Thursday, January 25, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Mystery shrouds girl’s death
Conflicting statements baffle police
By Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 24 — Was it a murder because of illicit relations or demand of dowry or was it a case of suicide? These questions stare at the case of a Patiala girl, married to a Ludhiana boy, whose body was recovered under mysterious circumstances from the Sidhwan river, near Katiana village, in Doraha subdivision last evening. The possible answers lie in the tracing of the identity of a Sikh youth seen last with the deceased girl.

Certain villagers had spotted the body in the river last evening. Some other persons had seen the woman with a Sikh boy around an half an hour ago near the river. The body would well have gone unidentified in the police records as scores of others do in such cases had the girl not written a telephone number on her left.

The telephone number was traced to be of the Sargodha Taxi Service in Ludhiana. Interestingly, when the police rang up the owner, Mr Inder Pal Singh, he was attending a police-public meeting organised in a police station. The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Kuldip Singh, took the matter immediately with the Khanna police and informed about the owner who is a law-abiding citizen and would render all possible help.

While the parents of the deceased girl, Inderjit Kaur (20), have alleged in a statement given to the Doraha police that their daughter had either committed suicide or had been murdered by her husband, Devinder Singh, who used to harass her by demanding more dowry.

The husband, however, alleged that his wife was having illicit relations with some persons and one of them had killed her or she had committed suicide for reasons unknown to him.

The SHO of Doraha, Mr Karnail Singh, said the police had started investigations on all possible leads of the case and a case in this regard would be registered as per the outcome of the investigations. He said the case had become an intricate one due to the contrasting allegations.

Adding to the mystery is the statement of Mr Inder Pal Singh, the owner of the Sargodha Taxi Service, who claims to have sent the the deceased woman's husband, Devinder Singh, to drop a passenger to some city. As per his statement, the husband was not with the girl before her death and was in fact miles away to some city. This angle has also left the police more baffled as earlier it was thought the Sikh youth seen with the girl was her husband.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Santokh Singh, the girl's father, alleged that her daughter was constantly being harassed for dowry by her husband and her in-laws ever since they got married four years ago. A resident of a colony near Arna Barna Chowk in Patiala, he said his daughter was beaten up several times also.

Devinder Singh, however, claims that his life was ruined ever since he married the girl. He alleged that his wife was having illicit relations with certain persons who used to frequent his house after he went out for work.

Crying inconsolably, the youth said the girl wanted her to stay away from all relatives and even her in-laws. He said she also used to run away to her house in Patiala. Recalling the events of the day, he said he left the house in the morning and when he returned he was informed by the neighbourers that his wife was not missing and their three-year-old daughter had been sent to his parent's house. Later he was told by a karyana shop owner that his wife had talked to someone from the PCO before going away. The shopowner said the woman was talking quiet loudly over the telephone.


Rare surgery on 2-month-old baby
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 24 — Doctors at Deep Hospital here have performed a rare surgery on a two-month old baby, suffering from congenital lober emphysema, a disorder in lungs by birth.

According to Dr Baldeep, two-month-old Rattan Soni was admitted to the hospital with acute breathing problems. The chest X-ray revealed “gross pneumothorax” on the left side of mediastinm to right side.

Although the doctors inserted a chest tube, there was no improvement noticed clinically or radiologically. This made doctors apprehensive of the possibility of congenital lobar emphysema which was established in the CT scan.

A team of doctors led by Dr Sanjeev Gupta performed emergency surgery on the patient. The defective left lower lobe of the lung was removed. The surgery was performed on Sunday and the patient is recovering now.

Dr Gupta said the congenital lober emphysema is a rare disorder of lungs in which a lobe of the lung stops exchanging air with blood. The air gets accumulated in the lobe leading to inflation of lungs and it starts expanding causing compression and also effecting the functioning of the lungs. It can also displace the heart. The defected lung lobe has to be removed at any cost lest it may prove fatal.

According to Prem Prakash Soni, the father of the baby, the breathing problem was noticed about 15 days ago. They took him to different paediatricians and was treated with different medicines. Ultimately it was diagnosed to be lober emphysema and it was also established by the CT scan. Prem Prakash, who resides in New Shimla Puri, works in a hosiery unit and appears relieved with the gradual recovery of his son. 


Robbery at DDPO’s house
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 24 — Four armed robbers last night struck at the residence of Mr Mohinder Singh, District Development and Panchayat Officer posted at Amritsar, in the local Vishal Nagar and decamped with at least Rs 15,000 and some jewellery.

The robbers while looting the family at gun point is also reported to have beaten the wife, two children and a maid servant. The DDPO was not present in the house and returned only today. The robbery stares at the face of the city police who has recently intensified patrolling in the city and has also claimed to have tightened the noose around the anti-social elements.

According to the family sources, the robbers, adopting a clever posture, first telephoned at the house and asked whether the DDPO was there. Just five minutes later, three clean shaven men knocked at the doors and forced their entry after the door was opened. Another youth, a sikh, was seated in a car parked outside the house.

The robbers who carried pistols pointed it at the neck of the DDPO's wife and demanded keys and all valuable items. They beat them up when she declined to obey their commands.

The robbers also broke the locks of few almirahs and stayed in the house for about half an hour. Before fleeing they locked the doors from the outside and they were rescued by some neighbours who heard their cries.

The police, including senior officers, reached the house and conducted the necessary operations. A case has been registered but no arrests has been made so far.


Forum fines doctor for wrong diagnosis
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 24 — The District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum has directed Dr Ramesh Jain to pay Rs 25,000 as compensation to Mr Baljinder Singh for negligence and giving wrong diagnosis and causing unnecessary physical and mental pain to the complainant.

Mr Baljinder Singh, a resident of Dhanula village in Barnala tehsil, suffered pain in his upper abdomen and got medical treatment from a local doctor. But the pain increased after some time and he went to Dr Ramesh Jain for the treatment. The doctor examined him and told him that he should get operated for appendicitis immediately lest it may burst. He was also told that he would have to remain admitted in the hospital for about 10 days and will be charged Rs 6,000, besides the rent and medicines.

The doctor gave him a sedative injection and prepared him for the operation. Soon after Mr Jasbir Singh, who was accompanying him, came to know that the doctor was neither a surgeon nor an expert in the field of conducting major surgeries.

His friend immediately brought him out of the operation theater and took him home. The complainant has also alleged in his complaint that doctor was not having well equipped operation theater.

The complainant stated before the forum that after this episode he consulted two doctors, Dr Arindam Ghosh, a medical specialist of DMCH, and Dr Hrminder Singh. The experts told him that he was not having any problem of appendicitis.

The forum observed after hearing both the complainant and counsel that the doctor has got no qualification for major surgical operations as he was a simple MBBS degree holder. The forum held that it was a clear case of harassment to the complainant and the compensation of Rs 25,000 must be paid for the negligence in services.


Cyrus Sahokar takes Ludhiana by storm
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 24 — Cyrus Sahokar, the affable and famous VJ of MTV, along with the director of a new MTV show called ‘Record Tod’ have been in the city for past two days, shooting various record-breaking unique events devised by MTV. Cyrus and the Director, Raghu, are pleased as punch with the response of the young collegietes. Cyrus said excitedly,” The response of the college students has been glorious. I love being in Ludhiana, especially in the open “sarson de khet” in PAU where we shot yesterday and are shooting today. I have found the cold weather invigorating and the warm response of the students endearing.’’

Both of them are excited about the whacky records that have been created. Yesterday, students of a college made the longest chain of hair. How? They tied their hair and it was 275 feet long and the feat was done in 10 minutes, whereas today, the Home Science college girls were trying to make a 45 feet high scarecrow in 10 minutes.

The tougher the record, the better for it is difficult to beat. Ten boys of Khalsa College lifted a Maruti car and carried it to a distance of 150 feet without touching the ground. The longest chain of turbans tied together was 100 metre. Then, to the amusement of everyone 28 persons were packed in a Maruti while they drove a few metres.

“I am having an amazing time. The whole idea is to fill fun in the lives of young students. I am thankful to the people for their friendliness. This programme’ Record Tod’ is a friendly, competitive show. It has been devised so that students can come out and enjoy themselves. Usually people associate MTV with musical programmes, but we have these fun programmes too. After we finish one round of touring all over India, we will have another round to see whether the set records can be broken or not . So far, we have covered Delhi and Chandigarh and will be going back to Delhi and travel further from there.”

Raghu, the director, said: “We enjoyed shooting in Ludhiana. Only when the students exceed more than 700, do problems crop up,but we can handle them. We had a good time interacting with vibrant youngsters.”

Cyrus has been VJying from the age of 19. He loves his job, as it enables him to meet new people all the time. The only thing which wears him down is the constant travelling. He says, “I do miss my family, but we keep coming back to Delhi, so I can be with them. I like reading while we are travelling. I love reading the works of Oscar Wilde and I like him for his humour. I am fond of watching old Hindi movies. I am charmed by the beautiful sets, the songs, the music of yesteryears. I adore Gurudutt as an actor. I am carrying fond memories of my Ludhiana trip. I am glad I got an opportunity to be here.” 


Two DSPs shifted
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 24 — In the series of transfers of police officials, especially of Ludhiana, the government today transferred DSP Sandeep Goyal and DSP Harmanbir Singh with immediate effect amidst allegations of the transfers being a political move rather than on merit.

Already allegations of political interference in the transfer of Mr Sukhdev Bhatti, SP (Traffic), have surfaced. The SP has been reportedly transferred for his work of challaning a large number of persons violating traffic rules. It is alleged that political pressure has been mounted on the government as the spree of challans was hitting the vote bank of the Akalis who are preparing for elections.

The DSPs seem to also have been transferred on the same reasons. One of them is a relative of a Congress leader.


Judicial remand for Pinki
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 24 — Senior Judge, Mr B.K. Mehta, sent Gurmeet Singh alias Pinki, main accused in the Avtar Singh murder case, to the judicial custody till February 1, here today. He also sent Maninder Bedi, a suspended policeman and an accused in a case of custodial harassment, to judicial remand till February 7.

Talking to reporters here, Maninder Bedi said he was innocent. However, he declined to move a bail application, saying that he would await justice in jail. He said he had faith in the police investigation and his seniors.


Majitha poll will be a rehearsal: IYC chief
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 24 — A rally was organised by urban and rural units of the District Youth Congress (DYC) here to focus on issues related to farmers, farm workers and Dalits in the state. At the rally, the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) chief, Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, criticised the SAD-BJP government in the state and the NDA government in the Centre.

The February 19 Majitha by-election, which the Chief Election Commissioner announced today, was also a major issue at the rally. Mr Surjewala, on his first visit to the city after becoming the IYC chief, said economies of the agriculture-intensive states like Punjab, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh were in bad shape. He said the debt burden had forced many small and marginal farmers in these states to commit suicides.

He said the common man had sufferd because of the increase in the prices of diesel and kerosene. He said cuts in the subsidy on fertilisers had made these expensive for farmers.

About the distress sale of paddy earlier this year, Mr Surjewala said no monetary relief had been given to the suffering paddy growers out of the Rs 350 crore relief package announced by the Centre. He alleged that this was done by members of the ruling alliance to help middlemen and commission agents at the cost of farmers.

The IYC chief said the Majitha by-election would be a rehearsal for the coming Assembly elections.

A former Punjab Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, said the ruling combine was discriminating against urban population of the state. She said, the SAD-BJP government had announced free power and water for farmers, while issues like the abolition of octroi had been ignored on the plea that the state coffers were empty.

About the sangat darshan programmes of Mr Badal, Ms Bhattal said the state government should disclose its source of funds. “Mr Badal and his ministerial colleagues have been saying that funds are scarce, but suddenly, the government has started giving lavish grants,” she said.

Mr Devinder Singh Babbu, President of the Punjab Youth Congress, Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, MP, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, MP, former Punjab ministers, Mr Malkiat Singh Beermi and Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, besides Mr Surinder Dawar, President of the District Congress Committee, were among those who addressed the rally.

Mr Parminder Mehta, President of the DYC (Urban), and Mr Manjit Singh Humbran, President of the DYC (Rural), welcomed Mr Surjewala and the other senior party leaders.

Mr Pawan Diwan, Chairman of the IYC’s Urban Development Cell, Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka, Vice-President of the PYC, Mr Nahar Singh Gil, General Secretary of the PPCC, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, Secretary of the PPCC, and senior YC leaders like Mr Gopal Monga and Mr Sukhwant Singh Dugri were also present there.

Earlier, at a press conference in Circuit House here, Mr Surjewala said the NDA government was not serious about guarding the domestic industry and farmers against the adverse impact of the WTO. “The government has failed to frame adequate anti-dumping laws to save the agriculture sector and the industry from the onslaught of the MNCs. The government has also advanced the date of enforcement of the WTO guidelines from April 2003 to April 2001, under pressure from countries like the USA” he said.

He said similar rallies would be organised in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Gujarat and Orissa as well. The party had also organised two leadership-training camps in Maharashtra and Goa. He said the campaign would end on Feb 22 with a massive rally in Delhi addressed by Ms Sonia Gandhi.

Regarding the involvement of certain YC functionaries in criminal activities, Mr Surjewala said there was no place in the party for anti-social elements. He said those who had suspect character would be ousted soon.

Mr Surjewala, later, went to the residence of the PYC Vice-President, Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka, where he was received by party workers and prominent residents of the city.Back



Ardent morning walkers of the city

Dr Surinder Likhi is an ardent lover of morning walk. No matter what is the season in a year, you will always find him walking briskly in the Nehru Rose Garden. These days when there is dense fog in the morning hours, yet he makes it a point not to miss his walk. He is one of the few enthusiastic morning walkers who dare to go for an hour walk in this chilly weather when the majority of the city people prefer to remain confined to their cozy beds.

Comments Mr Bharti Jindal, a noted industrialist staying on Government College Road, "It is a great bliss to have a morning walk in this weather when you get completely drawn into the fog and you cannot see beyond few feet." He feels himself very lucky to enjoy this great weather. He is of the view that in the morning city air is highly pure and one feels as if he is moving in the park of a European country.

One often finds some walkers doing deep breathing exercises and chanting bhajans. Purity of the air make them feel highly energetic and vibrant. Adds Mr Shiv Prashad, "Whenever I am in Ludhiana, I never miss a morning walk. It makes me feel young and active. I am a regular visitor to the Rose garden in the morning hours. It is virtually my life-line."

During summer days all public parks in the city become quite crowded and one does not find sufficient space to walk but in these chilly and foggy mornings one can have a walk, as if he is the proud owner of the gardens. Mr Satish Aggarwal, who is an income tax consultant, finds it a great bliss of the mother nature to be at its best in the early winter mornings. He feels that an hour walk is sufficient to create energy in the mind and body.

Mr.Dharam Singh, an XEN in Municipal Corporation, who is a regular walker find it the best natural tonic and it is extremely helpful in burning our extra calories and keep the body fit. He is a great motivator and has been able to motivate many of his friends and colleagues for regular walks. He is of the opinion that those who do regular walks have good appetite and their heart, intestine and muscles and bones remain in completely fit condition.

Dr Mandip Sethi, a practicing laproscopic surgeon in Tagore Nagar, finds it very convenient to do introspection and meditation in the early morning hours of winter. He avoids company and prefers to walk alone. It helps him to have a better focus on the day-today problems and channalize his mental energies. Dr S.K.Joshi feels that sedantory life style of Ludhiana citizens coupled with high calorie diet is leading to an epidemic of illnesses like high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, impotence, depression and cardiac ailments. He himself loves to have an hour brisk walk in the early hours of the day in PAU campus.

One thing appears very clear that health awareness is fast catching up among the Ludhiana citizens and many people make earnest efforts to remain physically fit. It is certainly healthy development. Sums up Mr.Dharam Singh, "I feel an hour walk a day keeps the doctors away."

— Dr Rajeev Gupta


Plan to widen, repair roads
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Jan 24 — All the existing roads in Punjab will be widened and repaired within the next four to five months. This was announced by Mr Sucha Singh Langah, PWD Minister, while addressing a gathering at nearby Nia Shehr village after laying the foundation stone of the Badala-Randhawa road yesterday.

Mr Langah said that the government had decided to widen the roads and work would start soon.

Mr Langah addressed similar meetings at six places in the Kharar area.

He said that the government had arranged about Rs 2,700 crore for four-laning of the Zirakpur-Anandpur Sahib, Ropar-Phagwara, Kharar-Ludhiana, Zirakpur-Patiala and Amritsar-Pathankot roads. Work on as many as 23 overbridges on various railway crossings, including Morinda and Kurali, would start soon.

Mr Avinash Jaiswal, Secretary, BJP, Mr Amrik Singh Mohali (MC SAS Nagar), Mr Khushwant Rai Giga also spoke on this occasion. Mr Langah announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh for the development of the village.


Cop suspended for dereliction of duty
From Our Correspondent

KHANNA, Jan 24 — The Munshi of the city police station, Khanna, Mr Nachhatar Singh, has been suspended by the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr R.N. Dhoke, in connection with a robbery in which one woman was injured and a robber was caught red-handed by the public with the weapons used in the crime here yesterday.

According to information, the robber, a migrant labourer (25), entered the residence of Dr Pritpal Singh at Lalheri Road, near Adarsh theatre, and went to the kitchen where he caught Rupinder Kaur, wife of Dr Pritpal Singh. She immediately resisted and tried to run away outside. The robber attacked her with the but of a pistol and injured her. But she managed to come out of the house and raised the alarm. Mr Jatinder, Mr Gurdev Singh and Mr Kishore Sharma caught the robber.

Mr Jatinder said they nabbed him near the Laxmi Mill, only 20 meters away from the house. A pistol, two cartridges and some other weapons, including a knife, were seized from him. He said the robber was handed over to an ASI of the traffic police.

The robber was identified as Raghuvanshi of Kalsian village in Madhepura district of Bihar.

Dr Pritpal Singh said that a complaint was lodged with the city police station. He alleged that no policemen visited the spot till late in the evening.

The SSP said here today that a case had been registered under Sections 394 and 511, IPC, against him. The Munshi, Nachhattar Singh, had been suspended on the charges of dereliction of duty. The police had got remand of the culprit and investigation is on.Back


No factionalism in Congress: Bhattal
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 24 — The former Punjab Chief Minister Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, today sought to underplay fierce factionalism in the party, claiming that these were minor differences of opinion, which would soon be sorted out. Talking to mediapersons at Circuit House here, Ms Bhattal, considered to be a staunch critic of PPCC president Captain Amarinder Singh, maintained that Congress would put up a united fight at the Majitha bypoll, which might be countdown for the ouster of the government of Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

When asked as to why she had stayed away from the Maghi Mela conference of the party in Muktsar, she said the organisers had not sent any invitation to her and if invited, she would definitely have attended.

Ms Bhattal blamed the SAD(B)-BJP coalition government in Punjab for the worsening condition of farmers in the state. Earlier this year, it was the paddy growers, who were made to wait endlessly in the mandis to sell their produce and now the potato growers were undergoing the same plight, with no takers for their produce. She claimed that it was the result of an agreement signed by the then Akali Dal Chief Minister, Mr Surjit Singh Barnala that the potato growers were being exploited by certain MNCs.

Charging the Chief Minister, with a rural bias, she said urban people were being discriminated against. The SAD(B), which claimed to be a champion of the farmers’ cause, had even failed to protect their interests. The Agricultural Costs and Prices Commission (ACPC) had recommended a minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 520 per quintal for wheat for the next season against the prevailing price of Rs 580 per quintal, but the ruling party in Punjab had failed to utter a single word for fear of annoying its ally the BJP.

Commenting on the deteriorating law and order situation in Punjab, Ms Bhattal remarked that the laxity of the government had led to such a state of affairs that the days of terrorism in the state could return. She said a nexus of corrupt police officers and politicians was patronising criminal elements and there was a growing sense of insecurity among people. 


Patwari held on graft charge
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 24 — The vigilance bureau yesterday arrested a patwari on the charge of taking a bribe of Rs 10,000 from a resident of New Janata Nagar Colony here.

According to a press release issued today by Mr R.P.S. Bajwa SP (Vigilance), the patwari was caught red-handed by the vigilance bureau. He said a team led by two DSPs, Mr Saroop Singh Chauhan and Mr Saroop Singh Mann, also recovered the bribe amount in the presence of two witnesses.

The SP said the patwari, Virender Kumar, had taken the money for doing some pending official work of the resident.Back


Shop burgled
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 24 — A shop was reportedly burgled in the Model Town area here past night. The person who lodged a complaint with the police in the afternoon today, said he saw the lock of the shop-door broken and several valuable items missing from the shop. The police has registered a case under Sections 451 and 300 of the IPC.


Sale — right time to shop
By Shivani Bhakoo

LUDHIANA, Jan 24 — “Sale” is a common banner these days outside shops in most city markets. The banners can be seen outside shops of hosiery goods, footwear, books, readymade garments and even fruit juice. These days belong to shoppers, for buying things at a price that suits the pocket.

These sales are at all places in the city — in Chaura Bazaar, Ghumar Mandi, Model Town market, Lakshmi Cinema road, Rakh Bagh, Mall Road, Civil Lines, Dandi Swami Chowk, Club Road and even the Industrial Area.

Owner of a sale counter at Club Road said hosiery goods were on sale throughout the year. Products on sale are usually the leftover export-quality material. Fresh lots are also added on customers’ demand. In a sale, the discount is upto 50 per cent of the price. A salesman at a sale counter said, “People have faith in us. They know that they would get the best bargain here. We offer not only winter wear, but also track suits and T-shirts.” The owner said the purpose of the sale was to clear the year’s stock.

Owner of a Mall Road showroom has also put up a a sale on woollens and readymade garments. A salesman there said, due to tight money-market and late winter, hosiery manufacturers had suffered huge losses. This made almost all manufacturers here put their goods on sale. In view of the competition, better discount offers attract a good response from buyers.

However, owner of a sale counter on Model Town Road said, “The word sale is for customer’s satisfaction. When customers see a sale banner, they rush to the shop. They believe that the products on sale are inexpensive and best.”

Some of the women’s clubs have also put up sales on their premises. One of the salesmen at such a place said, “Owners of sale counters buy things at throwaway prices and make profit by selling these at expensive rates to buyers.”

Some of the bookshop owners have also put up books on sale. A bookshop owner of Sarabha Nagar said, “I offer a discount from 20 per cent to 80 per cent of the price of books. Books on sale can be bought at as less as Rs 10. These include books for children, quotation books and fiction. People of every age group are our clients. By putting up books on sale, we not only clear our old stock, but also provide buyers with an opportunity to select books that they might not normally get to see.”


ABVP memorandum on WTO
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 24 — The Ludhiana unit of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) today submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister through the local administration seeking measures and safeguards against the adverse implication of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in India.

A delegation of the ABVP led by its local president Dr Satish Joshi handed over the memorandum to the local SDM. The ABVP demanded that the government should enact anti-dumping laws so that the import of cheap goods from countries like China is checked. Otherwise it may spell a doom for the local small scale industry. The memorandum pointed out, China was not even a member of the WTO and yet it was trying to grab maximum market share.

The ABVP memorandum sought measures for safeguarding the interests of the farmers. It maintained that the agriculture was the backbone of the Indian economy and it was necessary to save it from the foreign onslaught.Back

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