L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Cops claim cash reward for arresting accused
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
It is common for people to complain against the police but this time it is the police which is cribbing against some civilians for allegedly not keeping a promise of cash reward announced for arresting three accused in an over seven-year-old multi-crore embezzlement case.

The police and the persons who had reportedly promised the prize money have locked horns over the issue. The persons claim that they were supposed to give the reward only if their money was recovered. However, the policemen insist that the prize was promised for the arrest of the accused.

The officials of the proclaimed offender (PO) nabbing staff of the city police are bitter for not getting the Rs 25,000 reward announced by one of the victims of an embezzlement case. Along with him several other victims had also verbally promised cash awards but none of them fulfilled it, according to these officials.

The case pertains to 1997 when Prabhjot Singh, Manjot Singh and Harjot Singh, wholesale medicine sellers in Pindi Street here, had run away with over Rs 2 crore of kitty members.

The PO staff nabbed the three from Gwalior recently where they were running a hotel business. The three were now in judicial custody. The PO team comprised SI Naveen Kumar and ASI Baldev Singh.

One of the alleged victims, Mr Vinod Kumar Jain, had even inserted advertisements in some newspapers with the photographs of the accused and the promise of the cash reward.

A copy of the advertisement has been preserved by the policemen in the case file . “Such awards help in boosting the morale of the police. But if the rewards are not paid those concerned would definitely be disappointed” commented a senior official.

Mr Jain, however, defended his decision of not giving the reward. He admitted he had announced the prize but claimed that the policemen had failed to get their money recovered.

Moreover, he claimed that the accused had not been arrested but had surrendered. He further said the policemen had taken over seven years to arrest the three.



Sarpanch, 3 others booked for assault
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 12
A sarpanch of Nawapind village, his brother, nephew and a private gunman have been booked under Sections 307, 34 of the IPC and Arms Act at the Payal police station for allegedly assaulting a cable-operator and firing at him.

The assault resulted in an leg injury to the cable operator following which he was admitted in a serious condition at the CMC Hospital in Ludhiana, last night.

In the statement given by Swaranjit Singh alias Soni, son of Manjit Singh of Ashkalipur village, he had gone to attend the marriage of the daughter of Jora Singh, son of Charanjit Singh, of Kishangarh village at Sangam Palace in Payal on Friday.

He was in the palace only when Dilsher Singh, sarpanch of Nawapind village, his brother Ohli, nephew Mandeep Singh and a private gunman Sukha of Bhadewal village entered into an altercation with him which resulted in the sarpanch firing at him with a .315 bore rifle.

He was then taken to the civil hospital, Khanna, and later referred to the CMC Hospital, Ludhiana, in a serious condition.

The victim was still in a serious condition as his leg had to be amputated during surgery.

His statement had been recorded by the police on the basis of which a case had been registered at the Payal police station.

It is being said that the accused wanted to capture the cable business at Payal from the complainant which was the reason behind this scuffle.



Recarpeting of good roads!
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
While residents of various colonies, where the local civic body had laid sewerage a year ago, are crying foul for want of recarpeting of dug-up roads, residents of Prem Nagar today protested against the repair of roads in their area, claiming that these were in good condition.

The labourers had started digging up the road today in order to lay a fresh layer of bitumen over it. The residents said their roads were in good condition and had been recarpeted some months ago.

They added that public money was being wasted for carrying out the repairs which were not required while many other areas required roads.

They alleged that the contracts to repair good roads were given in order to ‘‘please’’ some contractors. The residents stated that the MC was giving the plea that the plinth level of the road was low and so it was being raised.

The residents added that the problem was with the drainage and not with the plinth level.

Mr Sushil Raju Thapar, area councillor, said under the project the roads would be recarpeted and plinth level raised. Manhole covers would be replaced with a strong iron mesh, he added.



Seven fresh cases of jaundice reported
Situation under control: Admin
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, February 12
The situation in the jaundice-hit areas of Karamsar Colony and the New Subashnagar areas continues to be grim but officials maintain that it is under control after health officials set up camps in the areas.

About 200 cases of jaundice and diarrhoea have been reported from these areas so far. The health officials maintained that there was no cause of panic as the number of fresh cases reported today had come down. The condition of most of the patients was stable. Seven fresh cases of jaundice were reported today.

The health officials claimed that the situation in these localities was under control. Primarily it appeared to have been caused by the consumption of contaminated water. However, they clarified that the samples had been taken for testing and the report was awaited.

Allaying fears on the reports of an epidemic, Dr Ajit Chawla, District Epidemiologist officer, said a total of 188 mild cases of jaundice and diarrhoea had been reported so far.

The department had already deputed medical and paramedical staff to take stock of the situation. "The officials are on duty and round the clock emergency services are available. Water samples have already been taken and official report is awaited. Chlorine tablets have been distributed among residents. The situation is under control as none of these patients have been referred to any private or government hospital," he said.

Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma said the administration was keeping a watch on the situation. He said two SDMs had been deputed to monitor the situation.

He said adequate medical and paramedical staff along with medicines had been deployed in the affected areas.

During a visit of the affected areas by the Tribune team today, residents alleged that they had been complaining to the authorities for a long time against the supply of contaminated water, however, no action was taken. They said while the officials were awaiting the tests of the water samples, they were themselves clear about the cause of the epidemic. They demanded that the officials should be held responsible for the outbreak.

Saroj of the Subashnagar area said for the past several days they had been getting yellow water. As the complaints to the authorities bore no fruit, they were forced to consume the same.

Another resident said at several places drinking water pipes were getting mixed with sewers.

A senior official of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation denied the allegations that contaminated water was being supplied in the areas. He said the corporation had taken the water samples. If something wrong was detected anywhere due action would be taken, he said.



ETT aspirants in a tizzy
Admission policy keeps changing
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, February 12
The statements and counter-statements by the government regarding the mode of admission to the ETT course has put thousands of aspirants in a tizzy.

The latest decision of doing away with the entrance test and admitting only on the basis of merit has made them lose hope.

On December 30, 2004, the government had invited applications form for admission to the course through an entrance test scheduled to be held on February 27. Then came the news that the test had been scrapped.

However, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister, announced that the test must be held keeping in mind the interests of the students.

A shock awaited the candidates when Mr Harnam Das Johar, School Education Minister, Punjab, said the test must be done away with and the selection should be purely on the basis of merit, which he said would be according to the reservation policy of the government.

Manish, a BA-I student of a local college, said they were being treated like puppets.

Another student said: “What does the government think we are? The precious time and the hard-earned money of our parents has been wasted. I had joined a coaching centre at Khanna for which I had to skip my classes at the college. I had been attending the coaching class for the past two months, now I feel I have suffered a double loss as my under-studies have also been affected.”

Harkirat Singh said: "Each student had to buy books worth Rs 300 to Rs 500 and pay a coaching fee between Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000.

Moreover, the prospectus and the application form cost Rs 300. Further, some change of code from 201 to 101, the information of which arrived about 20 days after the earlier advertisement."

Parents of these aspirants were also irked. They said the admission to the course on the basis of merit secured in plus two would reduce the chances of admission for students in the rural areas. It is easier for these students to perform better in the entrance test because the syllabus is limited. "Moreover, if the admission to all professional courses is made on the basis of entrance test why is this particular decision of doing away with the test being imposed on this particular course?" a parent asked.

Another parent said: "The government is simply befooling the students.



Lambardar in soup over fraud
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma has asked SSP, Ludhiana, to register a case against Harjinder Singh, lambardar of Bhamaan Khurd village falling under Koom Kalan police station, and three others for allegedly trying to grab agricultural land by executing a false sale deed through impersonation.

Mr Verma said Gulzar Singh of Bhamaan Khurd had submitted a complaint claiming that his family had been in possession of 8 Kanals and 13 Marlas of land (Khata No. 90/101 Khasra No. 12/14,17/1) in Bhamaan Khurd village and as per revenue records the owner of the land was Mastan Singh who had never come to the village and no body knew about his whereabouts.

The complainant mentioned that his family had been cultivating the land for the last 30-35 years and had been depositing the government dues.

He alleged that Harjinder Singh, lambardar of Bhamaan Khurd village, had managed to execute a false sale deed vide registration no 592 on June 29, 2004 in the name of his wife Sarbhjit Kaur by presenting Kaka Singh, resident of Marewal, in place of Mastan Singh as the owner of the land in the office of Sub-Registrar, Koom Kalan.

Mr Verma informed that the complaint was marked for inquiry to SDM (East).

The SDM (East), in his inquiry report, submitted that during registration of the sale deed in the office of Naib Tehsildar another person was presented in place of Mastan Singh, the owner of land, and the deed was executed in the name of Sarbhjit Kaur, wife of Harjinder Singh. Thus, it was clear that the lambardar had committed a fraud to grab land.



1 booked for manhandling SDO
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 12
A resident of Jarg village has been booked for allegedly manhandling a Subdivisional Officer (SDO) posted at Rauni today.

According to a complaint lodged by a senior official of the PSEB at Khanna, a resident of Jarg village, Bharpoor Singh, who was in a drunkard state came to the electricity board at Rauni and started using abusive language. Not only did he threaten the SDO but also attacked him.

A case has been registered.



Reds and pinks rule city markets
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, February 12
If the dominance of red and pink colours at shopping malls and showrooms is any indication, then the youngsters in the city have decided to express their emotions wearing these colours this Valentine’s Day.

A majority of the youth believe that red and pink draw attention and symbolise love, romance and passion. And to cater to the romantic young hearts, the manufacturers have come up with a variety of outfits in red and pink for the Valentine’s Day.

One of the manufacturers at Chaura Bazaar has come up with the idea of designing only red coloured sweaters and jackets in more than 15 designs for the Valentine’s Day. The leather jackets, which were sold earlier for Rs 2,500, are now available between Rs 800 to Rs 1500. The sweaters are available up to Rs 800.

“Red colour represents youth, full of life and energy. Red coloured objects are noticed immediately. The dresses on display immediately attract attention of young buyers. Particularly the woollen and leather jackets are much in demand. We have already sold 18 long and short jackets so far”, said the local manufacturer.

A college going teenager who bought a new red coloured outfit for the Valentine’s Day said the colour symbolised energy. “People wearing red colour are supposed to be full of life, vigour. They believe in social interactions and they are extrovert. May be wearing red colour, I would be able to express my emotions well”, she said.

Apart from red, pink is also in demand. The shopkeepers said skirts, trousers, pullovers and ponchos in red and pink were in demands. And of course money is no bar for these youngsters. “They are ready to pay anything for their favourite outfit”, said a shopkeeper at Kitchlu Nagar.

For some pink colour indicates a romantic nature. Pink they say symbolise affection, warmth and sensitivity. “This romantic and tender colour adds to your charm. It is good that many shops are offering a variety of dresses in pink and red. We can purchase some good dresses at an affordable price”, said Neetu, a BA Final Year student.



Govt keen on developing cities: Dawar
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 12
Mr Surinder Dawar Parliamentary Secretary, Punjab, has asserted that the state government was committed to developing the cities and Rs 500 crore are being spent on sewerage and other basic amenities.

Mr Dawar was addressing a function after launching a project on storm sewerage, costing Rs 21.5 lakh, in Field Ganj, kucha No. 7 to 16 in ward No. 51 on the Jail Road here today.

Referring to the development projects taken up in his constituency during the past three years, Mr Dawar, said more than 25 crores had already been spent on different works in Ludhiana (East) constituency.

He said he had set up a special office at Cheema Chowk to receive applications for various pensions and for preparing ration cards.

Among others who were present on the occasion included Mr Sanjay Talwar, and Mr Rakesh Prashar, both councillors, Mr Sushil Prashar, member, AICC, and Mr Ashok Prashar Pappi, secretary PPCC.



BJP rejects Singla’s appeal to withdraw stir
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
The trade and industrial cell of the BJP today rejected the appeal of the Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, to withdraw the call for bandh on February 21 against the introduction of value added tax (VAT) system in the state. The president of the cell and former Deputy Speaker in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mr Satpal Gosain, alleged that while the Finance Minister was claiming that he was open to ideas and amendments in the Act, he has never invited anybody for discussions on such a crucial issue.

The BJP leader reiterated the apprehensions of the trading and business community about certain “harsh measures” in the Act, which he feared “could not only be misused but even abused”. He pointed out that some provisions like that for the unaccounted stocks need to be removed by the government if it wanted the trading and business community to support the Act.

Mr Gosain maintained that the BJP and traders and industrialists were not against VAT. “We have nothing against the new taxation system and we are prepared to cooperate,” he said, while adding that “we only want that the new tax regime must not lead to undue harassment of the traders and industrialists”. He said there were apprehensions among the business community that it might once again lead to “inspector raj”.

Reacting strongly to the statement of Mr Surinder Singla, that the government was open to any discussions on VAT prior to its implementation, the Punjab Pardesh Beopar Mandal said in earlier discussions the government had remained adamant on its stand and not included industry’s recommendations.

“The government wants to force VAT on the industry . If they are honest about implementing recommendations of the industry then it should include these,” said mandal chief secretary Sunil Mehra.

Members of the mandal said VAT was not in the interest of the industrial sector and would ruin small-scale industry, apart from increasing corruption and inflation.

It will hold a special meeting on February 19 on the issue.

Mr Mehra said the February 21 bandh would be supported by a large number of industrial organisations.

Meanwhile, members of the hosiery associations held a protest demonstration today in this regard.



Police sirens irk residents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
The frequent blowing of siren by motorcycle-borne personnel of the police control room has been causing nuisance in the residential areas here. Even sirens being used unauthorisedly by people in private vehicles remain unchecked in the city. The police has expressed its helpless in the matter.

The police personnel move about blowing the sirens and create a sense of panic among people as the general feeling is that the sirens cause nuisance and panic as there is no fun in blowing these in crowded areas without any reason.

Mr Joginder Sharma of Gurdev Nagar said it had become a routine and every night the motorcycles move in the residential areas blowing the sirens. "One wonders why do the policemen need to blow the sirens at night ," he added.

Similar complaints have been coming from other areas also. Even highway patrol vehicles create a lot of noise.

Mr Sharma said they should have strict instructions that they must not blow the sirens in crowded areas or roads as it can also lead to accidents. The sirens are blown only to "overtake vehicles."

It is not only police vehicles, even vehicles owned by self- proclaimed VIPs have sirens.

Police officials said the PCR and highway patrol vehicle drivers have strict instructions not to blow the sirens in crowded areas. These are to be used in exceptional circumstances only.

About the sirens in private vehicles, the police officials maintianed that it was difficult to locate these as these were installed internally like a horn. These can be detected only when these are used. However, they said the public could always complain or bring it to the notice of the police such vehicles. 



Amarinder govt worst, says Youth Akali Dal

Samrala, February 12
The Amarinder Singh government is the worst. Every class of society is suffering due to bad policies of the present government, corruption is at its peak, poverty is growing with each passing day, prices of articles of daily use are increasing. The law and order situation in the state is deteriorating. This was stated by Mr Rupinder Singh Mundi, national general secretary of the Youth Akali Dal (YAD) at a press conference at the local civil rest house today.

The youth leader called upon the people of Punjab to come out against the ruling party in the Ajnala by- election.

The leader added that the whole constituency has been divided into sectors and senior leaders of SAD and YAD handed over these zones to affect public opinion.

Among others who were present at the press conference were the general secretary, Mr Narinder Pal Singh Bajwa, Mr Satwinder Singh Tohra, member, SGPC, Mr Ajaib Singh Lakhwai and Mr Avtar Singh Bhujanin office-bearers of the national unit of the YAD.



Awareness camp on income tax organised
Our Correspondent

Amloh, February 12
The Income Tax Department had organised a camp to encourage people to file returns at local Dharamshala on Friday.

Mr S.S. Kemwal, Additional Commissioner, Gobindgarh Range, Mr Kehar Singh, Income Tax Officer, and Mr Chunni Lal, Inspector, addressed the business community and assured proper guidance without any harassment.

They emphasized the need to file returns and obtain PAN number which was compulsory for those earning above income of Rs 50,000 per annum under Section 139 of Income Tax Act.

As many as 60 businessmen filed their returns under guidance of Mr Ashwini Abrol, District Chief of Tax Bar Association, and Mr Prem Kumar, charted Accountant, free of cost.

More than 200 refund cheques have been returned undelivered as untraced by the post offices, he added.



Pensioners give memo to CM
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 12
Government pensioners have urged a raise in medical allowance, old- age allowance at the age of 80 and house rent allowance. In its pre-Budget memorandum to the Chief Minister today, the Pensioners Association has urged him to fulfil the demands as promised in the Congress manifesto during the last Assembly poll.



Rotary Club centenary on Feb 23
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 12
Rotary International and Rotary Club of Ludhiana Midtown is all set to celebrate their centenary year in a big way on February 23 at Hotel Plaza with Nilam Ghar, cultural programmes and other entertaining activities. This was revealed by President Rtn. Ashok Sharma in the general body meeting of the club held at Hotel Plaza.



Alert policemen, civilians nab criminals
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
Alert civilians and cops in mufti today caught two members of a member gang of thieves from near three banks in Millergunj where they were trying to steal a bag containing money from the glove compartment of a scooter.

The gang having a majority of members from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh specialised in the technique of breaking open the glove compartment of twowheelers and had committed a number of such crimes in the past in the city alone.

The SP City said alacrity shown by the public and cops led to the arrest of two members identified as Surjit Singh and Sham Singh. Three scooters were recovered from their possession.

On interrogation of the accused, the police learnt that there were four other members of the gang who managed to escape.



Bid to kidnap two sisters
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
An attempt to kidnap two minor sisters was made by three persons near Sunder Nagar in Basti Jodhewal yesterday. The attempt was thwarted by the girls who raised the alarm and rushed back to their school.

The incident took place when Bindiya and Kriti, 10 and eight years old, respectively, were knocked down by a car just after they came out of the school on a bicycle. Three persons in the car came out and tried to push them inside the vehicle.

The girls, however, managed to free themselves and rushed back into the school. The staff and Principal came out but the kidnappers had fled.



Youth commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
A drug addict committed suicide by allegedly hanging himself from a ceiling fan while his father slept nearby.

Amardeep (20) was found hanging by his father Darbara Singh in the morning. Both were addicts and had separated from their family. Amardeep’s mother and two sisters were living in Ludhiana.



ICICI exhibition

ICICI Bank on Saturday organised an exhibition of pre-owned cars here. The two-day exhibition aims to serve as a platform for customers and dealers to showcase the complete range of used cars for sale and purchase. TNS


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