Monday, November 11, 2002, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Three children among four charred to death in car
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 10
An Executive Engineer of the Municipal Corporation and three children were charred to death and three others were injured when their car caught fire after ramming into a stray cow near Jalandhar bypass here last night.

S.N. Tripathi (50), his granddaughter Priyanka (15), her friend Mandeep (15) and Mandeep’s brother Vishu (12) were burnt to death in the car in front of many passers-by. Three other children Avinash (14), Ritesh (8) and Komal (6) were saved by some people by breaking the windowpanes of the car that had turned turtle.

The victims were going to Hardy’s World, a local amusement centre. S.N. Tripathi was driving the car. When they reached near Amaltas, a tourist resort, a stray cow came running in front of the car.

Before he could anticipate the danger, the speeding car collided with the cow and after swerving for a short distance turned turtle and skidded for about 50 m.

The impact of the collision was so strong that the cow died on the spot. Some passers-by tried to rescue the persons trapped in the car, but a powerful explosion in the car ended all hopes of saving the victims.

However, the rescuers managed to rescue three children by breaking the rear windowpanes of the car. The injured were later rushed to a hospital.

Mr Shiv Kumar Walia, a resident of Hoshiarpur, who was coming in his car just behind the car of the victims, told Ludhiana Tribune that it was very difficult to rescue anybody, but even then three children were saved.

Before the crowd could concentrate on saving the rest of the three victims, they were already burnt to death.

Fire brigade officials reached the spot and doused the flames, but the three were charred to death.

The victims were residents of Haibowal and had left the house for Hardy’s World around 9.30 pm. Family members of the deceased said the children were asking their grandfather to accompany them to the amusement centre for the past many days, but he was getting no time for it .

Yesterday, he suddenly decided to take them for joy rides. His excited grandchildren also called their friends to accompany them. But the fate had something else in store for them. They could not reach the place.

The deceased were yet to be cremated. Members of their family said they were waiting for the arrival of some relatives.



Crime on rise but Akalis remain target
Tribune News Service

City’s crime chart

  • Oct 28 - Child kidnapped for ransom from New Friends Colony.
  • Oct 30 - Two PCR squad men booked for possessing opium.
  • Nov 2 - Rakesh Goyal, an industrialist shot dead, Rs 2 lakh looted.
  • Nov 4 - Dacoity at Bapu Asa Ram Ashram.
  • Nov 6 - Pherurai goes missing for several hours
  • Nov 7 - Four undertrials escape from outside Central Jail.
  • Nov 8 - House of a petrol station owner looted in Basti Jodhewal.
  • Nov 10- Trader murdered in Haibowal
  • Nov 10- House found burgled in Model Town.

Ludhiana, November 10
While the Ludhiana police is busy in either arresting Akalis or erecting barricades to check their movement, the crime graph is rising putting a question mark on the priorities of the police, efficiency of the PCR squad and general vigil of the police department.

The fact that not a single case of recent crime, including, murder, robbery and even dacoity has been solved so far, has further put the district police in a spot. To its credit, it must be mentioned here that such a series of crime incidents have taken place after a long time in Ludhiana. Early last year, the city was titled the crime capital of Punjab.

Ludhiana SSP H S Sidhu has reportedly said that the cases would be solved soon and the police had made a breakthrough in several of these.

Talking to mediapersons few days ago he had brushed aside the incidents as general sporadic incidents of crime. The city residents were now waiting for the early solving of the cases.

Two persons had been killed, while property worth lakhs had been looted. There had been incidents of several unsolved robbery and murder cases in the city. Prominent among these include the Ritika murder and a robbery case at the Urban Estate Industrial Area and the murder of a woman and later mysterious suicide by her husband in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar.

Interestingly, no action has been taken so far against some cops, who had been accused of negligence of duty by the victims or in some media reports. Relatives of a man in BRS Nagar had alleged that the man committed suicide because of police harassment.

Sewadars of Bapu Asa Ram Ashram had accused the Sahnewal police of negligence of duty due to delayed responding to their SOS calls, when a dacoity was being committed in the ashram.

Similarly, some cops at the Police lines were doing guard duty with former SSP Gurcharan Singh Pherurai when he went missing under mysterious circumstances for several hours. No action had been taken against them.

The incidents started with an alleged kidnapping for ransom incident in New Friends Colony. Despite the police claims of through investigation, the nine-year-old child was yet to be traced. Then an Industrialist Rakesh Goyal was robbed and murdered in the Industrial Area. SSP Sidhu had gone on record to claim that the police had identified the killers and the press would be informed shortly. The police, however, later seemed to have become busy with the crackdown on Akalis.

Then, a sensational dacoity incident, took place at Bapu Asa Ram ashram. The dacoity was so glaring that the accused, about a dozen in number, remained at the ashram for over two hours and even played football. House of a petrol station owner was looted at Basti Jodhewal. In this incident also, two robbers had come on a two-wheeler similarly as it happened in the murder of Industrialist Rakesh Goyal. 



Nine Akali leaders arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 10
The crackdown on Akali leaders continued today with the arrest of nine persons, including four councillors, here today. They were later produced before the SDM who remanded them to judicial custody.

Those arrested include district unit senior vice-presidents Baba Ajit Singh and Ujagar Sigh Chhapa, vice-president Tirath Singh, general secretary K.S. Khalsa besides councillors Swaran Singh, Kashmira Singh, J S Bhola and H S Golwaria. Vice-president of the Gaughat gurdwara Teja Singh was also taken into custody.

The group was arrested from the local bus stand as they were about to board an Amritsar-bound bus. They were informed that were being arrested under the prohibitory orders in force in the town on the eve of the SGPC elections.

The activists raised anti-government slogans and were taken in a waiting police vehicle to the police station before being produced before the SDM. Talking to newspersons they alleged they were going to witness the elections, but had been prevented to do so. It is a violation of our fundamental rights, they alleged.

It may be recalled that the police had arrested SAD unit chief A.S. Makkar and another office-bearer yesterday.



House burgled in broad daylight 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 10
Unidentified burglars broke into the house of a businessman in the Model Town area and decamped with cash, here today.

According to Mr Preet Mohan Singh Bindra, owner of house no 512-L, Model Town, the burglars broke into the house when his mother had gone out for an hour in the afternoon.

He said his other family members had gone to attend a function in Patiala and his mother was alone in the house. She also left the house around 1.10 pm. However, when she came back around 2:20 pm, she found doors open, the house ransacked and the cash missing.

Mr Bindra said the burglars had broken the lock of an almirah in his bed-room and taken away Rs 1.4 lakh. He said all drawers and cupboards had been ransacked and the exact magnitude of the loss could only be ascertained by his wife, who could tell about jewellery and other items.

He said the burglars had probably used tools kept in his house. They reportedly entered from the left side of the house, adjoining an open plot.

His neighbours, including an advocate and a doctor, said they did not see anybody entering or leaving the house although most of the neighbours were at home, today being a Sunday.

Mr Bindra suspected it was the handiwork of an insider who knew that family members were not at home. The police has registered a case and investigations are on to nab the burglars.



Encroachments thrive as panel withers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 10
Encroachments along the city roads by shopkeepers and others continue to be on the rise particularly because the newly constituted municipal corporation has failed to re-constitute a committee that would submit a detailed report about encroachments in various parts of the city along with measures to eradicate the menace.

The committee that was formed about three weeks ago with instructions to submit a detailed report within a week never got down to its task mainly due to the fact that while the committee was constituted its chairman was not appointed. The committee, however, met a sad end as it ‘disintegrated’ soon after its formation. Two of its members, Mr Rajiv Katana and Mr Parveen Bansal, resigned in protest against the inclusion of Mr Sat Pal Puri in the body. While one committee member refused to acknowledge the official letter about his nomination on the anti-encroachment committee, three other members withdrew their names on one pretext or the other.

The committee, comprising mostly councillors, included Mr Jai Parkash, Mr Rajiv Katana, Mr Harbhajan Singh Dang, Mr Parveen Bansal, Mr Satnam Singh Ahuja, Mr Kuldip Janda, Mr Sat Pal Puri, Mr Rakesh Prashar, the Assistant Town Planner and the Municipal Town Planner. Apart from making recommendations for the removal of all encroachments in the city, the committee was also supposed to suggest ways to beautify the city.

It is in the absence of a clear-cut programme to tackle the monster of encroachment which is slowly eating up all available space in the city, it is becoming stronger with the passing of each day. It is indeed a challenge for the administration.

According to observers, the formation and the subsequent scattering of a chairman-less committee suggests that either the city’s councillors do not want to beautify the city or they have their narrow political ends to serve.



Seminar on insurance trends today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 10
The Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) will organise a seminar on “Changing trends in insurance” and “Claims management” on November 11 in which Mr Sandeep Bakshi, Managing Director, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd., Mr R. Rangarajan, an eminent consultant on insurance matters at ICICI Lombard, and Mr Rajiv Thapar, Managing Director, Cunningham Lindsey Ltd, an Indian arm of Cunningham Lindey Worldwide, will address LMA members on various aspects of insurance and settlement of claims.

Stating this here, Mr Rajinder Gupta, president, and Mr V.K. Goyal, general secretary, LMA, said ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd. was a joint venture between ICICI Limited and Lombard of Canada, one of the oldest property and casualty insurance companies in that country.

Talking about the importance of the subject, Mr Goyal said, “Years and years of labour and hard work go into building assets like house, car, jewellery. These bring along a particular lifestyle and standard of living which one gets used to over a period to time. Any mishap like fire, earthquake or accident can turn years of hard work into a pile of rubble in a few minutes. Right or wrong, many people often say that even if the risk strikes once in 50 years, still the insured gets much more than what he would have paid in the past 50 years, same is true with business insurance. And especially in today’s risk-prone society, it is absolutely essential to carry for some form of it, regardless of size or location of the business.”



‘Ahsason Ke Anjuri Mein’ discussed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 10
A sahityak goshti and kavi darbar was organised by the Preet Sahitya Sadan at the Arya College for Boys this morning. The organisation has been active in promoting art, literature, culture and devoted to uplift of humanity. It was organised in collaboration with the Shiv Batalavi Yaadgari Foundation.

The programme was presided over by Dr Daljit Divyanyshu. Noted Punjab poet Dharampal Sahil’s latest book ‘Ahsason Ke Anjuri Mein’ was discussed by Dr S.Sewak, Dr Lekraj and Ms Amrita Sewak. A paper on the book was read by Dr Lekhraj from Sujanpur and Mr Ramesh Sobti, Mukerian. The chief guest, Dr Gopal Krishan Sharma, Ferozepuri, said the poetry evolved 2000 years ago.

Dr Kailash Bhardwaj, Principal of Ramgarhia Maha Vidyalaya, Phagwara, and Dr Satyanand Sewak, Chief Punjabi Editor, Punjabi Sabhyacharak Academy, were the guest of honours.

The discussion was followed by a kavi darbar. Prof Surinder Khanna, Biba Kulwant, Trilochan Lochi, Lekh Raj Sharma, Dr Divyanshu and Dr S.P. Singh participated in it.



Bairagis discuss problems
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 10
Today a number of Bairagis under the chairmanship of Mr K.K. Bawa held a meeting to discuss their problems.

Mr Bawa said finding a suitable match within the community was a big problem. He said since the Bairagis were spread across the state, there was a need to have more regular interaction. There are over 10 lakh Bairagis in the state.

At the meeting it was decided that all district presidents of the Bairagi Maha Mandal, Punjab, would maintain a register at their own level where the names of marriageable persons would be entered. The district presidents would coordinate with each other for settling the matches. Besides the matrimonial issues, the mandal also thanked the community members and the government for the October 16 convention held in Amritsar.

The meeting also emphasised the need for creating awareness against the drug addiction. The mandal will organise special campaigns for the purpose.

The mandal also announced that it would announce the names of its representative for all 117 Assembly segments of the state. Among others present on the occasion were Mr Jair Rass Bawa and Dr Rajinderpal Bawa.



Youths shoot trader
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 10
A 32-year-old trader was shot dead in Haibowal early this morning by two scooter-borne youths. The youths had come to his house after taking appointment. They had a conversation with the trader for 15 minutes and then suddenly shot him dead. Family sources said they did not know the reason behind the murder. 



Traders meet Preneet on exim issue
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 10
A delegation of the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal led by its president, Mr Amrit Lal Jain, met the Congress MP, Ms Preneet Kaur, in Chandigarh yesterday seeking her intervention for resolving their grievances on sales tax and exim policy. The Minister for Industries, Mr Avtar Henry, was also present.

The delegation apprised the MP of the problems being faced by the traders in connection with the sales tax and the new exim policy. The members apprehended that in case the new policy as announced by the government was implemented, it would hamper the growth of trade and industry and hit the economy hard.

They said instead of taking such measures the government should take trade and industry-friendly measures for generating more revenue. Once the trade and industry suffers, it will have adverse impact on the state economy. More so during the current phase when the industry is already reeling under severe pressure.

They questioned the very logic of the exim form to be furnished with the transactions worth Rs 10,000 and above. This, the delegation members maintained, will delay the supply of raw material, which will lead to the delay in the manufacturing also.

Ms Preneet Kaur and Mr Henry assured the traders that the government would not introduce or implement any policy which would be having any bearing on the trade and industry without consulting it and taking it into confidence. 



Bank exchanges mutilated notes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 10
The Civil Lines branch of the State Bank of India today organised a programme for exchanging mutilated and soiled notes. The bank also distributed coins worth Rs 2 lakh.

A bank official said this was being done on the directions of the Reserve Bank of India. He said a similar function would be organised on the second Sunday of December and January.


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