L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


5 killed as auto collides with bus
Vimal Sumbly & Loveleen Bains

Ludhiana, August 12
Five persons, including three women and a child, were killed in an accident when the autorickshaw (PB10 AG-9862) they were travelling in collided head-on with a bus (PB11E-3787) coming from the opposite direction.

Of the eight injured, six are undergoing treatment at the Civil Hospital here while two seriously injured have been admitted to Christian Medical College and Hospital and Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.

The driver and the conductor of the bus reportedly fled from the site of the accident. The police have registered a case.

The driver of the autorickshaw, Gurmail Singh, was also killed in the accident. Most passengers were women. They belonged to Azad Nagar in Shimlapuri. They were returning from Gurdwara Somsar in Tibba village. The bus was on its way to Sirhind from Ludhiana.

The accident took place at Harnampura, adjacent to the ashram of Bapu Asa Ram. Apparently, the bus as well as the autorickshaw had taken the canal route to bypass the toll post at Doraha. According to one of the injured women undergoing treatment at the Civil Hospital, the auto driver lost balance after one of the wheels got delinked.

The driver got panicky and hit the bus coming from the opposite direction. The impact of the collision was such that all 13 passengers inside the auto were thrown out.

All injured were taken to the Civil Hospital here, where five of them were declared “brought dead”. Those killed were identified as Gurmail Singh (driver of the auto), Paramjit Kaur, Malti Devi, Manjit Kaur and Binder Singh. The injured include Preeti, Sunita, Darshan Kaur, Raji, Harjinder Kaur, Kulwant Kaur and Rama, who is only three years old, and another unidentified woman.

It was chaotic at the Civil Hospital. There were no stretchers available to carry the injured and the dead. The injured had to be carried on wheelchairs. A number of people, mostly from Shimlapuri, reached the Civil Hospital to inquire about their relatives.

A pall of gloom descended on Azad Nagar locality. The women had left in the morning to pay obeisance at Gurdwara Somsar.



Chaos as traffic blocked at Dholewal flyover
Commuters stranded for more than four hours
Our Correspondent

Workers try to clear chaff that blocked traffic on one lane of the Dholewal flyover near Cheema chowk
Workers try to clear chaff that blocked traffic on one lane of the Dholewal flyover near Cheema chowk on Friday. — Tribune photo by Sayeed Ahmed

Ludhiana, August 12
Traffic was blocked for more than four hours on the Dholewal bridge here this morning after a tractor-trailer carrying an inflated load of chaff turned upside down following a minor skirmish with a truck at around 8 am near the foot of the flyover touching Cheema chowk. By the time cops from the nearby division number six police station arrived on the scene, those driving the tractor-trailer had fled to evade police action. The truck driver had also sped away , said a police official present on the spot.

As a result of the mishap, the whole lane leading from the city to Samrala chowk was flooded with dried chaff and commuters were stranded in a huge traffic jam . Those stranded at the end of the jam had no idea what had happened . Even some policemen , who were watching the commotion silently, were of little help. Without identifying himself, this reporter asked three different cops as to what had caused the jam but none of them cared to give a reply. Some scooterists were using the raised pavement to get ahead of the stranded lane of cars.

Though several cars remained stranded for hours on the stretch , the situation was brought under control by allowing the use of the city-bound lane.

Finally, it was around 12.15 pm. when a police officer signalled the traffic to move. As there was still plenty of chaff left on the road, some police officers present on the scene started grumbling that it was a premature move. A senior official of the division number six police station told Ludhiana Tribune that the police was not registering any case in this regard.

Mr Gurdial Singh, S.P,Traffic, could not be contacted on his cell phone to tell whether the traffic police had registered any case in this regard or not.



Doctor couple booked for fraud
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 12
The police has booked a doctor couple running an infertility clinic here in a case of fraud and fabrication of documents with the intent of grabbing 1200 square yards of land on Ferozepore Road.

A case under Sections 406/420/465/467/469/471 and 120-B, IPC, has been registered against Dr Sumita and Dr Sumeet Sofat on a complaint by Mr Ramesh Pashan, a resident of Udham Singh Nagar.

The complainant, charging the couple with forgery, fabrication of documents and hatching a conspiracy in respect of the plot owned by him, alleged at news conference here today that he had purchased the said piece of land in December, 1998, and the mutation was also entered in his name in the revenue record.

According to Mr Pashan, he had got a general power of attorney registered in the name of Dr Sumita Sofat in October 2000, but later, after finding that the same could be misused, he got it cancelled.

The cancellation deed was duly registered with the Sub-Registrar here in July, 2004. Dr Sumita Sofat was duly notified about the cancellation and a public notice was also got published in a vernacular newspaper.

“However, she, in connivance with certain persons, got an agreement of the sale registered with the Sub-Registrar in February, 2005, in favour of her husband, Dr Sumeet Sofat, with the intention of cheating the complainant and unlawfully grabbing his property”, maintained Mr Pashan.

The accused persons had misrepresented facts and had got the sale agreement registered on the basis of power of attorney which stood revoked more than a year ago, he said.

According to the complaint, the sale agreement for the piece of land in question was a forged and fabricated document, prepared with the intention of occupying the said plot and causing financial loss to him.

Mr Pashan alleged that Mr Jomin Chain, Mr Dharam Vir, nambardar of Fatehpur Awana, and Mr Jatinder Kumar halqa patwari of Threeke village in this district, were part of the conspiracy.

The police said the matter was being investigated. No arrest had been made.



Sikhs submit memorandum to SDM
Our Correspondent

Khanna, August 12
More than 500 workers of the SAD and the BJP staged a protest rally against the Centre for not taking any proper action against the Congress leaders named in the Nanavati Commission report. Later they presented a memorandum to the SDM, Khanna, to be forwarded to the President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

At about 9.30 am the workers of both parties and religious personalities gathered in front of the SDM’s office. Addressing the rally, Mr Devinder Singh Khatra said it was the Congress regime which was shielding the guilty of the anti-Sikh riots. He said Congress’ refusal to take action against its leaders had proved that the party was responsible for the massacre of Sikhs in 1984.

Mr Harchand Singh Alipur, member of the SAD working committee, said the riots were a pre-planned programme.



Passing Thru

M. Balachandran
Mr M. Balachandran, Chairman and Managing Director, Bank of India.

What segments is the bank focusing on?

Our special focus is on increasing credit flow to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), apart from agriculture and retail segments. For SMEs, the bank will adopt measures like accepting warehousing receipts even from commodity exchanges. Besides, we plan to introduce a skills upgradation programme for entrepreneurs in small and medium enterprises. 

For the agricultural sector, the bank will encourage farmers to go in for agro-processing, for which it will assist them in framing proposals.

Kindly elaborate on the skills upgradation programme.

Under the programme, that will be launched soon, the bank, along with SIDBI, will identify entrepreneurs who will be equipped with adequate skills to meet global competition. Ludhiana is one of the 11 clusters across the country identified for this purpose.

Tell us about the bank’s expansion plans.

Punjab being an important market, we plan to open at least eight new branches by the end of this financial year. Over 20 more branches will be opened in other states. We have also got approval for opening branches in Veitnam, Quatar, Tanzania and Belgium and for upgrading its two centres in China. We are now waiting approval from the authorities in those countries.



Unique chikankari exhibition
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 12
A three-day exhibition of exclusive chickankari work will be exhibited at the Sutlej Club from tomorrow by Chandigarh-based entrepreneur Pragati Chawla. ‘Hunar’- the collection includes intricate chikankari done on suits, sarees and kurtis.

“It’s different from regular chikankari in the sense that products are highlighted with a lot of embellishments which include thread work, sequin work and mirror work. Normally, chikankari is done on pastel or very light shades but I have chosen a blend of many shades to highlight the intricacy of work”, said Pragati, who is all set to show-case her designer stuff during the exhibition.

A topper from NIFT, Delhi, Pragati has designed this special collection for people looking for a good trousseau. The exclusive suits and sarees are made on purear semi-georgette, crepe and cotton.The range starts from Rs 400 and goes up to Rs 25,000 for a heavy embroidered saree.

The young designer has already put up exhibitions at Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai, and Chandigarh.



Pvt bus operators ‘overcharging’
Our Correspondent

Amloh, August 12
The hike in bus fares has came as a boon for private bus operators with the government failing to check overcharging by them. This was brought to the notice of Ms Jaspreet Kaur, Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib, during a meeting of the Pensioners Welfare Association under the leadership of district chief Balwant Singh Sodhi. The Deputy Commissioner said she would issue the necessary instructions.



1 held with liquor, stolen mobiles
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 12
The police today conducted a raid at a provision store in Gur Mandi here and arrested one Ram Kumar for allegedly selling smuggled foreign liquor and stolen mobile phones.

The police had received information that Ram Kumar, along with his brother, was running a shop in the prime wholesale market of the city where smuggled foreign liquor and stolen mobile phones were being passed off to unsuspecting people at exorbitant prices.

When a police party from Division No 3 descended on the shop this afternoon, a person, carrying a cardboard box, was intercepted while coming out of the shop. On search, the box was found to contain four 1-litre bottles of Black Label whisky and five bottles of imported champagne. Three mobile phones of Nokia brand were also found on the person of the shopkeeper, identified as Ram Kumar.

The police suspected that the owners of the shop were working as conduits for the sale of smuggled foreign liquor and were also indulging in the trading of stolen mobile phones.

A case under Section 379/411 of the IPC and 61/1-14 of the Excise Act was registered in police Division No 3 and the arrested person was being interrogated for more details.



2 gold chains snatched
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 12
Two motorcycle-borne youths snatched two gold chains from a woman in Phase I, Urban Estate, Dugri, yesterday evening. The woman, Preeti Markan, was standing at the gate of her home after seeing off her husband, Mr Arvind Markan, Assistant District Attorney, Legal Services Authority, and her children.

As some of her neighbours met her outside, she started chatting with them. Meanwhile, two youths came on a black motor cycle and snatched two gold chains from her neck. Passers-by claimed it was a Bajaj Pulsar motor cycle.



House burgled, cash stolen

Jagraon, August 12
Burglars have struck at the house of Hardev Singh at Raikot and stolen Rs 10,000 after breaking open the lock of an Almirah. A case has been registered.

Woman assaulted: Ms Tapaswari of Mullanpur was allegedly pelted with stones by Kamal Kishor of her village. A case has been registered OC


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