L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Seized drugs vanish from malkhana
Ex-Head Constable booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 12
The district police has detected serious irregularities in records of malkhana property in Division No. 2 police station from 1997 onwards. A retired Head Constable has been booked for improper maintenance of records due to which a substantial quantity of narcotics recovered by the police in different cases was siphoned off.

Head Constable Karam Singh has been booked under Section 409, IPC (criminal breach of trust by public servant), on the basis of an inquiry conducted by sub-Inspector Nishan Singh, former SHO.

According to the inquiry report, the Head Constable has been found responsible for the missing narcotics.

The police had recently found that some amount of poppy husk, opium and other drugs mentioned in the registers were not found in the malkhanas.

It was suspected that some person might have sold them off.

The inquiry pointed finger at the Head Constable who was in charge of the malkhana before retirement. The accused is yet to be arrested.

Sub-Inspector Raj Kumar, SHO of the police station, told Ludhiana Tribune that the matter came to light when the records were checked following orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

When the suspect was questioned by the inquiry officer, he claimed he had not sold off the narcotics but had disposed these as per the orders of the court. However, he could not produce orders of the court to substantiate his claim. The case was then registered against him. SI Raj Kumar is the investigating officer in the case now.



Cricket lovers keep fingers crossed for live telecast
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 12
As the Indian cricketers hit out yesterday, only to be hit back by the second-rung Pakistani team, in the warm-up match, cricket lovers in the city remained on tenterhooks as they were denied the thrill and excitement of a live telecast.

As a result of the satellite channel Ten Sports behaving in an "unsporting manner," major local cable networks have not been beaming its programmes for the past few days. A local cable network company has accused the channel of resorting to "blackmailing" after it procured the telecast rights for the Indo-Pak cricket series, taking place after almost two decades.

It is learnt that Ten Sports is demanding more than four times the regular monthly charges from the cable networks. The additional expenditure, if passed on to the viewers, would be around Rs 55 per cable connection. The cable networks feel the subscribers would refuse to accept this as they are already protesting against the current charges.

Mr A.S. Dhaba, one of the directors of Win Cable, who also heads the Federation of Punjab Cable Operators, told Ludhiana Tribune that probably the matter had been resolved at the "highest level" and Prasar Bharti had obtained the rights to telecast all the cricket matches live through Doordarshan.

He, however, said that the arbitrary jacking up of the charges by Ten Sports warranted stern action by the government. In view of the interest that the cricket series was expected to generate, the Government of India should have taken timely steps to ensure live telecast, he added.

As the first encounter scheduled for tomorrow nears, the game lovers in the city are keeping their fingers crossed in the hope that they would have the opportunity to see their heroes in action live.



Examiners to face action for remaining absent
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 12
Over 20 per cent of the examiners and supervisors who remained absent from duty during the ongoing examination being conducted by the Punjab School Education Board are likely to face a strict departmental action.

This was stated by Mr Khushal Behl, Education Minister, Punjab, during the convocation and prize distribution function of Guru Nanak Girls’ College, Model Town, here today.

He said he had already directed the District Education Officers (DEOs) in 17 districts of the state to furnish the list of the absentees so that a suitable action could be taken against them.

The minister said all government school teachers had been assigned duties at least a month in advance and they had been specifically told not to miss their duties. He said earlier such examiners used to go scot free, but they would not be spared this time.

He admitted that the cases of copying had been quite high this time. He said flying squads had been conducting raids at various schools everyday to check copying. The DEOs and Deputy DEOs had also been told to remain watchful, he said.

All District Education Departments would soon be computerised, he said. Softwares for the purpose had been prepared and computers would be installed in all districts by the end of April. The entire data pertaining to the lists of schools, their principals, staff members, names of students, their roll numbers and their result would be fed into these computers.

He said the data would be accessible to the Circle Education Officer, who would then prepare consolidated data for the State Education Department. The minister said the DEOs would also be sent circulars, minutes of various meetings and other notices via e-mail. In a way, it would help in e-governance of schools, he said. He said this year computer education would be introduced in schools of all districts of the state. He said computer education might be made compulsory from Class VI onwards.



Three held for killing agent
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 12
Cessation of financial aid and keeping an evil eye on the teenage daughter of his ‘keep’ cost him his life. The extra-marital relations left a Moga family headless and a minor girl alone at her home while three persons landed in Jail.

Ranjit Kaur, who had been married to a truck driver of nearby village Sandaur two years ago, had been living at local railway road for around one year. Already a divorcee, she had allegedly developed relations with a commission agent of Moga where she allegedly got him eliminated with the help of her minor son and another alleged paramour, Harpreet Bhooru.

Mr Mukhwinder Singh Chhinna, senior Superintendent of police, Moga, said Ranjit Kaur had got him killed reportedly because he had stopped paying her the promised money every month and was also keeping a bad eye on her teenaged daughter.

Elaborating on the issue, Mr Chhinna said that Moga police had registered a case against accused on the statement of Mr Ashok Kumar, a partner of Mr Mohinder Paul Goyal, a commission agent of Moga. Preliminary investigations had revealed that Ms Ranjit Kaur, alias Jeeti, had taken him with her on March 2. After receiving a complaint, the Moga police picked up Jeeti from her house at local railway road. Mr Chhina said, “The lady was so hardcore that she did not break easily. Rather, she misled the police by saying that Mohinder Paul had been murdered by a group based at Raekote.” Not finding any truth in her statements , police arrested Harpreet Singh Bhooru of Chhanna village and Jeeti’s son Amarjit.

The three accused confessed having strangulated Mohinder Paul Goel and thrown his body in Bathinda canal near Kanganwal bridge. A police party recovered the body with the help of the local police and got the postmortem done.

Further investigations revealed that Jeeti, who was earlier a divorcee, had married Jaswinder Singh only two years ago. To facilitate her relations with the deceased, she had compelled her husband to live in a rented house at local railway road. 



Supercop may be Cong choice for city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 12
With each passing day, a fresh name seems to be getting added to the list of Congress probables from the Ludhiana Parliamentary constituency. The supercop and former Director- General of the Punjab Police, Mr K.P.S. Gill, is learnt to be another probable in the reckoning from here. At the same time, the name of sitting MP Gurcharan Singh Galib is also said to be under consideration. Mr Galib is believed to be the front runner.

Party sources said the high command was seriously considering the name of Mr Gill from Ludhiana. Mr Gill, who is credited with having reclaimed peace in Punjab, belongs to Ludhiana and has studied at the local government college.

Mr Gill also enjoys a good rapport with the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh. The Chief Minister is also believed to have endorsed his candidature in case the party high command wanted him to be fielded.

Meanwhile, opposition to the renomination of Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib for the Ludhiana seat has intensified. A number of Congress leaders and their supporters met senior leaders of the party in Delhi over the issue in the past two days. 



Snakes charmed for Rs 1,000!
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 12
Residents of Nalli Mohalla, located along the Deepak Cinema road, had a scary time for hours today after the news spread that two snakes had been spotted in a house. They heaved a sigh of relief when the reptiles were captured by two snake charmers, who charged a cool Rs 1,000 from the house owner.

In the morning, a resident of the locality saw two intertwined snakes on the rooftop of a house. By the time he could raise the alarm, the snakes slithered into the house through a window on the second floor. The occupants of the house, including the owner, Mr Pinni, were told to come out. Help arrived in the form of two snake charmers who struggled for hours to find the cobras.



Trust chief to withdraw orders
Says no intention to insult trustees
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 12
Putting to rest the storm brewing in the Ludhiana Improvement Trust, (LIT), for the past many days, the Chairman today said he would withdraw the orders abstaining employees to divulge details of any work to the trustees, thereby inviting their wrath.

Stating that he had not passed the orders with the intention to insult or belittle the trustees, Mr Ashok Singh Garcha, the LIT Chairman said, ‘‘I personally think highly of most trustees as decent, honourable persons and the intention was not to dishonour them deliberately.’’

He said he would organise a meeting of the trust soon as demanded by them. The order had angered the trustees gun who asked him to answer questions regarding the financial health and slow pace of development works undertaken by the trust. Those unhappy at the orders were Mr Bhupinder Singh Basant, Mr Kala Navkar Jain, Mr Sanjay Talwar, Ms Malkiat Kaur, Mr Surinder Pal Bindra and Mr Suba Harbhajan Singh.

To a query, he said the agenda clerk had been suspended in a graft case and the EO was not able to prepare the agenda for the meeting. So it was delayed.

Explaining a query by the trustees, he said all new plots had been allotted either on orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court or instructions of the Department of Local Government. He had cancelled the allotment of some plots after he had received information that money had exchanged hands before the deal.

Clarifying his stand on revocation of suspension of four employees out of the eight suspended following a graft case against them Mr Garcha said he had evidence that the four were innocent as they were booked after false affidavits furnished by the buyer of some plots.

Mr Bhupinder Singh Basant, a trustee said if the Chairman had withdrawn the orders, he had no problems with him. He demanded that the meeting of the trust be organised within 10 days.



Woman goes missing with two children
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 12
Mr Vashishat Parshad Gupta (34), a native of Bihar who lives in Giaspura and works in a hosiery unit in Madho Puri, has not taken food since March 4 when his wife, Manju (29) went missing in the evening along with a four-year-old daughter and a four month-old son.

Mr Gupta said he had been married for the past 16 years and had three children. There had been no marital discord ever. His wife had had fits in the past when she would lose memory temporarily.

He said on March 4 she told him that she was having a headache and wanted to visit a doctor. He gave her Rs 20 for buying medicines and she left her house in Giaspura at about 5 pm along with her two children.

The superstitious man from Bihar has been seeking the help of various godmen to provide a clue on the whereabouts of his missing wife and children.



Pensioners hold meeting

Ludhiana, March 12
The state executive of the Punjab State Pensioners’ Confederation held its meeting today at Pensioners Bhavan with Mr B.R. Kaushal, state president in the Chair.
The participants numbering 50 from all over the state analysed the fallout of the state-level pensioners dharna before the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, on February 25.

The executive committee resolved to organise a state-level dharna on April 20 at Patiala and on May 3 in Sunam. The committee resolved to hold elections of office-bearers of the Punjab State Pensioners’ Confederation on June 5. OC



Migrant kidnaps minor girl
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 12
Bhanu Kumar, a migrant from Bihar, was yesterday booked on the charge of kidnapping a minor girl. He was booked under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Narsingh Dass, who hails from Kalanaur village in Rohtak district of Haryana and lives in Chhawni Mohalla. Bhanu also lives in the same locality.

The complainant had stated that the accused had kidnapped his 17-year-old daughter, Hem Lata, on Wednesday probably with the intention of marrying her. No arrest has been made so far.

Pistol seized: The Shimla Puri police has arrested Surinder Singh, a resident of Baba Deep Singh Nagar, and booked him under Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act. The police said a country-made pistol of .315 bore and one live cartridge was seized from the possession of the accused.

Minor raped: The Jodhewal police has registered a case under Sections 376 and 342 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Raju Chohan, a migrant from UP living in Panchsheel Colony on the Noor Wala road, against Sammu.

The complainant had stated that the accused had raped his six-year-old daughter while she was alone at home on Tuesday afternoon. The accused is absconding.

Woman dies in mishap: The Civil Lines police has registered a case under Sections 279, 337, 338, 339, 304-A and 427 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Ramit Kumar, a resident of Jamalpur Colony, against Kamal Singh, a resident of Dhamot village.

The complainant had stated that the while he was going on a motor cycle on the Ferozepore road with a relative, Jaswinder Kaur, the accused rammed the bus into his motor cycle near the New Bus Stand on Wednesday.

Jaswinder Kaur, who was admitted to a private nursing home with injuries, later breathed her last in the hospital. The complainant further stated that he was also injured in the mishap and his motor cycle was also damaged. No arrest has been made so far.

Dowry case: The Model Town police on Wednesday registered a case under Sections 406, 498-A and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Rajni, who is living with her parents in Abdulla Pur Basti, against her husband, Ashwani Kumar, father-in-law, Nand Lal, and other in-laws, who live in Sukhdev Nagar on the outskirts of Hoshiarpur city.

The woman had alleged that the accused, after her marriage in October, 2000, had been harassing her for dowry. No arrest has been made so far.

Assaulted: On the statement of Mr Baljit Singh, a resident of Dhurkot village, the Sadar police has registered a case under Sections 323, 324, 506 and 34 of the IPC against Swaran Singh, a resident of Mukandpur village, near Dehlon, and Satnam Singh, a resident of Giaspura.

The complainant had alleged that the accused had beaten him up on the evening of March 3 and injured him. No arrest has been made so far.

Cop roughed up: The Division Number 8 police on Wednesday registered a case under Sections 353, 186 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Kuldeep Singh, an ASI posted at the Police Lines, against Geeta, her mother, Manjit Kaur, and another woman, Charno, all of whom live in Kabir Nagar.

The ASI had alleged that the women scuffled with him and interfered in the discharge of his duty. No arrest has been made so far.

Satta bookie held: The police has arrested Chanmeet Singh, a resident of LIG flats at Dugri, and booked him under various Sections of the Gambling Act. A sum of Rs 500 was seized from the possession of the accused who was indulging in bookings ‘satta’ and ‘darra’ bets at a public place in the area.

Liquor seized: The Division Number 6 police on Wednesday arrested Akbar, a resident of Dharam Pura mohalla, and booked him under the Excise Act.

The police said the accused was intercepted at Ganda Nullah in the locality and 15 bottles of illicit liquor were seized from his possession.



Banks fleecing SSI sector, alleges chamber
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 12
The Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry has alleged that commercial banks are fleecing the small-scale industry (SSI) by charging the very high rate of interest on bank loans whereas other loans are normally charged sub PLR-level. This exploitation is further eroding the already-scarce financial resources of small and tiny units.

Mr P. D. Sharma, president of the chamber, yesterday said due to the neglect of the SSI sector, the overall scenario was dismal.

“The employment pattern clearly shows that jobs can be created only by the SSI sector because the sector is largely dependent upon technology rather than manpower.”

“The PLR-level of the banks is already very high. In the credit policy of the RBI as on October, 2003, the banks were asked to have a benchmark PLR which should be transparent. The RBI had given guidelines and also asked the Indian Banks Association to evolve a common formula for fixing benchmark PLR.”



Hero Cycles workers go on strike

Ludhiana, March 12
Workers of Hero Cycles today observed strike for a few hours to protest against chargesheet served on four employees by the management. However, work was resumed after the workers and the management reached an agreement in the presence of some union leaders and the Assistant Labour Commissioner.

According to Mr Daljit Kumar Gora of the Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU), the workers went on strike after they learnt that four of their colleagues were served the chargesheet, asking them as to why they had not attended work yesterday.

However, late in the afternoon, the workers reached a compromise with the management when the latter agreed to the workers demand that they be given two days to explain their position.

Meanwhile, the Focal Point police has registered a case against 25 employees of Hero Cycles on a complaint by its Senior General Manager. The workers allegedly entered factory premises forcibly and beat up some labourers there. No arrest has been made so far. TNS 


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