Wednesday, January 1, 2003, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


New twist to Pammian kidney case
Rights panel asks its ADGP to conduct probe
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
Taking a serious note of the ‘one-sided’ inquiry conducted by the crime branch of the Punjab Police in the infamous Pammian kidney case, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has, in a rare order, directed its ADGP to personally investigate the case.

Upholding the plea of the victim, Jagsher Singh, that the crime branch inquiry was partial, the Commission has directed the ADGP, Mr S.K. Verma, to complete the inquiry within four weeks.

The crime branch inquiry had absolved all three accused — Navtej Singh, Ajmer Singh and Sukhdev Singh — belonging to Samrala. The victim belonging to Pammian village, near Sahnewal, had approached the PSHRC saying the inquiry was one-sided. The commission had then directed the Ludhiana police to ignore the crime branch inquiry.

A copy of the orders, which are in the possession of Ludhiana Tribune, states: “Due to the strong allegations against the police, it deems fit to direct the ADGP to personally investigate it”. Normally, the ADGP is directed to depute a lower rank officer to conduct the investigation.

Jagsher Singh and his wife, Baljinder Kaur, are struggling to make both ends meet after they lost everything due to the kidney donation.

A case in this regard was registered on May 5, 2002, at the Sahnewal police station on the complaint of the victim’s wife. According to the case, Jagsher Singh was an auto-rickshaw driver. The accused — Sukhdev Singh and Navtej Singh — were his friends. The two were more prosperous than him. Navtej Singh, who had import-export business, lived in Hong Kong.

Sukhdev Singh’s kidneys failed about two-and-a-half-year ago and doctors recommended transplantation. The two shared their problem with Jagsher Singh, who agreed to donate his kidney as he wanted to help his friends. The two accused promised him that his wife would be given a lucrative job in Hong Kong and he along with his children would also be settled there.

However, it was only in March this year that she was sent abroad. When she reached there, Navtej Singh started treating her badly. She was given a small job at a meagre salary of a few dollars which were not more than Rs 500 per month. She returned on April 10. When her husband learnt he was cheated, he contacted Navtej Singh over the phone, but was rebutted. Navtej Singh reportedly told him that he should be happy with whatever was being offered to his ‘illiterate wife’.

The woman said the education of her 14-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son was stopped because of the trick played with them.

Meanwhile, Jagsher Singh in his fresh petition before the PSHRC said the crime branch inquiry was more or less based on the statement of Ajmer Singh, who did not even figure in the list of the accused. The petition said the crime branch inquiry did not bother to provide the victim an opportunity to present the documents which would have gone against the accused.


Sand mining banned, five booked
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Khasi Kalan, December 31
Finally answering the SOS calls of residents of this village and virtually admitting that illegal sand mining was going on, the district administration today banned sand mining from this village, near here, and booked five persons for removing sand illegally from government and private land.

A team comprising Executive Magistrate, Navdeep Singh Sidhu and Mining Officer Gurshish Singh, along with a police party, today visited the village and heard the woes of the villagers. They directed their staff to put a notice on the spot, declaring that sand mining was illegal and anybody indulging in the same would be prosecuted.

The team directed the district police to register a case against five persons under Section 379. Talking to TNS, Mr Sidhu said mining in this village was banned by the Mines Department as it was a threat to roads and electric poles besides affected the entire environment of the area.

Illegal sand mining was on in the village for the past 15 to 20 years in around 30 acres of land. The 26 acres belonged to the government. The rest six acres were given to contractors by farmers for the same purpose. Village sources said they had been virtually runnning from pillar to post all these years but no one had come to their rescue.

Sand miners have been digging earth in the area by lowering the plinth level to 30 feet. The sand was then sold in the city to be used for raising the plinth level of houses. The digging was so deep that the original plinth level of earth was dicipated to mounds. At some places, the earth was dug so deep that the surface of underground water was visible.

Villagers said they had been complaining to the authorities for the past many years, but no action was taken. This is for the first time that mining has been banned .


ADC told to look into Dalits’ protest
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, December 31
Reacting to the news published in Ludhiana Tribune regarding the Machhiwara police’s excesses in dispossessing Dalits of the land they have held for the past 50 years in Powat village and implicating them in false cases of theft, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, directed the ADC(D), Mr Sumer Singh, to look into the matter.

During his visit to the village today, Mr Sumer Singh listened to the complaints of Dalits. He was accompanied by Naib Tehsildar Samrala Sadhu Singh, BDPO Machhiwara Rana Partap Singh and Patwari Paramjit Singh.

The other party, which was helped by the police to take possession of the disputed land , told the ADC that the land was allotted to them in 1992 by the Rehabilitation and Consolidation Department of Punjab, but the party could not produce any documents regarding the ownership. Mr Sumer Singh then asked the party to appear in his office tomorrow with documentary proof.

Representatives of the evicted Dalit families, Darbara Singh and Pal Singh, staked their claim by saying that the Dalit families were in possession of the land since 1947. So that much so that they produced a record in which the disputed land had been declared as non-cultivated land by the Revenue Department.

Though the ADC(D) assured the Dalit families of getting the false theft cases withdrawn, yet talking to this correspondent he said the final decision would be taken on January 1 after going through the documents to be produced by the other party.


PIMS asked to pay Rs 5 cr to university
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, December 31
The Punjab Chief Secretary, Mr Y.S. Ratra has directed functionaries of the Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences to immediately pay Rs 5 crore to Punjab Agricultural University in lieu of the land for the Sugarcane Research Station at Jalandhar.

The directions by the Chief Secretary were given at a meeting with the Vice-Chancellor, PAU. Dr K.S. Aulakh, and officials of the Punjab Institution of Medical Sciences.

As many as 155 acres of land belonging to the Sugarcane Research Station at Jalandhar was given to the Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences and it was agreed at the time of transfer that PAU would be paid Rs 15 crore for the development of the research station at Ladowal seed farm near Ludhiana. The university had received Rs 10 crore during the tenure of the SAD-BJP government. The remaining amount was not being paid.

Dr G.S. Kalkat, former Vice-Chancellor, and the present — Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh had taken up the matter with the state government a number of times.

Dr Aulakh said here today that the Chief Secretary had asked the functionaries of the PIMS to make the payment to PAU through PUDA.

According to the Vice-Chancellor, the university will construct laboratories and staff quarters for sixty employees at the Ladowal farm where the Sugarcane Research Station has been set up.

Dr Aulakh said the university had already started experiments at the Ladowal Sugarcane Research Station. Besides, sugarcane and seed multiplication programme of rabi and kharif crops had been launched. The Ladowal central seed farm has about 2,700 acres of land of which the PAU had been given 1250 acres and the rest earmarked for a hosiery export zone and a police housing colony.

The plan to establish a hosiery focal point had been shelved as negotiations with prospective entrepreneurs could not succeed due to high rate of land and high development charges the state government was contemplating to hand over the remaining area to Punjab Agricultural University for research. At present this area was with the Punjab Land Reclamation and Development Corporation.


Sharma approaches senior partymen
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
The Secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Ashwani Sharma, is learnt to have taken up the issue of his “victimisation” with the senior party leaders who have advised him to meet the Chief Minister. Meanwhile, a number of Congress workers and leaders have condemned his detention by the police and alleged that it was being done to victimise him.

Mr Sharma reportedly went to Chandigarh today and met Mr Rana Gurmit Sodhi, Political Secretary to the Chief Minister. He is considered to be close to Mr Sodhi. The local Congress leaders claimed that Mr Sodhi had assured him that justice would be done to him.

However, Mr Sharma refused to comment on the issue. Nor was he prepared to blame anyone in particular. He said, “I am surprised as why I am being victimised”. However, he said, he would not speak to the Press but would prefer to speak to the party leaders.

On the other hand local party leaders alleged that he was being targeted by a section of the local leadership for some past developments which were not to their liking. A number of Congress leaders said such acts of senior leaders would only erode the base of the party.

They maintained that Mr Sharma was a committed party worker and he had worked for the party despite having been discriminated against during the corporation elections, when even after getting party nomination he was replaced by another candidate.


City hails Aggarwal’s elevation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 31
The Ludhianvis are proud of son of the soil Sudardhan Aggarwal, who has been appointed Governor of Uttaranchal. Mr Sudarshan Aggarwal comes from a well-known Aggarwal family of Mr Muni Lal Aggarwal, a known taxation lawyer.

Mr Sudarshan Aggarwal (71) was born and raised in Ludhiana. He did his schooling from Arya School and graduation from Government College. He did his law from Punjab University.

Mr Aggarwal, who joined the judicial services, has held very prestigious postings. He was appointed Secretary General of the Rajya Sbaha from April 1981 to June 1993 and was given the status of a Cabinet Secretary from January 1986 till his retirement.

After his retirement from the post of Secretary General of the Rajya sabha. Mr Aggarwal served as member of the National Human Rights Commission from (October 10, 1998 to June 18, 2001). Mr Aggarwal also served as Returning Officer for the election of the office of President of India in 1982 and 1992.

Mr Aggarwal participated in a number of international conference and visited a number of countries as part of Indian parliamentary delegations.

Mr Aggarwal also served on social and voluntary organisations like Rotary International. He headed the Polio Pulse Immunisation Committee of the Rotary International for three years.

Rotary International is supporting India’s expanded programme of immunisation as part of global effort to eradicate polio by 2005 in close association with the WHO, UNICEF and national governments.

Rotary International has given over 50 million US dollars for India’s immunisation programme for purchase of vaccine through UNICEF. He is also a trustee of Gyan Bharati, which is running a public school in Delhi and member of the governing body of Amitya Business School.

He is also a trustee of the ‘rebuild Gujarat Trust’ for construction of residential accommodation and schoolbuildings in quake-ravaged areas of Gujarat.

The rotary is spending Rs 14 crore on this project. The appointment of Mr Aggarwal as Governor of Uttaranchal has been hailed by the Ludhianvis.

Mr Sohan Lal of Arti Steel, an old associate of Mr Aggarwal, and Mr Dharmvir Bector have welcomed the appointment and said Mr Aggarwal has done to Ludhiana proud.

Mr Subhas Aggarwal, younger brother of Mr Sudarshan Aggarwal, is a well-known taxation lawyer of the town and is associated with several social organisations.


Penaz Masani loves Ludhianvi hospitality
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, December 31
She loves Ludhianvis for their hospitality, for their large-heartedness, their receptivity and appreciation of her singing. Penaz Masani, in an exclusive interview with Ludhiana Tribune today said: “Singing is my life. Without singing, I cannot survive. My latest album ‘Lakeerain’ is a big hit. The new gazal album is yet untitled but will come in the market in February, 2003. Though gazal singing is my forte, I have taken to pop singing too. Pop music reminds me of free fun-filled college days.”

Her new year resolution was to find a husband for herself or else her parents would turn her out, she said in jest. She had no one in mind, but wanted a ‘suitable boy’. Going by her slim, selvte appearance, that should not be any problem.

Penaz said: “I am happy gazals are back in full swing. No doubt there is cut throat competition in the world of singing.

But like in other fields, the best and talented survive. The success formula is good lyrics, good voice, and good music director”.

Her fondest memories are appreciation of her performance by the King of Bhutan, who had specially invited her to sing for his birthday. She has performed in Latin America, Nepal and the USA. She was in New York on September 9 at Lincoln Centre just two days before the 9/11.

For good vocal chords, she tries to talk less and drink warm water. Her favourite singer is Mohammad Rafi and RD Burman favourite music director. However, she enjoys cutting albums with Rajesh Roshan and Anu Malik.

For the new entrants, she advises regular riaz, dedication and punctuality.



In a rare gesture, the division no. 3 police has put up banners outside the police station wishing a happy and prosperous New Year to the city residents. It is the only police station in the city that has taken this step. A police official said the police was a part of society. It shares all the joys and sorrows of the public. Further, the step brings the police one step closer to the public. 

Students greet Tribune

The ‘Hamara School’ feature of The Tribune has become a hit with students. So much so that the Ludhiana Tribune office was flooded with greeting cards sent by school children. Normally, the cards are sent individually to journalists. But this time there was a new thing. Scores of children happy with their article or poems published in the ‘Hamara School’ feature have sent hand-made greeting cards to The Tribune organisation. The children have wished The Tribune more success in New Year.

Dedicated services

For three days, famous artists like Shiv Kumar Sharma, Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangesh, Padambhushan Uma Sharma to name a few performed in Ludhiana under the aegis of SPIC MACAY. Moreover, 500 students from outstation attended the silver jubille convention. Mr. Navin Talwar at the helm of Ludhiana Chapter and his team did a commendable job looking after the artists, their comforts, their arrivals and departures. To complicate matters, on the first day of the convention , it started raining. To arrange for waterproof tents, and to make the soaking wet seats dry was quite a task. But kudos to the volunteers and students who worked tirelessly for the entire period. Ludhianvis had a unique opportunity to listen to Rumi Sufi Singers from Iran.

Woes of senior citizen

Mr. Kuldip Singh and his wife, both octogenarians, hired a three-wheeler to the station for they had to board a train. But at Jagraon bridge, the auto was stopped by a policeman and they were left stranded on the road. Only a few licenced autos are allowed to ply on the GT Road. No amount of cajoling or pleading melted the heart of either the policeman or the auto driver. Since they had luggage , they had to hire a rickshaw. By the time, they reached the station, the train had left the station. A week later, when they had to receive a vistor at the station, the same story was repeated. The three wheeler left them stranded at the Jagraon bridge. The elderly couple want to know why the three wheeler drivers do not tell them the truth. Why are they taken literally for a ride? Will the administration do something to curb the malpractises of the three-wheeler drivers?

Tie & dye workshop

During the SPIC MACAY three day silver jubilee convention, artisans of repute from different regions had come to conduct various workshops. One that found favour with the students was Tie and Dye workshop by the master in this craft, Mr Chadwe Bashir Ahmed from Jaisalmer. He taught techniques of this ancient art to eager students. But the Railways played spoilt sport. He had sent his masterpieces through a parcel from Jaisalmer much before he left. But it was time for him to return and the parcel never arrived much to his and students’ disappointment.Back


MC contractor assaulted
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 31
A contractor for the MC works, Mr Harish Kumar, has alleged that he was beaten up by some fellow contractors in the MC office on Monday, who were upset over his offer for a particular work.

In a written complaint, lodged with the police and the MC Commissioner, the contractor has alleged that another contractor, whom he identified as Mr Avtar Singh Sekhwan, a close relative of an SDO in the civic body, along with some other persons had assaulted him near the Mayor’s office in the MC without any provocation.

According to the complainant, the assailants were furious at his offer for a work, as they had entered into a pool and wanted the work to be awarded to them at higher rates.

While the MC administration had marked the inquiry to a senior officer, the police is also investigating the matter.

Meanwhile, there was a virtual clamour among contractors, enlisted with the Municipal Corporation, to file tenders for different development works in the MC office on Monday. According to MC sources, as many as 400 bids were offered by contractors for some 138 works, estimated to cost Rs 5 crore.

This was seen as a welcome change compared to the period of almost one-and-a-half-year till the beginning of the current financial year, when the contractors had resorted to total boycott of the tendering process for the non-payment of their old bills and despite best efforts by the MC administration, the contractors did not respond to repeated call for tenders.


Transporters meet CM
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
A delegation of private bus operators of Punjab led by its president, Mr Fateh Singh Libra, met the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, at Chandigarh and apprised him of the problems being faced by them in the state. The bus operators demanded at least a “nominal hike” in bus fares. They also demanded that the special road tax be slashed at least by a rupee.

The transporters said at present the bus fare was 41 paise per km while in 1999 it was 39 paise. They pointed out, while there was only a nominal increase in the fare during the past three years, the running cost per bus had doubled during this time. Giving details, they said due to the sharp increase in the price of diesel, bus chasis, spareparts and toll tax. They argued that the price of diesel in 1999 was Rs 9.81 against Rs 18.70 per litre now. They claimed that the running cost of the buses was Rs 15 per km against the average income of Rs 13 per km.

Similarly, the bus operators said, special road tax (SRT) was Rs 2.69 per km, which was proving burdensome for transporters. They said it was impossible to deposit the SRT and a number of private buses impounded for non-payment of the SRT was increasing. They said the bus services had increased four times since the SRT was imposed. Moreover, they maintained there was very less flow of passengers as most people preferred personal conveyance.

The bus operators drew the attention of the government towards the illegal plying of trucks, autos and other small vehicles carrying passengers illegally for fareless than specified by the government. This added to the massive losses being suffered by the transport industry.

There were other problems like state-owned buses of Chandigarh and Haryana which were plying more buses than their permits. They pointed out while the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking was holding seven permits on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh route, they were plying about 50 to 60 buses on this route. Similarly, Haryana Roadways was plying about 50 per cent buses more than the agreement.

They said during checking transport officials checked private buses alone and those belonging to Punjab Roadways, PRTC, CTU and Haryana Roadways were never stopped. They said as per the Motor Vehicles Act, rules were the same for all buses and there should not be any discrimination.


Slum development top priority
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 31
The Municipal Corporation has drawn up an ambitious programme for area- specific development of slum areas and providing better amenities to weaker sections .

Outlining the agenda for next year, MC Commissioner S.K. Sharma said after putting on stream the project for 100 per cent water supply to the population within the municipal limits of the city, which would be completed by March next year, the civic body had shifted its focus to development of underdeveloped areas and slum colonies.

In an initial survey, 209 such colonies had been identified for providing basic services like water supply, sewerage and paved roads and streets. "These colonies will be provided all facilities on a par with other developed areas in a phased manner under an integrated programme to be completed in three years."

Another major project aimed at the welfare of weaker sections being taken up were construction of 4,050 houses for the low- income group under the Valmiki Ambedkar Malin Basti Awaas Yojana. The MC had already submitted the blueprint of the project to the government and work was expected to commence soon.The civic body had also started work on another scheme known as Urban Reproductive and Child Health (RCH).

A 12- member committee, comprising the Mayor and the MC Commissioner, would identify health- related problems of the weaker sections and provide necessary assistance in addition to providing other services like immunisation and basic health- care facilities to expectant women and the new- born.

Mr Sharma explained that several steps taken during past six months had seen the MC turn the corner. 


SEBI suspends LSE director
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 31
The SEBI has suspended Mr D.P. Gandhi, a director of the Ludhiana Stock Exchange and LSE Securities, for a period of six months from January 1 for allegedly committing irregularities in the capital market.

According to sources close to the Ludhiana Stock Exchange, an inquiry against Mr Gandhi was pending for the past seven years and only recently the SEBI had completed investigations and taken action. Mr Gandhi, an active brokers has served as Chairman of the Ludhiana Stock Exchange.


Youth hit by scooter, dead
Our Correspondent

Samrala, December 31
A young man was killed in a road accident on the Chandigarh road here today. According to reports, Bhinder Singh, son of Mato Ram of Balion, 3 km from here, was on foot when a scooter hit him.The police has registered a case.


Cyclist killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 31
Mr Mool Chand, 24, a resident of Beant Singh Nagar, who was admitted to the Civil Hospital on Sunday after he was injured by a Punjab Roadways bus near Transport Nagar, succumbed to his injuries late on Sunday night. The victim was going home on a cycle when the accident took place.

Eve-teasing case

The Division No. 8 police has registered a case of eve-teasing against Charanjit Singh, a resident of Shahi Mohalla, for teasing and molesting a resident of Ram Nagar. The woman had alleged that the accused caught hold of her by the arm while she was returning home. When she raised an alarm, some residents tried to catch the accused but he escaped.

Beaten up

The Division No. 8 police has registered a case of beating on the statement of Mr Manjit Singh, a resident of Isher Singh Nagar, against Darshna, Rakesh Kumar and Parminder Singh. The complainant had alleged that the accused forcibly entered his house on Sunday, beat him up and threatened to kill him. No arrest has been made so far.

Five held

The district police has arrested five persons and booked them under Section 283 of the IPC on the charge of parking their vehicles on the road and jamming the traffic.

The arrested persons have been identified as Ram Chand, a resident of Kheri village, Charanjit Singh, a resident of Gobind Nagar, Ashwini Kumar, a resident of Guru Nanak Nagar, Inderjit, a resident of Pindori Lada village, and Gurmel Singh, a resident of Khanpur village. The accused were later bailed out.

Two boys injured

Two kite-flying boys got injured on the Tajpur road on Monday when the boundary wall on the roof of the house collapsed and they fell to the ground. They have been admitted to the Civil Hospital and identified as Manna and Shunty.

Kidnapping bid

An attempt to kidnap a 17-year-old girl living in Fauji Colony of Sherpur by two of her young neighbours was foiled on Sunday night after the girl raised an alarm.

According to information, the girl had gone to relive herself in the bathroom in her house at night when she was overpowered by the accused who were already hiding there. They allegedly tried to gag her before carrying her away. But as the girl raised an alarm, neighbours and her family members caught hold of the accused and handed them over to the police.


Youth injured

A 20-year-old boy was attacked and injured by two persons near Sarav Hitkari School on Sunday. The victim, Sukhwinder Singh, has alleged that the police is not taking action against the culprits.

According to him, he was going to his residence at Anand Nagar on that day when he was attacked by the accused with sharp-edged weapons. He said he had given Rs 5,000 to one of the accused, Toni. When he demanded the money, he was allegedly attacked. He was admitted to the Civil Hospital.

Meanwhile, the police has recorded the victim’s statement.


Foetus aborted in scuffle
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 31
The foetus of a pregnant woman is feared aborted in a scuffle that took place on Sunday evening in New Anand Puri falling under the Salem Tabri police station.

According to information, a scuffle began between two shopkeepers of the locality over the issue of placing their respective goods on the road. Ms Geeta Rani, wife of Rajesh Sharma, one of the shopkeepers, who was reportedly carrying a four-month pregnancy, was allegedly beaten by Pawan, the other shopkeeper, his wife Poonam and sister Meena as a result of which she fell unconscious. The husband of the victim was reportedly away at the time of the incident. Neighbours, who tried to intervene and come to the rescue of the woman, were also allegedly threatened by the attackers. Gita was rushed to a private nursing home from where she was referred to the Civil Hospital. The police has registered a case of beating.

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