L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


SAD leader booked for luring voters with drugs
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 4
The Dehlon police has booked a former sarpanch and SAD leader for allegedly alluring voters with the promise of supplying drugs and narcotics and conspiring to capture polling booths on the day of polling.

The accused, on the other hand, blamed local Congress leaders of using the police as a tool to pressurise Akali workers and leaders.

Mr Shaminder Singh Dhillon, SHO, Dehlon, said Mr Isher Singh, former Sarpanch of Dhulkote village, was booked under Sections 107 and 51 of the IPC and produced in a court.

The police had received information that the accused, who had already been booked under NDPS Act, was trying to allure voters with drugs and narcotics. “He promised them to provide narcotics for supplying to those persons who would vote for Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, SAD candidate from Ludhiana. The accused also conspired to capture booths on the polling day.

However, Mr Isher Singh said he was a law abiding citizen and the police had implicated him in a false case. Congress leaders had been harassing him since the formation of the present state government, he alleged.

Terming it as a case of political victimisation, he said he was first detained by the police in his house for two days and then taken to the police station, where he was booked in a false case.

Ms Sinder Kaur, wife of Mr Isher Singh, said she had brought the matter to the notice of the Election Commission, but no acton had yet been taken against the erring cops.

Mr Mann Singh Garcha, senior vice-president of the SAD, said, “Both the police and the civil administration have been trying to please Congress leaders. When I apprised the SSP, Jagraon, of the situation on May 1, he asked me to contact him later. The DC, Ludhiana, did not responded to my telephone call even.”

Meanwhile, in an appeal issued here today, SAD-BJP candidate Sharanjit Singh Dhillon said there were reports that some candidates were luring voters by offering liquor and intoxicants. He urged them not to fall prey to such allurements. He said the Shiromani Akali Dal had never distributed intoxicants and in these elections, too, it would not deviate from that policy.



Poll referendum on Congress rule: Sukhbir
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, May 4.
The forthcoming parliamentary elections are being viewed as a referendum on the acceptability of the Congress government in Punjab. The May 13 results will decide whether Captain Amarinder Singh continues as the Chief Minister of the state or not. This was repeatedly stated by former minister and Rajya Sabha member, Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal while addressing several rallies in the Fardikot and Ludhiana parliamentary segments on Tuesday.

While in Faridkot and Moga, Mr. Sukhbir Badal sought votes for himself, but in Jagraon, Dakha and Doraha he spoke on behalf of his protégé and Akali-BJP nominee for the Ludhiana parliamentary seat, Mr. Sharanjit Singh Dhillon. He announced that the Akali-BJP alliance would abolish 'mamla' (revenue tax) and house tax.



4 held for defacing public property
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 4
The police yesterday arrested four persons and booked them under the Prevention of Public Property Defacement Act, 1997, for pasting posters of Shiromani Akali Dal Lok Sabha candidate Sharanjit Singh Dhillon.

Those arrested were identified as Mithu, Raman Kumar and Sandeep Kumar, residents of Prem Nagar in Ghumar Mandi, and Baljinder Singh, resident of street number 4 of Vishwakarma Town. The accused were nabbed this morning on the spot while they were pasting posters of the candidate on a government building and electric poles in the area.

This is the second instance when some persons have been arrested for pasting posters of a Lok Sabha candidate on government buildings. Earlier, two persons were arrested for pasting posters of an Independent candidate.



Shatrughan Sinha in city today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
Senior BJP leader and cinestar Shatrughan Sinha will be in city tomorrow to address rallies in support of the SAD-BJP candidate Sharanjit Singh Dhillon.
Mr Sinha will address a public rally in Sunder Nagar, near the Jodhewal basti. The area is largely inhabited by migrant workers.



Bank employees resent election duty
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 4
The Indian National Bank Employees Congress (INBEC), besides other trade unions, have urged the state government to review the decision to assign election duty to bank employees.

In a joint statement, Mr K. R. Tripathi, and Mr Shiv Gupta, president and deputy general secretary of INBEC, respectively, and Mr Sunder Lal Mehta, vice-chairman of the PPCC Labour and Employment Cell, said besides creating resentment among the bank employees, their assigning of poll duty would hamper customer service in banks. Since most of the bank staff had been assigned election duty, it would affect the everyday working of the banks.

The president of the National Forum for Consumer Rights, Dr Ajay Shahi, and president of the National Consumers Awareness Group unit, Mr M. P. Singh Gogia, has brought the matter to the notice of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the Chief Secretary.

They said with the introduction of electronic voting machines (EVMs), the sorting of ballot papers and counting had been done away with, so bank employees should be exempted election duty.

The INBEC and other bodies further said sufficient staff was available with the Punjab Government, including a number of employees with municipalities, market committees, state government undertakings, corporation and boards, as well as the Central Government staff, who could be detailed for election duty at various polling stations.

Mr Tripathi said if the government failed to exempt bank employees from poll duty, they might boycott Congress candidates throughout the state.



‘Sada-e-Sarhad’ hits car, one injured
Tribune Reporters

Darshan SinghDoraha, May 4
The Lahore-Delhi bus was delayed for several hours here today when the Pakistan Tourism bus collided with an Indica car at the toll barrier this afternoon. One person was injured in the accident.

Mr Darshan Singh, a supervisor with the toll company, was seriously injured when the bus hit him after the collision. Twenty-six passengers aboard the bus, and five in the car, however, escaped unhurt.

The accident took place around 2.45 pm when the car (DL4CM-5923), in which a family from Amritsar was travelling towards Delhi, changed lane suddenly and turned towards booth No. 4 of the barrier.

It seemed the car driver was trying to save toll. There is no toll for ‘Sada-e-Sarhad’ bus and the gates are kept open for it to zoom past the barrier. It always travels at a high speed and other vehicles following it closely also manage to cross the barrier without paying anything.

The booth No. 4 was kept open for the bus and the move by the driver of the Indica car surprised every one. There was, however, no time to react as a pilot gypsy with the bus had just crossed the barrier. The bus driver, Mohammed Khalil, had to swerve to the right when he came close to the car.

He, however, could not avoid hitting the car and after the collision the bus went out of control, threw away the supervisor, and hit an electricity pole after climbing the central verge of the road. The bus came to a halt after hitting the pole, otherwise it would have been a grave tragedy.

The bus driver blamed the car driver saying he suddenly came in the way and he had to change course suddenly.

The officials of the toll tax barrier, however, said the bus driver was at fault. “They always travel at high speed. The bus was involved in an accident earlier also at the toll barrier because of the high speed,” they said.

The bus, however, could not resume journey as its engine and the oil tank were damaged. The passengers were escorted to a McDonald outlet near the barrier. One of the passengers, Shahid Ashraf, thanked the almighty for escaping unhurt. “ It was close,” he said.

The passengers were, however, enjoying their short trip to the place. “It is an opportunity for us to interact with local people. Normally the journey is boring as the bus halts for few minutes only at two places en route to Delhi. But now we have got a long stay,” they said.

The district administration and the Khanna police arranged a luxury bus for the passengers that left for Delhi around 6 pm.



She needs help from philanthropists
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 4
Life has become a burden for Mr Yograj, with the responsibilities of three daughters, an ailing wife and a meagre salary. His wife Chanchal Rani, developed pain in her left kidney a few months back. After going to many local physicians, pain developed in her right kidney too. Both her kidneys were blocked.

The family approached the Christian Medical College and Hospital for consultation. The doctors there presented them the real picture. since then, she was being treated at the hospital for obstructive uropathy, chronic renal failure and bilateral ureteric calculi. She had undergone three endo-urological procedures and her renal functioning had improved after that. Doctors maintained that she needed another endo-urological procedure to be fully cured.

Till then, she would continue to be on repeated dialysis. The doctors claimed that they had performed all three operations at concessional charges. Still she is in need of Rs 1,25,000.

“It is not possible for me to collect such a huge amount. The city has no dearth of philanthropists, who can come to my rescue. I have faith in God. I have to look after my three daughters ”, said Mr Yograj.

All those who wish to help Chanchal Rani can contact the Medical Superintendent’s office or the Department of Paediatric Surgery. All payments should be made in favour of Christian Medical College and Hospital with “Treatment of Chanchal Rani” written on the reverse.




The dream of a significant population of migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in the industrial capital of Punjab to lord over the ‘peends’ and ‘pailies’ seems to have evaporated in thin air if the sheer opportunism and mercurial behaviour of the recently formed Poorvanchal Vikas Party (PVP) is any indication. After giving high hopes of providing meaningful representation to lakhs of natives of UP and Bihar, settled here, the party has undergone a vertical split. While the PVP candidate in fray for the Lok Sabha seat, Dr Janaradan Singh, though still in the reckoning, appears to be going soft towards Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, the Lok Bhalai Party supremo, Mr T.R. Mishra, chairman, and Mr J.R. Mishra, general secretary of the PVP, have officially stated that their party would extend its full support to the Congress. So much for the Poorvanchal unity!

Aya Rams, Gaya Rams

Much to the delight of people in general and heart burning among loyal and dedicated workers of all political parties, the defectors, scornfully known as ‘Aya Rams and Gaya Rams’, hog the limelight, particularly during poll time. Each and every party makes a bid to woo activists, and at times, even non-entities from among the ranks of its political rivals. For a short while, the defectors assume the status of a minor celebrity and are credited with giving a ‘big jolt’ to the party that they leave. It is, however, an altogether different matter that more often than not, the party that they originally belonged too, disowns them.

School dropout

The other day a school boy, who went missing from Partap Nagar area, here created panic when he did not return home from school till late evening. His parents and neighbours went all around the city to find him but to no avail. When after five hours they could not get any clue and they were thinking of informing the police, the boy was brought home by one of his father’s friend who found him walking alongside the Buddha nullah. When the boy was asked what had happened to him he could not resist but tell the reason that he did not want to go to school and went missing. The hapless mother, who was shaken with the incident could not say anything but keep looking at him with a surprise.

No gratitude

A local resident who had gone to Sutlej river was exasperated to find some letters dumped in the river. Thinking that the letters were not delivered by the postman, the man, disappointed with the great postal services, decided to teach the postman a lesson. Immediately, he called up a journo to show the undelivered letters to him. The journo, excited to find a story, reached the house of the addressee. Thinking that he would be too happy at finding the letters, the journo was horrified at the response of the man, who said, “You have brought them again? I had dumped them in the river since another man had brought them from the garbage bin.”

Hearing aid

Two elderly women were waiting for a bus at Mullanpur Dakha bus stand when they saw a young man, dressed in his best, talking to somebody over his mobile phone. Since he was not carrying a handset and had a earphone instead, the old women kept observing him for a long time. Every other minute he was receiving a phone and talking. One woman could not hold herself back and told the other woman, ‘‘Kinna sohna munda hai par vichare de kann khraab han te kamleyan di taran ape he gallan kari janda hai,’’ (Poor boy! He is such a handsome man, but has a hearing aid and is talking to himself like a lunatic).

Cut fruit

Even as the District Magistrate has banned the sale of cut fruits and other such edibles in the city, these are being sold in the city openly in contravention of the ban orders. The entire city is dotted with such kiosks selling the edibles right under the nose of the Health Department authorities, who prefer to ignore their presence. Though a number of times they have seized the kiosks they come back after few hours. Till a solution is found for this problem, the diseases spread due to contamination of food items would continue to affect humans.

Teddy bear

A colleague’s servant was walking his dog one evening. The dog was running here and there and soon it took the servant to a far away place which was not effectively lit. Suddenly the servant saw a big red teddy bear in the ground. Feeling too happy at finding the soft toy, he tried to pick it up from its head only to be scared away by a shriek. Thinking it was some ghost, the servant started running with the dog only to be followed by some residents of the area who caught him up and started beating him. Much to his surprise, what looked like a teddy bear was a girl and her parents had thought him to be an abductor. He was spared only after the colleague intervened and told the parents the reason behind the entire episode.

Election fever

Election fever is on in the city. It has not even spared the children who are canvassing for various candidates in the city. Many children are seen donning caps, carrying the symbols of political parties and flags to advertise their candidature. These children have become a part of almost all the rallies. The fact that they get special attention from the press photographers encourages them all the more to attend such rallies. — Sentinel



Drive against communal forces tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 4
As part of a road campaign to motivate voters to defeat communal forces, a group of students from all over India under the banner of “Meri Awaaz Suno-Youth Aman Karwan” will visit the city on May 6 .

The youth in the age group of 16 to 21 will be here on the invitation of Media Artists, and will interact with a cross section of people in a programme to be held at Punjabi Bhavan. The team also includes four students from the worst-hit areas during riots in Gujarat and will share their experiences. Members of the group will also speak about the physical and mental assault on them by hooligans in Baroda during the tour. They will also talk about an incident in Andhra Pradesh, where they were stopped during a press conference.

The Youth Aman Karwan is an off-shoot of ‘Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD)’, a New-Delhi based organisation comprising leading human right activists including Shabnam Hashmi, sister of late Safdar Hashmi, who lost his life to communal forces.

Veteran actress Zohra Sehgal and educationist Rajni Kumar had flagged off the peace march from New Delhi on April 7, which has since visited Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, covering more than 30 cities.

Welcoming the group to Punjab on May 6, many eminent persons from different fields including Prof Gurdial Singh, Dr S.S. Noor, Dr Surjit Patar, Prof Atamjit, Neelam Mann Singh, Bhagwant Mann, Shamsheel and Kewal Dhaliwal will express their solidarity with the initiative taken by the youngsters.



Scooterist injured in mishap dies
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 4
The police yesterday registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC on the statement of Ms Geeta, a migrant from Uttar Pradesh, now living in Kuilawal village, against an unidentified scooterist. She stated that the accused had rammed his scooter into the scooter being driven by her husband on Sunday, following which he was admitted to the Civil Hospital in a critical condition, where he died on Monday.

Cases of assault: The police yesterday registered a case under Sections 452,323,506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Avtar Singh, living in Durga Puri at Haibowal Kalan, against Mohit Kumar and Reeta Sharma, residents of the same locality. The complainant alleged that the accused came to his house on April 29 , beat him up and threatened him.

The police yesterday registered a case under Sections 452,323 and 506 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Hardeep Singh, living in street number 6 of Arjan Nagar on Radha Soami Road, against Chanchal Singh, living in street number 5 of Shimla Puri. The complainant stated that the accused came to his house on Sunday, beat him up and threatened him.

Woman injured: The police yesterday registered a case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Radha Devi, resident of Rai Chak village in Bhagwan Ganj district of Bihar, now living in Nirankari Mohalla, against an unidentified driver of a three-wheeler. She stated that the accused hit her and her husband on the GT Road near the Manju Cinema on Sunday evening and sped away, following which she was admitted to a hospital.

Missing truck case: The police yesterday registered a case under Section 407 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Gurbax Singh, resident of Ghulabi Bagh on Dugan Road, against Manoj Rai, resident of Alipur in West Bengal. The complainant said he had employed the accused as driver for his truck.

He had sent him with a consignment of machinery to Kolkata, but neither did he reach the destination, nor did he come back. The complainant further stated that the accused had run away with the consignment as well as the truck. 



Two held

Ludhiana: Gulzar Singh and Raj Kumar were held and 42 bottles of liquor were seized from them here yesterday. — TNS


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