Monday, January 22, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Citizens’ meeting ends in fiasco
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 21 — The prominent citizens' meeting convened by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S. K. Sandhu, ended in a fiasco when a woman councillor started levelling charges against the police for allegedly shielding the main culprit involved in an assault on her husband.

Everything seemed to be going on well till the councillor, Ms Manjeet Kaur of Haibowal Kalan, rose to speak. Her husband, Mr Bhupinder Singh, was seriously injured in an attack recently allegedly by a local Congress leader. Although an FIR stands registered against the accused under Section 307 of the IPC, he still continues to be at large.

Expressing her resentment, she blamed the police of inaction and complicity. This seemed to be enough reason for others to join issue with her and within no time confusion and chaos prevailed at the meeting and it was ultimately cancelled.

Earlier the Deputy Commissioner sought the cooperation of the people assuring that peace and law and order would be maintained in the city at all costs. He asserted that no unlawful activity would be allowed in the city at any cost. Reacting to the frequent calls for bandhs and dharnas, Mr Sandhu said these divert the attention from real issues and the anti-social elements exploit this situation to their advantage. He urged the people not to give ear to rumours and contact the Police Control Room on telephone Nos 100 and 301875 for factual information.

Addressing the meeting, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Kuldeep Singh, claimed the police force was perfectly geared up to deal with any kind of situation. However, he disclosed that the police was short of personnel but the shortage had been made up with the deployment of 327 additional police personnel.

The meeting was attended by the local MP, Mr Gurcharan Singh Gahlib, the local MLAs, Mr Hira Singh Gabria and Mr Rakesh Pandey, and representatives of various political parties who included Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, Mr Kishen Kumar Bawa, Mr Pawan Dewan, Mr Jatinder Pal Singh Saluja, Mr Parminder Mehta, Mr Sunil Mehra, Mr Vijay Dhanav, Mr Harish Dhanda, President, District Bar Association, and Mr Inderjeet Singh, President, Confederation of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings.


4 lakh get polio drops
Tribune News service

LUDHIANA, Jan 21 — About four lakh children were given pulse polio drops today in the Ludhiana district as part of the All India Pulse Polio Campaign. Women and men were standing in lines with their children in arms for giving them polio drops.

The VIPs inaugurated the third phase of the campaign by giving polio drops to the children at number of places. Mr Satpal Gosaian, Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, inaugurated the campaign at the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana. Dr Rajinder Kaur, Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, went to the civil dispensary and the slum area dispensary, Kot Mangal Singh, to administer the campaign.

Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, inaugurated the campaign at Koomkalan and Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, Minister for Technical Education, Punjab, gave polio drops at the Government Dispensary, Dehlon.

Mr Harwinder Singh, District Immunisation Officer, disclosed that in the whole district 1954 fixed posts and 100 mobile teams were set up. In addition, 72 teams on bus stands and 24 teams on railway stations administered polio drops to the children. For the next two days health teams will visit door to door to identify the children who are left during the campaign and will administer drops.

In the rural areas also the campaign started in the morning. The village panchayats and health workers looked very enthusiastic. A visit to the near by villages revealed that the Health Department and the voluntary organisations have succeeded to make it a mass programme. Mr Jaswinder Kaur, sarpanch of Paphana village, about 30 km from Ludhiana, remarked that the panchayats and especially women members in the panchayats were determined to eradicate polio from their villages. She expressed thanks to the Health Department and the anganwari workers who had made great efforts for the success of the programme.

However, there were some sceptics also. Mr Narinder Mohan, a school teacher, remarked that he failed to understand why despite so many campaigns the country had not succeeded in eradicating the polio. Secondly such diseases were bound to remain in the country till the policy makers take care of the basic problems that the country was facing today such as poverty and hunger. Besides running pulse polio campaigns, we must have sanitation drives to tackle such diseases, remarked another parent standing in the row at a pulse polio centre.


Many lawyers refuse to represent Pinki
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 21 — Lawyers of the city appear to be divided over the issue of representing Pinki, main accused in the Avtar Singh murder case. Many of them, including members of the Young Lawyers Forum, have said that they will not take up his case. However, the President of the Ludhiana Bar Association, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, said it was unethical for lawyers to refuse to represent a client.

Another leading lawyer and a former head of the Ludhiana Bar Association, Mr S.K. Sikri, said he supported the decision of the Young Lawyers Forum not to represent Pinki in the court. He said human values and public opinion had influenced their decision.

Mr Sikri said, once, lawyers in Jalandhar had also decided that they would not fight the case of alleged killers of two children. He said it was the discretion of lawyers to accept a case. “Since Pinki’s alleged acts have provoked a strong public reaction, lawyers also cannot escape their social responsibility. My opinion has got nothing to do with the decision of the Young Lawyers Forum.”

The Chairman of the Young Lawyers Forum, Mr Pradeep Sharma, said it was a unanimous decision of the forum not to take up Pinki’s case. He said it was in the public interest that lawyers did not take up this case.

However, both Mr Sikri and Mr Sharma agreed that this move would mean justice without a trial. They said it was the responsibility of the government to provide legal aid to everyone.

However, Mr Dhanda said, “It is against professional ethics to refuse to represent any client, even if he or she comes up to me with a case against my brother or father. The Young Lawyers Forum has no locus standi to pronounce such verdicts.” Though he was of the view that Pinki should not be refused legal aid, he said he would not fight the case due to some “personal and professional compulsions.” He said, in case an accused was not able to arrange a lawyer for himself, it was the duty of the court to provide him with the legal aid.


City resident dupes industrialist
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 21 — A rich industrialist of Ghaziabad (Uttar Pardesh) could not believe his luck when a Ludhiana-based man “having good contacts with officials of Maruti Udyog Ltd” told him that he could get him a license for an agency of the MUL.

He started preparing for opening the agency and invested a lot of money in buying land and building a showroom. All seemed well when some “officials” of the company visited the site of the showroom with the mediator. A thick file of papers was also given to the industrialist.

The industrialist received a shock when the middleman, Varinder Kumar, was arrested by the Ludhiana police for cheating a person from whom he had taken Rs 6 lakh for sending him abroad. He found out that the middleman was a swindler who had duped many persons before him. The middleman who had allegedly taken Rs 97 lakh from him for getting him an MUL agency was behind bars now.

The middleman, according to the DSP of Sarabha Nagar, is a habitual offender. The police had revealed the details of his alleged criminals acts past week at a press conference.

The police sources say that it has almost been established that Varinder has cheated the industrialist. The industrialist is now embarrassed at building a showroom and advertising its “opening” in the city. The police said a team of the Ghaziabad police had the arrest warrant of the accused.

According to the DSP, Mr Harmanbir Singh, the case came up during the interrogation of the accused who was arrested on a complaint of Jarnail Singh, a resident of Partap Singh Wallah. He is the person whom Varinder had promised to send abroad.


All’s well in Ludhiana, claims Badal
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 21— The Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, does not agree that there is any law and order problem in Ludhiana. Giving a clean chit to the local administration, he said, it is as good or bad as anywhere else in the state or in the country.

The Chief Minister who was here to attend the marriage ceremony of the niece of his ministerial colleague Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, told reporters that he had given strict directions to the local administration to ensure that nobody takes law into his own hands.

He disclosed that he had talked to the DIG and the SSP, Ludhiana, and reviewed the situation and was convinced that the situation was under control. He said the culprits in most of the recent cases had either been arrested or identified. No interference of any sort will be allowed in the functioning of the police or local administration and the law will take its own course, the Chief Minister asserted.

He reportedly directed the local administration to convene a meeting of prominent citizens of the town to restore confidence of the people. He did not make any comment over the possible reshuffle in the district administration, claiming that "everything is going on well".

Reacting to the allegations by the Jathedar Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, and the Jathedar Keshgarh Sahib, Prof Manjit Singh, that there was a nexus between the drug peddlers, police and the ruling politicians, Mr Badal claimed that the two jathedars had already clarified it to the SGPC chief, Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, that they never made such statements against the government or the police.


Make’ police officials declare assets
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 21 — The Indian Crime Prevention Society (Punjab unit) President, Mr R. Naveen Sharma, and the General Secretary, Dr Shiv Kumar Gupta, have submitted a memorandum to the Punjab Governor, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), and the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, suggesting that screening of the Punjab police must be ordered to check the nexus between police officials and criminals and terrorists, etc.

Releasing copies of the memorandum here today, Dr Gupta said that the recent incident of killing Avtar Singh by police official Gurmeet Singh Pinki, a terrorist-turned Cat, had alarmed the citizens. Senior police officials were allegedly shielding the accused as he was provided with special security guards and also a cook by the police.

The society appealed to the Punjab Chief Minister and the Union Home Minister to order instructions that all the officials above the rank of SHO should declare their assets every year so that facts could be verified as to how so much assets and property had been amassed by them in disproportion of their known sources of income. This would help in checking corruption in the police force, the memorandum suggested

The ICPS President expressed shock that the Punjab police was already notorious due to many instances, rampant corruption, brutality and links with hardcore criminals. The case of former Director-General of Police K.P.S. Gill and Mrs Rupan Deol Bajaj was well known.

The Additional DGP, Mr B.P. Tiwari, in December, 2000, had also been accused of harassing a maid servant. Another IPS officer, Mr D.S. Bhullar of the Punjab police, was chargesheeted by the CBI for being involved in the Khanna triple-murder case.

There were many other cases of IPS officers who were in the dock for their activities during terrorism, and many were facing inquiries and court cases for violation of human rights, he said.


Panel on elevated road project
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 21 — A 16-member subcommittee of traders, Sangharsh Samiti, has been formed to study the impact of the construction of an elevated road from Jagraon Bridge to Chand Cinema. The subcommittee will be headed by the Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, Mr Sat Pal Gosain.

The subcommittee was constituted after the Minister for Local Bodies, Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, issued instructions to the Municipal Corporation to review the project in the wake of a protest by shopkeepers and traders likely to be affected by the project. The committee will review the matter and submit its report to the government.

The other members of the committee include the local MLA, Mr Rakesh Pandey, two councillors, Mr Sunil Mehra and Mr Madan Lal Bagga, and the District BJP chief, Mr Hrabans Lal Sethi.


Spurt in crime: DYC chief
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 21 — The Youth Congress rally to be held at Mini Secretariat here on January 24 will mark the commencement of a party drive against the SAD-BJP government in Punjab, according to Mr Parminder Mehta, President of the District Youth Congress. He was addressing a workers’ meeting in Congress Bhavan here today.

The rally will be organised jointly by the rural and urban units of the DYC. Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, President of the Indian Youth Congress, and many other senior leaders of the Congress and the Youth Congress will address the rally. Mr Mehta said office-bearers of the district and the block units had been asked to mobilise workers to make the rally a success.

The DYC chief urged the party workers to remain alert against mischievous elements and rumour mongers in the wake of a spurt in criminal activities in the city.

Those present on the occasion included Mr Ishwarjot Cheema, Mr Jasvir Johny, Mr Narinder Makkar, Mr Sabhajit Pandey, Mr Surjit Kaushal, Mr Sanjay Sharma, Mr Kewal Arora, Mr Arun Joshi, Mr Rajesh Raja, Mr Raj Kumar Kashyap and Mr Pankaj Sood.


I have every right to speak on vital issues: Jagmeet Brar
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 21 — Convener of the Punjab Congress Parliamentary Party and firebrand Lok Sabha member from Faridkot Jagmeet Brar today said that he accepted the leadership of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Captain Amarinder Singh, but at the same time, he had every right to speak on vital issues concerning the people of the state.

Talking to mediapersons at the residence of senior Youth Congress functionary Mr Sukhwant Singh Dugri after attending a function to mark Lohri, Mr Brar said he had no intention to challenge the authority of the PPCC chief even though there might be certain differences over organisational matters which were being brought before the party high command.

He dismissed the reports in a section of the press that disciplinary action was being initiated against him for participation in a public rally in Samana (district Patiala) on January 12. Mr Brar wondered as to why the PPCC leadership had been perturbed over the Congress rally and had gone to the extent of suspending the Patiala DCC president Harinder Pal Singh (Harry) Mann. He said the matter was brought to the notice of senior party leaders and he was going to Delhi tomorrow to seek justice for Mr Mann.

Mr Brar, who is also the chief whip of the party in the Lok Sabha and has been in the news for joining issue with Captain Amarinder Singh over the WTO and GATT agreements, asserted that what the PPCC president has said about these issues were his personal views and the same applied to him (Mr Brar). “The WTO and GATT agreements have never been discussed threadbare at any forum in the PPCC and until the party takes a clear-cut stand, every one could express his or her opinion on these issues, which are going to have far-reaching impact on the agricultural economy of the country in general and Punjab in particular.”

Commenting on the deteriorating law and order in the state, particularly in the context of unabated crime wave in Ludhiana, he said a nexus of corrupt bureaucrats (senior police officials included), criminals, enjoying the support of politicians had taken over the organised crime in the state. The government lacked both will and determination to come to terms with the alarming situation and criminal elements were having a field day.

Strongly denying the allegations that he was overambitious and was trying to emerge as an alternative to PPCC president, Mr Brar said he had instructed all his supporters not to raise any issue or give any statement, which could adversely affect the unity in the PPCC. “I shall conduct an intensive tour of Punjab and expose four years of corrupt regime and misdeeds of SAD(B)-BJP alliance.”

Replying to another question about his not attending the party conference at Maghi Mela at Muktsar, he said those party leaders, who had opposed him in the Lok Sabha elections, were at the forefront in the conference. Going a step further, he alleged that former Chief Minister Harcharan Singh Brar and his family members had openly campaigned against him and had even distributed money, passed on to them by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal among the voters in Faridkot constituency. But the party leadership, even though fully apprised of the matter, had chosen to take no disciplinary action against the guilty persons.


Over 5 cr for development
From Our Correspondent

FATEHGARH SAHIB, Jan 21 — The Punjab Government has sanctioned Rs 578.12 lakh for the various development schemes in the district and the amount would be distributed to all the villages of the district as per their requirement, said Mr B.S. Sudan, Deputy Commissioner, while addressing a sangat darshan programme at Sampli village in the district yesterday.

He urged the people to rise above the petty politics for the all-round development of their village. He said no government policy could be implemented without the co-operation of the public. He said the government had implemented various public oriented schemes and it would be ensured that all the people may take benefits of these schemes. He said on the directions of the Chief Minister all the district officials would visit their villages to sort out their problems at their doorstep. He urgent them to come forward with their grievances so that these might be sorted out.

On this occasion the villagers highlighted problems particularly of drainage, construction of drains and streets, 24- hour electricity supply and opening of a dispensary in the village. Complaints relating to old-age pensions, Shamalat land, encroachment, electricity and education department were sorted out on the spot. The rest were marked to the officials concerned for their redressal.


New crematoriums for 10 villages
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 21 — With a long-term aim to improve environment, reduce consumption of firewood, and cut costs of cremation for the poor, the Guru Agand Dev Sewa Society is going to build fuel-efficient modern crematoriums in 10 villages of Ludhiana district.

Dr A.S. Nagpal, President of the society, said while on a visit to Ropar he came across such a crematorium. There and then he decided that this technology should be brought to Ludhiana district.

The crematorium consists of a raised platform and a tin shed. While on an average seven to eight quintals of wood is consumed during one cremation, with this technology only two to three quintals of wood will be consumed. On the one hand, it will save environment and on the other it will be economic.

Ten villages which have been selected are Katani Khurd, Uppal, Partapgarh, Laton Joga, Laton Dana, Chak Sarwan Nath, Sanghe, Raian, Heeran and Chhadran. All the villages are situated on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road.

The panchayats are extending help in levelling the ground and landscaping, while all the expenditure on the erection of crematoriums, which comes to about Rs 5 lakh, is being borne by the society and the Council for Advancement of People's Action and Rural Technology.

Dr Nagpal further disclosed that the society was going to adopt one village for overall development and also more such crematoriums were being planned in future. He said that the society was a philanthropic organisation which was already undertaking several projects of social work in association with Unicef and HelpAge India.


Shooting of finals of Saregama ends
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 21 — The four-day long shooting for musical programme Saregama by Alpha Punjabi channel concluded here yesterday at Nehru Sidhant Kendra. There were 32 contestants in the first round. The contestants were from different cities of North India.

The shooting commenced on January 16 and through a process of elimination, four candidates, two girls, Gurpreet and Poonam,and two men ,Roop Sahil and Neeraj, reached the finals. Mickey Narula, brother of the famous playback singer, Jaspinder Narula, was the anchor of the show. The director was Ashwini Karaandukar, who was assistant director of Hindi Saregama programme and had worked under Gajinder Singh of Antakshri fame.

The judge for the final round was S.N. Gulati.


Police remand for DFSO
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Jan 21 — Mr Roshan Lal Chauhan, Judicial Magistrate, Kharar yesterday, remanded the District Food Supply Officer (DFSO), in charge of Kharar and SAS Nagar sub divisions, who was arrested by the Vigilance Department on Friday while taking a bribe of Rs 6000 from a businessman, in police remand till January 22. The DFSO Sant Singh was caught redhanded from SAS Nagar.

Mr H.S. Rakkar, Assistant Public Prosecutor, and Mr Malvinder Singh Sidhu, DSP Vigilance, informed the court that information was yet to be collected from the accused about his bank accounts and lockers and pleaded for police remand. The defence counsel, on the other hand, pleaded that the accused had been falsely implicated in this case.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |