L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rana’s escape: getaway vehicle found
2 cops suspended for dereliction of duty
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Raman Rana
Raman Rana

Ludhiana, November 28
The Ludhiana and Patiala police, which has been on the lookout for an alleged gangster, Raman Rana, ever since his escape from police custody near Nabha yesterday, has traced the vehicle in which he allegedly fled with two accomplices.

The accused had escaped after throwing chilli powder in the eyes of two Punjab Police constables while they were on their way back to the Nabha Jail after attending a court hearing here.

The gangster and the policemen were travelling in a private vehicle brought by his two unidentified friends after the police vehicle broke down.

Patiala SSP A.S. Rai has placed both policemen under suspension and booked them for dereliction of duty.

Police sources said the car was found abandoned near Nabha late last night.

A police registration plate bearing Delhi number had been affixed on the original number plate, which was registered in the name of a Dugri area resident here.

The police is terming the tracing of the car number as a major lead in the case.

It hoped that it would lead them to the whereabouts of Rana or his two accomplices.

Rana had hit headlines after he along with three accomplices had allegedly gunned down a rival gangster, Lalla, in broad daylight in Haibowal market around two years ago.

The two gangs had had a history of clashes before the latter’s murder. Even after the murder and Rana’s arrest, the gangs often clashed outside the district court or in the Central Jail here, where members of both groups are lodged.

Things had come to such a point that Rana had to be housed in a Jalandhar jail and later in the Nabha Jail for security reasons and to avoid recurrent clashes.

A few months ago, the police arrested notorious contract killer Paramjit Singh Pamma, who had allegedly taken the contract to kill Rana.

The local police has, meanwhile, provided security to the family members of Lalla, who feared threat to their lives with the escape of Rana.

The police is also learned to have conducted raids to arrest key members of both groups to avoid clashes.

Raids were also being conducted at the possible hideouts of Rana.

The police has sounded red alert for Rana in the country and also alerted airport authorities.



3 friends run over by car, die
Our Correspondent

Kalsian, November 29
A pall of gloom descended on this nondescript village in Ludhiana district when three close friends, who had left the village this morning for nearby Ahmedgarh town, were run over and killed by a speeding car near Latala village in the afternoon.

It was in the evening that the son of Budhu Singh received a call from a Moga-based relative, Sebh Singh, inquiring about the well-being of his father. Sebh Singh had received a call from a private hospital at Ahmedgarh that the Latala police had brought an unidentified septuagenarian to the hospital in unconscious condition. His clothes contained a slip on which the mobile number of Sebh Singh was written.

As Jagtar Singh and Mohinder Singh, close friends of Budhu, had also left for Ahmedgarh along with him on their bicycles, villagers started looking for them. They came to know that the trio had been run over by a black Accent car on the Raikot-Ahmedgarh Road, near Latala village, and Jagtar and Mohinder died on the spot.

Mr Harjit Singh Brar, DSP, Dakha, who had reached the spot, told the Ludhiana Tribune that the car crushed the three cyclists near Latala village at around 1.30 pm. The driver of an Indica car, who was passing by, shifted a seriously injured Budhu to the hospital with the help of Satnam Singh, a policeman. The two other cyclists had died on the spot.

The Jagraon police had a tough time identifying the bodies as none of them had any identification documents.

The owners of the shops, near the place of accident, reportedly closed their establishments instead of assisting the police.

“It was on the basis of a slip found from the clothes of the one of the deceased that we talked to Sebh Singh of the Moga area who inquired with all his relatives at Rasulpur, Jandali and Kanganwal villages. Ultimately we came to know that the person who had been shifted to the hospital was Budhu Singh of Kalsian,” said Mr Nirbhai Singh Dhillon, a member of paramedical staff at the hospital. Later, Budhu Singh succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.

The Dehlon police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC.



PAU official reinstated
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, November 29
The Vice-chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, Dr K.S. Aulakh, has ordered the reinstatement of Mr Satpall Sharma. His services were terminated by the Vice-Chancellor for the alleged “gross misconduct and breach of discipline” on October 10.

Mr Satpall Sharma and Mr R.S. Arora, another employee of the university, had gone on fast unto death on the campus of the university for 12 days in protest against the alleged victimisation by the authorities.

Both were placed under suspension. Later, on the intervention of Mr Satpaul Gosain, former Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, they called off their fast.

Mr Arora tendered an unqualified apology to the Vice-Chancellor for his misconduct and breach of discipline and was reinstated last month. The services of Mr Sharma were terminated.

Mr Satpall Sharma filed an appeal before the board of management of the PAU challenging his termination. However, the board rejected his appeal on November 16 at its meeting which was presided over by the Financial Commissioner (Development), Punjab. The Vice-Chancellor did not participate in that meeting.

The board, while rejecting the appeal of Mr Sharma, said, “The board of management does not find any merit in the grounds of appeal submitted by Mr Satpall Sharma, ex-accounts officer. However, as Mr Sharma, during the personal hearing, has shown his willingness to tender unconditional apology in writing to the Vice-Chancellor for his past actions, the board decided that in case Mr Sharma tenders his unconditional apology for the lapses on his part within 10 days of the issue of this decision and promises not to indulge in any such irregular activities in future as well as disassociates himself from the activities of the PAU Employees and Teachers Joint Action Committee or any other such body that works against the interests of PAU and request for lenient view, the Vice-Chancellor may review his earlier order of terminating his services and take action accordingly and inform the board in its next meeting.”

The board further decided that in case the submissions as stated above were not made by Mr Sharma to the Vice-Chancellor within the stipulated period, the earlier orders of the Vice-Chancellor would stand.

In letter of apology to the Vice-Chancellor, Mr Satpall Sharma, on November 28, stated, “I want to submit that I admit that I committed gross misconduct and breach of discipline by holding press conferences and going to the media which have caused grant embarrassment to the university authorities and tender an unconditional apology for the lapses on my part as contained in the chargesheet dated January 7.”

Following this unconditional apology from Mr Sharma, the Vice-Chancellor ordered his immediate reinstatement.

Meanwhile, the board of management, at its meeting on November 16, also rejected the appeal of Dr Parabhjeet Singh, assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Science, whose services were terminated by the Vice-Chancellor.

The board also rejected the appeal filed by Dr H.K. Tiwari, senior microbiologist, against the orders of the Vice-Chancellor for lowering his pay till retirement for misappropriating Rs 13,738.17.



IT surveys on 5 business houses
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 29
The Department of Income Tax made its intentions of coming down heavily upon tax evaders and to step tax collection during the current financial year clear with five survey operations being simultaneously launched on as many business houses in the city this afternoon.

In a major shift, the department has now initiated scrutiny of financial transactions of major business houses rather than manufacturers. Among those where survey operations were being undertaken were Nikka Mal Jewellers and Ebony Department Store on the Mall Road, two high-end sanitaryware showrooms - Villa Pearls on Ferozepore Road and Ashoka & Company on Rajpura Road along with a number of expensive stores in Pyramids retail Chain in Ansal Plaza on Ferozepore Road.

While officials of the IT Department refused to divulge any information about the ongoing surveys, it was learnt that at least 60 inspectors and 24 supervisory officers were deployed for inspection of records, books of accounts, computer data and stock inventory of the business houses.

Sources in the department told Ludhiana Tribune that the underlying purpose of the survey operations was to ascertain whether these companies were showing their true income in the tax returns.



Man threatens suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
Unusual scenes took place outside the district police office at mini secretariat here today when an aged man, carrying banners against a local DSP blocked the car of the SSP and threatened to commit suicide.

Ram Dass Giri was carrying a banner on which he had painted slogans against a local DSP. He accused the DSP of misuing his official position and not allowing him to take possession of his house.

The man claimed that he had won the possession of the house in a court case but yet a woman was staying there with the support of the said DSP.



Accidental firing in CMC injures boy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
A 15-year-old boy suffered a gunshot wound on one of his legs when a gun carried by an employee of CMC Hospital went off by accident this morning inside the hospital building.

The employee, said to be of the ancillary staff wing of the hospital, had carried the fully loaded gun in violation of all rules of the hospital. The carrying of weapons in such a manner has been banned by the District Magistrate.

The injured boy is safe and his family has not pressed for charges against the erring employee. The hospital authorities have not taken any action on their own against the erring employee. The hospital staff, instead, spent more energy in warding of reporters and cameramen from covering the event.

A hospital spokesperson claimed that the gun went off by accident, “A gun of an employee of the CMC fell from his pocket on the stairs. The gun went off when another person picked the weapon. The bullet hit at leg of a boy, later identified as Mutazir Alam who was climbing the stairs.”

The boy was rushed to the operating theatre. The spokesperson claimed that the bullet had just grazed his ankles and there was no major injury. The parents of the injured boy also could not be contacted as they remained inside a room of the hospital.

The Division No. 3 police has not registered any case regarding the incident. Police sources said the parents of the injured boy had stated that they did not want to make a complaint to the police in this regard.

However, neither the police nor the hospital staff seemed interested in enquiring why the man had carried a loaded gun into a hospital.



Gosain seeks details of nullah project
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
A former Deputy Speaker, Vidhan Sabha and a former MLA from city, Mr Satpal Gosain, today sought details of the project sanctioned for the covering of nullah in the old city from Commissioner of Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, Mr Suresh Kumar Sharma, under the Right to Information Act.

In his letter to the civic body, Mr Gosain said he had been elected an MLA from the area twice and he was concerned about the welfare of residents of his area.

He added that as the covering of nullah would affect residents of the area and various commercial establishments, he wanted to make sure that nobody was adversely affected with the project.

He demanded details of the various reports provided by Sewerage Board, PWD, water supply cell, engineering branch, and the recommendations of a survey carried out by the civic body.

Besides he said he should be told whether the funds were being provided by the state government or local MC for the project. He demanded the information within 15 days of the letter.



City in for a smoky winter

Ludhiana, November 29
One of the backlanes near the Ghanta Ghar witnesses a sudden swirl of jet black smoke going high up in the air. The source of the obnoxious smoke was traced to a burning heap of waste electric wires and cables.Holding a small stick in one hand , a man was squatting nearby, puffing on a biri, waiting for the fire to subside. Soon, with the help of the small stick , the man beat up the remaining copper wires into a solid mass till it was cool enough to handle.

The man is just one member of the huge army of such rag-pickers who roam the city roads in search of any kind of saleable junk that could fetch them anything. It is not only the rag-pickers who burn wires etc but also a large number of big junk-dealers dotting the city.

It is around 9 in the morning and almost everyday various blocks of Bhadaur House are swept by the safai karamcharis employed by the local civic body. At the end of it all, most of the rubbish is disposed off by consigning it to the flames at the far end of the last block facing the airconditioned market.

Ludhiana Tribune found out that in most of the city areas, garbage was being disposed off by burning because most of the sweepers find it a lot easier than compared to the cumbersome task of transporting the same to the nearest garbage dump.

With the onset of the winter, hundreds of earthen pots, used by roadside vendors of peanuts to keep the stuff warm, are already emitting smoke for most of the day. Small pieces of tyre, polythene waste and wood are continuously fed into these pots to keep a little fire all the time. In the days to come , when the city would be hit by a cold wave, bonfires would go up almost everywhere, particularly in the migrant-infested areas of Focal Point and Sherpur. Again, apart from the conventional wood in the form of dismantled fruit crates , what keeps these bonfires burning for a longer duration is polythene waste in the form of bags and discarded water bottles which literally litter the city roads in abundance and, of course, the inevitable pieces of tyre which catch fire in a jiffy.

Though burning of tyres and other synthetic material with high carbon content had been banned a long time back, the practice has been going on with impunity in the city. In an age, when even the villagers are becoming aware of 'pardooshan' ( pollution), the city residents continue to be blissfully indifferent to the menace of smoke. It seems that the city residents are surely in for a more smoky winter this time round.



Suvidha camp evokes good response
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
Under the “Lok Suvidha Camps” programme in Ludhiana district, a special camp was organised at Koom Kallan village today. Mrs Amrit Gill, SDM Ludhian (East), presided over the camp and 18 departments of the government concerning public services set up their counters to complete the formalities related to the problems of people on the spot. Around 1,000 persons from 80 villages of Koom Kallan and Matewara turned up at the camp.

As per the directions of the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, sarpanches and lamberdars of all 80 villages were present at the camp and verified the documents on the spot as per requirement. Mrs Gill informed that the camp got an overwhelming response from the public and hoped that this programme would play a vital role in providing better services to the people near to their villages and solve their problems in an effective manner. She informed that at the Suvidha Camp, 90 applications were completed for issuing different certificates at Revenue Department counter regarding mutations, affidavits etc, a dozen mutations executed and certificates regarding residence and SC issued.

Eight new ration cards prepared by Food and Supplies Department were also issued. The Transport Department at its counter prepared 125 licences on the spot after completing all the formalities. A team of doctors issued medical certificates on the spot to the applicants for licences and for pension applications.

The SDM informed that these camps were offering a unique model for delivery of citizen services ensuring the availability of staff, completion of various formalities at one place, scrutiny of documents at the time of submitting the application and time bound delivery of services. She said that the basic feature of such camps was to provide on the spot services to the public, eliminating harassment by middlemen delays and corruption in the delivery of services to citizens.

She disclosed that the objective of the camps was to make government departments and offices at the cutting edge on administration, accountable to the public. The services which were made available to the people at these camps included attestation of mutations, copies of land record, farad badar, SC/OBC and resident certificates, conveyance deeds, attestation of affidavits, issue and renewal of ration cards, Learner’s licences, water connections, PSEB-applications for tube-wells, domestic connections, replacement of meters, enhancement of load etc, applications under PMRY scheme and assistance from the Red Cross Society.



Samples taken from cattle-feed mills
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 29
Officials of the Dairy Development Department inspected various cattle-feed mills here and took samples for further investigation.
According to Mr Dilbagh Singh, Deputy Director of the department, a special team, comprising Ashok Kumar and Jaspal Singh, both Dairy Development Inspectors, visited the factories engaged in manufacturing of cattle feed and oil cake.



BSNL cash collection counter opened
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 29
The General Manager of Ludhiana Telecom, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Mr G.S. Julka, inaugurated the 62nd cash collection centre of BSNL at Meharban village, yesterday.

Addressing a function at the occasion, Mr Julka maintained that the public sector telecom giant was committed to providing reliable service and value for money to its subscribers. It was towards the objective of providing better and efficient services to the BSNL subscribers that cash counters were being set up in different parts of the cities, as well as in rural areas. With the on-line cash counters being functional in many parts of the city, the procedure for bill payment had become hassle-free for the BSNL subscribers.

Mr Julka explained in detail several innovative services like the broadband service and low-rental mobile phone tariff plan for government employees being provided by BSNL.

Mr Dinesh Garg, Mr Suresh Badal, both Deputy General Managers, Mr S.S. Dhami, Mr D.K. Sodhi, Mr Jagjit Singh, Mr S.K. Bangar, Mr Sukhwinder Singh, Mr Mukhtiar Singh, Mr Gurpreet Singh, Mr S.M. Nayyar, Mr Nitesh Kumar, Mr B.K. Rawat, Mr Anand Kumar, Mr Gurdev Singh, Mr Kanwaljit Singh Shankar and Mr Sohan Singh were also present at the occasion.


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