L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


58-year-old woman murdered
Police clueless about the crime
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Mangli Nichi (Ludhiana), May 27
Wife of a Kuwait-based NRI man was found murdered under highly mysterious circumstances in her house in this village today morning. The woman was strangulated to death.

The deceased, Harjit Kaur (58), wife of NRI Bhag Singh who lives in Kuwait, seemed to have undergone a lot of pain before she died as struggle marks were found on her bed. The murderers looked to have tied her legs, arms and her mouth to mute her cries.

While the ghastly act went on her 4-year-old granddaughter slept by her side on the same bed. The same was the case with his two sons and their wives who were sleeping in two adjacent rooms in the house.

Despite much head scratching and examination of clues from the crime scene, the police remained unable to decide from where the assailants entered the room.

The motive of the crime was probably not robbery as only Rs 1200 was found missing from the room with the jewellery worn by the woman found in tact. No effort was made to break open the almirah or enter the other rooms in the house.

The number of assailants was also not clear. The police found a pair of boots and chappals in the kitchen garden of the house suggesting that at least two persons were involved. Finger prints found from the room do not corroborate the theory, police sources said.

SP, Detective, Gurpreet Singh said the crime was very puzzling as none of the family members heard any cry. Further, he said, the assailants did not seem to be robbers as the jewellery worn by the woman was not removed.

A dog squad pressed into service by the police led the cops in the backyard of the house and then over the boundary wall and finally the sniffer dogs stopped near a car. The police said the assailants could have used this place to leave or enter the house.

Sources said a door and a window of the room seemed to have been opened from inside. There are several confusing signs in the room which suggest the crime scene could have been made up to mislead the police, sources said.

Pavneet Kaur, the 4-year-old grand daughter, was in a state of shock and was unable to tell anything to the police. She only said that she neither heard nor saw anything. One son of the deceased woman is in a hardware business besides running a PCO booth.

Her husband Bhag Singh had gone to Kuwait a month ago after spending a few weeks here.

The family members claimed that they do not suspect anyone as they had no personal enmity with any person.



Protesters block highway over youth’s murder
Tribune News Service

Protesters block National Highway No. 1, near Jalandhar bypass, in protest against the murder of a youth in broad daylight, in Ludhiana on Friday
Protesters block National Highway No. 1, near Jalandhar bypass, in protest against the murder of a youth in broad daylight, in Ludhiana on Friday. — Photo by Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, May 27
While no person in the New Veer Singh market has come forward to stand as witness to the broad daylight murder of a youth, killed by six persons yesterday afternoon, hundreds of persons, including a large number of women, staged an hour-long dharna on the Ludhiana-Jalandhar stretch of National Highway No. 1, bringing traffic to a halt.

The demonstration was reportedly triggered after rumours of release of three of the six accused who were arrested yesterday started making rounds. The police had a tough time convincing the protesters that none of the accused had been released.

It was only after a lot of effort that that protesters were convinced and they lifted the dharna.

SHO, Salem Tabri, Arvind Puri said the police had arrested three of the accused — Kaka, Sajid and Shekhar — while the other three — Ashraf, Veeru and Neta — were still at large.

Abdul Shakir, one of the leaders leading the protest, said they were demonstrating against the abject “failure” of the law and order. He said the youth was murdered in broad daylight as the accused had no fear of the law.

However, the police said it had acted swiftly and arrested the three accused within hours of the crime.

Meanwhile, police investigations have revealed that main accused Sajid and victim Peter Masih were in love with a girl and both were trying to woo her, which led to the rivalry.

Sources said the girl was close to both.



Fleecing by PCO owners continues
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 27
The PCO holders in the city continue to fleece the customers while the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) authorities have failed to initiate regulatory steps against them despite repeated representations and complaints.

The common complaints of the city residents who avail of the services of PCO’s were overcharging for local calls at the rate of Rs 2 as against the departmental rate of Rs 1.32, addition of service charges when a customer dialled an outside number in the same circle with ‘95’, rounding off the total charges to nearest rupee and fax charges in excess of those fixed by the BSNL.

At times, the complaining customers had to face rude behaviour and highhandedness at the hand of PCO owners and there had been quite a few incidents when the customers were even physically assaulted.

In a written complaint made to the General Manager of Telecom, Ludhiana, copies of which had also been sent to Chief General Manager, Punjab Telecom circle at Chandigarh and the CMD of BSNL at New Delhi, Mr Sher Singh, president of Northern Railway Pensioners’ Association has alleged that the defaulting PCO holders claimed to be enjoying the patronage of certain senior officers of the department, who were said to be in hand in glove with them.

He further stated that despite a number of written complaints made to the senior BSNL officials, the internal vigilance wing of the public sector telecom company failed to move into action. “In spite of the fact that specific instances of over charging were provided in the complaints, a couple of vigilance officers had visited my house way back in March 2005 but that was that and no further action appears to have been taken to curb the malpractices by the PCO holders.”

Mr Sher Singh wondered as to what the vigilance wing of BSNL was doing in the wake of widespread reports of fleecing, misbehaving and committing other irregularities by the PCO holders in the city. Demanding immediate regulatory measures against the erring PCO holders, he called for evolving such mechanism under which the PCO owners should be made accountable and the BSNL services could be made more customer-friendly.



Student union joins ITI protesters
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 27
Students of ITI, Ghumar Mandi, continued their protest against the suspension of their Principal, Tejinder Singh, by staging a protest rally on the second day today from Ghumar Mandi to mini secretariate.

The students got a shot in the arm when students of the Punjab Students Union joined them in their protest and walked along with them in the march.

They handed over a memorandum, addressed to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, to the Deputy Commissioner.

They maintained that the suspension of their Principal was unjustified.

They alleged that the Principal was suspended as he had raised his voice against bureaucrats and higher-ups and refused to vacate the ITI premises.

The students said Principal Tejinder Singh had raised his voice against the owners of the property who seemed to have links to influential people. The property was worth crores and some politicians were trying to get it vacated, they said.

Union leader Navjoot Dhoot alleged that on the one hand the Capt Amarinder’s government was trying to fight corruption, on the other members of his party were only encouraging it.

The ITI building is built on four acres. The students in their memorandum have asked the Chief Minister to restore the Principal.



Scrap CET from this year, demands forum
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 27
The Public Cause, a forum for voicing common problems of people, has rubbished the claims of Punjab Technical University (PTU) that it got more applications this time than the number of seats available. The forum has alleged that claims staked by the PTU authorities are nothing but an image-building exercise.

Mr A.K. Bhandari, general secretary of the Public Cause, said are increase in the number of applications was merely a propaganda to justify the conduct of CET 2005 on June 3. “But one fails to understand that when the authorities have already admitted to scrap CETs from 2006, why are they holding it in 2005. How will they justify that CET will be redundant in 2006, but is relevant in 2005”, asked Mr Bhandari.

Mr Bhandari said the fairness of things demand that CET 2005 should be scrapped to save the avoidable expenditure of parents and tension of students.



Richa tops BBA(I) exam
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 27
Students of Khalsa College for Women, Civil Lines, brought laurels to the institution by bagging the top three positions in BBA (I) examination of Panjab University.
The BBA students secured first, second, third, sixth and 10th positions in the university.

According to a press note, Richa Arora topped the university by securing 79.33 per cent marks. Nishita Mehra came second by securing 78.67 per cent marks and Niharika Ahluwalia third by securing 77.47 per cent marks.

Ragini Khanna bagged sixth position in the university with 75 percent followed by Priyanka Mehan who came 10th with 74.13 per cent marks.

Five out of 10 university positions are bagged by the students of Khalsa College for Women.

Principal Varinder Kaur Thind congratulated the staff and students for the results.



Desecration of Koran condemned
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
The All-India Majlis Ahrar Islam Hind has condemned the desecration of the Koran allegedly by US soldiers inside a jail in Iraq where some Afghan prisoners were being interrogated. The majlis held a meeting at Jama Masjid after the weekly Friday prayers.

The speakers alleged that the US forces were acting in vengeance against the Muslims. They said the USA had unleashed a terror campaign and started a genocide against the Muslims. They observed that the USA was trying to make out as if the entire Muslim world supported the violence.

Presiding over the meeting, the president of the Indian Muslim Council, Punjab, Maulana Attiq-u-Rehman, warned that this would prove counterproductive to the Americans as the Muslims were feeling alienated because of the US hostility. He alleged that even the United Nations had failed in its responsibility and was playing into the hands of the USA.



Residents ask PSEB to reduce power cuts
Our Correspondent

Doraha, May 27
Resdents of the town have asked the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) to reduce the duration of power cuts. Mr Jagdeep Kaushal, vice-president, All-India Federation of Democratic Youth, said the frequency of power cuts in the town was on the increase. “Due to rise in temperature, power cuts led to sleepless nights and business also suffered during daytime.

Mr Lakhwinder Singh Buani, district general secretary, MCPI, and Mr Pritam Singh Jaggi of the Kariyana Merchants Association have demanded that the electricity board should minimise the power cuts so that shopkeepers and other businessmen might not have to suffer losses on account of this.



Bhindrawale’s memorial demanded
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
The Sikh Students’ Federation (Mehta) group today demanded the setting up of a memorial to the late Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale, saying that he was one of the greatest martyrs of the Sikh panth who deserved to be remembered and honoured. The federation said, it was ready to shoulder the responsibility of setting up of the memorial.

Addressing a press conference after attending a meeting here today, the president of the federation, Mr Gurcharan Singh Grewal and other leaders asserted, “Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale was one of the greatest martyrs of the Sikh panth”. He said he had been denied his rightful due.

Mr Grewal said he and other SSF leaders would be meeting the Akal Takht Jathedar, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti and the SGPC president, Bibi Jagir Kaur to chalk out the final programme for the setting up of the memorial. He asserted that the great sacrifice of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale would not be forgotten and the Sikh panth would always be proud of his sacrifice.



Door-to-door enrollment drive

Ludhiana, May 27
The management of Urban Estate Residents Welfare Society, Phase- II, Dugri Road, has launched a house-to-house drive for enrollment of members to hold elections to the managing committee in July.

The management has also decided to revise the existing telephone directory by including changed landline telephone numbers as well as mobile numbers of Phase II residents along with their occupation and mailing address.

For the purpose, nodal persons had been nominated blockwise and residents were being requested to provide necessary information so that the new directory, could be brought out. OC



First-aid facility sought at mini secretariat

Ludhiana, May 27
Pensioners visiting Pensioners’ Bhawan, located in mini secretariat here, seek first aid and medical check- up facilities at the mini secretariat, says a press note issued by the Pensioners Information Centre Management Committee.

There is no medical aid facility readily available to them within the District Administrative Complex (mini-secretariat). OC



Burglary bid in Sahara office

Ludhiana, May 27
An abortive attempt was made to steal money from the locker in the office of Sahara Pariwar in Shimla Puri last night. Though the burglars managed to break into the office and cut open the grills of the inner room, they could not succeed in breaking open the locker. Police sources said Rs 5 lakh were kept in the locker at that time. TNS



Loans worth Rs 3.25 lakh disbursed
Our Correspondent

Amloh, May 27
Loans worth Rs 3.25 lacs were distributed at a function at Salana village near here among self-help group of salana Dara Singh Wala village, Dashmesh self-help group of Ramgarh village and Satguru self-help group, Salana Jiwan Singh Wala village by Canara Bank. This was stated by Mr Rajesh Kumar Sharma, field officer of the bank, in a press release here on Wednesday.

Last year, the bank had issued loans to nine different self-help groups and their performance had been satisfactory. They are earning profits through different trades. The members of groups are women of the rural areas and most of them belong to scheduled caste.

Mr Sharma further stated that the bank had offered loans under self-employment rural plan, self employment credit card and Prime Minister Rozgar Yojna to the groups. The bank had brought various loan schemes for the farmers at a low rate of interest on easy conditions. Mr Mandeep Kaur, President, Dashmesh self-help group, thanked the guests and appealed the people to adopt the scheme to improve the economic conditions of the ruralities.


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