Friday, August 23, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Minor abducted, forcibly married and raped
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 22
In a shocking case, a 13-year-old girl, resident of Pritam Nagar was kidnapped, forcibly married and then raped for one month by her alleged husband in Ram Nagar village. The girl recovered by the Haibowal police underwent medical examination at the civil hospital which confirmed the rape.

The alleged forced marriage of the victim girl with the suspect, Om Parkash, was conducted by some goons in the presence of the girl’s parents on July 21. The family was lured to the village on the pretext of getting them a job but were allegedly locked in a room and freed only after the minor girl was married.

A case of kidnapping and rape has been registered against Om Parkash and some of his accomplices on the complaint of the girl’s mother, Rita Kumari. The victim was released after a month of alleged captivity by the Haibowal police last night. The accused were still absconding.

The police was, however, yet to take any action on the allegation of the complainant woman that an ASI of Haibowal police took Rs 7000 from them as ‘government fee’ for processing the case. The Haibowal police sources said the allegation was false and the complainant made up the allegation just to get his complaint heard.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, the complainant Rita Kumari said she along with her husband and the only daughter were living in Pritam Nagar. A man named Anil promised her husband a suitable job for all the family and called them at Ram Nagar village. They went there and the suspects — Om Parkash, Budhu Ram and Bhupinder Singh — along with four or five unidentified persons were present in the room. The suspects locked them.

The shocked family members were released after three hours only after the minor girl was forcibly married off. Rita Kumari said they were mute and terrified spectators to the ceremony. They could not speak or protest as the suspects and others possessed sharp-edged and other weapons.

The parents were then told to go away. They requested the suspects to release the girl and leave them alone but this allegedly put a condition that they would release the girl if the complainant woman takes her place.

They further alleged that they complained to the police and an ASI took Rs 7000 from them, saying this was government fee. Rita Kumari said they took money on exorbitant interest and paid the ASI but he allegedly took money from the suspects party also and did not take any action.

It was only after the aggrieved family met some senior officers repeatedly that they directed the Haibowal police to speed up the investigation in the case and recover the girl. The girl was subsequently recovered last night.


Fitting band for martyr’s wrist
Tribune News Service

Gill (Ludhiana), August 22
Touching scenes were witnessed at Gill village today morning when two sisters of a Kargil martyr tied rakhis on his statue in the village. The scene witnessed by several residents was the highlight of the Raksha Bandhan celebrations in the region. Unable to control their emotions, several persons present on the occasion broke into tears.

Naik Paramjit Singh had lost his life in the prime of his youth fighting infiltrators in Kargil on January 12, 1999. Though more than three years have elapsed since he sacrificed his life for the nation, he is still alive in the memories of the aggrieved family and the villagers.

Today on Raksha Bandhan, the two sisters, with tears welled up in their eyes, went to the statue and tied rakhis on the wrist of the statue of their only brother. Overpowered by the grief of the moment, their hands were shaking and their faces reflected deep pain. The only consoling feeling was that their brother had laid down his life to save not only them, but also millions of sisters in the country.

“We feel like representing all those sisters and it gives us some comfort,” said the two sisters, Kuljit Kaur and Baljit Kaur, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune. With tears rolling down their cheeks, they said they were feeling proud as their brother was the one who had laid down his life for the countrymen.

His father, Mr Nacchattar Singh, had also served in the Indian Army as a Sepoy and had retired in 1978. He said, by making a sacrifice for the country, his son had done what he had not been able to do.

He said the government had given pension to his wife, but all other promises had fallen flat. He said even the statue of the martyr was built by him by spending around Rs 50,000. It was installed at that place in January this year only.

“I am happy that with the installation of the statue, at least his sisters are feeling some kind of satisfaction. The statue will also help in keeping the martyr alive in the memory of the villagers,” said his father.

He said the government had promised that the village school, that had been named after the martyr as Shaheed Paramjit Singh High School, would be made a senior secondary school. ‘‘But even two years after the promise, nothing has been done. I can’t understand how the government can be so callous and insensitive,” he said. He said he had applied for the allotment of a petrol station, but no such allotment had been made so far.


Rakhi celebrated in Borstal Jail
Our Correspondent

Inmates of Borstal Jail being tied rakhis by activists of the Nehru Sidhant Kandra in Ludhiana on Thursday.
Inmates of Borstal Jail being tied rakhis by activists of the Nehru Sidhant Kandra in Ludhiana on Thursday. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, August 22
Inmates of Borstal Jail celebrated the Raksha Bandhan festival here today with great fervour. As many as 400 inmates were tied rakhis by the activists of the Nehru Yuva Kendra, Guru Ravidass Youth Club and Youth Affairs and Sports Department, Government of India.

Speaking on the occasion, the Jail Superintendent, Mr Lakhwinder Singh Jakhar, said the festival of Raksha Bandhan depict the strength of the bond between a sister and a brother.

He said in this jail most of the inmates were segregated from society because of their indulgence in various crimes. He lauded the efforts of the Nehru Sidhant Kendra to care for the inmates. He appealed to NGOs to arrange such programmes in all the jails so that the inmates can feel that they are still a part of society.

Raksha Bandhan was celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm in the city. There was traffic jams in the market last evening and this morning since the sisters were out shopping. The girls and women could be seen dressed up in their fineries carrying boxes of sweets. This age-old festival has not lost its sheen. Rather going by the way the bazaars are decked with gifts, it seemed that sisters were showering their brothers with goodies and vice-versa.

No wonder, the sweetmeat sellers had a roaring business. The parents fondly watched the shared love between their siblings. It was a day to remember for the sisters who were showered with gifts.

The Brahmkumaris celebrated Rakhi Bandhan by spreading spiritual message in the city today. They visited the Deputy Commissioner, General Manager and many other officials and tied rakhis on their wrists.

According to Bramhkumari Raj, many MLAs including Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha and Mr Satpal Gosain visited their centre to get the rakhi tied.

She said the Bramhkumaris saw the festival in a wider perspective and conveyed that it was not a festival depicting the brother-sister relationship only as it was aimed at shedding the negative attitude.


Friend kills migrant over minor issue
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, August 22
Jatinder Paswan, 25, of Barban (Bihar), a migrant labourer, was murdered by his companion at Nandpur village early today. For the past two months, Jatinder had been working in the fields of a man called Jagtar Singh of this village.

Jagtar Singh said: “A week ago, a man called Ganesh, who was from Jatinder’s village, came here to stay with him. Early today, Ganesh accidentally dropped the speaker of a stereo-deck, which angered Jatinder and he slapped him. Enraged, Ganesh picked up a knife lying nearby and stabbed Jatinder in the chest and the stomach. Realising immediately what he had done, he ran to the village watchman, Karan Bahadur, and woke him up. The watchman brought him to me, after which, Ganesh told us what had happened and took us to Jatinder’s room in the fields, by which time, Jatinder had died already.”

The murder took place at 2 am and the police was informed soon afterwards. A police party led by Assistant Sub Inspector, Mr Kuldeep Singh, reached the spot and arrested Ganesh. Jatinder’s body has been sent for a post-mortem examination and a case under Section 302 of the IPC has been registered at the Sahnewal police station against Ganesh.


1999 shootout: CBI begins part two of probe
Mahesh Sharma

Ahmedgarh, August 22
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has started the second round of its probe into the incidents that took place at Dhakki Sahib Maksudra in 1999. The parties concerned, Tapoban Dhakki Sahib Maksudra and Baba Sidh (Dhakki Sahib) Gurria Patti Maksudra, have been trading charges before the two CBI teams that have been handling two different cases, independent of each other.

Sources said the much-publicised incidents of burning religious literature before a shootout in 1999 had brought to the fore factionalism within the Shiromani Akali Dal. While the core group of the SAD (B) had supported persons of Gurria Patti, the faction led by a former chief of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, had tried to shield the dera chief, Sant Darshan Singh Maksudra.

On the recommendation of Mr D.S. Gill, chairman of the International Human Rights Organisation, the case had been handed over to the CBI. During its first round of investigations earlier, the CBI had kept its observations largely secret. Newsmen could know only that the team had taken from the Payal police statements of the persons concerned and all the case files. Both parties had been satisfied with the working of the CBI.

After the CBI team had left, some newspapers started saying that those who were directly linked to the cases had, now, come to know that the CBI had two independent teams probing two different cases. Mr Tara Singh, a leader of Gurria Patti, said more persons would, now, be willing to share evidence with the team probing the shootout. The other team has already left after completing its paperwork about the fire incident. He said the team was ready to consider more evidence, including the statement of a Nihang, Gurdev Singh, that his son, Gulab Singh, had been killed in the incident. The CBI is learnt to have got a copy of a letter written by a woman called Surinder Kaur of Nabha, which is regarding exploitation of minor girls.

Sant Darshan Singh could not be contacted for comments, but Baba Gurdip Singh, said to be the spokesman of Tapoban Dhakki Sahib Maksudra, said a section of the Press was giving undue attention to the issue. He said the rivals of Sant Darshan Singh had taken the trial to media, which Tapoban did not want to do.

Meanwhile, when contacted, Mr Rajbachan Singh Sandhu, Deputy Superintendent of Police at Malerkotla, said he had indeed received a letter believed to have been written by Surinder Kaur of Nabha in which she had alleged exploitation of some girls. He said the letter had been sent to the DSP of Payal.


Swindler arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 22
The police has arrested a swindler, Harjinder Singh Kali, and his accomplice, Bharpurjit Singh. The accused have become a headache for the state police for the past several months.

They have been accused of duping about 24 persons in various parts of the state by selling fake US dollars to them. Kali was also involved in a daylight robbery of Rs 5.7 crore from Punjab National Bank, near Manju Cinema, in 1985-86. He is facing a trial in the case, along with 34 others.

According to the police, Kali was on bail in the case. His criminal records show that earlier he was a terrorist and robber. In the past few months, he had started cheating people by showing them a fake one million dollar note and saying that he was willing to sell it for Rs 20,000 only.

The accused allegedly kept on moving from one place to another. More than half of the persons duped by him were from Ludhiana city. The police of the entire state was on the look out for him and his accomplice, sources said.

He was trapped by the CIA police and arrested near Arti chowk last evening. The police has seized a fake one million dollar note from his possession. The accused said that he had made several copies of the note and had swindled a large number of people. 


70 kg poppy husk seized
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 22
The Payal police has seized 70 kg of poppy husk from Ghudani Kalan village Rampur near Doraha. Two separate cases have been registered at the Payal police station 61 on Wednesday under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.

Sixty kg of poppy husk, stuffed in two sacks was seized from the custody of Jagtar Singh of Ghudani Kalan who was going on his scooter (PB-55-3407) near Rano pull, and was caught red-handed by the police. A case was registered against Jagtar Singh at Payal police station.

In another case, 10 kg of poppy husk was seized from the custody of Sukhdev Singh of Rampur village from Rampur pull.’ The accused has been booked under the NDPS Act.


Nehru Rose Garden cries for attention

Nehru Rose Garden in the Civil Lines area is one of the select open spaces in the city where people can go for morning or evening walk and enjoy some moments of relaxation. On weekends, many visitors come here to have respite from the congested indoor life. Infact, for a vast majority of immigrants it is the only picnic spot in the city.

Unfortunately, for the regular morning walkers, walk is gradually becoming punishment. Many walkers find it convenient to clean their teeth with a neem datun which is freely available and is kept at convenient places by some individuals in the name for doing social service. Hundreds of datun sticks can be seen lying along the pavements and many walkers pick up a piece or two and keep on chewing for the rest of the time they spend in the garden. Once datun is in the mouth, one is compelled to spit. Without showing any concern for the sensitivities of other walkers, people spit on the pavements, in the lawns or in the fountain water. Foul smelling sputum is a constant irritant to other walkers and in a city like Ludhiana where tuberculosis is already fast spreading, this sputum becomes a source of air-borne infections.

It is also really shocking how Nehru Rose Garden is used as an open toilet. Though there is a properly maintained toilet in one corner of the garden, a majority of the people urinate in full public view in the nearby bushes. People find the place behind the big stone creation most convenient place for urinating. No wonder the area has become the most stinking one. There are no signboards prohibiting spitting and urinating in the open. And one does not find any official stopping or educating the people regarding their indecent habits. It is desirable that the authorities take punitive action against these elements.

Stray dogs are another source of nuisance for the visitors. They keep defecating on the pavements and the lawns. Their presence also poses a threat to children and elderly people.

Regular visitors feel that there is the need for a committee of some responsible citizens who can assist the local administration in making the garden a better place.

— Rajeev Gupta


AirTel tariff plans
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 22
Air Tel cellular service has announced the launch of two new, customer-friendly tariff plans, with an in-built promise of free airtime and unlimited call options. Announcing the launch of the new tariff plans, Mr I.B. Mehra, CEO of Bharti Mobile, Northern Region said: “The new tariff plans are a culmination of extensive research which brought forth the need to give customers, especially a heavy user, the freedom to make and receive unlimited calls. We believe that our customers in Punjab should have enough options at all price points to further enrich their experience of being mobile on AirTel.

Among the plans announced is ‘Freedom Unlimited 2199’ providing customers an option to make and receive unlimited calls on a monthly rental of Rs 2199, inclusive of CLI. Also available to customers is the ‘Freedom 1099’ plan which entails airtime free incoming calls on a monthly rental of Rs 1099.

Mr Mehra said that research reveals a gradual transformation of mobiles form being a ‘mere’ option to stay connected to the most preferred option to stay in touch and, hence, significant usage. These subscription-based plans address this need and the ongoing trend reflected in the research. The tariff plans address this need and the ongoing trend reflected in the research. The tariff plans are available to customers from August 22, 2002.

AirTel is a venture of Bharti Mobile Limited a Bharti tele-ventures subsidiary. Bharti Tele-Venture, is a telecommuncations service based on an aggregate of approximately 2,112, 000 customers including Internet and national long distance as of July 31, 2002. Of these, approximately 1,772,000 were cellular customers. Cellular services currently constitute the largest portion of its business in terms of total revenues. The company also provides fixed-line, VSAT, Internet and network solutions and has also offering national long distance services by offering data transmission services and voice transmission services for cellular to cellular calls.


Building a house; visit this show
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 22
If anyone wants to construct a new house using latest designs of exteriors and interiors, then one has to visit the ‘mega show’ displaying innumerable stalls exhibiting everything floors, chimneys, glass panes, house loans, etc. available, under one roof at an exhibition organised by the Inside-Outside in the grounds of the Government College for Women. The show will be on till August 25.

There are stalls displaying the latest range of taps, and showers. A glass wash basin instead of the traditional porcelain or ceramic one attracts the fancy of the visitors. Some companies have displayed concealed taps, sink mixtures with swivel spout, telephonic showers with flexible tubes and diverter spout with shower rest. Another corner displayed cool cane furniture which infact is not cane but fibre glass. It is India’s first cane look-alike fiber glass furniture.

Creative, refractive and light interactive pieces of glass works are also on display. The wide range of original stained glass., exotic glass paintings, glass doors, panels, partitions, domes, crystal clear fusion work, finely textured beveled glass. oil paintings and unique designer decorative laces of quality wrought iron lamps were stunning. The glass can extend to the ceiling, open into courtyards or even onto the streets to permit in flow of natural light and provide an expensive view.

Various scenery, lamp shades, wall hangings are made in ‘Flora Art,’ the world’s newest and most amazing art form created by using fresh and natural blossoms like hibiscus, orchids, lady lacd, wild sunflowers, carnations, holy hocks, cornflowers, ferns, grasses, hand picked in the peak of their glory and preserved in an exquisite flower arrangements through the technique called ‘potting’. This intricate process is carried out under infrared light to faicilitate chemical reactions and these paintings had come from Sri Lanka.

Wooden floors in different patterns and chequered design are on display. The variety offered in wooden floors is large. The next generation modular switches in different designs also look very attractive. Some banks are offering home-loans schemes. 

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