L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Compressed air tank explodes
Service station owner killed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
One person was killed and another injured when a tank storing compressed air used for cleaning interiors of vehicles exploded in a workshop near Basti Jodhewal police station today. A blockade in a pipe of the machine is said to be the cause of the blast.

Such, was the impact that the deceased, 60-year-old Ram Prakash, was blown into several pieces which were recovered far away from the site of the accident. He was the owner of Guru Nanak Car Service Centre where the blast took place. His son, Beeru, who was washing a car escaped unhurt. A vehicle and a side wall shielded him from the impact.

Injured person was Bhagwan Dass, 40 , who was sitting in his firewood store adjoining the car workshop at the time of the incident. A piece of iron blown off by the blast hit his head. He was admitted to nearby hospital where his condition was stated to be out of danger.

The police said the blast seemed to be an accident only. However, they would rule out any foul play after further investigation only.

According to Beeru, a witness of the incident, he was using the air-pressure machine when some blockade took place in the supply pipe. It led to the accumulation of the air in the tank of the machine which blew off.

Beeru was shattered by the incident. He saw his father blown to pieces before his eyes and could not do anything. ‘‘It happened so fast. My father was seated just next to the machine,” he said crying inconsolably.

The body parts were picked by shopkeepers and the police. The blast was heard far and wide and cops of a nearby police station rushed to the spot.

The incident site presented a ghastly site with blood splattered all around. The workshop was also damaged with a portion of the shed blown off and other machinery also damaged. Fortunately, vehicles in the workshop were parked away from the machine otherwise there would have been more damage.



Lovebirds ignore threats, celebrate Valentine’s Day
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 14
Love was in the air today. Lively atmosphere was witnessed in the city markets, pubs, hotels, coffee shops, book cafes with ‘lovebirds’ chirping all around.

Most of the boys expressed love in a daring manner, wearing red coloured outfits with a rose in their hand. They could be seen presenting gifts, roses and cards to their Valentines at public places, while girls kept a low profile. Akanksha (name changed), a final year student, said though it was a Western concept and she was scared of her parents but she liked the way her Valentine proposed to her today. Not only youngsters, the married couples were also seen holding hands, and buying gifts for each other.

To celebrate the day, the shopkeepers and restaurant owners had specially decorated their places with heartshaped red balloons, ribbons, flowers, colourful paper hangings etc. Various stalls of eatables, books, music CDs, gift items were put up at different places.

Hundreds of couples were seen sitting in secluded places while others were busy finding cosy corners. Many teenagers wearing school/ college uniforms were on the ‘geri’ route at Sarabha Nagar market. Schools and colleges witnessed a low attendance today. One of the professors at a local college said that they had expected it.” This is the day of love, let the youngsters enjoy”, he said.

The police had a tough time managing the young crowd. There was a heavy deployment of police personnel around various schools, colleges, shopping malls, markets etc to avoid any untoward incident.

Meanwhile, the local unit of Shiv Sena (Hindustan) condemned the celebrations. They alleged that under the influence of western culture, the youngsters had forgotten their values and traditions. Religious, social and cultural organisation burnt the Valentine-Day greeting cards at New Sabzi mandi here today. The leaders alleged that youngsters were adopting an unethical culture, dressed in lousy manner way and made indecent proposals.



BSP chief gets bail in defamation case
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 14
The state unit chief of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Mr Avtar Singh Karimpuri, was today granted bail by a city court, in a defamation case. The Judicial Magistrate, Mr Sangeet Pal Singh, had passed the orders in a case filed by former SHO of the Sadar Police Station, Joginder Singh.

The complainant had also filed the complaint against three other persons also Neelam Kapoor of Salem Tabri, Lal Singh of Ferozepore and Vipin Kumar of Jalandhar in 1999.

The complainant had alleged that all accused had levelled false imputations against him to defame him. The accused had also got published news items in different newspapers, with false claims.

It was also alleged in the complaint that Neelam Kapoor falsely claimed that she was married to the complainant, which was not true. The complainant had submitted in the complaint filed before the court that he had married to Savinder Kaur in 1977 and had three children.

The case would now come up for hearing on March 26.



Malhotra elected Municipal Council president
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 14
Mr Raju Malhotra was elected as President of the Municipal Council Jagraon today, in a dramatic scenario, will securing 13 votes including that of local sitting MLA out of total 20.

According to the information Mr Prem Kumar Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Raikot, was deputed by the state government to hold election for the post of the President of the Local Municipal Council as in the recent past, after passing of no-confidence notice, Mr Devinder Kathuria was removed from the presidentship. The total strength of elected municipal councillors is 19 out of which 11 belong to the Congress and 8 to the Akali Dal. As per rule the local MLA also holds one vote. Though as per information, Congress high command proposed the name of Mr Purshotam Lal Khalifa, for Presidentship Candidature but at the nick of time, Mr Khalifa today proposed the name of Mrs Pushpa Jhangi for the same which annoyed the Congress councillors and Mr Inderjit Singh Lohat. Another congress councillors proposed the name of Mr Raju Malhotra of his party, whereas Akali councillors Darshan Singh Oberoi proposed Mr Kanwarpal Singh of his party.

After the polling, Mr Raju Malhotra was declared as successful for presidentship having secured 13 votes which included 7 votes of his party councillors, Akali five and the local MLA one, whereas Mr Kanwarpal Singh could only muster three, Ms Pushpa Jhangi four. After the declaration of the result. Mr Purshotam Khalifa resigned from the councillorship. No media person was allowed to enter the town hall where the elections were held on which the media person lodged their protest.

Mr Devinder Kathuria, who was elected previously president was removed when no-confidence motion was passed by the supporting Akali Dal councillors who had lost support to him when his son supporting Congress councillor revolted against him.



TN resident dies in mysterious circumstances
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Mystery shrouds the death of a resident of Tamil Nadu, who was found dead in a room of Classic Hotel near Subhani building, today morning.

The deceased K Dhruv Rajan, 60, was an employee of Ms Forging and was in the city to install some machines in a factory at Mundian Kalan village.

His body was found by some hotel staff and an employee of the Tamil Nadu-based company in the morning. The hotel staff got suspicious when the man did not come out of his room till late in the morning. He was scheduled to leave the city today after his one month posting in the city.

An employee of the company, who had reached the hotel in the morning to replace Rajan, was with the hotel staff when the door was broken open. The man’s body was found in semi-nude condition.

Mr Manjit Singh, SHO, Division No 3 said the man seemed to have died because of heart failure but a postmortem examination report was awaited. He said the police was so far conducting proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPc.



Theft in gurdwara, post office
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Burglars broke into a post office and a religious place in Block-J of Bhai Randhir Singh nagar last night and decamped with over Rs 50,000 cash and valuables.

The burglaries which seem to be the handiwork of the same gang took place sometime after midnight.

The burglars broke open some almirahs in a Gurdwara and took away Rs 40,000 cash and some articles.

They took away Rs 1000 cash and stamps worth Rs 5000 besides some valuables from parcels from the post office. Sources said the parcels were sent by some NRIs.

The Sarabha Nagar police was investigating the matter.



Duplicate, unsafe match-sticks on sale
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Spending your hard-earned money in city markets might not essentially fetch you genuine, real value products. In fact even if you think you are aware enough, you might be taken for a ride as duplicate products too come in a wide variety.

Inferior in quality, not adhering to safety norms but carrying a price tag that is similar to the original product- is what a duplicate product offers you. At least this is what Wimco, a leading company engaged in manufacturing match-sticks, has discovered after visiting city markets.

The company, that produces match-sticks under popular brand names like Home Lites and Ship, was in for a shock when it learnt about “look alike” variants of its match sticks available in the city markets.

“We visited several markets and discovered quite a number of look-alike variants,” said Mr Jasminder Singh, regional sales manager (Delhi), Wimco. He said not only did the “duplicate match-sticks” carry similar designs, colour combination, they had even used similar names like Kimco and Winco instead of Wimco.

“These companies are trying to enchash goodwill of our company,” he said.

Explaining the loss to the customer, Mr Singh said the customer got an unsafe and inferior product for the same price as that of the original.

“For instance, the match-sticks we manufacture are carbonised, which makes them safe. Such a stick, after burning, would automatically lit off whereas the other product is not carbonised which poses danger of accidents as some part of it remains alighted.”

It was company’s official in Ludhiana, Mr S.K. Dubey, assistant sales manager, who got information about such duplicate products available in the markets of Ludhiana, Amritsar, Patiala and Jalandhar. “For over five-six months, we had been receiving complaints related to this. We decided to finally put an end to all this. Our company officials from Chandigarh and Delhi today visited various markets,” said Mr Dubey. He said the company officials also spoke to leaders of market associations who assured them that such duplicate stuff would be liquidated within 15 days.

“While we are handing over the matter to the police as misusing some other company’s trademark amounts to a criminal offence, we will also try to get to the root of the problem by talking to dealer associations. Generating awareness is likely to result in ending the problem not only in our case but in case of other products as well,’ said Mr Singh.

While the customer gets an inferior product, dealers normally sell such duplicate, look-alike products for the lure of higher margins.

In this case, the companies engaged in supplying duplicate products are from the south and “they do not pay taxes and as the product quality is not that superior, manufacturing costs would be lower, which gives them the advantage of higher margins”. Mr Singh said company officials spoke to dealers and associations about the problem.

“However,” he said, “people need to be really aware as it is public awareness which can help eradicate such problems.”



Cong will win Ajnala seat, claims Birmi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Chief Parliamentary Secretary (Jails) Malkiat Singh Birmi has asserted that the Congress will win the Ajnala byelection as all sections of the society are benefiting from the policies of the government.

He was addressing a meeting of party workers here today before leaving for Ajnala along with scores of leaders and party workers for canvassing.

Mr Birmi claimed that the government under the leadership of Capt Amarinder Singh during the past three years had strongly stood by the farmers and ensured the smooth purchase of their crops from mandis for which a lot of confusion had been created by SAD leaders.

He said in spite of severe power crisis, eight-hour regular power supply was ensured, resulting in an increase in 10 lakh metric tonnes in paddy production which had benefited the farmers by more than Rs 850 crore.

He said the SAD President has virtually accepted the defeat of the his candidate and had started raising false allegations against the Chief Minister.

He asserted that SAD had nothing to say in the favour of their candidate as during their misrule of five years, rampant corruption had been made and nothing was done on the development front.

Mr Birmi blamed the SAD-BJP alliance for completely damaging the economy of the state by anti-people policies. He said all workers would remain in Ajnala till the polling was over on February 23.

Those accompanying Mr Birmi include Mr Jasvinder Singh Sandhu, chairman, market committee, Sahnewal, Mr Ramesh Kumar Pappu, President, Municipal Council Sahnewal, Mr Sher Singh, President, Truck Union, Sahnewal, Mr Kuldeep Singh, President Tempo Union, Mr Inderjit Singh, sarpanch and Mr Gurdeep Singh.



Heart matters, not distance
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Geographical locations do not essentially mean distance, especially when it comes to matters of heart. At least this is what couples staying at different places conveyed on the day of love, the Valentine’s Day.

“My husband, who is in Dubai, had ordered a bouquet for me and I got roses early morning,” Shikha, a resident, said. “Despite the geographical distance, I celebrated the Valentine’s day here. Love does not cease to exist even if your partner is not physically present with you.” To sparkle their long-distance relationship, companies had a wide variety of gifts and services to offer. Right from e-cards and bouquets to gifts like jewellery and music CDs et al, there was no dearth of choices. Not just that, there are websites that came out with innovative ideas for couples on celebrating the day.

“I sent my fiance a package with his favorite DVD, a t-shirt and candy,” revealed Seema, whose fiance works in Mumbai. She said she used a blanket for an attractive packing and also sprayed her favourite perfume on it.”Since you can’t actually be there physically to show that you care, it’s important to think of those small and creative things.”

Praveen, another resident revealed, “I sent a collection of our favourite music, the pictures we had clicked together alongwith a Rado watch.”

Men too were no less creative. “It is important to make one’s partner feel special as you too crave for the same. I tried to find out something different and interesting and surprised my girlfriend with a beautiful dress, a box of candles and our pictures,” said Sushant.

Mukul, whose wife is on a holiday to the UK , disclosed that the had sent her an e-mail and the two decided to that when he called her she too would have snacks and candles there and celebrate. “Who says one cannot celebrate if one’s Valentine is not with him,.”

There were a few luckier ones who surprised their Valentines by visiting them. “Thanks to the easy availability of information and a wide variety of products, it has become much easier to convey ones feels now,” said Shalini, another resident.



Cultural mela in Beant’s memory
Out Correspondent

Doraha, February 14
A cultural mela was organised by the Social Welfare Club, here in the memory of former Chief Minister, Beant Singh.

Mr Vinod Kaushal, president and Mr Sudarshan Kumar Sharma , patron of the club, said “This cultural mela has been organised to commemorate the memory of Beant Singh.”

Mr Tej Parkash Singh Kotli, son of Beant Singh, donated Rs 51000/- to the club. Mr Harbans Lal, MLA Sirhind gave Rs 50,000 and Mr Amarjit Singh Samra, Revenue Minister, Punjab, donated Rs 51000/- for the club activities.

Mr Surinder Dawar, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Malkiat SIngh Dakha, MLA, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, former Member Parliament, Mr Avtar Singh Brar, former Minister, Mr Gurmit Bhai, Mr Ravneet SIngh Bittu, president, Truck Union, Mr Harkirat Singh Kotli, Mr Rajwinder Singh Mangat, Mr Bhalinder Singh Canada, Mr Vinod Gupta and Mr Rajesh Kapila were those present.

The mela was largely attended. Various singers who participated were Gurpal Mati, Inderjit Nikku, Balbir Boparai, Yudhvir Manak, Manjit Rahi, Mohammad Saddique, Manjit Roopawalia, Budewalia, and Parminder Chankoian, Bhajana Amali presented a comedy show and Satinder Satti conducted the stage.



Idols immersed in Sutlej
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Hundreds of idols of Goddess Saraswati, were immersed in the River Sutlej today. Hundreds of people, most of them from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh took out a long procession heading towards River Sutlej for the immersion.

The immersion followed a day long puja of the goddess on the occasion of Basant Panchami yesterday. Most of the devotees were riding on trucks and tractor trailers. They also took a holy dip in the river.

A large number of vehicles parked along the road near the bridge over the Sutlej led to traffic jam. The traffic remained held up for quite some time at the bridge. It took several hours for the vehicles to cross the congested area.



Antakshri held
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 14
Jaycees Dhoom Antakshri was held yesterday. It was compered by Mrs Neelam Khosla . She has been given the state award for contribution to singing, and is the winner of many TV musical shows of Punjab. This musical bonanza was organised by Ludhiana Central Jaycees at a city hotel.

Mehak, Khushbu, Bahar and Chandni were the four participating teams and the winners were Jc Rajeev Chaudhary and Jc Monika Jain of Mehak Team. Runners up were Jc Narinder Mahajan and Jc Pallavi Nagpal of Bahar Team. First runners up were Jc Rajan Beas and Jc Archana Chatley of the Khushbu Team and the second runners up were Jc Kawitansh Khanna and Jc Sonika Ahuja of the Chandni Team.



50 kg of poppy husk seized, 2 held
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 14
The police have seized 50 kg of poppy husk and arrested two persons.

ASI Jaswant arrested Sarwan Singh of Bute Dian Chhanna Mehatpur police station from the area of Mansuran village and seized 28kg of poppy husk from his possession whereas in the second incident ASI Devinder Singh arrested Des Raj alias Dasu of Raniwala Khuh from Agwar Khwaja Baji and recovered 22 kg of the contraband from him. Cases under Section 15/61/85 of the NDPS Act was registered at Sudhar police station and Jagraon police station.



Two bodies found
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, February 14
A post-mortem examination on two bodies was conducted in the local Civil Hospital here today. Two bodies aged between 30 and 40 years were found yesterday at the Focal Point at a plot at Mandi Gobindgarh. Mr D.S. Rana, DSP, Amloh, Mr Surinderpal Singh, DSP (HQ), Fatehgarh Sahib and Mr Harbans Singh, SHO, reached the place of incident.

The bodies contained wounds of sharp-edged weapons on their chests, abdomen and other parts of the body. On the statement of sarpanch, the police has registered a case under Sections 302 and 34, IPC.

The police has formed five teams to unearth the crime and finger-prints experts and dog squads have been pressed into service.


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