L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Dera followers foil robbery; one held
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 22
Alert securitymen and followers of a dera on the outskirts of Chhappar village not only foiled a robbery last night but also arrested one of the robbers, who later turned out to be a criminal wanted in many cases by the police. The criminal, who was injured after an exchange of gunshots with followers, was overpowered by a team of the Dehlon police around midnight.

The alleged criminal, Rafiq Mohammad, alias Bruce Lee, was rushed to the Ludhiana Civil Hospital. He was booked under Sections 307, 382 and 511 of the IPC.

The incident took place just after 11 pm and the ensuing commotion and the sound of the gunfire caused panic among residents. As the news spread, a large number of devotees from Chhappar, Mandi Ahmedgarh and adjoining villages reached the spot.

The agitated followers later gathered in front of the hospital where Bruce Lee was hospitalised. They were demanding that he should be handed over to them. The mob even stoned the hospital and damaged a number of windowpanes, doors and vehicles. However, the police succeeded in pacifying the mob.

Sources in the police revealed that Bruce Lee was first seen by Jarnail Singh Fouji, a securityman at the dera. The former attacked the latter with a sharp-edged weapon but was injured when Jarnail Singh opened fire. He could not be caught despite being injured as the followers suspected he was carrying guns. The police arrested him.

The sources revealed he was a notorious criminal, whose gang was involved in several cases of robbery and snatching in the region. He was a terror among residents.

Meanwhile, Mr Bachan Lal Bansal, Civil Surgeon, visited the hospital today. Dr Krishan Pilani, SMO, has lodged a complaint to the police about the damage caused by the mob. However, no one has been named in the complaint. The police is yet to lodge an FIR.



PSHRC summons BSNL official in suicide case
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
Taking a serious note of the improper investigation by the police and Telecom Department, regarding an year-old suicide case of a local IAS aspirant, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC), Chandigarh, has ordered a fresh inquiry into the case, besides summoning an official of the BSNL office, Mani Majra.

A member of the PSHRC, Mr B.C. Rajput, has summoned Mr Paramjit Singh, DE (CMTS) to appear as a witness along with the record relating to the issue.

The parents of Ashish Hansi, who had committed suicide on February 20 last year, have been alleging that he took this extreme step due to some pressure as evident from some SMS messages received on his mobile phone.

Mr N.M. Hansi, father of Ashish, in his petition to the PSHRC had stated that he was not satisfied with the proceedings and wanted to know the person responsible for Ashish’s death.

In the fresh orders, the PSHRC has maintained that the complainant was given an opportunity to file his objections to the report submitted by the SSP, Ludhiana, that the case was of suicide and no further action was required in the same.

In his objection petition, Mr Hansi submitted that he was not given the details of calls made from 9417099995 by the department, despite his repeated requests. The PSHRC has termed his suspicion, that the owner of the phone number was involved in the death case of his son, as reasonable. The commission has summoned the record of calls made from the phone number.

Mr Hansi had been alleging that the mystery could not be solved because the BSNL authorities were claiming that the suspicious number (941709995) was of a Mobile Service Centre of the BSNL, Chandigarh. However, the identity of the person sending the messages remains hidden.

He had moved his case in the PSHRC in September last year. He had claimed that the BSNL authorities had also claimed that the number was not a subscriber number and thus no messages could be sent from the same. Mr Hansi is, however, believing strongly that the authorities were shielding some BSNL employee, who could be responsible for the death of his son.

He claimed that earlier the BSNL authorities were not providing the details of the number but when he approached the PSHRC, then only they revealed that it was the phone number of the BSNL office only.



Enterprising migrants in city
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, June 22
As this sprawling city is gradually acquiring a metropolitan character, the population of slum and roadside-dwellers is also on a steady rise.
Slums started coming at Dhandari in the wake of migrant influx which started taking place more than three decades ago. With the passage of time, the migrant population, in addition to the industry, made its presence felt in all spheres of business and self-employment. All roadside kiosks are being run by migrants.

Ludhiana being the most well-to-do city of Punjab, it remains the dream-destination of thousands of youth in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. So the influx is still on.

Slums at Dhandari, Jamalpur and other parts of the town, which have been built invariably on encroached land, are already bursting at the seams. As PUDA has recently re-demarcated all vacant plots and parks and constructed boundaries around the plots at an exorbitant cost to prevent further encroachment, more slums are not coming up on PUDA land in the Focal Point area and elsewhere in the city.

So the homeless migrants have made shanties along railway tracks leading to Dhuri, Ferozepore and Jalandhar. Then there are those who have occupied various public parks in the sabzi mandi area along the Jalandhar GT Road.

A couple of migrants, who could not find a space either in a slum or along any of the railway tracks, have chosen a canopy in the green belt along the boundary wall of the Government College for Women on the Ferozepore road for a home that has a tiny roof but no walls.

While one of them plies the rickshaw-rehra in the city, the other has to stay under the canopy to guard the possessions of the open house. The wide plank of the rickshaw-rehra serves as a bed and the canopy protects the household items from rain. One wonders whether they would put up a big tarpaulin along the college boundary wall soon due to the approaching monsoon.



Rain brings relief, problems
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 22
Pre-monsoon showers, which lashed the city on Sunday night and this morning, brought the much-awaited relief from the heat but created many problems to commuters as well.

The rain was accompanied by strong winds disrupting electricity supply. Several areas were waterlogged. Rain water accumulated under the small rail bridge in Sherpur forcing commuters make a detour via Cancer Hospital.

In other parts of the city, particularly within the old city limits, markets and residential areas were full of slush and waterlogged patches.

However, today's morning showers, which came shortly after 9 am, caught the commuters unaware. However, the showers, accompanied by a hailstorm, did not last longer than 40 minutes.



Training to operate fire-fighting system
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
A special training program was organised by the staff of Fire Department of the Municipal Corporation here today to impart training to the staff of Deputy Commissioner office and other offices situated in Mini Secretariat regarding the operation of the recently installed fire-fighting system in Mini Secretariat at Bachat Bhawan.

Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, presided over the training session, and Mr Kashmir Singh, Fire Officer, demonstrated the working of the fire extinguishers and other fire equipment. 



BKU decries CII recommendations

Ludhiana, June 22
The Bharti Kisan Union has flayed the recommendations of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for taxing agricultural income. Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, president of the outfit, said it was ironical that the CII had urged the government to levy a 15 per cent tax on income over Rs 5 lakh while no such ceiling had been reccomended for the growth of industry. TNS



Children present dance show
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 22
The Indo-British Institute of Art and Fitness presented a dance-based programme- Boogie Woogie at Friend's Regency on Sunday. Based on a TV show on one of the channels, the children displayed their dancing skills by dancing on popular dance numbers.

According to Amit Verma, one of the directors of the Institute, more than 350 children participated. He further said that the money thus collected would go towards paying the fees of needy children.


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