L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


 

Cops’ bravery acknowledged, ignored!
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 21
While relatives of a city youth, Parminder Singh, who was murdered by two robbers three years ago feel relieved at the life imprisonment to the guilty, three cops who risked their life and caught them are still awaiting the promised reward of promotion made by the district police authorities at that time.

The three cops -Tarsem Singh, Dhir Singh and Sukhwinder Singh-had shown exemplary courage on May 17, 2001, when the robbers were trying to flee after murdering the youth in full public view in a crowded market. They were passing through the market, which did not fall in their area, but chased the robbers, considering it to be their duty.

Acknowledging their act, police officials had recommended promotion to the rank of constable for two Home Guards, Tarsem Singh and Dhir Singh, and the Head Constable rank to constable Sukhwinder Singh. However, the promise is yet to be fulfilled.

While the two continue to be Home Guards, Sukhminder Singh has been made C-II only. SHO Ramandeep Singh, who was leading the three cops in the chase, had gracefully projected their work and had not demanded anything for himself.

Sukhminder Singh is presently posted as gunman with SP (Headquarters) Mandeep Singh. Tarsem Singh is a sevadar with a gurdwara in the Police Lines, Majitha police district, while Dhir Singh is with the Home Guards Ludhiana.

On that fateful day, Parminder Singh, alias Tinku, was coming out of a health club with his brother Charanjit in Ghumar Mandi at about 10 pm. According to an eyewitness account of Charanjit Singh, his brother was rolling up the windowpanes of the car when the two youths came near them, brandished guns and ordered them to part with money and valuables. Tinku resisted and pushed the robbers aside. The robbers then opened fire at Tinku.

Luckily, the then SHO, Sadar, Mr Ramandeep Singh, along with four other policemen, was passing by, when they heard the shots. The cops ran after the robbers and after a struggle of about 15 minutes with the robbers, they managed to overpower them.

The police team, led by the SHO, handed over the robbers to the Division No.5 police, since the incident took place in the area under its jurisdiction.

The injured was taken to DMC Hospital, where he was declared dead. Convinced with the evidence of the prosecution and arguments, the Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Inderjit Kaushik, sentenced the accused, Jasbir Singh, alias Jassa (40), of Manki village, Malerkotla, and Devinder Pal Singh (20) of Ganga Nagar to rigorous life imprisonment for the murder of the youth.

Delivering the verdict, Mr Kaushik held that the duo committed the murder intentionally in furtherance of their common intention. The Judge turned down the plea of leniency raised by the accused, keeping in view the fact that they had killed an innocent youth. A fine of Rs 10,000 was also imposed upon the accused.

The court also sentenced them for possessing pistols illegally and without any licence. The robbers were booked under Sections 302, 382,511 and 34 of the IPC and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act at the Division No.5 police station.

The judiciary acted fast in the case, but the Punjab police seems to have ignored the bravery of the cops.

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Epidemic fear haunts Bhanohar village
Pond water floods village streets
Tribune News Service

The artificial embankment which has forced water from the pond to spill into the village streets
The artificial embankment which has forced water from the pond to spill into the village streets and bylanes. — Photo by I.V

  Artificial embankment aggravates  problem
  Filth flows into lanes, courtyards
 
Several houses under threat

Ludhiana, August 21
Residents of Bhanohar village near Dakha in this district are living in perpetual fear of an epidemic due to an overflowing pond located near the main gurdwara. The water level has been rising alarmingly and with hardly any outlet, the dirty water mixed with sewage and other waste has now started flowing into the village streets making the lives of the people miserable. An artificial embankment, which has come up recently mainly due to factionalism in the village, has aggravated the problem. Since natural flow of water has been checked, the dirty water has spilled into nearby streets and houses much to the annoyance of local residents.

Although residents of the village approached the authorities concerned to highlight the problem, no action has been taken so far. The BDPO also visited the village at least thrice recently and was apprised of the deteriorating situation which was endangered the lives of the residents.

The rising water level is not only posing a threat to adjoining houses, but has also affected landed property of the residents. The water has also entered courtyards of some houses located on the fringe of the pond bringing along leeches and pests which are threatening livestock. Some plots of land adjoining the pond belonging to local residents have also been submerged due to the rising water level.

Mr Kirpal Singh, whose house is located on the village periphery, pointed out that a part of their lane had already been submerged under water cutting off approach to their land. ‘‘If no found, the dirty water may soon enter nearby houses’’, he said.

The stagnant water has become a permanent breeding ground for mosquitoes, pests and snakes. The foul smell emenating from the pond has also become a nuisance for the people.

Bhanohar village, which has produced a large number of Army officers, including a Brigadier, Colonels, Majors, Captains, and Lieutenants besides a host of civil officers in the public sector like SAIL and PWD, is located about 18 km from Ludhiana on the Ludhiana-Ferozepore road.

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City ‘inventor’ upset over patent rules
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

August 21 Ludhiana
If a city-based “inventor” is to be believed, a simple device can help the nation come out of the current power crisis as the hydroelectric turbine developed by him can make power generation at the Bhakra Dam three times more efficient. But upset over the treatment meted out to him by the Indian Patent Office in the national Capital, he is reluctant to talk openly about the “invention” out of fear of its being stolen.

The “inventor”, Mr Rashpal Singh Gill, says that the modern hydroelectric turbines at Bhakra can recover less than 30 per cent energy from water, whereas the turbine developed by him is capable of 90 per cent energy conversion. But at the same time he is in a dilemma over the course to adopt as he says “I fear forwarding this invention to the Patent Office in New Delhi, which has already cheated me of my two inventions. One was a device to prevent a bird from being sucked into the air duct of a jet engine of an aircraft. The other is a device to transfer power from the piston to wheel of an engine.”

Referring to his experience with the Patient Office, Mr Gill says that Mr Vikas Sharma of the Patient Office called him to the office to tell him that after the inspection of his application, there was a requirement that he rewrite the specification of one of his earlier invention (patent office reference 874/ Del/2001) that would cut down the consumption of fuel for both diesel and petrol engines by half. But in the process the official removed the examination report that outlined what exactly was to be rewritten. This he feels was done to “dishonestly close his file to steal the invention”.

Outdated procedures and rules in the Patent Office easily expose inventions to thefts, one such rule being to leave details of the invention without getting any receipt, which is sent only by post. “In October 1998, I went to the Patent Office in New Delhi to patent an invention using new method of filling carbon dioxide gas in soft drinks. But since the officials concerned refused to issue me a receipt I came back to Ludhiana. I have been disappointed by the Patent Office three times”, he says demanding amendment to outdated rules.

He says that the serial-wise list of patent applications prepared by the office are not open to inspection that leaves scope for tempering with the list and giving patents to fake inventors by saying that someone else applied for a patient of the same product on an earlier date.

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Truckers’ strike evokes good response
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 21
The movement of freight came to a standstill here following the nationwide strike by truck operators today in protest against the levy of 10 per cent service tax on the transport industry by the Finance Minister in the Budget.

The indefinite strike call given by the truck operators received a good response as Transport Nagar, the main centre of the activities of transport companies, witnessed no activity.

Representatives of the Punjab State Goods Transporter Association, truck drivers and employees of goods booking agencies staged a dharna at the Transport Nagar and took out a protest march.

No immediate impact of the truckers strike was seen on essential commodities today. Vegetable and fruit vendors said that the supplies would be able to see the city residents through for a day or two and the real impact of the truckers strike would only be known on Monday. However the main roads and highways passing by the city witnessed scanty traffic as the trucks remained off the roads.

Speaking at the protest rallies organised at the Transport Nagar, Mr Charanjit Singh Lahora and Mr Jagdish Chander, officer-bearers of various transport associations said, that a complete strike would be observed till the Union government and representatives of transporters associations reached some understanding.

They criticised the Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, for imposing the service tax on the transport industry which they termed would hike the prices of the essential commodities. Later, the protesters burnt his effigy.

The truckers strike is likely to have a serious impact on ordinary citizens as well as the industry of the city as the small and medium industry is largely dependent upon the truckers for their raw material. Even the raw material that arrives by trains reaches its final destination through trucks.

the Ludhiana Goods Transport Association and the Ludhiana Transport Welfare Association is also supporting the strike.

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Suicide victim’s father seeks probe into BSNL claim
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 21
As a last-ditch effort to get justice for his IAS aspirant son who had committed suicide a year ago, Mr N.M. Hansi, his father, has demanded a CBI probe into the fact that the BSNL authorities were allegedly trying to shield a bureaucrat responsible for his son's suicide.

Mr Hansi has been fighting the case for over a year. While the police had closed the case file claiming it to be a suicide, Mr Hansi has been trying to get the culprit to book.

In a letter to the Principal Secretary, PHRC, Chandigarh, Mr Hansi has claimed that the BSNL authorities were hushing up the case as they wanted to shield an influential person.

He claimed that he had read some SMS on his son's mobile after his death and the contents of the messages was enough to drive anybody to take an extreme step.

The BSNL authorities had submitted to the PSHRC that the mobile number through which the incriminating SMS were sent to Ashish Hansi belonged to the customer care centre of the BSNL. They claimed that it was not the number of any subscriber and no SMS could be sent from this mobile.

Mr Hansi has urged the Principal Secretary to recommend the case to the CBI. He has claimed that while the BSNL had claimed that the number was of the customer care centre, he had accessed some records of the department stored on the server and it was found out that the incoming SMS and voicemails of the calling party had been charged, processed and stored which was not possible on a customer care mobile.

He has further stated that he suspected that the mobile number(9417099995) belonged to a bureaucrat's ward who had forced his son to commit suicide. He alleged that his information had revealed that the SIM card of this mobile was sold in the last week of October 2002 at Ludhiana and a history file was prepared in March 2003. His son had committed suicide in February 2003.

He said the identity of the mobile-holder was deleted from the records which could be checked from the hard disk of the server computer of the BSNL. He claimed that as per the records, it was a roaming number. 

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Police camp held to settle minor disputes
Our Correspondent

Samrala, August 21
A camp, to decide minor disputes between persons in this police district, was started today in the local Bharti palace, on the suggestion of the SSP Khanna, Mr Premod Barn. It was inaugurated by the DIG Ludhiana, Mr Prag Jain.

In the camp 57 complaints of Samrala subdivision of police station Samrala and Machhiwara, were received and 47 complaints were decided on the pattern of the panchayati system on the spot, according to Mr Jasvir Singh, DSP, Samrala.

Mr Jain said that this scheme had been launched for the first time in police district Khanna to give justice to the public and to reduce the legal work of civil courts. Mr Jain also said that if this scheme became successful, it would also give time to police officials to deal with the anti-social elements.

Mr Pramod Barn said more such camps were organised in the police district Khanna camps at Khanna, Payal and Samrala. As many as 225 complaints were received and more than 75 per cent complaints were solved on the spot. H said such meetings would be held every two months in police district Khanna in which Payal, Khanna and Samrala subdivision falls. 

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Railway booking counter inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 21
In deference to a persistent demand of Basti Jodhewal residents, a railway booking counter was opened in the locality here today.
The counter, which has been set up in Mohalla Anand Pura, was inaugurated by Northern Railway Assistant Traffic Manager N S Mann. Speaking on the occasion, he said one of the long-standing problems of the people and the trading community had been fulfilled. The residents found it time consuming to go to the railway station to get their reservations while the traders, too, were hard-pressed to sweat it out in the crowded parcel offices.

He said with the opening of the new facility the commuters could buy their current and supplementary tickets besides monthly passes from here. The time for standing in long queues at the railway station was over, he added.

Mr Ashwani Wadhwa, Chief Manager of the Northern Railway City Booking Agency, said the trading community would largely benefit from the set-up. Traders of the area can book their goods and also receive their parcels at their doorsteps at no additional cost. He also clarified that facility was for the convenience of the people and everything would be available at per rates fixed by the Railways.

Among others present on the occasion were Ludhiana station manager Ashok Kumar, railway parcel chief K G Gupta and Mr T R Chaturvedi of the Government Railway Police.

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Atwal mourns death of Johar’s wife 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 21
Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, Deputy Speaker, Lok Sabha, today visited the house of Mr Harnam Das Johar, Punjab Education Minister, to condole the death of his wife Leela Wati, who died yesterday, and expressed his sympathies with the family.

Among others who went to the residence of Mr Johar and expressed their sympathies with him included Mr Sat Pal Gosain, former Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mr Mohinder Singh Kalyan, former MP, Mr Balwinder Singh Bains, member of the SGPC, Mr Kulwant Singh Dukhia, Mr Vijay Danav, senior Akali leader, and Mr Atique-ur-Rehman, president of the All-India Muslim Council. Many councillors and office-bearers of industrial, trade, religious, social and educational organisations condoled the death of Mr Johar’s wife.

Mr Johar informed that rites to collect the mortal remains of his wife would be performed tomorrow at 8 am at the Model Town Extension cremation ground and the family would leave for Hardwar for the immersion of the mortal remains. The Rasam Kriya would be held on August 29 at 12 noon at BCM Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, near Guru Teg Bahadur Charitable Hospital.

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Beopar Mandal to hold sammelan 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 21
The Punjab Beopar Mandal will organise a sammelan on trade and industry in Ludhiana on October 10 to discuss problems being faced by them.
Disclosing this, Mr Tulsidas Jaitwani, president of the mandal, said he would undertake a tour of the state along with leading traders to mobilise support.

Mr Jaitwani said trade and industry were facing problems and the mandal was opposed to the introduction of VAT from April next.

Mr Jaitwani called upon the Punjab Chief Minister to set up a committee of officers of the departments concerned and traders to study VAT in depth.

Mr Jaitwani supported demands of truckers and urged the government to meet these and avoid inconvenience to trade and industry. The strike would lead to a shortage of goods and rise in inflation, he said.

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Tree plantation camp organised
Our Correspondent

Samrala, August 21
In Diwala and Naularri villages, near here, a Tree Plantation and Congress Weed Eradication camp was organised by Samrala Agriculture Officer S.S. Swaitch with the co-operation of Mr R.P. Aggarwal, Manager, State Bank of Patiala.

The camp was inaugurated by Ms Balraj Kaur Grewal, tehsildar, Samrala. On this occasion, Mr Aggarwal, Manager of the bank, highlighted the various schemes started by the bank for farmers of the area with the lowest interest.

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Set up pay panel, say pensioners 
Our Correspondence

Ludhiana, August 21
By merging 50 per cent DA with basic pay or pension of employees from April 1, 2004, the Centre has, virtually, effected a partial revision of pay-scales, allowances and pensions. In effect, about 40 per cent revision of scales has been done.

Dr Manmohan Singh's government should set up the 6th pay commission for completing the remaining work of revision. Earlier, pay scales were revised from January, 1996, and revision is now due from January, 2006, as per recommendation of the 5th Central Pay Commission, says Mr Yashpal Ghai, additional general secretary of the Govt Pensioners' Association.

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Bank strike on Aug 24
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 21
Banks across the country will remain closed on August 24 following a strike by employees to register their protest against the dilly-dallying tactics being adopted by the Indian Banks Association (IBA) on pay revision. The call has been given by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU).

Mr Naresh Gaur, Secretary, PBEF (Ludhiana Unit) and Mr Ashok Awasthy, President, PBEF (Ludhiana Unit), said a rally would be held in front of Canara Bank, Bharat Nagar Chowk, at 9.30 a.m.

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Small industries flay government policies
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 21
The Federation of Tiny and Small Industries has criticised the government for pursuing piecemeal measures in dealing with the crises being faced by the small-scale industry in the country.

At a meeting here today, the members lamented that the real issue of reduction in customs duty on secondary/defective sheets had not been addressed to in the right perspective which remains at 40 per cent, whereas customs duty on prime steel under heading 7201, 7203 to 7217, had been brought down to 5 per cent while Chapter 73 had not been touched at all. The protection provided to major producers in 2002 had been retained for reasons best known to the present government.

Mr Joginder Kumar, president of the federation, said the members also discussed the impact of reduction of customs duties on steel, such as non-alloy steel, ship breaking and melting scrap (excluding stainless steel). Prominent among those present on the occasion were Mr Harminder Singh, Mr Vinod Dhall, Mr Manmohan Singh Ubhi, Mr Chabbar Singh, Mr Rajan Gupta, Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta and Mr Jaswant Singh Birdi.

Those present felt that the issue of iron and steel was being dealt with in a piecemeal fashion and apprehended that the UPA Government was under pressure of the Indian Steel Alliance which was misleading the government by claiming that the price of international price of hot rolled coil was more than the domestic rates.

The federation apprehended that the major producers had formed an international cartel and had jacked up the prices in order to justify their present rates. The reduction in customs duty would have a marginal impact on the prices of steel in such a scenario, he added.

Mr Joginder Kumar also pointed out that the parliamentary standing committee on industry had recommended that the iron and steel material should be made available to SSI units at reasonable rates and trigger mechanism should be adopted in this regard. But the government had not touched this issue at all, he pointed out.

The members demanded that the export of iron and steel material should be banned, DEPB incentives be withdrawn and in case the government felt that a ban was not feasible, then the domestic prices should commensurate with realisation (export price plus incentives).

The federation urged Dr Manmohan Singh to convene a high-level meeting under his chairmanship with representatives of user industry (domestic), particularly SSI sector, wherein the Union Minister for Finance, Steel, Industry and Commerce, SSI, Agro and Rural Industry, should also be present to have a holistic view of the crippling problem.

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