Monday, October 22, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



City police in for major embarrassment
Goof-up in Dinesh murder case
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
Reports of some officials of the city police implicating some persons in the three-month-old Dinesh murder case to claim swift action have been strengthened as the two persons alleged to be the perpetrators of the crime have been caught by the Bathinda police. Both have been remanded in police custody by the Ludhiana police after being informed by the Bathinda police of their confession.

The alleged murderers include a suspended constable, who has earned notoriety in Bathinda for committing a number of crimes despite being a cop. He was suspended, but continued his activities. Police sources said the two had been remanded in police custody in a different case as a necessary procedure, but the real purpose was to get their official confession of the murder.

The Ludhiana Tribune had exposed the alleged implication of some persons two days back. The news report had said the three persons, although notorious criminals, were not the actual murderers of Dinesh Kumar, alias Sonu. The deceased youth was a resident of Doraha. He was robbed of Rs 50,000 and murdered in broad daylight in front of the Bank of Baroda near Dholewal Chowk on July 2. The police had, in the later part of July, claimed to have solved the case with the arrest of three notorious criminals involved in snatching, robbery and murder cases. However, later, it came to light that the alleged criminals had been implicated.

With this latest development, the case is all set to become a major embarrassment for the local police. It exposes how the police allegedly fits crime cases on some criminals arrested in some other cases to keep its record straight. While the police has claimed a major success, the real criminals remain at large and commit more crimes.

While the local police officials remained tight-lipped about the new developments in the case, sources in Bathinda and the local police confirmed these. Declining to give much details, SP City-II, Mr Parmod Ban, confirmed that some persons, suspected to be the real murderers of Dinesh, had been brought to the city from Bathinda. He said the police was verifying the new development and it was difficult to comment on the case at this juncture.

According to reliable police sources, the involvement of two persons in the case of Dinesh Kumar’s murder came to light after some differences sprung up in a gang of criminals caught by the Bathinda police. The gang members had reportedly come together recently. One of them, fearing being singled out for some crime, had threatened others to be quiet, or else would spill the beans about the Dinesh murder case. The police got wind of their internal bickerings and the entire story came out.

Police sources here said the investigation into the case was on the right track and the truth would come out soon. The sources said some kind of departmental action against the police officials found guilty of implicating persons in the murder case were on the anvil.

The sources said some police officials had apologised to the family of Dinesh Kumar for their goof-up. The family members had exposed the case with the help of some police officials.


Forum quashes PSEB demand
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 21
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has quashed a demand for Rs 5,510 by the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) from Mr Surjit Singh, a resident of Nasrali village. The forum also directed the PSEB to refund the amount deposited against the said demand along with an interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum from the date of deposit till actual payment.

According to the complaint, Mr Surjit Singh received a letter on February 11, 1999 demanding Rs 3,559 from him on account of theft of power. He stated before the forum that the matter was reffered to the Dispute Settlement Committee (DSC), but he was not heard properly, rather the PSEB imposed a fine of Rs 5,510 on September 22, 1999 on account of theft of power.

Representative of the consumer, Mr S.S. Sarna, said the M.E. Laboratory report did not bear signature of the consumer or any person authorised on his behalf. Mr Sarna pointed out that as per rules of the PSEB, it was mandatory to check the meter in presence of the consumer or his representative. He alleged that the demand had been illegally raised as the rules had not been properly followed.

The PSEB pleaded that the complainant was nabbed while stealing power during an inspection by the board officials on February 4, 1999 as he had fixed a direct wire from an agricultural motor. The respondent stated that the running load was 3 Kws at that time. After that, a demand for Rs 3,559 was raised on September 11, it added.

The respondent disclosed that the meter of the consumer was again checked by an SDO on September 22, 2000 and it was found tempered with. It was further pleaded that the consumer had been using the power for domestic purpose and at that time the conduct load was 5 Bhp of agricultural motor plus 1.200 Kws of domestic load. The respondent stated that it was a clear case of theft of power and the complaint was liable to be dismissed.

The forum stated that the complaint regarding the demand for Rs 3,559 raised on February 11, 1999 was time barred as the cause of action arose to the consumer when the demand was raised by the PSEB. The complaint was filed on April 9, 2001, and as the complaint was filed after more than two years from the date of cause of action (February 11, 1999), it was not admissible, the forum added.

The forum stated that in case of the second demand for Rs 5,510 raised on September 22, 1999, the only evidence produced by the PSEB was a report which did not bear the signature of the consumer. Moreover, it was not mentioned in the report that the consumer had refused to sign that. 


Engraved stones in state of neglect
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
A large number of engraved stones, meant for inculcating values among students as well as serving as memorials to the sayings of Gurus and intellectuals are lying abandoned at different places in Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) thanks to the apathetic attitude of the authorities.

While the university staff and the officials have neglected the stones, installed about 25 years ago, certain labourers in a university guest house have cleaned up one such stone and placed it in a lawn. The stone engraved with a saying of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was , shockingly, placed as a cover of a manhole before being discovered by the labourers.

The stone which has been placed in a lawn of Parker House has lines written on it, “A university stands for humanism, for tolerance for vision, for the adventure of ideas and for the search of truth—Jawaharlal Nehru.” A labourer working in the guest house told Ludhiana Tribune that he discovered the stone and after seeing graffiti, he cleaned it and showed it to the in-charge of the guest house. The in-charge then placed it in the lawn.

The condition of another stone installed in the rock garden in the university on the name Nek Chand, who had helped in the construction of the garden, is also lying neglected and abandoned in one corner of the garden for the past several years. Lying among wild weeds and grass, the stone was meant to be installed at a prominent place in the garden.

Another stone with a saying of Guru Nanak is also placed near the examination hall of the College of Agriculture. The stone is kept amidst grass and wild vegetation.

A teacher told Ludhiana Tribune that these stones were placed at selected places by the former Vice Chancellor, Dr M.S. Randhawa, who wanted the students to read such lines while studying in the university. Over the years after Dr Randhawa retired from the university in 1978, these stones were neglected.

Interestingly, not many teachers did not know about the presence of stones in the PAU. Most of those whom Ludhiana Tribune spoke to showed their ignorance about the stones. A teacher said some of these stones were kept in the museum of the university. 


Husband held for forcing woman into prostitution
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
A city woman has allegedly been forced into prostitution by her husband, who also raped her alongwith four other persons, including close relatives and friends. On the woman’s complaint, the police has registered a case against five persons and arrested four of them.

The migrant woman belongs to Uttar Pradesh and was brought to the city by her husband two months ago. According to her complaint to the police, she was beaten by her husband and his friends and forced into the flesh trade.

She said she was so terror-stricken that she could not fight or resist. Her husband used to arrange customers for her and charged high amount. She was under-fed and was kept locked in her house in Basti Jodhewal. Police sources said the arrested persons had been identified as Sarvjeet Singh, husband of the complainant, Charanjit Singh, her brother-in-law, Virender Yadav, her husband’s friend and another friend of her husband.


RMS steps to check anthrax
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 21
The Railway Mail Service authorities (RMS) dealing with the foreign mail, have taken preventive steps to check anthrax.

Starting this, Mr Gurdev Singh, Assistant Superintendent, Rail Mail Service, Ludhiana said, today the employees had been provided with gloves and masks to deal with the mail.

Mr Gurdev Singh said the entire foreign mail of Punjab was received at Ludhiana and processed here.

Such letters numbered between 1500 and 2000. Mr Gurdev Singh was not aware if any case of suspected anthrax had been reported from the Ludhiana focal point.


Fund crisis hits flying club
Shruti Setia

Ludhiana, October 21
The Ludhiana Flying Club, one of the three aviation clubs operational in the state is facing a financial crunch for the past two years. The state government has not paid the salaries to the staff for the past several months.

According to the officials of the club, several reminders have been sent to the higher authorities for the grant of their salaries but to no avail.

The financial crisis is so acute that the club has no money even to buy spares for half of its fleet and the aircraft stand grounded. An official disclosed, ‘‘The club has been getting the annual grant of Rs 1,75,000 since 1967 when the cost of fuel was Rs 2 per litre while now it costs Rs 60 per litre. Thus at times the club finds difficult even to buy fuel for the fleet of operational aircraft.

This club has trained hundreds of youngsters since 1984 for commercial pilot licence (CPL) for which minimum 250 hours flying is mandatory. But now it presents a complete picture of neglect.

The club is not able to generate the funds on its own because the number of trainees is decreasing day by day due to high cost of the course. A trainee has to spend in lakhs to get personal pilot licence (PPL) and commercial pilot licence (CPL).

Moreover, the NCC hangar at Sahnewal is also in a sorry state for the past many years . Even after several requests by the authorities nothing has been done to repair the hangar so far.

The Minister of Civil Aviation and state government just keep on passing the buck to each other on this issue. The door of the hangar which had been broken for past several years is a continuous threat to the maintenance of the gliders. The unit has five aircraft costing more than a crore that are lying under the shambled structure of the hangar.

According to the officials they had not received any funds for the repair of the structure after so many requests. Recently they had also contacted the PWD but in vain. One of the officials said water entered the hangar during the rainy season causing serious damage to the aircraft. The broken door of the hangar is a question mark on the safety of the aircraft at night also.

At present Ludhiana is the only unit which is providing gliding training to the cadets but the shortage of funds is continuously disturbing the working of the unit.


Amarinder warns against communal polarisation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) President, Capt Amarinder Singh, today warned against the attempts towards communal polarisation in the state allegedly being made by the SAD in order to create fear psychosis among people with an eye on the forthcoming elections in the state.

Addressing a rally organised by the District Congress Committee Ludhiana (Urban) here today, Capt Amarinder claimed that the SAD-BJP government was panic stricken since it had become aware of the total disillusionment among the people. “It has no issue left with which it could go to the people so it is trying to create issue surrounding people like Baba Bhaniara”, he alleged. Capt Amarinder claimed that there was a pattern in some recent incidents. He pointed out that on September 28 a wall adjoining the Durga Mata Temple was demolished in Ludhiana and on the same night ‘Birs’ were burnt at Tarkhan Majra village. “What does this indicate?”, he asked, while putting forth the answer himself, “They (the Akalis) just want to create panic by raising the slogans of danger to the panth and divide people on religious lines, but we will not let them do that”.

While reiterating his demand for a judicial probe into the incidents related to Baba Bhaniara, the PPCC President appealed to the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to reconsider his refusal of sparing one sitting Judge for the judicial probe. “Only a judicial probe by a sitting Judge can establish the truth”, he observed, while adding, no retired Judge could serve the purpose.

He ridiculed the claims of the government that payment was being made to the farmers for their paddy within 24 hours. He claimed that payments worth over Rs 500 crore were yet to be made by the Food and Supplies Department to farmers of the state.

Speaking on the occasion, the DCC president, Mr Surinder Dawer, claimed that people of the state were resolved to see Capt Amarinder as the next Chief Minister of the state. He claimed that there was unrest and disillusionment prevailing among the people as government had failed on all parts. He said the industry had suffered the worst and corruption was at its peak. He observed that people wanted change and only the Congress could provide a better alternative.

The PPCC President, who arrived here about an hour late, had to cancel his Sahnewal visit and he addressed only one public rally. Senior Congress leaders, among others, who present at the rally were Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mr Pawan Dewan, Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, Mr K.K. Bawa, Mr Lal Singh, Mr Gurdev Lapran, Mr Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi. For the first time in the recent past, a former Speaker, Mr Harnam Dass Johar, a close confidant of Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, was also present at the Ludhiana railway station to receive the PPCC president.


Cong spreading falsehood: minister
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, October 21
It is only during the rule of the Akali-BJP government in the state, that concessions to all categories of people are being given development works started in the earnest, while, on the contrary, the Congress has only one -point programme to mislead people through false propaganda, said Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance Minister, Punjab, at the closing function of the three-day sports mela at Kumbhra village, 4 km from here, yesterday. The function was organised by the Baba Deep Singh Sports Club and the Gram Panchayat, Kumbhra.

Criticising the Congress, the minister blamed it for spreading false propaganda among the farmers before each harvest that wheat or paddy would not be procured by the government agencies. The minister later announced Rs 3 lakh for development of the village and Rs 50,000 for the sports club. The minister laid the foundation stone of the gurdwara hall in the village, and also laid the stone for drains and paved streets in the village. 


Prof Mohan Singh mela concludes
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 21
On the second day of Prof. Mohan Singh Mela, its venue had to be changed from Punjabi Bhavan to Palam Vihar on the Pakhowal road to accommodate more people. Many of those who visited the mela did not know of the greatness of Prof Mohan Singh, but everybody seemed enjoy various cultural programmes, songs and giddha items.

The proceedings of the second day of the mela started with the laying of foundation stone of the Punjabi Virasat Bhavan by Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, Member of Parliament. The chairman of Prof Mohan Singh Foundation, Mr Jagdev Singh Jassowal, and the president, Mr Pargat Singh Grewal, escorted the chief guest. Mr Shamsher Singh Dullon presided over the function. Mr Mohammad Sadeeqi and Sukhminder Sukhi inaugurated folk instrument competitions which included tabla, elgosa, flute, ek tara etc.

Children were also given a chance to display their singing talent. They sang with confidence. Next on the agenda was Malwai giddha which was highly appreciated for its rhythm, beauty and grace by the audience.

Mutiaran da giddha, presented by the Rangla Punjab Club, also fascinated the audience. The traditional jhumar dance of Punjab, which was a great hit with the audience, was presented by the Baba Farid Foundation, Moga. The popular poem ‘Ambi da Boota’ was dramatised very effectively. The Bhangra Club, Kubey, gave a fantastic bhangra performance.

Punjabis who have distinguished themselves in different walks of life, specially in performing arts, were also honoured on the occasion. Sant Baba Sucha Singh, of Jawaddi Kalan was honoured with the Gyani Dit Singh Award for promoting Gurbani sangeet. Surinder Kaur, Punjabi folk singer, was honoured with the Mahan Punjaban Award.

Prof N.S. Tasneem was given the Prof Mohan Singh Sahitya Sewa Award for his invaluable contribution in the field of Punjabi literature.

Prof Karam Singh Bathinda received the Dr Vanjara Bedi Award for popularising folk literature. Karamjit Singh Dhuri, singer, received the prestigious Ustaad Lal Chand Yamla Jatt Award while Jasbir Jassi Gurdaspuria of Kudi Kudi fame was awarded the Inayat Hussain Bhatti Memorial Award.

Dr Sukh Nain was given the Sur Shehzada Award. Bhagwant Mann, satirist received the Gurnam Singh Teer Memorial Award. Ajmer Singh Aulakh, upcoming playwright, was awarded the Principal Sant Singh Sekhon Memorial Award whereas the famous dhadi Mullan Singh Fakkar Puri was honoured with the Giani Sohan Singh Sheetal Award.

Jarnail Singh Basota received the Dr S.S. Hamdard Award. Avtar Singh Deepak bhangra artiste, was awarded the M.S. Randhawa Award and another bhangra artiste, Tehal Singh Kheeba, received the Mahinder Singh Gill Memorial Award. Gill Jabbomajra, singer, received the Deedar Singh Memorial Award.

The mela offered glimpses of rich traditional dances. In a symposium noted Punjabi writers discussed Prof Mohan Singh’s poetry. The popularity of the mela proved that a great writer like Mohan Singh never dies and reigns supreme in the hearts of his admirers.


Talwandi’s denial
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 21
The SGPC President Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi today denied having honoured excommunicated Sikh from Canada at Amritsar.

Mr Talwandi said he honoured and presented siropas to Mr Ujjal Dosanjh and his wife on their arrival in Amritsar at a function held outside the Golden Temple complex on December 22, 2000.

The honour was conferred on Mr Dosanjh, the then premier of British Columbia in recognition of his services and the honour he had brought to Punjab and the country. 


Residents decry poor water supply
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
Thousands of residents in the Kitchlu Nagar area of the city are a harassed lot for the past one month due to the regular breakdown of a tubewell which supplies water to more than 500 houses.

The tubewell has developed snags thrice this month and is not working for the past week.

Municipal Corporation workers repairing the tubewell said the machine was constantly creating problems.

Mr Dinesh Sharma, a local resident, complained to Ludhiana Tribune that they had approached the MC several times in the past month for thorough repairs of the tubewell. However, the MC was doing temporary repairs due to which the tubewell. was failing time and again, he lamented.

He said there was no water supply for the past week and the residents either had to buy mineral water or go to other parts of the locality to fetch it.


Police martyrs remembered
Tribune Reporters

Khanna, October 21
In the Police Lines here today, the day was observed as Police Martyrs Day. About 42 years ago, while a police party was killed by the Chinese Army on the Indo-China Border while guarding at the Hot Spring Post.

The function was presided over by Mr R.N. Dhoke, SSP. He said militancy had made the job of police personnel very difficult. The police was facing terrorist threats in various parts of the country. He said hundreds of policemen had sacrificed their lives fighting with militancy in Punjab. In the last year, 1,120 police personnel died in militancy-related incidents in India, out of this 82 belonged to Punjab. Others who paid tributes to police martyrs on this occasion included Mr Pardeep Kumar Sabharwal, Mr Ram Singh, SP (O), Mr Gurmail Singh, SP (D). Members of the families of police martyrs were also present at the function.

A police party, led by the DSP, Mr Sushil Kumar, paid tributes to the police martyrs by reversing arms.

MANDI GOBINDGARH: In memory of the cops and CRPF jawans who laid down their lives for unity and integrity of the country on the Indo-China Border in Ladakh on October 21,1959, a Commemoration Day parade was organised by the district police Fatehgarh Sahib on the premises of the indoor stadium here today.

Sixteen families of police martyrs of this district were given an amount of Rs 5,100/- (each) as a token of financial aid, besides blankets, fruits, sweets and other things.


Driver booked in hit-and-run case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
The Division Number 6 police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC against Darshan Singh, a resident of Akalgarh village in Ludhiana district, in a hit-and-run case in which a scooterist was killed.

According to the FIR lodged yesterday by a brother of the deceased, Mr Jaspal Singh, a resident of New Shimlapuri and his brother Jasbir Singh were on their way home on a scooter, when it was hit by a truck (PB-10-F-5991) being driven by Darshan Singh. Jasbir Singh, who was rushed to the CMC Hospital in an injured condition, succumbed to his injuries there. Mr Muralidhar, ASI , in charge of Basant Park police post is the investigating officer. No arrest has been made so far.

Another case of death due to accident was registered at the same police station yesterday under Sections 279,427 and 304-A of the IPC in which a woman riding the pillion of a motor cycle was killed. According to the FIR lodged by the deceased woman’s husband, Mr Suraj Kant Sharma, a resident of Shivaji Nagar, he was going on his motor cycle (PB-10-N-0289) yesterday morning along with his wife Ranju Devi, when their vehicle was hit near the ITI on the Gill Road, by a bus (PB-11-F 9777) which was being driven by Bachittar Singh, a resident of Khanna. His wife, who was seriously injured in the accident, was rushed to the CMC Hospital where she breathed her last.

Gamblers held: A sum of Rs 1,010 alongwith some slips suspected to be “satta” slips, were recovered from Sukhdev Singh, a resident of Muradpura mohalla. A case has been registered against the accused at the Division No 2 police station under the Sections 13-A,3 and 67 of the Gambling Act.

A case has been registered at the Sarabha Nagar police station under Sections 13,3 and 67 of the Gambling Act against Paramjit Singh ,Amarjit Singh, Mohinder Singh, Hadit Singh and Tarlok Singh, all residents of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar . A sum of Rs 1,270 alongwith a pack of playing cards was recovered from the accused.

Opium recovered: Balwinder Singh , a resident of Kalsura village in Karnal district of Haryana, was arrested during special checking by the CIA staff and 70 gram of opium was recovered from his possession. The accused has been booked under Sections 18, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act at the Division No 2 police station.

Liquor seized: Prem Kumar, a resident of Karimpura Bazar, was arrested and 11 bottles of illicit liquor were recovered from him. The Division Number 3 police has registered a case under Sections 61,1 and 14 of the Excise Act.

Balbir Singh, a resident of Bhagwanpura village in Sangrur district, was arrested and 20 bottles of liquor were recovered from him. The Haibowal police has registered a case against the accused under Sections 61,1 and 14 of the Excise Act.

Dowry case: A case has been registered at the Sarabha Nagar police station under Sections 406 and 498A of the IPC on the statement of Ms Gita Rani, a resident of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, against her husband Jogesh Kumar, father-in-law Dev Raj, mother-in-law Romesh Kumari and Puja, all residents of Labour Colony. The complainant had alleged that the accused subjected her to mental and physical torture due to insufficient dowry brought by her.

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