Monday, August 11, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


With 3 passports, Jaghera fooled government too
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Copies of Shamsher Singh Jaghera’s two passports with different pictures and dates of birth.

Ludhiana, August 10
The controversial sant, Shamsher Singh Jaghera, who was recently held on rape charge, allegedly possessed three passports with different photos, addresses and date of birth. One of his former aides in the dera had made copies of the different passports and had kept them with him. A number of special VIP parking passes and entry cards to the house of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and a house No. 45, Sector 2, Chandigarh, have also been found.

The controversial sant, who was quite close to several other Akali leaders also, is already in soup because of the rape charge. His dera and residence have been taken over by the new gurdwara management and residents of Lohara village near here. Now he faces charge of cheating the Indian Government in getting the passports issued.

Apart from the Akalis, several Congress leaders, especially those from Ludhiana, used to frequent his dera.

Mr Balwant Singh Minia, president of the International Dharam Prachar Council, had kept the copies of the passports with him just as a record, little realising that they would become a major plank against the sant one day. Ludhiana Tribune learnt about the fraud from reliable sources. In the beginning Mr Minia was a little reluctant but confirmed it later.

Documentary proof of the passports available with the Ludhiana Tribune revealed that Jaghera gave his different picture, address and a different date of birth in the passports. He was issued a passport (No. U-883252) in 1983, which was extended in 1988 up to 1993. He wore a pointed turban, as worn by a majority of Sikhs and the address was of his village Jagehra. The date of birth was given as June 2, 1955.

However, he got another passport (No. K-905059) issued with the same address and photo, in his name on March 25, 1992, whereas the expiry date of his earlier passport was August 1993. Under the rules, a person can have only one passport from one country at any given time. However, he got this passport before the previous one expired. His date of birth in this passport was May 30, 1955.

The third passport (No. N5 30234) was also issued much before the expiry of the two earlier ones. It was issued on April 8, 1993. In this passport, he gave a different picture and address. This time he was sporting a round turban and the address was of his controversial dera on Dugri Road here. The turban that he was wearing in this picture was the one normally worn by saints.

Mr Minia suspected that the original passports would be lying hidden somewhere in the lockers, safes or rooms of the controversial Sant. He also possesses copies of special entry cards and VIP parking passes given to the accused by Mr Hardip Singh Bamra, OSD to former Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal.

The stamps on the passports showed the trips made by the Sant to foreign countries. He was regularly visiting the USA, Canada, UK and several other countries.

Shamsher Singh Jaghera had come into limelight when he came close to Mr Parkash Singh Badal. When Mr Badal and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra parted ways. He became the President of International Sant Samaj. He was accused several times by residents of Model Town of nefarious activities but no action was taken against him.

Ultimately, he was caught while raping a woman early last month. He was booked for rape and is presently in judicial custody at the Central Jail here.



Thanda matlab lassi, juice
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 10
It has been a blessing in disguise for fruit juice sellers in the city. Natural drinks like juices of various fruits, milk and mango shakes, lemonade, coconut water and traditional lassi have registered increased sale. Although most people do not like to take lassi in the rainy season, yet its consumption has increased.

During the past few days only, a number of rehris have surfaced at places like Mall Road, Rani Jhansi Road, College Road, Ghumar Mandi, Chaura Bazar, Sarabha Nagar Market besides others. Even sugarcane juice sellers have also recorded increased sales after the Centre for Science and Environment reported that aerated drinks contained pesticides in much higher proportions than the permissible limits.

Interestingly, a sugarcane juice vendor on Mall Road told The Tribune that earlier people used to dismiss these as “unhygienic”. “Now even the rich stop and order for sugarcane juice from their cars saying it is at least fresh and does not contain any toxic material”, he said. He claimed that a glass of sugarcane juice is fresh, much energising and costs half the price of Coke or Pepsi.

The traditional lassi has also gained ground. Coke and Pepsi are no longer being served in parties and social functions. Juices or lassi have replaced these. Packed lassi is the most sought after drink these days resulting in a huge jump in sales. A Verka distributor in Sarabha Nagar area said the sale of lassi during the months of July and August used to be the lowest. But during the past few days, the sales have shot up. “Now people do not keep Coke or Pepsi in their homes. They rather prefer lassi”, he said.

The medical community has also been describing it as a welcome trend. Dr Ravinder Vatsyayan, a Ayurveda practitioner, said although it was difficult to ascertain whether Coke and Pepsi were contaminated, traditional Indian drinks like lassi and lemonade were always preferred over aerated drinks.



Expired soft drinks confiscated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 10
A scandal of selling bottles containing expired aerated drinks, mineral water and flavoured milk, some more than a year old, has come to light after a joint raid by the Health Department and police last night at a unit in Jandiali village, near here.

The authorities confiscated more than 10,000 bottles of mineral water, aerated drinks and flavoured milk from the premises of the bottling company. These included that of Abhi milk, Bisleri Soda, Bisleri mineral water and Top Cola. A team of health officials along with a police party raided the premises of the unit of Bisleri, Top Cola, Asian Lacto Health Foods in Jandiala village, near here, and collected sealed samples.

The police has registered a case against the unit owners. Two persons, included Arun Bhardwaj, Manager, and Vijay Kumar, a salesman, of the unit, have been arrested. Sources said at the time of the raid the employees were busy printing new dates in place of expiry dates as the drinks had already expired a year ago. The godown of the company was sealed by the authorities.

The health authorities said the department was conducting such raids following the orders of the Health Minister, Mr R.C. Dogra. He had asked for reports within a few days’ time. The department authorities had collected samples of Coke, Fanta, Pepsi, Maaza, Thums Up, Limca and Sprite from Ludhiana Beverages located on GT Road.



A stretch that kills
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 10
Yesterday’s accident in which a man was crushed to death by a train at the unmanned level crossing that connects Thrike village with Rajguru Nagar has once again brought to fore the increasing number of fatal accidents taking place at unmanned level crossings.

There seems to be no solution to the problem as residents have created many passages on this track separating new colonies with some villages within a distance of few kilometers only. The railways cannot provide so many manned level crossings in such a short stretch.

Residents claim that accidents at the same point are a common occurrence. They say more than 30 such accidents have taken place at this point only and a number of lives have been lost. They add that they have written to the Improvement Trust, the maintaining authority of the area, a number of times, but to no avail.

They have been demanding the setting up of a manned level crossing near Thrike village where most of the accidents have taken place. According to them, many school buses also cross the line during the day besides other traffic. Even after many deaths occurring on this track, the authorities have been paying no heed to their requests.

One of the residents said the area was known as “boli dharti” (deaf land) as the sound of an approaching train could not be heard for some reason, resulting in collision of a crossing vehicle with the train. Residents of the area have even named these crossings “khooni phatak” (killer crossing).

Improvement Trust officials said a former Deputy Commissioner had mooted a proposal to set up a permanent manned level crossing near Lodhi Club. They said the matter was taken up with the railway authorities and Improvement Trust was told to deposit a sum of Rs 1 lakh for the same, which they had around a year ago.

To make the matters worse for passersby, thick vegetation along the track blocks the view. Consequently, they fail to see the approaching train. Moreover, old signboards indicating the presence of an unmanned crossing, which were installed years ago, have not been repainted despite the fact that accidents are a common occurrence.

As the area falls in the outskirts of the city, dust remains suspended thereby making it impossible for the passersby to see the tracks or approaching train. Absence of any streetlighting in the area also adds to the problem.

Railway officials said it was very difficult for the department to construct a manned gate at every crossing. Due to increase in population and expansion of the city beyond its limits, the flow of traffic at these roads had increased manifold. However, the railways has only agreed to construct a gate at Lodhi club crossing.



Probe ordered into prisoner’s pregnancy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 10
The Minister for Jails and Housing Development, Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi, has ordered an inquiry into the mysterious case of an inmate of woman jail here who had become pregnant in custody.

The woman, belonging to Amritsar was recently shifted to the jail here. She was undergoing seven years imprisonment sentence in a dowry harassment case. She was brought to Civil Hospital here last evening when she complained of stomach pain.

The woman had alleged that she was raped by five youths in Amritsar while she was on bail. She said she had kept it a secret fearing social stigma.

Mr Birmi said he had got information about the case and had ordered an inquiry. He said the Amritsar police had also been informed. He said he would be visiting the jail shortly also.

Mr Birmi said all medical help would be extended to her in the jail as per the manual.



621 widows given pensions
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 10
Gyan Sthal Mandir ( regd.), Subhani Building Chowk, Ludhiana, under the supervision of Mr Sat Pal Dang , former MLA , Amritsar, distributed monthly rations among 621 widows today morning. The programme started with bhajans.

A large number of people donated money for the noble cause. Notable among the donors were Mr Vijay Goyal, Vice- President , Red Cross Society, Patiala, Mr.Simranjit Singh, Councillor, Ward No. 24, and Mr Suraj Bhan Jain, Chairman Knitwear Club. Mr Krishan Sharma, district president, Hindu Shiv Sena, distributed rations among widows. Mr. O.P Munjal of Hero Cycles was the chief guest. Mr Munjal lauded the efforts of the temple and promised Rs 51,000 for the noble cause. Mr Dang was awarded Lala Jagat Narain Award for his services to the society.



1 held with 120 kg of poppy husk
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 10
The Civil Lines police yesterday nabbed a man near the bus stand and seized 120 kg of poppy husk from him.
The accused, identified as Ranjit Singh, resident of Dhanola Road, Barnala, in Sangrur district, was booked under sections 15,61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.

Chain snatchers held: The Civil Lines police yesterday registered a case under sections 356 and 379 of the IPC on the complaint of Ms Lakhwinder Kaur, wife of Mr Bhagwant Singh, resident of Jammu Colony, against five women of a chain-snatching gang who have been identified as Parmeshweri and Paramjit , residents of Seeta Wala village in Patiala district, Gholo, a resident of Bazigar Basti, Dhuri and Bhagwanti, and Nirmala, a residents of Bagrian village.

The complainant had alleged that the accused had snatched her gold chain while she was travelling in a three-wheeler from Dugri to the New Courts on Friday afternoon.

The police said today that the accused were arrested and the gold chain recovered from them.

Embezzlement: The Division No 6 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 408,420 and 120-B of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Surinder Arora, partner, Shri Gopal Udyog, Industrial Area-B, against Anil Chawla and Pardeep Kumar Chawla, residents of Amritsar.

The complainant had alleged that the accused, who were employed as salesmen in his firm, embezzled Rs 4,91,950.

Duplicate CDs: The Division No 3 police yesterday registered a case under section 420 of the IPC and sections 51, 52-A, 63, 64 and 68-A of the Copyright Act on the complaint of Mr Rajiv Sharma, field officer, T-Series company, Ghaziabad, against Kamal Sharma, resident of Mohalla Fateh Ganj.

The police said today that the accused was arrested and 312 duplicate CDs of T-Series company were seized from him on Saturday night.

Stolen: The Sarabha Nagar police yesterday registered a case under Sections 456 and 380 of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Parveen Kumar Singla, resident of Raj Guru Nagar.

Mr Singla complained that a mobile phone a watch gold tops weighing 3 gm, a silver chain, five silver coins and Rs 5,000 were stolen from his house on August 6.

Car damaged: The Division No 6 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 279,427 and 323 of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Amarjit Singh, resident of Kirpal Nagar, against driver of a truck (CH01Y-5767).

The complainant had stated that he had parked his Maruti Esteem car by the side of the road. The accused truck driver hit the car from behind on Saturday night. When he confronted the driver, he was beaten up by the accused who.

Cop beaten up: The Focal Point police registered a case under Sections 279, 427, 336, 353, 294, 186, 332, 323 and 34 of the IPC on the complaint of Constable Santokh Singh, attached with Sherpur police post, against Balwinder Singh, resident of Mullanpur and Gurmail Singh.

The complainant had stated that the accused, who were riding a scooter, hit a three-wheeler and beat up its driver at the Sherpur chowk where he was on duty on Saturday . When he reached the spot, the accused abused him, tore his uniform and beat him up. Both the accused were arrested and later released on bail.

Shopkeeper assaulted: The Jodhewal police registered a case under Sections 325, 323, 147 and 149 of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Surinder Kumar, resident of Garhi Sheru village falling under the Koom Kalan police station, now living in Meharban village, against Titu, Raju, Darshan, Kaka, Guddu and two more persons accompanying them.

The complainant had alleged that the accused came to his shop in Meharban village on August 6, abused him and beat him up. The complainant stated that he was admitted to Civil Hospital.

Meanwhile, the Sahnewal police, on the complaint of Mr Harjinder Singh, resident of Uchi Mangli village, registered a case under Sections 427, 294, 506 and 509 of the IPC, against Satnam Singh, resident of Rajpura village. The complainant had alleged that the accused had threatened and beaten him up on August 8.

Liquor seized: The Civil Lines police yesterday arrested Ranjit Singh, alias Manjeet Singh, resident of Murrabewali Gali, Amritsar, near the bus stand and seized 145 bottles of IMFL from him.

The Division No 6 police arrested Raj, migrant from Bihar living in Dairy Complex, Haibowal Kalan, and seized 23 bottles of country liquor from him.

Both the accused were booked under the Excise Act.

Satta bookie held: The Division No 6 police yesterday arrested Vinod Khanna alias Rinku, resident of Kishore Nagar, and seized a sum of Rs 540 from him along with some satta slips. He has been booked under the Gambling Act.



2 killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, August 10
Two persons were killed in an accident on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road, near Kohara, between a Maruti car and a Tata Sumo, last night.
Nitish Gupta of Urban Estate, Jamalpur, has complained to the Sahnewal police that Dr Gurpreet Singh and Mandeep Kaur were going in their Maruti car when a Tata Sumo (PB10X-9738) hit it near Kohara.

Dr Gurpreet Singh and Mandeep Kaur were injured in the accident and taken to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital where Dr Gurpreet Singh was declared brought dead while Mandeep Kaur died early in the morning today.

A case under Section 279, 304-A and 427 of the IPC has been registered.


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