L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


A dacoity that was not
Complainant, victims staged whole drama, says police
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
The sensational dacoity at the house of an ex-patwari has turned out to be one of the biggest stage-managed crimes taking place in the city. The police today claimed that the house owner himself had enacted the drama to gobble up over Rs 43 lakh belonging to an NRI relative.

Addressing a press conference this afternoon, Mr Narinderpal Singh, SSP, said the police succeeded in solving the crime within 24 hours and nine persons, including the four family members have been arrested for cooking up the dacoity story. The police said the actual looted amount was Rs 43.20 lakh. The actual amount could not be known yesterday as the police and the family members had stayed away from media.

With this development, the complainant and the victims in the case have become the accused. Those arrested included the ex-patwari Bawa Singh, his wife Amarjit Kaur, son Balwinder Singh, daughter-in-law Hardeep Kaur and five servants — Prem Bahadur, Ramesh Bahadur, Bhagat Bahadur, Teetu Bahadur and gardner Srinath.

The SSP said the money actually belonged to Tara Singh, father -in-law of Balwinder Singh Pandher. He lived in a foreign country and Bawa Singh had the power of attorney of his property here. He had sold off the property and allegedly wanted to keep the money and enacted the drama.

The police got suspicious when no prints of footsteps were found in the house. Further the police noted differences in the statements of all the servants and also of the aged couple. The retired patwari’s son Balwinder Singh who returned home last evening had planned to stack away the money elsewhere.

However, the cops had deployed security personnel in mufti near the house and eye was being kept on all of them. The accused was caught with several lakhs of rupees when he was trying to flee in a car.

The police had found a khukhri (Nepali knife) from the crime site where as the family had claimed that the alleged dacoits had come with arms. The accused have been booked for stage-managing a dacoity.

Greed’s victim

Greed knows no bounds. When it engulfs one person or a group of persons, all sense of reason is lost. No relationship, not even blood ties, seem to matter before the attraction of the Mammon.

This has proved true in the case of a retired Patwari, Bawa Singh, who despite being a multi-millionaire allegedly enacted the drama of a dacoity in his house to pocket Rs 43.20 lakh belonging to his son’s father-in-law, Mr Tara Singh. Mr Tara Singh who lives abroad would be shocked to know that his daughter, Hardeep Kaur, was a party to the crime, with her in-laws, to defraud her own father.

Bawa Singh owns a palatial house in Country Homes of South City colony. His palatial home had luxurious facilities — a large swimming pool, artefacts. The family had five servants to live comfortably.



NRI’s dream project may remain on paper only
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
An NRI’s dream of setting up a nursing training institute in Thrike village to provide state of the art nursing techniques here lies unfulfilled for the last 16 years due to alleged illegal possession on a piece of land which provides the only approach road to his 2500 sq yard plot in the village, which is now a colony on the outskirts of the city.

Showing scant respect for the law of the land, the possessors of the approach road even dismantled demarcation poles laid by none other than a commission appointed by the district administration to solve the dispute, the NRI alleges.

It was after a struggle of over a decade that the administration had appointed the commission to demarcate the land as per the registry deal between NRI Barjinder Singh Bedi and Chuhar Singh from whom he had bought the land.

The seller, Chuhar Singh, admits that they had removed the demarcation, “We were not present at the site when the land was demarcated’’. However, the commission officer, retired Kanungo Jagdish Singh, who was appointed by the district administration, said it was against the law to remove the demarcations laid by a commission.

Mr Bedi based in Canada had bought the land from Mr Chuhar Singh in 1989. The seller had agreed to provide a long stretch of land as approach road to the 2500 sq yards plot of the NRI as was written in the registration of the land. However, later on the seller Chuhar SIngh refused to abide by the deal.

The NRI is in a fix as there is no approach road to his plot which is sort of land-locked now. Mr Bedi said he then had to move from pillar to post in the local administration complaining about the cheating but nothing was done.

Mr Chuhar Singh also admitted that the provision for the approach road was made in the registration but that was a mistake. ‘‘In the present circumstances the approach road was impossible.’’

He arrived here from Canada last month and made another fervent appeal to the district administration which appointed a commission, ‘‘I was hoping that the demarcation done by the administration would be respected but even that was dismantled.’’ He said he could come here for few weeks only and could not pursue the case.

Mr Bedi said the Punjab Government has been inviting NRIs to invest in the state but nobody would come here due to the manner in which they are harassed.



What ‘ails’ ESI hospital, dispensaries?
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 22
The infrastructure, manpower, supplies and equipment in the only ESI hospital and a dozen odd ESI dispensaries in the industrial capital of the state are in a poor shape and due to this the beneficiaries, entitled to comprehensive health cover under the ESI scheme are suffering a lot.

While some of the ESI dispensaries are still housed in unsafe and dilapidated buildings, some others have been shifted either to the ESI hospital or clubbed with other existing dispensaries. As a result workers holding ESI cards are forced to travel long distances to get medicines even for minor ailments. This has practically defeated the very purpose of having these dispensaries.

Inquiries made by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that some dispensaries had to be shifted from strategic location due to the failure of the department to pay rent to the building owners for months together and as a result the buildings had to be vacated. As many as six ESI dispensaries, which were earlier being run from different localities and industrial belts, were shifted to the hospital premises. With proper accommodation in the hospital not being available, two of these ESI dispensaries were being operated from nurses’ hostel and a make-shift shed behind the main hospital building. The availability of medical officers, specialists, medicines and other supplies in the dispensaries, as well as in the hospital, also left much to be desired. At least half a dozen posts of medical and surgical specialists in the ESI Hospital are also lying vacant and patients in need for treatment in these specialities had to be referred to other hospitals.

Preferring not to be quoted, some of the senior doctors in the hospital admitted these crucial health institutions are suffering due to poor management, but added that the maintenance of infrastructure, providing adequate supplies and trained man power actually was the responsibility of the state government and the local officials could do nothing about it.

A couple of prominent trade union activists were also sore about the sorry state of affairs prevailing in ESI health institutions.



Timely help saves child’s life
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
Misfortune never comes alone. But sometimes there are people who help others to come out of these misfortunes by way of help and assistance. The family of eight-year-old Sahil can never forget the timely help by people from as far as Australia and America, who learnt about his plight from the Internet edition of various newspapers.

Sahil’s father Hardeep Singh was admitted to a hospital for the treatment of tuberculosis. Meanwhile, his son developed fever which continued for over two weeks. When he was brought to Deep Hospital in Model Town he was diagnosed with ‘aplastic anemia’, a fatal affliction if not treated in time.

According to Dr Baldeep Singh, the family was not in a position to meet the treatment cost which could go up to Rs 1 lakh other than the hospital charges. He said the hospital decided to perform all procedures and stay free of cost. For the medicines an appeal was issued through newspapers. Interestingly, it was not only NRIs settled in the USA, Australia and Canada who came forward with help but also local people.

Dr Baldeep Singh said the donations varied from Rs 500 to Rs 40,000. The entire amount was raised from the donations. In fact, one of the donors, Mr Kuldeep Singh Bhattal, a close relative of the Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, also came himself with cash assistance.

“He offered to bear the entire cost of treatment alone, but we declined as others had also come forward and we wanted that he (Mr Bhattal) should help some other patients also,” said the doctor, while adding that some of the attendants of other patients also came forward with help.

Thanks to the generous donations from people and the efforts of the doctors and other staff at Deep Hospital, Sahil is recovering fast. Dr Baldeep Singh said it might take him a couple of weeks more in the hospital as he needed to be kept in continuous observation.

“We hope that he recovers completely during this period and would be discharged after that,” the doctor said.



LIT chief told to disconnect illegal sewerage connections
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 22
A deputation of the Rajguru Welfare Society led by its president, Major B.S. Gill met the chairman of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust Mr Paramjit Singh Sibia, and brought to his notice the problems of the colony.

According to Mr Anantram Gupta, vice-president of the society, they brought to the notice of the chairman the illegal water and sewerage connections taken by some residents from the colony and it was demanded that the same should be disconnected immediately as the residents were facing shortage of water supply.

The deputationists also sought that tubewell operators should be available during the fixed hours for supply of water. The residents were facing water shortage because of the power cut.

The deputationists also told the chairman that the potholes on main roads of the colony were causing a lot of traffic problems and the same should be filled up. The roads were in bad shape and needed immediate repairs. Further steps should be taken to drain out rain water during the rainy season.

Mr Gupta said that the trust chairman promised to take action against those who had taken illegal water and sewerage connections irrespective of the fact whether they enjoyed any political patronage.

The deputationists also demanded that proper maintenance of the parks in the colony should be done by the Improvement Trust. The responsibility of Trust was not over with the laying of parks. The chairman was not aware if this was the responsibility of the trust.

Mr Gupta said that the improvement trust had started sweeping of the roads and vacant plots had been cleared of the wild growth like congress grass after the highlighting of the problems of the colony in The Tribune on May 19.

The trust authorities had also set the street lights in order. However, the debri lying on the roads which had been collected as a result of the new constructions in the colony had not been removed sofar.

According to Mr Gupta, the chairman promised to take necessary steps in this direction too.



Residents seek action in razing of park wall case
MC writes to police
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
Even as the residents of Green Field Colony on Pakhowal Road have been demanding action against some residents of the colony, who had pulled down the boundary wall of a park and were using the area as their backyard, no action has been taken against them as yet.

While the MC authorities claimed that they had forwarded their complaint to Model Town police, the SHO of Model Town Police Station, Mr Rajesh Kumar, said he had no knowledge about it and he would have to confirm it from his Munshi.

Dr Jaswant Singh, Joint Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, said the MC had recommended action against the residents for allegedly flouting the orders of the MC Commissioner and damaging public property and put it to personal use.

He added that soon after receiving a complaint the MC had forwarded it to the police.

On May 31, some residents of Green Field Colony had complained that their neighbours had demolished seven-foot high wall of a public park, (number 200 in Zone-D) being maintained by MC and had started using it as their backyard.

Reacting to the demolitions the residents had shot off letters to the MC authorities.They had alleged that some residents, whose houses shared a common wall with the park, had pulled down its boundary wall for the third time during the past two years.

They had further alleged that while the demolished patches served as additional entry points to the park, they were using it for other domestic purposes and for dumping garbage and discharging waste water here.

The residents alleged that it was not for the first time that they had done so. They were allegedly habitual offenders and MC had put up a signboard at this site warning the residents against any such activity. But despite the warning board, the boundary wall was demolished once again last month.

Residents said though they had requested the MC to reconstruct the demolished wall it had just done the brickwork filling four feet gaps. They demanded that the entire patches should be filled with bricks so that the public park may not become private property of any individual.

They said some residents had even fixed iron gates in their walls adjoining the park and they should be directed to construct pucca walls instead of the gates.

‘‘The corporation should also ask them to reimburse the loss to the public exchequer caused due to their repeated acts of demolishing the boundary wall,” claimed Mr Anil Khanna, a resident, of the area.



Consumption of power soars as mercury rises
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
Soaring temperature has also resulted in an all-time high consumption and demand for electricity this year. The maximum consumption for electricity recorded this year so far is 93.92 lakh units more than that recorded last year.

The Punjab state Electricity Board (PSEB) recorded the maximum consumption of electricity on June 19. The consumption on this day was 1,290.92 lakh units against last year’s maximum of 1,197 lakh units that was recorded on August 22 last year.

While the maximum demand recorded this year has been 5,881 mega watts on June 19, it was 5,574 mega watts on July 6 last year.

Electricity board officials attribute this increase to not only high temperature, but primarily to the increase in the number of gadgets like air conditioners and also to increase in the number of tubewell connections.

“With commodities available on easy financing schemes and getting within the reach of common man, people are buying more ACs, which automatically increases the demand for electricity. Besides, there has also been an increase in the number of tubewell connections resulting in increased demand,” a PSEB official said.

The board came out with a scheme for the voluntary disclosure of load for agricultural consumers, which also led to this rise. The number of tubewells, which was around 7.5 lakh two years ago has increased to more than 9.25 lakh, sources disclosed. “Apart from other tubewell connections, 40,000 temporary connections (that are given on the discretion of board) were given this year, that have contributed to rise in demand and consumption of electricity,” said sources.

Interestingly, increase in demand from industry in the state was not much.

Lower growth in demand for electricity from industry is being attributed to reduced industrial growth in the state. “Poor infrastructure and other factors, including erratic power supply, have resulted in an almost stagnant industrial growth,” said sources.

To meet the maximum demand, 192 lakh units were procured from its own hydro stations, 146 lakh units from the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), 425 lakh from its own thermal stations and 507 lakh units were procured from central sector generating stations, including unscheduled interchange from the central grid.

With demand for electricity still on the rise, the board is making efforts to buy more power. For electricity consumers, however, the situation so far has been more or less the same with unscheduled power cuts extending for long hours.



Milk samples laced with soda found
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
Water is not the only thing that would adulterate your milk. Recently the Animal Husbandry Department found that soda was also being mixed with the milk apparently to enhance its density. This was stated by the Minister for Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, during his address to a seminar on “Role of dairy, poultry and fisheries in the upliftment of rural economy in Punjab”.

Mr Kang assured that the government was committed to make quality milk available to consumers and to fulfil this objective a public awareness campaign had been initiated across the state to make the consumers aware about good quality milk.

He said 33 camps had been held in the state where 1,220 milk samples brought by consumers were tested. About 445 samples were reported to be below the prescribed standards for normal milk. He said most of the samples were adulterated with water but in Bathinda 24 out of 84 samples were found to be laced with soda.

The state government he said would launch a special campaign to train the unemployed youth for the dairy management. This is being done to promote the dairy as a vocation in the state and to provide avenues of self-employment to the youth, particularly in the rural areas.

The minister said the training was being conducted at the dairy training and extension centres in Ludhiana, Phagwara, Taran Tarn, Ardulgarh and Kural and so far 14,000 youths had been trained. He said the state-of-art training centre at Chatanlai in Ropar district was to be built at a cost of Rs 70 lakh. This would be functional within one month.

Mr Kang said in this year about 20,000 farmers would be helped in getting loans from banks and other institutions. Last year farmers were provided loans to the tune of Rs 22 crore and during this year loans of Rs 30 crore would be disbursed.

The minister also launched the official website to the department, www.husbandrypunjab.org.

Speaking on the occasion, the Punjab Agricultural University Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh, suggested that the government should give special attention to improve the breed of buffaloes.

Among others who addressed the seminar included Mr D.S. Bains, Secretary, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development, Dr B.S. Sandhu, Director, Animal Husbandry, and Dr Anil Kumar Kaura, Director Dairy Development.



CM’s resignation sought

Ludhiana, June 22
The BJP has demanded the resignation of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, for allegedly speaking from a pro-Khalistan platform during his visit to a gurdwara in Canada.

The state secretary of the BJP, Mr Anil Sarin, said today that the Chief Minister had always shown his soft corner towards the extremists. Reacting to the picture published in various newspapers showing the Chief Minister addressing a gathering in the backdrop of a slogan “Khalistan Zindabad” written in Gurmukhi, the BJP leader asked: “How could the Chief Minister speak from such a platform knowing well what was written in the backdrop?” Meanwhile, there was shock and anguish among Congress workers. TNS



Lawyers resent non-issuance of VAT rule notification
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
Lawyers expressed resentment over the non-issuance of notification of Punjab VAT rules at a special meeting of the Taxation Advisers held here late last evening.
Mr Satish Aggarwal, president of the association, said even after three months of the implementation of VAT, the government had failed to issue notification of VAT rules which was causing a lot of difficulties in calculating tax.

“Dealers have to submit quarterly returns in the month of July but due to the absence of clarification regarding the rules, there is confusion among lawyers and traders,” said press secretary Jatinder Khurana.

Lawyers pointed out various difficulties like non clarification about the rate of tax on purchase of capital goods.

Electrical merchants: The Ludhiana Electrical Merchants Association today said traders would keep their shops closed from June 24 to 27. This information was given by Mr Jasmeet Singh Makkar of the association.



Two killed, 19 hurt in mishap
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
Two persons, including a woman, were killed and 19 injured when a private transport bus overturned opposite the Khalsa College for Women at Kamalpura on the Jagraon-Raikot road today.

The bus (no. PB -13 K-9545) left Raikot in the morning. The police said the bus driver was booked for overspeeding and causing the accident. The accident took place when he tried to overtake another bus. The deceased were identified as Charanjit Kaur and Gurdev Dass.


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