L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rs 4.06 lakh looted from bank
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 18
Three unidentified armed miscreants robbed Rs 4.06 lakh and two rifles from the Kanganwal branch of the Punjab National Bank, but swift and coordinated action by the Sangrur and Jagraon police made them abandon the car and the guns at a deserted place near Maherna village today. It was later learnt that the vehicle used for the robbery had been stolen from Chhajjewal village under Jagraon police station. The police has started a combing operation to nab the robbers and recover the booty.

Inadequate security arrangements were the reason for the robbery, claimed the police. The loss could have been much more if the miscreants were not in a hurry to get away.

According to the police, three youths — one of them turbaned — armed with pistols entered the bank at 11.45 am and asked the two security guards to part with their guns. The intruders then asked everybody present in the bank to raise their hands, and asked the bank officials to hand over the cash to them. After snatching Rs 4.06 lakh from the cashier they fled towards Maherna side.

The police reached the spot immediately and informed the district police at Sangrur and the adjoining Jagraon police district. As the number of the vehicle used in the robbery was already with the police stations falling in both the districts, the robbers succumbed to the pressure and abandoned the vehicle at a deserted place near Maherna village in Sangrur district. The police also recovered two guns from the car that had been snatched from the bank guards.

After recovering the vehicle, the police focused their attention on around fifteen villages situated on the border of the two police districts. The police apprehend that the robbers might have taken shelter in some of the villages or some farmhouse. No arrests have been made so far.

Preliminary police investigations revealed that inadequate security arrangements at the bank emboldened the miscreants to commit robbery. “The two guards posted at the bank were not capable of repulsing any attack. Though they had guns they posed no resistance to the robbers. One of the guards was so feeble that he could not even walk properly,” said Mr Harjinder Singh Sandhu, SP (D), Sangrur.

Mr Dharam Pal, SHO, Jagraon, said that the car used by the robbers was taken away forcibly from Mr Sanjiv of Akhara village by them.

Mr K.K. Verma, Manager of the bank, said the guards had been deputed according to the bank norms. He confirmed that a client had deposited around Rs 9 lakh immediately after the robbers had left the bank. This cash was saved as the depositor had remained in his vehicle after noticing the robbery being taking place.



No trace of missing youth
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 18
The Jagraon police is yet to identify the anonymous caller who had rung up the family of a youth of Ghuman village in Ludhiana district who had been missing under mysterious circumstances since April 25 when he had left for Chandigarh on his motor cycle. Mr Amandeep Singh Ghuman had left for Chandigarh on his motor cycle (PB 10 AZ 2150) on April 25 but he did not reach his destination nor did he return home.

According to Mr Parvinder Singh Ghuman, a cousin of the youth, Amandeep had talked to his family on the telephone on the same day saying that he had reached Chandigarh but he did not reach his destination. The family had to shuttle between police stations located in various districts to register a case as the place where he went missing was not certain. Ultimately the Sudhar police registered a case under Section 364 and 34 of IPC on May 13. The case was registered on the directions of SP (D) who had received an application from the family of Amandeep.

Preliminary investigation by the CIA staff revealed that an anonymous caller had rung up the family that Amandeep had been seen at Nanaksar in a dharamshala. When members of the family reached room number 403 at Mahanta Da Dera the hoax caller asked them to reach a rivulet, where Amandeep was reportedly seen standing.

As there was no caller ID on the telephone of the missing youth, the police doubt whether Amandeep could have told them correctly that he had reached Chandigarh. Amandeep, an engineering graduate, was married to Sukhjinder Kaur, an NRI daughter of Mr Darshan Singh of Kila Hans on September 26, 2004. His wife had already left for Canada and Amandeep was preparing to go there.



Girl dies in wall collapse
Our Correspondent

Khanna, May 18
A girl student of Holy Heart Public School died, while her sister received injuries, when a boundary wall of a shop collapsed and the debris hit the students who were going to the school at the local Laheri road today morning. A third girl accompanying them escaped unhurt.

The incident occurred near the school premises. The injured student has been admitted to the Civil Hospital and is stated to be out of danger. The deceased has been identified as Monika (6), a student of UKG, and injured Seema (11), a student of Class V, daughters of Jinder Pal Manro who died last year.

The police has registered a case under Sections 304 -A and 338 of the IPC against Harchand Singh, owner of the shop, Gurmit Singh, mason, Sanjiv Kumar and Munish Kumar, owner of the Balle Balle Musical group, and Municipal authorities, Khanna.



20 vehicles catch fire
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 18
More than 20 impounded vehicles caught fire under mysterious circumstances outside the traffic police office situated in the local Police Lines today. However, a major tragedy was averted as the fire was controlled timely.

The fire brigade officials succeeded in controlling the fire with the participation of cops present there.

The incident caused panic among people, who had gone to the traffic police office in connection with traffic challans. Later talking to mediapersons, the SP (Traffic), Mr Gurdial Singh, said that the exact cause of fire was yet to be ascertained. Probably the fire was caused due to a burning match stick or cigarette thrown by someone.



Sewadar held for rape bid

Khanna, May 18
The police arrested Om Nath, a sewadar of Dera Chobdaran, for allegedly trying to rape a married woman, here today.
According to the police, Kamaljit Kaur, a resident of Uttam Nagar locality, had complained that she was a follower of Sant of Dera Chobdaran.

She met Om Nath there who lured her to Khanna with her family. On Tuesday, Om Nath forcibly entered her house and tore her clothes and tried to rape her. He also beat her up. When residents of the area reached at the spot Om Nath escaped. She was admitted to Civil Hospital, Khanna. The police has registered a case. OC



Improvement Trust turns blind eye to Rajguru Nagar
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, May 18
Rajguru Nagar is a prestigious residential colony on Ferozepore road developed by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust. The authorities of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust feel that their job is over with the development of the colony and now they have no responsibility to provide basic civic amenities.

The roads of the colony are in a bad shape and large size potholes are found on all major roads. The sanitary conditions of the colony are very poor and there is no satisfactory arrangement for cleaning of the streets and roads. The Improvement Trust authorities have deployed a small number of sweepers who clean only certain specific areas and the main roads remain dirty. There are no arrangements to lift garbage. The residents have themselves made their arrangement for disposal of garbage.

The Improvement Trust has failed to provide proper drainage to the colony and during the monsoon season, the rain water stagnates on roads for days together causing difficulties to the people.

The Improvement Trust authorities constructed footpaths along the main road starting from Ferozepore road and wasted lakhs. The residents have not been able to make out for what purpose these footpaths were constructed when the same are not being used by pedestrians. As a matter of fact, these footpaths cannot be used by pedestrians.

The Improvement Trust authorities waste huge sums of money on fixing tree guards in the colony every year.

The Improvement Trust authorities have, however, provided some parks with good lights. But again there is no arrangement for the maintenance of those parks. Some residents have collected money to maintain the parks.

In some areas of the colony, the residents collect monthly payment for walking into the parks being maintained by them. This is again violation of the basic rights.

Women of the colony are maintaining parks along the main highway in front of their flats and the Improvement Trust has no contribution in the same at all.

The colony is full of wild growth of congress grass and other plants and the Improvement Trust authorities have been approached a number of times to clean the same. But so far no steps have been taken. These wild plants and congress grass are full of snakes during the rainy season.

The colony is witnessing construction of houses on a large scale and some residents are encroaching upon main roads and taking unauthorised connections of water and sewerage.

The debri of the house under construction is also dumped alongside the roads making the same congested.

The colony has also started witnessing crime like snatching of purses and gold chains in the recent past. The police authorities need to intensify patrolling by PCR personnel.

The residents have approached the Chairman and the other senior functionaries of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust for getting their difficulties redressed but they are not ready to listen at all.

The trust authorities seem to be interested only in looking after the ‘major projects’ like city centre and some commercial areas which bring them revenue.

They are seldom seen in the colony checking unauthorised constructions or listening to problems of the residents.

The Rajguru Welfare Society which is a registered body has failed to take up difficulties of the residents with the authorities concerned. The society, as a matter of fact, is faction ridden and the members are engaged in leg-pulling. The residents strongly feel that the office-bearers should voluntarily quit and allow some well meaning persons to come forward. The residents hope that the office-bearers will listen to their call at least.



CM urged to get Rajasansi airport upgraded
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 18
Mr N.S. Nanda, president, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Punjab, has congratulated Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, and Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Tourism Minister, on the resumption of Air India, New Delhi-Amritsar-Toronto flight after about 20 years. He said it was a long pending demand of the Indians residing in Canada, which would now give a boost to tourism in the state.

He urged the Chief Minister and the Tourism Minister to get Guru Ram Dass Rajasansi Airport upgraded, its runway length increased and other renovation work completed, for which the Union Government had already sanctioned Rs 80 lakh.

Mr Nanda stressed the need to promote eco, religious and rural tourism in Punjab. He suggested that Quila Mubarak at Patiala, the Gobindgarh Fort at Amritsar, other old forts of Bathinda, Nabha and Ludhiana should be renovated and developed for art, culture, heritage and rural tourism. He suggested the opening of food streets and night bazaars to promote ‘night tourism’ as had been done in Lahore, Pakistan.

He welcomed the decision of the state government to open a tourist information centre and suggested that the centre may be opened at Ludhiana.

Mr Nanda said he would invite Mian Mohammad Aslam Iqbal, Tourism Minister, West Punjab, Pakistan, as the guest of honour along with a delegation of 15 prominent hoteliers of Pakistan to attend the “tourism seminar” for the development of tourism in both Punjabs.



Tribune impact
Help flows for boy afflicted with polio
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, May 18
In response to an appeal in Ludhiana Tribune on May 17 for financial assistance to polio-afflicted student Surjit Singh to enable him pursue his career, the district administration and a number of other organisations have come forward to sponsor him.

Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, has asked Surjit Singh to continue with his ambition to learn computer designing from any institute and the administration will pay for his studies. Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Verma said,”We are ready to sponsor him. He can start with his course and we will pay to the computer centre,” he said.

Besides the administration, the Association of Government College for Boys has also come forward to help him. Mr Daljinder Singh, secretary of the association, said that Surjit could go ahead with the desired course and the association would deposit his fees with the computer institute.

Mr I.V. Thamman of the Brotherhood Society said that if his was a genuine case, the society would stand by him and provide him the needed money of Rs 4000.

Mr Amit Gupta of the Maya Academy of Advance Cinematic, Ferozgandhi Market, has offered Surjit Singh the computer designing course at his centre free of cost.

Another local resident, Mr Anurag, who has his printing unit in Daresi, has also showed his willingness to sponsor 23-year-old polio-afflicted Surjit Singh. He said,”We are willing to accommodate him. He can contact us”, he said.

Asked about his preference, Surjit said,”I have no words to express myself. The city has no dearth of samaritans. I will try my best to come up to the expectations of all”.

It may be mentioned here that Surjit is unable to walk but wants to be financially independent. He has six young sisters Surjit feels that he should share the burden of the family with his brother, who had also lost his job recently. This year he took exams of BA III at SCD Government College with political science, economics and elective Punjabi as subjects.



Labour-management deadlock continues
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 18
The impasse between the workers and management of KW Rims India, KW Engineering Works and Wasan Engineering Corporation continued and the meeting that was scheduled to be conducted at Labour Office here today, was postponed as the management expressed fear that the workers could get violent. The management demanded that the meeting be conducted at a neutral place.

The workers went on strike after the management charge-sheeted a few workers. While CITU maintained that it was the management that was not letting them in and that the workers were not observing strike, the management and Labour Department officials said the workers were protesting as the management had turned down their demand for a hike in increment.

“They are demanding an undue hike from Rs 125 to Rs 500, which is not possible. What is worse is that workers misbehave and spoil the working environment instead of negotiating matters,” said Mr B.D. Arora, legal representative for the companies.

Workers, on the other hand, said the management was levying baseless allegations and had suspended them. “The matter related to the increment was resolved on the evening of May 16. But the following morning, they put up a list of workers outside the factory gates saying that workers had been suspended. Now workers are willing to work but it is the management that is not letting them in,” CITU vice-president, Punjab, Mr Jatinder Pal said.

Mr Arora agreed that 51 workers had been charge-sheeted, but said that it was the issue of increment that had been raised. “Undue hike is not possible as there has been a fall in production. Besides, demands should be reasonable.”

Following the strike, a meeting between the workers and management was scheduled for today. However, the meeting did not take place as the management refused to attend meeting at Labour Office.

“The meeting has been fixed for tomorrow at the office. It is not possible to conduct it at any other venue as it would stall other work,” an official said. 



‘Thikri pehras’ in Khanna police dist
Our Correspondent

Khanna, May 18
Under a special drive launched against robbers and other anti-social elements on the directions of SSP Khanna Naunihal Singh, police-public meetings were organised in all three subdivisions of Khanna police district which concluded on Sunday.

The SSP, SPs and DSPs of their respective areas addressed the meetings. He said as a result of these meetings, ‘Thikri pehras’ had been started in all 315 villages of Khanna police district.

Mr Dilbagh Singh, SP (D) Khanna, while addressing mediapersons said eight nodal points were identified to conduct the meetings.

The meetings were attended by Sarpanches and Nambardars beside the general public. The public was made aware of self-defence technique.



Police to ensure smooth traffic
Tribune News Service

Khanna, May 18
The Khanna police will focus on ensuring smooth traffic flow and reducing accident rate on the National Highway No. 1 passing through the town apart from exploring the pros and cons of starting the verification of tenants and migrant labourers in near future.

Mr Naunihal Singh, SSP, Khanna Police district, has asked public and mediapersons to send their suggestions to him about improving traffic management, including specific problems of spot and general policing.



Reliance launches zero rental plans

Ludhiana, May 18
Reliance Infocomm today introduced two zero rental plans, New Joy 299 ZR and New Joy 649 ZR. According to the company, the benefit in these plans is that subscribers get free intra-circle calls worth entire monthly rental making them virtually zero-rental. CLIP and Plan charges of Rs25 each apply like they do to all Joy plans of Reliance.

Under the new plans, intra-circle calls to all Reliance phones cost 50 paise per minute, while those to non-Reliance phones cost Rs1.50 per minute under New Joy 299 ZR, and Re.1 per minute under New Joy 649 ZR.

The company has also announced that from now on all new subscribers will automatically get STD (Subscribers Trunk Dialing) facility immediately on address verification. “The automatic activation of the NLD facility is aimed at customer convenience,” Mr Bajaj added. TNS



BSNL launches broadband service
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 18
The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) formally launched its broadband service in the city here yesterday to mark World Telecommunication Day.

Announcing this in a press conference, Mr G.S. Julka, General Manager, Ludhiana Telecom, informed that the service named Data One, would offer band width of 256 KBPS under different plans. The broadband service would be available on existing land line connections for surfing and downloading from the Internet.

Mr Julka said the department had received nearly 3000 applications for Data One and four connections had already been received. The service was currently available at Bharat Nagar and BRS Nagar telephone exchanges while it would be offered at several other city exchanges and secondary service areas in a phased manner.


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