L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Ex-cop among 5 car thieves held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
The city police today busted an alleged inter-state gang of car thieves and arrested five of its members, including a cop-turned criminal and his son, at a police barrier on the Jassian road.

Suspended head constable of Punjab police Karnail Singh, against whom at least 12 cases of car theft are pending at various police stations of the city, was a prize catch for the police.

He was allegedly involved in criminal activities for the past several years. He has been arrested several times, but did not mend his ways.

He had also roped in his 23-year-old son, Rupinder Singh. The youth was accompanying his father and was also caught. Other arrested gang members were Balraj Gupta, Sahib Singh and Amit Gupta.

Addressing a press conference here today, SP City-I R. K. Jaiswal claimed the gang members had injured an ASI, Mr Dalip Singh, at another police barrier on the Jalandhar road a few days ago. They had remained in the city and were trying to sneak out today when they were caught. Five cars stolen from various places in North India were recovered from them.

The police also seized fake registration certificates and driving licences. While the gang used to steal vehicles from various places, the fake documents were prepared by their accomplices in Ludhiana. The police, however, failed to arrest the alleged gang leader, Tejinder Singh Teji, who was following the rest of the gang in a car but managed to escape.

Explaining their modus operandi, Mr Jaiswal said the gang used to buy new cars on instalments under fake names and addresses. They then prepared fake bills, sale certificates, invoices and temporary number forms and got the vehicles registered from the District Transport Office. Then the vehicles were sold off, he added.



Why not ban all yatras?
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
Only yesterday, the traffic cops stopped an ambulance which was rushing towards Jagraon Bridge. The traffic police had blocked all the roads leading towards Jagraon Bridge as the Bhagwan Jagannath Rath Yatra was to pass through it. The ambulance was carrying a serious patient from Moga. It was speeding to the Christian Medical College. But the ambulance was stopped at the Bharat Nagar crossing. The patient’s attendants entreated policemen to let them go.

They explained to them, even if they were let to cross the barrier, it would be impossible for the ambulance to wade through thousands of devotees on the Jagraon bridge.

The ambulance was directed towards Bus Stand and asked to go via Samrala Chowk to the CMC. It must have taken the ambulance at least an hour more to reach the CMC. That hour could have been crucial.

On an average two such 'route marches' are taken out every month.

One can imagine how such yatras increases the risks of people in Ludhiana. With this industrial town growing in numbers a rath yatra, prabhatpheri, shobha yatra and nagar kirtan is enough to choke the entire city.

A cross section of the residents suggest that prominent citizens representing various faiths should evolve a consensus to stop the yatras on the roads. Instead a common place outside the city should be earmarked for such religious programmes.

Mr Bharat Bhushan Pradhan a local businessman remarked, "the best thing would be to convene a meeting of the representatives of different religions and seek their cooperation to ensure that such yatras are not taken out along the busiest routes". The administration can allocate some place for this purpose where all such functions could be held as there are Ram Lila grounds at most of the places.

This will save the general public from undue harassment which ironically stems from the religious faith of section of people only. 



Arhtiyas served notice for paddy damage
Mahesh Sharma & Iqbal Singh

Mandi Ahmedgarh/Khanna
Nine commission agents belonging to the Khanna, Jagraon and Raikot grain markets may face stringent action for not making proper arrangements to protect paddy from rain.

While the rain stopped farmers from bringing paddy to various purchase centers, administrative officers supervised the preventive measures taken by the commission agents to protect the paddy. Notices were served on some commission agents who had not made enough arrangements.

According to information gathered from various grain markets and purchase centers, farmers were hesitant to bring the paddy to the markets.

Referring to the observations made during her visit to various purchase centers, Dr Indu Malhotra, SDM, Malerkotla, said the losses were negligible as major portion of the produce was yet to arrive in the market. The reports regarding losses due to rain were yet to be ascertained by her office.

Though commission agents claimed to have made sufficient arrangements for covering the heaps and bags of the paddy, four agents in Raikot subdivision were served notices. Mr Prem Chand, SDM, Raikot, said he had inspected purchase centers in the area and found the arrangements satisfactory, except at Barmi and Halwara where four commission agents were served notices.

The paddy arrival at Raikot, Bassian, Nathowal, Talwandi, Barmi, Andloo, Johlan, Shehbagpur, Dadhahoor and Jalaldiwal was slow. About 10,000 quintal of paddy was lying unsold in these centers. The commission agents were advised to resume the process after fanning the paddy.

The market committee of Jagraon has recommended the suspension of licences of two commission agents. Around 3.23 lakh quintals of paddy have arrived at 16 centers falling under this market committee. Today the paddy arrival was negligible at purchase centers falling under Payal subdivision due to rain.

Meanwhile, office-bearers of the Zamhoori Kissan Sabha, Punjab, have urged the authorites concerned to assess the losses. Mr Baldev Singh Latala and Mr Mohinder Singh Seloon, both state committee office-bearers, demanded that the standard norms for colour and moisture should be liberalised looking into the apprehended losses which farmers might suffer.

Mr Jaspal Mittal, SDM, Khanna, today issued notices to three commission agents of the Khanna grain market.

During checking, Mr Mittal found that three commission agents had not covered the paddy. Mr Mittal asked the staff to cover it immediately and asked the secretary, market committee, to issue notices to the commission agents.

The secretary said due to rain the auction was suspended till 11 am today. He said so far 6,97,410 quintals of paddy had been arrived in the Khanna grain market. He claimed that this year the arrival of paddy was two and a half lakh tonne more than the last year. This season private traders have purchased a big quantity of paddy in comparison to the last year. More than 70 per cent paddy has been purchased by private traders, which is 4,95,420 quintals.

The government procurement agencies has procured only 1,91,990 quintals. The FCI has purchased only 2,450 quintals, Markfed 3,050 quintals, Pungrain 76,400, Punsup 57,550, Warehousing Corporation 1,540 and Punjab Agro 45,600.



No farmer ever put up in this Kisan Rest House
Ravi Inder Singh Makkar

Machhiwara, October 3
No farmer can ever be seen “resting” in the so-called Kisan Rest House located in the grain market here.

The indifference of the Marketing Board can be judged from the pitiable condition of the rest house, which was built in 1984 at a cost of Rs 4.5 lakh. Though it was meant for the convenience of the farmers, paramilitary forces had taken it over during the militancy period, and vacated it only in 1992. However, they left it in such a condition that no one could stay in it.

Today the rest house continues to be in a shambles. The plaster has come off the walls, the floor and windows are broken and electric fittings have disappeared, giving it the look of a ruin.

When contacted, officials of the market committee said the office had sent more than 10 letters and reminders to the board to get the rest house repaired. The board asked the civil wing from Ludhiana for an estimate every time, but officials of the wing did not take the matter seriously, they said.

Mr Tehal Singh Aujla, president of the local Ahrtia Association, said it was unfortunate that the rest house meant for farmers had never been used by them in the past 20 years.

Mr Jamial Singh Gill, block president of the Bharti Kisan Union, and kisan leader Pandit Kuldeep Chand Rahimabad demanded a departmental investigation into the issue. 



Raids on illegal cracker stores ordered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, has asked the senior superintendents of the police districts of Ludhiana, Jagraon and Khanna to conduct raids to ensure that there was no illegal manufacturing or storing of fire crackers.

He said emphasis should be laid on the congested areas. This was being done in view of the fire tragedies in the district during the past festival seasons.

In a press note, Mr Verma said he had also directed the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, to get the godowns of all major licensees checked to ensure that they followed the safety norms.

It had been seen in the past that sometimes these licensees brought substantial quantities of crackers to their retail outlets in the main city areas. In case anybody was found violating the regulations action would be taken under the Indian Explosives Act.

Mr Verma appealed to the public to provide information about such traders. If desired, the names of informers would be kept confidential.

Sites had been identified in the city where retail sale of fire crackers would be allowed. The Town Planning Department had been asked to prepare a layout plan for the shops.



One held for producing illicit liquor
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 3
The Jagraon district police has nabbed the kingpin of a gang involved in the production and sale of illicit liquor in the rural areas around this town and Raekote. The gang used to supply cheap crude intoxicants.

Mr Rajiv Ahir, Senior Superintendent of Police, Jagraon, said that Mr Harjit Singh Brar, DSP, Raekote, had received information that youths in the area were falling prey to some suppliers of country liquor.

The police launched a hunt for the gang involved in the sale of the crude intoxicant, which caused more harm to the health of its consumers than their pocket.

Malkiat Singh of Achharwal village, who had been running a distillery on his farm, was arrested. A police team raided the site and seized 40 litres of fermented liquid and nine bottles ready for sale. The equipment used for the purpose was seized.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects had been running the illicit business at least for the past two years. He had developed a network to facilitate the sale of his product directly from his fields. Those who brought customers for him were allowed to drink as much alcohol they wanted. Other incentives were given to those who brought bulk orders.

Oblivious of the harm his product caused consumers, Malkiat Singh knew little about the strength of the intoxicants. An FIR under Section 61 of the Excise Act was registered against the suspect and he was sent in judicial custody on Sunday.



Protesting teachers not allowed to meet Johar
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 3
The Government School Teachers Union today started a rally from Chattar Singh Park, Model Town, marched till Manju Cinema and then turned toward Education Minister Harnam Dass Johar's residence to submit a memorandum of demands, but were stopped by the police. They then submitted the memorandum to Ms Amrit Kaur Gill, SDM, East.

The rally was led by state president Avtar Singh Ferozepur, district president Jagmail Singh Pakhowal and general secretary Charan Singh Tajpuri. Among other teacher leaders were Mr Balkar Singh Baltoha, Amritsar, Mr Lakshman Singh Malooka, and Mr Ashok Kaushal.

The main demands were that both the Central and state governments should give up the policy of privatisation of education as it was not in the interest of teachers. Also, teachers should not be given jobs on a contractual basis and those who had been taken on contract should be regularised.

They said the teacher-student ratio in in a classroom should be 1:30; the promotions of teachers had been stopped in the past and these should be restarted; the management powers in schools should be decentralised; and transfers should be according to government rules and no one should be transferred arbitrarily.

The teachers also resented the non-education duties assigned to teachers, as in election or census duties, as it caused a lot of additional burden. The protesters condemned the police lathicharge on ETT teachers in Kapurthala and said their demands should be fulfilled. The GPF should carry 12 per cent interest, they added.



Tributes paid to Mahatma Gandhi 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 3
Ludhiana Executive Club organised a programme at Sham Nagar Park here to celebrate the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Mr Madan Lal Chopra, president of Sham Nagar Colony. Mr Jagmohan Sharma, district Congress president, was the chief guest.

Mr Prem Mittal, Senior Deputy Mayor and area councillor, was also present. The president of the club said the message of the Father of the Nation was being forgotten. He cited a quote of Mahatma Gandhi, “I wonder how people find time to hate when life is too short to love.”

Mr Jagmohan Sharma said we should adopt the principles of the Mahatma in toto and contribute to the country’s progress.

The services of Lal Bahadur Shastri to the nation were also highlighted. Students of Adarsh Vidya Mandir presented patriotic songs.

The Punjab Samaj Sewak Sangh also paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at a function arranged under the leadership of Mr Rajesh Kohkar. Mr Arun Kumar, president of the sangh, said unemployment and corruption could end only if we followed the ideals of the Mahatma.



Residents against mobile tower erection
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 3
Residents of Chhanna Gate, Cinema Road and Gurdwara Baba Nam Dev here have threatened to boycott a multinational mobile company which has reportedly started the construction work for a high-frequency transmission tower allegedly without the consent of the residents.

Mr Manmohan Singh Mohni, Mr Krishan Gopal Lalli and Mr Sham Lal, office-bearers of a struggle committee constituted to stop the erection of the tower, alleged that a businessman had entered into a contract with the company to allow the tower. They feared the tower might cause harm to the electrical and electronic devices in their houses.

The committee called upon the local councillors and other organisations to impress upon the authorities to not permit the construction. The office-bearers threatened to boycott the use of the connections of the company.

Sources in the municipal council office, meanwhile, said no erection would be allowed against rules.



Third Natak Samagam on Oct 10
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, October 3
To pay tributes to martyr Bhagat Singh on his birth anniversary ,the Naujawan Sudhar Sabha ,here,will organise a Natak Samagam and Mashal March atl Dusehra Ground on October10.

Mr Gurmukhdeep,secretary of the sabha ,said that the plays-'Sarsati', 'Chanan De Wanjare', 'Te Dev Pursh Har Gae', and 'Mitti Rudan Kare'- all directed by Master Tarlochan Singh from Art Centre, Samrala, will be presented.Choreographies like 'Main dharti Punjab Di' and 'Parnam Shaheedan Nun' , would be the other attractions, Mr Deep added.

The persons who have been chosen for awards include Mr Jaspaul Jassi, Editor Surkh Rekha, Master Tarlochan Singh- Rangkarmi; Lal Singh Dil- writer.

The dignitaries likely to attend the Samagam are- Prof Jagmohan Singh, a nephew of Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh and president Zamhoori Adhikar Sabha ,Punjab; Mr Amolak Singh Editor Mukti Marg and president Lok Morcha ,Punjab; Dr Attarjit,president, Punjab Lok Sabhyacharak Manch , Mr Gurmeet Desh Bhagat memorial committee ,Jalandhar.A Pustak Pardarshani will also held. 



Newborn’s body found
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 3
The local police has sought the cooperation of the public in solving the case of the body of a newborn female child that was found in a canal near here. According to the FIR registered at a local police station, the body was found in a branch of the Sirhind Canal three days ago.

The body was wrapped in an embroidered suit, which was probably worn by the mother of the child at the time of childbirth. The placenta and other body waste was packed in three polythene bags.

The body was spotted by a passerby as the water level in the canal was low. The police has got postmortem conducted on the body. Other pathological examinations, including that of the viscera and DNA, are also being conducted to identify the parents.


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