Saturday, July 22, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Two serial killers on prowl
Most of the victims either kin or acquaintances

From Ruchika Mohindra
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 21 — Two psychopath serial killers who are alleged to have committed at least five murders, three of them in Ludhiana alone, are giving sleepless nights to the local police, in spite of the latter's best efforts to nab them.

Baldev Singh, alias Harbhajan Singh, alias Kaddy (26), and Baljinder Singh are alleged to have committed five murders, including those of two women, in Ludhiana, Amritsar and Agra. In all the cases the victims were either distant relatives or former acquaintances.

Interestingly, the modus operandi adopted by the duo in all the cases was the same, i.e. killing by strangulation. Also, most of the murders were committed after the victims declined to arrange for a marriage of one of the accused, Baldev Singh.

While Baldev Singh has been identified as hailing from Jagraon and his criminal history is also now known, the police till date has no clues about Baljinder Singh. In fact, other than the name of the accused and the fact that he has been with Baldev Singh when all five persons were killed, the police does not know much about him.

During the past itself, these psychopaths have committed the murder of a woman, Harbans Kaur, in the Kot Mangal Singh locality on June 29 and later the double murder of a mother-son duo in New Simlapuri area on July 13.

SI Nirbjit Singh, SHO, police station division no 6, who is investigating the case here, said: "As a teenager, the accused Baldev Singh had been a tenant as well as an apprentice with Karam Singh, husband of the deceased Harbans Kaur from 1985 to 198. Later he had gone to Manikaran Sahib and started working as a sevadar there till 1997 when he went to a dera in Randhawa village as a ragi. He, however, remained in constant touch with Karam Singh's family and would visit them off and on."

It is also learnt that when the accused Baldev Singh and Baljinder Singh came to Ludhiana on June 26, they had done so after murdering Avtar Singh, a resident of Amritsar and an accomplice of Baldev Singh from his days in Manikaran. The psychopaths had reportedly strangulated Avtar Singh in his kiosk at around 7.30 p.m. on June 25 and later shut the kiosk from outside before fleeing the scene of the crime with a few valuables and cash.

The two accused came to Ludhiana and met with Karam Singh and his wife Harbans Kaur. It is learnt that Baldev Singh visited the place for the next two days and requested the deceased to arrange for a matrimonial alliance. However, when Harbans Kaur declined to do so, she, too, was strangulated.

In the meantime, the police identified the two accomplices and also got to know about their involvement in the murder of Avtar Singh.

According to police sources, after this incident, the police had alerted almost all relatives of Baldev Singh, including Gursharan Singh whose wife Davinder Kaur and son Dharminder Singh were also murdered by them. In this case, too, the murders were committed after Davinder Kaur reportedly got to know about the criminal background of the accused Baldev and called off his marriage negotiations.

Police sources also informed that the two are also alleged to be involved in a murder case in Agra and that the UP police was also searching for them.

SP City II Pramod Ban said,"We are not sparing any efforts to arrest the accused." The police parties have been dispatched to Kum Kalan, Patran, Ferozepore, Muktsar, Moga and Kapurthala. It is reliably learnt that after committing the murder of Davinder Kaur and her son Dharminder, the accused had gone to a relative in Chandigarh. This relative had also alerted the police, but the duo managed to escape. A police party has now been sent to Manikaran Sahib to search for the accused.

The police has also set up five parties to trace the two accused. Back


Fly ash damaging war museum
From Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 21 — Even though the Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum, a prestigious project of the Punjab Government near Tiger Safari here awaits completion, polluted air of this industrial city has cast its dark shadow on the memorials and exhibits of the museum.

While the museum is already struggling for supply of funds from the state government, it has another fight on its hands against fly ash emanating from factories situated near it. The jet-black ash is sticking on the pink stoned building as well as a number of war-related trophies and sculptures built in the museum lawns .

Layers of fly ash are forming not only on the memorials placed or created in the open lawns of the museum but also on portraits and busts of decorated war heroes, including Paramvir Chakara winners, exhibited in the inner halls of the majestic building. The blackening of the exhibits threatens to bring to nought the crores of rupees spent so far on the dream project of the state.

Alarmed at the regular deposition of fly ash, the Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum Society has shot off letters to the State Government as well as the Pollution Control Board Authorities about the problem. The letters say that smoke bellowing out from chimneys of a particular factory near the museum was causing immense harm to priceless artefacts and other display items of the museum as well as the environment in its vicinity.

The letters demanded immediate measures to stop the pollution and the subsequent damage. However, according to sources no action has been taken so far even though the Society had been writing letters since last year. Wing Commander M.S. Randhawa, Member Secretary of the Society, and Deputy Director, District Sainik Welfare Department, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune acknowledged the problem. He, however, lamented lack of any proper action to control the pollution, especially the falling of the fly ash .

He claimed that the Pink-coloured Dholpur stone of the building and sculptures made of white marble were the worst affected and had actually blackened permanently at several places. He said the museum staff had also discovered fly ash on portraits, busts of war heroes and other sculptures or artefacts in the museum. The staff had to do rigorous dusting and cleaning operations daily in order to save the exhibits, he claimed.

Mr Pardeep Gupta, who has recently been posted as XEN Pollution Control Board here said the matter had come to his knowledge just now. He would order collection of samples from the factory to check the pollution level and then due action would be taken. Quoting from a file of the case, he claimed that after receiving complaints the board had sent a team of officials to the factory near the museum which had found that certain nossels of the factory had choked, due to which stagnation of pollution-causing material had resulted. The report claimed that the factory after the visit had modified its boilers and removed the stagnated material.

When pointed that on a visit to the museum recently a Ludhiana Tribune team had seen layers of black material on sculptures and memorials hinting that proper action had not been taken. Mr Gupta said the PPCB would take steps to check pollution.


BKU to protest against foreign products
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 21 — The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) will organise protests at district levels, all over the state against dumping of foreign made farm products in the country. A meeting of the state executive of the BKU, presided over by Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal here today, decided that farmers would be mobilised to hold demonstrations at Moga on Aug 9, at Bathinda on Aug 14, at Patiala on Aug 21, at Jalandhar on Aug 28, at Ludhiana on Sept 4 and at Amritsar on Sept 11 to raise voice against unrestricted import of milk products, wheat, cotton and other farm products.

The BKU general secretary, Mr Manjit Singh Kadian, informed that the meeting urged the Union Government to order a high level probe into the alleged irregularities in grant of import licences for zinc ash. It expressed concern that only three of more than 100 zinc sulphate manufacturers were issued import licences under OGL and as a result the prices of zinc sulphate had gone up from Rs 1000 to Rs 1700 per quintal, creating a severe crisis for the farming community.

The BKU called upon the state government to set up an eggs market in Chandigarh on the pattern of Delhi to assure remunerative prices of eggs to the poultry farmers. The daily egg production in Punjab alone, was to the extent of 1.70 lakh, while the neighbouring state of Haryana produced another 1.50 lakh eggs every day.

Expressing its concern over mounting arrears of the farmers towards sugar mills in Jagraon and Phagwara, the BKU impressed upon the state government to immediately intervene to get more than Rs 16 crore, due to the sugar-cane growers of the state, released. The meeting also decided to hold a session of the union in Guru Ki Dhab, district Faridkot, on July 28 and 29.

In another resolution, the death of BKU activists — Mr Dalbir Singh, general secretary of district Kapurthala and Mr Jagir Singh Nidhawala, block president of block Moga II — was condoled and two minutes silence was observed to pay homage to the departed.Back


Gang of thieves busted
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 21 — The four accused in the robbery attempt and assault on a teenager in the Madhuban enclave residence of a doctor have been arrested.

According a press note issued here today by DSP, Sarabha Nagar, Harmanbir Singh, the police arrested all four accused — Karan Yadav, Vajinder, Arun Yadav and Sachin Yadav — and recovered three sharp-edged weapons, iron rods, one 12 bore pistol and two live cartridges.

It is learnt that while one of the accused was nabbed on the spot, a police party, led by Inspector Balwinder Singh Sekhon, SHO, Sarabha Nagar police station, conducted a search in nearby areas and nabbed the other accused.


Website on Amarnath Yatra launched
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 21— The Bhole Bhandari Charitable Trust, Ludhiana, has launched the first-ever website on Shri Amarnath Yatra which has been named as, according to the trust president, Mr Rajan Gupta.

Mr Gupta, in a press note faxed to Ludhiana Tribune, said the website had been launched as part of an endeavour by the trust to ‘provide complete information regarding Shri Amarnath Yatra.’ provides information on all aspects of the yatra such as legend and importance of the yatra, discovery of the holy cave, map of both approach routes, i.e. via Pahalgam as well as Baltal, with pictorial views, distances from Jammu to the holy cave alongwith altitudes at each and every halt, weather conditions and temperatures.

The website also provides information regarding train journey from Delhi to Jammu, precautions and essential requirements on the yatra in addition to a number of advices and suggestions and the registration procedure for the pilgrims. A print out of the registration form can be obtained from the website itself.

For more information about rail links from other places, the website has been linked with the Indian Railways’ website.

For the benefit of pilgrims travelling by air, the site has been linked with the Indian Airlines to provide more information regarding flights from various places.

Mr Rajan Gupta has invited suggestions for the improvement of the website and appealed to all devotees to visit the website before undertaking the arduous trip to the holy cave.Back


Car stolen from dealer
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 21 — A Maruti car was reportedly stolen from outside the office of a car dealer in the Feroze Gandhi market one day after the owner left it there.

In a case registered under Section 379 of the IPC at Police Station, division no. 5, Mr Shinderpal Singh has alleged that he had given his car for selling it off to Mr Sham Gopal Arora on July 16, and the said car was stolen from his premises the next night.

Theft by servant
A domestic servant is learnt to have decamped with Rs 10,000 and a camera from the hosiery of his employer.

According to an FIR registered under Sections 239 and 381 of the IPC at Sadar Police Station, Ramesh Kumar has alleged that his servant, Sunil Kumar, committed the theft.

One injured
Ravinder Pal Singh was injured when his scooter was hit by a truck bearing registration number PB-10-AL-8314. A case under Sections 279 and 338 of the IPC has been registered against the driver of the truck, Manmohan Singh and Ravinder Pal Singh has been admitted to C.M.C.

Two trucks collide
A head-on collision between two trucks, one loaded with iron scrap and the other with cement, resulted in the overturning of the one carrying iron scrap which was coming from Chandigarh.


Boy recovered
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 21 — Station House Ofifcer of the Division No 2 Inspector Kashmir Singh and ASI Chaman Prakash recovered a boy while on patrolling and handed him over to his parents.

The policemen were on routine patrolling when they noticed the boy. After questioning they found that the boy had run away from his house on July 12. He was identified as Shiv Lal (16), son of Radhey Sham of Kamalke village in Moga district. The two policemen informed his parents who arrived here this afternoon and the bay was handed over to them.Back


Nearly 80 pc spices adulterated
From Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 21 — About 80 per cent of the spices sold in open in the market are said to be adulterated. These are not exaggerated figures if the wholesale dealers in Kesar Ganj Mandi, well known spice trade centre of the city, are to be believed.

Although no specific figures are available, the wholesale traders agree that adulteration in the spices was a common knowledge and was being done in connivance with the officials of the Health Department. The supply of spurious spices in the market in abundance has hit the genuine manufacturers, traders and supplies badly.

One leading manufacturer revealed on the condition of anonymity said that over the years a "spice mafia" had emerged in the city. The mafia, he said, was working under the "official" patronage. He claimed that everyone who mattered in the official circles related to the spice trade got his due share.

The traders were skeptical about the possible preventive measures against the spurious trade of spices. "We are supplying poison to people and people take it unsuspectingly", another trader remarked. The level of adulteration is supposed to be as high as 80 per cent. He added while the turmeric was selling at Rs 40 a kg, the powder sells for even less than Rs 20 a kg. "How is it possible?", he asked, while pointing out that this was obviously adulterated.

Turmeric powder is reportedly adulterated with the rice powder and other chemicals, other spices like chilly powder are believed to be mixed with chemicals.

In Ludhiana also there are several grinding mills which are involved with adulterating process. A trader claimed it was in the knowledge of the officials but they did not take any action. He stated that even when there were complaints, the health officials conduct raided only those traders and manufacturers who did not indulge in adulteration. He said those traders who refused to tow the line were harassed and made to fall in line.

There are some general specifications which every spice trader is supposed to maintain. The spice samples are to be approved by the health officials randomly but regularly. The spices cannot be sold in open. They have to be sold in packets. Each packet should clearly mention the name and address of the manufacturer prominently.

Most of these specifications are flouted and violated. First of all thousands of kilograms of spices are sold in the market in open. Even if they are not adulterated, they get adulterated by the dust that gets mixed in them in open. And most of the packets carry fictitious names and addresses of the manufacturers. Only some popular brands carry the exact name and address of the manufacturer.

The traders suggested random but regular sampling of the spices. Even the consumers should also be aware and ask for only reliable quality product. They advised that it was always safe to avoid the spice sold in open.

While most of the consumers prefer popular spice brands sold in packets, the open spices are mostly consumed by the labour classes and lower strata of society. Because it is quite difficult for them to purchase a 100 gm turmeric packet for Rs 16, when they can purchase at least 500 gm of ordinary turmeric powder for the same amount.


Advice for chilli growers
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jul 21 — Scientists of Punjab Agricultural University have a word of advice for chilli growers.

According to university studies, wet rot has been observed in chillies in which the young branches are affected. Conspicuous black pin heads of fungus have been observed on the rotten parts. Since the disease is favoured by rains and high moisture content in the air, it is appropriate to take precautions against the disease at this time of the year.

According to scientists at the university, the best way is to spray the crop with 750 gm of Indofil m-45 mixed in 250 liters of water. Further precaution may be taken by not allowing the water to stagnate in chilli fields.Back


Fabric painting training camp
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 21— A six-day free training camp in fabric painting, sponsored by Camlin India Limited, commenced at Param Sewing school in Ranjit Nagar locality in the city today. More than 350 girls are participating in the camp.

They would be trained in fabric painting through video films and demonstrations by experts.

The participants would also be taught latest techniques in pot painting, glass painting, landscapes and mixing and use of fabric paints.

Inaugurating the camp, senior officer of the company, Mr Ojha, said that fabric painting could not only be used to decorate houses and make dresses colourful, but can also be adopted as a profession to add to the family income.

Mr Amarjit Singh, chairman of the sewing school, claimed that it was one of the biggest training camps held in this region.

Among others, senior officers of the company, Mr Zutshi and Mr Gurmukh Singh Bagga, were also present on the occasion.Back

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