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Woman allegedly killed for dowry
Tribune News Service

A grieving Jaswinder Kaur, mother of deceased Rimpy (inset), at Krishna Nagar
A grieving Jaswinder Kaur (left), mother of deceased Rimpy (inset), at Krishna Nagar in Ludhiana on Wednesday. — Tribune photo by Pradeep Tewari

Ludhiana, May 19
A resident of gali number 3, Krishna Nagar, Ghumar Mandi, was allegedly murdered by her in - laws for bringing insufficient dowry.
A grieving Amarjit Singh and Jaswinder Kaur told TNS that their daughter Rimpy (29) was married to Manoj Kumar in 1992. The couple lived in harmony for some years but things soured after some time. The main reason was that her in-laws demanded dowry which they were unable to fulfill. Then started the beatings and inhuman treatment, they alleged.

"We tried to intervene and on many occasions had to take our daughter back to our home in Malerkotla. But everytime Manoj or his parents would bring her back on the assurance that she would not be ill-treated. A few months would pass and things would take a turn for the worse. The couple had two sons, aged 10 and four, and they too were terrorised so that we could cough up the money, they pointed out.

Amarjit Singh said they received a call from Rimpy's in-laws at noon informing that their daughter had committed suicide. When they reached Ludhiana they saw that the body of Rimpy was lying on the floor in her bedroom and a chunni, with which she had allegedly hanged herself from a ceiling fan, lying nearby. There were bruise marks on both her wrists and it seemed that her hands had been tied behind her back when she was hanged, he alleged.

He said Manoj was running a courier outlet in Ghumar Mandi and had been asking for Rs 5 lakh to go to England. About six months ago he started pressuring Rimpy to give him a divorce so that he could marry again in the UK. This resulted in a big fight between the couple and this incident culminated in the murder, he alleged.

Relatives of the deceased also alleged that the police reached the scene after nearly an hour and only after they contacted the area DSP.

Meanwhile, the family members of Manoj claimed that she had committed suicide and had not been done to death. The father -in -law of the deceased said that he had found the body in the morning and had cut it down while the mother- in- law claimed that she had tried to revive her and had also forced some water down her throat.

The body was taken for a post mortem in the evening. The police said a case would be registered after preliminary investigations.



Four-year-old raped, murdered by neighbour 
Our Correspondent

Tara Chand, accused of raping and murdering a four-year-old girl
Tara Chand, accused of raping and murdering a four-year-old girl, at the Division No. 7 police station in Ludhiana on Wednesday. 

Parents and relatives of the girl who was raped and murdered on Tuesday night mourn her death
Parents and relatives of the girl who was raped and murdered on Tuesday night mourn her death in Ludhiana on Wednesday. — Photos by Inderjit Verma

Ludhiana, May 19
A four-year-old girl was raped and killed by Tara Chand, a drug addict, in Baba Jeewan Singh Nagar, a mohalla located along the Tajpur road, last night.Mr Narinderpal Singh, SSP, said the girl was the daughter of a rickshaw-puller, Kailash. Yesterday, she went across the road to the house of Tara Chand in the afternoon to drink cold water. Tara Chand, who was alone in the house and under the influence of liquor, raped the child. She died due to excessive loss of blood, which oozed from her mouth as well. After the child died, Tara Chand put the body in a gunny bag and hid it under the bed, probably with the intention of disposing it later in the night.

When the girl did not return till late in the evening, her parents went to the Division No. 7 police station around 9 pm to lodge a report. Taking prompt action, Sub-Inspector Gurpreet Singh, reached the spot and started investigations.

Tara Chand, who was out of the house looking for a place to dump the body, was soon nabbed by the police. He has confessed to the crime and the police has registered a case against him.

Police sources said Tara Chand was an expert mason at one time. But when he got used to consuming intoxicating pills and capsules, his life started going haywire. Soon he started staying at home while his wife, Anita, allegedly took to prostitution with his tacit consent. To facilitate her in carrying on in her newly adopted profession, the couple, about 10 years ago, sent their two sons and two daughters to stay at his ancestral house in a village near Sahnewal. After some time, when other mohalla residents objected to their immoral activities, Tara Chand continued to stay at home while Anita started going out early in the morning and returning late to avoid the wrath of neighbours.

The victim was the youngest of six children (five daughters and a son) of Kailash. The eldest daughter is married while the lone son is about eight years old.



Trustees cry foul over allotment of plots
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 19
The alleged ‘selective’ allotment of four plots in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar here by officials of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) has created a stink to the extent that even some of the trustees have questioned the decision and demanded a high-level inquiry into the affair.

The feeling that there is more to it than meets the eye gains credence from the fact that orders were issued by the then Executive Officer of the LIT on April 24 (Saturday), a holiday. Moreover, the official, who signed the allotment orders was to retire on April 30. Even though the names of allottees of the four plots of 500 sq yrd each were different, it was also established that bank drafts of the payment deposited against the reserve price of the plots were prepared from a single bank account in a particular bank.

Sources in the LIT revealed that of late, the trust had adopted a policy to charge price of the plots in residential colonies, allotted against court orders, at the minimum rates fixed by the district authorities for the purpose of registration of title deeds. But in these cases, the allotment was made at the reserve price of Rs 70 per square yards as against the market price of over Rs 5,000. The price of land was fixed at Rs 2,550 per sq yrd by the district administration. It caused a loss of around Rs 2 crore to the trust, they said.

While the LIT officials claimed that the allotment of these plots was made on the directions of the Punjab State Consumers Disputes Redressal Forum, the trustees, all of them belonging to the ruling Congress, were not prepared to believe that everything was above board in the whole affair.

Two of the five trustees observed that there were hundreds of court cases which were decided in favour of claimants and locally displaced persons (LDPs), but the trust officials did not show any interest in making allotment of plots to them. Further, if at all the state forum had issued directions in favour of the complainants, the LIT could have gone in for an appeal to the national forum and waited for its final verdict.

Feeling that their authority and powers had been undermined with the trust officials taking such major decisions behind their backs, the trustees have urged the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the Local Bodies Minister, Choudhry Jagjit Singh, to order an inquiry to bring the truth to light and to find as to how the allotments of plots was given effect when the Model Code of Conduct was in force.

The LIT Chairman, who was purportedly on leave prior to his decision to quit the post next month, was not available for comments.



Gloom in Cong camp, elation in BJP’s 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
Ms Sonia Gandhi’s refusal for primeministership has led to gloom in the Congress camp while the BJP camp feels vindicated, claiming that the pressure build up by its leaders had forced Ms Gandhi to withdraw.

Congress workers led by the secretary, Pardesh Congress Committee, Mr Parminder Mehta, performed a havan seeking divine intervention to motivate Ms Gandhi to review her decision. Leaders like district unit president Jagmohan Sharma, Ludhiana East MLA Surinder Dawer, senior vice-president of the state Youth Congress Pawan Dewan and others staged a demonstration in this regard.

The Congress leaders condemned the malicious campaign launched by the BJP leaders in this regard. Mr Dewan regretted that the BJP had resorted to such a sleazy campaign. He said the BJP was welcome to fight on ideology but resorting to personal attacks was something unprecedented.

On the other hand, BJP leaders observed that Ms Gandhi did not opt for the coveted post as she knew her limitations. Senior BJP leader and former MP Lala Lajpat Rai said Ms Gandhi had done well to withdraw from the race.

He also questioned the claims of the Congress that the party and Ms Gandhi had the mandate of the people of the country. He pointed out that the Congress had won just 145 seats of its own. 



Cong men burn Sushma, Uma’s effigies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
Congress activists today staged a dharna, urging Ms Sonia Gandhi to take over the reins of the country. They also burned effigies of BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Uma Bharti in this regard.

Activists assembled at the Clock Tower and raised slogans in favour of their leader and criticised the BJP.

Coming down heavily on the utterances of Ms Sushma Swaraj and Ms Uma Bharti, Congress leaders said they had negated the mandate of crores of people who had voted for Sonia. The leaders claimed that the stature of Ms Gandhi had risen among the world leaders after her decision.



Those who couldn’t vote

Ludhiana, May 19
The names of the following residents of Rajguru Nagar, Ludhiana, have been found missing in the voters’ list during the parliamentary election: Gurdip Singh, Darshan Singh, Sukhminder Kaur, Satwinder Kaur, Manjit Singh, Jaswinder Kaur, Jagtar Singh and Inderjit Singh, 341-C, Manjit Singh and Kirnpreet Kaur, 338-C, Chamkaur Singh and Raminder Kaur, 324-C, Darshan Singh and Kulvirkan, 400-C, Avtar Singh and Hardev Singh, 236-C, Manmohan Singh, Gurdip Singh, Jagmeet Singh and Dilraj Kaur, 298-C, Surinder Arora and Raman Arora, 299-C, Daljit Singh and Manjit Kaur, 233-C, Jasmeet Singh, Jaspreet Singh and Gurpreet Singh, 400-C, Gurdev Singh and Surinderjit Kaur, 399-C, Palwinder Singh, Surinder Kaur, Gurpret Singh and Maninderjit Kaur, 368-C, Narinder Singh, Jaswir Kaur, Parvinder Kaur, Gurjit Singh and Gurpreet Singh, 388-C, Bhupinder S. Gill, Khushwant S. Gill, Baljinder Kaur and Mandeep Kaur, 384-C, Karmanjot Kaur, Jagjeet Singh, Gurcharan Kaur and Tirath Singh, 343-C, Avtar Singh, 68-D, Rajkuamr Sethi and Sucheta Sethi, 71-D, Gurbinder Singh and Satinder Kaur, 102-D, Urmla Gupta, Sanjeev Gupta, Rachna Gupta, Anil Gupta and Geeta Gupta, 17-D, Surjit Singh Anand, Harjinder Kaur Anand and Navdeep Singh Anand, 19-D, Amarjit Singh, Surinder Kaur, Mandeep Singh, Parminderjit Kaur and Kuljasvir Singh, 289-C, Gurdarshan Singh, Gurmeet Kaur, Swaran Singh and Renu Dhaliwal, 227-C, Balbir Singh, Sukhdev Kaur and Harjit Kaur, 215-C, Ranjit Singh and Harbans Kaur, 210-C, Pritpal Singh and Tejinder Kaur, 219-C, Ravinderpal Singh, Jaswinder Kaur and Harjit Singh, 292-C, Ram Krishan, Surjit Kaur, Prabhjyoti and Chetandeep, 305-C, Baldev Krishan, Neelam, Mayawanti and Gopal Sharma, 11-D, Pardeep Kumar and Anita, 12-D, Pawan Kumar and Reena, 13-D, Malkiat Singh, Surinder Kaur, Rupinderjit Singh and Narinder Singh, 61-D, Banwari Lal Gulati, Suman Gulati, Ritika Gulati and Sunaina Gulati, 60-D, Ajit Singh and Ravinder Kaur, 16-D, Pushpinder Kaur and Asha Sharma, 182-D, Sarabjit Singh and Gurpreet Kaur, 68-D, Parminderpal Singh, Arvinder Kaur and Ramanjot Singh, 303-C, Baldev Singh and Jasmel Kaur, 302-C, Bhagwan Singh, Rajinder Singh and Balwinder Kaur, 308-C, Mohan Singh and Kuldeep Kaur, 312-C, Gurmukh Singh and Sudarshan Kaur, 235-C, Gurjit Singh and Ranjit Kaur, 311-C, Avtar Kaur, 68-D, Raj Kumar Sethi and Sucheta Sethi, 71-D, Gurbinder Singh and Satinder Kaur, 102-D, Urmla Gupta, Sanjeev Gupta, Rachna Gupta, Anil Gupta and Geeta Gupta, 17-D, Harjinder Kaur Anand and Navdeep Singh Anand, 19-D.



10-kg tumour removed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 19
Doctors of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) here have removed a 10-kg tumour from the abdomen of a 40-year-old man. The doctors said the tumour was around 20x25x40 cm in size, almost as big as a watermelon.

Mr Harinder Pal Singh of Bathinda was carrying the tumour in his abdomen for the past one and a half years. He did not know about it till 20 days earlier, when he started having pain in the abdomen. Clinical investigations and treatment at various hospitals had remained inconclusive and provided no relief.

The patient was admitted to the DMCH, where he was operated upon by Dr Satpal Singh Virk, gastro-surgeon, along with Dr Ashish Ohri and Dr Vikas Kakkar. The surgery was completed with minimal blood loss and no blood transfusion was needed. Histopathologically, the tumour was malignant mesenchymal in nature.

According to doctors, the patient had showed dramatic post-operative improvement. He was accepting food and was free of all problems.



Beware, don’t go in for spurious summer drinks
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 19
Next time you decide to buy Rooh- afza or some other reputed summer drink, make sure that you are paying for a genuine product because the city markets have been flooded with a host of spurious cool drinks. More than 2,000 bottles of a reputed summer drink, reportedly being manufactured in the city, were confiscated by the police in raids that continued till late last night.

According to information, representatives of a reputed company had approached the police along with proofs about the manufacturing of the product from the city, following which five police teams swung into action, leading to the seizures.

Among the places raided by the police was a firm located near the wholesale grocery market of Kesar Ganj, a food products company on the Pakhowal road. The manufacturing unit of this company, which is located near Daad village, was also raided and a large quantity of bottles of spurious cool drinks were seized.

Two cases of cheating and violation of the Copyright Act have been registered at the division No. 1 and 6 police stations in this regard.

According to sources, the modus operandi of these city-based manufacturer was simple. They bought emptied bottles of some product from the junk dealers and filled the same with their concoction and passed on these into the market as genuine after pasting duplicate labels on the same.

Sources further pointed out that the seizures were only a tip of the ice-berg as many more smaller units in the city were manufacturing these spurious drinks. 



Dharmendra’s barber wishes him luck
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
Septuagenarian Raj Kumar, family barber of cine star-turned-politician Dharmendra, has just one wish. He wants to trim hair of the ‘Ludhiana ka munda’ one more time before he breathes his last.

Extremely happy over the film star’s victory from the Bikaner parliamentary constituency, Raj Kumar said Dharmendra always had exceptional talent. “Being a man of the masses, he would deliver better than typical politicians could,” he said.

Raj Kumar runs a hairdressing salon in Chaura Bazar. His association with Dharmendra, once acclaimed as one of the 10 most handsome men on the earth, is not known to many from among the younger generation. But aged residents, especially shopkeepers in Chaura Bazar, are well aware of the ‘star’ status of the barber.

In the twilight of his life, Raj Kumar tries to remember as much as he can about the times when Dharmendra used to visit his salon with his father, Master Kewal Krishan. A little hard of hearing, Raj Kumar proudly points towards the chairs in his shop, which were given to him by Dharmendra. He has always been a special invitee to all family functions of the Deols.

“I had first seen him as a boy. He came here with his father and elder brother, Ajit Deol. He was always very concerned about his looks and hair style. He was a demanding customer. But he did not go to any other barber in the city,” he says.

Before attaining stardom, Dharmendra worked as a tubewell operator in Malerkotla and Ludhiana. He always frequented his shop. After making it big in Bollywood, Dharmendra did not forget his old friend and came specially to his shop to meet him.

Raj Kumar has many sweet memories of his association with the family. He, however, could not talk much because of his ill health.

The news of Dharmendra’s taking plunge into politics did came as a surprise to him, but he always knew that Dharmendra had something special in him.



Making Punjabi ‘juttis’ is his passion
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
Pahar Singh of Alamgir village has been making, rather creating, Punjabi “juttis” for the past four decades. He has inherited the art from his father. In fact, he does not even remember since when he has been making “juttis”. He has a loyal clientele of people who only wear “juttis” made by him.

Pahar Singh does not even remember his age. He seems to be in his seventies. But he keeps working seven days a week. On an average, he earns about Rs 200 per day, which he thinks is enough for him to remain independent and live a good life.

Seeing him at work is a rewarding experience. He gets so involved as if he were a maestro creating a work of art.

Making a “jutti” involves several stages. Right from cutting the leather up to the finishing and trimming at the end, he does everything himself.

Bhag Singh Gill, who has been his customer for the past two decades, said Pahar Singh would open the entire stitching of the “jutti” if he did not feel satisfied. His clients maintain that no machine can match his delicate fingers when it comes to the finishing of the product.

Like a typical artist, Pahar Singh remains quite indifferent to people. Except for a few old clients, he does not remember others, although his clientele is in hundreds. He says his aim is not to cultivate clients, but to ensure that his work is appreciated.

“What will I do with the clients if they are not satisfied with my work?” he asks. “Will they ever come to me if they do not like my ‘juttis’? They will not come...and it is my work that appeals to them”, he opines. 



Tributes paid to advocate Kaushal
Our Correspondent

Doraha, May 19
A large number of residents and local leaders yesterday offered tributes to Comrade Krishan Kumar Kaushal, advocate, who had died due to a massive heart attack recently at his native town Doraha.

Among those who paid tributes were Mr Balwinder Kumar Goel, president, District Bar Council, Comrade Jagjit Singh Lyalpuri, all-India general secretary, CPI(M), Comrade Jagjit Singh, state unit secretary, CPI(M), Comrade Lakhwinder Singh Buani, district unit secretary, CPI(M), Comrade Kartar Singh Buani, district unit secretary, CPI, Mr Tej Parkash Singh Kotli, Transport Minister, Punjab, Mrs Raj Rani, President, Municipal Council, Doraha, Mr Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill, an Akali Activist, Comrade Mangat Rai Pasala, state unit secretary, CPM.

Advocate K.K. Kaushal was 69 years of age. He was a member of the District Bar Association apart from being a member of the state secretariat of the MCP(I). He was also the founder member of the All-India Lawyers Union, Punjab. 



Readers Write
‘CJI should be given more powers’

I appreciate the concern of Mr V.N. Khare, former Chief Justice of India, regarding the helplessness of the highest judicial authority in the country in dealing with “errant” judges. He is of the opinion that the CJI is not adequately empowered to bring about discipline if some judges go astray. A recent example was the decision of 25 judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court going on mass casual leave.

The Chief Justice of India should be empowered to take action against a judge without resorting to the extreme step of impeachment. What is even more disturbing is his admission is that there is corruption in the lower level of judiciary, to which the common man is exposed everyday.

To restore the faith of people in the system, drastic steps are needed and the issues raised by Mr Khare should be taken into consideration.

Anil Sharma

Need to streamline depositing of bills

Starting the facility of depositing electricity bills at Sukhmani Society, Sarabha Nagar, was a welcome step for customers of nearby areas, who had to stand in long queues at the Fountain Chowk office for the purpose.

However, instead of relieving the burden on the customer, it has posed a bigger problem — that of getting their bills corrected. Actually, the payment received at the society office is not reported at the billing centre in time and it gets included in the subsequent bill. The customers have to get it corrected manually from the PSEB office. These bills are not accepted by the Sukhmani Society staff as they say that such bills should be deposited at the PSEB office.

The work culture at the PSEB is well-known. The bills, once corrected manually, are not corrected online, with the result that the next bill is issued, including the previous deposited amount, as arrears along with surcharges. The customer once again has to get in touch with the PSEB office.

The PSEB officials should streamline the procedure of making payments at Sukhmani Society, Sarabha Nagar, either by directly connecting to the main server at the PSEB office through local networking for updating data with the PSEB or the payment so received by the society should immediately be reported at the PSEB office well before issuing the next electricity bills.

Dr S.B. Pandhi



Mishap victim succumbs to injuries 
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, May 19
Sangeet Arora, who was injured in an accident on the GT road near the Sahnewal police station on Saturday, succumbed to his injuries last night.
Sangeet was injured after a scooter hit his motor cycle. He was admitted to the DMC Hospital at Ludhiana, where he died.

A case has been registered under sections 304-A of the IPC against the scooterist, who fled the scene after the accident.

Police remand: A bus owner and a conductor, who allegedly murdered a tempo driver on Monday, were on Wednesday remanded in police custody for two days.

The Sahnewal police had nabbed Jagdev Singh Debi, the bus owner, and Sukhwinder Singh, the conductor, on Tuesday evening. They had allegedly beaten up a tempo driver, Aait Singh, a resident of Latodana village, on the issue of picking up passengers at Kohara road, near Sahnewal. The driver died within a few minutes of being admitted to the Civil Hospital, Sahnewal.

The Sahnewal police has registered a case against the bus owner, the driver and the conductor. 



TVS launches 125-cc bike 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 19
TVS Motor Company, one of India's leading two-wheeler manufacturers, today announced the launch of TVS Victor GLX 125, a 125-cc motor cycle targeted at the executive segment. The four-stroke Victor GLX comes with variable timing intelligent (VT-i) engines and has been designed for urban customers looking for a zippy motor cycle, combining both economy and performance.

Claiming that Victor GLX 125 would turn out to be a “traffic stopper” with its dual-tone graphics in bright colours, a company spokesperson said the bike was propelled by VT-i engines, developed by TVS Motor Germany and designed to deliver a superb performance with regard to fuel efficiency and torque delivery.

“The conventional technology employed by two-wheeler engines will find it extremely difficult to match the performance of the VT-i engines,” the spokesperson said.

The other unique features of Victor GLX 125 include bigger clear lens speedometer, aircraft- style petrol tank lid, styling die cast pillion footrest and a sporty silencer in chrome with a heat shielder. The angular clear lens, dominating multi-reflector headlamp and the side-stand alarm will add to the safety of the vehicle. It will be available in dual combination colours of black-silver, black-yellow, green-silver and blue-silver and will be competitively priced at Rs 46,990 with disc brakes and Rs 43,660 with drum brakes.

The company claimed having sold 81,032 units in April, 2004, as compared to 84,747 units during the same period last year. “Scooterette sales achieved a growth of 54 per cent at 15,172 units in April, 2004, compared to 9,880 units recorded last year. 



CICU decries hike in steel prices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) said today that the recent rise in the prices of steel rods, HR coils, CR coils by Rs 5,000 M/T had again affected the engineering industry in the state. It said steel items, the basic raw material for the engineering industry falling in the medium and small-scale sectors, were at present available for Rs 32,500 MT, which had caused disparity with prices of finished products and hit the competitiveness in the local as well as international markets.

Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, president, and the executive members of the chamber have been striving for the past year to get steel prices under control, but the NDA government has failed to provide protection to the engineering industry.

Mr Pardhan urged the soon-to-be-formed government at the Centre that only those MPs should be nominated to the Rajya Sabha who were familiar with the problems of the industry.


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