Friday, June 7, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Armed robbers loot cash, valuables
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
At least three armed robbers struck at a house in New Agar Nagar early this morning, injured an old woman seriously and decamped with cash and valuables worth thousands of rupees. Such a violent robbery has taken place after a long time in the city causing concern in the police department.

The woman, Gurmail Kaur, received three deep injuries on her head, where she was repeatedly hit with an iron or wooden rod by the robbers. She was rushed to DMC hospital by neighbours and cops of the PCR motor cycle squad. Her condition was said to be stable in the evening.

The police believes it to be the handiwork of some gang of migrant labourers. It said the injured woman had given the description of the three robbers, who looked like migrant labourers. Further, the modus-operandi used by the robbers matched to the one commonly adopted by migrant labourers. Such gangs are infamous for gruesome beating of the robbery victims.

Besides the victim, one more woman, Paramjit Kaur, with her two small children was living in the house when the robbers struck. A visit to the site by a Ludhiana Tribune team early in the morning revealed that the robbers had carefully planned the assault as the colony, being on the outer skirts of the city, is still in the developing stage. The houses are situated far away from each other. The victim’s house was the only one situated in a long stretch of land.

The robbers had broken the front door of the house. The door bolts were broken with the help of a long and heavy wooden log either brought by the robbers or picked up from some vacant plot. Just inside the room, a pool of blood, was seen. It was here that the robbers had hit the old woman repeatedly when she was trying to grapple with them.

The two bedrooms were completely ransacked. The entire belongings of the family packed in almirahs or trunks were thrown out and valuable pocketed.

According to Paramjit Kaur, originally a resident of Himmat Pura, who had come to the victim’s house to spend some holidays, they woke with a start at about 3 a.m. after hearing a loud bang on the main entrance door of the house. By the time the old woman reached the front door, three robbers had already entered in and hit her with some iron or wooden rod. The old woman bravely struggled with them but collapsed after being hit several times.

A visibly shaken Paramjit Kaur said she could not help trembling even hours after the incident. The robber, wearing nickers and speaking Hindi told her to remain silent or she would meet the same fate like of the old woman. “I was directed to stay in a corner with my children who were terrorised to keep quiet and not weep’’ she said.

Mr Karam Singh Panesar, the closest neighbour told that Paramjit came running to their house after the robbery and narrated them the incident. Soon the police was called and the injured shifted to DMC.

Ms Charanjit Kaur Gill, president Istri Akali Dal (Badal) of the district unit, who also lived nearby, told Ludhiana Tribune that the sensational news spread like wild fire and almost all the colony people assembled at the victim’s house. She has demanded early investigation into the case and immediate nabbing of the accused.

The Sarabha Nagar police has registered a case. Police sources said the fingerprint experts found some prints from the scene of the crime and the samples were being verified. Sources said the police had rounded up some migrant labourers and servants working in the area for questioning. All of these were let off by the evening as no headway could be made in the investigation.

The police said the exact amount of loss in the robbery could be known only after the injured woman gives some statement. She was declared unfit to give any such statement by the doctors.



Cong men protest fuel price hike
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 6
The Youth Congress activists today used a novel way of protesting against the hike in prices of petrol and diesel in the city.

The party workers, led by Mr Parminder Mehta, President, District Youth Congress (Urban), took out a procession with a horse pulling a petrol-driven car from Ghumar Mandi to Aarti cinema chowk to symbolically focus on the problems that the common people would suffer due to the hike in the fuel prices. The protesters, carrying placards to highlight the price hike, shouted anti-government slogans and demanded roll back of prices. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Mehta lambasted the government for repeatedly jacking up the prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas. He further charged that the important government functionaries, including the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, Union Finance Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha, and Petroleum Minister, Mr Ram Naik, lacked coordination on this vital issue.

Congress workers, led by Mr Ramesh Joshi, convener, Urban Development Cell of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, burnt an effigy of Union Petroleum Minister at Industrial Area A to express their resentment against hike in prices. In a scathing attack on the NDA-led government in Centre, Mr Joshi observed that the steep rise in prices of essential commodities, coupled with hike in petrol and diesel prices, had put an unbearable burden on the common man. The hike in fuel prices would directly affect the transportation cost and freight charges, they said.

He called upon the government to immediately review the decision and restore the prices of petrol and diesel without any further delay.



New arrivals at Tiger Safari
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
The local Tiger Safari on Jalandhar Road here has new arrivals. These are two chicks of emu, the second-largest bird after ostrich. The emu grows as tall as five feet.

The pair of emu chicks arrived here yesterday evening from Mahendra Chaudhry Zoological Park at Chatt Bir, Chandigarh, where they were brought from Pune on May 28.

A special enclosure, comprising four houses and a crawler, has been constructed to accommodate these birds. The authorities are hopeful that with their arrival, more visitors would visit the Tiger Safari, especially during this part of the year when children have summer vacations.

Mr Vinod Sharma, Chief Warden, Zoos Punjab, told Ludhiana Tribune that the one-month-old chicks have been bought for Rs 13,000 from a Pune-based bird dealer. He said the Tiger Safari would soon have more attractions.

Mr Raj Kumar Joshi, In charge of the local zoo said that these chicks would become full-grown birds in a period of three months and would attain double their height in 15 days only. After they grow to their normal size, they would be shifted to an open enclosure under construction close to the present one, added Mr Joshi.

The chicks are being given crushed grains including maize, gram, wheat and rice. After some days they would be fed boiled eggs and pork also.

When a Tribune team visited them in their new home, they were moving confusedly around in their enclosure. “They will soon be comfortable as they get accustomed to their new environs. We are making all efforts to make them comfortable here. A full-time worker has been assigned to look after them for some days.” 



ASI arrested on graft charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
Close on the heels of the arrest of a Punjab Police Sub-Inspector, the district police today claimed to have arrested an Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI), posted with the SalemTabri police, under the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly taking a bribe from a city resident.

Mr Harpreet Singh Sidhu, SSP, said in a press note issued here this evening that ASI Jagjit Singh was caught with a bribe of Rs 5000 which he had forcibly taken from Mr Birinder Kumar Sharma, a resident of Bhattian Colony in the city. Mr Sidhu said the ASI had caught the complainant with his fiancee and despite his pleas had brought him to a police station. He later released him after taking a bribe of Rs 5000. However, after a few days he went again to the complainant and demanded more money. The complainant then complained to senior police official, who raided the house of the accused ASI and arrested him.



Accident victim awaits justice
A Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 6
The district police remains clueless on a three-week-old accident case in which a migrant labourer from Faizabad district in Uttar Pradesh was seriously hurt and both his legs were fractured. Despite having the registration number of the vehicle involved in the accident, the police has not been able to make any arrest so far.

For Misri Lal, the victim, injuries are yet to heel but the mental agony that he is undergoing is proving more painful. Recalling the fateful day, he said on May 10 when he was returning home after day’s work, he was hit by a Tata Sumo (PB-01-3397) near UCO Bank. A police team took him to the Civil Hospital.

But the victim does not recall the names of the policemen. He was discharged a week later, but his real struggle began thereafter.

He has been forced to sit back and may not be able to work for another two months. Misri Lal has three daughters and is the only breadwinner in the family. Now he has been laid off by his employer.

He said the colleagues of his brother have decided to give him Rs 50 each every month.

Despite repeated requests by his brother Jawahar Lal, the police has not done anything substantial in the case. The investigation officer concerned, ASI Mohinder Singh, was not available for comments. 



Girl dies due to ‘lack’ of medical care
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, June 6
The local Civil Hospital, which has to cater medical requirements of about one lakh persons from the town and nearby villages, has no burn unit. Its ambulance is also not available on demand. The lapse led to the death of a girl who received burn injuries on Tuesday.

According to Mr Suresh Bhatti, president, Safai Majdoor Union, his daughter, Anju Bala, received burn injuries on Tuesday evening while she was working in the kitchen. Where a doctor on duty gave first aid and advised them to take her to Ludhiana or Malerkotla. She was being taken to Ludhiana in a tempo, her condition worsened and they brought her to the Civil Hospital again. Mr Bhatti alleged that doctors had shown reluctance to attend her daughter. When he asked for the ambulance and medical assistance en route, it was not available because the driver of the vehicle had gone to his village. During arguments between staff and local leaders, the girl died allegedly for the lack of medical assistance.

Mr Kishori Lal Badhan, president, Municipal Council, Mr Kalu Khan, Mr Jitender Bhala, Mr Amrit Jolley, Mr Ravinder Puri, Mr Surinder Jatt, Ms Manu Thapar and Ms Balraj Kaur, all councillors, have urged the Punjab Government to ensure availability of medical facilities.

When contacted, Dr Krishan Pilani, in charge, said the hospital had no burn unit, so the patients was referred to Ludhiana. He said there was only one driver in the hospital who was not present at that time. He had asked for a second driver already, he added.



Lectures, rallies mark Environment Day
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 6
A function to make the residents aware of degradation of environment was organised by the Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha in coordination with the Punjab Pollution Control Board, the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology, the Bahadarke Dyeing Association, the Parayavaran Vahini and the Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, to celebrate World Environment Day at the Rose Garden, here yesterday.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Arun Mitra, general secretary, Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha, said: “We have a serious problem of receding water level. There is dangerous impact on quality of air due to industry and vehicles. The quality of water has gone down. Problem of management of solid waste both non-biodegradable and biodegradable is acute. There is rise in infectious diseases. We are now faced with threat of nuclear radiations which could annihilate a large number of people.”

Highlighting environment-related problems of the city through a memorandum, the organisations had made a lot of suggestions, which included provisions of dustbins in the city, collection of waste by the corporation and its proper management, regular check-up of vehicles and industry causing pollution, implementation of the Sutlej Action Plan and installation of incinerators for management of hazardous waste.

Mr Harbir Singh, Senior Environmental Engineer, Punjab Pollution Control Board, explained the importance of the day and took pledge from the audience not to use plastic indiscriminately and not to ride the polluting vehicles. Mr Lalit Jain, president, Bahadarke Dyeing Association, explained how industry was taking steps to control pollution. Dr Sajneev Uppal, speaking on behalf of the Indian Doctors for Peace and Development, highlighted the danger of nuclear weapons. Dr G.S. Dhaliwal explained the effects of population explosion on environment degradation. Dr Rajinder Pal explained the global issues related to environment and said developed countries were more responsible for environment degradation at global level.

Students of Kundan Vidya Mandir, Guru Ram Dass School, Shaheed Bhagat Singh School, Government Model Senior Secondary School, PAU, participated with placards having slogans on environment for peace and against war and use of nuclear weapons. A cultural programme was presented by the Indian People’s Theatre Association under the direction of Mr Pardeep Sharma. Poems were recited by Surinder Kumar and students of Government Senior Secondary School, PAU. Saplings were also planted.

In another event, a road show was organised by the Eureka Forbes Institute of Environment.



Strike call supported
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
The Punjab Bank Employees Federation, Ludhiana, has extended full support to the call for a two-day nationwide strike on June 12 and 13 by the Vijaya Bank Workers Organisation in protest against the arbitrary, anti-employee and unilateral transfer policy for clerks, federation secretary Naresh Gaur said.

The transfer policy was blatantly retorgate. It was an open attempt to snatch away the well-settled bargaining rights of the union and its members as against the well-established practices adopted hitherto.

Leaders of the federation said a demonstration would be held on June 11 in front of Vijaya Bank, Clock Tower, in support of the agitation.



Mahila mandal committee
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
Mr Balraj Singh of Bharatiya Janata Party, South Mandal and Ms Asha Sharma, President of Mahila Morcha in agreement with Mr Harbans Lal Sethi, have nominated a nine-member committee of the Mahila Mandal, whole members are: President: Ms Asha Sharma; vice-presidents: Ms Vinod Bhanot, Ms Sudesh Sharma, Ms Reenu Garg and Ms Kanta Rani; general secretary: Ms Praveen Sharma; secretaries: Ms Sudesh Gosain, Ms Manjeet Kaur, Ms Harvinder Kaur Brar, Ms Mohini Beri and Ms Anuradha Sharma; finance secretary: Ms Surjit Kaur.

Members of the working committee are: Ms Devinder Kaur, Ms Sunita Gupta, Ms Meena Kanda, Ms Seema Kapoor, Ms Meera Roy and Ms Harjit Kaur.

Ward President: Ward no. 1: Kamla Rani; Ward no. 2: Kuljit Kaur; Ward no. 3: Veebha Sharma, Ward no. 5: Kamla Rani, Ward no. 7: Sashi Bala, Ward. no. 8: Tripta; Ward no. 10: Santosh Rani; Ward no. 11: Kanta Rani; Ward. no. 12: Surinder Sood; Ward no. 13: Harbhajan Kaur; Ward no. 14: Sashi Sharma; Ward no. 40: Sudesh Sharma; Ward no. 42: Kailash.

Ms Samriti Bansal was made the member of working committee of District Mahila Morcha. The president of Ward no. 12, Mr Pradeep Rathi was made the member of working committee of BJP South Mandal. Mr Ram Dayal will be the president of Ward no. 12 and Mr Manohar Lal of Ward no. 13.



336 polling booths ‘sensitive’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
As many as 7288 police personnel and officers will be deployed for smooth conduct of the panchayat samiti and zila parishad elections, scheduled for June 9, in Ludhiana, Khanna, Jagraon and Ropar police districts.

Mr Rohit Chowdhry, DIG, Ludhiana Range, said the police had identified 336 polling booths and stations in the range as sensitive. The highest number of sensitive booths had been identifed in Ropar district.



Man drugged, robbed by rickshaw-puller
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 6
Mr Raj Kumar, an employee of Bharti Teletech Limited, returning from Himachal Pradesh and going to Humbran, was drugged and robbed of his money by a rickshaw-puller and his crony soon after he hired the rickshaw from the local bus stand on Tuesday evening, according to a delayed information.

According to the victim, the rickshaw-puller picked up another person on the way saying that he would alight at Bharat Nagar chowk. But he paddled the rickshaw to a side lane on the pretext of having a cold drink. The rickshaw-puller brought a cold drink for him in a container. After tasting the drink he suspected a foul play and consumed only a part of it while throwing the rest. Consequently, he fell unconscious and was robbed of his money.

In the morning, some local bus drivers recognised him and admitted him to a private clinic at Humbran, nearly 20 hours after he fell unconscious.

Shopkeeper attacked: Pritpal Singh, a cloth merchant in Sanjay Gandhi Colony, was attacked and injured by around ten car-borne assailants with iron rods here yesterday.

According to information, Ganesh Kumar arrived at the shop along with his cronies in two cars and started beating up the shopkeeper and damaged the shop. The shopkeeper alleged that the attackers also took away Rs 10,000 in cash from the cash register. The attackers fled before the police could be informed. A case under Sections 323, 334, 354, 356 and 34 of the IPC has been registered against the accused.

Forcible possession: The Sadar Police has registered a case under Sections 379, 447, 448, 427 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Anuradha, a resident of Model Town, against Jagdev Singh and Baldev Singh. The woman had alleged that the accused had forged the documents pertaining to her plot in Gill village and taken forcible possession of the plot.

Fraud alleged: The Division No. 3 police has registered a case under Section 420 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Ranjit Rai, a resident of Shivaji Nagar, against Ashok Kumar, a dealer in electric goods.

The complainant alleged that the accused had placed an order for 20 fans on telephone, which he sent to his residence. But the accused refused to make any payment for the consignment, he alleged.

Beaten up: The Division No. 2 police, on the statement of Mr Harish Kumar, a resident of Karim Pura bazar, has registered a case against Vicky, a resident of Gulla mohalla, Simran, Bhola and five others under Sections 323, 324, 148 and 149 of the IPC. The complainant alleged that the accused had ambushed him on the road on Tuesday.

Dowry cases: On the complaint of Ms Mamta, a resident of Lajpat Nagar, the Civil  Lines police has registered a case under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC against her husband Inderpal Singh, father-in-law Tejinder Pal Singh, mother-in-law Balbir Kaur and sisters-in-law Jyoti and Nimmi, all residents of Sector 19-C, Chandigarh. The woman had alleged physical and mental harassment at the hands of the accused for dowry.

The Division No. 7 police has registered a similar case on the statement of Ms Bhupinder Kaur, a resident of Mundian Kalan village, against her husband Kulwinder Singh, father-in-law Surjit Singh and mother-in-law Gurdev Kaur. No arrest has been made.

Pistol seized:
A .12-bore countrymade pistol and three cartridges were seized by the Payal police on Wednesday evening.

ASI, Karnail Singh of Maloud police chowki seized the ammunition from Jagmail Singh of Chammat village.

The man has been arrested and booked under Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act.

2-yr RI for driver:
Manjit Singh s/o Kartar Singh of Barmi village has been sentenced to undergo two years of rigorous imprisonment. A fine of Rs 5,000 has also been imposed on him u/s 304-A IPC and three-months’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 500 by the court of Mr H.S. Grewal, Judicial Magistrate First Class. The accused, who was driving van No. PCF-3627 hit the cycle of Bhag Singh who was injured and succumbed to his injuries. The accused had later fled from the place of occurrence.

Manjit Singh, who has had his right wrist amputated, was issued driving license No. 1415/97-98 dated February 20, 1998 by the Licensing Authority, Raikot, to drive a motor cycle, motor car and tractor. The accused was a van driver for a school.

NRI cheated: Dehlon police, on the complaint of Gurnam Singh, has registered a case u/s 420/467/471/468 IPC against Balwant Singh and Parnam Singh of Brahampur village and Tirlochan Singh of Chachrari village. According to the press note released by Mr M.S. Cheema, SSP, the complainant is the owner of 12 acres of land and has joint account with Balwant Singh, who has 7 acre of ancestral property. The complainant, who is an NRI, either himself or through his daughters, who are also settled abroad, used to rent out his land annually. This year, the complainant rented out the entire land to Jagwant Singh of their village. But when the complainant came from Canada, he came to know about an agreement which had been prepared on his behalf by the said Balwant Singh, showing it to be dated November 6, 2001 with the complainant’s signature on it and attested by Parnam Singh and Tirlochan Singh. The original agreement is alleged to be in possession of the accused Balwant Singh. The third accused has absconded.

Illicit liquor seized: Sidhwan Bet police arrested Manjit Singh of Malsihan Bajan in  the area of Gorsian Kadar Baksh and seized from him more than 15 litre of illicit liquor and registered a case u/s 61/1/14 of the Excise Act.



18-year-old girl commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
Tension prevailed in New Kundan Puri late evening here when an 18-year-old girl allegedly committed suicide due to unknown reasons. The girl allegedly set herself on fire in her house in Street No 9 in the colony.

A large number of people gathered outside the house were witness to the victim engulfed in flames. However, by the time people succeeded in dousing the fire, she was already dead.

The victim has been identifed as Meena Mehra. The police said she was alone at the house at the time. The police said the girl could have committed suicide for personal reasons and that she was definitely not upset because of any academic result. 



Taxation Bar resents new provisions
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 6
There is widespread resentment among trade and industry circles over the new provisions of income tax, which provided that repayment of loan or deposit beyond the amount of Rs 20,000 in cash will attract heavy penalty equal to the amount so repaid from June 1, 2002.

According to the Taxation Bar Association, the penalty for contravention of Section 269T of the Income Tax Act would be invoked even if loan or deposit was repaid in cash to the government, banking companies, post office, co-operative banks, corporation established by a central, state or provincial Act, government companies as defined in section 617 of the Companies Act, 1958, and all kinds of institutions, associations and societies.

Mr Ashok Juneja, its president, and Mr B.R. Kaushal, its general secretary, said a memorandum had been faxed to the Union Finance Minister and the Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes demanding that such repayments to above departments be allowed retrospectively from June 1, 2002, onwards. They demanded that in view of cost inflation index and movements of economy, the limit for accepting and repayment of loans and deposits be increased to Rs 1.50 lakh, since the old limit of Rs. 20,000 had not been increased from the past 13 years.

The association had further desired that till the Finance Minister brought suitable amendments in the Income Tax Act, the affected persons be allowed to open current accounts with same branches where repayment was to be made, so that the general public be saved from imposition of penalties.


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