L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


After money-transfer scam, NRI booked for human trafficking
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 23
After charged with running a multi-lakh money transfer scam, a Raja Deol, an NRI having offices in Canada and Mullanpur Dakha, has now been booked by the police for indulging in human trafficking.

A former sarpanch of Baddowal village, Bikram Singh, in a complaint lodged with the police, accused Raja Deol of taking Rs 3 lakh from him on the promise of sending his son to Canada. He furnished an audio-CD to the police in which he claimed to have recorded his conversation over the issue with the accused.

The SHO, Mr Gurpreet Singh, said the FIR included the audio-CD as evidence, besides other documents. A case under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC had been registered. The police was examining the audio-CD and a transcription of the conversation was being prepared.

Though the complainant lives in the Sadar police station area, the case has been registered in the Division No 8 police station as the money was allegedly paid to the accused at a place in this area.

The conversation reveals that Raja Deol had sent several youths to Canada. The allegation of human trafficking would hold ground only if the emigration process followed was illegal, the police said. The voice of the man, whom the complainant identified as Raja Deol, said in the CD that sending the youths was always risky and depended on the individual’s luck. The voice had to be verified.

The FIR states that the accused had taken Rs 3 lakh for sending his son Arvinder Singh abroad. However, he did not keep his promise. After much effort by the complainant, the accused returned Rs 1.5 lakh and the remaining amount was pending.

Raja Deol and some of his family members have already been booked in five cases of alleged money transfer scam involving nearly Rs 20 lakh.

The accused owns huge property in India and Canada and is one of a high-profile NRI. The family has a large business of transferring money of NRIs to their family members here. However, the family has been having a brush with the law over the past six months for allegedly not transferring the entire amount.

All three accused are presently on bail in a similar fraud case lodged by the Mullanpur police in August last year. Police sources said the accused were in Canada after they got permission from a court to leave the country. 



Tribune Impact
Rights panel comes to rescue of city resident
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 23
Coming to the aid of a local resident, who had become paralysed after falling in into manhole seven years ago, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PHRC), has directed the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, to submit an inquiry report into the case.

Rakesh Talwar, a 50-year-old man was rendered handicapped on July 7, 1998, when he fell into an Municipal Corporation uncovered manhole on a rainy day. Since then, he had been fighting his battle alone but failed to move the authorities, that refused to compensate him.

Taking up his case, following highlighting of his plight in these columns a few days ago, the PHRC maintains that the allegations levelled in the complaint do prima facie make out a case under Section 12 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, for intervention by the commission. It has registered and ordered an inquiry into the matter.

The case comes up for next hearing on June 6. Asking for a report into the matter, the commission, exercising powers under Section 17 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, has directed the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, to get an inquiry conducted.

Mr Talwar was driving a scooter through a flooded street in the Dhobi Ghat area on that rainy day. He was not able to anticipate that there was an open manhole and his scooter got stuck in it. He fell on the road and the cover of the manhole hit his head badly. Later, the right side of his body was totally paralysed.

Since then, he has been trying to earn his bread and butter and support his bright children, who are studying different subjects at different colleges. His requests to the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation had also fallen on deaf ears as the civic body refused to help him.

He had even requested some businessmen of the city also to provide him some goods that he could sell while sitting in apni mandis. But nobody has answered his requests till date. Now, he is depending on the meagre earnings of his wife who is doing a private job.

Recalling the fateful day that left him crippled for life, he said the injury was so grave that he could not gather consciousness for a year and remained in coma. He did not know who rushed him to the CMC Hospital. He remained these for a year and the family strained all its resources on his treatment.

It took him almost a year to regain consciousness. But even that was not a very good day for him. He discovered that he was unable to move both his legs and was paralysed. His right arm was also not responding. His jaw bone and his right eye had also borne the brunt of debilitating injury. But he did not give up. He has started walking despite the fact that he does not have very good control on his limbs.



Ludhianvis move top for gardens
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, April 23
Thanks to the rapid urbanisation that has led to shrinking of land and green space, people have started moving to the terraces for gardening. No wonder in this over urbanised city the number of terrace gardens is increasing. Hundreds of such gardens have come up in most of the old as well as new localities in the city.

Those who cannot afford much land for the lawns outside their houses have set up beautiful terrace gardens with all the green and bright looks full of grass and flowers. These gardens are seen to be believed.

Not just for their green glow but the soothing feeling these provide. The concept of gardening appears to have moved to the top, the terrace, literally.

Dr Vivek and Dr Kavita Saggar, city-based doctor couple, have maintained a nice terrace garden in their house. Dr Kavita said the city being industrial and congested town lacked greenery. “There is not enough space outside our house for a garden to be maintained. We wanted to have a lawn and greenery and needed a place where we could enjoy and relax.

We decided to have a terrace garden. It is on height and no body from outside can make out that there can be a garden in the house. Our kids love to spend their time here”, she said.

The garden is spread with colourful flowers and a variety of green plants. “Its maintenance needs a lot of care and time”, stressed Dr Vivek Saggar.

Another doctor couple, Dr G.Awasthi and Dr Kumkum Awasthi, spare time from their busy schedule to maintain their terrace garden.

A lover of nature, Dr Awasthi said the concept of terrace garden was a bit different from that of an ordinary garden. To make it water-proof, the base needed a plaster of coal-tar, a layer of 3-4 inches of soil mixed with natural manure had to be spread on it, he added.

Dr Awasthi said terrace gardens needed a proper treatment. “A lot of devotion and knowledge of plants is needed for its proper maintenance. You feel refreshing and relaxed sitting here in the garden.

The concept is fast picking in the city because of lack of available space. The seasonal flowers bloom for almost 2-3 months. Though we have a gardener but we also devote a lot of time”, said Dr Awasthi.



PNB takes over defaulters’ property
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 23
Punjab National Bank (PNB) took physical possession of the property of M/s Jimmy Master Collection, M/s Kalsi Fabrics and M/s Cozy Knits under the Securitisation Act, 2002, here today.

According to the bank, while M/s Jimmy Master Collection owed Rs 13.27 lakh to it, the amount due from M/s Kalsi Fabrics was Rs 5 lakh and from M/s Cozy Knits Rs 6.33 lakh.

The bank said the borrowers failed to clear their dues despite having been issued a 60-day notice under the Act.

“While M/s Jimmy Master Collection and M/s Kalsi Fabrics were issued notices in September, 2004, M/s Cozy Knits was issued a notice in January, 2004.

However, they failed to come forward for settlement and there was no response from their end,” bank officials said.

A team of bank officials, led by Mr Anil Sama, Chief Manager, Integrated Zonal Office, Ludhiana, took possession of the defaulters’ properties here today.

Mr Sama, the authorised officer for the operation, said all three parties had taken loans from the Basti Jodhewal branch office here and did not adhere to the terms of sanction. As such, their accounts were declared as non-performing assets (NPAs) as per the RBI guidelines.

Mr R.K. Sharma, Senior Regional Manager, PNB, said the regional office here had issued 60-day notices in case of 254 accounts. The amount pending from these borrowers was Rs 35.75 crore, he said.

He said the bank had already taken possession in case of 27 accounts amounting to Rs 484.13 lakh. The bank had also properties of defaulters in three accounts amounting to Rs 36.52 lakh, he added.

Mr Sharma said the bank was giving ample time to defaulters to settle their dues with the bank before taking an action for recovery under the Securitisation Act. 



Taxi driver found hanging in company office
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 23
A youth of Rachhin village in this district who had been working as a driver with a taxi owner of Sayian village died under mysterious circumstances. The Dehlon police has handed over his body to his parents after conducting a post-mortem examination after registering a case under Section 174 of Cr Pc.

Investigations by the police revealed that he had been working as a driver with Basant Singh of Sayian village, for a year. He had earlier worked with him for around 10 years. Sources at the taxi stand told the police that he had taken food and bought “barfi” from a sweet shop near the taxi stand before entering the office.

He was found hanging from a fan in the room. In the absence of any rope, he used a small turban (parna) to tie his neck. As his feet were touching the floor, the police became suspicious and took the body in its custody. 



Passing Thru

Harman Singh
Harman Singh, CEO of author GEN, a firm in the USA

What changes do you find in Ludhiana?

I find a lot of changes. First of the people here are always talking on the mobile. I have not seen people in the USA talking on the mobiles as much as they talk here. Second, the traffic in the city has become very chaotic. I find very hard to commute these days due to excessive traffic. When I was studying in Convent School, a decade ago, the traffic was not so bad. Rather it was comfortable travelling in the city.

What do you think is status of Ludhiana as an industrial hub?

Earlier Ludhiana was the centre of business activities. After starting my own business in the USA, I find one has to become more techno and IT savvy to perform, the city is lacking in it. People are less productive and don't think much about productivity and hence its position is slipping.

Was it hard for you to establish business in the USA?

Yes, it was quite difficult to establish business in the USA as one does not have any experience and second as a student , I did not have any capital, but the country does provide opportunities . I worked hard and started offshore business by establishing a firm in Chandigarh. I would advise every youngster not to give up in the face of adversity. Perseverance does pay up.

How does it feel to be a millionaire at the age of 26?

I feel very good and hope to become a billionaire in near future.

— Asha Ahuja



Kidnappings: SHOs told to meet parents, school staff
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 23
Taking note of the kidnappings of school children, the district police has launched a drive to prevent such incidents in the area.
Mr H S Chahal, SSP, Sangrur, said he had directed SHOs of the district to convene meetings with students and staff of schools of their respective areas.

“Working on the principal that prevention is always better than cure, I have instructed my staff to spare time to ensure the safety of the students,” he said.

Meanwhile, an awareness camp was organised at the local Sanatan Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School on Thursday. Mr Harinder Singh, SHO of the city police station, spoke on some vital points regarding the safety of the students.

He said the students should avoid meeting strangers and the parents should be made to understand that the security of their wards was more important than any other issue.

“Instead of deputing their servants to accompany children to schools or bus stops, they should leave and receive their wards themselves. Besides preventing mishaps, it would strengthen the psychological bonds between the parents and children,” he said.

He answered queries of the students during an interaction session and held a separate meeting with the staff.



Cong candidate elected after recounting
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 23
Ms Swaran Kaur of Saharan Majra village in the Dhelon block who was supported by the Congress in the last panchayat elections and had lost to the Akali-supported Jagir Kaur, was yesterday declared elected after the recounting of votes. In the recounting she got 521 votes and Ms Jagir Kaur, who was declared elected earlier, is said to have got 507 votes.

Ms Swaran Kaur had challenged the election of Ms Jagir Kaur. The petition was pending with the Deputy Commissioner who had assigned the job of recounting to the SDM. The recounting was done today.

Congress workers and leaders of the Kila Raipur block celebrated the victory.

Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura, a Congress leader, said the recounting had vindicated the stand of the party. He said on May 11, the PWD Minister would lay the foundation stones of two roads in the Kila Raipur Assembly segment.



Protest over removing hoardings
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 23
Members of the youth wing of Dr B R Ambedkar Sports Board have expressed anguish over removing the hoardings put up by it in connection with the nigh cricket tournament scheduled to be held at Daresi ground from May 10 to 13.

In a press note issued jointly by Mr Sunny Khosla and Mr Chetan Puri, president and general secretary, respectively, Dr B R Ambedkar Board alleged that these hoardings were removed by an advertisement company. They said the tournament was being organised in order to keep the youth away from the menace of drugs and bad habits.

The meeting of the board was held today in which the office-bearers of the youth wing of the board expressed their resentment. They further said that they were deeply upset by this act as there are a number of other hoardings in the city flouting the Supreme Court rulings.

The meeting also resolved to serve a 10-day notice to the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation to remove other hoardings also in city failing which they would start a agitation. It was also decided to meet the Chairman, National Minorities Commission, Union Minister for Sports and the state Chief Minister in a deputation to apprise them of this discrimination.



Bhai Mardana’s descendant visits hospitals
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 23
Bhai Lal, the 17th descendant of Bhai Mardana, a disciple of Guru Nanak Dev, was on a visit to the city from Pakistan. During his stay here, he performed kirtans in different parts of the city, keeping the people spellbound. He also visited various hospitals.

During his visit to Gurdev Hospital on Ferozepore Road, here on Thursday, he was accorded a warm welcome by Dr R.S. Cheema, Medical Superintendent, and Dr Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu, senior plastic surgeon at the multi-speciality hospital.

He was apprised of the facilities being provided to the patients and the hospital, particularly the steps being taken to make available the latest medical facilities to the suffering humanity.

He lauded the services being rendered by the institution. The selfless service to alleviate suffering of mankind was a real tribute to the Gurus, he said.

He urged the medical fraternity to work honestly and sincerely while performing their duties.

He also enquired about the health of patients, undergoing treatment at the hospital and prayed for their speedy recovery.

Among others, Mr Gurdeep Singh Leel, president, International Sikh Dharam Parchar Manch, Mr Baldev Singh Grewal, Mr Kuldeep Singh Dhillon, Dr J. Cheema, Dr Harkamal Sidhu, senior consultant physician, Mr Ashwani Kumar Phul, Dr Kapil Mahajan and Dr Bhupinder Kaur were present.



OBC staff hold rally 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 23
Protesting against the Oriental Bank of Commerce management’s decision to reduce government equity in the bank from 67 per cent to 51 per cent, the Punjab Bank Employees Federation held a rally in front of the OBC regional office here today.

Employees and officers of the bank would also observe a strike on April 25, said Mr Naresh Gaur, secretary of the, Punjab Bank Employees Federation.

Condemning private capital in public sector banks, Mr Gaur said the government was pressurising banks to bring down their capital up to 51 per cent and was encouraging private investment. “Since banks are responsible for public money, the control and ownership should lie with the government alone,” said Mr Gaur.



Tributes paid to Ambedkar
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 23
Tributes were paid to Dr B.R. Ambedkar at a function organised to mark Ambedkar Jayanti by the All-India Valmiki Samaj Vikas Parishad at Dr Ambedkar Colony here today.

Presiding over the function, Mr Surinder Dawar, Parliamentary Secretary, Housing and Power, Punjab, described Dr Ambedkar as a far-sighted leader who was instrumental in giving a secular shape to the Indian democracy.

He mentioned the contribution of Dr Ambedkar towards emancipation and empowerment of the Dalits. He called upon the Dalits to provide higher education to their children so that they could become self-reliant and face global challenges. Dwelling upon welfare schemes being launched by the state government for the Dalits, he said Rs 819 crore had been earmarked for the schemes. 



Residents stage dharna 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 23
A large number of residents of various colonies staged a dharna for half hour outside the Dabba police post in protest against the alleged non-registration of several cases of theft in the area.

The protesters were led by councillor Satinder Sharma who alleged that the police was turning a blind eye to thefts and when the residents caught a thief, he too was let off. He said a dharna would be staged on Monday also outside the police post.



220 bags of stolen wheat recovered
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 23
The police has recovered a truck and 220 bags of wheat belonging to Markfed that were stolen from a weighbridge near Malerkotla town last Sunday. Four persons have been booked under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC.

Referring to a complaint lodged by Mr Raghbir Singh, a truck operator of Amargarh Truck Union, Mr Mukand Singh Mahli, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Malerkotla, said the truck carrying 220 bags of Markfed-owned wheat was stolen from a weighbridge located at Nabha road near Malerkotla.

A police team led by Mr Balraj Singh, SHO, Sadar Malerkotla, intercepted the truck at a naka and nabbed Nirmal Singh of Upoke village, Sat Pat, alias Billu of Sandaur and Billu Khan of Malerkotla and seized the vehicle.

On the basis of information received during preliminary investigation the police recovered 220 bags of wheat from the poultry farm of Akbar at Naudharani Road.



Car taken away, driver thrown on roadside
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 23
Three unidentified persons snatched a car and Rs 1700 from a driver yesterday at the G.T. Road. The accused threw the driver near Atwal Marriage Palace. According to information driver of the car Tarsem Kumar, son of Prem Chand a resident of Sangrur, said three persons had hired his taxi from Sangrur to Doraha on Friday.

When they reached near Dhuri they started beating him up and tied his hands and feet. One of them started to drive the car and when they reached near Atwal Marriage Palace they threw him out of the car and fled away. He raised a hue and cry and some passersby informed the police. Following the information Sub Inspector Parkash Singh reached the spot and took the victim to the police station and inquired about the incident.



Several injured in 2 road accidents
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 23
Pitiable condition of the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road continues posing threat to life and property of the passengers and occupants of the buildings situated along the road. Around 50 passengers travelling in a private bus had a narrow escape when the vehicle turned turtle near Sarinh village.

Mr Sandeep Kumar, SHO, Sadar, Ludhiana, said the bus had overturned while turning away from a deep pit on the road. The passengers had intermingled during the accident and volunteers had to drag them out of the bus with an effort. After rescuing the passengers the police called a crane and erected the bus.

The injured were shifted to various private hospitals at Ludhiana and surrounding villages.

In another accident, four persons were injured when a car collided with a truck near Dehlon village.

According to an FIR registered at the village police station the truck (PB 10 BJ 8698) collided with a Palio car (PB 10 BA 9217) yesterday. The occupants of the car Harbhaj Singh, Swaran Singh, Gurmukh Singh and Harish of Ludhiana city were injured. The police arrested Abdulla, the driver of the truck.



In-laws booked for demanding dowry

Jagraon, April 23
The Sidhwan Bet police has registered a case under Sections 406, 498-A 323 and 120 of the IPC for harassing a woman for dowry.

According to the information, Amandeep Kaur of Bassianbet was married to Ranjit Singh of Sangatpura, 10 km from here but later her husband, his parents and sisters Karamjit Kaur, Gurmel Kaur and Amarjit Kaur started harassing her.

9 booked for theft: Gurmel Singh , Karamjit Singh, Gurmit Singh , Jagtar Singh, Gurmit Singh, Mohinder Singh, Narinder Singh, Bhajan Singh, Buta Singh all of Pammali village police station Dakha, are alleged to have digged out bricks from the panchayat-owned street and stolen these. A case has been registered under Sections 379, 431, 506 and 149, IPC, on the complaint of Mukhtiar Singh, Sarpanch of the village.



Police clueless about Bajwa’s stolen mobile
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 23
The police is still clueless about the mobile phone of PWD Minister Partap Singh Bajwa that was stolen at Malerkotla when the minister was about to inaugurate the repair work of the Ludhiana-Sangrur road on Thursday.

The phone was stolen when he was going from his car to the stage. Though he had come to know about the theft immediately, the thief could not be traced. When aides of the minister tried to locate it by making phone calls to the number it was found switched off.


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