L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Ex-serviceman held for stealing vehicles, cylinders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 21
The city police today arrested an ex-serviceman on the charge of stealing vehicles and gas cylinders from a number of places. He is already facing a trial for robbery at a liquor vend in Ajitwal, near Mandi Ahmedgarh, last year.

The accused, Kulwant Singh, resident of Humayunpur village, under Sadar police station here has served Sikh Light Infantry as wireless operator for six years. The exact reason of his leaving the Army is not clear. He claims to have been rendered medically unfit after suffering injuries in an accident involving an ammunition-carrying Army vehicle that overturned in the Kargil hills just days before the Indo-Pak Kargil War in 1999.

But DSP (Sarabha Nagar) Ravcharan Singh Brar said the accused claimed to be a victim of the Kargil War, but his activities suggested otherwise. He said the police was verifying his claims that he had to leave the Army because of the accident. Mr Brar said the Army rehabilitates the injured soldiers but the man in this case claimed that he was just disowned and left out after being declared medically unfit.

The ex-serviceman has remained posted in Kargil, Arunachal Pradesh and Jaipur. The police was verifying his antecedents from the Army. The police was also taking help of the Army Intelligence to find out if the accused was involved in some espionage-related activity as he had worked at sensitive places.

Kulwant Singh claimed that he had to steal to earn livelihood. He had spent the compensation money given by the Army on renovating his house besides giving some amount to his parents. However, later on his family members refused to bear his expenses and he strayed into the crime world.

He claims to have been falsely implicated in the robbery case of a liquor vend but admits stealing a motorcycle and a LPG cylinder from different parts of the city. DSP Brar said the accused was caught by a team of the Model Town police headed by SI Rajesh Kumar and ASI Vinod Kumar. The officials revealed that the accused was roaming around on a stolen motorcycle claiming at police nakas that he was an ex-serviceman.

The motorcycle No. PB-10-AX-0130, recovered from the accused actually belongs to Anuj Jindal of Block -G in BRS Nagar here. The police explained the method used by the accused to steal cylinders. He used to spot cylinders lying in the open compound of a house. Then in late evening hours, he used to cut cable wire going over the house and lift the cylinder by passing the wire through the round handle.

The police has recovered four LPG cylinders sold to other people by the accused. He, however, could not sell off the motorcycle and was using the vehicle himself. DSP Brar said the police would also take action against those who brought the stolen LPG cylinders from him.



Overflowing sewer water irks Pindi street residents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 21
Due to breakage of a sewer pipe, the residents of Pindi Gali in the old city area are having a tough time as their congested street is filled with stinking water.

Claiming that they had complained to the Municipal Corporation authorities a number of times, the residents alleged that their complaints were not being paid any heed to.

They alleged that a sewer pipe had broken in the street and sewerage water was leaking from the place. Instead of repairing it MC employees had dug up a pit and left it there only. The pit, after getting filled up with water, was overflowing and causing problems for them.

Mr Om Parkash Tandon, a retired Principal of Arya Senior Secondary School, who is a resident of the area said that they had been facing the same problem for the past many months. He added that since he was a senior citizen and could not see well. He had to confine himself to his house as he could not move on the dirty road.

‘‘For persons of at least 15 houses coming out of the house is an uphill task everyday. The discharge keeps entering our houses when we move on the street. The surroundings have has become stinking and unhealthy. I have filed many complaints in writing to the authorities and have copies of all of these too.’’ added Mr Tandon.

Another resident, Mr Shallu Gogna, said that they had complained to the area councillor several times but to no avail. ‘‘Everytime we complain to authorities, the employees come and clean the pit with a stick. But next day the condition becomes the same,’’ he said.

Mr Ashwini Kumar, Junior Engineer in the area, said that he had received a complaint and sent a party to clean the manhole. He added that he had received the complaint only today and had acted promptly.



BSNL subscribers an unhappy lot?
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 21
“Harass and fleece the subscribers” seems to be the buzz word for BSNL here if experience of a large number of people is any indication.
Complaints of undelivered, delayed and wrong bills, demand for bills paid long ago and disconnection of telephones even after payment of bills by BSNL have become a routine rather than exception. The worst part is that victims have no idea as to whom they should approach for redressal of their problems since the officers concerned are either not available or refused to entertain even genuine complaints.

Against a scenario in which private telecom operators were introducing a host of customer-friendly services, BSNL subscribers are an unhappy lot where the payment of bills is concerned. In particular, post offices have refused to accept the payment of bills after due date even when the late payment surcharge was added. TRA offices of BSNL are located at far away places. For example, the subscribers in Civil Lines have to go to TRA office in Model Town because the office located in Civil Lines is for subscribers of some other area.

In a rather unique case, Mr Gurpreet Singh, a resident of the Chhawni Mohalla locality, has been issued a bill by BSNL for a telephone, which did not exist. The affected person had applied for a new telephone connection and the demand note issued in this regard was paid on November 9, 2004.

However, he was shocked when he received a telephone bill (for Phone No 2745136) a few days back, which not only included the security deposit and rent for part of the month but also charges for 47 calls during November 18 to November 30, 2004. The fact remained that the new telephone line has yet to be installed at the premises of Mr Gurpreet Singh.

In response to the call made to the telephone number, a recorded voice announced that the number did not exist. In these circumstances, it still remained a mystery as to how 47 calls were made from the non-existent telephone.

Mr Parveen Kumar, SDO, Mata Rani Exchange, said the installation of a new telephone at the premises of Mr Gurpreet Singh was purposely stopped because he was a defaulter for another telephone working earlier on the premises. On the telephone bill issued to the said person which showed a number of calls having been made, he said it might be due to an oversight and the bill was being cancelled.



Ban on slaughtering of animals in open
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 21
Bucking under the pressure of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission, (PHRC), the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has finally ordered to get animals slaughtered in Modern Slaughter House in Haibowal and banned slaughtering of animals in open.

The slaughter house had been lying non-functional for the past many years. The MC ordered its reopening on December 11 but due to the un-availability of water and power meat dealers were facing problems.

The water supply and power connections were restored here today but being Tuesday no slaughtering was done. Dr Jaswant Singh, Joint Commissioner, MC, said he would deal strictly with violators. He added that sanitary inspectors were in the field to ensure that no slaughtering was being done in the open.

Dr Usha Dhingra, Medical Officer of the MC, said she had visited 23 meat shops and made sure that all animals had a stamp by medical officer. She said everyday the number of animals was increasing as more and more shopkeepers were coming to know about it. She warned them that those who would not get the large animals for slaughtering would be challaned and meat would be destroyed.

As the house had been lying non-functional for months, the meat being sold to residents was unchecked and slaughtered in an unhygienic conditions. As the slaughter house remained closed, illegal butcheries were having a field day. The People for Animals had taken the matter to the PHRC which had directed the MC to enforce its operations at the slaughter house.

On an average 800 animals are slaughtered in the city everyday. Till recently these had been sold directly for consumption.

As per the rules any animal brought for slaughter had to be medically examined by the veterinary surgeon and after the animal was declared medically fit only then the slaughtering was permitted. But the animals were being butchered in the illegal slaughter houses mushrooming in the city. Sources reveal that there are around 700 butcheries in the city.

The sources said that the meat shop owners preferred doing the slaughtering themselves as they had to pay Rs 5 per animal to the MC. Moreover, in the morning they were not sure whether the number of slaughtered animals would be sold by the evening or not. So they preferred to slaughter animals one by one. Officials said that unless the MC was serious to ensure the compliance of the rules of slaughtering, it was very difficult to check the meat owners.

As per the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, notified in the Government Gazette on March 26, 2001, the rules forbid slaughter of animals, except in licensed slaughter houses. No animal, which is pregnant, or has offspring, less than three-month old or is under the age of three months or not certified by a veterinary doctor, should be slaughtered. Animals meant for slaughter would be sent to lairage for resting at least 24 hours after the veterinary examination. The rules, framed under the Act, also regulate the conditions in the slaughter houses and employees engaged in this work.



Grocer, family attacked, 3 hurt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 21
About eight to 10 “robbers” armed with sharp-edged and blunt weapons allegedly beat up a grocer-cum-PCO owner and his family in the Dhandari area after they could not find anything worth looting in the house.

The three injured, Ram Nath (35), his wife Meenakshi (30) and her brother Raju Gupta (20), were admitted to Civil Hospital this morning and then shifted to Pahwa Hospital. They claimed that they were attacked by the “robbers” after midnight. The robbers demanded Rs 50,000 from them while they only had a few hundred rupees. At this the “robbers” brandishing knives, iron rods and sticks beat them up.

The Shimla Puri police, however, said it had strong reservations about the incident. SHO Jogi Raj claimed that the police was investigating the matter and the attackers seemed to have personal enmity with the victims and were not robbers.

The injured have denied having personal enmity with anyone.

The area residents told Ludhiana Tribune that the attackers had bolted the doors of their houses from outside and they could not come to the rescue of the victim family.



Bid to loot bank: police clueless about suspects
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 21
The police is clueless about the suspects of a bid to burgle a nationalised bank at Latala village in Ludhiana district.
A gang of burglars had attempted unsuccessfully to carry away cash by breaking into the Union Bank of India, Latala branch, in the cover of thick fog on Saturday night. The bid failed as the cash box could not be fused with gas cutter they had brought with them.

The incident was noticed on Monday morning when staff of the bank found the doors open and some of the articles lying outside the bank.

According to a complaint lodged by Mr Balwinder Singh, Manager of the branch, some unidentified persons attempted to break open the currency box having around Rs 3.41 lakh but could not succeed, as they could not fuse the metallic safe with the gas cutter they had used to break into the strong room.

The burglars had probably started their attempt on Saturday night after the bank was closed.

Though they succeeded in breaking the outer grills, the doors and the main door of the strong room, the thick wall of the currency safe could not be fused with the heat of the cutter.

The miscreants damaged the three computers installed in the bank and threw CPUs in the open place along the bank.

Mr Rajiv Ahir, SSP, Jagraon, viewed that a local gang who was well informed about the internal structures of the bank had made the attempt. The building of the bank is open from three sides and is prone to burglary.

Despite repeated warnings by the police, the bank authorities did not bother to appoint a night watchman.



Ludhiana Calling

‘Shaheedon ki chitaon par lagenge har baras mele, watan par marne walon ko yahi baaki nishan hoga’. This couplet does not seem to be have much value for the city residents and the administration. That we are found wanting in respecting our martyrs was evident from an exposure made by the Ludhiana Tribune of the theft of plaques from the martyrs’ statues recently. It was quite distressing that no government official could spot the missing plaques from the statues installed in Mini Secretariat and other busy points in the city. Not even a single city resident reported the missing plaques as no one seemed to be aware of their theft. Though thousands of people, including officials, pass these statues, yet it required the Fourth Estate to point out the glaring theft. The person, who had stolen the plaques, must have earned a few hundred rupees but he has definitely done a huge damage to the martyrs memory.

Photo by Sayeed AhmedSanta comes calling

As the Christmas season is on, there is a festival spirit prevailing in the city. With the weather is becoming colder by the day, it is Santa all the way in the city. Various shops and gift houses are seen exhibiting Santas in various sizes. These are found in the form of soft toys, on the pencils, on other small knick-knacks and in the form of masks. Schools are also organising fancy dress shows where children are getting dressed up as Santa.

Chill brings cheer

The added chill in the weather has done good to at least one segment of society — Hosiery industry. Manufacturers and dealers who were quite disappointed till a couple of days ago, as stocks had remained piled up with winters having remained mild till now, have cheered up now. Earlier they were adopting strategies like increased discounts. But now the hopes for better profits have revived. “We had thought the season would leave us with little profits but thanks to declined temperatures business has started picking up again,” a dealer said.

Holidaying abroad!

City residents are truly growing cosmopolitan. While business houses, including hotels, are all geared up for the New Year celebrations, a large section of denizens seems to have other options. Quite a number are preferring foreign destinations to enjoy their New Year Eve. “We are bored with the routine. All that you have here is some booze or may be a dance party or a couple of games.. abroad it is gonna be fun!,” a Civil Lines area resident exclaimed.

Flowers’ fate

These days it has become the in thing to use floral decorations for all sorts of occasions- be it marriage, engagement, birthday or a ring ceremony, a large number of flowers are used at the gates, inside the hall or the garden. The flowers are so much in vogue that they are air lifted from as far as Bangalore. The exotic varieties of flowers in their vivid hues and sweet smelling scent welcome the guests. The children ruthlessly destroy the flowers during the party. The parents are hardly concerned about this wanton destruction. After the even, the flowers are thrown away in garbage dump. The flowers did not bloom to meet such a cruel fate.

Year-end leaves

As the year is coming to an end, the presence of staff in government offices in particular, and private offices in general, is appallingly low. The employees are trying to exhaust their casual leave because as the year-ends the leave lapses. While the employees are enjoying, it is the commonman who has to bear the brunt of the situation. Everytime people visit public offices to get their work done, they have to come back because someone or the other is absent. If only something could be done about casual leaves!

Reflectors please

The fog not only brings in chilly weather but becomes a cause of several accidents as well. With the fog engulfing the city, a number of accidents are reported everyday. While one has no control over the nature, one can always adopt some means to avoid being hit in this weather. The answer is fog lights and reflectors. For umpteen times, the city traffic police has asked the public to use these for a safe drive but a very few seem to listen as is reflected by the growing number of accidents.

— Sentinel



Repair of roads begin to welcome ‘Ganga Sagar’
Mahesh Sharma

Raikot (Ahmedgarh), December 21
As a mark of respect to “Ganga Sagar”, an urn of religious value for the Sikhs, the civic body here has started the renovation of various gates and roads which remind the cultural heritage of the times of Rai Kallah to whom the rare relic had been presented by Guru Gobind Singh three centuries earlier.

Observation revealed that the Municipal Council had started renovation of the main entries of the town and proposed to undertake repairs of some roads leading to Gurdwara Tahliana Sahib.

The renovation of Talwandi Gate and Kutba Gate was going on, which was being restructured to preserve their original form. The gates made up of Nanak Shahi bricks had developed cracks in the main walls.

Mr Sudarshan Joshi, who was supervising the repair of the Talwandi Gate on Tuesday, claimed that the civic body had taken care to preserve the originality of the gates.

“The Rs 35 lakh project is meant to preserve the cultural and historical values of all structures constructed by erstwhile rulers of the Raikot state. Technical staff at the council has been asked to be careful while altering any part of the structures,” claimed Mr Joshi.

Though the works might not be completed before the scheduled arrival of the sacred urn, the council had decided to complete as much as it could do by then.

Terming the proposed arrival of “Ganga Sagar” as a historic event for the town and the area, Mr Joshi expressed hope that various organisations would join hands to make the event memorable. All help would be extended to the management committee of Gurdwara Tahliana Sahib in making the necessary arrangements, assured the council chief.

Besides, the council and other organisations, including the Truck Operators Union, the Kalgidhar Federation, management committees of various gurdwaras were doing much at their own to welcome the religious procession that would accompany the urn.



Keralites make ‘a home away from home’
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 21
Eversince the Partition of the country Ludhiana has evolved into a cosmopolitan city with various communities settling over here and making it their home.
Keralites are one of the oldest communities having settled down here during the last over hundred years. They are now an integral part of the socio-cultural life of the city having made immense contribution in the field of medicine and industry.

According to Mr N.V. Rajan, president of the Sree Ayyappa Temple, Ludhiana, there are about 20,000 Keralites settled in Ludhiana. Although they adhere to different religious faiths and beliefs, Malyalam, their mother tongue, remains the strong bond that binds them together. Mostly the Christians and the Hindus keralites observe a distinct cultural life.

Most of the Christian community in Ludhiana is settled around the Christian Medical College and Hospital. They have made immense contribution to the development of the CMC. In fact most of the CMC alumni is from Kerala and it ensures that the institution keeps on growing. They have been making generous contributions for the success of the institution. However, it is not that there are Christian Keralites alone in the CMC, a number of non Christian Keralites are also working there.

Some of the Keralites like Mr P.N. Nair have made it big in the business as well. Mr Nair, who came here in 1983, has a well established export business. There are other Keralites who are well placed in the industrial management, like Mr N.V. Rajan.

As the number of Keralites kept on growing they founded the local chapter of the Sree Ayyappa Temple trust and also constructed an Ayappa Temple at Jamalpur near here. It is spread over an area of 4000 sq yard and has been constructed in the South Indian temple architecture style. On every Makkar Sankrati there is a religious congregation.

The local Ayyappa Temple is affiliated to the parent trust in Kerala also. There is also another Ayyappa Temple constructed by another group of Keralites, who do not carry on well with the Jamalpur management.

The Keralites have been found to be most polite and caring, particularly in the field of nursing. A leading doctor of a local nursing home disclosed that he always preferred the Keralite nursing staff. Besides having a sharp pick up, they are usually sincere and hardworking. No wonder, most of the hospitals in Ludhiana have mostly Keralite nurses.

But that does not mean they are not excelling in other fields like education, industry and trade. They are also in other private sector services they are doing exceptionally well. And most of them have already picked up the Punjabi language, besides the Punjabi food habits and dress.



Poet lauds PAU promoting Punjabi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 21
On his visit to PAU, Mr Gurcharan Rampuri, a Canadian poet said that PAU was making an important contribution for the farmers by publishing the literature on agriculture in their mother-tongue. He said that he used to regularly visit the PAU and meet the Punjabi writers as well as the scientists. He said that besides writing poems, novels and plays, it is very much necessary to write a scientific literature in the mother-tongue, which makes it more comprehensive.

Appreciating the efforts of Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor of PAU for his love for mother-tongue, he said that under his guidance, PAU had achieved the higher status for writing the agricultural literature in the Punjabi language, mother-tongue of the people.

During a meeting with the members of PAU Sahit Sabha, Mr Rampuri said that he had stared writing after following in the footsteps of Gurbaksh Singh Preet Lari and I have written more than 10 poetry books so far.

Dr Joginder Singh Niralaa, Presidnet, PAU Sahit Sabha, welcomed Mr Rampuri and Mr Gurbhajan Gill, Editor ‘Changi Kheti’ said that due to his efforts, he had become a leading poet of the day. Mr Gulzar Pandher, Mr Purdaman Singh Bedi, New Story writer Mr Jasbir Rana, Dr Narinder Pal Singh and other were also present on the occasion.



Winter carnival
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 21
A Winter carnival was held at Darshan Academy in which students and parents enjoyed games, eatables and dance items. Students of all age-groups gave a thrilling performance on the stage. Students of the academy displayed information collected by them on the project ‘know your city’ which included history, institutions, hospitals, banks, industries, personalities, freedom fighters, pollution, modes of transport etc.

A scene of ‘mera pind’ showing a Ludhiana village and its culture was the main attraction for all where people enjoyed makki di roti the sarson da saag sitting on the cot.

A fancy dress competition was also organised in which number of tiny tots up to the age of five participated. Winners of fancy dress competition were awarded prizes by the chief guest, Mr V.K. Goyal, CEO of Vardhman.



DC lays stone of chambers for lawyers
Our Correspondent

Amloh, December 21
Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner of Fatehgarh Sahib, laid the foundation stone of lawyers’ chambers at the Court Complex here on Tuesday. Mr. Sandeep Hans SDM, Amloh, presided over the function.

Mr S.S. Panesar, Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Mr. Gopal Arora, Judicial Magistrate First Class, and local lawyers were present. Mr Ahluwalia announced Rs 21,000 for the chambers.

Mr Amrik Singh Rurkee, local Bar chief, asserted that permission for the construction of the chambers was given by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The cost of construction of the chambers would be met by the lawyers. 



Call for dharna on Dec 23

Jagraon, December 21
On the call by the Sahkari Khand Mill Bachao Committee here will organise a dharna in front of the office of the local SDM on December 23, to build pressure on the state government against closing down the sugar mill. More organisations to join the stir are the Kirti Kisan Union, the Bharti Kisan Union, the Roadways Union, the PSEB Employees Federation. the CPM, the CPI, the Kisan Sabha, the Congress, the Akali Dal. OC



Medical camp and natak mela

Khanna, December 21
In connection with the observance of the 300th martyr year of four Sahibzadas Of Guru Gobind Singh and Mata Gujri a medical camp and a natak mela was organised at Janta Public School Kartar Nagar Khanna yesterday.
More than 300 patients were checked at the camp. Medicines were distributed free of cost. After the camp, three plays were enacted. OC



Land sold on fabricated agreement, 5 booked
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 21
Sukhdev Singh, Pavittar Singh, Dharam Pal, Rupinder and his mother Manjit Kaur of Kalkhan villge allegedly conspired and fabricated an agreement to sell land purported to be signed by Harnek Singh of their village. The Raikot police, on the complaint of Harnek Singh has registered a case against all five under Sections 419, 467, 468, 471, and 120-B IPC after holding enquiry. No arrest has been made so far.

Theft: An unknown person allegedly had stolen ceiling fan hand-pump filter and some other articles from the house of Shingara Singh of Kiri village. The Sidhwan Bet police registered a case under Section 380 IPC on the statement of Shingara Singh.

5 booked for assault: Joginder Singh, Maghar Singh, Jiwan Singh, Mit Singh and Harchand Singh alleged to have assaulted Bal Singh of their Barundi village with sharp-edged weapons. The Dehlon police has booked them under Sections 323, 324, 148, and 149 IPC. Some land dispute is the reason for assault. No arrest has been made so far.



Manhandling case: accused still at large
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 21
A resident of Haibowal here has alleged police inaction in an FIR registered against some persons who had allegedly beaten him and his family memebrs last month.

Mr Mahadev Gupta has, in a representation sent to SSP Narinderpal Singh, alleged that a group of persons, inclduing Sonu, Matta and other, had beaten them last month and the case was registered after much delay. However, the police was not arresting the accused who were allegedly threatening them.

DSP Simratpal Singh, however, denied the allegation, saying that the police had registered an FIR and further action was being taken.


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