Monday, December 17, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Probe indicts 4 cops in dowry case 
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 16
Upholding the allegations levelled by a city resident against the local police of allegedly registering a false dowry case, the IG (Zonal), Mr J.P. Birdi, has in an inquiry into the case, indicted four police officials for procedural lapses into the registration and investigation of the case. The IG has recommended departmental action against the four officials, which include a DSP, an SHO and two ASIs.

The inquiry was ordered by the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, in April this year on the complaint of veteran CPM leader Jagjit Singh Lyalpuri. The complainant had alleged that at the behest of a senior police official in the city, the police was helping one party in the case. The inquiry was mainly directed against the senior police official, but it has found no evidence of his direct interference or help to a particular party in the case.

Confirming the inquiry findings, Mr Birdi told Ludhiana Tribune over the phone that he had sent the inquiry report and the recommendations to the government for necessary action against the indicted officials. The IG said the government action was expected shortly. He said the four police officials have been indicted for procedural lapses besides helping a particular party in the case.

The IG said he was not in a position to give exact details about the involvement of any senior police official as the inquiry report was not with him now. He only said that no direct involvement of the senior police official was found.

The case had stirred up a controversy early this year as the complainant Mr Lyalpuri had levelled serious allegations against the Police Department. With the inquiry report in his favour, his allegations seemed to be based on solid ground.

The inquiry was ordered in April this year by the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. Mr Jagjit Singh Lyalpuri, a city resident had after running from pillar to post in the city police administration for ‘justice’ had approached the CM against the district police. His main allegations was the alleged ignoring of an inquiry conducted on an earlier orders of the Chief Minister in the case. The inquiry conducted by the SP (city-I) Mr S.S. Sandhu, last year had clearly stated that the dowry case registered against the family of Mohinder Singh, a relative of Mr Lyalpuri and a resident of Panchsheel Enclave, Ferozepore road, was not true.

Although the inquiry report was finalised in March, 2000, with the opinion of the DA (Legal) that any further pursuance of the case would only mean wastage of the time of police and the court and that the case should be cancelled, yet the case stood. Surprisingly, when Kuldip Kaur, married to a son of Mohinder Singh, filed a petition in the High Court in April, 2000, that the police was not taking any action on the complaint, the police in its defence did not mention the inquiry report that had gone against the case.

Mr Lyalpuri, in a complaint to the Chief Minister, had alleged that when the court gave a direction to the police for investigating the matter and file a charge sheet against the in-laws, the police proceeded. When he approached the high court and informed it about the inquiry report by the SP, Mr S.S. Sandhu, the court ordered the police to include the inquiry report in the investigation. It also directed the city police to submit the inquiry report in the court of law in which the case was pending.



Law catches up with criminal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 16
The alleged sheltering of an accused by a local BJP leader has not been able to save him from the clutches of law. He has finally been arrested by the local police. The accused was at large for over a month. As many as 16 different cases are pending against him in different police stations of Ludhiana and Jalandhar police districts.

Anil Kumar, alias Lalla, the nephew of an influential BJP leader was, according to police records, mainly responsible for forcible plying of illegal buses, besides being involved in several cases of cheating, fighting, gambling, attempt to murder and even planning to commit a dacoity. Interestingly, the accused was even booked by the Jalandhar police last year for allegedly attempting to commit suicide. The city police had been looking for him for the past more than a month after the Kotwali police booked him on charges of damaging a bus and attempting to murder a person.

The Ludhiana Tribune had in a recent report exposed the criminal-politician nexus involving the accused and the BJP leader, who was allegedly blocking his arrest. However, the police had tightened the noose around him due to which the accused, who until recently used to roam about freely, was on the run.

Police sources said the accused along with some other persons was arrested by a team of the SalemTabri police when they were allegedly trying to commit a dacoity in the area. According to police sources, the accused had been remanded in police custody. Sources further said the case had become a morale booster for the force, which was reeling under acute political interference in the recent past. The police used to shy away from nabbing criminals with political connections. This had contributed to the rise in crime in the city.

The accused had 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 policeman daring to check his activities.

Police sources said the BJP leader who even dared to get the accused an arms 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 leader looked embarrassed 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, allegedly with the help of the BJP leader, he started operating from the railway station. With musclemen coming to his fold and under the patronage of the politician, 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 had begun using force to make passengers alighting from a train to ignore three-wheelers and board their buses and charged at least Rs 30 per passenger at times.



Check red lights’ misuse: residents
Kamal Kishore Shankar

Ludhiana, December 16
Local residents feel that the use of red light atop cars and black films on panes needs close monitoring.

They think the leniency of the government in letting the kith and kin of high profile people to use red lights and black films is one of the shortcomings of the security system which enabled terrorists to attack the Parliament House on December 13.

An academician, Mr Deepak Bhalla, says the daring act of militants in attacking the Parliament House in broad daylight on December 13, raises a question whether it was coincidental or intentional that the Ambassador car used for the purpose, had a red light atop and black film on panes. He says a common man associates these two features with the political elite.

A senior citizen, Mr G.R. Chopra, asks “How come the militants penetrate the so-called impregnable security at the Parliament House on December 13?” The misuse of red light and black films made it easy for the handful of terrorists to attack the most important building of the largest democracy, he says.

An excise and taxation officer, Mr Monish Aggarwal, “Red light, black films are being used as a status symbol as these two things are considered as an indicator that a person is really very important". He says in normal circumstances nobody should be given a permission to use these and the defaulters should be punished severely.

A progressive farmer, Mr Kanwaljeet Singh Sidhu, says every Tom, Dick and Harry should not be allowed to use red light and black films. This is the right time to take a lesson from recent attack on the Parliament House, he says. He is of the view that the police should be instructed and empowered to take strict action against people misusing these two important features.

A business executive, Ms Sophia says, “The government had been a crying horse over, the misuse of red light and black films but no steps have been taken to discourage blatant use of these. 



Rain, weed, seed give farmers the shudders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 16
While yesterday’s rain has been of immense help to agriculture, farmers in some parts of this district are apprehensive of suffering a loss in production. On account of substandard seeds, germination has not been uniform and some plants have started maturing before others. Early maturing means that some plants will grow earlier and shed grains. Farmers are also scared at the continuous emergence of other problems, normally controlled by weedicides and pesticides.

A survey of some villages in the district by Ludhiana Tribune has revealed that the farmers are a worried lot as gulli danda, a dreadful weed that had caused havoc in the state in the early nineties, is raising its head again. Though at an early stage, found in one leaf to eight leaf stage, the farmers are worried as at places the plants of the weed have outnumbered the plants of wheat.

Inquiries have revealed that the farmers have been spraying unrecommended weedicides and the situation is all set to assume serious proportions. Botanically known as Phalaris Minor, the weed competes with the crop for nutrients and being more sturdier outgrows the wheat. It affects the yield of the crop. Scientists recommend that Topic is quite useful in controlling it and warn farmers to use it within recommended doses.

Another problem faced by the farmers is improper germination of seeds. Some farmers have had to purchase seeds this year due to their seeds being spoiled by untimely rains. The seeds purchased by them have not proved to be of good quality. At places only 30 per cent of germination is being witnessed.

Says M. Devinder Singh, a progressive farmer of Guram village, “There are large patches of the land where the seeds have not germinated. Although I sowed them with the same machine fixed at the same distance, this problem has happened with germination.”

Mixing of various varieties of seeds is also causing problems for farmers. In some fields flag leaves have started appearing on certain plants, while the other plants are still immature. The farmers say this will cause problems as half of the plants will mature early, while others will take a longer time.



Young Voice
'Hard work has no alternative'

Aneesh Dhawan
Aneesh Dhawan

“Hard work has no alternative”, believes 32-year-old Mr Aneesh Dhawan, the managing partner of Gitane Exports, which has emerged as one of the leading export houses in Ludhiana in a short span of less than four years. “Even talent and intelligence cannot replace it”, he asserts, while adding these can only supplement it.

Mr Dhawan and his brother Adish had to start afresh after separating from their partners. “We were into exports and had an established brand. Then we had to start afresh and create our own brand, which by the grace of God and with the cooperation of workers and well-wishers we managed to do within a short period”, remarks Mr Dhawan with confidence.

Gitane has been manufacturing jackets, sweat shirts, T shirts and track suits. Besides, having captured a vast domestic market, the products are exported to West Asia. In fact, in India, these are available only at select retail outlets across the country from Kashmir to Kerala and Kolkata to Kutch.

Mr Dhawan does not want to stop here. Despite recession in the economy and slump in the market, Gitane Exports has maintained a consistent growth. The turnover has been increasing every year. “But that is not enough, we have still miles to go”, he concludes.



Flowers bloom in city hearts
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, December 16
Due to the cultural revolution and affluence among the masses, flower culture is fast picking up in the city. Residents have taken to saying it with flowers as they believe that this is the best way to cheer up the mood. This rising sense of aesthetics has benefitted the local flower market.

Mr Avtar Singh, a local floriculturist, feels that this culture has picked up since 1992-93. “In the seventies there used to be just one shop in the city. But due to the refined taste of public, the city has over 50 flower shops”, he says.

Most of the florists in the city get these flowers from Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai and even Thailand (famous for orchids). Over 20 floriculturists from Ludhiana are growing flowers at their farmhouses in Baddowal, Ladowal, Pakhowal and Hambran.

Mr Nishant Jain, a florist, maintains that though it is a lucrative business, the sale entirely depends on the wedding and festive season. He adds that due to the western influence on the younger generation, flower culture has become very common. He expects a good time ahead for florists.

Mr Amarjit, another florist, says flower culture is directly dependent on affluence and business. “This is luxury and not necessity. One can be luxurious only when he has money in the pocket”, he states.



Dashmesh Paidal March from Dec 20
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 16
A mammoth foot march, named as Dashmesh Paidal March, would commence on the night of December 20-21 from Qila Anandgarh at Anandpur Saheb and reach Gurdwara Mehdeana Sahib, according to Baba Zora Singh Lakha, head sewadar of the gurdwara.

Baba Zora Singh told The Tribune here today that the purpose of the march, which would be held under the auspices of Akal Takht and would be led by the Panj Piaras, was to promote communal amity between various religions and the welfare of mankind apart from making aware the wayward younger generation about the rich Sikh heritage which was replete with sacrifices.

Baba Zora Singh further told that the march would stop at all those places where Guru Gobind Singh halted on his historic yatra and would visit all historic gurdwaras situated on the Guru Gobind Singh Marg. The march would cover gurdwaras at Shahi Tibba, Parivar Vichhora, Bhatha Sahib, Chamkaur Sahib, Behlolpur, Machhiwara, Sahnewal, Seeloani, Bassian, Lamme Jatpura, and Manuke before arriving at gurdwara Mehdeana Sahib on January 13.

The Baba appealed to all religious figures, and Sikh personalities, intellectuals and leaders of various Sikh taksals to participate in the march in large numbers and preach the teachings of Guru Gobind Singh to the younger generation so that a definite direction could be given to it.



Vijay Divas celebrated 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 16
A function to celebrate the 30th Vijay Divas was organised at the Shaheed Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon park by the District Sainik Welfare Board today.

Mr S.K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner, presided over the function. Air Marshal Manjit Singh, Commander-in-Chief, Southern Air Command, Mr S.K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner, Air Commander Jayswal, Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Halwara, Col Zora Singh, Brgd Jagdev Singh, Vice-President, District Sainik Welfare Board, Wing Commander M.S. Randhawa, Deputy Director, District Sainik Welfare Board, and Air Commander M.I. Singh laid wreaths before the statue of Shaheed Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon. Two minutes silence was also observed on this occasion.

Paying tributes to the martyrs, Mr S.K. Sandhu said our Army martyrs had made enormous sacrifices.

Air Marshal Manjit Singh spoke about the sacrifice of Shaheed Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon during 1971 war. He was also on duty with him at that time.

On this occasion, the Deputy Commissioner and the Air Marshal honoured Mr Sukhwinder Singh, brother of Shaheed Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon, Mr Tara Singh, father of Shaheed Jatinderjit Singh Mander, and 18 other members of the families of Army martyrs.



Id celebrations today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 16
Id-ul-fitr is being celebrated here tomorrow. Making this announcement here today, the Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid, Ludhiana, Maulana Habib-u-Rehman Sani Ludhianvi said prayers would be offered at the historic mosque in Field Ganj at 10 a.m.

About 1 lakh Muslim devotees offer prayers on every Id at the mosque located in the old city. The area has got a facelift with all shops beautifully decorated. 


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