L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Gates, cameras installed to prevent robberies
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
In order to prevent increasing incidents of chain, purse snatching and vehicle liftings, residents of several posh colonies in the city have resorted to a measure adopted during the terrorism days in the state but discontinued later on.

They have erected huge gates at the roads leading to a cluster of houses or blocks in the different colonies in their bid to fortify the areas and buildings to make it difficult for criminal elements to enter and escape at will.

The fortification exercise was undertaken at a war-footing during the terrorism days when residents closed all the approach roads to an area in the evenings hoping to prevent terrorism strikes. Now the increasing snatching incidents like the one perpetrated by teenagers apart from the vehicle lifters has forced the residents to resort to such a step.

People are also taking help of cameras. Many residents in posh colonies have installed cameras in such a manner that they can see through close circuit TVs the entire movement outside their houses.

Though the city police has succeeded in busting a couple of gangs indulging in robberies and dacoity, the residents are still feeling the heat with incidents of snatching or petty thefts being reported everyday.

Residents of several blocks in Sarabha Nagar, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Rajguru Nagar, Civil Lines, Kitchlu Nagar, Rishi Nagar, Model Town, old city, colonies along Vrindavan roads, Agar Nagar and some areas along the Pakhowal road have set up new gates to avoid such incidents.

Chain and purse snatching, especially from women on evening or morning walks or from outside the parks or religious places is a common occurrence. Very few of such cases are actually reported to the police and a low percentage of those reported are converted into FIRs. The police has a tendency to discourage such FIRs.

The main aim is to construct gates on three of the four main roads leading to a cluster of houses. As the chain or purse snatchers rely on their speed to flee on vehicles, resident s hope that the closed gates would discourage them from such acts.

Further, the gates prove highly beneficial in preventing vehicle-lifting incidents. A number of cars are stolen when parked outside the houses. With gates closed down, the thieves have nowhere to take the car away.

Many colony residents have done this on their own without taking the consent of the police or the Municipal Corporation. The MC is also taking a lenient view to the development. Dr Jaswant Singh, Zonal Commissioner MC said no one had taken permission for erecting such gates but the MC would readily give permission as it concerned the safety of life and property of the residents.

Police sources said the police department also encourages such an activity as it helps a long way in containing. Cops refer this as a high point of public participation in preventing crime.

Recently, a gang of teenagers was busted and three boys arrested. Yet there are at least couple of more such gangs who continue to strike unabated.



Getting hooked on to the deadly drug
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, May 28
It is a matter of concern for city’s elite parents as their wards are easily being hooked on to smack. The easy availability of the drug and even its home delivery these days has ruined the lives of hundreds of youth in the city. By the time the parents get to know of reality and take them to de-addiction centres, it is too late.

Ludhiana Tribune spoke to a number of such parents, who, on condition of anonymity, agreed to disclose the harsh reality. Ms Anubha Jain’s (name changed) 23-year-old son has been taking drug for the past six months. She said of late her son started behaving in an abnormal way. He always preferred to remain in his room. He often refused to join the family for lunch or dinner and avoided parents if they wanted to speak to him.

“I came to know when a stranger came to our house and asked for my son as he wanted to hand over a little packet to him only. My son demanded Rs 1,000 saying the packet contained certain medicines which were to be handed over to one of his friends. I got suspicious and asked him to open the packet. But he flatly refused. After half an hour or so, one of his friends took him out. I went to his room and searched for the same and took it under my possession,” said Ms Jain.

The parents took the “powder” to a family doctor who confirmed that the packet contained smack.”We felt as if sky had fallen and the whole world had crashed. My son did not dare ask about the packet. For the past one-and-a-half months, he has been under the observation of a leading psychiatrist and family members. Doctors feels that he will be alright but it will take some time,” said Ms Jain.

Mr and Ms Raj Pruthi (identity changed) married their educated daughter to a graduate from a leading industrialist family. “It is unfortunate that after three months of marriage, my daughter left her in-laws’ and came to us,” said Mr Pruthi. Anju (name changed) said that her husband started demanding the jewellery she had got from her parents on the pretext that it was safe to keep expensive things in locker.

“But my life took a turn when I heard him asking someone on the phone that he had arranged Rs 80,000 and wanted the material by evening. When he uttered the word smack, I was about to collapse. My mother-in-law revealed that they had known about their son’s addiction but they thought that everything would be alright once he got married,” said Anju, while tears rolled down her cheeks.

Dr Rajeev Gupta, a city-based psychiatrist, said that the demand of smack in the city had increased manifold in recent days. He revealed that middlemen bought it from Delhi at much higher rates. “The addicts get smack from people who come here from Delhi in Shatabdi. One gram of smack costs about Rs 400- Rs 500 and everyone can not afford to spend this much amount daily. Most of the smack-addicts are young boys between the 20-26 age group, belonging to affluent families. We try to counsel these addicts through the counselling sessions and drugs but it takes a lot of time to cure them,” said Dr Gupta.



Private schools closed in protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
All affiliated and private schools in the city remained closed today in protest against the failure of the police to arrest the persons who had damaged and torched a school in Kot Mangal Singh colony in mid-April after a student committed suicide over an alleged love affair with a teacher of the school.

A delegation of the Association of Affiliated Schools (Punjab) also submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner and the SSP this afternoon.

The delegation demanded the withdrawal of a case of abetment to suicide by the youth against Sukhpal Singh, director, Guru Angad Dev Model School.

The association leaders said the police had taken one-sided action in the incident in which a Class 12 student of the school had committed suicide on April 15 after he was allegedly reprimanded by school director Sukhpal Singh for having an affair with a teacher of the primary classes.

The boy had consumed poison and relatives had accused the director of beating up and humiliating the boy in the school.

The boy’s death had sparked protests and a mob damaged and torched the school building. Sukhpal Singh had surrendered a day later.

The police had also booked nearly 30 unidentified persons for the attack but none was arrested.



MC demolishes illegal structures
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
Officials of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation today demolished seven illegal structures near the Clock Tower. A spokesman for the corporation said the structures were illegally raised and the occupants were asked several times to vacate.

Although there are several other illegal structures in the area, but the officials razed only seven as these were reportedly coming in the way of the proposed railway overbridge which will connect the Civil Lines area with the elevated road between Jagraon bridge and Chand Cinema.

The occupants, who were running their business from these structures alleged that they were working there for over 15 years and were paying monthly rent to the corporation. But the officials denied that any rent was ever charged from these traders.



Burning of mosques flayed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
The burning down of two mosques in the Mandi town of Himachal Pradesh has led to a lot of resentment here among the people in general and the Muslims in particular. A cross-section of people here have condemned the act and demanded that strict action be taken against the culprits who had hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims. The Muslims also demanded the resignation of the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh on the issue.

An emergency meeting of the All India Majlis Ahrar Islam Hind was held at the Jama Masjid here today. The meeting was presided over by the national spokesman of the majlis, Maulana Atiq-u-Rehman and was attended by the imams of 20 different mosques in Ludhiana.

The meeting condemned the act and alleged that the anti-social elements had deliberately tried to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere. Mr Rehman said he had talked to the chairman of the Waqf Board, Himachal Pradesh Maulana Mumtaz Kasmi. Mr Kasmi had told him that the mob had set fire to two mosques. There was a sense of fear among the 30-odd Muslim families living in Mandi and they had to take shelter in a neighbouring village with considerable Muslim population.

The majlis regretted that this all had taken place in a state like Himachal Pradesh which had no history of communal tensions. He reminded the Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi of her promise to provide riot-free administration in the Congress-ruled states. “We want justice from Ms Gandhi and action against the culprits”, Mr Rehman said.

The majlis also condemned the acid attack by one person on a bus which led injuries to 12 persons. He said, “everybody condemned the paranoid act of that person and a strong action against him, but that should not mean that an entire community should be avenged for the act of a single person”. Mr Rehman demanded that the government must take the remedial measures to restore the faith and confidence of the Muslims living in that state.



Poppy husk seized, two arrested
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 28
The district police has arrested two persons and seized 146 kg of poppy husk from their possession. Two other accused reportedly fled.
The Dehlon police has arrested Kulbir Singh Billoo of Umrewal from the Qilla Raipur area and seized 54 kg of poppy husk.

Makhan Singh of the same village was also arrested from Ghungrana village for possessing 2 kg of the contraband. In third such incident, the police seized 40 kg of poppy husk from two scooterist who fled away leaving their scooter (PB 10-A 3649).



Plea to check quality of diet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma has asked all the SDMs to make random checking of the quality of the nutritious diet being provided to the children up to six years, malnourished children, pregnant women, lactating mothers and teenaged girls through anganwaris under ICDS Supplementary Nutritious Program in their respective sub-division and get the sample tested if they have any doubt or receive any complaint about the poor quality of the diet.

He was presiding over a special meeting of SDMs and officers of the concerned departments here on Wednesday.

The Deputy Commissioner informed that for different categories of the beneficiaries separate recipes with fixed nutritious value had been circulated by the Department of Social Security, Women and Children Development, Punjab, after consultation with the nutrition and health experts.

Mr Verma further informed that a district level purchase committee headed by Executive Officer, Zila Parishad -cum -ADC(D).



Minister’s assurance to ITI union
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
State Minister for Science and Technology and Industrial Training Rakesh Panday today assured a delegation of Industrial Training Institutions (ITI) Employees’ Union of holding a meeting next week in Chandigarh to discuss their demands.

He said apart from other officers, Secretary Industrial Training, Punjab, would attend the meeting.

Allaying the fears of union leaders about the rumors of privatisation of ITIs, he clarified that the matter was not yet under consideration of the government. But he assured the employees of taking union leaders into confidence if the government decided to take a decision on the matter.

On leaders’ complaint that decisions taken on their demands in the last meeting had not been implemented, the minister said directions would be given in this regard and explanation would be sought from the officer concerned.

Mr Panday said the decision regarding granting of DDO powers to ITIs would also be taken soon so that the smooth functioning of the ITIs could be ensured.

The minister also assured the union leaders of being taken into confidence if the government took a decision to revise fee in the ITIs.

Referring to the stalemate of ITI for Girls in Ludhiana, the minister said discussions in this regard were in progress.



IT Dept launches modernisation drive
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
The Income Tax Department has embarked on a modernisation drive of income tax administration with a view to make it more effective. Towards this objective the department has entrusted National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) to establish a nationwide Tax Information Network (TIN).

Finance Act, 2004 has made mandatory for all Central and State Government Institutions to file TDS returns (Form No 24 and 26) in electronic format, in the same manner as is applicable to Corporate Sector, with TIN-Facilitation Centers (TIN-FCs).

According to Mr Kiran K. Kapoor, a Chartered Accountant in Ludhiana, there are 11 TIN-Facilitation Centers (TIN-FCs) in different areas and the person who has to file TDS return, can file these at any centre.



Khanna police checks arms

Khanna, May 28
Under public relation drive launched by Khanna district police under the directions of SSP Khanna Naunihal Singh police has checked 2,591 arms and educated the licence holders about the safe custody and their use.

According to police, on May 18 and 19 police checked 375 arms of 109 villages falling under Machhiwara and Behlolpur police stations, on May 20 and 21, 898 arms of the residents of 112 villages were checked on May 23 and 24, 768 arms of the residents of 86 villages were checked while on may 25, 26 and 27 142 arms of residents living under Khanna, Kot Chowki and Bardala police post were checked. — OC



11 booked for violating DC’s order
Our Correspondent

Khanna, May 28
The Payal police has booked 11 persons in the area for not joining thikri pehras ordered by Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana. Three different cases have been registered at Payal police station.

According to information, thikri pehras have been started during night in the villages of Payal subdivision. But some persons have refused to join the pehras.

Following the violation of the orders, three separate cases have been registered and the police has arrested Karmjit Singh, Sarpanch of Goslan village near Malaud. Balwinder Singh, Jora Singh, Amrik Singh and Niranjan Singh, all residents of Mangewal village, Balwinder Singh, Avtar Singh, Talwinder Singh, Raj Singh, Harpreet Singh and Kuldeep Singh.


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