L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


4 accused in Park Plaza incident not registered
for verification

DM’s order flouted
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 6
Should the owners and management of the local Park Plaza be booked for violating the orders of District Magistrate? The District Magistrate had ordered that all employees be registered with the police under the employee/tenant verification scheme floated to check the rise in incidents of crime in the city.

The answer seems to be in the affirmative if the claims of the police that none of the four accused in the Park Plaza incident, who were arrested by the police for allegedly attempting to murder a city youth and videographing a newly wed couple in the hotel room, were registered with the police.

Police officials said they were looking for the records of these four but had not found any of them registered with Division No. 5 police station. The officials said out of the four, an employee, Parminder Pohal had joined the hotel four years ago and Raju Sahni had joined the hotel a year ago.

Mr R.S. Sohal, SHO, Division No. 5 police station, said they had found that many of the employees had not been registered with the police. He said if the hotel had got these employees registered more than two years ago then he was not in a position to comment on the same. He added that some staff of the five star hotel was registered with the police but there were no details of many other employees working there.

The police would look into the old records to ascertain whether the employees had a criminal record earlier or not. The police had checked the records only to find out if these employees’ details were verified by the police earlier or not, Mr Sohal added.

In July last year, the Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Magistrate, Mr Anurag Verma, had made it mandatory for residents, landlords, hotel owners and factory owners to submit the details of their migrant servants and employees with the nearest police station or police post. He had also directed that a photograph of the servant or employee should be given along with the complete details.

Orders in this regard were issued under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code following the revelation that many migrants were indulging in criminal activities in the city. The District Magistrate had stated that those found not complying with these orders would be booked under Section 188 of the IPC and would be liable for penalty of imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or a fine of Rs 1,000 or with both.

Later the district police had taken action against many violators who had not paid any heed to the DM’s orders. Even the small-time shopkeepers and others were booked for the same.

The DM had asked police officials to conduct surprise checks to ensure that these orders are complied with by all concerned.



Politicians for exposing truth behind filming of couple
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 6
Cutting across the party and ideological affiliations leaders of various parties have demanded a high-level probe into the allegations of filming the intimate moments of an unsuspecting couple in a five star hotel, Park Plaza. They said, “The issue is too serious to be dismissed as it involves the high moral values”.

Senior BJP leader and former Rajya Sabha member Lala Lajpat Rai regretted that such a situation had been allowed to come up. He pointed out that everyone should try to look at it in rational terms. Even the hotel owners should cooperate with the police for exposing the truth. The issue must not be seen impartially since it concerns everyone irrespective of his or her party affiliations.

Taking the lead, senior BJP leader Satpal Gosain apprehended that a fair probe might not be possible given the affiliations of hotel owners with Congress. The BJP was not seeking an independent probe because owners belonged to the Congress, but only because it was an important social issue. Other BJP leaders, including Rajinder Bhandari and Ashok Loomba, alleged that the issue needs to be probed thoroughly as how could a lower level staff dare to do it without the knowledge of the hotel management.

Senior Akali leader and General Secretary of the SAD Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal said the privacy was a privilege of every citizen and it should be preserved at all costs. He added that the truth needs to be established and those found guilty must be punished. The offenders had tried to sabotage the social and moral values of Punjab and they deserve no mercy.

Demanding an independent and high-level probe Simarjit Singh Bains, district Youth Wing President of the SAD, said it was a serious issue. He pointed out that it could not be dismissed as a mere allegation. The police must ensure that political pressures were dismissed so that the victims get justice. The people would loose their faith in the system if the guilty were not punished, he added.



Govt to provide amenities to 700 Punjab villages
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 6
The Government of Punjab will shortly launch a comprehensive development program to build infrastructure in the rural areas. Under this program about 700 villages would be developed as model villages with all basic amenities.

This was stated today by the Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, while addressing a gathering on the concluding day of the three-day sports festival after distributing prizes at Gaddowal village, 25 kms from here last evening.

The Finance Minister said during the past three years, the state government had succeeded in controlling the worst ever financial crisis. He said to improve the facilities in the rural areas, more than Rs 5,000 crore was being spent and during the next two years, villages in Punjab would be provided with all basic amenities, besides 24 hours power supply.

He said the present crop pattern of wheat- paddy was the main cause behind enhancing the problems of farmers and the state had chalked out a comprehensive plan for diversifying the agriculture. He said many multi-national companies had expressed their desire to invest in the agro-based industry in Punjab and to create an infrastructure for exporting vegetables, fruits and flowers to the other countries which would substantially enhance the farmers’ income.

Unfolding the plan, the Finance Minister said Rs 950 crore was being spent for repairing 17,000 km link road in the state and Rs 1,200 crore on the widening and strengthening of 18 new roads and on the construction on 22 railway over bridges in the state. He said World Bank had sanctioned Rs 1,800 crore to provide water supply and sanitation in 6,500 villages of the state, besides Rs 132 crore was being spent through NABARD on different rural water supply schemes.

Referring to the liberalisation, Mr Singla said revamping of the government sector and involvement private companies for providing services like power, education and health was the only way out, which could enhance the competitiveness and quality of services. He asserted that the revamping of the PSEB would ensure the improvement in power supply, as the country had witnessed in quality service in telephone sector after a change in the policy. He said with the change of the agriculture policy, the state would emerge as the major exporter of agro products and bring about a revolution in the international market.



For them daughters are as good as sons
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 6
Although sons continue to be preferred to daughters by most of the couples, there are a large number of people, who don’t mind having daughters only. Daughters are as good as sons when it comes to studies or career.

A number of couples, the Ludhiana Tribune spoke to, found their daughters caring, loving and sensitive as sons. They had no regrets.

Dr (Ms and Mr) Iqbal Ahuja, have two daughters feel contented and satisfied. Dr (Mr) Iqbal said that he only wished that his daughters should be intelligent and become doctors. One has already completed her MD while the younger one is pursuing medicine. “I could always get a son but thank God that he never gave me a desire to get one. Both my daughters are caring and concerned”, he said. But at the same time, he said that they needed protection.

Mr and Ms Shalini Gambhir with two daughters feel happy and fortunate. “They are so loving, I can not think living life without them. They are better than sons. I hardly feel that I am blessed with two daughters, it only people who force me to think like that at times. We would like to provide them with good education and moral values”, said Shalini.

Another couple, having one daughter said that they were sure to have single child only. They were lucky to have daughter and they would definitely not go for another. “The family is complete. My in-laws keep on insisting that there should be at least one son in the family, but thank God that I have got a supporting husband, who says that girls were much better than boys”, she said on condition of anonymity. Her husband said that times were slowly changing and in years to come, girls would be much preferred to boys.



Exam centre gets packet short of papers
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 6
A packet of examination papers of English (compulsory) for Class XII of the Punjab School Education Board, supposed to contain a total of 260 papers as mentioned on the outer cover, had 10 papers less than the exact number at the examination centre of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, yesterday evening.

Mr Jaswant Singh Gill, Principal of the college, told this correspondent that a total of 250 papers were recovered from inside the bundle, which was supposed to have 260 question papers mentioned on the main bundle.



Ludhiana Calling

It is common for the masses to criticise the police for not reaching crime spots immediately or their non-availability in office. Rarely any attention is given to the fact that they too are humans and have their family life. Sentinel overheard two such cops discussing the repercussions of their highly busy life. They have not time for their family. One officer said his four-year-old son once asked for an appointment. The child’s explanation was that his police officer father only meets people having an appointment. The other officer narrated more bad state of affairs because of his busy life, ‘‘My wife was sitting on sofa next to me and I was answering endless calls over the phone. She also called me from her phone and said I was available over the phone only.


The camera has invaded all spheres of life. Even the most intimate part of one’s life, the wedding night, is no longer safe as allegedly happened with a newly wed couple in Hotel Park Plaza. The incident sent a wave of disbelief, anger and shock among the city residents. Mediapersons were flooded with calls from people who had stayed in this hotel. They were anxious if they were also filmed in the same manner. People are unhappy that the advance in technology was being misused. No place was safe. The girls especially were scared as they won’t trust the trying rooms, washrooms and change rooms in shops or marriage palaces.

Dupatta culture

The Dupatta culture is on the wane. More and more girls are seen wearing modern dresses like jeans and tops. Sentinel spotted three girls hiding their faces from the sun. The modern dresses do not offer such use of clothes. Out of the three girls, only one was wearing a duppatta, which was used by all to give shade to their faces.

Shouting brigade

A group of activists of the Youth Congress, most of whom have long back crossed the maximum age limit for being in the front organisation, have virtually turned into a shouting brigade of the party. These handful of party workers are in the habit of holding a procession, staging a dharna or burning an effigy over small issues, and most of the times on non-issues. Since leaders of this group have the knack of keeping “good” contacts with both print and electronic media, more often than not, they get publicity for their activities. Whether or not this exercise is serving the political interests of general public, is altogether a different story.

Park Plaza SMS

Soon after the Park Plaza incident hit headlines, an SMS was doing rounds of the city, making fun of the entire incident. One of the SMS read, ‘‘Make your stay pleasant for us by staying free of cost at Park Plaza in room number 114 with lights on. Also get free nomination for awards for best movie of the night.’’ Within a few hours the SMS was forwarded to different numbers. Newspapers were also doing brisk business during the past two-three days. People were seen reading them while standing on the roads, at the book shops and even on the kiosks selling these.




BJP to protest against registration fee hike
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 6
The Bharatiya Janata Party has termed the hike in registration fee for property in the state as gross injustice with the people and has threatened to launch a stir against the move if it was not withdrawn immediately.

The state chief of the party, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, said in a statement here today that increase in registration fee by the state government from the previous rate of 6 per cent of the cost of property to 9 per cent was absolutely unjust, uncalled for and arbitrary. He said if the hike was not rolled back, the party would mobilise the masses against the anti-people policies of the Congress government to launch a state-wide agitation.

Mr Khanna said a move was already on all over the country to lower the registration fee so that the buyers and sellers could be motivated to get the sale deeds registered at the actual price. But the Punjab Government had taken a retrograde decision to scuttle the process which was a move in the right direction.

Mr Khanna rubbished the policies of the government to impose new taxes on the government under various pretexts. 



Potholed road a virtual death trap
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 6
After the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) started charging a heavy toll tax on the Ludhiana-Doraha road, the road alongside Sidhwan canal that connects city with Doraha town is bearing the brunt of the situation as smart drivers take this road to evade tax.

The upper layer of the road has almost vanished as the traffic on it has increased manifold but the state government has no funds to recarpet the same. Craters, potholes and bumpy ride mark this important road, which is incidentally the southern bypass of the city. The condition of the road, which has always been problematic for the maintaining authority due to its location alongside a water body, has worsened after the imposition of tax.

Things have come to such a pass that the road has disappeared in some patches giving rise to huge craters, almost 3-4 feet deep, making it difficult for commuters to drive on it.

The situation worsens at nights as there are no lamp posts on the road. Rains also compound the problem as water gets collected in these craters giving rise to small ponds.

‘‘The vehicles become uncontrollable at night as we can’t see the potholes on the road. The ride becomes dangerous as one can loose control on the vehicle anytime and it can fall into the canal resulting into a tragedy. I am seeing it for the past two years but it was never repaired.’’ rued a commuter.

The road is mostly used by the private vehicles like cars and jeeps. Heavy transport vehicles like trucks are also seen on this road. Surprisingly, only the two-wheelers and light vehicular traffic has ruined the road to such an extent. The entire 30 km stretch starting from the Ferozepore road, Ludhiana to Doraha town badly needs repairs.

An official of the Public Works Department (B&R) said they had made a proposal to repair the road and sent it to the state government a year ago. But the state government had not released any funds. He added that the PWD was again going to take up the matter to repair all major roads in periphery of the city.

He admitted that the condition had worsened after the setting up of the toll tax barrier at Doraha. However, he was of the opinion that even if the road was withering away because of heavy traffic, it was the duty of the authority concerned to repair the same frequently. 



Focus on rural infrastructure right move: Commissioner
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 6
The Finance Minister’s focus on Bharat Nirman Yojna in the Budget is a right step towards giving a boost to rural infrastructure, particularly at this time when the economy is growing at a fast pace of almost seven per cent, exports are growing at 25 per cent and foreign exchange reserves are at all all-time high of $130 billion, said Mr V.K. Garg, Commissioner, Central Excise, Ludhiana, on Friday. He was addressing a post-Budget discussion organised by the Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) here.

He said the government was also attempting to create urban infrastructure by allocating more resources. Appreciating the implementation of the Value Added Tax (VAT), Mr Garg said the country was moving towards an international structure of taxation by imposing VAT. He also highlighted various changes proposed in direct and indirect taxes pertaining to the textile industry.

Prof D.K. Srivastava, a former member of the 12th Finance Commission, touched upon macro and micro-implications of the Budget. He said the Budget was based on path legacy and it was very difficult to break the practices that were being followed.

According to him, the Budget would not be able to give direction to capital formation in the country as the revenue deficit was stagnant at 2.7 per cent whereas the capital expenditure had come down by two per cent. To attain and sustain a growth rate of eight per cent, the country needs to save 28 per cent but the saving rate is hovering around 24 per cent which would be able to sustain growth of only six per cent, he said.

He also cautioned that the agricultural sector was registering a small growth and its total share in the Gross Domestic Product was coming down.



Ration distributed among needy women
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 6
Punjabi Nishkam Seva Dal, an NGO, organised its 14th monthly ration distribution function for widows and needy women at Sankat Mochan Temple, Shahpur Road, here today. The function was presided over by Mr Sushil Prashar and ration was distributed by Mr Surjit Singh Nota and Mr Pradeep Kumar.

Mr Nota (an industrialist) said to reach out to the needy women was indeed a remarkable task. This step taken by the Seva Dal for needy women would motivate them to start life afresh. He assured Mr Prashar all possible help in this noble cause of helping the needy women.

Mr Sushil Prashar said that the Seva Dal distributed ration and helped in the education of poor children, arranged free medical camps and organised marriages of poor girls every month. 



Delimitation Board constituted
Our Correspondent

Amloh, March 6
The Local Self Government Department of Punjab has constituted the Delimitation Board comprising following as members, said Council Chief Baldev Singh Aulakh here yesterday.

The Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib, or his representative Mr Sadhu Singh, Member of the Legislative Assembly, Sub-Divisional Magistrate (Chairman), Deputy Director Urban Local Bodies, Patiala, President Municipal Council, Executive Officer, Mr Jeevan Kumar Puri Councillor nominated member, Rajinder Singh Rozy, Ramesh Kumar Gupta, Mr Budh Raj and Ms Santosh Kumari (Associate Members).



Alert residents foil kidnap bid
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 6
Alert residents of Ashok Nagar and a police patrol party today foiled an alleged kidnapping of an eight-year-old boy, Navdeep Singh, who was being taken away by two youths on the pretext of buying him sweets in the colony today evening. They nabbed one of the alleged kidnappers, while the other managed to escape.

According to Mr Arvind Puri, SHO, Salem Tabri, the arrested accused was identified as Krishan Bahadur. The police has identified his accomplice also but his identity was not being disclosed for investigation purposes.

He said that the accused had lured the boy by offering him sweets. The boy was playing outside his house at that time and agreed to go with them. However, he started crying when the accused tried to push him into a vehicle.

Residents and passersby of the area raised an alarm and nabbed the accused. A patrolling party of the SalemTabri police also reached there immediately and arrested him.

5 thieves nabbed: The Kotwali police today announced the arrest of five members of an inter-state gang of thieves who specialised in stealing car stereos, batteries, video cameras and other electronics.

Addressing a press conference at Kotwali police station today DSP Mohan Lal said a team headed by Inspector Harjinder Singh, SHO Kotwali nabbed the accused with the stolen goods when they were travelling in an auto- rickshaw near Mata Rani chowk here.

The accused have been identified as Hem Raj, Ramesh, Lovkesh, Sewak Singh and Varinder Singh.

The police has recovered 12 car stereos, 2 VCRs, 2 TVs, 11 car batteries, 3 heaters, emergency lights, telephone set, transistors and some other electronics.



Robbers attack priest, decamp with cash, jewellery
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 6
Gopal Mishra, a priest of Shiv temple in Kaneja village, Basti Jodhewal area, sustained injuries when four armed robbers entered his house, attacked him and decamped with cash, jewellery and other valuables. His house is situated next to the temple at Kaneja village.

The youths with muffled faces entered his house at about midnight. They hit the priest on head and chest with iron rods and sharp-edged weapons. Later, they pulled ear rings and necklaces worn by his wife, Kalpana Devi, and niece, Indira Jugiana.

The priest was admitted to the local Civil Hospital. He told reporters that he got up on hearing strange noises near the door. By that time the four youths entered the house and hit something on his head at which he lost consciousness.



Opium seized

Jagraon, March 6
ASI Bakhshish Singh of the CIA staff, Jagraon, arrested Nachattarsingh of Ajiwal, near grain market Agwar Gujjran and seized 250gm opium from his possession and booked the accused under the NDPS Act. Later, the accused was remanded in police custody till March 7, by Mr B S Deol, JMSC, Jagraon. OC


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