L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Ramoowalia criticises privatisation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
Lok Bhalai Party president Balwant Singh Ramoowalia today claimed that winds of change were blowing in Punjab, particularly in the rural areas.
Speaking at a public meeting near Dehlon today, Mr Ramoowalia claimed that people were fed up with both the Akalis and the Congress.

He said leaders of the two parties had already been rejected by their own workers and would now be rejected by the voters. He criticised the "indiscriminate" privatisation in the country, which had led to a huge debt on the country, he added.

Mr Ramoowalia maintained that he had resolved to oust the traditional political leadership from Punjab as it had played with the sentiments of people.

The Lok Bhalai Party leader touched an emotional chord when he referred to the deserted NRI brides. He claimed that the Third Front, for which he was making a efforts, was certain to make a difference at the national level.

A public rally was held at Jarkhar village yesterday, where a number of local leaders joined the Lok Bhalai Party. They included Rana Surat Singh, Dr Inderjeet Singh, Dr Kuljeet Singh and Mr Tej Parkash Singh. He was also weighed against coins on the occasion.



Gosain claims Rs 1 cr for defamation from Dawar
Kuldip Bhatia

Mr Sat Pal Gosain, a former Punjab Deputy Speaker, at a press conference in Ludhiana
Mr Sat Pal Gosain, a former Punjab Deputy Speaker, at a press conference in Ludhiana on Monday. —  Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, March 15
After filing a criminal suit for defamation against Mr Surinder Dawar, Congress legislator from the Ludhiana East assembly segment, senior BJP leader and former Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Assembly Sat Pal Gosain has initiated civil proceedings against his arch rival, claiming Rs 1 crore in damages. Mr Gosain lost to Mr Dawar in the last Assembly elections.

The Additional Civil Judge (Senior Division), Mr Arunvir Vashisht, has ordered the summoning of Mr Dawar for the next date of hearing on May 6. The criminal case filed by Mr Goasin under sections 500 and 120-B, IPC, would come up for hearing on May 19.

Mr Gosain, speaking at a news conference here today, said Mr Dawar, along with co-accused Vishkarma Singh Bhogal, had levelled concocted and scandalous allegations against him at a press conference in a city hotel on May 31, 2003.

The Congress legislator had alleged that the Mr Gosain had relations with notorious criminal Anil Kumar, alias Lalla, who was apprehended by the local police at the time for his alleged involvement in several criminal cases.

Mr Dawar had also accused Mr Gosain of being involved in "shady deals" and having amassed property worth crores by dubious means.

According to Mr Gosain, the accused persons had gone to the extent of claiming that he (Mr Gosain) had sought their help for saving Anil Kumar from the police net because once arrested, Anil Kumar could disclose his links with the BJP leader.

Mr Gosain claimed that allegations of his having relations with a woman party worker and providing political patronage to Anil Kumar were also levelled against him.

The co-accused, Mr Vishkarma Singh Bhogal, at present a resident of Germany, had held Mr Gosain responsible for extortion during his tenure as the Deputy Speaker. It was claimed that Mr Gosain had threatened Mr Bhogal and got certain property documents signed at gunpoint.

On the list of witnesses submitted by Mr Gosain in support of his claim are the names of Mr Brij Lal Rinwa, former state president of the BJP, Lala Lajpat Rai, MP, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, Shiromani Akali Dal district president, Mr Harbans Lal Sethi, former BJP district president, Mr Gurdeep Singh Neeta and Mr Parveen Bansal, both BJP councillors, and Mr Sunil Mehra, a former councillor and general secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal. 



Christians to support SAD
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 15
The Bharatiya Masihee Dal has decided to support the Shiromani Akali Dal nominees in the Lok Sabha elections. A meeting of the organisation, held here on Sunday under the presidentship of Mr Prem Maseeh, resolved to work for the success of Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, SAD candidate from Ludhiana, as also the candidates put up by the party in other constituencies.

Mr Maseeh called upon the community to participate actively in the SAD campaign all over the state so that it could raise its voice in Parliament to safeguard the rights of the minorities.

He said the Masihee Dal would soon organise a state-level convention where support to the SAD would be pledged in the presence of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon and Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, SAD candidates from Ludhiana and Phillaur, respectively, would also be invited.

Veteran Akali leader and former councillor Kulwant Singh Dukhia, speaking on the occasion, assured that the problems faced by the Christians and other minorities would be taken up with the SAD leadership on priority.

Among those present at the meeting were Pastor Prem Sharda, Pastor William Bansi Lal Mattu, Dr John Akbar Rahi, Ms I. Arshi, Mr Rafiq Maseeh, Mr Yakoob Maseeh, Mr B.M. Frederick, Mr Mohan Bhatti, Mr Dennis Pritam Chand, Mr Walter Scott, Mr Sohan Maseeh, Mr William A. Maseeh and Mr Baljit Singh Bindra.



Ashok Garcha to float party
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
The Ludhiana Improvement Trust Chairman, Mr Ashok Singh Garcha, who had made a name for himself by initiating anti-corruption drive in the trust during past many months, said today that he would float his own party with the help of other like-minded people that would work for rooting out the corruption from the state.

Dissociating himself from the Congress as well as rejecting invitations of other political parties to join them in the aftermath of the City Centre Project scam, Mr Garcha said his anti-corruption drive was a failure and corruption was still prevalent in the trust.

“I have been a failure and I have accepted it. That is why I have resolved to put in my papers on June 23, 2004, when I complete one year of my two-year-term,” he said while addressing the mediapersons after a meeting of the trustees of the trust with him.

“I tried my best, but could not do anything substantial. I have not wasted time fighting corruption in the trust. I had accepted the assignment as I had thought I would be able to help people of Ludhiana in this way,” he said.

Stating that he was feeling “suffocated” and “pressured”, Mr Garcha said corruption had infected all departments in the country and nobody could fight it singlehandedly. He added that no political leader was capable of fighting it as it required a lot of hard work at the grass-roots level.

Mr Garcha had declared his intention to resign from the chairmanship late last night following a controversy over the City Centre Project. He had alleged that the Rs 250 crore city centre project was aborted by him after he received a call from a leader that the All India Congress Committee wanted Rs 100 crore as election fund and the money was to be siphoned off from this project. The matter was blown out of proportion by some leaders of opposition parties. Despite repeated queries by mediapersons the Chairman refused to identify the caller, who had talked about the election fund.

He also said he had withdrawn the controversial orders that had prevented the trustees of the trust to speak to the employees directly. After the orders the trustees had been gunning for the Chairman and had even stated that in today’s meeting they would announce their leader and meet the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh for his approval. With the withdrawal of the controversial orders and the proposed resignation of the Chairman, the leadership issue, which was supposed to be a major issue at the meeting, took the backseat. The trustees however, said they had no problems with the Chairman and their matter was resolved.

Mr Garcha said he would utilise the remaining three months of his tenure for educating masses to oppose corruption. He said he would organise seminars and debates to find out a solution for the problem.



Three car thieves nabbed
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, March 15
The Sahnewal police claims to have busted a gang of robbers who are said to be involved in various crimes in the area for the past few months.
The three suspects include Rohit Kumar, alias Vishal of Mundian Kalan, Sunil Kumar, alias Sheela of Basti Jodhewal and Taranjit Singh, alias Gurpreet of village Mundian Kalan, according to police sources.

The three hired a taxi (PB 1080-3989) of Gurmit Singh of Ayali Kalan from Aarti Taxi Stand at Ludhiana yesterday. They asked the driver to take them to Chandigarh via Sahnewal. They forced him to get down from the car at Friends Filling Station and sped away. At 6 in the evening, a case was registered on the complaint of Gurmit Singh under Sections 382 and 34 of the IPC and 25 of the Arms Act, the sources added.

A Sahnewal police party reached the toll-barrier at Doraha to check the vehicles. The police party took the bypass route through Kanech village and nabbed the three and impounded the stolen car.



Two notaries may lose licences
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana has recommended the cancellation of the licences of two notary public to the Secretary, Law and Justice and Company Affairs for not maintaining registers as per the notary rules, 1956, for daily transaction of business.

The two notary public include Mr Prabhjot Singh, (No. 2058) and Mr Rajinder Pal Singh (No. 2083). Mr Verma said that action follows after a journalist brought to his notice that Mr Prabhjot Singh and Mr Rajinder Pal Singh were attesting such documents which even did not carry signatures of the deponent or applicant.

The evidence of the contention was two copies of affidavits attested by the two notaries. Mr Prem Chand, SDM, East, held an inquiry.

The inquiry report indicted both the notary public. The notary public were shown the affidavits. They denied having attested the affidavits. But confirmed having affixed stamps on the affidavits.

The SDM reported that with a view to corroborating the statements of two notary public, two copies of other affidavits carrying their signatures were procured from the office of District Transport Office. Both the signatures matched.

The registers maintained by them for daily transaction of business did not conform to the provision of Notary Rules, 1956.



Malwa College Principal sacked
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 15
Following allegations of misuse of power and issuing fake certificates, the Principal of Malwa College, Bondli, Samrala, has been sacked by the college managing committee.

Principal Jasbinder Singh Dhillon was removed from service after an approval by the DPI (colleges), Punjab, according to Mr Shivdev Singh Kang, president of the committee. The DPI agreed that the college management had followed proper procedure of inquiry and award of punishment. Mr Kang said that Dr Parminder Singh will officiate as principal.



Vir Chakra Major Khokri dead
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
The oldest war hero of the district, Major Jagir Singh Khokri (88) of 7 Battalion, Sikh Regiment, died at his residence in Barewal here after a brief illness on Saturday. The cremation will take place at the Barewal crematorium tomorrow.

A Vir Chakra awardee for the Jammu and Kashmir operation in 1948, Major Khokri had joined the Indian Army in 1935 with distinction. He retired in 1972 and settled down in Barewal, a small village on the outskirts of this city.

This hero of the Indian Army bid adieu to his fellow countrymen on the morning of March 13 while he was getting ready to attend the triennial national convention-cum-reunion of the war decorated that was beginning at Chandigarh the same day.

Major Khokri was born in Khokri Kalan village in Moga district. His father, Mangal Singh Batth, was also in the Army. Following the family tradition, after completing his education young Jagir Singh Khokri joined the British Army in 1935 as a soldier.

Being a hockey player, he was assigned to the First Battalion of the Sikh Regiment, which was deployed on the Peshawar-Landikotal axis, near the Khyber Pass. During World War II, he was selected as a commissioned officer in the Army in 1941 and posted to 15 Punjab and later transferred to 6/15 Punjab, as part of which he fought against the Japanese on the Kohima-Imphal axis.

On the night of April 25, 1948, keeping up the high traditions of the Army, Major (then Capt) Jagir Singh, who was then in 7 Sikh, fearlessly led his company to capture strongly held hill features by the enemy overlooking Trehgam village in Kashmir. This was vital to clear the advance. He positioned his troops and then personally led a daylight attack on the enemy. Throughout the fierce engagement, his complete disregard for personal safety and exemplary leadership inspired courage in everyone around him.

After retirement, he was involved in social work and the development of this area, especially Jeevan Preet Nagar. He is survived by his wife, a son and three daughters.

His family members and residents of the area have demanded that the road connecting the octroi post to Barewal village should be named after him.



Ex-servicemen to back well-meaning candidate
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
The Ex-servicemen Welfare Society has decided to support that party and candidate from the Ludhiana parliamentary constituency who will not only recognises the demands and problems of ex-servicemen but also put their demands on top of the agenda in its election manifesto.

The decision was taken at a meeting of members of the society here on Saturday. Col Rajinder Singh Sohi (retd), president of the society, asked its members to elect that candidate who would fight for the welfare of ex-servicemen. The president welcomed the initiative and interest shown by the Ex-Servicemen League (ESL) to put up a united front to raise the demands of ex-servicemen forcefully

A committee has been constituted by the society under the leadership of Col Harbaksh Singh retd), vice-president, to inculcate unity into the ex-servicemen community of Ludhiana.



4 hurt in clash at Ralson Tyres
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
Four persons were injured at Ralson Tyres today when they were allegedly by assaulted by a group of workers, who wanted to go on strike. The DSP, Focal Point, Mr R.K. Bakshi, said a team of police officials had been deputed at the factory and complaints and statements were being recorded.

Some workers of Ralson Tyres tried to move from one section to another. They had reportedly struck work. However, when they were interrupted by the security staff they beat them up causing injuries to four of them. The injured were Karnail Singh, Shakti Chand, DS Mangat and LK Sharma. They were referred to the Civil Hospital where they were medically examined and discharged after treatment.

Mr Bakshi said an FIR would be registered only after their statements were recorded. 



Rotary Club honours Munjal
Our Correspondent

Mr Brij Mohan MunjalLudhiana, March 15
Rotarian Brij Mohan Munjal was honoured for his achievements in industry at a Rotary Club meeting here on Saturday.
Among others honoured on the occasion were Dr V.P. Takkar and Dr Rita Takkar, parents of Brijesh Takkar, a student who did the state proud by topping several medical entrance exams; Ms Amrit Varsha Rampal, councillor of Ward 41, for her services in developmental activities; Ms Meera Puri and Mr Suresh Choudhry.

In his address, Mr Munjal said Rotary ought to be adopted as a religion by every true Rotarian.



Bank takes possession of defaulters’ property
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
The State Bank of India, Millerganj, today took possession of the property of M/s Auto Spark Pvt Ltd, Dashmesh Nagar, Ludhiana, and M/s Amrit Industries, Janta Nagar, to liquidate their bad accounts.

According to Mr G.C. Lakhanpal, Assistant General Manager of the bank, the SBI repeatedly urged them to liquidate their bad accounts but they did not pay any attention to the bank requests. They were served 60-day notice under the Securitisation Act and after the expiry of the notice the bank took possession of their property.


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