Sunday, December 9, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Several ’84 riot victims denied relief
‘Favouritism’ in distribution of plots, shops
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 8
It is a classic case of thieves fighting over the distribution of spoils. Thanks to certain opportunist and self-seeking leaders of riot victims, a number of them have managed to grab the lion’s share of the largesse doled out to them by the state government, while many of the genuine victims of the 1984 riots in Delhi and elsewhere were yet to get any kind of relief or assistance in the shape of ration depots, shops, booths or flats.

An ongoing fierce battle between activists of Sikh Migrants Welfare Society, headed by Mr Gurdev Singh Batalvi, and Danga Peerit Welfare Society, led by Mr Surjit Singh Dugri, took another turn, with Mr Surinder Singh, senior vice-president of the Danga Peerit Welfare Society alleging that serious irregularities were committed in the allotment of shops and booths to riot victims by PUDA. It is pertinent to note that Mr Surjit Singh Dugri was appointed an observer by the government to oversee the entire process of allotment.

According to a written representation, submitted to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, by the Danga Peerit Welfare Society, Mr Surjit Singh Dugri had manipulated the process of allotment to favour his near and dear ones. “Victims with no red cards, those who were already running ration depots were allotted shops and booths.” Not only this, certain non-existing persons or more than one member of the same family were also favoured in allotments, the society charged.

It may be recalled that responding to earlier complaints of irregularities in allotments of booths and shops to the riot victims, the state government had ordered scrutiny of all such allotments and a public notice was issued in newspapers, inviting objections from members of the public. Mr Surjit Singh Dugri and some other activists of the Danga Peerit Welfare Society, apparently upset over the government decision, had an open scuffle with the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, on the issue during a ‘sangat darshan’ programme in the city in the month of October.

Giving specific instances, the representation submitted by the society alleged that Mr Varinder Singh, Mr Dharminder Singh, Mr Kuldip Singh s/o Mr Prem Singh, Mr Sukhbir Singh, Mr Harminder Singh, Mr Kuldip Singh s/o Mr Arjan Singh and Mr Mohinder Singh were all depot holders and thus not eligible for any further relief by the government.

Similarly, Mr Mann Singh, who was already in possession of a shop, had managed to secure another allotment while Mr Manjit Singh, a resident of Dugri and owner of a house, was allotted two shops in gross violation of rules. In another glaring case of favouritism, Mr Jasbir Singh, Ms Gurdeep Kaur and Mr Gurmeet Singh, all with a common address, were allotted one shop each. In the cases of Mr Niranjan Singh, Mr Gurcharan Singh and Mr Satnam Singh, two shops each were allotted on a common address.

That the allotments, finalised by PUDA and district authorities were not above board, was evident from a detailed list, submitted by the society, which alleged that among the allottees of shops Mr Satnam Singh, Mr Kamaljit Singh, Mr Balbir Singh, Mr Manjit Singh, Mr Surjit Singh s/o Mr Inder Singh, Ms Jaswant Kaur, Ms Ravinder Kaur, Mr Surjit Singh s/o Mr Raminder Singh, Mr Ravinder Singh, Mr Satinder Singh, Ms Inderjeet Kaur, Mr Tara Singh and Mr Surjit Singh s/o Mr Balbir Singh were either fictitious persons or were not residing at their given addresses.

There was another long list of allottees, who were not in possession of ‘red cards’, a pre-condition for allotments of booths and shops for the riot affected persons. These included Mr Harcharan Singh s/o Mr Surjit Singh, Mr Rajinder Singh, Mr Ajit Singh, Mr Paramjit Singh, Mr Bhagat Singh, Mr Harcharan Singh s/o Mr Kehar Singh, Mr Chamkaur Singh, Mr Ravinder Singh s/o Mr Joginder Singh, Mr Jagjit Singh, Mr Tarlochan Singh, Mr Balbir Singh, Mr Ravinder Singh s/o Mr Rawel Singh, Mr Ravinder Singh s/o Mr Kuldip Singh, Mr Gurcharan Singh, Mr Inderjit Singh, Mr Ratan Singh, Mr Tejinder Singh, Mr Gurinder Pal Singh and Mr Manjit Singh.



Police on the lookout for politician’s nephew
Suspect charged with attempt to murder
Jupinderjit Singh

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
In a significant case, the local police is on the lookout for an alleged criminal, wanted in over 10 cases, including managing the illegal bus operating business in the city. The man was well-known for such an activity for the past several months but due to his being a relative of a BJP leader, the police was unable to lay hands on him.

In a rare change from the normal ‘political interference’-infected police force, the local police has tightened its noose around the accused by ignoring the pressure mounted by the prominent BJP leader. The name of the accused starts with the letter ‘L’ and is known as a nephew of the politician.

The Kotwali police has registered the latest case against the accused in which he has been charged with attempt to murder of some persons operating a bus in the city. In other cases also, the accused has been charged with running a sort of mafia in which only his buses could operate. Sources said the alleged kingpin of the illegal bus operators’ gang was until last month openly operating in and around the railway station and using his musclemen and the leader’s influence to browbeat any policemen daring to check his activities.

Police sources informed that the BJP leader, so used to carry his weight around, in the police and civil offices even dared to get the accused an arm’s licence after he got booked in an attempt to murder case. He, however, reportedly received a shock of his life when the Police Department bluntly refused to oblige him. The embarrassed leader looked for a room to escape when the police showed him the list of over 10 cases registered against the accused. Sources said the leader was well aware of the activities of his alleged relative and used to protect him.

The newly discovered ‘police-activism’ has changed the old scene in and outside the railway station, from where the illegal buses operated. The accused was synonymous with terror in the area and had started his business from outside the city limits some years ago. Later, with the help of the BJP leader he started operating from the railway station. With musclemen coming into his fold and the influence of the politician after him, his activities increased and he even began indulging in other criminal activities.

The modus operandi of the accused mainly included running buses with tourist permit as passenger buses, which was illegal. His men even began using force to make passengers alight from a train to ignore three-wheelers and use their buses , which charged, at least Rs 30 per passenger at times.

According to police sources, the accused was on the run with the police raiding each of his possible hideouts. SSP H.S. Sidhu only commented that the accused would be soon in the police net. He said political interference was not being tolerated in the police working.

BJP sources have confirmed that the accused was known as a relative of a senior leader but expressed doubts whether he was being sheltered or not. They said the BJP leader is a leader with a clean image and he stays away from such elements.



Tandon unlikely to contest from city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
Senior BJP leader and the Minister for Local Bodies, Mr Balramji Dass Tandon is learnt to have expressed his reluctance to the party to contest from Ludhiana (West). Sources in the BJP revealed that Mr Tandon has made up his mind to contest from Rajpura constituency which he is representing in the current Assembly.

This has set to rest the speculations on the issue. There was a hot debate going on within the BJP whether Mr Tandon should contest from Ludhiana (West) or not. Although in the previous elections the seat had been allotted to the Shiromani Akali Dal under the seat sharing agreement. Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal had contested from here and won by a handsome margin of over 12,000 votes. Since Mr Grewal is no longer with the SAD-B, the BJP is staking its claim on this seat.

However, the BJP has its own compulsions since it does not have a strong candidate to field. The choice had reportedly fallen on Mr Tandon, who enjoys a statewide influence given his seniority and stature in the party and politics. His presence in Ludhiana was thought to give boost to the prospects of other candidates. At one stage, Mr Tandon had reportedly agreed to contest from here. But at a later stage he reportedly decided to stick to Rajpura, where he enjoys a considerable clout.

In fact the local BJP leaders had arranged a truce between Mr Tandon and other senior party leader and the Deputy Speaker in the Punjab Assembly with the same purpose.

After Mr Tandon’s refusal to contest from here, the BJP has reportedly started the search for a candidate from the Ludhiana (West). The chairman of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust, Mr Madan Mohan Vyas, and the chairman of the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation, Mr Vinod Jain, are said to be among the main probables for the seat, besides Prof Rajinder Bhandhari as well. At one stage the name of Chaudhary Sat Prakash, a former city Mayor and the local RSS chief was also floated.

On the other hand the SAD-B is also laying its claim on the Ludhiana (West) seat. In fact the acting president of the district Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, who is one of the main claimants of the ticket from here, has been maintaining, “Why should we claim the seat it already belongs to us and we have won it by a handsome margin”. Mr Makkar, who has already activated himself and the party cadre here refuses to entertain any arguments over BJP’s claim over the seat. 



Teachers’ rally at A.S. College for Women
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 8
A teachers’ rally was organised here at the A.S. College for Women in support of the ongoing strike of college teachers in the state. Mr Satish Kumar Sharma, Fellow, Panjab University, while addressing the rally condemned the irresponsible and apathetic attitude of the Punjab Government in not granting the genuine demands of the collage teachers of the state.

He said the PCCTU has been waging a long struggle for the implementation of the pension and gratuity scheme of the Punjab Government. The dilly-dallying attitude of the government has led the situation to such a pass. The colleges all over the state are lying closed on account of the strike by the college teachers under the banner of Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ union (PCCTU). Eighteen members of the executive committee and the office-bearers have been arrested and are lodged at Burail jail at Chandigarh.

“While Master Mohan Lal, Minister of Higher Education, was blaming the Finance Minister for obstructing the implementation of the pension and gratuity scheme of the government, the latter in a press statement has denied any such action on his part. It is silly that two ministers have joined issue in the Press and are least bothered about the closure of colleges of the state,” said Prof Sharma.

The rally was also addressed by Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, MP. Prof Satish Sharma requested the VCs of Panjab University, Chandigarh, and Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, to intervene and persuade the government to accept their genuine demands. He said the teachers all over the state would intensify their agitation to get their demands implemented.

A joint rally of teachers, non-teaching staff and managements of government-aided private colleges of the state would be held at Matka Chowk in Chandigarh on December 10 at 11 a.m, he said.

Fatehgarh Sahib: The teaching and non-teaching staff of the local Mata Gujri College organised a protest rally and sat on dharna in front of the college in protest against the non-implementation of their already accepted demands. The teachers raised the slogans against the government.



Markets on footpaths ‘upset’ pedestrians 
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, December 8
Going by the dictionary, a footpath is a way or track made for or by people walking.

Come to Ludhiana and you would find that this definition of a footpath does not hold good here. For the very obvious reason that wherever these ‘‘footpaths’’ exist, these have been usurped by roadside vendors and migrants who have set up roadside businesses on the same. The concept of footpath in the context of its dictionary meaning has become alien to the city. Or so it seems.

When shopkeepers of Kamla Nehru Market on the GT Road outside the Railway Station left no room for pedestrians to move in the wide verandah by encroaching upon it, the corporation constructed an apology of a footpath, about two feet wide, along the market. But unfortunately, the space-hungry shopkeepers usurped that also.

As one moves from Ghanta Ghar towards the railway station, one finds that the little footpath provided along the row of shops, is cramped with the stuff kept there by the shopkeepers. Only a couple of shops in the whole row have spared the thoroughfare. Not out of consideration for the general public, of course but because these shops have nothing to display outside. The extensions by shopkeepers have only encouraged other roadside vendors to occupy vantage points to sell their respective wares. These days, the long footpath is a favourite with roadside sellers of hosiery goods and cheap but fancy watches, sleazy magazines and booklets.

On the other side of the road too, the narrow footpath serves as an open showcase for the bags and attaches of the shopkeepers dealing in these items. As if the footpath is not enough for them, these shopkeepers have in fact extended their businesses upto five feet on the GT Road itself.

In chowk Division Number three, the busiest part of the old city, footpaths with square concrete blocks were laid out and traffic lights installed about three years ago at an enormous cost by the Municipal Corporation. But the encroachment mafia of area, which thrives on illegal roadside businesses, saw it as a threat to its authority and income. To make the long story short, the traffic lights were not made operational and the footpaths , instead of serving their real purpose, fell in the hands of the encroachers.

The shopkeepers having booths in the temporary market along the boundary wall of the Railway Colony too have extended their businesses several feet in excess of the allotted space. Officials of the tehbazari department of the Municipal Corporation have emboldened these shopkeepers by issuing tehbazari receipts to them over the years. Does that make these shopkeepers owners of the land that originally belongs to the Railways?

On the Brown road also, almost every inch of space on footpaths is occupied. In addition to the shopkeepers who have made extensions, there are sellers of hosiery goods who have made the footpath inaccessible to the public.

The condition of footpaths on the Chauri Sarak - the wide road- that starts at the end of the Chaura Bazar and winds up to the Division Number three chowk, is the same as elsewhere in the city. With all those unbridled extensions by shopkeepers and possessions by footpath traders, the road can be easily re-christened as ' Bhiri sarak' . The footpath along the Club Road connecting the Ferozepur Road with the Fountain Chowk has also been taken over by sadhus, babas, and beggars and they have built a temple of sorts there. This footpath also harbours some criminals and drug peddlers.

Along with this the special footpath bazars coming up in various parts of the city have made the matters worse.

Although the Municipal Corporation has launched a campaign to 'widen' the congested city roads by cracking down upon the rehriwallahs, the results obtained so far are not very encouraging. Though the stretch of road between Ghanta Ghar and the Lakkar Bridge, which is also known as the Katchehri Road, presents a somewhat wider look than before as a result of the campaign against rehris, a lot remains to be done in other parts of the old city as well in outer Ludhiana.



Bodies of father, son found
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 8
The bodies of Jhilman Singh, a farmer aged about 50 years, and his son Hardeep Singh (20) of Agwar Dalla were found in a pool of blood at an isolated place, about 200 yards from Bridge Dalla, near Kothe Rahlan. A scooter (PB-25-9113) and a .12 double barrel gun were also lying near the bodies.

According to sources, both of them had left their house on Thursday evening. But when they did not return, Ms Manjeet Kaur, Jhilman's wife, along with two other men, went to trace them. On finding the bodies, she said her husband had shot dead their son, and then committed suicide.

The local police, which reached there today morning, took possession of the gun and scooter, and sent the bodies to the Civil Hospital for post-mortem. Mr Balkar Singh Sandhu, SSP, and Mr Jaspal Mittal, SDM, also visited the site of murder. The police has registered a case under Section 302 of the IPC, and 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act on Manjeet's statement, and started investigations. Jhilman Singh is survived by his wife and a daughter.



Cong leaders put up a united face
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
With elections only three months away, local Congress leaders, who otherwise do not see eye to eye with each other, shared the dais for the first time at a rally organised by Mr Surinder Dawer, president of the District Congress Committee, Ludhiana (Urban).

Senior Congress leader and former External Affairs Minister Raghunandan Lal Bhatia was the chief guest at the rally, which was presided over by Mr Dawer.

For the first time, the local MLA, Mr Rakesh Pandey, and former Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Harnam Dass Johar shared dais with Mr Dawer. The two had earlier refused to recognise Mr Dawer as the DCC president, particularly after the April 11 incident at Ludhiana Railway Station, when the three leaders even exchanged blows.

Mr Pandey and Mr Johar had refused to attend any function organised by Mr Dawer. However, Mr Dawer said, “I wanted that any misunderstandings among us should be cleared as we do not have personal rivalry’’. The rally was organised by Mr Dawer in the area falling in the Assembly segment, represented by Mr Pandey.

Addressing the rally, Mr Bhatia hailed the united show of strength by the party leaders. He exhorted them to shun personal interests and ensure that the Congress returned to power for the welfare of the state. He lashed out at the Akali-BJP government in the state, charging it with corruption. He warned that if this government came to power again it would lead to chaos. He said the government, which was claiming itself to be the guardian of the farmer's interests, had in fact betrayed them.



Enraged Kanshi upsets workers
Our Correspondent

Khanna, December 8
Mr Kanshi Ram, BSP supremo, shocked party workers by declaring a rally organised here today cancelled. He left the venue without delivering the speech.

According to sources, the party organised the rally at the local Dussehra Ground. However, he found the number of participants far less than his expectations. In the meantime, party workers started a cultural programme near the stage. Mr Kanshi Ram asked them to stop, but they continued. Enraged over this, he started abusing leaders for not making proper arrangements. Declaring the rally cancelled, he left the stage.



550 Ludhiana constables promoted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
After a long wait, nearly 550 constables of the Ludhiana police were promoted to the rank of a head constable at a function in the Police Lines here today morning.

With these promotions, Ludhiana has become the first police district in the state to start the exercise held up for several years due to many reasons, including legal cases. The promotions were ordered by a court but the state Police Department was taking some time in implementing it.



Sewa Dal attacks SAD-BJP govt
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 8
In keeping with the programme to mobilise support for the party candidates in the coming Assembly elections, the Congress Sewa Dal organised meetings in Block No 11, Simla Puri and New Shakti Nagar localities in the city. Mr Sushil Parashar, chief organiser, Mr Kulwant Singh Swami, organiser and in charge of Ludhiana district and the district president, Mr Kuldip Singh Kukku, among others, addressed the meeting.

Lambasting the SAD-BJP for pursuing anti-people policies, which had led to frustration and disenchantment among all sections of society, Mr Sushil Parashar remarked that the traders, small shopkeepers, industrialists, as well as the poor people and weaker sections were feeling over burdened due to the imposition of various taxes. He said the octroi abolition was a political stunt, designed at winning back the urban electorate.

Mr Swami announced that the activists of the dal had been directed to carry the message given by the AICC President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, in her “Nine-Point programme” to each nook and corner of the state.

The dal, he added, would impart training to volunteers to man polling booths to check the ruling combine from committing irregularities in the Assembly polls. Mr Kukku said meetings had already been held in each block of the district to propagate the policies of the party and now ward-level meetings would be organised in next phase.



Cong promises clean admn
Our Correspondent

Amloh, December 8
Various welfare schemes launched by the SAD-BJP government in the state like old-age pensions, scholarships to students, travel concession to women above 60 years etc are on the verge of closure as the money meant for these schemes was being diverted towards sangat darshan programmes by the government, said Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, Member Parliament, while addressing the gathering at a conference of Congress in Amloh constituency in Grain Market here on Friday.

Mr Dullo further said all sections of society were fed up with the government and they want change. Speaking on the infighting among the Akali factions, Mr Dullo termed it as struggle for money as the Centre had allotted Rs 300 crore for the celebration of 300th year birth anniversary of the Khalsa.

The MP further said the party will take up the issues of corruption, favouritism and nepotism before the public in the election campaign and cases would be registered against those who had indulged in such nefarious activities, if came to power.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Harbans Lal, MLA, said the Chief Minister had spent government money in the constituency of his son and used government machinery to get him elected but the people refused to elect his son. He hailed the development of Fatehgarh Sahib during the Congress rule.



Woman dies of burn injuries
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, December 8
A 22-year-old woman of Jugiana village succumbed to her injuries at the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, on Friday evening.

Narinder Kaur who had got married to Mr Gurmit Singh, a security guard of a nearby factory, about a year ago, and had a 10-month-old daughter.

According to her neighbours, she was adding fuel to the fire in chulha to boil water in the morning when her clothes caught fire. Hearing her cries, her husband, who was sleeping at that time, got up and tried to save her. But she had suffered serious burn injuries by then. She was taken to the Civil Hospital, where she breathed her last after struggling with life for about 10 hours.



AISSF meeting for elections
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
A meeting of the All-India Sikh Students Federation (Mehta) was held here yesterday under the chairmanship of its president, Mr Gurcharan Singh Grewal. The meeting was attended by all leaders, including the district heads and other office-bearers.

Mr Grewal said the main agenda of the meeting was to identify various issues to be raised during the elections.



MC holds meeting

Khanna, December 8
Estimates of Rs 2 crore were passed unanimously by the local Municipal Council at its first meeting held here yesterday. Of the total amount, Rs 25 lakh was passed for laying of the sewerage line in Krishna Nagar. OC



Migrant woman held with ganja
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 8
Mira, a Bihari woman, a resident of Gujjar Colony on the Rahon road, was arrested last night near the octroi post on Meharban road by a police party headed by Mr Gurchetan Singh, SI, while she was on her way to deliver a consignment of one and a half kilogram of ganja to a customer. A case has been registered at the Jodhewal police station against the accused under Sections 20,61 and 85 of the NDPS Act. Further investigation is on.

Pistol recovered

The Sadar police, while carrying out investigations in a case arrested Raj Kumar and seized a pistol of .315 bore along with a live cartridge. The accused has been booked under Sections 25,54 and 59 of the Arms Act.

House usurped

The Salem Tabri police has registered a case under Sections 452, 448, 506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Davinder Singh, son of Mr Pritam Singh, a resident of Bahadurke village, against Sher Singh. The complainant alleged that on December 6, the accused forced open the lock of his house and forcibly took possession of the same. When he asked them to vacate the house, the accused issued threats to him. Mr Narinder Singh, ASI, is investigating the case.

Gamblers held

On a tip-off that some persons were carrying on satta business, the Jodhewal police arrested Sewa Ram, son of Sardari Lal, a resident of Shimla Puri and Ramesh Kumar, resident of mohalla Nanak Pura and recovered from them Rs. 790. The two were later released on bail.

Cases of fraud

The division number eight police has registered a case under sections 406, 420, 467, 468 471, 504, 506, 323, 382 and 120-B of the IPC on the application of Mr Soyat Thakur, accountant-cum-manager, Baidyanath Ayurvedic Bhawan Ltd, against Parveen Bhatta, son of Kishen Ram Bhatta, Pramilla Bhatta, wife of Mr. S.K.Bhatta, Ram Krishan Bhatta, Ashwani Bhatta, son of Ram Krishen Bhatta, all partners of Messrs S. Bhatta Enterprises and Messrs S. Bhatta Medicos, a resident of Deep Nagar, Civil Lines, Amrik Singh, resident of Joshi Nagar,Haibowal Kalan and Sham Lal, a resident of mohalla Kazian, Phillaur. According to the complainant, the accused had snatched important company records from him on October 18 last and also beat his staff members and threatened them. No arrest has been made so far.

The Sarabha Nagar police has registered a case under Sections 420,467,468 and 471 of the IPC against Harjinder Singh on the complaint of Ms Paramjit Kaur, wife of Mr Kundan Singh, resident of Ranchi Colony, Ludhiana, at sangat darshan programme that the accused had cheated her by selling her a plot at Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar by way of forged documents. No arrest has been made so far.

The Model Town police has registered a case under Sections 420,406,467,468,470 and 471 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Harinder Singh, son of Mr Santokh Singh, resident of Urban Vihar, Dugri, against Parveen Sood and some of his other associates. The complainant alleged that the accused published a receipt book in the name of Urban Vihar Association and had collected money. But the money thus collected was used by another association Urban Vihar Panjabi Bagh Welfare Association, he alleged. No arrest has been made so far.


The Sarabha Nagar police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Bhagwan Singh, a resident of Barewal Awana village, against an unknown driver of scooter (PJW 9330) who hit him yesterday morning and injured him. No arrest has been made so far.



1 dies in mishap
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, December 8
The Dehlon police has booked the driver of a truck, Avtar Singh Barundi, on charges of hitting Anokhi Lal (45) and Karnail Singh. Anokhi Lal died at a private hospital. A case was registered under Sections 304-A, 279, 337, 338 and 427, IPC. The vehicle was impounded. The body was handed over to his family members after post-mortem.

In another incident, Mr Jaswinder Singh of Pohir was hit by a truck. The police has registered a case under Sections 279, 337 and 338, IPC, against the truck driver.


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