L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Businessman’s family drugged, looted
Victim booked for not informing police about servants
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 29
Two domestic servants allegedly drugged and looted the family of a businessman in the Model Town area last night.

All members of the family have been admitted to the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here, where their condition is said to be stable. The exact amount of cash and jewellery looted is yet to be assessed, the police said.

According to the FIR, the members of Sant Lal Kapoor’s family fell unconscious after they took food last night. It had allegedly been poisoned by two of their recently appointed servants.

A case has also been registered against Mr Kapoor for not informing the police about hiring the domestic servants.

The servants have been identified as Ashok and Arjun. Nothing is known about their whereabouts as the family reportedly had not kept any record. Since all members were taken to the DMC in an unconscious condition, the police was yet to record their statements.

The two servants made good their escape along with the cash, jewellery and other valuables. Nobody had any idea about the incident till morning when the driver of the van carrying the children to school knocked at the door. When he got no response, he tried to enquire from the neighbours, who informed the police.

After the police arrived at the scene they found all members, including Ms Sudesh Kapoor, Mr Munish Kapoor, Ms Shruti Kapoor and their maid Mani, lying unconscious. They were immediately taken to the hospital.



Rift among GNDEC teachers
Association suspends general secretary
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 29
Cracks in the faculty of the Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College (GNDEC) Teachers Association became visible today when the association suspended its general secretary, Deepinder Singh, for “anti-association” activities. He had been holding classes while the association members were on strike.

Confirming the decision of the executive, Mr N.D. Sharma, president of the Association, said a decision to this effect had been taken after a lot of deliberations on the issue. He said the step was taken as Mr Deepinder Singh was not moving along with the agenda of the association. Mr Sandip Singh Gill has been elected new general secretary.

Mr Deepinder Singh said the agitation was not justified. He said when Ms Satwinderjit Kaur was suspended by an earlier Principal, Mr Sharma had refused to intervene in that case on behalf of the association. Now in case of Dr J.N. Jha, the association was going out of its way to defend him.

Meanwhile, some old students of the college have appealed to the students and teachers to create a congenial atmosphere in the college. In a letter to the Principal, Harmohan Singh, an old student, has written: “It is a shame that there is no respect for an IIT-trained Ph.D teacher.” He also accused the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee of playing politics.



One arrested for duping more than 60 youths
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 29
Kulbir Singh Dhillon, who duped more than 60 youths under the pretext of sending them to Japan, was arrested by the Jagraon police today. He had sent one batch of his victims to Leh (Jammu and Kashmir) and left them to fend for themselves.

Kulbir Singh Dhillon, alias Sukhdev Singh, recently duped unsuspecting persons with the promise of a passage to Japan and assuring them employment there. He later booked them on a flight to Leh and left them to meet his non-existent contacts who were to fly them to Japan even though no international flights originate from Leh airport.

A case was registered on September 20 at the Raikot police station on the statement of Gurmit Singh that he, along with about 50 other persons, had been defrauded by Kulbir Singh Dhillon. The accused recently opened an office in Raikot promising jobs in Japan for a nominal fee.

Following the registration of the case, a special team was constituted under the supervision of Mr Harjit Singh Brar, DSP, Raikot, to nab the accused. Surveillance by the team led to the arrest of the gang members. Dhillon was produced in a court today for further police remand.

Tracing the sequence of events, police officials said in an area where a large number of people trying their luck for greener pastures abroad, this was a godsend. Kulbir managed to lure the poor and gullible victims into his trap by promising them not only to send them to Japan but also arrange for their employment there.

All this for as low as Rs 5000 and this proved to be the ideal magnet. Soon people were making beeline for his office and urging him to accept the payment on the spot. Sensing the paying capacity of the victims, Kulbir managed to rake in varying amounts, the highest being Rs 25, 000.

Police officials said Dhillon was arrested from Sultankhan village in Raikot area where he had gone to workout a compromise. Dhillon, has been trying to make a fast buck ever since he attained adulthood. He tried his luck with a couple of finance companies in Moga area but did not succeed.

His actual name is Sukhdev Singh and he hails from Amritsar area (village Malluwal). While running a firm by the name of Peer Baba in Barnala, a case was registered against Dhillon at PS Kotawli Barnala in 2002 and he remained incarcerated for 11 month before being bailed out. While marrying his present wife, he pretended to be a millionaire to his in-laws.

Dhillon made a neat Rs 5, 84 lakhs from his Mission Japan. He took the first batch of 11 victims first to Delhi by air and then again by air to Leh on September 17. The victims were told that his contacts would arrange their onward journey to Japan.

On reaching Leh, the victims kept waiting to be received by the non-existent colleagues of Dhillon. Here they were spotted by some Defence personnel who heard their story and assisted them back to Punjab. Despite the fact that some of them called home and narrated their woes the Dhillon managed to convince the villagers of his victims that he was a graduate from Japan and had business links there.

It was on the return of their wards that the villagers came to know of first hand account of the con and fanned out looking for the accused, the cops revealed.

The victims belong to villages around Raikot, Barnala and Payal. Apart from Dhillon others named in the FIR no. 153/20-9-2004, under section 420, 467, 468, 471, IPC, were Dhillon’s wife Navjot Kaur, his mother Tej Kaur, wife’s niece Amani, Jaswinder Singh alias Bittu and Gurdev Singh Dardi.

A case in the same case was also registered by the Barnala police. Except Gurdev Singh Dardi, all others have been arrested. Navjot was arrested by the Barnala police a few days ago.

The police said more recoveries were expected.



Dist gears up for Pulse Polio
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 29
Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma has directed departments concerned to gear up to administer pulse polio drops to 5.20 lakh children (in the age group of 0 - 5 years) on National Immunisation Day on October 10 under Intensified Pulse Polio Immunisation Campaign, 2004.

A special meeting was held at the Circuit House here today to chalk out the details of the programme.

Mr Verma said the campaign was aimed at making the country polio free. This year October 10 and November 21 have been fixed as national immunisation days for the fourth and fifth round of immunisation. The endeavour of the administration would be to cover 100 per cent children below five years of age.

The Deputy Commissioner said 209 countries had been declared polio free, but India was still among the only five countries, where polio virus was active. Last year 225 cases of polio had been reported in the country, whereas this year, 54 cases had been reported so far. No case occurred in Punjab.

Of the 5.20 lakh targeted children in the district, there were 2,73,211 children in the age group of 0-5 years in urban areas and 2,47,721 children in rural areas. As many as 900 polio booths would be set up. Ninetysix mobile teams of doctors have been formed. Out of these, 72 teams would be deputed on the road sides and 24 on railway stations.

He said at every booth a team of four persons, comprising medical staff, volunteers of NGOs would be deployed.

Mr Verma asked the Civil Surgeon to create awareness among the people about the campaign. He also directed the District Programme Officer, the DEO (S) and the DEO (P) to provide required staff to the Civil Surgeon.

He told the assistant labour commissioners to ensure that residences of the labourers inside factories and brick-kilns were covered for immunisation. All the SDMs would supervise the programme in their respective sub divisions.

Dr S.N. Tewari, Civil Surgeon, said booth were being set up in every nook and corner of the district and all slum areas would be given extra attention. He said after October 10 the mobile teams would visit door to door to administer polio drops to children not covered under the programme.

He also asked the PSEB authorities to ensure the uninterrupted power supply from October 3 in the areas where the vaccination had been stored.



BJP comes to the rescue of ‘implicated’ councillor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 29
The district unit of the BJP today came to the rescue of its "implicated" councillor, Mr Gurdeep Singh Nittu, who has been booked by the police for allegedly manhandling a woman and her son in the Amarpura area of Ward Number 55. The BJP and the councillor concerned have denied these allegations.

Former Deputy Speaker and senior BJP leader Satpal Gosain told Ludhiana Tribune that the party would take up the issue at the highest forum as the SHO concerned had "falsely implicated" the party councillor in a "fabricated case". The district unit of the party today held a meeting which was presided over by Mr Gosain. The meeting, which was attended by most of the office-bearers, including the district president, Dr Subash Verma, continued till late in the evening.

The issue relates to the registration of an FIR against Mr Nittu and 20 others for allegedly manhandling a woman, Ms Tejinder Kaur, and her son belonging to the Amarpura area. The police has been maintaining that the allegations were corroborated by the medical report of the victims after their examination by doctors at the Civil Hospital.

Mr Nittu along with several supporters and other residents of the area staged a dharna on Monday in front of the house of Ms Tejinder Kaur. The councillor and his supporters alleged that Ms Kaur was involved in some objectionable activities, being carried out from her house with the help of some policemen. Mr Gosain claimed that the woman had apologised at the police station after her husband had filed a complaint against her. She has, however, been denying all these allegations.

The BJP leaders claimed that she was reportedly being told to desist from such activities. They alleged that it had become difficult for the neighbours to live in that atmosphere allegedly created by the activities of the woman. Ultimately they decided to stage a dharna against her outside her residence. She and her son were taken out safely by the Division number 2 police and taken to the Civil Hospital where a medical examination was conducted on the basis of which the police registered an FIR.

The accused woman reportedly managed to stage a dharna outside the Civil Hospital with the support of some Congress activists, while Mr Gosain and his supporters were sitting in a dharna outside the Division number two police station. Taking note of the gravity of the situation, the administration deputed the SP City-I to take stock of the situation. He reportedly conducted a meeting of prominent residents and marked the inquiry to the DSP of the area, Mr Mohan Lal. It was decided that no arrests would be made till the completion of the inquiry by the DSP.

Meanwhile, Mr Gosain said the BJP would organise a media tour in the area for an independent and objective assessment of the real situation. He said the party would like people to know the truth.



Ex-pharmacist acquitted in corruption case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 29
Special Judge, Jaspal Bhatia has acquitted Tarlochan Singh, a former pharmacist of Government Hospital, Payal, in a corruption case, as the prosecution failed to prove the charges against him.

An FIR was registered against the accused on August 18, 1997 at the Vigilance Bureau Police Station Patiala, under Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, following an inquiry.

The prosecution had claimed that the accused was possessing wealth disproportionate to his sources of income. The accused earned Rs 9.51 lakh from January 1985 to January 1994 but spent Rs 14.24 lakh. In this way, the accused had spent more than Rs 4,72,00/- which he had amassed allegedly by indulging into corrupt practices and failed to explain his sources of income had further claimed the prosecution but failed to prove the same.



Action against PSEB officers sought
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 29
The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking has hailed the decision of the Chief Engineer, Punjab State Electricity Board (Central) for recommending action against an executive engineer and an SDO of the PSEB allegedly for demanding bribe from one person for the extension of the load.

Mr Inderjit Singh Pradhan, President of the Chamber, said here today that Mr Sujat Hussain a migrant from Jammu and Kashmir resident of Threeke village applied for extension of the load in the office of the executive engineer and the applicant was called by the SDO and the executive engineer at their residences to strike the deal. They allegedly demanded Rs 75,000 and Rs 1.5 lakh to release the extension. The applicant brought the matter to the notice of the Chief Engineer, PSEB (Central ) Ludhiana who called both officers for the preliminary enquiry in the presence of the complainant. Both officers denied having demanded money. But the complainant gave the complete inside map of the houses of both the officers along with the description of the curtains used in the rooms where he was asked to sit. He further told that he had already paid Rs 3000.

The chamber president disclosed that the whole case was being sent to the Chairman, PSEB Patiala, for action against the officers. Mr Inderjit Singh Pradhan and Mr Charan Singh Kohli, General Secretary , Ludhiana Motor Parts Manufacturers Association while welcoming the action of the Chief Engineer have urged the PSEB Chairman to post an honest officer at Ludhiana to end corruption in the PSEB.



He makes effigies to earn a living
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 29
A team of 15 artisans is currently busy making effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhkaran at the Daresi grounds. These effigies would be burnt on the occasion of Dasehra on October 22.

These artisans, who have travelled all the way from Kirawali village, Agra, are working round-the-clock to undertake another contract in the city.

Mr Asgar Ali, 36, who heads the team of artisans, told Ludhiana Tribune that he had done diploma in Civil Engineering. Since he could not find a suitable job he took to making of effigies. Till a few years ago, these effigies were generally made of thin bamboo sticks, packed with fire-crackers and draped with black cloth.

But now these effigies would be consigned to the flames with the help of a remote control. The chief guest would press a button on a keyboard to trigger an explosive hidden inside the effigy. Asgar Ali claims that effigies being prepared by his team would take at least 40 minutes to burn.

It would be for the first time that a 70-foot-tall effigy of Ravana would be consigned to the flames at the Daresi grounds. Moreover, these effigies would be surrounded by a makeshift wall having a gate, creating an illusion of Lanka.

Asgar Ali said he was charging Rs 70,000 for making these effigies which included the cost of bamboos. He had brought a truck load of bamboos with him from Agra.

Two years ago, Asgar Ali had made effigies in Amritsar. Mr Parkash Singh Badal, the then Chief Minister of Punjab, had honoured him during the Dasehra festival.



VC mourns Dr Anand’s death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 29
Expressing deep sorrow over the demise of Dr Mulk Raj Anand, noted novelist and artist, Dr Kirpal Singh Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said that Dr Anand was a literary giant and an unforgettable personality.

He used to advise Dr M.S. Randhawa in the construction of Museum of Rural Life of Punjab. His novels, Untouchable and Coolie, and stories received international acclaim, Dr Aulakh revealed.



He has not forgotten his roots
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 29
His roots had always been beckoning him.

That is why Mr Jassi Khangura, a British citizen of Indian origin spends more time here than in Britain. And not surprisingly, he ensured that his son was born in India to become a natural born citizen of this country, although most others would prefer other way round.

Mr Jassi Khangura was born and brought up in England. His parents Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura and his wife Bibi Gurdial Khangura had migrated from Latala village in Kila Raipur Assembly segment to England in early sixties.

The Khanguras have a well established software and hotel business in England.

“But this land has always been beckoning me”, he told The Tribune during Chhapar Mela yesterday, while maintaining that the land and the people here give him the homely feeling. “I have always felt strongly that I belong to this place probably because my roots are here”, he said about the sense of belonging with this place.

The credit for retaining the sense of belonging with their native place among their children goes to Mr Jagpal Singh and his wife. Jassi is as fluent in Punjabi and English.

He can speak Punjabi with ease. He appears to be fond of people here. The social bonds among people over here fascinate him much more.

The love for his land appears to be so overpowering that he likes each and everything that belongs to this place. These days he spends some hours at the annual Chhapar mela. Despite the dust and dirt that is a common feature in the countryside, Mr Jassi ensures that he spends some time among the people there. “This gives me an opportunity to meet as many people as I can and also helps me to understand their way of life”, he said.

The Khangura family has tried to pay back to the area they belonged in a big way. The family has contributed over 50 computers to the schools in the Kila Raipur assembly segment. It also plans to provide more computers to more schools in rural areas.

Jassi pointed out, while for the children in the urban areas the computer may not be a new thing or a big deal, but for those living in villages it still remains a dream. “I want to contribute in a small way”, he remarked, while adding, “this is only a beginning and I would ensure that this process keeps on going”.



Tractor stolen
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 29
The police here has registered a case under Section 457, 380 of the IPC on the complaint of Manpreet Singh Manager of a tractor agency near Aligarh 4km from here.

According to the information Manpreet Singh left for home leaving a watchman in their agency premises after closing hours.

And when came to attend his job found that the locks of the agency were broken and some unknown persons had stolen and taken away one ‘New Holland 3630 TX 55 Hf’ tractor worth Rs 4,25000 lakh.


Former Councillor Bhajan Singh, his brother Pappi, nephew Prem and Billa, residents of the Kacha Qila, along with 10 other allegedly assaulted Baljinder Singh of Gandhi Nagar Jagraon after entering into studio according to Baljinder Singh who is admitted in Civil Hospital for his treatment.



Beopar Mandal decries VAT
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 29
Mr Tulsidas Jaitwani Senior Vice-President, Akhil Bharatiya Beopar Pritinidhi Mandal, today said that it had become clear that VAT slated to be implemented from April 2005 was a joke on the nation.

Mr Jaitwani said that Dr Asim Das Gupta, chairman, Empowered Committee of the state Finance Minister on VAT and even Union Finance Minister P Chidambram had claimed that VAT was the most modern and effective system of indirect collection in the world. But perhaps they might not be aware that the very dispensation prepared by the bureaucrats of state Government’s stand no where in the basics of VAT system prevailing in about 140 countries of the world at the moment.

He charged that they were hiding the fact from the public at large how it was going to affect the Indian economy. India is the biggest democratic country in the world having federal base with unique socio economic features. The leaders had least bothered to educate the traders, small industrialists and not to talk of consumers.

Mr Jaitwani said that the load of taxation was already seen on the economy as inflation had gone up. The Beopar Mandal felt that impact of inflation on consumers would also be precarious.

He alleged that in the name of VAT, rates of Sales Tax were being increased at the whims of the state Governments.

Mr Jaitwani appealed to national leaders , economists and consumers to reconsider the whole issue in the largest national interest.



SAP to empower small, medium enterprises
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 29
SAP India, leading provider of business software solutions, recently announced the SAP SMB Forum 2004. The forum programmes will be held in 13 cities across India. The road show will be held in Ludhiana on September 29 and will cover Bangalore, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune, Mumbai, Kochi, New Delhi, Goa, Chennai, Coimbatore and Indore over the next 20 days.

The SAP SMB Forum is an annual event series organised by SAP along with its partners in India. This year, the series will feature SAP’s industry-specific solutions targeted at SMBs and showcase SAP’s expertise in technology. The series will also be a platform for the delegates to be part of a broad range of informative presentations, demonstrations and discussions. Apart from this, the delegates will get an opportunity to interact with customers in the small and mid-size businesses segment who have successfully deployed SAP solutions. The last year’s event saw over 1,650 participants from 900 companies attend the SAP SMB Forum.

Announcing the SAP SMB Forum 2004, Mr Srinivas Rao, Sales Director, SMB, SAP India, said, “Today, Indian SMBs are gearing up to tap the benefits of a fast-growing economy and they are looking at technology as a growth enabler. Through the SAP SMB Forum 04, SAP is providing a unique platform for Indian SMBs by showcasing the industry-specific solutions developed by SAP for the SMBs. This will provide an opportunity for those attending to listen and interact with SAP customers who have benefited from enterprise solutions and also interact with SAP’s technology and service partners.”

The small and medium segment is a strategic focus area for SAP. SAP India has been seeing sustained momentum in the segment, adding 40 new customers in the first half of 2004 that has taken the total number of SMB customers in India to over 260.

SAP is addressing the SMB opportunity actively through partners and value-added resellers. The organisation is working with an elite group of partners with domain expertise who provide marketing, implementation and services behind SAP’s SMB offerings. As part of the SAP solutions for SMBs, SAP has developed individualised, two-tiered SMB solutions - my SAP™ All-in-One and SAP Business One. 



Apparel park to come up on city’s outskirts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 29
Punjab Apparel Park (PAPL) has decided to form the apparel park by deciding to allot the plots before the end of this calendar year.

“The plots will be allotted before the end of this year after which construction will start,” informed Mr Sanjeev Gupta, Managing Director, PAPL.

The apparel park is being envisaged as a major milestone in the development of the apparel industry. Involving investment of Rs 350 crore, the park is planned to be developed as an integrated industrial one on the outskirts of Ludhiana.

“It would boost to Ludhiana apparel industry. Access to world-class infrastructure, which will involve investment of nearly Rs 40 crore, would make the industry highly competitive,” Mr Gupta said. The Punjab Apparel Park, which proposes to end the industry’s problems.

Ludhiana has nearly 10,000 units including exporters, brand manufacturers and low-value-high-volume manufacturers in this industry. The industry has a skill base of over 3 lakh skilled workers. Owing to the concentration of the industry, Ludhiana was selected as destination for the park.

Besides, there would be support facilities like a commercial complex, a business centre, a conference hall and an exhibition centre for buyer-seller meets. Provisions would also be made for recreational facilities like a club house, restaurant etc.

According to the plan, the park will have an environment-friendly water management system, avenue plantations, sewage and effluent carrying pipelines and a common effluent treatment plant, which will relieve the units from concerns of environmental issues.

A joint venture of Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) and Apparel Exporters Association of Ludhiana (APPEAL), the apparel park is expected to generate an employment of over 25,000 apart from adding an additional US $ 200 million to India’s exports, the proposal says.

According to Mr Gupta, the park has now been identified as a mega project, which means that all benefits like exemption from electricity duty and several other relaxations,” he said.



Meeting of electroplaters association held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 29
The 38th Annual General Meeting of the Ludhiana Electroplaters Association was held at the SISI here today. Mr M.K.Sharma, deputy general manager, Small Industries Development Bank of India, was the chief guest while Mr R.C. Chopra, director, Small Industries, Service Institute, presided over the meeting. The president of the association, Mr Joginder Kumar, said the association’s profit and loss account and balance sheet were placed before the house and passed unanimously at today’s meeting.

Retailer meet

Metro Tyres organised a retailers’ meet here today. Mr J.K. Sharma, deputy vice-president, addressed the meeting. He said retailers about the new semi-nylon tyres manufactured by the company. The company plans to set up a new unit at Gurgaon in collaboration with A.G.Continental, Germany, he said. Metro Tyres commands 22 per cent share in the cycle and tubes market and over 70 per cent share in rickshaw nylon tyres market, Mr Sharma said.



Industrial park to boost tourism
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 29
The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Ludhiana organised a seminar on the World Tourism Day here. The seminar was chaired by Mr Suresh Kapur. Addressing the gathering, Mr Harcharan Singh said about 27 lakh tourists visited India last year.

He further said the recent announcement of Capt Amarinder Singh to set up an Industrial Park in Ludhiana at a cost of Rs 350 crore would boost the hotel industry.

Mr Amarvir Singh, in is address, said apart from the government’s efforts to promote tourism in the state private organisations were also investing heavily in the tourism industry. He added that the MBD group would spend Rs 150 crore to construct a multi-complex in the city. This complex would house five cinemas, three hotels and restaurants, a club and a discotheque.

Mr Navdip Malwa urged the governments of India and Pakistan to abolish visa system for the citizens of both countries. This would helping in promoting tourism in Punjab. 



Bank’s interaction with farmers

Doraha, September 29
A farmers’ meet was organised by the Doraha branch of State Bank of Patiala at Kaddon village, yesterday. The meet was presided over by Mr S.K. Singla, AGM, State Bank of Patiala, Region-2, Ludhiana.

In his interaction with the farmers, Mr S.K. Singla requested the farmers to avail themselves of schemes of the bank. OC


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