Friday, January 10, 2003, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Park development panels cease functioning
Govt apathy, MC indifference main reasons
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
The much-touted three-year-old Parks Development Scheme (PDS), initiated by the Municipal Corporation amid much fanfare, has come a cropper, threatening the maintenance of about 400 green belts in the highly polluted industrial city.

Of the about 125 Park Development Committees set up by the MC in 1999, only six survive these days. The number is likely to go down further to five with the Sarabha Nagar committee also threatening to nullify its agreement. The functional committees are maintaining only 14 of the 400-odd parks. The Sarabha Nagar committee is maintaining three.

Sources said the committees were formed with area residents as prominent members, who worked in tandem with the MCs Horticulture Department and the cost of maintenance were shared. The committees functioned smoothly till few months ago and as a result about 400 parks, that had gone to seed, were given a new lease of life.

However, due to the recent non-cooperative attitude of the state government and some MC high-ups, only six committees function. Rest of these have stopped functioning and have written to the MC Horticulture Department in this context. Sources maintain that the MC Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, has been apprised of this (mis)development by officials of the Horticulture Department.

One of the main reason cited by some committee members was that the MC had stopped the funds flow and secondly, the MC officials seemed to be in no mood to continue the scheme. Committee members reveal that they could not meet the MC top brass. When one of them approached the officials in the ‘sangat darshan’ programme, he was told to come next day but then the same official was unavailable.

Mr S.S. Chana, a retired IFS officer and president, Environment Development Committee, Sarabha Nagar, is one such person. He claimed that all his efforts to meet the MC Commissioner to apprise him of the problem had proved futile. He said the committees were facing an expenditure of Rs 2.14 per sq m in the absence of funds from the civic body.

“The MC was paying Rs 1 per sq. m only but that grant has also not been paid since February, 2002. Initially, the corporation was supposed to pay most of the amount but then they informed the Park Management Committees (PMCs) that they will only pay Rs 1 and 50 per cent of the wages being paid to the gardener. In no terms would the cost be more than Rs 1, 000, “ he added.

He said this was unacceptable to the city residents and they had requested the MC Commissioner to call a meeting of all the committees to resolve it but the request was not accepted.

The sources said the innovative scheme of entrusting the maintenance of parks by representatives of the area residents was launched in 1999 and the PMC’s were promised a payment at the rate of Rs 1 per sq m per month. In addition, a sum of Rs 2,400 was to be paid yearly towards cost of plants, fertilisers, tools and implements. The MC had duly entered into agreements with the PMC’s, which clearly laid down the rates at which payments were to be made. The scheme had evoked a tremendous response and for once the city parks had been completely transformed, all with lush green looks, shady trees and flower beds.

However, in the wake of government’s instructions that the PMC’s be paid at a rate of 50 paise per sq yd and further that monthly payment for this purpose should not exceed Rs 1,000 per park, irrespective of the size of the park threw a spanner in the works. The government further wanted that of the total payment, claimed by PMC’s, 50 percent should be contributed by the area residents. Since the PMC’s refused to accept these terms, their monthly payments were stopped by the Audit Department from October, 2001, onwards.

With payments due to the PMC’s running in arrears for more than a year now, quite a few committees had turned defunct and persons engaged for maintenance and development of parks had to be sacked for want of funds. Moreover, those at the helm of PMC’s were of the firm view that with an upper ceiling of Rs 1,000 on monthly payment for maintenance, it would be practically impossible to engage the required number of persons for this job. Moreover, in most of the cases, the residents were unwilling to share the cost and the very purpose of formation of PMC’s stood defeated.

The coordination committee of the PMC’s had pointed out that the civic body was spending an estimated Rs 5.50 crore on maintenance of the parks every year prior to the scheme of private participation was introduced. Compared to the massive amount spent earlier, the PMC’s were claiming around Rs 1.5 crore annually as maintenance charges with far better results. Further, the committee was of firm view that the MC, having signed agreements with the PMC’s, was both legally and morally bound to make the payments on stipulated rates till October, 2002, when the annual agreements had expired. The representatives of the PMC’s did not rule out the possibility of knocking at the door of the judiciary to get what was lawfully due to the PMC’s, most of whom had spent money for upkeep of the parks from their own pockets, the sources pointed out.



Drive to spruce up PAU campus
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, January 9
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has launched massive operations to clean, landscape and green its campus by utilising the services of nearly 85 employees who are otherwise rendered without work at this time of the year.

Entrusted to the Floriculture Department, the drive aims at not only putting idle employees to work, but also come up with a cleaner and well landscaped campus.

Dr Ramesh Kumar, Professor and Head of the Department of Floriculture, under whose supervision entire cleaning-up drive has been started, said the department had been handling the project for the past one year. Earlier, the Estate Officer used to take care of the maintenance work. He said, “Wild growth has been removed from all over the periphery.”

“These were all neglected areas, but now the department has started cleaning and landscaping drive here. The drive was started on December 20 last year and by the end of January, I think wild growth in all areas will be cleared. The road behind the gymnasium hall has been cleaned.

The work is on in the neglected areas near gate number 1 and 2. Cycling velodrome, area near the swimming pool, lawns near the Students Home, Pavte House areas had thick growth of bushes and it was very difficult to pass through these areas, but now after clearing of the wild growth, we are trying to give a facelift to these areas”, said Dr Ramesh.

The department has also been given the charge of maintenance and beautification of residential areas, five colleges, playgrounds etc.

Trimming of trees and shrubs has already been started. After this landscaping drive, the department plans to launch ‘green plantation drive’ in July and August.

The drive has been initiated at a time when workers are free from other works. More than 80 gardeners and over 10 supervisors are on the regular payroll of the university.

One of the gardeners employed by the university said the area near Botanical Garden and on the back of the university was all neglected. “Bushes and wild growth was proving a heaven for antisocial elements, who could easily enter the campus. But the things have changed with the cutting of thick wild growth much to the relief of security personnel and other university employees,” he said.

Dr Ramesh said earlier the Botany Department used to look after the maintenance of the Botanical Garden, but now the Floriculture Department had taken over the charge.

However, university officials feel that still a lot was required to be done for making the campus more beautiful.



‘Guilty’ students’ fate to be decided today
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 9
Fate of 19 students from local colleges involved in the fake re-evaluation certificate racket is likely to be decided in a meeting of a PU committee tomorrow. The meeting will be held at Chandigarh.

The committee, specially appointed by the Panjab University Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.N. Pathak, to probe into the case, will give the second and last hearing to the students found guilty. In the first meeting only five students had appeared to plead their case, rest of the students have been called again this time.

After the meeting, the committee members will present their final decision to the PU Syndicate. The members of the committee include Dr Deepak Manmohan Singh and Principal A.C. Vaid from Chandigarh, Controller of Examination Sodhi Ram, Prof Amarjit Singh Dua from local Government College for Women, Principal Harmit Kaur from Ramgarhia Girls’ College and Prof Rajinder Bhandari from Arya College.

According to committee members, the investigations till date have revealed that the racket was being operated from Doraha. Involvement of PU employees in the racket has not been ruled out as yet and the committee members have asked the university authorities to probe whether the certificates were original or not.

Students involved in the racket were BA and BCom first and second year students at local colleges. These included four students each from Guru Nanak Girls College at Model Town and Kamla Lohtia Sanatan Dharam College; one each from SCD Government College, Arya College and Guru Nanak College at Doraha; six from Guru Teg Bahadur National College at Dakha; and two compartment cases from local colleges.

The Syndicate is the final decision making body in the case. It may be mentioned that PU rules says that students seeking admission to affiliated colleges on the basis of false certificates can be disqualified for further admission for a period of three to five years as may be decided by the PU Syndicate.

Giving details of the case, Prof Rajinder Bhandari, a committee member, said while the matter was hot and it was being decided to disqualify guilty students from getting admission to any college for five years, he had proposed in the Syndicate meeting that students be given a chance to present their case. Such a hearing would also help investigate the culprits, he had suggested.

Ms Harmit Kaur, also a committee member, said the members of the committee were likely to come up with their final decision. She hoped that more students would come up tomorrow, give some clue to the investigations and help the authorities nab the real culprits.



MC junior engineer suspended
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
Taking a serious note of the allegations levelled against Sukhdev Singh Chohan, Junior Engineer (Horticulture), by two subordinate employees, the Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, has ordered his suspension after a preliminary inquiry by the Assistant Commissioner indicted him.

The complainants had alleged that the JE has charged Rs 1,500 each from them on the pretext managing a bank loan of Rs 50,000 each for them, but neither the loan was arranged nor the money refunded despite many requests. The Assistant Commissioner observed that despite the three opportunities given, the delinquent JE has deliberately not joined the inquiry and that the complainant employees on an oath have reiterated the levelled charge, therefore, the accusation levelled against the official seem to have substance.

After this, the JE was again issued a show-cause notice by the Commissioner to explain his delinquent behaviour of disobeying the office notices, but the JE did not reply. Since the official was a member of the provincialised cadre services, therefore, the matter was reported to the Director, Local Government, Punjab, for taking departmental disciplinary action against the officer and lodging a complaint with the police on charges of cheating and distortion.

The Director, Local Government, in an order received yesterday has placed Sukhdev Singh Chohan, under suspension for disobeying the orders of his superior officer. Simultaneously, the Director has also ordered that a draft memo of charge sheet for awarding major punishment to the official may be sent to the government for onward issuance to the official. 



Akali leader booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
A former Mandi Board director and general secretary of the district unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Balwinder Singh Layalpuri, was today booked by the district police on the charges of cheating and fraud along with three close associates.

He was arrested late last night from his residence behind Manju cinema here by a police party of Division No. 6. The court has remanded him to one-day judicial custody.

Balwinder Singh Layalpuri, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune, alleged that he was a victim of politics. He said he was clean in the case and his trial would prove it.

The FIR states that the case was registered against the Akali leader on a complaint of Mr Krishan Lal Bhatia, a resident of Sham Nagar. He had alleged that in a plot of 4800 sq. yds, near Gurdwara Pheruman, the state government had allotted some part of the land to him. The accused, however, got the land registered in his name through his influence in the state government.

The police said Layalpuri had been booked under Sections 420, 467 and 471, IPC, on the direction of the SSP.



Gurpurb celebrated with fervour
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 9
The birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh was celebrated with religious fervour and zeal all over the city and its surrounding villages today. All the city gurdwaras were tastefully decorated with lights.

It was in the early morning when hectic activity started at all gurdwaras with devotees cooking langar to be served to the devotees. Kirtan and shabads, praising the Guru as the saviour of all mankind, poured out from loudspeakers. A large number of private and social organisations also put up their respective langars at various places.



Move to withdraw case against Dhakki Sahib dera chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
Commensurate with the changed political scenario in the state, a move has been initiated by the state government to withdraw the case of violation of the Wild Life Act registered against the head of Dhakki Sahib dera, near Maqsudran village, during the tenure of the SAD-BJP government.

In 1999, the dera head, also known as “helicopter wala baba”, was unceremoniously ousted from the village. He was accused of maintaining a mini zoo of animals that was prohibited under the Wild Life Act. He was also facing several other charges.

Belonging to the pro-Tohra camp, the dera has already witnessed a new lease of life ever since the Badal government was voted out of power. With Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra considered close to the present Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, the time seems to have come for the dera head to reap benfits of maintaining close links with the former SGPC president.

Highly-placed sources informed Ludhiana Tribune that the state government had recently written a letter to the Wild Life Department (now merged with the Forest Department) asking it to submit its opinion on whether or not to withdraw the charges. The department is learnt to have sent a reply stating the facts of the case without recommending anything.

Sources said the officials chose not to say anything on record as the decision was going to be a political one. A senior official of the department said the decision regarding Dhakki Sahib was always a political one. He was close to former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal when Gurcharan Singh Tohra and Mr Badal were friends. He entered into confrontation with the SAD-BJP government soon after Mr Tohra parted ways with Mr Badal.

“I can only say that issue was being considered,” said Mr A.C. Dogra, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Punjab. He said as per his knowledge, the dera head had submitted a representation to the state government for cancellation of the case.

Department sources said the department was definitely not happy with the move. “It would encourage other dera heads to violate the Wild Life Act”. Already a dera at Mehtiana Sahib was keeping such animals. The dera chief was also facing similar charges. Sources said if the case was withdrawn, it might give a signal that the animals were treated on the whims and fancies of the politicians and not according to the Wild Life Act.

During raids, it was found that the dera chief had kept tigers, elephants and several other animals in violation of the Wild Life Act. The animals were shifted to different zoos of the state.



Satta operators back in business
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 9
After a brief lull lasting a few months in the wake of the campaign launched against them by the police, satta operators of the city have once again started their business with renewed vigour.

The complex business of satta, which had been going on openly in the city, suffered a serious setback when Mr H.S. Sidhu took over as the SSP about two years ago and ordered a crackdown on them following which a number of satta operators and their bookies were put behind the bars under the Gambling Act. But, it turned out to be a temporary phase during which the arrested satta operators and bookies, who had been bailed out, decided to keep a low profile and emerge again at the first opportunity.

The job of these satta operators was further facilitated by a slackening of the police campaign and they resumed their operations with the help of their bookies and agents who lured people with attractive returns on their battings.

Sources in the underworld maintain that it was indeed a herculean task to check the menace of satta from the city which went on without any hassles even during the Emergency imposed by the late Indira Gandhi. The sources point out that lenient punishment under the Gambling Act was not acting as a deterrent for the satta operators. And hooked as they were to making a fast buck on the sly, they would never give up the business.

Even if the SSP was anxious to root them out, lower ranked police officers were allegedly hand in glove with these operators for reasons best known to them. One of the satta operators of the city, who operates from the Cheema chowk, is said to have contributed money for the construction of a room in a police station close to his headquarters. Otherwise too, one can witness a cop or two in plainclothes at his shop at any given time of the day. The sources point out that these cops visit the satta operators for various ‘begars’ (free jobs). Like money for filling up his scooter tank with petrol, and money for mobile phone card. And the satta operators oblige each and every one of them. According to sources, they spends about Rs 60,000 a month on an average on these ‘beggars’. And the lower-rung cops cannot afford to lose such a benefactor at any cost, even if the SSP wants to see him out of his business.

It is this nexus or the close relationship between the satta operators and the low ranked cops which is responsible for an unhindered growth of such operators and bookies right under the nose of the law.

In the Daresi area of the old city, there are as many as six satta operators carrying out their operations on the sly. The lottery market near the Ghanta Ghar is another centre of the town where satta operators are holding greedy betters to ransom under the cover of various state lotteries which are legal. The Focal Point area is also teeming with various bookies affiliated with various satta dons of the city. In fact, there is no area of the town where satta activity is not taking place.



Busy time for bookies, punters
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
With so many cricket matches going on between various cricket-playing countries, it is busy time for the bookies and punters. The daily transactions on betting are said to be running into crores of rupees. However, the India-New Zealand series is proving to be too dear for the punters as the results have either remained uncertain or the matches have remained one-sided, leaving little scope for the punters to earn much.

Yesterday’s match between India and the Kiwis proved to be most uncertain and the result remained unpredictable till almost the end of the game. Sources said the punters lost a lot of money in the match as it continuously swung between the two sides. “Till the end nobody was sure who will win,” a punter pointed out.

In the beginning of the match, the Kiwis were the favourites despite great expectations that India may win it. And the expectations seemed to be coming true after India claimed three early Kiwi wickets. Since then India remained the favourite with the rates for the Kiwis going up manifold. When the Kiwis were bowled out at 168, India was the obvious favourite, with very low rates offered for India’s victory.

However, India did not perform any better either. India lost three early wickets with the score board reading 25 only. Although the match remained evenly poised, yet India continued as favourites. While India was moving towards victory the fall of Sehwag’s wicket at the score of 66 left match wide open again. It was at the score of 91 when Dravid got out that New Zealand once again became the favourites. But the outstanding performance by Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan brought the match back for Indians.

The fluctuating fortunes between the two teams left punters poorer as they kept on placing bets one after another with the changing fortunes of the match. Since the bets are never static as the punters keep on changing options, they have to invest too much on a single match. Not surprisingly the punters may start placing bets for the victory of one country and may ultimately end up putting their stakes at the other at the end of the game as each bet is accounted for.



Patenting of cow urine condemned
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
Patenting of cow urine by the United States of America has ruffled the feathers of various religious organisations in the state. The organisations have condemned the Union Government for sitting idle while the USA got one of the oldest Indian therapeutic patented.

Various religious organisations, including the Uttar Pardesh Dev Sansthan Sudhar Samiti, the Shri Sanatan Dharam Math Mandir Suraksha Samiti, the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Shakti Dal, the Dharam Pracharini Sabha led by the state president of the Rajasthan Sadhu Samaj, Maha Mandaleshwar Mahant Swami Virendranand Giri, have asked the government to press upon the US government against the patenting of cow urine.

The leader said the Indian Government should submit a protest. The foreigners would earn millions of dollars by selling the cow urine as a medicine, he added.

Coming heavily on the BJP-led Union Government, he said the leaders were not able to save their intellectual property rights and were allowing the foreigners to get the age-old Indian products patented. He criticised the government for the globalisation of Indian market and said the patenting of cow urine was also a conspiracy to benefit the foreign companies.

He added that the USA had already got the patents of various Indian products like neem, turmeric and jamun and as it was not enough for the leaders of our country that they did not register any protest against the patenting of Indian products.

The leader has written to the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, for taking some action and get the patent of cow urine in the country’s name.



‘Give social security to labourers’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
The various trade unions have demanded that the minimum wages for labourers working in private factories should be fixed at Rs 5,000 each and labour laws should be implemented strictly to ensure social security to the workers and labourers.

Stating this here today, leaders of various trade unions, including Mr Balwant Rai Kapoor, president of the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), Mr Sunder Lal Mehta, vice-chairman, PPCC Labour Cell, Mr K.R. Tripathi, president of the Hosiery and Industrial Workers Association, and Mr Ranjit Chohan, general secretary, district INTUC Council, expressed their dissatisfaction over fixation of the minimum wages for the private factory workers.

All the leaders maintained that fixation of the minimum wages at the rate of Rs 2,150 for unskilled labour, Rs 2,365 for semi-skilled, Rs 2,605 for skilled labour, Rs 2,884 for high skilled labour, Rs 2,465 for clerks, time-keepers, salesmen, conductors and store keepers, Rs 2,586 for graduate clerks, accountants, assistant supervisors, car drivers, cashiers, steno-typists, truck-tempo drivers and Rs 2,884 for supervisors and stenographers was a cruel joke with all these workers.

The INTUC trade union leader, Dr Shiv Gupta, and others appealed to the Labour Minister, Mr Jagjit Singh, and the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, for fixing of the minimum wages as Rs 5,000 p.m. for skilled labour and Rs 8,500 for other office staff in view of inflation, cost of living, education and medical expenses, especially in cities like Ludhiana where there are more than 10 lakh migrant labourers.

The leaders demanded that the house rent should be fixed at 25 per cent of the basic wages or salary. Mr Tripathi, also appealed for strict implementation of labour laws.



Demolished wall reconstructed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
A day after the local Municipal Corporation demolished a wall constructed by a local resident after encroaching upon a part of a road in New Kirpal Nagar, the wall has once again been reconstructed by the owner at the same place today.

The wall was demolished by a demolition squad yesterday following an inquiry on a complaint received by the Municipal Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma. The Commissioner had directed the Zonal Commissioner, Mr B.K. Gupta, to inquire into the case. His report upheld the allegations and subsequently demolition orders were issued.

Some residents of the area had complained to the Commissioner during a ‘Khula Darbar’ held recently that the owner of the house, who was an influential person had allegedly encroached upon a part of the road by erecting a wall on the place resulting in narrowing of road. The residents had alleged that he had no right to encroach upon the road as it was a public property and other residents were facing problems due to the same.

A resident on the condition of anonymity said the owner of the house had constructed the wall about six months ago.

Then a group of residents took the case to the corporation’s ‘khula darbar’ and a team was sent to the spot on Monday to inquire into the case. Notice was sent to the owner of the house and the wall was finally demolished yesterday.

The residents claimed that the wall was reconstructed in the morning today in the presence of some cops and it was even whitewashed to remove the evidence. Interestingly the cops soon left the place. Residents said they had complained to the Commissioner in the morning but nobody reached the spot.



DA relief for pensioners
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
The Government Pensioners Association has expressed its satisfaction at the release of one more instalment of dearness relief at 3 per cent by the Punjab Finance Department for its pensioners and family pensioners with effect from July 1, 2002.

Mr Yash Pal Ghai in a communique stated that the dearness relief would raise the quantum of relief from 49 to 52 per cent of the basic pension. He added that the association had received a copy of the notification to this effect.



Three held for printing fake currency notes
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, January 9
Allured by the glamorous lifestyle of gangsters in Bollywood movies, three unemployed rural youths with small land-holdings started printing counterfeit currency notes, but their hopes of becoming millionaire overnight were dashed when they were nabbed by the cops and are now behind bars.

Commenting on their arrests, Ms Gurpreet Deo, SSP, Hoshiarpur, and Mr Upinderjit Singh Ghuman, SP (Detective), said the youths — Surinder, alias Shinda and Harjinder Singh, alias Jinda of Baurahi Kalan village came in contact with Avtar Singh, alias Tari of Sham Chaurasi, Narinder Singh, alias Billa of Mohadipur and Sohan of Mansurpur Wadala, all of the Doaba belt. These youths were already minting money by adopting various means. Shinda met them while he used to bring his `harvest in Doaba.

Disclosing the modus operandi, Ms Deo said on getting an assurance from the Doaba youth about the sale and distribution of fake currency, Surinder Singh and Harjinder Singh of Baurahi Kalan under Ahmedgarh police station engaged Gurdip Singh, alias Mohli, of Jogi Majra village to print counterfeit currency notes.

The three opened a small computer training centre at Kup Da Tota, a hamlet on the Ahmedgarh-Malerkotla highway. Gurdip Singh, who is reportedly a computer diploma holder, not only prepared designs of Rs 500 notes but also trained Shinda and Jinda in operating the computer.

Kuldeep Singh Kuthala, a relative of Shinda, who is reportedly a Director of a Cooperative Bank, was also made a partner in the venture. Initially Rs 3 lakh currency notes were spent for buying a tractor. He was also supposed to use his influence in cooperative banks for appropriation of counterfeit currency toward the payment of loans of known persons. Kuldeep Singh is at large and the police is searching for him.

Investigating officers further revealed that the gang was yet to receive imported paper for printing fake currency notes through people settled abroad. Though they have been printing fake currency notes for about 18 months, but even the cops at Kup Chowki, situated at a stone’s throw from computer centre, could not know what was going on.

The gangsters made it sure that no counterfeit currency was circulated in the nearby markets. The police is yet to investigate whether Rs 1.5 lakh given to a company of Noida recently to purchase a colour Laserjet 4600 HP printer was genuine or fake.

Though none of the family members of the four accused seem to have any knowledge about the crime of their wards but Shinda is learnt to have links with a local married woman and used to take her along on long tours to avoid nakas. He had reportedly developed friendly relations with relatives of the woman, some of whom are known to be in the police.



Gang of thieves busted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
The Jagraon police today claimed to have solved several burglaries and thefts that had taken place in the Mullanpur Dakha and adjoining areas in the past few months, with the busting of a notorious gang of criminals.

Three key members of the gang were arrested when a police party intercepted them last night. One of the major case solved was the burglary in the Mullanpur branch of the State Bank of Patiala that took place in early December.

According to Jagraon SSP Mukhwinder Singh Chhina, those arrested have been identified as Balwinder Singh, alias Kaka of Raunke village, Binder Singh, alias Binda of Loharian Mohalla Moga, and Sukhdeep Singh of Virk village.

One .12 bore pistol with four cartridges from Balwinder Singh, one .12 bore pistol with three cartridges from Binder Singh and one spring knife from Sukhdeeep Singh have been recovered by the police.

According to an information, the accused persons who were holding iron rods in their hands were intercepted by Mr Balbir Singh, SI of Dakha police station on night patrol duty, where they were arrested.

During investigation the accused persons have confessed having committed burglary in the State Bank of Patiala, Mullanpur, in the first week of December, 2002, and tried to break open the strong room but failed and could only steal computer printer. The accused persons had also stolen artificial jewellery from the shop of Balwant Rai Saraf.

They had also stolen Rs 30,000 after committing burglary in the house of Harbhajan Singh of Mullanpur. They made an attempt to loot liquor vend but failed. According to the information the accused persons were going to the Bank of India branch for committing another burglary.



Injured woman dies in hospital
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 9
Ms Tara Devi, wife of Mr Chaman Lal, a resident of Subhash Nagar falling under Basti Jodhewal police station, who was admitted to the DMC Hospital on December 27 last in a serious condition following an accident near Dasuya, died yesterday.

Electrocuted: Mr Tejinder Singh, alias Bunty, a young man living in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, was electrocuted yesterday when he came in contact with an electric heater. According to information, the young man slipped in a room of his house where an electric heater was on. The youth had an accidental fall on the heater which proved fatal.

Three injured: On a complaint of Mr Raj Kumar, a resident of Anand Nagar in Haibowal, the Salem Tabri police has registered a case against an unknown driver of a bus belonging to Sutlej Transport Company. According to the complainant, he was travelling by the bus from Jalandhar to Ludhiana on Tuesday. When the bus reached the Jalandhar bypass on the outskirts of Ludhiana, he fell from the bus and was injured due to negligence of the driver. The driver fled with the bus, he added.

Mr Ganga Vishnu and his friend, Rakesh Kumar, who live in the old quarters near the Police Lines, were injured when a Gypsy hit them on Tuesday. Both the injured have been admitted to the DMC Hospital. According to Mr Ganga Vishnu, he was going to the Police Lines from Chander Nagar along with Rakesh Kumar. When they reached Deep Nagar, the Gypsy hit them and fled. The Division No. 8 police has registered a case against the driver.

Dowry case: The Basti Jodhewal police has registered a case under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC on the statement of Ms Kamaljit, a resident of the locality, against her husband, Ashish Uppal, and her mother-in-law, who live in Haryana. The woman alleged that the accused subjected her to mental and physical harassment and demanded more dowry.

Vehicle thieves nabbed: On a tip-off, the Basti Jodhewal police yesterday arrested Anil Kumar, a resident of Durga Puri in Haibowal, while he was allegedly selling a stolen car in the market. The accused has been booked under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC.

On a complaint lodged by Mr Surinder Kumar, a resident of Jagat Puri mohalla, the Division No. 8 police yesterday arrested Ram Vijay and booked him under the same sections of the IPC for stealing a cycle. The police said that the stolen cycle was recovered form his possession.

Fraud alleged: The Basti Jodhewal police has registered a case of fraud under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Balbir Singh, a resident of Street No. 6 of New Subhash Nagar, against Vijay Gupta, a resident of Street No. 4 of Kirpal Nagar, near Sunder Nagar. The complainant had alleged that he had paid Rs 10,000 to the accused to get the registration certificate for his newly-bought Maruti car. But the accused neither procured a registration certificate nor returned the money, he added.

Eve-teasers held: The Division No. 4 police has registered a case of eve-teasing against Arun Dhir, Ajay Kumar and Sunil Kumar of the area under Sections 294 and 509 of the IPC. The accused were arrested and bailed out.

Opium seized: Mr Pawanjit, Sub-Inspector, SHO, Sidhwanbet police station, while on patrolling in the area of Bhamal, arrested Makhan Singh of the same village and recovered from his possession 1.5 kg of opium. A case under section 18, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act has been registered against the accused.



Doctor wins World Cup ticket
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 9
Dr Sunil Lakhotra of Harmilap Nursing Home will soon embark to South Africa to witness the Cricket World Cup. He has recently won the Britannia World Cup offer and will soon be leaving for South Africa on an all-expenses-paid trip.

Narrating about his win, Dr Lakhotra said that it was another routine visit to Royal Bakery in Subhani Building where he handed the wrappers (collected by his two sons, Nishant and Sidhant) worth 100 runs to get the scratch card, little knowing that he would be the winner of the Britannia World Cup offer, which includes three days of stay, meals and return ticket.


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