded a rapid rise in the market share of Chinese bicycles.

Industry sources say that hit by the popularity of bikes from China, most of the cycle manufacturers are importing around 15-20 per cent bicycles from that country and selling them after putting their own label on it.

However, the continually declining market for domestic bicycles has alarmed the industry which is now hoping that adoption of latest technology would help them survive the stiff competition being offered by China.

Asserting on the need for innovation, experts in the industry feel that before adopting any technology, manufacturers should make an in depth study of the same instead of merely copying what China has been doing. 

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Wait for fancy vehicle numbers gets longer
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
Residents of Ludhiana will have to wait for more time to get the fancy numbers for their vehicles. So far the government has not issued the final notification for the auctioning of these numbers.

There are about 600 “special numbers” pending to be auctioned by the state transport department in Ludhiana.

Earlier, the special numbers like the single digit, double digit and fancy numbers in three and four digit series have been allotted on discretion by the authorities. But later the government decided to auction “1” number of every series. As this fetched good revenue, the government decided to auction all numbers which are in great demand.

According to Chander Gaind, district transport officer, Ludhiana, the draft notification for auctioning the “special numbers” was issued about a month ago. He said the department was awaiting the final notification so that the date and venue for the auctioning of such numbers was accordingly decided.

When the draft notification for auctioning of these numbers was issued, the PB10CA series was running. Some special numbers in the series had already been allotted while others remained pending. There are 9999 numbers in a series. After that CB series was completed, while CC is about to be completed.

However, all special numbers in these series are pending auction.

In Ludhiana, where people are crazy for fancy numbers, like they pay lakhs of rupees to get special cell numbers, it is becoming difficult for the transport authorities here to handle the inquiries. Every day they have to tell people that final notification about the auctioning of the numbers is awaited.

At the same time, the authorities appear to be happy over the development since it will end all possibilities of pressure and influence resorted to by people. Since the numbers would be publicly auctioned the highest bidder will get the number.

“Otherwise one particular number would have dozens of claimants carrying dozens of references and recommendations,” remarked an official.

Some agents would even bully their way in getting the special numbers allotted. Only a few months ago one such agent claiming proximity to a senior Akali leader held the entire DTO office to ransom as the number he wanted had already been allotted to someone else. 

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City sewers choke
Reason: Lone cleaning jet sent to CM’s village
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
The only sewer cleaning jet available with the local municipal corporation has been put into service in Lambi (Muktsar) that happens to be Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s constituency though a large number of manholes in the city are choked and overflowing.

Sources in the corporation said the machine was sent to the Chief Minister’s village as a massive cleaning process was underway there. They added that similar machines from other districts were also pressed into service.

They also said a few manual sewer cleaning machines were also sent to that village following state government’s directive. A few councillors in the city had been crying hoarse for getting the manholes cleaned for the past one month but they had been told about the non-availability of machine.

‘‘I have been requesting civic authorities to send the machine to my area but to no avail. After I enquired from a few officials they told me that the machine has been sent to Badal’s village so I kept on waiting, ’’ said Gurpreet Singh Gogi, councillor of ward No. 43.

Vikas Partap,commissioner, was not available for comment. Another civic official confirmed that a few machines were sent to Muktsar district following orders by the state government. 

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Protesters love Ghanta Ghar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
The historic Ghanta Ghat area, which saw the freedom struggle and development of the city, has become the favourite place for burning effigies of ministers, political leaders, governments and even political parties.

Almost everyday protesters burn effigies to lodge their protest over some issue in the middle of the road near Ghanta Ghar. In the process, they cause inconvenience to several commuters, besides degenerating the environment due to smoke.

Over the years, Ghanta Ghar has seen the burning of effigies of hundreds of big wigs no matter if it was of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden or even President of the USA George Bush. Effigies of AICC president Sonia Gandhi and several other leaders have been burnt off and on.

The protesters give a tough time to shopkeepers, commuters as well as the police, who have to clear the jam and the mess thus created.

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PAUTA against move to sell land
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
The Punjab Agricultural University Teachers Association (PAUTA) has condemned the state government’s suggestion to PAU authorities for generating their own resources by selling or giving on lease the 1-km land on the Ferozpur Road, which was lying vacant for the past many years. The teaching fraternity said this was not an appropriate decision for taking the university out of the severe financial crisis. They feel that the government, instead of extending a helping hand, had left the university to suffer alone in bad times and they will resist this move.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, PAUTA President M.S.Mahal said though the value of that land must be in crores but why should one should sell the prime land for commercial purposes? “The land is between gate Nos. 1 and 2 (GADVASU and PAU). This can be used for various other university projects and research work. Since the vice-chancellor is away for a few days, we will talk to him once he returns. We will resist the move to sell the land”, he said.

Another senior faculty member said the university had played a major role in bringing Green Revolution in the region. “If it kept on selling or giving out the land on lease, there will be no scope for further expansion. The state government should come forward to save it from severe financial crunch", he added.

The faculty also condemned the state government’s decision of opening a new Central university in the state. They feel that since Punjab was an agricultural state and its income largely depends on agriculture, the state government should ask the Central government to provide it (PAU) a better status. "Instead of opening a new university, PAU should be revived. If it gets the Central status, the state government will also be in gains by saving a lot of grant as the university will start getting fresh grants from the Central government", said Mahal adding that they will again take up the matter with the state government.

He said the PAUTA delegation had met the Chief Minister recently. "May be because due to the lack of communication and time constraints, we were not able to put the case well. We will again try to make the higher authorities understand to get the Central university status it”, said Mahal.

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At the Crossroads
Pioneering steps for cultural renaissance
N.S. Tasneem

Over the years, Manveen Kaur Sandhu has stepped into limelight as an exponent of Punjabi heritage and promoter of Punjabi culture. Her intellectual involvements in highlighting Punjab's historical perspectives and her emotional response to the rhythm of life in the present age have brought about the flowering of her genius. Folklore, folk songs, light classical music and Sufi poetry hold a sway over her mind and she is swept off her feet in the presence of fine arts, particularly painting, calligraphy and clay-modelling. Beauty casts a spell on her mind as she recognises in its folds the hidden forms of goodness and truth. Her confidence is stimulating and her resolve unshakable. Primarily, she is an educationist who is all the time concerned with the aspirations of the young minds.

She was born in Jalandhar where her father Gurinderjit Singh Bhinder had been employed as superintendent of Central Jail. But she received her education in Ludhiana in such institutions as Sacred Heart Convent School, Govt. College for Women and Govt. College (Boys). She stood second in Panjab University in her MA in economics held in 1982 when she was hardly 20 years old.

Shortly afterwards, she joined Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Model Town, Ludhiana, as lecturer with the sole aim of competing for IAS in the coming years.

Destiny had, however, chalked out a different career for her. She was married in the family of educationists who had established in Amritsar Spring Dale Senior School, a haven for the young scholars. With the passage of time, she took charge of the institution as its principal. Her husband, Dr Shivinder Singh Sandhu, a renowned orthopaedic surgeon, recognised in her a visionary who had innate qualities of leadership and enterprise. As a result, she tiptoed on the stage of life like a ballerina.

Spicmacay introduced her to the cultural scenario of North India. Shortly afterwards she organised numerous shows of dance, drama and music in the major cities of Punjab, besides other states.

It was indeed a movement that ushered in cultural renaissance in Punjab. Again, the targets were educational institutions - schools, colleges and universities. The message that went through was - 'Not mere bookish knowledge but development of balanced personality is the motto.'

She believed that revival of folk motifs is essential to link the past with the present. Legendary figures and historical personages could also help in boosting among the younger generation the spirit of affinity and kinship. As the co-director of Punarjyot, she aims at broadening the horizon of the human mind for better understanding, tolerance and acceptance.

With this aim in view she has been holding Amritsar-Lahore Festival, under the banner of 'Sanjh', for the past few years. The festival will be celebrated as usual in Amritsar as well as Lahore this year. Sufi-gyaki will be the main attraction of the event. At this meeting of the minds of both the Punjabs lies the bonhomie of the people who are living under the same linguistic and cultural canopy.

The two scripts of the same language no more pose any problem as Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi scripts can be learnt without much ado. Still the spoken word casts its spell.

'Maharaja Ranjit Singh', a meticulously researched and tastefully produced book, is Manveen Sandhu's magnum opus to date. This compendium has been illustrated with rare paintings and drawings of the golden period of Punjab's history. The presentation of anecdotal events concerning the Maharaja as a person has endowed this book with an added charm. It does not aim at documenting hackneyed information but is concerned with the depiction of social, cultural and political pageants of the times.

As a secular ruler, Maharaja Ranjit Singh won the hearts of the followers of all religions in his state. He has always been held in great esteem on both the sides of the border. The other national hero, who is the darling of Punjabis, is Shahid-e-Azam Bhagat Singh.

In the near feature, Manveen Sandhu may come up with a book, of the same magnitude, on the life and thoughts of the great martyr whose birth centenary is being celebrated in the country with éclat. In the years to come she will, of course, cross many seas, like Ulysses, so as to reach the 'Ithaca' of her imagination. 

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Seminar on media on October 7
Our Correspondent

Samrala, October 3
According to Dr Parminder Singh Benipal, president, Pargati Sheel Vichar Manch, Samrala, a seminar on the 'Role of the Media' under the chairmanship of Sidhu Damdami, editor, Punjabi Tribune, will be held at Govt Senior Secondary School (Boys), Samrala, on October 7 at 10 am.

Dr Bhagwant Singh Patiala will present paper on the topic. Rupinderjit Singh Sanghol will initiate the discussion. A short stories book 'Kite Takkren Tan Hall Sunavaan' edited by Dr Gurdarpal Singh also be released in the function.

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Letters
Act against land mafia

As a responsible citizen, I want to inform the authorities that a piece of land worth crores of rupees belonging to the Ludhiana Improvement Trust has been encroached upon by a ruling Akali leader. Previously, this land belonged to Devinder Kaur, who died some 10 years ago. The land is surrounded by Vishal Nagar, New Punjab Mata Nagar and Gurdwara road in Shahid Master Karnail Singh Nagar. Children used to play cricket here and there was a board stating that the land belonged to Ludhiana Improvement Trust. However, an Akali leader has erected an 8-feet-high wall around this land. When asked, he said he had purchased the land. No one dares speak against him and officers up to the level of DC or SP are reportedly keeping a distance from him as he belongs to the ruling party. Though he can terrorize the locals, he can’t clamp down the media. I want the authorities to check the facts and look into the matter so that the rule of the law prevails and this multi-crore land is saved from land mafia.

Faqir Chand Sharma, Ludhiana

Readers are invited to mail letters (not more than 200 words) at "ludhiana@tribunemail.com" or post the same to The Tribune, 1, 2 Improvement Trust Building, Badaur House, Clock Tower, Ludhiana.

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Married woman dies of burns
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 3
Mennu, 24, a daughter of Sohan Singh of Badi Haibowal, married to Gurmeet Singh succumbed to her burn injuries in the civil hospital here today.

According to her father, the in-laws were allegedly harassing her for dowry. When the demand was not met, the in-laws, including her husband, put her on fire. Gurmeet Singh, her husband, however, refuted the allegations. The victim’s father has complained to the police.

One booked

Basant Singh of Barsal village has been booked for stealing a CD player and a car battery of Narinder Singh of his village. The Sidhwan police has registered a case.

Case registered

The Sidhwan Bet police has arrested Kallu Singh and recovered 3 kg of electric wire from his possession.

One held

Jaswant Singh of Abbupura was arrested by the police from Galib Kalan village and seized illicit liquor from him.

Dowry case

Pankaj, his sisters Vinesh and Puneet, his mother Parveen and relative Sheela Bai of Munaberpur Patti Tihara have been booked.

Parminder Kaur was married to Pankaj in August 2006 but her in-laws allegedly harassed her for dowry. No arrest has been made so far.

Tractor stolen

Kali Singh, Surjit Singh, Rattan Singh and his father Kaka Singh of Bhode, Vicky and Disha of Dhangara allegedly stole a tractor along with a few agricultural implement from Kot Umra village. The tractor belonged to Shankar Singh.

Accident

A three-wheeler (PB-10AT-1252) was badly damaged in an accident that took place between it and a car (CH-03-2042) near Agwar Gujjran Jagraon. Major Singh of Sujapur has lodged a complaint against the car owner.

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Man nabbed for murder of father-in-law
Tribune News Service

Khanna, October 3
The district police has solved the murder case of a resident of Kot Sekhon village who was reportedly done to death on September 27.

According to police sources, family members of Avtar Singh had reported to the police that two persons had entered their house on September 27 and murdered Avtar Singh.

As the police registered a case and started investigating, it came to light that Avtar Singh was done to death allegedly by his son-in-law Harjinder Singh, a resident of 
Manaki Bagaur village, following a disagreement over some issue.

The sources said Harjinder Singh and Avtar did not share good relations and used to get into altercations quite often.

On September 27, Harjinder Singh allegedly fired shots at Avtar Singh leading to his on-the-spot death.

During questioning, Harjinder confessed his crime.

A case has been registered.

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Photography contest for Visa cardholders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
Visa cardholders across the Asia Pacific have been invited by the company to participate in the Visa Moving Images photography competition.

A company press note issued here today said four cardholders would receive Visa packages to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games for winning photograph in each competition categories.

The categories are based on each element of the Olympic Games' motto - Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger), and one category is on China, the host country.

As part of the competition, Visa cardholders can enter up to three photographs per category which best illustrate what 'Faster', 'Higher', 'Stronger' and 'China' mean to them. To showcase the talent of budding photographers from around the region, a specially designed web gallery www.visasupporters.com/movingimages has been created to display the shortlisted photographs for the four categories.

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FINO-PNB to target rural areas

Ludhiana, October 3
Financial Information Network and Operations (FINO), a technology solutions provider, announced today that it had tied up with Punjab National Bank for deploying end-to-end smart card solutions for its rural masses.

FINO would provide PNB with 'no frill accounts' (zero balance savings accounts) to carry transactions on FINO smart cards.

"This endeavour will help FINO and PNB bringing unbanked sector to banking,” said Rishi Gupta, CFO and president, FINO, in a press note issued here today. He said the company had created a sectoral platform to meet needs of the banking sector targeting rural masses. — TNS

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