L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Hotel owner detained illegally, tortured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
A 58-year-old man was allegedly picked up by the Kotwali police for not returning borrowed money and detained illegally for more than 13 hours. After coming back from the police station, he developed a cardiac problem and is hospitalised in the Intensive Cardiac Care Unit of the DMC.

Mr Mukesh Nayyar, owner of a hotel on Brown Road, was picked up from the hotel on December 4 at 12 noon. In the custody, he was allegedly humiliated and tortured by the police. He was let off after midnight following the intervention of his family. In the morning he developed chest pain and had to be hospitalised.

Levelling allegations against the SHO, Kotwali, Mr Harjinder Singh, and a DSP, Mr Abhishek, son of the victim, today demanded an inquiry against the police officials. He said he had approached the DSP to intervene in the matter but he had allegedly refused to do anything.

They have also approached the Punjab State Human Rights Commission. Addressing mediapersons, he said his father had borrowed Rs 4.20 lakh from Mr B.S. Bajaj and Mr Rohit Bajaj 10 years ago. He claimed that they had returned the money, including the interest.

In an affidavit, he claimed that the SHO had refused to see the documents pertaining to the case and said if the money was not returned, they would implicate him, his father and his elder brother in various cases. He alleged that the SHO had said everything was being done following the orders of a DSP.

Mr Abhishek claimed that the police had asked him to pay Rs 75,000 if he wanted his father to be released. The police was successful in obtaining two cheques of the State Bank of India for Rs 30,000 and Rs 45,000. He, however, said he had asked the bank to stop the payment of both cheques.

He said his family members were living under the fear of being implicated. Showing reports of DMC Hospital which claimed that Mr Nayyar was suffering from ‘‘hypertension with unstable angina with anxiety neurosis’’, he said his father was still in danger.

Mr Harjinder Singh, SHO, said he had called Mr Nayyar to police station for 10 minutes following a complaint by the Bajajs. He said he had only inquired from him about the allegations and not mistreated him. Both parties had later said they would resolve the matter themselves so he had allowed them to go, he claimed. He refuted the allegations levelled by Mr Abhishek. 



CBI indicts Baba Darshan Singh Dhakki, 18 others in firing case
Tribune News Service

Baba Darshan Singh Ludhiana, December 7
Residents of Maksudran village have heaved a sigh of relief after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) indicted self-styled Baba Darshan Singh of Dera Dhakki Sahib and 18 of his followers for opening fire and attacking them in 1999.

The CBI has submitted its report in a local court and the case will come up for hearing tomorrow. The case, FIR 61 registered on May 8, 1999, was entrusted to the premier investigation by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in January 17, 2002, with the observations that the dispute pertains to land but it appears to have acquired a religious and a political colour as there are complaints of sacrilege and involvement of politicians.

Talking to TNS, Mr Bhagwant Singh, a member of the village panchayat, said that had maintained all along that Darshan Singh, originally a resident of Gharuan village in Kharar tehsil, had usurped their land with the help of some villagers. He wanted to encroach on a large portion of land which was resisted by the villagers.

As the self-styled godman was politically well connected, he sought the help of his political masters and started terrorising them. Many were booked in false cases and those who stood up to him were warned of dire consequences, he added.

He said matters came to a head on the morning of May 8 when some villagers were bathing their buffaloes in the village pond. The Baba, carrying a double-barreled gun and a revolver, led a gang of over 25-30 persons and allegedly exhorted them to teach the villagers a lesson they will never forget. Darshan Singh fired from his gun and on this signal others too opened fire while those carrying swords and lathis pounced on the villagers, he revealed.

Those injured included Davinder Singh on whose complaint a case was filed at the Payal police station under Sections 307, 506, 323, 324, 325, 326, 148, 149 of the IPC and Section 25/27 of the Arms Act, he added.

The CBI found that there was enough evidence to proceed against Baba Darshan Singh besides Beant Singh, Chamkaur Singh, Gurdev Singh, Balbir Singh, Manjit Singh, Sher Singh, Lakhvir Singh, Gurmit Singh, Lakhvir Singh, Gurmukh Singh, Jaspal Singh, Jagdeep Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Manjit Singh, Charanjit Singh, Nihal Singh, Balli and Dilbagh Singh.

Mr Bhagwant Singh has appealed to all villagers, who had been supporting the Baba, to join hands so that the latter could not entrench himself in this area. There was great need to expose such godmen in the larger interests of the society, he stressed.



Forcible occupation bid on land alleged
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
A piece of 24 kanal 8 marla land worth Rs 1 crore was allegedly sold twice by the owners of the land in Jainpur village. While both the claimants of the land have filed a case in a court, the occupants of the land claim that the opposite party was trying to occupy the land forcibly at the behest of a Parliamentary Secretary.

Addressing a press conference at Jainpur village on Hambran Road here today, Mr Gurdev Singh of Sidhu Farms alleged that the workers of an influential politician had made their life hell by attacking them time and again in order to occupy the land forcibly.

He added that only day before yesterday, members of opposite party, accompanied by some officials of the Revenue Department, had descended on their farm house on the land in numbers and tried to occupy the area forcibly. They were, however, chased away by a number of villagers who had been supporting Gurdev Singh and his family.

Supported by a number of villagers, Mr Gurdev Singh showed various documents staking his claim on the piece of land, which has a house and a poplar farm on the Hambran Road. He claimed that his father Gurnam Singh had bought the land from Hajara Singh of the same village in 1993 by paying around Rs 15 lakh. After the death of Hajara Singh, his sons allegedly executed a sale deed with another man, Mr Anuj Sharma, and got prepared a fake registry in his name. Mr Gurdev Singh claimed that the decree of the land in question was in his father’s name.

Mr Gurdial Singh, a numberdar and a member of the panchayat of village, said that while Mohinder Singh and Nirmal Singh, sons of the land seller, agreed with the sale deed executed by his father, his other two sons, Mr Bhag Singh, Mr Pal Singh and Mr Buta Singh did not agree with the sale deed.

The controversy surrounding the land had also witnessed an attempt to murder case in which Gurnam Singh, father of Gurdev Singh and his two uncles were sentenced by a court. Mr Gurdev Singh demanded that till the case was in the court they should be allowed to live peacefully. 



Case of abduction takes new turn: girl refutes father’s charge
Our Correspondent

Amloh, December 7
The case of abduction of a married girl Kashmiro Devi from her parent’s house at Amloh took an un usual turn when Kashmiro Devi recorded her statement in the court of Sub-Divisional judicial Magistrate Nabha that the complaint of her father filed under Sections 452, 365, 324, 323, 506, 148 and 149 IPC at Amloh Police Station, was false.

Refuting charges made in the complaint, she got a case registered against her father Kapoora Ram Mother Bimla Devi, former Councillor Biru Ram and his son Balkari Ram under Sections 36, 342, 346, 323, 149, 511, 406 and 506 of the IPC at Bhadson police station.

According to sources Kashmiro Devi was married on November 11, 2003, with Amrik Singh son of late Chan Ram of Bhadson Village. After eight months of marriage she did not go back to her in – laws house and was living in her parental house at Amloh.

On November 19 last month, the father of the girl Kapoora Ram got a complaint against eight persons including her husband Amrik Singh, Bhinda, Swarna Ram, Madan, Bansi, Mohna, Natthu and Giano all residents of Bhadson and Chhinda resident of Roshan wal Village. The complaint said that his daughter lived in vexed circumstances in the house of her in – laws and they brought the girl at Amloh , as she did not like to live at Bhadson. After that they filed a civil petition in the Punjab and Haryana High court Chandigarh against her in- laws family.

The Father of the girl further stated that after sometime on the night of November 18 the family was sleeping, the family members of her in- laws armed with sharp-edged weapons, entered the house and abducted the girl, when they tried to stop them, they were attacked with sharp-edged weapons. Consequently, he and his wife Bimla Devi and his son Kishmir Singh were wounded, and the intruders succeeded in carrying the girl in a vehicle. The wounded were got admitted to the local civil hospital.

On the other hand Kashmiro Devi has stated in the court that when her husband had gone to “Mata Naina Devi” in August this year, her brother Kashmir Singh took her with him from the house of her In- laws on the pretext that her mother and father were ill. She further alleged that her parents wanted to get her remarried with some 50-year old man. She further alleged that after taking her from her In – laws house, she was kept in a car at some unknown place. She was brought at Amloh on the night of November 17.

She reached the house of her husband at Bhadson, where she is now living happily on her own. She pointed out that at the time of incident of kidnapping which was got recorded by her father, against her In- laws at Amloh Police Station, she was at that time with her husband at Bhadson and denied the story of kidnapping.

It was alleged in her statement at police station Bhadson that her parents accompanied with some other persons came in car No. PB-10AS –1639 tried to force her to accompany them against her wishes. During this tussle, she and her husband were given blows. The Bhadson Police Registered FIR no. 81 against Biru Ram former Councillor Amloh, Bimla Devi, Kapoora Ram and Balkari Ram.

Father of the girl Kapoora Ram had got an FIR Registered against, eight persons at Amloh, all alleged accused persons, on the basis of the statement recorded by the girl Kashmiro Devi, got their anticipatory bails from the Court.

When contacted, Mr. Biru Ram, former Councillor refuted the charges against him. He admitted that he had only taken the Kashmiro’s wounded parents from their house in his car to the local civil hospital to save their lives. Nothing to do with the incident, he asserted.



Ludhiana Calling

HIS clean and honest image notwithstanding, the Ludhiana Improvement Trust chairman, Mr Ashok Singh Garcha, seems to have set an example of indecisiveness by frequently announcing to resign and later on backtracking on one pretext or another. Eversince he took over as the chairman of the trust, he started complaining about “rampant corruption” in the organisation he was made to head. It is an irony that the hopes Mr Garcha had raised among people of the city have already been belied as he has not done anything significant or substantial which could mark him apart from others, except for blaming the people who are his subordinates. Initially it appealed to the people that Mr Garcha really wanted to purge the trust of the corrupt elements, but ultimately he has proved to talk more and do little. Now that Mr Garcha has decided to continue to ensure that the trust does not go into the hands of the corrupt, he should make a difference which should be visible and apparent. It should be others who should speak on his behalf and not he himself. Honesty and the integrity is best acknowledged by others than self claimed.

Police ways!

The robbers and thieves continue to have a field day in Ludhiana with robberies and thefts taking place at an alarming regularity in the city. Now the situation has reached to such an extreme that the robbers can strike anywhere at their discretion as was evident on Monday when the robbers decamped with a Scorpio jeep from inside a house in Sarabha Nagar area. First the police tried to project various theories to ensure that it does not make out a car theft case. Subsequently the police reportedly picked up one of the servants of the household and interrogated him for several hours using all methods the Punjab Police is (in) famous for. One wonders as how the police could vent its anger of failing to tackle the crime in the city on the innocent people like the helpless servant, who had earlier been tied and manhandled by the robbers also.

Out of frying pan into fire!

In the name of providing ‘unrestrained’ communication mobile phone companies, it appears, are not bothered about the impact of the services they provide. A recent service launched by a mobile connection providing company has been the talk of the town for the sheer nature of it. The service that facilitates information regarding location of a telephone subscriber is being publicised as “highly useful for business houses and for safety purposes”. Using the facility , dialling a certain number given by the company, one can know where a particular subscriber is. This has sent shudders down the spine of not just youngsters who often lie about their whereabouts but also among the lot of husbands and employees in field jobs. True it is a permission based service. “But if you do not give permission when you know it is your wife on the other side trying to know where you are, you are in serious trouble,” an executive expressed his concern!

Manage your time

Given that maddening pace of life leaves one with little time for oneself Ludhianavis are finding novel ways for effective time management. A businessman revealed one such tip of time management. “I don't polish my shoes at home. Whenever I see the traffic signal red I polish one shoe. The other shoe gets its turn on the next signal.”

“What if you get just one signal,” another asked. “Then what is the traffic jam for, yaar!,” pat came the reply.

Bait for snatchers

Incidents of snatching have become a routine in the city. The snatchers, usually riding a scooter or a motorcycle, roam in and around the elegant localities of the town, looking for easy targets. Lonely women wearing gold or carrying heavy purses, going on foot or travelling by cycle-rickshaws are the favourite targets of these hoodlums. The city police believes that invariably these hoodlums are drug-addicts who resort to the crime to satisfy their craving for drugs. But in spite of this , the city police is not tightening its noose around the host of drug-pushers who are running brisk business in various parts of the city. Instead, it has embarked upon a plan according to which lady cops would be travelling in rickshaws around elegant localities to entice the snatchers with their ‘visible’ gold jewellery. These rickshaws would be followed by plainclothes cops on scooters to nab the snatchers on the spot. In some areas, the plan has already been put into practice but without any success so far. Maybe the snatchers are too smart to spot the cops close on the heels of the ‘baits’ and they refuse to be taken in by surprise.

Sexist attitude

The height of sexist attitude was witnessed in the city practiced by an organisation committed to promote literature. In a press release issued by Sirjandhara, the forum committed to promote literary activities, the names of couple writers, who were awarded Guru Smriti Puraskar for their contribution to Punjabi culture and Sikh history, were repeatedly mentioned as Mr and Mrs Harbans Lal Agnihotri. There was no mention of the name of the wife of Dr Agnihotri who had coauthored at least 12 books on Punjabi with her husband. Reporters had a hard time in finding out the name of Mrs Agnihotri. Later a phone call to a member of Sirjandhara revealed that she was a prominent personality known as Principal Chand Agnihotri. Not again please.

Traffic rules violation

Violations of Traffic rules of Indian Motor Vehicle Act, 1994 are galore in the city. While the traffic police claims to ensure stopping of violations certain clear cut cases are witnessed everyday. A blue coloured old model Maruti-800 car is often seen on the road with the number (PIM 4960) written in cursive writing. (see picture) It might have passed through many traffic chowks where cops are posted round the clock but it continues to violate the rules. Wake up traffic cops.

— Sentinel



Political interference “affecting” development
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 7
The alleged fraud in obtaining payment of more than Rs 9 lakh by a contractor without carrying out any development work in a park in Phase IV of Focal Point in Jamalpur area here, which was exposed by the BJP leaders here on Saturday last was, at best, just the tip of the iceberg. It would be no exaggeration to say that such dubious dealings, with patronage of the political functionaries in the Municipal Corporation, had become a routine rather than an exception.

Although the MC top brass had received the detailed report of the inquiry conducted by the Assistant Commissioner Mr B.K. Gupta into the running payment made to the contractor for the (non) development work in the Jamalpur park but the findings of the report could not be known except for the fact that the JE concerned and SDO had been indicted in the report. Incidentally, the JE was already under transfer after allegations of inflated estimates for development work in Focal Point were levelled against him. He was, however, said to be on leave and yet to join his new posting in the O and M wing. The civic administration had reportedly taken a serious view of the incident and stern disciplinary action against defaulting officers in the next couple of days was not ruled out.

While the MC officers were tight-lipped about involvement of any political functionary in the said park scam, it was reliably learnt that a senior supervisory officer of the MC had told his superiors that the contractor being close to the City Mayor Mr Nahar Singh Gill, the field staff had taken a soft attitude and shown undue favour to the contractor for fear of offending their political masters. The statement given by Mr Gill in defence of the contractor concerned had also given credence to the charge that politics was at play in the shady deal.

Highly placed sources in the MC told Ludhiana Tribune that contractors, having affinity to senior leaders of the ruling party (Congress) called the shots right from offer of the bids, acceptance of tenders and execution of the work thereunder as far as the lower and middle level officers of the civic body were concerned. It was not uncommon for Councillors or even those at higher echelons of power in the corporation to influence the allotment of work to particular contractor and grant of further favours till the final payment of the bill for the particular development work.

As such, the political interference at almost all levels of execution of development works in the mega city, was in fact wreaking havoc on the very process of development. In many cases, the patronage and pressure of the political functionaries and not the genuine need for particular development works, decided the issue, particularly where the ruling party councillors were concerned.



Two-day House session a joke, says Badal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
The SAD chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has said the calling of a two-day session of the Punjab Assembly was not only eye-wash but also a blatant violation of the democratic norms.

On a visit to the city, Mr Badal, interacting with mediapersons, said the mere formality of calling a short Assembly session was a joke. He said the Chief Minister did not have the guts to face the opposition in the face of allegations of corruption against his family members, including his son.

He alleged that the Congress had failed on all fronts and was shy of facing the Assembly when the law and order situation in the state had crumbled and corruption and red tape had touched a new high.

The session, on the pattern of the Lok Sabha, should have been at least a month long, Mr Badal added.

He termed the controversy between the Jathedars of Akal Takht and Takht Patna Sahib as unfortunate.

He said he had asked Bibi Jagir Kaur, SGPC president, to take steps to bring the matter to an amicable settlement to uphold the high traditions of Akal Takhat. 



Dharna by patwaris
Our Correspondent

Samrala, December 7
All Revenue Patwaris of the Samrala tehsil Patwar Union sat in dharna in front of the Tehsildar courts here today under the leadership of Mr Budh Singh, president of the Samrala tehsil in protest against the Vigilance Bureau of Punjab.

Addressing the patwaris, the state president Mr Gurmel Singh and Senior Vice-President Sukhdev Singh Chauhan, complained that the Vigilance Department have falsely involved in corruption case against the patwaris (four) of Fatehgarh Sahib, Koom Kalan, Moga and Amritsar.

They demanded to withdraw the case otherwise they will have to take serious steps in the meeting of December 15, to be held in Ludhiana on the Punjab Executives Body.



2 women have miraculous escape
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
Two women had a miraculous escape when their Santro car they were travelling in was hit by a bus near Arti Chowk here today. They were trying to overtake the bus when they were hit on their left. The impact of collision was so much that their car broke the cement fencing in the middle of the road and entered the other lane. The two, however, escaped with minor injuries. Their car was however, damaged badly. The driver of the bus fled from the spot.



4 youths booked for abducting minor girl
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 7
The Sudhar Police has booked a youth of Lohatbaddi village and three other unidentified youths for allegedly abducting a minor girl of Buraj Littan village. The police claimed to have raided the hide-outs of the accused but with no avail.

According to the complaint lodged by Mr Manjit Singh, a farmer of Buraj Littan village, his daughter Kuldeep Kaur (name changed) had been kidnapped allegedly by Acchra Singh a resident of Lohat Baddi village and his three other accomplices who were yet to be identified.

Kuldeep Kaur (17) a class X student of Shri Guru Harkrishan Public School Halwara, had developed proximity to the main accused Acchra Singh during her frequent visits to Lohat Baddi. The house of her maternal grandparents and that of the accused were situated opposite to each that catalysed the proximity.

Based on the information received from witnesses from his own village Manjit Singh told the police that the accused had kidnapped his daughter from outskirts of the village on the evening of November 28 when she was returning home from fields. The suspects had come on two motorcycles and the names of three of them were not known to the complainant.

The family had been searching the girl themselves for the obvious reason of defamation and ultimately reported the matter to Sudhar Police on Sunday. The police registered a case under Section 363, 366 and 34 of the IPC and started investigation.

Mr Rajiv Ahir, SSP, Jagraon, disclosed that initial investigations by the police party led by Shawinder Singh Dhillon, SHO Sudhar revealed that the accused and the victim had developed relations during her visits to Lohat Baddi.

The police raided suspected hide-outs of the accused but with no avail.



Buried youths remain untraceable
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 7
Even on the third day of the rescue operation, the two youths who had got buried on Sunday evening remained untraceable despite joint efforts by villagers and the administration.

Taking notice of the incident the district administration has started the process to impose a ban on the digging of wells without prior permission of the department concerned.

Besides other technical reasons the incident of three more youths getting buried during the operation, who were later rescued and shifted to a hospital, slowed down the pace of the operation. The thought of recurrence of such incident made the parents force their wards remain away from the well site. Even the administration is more cautious in dealing with the situation. The presence of a large number of leaders from various political parties made the administration feel uneasy.

Meanwhile pal of gloom descended on Bapla and Manki villages, the native villages of the youths who were buried while digging a tubewell bore in the fields of Baldev Singh of Seeloani village. The parents and relatives of Ajaib Singh of Manki and Chhinder Singh of Bapla village in Malerkotla subdivision have now started believing that only a miracle could bring their wards from the jaws of death.

Denying the charges of inaction, Mr Prem Chand, SDM, Raikot, said the administration was doing its level best to retrieve the ‘buried youths’.

The police said the overcrowding and undue interference by some persons had made the rescue operation more tedious.



5 booked under Gambling Act

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 7
The local police has booked five persons under sections 13-3-67 of the Gambling Act on the information of a police party from CIA wing of the district police.

Hem Raj of Hargobind Nagar, Balwinder Kumar of Jawahar Nagar, Prem Kumar alias Premi, Sanjiv Kumar and Rajan Kumar of local town were arrested by the police party from CIA wing at Bahadurgarh. The police recovered Rs 5680 from the possession of the accused. OC


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