Wednesday, July 23, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Mother, daughter stripped, beaten up 
to avenge humiliation
Son not spared for siding with in-laws
Amarjit Thind and Mahesh Sharma
Tribune News Service

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 22
To avenge the humiliation at the hands of a newly-wed woman for getting them booked in an assault case, her in-laws not only attacked her house but also stripped the girl and her mother and beat them up mercilessly. They also dragged out their son, assaulted him and left him seriously injured to teach everyone a lesson.

This shocking incident came to light after some relatives of the targeted family approached The Tribune to narrate their tale of woe since they were afraid of going to the cops, who they alleged, had threatened them to leave the area for their own welfare. They have now appealed to the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the CM, besides the DGP to enquire into the matter and bring the guilty, who were reportedly helped by some cops from the Tapa CIA staff, to book.

Narrating the sequence of events, a visibly shaken Mr Joga Singh, a resident of Sihar village and the father of Jagjit Kaur, said his daughter was married to Jagga Singh, son of Ran Singh of Doraj village in December, 2001. We spent around Rs 6 lakh on the marriage because the groom was an NRI, residing in Japan, at the time of the betrothal ceremony and marriage.

“We went in for a lavish wedding for the future of our daughter and had to pay a heavy interest on the money borrowed from money lenders. When this fact came to light to my son-in-law, he expressed his desire to live separately which was not liked by his family following which they started harassing my daughter. Things came to a head when she was assaulted by Pritam Kaur and Amarjit Kaur, mother-in-law and sister-in-law of the victim. She had to be hospitalised following serious injuries, while both assaulters were arrested by the police and were behind bars for some time.”

“Irritated by the daily fights, the couple started living in a separate house built by Jagga Singh from the money earned abroad. The rest was used to purchase an auto rickshaw which he now plies,” he added.

This was the flashpoint in the already strained relations and they started receiving threats not to contest the case. When they did not pay heed, a conspiracy was hatched to teach them a lesson. On the night of July 1, the accused attacked the family while they sleeping on the roof of the new house in Diraj. They had come after attending a date in the assault case in a court at Barnala.

Ms. Jagjit Kaur, Ms Mohinder Kaur and Mr Gurmit Singh, who had been attacked at Diraj, said they had gone asleep at about 10 p.m. on the roof when 15 persons, including three women, assaulted them after scaling the wall of the adjoining house. The assailants were wielding lathis, axes and swords and quietly made their way to the rooftop where they were sleeping.

Weeping uncontrollably, Jagjit alleged that she and her mother were the first to be attacked. They were pulled out of the bed and stripped naked. Then the attackers started kicking and punching them. All this while, their pleas to leave them alone went unheeded and after they had been knocked down semi-conscious, three men, reportedly from the CIA staff, started assaulting them. They kicked them in the private parts and lashed them with leather belts. All this while Jagjit’s mother-in-law and sister-in-law threatened them with the consequences of messing with them.

When her brother, Gurmit, who was also sleeping nearby came to their rescue, one of the assailants hit him on the head with an axe following which he fell unconscious.

At this point, Mohinder Kaur interjected and amid sobs said: “We can bear any degree of pain caused due to our physical injuries, but the mental torture and humiliation we faced that night can’t be explained and will haunt us for the rest of our lives. The magnitude of the torture can be gauged from the fact that they dragged all of us downstairs. When I regained consciousness, I was tied to a jamun tree in the courtyard with the others lying nearby.”

“Since their anger had not subsided, the accused went to look out for my son-in-law who had sided with us against his family. They found him sleeping in a room on the ground floor. They dragged him out and beat him mercilessly too, she added.

“We were too feeble to move but Jagga managed to send Gurmit to report to the police”, she pointed out.

Gurmit Singh told TNS that he reached the police station only to be abused by the munshi at Tapa police station. He abused me and told me to run away and save my life and leave worrying about my sister and mother. He came out and helped me start my scooter which I drove for some distance, after which I again fell down unconscious near the railway track.”

The family are thankful to Tapa club members who by chance found Gurmit and took him to safety. They remained admitted in hospital at Barnala for a fortnight and had come to their village Sihar a few days ago. It was on the intervention of the club members that a case was finally registered.

Jagjit points out that after registering the case the police has been trying to shield the culprits. “Though both me and my mother were rescued in a nude condition, no mention has been made of this inhuman act in the FIR. Now the cops are claiming that there were no witnesses. Whose witness does the police need when members of the club had themselves taken us to the hospital”, she asks.

She alleged that Tapa police had not recorded their statements as they were narrated and had obliged the accused, three of whom are cops.

Jagga Singh, husband of Jagjit, is resolved to break off with his family and bring the accused to justice. “Come what may, I will stand by my wife and her parents. So what if the assailants include my parents and relatives, a sinner is a sinner.”

Mr Raghu Nandan Sharma, a Congress leader and block samiti member, Mr Jitender Laddi, state vice-president, All-India Anti-Terrorist Front and Ms Balwinder Kaur, sarpanch of the village Sihar, confirmed that the family had been living in fear of their lives ever since. 



Untraced subscribers set alarm bells 
ringing at Reliance
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 22
A Reliance mobile telephone is not too easy to get, at least not as easy as you thought it to be. After selling thousands of mobile telephones across the country, Reliance Infocom is learnt to have adopted more lengthy and rigorous procedure for allotting these sets to subscribers.

The procedure was adopted after Reliance found discrepancies in the addresses given by subscribers. Out of 6,000 persons who subscribed to the Reliance Infocom service in the first phase of the Monsoon Hangama scheme in Ludhiana, 4000 gave wrong or incomplete addresses. A company official said a number of these discrepancies might be inadvertent, but the company had got strict in issuing the handsets now.

In the initial phase of the Monsoon Hangama scheme, the company was giving away instant activated mobile handsets to customers who furnished driving licence or a copy of the ration card as their proof of residence.

The company has now taken the services of two independent private agencies to verify the addresses and other details of the subscribers. Though the Reliance officials are hopeful of tracing out most subscribers, they are still concerned about the wrong addresses and other details which might lead to a considerable loss.

The officials said connections of subscribers whose addresses were found incorrect would be withdrawn and all those who furnished wrong declarations wilfully would face strict action.

There is one consolation, however — the handsets provided by Reliance Infocom cannot be used for any other service. Obviously, these would be of no use to the subscribers if they did not continue with the service. Still, it would be a loss to the company, as one handset costs about Rs 10,000.

The services to those whose gave false details are being stopped instantly, which is why a number of Reliance numbers are not accessible. The company has decided to go strict about verification and is not going to give any more connection until the details are verified by both agencies it has hired for the purpose. 



35 cell phones recovered from teenagers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 22
Next time you see a tea vendor in a train, grab your mobile telephone. That refreshing cup of tea may prove costly, for the vendor may be eyeing your mobile telephone.

Some 250 train travellers who have passed through Ludhiana will vouch for this statement. They were targeted by a gang of mobile-phone thieves at the railway stations or in journey for the last six months.

Three teenagers have been arrested by the police in a firstever major success against such a gang. Some other suspects are still out and waiting to strike. The police has recovered 35 mobile phone sets from the teenagers who say that they started stealing the sets six months ago. These boys — Manoj Gupta, Charandeep and Sanjay Mathur — are sons of migrant labourers selling tea at the railway station here.

The Government Railway Police here has not registered even a single complaint of mobile phone theft. Investigations by the division No 6 police have shown that the complaints have mostly been verbal as victims do not want to get into legal hassles by lodging an FIR.

The Janakpuri police had registered an FIR on the complaint of Jayaparkash Singh of Tajpur road here, whose phone had been stolen in a similar fashion. He had recognised the boys later in an identification parade.

The victims are usually quick to abandon all hopes of recovering the sets. However, after a mobile telephone company had recently made it mandatory to lodge an FIR if the set was stolen or lost, some cases were reported and this led the police to the gang.

The teenagers told the police they had earlier been stealing purses, chains, transistors and watches. They had been selling the sets to some shopkeepers in Ambala and Delhi.



Geeta happy with ‘reformed’ groom
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 22
Forgiveness is the biggest virtue for Geeta, the Nisha Sharma of Ludhiana, who had sent her baraat back a month ago when the groom had demanded dowry from her. She lived upto her belief when her groom returned to her pleading forgiveness for his greed and agreed to finally accept him as his husband.

Geeta, a 21-year-old-girl of a migrant from UP had set an example of female liberation by refusing to marry the Delhi boy who was demanding a cash of Rs 30,000 from her father in Baba Deep Singh Nagar, a month ago. Irritated at the demand of dowry, Geeta had told the groom to go back after he insisted that he would only take her if her father fulfilled his material demands.

The boy was forced to leave empty handed, drink sewer water also and remove his new clothes, said to be gifted by the girl’s family. A month later the groom came back early this week and asked her to forget the past and join him at Delhi.

“As she was already married to him, we decided that if the boy was ready to accept her and forego his dowry demands, we would send her there. The final decision was of the girl and she agreed. So we sent her with him. Now they are living at Delhi and she keeps ringing us up to tell about her welfare. They are living very happily,” said Mr Ram Sarup, her father.

The groom, Rajesh Kumar, works at a factory as an accountant. Her father claimed that Geeta went with him with her own will. She was not pressurised by anybody. He claimed that even her employers were happy when they were asked for their advice on the issue.

Pleading forgiveness the boy explained that he had misbehaved in a drunkard condition and would never do so in future.

Geeta had created ripples in her family circle as she belonged to a migrant labourer’s family and yet she had the courage to say no to a greedy groom. She had never heard about Nisha Sharma of Delhi who had sent her groom back. She had never heard about the term feminism. But something from within her had asked her to rebel against dowry, an evil that has devalued the women in society for ages.

Now, she has turned victorious as her groom had come back. This despite the fact that many of her critics had said that nobody would marry her ever as she had rebelled against society and rebels are not liked in society.

The family had spent Rs 1 lakh for buying household things like TV, refrigerator, almirah, tables, chairs, beds and arranging for two meals for the marriage party. The match was made through some relatives. The groom’s family had said that they did not want anything but the girl. 




IT is admission time, but several colleges in the city are without principals. This is mainly because of politics in the management of colleges. Arya College, which has seen a lot of political activity in the past two years, is without a regular principal ever since Mr V.K. Mehta retired. Guru Nanak Girls College, too, has an acting Principal due to differences between two strong factions in the college management. Similarly, some other colleges do not have principals on a permanent basis.

Encroachment mafia

Politicians as well as bureaucrats have been promising to remove encroachments. Even the Punjab and Haryana High Court directive given to the local administration to prepare a list of all encroachments and remove these has failed to get the encroachments removed. If Chowk Ghanta Ghar is any index of the encroachment level in the city, one cannot help wondering whether it is the encroachment mafia that rules the city or the high-profile bureaucrats who deliver empty promises of ensuring wider roads from time to time.

Serial mania

A colleague recently went to a friend’s house in the evening. As he had gone there without informing them in advance, he was curtly told by his friend’s wife not to do so in future. Surprised at her behaviour, he preferred to leave the house. The husband apologised and asked him to understand the problem. “The TV serials on women are to be blamed. No woman wants to prepare dinner at the time when these are being telecast,” said the poor husband, who had to bear the brunt of the situation everyday.

Tomato treat

As tomatoes are becoming expensive, city residents are cutting down on the consumption. The price of tomatoes has reached Rs 40 per kg and the vegetable sellers are also not buying these as there are not many takers. But a city resident has no option but to buy at least half a kg of tomatoes daily. He gives a funny reason for this — his dog does not eat anything if it is cooked without tomatoes.

Water blues

Rain brings cheer to everybody but it also exposes the preparedness of the district administration to drain the rain water that gets collected in houses and streets. The other day, rain water got collected in front of the office of the local Improvement Trust. Visitors had to remove their shoes and step in the water to reach the office.

A kind gesture

Recently, a member of the Sutlej Club lost valuables worth Rs 15,000 kept in his locker at the swimming pool of the club. The theft shocked the person and other members and everyone condemned the security lapse at the club. The newly appointed general secretary of the club, who had gone abroad on a vacation, had returned on the same day.

Language mess

Mixing two languages in routine discussions is common among staff members of educational institutions. But the highly educated teaching staff of Punjab Agricultural University has gone rather too far in this regard. They do not just intermingle words in a sentence, but have even formed a new vocabulary by joining prefix of one language with the suffix from another, especially when they use plurals. It is common to hear them say “cropaan” for crops, “bookan” for books, “researchan” for researches and so on.

English, always

Six students from Limpopo Province of South Africa recently joined Punjab College of Technical Education. During a press conference held in this regard, the college director said all six students would get a fee waiver form the college. At this, a reporter asked the director as to what advantage would he get from such admissions. The director replied that his students as well as staff were used to speaking Hindi or Punjabi, but now, with foreign students on the campus, they would automatically switch over to speaking English at all times.

Leisure Valley

Leisure Valley located on Convent Road has become quite popular with the city residents. The valley is beautifully landscaped and offers a good walking track. But on Sundays, the road gets covered with rainwater, which makes the flow of traffic very slow. Moreover, a company selling physical fitness equipment displays its products just outside the Leisure Valley. They also block a lot of space. Then several vendors occupy the road. There are no policemen to regulate the traffic.



Voter cards to be prepared from July 25
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 22
The final round for the preparation of photo identity cards of the voters of Ludhiana North Vidhan Sabha constituency will be carried out from July 25 to 27 from 8 am to 6 pm.

Ms Rakhi Gupta Bhandari, Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA-cum-Electoral Registration Officer for the constituency, said the correction in the existing voter identity cards would also be done during this period and the cards would be made according to the voters’ list of 2003.

She appealed to the voters to get their identity card prepared during the final round. Following are the areas where voters will be photographed during this period.

July 25 — booth number 1 to 3 at SDP Model School Hukam Singh Road, booth number 4,5 at Mahashakti Middle School, Fatehgarh, booth number 6 to 9 at SDP College for Women, booth number 10 at Dharamshala Shivpuri Mandir Tuttian Hissa -1, booth number 11 at Biney Model High School Shivpuri Road, booth number 12 to 14 at Dharamshala Shivpuri Mandir Tuttian Hisa -2, booth number 15, 27, 28, 35, 38 at Municipal Corporation (new building), booth number 16, 29 at S.A. Jain Senior Secondary School, Daresi road, booth number 17 to 19 at Technical Industrial Kwality Market, Kila Store.

Booth number 20 to 22 at S.A. Jain Model School, Circular road, booth number 23 to 26 at Rai Sahib Jugal Kishore Middle School, Katra Nauhrian, booth number 30 at Rama Model School, Bandian Mohalla, booth number 31 to 34 at Arya Girls Higher Secondary School, booth number 36 at SDP Higher Secondary School, booth number 37at Government Middle School, Saidan Mohalla, Brahmpuri, booth number 39 to 41 at Tirath Ram Memorial School, Bajwa Nagar.

July 26 — booth number 42, 46, 47 at Sanatan Girls Higher Secondary School, Mohalla Vakilan, booth number 43 at Government High School (primary section), Madhopuri, booth number 44, 45 at SDP Higher Secondary School, booth number 48 at Dharamshala Mohalla Thapar, Rampur Kucha number 4, booth number 49 to 51 at Dharamshala Raja Jan Chhpari, Tilak Nagar, booth number 52 to 55 at Government Girls High School, Vaishno Devi Chowk, booth number 56, 58 at MC zonal office, Samrala Chowk, booth number 57, 59 at Thir Haquit High School, Gaushala Road, booth number 60 to 62 at Singla Shivala Jain Dharamshala, booth number 63, 64 at Aggarwal Dharamshala, booth number 65,66 at Jain Senior Secondary School for Girls.

Booth number 67 to 69 at SDP Girls Senior Secondary School, Takkian Gujran, booth number 70, 71 at Government Primary School, Mullan Shakoor, booth number 72 at Ganga Ram Dharamshala, booth number 73 to 77 at PSEB, SDO Chaowani Mohalla, booth number 78, 79 at Government High School, Chaowani Mohalla, booth number 80 at the office of the Assistant Director Fisheries, near Power House, booth number 81, 82 at Dharamshala Sardaran Singh, Chaowani Mohalla, booth number 83 to 86 at Dhir Model School, Upkar Nagar, booth number 87 at Valmiki Harijan Dharamshala, Shahi Mohalla, booth number 88 to 90 at Government Primary School Kundanpuri Dharamshala, booth number 91, 92 at Pindi Dyal Dharamshala near Kailash Cinema, booth number 93, 94 at Dharamshala Mai Har Kishan Singh, Court Road.

Booth number 95 to 98 at Government Co-Education High School, Kundanpuri, booth number 99 at Sanatan Dharam Parchar High School, Basti Mani Singh, booth number 100, 101 at Sanatan Dharam Parchar High School, Basti Mani Singh, booth number 102 to 105 at Mahavir Vidya Mandir, Harcharan Nagar Gali Number 5, Samrala Road, booth number 106, 107 at Haquit Rai Vidya Mandir, Gau Ghat, booth number 108 to 110 at Government High School, Jodhewal, booth number 111, 112 at Holi Pub Co-Education High School, New Madhopuri.

Booth number 113 to 117 at Ritambra Public School, Sunder Nagar, booth number 118,119 at Government Primary School, Karabara and Bindra Colony, booth number 120 to 122 at Jmana Model Senior Secondary School, New Shiv Puri, booth number 123 to 125 at Jmana Model Senior Secondary School, New Shiv Puri, booth number 126 to 128 at the office of Municipal Committee Dispensary Valmiki Nagar,

July 27: booth number 129, 130 at Government Primary School, Shekowal, booth number 131 ,132 at Durga Model School, Plot number 33 Gali No. 6, Santokh Nagar, booth number 133 to 135 at Channan Devi Memorial High school, booth number 136 to 138 at government primary School, Piru Banda, booth number 139, 140 at Channan Devi Memorial High School, booth number 141 to 145 at Government Primary School, Salem Tabri, booth number 146 to 148 at Government High School, Nanak Nagar, booth number 149 to 153 at Sishu Model School, Bal Singh Nagar, and 154 to 156 at Shanti Devi Public School, Jodhewal. 



Left parties flay govt’s economic policies
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 22
Activists of Left parties today criticised the economic policies of the NDA government in the Centre, which were having adverse impact on economic and social fabric of the nation and had led to mass unemployment, industrial stagnation and irreparable damage to farm economy. The parties gave a call to the people to mobilise themselves against the anti-people government so that a third front of Left parties could come into being to provide a viable alternative.

Addressing a mass dharna organised at Mini Secretariat here, jointly by CPI (M), Marxist Communist Party of India (MCPI), CPI-ML and the All-India Forward Block, as a part of ‘public mobilisation fortnight’, the State Secretary of the CPI (M), Mr Mangat Ram Pasla, observed that nation was faced with grave problems. Under the WTO regime, public sector units and government departments were being privatised, industrial units were facing closure and farmers were crisis ridden. As a direct fall out, the threat of unemployment was looming large on industrial and farm workers.

The presidium of the rally comprised Mr Amar Nath Koom Kalan, Mr Baldev Singh Latala, Mr Vijay Kumar Dogra (CPI-M), Mr Rajinder Sharma, Mr Ramesh Sharma (CPI-ML) and Mr Surinder Singh Sajjad, Mr Prem Singh (MCPI).

Former legislator and member of the state secretariat of CPI (M), Mr Tarsem Jodhan, flayed the Congress government in Punjab for denying a number of facilities to weaker sections of society and called for restoration of these facilities and other welfare measures. He also demanded rollback in the tuition fee hike and comprehensive transport facilities for students. Mr Kuldip Singh Grewal, state secretary of the MCPI, termed the hefty increase in user charges for water supply and sewerage as arbitrary and uncalled for. Charging the government with discrimination against the poor and weaker sections, he demanded basic amenities like water supply and sewerage free of cost for labour colonies and slums.

Mr Amar Nath Koom Kalan, state secretary, Centre of Indian Trade Unions, while focussing on financial mismanagement in the Punjab State Electricity Board criticised the policy of penalising consumers for the lapses of the PSEB management. Demanding rollback in the increase in power tariff, he said the deficit should be made up by cutting down wasteful expenditure and checking power theft. He also debunked the policy of privatisation and commercialisation of PSUs and service sector.

Prominent among other speakers at the rally were Mr Raghbir Singh Benipal, Mr Baldev Singh Latala, Mr Ramesh Gautam, and Mr Lakhwinder Buani.



Henceforth, SHOs will answer your calls
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 22
“Shreeman ji, thana kotwali ton chotta munshi Bhisham Singh hazir ji.” This welcome note heard over the phone whenever anyone dialled the number of a police station for the last several decades has now passed into history. No more would one hear a ‘chotta munshi’ or a ‘wada munshi’ receiving the calls.

As per the new policy of the district police, designed for a better people-friendly approach, only station house officers (SHOs) of the police station or the duty officer, mainly assistant sub-inspectors (ASIs), have been ordered to receive all calls henceforth.

The move is aimed at providing a relatively senior police officer to the assistance of the public round-the-clock as well as for better coordination with the senior officers. This would relieve the munshis of much trouble as they had to do lot of paper work but were instead left to attend the phone calls.

Introduced by the new SSP, Mr Narinderpal Singh, early this week, the policy has become a subject of debate in the police circles. While the police personnel, differ with each other over the move, which has aroused same interest as the ‘Shreemanji scheme’, some cops of the Division No. 3 police narrowly escaped major punishment for not following the orders.

Police sources said the SSP called up the police station to verify the implementation of his orders. He became quite angry when a ‘chotta munshi’ (assistant to head munshi) picked up the phone and repeated the one-liner welcome. He missed a beat when the SSP took him to task for receiving the call.

The SSP dashed to the police station and gave the cops a good dressing down. He let them go with a stern warning. Commenting on the policy, Mr Narinderpal Singh, said the orders were quite necessary.

The SSP said now the duty officer’s presence in the police station would be checked automatically. He said the duty officers are supposed to be present in the police station on their duty day, which is changed in rotation. However, many a time they give the slip leaving the police stations to the munshis.

He said he would prefer the duty officers to receive the call than the SHOs as the latter has to do other work also. Further, the public would be benefited when the duty officer, who is in more cases than none better educated, receives the call and can communicate better with the public.

While the munshis are happy at the change, the duty officers have expressed mixed feelings. Some say they feel the new duty as quite challenging one but others are fuming. They felt they were doing the job of telephone operators. One of the main grouse of the duty officers was that many calls made to the police station were personal calls and they were reduced in calling junior or senior officers to attend the calls.



Maintenance of parks to go back to contractors
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 22
With the adamant stand taken by the Park Management Committees (PMCs) and their refusal to take up the responsibility for maintenance of parks at the rates prescribed by the state government, the municipal corporation has decided to entrust the job to private contractors. For almost two years now, the parks in the city were in a state of utter neglect due to all of the 128 PMCs going defunct and the MC simply not having the kind of manpower for the task.

The decision to handover the maintenance of some 700 parks in the city as well as landscaping and plantation on central verges, roundabouts and islands on city roads to private contractors was approved at a meeting of the Finance and Contracts Committee (F&CC) held here recently. An area of almost 325 hectares was earmarked as green belts in the city and the horticulture wing of the civic body had a strength of 358 gardeners and beldars against approved posts of 649 persons.

Started with much fanfare, the experiment of having the parks maintained by PMCs, comprising mostly of senior citizens, retired personnel and other enterprising residents of the concerned localities, had proved a big success. With a few exceptions, where the PMC functionaries had faltered or failed to come up to the mark due to variety of reasons, majority of the PMCs had done a good job and the city parks had undergone a sea change. The MC was paying the PMCs at the rate of Rs 1 per square metre with an additional annual payment towards purchase of tools and other inputs.

However, a state government decision to cut down the payment for maintenance of parks to a maximum of Rs 0.50 per square metre threw a spanner in the works and the entire functioning of the PMCs came to a grinding halt. In the absence of proper upkeep and care over a long period, the condition of city parks had become pathetic with the residents crying for immediate and effective measures for maintenance of the parks and green belts.

Taking note of the dismal situation of the parks, the general house of the MC had, more than once, adopted resolutions to the effect that old rate for maintenance of parks by the PMCs be restored so that these bodies remained functional and the parks could be maintained in the ‘green’ of health. However, the government refused to relent and refused to give a second thought to the slashed rates for maintenance, which were not acceptable to the PMCs.

Justifying the decision to hand over the maintenance of parks to the contractors, the MC Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, said there was no other way out. The MC has to abide by the government decision on rates for maintenance of parks and despite best of efforts made in this direction, the PMCs had failed to come forward to take up the work. He said to start with, 470 parks in the city would be offered for maintenance by contractors through a notice inviting tenders (NIT) to be issued shortly. Initially, technical bids would be invited from eligible parties and the shortlisted firms or individuals would be entitled to participate in financial bidding.



Resentment over nominations to grievances panel
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 22
There is a resentment among Congress workers over the nominations to the District Grievance Committee, Ludhiana. Most of the members nominated to the committee are not very famous in the local circles. The nominations have left senior Congress workers aghast over their omission. There has been no nomination from among the Youth Congress activists.

The state government has recently constituted the Grievance Committee for Ludhiana district. The committee meets once a month to deliberates upon various problems being faced by the public. The members are drawn from a cross section of society irrespective of their political or professional affiliations. However, prominent workers from the ruling party usually have an edge in the committee membership.

It is learnt that the appointments were made at the recommendation of a minister and the party rank and file were ignored. One of the Youth Congress leaders regretted that none of their representative was included in the committee. “Except for a few, most of the members in the committee are unknown faces who have managed it with their influence,” he said.

Those nominated to the committee include Mr Harbans Lal Sethi, Mr Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon, Mr Kara Singh, Dr Balwant Singh, Dewan Jagdish Chander, Mr Baldev Singh, Mr Tejwant Singh, Mr Ajay Johar, Mr Dharminder Kumar Sharma, Mr Kripal Singh Hans, Mr Nirmal Singh, Mr Jaswinder Singh, Mr Lakha Singh Cheema, Mr K.K. Bawa, Mr Ramesh Joshi, Mr Rajinder Singh Basant, Mr Devinder Kumar Bhasin, Mr Manjit singh, Mr Avtar Singh and Ms Gurdial Kaur Khangura.

It was learnt that more members are likely to be inducted in the committee. A local Congress leader said first the government delayed the constitution of the committee and now when it was constituted, prominent workers were ignored. He hoped that some more prominent and active workers of the party would soon be inducted into such committees.



Missing child’s parents abandon hope
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, July 22
Ten days have passed since Tanjot Singh, a 16-year-old class XI student of Sant Ishar Singh Public School, Rara Sahib, disappeared from the village of Bilaspur near Payal.

The police has failed to trace the boy, and with every passing day, the parents of the boy have been becoming more concerned.

Recalling the unfateful day of July 12, Jasvinder Singh, father of Tanjot, said: “It was Saturday and my son left as usual for school in the morning, but never reached there. On a scooter with his friend Navjot Singh, he went to Ahmedgarh where they played video games. They returned at the time of the final bell at school to Navjot’s house at the village of Kalaheeb.

“I went there in the evening to bring him back, but he insisted on staying there till Sunday. When he did not reach home till Sunday evening, I sent a man there, who was told by Navjot’s parents that they had made Tanjot board the bus at noon and they were ignorant of what had happened to him after that.”

A case in this regard has been registered against Navjot Singh and his father, Jagjit Singh, and the father of the lost child has alleged that a thorough investigation in the case is lacking. “The casual attitude of Navjot and his parents makes our suspicions strong. They are responsible for my child’s disappearance, but are not being interrogated completely,” says Tanjot’s father.

Jaswinder Singh further said even on Friday, Navjot had rung up Tanjot three or four times and early next day, another call had come from him after which Tanjot had rushed out of the house. “I left Tanjot was concealing something from me,” he said.

“After nine days, we have abandoned all hopes of our child returning but if a thorough investigation is conducted by the police, the truth may come out.”



Estranged woman seeks justice
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Pakhowal, July 22
A 29-year-old woman of this village has been moving from pillar to post for a better future for her two daughters who have been deserted by her husband. Santosh Kaur, a Dalit married an ex-serviceman of Pandora village, near Mullanpur Dakha, about seven years ago. Her husband, a widower with five children, had promised her a happy life but after seven years of marriage, she is dejected and has to carry the burden of two small children.

Her father has been providing her with shelter and food. She has filed a case in the State Commission for Women at Chandigarh and is waiting a decision.

Santosh Kaur said she did not want to be separated from her husband but his family members were not willing to accept her. His mother and sisters tell me that I was worth nothing and still he married me. My husband’s eldest daughter from the first marriage has never accepted me as her mother though I love her like my own daughter. The fact that I married her father despite knowing that he already had children speaks volumes about my feelings. I had decided that I would love them like my own children.” she said.

She said everything was normal until the birth of her daughter. Her husband retired from the Army and her harassment started. When she was expecting her second child, she was beaten up by her husband during the seventh month. After that she was never called back by her in-laws.

She had complained to the panchayat and a compromise was reached between the two parties. She went back to her in-laws only to return after some time. She approached the Jagraon police a number of times but no case was registered.

The District Sainik Welfare Officer had also written to the SSP, Jagraon, in this regard but no case was registered.

She said she only wanted that her husband should deposit Rs 50,000 in the name of her children and she should be treated as a member of his family. “Am I asking for too much. I am ready to work there day in and day out and love the children. Nobody used to talk to me as if I was a beggar,” she said.



Creche, a necessity for working mothers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana: With an increase in the number of working women, creches have become a necessity. Many mothers are working in order to share the financial burden and give a good quality of life to their children. With the concept of joint families becoming redundant, the only option left before parents is to leave their children in creches.

Creches are a boon as they allow freedom to mothers to carry on with their jobs and the mothers feel that their children are being looked after while they are working.

Ms Neel Kamal, who leaves her six-month-old daughter in a creche, says, ‘‘It really is hard to leave your baby under someone else’s supervision. If a woman leaves her job to raise her child and starts looking a job when the child is above three and is able to go to a nursery school it is not a practical decision as it is impossible to find a job again. So the mothers have to be practical and leave their children in a creche’’.

However, creches are not always a pleasant experience as Ms Savita found out. The registration fee of the creche where she sent her one-year-old son was Rs 5,000 and tuition fee Rs 1,000. She says, ‘‘Women running the creche is Gurdev Nagar had employed three maids to look after children, including infants and school-going children. When I went to get my child, I would be given a huge pile of soiled nappies.

On Saturdays, the creche would remain closed and we had the problem of arranging for someone to baby sit. Then one day the creche was closed down without a notice. We had to spend the entire weekend looking for another creche. Some creches do not even bother to note down telephone numbers and if a child falls sick, they do not contact the parents’’.

‘‘Sometimes parents leave their grown up children at creche as they feel their children will be safe here as many kidnapping incidents are happening in the city. The children do their homework here and their parents pick them in the evening’’, said Ms Ruby, who is running a creche.

Ms Sudha says, ‘‘Finally I have found a good creche in Sarabha Nagar. The creche has a big hall and is well equipped with toys and clean beds.

‘‘But some creches are really bad, like the one in Model Town which is operating from a small room. Only Rs 200 was charged but children take home infections as the place was unhygience and not maintained properly’’, says a distraught mother.



Transport Nagar to get facelift
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 22
The hub of transport business in the city - Transport Nagar, will be given a facelift and all amenities and infrastructural facilities would be provided to the transporters. This was announced by city Mayor Nahar Singh Gill at a ‘khula darbar’ held at Transport Nagar here last evening.

Responding to the demands put forward by members of the Ludhiana Transporters Welfare Association, Mr Gill said work for resurfacing and repair of all internal roads would be taken in hand soon and a time-bound survey had been ordered for this purpose. The engineering wing had also been asked to prepare a proposal for covering an open drain flowing through the commercial centre from Industrial Area side.

Mr Gill further assured the transporters that overall sanitation level of the area would be improved, encroachments on land near telephone exchange would be cleared and adequate streetlights would be provided in the nagar.

Earlier, functionaries of the association, including Mr Prithvi Raj, chairman, Mr Jagdish Chander, president, and Mr Sarbjit Singh, general secretary, pointed out that despite making a significant contribution to the government exchequer and the revenue of the municipal corporation, the transporters were being made to function in pathetic conditions with least attention from the civic administration.

In addition to the demand for coverage of open drain, which was often overflowing and flooding the entire complex, they said water supply and sewerage network needed to be expanded, designated parking places should be cleared of filth and garbage, access lanes to the area should be widened and repaired and pending project for surfacing of internal link roads should be executed without further delay.



Residents oppose panel formation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 22
The controversy over the Gurdwara Mastuana Sahib and a dera at Dugri Road took a turn here yesterday when the Welfare Society of Model Town Extension-D distanced itself from the newly constituted 11-member committee formed by Baba Nachattar Singh Kali Kambliwale to manage the religious place.

In a statement here today by Mr G S Midda, general secretary of the society, residents said they would continue to boycott the place as some “outsiders” had taken the possession of the land.

He claimed that the residents were not taken into confidence before the constitution of the committee.



Roadways works managers seek promotion
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 22
Works managers of Punjab Roadways have urged the government to end stagnation and ensure their promotion at regular intervals.
At a meeting held here yesterday, members of the Punjab Roadways Works Managers Association appealed to the government to not only ensure their promotion at fixed intervals, but also promote them as General Managers (GMs) since they were graduate engineers. Most works managers are working in the same post for the past 21 years or more without being considered for posting as GMs while those in the general cadre are eligible for the top job after just five- seven years of service.

They urged the government to consider technically qualified persons for the posts of Chief Store and Purchase Officer. To bring the roadways out of the red, the state should strengthen the existing Roadways fleet with the induction of at least 500 buses. Prominent among those who spoke were Mr Shiv Kumar, Mr R S Grewal, Mr B S Gill, Mr Manohar Singh, Mr Girdhari Lal, Mr Yashpal Singh and Mr H S Minhas.



Murder charge against owner of hosiery unit
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 22
Acting on the complaint of Ms Sushma, widow of a hosiery worker, Rajinder Kumar, who died after a ‘fall’ from the rooftop of the hosiery unit where he worked in Anand Pura yesterday afternoon, the Jodhewal police has registered a murder case against Vijay Kumar Bhatti, owner of the unit, under Section 302 of the IPC.

The widow had stated that on July 20, her husband had told her that he had demanded wages from the owner of the hosiery unit, but the owner had beaten him up. The next day, some workers from the unit came to her house and told her that her husband had died after an accidental fall from the rooftop of the building.

She said she suspected foul play on the part of the hosiery owner, who might have thrown her husband down the building with the help of some workers.

Dowry case: On the directions of the SSP, the Sadar police has registered a case under Sections 406, 498-A and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Paramjit Kaur, a resident of Ghawaddi village, against her husband, Avtar Singh, and in-laws, Teru Singh, Manjit Kaur and Amarjit Kaur, all residents of Gogla village, near Samrala. The woman had alleged that the accused, after her marriage in 1999, started harassing her for dowry. No arrest has been made so far.

Boy electrocuted: The Shimla Puri police on Monday registered a case under Section 304-A of the IPC against Naresh Kumar, proprietor of Narula Juice Bar situated on the Gill road. The case was registered on the statement of Mr Mangal Singh, a resident of Challia Kot village in Gonda district of UP.

The complainant had alleged that seeking shelter from rain his 13-year-old son, Neetu, had gone to the juice bar on the intervening night of July 20-21. The bar was closed at that time. When the boy touched the metal counter placed outside the closed shop, he was electrocuted. The owner of the juice bar had deliberately ‘connected’ the counter to ward off possible thieves, he alleged. No arrest has been made so far.

Scooter recovered: The Shimla Puri police on Monday evening arrested Manjit Kumar, alias Sonu, a resident of Jawahar Nagar, from the Malhar cinema road and recovered a stolen LML Vespa scooter from his possession. A case has been registered under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC.

Ornaments stolen: The Jodhewal police has registered a case under Sections 457 and 381 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Upender, a resident of Lajpat Nagar, against his servant, Rajinder Bahadur.

The complainant had alleged that the servant had decamped with gold ornaments worth Rs 80,000 from the house. No arrest has been made so far.

Forgery alleged: The Civil Lines police on Monday registered a case of forgery against Gagandeep Singh, Bikkar Singh, residents of Dad village, Charanjit Singh, Harbans Singh, Ranjit Singh, residents of Mukandpur village in Nawanshahr district, under Sections 468, 471 and 34 of the IPC. The case was registered on the statement of Mr Bhupinder Singh, a resident of 40 Gaj Colony on the Tajpur road.

According to the complainant, the accused had forged the documents pertaining to his land situated near Sahnewal and got the same transferred in their names on May 10, 1994. No arrest has been made so far.

Beaten up: The Haibowal police on Monday registered a case against Rashpal Singh, Anup Singh, Mohinder Singh, Jarnail Singh and Baldev Singh, residents of Maya Puri, Jodhewal, under Sections 326, 452, 380, 148 and 149 of the IPC. The case was registered on the statement of Mr Joginder Singh, a resident of New Vijay Nagar, Haibowal Kalan.

The complainant had alleged that the accused forced their way into his house and injured his son, Panjab Singh. The accused also took away Rs 1.4 lakh from the house, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

Held for quarrelling: The Division No. 7 police on Monday registered a case under Section 160 of the IPC against Swaran Singh, Surjit Singh, Gian Singh Budh Singh, residents of Mundian Kalan village, and some unidentified persons. The police said the accused were quarrelling on the road near the village dharamshala and disturbing peace of the area.

Liquor seized: The Division No. 2 police on Monday arrested Dheera Lal, a migrant from UP with no permanent local address, from near the New Civil Hospital, with six bottles of illicit liquor booked him under the Excise Act.

Knife seized: The Division No. 2 police on Monday arrested Mangal, a resident of a slum area near Amar Pura mohalla, and seized a ‘kamanidar’ knife from his possession. The man has been booked under the Arms act.



Truck driver attacked
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, July 22
A truck driver was attacked while changing a punctured tyre near Chak Sarwan Nath village, near Sahnewal in the wee hours today.
Dilbagh Singh, owner of the truck, and driver Sakattar Singh of Nawankot, travelling from Amritsar to Kanpur, were on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road near the village when the tyre got punctured. The driver was busy replacing the tyre when six to seven persons, who looked like migrant labourers, came there and started an argument with him.

One of them allegedly attacked the driver with a big stick and the others, too, joined in. When the cleaner of the truck picked up a rod to counter them, they fired at the driver with a country-made pistol and absconded. The injured driver was then admitted to Mohan Dai Oswal Hospital at Ludhiana.

A case has been registered in this regard. The Sahnewal police had claimed to have busted a gang of robbers a few days ago. With a fresh attack of a similar type farmers in the surrounding villages have been shaken once more. 



Mercedes Benz launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 22
DaimlerChrysler India has launched the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Kompressor in Ludhiana. It was launched by Mr Hans Michael Huber, Managing Director alance of power and work of art combining emotional appeal with top fight technology."

Giving details he said the new four -cylinder petrol engine in the new C-Class Kompressor offered even higher performance with the maximum power output increased from 124lance of power and work of art combining emotional appeal with top fight technology."

Giving details he said the new four -cylinder petrol engine in the new C-Class Kompressor offered even higher performance with the maximum power output increased from 124 hp to 158 hp as compared to the outgoing C-180. He said the super- charged engine emitted an exhaust note that clearly signalled the C-200 Kompressor’s sporty intent.



Mill owners air grievances
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, July 22
The level of pollution caused by steel re-rolling mills has not increased due to the installation of air pollution-control devices in these units. However, adverse circumstances have led to the closure of nearly 100 mills here and at Khanna.

This was stated at a meeting of the Steel Re-rolling Association held here yesterday. Mr Vinod Vashist, the president of the All-India Steel Re-rollers Association, Delhi, and Mr Harmesh Jain, the state president of the Small-Scale Steel Re-rolling Industry, participated in the discussion.

Mr Vashist alleged that the re-rolling mills were being blamed for violating pollution norms. He asserted that the mills were not solely responsible for pollution.

He clarified that the use of coal in factories had not been started only for its low cost but also due to the supply of low-quality furnace oil which emitted more harmful smoke than coal. Mr Vashist said the mill owners were ready to install any device prescribed by the government to check pollution level. 


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