L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Fake currency racket busted; 2 arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 3
The police here today claimed to have busted a fake currency racket by recovering fake bills worth Rs 12,000 besides arresting two gang members.
Those arrested have been identified as Vijay Paswan and Sudama, both from Ghaziabad. Their third accomplice Rohtas Singh is absconding. The police is also on the lookout for their kingpin, Ilaas Tiwari, who was instrumental in supplying fake currency for further circulation. A case under Sections 490A, B, C and 420 of the IPC has been registered against all four accused.

With the busting of this gang, the police has recovered counterfeit currency for the third time in the city. It has, however, not been able to nail the kingpin. In all three cases, the gang members are from Ghaziabad or other parts of Uttar Pradesh.

DSP Satvir Singh, while addressing a press conference, claimed that the arrested members were active in Ghaziabad and were circulating fake currency there. But after the police came to know about their network and their activities suffered a blow, they decided to change their place of operations to Ludhiana.

He claimed that the two accused had claimed that they were getting the supply of fake e currency from Tiwari, who had never visited the city. He was circulating it from Ghaziabad only.

According to him, the police had recovered the currency after receiving a complaint from Mr Jaswinder Singh, a local resident, who had met these accused in Grain Market some days ago. The two had asked for exchanging their notes of smaller denomination, stating that they were potato farmers and notes of higher denomination would come handy to them.

Jaswinder had accepted the notes and could not count them at that time. Later on when he took these out of his pocket to pay a wheat merchant, he saw that these were fake. He complained to the police immediately. The police recovered fake notes of Rs 50 and Rs 100 denomination worth Rs 12,000. There were blank papers also in the wads.

Jaswinder Singh claimed that the accused had claimed that they were willing to sell fake currency worth Rs 1 lakh and offered him a commission also if he helped in striking a deal. He then complained to the police at once and the two accused were nabbed. 



Newly-wed woman dies mysteriously
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 3
Tension prevailed in the local Karnail Singh Nagar area here today following the death of a newly-married woman under mysterious circumstances.
Navdeep Kaur (Pinki), aged 22, who was married to Sarabjeet Singh of Karnail Singh Nagar three months ago breathed her last in the morning after continuously vomiting since yesterday. She was rushed to Preet Nursing Home, form where doctors referred her to Krishna Hospital. There she was declared brought dead at around 7:45 a.m. today.

Following the news of Nawdeep’s death, her parents and relatives, who had come from Jalandhar, protested outside her in-laws’ house. They raised slogans against them and demanded that they should be booked for causing her death. They even came to blows with her in-laws family. The womenfolk, crying inconsolably said that the woman’s in-laws were responsible for her death.

While the in-laws claimed that Pinki had died of bronchitis, her mother said that her daughter had not died a natural death. She claimed that she was either forced to commit suicide or was made to eat some poison laced substance.

She claimed that even if she was suffering from some disease they could have taken her to hospital in time. ‘‘Bronchitis is not a disease that would kill a 22-year-old unless she is not provided medical care,’’ she claimed. She demanded police action against her in-laws.

Meanwhile, The police registered a case under section 306 of the IPC. The cops present on the spot said that they had sent the body for post mortem. They said that her viscera would be sent for chemical examination at the State Forensic Laboratory in Patiala.

They, however, said that the condition of the body did not point towards poisoning. ‘‘In poison cases the nails and face of the victim turn blue. But in her case her face was alright and the nails also retained colour.’’ said Mr Meet Ram, a Merado picket cop. 



Gang of fake tax officials busted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 3
The Focal Point police today claimed to have busted a gang of tricksters, who used to dupe people by posing as sale tax officials and looted them. The police has arrested two members of the gang.

Addressing a press conference here today, DSP R.K. Bakshi said with their arrest a case of Prima Mould Plastic Company, in which some tricksters had decamped with Rs 50,000 by posing as sale tax officials, has been cracked. The police is on the lookout for two more gang members, he added.

The police was also investigating the role of some factory employees who were involved with the gang and gave important inputs about the possible strike, added the DSP. Inspector Navreet Singh, SHO, Focal Point police station, said the nabbed gang members have been identified as Navneet Singh, alias Mannu, and Naresh Kumar. The absconding ones were Jagdeep Singh and Gurmeet Singh.

He said the accused posed as sale tax officials and swooped on Prima Mould Plastic Factory in the area. They sought the ledger and other books and claimed they had found some loopholes. While the factory employees argued that everything was correct the gang members emptied the cash drawer and took away Rs 50,000 and the books saying the staff should contact the sale tax officials for getting them back.

The staff learnt later on that they were fake and filed a complaint with the police.

Fake sales tax officials who were arrested in Ludhiana on Tuesday.



BKU to agitate against directive on headworks
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 3
The Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) has threatened to launch a mass agitation against the directive of the Rajasthan High Court on handing over the control of headworks to the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), saying the decision was unconstitutional and against the interests of farmers of Punjab.

Talking to mediapersons here today, the acting president of the BKU, Mr Manjit Singh Kadian, and Mr Bhupinder Singh Mahesari, general secretary (press), said that an emergent meeting of the working committee had been called here on May 10 to formulate the modalities of the agitation and to mobilise farmers for this purpose.

They said the BKU and all other Punjabis, including the farming community, would never accept the High Court decision to hand over the control of these projects to the BBMB and every attempt would be made by the Punjabis to save the precious water of the state. “Even otherwise, providing Punjab river water to Rajasthan, a non-riparian state, is illegal and against natural justice.”

The BKU leaders further maintained that articles 78, 79 and 80 of the Punjab Reorganisation Act were unconstitutional and needed to be scrapped forthwith. Accordingly, the state of Punjab should retain control of all five headworks. They said it was regrettable that the people of Punjab were debarred from purchasing land in Rajasthan, which was being irrigated with Punjab river waters but the government of that state wanted a larger share of river waters.

They said the proposed agitation by the BKU would make a forceful demand from the government to stop forthwith the free supply of river water to Rajasthan and further to ask Rajasthan to pay for the water which it had received from Punjab. The BKU functionaries reiterated their commitment to safeguard each and every drop of river water that rightfully belonged to this state and made it clear that any decision against the interests of the farmers and principles of natural justice would not be accepted by the people of Punjab.



SDMs urged to speed up economic census work
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 3
Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma has directed all charge officers deputed for the economic census to complete the survey by May 15 and submit the data with the Deputy Economic and Statistical Advisor so that the final report to the Economic Advisor to the Government of Punjab at Chandigarh could be sent by May 31.

He was chairing a meeting of the District Monitoring Committee held at Bachat Bhavan, here today to review the progress of the Economic Census Operations which started from April 1 in the district.

The DC asked all SDMs to accelerate the speed of economic census operations in their subdivisions. Mr Verma said Ludhiana, being the industrial and financial hub of the state, has the maximum number of economic units and the trade and other financial activities are much higher as compared to the other cities. Subsequently, the economic survey of the city would influence the survey of the entire state.

Some charge officers deputed in the city said many government employees deputed for the census operations have not reported daily. On this, the Deputy Commissioner told the Deputy Economic and Statistical Advisor to provide the placement staff and warned that strict disciplinary action as per rules would be initiated against the absentee employees/ teachers.

Mr Verma asked the SDM, Ludhiana East, and the SDM, Ludhiana West, to make extensive supervision of the operations so that every financial unit in the city could be covered under this program. Taking a serious view of the poor performance, i.e below 25 per cent in the areas of some of the charge officers, the Deputy Commissioner directed them to accelerate the speed further so that they could submit the report in time.

Giving more details about the staff deployed for economic census, the Deputy Commissioner said 2117 officers/ officials have been deputed in the entire district for economic census, of which 1,179 have been deputed in the city, 287 in other towns and 651 in rural areas.

Referring to the total no of household units, Mr. Verma said there were 4 lakh households in urban areas and two lakh in rural areas.

Those present included Mr. Sumer Singh Gurjar, ADC(D), Mr M.S. Jaggi, SDM, Ludhiana West, Ms Amrit Gill, SDM, Ludhiana East, Mr Sukhminder Singh, SDM, Jagraon, Mr Prem Chand, SDM, Raikot, Mr T.S. Dhaliwal, SDM, Payal, Mr Baldev Singh, SDM, Samrala and Mr M.S. Grewal, DDPO. 



New Chief Engineer to focus on regular power supply
Tribune News Service

P.K. Aggarwal
Mr P.K. Aggarwal, new Chief Engineer of PSEB, Central Zone. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, May 3
Mr P.K. Aggarwal, who took over as the new Chief Engineer of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), Central Zone, today plans to focus on providing regular power supply to urban and rural consumers.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Aggarwal disclosed that the PSEB would provide temporary tubewell connections to farmers for the paddy season. Applications for the same would be accepted from May 15 to 31 and such connections would be operational by June 10, he said. He also informed that the board had extended the date for getting approvals for regularising tubewell connections till May 31.

He said providing regular power supply to farmers, industrial and residential areas would be the priority.

Besides, improving customer services would be among the key priority areas, he said. “There would be a focus on attending to customer complaints properly.”

Talking about pending bills of government departments towards the electricity board, he said the board had already submitted a proposal to the government to directly credit funds to PSEB from a department’s account at the time of issuing budget grants.

Previously posted at Patiala, Mr Aggarwal disclosed that over 50 per cent of the total disputes from the state originated in Ludhiana. These disputes are primarily related to unauthorised extension of load, clubbing of two connections and thefts.

Mr Aggarwal, who joined the PSEB in 1971, has worked in the distribution segment for almost 20 years. Deputy Chief Engineer V.K. Bhatia, SE (Administration) Mr H.S. Thukral, Deputy Chief Engineer, West Circle, Mr D.B. Arora, Deputy Chief Engineer, East Circle, Mr K.D. Chaudhary, Deputy Chief Engineer, Khanna, Mr Sukhjinder Pal, and SE, sub-urban, H.S. Brar, welcomed the new Chief Engineer.



Property prices shoot up along Ferozepore road
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 3
The new Ludhiana, if there was any, has mainly come up along the Ferozepore road. The reasons are obvious as all ‘posh’ localities like the Gurdev Nagar, Sarabha Nagar, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Aggar Nagar, Rajguru Nagar have come up along this road. Punjab Agricultural University also gives this road a distinct identity.

Local residents maintain that it started with Gurdev Nagar, the oldest of the posh localities and there was no end to it. Interestingly these localities are on the single (left) side of the road when one goes towards Ferozepore. And now the two malls, one at Gurdev Nagar and another at BRS Nagar are all set to change the scene.

A senior bureaucrat, who has served as a Deputy Commissioner here, said it was difficult to see the new and the old Ludhiana on the same plan. The new Ludhiana along the Feroze-pore road, represents modern-day progress with modern amenities. It is well-planned and well laid out. It is also relatively greener. The old Ludhiana remains congested and crowded.

Nobody is able to make out as why Ludhiana grew along Ferozepore road only and not towards Jalandhar, Chandigarh or Delhi. The progress has been drastically slow in the latter areas as compared to Ferozepore road. Ludhiana might have gone further towards Mullanpur, but for the Field Ammunition Depot at Baddowal.

But that is no reason for the property prices not to appreciate. The area remains the most sought after. Although not much land is available and plots in the posh localities have all been sold out, any inch of land is precious. Property dealers hold that the prices are likely appreciate further. “There will be no end and no saturation along the Ferozepore road as it is reflective of the modern day growth of the city”, said a leading real estate dealer.

Although the Pakhowal road is also evincing equal interest, it is likely to take some time more to develop because of a railway crossing which holds up traffic too frequently during the day. But the setting up of the City Centre and the proposed construction of flats by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust may give a boost in the area. But Ferozepore road continues to remain of prime importance. Real estate agents are learnt to be quite bullish particularly when two much acclaimed malls would be completed and become functional.



Decision on fringe benefits tax condemned
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 3
Condemning the Finance Minister’s decision to retain fringe benefits tax, the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry today said the government was only making the taxation system more complex instead of simplifying it.

“The Finance Minister has stated that the total impact of fringe benefits tax would be 1.5 per cent. It is not the quantum of tax, it is the complexity of the system. This tax would be applicable on all businesses, including the small ones. It is parallel to the Income Tax Act so far as the procedure is concerned. Small and medium units will not be able to comply with complicated procedures,” said Mr P.D. Sharma, president of the chamber.

He said industry was working in a highly competititve era by attracting best talent and this trend would be discouraged by the fringe benefits tax.



3 held for ‘setting shop on fire’

Raikot, May 3
Three persons, accused of setting on fire the pesticide shop of Mr Ved Parkash Rawal, a SAD leader and former sarpanch, at Bassian a week ago have been arrested by the police here.

Meanwhile, the youth who was allegedly tortured by the police has been admitted to Civil Hospital at Sudhar village.

Baljit Singh Rangi, former block president of the Youth Congress, Ravinder Singh of Johlan and Paramjit Singh Pamma of Tazpur were arrested by the police from Gill and other villages.

The accused had been evading arrest and the JAC constituted by representatives of various political parties of the area had launched an agitation to impress upon the police to arrest him and his associates. They had threatened to stage a dharna in front of the office of the SSP at Jagraon in case the culprits were not arrested by May 6. Meanwhile a DYFI activist, Mr Bahadur Singh of Kullapatti mohalla, has been admitted to Civil Hospital, Sudhar, for treatment of injuries he had reportedly received during interrogation. OC



Married woman commits ‘suicide’

Jagraon, May 3
A married woman allegedly committed suicide under mysterious circumstances.
Ramandeep Kaur (27), who was married seven years ago to Mr Sikandar Singh, a resident of Rani Wala Khu, Jagraon, had a heated exchange of words with the husband. Feeling frustrated, she set herself ablaze today in the early hours.

Her husband and father-in-law, Mr Nachhattar Singh Sahota, former municipal councillor brought her to the Civil Hospital Jagraon where she died as about 2 p.m. According to Ms Sukhminder Kaur, mother of the deceased, who was present in Civil Hospital, told this correspondent that her son-in-law had illicit relations with some other woman to which her daughter always objected to and even yesterday Mr Sikandar Singh had again gone to see the other woman. On his return a quarrel ensued following which she allegedly committed suicide. OC



Rs 80,000 looted from ‘dera’
Our Correspondent

Samrala, May 3
Certain miscreants looted Rs 80,000, a gun and 24 cartridges from the dera of Mehma Shah in Lopon village, 8 km from here, last night.

Mahant Mohinder Singh said he was sleeping in his dera along with his disciples when some persons scaled the wall and overpowered him. They also caught the ‘sewadars’ and said they wanted to search the dera.

The matter was brought to the notice of the police. No arrest has been made so far.


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