Monday, March 18, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Minister hints at snap civic poll
Lays foundation stone of flyover
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 17
The new Congress government in Punjab seemed all set to go in for early civic elections to the four municipal corporations and municipal councils in the state in order to cash in on the favourable mandate given by the electorate during the recently held Assembly polls. This was indicated by the Minister for Local Government, Punjab, Choudhry Jagjit Singh while addressing a news conference at Circuit House here today. The minister was in town to lay the foundation stone of a Rs 14-crore flyover, which would replace the legendary ‘Lakkar Pul’ between old city localities and Civil Lines area. While addressing a public function later to mark the foundation stone laying ceremony of the flyover, the minister said, “the Congress government is in place and we shall soon hand over the civic governance to the Congress functionaries.”

He said directions were already issued for taking up the revision of electoral rolls for the civic elections. Replying to a question, he made it clear that at least for the time being no delimitation of wards would take place as it was a time-consuming process. On rotation of wards reserved for women and other categories, he said the government would soon take a decision on this issue.

Choudhry Jagjit Singh held a firm opinion that the chairmen of improvement trusts and for that matter all others, occupying political posts in Punjab, should quit on their own after the change in government. While disclosing that the government was examining the legal aspect for removal of political appointees, he also issued a veiled threat that the government had received large number of complaints of corruption and other irregularities, committed by heads of improvement trusts and such other bodies and probes would be ordered to bring the guilty to the book.

Commenting on the financial condition of the local bodies after the abolition of octroi, the minister maintained that the government was committed to make up the loss of revenue from octroi income and in no case the development works would be allowed to suffer on account of paucity of funds.

Later addressing the public function organised by the municipal corporation at the site of proposed flyover, Choudhry Jagjit Singh asserted that the government would extend full assistance to civic bodies for providing better civic amenities and infrastructural facilities to the urban population. “A massive slum development programme is also among our priorities and we shall ensure that the slum-dwellers and other neglected sections of society are also provided basic amenities at par with other sections of the people,” he added.

The Minister of State for Printing and Stationery, Mr Rakesh Pandey, the City Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, the MC Commissioner, Mr R.L. Kalsia, Mr Harnam Das Johar and Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, both Congress legislators, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, President, District Congress Committee, Mr Devinder Singh Babbu, President, Punjab Youth Congress, senior MC officials and other Congress functionaries were present at the function.

Reiterating the commitment to provide a clean and honest governance, the minister said the government was initiating steps to curb corruption, streamline distribution of funds for development works, both in rural and urban areas, and to decentralise powers in local bodies.

He said the government was seized of the seriousness of situation on account of a ban on recruitment of safai workers for well over a decade now, which was affecting the work of sanitation in towns and cities besides posing problems for the safai workers. “The government would soon set up a committee in consultation with the representatives of safai workers all over the state to resolve the issue.”

Choudhry Jagjit Singh also inaugurated two squash courts, constructed in Rakh Bagh at a cost of Rs 42 lakh by the MC.



Congress functionaries hijack function

The district administration and the civic officials today had to undergo a bitter experience as they suffered embarrassment because the local Congress functionaries virtually hijacked the function organised by the municipal corporation to mark the foundation stone laying ceremony.

The over enthusiastic party functionaries, of all hues and colours, occupied the centre stage throughout the stay of the minister in the city.

In the committee room in Circuit House, the venue for the press conference of the minister, the Congress functionaries kept occupying the chairs meant for mediapersons and the MC Commissioner, Mr R.L. Kalsia, had to repeatedly request the councillors and other political persons to leave and wait in the hall downstairs.

Similarly, at the public function later, there was pandemonium to occupy the chairs on the stage as Choudhry Jagjit Singh entered the pandal and the officials had to repeatedly request the Congress functionaries to leave the chairs reserved for legislators and other VIPs.



Notorious gang of criminals busted
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
They allegedly cheated, looted and were involved in brutal murders during the past two years. They kept on committing one crime after another and succeeded in hoodwinking the police. But now they have finally run out of luck and are cooling their heels in the custody of the CIA wing-I of the local police.

This notorious gang of four persons, including two men and women, was produced before mediapersons here today by the CIA police, which claimed that the gang headed by a 34-year-old woman, Deepti Arora, alias Kamlesh Rani, alias Jyoti, had committed the gory murder of advocate Dalbir Singh Turna. The advocate was killed with the motive of looting thousands of rupees , which he was carrying in his briefcase at the time.

The other gang members have been identified as Randhir Singh, alleged paramour of Deepti, another woman Rani and her husband Jogi. Interestingly, Deepti was once married to a Congress leader but the couple were divorced and Rani was a police informer.

According to DSP( Detective) Manjit Singh Dhesi and Inspector Mukhwinder Singh, in charge, CIA wing-I, with the arrest of the gang members, the murder case of a Ghumar Mandi-based mobile phone trader Raj Kumar Katyar last year had also been solved. The gang members have confessed to first robbing the trader of Rs 2.5 lakh and then poisoning him to death. The members had then dumped the body in Doraha Canal.

Besides the accused had allegedly looted an uncle of the main accused Deepti in Chandigarh of lakhs of rupees last year. They had also cheated a Patiala-based Retired Colonel Gurdeep Singh Brar and duped him of precious jewellery.

The accused will now face charges in all cases simultaneously. The police officials said they suspect their involvement in several other cases as well.

Narrating the sequence of events of the brutal murder of the advocate, Inspector Mukhwinder Singh said Deepti was the main accused and was married to several men. At one time she was living near the house of the advocate in Dugri Urban Estate here. The woman got in touch with the advocate over some legal matter and their meetings grew.

He revealed that the advocate had the habit of keeping thousands of rupees in his briefcase, and somehow the woman got a wind of it. On March 8, she called the advocate to her residence in Block-J of Sarabha Nagar, where other gang-members were also present and gave him tea in which some poison was mixed.

After the advocate collapsed, the accused dumped him in a car and threw him in some agricultural fields near Jagraon. On the way, the gang members stabbed the advocate a number of times as he had not died after consuming the poison. The accused even forcibly put more poison in his mouth after stabbing him. They then threw his wallet near a girls college on the Jhansi Road and parked the advocate’s car outside the district courts. These acts were done to mislead the police.

Mr Mukhwinder Singh said the accused were little disappointed at the recovery of Rs 36,000 from the briefcase of the advocate as they had hoped he was carrying lost of money. The police has recovered about Rs 26,000 from the accused besides some gold jewellery stolen from the advocate’s body.

The police has also recovered the car used in the crime, a long knife and a revolver from the accused’s possession. The police got suspicious of the involvement of Deepti when the family members of the advocate revealed she was a client of the deceased.

Revealing the background of the accused, the Inspector said that Deepti had been living in different cities and was presently running a business in electronics from a shop, Star Enterprises, in the city . The co-accused Randhir Singh 8 years younger to her, belonged to a good family but was thrown out of house because of his association with the woman. A couple Rani and her husband Jogi were their friends. They run a beauty parlour in Jammu and colony and were allegedly involved in all criminal acts planned by Deepti.

The four started with minor cheating and looting of people but slowly graduated to major crimes. They had a set modus operandi. They used to lure a man into their company and at opportune time administered him some sedative mixed in tea. They only looted the Patiala-based Colonel and an uncle of Deepti in Chandigarh who had refused to give her money but allegedly murdered the mobile trader Raj Kumar Katyar.

The trader used to collect money from different shopkeepers in Ghumar Mandi and bring mobile phone sets from New Delhi. In September last year, he had Rs 2.5 lakh with him and had gone to meet Deepti as she also used to place orders. The trader went missing after that and his body was recovered from a place near Jagraon. The CIA police said the police had at that time questioned the accused women but she was let off for want of any evidence. It was during the accuseds’ interrogation that they confessed to the murder.



265 students awarded degrees
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 17
“Higher education in India is under great deal of pressure due to inadequate funds from the government. Moreover, due to rapid advancement in technology, there is need not only to upgrade courses but also to introduce new courses with state-of-the-art facilities for new laboratories,” said Mr Paramjit Singh, Registrar, Panjab University, while addressing students of the Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women (Gujarkhan Campus) on the occasion of the annual convocation of the college.

He said students are facing a stiff competition for jobs and even for self-employment. The need of the hour is increased cooperation between industry and academic institutions so that funds could be made available. The industry should guide academic institutions about the correct requirement of the former so that new courses pertaining to the need of the industry could be introduced by universities. The object of higher education is to enhance analytical thinking, reasoning and observation in a student, he added.

The Principal, Mrs Anup Kaur Bansal, conferred degrees on 150 graduates, 55 commerce graduates, 15 BA (Hons), English and Punjabi graduates, 20 graduates and 25 postgraduate students of English.

The General Proficiency Awards were given to following students by the chief guest :

Naini Singh, BA III, head girl of the college; Maneet Kaur, BA III, deputy head girl of the college; Cherry, B.Com. III, deputy head Girl of the college; Harbir Kaur, BA II, best singer of the college; Manpreet Kaur, 10+2, Best folk singer of the college; Gagandeep Kaur, BA III, best artist of the college; Geetanjali, B.Com. III , Best speaker of the college; Ravneet Kaur, MA I (Eng.), head girl of the hostel; Amandeep Dhillon, BA III, Best Hostler; Shikha, BA II, spceial prize for fine arts.


‘Mini Olympics’ from March 22
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, March 17
The Panchayati Raj Sports Club will organise ‘Mini Olympics’ under the leadership of Mr Tejinder Singh Sandhu, president, from March 22 to 24 at the sports ground, Sahnewal.

The Transport Minister, Mr Tejparkash Singh, and Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi, local MLA, will be present on the occasion.

Three Olympians will be honoured for their contribution towards sports. Mr Rashpal Singh, DSP, Patiala, and Mr Paramjit Singh, SHO, Sarabha Nagar, shall be honoured for their services rendered to the club.

Bullock cart races and badminton matches shall be organised on March 22, while hockey, volleyball, badminton, athletics, kabaddi and bullock cart races will be held on March 23 and 24.

This was stated by club president, Mr Tejinder Singh Sandhu, and Mr Jagdeep Singh Honey, senior vice-president of the club.



Tohra hobnobbed with Cong: SAD leader
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 17
The All-India Youth Wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) has charged the former President of the SGPC and founder of the Panthic Morcha, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, with betraying the panth and hobnobbing with the Congress to dislodge the SAD-BJP government, headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

Addressing a meeting of the party at Jamalpur here, a senior youth wing leader, Mr Kulwant Singh Ranike and other activists observed that the hollow claims of the Panthic Morcha were exposed during the recently held Assembly election when all candidates, fielded by the Akali factions and comprising opportunists and self-styled leaders, were rejected by masses.

The youth wing leaders alleged that Mr Tohra had a long track record of treachery and bartering away the interests of Punjab and the Sikh community for personal and political motives. “Even during “Operation Bluestar”, he (Mr Tohra) surrendered before the army after having performed an “ardas” that in case of Army action, the forces would have to cross over his dead body,” they said.

Mr Ranike alleged that it was Mr Tohra again who entered into a secret compromise with the Congress in 1991 and managed a boycott of elections, which ultimately brought a Congress government in Punjab. Similarly, this time also Mr Tohra caused split of Akali votes at several places and paved way for the victory of Congress candidates.

Meanwhile, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, president of All-India Youth Akali Dal (Badal), has announced that party activists would proceed in a big convoy to Malout on Friday morning to attend the filing of nomination papers by the SAD-BJP candidate for Assembly byelection. Mr Dhillon claimed that there was tremendous enthusiasm among the youth wing activists for campaigning.

A state-level meeting of the youth wing, he said, would be convened at Amritsar on March 17 at which several organisational matters would be discussed. In addition to this, specific duties would be assigned to youth wing functionaries for campaigning in Malout.



Rotary Club presents Vocational Awards
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 17
Mr Harminder Singh district governor of the Rotary Club, on his official visit to Rotary Club 3070 on Friday, appreciated Secretary Sanjiv Sethi and president K.K. Chaddha for starting various programmes like running free dispensaries, providing scholarships and pacemakers to the needy.

He presented Vocational Awards to Dr S.C. Ahuja, Principal, Dayanand Medical College; Mr Vijay Mohan Kohli, chief cardiac surgeon, DMC Hero Heart Centre; Ms Harinder Dhillon, former Principal, Khalsa College for Women and Mr S. Sekhon of G.T.B. Hospital, Dakha.

A sum of Rs 20,000 was promised for the Rotary Foundation for the pulse polio programme.



Talk on problems of working women
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 17
“Problems of working women are on the rise in our country and there is a need to understand these problems and find out their suitable solutions.” These views were expressed by Dr (Ms) Atima Gupta, consultant pathologist at Gupta Medical Lab, while addressing the morning assembly in Catholic Church, Sarabha Nagar, here today.

The talk was organised by sisters of Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, to mark Women’s International Day. Dr Atima said working women were more prone to anxiety, sleep disturbances, depression, bodyaches, anaemia, physical weakness, fatigue, malnutrition and other psychosomatic illnesses. She stressed the need of regular exercise, balanced diet, adequate relaxation and positive attitude in maintaining a healthy life.



Two injured as roof collapses
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
At least two labourers were seriously injured and 15 others received minor bruises in a roof collapse in Phase-II of the Urban Estate here in the evening. The labourers were laying the lintel of a house when the roof collapsed. Twenty labourers working on the roof fell down. Some of them were buried under the debris. However, only two labourers received injuries and required hospitalisation.

Immediate evacuation work by other labourers and Model Town Police rescued the labourers. 



Contaminated mineral water
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 17
The desire to quench his thirst with mineral water, supposedly clean and safe drinking water, proved a little too much for a local businessman Ashok Kumar, who received the shock of his life to find ‘solid suspended particles’ in one of the two bottles of ‘Kinley’ mineral water, bottled by a franchisee of the multi-national soft drink giant Coca Cola.

The consumer, a share trader on the Court road here, had purchased the mineral water bottles from an ice-cream parlour on the road. A shocked and upset consumer visited the Ludhiana Tribune office and showed the bottle of ‘contaminated water’.



Six-year-old dies as pillar crashes
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 17
Six-year-old Hari Mohan, died on the way to hospital after a gate-pillar crashed on him and his playmates here last evening in the Salem Tabri area.

According to the information, Mohan and his friends were swinging on an iron gate at a vacant plot at Vasant Vihar extension last evening when the pillar crashed upon the children. Soon the neighbours rushed to the rescue of the children. Hari Mohan, son of Mr Shashi Bhushan, was lifted from under the debris and taken to a hospital but the child died on the way. Those injured were Manu (7), Gurpreet, (8), Rohit (10) and his brother Robin (8) and Kirpa Ram (6).

Dowry murder: The police has registered a case of alleged murder for dowry on the statement of Ms Prabhjot Kaur ( 25) daughter of Mr Major Singh, a resident of Chhapar village falling under the Dehlon police station, against her father-in-law Surjit Singh and mother-in-law Bhajan Kaur under Sections 307 and 304-B of the IPC. Ms Prabhjot Kaur, who had been doused with kerosene and set on fire on March 8 and was admitted to the local DMC Hospital, died yesterday due to the burns.

According to the information, Ms. Prabhjot Kaur had been married to Jagsir Singh, a truck driver of Lalton Khurd village , six years ago. In her statement to the police, the victim had stated that since she failed to arrange Rs 50,000 as demanded by her in-laws, the accused doused her with kerosene and set her afire.

Assaulted: The Division No 8 police has registered a case of alleged assault on the statement of Mr Rajinder Singh, a resident of New Sant Nagar, Haibowal, against Ashu, Sanjay Bharti, Parjan and Munna, a worker at Preet dhaba. The complainant had alleged that while he was going in an auto-rickshaw, the accused intercepted him near the dhaba, assaulted him and injured him seriously before fleeing the spot. The accused also threatened him. No arrest has been made so far.

The Division No 2 police has registered a similar case on the statement of Ms Balbir Kaur, a resident of Dugri, against Jaswant Singh and his son Rinky of the same village. The complainant had alleged that the accused intercepted her, threatened her and beat her up.

Fraud cases: The Civil Lines police has registered a case of alleged fraud on the statement of Ms Kanta Mohni, a resident of Raikot, against S.P.G.Sareen, a resident of Ghumar Mandi. The complainant had stated to the police that the accused borrowed Rs 50,000 from her and gave her a cheque to repay the same. But when the cheque was presented to the bank, it was dishonoured.

Another case of fraud was registered at the same police station on the statement of Mr Avtar Singh, a resident of Ghawaddi village, against Harcharan Singh, his wife, Jagdish Kaur, Sajjan and Sandip, all residents of Sukhram Nagar. The complainant had alleged that the accused sold a plot to him which they had already sold to someone else.



Tech show
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
It is for the first time that Ludhiana is witnessing an exhibition on IT-related products. The much-awaited three-day ‘Tech Show-2002’, was inaugurated at Welkom Palace, here yesterday.

Latest products have been displayed. One of the visitors, said: “We are looking for the first time latest books at reasonable rate and soft loans from various banks for computer education.” Expressing his satisfaction over the response, one of the organisers of the exhibition said: “We are witnessing a good response.”


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