L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Three killed in train-car collision at
unmanned level crossing

Strong protests by hundreds of angry residents
Tribune News Service

Cruel destiny

A pall of gloom engulfed Baddowal village following the accident. Gurmeet Kaur’s family has been badly shattered by the tragedy. Her two teenage children had been orphaned by the tragedy. Her husband had died a few years ago. The condition of the relatives was pitiable. Gurdeep Singh, one of the brothers of the deceased, was wailing badly. He did not allow the police to shift the bodies till his elder brother arrived.

Quirk of fate

It could be termed a quirk of fate only. The delay of half an hour in the running of the Ludhiana-Hisar train proved fatal for the three persons of the Baddowal village family who died at the unmanned level crossing. The departure time of the train was 1:40 pm. Due to some reasons it left the Ludhiana railway station at 2:10 pm and collided with the car at 2:26 pm.

Ludhiana, July 30
Three persons, including two women, belonging to Baddowal village, were killed in a train-car collision at the “killer” unmanned crossing over Dhurri line near Himmat Singh Nagar this afternoon.

The rail traffic remained suspended on the track for over three hours due to the accident.

The Ludhiana-Jakhal-Hissar train no. 6 LJH had left the Ludhiana railway station at 2:10 pm and met with the accident at 2:26 pm, according to railway sources. The train dragged the Maruti Zen car (HR-05 L- 4005) to over 150m before the latter fell in to a gorge.

The three deceased were identified as Paramjit Singh, his cousin Gurmeet Kaur and Rajni, a resident of Rajguru Nagar, Ludhiana. They had left Baddowal village in the forenoon and were returning after collecting money from some person, who lived near Guru Nanak Engineering college.

The car was smashed into two pieces with the bodies badly stuck in the mangled remains of the car.

The accident sparked strong protests by hundreds of angry residents of Guru Tegh Bahadur Nagar, Himmat Singh Nagar and several other colonies, who staged a massive demonstration at the rail line. They blamed the accident on the delay in installing a barrier at the level crossing connecting Guru Tegh Bahadur Nagar and Himmat Singh Nagar.

They lifted the siege when SDM(West), Mr Malwinder Singh Jaggi, and Mr A.S. Mann assured the residents that the barrier would be installed within a week.

The train driver Subash Chander said the train was running within the speed limits, ‘‘I was blowing the horn at the unmanned crossing and no car was visible as I approached it. However, the car suddenly came at the crossing and tried to cross it and collided with the train.”

Shaken by the accident, the train driver requested the Railways officials to send another driver for the remaining journey. He was replaced soon but the train moved after 5:30 pm only due to the protests.

The Railways Department has ordered an inquiry into the accident. The inquiry would ascertain if the train was moving within speed limits. The train driver has already stated that he was not at fault in any manner.



Unmanned crossings or killer tracks?
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 30
The train accident in which three car-borne persons, including two women, were crushed to death by Ludhiana-Jakhal-Hisar train at the unmanned railway crossing, joining Guru Tegh Bahadur Nagar and Baba Deep Singh Nagar here today, has once again brought to the focus on the increasing number of accidents at the unmanned railway crossings.

Incidentally, the accident took place following a row over putting up of a railway gate, when a group of residents had been protesting against the same while another group had been spearheading a campaign in its favour. One of the groups of residents had specially constituted a joint action committee to oppose the putting up of a railway gate on the 16-feet-wide road instead of 66 feet-wide stretch.

Amid the protests, the putting up of railway gate was delayed. The demonstration saw allegations and counter-allegations against a SDM who, in his inquiry, report had submitted that a gate was the requirement of the hour at the crossing.

While the district administration was forced to delay the putting up of gates, there seemed to be no respite for the residents of areas in vicinity of unmanned crossings, who had been forced to live under a constant fear for their lives on such a crossing.

Not only the residents of these areas, but those of BRS Nagar, Rajguru Nagar and Threeke village, who suffer because of unmanned crossing, demanded a solution to the problem. They claimed that more than 30 such accidents had taken place at these crossings during the last few years and a number of persons had lost their lives. They said that they had written to the Improvement Trust, but to no avail.

They had been demanding after every such accident that the crossing near Baba Deep Singh Nagar should at least be manned as this was the place where most of the accidents took place. Similar was the case of a crossing near Threeke village.

According to residents, many school buses also crossed the track during the day time. Even after many deaths occurring on this track the authorities had been paying no heed to the residents’ requests.



Stranded passengers face harassment
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 30
Hundreds of passengers on board the Ludhiana-Hisar train that collided with a car at an unmanned crossing, were left harassed and exhausted when the train was forced to halt there for over three hours.

The area residents had stopped the train to protest the delay in the installation of a railway barrier at the crossing. The police and the railway officials were busy in controlling the crowd outside or with the formailites of the accident. There was no arrangement for providing water to the passengers who were sweating due to the humid weather.

At the intervention of some mediapersons, the area residents arranged water supply for the passengers. The passengers, too, were having mixed feelings over the accident. They were feeling sorry for the family of the deceased persons but were upset at the stopping of the train.

They said the train had the right of way at the railway line and the car driver should have been cautious. They said the area residents may have their reasons for staging the demonstrations but they should give a thought to the plight of the passengers too.

Kamal Kumar, a passenger, said he had to reach Hisar early for some urgent family work but now he was stranded. Another passenger Kulwant Singh was trying to arrange water for his children, who were thirsty and crying loudly.



ETO, firm in VB net
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, July 30
On the complaint of a firm, Divya Shakti Steel, a team of the Vigilance Bureau (VB) claims to have arrested Janak Raj Jindal, ETO (Sales Tax), and Mr Ravinder Kumar of K.L. Ghai Steel, here yesterday.

As stated by Mr Jaspal Singh, DSP (VB), who headed the team, proprietor of Divya Shakti Steel Narinder Kumar had alleged in a complaint that steel goods were exported fraudulently by quoting sales tax number of his firm.

The aggrieved firm had made a complaint with Mr Janak Raj, ETO, Mandi Gobindgarh, but to no avail.

After preliminary investigation, the allegation against K.L. Ghai Steel and the ETO was found correct and a case registered. The accused were arrested yesterday.

Mr Janak Raj refuted the allegations. He asserted that the firm had not made a complaint to him. Mr Ravinder Kumar of K.L. Ghai Steel stated that the relevant goods tax had been deposited with the government.



A clarification

The photo published in Ludhiana Tribune dated July 30, 2005, along with a story about encroachments inadvertently carried the picture of the late Dr Atam Hamrahi with a wrong caption. The error is regretted. — Editor



Honda issue: labour unions to hold rally
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 30
Expressing solidarity with Honda Motors workers, labour unions in the city said they would join a protest rally outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office to be held here on August 1.

A meeting of several labour unions, including Moulder and Steel Workers Union, Lok Ekta Sangathan, Hosiery Workers Union, Rashtriya Shaheed Bhagat Singh Mazdoor Sangathan, Bigul Mazdoor Dasta and Lok Sangharsh Committee, Jassowal Soodan, was held here today to discuss the issue.

Mr Harjinder Singh of Moulder and Steel Workers Union said the workers were being harassed and being deprived of the benefits that they were entitled to. Alleging that “capitalists were flouting labour laws with impunity,” the union members said entrepreneurs were only concerned with was maximising their profits.

“They increase the work-load on labourers with the sole aim to increase production. But the workers are not even paid what is rightfully due to them,” said the union.

They said workers would not tolerate such injustice any more and would raise their voice against it.

Mr Singh said that after a protest rally outside the Labour Office on August 1, labour and employees organisations would protest outside the DC office.



PPCB decision to shift units flayed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 30
Mr Joginder Kumar and Mr Manmohan Singh Ubhi, president and secretary of the Ludhiana Electroplaters Association, have condemned the decision of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) to shift polluting units out of the residential areas by September 30.

The association blamed the government for not acquiring land for polluting units and for haphazard growth of industrial units across the state.

Mr Joginder Kumar, said that after a meeting with industrial associations in 1990, land was acquired in Mundian and 349 acres were allotted to the Punjab State Industrial Enterprises Corporation (PSIEC). Polluting units were identified and 110 acres marked for them, which were later encroached upon.

The PSIEC, however, did not make any effort to reserve land for polluting units and more than 400 acres of undeveloped land was allotted to six big industrial houses at throwaway prices, he said.

He alleged that 110 acres of land were handed back to the PSIEC, which were then handed over back to land owners for reasons best known to the government.

The association urged the Chief Minister to direct the PPCB not to dislocate 250 units. They also said that these units be helped in making amendments in their layout. Ten acres of land between Phase VII and Phase VIII may be allotted to the association so that the units in residential area may be relocated, the association said.



DCC village-level panels
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 30
Following the guidelines issued by the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, the District Congress Committee (DCC) Ludhiana (Rural) has decided to set up village-level committees across the district.

These committees will work as nodal agencies for addressing the grievances of workers, besides disseminating information about the policies and programmes of the government. A meeting of the DCC Ludhiana (rural) was held here today under the chairmanship of its president, Mr Hamohinder Singh Pradhan. It was attended by most office-bearers of the district. Besides drawing up long-term strategies, the meeting finalised preparations for the August 15 rally at Issru and the death anniversary of the late Beant Singh on August 31 at Payal.



Suvidha camp on Aug 4
Our Correspondent

Samrala , July 30
To solve the problems of the general public residing in the jurisdiction of the Machhiwara kanungo circle, a suvidha camp will be held at Community Hall, Machhiwara, 9 km from here, on August 4 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to Mr Baldev Singh, SDM, Samrala.

Talking to mediapersons at the local Civil Rest House, Mr Baldev Singh, SDM, said this camp would be presided over by the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, at which all heads of individual offices would be present.

The SDM said the villages falling in the kanungo circle were Sainsowal Kalan, Sainsowal Khurd, Udhowal Kalan, Udhowal Khurd, Udhowal, Panjgrayan, Jatiwal, Tanda Kushal Singh, Jharaudi, Zulafgarh, Lubangarh, Lakhowal Kalan, Lakhowal Khurd, Bhagwanpura, Mithowal, Rahimabad Kalan, Rahimabad Khurd, Saidpura, Chaucki, Chakli Adal, Tanda Adal, Tanda Kalia, Burj Pucca, Burj Kacha, Noorpur, Rattipur, Machhiwara, Bhattian, Gurugarh, Addiana Rajgarh, Takhran and Arak.



Rotary Club scholarships

Ludhiana, July 30
The Rotary Club, Ludhiana, distributed scholarships to 10 students of Government Senior Secondary School, Jawahar Nagar Camp, here yesterday. At a function held in the school premises, more than Rs 10,000 were given to the students on a merit-cum-need basis.
The club plans to distribute an equal number of scholarships among rural schools this year. OC



Custodial death: 3
SAD leaders booked
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 30
Even as a magisterial inquiry into the alleged suicide by a detainee in police custody at Chowki Malaudh, near here, yesterday is in its preliminary phase, the Malaudh police has booked three SAD leaders, including president of the nagar panchayat, under Section 306 of the IPC for allegedly abetting Surinder to commit suicide

Leaders of various political parties, including the SAD, have accused the Khanna district police of making the SAD leaders scapegoat in the case. They have alleged that the police is acting at the behest of a Congress MLA who is bent upon teaching a lesson to those Akali leaders who joined the party recently after leaving the Congress.

Sources said that the Malaudh police had registered an FIR under Section 306 of the IPC against Mr Sanjiv Puri, president, Nagar, Panchayat Malaudh, Toni and Noni for allegedly abetting Surinder Kumar, a resident of Ward No. 5 of Malaudh town to commit suicide.

Surinder had killed himself by piercing his chest with a piece of glass in the presence of a large number of persons who had come to the chowki in connection with a dispute.

Ms Usha Sharma and Mr Raj Kumar Sharma, wife and son, respectively of the deceased had stated before the police that the suspects had been harassing Surinder by lodging false complaints against him.

Mr Tejinder Singh Dhaliwal, SDM, Payal, showed ignorance about the circumstances that led to the registration of the case. “As I have been directed to investigate whether a police officials was responsible for the suicide committed by the Surinder, I was in no way concerned with the action taken by the police. I will confine my inquiry to the sequence of events that occurred in the chowki,” said Mr Dhaliwal.

He said the final report would be submitted after the receipt of the post- mortem report.

Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, an SAD MLA, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, former minister, Nr Raghbir Singh Saharnmajra and Harpreet Singh Garcha, both SGPC members, Ms Inderjit Kaur, member Zila Parishad, and Mr Bhagwan Singh, CPI leader and counciluor alleged that the police had falsely implicated Mr Puri and others on the instance of the congress MLA.

“Had Surinder been harassed by Mr Puri and others he could have lodged a complaint against them or left some suicide note before taking such a decision,” argued Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha.

He alleged that the police had pressurised the family of the deceased to depose against Mr Puri and his associates. 



Police books 6 persons
Shifting of gurdwara in Bhoju Patti
Mahesh Sharma

Barundi (Ahmedgarh), July 30
The issue of shifting Shri Guru Arjun Dev Gurdwara in Bhoju Patti to a more spacious building took a U-turn when the Dehlon police booked six persons of the village under Sections 295-A, 457, 498, 511 and 120-B of the IPC. They had been demanding action against the members of the Gurudwara Management Committee, who had shifted the religious place to a more spacious building on the outskirts of the village.

Terming the police action as politically motivated, Mr Charan Singh Lohara, general secretary, SAD (A), and Mr Harpreet Singh Garcha, a SAD-supported SGPC member, demanded a magisterial inquiry into the sequence of events leading to the alleged act of sacrilege of keeping the holy book of the Sikhs locked in the building.

Acting on a complaint lodged by Mr Jaswinder Singh, president of the committee, the police registered a case against Banta Singh, Hardeep Singh, Paramjit Singh, Mohinder Singh, Hardeep Singh s/o Balvir Singh, Ramandeep Singh and Bikram Singh of the local village for allegedly placing Guru Granth Sahib inside the old building of the religious place by breaking open the locks.

Things hotted up yesterday when a group of SAD (A) leaders, led by Mr Charan Singh Lohara, visited the village and asked the administration to get the locks opened. Leaders of other political parties, including the Congress and SAD, were also present on the occasion. Contrary to the claim of the management, a holy book was found lying inside the building.

Observations by the police revealed that the holy book had been placed by the accused recently to establish possession. Though the SAD (A) and SAD leaders had demanded restoration of religious discourse in the old building, the police registered an FIR against the residents of the village.

Reiterating his earlier stand, Mr Charan Singh Lohara urged the civil administration to hand over the possession of the building to some organisation and restore its sanctity by starting religious discourse here. “Unfortunately the police acted at the behest of some congress leaders and registered a case against the opposition leaders,” said Mr Lohara. He threatened to launch an agitation in case the matter was not resolved by August 3.

Earlier a faction of the residents of the patti had accused a Congress leader of the village of hurting the sentiments of the devotees by locking the old building.



Migrant labourer killed over Rs 6,000
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 30
A migrant labourer employed at a local dairy had to lose his life for demanding back a sum of Rs 6,000 that he had sent to his parents through the assailants. He was murdered at a brick-kiln, near Latala village last night. 

The body of Vikas, alias Mithu of Maujam Shankar district, Madepur, presently working at DC diary at the Chhapar road, was spotted by a farm labourer working in the fields of Jagtar Singh today. Preliminary investigations by the police revealed that he was killed by Arjun Yadav and his accomplice who had been working as contract labourers at a brick-kiln situated at the Katcha road leading to Rasulpur village. Arjun had swindled a sum of Rs 6,000 that had been given by the deceased for handing over to his parents, a couple of weeks earlier.

Vikas’s parents called a panchayat at his village and stressed the parents of Arjun to give them the money that Vikas had sent for them. Feeling insulted, Arjun decided to teach Vikas a lesson. Vikas reportedly received a telephone call from Arjun yesterday. Later, he went to him to get back his money.

He left the dairy around 1.30 pm but did not return. His employer, Mr Joginder Pal, started searching for him in the night but got no clue till morning when Mr Amarjit Singh Khaira informed him of a body in the fields near Latala village. The police found some slips in the pockets of the shirt born by the deceased that suggested his link with the dairy owner. He was later identified as Vikas. The police reached the spot and pressed a dog squad and forensic experts into service. The dogs lead the police to the brick-kiln from where the suspects had already fled away. Observations revealed that the assailants had killed Vikas with a spade in the night. There were evidences that the killers were at least three in number. They had tied the deceased before killing him. The Dehlon police has registered an FIR under Section 302 of the IPC against Arjun and his unidentified accomplice.



Transformer stolen, 4 booked
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 30
Kundan Kumar residing at Mohalla Dara Road near Arora Place Ludhiana Chacha of Dhanderi Khalan , Vinod and Bachan of Ludhiana are alleged to have stolen power transformer from Dhaipai village. The Sudhar police has registered a case on the complaint of Gurpal Singh of Dhaipai .

Scooter theft: Gurmeet Singh of Burmi and Rupa and Gurmeet Singh of Raikot allegedly stole a scooter (Pb- o3A - 5958) from the tehsil complex at Raikot belonging to Major Singh of Birmi Raikot. 



Two booked for helping Hawara

Jagraon, July 30
The Sidhwan Bet police has registered a case against Joginder Singh, Dharam Singh of Ramgarh Bullar for allegedly helping Jagtar Singh Hawara, Babbar Khalsa Chief, with cash and ammunition. OC



SBP launches easy loan schemes
Our Correspondent

Amlon, July 30
A traders meet was organised yesterday by Mr S.N. Goyal, local Branch Manager, State Bank of Patiala (SBP). At least 50 customers of different trades including commission agents, rice millers and shopkeepers participated.

Mr C.S. Kang, Deputy General Manager, was the chief guest, Mr K.S. Bodh, Assistant General Manager, presided over the function. Mr Jeevan Kumar Puri, president, Arhtiya Association, Mr Randhir Singh, president, Rice Mills Association, Mr Ranjeet Singh Boparai, Mr Suresnder Jindal and Mr Kashmira Singh Shahpur stressed on the need to open a special counter for commission agents during the season and to simplify payment to the dependent of a deceased account-holder. The traders suggested issuing of cheque books with 100 cheques instead of 25.

Mr C.S. Kang accepted certain suggestions at the spot. He explained some people-friendly schemes launched by the bank.


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