L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Another armed dacoity leaves one dead
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
More than 10 armed dacoits struck at the house of a cardboard box maker on Tibba road in the outskirts of the city killing one person and decamping with Rs 30,000 worth cash and jewellery today early morning.

Mohan Lal (65), who runs a cardboard box manufacturing factory in Star-city Colony, also called Rajan Nagar on Tibba Road was killed at point blank range by the dacoits at about 1.30 a.m. He was shot when he tried to fight the dacoits with a sickle he had kept under the bed.

The dacoits then looted the house at will by threatening to kill his two minor grand children. The deceased man’s son and daughter-in-law were rendered helpless at the threat and had no option but to obey their orders. They could not even come to the aid of the dying man.

Before entering the house the dacoits gagged and tied up Karan Bahadur, a night watchman in the colony with ropes outside the house so that he was not able to raise any sort of alarm.

The incident has sent alarm bells ringing as two different gangs of dacoits have struck at different places in the city within 24 hours only. While the first attempt made by a Punjabi speaking gang armed with .315 bore rifles had failed to effect a dacoity in the house of a dera-head in Baba Banda Bahadur Colony yesterday morning, the second gang of Hindi-speaking migrant labourers armed with. 25 bore guns succeeded in their strike today morning.

Both incidents have taken place in Basti Jodhewal police station area only. The police has been claiming to have launched night-patrolling to ward off the dacoits. But the cops just don’t seem to be at the right place so far!

Heart-rending scenes were witnessed at the house of deceased Mohan Lal. His son Sanjeev alias Vicky, daughter-in-law Rajni and their children were with him in the house when the robbers struck. They revealed to Ludhiana Tribune that the dacoits shot his father dead the moment they entered the house. Before they could do anything, the dacoits carrying guns and pistols pointed those at their children and directing them to obey orders.

They remained in the house for half an hour and ransacked it. The terrorised family could not even raise the alarm several minutes after they left. Afterwards they learnt that the dacoits had tied up the night watchman before entering the house.

SP-Detective Gurpreet Singh said the police was intensifying the night patrolling in the city and have also cautioned the people against such strikes. He said the police has got some relevant clues about the robbers and would nab them soon. He said there were two different gangs involved in the two robbery cases reported from the city.



Missing driver: case not registered
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 19
After receiving the information about the disappearance of a driver of the Civil Hospital, Sudhar, the Jagraon police has asked the health authorities to get the complaint registered at the Patiala police station as the driver was reported to have left that city on December 11.

The case will be pursued further by the health authorities in course of time, stated sources at the hospital. The driver of this hospital had reportedly been missing along with the ambulance he took to the site of the Indo- Pak games organised at Patiala in December.

The sources at Sudhar police station revealed that Gurmel Singh, an ex-serviceman of Pipal Majra village in Ropar district, and the driver posted at Civil Hospital, had reportedly disappeared, along with the vehicle and medical equipment, after being relieved by the Health Department at Patiala on December 11.Though the in charge of the hospital had approached the police to get a case registered in the matter it showed their inability to do so as the incidence of disappearance did not take place under the area of the police station.

Mr Rajiv Ahir, Jagraon SSP said, “As the driver and the vehicle was last seen at Patiala, the investigations will be more expeditious if the case is registered there. I have directed my team also to keep a watch on the situation and cooperate with the health authorities in getting the case registered.”

According to Dr Inderjit Singh Bagga, SMO and in charge at the hospital, Gurmel Singh had left the hospital with an ambulance (PB 10BB-2796), fully equipped with life saving devices on December 2, to report at the site of the Indo-Pak games through the Civil Surgeon Office, Patiala. He did not take the logbook of the vehicle with him as he had left in a hurry. He had hurried reportedly to avoid the receipt of fresh orders by the Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, cancelling his deputation to the event. The district authorities had ordered that Avtar Singh, another driver at the hospital, should be sent instead of Gurmel Singh as ordered earlier.

When the driver did not return after a long period, the hospital authorities reported the matter to the Civil Surgeon Office. Preliminary investigations by the health authorities had revealed that the driver was relieved of duties from Patiala on December 11. Thereafter his office did not know his whereabouts.

On Friday the Civil Surgeon directed the in charge to lodge a complaint at the police station, Sudhar, that showed its inability to do so for the reasons of the jurisdiction criterion.



The driver who decamped with Rs 5 lakh arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
The city today announced the arrest of a driver of a city based Industrialist who had decamped with latter’s Rs 5 lakh and a black lancer car early this week.
Addressing a press conference here today, Mr R K Jaiswal, SP- City-I said the accused driver, Jagdeep Singh alias Jagga was arrested in a joint operation with the Muzzafarpur Nagar police.

The driver could only spend Rs 6000 from the Rs 5 lakh he had stolen. The driver had run away to Muzaffarpur after committing the crime.



Police inquiry into missing plaques ordered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 29
Following the directions of Deputy Commissioner, Anurag Verma, the district police today registered a case of theft against unidentified persons in the martyr’s missing plaques case.

Two cases under Sections 389 of the IPC were registered simultaneously in two police station including division number -II and V. The statue of martyr Bhagat Singh near Jagraon bridge falls under the jurisdiction of division number-II while the statue of Major Bhupinder Singh falls under division number V.

The cases have been registered on the statements of two officials of Ludhiana Municipal Corporation including Mr Parmod Kumar Chadda, SDO and an Assistant Engineer. ASI Sumit Sood and ASI Nirmal Singh are investigating the matter.

The brass plaques from the statues of Major Bhupinder Singh, Flying Officer, Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon and Shaheed-e-azam Bhagat Singh had gone missing a fortnight ago.

The Deputy Commissioner had asked the MC authorities to replace the plaques immediately. While the MC had replaced the granite plaques on the statue of Flying Officer Sekhon, it had yet to do something in case of other two statues. Both statues were still awaiting the plaques.

Calling it a ‘‘shameful’’ act, the DC had said that it was disappointing that some miscreants had not even spared the martyrs, who had sacrificed their lives for their countrymen. He had asked the local police to order an inquiry and punish the guilty.

The authorities had then decided to put up granite plaques instead of brass ones. They had cited the reason that these would not have any scrap value and would not be stolen. 



Colourful start to National School Games
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 19
The golden jubilee edition of the National School Games was inaugurated during a colorful function at Guru Nanak Sports Complex, here today. A jampacked stadium witnessed the inaugural function of the games (hockey, kho-kho, softball and handball) which was formally declared open by Mr Harnam Dass Johar, Education Minister, Punjab. Around 10,000 students and their teachers from various schools in the district were present there to watch the opening ceremony

Addressing the function Mr. Johar stressed upon the need for providing international level facilities for the sports persons. He said the Punjab government had prepared a comprehensive plan for the promotion of sports in all the schools of the state and special funds amounting to Rs 4 crore were being spent for this purpose.

Mr Johar said that out of these, funds amounting to Rs 1 crore had already been released during the current financial year. He informed that to bring about general improvement in the health of the students, yoga and Gymnastics training would be made mandatory in all the government schools in the state and the present Physical Teachers would be given extra training to further impart the training in the schools. He directed the DPI(E) to ensure that this training should be provided in the first period , positively.

Mr Johar further said that government had also decided to catch the talented sports children in the schools from the primary-level and comprehensive training would be provided to them with a view to produce the players of national and international repute.

Appreciating the elaborate arrangements made by the organizers for the accommodation of more than 6000 players and officials from all over the country, the minister called upon the participants to play with the sportsman spirit and also to learn from the cultures of the different states during their stay here.

Mr Johar announced that the Punjab Education Department had made arrangements for the visiting teams to go for sight-seeing in and around the state and a fleet of buses have been requestioned for the purpose.

Before the formal inauguration, the contingents from different states participated in an impressive Marchpast. A colourful cultural programmme was also organised by the children of different schools on this occasion.

Mr Gian Singh DPI (Secondary) and Mr Jagtar Singh Khatra DPI (Primary) while addressing, assured that the whole education department would strive hard to make the stay of the players comfortable and the smooth conduct of the competitions.

Mr Ajmer Singh, ADC, Ms Rupa Saini, Deputy Director, Sports Education Department, Punjab, Mr Sohan Lal Lotey, District Sports Officer, Mr Yash Pal Mehra, DEO (Secondary) and Mrs. Harvinder Kaur DEO (Primary) were also present on this occasion. 



It was destined, says ‘Race’ actor
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, December 19
Young and petite with dark brown naughty eyes, 21-year-old Aditi Sharma, winner of Zee TV’s “Best Cinestar ki Khoj”, was in the city today as her favourite aunt and uncle had invited her to celebrate her success.

Aditi said: “When out of 80 shortlisted contestants, 32 had to go for the finals, I found my name missing.” She was surprised when she was asked by Zee to report again. Five stand-by contestants were summoned as a candidate had declined to participate. Aditi was chosen from among the five and she reached the finals.

“For the next three and a half months”, my life was like a dream. Dancing, learning the finer points of acting, interacting with participants, sleeping past midnight, and dress rehearsals seemed hectic then but now I would give my right hand to live those moments again.

The most agonizing were the days when four candidates had to be eliminated. Everyone, including I, wondered whether the next axe is going to fall on us,” she said.

“Earlier I thought hard work is the only key to success , but after this episode of being dropped and then selected, I have begun to believe that destiny plays a strong role or else how could I have landed the role in the film ‘Race’. According to the contract the winners, would be the lead pair of the film to be produced by Zee. The secret of my success is that I gave 200 per cent to my performances without really being too concerned about the results. Whatever will be, will be was my philosophy.

I am glad that I won the title as it has given me instant success. My co-star is Sarvar from Hyderabad. The movie will be directed by Sudhir Mishra who directed ‘Chameli’. A girl like me from Lucknow got a chance to learn dance from Shamaik Davar and Ganeshha charya, and acting skills from E. Niwas and Kundan Shah. Satish Kaushik, Ken Ghosh and Mahesh Manjerakar were also very helpful. Their constructive criticism helped us to perform better.”

Was there an element of jealousy? “No,” she said. Since no one had their families, “we depended on each other for support and consoled each other. Our hearts brokew hen friends were eliminated”, she said.

“I am grateful to God, my parents and the public that voted for me. I am not going to let my fans down as I will give my best performance. The shooting begins in January and it will be released in mid-year”, she added.



Fire in shawl shop
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
A major fire broke out in a four-storey shawl shop in congested Moch Pura Bazar here in the wee hours today causing a loss of thousands of rupees to the owner.
Prompt action by the officials and employees of the fire department put off the fire in around two hours thereby averting a major tragedy. The fire had reached two storeys of TCN Sons and reduced the woollen material to ash.

Mr Rajinder Sharma, Fire Officer, Ludhiana said that the firemen had a difficult time in reaching the building as it was located in on the congested street. He added that fortunately there was nobody inside the unit otherwise it could have been a fatal tragedy.

He said that it was a challenge for the employees of fire department to put the fire off as it could have spread to the entire market, which is incidentally the second biggest shawl market in Asia. Woollen material worth lakhs would have been reduced to ashes. It required six fire engines to douse the fire.



Dhaba owner murdered
Our Correspondent

Khamano, December, 19
A dhaba owner Ravinder Singh Kuku was murdered last night at his dhaba near Government Senior Secondary School Khamano.
According to information, this dhaba opened a few days ago. There were two servants of his own village Badesh Kalan and he had two servants one of Bihar and another of Shimla named Shankar and Madan Chand.

Today in the morning when two servants of his village reached the dhaba, they found the dhaba closed and no one was there.

When they entered dhaba owner’s house, it was burgled. They reported the matter to the police. DSP Khamano Balwant Singh, DSP (D) Fatehgarh Sahib Sardar Singh, CIA Inspector Gurmeet Singh Pinki and local SHO Ajaypal Singh reached the spot. When they searched here and there, they found the body of dhaba owner near a wall of the dhaba.



SAD appeals for unity among urban Sikhs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
The rural-urban divide within the Shiromani Akali Dal appears to be finding its expression with urban Sikhs seeking due representation in the party. During a meeting of the urban district unit of the party, the urban Sikhs appealed each other to unite to ensure that the outsiders from the rural areas do not “grab the leadership”.

The meeting was primarily organised to finalise the programme for the tercentenary function of the martyrdom of the Sahibzadas. While it did not take much time for participants to find the arrangements, they switched over to the “rural onslaught within the Shiromani Akali Dal”. The meeting was presided over by Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, SGPC member who also claims to be the acting district president of the party.

The urban Sikhs maintained that the factionalism within the “urban unit” was deliberately encouraged by some outsiders from the rural areas who want to “grab” the Akali leadership. They pointed out, the urban Sikhs had always played a dominant role in the Akali politics right from the days of Master Tara Singh and now they (the urban Sikhs) were being marginalised.

Appealing everybody (among the urban Sikhs) to unite, they said, “let us unite together and leave the leadership issue to the party president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal”. All participants in the meeting authorised Mr Makkar to initiate the process of unity among the urban Sikhs and take a final decision so that the interests of the urban Sikhs were not compromised.

Right now there are three factions in the urban unit of the SAD. These are led by Mr Makkar, Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia and Mr Hira Singh Gabria. Mr Gabria was the urban unit president of the party before the late Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra parted ways with Mr Badal. Since Mr Gabria sided with Mr Tohra, Mr Makkar was appointed the acting president. His arch rival, Mr Bhatia also laid the claim to the post. After Mr Tohra and Mr Badal joined hands, their factor was added to the leadership, which still remained unresolved.

Earlier in the meeting the party decided to take out a Khalsa March to mark the 300 years of the martyrdom of the Sahibzadas. The date of the march would be decided later.

Prominent among those present in the meeting included Mr Kudleep Singh Khalsa, Mr Shivtar Singh Bajwa, Mr Harbans Singh Mohali, Mr Jaswinder Singh Bhola, Mr Bhairaj Singh, Mr Gobind Singh Grewal, Mr Surjeet Singh and others.



MPs must declare assets: council
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 19
The Anti-corruption Council of India has expressed great concern to the President of India in a memorandum submitted urging therein to direct all the members of Parliament to submit their ‘assets and liabilities’ stating which is mandatory under the section 75A (I) of a Representation of the People act, 1952 and rule 3 of the Members of Lok Sabha (Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Rules, 2004.

Dr Shiv Gupta and Chairman Mr D.D. Sharma of the council stated that the members of the Lok Sabha should submit their statement within 90 days from the date of taking oath as MPs to curb corruption . This would help to find whether an MP has amassed any disproportionate wealth in proportion to his known sources of income It is surprising that only 266 MP’s out of 543, have submitted Assets and Liabilities statements. The CPM Party 41MP’s our of 43 have filed the information and more than 50 per cent MP’s of other parties have not filed the requisite statement.

The Anti-corruption Council of India’s secretary general Dr Shiv Gupta advocates that all the IAS’ IPS and State Govt gazetted officers must submit their salary statements annually so that there may be check on the corrupt practices.



Road’s condition deplorable
Our Correspondent

Raikot (Ahmedgarh), December 9
While the Sikh devotees of this belt of Malwa were waiting eagerly to have a glimpse of the sacred urn of Guru Gobind Singh, Ganga Sagar, a rare sacred relic which was once gifted by the 10th guru of the Sikhs to Rai Kalah the Nawab of Raikot, the leaders of the various organizations were undecided on the issue of the route on which the specially prepared wagon carrying the sacred relic should be brought to the historic gurdwara Tahli Sahib in the last week of this month as scheduled earlier.

The deplorable condition of almost all the approach roads to the historic town was major cause of their indecision.

Meanwhile the truck operators union of the town has approached the civic body with a proposal to make necessary repairs of certain spans of the roads the condition of which was critical.

Observations revealed that the condition of almost all approach roads to the local town was pathetic. The potholes were so deep at places that drivers of even light motor vehicles found it difficult to steer well and safe here.

Though roads leading to Ahmedgarh and Malerkotla were constructed a few years earlier, parts linking these roads with the town were again non-motor-able. None of these roads could be termed metalled road in real terms.

Sources revealed that the management of the Gurdwara Tahli Sahib had started preparations for the proposed religious procession along with the sacred relic in the last week of this month. But the management was yet undecided on the issue of the route of the procession as the condition of none of the roads was satisfactory.

The condition of Sarabha Roads, Mullanpur Road, Barnala road, Jagraon road, Talwandi road and Raikot bye pass was deplorable. The residents of the area were sore that the successive government paid no attention to provide them this basic amenity. Besides commuters including businessmen, employees and the workmen the truck operators and taxi drivers were worst affected.

Mr Sudarshan Joshi, President Municipal Council told the Ludhiana Tribune that the truck operators union of the town had approached him with a proposal to sponsor repair work of the spans that needed immediate attention. Appreciating their move Mr Joshi said he would take up the matter with authorities concerned and get necessary approval from them.



Sapping innocence out of childhood
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 19
Scores in the age group from 10 to 14 years are working at tea and chana-kulcha stalls housed in Mini Secretariat here. Most of these children are from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. They start working around 9 am and continue doing so till 5.30 pm.

Undernourished and impoverished, these children make tea, supply it to lawyers and their clients and bring back empty glasses and wash these. They hardly get any rest during the day.

It is surprising to see that child labour is going on in the premises where the administration is housed. No one seems to notice the plight of these children. Child labour is banned according to the law.

Grossly underfed and deprived of the joys of childhood, these children work under the sharp eyes of their employers. The employers do not allow them to talk to strangers.

A tea stall owner running his business at the entrance of the car park to the secretariat reacts angrily when asked about the practice of child labour. He said 14-year-old Raju had been working for him for the past four years. It means he was only 10-year-old when he was first employed by him. One wonders why no action is taken against such employers.

Birbal, a 12-year-old boy working at a tea stall, says, “I work for long hours and get paid Rs 800 per month. I used to study in Bihar, but my father, a daily wager, called me and my brother to work here and supplement the family income. “The routine is tiring and our fingers become numb while washing glasses in cold water,” he says. “We get a break on Sundays as the Secretariat does not function on that day. But that day we have to wash our clothes, and help father in other chores. There is no respite for us. I want to study, but there is no way out,” he adds.

A group of lawyers said they also did not like children bringing tea for them. Mr Dev Kumar Sharma, their spokesperson, said, “First of all we are averse to child labour, and secondly these children wear unclean clothes. They do not take care of hygiene. We would not like to see them working”.

The fact remains that children are being employed as they can be paid less and can be easily intimidated, but what is not understandable is why nothing is being done to stop them from frittering away their childhood and robbing them of their innocence. 



Seminar on population imbalance 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 19
The People’s Movement, an NGO, is concerned about the population imbalance and the demographic changes occurring in several parts of the country. Hence, that organised a seminar on of ‘population imbalance ‘in BVM school here today.

To make it more interesting, the special invitee was Manoj Raghuvanshi, whom one has seen anchoring several ‘’talk shows’’ on Sab TV. Mayank Jain of Sab TV started discussing the topic which was taken up by Manoj Raghuvanshi. He said,”Demograpical changes have occurred and they have been disturbing. I am happy that an open discussion has been initiated so that we cannot only identify the problems , but also find solutions too.”

Manoj said he was disturbed by Islamic terrorism that was coming from across the border . But what was disturbing that it was being sustained in the country. Every now and then people were being killed ruthlessly in terrorists’ activities . ‘’The problem is how can we eliminate such problems.”

“We must stop the ‘’call of Jehad being given in Madrassas.”This leads to bloodshed which results in counter bloodshed. Concept of jehad is dangerous. In Assam and West Bengal demographic changes are going to cause a lot of unrest. Situation can turn explosive ,” he said.

The debate was taken up by Mr Pawan Garg , president and Sandeep Wadhwa general secretary, of the People’s Movement picked up the debate.



Farmers need power during day: BKU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
The Bhartiya Kisan Union has asked the state government to provide power to the farmers during the day time. The BKU leaders said here today that the power for running the tubewells was supplied to the farmers during the night hours. Moreover there was no certainty as and when the power would be supplied and the farmers have to wait for hours in uncertainty.

Addressing a press conference after his return from the United States, the state president of the BKU, Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal and the working president, Prof Manjit Singh Kadyan maintained that currently the Punjab State Electricity Board was supplying power to the farmers during the night hours.



Park development project inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
The councillor of ward number 43, Mr K.L. Chhabra, inaugurated the development work of three parks in C-Block of BRS Nagar, estimated at a cost Rs 27 lakh, here today.

The parks are being maintained by Park Management Committees. The councillor said submersible pumps had been sanctioned for the parks to maintain plants and greenery.

He said his focus would be on neglected areas of the ward like Sunet village and L-Block of BRS Nagar. 



Maneka Gandhi elected member of welfare board
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 19
The Animal Welfare activist, environmentalist and former union minister Maneka Gandhi has been elected member of the Animal Welfare Board of India, Chennai (Ministry of Environment and Forests).

The board comprises 6 MPs (2 from Rajya Sabha and 4 from Lok Sabha), government officials, humanitarians, veterinarians and practitioners of modern and indigenous system of medicine, representatives of animal welfare organisations and SPCAs.

The Animal Welfare Board formulates policies and advises the Government on various issues related to welfare of animals and implementation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960. 



Four booked for assault
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 19
Mr Avtar Singh, Mr Narinder Singh, Attar Singh and Atma Singh of Bharowal allegedly assaulted Nand Singh of Acharwal by entering in to his house with sharp-edged weapons and also fired into the air to create scare. The Sidhwanbet police has registered a case under Sections 452, 323, 336, 34 of the IPC on the statement of Nandsingh Land dispute is the reason for the assault.

In another incident the Sidhwanbet police booked Jagjit Singh alias Jeeta, Mr Arvinder Singh, Mr Jeewan Singh, Jagroop Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Laddi, Surinder Pal Singh, Nammu and Rinky for assaulting Manjinder Singh of their village Sidhwanbet at his shop. Case under Sections 323, 324, 148, 149, the IPC has been registered. No arrest has been made.

Hurt in mishap: Mr Balwant Singh of Pamali while going on his tractor was allegedly hurt and his tractor No PBL- 3666 damaged in the area of Raikot when Tata 709 No RJ 31G -0144 driven by Madan Lal of Hanumangarh hit in his tractor. A case under Sections 279, 337, 427, the IPC has been registered at Raikot PS on the statement of injured. No arrest has been made.



Training programme for hotel staff organised
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
The Hotel and Restaurant Association, Punjab, organised a training programme for hotels and restaurants staff, including receptionists, waiters, house keepers, cooks, food and beverages officials and all other staff of related wings of hospitality industry at Hotel Taksonz, here today.

The event was held under a scheme for service providers sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism. Mr Naveen Kumar Nanchahal, Principal, Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management, Catering and Nutrition, Chandigarh, was the Chief Guest.

Mr N.S. Nanda, President of the association, welcomed Mr Nanchahal and other two faculty members - Biju Lakshaman and Pratik Ghosh on the occasion. He also thanked the Tourism Minister for acceding to one the long pending demand of the association to impart training to entire staff of the hotel industry in Punjab.

He further said the scheme benefitted the owners of the hotels as well as the staff members.

Mr Naveen Kumar Nanchahal said that the objective of this type of training and giving live demonstration to the staff is to promote tourism in the area of personal hygiene, space hygiene, environmental hygiene, equipments, food production, energy, saving, food safety, service and manners aspects.

Biju Lakshman and Pratik Ghosh, senior lecturers of the institute, the staff members while giving training and live demonstration to them. After training all the participants were issued certificates by the institute.

Mr Nanda further informed that this type of training would be given to the staff of all leading hotels of Punjab.

Others who spoke on the occasion included Suresh Kapoor, Avtar Singh Taksonz and Mukesh Nayyar, general secretary of the association.


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