Saturday, December 28, 2002, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Burglars escape from lock-up; police denies
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Laddowal (Ludhiana), December 27
Two burglars allegedly escaped from the police custody last night, by breaking the ceiling of the Laddowal police post lock-up room, in Laddowal village on Ludhiana-Jalandhar GT Road. The police is denying the alleged dare-devil escape from the lock-up. Inspector Paramjit Singh, SHO Sadar said no such incident has been reported.

However, there are scores of residents in the area who said they had themselves handed over the two burglars to the Laddowal police officials and who found them missing today

Resentment prevails among residents of the village as a gang of burglars had been active in the area for the last one week and the local police had been unable to catch the culprits.

While the police had failed to arrest anyone, some shopkeepers of the main market had caught hold of two burglars last afternoon. The residents had heaved a sigh of relief after this. But due to inefficiency shown by the police, the culprits had escaped from the lock up.

Mr Harpreet Singh, a shop owner and Mr Satnam Dass, president of the Laddowal Market Association, said the residents suspected that some cops were hand-in-glove with the gang of burglars. They said they had handed over the burglars to the police yesterday afternoon and today morning a police constable came to their shop to inform that the burglars had escaped.

Talking about their nightmarish experience, the shopkeepers told a Ludhiana Tribune team that there had been a sudden spate in theft and burglary incidents in the area, especially in the shops. The burglars’ gang was expert in breaking and entering through rooftops of the shops to commit burglary. Last Friday the burglars had looted Aneja Karyana Store. On Wednesday night, two burglars were seen on the roof top of Ahuja Karyana Store. They fled in a three-wheeler when challenged by some vigilant residents.

The residents had recognised three-wheeler and traced the owner yesterday morning. He informed them that two persons had taken his three-wheeler on rent. Harpreet Singh said they had found an axle of the three-wheeler on the roof top of the shop where the attempt to burglary was made on Wednesday. The vehicle owner recognised the axle as a spare part of his vehicle.

The shopkeepers then traced the two men and gave them a good beating. Officials of the Laddowal police post also reached the scene and took away the two alleged burglars. They told the residents that they would interrogate them at night and by tomorrow morning, the case would be clear.

However, today morning, the residents learnt that the two burglars had escaped form police custody. Angry residents gathered outside the police post and confronted the officials. Much to their shock, the police officials completely denied they had brought the two alleged burglars to the post.

The police officials were not allowing the mediapersons inside the police post. The photographers were also kept at a distance. Sources, however, said senior police officers were making inquiries about the entire episode and a hole had been found in the roof of a lock-up room.

The sources said the Laddowal police officials were in a dilemma over the entire issue as the alleged burglars were reportedly in illegal confinement at the police post and if the police officials now admitted that the burglars had escaped then it confirmed their illegal confinement.

Under the rules, the rounded up inmates are supposed to be sent to a police station.



MC, IT lack control over building laws
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 27
The unpleasant task of regulation and enforcement of building control, including removal of encroachment, in the posh city localities, seems to be nobody’s baby and both the Municipal Corporation and Ludhiana Improvement Trust are engaged in a game of passing the buck for quite some time now.

Unable to resolve the issue at the local level, the two urban bodies have now approached the Department of Local Government, Punjab, to intervene and decide the matter once for all so that several pending cases of violation of building bylaws, involving composition or in some cases, demolition of the structures, could be taken up and the enforcement of building norms could be effectively implemented.

Total uncertainty prevails in various posh colonies, developed by Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) and later transferred to MC for maintenance as far as regulation of building activity is concerned. For quite some time, it was the MC administration which was responsible for the entire building activity, including approval of building plans, enforcement of building by-laws and regulation of violations in the colonies transferred to it by the LIT.

However, way back in 2001 when Mr M. M. Vyas was the Chairman of LIT, the trust asserted its right over the building activity on the ground that the MC was to maintain civic services in the colonies handed over to it and the building activity, being an integral part of the development schemes in totality, should be retained by the LIT. Initially, the civic administration resisted the move on the plea that it would lead to duplicity and two different bodies doing the same thing, people would try to take advantage of the situation with the result that enforcement and regulation of building activity would become lax.

With the Department of Local Government, Punjab, sitting over the crucial matter till now and failing to take a clear decision on building control in the LIT colonies in the city, which stand transferred to MC for maintenance, owners of a large number of residential and commercial buildings are taking full advantage of the situation since both the MC and LIT evade to take charge where gross violations of building by-laws or removal of encroachments are concerned. There have been several cases of regulation and enforcement of building activities in colonies like Sarabha Nagar, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Kitchlu Nagar, Model Town Extension, which remain undecided with both the bodies asking each other to act.

In the absence of clearly laid down policy and a single enforcement agency, the situation in many a posh localities has become chaotic with spate of encroachments and blatant change of land use. Quite a few colonies, which were developed as purely residential areas with specifically marked portions for commercial activity, have been put to commercial use without any permission or payment of charges for change of land use. Similarly, slack enforcement has also led to cases of violations of building norms piling up and remaining undecided for years together with the offenders going scot free and thanking their stars.


Heavy rush at train ticket counters
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
There is total chaos at the Ludhiana railway station. There is heavy rush at ticket counters and hundreds of passengers are returning without getting ticket. Left with no option some board trains without ticket, only to be caught and harassed by train ticket examiners (TTEs). This seems to have become a routine at the station with railway officials refusing to listen to people’s problems.

A common complaint of passengers is that the ticket windows are never opened in time. These are opened 15 or 20 minutes before the departure time of a train. Tickets are issued only at one counter for a particular train. This is despite the fact that with the computerisation tickets can be issued from any counter for any train.

The passengers have been complaining that most of the windows remain closed and only a few are opened. This leads to heavy rush and long queues. People have to wait for long durations and return without ticket. “Either we have to miss the train or we travel without ticket”, says a passenger.

Another passenger pointed out that there are signboards mentioning that tickets for all trains and all stations are available at all counters. But this is not true. If someone stands and waits in a queue and reaches a counter, there he is told that he should take the ticket from another counter. And then he has to stand in another queue and by the time he reaches the window the train has already left the station.

Railway officials maintain that due to a shortage of staff they are not able to open all windows. Moreover, they claimed that such situations might be occurring rarely and it was not a routine. The officials disclosed that there were several counters other than one at the railway station. One ticket counter is at Kailash Chowk and the other across the railway line.

But the passengers say “If you want to travel with a current ticket, you will have to reach the station at least one hour in advance. Otherwise there are more chances of your missing the train as you cannot reach the window in time”.


Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma enthrals audience
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 27
Amaan Ali Bangesh and his younger brother Ayaan Ali Bangesh, the seventh generation of a musical lineage, Senia Bangesh School, gave a scintillating performance on sarod on the last day of SPIC MACAY. The musical concert started last evening and ended late at night at GRD Academy.

Both learnt playing sarod from their father Amjad Ali Khan, famous sarod player. They have won accolades in India as well as outside India. Ayaan and Amaan received the Best Budding Artiste award from the Prime Minister in 1998.

They started their performance by playing Raag Puriya Dhanashri. Even the students listened with rapt attention when two tabla players, Sabir Khan and Mithlesh, Amaan and Ayaan played profound music in unison.

The tabla players did commendable job, Sunita Zutshi played tanpura.

A charismatic, tall, exceptionally gifted and complete musician, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, was the other artiste. He told the students that he travelled for 12 hours from Mumbai to be here. He said, “Fog was the villain. My flight was inordinately delayed. But I have been associated with SPIC MACAY for a long period.”

He said, “Before coming on the stage I did not know which raag I would play. The beauty of Indian music is that it does follow written notes. It is improvised. The same musician can play the same raag at five different places in a different manner. The playing would depend on the mood of the artiste, the receptivity of the audience.”

Pandit Shiv Kumar played Raag Kalavati on Santoor.

The three-day convention was a success and students enjoyed dance and music performances. Mr N. S. Tasneem, city-based retired Professor, conducted workshops in creative writing. Students joined pottery, kalamkari, calligraphy, Kathak and other workshops conducted by artistes of repute that had come from various parts of the country.

GRD Academy provided accommodation and meals for delegates for three days. Shingora Shawls gave 60 shawls to be presented to artistes.


Delimitation of wards completed
Our Correspondent

Doraha, December 27
Fresh delimitation of wards of the town has been completed and a five-member committee constituted for the purpose. The members include Mr S.R. Kaler, Deputy Director, Local Bodies, Mr Sudarshan Kumar Sharma, president, nagar council, Mr Amarjit Singh Grewal, Executive Officer, Mr Sucha Singh Mast, SDM, Payal and Mr Bant Singh Dahurjee, former chairman, Budhewal Sugar Mills.

The entire town has been divided into 13 wards, out of which nine are for reserved categories and three for the general category. Ward numbers 1,2,6 and 12 are reserved for the Schedule Caste, ward number 9 for the backward class, ward numbers 4, 7, 10, 13 for woman candidates and ward number. 3, 5, 8 and 11 for the general category.

Mr S.R. Kaler said “The total population of the town is 18,522 and approximately 1424 people have been included in each ward.” The ward of Mr Sudarshan Kumar Pappu, president, nagar council, is in the general category, while the ward of councillor Jaswinder Singh Jassa has been changed from the backward class to the general category.

With the delimitation of wards, decks have been cleared for the forthcoming elections of the nagar council, but Akali leaders are dissatisfied with the move as no Akali leader had been included in the committee.

Mr Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill, an Akali activist, said “With fresh delimitation of wards, addresses of residents of the town have been changed. The entire exercise is aimed at giving credit to a few people. The ward of Councillor Ishwar Singh and councillor Rajbir Singh Raobal have also been reserved for women. Instead of following a method of rotation, there has been a reshuffling.”


Scare among residents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
Residents and shopkeepers on the Rani Jhansi road, especially living in the area opposite the Khalsa College of Women, are a scared lot these days owing to a sudden spate in crime incidents.

A number of chain snatching incidents, car thefts, mobile phone thefts and even stealing of gate lights have become the order of the day. Scared residents say they have approached the police to intensify patrolling but nothing has been done so far.

The residents are also unhappy with the Municipal Corporation. They have requested the MC several times to clear the bushes from some abandoned plots in the area but the requests were yet to be answered. Residents suspect that anti-social elements hide in these abandoned plots.

Mr Amir Chand, a resident, said a car was stolen a few days ago and chain snatching incidents occur regularly. Ms Shalini Gambhir, another resident, complained that some persons stole gate lights from her house.

The residents said they were not feeling secure because of such incidents. A lecturer had also lodged a complaint with the police that a scooter-borne boy snatched her gold chain last week.

Residents have urged city police chief Harpreet Singh Sidhu to provide more police security in the area.



Free education to two orphan children
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 27
The Niharika Ladies Club has come to the aid of two orphan children in the city who lost their father due to renal failure recently.

Yatin (12) and Shabnam 9), residents of New Tagore Nagar, had lost their mother about four years ago and the members of the Niharika Club have decided to provide free education to these children, who now live with their old grandmother.

Ms Shaheen, vice-president of the club, said that the club had collected money for the treatment of their father, Rajinder Moudgil, a few months back. "But unfortunately, we could not save his life as both his kidneys were damaged. Their mother had died as she was suffering from cancer. We do not want that these children should suffer. We are trying to do everything possible for them," said Ms Shaheen

The club celebrated its annual day and released a souvenir here today. Ms Neeta Bajaj, president of the club, said that the new team would be announced.

The children of the club members presented skit and dance items on the occasion.



Local girl wins gold at NCC passing-out parade
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 27
An NCC officer, Ms Kulwinder Kaur Sandhu, at the NCC Officers Passing out parade held at Gwalior, was declared the Best Parade Commander and presented a gold medal by General H. K. Sharma, (VSM), Additional Director General, NCC.

Kulwinder was appointed to the post of Lieutenant in January 2002 after her selection in UPSC examination. After that she went for her training to Gwalior. Wishing to emulate her father’s example, Lieut Col B.S. Sandhu, Commander Officer , 19th Punjab Battalion , NCC, Ludhiana, she did exceedingly well .

Ms Sandhu has done MBA, MA (public administration) and M.Sc (computer education) through distance education. Widely travelled on account of her postings, her education was in different places. She did her schooling from Mysore, studied for her BSc degree from local Government College for Women. During her college she had got C certificate in NCC.

Kulwinder has also participated in beauty pageants like Ms Cosmopolitan India, was declared Ms Mysore while studying in school there. She actively participated in cultural functions held during her training. Her next posting is with Four Punjab Girls Battalion NCC, Patiala.

Kulwinder would lead woman NCC Officers at the forthcoming Republic Day Parade to be held on January 26. Talking to Ludhiana Tribune she said that she was very happy as she wanted her parents to be proud of her. She says,” I plan to join Indian Foreign Service. Sky is the limit. My early marriage has not meant the end of fulfilling of my plans. I want to live up to my parents’ expectations as they always feel that girls are as good as boys in all fields.”


Industrialist denies going underground
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
The controversy over the registration of an FIR against Mr Pradeep Bhateja, a city-based industrialist, for allegedly committing a fraud refuses to subside. Mr Bhateja today ridiculed the statements of officials of the administration that he was absconding.

He said he was granted the bail on the next day of the registration of the FIR and there was no need for him go underground.

Meanwhile, the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry today demanded a thorough investigation of the case. In a statement, the president of the chamber, Mr P.D. Sharma, said the Punjab Financial Corporation officials were supposed keep a severest possible check on the money lent by the corporation.

Mr Sharma pointed out that it was wrong to blame and victimise the industrialist as in this case there had been a lapse on the part of the officials. No fraud can take place without their connivance and the officials concerned should be equally penalised for encouraging this fraud, Mr Sharma added.

He said a campaign should be launched by the corporation to verify the genuineness of the use of the money lent by it.

Genuine borrowers had many grouses against the corporation, he said.

It was time for the corporation to introspect and launch a campaign to identify erring borrowers as well as officials, Mr Sharma added.


Penniless poet seeks help
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 27
At the sunset of his life, 78-year-old poet Pritam Dass Thakur has nothing but penury staring in his face. Almost blind due to age and in bad health, he wants the society to help him live a decent life.

A semi-illiterate and self-taught, man with great imagination and zest for life, Pritam Dass started writing couplets which were humorous as well as educative. Riding a bicycle, he would visit different schools, read out his couplets and win applause. His specialty was to teach students to laugh in different ways as he felt life without laughter was meaningless. His reasonably priced leaflets earned him livelihood.

At present he lives with his mentally challenged daughter. His other five daughters are married. He says that his family members had taken advantage of his poor vision and taken away money from him. Still alert, he recites a few of his couplets. Women in his views should have great respect. In this context, he says,

“Jo nari nu juti aakhda’

fitte munh baeemaan da

Is naari ne nak munh punjhe,

rishian da te bhagwan da.”

His anthology of poems, comprising 65 peoms, has been published by the Punjab Sahitya Akademy. The book reflects his hold on reality and his mastery on various themes. About religion he says,

“Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Issai

apas vich eh karde ladai,

khyalauna de bade vichitar

oopron khare undero khote.”

The poet, who spent his life educating students, needs help to live his life with dignity.


2 held for drug trafficking
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 27
A gang involved in the smuggling of poppy husk was busted yesterday following a raid by the Jodhewal police. Three persons were also arrested and contraband weighing nearly one tonne was seized from a truck.

According to information, the police had received a tip off that certain persons were going to smuggle a shipment of poppy husk across the Sutlej to Phillaur. Following this the police raided a place on the banks of the river in Sasrali Colony which is located near the Rahon Road. The three persons arrested from the spot have been identified as Shakuntla and Rano, both residents of Dhakka Colony in Phillaur and Banarsi Dass, a resident of a village near Nawanshahr. Their interrogation is likely to provide some vital leads about other such gangs, according to the police.

Poppy husk seized

The division number two police has arrested Bal Krishan, alias Bablu, a migrant from Gwalior, and seized 10 kg of poppy husk from his possession. The accused, who was living in Jugiana village on the Chandigarh road, was arrested during a raid on the Overlock road

Minor girl abducted

The Basti Jodhewal police has registered a case of alleged kidnapping under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC on a statement by Mr Amarjit Singh, a resident of Sira village, against his domestic servant who had abducted his 16-year-old daughter.

The complainant had alleged that Harmesh, alias Arun, a Bihari migrant, who had been employed as domestic help by him, had kidnapped his daughter at around 7.30 am on December 25 and taken her to an undisclosed place. The police is raiding various places to nab the accused.


The Shimla Puri police has registered a case of theft against unknown burglars on the statement of Mr Balwinder Singh, a resident of Shimla Puri, who stated that on the intervening night of December 24 and 25, the burglars took away two electric motors, an electric meter and four bags full of nuts and bolts.

The Focal Point police has registered a case of theft on the statement of Mr Ramji Kundra, owner of a cycle industry in Dhandari Kalan, against unknown thieves. The complainant had alleged that on the intervening night of December 24 and 25, some burglars stole away a colour TV and Rs 25,000 from his office in the factory.

Beating cases

The Shimla Puri police has registered a case of alleged beating under Sections 34, 323 and 506 of the IPC on a statement of Mr Tejinder Singh, a resident of street number 11, Med Colony, against Sandip, alias Pappi. The complainant had alleged that the accused had intercepted his brother Harmit Singh on Wednesday evening and beaten him up.

The Haibowal police has registered a case under Sections 323,506 and 34 of the IPC on a statement of Mr Jatinder Singh, a resident of Nurpur Bedi, against Rahul Bhatia, a resident of Joshi Nagar and three other unknown persons. The complainant had alleged that the accused, who had beaten him up and injured him, also threatened him.

Another case under Sections 323, 34, 506 and 34 of the IPC was registered at the same police station on the statement of Mr Suresh Kumar, a resident of Chander Nagar, against Banwari Lal and Rakesh Kumar, both residents of Haibowal. The complainant had alleged that the accused intercepted him on the road and beat him up. As a result of which he was injured.

Fraud alleged

The Shimla Puri police has registered a case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 506 and 34 of the IPC on a statement of Mr Baljinder Singh, a resident of Jaspal Bangar village, against Kulwant Singh, his wife Soni and Jagdeep Singh, residents of Uppal village near Samrala. The complainant had alleged that he had paid Rs 50,000 to the accused for sending him abroad. But the accused neither sent him abroad nor returned his money, he added. No arrest has been made so far.

Boy injured

Anand Kumar, 14, a resident of street number 13 in New Shivaji Nagar, was injured after falling from the top of his house yesterday while flying a kite. He has been hospitalised in a serious condition.



2 killed in mishaps; bus driver held

Ludhiana, December 27
Mr Jaspal Singh, 24, a resident of Pamal village falling under the Sadar police station, died on the spot when the scooter he was riding collided with a bus yesterday morning on the Ferozepur Road. The driver of the bus, who tried to flee, was overpowered after a brief chase by the PCR cops.

Gurmit Singh, 32, a resident of Una, who was employed in the Nangal Fertiliser Factory, and was admitted to the DMC Hospital following a road accident on December 21 near Una, succumbed to his injuries yesterday. TNS


Girl crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
A 13-year-old girl was crushed to death by a truck near the Jagraon overbridge, late this evening.

The accident caused a massive traffic jam. The police said the driver of the truck had been booked.


PNB distributes Krishi Cards
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
Punjab National Bank, Panjgrain (Ludhiana), in association with the Samrala, Kumkalan, Dhannansu, Chaunta, Khanna, Bija and Doraha branches, organised a Krishi Card distribution camp at Machhiwara. Sarpanches, panches, traders and other farmers of the area were present on the occasion.

Mr S. C. Malhotra, Chief Manager, Ludhiana Region, was the chief guest and krishi cards amounting to Rs 128 lakh were distributed among the farmers during the camp. Mr V. K. Sharma, Senior Manager from Regional Office, managers and staff of the surrounding branches were also present on this occasion.

Mr Malhotra said that the PNB was the premier nationalised bank in the Service of the nation since 1895. Mr V. K Sharma, Sr Manager (Development), narrated the salient features of the PNB krishi card scheme.


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