L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Youth enacts his own kidnapping
For making up loss in lottery trade
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
Inspired by the recent spurt in kidnapping incidents, a local youth allegedly staged his own kidnapping to “pocket” nearly Rs 1.2 lakh of his employers. Cooling his heels in the custody of Sarabha Nagar police after his arrest today, Sachin Kumar (19), employed by Navrang Audio Vision here, could not go very far with his kidnapping story. He has been booked for cheating his employers, stealing money and criminal breach of trust under Sections 381, 406 and 420 of the IPC.

Addressing a press conference this afternoon, DSP Sarabha Nagar Ravcharan Singh Brar said the youth had suffered losses in lottery business and felt that his story would easily be believed due to a spate of kidnapping incidents in the country.

The youth used to sell phone cards and collect payments from clients. He was a “trusted” employee but he allegedly succumbed to the lure of making a quick buck.

“We succeeded in seeing through his claims even though the youth’s parents and employers had come to the police station to lodge a complaint of his kidnapping,” the DSP said.

He said the youth had collected a payment of Rs 1 lakh from different clients and was carrying recharge vouchers amounting to Rs 20,000.

The youth had rung up his parents from Hoshiarpur, from where he was brought home by them.

He claimed that four youths had forcibly put him in a Qualis near Sacred Heart School, BRS Nagar, on February 16 and taken the money and vouchers.

The kidnappers then administered some intoxicant to him, he claimed. When he regained consciousness, he found himself near Hoshiarpur. He then rang up his parents, he claimed.

The youth visited the police station yesterday with his parents and employers, who wanted registration of an FIR.

The DSP said SHO Pawanjit Singh and he suspected the kidnapping theory right from the start. When the youth was asked to give details of the incident, he could not convince them on how he was bundled up in the car and why the “kidnappers” took him to Hoshiarpur, which was on a high alert due to a recent kidnapping and killing of a schoolboy.

There were other chinks in his theory as well, which the police declined to reveal.

The youth could not support his lies and admitted to misleading the police. He said he had lost Rs 6,500 in the lottery business and wanted to make up for the loss.

The youth has passed senior secondary examination and was working to add to the family income.

The father of the youth is an employee with a hosiery factory and lives in New Deep Nagar, Civil Lines.



Family, employer shocked

The parents of Sachin Kumar, arrested for staging his own kidnapping today, were in a state of shock at the turn of events. His father, Ashwani Kumar, who had been employed with a hosiery unit for the past 17 years, could not believe his son’s deviation from the family values.

Shying away from the media, the family was still looking for answer to their son’s action.

Ashwani Kumar had remained contented with his salary and had an unblemished record. The family was regarded highly in the colony, neighbours said.

However, Sachin, who earned over Rs 4,000 from his job as sales executive, wanted more. He started trying his luck in the lottery business but lost heavily. Caught in his desire to earn more as well as to repay the debts incurred due to the losses, he cooked up the kidnapping story.

Amit, his employer, was also surprised: “We believed each word of his kidnapping account and sympathised with him, but we were shocked when he admitted before the police and us that he had cooked up the story.” TNS



Three held for smuggling narcotics
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 18
The Dehlon police have nabbed three members of an interstate gang involved in smuggling of narcotics and illegal trafficking. The gang was overpowered by the police after a brief encounter and a large quantity of banned materials were seized along with a vehicle there were occupying.

According to Mr Rajiv Ahir Senior Superintendent of Police at Jagraon, the Dehlon police had booked three persons under at least twelve sections of various acts for allegedly assaulting a police party, posing obstruction in official work, carrying arms and smuggling drugs and narcotics. The accused were later identified as Jaswant Singh of Dakha, Inderjit Singh of Mullanpur and Gurpreet Singh of Halwara village.

The police had earlier received information that an interstate gang of smugglers had been selling drugs and narcotics. The gangsters were reported to have threatened whosoever came in to their way. Mr Jatinder Singh Khaira DSP Mullanpur constituted special teams to keep a watch on the smugglers and ultimately a party led by Mr Amarjit Singh Khair SHO Dehlon succeeded in nabbing three members of the gang.

The police had on secret information intercepted a Tata Mobile van bearing temporary number PB 10 A E 1031 near Kot Aggan village on Thursday . The occupants instead of stopping the vehicle fired a shot from 12-bore rifle. After a brief chase the police party overpowered the traffickers and seized 12o Kg poppy husk, 500 grams of opium, three live cartridges and a gun from their possession.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the trio had been acting on behest of an interstate gang of smugglers. Jaswant Singh and Inderjit Singh were already booked under a rape case registered at police station Mullanpur Dakha.

The accused were booked under section 307, 353, 186, of IPC, 25, 54, 59 of Arms act and 15, 18, 25, 29, 60, 61/85 of NDPS act . 



Bank seals premises of Virdi Shawls, Virdi Fabrics
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
The State Bank of India (SBI) today sealed the premises of Virdi Shawls and Virdi Fabrics under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act.

Premises of Virdi Shawls and Virdi Fabrics in Mochpura Bazar were sealed by SBI’s Link Road branch for alleged default in the repayment of loan. According to bank authorities outstanding loan amount is Rs 66 lakh.

“They had availed the loan in 1995 and had not been paying instalments since 1997,” said chief manager of the branch R.K. Malik. He said the borrower’s outlet in Mochpura Bazar and a part of their residence were pledged as collateral security due to which the bank had sealed the outlet.

After availing the loan in 1995 the borrower failed to pay instalments despite a notice in December 2003 bank authorities said. “We served a notice and even spoke to them on the telephone but hey did not respond,” Mr Malik said.

He said after the Securitisation Act was put in place banks have been taking action against defaulters, he said. The branch, he revealed, has issued notices to 25 other borrowers during current year.



Chemists too decide to join strike
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 18
Striking a note of warning to the Punjab Government, the Wholesale Chemists Association has announced that all chemists will down their shutters on February 21 and join the nationwide protest against the new tax regime.

Presiding over a meeting of the association here today, Tikka Dalip Singh said chemists would join traders and industrialists in opposing the imposition of VAT, which was bound to spell doom for the entire trading community. Mr Harish Kapila, senior vice-president, called upon members to join hands so that the government could be forced to retract its arbitrary move.

Mr G.S. Chawla, general secretary of the association, Mr Pardeep Passi, Mr Nirdosh Jain, Mr Raj Kumar Miglani, Mr H.K. Grover, Mr Atam Parkash Singh, Mr Manjit Singh, Mr Narinder Arora, Mr Jagdeep Kumar, Mr Baldev Singh, Mr Taranjit Singh and Mr Rakesh Pinki also attended the meeting.

In another meeting convened by Mr Som Nath Grover, president of another faction of the Pradesh Beopar Mandal, functionaries of the Akal Market Association, the Niggar Mandi Association, the Readymade Garments Association, the Girja Ghar Chowk Traders Association, the Electric Dealers Association and the Hosiery Traders Association supported the bandh call and announced to keep their establishments closed in protest against VAT.

Hotel and Restaurants Association of Punjab president N.S. Nanda said in a note that all members would observe bandh on February 21 to express solidarity with the associations of the industry and oppose the introduction of VAT. 



Man jailed in cheque bounce case
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 18
Dismissing the appeal filed by an accused in a cheque bounce case, the Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Sukhdarshan Singh Khaira, sent the accused, Premjit Singh of Guru Nanak Colony, Gill Road, to the local central jail for undergoing the sentence.

The Judicial Magistrate, Mr Jaspal Verma, had earlier sentenced the accused to undergo an imprisonment of one year and to pay fine of Rs 5000, while deciding the complaint filed by Baldev Singh Jawanda, Superintendent of Central School, Halwara, in August, 2004.

The complainant had submitted before the trial court that the accused had taken a loan of Rs 62,000 from him in 1997. At that time, he had promised to repay the loan within six months. But the accused failed to pay back the amount despite repeated requests. Ultimately, he issued two cheques of Rs 15,000 each and one of Rs 20,000. But cheques later bounced.



Over 10,000 mutations attested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma has said during a special drive to attest the mutations relating to agriculture lands in the district conducted from February 1 to 15, 10,255 pending mutations have been attested by different revenue officers.

Mr Verma said during this campaign, all tehsildars and naib tehsildars had organised special camps in their areas. Whole revenue staff of the area remained available for the attestation of mutations.

The DC said the steps had been taken to attest all mutations, where no dispute was involved. He said SDMs had supervised the campaign and a large number of people had been benefited during this campaign.

The DC said if any mutation, which was free from any dispute, could not be attested during this campaign, the persons concerned should contact the SDM. If the matter was not solved then the person could meet him in his office.



3 held; contraband, firearms seized
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
The Mullanpur Dakha yesterday arrested three persons, including a man wanted for rape, when they were fleeing in a stolen car. The accused fired several shots at the police team, which was on their pursuit, but were later nabbed.

The accused have been identified as Jaswinder Singh, alias Nitta, Gurpreet Singh and Inderjit Singh.

They were charged with carrying weapons, 500 gm opium and 3 kg poppy husk. The accused have been booked under 15 counts of the IPC, the NDPS and the Arms Act.

One of the accused is wanted in a four-month-old rape case of a girl in the area. 



Inmates’ number in old-age homes on rise
Shivani Bhakoo

Punjabis are not always warm-hearted. If data from old-age homes in the city, which shows a constant rise in the number of elderly people, is any indication, an increasing number of people are sending their parents, grandparents to old-age homes.

“The number of inmates in our old-age home has increased in recent times. It is primarily as people are growing intolerant each day. Joint family systems are breaking and we are following western lifestyles in every sphere”, said Mr Shrawan Kumar of the Nishkam Vridh Ashram, Daad, here.

In the Red Cross old-age home, there are more than 24 persons. At least 40-50 elderly are leading life quietly at the Nishkam Vridh Ashram. About 25 persons are living in the Geetanand Ashram Threeke while the Vivekanand Vridh Ashram has over 40 inmates.

Mr K.V.V. Srivastava, supervisor at the Red Cross old-age home, said it was unfortunate that these elderly led a miserable life. “But it is a reality. Their kin have deserted them. Recently, a mentally disabled woman was brought here by her husband, who got remarried at the age of 65. Some are brought here by their children and grandchildren. At present, there are seven women and 17 men residing here”, said Mr Srivastava.

Many inmates were brought at old-age homes because of various mental and physical disorders. Mr Avinash Sharma, a psychotherapist, feels that old people were vulnerable to many diseases. They needed care and special attention. And the present generation had no time to look into their troubles. As a result, elderly found themselves ignored and mentally disturbed. “In serious cases, they are forced to resort to old-age homes”, said Mr Sharma.

Mr Shravan Kumar of the Nishkam Vridh Ashram held old people responsible for their condition. He said they tried to counsel them thoroughly. “Elders have become intolerant and impatient. They should realise the problems faced by their wards. Instead of extending help to the children, old people start interfering in their lives too much. They simply forget that they had lived their lives and it was children’s turn to enjoy life”, said Mr Kumar.

Mr Avinash Sharma said old people suffered from many ailments and they needed to be tackled in a loving manner. “At this age, when they need utmost care, it is cruel to leave them to insensitive places like old-age homes,” said Mr Sharma.



Jawan cremated with honours

Munabarpura (Ahmedgarh), February 18
The body of an Army jawan, Inderjit Singh Tihara, who was killed in an ambush by terrorist in Meddar Sector in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14, was cremated with full state honours here yesterday.

Besides personnel from the Army, officers of the district administration and the police paid floral tributes to the soldier.

The body of Inderjit Singh was brought here by Army men on Wednesday.

A large number of locals and representatives of various organisations gathered at the cremation ground to pay tributes to the departed soul. OC



PPA Dy Dir to speak at seminar in UK
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
Deputy Director (Social Science) at Punjab Police Academy, Dr D.J. Singh has been invited to speak at a seminar on International Marriages at University of Central England in Birmingham on February 23.

He will present a paper on ‘Strengthening international marriages through multi-agency approach’ and would seek an enactment of International Marriages Act.

He has done a study on the issue of widespread abuse of Indian women or men after their marriages with NRIs. There are cases of harassment of women especially who were cheated. He is supervising a Ph.D. thesis on domestic violence researched by an Additional Director-General of Police Punjab.



Protest rally by bank staff
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
Bank employees held a protest rally against government’s decision to reduce government capital in banks, merge public sector banks, hike foreign direct investment and other policies here today.

The call was given by the All India Bank Employees Association.

Addressing the rally, which was held outside the State Bank of Patiala, Miller Ganj branch, Mr Naresh Gaur, secretary, Punjab Bank Employees Federation, said the government was pressuring banks to bring down their capital by 51 per cent to encourage private investment.



Riat factory staff rally on Feb 20

Ludhiana, February 18
Workers of Riat Machine Tools Factory yesterday said they would hold a protest rally on February 20 after which they would submit a memorandum to the DC. The meeting between management and the workers yesterday bore no fruit as the management denied service benefits to them. The management even refused to pay workers their salaries due for January and bonus. OC



Raise SSI limit for knitted garments: club

Ludhiana, February 18
In its pre-Budget recommendations, the Knitwear Club has stated that the small-scale industries (SSI) limit for knitted fabrics, knitted garments, shawls, mufflers and other items, should be increased from the existing Rs 5 crore to Rs 10 crore.

“Undoubtedly knitted, fabric and allied industries are in small-scale sector but they require the latest technology that need investment,” said Mr Vinod Thapar, president, Knitwear Club.

He said the government should also make labour laws more flexible in the coming Budget .

The club also said benefits that were allowed to exporters under various provisions of the income tax should be revived so that they could compete in the international market. The club further demanded a reduction in the rate of service tax. TNS



Traders show solidarity over bandh
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, February 18
A large number of representative bodies of trade and industry have extended their support to the call given by the Akhil Bhartiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal for “Bharat bandh” on February 21 against proposed introduction of value added tax (VAT) from April 1.

The biggest association of the cycle trade — United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association — as well as the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings have also joined the bandh call.

Among other trade bodies expressing solidarity with the proposed bandh included the Chaura Bazar Traders Association, Bhadaur House Traders Association, Pansari Bazar Shopkeepers Association, Books Market Association, Shoe Market Association, Ludhiana Iron Merchants Association, District Wholesale Chemists Association, Wait Ganj Association, Bagh Wali Gali Shopkeepers Association, Clock Tower Association and Saban Bazar Association.

Functionaries of beopar mandal have reiterated their stand of not accepting the VAT system of tax as proposed by the Punjab Government. They want amendment to the proposed legislation so as to withdraw harsh and penal provisions for it to be implemented. They also want necessary steps for the merger of all other taxes with VAT and to scrap other taxes and levies.


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