L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


7 get life sentence for triple murder
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 27
Holding seven persons of Sunet village guilty of murdering three persons of the same village over a land dispute, the Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Indrejit Kaushik, today sentenced them to rigorous life imprisonment and also imposed on them a fine of Rs 10,000 each.

The convicted were Joginder Singh alias Tiger (59), his sons Bhagwan Singh alias Honey (28), Jaspreet Singh (24), Varinder Singh alias Bittu (30), Harjinder Singh alias Jind (22), Avtar Singh alias Mara (24) and Varinder Singh alias Billu (30).

The accused were facing the charge of murdering Nirbhai Singh, Malkiat Singh and Gurnam Singh of Sunet village on May 6, 2001.

An F.I.R was registered against them, at Sarabha Nagar Police Station on the day of murder, under sections 302, 323, 324, 148, 149 of IPC and 27 of the Arms Act following the statement of Prabhjit Singh, grandson of deceased Malkiat Singh.

Delivering the verdict, Mr Kaushik held that prosecution had proved the charges levelled against the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

Keeping in view the gravity of offence, the Judge also turned down the plea of leniency raised by the accused.

The complainant Prabhjit Singh, had informed the police that his grandfather Malkiat Singh and uncle Nirbhai Singh had a dispute with Gurnam Singh and Joginder Singh over shamlat land.

He further stated that the dispute was brought to the court which settled the matter in their favour.

Following the court verdict, his grandfather and uncle were raising a construction on the land situated at Sunet village on May 6, 2001, the day of murder, he added.

At about 10.30 a.m, Joginder Singh alias Tiger, along with his sons, who were armed with kirpans, reached the spot of murder.

The other three accused, Avtar Singh alias Mara armed with single barrel gun, Avtar Singh alias Billu armed with .12 bore gun and Harjinder Singh armed with gandasa also reached there, he added .

The complainant disclosed that the accused Joginder Singh raised a cry and asked his companions to teach the victims a lesson for undertaking construction on the land and shouted that none of them should escape.

Thereafter, Avtar Singh alias Mara fired a shot from his gun, which hit his uncle Nirbhai Singh. Billu also fired a shot which hit his grandfather, Malkiat Singh.

Both injured fell down and the accused started inflicting injuries upon them with kirpans.

Meanwhile, Gurnam Singh came there and tried to intervene but the angry Billu fired upon him.

All the accused fled away wih their respective weapons, said the complainant.

Nirbhai Singh and Malkiat Singh were badly injured and were rushed to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital where they were declared brought dead. Gurnam Singh died in Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, according to the prosecution.

The prosecution examined as many as 13 witnesses to prove the guilt of accused.

However the accused pleaded not guilty and claimed false implication. Accused Tiger stated before court that actually they were fire upon by Nirbhai Singh and Malkiat Singh .

Tiger further said that it was the gun shot from Malkiat Singh which had hit Gurnam Singh. Infact, he and other co-accused were not present on the spot.

But the court found no merit in their pleadings and held them guilty of murder. 



Shobha yatras mark Valmiki Jayanti
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 27
The birth anniversary of Lord Valmiki was celebrated with fervour and zeal throughout the city here today, specifically at various Valmiki temples located at Nalli Mohalla, Ghatti mohalla, Chhawni mohalla and the Daresi ground.

Devotees started thronging temples since early morning and partook of langar.

The celebrations were marked by shobha yatras.

The main shobha yatra was taken out by the Bhartiya Valmik Dharam Samaj from the Daresi ground.

A yatra was also taken out from the Kochhar Market.



Farmers smother city with smog
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
Owing to the lax implementation of laws restraining the farmers from burning paddy stubble, the city is reeling under the perennial problem of smog which poses a serious environmental and health hazard.

The effects of burning the paddy stubble have already started showing in the city especially in the evenings and mornings.

The residents have started flocking the hospitals with eye and respiratory problems.

The city has started witnessing smoky evenings for the past two days thanks to the rampant burning of stubble by the farmers.

The warnings by agricultural experts and environmentalists that the process ruins the soil health and plays havoc with the health of residents besides creating environmental hazards have gone completely unheeded.

While the smog is witnessed in the evenings only the smell of smoke can be felt during the daytime also. The environmentalists are of the opinion that owing to the fall in temperature, the smog is getting accumulated near the surface of the earth as the smoke arising out of burning stubble was getting mixed with the fog.

They say that the situation is going to worsen keeping in view the ensuing festival season.

It is becoming very difficult to breathe in open and those travelling on the roads on uncovered vehicles have already started complaining of eye and respiratory problems.

It is not only in the city that the smog is creating inconvenience to people but in villages the situation is even grimmer.

Villagers face poor visibility during nights while smoke can be witnessed in the villages throughout the day.

All the village roads connected to the city were under the cover of smoke today. Burnt paddy fields could be seen alongside the entire stretch of the roads.

In some villages, minor accidents have also been reported due to the poor visibility.

A doctor based in Lalton village says that he is receiving patients, particularly children, with bronchitis and other respiratory problems and irritation in the eyes.

A local doctor informs that he is getting patients complaining of bronchitis, laryngitis, distress and difficulty in breathing.

He adds that the problem is likely to persist during the next two weeks as more farmers would resort to straw burning.

He makes it clear that children are more in distress as they have smaller respiratory passages and are complaining of difficulty in breathing. A similar situation has been witnessed last year also and many patients with these diseases had reported to him.

The smog is dangerous for the asthma patients, he asserts.

Dr Arun Mitra, general secretary of Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha (BJGVJ) says that it is ironical that though the smog problem is detrimental to the health of people yet district administration is sleeping over the issue.

He adds that many doctors attached with the Jatha are holding awareness camps in several rural areas.

He advises residents to cover their noses with a clean cloth before going out. He also advises them to wear glasses to protect their eyes from the smoke, which is causing irritation and reddening of eyes.

Dr R.P.S. Aulakh, Agriculture Development Officer, Ludhiana says that the practice of burning paddy stubble is causing serious damage to the fertility of soil.

Punjab is losing nitrogen worth Rs 90 crore every year due to burning of paddy stubble, he discloses.

He advises the farmers to incorporate the stubble in their fields instead of burning these.

It is more economical for them as they would not require much money to spend on the chemicals to kill the pests, which are known to attack the crop after the incorporation of the stubble in the fields.



Fresh scrap containers arrive, police wary
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
The city police and officials here are in a fix over the fresh arrival of over 20 containers of scrap, suspected to contain explosives, imported from the West Asia. The containers have come just when a special team of the Punjab Armed Police Battalion had finished searching and segregating explosives from scrap contained in seven sealed containers.

Nearly 11,000 explosives, including rockets, bombs and grenades, were recovered in the two-week-long operation by the PAP. However, the team could not heave a sigh of relief as more containers arrived.

While the customs authorities are again hoping that the PAP team would sort out the explosives from the newly arrived containers, the PAP team has expressed its inability to do so. Police sources revealed that the team had already spent over two weeks in the city. It would have to spend more than two months to examine these more than 20 containers suspected to contain explosives.

Mr Amit Goyal, Joint Commissioner, Customs, said 25 containers had arrived from war-affected areas. He said the scrap belonged to traders in Mandi Gobindgarh. He said through the problem of handling the fresh arrival had come up but there was no need to press the panic buttons as some solution would be found.

The sources said the authorities would try to solve the problem in another round of meeting between the Customs and Police Department. Till then, the containers had to be kept sealed.

The police is already facing an uphill task of disposing off the explosives found from the opened containers. The police had secured the explosives in the hope that Army officials would dispose off the bombs.

The threat caused by the bombs is not unfounded. Already, a scrap bomb has found its way to a city furnace. One labourer was killed and another injured in a steel works factory in Focal Point three days ago.



MC puts off date for receiving tenders
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 27
Even as the Municipal Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, has ordered an inquiry into the alleged selective distribution of tender forms for development works in the city valued at around Rs 16 crore after BJP and SAD councillors raised the issue earlier this week, the controversy refuses to die down.

The MC Joint Commissioner, Dr Jaswant Singh, told Ludhiana Tribune here today that the tenders scheduled to be received and opened for different development works had been postponed and were being recalled on November 5. He said he would conduct a probe into the alleged irregularities in issuing tender forms and stern action would be taken against erring officials. The tenders for MC works would, henceforth, be issued under his supervision in a transparent manner, he added.

The tenders, scheduled to be received and opened this afternoon, were postponed till further orders due to a holiday declared by the state government for the second half of the day in connection with Valmiki Jayanti.

According to Dr Jaswant Singh, the new date for the issuance and receipt of tenders would be notified in newspapers through a corrigendum in the next couple of days.

The protest by the BJP and SAD councillors against “discrimination” in issuing tender forms has not been for the first time.

Councillors sometimes patronise a few contractors to the extent of ensuring that all development works in their respective wards were awarded to these contractors with whom they had benami partnerships.

Close relatives of some councillors are contractors with the MC although the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act prohibits this.

It has been learnt that a number of ruling party councillors had, on more than one occasion, threatened their leaders with changing loyalty if favours were not granted to contractors of their choice or development works in their wards were not awarded to certain contractors.

Meanwhile, the MC has announced that Zone B and D offices of the civic body will remain open on October 30 to enable people to pay their house tax bills.



Warning against adulteration
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 27
In the wake of the festival season, the district health administration has stepped up its drive to check adulteration of food stuff.

Civil Surgeon Dr S.N. Tiwari said a team of health officials took more than 24 samples of sweets, cold drinks, wheat flour and dry fruit from different places in the city on Tuesday.

He said the health officials would keep a close vigil against adulteration in sweets, and edible oils.



NRIs donate Rs 10 lakh
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 27
Two NRIs and natives of Jandu village, Mr Narain Singh Cheema and Mr Gurdial Singh Cheema, have come forward to raise a novel waiting hall at the office of the SDM, Jagraon.

Mr Gurmit Singh, SDM, Jagraon, said Mr Narain Singh Cheema and Mr Gurdial Singh Cheema had visited his office recently and showed concern over the lack of facilities for the public.

“When explained about the limitations of the government they offered to raise a waiting hall and presented a cheque worth Rs 10 lakh immediately,” said Mr Gurmit Singh.

The NRIs had assured to provide facilities including refrigerator, air conditioner and television.



PSEB engineers’ meeting today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
A meeting of the Punjab State Electricity Board Engineers Association to discuss reasons of the deterioration in quality of services and measures to improve them will be held here tomorrow.

“The association is seriously concerned about the problems being faced by consumers at grassroot level. In absence of any policy for recruitment and training, services are deteriorating,” said Mr Jaswant Singh Zafar, member, central executive PSEB Engineers Association, in a press note today.



HCL infrastructure for schools

Ludhiana, October 27
HCL Infosystems today announced that it had bagged an order worth Rs 76 crore from the Department of School Education, Punjab, for the supply of IT infrastructure.

The company will supply, install and maintain IT infrastructure in 1,287 government schools, both in the rural and urban areas as apart of the project, stated a company press note.

To begin with students from classes VI to XII, in the current session will be helped to become computer literate, the note stated. TNS


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