Saturday, June 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rescued child hints at second kidnapper
Tribune News Service

Award for cops

The Sat Kirpal Vidayak Mission has announced a Rs 1 lakh award for the Ludhiana police for safely recovering Himanshu, who was picked up from outside Greenland Public School run by the mission.

Mr Rajesh Rudra, Principal of the school, said the mission would honour the policemen who had rescued the child. The award shall be given at a function in Police Lines here tomorrow.

Ludhiana, June 14
Did two persons and not one kidnap an industrialist’s son who was recovered on Wednesday? This question has been troubling the district police, as the kidnapped child, Himanshu, continues to say that two men took him away on a scooter.

Himanshu’s father, Rajesh Singla, said the police and he did not know what to believe. He also said he trusted his child’s statement because he had not changed any part of it, in spite of repeated questioning by the police, relatives and reporters.

The police officials working on the case, when contacted, said they, now, had a new angle to probe. The police said the child had been saying since yesterday that the kidnappers had been two persons, but, as he had not changed his version till today, his word should be taken seriously.

The child gave his statement to the CIA Wing again here today, in the presence of the accused, Roshan Lal. The child said Roshan and another person had taken him away. The accused, however, continues to say that he was alone in this.

What makes Himanshu’s statement believable is that he was kept in two houses, the occupant of one of which had four children. Roshan Lal does not have that many children.

The accused had told reporters yesterday that he alone had taken away the child, that too, on a bicycle and not scooter. He, too, has not altered his version even once.

Himanshu told this reporter that he had been waiting for the school van outside his school when Roshan had approached him. Roshan told him that his father had sent him to bring him home, at which, Himanshu sat with him on a scooter and another man drove them away. They took him to Roshan’s house, changed his clothes and gave him a soft drink and some fruits. He was, then, taken to another house, where four other children were present, who even played a game of bows and arrows with him.

When he asked the kidnappers to take him home, they gave him something more to eat. Himanshu never cried in captivity and, at night, Roshan took him to a road where the police caught him. The child, mistaking the policemen to be more strangers like Roshan, tried to escape, but a policeman stopped him and told him who he was. At this, the child hugged him.

Rajesh Singla said he was grateful to the policemen who had brought his child home. The family spent an agonising 10 hours away from the child.



New sewer project spells doom for villagers
Tribune News Service

Chuhar Pur (Ludhiana), June 14
The move of the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board to make the Budha Nullah passing through the city pollution free, by diverting the flow of sewers, is spelling doom for the villagers of Chuharpur and adjoining villages where the pipes are being laid for the flow of sewerage waste into the treatment plant at Balloke village.

As the work of laying of pipes started walls of some houses in these villages collapsed. Their agricultural produce was being wasted as the department had temporarily acquired some part of land for its work. The angry villagers said that while the development work was in progress it did not mean that they should bear the brunt of situation and let their houses come down.

The contractors, however, said that the walls that were collapsing, would be repaired by them at any cost. The contractors also alleged that the villagers had illegally occupied the area earmarked for the road making the development work difficult.

Mr Nirmal Singh, a resident of the village, a wall of whose house had collapsed on last Sunday, said that he had been telling the masons to put sand bags under the foundation of the wall so that it may not collapse. “But nobody listened to me and the wall came crashing down. Did we make the houses to allow these people to break them?” rued Nirmal Singh.

Other villagers, including Kuljit Singh, Surjit Singh, Jagmail Singh, Ninder Singh, Ajit Singh, Rajinder Singh and Teja Singh said that they all were fearing that their property may too, be harmed as the sewer line was designed to make its way near their houses. They demanded that the direction of the line should be changed so that they did not suffer.

To add to the woes of the villagers was the fact that a part of the agricultural land was being temporarily acquired by the board and their crops had been damaged. The villagers alleged that the SDM (West) of Ludhiana had directed the Board to compensate the villagers for the losses but the compensation being given to them was much below the price fixed by the SDM.

Major Singh, another villager, said that his land was acquired and 50 poplar trees were felled. “They compensated me at the rate of Rs 400 per poplar despite the directions by the SDM to give the compensation at the rate of Rs 1000 per tree.”

The supervisor of the company that was given the contract to lay sewer lines said that the strata of the land was so sandy that it was almost impossible to save the buildings on the either sides of the road. He said that under the project they were supposed to lay pipes of around 60 inches diameter and had to dig the entire road. Due to digging the earth on both sides of the drain was caving in and this shook the foundations of the houses.

He further said that the villagers were crying foul for no reason as the masons had already repaired one such collapsed wall, adding that he had assured them that the expenditure of the repair would be borne by the company only. He alleged that in the village most of the residents had grabbed the land earmarked for the roads and so the area of the road had narrowed. “So it was quite natural that their walls had to bear the brunt of the situation. Moreover they kept watering their lawns despite our instructions not to do so.”



Prospectus of confusion
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, June 14
Incomplete information and contradictory statements published in the prospectus of the Baba Farid University for Medical Sciences that was made available yesterday has caused much confusion among the applicants of Punjab pre-medical test here.

Such applicants, who were standing confused after procuring the forms from the university prospectus counters set up at the Oriental Bank of Commerce branches near milk plant on Ferozepore road and Jamalpur Avana, said that the prospectus proved to be more misleading than being informative.

Pointing out the various anomalies, they said that the university did not even seem to be clear about the date of conducting the entrance test. They said that on page 24 under paragraph 9(j), it was mentioned that the date of test was June 23. Contrary to this, the BFU advertisement in several newspapers as well as on page 20 under paragraph 7.1 of the prospectus, the date of test was mentioned as July 21.

Similarly, the applicants said that there was no clarity on the point whether there would be negative marking or not. They said that it was stated under reference 4.5 on page 8 that there would be no negative marking. However, an exactly opposite statement has been given under reference 3.2 on page 4 where it has been mentioned that each wrong answer would lead to deduction of one mark from the aggregate. The students said that if such a point vital was not made clear to them, they might be losing marks.

Besides, the prospectus is lacking information on several issues. The last date of submission of optical mark reader (OMR) application form has not been specified. Also, there is incomplete information regarding the fee structure which was much essential in every prospectus. While the prospectus states in reference 9(g) on page 24 that while gazette notification of the Punjab Government, the complete counselling schedule and break up of seats should be mentioned in prospectus, no such data had been published college wise.

The prospectus does not give detail of seats reserved for categories of students from scheduled caste, backward caste, army quota and sports quota. Only state quota, NRI quota and total number of seats have been mentioned on page 16. The applicants alleged that the criterion regarding admission of NRI candidates or NRI-sponsored candidates was lacking, thereby, allowing full scale bungling on the part of university authorities.

The applicants said that the prospectus did not even specify the phone number, fax number or e-mail address from where they could seek clarification or ask for any required information. They feared that if the university authorities had created such big anomalies in simply publication of the prospectus, bigger mistakes could be committed in conducting the entrance test and holding counselling. 



Management of DMCH warns of punitive action
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 14
The management of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital today warned the employees' union leaders of strong punitive action if they did not stop disrupting the functioning of the hospital. The principal of the college, Dr S.C. Ahuja, and the Medical Superintendent, Dr Rajoo Singh Chhinna, alleged that despite a lot of resilience shown by the management, the union leaders were trying to blackmail the management.

While the college and the hospital functioned in normal course, the OPD of the gastroenterology could not function as some union activists prevented doctors from examining the patients who had come from remote areas.

Dr Ahuja and Dr Chhinna reiterated that the management of the DMCH had given commitments in writing on all the demands of the union. However, they regretted, "the union leaders appeared to be hell bent on disrupting the functioning of the hospital and leading to great harassment to the patients".

Although the management of the DMCH has so far adopted a lenient attitude in dealing with the striking union leaders, it has emphasised that the rule of law would be ensured and nobody would be allowed to hold the management and the patients to ransom. It may be mentioned here that the Delhi High Court in a landmark judgment on May 21 banned the strike by doctors and employees of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi.

Meanwhile, the functioning in all other departments in the DMCH continued to be in normal routine.



‘Need to improve relations with media’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 14
Thanks to the constructive role played by the media, India has emerged victorious from the stand off against Pakistan, says Mr Amitabh Sinha, national secretary of the BJP Media Cell.

He was in the city to preside over the one-day workshop on “Politician-Press interface” here this noon. The aim of the exercise is to ensure a better and cordial media-politician relationship so that the people have access to “unbiased” information of various events happening in the country.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune about the tensions with our neighbour and the softening of relations, he said in the present scenario the aim of the NDA was not to score brownie points or work for narrow political points, but to arrive at a decision that was right for the country and its people. There were just too many factors at play to do anything otherwise, he pointed out.

“I know that the emotions and the expectations of the people are very high, but in the world of realpolitik, one has to maintain a fine balance between diplomacy and aggressiveness and opt for a solution that is beneficial for the country. Otherwise, it would have been devastating for us diplomatically and would have invited the ire of the leaders in a unipolar world. The latter knew the dilemma facing the two neighbours, hence, the efforts to defuse a crisis that was threatening to plunge us into a nuclear war, he added.

Today, Pakistan stands isolated in the world polity and even the USA has appreciated our restraint and has admitted that Pakistan is indeed sponsoring terrorism. Seeing the volatile situation, it has leaned heavily on General Musharaff to initiate strict measures to combat the trans -border infiltration of militants, he said.

On whether the aim of the media cells was to create favourable publicity in the run up to the Parliamentary elections, he said the party was of the view that “ offence is the best defence”. The people had to be educated on the steps being taken by the Alliance in tackling various crisis and the forces which were inimical to the security of the nation, he added.



Roadside cooks serving spoilt broth
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, June 14
As one exits the Ludhiana railway station, one sees several persons sitting on the pavement, cooking food in dirty utensils. They peel vegetables on the pavement itself and gather the waste around the stoves. Heaps of boiled rice are piled up nearby.

Hardly 9 inches seperate the pavement from the the GT Road that is always full of activity. The road is in a state of disrepair, as an elevated road is being built nearby. It has been narrowed by tin sheets around the construction site, so, nearly every passerby walks close to the pavement. The sewerage system here is choked and near the open kitchens where customers arrive trudging through the muddy water. One can well imagine the amount of germs they intake along with every meal.

Migrant labourers who arrive in this alien city hungry, thirsty and awestruck, find these eating places convenient and pocket-friendly. With meagre sums in their pockets, their priority is not hygiene, but to fill the stomach. The utensils they lick are washed with dirty mops by even dirtier and ragged boys . Water stored in dirty plastic cans is served along with the food.

For the cooks, the business is brisk, so, they easily ignore the flies that swarm over them. To make the food “aromatic”, they spice up the food with the heads and the tails of fish that have been discarded by sellers. These parts are skinned and, then, added to the curry “to make it more appetising”. Thousands of persons eat this food here everyday and the cooks have been here for past many years, but, it seems that the Health Department has never seen them. The crowd on the pavements is swelling every day, like the poison-spewing traffic, which coats the food with all sorts of germs.

The Health Department, it seems, is waiting for an epidemic before it takes action against the cooks.



Rape bid, murder in ‘house of sin’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 14
The Haibowal police yesterday registered a case of murder and attempted rape under Sections 302, 354, 376, 511 and 120 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Anu Sharma, a resident of Malerkotla road area, Khanna, against her father-in-law, Tilak Raj, who had tried to rape her, and Nisha, daughter of Tilak Raj, a resident of Lucknow.

Other accused in the case are Poonam and Seema, daughters of Tilak Raj, residents of New Deep Nagar on the Chuhar Pur road, Haibowal Kalan.

The complainant had stated before the police that after an attempt by her father-in-law to rape her, she informed about it to her father, Amarjit Singh Sharma, who came to her house on June 6 to inquire about the matter. But the accused administered some intoxicant to her father. He later died in the hospital.



Man alleges kidnapping of wife
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 14
The Shimla Puri police, on the complaint of a man suspecting kidnapping of his wife on the night of June 4, yesterday registered a case under Sections 364 and 365 of the IPC against Tehal Singh, alias Pappu, a resident of Prem Nagar, and other members of his family.

Mr Harminder Singh, a resident of mohalla Nanaksar in New Shimla Puri, had stated in his complaint that the accused had illicit relations with his wife, Motia Rani. He further stated that on the night of kidnapping, the accused came to his house and demanded a piece of cloth. Next morning, he found that his wife was missing from the house.

Dowry death: The Sudhar police on Thursday registered a case under Section 304-B of the IPC on the statement of Ms Kuldeep Kaur, a resident of Tibba Gopal Nagar, Ludhiana, against Rani, a resident of Jodhan, her brother-in-law, Vijay Kumar, Pardeep Kumar (husband of the deceased), Kaka, Parveen Kaur (wife of Kaka).

The complainant had alleged that her daughter, Babli, who had been married to Pardeep Kumar was done to death on Thursday by the accused at about 4 pm.

Booked for rape: The Sadar police yesterday booked Guddu, an employee of a petrol station at Ladowal, under Sections 376 and 313 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Gita, a resident of ladowal village. The complainant had stated in her application that the accused, who used to come to her house with her husband, had raped her on many occasions as a result of which she became pregnant. The accused later got her three-month pregnancy terminated medically.



Girl raped by landlord
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 14
A 14-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a man at her house in Salem Tabri area yesterday afternoon. The noise made by bands participating in a religious procession suppressed her cries.

The case came to light today when the aggrieved parents met senior police officials, complaining that the Salem Tabri police was not registering a case. The case was registered only after a senior official issued directions in this regard.

The father of the victim said the alleged rapist was their landlord. He said he earned his livelihood by selling fruits and lived in a rented house. He said his landlord was eyeing his daughter for the past several days.



Gang busted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 14
The CIA Wing-I of the district police has busted a notorious gang of tricksters, which had allegedly looted a number of city residents. The police has arrested three members of the gang while two others managed to escape in a police raid.

The gang used to he defraud people by buying things and paying them in fake currency. The gang members neatly stacked real currency notes on top and bottom of bundle of notes with plain papers or fake notes inside.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |