Monday, May 13, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Dissidents make contest hotter than weather
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 12
Campaigning for the coming municipal elections has started picking up here, with all candidates making rounds of their wards to seek votes. Though the heat wave has been restricting them, some of them try to be on the move all day.

There are 499 candidates in the fray, making the contest hotter than the weather. There are several Independents who may give tough time to candidates of various parties. Most of them are the Congress dissidents, who enjoy the support of a number of party workers. This is because of the widespread resentment over reports of wrong selections and favouritism.

Such rebels include Mr Ashwani Sharma of Ward 60, whose ticket was cancelled at the last moment before the filing of nominations and given to Mr Kala Jain. He has the sympathy of many voters of the area and the support of several leaders of the Congress, who are not happy with the way his ticket was cancelled.

Mr K.L. Chhabra, who was an aspirant for the Congress ticket for Ward 43, is also contesting as an Independent sponsored by the Citizens’ Welfare Society of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar and several other social organisations of the area. The Brahmin Sabha of the BRS Nagar led by Mr S.P. Prabhakar declared its support for Mr Chhabra. The sabha claims to have about 1,500 votes in the ward. Mr Chhabra holds a lot of influence in the area, but he is leaving nothing to chance and campaigning round-the-clock.

Mr Balkar Singh, candidate of the Congress from Ward 45, also organised several meetings here yesterday and today.

Accompanied by his supporters and others, he went from door to door to seek votes and visited the local gurdwara and temple.



Big cats lose cool due to heat
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 12
Dolly, a tigress, paces uneasily under a cluster of trees in the Tiger Safari near Amaltas Resorts on the Ludhiana-Jalandhar highway. The shade provided by the trees is insufficient to save her from the scorching sun. The parched earth makes the heat unbearable. She roars as to remind the wild life staff there to refill the huge water pond in the safari so that she can have a cool dip and save her burning skin.

The wild life staff does not disappoint her. They know it is time to fill the pond afresh. As soon as they start the filling process, the sound of the gushing water is welcoming enough for Dolly, who comes running. She faces stiff competition from several other members of her species, who too have been attracted towards the water pond on hearing the sound of the water. But the pond has enough room for all of them. The sound of splashes echoes in the Safari.

This scene was viewed by a Ludhiana Tribune team from a safari vehicle parked inside the Tiger Safari situated in the Reserve Forests along the Jalandhar road. The soaring mercury in the city is not only driving the people to look for shelter but is also forcing these large cats to look for cool environs.

When Ludhiana Tribune team visited these striped cats at Tiger Safari they were all lazing around under the shade of trees. Some of them were beating the heat, sitting in ponds of water artificially created by the zoo authorities.

The peacocks, which also share the place with the tigers, had also settled under the shade of trees. Black bucks, spotted deer and barking deer were seen resting under their shelters to protect themselves from the hot sun.

The zoo authorities have also made special arrangements for these animals to tide over the cruel summer. The authorities have erected new shelters for the barking deer which were recently brought from the Shimla zoo.

According to Mr Raj Kumar Joshi, Forest Range Officer of Tiger Safari, the animals are provided with special care during the hot weather. The tigers are being provided with showers of cold water to make them feel cool.

‘‘They being furred animals feel more heat as compared to the other animals. So we shower cold water on them thrice or more times during the day. We also buy a lot of ice these days to keep their meat cold. The cold meat is easier to digest as the tigers tend to become lazy during the hot months and lack of exercise can cause problems in digestion,’’ adds Mr Joshi.

‘‘As the high temperature makes them lazy we release more peacocks in the safari so that the tigers chase them and exercise their muscles. But most of the times they ignore a peacocks drinking water from their pond which they don’t during the colder months. "

‘‘Their behaviour also experiences a change due to the heat. They tend to become temperamental and even get angry with the man who feeds them. So we usually shut the five tigers inside a room out of the 10 and leave the rest five in open. Otherwise they would fight and even harm each other.’’

The deer and black bugs are provided green fodder so that they get extra water in their food. 



Fake scribes walk into police trap
Our Correspondent

Khanna, May 12
The Khanna police arrested three fake journalists here today on the charge of trying to blackmail a local financier. It seized from them Rs 6,000 that they had taken from the financier and registered a case under Section 384 of the IPC against them.

According to the police, Mr Kewal Kumar Rehera of New Mudra Finance Company had suspended one of his employees, Iqbal Singh, about a month ago. Iqbal, along with two other men — Gurdarshan Singh and Rimpu Joshi — approached Mr Rehera and threatened to “expose” him if he did not give them Rs 35,000.

Mr Rehera agreed to give them Rs 15,000, but also approached the police. He told the “fake journalists” that he would meet them in Prem Bhandhari Park to hand over the money. The police laid a trap, following which, Mr Rehera met them at the appointed hour and paid them Rs 6,000. The police caught all three in the act.

While Rimpu said he was representing ‘Daily Suraj’ published from Ludhiana, Gurdarshan said he represented ‘Tarkash’ published from Malerkotla. Iqbal Singh said he was on the staff of ‘Paryavaran Urja’ of Maharashtra.



Street cricket causes brawl; two hurt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 12
A minor altercation over a game of cricket in a street took an ugly turn today when at least 15 unidentified persons beat up some of the players in Ambedkar Nagar here today.

Two of the players, who received serious injuries, were admitted to the local Civil Hospital. These players — Babu Ram and Amit Kumar — received blows on the head and the arms, respectively.

The trouble began when some youths of Ambedkar Nagar were playing cricket in a street and a passing motorcyclist objected to it. The passerby told the cricketers that they were making it difficult for vehicles to cross the street, which triggered an argument. Following this, the motorcyclist left the place, soon after which, a group of unidentified men came there and started hitting the players. The attackers, later, escaped.

The police was yet to register any case in this regard till the filing of this report. The police could not tell whether the youths had been attacked with sharp-edged weapons or sticks. The clash nearly blew up further when hundreds of supporters of both parties, including women, gathered in Civil Hospital. The police had to keep a strict vigil on the enraged mob.



Kidney removal case
Victim alleges police harassment, inaction
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 12
The sufferings of the victim in the Pammian kidney removal case, who was allegedly ditched by his friends, seems to be far from over as now he is reportedly facing harassment from the Sahnewal police.

Alleging police inaction in the case, victim Jagsher Singh and his wife Baljinder Kaur said a detailed investigation report had been carried by the media and several mediapersons were meeting them regularly but not a single cop had come to their house on his own to carry on the investigation in the case.

They alleged that not only were they frustrated by the police inaction but were even subjected to harassment at the hands of the Sahnewal police, whenever they visited the police station.

Jagsher Singh, recalling his latest visit to the police station, alleged that a police official even send him to fetch some papers when he had gone to inquire about the progress in the case. ‘‘ When I returned, he told me to bring a refill of a pen ’’ he claimed.

The victim said whenever he had gone to the police station he was ill-treated as was evident from the above said experience. Baljinder Kaur said the police had done nothing to investigate further and no efforts seemed to have been made to catch the culprits.

Sources in the police station, however, denied any harassment. They said the case would progress further only after the DMC hospital authorities handed them over the records pertaining to the case. A police official claimed that some raids had been conducted to catch an accused, Sukhdev Singh, who had received the kidney, at his village, Saheban. However the accused had absconded.

The sources said the other accused Navtej Singh was in Hong Kong and could be brought to the country only after extradition approved by the governments of both the countries.

Meanwhile, the victim today expressed surprise at the statement issued by the DMC hospital authorities, which had claimed that the victim had passed through proper procedure in the case and was interviewed or scrutinised by a committee formed by the government.

‘‘I had never appeared before any committee. Only one doctor asked my willingness when I was undergoing tests in a room.’’



Revival calls for harsh steps’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 12
“With the Punjab expenditure exceeding its income and a huge debt of Rs 54,000 crore on the state, the financial situation is bad. The state bankruptcy is now trickling down to the people, affecting the quality of life,” Mr Surinder Singla, Congress legislator and head of a high-power committee on finance, told reporters in Maharaja Aggar Sain Community Centre of Aggar Nagar here today. Mr Singla was in town to participate in the first state convention of the Punjab Pradesh Aggarwal Sammelan.

Regarding the agenda of the committee set up by the Congress after assuming power in the state, he said its purpose was to organise finances to keep the government functioning. “It will ensure an optimum use of available resources. The borrowings of the state from public-sector undertakings and other lending institutions being almost equal to the size of the state economy — about Rs 60,000 crore — the government is finding it difficult to even pay the interest and make other committed expenditures like the payment of salaries and pensions.”

Mr Singla said the withdrawal of subsidy and the other incentives to industrial units showed how this bankruptcy was affecting the life in the state. He said the government did not want to ditch the industry, but it had no other alternative in the absence of funds to pay subsidies. “The government is aware that harsh measures may lead to the state industry turning sick, but such steps are called for,” he said.

Mr Singla said the committee was focussing on reducing the government expenditure.



Man injured

DORAHA: Nirmal Singh, a resident of Fatehpur, was seriously injured when he was hit by an Indica car (PB 28-B-2521) on Saturday. The car was being driven by Gurcharan Singh of Manvi, Amargarh. The injured was admitted to DMC Hospital, Ludhiana. His condition is stated to be serious. A case has been registered. OC



Man stabs mother-in-law
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 12
The Sarabha Nagar police has registered a case of stabbing on the complaint of Ms Kamla, a resident of New Aggar Nagar, against her son-in-law.

In her complaint to the police, the injured woman, who has been admitted to the Civil Hospital, said her daughter, Kamlesh, had been married to Parmatma sometime ago. But she had been living with her, along with her two children, for the past five days because of estranged relations with her husband.

On Friday, Parmatma came to her house to persuade his wife to go with him. He started abusing and beating his wife. When she tried to rescue her daughter, her son-in-law stabbed her in the stomach in a fit of rage.

Injured: The Division No 1 police has registered on the charge of injuring a man while driving recklessly against Tek Bahadur, a resident of Sherpur, on the statement of Mr Sachin Malhotra, a resident of Field Ganj. The complainant had alleged that the accused rammed his tempo into his brother Amit near the Kesar Ganj chowk on Friday thereby injuring him seriously.

Beaten up: The Sarabha Nagar police has registered a case of assault and intimidation on the statement of Mr Naval Beri, a resident of Club Road, against Ajay Beri and Rohit Beri.

The Koom Kalan police has registered a case of assault on the statement of Ms Nirmal Kaur, a resident of Koom Kalan, against Swaran Singh of the same village.

8 held for gambling: The Division No 2 police raided different places and apprehended eight persons on the charge of gambling on Saturday. A sum of Rs 18,400 was recovered from the arrested persons.

A police team conducted a raid and arrested Naresh Kumar, Bharat Bhushan and Karan Singh and recovered Rs 7,000 from their possession.

In another raid Bonker, Kharaiti and Ashok were arrested by the police and a sum of Rs 1,400 was recovered from their possession. Sanjay and Nirmal were also arrested for gambling and a sum of Rs 4,000 were recovered from them.

Forest guard threatened: On the statement of Mr Gurwinder Singh, a Forest Range Officer posted at Mattewara village in the Bet area, the Koom Kalan police has registered a case against Bhajan Singh, Kuldip Singh and two others, all residents of Machhian Kalan village.

The forest official had alleged in his statement that the accused had quarrelled with a forest guard, Kulwinder Singh, and watchman, Virsa singh, on Friday and threatened them.

One arrested: The Sarabha Nagar police on Saturday arrested Hari Singh, a resident of Pamaal village, and seized six drums of kerosene containing 30 litre of white kerosene and 20 litre of blue kerosene.

A crony of the arrested person, Vinod Kumar, a resident of Housing Board Colony, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, is absconding.

Liquor seized: The Model Town police arrested Hakam Singh, a resident of Butahri village, from the Aroma market on Friday and seized six bottles of illicit liquor from his possession. Meanwhile, the Sadar police arrested Chamkaur Singh, a resident of Thakkarwal village, and seized eight bottles of illicit liquor from his possession.

The accused have been booked under the Excise Act.

Held with ‘charas’: The Salem Tabri police arrested Charanjit Lal Pandit, a resident of a village near Payal, on Friday and seized 500 gm of charas from his possession.


Sons loot house
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 12
The Dehlon police has arrested Harminder Singh and Harjinder Singh of Gurum village for looting their father’s house. A case has been registered under Sections 452, 382, 506, 342, 148 and 149 of the IPC.

According to information, both used to raise conflict for the property belonging to their father, Mr Sadhu Singh. The accused, along with about 12 unidentified persons armed with lethal weapons, demolished the well and took forcible possession of 400 sq yd of land. Later in the evening, when other two sons were not present in the house, they entered from the main gate and looted agricultural implements and household articles.


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