L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Murder victims’ kin come face to face with killers
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 17
Thirteen members of the Bangalle tribe, arrested for the alleged killing of six persons, injuring several others and committing a large number of robberies, could not look into the eyes of relatives of the victims when they came face-to-face with them here today.

They met the surviving relatives of the victims for the first time at a press conference in Police Lines here.

Eerie silence now prevails in a white mansion of Gurpreet Kaur, one such victim, at Rajjowal village where a group of Bangalle tribesmen had killed a man and his aged father in September, 2003.

Devastated by the incident and shaken at the killing in front of their eyes, the surviving family members deserted the place and went on to live in a rented accommodation in Ludhiana.

As the tale of woe unfolded, the victims cried and even a number of policemen had moist eyes. Gurpreet Kaur, wife of Mohinder Singh, recalled that dreadful intervening night of September 25 and 26 when the gang members clubbed her husband and father-in-law Tarlochan Singh to death.

It was tough task for the police keeping the accused away from the victims who bayed for their blood. Manveen Kaur, daughter of Gurpreet Kaur, recalled how she had spent several hours trembling inside a bathroom where she had locked herself at the sight of the gangsters.

One of the gang members, Shaana, who was taken to the crime site with a team of mediapersons, demonstrated how they had entered the house and killed the two persons.

The mansion lies abandoned now. Gurpreet Kaur’s two daughters and two sons live in the city. Even some people claiming to be friends of the family have not only deserted them but refused to repay lakhs of rupees taken as loan from the deceased. A villager has grabbed their land and family is struggling to make their ends meet.

Ganesh of Karamsar Colony here was seriously wounded when the gang had struck at his house in November, last year.

Two bullets were pumped into him by the accused. He stills moves with bandages on his back and stomach.

Sanjeev Kumar recalled how his father Mohan Lal was killed by the accused in December, last year.

The families said it was just a crime for the accused but the affected families had been doomed for their life by the act.

“We can work hard to regain the lost cash and jewellery but who would return our near and dear ones?”



NGO notice to PSEB, BSNL on removal of poles 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 17
The Citizens for Public Causes, an NGO, has served an ultimatum on the top management of the PSEB and BSNL to remove the electricity and telecom poles, obstructing the flow of traffic in the city, within the next three months failing which it will move the courts to seek justice.

Stating this at a news conference here today, Mr Jiwan Dhawan, president and Mr Virinder Bhakoo, general secretary of the CFPC, said the Municipal Corporation had done an appreciable job by widening a few busy roads in the city. But unfortunately, the desired purpose of improving the flow of traffic had not been achieved due to the presence of electricity and telecom poles between the roads at several places.

The poles erected by the departments concerned had led to a situation in which many roads had become accident prone. “Not only this, since the entire roads are not available for the movement of traffic due to the presence of poles, a large number of vendors and shopkeepers are encroaching upon parts of the roads.”

Mr Dhawan and Mr Bhakoo further said that a project of Rs 150 crore for construction of flyovers and sub-ways along the G.T. Road between Sherpur and Jalandhar bypass had been held up pending approval and financial allocation from the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). A notice had been served upon the NHAI authorities to expedite the approval so that work could be kicked off soon and the problem of traffic congestion could be effectively tackled, they added.

They said a comprehensive plan had been formulated to launch an intensive educational and awareness campaign to combat problems like pollution and sanitation.



Attempt to rob bank
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 17
An attempt to commit burglary in the Oriental Bank of Commerce near Jalandhar bypass chowk was made by some unidentified persons who succeeded in breaking into the bank but could not break open the doors of the strong room.

The incident, however, puts a question mark on the claims of night patrolling by the city police as the bank was located near a busy highway where police nakas remain through out the day.

The burglars had entered the bank by making a hole in the back wall and reached up to the strong room by breaking all doors and locks. However, they could not progress further.

The incident came to light only in the morning when the bank guard came for his duty.



Sex determination racket thriving
Docs hand in glove with health officials
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 17
The government propaganda to curb female foeticide and the alarming decline of female ratio in the region notwithstanding, the Pre-Natal Sex Determination Test (PNDT) Act is being flagrantly violated in the city, to the extent that majority of the 200-odd ultrasound scan centres have virtually turned into milch cows, both for doctors and health officials.

Unmindful of the fact that Punjab is the lowest among other states in male-female ratio and the city is 10th lowest in this regard as compared to other districts, scan centres are flouting the Act in connivance with enforcement authorities (Health Department).

Ludhiana Tribune has learnt that the pre-natal sex determination test is being carried out by a number of scan centres, though with an exorbitant price tag. And everything is being done covertly both to avoid penal action and to protect officials who patronise the unlawful activity.

Information gathered about the racket revealed that the rate for the test was around Rs 5,000 and since it was a one-to-one deal, sonologists did not have to pay any cut to the referring physicians.

The hefty fee collected for the test by scan centres enables them to happily part with a significant sum and keep health officials in good humour.

According to sources, a nexus had been formed between the owners of scan centres and a large number of quacks, practising in outer areas and periphery of the city. After being satisfied about the authenticity of the person seeking ultrasound scan, a deal is struck and the scan centre provides its own vehicle for “pick up and drop” of the person.

Understandably, the entire activity is carried out late in the night so that everything remains under warps.

That all is not well with the enforcement officials and an accusing finger can be pointed towards some of them is evident from a couple of cases that have taken place in the recent past.

In one such case, a local doctor, caught while illegally performing medical termination of pregnancy (abortion), was let off after a large sum of money allegedly changed hands. In another instance, the ultrasound machine seized by the Health Department was reportedly returned without seeking mandatory approval of the district committee on the PNDT Act.

When contacted, the Civil Surgeon, Dr Rajinder Kaur, said whenever a complaint was received against any scan centre, immediate action was taken. However, no specific complaint had been lodged in the recent past. She asserted that the Health Administration was determined to enforce the PNDT Act, both in letter and spirit.



Woman acquitted in narcotics case
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 17
A lady, Nathu, of Amarpura Mohalla, Habibganj, who had been booked on the charges of possessing ‘’Charas’’ has been acquitted, as the prosecution could not prove the charges levelled against her.

Pronouncing the judgement, the Additional Sessions Judge, Mr B.S. Sodhi, held that the prosecution had failed to prove the allegations levelled against the accused beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt.

The Judge remarked that the accused was a lady in this case. The search should have been conducted in the presence of a lady constable. As per the prosecution, the search was conducted in presence of a lady official but no lady constable was produced in the court to prove the case. The court also observed that no independent witness had joined despite the fact that the area, from where the accused was arrested, having a thick population.

An FIR was registered against the accused on December 31, 2000 under Sections 20/61/85 of the NDPS Act.

According to the prosecution, the police party, headed by Inspector Narinder Bedi, along with other police officials, was on patrolling from Civil Hospital to Amarpura. When they had just crossed the Civil Hospital, they saw the accused coming having a bag in her hand.

She turned towards a plot when she had seen the police. Following suspicion, the police party stopped her. DSP Manjit Singh was called there and in his presence the search was conducted. One kg of charas was found is her bag and she was arrested. 



Errors in Class VIII English paper

Ludhiana, February 17
Plenty of errors in English paper of the class VIII Examinations of the Punjab School Education Board left students confused and upset. The exams held on February 15 had five codes: 2505/A, 2505/B,2505/C,2505/D and 2505/E. There were many errors in the printing of question papers.

In set 2505/A, question number 3(a) part I was wrongly printed “fill” instead of “filled”. In the paper, question number 5, part II was wrongly written. “Fuel” was written in place of “Food”.

In the set 2505/B, question number 3(a) part four, there was a sentence “Please ——— Serve milk to tea” while it should have been “Please serve —— milk to tea”. In question number 5, “garden” was written in place of “garland”.

In another mistake, there was a sentence “He had not (peack) the flower”, while the actual sentence was “He had not (pluck) the flower”.

Mr Rajinder Sharma, president, Association of Punjab School Education Board Affiliated Schools, Punjab, confirmed the mistakes. OC



2 injured in attack
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 17
Two persons of a family were injured, one seriously, in an attack allegedly by a group at the overbridge near Rampur village today. As sources said, Inderjit Singh was going with his maternal uncle Surjit Singh on the overbridge at 10 am when they were attacked allegedly by Kulwant Singh, his son Kala and a youth of some other village with kirpan and other sharp weapons. They were admitted to CMC Hospital in Ludhiana.

Police sources said while Inderjit Singh had injury marks on the right side of the head, face and back, Surjit Singh’s finger might have been cut with the kirpan.

Mr Baljinder Singh, Doraha Police Chowki, said once the statement of the victims were recorded, the case would be registered against the alleged accused and further investigation would be initiated.



Youths burn govt’s effigy over kidnappings
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 17
Activists of the Bharatiya Yuva Janata Morcha today staged a protest demonstration at the Clock Tower against the incidents of kidnappings in the state. They also burnt an effigy of the government for its failure to safeguard the life of people. They demanded the dismissal of the Congress Government in the state.

Led by the district Yuva Morcha president, Mr Sanjay Kapoor, leaders and workers of the BJYM and the BJP took out a procession. After passing through different localities in the city, while shouting slogans, they reached the Clock Tower. They burnt the effigy of the government to register their anguish against the failures of the government.

Addressing the dharna, the BJP leaders lambasted the government. They pointed out that the kidnappings had become a routine affair and the police was watching as a silent spectator. They said there was a sense of fear and shock among parents.

The BJP leaders alleged that the Congress government in the state was focussing all its energies on Ajnala where it was trying to resort to all sorts of tactics to get votes while the rest of the state was burning. They regretted that the government was not moved by the kidnapping of a child in Amritsar and the kidnapping and murder of another child in Hoshiarpur.

Meanwhile, the Shiromani Khalsa Dal has also expressed concern over the deteriorating law and order situation in the state. A meeting of senior leaders of the dal was held here today which took a serious view of the situation. The dal leaders urged the government to take strong action against the culprits.



Rs 40 lakh grant for villages

Samrala, February 17
MLA Amrik Singh Dhillon distributed cheques worth more than Rs 40 lakh among sarpanches of villages falling under the Samrala, Machhiwara and Khanna blocks for development works at the local community centre club here today.

The MLA appealed the sarpanches to furnish their clearance certificates so that grants could be sent for their respective villages. Former chairman of the Panchayat Samiti Bhupinder Singh Benipal; vice-chairman of the samiti Ajmer Singh Purba; member, Zila Parishad, Balbir Singh; members, District Planning Board, Hardial Singh Ghulal and Sukhnir Singh also addressed the sarpanches. OC



Girl dies from suspected rabies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 17
A three-year-old girl died of suspected rabies more than a month after she was bitten by a stray dog. Sonam, daughter of a photo studio owner, JangBahadur in Sarbananad colony near Sekhewal road died at her home.



A clarification

In a news item ‘MD of a knitwear firm booked’ published in Ludhiana Tribune on February 16, it was erroneously published that an MD of knitwear firm was booked. It was, in fact, an agent of the company M/S Superfine Knitters Ltd, Harvinder Singh, a resident of Bathinda, who was booked for cheating and forgery on the complaint of Mr Ajit Lakra, Managing Director of the company. The error is regretted.



Woman commits suicide, in-laws booked

Ludhiana, February 17
The police today booked four persons, including three women, on the charge of abetting the suicide of a woman residing in Kutcha Mangat Ram near Daresi, who ended her life by hanging herself from a ceiling fan today.

The woman, Seema and a mother of two, was married to Rakesh Kumar of the colony over two years ago. She was allegedly being ill-treated by her in-laws for dowry.

The police has booked her mother-in-law, husband and two sisters-in-law. TNS



Married woman raped
Tribune Reporters

Jagraon, February 17
A married woman of Kania Hussaini village was allegedly raped by a person of the same village. The Sidhwanbet police has registered a case under Sections 376, 452, 323 and 506 of the IPC.

Seized: The Dehlon police intercepted a vehicle and seized poppy husk and opium from it and arrested three occupants of the vehicle. The arrested persons were identified as Jaswant Singh, son of Chamkaur Singh of Dakha, Inderjit Singh, son of Nahar Singh of Mullanpur, and Gurpreet Singh, son of Gurbachan Singh of Halwara. The police seized 3 bags of poppy husk of 40 kg each and 500 gm of opium. Cases under Sections 307, 353, 186 of the IPC; Sections 25, 54, 59 of the Arms Act and Sections 15, 61, 85 of the NDPS Act have been registered against the accused.

Ishar Singh, president of mohalla Nian, Samrala road, has alleged that three persons robbed him on Wednesday night. He also alleged that he was beaten up by these persons. He has filed a complaint at city police station against these persons.

Stolen: Some unidentified persons stole gold and silver ornaments worth Rs 50,000 from a house on the Samrala road on Wednesday night. According to information, Ajay Kumar Atri, an employee of the Punjab State Electricity Board, had gone to Patiala to attend the funeral ceremony of his brother and when he returned he found the locks of his house broken.

Opium seized:
One person was arrested for possessing over 2 kg of opium here on Thursday. Mandeep Singh, a resident of Landa village, was arrested during a search at a checkpost near Khattran village. The police has registered a case against the accused. 



Youth found murdered

Ludhiana, February 17
An unidentified youth was found brutally murdered near Sua road in the Focal Point area here today. The body with multiple blunt and sharp-edged injuries was found in a semi-naked condition.

The police is trying to trace the identity of the youth but could not get any clue till today evening, A case of murder has been registered. TNS



VAT: traders to observe bandh on Feb 21
Our Correspondent

Khanna, February 17
All major traders’ associations of the city have extended their support for the strike on February 21 called by the All-India Industrial and Trade Organisation in protest against the implementation of VAT.

The leaders of the different organisation include K.L. Sehgal, president, Cloth Merchants’ Association, Dewan Chand and Manohar Lal Vij of Karyamna Merchants Association, Pawan Kumar Sood and Charnjit Singh of Khanna Traders Association, Vishal Bhatia of General Merchants, Surinder Goyal of Footwear Association, Parmjit Singh of Chandla Market, Roop Chand Sedha of Savarnkar Sangh, Anil Shukla of Iron Merchants, Krishan Bansal of Readymade Cloth Traders, Gurdial Singh district Shellers association, H.S. Rosha of Aarhtya Association, Sanjay Ghai of Shellers Association, Khanna, Pritam Singh Sabji Mandi, Malkit Singh of Electronics Association and Iqbal Singh of Halwai Association. All the leaders in a joint statement said with the implementation of VAT, tax ratio would be increased to 12.5 per cent.

They said the other taxes like CST, octroi, service tax, toll tax and turn over tax had not been done away with.

The extra powers given to the taxation officials will cause harassment to the traders.

The leaders said on February 21 all establishments will remain close in protest against the implementation of VAT.


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