Monday, April 1, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Jail employees caught supplying drugs
800 tablets seized; prisoner also held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Authorities have seized 800 tablets of various drugs from a prisoner and two employees of the Central Jail staff here. Contrary to denials by jail administration, the incident proves that drugs have been finding their way into the jail.

While the prisoner is facing charges, the two jail employees — a constable and a peon — have been suspended. A case against the two has also been registered at a city police station.

While social organisations have been organising special de-addiction camps in the jail and the government has been initiating schemes for reforming jail inmates, such incidents nullify all efforts.

The drugs were seized last week by the Jail Superintendent, Mr G.S. Sidhu, himself. According to the information available here today, the jail superintendent was tipped-off by some informers that drugs were easily available to undertrials and prisoners. The employees were hand-in-glove with drug-traffickers, he was told. He conducted a surprise raid and seized about 200 tablets of an intoxicant from a jail inmate.

When interrogated, the inmate blurted out the names of two jail employees — constable Kikkar Singh and peon Prashant Mazumdar. A trap was laid for these two and, ultimately, about 600 tablets of various intoxicants were seized from them. When interrogated, the accused said they used to use their position to smuggle drugs into the jail and sell these at a high price.

Mr Sidhu said the drugs had indeed been seized and he had been taking action at every complaint of this nature. He denied that drugs were easily available to jail inmates and said it was the alertness of his staff that had helped them seize the tablets.

He said the incident was an isolated one and the jail security was tight enough to obstruct the supply of drugs. He also said, so far, there was no evidence of the involvement of more jail employees in drug smuggling.

Sources in Central Jail said the recent incident was just a tip of the iceberg and drug-trafficking with the involvement of the jail staff was common. This has caused a serious setback to jail-reform efforts of the government and social welfare organisations.

Sources said, in the jail, there were a large number of drug addicts and smugglers who had been caught under the NDPS Act, due to which, drugs were always in demand inside. “These smugglers establish the network,” sources said.

‘Ludhiana Tribune’ had, earlier, carried a report on how drugs were being routed into the jail through its staff. The jail officials had, then, denied the reports.

The report mentioned that a small packet of chewing tobacco (zarda), available at Rs 2 in open market, is sold at Rs 50 inside the jail. A bottle of country liquor, available at Rs 100 at vends, is sold at Rs 300 inside.


Four murders reported in city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 31
Four murders were reported from various parts of the city on Friday.

Ballu Ram (70) was beaten to death with stones and lathis by some of his relatives because of a domestic dispute. The Division No 7 police has made some arrests in the case.

Body of an unidentified man, aged around 40, was spotted by some passers-by near the AC market in Lajpat Nagar on Friday evening. There were several stab wounds on the body. The Kotwali police, after failing to establish the identity of the murdered man, sent the body for an autopsy which confirmed that the man died because of excessive bleeding.

Another unidentified body of a man, also aged around 40, which had been dumped on a heap of garbage along the Tibba Road falling under the Basti Jodhewal police station, was spotted by some passers-by. They later informed the police. The throat of the victim had been gashed by a sharp-edged weapon. The police has registered a case.

Decomposing body of a middle-aged man was found in the fields at Alamgir village, near here. The body was lying buried under a heap of brickbats and was noticed by a farm worker, Joginder Singh. The Sadar police has sent the body for an autopsy and is trying to establish the identity of the victim who had allegedly been done to death with the help of bricks and stones.

Meanwhile, the Focal Point police has registered a case against a quack practising near Swaran Cinema in Sherpur for causing death of a 40-year-old woman, Geeta, who had come to him for an abortion.

The doctor fled the clinic leaving behind the body which was noticed by the landlord in whose house the victim was staying on rent.

According to Mr Ram Parshad, landlord, Geeta had left her house on Friday evening after informing him that she was going to the doctor to get some medicine. When she did not return, he went to the clinic which she had visited on Saturday morning. He did not find anybody there, but Geeta’s body was lying inside. Later, he informed the police.

The autopsy on the body confirmed that the Geeta was pregnant. The police is on the lookout for the quack who is reported to be a migrant from Bihar.


Cops booked under POC Act
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 31
The Moga police has, under a campaign against corruption started by Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP, registered a case under Sections 13(2) 88 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, against Balwinder Singh Sekhon, a former SHO of Police Station, Baghapurana, and constable Tarsem Singh for taking a bribe of Rs 2 lakh from Mohinder Singh, son of Mr Jang Singh, a resident of Mrar village of Faridkot district. The booked cops allegedly took the bribe promising no police action against him in a case involving trade of fake currency.

The case has been registered on the statement of Mr Ranjit Singh, a former sarpanch of Jat Singh Wala village in Muktsar district, who is also a close relative of Mohinder Singh. In his statement, Mr Ranjit Singh had alleged that Inspector Balwinder Singh Sekhon and constable Tarsem Singh raided the house of Mohinder Singh on January 8 last. At the time of the raid, Mohinder Singh was not present at his house. Later on, constable Tarsem Singh informed Ranjit Singh, the former sarpanch, on telephone that his relative, Mohinder Singh, was involved in the trade of fake Indian currency. The next day, Ranjit Singh met Inspector Sekhon and promised to produce Mohinder Singh a few days later. Constable Tarsem Singh, who was also present at the meeting told him that if they wanted to hush up the matter, they would have to pay him Rs 10 lakh as well as to the SHO. Finally, the deal was struck at Rs 2 lakh. Further in his statement, Ranjit Singh alleged that when he and his relative Mohinder Singh handed over the amount to the accused, Inspector Sekhon assured them that no police action would be taken against them. While the police has registered a case against the cops, the accused are absconding.


ASI suspended on graft charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
An ASI of the Punjab police posted at Salem Tabri police station has been suspended and a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered against him. In an inquiry, he has been found guilty of demanding money from a truck driver for releasing him and his truck that had allegedly been impounded illegally.

According to an FIR registered at the Salem Tabri police station, the ASI, Ranjit Singh, has been indicted in an inquiry conducted by the SP (D). The inquiry had been ordered in December 2001 after the truck driver, Dilbagh Singh, had lodged complaint with some senior officials that he had been illegally caught and kept in a police station by the official. The inquiry report was submitted to the SSP, Mr H.S. Sidhu, who ordered the registration of the case and the suspension of the official’s services.

The inquiry report says that, on the night of December 12, the driver, Dilbagh Singh, was stopped at a checkpoint by the accused official and taken to the Salem Tabri police station, where the official allegedly demanded Rs 1,000 for releasing him.

The driver refused to pay and was, later, freed when his employers intervened. He, however, lodged a complaint with senior officials, at which, the inquiry (that upheld the charges) was ordered.

The Salem Tabri police said the policeman was yet to be arrested.


Export town status for Ludhiana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Industrial associations here have welcomed the announcement made today by Mr Murasoli Maran, the Union Minister of Commerce, to grant ‘Town of Export Excellence’ status to Ludhiana among other few traditional industrial clusters in the country. Mr Maran, in his new exim policy for the next five years, 2002-07, announced that Ludhiana, Panipat and Tirupur, which have emerged strong export centres over the past few years, would be eligible for government assistance for upgrading infrastructure with a view to maximising their export potential.

Mr S.C. Rahlon, Regional Chairman, Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC), North Region, who was present at the minister’s press conference at New Delhi today, said, ‘‘The long pending demand of the industry has been recognised by the government. Mr Maran clearly mentioned that clusters are exporting a large portion of their production would be eligible for government assistance for common services. He specifically mentioned Ludhiana as a woollen knitwear centre, Tirupur as hosiery centre and Panipat as an export centre of woolen blankets.’’

Mr Rahlon added, ‘‘Though Mr Maran has mentioned the name of city as a woolen garment centre only, but we are hopeful that the same status would be granted to the cycle and parts exporters in the detailed documents of the policy, which would released soon by the ministry.’’ Regarding the benefits of the policy, he said, ‘‘Under the exim policy the common service providers shall be entitled for facilities of EPCG scheme. The recognised associations of units will be able to access funds under the Market Access Initiative scheme for creating focused technological services. Further, such areas will receive priority for assistance for identified critical infrastructure gaps from the scheme on central assistance to states. The units in these notified areas would be eligible for availing all the exim policy schemes as per their choice and the provisions of these schemes shall stand relaxed to the extent provided in this para in respect of such units.’’

Commenting on the possible benefits to the state under the new exim policy, Dr S.K. Singla at the Department of Business Management, PAU, claimed, ‘‘The policy has laid stress on the export of agriculture and processed commodities by providing transport assistance and simplification of procedures. It should certainly result in increase in export of foodgrains and other agri-commodities from the state.’’

Exporters have also sighed in relief as the government has decided to continue with DEPB, advance license and EPCG schemes. They felt that the government’s focus on Africa would boost exports of textiles and bicycles and parts to that area. The EEPC, which has been lobbying on behalf of engineering goods exporters, has however, lamented that the transport assistance granted to the agro exports, should have been extended to engineering goods as well since Punjab and other northern states were disadvantaged as compared to costal states like Gujarat and Maharashtra. However, Mr Maran has taken various measures to boost exports, said another exporter, including direct negotiation of export documents, assistance to states for infrastructural development and simplification of rules.


Couple alleges police inaction in land grab case
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 31
While a father-son duo has made a successful bid to grab a piece of land measuring around 140 sq yd in Hargobind Nagar under a well thought out criminal conspiracy, repeated pleas by the rightful owners, Ms Pritma Rani and her husband Mr Nihal Chand, both residents of the same colony, have failed to elicit any response from the police, who have yet to take cognisance of the criminal act.

According to Mr Nihal Chand, the plot was purchased in the name of his wife Ms Pritma Devi from one Kartar Singh (now dead) for Rs 4,000 in 1974. The deal was finalised through a coloniser Bihari Lal, who was developing the area by carving out residential plots. The sale deed of the plot was duly registered and mutated in the name of Ms Pritma Rani in February, 1975.

However, with a motive of grabbing the said plot, the accused Bihari Lal, entered into a criminal conspiracy with certain other persons, besides his son Surinder Kumar, and struck a deal with Ms Veena Rani, residing in Hargobind Nagar colony. Under the deal, a piece of land measuring 278 sq yd, which included the plot owned by Ms Pritma Rani and some adjoining land, was sold for Rs 17,280. The sale deed of the transaction was got registered on April 28, 1993.

The sale deed, bore the signatures of one Mr Gurbachan Singh, son of Kartar Singh who had originally sold the same plot to Ms Pritma Rani in 1975. The other signatories to the deal were the buyer Ms Veena Rani, Surinder Kumar and one Mr Gurshinderjit Singh, with the last two affirming their signatures as witnesses.

Mr Nihal Chand maintained that the subsequent sale deed (No 2558, dated 28-4-1993) was a forged document since Mr Gurbachan Singh was no more the owner of the land. The said act of fraud was a criminal conspiracy to dispossess the lawful owner of the plot Ms Pritma Rani, he said.

The complainant rued that his repeated pleas with the senior police officials and personal meetings with the district police chief had failed to set the law enforcement machinery into action.Back


LSS condemns govt-aided private schools
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 31
The Ludhiana Seva Sangh (LSS) has condemned those private-aided schools which are charging exorbitant fees for providing school education, despite the fact that such schools take 95 per cent financial aid from the state. According to the LSS, a large number of aided private schools are violating the order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, whereby such schools cannot charge more fee than fixed by the state government.

The LSS organised an awareness camp here today regarding the problem for making parents, guardians and students aware of their rights and to enable them to avoid any exploitation by government-aided school managements. The camp was inaugurated by state Printing and Stationery Minister, Mr Rakesh Pandey.

The president of the LSS, Mr Suresh Gupta, said, “The state has fixed the admission fees and tuition fee from Class I to XII. All schools and government-aided schools have to follow the fees structure.

Mr Gupta said, “The LSS has filed a public interest litigation in the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding this problem.” He further said that the Punjab and Haryana High Court had decided the matter on December 8, 1999, and said that the aided schools would take the fixed fee from the students and would give receipt of the same. “Moreover, government-aided schools would write in detail about the fees structure on the notice board and in case any such school charges more than the prescribed fees structure, the parents or guardian could deposit the fee by bank draft or money order”, he added.

Mr Pandey said that the aided schools which are minting money by charging more than the fixed fee by the state in the name of providing quality education would be exposed. 


Body of youth found
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 31
The body of an unidentified youth was found hanging in a tubewell room in a field near Khanpur village on the Harnam Pura road. The Sadar police has sent the body for an autopsy.

Tenant raped
The Division No 6 police on Saturday arrested Paramjit Singh, alias Pamma, on the charge of raping a woman tenant of his house while her husband was away on night duty.

The woman, a mother of four children, alleged in her statement that on the night of March 28, when she went to the toilet in the night, the accused got hold of her and raped her.

One arrested
The Shimla Puri police has arrested a young tailor, Gurdeep Singh, on the charge of luring away a minor girl of Shimla Puri Colony on Wednesday and later raping her.

The police had nabbed some relatives of the tailor as a result of which he came back along with the girl. A medical examination of the minor girl has confirmed rape.

Sodomy case
The Sahnewal police on Saturday night registered a case of alleged sodomy on the statement of Mr Pritam Singh, a resident of Kot Gangu Rai village, against Gurvishwajit Singh, alias Bishi, a youth of the same village.

The complainant had stated to the police that he was away to Anandpur Sahib and when he returned home on Saturday, his wife informed him that the accused had sodomised their 12-year-old son and fled. The boy was playing when he was lured away by the accused. The boy later narrated the incident to his mother. The accused is still at large.

Rape bid alleged
The Focal Point police has registered a case of attempt to rape on the statement of Ms Tarshila Devi, a resident of Durga Colony in Gobindgarh village, against Ram Iqbal Singh, a resident of Sham Pura Colony.

The complainant had alleged that the accused entered her house and tried to rape her. When she raised an alarm, the accused ran away, she added.

Suicide bid
Ms Geeta, a resident of Dasehra ground area of Shimla Puri, allegedly tried to commit suicide by dousing herself with kerosene and setting herself afire on Friday night.

According to information available, the woman took the extreme step after her husband started reprimanding children for nothing.

The Basti Jodhewal police has registered a case of assault and intimidation on the statement of Mr Parveen, a resident of Maya Puri on the Tibba Road, against Lal and some other unknown accused.

The complainant had alleged that he got a phone call from his brother, who runs a shop in Kirpal Nagar, that some persons were quarrelling with him. When he reached the spot, the accused started beating both of them.

Charas seized
Ashok Kumar, a resident of Jawahar Nagar camp who had allegedly been dealing in charas for the past several years, was nabbed with three kg of contraband here on Friday, stated a press note issued by Mr Harpreet Singh Sidhu, SSP, Ludhiana, here today.

The SSP stated that the accused Ashok Kumar, alias Deeva, was arrested from Sarabha Nagar and was booked under Sections 20, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act. The SSP claimed that it was the largest haul of charas by the city police so far.

Mr Sidhu said the police had launched a campaign against drug peddlers under which two poppy husk dealers were nabbed on Friday. Those arrested were Surinder Kumar, resident of New Kartar Nagar, and Mehar Singh, resident of Kartar Nagar. Eighteen kg of poppy husk was seized from the accused.

Man robbed
The Basti Jodhewal police has registered a case of armed robbery against an unidentified person who allegedly robbed a Nepali youth, Kuldeep Nathu, of Rs 18,000 at gun point on Friday night. The alleged robber was riding a scooter, added the complainant.

Kidnapping alleged
The Shimla Puri police has registered a case of alleged kidnapping of a minor girl on the statement of Mr Surjit Singh, a resident of Jhunjar Nagar, against Kuldeep Singh, a resident of Basant Nagar. The complainant had alleged that the accused had kidnapped his minor daughter Harjinder Kaur on Friday.

Sand mafia accused named
The Salem Tabri police, on the complaint of SDO, Phillaur Dam, has registered a case against members of the sand mafia who were engaged in the illegal digging of sand from the bed of Sutlej.

The accused named in the FIR are Mansa Singh, Harnek, Labh Singh, Rura Singh, Jagir Singh, Dala Singh, Kashmir Singh and Bhajan Singh, all residents of Jamalpur, and Harnek Singh, Nahar Singh and Baldev Singh of Kasabad village.


Stolen tractor recovered
The police has recovered a stolen tractor (PBU-2930) from Burma village, 5 km from here, on Saturday night. According to Inspector Gurdeep Singh, the tractor was stolen from Anandpur Sahib on Thursday.


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