Thursday, May 9, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Bhavan foundation stone laid on PAIC land
Kamal Kishore Shankar

Ludhiana, May 8
For creating vote banks, politicians can stoop to any level — they can lay the foundation stone of any institution anywhere, without giving a damn to who owns the land. If they find your land vacant and suitable, they will never bother to verify its ownership.

Mr Shamsher Singh Dahlon, excise minister in the previous Congress government and now an MP, had laid the foundation stone of Ambedkar Bhavan in Salim Tabri on February 19, 1995, in the presence of a former welfare minister, Mr Jagjit Singh. However, the land on which it was laid belongs to the Punjab Agro Industries Corporation (PAIC). The land has been with it since 1969 and there is a full-fledged wooden-crates-manufacturing unit on it, besides a PAIC-run petrol station of the Indian Oil Corporation.

In spite of knowing that the land was of the PAIC, the then ministers laid the foundation stone. However, the government’s term ended within two years, after which, the new ruling party ignored the project and did not look into the matter.

An official of the PAIC said: “The foundation stone was laid in the absence of the PAIC officials — on a Sunday. It seems that the then ruling party wanted to please a certain sect to create a vote bank for itself.” When asked whether it was possible that the PAIC had given away the land to the then government, the official said: “Why should the PAIC give away prime land in an industrial city that helps it earn more than Rs 2 crore a year.”

He said, “After the stone had been laid, no one returned to take the possession of the land. The foundation stone is still there and we have not removed it because it does not affect our work.”

However, the Vishwas Guru Ravi Dass Mission has demanded that Ambedkar Bhavan be built where the foundation stone was laid and the policy of having one such bhavan in every district of the state be revived. The Chairman of the mission, Mr Jaswant Kataria, said this scheme had been approved by the then chief minister of Punjab, Beant Singh, but, even after nine years of its launching, there were only eight such bhavans.



Cong sticks to final list
Tribune News Service

Candidates of the Congress and SAD (right) on their way to file nomination papers for the Municipal Corporation elections, in Ludhiana
on Wednesday. Tribune photos

Ludhiana, May 8
The District Congress Committee (DCC) rushed through the process of issuing party tickets to its candidates for the coming Municipal Corporation elections, here today. Fearing the ire of rejected applicants, the authority letters were issued from the house of the DCC president, Mr K.K. Bawa, instead of Congress Bhavan. Mr Bawa’s house is in Rajguru Nagar, on the outskirts of the city.

Though protests continued for the second day today, the selection-committee chairman, Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, declined to change any candidate. The party sources said some senior party men and ministers had approached Mr Ghalib to urge him to make changes in the final list.

Mr Ghalib was there in the house of Mr Bawa to issue the authority letters. There was a huge rush at the place; and some of the persons gathered were hoping for last-minute changes in the list.

While Mr Surinder Dawer and Mr Harnamdass Johar managed to accommodate their loyalists, two other MLAs, Mr Milkiat Singh Birmi and Mr Rakesh Pandey, could not accommodate many of their favorites. Both are still camping in New Delhi.

Mr Birmi is trying his best to see changes in the list of candidates. He, reportedly, met the General Secretary of the Congress, Ms Ambika Soni, in New Delhi yesterday. Ms Soni has, reportedly, asked a senior minister of Punjab to look into the matter. However, the minister, it seems was unable to convince Mr Ghalib to make the changes. Mr Ghalib said there were dissatisfied persons because the number of applicants had been high.

Yesterday, several rejected applicants and their supporters gathered at the house of Mr Birmi and raised slogans against Mr Ghalib. Later, they marched to the Sarbaha Nagar house of Mr Ghalib, who had, by then, already left for his village. A senior party leader and member of the selection committee said: “Though there was a lot of pressure on the selection committee to make changes in the list, the panel and its chairman did not want to send out a wrong signal.” About a dozen Congress candidates filed their nomination papers today.



LDA fields 15 more candidates
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 8
The Ludhiana Development Alliance (LDA), comprising the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, Bahujan Samaj Morcha (BSM), Samajwadi Party (SP) and Hindu Maha Sabha, today released another list of 15 candidates for the civic elections to be held on May 19. Mr Surjan Singh Thekedar, the SHSAD working president, was also present on the occasion.

Releasing the list of party nominees at a meeting here, the LDA Convener, Mr Hira Singh Gabria, announced that the conglomerate of parties contesting the municipal elections was committed to providing free drinking water and sewerage facility to the city population and to exempting commercial premises up to 250 sq yds in area from the payment of house tax.

Giving details of an ambitious agenda for development and welfare activities in the city, he said the alliance would set up dispensaries in each ward where free medicare and medicines would be provided to the poor and the needy. To provide relief to the people from harassment by officials of the municipal corporation, it would make arrangements for providing readymade maps for the construction of buildings. A fixed set of guidelines would be set and nobody would be above the law.

Mr Gabria said the LDA did not believe in uprooting small traders, petty business establishments and tiny industrial units, who did not have clear titles to the land on which they were located. “Those who have encroached on the MC land and are carrying out business will be made owners on payment of stipulated amount.” The LDA would also create a special fund for the development of slum area.

According to Mr Gabria following candidates have been fielded by the LDA from different city wards: Mr Mohinder Singh (Independent to be supported by LDA) — Ward No 4, Mr Kulwant Kaur (BSM) — Ward No 5, Mr Gurbaksh Singh Billa — Ward No 9, Ms Ajit Kaur (SHSAD) — Ward No 11, Mr Dev Raj Bhatti (BSM) — Ward No 13, Ms Manjit Kaur (BSM) — Ward No 14, Mr Bhupinder Singh Kalra (SHSAD) — Ward No 15, Ms Narinder Kaur (SHSAD) — Ward No 17, Mr Sarbjit Singh Virk — Ward No 24, Ms Sukhraj Kaur — Ward No 35, Mr S.P. Sagar (BSM) — Ward No 39, Ms Harpreet Kaur Vicky (SHSAD) — Ward No 47, Mr Darshan Bawa — Ward No 54, Mr Harwinder Happy (Hindu Maha Sabha) — Ward No 60, Mr Darshan Lal (Hindu Maha Sabha) — Ward No 61.



Misuse of credit card alleged
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 8
A local businessman Mr Surinder Kumar Gupta, got a shock of his life when he received a statement of account from Citi Bank for his credit card showing an expenditure of around Rs 16,000 against the card, which he had surrendered to the bank a month ago with the understanding that a new photo credit card will be issued to him.

According to Mr Gupta, a resident of Aggar Nagar locality, he had deposited his credit card (number 4550 3891 5821 9017) along with a covering letter at the local Citi Bank Card Centre in Ishar Singh Nagar, Pakhowal Road on February 18 after a representative of the bank contacted him and asked him to replace his existing card with a photo credit card.

While waiting to receive his new credit card, he was slapped with a statement of account dated March 14 which showed an expenditure of over Rs 15,000 at several establishments in the city and at Chandigarh.

In a complaint lodged with the city police, Mr Gupta has stated that his credit card could not have been misused without the complicity of the bank officials here because the first transaction, shown in the statement of account, was made only two days after he had deposited the old credit card in the drop box of the bank here.

Interestingly, the person who allegedly to misused the card of the complainant appeared to be a man of taste going by the places he shopped at. These included BPL Gallery, Adidas and RPS Hotels.

Mr Gupta said he had sent a formal complaint of ‘misuse of his card’ apart from forgery and fabrication to the Citi Bank officials but the response of the bank was quite indifferent and discouraging, he added. He has asked the police to register a case under Sections 420/467/468/471/120-B of the IPC against the bank officials and bring the guilty to book.

Inquiries made from city police revealed that investigation was in progress.



Cop held with ‘looted’ liquor
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 8
The Jagraon police arrested a policeman, Kuldip Singh, posted at Police Lines of Jagraon, at a checkpoint near Khandur Chowk of Jodhan early today and seized 45 bottles of rum from him. The liquor had allegedly been looted from a vend in Bassian village, according to a press note issued here today by the Senior Superintendent of Police at Jagraon.

The note says that it was about 2 am when the police party at the checkpoint noticed a Maruti car approaching them from Khandur village. When signaled to stop, the driver stopped the car a little further from the checkpoint.

Two other occupants of the car, driver Kala Nepali and another policeman, Jaskaran Singh, alighted from it and escaped, but Kuldip Singh was caught.

The police found 45 bottles of XXX rum (Dollar brand), a bagful of cigarettes and biris, small change for Rs 15 and a scale in the car. Little packets of a salt-like substance were also found hidden in match boxes. When Kuldip failed to give any satisfactory explanation in this regard, a case under Section 102 of the CrPC was registered against him. The police also found two cartridges of .12 bore gun and two shells in the glove box of the car.

The SSP said the policemen, Kuldip and Jaskaran had been on temporary duty in Gobind National College of Narangwal Kalan in connection with the conduct of examinations.

The Jagraon police has registered cases under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act in this regard. The police is on the trail of the persons who have absconded. The SSP said a case had already been registered at the Dakha police station in connection with the looting of the Bassian liquor vend.



Bhatia’s niece strangulated to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 8
Mystery shrouds the death of the niece of a senior Akali leader and vice-president of the SAD, Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia, who was found dead at her residence today under mysterious circumstances.

However, the brother of the deceased and youth Akali Dal leader, Mr Charanjit Singh Pannu, alleged that she was done to death by her in-laws at her residence located at Punjab Mata Nagar, here. He alleged that a family dispute over some property was the cause of the murder.

Mr Pannu said 26-year-old Varinder Kaur, a daughter of Darshan Singh, was married to Inderjeet Singh about six years ago. The couple was living together happily. Inderjeet was embroiled in some property dispute with his brothers and parents.

Mr Pannu alleged that when Inderjeet was away in connection with the filing of nomination papers of one of his relatives, his brothers and parents allegedly picked up a quarrel with Varinder Kaur. First they beat her up severely and later strangulated her to death.



Vigilance raids on rural hospitals
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 8
Vigilance officials of the district today conducted raids on 54 hospitals and dispensaries in Payal and Khanna areas of the district. Raids were still continuing as most of the dispensaries were found to be without medical or para-medical staff. The employees were reportedly absent from duty.

While the details were still awaited, the SP, Vigilance, Mr R.P.S. Bajwa, said “Different teams of the vigilance officials conducted raids on 54 hospitals and dispensaries in Khanna and Payal subdivisions.”

Meanwhile, the general secretary of the PCMS Association, Ludhiana, said most of the doctors were on the mop-up operation so they could not mark their attendance.



Lawyers to strike work today
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 8
The District Bar Association, Ludhiana, has demanded the withdrawal of work from the courts of judges, whose names figured during the investigation into the Punjab Public Service Commission scam. This was decided at the meeting of the executive body held here today. It also decided to abstain from work tomorrow.

The meeting, which was chaired by Mr Rana Surat Singh, its vice-president, endorsed the stand of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association.

The resolution says: “The allegations of corruption against members of judiciary has cast a shadow on the entire community and now judiciary should themselves come out with a remedy to the situation. It has been seen that the act of corruption in the PPSC recruitment scandal has led to shattering of faith of litigants and advocates.”



Fire hazard looms over residents
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 8
The residents of Guru Arjan Dev Nagar, near Tajpur Road, staged a dharna in protest against the storage of a petroleum product in godowns made in the area. They have demanded that no storage of any petroleum product in residential areas should be allowed, as in summers there were greater chances of a fire breakout.

A resident said: “Despite putting iron barricades on the entrance to the gali no. 1 to 7 in the nagar by the municipal corporation, godown owners managed to store huge quantities of polyester yarn in the area.” They added: “These godown owners are endangering the lives of the residents.”

A senior leader of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Balwinder Singh Teer, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune said: “Horse-carts are used to take the polyester yarn into the interior part of the area. Moreover, these carts have to wait for hours for the assignment leading to accumulation of filth in the area. Streets of this residential locality are stinking badly and have become hazardous to the health of commoners.”

He added: “The residents have also approached the Assistant Divisional Fire Officer for prohibiting the storage of the petroleum product in the area but as the Fire Act is not applicable to the state, the Fire Department could not use its administrative powers.” He further said: “But the Fire Department has not given an ‘NOC’ to any godown owner in the area. However, according to the department, the storage of petroleum product in residential areas is a fire hazard.”

The residents of the area had also submitted a complaint on March 30 to the Commissioner, municipal corporation, for prohibiting the storage of polyester yarn and thoroughfare for heavy transport vehicles and horse-carts in the area. After that the commissioner had sought legal advice for necessary action.

According to the law, the commissioner, while keeping in view the safety of the public, could prohibit the thoroughfare for heavy vehicles, horse-carts and storage of petroleum product. MC officials have also inspected the site but the final orders in this regard are yet to be issued by the commissioner. 



Legislators to be honoured 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 8
Mr Surinder Singla, a Congress legislator and Chairman of the State Finance Commission, and Mr Raj Kumar Gupta, MLA, will be honoured at the state convention of Akhil Bharatiya Aggarwal Sammelan to be held at Maharaja Aggar Sain Community Centre in Aggar Nagar here on May 12 . The national president of the body, Mr Pradeep Mittal, will be the chief guest .

According to Mr Amrit Lal Aggarwal, state president of the sammelan, delegates from all over Punjab will attend the convention, which would deliberate on the political, social and cultural situation and contribution of the members of the community in different walks of life. Among various other steps to strengthen the organisational base of the body, it is proposed to set up separate wings for youth, women and traders as also to launch a comprehensive marriage bureau.

During the meet, Maharaja Aggar Sain Library, set up for the senior citizens of the colony, by the Ludhiana Aggarwala Cooperative House Building Society in Part A of Aggar Nagar will also be inaugurated, added Mr Surinder Kumar Gupta, president of the society.



‘Scribe’ roughed up at DTO’s office
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 8
A racket involving so-called agents in procuring various licences from the local District Transport Office ( DTO ) came to the fore here this afternoon as a journalist was beaten by a mob of about 30 odd persons allegedly led by a city councillor.

When The Tribune team reached the spot soon after the incident, Mr Gurbakash Singh, 55, who had been taken to a room of the DTO after being attacked, told this correspondent that he lived in Haibowal Khurd and brought out a weekly newspaper “Arjun Patrika” he had come to the office in connection with an election survey which he was carrying out on behalf of a TV news channel. He alleged that Mr Sat Pal Puri, councillor of Haibowal Khurd had instigated the mob to beat him.

Mr Gurbakash Singh said he had been assured of an audience by the DTO at 4.30 pm. But his claim was refuted by others, including the staff of the DTO, who alleged that he used to come to the office every day for getting various jobs done for various people.

When asked whether he would go to the police and complain against the attack on him, he said he would not do so.

When asked about Mr Gurbakash Singh’s claim, Mr Vimal Kumar Setia, DTO, denied having made any promise to anyone to meet him at 4.30 pm and added that he would not allow any unauthorised person to hang around his office anymore and that he had deputed the ADTO, Mr Manjit Singh, to inquire into the episode and report to him.

He said whoever was found guilty, whether any agent or a clerk of his office, would be ‘put behind the bars’.

He said he was determined to bring about transparency in the working of the office and people must not play in the hands of the so-called agents to get their jobs done at the office.

He further said people should either contact any of the two ADTO’s or him rather than seeking the services of the so-called agents.



Utilising time, earning money
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, May 8
Even though a majority of men in Ludhiana will talk of latest techniques in management and globalisation, they have not matured as yet to accept their female counterparts, in general, taking part in industrial activities. The Ludhiana women though have found their own ways to show their business sense in various ways be it dress designing, candle making, gift wrapping, beauty parlours or cookery classes.

Ms Geetu Swani, who got married about two-and-a-half years ago, felt that it was very difficult to sit idle at home all the time, as she was an educated girl. She always wanted to do something different, so she decided to make cakes and puddings on orders. “My in-laws, being strictly vegetarian did not allow me to make cakes as these required eggs and such stuff. Then I thought why not try the chocolates? I got my first order by one of our relatives on her wedding. After that there was no looking back”, she said.

She is a regular supplier to the Hotbreads. She makes a variety of chocolates like praline, wafers, raisins, almond with raisins, peppermint, rum and brandy chocolates. “Time has really changed now and with that people’s thinking has also changed. Earlier, when babies were born, people preferred to distribute sweets but now they want something different and memorable. They place orders and I make beautiful baskets (with chocolates) and wrap these chocolates in attractive golden and silver papers”, she added.

Indra Ahluwalia of Grace Beauty Clinic said she joined the profession to kill time. “After marriage, I had no work. I am from Mumbai where everyone is working. But things were different here. Going to clubs and joining kitty parties was not my cup of tea. I told my in-laws and husband that I wanted to do something and they encouraged me”, said Indra.

Indra added that by the grace of God, she was earning very well and had established her name in the field of beauty. She said,”Today, I am able to conduct seminars and lectures in which renowned Indian and international beauty experts share their views. We are discovering latest techniques in beauty and hair care”. She stressed that women should be financially independent and with this they can utilise their time and earn well also”.

Veenu Rai Dhanda of Cook-n-Style said she was always inclined towards cooking. “When I was unmarried, I used to win prizes in cooking "she said.

Veenu said whatever she was today, was because of her mother-in-law. “She had been very encouraging and supportive. I am earning pretty well and very satisfied with my work”, maintained Veenu. She said she was always in touch with latest trends in cooking. “Exposure to newer places, restaurants and through latest books, I enhance my knowledge on cooking”, she said.

Veenu also stressed that presentation of the recipes was also an important factor which needed thorough training. “One should be creative. I did not want to waste my time sitting idle. All the time, I am experimenting on some new recipes and dishes and my work gives me everything — name, fame and money”, she said.

Twenty-year-old Kanika Satija is an entrepreneur. She makes beautiful candles, does bread crafting and gift wrapping and caters to many parties. She said instead of sitting idle at home women, should involve themselves in some creative activity. "People think that gift wrapping is an ordinary art. If a gift is wrapped in a simple newspaper but in an artistic way, it is appreciated”, explained Kanika.

With the support of her parents, Kanika is earning very well. She takes orders for gift packing, cosmetic packing and trousseau packing.



Chaos on Sahnewal roads
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, May 8
Situation in Sahnewal and dozens of nearby villages is chaotic, with people getting caught up in traffic jams as ever because the railway barrier remains closed for at least 12 hours a day. Queues of held up vehicles stretch upto the GT Road, blocking traffic on the highway as well. To make things worse, traffic lights here are mostly out of order.

Encroachment on the only market space here continues to show how ineffective the administration and the police have been in their effort to clear the road of grabbers. Shop extensions have crossed all limits; besides, ‘rehriwalas’ and vendors not only slow down traffic but also create problems for pedestrians. Shopkeepers have occupied a good part of the road. Due to haphazard parking of vehicles, the road remains blocked for hours together.

The problem becomes intense in the days when wheat and paddy arrive in the grain market, the heart of the town. Farmers on trucks and tractor-trailers bringing in the yield have to take hours together to cover only a kilometre on the road to reach their destinations.

The administration and the police show no urgency to improve things. If at all one day in a year an anti-encroachment drive is launched, chaos returns the next day. Improvement depends upon authorities concerned, who do not seem likely to wake up from slumber soon.



Bar body holds dharna
Our Correspondent

Samrala, May 8
Members of the local bar association sat in a dharna in front of the SDM Courts today under the leadership of Mr Anil Gupta, president, in protest against the failure of the administration for not providing a bar room in the new tehsil complex.

At a meeting held hereby the members, the members also decided to sit in a dharna on May 9.

The bar also threatened that if the demand was not met, it would start a strike for an indefinite period, Mr Anil added.



BSNL decision criticised
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 8
The Marxist Communist Party of India (MCPI) has criticised the decision of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) for detaching the outer rural area from the office of Deputy General Manager Telecom, Ludhiana. The MCPI has demanded the reversal of this decision and attachment of Dehlon and Sahnewal subdivisions with Deputy General Manager, Telephone, outer area, Ludhiana.

According to a press note issued here yesterday, Mr Kuldeep Singh, secretary, Punjab state committee, MCPI, said, “This decision has caused a great harassment and inconvenience to the general public as now the BSNL subscribers from Dehlon and Sahnewal subdivisions have to go to Khanna for the redressal of their complaints”. 



Two held for kidnapping
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 8
The Raikot police yesterday arrested Binder Singh, a resident of Nangal Khurd village, and Bikkar Singh, a resident of Pakhowal village, in connection with a case registered against them under Sections 365, 342, 323 and 34 of the IPC, according to a press note of the SSP, Jagraon, on Wednesday.

The accused have been charged with kidnapping Mr Amrik Singh, a resident of Patti Lehna, in a Tata Sumo on May 1 after beating him up with sticks. However, the kidnapped man managed to flee. The police is on the lookout for two other co-accused in the case who have been identified as Binder Singh, son of Surjit Singh, and Neela Singh, both residents of Pakhowal village.

Rape case: The Salem Tabri police has registered a case of rape against Sukhwinder Singh, a resident of Chander Nagar, under Sections 376 and 509 of the IPC. The woman had alleged that the accused entered her house on Sunday night and raped her.

Kidnapping alleged: The Haibowal police has registered a case of kidnapping under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC on the statement of Mr. Chaman Lal, a resident of Bank Colony, Haibowal Kalan, against his neighbour, Goldy. The complainant alleged that the accused lured his 14-year-old daughter and kidnapped her.

Cash snatched:
A sum of Rs 50,000 was snatched from a resident of Karodian village on the GT Road here on Tuesday.

According to information, Mr Buta Singh received Rs 50,000 from a commission agent. He went to the post office where one person snatched the cash from him.

Mandi Gobindgarh
Body found:
The body of a youth, identified as Naveen Gupta (20), son of Rampaul Gupta, a resident of Shastri Nagar, who went missing under mysterious circumstances on May 3 was found yesterday from Fatiabad in Haryana.

According to sources, the deceased, a local shopkeeper, went to bazaar on May 3 at 9 pm and did not return. His scooter was found parked near the Floating Restaurant, 4 km from here, on the Sirhind road.

One nabbed: The local police has arrested Manjit Singh Rai, a resident of Model Town, under Sections 13-A, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act, according to a press note here on Tuesday. The police recovered Rs 200 from his possession.

2 commit suicide:
Three persons were killed in separate incidents at Payal during the past 24 hours.

According to police sources, Gurmail Singh (32) of Bilaspur village poured kerosene and burnt himself. He was immediately taken to the DMC Hospital, Ludhiana, where he succumbed to his injuries. A case under Section 174 of the Cr PC has been registered. The body has been handed over to relatives after post-mortem.

In another incident, Balwinder Singh (48) of Malaud Sekhan village died after he consumed some medicine. According to police sources, Balwinder Singh, who was a bank employee, was mentally retarded. He died at the Rajindra Hospital, Patiala.

In another case, Hardev Kaur (50), wife of Hardam Singh of Ramgarh village, died due to bursting of a stove. A case under Section 174 of the Cr PC has been registered.

Case registered: A relative of a former MLA of Payal has beaten up a resident of his village.

Police officials said Gurinder Singh, a son of Mr Paramjit Singh of Ghudani Khurd village, has allegedly beaten up Veer Singh with the help of Jassa Singh Cheema.

While Gurinder has been released on bail, Jassa Singh is still at large, according to Mr Jaswinder Singh, SHO, Payal. The victim has been admitted to a local hospital. A case was registered under Sections 323, 324 and 34 of IPC at the local police station on Tuesday.


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