Friday, December 20, 2002, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Report finds medical officer innocent
Orders to book staff in Civil Surgeon’s office
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
The Additional Director General of Police, at the instance of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission, has recommended registration of cases against certain employees of the Civil Surgeon office here for dereliction of duty and tampering with the records of an employee, Sukhwinder Singh, to harass him for exposing the infamous medical scam in the district.

The ADGP has also recommended registration of a criminal case under appropriate sections against some employees for lodging a false complaint against him on a fake pad and under fake signatures of Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra, member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha.

It has also recommended cancellation of a ‘false’ FIR registered against Sukhwinder Singh on the basis of the fake signatures and tampered records. It has also recommended reasonable compensation to Sukhwinder Singh, who had suffered mental agony and harassment without any fault.

Sukhwinder Singh is posted as a senior clerk at the Primary Health Centre, Sidhwan Bet. He is president, Punjab Health Department Subordinate Officials Union. He had exposed a scam worth Rs 2.5 crore regarding irregularities in the sale and purchase of medicines.

Several persons, including an Additional Director, Health Service, a former civil surgeon, two Assistant Civil Surgeons, purchase officer, an assistant and a pharmacist along with 10 other employees face charges in the scam.

Incidentally, several of the accused continue to be posted in Ludhiana, playing an important role in the purchase work whereas the person who had exposed the scam a couple of years ago was transferred on flimsy grounds.

Sukhwinder Singh had approached the PSHRC with his list of grievances. The commission had deputed ADGP S K Verma for a detailed inquiry. The inquiry report would be taken up by the commission on January 10, 2003.

A copy of the inquiry report in the possession of TNS states that the investigation was done on the petition of Sukhwinder Singh, who had alleged he had paid a heavy price for exposing wrong-doings of officials. He had said that false complaints were being registered against him by the Ludhiana police and he was being regularly transferred on one pretext or the other.

The inquiry report has made the recommendations on the basis of investigation, documentary proof and statements of the accused, complainants and witnesses.



Inspector Guddu’s assets worth 90 lakh: VB
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
The Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau has traced property worth about Rs 90 lakh of Inspector Shamsher Singh Guddu, who was booked by the bureau under the Prevention of Corruption Act, for possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income, two days ago.

Vigilance sources have claimed here that the cop had just four acres of ancestral land but now possessed 35 acres besides other property. Most of his properties are in Patiala and especially in the Samana-Patran block as per the vigilance records.

SP Vigilance Kanwarjit Singh said he could only confirm that so far property worth Rs 90 lakh had been found and further investigations were on.

The registration of the case has, meanwhile, opened a can of worms . Several persons, who allegedly suffered at the hands of the accused policeman have started making a beeline to the newspaper offices and the Vigilance Department in order to get redressal of their grievances or to include their charges in the case against Shamsher Singh Guddu.

Shamsher Singh had remained in news for reasons other than those connected with his official duty. Said to be close to several senior police officers, during the regime of the previous SAD-BJP as well as the present Congress Government in the state, the cop has received quite contradictory honours.

He was awarded a medal for exemplary services by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, on Independence Day at Patiala earlier this year. This was quite opposite to a statement made regarding him by Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP Gurdaspur, who had conducted an inquiry against him on court orders. Senior police officers had said he was “dacoit in police uniform”, who had damaged the image of the police in the state.

Earlier this year, The Tribune had highlighted how Shamsher Singh Guddu was living comfortably in a police colony here even after being declared a proclaimed offender in a case.

Unperturbed by all this Shamsher Singh Guddu, however, had denied the charges. He had admitted that he had been declared a proclaimed offender in another case but said he had got bail now. He claimed that he was not evading arrest as no one had come to arrest him.

The case pertained to a dispute dated 1996 over a plot in Transport Nagar. The complainant G.S. Grewal was booked by the police on the charges of forcibly occupying the plot. However, later on it was revealed that the case was false. Subsequently, the complainant G.S. Grewal went to the court that ordered the registration of a case against Shamsher Singh for registering a false case.

There are several other city residents, who have claimed to have suffered at the hands of the cop. Armed with heavy files they are making rounds of the Vigilance and newspaper offices to get justice.



The forgotten hero of Goan war
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
“Shaheedoon ki chitaoon pe lagen gey har baras mele, wattan par marne walon ka yehi baki nishan hoga”. Regretfully this no longer seems to hold true today. Thanks to the callous apathy of the people in general and the powers that be in particular. This is proved by the fact that except for a “path” organised at the gurdwara in his native village Sidhwan Khurd, about 30 km from here, the martyrdom day of Maj Shivdev Singh Sidhu went unnoticed.

Major Sidhu is one of the many heroes that the country seems to have forgotten. He laid down his life during the Goan War of Independence against the Portugese on December 19, 1960. He left behind his wife and three daughters all of whom are married to defence personnel.

After the instrument of surrender was signed, Major Sidhu along with Captain Vijay Sehgal went for setting the political prisoners in a Goan jail free. The Portugese were still guarding the jail. When Major Sidhu and Capt Shegal were coming out of along with the jail inmates, some Portugese soldiers started firing at them. Both officers lost their lives while trying to save the inmates.

Neither the Goan government, nor the government of India has so far cared to raise any memorial in honour of the two heroes. There is a mention on a memorial stone in the jail premises describing the sacrifice of Major Sidhu and Captain Sehgal. Akali leader and former minister, Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, who happens to be the nephew of Major Sidhu, during his visit to Goa last year had pointed it out to both the government of Goa and the Centre. He had flashed letters to the President and others in this regard. But he regretted that the heroes, who had sacrificed their young lives to remove the last traces of colonial remains had unfortunately been forgotten.

No matter what may be the extent of callousness and apathy of the government, Major Sidhu’s wife Ms Shivinder Kaur Sidhu has no grudges against anyone. Like a true Army officer’s wife she is satisfied with her pension. “Soldiers do not die for personal memorial and honours, they live and die for the honour of the country and in that mission my husband succeeded. What else should I ask for?” she asked. She was only 30 at the time when she lost her husband to the freedom of Goa.

The commitment of Ms Shivinder Kaur towards the defence forces can be judged from the fact that all her three daughters are married to the Army officers. One of her sons-in-law Lieut-Gen G.S. Sahota is the General Officer Commanding in Chief Southern Command. One of his daughters is herself a Colonel (doctor) in the army.

One of Major Sidhu’s nephews, Dr Gurinder Singh Grewal said the family had great respect for the soldiers, more so for the martyrs. Dr Grewal pointed out, even the board on the road named after Major Shiv Dev Singh has not been painted for years.

Born in a Jat Sikh family at Sidhwan Khurd village, Major Sidhu was commissioned in the Army during World War II. His father Mohinder Singh Sidhwan was a great freedom fighter and one of the co-authors of the Shiormani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee Act. He remained a member of the SGPC executive for over three decades. Major Sidhu had the distinction of taking the tank to highest Zojila Pass in Jammu and Kashmir also. A book Hero of Zojilla has also been written on him.



IT Commissioner arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
A sting operation by sleuths of the CBI stretched over several days led to the arrest of the Income Tax Commissioner (appeals) M.L. Dhussa while taking a bribe of Rs 6.5 lakh from one of the aggrieved parties in his office last evening.

He has been detained by CBI officials. However, it could not be ascertained as to where he was taken after his arrest.

Sources revealed that preliminary interrogation revealed that Mr Dhussa had admitted to owning huge property, both movable and immovable. The CBI officials conducted simultaneous raids at Mr Dhussa’s office, residence, his ancestral house in Phagwara and in Jalandhar too, where his daughter is reportedly married.

Mr Dhussa was posted here a few months ago. He would hear and decide appeals of aggrieved parties against the IT department. It is learnt that he would dispose off at least 150 appeals in a month. The number is considered high by normal standards.

There were several complaints against him. The CBI reportedly organised a sting operation sending a decoy who offered Rs 6.5 lakh to Mr Dhussa for deciding an appeal in his favour. He was caught red-handed while accepting the bribe. He was whisked away to an unknown place by the CBI.

The raids were reportedly carried out today too as the CBI officials hoped to make more recoveries. The officials are learnt to have seized important documents from his possession, which may yield more information about the assets owned by him. Mr Dhussa, an early 1980s batch officer of the Indian Revenue Services, holds the rank equivalent to that of Special Secretary to the Government of India.

The CBI officials reportedly faced resistance during the raids at his house in Phagwara. Additional police force was reportedly deployed there.



Feroze Gandhi Market: an apology for 
modern shopping plaza
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
The shopkeepers of Feroze Gandhi Market here are up in arms against the numerous car dealers, who they allege, have encroached upon more than 70 per cent of the open areas of the prestigious market, turning it into a car bazaar besides creating severe parking problems and affecting their businesses.

The market, designed by the local Improvement Trust on the lines of Connaught Place, Delhi, and Sector 17 Piazza in Chandigarh, is an apology for a modern market complex and is gradually turning into a used car mart and a motor workshop.

The shopkeepers allege that although they had spent a princely sum on buying shops in the area, thinking it would develop into an upbeat market over the years, the occupation of the pavements and other open areas for parking cars, use of parks as washing spaces and discharging dirty water on the roads by these dealers has sullied the once clean environs. They allege that the parking of hundreds of cars in the market leaves no parking space for the visitors, besides causing serious security and fire hazards to the buildings.

The Shopkeepers Association has already written to the Municipal Corporation authorities a number of times to help them check the menace but nothing has been done so far. Mr S.S. Ghuman, a retired PCS officer and president of the Shopkeepers Association, said the car dealers had made their life a virtual hell and they were losing out on business, as women shoppers preferred to stay away from the market as the workers indulged in eve-teasing and even used filthy language.

Mr N.K. Monga, another member of the association, said there were around 35 car dealers in the market who had at least 30 to 40 cars parked outside their booths. He said these booths were meant for shops of soft drinks, chemists, dairy products, studios and grocers. But these were allotted to the car dealers who were using the parking places as junk-yards and service stations for second-hand cars.

He added that on Sundays the women could not visit the market to operate ATMs as hundreds of undesirable elements gathered in the car bazaars. Mr H.S. Sidhu, General Manager of the Ludhiana Stock Exchange, which is also located in the market, said that the building was visited by hundreds of people every day but there was no parking space for them. He said he had also written to the MC to look into the matter but to no avail.

Mr Sidhu said the parking of hundreds of cars was a security hazard as in case of a fire, fire-tenders could not reach shops due to haphazard parking of cars. Citing a recent example, Mr Sidhu said there was a fire in a shop but fire-tenders could not reach the building from behind. The intensity of fire was not much so they could douse the fire by reaching the building from the front.

Charanjit Kaur, an employee in a company in the market, said it was very difficult for her to move out in the market during her duty hours as mechanics and other employees of car dealers were talking in obscene language. She said she had to go to bank numerous times a day as part of her job but had to face harassment every time. At time they also sprinkled water on her. She said that the mechanics played vulgar music very loud and spoiled the environment of the market.

A car dealer said they were not parking their cars for free in the area but were paying the parking contractor every month. He further said that they were also members of the shopping complex as they had bought the booths by paying to the Trust.

The market was handed over to the MC by the Trust and the MC gave the contracts of the parking lots to private persons. The contractors charge Rs 5 for parking a vehicle in the area. The monthly pass is given at the rate of Rs 50 per month.



SHSAD protest against helmet directive
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
Even as cops here have started challaning women drivers and pillion riders without a helmet following directions of the High Court, activists of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) have decided to oppose the move, especially for Sikh women, on the plea that it was against Sikh tenets and principles.

Accompanied by many women, activists of the SHSAD today staged a protest march outside the mini-secretariat here to protest against the challaning of Sikh women by the local traffic police.

Led by Mr Hira Singh Gabria, president, SHSAD (urban unit), and Thekedar Surjan Singh, a delegation of activists met the Deputy Commissioner today and urged him to direct the police not to challan Sikh women.



Police patronising offenders
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, December 19
Several of the city’s notorious offenders are allegedly having a gala time as they continue to trade in stolen goods in connivance of the city police.

A number of cases, including those of theft are registered everyday at various police stations of the city, but rarely is a case registered against these offenders.

According to reliable sources, most of them, who buy goods stolen from industrial houses and factories, operate as junk dealers. One of them, who has a flourishing junk and scrap business in the Focal Point area, allegedly pays Rs 50,000 per month to the police for carrying on with his shady deals.

Focal Point is one area of the city which has the maximum concentration of migrant population as well as thieves. As these thieves cannot operate without the active backing of these fenders who buy stolen goods at throwaway prices, more are shifting base to the area.

The arrest of a city-based goldsmith recently by the Ahmedgarh police on the charge of buying stolen gold ornaments from a thief underlines the fact that such elements in the city are aplenty.



Impressive rally by pensioners
Our Correspondent

Samrala, December 19
An impressive rally was held by the Punjab State Pensioners Mahasangh in front of the Tehsil Courts here today. In spite of freezing cold, a large number of pensioners thronged the venue from all over the state.

Mr Prem Sagar Sharma, Mr Ajit Singh Bagri and Mr Jarnail Singh Dhillon, president, general secretary and finance secretary, respectively, expressed anguish over the “indifferent” attitude of successive governments towards the pensioners’ legitimate demands.

A demand charter was handed over to the local SDM, Mr Jaspal Singh Jassi.

Mr Prem Sagar Sharma, president, said some time before the Punjab Assembly elections, Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, had come to Samrala at the residence of Mr Amrik Singh Dhillon, MLA. He had assured a deputation of the Punjab State Pensioners Mahasangh that all recommendations of the Fourth Punjab Pay Commission would be implemented in toto.

In the election manifesto of the Congress too this was mentioned.

The main demands of the pensioners are to continue DA, fix medical allowance, concession in bus fares and travel concessions to family members of pensioners.



Government committed to welfare of SC’s
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 19
‘The Congress Government in Punjab, committed to the welfare of weaker sections and several measures have been initiated towards this direction.

This was stated by Mr Mohinder Singh Kalyan, chairman of the SC/ST cell of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, while addressing a function organised by the district SC/ST cell at Haibowal here today.

He said that he would soon take up the issue of development of Haibowal and other pending works with the Chief Minister.

Prominent among others who addressed the meeting were Mr Shiv Charan Thapar, Ms Shiela Masih, Dr Malkiat Kaur, Councillor, Mr Karamjit Singh Gill, Ms Surinder Kaur, Mr Vijay Kumar, Mr Amar Nath Bharti, Mr Varinder Gandhi, Mr Bittu Bhullar, Ms Tripta Devi, Ms Shanti Devi, Mr Manjit Singh, Ms Chander Kanta and Mr Mohan Lal.

Congress workers distributed sweets in Bamba village on the nomination of four party functionaries to the reorganised PPCC.



Awards conferred on eminent Sikhs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
The Sultan-ul-Qaum Jassa Singh Ahluwalia award for the welfare of the community has been posthumously awarded to Dr Inderjit Singh, founder of Punjab and Sind Bank and the Bank of Punjab, by the Gurmat Gian Trust, Ludhiana, at a function held here. The awards were handed out by the “panj piaras”.

The awards have been constituted to felicitate eminent Sikh personalities who have kept the standard of Khalsa high by remaining devout Sikhs and contributed to the development and betterment of the society, particularly their own community. The awards were given for the second time.

Others who were awarded were: Bhai Gurdas Award for Preaching — Dr Gurbaksh Singh (Canada), Bhai Ghanaiya Award for Service — Bhai Jasbir Singh Khalsa (Khanna), the Hari Singh Nalwa Award for Sports — Mr Balvinder Singh Fidda, Prof Sahib Singh Award for Education — Mr Gurmail Singh (England), and the Principal Jagjit Singh Sidki Award for exceptional preaching of Sikh ethos — Principal Harbhajan Singh of Sikh Missionary College.

According to Kanwar Mohinder Partap Singh, Principal of Gurmat Gian Missionary College, giving awards to people for selfless service to the Panth has been an age-old practice in the community. In the past, such awards were given to those who rendered exceptional service. Over the passage of time, the leaders of the community got involved in petty matters and started the game of oneupmanship that did not allow the recognition of hard and selfless work for the Panth. This is one of the reasons why the youth today have no role models to emulate and are becoming apostate with each passing day.

Another facet of the awards is to present before the youth personalities who — contrary to the growing belief among the youth that one can get nowhere by remaining a devout Sikh — have done both the nation and the community proud, he pointed out.

Dr Inderjit Singh was the founder of Punjab and Sind Bank, PSB Finance Company and the Bank of Punjab. The award was accepted by Mr Amarjit Singh.

Principal Harbhajan Singh is running Sikh Missionary College with several branches in the country and abroad and has done exceptional service to the community by educating people by publishing various books.



Need to preserve values’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 19
A discourse on “Living values — dire need of hour” was held here last evening by Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwavidyalaya. During the discourse, decline in individual qualities like human values and ethics were discussed.

B.K. Chris (Jurist) from Hong Kong talked about the need for preserving human values. He said people were getting away from traditional human values and thus the society was coming apart.

BK Mruthyunjaya (vice-chairperson, education wing) Mt. Abu, Rajasthan, told the audience that their institution was imparting value and spiritual education to teachers and educators in different parts of the country. The government of many states like Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu etc were regularly sending their teachers for such training.

He further said that Brahm Kumaris’ institutions also offered several courses for different professionals and also for the general public.



Tohra undergoes surgery
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 19
Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, former president SGPC, underwent heart bypass surgery at Batra Hospital, Delhi, yesterday. The surgery was performed by Dr T.S. Mahant, Chief Thoracic Surgeon, and Dr Upinder Kaur, Chief Cardiologist, of the hospital.

According to information available, Mr Tohra is stable and is making satisfactory progress.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President, SAD, and Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers, called on Mr Tohra at the hospital and wished him speedy recovery. They remained with Mr Tohra for half an hour.



Club finds 3 abandoned children
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
The Shaheed Bhagat Singh Club in Jagraon has picked up three children of a migrant labourer found abandoned near the railway station there.

The children, all minor, are Madan Pal (7), Ranpal (3), and Akshay Kumar (3).

The organisation has informed the SDM, Jagraon, about the children who has promised to make arrangements for their upkeep.



Kidnapping of minor girl alleged
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 19
The Basti Jodhewal police has registered a case under sections 363 and 366 of the IPC against a migrant from Bihar for allegedly kidnapping a minor girl living in Hira Nagar.

Mr Pawan Singh, the father of the girl, complained to the police that Abdul Rashid, a young migrant from Bihari, who lived in Kakowal village, had abducted his minor daughter. The police is raiding various places to recover the girl.

Booked: The division number 6 police has registered separate cases against a number of cinema-owners of the city on the charge of defacing government property. According to the police, the cinema-owners have been booked for pasting film posters on the Dholewal bridgey without obtaining permission from the authorities concerned.

One held: The Shimla Puri police has arrested Muni Ram alias, Fauji, a migrant from UP, who had been living on the Daba-Lohara road and booked him under Section 292-6 of the IPC on the charge of selling pornographic CDs on the road.

Thefts: The Shimla Puri police has registered a case of theft under sections 457 and 380 of the IPC against unknown burglars, who reportedly broke into the house in mohalla Fateh Singh Nagar on Tuesday night and decamped with valuables. Ms Surjit Kaur had complained to the police that the burglars broke the locks of her house and took away cash and valuables from there.

The Jodhewal police has registered a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Balwant Singh Rajput, a resident of Juneja Colony, against Naresh Kumar, Sonu and Bittu, all residents of Manjit Nagar. The complainant had alleged that the accused scaled a wall to enter his house and stole a gas cylinder and a stereo deck from the house.

Allegation: The division number 7 police has registered a case under sections 447,457,380 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Dr Subhash Handa, a resident of Gokal Road, against Vir Bahadur, a resident of Sarpanch Colony, and Pardip Vikram, a resident of Mundian Khurd village. The complainant had alleged that the accused took forcible possession of his 15-acre plot and also stole away iron girders and other items from the plot.

Case registered: The division number 7 police has registered a case under sections 353,186 and 323 of the IPC against two unknown persons riding a scooter on the complaint of Home Guard Balwinder Singh. The complainant had alleged that the accused attacked him, abused him and also tore up his uniform before fleeing.

Cases of beating: The Jodhewal police has registered a case under sections 323,341,506,148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Ajay Kumar, a resident of Valmik Nagar in Basti Jodhewal, against Raja, Jinder and three others. The complainant had alleged that the accused intercepted him on the way in Sunder Nagar and beat him up. The accused also threatened him before leaving, he added.

The Model Town police, on the complaint of Ms Satnam Kaur, a resident of MIG Flats, Phase-II, Dugri, has registered a case under sections 452,323 and 34 of the IPC against Surinder Puri, Vishal Puri and Ashok Chawla, all residents of Dugri. The woman had alleged that the accused forced their way into her house and beat up her son Inderbir Singh.

Dowry case: The Haibowal police has registered a case under Sections 406,498-A and 506 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Pooja,a resident of Ranjodh Park, Haibowal Kalan, against her husband Ravinder Kumar, father-in-law Manohar Lal, mother-in-law Kanta, Rani, Poonam, Sunaina, Ambika and Vipan Kumar. The complainant had alleged that the accused often subjected her to mental and physical harassment, demanding more dowry. The accused also threatened her in order to press their demands, she added.

Injured: The Civil Lines police has registered a case under sections 279,337,427 and 338 of the IPC on the statement of Mr. Balwinder Singh, who lives on the Ferozepore Road, against an unknown jeep driver. The complainant had alleged that the jeep driver had knocked down his brother while he was riding his scooter and fled the scene of the accident. His brother, who was injured in the accident, had to be rushed to the hospital, he added.

Fraud alleged: The Shimla Puri police has registered a case of alleged fraud on the  statement of Mr Mittal Arora, a resident of Polytechnic Colony on the Gill Road, against Sarabjit Singh, Managing Director of a consultancy firm on the Gill Road. The complainant had alleged that the firm did not give him the services he was entitled to even after he paid the consultation fee in advance.

Liquor seized: The Model Town police arrested a woman identified as Usha, who lives in a slum near the Bus Stand, and recovered from her possession an unspecified quantity of illicit liquor.



1030 POs arrested during last year
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
Ludhiana police chief Harpreet Singh Sidhu today claimed in a press note that the police had succeeded in nabbing 1030 proclaimed offenders during this year.

According to the SSP, these POs were arrested by the newly constituted PO cell. Many among then were migrants.

He said the police arrested four POs from Himachal, six from Rajasthan, 16 from UP, four from Haryana, three from Delhi, 17 from the state and 19 from the district.


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