Monday, January 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rs 12,000 and all is covered up
Killer of four-year-old girl goes scotfree
Jupinderjit Singh and Mahesh Sharma

Paddi (Ludhiana), January 13
An alleged payment of Rs 12,000 to the aggrieved family has reportedly resulted in the cover-up of the death of a 4-year-old girl in an accident the Sahnewal-Doraha road near this village two days ago.

The girl died on the spot instantly after being hit and dragged for some feet by a vehicle, which was allegedly part of the convoy of Technical Education Minister Jagdish Singh Garcha. The accident took place at about 1.45 p.m. and the girl was buried by 3 p.m. the same day.

The police, under pressure of the minister, neither registered any case, nor took any action under Section 174 of the CrPC. The Sahnewal, Doraha and Sadar police had been denying that any such incident took place and claiming that the accident might have taken place outside their area.

The news of accident was widely covered in the media, but what happened afterwards remained hidden. The affected family broke its silence today while talking to Ludhiana Tribune from their thatched hut near the village.

The aggrieved family, reeling under the shock, confided to Ludhiana Tribune today that the SAD minister and his supporters had put Rs 12,000 in their hands when they were wailing over the girl’s body minutes after her death. Mr Mann Singh Garcha, brother of the minister, denied that Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha was anyway near the accident site.

Mr Mann Singh Garcha admitted that the girl had died in the accident, but by claimed that the car was being driven by Jora Singh, a youth from their village, and the minister was not in the car. He said Jora Singh and the family then had a compromise as no one could be held responsible for the accident. Mr Garcha added he had no information about the nature of the compromise.

Mr Hare Ram Parkash and Ms Sita Devi, the girl’s parents could not control crying when a Ludhiana Tribune team located them near the village, about 25 km from here. The girl’s mother even suffered fits several times. They told that on that day, Sumitra was playing near the road and everything seemed normal when a lodu shriek and screeching of tyres broke the silence. Before she could compehend what had happened, a large crowd gathered on the spot and brought the body of her daughter.

She said the car which hit her daughter was one of the several such vehicles travelling in a convoy. ‘‘A vehicle occupied by some policemen (pilot vehicle) had passed and a big car following it had struck my girl,’’ the woman said. The parents said they later came to know that it was the convoy of Jagdish Singh Garcha. Contrary to the denial of the minister’s brother, the grief-stricken parents said the minister was travelling in the car.

They said after the accident, the minister came to them and said his workers would handle everything.

One of the workers, Jaswant Singh, put wads of currency notes in their hands for their silence. The worker remained in their house till the evening, when the girl was buried. He left immediately afterwards, expressing condolences to the family.

‘‘It all happened so quickly that we did not know how to react,’’ they said. Appearing completely confused about their future plans, the parents said they were unhappy at the sequence of events, but did not know how to take on powerful persons.



Woman, paramour booked for murder
Tribune News Service

Suman Singh
Suman Singh 

Ludhiana, January 13
A man was allegedly poisoned to death by his relative, her paramour and two accomplices in Dr Ambedkar Nagar here last afternoon. Bickerings had been going on in the family for the past three days.

The victim, Suman Singh was allegedly kidnapped by the accused on Thursday last. He was dumped in front of his residence in the colony by the accused last morning. He was rushed to the DMC as the semi-unconscious man told his relatives that he had been poisoned.

According to the FIR, four persons — Sunita, Faggu, his father and his brother — had been booked for the alleged kidnapping and murder of Suman Singh. All of them are absconding. Faggu is a Class-IV employee with the local Civil Hospital.

The victim was the maternal grand uncle of Sunita. She and her alleged lover, the husband of her sister, along with other family members, had quarrelled with the family of Suman Singh. They had called in the police, which had allegedly beaten up a son-in-law of the deceased.

The police had then effected a compromise between the parties. On Thursday evening, Suman Singh disappeared mysteriously. The family complained to the police, but not much was done. According to Mr Arvind, a relative of the deceased, at about 4 a.m. yesterday, some persons left Suman Singh in front of their house. The victim, who was in terrible pain, named the accused and said they forced him to drink acid and poison. He was shifted to a hospital, but died late in the afternoon. The post-mortem examination conducted today confirmed death due to poisoning.



Words alone won’t do, Uma tells Pakistan
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 13
The Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, Ms Uma Bharti, today asked the Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf to implement his promise to hand over to India those terrorists, who, at present had been provided asylum in Pakistan, to prove that he really wanted peace in the subcontinent.

Talking to mediapersons at Bharatiya Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School here, the fire brand BJP sanyasin observed that if the past experience was any indication, the Pakistani President was not a trustworthy person. ‘‘He had betrayed the initiative for peace at the time of Lahore bus journey undertaken by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee by launching attack in Kargil.’’

While the Pak Government had apparently bowed down to global diplomatic pressure, its words could not be taken at face value, she added. The Indian Government had also made it clear that there was no room for any bargain or compromise as far as its war to root out terrorism was concerned.

The Pakistan Government, Ms Bharti said, had been told in no uncertain terms that terrorists, included in the list submitted by India, should be immediately handed over to India, hostilities in Jammu and Kashmir and Pak occupied Kashmir must end if a war between two countries had to be averted.

Ms Bharti, who was in a wheel chair due to a minor foot injury, while replying to a specific question on possibilities of an armed conflict between the two countries, observed, ‘‘War is not a solution to any problem and we are making our best efforts to avoid such a situation.’’

Earlier, in her presidential address at the state-level Swami Vivekanand Jayanti prize distribution function, organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in the school auditorium, the minister maintained that the Prime Minister was determined to root out terrorism. Referring to the terrorists attack on WTC Twin Towers in New York, she said what the USA had experienced now, India was undergoing for the past than two decades.

Ms Bharti said let Pakistan not underestimate India’s strength to take the devil of terrorism head on. ‘‘What we successfully achieved in Punjab, we can do the same in Jammu and Kashmir.’’ She minced no words to indicate that if all other alternatives failed and it came to that, direct strike at Pakistan could not be ruled out.

In her word of advice to youth and students, she gave a clarion call to them to become good human beings and good Indians.



‘Politicians lure voters by unfair means’
Kamal Kishore Shankar

Ludhiana, January 13
Local residents feel that politicians, to get elected by people, to become their representatives, try to lure them by distributing liquor, poppy husk, opium and other drugs among them to get their votes instead of getting these on merit. The residents assert that in the largest democracy of the world, without a fair and free election, the very purpose of setting up a democratic system in the country, will not be served . They think that our executives must strictly implement the model code of conduct issued by Elections Commission. They feel no lenient view should be taken against any politician.

A senior scientist in Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Dr Karnail Singh, says, ‘‘For politicians, irrespective of their affiliations with any political parties, getting votes on merit, is no easy. They find it easy to spend some bucks on liquor and other drugs which ultimately to an extent serve their purpose.’’ Dr Singh says that they do so because our enforcement agencies are not working properly to implement the code of conduct to contest elections. Moreover the agencies remain very liberal with them at the time of elections.

Dr Singh is of the view that the conduct of fair election is the responsibility of administrative officers who should take immediate action against any defaulter politician and his candidature must be cancelled without giving a single thought.

An entrepreneur, Mr Kulwinder Singh, says,‘ ‘Despite framing strict rules by Election Commission, the expenditure by every politician exceeds the set limits in every election. Everybody knows from where these extra expenses incurred on distributing liquor and drugs come from.’’ Moreover during the elections, the politicians indulge in paper wastage by using a large quantity of pamphlets, posters and banners for their election campaign thereby affecting environment, he further says.

Mr Singh says that as Ludhiana is very congested especially the old city, the political parties have been taking out their rallies for campaigning despite prohibition by the administration, and as a result the commuters have to suffer. He is of the view that the bureaucrats should implement all rules to ensure peaceful and worthy elections in the state.

Another scientist of PAU, Dr Vipin Sharma, says that there is a common practice that the political parties do not mind adopting wrong means to win elections, even by distributing liquors and drugs. He says that these ‘beasts’ who are hungry for power, can go to any limit.

Dr Sharma is of the view that whenever strict steps have not been taken against them, their attitude of befooling voters have not changed. He says that strict and effective implementation of rules at the time of election without even sparing member of ruling party, is the only solution to the problem.

The president of a non-government organisation, Baba Palla Seva Society, Mr Jagroop Singh Bal, says, ‘‘During the elections, the environment is affected badly as the politicians use a lot of paper for the material to be used for canvassing. Those who call themselves true leaders of the people, are not ready to accept the fact that for making paper, every year, we lose a large number of trees.’’

Mr Bal says that politician use every tactic to win the election and when they feel that a successful election campaign is not making a difference, they use drugs and money to change the opinion of the people. He opines that a fair and free election is the base of our democracy without which we cannot expect that good representatives would be elected who will work for the development of the country.

The Additional Deputy Commissioner (General), Mr S.R. Kaler, says that we will strictly implement model code of conduct to ensure peaceful, fair and free Assembly elections in the district. He says that any defaulter found violating any rules will be penalised and nobody will be allowed to take liberty with this necessary and vital process of the democratic set-up in the district.



Never too late for gift of sight
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 13
The family of Jangir Singh, who died recently at the age of 80, after a brief illness, has set an example before others by donating his eyes to the Eye Bank, Mansuran.

The family, belonging to Kalsan village, near Raikot, was motivated towards this noble cause by Mr Ishar Singh Nathowal, a social worker, who actively campaigns for eye donation in the area.

On getting a call from the family, the Eye Bank team went to their home to collect the eyes.

While one cornea was transplanted on a patient from Hoshiarpur district, the other beneficiary belonged to Ludhiana. Both the operations were conducted, free of cost, by Dr Ramesh, medical director, of the bank.

He thanked the family of the donor and Mr Nathowal for giving the ‘gift of sight’.

He appealed to other villagers to come forward for this cause. It may be mentioned here that this was the first-ever eye donation case from Kalsan.

A few days ago, the family of Dharam Singh, belonging to Bhanohar village, had donated his eyes to the Eye Bank after his sudden death. They were persuaded to do so by Mr Balwinder Singh Bhattal. Incidentally, a team of the bank was present in the village at the ‘antim bhog’ of another eye donor, Kailashwati, when Dharam Singh died.

One of his corneas were transplanted on a blind person from Amritsar district, and the second one was transplanted to a patient from Gurdaspur.

Before this, the eyes of Amar Singh Wadhera, a resident of Navan Mohalla, were also successfully transplanted on two needy persons.

According to Dr Ramesh, other family-members of Amar Wadhera had also filled the eye-donation forms.



Improvement Trust plea dismissed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 13
The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr G.S. Saran, has dismissed an appeal of the Improvement Trust, Ludhiana, against an order passed by Additional Civil Judge, Mr A.K. Mehta, on November 22, 2000, in which the appellant was restrained from changing the use of land reserved for a community centre at the Model Town Extension.

The plaintiffs, Mr J.S. Chugh and Mr Kuldeep Singh, are residents of Model Town Extension. Both are lawyers. They had alleged in the plaint filed in the court of Additional Civil Judge, Mr A.K. Mehta, on October 25, 2000, that a scheme for Model Town Extension Part-II was framed for which land was acquired and space especially reserved for open space, parks, markets, a gurdwara, a temple and a community centre .

According to the complainants, a notification No 2445 had been issued on May 21, 1975, that the use to which the remaining area or any part of it may be put, shall be shown in the plan layout and no land or any part of the building constructed on it shall be used for any other purpose inconsistent with the scheme.

It was alleged by both advocates that the Improvement Trust, without following the law and rules, had changed the land reserved for the community centre into a commercial place. Moreover, it did not seek the permission of the state government. Interestingly, an advertisement was published in ‘The Tribune’ on October 23, 2000, announcing auction of the land reserved for the community centre in Model Town Extension Part-II as a shop-cum-offices complex, they added. When these two residents contacted the trust officials, they failed to give any satisfactory reply. They then decided to file a suit.

While the Improvement Trust pleaded that it could change the plan of the land under the framed rules and laws, the trust further stated that proper procedure had been followed before altering the plan.

The court observed: “No notice was given to the residents who had purchased the plots keeping in view the amenities attached to the plots. Moreover, the scheme was finally transferred to the Municipal Corporation (MC), Ludhiana, in 1994. Therefore, once the scheme has been transferred to the MC, it is doubtful whether after that even with the approval of state government, the scheme can be altered.” 



Cong workers kickstart poll campaign
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 13
Barring the BJP, which is yet to name its candidate for the Ludhiana North Assembly seat, the Congress, SAD and the Panthic Morcha have released the names of their respective nominees for the Assembly segments in the district. The BJP has fielded the sitting legislator and Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, Mr Sat Pal Gosain, from Ludhiana East.

With uncertainty on selection of candidates over, the electioneering was expected to pick up.

Today with the arrival of Congress nominees — the DCC president, Mr Surinder Dawar, from Ludhiana East and a former Speaker Mr Harnam Das Johar, from Ludhiana West, to the city from Delhi, their supporters virtually kick-started their election campaign. From Ludhiana North, the Congress has renominated the sitting MLA, Mr Rakesh Pandey.

As things stand now, the three urban seats of Ludhiana East and Ludhiana North will have Congress and BJP candidates, pitched against each other while in Ludhiana West, the electoral battle will be fought between Mr Harnam Das Johar of the Congress and Mr Avtar Singh Makkar of the SAD.

Unlike the city, most of the rural and semi-urban seats are being contested by the Panthic Morcha as well, where, depending upon the standing and support of the Panthic Morcha, the contests are expected to be triangular.

On Ludhiana Rural seat, a former minister, Mr Malkiat Singh Beermi (Congress), a former MP and recently replaced president of SAD Youth Wing, Mr Amrik Singh Aliwal, along with the sitting Akali Dal legislator, Mr Hira Singh Gabria (Panthic Morcha), are in the fray.

In an identical situation, the sitting MLA, Mr Bikramjit Singh Khalsa, now with the Panthic Morcha, will face Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha (Congress) and Mr Darshan Singh Shivalik, a city councillor (SAD).

While a clearer picture will emerge in next couple of days, sources, both in the SAD and Congress, disclose that quite a few party rebels, peeved at being ignored by their respective party leadership, are flexing muscles to make their intentions known in days to come.

In addition to devise ways and means to match their respective opponents in the electoral battle, the official party candidates will have to contend with the party rebels, which in all probability would prove to be a daunting task.



Lohri celebrated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 13
The Dugri Urban Estate Residents’ Welfare Society — Phase II celebrated Lohri with traditional zeal and fervour here last night. Over 5,000 residents of the estate participated. Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, Mayor, and Mr R.L. Kalsia, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, were the distinguished guests.

The function was inaugurated by the Mayor, while a bonfire was lit by the Commissioner. A colourful cultural programme was presented by the residents of the estate, as professional artistes of repute regaled the audience with songs, gidda, bhangra, ghazals and qawwalis. Mr B.R. Kaushal, president of the Welfare Society, welcomed the chief guests.



Vehicle falls into canal, 1 killed
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 13
A driver of a vehicle (PB-12-4813), Sardar Singh, was killed when the tempo, carrying buffaloes, fell into the Sirhind canal. Four persons, Kultaran Singh Mohi, Karan Singh, Jagir Singh and Darshan Singh, were injured. 



Four booked in dowry case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 13
The police has booked four persons under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC on the complaint of two sisters who have alleged that they are being harassed by their in-laws for dowry.

The sisters, Ms Suman and Ms Usha, residents of Sector 32, stated in their complaint that they were married into the same family on December 12, 1999. While Ms Suman was married to Ravi Kumar, Ms Usha was married to Neeta Singh. Since then, the sisters were being subjected to harassment for bringing more dowry. The accused, are Ravi Kumar, A. Singh, Balbir Singh and Shanti Devi, residents of Janata Colony in Chandigarh.

Case registered

The police registered a case under Sections 307 and 34 of the IPC on the complaint of Ms Saroj Devi, a resident of Ambedkar Nagar, against Jai Singh, Raghuvir Singh and Pappu, residents of Jawahar Nagar Camp. Ms Saroj Devi had reported that the accused gave her some sedatives on Friday with the intention of killing her. A hunt is on for the accused, who are reported to be absconding.

Cases of fraud

The police registered a case of fraud under Sections 419, 420, 406 and 120-B of the IPC against Vinod Kumar Gupta, a property dealer, Prince Gupta, a resident of Haqiqat Nagar, Haibowal, Pansy Masih, Karam Singh, alias Kaku, and Mohinder Singh ‘Lambardar’ on the complaint of Mr Harmesh Kumar Soni, a resident of Durga Puri, Haibowal. Mr Soni alleged in his complaint that the accused had prepared forged documents of his plot and had sold it. An investigation is on.

The police also registered a case under Section 420 of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Arun Kumar, a resident of Madhopuri, against Anil Sood of the same locality. The complainant alleged that he had given a loan of Rs 50,000 to the accused, but the cheque given to him by the accused to pay back the loan was dishonoured by the bank.

Man beaten up

The police registered a case under Sections 279, 322, 341, 427, 379 and 34 of the IPC on the basis of a complaint lodged by Mr Vijay Kumar, a resident of PAU campus, against Satnam Singh and three others. The complainant alleged that on Friday, the accused smashed their car into his car, beat him up and fled.

Knife seized

The police booked Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Jeewan Nagar, under the Arms Act. A ‘kamanidar’ knife was recovered from his possession on Friday during checking.



Increasing need to outsource products, services: expert 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January13
In the current Indian scenario of intense competition, there is an increasing need for outsourcing products and services. The CII-UNIDO Indian sub-contracting and partnership exchange (SPX) programme helps to promote efficient buyer-seller contracts and assist vendors and sellers in meeting needs of the buyer in competitive manner, said Mr R C Bhargava, Senior Consultant-UNIDO and Coordinator, SPX.

He said that there were at present 59 exchanges operating in 30 countries. The SPX methodology involved improving marketing capabilities by collecting, displaying, continuously updating data and enabling buyers to access and display requirements on web sites, organising buyer-seller meets, assisting in match-making and formulating contracts for supply and organising training programmes for buyers and sellers.

The SPX programme helped to upgrade vendor capacity, trained vendors to understand competition, provided market access to upgrade manufacturing technology, provided means to install quality systems, enabled IT to be used to improve productivity and quality and help in accessing investment resources.

Referring to the Maruti’s experience in vendor development, Mr Bhargava said whereas in 1983, not a single component of Maruti vehicles could be bought in India, later the successful vendor development policy of the company resulted in 90 per cent indigenisation within next five years.

As a result of this highly successful buyer-seller partnership, component prices today were much lower here than in Japan and a large percentage of components was being exported to the tough European market. Thus outsourcing was essential for competing and resulted in mutual benefit. Mr J R Singal, Vice-Chairman, CII, Punjab State Council, said that there was a great scope for the development of the small sector industries , particularly in Punjab, through outsourcing.


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