L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Three undertrials escape from police lockup
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 21
Three notorious undertrials having a history of jailbreaks escaped by making a hole in the wall of a lockup of the Focal Point police station today. The police has registered a case of negligence against two cops after a preliminary inquiry conducted by senior officials. The police was investigating if any cop was willfully involved in the plot though no clue was established so far.

The accused — Birbal Singh, Ramanand, both brothers, and Shamsher Singh — belonged to Machhiwara and were well known for their criminal activities, including burglaries. They were brought on production warrant from the Central Jail, Ludhiana, on March 14 by the police which suspected their involvement in some burglaries.

The Salem Tabri police had arrested them a few months ago. They specialised in breaking into houses or business establishments by creating a hole in the walls. They adopted the same method while escaping from the police station.

The police said the accused used a tap to peel off the plaster on the wall. They then removed bricks to make a hole of about 1.5 feet diameter to escape.

Police sources said an alert was sounded in Machhiwara. The accused were in their late twenties. They had been involved in criminal activities since childhood.

Mr Surinder Mohan, SHO, Focal Point police station, said the accused escaped between 3am and 6am. He said munshi Kuldip Singh and sentry Ram Valabh were booked for dereliction of duty.

He said the accused had earlier escaped from the custody of the Ropar police.

Senior police officials visited the spot. The DSP said the accused would be arrested soon.



Rain no cause to panic, says PAU scientist
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 21
Scientists at Punjab Agricultural University have been feeling apprehensive about the wheat crop after the region was lashed by continuous rains for the past few days. However, they said, there was no cause for panic as so far the rains were not going to have any adverse impact on the crop.

According to Dr Harjinder Singh, a leading wheat scientist of the university, the only fear is that the rain must not be accompanied by the winds. Because that can cause the fall of the grains from the wheat plants. Thankfully so far there have not been any winds anywhere in the region. There is not any indication or forecast for the winds in the region.

Dr Harjinder Singh maintained that the required quantity of rain had already been received in the region. “The earth has got sufficient quantity of rain now, which is enough for the wheat”, he said, while adding that the increased moisture may not be harmful.

In the first three months Ludhiana has received almost double the rain it received in the corresponding period during the last year. While in the last year, Ludhiana received a total of 77.6 mm of rainfall in January, February and March, this year 137.9 mm of rainfall was received during these three months. There are 10 more days left of March with all probability that there might be more rains.

The scientist said the farmers must ensure that the water was not accumulated in the fields. Otherwise the climate is perfectly suited for the proper maturing of the wheat. He said while there were more rains this year, even the average temperature in March had gone up by three degrees. This was also a positive sign for the wheat crop, he said.



Admn puts old, damaged plaques on martyrs’ statues
Kanchan Vasdev

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 21
More than three months after plaques from the martyrs’ statues had gone missing and the District Magistrate had ordered the immediate replacement of these, plaques on the statues of martyrs Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev installed at Jagraon bridge are back but the inscriptions are incomprehensible.

Old and corroded plaques were replaced on the martyrs’ statues, three days before the martyrdom day of these heroes. Thankfully, the civic administration replaced these before the important day but nobody can clearly read the contribution of the martyrs from the plaques.

Incidentally, the statues would be garlanded on their martyrdom day on March 23. The authorities have replaced the old plaques that were recovered from the scrap dealers after these were stolen from the statues. The plaques were straightened after these had been twisted and rolled for disposal and were replaced.

‘‘It is shameful that a government spends lakhs of rupees for advertising its achievements in newspapers or putting up hoardings. But when it comes to martyrs they put an old plaque. Then they save even a thousand rupees.’’ expressed a resident.

The plaques had gone missing in December last year. The District Magistrate, Mr Anurag Verma had asked the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation to replace the plaques at that time. While the plaque on the statue of Flying Officer, Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon and Major Bhupinder Singh were replaced before to Vijay Divas, the other three statues were awaiting these.

The local police had caught the thieves, who had confessed to having removed the plaques and sold these to a scrap dealer. The police had recovered the plaques also. While the administration had put up granite plaques instead of the brass ones on other statues, it preferred to put old plaques with cement patches.

‘‘This shows how much we respect our martyrs. these in time. Finally they have put old and damaged plaques. This is height of callousness.’’ said an exserviceman.

The missing plaques’ case saw many developments in the past. The district administration moved promptly in the case when media had reported it. The DM directed the SSP to order an inquiry and then directed the MC to replace the plaques. He had even asked the Deputy Director of Sainik Welfare Board to assist the MC in doing so. 



Photos of film stars on notebooks irk teachers
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, March 21
Title covers of most of the notebooks are replete with pictures of popular Bollywood stars or particular scenes from hit movies. This leads to distraction for the students and have an adverse effect on the socio-psychological make-up of the students.

A majority of the teachers and diligent students, who share this feeling, contend that these otherwise attractive covers are a serious obstruction to the intellectual capabilities of students. They feel that such title covers may have negative impact on the results too. While the teacher is teaching in the class, students imagine Aishwarya Rai in “Balle Balle Amritsar to LA” or Shahrukh Khan in “Veer Zara”. Premdeep Kaur, a BA III student of a local college, says that students are so much fascinated by these title pages that they continue to stare them all the time least attentive of what is being discussed in the class. Though they are physically present in the class, mentally they dream of their favourite stars.

Ramvinder, another student, feels: “As such type of notebooks are in plenty in the market and the students are already inclined to buy them, the situation is becoming grave. As the movies are already harmful for the mental health of the students, favourite scenes on their notebooks leave a permanent imprint on their minds, thus leading to adverse results.”

On the other hand, a student carrying such a notebook has her own view. She says, “Such photographs on my notebook takes me to the other world. Sitting in the class and rejoicing favourite hero on notebook gives me immense pleasure.”

Prof Amarjit Kaur of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, feels that the manufacturers of these notebooks in order to increase their sale resort to such measures.

Prof M.S. Bhandari, head of the Hindi Department, GNN College, Doraha, complains, “Many a time, I find the students lending further colour to these already colourful pictures with their pens and commenting about the scenes to their fellow students.”



Police party attacked
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 21
A police party was attacked by 12 persons armed with sharp-edged weapons in the Rasulpur village area. Two alleged assailants have been reportedly arrested.

According to the information Sub-Inspector Gurmeet Singh, SHO, police station Sidhwanbet along with some other officials was on patrol duty in the Rasulpur village area when the party found the miscreants coming on their scooters armed with sharp-edged weapons. When the police signalled them to stop, they allegedly attacked the police party. Balbir Singh and Gurdip Singh were arrested.

A case has been registered.



Rights panel orders probe into dowry case 
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 21
Following allegations made by an alleged victim of harassment by her in-laws for dowry over the role of police personnel investigating her case, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PHRC) has ordered fresh investigation into the case.

Ms Neetu Rani, a resident of Khanna, had complained to the commission that the Khanna police, instead of acting on her complaint of harassment by her in-laws for dowry, was allegedly helping the suspects. She had even alleged that a former SSP of Khanna was influencing the investigation.

Taking cognisance of her complaint, the rights commission has directed the ADGP of the commission to inquire into the matter. The complainant had also alleged that the police was not conducting a fair probe.

Neetu Rani, a daughter of a physically-challenged businessman of Khanna, has alleged that the police investigation had been influenced by a former police official and the police was not even registering a case of dowry against her in-laws.

In her complaint, Neetu, the mother of one-year-old son, has alleged that her father spent more than Rs 10 lakh on her marriage. Yet her in-laws have allegedly been demanding Rs 5 lakh from her father for expanding the business of her husband.

She further claimed that she was married to Vivek Loomba, son of Sunita Rani and Trilok Loomba, in November, 2001. She claimed that the match was arranged through a common friend who had stated that the family did not want the marriage ceremony to be pompous as Trilok Loomba had lost his brother.

So no invitation cards were printed and the marriage took place at a marriage palace where the family gave expensive gifts, including gold items to all members of the Loomba family.

Her husband had allegedly demanded a car two days prior to their marriage and her father, Mr Shanker Dass Setia, fulfilled the demand. The car was handed over to her in-laws by Mr Setia’s family friend, Advocate J. S. Lotey.

She further alleged that she had been pressurised for bringing more dowry and was beaten up at times. She was sent back to her paternal home when her father failed to fulfil the demand for more dowry.

All expenses on her delivery in a Ludhiana nursing home were borne by her father, she said.

Mr Vivek Loomba, however, denied all allegations and said Neetu wanted to immigrate abroad and was trying to break the marriage on one pretext or another. He said a DSP and Marital Disputes Cell had given clean chit to the Loombas in the case. 



Residents seek shifting of high tension wires
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, March 21
The Amloh Mandal BJP president Ram Niwas Jain has alleged that officials of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) have not paid attention to the plea of residents of street numbers 5, 6 and 7 of Adarsh Nagar, here regarding the shifting of high-tension wires of 11000 volt passing over their houses.

He said representations in this regard were made to Chief Engineer (Central Ludhiana). It was mentioned that the local Municipal Council had deposited Rs 121136 in March last year with the PSEB as the shifting fees of high-tension wires over the residential houses, but the PSEB had taken no step in this regard, and it is feared that the amount may lapse after March 31.

Mr Jain also sought the transfer of the Junior Engineer (JE) of the area, posted here for the past 10 years. He alleged that JE was the “main hurdle” in the whole matter.



People exhorted to adopt small family norm
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 21
The Civil Surgeon, Dr Rajinder Kaur, exhorted the people to go for small family norm and closely involve themselves with the government-sponsored programmes for family planning and family welfare.

She was speaking at a special stitchless vasectomy and laparoscopic tubectomy camp organised at the Civil Hospital here on Friday. In all 20 vasectomy and 29 tubectomy operations were performed at the camp.

Free medicines, follow up advice was rendered to those undergoing operations and blankets were also distributed to them.

Later, inaugurating a free medical check-up and dengue awareness camp, organised for industrial workers by the health administration at Focal Point here, Dr Rajinder Kaur asked the city residents to remain on guard against water-borne diseases as well as malaria and dengue by following necessary preventive measures.

She said during a special anti-malaria campaign, the Health Department had prepared more than 4,000 slides of blood samples in Dr Ambedkar Nagar and some other localities in the city, from where cases of malaria and dengue were reported in the last year.

More than 400 workers of industrial units were examined at the camp and among them a few suspected cases of tuberculosis and malaria were detected. The suspected patients were referred for further clinical examinations and follow up treatment, if required.



Mediapersons hold protest outside Rotary Bhavan
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 21
Reporters and photojournalists of Ludhiana today staged a protest outside Rotary Bhavan, the venue for the liqour vends auction, in protest against the ban on the entry of the photojournalists and reporters of electronic media into the venue.

Led by Mr Virender Pramod, president of journalists’ association, they also met the Governor of Punjab, General S.F. Rodrigues (retd) and submitted a memorandum to him. Stating that the ban on entry was a an attempt to gag the Press, the reporters demanded that they should have been allowed entry to the venue.



DMCH police post functional

Ludhiana, March 21
A police post has finally started functioning from the premises of the DMC hospital here, marking a new swing in the relationship between the DMC management and the police amidst murmurs of opposition for the setting up of the police post by a small section of the hospital employees. The police was also yet to decide on the area coming under the purview of the police post.

Only two years ago, the police had first withdrawn a team of a few cops posted in the hospital for smooth working in medico-legal cases and then had locked horns with the management over various points in the last labour unrest in the institution. However, the management and the police worked jointly last month to end another confrontation between the management and the union. — TNS




Ludhiana, March 21
Mr Roshan Lal Arya has been re-elected president of the Arya Samaj, Maharishi Dayanand Bazaar, Ludhiana, at a meeting held yesterday. 


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