L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


It happens after banister and tent give way
Child dies in stampede
15 kids hurt during Ashtami poojan at social worker’s house
Tribune News Service

Injured boys under treatment in CMCH in Ludhiana
Injured boys under treatment in CMCH in Ludhiana on Sunday. — Tribune photo by Inderjeet Verma

A mother in tears tries to trace her son after stampede
A mother in tears tries to trace her son after stampede. — Tribune photo by Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, April 13
Kanjak Poojan celebration on the occasion of Durga Ashtami by a social worker turned sour when one child died and 15 were injured in a stampede in Vishnupuri near new Shivpuri at about noon today. All children were migrants.

Nearly 500 girls and boys, all under 14 years of age, had assembled for taking prasad and money offered traditionally to girls in the house of the social worker, Darshan Lal Baweja, a property dealer, who organises such fucntion every year on this day.

All victims were boys. They fell from the third floor after a stampede that occured when boys were being given Rs 20 each after girls were worshipped and fed. The banister on the roof top gave way along with the tent when boys jostled each other to take the money.

The boys and bricks fell on others assembled on the ground floor causing death of a boy.

Eight injured were admitted to CMC Hospital, five were under treatment in Shri Ram Charitable Hospital and two others were discharged after first-aid. Many, including the deceased boy, were unidentified.

Those admitted to CMC Hospital were identified as Gopal, Karan, Vasu, Akash, Parkash, Sahil, Mohd Shahid and an unidentified boy.

There was commotion at the accident site with parents running helter skelter in frentic search of their children. Many parents rushed to different hospitals to ascertain if their children were safe after the news of the accident spread.

The Salem Tabri SHO said a case under 304-A of the IPC for causing death by negligence would be registered against the social worker in whose house the function was organised. He said the house did not have capacity for so many children.

Darshan Lal Baweja, owner of Ladoo property dealer, said the kanjak puja went smoothly in the morning but later there was unexpected rush of children, mainly boys.

"Though, only girls were worshipped on such day, minor boys are also offered langar and money by us every year. The children went out of control pushing each other," he said, adding that he was unaware of the police case against him.

Meanwhile, Gopi, one of the injured, said he was pushed against the banister when children started jostling with each other. " I tried to catch hold of the tent, but it also gave way."



Sewermen turn heat on MC
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
The move of municipal corporation for insuring sewermen, who face a threat to their lives as the MC does not provide them with safety kits, has faced criticism from sewermen and several other quarters.

The MC is being accused of washing its hands off the issue as instead of providing them with kits, it had announced at its recent F&CC meeting that it would start a group insurance scheme for them and also provide them medical insurance cover.

The decision came three months after the Punjab State Human Rights Commission had sought a report from principal secretary, Local Bodies, in the matter after a local resident had complained that sewermen were losing lives as they were not provided with kits.

The families of sewermen said instead of providing them with kits, it had shaken off its responsibility by making claims that they would be insured.

‘‘What will we do with the money if our family members were dead? They should try to save their life as they are under threat when they get down into manholes. They get suffocated and die,’’ said a family member of a sewerman.

In the past many sewermen had lost their lives when they were suffocated. Sewerman Joginder Singh lost his life to poisonous gases while cleaning a choked sewage on December 17 last year.

Another permanent employee of the MC, Isham, sustained injuries while attempting to save his colleague. The employees had been demanding safety kits with an oxygen cylinder for the past many years. Two years ago a sewerman had died similarly. The MC had then bought nearly 50 samples of a kit that could save the sewermen from tragic death.

The efforts proved futile as the kits that included a mask weighed around 18 kg. The sewermen tried but soon rejected the device as they found it impossible for them to carry so much weight while getting down into a 12 inches diameter manhole.

Since then no efforts were made to provide the sewermen with lighter kits. Nearly 900 sewermen are now left to perform their duties everyday under the shadow of death.



In Basta
16 years on, accused on the run
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 13
Murder cases registered against Dr Pritam Singh Sekhon, former KLF chief, and his three associates for allegedly killing Chuhar Singh, former sarpanch of Jit Wal Kalan village near here, over 16 years ago but so far no one has been arrested.

While the three accused were reported dead during investigations, the fourth, main accused Sekhon, who was declared proclaimed offender earlier, was considered dead on the basis of media reports. Specific dates and places of deaths of the accused were not mentioned anywhere in the case.

Sekhon was listed as most wanted by the security forces and intelligence agencies. According to the intelligence reports, he was either in the USA or Pakistan.

Perusal of records revealed that four youths later identified as Pritam Singh Sekhon of Dulman Kalan, Gurmukh Singh, Baghel Singh Baghela and his brother Satnam Singh Mela of Mehta village had allegedly shot dead Chuhar Singh in his house on the evening of September 3, 1991.

Amarjit Singh had reported to the police that the extremists had killed his father as he (Chuhar Singh) had deposed against some terrorists earlier.

"I was sitting on a cot in my house when the four persons, two of them armed with AK 47 rifles, came in and threatened to kill my father. When I begged before them to spare his life, they pushed me aside saying my father could not be spared as he had deposed against some extremists," Amarjit Singh had stated before the police. The accused had emptied two bursts on Chuhar Singh, killing him on the spot.

While Gurmukh Singh, Baghel Singh and Satnam Singh were recorded dead on various dates Priatm Singh was declared PO. Later he was declared untraced on April 27, 1993.



NRI police station opens
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
The NRI police station of the city started functioning from today. It will take up complaints against NRIs by the city residents. The police station was inaugurated by Senior Superintendent of Police R.K. Jaiswal.

It will function from the Community Policing Resource Centre building in mini secretariat complex here till it finds a suitable place.



Govt, people at loggerheads over memorial construction
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 13
A pennant erected on a mound amidst ruins of a site where 35,000 Sikh were massacred by Ahmed Shah Abdali’s army on February 5, 1762, is what the successive governments and Sikh religious organisations could be proud off.

Had the move to construct gurdwara Shaheed Ganj near the mound not started, the historical site could have remained in oblivion.

After politicians, irrespective of their political alliances, tried to gain benefits out of it by announcing grants for the proposed memorial, a few religious leaders have aroused a bitter controversy over the selection of the site for the proposed monument.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had authorised Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa to acquire the land for constructing a memorial at Rohira to commemorate the sacrifices of 35,000 Sikhs, including children and women.

Before the administration could start the process of acquiring the land, a group led by organiser of a gurdwara started demanding a memorial at Kup da Tota, where 12 persons were killed during the “rasta roko andolan” on April 4, 1983.

Office-bearers of Trust running the affairs of the gurdwara, on the other hand alleged that the controversy was being created to benefit the land mafia. “The fact that Sikhs were massacred at Rohira can be verified through any known archaeological or scientific procedure,” said Jagwant Singh Jaggie.

“Bara ghallughara”, as is known in the local dialect, is situated at Rohira, 3 km from Ahmedgarh towards the East. The monument stands concealed under a canopy of acacia trees. The successive governments led by the SAD and the Congress had done little towards according it the status of a national monument.

In 1967, Gurmukh Singh, a renowned industrialist of Ludhiana, had taken up the task of renovation and Baba Santa Singh of the Budha Dal took its charge in 1974, which was handed over to a committee formed by the “sangat” of the area. Though Jathedar Kirpal Singh Bhawanigarh had once again started “kar sewa” under the guidance of Baba Sant Singh Tarantaran Wale, the ‘Sangat’ wanted the state government to take up the matter with the Union government.

Then SGPC chiefs Kirpal Singh Badungar and Bibi Jagir Kaur, during their tenures, had declared that a women’s college would be established besides erecting a befitting monument here. Admitting controversies about Sikh history, he had said a board would be constituted within one week to decide on baseless inclusions in history books.

Tikka Raja Shatrujit Singh, the 10 descendant of Nawab Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, who bravely held the forces at bay 243 years ago, had also expressed his desire to visit the battlefield where his ancestor had fought. He met the management committee of Gurdwara Shaheed Ganj in 2004.



Randhir wins turban-tying competition
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 13
Rajdeep Singh of Sahnewal and Kulwant Singh were declared “Sunder Sikh Naujawan” (handsome Sikh youth) at annual “dastar sajauan” (turban tying) competition organised at Pohir village near here today.

SGPC member Harpreet Singh Garcha, MD, Channel Number 1 Tejinder Pal Singh, Channel Standard World CEO Darshan Singh and SGPC member Karamjit Kaur Mandian exhorted the youth to adopt Sikh ideology as their lifestyle and shun evils.

President of the host organisation Sukh Sagar Singh Sodhi said the event was organised to mark the “World Dastar Divas” and to commemorate the sacrifice of 35,000 Sikhs who were massacred at Bara Ghallughara Rohira by Ahmed Shah Abdali’s army.

According to him, more than 200 youth took part in the competition. Results are as follows: “Dastar sajaun” (under 12 years) Randhir Singh of Pohir 1, Avon Preet Singh of Ahmedgarh 2 and Mohan Singh 3. 13 to 18 years: Navkaran Singh 1st, Gurjant Singh 2nd and Amandeep Singh 3rd. 18 to 30 years: Kanwar Pal Singh 1st, Rajbir Singh 2nd and Jaswinder Singh 3rd.

Amar Singh Saraon, Jagwant Singh Jaggie and Jai Pal Singh Mandian were present on the occasion.



1 killed in Innova-canter collision
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 13
One person was killed and five other seriously injured in a head-on collision between Tata 407 canter and Innova on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur road near Kothe Bagga, 3 km from here, last night. According to information, Innova UP-14AC-3111 was going towards Moga while Tata 407 canter PB-10-CE-5674 coming from Moga had collided head-on near Kothe Bagga at about 11.30 last night killing driver of Innova and injuring its two occupants. Driver and conductor of canter also suffered injuries.

The police rushed to the spot and admitted them to the local civil hospital. The deceased driver of Innova has been identified as Gurmeet Singh of Talwandi Bhagerian.



Cycle units to monitor rates
Triune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
As cycle parts sellers, hit by the steep hike in steel rates, are desperately trying to woo buyers by reducing the rates, the industrialists have now decided to tackle this problem by monitoring the mechanism of determining rates.

Small and medium bicycle parts industry have formed different product-based clusters that would fix minimum price for items like chain wheels and hubs in order to ensure that competition within themselves don’t lead to any-long term problem.

“In order to attract buyers many entrepreneurs had begun resorting to unfair pricing tactics. They started selling even below the actual costs. The practice was harming industry and we mutually agreed to form the groups which would fix minimum prices,” said Charanjit Singh Vishwakarma, president, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

The groups would regularly review the fluctuations and after taking into account cost-related factors determine the minimum rates. Bicycle parts manufacturers are also trying to find a mechanism to cater jointly to large suppliers.

“Many a time’s manufacturers keep looking for buyers whereas there are a few large-scale parties interested in procuring material. In such cases we are trying to collectively cater to such customers.”

Meanwhile, manufacturers have increased rates of various products by 10 per cent to 15 per cent. While the rate of hub has now been increased from Rs 56 to Rs 50 that of rim is now at Rs 104 from the previous of Rs 98.

The increase in parts would have a bearing on bicycle prices too which are expected to rise further within a few days.



Course on dental implants ends
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 13
The two-day course on “mini dental implants”, jointly organised by the International College of Continuing Dental Education (ICCDE) and the Indian Dental Association (IDA) under the aegis of Asia Pacific Dental Federation concluded at Christian dental college here today. More than 200 delegates from Punjab and surrounding states took part in the training.

President of the Dental Council of India Dr Anil Kohli was the chief guest. APDF secretary general and ICCDE executive director based in Singapore Dr Oliver Hennedige course dwelt on latest techniques of dental implants and apprised the delegates of a few innovative procedures being carried out in various parts of the world.

Regent, South East Asia, ICCDE, Dr R K Bali, Dr S.P. Aggarwal from Delhi and Dr Pallavi from Mumbai were among other guest faculties, who delivered lectures on mini dental implants.



Alumni meet at GGNIMT
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
The GGN Institute of Management and Technology (GGNIMT) organised its alumni meet here yesterday evening. Institute’s director Kuldip Singh welcomes the old students. Games like tambola, musical quiz and dance to the tune were organised on the occasion. The old students introduced themselves and shared their professional experiences with others.

The event concluded with the scintillating performances by Chattar Singh and Gurpreet Singh of BBA 4th semester. GGNIMT coordinator Gunwant Singh Dua, proposed a vote of thanks and distributed mementos among them.



Literary society organises mushaira
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
Poets from various parts of the country participated in a mushaira organised by Gulistan-e-Adab, a literary society, here last evening.

Dr D.J. Singh, senior deputy director, Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, was the chief guest on the occasion.

Among the poets who participated were Bakhshi Ram Kaushal, Sardar Panchhi, Hassan Qaiser, Mahesh Ludhianavi, D.K. Sachdeva Muflis, Gurcharan Narang, Rajneesh Verma, Sagar Sialkoti and Vijay Manohar.



Cricket Tourney
Vinod, Jeewan bowl ITBP XI to victory
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 13
Media XI conceded 55 extras runs which cost them the match against ITBP XI in the three-match cricket series being played at the Indo- Tibetan Border Police cantonment ground, Baddowal, near here today. They lost the inaugural tie by 35 runs.

ITBP XI won the toss and chose to bat first. They had a dismal start as Media XI’s pace bowler, Mohit Khanna, scalped three early wickets which saw ITBP XI struggling at 25 for 3 after eight overs. Then, Vinod and Jeewan steadied the innings. They added 48 runs for the fourth wicket.

Jupinderjit Singh of Media XI too excelled with the ball and took three wickets in one over; however, wayward bowling by other bowlers helped ITBP XI to reach a respectable total of 140 runs in the stipulated 20 overs.

Chasing the target, Media XI could muster 105 runs in 15 overs. Sunil, Mohit Khanna and Dimple scored 12 runs each while Aman made 10 runs. Arashdeep and Vivek contributed 
8 runs each.

For the ITBP XI, Vinod and Jeewan bowled accurately and also chipped in with four wickets each which helped their side to clinch the issue by 35 runs.



Sunny, Mrinal star in Mahajan Club's win
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, April 13
Fine batting by Sunny Pandey (88 n.o) and an equally valuable contribution with the ball by Mrinal ( 6 for 24) enabled Mahajan Club to defeat Superdeep Club by 49 runs in the cricket tournament being organised by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association to prepare the district team (u-16) for the forthcoming Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Tournament for the M L Markan Trophy on the Satish Chander Dhawan Government College ground here today.

Batting first, Mahajan Club scored 148 runs for the loss of six wickets in the allotted 50 overs. Sunny Pandey remained unbeaten on 88 runs while Tejas contributed 27 runs and Paras Mehndiratta made 24.

For the Superdeep Club, Abhijit Randhawa claimed three wickets for 51 runs while Lovish took one for 23 runs and Sandeep Singh captured one for 31 runs.

In reply, Superdeep Club were all out for 99 runs in 37 overs. Only three batsmen, Sandeep Singh (43), Rajan (10) and Abhijeet Randhawa (12) could reach the double figure.

For the Mahajan Club, Mrinal was the pick of the bowler, chipping in with six wickets for just 24 runs. Lucky, Rohit and Tejas grabbed one wicket each after conceding 20, 19 and 17 runs, respectively.

In the second match, National Club, powered by useful batting display by Abhinav Bhatia (93) and Uday (44), beat Coaching Centre XI by one wicket.

Coaching Centre XI made 232 runs in 45 overs in which the main contributions came through Himanshu (76), Vivek Kumar (63) and Ajay (37). For National Club, Subodh Mishra took two wickets for 26 runs. National Club made the required runs in 39 overs after losing nine wickets. Abhinav top scored with 93 runs, followed Uday and Vikas, who contributed 44 and 23 runs, repectively, to steer their team to clinch thrilling one-wicket victory.

For the Coaching Centre XI, Vivek was the most successful bowler, capturing four wickets for 24 runs. Sahil Sood grabbed one wicket for 16 runs and Darshpreet took one for 30.



Grewal wins golf tournament
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 13
J.S.Grewal, with a score of best net 66, emerged victorious in the annual golf tournament organised by the Country Inns and Suites by Carlson, Ludhiana, at the Ranjitgarh golf course of the Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, near here today.

The tournament was organised to celebrate Baisakhi in which at least 50 people took part.

The winner of the best stable ford was Rupinder Singh with 37 score while the longest drive prize was bagged by T.P.S. Gurm (290 yards). M Randhawa came out triumphant in the closest to the pin event ( 4 ft 9 inches).

The winners were given stay coupons at hotels free of cost at various hotels by Raddisson Jass Hotel, Shimla.



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