L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


ATM fraud leaves woman poorer by Rs 1.63 lakh
Bank refuses to act
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 10
If you think your hard-earned money in a savings account is safe, you may be in for a surprise. At least the experience of Ms Amarpreet Kaur, former teacher at the local Sacred Heart School, has not only been shocking for her, but for her entire family that had left a tidy sum in the bank hoping to use it when required. 

Over Rs 1.63 lakh was withdrawn from her account in State Bank of India, Agar Nagar Branch, through an ATM machine despite the fact that she never possessed or applied for an ATM card.

What is even more appalling is that neither the bank nor the police are taking her complaint seriously. The ‘fraud’ came to light when Ms Amarpreet issued a cheque for Rs 1.4 lakh last week. On being presented, it was dishonoured on account of insufficient funds. The entire amount had been withdrawn from the account from May 6 to July 23 this year in sums of Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 on alternate days. Prior to these dates, the account had remained inoperative for several months as the account holder had moved residence to Delhi.

According to Ms Amarpreet, even after the fraud was detected, the branch manager, Mr. R.S Sharma, did not bother to sympathise with her or her husband. On the other hand, he kept avoiding talking to her husband who had brought the matter to his notice on November 4. “I was asked to come on November 5 or 6 despite knowing that he would not be available at the bank on those dates. The manager tried to hush up the matter and shoo me away”, Mr Nirmal Singh, husband of Ms Amarpreet, who is in Ludhiana pursuing the case, said.

The AGM of the State Bank of India, Mr S.B. Sharma said he knew about the fraud and the matter was being investigated. He said at present it appeared that the ATM card had been misused by someone. But the situation would become clear only after the record of the company dispatching the ATM cards and their PIN were checked. However, he had no explanation as to why an ATM card had been issued when the customer did not apply for one.

Mr Nirmal Singh has also made a written complaint to the SHO, Sarabha Nagar, on November 4 stating the entire episode, but no action has been taken on the complaint. The police has not even recorded the complaint in the Daily Diary Register, what to talk about investigating the matter. The account holder and her husband, who live in Delhi, have been staying with relatives in Ludhiana trying to get their grievance redressed without any success so far.

In the past, too, several complaints of frauds at the ATMs have come to light, but the banks in the city have hardly taken any preventive steps. Most banks even do not comply with the safety norms that are recommended for the ATMs. 



Traders sell crackers illegally
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 10
Two days prior to Divali, none of the local traders have not applied for permission to sell crackers and fireworks at specified places in the town. Meanwhile, the local police has warned the prospective vendors against unauthorised storage of explosive materials.

The SDM office at Malerkotla, revealed that non of the local traders had sought permission to sell crackers. Dr Indu, SDM, Malerkotla, had imposed restrictions on the sale and storage of these materials in the thickly populated commercial and residential areas of the town including Malerkotla, Amargarh and Dhuri.

Open space behind M.G.M.N. Senior School and the space near Tube Well number 3 were earmarked for the sale of
fireworks from November 5 till November 20. But none of the traders applied for permission for selling crackers there.

A public announcement was also made warning the prospective vendors against the unauthorised sale and storage of restricted materials.

It was revealed that some traders had bought large quantities of crackers from Ludhiana and Kilaraipur.

Meanwhile, the residents here have begun making Divali purchases from Ludhiana for the fear of not getting good variety of fire works here.

Though the municipal council here had issued notices to some businessmen alleging import of huge quantity of fireworks, birth non of them had produced the required records at the office. 



55 mobile phones, cash stolen; thief held
Our Correspondent

Khanna, November 10
Fiftyfive mobile phones and Rs 5,500 were stolen from an electronic goods shop on GT Road here last night. The thief was caught sometime after the incident with the help of an employee of a PCO. The stolen phones and the cash was recovered from him and he was handed over to the police by the owner of the shop.

According to the thief, he climbed the roof of the shop at midnight and entered it by breaking the grill. He remained in the shop for more than three hours. He picked up 55 mobile phones and Rs 5,500 in cash. He said when he came out of the shop, the watchman noticed him. He (the thief) ran away and entered the nearby Civil Hospital.

The watchman informed the owner of the shop. When the owner came to his shop, he found mobile phones and cash missing. In the mean time, an employee of a nearby PCO told the shop owner that he had noticed a young boy entering the Civil Hospital. They searched for him and found him hiding behind a tree. They caught hold of him and informed the police.



Hutch accused of cheating
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 10
Twenty employees, including doctors and paramedics, of the Mohan Dai Oswal Cancer Hospital here criticised the Hutch company allegedly for cheating the employees by not fulfilling the promised benefits made at the time of offering the mobile phone connection.

In a signed complaint sent to General Manager Hutchisson Essar Mohali, the employees have alleged that an agent of the company had lured them into taking 20 corporate connections.

The agent had promised that the rates including call charges, monthly rental and free sms quota would be better than the other mobile companies.

The employees discontinued their existing mobile connections and took Hutch phones .

However they were shocked to receive the bills higher than the one promised by the agent.

Showing correspondence with the company authorities, the employees said that the officials had turned a deaf ear to their complaint and refused to make any concessions.

The employees have decided to withhold all due payments to the company till the issue was resolved.



Postponement of tenders boon for MC
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 10
The alleged irregularities while issuing tender forms for development works worth several crores in the city, to be undertaken by the local municipal corporation (MC), led to postponement of the tenders. It proved to be a blessing in disguise for the MC and netted a saving over Rs 3 crore.

To make the tender process transparent, the MC opened tenders for civil works worth Rs 24 crore on November 5 without any political interference and saved an additional 10 to 15 per cent on the estimated cost of these works.

Sources in the MC told Ludhiana Tribune that as against the average normal saving of 7 per cent on road works, the lowest offers ranged between 18 to 22 per cent, with some tenders offering 30 per cent lower rates than the estimated expenditure.



Probe ordered into stipend fraud

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 10
The Block Primary Education Officer has initiated inquiry in to the reports of alleged misappropriation of funds meant for stipend of Dalit girl students of Government Primary School at Jitwal Kalan.

Mr Piara Singh, BEPO, here said Ms Jaswinder Kaur, acting in-charge of the said school had allegedly misappropriated the funds.

Though she had signatures of 32 students allegedly on the receipt, she allegedly paid only 100 out of Rs 210 to each student and pocketed the rest of the money. — OC



Festival shopping adds to traffic chaos
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 10
Human and vehicle population in the city has made the city bursting at seems. With almost every one out in the market for festival buying, chaotic traffic in the city has worsened to the extent that extended traffic jams and disruptions in the movement of people and vehicles every where has become a routine.

Although the sale of crackers were limited to a few designated areas due to safety reasons, shopkeepers and traders, dealing in gift items, household goods, provision and sweetshops and other products related to festivals have encroached upon footpaths and even parts of roads. In utter disregard to pedestrian and vehicular traffic, merchandise were being displayed on both sides of roads.

Unmindful and haphazard parking of vehicles, both belonging to the traders and shoppers in most congested and busy commercial areas were also serving as hurdles in the smooth flow of traffic.

Things have come to such a pass that both the enforcement wing of the civic body (Tehbazari Department) and the traffic police were apparently finding it difficult to bring some semblance of regulation on roads. While traffic conditions were bad in all localities, without exception, the major commercial centres of Chaura Bazar, Clock Tower, Mall Road, Fountain Chowk, Jawahar Nagar market, Bus Stand Road had, of late, become major problem areas.

City residents were of the view that the traffic cops were simply not able to cope with the problem and it would take a lot of efforts, backed with adequate traffic planning, before they could be of any assist seem.

The enforcement staff of the Tehbazari Department of the MC was also drawing flak for being selective in clearing temporary encroachments.

They were being charged with making regular “collection” from shopkeepers, rehri and pharri wallahs and street vendors in the city for turning a blind eye to their encroachments while acting “mercilessly” against those who refused to “oblige” them.



Recarpeting of CMC road starts
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 10
The resurfacing and widening of the road from Lakshmi Cinema to CMC Hospital in the old city would do away with traffic jams in the area. Laying the stone of the Rs 18 lakh road development project undertaken by the municipal corporation in Ward No 51, the Parliamentary Secretary for Housing and Urban Development, Mr Surinder Dawar, reiterated the commitment of the state government for providing high quality amenities and comprehensive infrastructure to the urban population.

The Area Councillor, Mr Sanjay Talwar, speaking at the occasion, informed that other related works prior to this project had been completed.

Giving details of other development projects, to be executed in the locality, Mr Talwar said that work would soon begin at Mohar Singh Nagar, Ram Nagar and Hargobind Nagar. The road adjoining Old Jail would also be resurfaced to improve traffic flow.

Among others, Mr Rakesh Parashar, councillor, Mr Ashok Bagga, Mr Walaiti Ram Talwar, Mr Ashwani Bhasin, Mr Rakesh Taneja, Mr Sunil Roxy, Mr Ranjit Chhabra, Mr Madan Lal, Mr Kanwaljit Singh Bobby, Mr Somesh Aggarwal, Mr Inderjit Manga, Mr Johnson Gill, Mr Krishan Lal Sharma, Mr Taranjit Singh Babli and Mr Manu Sharma were also present.



Vishvakarma Puja Utsav on Nov 13
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 10
Mr Bhalwinder Singh (Gogi), President and Mr Balwinder Singh Dodey General Secretary of Baba Visvakarma Educational and Social Welfare Trust after a meeting have stated in a joint statement that the trust will hold “Visvakarma Pooja Utasav” on district level. 

A cultural programme on November 13 at Dasera ground here at 1 pm, will be a part of the celebrations.

Harjit Harman a folk singer and other singers will present programme. Seth Khanuya Lal will inaugurate the function while Mr S.K. Ahluwalia will be the chief guest. 



Patiala-based woman booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 10
The civil lines police here has booked a Patiala based woman on the charges of cheating and forgery for possessing a vacant plot in Haibowal here. Woman Bhajan Kaur resident of Mehar Singh Colony Tripuri Patiala had allegedly produced forged papers before the police and civil authorities to show her claim on the plot which was actually owned by Mr Nand Kishore of Kootcha Pandit Dhani Ram Karimpura here.

The woman had in an earlier complaint to the police charged the actual owner Nand Kishore with trying to forcibly possess the plot. Nand Kishore later turned the tables on the woman by proving his ownership.

Sources said the police was now investigating how did the woman manage to produce false revenue record in support of her claim.

Nand Kishore has alleged that a number of employees of the Municipal Corporation, Revenue Record Department were hand in glove with the accused woman. He has demanded a thorough probe into the scandal.



Case registered after one month of incident
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 10
The Jodhewal police yesterday registered a case of snatching under Sections 379 and 356 of the IPC nearly a month after the incident that took place on October 10 last on the statement of Mr. Komal Kumar, who lives in Sunder Nagar. Mr Komal Kumar had stated that while his wife Veena Jain was going in a rickshaw, a motorcycle rider snatched her purse and sped way. The purse contained some gold jewellery and Rs 1300. It caused a. loss of Rs 1,2500, added the complainant.

New-born abandoned

The Civil Line police yesterday registered a case under Section 318 of the IPC on the statement of Mr. Harmesh Kumar, who lives in Krishna Nagar in Ghumar Mandi against an unknown woman who allegedly threw the body of a newly-born infant at the back of his house on Tuesday. He noticed the body early morning and informed the police, added the complainant.

Theft and assault alleged

The division number six police yesterday registered a case under sections 380,448,511,427,323,506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr. Sohan Lal alias Sony, who lives in Dharampura, Mohalla against Gurdial Singh, who lives in street number 4 of Ranjit Park mohalla. The complainant had stated that He had taken a shop on rent from the accused 25 years ago and he was running a tea shop there. On Tuesday, the accused came to his shop and forcibly threw out his goods and also beat him up. The accused also stole Rs 7000 from the cash box of the shop and threatened him of dire consequences if he did not vacant the shop.

Scooter recovered

The Shimla Puri police yesterday arrested Ram Lal, a resident of Vishawakarma Colony falling under the jurisdiction of division number 2 police station, recovered a stolen Bajaj scooter from his possession and registered a case against him under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC. The arrest was made following a tip-off, said the police today.

Copyright violation, one held

The Salem Tabri police yesterday arrested Sanjiv Kumar, who lives in Ashok Nagar and registered a case under various Sections of the Copyright Act and section 420 of the IPC.

The police said the accused had been manufacturing and selling pirated editions of CDs and as many as 200 such CDs were seized from his possession from his shop in the locality.



Internet service for BSNL customers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 10
In a bid to provide benefits of technology to its customers, the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will come out with one more facility for its users. The Nigam will launch NetOne, a service via which users can directly access the Internet without taking a separate connection.

"They do not have to buy an Internet connection from any Internet Service Provider (ISP). One just has to be a BSNL customer to avail this service," an official said.

To avail this service all one is required to do is go to website www. netoneldh.bsnl.in and register online. One can open this site without connecting to the Internet.

"This is particularly useful for people who have limited use. Many people often end up losing hours for which they have paid because the time expires or they are not able to use the Internet for the specified number of hours. 


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