Friday, June 1, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Police ‘tortures’ cable operator
Victim’s kidneys damaged, say doctors
Shivani Bhakoo

Raj Kumar, victim of alleged police torture, in Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, on Thursday.
Raj Kumar, victim of alleged police torture, in Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, on Thursday. — photo by RB

Ludhiana, May 31
Raj Kumar, a cable operator from Fatehgarh Sahib, has alleged that the SHO, Fatehgarh, Sahib tortured him to an extent that both his kidneys got damaged and stopped functioning. The victim had been admitted to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH). The attending doctors at the DMCH confirmed that the kidneys were damaged due to an excessive stress in muscles and it would take him quite sometime to ascertain if the kidneys responded to any treatment.

The victim, Raj Kumar, while talking to the Ludhiana Tribune today, said he had a cable business at Fatehgarh Sahib. About eight days back, he went to one of his clients, Mr Hari Chand, to get the monthly rent. He added that Hari Chand and his sons refused to pay the rent and there was a argument between him and Hari Chand.

Raj Kumar said that he was allegedly beaten up by five persons — Surinder, Rinku, Soma, Manga and Kaala. These persons also lodged a complaint against Raj Kumar at the police station, Fatehgarh Sahib.

The victim added that he was picked up by the police and was kept in custody for more than a day. He alleged that he was mercilessly beaten up by the SHO, Ajay Pal and other cops. He said,“ My mother and other relatives on demand of the SHO gave him Rs 10,000 for my release”. He said that his family was being pressurised to reach a compromise with Mr Hari Chand and his sons.

Dr Navdeep Khaira, the doctor attending to the victim, at the DMCH, said both the kidneys of Raj Kumar had stopped functioning. He said, “the damage is done due to excessive stressing of muscles. On an average 90 per cent of such cases recover but about 10 per cent remained affected for life. It will take him at least another month to recover. Till now there was no improvement in the patient”.

Surinder Bhardwaj adds from Fatehgarh Sahib: Mrs Jaswant Kaur, a widow and mother of Raj Kumar is running from pillar to post get justice and to the save her son, who is struggling for life at the DMCH. In two separate complaints addressed to the SSP and Deputy Commissioner, she had alleged that the SHO not only damaged the kidneys of her only son by beating him up mercilessly, but also exhorted Rs 10,000 for his release. She demanded action against the SHO and a proper treatment of her son.

While talking here today, she said that her only son Raj Kumar (25) was running a cable TV business at Sirhind city. A few days back he went to the house of Mr Hari Chand Gaba to collect the monthly charges. Sons of Mr Gaba exchanged hot words over the payment. They reported the mater to the police station at Fatehgarh Sahib and the police allegedly raided her house at about 2 am and took Raj Kumar in custody. She alleged that the SHO gave a severe beating to his son along with other cops, the SHO then demanded Rs 10,000 for his release, which she paid. She said after reaching home, Raj Kumar developed some urine problem and he did not reveal that the police had tortured him. She took him to a doctor, who advised her to take him to a hospital as he had developed some serious problem. She said then they took him to the DMCH at Ludhiana. The doctors attending him there told her that due to the beating her son’s kidneys had developed problem. She apprehended that his only son might not survive.

The Deputy Commissioner marked an inquiry to the ADC (G) and the SSP marked inquiry to SP (II). Mr Ashok Singla, ADC, said that the victim’s mother could not record her statement due to the shock. He said he would complete his inquiry within 10 days.

The incident has been widely condemned by the people and has sent shock waves in the area. Sources said that the SP (II) had also directed the SHO to return the extorted money and to bear the expenses of the treatment, if he had to save himself.

The SHO has denied the allegations. He said the police did not beat him up and Raj Kumar must have got internal injuries during the clash with the sons of Mr Hari Chand Gaba.


Alert PAU officials avert robbery bid
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 31
Two alert officials of the Department of Horticulture in Punjab Agricultural University here averted a robbery bid by two unidentified youths outside the university branch of the State Bank of India.

The incident occurred at about noon today when Ms Rubiya Gupta, a cashier in the Department of Horticulture, and her colleague Mr Amarnath, had got into their car along with Rs 5.35 lakh cash which was kept in two bags. They had withdrawn the cash from the bank for distributing salaries.

At the same moment two unidentified youths, riding a scooter, tried to snatch the bags from them. However, they offered stiff resistance. One of the youth fired a shot from the revolver, which hit Mr Amarnath in the neck.

Meanwhile, a number of people gathered on the spot and but the culprits managed to escape. Amarnath was rushed to a local hospital where his condition was said to be stable and out of danger.

Narrating the incident, Mr Amarnath said he had seen the face of one of the youths clearly and could recognise him.

He said the two youths tried to snatch the cash but he did not lose the grip on the bag. "I did not lose courage and felt confident that my resistance will unnerve them and it did. That is why they tried to scare me by a shot which hit me in the neck", he said, while feeling relieved that he had managed to save the money.

The courage shown by the two employees has widely been hailed by the staff and the students of the university.

The Vice-Chancellor, Dr K. S. Aulakh, had announced award of Rs 5,000 for Mr Amarnath. He said the university will bear all the medical expenses for the treatment of Mr Amarnath.

As the news spread on the campus, several members of the teaching and non-teaching staff rushed to the hospital. While lauding the brave and courageous act of Mr Amarnath, they urged upon the university authorities that his bravery which he did at the cost of his life deserved to be duly acknowledged.

In a statement to the president of the Punjab Agricultural University Teacher Association, Mr Hari Singh Brar, while congratulating Mr Amarnath for his brave act expressed concern over the incident and demanded that the culprits should be immediately arrested.


Man kills mother-in-law, injures wife, kidnaps daughter 
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, May 31
A man allegedly murdered his mother-in-law and badly injured his wife and her uncle and kidnapped his 12-year-old daughter, on last night.

According to an FIR registered by the uncle Anyash, brother of the deceased, a resident of Bihar, and presently residing in the fields of Butta Singh, along with his sister Mamuda, Sallaya, Mamuda’s daughter, had been married to Jahangir of Koomkalan, around 15 years back and had four boys and one girl.

“Some five months back Jahangir fought with Sallaya and she came live with her mother along with her five children. Recently Jahangir came to take away his children but Sallaya allowed him to take away only the boys and did not send the girl along.”

Anyash further said that, “On the night of May 30 at 11.00 PM Jahangir came with one more person. He attacked Mamuda with a sharp weapon, after which she lost consciousness. When Sallaya tried to save her, she, too, was attacked with the same weapon and badly injured.

Meantime, Anyash tried to intervene but was reportedly attacked by the person accompanying Jahangir. Anyash got unconscious and Jahangir reportedly then picked up his daughter Tamanna and escaped.

Hearing the cries, Butta Singh arrived at the spot and took the three to the Civil Hospital at Koomkalan. While Mamuda succumbed to her injuries at the hospital the other two are still under treatment. A case has been registered against the accused under Sections 302, 307 and 134 of the IPC.


Cigarette, gutka sachets burnt
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 31
A joint meeting of seven non-government organisations of the city to mourn the death of nearly 8 lakh Indians who died last year due to excessive use of tobacco was held outside the mini secretariat as World No Tobacco Day was observed here today.

The NGOs burnt the sachets of tobacco and gutkha to protest against the government inaction and tobacco companies who were targeting the youth, especially schoolgoing children.

The NGOs presented a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, demanding removal of all tobacco and liquor vends near the educational institutions, checking the opening of new vends in the city and removal of posters promoting sales of tobacco and gutkha put on the roadways buses. The DC assured them that their demands would soon be met.

Handouts containing educational material was distributed among the NGOs at various crossings of the city. Banners giving messages like “Tobacco can make you impotent” and “Second hand smoke kills, Lets clear the air” were put up outside mini secretariat and various crossings of the city.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Ravail Singh of Aas Kiran De-addiction Centre, said that out of the 8 lakh Indian deaths last year, 2.5 lakh people were passive inhalers of smoke. These also included infants who died due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) because a family member was a smoker, he said.

Mr Jasminder Singh, Secretary, Ludhiana Chapter of the Junior Chamber, Mr Gurpreet Singh, secretary, Students for Prohibition, Mr Ramesh Bharadwaj, Chairman, Punjab Crime Prevention Bureau, Mr Ramesh Sharma, vice-president, Parshuram Brahman Sabha, Mr Amarjit Singh, vice-president, Parents’ Union for Drug Abuse Control, and Mr Jasbir Singh, president, Youth Engaged in Service, were also present on the occasion.

Meanwhile, the NSS unit of Punjab Agricultural University, in collaboration with Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, observed the World No Tobacco Day at the university here.

On the occasion, Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor of the university, administered the pledge to academicians to shun the use of tobacco and persuade others to do so. Dr K.S. Sekhon, Dean, Postgraduate Studies, and Director of the Students’ Welfare Association, appealed to the academicians to educate the public against the ill-effects of tobacco and other intoxicants. He said that the number of bottles of liquor consumed was much higher than the number of books read.

Dr K.S. Verma, programme coordinator, NSS unit, said NSS volunteers would educate the rural masses about the ill-effects of tobacco. 


Focal points go out of govt focus
Empty hospitals, taps tell the tale
Ravi Inder Singh Makkar

Machhiwara, May 31
In 1978, when Mr Parkash Singh Badal was the Chief Minister of Punjab, a rural focal point scheme was launched to develop backward areas. In the first phase of the scheme, a focal point was also established at nearby Panjgraian village in 1978. The state government built a veterinary hospital, a civil dispensary, Agriculture Inspector’s Office, a pool office cooperative society and many other buildings here. A grain market and a godown of 500-tonne capacity were also built.

The Housing Development Board had also built eight houses for gazetted and non-gazetted officials. The government also established the posts of the BDPO at focal points throughout the state to provide farmers with the services of petrol stations. However, so far, no petrol station has been allotted to any of the applicants. Even the godown built by the Mandi Board with the help of the Centre has not been used so far. No one lives in the quarters made for officials.

In 1997, Mr Badal relaunched the scheme on his return to power. The CM and his ministers inaugurated focal point projects in many villages, many of which remained unfinished for long. The government had also promised to provide villagers with facilities like gas agency and employment exchange. One such scheme was launched at Burj Powat village. More than Rs 1 crore were spent on the construction of a veterinary hospital, a civil dispensary, a co-operative bank, a community centre and a water supply scheme of the Punjab Sewerage and Water Supply Board. However, no doctor has joined the civil dispensary, the middle school has not been upgraded, taps are still dry and no one has got loan under the self-employment scheme. The project has been a waste of government money.

Mr Rampal Singh, Sarpanch of Panjgraian, says, “The focal point scheme is useless without essential facilities. The government has not tried to renovate the old focal points. Not a penny has been spent on the development of first phases of focal points, but new ones are being raised with inadequate facilities. Moreover, the grain market is closed since 1997.”

Mr Mann Singh, Sarpanch of Burj Powat, says, “The scheme is good, but a lack of facilities is affecting its success.”

Two other focal points have to come up at Herian and Baliewal villages. Foundation stones of these projects have already been laid, but as time stretches, these are becoming a source of displeasure for villagers.


Shopkeepers stage dharna against elevated road project
Our Correspondent

Activists of a sangharsh samiti carry an effigy of the Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, in Ludhiana on Thursday.
Activists of a sangharsh samiti carry an effigy of the Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, in Ludhiana on Thursday. 
— Photo Inderjit Verma

Ludhiana, May 31
A sangharsh samiti of shopkeepers from several markets and commercial centers on the old G.T. Road, around Clock Tower, today joined hands with the BJP in the ongoing agitation against the city Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal.

Hundreds of shopkeepers, led by Mr Mohinder Aggarwal and Mr Som Nath Grover, convener and chairman, respectively of the samiti, staged a dharna at the Municipal Corporation headquarters and later burnt an effigy of the Mayor to register protest against an elevated road project. The protesters, who took out a procession from the Clock Tower Chowk in sweltering heat, were carrying black flags. They raised angry slogans against the MC administration, particularly targeting the Mayor.

Charging the Mayor with misleading people by making false statements, samiti activists said the MC authorities and the Mayor in particular, had shown undue haste in going ahead with the elevated road project, without seeking the mandatory government approval. Mr Aggarwal described Mr Grewal attitude as ‘anti-traders’, who had persistently refused to see reason and listen to the genuine grievances of the shopkeepers and traders.

He said as far as elevated road project was concerned, the Mayor had adopted an adamant attitude and had refused to meet and talk to the shopkeepers, who apprehended their ruination from the proposed 2.5 km-long-stretch of the elevated road on old G.T. Road from the Jagraon Bridge to Chand Cinema in the city.

Other speakers, including Mr Grover, Mr Amarjit Singh Happy, Mr Subhash Singal, Mr Jagdish Anand and Mr Kanwaljit Singh said the trading community would oppose tooth and nail all such political parties and councillors in the next civic and Assembly elections, who would extend their support to the project.

The activists of samiti expressed gratitude to the Punjab Local Bodies Minister, Mr Balramji Das Tandon, for staying the agenda item on elevated road project, which was brought before the general House through a supplementary agenda and was subsequently adopted. The samiti also thanked political leaders including Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia, vice-president, Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), Mr Vijay Danav, adviser, SAD-B, Mr Harbans Lal Sethi, district president, BJP and Mr Pritpal Singh Pali, president, Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran, who had stood by the traders and shopkeepers and had also helped in conveying their sentiments to the government.

Meanwhile, the BJP has decided to continue its indefinite dharna, which commenced on May 24, to focus on the lack of basic amenities like water supply and sewerage in outer wards, covering undeveloped and under-developed colonies. Among others, the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Deputy Speaker Mr Sat Pal Gosain and group leader of BJP councillors, Mr Pran Bhatia, addressed the party activists and residents from several city localities at the dharna today.

Although the party had to come out openly against the city Mayor, after being involved in a long-drawn out cold war over the elevated road project after 52 councillors, belonging to the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Congress had extended their written support to the project in the MC general House meeting here on May 18, the BJP, purportedly to garner support of the residents of undeveloped colonies, had claimed that it was agitating against the utter neglect of outer wards.

During the daily dharna on week days, the party activists, including councillors, have been pleading for extending sewerage and water supply facilities to the entire city population before work was taken up on projects like the elevated road, which were needed on a long term basis.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Bhatia maintained that even though the state government had stayed the resolution on elevated road project, the agitation would continue since the party had launched the stir to focus on the lack of basic amenities in a large number of localities, particularly those on the periphery of the town.


Madhok formula on J&K supported
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 31
Mr Poonam Rajpurohit, president of the national youth wing of the Akhil Bharatiya Jansangh reiterated here today that only the Balraj Madhok formula could provide a permanent solution to the Kashmir problem.

The Jansangh leaders said in a strongly-worded press release that the Prime Minister had proved his shortsightedness by inviting Gen Musharraf for talks on the Kashmir issue.

He said this step, like the Lahore bus diplomacy and the unilateral ceasefire, would also cause harm to the country.

This has also made clear that the Prime Minister possessed no definite thinking, commitment or will power over the issue.

He said that J and K should be divided into three states after abrogating Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. He said that Mr Balraj Madhok had been constantly advocating the creation of the Kashmir valley, Jammu and Ladakh as separate provinces since 1947.

While other opportunistic leaders had been constantly changing their stand on Kashmir.

Mr Rajpurohit further stated that even if India gave the Indian Kashmir to Pakistan, it would not rest at that.

He said that Pakistan’s real motive was not to get Kashmir alone but it wanted to destroy the Hindus, Hindutva and ultimately India.


Statute ‘needs to be amended’ 
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 31
Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance Minister, Punjab, while addressing members of the District Bar Association here today, said, “The country can be stronger only if the states are strong, more amendments are required in almost every Article of our Constitution on the pattern of 73 and 74 Amendments which had given more powers to our panchayats, municipal councils and nagar panchayats”.

He said it was need of the hour to re-write the Constitution and legal professionals, who play a vital role in the development of the country, the priorities should also help to give new ideas to the government so that the demand for amendment in the Constitution may be put forcefully before the Constitution Review Committee. He said for the development of the country, had to be fixed. He said at present 50 per cent of the population lived below the poverty line. So to provide justice the entire judicial system should be made simplified, cheaper and time bound. He also stressed the need for speeding up the process.

On this occasion he released the Directory of Bar Association and announced a grant for library of Bar Association. Mr M.L. Malhotra, District and Sessions Judge, Mr Vijay Singh, CJM and Mr Jarnail Singh Cheema, president, District Bar Association, also addressed.


FM addresses party workers
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 31
Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance Minister of Punjab, addressed his party workers in Bachat Bhavan here today. The meeting had been organised by Mr Swarn Singh Chanarthal, district chief of the SAD(B), to prepare workers for the forthcoming Assembly elections.

The Finance Minister said the SAD(B) had its own programmes and policies, which no other party had. He urged party workers to publicise the achievements of the government. He also praised the ‘Sangat Darshan’ programmes of the Chief Minister.

Mr Swarn Singh Chanarthal, district head of the party; Mr R.S. Cheema a former minister; Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhatti, district chief of the Youth Akali Dal; Mr Amar Singh Nalini; Mr D.S. Pandhi, a former minister; and all circle jathedars also addressed the gathering.


A clarification

The calling piece "No blood for bahu rani" published in the May 30 Ludhiana Tribune issue has been found to be incorrect. The error is regretted.


In-laws booked in dowry case 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 31
The police registered a case against Harpreet SIngh, Baljit Kaur, Bhupinder Kaur and Jasbir Kaur of Shimla Puri here today. They have been accused of harassment and beating up Manjit Kaur for not bringing adequate dowry. Manjit Kaur has accused them of trying to kill her by putting her on fire.

The police has registered a case at Salem Tabri under the Arms Act on the complaint of Mr Parshotam Singh of Bharati Colony. He has complained that four to five unidentified persons had beaten her sister Davinder Kaur, brother-in-law Dharambir Singh and their servant Mohammed Salim with sharpedged weapons and iron rods. They also fired on the complainant.


Father, son injured: Father Amar Singh and son Jaswinder Singh, had been allegedly attacked by Davinder Singh and his brother Babu Singh of Ucchi Mangali village with kirpans. Amar Singh and Jaswinder Singh were badly injured and admitted to a hospital. Land dispute was the reason behind the attack. A case has been registered under Sections 323, 324, 34, IPC.

Case registered: A case has been registered against a driver of a Punjab Roadway bus who allegedly injured a tractor driver due to rash driving.

According to the tractor driver, Tarvinder Singh of Jaipura Road, Doraha, his trolley was overturned due to rash driving by the driver, Gurjant Singh of Samana, of a Punjab Roadway bus (PB29-A9338). As a result his left leg got fractured. “Earlier also the same bus driver had injured a cyclist and broken his cycle,” added the complainant.

A case has been registered against him under Sections 279,337 and 427 of the IPC.


Man beaten up, hospitalised
Our Correspondent

Doraha, May 31
A man was reported to have been beaten up so cruelly by some persons of the same village that he got severe injuries on his body and had to be hospitalised at the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana.

According to sources, Tarlochan Singh of Tehutta village was ill-treated and beaten up with sticks by Ranjit Singh, Sandeep Singh, Avtar Singh and Gurdev Singh of the same village, while he was coming back to his house. The opposition party, however, said that Tarlochan Singh talked to them in an abusive manner, being in an inebriated state.

A case has, however, been registered under Sections 323, 324, 341 and 394 of IPC, on the statement of Tarlochan Singh at Payal police station.


JE held on graft charge
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 31
The Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau claims to have caught Gurmail Singh red-handed while taking bribe. A JE of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) posted at Kila Raipur, Gurmail Singh was caught yesterday while accepting Rs 600 as bribe from the complainant, Hoshiar Singh, a local resident, for not sending his meter for checking in the ME laboratory.

According to DSP Saroop Singh Chauhan and DSP Saroop Singh Mann who were commanding the operation, the JE had allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 600 from the complainant, a resident of Kila Raipur. The PSEB employee was caught in a vigilance trap laid on the orders of the SP, Vigilance, Mr R.P.S. Bajwa. 


4 held for gambling
Our Correspondent

Khanna, May 31
The Khanna police has arrested four persons in connection with satta. They are Subhash Chander, Swarn Singh, Jai Kishan, and Narinder Kumar and cases have been registered against them under Section 13-A of the Gambling Act, the SSP, Mr R.N. Dhoke, said. In another case, Ramesh Kumar was arrested under the Gambling Act. 

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 |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |