L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Mishap victims’ kin block traffic
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
Forced by a massive demonstration and a road blockade by relatives of the five persons killed in yesterday’s bus-autorickshaw collision and area residents, the district administration today announced it would send a proposal to the state government recommending a relief of Rs 1 lakh to the next kin of each of the deceased and suitable compensation for the injured.

Mr M.S. Jaggi, SDM- West, announced this while addressing a group of demonstrators who blocked traffic at Gill Road for over two hours, demanding compensation to the victims. Those demonstrating were part of the funeral procession. They delayed the cremation till their demands were accepted.

Led by area councillor Simarjit Singh Bains, BJP leader Satpal Gosain, SGPC member Balwinder Singh Bains and Akali leader Sarbjit Baba, the relatives of the deceased persons and the area residents blocked traffic at about 11 am.

They were anguished that the state government had not announced relief for the deceased and the injured. They were also upset that no representative of the state government or from the district administration had come to attend the cremation.

Mr Simarjit Singh Bains and Mr Balwinder Bains told Ludhiana Tribune that the state government normally announced compensation for the victims, but for some reason it had not done so.

Five persons, including three women, were killed and eight injured in a collision between an autorickshaw and a private bus on the banks of Sidhwan canal near Harnampura village on the Ludhiana-Doraha canal road yesterday.

All deceased - Gurmail Singh, Paramjit Kaur, Malti Devi, Manjit Kaur and Binder Singh - belonged to Azad Nagar Colony in Simla Puri area.

The police had a hard time managing traffic on the road. A heavy posse of cops led by DSP R K Bakshi was deployed to avoid violence.



Delay in allotment letters worries allottees
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
With the Ludhiana Improvement Trust delaying the issuing of allotment letters to allottees of HIG and HIG (Super) flats in Rajiv Gandhi Enclave, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, here, the latter, waiting to get loans from banks to make payments, have been left in a quandary.

The trust had held a draw of lots on April 29 this year and promised the winners that allotment letters would be issued to them within 10 days time. They have now been waiting for over three months but no letters have been dispatched to them.

Allottees said some banks were offering them house loans on a smaller interest till August 24 and they wanted to avail the finance scheme from those banks. But with the trust not providing them any documentary evidence that they were the allottees, no bank would provide them loans.

“We do not even know when they will send us the letters. We have been making rounds of the trust office for the past three months. Each time we are told that the letters have been posted and will reach us soon. With hope rekindled, we go back, only to be disappointed,” said a harassed resident, who did not want to identify himself.

“It seems that the trust is least interested in public works. All they have to do is to send copies of the letter to 162 persons. And it has taken them more than three months to do so. Some banks will raise the interest by one per cent next month,’’ said another worried resident.

Mr D.C. Garg, Executive Officer, said there had been some delay in sending the letters to the residents, which were dispatched on August 10. The allottees would be receiving them within a few days. He said such delays were inevitable in a long process like allotment.

The trust had announced the HIG and HIG (Super) flats scheme in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar on January 10 this year and invited applications by February end. The HIG flats were priced between Rs 14.6 lakh and to Rs 15.1 lakh, depending on the floor and the HIG (Super) flats were priced between Rs 15 lakh and Rs 15.6 lakh.



Burglars strike at preacher’s house
Decamp with cash, jewellery worth Rs 8.5 lakh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
Burglars struck at a house in Urban Estate, Dugri, here last night and decamped with cash and jewellery worth Rs 8.5 lakh. The burglary took place in the house of Mr Balwant Singh Raggi, a preacher by profession, who had just returned home from a foreign country. He had kept £ 1800, Rs 3 lakh cash, costly watches, jewellery and other valuables, all amounting to over Rs 8.5 lakh in the house only.

Mr Raggi had gone to visit his in-laws’ house in Nabha and had given the keys of the house to a neighbour. The neighbour informed him today morning that the locks of the door were broken. He told the police that he had full faith in the neighbour and categorically stated that he does not suspect him.

The Model Town police said it could not find any fingerprints in the house, as the house owner, a relative and area residents had already moved in and out of the house several times.

ASI Bhajan Singh, in charge, Dugri police post, said the police was investigating the case from several angles. He said it was interesting to note that the locks were put on the wiremesh door of the house instead of the inner wooden doors as per the normal practice.

Mr Raggi was devastated at the incident, “I had recently returned from abroad and could not get time to deposit the money or use it elsewhere”, he said. He had sold off a plot at Rs 3 lakh and was negotiating a deal to buy another plot from the money.

The burglars had completely ransacked the place and broken the almirahs in search of the booty.



Cops bother residents to ensure peaceful I-Day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The city police today conducted house-to-house enquires near the Government College for Boys, besides launching a massive search operation in the bus stand, the railway station, cinema halls and several other public places to avert any mishappening on Independence Day.

Cops went from door to door at all houses located around the college, the venue for the Independence Day celebrations. Health Minister Ramesh Dogra is scheduled to unfurl the National Flag at the venue. The police gathered details about the identity of guests or tenants staying at these places.

There was no specific information about any terrorist strike but the police is not taking any chances. There is a general alert in the state following the busting of the network of now arrested Babbar Khalsa International chief Jagtar Singh Hawara.

Though the residents were not happy at the enquires, the SP, City, Mr R.K. Jaiswal, said the police had to conduct searches and make enquires from houses near the venue as those places could be used for sabotage. A resident wishing not to be quoted said every time there was some government function at the college grounds, the police harassed them, seeking details on who was visiting the house.

The police did not find any suspicious activity in the houses. The details of the guests and the tenants have been recorded and can be used for reference in case a need arises.

The police launched a special search operation from 12 noon to 2 pm in the bus stand, the railway station, cinema halls and several other public places. A number of suspects were detained and let off after their credentials were recorded.

DSP R.K. Bakshi said the police searched almost all cinema halls to look for any suspicious person. The police also sounded a red alert in the evening and put up special nakas at random places to check vehicles. The police took the help of sniffer dogs.



Passing Thru

Pradeep Gangal
Pradeep Gangal, CEO, mh1 and Lara Audio and Video

What do you have to say about piracy in the country?

Piracy is rampant in the country. It has become very difficult to curb it as the technology is advancing at a greater pace. CD writers are easily available in the market. Anyone can download enough material from computers. Cyber crimes are increasing. At the same time, if stringent steps are taken by the government, we can check piracy to an extent.

Do you think big music industries are exploiting the smaller ones?

Oh yes, it is true. Big names are not letting smaller ones flourish. They leave no stone unturned to malign their (small industries) reputation. Small companies find it difficult to compete with big names because the latter are more powerful and have enough money to get away with their problems easily.

How can piracy be curbed?

Everyone has to put in efforts to get rid of it. Laws exist but there is a need for getting them thoroughly implemented. The media can play a vital role in curbing it. People need to be educated regarding laws on the subject. It is unfortunate that the one who has the copyright spends crores while other are copy it for a little price.

— Shivani Bhakoo



Congman is Rural Development Bank chief 
SAD boycotts election
Bhushan Sood

Mandi Gobindgarh, August 13
Mr Jeet Singh of the Congress was declared elected unopposed as Chairman of the Cooperative Rural Development Bank here today. Out of the six Directors of the bank elected earlier only three participated in the election process while the voting right of Mr Balbir Singh, Sarpanch of Naraingarh, of the Shiromani Akali Dal was denied only yesterday, Other two members of SAD did not participate under the directions of the party.

It is interesting to mention here that Mr Paramjeet Singh, Sarpanch of Khanyan, was elected unanimously as member of the state committee whereas Mr Gurbux Singh Tanda Babha was ignored. Among the six elected members, only one candidate, Mr Jeet Singh, was elected with the Congress support. The independent and four were elected with the SAD support.

Cap Kanwaljeet Singh, former Finance Minister, and Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra, member Lok Sabha, along with party activists were camping at the local gurudwara here today, but Mr Paramjeet Singh Khanyan Director was not present.

The Captain criticised the Congress government he warned that officers who “worked against the rules” for the interest of the Congress would not be spared. He flayed the suspension of Mr Balbir Singh at 5 pm yesterday to get the Congress nominee elected.

When contacted, Mr Paramjeet Singh said he was not “abducted”. He had participated in the meeting voluntarily.



State of Sirhind canal banks alarms residents
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 13
Residents of the area are resentful of the “indifferent” attitude of the canal authorities towards maintenance and repair of the banks of the Sirhind canal passing through this part of the district.

The residents have urged the higher authorities to conduct a survey and verify claims by the authorities regarding the condition of the banks.

In a communication to Capt Amarinder Singh, CM, the Irrigation Minister and the Deputy Commissioner, the residents of the town and surrounding villages have accused the canal authorities of misguiding the Civil Works Department with false claims regarding the condition of the banks of the Sirhind canal.

Referring to a communication received at the office of the SDM, Malerkotla, the complainants have stated that the Executive Engineer, Ropar Head Works, had claimed that there was no risk to the lives of people living along the canal.

Interestingly, the engineer had claimed that the condition of the bank near Jandali Kalan and Malikpur was not bad. He had based his claim on the inspection report of the SDO, Doraha.

“Ignoring the completely eroded bank and the encroached metalled road, the authorities have tried to evade responsibility, claiming that no harm had been caused to human life in the past.”

The complainants have urged the authorities to conduct an on-the-spot verification and take action against the erring officers.

The Tribune had carried a story on the state of the banks. Some strengthening of banks was got done by the SDM, Payal.

Acting on the report of Duty Magistrate Mukesh Sharma, Dr Indu, SDM, Malerkotla, had asked the canal authorities to make necessary arrangements in this regard.

The SDM had informed the canal authorities that roads lining the banks of the canals were being eaten into by the canal water. At some places, including Jandali bridge area, the earth had caved in to the extent that the road was converted into a narrow trail where even cars could not pass.



MC decision on bill payment flayed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The local industry has expressed resentment over the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation’s (LMC) decision regarding of house tax, sewerage and water supply bills that can be paid by cheque only if the cheque is certified by the bank concerned as being ‘good for payment’.

The corporation has decided that bills can be paid through cash, pay order or demand draft only and a cheque would be accepted if certified.

Condemning the decision, Mr Narinder Bhamra, president, Fastener manufacturers Association of India, said: “It is an insult to trade and industry that issues hundreds of cheques of huge amounts for their transactions daily.”

Besides, businenessmen also issue cheques in favour of various government departments like the sales tax, central excise, telephone, electricity, income tax etc, which have never put any such condition for payment of bills, Mr Bhamra added.

The association said if other government departments were accepting payment via cheques, the corporation, too, should have no problem in doing so. “Moreover, does the corporation guarantee good quality of services,” the association questioned.



On a healing mission
Our Correspondent

Amloh Mandi Gobindgarh, August 13
Freedom fighter Hakeem Ved Prakash Sharma has been honoured twice with the Rashtrapati Award in recognition of his service to the freedom struggle and for strengthening the “tibbi” system of medicine in the country.

Born in Lovjaya village, in Pakistan on December 25, 1926. His father Mr Sarda Ram, was Station Master of the village at that time. He passed his matriculation examination from Mission School, Balldutonk.

Mr Ved Prakash passed HUHMTJ, the highest degree from Bhupindra Tibbia Medical College Patiala, in 1946 and started practice at Suhavi village in 1947. Now serving the people at Bassi Pathana of Fatehgarh Sahib district, the poor are given treatment free of cost.

He has been PPCC member and chairman of the doctor cell for several years. He played a significant role in the Praja Mandal Movement. In recognition of his services, Mr Sharma was honoured by Mr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, President of India, on August 09, 2004, at New Delhi. For 20 years, Mr Sharma has been continuously elected as Chairman Punjab Ayurvedic and Unani System of Medicine. He has been member of the Central Council of Indian Medicine, Government of India, for the past 15 years.

He has served as municipal councillor of Bassi Pathana for 30 years and three terms as its chief.



Illegal plying of buses criticised

Jagraon, August 13
Punjab Government Transport Workers Union, Jagraon, today flayed the illegal plying of buses under the “patronage” of ministers and high officials, thereby causing losses in lakhs everyday to the state government.

Explaining the state of affairs, Mr Amrik Singh Meero, president, said the bus (PB-10 BM-6413) of Jujhar Bus Service was checked by workers of the union at the Jagraon Bus terminal. It was found that the bus had the permit to carry 52 passengers and pay tax accordingly. But illegally the bus had been converted into a video coach without the permission of the transport authority and it carried 62 passengers. TNS



Abducted girl found in Hardwar
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 13
The Sarabha Nagar police has found 14-year-old Mamta, a resident of Sham Nagar , who was abducted by one of her neighbours, Bhola, on June 12 last. She has been handed her over to her parents.

The parents of the girl had lodged a complaint with the Sarabha Nagar police on June 26 after having failed to trace the girl or her abductor on their own. It had been stated in the FIR that the accused had lured away the minor girl with the promise of marrying her.

For about a month, the police did not take much interest in the case. It swung into action only after Ludhiana Tribune carried the story, highlighting the plight of the harassed parents.

Sources say a police party found the girl and her abductor in Hardwar on Wednesday. But Mr Pawanjit Singh, SHO, Sarabha Nagar, told the Ludhiana Tribune today that the police, acting on a tip off, had laid a naka on Pakhowal road to catch the accused on Thursday.

He said a medical examination of the girl established rape as a result of which the police had added Section 376 of the IPC to the FIR registered under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC.



Servant decamps with Rs 1.40 lakh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
A man was stabbed and injured while an amount of over Rs 1.41 lakh was looted in two incidents in Focal Point area of the city in the past 24 hours. A newly employed domestic servant decamped with Rs 1.40 lakh of his employer from outside a bank this morning.

The employer Mohinder Singh, a transporter, told the police that he had withdrawn Rs 1.65 lakh from a bank in Sahnewal. He went inside a bank at Focal Point to deposit Rs 25,000 there .

He kept Rs 1.40 lakh with his servant, Feroz Rizvi of Muzaffarpur, whom he had employed a week ago. On his return he found the servant missing.

In the second incident, three armed robbers looted Rs 1,800 from a labourer, Dharmendra Pratap, late last night. The labourer was admitted to Kalra Nursing Home with several stab injuries.



Farmer found murdered

Jagraon, August 13
A farmer is alleged to have been murdered in his fields. The Raikot police has registered a case under Section 302, IPC. According to Mr Kewal Singh of Kalsan, his brother, Harpal Singh, used to sleep in his fields. His servant, Shambhu Bhaiya, often accompanied him. When Harpal Singh did not return home, the complainant went to the fields where he found his brother murdered. Shambhu Bhaiya was missing. OC



PNB I-Day concessions
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The Punjab National Bank(PNB) has come out with an “Independence Day bonanza offer”, under which it will offer concessions on loans to its customers from August 16 to September 30.

During this period, the bank’s customers shall be given concessions in interest rates under the PNB retail loan schemes, said Mr Harwant Singh, General Manager, PNB, Punjab zone.

He said under the offer, the bank would conduct several retail lending marketing events and camps at various centres across the state for on-the-spot sanctions of loans.


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