L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Councillor booked for ‘attacking’ MC officials
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
An Akali Dal Municipal Councillor, Ward No 36, Mr Rajinder Singh Bhatia, was booked by the Sarabha Nagar police for allegedly manhandling some officials of the local Municipal Corporation at its Zone-D office here this afternoon.

The councillor, however, claimed that it was he who was beaten up without any provocation by MC officials, as he had “dared to expose their corruption”. He has also filed a complaint against the MC officials. The police was yet to register a case on his complaint.

SI Pawanjit Singh, Sarabha Nagar SHO, said the police had booked the councillor for manhandling and obstructing the duty of a government servant on the complaint of MC inspectors Manjinder Singh and Charanjit Singh.

He said the police had registered the case on the basis of the prima facie evidence and was investigating the complaint of the councillor. He said at most a case under Section 323 (simple beating not leading to grievous hurt), IPC, could be lodged against the officials. The councillor got a medical examination report from the Civil Hospital, showing his injuries, and submitted it to the police.

The incident took place when Mr Bhatia went to the Zone-D office to take up the case of a grocery merchant of Abdullahpur Basti who was challaned by the MC for allegedly running the shop without proper permission.

He had a heated argument with the two MC inspectors, Manjinder Singh and Charanjit Singh. The officials were defending their action and the councillor was accusing them of falsely implicating the merchant for some “gratification”.

The argument became bitter and they allegedly exchanged blows.

Different version of the parties surfaced after the incident. Mr Bhatia claimed that he was overpowered by the officials and other employees and given a thrashing. He also alleged that his clothes were torn. He said he had to run out of the office to save himself.

The MC officials however claimed that the councillor had beaten them up. They showed their torn clothes to prove their point.



Robbers in garb of tenants held
3 women part of gang; posed as couples to dupe landlords
Tribune News Service

The four members of a gang who used to rob landlords after posing as tenants in police custody in Ludhiana
The four members of a gang who used to rob landlords after posing as tenants in police custody in Ludhiana on Tuesday. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, July 13
The city police has busted a gang of criminals who posed as couples looking for accommodation before prospective landlords and robbed them once they establish foothold in the house.

The five-member gang comprised three women. The gang members were Punjabis, unlike in previous cases where migrant labourers have been found involved in criminal activities in the region.

The three women members along with one male accomplice who have been arrested have been identified as Asha Rani, Anita and Paramjit Kaur and Ram Kumar, husband of Asha Rani. The fifth member, Hardeep Singh, alias Deepa, was absconding.

Addressing a press conference at the Police Lines here this afternoon, SP (Detective) Gurpreet Singh said the gang targeted aged persons living alone. They used to pose as tenants and rob the landlord at the first given opportunity.

The SP advised city residents to beware of such criminals. Usually people trusted couples more than bachelors while renting out a house, but with the busting of the gang, landlords required to be more vigilant in future, he said.

One of the victims of the gang was a 90-year-old woman, Avinash Kaur, living in the Division No. 8 police station area. She had leased out a portion of her house to the gang members. Since she lived alone, the accused did not wait for long and robbed her the first night only. They stripped the woman of the jewellery she was wearing, besides that kept in a locker. They decamped with over Rs 50,000 worth of jewellery and other valuables.

The gang had earlier struck at the house of Mr Vijay Kumar, a Municipal Councillor in Khanna, in April this year. They had tricked his family in the same manner and decamped with jewellery and valuables worth thousands of rupees. Both victims have identified the accused.

The accused had earlier been involved in petty crimes and had graduated to robberies to meet the expenses of their large families. They all had big families with four or five children, the police added.



BJP protest against ‘tainted’ ministers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July13
Hundreds of BJP workers, led by senior leader and former minister Balramji Dass Tandon, staged a massive protest against the inclusion of ‘tainted’ ministers in the UPA government at the Centre.

They walked through various markets of the city carrying banners and raising slogans. They also burnt effigies of these ministers, who, they said, had no right to be in the government.

Addressing the dharna, Mr Tandon said on the one hand the UPA government had removed four Governors appointed by the NDA government just for the reason that they belonged to a particular ideology, on the other hand it had included people with a criminal record in the ministry.

The BJP leader questioned the logic of continuing with the ministers like Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav, who had served jail term and was still accused in the fodder scam. Some ministers were facing murder, extortion and rape charges. How the UPA government could claim to provide a clean government in the presence of so many ‘tainted’ ministers, he said.

He said the BJP had resolved to ensure that the ‘tainted’ ministers were chucked out of the government. He said it was a shame for the Indian democracy that people with such serious criminal records were occupying highest posts. He regretted how a person like Dr Manmohan Singh could lead such a team.

On the issue of SYL Canal, he said the Congress was to be squarely blamed for the whole issue. He said in 1980, the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, dismissed the government led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal and installed a Congress government led by Mr Darbara Singh. He said even in Haryana and Rajasthan, the Congress was in power. And on December 31, 1981, Indira Gandhi presided over the meeting in which the agreement, which could spell doom for the state, was signed.

He said now it was the same Congress that had sought to annul that agreement. He welcomed the initiative of the present government to undo the wrong done to Punjab. He said the stand of the Punjab BJP was very clear on the issue and it was with the people of the state.



Long wait for elevated road project
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 13
When would the elevated road from the Jagraon bridge to the Chand Cinema get completed or, would it become another unwilling victim of politics?
These are the questions which are being asked by city residents nearly three years after the project was launched at a cost of Rs 43 crore. Going by the snail’s pace at which the work is going on some pillars near the Chand Cinema side, it seems it would take a very long time before the Jalandhar-bound vehicles and also those coming from the Jalandhar side can make use of the elevated road, thus avoiding the congestion on the old stretch of the GT Road.

In fact, the stretch of the GT Road between the Chand Cinema and the Jagraon bridge is one of the most congested roads in the city as it passes through the busiest commercial centre of the old city, touching the Chaura Bazar and the Mata Rani chowk. Heavy vehicular traffic comprising buses and trucks had been plying on the road for years without any problem as it was wide enough to take care of the same. But since the number of roadside encroachments increased, particularly in the past one decade, the road got narrowed down to become a lane, thereby prompting city planners to go in for making an elevated road exclusively for long-route vehicles. However, the picture would have been entirely different had the roadside encroachers been kept at bay by a strict administration, in which case the elevated road would not have been necessary.

The encroachment mafia is now anxiously waiting in the wings to gobble the road space which would be rendered out of use by the huge pillars of the elevated road. This space is now being utilised by people to park their vehicles.

The stretch of the GT Road between Ghanta Ghar Chowk and the Jagraon bridge has been full of potholes and ditches ever since the drilling work started for laying the foundations of the pillars. The road caved in at several points due to excessive water used in digging. It was repaired when Mr L.K. Advani was on his way to Amritsar a little before the Lok Sabha poll. But it has started disintegrating once again into an uneven stretch.

Since the project was started during the tenure of Mr Parkash Singh Badal as Chief Minister of Punjab, apprehensions are being expressed in various quarters that the elevated road project might be slowed down by the current regime. Because once the elevated road become operational, the credit would go to Mr Badal. Since Captain Amarinder Singh has not started any such project in the state after taking over as the Chief Minister, he may not relish inaugurating something envisioned by Mr Badal. Even though this has been officially denied by the Municipal Corporation, which is building the elevated road, the snail’s pace at which the project is going ahead suggests otherwise.



5 exporters booked for fraud
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 13
The police yesterday registered a case of fraud under Sections 420,468,471 and 120-B of the IPC on a statement of Mr Jagan Nath, Deputy Director of a forging unit in Miller Ganj, against Sukhdeep Singh, Vinod, Jeetia, Kamlesh Gupta and Dev Raj, residents of Ahluwalia street, Miller Ganj.

The complainant had stated that the accused were in the business of exporting a variety of steel products to various foreign countries. He had given them a consignment of steel goods for export. But the accused neither exported his stuff nor gave it back to him. No arrest has been made so far.

Another case of fraud under Section 420 of the IPC was registered on a statement of ASI Amarjit Kaur, a cop with the Delhi police, now living in South City, against Balwant Singh, alias Jaswant Singh, and Balwinder Singh.

The complainant had stated that the accused prepared forged documents pertaining to her sister’s land in Ayali Kalan village on the basis of which they sold the land to someone.



Ludhiana Calling

Ludhiana may be enjoying the distinction of being one of the most prosperous cities in the north. But the city seems to be set to achieve a dubious detection as well. Thanks to the alarming rise in the crime rate in the city, the residents have started feeling insecure.

Theft, robbery, dacoity, kidnapping or murder cases have become common. One wonders as to what the police force is up to. Not that anybody expects wonders from the police for they may be having limitations, but the alarming rate at which crime is increasing in the city appears to be beyond any application.

The most frequent excuse forwarded by the police is the influx of migrant labourers. This may be partly true, but the police needs to go beyond this theory. In several cases, it has been the local people only. In one case, the accused belonged to a well-off family and resorted to stealing while driving a Honda City car. The police needs to take steps to restore the confidence of people so that the atmosphere of fear does not hold for long.

Media packaging

The mushrooming of newspapers and periodicals in the city has caused so much of a competition between journalists that a news story never gets outdated. If one newspaper thinks its time to bury a particular story, the other highlights some new facts on the same issue. As a result, people in the city have begun thinking that the scribes have run out of story ideas. But in the process, stories, however small, get fully investigated and followed up. After all competition does have its advantages.

Beating the heat

With rains eluding the city, people are finding ways to beat the heat. To save children from heatstroke, many parents feed them on ice-cream. These may bring some respite from heat, but many children who eat unhygienically prepared ice-cream contract illnesses of the digestive system.

Doctors’ coat

The white coat worn by doctors and medical students in hospitals or colleges was introduced for two main purposes. One, it was supposed to be worn to protect spread of infections or bringing in germs from outside. Second, it gave an identity to the doctors on the premises so that they can be recognised from a distance.

However, many students can be seen riding two-wheelers wearing these coats. There have been cases when students on being stopped by traffic cops for not wearing helmets flaunted their coats. ‘‘Cant you see, I am a doctor’’. The persons go straight in wards wearing the same coats on which they have gathered all kind of germs. But nobody seems to giving any attention to this.




Begowal is first green model village of Punjab
Our Correspondent

Doraha, July 13
Begowal village of Payal district has been declared the first green model village of Punjab by Mr P. Ram, Secretary, Forest Department, recently.
Appreciating the efforts of Mr Rajwinder Singh Mangat, sarpanch of the village, Mr P. Ram said he had contributed a lot towards the cleanliness and preservation of environment by planting trees and adding to the greenery of the village. “It should be an example for others to follow,” he added.

The programme was presided over by Dr P.S. Jassi, former Director Health, Punjab.

The special guests on the occasion were Mr Sumair Singh, ADC (Development) Ludhiana, Mr M.S. Jaggi, Director, Technology Council, Punjab, Mr Gursharanjit Singh, general secretary, Punjab State Apex Body of NGOs, Mr Anupam Nanda. GM, Pida, Mr Sunil Kumar, DFO, Ludhiana, Mr K.S. Sohal and Ms Raj Rani, President, Municipal Council, Doraha.

Mr P. Ram declared the village Begowal the first green model village by laying the foundation stone for a link road. Mr Sumair Singh and Mr P.S. Jassi assured support from their departments.

Mr P. Ram declared a grant of Rs 2 lakh for the project. He also planted a sapling and initiated a sapling plantation campaign for surrounding villages. Saplings were planted at Satnam Nagar and Doraha Town. 



Notice to Youth Akali Dal leader
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 13
Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Member of Parliament and president, All India Shiromani Youth Akali Dal, has issued a showcause notice to Mr Jugraj Pal Singh, district president, Kapurthala unit (youth wing), for appointing the party office-bearers without taking the consent of the party high command.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Dhillon said all appointments made by Mr Jugraj Pal stood cancelled. The MP said that while appointing these office-bearers, Mr Singh had neglected dedicated party workers, who worked tirelessly during the last General Election as well as the SGPC poll. Mr Jugraj Pal Singh was given a week’s time to tender his reply, the note said.



Grievances of pensioners redressed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
Keeping in view of the directions of Additional Central PF Commissioner (North Zone), Lok Seva Divas was observed here yesterday in which grievances from PF subscribers as well staff members were received. Some complaints were solved on the spot.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr K.L. Goyal, Regional Provident Fund Commissioner, Ludhiana said the grievances were being regularly redressed on a daily basis also to minimise the hardship of subscribers. Due to the changing scenario at the world-level, more efforts were being made to image Building as well as better and cordial relations with PF subscribers and employers, who were backbone of this organisation.



Domestic help killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 13
A case under Sections 279,304-A and 427 of the IPC was registered yesterday on a statement of Mr Shiv Sunder Jindal, a resident of Tagore Nagar, against Satish Kumar of Guru Arjan Dev Nagar.

The complainant had stated the accused , who was driving a truck, had hit the scooter being driven by his domestic help Mogli Kumar, near Dada Motors. An injured Mogli was admitted to the Civil Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Illegal possession alleged: A case under Sections 447,511 and 427 of the IPC was registered on a statement of Nirvair Singh of Jamal Pur Lely village against Parwinderjit Singh, Nirmal Singh and some unidentfied persons accompanying them.

The complainant had stated that the accused, in the absence of his relative living in the USA, illegally took possession of his house located in Kakowal village. The accused also damaged a wall of the house.

Rickshawpuller injured: The Sarabha Nagar police registered a case under Sections 279,337,338 and 427 of the IPC on a statement of Ms Jasbir Kaur, who lives near the Panjab Mata Nagar chowk, against the driver of an Indica car who allegedly hit her husband while he was pulling his rickshaw at the Vishal Nagar chowk on Pakhowal Road. Her husband was injured and the rickshaw was damaged. The driver had fled the scene.

A case under Sections 279,337 and 427 of the IPC was registered on a statement of Mr Dalwinder Singh of Ghawaddi village against Darshan Singh of Saholi village.

The complainant had stated that the accused, who was driving a truck, hit his Tata-407 vehicle near Tibba village injuring him and damaging his vehicle.



Industry up in arms against UPA govt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July13
With sharp rise in the prices of steel, the industry has been feeling cheated claiming that the UPA government has proved worse than the NDA government.
Mr P.D. Sharma, president of the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the UPA government had started showing its true colours. “While steel consumers in the country are being affected by the high steel prices, the commerce and steel ministries have allowed cartel of six main steel producers to avail DEPB on export of steel. The prices of steel have risen mainly due to scarcity of steel in the country. The NDA government withdrew DEPB to discourage steel export and to reduce steel prices,” he said.

He said the steel consumer at the annual conference on June 12, convinced the Steel Minister that there was a shortage of steel and that the ban on steel exports was justified. “It is unfortunate that despite rising prices and shortage of steel, export has been allowed,” he added.

The chamber president regretted that the Finance Minister had done little by reducing custom duty on steel from 15 to 10 per cent. This advantage had been wiped off by the export of steel. He argued that even the USA had slapped surcharge of 30 per cent on the export of steel scrap. China had also banned the export of various raw material, including coal, to meet the domestic demand.

He said the steel consumers across the country were dismayed at the restoration of the DEPB. “The issue draws a direct contrast between the previous government and the current one,” he said. He said when the issue of high steel prices was brought to the notice of the then Prime Minister, he took just one day to evolve the package to control steel prices, including the withdrawal of DEPB. “However, the present government, despite knowing the plight of steel consumers, has restored the DEPB just to provide advantage to the cartel of steel producers.

The Fastener Manufacturers Association of India has also criticised the UPA government for restoring the DEPB on steel. The president of the association, Mr Narinder Bhamra, feared the scarcity of raw material would again be created in the country and the industry would suffer. The association urged the Finance Minister to reconsider his decision in the interest of the small-scale industry. Steel consumers from across the country were planning to hold demonstration in Delhi against the decision, he added.


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