L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Woman travel agent booked for cheating youths
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
In a fresh case of youths being duped of money by travel agents, 15 youths of this and other districts of the state were taken to New Delhi and kept there for nearly two weeks before being dumped by a local woman travel agent. The woman, Joginder Kaur Sandhu, has been booked by the Model Town police on the complaint of two youths.

The accused woman allegedly even tried to take the police and the victims for a ride today.

She agreed to return the money to the youths and called the victims Shamsher Singh (Rs 4 lakh), Surjit Singh (Rs 5 lakh) and Dyal Singh (Rs 3 lakh) for this purpose.

However, she later claimed that a burglary had taken place in her house and she was unable to return the money.

The youths had given the money to the woman for sending them to Spain, Italy and Canada.

Joginder Kaur runs Sandhu Travel agency on the Pakhowal road. The woman had been booked twice earlier by the city police for duping several youths in the same manner.

The police got suspicious when the woman claimed that thieves had taken away Rs 3 lakh she had taken on loan two months ago.

She had no answer when the police asked her why she had called the victims to return to them Rs 12 lakh when she had only Rs 3 lakh.

The youths said they were made to live in Delhi and there after the travel agent simply vanished.

However, the youths managed to trace her out and she promised to refund the money. The woman kept dilly-dallying the matter and when the cheques she gave to the victims bounced, the victims lodged a complaint with the police.

The woman has been booked for cheating the youths on the complaint of two of the 15 victims, Shamsher Singh and Surjit Singh.



Marriage palace flouts norms
Finger pointed at BJP leader
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 13
A senior BJP leader here is alleged to be providing protection and patronage to a marriage palace that has been constructed in Hargobind Nagar near CMC Hospital in blatant violation of building norms and other regulations related to parking and safety and creating public nuisance. This is despite the fact that the BJP has been persistently charging the civic administration with all kinds of irregularities and lapses.

Information gathered by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that the building of the said marriage palace was constructed without getting the building plan approved from the Municipal Corporation and the owner, Mr D.P. Singh Chadha, a contractor enlisted with the MC and an aide of former Deputy Speaker of Punjab Assembly Sat Pal Gosain, scuttled all attempts by the Enforcement Wing of the civic body to stop the construction work. The building was completed and opened to public functions last month.

Under the building bylaws and relevant rules made there under, a building like a marriage palace could only be constructed after obtaining no-objection certificates from the MC and the district administration, which does not seem to have been done in this case. Undertaking the construction of a marriage palace without getting the plan approved from the civic body was an offence and building a complex on a 15 feet wide road and that too without providing adequate parking space was a non-compoundable offence and such a building was liable to be pulled down.

Moreover, with no parking space having been provided a nearby small bridge on the open drain was being used for parking, causing further inconvenience to the people.

Sources in the civic body maintained that political influence (of Mr Gosain) had apparently played a major role in this regard.



Attempt to rape five-year-old
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
A 20-year-old youth attempted to rape a five-year-old girl at Prakash Nagar, Jawaddi, last night. He threw the girl on the road and fled when her parents responded to her cries.

The youth, Ramji, was nabbed by a team of the city police from the Dugri bridge over Sidhwan Canal here this evening. He told the police and mediapersons that he was ashamed of his act and that he was overcome with lust.

The girl was under treatment at the Civil Hospital here. Sources said a medical examination was conducted which confirmed that an attempt to rape was made. She had also suffered injuries when she was thrown on the road.

The accused is unmarried and belongs to Gonda district in Uttar Pradesh. He plies a rickshaw. He was living in Phullanwal village but earlier used live as a tenant near the house of the victim.

According to an FIR lodged by the victim’s parents, the accused came to their house and took the girl out on the plea of giving her a ride in the rickshaw. However, when after a few minutes, her parents heard her cries, they rushed out and were shocked to see the act of the accused.

The accused, however, escaped after throwing the girl. Her parents and residents took the girl to the hospital and then complained to the police.



Sainik Welfare Dy Director writes to MC chief on plaques
Says no response to earlier letter
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
Taking strong note of the plaques that had gone missing from the statue of Major Bhupinder Singh, a 1971 war martyr, Deputy Director, Sainik Welfare, Tarlochan Singh today shot off a letter to the Municipal Corporation Commissioner in this regard.

Talking to The Tribune following the news report regarding the missing plaques in these columns today, the Deputy Director said he had written to the MC on November 25 to maintain the statues.

He added that despite his letters nothing was done. He added that he had sent a copy of the letter to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma here today.

‘‘It is ironical that we cannot even look after the statues of the martyrs who had laid down their lives to protect their country,’’ he added.

He said that he had spoken to a number of officials of the MC in this regard, but in vain.

Several ex-servicemen also expressed disappointment over the missing plaques.

They said it was ironical that while the MC claimed itself to be the richest corporation of the region, it could not spare some money for the upkeep of the statues.

Col Chanan Singh Dhillon, state unit president of the Indian Ex-services League, Punjab and Chandigarh, said that he had also taken up the matter with the Deputy Commissioner.

Tribune investigations revealed that the plaques went missing within the past 15 to 20 days. Sources said the first plaque had gone missing some 15 days ago.

The other was hanging precariously a week ago and went missing the other day. The third also went missing two-three days ago.

“Why can’t they assign some class IV employee to keep a watch on statues?” asks a resident.



Patwari suspended for wrong entries
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 13
Acting on the report of local revenue officers, the District Collector, Sangrur, has suspended a patwari for allegedly making entries in gross violation of rules. He has been asked to report at the office of the SDM, Moonak.

Dr Indu, SDM, Malerkotla, said Paramjit Singh, patwari, had been suspended on the basis of a report submitted through her office by Mr Mukesh Sharma, Joint Sub-Registrar, at the local sub-tehsil office.

The patwari, however, said he had been falsely implicated. He claimed that the irregularities were due to overwork as he had been given additional charge of the local town in addition to his own area.

The decision was taken after Mr Sharma recommended action against the patwari for allegedly making unauthorised entries in land records pertaining to a local family.

Mr Darshan Singh Dhaliwal, a former councillor, had sought an inquiry into the working of Mr Paramjit Singh who, according to him, had allegedly made wrong mutations in the land records. The issue had come up when a registered deed in connection with the sale of a plot measuring 500 yards from Mr Sanjiv Kumar to Mr Ramandeep Singh was presented at the Joint Sub-Registrar’s office.

Mr Darshan Singh had urged the revenue officer to stop the sale of the plot. In the absence of a stay order, the Joint Sub-Registrar had declined his request but had initiated investigations after receiving a written complaint from him.

Though no mutations were done in the case of sales for at least three turns in connection with a piece of land which belonged to the father of the complainant. The patwari had instead entered Sanjiv Kumar’s name as the occupant of the plot.

Acting on the report of the Joint Sub-Registrar, the District Collector suspended the patwari and directed him to report at the office of the SDM Moonak.



7 convicted of adulteration
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 13
The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr Sarabjit Singh Dhaliwal, has convicted seven persons in eight different cases under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act. The accused were sentenced to undergo imprisonment of six months each.

Tarsem Lal Jain, owner of Jain Karyana Store, Sunder Nagar, Mahavir Colony, was convicted of selling adulterated mirch powder and “kali mirch”.

Dalbir Singh, owner of Timmy Karyana Store, Kochar Market, was convicted of selling adulterated mirch powder while Sarbjit Singh of Sher-e-Punjab dhaba, Sherpur Chowk, was sentenced to imprisonment for selling adulterated milk.

Jai Singh of JJ Bakers, Abdulla Pur Basti, was convicted of selling adulterated biscuits. Vishal of Vishal Karyana Store, Jamal Pur Colony, was convicted of selling adulterated haldi powder.

Karam Singh of Akal Ice Candy, Jagraon, and Charan Dass of Baba Than Singh Chowk were also convicted.



3 injured in pressure cooker blast
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 13
Three persons, including a minor boy, suffered minor injuries when a pressure cooker blew up at a roadside dhabha near Sherpur Chowk here today morning.
The injured included 9-year-old Ram Lakhan, Surinder Kumar and Naresh Yadav, the owner of the Jiya Lal dhabha. The minor boy was quite serious. All injured were admitted to Oswal Cancer Hospital.

The minor boy was allegedly standing near the pressure cooker when the cooking for lunch was on. The blast caused such a noise that area residents thought there was another scrap bomb explosion. People sitting in the dhabha and other workers ran helter-skelter.

The blast caused damage to the walls and the ceiling of the dhabha. The injured persons were rushed to the hospital. The police was yet to register a case regarding the incident.



NGOs can apply for empowerment, development funds
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma has invited applications from NGOs for getting financial assistance for development and empowerment of adolescents, particularly from the economically and socially neglected/backward sections of society.

Mr Verma said eligible NGOs are entitled to get up to 100 per cent grant in aid. The eligible institutions included recognised educational institutions, including polytechnics and universities, regional centres of National Service Scheme (NSS) and colleges/schools having NSS units, Nehru Yuva Kendras, Sports Authority of India, institutions working in the field of scouting and guiding, NGOs and voluntary agencies registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (or other appropriate state law), public trusts and non-profit making companies who had completed at least three years of registration on the date of application.

The Deputy Commissioner said in order to be eligible for financial assistance under the scheme, an NGO should have a proper constitution or articles of association, a constituted managing body with its powers and duties clearly defined in the constitution, and be in a position to secure the involvement, on a voluntary basis, of knowledgeable persons for furtherance of its programmes. Also it should not be run for the profit of any individual or a body of individuals and not discriminate on the ground of sex, religion, caste or creed.

The application in the prescribed proforma may be submitted to the Central Government, duly recommended by the authorities concerned. Copies of the scheme along with application proforma shall be available in the district offices of Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, regional centres of NSS and with the state directorates of youth service. An application for grant-in-aid under the scheme must be accompanied by a copy of articles of association or constitution or the trust deed, list of members of the committee of management, annual report for the past three years, audited accounts for the past three years, and a note on previous work done by the applicant in development and empowerment of adolescents.

An application from an NGO should be recommended by any of the following: the state government’s Department of Youth Services and Sports or the District Magistrate concerned, District Youth Coordinator of Nehru Yuva Kendra, deputy programme adviser/assistant programme adviser, and youth officer as head of office NSS in case of proposals from educational institutions. Voluntary organisations having offices in four or more states, may submit applications directly.

The need for the scheme was felt because adolescents account for one-fifth of the world’s population and the number is rising. In India, they constitute 22.8 per cent of the population. Approximately 230 million Indians belong to this age group.



BJP to launch agitation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
The local unit of the BJP today announced to launch a fresh mode of agitation against the alleged repressive policies against Opposition parties by the state government and the beating up of BJP activists by the police on December 10.

Wearing black badges and carrying black flags, BJP activists would gather at the party's head office in Civil Lines and then march to the Mini Secretariat through Ghumar Mandi.

Mr Rajinder Khattri, press secretary of the party, said in a press note that they would submit a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner seeking a judicial probe into the atrocities being committed on BJP activists and the lathicharge by the police on peaceful demonstrators.

The press note said the march would be led by former Deputy Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha Satpal Gosain and other senior leaders, including Mr Ashok Loomba, Mr O. P. Bharadwaj, Mr Subash Bhatia and Mr Kamal Chaitli.



Improvement Trust chief to hold meeting on encroachment issue
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
Taking the issue of encroachments on the Improvement Trust land in the Model Town Extension-II area seriously, Mr Ashok Singh Garcha, chairman of the trust, will convene a meeting of the District Congress chief and five local MLAs.

Mr Garcha had held a meeting with residents of the area today. The residents had submitted a memorandum of demands to him. The Tribune had highlighted the issue of encroachments being encouraged by a political leader. The trust had then decided to get tough with the encroachers.

The Chairman admitted that he had an information about the issue and he knew that a politician was behind the encroachments. He said he would request a meeting of the DCC president, Mr Jagmohan Sharma, and the MLAs Rakesh Pandey, Surinder Dawer, Malkiat Singh Birmi, Harnam Dass Johar and Malkiat Singh Dakha, besides the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill.

He said he would request members of the local Congress high command to request to the SSP to provide police support to remove the encroachments.

Congratulating the residents for raising the issue, he said they should continue the protests untill the encroachments were removed and MIG flats were constructed.

In the memorandum, the residents said the trust authorities had started denying them no-objection certificates even as over half the area had been developed.

They said the colony was emerging as a “dhakka” colony and if the trust failed to take action, their peaceful lives would be disturbed.

The land in question is worth crores and the trust had chalked out a plan to construct middle income group flats here three years ago.

The draw of lots was held on November 22,2002, and the letters of allotment were issued on December 16, 2002. However, no construction had taken place on the area during these years.



Minister gives Rs 1 lakh for the benefit of disabled
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 13
A thanks giving function was organised at the Viklang Sahayta Kender, Rishi Nagar, this afternoon in connection with the award winning celebrations by the Bharat Vikas Parishad (BVP), Mr Harnam Das Johar, State Education Minister, was the chief guest.

He presented a cheque for Rs 1 lakh from his discretionary funds to the trustes for providing artificial limbs, calipers and hearing aids to the handicapped. The Bharat Vikas Parishad was earlier honoured with the National Award by the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, on the eve of International Day for Disabled on December 3.

The award was received by Mr Yash Pal Gupta, national secretary for the Viklang Sahayta Project of the parishad. The award carries a shield, a citation, a certificate and Rs 15000.

Philanthropic residents of Ludhiana, and NRIs made liberal donations.

Mr Gupta said the parishad was a non-religious and non-political organisation. Under the seva project, the parishad was running the Viklang Sahayta Savrojgar and Punarvas Kender and had provided 20,800 artificial limbs since 1996.

The state government has also instructed district administrations to hold camps through the parishad. He said rehabilitation work for the handicapped was being done by providing training in computer, repair of refrigerators, TV, ACs and radios besides carry bags, candle-making.

He said the centre helped the handicapped to get viklang pension certificates, railway/bus passes and bank loans.



MC warns against unauthorised slaughtering
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 13
Taking note of the prevailing practice of unlawful and indiscriminate slaughtering of sheep and goats without health check-up of the animals, the Municipal Corporation has issued a warning to the offenders to desist from such activity or face penal action under the relevant law.

In a statement here today, the MC Joint Commissioner, Mr Jaswant Singh, said the municipal slaughterhouse in the Haibowal Dairy Complex was fully functional and under the law, all meat sellers were required to get animals examined from a veterinary doctor deployed in the slaughterhouse and to get the slaughtered animals stamped before selling in the market.

He said the civic body would also come down heavily to check slaughter of chickens in the open on the roadside and steps would be taken to ensure the sale of fish and chicken was done in a hygienic way.



Pandhi welcomes IPS postings
Our Correspondent

Amloh, December 13
Former minister Dalip Singh Pandhi has welcomed the implementation of the high court decision on the appointment of IPS officers in place of PPS officers as district chiefs in the state. He was critical of the state government for non – implementation of the direction of August 9 for not shifting PPS officers from cadre posts.

This delay led to the filing of contempt proceedings by Mr Neelavh Kishore in the high court. The court issued contempt notice to Punjab Government for wilful delay in replacing PPS officers, the hearing of which was fixed for Monday.

Power cuts flayed: Long power cuts in the morning daily has affected the life of people. Water supply is also affected as the civic body has no generator as an alternative. Students are also affected, asserted Mr Balbir Singh Ghuman, district unit president of Government Teachers Union.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Mr Ghuman expressed worry over the delay in the appointment of teachers to vacant posts.



DC acts Good Samaritan
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 13
The Ludhiana district administration has come forward to help a freedom fighter who had been undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Jagraon.
Mr Kirpal Singh Hans, secretary, Freedom Fighters' Association, Ludhiana, had been admitted to Kaliani Hospital, Jagraon, due to old age-related illness.

On being informed of his illness, the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, Mr Anurag Verma, approved an assistance of Rs 10,000 to meet Mr Hans' medical expenses and directed the officials concerned to ensure better services for the freedom fighter.

The assistance was given out of the District Red Cross Society's funds.

Mr Hans had earlier been appointed an honorary sub-registrar in recognition of his services to the nation.

Mr Gurmeeet Singh, SDM, Jagraon, Mr Daljit Singh Chheena, Tehsildar, and Mr Manmohan Kaushik, Executive Magistrate, called upon the freedom fighter to enquire about his health and presented the cheque on behalf of the administration today. 



Readers Write
Change in tax rules must be gradual

The Finance Ministry has issued new directions for the selection of cases for scrutiny by the tax authorities. The list is too large and exhaustive and many categories of assessees will fall prey to the scrutiny system. It is an abrupt U-turn and against the confidence-building measures between assessees and the tax authorities. The previous decision of trusting assessees appears to have been suddenly relegated for reasons best known to the ministry.

The past confirms that trusting people helps build confidence in the economy as well as the system. If any change has to take place, it should be gradual and systematic.

The best thing for the government should have been to notify a few categories of cases for scrutiny during the current year, other categories next year and so on with a view to rotating the entire gamut of selection of cases for scrutiny spread over five years.

In advanced countries such measures are not taken merely with the change of government.

S.R. Mittal, Ludhiana

Veterinary varsity

These days the diversification of agriculture is being hotly propagated because of the plateau being reached in the crop production area. Diversification is recommended to exploit the full potential in the areas of animal husbandry, dairying, fishery and livestock.

This can only be achieved by giving a boost to teaching, research and extension work in veterinary sciences to the maximum, which requires the establishment of a full-fledged veterinary university in Punjab. From media reports appearing from time to time, it seems that the state government is favourable to the idea.

It is really heartening that the Alumni Association of the College of Veterinary Sciences, Ludhiana, at its general body meeting has also advocated the establishment of a veterinary university (Ludhiana Tribune, November 8). The Retired Veterinarians Association, Ludhiana, understands that a proposal to establish the abovesaid university has been submitted to the Punjab Government by a committee constituted by the state government headed by the then Chief Secretary. The then secretary of the Veterinary Council of India (VCI) was also a member of the committee. I understand that this proposal meets the requirements of the VCI.

I.S. Kalra, Ludhiana

Visit to Wagah border

I, along with more than 100 girl students of my college, on an educational trip, visited the Wagah border recently. The students were all agog to see the international border for the first time. The Retreat ceremony was an impressive one. We are proud of our jawans of the paramilitary forces.

On the Pakistan side, they have a gallery which gives a better view of the ceremony. A large photograph of a national leader has been displayed on top of the gallery.

The authorities concerned should look into various aspects lacking on the Indian side.

Prof Nahar Singh Chahal, Ludhiana



Pensioners’ Day on December 17
Our Correspondent

Samrala, December 13
According to Mr Prem Sagar Sharma, president, Punjab Pensioners’ Kalyam Sangathan, Samrala, Pensioners’ Day will be celebrated on December 17 at 12 noon at the local Durga Mandir Hall. The function will be presided over by the local MLA, Mr Amrik Singh Dhillon. Mr Harbans Lal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Punjab (In charge, Pensions Cell) will be the chief guest and Mr R. P. Aggarwal, Manager, State Bank of Patiala, will give inaugural message.

Old-aged pensioners will be honoured at the function.



G.S. Dhillon is SSP, Vigilance
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
Mr G S Dhillon, PPS, has taken over as the SSP, Vigilance, Ludhiana range ,which comprises Ludhiana, Jagraon, Khanna and Ropar police districts. He has taken over from Mr Naunihal Singh.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Dhillon said he would do his best to live up to the expectations of the people. 



3 held for stealing in trains
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 13
The Railway Protection Force (RPF) yesterday achieved a major breakthrough in solving cases of passengers being robbed off their belongings after being administered drug-laced tea or biscuits by miscreants.

According to Mr D.N. Chaturvedi, Post Commander of the RPF, a patrolling party chanced upon three members of such a gang at the local railway station after they tried to administer something toxic to a party of Bihar-bound passengers at the ticket window. A passenger, who had eaten a part of a drug-laced biscuit given to him by a gang member, complained of its bitter taste. At this, his other companions entered in a verbal dual with members of the gang. A jawan of the RPF, who got wind of the matter, tried to overpower gang members. Soon some other jawans joined him and nabbed the three gang members after a brief chase.

Those arrested have been identified as Noor-ul-Hassan (34), Phagu Mehto (50) and Dinesh Shah (30) all hailing from Bihar. The RPF seized 46 tablets of a potent tranquiliser from their possession.

According to the preliminary interrogation, they had been drugging Bihar-bound train passengers for a long time. They would disguise themselves as labourers to strike an easy rapport with labourers returning home with their earnings.

According to the RPF, the arrested gang members had committed more than 50 incidents of drugging and looting on trains so far. They were alson arrested by the Ambala police a couple of years ago. After spending 14 months in prison, they came out and took to the crime again. Those arrested said some of their colleagues were staying with their friends in the Basti Jodhewal area in the city. The RPF is hopeful of nabbing more members of the gang in the near future.



Biz Clips

ICFAI University conducted a workshop on soft skills here on Sunday. Nearly 100 persons from public and private sector organisations participated in the workshop, according to Mr Rajesh Kumar, branch manager, ICFAI. Mr N. Balaji, senior area manager, ICFAI University, conducted the workshop, Mr Prem Kumar, adviser, strategic planning, Vardhman Group, also addressed the participants. TNS

Energy Conservation Day: The Punjab State Electricity Board will observe an annual energy conservation day at Guru Nanak Bhavan on Tuesday. Mr Y.S. Ratra, Chairman, PSEB, will be the chief guest and Mr H.C. Sood, member (D), PSEB, will be the guest of honour. TNS

Oswal retail chain: The Oswal group has launched a multi-brand intimate wear retail chain, Sensa. A company press note said on Monday that it would be the first exclusive intimate wear retail chain in the country that would offer leading national and international brands. The group would open 40 similar stores by the end of next year, the press note said. TNS


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