L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rules being flouted at Central Jail
Cash, CDs seized during checks
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
A large number of discrepancies and irregularities, including special out-of-the-way facilities to inmates at Central Jail here, have been detected by the district administration, which conducted surprise checks today following newsreports of flouting of norms.

Led by the SDM, Mr Prem Chand, a team of officials of the district administration, including Executive Magistrates, Mr Gurminder Singh and Mr Gursevak Singh, today confiscated a cash amount of Rs 7170 and 34 CDs from the inmates.

They also found that the inmates were running personal kitchens from the jail premises which was in violation of jail rules.

The security goof-up at Burail Jail, Chandigarh, is still staring in the face of the jail authorities and after today’s raid, it is the turn of the state Prison Department to face embarrassment. Interestingly, just a few days ago DGP (Prisons) A.P. Bhatanagar and ADGP, Human Rights, S.K. Verma had conducted a check of the jail premises and found nothing objectionable.

According to the SDM, the title on VCDs indicate that they were of Punjabi songs but the team would only be able to say something with certainty after they watch these. He said that they had tried to look for the VCD player also but it was not found. He said that the inmates told him that the VCDs belonged to a former inmate of the jail, who was released some time ago. The inmates claimed to the team that he had taken the VCD player along with him but left the VCDs.

The SDM said that it was quite possible that the VCD player was taken by the inmate along. But still there was a possibility that it was kept by the inmates at some other place.

He said that some inmates were cooking for themselves by using their personal stoves, which was not allowed for them.

He added that he had sent a report of the inspection to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, who would be deciding on further course of action.

The team was directed by the Deputy Commissioner to pay a surprise visit at the jail premises in the morning today.

The team stayed in the jail for two hours.

The violation of the jail norm was brought to light by the Punjab Jail Guards Association. The association had staged a dharna in protest against the transfer orders of one of their leaders. It was during the dharna that the alleged scandal came to light.

The association members circulated a number of complaints of such irregularities made to the higher authorities from time to time by them. However, action on such complaints was awaited.

The association has been alleging that the jail authorities were in league with the inmates and even used to give guards to special inmates on rent.

It has also been alleged that certain hardened criminals had formed their own gangs in the jail and indulged in anti-social activities. The gangs even clashed with each other a number of times.



Proclaimed offender held after 26 yrs
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, February 5
A proclaimed offender had managed to befool the Punjab police for 26 years. He used to extort money from rehri owners and shopkeepers at Jakhal railway station in Haryana all these years. He was finally arrested last evening.

Joginder Singh, wanted in a case of liquor smuggling in mid -70s, was declared a proclaimed offender (PO) in January 1978. He has just become the fifth catch of a newly formed special PO staff of the Jagraon police. It has still to nab 450-odd criminals at large.

The large number of POs is also a fallout of the days of terrorism. Due to over-concentration of the police in the state to combat terrorism, the accused in cases of routine crimes managed to remain scot free. The high number of POs is also because of the easy availability of fake
property registration copies which can be used in the courts as sureties for bail.

The case of Joginder Singh clearly suggests how easy it is for people to escape from the clutches of the law and live major years of their life like a free man. Though such POs may be behind bars one day, one pity their alleged victims, who undergo an agonising wait for justice.

Sub-inspector Nirwair Singh, in charge of the PO staff, said Jagraon SSP Mukhwinder Singh Chhina had recently formed the special staff as it was impossible for police station officials to run after such fugitives.

The PO staff had to first research their past, read years old files and then find clues about the man who surely be living under an assumed identity, he added.

He said their research has found that 22 POs had died long ago and process had been initiated to erase their names from the list.

Giving further details about the case of Joginder Singh he disclosed that he along with ASI Major Singh were on the trail of the accused and were made to travel far and wide in his pursuit. The accused was told to be living in a rented apartment in Jagraon and then near railway-engine sheds in Ludhiana. He also lived at other places in the state. But for the past several years, he had settled at Jakhar.

The police said the man was unmarried and used to live with the family of a cousin sister. He was unemployed but earned much for him by extorting money from owners of small hotels, rehris and tea stalls at the railway station.

Joginder Singh has been remanded in judicial custody till February 18.



NGO to preserve Sukhdev memorial
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
After the district administration failed to preserve the ancestral house of great martyr Sukhdev in Chaura Bazar, a voluntary organisation has come forward to do so.

While several proposals were mooted for the conservation of the memorial, where Sukhdev was born and brought up, it could not see the light of the day due to certain reasons, including bureaucratic wranglings, disputes and other problems.

The biggest problem in the way of preserving the house in the Man Ghara area, which is now in a dilapidated condition, is the rehabilitation of tenants staying there for several years. The Sukhdev Memorial Trust, set up in the city by his relatives, tried its level best to rehabilitate them. The place was also visited by some filmstars' including Raj Babbar, who promised monetary help at that time. But the help is yet to arrive. The district administration, two years ago, had roped in some industrialists to rehabilitate the tenants and preserve the memorial but nothing came out of it.

Frustrated over the lackadaisical attitude of the government and neglect of the memorial, the Shaheed Sukhdev Yadgar Committee, Ludhiana, an organisation of like minded individuals, has finally decided to preserve a part of memorial till they find a solution to rehabilitate the family staying in the house.

Led by Dr Hardip Singh, president of the Punjab Civil Medical Services Association, volunteers have roped in persons from all over the world and formed the Shaheed Sukhdev Yaadgaar Committee. It has gathered the support of the Desh Bhagat Yaadgaar committee, Jalandhar, The Indian Workers Association, UK, and some patriots who have vowed to preserve the house.

Dr Hardip Singh, talking to TNS here today, said Baba Bilga of the Desh Bhagat Yadgar Trust was keen to do something about the memorial as the trust had already done a lot to preserve memorials of other martyrs in the state.

‘‘We will preserve the main gate of the Nau Ghara mohalla, which will lead to the memorial of the martyr. Then we will erect a projection on the front of the house and put up his statue. The volunteers have agreed to pool in money. We will not say anything to the tenants right now and they can continue to live in the house till we are able to make some arrangements for them. Anyway we will deal with them sympathetically,’’ said Dr Hardip Singh.



Religious fervour marks shobha yatra
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 5
The Vishva Guru Ravi Dass Mission took out a shobha yatra through different parts of the old city in connection with the birth anniversary of Guru Ravi Dass, here this afternoon.

The shobha yatra, which started from Ahata Sher Jang in the division number 3 area, comprised several bands and hymn-singing groups apart from a number of tableaux depicting scenes from the life of the guru.

Those participating in the shobha yatra were also chanting gurbani verses penned down by Guru Ravi Dass. The entire route was decorated with gates and buntings. Stalls serving water, tea and parshad had also been put up by organisers along the route.

Meanwhile, as a gesture of goodwill, the government announced a half-day holiday in government offices today to enable the people to take part in the shobha yatra.



Hanspal rules out contesting from Ludhiana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
The Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president, Mr H.S. Hanspal, today set to rest the speculations about the possibility of his contesting from Ludhiana parliamentary constituency in the ensuing general elections. He said he had no intention of contesting from anywhere in the state, including Ludhiana.

Talking to mediapersons during a function organised on the eve of Guru Ravi Dass Jayanti, here today, Mr Hanspal also ruled out the possibility of the party High Command asking him to contest from here.

He said, he had no indications from the High Command to contest elections and he had been asked to work for the good performance of the party in the hustings.

It is learnt that Mr Hanspal has been assured by the High Command that he will continue to remain the PCC president. In return he is said to have withdrawn his candidature from the forthcoming parliamentary elections. With his frequent visits to Ludhiana, there were speculations that Mr Hanspal might be interested in contesting from here.

In fact his name had also figured in a list of probable candidates, submitted by the rural and urban units of the District Congress Committee, Ludhiana, to the party High Command.

The PCC president hailed the entry of Ms Priyanka Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi into the party as primary members. He said, in case they wanted to contest from Punjab, the PCC will welcome them.

Mr Hanspal criticised the BJP and its alliance partners for opposing the entry of the Gandhi siblings into politics.

He observed that the NDA was feeling nervous over the activity and was bound to get defeated.

The PCC president asserted that the Congress was in a comfortable position in the state and would win all 13 seats.



MC budget

Ludhiana, February 5
The general house of the Municipal Corporation would meet here on Feb 7 to approve the budget for 2004-2005. The revised budget estimates for the current financial year, already approved by the F&CC of the corporation, would also be placed before the general house. OC



Grateful villagers acknowledge NRI’s goodwill gesture
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Mandi Ahmedgarh (Ludhiana), February 5
Acknowledgement is the greatest reward. Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura genuinely deserved this reward from the natives of several villages who had gathered here today to express their gratitude to him. The Babu Joginder Singh Memorial Welfare Trust set up by him in memory of his father today donated 50 computers to 11 schools. Besides, the trust also distributed 114 sewing machines among destitute and needy women of the area.

A colourful function was organised at the launch of the trust here today. It was among others attended by Mr Soni Galib, a son of the sitting MP, Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, Deputy District Education Officer, Ms Manjit Kaur, and several block samiti and panchayat members. A number of people from several villages had also gathered to mark their presence in gratitude and acknowledgement to Mr Khangura.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Khangura maintained that he had always felt indebted to his people and to his roots. Mr Khangura touched an emotional chord by saying wherever he went, he remained attached to and involved with his soil.

He said quite modestly, this is a small gesture that is being acknowledged too much. He assured that he will ensure that the process remains a continuous one. Moreover, he said, he had a keen desire that the children of the area are not denied the access to the advance and progress made in the field of science and technology.

Speaker after speaker showered praises on the Khanguras while recalling their contribution. They said the great gesture of the family for their people will always be remembered and will go a long way in providing latest education to local students. They hoped that other people will also come forward with similar gestures.

Appreciating this gesture, Mr Raghunandan Sharma, a member of the Block Samiti, Dhellon, pointed out while it would have taken the government a long time to provide these facilities to the students in rural areas, the Khanguras had taken the lead. He hoped that the government will continue to supplement this gesture and keep on updating the technology.

Ms Krishna Sharda, Principal, Government Senior Secondary School, Latala, said it was a unique gesture and it reflected the love and involvement of Mr Khangura with his soil and the people. She pointed out computers will certainly help the students to learn about latest things. Besides, she said, computer literacy is the norm of the day.

Mr Manmohan Singh Mohi, a local Congress leader, said that although the Khanguras had provided the computers to the schools, there was acute shortage of space.

He sought expansion of the school infrastructure so that the students get proper atmosphere for learning computers.

Not surprisingly, the Congress leaders present used the occasion to voice their support for Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, the sitting MP. It looked as if it was the beginning of the campaign for Mr Galib.



Chief Khalsa Diwan poll
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 5
Efforts are afoot to create a congenial atmosphere for conducting election to office-bearers of the Chief Khalsa Diwan.

Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti is understood to have taken an initiative in this regard on the recommendations of the five-member committee which has been set up to resolve a dispute between the two factions of the diwan.

Sources close to the Akal Takhat Jathedar said today that the move had been made to ensure the emergence of some consensus and avoid acrimony among the two factions.

Both factions have been asked to submit a list of members of the diwan acceptable to them to be included in the committee.

The two factions of the diwan, one headed by Mr Bhag Singh Ankhi and the other by liquor-baron Mr Charanjit Singh Chadha, are at loggerheads as 284 members have been debarred from casting their vote. The five-member committee comprises Justice R. S. Narula (retd ), Justice Kuldip Singh (retd), Prof Prithipal Singh Kapoor former pro-vice chancellor, Dr Kharak Singh Mann and Principal Ram Singh.



87 pc slum children malnourished
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, February 5
About 200 million people live in urban India, out of which 30 per cent are below poverty line. They live in slums without basic health facilities. Around 60 per cent of them are women and children. Poor environmental conditions compounded by poverty, malnutrition and deficient health care, make them susceptible to a host of diseases. And the children are the worst sufferers.

In a study conducted by the Department of Community Medicine of Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) on children below five years, living in the slum areas, it has been found that average per capita monthly family income of these families is only Rs 176. Migrants from the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan constitute 91 per cent of the persons studied. As much as 49 per cent of the fathers are found to be illiterate. Only 27 per cent of the children are fully immunised. About 87 per cent of the children are malnourished and 19 per cent of these are suffering from severe degree of malnutrition.

However, there was a significant gender difference, with more girls ( 93 per cent ) being malnourished than boys (82 per cent ), indicating neglect of the female child. The voice of the mothers in most of these areas was: “Girls stay at home and boys need thorough diet”. Diarrhoeal diseases were found to be the most common illness suffered by the children (about 62 per cent), followed by respiratory infections (25 per cent).

Dr A.I.Benjamin and Dr Shavinder Singh, the two Professors of the department who conducted the study, said health problems of the urban poor were directly related to their poverty and polluted and stressful urban environment.

In 1982, the Krishnan Committee drew attention to the need for strengthening health services in urban slums. Experience over the first half of the 20th century in the West has shown that the death rate among infants, the major causes of which are diarrhoeal diseases and respiratory infections, has been reduced largely due to better nutrition and improvement in the overall living conditions, hygiene and sanitation.

Dr Benjamin and Dr Shavinder Singh stressed, “There exists, therefore, a strong case for recognising the urban slums for the provision of basic facilities like safe water and sanitation”.



SI booked for misplacing revolver
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 5
SI Kulwinder Kumar, posted as Additional SHO at the division number 8 police station, was booked under Section 409 of the IPC yesterday on a statement of Mr Dilawar Singh, SHO of the same police station.

The complainant stated that the accused had misplaced a 9 mm pistol, along with 20 live cartridges, at the Jandu chowk in front of Mohalla Deep Nagar sometime between 6.30 pm and 1.40 am on the night of February 3. No arrest has been made so far.


The Shimla Puri police yesterday registered a case under section 420 of the IPC on a statement of Mr Mohan Singh, living near the Bhagwan chowk in Partap Nagar, against Jatinder Singh, owner of a finance company operating from Dashmesh Nagar, Mintu Sethi, owner of an automobile company located near Dhuri Lines, Simran Singh, a resident of Railway Road, Doraha, Amarjit Kaur, a resident of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, and Simran Kaur, an employee of the finance company.

The complainant stated that he had got a car financed by the company but the accused gave him forged finance documents and took away his car. No arrest has been made so far.

The Salem Tabri police has registered a case under Sections 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC on statement of Mr Kewal Krishan, a resident of Bhagwan Dass Colony in Netaji Nagar, against Gurinderjit Singh and Gurdeep Singh, residents of Bhagat Singh Nagar.

The complainant stated that he had paid Rs 20,000 to the accused in lieu of a plot sold by them to him but the accused neither got it transferred on his name nor returned the money. No arrest has been made so far.

The Sadar police has registered a case under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC on a statement of Ms Manjit Kaur, a resident of Gurdev Nagar near Malhar Cinema, against Paramjit Kaur, a resident of Krishan Nagar and Beant Kaur and Harjit Singh, residents of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar. She stated that she had paid Rs 90,000 to the accused on the understanding that they would send her son-in-law to a foreign country. But the accused failed to either send her son-in-law abroad or return he money.


The Focal Point police yesterday registered a case under Sections 279, 337 and 427 of the IPC on a statement of Mr Davinder Singh, a resident of Nazir Bhullar village falling under the jurisdiction of the Beas police station in Amritsar district, against Balraj Singh, a resident of Gagrha village, falling under the jurisdiction of the Jagraon police station in Ludhiana district.

The complainant stated that the accused, who was driving a truck, had hit his Ceilo car as a result of which he was injured and the car damaged. No arrest has been made so far.


The division number 2 police yesterday registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC on statement of Mr Bal Kishan, a resident of Tehsil Road in Jawahar Nagar, Ganga Nagar, Rajasthan, against an unknown person who stole his white Maruti car from near Jagraon Bridge on January 29. The police said today that it was clueless about the theft.

Another case under Section 279 of the IPC was registered at the same police station on a statement of Mr Ajit Singh, a resident of Gurcharan Park near Model Town, against an unknown person who stole his Kawasaki motor cycle from near Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib on January 26. There has been no clue to the theft so far.

Vehicles recovered

Two cases under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC have been registered at the Shimla Puri police station.

The first case was registered against Rana Singh, a resident of Burj Ramgarh village in Bhatinda district after a stolen Hero Panther moped was recovered from his possession. The other case was registered against Lakhvir Singh, a resident of Adampura village, also in Bhatinda district. A stolen scooter was recovered from his possession. Both accused have been arrested, added the police

Liquor seized

The Model Town police yesterday arrested Subhash, a resident of Pandit da Vehra in Ambedkar Nagar, and booked him under the Excise Act. The police said the accused was arrested near the cremation grounds in Dugri village while carrying 12 bottles of illicit liquor.

Contract killers held

SSP Parmod Ban claimed to have arrested two contract killers here today. He said both accused had killed a man for a supari of Rs 45,000 in 2001.

The SSP said the body of Chand was found in a house and a case was registered under Section 174 in 2001. An inquiry was done under the supervision of DSP Rajeshwar Singh. The police arrested Jaswinder Singh who confessed that he had hired Sataya Parkash and Sattu to kill Chand who had developed illicit relations with his wife. The police claimed that two letters written by Chand to Jaswinder’s wife were recovered from Jaswinder. On the information supplied by Jaswinder, both accused were arrested.

Satya Parkash confessed to killing Chand. He also confessed that he was a proclaimed offender.

Woman killed

A woman was killed in a road accident near Samrala Chowk on Thursday.

According to the information, a couple was going on a scooter to meet their daughter. When they reached near Samrala Chowk, a ‘rehri’ hit their scooter. The woman fell on the road and was crushed under a truck. The deceased was identified as Surjit Kaur, wife of Nachhatar Singh of Mandi Gobindgarh. The truck driver was caught by people and handed over to the police. A post-mortem examination was conducted before handing over the body to the family.


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