L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Woman, minor son found dead
Husband, in-laws booked under dowry Act
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Raikot (Ludhiana), September 10
A 25-year-old woman of Pherurai village and her one-and-a-half-year old son were allegedly murdered by the woman's in-laws. The bloated body of Harpinder Kaur was found from a canal near Phallewal village last evening. Her relatives raised an alarm and complained to the Raikot police, which registered a case under the dowry Act against her husband, father-in-law and mother-in-law. The body of her son was found in a minor near Pherurai village.

The mother and son had gone missing on September 7. When the child’s body was found, Harpinder’s parents thought that she may have committed suicide along with her son, but when her body was found from a canal they got suspicious.

The Raikot police has registered a case under Sections 304-B and 34, IPC, against Gurmel Singh, her husband, Harnek Singh (father-in-law), and Harjinder Kaur (mother-in-law).

A postmortem examination on Harpinder’s body was conducted by a board of doctors at the Civil Hospital, Sudhar, this morning. The doctors said that her eyes were protruding out. The viscera was sent for examination at the State Forensic Laboratory, Patiala, after which the cause of her death would be determined. They ruled out an acid attack as alleged by the victim’s family.

The DSP, Raikot, Mr H.S. Brar, told Ludhiana Tribune that the police had registered a case on the complaint of the deceased woman’s parents.

Sources said the police would probe other possibilities like suicide by the woman or murder by someone else. It was possible that she had jumped into the canal with her son whose body could have floated away.

The sources, however, stressed that if it was a dowry death, the accused seemed to have planned the murder to perfection in which they had almost succeeded in destroying evidence.

From circumstantial evidence it was very difficult to prove that the murder was committed by the in-laws, the sources said.

Mr Avtar Singh, the victim’s elder brother, alleged that his sister and nephew were murdered by her in-laws as they had been demanding dowry. He also alleged that both were killed and their bodies thrown away.

He alleged that the face of his sister was damaged beyond recognition and there was a possibility that acid was thrown on her face to make it difficult for anyone to recognise the body.

Harpinder was married to Gurmel Singh in December 2001. The family had spent Rs 3 lakh on her wedding and given household items as gifts. Soon after, the in-laws allegedly started harassing her for more dowry. They demanded a car from her mother, who is a widow. Harpinder was frequently sent home for the car.

Her mother, Balbir Kaur, said Harpinder had visited her on Rakhi a week ago and had told her that she did not feel safe at her in-laws’ house. She had also told her that she was being harassed.

Mr Avtar Singh said she had come back home twice and everytime a compromise was reached between the two parties and she was sent back.

Talking to the Tribune, a grief-stricken Avtar Singh said there was no clothes on her body. She was wearing gold bangles and a ‘‘karra’’ which led to her identification. She had a birthmark on her right leg, the inconsolable brother said.



Jagraon MC chief voted out
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
The factionalism within the Congress has cost it the post of the President of the Municipal Committee, Jagraon, who was voted out after a no-confidence motion against him today. Mr Devinder Kathuria, President, Municipal Committee, Jagraon, was voted out after six Akalis and eight Congress councillors voted against him. The no-confidence motion was moved by the Akali councillors and supported by eight Congress councillors.

Congress leaders blame the former MP, Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, for the same. The issue dates back to the time of parliamentary elections when Mr Galib was denied the party ticket and it was awarded to Mr Manish Tewari. Mr Galib allegedly wanted Mr Kathuria and other councillors not to work for Mr Tewari.

While eight councillors kept away from Mr Tewari’s campaign, six, including Mr Kathuria, supported him. Since then Mr Galib reportedly nursed a grudge against him and wanted him out.

The no-confidence motion was mooted about a month ago. Mr Kathuria’s and Mr Galib’s supporters had been approached by Mr HS Hanspal to ensure that the vote of no confidence was not taken up in the House, lest it might embarrass the party.

Mr Hanspal had appointed Mr Avtar Singh Brar as mediator. It had been decided that when the no-confidence motion was to come up in the house, all 14 Congress councillors would abstain. The Akalis have only six councillors in the house.

Even if all of them were present in the house and all Congress councillors had abstained, it would have not completed the quorum. With the result, the no-confidence motion could not have been taken up.

However, eight Congress councillors, including Mr Parshotam Khalifa, Mr Raju Malhotra, Mr Inderjeet Singh Loat, Mr Inder Raj Cukoo, Mr Baldev Singh, Ms Surjit Kaur and Ms Harpreet Dhaliwal, violated the party directive and attended the meeting along with six Akalis.

The no-confidence motion was passed with 14 votes in its favour. Nobody voted against it. Mr Kathuria was not present during the voting as he along with other councillors had gone to Chandigarh where they were scheduled to attend a meeting at the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) office.

Mr Galib, however, denied that there was any understanding between him and the Akalis on the issue. He maintained that all councillors whether those belonging to the Akalis or the Congress, were unhappy with Mr Kathuria. Mr Galib claimed that he had himself nominated him to the post of the MC President, but he had failed to meet the expectations of the councillors, the workers and the people of the town.



Giving bad marriages a second chance
Naveen S. Grewal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
When the Crime against Women and Children (Prevention) Cell was constituted under the Family Courts Act here in September, 2001, it was taken to be just another exercise in futility. But three years down the line, the cell continues to provide counselling and legal help to estranged couples and victims of atrocities in their domestic and social life.

The cell that celebrates its third anniversary today has taken up 2,690 cases of family dispute since its inception, out of which 445 ended in divorce, 123 led to registration of FIRs against the accused and 944 complaints were closed after arbitration and counselling.

“Our endeavour is to run the cell with dedication and positive efforts”, says Mr Kuldip Singh Grewal, Mr Karan Jawanda and Mr Kamalbir, lawyers who have come out with a report on the activities of the cell.

The cell has 30 members chosen from different walks of life (10 from the police department) based on their drive to promote social reform. The cell members are given extensive training in sociology, psychology and law.

The cell has 13 panels of counsellors. Each panel comprises three members each. Panel No. 1-11 deal with general marital problems, rape victims and social problems affecting women and panel No. 12 and 13 deal with children problems.

The main stress of the cell is to bring about reconciliation, inspiration for which has been drawn from the Family Courts Act which lays emphasis on an informal procedure for reconciling marital discord and related problems. Extensive counselling sessions are held by calling both parties.

The cell is monitored by the city SSP. The incumbent SSP, Mr Narinderpal Singh, has given tremendous encouragement to the work carried on by the cell and also brought about certain reforms, making counselling time-bound. The police keeps a close watch over the cases and provides the required follow-up.

According to Mr Grewal, it has been observed that the root cause for most disputes is early marriage, financial dependency of husband on his parents, drug addiction, extra-marital relations, forcible marriage, intolerance and temperamental incompatibility.

He says more efforts are required to help needy children and a scheme should be launched to counsel and reform children, including beggars.



Judicial Magistrate R.K. Bhatti dead
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 10
City Judicial Magistrate Rajwinder Kaur Bhatti expired late last night. The news regarding her untimely death sent a shock wave amongst the judicial officers and the legal fraternity.

A relative of the deceased, Mr Harshwinder Singh, said she had died of a heart attack at 10 pm. About 20 days back she had given birth to a male child at the PGI, Chandigarh, after a major operation. She was not keeping good health after the delivery.

Yesterday, she had got herself checked up from the doctors at the PGI. She leaves behind two children and her husband, Mr Sukhwinder Singh Bhatti, owner of a gas agency at Amloh.

Ms Bhatti had joined as Judicial Officer in Ludhiana a few months back. She worked here for a couple of days and then went on maternity leave.

Judicial Magistrate Mr K.K. Jain, Ms Ravi Inder Kaur and Ms Rajni Chokkra from Ludhiana attended her cremation at Sangrur.

Mr Baldev Singh, District and Sessions Judge, Mr Balwinder Goel, District Bar Association president, and members of the legal fraternity expressed sorrow at the untimely death of the judicial officer.



14.8 lakh to get old age pension

Ludhiana, September 10
The Punjab Government has embarked upon an ambitious programme of providing old- age pension to about 14.8 lakh persons every month. Disclosing this here today, the Minister for Rural Development, Panchayats, Irrigation and Power, Mr Lal Singh, said each pensioner would be paid Rs 200 a month, which would cost Rs 360 crore to the state annually. Mr Lal Singh was here to preside over a meeting of the District Planning and Development Board. The government has also deleted names of 1.14 lakh pensioners who were from well-off families from the list.

The minister disclosed that the state government had simplified the procedure to identify the eligible persons, under which, beneficiaries had been identified in the general house meetings of the panchayats in each village. The applicants are not required to go through any other formality. He said 5.19 lakh new eligible beneficiaries had been added.

The minister said the state government was launching a special campaign, under which all 14,000 km link roads which were due for repair in 1998 would be relaid with the premix. The government had tied up with Punjab National Bank to sanction the loan of Rs 450 crore required for this purpose. Mr Lal Singh also gave an assurance that the state government would provide 24 hours power supply to all 12,000 villages of the state by December 31, 2004. For this purpose, a loan of Rs 250 crore had also been arranged for the PSEB.

Referring to development projects in Ludhiana district out of the funds of the DPDB, Mr Lal Singh informed that a special plan amounting to Rs 58 crore for 2004-05 had been chalked out and sent for approval to the Punjab State Planning and Development Board. He said out of these funds, a sum of Rs 21.75 crore had been proposed for implementation of different schemes of Social Security and Welfare Departments, Rs 16.11 crore for the rural employment and development programme, Rs 7.70 crore for the welfare of SCs and BCs, including Ashirward Scheme and Rs 7 crore for urban development. — TNS



SBP staff observe strike
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
Protesting against the management’s “rigid” attitude, employees of the State Bank of Patiala have observed a strike. A massive rally was held in front of the bank’s regional office.

Members of the State Bank of Patiala Employees Federation alleged that the management had adopted a “rigid, adamant and uncompromising” attitude on the issue of compassionate appointments to the dependents of deceased employees.

They also condemned the alleged unilateral decisions in the introduction of cross-selling of SBI-Life, Mutual Fund and UIGIS, which was a change in the service conditions of employees and against the spirit of the Bipartite Settlement. The federation said after VRS, more than 1,050 members of the clerical staff and 450 members of the subordinate staff were required in the bank. Shortage of staff had put a burden on the employees.



Migrant labourer found murdered
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 10
Close on the heels of murder of a migrant labourer at Jurahan village, another migrant labourer was found murdered at the farms of his master. Seemingly an honour murder, the killing has once again brought to the fore the need to verify to antecedents of labourers working in farms.

Sources at a police camp at Majri village disclosed that Villey Mukhia, alias Billu, a permanent resident of Gidriani village, Madhubani district, Bihar, was found murdered at the fields of his master Surjit Singh Lambardar today morning.

The Dehlon police was informed by the Lambardar who found him dead. His blood-stained body was lying on the cot on which he had slept on. The police found a spade near the cot. It seemed that the deceased was hit on the face while he was asleep and the assailant did not give him chance to cry for help.

Billu had been working as farm labourer for 15 years in this village. He was employed at the fields of Surjit Singh for last two years. Besides working at fields he used to do household chores also. A handsome youth of 35, Bilu enjoyed a good rapport with his employers.

He was seen playing cards at Darwaz village last evening.

The police rounded up around 10 migrant labourers but their interrogation gave no clue to the crime. The body of the deceased was sent to Civil Hospital, Dehlon, for post-mortem examination.

Mr Jatinder Singh, DSP Dakha, said it seemed to be an honour killing but preliminary investigations gave no hint about his relations with any of the woman. As his watch or belongings had not been taken away. It became clear that he was not murdered for money or goods.

Referring to recent incidents of killings of migrant labourer, Mr Khaira said: “In one of the cases a migrant labourer was killed for his alleged attempt to tease a girl of the village while another case was yet to be solved. Unfortunately the employers do not get the antecedents of their servants verified by the police which cost nothing but saves a lot of inconvenience.”

Mr Gurjit Singh Majri, former chairman, Market Committee, apprehended that the fresh spurt in killings of migrant labourer might create panic among them and the agriculture might suffer as a result.



Man held for attempt to rape, murder
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 10
Raju, a migrant, was arrested by the Sarabha Nagar police yesterday and booked under Sections 307, 341, 506, 376, 511 and 323 of the IPC for attempt to rape and murder of a girl living in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar.

According to information, Sandhya, an unmarried girl who hails from UP and lives in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, stated to the police that the accused, who was grazing buffaloes along the railway line, tried to rape her after dragging her into bushes while she was returning home on foot on Wednesday evening. When she resisted, the accused tried to strangle her with her dupatta. But she raised the alarm, following which the accused fled the spot.

Money snatched: On the statement of Sandeep Kumar, a resident of Arjan Nagar, the Shimla Puri police yesterday booked Parmod Kumar, Veenu, both of the same locality, Bittu, alias Palwinder Singh, and Bhinder, alias Bhalwan of Chet Singh Nagar for assault and money snatching.

According to the complaint, the accused forced their way into complainant’s house on Wednesday afternoon and beat him up, besides damaging his household goods. Before leaving, the accused also took away Rs 2.55 lakh from his father, the complainant alleged. A case under Sections 452, 323, 324, 356, 427, 506 and 34 of the IPC has been registered.

Man stabbed: Four persons — Sonu, Monu, Vicky and Raj Kumar, who live in Jawahar Nagar Camp — were booked for stabbing Amit of the same locality here yesterday.

The complainant alleged that the accused intercepted him on the road, stabbed him with a knife and injured him at Mohni Chowk on Wednesday night. The Civil Lines police has registered a case under Sections 324, 323 and 34 of the IPC against the accused.

Shop burgled: The Kotwali police yesterday registered a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC on the statement of Saroj Kumar Parashar, who runs a shop in Sagar Hotel Complex near Mata Rani Chowk, against unknown person(s) for burglary. The shutter of the shop was pried open by the burglar(s) and two Reliance mobile sets, seven SIM cards of Airtel and some other goods were stolen on Wednesday night.

Servant booked: The Division No. 6 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 381 and 354 of the IPC on the statement of Radhika Parshad, who lives in street No. 6 of Mat Colony in New Shimla Puri, against his servant Kunnu Yadav, who hails from UP.

The complainant alleged that the accused, who was working in his scrap shop in Industrial Area-A, broke open the lock of an almirah and decamped with Rs 85,835 in cash on Saturday night.

Injured: The Division No. 6 police yesterday booked the driver of a bus owned by Rajdeep Bus Service for injuring Rakesh Kumar, who lives in Cheema Park in Model Gram.

The complainant stated that the accused hit the bus into his car from behind, causing injuries to him and damage to the car. The mishap occurred outside the military camp at Sherpur on Wednesday morning. A case under Sections 279, 337, 338 and 427 of the IPC has been registered.

The Jodhewal police yesterday registered a case under Sections 279, 337, 338 and 427 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Ajmer Singh, who lives in street No. 1 of Maya Puri, against Ayub Jain of Aggar Nagar.

The complainant stated that Pawan Kumar, who lives on Tibba Road and was on a Hero Honda motor cycle, was hit by a car driven by the accused at Meharban village on Monday afternoon. Pawan was injured and his motorcycle damaged in the mishap.

One held: Manoj Kumar, who runs a fast food business on Jail Road, was yesterday arrested by the Division No. 2 police and booked under Section 188 of the IPC.

The police said the accused had employed some servants at his shop but failed to furnish information about them to it, as required under a recent order of the District Magistrate. The accused was later bailed out.

Whisky seized: The Jodhewal police arrested Jagan Nath, a resident of street No. 12 of Dashmesh Nagar, and seized 12 bottles of whisky from his possession. The accused was nabbed near the T-point of Kirpal Nagar.

He has been booked under the Excise Act.

Cash stolen:
A bag containing cash and some documents was stolen from a parked car at Samrala road today.

According to information, Mrs Rajinder Kaur, a local resident, had parked her Zen car at about 12 pm in front of Bhandari Book Shop. After a few minutes when she returned to her car, the bag was missing. She said there were Rs 1,000 in cash, an ATM card and some important documents in the bag. The police has been informed.

Suicide bids: Two persons tried to commit suicide in two different incidents here on Friday. Both victims have been referred to Rajindera Hospital, Patiala.

In the first incident, Sukhjit Kaur, a housewife, consumed a poisonous substance. She was residing with her sister as she had strained his with her husband. At the time of the incident, her family members were not at home. When Sukhjit’s sister returned home, she found her in a critical condition and rushed her to the Civil Hospital, Khanna, from where she was sent to Patiala.

In the second incident, a mentally disturbed man, Tahir Ul Sheikh (40), tried to kill himself by pouring kerosene on him. He received more than 80 per cent burn injuries. He was referred to Patiala as his condition deteriorated.



The ‘dal-kebab jugalbandi’ 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September10
It is a unique jugalbandi at Hotel Majestic Park Plaza with the dal and kebab festival being launched from today. It offers an exclusive and sumptuous combination of dal and kebabs of Hyderabad, Lucknow, Punjab.

The festival will continue till September 19 at the Lodi Riwayat. The jugalbandi not only provides the pleasure of both worlds of the great Indian cuisine, but is nourished with slow and radiant cooking of judiciously selected herbs and ingredients.

The ambience appears to have been created to suit the occasion. One comes across “murg daraanpuri parchey, “mahihabadai kalmi kebab,” “kebab-e-banmi” and “kebab-e-hazaravi” to tickle the taste buds. The traditional kebabs of lamb have been cooked in the form of “garhi kebab”, “kandha kebab khandahari”, “hara barrah kebab” and “dum ke kebab”.

The real pleasure of paneer begins with “doodhiya kebab”, which has been transformed into old goolarh kebab, kham khatai and khoya kebab.

In dals the chef has “dal panchrattani”, “dal keoti hyderabadi”, “dal bada gharana”.



Gas helpline launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
HP Gas yesterday launched a value-added service for its consumers of Ludhiana. Mr Chatter Singh, Chief Regional Manager, HPCL, Hoshiarpur regional office, and Mr Ajay Bhardwaj, Executive Sales Officer, LPG, were present, among others. The gas helpline will benefit nearly 80,000 customers being serviced through M/s Jay Kay Gas Company, Link Road; M/s Jay Kay Gas Company, Kitchlu Nagar; Ludhiana Sales and Service; Shivalik Gas Company; Kay Cee Gas Company; Emm Kay Gas Company; and Sant Paramjit Gas Company. It can be reached by dialling 3683132 from anywhere in the town. The helpline is equipped to handle round-the-clock emergency in addition to booking of a cylinder from 8 pm to 8 am.


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