L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Gang making fake currency, stamp papers busted
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, November 5
In a major breakthrough, the police has smashed an inter-state gang of counterfeiters with the arrest of five persons and recovered Rs 32. 69 lakh worth of fake American dollars and high-value stamp papers from their possession. One of their accomplices is at large and efforts are afoot to nab him.

The gang was arrested from a computer shop and 40,000 fake US dollars worth Rs 20 lakh in the open market, besides Rs 12. 69 lakh worth of stamp papers were recovered. While the notes were of $100 denomination, the stamp papers were of Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 denomination.

The breakthrough came following a tip off that a gang was operating in the area which was selling fake currency notes. The gang members were arrested by a police party led by city SHO SI Satnam Singh and bus-stand police post in charge ASI Raminderjit Singh.

Commenting on the success, Mr Mukhwinder Singh Chhina, SSP, Jagroan, said they were on the lookout of a gang that they suspected was printing counterfeit Indian currency. But they came across this highly organised group which supplied fake dollars to buyers in Delhi.

In view of the seriousness of the offence of selling fake stamp papers, the SSP said that he had written to the Ludhiana DC to verify the antecedents of all stamp vendors and deed writers in the district, besides asking the treasury office to scan their entry registers. Hundreds of registries are executed across the district every day, he added

Elaborating on the operations of the gang, Mr Chhina said the gang comprising Binder Singh, Nirmal Singh, Ranjit Singh, Gurdeep Singh and Sarabdeep Singh had hatched a plan to market foreign currency and stamp papers and were active for the past one year. The police was working on determining the magnitude of the gang’s operations but interrogations have revealed that they have done a business over Rs 10-12 lakh in the past year only, he revealed.

He said accused Gurdeep Singh, a computer engineer who also owns a shop, Unique Computer Centre on Pucca Malak Road in the city, used sophisticated equipment to scan and prepare the paraphernalia which in turn was forwarded to Ranjit Singh who printed the currency and stamp papers. They were helped by Sarabjit Singh, who runs and STD PCO on the premises of the tehsil complex.

The gang used an imported scanner and printer of a very high resolution and used imported paper bought from Delhi for the purpose. The quality was so good that it was difficult to detect at first glance, he added.

The stamp papers were then handed over to Binder Singh, a deed writer, and Nirmal Singh, a stamp vendor, in the Jagraon tehsil. They sold the fake papers to the unsuspecting persons but did not make any entry in their register. All sales have to be entered in an official register since the stamp vendors are paid a commission on every paper sold, he pointed out.

In this way, they were not only cheating the government of lakhs in revenue but also palming off fake currency to the people who wanted to buy it in the black market. Mostly, the currency was supplied to Delhi but some was sold to people who were planning to go abroad, he added

Mr Chhina said that the sixth accused — Sukhdev Singh of Sidhwan Kalan who took the currency to Delhi — was at large and teams have been sent to various hideouts. Further investigations are on and more recoveries are expected, he added.

The police have seized all the equipment used in the crime and have booked all of them under Sections 489 A, B, C, D, E, 420/467, 471 of the IPC.


Dengue takes epidemic form in city
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, November 5
“Dengue fever has definitely taken an epidemic form in the city. The district administration, the Municipal Corporation and the Health Department are jointly taking all precautionary measures to tackle the problem”, said Mr R.C.Dogra, Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, while briefing mediapersons here today.

Mr Dogra, along with the Minister for Higher Education, Punjab, Mr H.D.Johar, Minister for Jails and Urban Development Malkiat Singh Birmi, and Mr Rakesh Pandey, Minister for Printing and Stationery today surveyed the district to take stock of the situation arisen due to dengue fever.

Mr Dogra said 1,189 suspected cases were reported from all over the state. The disease had taken 11 lives so far and five were suspected deaths. While giving the districtwise data, Mr Dogra said in Ludhiana, 943 (suspected and confirmed) cases were reported. Eight were confirmed deaths and four suspected deaths. Ten confirmed and 31 suspected cases were reported from Jalandhar. Two confirmed deaths were reported from the same district. Fiftyfour confirmed cases were reported from Gurdaspur district, and suspected cases were 114.

Despite all latest kits and equipment, only 16 patients sought treatment from the local Civil Hospital. On asking as to why less people came to the Civil Hospital, Mr Dogra said, “We are taking various steps to restore the confidence of people in government hospitals. We have got the latest equipment and test-kits at the hospital.


The accident that did not happen
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
It rarely happens that you are proved wrong about a bad news. But that is what happened in the morning today when a posse of railway staff, journalists and other officials returned relieved from Phillaur after learning that the accident that was supposed have taken place between Phillaur and Bilga never took place. According to the Area Traffic Manager, Ludhiana, Mr N.S. Mann, it was a mock drill to check the alertness and preparedness of the emergency staff.

When the news of the ‘accident’ broke in the morning, it spread like wild fire. Within minutes several mediapersons were rushing to Phillaur to cover the accident in which it was reported one person had died while two others were seriously injured. Mr Mann disclosed that the hooters were switched on at about 6.45 a.m and it was announced that the engine of a passenger train had hit a tractor-trolley at an unmanned crossing between Phillaur and Bilga. To the relief of everyone, the entire exercise turned out to be a mock drill to check the state of preparedness of the railway staff in the event of an accident.

The emergency staff led by Mr Mann and comprising four doctors, several para medical staff and other officials reached Phillaur at about 7 a.m, within 20 minutes of the stipulated time after receiving the information. The emergency team aboard the medical van was stopped at Phillaur and told that no accident took place and it was simply a mock drill.

The exercise that took around two hours was supervised by Mr Mann. The officials were seen aboard the rescue train that left Ludhiana railway station and took about 20 minutes to reach the announced site of the accident.

The mock drill took place on the Phillaur- Bilga branch line connecting Phillaur with Ferozepore through Noormahal, Nakodar and Lohian. The relief train that left Ludhiana carried on it doctors and railway police personnel. The exercise was kept under the wraps till the time the rescue team actually reached the spot. The site of the announced accident is located not too far from the place where the Golden Temple Mail had caught fire mysteriously charring about 34 persons only a few months ago.

According to Mr Mann, the exercise was completed satisfactorily. The rescue train driver, Mr Malkiat Singh, said that they were totally unaware about the exercise and all along thought that an accident had taken place.


Ashpreet wins shabad gayan contest
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 5
On the second day of Panjab University Youth festival (Zone-A), the chief guest for the morning session was Mr U.S. Bhargava, General Manager (Punjab Zone), Punjab National Bank. Presidential address was given by Mr A.K. Lamba, Regional Manager, of the same bank. Mr Balraj Bhasin, president of the SDP Sabha, welcomed the distinguished guests.

The results of contests held on the second day are as follows:

Shabad/Bhajan gayan: Ramgarhia Girls College, Ludhiana — 1; the MTMS College for Women, Ludhiana — 2; and the Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Ludhiana — 3. Individual prize Ashpreet Kaur of Ramgarhia Girls College, Ludhiana — 1; Gulraj Kaur of the G.N. Khalsa College for Women, Ludhiana — 2; and Jasleen Kaur of Guru Nanak Girls College, Ludhiana — 3.

Vaar singing: The Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Ludhiana — 1; The MTMS College for Women, Ludhiana — 2; and Ramgarhia Girls College, Ludhiana — 3.

Indian Classical Music: Hema Sharma of Ramgarhia Girls College, Ludhiana — 1; Nimarata of the Government College for Women, Ludhiana — 2; and Jasleen Kaur of Guru Nanak Girls College — 3.

Dr Amrita Oberoi from the APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar, Mr Anupama Sood, APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar, and Dr Manmohan Singh, DAV College, Phillaur, were the judges.

Mr U.S. Bhargava, Mr Balraj Bhasin and Mr S. Verma gave away prizes to the winners.

On November 4, the chief guest was Mr Sumer Singh Saini, IAS, ADC Development. Speaking to students, he said a maximum number of students should participate in such functions and exhibit their talent. Dances and songs remind of our cultural heritage and create awareness of their rich heritage among students.

The results of competitions are as follows:

Quiz Competition: Guru Nanak Girls College, Ludhiana — 1; Ramgarhia Girls College, Ludhiana — 2; and the SDP College for Women, Ludhiana — 3.

Music Instrument Items: (sitar): Pooja Sharma of the SDP College for Women, Ludhiana — 1; Amandeep Kaur of the Government College for Women, Ludhiana — 2; and Preety Gupta of Khalsa College for Women, Ludhiana — 3; (tabla) Amandeep of Master Tara Singh College — 1; Sohrab Singh of Ramgarhia Girls College — 2; and Kirandeep of the G.N. Khalsa College for Women — 3. (dholki): Rachna Josh of Master Tara Singh College — 1.

Indian Orchestra: The Government College for Women, Ludhiana — 1; the Khalsa College for Women, Ludhiana — 2; Ramgarhia Girls College, Ludhiana — 3.

Mr Sumer Singh, ADC Development, was the chief guest. He gave away prizes to the winners of the morning session.

Mr Vijayander Gupta, vice-president, SDP Senior Secondary, and Ms Verma, Principal, gave away prizes to the winners of the evening session.


Transferred DSPs hope for revision of orders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
In the background of the controversy over the transfer orders of the DSPs, only three of the seven officers figuring in the list have taken charge at the newplaces of posting.

All DSPs here and Jagraon police districts, who figured in the recent transfer list made by the DGP, Mr A.A. Siddiqui, were immediately relieved from the previous posts.

While three of the transferred officials have joined the new posting, especially the plum ones, some are yet to join. Sources said some of those who had not joined had been hoping for revision of orders while some might be availing themselves of joining time. The posts they were relieved from were lying vacant causing problems of governance in the respective areas.

Mr R.K. Bakshi has joined as DSP (Industrial Area) while Mr Gurjit Singh has joined as DSP (City-I). ASP K. Sharma has joined as DSP Sarabha Nagar. Mr Sandeep Goel, who have been transferred to Jagraon police district is yet to join. Mr G.S. Aulakh, a relative of former DGP M.S. Bhullar who has been transferred to commando battalion from Jagraon has been relieved but is yet to join.

Similarly Mr Snehdeep Sharma transferred to the CM’s security wing is yet to assume charge. Mr Mahipal Singh has relieved from the post of DSP traffic but is yet to join at his new place of posting.


Govt employees hold demonstration
Our Correspondent

Members of the Punjab Employees Action Committee protest against the government at DC Office
Members of the Punjab Employees Action Committee protest against the government at DC Office on Wednesday. — Photo by Pradeep Tewari

Ludhiana, November 5
Hundreds of government employees, led by the Punjab Employees Action Committee, today held a demonstration at Mini Secretariat here against the transfer of over six government departments to village panchayats.

Speakers, including district conveners of the action committee - Mr Jagdev Singh Garcha, Mr Jagdev Singh Lalton, Mr Dayal Singh, Mr Harbhajan Singh, Mr Darshan Kumar and state office-bearer Ranbir Dhillon, criticised the government for its decision to handover the departments of education, health, public health, rural development and panchayats, social security and pensions and welfare of SCs and BCs. They also demanded that the proposal for ‘panchayatikaran’ of another 23 departments be scrapped.

The trade union activists strongly opposed the policy of privatisation, including that of the transport fleet. The restoration revival of abolished posts, withdrawal of cuts on leave encashment and commuted pension, the restoration of right to strike work, end to police repression against agitating farmers, employees and students, scrapping of all restrictions on government treasuries, regularisation of all ad hoc employees and abolition of contract system, are their other demands.


‘To go or not to go’, that is the confusion
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
What will you do when you see both green and red lights on at a traffic crossing simultaneously? Keep on looking in sheer desperation and think: “To go or not to go”. This is what happened at the ever-busy Bharat Nagar crossing at around 7 p.m. yesterday. The red and green lights remained on simultaneously for quite some time.

In fact, the confusion at crossings is a routine matter with most of the lights going off regularly. This leads to regular traffic jams, particularly during the peak hour. The traffic police has been maintaining that the traffic lights are managed by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation. The SP, Traffic, Mr Gurdial Singh, said they had been regularly requesting the corporation to maintain the lights properly.

He said the traffic police was already short of personnel and it was very difficult to post people at all crossings. He pointed out that at the crossings where traffic lights were installed, there was no need to post traffic cops. But whenever the lights went off, the cops were summoned within the shortest period of time. He said, “Whatever is possible within the limited resources we are doing, but it needs a cooperative approach from all agencies and departments involved”.


‘Change culture to fight corruption’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
“To end corruption, we have to change our culture. Law alone cannot fight corruption. It can only be contained through education and awareness programmes.”

These views were expressed by various speakers participating in the Vigilance Awareness Day observed by Krishak Bharati Cooperative Limited (KRIBHCO) at Hotel Aditya, Ludhiana, yesterday. The speakers traced the history of corruption and surprised many among the audience that no society or civilisation was free from corruption.

The function was presided over by Mr K.S. Sandhu, SSP (Crime) Punjab. Speaking on the occasion Mr Sandhu, discussed in detail the difficulties faced by the police in fighting out corruption. He exhorted the audience to help the police to stamp out corruption from society. He discussed in detail the various methods to eradicate corruption.

Delivering his key-note address, Prof P.S. Bhogal elaborated on the evolution and development of corruption. He discussed in detail the various types of corruption. He cited many examples of corruption. He advised the participants to fight against corruption from all fronts. He revealed that in ancient civilisation of Greece and Rome, corruption was all pervasive.

He revealed that even Rigveda and Chanakya’s Arthshastra also gave details about the forms of corruption present in those times. He gave examples from his personal life and experiences stating how work is done through corruption only.

Mr G.S. Katarian, Senior State Marketing Manager KRIBHCO, Punjab elaborated about KRIBHCO and its activities. He advised the participants to be fair and impartial while discharging duties.


MLA launches rural sewerage scheme
Our Correspondent

Amloh, November 5
The Akali-BJP rule in the state cannot be termed as a period of development during which the public had to pay bribes for providing jobs and getting suitable transfers alleged the MLA, Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot.

He was addressing a gathering after laying the foundation stone of sewerage scheme at Sounti village, 1 km from here, yesterday. The first instalment of grant of worth Rs 30 lakh has been released. The project will be completed at a cost of Rs 47 lakh in three months, he added.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal, during his five-year term in power, remained busy uplifting of his family and relatives and did nothing for the welfare of the people, he alleged.

Mr Dharamsot quoted instances of people who were asked to pay bribe for the jobs, including a Jathedar who was very close to the family and had the only son. He wanted to get him appointed as Naib Tehsildar. A sum of Rs 15 lakh was demanded from him but he could arrange Rs 12 lakh. He was asked by a member of the Badal’s family to arrange full payment, he alleged.

Sarpanch of Rangheri village in the Amloh constituency was provided Rs 5 lakh for development work. But the whole amount was allegedly taken by an Akali leader. Mr Dharamsot also accused the Akali leadership of accepting one-fifth share from the grants provided to the Sarpanches for development works in villages. Mr Dharamsot lauded the development works carried out by the present government in a short period.

A cultural programme was presented on the occasion. Mr Rakesh Vijj, Executive Engineer, Public Health, Ms Harbans Kaur, Sarpanch, Former Sarpanch Nirbhay Singh, Ania village Sarpanch Pargat Singh, BDPO Charanjot Singh, Zila Parishad member Surjit Singh Baronga, senior Congress leader Partap Singh Baini and Mr Sandeep Hans, SDM, Amloh, also spoke.


Tent house owner found dead
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana November 5
Gurdev Singh (60), owner of Shane-e-Punjab Tent House, was found murdered today at his tent house on the Tehsil Road, Jagraon.

According to information Gurdev Singh use to sleep in his tent house. Last night certain persons reportedly scaled the wall, entered the premises and hit Gurdev Singh with an iron rod on his head and fled.

When his son opened the shop he found his father dead. The body was later taken to the Civil Hospital by the local police for a post-mortem examination.

An almirah had been broken open and the iron rod was also lying there. According to information the deceased has kept Rs 20,000 in the almirah but later took the money away. The attackers knew about this, which led to the crime.


Farmer robbed of 1.09 lakh
Our Correspondent

Doraha, November 5
A sum of Rs 1.09 lakh was snatched from a farmer by six occupants in a Maruti Zen car near Bair Kalan village at Payal yesterday. An FIR has been registered in this regard.

Kuldip Singh said while he was bringing the cash from an arhtiya at Malaud on his scooter towards his village Koolhi, he was stopped near Bair Kalan village by six persons who were in a white colour Maruti Zen car.

One of them started abusing Kuldip Singh and the others snatched the money from the tool box of the scooter. He said when he tried to put up resistance they threatened him with dire consequences.


1 held in poll violence case
Our Correspondent

Khanna, November 5
Puneet Kalia, son of wine contractor Sat Pal Kalia, was arrested last evening in an old case registered in February in connection with poll violence. In the February municipal elections, a case was registered under Sections 307, 452, 342 and 506 against five persons. Three persons got anticipatory bail.


Steel users dismayed over Duggal’s transfer
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
Steel consumers in the state are dismayed over the transfer of the Union Steel Secretary Mr V.K. Duggal, to the Department of Water Resources Management. Various industrial associations attributed the transfer to the lobbying against him by five top steel producing companies of the country. These companies were allegedly annoyed with Mr Duggal for his role in removing the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) provision for the import of steel.

The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) and the Federation of Tiny and Small-Scale Industries of India (FOTSSI) while criticising the transfer have demanded that the transfer orders be cancelled.

These associations maintained that after the removal of the BIS specifications for the import of steel, cheaper steel had started coming into the country, with the result the monopoly of the big five ceased and they started lobbying against Mr Duggal who had taken a lot of interest in getting this provision removed by the Director General of Foreign Trade.

The FOTSSI president, Mr Joginder Kumar, pointed out that while the BIS notification was withdrawn on October 28, within a few days Mr Duggal was transferred “for obvious reasons”. Moreover, Mr Duggal had also recommended reducing the custom duty on the import of steel from 25 to 10 per cent. Addressing a press conference along with other representatives of the industry, Mr Kumar questioned the motives for transferring Mr Duggal when he had joined the steel ministry only three months ago.

In a separate statement, Mr V.P. Chopra, president, Federation of Punjab Small Industries Associations, maintained that the continuous hike in the steel price was hitting hard the small-scale sector, which had iron as its main raw material.

He said although the removal of the BIS standards would provide some relief to the industry, the continued custom duty of 25 per cent on the import of steel was still disrupting the free flow of steel into the country.

He pointed out that even the Kelkar Committee had also recommended bringing down the custom duty to 10 per cent on the import of steel. Mr Chopra also demanded the withdrawal of central excise duty on the ship scrap as it was also used as raw material by the small-scale industry.


IOB sets up sixth ATM in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) has started its sixth ATM in the region at Civil Lines, Fountain Chowk, Ludhiana. The ATM was inaugurated by the Executive Director of the bank, Mr Rohit M. Desai. The General Manager, Mr J.K. Gupta, and Chief Regional Manager of Ludhiana region, Mr P.S. Anttal, were also present along with other branch managers and staff members.

With the opening of this ATM, the bank has extended its network. It is going to open a few more ATMs in the region in this year. Many of the bank’s important customers were also invited. Mr T.D. Singh, Mr Rajesh Maria, Mr V.K. Khera, Mr Satnam Singh and Mr Dhanesh Chander were also among those present on the occasion.

The bank this year has earned a net profit of Rs 293 crore which is 82 per cent more as compared to the previous year.

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