L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Abandoned briefcases spread panic
Police clueless; no explosive found
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
The city has been witnessing incidents of abandoned briefcases since Thursday. As many as four unclaimed briefcases have been found from different crowded places in the past three days. The incidents are spreading panic due to rumours of a bomb being planted by some terrorist organisation.

Two such unclaimed briefcases were found from the old district court chowk this morning causing a scare among residents. Panic-stricken residents and shopkeepers of a market near the old district courts complex immediately deserted the place and called the police. The bomb disposal squad, the anti-sabotage wing and the dog squad of the city police, which was quite busy for the past two days, rushed to the scene and secured the area. However, when the team was clear that there was no explosive inside, the briefcases were taken to abandoned grounds of the old courts complex.

The police opened the briefcases there and found pieces of clothes, normally discarded by tailors, in them. The police found a slip of a shopkeeper based in the AC Market, Bhadaur House, in one briefcase.

Sub-Inspector Dilpreet Singh, SHO, Division No 8 police station, told Ludhiana Tribune that they were investigating the matter and were trying to trace the shopkeeper.

A similar briefcase was found from near the UCO Bank branch in Shimlapuri on Thursday. Another briefcase was found from Lakkar Bazar around 8:30 pm yesterday. Bomb disposal squads was pressed into service at all these places but the rumour proved to be hoax.

The police has not been able to crack the mystery about the owners of the briefcases or the persons who left these. This has led the rumourmills to work over time as city residents fear some major subversive incident in the city. The ongoing controversy over the SYL and the passing of the Punjab Termination of Agreement s Act is providing enough support to the rumours.

The police is also perplexed at the regular recovery of abandoned briefcases. However, the fact that no body has come forward to claim any briefcase so far means that the police cannot ignore the problem.

Mr Gurpreet Singh, SP (Detective), said the police was quite alert and would not allow any untoward incident in the city. He said the recovery of the briefcases so far seemed to be mere coincidences as nothing objectionable had been found in them.



Trust vows to set up Udham Singh memorial
Lion’s Club denies land earmarked for it
Tribune News Service

Tributes being paid to Shaheed Udham Singh in Ludhiana
Tributes being paid to Shaheed Udham Singh in Ludhiana on Saturday. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, July 31
While paying rich tributes and vowing to preserve the memory of Shaheed-e-Azam, Udham Singh for posterity on his 64th martyrdom day today, the city-based Shaheed Udham Singh Trust resolved to set up a memorial and a library in the city.

In a function organised by the trust today, the controversial issue of the 1,500 sq feet of land, on which the Lion’s Club exists, resurfaced. Despite the fact that the Lion’s Club as well as the Ludhiana Improvement Trust have denied that the land was earmarked for the martyr’s memorial, the members of the trust passed a resolution that they would struggle to get the land vacated. The 1,500 sq feet of the land in Udham Singh Nagar is presently in possession of the local Lion’s Club.

Refuting the strong denials of officials of the Lion’s Club, the trustees claimed that at the time when the Udham Singh Nagar was created, the plot was reserved for raising a memorial of the great martyr Udham Singh which remained unoccupied for a long time.

According to Dr Jaswant Singh Chamak, secretary-general of the trust, the plot was reserved for this noble purpose but it is not known when and who changed the utilisation plan. A bust of the martyr was also installed in the place that was allegedly destroyed over the years.

Dr Chamak further stated that the president of the ex-serviceman league of Punjab, Col Chanan Singh Dhillon (retd), a resident of the same area, had been protesting against the same but no action was taken by the authorities concerned.

In another resolution passed by the trust, it was decided to bring more than 3,000 documents pertaining to Shaheed Udham Singh, now lying in England, to India and set up Udham Singh Chair in some university of Punjab. They also demanded the sanctioning of corpus fund of Rs 10 lakh for the Shaheed Udham Singh memorial library. They called upon the public in general to help in constructing a community hall, a library and a dispensary in the name of the martyr who had shot dead the perpetrator of Jallianwallah Bagh massacre, Gen Michael o’ Dyer.

The trustees also said while on one hand the original site for the martyr’s memorial was being used for commercial purposes, the Shaheed Udham Singh Memorial library was being run in a rented building in the Dhobi Ghat area. They urged the general public to support the cause of great freedom fighter and asked the improvement trust to hand over the land to the trust.

The improvement trust officials said in revenue records the land was given to the Lion’s Club in 1970 and since then it had been its sole occupant and the rightful owner. Among others who spoke on the occasion were Dr Surjit Patar, eminent writer and poet, Dr M.S. Cheema, a renowned educationist and Dr Sikandar Singh.



Snag leaves BSNL card subscribers in lurch
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
Nearly 50,000 subscribers of Indian Telephone Cards of the BSNL in the city were left high and dry owing to a major snag in a computer of the department yesterday. Outgoing calls of the existing subscribers were barred as the computer showed their balance as zero. Those who had purchased the cards in the past two days could not get the connection activated.

As damage control exercise, the BSNL authorities recalled all cards from various sale outlets in the city. The department had remained silent on the issue since Thursday morning. It send a press note this evening after mediapersons and subscribers made frantic calls to know the cause of the problem.

The department announced that the ITC cards, which were not activated may be got replaced from the nearest customer care centres or cash counters. It also stated that the services on the ITC cards, which were sold after July 29, would not be available.

For the cards already activated, the department has given the following phone numbers for answering their queries- 2601666, 1600331630 and 1600122828. These subscribers would have to wait for some days to get the outgoing call facility activated again.

The department was in a fix about the problem, as it had to figure out the exact amount spent by the subscribers. Sources said the department was trying to calculate the amount used by the subscriber by checking the list of calls. This could be a tedious task and would take several days, the sources said.

It was learnt that some operator had run a wrong command on a computer of the department, which washed all records of the remaining balance of subscribers. The balance of all subscribers read zero, leading to debarring of the outgoing calls. The incoming calls, however, continued.



No backtracking on SYL issue: Badal
Tribune News Service

Macchiwara, July 31
SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal has reiterated that the party will launch a morcha in case Amarinder Singh backtracks on the abrogation of river waters Bill and the canal is completed by the Centre.

Speaking to gathering after the bhog of an akhand path, organised as thanksgiving after the installation of Charanjit Singh Atwal as Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Mr Badal said there were indications that the Congress high command was unhappy with the Chief Minister and could replace him with someone pliable. If this happens, it would be a blunder and would irreparably harm the interests of the people of the state.

He said such a situation was being created in which the Congress governments at the state and Centre would join hands to either repeal the Act or put it on the backburner. While the Chief Minister has taken a bold stand, it remains to be seen if the Congress, which had always harmed the interests of the Punjabis, will actually work for the welfare of the state, he pointed out. 



Rights panel seeks report on upkeep of parks
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 31
Expressing its dissatisfaction over the upkeep city parks on the basis material available on record, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has sought a detailed report from the Deputy Commissioner on the current state of parks and green belts.

Passing an interim order on the complaint filed by the Federation of Park Management Committees, Mr H.K. Arora, a PSHRC member observed that the Deputy Commissioner would devise his own mechanism so as to ascertain fully and objectively the existing state of parks and green belts.

Further, the Deputy Commissioner, in consultation with the Commissioner of Municipal Corporation, would also suggest specific ways and means for the proper upkeep of public parks, green belts and other open spaces on a sustainable basis, the commission desired. Mr Arora remarked that the matter was too serious to be over looked.

Dealing with the issue of fulfillment of contractual obligation on the part of the municipal corporation and payment of outstanding dues of the Park Management Committees as per the agreements signed with it the commission noted that the Principal Secretary, Local Government, Punjab, had submitted a report on the orders of the PSHRC on August 7, 2003.

“As regards payment of dues to the PMC’s, it transpires from the report received from the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, that the reference has already been made to the Local Government Department, Punjab, seeking permission to release the dues of the complainants.” The commission expected that a decision in this regard would be taken expeditiously.

The copies of the order were sent to the Deputy Commissioner, the Principal Secretary, Local Government and the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation for the submission of reports before September 24, 2004, when the case would again come up for hearing.



Today is Friendship Day
Friends inspire and enrich life
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, July 31
“We are nine friends studying in a college and have been friends for the past five years. Of course, we have tiffs, but we make up fast. Our college mates have tried to break our friendship, but have not succeeded. We are very fortunate to have such deep friendship. Our friendship is the mainstay of life and is based on trust and respect for each other. We will give gifts on Friendship Day and promise to uphold and cherish it for our lifetime,” said Taruna, Rajinder, Micky, Mamta, Neeru, Ritu, Mandeep and Malti and Jimmy. We would like that people all over the world take our message from these lines.

Friendship has been there since time immemorial. Can anyone forget the deep friendship between Lord Krishna and Sudama? However, these days everything is commercialised as companies bring out cards, and every year, the format and designs of cards change to lure customers.

This year along with the cards , friendship bands, pens, a small book on quotes of friendship are enclosed. There is a brisk sale of friendship bands of several kinds and designs.

But many dismiss the idea of expressing friendship through cards, Wong, a businessman, says, “I will never send a card as we friends know that we are there during adversity. We are five school friends and presently in our thirties and yet our friendship has grown, and we are confident that whether we meet or not, but in troubled times, we would always be there. We do not require anything to show our great bond.”

“Is there anything like friendship these days? I have been betrayed by so-called friends both in my business and personal life,” said a bitter Mr Roshan Lal. He said his friend with whom he had started business duped him, and now he is in dire straits. Then his daughter got married. His friend knew that the boy was a drug-addict, but he never told him. Now his daughter is back home, as she could not tolerate her husband’s violent behaviour. “This is the friendship these days. Stab your friend in the back,” he concluded.



New Rotary team installed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 31
The Rotary Club, Ludhiana North, at its meeting held on Thursday installed a new team headed by president Gurjit Singh and secretary Rajan Narang.
Mr S.P. Singh Dua, president (2003-2004), welcomed the guests. He thanked all members for extending cooperation during his tenure. Secretary R.S. Behal read out the activity report of last year. Mr G.S. Bawa was the guest of honour. He gave away awards to Rotarians, who contributed towards the community last year.

Mr Gurjit Singh, in his address, assured the house that many community service projects would be carried out during the year. He requested the members to extend cooperation to make the centennial year of Rotary a success.

Meanwhile, Mr K.K. Chadha was installed the centennial president by chief guest, Hemant Ahuja as past district Governor, Delhi, and member of the Rotary International Committee for Membership, Development and Retention.

Mr Chadha said that besides the ongoing projects undertaken by the club like Rotary Pace Maker Bank, free medical dispensaries, computer education, school for Mentally Challenged Children etc , club members had constituted several committees for service to humanity like water resource management committee, membership development and retension committee, centennial celebrations committee and world fellowship of fraternity committee for the advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace. Past president Vijay Munjal presented a memento to the chief guest.



Stone of truck parking site laid
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 31
The Punjab Government was committed to all round development of both rural and urban areas in the state and a number of development schemes for the creation of better infrastructure facilities in major towns was on the anvil.

This was announced by Mr Surinder Dawar, Parliamentary Secretary for Power, Housing and Urban Development, while laying the foundation stone of a new truck parking site in Transport Nagar here today. The project would be executed at an estimated cost of Rs 52 lakh.



Clubs insensitive to state’s crisis
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
Social scientists of Punjab Agricultural University has taken a serious view of news published in a section of the Press about the Teej celebrations by various women clubs.

Reacting to the reports, Dr Simran Kaur Sidhu said that the celebrations betrayed insensitivity on the part of the clubs when the state was passing through crisis due to the monsoon failure. Almost all sections of society were badly affected by the nature’s fury.

Dr Shalini Sharma of the Sociology Department said power scarcity had badly hit agriculture and industry.



Upset with employer, 2 cook up kidnapping story
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
Believe it or not, two employees of a tractor mechanic cooked up the kidnapping story of one of them to pocket a paltry sum of Rs 850 from their employer. They allegedly spent the money on watching three movies and enjoying a sumptuous dinner.

Claiming to have solved the kidnapping case of a labourer Lakhwinder Singh, who was allegedly whisked away by some persons in a Sumo car on July 28, the Haibowal police stated that Lakhwinder Singh had stage-managed his own kidnapping with his co-worker and co-accused Pragat Singh. The police claimed that all this was done to pocket Rs 850 of the employer.

Acting SHO of Haibowal police station Satinderpal Singh and SI Mukesk Kumar claimed that Lakhwinder Singh and his friend Pragat Singh were arrested under Section 182 of the CrPc.

The police officials claimed that the labourers were upset with their employer, Mohd. Sadeeq, who allegedly did not treat them well. They were also not given wages in time. The labourers were given Rs 850 by the employer for some work. However, they planned to spend the money on films and eatables and cooked up the kidnapping story.

The police claimed that the accused saw three films one after the another and had sumptuous dinner from the amount.



Neighbour foils robbery bid, nabs intruder
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 31
A Bihari migrant, who entered a house in Gobind Nagar at Mundian Kalan village on Thursday and tried to rob the lonely housewife at knife-point, was nabbed by an alert neighbour who rushed to the rescue of the woman when she raised an alarm.

The division number 7 police has registered a case under Section 386 of the IPC and various provisions of the Arms Act against Gautam Kumar on the statement of Ms Gagan Sharma.

The woman stated to the police that Gautam entered her house and brandishing a knife at her and told her to hand over cash and jewellery. The scared woman shouted and as a result her neighbour Gurmit Singh arrived on the spot and managed to overpower the accused.

Two killed in mishaps: Mukhwinder Singh, a resident of Jamalpur, was booked on the statement of Mr Gopal Bahadur, a Nepalese living in Ambedkar Nagar, Model Town, on Thursday.

The complainant had stated that the accused, while driving a vehicle, had hit his son Ram Bahadur, 16, on the GT Road near Dhandari Kalan. Ram Bahadur was rushed to the Cancer Hospital, where he died on Thursday evening. However, Mukhwinder has been arrested.

The Salem Tabri police has registered a case on the statement of Mr Banarsi Dass, a resident of Neta Ji Nagar, against an unknown driver of a Tata Sumo, which hit his brother Sham Sunder near a road bend near Majh Phaguwal village and sped away. Sham Sunder was admitted to the DMC Hospital, where he died on Wednesday. No arrest has been made so far.

Theft cases: A theft case was registered on Thursday on the complaint of Mr Sanjay Kumar, a resident of Masjid Shekhan mohalla near the Daresi ground, that his Maruti Zen had been stolen.

Another theft case was registered on the complaint of Mr Bal Krishan Nayar, a resident of Malerkotla House in the Civil Lines, that his Maruti car was stolen on Wednesday.

Fake sewing machines seized: Vinod Kumar, who lives in Nawan Mohalla near Lakkar Bazar, was arrested on Thursday and a case was registered against him under Sections 420, 468, 482 and 486 of the IPC.

The police said today that the accused was manufacturing sewing machines and selling the same in the name of Usha brand. Nine such sewing machines were seized from his possession.

The Shimla Puri police yesterday registered a case under Sections 406, 420 and 120-B of the IPC on the statement of Mr Kanwarjit Singh, who lives in Kabir Nagar on the Daba Road, against Avtar Singh, Shivraj Singh and Jasvir Singh.

The complainant had stated that these persons had purchased some factory goods from him and given a cheque for Rs 7 lakh in lieu of the same.

But the cheque was dishonoured by the bank concerned. The accused had thus committed a fraud on him, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

The Jodhewal police yesterday registered a case on the statement of Mr Rajiv Jain, who lives in Deep Nagar in Civil Lines, against Suresh Juneja, Sandeep Juneja and Kamal Juneja of M/s S.K. Juneja Hosiery in Shakti Nagar of Basti Jodhewal.

The complainant had stated that these persons had purchased thread worth Rs 71,500 from him and given a cheque for the amount, which was dishonoured by the bank concerned. The accused had thus committed a fraud on him, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

On the statement of Mr Sudershan Kumar, a resident of New Kartar Nagar, the Salem Tabri police has registered a case under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC against Mukhtiar Singh, a resident of Dharamkot village in Moga district, Balvir Singh, Tirlok Singh, who live at Karol Bagh in Delhi, Vijay Kumar, Heera Singh, who live in the Peeru Banda mohalla in Salem Tabri, and Vasudev, a resident of Jagir Puri in New Delhi.

The complainant had stated that he had paid Rs 3.5 lakh to the accused for sending his son abroad. But the neither sent his son abroad nor returned the money. No arrest has been made so far.

Assault cases: The Model Town police on Thursday registered an assault case on the statement of Mr Vikrant Kumar, alias Vicky, a resident of LIG Flats at Dugri, against Sumit and Raja, residents of the same locality, and about six other persons accompanying them.

The complainant had stated that the accused came to his house on Wednesday evening and beat him up and his brother with iron rods. They were injured and admitted to the Civil Hospital. No arrest has been made so far.


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