L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


14 Illegal structures pulled down
Tribune News Service

An earthmoving machine razes encroachments on Chandigarh Road in Ludhiana on Friday.

An earthmoving machine razes encroachments on Chandigarh Road in Ludhiana on Friday.
An earthmoving machine razes encroachments on Chandigarh Road in Ludhiana on Friday. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, March 8
It seems that encroachers are having a free run in the city. In a blatant violation, a shopkeeper had encroached upon a 5-metre portion of Chandigarh Road by constructing four shops beneath it.

The encroachments were demolished by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation officials today following the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

As per an action plan chalked out by the MC officials, 19 encroachments were to be removed from Chandigarh Road today.

Before the drive started, two shopkeepers removed encroachments on their own, while three illegal structures could not be demolished as those were found locked.

A total of 14 prominent encroachments were demolished by the MC officials today.

Two liquor vends, four underground shops and a large portion of a two-storeyed building were razed. The drive started with the demolition of four underground shops. Assistant town planner Monica Anand said some shopkeepers posed resistance, but the drive continued.

Monica Anand was accompanied by other ATPs Rajinder Sharma from Zone D and Kamaljit Kaur from Zone A.

The officials also razed a two-storeyed commercial complex . A few shopkeepers started arguing with the MC officials, but the officials managed to demolish a portion of the building.

Akali councillor Sukhdev Singh Gill reached the spot and asked the MC officials to give some time to the building owner so that he could remove the encroachment on his own. But the MC officials didn't listen to him and went ahead with the drive.

Two liquor vends were also demolished. The town planner said 42 other encroachments on GT Road would also be pulled down.

"These encroachments were to be demolished today, but we could not do the same as it took us long to demolish illegal structures on Chandigarh Road," she claimed.


Man gets 10-yr jail for raping minor 
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 8
Additional Sessions Judge Surinder Pal Kaur has convicted a youth, Amar Kumar (27), a resident of Gali No. 2, Basti Jodhewal, Ludhiana, on the charge of raping a 12-year-old minor girl.

He was sentenced to a 10-year rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 11,000 was also imposed on him.

The accused was not entitled to any leniency keeping in view the nature of offence, remarked the court while dismissing the plea of leniency filed by the accused.

A case under Sections 323, 342, 376, 511of the IPC was registered against the accused at the Basti Jodhewal police station on March 6, 2011.

The victim's father reported to the police that on March 5, 2011, the accused offered her tea at his house. After having the tea, the girl fell unconscious and the accused raped her.

The accused pleaded innocence and claimed false implication. But after appreciating the evidence on record, the court found the accused guilty and sentenced accordingly.

Purse stolen

High drama was witnessed at the Ludhiana Central Jail on Tajpur Road this morning when a prisoner's wife accused a jail guard of stealing her purse.

The woman claimed that the guard had stolen her purse while checking the luggage at the gate.

Asha Rani, a resident of the Navin Abadi area, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr), had come to meet her husband, who is lodged in the jail under the NDPS Act.

“As I reached the gate, the guard stopped me for checking. He checked my bag and took away my purse."

Later, she realised that the purse was missing.

She returned and asked the guard for the purse, but he slammed her allegation as baseless.

She lodged a complaint against the guard at the Tajpur police post.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (Jails) Amrik Singh reportedly gave Rs 200 to the woman to return home.

ASI Bhupinder Singh said the police had received the complaint and started a probe.

1 held with stolen bike

The city police has nabbed a person with a stolen bike. The accused has been identified as Kamaljeet Singh, a resident of Dhandari village.

Kamaljeet was nabbed from a checkpoint at Yard Chowk. On suspicion, the police signalled him to stop asked him to show the documents of the vehicle. The accused could not produce the document.

During questioning, he confessed that he had stolen the bike.

The police has impounded the motorcycle. The accused has been booked under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC. 



Goods worth lakhs destroyed in factory fire
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
Goods worth lakhs were destroyed in a fire that broke out at a rubber factory in Eastman Chowk, Kanganwal area, this evening.

The fire broke out at RK Rubber Factory around 6.30 pm, but the fire brigade officials reached the spot at 7.15 pm.

Four fire tenders were rushed to the spot.

An official of the fire department said firemen were forced to work for 12 hours everyday. "We have been requesting the MC authorities to recruit firemen, but nothing has been done so far. And due to such callous attitude of the senior MC officials, it is the city residents, who are made to suffer," said the official.

As it was a holiday today, there was no one at the factory.

Fire safety officer Krishan Lal Kakkar said it took the fire tenders more than two hours to douse the flames. "No loss of life was reported," he said.

The exact loss is yet to be ascertained.



Defying SC orders, school bus operators resort to overloading, overspeeding 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
Failing to learn a lesson from the tragic incidents of the past, overloading of students in school buses/vans continues.

A majority of the school vans are blatantly flouting the norms in the city.

Thanks to the lackadaisical attitude adopted by the law-enforcing agencies in cracking a whip against defaulters, bus operators continue to play with the lives of children.

The recent incident that took place near Nakodar, in which 13 innocent schoolchildren lost their lives, has sent shocking waves among parents, who feel that almost every private operated school bus is "overloaded".

Blaming the law-enforcing agencies for adopting a "lenient" view against the defaulters, the parents said they had no other option, but to send their wards in these "jugadu" school vans.

A survey by The Tribune revealed that almost every school bus had been conveniently "modified" to adjust the maximum number of students. Two-seater/three-seater births had been converted into one seat so that more and more students could be adjusted.

Though the students complain of inconvenience, drivers are hardly bothered.

A driver, Lokesh Kumar (name changed), said there was no harm in modifying the vehicle as more students could be adjusted.

When asked why they were not being challaned by the authorities, the driver replied, "We are challaned for not wearing uniform or if we do not display the school's name outside the bus. But nobody stops us for overloading."

Besides, these buses do not have first-aid boxes, safety grills and fire extinguishers.

Prior to the Jalandhar incident, 11 children were killed a few months ago in Ambala.

The drivers cross the speed limit.

Principal of Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar, Mona Singh said the school has 10 well-equipped school buses.

"The buses are parked on the school premises. But the problem arises when private bus operators directly contact parents who then send their wards in those buses. We keep asking parents to boycott such buses for the safety of their wards, but some parents prefer private buses against school buses," said the principal. 

SC Guidelines

Buses should be painted yellow and ‘School Bus’ must be written on a vehicle's rear and front

It should have a first-aid box

Must be fitted with a speed governor

Windows must have horizontal grills

It should have a fire extinguisher

School name and telephone number must be written on it

Doors should be fitted with reliable locks

There should be space for school bags

There must be an attendant in the bus

Driver should have at least five-year experience of driving heavy vehicles

A driver who has been challaned more than twice a year for offences like red-light jumping, violation of lane discipline or allowing an unauthorised person to drive, cannot be employed as per Section 2(47) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988

Challan drive

DTO MS Chatwal said the officials along with the traffic police had challaned school vans for overloading. But they had limitations like if they impounded vans in the morning, students reached schools late and if they challaned the school buses once the school got over, parents raised a hue and cry that their wards were harassed. Still they would continue to challan such offenders," said the DTO.



Two arrested with 3.6 tonnes of poppy husk
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
In a major breakthrough, the city police has arrested two persons with 3.6 tonnes of poppy husk.

It is the biggest drug haul recovered by the city police in the recent past. The contraband was being smuggled from Madhya Pradesh in a mini-truck. Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCP-3) Joginder Singh said 120 sacks containing poppy husk were hidden under the bags of garlic.

“The sleuths of the crime investigation agency (CIA-1), including Harpal Singh and Parveen Kumar, received information that some persons were smuggling poppy husk from Madhya Pradesh and their mini-truck,” the ADCP said.

The accused have been identified as Amarjeet Singh, alias Amardeep, alias Deep, a resident of the Muhalla Darji chowk area in Samana, Patiala, and Veer Chand, a resident of Bajra colony in the Jodhewal area in Ludhiana.

The police has arrested the accused and a case under Section 15 of the NDPS Act has been registered at the Dehlon police station. The accused were produced in a court which sent them to police custody. 



firing  incident
Forensic team visits city 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
A day after the firing incident in which a retired Assistant Sub Inspector, Major Singh, was shot at in Dharampura, a team from the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Chandigarh, visited the city to collect ballistic samples of the weapon used.

The suspects, including SAD leader from Amritsar Anup Singh, said ASI Major Singh (retd) suffered self-inflicted injuries on his shoulder and leg. The suspects claimed they were not even present at the spot when the incident took place.

The police is checking the tower location of the mobile phones of all the three accused named in the FIR. Anup Singh and Major Singh were reportedly at loggerheads over a nine acre land in Kakka Dhaula village.

Suicide by newly wed: Husband, sister-in-law held

Three days after a newly wed woman committed suicide at her house in Daad village, the city police today arrested her husband and sister-in-law for forcing her to commit suicide. Pooja of Patti village in Tarn Taran, had committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan. She got married to Maninder Singh nearly four months ago. The police had found a suicide note, in which Pooja had alleged she was being harassed by her sister-in-law Sukhwinder Kaur.

Motorcycle-borne youths snatch earrings

Two motorcycle-borne youths snatched earrings of an elderly woman in Hargobind Nagar area near Christian Medical College and Hospital here today. Satish Dhingra, a shawl dealer, said his mother Shakuntla Devi was sitting outside the house when two motorcycle-borne youths snatched her earrings and fled.

Habit-forming drugs seized from medical store

The health department conducted a raid on Pindi Street and seized habit-forming drugs from a medical store here today. A team led by drug inspectors found 20,000 tablets and 2,880 capsules from Sameksha Medical Store.

One booked in attempt to rape case

Mandi Gobindgarh: The police has booked a man for attempting to rape an elderly woman. Balwinder Singh, resident of Dadheri village, stated his mother, aged 78, had gone to the fields to attend to the nature’s call when one Avtar Singh, alias Bhola, allegedly attempted to rape her. Balwinder saw Avtar Singh manhandling his mother and rescued her.

Photo of notorious criminal released

The city police on Friday released the picture of notorious criminal Jatinder Singh, alias Langra. He fled from the police custody while being taken back from a hearing in Phillaur. Jatinder was nabbed last year in ~40-lakh Bonn Bread robbery case and ~20-lakh Kitty Bread robbery case. A reward of Rs 10,000 has also been announced for informing about his whereabouts



Fans turn up in large numbers to pay tributes to Chamkila
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
People, standing in a queue, knelt before his grave where his last rites were performed 25 years ago at his village in Dugri. Like every year, they had returned to pay tribute to the singer who ruled hearts of old and young alike.

'Chamkila mela' to mark the death anniversary of the legendary singer is organised every year. “Singers have come and gone, but Chamkila has always ruled our hearts," said Balwinder, a local resident.

At the 'akhara', local singers were singing and remembering Chamkila. His songs can be heard even today, 25 years after his demise. "Issues he sang about can be seen happening today," said another fan from Fatehgarh Sahib.

"Although his songs have been termed vulgar by some, he wrote about the ugly realities of the society," said Shamsher Singh, another fan.

Rakesh Kumar Makhhi who used to play 'ghada' while Chamkila performed on the stage got nostalgic. “Although I have played with many singers, Chamkila’s performances were always amazing," he said.

Satpal Singh 'Satta' who played 'dhol' said there could never be be another Chamkila. Noudh Singh, who used to do bookings for Chamkila's shows, said he never got greedy and charged the same amount from everyone.

“He wanted to connect with the people. After he passed away, I left that work,” he said.



MC House to meet on March 12
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
A day after the MC’s General House meeting was postponed, the Mayor has now decided to hold the meeting on March 12 at the Zone-A office in Mata Rani Chowk area. This decision was taken after an all-party meeting at the Mayor’s camp office near Nehru Rose Garden this evening.

The meeting was chaired by Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria and was attended by Senior Deputy Mayor Sunita Aggarwal, Deputy Mayor RD Sharma, Akali councillors Hakam Singh Giaspura, Pal Singh Grewal, Jagbir Singh Sokhi, Sukhdev Singh Gill, Manwinder Singh Makkar, BJP councillors Gurdeep Singh Neetu and Inder Aggarwal and Congress councillors Hem Raj Aggarwal, Sanjay Talwar, Parminder Mehta and Dr Jai Parkash among others.

Ever since the new MC House was formed last year, no General House meeting has been held. Due to this there is resentment among councillors, especially those from the Congress party, who feel the issues related to residents were not being heard.

Earlier, the Mayor had announced the meeting would be held in the last week of February after the Moga bypoll, but due to some meetings on the property tax issue, the House meeting got postponed to the first week of March. The meeting was then scheduled for 3 pm on March 9, but it was again postponed as aome councillors wanted to take part in a Shobha Yatra.

To decide on loans against MC properties

Decision on the plans of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation of raising Rs 100 crore as loan by pledging its property as collateral security will be taken during the General House meeting on March 12.

Due to an acute financial crunch, the ongoing developmental works in the city are suffering. Some of the contractors have even stopped the construction activity at several places.

To make the pending payments to the contractors, the civic body is in need of around Rs 100 crore. It is for this need of clearing the backlog that the MC has mooted pledging of properties as collateral security.

Till January, reportedly, the MC was in talks with three banks: Punjab National Bank, ICICI and Bank of India. Now, however, the civic body has roped in more banks, some of which have even submitted their proposals.

The Bank of India, reportedly, has assured the MC that it would lend money at an interest rate of 12.5 percent per annum, while Canara Bank has assured loan at a lesser rate of 10.3 percent per annum.

While confirming these figures, MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma said the agenda will be first passed by the MC General House. “Once it is passed by the General House, the process will be formalised. A loan of Rs 100 crore will bring in a much-needed respite for the civic body,” he said.

Verma had earlier stated that officials from Punjab National Bank had verbally conveyed they might sanction loan at an interest rate of 10.75 per annum, but were yet to take the final permission from their head office. The ICICI Bank was yet to revert back.



Philatelists remember Sahir
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
A philately exhibition to commemorate the 92nd birth anniversary of Sahir Ludhianvi was organised today at Sutlej Club by the Ludhiana Philately Club.

A wax statue of Sahir Ludhianvi, created by sculptor Chander Shekhar, was also put on display. Singer Neelam Khosla recited songs of Sahir Ludhianvi.

The release of a postage stamp on Sahir Ludhianvi was also celebrated by the philatelists. “It is a matter of pride for all the Ludhianvis,” said club president Bangia.



Embezzlement of sanitary items: PAU initiates inquiry
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) authorities are keeping mum on the issue of embezzlement of sanitary items from the maintenance store.

The university has initiated an inquiry, but did not give any further details. Sources said today a number of meetings were conducted in this regard.

While requesting anonymity, a member of the PAU Employees’ Union said higher officials of the university found a huge number of toilet seats and other sanitary items missing from the maintenance store on carrying out an inspection after the theft.

The university had sanctioned Rs 40 lakh for the repair and maintenance of employees’ quarters. The maintenance department received Rs 30 lakh for buying material and Rs 10 lakh as labour charges. The renovation was never done.

According to the entry register at the maintenance store, 250 toilet seats, 1,000 bags of cement, 64 water tanks, 600 small taps and 400 big taps had been received.

"We want an inquiry into this matter. The records mention ‘nil’ against these items. When the maintenance department did not use the material for renovating the quarters, where has all this material gone?" said a union leader.

"We are examining the stock in the store to ascertain the missing items,” said estate officer Dr Jaskaran Singh.



Plight of women painted on canvas

Ludhiana, March 8
A five-day painting exhibition to mark Women's Day —'Art for Justice' — organised by ARS Group was inaugurated at Gallery Artmosphere. More than 40 artists from the city expressed their empathy, anger, wrath about the plight of the women in the country.

Woman made up of fire form, her expression depicts the pain she is going through, in the digital paintings of Martin Victor. Crimes against women are a global phenomenon, but the problem is that although there have been protests and furore about these, but it needs to be taken more seriously, culturally, he said Woman made up of fire form, her expression depicts the pain she is going through, in the digital paintings of Martin Victor.

Crimes against women are a global phenomenon, but the problem is that although there have been protests and furore about these, but it needs to be taken more seriously, culturally, he said. A collage by Ayushi depicted the plight of women. In another painting, cruelty against women is depicted through laughter and knife. A sad angel by Ramanjot Kaur, a flower depicting a girl is being cut in the painting of Bhawna Sharma, a girl in distress by Mitika all show pain women are going through. — TNS



Farmers threaten to intensify stir

Ludhiana, March 8
The Kirti Kisan Union (KKU) and other farmers’ bodies have threatened to intensify their agitation if the government failed to accept their demands raised during the "rail roko" agitation on March 6.

The agitating bodies have also asked the government to immediately release the activists arrested during the agitation.

The joint action committee leaders said there was widespread resentment among farmers against the repressive measures adopted by the government during the agitation. A state-level meeting would be convened at Jalandhar on March 9 to discuss the further course of action, they said. — OC



Ludhiana Scan
26-yr-old tests positive for swine flu
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
A 26-year-old city resident, admitted to the CMCH, tested positive for swine flu. With this, the total number of swine flu patients in the district has reached 24. Six persons have died of swine flu so far in the district.

The tricycles that were distributed among the disabled by the Bhagwan Mahavir Sewa Sangh on Friday.
The tricycles that were distributed among the disabled by the Bhagwan Mahavir Sewa Sangh on Friday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Tricycles distributed

The Bhagwan Mahavir Sewa Sangh organised a camp to distribute free tricycles to the disabled on the occasion of International Women's Day. The camp was organised at the Civil Hospital. Five handicapped persons were given tricycles. 

State govt hailed

The Lottery Stockists' Association, Punjab, has hailed the decision of the Punjab Government for decreasing the tax rate on 'Lotto' and 'Keeno' lotteries. Both these lotteries were popular in the state some eight years ago. Sanjay Agnihotri, president of the association, has thanked the government for slashing the tax rate. He said it would add to the revenue of the state exchequer.

Date extended

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBDT) has extended the date of submission of new Form ST-3 for the period starting from July 1, 2012, to September 30, 2012, from March 25 to April 15. The new Form ST-3 will be available on the ACES portal by March 20.

Employment allowance

The Punjab Government has launched the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Professional Skill Scheme, under which employment allowance would be given to students pursuing higher education. Under this scheme, Rs 1,000 per month would be given to the students as employment allowance for enabling them pursuing higher vocational/ technical education.

No imported liquor stores

The new excise policy will put an end to stores selling imported liquor. The L2B licence has been abolished by the state Cabinet. Ludhiana has three-four departmental stores which sell imported brands of liquor. The department has put an end to this licence saying the store keepers were misusing the licence and indulging in malpractices due to which the sale of liquor at the vends was dipping.

Special loan for women

Indian Overseas Bank, regional office, Ludhiana, celebrated Women's Day under the leadership of Parvesh Kapoor, chief regional manager, Ludhiana region. Staff members of different branches and customers celebrated the day. On this occasion, special loan sanctioned letters were given for women entrepreneurship under various schemes.

36 conferred degrees

The annual convocation of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, was held on Friday in Dumra Auditorium. 36 medical graduates of the MBBS batch, 2007, were conferred degrees and prizes. The chief guest was the director and senior professor of neurology from Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute of Medical Sciences & Technology Dr K Radhakrishnan. Dean Academics Dr Rajoo Singh Chhina administered the Hippocratic Oath to the fresh graduates before presenting them their degrees. Gold medal for the best graduate was presented to Dr Satjeet Deol and the silver medal to Dr Nitika Mahajan. Best All-Rounder and Best Intern Award also went to Dr Gurkamal Kaur Toor. The chief guest awarded 47 prizes and 18 medals to the students of various batches who had excelled in various subjects.



4 booked for stripping man, uploading MMS
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
The city police has booked four persons for stripping a man and uploading his video on the Internet.

The victim and the accused reportedly lived in the same colony in Mundia. In his complaint, the victim stated he had gone to a tube well to take a bath last year, along with the accused, Svinderpal, Kilwinder Singh, Manpreet Singh and Sukhdeep. There the four of them stripped him and recorded an MMS, he stated. He was shocked to find the MMS on the Internet, he said. "When I asked them about the whole episode, they threatened me and hurled casteist remarks," he said.



Two students caught copying

Ludhiana, March 8
Two cases of copying were reported today during the Class XII examination of the Punjab School Education Board.

A male student was caught copying by DEO (Sec) Paramjit Kaur at Government School, Cemetery Road, while a girl student of Government School, Sarabha village, was caught by an official. Both were appearing for the chemistry exam in the medical stream. — TNS



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