Wednesday, January 22, 2003, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Fresh probe ordered against SP, DSP
Cops accepted bribe to shield accused
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
After about six years of a sensational murder of a factory employee, Ashwani Kumar, in which the police had booked three police officers in 1997, including an SP, a DSP and a Sub-Inspector, for allegedly accepting bribe and misusing their authority to shield the accused, but later submitted a cancellation report in the case, the district police has now ordered a fresh investigation into the case and the charges against the policemen. Ashwani Kumar was murdered on August 14, 1996, allegedly by one of the owners of the factory in Millergunj here.

Police sources said the policemen would have been cleared of all charges had a district court accepted the police story about the sequence of events and upheld the cancellation plea of the case. But the court decided in the opposite. Sources said the court expressed surprise over the cancellation report as the facts suggested strong evidence against the accused. The case file was returned to the district police, which deemed it fit to order another probe into the matter.

The policemen in the dock were SP (CRPF) Balwant Singh Gill, who was then on deputation with the Punjab Police and was posted as SP (Operations) in Ludhiana, DSP Rajinder Singh Cheema and Sub-Inspector Dalip Bedi, then in charge of the Basti Jodhewal police post (now police station).

Confirming the development, the SSP, Mr Harpreet Singh Sidhu, said it was an old case. the police had first booked the policemen under the Prevention of Corruption act, for cheating and forgery but then an inquiry absolved them of all charges. He said the court had refused to accept the police argument of cancelling the case. Hence, a re-investigation had been ordered. A senior official would soon start a fresh probe.

According to the case file, a copy of which was with Ludhiana Tribune, the case pertains to the alleged murder of Ashwani Kumar, an employee in the factory of Neeraj Jain. Sub-Inspector Dalip Bedi, then in-charge of Basti Jodhewal Police Post, arrested Neeraj Jain on August 18, but the accused was not produced before any court and the other procedure was also not followed. He also arranged affidavits from the witnesses in the case in favour of the accused, who was released later.

An inquiry by Mr Hartej Singh, the then SP (Detective), posted at Ludhiana, stated that the DSP Rajinder Singh Cheema also did not followed the legal procedure and acquitted all the accused in his report. In his inquiry, he accused Balwant Singh Gill, of issuing orders as officiating SSP, Ludhiana, to close the case as untraced. The inquiry stated that he was not even the officiating SSP at that time.

The inquiry report further said that on investigation, it was found that a bribe amount of several lakhs of rupees were paid to the policemen. The case against them was registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act and Sections 201, 217, 218, 419, 420 and 120-B of the IPC. The case was registered in April, 1997.

However, the police did not file the challan papers in the case and later another inquiry was conducted. This inquiry absolved the policemen of all charges. The charges were stated to be motivated. The case went to a district courts which objected to the police recommendation of the cancellation of the case.



Forced to live with cows
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 21
The civic administration is in two minds over shifting “unauthorised” dairies from more than 10 localities here.
In spite of the MC notification for shifting, about 500 dairy units are still functional in colonies like Guru Arjan Dev Nagar, Jagdish Pura, Kailash Nagar, Subhash Nagar, Salem Tabri, Issa Nagri, Chander Nagar, New Chander Nagar and Asha Puri. Inhabitants of these localities continue to be at the mercy of dairy owners who have thousands of cows that are causing a complete breakdown of civic services in the affected areas.

Senior MC officials had said more than a month ago that, in the wake of the unrelenting attitude of dairy owners, a special team comprising Municipal Health Officer, Chief Sanitary Inspector and officials of tehbazari and license branches had been set up to make the localities no-cattle zones. The team was to be provided with adequate security cover and powers to impound cattle for each violation of the order. However, the move proved futile.

Though the civic administration had been claiming that the problem would be solved on priority, it had failed to do anything in the regard.

Far from doing anything, the MC developed cold feet when it is came to taking drastic steps against the defaulting dairy owners. The dairy units, far from being apologetic, have been behaving arrogantly, putting conditions for shifting to the proposed dairy complex on Tajpur Road.

The only reason for the civic administration’s attempt to create an impression that it was taking steps to shift the dairies was a complaint lodged by Mr Raghbir Singh, a man of Guru Arjun Dev Nagar. He had approached the Punjab Human Rights Commission, seeking that the MC should be made to order immediate shifting of the dairies from the residential areas. The petition will come up for hearing on January 30.

The MC Law Officer has been repeatedly telling the official concerned to move into action, but, besides endless paper work and futile discussions, nothing worthwhile has been done. The MC officials, requesting anonymity, said the MC had earmarked land in Jamalpur for the development of a dairy complex, but, due to failure of the dairy owners to deposit initial money towards the cost of the plots, no headway had been made in the project.

The MC officials said the huge population of milch cattle could not be shifted to an “undeveloped”. However, the project had been stalled solely by adamant dairy owners, so, there was no justification for forcing thousands of citizens to continue to live in filthy conditions.



Manak for action against tantrik brother
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
The Sadar police has arrested the alleged tantrik, Rafiq Khan, in connection with a molestation case registered against him yesterday. The tantrik was caught last night from his house.

Meanwhile, Mr Kuldip Manak, a noted Punjabi singer and brother of the tantrik, today disassociated himself from the accused.

In a statement, he has demanded strict punishment for the alleged tantrik for the alleged deed. He said he was no longer on talking terms with his accused elder brother.

The accused tantrik was charged by a Thrike village woman with molesting her two nights ago. A case was registered against the accused yesterday at Sadar police station. 




EVEN a week after Lohri, cold wave continues to prevail in the region. While the urbanites had a difficult time coping with the freezing chill, vegetable farmers had to bear the brunt of the situation. Their vegetables could not withstand low temperatures and decayed. Cauliflower crop in a field changed its colour from white to blue. Brinjals became rotten due to the cold. While the urbanites could be seen complaining of rise in prices of vegetables, helpless farmers on the other hand were seen watching their produce rotting and waiting for the sun to return and save them.

‘2 laga ke’

The sentence ‘2 laga ke’ is the most pronounced sentence these days. Courtesy, the changed numbers of BSNL telephones. The prefix ‘2’ has complicated the numbers and it has become difficult to remember these, if said in full flow. However, if one pronounces the old number and then says ‘2 laga ke dial karna’, it becomes very easy to memorise it. Journalists are the most frequent listeners to such sentences. On an average one asks at least five new numbers and notes these down daily. With onus to remember numbers, the sentence ‘2 laga ke dial karna’, is proving beneficial to them.

Visiting cards

People have a penchant for distinguishing themselves from others. Visiting cards are an important tool for achieving this end. Thanks to the ever-increasing numbers of newspapers, number of journalists in the city is also increasing. A journalist of a vernacular daily wanted to ensure that his visiting card remained imprinted in one’s memory. Known for having micro-mini visiting cards, he has now got printed a picture of a scenic beach with he in the centre. The colourful card has become a hit. A city advocate has gone one step ahead. He has got printed a multipurpose card. It has a calendar, picture of a Hindu god, a verse from gurbani, his address and curiously a message ‘loans are easily available here’.

Punjabi culture

Even as pop artists are trying their best to ape the west, some orchestra groups in the city have set an example of preserving Punjabi culture. These groups do not present dancing girls clad in scanty clothes. Instead, they set up scenes of true Punjabi culture on the stage and the girls, attired in traditional Punjabi dresses, perform gracefully before the guests. No longer does such groups sing bawdy songs or dance on sensuous numbers. The artists sing Punjabi folklores and old songs. These groups are now gaining popularity. Going by the busy schedule of these orchestra groups, one can safely say that there are several takers of the Ounjabi culture.


All are equal in the eyes of law. But it is commonly seen that politicians, bureaucrats and even journalists are immune to violations of some laws, like traffic rules. In Ludhiana, the things are becoming different. A photojournalist had a first-hand experience of this difference. He was covering the visit of city SSP H.S. Sidhu to a village in connection with a land dispute inquiry. The journalist was at the village for about two hours. When he was leaving, the SSP sent a police gypsy after him. Other journalists waited to know the reason. The photojournalist was brought back and handed over a challan for using black films on his car. The car was incidentally bought from an ex-DIG of the police. But when someone puts law of the land above everything, then no influence should work. One only hopes that the same spirit is carried out equally for every violator.

‘Milch’ chowki?

Police chowkis (posts) are meant for maintaining law and order in a specified area. But sometimes, officials of some posts are assigned certain ‘off the record’ duties. A police post in an outer area of the city, towards Chandigarh, has one such specialisation. It supplies milk to several cops in the city. The area has a number of dairy farms. Hence, the police post has tremendous influence on daily owners. Needless to say the cops either get milk free of cost or at very nominal price. Whatever be the case, the milk, surely, would be pure as it goes to cops’ houses.

Risking their lives

As the work of installing hi-tension cable is in progress in Ludhiana, the men who install these wires really put their lives at a risk. With the help of a recovery van the workers have to fix the heavy wires at a dangerous height. A little carelessness can cost them their lives. Although the residents stayed indoors due to the cold weather during the last fortnight, these men were seen busy installing wires in the biting cold. (see picture.)

Festivals in schools

Schools in Ludhiana have made it a fashion to start celebrating any important day like Divali, Christmas either well before the actual day or later than the date of the festival. Republic Day falls on January 26, but schools have already started celebrating this day well in advance. One reason could be that they wish to be one up on the other schools . The other reason could be that near the actual day, dresses etc become difficult to procure. But the real charm of the day is lost.

Different tunes

That politicians do not let go any opportunity to draw mileage even if it is at the cost of misery and suffering of the common people was witnessed when various political parties came together on a single platform in support of shopkeepers agitating against bid by PUDA authorities to uproot them in order to oblige a private builder, who had purchased a big chunk of PUDA land adjoining their shops.

However, the interesting part of the whole episode were different tunes in which the politicians were singing, depending upon their own interests and affiliations. The BJP-SAD combine was out to flog the Congress government for conniving with the influential builder and ‘hatching a conspiracy’ to dislocate shopkeepers, who were occupying these shops more than four decades. In total contrast, the District Youth Congress, which had also come out in support of the shopkeepers, took an altogether different line. They alleged that the whole process of sale of said piece of land in open auction, conducted during the regime of SAD-BJP government was a ‘farce’ and called for a high-level inquiry into the scam, involving a loss of at least Rs 100 crore to the state exchequer.


A question in an exam of class VIII asked students, ‘‘Where did man live before civilisation?’’ A student answered, 'in the womb’’.




‘SAD agitation on SYL issue a farce’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Terming the February 10 agitation on the SYL Canal issue by the SAD a “farce”, Jathedar Jagdev Singh Talwandi, a former chairman of the party’s disciplinary committee, has asked former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to withdraw support from the NDA government if the latter was genuinely concerned about the interests of the farmers of Punjab.

Addressing mediapersons at his residence here yesterday, he said the stir was an attempt to draw the attention of the people away from the corruption cases filed against his former Cabinet colleagues and party leaders who had abused the mandate by looting the masses. Nobody was spared by the regime, he alleged.

He pointed out that Mr Badal suffered from selective amnesia but the people now know that he had accepted Rs 2 crore from his friend and former Haryana CM Chaudhry Devi Lal for the construction of the canal. He and Jathedar Tohra had urged him not to do so but he went ahead since it was a long time investment to safeguard his (Badals) own interests in Haryana, he pointed out.

Mr Talwandi said the seriousness of Mr Badal could be gauged from the fact that the lawyers, who were pleading the case in the Supreme Court, were not paid to weaken Punjab’s case for obvious reasons. Ironically, he was now trying to raise the bogey of violence and bloodshed when out of power but did not do anything to get any of the long pending demands of the state while he was the CM, he added.

He said Mr Badal only worked towards getting a berth in the union Cabinet for his son but did not do anything for the people of the state. When he could not do anything to get the sugarcane crop arrears of the farmers released during his reign, what right did he have to champion for their cause now, he questioned.



PSEB workers condemn privatisation move
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
The PSEB Workers Federation (INTUC) has condemned the government move to privatise the board which would affect the future prospects of hundreds of employees.

Mr Swaran Singh, president of the federation, said the board has had a good innings because of the hard work of the employees but the alleged wrong policies of the officials over the years were responsible for the current mess. He said the employees were agitated because of this and to oppose the privatisation move they were holding rallies and dharnas all over the state.

He also warned that in case the government persists with its plans they would intensify their agitation and would be joined by various other national outfits. He added that the mass dharnas will be held on February 4.



Rs 1 crore for families of terrorist victims
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
The All-India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF) will disburse Rs 1 crore among families of those killed or injured in Parliament, Akshardham temple, Gujarat and Raghunath temple, Jammu attacks by terrorists.

A function in this connection would be held at Delhi soon, said Mr Balwinder Singh, the newly appointed state chief of the front.

He was in the city today to interact with members of the front and take stock of the working of the unit. He belongs to Mansa district.

The money would be handed out by Lata Mangeshkar, Mr Farooq Abdullah, Ms Najma Heptullah, Amitabh Bachchan, Mr Manmohan Singh and Mr Amar Singh.

Commenting on the state unit, he said there were chiefs in 12 districts and the presidents of the remaining districts would be named in the coming days.

“We are in the process of forming units at the tehsil and block levels to strengthen the front to fight the menace of terrorism and corruption at all levels,” he added.

He said the front was also concerned at the huge influx of Pak-trained terrorists in the guise of Bangladeshi immigrants in the country.

“They have managed to get ration cards and were also trying to get into the police and the armed forces. If this happens it will prove catastrophic for the nation”, he warned.

He said a jatha of 500 members would pay homage to the memorial of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev at Hussaniwala on March 22.

They would also rededicate themselves to fight the evils plaguing the nation on the occasion, he informed.



Workshops on ‘vaastu’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 21
Vedic Vaastu Vision, a Delhi- based organisation will hold free vaastu awareness workshops in and around Ludhiana on January 24.
Mr Naresh Singal, vaatsu consultant, will hold the workshops at Swami Ganga Giri Janta Girls College, Raikot, at Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking in its chamber office at Gill road, and for the Bharat Vikas Parishad at Hotel Meriott.

Mr Naresh Singal, an interior designer by profession, will give information about ‘vaastu’ and its benefits, pyramidology and Feng Shui.

He wilI also answer questions on the topic. The programme is being co-ordinated by Rupa Batra.

Mr Naresh Singal will also be available for consultation on January 23 and 24 at Atma Jain Bhavan, Sanglawala, Shivala Road, according to a press note.



Accused succeeds when cops fail
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
When civilised persons and cops on duty hesitated to help Sonu Kalra, who is physically challenged and accused of dealing in duplicate CDs, during his medical examination at the Ludhiana Civil Hospital today was helped by an accused of stealing cars, who carried him around during the examination.

Sonu, who was arrested by the Basti Jodhewal police last evening, was brought to the hospital for examination before producing him in a district court. He was brought in a police vehicle. But there was no arrangement of a wheelchair in the hospital.

Sonu looked around for help, but in vain. He crawled for some distance and then got the help from a person once convicted of murder, who was also brought there by the police for medical examination. He carried Sonu to various departments.



Policeman dies under mysterious circumstances
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Punjab Police constable Gurnam Singh was found dead under mysterious circumstances at his residence in the Police Lines, here this morning.

He was found dead in a quilt and was wearing uniform. Police sources said he had died due to cold. The police gave no other detail on what killed the policeman.

The body was sent to the Civil Hospital for post-mortem. The cop was living alone.



One held with opium
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 21
The Dehlon police yesterday claimed to have arrested a man from near Ghungrana village while he was carrying 500 gm of opium. The accused, who was intercepted on suspicion by a police party led by ASI Amarjit Singh, has been identified as Sukhwinder Singh and booked under the NDPS Act.

Dowry case: The Salem Tabri police has registered a case of harassment for more dowry on the statement of Ms Kirandeep, a resident of Kutbewal village, against Babbu, Satpal, Guddo and Karma. The woman had alleged that the accused, who were her in-laws, tormented her physically and mentally and demanded more dowry from her.

Case registered: The Salem Tabri police has registered a case under Sections 451, 427, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Kamaljit Kaur, a resident of Bhagwan Dass Colony, against Lakshman Singh, Satwinder Singh, Charanjit Singh and Gurwinder Singh, all residents of Moga. The woman had alleged that the accused broke glass panes of her shop and threatened her.

Woman beaten up: On the statement of Ms Chand Rani, a resident of Qila Mohalla, the Division No. 4 police has registered a case of beating against Sadanand and Nodi, both residents of Railway Colony. The woman alleged that the accused intercepted her on the way, beat her up and threatened her.

The Kotwali police has registered a case under Sections 323, 506, 341 and 295-A of the IPC on the statement of Mr Hans Raj, a resident of Naali Mohalla, against Rachhpal Singh Gill and Bhandari. The complainant alleged that the accused had intercepted him on the road, beat him up and commented upon his caste.

Held for eve-teasing: The Kotwali police has arrested Deepak Kumar, a resident of Prem Nagar, and booked him under Sections 294 and 509 of the IPC. The police said the accused was teasing girls at the Raikhy Cinema chowk on Sunday.

The Salem Tabri police has registered a case under Sections 354 and 506 of the IPC on the statement of Kanta, a resident of Mohalla Ravinder Nagar, against Lakha Singh, a resident of the same locality. The woman alleged that the accused had attacked her daughter, Rama, with the intention of molesting her. Later, he threatened her, she added.

Held for jamming traffic: The Division No. 5 police has arrested Karamjit Singh, a tempo driver, and booked him under Section 283 of the IPC on charge of obstructing traffic by parking his vehicle on the road. Three truck drivers namely Suresh Kumar, a resident of Partap Singh Wala, Gurbachan Singh and Bir Chand, employed in a private goods carrier company, were also arrested and booked for the same offence at the same police station. The accused were later bailed out.

One killed: Sneh Yadav, a migrant rehra-puller living in Mundian village, died on the spot when he was hit by a tempo in the Focal Point area on Monday. The police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC against the tempo driver.

Liquor seized: The police has arrested Tirlochan Singh, a resident of Gandhi Colony, and seized nine bottles of illicit liquor from his possession. The accused has been booked under the Excise Act.



Doctor in gang rape
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
A Jalandhar-based woman was allegedly raped by a doctor and two other persons at a clinic in Preet Nagar late yesterday.
The Division Number 7 police has registered a case against the doctor, B.K. Singh, and his two friends, Mohinder Bakshi and Babu Lal. The woman lives in Guru Amar Dass Nagar of Jalandhar.

According to the FIR, the woman had come to the clinic to take some medicine. The doctor called her in the backroom and allegedly raped her there, as did the two other persons. The woman complained to the police early today.


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