L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Bodies of woman, daughters found from Sidhwan Canal
Police suspects suicide pact
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 9
Three badly-decomposed bodies of a middle-aged woman and her two teenaged daughters, who had been reported to be missing for two weeks, were retrieved from inside a car in Sidhwan Canal today morning. It was, however, unclear whether the three had committed suicide or had met with an accident or had been murdered.

The woman, Jagjit Kaur, alias Neelam, wife of a cycle parts manufacturer Harminder Singh, and daughter of a Patiala-based retired DSP Joginder Singh Chowdhry had been missing since June 26 evening. She lived in house No 12-L, Dugri road here. Her two daughters 18-year-old Jaspreet Kaur and 14-year-old Navtej Kaur were with her. All three were found dead in the vehicle.

The car, a Maruti Zen (No PB-10 AZ-1777) was spotted by some passers- by near South City bank of the canal. The condition of the bodies suggested that the three had drowned on June 26 evening only.

The car became visible when water-level of the canal receded today after flowing at highest level for more than three weeks as per the rotation system of the Irrigation Department.

The woman had left the house on June 26 evening saying she was to go to a gurdwara. She took her two daughters but left behind her 10-year-old son. When she did not return till late night, her husband lodged a missing report with the Model Town police. The family had been looking for them at several places since then.

The police was working on various theories while mainly stressing that the three could have ended their lives in a suicide pact. The reasons of taking such an extreme step, however, remained unknown. Jagir Kaur’s husband, in-laws and her parents were badly shaken on getting the news of the recovery of the bodies. The police said they were not in position to give any statement.

SP (City) R.K. Jaiswal and DSP R K Bakshi said the manner in which the bodies had been found suggested that the three victims did not make much effort to save themselves. This had strengthened the suicide theory. There was also a possibility that they could have been murdered and then the vehicle was rolled into the canal.

The bodies have been sent to Rajindra Hospital, Patiala for post-mortem examination as facilities for the examination of such bodies are available there only, the police said.

Mr Jaiswal said 18-year-old Jaspreet was found on the driving seat while the body of her sister was found on the front seat. Their mother was found in a sitting position in the back seat.

Harminder Singh, husband of the deceased woman, was crying bitterly at the banks of the canal after identifying the bodies. The condition of Balwinder Singh, brother of Neelam, was also pitiable.

However, Baljit Kaur, mother-in-law of the woman, while talking to a couple of mediapersons at the victim’s house said Neelam was short-tempered. ‘‘She used to get angry very fast’’ she said. Baljit Kaur said she knows nothing about the reasons behind her disappearance and alleged suicide, ‘‘I and my husband live on the first floor of the house while my son, Harminder, and his family live on the ground floor. We have a separate kitchen’’ she said.



Boom in land prices in villages around city
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 9
Property prices in villages around the city are on the rise. Not only has the demand for commercial land increased, but the people are also preferring to invest in property in comparison to other investment options.

The villages that have recorded even a two to three fold rise in prices, include Dhelon, Jodhan, Sudhar, Raniya, Alamgir, Gill, Sarinh and Bolara.

Besides fast paced development in the city being a major reason for this rise, falling interest rates on deposits and fluctuating gold prices are the key reasons that are driving people buying property. Increased speculation has also been witnessed, and as a result of this an increasing number of people are buying property and selling it off soon as prices increase.

“In contrast to the earlier trend when one bought property and kept it for years, the last few months have witnessed a change as people are buying and selling within a short span of time,” said Kuldip Singh Karwal, a property dealer in Mandi Ahmedgarh.

Even industrialists are preferring property over other investment options. Mr Ramesh Singla, an entrepreneur said, “ Earlier, we used to prefer gold over any other investment, but now property is a better option as rates have increased manifold.”

Another factor contributing to increasing land rates is the construction of roads. While work on Barnala Road, including Raikot bypass, would soon begin, reconstruction of the much-neglected Ludhiana-Malerkotla road has also begun.

Farmers in villages located around this road are selling off their land to “big buyers” due to a two to three fold increase in land rates.

“With the construction of this road and a bypass near Gill village, the area is attracting big buyers,” said Mr Jaswinder Singh of Gobind Real Estate in Gill village.

Owing to the development of this road, new colonisers have started purchasing land. Besides, various big companies have also shown interest in buying land here thanks to the coming up of a number of luxury malls in Ludhiana.

All these developments, have given a fillip to real estate in these villages, including Gill, Bolara, Araniya, Alamgir and Sarinh villages.

This has come as a boon for farmers in these areas who are selling off their land to buy land at lower rates in other villages.

“Colonisers had never shown an interest in developing colonies in these villages in a way while they have shown interest now. Firms, from Ludhiana and around, and even from Delhi are buying land here.” People are even building farm houses in these villages.

“The real estate boom is healthy and is likely to continue for some time, which makes property an attractive option to invest.”



Congress fairs poorly in cooperative bodies’ poll
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 9
If the results of the elections to various cooperative bodies are any indication, all is not well with the Congress in the rural areas. Since the electorate of these elections mainly belongs to the rural background, the results are indicative of the standing of the political parties in these areas. Of the 36 posts of director in various bodies, the Congress could manage to win in only 14. Even of these two have already deserted the party, while the third one is likely to follow the suit.

Of the 12 posts of director in the Ludhiana Milkfed, the Congress could manage to win just six, while the remaining six were won by the opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal). The Congress, however, managed a majority in the sugar mill, Budhewal, as four of its directors won against three by the Akalis. However, one of the directors, considered to be close to the SAD-B leader, Mr Mann Singh Garcha, is believed to be considering to desert the party as he was being promised the chairman’s post. The Akalis have two directors and enjoy the support of the third one, who won as the Kisan Union candidate.

The Congress had the worst shock in the elections for the post of the director of the Land Mortgage Bank, Samrala. It lost all the six posts to the opposition SAD-B. In Mulapur Agricultural Service Society also, the Congress had managed to win four seats, while the Akalis could win just two. But two elected directors deserted to the SAD-B recently in presence of the party general secretaries, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, and Mr Sukhbir Badal.

The two directors were considered to be close to the District Congress Committee (rural) president, Mr Harmohinder Singh Pradhan. In fact they had joined the Congress a few years ago at his behest only.

Similarly it lost all the six posts of directors in the Land Mortgage Bank, Malaud, also. However, the party managed to win the majority in the elections for the Land Mortgage Banks of Khanna and Jagraon.

The outcome of these elections may not matter much as they do not make any difference in the overall political equilibrium. But these are considered to be crucial indicators of the things to come in near future. The Congress had already been facing alienation in rural areas where its rival SAD-B is already placed in a stronger position. The results of these elections do not present any positive or prospective picture to the party. Critics within the party have already started targeting the district (rural) unit president, Mr Harmohinder Singh Pradhan, blaming him for the rout.



No trace of missing truck driver, vehicle
Our Correspondent

Hoshiar Singh Ludhiana, July 9
The Jodhewal Basti police has not been able to trace a truck driver who has been missing since the first week of June last while he was on his way back from New Delhi to the city.

A visibly broken Mr Jeet Singh, a daily wager, told Ludhiana Tribune today that his son Hoshiar Singh, 35, who is a father of three daughters and two sons, was employed with a transport company as a driver. He had left the city for delhi on May 29 to deliver a consignment there. After delivering the consignment at delhi, he embarked on a return journey to the city, carrying another consignment. He crossed the Karnal check post at around 5.30 am on June 2 but he went missing somewhere between Karnal and Ambala on the National Highway.

Mr Jeet Singh further told that he and his son’s employer tried to trace him on their own for a couple of days after which they lodged a report at the Basti Jodhewal police station. Without his son, Mr Jeet Singh is finding it hard to support his large family. 



City sweats as heat, humidity rise

Ludhiana, July 9
After two days of pleasantly cool weather in the wake of continuous rain, the city residents once again sweated it out in bright sunshine today. The city had its last showers , lasting a few minutes, on Thursday evening. But after that the city residents have been experiencing bright sunshine since yesterday.

As a result of this the day temperatures rose by three degrees and the humidity also rose to 86 per cent yesterday which remained almost the same today as well giving rise to that sticky feeling typical of the rainy season. OC



Govt urged to check sale of narcotics
Tribune News Service

Samrala, July 9
A seminar was organised by the Samaj Chetna Forum at Shahi Palace here today and gave an ultimatum to the Punjab Government to check sale of drugs and narcotics in the state within 15 days. The Forum and other organisations would launch a movement against the sale of drugs. It would check chemist shops selling drugs and punish the guilty.

Mr Balbir Singh Rajewal, general secretary, Bharti Kisan Union (India), moved a resolution which was unanimously adopted. It was decided that un-scrupulous chemists selling drugs without prescription of doctors to youths should be targeted.

He said drug addiction had made deep inroads in the state. Quoting a study, he said, addicts of smack were not aware that they won’t live for more than six years whereas it was commonly known that drugs addiction makes one impotent. It is a matter of grave concern that the youth addicted to drugs are also contracting AIDS.

On the occasion, Mr Baldev Singh Mianpur, president of the BKU, Punjab, said the political hierarchy today was responsible for all those evils. Only a movement of the people could check this menace, he said.

Dr Santosh Bhatia, District Medical Officer from the civil surgeon office, Ludhiana, organised an exhibition against the drugs abuse. The SMO, Dr J P Singh, of Samrala said drugs addiction could be checked only with the cooperation of patients and their wards.

Dr Tejpal Singh, a surgeon said the excise policy of the state government was also encouraging the drug addiction and it had become a symbol of social status.



Pensioners urge PSEB to resolve problems
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 9
A meeting of PSEB Pensioners Federation was held here today. A press note issued by Er SK Kapoor, general secretary of the federation, said the PSEB did not mitigate old cases of dues which had been lying pending for years.

The PSEB also did allow free electricity to pensioners where as its regular staff was getting it. The government was proposing to give free electricity to farmers and others but it was denying this facility to pensioners. Also the banks were not completing the pass books of pensioners. When a cheque was presented took a long time encash it. The PSEB and banks were urged to solve the pensioners problems.



Man booked for threatening woman
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 9
A resident of Rurka village has been booked under Sections 452, 506, 25, 27, 54, 59 of the Arms Act by Delhon police on the complaint of a woman of the same village.

According to the information Rajinder Singh of Rurka had threatened Bimaljit Kaur of his village to marry him or be prepared to face dire consequences. Bimaljit lodged a complaint with the police in this regard. The police has started investigation but no arrest has been made so far.



4 booked
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 9
Gursewak Singh, Jagdip Singh, Daljit Singh and Tejwant Singh of Chak Bhaika allegedly assaulted Lakhwinder Singh of Jalaldiwal with sharp-edged weapons and canes and the Raikot police has registered a case under Sections 323, 324, 34, IPC. No arrest has been made so far.



Auto parts dealers want VAT rates reduced
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 9
Auto part dealers have demanded rates under Value Added Tax (VAT) to be reduced from the existing 12.5 per cent to 4 per cent. Mr Gurpargat Singh Kahlon, president, Ludhiana Motor Parts Manufacturers Association, said the auto parts industry was suffering due to the 12.5 per cent rate.

A delegation of the association also met Punjab Finance Minister Surinder Singla and Excise and Taxation Minister Sardul Singh to discuss the issue.

At a meeting of the association, the general secretary Mr Charan Singh Kohli, said that in order to make the association an effective body at national level, its name has been changed to Auto Parts Manufacturers Association.

He also informed the members that the association had purchased land for a permanent office. The members also demanded arrangements to be made for clearing containers that are not able to reach their destination due to heavy rains.


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