L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


PUDA’s final blow to Passey Nagar residents
Issues eviction notices for ring road
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
With the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority, (PUDA) issuing eviction notices to thousands of families in local Passey Nagar and Phullanwal village to acquire land for construction of ring road around the city, the axe hanging on the residents for the past two years is finally going to fall on them.

The proposal to construct a ring road connecting the Pakhowal road to the Doraha canal road has got a final nod from the state government following the orders of the Supreme Court.

The state government has asked the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) to start the project, finally.

The approval came recently, ending the hopes of residents of seeing the plan shelved and being spared of the ignominy of losing their houses.

The approval has also come as a rude shock to the residents who had been approaching the local PUDA authorities, district administration, municipal corporation and the state government for cancellation of the project.

The residents fighting against the project claimed that four years ago officials of PUDA, armed with measurement devices, descended on the Passey Nagar colony and Moti Bagh colony. They took measurements for around 200-foot-wide road sending alarm bells ringing among the residents, as hundreds of houses fell in the earmarked area of the ring road.

The residents oppose the road plan on the plea that the government could not suddenly decide on constructing such a wide road through a colony, directly uproot hundreds of families.

The residents claimed that they were legal owners of the land and had got due registries of the houses. The land, originally belonging to Phullanwal village, was sold to them by private property dealers.

A peeved resident, Varinder Singh, said he had bought a piece of land in Passey Nagar and now he had received a notice facing eviction.

He added that as per the notice he would be compensated at the rate of Rs 1,300 per square yard. He said PUDA had invited them to visit the office on June 20 for further details.

An owner of a school said he had bought a plot in the colony in 1993 and got all legal formalities required while purchasing a piece of land done.

He said he had never dreamt that the house he had constructed with his hard-earned money would face such an end.

“Why did they get the housing plan approved if they knew that this land was earmarked for a ring road? Moreover, there was no board saying that this was a PUDA land. Otherwise why would have I purchased this land? I had purchased it with my hard-earned money,” he said.

Residents claimed that it was a 30-year-old plan. After people started constructing houses, PUDA authorities suddenly arrived one morning saying that it was a land earmarked for the ring road.



9 members of three gangs nabbed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
After busting a notorious gang of rickshaw pullers, who looted people, the city police today announced the busting of a gang which looted people travelling in auto-rickshaws. Three members of this gang have been arrested.

Besides this, the police also announced the arrest of six other persons belonging to two different gangs who allegedly snatched valuables from people in crowded places, fairs or committed burglaries in houses and factories. All persons have reportedly confessed of committing over 25 incidents in the past few months.

All nine arrested were produced before mediapersons today by SP (Detective) Gurpreet Singh. He claimed that the three-wheeler gang targeted travellers. One gang member posed as the driver while others as co-passengers and looted the victim at an isolated place. The accused, who have confessed of committing at least 13 such incidents, have been identified as Harpreet Singh, Pradeep Kumar and Ajaib Singh of Mundian Khurd village. The police has recovered an auto-rickshaw, two TV sets and music systems.

The second gang, which snatched jewellery, purses or some other valuables from people in festivals and fairs, have been identified as Arun Kumar alias Honey, Satnam Singh alias Bobby and Shatrughan alias Lambu. They have committed over 12 such incidents.

The police has also arrested three persons of an alleged gang of thieves, including Avtar Singh, Dinkar Vishvakarma, and another person for committing a number of burglaries in houses and factories.



Plot to kill Lalla’s murder accused
Deceased’s brother held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
The police has arrested a Jalandhar-based man belonging to the Lalla gang for allegedly conniving with some gangsters to kill Raman Rana, leader of a rival gang and prime accused in the Lalla murder case.

Announcing this here today, Mr R.K. Jaiswal, SP City-I, said the police arrested Sunil Kumar, alias Rinku, while his accomplice Shammi Sharma managed to escape from Ayyali Khurd chowk, Hambran road, yesterday.

Rinku is the younger brother of deceased gangster Anil Kumar, alias Lalla.

Mr Jaiswal said with the arrest of the man, the police had succeeded in stemming the growth of another gang trying to regroup after Lalla’s murder.

He said Rinku had struck a “supari” (contract to kill) for Rs 5 lakh with four other criminals Amarjit Singh Mandal, Paramjit Singh, alias Pamma, Mahavir and Rajesh Kumar. Rinku had allegedly paid Rs 50,000 to the gang in advance.

The police had arrested Mandal while the remaining three were killed in an encounter with a joint team of Ludhiana, Delhi and Uttranchal police near Haridwar last month.

Raman Rana was arrested after Lalla was gunned down in broad daylight in Haibowal early last year.

He was lodged in Central Jail for some months and later shifted to Jalandhar jail when his supporters and clashed with the supporters of Lalla gang who were also lodged in the same jail for some other crime.

Both gangs have a history of violence both in and out of jail.

Mr Jaiswal claimed that the interrogation of the accused revealed that they had made elaborate plans to kill Raman Rana a month ago when he was to appear before a district judge for hearing in the Lalla murder case.

The accused had finalised the assault but Rana was not brought to the court by the police as the judge was on leave that day.

Later, the gang members committed a robbery of over Rs 18 lakh in the city and injured three persons.

The police managed to arrest seven members of the gang, while three were killed in an encounter.

The accused revealed that they could not get another chance to kill Rana. Rinku reportedly told the police that he wanted to avenge his brother’s killing.

Mr Jaiswal said the accused had resolved to get Rana killed and finish his gang.

Family sources of Rinku have, however, claimed that he was being falsely implicated in the case. 



Sportsman’s widow refused ‘promised’ financial aid
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 9
Ms Rachna, widow of Harish Chander, former national badminton champion (doubles), has sought financial help from the Ludhiana District Badminton Association (LDBA). In a letter written to the president of the LDBA, Mr Chand Kapoor, Ms Rachna has asked for the money which the LDBA has reportedly collected last year to assist her and the late sportsman’s small son.

Addressing mediapersons here yesterday, Ms Rachna alleged that last year when her husband died in a road accident in Kolkata, office-bearers of the LDBA promised to give her financial assistance. She further said the LDBA collected money from certain donors for the purpose. “The association had collected around Rs 1.75 lakh and gave only Rs 12,000 to me in April this year only after Mr Mohinder Chopra, vice-president of the LDBA, interfered.

She said she was in need of immediate finanical aid to pay installments of housing loan raised by her husband. It would also take some more time to get her service on compensation grounds so she required the money instantly. She has sent the copies of the letter to the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner, Secretary, Punjab Badminton Association and Director, Sports Punjab.

Some of these donors were also present there who asked the general secretary, Mr R.S. Behal, to pay the entire amount to the widow. Mr Behal, however, refuted the charge saying that the association never announced any financial assistance to the widow. He said the association had spent the money by organising the Harish Chander Memorial Junior State Badminton Championship here in October, last year besides conducting district tournaments.

Mr Behal gave an assurance to the donors to sort out the matter of giving finanical assistance to Ms Rachna in a couple of days as he has convened a meeting of the executive committee of the LDBA.



2 held for attack on trucker
Our Correspondent

Raikot (Ahmedgarh), June 9
The local police today nabbed the two truck drivers who had attempted to kill another driver, and taken away Rs 3.45 lakh and his truck on the Raikot-Sarabha road, near here, last night.

The cash and the stolen vehicle have been recovered. Jagsir Singh, alias Puppa, and Jassa, alias Gurbax, of Toot village in Ferozepore and now residing at Ludhiana were nabbed by a police party led by SHO Gurmit Singh from different places in Ludhiana.

The two had taken away Rs 3.45 lakh and the truck after throwing Avtar Singh, the driver of the truck, out of the truck yesterday.

According to a complaint lodged on the statement of Avtar Singh, he used to transport steel sheets and other metal goods on truck (PB 10 Y 9803) owned by B.C. Aggarwal Transport Company Ludhiana.

The accused had the knowledge that Avtar used to bring huge payments from the market while returning to Ludhiana. “On my return from Malout yesterday, the duo rang me up saying that they would take a lift from Mehal Kalan to Ludhiana. They got into my vehicle around 7 pm,” said the victim.

When they reached Sarabha village on the Raikot-Ludhiana road, Puppa offered to drive the vehicle, and pushed Avtar aside when he declined his offer.

He attacked on right side of his neck with a knife and tried to take the control of the vehicle. People working in the fields along the road had reported to the police that they had seen a man pushed out of the moving vehicle as it moved in a zigzag manner.

The assaulters took the truck and cash along with them.

Residents of the area took the injured driver to a hospital at Sarabha, from where he was shifted to a hospital in Ludhiana.



PAU students decide to end exam boycott
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
The protesting students of the Punjab Agricultural University here have decided to end the boycott of the exams following a meeting with the authorities. A spokesman of the Punjab Agricultural University Students’ Union (PAUSA) said here today that the talks at the meeting were heading in a positive direction. Consequently the students had decided to end the boycott and appear for the exams from Monday.

PAUSA president Swaran Singh Boparai said that today a meeting between the students and the university authorities was held here today to discuss various demands. These included the issue of the charging of hostel fee during the summer vacations and the issuing of the concessional bus passes by the transport department to the students.

Earlier, the students had held three rounds of talks with the authorities. All these meetings had failed to lead to any positive conclusion. However, Mr Boparai said, the authorities appeared to be positively inclined during today’s meeting. He said he was confident after the meeting that the authorities would not insist on charging the hostel fee for the summer vacations and would also take up the issue of the concessional bus passes to the students with the state authorities.

The PAUSA president said, it was also decided in the meeting that there would be no exams on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and the exams would commence from Monday (June 13). All students would take their exams according to the previous datesheet. The fresh dates for the exams scheduled till Monday, would be announced later. 



One killed, 2 hurt in clash
Our Correspondent

Amloh, June 9
One person was killed, two seriously injured, in a clash between two groups on Wednesday night at Matorda village near here. On the statement of Manoj Kumar, brother of deceased Randhir Singh, the police has registered an FIR against two brothers, Chamkaur Singh and Bittu u/s 34, 302, 307 IPC but no arrest has been made so far.

Mr Manoj Kumar has alleged in his statement that Chamkaur Singh and his brother Bittu attacked his family with sharp-edged weapons and murdered Randhir Singh and seriously wounded Rajiv Kumar and Sudarshana Kumari, Randhir Singh was running his business at Nabha. Patiala SSP A.S. Rai and, Nabha DSP S.S. Boparai reached the site and are investigating the case. 



Govt ignoring farmers’ plight, alleges BKU
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 9
The Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) while criticising the government for allegedly ignoring the long-pending demands of the farmers, has threatened to launch a mass agitation in the state. The demands of the farmers and the modalities of the agitation would be discussed at a meeting of the union being convened here on June 10.

The acting president of the BKU, Mr Manjit Singh Kadian, and the general secretary (press), Mr Bhupinder Singh Mahesari, said in a joint statement here today that despite stiff opposition from different quarters, the government appeared to be hell bent on pursuing the policy of privatisation.

Similarly, the demands for remission of farm loans, slashing the interest rates for fresh agricultural loans to 4 per cent, Rs 20 per quintal bonus on previous purchase of wheat and support price of BT cotton at Rs 1,980 per quintal were pending with the government.

The BKU functionaries maintained that the government’s policy on diversification of crops had failed miserably.

Mr Kadian and Mr Mahesari also charged the PSEB and the state Agriculture Department with showing utter disregard to the need of power and water by the farmers for diversified crops. As against 10-hour power supply for a minimum of four days in a week, the farmers were given power supply for not more than 2 to 3 hours. 



SP Sood is senior vice-chief of MC
Our Correspondent

Doraha, June 9
Mr Surinder Pal Sood has once again been elected the senior vice-president of the Municipal Council, Doraha, while Mr Gurnam Singh was elected vice-president on Wednesday.

Mr Tejinder Singh Dhaliwal, SDM, Payal, was present as observer to the Deputy Commissioner. The name of Mr Surinder Pal Sood for the post of senior vice-president was proposed by councillor Jaswinder Singh and seconded by Mr Adarsh Pal Bector and that of Mr Gurnam Singh for the post of Vice-President by Mr S P Sood and Mr Manjit Singh, respectively out of a total of 12 councillors, 11 were present in the election. Mrs Harwinder Kaur, an Akali councillor, was absent.

It may be mentioned that Mrs Raj Rani was elected President of the Municipal Council on April 21, 2003, and was removed from the office after a vote of no-confidence was passed against her a majority of the councillors. After that Mr Surinder Pal Sood, senior vice-president, was appointed as the acting president. As the seat is reserved for women, a woman president has to be elected on the post.



Applications for bravery awards sought
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 9
Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, has invited the nominations for National Awards for Bravery and Meritorious Service for Children-2005 in respect of incidents of bravery having occurred between July 1, 2004, to June 30, 2005, supported by sufficient proofs, including clippings of newspapers, magazine, etc by July 15. These nominations can be submitted in the office of Assistant Commissioner, Ludhiana.

The DC said the deed should be “an act of spontaneous selfless service in the face of risk to life or threat of physical injury and or an act of courage and daring against a social evil and crime.” He said the nominations were to be submitted in the prescribed application form, which could be obtained from the Assistant Commissioner (General), Mini Secretariat, Ludhiana, accompanied by the FIR or Police Diary filed with police station, clippings and a copy of the certificate of the date of birth. The nominations as well as the supporting documents should be recommended by two of the listed competent authorities — General Secretary/ President of the State Council for Child Welfare, Principal/Headmaster of the school in which the applicant is studying, Collector/govt official of equivalent rank, Head of the police department at the district/state level and head of Panchayat/Zila Parishad.

He said there were five categories of awards, Bharat Award, Geeta Chopra Award, Sanjay Chopra, Award, Bapu Gayadhani Award (three) and General Awards. Children falling between 6 years and 18 years on the date of incident are eligible for the nomination.



Kale Bein Wala Baba honoured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
Lakhbir Singh, a local resident, was among three persons honoured for their work in the field of environmental awareness in a function organised for the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) by media artists on the occasion of World Environment Day.

The others who were honoured were Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal, popularly known as Kali Bein Wala Baba and Gurdev Singh, a nonagenarian planting trivenis on his own in and around his village in Sangrur district.

The three were awarded with a shawl, citation and silver plaques at a colourful function held at Thapar Institute in Patiala by Mr Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Chairman of PPCB.

Leaving the wheat-paddy-fertiliser-pesiticide rotation, Lakhbir Singh has planted 4,000 odd neem trees in his 20-acre farm at Ratna village about 20 km away from here. Using only bio-fertilisers, Lakhbir Singh did not let any chemical fertilisers, insecticides or pesticides touch his fields. With a passion for organic farming, he prepares bio-fertilisers on his own dairy farm, which again runs on the organic lines . Lakhbir Singh has forsaken immediate gains to do his bit for future, safe enough for coming generations.



BDPO succumbs to burn injuries
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, June 9
Block Development and Panchayat Officer Davinder Singh, who has been under treatment of burn injuries in DMC, Ludhiana, for the past 13 days, died yesterday. He was 45. He is survived by wife, two daughters and two sons. He received the burn injuries on May 26 in Patiala.

Mr Davinder Singh Sahota was cremated at Patiala today. The Panchayat Samiti Employees’ Union, Machhiwara, has expressed concern at the demise of Sahota.



Action against woman for lodging false complaint
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 9
The police has decided to proceed against a local woman who had lodged a false complaint against a youth and his parents alleging abduction of her daughter four months ago. Contrary to allegations leveled by her against the accused the girl had deposed in the court that she had married the youth willingly after running from her home as her parents opposed their marriage.

Though the members of the family of the boy had to desert their home due to the pressure of the police, the complainant had approached Punjab Human Rights Commission accusing the police of inaction.

According to Mr Harinder Singh Chahal, Senior Superintendent of Police, Sangrur, Ms Anuradha (22), daughter of Mr Krishan Kumar Sharma, had deposed before a judge in Punjab and Haryana High Court that she had married Mr Naieem Akhtar willingly and her mother Ms Shashi Bala Sharma had lodged a false complaint against her husband and his other members of his family just to save the false prestige of the family.

On April 3, Ms Sharma had reported to the police that Naieem Akhtar had allegedly allured her ‘minor’ daughter on the pretext of marriage and abducted her in connivance with his parents when she was on way to meet her maternal grandparents around a month before submitting the complaint.

After the local police registered an FIR under Sections 363, 366 and 120 B of the IPC against the youth, Naieem Akhtar, his mother Johri, father Abdul Satar and sister Jawaidan and started investigation she approached the higher authorities including Punjab Human Rights Commission, IG Police Patiala and SSP Sangrur and accused the police of inaction.

Blaming Ms Sharma of misguiding police, Mr Chahal said: “The complainant had been telling concocted stories to the authorities from the very beginning. Earlier, she reported that her daughter had gone missing but the family wanted no action to be done. Then she narrated different stories regarding the ‘abduction’ which were later found frivolous.” The complainant concealed the age of the girl also.

Preliminary investigations by the police had revealed that Anuradha and Naieen Akhtar were close to each other. As the parents of the girl were against their marriage they left their respective homes around three months earlier and got married later.

Ms Sharma had also approached the Rights Commission to seek justice, it had observed that the case was outside its purview. However, it had forwarded a copy of the complaint to SSP, Sangrur, for taking appropriate action.

“Now when we know that Anuradha, who claimed to be major, has submitted in the court that the accused were innocent and she had married her fiancé willingly, an action would be initiated against the complainant after July 7, when court might give final verdict in the case,” claimed Mr Chahal.



Undertrial escapes, 2 cops booked
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 9
An undertrial is alleged to have fled from the Raikot police station.
An Assistant Sub-Inspector and a Head Constable have been booked under Sections 323 and 324 of the Indian Penal Code in this connection.

According to the information, Harinder Kumar alias Happy, fled from the police station when ASI Surjit Singh and AMHC Rajwinder Pal Singh (No. 440) took out the accused at about 11.30 p.m. for providing means.

Fake certificates’ racket busted: The local police is alleged to have busted a racket of fake certificates by arresting its kingpin and has registered a case under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC.

According to the information, Swarnjit Singh, son of Daljit Singh of Sheikh Qutab, was arrested allegedly for preparing fake certificates of matric, 10+2, JELTS and selling them at hefty prices.

The police on a tip-off had deputed Constable Sukhwinder Singh, to strick a deal for IELTS certificate for Rs 30.000. When the accused came to hand over the certificate at Tehsil Chowk here, the police nabbed him.

Poppy husk seized: The local police has arrested Ranjit Singh, alias Rana, of Guru Amar Dass Avenue, Ajnala Road, Amritsar, and Sukhdev Singh, alias Gogi, of Bar Patti, Galib Kalan. The two were intercepted by the police, who found 23 kg of poppy husk from their Tata Sierra, (DL-ICB-4740). A case under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act has been registered.



Cut import duties, says chamber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
The Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry said today that steel producers became speculative and were effecting unnecessary increase in prices.
“Even before the enforcement of cut, steel prices have risen by about Rs 1,000 per tonne,” said Mr P.D. Sharma, president of the chamber.

He said the chamber had urged the government to reduce import duties for economic reasons.

“India already has free trade agreement with Thailand and agreement is being proposed with Singapore and Australia also.

Power rates in Thailand is less than Rs 2.50 per unit against an average of Rs 4 per unit in our country. Interest on credit is also around 4-5 per cent whereas in India it is 12-13 per cent. In view of all these fact, import duty should be further reduced,” he said.


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