L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Talks on to end Hero Cycles impasse
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
Negotiations between workers and the management of Hero Cycles to resolve the ongoing strike were on till late evening today.

Tough on their stand, the workers, who continued their protest outside the Hero Cycles factory on the GT Road here, said they had been asking the management to provide them with benefits like overtime, PF, etc for the past several months.

“We even submitted them a charter of our demands four months ago, but the management did not pay any heed to it. We are being deprived of the benefits that are due to us,” a union leader said.

While the strike began after a show-cause notice was issued to a worker, the matter was referred to the Labour Department yesterday.

The workers denied allegations levelled against them by the management. They also denied manhandling of a truck cleaner.

“They are portraying a false picture,” said Sukhminder Singh of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU).

The workers raised slogans against the management today. While yesterday they were joined by their counterparts from Hero Cycle’s sister concern , today workers of Hero Cycles protested alone. Several other trade unions supported the protest.

The workers said they wanted the management to take back the suspended workers. They also said they were willing to put an end to their strike.

“We are hopeful that the negotiations would bear some fruit,” said Sukhminder Singh.



3 years on, tainted cop’s kin in net
Wife, 2 relatives held for amassing property
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
Nearly three years after a District Commandant of Home Guards was booked and arrested by the Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau on corruption charges, a team of the bureau today arrested his wife and two other women relatives for conspiring with him for accumulating property allegedly disproportionate to his known sources of income.

The arrested women were Jaswinder Kaur, wife of the official, Daljit Singh, now posted at Patiala, his brother’s wife Dalwinder Kaur and a distant relative, Balwinder Kaur.

They were arrested around 5.30 am from his official residence in Block-J of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar by a team lead by DSP (Vigilance) Sajjan Singh Cheema.

The case has virtually come out of the cold storage as the bureau had been sitting over the case all these years.

According to SSP Vigilance G.S. Dhillon, the women have been booked under Section 120-B of the IPC for conspiring with the accused.

They have been charged with concealing the official’s property. The women have no known source of income to legitimise their assets.

The women were allegedly either sole owners of the property or joint owners with the official.

DSP Cheema said Jaswinder Kaur was remanded in one-day police custody, while the other two were remanded in judicial custody by a Duty Magistrate this afternoon.

Elaborating on the delay in registration of case and action against the women, Mr Cheema said the bureau had been investigating into the matter and had only found evidence against them recently.

The official had filed several writ petitions regarding the allegations, causing delay in the investigation.

Mr Cheema claimed that during questioning by bureau officials the woman had stated that they did not know about the property and Daljit Singh used to complete all formalities.

The bureau was likely to look into their own or joint bank accounts. DSP Cheema said so far the bureau had found evidence of property worth Rs 25.70 lakh owned by the Commandant.

Though the amount was far less than the figure of over Rs 1 crore claimed to be disproportionate by the bureau three years ago, the amount was still huge, DSP Cheema said.

The bureau has sought more time for interrogation of the official’s wife on the ground that it wanted to question her on other properties allegedly owned by the official as well as bank accounts and jewellery.

Daljit Singh was not able for comments. In his earlier statements to the press, he had claimed that he was being falsely implicated and victimised.

On the other hand, the Vigilance Bureau was facing the music for buckling under political pressure and going slow against the official.



3 of family booked for fraud
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 13
The police here has booked three persons, including a women for committing fraud with their relative. The accused woman had transferred residential house belonging to her mother-in-law in the name of her two sons by using cancelled power of attorney. The police has registered a case on the complaint of the sister in law of the accused woman.

According to the police Manjit Kaur Gill wife of Kuldeep Singh, a resident of Jaildar Market Gill Road Ludhiana had complained to SSP Khanna Pramod Ban that the accused Rupinder Kaur who is the wife of her late brother Tirath Singh was given a power of attorney for the residential house measuring 32 marlas (600 square Yards) which was registered in the name of her mother. But later the said power of attorney was cancelled in presence of two witnesses Jasvir Singh son of Kehar Singh resident of Kumkalan and Harminder Singh son of Ajit Singh resident of Ghudani on November 25 of 2002. After cancelling the power of attorney the said house was sold to Manjit Kaur Gill and Kuldeep Singh of Ludhiana by the original power of attorney holder Mrs Balwinder Kaur and Gurtpreet Singh resident of South Hall London.

Surprisingly Rupinder Kaur managed to got registered the house in the name of her two sons Raman deep Singh and Inderjit Singh by showing the cancelled Power of Attorney on August 21st of 2003. Following this Manjit Kaur complained to the SSP Khanna who handed over the complaint to the economic offence wing of Khanna Police. An inquiry was conducted but the accused persons avoided the investigation and never presented before the police. The accused were found guilty of the alleged offence in the inquiry. Following the report a case under Section 420, 406 and 120-B of the IPC at City police station Khanna. No arrest was made till filing of the story.



College functioning under a cloud
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, April 13
A number of people have questioned the way of functioning of the management of Guru Nanak Girls College here. They have demanded a thorough and impartial probe into the way of functioning of the management and also the Principal. In written representations, they have listed several wrongs allegedly committed by the Principal and Management.

Ms Harjit Kaur Sethi, warden-cum-attendant fashion designer of the college, has complained to the SSP and the SHO, Model Town alleging harassment at the hands of the college Principal and the management. In a recent complaint filed against the principal, her husband Mr S.S. Mahal, the president of the managing committee of college, Mr Gurbir Singh, and the Superintendent, Mr Sukhdarshan Singh, Ms Sethi said they had forced her to sign some blank papers on April 9 on the college premises. She feared that these papers might be misused by the Principal, who wanted her to resign from the post of hostel warden.

“When I refused to do so, they threatened me with dire consequences”, she alleged. Ms Sethi, a widow, said she had being working as the hostel warden for the past four years and all of a sudden the Principal asked for her resignation. She alleged that not only she, but hostellers were also being tortured by the Principal. The students (hostellers) were made to pay fines up to Rs 500 for not attending sports day or the anniversary of the late Justice Gurnam Singh.

She alleged that a function was organised in March for which each student was made to pay Rs 100. After all expenses Rs 5,700 were left. “I told the Principal that students wanted the remaining money to be distributed among them equally. Instead, on April 7 she called me at her office and took the money forcibly”, she alleged.

This correspondent spoke to a number of students, who on condition of anonymity, said they were being treated like jail inmates.

“If we do not attend our study periods, heavy punishment is given to us. We do not dare to speak against the Principal”, said a student.

The Principal, Ms Charanjit Mahal, termed these allegations as baseless.

“Ms Sethi is not thoroughly educated. She was asked to provide lectures on moral values to students, but she failed. She was also issued warning letters.

Secondly, the hostellers here are very happy and satisfied. No punishment is given to them at all.

Their level has improved. There are certain elements who are misleading the students, which is wrong”, said Ms Mahal.

Meanwhile, the SHO, Model Town, confirmed that a complaint had been lodged.

He said an inquiry was marked and the report would be submitted within two to three days.



Chadha Group plans Rs 90-cr luxury mall
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
The Chadha Group is planning to invest over Rs 90 crore in building a luxury mall in the city. The mall, named The West End Mall, is likely to come up by January, 2007, said Mr M.S.Chadha, director of the group while addressing a press conference here today.

Mr Chadha informed that the luxury mall, located on the Ferozepore Road, would have a construction area of 4.5 lakh square feet.

The venture would not only bring huge investment towards building the mall, it would also generate huge employment as various national and international companies would be associated with it, Mr Chadha said.

"While we already have luxury malls in Noida, Kaushambi and Lucknow, we wanted to tap the high potential Ludhiana offers," he said.

The mall will house a four-screen cineplex with a seating capacity of 1,200, besides leading national and international retail brands. "Wave cinemas would be the highlight of our mall," Mr Chadha said, adding,"these would ensure an unparalleled movie watching experience to viewers in maximum comfort. Not only would each auditorium be fitted with egronomically designed seats offering wide legroom for comfort, the floors shall be fitted with carpets from Brintons, UK, who are the suppliers of carpets to Buckingham Palace and Queen Mary's Luxury liner."

The company would not hire an outside agency for mall management, Mr Chadha said. He said over 20,000 square feet of space had already been booked.

He disclosed that the group was also planning to come out with luxury malls at Mohali, Amritsar and Jalandhar.



Passing Thru

Kimi Verma, film actress
Kimi Verma, film actress

What is the standing of Punjabi film industry today?

Punjabi films have improved in recent years. Films like Jee aayan noo, Maan vatna da — have been appreciated by all. Technical aspects have also improved. I feel that there are not enough film makers to make good Punjabi movies.

What steps should be taken for the revival of Punjabi cinema?

We need to change the mindset of people here. They do not give due importance to the vernacular cinema. Bengalis make such nice movies. So many Bollywood actresses have turned towards south because they feel that there are chances of growth there. But Punjabis, comparatively are little reluctant. Cinema is cinema. No language is good or bad, it is the style of presentation, that matters. We need to spend more on its revival. There are excellent directors like Manmohan Singh, Manoj Punj but all need support of public.

— Shivani Bhakoo



Accident victim dies in hospital
Police accused of inaction
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
A woman victim of a 10-day-old hit and run case died at CMC hospital today morning with the relatives accusing the police of inaction in the accident case.

Though Paramjit Kaur met with an accident in front of the gate of Police Post, Atam Park on April 3 in morning while she along with her husband was coming back to their house from a gurdwara, neither the Atam Park police post nor Model Town police station took notice of the case and registered a report in this connection.

“When my wife was hit by a speeding car, which sped away, policemen from the Atam Park police post came out. A number of people from surrounding areas also assembled at the spot and took my wife to a local private hospital. I reported to the police that an unknown vehicle has hit my wife”, said Mr Swaranjit Singh Kohli, husband of the deceased with tears in his eyes.

He added that though his wife remained under treatment for days together in a private hospital and was shifted to CMC, no policemen came to him or other relative to proceed in this accident case.

Ms Kaur was first hit by a speeding Maruti car. After Maruti car hit her, she was lifted into the air and then she hit back on the roof of the car and then she fell down in front of the car. The accused driver then ran the car over her legs, which got multiple fractures.

Though she was operated upon twice in a local private hospital, she died today morning.

Mr Pavittar Singh, In charge, Police Post, Atam Park, said that neither he nor the ‘munshi’ of the post received any information in connection with any road accident on April 3.

He added that private doctor, who treated also did not inform the police before handling the accident case despite the fact that that doctor was bound to inform the police station concerned in whose jurisdiction the accident had taken place.

He added that as some of the area located in front of the Atam Park police post fell under the jurisdiction of Model Town area police station so it was the duty of Model Town area police station to handle this case.

However, Mr Rajesh Kumar, Station House Officer (SHO), Model Town police station, said that his police station had nothing to do with that accident which took place in front of the Atam Park police post as it fell under the jurisdiction of Atam Park police post.

Dr N. D. Awasthi, in whose hospital Ms Kaur was treated and operated upon, said that he did not inform the police about the accidents as the kin of the deceased gave in writing that they did not want any police case in that connection.

He added that when the accident had taken place in front of the gate of police post, the police official concerned should have registered a report in that connection instead of waiting an information from any doctor.

He said that though the victim was operated upon twice in his hospital and was recovering fast, the things went wrong after a reaction took place in deceased’s body after she was given blood.

He added that victim was shifted to CMC as she was to be saved from ill-effects of the reaction of blood transfusion.



Daily wager alleges unjust demolition
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, April 13
A daily wager, residing in Ward No 12 of the municipal council, has alleged unjust demolition of his compound wall by council employees without serving any notice on him for the same.

Raj Kumar ‘Kaka’, resident of Balmik Mohalla of Doraha village, that has been converted into Ward No 12, has complained that the council employees demolished the compound wall in his absence on Thursday evening.

He alleged that inspite of repeated requests by his wife and children, the employees continued demolishing the wall. “Not only this, they took away the material lying near the wall that I had brought for the purpose of constructing a room on the plot. The material included iron costing Rs 20,000 to 22,000, 2,000 bricks, two wooden doors, two windows, etc. I had earlier told the council authorities that I was ready to pay the fees of erecting the wall through my lawyer on April 6. I had given an application too in this regard but to no avail,” he added.

“This is being done to settle old scores as I had once lodged a complaint against one of the employees of the council to the Vigilance Department, that sadly eludes any action by the latter, “ he said.

He told this correspondent that the matter had been reported to the police but no action had been taken so far.

Mr Surinder Pal Sood, acting MC chief, however, said, “Earlier the area was a panchayat land. Since the village came under Ward No 12 of the committee, many illegal encroachments had to be removed. The compound wall that has been demolished in no way belonged to Raj Kumar, rather it was the encroachment that has been removed and that too in the presence of senior officials of the council and residents of the area.”

“Moreover, a 24-hour prior notice had been served to Raj Kumar. When he refused to comply with the orders, the steps had to be taken,” he added.

Mr Sood said a plan was being made to remove the encroachments on the main market road in front of the shops in the coming week to get rid of traffic chaos.



Vimukt Jatis seek quota in jobs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
The All-India Tribe Dal today urged the central government to implement the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in connection with rights of the Vimukt jatis failing which it would approach the Supreme Court.

Rana Bawa Singh Sansi, president of the Dal, in a press note issued here today, pointed out that though the NHRC had made recommendations that 7.5 per cent reservation in government jobs be provided to the Scheduled Tribes, including Vimukt Jatis in 1996, these had not been implemented so far by the successive governments at the Centre.

He pointed out that though the Congress government at the Centre had promised Vimukt Jatis in writing that they would be “freed from the menace of unemployment,” it had failed to do so.

He added that though he had made representations to Congress leaders, including the AICC chief, Ms Sonia Gandhi, in this connection, nothing concrete had been done so far.

He said if no action was taken in favour of Vimukt Jatis by May 15, they would approach the Supreme Court.



Nagar Kirtan marks Baisakhi celebrations
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 13
A nagar kirtan was taken out from Kalgidhar gurdwara in the old city here today to mark the festival of Baisakhi and the day of birth of the Khalsa panth.

Devotees in large numbers, including women, school children, band parties and gatka parties, volunteers of Istri Akali Dal, Bir Khalsa Dal took part in the nagar kirtan which passed through Field Ganj, Jail Road, Clock Tower, Chaura Bazar and Division No 3 Chowk in the city before concluding at Kalgidhar gurdwara in the evening.

‘Panj Piaras’ accompanied by other Panthic leaders including Mr Gurcharan Singh, president, Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Kalgidhar, Baba Ajit Singh and Mr Hira Singh Gabria, former legislator, Bhai Rajinder Singh, Mr Balwinder Singh Bains and Mr Kanwal Inder Singh, all members of the SGPC led the nagar kirtan, which was accorded warm reception by Sikh sangat along the way. The entire route was decorated with gates and buntings and several religious, social, cultural bodies as well as market associations had put up ‘langars’ and chabeels at different places.

Earlier, in the gurmat samagam at the Gurudwara, Bhai Gurbachan Singh, Hazoori Ragi and Giani Puran Singh, Former Granthi of Darbar Sahib with a large number of other Panthic leaders addressed a religious congregation and dwelt upon the tradition of Nagar Kirtans on important days in Sikh history.



Bank staff resent denial of holiday on Baisakhi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
Bank employees today condemned the Punjab government’s decision of denial of holiday on Baisakhi.

Dr Shiv Gupta, general secretary, Indian National Trade Union Congress, Punjab, said the government should have declared a holiday on the occasion of Baisakhi, which was celebrated by all.

“It is surprising that the Central government has declared a holiday but the stubborn Punjab government officials have misguided the Chief Minister and the labour minister, who have hurt religious sentiments of general public by not declaring a holiday,” said Mr K.R.Tripathi, president, Indian National Bank Employees Congress (INBEC), in a press note today.

The association also condemned the state government for allowing only 14 gazetted holidays for government and bank employees.

Demanding a uniform pattern of holidays for all institutions, they said: “Though there is a provision for seven holidays out of the 32 restricted holidays for Punjab government employees, no such provision has been made in case of banks, LIC, GIC and employees of several financial institutions.”



Staff sore over non-implementation of demand
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 13
The Punjab PWD (B & R) Supervision Staff Association has expressed its concern over the non-implementation of the demand for granting designation of supervisor under different categories, which was already accepted in principle by the state government.

Presiding over a meeting of the association here today, the state president of the association, Mr Amarjit Singh Sodhi, said there was widespread resentment over indifferent attitude of the government towards many other demands of the supervision staff of the PWD, which included grant of fixed allowance at par with junior engineers (JEs), promotion of qualified employees to the post of JE and the policy of privatisation of many government departments.

Earlier, Mr Lakhwinder Singh and Mr Prem Kumar Badhan were elected president and general secretary respectively of the district unit of the body. The other office-bearers are: Senior vice-president — Mr Ranjit Singh; vice-presidents — Mr Malkiat Singh, Mr Tarlochan Singh and Mr Nirmal Singh; cashier — Mr Ramesh Chand; assistant cashier — Mr Pritpal Singh; assistant secretary — Mr Pawan Kumar; chief adviser — Mr Kuldip Singh Mangat; auditor — Mr Naresh Kumar; and members of the executive committee — Mr Malkiat Singh Sandhu, Mr Tilak Raj, Mr Sarbjit Singh and Mr Harjiwan Singh.



Shopkeepers want road repaired
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
Delay in the recarpeting of link road in front of Preet Palace cinema is irking shopkeepers, who said that the road was lying dug up for the past five months.

A delegation of shopkeepers of the area, in their complaint to the zonal commissioner of the Municipal Corporation, claimed that the contract of recarpeting of road was given to S.K. Construction Company some months ago. The MC had cancelled the contract following complaints that the contractor was not following to rules and regulations of the civic body.

“Since then our road is demanding immediate attention. It is dug up at certain places. During rains water gets collected and it enters our shops and offices. We have complained to various authorities but to no avail,’’ said Mr Yogesh Dewan, a shopkeeper.

They said that as the work was lying incomplete they had to face harassment daily as it was not easy to commute on the road. They demanded that the contract of the road should be given again to some good contractor who would act and recarpet the road.

“We are waiting since November last year. Whenever we go to them they say that it was a long procedure as tenders would have to be reinvited and contract would be allotted afresh. We have been sitting silently since then but now we are too harassed.”



Residents ask MC to repair roads
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 13
Residents of the local Lalheri Road have urged the authorities to immediately repair the road, which is in bad condition.They had presented a memorandum in this regard to the municipal council. They alleged that the council had not repaired the road despite promise to do in a year.

A former councillor and BJP leader, Mr Jaspal Singh Lotey, who lodged a complaint with the council said one year ago a contractor was asked to lay telephone cables. The residents had opposed it. But the council authorities had stated that the road would be repaired immediately after the telephone department ends its work. But even after one year the repair work had not been carried out and the condition of the road has worsened.



Woman held with poppy husk
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 13
Balbir Kaur, alias Beeru, of Shehbazpura was arrested by the Jalaldibal police near her village and 53.4 kg of poppy husk seized from her possession. A case under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act has been registered at the Raikot police station .

Illicit liquor seized

The Sidhwanbet police in two separate incidents seized 22.680 litres of illicit liquor along with a scooter. Daula Singh of Baghian was arrested from his village with 9.750 liters of illicit liquor and a case registered under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of Excise Act. In the second incident, two scooterists were intercepted by the police near Bhamal village but both of them fled abandoning their scooter, which had no number. As many as 12.930 litre of illicit liquor was seized, from the scooter. The two were identified as Manjit Singh and Kalu of Kania village. A case under Excise Act has been registered.

Theft case

The local police has registered a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC on a theft charge against Hakam Singh alias Chhura and Balwinder Singh, alias Nikka, of Deewana on the complaint of Harchand Singh of Manuke for allegedly stealing a gas cylinder and a gas stove after breaking the lock of a school about two and half months ago. No arrest has been made so far.


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