L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Egg on MC face, 10 fresh cases of jaundice reported
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 4
Close on the heels of five cases of jaundice relapse in some colonies of Ward No 10 in the city on Saturday, 10 fresh cases of jaundice were reported from CRPF Colony, Dugri, here last evening and all of them have been shifted to the Civil Hospital.

The SMO, Dr Manjit Kaur, said the patients had moderate symptoms of jaundice with some of them suffering from diarrhoea.

Belying the claims of civic officials of no fresh outbreak of water-borne diseases in the city, health officials attributed the relapse of the diseases and new cases of diarrhoea and jaundice to contaminated water supply.

Residents of CRPF Colony maintained that for the past several days, they had been getting contaminated water with particles, and even worms in it.

That the quality of water supply to the residents left much to be desired is evident from the disturbing figures provided by the Civil Surgeon, Dr Rajinder Kaur. She said during the past three months, the health officials had taken 80 water samples from different colonies, out of which only 18 were found to be potable. As many as 46 samples were contaminated, with most of them having bacterial growth.

She said the teams of health officials and paramedical staff were conducting a door-to-door survey of the affected locality to identify more cases of water-borne diseases and to educate people about preventive measures.

In the wake of the reported cases of diarrhoea, the teams of health staff had been deployed to distribute chlorine tablets and ORS packets.

“We have a dispensary in Dugri which is keeping a watch on the situation and is equipped to provide medical support to the residents. Depending on the turn of events in a day or so, we shall decide on setting up a special camp, if called for,” she stated.



Armed robbery at octroi post, Rs 49,000 looted
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
Just a day after armed dacoits struck at a factory in the Industrial Area, a gang of robbers looted Rs 49,000 at gunpoint from an octroi post of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation at Gill road today early morning.

Three robbers brandishing a revolver and two long knives struck at the octroi post at about 5:00 am. They stayed at the post for two to three minutes and decamped with the money collected as octroi last night. The robbers did not waste anytime in putting cash into the bag and took away trays containing the wads.

Four employees of the MC including clerks Daljit Singh, Ramesh Kumar and two peons were present at the post. The Sadar police SHO Sandeep Sharma claimed that the employees had kept the doors of the post open against the norms. The employees said they were rendered defenceless as the robbers had pointed revolver at them threatening to shoot them.

Three security guards are posted round the clock at the post but none was present at the time of the incident. A security guard had gone to answer nature’s call, the second was sleeping at a little distance while the third was not present, the police claimed.

Dr Jaswant Singh, Joint Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, said robbers came in Maruit Esteem car and fled towards Ahmedgarh. He said the robbers spent just two minutes and did not give any time to the employees to react.

A case of robbery has been registered under sections 382 and 34 of the IPC on the complaint of the MC officials. Police sources said the timing of the incident suggested that the robbers had accurate information about the working of the post. The police was suspecting the role of some insiders.

The police has been interestingly conducting night patrolling exercise in the city but the robbers always manage to strike when the patrolling exercise ended just before the wee hours.

MC and police sources said security would be beefed up around octroi posts in the wake of today’s incident. No action has so far been taken against the security guards.



MC anti-encroachment drive suffers jolt
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
The much-hyped anti encroachment drive of the local Municipal Corporation suffered a jolt today following a massive protest by the shopkeepers of Jawahar Nagar market, where the demolition squad had gone to remove encroachments.

Officials of the MC kept camping in the area till evening but their efforts proved futile with the shopkeepers raising slogans against the team and not allowing them to perform their duty.

Led by Mr Balkar Singh Brar, Senior Town Planner, three ATPs, heavy posse of police and a JCB machine gathered near the ESI Hospital in Bharat Nagar Chowk to demolish some verandahs constructed by shopkeepers in violations of building bylaws. They ,however, could not succeed as the shopkeepers protested against the drive.

Later the MC team reached Jawahar Nagar market only to face shouting of slogans and a dharna by the shopkeepers. Some of them even came up with some papers claiming that they were paying rent to the local civic body for the verandahs and still the demolition squad had visited there to raze their structures.

Following various rounds of talks between the officials and shopkeepers, the latter promised that they would pull down their structures themselves. Soon after they were seen removing their tarpaulin sheets and other materials only to show the officials that they were following their orders.

After the officials left from the spot, the drive took a backseat again. The encroachers continued to have a field day while the officials claimed from their offices that the demolition drive was going on.

Mr Iqbal Singh, president of the shopkeepers association said there were around 144 shops which were issued notices by the MC some time ago. Their names appeared in the list submitted to the High Court also. He said that the shops were allotted to the riot victims some years ago and claimed that the MC was charging rent from them for using verandahs and other structures.

He added that the officials had asked them to meet the Commissioner, MC tomorrow along with documents to support their claim. He said that the shopkeepers would be meeting him to prove their point. He said they would oppose the demolition tooth and nail.

Today’s protest by the shopkeepers has put the MC in a catch 22 situation. While the deadline of removing the encroachments given by HC is approaching the MC is not able to do anything on the ground.



Journalists manhandled by railway staff
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
Three journalists working for Siti Home were today mercilessly beaten up by some Railways officials and their unauthorised ticketing agents at the railway reservation booking counter at the Ludhiana railway station. While two of them were discharged from the hospital after first aid, the third one is in a critical condition having suffered multiple fractures.

According to Guarav, a reporter with the channel, they received a phone call from the passengers that they were not being given tickets even after waiting for a couple of hours at the ticket counter. Instead, some touts and agents of railway employees would arrange tickets instantly if they were paid some extra money.

When the camera team reached the spot, they were initially resisted by the touts and some b2ooking clerks. Later, about 20 persons believed to be Railway employees and agents, took them inside the booking office and started thrashing them mercilessly. One of the reporters, Sanjay, received serious injuries and his arm got multiple fractures. He was lying unconscious in the Civil Hospital till the filing of this report. The timely intervention of some fellow journalists and the police helped in saving them.

Some of the passengers who were waiting in the queue to get tickets and were witness to the manhandling of the journalists, alleged they themselves had seen people going inside from the backdoor and getting tickets, while they were made to wait. They alleged that almost everybody inside the reservation counter pounced at the journalist as if they wanted to kill them.

There have been frequent complaints from the public that the people do not get tickets in time at the railway reservation counters. They are made to wait for hours together, probably to discourage them from standing in queue and instead approach the agents who arranged tickets instantly after charging about Rs 100 extra, which is allegedly shared by booking clerks and agents amongst themselves.

Having been caught on a wrong foot, the agents and touts, helped by the booking clerks, wanted to snatch the camera of the reporters and when they resisted, they started thrashing them. The scribes were outnumbered and overpowered and kept in illegal confinement by the reservation staff for a couple of hours.

Various social, political and journalists’ associations have condemned the incident and demanded strict action against the guilty.



Police nabs absconding bus driver, conductor
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 4
The Sudhar police has arrested the staff of a private bus involved in a serious accident, at Ludhiana-Raekote road near Sudhar village on Sunday, leaving at least 20 passengers injured, three of them seriously.

The bus had turned turtle after dashing into a workshop causing harm to public property, including an electric pole and a milestone.

It was around 6 pm on Sunday when Kirpal Singh Kala of Gujjarwal, driver of the bus number PB 10 A N 0149 of the Cheema Transport Company, was trying to overtake another bus that the vehicle went out of control.

After smashing a mile stone and an electric pole on the right edge of the road, it dashed into the workshop of Harpreet Motors and turned turtle leaving around 50 occupants rolled over one another. More than 20 of them received injuries.

A police party led by Mr Harjit Singh Brar, DSP, Raekote, and Mr Shawinder Singh Dhillon, SHO, Sudhar, took the injured to Civil Hospital.

Gurinder Kaur of Heran village, Kuljit Kaur Grewal, Prabhjot Kaur, Kulwant Singh, Sukhpreet Singh, Pritam Singh, Gurdev Kaur, Virender Singh, Kala Teli and Burku were admitted to Civil Hospital in Sudhar village while others were given first aid.

The injured alleged that Mr Rajinder Singh, conductor of the bus, was prodding the driver to drive at a higher speed with an intention to get more passengers at an approaching stop.

Sources at Sudhar police station disclosed that Kirpal Singh Kala of Gujjarwal and Rajinder Singh of Purba village, driver and conductor of the bus, respectively, who had fled from the scene had been nabbed by a police party at a naka.



Errors in BSc III physics paper
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 4
Mr Birinder Singh Birdi, Head of the Department of Physics, GGN Khalsa College, has asked that grace marks should be given to students of BSc III as there were errors in physics paper held today.

In a letter written to the Registrar, Panjab University, Chandigarh, he said the equation in question number VII (a), unit IV, was wrong. It confused the students. In another question, relation was written wrong. In question number VIII (a), the theory asked was BCC whereas it should have been BCS theory. These questions were of 17 marks.

Mr Birdi said many students found it difficult to solve the equation whereas others just left these three questions. The students should be given grace marks because they cannot be held responsible for these mistakes.



CBI probe sought into use of fake ST numbers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
The Beopar cell of the BJP today demanded a CBI probe into the alleged transportation of goods from Punjab through Shambu border on fake sales tax numbers. The BJP alleged that the personal assistant of a minister in the Punjab Government was involved in the racket which has cost the state exchequer crores of rupees.

Addressing a press conference here today, the president of the cell, Mr Satpal Gosain, and other BJP leaders alleged that some persons were using the sales tax numbers of another firm for the transportation of goods.

The matter had come to light when SK Narang Hosiery made a formal complaint to the police. An FIR had been registered and some persons were arrested. But Mr Gosain alleged that the accused were let off without any punishment. Mr Gosain said, “Offences of cheating, forgery, fabrication of records and documents and criminal conspiracy to commit fraud with the complainants and the state government were made against them but the police did not take action”.

He added that a case had already been registered against Munish Kumar, Rajesh Kumar and Dharamvir Singh, who were arrested by the police and one of their trucks seized.



Chain fast by Khanna councillors
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 4
Some councillors of the Khanna Municipal Council started a chain fast in protest against the poor sewerage system in the city, at the council complex here today. On the first day, councillor of the ruling Congress Santokh Singh, sat on fast. He was accompanied by residents of his ward.

Councillors of the opposition Mr Vijay Sharma, Mr Dinkar Kalia, Mr Rajinder Jit Singh, M.P. Jassal, Ms Bhupinder Kaur, along with Mr Sarbjit Singh Kalirao, president of the Khanna BJP, also sat with Mr Santokh Singh to express their support to the chain fast.

Mr Sharma said the protest would continue till the council took concrete steps to improve the sewerage in the city.



Auction for market fee contract postponed
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 4
The proposed auction for the market fee contract for the Khanna vegetable market scheduled for April 4 was today postponed due to protests by commission agents and rehriwalas of the vegetable market. The meeting was postponed by the chairman of the market committee in the presence of the District Mandi Officer, Ludhiana.

Around 34 bidders reached the market committee office to participate in the auction. Each had deposited an amount of Rs 6.5 lakh as the earnest money. But the commission agents and reheriwalas reached these and started protesting against the auction. They sat in dharna in front of the gate of the market committee office and started raising slogans against the state government. 



Youth elopes with minor girl, abduction alleged
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 4
A local-youth has allegedly allured a minor girl on the pretext of marriage and abducted her in connivance with his parents when she was on way to meet her maternal grandparents.

The police has registered an FIR under Sections 363, 366 and 120 B of IPC against the youth, Naveen Akhtar, his mother Johri, father Abdul Satar and sister Jawaidan.

Ms Shashi Bala Sharma, a resident of town, alleged that Naveen Akhtar had allegedly abducted her minor daughter Rukmani with the connivance of his parents and sister on Saturday.

Rukmani had boarded a bus from local bus-stand for Nabha on Saturday around 11.15 am but she did not reach the house of her maternal grandparents.

“When my daughter did not reach Nabha till evening, I along with my husband reached Nabha to inquire about her wellbeing. But we got no information about her from Nabha and other towns on the way,” explained Ms Shashi Bala to the police.

As Naveen Akhtar had also been missing since the disappearance of Rukmani, the complainant apprehended that he had allegedly abducted her with the connivance of Abdul Satar, Johri and Jubaidan.

Mr Mukand Singh Mahli, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Malerkotla, said Special Investigation Teams had been constituted under the supervision of Mr Harinder Singh, SHO, City, and Mr Harjinder Singh, SHO, Sadar.

Preliminary investigations by the police revealed that Rukmani and Naveen Akhtar were close to each other. The accused might have exploited the poor economic condition of her parents and allured her on the pretext of marriage.



68 bags of poppy husk seized
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 4
The police claims to have seized 68 bags of poppy husk and arrested a man in this connection. Mr Rajeshwar Singh Sidhu DSP, said in a press conference organised at Sadar Police station Khanna, that the one accused was arrested in the Sadar police station area yesterday while another accused escaped.

Mr Sidhu said under a drive launched to check anti-social elements police patrolling had been intensified. He said during checking a police party led by SHO Khanna Mr Dilbagh Singh and A S I Darshan Singh inquired about a truck parked near a tubewell on a Kutcha road. On search the police found bags filled with poppy husk from the truck. Akarm Mohamad Ali son of Najir Ali a resident of Bahaur Pur Uttar Pardesh arrested. . The driver of the tempo fled away from the spot. Akarm during interrogation said the driver was Jaggi, a resident of Phillaur.

The accused was produced in the Court of Duty Magistrate in Samrala and was sent to police remand.


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