Monday, May 27, 2002,
Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


3-year-old raped, thrown in canal
Second incident within a week
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
Even as the district police has failed to find the exact cause of the death of a two-year-old girl suspected to have been raped and murdered or killed by stray dogs, another three-year-old girl was raped today. The incident has shocked the city residents.

The child had been missing from her house in Guru Nanak Pura colony since yesterday morning. She was found lying abandoned in the dry bed of Sidhwan Canal near Ferozepore road last late night. The badly injured child was spotted by some unidentified passerby who informed the police and admitted her to the Civil Hospital. Her condition was now stated to be out of danger.

The Division No 8 police station (Kailash police station) has registered a case under Sections 363 and 376 against unknown person(s). The case was registered after the medical examination of the victim suggested that she was raped. The final confirmation about rape would be made only after the chemical examination report on swabs collected from the child’s body.

Sources said the second incident of this kind had send the alarm bells ringing in the police administration. Senior officers of the area and special teams were working round the clock to solve the case. Sources said the police had rounded up 15 suspects in the case but no breakthrough had been made.

The child was one of the five children of a migrant labourer, who worked in a hotel, while his wife worked as a domestic servant in some houses.

According to an FIR, the child’s father said he and his wife had left the house for the day’s work yesterday. When they returned in the afternoon, their three-year-old girl was missing and other children had no clue where she was.

The parents initially thought the child might be in some neighbour’s house but they became panicky when she was not found in the colony. After searching for the child, they complained to the police station.

Police sources said some passerby had seen the child lying in a pool of blood in the dry riverbed and informed the police control room. The medical examination was conducted by a board of doctors.

The second incident of such kind has sent the alarm bells ringing in the police department. Just a couple of days ago, a badly mutilated body of a two-year old girl was found in a vacant plot in Makkar Colony. The case was yet to be solved as the police claimed the child was eaten by dogs but the post-mortem report suggested that child was raped before being done to death.



62 buses found plying without route permit, RCs
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
Unearthing a massive evasion of road tax and route permit duty by the owners of private, especially tourist buses, which was causing a loss of over Rs 1 crore per year to the state exchequer, the Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau has found that 62 buses have been running without permit or other papers for the past several years.

About 40 buses were challaned and 23 impounded during a special eight-hour long drive undertaken by six teams of the local Vigilance bureau along with officials from the Transport Department. The teams had set up nakas in Ropar district, Ludhiana-Delhi road, Ludhiana-Jalandhar road, Ferozepore road and Chandigarh road. The checking began at 4 pm and continued till midnight. The night hours were chosen as the buses plied illegally during those hours.

Vigilance sources said over 150 buses were checked. Only those buses were impounded that had no route permit. Buses with other irregularities like plying without a registration certificate or driving licence or road tax were challaned. The total challan amount was Rs 69,150.

The scandal of illegally operating buses was infact quite well-known in the state but a clampdown on the activity by the government was found wanting. It may be mentioned here that Ludhiana Tribune had also exposed the scandal of illegal plying of private buses, especially during night hours. At that time, the Ludhiana traffic police and the district transport office had conducted some surprise checking but the drive had failed to dampen the spirits of the illegal bus operators. Shielded by politicians, the bus operators continued their work. Ludhiana Tribune had also exposed the role of a senior BJP leader whose nephew was one of the main players of the illegal trade.

Mr R.P.S. Bajwa, Superintendent of Police (Vigilance), when contacted, said the surprise checks were conducted on the directions of Mr A.P. Pandey, ADGP (Vigilance). He said the Vigilance had information that the buses were plying without route permit and in some cases two to four buses were plying on one route. He said the buses found without sufficient papers were challaned on the spot. He said the illegal plying of buses was a major scandal which was being nailed by the department. He said the main loss to the state exchequer was due to plying of the buses without route permit. The annual cost of the permit varied from route to route but on an average one route permit would be around Rs 10 lakh. Vigilance sources said the papers of the buses were being verified further to ascertain the extent of the scandal and any political connections.

The six Vigilance teams were led by DSP Sarup Singh Chauhan, DSP Sarup Singh Mann, DSP Charanjit Singh, DSP Simarjit Singh and Inspector Balraj Singh and Inspector Darshan Singh. They were accompanied by ADTO Devinderpal Singh Mander, ADTO Tirlochan Singh and Motor Vehicles Inspector Rakesh Gupta.



60 residents duped of lakhs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
Over 60 residents of the city, mainly government employees, today staged a protest in front of the Division No. 5 police station demanding immediate registration of a case of cheating against proprietors of Nihal Singh Motors, who had reportedly duped them of lakhs of rupees.

The Division No 5 police has began an inquiry into the case. DSP R S Parmar said the police would first inquire into the matter and then register a case under suitable sections of the IPC.

A complaint letter signed by over 60 residents of the city alleged that proprietors of the Nihal Singh Motors had duped all of them collectively of lakhs, if not crores, of rupees by closing mid-way 10 lucky coupon schemes and running away from the city.

One such complainant Inderjit Singh told Ludhiana Tribune that the accused had started 10 such schemes, named Group-1 to 10. Each group had over 250 members. The scheme was for 25 or 36 months. Each member paid Rs 1000 per month.

The 25-month scheme had a scooter as a prize every month. A member, who owned the lucky coupon, did not need to pay any more, if he won the scooter before 25 months. Those who could not win in 25 months got their entire money back. Same rules applied for the 36 months scheme, which had a motor cycle as prize.

According to the complainants, the accused Surinder Singh, Daljit Singh and Inderpal Singh had build up quite good reputation over the years. Due to this more members had joined in. The accused started making irregular payments since the last one year and then suddenly vanished yesterday.

The anxious members first tried to locate them at all possible places but could not find them. They then lodged a complaint with the police.



No sign of soccer mania
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, May 26
Do you know where the 2002 World Cup Soccer Meet is going to be held from May 31? No, I don’t know anything about this and moreover, I have no interest in football. This is how a Class XII student replied to reporter’s queries when he asked about the world’s top most sport event.

This reporter talked to many students as well public and found that there was no excitement over this mega event. As a matter of fact, majority of the people do not know where this sports extravaganza is to be held. In this part of the country, people have no love lost for football and the game of cricket is popular among them. Probably, the bookies may be aware of the schedule of the world’s super sport, football which is being organised jointly by Japan and South Korea from May 31 to June 30. It is learnt that high betting is being made for this tournament and bets are for super stars and for the number of goals.

Even during a round of the market here, it was revealed that there was no enthusiasm and interest in buying electronic goods like TVs. Some of the TV manufacturing companies have introduced schemes and packages to attract the customers. Mr Rajesh Sood, an electronics goods dealer said, Onida had announced four-year warranty while LG started a scratch scheme with prizes such as wrist watches and silver coins.” However, people are more interested in buying refrigerators and air conditioners these days because of summer season”, Mr Sood said.

Another electronic goods (BPL) dealer, Mr Mandheer Singh, said the company had announced for its customers a free service scheme on the purchase of TV sets but there was a lukewarm response from the public as far as the sale of television sets was concerned.

Some companies have come out with novelty items such as pens, pencil boxes, school bags, caps and also T-shirts and shoes with World Cup logos on them. Although these items are not vey costly yet there are few buyers. The sales may witness some increase once the World Cup meet gets underway.

At one time, JCT Mills, Phagwara, and the Punjab Police were the premier soccer outfits of the country. And Punjab had produced some stalwarts like Jarnail Singh, Inder Singh, Gurdev Singh, Parminder Singh and Kulwinder Singh. But now football game is just ‘out of fashion’ in Punjab. It has gone into oblivion. One seldom finds school or college students playing football. They prefer playing other games particularly cricket. And it looks as if cricket is the national game of India and all other disciplines have gone into the back ground including hockey.



Punters’ financiers: you bet, they get
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
Private players here have found a lucrative business in financing those who bet on cricket matches and the other sport. These financiers are looking forward to the soccer World Cup that begins on May 31.

They lend money at exorbitant rates (upto 4 per cent a month) to gamblers and punters, which has hit businessmen, who find it difficult to borrow money from these financiers at normal rates. Either they borrow at this rate or gamblers get the money.

Most such finance companies are illegal and not registered with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The financiers have amassed huge assets without showing anything on record. This way, they have evaded income tax as well. They exploit the needy who have not been able to get loans from any bank or financial institution.

A leading financier who lives in Tagore Nagar here and has recently been charged with fraud and criminal intimidation, is said to be controlling this network. The network includes some police officials who lend money on high interest rates through the kingpin.

This financier could prove to be a crucial link in the huge betting network here. Though a case has been registered against him, he has been let off without interrogation.

There are also several other financiers like him, but only he has been using his money and influence in a big way to get away with all he does. He is a gambler himself, who spends most of his time playing cards and placing bets.

Punting makes it easy for him to find clients who are always in need of money. He lends money to those who lose huge bets and mortgages their property for this. When his clients are unable to return the money, which is mostly the case, the mortgaged property is sold off at a high price.

Such financiers have now extended their operations to foreign lands as well.



Accident turns ‘supari’ killing
Drug addict got father ‘killed’ to grab property
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, May 26
The death of Ved Parkash of Jandali Khurd village near here, which the police had mistaken to be an accident, has turned out to be a contract killing, where Ved’s son had given the ‘supari’ or the contract. The arrest of the son has devastated the family that had already lost a son to terrorists’ bullets in 1992. The mother had died later.

Rajinder Kumar ‘Bhera’ became the only surviving son of Ved Parkash when his brother Jagdish Kumar was killed in indiscriminate firing by militants at Gandhi Chowk here on March 21, 1992. After this, Bhera started pressurising his parents to give him the relief money that the family had received from the government. He had reportedly fallen into bad company and taken to drugs. His mother died heartbroken and Ved busied himself in his dairy farm.

On February 17, Ved left home for the farm as usual, but did not return. Statements of family members and circumstantial evidence made the police believe that some vehicle might have hit Ved and its driver might have thrown the body into the nearby canal. The body was, later, fished out from the canal and cremated after a postmortem examination.

When Mr Sukhdev Singh Virk, SHO of the Sadar police station, who had taken charge after the incident, studied the case file, he discarded the accident story and started fresh investigation. He found that Bhera had hired some persons to kill his father.

The probe showed that Bhera used to pressurise his father to transfer the property in his name, but the old man feared that Bhera would sell it off to get drugs. Rather, he left the property for his grandsons in his will. Bhera, who had already borrowed a huge sum against the property, planned to kill his father and grab the land. For this, he conspired with the other members of his own gang — Roopa Teli, Sukhwinder and Dharam. The ‘supari’ was Rs 60,000.

The plan was to ambush Ved on the way to the farm. When Ved came out of the village, these men, who were waiting for him, pounced on him and beat him to death. The body was, then, thrown into the canal. A man, who was then in the bushes nearby to answer nature’s call, saw the murder, but fear kept him quiet. Later, the police traced him and made him a witness. Police has arrested Bhera and Sukhwinder and recovered Ved’s bicycle and the murder weapon. Roopa Teli and Dharam are still at large.



Prophet’s birthday celebrated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 26
Prophet Mohammad’s birthday was celebrated with enthusiasm here today. A large number of Muslims from all over Punjab assembled at Shahi Mosque at Field Ganj.

Hazrat Maulana Habib-ur-Ramani, Shahi Imam, Ludhiana, spoke about the teachings of Prophet Mohammad. He said prior to the birth of Mohammad, people used to bury their daughters. He made people understand that daughters were also a gift from ‘Allah’.

Mr Atik-ur-Rehman, president, Indian Muslim Association, stressed the need to follow the path shown by Prophet Mohammad. He said, “Today we not only have to fight the enemy outside the country, but we also have to fight against the corrupt officials within our country.”

Mr Kulwant Singh Dukhia, Mr Parminder Mehta and Dr D.P. Khosla also were present on the occasion. Poet Sardar Panchi recited a few couplets on the occasion.



Residents lift dharna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
The dharna by residents of the Bhora Colony, near Jalandhar bypass, to protest against the opening of a liquor vend adjoining the Guru Ram Dass Bhavan was lifted by the residents today after the intervention of the district administration.

The SDM (West), Mr Malwinder Singh Jaggi, today reached the spot and assured that the liquor vend would not be opened here.

Women and children of the colony have been sitting on dharna for the past four days and had threatened that the protest would continue till they received an assurance from the district administration that the liquor vend would not be allowed to open there.

The residents were demanding that a liquor vend should not be allowed to open near the building as it was a religious place and women and girls from weaker section of society came there to learn stitching.



Man confesses to killing brother
Our Correspondent

Khanna, May 26
The body of Kailash Kumar, a migrant labourer, was found on the railway track here on May 23. The police has arrested Kailash’s brother Ranjit Singh and two of his associates — Raju Kumar and Surinder Kumar — on the charge of killing the labourer.

Kailash Kumar worked as a labourer at a shop in the local grain market. On May 22, another labourer, Raju Kumar, took him away on the pretext that his brother was leaving for his native village in Bihar.

When Kailash did not return till May 23, his fellow workers started searching for him and learnt that a body had been found on the tracks. They, then, approached the railway police, where they learnt that the police had cremated the body after a postmortem examination. They identified the clothes found on the body, after which, the police arrested Ranjit, Raju and Surinder.

The police says that all three have confessed to committing the murder. They said they had first strangulated Kailash and then thrown his body on the tracks. The police has registered a case under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC against the accused.



Scooterist killed
Our Correspondent

Amloh, May 26
Acchar Singh of Machhrai Khurd village was killed when his scooter (PB-48-5216) was hit by a truck (PB-10-9613) at Gobindgarh Chowk here on Saturday. Bhupinder Singh of Baraichan village, who was riding pillion, was also injured in the accident. The truck driver managed to escapefrom the spot. The police has registered a case against the truck driver, Ram Murti of Doraha, under Sections 279, 427 and 304-A of the IPC.



3,000 appear for JET
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 26
The Punjab State Technical Board organised a Joint Entrance Test (JET) for admission to various polytechnics here today.

Over 3,000 students appeared for the examinations at 14 centres set up in the district. Ms Harvinder Kaur Toor, Principal of the Satguru Ram Singh Government Polytechnic for Women and Controller of the examination, said various centres set up for the purpose included the Government Polytechnic for Women, Textile Chemistry and Knitting Technology Polytechnic for Boys, Government College for Women, S.D. Government College, Arya College for Boys, Arya College for Women and Atam Public school. Ms Toor the five-hour tests was conducted smoothly at all centres. The result would be declared by the board almost after a fortnight, she added.


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