Monday, November 20, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Sonia to nominate new PCC chief: Amarinder
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 19 — The suspense over the election of new Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president is likely to persist with the PCC deciding to leave it to the party high command.

Stating this here today, PPCC president Amarinder Singh told reporters at the railway station on his way to Dharamkot that a unanimous decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the office-bearers in presence of chief election authority Sultan Singh.

Capt Amarinder Singh, who is seeking renomination to the post of the PCC president, said it was being felt that AICC president Sonia Gandhi should be given a free hand to chose her team in states for smooth and proper functioning. Thus she was authorised to nominate the new PCC president.

The PCC president observed that Mrs Sonia Gandhi's decision would be acceptable to the rank and file of the party. He felt that it would help in strengthening the party unity .

He was on his way to attend the bhog ceremony of slain party leader Harmesh Kumar Mukhija at Dharamkot. Mukhija was shot dead by unidentified assailants at Dharamkot on November 13 and his bodyguard was injured seriously. The police has already booked local MLA Sheetal Singh, a close relative of Agriculture Minister Gurudev Badal for the murder.

Mukhija's son was earlier killed in a road accident which he had termed ‘a planned murder’.

The PCC president said the SAD government was squarely to be blamed for the murder of Mukhija and his son. Makhija had been provided security in 1984 after threats from militants. The security had been withdrawn by the Badal government. He had reportedly approached the court for the same. The state government was scheduled to file its reply on November 28 on the issue.

Capt Amarinder Singh alleged that there appeared to be a deep conspiracy. Personal weapons of Mukhija had also been taken over by the government.

He stated that he would be leading a delegation of the party MPs from the state to meet Union Home Minister L. K. Advani to apprise him of the worsening law and order situation here. He said he would urge the Home Minister to direct the state government to mend its ways in a time-bound manner. “If nothing comes out of that, we will launch direct action”, he declared.

He said the party had no faith in the SAD government and the police as “the police was working as an extension of the SAD”.

He demanded that the enquiry into the murder of Mukhija and his son should be handed over to the CBI. He levelled serious charges against some of Senior Superintendents of Police and alleged that the Congress workers were being harassed and victimised through them.

Earlier, Capt Amarinder Singh was received by a large number of party workers and leaders. They included PCC general secretary Nahar Singh Gill, district president Surinder Dabar, local MP Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, PCC secretary K K Bawa and the national chairman of the urban development cell of the Indian Youth Congress Pawan Dewan.


Jawan cremated with military honours
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 19 — Hav Paramjit Singh of 5 Sikh Light Infantry OP Hill Battalion, who laid down his life in an exchange of fire in Chilli area of Doda sector in Jammu and Kashmir on November 17, was today cremated with military honours at his native village Toose in Raikot tehsil, about 25 km from here.

A contingent of the Army, carrying the body, wrapped in Tricolour, led the funeral procession, which was attended by people from all walks of life. The pyre was lit by Harpreet Singh, eldest son of the jawan. Hav Paramjit Singh leaves behind his widow Sukhwinder Kaur and three sons — Harpreet (9), Amritpal (7) and Manpreet (5).

Among those who paid floral tributes to the martyr were Mr S.K.Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner, Mr Jagjit Singh Talwandi, chairman of the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation, Mr Raghbir Singh, SP(D), Jagraon, Mr Yash Pal Sharma, acting Deputy Director of the District Sainik Welfare Board, and Mr H.S. Deol, Tehsildar, Raikot. Wreaths were also laid on the body on behalf of Lieut-Gen Surjit Singh, Commanding Officer, Western Command, Lieut-Gen K. Dawar, 11 Corps Commander, Brigadier A.K. Verma, Station Commander, Col M.I. Hussain, Commandant, 17 FAD, Col Vineet Mohan, Commanding Officer, 45 AD, Lieut-Col P.C.Katoch, Officer Commanding, 715 AD Brigade Signal Corps, and Col G.R.Tittarwal, 103 TA.

The Deputy Commissioner announced that the family of Hav Paramjit Singh would be given all financial assistance and other facilities at a par with Kargil martyrs, which would include a Rs 2 lakh ex-gratia grant, a plot for construction of house or Rs 5 lakh in lieu thereof, and government job to one member of the family. The village primary school, he added, would be named after the martyr.


Old couple duped of jewellery
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 19 — In the second case of its kind in the past one week, an impostor today duped an old couple of around eight tolas of gold jewellery by promising to help them obtain old-age pension that was being distributed by the government.

According to the information available, Mr Ramesh Chander Aggarwal and his wife, Ms Maya Wati Aggarwal, were going for a marriage function on a cycle rickshaw at around 10:30 am this morning, when they were stopped by a youth on a scooter near the new DMC. The youth reportedly convinced the couple that the government was distributing old-age pension of Rs 2700 to the elderly.

Mr Aggarwal said, “The youth was so convincing that we got swayed. He told us that he had gone home to inform us of availing ourselves of the pension, but our son had told him that we had just left home on a rickshaw and so he followed us here. He asked us to accompany him to near the Sanatam Dharam School and we followed him there.”

After the couple reportedly reached there, the youth told them that the gold ornaments worn by Ms Aggarwal would be a problem in the couple getting the pension. “He asked us to wrap the ornaments — two gold bangles and a chain — in a black paper that he gave us and then asked us to put this paper in our tiffin box. He somehow took the paper and the tiffin box and said he would keep the ornaments himself,” added Mr Aggarwal.

The youth then left the couple after returning the tiffin box and promising that he would wait in the long queue in the school to save the couple of the inconvenience. It was after a while that the couple realised that they had been duped when they opened the box and found that it contained brass bangles instead of the gold ones.

This is the second such case. In a case reported five days ago, another elderly woman, Ms Raj Rani Sharma, had been duped by a youth in a similar way on Brown Road. Gold ornaments and Rs 2000 had been taken away from her.


Murder case: Anil Jain granted bail
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 19 — The prime accused in the sensational Sunil Jain murder case, Anil Jain, alias Mickey Jain, has been granted bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The bail was granted by the court of Justice N.M. Khichi on November 16.

In the bail order, the court has ruled that the case was based on circumstantial evidence and that the petitioner deserved concession on bail.

It may be noted that the sensational murder of Sunil Jain took place on December 23, 1999. The body of the industrialist was found locked in his car under mysterious circumstances in the Focal Point area. The murder was much talked about as the police as well as the immediate family of the deceased had been suspecting the elder brother of the deceased, Anil Kumar Jain , to be involved in the murder.

The case continued to baffle the local police for quite some. As the post-mortem report had not shown any superficial injuries on the body of the deceased, so the viscera was sent for chemical examinations to Patiala. It was later that the police had claimed, after receiving the results of the chemical examinations, that Sunil Jain had died of asphyxia.

Meanwhile, the local police had registered a case of criminal trespassing against Anil Jain on the complaint of the wife of the deceased on February 1, 2000. The accused had then claimed that he had gone to meet his mother Sudarshana Jain. Interestingly, before the accused was granted bail by a local court here in the case of trespassing on February 4, the police had again presented a challan in the court on the same day and alleged that during a search of the house of the accused, it had found some opium at his residence. He was again booked under various sections of the NDPS Act.

It was on April 10 that the police had booked Anil Jain for the murder after he was granted interim bail in the case of drug pedalling the same day. Meanwhile, the mother of the deceased had also stated in an affidavit that Anil was not responsible for the murder of Sunil Jain. As the case took various turns , it was handed over to the crime branch, Chandigarh, for investigation. 


Notorious thief at it again
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 19 — Notorious thief Anil Kumar is at it again. This time he has been booked by the Jagatpuri police on charge of stealing in a temple in New Pratap Nagar a fortnight ago.

It may be noted that a theft of gold and silver ornaments and cash from Guddi Mata Mandir was reported at the Haibowal police station a few days ago. The temple priest, Ms Surjit Sikka, alias Guddi Mata, had alleged that while she had gone to Vaishno Devi to pay her obeisance, someone had barged into her residence, which is on the temple premises, and decamped with ornaments, other valuables and cash.

It was last night that a police party found Anil Kumar and the other accused, Sukhdev Singh, consuming alcohol at a haata. Upon questioning, the two revealed that they had earned money from the theft in the temple. The police also recovered a television set, a deck, a gold and silver ornaments and cash amounting to Rs 2700 from their possession.

It may be recalled that Anil Kumar is a notorious thief and has been booked in more than eight cases of theft. He had allegedly also escaped from the district courts last year when he was brought there for a hearing in his case. Immediately after fleeing from the court, he had stolen from several houses at Canal Colony located on the backside of the courts. He was later arrested by the police.


Gang of thieves busted, 4 held
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 19 — The Sadar Police led by Station House Officer Inspector Mukhminder Singh has succeeded in busting a gang of thieves while they were planning to commit a robbery on a petrol station near Raniya village.

According to the information available, it is learnt that the police party on a naka duty near the Canal Bridge, at Gill village learnt that a gang of thieves was hiding in a field near Gill railway station and was planning to loot the petrol station.

The police arrested the four-member gang comprising of Karamjit Singh, alias Sonu, of Mohalla New Aman Nagar, Naginder Singh, alias Bhola, of Gopalganj, Prem Chand of Gorakhpur and Raj Kumar of Rae Bareilly.

The police recovered one .12 bore pistol, two live cartridges, two knives and a kirch from them. It is learnt that all accused were earlier involved in a number of cases of theft of vehicles. They had also been convicted in a case and had come out from jail after serving a nine-month term.

The police had registered a case under Section 399 of the IPC.


Man reported missing from hotel
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 19 — Mystery shrouds the disappearance of a youth from a hotel here near Clock Tower last night.

Anoop Parmar, a youth hailing from Bathinda, is reported to have checked in Hotel Lucky near Clock Tower here yesterday afternoon. However, the last night a few other people came to the said hotel and took the youth away with them.

The youth has not checked in again at the hotel since last night. The room that he had occupied is still reportedly locked and his belongings are still in the room. Manager of the hotel Anil Kumar has sent telegrams to the Deputy Commissioner, the Senior Superintendent of Police and the Station House Officer of the concerned police station reporting about the missing youth.


Dowry death alleged
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 19 — A woman is alleged to have been done to death by her husband and in-laws for bringing insufficient dowry.

According to the information available, it is alleged that Taranjit Kaur, daughter of Musian Singh, was married to Jaswinder Singh more than two years ago. Musian Singh has alleged that his daughter was often tortured for bringing insufficient dowry. He has alleged that Jaswinder along with his father, Maluk Singh, mother Amarjit Singh and brother Harpreet Singh killed his daughter on the intervening night of November 16 and 17.

The police has registered a case under Sections 304-B and 34 of the IPC.


Fountain Chowk shopkeepers served notice
By Kuldip Bhatia and
Shivani Bhakoo

LUDHIANA, Nov 19 — The 18 odd shopkeepers at the Fountain Chowk here, are faced with a piquant situation, with the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation asking them to purchase the shops by depositing a hefty amount at market value.

Most of the shopkeepers have been occupying the shops since 1977, when the market was set up. However, some of the shopkeepers had taken shops from the original allottees at a later date. According to Mr Bakhshish Singh and Mr Harinder Kumar, owners of two eateries, there are a total of 18 shops, occupied by about 10 original allottees and rest of those, to whom the shops were sublet. The shops were put to auction in 1977. It was decided at that time that the monthly rent would be increased by 20 per cent after every three years. The then Municipal Commissioner Mr N. K. Arora, had reportedly assured allottees that the shops would be sold to them within a short period.

Things continued smoothly till last year, when the sub-allottees were served with a harsh notice. They were asked to pay 10 years rent as penalty, before they were treated as bona fide allottees. The average amount worked out to be Rs 2 lakh per shop. Mr Narinder Sood, another shopkeeper said, most of them were in no position to deposit such a hefty amount. While the matter was still pending for want of a practicable solution, the Muncipal Corporation had asked all shopkeepers to purchase shops at a staggering market price of Rs 60,000 per square yard.

Shopkeepers argue that the price was too high. Mr Bakhshsish Singh pointed out that government had sold the land for a petrol pump at a far lesser price than was being demanded from them in the nearby area.

What the shopkeepers have been asked to pay as cost of the shops, occupied by them, is 40 per cent of the market price, without right to the roof and 50 per cent with right to the roof, as total consideration.

Although Muncipal authorities have tried to make the payment process convenient by asking the shopkeepers to deposit the same in five installments each, but even this appears to be unaffordable to shopkeepers. While a few of them were doing good business, many others were small shopkeepers, with limited resources.

Mr Bakhshish Singh, a sub-allottee, had migrated from a place near Ranchi after the 1984 riots. He said he was left with nothing to remain afloat trying and the times and the shop that he had set up after migration to Punjab, has been his only source of income for the past 15 years.

Shopkeepers complained that they were being subjected to unprovoked harassment by MC officials. “Some of them (officials) were too rude and have been threatening us to deposit the money, otherwise the shops would be bulldozed,” complained another shopkeeper, requesting anonymity.

The Fountain Chowk market is a hot spot for the people in Ludhiana. It is from here that Ludhianvis developed the habit of eating out. The market had survived even during the peak of militancy and ought to be given a chance now, argue the shopkeepers.


Tributes paid to Indira Gandhi
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 19 — Glowing tributes were paid to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on her 84th birth anniversary here today. A function was organised by the urban development cell of the Indian Youth Congress under the leadership of its chairman, Mr Pawan Dewan. The day was celebrated as Sadbhavna Divas.

A large number of activists of the Youth Congress attended the function. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Dewan reminded the people, particularly the youth, of the sacrifice of Indira Gandhi for safeguarding the unity and integrity of the country.

Mr Dewan said Indira Gandhi made the country progress in every field. He pointed out that it was during her regime that the country performed its first nuclear test and helped in the liberation of Bangladesh.

Mr K. K. Bawa, secretary, PCC, said she worked for the uplift of the poor and the down-trodden. He pointed out that she had nationalised banks and launched 20-point programme for the welfare of the poor. He said that under her leadership India had emerged as one of the strong nations.

Others who spoke included Mr Jaswinder Singh Sabi, general secretary, PYC, Mr Akshay Bhanot, chairman, District Urban Development Cell, YC, Mr Sudhir Syal, Mr Nirmal Khera and Deepak Mehta.

A separate function was organised by the Block Congress Committee under the chairmanship of Mr Chandershekhar Sahota, who urged workers to work for the welfare of the people and to safeguard the unity and integrity of the country.

In a function organised by the block Youth Congress president, Mr Surjit Kaushal, tributes were paid to Indira Gandhi. The district Youth Congress president, Mr Parminder Mehta, observed that the people of Punjab, would remain indebted to her because she had sacrificed her life for the sake of restoring peace in this state.

The District Congress Committee (Urban) also observed the birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi. Speaking at a function organised at Government Middle School at Tajpur Road here, the DCC president, Mr Surinder Dawar, exhorted partymen to follow her principles and ideals.


Prof Mohan Singh’s work to be highlighted
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 19 — To highlight the contributions of renowned Punjabi poet, Professor Mohan Singh, towards Punjabi literature, a Samirti Granth of Professor Mohan Singh would be published by Dhan Pothohar Brotherhood Society, Punjab, which would consist of articles, poems and other literary pieces, authored by other prominent scholars regarding the unmatched contribution of Prof Mohan Singh to Punjabi culture and literature. A large number of such exclusive write-ups and articles of prominent scholars and poets had already been received by the Society.

This was announced by Mr. N.S. Nanda, president, Dhan Pothohar Brotherhood Society, Punjab, while addressing a function organised to unveil the memorial stone of Prof Mohan Singh Marg here today. Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, Mayor laid the memorial stone of the road named after the legendry poet.

Mr Nanda said that a large volume of poetry and other writings of the internationally acclaimed Punjabi poet, which were lying unprinted with his family, would also be printed and published. These publications would be kept in all the important libraries and distributed among those interested. Mr Nanda further informed that the organisation was also engaged in collecting different kinds of photographs relating to all aspects of Prof Mohan Singh’s life, which would be printed in a commercial table calendar and a table diary, to be released on the occasion of the centenary celebrations of Prof Mohan Singh in the year 2005. He said that a delegation comprising of around a dozen representatives of the Society would visit Pakistan shortly, to bring pictures and other memorablia relating to Prof Mohan Singh and his father Dr Jodh Singh Puri, a renowned veterinary doctor of his time.

Mr Nanda further said that Dhan Pohtohar Brotherhood was taking appropriate steps to highlight the contributions made for the society and the country by prominent personalities, belonging to the community. These include Panth Rattan Master Tara Singh, Mr Inder Kumar Gujral, former Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh, former Finance Minister of India; Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir, former Chief Minister of Punjab; Bhai Jodh Singh, Mr. Pritam Sigh Safeer, Mr Kartar Singh Duggal, writer, MP; Dr Harnam Singh Shan and Mr Jagjit Singh Anand. He also expressed gratitude to the Punjab government on behalf of the community, for naming a residential colony in PUDA at Urban Estate in the city after Master Tara Singh, who served as an undisputed leader of the Sikh community for over 40 years.

Addressing the function, the city mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, said that the municipal corporation would suitably maintain Prof Mohan Singh Marg and his books and other literature would be kept in the municipal library, so that coming generations could avail themselves of the opportunity to read his creations. He said that the civic body was making all out efforts to improve the environmental conditions in the city and had decided to suitably develop all parks provided in the different localities. He called upon the people to extend their full cooperation to the MC in its efforts to make the city a cleaner and better place to live in.

Mr Surjit Singh Ahluwalia, group leader of Congress councillors, appreciated the efforts of the Society to preserve the cultural heritage of the community, linked to their native place in West Pakistan, in a befitting manner.

On this occasion, Mr Kamal Mohan Singh, son as well as the three daughters of Prof Mohan Singh, were also honoured. Others present on this occasion included Mr Amar Singh Wadhera, Mr Ravinderpal Singh Khalsa, Mr Lochan Singh Bhan, Mr Inderpal Singh Marwaha, Mr G.S. Mokha and Mr Satnam Singh Malhotra. 


Honour conferred
From Our Correspondent

KHANNA, Nov 19 — Mr Vijay Sampla, the newly elected president of the backward classes wing of the Bhartiya Janta Morcha, Punjab State Unit, was honoured at a function held at the office of the Local Food Corporation of India, here yesterday.

Mr Sampla was escorted by hundreds of workers of Bhartiya Janta Morcha towards the function site at FCI office, where he was honoured by them. The function was also addressed by Mr S.S. Chatha, Mr Prem Sagar, Mr Brij Mohan, Mr Baldev Singh, Mr Tirlok Raj, Mr Ajit Bawa, Mr Mangat Raj and Mr Tara Singh.


Police fails to recover child
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 19 — The city police has failed to recover a missing child even after a year.

The parents of 14-year-old Babu are running from pillar to post to find their only son. Mr Amjad Khan alleged that his son had been missing while playing at Mohala Fatehgarh, Luvkush Nagar, on October 1, 1999. He had lodged a complaint in this regard with the police station, division no 4, Daresi.

He appealed to the police to recover his son at the earliest since his son was unable to speak clearly and was slightly mentally retarded also.

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