L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Twins asphyxiated as room catches fire
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
Sheer negligence on the part of a young mother claimed the lives of two one-and-half-year-old twin boys, who received burn injuries and died of asphyxiation in sleep in the New Madhopuri area this afternoon.

The twins, Khwaab and Khayaal, died after the room they were sleeping in caught fire from a lit candle that was left there by their mother, Ms Sonia Passi (30), who had taken her daughter to a doctor nearby thinking that she would be back within half an hour.

Tragedy struck the family at around 2:30 pm when the neighbours found smoke emanating from their two-storeyed house. They found the house locked from outside and they reported the matter to the Fire Department and the police. When the PCR policemen and firemen reached the place, they broke open the door only to find the twins sleeping. They, were, however, in an unconscious state.

They were taken to the CMC hospital where they were declared brought dead. The boys with burnt faces seemed to have died of asphyxia even before fire could do any harm to them.

The couple, Ms Sonia and Mr Rakesh Kumar Passi, did not allow mediapersons to click pictures stating that they did not want the matter to be highlighted by the media. The Station House Officer, Mr Jaswant Singh Mangat, Police Station Division No-3, said the twins’ elder sister, Chelsea (5), was not feeling well and Sonia had taken her to a doctor nearby. Mr Passi is a rice merchant.

As the boys were sleeping and there was no electricity in the house, Ms Passi decided to leave a lit candle near their bed thinking that they would not cry if they woke up. As luck would have it, the house caught fire. Mr Passi that the candle might have fallen down and the bedding might have caught fire from it. He urged the mediapersons not to go inside the house as the family did not want them to do so.

The condition of the parents was pathetic. A wailing Sonia was repeating that she had lost her world and mediapersons were trying to make light of tragedy that had struck her. She was blaming herself for it. The neighbours were also not willing to comment on it.

The police has initiated proceedings under Section 174, CrPC in the case.



Greed drives youths to murder friend
Two suspects nabbed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
A youth was allegedly strangulated to death by two of his friends in Mullanpur Dakha, near here, late last night. The police has claimed to have identified and nabbed the two suspects.

According to the Station House Officer of the Mullanpur Dakha police station, Mr Prem Singh, the police found the body of Navdeep Singh, son of Shiv Charan Singh of the same village, in Bhanaur drain.

Earlier, it appeared to be a case of blind murder, as the family did not suspect anyone. Navdeep owned a dairy farm and was reportedly producing about a quintal of milk daily.

The police, Mr Prem Singh disclosed, questioned some of his friends. It was learnt that Navdeep had a drink with two of his friends Kulwinder Singh, son of Jeet Singh of the same village, and a migrant labourer identified as Dinesh, who used to work for him (Navdeep) till about three months back.

The three drank heavily. The police claimed that Kulwinder and the migrant, who has not been identified so far, thought that Navdeep was carrying a lot of cash. They allegedly took him to some unknown place late in the night and asked him to hand over all the money to them. When he refused, they allegedly strangulated him to death and threw the body in the bushes near the Bhanaur drain.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr Jatinder Singh Khera, accompanied by Mr Prem Singh and a few more policemen, went to the spot. They immediately launched a search operation and nabbed the suspects.

The police officials claimed that during questioning Kulwinder confessed to the murder.

After allegedly strangulating Navdeep to death, the suspects took away his gold chain and the purse which contained Rs 1,300, much to their disappointment as they had expected to find several thousand rupees. The police has recovered the chain and Rs 300 from Kulwinder.



Tribune Impact
NRI offers Rs 50,000 for Rahul’s treatment
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 17
An NRI from Vancouver, Canada, has come forward and offered financial assistance to save one-and-a-half-year-old Rahul, who is struggling for life at Christian Medical College and Hospital here.
Dr Sanjiv Ahluwalia, an NRI, has decided to donate Rs 50,000 to save the child.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune on the telephone from Canada, Dr Ahluwalia said the little child should be saved at any cost.

He said he and his other NRI friends had formed an organisation, which would be donating for the noble cause.

“We had read the story on the Internet and were sad to know about the child’s condition. We pray to God to save the child”, said Dr Ahluwalia.

Meanwhile, the child’s grandmother, Kamla, on hearing about the donation, said theirs was a hand-to-mouth family. Rahul’s father was a salesman and earned only Rs 2,500 a month. Rahul was the only child in the family and his mother, Rani, prayed for his good health every day. She said, “We are very happy to know about the financial help. Good people still live in this world. God bless such people”.

Dr Tejinder Singh, treating doctor, said the child was in the hospital for about a month now. He suffered from pneumonia and was on ventilators. “But his condition is now stable and we hope that he would be able to lead a normal life after getting treatment”, said Dr Tejinder.

The Ludhiana Tribune had made an appeal to help the child on January 16.

According to the hospital authorities, an estimated expenditure of Rs 80,000 was expected to be incurred on Rahul’s treatment after receiving financial assistance from the hospital.



Model Town residents hold dharna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
Residents of the Model Town area staged a dharna outside the Atam Nagar police post in protest against the alleged inaction of the police in an assault case.
Led by Mr Nirmaljit Singh, around 40 persons gathered outside the police post and raised slogans against the police, seeking registration of a case of attempt to murder against the assailants. The police has booked the assailants under Sections 323 and 324 of the IPC.

Mr Nirmaljit Singh alleged that the assailants had attacked Jasbir Singh 25 days ago following a confrontation over some issue. The police had facilitated a compromise between the two parties then.

Later, the same assailants attacked Jasbir’s friend, Lakhwinder Singh, for helping the former. While he had received injuries in the attack, they were booked for voluntarily causing hurt by using weapons only.

He further alleged that the police personnel of the post did not even register a case and they had to report the matter to the Model Town police station where the case was finally registered on January 15.

The police did not let the agitators protest for more than 10 minutes, he alleged, adding that they were told that if they would protest they would be arrested. 



Cop booked for accepting bribe from BJP worker
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
The protest organised by BJP leaders on the premises of the Division No 5 police station on Saturday evening bore fruit today with the district police booking the constable who had accepted a bribe of Rs 100 for a police verification report from a BJP worker.

Constable Harjit Singh was booked under Section 7/13(2), 88 of the Prevention of Corruption Act on the complaint of Rajdeep Singh. The complainant had alleged that the constable had demanded a bribe for the compliance of summon of the FIR number 362 under Sections 353/186/188, IPC, on January 15. No arrest has been made so far.

The BJP workers, led by former Deputy Speaker Satpal Gosain and Mr Anil Sareen, had staged a dharna and raised slogans against the police on Saturday evening alleging that the policemen were going to the houses of those workers who were beaten up and arrested for holding a demonstration outside the SSP’s office in December.

The BJP leaders had threatened to launch an agitation if the police did not take action against the culprit in the case. The party workers had given a complaint with sworn affidavits by three persons in the police station.

In another case Head Constable Harmesh Lal was booked for replacing new tyres of an impounded truck with old ones at the Sarabha Nagar police station. He has been booked under Sections 409 and 120 B of the IPC. The truck was in the custody of the Sarabha Nagar police in a case registered under Sections 379/411/420/467/ 468/471/34, IPC. The Head Constable allegedly replaced three new tyres with old ones at the midnight of January 15. 



BKU seeks case against factory owners
Seizure of spurious fertiliser
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
The Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) has demanded the registration of a case against the manufacturers of spurious fertilizer and have warned that they will launch an agitation in case the government tries to hush up the matter. The union is holding a state-level rally at Samrala on January 20.

According to Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal and Prof Manjit Singh Kadian, president and working chief, respectively, of the outfit, the unearthing of the factory manufacturing spurious fertilizer at Sultanpur village, near Doraha, was a serious matter and just the tip of the iceberg. Many such units were operating with impunity in various parts of the state and were causing irreparable damage to the economy of the state besides damaging the lands of the farmers, they added.

The kisan leaders said upon receiving the information, they informed the DDPO and took a team of officials to the site and saw that several truckloads of the spurious fertilizer, packed in cement bags, was awaiting transportation. The matter was brought to the notice of the SDM, Samrala, who ordered that all bags should be sealed and taken into custody.

They alleged that they had come to know that instead of registering a case against the owners of the factory and arresting them, the police had allowed them to remove the incriminating material from the factory.

The Sultanpur village panchayat too has reiterated that they will resort to an agitation in case the owners of the factory were not arrested. Action should also be taken against the officials responsible for allowing the spurious fertilizer to be removed from the site, they pointed out.



5 Shiromani awardees honoured 
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 17
The Sahit Sabha, Mohali, yesterday honoured five writers, who had been awarded the Shiromani Awards by the Punjab Government for their contribution to Punjabi literature. The five include playwright Dr Atamjit Singh, poet Shivnath, and Punjabi writers for children Dr Rama Rattan, Sarabjit Bedi and Hardev Chauhan.

While four of the five Shiromani awardees were present to receive the honours from well-known Punjabi author Dr Santokh Singh Dhir. Dr Atamjit Singh could not be present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, the four writers stressed that there was the need to encourage Punjabi reading among youth. Dr Rama Rattan stated that while good Punjabi literature for children was available, there were not enough readers to appreciate those.

“The government should ensure that our children be exposed to Punjabi nursery rhymes instead of other languages. The government should ban the teaching of nursery rhymes in other languages in schools,” she said.

Dr S.S. Dosanjh of the Pustak Pathak Manch explained to the audience the aim of his manch.

Dr Sahib Singh’s work “Parinde Jaan Hun Kithe”, Mr Sarabjit Bedi’s latest work “Tara Turiya Jaaye” and Avtar Singh Saraon’s “Dardan Da Pujari” were also released on the occasion.



Shiv Sainiks burn effigy of Jayalalithaa
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 17
Demanding withdrawal of all false and fabricated criminal cases registered against the Shankaracharya of Kanchi, Jayendra Saraswati, activists of the Shiv Sena (Hindustan), led by the national general secretary, Mr Pawan Sharma, and the district president, Mr Krishan Sharma, today staged a demonstration against the Tamil Nadu Government at Mini Secretariat here. They burnt the effigy of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

Carrying banners and placards, the slogan shouting party workers asked the President of India to dismiss the government for what they described as blatant interference in religion and humiliation of a revered religious leader of Hindu community.

In a memorandum submitted to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, the party charged the Tamil Nadu Government with nursing designs to take control of the math and causing harassment to the seer to settle personal scores.

Mr Pawan Sharma and other party leaders observed that the arrest of the seer in a false case of murder had hurt the religious sentiments of the Hindu community all over the country. They asked the Chief Minister to withdraw all cases against the Shankaracharya and tender a public apology for her highhandedness failing which the party would continue to hold protests and the agitation would be further intensified.

The Shiv Sena functionaries further said they would build up a case for a probe into the circumstances which led to the arrest of the religious leader and his harassment at the hands of the state police which was merely playing in the hands of their political masters. They maintained that the party would also seek the reopening of cases of corruption and misuse of power against Jayalalithaa which were hushed up due to political pressure by the ruling party.

Prominent among those present at this occasion were Mr Parveen Mittal, Mr Parveen Jindal, Mr Suresh Manchanda, Mr Shiv Murti Sharma, Mr Lakshmi Narayan, Mr Sanjeev Pathak, Mr Anil Singla, Mr Suraj Ahluwalia, Mr Krishan Bansal, Dr Rajesh Kumar, Mr Sunil Choudhry, Mr Barjesh Singh, Mr Tanush Garcha, Mr Ajay Mullapuri, Mr Barjinder Singh Sodhi, Mr Manjit Singh Chahal, Mr Hardeep Singh, Mr Vimal Kumar, Mr Arvind Sharma, Mr Ajit Singh, Mr Inderdeep Singh, Mr Tarsem Singh, Mr Krishan Lal, Mr Tilak Raj, Mr Suminder Singh, Mr Ravinder Kumar and Mr Punna Yadav.



Traffic jam due to ‘chetna march’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
Massive traffic jam took place in the city yesterday due to lop-sided alternative traffic arrangements made by the city traffic police for the ‘chetna march’ organised by the management of Dukhniwaran Sahib Gurdwara from the city to Manji Sahib Gurdwara, Alamgir. The traffic jam remained for over five hours.

Residents of the city who are used to such jams had just another bitter experience. Former Chief Minister and President, Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), Prakash Singh Badal, also had first hand experience of how difficult such jams can be.

Mr Badal along with his Z-Plus security men was stuck in long queue of the vehicles. He even had to get out of his car. He relished kinnows like the common man on the roadside.



Rs 15 lakh sewerage project for Doraha
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 17
Doraha seems to be all set to acquire a completely modern look as the MC has taken up beautification work in the town on a war footing.
Mr S.P Sood, acting president of the Municipal Council, said encroachments in market area had been removed. He also informed that space had been vacated for the construction of Shaheed Beant Singh Park.

The beautification project is being followed under the guidance of Mr Tej Parkash Singh Kotli, local MLA and Mr Tejinder Singh Dhaliwal, SDM , Payal. Traffic lights on the National Highway, streetlights all along the park road and in other areas will also be installed as a part of the project, he added.

Mr Surjit Singh, Executive Officer, said all encroachments would be removed by March 31.

Mr Sood also said a cultural-cum-community centre would come up in the town by March 31. The cultural centre will be a common place with a separate gym, a conference hall and a park for kids also. Cultural programmes and community welfare camps will be organised in the centre from time to time.

"Further the committee is all set to launch a sewerage project worth Rs 15 lakh," said Mr Sood.

He also said the roads were being widened and recarpeted. ‘‘The Kaddon road is being widened up to five feet.’’ 



Jasleen Takkar is ‘Winter Queen’ 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 17
A ‘Winter Queen’ contest was held at Gayatri ladies club here today. The judges were Ms Poonam Bindra and Ms Indu Bhaskar.
In below-35 year category, Jasleen Takkar was adjudged winner while Pooja was the first runners-up.

In 35-45 year category, Anila Nagpal stood the winner while Geeta Kumar was declared the first runners-up. In the third category (above 45 years), Shelly Goyal was adjudged winner. Kavita Talwar and Aman Bawa were declared the first and second runners-up respectively.



Foundation stone laid
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 17
The foundation stone of Guru Pushkar Naresh Jain Sadhna Kendra was laid at New Kitchlu Nagar here today by Mr Parjan Kumar Jain of Jalandhar.
The proposed meditation centre would also house an old-age home and an orphan, according to the president of the Shri Ram Lal Charitable Trust. Others present on the occasion included Lala Lajpat Rai, a former MP, Naresh Muniji Maharaj and several other Jain saints. Meals were served among participants at the conclusion of the ceremony.



Waiting hall inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 17
An NRI, Mr Sandeep Chheena, has inaugurated a waiting hall in the office of the SDM. The hall was constructed and furnished at the cost of Rs 2 lakh. The NRI donated money for its construction.

Furnished with modern furniture and gadgets, the hall is fully air-conditioned. Addressing the gathering, Mr Gurmeet Singh, SDM, claimed that the office was first of its kind in the state to have such a waiting room at a public office. Earlier, Mr Narain Singh Chheena, another NRI, had donated Rs 1.2 lakh to construct a public toilet at the subdivision office.



Federation concerned over power crisis
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 17
The All-India Federation of Democratic Youth has expressed resentment against power crisis in the state and has asked the government to wake up to the crisis by the farming and industrial community in particular and the common people in general.

In a press note released by the federation, Mr Jandeep Kanchal, secretary of AIFDY and the cell-secretary of MCPI, criticised the deteriorating power situation in the state. He said the worst hit were the students.

The rising prices of sugar and other commodities too are a matter of concern for a common man, the federation asserted.



Sahibzadas’ martyrdom commemorated

Ludhiana, January 17
To commemorate the martyrdom of the Sahibzadas and the celebrations of the birthday of Guru Gobind Singh, a function was organised yesterday by the Naujawan Seva Dal at Somal village, near Maloudh, here. OC 



Two brothers assaulted, threatened
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
Two brothers were assaulted by a group of persons at Kehar Singh Nagar here last evening.
The brothers, Chandresh (20) and Kangresh (17), were admitted to the Civil Hospital.

In a complaint to the police, Mr Heera Lal, victims’ father, who is a paint contractor, said his elder son was sitting in his grocery store when the assailants attacked him. Later, they allegedly assaulted Kangresh.

Mr Heera Lal alleged that this was the handiwork of a neighbour. He said the assailants also threatened them.

Heera Lal said he had been living here for the past 22 years.

He owned a house in Kehar Singh Nagar, a bicycle shop, a PCO and a grocery store.

The assailants allegedly broke a computer kept in the PCO and threw away items kept in the store.



Liquor seized, one arrested
Our Correspondent

Khanna, January 17
The police has arrested a man from Kamma Ghurala village for carrying nine bottles of country-made liquor.
The accused was identified as Guljari Lal, a resident of Dau Majra village. A case under the Excise Act has been registered.

Man consumes acid: A middle aged man tried to commit suicide by consuming acid on Sunday. Joginder Singh (38), a resident of Mohalla Anand Nagar, consumed acid. He was admitted to the Civil Hospital, from where he escaped.

Poppy husk seized: Balrit Singh of Barundi village was arrested for carrying 22 kg of poppy husk. A case under the NDPS Act has been registered at Raikot police station.

Cyclist killed: Kiranjit of Khurshaidpur village was killed in a road accident. He was hit by a Maruti car.

A case under Sections 304-A and 279 of the IPC has been registered at Sidhwanbet police station.



Villager attacked over property dispute
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, January 17
A resident of Sange village, near here, was injured in an attack over property yesterday.
Surat Singh, son of Partap Singh of the same village, complained to the police that while he was at his home last evening, he was attacked by Kunda Singh, son of Dilip Singh of the same village. Surat Singh sustained injuries in the left arm.

The bone of contention between the two parties was said to be a piece of land. The injured was taken to primary health centre at Koom Kalan and a case has been registered under Sections 324 and 452 of the IPC at the Sahnewal police station. 



Raise IT exemption limit, demands INTUC
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 17
In a pre-Budget memorandum presented to the Union Finance Minister, the state units of the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and the National Organisation of Government Employees (NOGE) have called for the enhancement of exemption limit of income tax from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh and exemption of dearness allowance (DA) from income tax, among other things.

Mr Balwant Rai Kapoor, state chief of INTUC, and Mr K.R. Tripathi, president of NOGE, have called upon the government to make provisions for deduction of DA from taxable income because the allowance was not actual income but reimbursement against rise in inflation. They further pleaded for rationalisation of the income tax structure and suggested that there should be just three slabs of income tax rates at 5 per cent for annual income of Rs 1.5 lakh, 10 per cent for income upto Rs 5 lakh and 20 per cent beyond that level.

According to Mr Shiv Gupta, general secretary of INTUC, the government was asked to enhance rebate under Section 88 from Rs 70,000 to Rs 2 lakh to induce national savings, provide 100 per cent rebate on housing loan repayment up to Rs 1 lakh, saving bank interest should be increased to 10 per cent and that on the PPF and the EPF to 12 per cent. The trade unions also made a plea for complete exemption from income tax for senior citizens as they survived on pensions alone.

The memorandum called upon the government to bring rich farmers in the fold of income tax in view of several subsidies granted to the farm sector. It wanted the non-payment of income tax by corporate houses to be made a criminal offence besides making public the names of big defaulters of banks, strengthening the public sector, provision of social security to private factory workers and abolition of ceiling on bonus and waiving surcharge on income tax.

Pleading for strengthening and extension of health cover to income tax payers, INTUC and the NOGE demanded that in the wake of increasing cost of hospitalisation and medical treatment, the government should provide for free treatment and surgical procedures for chronic and fatal diseases in recognised hospitals for income tax assessees.


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