L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Vigilance probe against Principal
Irregularities in appointments alleged
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
Guru Hargobind Khalsa College in Gurusar Sudhar is in the thick of controversy once again, this time over allegations of irregularities committed by the authorities in making appointments and utilising funds. The local Vigilance Bureau has initiated a regular inquiry into the allegations on the complaint of an employee of the institution to the state government.

The inquiry has been directed against the former Principal of the college, Mr Manjit Singh Khattra. His wife, who is now the Officiating Principal of the college, has also been issued summons by the bureau, as some allegations have also been levelled against her. A number of other employees have been called for questioning and the bureau has requisitioned college records for verification.

Mr Khattra has been charged with misappropriating funds, making illegal appointments of his close associates in the college, issuing fake certificates to students after taking bribe, making bogus purchases in the name of the college and pilfering grants given by the government.

Mr Khattra, who served as Principal of the college for nearly 25 years and is now the Director of the College, has however refuted the allegations. “We have sent a detailed reply to the Vigilance Bureau. We are honest and the inquiry has been initiated at the behest of some disgruntled elements of the college on whose tunes I had refused to dance,” he asserted to Ludhiana Tribune.

He said he had not indulged in corruption and had maintained all records of his administration.

At least 21 allegations of different nature have been levelled in the complaint on which the inquiry has been initiated.

Photocopies of related documents have been appended as suggested proof of the allegations.

Objection has been raised over the appointment of a 56-year-old clerk, even though he held third division in matric examination, by ignoring young and meritorious candidates. The clerk later allegedly hobnobbed with authorities to issue false certificates of attending lecture of physical education.

Another appointment of a class IV employee, who was a servant of Mr Khattra, in the college has been objected to. Misappropriation of a grant by the UGC for a three-year degree course in physical education, health education and sports in 1989 and another grant for a swimming pool has also been alleged.

He has also been charged with showing purchases of some air-conditioners that were bought on papers only, pilfering funds meant for the construction of hostels, and issuing bogus receipts to students who paid hostel, sports and other fee to the college. The inquiry will also look into the allegation of Mr Khattra having assets disproportionate to known sources of income. It has been alleged that he had purchased some prime property.

The regular vigilance inquiry is conducted only in those complaints where a preliminary inquiry finds some substance in the allegations. However, criminal action against the accused is taken only after the regular inquiry proves the allegations.

The college was recently in news over the registration of a case under the SC/ST Act against Mr Khattra on the complaint of a college employee, Balwant Singh. He had charged Mr Khattra with calling him by names banned under the Act.



Ex-serviceman opens fire, kills 3
Bhushan Sood

Amloh, April 6
Jaswinder Singh (60), an Air Force ex-serviceman, allegedly shot dead three persons and injured five at Jhambala village last night. The Amloh police has arrested him.
The dead have been identified as Amrik Singh, Swaranjit Singh and Jhujhar Singh. The bodies were sent to the Amloh Civil Hospital for postmortem.

Amrik (50) was an Army ex-serviceman and employee of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur College at Fatehgarh Sahib.

Family members of Amrik today alleged that Jaswinder knocked at their door. As Amrik opened the door, Jaswinder fired at him. He died on the spot. Bullet marks were seen on a school bus and on a wall. The family members said there was no enmity of the family with him.

Jaswinder, after his retirement, had joined the National Institute of Sports as a handball coach. He had been a national player. One of his sons is in the Army.

Villagers said first of all Jaswinder fired at the house of Malkit, but there was no casualty. After that he fired at Surjit Kaur (50), wife of Jagir Singh, who was injured. After this he went to the house of Jasbir Singh where his brother Amrik was watching the television and fired at him. He also fired at Balkar Singh, son of Jasbir Singh.

After this the accused fired at Gurbir Singh (10), son of Davinder Singh, and Satwant Singh (18), son of Mahender Singh. Both were injured. After this he fired at his nephew, Swaranjit Singh (35), who later died, and Jhujhar Singh, who also died later. Then he fired at Baljit Singh and Davinder Singh, resulting in injuries to them.

Mr Karamjit Singh Baghdana, a SAD leader, was the first person to reach the village. The local MLA, Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, and a former minister, Mr Dalip Singh Pandhi, expressed sympathy with victims’ families.

Two injured persons were admitted to the CMCH, Ludhiana, while two others were admitted to Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, where Surjit Kaur was discharged. A case under Sections 302 and 307 of the IPC and Sections 25, 54, 59 of the Arms Act has been registered against the accused.



NRI gets a taste of red tape
Five years on, yet to get possession of plot
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
Mr Ajent Singh Sandhu, a non-resident Indian based in Vancouver, Canada, had bought a plot allotted by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar five years ago. During this period, he completed all formalities required by the trust for handing over the possession of the plot and even moved court, which gave a decision in his favour.

However, even after five years of his continuous struggle and his visits to this country, especially for the plot, every year, he is yet to get the plot in his name.

He is in the city to pursue his case with the LIT for more than a month now, but his problems only seem to be multiplying.

The reason for the delay cited to him by LIT employees is that the Chairman of the Trust is on leave and he has sealed some files, which are not accessible to them.

He is not the only one who is being harassed allegedly at the hands of employees in this manner. There are many such clients of the Trust who make rounds of the office everyday, but there seems to be no end to their woes.

Though Mr Ashok Singh Garcha, Chairman of the Trust, before proceeding on leave, had conferred the powers on the Executive Officer of the Trust who was supposed to handle the affairs on a routine basis, residents complain that cases are lying pending and nobody is bothering about them.

Many residents claimed that they were sick of making rounds of the Trust office. Sources in the Trust claimed that the EO was due to retire soon and he was not taking interest in clearing the pending cases.

Mr Sandhu said he had purchased the plot from a riot victim, Sundri Kaur, in 1999.

The plot was allotted to her in 1991. After he made the payments he was told that the allotment of the plot was cancelled as the allottee had not made any payment to the Trust.

He pursued his case with the then Chairman and it was found that the allotment was cancelled by mistake.

‘‘I was happy that finally I would be handed over the plot, but to my utter disappointment, the possession was not given to me on the plea that the thumb impression of the allottee in the Trust records did not match with the deal papers.’’

‘‘Since then I have been making rounds of the trust office and have become a victim of official apathy. After Mr Garcha proceeded on leave, I was told that he had sealed some files. I have been told by some employees that the file pertaining to my plot has been tampered with and the page bearing the thumb impression torn to destroy evidence.’’ said Mr Sandhu .

‘‘Maybe employees want the plot to remain disputed for some vested interests. Otherwise why would anyone remove only the thumb impression?’’ he asked.

He said he has been coming to India every year only to get the possession of the plot. ‘‘But I am yet to get it. I have sent thousands of letters to Trust officials, but to no avail.”



FCI team collects rice samples
Our Correspondent

Doraha, April 6
On the basis of a complaint lodged by Mr Sukhwinder Singh Grewal, former member, State Consultative and Advisory Council, Punjab, FCI and Mr Shakti Sharma and Mr B.C. Kapila regarding the substandard and below specification rice being sold by the FCI agencies, an investigating team comprising three members visited the FCI godown at Doraha today. Members collected samples of rice.

Mr S.S. Grewal had alleged that the FCI agencies were supplying discoloured, damaged and broken rice. These were unfit for human consumption. The samples were collected on March 19 but no follow-up action was taken. Mr Suresh Malhotra, DM, Quality Control, FCI, and Mr Harminder Singh, AM, Quality Control and Mr Devraj, Joint Manager, FCI, comprised the FCI team. The sample will be examined at Chandigarh.

Mr Grewal also alleged that substandard rice was being mixed with good quality rice and a profit of Rs 3200 per truck was gained from this. He alleged that the scandal was of bigger magnitude than the Telgi scam. “We have planned to file a public litigation in the high court in this matter. The sheller owners are being exploited and blackmailed by FCI officials. They are forced to pay lakhs of rupees to officials. The mill owners are told to mix low quality broken rice with the good- rice. Then their rice is accepted in the range from Rs 3200 to Rs 5000 per truck. From low-rung officials to high, all are involved, he alleged.

When this correspondent visited the spot, Mr Sukhminder Pal Singh Grewal and his companions were insisting that the samples should be taken to Chandigarh for verification. The Assistant Manger at Doraha, Mr J.C. Gupta, wanted that the samples should be checked at the FCI godown as they had enough technical staff available with them for the purpose.”

Mr Ashwani Gupta, District Manager, said a complaint regarding the quality of rice at the FCI godown at Doraha had been lodged by Mr S.S. Grewal due to which a team has arrived from Chandigarh to check the quality and verify the validity of the complaint.



DC bans sale of cut fruit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
In order to help prevent the spread of cholera within the municipal limits of the city, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, today banned the sale of all kinds of food and drinks unless the same are properly protected form dust and flies.

Under the Epidemic Disease Act 1897, the DC prohibited the sale of ice candy, ice gola and mineral water which are without the certification of the bacteriologist of the Punjab Government. He also banned the sale of overripe fruits and juices unless prepared under hygiene conditions.

The DC said in case of outbreak of cholera or its suspicion in the locality, all residents of that locality shall undergo anti-cholera inoculation. The water supply by all waterworks will be regularly chlorinated.

The Civil Surgeon, all Executive Magistrates in the district, Assistant Civil Surgeon, District Epidemiologist, Assistant Malaria Officer, all Sanitary inspectors, health supervisors, multi-purpose Supervisors and all SMOs, medical officers of government and local bodies are authorised to prosecute the defaulters within their jurisdiction, to enter into and inspect any market, building, shops, stall or places used for sale or for distribution of any article which may be therein and to seize, remove, destroy or cause to dispose off in any manner they think fit so as to prevent its use by human being, said the DC.

He also said all medical officers deputed at the medical inspection posts are authorised to stop the vehicle and to check the passenger suspected to be suffering from cholera.

This order comes into force with immediate effect and remain in force upto December 31.



Exam supervisors found carrying cell phones
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
Much against repeated announcements made by officials of the District Education Department and the Punjab School Education Board against carrying of cell phones by students and examiners inside the examination halls, a flying squad from the department today found a supervisor and a deputy supervisor deputed at St Patrick School, Jamalpur, performing their duty while carrying mobile phone sets.

On being questioned, both of them said they had switched their sets off. However, the officers from the District Education Department who took a round in the school admonished them and warned them of the consequences of going against the board directions. They were told to immediately keep the sets with the Controller of the Examination Centre.

In yet another case, the flying squad of the department found that Government Senior Secondary School of Dhandari Khurd had appointed its own teachers as supervisor and deputy supervisor. They were immediately relieved by the department officials.

The incidents occurred during Class X examination of Hindi conducted by the board this morning. The Deputy Commissioner had sent flying squads in almost all education blocks of the city. However, no case of cheating was reported.




Recently, Mr Ajay Johar, son of the Higher Education Minister, Mr Harnam Dass Johar lost his car. As he reported the matter to the police, he was told that it will need some time before the car could be found. Obviously, the police did not have any magicwand although the complaint was from a VVIP. The junior Johar, upset over his loss, decided to adopt the alternate mode of transportation. He said he decided to ride a bicycle for short distance within the city. He pointed out first of all it had several advantages. Second, even if it was stolen, it does not amount to much. He claimed he could afford to lose a bicycle but not another car. He has purchased two bicycles, one for himself and the another for his PSO and he can be seen roaming round the city making the PSO paddle along.

Hi fashion here

There is every reason for Ludhianvis to rejoice, A UK-based hi-fashion footwear brand Carlton, of London has set up its first exclusive outlet in the city. Carlton that has so far been catering to the up market customers in London, USA, Germany, Holland, Greece, Spain and Turkey, has chosen Ludhiana for its third outlet in the country. The store has a lot to show that includes Stilettos, Roman tie-ups and an extraordinary variety of closed toed shoes. Carlton has yet again proved that Ludhiana was fast emerging as an important fashion centre and people here were integrating themselves with the leading fashion cities across the country.

Beat the heat

The recently opened Water Park by the management of Hardy’s World will turn out to be a big relief for the Ludhianvis in the sweltering heat wave which seems to be round the corner if soaring temperature at this time of the year is any indication. The splashes in the ‘wave pool’ or ‘rain dancing’ at the beat of Punjabi pop tunes or for that matter sliding down at breathtaking speed in a pool on a fibre glass sliding board would woo every one, irrespective of age or sex. The initial inhibition with the grown ups to be seen in swimming costumes (compulsory for all those going for a cool dip) would also melt down soon because the adventure-loving city folks are known to adapt themselves. However, the Water Park management would do well to cut down the entry fee, which was on a higher side and could prove to be prohibitive for the salaried class people.

Repetitions galore

In Ludhiana the most annoying thing is that if one educational institute or club or any other organisation starts a new thing, the others follow suit till one becomes sick of repetitions. The latest trend is to start ‘graduation ceremony’ of L.KG students to first class. The small children are asked to wear black robes, hats and a solemn ceremony is held. The kids do not even know why such a pompous ceremony is held. One school started it, and now the Tribune office is flooded with such invitations. People of the city seem to lack originality.

Home delivery

Free home delivery of cooked or uncooked food is an old practice being adopted by most eateries in the city. One can order snacks and meals during any hour of the day in any quantity from a closeby restaurant or a dhaba. The trend has also been taken up by quite a few departmental stores. A complete list of items of daily needs can be dictated over a phone and the items are delivered at one’s doorstep. The same idea has also profitably been picked up by many grocery stores, fruit sellers and even meat shops who deliver vegetables and fruits at the door on one phone call. What really sounds strange is that now a newly opened pharmacy has also advertised about 24-hour free home delivery of medicines! Let’s see whether it helps him boost his sales.

Holiday bonanza

The month of April seems to have brought with it a holiday bonanza for all employees of Punjab government and semi-government institutes. The month began with two holidays owing to death of Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, SGPC chief. Next two days were Saturday and Sunday. The working in the month effectively began on April 5. After a four-day week, it will be time for Good Friday and then again Saturday and Sunday. Offices will open on April 12, Monday, and will remain closed on April 13 and 14 on account of Baisakhi and Dr B.R. Ambedkar’s birthday. Thursday and Friday will be working days, to be again followed by two holidays in the weekend. Conducive atmosphere in government offices will actually develop from April 19 onwards.

Younger people turning to religion

It has been observed this navratras , that even college-going students both girls and boys, were observing fasts of Durga Mata. These nine days are considered very auspicious and it is so believed that if people fast, their wishes are granted. Maybe religion is proving to be a strong crutch to otherwise insecure people due to the rat race and other frustrations that people are turning increasingly religious and observe the traditions with more fervour than before.

‘Choran nu mor’

As the Congress candidate for Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat, Mr Munish Tiwari, arrived in the city on Saturday to launch his election campaign amidst large gathering of party workers and supporters, a well meaning friend cautioned him against pickpockets, who might make their day taking advantage of the huge crowd. While Mr Tiwari gave his purse to one of his associates for safe keeping, another politician, accompanying the entourage was not so lucky and had his pocket emptied. The victim raised the alarm and the suspect was caught on the spot and given a good thrashing. Going by the common reputation of the political functionaries, a Congress councillor standing close by quipped ‘Eh tan choran nu mor pai gaye’ (The robbers have been robbed).

Airconditioning blues

One would think working in an airconditioned office would be a blessing. But not so in many offices. The vents of airconditioners fall directly over some persons heads. So after some time, those persons are chilled to the bone and want to switch off the airconditioners. Those sitting away from the vent are just comfortable and happy. But after sometimes, they begin to feel uncomfortable as those feeling cold have switched off the air conditioners. Then it is the turn of those to switch on the AC’s of those who are feeling warm.

Have a nice day

A friend whose husband is abroad got a call at 4am. The time difference is 6 hours . While the husband had just woken up and felt fresh, he called his wife. Awakened by sudden ringing of the telephone and due to darkness, she groped for the phone and accidentally pushed it under the bed. After going on all fours , she retrieved the phone and was quite out of breath when her husband said crisply, ’Have a nice day!’


An SMS being circulated after the Pakistan President Gen. Musharraf hinted at Kashmir solution till July read, ‘‘Pakistan ko sharafat sikha denge, Hindustan ki takat dikha denge, aye Musharraf Kashmir to kya, Lahore mein bhi tiranga lehra denge.’’

— Sentinel



Step up campaign, Congress workers told
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
A Congress legislator, Mr Surinder Dawar today exhorted party workers to propagate the policies and programmes of the party among the masses and mobilise them to support the Congress candidate from Ludhiana, Mr Munish Tiwari, in order to ensure his victory and strengthen the hands of Ms Sonia Gandhi.

Addressing a party meeting at Shagun Palace here, organised by the councillor of Ward No 51, Mr Sanjay Talwar, the legislator, representing Ludhiana East segment in the Punjab Assembly, called upon councillors, office-bearers of the district, block and ward units as well the front organisations like the Mahila Wing and the Youth Congress to step up electioneering. “While campaigning for the party nominee, the Congress functionaries should also emphasise upon the electorate to exercise their franchise to elect the right candidate.”

Mr Dawar dwelt at length on the achievements of the Congress government in Punjab, claiming that the government, headed by Capt Amarinder Singh, had pursued the agenda of development and had endeavoured to provide clean governance. The successive Congress governments at the Centre had also taken the nation on the path of progress, peace and prosperity in the past. He claimed that it was the Congress alone which could provide secular governance and safeguard the rights of the weaker sections.

Mr Jagdish Sharma, campaign in charge of the Congress nominee, observed that the party high command had rewarded the dedication and commitment of Mr Tiwari towards the masses and had chosen him to represent the industrial capital of Punjab. “Now, it is up to the party workers and the voters in the city to ensure a massive win for Mr Tiwari and send him to the Lok Sabha.”

The area councillor, Mr Talwar expressed the confidence that the electorate in the Ludhiana East segment would repose trust in the Congress and would vote and support the Congress nominee, as they had done in the last Assembly poll.

Among others, Ms Sushil Gupta, Deputy Mayor, Mr Rakesh Parashar, Mr Kailash Kapoor, Mr Rajesh Jain Kala Navkar, Mr Jasbir Singh Chadha, Mr Bhupinder Singh, Ms Malkiat Kaur, all councillors; Mr Ashok Bagga, Mr Raj Mehra, Mr Sushil Parashar, Mr Harbans Lal Talwar, Mr Walaiti Ram, Mr Vijay Sharma Novelty, Mr Gurmukh Singh, Mr Ashwani Bhasin, Mr Bal Krishan, Mr Inderjit Ajmani, Mr Pappur Chopra, Mr Johnson Gill, Master Samuel, Mr Harjit Singh, Mr Vikas Dua, Mr Pinki Arora, Mr Jasbir Singh Bitta, Mr Inderjit Singh Manga, Mr Sat Pal Bhatia, Mr Kanwaljit Singh Bobby and Mr Arun Jaggi were present.



Akali posters play up Tohra’s pictures
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
The Shiromani Akali Dal has launched a new poster prominently featuring late SGPC President Gurcharan Singh Tohra. These posters are being pasted across the state obviously with a view to encash the sympathy factor in the aftermath of the death of the veteran Akali leader.

Interestingly, the posters earlier pasted by the party did not figure Mr Tohra’s picture in such prominence. However, the party posters did carry the picture of Mr Tohra when the youth wing of the party organised a rally near Ludhiana. Later the posters only featured the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Akali Dal chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal and the local candidate Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon. Some posters also carried the picture of Mr Sukhbir Badal as well.

The supporters of Mr Tohra, however, do not appear to be too pleased with the new poster. A senior leader, who was considered to be too close to Mr Tohra pointed out that the purpose of these posters was too obvious. He said: “Let us hope that everybody means as much respect to Mr Tohra as the poster seeks to project”.

However, one of the supporters of Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, the Akali candidate from Ludhiana asserted that there was nothing new in these posters. He said Mr Tohra was one of the most respected leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal and he occupied top place in the Akali hierarchy. He observed that too much was being read in these posters. This is not fair, he claimed, while adding that Mr Tohra’s picture has always been extensively used by the party at all times, particularly during the elections.



Make children follow road safety rules

EACH year road traffic accidents take the lives of almost 1.2 million persons around the world and seriously injure millions more. The World Health Day 2004 aims to raise awareness of road safety. This year the focus is on road safety, with a particular emphasis on vulnerable road users — bicycles, mopeds, riders of motor cycles, and pedestrians. To avoid road accident, follow these steps:

Your children always need help of adults to keep them safe because they are not able to understand what “safety” means and what will keep them “safe”.

They are small and difficult for drivers to see in busy traffic. Sometimes, they have a short attention span and are easily distracted. They don’t always do what we expect them to do. Many do not make full use of their side vision. They are not able to cope with sudden changes in road traffic than adults. They also have difficulty judging speed and distance, and identifying where sounds are coming from. Young children need adult support. Wherever you are on a quiet road or busy one, in a car park or on a footpath, hold each child’s hand securely.

Give lots of positive feedback and encouragement when children hold your hand. If an adult’s hand is not available, help children hold on to a pram, your bag or clothing.

Children may be able to tell you how to cross the road but this does not mean they have the skills and understanding to cross safely without adult’s supervision.

Be a safe role model yourself and talk with the children in your care about all the things you do to keep safe.

One of the foremost rules of the road to teach your children is “stop, look and listen.”

Don’t let children walk alone at night.

When walking on roads without sidewalks, always walk on side of the road facing traffic and as close to the edge as possible.

Children under nine should not walk alone. Come to a complete stop at all stop signs and obey road signs . Never cross railroad tracks when signals are flashing or you hear train whistle. Always look both ways and exercise caution when crossing at a cross walk or intersection. It is important to not just look at the cars stopped at the intersection but any approaching vehicles and cyclists as well. For safety, use seat belt.

Dr Anil Dheer



Employee bodies gear up for April 24 rally
Kuldip Bhatia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
The Punjab Mulazam Sangharsh Committee, a representative body of organisations of government employees, is gearing up to hold a state-level rally at Patiala to focus on the failure of the Congress government in fulfilling its poll promises.

Addressing a meeting of the Punjab Subordinate Services Federation (Dhillon Group) here today, trade union activists reviewed the preparedness for the proposed rally and assigned specific duties to office-bearers of the associations, represented in the committee. According to Mr Harbhajan Singh, convener of the committee, speakers criticised the government for denying time scale of 4-9-14 years, fixed medical allowance of Rs 500, outstanding bonus for 6 years and hike of uniform allowance and fresh recruitment.

Functionaries of the employees’ bodies also attacked the government for handing over six important departments to panchayats. The meeting noted that the agitation, commenced by kin of deceased employees demanding recruitment on compassionate grounds, had had the desired effect and a positive response in the form issuance of immediate appointment letters to the eligible family members was awaited from the government. The decision of the government to close the treasury offices on March 31 was condemned because a large number of pending bills, particularly those of class IV employees, could not be cleared.

Prominent among those who addressed the meeting were Mr Sampuran Singh Garcha, Mr Nirbahi Singh, Mr Karam Singh, Mr Vijay Kumar, Mr Avtar Singh Gill, Mr Himmat Kumar, Mr Harpal Singh, Ms Veena Sachdev, Mr Ajit Singh, Mr Kewal Singh, Mr Mohan Singh, Mr Sukhwinder Singh, Mr Major Singh and Mr Pardeep Kumar.

Meanwhile, the Daily Paid Labour Union of Punjab Agricultural University has threatened to hold rallies and observe a hunger strike on April 20 and 21 at the university’s main gate if justice was not given to daily paid workers in the PAU. The union has taken strong exception to the retrenchment of several daily paid workers, employed at water supply, who had put in service ranging between 8 and 10 years.

Speaking at a meeting of the executive committee of the union, its president, Mr Gurdip Chand, further alleged that workers were being exploited by the PAU authorities in violation of the government rules and established norms. He said against the minimum wages of Rs 2,592 at the rate of Rs 86.40, fixed by the district administration, the PAU was paying only Rs 1,782, that too in an erratic manner. Further, despite instructions from the state government, the PAU management had not regularised any of the daily paid workers.

The PWD Field and Workshop Workers Union has also expressed solidarity with the daily paid workers of the PAU.



12 shanties gutted
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
A fire broke out in a slum cluster inhabited by rag-pickers near New Sabzi Mandi last night destroying over 10 shanties.
According to information a couple had bought an LPG cylinder and stove for the first time. Since the housewife knew little about handling the gas cyclinder the fire broke out on lighting the stove.

The bewildered woman ran out of the shanty along with her five children. Soon a blast followed and the fire spread rapidly to adjoining shanties. Inhabitants of the cluster also ran out on time. There was no loss to life. Four fire tenders fought the flames for more than an hour.



Three held in missing drafts case 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
The mystery surrounding 22 blank drafts that had gone missing from Indian Bank, Clock Tower here in last week of March was cleared today. The police arrested three persons who had allegedly stolen the drafts and got two of these encashed, using a novel method to dupe investors in a company.

Two persons, had come to Saffron Company to become distributors. They needed bank drafts to apply for the distributorship of the company. Two of there accused worked in the company and they knew that persons came with cash not knowing they would need drafts to deposit the amount.

As per plan, they found two persons willing to take drafts from them in order to save time. They took Rs 18,300 each from them.

Addressing a press conference here today, DSP Mohan Lal and SHO Kotwali Sandeep Sharma said the three accused — Ranjit Singh, Hasrat and Sunil Kumar — had been arrested and 20 stolen bank drafts had been recovered from their possession besides Rs 20,000 cash. The former two were the employees of the company.

The police officials said Ranjit Singh had hatched the conspiracy. He stole the drafts from the bank and then duped the two victims. A case was registered regarding the disappeared drafts on the complaint of Mr Alok Ranjan, Chief Manager of the bank.



3 booked for kidnapping girl
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
The Haibowal police has registered a case under Sections 363, 366 and 120-B of the IPC against three members of a family living in Street No. 4 of Haqiqat Nagar on the statement of Mr Baldev Singh, who lives in the same street.

The complainant had stated yesterday that Harvinder Singh, alias Vickey, his mother Baljit Kaur and sister Jaspreet Kaur had conspired and kidnapped his 16-year-old daughter Alka on March 3 and taken her to an undisclosed place.

3 killed in road mishaps: The Division No. 6 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 279, 304-A and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Tarsem Lal, a resident of New Shivaji Nagar, against Sunil Yadav, a resident of Jeewan Vihar Colony at Prithvi Raj Nagar in Jaipur district of Rajasthan.

The complainant had stated that his son, Dimple Kumar, who was an auto-driver, was waiting for passengers at Samrala Chowk on Monday afternoon when the suspect, who was driving a Tata Qualis, rammed into the auto as a result of which his son died on the spot.

The Sahnewal police registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC on the statement of Mr Ram Chand, who lives on Gurdwara Road in Karol Bagh, New Delhi, against an unknown driver of a Maruti car.

The complainant, who is a bus driver, had stated that he had parked his bus in front of Swaran Palace on Monday. When bus conductor Dinesh Kumar, who hailed from Mathura, was crossing the road, the unknown car driver hit him and fled the scene. Dinesh Kumar died on the spot, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

The Jagraon police yesterday registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC on the statement of Mr Harbhajan Singh, a resident of Sohian village, against an unknown driver.

The complainant had stated that when Darshan Singh, a resident of the same village, was going on foot near Lal Palace, the suspect hit him and sped away leaving Darshan Singh dead on the road. No arrest has been made so far.

House burgled: The Sadar police yesterday registered a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Sukhwinder Singh Bains, who lives in Aman Park on Threekay Road, against unknown person(s), who broke open the lock of his house sometime after midnight on Sunday and decamped with a VCR and cash. The police said today that it was clueless about the theft so far.

3 ‘satta’ operators held: The Model Town police, in a crackdown on ‘satta’ operators of the area, has arrested three persons and booked them separately under the Gambling Act.

The arrested persons have been identified as Kapil Sapra, a resident of Phase-I at Dugri, who was arrested from Chattar Singh Park along with Rs 460, Harmeet Singh, a resident of Sampooran Colony, who was arrested from the same park along with Rs 665 and Mangat Singh, a resident of Shimla Puri, who was arrested from near the railway line in Abdulla Pur Basti along with Rs 695. The suspects have been bailed out, the police said.



Labourer shot at
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
A migrant labourer, Arun Kumar, was shot at by two unidentified persons in the wee hours today when he was returning home from a night duty in a factory at Focal Point.
The police said the persons seem to have shot him due to some personal enmity. He suffered a bullet injury in the abdomen and is under treatment in a city hospital.



Woman found murdered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
A middle-aged woman, Manthra Devi, was found murdered in her house in Makkar Colony, near Giaspura, this evening. Her husband, who works in Hero factory, found her body in the house when he returned from work.
The throat of the woman was found slit. 



Industry skeptic about choice of candidate
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
With the countdown for the general election already having begun, the trade and industry has set its terms and conditions for extending support to parties and candidates. A cross section of industrial representatives said they still awaited a regime that could be termed “industry friendly” in true sense.

“So far we have had too much lip service and nothing practical on the ground,” remarked, Mr Harinder Bhogal of Bhogal Sons, manufacturers of bicycle and motor parts.

Industrialists said they did not expect much from the new regime but hoped that there would be some improvement. Mr Bhogal said while the vision was to make India a superpower, rules and regulations were still those of the colonial days. He said it would be difficult to keep pace with the time. During the current elections it was not the individual candidates that mattered, but agenda and vision of the party he or she represented.

Mr Raj Awasthi, Chairman, Sportking Group of Companies, was of the opinion that the best party with best leader and best vision should win. He said: “I am sure that people will make the right choice as nowadays everyone is quite aware and informed about each and every party and the candidate.” However, Mr Awasthi maintained silence over his specific choice, remarking that so many factors counted at the time of voting.

Mr Varinder Kapoor, general secretary of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, maintained that the industry had its own agenda. He said the recent experience of the industry was not at all good. He pointed out that the rising steel prices and labour problems were too recent to be forgotten. But he refused to name his culprits and said these things would certainly matter during the elections.

Mr Aneesh Dhawan, another industrialist, pointed out that a large number of factors counted at the time of elections. The parliamentary elections were fought more on national issues than on local issues. He said it would be difficult to make a choice in the city where some good candidates were in the fray. He hoped that the new regime served the interest of the industry as much as it served those of the vote banks.

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