L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


In-laws held in dowry case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
When her marriage proposal was being discussed, her in-laws had said that they did not want any dowry and that they were crusaders against the evil. Moni Bala (25) and her family had thought that they had found ‘‘angels’’ in the form of humans and decided to get ahead with the marriage.

Allegedly harassed at the hands of her “greedy” in-laws living at Naya Gaon near Chandigarh, Moni came to terms with reality just after a month of her marriage and found that she was in the midst of dowry seekers who had started berating at her and her family that they were incapable of giving her any gifts.

A non-medical graduate and a Bachelor in Education, the girl allegedly could not take the torture any more and returned to her parents in Chander Nagar here. Moved by the plight of the well-educated girl, the district police chief, Mr Narinder Pal Singh, had directed the Haibowal police to register a case of dowry against her husband, father-in-law and mother-in-law.

A case under Sections 406/498 A of the IPC was registered against Surjit Kumar, his father Tara Chand and Soma, residents of Naya Gaon (Chandigarh), by the Ludhiana police this morning. While both parents were arrested after a raid at their residence, Surjit Kumar, however, is missing.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune here today, Moni Bala, who was married about 11 months ago, alleged that she was asked by her in-laws and husband to bring dowry. She was allegedly tortured and was told to sleep on empty stomach if she failed to pressurise her parents to give her more dowry.

Her father, Mr Hari Singh, said, “I presented a number of gifts to the boy and his family members and presented gold items to them and their relatives. Despite my meagre resources, as I am employed as an embroidery worker at a shop, I spent about Rs 2 lakh on the marriage with the help of friends and relatives.”

The in-laws changed colours a few days after the marriage only and started making demands. “I sent some household goods hoping that they will stop harassing my daughter.”

“My daughter wanted to study and she had expressed her wish to the in-laws before marriage. However, the in-laws insisted on early marriage saying they would not stop her from studying after marriage and would foot the bills too. Later they had problems with her continuing her studies,” he added.

“Moni used to give tuitions to children in the colony before marriage. Her in-laws shocked me and my relatives by demanding that all the money she earned before marriage through tuitions besides her teaching job in a local school should be given to them. At our insistence, they agreed to send the girl to Jammu University for a B.Ed course.”

She was allegedly beaten, humiliated and taunted by the in-laws for not bringing enough dowry when ever she came home (in-laws’ house) during her holidays. ‘‘There are innumerable instances when she was forced to sleep on empty stomach and kicked outside the house at midnight with threats that they would torch her alive with kerosene if she did not tell her parents to send more dowry”, Mr Hari Singh further alleged.

Once Moni’s family had intervened and a compromise was effected but when she went back, her husband often remarked that she was not fit for him and he could not move about with her in social circles. He allegedly beat up Moni several times and she was not allowed to use the telephone in the house also. “She was not even allowed to receive her calls and was abused and beaten up whenever we called her up.”



BJP workers shine shoes to collect relief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
Leaders and workers of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) today polished shoes of people in various localities to collect relief for the tsunami victims.

Led by the state president, Mr Avinash Khanna, the workers had set up booths at 10 different places, two each in one Assembly segment, where they polished shoes and people offered money.

Besides Mr Khanna, other BJP leaders, including state general secretaries, Mr Vijay Sampla and Prof Rajinder Bhandari and the district president, Dr Subash Verma went to different places and asked people to contribute.

Mr Khanna disclosed that there was overwhelming response from the people. Everybody tried to donate something for the victims. While the party leaders were polishing the shoes, the workers went around collecting money.

Later, talking to reporters, Mr Khanna disclosed that all BJP MPs and MLAs from Punjab had decided to donate their one month’s salary towards the Prime Minister’s relief fund. He appealed people to come forward with donations.

He thanked people for extending cooperation. He said same campaign would also be organised in Jalandhar, Patiala, Amritsar and some other places in the coming days.



Murmurings against Sibia’s appointment 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
The appointment of Wg Cdr Parmajit Singh Sibia (retd) as the Chairman of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust has come as a surprise to most of the Congress workers in Ludhiana. Most of them feel let down for the reason that a person who did not make any contribution towards the party was given a prestigious assignment. At the same time, people owing allegiance to the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, are upbeat over the removal of Mr Ashok Singh Garcha and the appointment of Wing Commander Sibia to the post. Mr Gill is learnt to have played a crucial role in the latter’s appointment.

The party workers and leaders are sore that Wing Commander Sibia was appointed Chairman of the trust while the claims of so many others, who had sacrificed so much for the party, were overlooked. The workers said while the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, took a wise decision in removing Mr Garcha, at the same time he should have chosen a “better” replacement. “Wing Commander Sibia may be an honest person and a gentleman, but he has virtually no grassroots base”, said Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka, senior vice-president of the Pradesh Youth Congress.

Wing Commander Sibia’s only qualification happens to be that of not only losing the elections from the Jagraon Assembly segment in 2002, but also failing to save his security deposit. Mr Tikka pointed out that Wing Commander Sibia could not retain his security deposit during the “Congress wave” and now he had been rewarded with the job of the Chairman of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust. Wing Commander Sibia was introduced to the Congress by the late Rajesh Pilot as they were together in the Indian Air Force.

On the other hand, the Mayor, Mr Gill, has avenged his slander by the outgoing Chairman, Mr Garcha, who had accused him of being corrupt. Since then Mr Gill had made it his mission to see Mr Garcha’s exit. And ultimately he not only managed the removal of Mr Garcha but also the appointment of one of his trusted protege to the post. Wing Commander Sibia duly acknowledged Mr Gill’s favour and went to his official residence at the Rose Gardens today to thank him. From there he was taken to the trust office in a procession.

Wing Commander Sibia basically belongs to Raikot but is now settled here. He enjoys a relatively clean image, which helped him to get the prestigious job for which several old guards were lobbying hard. The going may get tough for him as he may not be having a friendly party and trust members with him.



Place of worship removed
Our Correspondent

Khanna, January 7
Officials of the Railway Department today demolished a Shiv Temple at Vinod Nagar, near the Railway Station, here today. The temple was built on the land of the Railway department. The priest of temple was injured during the demolition drive. The temple was demolished by a 50-member team of railway officials, including policemen of the Railway Protection Force and the Government Railway Police.

Resentment prevailed among the residents of the locality over the action of the Railway Department. More than one hundred people gathered at the site and raised slogans against the demolition team. A police party, led by the SHO of the city police station, Mr Rajan Parminder Singh, and SI Parveen Sharma reached the site and controlled the public.

The injured priest, Mohan Giri, received injuries on his forehead and was rushed to the local Civil Hospital. He said the temple was built on the site about 40 years ago. An idol of Lord Shiva was placed in the temple four months ago. He alleged that railway officials did not give any notice or warning before the demolition.

Station Superintendent N.L. Nimesh could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. 



Park panel members stage dharna
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
Just after a day of peace, representatives of the Park Management Committees and the local Municipal Corporation were again at loggerheads over the payment of their dues.

While 10 representatives accepted the payments, the rest staged a dharna outside the office of the XEN and the residence of the Municipal Corporation’s Commissioner. They refused to accept the payments with allegations that they were being paid 25 per cent of dues.

Staging a dharna outside the commissioner’s residence, representatives of the committees raised slogans against the corporation and demanded a CBI inquiry into the entire case. Mr Pawan Sood, general-secretary, Federation of the Park Management Committees, said they were being paid meagre amount by levying some cuts and the corporation was not following directions of the local bodies department in toto.

They said that they would not accept the payments if they were paid such an amount. The representatives alleged that the corporation had paid the money to some committees which were not even working well. They added that their parks were in bad condition and yet they had received the payment before 10 am.

Following their protests, Mr S.K. Sharma, Commissioner, invited them to his residence and assured them that he would form a committee to look into the matter.

Later an unsigned press note, delivered by a corporation employee to newspaper offices claimed that the Commissioner had constituted a committee headed by Dr Jaswant Singh, Joint Commissioner, to look into the allegations. The press note assured that the dues of the committees would be given to them.

Stating that representatives had also levelled allegations against each other, the press note claimed that the inquiry committee would be looking into the allegations also.

The issue of payments had been hanging fire with the committees for the past two years. Finally, the corporation had yesterday asked the committees to collect their cheques.



FCI blamed for doctoring tenders
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, January 7
The Truck Union, Machhiwara, has alleged the FCI of being unfair so far as tenders regarding transportation of food-grains from its Machhiwara depot is concerned. The last date of submitting these tenders with the Regional Office of FCI at Chandigarh was January 3.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Jasdev Singh Nagra, vice-president of the Truck Union, Machhiwara, said only three transporting agencies (including the Truck Union, Machhiwara,) had submitted the tenders when the officials prepared the list of tender forms after the stipulated date.

All three parties had deposited two sealed envelopes, one containing the bid and the second containing technical conditions and a draft of security amount. when the FCI officials placed all the envelopes on the table, the Truck Union, Machhiwara’s envelops containing bid was found open where as it was properly sealed by the union before their submission.

The FCI officials turned a deaf ear to the objection raised by the union and simply closed the envelopes without giving any satisfactory reply to the office-bearers of the union.

The union has submitted an attested affidavit demanding immediate cancellation of the tenders. A memorandum in this regard has also been sent to the senior regional manager of the Food Corporation of India.

When the DM (Contract) at the Regional Office of the FCI was contacted, he termed all these allegations baseless. The DM further said the FCI took every thing in to consideration while allotting tenders.



Tribune impact
Policemen vacate classrooms
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
Children of Government Senior Secondary School, Civil Lines attended classes in rooms following cops vacated classroom last evening after having occupies the room for more than 10 days.

Relief for students came following intervention of the media yesterday. The relief, however, could have been short-lived if the school staff had not put its foot down on another attempt by cops of a reserve battalion to occupy the rooms vacated by policemen of another district.

The reserve battalion and the cops of other districts were called for duty at DMC here following a confrontation between the DMC management and a section of the union. As the local police could not provide accommodation to all in police lines or other places three rooms of this school were occupied. The reserve battalion assumed duty yesterday.

The school staff was quite jubilant when the cops left. However, late in the evening, a group of policemen from the reserve battalion arrived with bag and baggage at the school demanding keys of the rooms used by the cops relieved from duty at DMC.

The school watchman did not allow them inside saying that a written permission from the District Education Office required was must. The school authorities were informed who declined permission the cops had to return.

The matter was taken up by the local media yesterday. Senior officials were aware of the problems of students and made alternative arrangements for the cops. 



Parliamentary Secretary accused of helping man in land dispute, Birmi denies
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Jainpur, (Ludhiana), January 7
Tension prevailed in Jainpur village here yesterday and a family continued to live under fear as workers of another claimant on the land started putting up wires after erecting a tent house in the rear of their farmhouse amid the allegations that a Parliamentary secretary of the government of Punjab was helping a party in the case.

A piece of 24 kanal 8 marla land worth Rs 1 crore was allegedly sold twice by the owners of the land in this village. While both claimants over the land fight the 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 the influential leader.

While the occupants of the farm house, led by Mr Gurnam Singh claimed that they had a status quo orders on 9 kanals of land from a court, the opposite party was demarcating 6 kanals of land in violation of the orders.

In an affidavit, Mr Gurnam Singh claimed that he and his brothers were the owners of 24 kanals of land and a civil suit was decreed by a local court in his favour in 2003.

He further claimed that the land was sold twice and another claimant of land, Anuj Sharma was fighting a case with him in a court.

Things have come to such a pass that Gurnam Singh is forced to insert advertisements of in a newspaper appealing the Chief Minister to look into the matter as the entire government machinery was allegedly helping Anuj Sharma at the behest of Parliamentary Secretary, Malkiat Singh Birmi.

Denying the allegations, Mr Birmi, talking said that he did not know anything about the case. Later he said that he was a politician and if anybody came asking for his help, he was forced to oblige him.

He added that he was known for helping anybody who came to him seeking his help. “If somebody comes to me I help him. I even tell the SSP and DC to look into the case personally.”

He added that he would file a defamation suit against Gurnam Singh for publishing appeals against him.

SHO Sadar, Sandeep Sharma, said that the police was not siding with any party.

He added that he had registered a case under Sections 107 and 151 of the IPC against both the parties and there was nothing that could threaten the law and order situation in the village.

He further said that the opposite party was free to do anything in their share of land.

Meanwhile, addressing a press conference in the city, Mr Hardev Singh, Gurnam Singh’s nephew 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 uncle, 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. He claimed that the decree of the land in question was in his uncle’s name.

He added that while Mohinder Singh and Nirmal Singh, sons of the land seller agreed to 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 same.

The controversy surrounding the land has also witnessed an attempt to murder case in which Gurnam Singh, and his two brothers were sentenced by a court.

Mr Hardev Singh demanded that till the case is in the court they should be allowed to live peacefully.



DEO to identify disabled children
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma today directed District Education Officer (Elementary Education ) to hold assessment camps for identification of disabled among children aged 3 to 14 years. These camps w0ill be organised in collaboration with ALIMCO and the identified children will be given assistive devices free of cost.

Mr Verma informed that under Sarav Shiksha Abhiyan, the policy of ‘zero rejection’ has been adopted so that no child is left out of the education system and that every child receives relevant, quality education up to elementary level. To achieve this aim, the Sarav Shiksha Abhiyan will provide assistive devices and learning aids and appliances to all children with special needs, so that they may become self-reliant and receive relevant elementary education in an appropriate environment.

He said to implement this policy, a tie up with ALIMCO has been made to provide learning aids and assistive devices to all children with special needs after subsidising the cost of such appliances by 60%. Under the Sarav Shiksha Abhiyan, there is an annual budget of Rs 1,200 per child with special needs. The 40% of the cost of appliances will be given out of this annual budget.



DC, SSP honoured
Our Correspondent

Amloh, January 7
The management committee of the local Gurdwara Singh Sabha today organised a special function to honour Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, and Mr Varinder Kumar, district police chief, Fatehgarh Sahib for their excellent performance during the tercentenary celebrations of the martyrdom of the Sahibzadas. The Deputy Commissioner, the SSP, the MP, Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra, and others were given siropas at the function.

Mr Ahluwalia spoke about changing the mode of the Jor Mela celebrations. The mela was celebrated in the true spirit of a mela, he said. Political parties, though, taking advantage of a big gathering, indulged in mudslinging.

The district police chief, Mr Varinder Kumar, thanked the people for their cooperation with the administration to make the Jor Mela successful. He said the celebrations remained peaceful despite of a record gathering this year.



Karigari Craft Bazar begins
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
Karigari Craft Bazaar, an exhibition of pottery, hand-embroidered suits, jewellery and several other crafts items, began at Nehru Sidhhanta Kendra. The exhibition will conclude on January 16. It is organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Dastkar Samiti. Over 40 craftsmen from various states including Gujarat and Rajasthan are participating in the exhibition.

The crafstmen participating in this bazaar are recognised by the Ministry of Textiles, informed Mr Iqbal Singh, president of the samiti. The exhibition will promote work of craftsmen who did not get deserving payment for their work. “The samiti also aims to eliminate middlemen who increase prices of products whereas the actual worker does not get duly paid,” he said.



MC donates Rs 16 lakh
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, January 7
The Municipal Council here gave a draft of Rs 15 lakh as relief money for the victims of tsunami waves and Rs 1 lakh was contributed by Mr Joginder Pal Singla, local council chief and staff of the council to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund was stated in a press note issued by the council here today.


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