L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


3 die, 8 hurt in accident
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
Two women and a minor girl were killed and eight others reported injured when a vehicle carrying devotees from Beas to Noorpur Bhattian village overturned and rolled into a ditch near Hardy’s World railway overbridge on the Ludhiana-Jalandhar highway today evening.

The accident reportedly took place when a child sitting near the driver fiddled with the steering wheel which made the driver lose control of the vehicle. The vehicle rolled into a ditch after mounting on the central verge. The passengers, mostly women, sitting in the rear of the vehicle were thrown out of it.

The three deceased were yet to be identified. It was also not clear whether they belonged to one family or not. The injured under treatment at a city hospital were Manju (13), Ramesh (17), Kulwinder (40), Prince(18), Kuldip (19) and Sandeep (15).



125 duped of Rs 30 lakh
Two accused arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
As many as 125 persons have been duped of over Rs 30 lakh by a consultancy firm in Haibowal which promised them to multiply their investments several times within two years or return the money after that period with full interest.

The Economic Offences Wing of the city police has arrested two brothers — Deepak Kumar and Anil Kumar — running the Deepak Consultancy firm while the third accused, Jagdish Prasad, father of the two brothers is absconding.

The accused lured the alleged victims into investing Rs 1,000 per month for a period of 24 months. Every month one lucky member was selected by a draw of lots and he was given Rs 24,000 and he was not required to pay further monthly installments.

The company remained in business for 23 months. It had told the investors in advance that at the end of 24 months, all those who were left would get the money back with due interest.

However, the accused ran away without paying the dues to the investors. People were taken aback as the accused fled with their families and bag and baggage. The investors had believed the accused as they lived with their families in Joshi Nagar of Haibowal and it did not seem they would run away.

A complaint was lodged with Haibowal police station in this regard by some investors, at which investigation was ordered by the city police. Economics Offences Wing Inspector Anil Joshi conducted the investigation under the guidance of Mr Gurpreet Singh, SP (Detective).

Mr Joshi revealed to Ludhiana Tribune that the two accused had fleeced a large number of people whose number would be well more than 125 noticed so far. The accused had run away from the city after committing the crime early this year. The police got secret information that they were spotted in the city and arrested them.

Mr Joshi said the accused claimed that they planned to run away with the money after they got so many members in their kitty-cum-lucky card scheme. They claimed that later on they returned the due amount of some of the alleged victims and had taken affidavits from them too.

Mr Joshi said the police was verifying the claim regarding the affidavits but the number of such investors was not much. He said the police was conducting raids to arrest the third accused.



Man with several identities
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
Investigating agencies are intrigued over the way an arms smuggler changed his identify too frequently. He even got bail in an arms smuggling case through, what the agencies now doubt to be, a fake identity. He was nabbed in a month in yet another case of arms smuggling where he tried to introduce himself with a different name and address.

The investigating agencies have found out, he holds two names, Anwar son of Mustadiq and Mohammad Ansar son of Mohammad Riyas. He was arrested by the Shimlapuri Police in connection with an FIR number 222, where he had identified himself as Mohammad Ansar son of Mohammad Riyas, resident of Tarapur in district Munger of Bihar. He was released on bail on October 14, 2004.

Within less than a month he once again joined the arms smuggling. He allegedly procured a US army made pistol and sold it to Ranjit, who allegedly used it during the Ghumar Mandi robbery in November. When the police arrested him, he identified himself as Anwar son of Mustadiq a resident of Shahkut in Bhagalpur district of Bihar.

Investigators had no clue that he was misleading them with his fake identity till he was spotted by a police official who had interrogated him in the earlier case. Initially he denied that he was involved in any other case. But later he admitted that he was the same person (Mohammad Ansar) against whom an FIR was still registered in the Shimlapuri police station. Investigators now are trying to find out answer to various questions including as how he managed to get the bail, which one was his real identity and if at all any of these was his real identity.

Investigators are in a fix to find out as how he got bail and who provided him the accommodation in Ludhiana without informing the police. They pointed out, had it not been by sheer chance that he was identified to be the same person who was involved in another case also, he might have once again misled the police and the judiciary and got bail. This has reinforced apprehensions about the unidentified tenants and the necessity to get them registered with the police after establishing the identity.



Holidays not for school staff
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 25
While most schools are closed for the winter break on Friday, the staff at most government schools and offices of the District Education Officer have to attend offices to compile information regarding the various aspects of functioning of the schools for past 10 years as demanded by the Education Minister recently.

Observations revealed that the staff and heads of the government schools, falling under the DEO Ludhaina and DEO Sangrur had to attend offices on Friday and Saturday despite the fact that these two days were declared holiday on account of tercentenary celebrations and Christmas.

While the DEO Ludhiana was not available for comments, Dr Maghar Singh, DEO Sangrur, said staff of his office and the heads of various schools had to do extra work to enable the staff to get the salary by the due date. He claimed that the heads of various schools had been asked to provide the information immediately after receiving instructions from the Education Minister.

The heads and the staff at most government schools were preparing lists regarding the number of vacancies, rooms, laboratories, libraries and strength of the schools for 1994-95 to 2003-04. Information regarding the dropout rate, board results, achievements in sports and developmental works undertaken during this period has also been sought by the state education department by December 27.

Sources revealed that the Education Minister had convened a meeting of all DEOs at Chandigarh on Monday and the latter were supposed to convey the information to the heads of schools immediately. Though DEO Sangrur passed on the instructions to the heads of the schools in his district no such meeting was known to be held in Ludhaina.



Residents resent increase in cable charges
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 25
Tussle over increase in charges of cable services between Rajguru Nagar consumers and cable operators continues despite several meetings between the two to sort out things.

The Rajguru Nagar Welfare Society alleged that cable operators had raised charges of cable network in the past few years without providing any improvement in services. The consumers were aggrieved as the charges had been increased from Rs 125 to Rs 280 per month.

Mr S.S.Gill, a resident of the area further complained that operators did not issue any receipt to the customers. Not only this, different rates were being charged from different parties. Majority of area residents were paying Rs 280 whereas there were some areas where people were paying Rs 150, Rs 175 etc. He said not only this, the services had gone from bad to worse.

Another area resident Mr Charanjit Aulakh complained that cable operators had disconnected the services of over 25 houses (consumers), who dared to protest against their monopolistic attitude. He said that many meetings had been arranged between the aggrieved consumers and cable operators but no settlement could be reached.

Residents asked the cable operators to give reasons as to why they were being partial to certain consumers. “They are charging different rates in different parts of the city for providing same set of services”, said Mr Aulakh.

Not only this, the customers complained that instead of giving satisfactory reply, the Win Cable spokesperson misbehaved with residents. They rather said that rates would be 7 per cent increased again from January 2005. To take stock of the situation, the aggrieved customers will be meeting on January 2.



Bus driver dies?
Our Correspondent

Amloh, December 25
Driver of bus (PB-11C-9559) of Chandigarh Depot, became unconscious, while he was driving the bus on the Amloh Bypass road at 3-20 p.m. and the bus was saved by some passengers and conductor of the bus.

Conductor Hukam Chand said the bus left for Malerkotla from Chandigarh at 1 p.m. via Amloh-Nabha when the bus reached at Salani village on the Amloh-Gobindgarh Road, organisers of langar who were serving to the passersby. They stopped the bus but the driver tried to move from there at this they put a log in front of the bus and manhandled the driver.

Driver Jaswinder Singh, resident of Phallewal, Tehsil and District Ludhiana drove the bus and dropped passengers at Amloh bus stand on Gobindgarh side. There after he drove the bus towards Nabha, he became unconscious and the conductor and some passengers saved the bus from accident. The driver was taken to the local civil hospital. The class IV employee Darshan Kumar, ward attendant Harwinder Singh and staff nurse Ms Reenu said that there is only one medical officer posted in the hospital and he is called for in case of any emergency from his residence. Mr Joginder Singh from workshop duty informed that he did not know the where abouts of the driver, till 6 p.m., no officer of the PRTC reached at the spot. Back window-pane of the bus was broken by pelting stones by the people. 



Husband, in-laws booked in dowry case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
A marriage organised through matrimonial website has gone sour with a girl here filing an FIR with the police against her Chennai (Tamil Nadu)-based husband an in-laws of giving false particulars about them and their property at the marriage portal.

According to the FIR registered at Division No. 4 police station, Shivani, the alleged victim girl, resident of Chowni mohallah here has lodged a complaint that she married Arjun Chawla of Anna Nagar, West Chennai through the Internet in August this year.

The accused had furnished particulars that he owned one flat worth over Rs 37 lakh besides a factory. However, after marriage she learnt that the claims were false. Her in-laws instead of admitting their mistake started harassing her to bring more dowry.

Her father Raj Kumar Sehgal claimed in the FIR that he had spent Rs 4 lakh on marriage and dowry.

The police has booked Arjun Chawla, his father, Shakti Anand, and other relatives Sangeeta Chawla, Karan Chawla, Mahima Chawla and Banita Chawla.

The Economics Offences Wing of the police is investigating the case.



Prayers, carol singing mark Christmas celebrations
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 25
People should devote their lives only to God. God sent his only begotten son on the earth to save the people from the sins. Values preached by Lord Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount urging people to develop compassion, love , forgiveness, brotherhood are still as relevant as they were more than 2000 years ago, said Rev Suresh .

He was offering prayers and addressing the congregation in the United Church of Northern India, Chaura Bazar. Church were built in 1924. Men, women and children from far flung areas like Isa Nagri, Fathegarh Majra, Chitti Colony Chand Cinema came to hear the sermon.

Rev Suresh quoting from the Bible read out what John in 1406 said: “I am the way, the truth and the life. Without me no one can lead a life of eternity.” Rev Suresh said , “Jesus had wanted human beings to give up bad habits like exploitation, greed, anger, envy , jealousy and come to Him. All men are good as God has created everyone in his image But because of his sins, man is separated from their brothers and God. All communities should join hands and work together for peace. Those who are restless and tired people should come to me and receive peace from me.”

After the sermon the congregation sang hymns. They sang ,’o Messiah, aaya zammem par, khusi hoti hai’ and ‘sare assman me’. Langar was served. Langar was distributed to passers-by too. Prayer services were also held in Holy Cross Church, Sarabha nagar, Kalvary Church, CMC Hospital, 7th Day Church , Udham Singh Nagar, Army Salvation, Issa Nagar, Mother Mary Church, Salem Tabri and many other churchs.

A vigil march with candles was taken out by the priest and members of Holy Cross Church , Sarabha Nagar from 8.30pm to 10. 30pm yesterday night. Carol singing also went for the entire last week. Churches of the city were well lit.



Rising crime: employers ignorant
about labourers’ details

Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
The spate of robberies in and around the city has not only cast a shadow on the law and order situation but also brought into sharp focus the need to keep a check on immigrants and evolve a system to verify their antecedents.

While the police is on its toes and claims to have identified four gangs which are operating in the city, little is being done by entrepreneurs who employ lakhs of migrants in their units. This despite the fact that the police department has written to them on numerous occasions stressing the need for getting their employees fingerprints registered. Ironically, most of the employers are ignorant about the antecedents of the workers employed in their factories industrial units and have no information about their background.

The police department is of the view that fingerprinting will not only act as a deterrent but also help it in creating a data bank of information on the movement of thousands of migrants who are employed in the city.

Talking to TNS, Mr H P Bhogal, a director of the Bhogal group of Industries, said he had been raising this issue at various fora but to no avail. Employers are unwilling to even spend a few thousand to get a database of their employees which will go a long way in deterring those with a criminal past secure anonymity and jobs on the city. Only a few industrial houses had come forward to do the needful and in certain instances many employees left their jobs instead of giving their fingerprints, he pointed out.

Police officers are of the view that it is unfortunate that the public does not understand the gravity of employing unknown people. It is only after some heinous crime has occurred that people come to the police but there is little it can do since the employers have not informed it or the address furnished turns out to be false.

They said the media in the present scenario had an additional responsibility to highlight the importance of such activities so that more people were motivated to come forward in this context. Various NGOs should also educate the people, they added.

Mr Krishen Datt, who is in charge of the Bureau of Fingerprints and Forensic Services, Ludhiana police, said following the approval of the employers we will fingerprint the employees and our branch will help the employers to maintain the record of the employees, as is being done in all advanced countries.

Moreover, this branch is all set to provide its services free of cost to all employers.

He said, if followed by all, this practice would convey a strong message to the employees that they wouldnot indulge in criminal activities and remain undetected in the city.

As per estimates, more than 5 lakh migrants are employed with hundreds of industrial and ancillary units in the city and in many cases the police has established their complicity in heinous and other crimes.

In fact, many in the police circles believe that the city is also a safe haven for criminals on the run from their native places where “crime is a way of life.” Servants poisoning their employers or decamping with money from the units where they have been employed are now normal occurrences in the city.



Grasping Ghalib’s poetry through letters
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
Mirza Ghalib may not be as famous for his letters as he happens to be for his poetry. But his letters are significant in the world of letters. Because these make most of his poetry easy to understand .

Salim Arif, a noted man of letters and critic has taken upon himself the task of presenting “Ghalib’s poetry in context of his letters”. And that too in a musical way. Thanks to the support of noted musician Kuldeep Singh and his singer son, Jasvinder, Arif has enacted a concert of eight poems and eight letters. Jasvinder renders his voice to the gazals, Arif narrates the letters evolving a rapport with the audience. They have already held 12 concerts, six of these abroad.

On December 23, a concert will be hosted by the Ludhiana Sanskritik Sammagam (LSS) at the Guru Nanak Bhawan. Arif revealed that he had received good response from audience as the letters explain not only the context of a particular poem, but also reveals a lot about Ghalib’s personality. The letters, which number 875 have lot of literary value.

Arif said, it was not an ordinary task to “lend voice to Ghalib”, particularly when legends right from Begam Akhtar, KL Sehgal and now Jagjit Singh had already done it with distinction. So much so when anybody talks about Ghalib’s gazals, Jagjit Singh’s voice sounds the musical note.

He, along with Kuldeep Singh and Jasvinder, “ventured into the world of Ghalib” exploring and recreating some gazals like Nuktacheen hai gammay dil, Kabb kanha sabb lala-u-gul…and few others. These are already popular with people, but the letters which are narrated with the gazals add to the charm and everything becomes lucid.

Jasvinder is a gazal singer, who prefers classical music to pop. He has already sung for television serials like Discovery of India and Itefaq. Besides, he has brought out two gazal albums and plans to bring out the fourth. He remains modest in his claims saying he had a long way.



Tribute to INA hero
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, December 25
Today, the nation salutes INA hero, General Mohan Singh, whose 15th death anniversary is being observed at his Jugiana village (3 km from Sahnewal) to inspire countrymen.

General Mohan Singh, to fight the British rulers, founded the Indian National Army (INA). This band of patriots, founded in 1941, plunged into freedom struggle. Subhas Chandra Bose impressed by the first inspection of the INA in front of Singapore City Hall on July 5, 1943 commented. "During a long struggle, against the British, India had all the means of fighting at its disposal save one, and that was an army of its own. The very fact of not having any fighting force vexed me. But now at least we have at last a highly efficient army of our own." This army prompted Netaji to risk a submarine voyage to South East Asia from Germany at the height to World War II, as commented by Lt-Gen Ivaichi Fujiwara through whom Gen Mohan Singh established contact with the Japanese. Gen Mohan Singh, was responsible for rousing people of the South East Asia to national consciousness.

Gen Mohan Singh stressed upon the sovereign status of the INA and never conceded to pressures from the Japanese. He surrendered to the British in Sumatra, after the conclusion of the second World War in 1945. He was detained there for a few days and then put in a cell in the Pearl Hill Prison for more than two months after which he was brought to Red Fort in November, 1945. Then he was taken to Kabul Lines, New Delhi in January, 1946 and put in solitary confinement from where he was dismissed from service and released on May 4, 1946 along with other INA personnel after INA trials in the Red Fort.

He joined politics and founded 'Desh Sewak Sewa' in October, 1947. In 1948, he founded the 'Desh Sewak Party' which merged with the All India Forward Bloc in 1950 and remained Chairman of All-India Forward Bloc till its merger with Indian National Congress in 1950. From 1956, he became a member of Punjab CC and its executive and election committees, AICC. He was treasurer of the Punjab Congress since 1966.

General Mohan Singh was founder-organiser and the chief of the Punjab Raksha Dal in 1962 which was merged with Punjab Home Guards in 1963 and later on disbanded in 1964. He was elected a member of the Punjab Legislative Assembly in 1967. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha for six years and was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha in April, 1972.

His thoughts and vision are in his four books,: leaves form my diary." "Mahapurbi Punjab", "Congress Unmasked' and "Soldiers Contribution to Indian Independence".

He sought nothing for himself. Born on January 3, 1909. He passed away on December 26, 1989. He is survived by two sons, Mr Jasmohan Singh and Mr Harmohanjit Singh and one daughter, Manjit Kaur. We salute the great soul on this day.

"brave man who worked while others slept

to build a nation's pillars deep

and lift it to the sky."



250 attend youth leadership camp
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 25
More than 250 youths from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu are participating in a three-day youth leadership camp being organised by the Rotary Club of Ludhiana North in Pratap College of Education, Ludhiana.

The camp was inaugurated by former Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University S.S. Johl. The camp is being attended by many Rotarians. The district governor, Ms Beena Mishra, and Rotary president Gurjit Singh was also present.

Addressing students, Mr Johl said, “Youth leadership talks of rights and duties without spelling out what they want to do for the society. He said, “the society has pinned its hopes on you.

Mr Balwant Singh, principal of the Pratap College of Education, spoke on value and its importance in life. He said that good values were universal and must be maintained.



Increase in electricity duty decried
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
Condemning the increase in electricity duty, the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry today said the five to 10 per cent increase in duty would almost nullify the previous reduction in power tariffs by the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission.

Mr P.D. Sharma, president of the chamber, said that medium and large industrial consumers had got a relief of 29 paise per unit but the increase in duty will put a burden of 17 paise a unit on them, which would almost neutralise the effect of previous reduction.

The chamber also said poor power situation was harming the industry.”Punjab’s industry cannot compete globally due to high tariff. Our tariff is 74 per cent higher than Malaysia and, 39 per cent higher in comparison to China,” said Mr Sharma.



Four held for theft
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 25
Major Singh, Rajinder Singh, Joginder Singh and Sony Singh all of Halwara allegedly committed a theft in the late hours of the night by cutting girders and carried it on two scooters but were arrested with girders and a case was registered under Section 379, 411 of the IPC at Jagraon.

Sub Inspector Amarbir Singh of police post Chowkiman on a tip off arrested the four persons while carrying four pieces of girders on their two scooters, stolen from some government premises. They were to sell it to scrap dealer. Scooter (HR-20-3802) and (CH-01-0835) used for the purpose, were also impounded. Mr B.S. Deol. JMIC Jagraon today remanded all four in police custody till December 27.

Shop burgled: Unknown persons are alleged to have burgled a shop after breaking open its locks and stolen a CTV and goods worth Rs 10,000 from main bazar Sidhwanbet, last night. A case has been registered under Section 457, 380 of the IPC on the complaint of Ramesh Kumar Aggarwal owner of the shop.



Brick-kiln owners meet ministers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
To end ongoing strike brickkiln owners have urged the science and Technology Department, Punjab, to provide them with a “solution to use fly ash in a cost effective and environment friendly manner for manufacturing bricks”.

With brickkilns lying closed for several months now due to the ongoing strike of brick-kiln owners, not only has the construction activity been badly hit, but also over 13 lakh workers have been rendered jobless in the State alone.

Secretary Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) Ashwani Sharma informed that brick kiln owners have apprised food and civil supplies minister Avtar Henry and minister of state, science and technology, Rakesh Pandey, of the ongoing situation. A delegation led by Mr Sharma met the two ministers at Chandigarh yesterday.

“While we urged them to do away with the decision of using fly ash in the manufacture of bricks, the ministers said the same was not possible in wake of a court regulation in that regard. Now we have requested the Science and Technology department to come out with a solution that would help manufacturing of bricks using fly ash in a convenient manner that is affordable and that does not create pollution problems,” said Mr Sharma.

As per estimates, with the matter pertaining to usage of flyash in the manufacturing of bricks attaining little headway, over 13 lakh workers in the state have been rendered jobless.

The ongoing tiff, besides causing a steep hike in brick prices from around Rs 1,600 per 1000 to over Rs 2,300 per 1000 in three months, has also hit construction activity in the State.

According to brickkiln owners, use of flyash is not only a cumbersome affair, it is also very costly due to huge transportation costs involved. Besides, there is no proper infrastructure for mixing of fly ash with clay. “A machine that would do this job would cost not less than Rs 50 Rs 60 lakh which is a heavy expense,” Mr Sharma said.

“Besides increase in cost usage of flyash would result in a poor quality of bricks and also cause health hazards for workers because the work at brick kilns is done manually unlike other countries where machines are used for mixing,” said Mr Ashwani Sood, who has a kiln in Kila Raipur.


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