L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


72 bombs exploded on Day 1
10 tents for 400 l Milk productivity hit l 110 acres still to be sowed
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Fear of the unknown

"It is difficult to ascertain the kind of explosives that are in there. On visual inspection we have found a large variety of explosives ranging from small bombs to artillery shells. There are unexploded bombs as well. We are considering x-raying the containers for better planning. 
— Lt Col Vinod Bhatt, Officer Commanding, 202 Bomb Disposal Unit

Link with Gulf War

“Since the scrap consignments have come from the Persian Gulf countries, they were perhaps used in the 1991 Gulf War. Moreover, the presence of unexploded bombs and war materials like artillery shells hints at their link with that war.”
— Maj Mukesh Bhardwaj, 202 Bomb Disposal Uunit 

Army voices concern

Expressing security concerns, senior officers of the unit said there should be proper measures in place to check import of war materials from other countries to avoid a similar situation in the future. "This time the explosives came along with scrap unknowingly. Next time they could land up in India by design. We need to be very careful with imports," said Lt Col Bhatt.

Mattewara, November 16
The exercise to detonate 17,000 explosives weighing 200 quintals commenced here today with the blowing up of 72 ammunition spread over four explosions near the Mattewara forest area. The exercise was held amid tight security. The area surrounding the detonation site witnessed heavy police and Army deployment since early this morning with police PCRs on constant patrol.

Residents were evacuated from Sekhewal, Kalewal and Haider Nagar villages in the wee hours and were directed to move to temporary shelters on the bed of the Sutlej near Selkiana and Borreh villages.

The first explosion took place at 12.41 pm while the second one followed at 2.41 pm. The third explosion took place at 3.50 pm and the last one at 5.25 pm.

“Both explosions went off successfully”, said Lt Col Vinod Bhatt, Officer Commanding of the 202 Bomb Disposal Unit.

The first explosion, which was not of very high intensity, was marked by relatively lesser noise and smoke. The second one, on the other hand, was more severe in intensity. Its impact was vivid so much so that it was even reflected among the fauna of the area. A flurry of frantic activity was witnessed among the birds as soon as the second explosive went off.

"Three 8-foot deep pits have been dug to carry out the explosions. The bomb is placed in the pit which is connected to an equally deep 1 km long tunnel. The explosive, which is connected to a 1 km long rope, is then detonated," informed Bhatt.

For storage of explosives five pits have been dug at a considerable distance from each other around the area where the army and the police are on joint duty.

"For segregation explosives have been put in containers that are placed in deep pits. One pit is 40-foot deep while each of the rest is 20-foot deep”, stated Maj Mukesh Bhardwaj of the 202 Bomb Disposal Unit.

Giving further details, Lt Col Bhatt said there was no fixed schedule for the exercise and the number of explosions to be carried out in a day would be decided as the day progressed. "Our initial workout is for about 75 days over which the exercise will be spread. However, our primary focus is to finish the operation as soon as possible," he said.

The army officer added in case of any function, like a wedding, being held in the village, the exercise would be put on hold for a day. "Both the village residents and administration officials have been very cooperative, which is why the entire exercise is proceeding smoothly.

If they (villagers) have scheduled a wedding or any other important function we’ll take a day's break and stop the detonation," he added.



Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 16
Nearly 1,500 residents of Sekhewal, Kalewal and Haider Nagar villages were displaced for the second consecutive day today after being evacuated in the wee hours today for the exercise to detonate 200 quintal of explosives that started in the nearby Mattewara forest.

Village residents, including women, children and the aged spent the day under temporary shelters on the bed of the Sutlej, in forest areas and in Selkiana and Borreh villages.

Like yesterday, residents of Sekhewal village spend their entire day on the river bed with no arrangements for their comfort and food. They had to travel nearly 2 km to fetch a glass of water and that too only if the police allowed them to enter the village.

Residents of Kalewal village were perhaps made to suffer even more with no proper arrangements for them. While half the village population spent the day huddled together at a small establishment in the fields, the remaining half which own domestic cattle had to find a place in the nearby forest area to accommodate their animals.

The residents rued that the administration had provided 10 tents for a population of over 400. "But there is no arrangement for our cattle," said Jaspreet Kaur, panch of Kalewal.

Residents said they were being provided lunch by two SGPC-run gurdwaras in the vicinity.

"But we had to go without breakfast even today because the police came in at 5 am to get us out of our houses. We could not get ample time to prepare food," complained Jaswinder Singh.

The residents complained that though the administration had provided for chaff for their cattle, there was no water.

"The productivity of our cows and buffaloes has gone down to half in just one day due to lack of water, geographical shift and sudden flurry of activity around them. God knows what will happen in the coming days," rued Harmeet Singh.

The residents also complained that in the wake of the exercise, they were not allowed to go to their fields which was adversely affecting their work.

"Out of a total of 335 acre village agricultural land, 110 acre is yet to be sowed with wheat. But the police does not allow us to go to the fields What will we do if this exercise carries on for 75 days? We will die of starvation," said Gurjeet Kaur, sarpanch, Kalewal village.

Daily wage labourers of the village, too, are suffering in the face of poverty threatening to cast its ugly shadow.

"I am a daily wager and have three small kids to feed. If the police does not allow me to move out for work, my family will starve. We will be ruined," cried Lakhbir Singh.

Both village schools, too, remained shut due to the detonation and kids' studies suffered a set back. "If the exercise carries on for long, one full academic session of the children will go down the drain," worried Gurdev Singh.

As if the troubles of the village residents were not enough, nature Gods, too, seemed to be against them.

With thick dark clouds hovering over the evening sky, villager residents worried about their protection."We do not even have a roof over our heads. Where will we go with our small children and old parents if the skies open up?," asked Gurdeep.


Id-ul-Zuha: Goats sell for a lakh!
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

A 98-kg goat that went for  Rs. 55,000.
A 98-kg goat that went for  Rs. 55,000. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, November 16
With just a few hours left for Id-ul-Zuha tomorrow, the prices of goats to be sacrificed on the occasion touched an all-time high as they were sold for as high as Rs 1 lakh here today.

Goat breeders had a field day today as people made a beeline for buying goats to celebrate the festival. The goats were sold for anything between Rs 5,000 and Rs 1 lakh depending on its size, weight and health.

“I bought a goat weighing around 98 kg for Rs 55,000. Throughout the week, the goat was served with special diet comprising nuts and chick peas,” Mustkeem, a resident, said.

“A day before the festival, we apply henna on the feet of goats, tie anklets and make them wear garlands around their neck. I bought my goat for Rs 10,000. Nuts are served to it thrice a day to make it stronger,” Usmaan from Field Gunj stated.

“We bought a goat 10 days ago for Rs 5,000 but today the price has gone up to Rs 15,000. Generally goats eat green grass and vegetables, but during this time we serve them with nuts and that is why they are well-built,” Sajid from Sunet village said.

Mustkeem said they treated the goats as their kids. “For us, sacrificing them tomorrow would mean a lot. So, we try to compensate them by feeding them nutritious and expensive food,” he added.


Significance of sacrifice

Id-ul-Zuha, also called Bakr-Id, is marked with goat sacrifice. On this day, Muslims sacrifice a goat to commemorate the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim, who agreed to kill his son at the behest of God.



Surgeon ‘beats up’ brother-in-law, booked
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 16
Dr Manoj K Sobti, a leading neuro surgeon of the city, has been accused of assaulting his brother-in-law Vikas Chabra this morning.

The victim, in his report given to the SHO at the division number eight police station, stated that Dr Manoj K Sobti, along with his five associates, beat him up in Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar market at around 8 am this morning.

Thereafter, Vikas Chabra was taken to the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), wherein doctors after examining him mentioned the details of injuries inflicted on his body parts.

According to medico legal report (MLR), Vikas suffered a cut on left leg, four cuts on right leg and a cut on shoulder.

Sources at the DMCH stated that the patient was brought to the hospital at 8.46 am.

However, not satisfied with the MLR, family members of Vikas shifted him to SPS Apollo Hospital.

Dr Hapreet Singh Gill, orthopaedic surgeon at SPS Apollo Hospital, said the patient’s arm and a leg were fractured and he would be operated upon tomorrow.

The police has booked Dr Manoj K Sobti in an attempt to murder case. 


Sobti denies allegations 

Dr Manoj K Sobti said false allegations were being levelled against him. “I was taken aback when the police came to my residence at 9 am asking me about the altercation that I had with my brother-in-law. I do have some differences with my wife, but it is not a big deal as every family has some unresolved issues. That I have beaten up my wife’s brother is rather a baseless allegation. The story has been cooked up by someone,” Dr Sobti added.



Residents of three villages fear for their lives
But Army men put their lives on the line
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

A container carrying scrap bombs to be detonated by the Army.
A container carrying scrap bombs to be detonated by the Army. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, November 16
The ongoing detonation drive has made residents of three villages— Sekhewal, Kalewal and Haider Nagar— fearful. Besides facing inconvenience after being displaced from their homes, the villagers are extremely worried about their safety and security.

"There can be a nuclear bomb in the explosives. It can destroy the entire country," says a distraught Lakhwinder Singh of Kalewal village.

Another villager Jagmeet Singh adds, "This exercise can prove fatal for all of us. We might die of poisonous gases emanating from the bombs."

Amid several theories about the detonation being floated by the villagers, Gureet Kaur, sarpanch, Kalwal village, says, “There is a gas pipeline just a few meters away from the explosion site. If the bomb causes the pipeline to explode, we all will get killed."

The woman goes on to air her fears. "Like in the Bhopal gas tragedy, our coming generations will have to suffer the consequences of this dangerous exercise," she adds.

Another woman, pointing a finger at the administration authorities, says, "Those who want to kill us in the garb of this exercise will also get killed.” Unfortunately, the administration has failed miserably in addressing the unfounded fears of the villagers, who have been displaced in the wake of the detonation drive.

"If the exercise is not going to harm any one, then why didn't any minister or deputy commissioner come and explain it to us. We are being made to live outdoors. To top it, the fears of poor illiterate village residents are only making things worse," remarked Lakhwinder Singh.



Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 16
Facing much higher risk than their counterparts serving in the insurgency-afflicted areas on the country’s borders, eight senior army officers and 35 personnel belonging to other ranks of the 202 bomb disposal unit are the unsung heroes of the ongoing operation to defuse explosives stocked in the forested area around Mattewara near the city.

Camping at the area since November 2009, personnel of the army unit have been actively involved with preparations for the exercise, which involves detonating 17,000 explosives of an unknown nature weighing 200 about quintals. These include all calibers of explosives ranging from small bombs to those used in warfare like artillery shells.

“Though we’re treading very carefully we’re still unaware of what is hidden within the containers. This is the reason there is much more risk involved in the explosion process," said Lt Col Vinod Bhat, commanding officer of the 202 bomb disposal unit.

He conceded the operation was high risk and involved threat to human life, especially to those involved directly in the process. "There is nine times more risk in this process - much more than that involved in other similar exercises," he added.

The bomb disposal unit, which has been making adequate arrangements for defusing the explosives since the past one year, has also faced some hurdles on the way. "Though the district administration has been cooperative nature has played its part. The monsoon season was especially troublesome and the preparations had to be put on hold during that period. Besides that the rest has been smooth," informed Maj Mukesh Bhardwaj, who is supervising the entire operation.

The bomb unit has been taking special care of the security arrangements for the smooth conduct of the detonation exercise besides catering for the proper storage of explosives.



MC all set for e-tendering
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 16
In order to bring transparency in the tendering process, the Municipal Corporation (MC) is all set to adopt the e-tendering process as it begins with the process to register agencies to conduct the work of e-tendering. The MC also held a seminar to educate its officials about it.

As per the directives of the local bodies department, information regarding the tenders called for various developmental works, the cost, bidders, work allotted to the agency and others would be put on a central website. The civic body has initiated the work of registering agencies related with the work. These agencies would be registered with the MC and later would upload tenders and other documents to update the website.

In the seminar, experts from the ITI Chandigarh, Yogesh Arora and Mahesh, apprised MC officials about the merits of adopting the e-tendering system along with the operational part.

Additional MC Commissioner Kanwalpreet Kaur Brar termed it as a revolutionary step that would benefit both the common man and the civic body.



Encroachments removed from Bahadurke road
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 16
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation today removed a large number of illegal encroachments from one of the most encroached upon area of the city-Bahadurke Road.

More than 50 violations were removed in the drive conducted jointly conducted by the building branch and the Tehbazaari wing of the civic body. Starting from the Kara Bara Chowk, the MC staff razed illegal encroachments up to the municipal limit of the road. A large number of encroachments, including the over hangings, ramps and pillars were removed from the front of the shops. The drive largely remained peaceful. The municipal staff, led by Assistant town Planner (Zone A) Kanwaljeet Kaur, however, entered into heated arguments with shopkeepers at a few places. The shopkeepers were seeking some more time for removing the encroachments on their own, but the MC staff overruled them. The two ditch machines deployed by the MC staff on the drive removed the permanent encroachments whereas the tehbazaari wing focused on the temporary encroachments.



Misuse of RTI
MC staff lodge complaint against fake activists
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 16
In an unprecedented move against the alleged misuse of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, clerical staff of the Municipal Corporation’s Zone A office have lodged a complaint against a few miscreants with the Zonal Commissioner. They alleged that these miscreants were blackmailing them under the pretext of the Act.

A delegation of the staff members led by Lakshman Dravid, chairman, ministerial staff workers, met Zonal Commissioner VK Sharda today to lodge their complaint. Lala Surinder Atwal, Ashok Sood, Tarlochan Singh, OP Kapoor, Surinder Dhiman are among those who had lodged the complaint. They told the commissioner that a few miscreants, under the garb of RTI activists, throng their offices daily to check official records. “If we dare to stop them, we are threatened of dire consequences,” the complainants alleged.

Similarly, a few of them also complained that if they refused to act according to their wishes they threaten to harass them by filling applications under the RTI. If sometimes the information gets delayed due to the administrative or procedural delays these so-called activists even threaten to take them to the State Information Commission or force them to work against the statutory rules.

Dravid asked the officials to take suitable action in this regard. He even threatened the officials to protest against the authorities if no suitable action was taken in this regard. “We work under certain rules and regulations and if anybody forces us to do illegal work then it must be checked,” he added.

Zonal Commissioner Sharda promised to take suitable action after looking into all aspects of the case.



MC has no details of goods worth Rs. 2 cr
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 16
Amid various scams in the municipal corporation (MC), fingers are again being pointed at the working of the civic body as MC officials have failed to submit details regarding the use of construction material worth over ` 2 crore in the past few years. An NGO has demanded a vigilance probe into the matter.

A copy of the local audit report obtained by social activist Rohit Sabharwal under the Right to Information (RTI) Act raises suspicion at the working of the MC.

Despite several reminders by the audit department, the MC has not furnished details regarding the use of 2,687 drums of charcoal, 1,996 bags of cement, 5,500 cubic feet of bitumen, 15,900 cubic feet of stone metal, 635 MS road gali, thousands of bricks and tonnes of sand that were issued from the central store of the civic body.

Their current value is over ` 2 crore. The callousness of MC officials can be judged from the fact that they have not bothered to check the details of the material.

Sabharwal alleged that MC officials had misused the material, due to which they were not giving out details. “It is a big scam as the entire material appears to have been sold off,” he alleged.



Pay Scale
Govt fails to notify professors’ posts
Shivani Bhakoo/TNS

Ludhiana, November 16
The Punjab government has failed to notify the posts of professors in government as well as government-aided colleges till date despite being mentioned in its pay-scale notification.

The notification of pay scales for the college and the university teachers states that “Ten per cent of the sanctioned posts of the associate professors in an undergraduate college shall be that of professors and subjected to same criterion for selection/appointment as that of professors in the universities, provided that there shall not be more than one post of professor in each department. Similarly there shall be one post of professor in each postgraduate college.”

The Punjab Commerce and Management Association (PCMA) has urged the state government to notify the posts of professors as promised and notified in pay scale notification dated September 2, 2009.

One fourth of the posts of professors notified has to be filled through direct recruitment and three fourth by way of merit promotion from among the eligible associate professors in the relevant department of the postgraduate/undergraduate college.

Even after a year of the passing of this notification, the state government has not initiated the process of identifying the professors in the colleges.

As per the new scheme of the pay scales, many of the selection grade lecturers (who completed three years in the selection grade January 1, 2006) of these colleges have been automatically re-designated as associate professors from the date. As per the qualification required for the posts of professors, those who have completed their three years service as associate professors on January 1, 2009, and having the PhD degree becomes eligible for the post.

As per the new notification issued by the state government in pursuance of the recommendations of the University Grants Commission, there shall be three designations in respect of teachers in universities and colleges namely, assistant professors, associate professors and professors.

“Professors are senior than the associate professors. It is necessary that those who have become eligible for the posts of professors should be given the chance to appear in the career advancement schemes (CAS) and the recommended teachers should be promoted as professors from the date of their completion of three years as associate professors,” said Dr Ashwani Bhalla, from PCMA. He added that it would be unjustified to promote principals from the associate professors until the teachers eligible for the posts of professors are given their due right of promotion and fresh seniority lists on the basis of revised designations are drawn.



Teachers wear black badges
Allege harassment at the hands of management committees of certain colleges
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 16
To protest against the alleged adamant attitude of management committees of certain colleges, run by the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, activists of the Teacher’s Union of these institutes wore black badges today.

The protesters said they would intensify their agitation if their grievances were not redressed.

Vinay Sofat, finance secretary, Punjab and Chandigarh College Teacher Union, and convener of the teachers front of protesting units, said the decision to wear black badges on Tuesday and Wednesday was taken at a recently-held meeting of the coordination committee.

Prof VK Bhardwaj of Arya College, Ludhiana, and Jatinder Sharma of DM College, Moga, led the protesters.

Accusing management committees of various colleges of harassing office-bearers and activists of the union, the protesters demanded immediate action against the exploitation of teachers.



Martyrdom Day of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha
Terrorism needs to be dealt with unitedly: Left
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 16
The Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist today called upon people to unite in order to save secularism and democracy.

Leaders of the Left parties were addressing a rally to mark the martyrdom day of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha at the Bhai Bala Chowk here.

Throwing light on the ideas of Kartar Singh Sarabha, activists of CPI and CPM cautioned people against forces of communalism and casteism, which were out to destroy the basic fabric of pluralism and unity in diversity of the country.

“The menace of terrorism by organisations of different shades is a real threat and needs to be dealt with unitedly and firmly. The economic policies being pursued by the government have led to concentration of wealth in the hands of a few, while a majority is languishing in glaring poverty. This is evident from the suicides being committed by farmers in all parts of the country,” they said.

The speakers pointed out that even basic services like education and health had gone out of reach of the common man. There were attempts for saffornisation of education with the menace of increasing commercialisation of education and health also spreading its tentacles.

“If these trends are not resisted, danger of imperialist intervention in the country’s affairs will increase through agreements like the Indo-US nuclear deal and we will become number two strategic partners of the US in its imperialist designs. The US is out to do business to save its interest, but we have to save the interests of vast majority of our country.”

The leaders maintained that the effort for an outright capitalist development model had added to the miseries of people and had increased corruption to an alarming level. The crime graph was rising. The speakers expressed anguish at the poor maintenance of a park and a fountain near the statute of the martyr and urged the administration to properly maintain the memorial.

Among others present at the rally included district secretary of the CPI Kartar Singh Bowani, district secretary of CPM Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon, OP Mehta, Jatinder Singh, Jagdish, Dr Arun Mitra, Gurnam Singh Sidhu, Ramadhar Singh, Charan Singh Sarabha, Raghbir Singh Benipal and DP Maur. 



From Colleges

Ludhiana: An inter-class competition was held at the fine arts department of GCW to celebrate Children's Day. Principal of the college Gurminder Kaur was the chief guest. Various competitions, including pot painting, card making, clay modelling and poster making were organised. Prizes were given to winners.


A freshers' party was held at Devki Devi Jain College today. Students presented a cultural programme and danced to the tune of latest popular numbers. Modelling by undergraduate and postgraduate students was the main attraction. Sarabjeet Singh Cheema, noted Punjabi singer, and Japji Khera, Miss World Punjaban 2006, were the chief guests on the occasion. Prizes were given to students, who stood first, second and third in modelling. Surinder Dua, officiating principal of college, thanked guests. — TNS


Mandi Gobindgarh: A handwriting and improvement workshop was conducted at the RIMT by graphologist and graphotherapist, Mohan Ray, founder of the institute of Healthy Handwriting and the pioneer of handwriting movement. The camp was attended by the principal, faculty and students of the college. The principal said the camp was meant to motivate students to improve their handwriting. The handwriting of students was also evaluated. —OC



KCW students win four prizes in painting

Ludhiana, November 16
KCW students brought laurels to the college by winning four prizes during the “Devbhoomi International Painting Competition” organised by the department of language, Art and Culture, Himachal Pradesh, in association with the Nehru Painting Group International, Shimla, and Charu Castle Foundation, Shimla.

“It is a remarkable feat accomplished by the fine arts department. It has glorified the name of the college on the international front,” said principal Dr Varinder Kaur Thind.

In the painting competition, which is held every year to promote art and culture and help budding artists and students develop their talent, students from all over the country sent their entries for competitions like poster making, composition, portraits, floral designs and landscapes.

Sheeba Sukheeja and Mandeep Kaur of MA II stood second in portrait and composition. They were awarded a cash prize of Rs 1,000 and a memento during a function held at Gaiety Theatre, Shimla, on November 14. Ruby Dhillon and Prabhdeep Kaur won consolation prizes in portrait and cartoon making.

At the same event, Jaswinder Kaur, a fine arts lecturer, was given “Award of Honour” for her exceptional contribution to the development of art and culture. She was applauded for her “Heer and Ranja” painting. — TNS



Unipoles, ads on pvt buildings
Advertisers submit memo to Sinha 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 16
Advertisers, who are up in arm against the working of the municipal corporation, have in a memorandum submitted to the Municipal Commissioner levelled serious allegations against civic authorities.

The leading advertisers of the city, under the banner of the Outdoor Advertisers Association, have appreciated the municipal corporation’s move to remove illegal unipoles and advertisements from private buildings. They, however, lamented that the recent developments shows that the civic body was under tremendous pressure to derail the legally tendered system by putting undue restrictions so that their attentions could be diverted from the illegal mafia, which is being helped by a few elected members of the house, local politicians and administrators.

The municipal corporation could only disturb the legal media rather than taking action against illegal mafia, the advertisers regretted. They also said that though advertisement forms a very small part of the total revenue but as far as its authorities are concerned the only issue is advertisement, which is rather getting bad name.

They alleged that a sub-committee formed by the municipal corporation to look into the irregularities of advertisement department had only one aim and that of getting the legal tender cancelled. The advertisers also accused the municipal corporation of indirectly helping the illegal mafia by neglecting the fact that they are earning more than Rs 5 crore per year since 2006-2007 through legal tenders.



Mother-in-law lodges complaint against police ASI
Accuses him of illegally operating gas agency in her daughter’s name 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 16
A family feud took an ugly turn after an elderly woman complained that her son-in-law was illegally operating a gas agency that was in her daughter’s name.

Jaswinder Kaur (71), the complainant whose husband, two sons and a relative were killed by terrorists in the early 1990, said her son- in- law has left her to spend her life in penury.

Jaswinder Kaur, who now resides in Nirmal Nagar, Dugri, alleged that for the past several years, her eldest son-in-law named Sukhwant Singh, who is an Assistant Sub Inspector, had been operating the gas agency, which is in her daughter’s name, who happens to be a Canadian citizen.

After the terrorists killed Jaswinder Kaur’s family members, the government had allotted the gas agency in her daughter, Ranjit Kaur’s name, who at that time was unmarried. “As Sukhwant was my eldest son-in-law I trusted him for all my decisions. After some time, Ranjit got married and migrated to Canada. Somehow, Sukhwant and his wife (Jaswinder’s daughter) Manjit Kaur managed to get the power of attorney of the gas agency, situated on the Dugri Road, changed. And ever since they have been running it,” Jaswinder alleged.

She said as her grandchildren grew up, they were to go in for higher studies. “All these years, Sukhwant was paying just Rs 1,000 per month and a gas cylinder to us. My grandson, Nishan Singh, cleared his AIEEE examination and wanted to pursue engineering, but due to poor financial condition, we could not send him to a college. Even for my granddaughter’s fee, we had to take money on interest from a local jeweller by mortgaging our jewellery,” lamented Jaswinder Kaur.

Jaswinder’s daughter-in-law Karamjit Kaur, on whose husband’s name the gas agency is named informed that some time ago, Ranjit sent them power of attorney of that particular gas agency. “When Sukhwant and Manjit came to know about this, they came to our house and threatened us not to interfere in their business. We were too scared and didn’t pursue the matter further,” Karamjit alleged.

A few days ago the family contacted Lok Bhalai Party president Balwant Singh Ramoowalia. He told us that on a complaint lodged by the food and civil supplies department a case under the Essential Commodities Act was registered against both Sukhwant and Manjit. The matter was pertaining to irregularities committed in the running of this gas agency. Both of them are absconding since than,” Ramoowalia alleged.

The family has demanded that the Chief Minister should write a letter to the Union Petroleum Minister, so that the gas agency could once again be allotted to the family of Jaswinder Kaur.

“All we want is that the government should allots the gas agency to any member of my family, so that we can lead a respectable life,” Jaswinder added.



Tributes paid to Sarabha
Bhagat Singh’s look alike exhorts youths to turn patriotic
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 16
Jagdish Bhagat Singh, an admirer of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, while paying tributes to Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha on the occasion of his 70th anniversary has urged the youths of the state to adopt patriotism as an element in their lifestyle.

As a part of his mission to revive patriotism among the youths, Jagdish, who has been donning the looks of Shaheed Bhagat Singh for the past 20 years, regretted that successive governments had failed to educate students about the sacrifices made by the martyrs for the nation.

“Unfortunately the leaders, irrespective of their political allegiance, have been playing politics on statues and memorials of the martyrs. They (leaders) get their pictures published in newspapers by merely garlanding these statues on special occasions, but rarely remember their sacrifice all through the year,” he said. He regretted that no politician had ever tried to motivate youths to adopt patriotism as their lifestyle.

Jagdish Bhagat said this while talking to The Tribune after visiting the house of Shaheed Kartar Singh at his native village Sarabha near here today. He interacted with students of schools falling in this region. Recollecting his experiences regarding his visits to various places connected with the lives of martyrs and freedom fighters, Jagdish Bhagat Singh lamented that majority of the youths, he interacted with, knew little about the sacrifices made by them.

He was unhappy that the youths, instead of following ideals of the martyrs, were trying to seek role models in film stars and pop singers.

Stressing on the need of launching a coordinated move to save the youths from the menace drug addiction, Jagdish called upon office- bearers of social and educational organisations to join hands with the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Jagriti Manch and launch a crusade against social evils.

Jagdish Bhagat was so impressed by life of Shaheed Bhagat Singh 20 years ago, that he has decided to don his style for the rest of his life. Today, he came all the way from Panchkula to celebrate the martyrdom day of Shaheed Kartar Singh at Sarabha near here.

A permanent employee of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN), Jagdish Bhagat Singh was born to a Jat family of Bahmaniwala village near Kaithal in Haryana. His passion for Shaheed Bhagat Singh did not end with adopting his style; he has set up a small temple in his house where the martyrs are worshiped by him and other members of his family.



Docs throw lavish dinners, liquor to garner support
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 16
Lavish dinners, liquor parties and SMSes, are a few tactics adopted by the support groups of doctors contesting election for the district body of the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

The unending list of promises has created ripples in the medical fraternity of the city, as it is as lengthy as the “election manifestoes” of MLAs and MPs contesting the elections.

The IMA election is scheduled for December 19. The voting will take place between 10 am to 5 pm.

As the city doctors are divided in two factions, Dr Iqbal Ahuja, the chief election commissioner, had a tough time acting as a buffer between these groups.

Despite having been warned by the election commission not to level allegations and counter allegations on each other, the contesting candidates have resorted to “petty politics” by accusing their respective opponents of violating the medical ethics and pointing at their personal conduct.

Weary of the etiquettes of the “noble professionals” which included verbal war and maligning each other’s personal image, Dr Iqbal Ahuja had to appoint observers-cum-advisers for the IMA elections, who have been given powers to disqualify the erring candidates.

“Keeping in view the groupism in the IMA members and in order to ensure free and fair elections, I have appointed

Dr LS Chawla, former vice-chancellor, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, and Dr GS Grewal, member, Punjab Medical Council, as the observers,” said Dr Iqbal Ahuja.



TV serials polluting young minds
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 16“Emotional Atyachar”, “Rakhi Ka Insaf”, “Splitsvilla” and “Big Boss”, etc. being telecast on television may show vulgar or abusive scenes to boost television rating points (TRPs), but a majority of youth in the city has shown disinterest in serials.

Not only can these not be viewed with families, but also the serials provide all the stuff to pollute young minds, college students feel. Women are of the opinion that these serials should be banned while men feel that the serials reflected the real picture.

The so-called loyalty tests conducted on husbands/ boyfriends were bad. “We cannot watch it with our families. If your partner is not loyal, leave him or her. There is no need to go public about it. Some serials are too vulgar and violent which leave a very bad image,” she said.

— Bhavika, student of Khalsa College for Women

Parents do not want their children to view such serials, but they were doing so anyway. “Foul language is commonly used. This is nothing but bad impact on tender minds. Using such words is not in our culture. Why should we ape the West? The serials have nothing to offer except gossip, vulgarity and sleaze,” she stated.

— Pooja, BCom student

“Sometimes it seems that some of the serials are stage-managed. Neither our society, nor our culture permits something like this. In these serials, the girls are bold, use foul language and also become violent. Serials should be hilarious and entertaining; not vulgar and cheap. These are being telecast only to target young people and we are being influenced to some extent. These should be banned.” 

— Sanchi

Male students, however, feel that the serials should be brought to some logical conclusion. “These serials teach us a lesson that we should be sincere in a relationship. If we are cheating on our partner, he or she has the right to beat us. Though these are not family serials, they show us the reality.”

— Pardeep Kumar, BA student of Gujranwala Guru Nanak Khalsa College



Girl comes to the rescue of lover
Acquitted of rape charge
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, November 16
Refusing to give in to the pressure of her parents, Shabnam has finally succeeded in saving her lover Raja Chouhan from being convicted on the charges of rape. The girl appeared before Additional Sessions Judge Mohd Gulzar and stated that the person (Raja) behind the bars never raped her.

Rather, she had eloped with him at her own will and the two had tied the knot in Bihar.

Though the accused was absolved of rape charges, he was convicted under Section 363 of the IPC and sentenced to four-year imprisonment.

Delivering the verdict, the court held that since the girl was a minor (14-and-a-half years) at the time of incident, her consent carried no value in the eyes of law. Hence, the accused stood convicted for kidnapping charges.

A case under Sections 363, 366, 376 of the IPC was registered against the accused at the Basti Jodhewal police station on July 2, 2008, following the statement of Satyawan Kumar of New Madhopuri, Ludhiana.

He had stated before the police that his daughter was studying in Class VIII. On June 1, 2008, his daughter had gone to Munna Lal Karyana store, New Madhopuri, to give tiffin to her brother, but she never returned.

He said on launching a search, he came to know that the accused, who was his neighbour, had kidnapped the girl.

During the court proceedings, father of the girl and other witnesses stuck to their version recorded with the police against the accused. But when the girl came for deposing in the court, she did not support the prosecution case. The case declared tha girl a hostile.



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