L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Home Guards Commandant chargesheeted 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
Three years after a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act was registered against a serving District Commandant, Home Guards, the State Vigilance Bureau has finally submitted a charge sheet against him and 10 other accused, including his wife and members of his family, in a local court.

The charge sheet was submitted after the Principal Secretary, Home, gave his nod for the prosecution of the Commandant, Daljit Singh Grewal, and the Director, Education Department, Punjab, gave his approval for the prosecution of his wife, Jaswinder Kaur, a social studies teacher.

The bureau was supposed to present the charge sheet within 90 days of the registration of the case. The FIR under Sections 13(2) 88 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and 120-B of the IPC had been lodged at the Vigilance police station, Patiala, on May 18, 2002.

According to the charge sheet, the accused had amassed property worth over Rs 26 lakh during his career in the Home Guards whereas he just had 5 acres as ancestral property, sharing its ownership with his brother and mother in 1990.

The amount of Rs 26 lakh included the sum at which he had bought benami and other property registered in his name.

The present market price of the land can run into several hundred lakhs, Vigilance sources said.

The accused in the case, apart from the Commandant and his wife, are his brother Dalbir Singh, sister-in-law Dalwinder Kaur and other relatives and family friends namely Balwinder Kaur, Jagjit Singh, Gurdeep Singh, Harwinder Singh, Harjinder Kaur and Manjeet Kaur.

As per the initial Vigilance inquiry, the total assets of the accused were pegged at over Rs 6 crore. However, later on, the Vigilance took into account only the government rates of his property.

The charge sheet also claims that the commandant, who is a public servant, was doing a side business of property dealing. He has also been charged with fleecing people. 



Man gets life term for murder
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 14
The Sessions Judge, Mr Harbans Lal, has sentenced Satnam Singh of Bahadur Hussain village, Gurdaspur, to rigorous life imprisonment for killing Budh Singh of Hambran. The victim used to prevent the accused from indulging in black magic.

Delivering the verdict, Mr Harbans Lal held that the prosecution had proved the guilt of the accused beyond doubt, hence, he deserved no leniency. A fine of Rs 10,000 has also been imposed on the accused.

The accused was booked under Sections 302 and 323, IPC, in 2004, following the statement of Parkash Singh of Hambran. The complainant had stated to the police that there was a samadh of Baba Shindi Shah near his house. The accused used to indulge in black magic at the samadh.

The victim was his maternal uncle and used to prevent the accused from doing so, which had annoyed the accused. On August 27, 2004, he heard the shrieks of Sulakhn Singh and his wife for help as the accused had injured them.

When he went outside, he saw that the accused was attacking his uncle Budh Singh. Before we could stop the accused, he fled. His uncle died on the spot.



Pass holders complain against drivers
Loveleen Bains

Doraha, September 14
Students holding PRTC passes have complained of physical and mental torture at the hands of drivers and conductors of these buses. Not a single day passes when the students of various colleges and technical institutions are not caught up in a quarrel with drivers or conductors of these buses, for the simple reason that the latter seldom let student pass-holders to board their buses.

Navneet Chauhan, a pass-holder and a B.Com IInd year student of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, who boards bus from Giaspura, contends,”The same endless wait, agony, classes and old story repeats itself each day. The PRTC drivers and conductors, it seems, regard us to as untouchables. If at all they are forced to stop for other passengers, we remain their most unwelcome guests.”

Narrating his tale of woes, Anuraj Chauhan, a B Com II student, contended,” It was on September 7 that I was standing at Giaspura to board a PRTC bus. Bus No. PB 024-2535 of Pepsu Roadways Transport Corporation arrived, which I unsuccessfully tried to board. I was threatened with dire consequences by the driver. The abusive language used by the driver and conductor was simply “intolerable”.

Similarly, Navneet sustained injuries when he fell from a bus, plying from Ludhiana to Kurukshetra, last week. Pardeep Kumar of B Com I and Rajeev Rawat of B Com II too met similar fate. The boys complain,” The PRTC buses either do not stop at the fixed stations or slow down for a fraction of a second and immediately pick up speed. Many a times we have to board a moving bus.”

Ramparkash Pandey, a student of BA II, retaliated,” We are always at double loss. Generally late for the college, due to the non-cooperative attitude of these bus drivers and conductors, we are not allowed to enter the classes as teachers are in no mood to disturb others. Moreover, when we miss classes we lag behind in our studies as a result of which we underscore or in some cases have to face failure too,” he adds.

The students holding bus pass contend, “Bus passes rather than being an asset have become a liability for us. We have to pay doubly — one for the pass and other for the ticket if we ultimately board a private bus. Our passes should be acceptable on every bus”.

More than 50 students of a local college have submitted their problem in written to the area manager of Pepsu Road Transport Corporation and have given an ultimatum that if the existing situation prevails, results may be disastrous.

Mr R.S. Bal, General Manager, PRTC, said the students of Giaspura have lodged a complaint with him for which he shall be deploying a person who would check that no student faces any sort of harassment at the hands of the driver or conductor. “As the students are facing the problem between 8 to 10 am, an inquiry would be initiated at the earliest. For that matter, we are planning to change the route of the driver or conductor concerned as a penalty, he added. As far as the problem of inadequate bus service for commuters is concerned he said,” We are thinking on the terms of increasing the number of times our buses shall ply, especially between Ludhiana to Patiala.”



‘Harassed’ PAU officials begin indefinite fast
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
Two officials of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Mr Satpal Sharma, Accounts Officer in the College of Home Sciences, and Mr R.S. Arora, Administrative-cum-Accounts Officer in the College of Veterinary Sciences, today started an indefinite fast in protest against the alleged victimisation at the hands of university authorities.

The two officials were recently served a show-cause notice as to why their services should not be terminated for various reasons.

They said since the harassment and victimisation at the hands of the university authorities had reached its extreme, they had no other way but to resort to fast unto death.

They asserted that they would prefer to die in case they did not get justice. They said, “Enough is enough and we cannot suffer this indignity, victimisation, harassment and humiliation anymore”.

Besides demanding the revocation of the show-cause notice and the withdrawal of charges against them, the employees have sought appointment of a “high-level inquiry commission” by the state or the Central government to probe into the alleged victimisation of the employees of the university.

The two officials reiterated their allegations against the university administration alleging that corruption and nepotism was rampant in the university.

They alleged that the show-cause notice to terminate their services had been issued on “the false, frivolous and fabricated inquiry report” based on the news reports sourced to the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the Employees.

Both Mr Sharma and Mr Arora are the members of the JAC.

Their other demands include an immediate revocation of “illegal suspensions/ victimisation of innocent employees and teachers”, withdrawal of “illegal charge sheet and show-cause notice of termination of services”, restoration of the dignity, human rights and fundamental rights of freedom of speech and expression as enshrined in the Constitution of India.

However, a senior official of the university denied these allegations and said the two employees had resorted to blackmailing.

The officials disclosed that when the university tried to serve the charge sheet to the two employees they refused to accept it.

In one case, the postal authorities said the addressee was not available at his residence on four occasions. Another official repeatedly avoided accepting the charge sheet from the university officials.

The official, said ultimately the university decided to publish the charge sheet in the newspapers. Even then, the two employees did not respond. With the result, the official added the university had to serve the show-cause notice to them as to why their services should not be terminated.

He regretted that the two employees were continuing with their confrontationist attitude.



Sikh jatha to leave for Nanded on October 13 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 14
The All-India Bairagi Maha Mandal is making arrangements to observe the birth anniversary of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur at Hazoor Sahib (Nanded) in Maharashtra on October 16.

The president of the body, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, who, along with former legislator Jagdev Singh Jassowal, met Sant Baba Balbir Singh at the Lamma Jatpura gurdwara in this district today, said a jatha, led by Sant Balbir Singh, would go to Nanded to take part in the birth anniversary celebrations.

Mr Bawa said the jatha, comprising political functionaries, saints, academician and professionals, would leave for Nanded on October 13.

According to Mr Bawa, bhog of Akhand Path will be performed at the Hazoor Sahib gurdwara on October 16 where dignitaries from all over the country would pay homage to the great saint soldier and martyr. At another function prominent persons from different walks of life will be honoured by the mahamandal.



Father, son assaulted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
A group of unidentified youths attacked a father-son duo in the Civil Hospital where the two had come to get themselves medically examined after allegedly suffering injuries in a group-clash in their colony today morning.

The medical staff of the hospital came to the rescue of the alleged victims — Baljit Singh and his father Baldev Singh. The youths were armed with rods, sticks and sharp-edged weapons. No one tried to catch hold of the armed youths.



Boy electrocuted
Our Correspondent

Amloh, September 14
Sagar Jindal (11), son of Parveen Kumar Jindal of Ward No. 11, was electrocuted last evening and was cremated here today. Shops remained closed for two hours as a token of sympathy with the family. People of the town and surrounding villages attended the funeral.

Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Dalip Singh Pandhi, former minister, visited the Jindal family.

Saint Farid Public School, of which he was a student was closed for the day.

Sagar was playing on the roof of his house with his friends when he tried to pick up a ball lying under a cooler. He was, however, electrocuted. One of his friends tried to save him but also experienced shock.



Passing Thru

M.K. Pandhey
M.K. Pandhey, national president of CITU

Are you satisfied with the UPA government’s policies?

After the BJP-led NDA government’s failure to tackle problems of people, we had expected the UPA government to bring a pro-people shift in economic policies. This government adopted a national common minimum programme. However, in the past 14 months in office, the track record of the government has been rather disappointing and we are not satisfied.

While your party, the CPM, has been opposing foreign investment, it has been promoting the same in West Bengal. Why this dual policy?

There is no dual policy. We have made it clear that if any foreign investment fulfills three criteria — it generates employment, brings new technology and creates production capacity where it is lacking- we are not against it. We would oppose if such investment harms existing business, or is anti-people.

What is your course of action to lodge your protest against the UPA government’s performance?

We would hold a nationwide strike of the working class on September 29. It would be the biggest ever strike and would involve people from the banking, insurance and other sectors.

— Shveta Pathak



CM’s directions to police hailed
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, September 14
Ludhiana Deputy Mayor Sushila Gupta and Punjab State Women Commission member Baljinder Kaur have hailed the directions of the Punjab Chief Minister to the police for dealing the cases relating to women and children with utmost restraint and desist from calling them to the police stations at odd hours.

They said the directions reflected the policies of the Congress which ensured respect and dignity of the women and children. Amarinder Singh had directed the cops to sport name plates denoting name and rank on their uniforms at the time of arrest of any person besides entering the name of the arrestee and other official deputed for this interrogation in the register of police station.

The party would educate the women regarding their rights and in case of violation of these directions, the victims would be supported by the respective party units, they pointed out.

They also appreciated the decision of the government to provide 200 units of power free to SC families as it was very difficult for the poor people to pay the power bills. It was always during the tenures of the Congress that welfare schemes for the uplift of the SCs were launched for the scheduled castes, whereas other political parties had been exploiting them for political motives, they added.

Khanna: Ms Gurmit Kaur, president of the Municipal Council, Payal, and other councillors have thanked the Chief Minister for issuing directions to the police with regard to women and children.

She said with the decision of waiving electricity bills of Dalits up to 200 units, the government had fulfilled its promise made in the election manifesto.



Free power to farmers justified
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
Conware Vice-Chairman Rajinder Singh Basant has said the state government has formulated a programme for the development of the state and welfare packages for various sections of society were being launched. He was addressing a function organised to honour him by the Vishav Sabhyacharak Manch on resuming the charge of his new assignment at Gurdev Nagar here today.

He said the new package for free power for irrigation to farmers was justified as they had been contributing more than 80 per cent to the food basket of the country.

Referring to the schemes for Scheduled Castes, he said a plan for providing free domestic power up to 200 units costing Rs 600 per month to each Scheduled Caste family had been launched and under the Ashirwad scheme, shagun of Rs 6,100 would be given on the marriage of daughters of SC families. 



Pensioners criticise notification on pension
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 14
The government Pensioners’ Association has condemned the notification recently issued by the Punjab Finance Department regarding the rationalisation of pensions / family pensions of Pre - 1996 retirees. The members, in a press note said yesterday that it had virtually nullified the Punjab Cabinet’s decision of providing Rs. 40.58 crore payment of arrears to the pre - 96 retirees from January 1, 1996 to March 31, 2005.

The pensioners lamented that the notification was silent on “pay fixation on national basis” for re-fixation of pension/family pension as it was mentioned in the previous notifications. The 4th Punjab Pay Commission had also made a recommendation to this effect.

Mr Yash Paul Ghai, Additional General Secretary of the association, said that without the word “national pay,” the notification was meaningless and absurd. It was rather a cruel joke played on the pensioners, he said.

The pensioners urged the Punjab Chief Minister to intervene and direct the Finance Department to insert the words “Pay fixation on national basis” in the notification and issue a corrigendum to this effect.



Residents rue MC apathy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
The Janta Welfare Society, New Hargobind Nagar, has rued the alleged apathy of the Municipal Corporation authorities towards their problems. The society, in a press note here yesterday, said that despite repeated attempts, no senior MC official could be contacted for the redress of their grievances.

The society president, Mr B.L. Bhatia, vice-president Atam Parkash Arora and secretary Balbir Singh alleged that the streetlights in Ward 57 were not being repaired by the contractor concerned.

They claimed that the problem was brought to the notice of the contractor but he reportedly did not care. They disclosed that of the 651 streetlights, 175 were not working.

They also said a nullah constructed along Hargobind Marg at a cost of Rs 14 lakh about five years ago had not been utilised even for a single day.

They said it had become a breeding place for mice and mosquitoes and was emitting foul smell. They urged the MC authorities to cover it at the earliest. 



Order on pension benefit
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 14
“Pension of all pensioners, irrespective of their date of retirement, shall not be less than 50 per cent of the minimum pay in the revised pay scale introduced w.e.f. January, 1996, of the post last held by the pensioner on the full qualifying service of 33 years,” Mr BR Kaushal, Chairman of the Punjab State Confederation, said in a press note.

The Department of Finance vide a notification had made this rule applicable. For family pensioners, it shall not be less than 30 per cent of the minimum pay of the post last held by the pensioner/deceased government employee. This will be subject to a minimum of Rs 1,310 and the maximum of up to 50 per cent of the highest pay applicable.

Mr Kaushal said each pensioner/ family pensioner who was entitled to the revision of pension/ was required to apply for its revision in a prescribed application form in duplicate along with the photo copy of the pension payment order to the head office/department concerned within 180 days up to February 2006.



Bank celebrates Hindi Divas
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 14
The regional office of Indian Overseas Bank organised a Hindi fortnight to celebrate Hindi Divas. The main function was held at the bank here today. During the fortnight, a number of competitions were organised. Dr Rishi Muni Diwedi, Assistant General Manager of the Bank, welcomed the guests.

The Deputy General Manager, Mr A.P. Singh, inaugurated the function. Addressing staff members, he urged them to take a vow that a large majority of bank work would be done in Hindi. A Hindi declamation contest was also organised.

The chief guest on the occasion was Mr Parmod Kumar Sharma where the judges for the contest were Mr K.G. Shukla and Ms Namrata Soni.



9 booked for assault
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 14
Gursewak Singh, Jaswant Singh, Gurdev Singh, alias Bholo, Shamsher Singh, alias Sheera, Bittoo, Nazar Singh, Chand Singh, Bhuman Singh and Gora of Jalaldiwal were allegedly assaulted Sukhjinder Singh of their village with canes and sharp-edged weapons. A case has been registered against them under Sections 323,324,148 and 149 of the IPC on a complaint of Sukhjinder. Water was alleged to be the reason for the assault.

In another incident the police booked Gurminder Singh of Rattowal under Sections 323, 326 and 34 of the IPC on a complaint of Manjit Singh, alias Nikka of his village. The complainant has alleged that he was assaulted with sharp-edged weapon by Gurinder.

Liquor seized: The police arrested Bagga Singh of Bahadurke from Talwandi Nauabad and seized a huge quantity of illicit liquor from his possession. A case under the Excise Act has been registered. 



Biz Clips

Contest: Spice Telecom has launched a quiz based contest, “Sawaal hamare aur swift aapki”. Through the contest, the company’s subscribers will get an opportunity to win a Maruti Suzuki Swift as the grand bumper prize, apart from other prizes, a company press note said.

Launched: LG Electronics has launched a new segment of audio products, “Next gen karaoke system- NKG”. A press note said the new offer would expand the existing audio market. LG now had 17 products in its audio segment, it said.

Hindi Divas: The Small Industries Service Institute (SISI) celebrated Hindi Divas on Wednesday. Mr R.C. Chopra, Director, who presided over the function, emphasised on the need to know and use Hindi. The State Bank of India, Kesar Ganj branch, organised an essay competition and a translation competition on the occasion of Hindi Divas. Mr N.K.Gosain, branch manager and Mr G.P.S. Bakshi, language officer, SBI zonal office, were among those present.


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