L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Servant verification drive finds few takers
Offenders to be booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
Residents have once again given a cold-shoulder response to the much needed tenants and domestic servants verification drive launched by the district administration to check crime in the city. Ignoring the orders of the District Magistrate regarding supplying of information to the police station concerned by this evening, less than 800 persons have filled up the requisite form.

Police sources said the stage was set for the registration of cases under section 188 of the CrPc for violating the orders of the District Magistrate from tomorrow. The violators could be imprisoned for one month, besides a fine or both.

However, the Division No 2 police has started registering cases for violating the orders of the District Magistrate.

Hans Raj, a dhaba owner in the area, has been booked for not giving full information and address about a servant. Sources said the cases had been registered on the orders of a senior police official.

The police had circulated over 20,000 forms for the purpose, but only under 5 per cent of those chose to fill the forms. Not a single bureaucrat, police official or government officer has come ahead to share information about a tenant or a domestic help with the police. No major industrialist of the city has also come forward with information about his employees.

The Sarabha Nagar police station was leading, with about 190 forms filled by residents in the area while the Division No 4 was the last in the list, with not a single form being filled.

The Model Town police station SHO, Mr Harvinder Singh Bhalla blatantly refused to share the public’s response with the media. While senior police officials have been seeking the help of the media for the past one month to educate people about the seriousness of the issue, Mr Bhalla kept dilly-dallying about the figure since morning and rudely refused in the evening to discuss information in his area.

Similar orders were issued by the district administration three years ago. Several city residents were booked for not following the orders, but due to public and political pressure, the drive was discontinued.

Recently, the district police again launched the drive following a spate in crime incidents in the city. In most of these cases, servants or employees in offices or shops were believed to be involved. The police had organised public meetings to distribute forms. The forms were also available at police stations. The police faced a problem of funds in getting xerox copies of the form. It got relief when several industrialists opted to take one form and get it xeroxed for hundreds of workers.

Past experiences have revealed that city residents have been shying away from sharing information due to fear of discouraging servants from working in the house or shop. Another factor was the public’s apprehension that the information could be used by the Income Tax Department, the municipal corporation or the Labour Department that might seek tax for keeping tenants. Most of the employers do not want to reveal the exact number of workers for the same reason.

The S.P., City-I, Mr R.K. Jaiswal, while addressing mediapersons last week, had said that the district police had decided to pursue the matter seriously as migrants were becoming increasingly responsible for the rise in crime graph in the district.

Mr Jaiswal said during investigations of various crime incidents, it had come to light that most of these were committed by migrants putting up as tenants in the city and landlords did not know anything about them. He added that after committing the crimes, these people left for their villages and could not be traced.



2 killed as tanker hits car
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
Two persons of a local family were killed while three others were injured when a loaded oil tanker collided with a Tata Indica car in which the victims were travelling, near Amaltas tourist complex on Ludhiana-Jalandhar GT road this afternoon.

Amit , a resident of Grain market area and a hardware shop owner and his 8-year-old son Ansh were killed on the spot. His wife Pallavi, another 6-year-old son, Hridya and a maid Jeewan Jyoti were seriously wounded.

The driver of the tanker was missing. No one knew how the accident took place as the injured were still unconscious. Inspector Arvind Puri, SHO, Salem Tabri, said the accident seemed to have taken place when the driver of the oil tanker was overtaking the car but lost control.

The rear tyres of the truck hit the car and crushed it under them. The oil tanker also overturned and the fuel was spilled all over the road.

The police had to divert the traffic to avoid a jam. A case had been registered against the unidentified truck driver. The petrol was being tansported to a petrol pump in Dad village.



Residents hold rally, seek murder case in dowry death
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 31
Hundreds of residents of Kamalpura held a protest rally near the office of local SDM and raised slogans against the Panjab Police. They were demanding registration of a dowry case according to Surinder Singh of Kamalpura, his niece Karamjit Kaur had got married with Harvinder Singh of Bharowal about ten years back. But later their relations became strained due to dowry demand. He also alleged that Harvinder Singh had developed illicit relations with a widow of the same village who interfered in his niece’s life to which she objected. On August 23, Surinder Singh alleged that Harvinder Singh and the widow burnt alive Karamjit Kaur, but ASI Amrik Singh got signed a different version and then registered a case under Section 306-A IPC.

The rally, which was also addressed by Mr Kanwaljit Khanna, state secretary of Inqalabi Kender Punjab, Tirlok Singh Dalla, District president, Shiromani Akali Dal (Panthak) and many other leaders of various organisations demanded immediate enquiry from the SSP Jagraon and registration of the case under section 302 IPC. They also demanded to arrest the accused, failing which they warned to take stern action till their demand was not met with. 



Tributes paid to Beant Singh on death anniversary
Tribune News Service

Payal (Ludhiana), August 31
Tributes were paid to the late Beant Singh, a former Chief Minister of Punjab, on his ninth death anniversary. A senior Congress leader and the AICC general secretary, Ms Mohsina Kidwai, the Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, the Pradesh Congress Committee President, Mr H.S. Hanspal, the AICC secretary, Mr Manish Tewari, Mr Tej Parkash, son of Beant Singh, and his daughter and Minister of State for Social Welfare, Ms Gurkanwal Kaur, Beant Singh’s wife Jaswant Kaur and several ministers and legislators were among those present on the occasion.

The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, missed the function for the first time as he was supposed to be present at Amritsar in view of the 400 years of the Prakash of Guru Granth Sahib. Although Ms Gurkanwal Kaur was present on the stage, she appeared to maintain a distance from her brother and mother. They did not even greet each other.

Paying tributes to the late leader, Ms Mohsina Kidwai observed that not only people of Punjab but the entire country owed a great debt to the family of Beant Singh. She pointed out that had it not been for the great sacrifice of Beant Singh, Punjab might not have been launched on the path of peace and progress again. She remarked that Beant Singh’s sacrifice was next to that of Mahatma Gandhi and Indira Gandhi, who had laid down their lives for safeguarding the freedom and integrity of the nation.

Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal had great praise for Ms Jaswant Kaur in particular, who had made an equal sacrifice along with Beant Singh. She observed that if Punjab was peaceful today, it was because of Beant Singh only. “Had he not dared to take on terrorists, we would not be enjoying the power”, she admitted, while seeking an early completion of the Beant Singh memorial in Chandigarh. She mainly targeted a Shiromani Akali Dal leader, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, charging him with amassing massive wealth while ignoring the state. She blamed him for the delay in the completion of the Beant Singh memorial.

Beant Singh’s family had put in a lot of efforts to ensure maximum participation of people in the rally. Thousands of people, mostly from surrounding villages, had gathered to pay homage to Beant Singh. Despite scorching heat, everybody stayed put till the conclusion of the function at around 4 p.m.

Prominent among those present today included the Education Minister, Mr Harnam Das Johar, the Rural Development Minister, Mr Lal Singh, former MPs, Mr Jagmeet Brar and Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, the Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Milkiat Singh Birmi, the Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Surinder Dawer, legislators Milkiat Singh Dakha and Bir Devinder Singh, and a CPI leader, Mr Joginder Dayal.



Rumours make residents untie rakhis
Kanchan Vasdev

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
A few days after fear psychosis gripped residents of Hambowal village, near Machhiwara, panic gripped city residents last night after they started receiving telephone calls asking them to remove their rakhis otherwise ill luck would follow them.

The calls started coming in after 12 midnight. Residents woke up to frantic calls asking them to untie the rakhis immediately. Some people even visited the houses of their relatives, friends and neighbours asking them to remove rakhis in the night.

Within a few hours, the news spread like a wild fire. The suggestion of removing the rakhis came with the news of death of many persons after tying rakhis as the festival ‘‘fell on an inauspicious day.’’

Not only the phone calls but the mobile phones were also flooded with SMS containing the similar message. Labourers were seen rushing to their relatives house to break the news to them.

Some PCO owners were woken up by some persons to open their booths so that they could make calls to their relatives staying in other states. Long queues of people were seen outside the booths. The owners did brisk business on account of the rumours.

Some people even received calls from their relatives residing in other states. Panic-stricken residents removed their rakhis. ‘‘I received a call from my sister in Jaipur who asked me to remove my rakhis immediately. I took them off immediately. When I woke up in the morning, I was laughing at myself but during night I was feeling scared till I was wearing it.’’ said Mr Inderjit Singh, resident of Aman Nagar.

Various theories were being narrated by the callers. Some said a girl born yesterday in Bilga town had started speaking and said whosoever would keep wearing a rakhi would not survive till morning. Some were saying that five persons had died in Ludhiana and before their death they had urged upon the others to untie the rakhis.

Interestingly, no news of accidental death was reported in the city till morning. Many people who did not believe in the forecast were making fun of others during the day. ‘‘I had also received a number of calls but I decided to keep wearing it though my son followed the instructions. I woke up in the morning alive and kicking. Nothing happened to me,’’ said Mr Prem Singh, resident of PAU.



Servant gets two-year imprisonment
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 31
Mr Baldev Singh, Sessions Judge, has convicted a servant, Munna, alias Bablu of New Vishnu Puri, accused of throwing red chilly powder in the eyes of his employer and stealing Rs 3,200 at Bajwa Nagar, in March 2003.

The accused has been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment besided fine of Rs 500.

The accused was booked under Sections 328 and 381 of IPC at Division No:4 police station, on March 27, 2003, following a complaint by his employer, Mr Vishan Kunal.

The complainant had stated to the police that he was owner of M/s Shakti Sales Corporation. He had employed the accused a week ago.

On March 26, when he was about to close the shop, the accused threw red chilly powder in his eyes and took away a plastic bag containing Rs 3,200. The police later arrested the accused on March 28.

However, during the trial accused pleaded not guilty and claimed false implication. But convinced with the evidence adduced on record by the prosecution and arguments of District Attorney — Mr A.A. Pathak, the court found him guilty and sentenced accordingly.



Hike in paddy MSP a cruel joke: sabha
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
The Jamhoori Kisan Sabha has termed the hike of Rs 10 in the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy by the government as a cruel joke on the farmers of the state.
Addressing a rally of farmers at the Chattar Singh park in Model Town here today, Mr Kulwant Singh Sandhu, state general secretary of the outfit, said the privitisation policies of the government were the same irrespective of the change of guard at the Centre.

The WTO regime had ensured that the poor farmers of the developing countries should not be able to exploit the benefits of a changed world order. Ironically, while the developed nations had hiked the quantum of subsidies, the poor nations were being forced to roll back the same benefits or face the music, he pointed out.

He said the government, while fixing the MSP of paddy, had conveniently ignored the fact that the prices of farm inputs had been increased manifold in the past many years but the same had not been compensated in the prices of farm products. This was a cause for concern for an agrarian-based economy, he added.

Mr Sandhu said the farmers had not been paid for damages suffered from natural calamities like droughts and floods.

Other leaders also said the government should take steps to reduce the debt burden of the farmers.



Ludhiana Calling

The rainy season brings with itself many problems. The biggest problems for the villagers during this season is of poisonous snakes. Many farmers are killed every year due to snake bites. This is also the season for quacks who throng the villages to sell various concoction which they claim can save a victim of snake bite. The other day some quacks selling these medicines were confronted by some activists of the Inqalabi Kendra. They offered them a buffalo to get it bitten by a poisonous snake and then treat it. Finding this challenge a difficult one the quacks took no time to disappear from the spot. The activists appealed to the residents not to depend on these people to treat a snake bite but rush the victim to a doctor.

Cell menace

An elderly lady was recently presented with a mobile by her children who wanted to be in constant touch with her even when she was on the move. It went on well for a few days till she complained to her kids saying, “the phone is working fine, but I do not appreciate your making missed calls”. As if this was not enough, another friend of hers refused to answer the mobile phone because her grandchildren had changed the ringing tone saying “this is not my phone, my phone sings ‘Mai hoon Naa’ song”.

Unhappy senior citizens

When Finance Minister P. Chidambaram announced higher rate of interest for senior citizens under a special scheme, most of them were a very happy lot. But now with the inflation figures touching an all-time high, a senior citizen is actually losing money in a fixed deposit by about 1 per cent annually. Those who have put the money in saving bank schemes are losing about 2½ per cent annually. Those who realise this are certainly a very unhappy lot, despite the government’s initiative to make them happy. And worst still is that these senior citizens can do nothing but see helplessly their money losing its buying power.

Professional hazard

All professions have the hazards associated with it. But for some these are more visible. For instance the employees of Punjab State Electricity Board, who have to rectify a snag while climbing the electric poles putting their lives at risk. Many of them have been electrocuted also while doing the duty. But whether it is rain or shine they are supposed to rectify a snag. They are seen perched atop the poles and performing their duty. There are very few moments when their work is admired.

Undecided residents

City residents cannot decide if they want rain or not. When it rains they grumble that the entire city has been flooded and sewers are overflowing. But at the same time when it does not rain for some time like it has happened this week, they make comparisons with cities like Chandigarh where it has been raining non-stop for the past two days. With natures unpredictability personified, the city residents cannot make up their mind about wanting or not wanting rain. The nature, too, is taking full advantage of this “to be or not to be” predicament of the city residents.

Traffic woes

When the marriage palace owners were told by the district administration few years ago to move out of the city to ease traffic congestion, nobody had thought that their removal would choke the flow of the vehicles on wide highways as well. The Ludhiana-Jagraon and the Ludhiana-Pakhowal road is now facing the brunt of the problem. Ludhianvis have a rich party culture and no occasion is better to celebrate than a marriage ceremony. So hordes of vehicles make a beeline to these palaces situated on these roads. The rush is so heavy that long queues of vehicles are formed causing such heavy traffic jams that it takes one over an hour to reach the destination. So much so that even a bridegroom had to walk for over 2 km to reach the pandal. The local police had booked recently some owners holding them responsible for the menace but unless stringent implementation of parking rules was observed the problem would continue.

Re-pavement of good roads

The local MC authorities make lofty claims about providing basic amenities to the public but nothing concrete is visible on the road. One can see heaps of garbage all over the city besides overflowing sewage drains due to choking. Recently, the MC paved many roads afresh but the problem was that roads like the Mall road, Ghumar Mandi road and the Ferozepore road that were already in good condition had been recarpeted while many katcha roads or streets with potholes in several areas of the city were left untouched. The recarpeting had been surprisingly done during the monsoons when there was maximum chance of damage to the roads. The only good work done was the installing of ‘red eyes’ along the road dividers which was of immense help to the drivers during night.

— Sentinel



ADGP lays stone of kennel

Ludhiana, August 31
The foundation stone of a new dog kennel and administrative block building of the Canine Training Centre at Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, was laid today by Dr G.S. Aujla, ADGP Training-Cum-Director, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur.

The proposed buildings have been designed keeping in view various requirements of canine training and the construction work is being executed by the Punjab Police Housing Corporation.

Besides this, work on a number of new infrastructural development projects, which include a state-of-the-art gymnasium, a modern obstacle course, a briefing room, a modern canteen in the vicinity of the hostels, one magazine room for safe and secure storage of gun powder and ammunition, one teaching block for indoor training and one simulation hall will be taken up to very soon with the funds provided under the modernisation of the police schemes. All these projects are likely to be completed by the end of the ongoing academic year. TNS






Woman killed in hit-and-run case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 31
On a statement of Mr Bishan, a resident of Dhandari Kalan, the Focal Point police yesterday registered a case under Section 304-A of the IPC against a driver, who knocked down his wife Shotli on Sunday evening and sped away. Shotli was admitted to the Civil Hospital, but died there the next day.

2 women assaulted: On a statement of Ms Kuldeep Kaur, who lives in Gurpal Nagar, the Division number 6 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 323, 506, 336 and 511 of the IPC and various Sections of the Arms Act against Chhote Lal, who hails from UP.

The woman had stated that the suspect stopped her at Dholewal Chowk, beat her up and threatened her on Monday evening. The suspect, who was armed with a pistol, also tried to fire at her, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

The Division number 2 police, on a statement of Ms Maheshwari, a housewife living in Prem Nagar, yesterday registered a case under Sections 457, 323 and 506 of the IPC against Haathi, Mohan Lal, Pappu, Pinki, Kamal and Chandu, who live in the same locality.

The housewife had stated that the suspects forced their way into her house on Monday, beat her up and also threatened her.. No arrest has been made so far.

Ex- District Nazar booked: A former District Nazar, who retired on April 30 last, was yesterday booked under Section 409 of the IPC at the Civil Lines police station. The complainant, Mr Gian Chand Garg, ACJM, Ludhiana, had stated that suspects Ravinder Singh acted as District Nazar from January 1,2002, to April 30, 2004. But a recent checking revealed that the suspect had misappropriated some of the case properties in his possession.

Dhaba owner held: The Division number 2 police has arrested Hans Raj, who lives in Chhawni Mohalla and runs a dhaba near the local bus stand, and booked him under Section 188 of the IPC for disobeying the orders of the District Magistrate. The police said today that the suspect had failed to provide information to the police regarding the addresses of migrants employed at the dhaba.

Gamblers held: The Civil Lines police yesterday arrested Harwinder Singh, a resident of Abdullapur Basti, Paramjit Singh and Parminder Singh, residents of Mandeep Nagar, and booked them under the Gambling Act.

The police said today that the suspects were gambling near Baba Jeewan Singh Park and a sum of Rs 630 and a deck of playing cards were seized from their possession.

Liquor seized: The Division number 2 police yesterday intercepted Jasvir Singh, alias Raj, a resident of Lail Kalan village near Samrala, near Dhobi Ghat in Issa Nagri and seized 54 bottles of country-made liquor from his possession. A case under the Excise Act was registered against him.

The Sadar police yesterday arrested Baldev Singh and Harwinder Singh, residents of Bonkar Dogran village, and seized nine bottles of hooch from their possession and registered a case against them under the Excise Act. The suspects were intercepted when they were going on a scooter near Central Seed Farm at Sholay village on Monday evening.



Beopar mandal to protest against VAT
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 31
The Akhil Bharatya Udyog Beopar Pratinidhi Mandal (All India Beopar Mahamandal) has rejected VAT, expected to be introduced from April 2005, in the country in its present form. The All-India Beopar Mahamandal has decided to launch a nationwide protest against this issue by holding rallies and dharnas.

Stating this here the senior vice-president, All-India Beopar Mahamandal said here today that the national executive of the beopar mandal had sought reduction in the service tax to 5 per cent and exemption for the booking agencies of transporters and laundry from this tax.

Reservation in the public sector should be not introduced and separate ministries should be formed for different trades at the Centre.

The executive also decided to launch agitation from November to March 2005 against the VAT.

He said that a beopari bhavan would be set up at Delhi on the pattern of FICCI with all basic facilities and a finance committee would be formed to maintain accounts of the funds.

The vice-chief said he would collect a sum of Rs 10 lakh for the beopari bhavan from Punjab.

He said that a traders conference would be held in Ludhiana on October 10 to discuss the problems being faced by the trading community. Dr Asim Gupta, chairman, Empowered Committee on VAT, suggested that the government should set up a forum to discuss the problems arising out of the implementation of the VAT.


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