Monday, January 28, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Cong, BJP supporters clash over I-cards
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
Confusion among voters over photo identity cards and a sense of urgency to get themselves photographed led to a brawl between BJP and Congress supporters at the Kidwai Nagar area of the Ludhiana East Assembly segment yesterday. The police has to intervene to diffuse situation as the activists of the two parties were accusing each other of interference into the process.

The voters are apprehensive that due to non-availability of the cards they may not be allowed to cast their vote. The Congress candidate, Mr Surinder Dawer, alleged that the sitting MLA, Mr Satpal Gosain, who is also the Deputy Speaker of the Vidhan Sabha, was misusing his power and discouraging officials to get the cards of Congress workers made, a charge Mr Gosain refused.

The issue took almost a violent turn when the supporters of the Congress candidate alleged that the election officials were making the cards of the BJP supporters only. However, the election officials denied the charge. Within no time, Mr Dawer along with the youth Congress leader, Mr Subash Rajasthani, reached on the spot. Mr Dawer tried to pacify his supporters. However, he alleged that the BJP candidate had been feeling panicky over his eroding support base and was now misusing his official position to prevent the preparation of the cards of the Congress supporters.

Mr Rajasthani alleged that most of the people belonged to the weaker sections of society and were traditional supporters of the Congress. He claimed that Mr Gosain directed the election officials not to get the cards prepared.

On the other hand, a BJP supporter claimed that they had organised a camp where in they were preparing the voter slips of the people mentioning their name, voter list number, polling booth and the ward. “We were providing these slips to everyone to facilitate the preparation of the identity cards and the Congress supporters did not like it”, he claimed.

The Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Election Officer, Mr S.K. Sandhu, said there was only a confusion among the voters that they might not get their cards on time. According to him, out of 19,24, 994 voters in the district, over 12 lakh voters have been provided with photo identity cards. He said the yesterday’s incident was caused due to the heavy rush. He pointed out since people had now felt the urgency they were coming for preparation of the cards. He assured that all cards would be made in time and there was no need to panic.


Wakf land cleared of encroachment
Rajasthani Samaj says it will approach court
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
Upholding the claims of the local Wakf Board regarding its ownership of a large plot opposite Civil Hospital in the Field Gunj, the Division No 2 police, in agreement with the District Administration removed hundreds of members of the Rajasthani Samaj who had forcibly occupied the plot two days ago claiming that they were the rightful owner of it.

Though leaders of the Rajasthani Samaj have vacated the plot, yet they continue to stake claim over it. Mr Subash Rajasthani said the plot was theirs but in order to end the tension over it, they had decided to co-operate with the Administration. He said the samaj would lay claim through the court and was also requesting the Wakf Board to sell the plot to the samaj if it so desired. He said the samaj people were upset with the board, as it had given the plot on lease to some businessman at very low rates.

Two buses loaded with cops landed at the plot last evening at about 7 p.m. and chased away the alleged encroachers to ease the tension in the area. The police also destroyed a temple like structure constructed on the site by members of the Rajasthani Samaj. Some people alleged that they suffered minor injuries in the mild lathi charge by the police. However, the police denies that it had resorted to any lathi charge, even of a mild nature. A police official concerned said the mob dispersed peacefully after the police warned them, if they did not clear the place.

While leaders of the samaj alleged that they had been wronged in the action, the police said they had to resort to such an action as the claims of the Rajasthani Samaj over the plot had been found to be unsatisfactory.

The samaj had been given assurance by the former chief ministers only and they had no written orders in this regard.

A large number of cops were guarding the plot throughout the day today as well fearing another attempt.

The plot has been in controversy for the past few days over claims and counter claims regarding its ownership by the Wakf Board and Rajasthani Samaj. It had taken political overtones as a number of political leaders campaigning in the constituency joined in taking opposite sides.

The area remained tension-ridden due to the heavy presence of the members of the Rajasthani Samaj and Wakf officials as well as the policemen.


Taxi driver admits to murder
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
Mystery shrouding the monthold disappearance of Kuldeep Sharma, an official with Modgill Hosiery Mill in Basti Jodhewal, has been cleared with the arrest of the suspect, Satish Kumar, a taxi driver, who had taken the deceased in his taxi to Himachal Pradesh and strangulated him to death on the return journey in a forest near Phillaur last month.

The murder was allegedly committed by the taxi driver after robbing the deceased of Rs 8,000 and some gold jewellery. The deceased had hired the taxi from Ludhiana to Dadhra village in Himachal Pradesh. The accused had told the victim’s family that he had dropped the deceased at the Jalandhar bypass chowk.

Police sources said the suspect wilted under persistent pressure of the Basti Jodhewal police after denying the crime for several days. He guided the police to the crime site near Phillaur from where the body, now turned into a skeleton, was exhumed on Friday evening. Satish Kumar said he had destroyed the clothes of the deceased.

Described as a cunning criminal by the police, Satish maticulously planned the crime, leaving no evidence for the police. But bad luck and his violent nature gave him away. He was caught by the Phillaur police early last week for attempting to murder his wife by burning her alive. As he was the prime suspect in the murder case of the hosiery worker, the Basti Jodhewal police brought him here where he confessed to the crime.

Satish, in his bid to befool the police, took the police for a ride for several days, taking cops to different places in search of the body. But finally led them to the correct place realising there was no escape.

The police has sent the body for a medical examination to the Amritsar Government College. Samples collected from the skeleton are being sent for DNA examination. The police sources said the taxi driver had faced charges in two murder cases earlier also but was acquitted for want of evidence.

Sources said the man’s arrest has brought a sigh of relief to residents of a couple of colonies in Phillaur town. He was a terror in the area and no one dared to speak against him.


PSEB penalised for deficient services
Kamal Kishore Shankar
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 27
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) to pay Rs 2,000 as compensation on account of deficiency in services to Mr Sikandar Singh, a resident of Rattowal. The forum has also directed the PSEB to restore the electricity connection within seven days and to pay Rs 500 as cost of litigation.

The consumer had complained that the electric connection of his 5 HP motor for running a tubewell (no. 448) was illegally disconnected on April 24, 2001.

The consumer said he had been making payment of bills regularly. In 1997, the state government announced free power to farmers and as such, the electricity meter was removed, since then, the connection was running without a meter.

The consumer alleged that the supply of electricity was disconnected without stating any reason for doing so. He said all principles of natural justice and rules were violated. The consumer had suffered loss in agricultural production due to the disconnection.

The PSEB pleaded that the complainant was using electricity for domestic purposes. As such, he was misusing the facility for agriculture.

The forum observed that according to the checking report, it was not clear who was misusing the tubewell connection for domestic purposes. Moreover, it did not bear the signatures of either the consumer or his representative, which was necessary.

The forum stated that the report was not made properly by the concerned J.E. and as per rules as such there was clear deficiency in services on the part of the PSEB.



How efficient can cops be!
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
While the district police authorities have directed SHOs to take prompt action on complaints made by the public, a woman has had a different experience.

Ms Ranjit Kaur, a resident of Model Town, had complained to the police that her purse, containing Rs 2000, gold jewellery and some important documents, had been snatched by some persons near the Model Town Extension area. She claimed that the police had refused to lodge an FIR, saying there was no need as the purse would be located.

When the woman, accompanied by some activists of an anti-corruption society, stressed on the FIR, officials of the Model Town police station directed her to file an affidavit about the loss, but to exclude the loss of cash and jewellery. The bewildered woman agreed to do so as for her the documents in the lost purse were more important. For getting duplicate copies of these, she needed an FIR.

The woman was in for another shock the next day. She went to the police station with the affidavit. A munshi gave her the lost purse, which contained all documents, but no money. When the woman inquired about the money and the jewellery, the cops told her to forget about those. The cops told her someone had deposited the purse with the police and they did not know where the money and jewellery were. She demanded an inquiry into the incident.

The SP, Mr G. S. Sandhu, when contacted, said the police had found the purse from a place near which the woman had complained it had been lost. He said he had asked the Model Town police officials about the incident.


ADGP influencing voters: Garcha
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
As electioneering has intensified, allegations and counter allegations have already started pouring in. Recently, the Minister for Technical Education, Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, who is contesting as the candidate of the ruling SAD-BJP alliance from the Kila Raipur Assembly segment, has alleged that a senior police officer is influencing the police and voters to support the Congress.

Speaking at a meeting of various political parties and election observers, convened by Mr S.K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Election Officer, Mr Garcha alleged that Mr G.S. Aujla, Additional Director-General of Police, was staying in a five-star hotel in Ludhiana and ‘campaigning for the Congress candidate’ and also influencing the voters through the local SSP.

On the other hand, Bibi Khangura has demanded a CBI inquiry into the death of a political activist after consuming spurious liquor allegedly supplied by a candidate at Brundi village in the Kila Raipur Assembly segment yesterday. She also demanded deployment of additional security forces in this segment to prevent the flow of illicit liquor into the constituency.

In a direct attack on Mr Garcha, she alleged that he was misusing his official position and influencing the local police and the administration for his own support. She also accused him of supplying the illicit liquor in the constituency, which, she alleged, had already cost a precious life.

In another development, the ruling Akali-BJP candidate from Ludhiana West accused supporters of his rival within the party, Mr Amarjeet Singh Bhatia, of having attacked his vehicle in Ludhiana last evening. Mr Makkar alleged that a group of youth, who included one of the nephews of Mr Bhatia, stopped his vehicle and damaged it. However, he said, he had not complained to the police and he was waiting for the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to come and apprise him of the situation.



Finance Minister unfurls flag
Tribune Reporters

NCC cadets salute the chief guest at the Republic Day function in Ludhiana on Saturday.

Ludhiana, January 27
Republic Day was celebrated in Ludhiana as well as other parts of the district with full zeal and enthusiasm.

The Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, unfurled the Tricolour and took the salute of the various marching contingent. Several tableaux made by various government departments and other organisations added colour to the function.

The minister distributed tricycles among 10 physically challenged persons and 15 sewing machines among women. He also honoured 18 college principals for the making the 31st National Games a success.

Among others who present on the occasion were the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, the Municipal Commissioner, Mr R.L. Kalsia, the District and Sessions Judge, Mr V.B. Handa, and the SSP, Mr H.S. Sidhu.

The subdivision-level function was held at Khanna. The Minister for Printing and Stationery hoisted the flag. Similarly, the function was also celebrated at Ahmedgarh, Amloh, Samrala, Jagraon, Payal and Raikot where the respective SDMs unfurled the flag and presided over the celebrations.

A passing-out parade of trainees of the Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, was held on its premises. The Director, PPA, Mr D.R. Bhatti, took the salute. The parade was commanded by Ms Baljinder Kaur.

While addressing the function, Mr Bhatti said, “All police personnel should take the oath that they would discharge their duties honestly until death”. He also gave away prizes to outstanding trainees.

Among others who present on the occasion were Inspector-General of Police Chander Shekhar, Deputy Director, PPA, Parveen Sinha, Deputy Director Anita Punj, Joint Director A.J.S. Sidhu and Deputy Director Kamal Kumar.

FATEHGARH SAHIB: The 53rd Republic Day was celebrated with enthusiasm at Fatehgarh Sahib today. Mr Vikas Partap, Deputy Commissioner, unfurled the National Flag at Mata Gujri College stadium. He took the salute from contingents of Punjab Police, Home Guards and NCC cadets of schools and colleges and inspected the parade also.

Addressing the gathering he said the real tribute to the martyrs would be to follow their footsteps to maintain peace and harmony in the country.

An impressive PT show and colourful cultural programme was organised by schoolchildren on this occasion. Two tricycles and 29 sewing machines were distributed among handicapped and widows by the District-Red Cross.

JAGRAON: Republic Day was celebrated at Government Senior Secondary School here. Mr Jaspal Mittal, SDM, unfurled the National Flag. After the police parade, NCC cadets and students from different schools presented various items. Kargil martyrs’ kin were honoured.

Sacred Heart School, Government Senior Secondary School, Spring Dew School, Sanmati Vimal Jain Senior Secondary School also participated.


Parties on R-Day: Why not?
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, January 27
Hotels and clubs celebrate functions like the Valentine’s Day, and Halloween by arranging dance parties, where noted singers or famous film celebrities are invited. The dress code is set. A D.J. of repute is arranged for. The city is abuzz with excitement as young teeny-hoppers are busy pondering over which dress to wear and where to buy from. Some even make a quick dash to Delhi to purchase a new slinky dress. But there are no such parties to celebrate our Republic Day or Independence Day. Are these not appropriate days to for a mega party?

Ms Gurjit Mann, a professor, says, “Of course, we should have celebrations on Republic Day. There is celebration in the state but it is at the political level alone. Similarly, in educational institutes, students are more or less coerced into participating. Clubs and hotels should organise pre-Republic Day parties. Why not? Why should not the people celebrate such a joyous occasion?”

Mr Jatinder Singh, a storywriter, says the permission to hoist the National Flag is the right step as it will take people to take pride in the flag. Just look at Americans. After the September 11 disaster, American flags could be seen everywhere. Similarly, parties can be arranged and parts of patriotic movies can be screened at the beginning to set the right mood. Later, the guests can enjoy a dance party with a few patriotic songs thrown in.

Ms Kanchi Dhillon, a post graduate student, feels that the theme for the party can be the dress code based on the colours of the flag. She says, “The four colours will provide quite a variety. Instead of being dressed in western clothes, let the younger generation dress up in ethnic clothes. Such parties will encourage the feelings of patriotism.”

There are others who feel that the celebration at the political level is fine and there is no need to have parties. Ms Ranju Jain, a housewife, says she is not happy at the hype and hoopla that Valentine’s Day has created in the city. “We should keep our culture and tradition in mind. I do not like the way boys think the day gives them a licence to have unlimited freedom to make advances to girls,” she asserts.


6 in fray from Samrala
Our Correspondent

Khamano, January 27
There are six contestants for the Samrala constituency. They are Mr Amrik Singh Dhillon of the Congress, Mr Kirpal Singh Khirnian of the SAD, Mr Gurtejpal Singh of the Panthic Morcha, Ms Kulwant Kaur of the BSP, Mr Kamaljit Puri of the Shiv Sena and Mr Harbans Lal as Independent.

In this segment there are 1,19,533 voters out of which 63,044 are men and 56,509 women voters. Many times the Akali Dal has won this seat, but between 1992 and 2001 this seat was won by the Congress candidates namely Mr Karam Singh Gill and present MLA Amrik Singh Dhillon.

This time Mr Gurtejpal Singh will challenge Mr Khirnian. Another candidate who is new for the public is Ms Kulwant Kaur. She will grab some Congress votes. In the fray a Sanghol- based Shiv Sena candidate Kamaljit Puri is contesting, who will affect Hindu votes and harm to the SAD-BJP candidate. All candidates are distributing liquor.


SPCA holds camp for animals
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 27
The Society for Prevention Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) organised a free camp for the benefit of sick animals at Dandi Swami Chowk this morning. Veterinary doctors treated animals and distributed the medicines free of cost among the owners. Dr Jaswant Singh advised the owners to vaccinate their dogs against deadly diseases like distemper, paro, and rabies.

The President, Mr Deepak Gupta, informed the gathering that the society had arranged 10 free camps for the diseased animals. The society hoped to arouse compassion in the hearts of people. The society would construct a hospital for the welfare of animals, in the land gifted by the Punjab Government at Mattewara. Stray dogs would be treated and sterilised and operating theatres would be constructed in the hospital.



Suicide case: Twentyeight-year-old Avtar Singh, who had been living in a rented room in Bhattian Colony, reportedly committed suicide by hanging himself with a rope in his room on Friday. He did not leave behind any suicide note. The police registered the event as a case of suicide.

Fraud alleged: The police registered a case under sections 409, 420, 465, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC on the statement of Mr Paramjit Singh Bhatia, a resident of Guru Ram Dass Complex, against Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Basti Sheikh, Jalandhar, Raj , Sanjiv Kumar, Bobby and Tinku, all sons of Mr Dinesh Kumar, Indra Rani and Manju Rani, residents of Maleri Gali Gate, Jalandhar. According to the complainant, one of the accused, Rakesh Kumar, had been an employee in his firm. The accused, in collaboration with the other accused, had prepared forged sales documents of goods belonging to the firm. The proceeds from the sales had not been deposited with the firm and the accused had duped the firm of lakhs.

Assault cases: The police registered a case under sections 452, 323, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Sunil Bagga, a resident of DLF Colony, Patiala, against Monica Sachdeva, Sunil Sachdeva , Jatin Sachdeva and two others. The complainant had alleged that the accused had forced their way into his house and had beaten him up. The accused had also threatened him of dire consequences before going away.

The police registered a case under Sections 323, 342, 506 and 34 of the IPC on the complaint of Ms Kamlesh Rani, a resident of Sat Kartar Nagar, Tibba Road, against Anju and Tina, their brother Surjit Singh and five other unknown persons. The complainant had alleged on Friday that the accused had arrived at her house, beaten her up and threatened her.

Forcible possession: The police registered a case under Sections 448, 452 and 380 of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Narinder Singh, a resident of Kot Alamgir, against Pritpal Singh Pali, his wife Balwinder Kaur, son Rocky, and in-laws. The complainant had alleged that the accused had taken forcible possession of a shop rented by him near Civil Hospital. The accused had also taken away a television and other goods belonging to him.

Two arrested: The police arrested Harjinder Singh, a resident of Patna village in Jalandhar district, on the charge of driving his Tata-407 on the highway to Jalandhar in a rash manner. The erring driver was booked under Section 279 of the IPC. The police arrested Sohan Singh, a resident of Kola village, on the charge of parking his truck in the middle of the road and blocking traffic.


Liquor vend looted
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 27
The young men broke into a liquor vend at Dholan village, 5 km from here, and asked the employees, Nanak Chand and Anil Kumar, to hand over cash. They forcibly took out the cash from the cash box.


SBP nets 20,000 cr business
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, January 27
The State Bank of Patiala has crossed a total business level of Rs 20,000 crore. This was stated by Mr A.K. Purwar, Managing-Director, State Bank of Patiala, at a customer interaction programme organised for industrialists at Gobindgarh Club yesterday.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Purwar said, “I do not want that the SBP be branded as a mass banking or class banking institution. What we will be doing is to provide quality and reliable service to clients and we are for high-class quality service and not for class banking.”

He said the bank had made noteworthy progress in computerisation and mechanisation. Another step towards improvement was setting up of a single-window system. 


School singing contest
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 27
Parampara — the people for music, a non-profit, non-political and non-religious organisation is organising an inter-school patriotic songs competition on January 30 at 10 a.m. at Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar, in connection with the Republic Day celebrations. The competition is being organised with a view to encourage talented children to instill the spirit of patriotism among the younger generations.

Each team comprising five to 7 members will be required to sing a solo and a group song.

Sr Helima, B.S. Principal, Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, will preside over the function and Mr M.K. Gupta of M/s Motoo Ram Prem Chand and Sons will be the chief guests and give away the prizes to the winners.

Teams from the following schools of the district will participate in this event — Kundan Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Civil Lines; DAV Public School, B.R.S. Nagar; BCM Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar; R.S. Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar; Saraswati Modern School, Civil Lines; Guru Nanak International all Public School, Model Town; BVM Senior Secondary School, Udham Singh Nagar; and Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar.

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