L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


 

Man gave ‘supari’ to kill brother
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
A gory tale of illicit relations and deceit was reportedly behind the gruesome murder of a Bihar resident, Pramod, a BSc (medical) graduate, whose body was found from Nawan Bagh area on the Punjab Agricultural University campus three days ago.

The police today claimed that the victim's own brother, Vijendra Kumar, alias Vinod, had conspired with two killers to eliminate him in order to continue his illicit relationship with the victim's wife. They had stabbed the victim 26 times. Vinod had hired two labourers, Shailendra Kumar, alias Pintu, and Ramji Shukla, for Rs 20,000 each.

After allegedly committing the crime, Vinod went on to lodge an FIR against three other persons from Bihar. These persons were working as masons in the city. He alleged the accused owed him Rs 10,000 and had murdered his brother who had gone to get the money.

‘‘The complainant in the case has turned out to be the prime accused,’’ announced SP (City-I) Mandeep Singh and Sarabha Nagar DSP Ravcharan Singh Brar in a press conference here today.

They said Vinod weaved a conspiracy after Pramod found some love letters that were exchanged between his wife and his brother. Pramod had come to Ludhiana to help his brother in his business and was awaiting the result of a recruitment test.

On the evening of July 26, Pintu and the other youth took the agitated Pramod Kumar to an orchard in the interiors of the PAU campus. Vinod was also there. All of them surrounded the victim and stabbed him all over his body. Pintu was also injured when he was accidentally stabbed in the thigh by a co-accused in the struggle.

The family was well-educated. Pramod was a science graduate and was preparing for Civil Services examination. His wife was also a graduate. Vinod had studied up to higher secondary level.

SP Mandeep Singh said a team led by DSP Ravcharan Singh Brar, Sarabha Nagar SHO Pawanjit Singh and ASI Rajinder Kumar cracked the case after finding chinks in the FIR got registered by the accused.

They raided the house of the complainant-turned-accused and found love letters that led to the motive behind the murder. Vinod and Pintu were arrested, while Ramji Shukla was absconding.

Vinod, who was presented before mediapersons, looked quite remorseful. His head was shaved off at the death of his brother, ‘‘I am a sinner. I have committed a grave crime,’’ he said.

Mr Mandeep Singh said there was no evidence of Pramod's wife being involved in the conspiracy so far and no offence had been made out against her.

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Cinema sealed for showing porno film
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
A joint team of the civil and police administration today sealed Deepak Cinema near Domoria Bridge and arrested five employees, including the manager, for screening a porno movie. It was carrying a fake certificate of the film censor board. The owner of the cinema, Mr Harmohan Singh Chhabbra, who has absconded, has also been booked. DSP Mohan Lal stated that these movies were being screened despite ban orders of District Magistrate Anurag Verma.

The police raided the cinema and confiscated the objectionable films and the equipment. It arrested the manager, Vijay Kumar, and Jaswant Singh, Ram Saran, Mohan Lal and Raj Kumar, under the Indecent Representation of Women Act and Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 292 and 293 of the IPC.

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Water, power crises give farmers sleepless nights
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
Farmers in the district are having sleepless nights on account of delay in rain, shortage of irrigation water, inadequate and erratic power supply that has caused the drying up of their fields.

The paddy crop that has been transplanted recently in the region requiring heavy irrigation is standing virtually without a drop of water in many fields. The scenario is so bad that the patches of parched land are visible in the countryside in Ludhiana district.

A survey of some villages, including Mullanpur, Khanjarwal, Bassian Bet, Waraich and Kailpur revealed that the farmers were worried about the fate of their standing crop. They are even holding prayers for rain. They complained that they were bearing the brunt of the situation as the canal irrigation system could not fulfil their demands and the inadequate power supply had dashed their hopes of a good yield. They said that the irrigation water was being supplied turn-wise and the one week supply was insufficient for them.

While the weathermen have asked the farmers not to panic as the monsoon is just around the corner, the farmers are worrying about the crops. “If it rains within a week or so then it is fine otherwise we will have to suffer loss of yield, ’’ said Mr Kuldip Singh, a farmer of Bhattian Bet.

Farmers of Mullanpur Dakha said the power supply came only for six to eight hours in their village. That was not sufficient for the entire crop that needed heavy irrigation. They said that in some other villages at the tail end of supply line, the supply was even for lesser duration.

Facing shortage of water, the farmers have innovated ways and means to run their tubewells on LPG, Diesel and even bought heavy duty generators. Mr Jagdev Singh, a farmer in Mullanpur said that he had purchased a generator worth Rs 30,000, with which he was operating three motors at a time.

“I have bought 2000 litres of diesel till date by spending thousands of rupees. Now you can well imagine the cost of production of the crop in the era when we are told to reduce it in wake of the opening of international market. And when the Agriculture Cost and Production Commission will give its recommendations it will not consider the inputs in the form of spending on generators and diesel,” he rued.

Some farmers had got their engines converted from diesel to LPG. “Although this is illegal but what can we do? We have to make sure that our crop does’nt get burnt due the intense heat.”

There seem to be no good news for the farmers as the weather experts claim that monsoon would be reaching here by the end of this week. They said that the satellite pictures were showing that the monsoon would break in Delhi on July 3 or 4 and in Punjab it would be reaching by July 6-7. According to Dr Paramjit Singh Sehra, Professor and Head, Department of Agrometerology, PAU, there was nothing to panic for the farmers as the crop would pick up as soon as there are monsoon showers. He said that the farmers were facing shortage of irrigation water also due to low level of water in Bhakra dam and there was a lot of pressure on the underground water table as the paddy required a lot of water.

He said for Punjab it was normal to experience showers of rain in the first week of July. He advised the farmers not to panic under these circumstances as good monsoon was already forecasted by the experts and it would be good for farmers.

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48-hour power cut for Ludhiana industry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
Even as residents are bracing themselves for hard days with the power situation in the state becoming critical, entrepreneurs will find the going tough from today with the PSEB authorities deciding to impose a two-day weekly day cut in the district instead of 24-hour cut announced earlier.

The official line is that the water level in the dams is low and it was necessary to enforce the cuts. Sources said the board was making all out efforts to ensure that power supply to the residential areas was not disrupted for more than three to four hours in a day, but the ground reality is that people have not had a sound sleep in days. The power cut for villages is over 12 hours.

What is making the going tough for the residents is that the power cuts also casts a shadow over the water supply in the city. Since the municipal authorities do not have the machinery to run the tubewells on gensets, water supply gets interrupted following unscheduled cuts. The civic authorities are planning to take up the matter with the top brass of the board so that they could be informed about the cuts in advance to enable the former to alter their supply timings.

Officials admit that for the time being erratic water and power supply will be the norm. Similarly, power supply to the residential areas being fed by the industrial feeders will also be affected.

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It’s a matter of survival
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana: On a sultry Wednesday afternoon a child was spotted in the murky waters of the polluted Buddha Nullah near Chand cinema. At first glance it seemed as if the boy was trying to beat the heat. But a closer look revealed that the little one was retrieving pieces of junk flowing in the middle of the dark, polluted stream of water and putting these in a small plastic bag. Every now and then, the boy would dive into the water to be out of sight for a second or two before coming up with another ‘valuable’ piece of junk.

Just as the boy finished his arduous task and headed for the bank, I get down the road to meet him.

The boy, wearing a black thread around his waist, has a beautiful name, Sonu. He is hardly five and lives in the nearby slum which has come up along the boundary wall of a dilapidated park nearby. The boy is not very communicative. All he can tell is that he has two more elder brothers. But he cannot tell exactly what they or his father do for a living. Asked about the mother, a dim glimmer lights his pale eyes for just an instant. Then he turns his face away and focuses his eyes on the slow-moving stream of murky water from which he had emerged. But no words.

All the time, the child is clutching his small fortune. When I ask him to show the contents of the small plastic bag, the poor child opens it hesitantly. Inside the bag are a few broken pieces of glass and sundry junk. How much did he expect to get for the retrieved junk? Sonu is silent again. A friend of Sonu, who joins in in the meantime, says that the junk dealer would pay anything between Rs 5 to Rs 7 for it. It is his friend who tells that Sonu’s father and mother mostly stay in their shanty hut.

Further inquiries around reveal that Sonu is not the only child who has to plunge in the waters of the Buddha nullah every now and then for survival. For hundreds of deprived children living in the slums on both sides of the nullah and also far-off slums located near the Jalandhar bypass, the murky Buddha Nullah remains a precious junk-mine from which they can retrieve enough junk to eat a meal a day. Just as I trudge back to the road, I see another black child of Sonu’s age removing his dirty shorts and heading for the murky waters.

There are several social organisations in the city which extend help to widows every month in the form of ration and other items of daily use. Functions are held every month where dignitaries are invited. Plenty of money is spent on the holding of these functions. The invited dignitaries, in turn, make some donations before leaving. But there is not a single organisation which seems concerned about these deprived children.

The Nishkam Sewa Ashram at the nearby Daad village and the Inner wheel Club do help slum children. But in a different way. They give free books and so on to school going children only but nothing to children like Sonu who instead of going to a school, learn the art of diving in murky waters for survival.

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Gastro, cholera cases reported
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 1
A large number of gastroenteritis cases and one case of cholera have exposed by the local Municipal Council to check the spread of the same. Council authorities and local Health Department denied reports regarding the spread of the epidemic in the area.

The authorities at the local Hind Hospital confirmed that around 15 patients of gastroenteritis and one case of cholera were brought to the hospital last week. Besides some gastroenteritis patients, Nazir Shah, a resident of nearby Pakhowal village was undergoing treatment for cholera. Mr Sumit Hind, attending to the cholera patient, said he was brought in an unconscious condition to hospital.

Dr Krishan Pilani, in charge, Civil Hospital, denied the report and maintained that investigations by private pathological laboratories could not be relied upon. However, he said that the department would get the patient examined.

Sources at the local Municipal Council confirmed the report but maintained that patient belonged to a nearby village falling under Ludhiana district. Meanwhile, leaders at some social organisations criticised the ‘pathetic role’ of municipal authorities towards maintenance and sanitation in the town.

Mr Vaisakha, president of the Maha Sudhar Committeee of Ward no 4, alleged that decaying litter lying in the open was posing a threat to the health of people of the area. Mr Yaseen Mohammad, a councillor, admitted that the condition had deteriorated due to the ongoing factionalism in the council.

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Ludhiana to have full-fledged airport 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
Ludhiana will soon be having a full-fledged airport. It will be operational by 2006. Disclosing this here today, Mr Manish Tewari, a former President of the Indian Youth Congress, who unsuccessfully contested the last Lok Sabha election from Ludhiana said that the Union Civil Aviation Ministry had agreed to the proposal in principle.

Mr Tewari disclosed that during his campaign he had promised to the people of the city that he would endeavour and work hard to ensure that Ludhiana got a full- fledged airport of its own. The one at Sahnewal lacked facilities and could not be termed a complete and full-fledged airport, Mr Tewari pointed out.

The Congress leader disclosed that yesterday a delegation of state leaders led by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh and comprising several ministers from Ludhiana and Jalandhar met the Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Mr Praful Patel and brought to his notice the urgency of a civil airport at Ludhiana. Mr Tewari said, Mr Patel was convinced that Ludhiana being centrally located was ideally set for a civil airport which could benefit the people of the entire state.

Mr Tewari said the government had already identified and suggested a place at Ladowal near Phillaur. He pointed out, Ludhiana was almost at the centre of the state with most places remaining equidistant from here. And airport in Ludhiana would serve the purpose of the entire state.

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DIG holds police-public meeting
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 1
Mr Prag Jain, DIG Ludhiana range, held a police-public meeting in the Police Lines here today. He heard problems of the public and expressed his views on various issues.

He was accompanied by Mr Rajiv Ahir, SSP, Mr Gurmit Singh, SDM, Jagraon, Mr Bhupinder Singh, SDM, Raikot, and other police officials. . He inspected various wings of the Police Lines. It was followed by a police-public meeting, which was attended by both SDMs, Mr Gurdeep Singh Bhaini ex-MLA, Mr Jarnail Singh Dhaliwal, SP (HQ), Mr H.S. Brar, DSP, Raikot, Mr Prem Inder Goga, President of the Nagar Council, Dakha, Mr Jagan Nath, former BDPO, Mr Ramesh Kumar Kaura, Mr Mewa Singh, Mr Apar Singh, former president of the Lions Club, Mr Kirpal Singh Hans and Vaid Nasib Chand.

Mr Jain was informed about the rising number of accidents on the roads, unchecked opening of liquor vends along the GT Road, delay in removing vehicles involved accidents and increasing drug addiction.

Mr Jain said residents of Jagraon were very cooperative and it was an encouragement to the police to do its best for the public. Regarding the provision of crane for removing vehicles involved in accidents, he asked Mr Rajiv Ahir to write to the DGP, Punjab. He said he would strongly recommend the case.

He asked police officials to check the menace of alcohol on the GT Road. He asked them to take stern action against the violators and those indulging in overspeeding. He stressed the need for the implementation of traffic rules. He stressed the need to check speed, consulting the police before finalising road projects and educating people on traffic rules.

Regarding duping of people by the travel agents, he said the craze to go abroad had created such travel agencies. This craze should be eradicated, he added.

As regards drug addicts, he advised parents to be vigilant. He also stressed the need to bring transparency in the working of the police. After the police-public meeting, Mr Jain, Mr Ahir and others planted saplings.

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Probe sought against revenue officials
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 1
Charging a kanungo of the Dakha area and a patwari of Birmi village in the district with intentionally misplacing certain documents and failing to carry out the orders of their seniors, a city resident, Mr Sham Singh, has demanded a departmental action as well as registration of a criminal case against the two.

In a representation submitted to the Financial Commissioner, Revenue and Rehabilitation, Punjab, the complainant alleged that an application to correct a revenue record, pertaining to land measuring 269 kanal 7 marlas in Birmi village, was forwarded to Mr Surinderpal Singh, kanungo, along with other relevant documents. A similar application for entry of orders of Financial Commissioner, Revenue, Punjab, submitted to Naib Tehsildar, Mullanpur, was also forwarded to the kanungo.

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Women get wet in sawan spirit
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 1
Members of the Astha Ladies Club today celebrated the spirit of sawan with rainbow-colour umbrellas. The women celebrated the month of rains not in the traditional style but in western style. Dancing in the artificial rain, wearing raincoats, gum boots and carrying umbrellas, the members had fun.

They also played games and danced to songs on the theme of sawan. Getting drenched in the spirit of the month the women also sang songs and had a ball.

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Monitor lizard rescued
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
A monitor lizard, protected under Schedule-II of the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972, strayed into a house in Kitchlu Nagar.
It was rescued by a team of wildlife officials and members of the People For Animals. The reptile, known as ‘Goh’ was spotted by Mr Vipan Jain in the lawn of his house in the morning. When he tried to chase it, it crept into a rainwater pipe. Unable to do anything, Mr Jain called up Mr Sandeep Jain, president of the PFA.

The rescue team captured the reptile with the help of a gunny bag and it was taken to the PFA hospital in Khwajeke village. Dr Jain said the monitor lizard was about three feet long, scaly, greenish grey and feeds on insects and termites.

It lives in burrows and is hunted by some nomadic tribes for its meat. In old times it was used by thieves to scale walls. Trained reptiles tied with a rope, were thrown on the top of a wall which they gripped strongly, he said.

Dr Jain said it would be released in some forest after a nod from officials of the Forest Department.

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TSU holds protest rally
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 1
The Technical Services Union and Employees Federation, Punjab State Electricity Board (Rural Circle), Ludhiana, held a protest rally in front of the suburban office against the illegal transfer of an active worker of the union, Karnail Singh.

Various other organisations also participated in the rally. Addressing the gathering, Mr Hakam Singh Galib, circle committee members of the union, condemned the SDO and the Executive Engineer, Jagraon, for proceeding against the union member. 

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Man untraceable
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
A 27-year-old youth, Manohar Singh, has been missing from his residence at street No. 5, Janakpuri, for the past four months.
A lottery vendor, Manohar Singh, had left his house in the morning four months ago but did not return. His sister Surinder Kaur said he was feeling upset on account of suffering losses in business and had a brawl with a neighbour on the previous evening of his disappearance.

Surinder said she had complained to the Division No. 6 police and a case had been registered in this regard. She said the family had inquired from all relatives and had even visited various religious places he used to visit but in vain. 

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Waive anti-dumping duty, say spinners
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 1
The Ludhiana Spinners Association has made an plea to the Union Government to waive off anti-dumping duty on acrylic fibre, slash customs duty of 20 per cent on a par with other neighbouring countries, revise excise duty rates on raw wool, exempt small and unorganised sector of hosiery and garment industry from levy of excise duty and curb the import of cheap goods of Chinese-origin in order to save the industrial economy from an imminent collapse.

In a memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister, copies of which have been forwarded to the Union Ministries of Finance, Commerce and Textile and Chairman of the Central Board of Excise and Customs, the LSA secretary, Mr Prem Garg, pointed out that the discriminatory policies of acrylic fibre manufacturers had hit the domestic industry hard and at the same time, the government exchequer was also being cheated. Fibre manufacturers were exporting their products at global rates whereas the domestic market was being forced to pay customs duty at the rate of 20 per cent, which was imposed to discourage and restrict import of acrylic fibre.

The association further said apparel raw wool was a costly input for woolen and worsted segment of industry. The intermediary products like wool top and woolen yarn attracted heavy rate of excise duty, both on input cost as well as value addition without any set off. Such a heavy burden was neither conducive to demand growth nor desirable from compliance angle and needed to be done away with.

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Residents should help in city’s development: expert
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
Ludhiana can have world-class civic infrastructure by spending Rs 1,831 crore. And this amount can be raised if residents contribute Rs 60 every month for a year.
Making these revelations at a seminar on public-private funding for infrastructure development organised by the Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) here last night, Mr Pradeep Singh, president and CEO of IL&FS, emphasised the need for private funding for the infrastructure development. This can be achieved by proper project planning and financial engineering, he explained.

In his keynote address he advocated the cause for partnership between government bodies and people in infrastructure projects in the changed socio-economic scenario. He went on to answer questions as to why some type of partnerships work and why some do not, how can the government help design, develop, fund and implement plans that are economically sustainable over a period of time, etc.

"A closer alliance between various parties involved in infrastructure development will provide the opportunity to share views on perceived risks, development of legislative and regulatory environments which support private investment, project-funding packages, project formulation and the means to reduce project preparation and gestation periods," Mr Pradeep Singh added.

He explained as to how people could take benefit of the government grants for infrastructure which were available if a SPV(special purpose vehicle) was formed in which major funding was done by the government and the management of such an infrastructure was in the hands of private individuals.

Earlier speaking on the occasion, Mr V.K. Goyal, general secretary, LMA, said it was not that the private sector was the remedy of all ills. It is true that private investment in infrastructure has improved the quality of life but certain disasters like the Brazilian electricity crisis of 2001-2002, the bankruptcy of Britain's private railway company in 2000, power contract disputes in Indonesia and Pakistan show that in certain cases things have gone too far and too fast. These concerns have led to a renewed interest in developing new models that combine the relative strength of both public and private sectors.

Mr M.C. Munjal in his presidential remarks said the government was finding it increasingly difficult to channelise money in the infrastructure projects because of non-accountability and misappropriation of the capital invested.

Mr Ajay Virmani thanked Mr Pardeep Singh on behalf of the LMA. The meeting was attended by more than 300 members of the association. 

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