Tuesday, January 8, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Centre okays Rs 7.5 cr grant for flyover
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 7
The Municipal Corporation received a shot in the arm as the Union Ministry of Industry, Department of Commerce, has approved a grant of Rs 7.5 crore for the ongoing project of the Dhandari flyover. A written communication to this effect was received by the MC here last week.

Ms Nutan Guha Biswas, Director, Department of Commerce in the ministry, has intimated the civic body that the grant was approved at the meeting of the Empowerment Committee of the Central Infrastructure Balance Scheme. The grant would be disbursed on availability of funds under the budgetary provisions and the state government would have to provide proportionate share for the Rs 15-crore project.

Giving this information, the MC Commissioner, Mr R.L. Kalsia, said the expenditure, incurred on the project, would be subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General and further a committee would be constituted by the state government, with a representative of the Department of Commerce, Government of India, to monitor the project.

About the progress of the three flyovers under construction in the city, Mr Kalsia said the work for the Dhandari rail overbridge was more than 25 per cent complete. An amount of Rs 8.5 lakh, being the survey and planning charges for the railway portion, was deposited last month and the NOC from the Railways was being processed. The flyover was expected to be ready by September, 2002.

The Dhuri line flyover, being constructed by Gammon India Ltd, at a tendered cost of Rs 9.51 crore, was also progressing well and almost half of the work was complete. The construction agency had been directed by the MC to ensure completion by end of April.

Mr Kalsia said as far as the project of 2.3-km-long elevated road on the existing Old GT Road from the Jagraon bridge to Chand Cinema was concerned, the preliminary pile testing for load had been completed and results were found to be satisfactory for the implementation of the structural design provided by the consultant — M/s Rail India Technical and Engineering Services (RITES).

The proposed elevated road, to be built at a cost of Rs 33 crore, would be supported on a single pier of 2.5 metre and would have two separate carriage ways of 7.5 metre width each. It would be connected to the MC Multi-Storey Parking Complex as well as the Civil Lines area through the proposed flyover to replace the railway foot bridge (Lakkar Pul) on the Courts road.

The proposal for replacing Lakkar Pul with a flyover appeared to be heading towards seeing the light of the day. The MC had long back deposited Rs 4 crore with the Railways against the cost of construction of the bridge over railway tracks. In addition, Rs 1.05 crore was paid to the PWD Department, the execution agency. The work, Mr Kalsia disclosed, could not commence because the amended alignment of the flyover did not meet the approval of the Railways authorities and they were not prepared to make available additional railway land needed for the revised design.

At a joint meeting of officials of the Railways, the MC, the PWD and the RITES, it was decided that the flyover would have a two-way road width for linking down to the Old G T Road, near the Bank of India building, through railway land and would be integrated with elevated road by one-way road through Bhadaur House at the Mata Rani chowk.



Half-burnt body of LIC officer found
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
Mystery shrouds the recovery of the half-burnt body of an LIC Development Officer, which was found in a badly burnt Maruti car parked at the Hira Singh road in Ghumar Mandi, this morning. A large can, smelling of kerosene, and a match box have been found from the car.

Satpal Saraf

While the police is conducting an investigation into the case under Section 174 of the CrPC and was terming it a case of suicide, family members suspect it to be a murder. The victim, Satpal Saraf, had left his house in Tilak Nagar at around 6 am but was found burning in a car at around 6.25 am. The car was spotted by a few morning walkers and residents, who informed the fire brigade and the police.

The police said though it suspected that the death was a suicide, it could have been an accident as the car caught fire due to a short circuit. The police suspected it as suicide as the man was tense for the past several days due to non-payment of dues by some clients. Family sources said the man had left early in the morning to meet one such defaulter client at Hambran village. The police is yet to ascertain the identity of the defaulter.

The family sources, however, refuse to believe that the man could commit suicide. They said he had not given any such indication in the last few days. Though the family does not suspect anyone, it was still terming as murder. The family doubted the accident theory. The car was not operating on gas. By the recovery of the empty can and the match box, the police believed it was suicide but the non-recovery of any suicide note from the spot or the victim’s house has not strengthened the police claim.

Meanwhile, the post-mortem report has confirmed that the man died due to burns.



Migrant labourer found murdered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
A dairy worker was found brutally murdered in the dairy shop at the milk point, on the Pakhowal road today morning. The worker, identified as Chottu, was found lying in a pool of blood by the dairy owner. The worker was killed sometime in the night in a macabre manner by some unidentified person(s).

He had about 10 stab injuries on various parts of the body, including head. The murderer(s) did not seem to be even content with stabbing him a number of times, as after that they even poured a large quantity of acid on his face and other parts of the body. The murder was first noticed by the dairy owner, Kanwaljeet Singh, who had come to open the shop in the morning.

The owner has told the police that the worker used to sleep at night in the shop itself, which he used to lock from outside. It was not clear whether the lock was broken or opened by someone. The recovery of an empty liquor bottle from the crime scene has added to the mystery as Kanwaljeet Singh reportedly admitted before the police that he had drinks with the deceased last night. Police sources said the financial position of the dairy owner, who is son of an Assistant Commissioner, was not sound. The owner could not remember if he had locked the shop from outside

Police investigation said that some serious personal rivalry of someone with the deceased seems to be the reason behind the murder. The reasons, according to police sources, may vary from financial differences or some relationship with a woman. The police said it has got some clues about the possible suspects but did not want to elaborate at this juncture.

Interestingly, no one knew the exact name and address of the deceased. The family knew him by the name of Chottu as was introduced to them by a contractor in early November. The deceased was working in the dairy since then but the dairy owner had no clue about his exact identity. The contractor was away to some village and could not be traced today by the police.

The police has got no other substantial clue about the murder from the site. The dairy was sealed after a police dog squad and fingerprint experts completed their job. The police said there was no clue about any struggle that could have taken place in the dairy. The post- mortem examination was in process at the Civil Hospital.



Dowry-accused commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
A man accused of causing death of his wife in connection with dowry last year today allegedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance at his residence near Iqbal Gunj chowk some time last night. His body was found on the bed in his room by his family members. A suicide note recovered from the body said “he was committing suicide and no one should be held responsible for his act.”

The deceased, identified as Amit Kumar Dhir, was reportedly under depression for the past several months because of the criminal case he was facing. The police said Amit’s wife Hema was allegedly killed for dowry by her in-laws. Apart from Amit all his other relatives were facing charges for causing the death of the newly-wed woman last year. The case had also hogged media limelight as Hema was allegedly thrown from a second floor in the colony.

The accused had been denying their involvement. The police said Amit and other family members were recently released on bail. Since then Amit was under acute depression and ended his life last night. The police was investigating the case under Section 174 CrPC.



Lobbying on for Ludhiana West seat
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 7
While both the major political parties in the state, ruling SAD and Congress, have not decided their respective candidates for Ludhiana West assembly seat, widespread resentment prevails among the activists of the two parties, who feel that the party leadership might contemplate doing injustice to the deserving contenders.

Many of the aspirants for Congress ticket from this seat, who were camping in Delhi awaiting final decision of the high command, were virtually frustrated over the reports that a senior party leader from Patiala district and a former member of Rajya Sabha might be fielded from Ludhiana West. Strongly opposing nomination of any ‘outsider’, one of the front runners Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, a former Chairman of Housefed told Ludhiana Tribune on telephone from Delhi that the party leadership had been apprised with the discontentment among party activists, who wanted that the choice should fall upon a local candidate with roots in the constituency.

Among other strong claimants to the Congress ticket from this seat were former Punjab Assembly Speaker, Mr Harnam Das Johar, and Ms Gurkanwal Kaur, President of Punjab Mahila Congress and a daughter of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh.

The SAD leadership was also faced with a dilemma over the selection of its candidate from Ludhiana West. In addition to the pressure being mounted by its coalition partner BJP for this seat, the party chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, was facing intense lobbying from Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, acting district president, and Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia, vice-president of the party, on one side and two non-sikh contenders Mr Amrti Lal Aggarwal and Mr Harish Rai Dhanda on the other. The fact that the sitting MLA, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, had changed loyalty to former SGPC President Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, and was sure to shift to Kila Raipur constituency in this district had further heightened the hopes of claimants to SAD nomination.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the district Akali jatha of SAD under the presidentship of Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, held at Gurdwara Model Town Extension vociferously opposed the BJP claim over Ludhiana West seat, which it described as a direct encroachment upon the rights of urban Sikhs. In a resolution adopted at the meeting, the SAD activists supported the candidature of Mr Makkar with the plea that the party should respect the sentiments of workers and nominate a ‘taksali’ Akali from this seat.

Not to be left behind, a large number of social, religious and educational bodies have urged the SAD leadership to field a non-Sikh candidate in the Hindu-dominated constituency of Ludhiana West to ensure the victory for the ruling SAD. They have further pleaded that Mr Amrit Lal Aggarwal, an adviser to the SAD and National President of Bharatiya Ekta Council, who was actively associated with several religious and educational bodies, was the most appropriate choice.

While extending their all out support to ruling SAD-BJP combine in the coming assembly elections, these bodies had called for formal announcement of the candidature of Mr Aggarwal without any further delay so that the ruling combine could have an edge over other opponents by starting the election campaign immediately.



No truck with Badal: SHSAD
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 7
“The reports regarding unity attempts between senior Panthic Morcha leader Gurcharan Singh Tohra and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal are mere rumours, deliberately being spread by ruling SAD-B in order to save its sinking ship.” The Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD), headed by Mr Tohra, would have nothing to do with Mr Badal, who was guilty of damaging the sanctity of Sri Akal Takht.

These observations were made by Thekedar Surjan Singh, octogenarian akali dal leader and working president of the party, while addressing a well attended public meeting here last evening. He said the ruling SAD-B leaders had already seen the threat of defeat in the coming assembly elections, looming large over their head and were desperate to join hands with Mr Tohra. “The bogey of Badal-Tohra unity being raised by the Badal camp might also be aimed at stemming the mass exodus of its ranks to Panthic Morcha.”

He claimed that the massive support of the people of Punjab to Panthic Morcha rallies at Ludhiana and Fatehgarh Sahib had upset the ruling SAD-B leadership and in desperation Badal supporters were trying to mislead the masses by motivated propaganda to create confusion. The Panthic Morcha and BSP would jointly contest all the assembly seats and would score a convincing victory to form the next government, Thekedar added.

Former MP Ms Rajinder Kaur Bulara charged the SAD-BJP government with massive misappropriation of funds and bringing the state of Punjab under a staggering debt burden of Rs 27000 crore. She said rather than taking steps for development and prosperity of the state, Mr Badal wasted most of the time in promoting the political career of his son and other family members. She further rued that development grants, distributed during sangat darshan programmes, were also disbursed on political grounds and areas, represented by legislators of other political parties were discriminated against.

Mr Sukhwinderpal Singh Garcha, secretary general, Sarb Hind Shiromani Youth Akali Dal, district president of youth wing, Mr Sohan Singh Goga, Mr Jagjit Singh Neeta, Mr Balbir Singh Khalsa, Mr Gurcharan Singh Guru and Mr Harjit Singh Khurl also addressed the meeting.



Siksha Abhiyan — still a pending exercise
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, January 7
While the District Education Department was directed to hand over the report on ‘Sarv Siksha Abhiyan’ to the state department by December 10, almost a month has passed and the department has yet to compile the data.

The exercise was held in the district on December 7, 8 and 9 with an aim to know the exact number of children between the age of 6 and 14 years who have never been to school and also the drop-outs. For the purpose, the district was divided into various blocks, including those in Machhiwara, Jagraon, Sahnewal, Khanna, Malaud, Payal, Raikot, Mullanpur and Samrala. Each block was further divided into wards with an in charge to assign duties to government and government-aided school teachers.

Following the exercise, the State Education Department was to make elaborate plans for providing education facilities for such children. Main thrust of the exercise, funded by the Union Government, was to identify urban slumdwellers, children belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, disabled children and girls missing schools. However, with no reports coming out, the whole plan is bound to be delayed.

During the exercise, schools were closed and teachers assigned duties to collect data from their wards by going from door to door. The process was delayed in several wards. Teachers had complained that they were allotted more than 50 houses and each 10-page form required almost half-an-hour to be filled. Some teachers even did not get the questionnaires on time and the data collection was delayed by three days. As a result, by the time the department was to submit the analysed report, the teachers were still collecting data. Besides, there were several complaints that some areas remained untouched during the survey including those at Chhapar.

Following data collection, the teachers were directed to fill up a set of forms from the already collected information. The forms were received late by four days and were distributed among the teachers the next day. Teachers completed those forms and proceeded on winter break. After the break, more forms were handed over to them for further compilation. Over 15 types of forms have been submitted by the department till date and more are likely to be submitted by January 18. Thus, the teachers who have been assigned the duty are engaged in the task for the past one month, neglecting classes, monthly tests and even December examination.

Even officials of the department seem to be fed up with the task. “Every week, we receive a new set of forms. Ward in charges are called for a meeting. Forms are distributed and directions for filling these are issued to them,’’ they said.

While the teachers, who have been assigned the duty, said the process might take another 15 days, Ms Usha Sidhu, District Education Officer (secondary), said since now only two types of forms were to be filled by the teachers, the task would hardly take two more days to be completed.



PNDT Act fails the test, foeticide rampant
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 7
When the Pre-natal Diagnostic Test (PNDT) Act came into force, doctors were given immediate instructions to get themselves registered with the appropriate authority. The vigil on diagnostic centres, especially those with ultrasound equipment, increased. There were attempts to arrest many doctors who were into conducting sex-determination tests, for which, many government and health workers were sent to these clinics in disguise of patients, but it was of no use.

The Act made it compulsory for each doctor to put this sign outside his or her clinic in prescribed colours: “Pre-natal sex determination is not done here; it is a crime”. Doctors were also required to display their certificates in the clinics where everyone could see these. However, these and many other similar conditions have failed to check female foeticide.

The enforcing authority, Dr Rajinder Kaur, Civil Surgeon, was asked to give a report on the number of raids conducted by the department on violators of the PNDT Act. She said her officials had not yet been able to compile the report. “Since, the report was to be submitted before January 10, detailed information will be given later,” she said.

“The only way to stop this social evil is to change the mindset of people. Even well-educated and prosperous persons do not lag behind in patronising sex-determination tests.” said Ms Poonam, a widow with three daughters who are happily married.

Ms Pappo A. Singh, a social activist, said the Act was not being implemented properly in the state, as the declining sex-ratio in Punjab according to the Census had shown. She said the government should take it more seriously. “A paid committee of the NGOs, social activists and health workers should be formed for at least four years for eradicating this social evil. The committee members should be given commission for every case they bring to the notice of the administration. If they are rewarded by the government, I am sure they will do their best to bring culprits to book,” said Ms Pappo.

A health official, on the condition of anonymity, said, “One of the causes the menace going unchecked is that no new staff or wing has been added to the existing health infrastructure. The enforcing authority has to be present in the court on all date of hearing, so, the authorities think twice before filing a case.”

Dr Gursharan Singh, head of the local unit of the Indian Medical Association, said health workers could keep a record of all pregnancies and follow these up to know how many of these had not come to term. There should also be a strict regime for selling the various feticidal agents like Emcredil and Prostglandins,” said Dr Gursharan.

Mr S.K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner, said he would look into the matter and meet the Civil Surgeon and other officials within 10 days to review what steps had been taken, so far, for implementing the PNDT Act in the district.



Need to curb ISI activity
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 7
The ISI of Pakistan is reportedly running a successful and flourishing network of agents in the city, according to sources.

ISI agents are said to be active at the local railway station. The agents are keeping a close tab on the movement of defence trains carrying men, arms and ammunition to forward areas along the LoC. This is obvious in view of the deteriorating India-Pakistan relations and the resultant army build-ups on both sides. Even otherwise too, the Ludhiana Railway station, particularly the movement of defence trains, remains under constant watch of these agents all through the year.

Previous crackdowns by the police on anti-social elements and unauthorised vendors on the railway station yielded good results but only for while. Certainly not good enough to check the ISI men. Unauthorised vendors and others are hauled up but released soon to be back at the railway station the next day.

From among the host of such people who infest the railway station, it is not very difficult to find out the unauthorised persons who remain on one or the other platform for a number of hours every day. Surveillance work of this nature normally requires a team of at least four agents who divide the hours among themselves.

Investigations revealed that the ISI enjoys a well-entrenched network of its agents in the city, in particular, and rest of Punjab as well. The agents, a number of whom are migrants from other states, are persuaded to be more loyal to Pakistan in lieu of money.

The primary work assigned to these agents is to keep a close watch on developments in their respective areas. Like a good, efficient spy, they have to report anything that is unusual and odd and even probe it if asked to do so by the higher command. They are instructed to develop good neighbourly relations and also expand the area of their influence to the best of their ability.

And that is what makes the task of detecting such agents a near impossible one. These agents have become “an accepted and integral part of the scene”.

However, what is being feared most by city residents and security agencies alike is the possible entry of militants into the state and undertake selective killings and foment trouble on the eve of Assembly elections. It is understood that various security agencies are on a full vigil and any possible move by these people to creep into India would be taken note of and thwarted.



Town in need of basic amenities
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, January 7
Even after 54 years of Independence, Ahmedgarh lacks basic amenities. Though its population has crossed the 40,000 mark, the services being provided by various departments leave much to be desired.

The waiting halls of the local railway station, which was established in 1888, are not able to accommodate all passengers. The people, especially women, suffer due to inadequate toilet facilities. There is no authorised rickshaw or taxi stand here.

The condition of streets and drains have worsened over the years, especially by sewerage excavations. Due to lack of planning and coordination between different departments, roads are often dug for laying either telephone cables or power cables.

The sanitation here is also in a poor shape. There has been ban on the appointment of safai karamcharis for long. The municipal committee officials maintain that though the workload has increased manifold over the years, the number of safai karamcharis has decreased.

The main post office, which was established in 1962, is still accommodated in a small rented building that is insufficient even to accommodate the staff. A full-fledged post office is housed in a room of an inn in the grain market. The municipal council maintains a reading room on the first floor of a market where elderly people have difficulty in reaching. There is neither adequate reading material nor proper light and air.

The scene of education is not encouraging. There are only six government schools and people have to send their wards to other neighbouring towns for higher education or have to depend on private schools or academies.

Local leaders and social workers of the town have repeatedly urged the state government to lend an ear to their grievances and provide basic necessities.



Lawyers lead in political participation
Kamal Kishore Shankar

Ludhiana, January 7
The top political leadership of undivided India consisted mainly of lawyers — Motilal Nehru, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Mohammad Ali Jinnah and many others

It seems that the Ludhiana District Bar Association (LDBA) has drawn inspiration from these top names and has been providing political leadership to the state for last many decades. The LDBA has long history of providing elected representatives and ministers to the state assembly as well as to the Parliament. Before Independence, in the first assembly elections held under British rule in 1935, Congress candidate Ghulam Rasool who was elected with heavy margin, was a lawyer.

This was just the begining of the lawyer’s active participation in the politics and after that people from this profession always took part in the democratic process irrespective to their party affiliations. Moreover, a member of Ludhiana District Bar Association (LDBA), Mr Gurnam Singh, made all members of the association proud when he became Chief Minister of Punjab in the late 70’s. He had also served as Justice in the Punjab and Haryana High Court and jumped into the political arena.

The domination of lawyers from the city in state politics continues till date as the present Speaker of Vidhan Sabha, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, as well as the former Speaker, Mr. Harnam Das Johar, are enrolled members of the LDBA. The sitting member from Ludhiana West constituency, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, and a senior leader of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Mr Sharanjeet Singh Dhillon, are also active members of the LDBA.

Since Punjab is in the grip of election fever and the local courts fraternity is also not above this. The District Courts represent an exact replica of the political scenario of the state. There are pulls and pressures as well as manoeuvering by different political groups to secure the tickets for their respective candidates.

Among the present aspirants from the LDBA are its president, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, who is a ticket seeker from SAD as well as Sharanjit Dhillon who apart from being an advocate is also the president of the Youth Akali Wing. Mr Sharnjit Singh Dhillon also want to represent the Ludhiana Rural constituency.

While talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Dhanda said “The lawyers have always remained the backbone of politics in any country. Any revolution in any corner of the world for betterment of society is the outcome of lawyer’s brain and student’s courage.” “The main reason for the too much involvement of lawyers community in the democratic process is their acceptability among the people as they want educated and visionary representatives instead of illiterate and useless leaders, he opined.”



‘Sinner’ finally returns home
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, January 7
The ‘sinner’, who had to abandon his home on January 1 in a hurry to elude the policemen looking for him, has finally returned home after spending three days here and there in the city.

The man had fled from home apprehending arrest by the cops and the subsequent torture following a complaint against him by a ‘prostitute’ whom he and one of his friends had hired for a New Year bash on the night of December 31. The folly of the man was that he had slapped the ‘prostitute’ for threatening to get his son implicated in a police case sometime ago.

After leaving his house on January 1 in socks and buying a new pair of shoes, the man started making inquiries about the nature of complaint made against him by the ‘prostitute’. His inquiries revealed that no written complaint had been lodged against him by anybody. The cops had just arrived to teach him a lesson on the verbal complaint of the ‘prostitute’.

Investigations by Ludhiana Tribune about the close cop-prostitute relationship in general revealed that there were a number of prostitutes in the city who were running an organised racket of fleecing wealthy clients with the active help of cops. In Shimla Puri, which is one of the known red-light areas of the city, one prostitute roams posh markets of the city and hooks boys belonging to affluent families. She asks these hooked boys to arrive at her house with a register in hand and pose as meter readers or electricians so as not to arouse the suspicion of neighbours.

The clients are taken in by the ruse and they do the same. But as soon as they get into the act, the place is raided by cops. The clients are deprived of whatever cash they have and the spoils are divided according to the agreement already arrived at. Sources also said this kind of cop-prostitute relation was not a new thing.



Fire kills two, one serious
Our Correspondent

Amloh, January 7
Two persons were killed and another got seriously injured when a fire broke out in a hut at Kapoorgarh village near Amloh on Sunday night.

According to a statement of Mewa Singh, Sarpanch of the village, one of the men, called Kalu Ram, used to lived in a hut outside the village. Two other victims of the fire, Shamsher Singh ‘Mangat’ (37) and Parkash Singh (38), both residents of Mudhrian village near Amloh, were staying with him at night.

The three men were sleeping in the hut, leaving the firewood burning, which caused the fire to break out.

The persons on night patrol heard their shrieks and alerted the Sarpanch, who reached there with some persons to bring the fire under control.

The three men with burn injuries were rushed to the civil hospital of Amloh on Monday morning, where Parkash Singh and Shamsher Singh were declared brought dead and Kalu Ram was referred to Rajindera Hospital of Patiala where his condition is said to be serious.

The police has registered a case under Section 174 of the CrPC and handed over the bodies after postmortem to relatives of the victims.



Battle cry against bonded labour
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 7
The district administration has decided to act tough on perpetrators of bonded labour. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, asked the Assistant Labour Commissioners and the other members of the District Vigilance Committee on Bonded Labour here today to be vigilant to detect cases of bonded labour.

At the quarterly meeting of the committee, Mr Sandhu said the Subdivisional Vigilance Committees would also be activated. He asked the Assistant Labor Commissioner concerned to liaison with the SDMs and arrange meetings with them within a week.

The DC urged the people to get in touch with the administration if they found any bonded labourer anywhere in the district.

He said, in every such case, there would be inquiry by senior officials.

He asked the officials to keep in touch with the brick-kiln labour unions and other such bodies for information that could lead to the liberation of any bonded labourer.

Those who attended the meeting included Mr A.K. Sinha, ADC (D), Mr S.R. Kaler, ADC (G), and Mr Manjit Singh Khatra, a former Principal of the GHG Khalsa College of Gurusar Sudhar.



Awaiting good Samaritans
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 7
Sixtythree-year-old K.D. Garg, who has a kidney problem, is also suffering from a heart disease, due to which he cannot undergo kidney transplantation. Doctors at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here are of the view that Mr Garg requires regular dialysis. He has also been advised regular medicines, injections and tests, but the family cannot bear the expenses of his treatment.

A resident of New Chander Nagar, Mr Garg cannot undergo two types of dialysis. In the first type of dialysis, which has to be done thrice a week, the cost is around Rs 1.87 lakh per year. The second type of dialysis costs between Rs 16,000 and Rs 32,000 per month. The approximate annual cost of this treatment is about Rs 3.85 lakh. It is impossible for his sons to bear the treatment expenses, says Mr Garg.

Mr Garg has approached many social organisations, clubs and philanthropists for financial aid. He has been given Rs 14,000 by the District Red Cross, Rs 5,000 by the Ludhiana District Bar Association and Rs 2,000 by the Sacha Sauda Ashram, Sirsa. On his request, Mr I.K. Gujral has provided him with Rs 30,000 from the Prime Minister’s Fund.

Mr Garg has to spend over Rs 11,000 a month on treatment. The money saved during his service has already been spent. He cannot continue with his typist’s job in front of the office of an advocate in the Old Courts Complex here due to poor health. He has appealed to good Samaritans and social organisations to come to his aid.



The disappearing act
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
A woman, first, reported to the police that she was robbed of cash and jewellery at Gill Chowk here today, then, vanished from the spot when the police arrived.

A gang of women thieves caused a scare in the Gill Road area today after it snatched a purse containing Rs 5,000 and some jewellery from a woman pedestrian.

The woman informed the police control room over telephone, at which, wireless messages were flashed across the city to look for the gang of women. However, when the police reached the place, the complainant had vanished. A number of shopkeepers and others present in the area refused to give any statement to the police. The police was not sure of the spot of the crime.



Sikh body’s protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
The Senior Sikh Budheejeevee Council, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, has condemned the act of a woman writer of getting herself photographed with Guru Granth Sahib without covering her head as required under the ‘Sikh maryada’.

In a press note issued here yesterday, Mr G.S. Bhatia and Mr B.S. Sachdeva, chief coordinator and general secretary of the council, respectively, said they appreciated the efforts of the woman writer in preparing a text of the Sikh holy book in Devnagari, but were peeved to note that she posed for a photograph with the holy book without covering her head properly.



Residents’ directory
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar (East) Welfare Society has undertaken a project of preparing a residents’ directory 2002.

According to a press note, this directory will contain details of the resident’s telephone numbers and addresses, general information about Ludhiana, medical tips about general diseases and information about public utility services.


Four booked in dowry case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 7
The Haibowal police yesterday booked four persons on the charge of demanding dowry under Sections 406,498-A, 457, 323 and 34 of the IPC on the complaint of Ms Mamata, daughter of Mr Hari Ram, a resident of Patel Nagar, Haibowal Kalan.

The woman alleged that her husband Kamal Soni, father-in-law Ram Raj Soni, brother-in-law Deepak Soni and sister-in-law Sonia Soni, all residents of Basti Jodhewal, subjected her to mental and physical harassment for bringing ‘insufficient’ dowry though at the time of marriage her parents had given enough dowry according to their capacity.

Beaten up
The Division No 3 police has registered a case under Sections 452, 341, 506,148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Surjit Singh, son of Mr Binder Singh, a resident of Iqbal Ganj, against Harinder Pal Singh, Daljit Singh, Amrit Pal Singh, Harjit Singh, Tejwinder Singh, Amarjit Singh and Gurwinder Singh, all shopkeepers of Akal Market, Chaura Bazar. The complainant alleged that the accused came to his house and beat him up. The accused also threatened him of dire consequences. No arrest has been made so far.

One dies in accident
The Haibowal police has registered a case under Sections 279, 304-A, 337, 338 and 427 of the IPC against the driver of a vehicle that had hit Manjit Singh while he was going on a scooter along with his wife. Manjit Singh died on the spot. The complaint has been lodged by the father of the deceased, Mr Joginder Singh, a resident of Durga Puri, Haibowal.

Assault case
The Sadar police has registered a case under Sections 323, 324, 341,506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Sandeep Singh, son of Mr Tarsem Singh Jat , a resident of Gill village, against Amrik Singh and Gopi, sons of Pala Singh, Jaswinder Singh, son of Dalbir Singh, residents of the same village. According to complainant, the accused beat him up and injured him. No arrest has been made so far.

Held for negligent driving
The Jodhewal police on Sunday arrested Tapinder Singh Saini, son of Mr Jaswant Singh, a resident of New Behrampur village in Hoshiarpur district near Shiv Puri chowk, on the charge of negligent and rash driving. The accused, who was driving a Tata Sumo on his way from Jalandhar to the city did not stop when signalled to do so by a constable at a naka. Instead, he tried to speed past the naka but was nabbed after a brief chase. The accused has been booked under Section 279 of the IPC.

However, the Jodhewal police is on the lookout for the driver of another Tata Sumo (PB-08X-8248) who managed to speed past the police naka at Shiv Puri chowk in spite of a signal to stop there. A case under Section 279 of the IPC has been registered.

One held
Ramji, son of Mr. Jagdish Parsad, and Ram Parveen, both migrants from UP, were arrested for selling porno books in Shimla Puri area. The accused have been booked under Sections 292 and 293 of the IPC.

Gas cylinders recovered
The Focal Point police on Sunday nabbed Rajesh Kumar alias Rimpy, son of Mr Ruldu Ram, a resident of Shimla Puri, and recovered five LPG cylinders from his possession. The accused, who had stolen these cylinders from different places, has been booked under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC.

Gamblers held
The Division No 7 police has booked, Inderjit Singh , son of Mr Harbans Singh, a resident of MIG colony, Jamalpur under Sections 13-A, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act. An amount of Rs 690 was seized from him.

Chaman Lal, son of Mr Bhim Sain, was arrested from near the Samrala chowk on the charge of gambling on Sunday night. An amount of Rs 425 was seized from him. The accused has been booked under the Gambling Act.

Tipsy drivers held
The Division No 7 police has registered a case under Sections 280 and 128 of the Motor Vehicle Act against Kuldeep Singh, son of Mr Sucha Singh , a resident of Gobind Colony, Shanker, son of Mr Kishan Lal, a resident of Sita Colony, Old Delhi, Deepak Kumar, son of Mr Ashok Kumar, a resident of Sirhind. The accused were driving a scooter in an inebriated condition. An ASI signalled them to stop but the accused tried to run away. They were arrested after a brief chase.

Stolen car recovered
Mr Waryam Singh, SI, CIA headquarters, arrested two persons while they were driving a stolen car (PB-10-AN 7237) and recovered a .32 bore revolver along with nine cartridges from their possession here yesterday. The car had been stolen from Nakodar about one and a half month ago.

The arrested persons are Lal Bahadur, a resident of Sarafan mohalla, Rahon in Nawanshahr, district, now living in the local Guru Arjan Dev Nagar, and Baldev Fauji, a resident of a village in Sangrur district. On the basis of the complaint made by Mr Waryam Singh, a case has been registered against the accused under Sections 411, 420, 467, 468, 411 and 34 of the IPC and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act.

The Economic Offences Wing of the city police has registered a case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Deepak Kumar, a resident of Bhaga Lalari Chowk, Purana Bazar, against Pushap Lata, Kuldeep Kumar, Ajay Kumar, Vijay Kumar, Reeta Abrol, and Neelam Ahuja. The complainant had alleged that the accused transferred some corporation records in his name by committing a forgery. No arrest has been made so far.

The Division No. four police yesterday registered a case of beating and intimidation under Sections 341, 506, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement Mr Rajesh Katial, a resident of Tilak Nagar, against Bhalu, Rakesh and Baji who according to the complainant came to his house and beat him up. The accused also threatened him of dire consequences before fleeing the spot. No arrest has been made so far.

Car damaged
The Sarabha Nagar police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 427 of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Pankaj Mahajan, a resident of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, against an unknown driver of a tractor (PB K-3127) who hit the complainant’s car while he was on his way to home yesterday. As a result of the mishap, his car was badly damaged. The accused fled the spot. No arrest has been made so far.

Two booked
The Sadar police has registered a case under Sections 452, 323, 324 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Gurmit Kaur, a resident of Harnam Pura, against Davinder Singh and Kuljinder Singh. Ms Kaur stated in her complaint that the accused came to her house and beat her and her husband. Mr Paramjit Singh, ASI, is investigating but no arrest has been made so far.

Liquor seized
Mr Waryam Singh, SI, CIA staff, arrested a migrant Amish Kumar, a resident of a slum near Jamalpur, yesterday and recovered about five bottles of illicit liquor from his possession.

In another case, Mr Baldev Singh, ASI, Sadar police, yesterday arrested Jagvir Singh, a resident of Khanpur village, and recovered eight bottles of illicit liquor from his possession. Both have been booked under the Excise Act.

The Sherpur police has registered a case under Sections 379, 427, 506, 149 and 120-B of the IPC on the statement of Mr Vijay Mittal, against Ramesh Pal Mishra, Pawan Passi and one other person. Mr Mittal stated in his complaint that the accused stole the signboard of his shop and threatened him. No arrest has been made so far.

Knives seized
The city police held two persons yesterday while they were carrying kamanidar knives on their persons.

In the first incident, Mr Gurvir Singh, ASI, police Division No. two, arrested Mohammad Hamid, a resident of Malerkotla, and recovered a kamanidar knife from his possession.

In the other case, Mr Narinder Singh, HC, police Division No. three, arrested one migrant, Jai Parkash, a resident of Islam Ganj, last night.

Both have been booked under the Arms Act.


One injured
Armed miscreants reportedly broke into the house of Mr Jalwant Singh of Jhabewal village at the dead of the night and injured one of the family.

Mr Jalwant Singh said, “Three unidentified youths broke into my house on Sunday night and seriously injured my son Balraj Singh with iron rods. They had not come with the motive of stealing.”

Some family dispute is said to be the reason of attack. Balraj Singh has been admitted to CMC Hospital and his condition is reported to be serious. Meanwhile, a case has been registered at Sahnewal police station under Sections 307 and 34 of the IPC.

Killed in accident
A man was reportedly killed when he was hit by an unidentified vehicle.

The deceased has been identified as Tarlochan Singh of Natt village who worked in a post office at Sahnewal. A case under Sections 304-A and 279 of the IPC has been registered.



Two arrested on theft charge
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 7
The police has arrested two persons on charge of trespassing on the court of Mr Jagjit Singh Chauhan, Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, yesterday. Within 12 hours of the incident, not only the suspects were nabbed but the stolen amount of Rs 7,700 was also recovered.

The arrested suspects have been identified as Bittoo, a resident of Azad Nagar, and Balwinder Singh, a resident of the Bharat Nagar area. They have been booked under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC.

Mr H.S.Sidhu, SSP, said during preliminary questioning, Bittoo, who was caught on the spot by security staff and the police naka party stationed nearby, confessed that he and Balwinder had conspired to commit the crime at the latter’s house, who is an auto-rickshaw driver and who had earlier visited the same court to deposit fine in connection with traffic challans. Balwinder had an idea that usually a huge amount was always there in the almirah of the summary clerk of the court.

Driven by their criminal designs, both, Balwinder and Bittoo, entered the staff room of the court at around midnight by breaking open a glass pane of the back door and opened up the almirah with the help of a large-sized screw driver. The entire amount totalling Rs 7,700, which was lying in the almirah, was taken out. As they were about to decamp with the money, an alarm was raised by security staff. However, Balwinder, who had allegedly taken out the money, managed to give a slip to the police, while Bittoo was caught red-handed by the police from the spot.

Subsequently, Balwinder was also apprehended by the police near the Jalandhar bye-pass as he was trying to escape from the city by boarding a bus.



SBI opens special cash counter for NRIs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
An exclusive NRI cash counter was inaugurated by the Executive Magistrate, Mr Daljeet Singh Cheena, at the Phillaur branch of the State Bank of India to provide fast and courteous services to non-resident Indians here.

On this occasion Mr Bharat Bhushan, Assistant General Manager, said the branch was catering to the needs of NRIs from Phillaur and its surrounding areas and this exclusive cash counter had been opened on the basis of suggestions received from the NRIs during an NRI meeting held at the branch last week.

The fully computerised branch is already serving its customers with fast modes of communication like e-mail, datanet, electronic money transfer facilities. On this occasion Mr A.N. Sharmas, Chief Manager of the bank, told the audience about the bank’s home loan and other loan schemes.



Ritu Kumar’s wardrobe comes to city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 7
A three-day exhibition-cum-sale of the collection of renowned designer Ritu Kumar was inaugurated here today.

“Ritu Kumar is one of India’s foremost designers, who has developed a style of her own, reflecting the ancient traditions of Indian craftsmanship in a modern style. Her understanding of ancient designs and the innovative use of traditional crafts has created a new classicism,” said Ms Arvinder Swani, who handles Ritu Kumar’s outlet at Chandigarh.

The collection includes wide range of traditional Indian clothes, including sarees, salwar-kameez, lachas, short suits and lehangas. In this range, she has taken hand-block printing as the base with intricate embroidery on it.

In her Indo-Western collection, Ritu has successfully bridged the gap between traditional and modern. Ms Poonam Bindra, one of the organisers, said this particular collection of salwar-kameez was specially meant for Punjabis. The range included casuals, semi-formals, formals and bridal wear which suited every pocket, he said.

The exhibition also displays leather accessories, like handbags, evening bags, bags embroidered with zardosi and thread, leather embossed and hand painted bags. Collection of scarves is another attraction of the exhibition.


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