Saturday, September 27, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Dacoits strike at Rajjowal dera; kill one, loot cash, jewellery
Tribune News Service

Rajjowal Mour, Ludhiana September 26
Dacoits struck at a house outside this village. They killed one person and injured five others before decamping with cash and jewellery worth lakhs of rupees in the wee hours today. They were eight and suspected members of a Kalekachewale gang.

While Tarlochan Singh (40) was killed his father Mohinder Singh (60), mother, Naseeb Kaur (50), wife Gurpreet Kaur (35), daughter Harneesh (13) and son Gagandeep Singh were injured. Mohinder Singh was left unconscious. The women and children were locked in a bathroom.

The police said they would intensify night patrolling in the area. Mr Sangram Vir, in charge Laddowal police post said the dacoits were of rich zamindaars who prefer living near their fields.

The relatives said that a licensed rifle was also missing from the house.

The dacoits entered the house from the backyard by scaling a wall. They disconnected the phone line. Armed with iron rods they entered the house at 1 a.m. They first hit Mohinder Singh with an iron rod on his head and face. He was sleeping on a cot in the verandah.

The dacoits entered the lobby, hit Tarlochan Singh, who was sleeping. There he bled to death. The dacoits then injured Naseeb Kaur, Gurpreet Kaur and Harmesh who were sleeping in a room. They were locked in the bathroom.

After killing Tarlochan Singh and injuring Mohinder Singh, the dacoits ransacked the house. Harneesh managed to break open the bathroom door and narrated the incident in a village house.

Naseeb Kaur and Gurpreet Kaur found Mohinder Singh and Tarlochan Singh lying in pools of blood.

They tried to ring up some relatives only to find that the telephone sets were smashed and the connections were already cut. Then the girl Harneesh Kaur jumped through a window and went to a house in the village calling for help. She was also injured.

While Tarlochan Singh had died on the spot, Mohinder Singh and other injured were rushed to the hospital. The condition of Mohinder Singh is stated to be critical. A case of dacoity, house trespass and murder has been registered.



Spate of robberies cause panic in city
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
With three robberies taking place in the city within a week, a sense of insecurity is prevailing among the people, even as the police is claiming to have taken corrective measures to avoid any such incident in the future.

Already goods and cash worth lakhs have been looted, a woman murdered and three persons injured seriously. The people are panicking more because robbers have tried to inflict injuries ruthlessly, besides looting valuables. The police has not been able to made a headway into any of the cases as yet.

On September 16, the robbers had looted the house of a paddy-husk dealer in Sector 32 on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road and injured him, his wife and mother. The robbers had decamped with cash and jewellery.

In Partap Nagar, some unidentified robbers had struck at a house in broad daylight and slit the throat of a woman on September 19. The woman was found dead in a pool of blood. The house was ransacked and cash and jewellery found missing.

In yet another incident, unidentified robbers had made an unsuccessful robbery bid at a lawyer’s house in the Civil Lines area. Grills of a window were removed and wire mesh was cut. While the robbers were trying to enter the house, the alert advocate raised an alarm, thereby foiling the bid. The modus operandi of the robbers in this case was similar to the one adopted by the robbers in the Sector-39 incident. At the lawyer’s house, the robbers had sealed at least seven exit points of the house with cloth. In the Sector-32 incident also, the robbers had tied door handles with cloth from outside so that the owners could not escape.

Sources in the department, however, said the police had stepped up the vigil in the city and the district police chief was holding meetings with the SHOs of all police stations to take a stock of the situation. They said there was no need of panic as these were just stray incidents.



175 gastroenteritis cases detected
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 26
Gastroenteritis is threatening to reach epidemic proportions in Giaspura locality on the outskirts of the city and surrounding areas as about 175 cases have been detected by the team of doctors camping in the affected area since on Wednesday. Of these, 25 cases of serious infection have been referred to the local Civil Hospital and other city hospitals while others have been provided medical assistance at the camp site. The disease has already claimed four lives.

While area residents and the councillor (Ward No 21), Mr Hakam Singh Giaspura, attributed the spread of the disease to the contaminated water supply after stagnating rain water had seeped underground to mix with the drinking water supply, the civic administration had strongly contested the allegation, saying that all water supply and sewerage pipes in the area were thoroughly inspected and found in proper condition. The water samples, taken from different sources in the presence of health officials were also found to be fit for human consumption, the MC officers claimed.

Several teams of civic and health officers are distributing chlorine tablets and ORS packets in the affected areas. Residents are being asked to keep their surroundings clean and consume boiled and chlorinated water to check the disease from spreading. The MC has also deployed special sanitation staff to maintain cleanliness in the locality.

Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, who visited the affected localities and the medical camp site in Giaspura along with the MC Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, and other senior officials today, ordered a magisterial inquiry to ascertain the situation leading to the spread of gastroenteritis and the death of four persons. Mr Kuldeep Singh, SDM (West), has been appointed the inquiry officer.

Mr Verma said the inquiry officer had been directed to take into consideration all factors, including cleanliness, non-availability of medical treatment and quality of drinking water before reaching the final conclusion, besides suggesting remedial measures to avoid such outbreak of diseases in future. The Deputy Commissioner also constituted a team headed by the SDM (West) and comprising the Joint Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation and representatives of the Civil Surgeon, which would collect water samples from all adjoining areas and get these analysed at the earliest.

The residents of affected localities complained that the level of sanitation left much to be desired and sought immediate measures from the administration to improve the cleanliness in the area.

Mr Verma maintained that government machinery had been fully geared up for the purpose. At least 20 medical teams have been formed to conduct door-to-door survey of the area with instructions to immediately shift any new cases of gastroenteritis to the hospitals for treatment. A medical camp had also been set up in the colony, where 250 persons have been examined so far and about 200 given treatment. The Deputy Commissioner also made an offer to the relatives of patients undergoing treatment in private hospitals to shift them to the Civil Hospital for free treatment, if they so desired.

The teams of MC and health officials have distributed around 5,000 chlorine tablets and 150 packets of ORS solution among the people. The medical camp is functioning round the clock under the supervision of Dr S.S. Dhir, SMO, Sahnewal, to provide timely medical assistance to patients.



Pop singers ‘threat’ to Sikh tenets
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
The International Human Rights Organisation has said that the Punjab culture and Sikh tenets have been adversely affected by Punjabi pop singers, who are being promoted by certain TV channels and cassette companies for their commercial gains. The IHRO also holds this “nexus” responsible for what it calls “the recent degeneration of the glorious, rich culture of Punjab”.

This was stated here today by IHRO chairperson, Mr D S Gill, while releasing its investigation report to the Press here on the cutting of hair of five students by a teacher of Government Senior Secondary School, Threeke village. He said the five students looked like singer Jazzy B due to their hairstyle, which had irked the teacher to commit the act, for which she had apologised.

The investigation team, comprising Mr Mohinder Singh Grewal, Dr Kanwaljit Kaur Bal, Dr Devinder Kaur Deep, Ms Inderjit Kaur and Mr Anmol Singh Grewal, visited the school, met staff members, including Principal Kamaljit Kaur and the teacher concerned Ms Ravinderjit Kaur. Members of the team talked to Panchayat members and Sarpanch Bant Singh, besides Mr Bachittar Singh, District Education Officer (DEO).

According to the report, the Principal of the school showed utter negligence in not taking cognisance of the matter and tried to protect the teacher. However, Ms Ravinderjit Kaur confessed her guilt and told the IHRO team: “I sincerely wanted to reform the students, who indulged in activities other than studies, including getting their hairstyle done like Jazzy B.”

The Sarpanch of the village, Mr Bant Singh, played a crucial role in defending the Principal and the teacher, and made parents of students to sign a paper that they had no objection to what the teacher had done with their wards. The Deputy DEO, Ms Sudesh Bajaj, who is an inquiry officer in the case, would complete the rest of the “patch-up work”, opined the IHRO.

Meanwhile, the IHRO has asked its Director, Academic Affairs, Prof KBS Sodhi to write to the DPI (Schools), Punjab, to take departmental action against the Principal for dereliction of duty and the teacher for committing an act amounting to physical and mental torture.



Protectors of faith burn fun cassettes
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 26
Video and audio cassettes and posters of Chhankatta-2003 sung by Jaswinder Bhalla were burnt by members of the Panthic Action Committee and other organisations at Clock Tower here this morning. Around 150 persons shouted slogans against Jaswinder Bhalla.

He has made fun of kirtan singers Bhai Harbans Singh, Ragi Jagadhari Wale and Gurcharan Singh Rasia in his cassette, alleged the protectors of faith.

The upholders of faith had decided yesterday that they would burn the cassettes. Mr Harpal Kohli, Panthic Action Committee, Mr Manjit Singh, chairman, Danga Peerat Society, Mr Parminder Singh Chabbra, President Shri Sukhmani Sewa Society Dugri, Phase 1, have asked Jaswinder Bhalla to apologise for the act and delete the objectionable portions. They have urged the administration to ban the cassette.



Do-gooders prepare for poll
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September26
The Lok Bhalai Party (LBP) took stock of farmers’ plight, especially during the paddy procurement season, and also charted out its strategy to fight the next Parliamentary elections in Punjab.

According to Mr Paramjit Singh Sidhwan, general secretary of the party, those present were of the view that the government must pay a bonus of Rs 100 per quintal, in addition to the payment of a balance bonus of Rs 20 as promised by the state government last year. The farmers have been plagued by the rise in the prices of diesel, fertilizers, pesticides and other farm inputs and the freeze on the MSP has complicated things for the farmers.

He also urged the government to clear the long-pending dues of sugarcane farmers on account of the cane purchase during the last season. It is strange that the Centre was not allowing the state to sell the stocks of sugar in the open market while the farmers were not going in for sugarcane plantation in view of the non-payment of dues for the past may years.

The members also hailed the move of the party to fight the next Parliamentary elections in Punjab. The party workers resolved to strengthen its units at the grassroots-level so that the party could show its standing among the people and demonstrate its popularity among the people. Workers would fan out in the six Parliamentary constituencies by holding mass meetings in the districts from October 3. For this purpose, 50 teams have been constituted which would cover each Assembly constituency every day.

The activists expressed confidence in the growing mass base of the party and lauded untiring efforts of the party president, Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, in further strengthening the party base abroad during his current tour of Europe, UK, Canada and America.



Encroachments obstruct traffic flow
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 26
Traffic situation in the city is going from bad to worse, with prolonged traffic jams on busy roads becoming the order of the day.
The biggest culprit in the way of smooth traffic movement are the encroachments, both temporary and permanent, along major roads. In the absence of designated rehri markets in city, vendors occupy spots of their choice.

The entire stretch from Dandi Swami Chowk to New Dayanand Hospital has been partially encroached upon by vegetable and fruit sellers, making the area a major traffic bottleneck. Besides the temple, which attracts a large number of devotees in the morning and the evening, the road leads to a college, two schools, hospitals and nursing homes, banks and the cremation ground, with a very heavy volume of traffic all day long.

With almost 30 per cent of the road width encroached upon, commuters are put to great inconvenience. Traffic remains blocked, particularly in the morning when students go to their institutions, and later in the afternoon, when they are returning home.



RSS chief meets Namdhari head
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief K.S. Sudershan today met Namdhari head Satguru Jagjeet Singh at Bheni Sahib village, about 30 kms from here. Mr Sudershan said Namdharis had made a great contribution to the country’s freedom struggle and many of them had sacrificed their lives in pursuit of freedom. Mr Sudershan refused to reply any questions from the waiting newsmen at the Ludhiana Railway Station. He was accorded a warm reception. Surprisingly, there was absolutely no security arrangement at the railway station or anywhere else.

He said he had not come with any specific agenda, but only for the darshan of Satguru.




Ludhiana, September 26
The Bairagi Mahan Mandal Punjab (Regd) is holding a two-day convention at Community Centre, Aggar Nagar. The convention will start at I pm today. Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, MP, will be the chief on the occasion. OC



Two held with poppy husk
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 26
The Salem Tabri police arrested Angrez Singh, alias Geja, a resident of Jamalpur village, and Kuldeep Singh, alias Pappu, a resident of Bajra village, from near Kaddian village and seized 8 kg of poppy husk from their possession yesterday evening. The accused were booked under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.

Booked for forgery: The Division No. 6 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 467, 468, 471, 380, 411 and 120-B of the IPC on the statement of Dr Amarjit Singh of Rattan Nursing Home in Harcharan Nagar against Joginder Pal, Kanshi Ram, Leena and Joginder Kumar, residents of Mohalla Fateh Ganj. The complainant had alleged that the accused had stolen his cheque book and made an attempt to withdraw cash from his account with the help of forged signature. But the forgery was detected by the bank staff . No arrest has been made so far.

Cases of theft: The Salem Tabri police registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC on the statement of Mr. Lalit Kumar, a resident of Taj Ganj locality, against Ashu Malhotra, a resident of Harnam Pura. The complainant had alleged that the accused had stolen Rs 1,50,000 belonging to him from Hotel Amaltas. No arrest has been made so far.

The Model Town police registered a case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Sandeep Agnihotri, a resident of New Deep Nagar, Rakesh Kumar, alias Kaka, Amarjit Kumar and Mohan Narula, residents of New Chander Nagar in Haibowal Kalan. The police said today that the accused were arrested and a stolen motor cycle (Bajaj Boxer PB-10AL-6645) was recovered from their possession.

Cases of assault: On the statement of Mr Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Partap Singh Wala village, the Jodhewal police yesterday registered a case under Sections 323, 341, 324, 506 and 34 of the IPC against Joga Singh, Surinder Singh, Balbir Singh and Ashok Kumar, residents of the Tibba road. The complainant had alleged that the accused stopped him on the road, beat him up and injured him. No arrest has been made so far.

The Model Town police registered a case under Sections 452, 356, 380, 323 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Shalu Singh, wife of Mr Kuldeep Singh, a resident of Urban Estate, Dugri, against Rupinder Singh, alias Vicky, a resident of Harpal Nagar, Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Urban Vihar, and an unknown person accompanying them. The complainant had stated that the accused forced their way into her house, beat her up and took gold ornaments from the house before running away. No arrest has been made so far.

The Haibowal police registered a case under Sections 336, 323, 427, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Janak Raj, a resident of Chander Nagar, against Raju Bajwa, Akashdeep Bajwa, Navdeep Bajwa, Raman Bajwa, Sonu, Price Bajwa and about 10 other unknown persons, all stated to be residents of Haibowal Kalan. The complainant had stated that the accused broke down the door of his house on Wednesday and beat him up. He was injured in the attack and the accused also fired in the air with a .12 bore gun, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

Dowry demand alleged: The Salem Tabri police registered a case under Sections 406, 498-A, 120-B, 506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Manjinder Kaur, a resident of Ashok Nagar, against her husband Tarsem Singh, mother-in-law Gurcharan Kaur and Surinder Singh, residents of Gawaddi village.

The woman had stated that she was married with Tarsem Singh on May 9, 2001. But after the marriage, the accused started tormenting her for more dowry. No arrest has been made so far.



Man found murdered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
An unidentified man was found brutally murdered in fields in the Aman Nagar colony today morning.
The deceased appeared to be a migrant labourer. The face was completely distorted as his head had been smashed against a wall. The deceased had deep wounds near an eye and on the head.

The upper part of the body was covered with a shirt. The police also found blood smeared bricks near the body. No clue has been found regarding identity of the man. The police said personal enmity appeared to be the cause behind the murder. A shirt, apparently not belonging to the deceased, was also found near the body.



PNB disburses Rs 11 crore
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
Punjab National Bank, Ludhiana region, organised a retail lending function here today and disbursed Rs 11 crore under its various schemes. These included car, housing and consumer loan schemes. About 200 customers and representatives of all branches in the city attended the function. Mr. V.K. Gupta, Deputy General Manager, PNB, Punjab Zone, presided over the function and gave away sanction letters to 115 customers on the spot.

Mr Gupta said the PNB was a premier nationalised bank in the service of the nation since 1895 and had schemes to fulfil needs of every section of society. He said the PNB was not only ahead of other banks in Punjab, but also its all zones in the country.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. A.K. Loomba, Senior Regional Manager, informed that the PNB had taken various steps in the direction of augmenting customers comforts in Punjab. The facilities being provided to customers included tatkal suvida kendra’ 7-day service, express counters, internet banking services, PNB debit card, credit card, anywhere anytime multi-city banking, ATMs etc.

He said the main objective to organise such a function was to educate the customers about the various credit schemes of the bank, including housing, conveyance, trading and education loans, personal loans, loans against mortgage of property, gold ornaments, and rental lease and pension loan schemes.

Mr A.K. Jaitely and Mr Ishar Singh, Chief Managers, were also present on the occasion.


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