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14 policemen chargesheeted for corruption
Rajneesh Lakhanpal
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 20
The local police has finally filed a charge sheet against 14 policemen in the court, on the charge of accepting a bribe from two controversial lottery traders. The charge sheet has been filed after a lapse of more than one and half years from the day of a registration of a case against them.

The scandal was exposed through some video CDs, made secretly allegedly by the controversial lottery traders, Jagjit Singh, alias Bittu Chawla, and Subash Chander alias Katty. Interestingly, these two persons have also been mentioned as accused in the charge sheet filed by the Division No 6 police.

The scandal had rocked the Police Department and even Jagjit Singh and Subhash Chander had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court to entrust the case to the CBI for a thorough and impartial inquiry. The state Police Department had ordered a probe into the disclosures regarding the alleged corruption in the Ludhiana police.

The charge sheet has been filed against Darshan Ram, Sub-Inspector, Balbir Singh, Sub-Inspector, Milkha Singh, Jaswinder Singh, Sartaj Singh, Amrik Singh of Jagraon, Amrik Singh of Jalandhar, Kuldip Singh, Jai Kishan, Baldev Singh all Head Constables), Palwinder Singh, Rakesh Kumar, Amrik Sigh of Amritsar (all constables) and SPO Prem Singh of Kangra.

According to the police challan, the case was got registered by the then DSP Industrial Area, Mr Snehdeep Sharma, against the policemen at Division No 6 police station under Sections 7, 12 and 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act after receiving information regarding the involvement of these policemen in taking money from the two lottery traders.

The police got clues that the policemen used to take money for telling them in advance about the activities of the police against them. They also did not take any action against them intentionally as they used to take bribe from them, says the challan.

The police claimed to have recovered the CDs in a box from outside the Division No 6 police station, showing several policemen sitting in the Santosh Agency office, near Shingaar cinema. All the accused confessed to taking money before the Investigating Officer, Mr Snehdeep Sharma, DSP. Their statements were recorded under Section 27 of the evidence Act and in pursuance of the same, the said money was also recovered from them, says the challan filed by the police.

Taking cognisance of the challan/charge sheet filed by the police against these policemen, Jagjit Singh and Subhash Chander the Special Judge dealing with corruption cases, Mr J. S. Bhatia has ordered the issuance of summons to the accused. The case will now come up for hearing on February 14. 



School’s novel way ‘to help’ a doctor
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 20
In a unique case the management of the Bharatiya Vidya Mandir (BVM) has asked the parents to furnish the health record of their children. The order also asks for immunisation record of the children right from birth. The parents have been told that they will get Rs 50 discount if they get various health investigations done from Dr Kuldeep, of Kuldeep Clinic, near New DMCH. Dr Kuldeep is a top RSS activist and associated with the BVM Management, whose affiliation with the RSS is too well known.

Some of the parents told The Tribune here today that their children were served with an “immunisation” chart recently. Written in Hindi, the circular starts with “new year greetings” and makes it mandatory for everyone to get the form filled. The parents pointed out, how could anybody retain the record for years together. They said, they were more concerned about the health of their children than anybody else. They asked, “how could anybody ask us about the records which are years old”.

The Manager, BVM Mr Madan Mohan Vyas clarified that the filling of the health and immunisation chart was not mandatory. However, he clarified that the school always required this much of information sought in the circular for ready reference in case of any need. He said, that the reference of Dr Kuldeep was given to the parents just to provide them the concession and also a credible alternative. Moreover it is not necessary that they should get the investigations done from Dr Kuldeep only, Mr Vyas clarified.

BVM is one of the biggest chain of schools in Ludhiana having five branches at different places. The total number of students exceed 5,000. While Dr Kuldeep’s clinic is situated at Tagore Nagar, the school branches are located as far as in Dugri and Chandigarh Road. The parents said, it was for the first time that any school had asked for this information and recommended the investigation clinic also.

It is not for the first time that the BVM has courted controversy. Only last year one of the founder principals of the school Mr Ashok Setia resigned just because he resisted the moves of some of the members in the management to get concessions for supplying various equipment required in the school. The sources in the management revealed that of late it has become a practice among the members and their kin to lobby for getting orders of various supplies like stationery, books, computers, uniform and now the medical investigations. 



3 held for bid to rob bank
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
The police has arrested three persons who made an unsuccessful bid to rob the Allahabad Bank on the Ferozepur road some days back.
According to DSP Ravcharan Singh Brar, those arrested include a clerk of a lawyer who was the kingpin of the gang. Following the bid, a team was constituted under Sarabha Nagar SHO Pawanjit Singh which was successful in nabbing other members of the gang.

The king pin has been identified as Sanjiv Kumar who is working as a munshi with a district court lawyer while the others are Sonu and Pirthi alias Rana.

He said the police had been able to nab one Mukesh on the day fo the foiled bid while other members had gone underground.

The gang had also struck at a bank in Hoshiarpur and had looted Rs 2.83 lakh. They had been motivated to rob a bank after reading about the successful bank dacoity of Rs 50 lakh in a bank in the region.

The gang had carried out reconnaissance of the Allahabad Bank on three occasions but had given up the idea in view of the heavy police presence in the area.

The DSP said Sonu is a gas cutter by profession and on the day of the crime had hired an oxygen gas cylinder from a shop near Luxmi cinema.

They had planned to cut the strongroom of the bank after getting into the bank. The cylinder had been hired by depositing a security of Rs 3500 which had been taken on interest by them. The police is also questioning the owners of the agency.

A case had been registered and further investigations are on. 



Inter-state gang selling fake degrees busted
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
The police has busted a six-member inter-state gang which was in the business of selling fake degrees of various universities and education boards of the country for the past five years.

Those arrested include Roshan Lal Gupta, Professor of zoology at DM College, Moga, and Surinder Kumar, assistant accountant of Panjab University. The police is on the lookout for Amarjit Singh, a clerk of Khalsa Girls College, Ludhiana, Mohinder Singh, a resident of Doraha, and Yogesh Yogi, a resident of Moga.

According to the Sarabha Nagar DSP, Mr Ravcharan Singh Brar, the Division Number 5 police station received a tip-off about the existence of the gang and a team was constituted under SHO Rajinder Singh Sohal. The two accused were arrested while travelling in a car in the city.

Commenting on the modus operandi of the gang, he said Surinder used to steal unfilled marksheets and certificates from the university during the course of his duty. He used to pass these on to other members of the gang who sold them to students and other persons desirous of getting the degrees for sums varying from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20, 000 each.

He said the gang was also in touch with students who wanted to sell their original marksheets and certificates to them. The original name on such degrees was deleted by Professor Gupta using a special kind of bleach powder. He then filled the name of the purchaser who then moved the university for the issuance of a duplicate marksheet or degree.

The DSP said the gang also specalised in issuing bogus marksheets to students under the guise of getting their results re-evaluated. The same was true for both the school boards and universities. In both cases, empty certificates were filled by them, enabling the purchaser to have the option of passing with the highest marks, albeit for a stiff price, he added.

The gang had been active for the past five years had duped hundreds of persons, desirous of going abroad, getting a degree by way of status to get married besides seeking jobs. The gang in the ensuing years had become master forgers and no one at first glance could detect whether the degree sold by them was fake, he pointed out.

The gang flourished as it had established links with the employees of the Punjab School Education Board and that of universities in other states. For the right price, no degree was beyond their reach and they were certain that more employees and teachers could land in their net, he added.

Mr Brar said Amarjit Singh had not reported for duty for many months and had earlier also been booked in several cases. Search parties had been sent to arrest the remaining accused. While further investigations are on, a case under Sections 467, 468, 471, 420 and 120-B had been registered, he said.



Revise date sheet: class XII students
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, January 20
Class XII students have expressed dissatisfaction over the annual examination date sheet issued by the Punjab School Education Board, they have demanded more days during examination of certain subjects.

The humanities group students who have opted for economics and mathematics as elective subjects, seem to be more perturbed by the date sheet as they resent that it is practically impossible for them to prepare for these subjects in so less a time.

While, English general examination is on March 5, the economics paper is on March 9. As English is a compulsory subject, such students have a day’s gap in the next two subjects to make their final preparations.

The students resent that with such vast syllabus, it is not even possible to do revision part in just 24 hours. “Moreover, the class is important for our future career too and such limited time gap is surely going to have an adverse affect on our scores.

Prof Sukhwinder Singh, lecturer in mathematics at GNN College, Doraha too said that the syllabus of mathematics is so vast that even if they rush through the entire course, they would not be able to complete it.”



Shawl industry needs ‘better
infrastructure facilities’

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Shingora, a company engaged in manufacturing and exporting shawls, scarves, fabrics, throws and cushions, has been awarded for its excellent export performance. The company received the third highest export performance award for 2003-04 and the highest export performance award for 2002-03 by the Wool and Woollen Export Promotion Council.

“Indian shawls are becoming increasingly popular in European countries and our shawl industry has the potential to tap high-end fashion market overseas,” said Ms Mridula Jain, managing director, Shingora, while addressing a press conference here today.

She said it was designing where the Indian shawl industry had an edge over the Chinese. “While the Chinese specialise in catering to mass markets as they produce in bulk and due to economies of scale have a competitive edge in pricing, Indian products are superior in quality and designing.”

While the majority of exports from the country went to Europe and America, Scandanavian countries, too, have a high potential, said Ms Jain. “Not only due to weather conditions, it is also their fashion consciousness that makes those counties high potential markets.”

For this industry to grow, Ms Jain emphasised on specialisation and better infrastructural facilities. “In Ludhiana, for instance, the specialisation is weaving and designing. Other places also need to have a similar focus,” she said. On infrastructural facilities, she said a project for establishing dyeing and finishing facilities would give a boost to the industry.

“Currently, in qualitative terms, India is on a par with international standards. In fact we are among the best and we have not even been affected much by the ending of the quota regime as we did not come under the reserved category. Constant improvement, however, is the key to success in every industry.”



An iconoclast who seeks to expose fortune telling
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Manjit Boparai is a rebel with a cause. An iconoclast who seeks to explode the myth of astrology. He believes that man is the master of his own destiny. One should not feel let down by one’s failure and seek refuge in astrology. He has written a book “Fortune Telling Exposed”, “which is into its 20th reprint and has widely been accepted and acknowledged by the people. He argues, “Things believed by the majority of people do not necessarily mean that they are right and logical”.

Boparai is an Australian citizen. A product of Government College for Boys, Ludhiana, he did his masters in geography. This gave him an insight into planetary movements. Initially he started practising astrology and palmistry as a hobby. But ultimately he realised that this was a pure myth and nobody could predict anybody’s future. He has announced a reward of $10 for anyone who can argue with him and convince him about the truthfulness of the subject.

He recalled that his curiosity once led him to check the lifelines in the hands of about 20 persons who were killed in a road accident. He found that none of them had any similarity in their hands and their lifelines were quite long. Since then, he started getting disillusioned with palmistry and astrology. He makes a strong case about his cause. He points out, that Elizabeth Taylor has married eight times but she did not have eight marriage lines in her hand.

All the royalty he gets from the sale of his books, he donates to the Tarksheel Society of Punjab. He said, he felt pained at some people exploiting the public beliefs in the name of astrology. He pointed out, that life was full of successes and failures. “Success is termed as good luck, while failure is described as bad luck”, he observed, adding that there were so many factors which influenced the performance of a person. Some people who do not succeed in India achieve phenomenal success once they go abroad. “It is because the circumstances, the situations, the opportunities they get there are better and fate has nothing to do with it”, he concluded.

It is not the campaign against astrology alone that has made him famous. He has written the ‘national song’ of Australia, “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, I am a fairdinkum Aussie, We all are fairdinkum Aussie, Oi , Oi, Oi...’ Although it has not been recognised by the Australian Government, it has been adopted by the people of Australia and has also been included in the curriculum of several schools countrywide.

He was also treated to dinner along with his wife by the Australian Prime Minister, Mr John Howard to acknowledge his contribution to Australia.



Yuva Morcha activists burn Laloo’s effigy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha burnt an effigy of the Rashtriya Janata Dal president and Railway Minister, Laloo Prasad Yadav to protest against his role in “manipulating” the U.C. Banerjee report about the Godhra Rail massacre near Clock Tower here today.

A few hundred activists of the BJP and the BJYM took out a procession, which concluded at the Clock Tower. They were shouting slogans against Mr Yadav allegedly for getting the U.C. Banerjee report “manipulated and fabricated” to suit his electoral prospects in Bihar.

Speaking on the occasion the leaders pointed out, “the entire country knew as who was responsible for burning alive so many kar sevaks at Godhra Railway station in Gujarat and now Mr Yadav in order to appease a section of people was trying to rewrite the report for his electoral interests”.

The BJP leaders regretted that Mr Yadav was trying to play with the sentiments of people and creating bad blood among different communities. They pointed out, Mr Yadav had been maintaining right from the day he took over as the railway minister what has now been concluded by the Bannerjee commission. “If inquiries can be manipulated this way, what will happen to the nation”, the BJP leaders asked.

They also demanded that the Congress government of whose Mr Yadav was “a part and parcel” should also explain its stand on the “findings” of the Bannerjee Commission. They said, the “criminal silence” maintained by the Congress on the issue will cost it dearly in the forthcoming elections in different states.

Those who participated in the dharna included the district BJP president, Dr Subash Verma, district BJYM president, Mr Sanjay Kapoor, Mr Jeevan Gupta, district general secretary Rajneesh Dhiman and Kewal Gupta. 



Book ‘spurious’ fertiliser factory owners: BKU
Our Correspondent

Samrala, January 20
A rally was held in front of the SDM’s court here today. The rally, held under the leadership of Mr Sher Singh Mushkabad, executive member, Punjab, was presided over by the district president, BKU (Lakhowal), Mr Sukhminder Singh.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal asked the administration to register a case against the owners of a factory, which was manufacturing “spurious” fertilisers at Sultanpur village.

He said subdivision and district officers concerned were informed about the factory, but no action had been taken. Mr Lakhowal gave an ultimatum to the administration that if within one week the “illegal” factory was not closed the BKU would start an agitation.

Prof Manjeet Singh Qadian, working president, and Mr Ajmer Singh Gill said a rally would be held in Chandigarh on March 3 in this regard.

A memorandum was also submitted to the Naib Tehsildar, Mr P.S. Kular.

Among others spoke on the occasion were Mr Bhupinder Singh Maheshwari, Mr Sharanjeet Singh Mohali, Mr Preet Inder Singh, Mr Jagir Singh Chehalan, Mr Nirmal Singh and Mr Ajaib Singh.



Non-functional traffic lights create chaos
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 20
Residents of Model Town, Dugri road, and several other surrounding localities on both sides of the link road are sore over the pathetic condition of traffic congestion in the area, which is further worsened due to poor regulation by the traffic police and non-functional traffic lights at Atam Park and the Dugri road crossings.

According to Mr Lakshan Kumar, president, Bharti Ekta Andolan, and Mr Rajesh Malhotra, organising secretary, BC cell, District Congress Committee, the stretch of the road from flyover to Atam Park had become a permanent bottleneck with extended traffic jams several times during the day.

“Despite the traffic police personnel being present at the crossing, the outward and inward buses make it a point to halt at the Atam Nagar crossing to enable the passengers residing in nearby colonies to disembark. As a result, the traffic on both sides of the road is obstructed and avoidable harassment is caused to motorists.”

Several residents pointed out that the haphazard parking on both sides of the road at a car bazaar in Gian Singh Rarewala Market, a couple of hotels and other commercial complexes also added to the traffic woes of the people.

“There is no traffic enforcement worth the name and necessary infrastructure like functional traffic lights is also lacking.” They claimed that due to frequent traffic jams and disruptions, the number of road accidents had gone up and the non-functional traffic lights posed a grave threat to road users.

The residents have urged the administration to take effective steps to curb indiscriminate parking of vehicles along the road as well as to make traffic lights functional for better regulation of traffic movement on this section.



‘Amar Jindan’ recalls Guru Gobind Singh’s sacrifice
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Chiranjit Singh Atwal today recalled the great sacrifice of Guru Gobind Singh in the face of religious intolerance and extremism. Releasing “Amar Jindan”, an epic on the life and struggles of the Guru, written by Surjit Singh Albela, Mr Atwal said, the Guru did not compromise even though he knew that he would have to make many sacrifices for it. Mr Atwal called for a mass movement against the growing religious intolerance and said the Guru’s teachings could provide the best inspiration.

Appreciating the efforts of Albela to compile and narrate in poetry the sacrifices and the message of the great Guru, the Deputy Speaker observed that the teachings of the Guru were most relevant today. The religious extremism and intolerance were growing every day and so much blood was being shed in the name of religion.

He hoped that the message Albela wanted to convey through the epic would reach all quarters and would create awareness among the masses. He said writers and poets had always been great catalysts of change in society and expressed optimism that “Amar Jindan” would have the same effect.

The function was organised by the Vishwa Punjabi Sahitya Vichar Manch in cooperation with the Malwa Sabhyacharak Manch. The speakers lauded the efforts of writers like Albela for keeping alive the Punjabi culture and history through literary writings.

Prominent among those who attended the function included Mr Jagjit singh Atwal, Prof MS Cheema, Prof Mohinderpal Grewal, Mr Baljinder Singh Toor, Mr Krishen Kumar Bawa and others.



Brahma Kumaris hold meditation camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
To bring about mental development and to enthuse positive and spiritual thoughts among the juveniles, a one-month meditation camp was organised by Brahmakumaris Ishwarya Vishav Vidyala in the Observation Home being run by Social Security Department Punjab at Shimlapuri.

Mr Anurag Verma Deputy Commissioner Ludhiana presided over the concluding function of the camp today.

He interacted with the inmates to ascertain their views about the effect of the meditation camp on them. Many of the inmates informed the Deputy Commissioner that they had learned a lot from the spiritual and moral-based lessons delivered by the Brahmakumari sisters and they had pledged to refrain the intoxicants, drugs, bad habits like theft, quarrelling and harming others.

The inmates informed that Brahmakumaris have given them a schedule for the whole day during the entire camp and taught them about the peace of mind, message of spiritualism and harms of drugs and intoxicants and other social evils etc. through short stories and examples.

Narrating his experience to the Deputy Commissioner, Hardeep Singh from Ropar, informed that following to the teachings of Brahmakumaris, they had started waking up at 6am instead of 9am earlier and have realised about the mistakes have committed unknowingly. One Master Tinku Bhai, (11) informed that as a result of meditation, he has refrained from losing temper and feeling calm and learned.

Master Gaurav informed that he and others have left quarreling with others and they have also decided to stop taking-gutka and drugs etc in future. Master Amarjit Singh from Bassi Pathana elaborating his experience informed that he had decided only to take vegetarian food and to become a good child after getting out from observation home.

A migrant Kanwaljit from Ludhiana said that he had realised for his mistake and pledged not to harm anybody in future. Master Beg Nath said that he has been booked in a case under Section 109 for the last five months and complained that the date has not been fixed so far.

On this, the DC directed Mr M.S. Jaggi SDM (West) to take up the matter with concerned authority. Master Satish Kumar, (12), from Tibri village district Gurdaspur, who has been granted bail in a theft case has informed that his parents did not turn up to take him. On this, the Deputy Commissioner asked Superintendent Jail to contact his parents and persuade them to take the child.

The DC appreciated the sincere efforts for Brahmakumaris to properly educate the children through meditation and spiritual education to bring about substantial mental and behavioural change among the juveniles. He also asked them to organise such meditation camps in women and bristol jails.

Mr Verma also asked the secretary Red Cross Society to provide books to the inmates who want to continue study and directed the teachers to provide regular education.

Ms Raj Kumari, in charge of Brahmakumaris Centre, informed that the children had given encouraging response to the lectures of the Brahmakumaris Vishav Vidyala.



Young girl looks to good Samaritans
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 20
Clock of life might stop ticking for Gurdeep Kaur (18) if good Samaritans do not come to her rescue, and that too without losing any time. For the unfortunate girl, a student of class XI, is suffering from chronic renal failure (stage V) with end stage renal disease.

According to her parents, Gurdeep has been undergoing regular haemodialysis twice a week since July last year with 42 dialyses having been performed in the nephrology unit of Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) here. The dialysis and other short-term treatment of the victim had exhausted the limited financial resources of the family as father of patient was a driver and mother being unemployed.

According to Dr Basant Pawar, professor and head, Department of Nephrology in the CMCH, Gurdeep’s mother — Ms Swarnjit Kaur is the potential donor for kidney and had given her consent in order to save her daughter. However, the financial implication of the life saving surgery was beyond the means of the family.

The CMCH authorities informed that the surgery and follow up treatment for one year were expected to cost a minimum of Rs 4.90 lakh. Issuing a fervent appeal for donations to save the life of Gurdeep Kaur, they said that financial help by cheque could be forwarded to the patient (hospital ID no C-651720) through Dr Basant Pawar, HOD, Nephrology, CMCH, Ludhiana.



PNB organises kisan mela
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Punjab National Bank has organised a kisan mela at Gurdwara Manji Sahib. More than 3,000 farmers from the district participated.
Mr Harwant Singh, General Manager of the bank, inaugurated the mela. Mr R.K. Sharma, Senior Regional Manager, Mr Anil Sama, Chief Manager, Mr Ramesh Kaul, Chief Manager, among others, present on the occasion. Companies dealing in seeds, tractors, milk and other agricultural products had put up stalls.

Mr Harwant Singh distributed PNB Krishi Cards, amounting to Rs 6 crore, among 280 farmers. He said the bank was making all-out efforts to help the farmers.

The bank has already launched the PNB Kisan Ichchha Purti Yojna under which a farmer can get a loan up to 50 per cent value of the mortgaged land or five times the average annual income from agriculture and allied activities, whichever is lower.



Canadian MP honoured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Mr Gurbax Singh Malhi, Member, Canadian Parliament, was honoured by Dr Sarup Singh Alag, Chairman, Alag Shabad Yug International Charitable Trust, Ludhiana at a function here today. Dr Alag talked of services rendered by Mr Malhi to Canadian society. Mr Malhi is an MP there since 1992. He is accompanying the high-powered delegation led by the Canadian Prime Minister who visited India recently.

Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, former Punjab Minister, Dr Y.S. Walia, advocate M.S. Aneja and various other speakers welcomed Mr Malhi who is known in Canada as the first Sikh MP of that country.

Besides Alag Shabad Yug Trust, many other socio- religious societies associated with the trust have also honoured Mr Malhi for his selfless services. The speakers observed, “the credit goes to Mr Malhi for holding Akhand Path every year in Canadian Parliament building for the past more than a decade”. 



SSP inaugurates computer room
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 20
The SSP, Jagraon, Mr Rajiv Ahir, inaugurated a computer room in the Sadar police station here yesterday. Mr Shaminder Singh Gill, an NRI from Canada, who belongs to Lakha village, donated a computer set.

Addressing the function, Mr Ahir said criminals had started using computer and mobile phones for perpetrating crimes so it was necessary to train policemen on modern technologies to counter them. Mr Ahir also inaugurated a badminton court in the police station. Mr Gill, Mr Sat Pal, Mr Satish Singla, Mr Ashok Mangla were given mementos. 



Girl abducted

Jagraon, January 20
A girl has been abducted and two persons have been booked in this connection. According to the information Manjit Singh and his mother Charanjit Kaur, residents of Brahmpura, allegedly allured a girl of Chhappar and took her away.

The Dehlon police has registered a case under Sections 363, 366 of the IPC against the said two on the complaint of Ms Gurmit Kaur, mother of the victim. OC


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