L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Gang of robbers busted
Suspects used to drug and loot victims
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 9
The city police has busted a three- member gang of robbers, who used to loot people after tricking them into consuming drug-laced tea or food. The three persons were nabbed after one of their victims managed to write down the number of the vehicle used by the persons.

Later, one of the gang members claimed that he was an AIDS patient and thus the police did not interrogate him. His claim made the police keep him in a separate lock-up. The police was, however, verifying his claims by getting him medically examined at civil hospital here.

The gang members identified as Banka, Satpal Singh and Surinder Singh were allegedly active in Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Ludhiana and Patiala districts. They usually targeted people who sought lifts from private vehicles on the highways or aged people living alone.

Two of the gang members had even lived abroad. Satpal Singh had spent 10 years in Switzerland. Surinder Singh had spent several years in Kenya. Both, however, could not make much fortune there.

SP (Detective), Gurpreet Singh, told reporters in a press conference today afternoon that a police team headed by Inspector Devinder Kumar had arrested the accused from a special police barricade erected on Ludhiana-Khanna stretch of the GT Road.

Two victims of the gang narrated their tale of woe to mediapersons. Mr Mohan Lal, Assistant Manager, with Central Tool Room, Focal Point, was looted by the accused in May this year. On May 23, he had boarded a Tata Estate car driven by the accused from Ludhiana late in the evening. He was on way to Ambala. The accused gave him a cup of drug-laced tea.

Mohan Lal found himself at Ambala bus stand next morning. He somehow managed to reach the house of his in-laws in that city and got medical treatment. Showing presence of mind he had jotted down the number of the vehicle when they had stopped for having tea near Sahnewal.

Mohan Lal’s gold ring, chain, mobile phone and certificates besides Rs 10,000 that had been robbed by the accused were, however, recovered. The file containing certificates of the victim was thrown near a rehri near Manji Sahib Gurdwara.

The second victim was a 52-year-old shopkeeper, Mr Pawan Kumar Bhasin, a resident of Raghbir Park. Mr Bhasin, a widower, has a hosiery shop in Dal Bazaar. He had placed a matrimonial advertisement in a city newspaper.

The accused had him after reading the advertisement on the pretext of fixing a match for their sister. Later, they had dinner at his house during which they mixed some drugs in the victim's food. They decamped with gold jewellery, mobile phone and Rs 10,000 cash.



Private ITIs being promoted at the
cost of government ones

Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 9
The state government is allegedly promoting private industrial training institutes at the cost of the government-run ITIs despite tall claims of strengthening the industrial training infrastructure in Punjab.

The claims of the government in this context have proved to be a mere lip service to convey an impression that the government was serious about creating an atmosphere where the students, who pass out from various industrial training institutes in the state, will be able to stand on their own feet.

Mr Navjot Singh Dhoot, general secretary of the Industrial Training (ITI's) Employees Union, said everyday the newspapers highlighted the ever increasing problem of educated unemployed who were forced to do odd jobs to make both ends meet. ‘Both the Centre and the state governments have failed to take into account the poor conditions of the ITIs in the country but continue to harp on the need to impart vocational education’’, he said.

The ITIs were established to impart technical training to students and to enable them to start their own ventures. ‘’But one look at the institutes will reveal what is wrong with technical education in the state. Crumbling buildings, vacant posts of instructor and rampant corruption have become the hallmark of ITIs. They have virtually gone to seed’’, he pointed out.

He alleged that no recruitments had been made for the past many years and as a result many courses had been scrapped.

The situation can be gauged from the fact that more than half of the 1600 sanctioned posts are lying vacant. Machinery worth crores has turned into junk and the poor students, who thronged to join the courses, are now forced to shell out exorbitant sums to study in private ITIs, he added.

He said the fee structure for courses in the government-run ITIs is Rs 3500 while it is not less than Rs 20, 000 in private ones. The latter have a capacity to train 21,000 students in a year but owing to lack of instructors, only 12,000 can be admitted each year. This has been conveyed to the government many times, but to no avail.

Instead the government is promoting private institutions in the state which is not in the interest of the poor students, he said.

He appealed to the Science and Technology Minister, Mr Rakesh Pandey, to weed out the corrupt elements from the department so that these vital institutions could be revived at the earliest.



Explosives are here, whither experts?
Vimal Sumbly and Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 9
The huge quantity of war debris being imported by furnace owners may be a powder keg. Customs officials have reportedly been cautioning against the unchecked import of war debris.

The officials are reportedly sore over the attitude of the local police in not paying heed to its requests of checking the steel scrap that comes here everyday. They are particularly worried as not only ship scrap, but a lot of war debris from Iraq is being brought to Ludhiana.

Twelve persons have been killed in the last three years due to blasts involving scrap here. War debris is also being brought to Mandi Gobindgarh.

Steel furnace owners prefer war debris to ship scrap as it costs less.

There are no prescribed norms about verifying the safety of scrap and preventive measures are seldom taken.

A consignment of scrap, allegedly containing used and unused bombs, is lying in 10 sealed containers at the dry port here since March. The Customs Department is panicky as four of the containers belong to Bhushan Steels, Chandigarh, a sister concern of Bhushan Steels, Ghaziabad.

Customs officials sealed the containers in March and July. Police investigations had confirmed that there were explosives in the consignment. As there was no bomb-defusing squad available with the Customs Department, it had requested the police in disposing of the explosives.

The police also expressed its helplessness in the matter, saying bomb-defusing experts of the Punjab police were not equipped to handle such big explosives.

Mr Amit Goyal, Joint Commissioner, Dry Port, said the department had sealed the containers after spotting some bombs and shells.

He said the consignment had not come directly from Iraq.

He said he had written to the city SSP Narinderpal Singh several times and the Patiala IG, but the problem was not solved.

Mr Mandeep Singh, SP (Headquarters), said the police had referred the matter to the ADGP, Punjab Armed Police Battalion. The ADGP had expressed his inability to help him, explaining that explosives could be handled better by the experts in the Army. The SP said the police had referred the matter to the Deputy Commissioner for seeking the services of the Army.



Students get ‘bogus’ degrees
Vijay Bansal

Jagraon, October 9
Many students of Baba Nand Singh Paramedical Technology Institution on Sidhwan Bet road here complained in writing against the authorities of the institute to the SSP today. Demanding the immediate registration of a case, they alleged that they had been deprived of big amounts and had been awarded bogus degrees and certificates. Dr Parminder Singh, a local resident, had been running the institute for the past three years.

Six of the students had been shown to have passed the two-year DMLT course, 14 students the four-year BEMS course and 19 students the year-and-a-half ANM course. They had been issued mark sheets and degrees. When they applied for further studies to the PTU-affiliated Gagra College at Kot Isse Khan, they were denied admission as their degrees were shown to have been issued by Public Health and Medical Technology of India, not registered with the Government of Punjab.

The students contacted Dr Parminder Singh and asked him about the registration number, the name of the Registrar and the place from where the certificates had been issued, but he did not give any information. They claimed that he used to make them appear in the examination either a day before or a day after the date shown in the date sheet at a secret place.



Youth pays with life for objecting to music
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, October 9
A youth of a small village, Iraq, on the Machhiwara-Kohara road, had to pay with his life on asking for the volume of music to be lowered.
Daljeet (27), a son of a poor farmer, was yesterday killed by a barber, Jasbir, alias Raju. He had asked Jasbir to turn down the volume of music.

He had been objecting to Jasbir’s allegedly playing vulgar songs at a place village women usually passed by. When Daljeet tried to stop Jasbir, he stabbed Daljeet with a pair of scissors in the stomach. Daljeet died on the way to a doctor in Machhiwara. Jasbir has been arrested.



Models sizzle in designer wear
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 9
Models sashayed down the stage set up at Sterling Resorts yesterday displaying creations of Shantanu, Nikhil and Aparna. The fashion show was a perfect blend of elegance, style and glamour and was organised by Seagram's Blenders Pride.

With special creations designed to suit the night , 22 renowned models such as Carol Graciau, Poonam Nath, Ayesha Prem, Tapur Chaterjee, Natasha Chopra, Shonali Rosario , Tinu Verghis, Laxmi Rana and Sampada Inamdar among others dazzled the fashion conscious audience of the city.

Earlier, while addressing a press conference in the afternoon, the designers said they were happy to be in Ludhiana as the city is in tune with the best and the latest in trends and fashions. They said," We are excited to be here and are sure that the audience would appreciate our collection."

Manasi Scott enthralled the audience.



He received Vir Chakra twice in the same year
Bhushan Sood

Amloh, October 9
Late Risaldar (Honorary Lieutenant) Kartar Singh Gill is among the few to have received the Vir Chakra twice in the same year.
He had celebrated his 90th birthday at Padni, his native village, near here, on October 5 last year. Thereafter, he died on November 27, 2003.

Born into a simple farmer family, he joined the Army in 1931 as a soldier.

In February 1948, a patrol of 7 Rajput was ambushed in the Chamb Jaurian sector in Jammu and Kashmir by the Pakistan army. Risaldar Kartar Singh Gill, who was leading the patrol, showed presence of mind and ordered his men to surround the enemy. The patrol was able to capture 25 enemy men and seize 15 rifles. For this action, he received his first Vir Chakra.

On November 1, 1948, he played a leading role in a special operation. An attack on the Zojila Pass was planned, for which tank turrets were dismantled on reaching Jammu. Later, the tanks and turrets were reassembled at Baltal by him. This place is approximately 40 km from Srinagar, at a height of 9,000 feet. The road from Baltal to Zojila was bad. At a place called Gumri, there was a shelter made for postman carrying mail to Leh. On the way to Gumri, the leading troop, under the command of Risaldar Gill, came under attack around 11 a.m. Mortar and small-arms fire came from bunkers located at heights. Tank guns could not be elevated to fire at these heights. Gill got his tanks into a depression on a slope to gain a trajectory to take aim at the enemy. Around 3 p.m. the troops reached Gumri. The vision was limited due to snowfall. Infantry support was requested, but it did not turn up till late in the evening and the Risaldar’s tanks held ground till then.

Unmindful of the danger to his life, he had kept his head out of the turret and engaged the enemy. For this action he was awarded his second Vir Chakra.

According to his family members, Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab, has written a book on the acts of bravery of Risaldar Kartar Singh Gill, which was released by Congress president Sonia Gandhi is 1992.

He is survived by his wife, Ms Jaswant Kaur, a daughter and four sons.

His first death anniversary is being observed at Padni village, under Bhadson police station, on October 10.



BKU leaders visit grain markets
Our Correspondent

Samrala, October 9
Some BKU (Lakhwal) leaders visited grain markets in Samrala subdivision today and inspected the paddy purchase process. They also listened to the complaints of the farmers.

After visiting the mandis, the BKU leaders said by and large the farmers were satisfied although some of them had complained that dust cleaners of the mandis were taking full payment and were also taking 20 to 25 kg of the so-called wasted paddy. The farmers’ leaders said they would meet the local SDM, Mr Baldev Singh, in this regard.

Meanwhile, the SDM said he had not received any such complaint from the farmers when he had visited the mandis. Even then he would take action immediately if any such complaint was received by him.



Colours cheer mentally challenged
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 9
Colour can add charm to everyone’s life, even the mentally challenged. This was apparent at a painting exhibition in which mentally challenged children presented their work, which reflected their fascination for colour.

The exhibition was organised by Ashirwad, an NGO working for the uplift of mentally challenged children.

The children were guided to draw paintings on their own, helped by the teachers. However, what was notable was their fascination for bright colours like red.

Prizes were distributed among the children for participating in the exhibition. Ms Neelam Sodhi, chief guest on the occasion, presented the prizes. She lauded the efforts of the organisers in giving the children an opportunity to exploit their talent.



One held with smack
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 9
The Division Number 3 police yesterday arrested Joginder Singh, a resident of Beant Pura mohalla, and recovered 45 grams of contraband ‘smack’ from his possession and registered a case against him under the NDPS Act.

The police said this morning that a routine check was being carried out near a culvert close to the cremation grounds when the accused was spotted by the police party on duty. On seeing the police, the accused tried to flee but was nabbed after a brief chase.

Couple injured: On the statement of Mr Tilak Raj, a resident of Mundian Khurd village, the Model Town police yesterday registered a case under Sections 325,323,148 and 149 of the IPC against Sohan Lal, his wife Sheetla Rani, Randhir Singh, Khushpal Singh and Kamaljit Singh, all residents of Street Number 2 of Abdullapur Basti.

The complainant had stated that he and his wife had gone to meet their parents in Abdullapur Basti when on the way, the accused stopped and attacked them with iron rods as a result of which both of them were injured and were admitted to the CMC Hospital. The assault took place on Thursday morning, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

Cases of alleged fraud: The Jodhewal police yesterday registered a case under Sections 420, 406 and 506 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Surinder Singh Grover, an NRI settled in Canada, against Rakesh Jain who runs a knitwear unit in Sundernagar.

The complainant had stated that he was in the import/export business. He had paid $ 8000 to the accused and had placed an order for blankets. But the accused neither sent the blankets to Canada nor returned his money. When he asked him to return his money, the accused threatened him, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

Cheats held: The Haibowal police yesterday arrested five persons for duping people by giving them wads containing original currency notes on outside and plain paper inside. The gang members used to cheat people by promising to pay them Rs 5 lakh in lieu of Rs one lakh.

The arrested gang members have been identified as Subhash Parshad, a Bihari migrant living in Haibowal, Raj, a migrant from UP, Sudama Ram, Bhushan and Bhanu, all Biharis now living in Haibowal.

The police said today that a sum of Rs 6,300 and blank papers used to fill up the currency wads were recovered from their possession.

Held for piracy: The Civil Lines police yesterday arrested Taranjit Singh, a resident of Mandeep Nagar at Haibowal and Sunny, a resident of New Vijay Nagar and registered a case against them under various sections of the Copyright Act and Section 420 of the IPC. The complainant in the case, Mr. Parminder Singh, who lives in Panjab Mata Nagar on the Pakhowal Road, had stated that he was field officer of a Copyright protection company based in Mumbai. The accused were selling pirated editions of CDs and VCDs. The police said today it had recovered 250 pirated CDs and DVDs from the shops being run by the accused in separate raids conducted on Friday.



480 bottles of liquor seized
Tribune Reporters

Jagraon, October 9
Gagandip Singh, a CIA staff Sub Inspector, intercepted a car (No. DL-2CF-3443) on GT Road falling in the Agwar Gujjran area and recovered 480 bottles of IMFL from the possession of two occupants of the car.

The arrested persons were identified as Piara Singh of Talwandi Malihan and Pardeep Kumar of Talwandi Bhai. A case under Sections 61/1/14 of the Excise Act has been registered at Jagraon police station and the car has been impounded.



Biz clips

Victoria Marvostones, a company that has launched LPG-powered geysers, is expecting over 300 per cent increase in the sale of these geysers. This was disclosed by Mr Rajiv Kumar, chairman of the company. Talking to mediapersons, Mr Kumar said LPG-powered geysers were safer and had five safety devices fitted inside and were cost effective. Talking about the market share of the company, he said, "We have already captured one-fifth of the market share within four years of launching these geysers. Punjab is a high potential market for us and we have a 30 per cent share in this market." The company held a dealer meeting here on Saturday. TNS

SEMINAR: Small Industries Service Institute, in association with the regional office of the Textiles Commission, Amritsar, Nitra Powerloom Service Centre and Sutlex India Pvt Ltd, organised a seminar on “Latest innovations in weaving technologies”, here on Friday. Ms Mridula Jain, vice-chairperson, Shawls Club, was the guest of honour. TNS

EXHIBITION: Build Tech Expo-2004, an exhibition of building materials, will be conducted at Majestic Park Plaza from October 15 to 17. Associated Cement Companies Limited is the sponsor of the event. TNS


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