L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Cops, panchayat lock horns
Police denies torturing sarpanch
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
The Samrala police and the panchayat of Baba Deep Singh Nagar on the outskirts of the city have locked their horns over the alleged custodial torture of the sarpanch of the colony. reportedly tortured by the police (Khanna police district), the 32-year-old sarpanch in under treatment at the Civil Hospital here.

The police, however, said the torture story was a bunch of lies and was being floated to put pressure on the police. While family members of the victim, Lal Singh, said that the police had picked him up early in the morning and tortured, the police claimed that he was called to the police station a few hours ago and he complained of chest pain following which he was taken to the hospital at Samrala and later to Ludhiana.

Mr Dalwar Singh, brother of the victim, said the Samrala police had picked him up in connection with an alleged dowry harassment case registered against him and his brother at the police station.

According to him, the case was registered on the complaint of the in-laws of another of his brothers. He said Lal Singh was beaten up and his legs were pulled apart. He said his brother was a heart patient and fainted following the torture. He claimed that his brother was bleeding from the mouth and that he had been gagged while he was being beaten.

However, Mr Pramod Ban, SSP, Khanna, said the police had called him a few hours before and he fainted after his arrival at the police station. He said the police took him to the hospital and later brought him here. He said if the police was at fault why would it escort the victim.

Mr Dalwar Singh said the police was accompanying the victim in order to pressure doctors. He said even the medical examination report was not shown to them.

A large number of residents and members of the area panchayat gathered at the hospital. His family said he gained consciousness late in the evening. The medico-legal report of the victim was yet to be made at the hospital.



Missing youth’s body found
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
The disappearance of a 20-year-old youth of Upkar Nagar took a tragic turn after his body was recovered from Sidhwan canal near the southern part of the city yesterday morning. The mystery surrounding the death of Sumit continued to baffle people here as the post-mortem examination conducted on the body by a board of doctors remained inconclusive even as some suspected injury marks were found under his nose.

The doctors recommended that a viscera examination be conducted to ascertain the cause of death.

The DSP, Mr Gurjit Singh Romana, told Ludhiana Tribune that further investigation would be possible only after the receipt of the viscera examination report. Police sources said the case appears to be either of suicide or accidental fall into the canal.

Sumit Wadhera, alias Munna, had gone missing from near Sidhwan canal bridge on January 18. The youth's family suspected that he was kidnapped and was hopeful that Sumit would return home safe and sound.

Their hopes were dashed to the ground when the family received a call that the Sumit's body was lying in the canal. The shocked father and relatives of the deceased rushed to the spot and identified the body. It was found floating in the canal and Sumit's red shirt was visible from the water.

The family was convinced that Sumit was murdered as they did not see any rationale behind he being forced to commit suicide.

They said Sumit had left his home at 8 pm on Sunday for drinking soya milk from an outlet on the Sidhwan Canal bridge. He took the car which was found parked near the outlet. His mobile phone and jacket were also found in the car. They said he was in a good state of mind and had dressed up well before moving out.

While Sumit's father, Mr Vinay Wadhera was inconsolable, Mr Ravi Sharma, his neighbour, said there were blow marks and bruises on the body which indicated that Sumit was beaten up and pushed into the canal.

According to the owner of the outlet, Sumit had bought the milk from his shop and had spoken to somebody over his mobile phone. He said Sumit was calling somebody and had used abusive language also. Later, he walked out of his shop and went towards the bridge. But he did not return.

Family members said Sumit's father had opened a shop for him in the Shastri Nagar market complex and used to sit there. He had one younger brother. Mr Sharma said there was somebody who knew that he was killed as the family had received a call in the evening, two days after he went missing. The caller had stated that the body of Sumit was lying in Jogindra Hospital in Moga.

After attending the call, the family rushed to Moga but could not locate the hospital. He said the police had also received a hoax call after the Sumit's disappearance. 



14 to be awarded on R-Day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
As many as 14 persons will be honoured at a district-level Republic Day function on January 26. Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal will take the salute at the march-past to be held at the Government College for Boys.

Those to be honoured include Ms Sudesh Bajaj, DDEO, Havildar Kuldip Kumar (posthumous), Dr Ramesh Chand, Director, Punarjyot Eye Bank, Mr Jagdish Bajaj, social worker, Ms Rashmi Gangwani, Mr Kartar Singh, Divisional Fire Officer, Mr Tej Partap Singh Sandhu and Mr Ranjodh Singh, both photographers, Ms Indu, Constable Amrik Singh, and Sanjay Kumar, Manpreet Singh, Hadeep Singh and Rajnish Sharma, all judokas.

While Ms Bajaj, Ms Indu and Ms Rashmi will be honoured for their work during the visit of the President, Kuldip Kumar died while saving many lives in the devastating Khud Mohalla fire. Kartar Singh has been chosen for directing fire-fighting operations in the fire. Constable Amrik Singh too saved many lives and suffered severe burns in the tragedy.

Dr Chand is the director of the eye bank and is credited with motivating people to donate their eyes. Mr Jagdish Bajaj is the president of the Gian Sthal Mandir which gives pensions to needy widows. So far, 651 widows have been benefited.

Sanjay, Rajnish, Hardeep and Manpreet brought laurels to the state in general and Ludhiana in particular during the Junior National Championship and the Punjab School Games in judo. 



Schools celebrate Republic Day
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 24
Patriotic spirit marked the Republic Day functions held in several schools of the city here today. Tiny tots of Sanatan Vidya Mandir celebrated Republic Day and Basant Panchmi with a fancy dress show. The kids of junior wing came dressed up like Bhagat Singh, Indira Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Nehru ji. They also presented patriotic songs, poems and choreography. While Anubhav won the first prize, the second prize was won by Tushar. Rohit was declared third.

Ms Sadhna Sharma, Principal of the school, told the kids about the importance of the day. Mr C.L. Sachdeva, manager of the school, and Mr P.C. Gupta, president of the school committee, gave away prizes to the winners.

Students of Shivalikwala Doon School celebrated Republic Day with great fanfare. The school was decorated with the tricolours, ribbons and balloons. Kids of the primary section recited patriotic poems like “Tiranga Jhanda”, “Sare Jahan Se Achha”. Kids of the middle section performed colourful dances to the tunes to patriotic songs. Ms Mohini Albert, Principal, advised the kids to work hard and grow up as responsible citizens and nation builders. At New SMD Senior Secondary School, New Shivaji Nagar, students came dressed like national leaders. Some of them wore Tricolour caps and carried the Tiranga in hands. They all danced to the tunes of national songs like “Mere Desh Ki Dharti”, “Yeh Desh Hai Veer Jawanon Ka”, “Mera Rang De Basanti Chola” and “Ham Honge Kamyab”. They were raising slogans “Bharat Mata Ki Jai, Vande Matram”.

Mr K.R. Bhatt, school founder, Mr Man Mohan Bhatt, Managing Director, Mr R.C. Godayal, Principal and Mr Shekhar, academic in charge, congratulated students on their success. Sweets were distributed among the little kids.



Panel’s plea to Centre on turban issue
Tribune News Service

Dhiana, January 24
The issue of banning turbans by Sikhs in France was condemned and discussed at an all-party meeting organised at the Sarabha Nagar Gurdwara by the International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) here today.

Mr D. S. Gill, chairperson of the IHRO, said the participants felt the need to counter this move since wearing a turban was a matter of faith for a Sikh and was unlike scarves or crosses worn by people of other faiths. As per Sikh tenets, every baptised Sikh had to have unshorn hair and wear a turban. This had been ordained by none other than the Tenth Guru of the Sikhs, he pointed out.

He said the ceremony of “dastarbandi” where the turban was tied in the presence of relatives and friends was the most important moment in the life of any Sikh family. Not only this, all Sikh Gurus had themselves tied a turban during their lives, leaving no scope for any debate on the issue, he said.

The participants condemned the move by the French government and said it amounted to interfering in their religious affairs. They appealed to the government to take up the issue with the French government in earnest.

Representatives from the Sikh Students Federation, Punjab Sikh Lawyers Council, Sikh League International, Anglo Sikh War Memorial Trust, Bharti Kisan Union, Sri Guru Singh Sabhas, and SAD.



City-based industry bags award at Auto Expo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
Rajnish Industries Pvt Ltd, a unit engaged in manufacturing and export of diesel fuel injection spares and aluminium pressure die castings, was given the award of "Outstanding Customer Orientation" by the CII and the SIDBI amongst all participants in the Auto Expo, Asia's largest automotive show, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, from January 15 to 20. This biennial automobile and auto components show attracts participants and visitors from all over the globe.

This is the only company in Punjab to be awarded at this event and the only in country which has bagged this award for second consecutive time. Addressing a press conference here yesterday, Mr Rajnish Ahuja and Mr Rahul Ahuja, managing partners of the company said, this was the result of their perpetual endeavor to excel in quality, services and customer's satisfaction.

Out of 21 vehicle manufacturers and 575 components manufacturers, 28 were from Punjab showcasing the diverse manufacturing activity in the state. This event provides the biggest platform and exposure especially to the small scale industries to exhibit their strength to the world.



Property dealers to be accredited
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
The Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) plans to approve and accredit property dealers in its various colonies. The motive behind this exercise is to screen and weed out those property dealers who indulge in fraudulent dealings, cheat the public as well as the trust.

The rules governing LIT property are quite complex and the general public is either not aware of these rules or does not understand them clearly. There are several property dealers who take advantage of the ignorance of innocent buyers and sellers about the rules and procedures and easily cheat them.

According to Mr Ashok Singh Garcha, Chairman of the trust, the LIT will select property dealers with a good reputation for honesty and efficiency and train them in the rules and regulations of the trust.

The organisation will offer solid support to the accredited property dealers and over a period of time the accredited dealers will begin getting a lot more business from the public than the non-accredited ones.

The property dealers, who are honest in their dealings and do not cheat the public, will corner most of the deals and the LIT will do everything that is legally possible to ensure that the dishonest property dealers eventually go out of business if they do not reform their cheating ways.

The recent registration of an FIR against a property dealer who had demolished a public toilet of the LIT should send a clear warning to the property dealers that the dishonest and delinquent ones will not be spared in future and the honest and efficient ones will be rewarded in various ways by the trust.

All property dealers interested in getting themselves accredited with the LIT should submit their applications in person to the Chairperson, Improvement Trust, by February10.



MC working impresses IAS trainees 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 24
A group of trainee IAS officers , who were in the city to study the working of the Municipal Corporation, were impressed by the achievements of the civic body, particularly during past two years.

About 12 officers from Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration under the leadership of Mr Anupam Kumar, were here to get the first hand knowledge of the functioning of the municipal bodies, to study the complexities involved in the urban planning, to understand and learn from the innovations taking place in the municipal administration.

In a study report forwarded to the Director of the Academy, the Commissioner of Municipal Corporation, Mr S.K. Sharma, has said that the trainees evinced keen interest in the financial turn around achieved by the municipal corporation during last financial year, when from a cash strapped body, it turned into a cash surplus civic body and earned a higher credit worthy rating from the CRISIL. The visiting officers were also impressed by the successful completion of 'water for all' project of the corporation.

During extended interaction with the trainees, Mr Sharma told them that overcoming massive financial deficit in a period of one year was no mean task. In a multi-pronged action plan, the entire spending and recovery patterns were thoroughly reviewed, wasteful expenditure was curtailed, recovery of civic charges was stepped up and loop holes were effectively plugged. At the same time huge savings were made on expenditure on development works by generating wider and healthy competition among contractors.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune Mr Sharma said that the visiting officers made on the spot study of computerisation, complaint redressal mechanism and a unique system evolved by the MC administration of accountability and productivity in which daily reports were prepared, separately for the system-wise and person-wise working. 



Readers Write
Politicians interfering at every level

The orders of the High Court to clear all encroachments on government/corporation land on roads and streets of Ludhiana city is a boon and golden chance to make the city look better and to reduce traffic jams.

The well-entrenched land mafia and encroachers in the city need to be dealt with an iron hand, otherwise this city will never be cleaned up and the chaotic conditions will prevail for ever. It is high time that politicians allow the rule to prevail. It is a pity that the corporation has failed to remove the road encroachments by vegetable and fruit sellers and other encroachers occupying footpaths and road berms. In case the order of the High Court is not carried with sincerity, the concerned staff/officials will face the wrath of court, which could adversely effect their service career.

Sher Singh, Ludhiana

A sin to be father of a girl?

I refer to the news item appearing in Ludhiana Tribune on Jan 1, 2004, regarding the refusal of a girl to marry in a greedy family. This is the most appropriate action under the given circumstances. Is it a sin to be the father of a girl? Perhaps this is the reason for the desire of a son. One hopes to get a hefty dowry at the time of son’s marriage. This is leading to a fall in girl-boy ratio. In our region this falling ratio has assumed alarming proportions. In fact these dowry-seekers are responsible for this sorry state of affairs. Ramandeep Kaur has shown these persons their right place by returning the marriage party without bride.

Anil Sharma, Ludhiana

Why ignore other games?

I fully agree with Khushwant Singh regarding his concern over cricket mania engulfing the whole country. Cricket is a time-consuming game and in modern times we do not have sufficient time to spare. It is precisely for this reason this game has not got a foothold in most of the countries. Out of a total of more than 200 countries in the world, only a little over 10 countries can be called cricket-playing countries. Unfortunately, we have put all our eggs in one basket. We have overplayed cricket and neglected all other games. The result is that our performance is miserable in all other sports. Cricket is the bane of Indian sports. This is evident when we look at the performance of our hockey team. With five defeats and one draw, our performance could not have been worse. Hockey is our national game and most of the countrymen are not even aware of it. It is time to awaken and give due recognition to other games.

Anil Sharma, Ludhiana

DA merger move welcomed

The Centre’s reported move to merge a substantial part of DA with the basic pay in line with the recommendation of the 5th Central Pay Commission is most welcome. The commission had recommended that DA should be merged with the basic after it crosses the 50 per cent mark of the basic pay. It had crossed the said mark on July 1, 2002, when DA had become payable at the rate of 52 per cent. Employees have been demanding its merger with the basic since then. Presently, DA is being paid @ 59 per cent wef July, 2003.

Merger of DA with basic means an automatic increase in other allowances and benefits such as HRA, CCA, NPA for doctors, etc and post-retirement benefits.

In a memorandum sent to the Prime Minister and the Union Finance Minister, the association has urged them to make the DA merger effective from January this year for the employees and the pensioners as well in line with the NDA Government’s slogan “feel good”. The merger will benefit more than one crore central employees, including defence personnel and pensioners.

Yet, in another memorandum, the Union Finance Minister has been urged to release the DA instalment at the earliest, which has become payable from January this year.

Yash Paul Ghai, Ludhiana

Follow Maharashtra example

The news, “Top police officer suspended in Telgi case” (Sunday Tribune, 30.11.2003) by the Maharashtra Government is a highly appreciative action in the fake stamp scam. Even the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, was suspended for allegedly shielding the accused Abdul Karim Telgi. This step is all the more significant in view of the soft approach being followed in dealing with the corrupt or law breakers, in one or the other state in the country. In Punjab, a case of delaying tactics and providing alleged protective cover, as noted by Vigilance Bureau (VB) is cited. As per the recent press reports, VB has observed intentional indifference of Commissioner and his concerned officials of a civic body (MCL) in not extending cooperation in providing certain records required in connection with important investigations. And surprisingly, the chief has been allegedly shielding the employees, which is a matter of grave concern. The offenders in the case are none other than the owners of high-rise commercial buildings. Also, it is well known that civic bodies have been suppressing the legal notices issued to law-breakers, as also using the delaying tactics in enquires as above. The Punjab Government should take stringent action, alike to that taken on stamp scam, against the officials concerned for the delaying tactics and for shielding the employees or suppressing vital information. Local Bodies Minister Jagjit Singh will recollect for having made an emphatic statement to the effect that he would take deterrent legal action against Mayors, MC Commissioners and employees if found guilty of suppressing the legal notices.

Dr Gurkirpal Singh, Ludhiana



Rotary club donates woollens
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 24
The Rotary Club Ludhiana North at its meeting held at Government High School, Bassian Bet, here on Thursday donated woollens and furniture to the students and school. Twenty desks, 100 sweaters, 45 shawls, 66 trousers and 50 pairs of shoes were donated to the school authorities.

In addition, filling and pavement work for providing proper passage to the classrooms in the school measuring more than 4,000 sq.ft. had also been constructed at a cost of Rs 35,000. Dr S.S. Johl, former Vice-Chancellor, was the chief guest. A large number of rotarians, panches, sarpanches and residents of Khanjarwal village and Basrian Bet also participated.

Dr Johl in his address motivated the students for doing hard work for success in life as they were away from polluted atmosphere of the city.



Man crushed under train
Our Correspondent

Khanna, January 24
An old man was crushed to death under a train here today.
According to information, Sawarn Singh (65), a resident of Naraingarh village, was going to meet his daughter at Ottalan village. He was crushed to death while crossing a railway track near Bhatian village to board a bus from Samrala road. His body has been handed over to his family following a post-mortem examination.



One arrested with 18 kg of poppy husk
Our Correspondent

The Koom Kalan police yesterday arrested Gurmit Singh of Shalu Bhaini village and recovered 18 kg of poppy husk from his possession. He has been booked under the NDPS Act.
The police said today that the arrest and seizure took place at Khasi Khurd village.

Theft cases: The Jodhewal police yesterday registered a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC against unknown persons who had stolen silver ornaments adorned by idols and Rs 1,900 in cash from a temple in Sunder Nagar on the intervening night of January 22-23. Case was registered on a complaint of Mr Bihari Lal Sharma of Mohalla New Shastri Nagar.

The Division No. 3 police also registered a case under same Sections of the IPC against some thieves who stolen an idol, a canopy and cash from a temple on the same night. The accused, all of whom hail from Uttar Pradesh, have been identified as Vijay Kumar, Shankar Singh and Krishan Kumar.

The Division No.6 police yesterday registered a case under Section 279 of the IPC against a man who had stolen a truck from the Transport Nagar on Thursday. The complaint was lodged by Mr Raman Gaurh of Harnek Nagar. The police said today it was clueless about the theft.

Fraud alleged: On the statement of Ms Sheel Kaur of Model Town a case under Sections 468 and 471was registered yesterday at Model Town police station against Inderjit Singh, Davinder Singh and Rattandeep Singh of Phase-7 , Mohali in Ropar district.The complainant had told the police that the accused had obtained bank loan worth Rs 37,000 by depositing a property deed in her name as security. But the accused had failed to pay back the loan .

Injured: The Haibowal police yesterday registered a case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC against Kaka of Baranhara village. The complaint was lodged by Mr Jagtar Singh, alias Jagga of Basant Vihar Colony at Partap Singh Wala village.The complainant had stated that the accused , who was driving a tractor, had hit him near Ayali Khurd village on January 20 as a result of which he sustained injuries. 



Cattle feed bags with fake ISI mark found
Our Correspondent

Khanna, January 24
A team led by the Director of the Indian Standard Bureau conducted a raid at cattle feed manufacturing unit and found fake ISI-marked cattle feed bags.
According to information, a team led by the Director, Indian Standard Bureau, Mr R.K. Jha, and Deputy Director, Mr Archna Rohila, conducted a raid on the cattle feed manufacturing unit at Kauri village.

The team was assisted by local Sadar police station SHO Balwinder Singh and ASI Sikandar Singh. During search the officials of the bureau found 125 empty bags with fake ISI marks. The officials also found some filled bags bearing fake ISI marks. A complaint has been registered.



Labour unrest may set bad precedent
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
Although the labour dispute at the Avon Cycles stands resolved, there is a feeling among industrialists that the people who claimed to be supporting them were reportedly behind the labour unrest.
They said politicians tried to remain ambiguous, which only encouraged the labour unrest.

Sources said it was the leadership of the Indian National Trade Union Congress(INTUC), represented by state president Subash Sharma and district president Swaran Singh, that vouched for the good behaviour of workers. They said since INTUC was affiliated to the Congress, the party had influence over its activities.

It was learnt that despite an agreement having been signed that the services of 35 employees would be terminated, some people were trying to influence the management to take the employees back. The management had stuck to its stand that the agreement would not be revoked.

Lauding the role of the district administration in resolving the issue, the industrialists said the politicians only offered lip services. “We had information that those responsible for the unrest were getting political patronage but we did not want to expose them,” an industrial representative said, adding that the administration was not allowed to act in time despite an assurance of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, that the issue would be resolved within 48 hours.

They hoped that such a situation would not rise again as it would hit the industrial atmosphere of the city. They said the industry was already reeling under severe crisis owing to factors like the rising prices of steel and other input costs and the labour problem only added to their woes.

“Let them not push us to the wall for if we are forced to shut down, thousands would be rendered jobless,” an industrialist said, while pointing out that the workers were being paid according to government norms and all facilities were being provided to them.


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