L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


CBI probe ordered into custodial torture case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered a CBI inquiry into the alleged custodial torture of a Sahnewal resident at the CIA, Ludhiana, where he was kept in illegal detention for over 10 days seeking his confession in a bank robbery case.

Ms Harbans Kaur, mother of the victim Hamesh Singh, alias Kala, had approached the High Court seeking an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) into his illegal detention and custodial torture at the CIA here. The youth is brother of a constable with the Punjab Police.

Mr Justice Uma Nath Singh has in his orders said the matter needs to be inquired by an independent agency like the CBI. He directed the Director, CBI, to assign the inquiry to some senior officer who shall submit his report to this court within four weeks.

The orders specifically mention that the directions were made in view of a report submitted by a warrant officer, who visited the CIA, Ludhiana, and allegedly got the youth released.

According to a copy of the petition, Harbans Kaur has claimed that Hamesh Singh was picked up from their house in Paharuwal village, Sahnewal, on February 10 and taken to the CIA Ludhiana.

She claimed that the youth was badly tortured by the police, ‘‘ He was tied with a rope and a number of policemen beat him up with sticks. He vomited blood and was rendered unconscious. The youth also suffered injuries on head, chest and stomach.’’ The woman has named two constables and a Punjab Police Inspector as the main accused whom she recognised while there were others whose names she did not know.

She also alleged that the cops snatched Rs 3,500, a Reliance mobile, and a gold bracelet from the her son. She alleged that the police was beating his son to extract a confession of his involvement in UCO Bank robbery case, which took place in 2004.

The police also took away a motor cycle of Harmesh Singh and has not returned it till date. Harbans Kaur further claimed that the ‘accused’ cops were threatening to eliminate her and her family if she made any complaint.



Amputation case: docs served notice
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 11
Ms Ferry Narula (24), a resident of Sant Vihar in Haibowal locality here and mother of two children, is a broken woman today. With one of her legs having been amputated due to bone tumour, she is not only made to live as a cripple but is also tormented by the impression that but for wrong histopathological report of a local clinical laboratory and wrong treatment given by a doctor, her leg could have been saved.

In a legal notice served on Dr R.K. Gupta, a clinical pathologist, running Punjab Clinical Laboratory in the city, and Dr Anil Mittal, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, the victim has sought damages of Rs 50 lakh for negligence on their part, failing which she would be restrained to initiate legal proceedings in the form of criminal complaint and move the State Consumer Commission to claim compensation for the loss of a limb.

The notice served by a Chandigarh-based lawyer stated that after admission to the private nursing home of Dr Mittal here in October 2004 with pain in the left thigh, a sample was taken from the leg of the patient and sent for bone biopsy to Punjab Clinical Laboratory. The report given by the laboratory stated it to be a case of suggested sequestrum with no evidence of neoplasm (malignancy).

After the condition of the patient showed no improvement, she was taken to Christian Medical College and Hospital here and later shifted to Rajiv Gandhi Hospital at New Delhi. The diagnosis as well as pathological examination of the same sample that was provided to Punjab Clinical Laboratory here was suggestive of malignant lesions at both the medical institutions where Ms Narula was later admitted.

According to family members of the patient, she was admitted to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here in January 2005 where her leg was amputated. In its post-surgery pathological report, the DMCH pathologists maintained that the sections showed cellular tumour having extensive areas of necrosis and concluded histology consistent with giant cell osteogenic sarcoma high grade (cancer of the bone).

The legal notice pointed out that since the tumour in the leg ultimately turned out to be malignant, contrary to the report given by Punjab Clinical Laboratory in October 2004, it was evident that either the bone biopsy was done in a careless, rash and faulty manner or the person conducting the pathological examination was not competent enough for this test.

A leading pathologist, whom Ludhiana Tribune spoke to, was of the view that even though the clinical laboratory blamed for the lapse had erred in pathological examinations, it would be wrong and unfair to attribute the amputation of the limb to this error in judgement. Quoting from a textbook of clinical surgery, the pathologist stated that the amputation of the affected limb was the established line of surgical treatment of osteogenic sarcoma.

When contacted, Dr R.K. Gupta of Punjab Clinical Laboratory sought to justify his pathological report by claiming that the sample provided to his laboratory for biopsy was not suggestive of malignancy. As to how the CMCH and the Rajiv Gandhi Hospital at Delhi had reported the same sample to be malignant in nature, he maintained that both reports had used the words “suggestive” and “probable” and had further advised repeat biopsy.



A nostalgic reunion
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
Partition could not erect a wall in their hearts. Even as the two neighbouring countries continued to share strained relationships till some time ago, these old neighbours, once residents of Rawalpindi, could not turn their love into hatred.

And today, after 57 years, was the day of reunion between three such neighbours when two residents from Pakistan came to meet a Ludhiana family to share the anecdotes of their fathers and grandfathers besides strengthening a bond amongst them.

Highly emotional and nostalgic scenes were witnessed at the local Basant Nagar residence of Mr Des Raj Bajaj where a warm welcome was accorded to two Pakistani citizens, Haji Sikander Khan and Haji Mohammad Nawaz, both residents of Faislabad district in Pakistan.

“He has exactly taken over her grandfather who used to be our neighbour in Rawalpindi. For once I thought I had travelled in the past,” exclaimed Ms Maya Devi while hugging Haji Sikander Khan.

She recalled that she was married into the family of late Ganda Ram Bajaj just before Partition and his grandfather was a close friend of her father-in-law. “I hope the borders are finished forever and the commoners like us can start living together once again,” she said while tears rolled down her cheeks.

The happiness of Mr Bajaj knew no bounds when he received the special guests at his house who would stay till morning. He said he had never dreamt that they would be together in this house, which was built by him and his father after coming from Pakistan after Partition.

Haji Mohammed Nawaz thanked cricket for reuniting scores of families that were separated years ago. “We had seen Ms Maya Devi years ago, whom I had called my elder sister before Partition. I am happy that I am able to meet her again in my lifetime.”

“We all are the same flesh and blood and our fathers and grandfathers played together. But our children would not even realise the strength of our relations unless we meet often,” he said.

They hoped that the relations between two countries get better and their were no more barriers between the two countries. “It is the cricket which has helped us to meet. Last year, the families had re-discovered each other during a similar series in Pakistan. Then we had visited them there and they had given us a warm welcome which we will not forget till we live,” said Mr Prem Chand, a resident of Moga and a relative of Bajajs.



Life term for killing wife, stepson
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 11
Amarjit Singh, a carpenter of Guru Gobind Singh Nagar, Tibba Road, Ludhiana, has been sentenced to rigorous life imprisonment on the charges of killing his wife and stepson with a ‘bat’. The accused has also been ordered to pay fine of Rs 10,000.

Delivering the verdict, the Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Indrejit Kaushik, held that the prosecution had successfully proved that the accused “brutally” murdered his wife-Darshna Rani and his stepson, Mandeep Kumar alias Ashu, on January 6, 2001.

“There is no ground to take a lenient view, the accused has caused death of his own wife as well as of an innocent child (stepson),” said Mr Kaushik, while declining the plea of leniency raised by the accused.

The accused was booked at Basti Jodhewal police station, under Section 302 of the IPC on January 6, 2001 following the statement of Raj Rani of Guru Gobind Singh Nagar. The complainant had submitted to the police that Darshna Rani, was earlier married with his son, Vinod Kumar.

Four years ago, her son Vinod had died. In 2000, her daughter-in-law Darshana at her own will and against the wishes of relatives had married the accused. Her grandsons did not like the accused and were preventing him from coming to their house. The accused used to beat them up.

It was further claimed by the complainant that on the day of the incident, she was about to leave for place of her work. At that time the accused came to their house and she along with her grandson stopped him. He got angry, lifted a bat and threatened to kill Mandeep. Darshana stopped him from doing so. After sometime, I left for job. But later on the accused killed his wife and stepson by beating them mercilessly with a bat.

However, the accused denied the charges. He submitted in court, as Darshna had married against the wishes of the complainant, she had falsely implicated him.

But convinced with the submissions of the Additional District Attorney, Mr Mitter Sain Goyal and evidence of 15 prosecution witnesses, the court found him guilty and sentenced accordingly.



Passing Thru

Mr Anjani Sinha
Mr Anjani Sinha, CEO, Multi-Commodity Exchange of India.

What is the potential of commodity trading in this region?

The region, being home to various industries like steel and hosiery and the economy here being primarily agro-based, has an immense potential for commodity trading. While the current volume of commodity trading in this region is around Rs 50 crore a day, this can easily go up to as high as Rs 500 crore a day.

What are the precautions that investors and traders need to take?

Instead of speculative trading, the emphasis needs to be laid on knowledge-based trading. MCX is conducting awareness workshops where participants are told about risk management systems, claims and settlements. Those who are engaged in commodity trading need to have a thorough knowledge of all its aspects.

Where does the country stand vis-a-vis international commodity markets?

Our volumes are huge and if we talk about technology, we are even better than the biggest international commodity exchanges of the world. However, we lag behind in infrastructure and in areas like regulatory clearances and permission to Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs). We are expecting these bottlenecks to be removed soon as the government is opening up in a phased manner.

— Shveta Pathak



Unemployed man to knock at PM’s door
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
Sick of knocking at various doors, a 40-year-old man who had failed to get job despite getting himself registered with the local employment exchange has decided to visit the residence of the Prime Minister to narrate his tale of woe.

Kulveer Singh, an unemployed person and a father of two children, said he was awaiting an interview call from the employment exchange but he did not receive any.

He added that he had made various rounds of the exchange and was getting his registration renewed every year hoping that he would one day land with a job that would provide him and his children good lifestyle. But nothing happened.

“Who is responsible for the condition of people like me? We have been made to suffer. The politicians are responsible for this condition,” he added.

Earlier Mr Kulveer Singh had, in a letter to the Prime Minister, the Punjab Chief Minister, claimed that the department had instilled a hope in him that he would be finding a work through them. But the scenario was totally opposite. There was no employment for him.

He added that he would also meet the Congress chief, Ms Sonia Gandhi, and make her abreast of the situation. A son of a retired Railway official, Kulveer had studied up to seventh standard. He was told to get registered with the employment exchange and his Employment Registration Card number was 3365/93.

Kulveer had been working as a daily-wage labourer and fending for his children. He claims there were many sufferers like him but nobody had the spine to fight for this cause, he claimed.

Meanwhile, the officials of District Employment Exchange denied all the allegations levelled by Mr Kulveer Singh. Ms Minakshi Sharma, Employment Officer, in a written statement said he was registered with the Ferozepore Employment Exchange in 1988 and his name was transferred to Ludhiana on 1993.

She claimed that the exchange had despatched two interview calls to him in the past 10 years. As per the record two call letters for the post of a peon at ITI Gujjarwal and for a servant in the office of Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana were sent to him.

She further claimed that he was not called for any other interview as he had become overage and as per the rules he was not entitled for a job after attaining the age of 40 years. “The employment exchange is not at fault in his case,” she said adding that the employment scenario was same for all in the country.



ASHI seeks legal powers
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, March 11
The district branch of Association for Social Health in India (ASHI) has sought legal power to solve complicated cases. ASHI-which aims to settle marital disputes, feels that in the absence of legal rights, the association finds itself helpless in resolving many issues.

The association with wife of Deputy Commissioner as its chairperson, has six social activists as its members. The members, including Ms Ruby Fernandes, Ms Parveen Narang, Ms Pappo Abnash, Ms Dalip Brar, Ms Ranbir Kaur and Ms Avtar Kaur, act as counsellors to unite the couples.

The association does not suggest separation or filing of disputed cases in court.

Ms Shweta Verma, chairperson, ASHI, said in the past two years 46 such cases were taken up for settlement by the association but only 14 could be settled. “The reason is that we have no legal power to put pressure on the parties. If someone is found guilty, we try to call him/her. When a person or party comes to know that association could not do anything, they refuse to turn up.

We try to persuade them but to no avail. Some of them remain adamant for divorce or taking the matter to court only. Here, the members feel distressed and helpless”, said Ms Verma.

Mr S.P. Malik, Secretary, Red Cross said ASHI was not there to solve problems of women only.

The husbands also approached the association when there was too much interference from the girl’s parents or when women refused to accommodate with their in-laws. “Our focus remain on counselling. It takes almost 2-3 months to solve one case of marital dispute”, said Mr Malik.

Ms Rekha Sharma (name changed), with two grown up kids has been ill-treated by her husband for the past many months. She said, “My husband refuses to provide any financial assistance to the family. He is not on talking terms with me, children or my in-laws”.

The matter was taken-up to ASHI for settlement. She was regularly counselled by the members for over a period of four months. “When the members called upon my husband, he refused to entertain them saying they could not harm him.

But if association had some rights, it could set my husband right. I do not have time or money to pursue the matter either to court or to the police”, said Rekha.



Grants disbursed for development works
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 11
The Parliamentary Secretary for Power, Housing and Urban Development, Mr Surinder Dawar, yesterday said the government had launched several new schemes for allround development of both the towns and the villages in the state.

While addressing a function after disbursal of grants to a number of social, educational and voluntary organisations at his office in Cheema Chowk here, he said the projects in the power and housing sectors were being accorded top priority by the government and a number of major power generation projects had been launched during this year to meet the growing need of electricity.

Mr Dawar claimed that the assembly segment (Ludhiana East) represented by him had witnessed unprecedented growth in improving the quality of civic amenities, as well as delivery of services and creation of new infrastructure. He further said that a properly staffed office had been set up in the constituency to help the needy persons complete the formalities for pensions granted to old and infirm, widows and destitute women, ration cards and other such documents.

He handed over cheques for Rs 1 lakh each to R.B. Primary School, Sri Gau Rakshni Sabha, Vishwakarma Dharamshala, Government High School, Brothers Club, Bhartiya Naujawan Sabha and Mahavir Dharamshala while cheques for Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,000 were handed over to Dhanka Biradari and Maa Bhagwati Club, respectively, on the occasion. In addition, a large number of consumer durables like ceiling fans, pedestal fans and other utility items were presented for use in dharamshalas and schools.



Mata Rani Road area flooded
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
The Mata Rani Road near Meena Bazaar here was flooded with water today following a leakage in the water tank of the local Municipal Corporation in the evening. Within a few hours the water filled the road. Some fault in the pipeline of the tank was cited as reason for this.

Shopkeepers complained to the MC authorities following the leakage.

The MC employees present on the spot said they would take up repairs only when the water supply to the tank was stopped.

Residents living nearby said there was a snag in the tank for the past 10 days and a direct supply was restored to the tank. 



Punjabi poetry ‘needs’ young writers
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 11
Punjabi poetry needs young, energetic and enthusiastic artists who should work hard to fill the gap the created by poets like Mohan Singh and Harbhajan Singh, opines former Director, Punjabi Development, Punjabi University, Patiala.

Mr Kulwant Singh Grewal, a renowned Punjabi poet, did not publish a book till now as he felt that doing so was not enough for the development of art. “It is after the consistent labour for three decades that I could start process for publishing my maiden book in poetry. Till now I did not give my consent to start work on the book as I myself felt that the material was not worth presenting before the readers,” commented Mr Grewal when asked about his in process book ‘Tera Ambran Ch Nan Likhia’.

Commenting on the present situation of the Punjabi poetry Mr Grewal said after Mohan Singh and Harbhajan Singh Shiv Batalavi and Surjit Pattar were the only names that one could remember.

“Unfortunately the present generation poets hurry to their premature works published instead of practicing like ascetic discipline,” worried Mr Grewal. He claimed that sadness, pain and sorrow had overshadowed other ingredients of the poetry. The readers were starving for happiness.

Referring to the contents of his maiden book, Mr Grewal said he had tried to keep a distance from religion as he was an artist and not a preacher. 



Killer gang’s leader held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
The police today announced the arrest of the kingpin of an alleged gang of criminals who masquerading as rickshaw-pullers murdered and looted 12 persons in the city in the past six months.

The alleged gang leader, Shankar, was arrested near a liquor shop near the Old Court complex last night by a team headed by Inspector Gurpreet Singh, SHO Division No. 8 police station.

DSP Simratpal Singh Dhindsa told reporters in a press conference that 10 members of the gang were arrested by the police on February 15 but the gang leader Shankar escaped.

The DSP said Shankar was a resident of Behrayi district in Bihar and had formed the gang and planned the looting and murders.



5 held for stealing clamps on railway lines
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
The Model Town police has busted a gang of migrant labourers, who put lives of many persons on stake by stealing clamps from railway lines, especially the Ludhiana Ferozepore track.

Addressing a press conference here this evening, DSP Ravcharan Singh Brar said the police had arrested five persons in this connection. They have been identified as Vimal Kumar, Sonu Kumar, Vinay Kumar, Ghanayia Lal and Satpal.



Handicrafts exhibition delights residents
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 11
A unique handicrafts exhibition showcasing craftsmanship reflected in bronze statues, copied from the Chola period are on display at the Nehru Sidhant Kender, Pakhowal Road, Ludhiana. The exhibition is brought by Poompuhar, the Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation Ltd, a government of Tamil Nadu undertaking. The exhibition was inaugurated by Lt-Col D.B. Sharma, organising secretary, of the kender, on March 9 andwould continue till March 20.

The Madhya Pradesh Handloom Development Corporation and Co-optes have also joined in and brought in their handwoven cotton and silk fabrics. Bronze statues of different religious figures showing superb craftsmanship are placed at the entrance. Granite statues of solid weight have been brought from Mahabalipuram. The several articles in brass from figurines to animal figurest to tables, and sundry other things just rivet one’s attention.

Stoneware, sandalwood and rosewood carvings and wooden sculptures of varying sizes can be admired for their fine workmanship. The entire collection of handicrafts comprises exclusive art objects of the state for the benefit of art connoisseurs. Traditional wood carvings and various sizes of highly decorated bronzes with rare motifs and expressions, brass lamps with peacock , parrot and swan at the top are highlights of the exhibition.”A big Saraswati wooden carving from a single piece of wood costing about Rs 1.75 lakh is awaited and would arrive soon,”said Mr Matheyarsen, exhibition in charge.

Tanjavur paintings embossed with gold, painstakingly made and special to Tamil Nadu are available in various sizes. A very large Tanjore painting of Radha and Krishan is centre of attraction as it has a three dimensional effect due to relief work provided.

Famous Kancheepuram sarees for bridal and party wear to office and casual ware are on display. They have a large variety in sarees called Kalangi, Neelambari and Rapasody Rainbow in platinum coloured thread is the latest addition to Kancheepuram sarees.

Handwoven traditional Maheshwari cotton suits in lovely weave and colours are available from Madhya Pradesh. Silk sarees and cotton suits can be seen in wide range. Bagh Prints of Madhya Pradesh and Tussore silk sarees are available. Co-optes is selling silk that can be worn in summers and can be handwashed. Cotton suits and silk in self design can be converted into kurtas

Washable poly stone figurines, gossamer lace articles from Andhra Pradesh, hand embroidered linen articles from Kanya Kumari offer a humongous variety of things for the city residents. The exhibition reflects the true craft and fabrics of South India and it is a real treasure trove of artefacts and a great opportunity for city residents to see various articles of different states under one roof. 


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