L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rs 1.5 lakh, gold looted from doctor’s house
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Four armed robbers struck at the house of a doctor in New Janata Nagar, Shimla Puri, this morning and took away Rs 1.5 lakh in cash and around 40 tolas (400 gram) of gold jewellery.

The robbers had allegedly visited the house last week disguised as employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB).

Interestingly, the robbers left behind a country-made pistol, which was later seized by the police.

The incident took place around 9.45 am at the house of Dr Dalwar Singh Jassi. His wife Satwinder Kaur (40) was alone at the house when four persons entered on the pretext of checking the electricity meter. They subdued the woman with pistols and sharp-edged weapons.

Satwinder Kaur later told the police that the robbers forcibly took the keys to the almirahs from her and locked her in the bathroom. She escaped from another door after the robbers fled with the valuables.

According to Dr Dalwar Singh, some persons posing as PSEB employees had visited their house last week and his wife had recognised one of them as member of that team.

DSP R.K. Bakshi said a case of robbery has been registered on the complaint of the family.


Rs 3.5 lakh theft in shop of palmist
Our Correspondent

Khanna, February 14
Thieves broke into the shop of a local palmist and stole cash, gold and other valuables worth Rs 3.5 lakh last night.

According to information, the thieves entered the shop of Harish Chander Shastri at Railway Road by breaking the rear grill.

Shusant, son of the shop owner, said the thieves took away Rs 40,000 in cash, 12 gold rings, four bangles, three chains and seven cheque books of different banks. He said the police had been informed and statements recorded.

A case has been registered in this regard.


2 die in mishap
Our Correspondent

Khamano, February 14
Two youths were killed and another was injured in a road accident. Satnam Singh, Jatinder Singh and Varinderpal Singh were returning from Khanna on motor cycle (PB-49-7210) after watching a kabaddi match. When they reached near Khamano, their motor cycle rammed into a tree.

Satnam Singh and Jatinder Singh died within a few minutes of the accident, while Varinderpal Singh was rushed to the Civil Hospital, Fatehgarh Sahib. He was later shifted to Chandigarh.


Valentine’s Day, a low-key affair
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Valentine’s Day passed off as a low-key affair here today with not much fanfare visible anywhere.

The administration had, however, made all arrangements to ensure that no untoward incident took place. A large number of police personnel had been posted at various places.

Not many youngsters were seen on the Sarabha Nagar the gerhi route during the day. It was not much different from the usual routine at Sarabha Nagar.

Mr Susheel Kumar, a shopkeeper, said there were not many customers who could be described as “Valentine customers”. He said probably too much hype had been created without any reason.

However, a few young couples, mostly college students, said they had come to have lunch together and share some “pleasant moments”. Neha Aggarwal said although it was not much different today, it was an occasion like a birthday when you could share sometime with your friends. She also agreed that too much hype had been created “wit out any rhyme or reason”.

While the day did not prove much eventful, florists reported massive sales. A florist at the Pakhowal road said he had registered record sales this time. Roses were in great demand. Customers continued to pour in during the night and the morning was “very busy”. He said the rates of roses had increased this time. While in normal course a rose would sell for Rs 10 only, it sold at Rs 20 per flower during the past two days.

There was not much activity outside the girls’ colleges. This was probably for the reason that a number of police personnel had been posted outside all girls’ colleges. The attendance in the colleges
was normal.

However, several late-night parties were organised in the city to mark the


Fake certificate case not attended to: PU VC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
The Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, Chandigarh, Mr K.N. Pathak, today came down heavily on the Ludhiana police for not taking any action against students found guilty of preparing fake certificates.

He said the university had written to the police to take action against the students but nothing was done. He said after approaching the SSP, Ludhiana, the university had even written to the DIG about the case, but to no avail.

“We have explored every possible channel but nothing has been done so far. The university had given maximum possible punishment to the students as per the rules by disqualifying them from taking any examination for five years but the university cannot dictate terms to the police.”

The Vice-Chancellor said this while talking with Ludhiana Tribune at a convocation of Gujjranwala Khalsa College for Women here today.

He said the university had disqualified 11 students, who were found guilty of preparing fake certificates. “We initially wrote to the SSP after which we wrote to the DIG. If nothing has been done it is not our fault.”

In an exemplary disciplinary action against 11 students, including the son of a local MLA, the university had barred them from appearing in any university examination for a period of five years.

Of these, six were from Ludhiana colleges and five students from Doraha, Chandigarh, besides others.

The university had issued the order after it held a thorough investigation for over four months. The PU had constituted an unfair means committee (UMC) after a news report featured in Ludhiana Tribune stating that a fake stamp bearing signatures of Mr Sodhi Ram, Controller, Examination, was available in the city. The committee had visited several colleges in the city and checked admission forms and detailed marks certificates of all new students. The committee found out that the students had used a fake stamp of Mr Sodhi Ram, Controller of Examination, PU, on marks certificates.

The VC stated that the students had been quizzed repeatedly and asked about the source that had supplied them with the fake stamp, but none of them divulged. 


Bus shelters cause traffic nuisance
Our Correspondent

Khanna, February 14
Bus shelters constructed along the G T Road for passengers have become a traffic nuisance and are causing accidents instead of providing shelter as these have no roofs and seating arrangements.

Two years ago, the Khanna Municipal Council had passed a resolution to allow a private party to construct six bus shelters along the G T Road. The contractor was to take possession of the shelters for 10 years, he was entitled to get advertisement charges from the clients. The contractor was bound to provide all basic facilities at the bus shelters.

Following the resolution, the contractor constructed six shelters at the Amloh road chowk, near the main bus stand, near the Civil Hospital, the railway road chowk, The Malerkotla chowk and near A S Modern School. At the time of construction of these shelters, some people raised objections about the sites before the then SSP, Mr D.S. Garcha and the construction of the shelters was stopped.

After the transfer of Mr Garcha, however, the construction work was completed. The contractor has not fulfilled the conditions of the resolution. No roofs have been constructed on these shelters, no flooring has been provided and only four seats have been provided at each bus shelter. However, the contractor is collecting big amounts for the advertisements displayed at these bus shelters.

Due to the allegedly wrong sites these shelters are creating a traffic nuisance and causing accidents in the city. The Executive Officer of the Khanna Municipal Council Mr Najar Singh, told this correspondent that the site of bus shelter near the Amloh road chowk had been changed. He said this was brought to his knowledge last week by the traffic police and he had written to the contractor to meet him to discuss the issue. He said he would ask him to provide all facilities at these bus shelters. The sites of the shelters would also be shifted.


Cong men oppose outsider’s nomination
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Local Congress leaders aspiring for the party ticket from the Ludhiana parliamentary seat and their supporters have expressed resentment against the reported move of the party high command to thrust some outsider upon them. This followed the reports that the party high command was considering some names like a soft drink tycoon Mr Kewal Dhillon, and cricketer Kapil Dev.

It is learnt that the local aspirants have decided to form a joint front against any outsider. Some of these aspirants met in New Delhi and decided that they should promote a common cause. They have also resolved that whosoever is nominated by the high command should not only belong to Ludhiana but should also have a strong local base.

These leaders include Mr HS Hanspal, Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib and Mr Harmohinder Singh Pradhan, who held a meeting today. They are trying to prevail upon the party high command that only some local leader gets the party nomination. They have been arguing that in case the party does not field a leader with a strong local support, it may be difficult to involve the workers and the party may ultimately lose the seat.

Mr Dhillon, who is believed to enjoy good relations with the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, is learnt to be also in the race for the Congress nomination from Ludhiana — considered to be one of the few seats where the party can perform better. Of the 12 legislators in the Ludhiana parliamentary constituency, eight belong to the Congress. It apparently makes Ludhiana one of the safe seats for the party. A local leader maintained that Mr Dhillon may be one of the respected leaders of the party, but he may not prove to be a winning candidate from Ludhiana. Mr Dhillon is currently the vice-president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee.

The local leaders are even opposed to fielding cricketer Kapil Dev. They maintained that although Kapil Dev might be enjoying immense following among people in Ludhiana like elsewhere in the country, but it will not be a “politically wise” decision to field him from here. They pointed out, it is difficult to agree that his fan-following may be translated into votes.


SAD to contest all 13 seats
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 14
Mr Sukhbir Badal, addressing Akali workers at the house of Mr Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill at Doraha this evening, said the Akali leaders and workers were going to spare no effort to make the Bhanaur rally on February 16, successful.

He asked the workers to attend the rally in thousands so that they may be able to show their strength and mobilise public opinion in their favour in connection with the forthcoming elections. He also said that the Akalis had a strong backing due to the sincere efforts made by the party when it was in power. “Now too,” he said, “we have recollected our energies and geared ourselves completely for a grand victory. We shall be contesting all the 13 seats and emerge as a strong party.”

Mr Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill, an Akali activist, said he would inspire the people of his area to support the Akali party on the basis of the development and progress made by it during its reign and mobilise the workers to reach the rally in thousands.

Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, president of the youth wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal, also urged the workers to assemble at Bhanaur on February 16 so that the strength of the young Akalis, would exert powerful influence over the general public.

Mr Bharpoor Singh Rauni, Mr Gurmail Singh Sangowal, Mr Devinder Singh Cheema, Mr Hardev Singh Matharoo along with a number of sarpanches and panches were present at the gathering.

Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal later attended a sports meet at Barmalipur village. 


‘SAD open to alliance with anti-Cong parties’

Khanna, February 14
The Congress is not in a position to open its account in the coming Lok Sabha election. The SAD and BJP alliance will win all 13 constituencies in the state in the coming Lok Sabha elections. This was claimed by Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, general secretary of the SAD and a member of the Rajya Sabha, at a press conference organised at the house of Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhatti, district president of the Youth Akali Dal, Fatehgarh Sahib, here on Saturday.

Mr Badal said while answering a question that the SAD had opened its doors to enter into an alliance with any anti-Congress political party in the elections. He confirmed that the talks for alliance with the BSP were in progress. He said he had demanded 25 per cent seats for the Youth Akali Dal workers. He said the nomination of candidates of the party would be announced only by the President of the party in the due course of time. — OC


Hansi suicide case: father moves NHRC
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Waiting for justice for almost a year in the suicide case of a young IAS aspirant, the parents of the youth have now knocked at the door of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), New Delhi, in this regard.

The parents of Ashish Hansi, who had committed suicide on February 20 last year, have been alleging that he took this extreme step due to some pressure from some quarters as evident from some SMS messages.

Mr N.M. Hansi, father of the victim, has in his petition to the NHRC stated that he was not satisfied with the proceedings in the case and wanted to know who were responsible for his son’s death.

He has also written to the President, Mr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, alleging that the BSNL authorities were claiming that the suspicious number (94170-9995) was a mobile service centre of the BSNL, Chandigarh. However, the identity of the person sending the messages still eludes the police.

He had moved his case in the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) in September. He said the BSNL authorities had claimed that the number was not a subscriber number and thus no messages could have been sent from the same.

Mr Hansi, however, believes that the authorities were shielding some BSNL employee, who could be responsible for the death of his son.

Expressing his worst fears, Mr Hansi says that the way investigations are being made he is sure that the case will be hushed up.

He claimed that earlier the BSNL authorities were not providing the details of the said number but after he approached the PSHRC they revealed that it was the telephone number of the BSNL office concerned.

Mr Hansi said even if they wanted to withhold information due to some reason, they should have revealed the identity of the owner in this case. “This is clear that they are shielding somebody who is definitely a higher official as most of Ashish’s friends were wards of bureaucrats.”

The PHRC has given 13 weeks’ time to the police for further investigation into the case. “I had given my statement to the police but I don’t know what has happened to the police report. If some independent agency takes up the matter and investigate it would be easier for me, ” he adds.

He further said the suicide note recovered from his son’s possession said “he was feeling too pressurised.” 


Workers protest detention of colleagues
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Hundreds of workers of various industrial units yesterday staged a dharna and attempted to gherao the Focal Point police station, demanding the release of two of their colleagues who were reportedly arrested by the police.

The workers claimed that two labourers were detained by the police yesterday “without any reason”. However, police sources maintained that the two labourers were trying to disrupt the working of an industrial unit. They had allegedly snatched the identity cards of some labourers to prevent them from entering the factory premises. The workers were detained and an FIR was registered.

The agitating workers, however, dispersed after assurances were given to them that the detained workers would be dealt with under the law. The police on the other hand maintained that nobody would be allowed to disturb peace and action would be taken against those found guilty.

Meanwhile, workers of Avon Cycles today said they had nothing to do with trade union leader Sarbjit Singh Sarhali. In a statement issued by the Avon Cycles Employees Union, they said: “Sarhali is not our leader and we have nothing to do with him.” Mr Sarhali is the youth wing president of the state unit of the Indian National Trade Union Congress.


Readers Write
Check unemployment first

Ever since the BJP decided to go for early Lok Sabha poll, people are witnessing announcement of sops day after day.

Elections have been put eight months in advance just to reap a good harvest. Interim Budget brought many sops for people. About one crore employees have been given a pay hike of Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,500 per month. This means an additional burden of Rs 1,500 crore to Rs 2,500 crore.

The state governments will also be tempted to give similar benefits to their employees. There will also be a demand from PSUs for increase in salary. By taking into account all these hikes, a huge amount will be spent on salaries.

A large section of the population will be left because it does fall under these categories. Most prominent among these will be unemployed youth who are unable to find suitable jobs. Emphasis should have been on creating more jobs instead of increasing salaries for existing employees. Retirement age should have been lowered to make jobs available to new generation which is frustrated at present.

Anil Sharma

Legal literacy among women

The Master Tara Singh College for Women deserve kudos as it held a legal literacy seminar last week (on January 25). Women, in spite of 56 years of Independence, are still being exploited in Indian families. Rapes, dowry deaths and other crimes against women are on the increase. In government offices and at other places, they are not given proper respect. Women put in longer hours of work as compared to men and yet they do not get that much remuneration as men do? Suicide rate is high among women.

Although Indira Gandhi ruled the country for 11 years and now women chief ministers are in place in Delhi and some other states, the crime rate against women had never been on the decline.

Why fairness vanishes when it comes to giving a fair deal to the fair sex. It is high time that women must be appraised of their rights. Thus legal knowledge on the part of women is a must. So more and more legal literacy seminars should be held not only in colleges, but also in offices and at public places.

Vijay Sheel Jain

Misuse of Dowry Act

The Dowry Act was enacted for the protection of brides who were facing harassment at the hands of their in-laws. But it was never expected that it could be misused by brides or their parents to harass grooms.

Misuse of these legal provisions was elucidated by Anupriya Sethi in the article ‘When dowry becomes a source of harassment for grooms’. She had quoted several such cases with changed names. I agree that such cases are on the increase and that there is a need to take some corrective measures to ensure that grooms are not harassed.

One of my relatives has been facing harassment at the hands of his wife who has got a case registered against him. The groom and his father could not get bail and had to remain in jail for some time. The bride’s parents unnecessary interfered in the married life of the couple. The bride refused to live in the joint family saying she could not serve her mother-in-law. Her parents took away dowry items under orders of the court. The case is still sub judice. The bride left babies with the boy, who is now looking after the children with no female member in the house. His mother died during the course of this episode.

Such cases indicate that some remedial measures were needed for grooms as well.

K.L. Chitkara


Nepalese youth dies in hit-and-run case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 14
The Sahnewal police yesterday registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC on the statement of Jeewan, a Nepalese migrant living at Pawa village in Ludhiana district, against a driver of a four-wheeler ( PB-10BB-4055).

The complainant had stated that the accused had hit a youth of his village in Nepal on the GT Road near Pawa village and fled. The youth, named Bahadur, had died on the spot. The victim used to work in a forging industrial unit near the village, the complainant added.

Pistol seized

The Sadar police on Thursday arrested Sarabjyot Singh, a resident of ward No. 9 on the Chandigarh road at Samrala and Parveen Tiwari, who lives near the Garhiwala temple in the same town and booked them under the Arms Act.

The police said a .12-bore country-made pistol and two cartridges were seized from the possession of Sarabjyot Singh while a knife was seized from Tiwari.

Eve-teaser held

The division No. 4 police on Thursday arrested Tara Chand of Bhogsa village in Mathura district of UP and booked him under Sections 294 and 509 of the IPC.

The police said the accused was using foul language and teasing girls near the cremation ground in Subhash Nagar. The accused was later released on bail, added the police.


The Civil Lines police here on the statement of Mr Jagjit Singh of Sector-2, Chandigarh, on Thursday registered a case under various sections of the IPC against Ishar Singh and his son Sukhdev Singh , residents of Karol Bagh, New Delhi, and Tarlochan Singh, whose whereabouts were not known. The complainant had alleged that the abovesaid forced their way into his building at Dhian Singh Complex, Ludhiana, after breaking the locks. They also stole some goods, he added.


The Civil Lines police on Thursday registered a case under various sections of the IPC on the statement of Mr Gurkirpal Singh of Maya Nagar against Ravi Kumar. The complainant had stated that Ravi, who was driving a Santro car, hit his Toyota car on Wednesday night as a result of which the car was damaged and his brother Rajinder Singh, who was travelling in the car, got injured. 


13 bottles of liquor seized, smuggler arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
A raiding party of the Excise Department caught Dulla, a notorious smuggler, and seized 13 bottles of liquor late last evening.

Mr G.S. Bahia, Excise and Taxation Officer, said the raid was conducted on specific information at Manki village, near Samrala. He said the raid was conducted by a team comprising Mr Maninder Singh and Mr Inderjit Singh, Excise Inspectors, and police officials.

He said a case under the relevant sections of the Excise Act had been registered at Samrala police station. Mr Bahia further informed that the smuggler purchased the bottles at Rs 60 each and sold them at Rs 80 per bottle, causing a loss to the Samrala wine contractor.


SSI units on brink of ruin with steel price hike
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 14
Members of the Builders Hardware Manufactures Association here last evening opposed the unabated and unprecedented rise in steel price for the past eight months. They said it posed a serious threat to the existence of light engineering industry, the backbone of the Ludhiana industry. The efforts put up by various associations and a series of meetings held with high officials, central and state ministers and even the Prime Minister have not yet resulted in any sign of relief.

The major impact of the increase in steel prices was visible when most of the manufacturers were not able to fulfil their domestic as well as export commitments. Non-availability of raw material and non-standard material had pushed the industry to the wall. The president of the association, Mr Ashwani Mehta, has sought the immediate intervention of the Prime Minister in the matter.

Since last year, the prices of steel products have increased by 75 per cent. The prices of nickel had touched a new height and crossed the Rs 900 mark, thereby increasing the input cost. On the other hand the prices of light engineering finished products such as bicycles, hardware, handtools and autoparts and builder’s hardware were more or less stagnant in the international market. The running of units was becoming unviable.

Organisations like the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam, SAIL and some others in the private sector were making with the increase in the prices. They are exporting iron, steel and other products at cheap rates to other countries like China. On the other hand, they created shortage and increased domestic prices and exploited the industry in their own country.

The association demanded that an immediate amicable solution should be reached between the government and representatives of trade and industry to save the industry from ruin. Otherwise, the small-scale industry would collapse within six months.

The association said even the state government had not come to the rescue of the industry and in spite of the promise nothing had been done by the state government to take up the case with the central government even as the central government was sleeping over the matter. All the concessions given in the Budget were in favour of the steel producers’ lobby which had made hefty profits.

The association also resolved to support the Steel Consumers Forum, which is fighting the case on behalf of the small scale industry.

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