Wednesday, September 5, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Police admits unnatural death of Rurka girl
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 4
Police investigations into the mysterious death of a young girl in Rurka village, allegedly in the wake of her love affair with a village boy, have finally claimed to have found enough evidence that the girl had definitely met with an unnatural death.

The case stands at an interesting point now as the police has recovered the ashes of the girl and have sent these for chemical examination. The report was eagerly awaited as it was tipped as the best source to tell the actual cause of the girl’s death.

The police was, however, still at a loss to identify the persons responsible for her death. It said the moot question that whether the girl was killed for damaging family’s honour or committed suicide still remained to be probed into detail. The case has become the latest example of the still prevailing ‘inflexible’ socio-cultural norms in the state, which seems to be more important than some individual’s death.

The police claims to have found enough evidence about the alleged love affair of the girl with a boy in the village and the strong opposition of the couple’s parents to their marriage. The police has recovered a number of love letters exchanged between the couple along with the statements of the relatives, and most significantly, of the youth in question to come to the conclusion that the girl had not died a natural death and some persons were definitely responsible for her untimely death.

The latest investigations have thus upheld a news report in Ludhiana Tribune last month, which had given details about the sequence of events leading to the girl’s death. The police, however, could not establish so far whether the girl was murdered in a case of honour killing or had committed suicide after being allegedly separated from the youth.

DSP Mullanpur Dakha Paramjit Singh Goraya when contacted confirmed the police findings. He said the police had after the newsreport inquired about the sequence of events. He said after finding something hanky-panky behind the girl’s death, the police had registered a case of murder against unknown persons next day.

Giving details about the latest findings, he said the police has found a number of love letters exchanged between the couple which highlighted their love and expressed worries over the opposition of the parents. One of the letter written by the girl just before the couple ran away to Delhi states that she will end her life if the parents did not change their mind.

The DSP said according to the girl’s parents, she had committed suicide by hanging herself from a hook in a bathroom of their house. He said the police has checked the room and has found that the claims of the parents can be true. However, definite conclusion about the manner of death can be reached at only after the Chemical Examiner laboratory sends its report.

The DSP said the police continued to face a serious handicap in the case as no one in the village was willing to give a statement about the mysterious death of the girl. Even the alleged lover of the girl was silent on this issue.

The case pertains to the mysterious death of a girl of Rurka village early last month. She was allegedly in love with a village youth but their families did not agree for their marriage as they followed an old custom of rural Punjab. The young couple ran away to Delhi but was found by the parents, who brought them back. The boy, however, escaped under mysterious circumstances from Ambala. The girl was brought to the village and was beaten allegedly by some relatives. Later, the villagers were stunned to find one day that the girl had died some hours ago and the family had cremated her quietly without informing anyone.


Records show dead man tilling land
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 4
Even though the district administration has in an inquiry found that a dead man was erroneously shown as tilling a piece of land for the past over 10 years in Kulliewal village, and subsequently a case was also registered against some persons who had allegedly sold off the encroached land, revenue records of the district continue to show the dead man as still cultivating the land.

The revenue records are supposed to be updated twice a year but if the case is an indication, this system is not being followed in letter and spirit. The shocking part is that while on the one hand, the district administration admits that the land has been encroached upon and an authorised colony has come up there, the revenue records still claim that there are agricultural farms on the land.

Banta Singh who died way back in October 1990 is still alive and tilling a piece of 10 acres of land if revenue records of the Kulliwal area in the city are to be believed. This is despite the fact that the authorities of the local administration had told Ludhiana Tribune a few days ago that the revenue records would be renewed and the name of Banta Singh would be dropped.

A copy of revenue records of Kuliewal village procured by Ludhiana Tribune on August 31 revealed that the dead man was still shown in the records and even the mutation in the name of PUDA was not reviewed.

Besides, the Deputy Commissioner had in January issued his statement in the Press, saying that the persons who had constructed houses on the land would be evicted but even after seven months the orders have not been implemented.

Claimants Mr Rakesh Sharma and Mr Mohinder Lal have even alleged that there was a long delay in deciding the real owners of the land. They allege that even the police was not taking any action against a tehsildar and kanungo involved in the illegal transaction of the land.

They further alleged that after a probe by the police, a case was registered against only seven persons but not any employee of the Revenue Department. The two claimants also said that a number of persons had made crores of rupees by this illegal transaction of land which originally belongs to them.

Showing documentary proof, Mr Rakesh Sharma said that the provincial Punjab Government had allotted the land to Mr Harbans Lal in 1965 under slip no.12 and hadbandi 178 of Kulliwal village. The land was then mutated in the name of Pal Singh who tilled the land till 1971 when three more persons were added to the revenue records of the village. These were Dalip Singh, Karam Singh and Banta Singh. However, in the record of 1976 only Pal Singh and Banta Singh were shown as the ones tilling the land.

In the record of 1982, the land is shown in the name of Banta Singh only. The name continues in the records till date although the man had died way back in 1990.

The claimants said that the family of the original owner Harbans Lal was not in a position to fight the case and had thus given power of attorney to them. They said even though they had exposed the illegal dealings, the District Administration or the police had not taken any action against any revenue official or registered a case against anyone.

A revenue official in the district had said a few days ago that the land records did show the name of a dead man as the one tilling it. He said that this possibly occurred because no one would have informed the revenue officials of the death of the man. He said that the entry of the dead man would be changed in the revenue records. 


Four bodies found in Chhapar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 4
Chhapar Mela, which has come to be associated with incidents of crime, gambling, and hooliganism over the years, has lived up to the expectations this year also after the mysterious recovery of four bodies, including that of a woman, from different places near the mela site.

Police sources have, however, confirmed the recovery of three bodies only. The police has cremated three bodies in consultation with the village panchayat. Sources said the three bodies were of some unidentified old persons. The cause of death was not known. Reports said they might have died due to dehydration, heart attack or some accident. The sources said they had not found any evidence of murder so far, but the investigations were on.

Mystery surrounded the recovery of a woman’s body which was seen lying near the main market of the mela by some villagers. An empty bottle of liquor was also found near her body. However, the police said it had not found any body.


Worse than dead after suicide bid
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 4
Tragedy seems to have struck a young couple of Haqiqat Nagar here twice in four days. First, they lost their two-year-old child after they had “poisoned him before attempting suicide”, and now, the city police has registered a case against them for the murder of the child and attempted suicide.

Jai Narayan and Divya, the couple, are yet to recover from the effects of the poison, but find themselves at the wrong end of the law. The couple that belongs to Kerala had allegedly consumed an acid on Saturday and given the same to their child. Reportedly, they did it because parents of both had still not accepted their three-year-old marriage. The couple has told the police that they were under stress due to the behaviour of their parents.

The couple was unconsolable when the Haibowal police registered a case under Sections 302 and 309 of the IPC against them here yesterday. Mr G.S. Sandhu, Superintendent of Police (City II), said the police had to act as per the law that called for the registration of case in this case. “The child was minor and poisoned by his parents, so, they have to be charged with murder,” he said.


Award list eludes teachers
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, September 4
Utter confusion prevails among the teaching community in Punjab, as the State Education Department is yet to finalise the list of state award winners to be honoured on the Teachers’ Day tomorrow.

While the department is said to have made all arrangements for the state-level Teachers’ Day celebrations to be held at Jalandhar tomorrow, it has not yet been able to decide the names of the teachers in whose honour the function is to be held. The teachers had been inquiring to know about their fate at the District and State Education Departments for the past few days but they said that they were being repeatedly told that no decision had been taken as yet.

The State Education Department had conducted inquiries at schools of the nominated teachers on August 21 and 22 during which opinion of the teachers, principals and students was sought. Result of the previous years and other records were checked by the officers during the process. The teachers were told that the final decision would be delivered within ten days but the teachers were having their fingers crossed even sixteen hours before the function is to be held.

When contacted, Ms Usha Sidhu, District Education Officer (Secondary), also expressed her helplessness as she said the office had received no information about the decision. She said that the decision was expected to come out on Saturday last but it was delayed because the meeting of the DPI, Education Secretary and Education Minister to be held in this regard could no be held on time.

When this correspondent contacted the DPI office this evening, the officers confirmed that the list had not be prepared till this evening. They said a meeting in this regard was being held with the Education Secretary and Education Minister and the final verdict would be given late this evening. They revealed that the unprecedented delay was due to non-availability of the minister for the meeting.


Undertrial dies under mysterious circumstances
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 4
The sudden death of an undertrial lodged in the Central jail in mysterious circumstances late last night has sparked off a controversy as the relatives of the deceased allege some foul play behind his death.

The relatives and some residents of the Jamalpur area were also angry at the attitude of the district administration, which made them wait till 4 p.m. today for conducting the post-mortem examination.

While the jail officials said that Malkiat Singh, an undertrial in a drug-trafficking case, died at the Civil Hospital due to heart attack last night, the relatives of the deceased suspected some mystery behind his death and alleged that he had died in the jail itself and the jail officials were lying about it in order to escape the blame.

According to Angrez Singh, a brother of the deceased, Malkiat Singh was facing a trial and was in good health. He said they had met him several times recently in the past and he never complained of any ailment. They said that when they learnt about the death, they rushed to the jail and then to the Civil Hospital but were shocked to find that there was difference in the statements of the jail staff, the hospital staff and the inmates of the jail.

According to him, the hospital staff told him that the undertrial had been brought dead, but the jail officials maintained that he died in the hospital. He said they later talked to other inmates of the jail, who also confirmed to them that the undertrial had died in the jail itself.

Mr G.S.Sidhu, Superintendent, Central Jail, when contacted, refuted the charges. He said anyone could go and inquire from the inmates as well as hospital employees about the time and cause of death. Mr Sidhu said it was common that whenever some undertrial or convict died, allegations like this surfaced. He said even the post-mortem examination had established that the undertrial had died of an heart attack.

The relatives of the deceased, meanwhile, condemned the callous attitude of the district administration which did not depute an official for approving the inquest report. The relatives and residents of Jamalpur village, who thronged the Civil Hospital in large numbers, said even though the district administration had been informed in the morning, no one was deputed for preparing the inquest report as was mandatory under the law.

Ultimately a naib tehsildar reached the hospital at about 3.30 p.m. When mediapersons asked him about the delay he said he was busy in preparing a time-bound reply to some high court order.


Drug inspector held for graft
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 4
A team of officials from the state Vigilance Bureau raided the Civil Surgeon’s office this afternoon and is learnt to have arrested a drug inspector on the graft charge.

Highly placed sources in the department told Ludhiana Tribune that the drug inspector was caught accepting a bribe of about Rs 5,000 in return of some favour. The vigilance team laid a trap for him through a decoy customer and caught him in the presence of witnesses and also recovered the money from him.

The raid was planned in Chandigarh and even officials of the local Vigilance Bureau were unaware of it. 



The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, is an astute politician, who is sharp and witty as well. Recently he visited the city in connection with the annual Chhapar Mela near here in support of his Punjab counterpart, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. Mr Badal also happens to be his ‘uncle’, as Mr Chautala’s father late Devi Lal and Mr Badal were ‘paghwatt’(exchanged turbans) brothers. While addressing the people at the rally, particularly the farmers, Mr Chautala exhorted them to ensure the victory of Mr Badal and put their stamp on the pair of scales, the election symbol of the Akali Dal. A senior BJP leader and former Delhi Chief Minister, Mr Sahib Singh Verma, who was also present at the dais, intervened and reminded Mr Chautala that he should not forget the BJP which was also an Akali ally. And Mr Chautala did amend his omission and remarked that by the Akali Dal he meant the Akali-BJP alliance, much to the relief of Mr Verma. In fact Mr Verma tried to convey more to Mr Chautala than wanting him to simply mention BJP’s name. After all who else can feel the BJP’s bitter experiences at the hands of Mr Chautala in Haryana, where the party has in alliance with his party.

‘Model’ kids

Fashion is no longer restricted to the young & beautiful only. Even the elderly and the children have also joined the catwalk. Recently a business house organised a fashion parade in the city. While top models of the country sashayed down the ramp in usual manner, the interesting part of the show was the presentation of the kidswear by the kids. It was really an interesting experience to watch small children, a number of whom may not have learnt to walk properly, to sashay on the ramp. They were cheered and applauded well by the audience. 

Lipstick vs molestation

The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) was abuzz with the molestation issue during the past two weeks. There were allegations and counter-allegations which were making rounds of the campus. Everybody was busy giving their judgements about whether the incident took place or not. One was amazed to listen to the arguments which were being given by various groups of teachers and students. Sentinel was left to wonder when one girl student of the PAU said,‘‘She always used to come wearing a dark lipstick although she is unmarried. This was sure to happen to her, ’’ as if the lipstick was a trademark of the married woman only and the unmarried girls who wore it were sure to invite troubles even in the jet age. A group of girls, apparently living in some forgotten age, were heard arguing that only those girls invited such advances who wear jeans. One teacher was at a loss to understand the hoopla. He was telling mediapersons that what the fuss was. ‘‘The girls roam around with boyfriends and if some teacher made a such move what was the problem?’’ The mediapersons were too shocked to react. May be the readers can provide some answer.

Unofficial abbreviations

There is a common trend these days to use abbreviations and short forms of every word. Without knowing the actual meaning of the words they are being used. A stage compere, at a freshers function, while thanking the undergraduate participants said, ‘‘Thank you all UGs’’!


Seen written on a wall of a boys’ college, ‘‘Love is blind and marriage is an eye opener.’’

— Sentinel


Involvement of people must for healthy environment
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 4
To create an awareness of promoting healthy environment through the participation of peoples, a public function was organised at the Nehru Rose Garden here by the Ludhiana Citizens’ Development Society, the Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha and Municipal Corporation. Mr Raminder Singh, MC Additional Commissioner, was the chief guest at the function.

Proposing an agenda for the current year, Dr Arun Mitra, general secretary of the jatha, said while citizens should realise their responsibility towards environment protection, the corporation had to effectively discharge its duties. He drew attention towards various environmental problems facing the city. “City is faced with various environmental problems, like solid waste disposal, water pollution and air pollution,” he said.

Dr Mitra pointed out that for solid waste management there had to be a daily collection of waste from houses and the disposal at stipulated sites. The biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste should be segregated and managed accordingly. For proper management of hospital waste and other hazardous waste, incinerators had to be installed in the city. The running cost of which could be borne by the doctors. He further remarked that shopkeepers must keep dustbins and not throw their waste on the roadside.

Similarly, for controlling air pollution, steps had to be taken in consultation with the industry and that the check of periodic vehicle pollution be ensured. He called for effective measures against seepage of industrial effluents into ground water, resulting in pollution. He drew the attention in this regard to a report appearing in a section of the Press about the danger of location of industry in the eastern part of the city as the natural flow of the ground water was towards western side, thus polluting the ground water in entirety.

The agenda laid special emphasis on paying attention to the underdeveloped areas of the city. Stress was also laid on educating safai karamcharis of modern methods of waste management. “They must also be provided with safety guards, like gas masks and gloves since they are the ones who are most prone to health hazards of waste management,” he said.

Mr Raminder Singh, while addressing the function, said the society had been formed with a view of involving people in an endeavour to promoting healthy environment. He said dustbins had already been provided in Rose Garden and Rakh Bagh and appealed to the people to use them. He assured that the corporation would take various items of the agenda presented here and would do its best to implement them.

Stressing the need for the cooperation of people, he said pamphlets distributed by the society contained phone numbers of various officials who could be contacted in case of need. Mr Prem Chand Gupta, Zonal Commissioner; Dr J.S. Bilga, Executive Engineer (Horticulture); Mr B.K. Gupta, Zonal Commissioner, Mr S.N. Tripathi, Executive Engineer (Electrical); were also present on the occasion.

Earlier, the dignitaries were welcomed by the activists of the jatha, including Mr Krishan Lal Malik, Mr M.S. Bhatia, Ms Avtar Kaur, Ms Barjinder Kaur, Mr Gurcharan Kochher, Ms Veena Sachdeva, Ms Jeet Kumari, Mr Gurvant Singh, Ms Bala Sharma, Dr Balwant Singh, Maj S. S. Aulakh Ms Shanti Bawa.

A play, written by Dr F.C. Shukla to educate people, was presented by the Indian People’s Theatre Association under the direction of Mr Pardeep Sharma and Ms Indu Nayyar, in which students from Chanan Devei Memorial Govt School and Guru Ram Dass School took part. A poem on the theme was presented by Mr Surinder Kumar. Students from various ECO clubs from different schools distributed pamphlets among the visitors to the Rose Garden.


Mass marriages planned
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 4
The local Nishkam Sewa Ashram will hold its annual mass marriage function on March 10 next year . Parents who are unable to discharge this social obligation because of financial problem and those desirous of availing the opportunity of marrying their daughters are requested to send their applications, according to an ashram press release here today. The girl to be married should not be less than 18 years and the boy not less than the 21 years of age. The parents after finalising the formalities of eligible couples are requested to send applications along with photographs of the couple duly recommended by the sarpanch/counsellor of the area. Application forms are available at the Nishkam office.

On the occasion, the marriage party shall be received with band, and tea and lunch shall be hosted by Nishkam. All girls shall be presented gifts and articles of daily use. Marriages shall be performed according to the religion of the couple.

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 |