L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


NRI Sabha chief, sons declared POs
Accused of embezzling lakhs of rupees
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
The multi-lakh rupees money transfer scam involving the Deol family of Mullanpur Dakha, having huge properties in India and Canada, has come to the fore again with the main accused, Raja Deol, being declared a proclaimed offender (PO) in three cases of cheating, while his father, a former NRI Sabha chief, and brother being declared POs in two cases.

The accused had allegedly duped several persons in Punjab and Haryana.

The proclamation orders have enabled the police to come a step closer to the much-awaited extradition of the three accused who had fled the country earlier this year.

The police would also now be able to attach their properties. The family owns a palatial house on a farm near Mullanpur Dakha besides other properties in India and Canada.

The police is however worried at reports emanating from Canada that the accused have floated a new money transfer company there.

The police is in the process of alerting the Interpol to inform Canadian public, said a senior Punjab Police official.

He said the proclamation orders would go a long way in convincing the Interpol about the extradition of the accused.

Three courts in Ludhiana, Jagraon and Fatehgarh Sahib police districts have declared the accused POs in separate cases. The accused have been charged with pocketing lakhs of rupees sent by NRIs to their relatives in Canada through a money transfer company run by the accused in these two countries.

Copies of the court orders on September 5 stated that Judicial Magistrate, Jagraon, Jatinder Walia had declared former Ludhiana NRI Sabha chief Pritam Singh Deol, his son and main accused Rajpreet Singh, alias Raja Deol, and second son Devinder Deol proclaimed offenders in FIR No. 21 lodged with the Sudhar police station on March 15. The copies were made available only now.

The accused were booked under Sections 406 and 420, IPC, on the complaint of Kewal Singh of Dango village. He had charged the accused with cheating him of Rs 3 lakh. His relatives in Canada had sent him the money through the accused but the amount was embezzled.

In the second case, Judicial Magistrate, Ludhiana, K.K. Singla had declared Raja Deol a PO on September 7 in FIR No. 37 lodged with Division No. 8 police station on April 22 under Sections 406 and 420, IPC.

Complainant Bikram Singh, sarpanch of Baddowal village, had charged the accused with siphoning off Rs 2 lakh from some money sent to him by his relatives from Canada.

Similarly, Judicial Magistrate, Amloh, Baljinder Singh on September 17 declared the three accused POs in FIR No. 55 registered on March 14 with the Fatehgarh Sahib police district on the complaint of Ranjit Singh Grewal.

A resident of Dadheri village, the complainant had charged the three with pocketing Rs 12 lakh. His NRI relatives had sent him the money from Canada through the money transfer company of the accused.

The accused have been declared POs under Section 82 of the CrPC. A senior police official said they would initiate proceedings for attachment of property under Section 83 of the CrPC.



“Ik Jind, Ik Jaan” excites rural, city people alike
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, October 2
A Punjabi film, “Ik Jind, Ik Jaan”, which is being shot at Lalton, near here, has caused quite a flutter among both rural and urban people.

The lead roles are being played by actress Nagma of “Baghi” fame (with Salman Khan) and Aryan Vaid.

When the Ludhiana Tribune team visited the locale, the cast and crew had broken for lunch. Nagma, who after her siesta looked refreshed, said she was really enjoying shooting in the open spaces. She finds the people very warm.

She said: “I was not very busy, so when I was offered this film I accepted the offer at once. To shoot in Punjab has become quite popular. Aamir Khan shot here for ‘Rang De Basanti’ while Aishwarya Rai shot for “From Amritsar to LA”. Shah Rukh Khan and Priety Zinta, too, shot in Punjab for “Veer Zaara”.

Nagma said: “Punjabi pictures have very good market overseas as Harbhajan Mann’s movies have proved. And actually producer Deepak Maini, director Chitraarth Puran Singh, music director Uttam Singh, Raj Babbar and Aryan Vaid were other major attractions in her accepting the film. No regrets at all.”

Aryan, the romantic lead opposite Nagma, was former Mr Graviera India and was a Hot Shot model. He said he had worked in “Market” with Manisha Koirala and a music album “Bin Tere Sanam” and when he got the offer to star in a Punjabi film he gladly accepted it as he is a Punjabi.

Chitraarth Singh (of “Chan Pardesi” fame) said he enjoyed shooting in Punjab. Asked if he was enjoying the rural locales, he said now the difference between rural and urban people had almost shrunk. “Rural folks have all facilities like television, mobile phones and cars and the only difference would be that they have a buffalo in the backyard,” he added.

He said: “The film is about family values and one would be able to watch the movie with family. I have taken bulk dates from all actors and we will continue to shoot till October 26. During Dusehra and Navratras we will be here only.”

Mighty Gill and Prabhleen Kaur in second leads were getting their make-up done. The chief makeup man and co-producer Subash Singh had heard of the sad demise of his brother but could not go back as the responsibility of the make-up of all artistes was on him.

Bantoo Khanna, shooting director, responsible for choosing the locales and for the total organisation of the shoot, was bristling with energy telling the spot boys to hasten and call the actors.

When the Ludhiana Tribune team left, the whole team was ready to leave. The villain of the movie Arun Bakshi had to get up from the “charpoy” and stare at the camera and walk away.



Estranged, man kills son, daughter
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
In a gruesome incident, a migrant labourer strangulated his son and daughter and threw their bodies on the railway line near Focal Point, here today. The man was arrested after the incident.

According to SHO Waryam Singh of the Focal Point police station, the accused, Vijay Kumar, had come from Bihar and had been living with his wife, Champa, in Vijay Nagar.

The couple had two children, four-year-old Luxmi and two-and-half-year-old Suraj. Vijay worked as a house painter.

A couple of years ago, Vijay’s younger brother Raj Kumar also came to stay with them. Over a period of time, Vijay began suspecting that his wife had developed illicit relations with her brother-in-law.

This had led to many fights between the couple and the brothers with the result that one day Champa walked out on her husband and went to live with Raj Kumar in a rented accommodation in New Azad Nagar.

Yesterday, Vijay went to Champa’s house and said he wanted to start afresh and that they should accompany him to his house.

While Champa refused to do so, she let her children accompany their father. He reportedly took the children home and strangulated them in the night and threw their bodies on the railway line nearby, he revealed.

People alerted the police, which zeroed in on the suspect and after interrogation, Vijay confessed to his crime.

He wanted to teach his wife a lesson and that was why he killed the children.

A case under Section 302 of the IPC has been registered against the accused.



ISI agent held in Mandi Ahmedgarh
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 2
Competence of the intelligence and security wings of the Malerkotla police circle came under cloud after the arrest of another ISI agent by the Delhi Police from the vicinity her recently.

The arrested person, a worker of a private factory, had been harbouring anti-social elements and intruders for years together but security personnel were not aware of his activities.

Sources said Mohammad Ramzan, a resident of the Madevi road area of Malerkotla, had allegedly been providing shelter to anti-social elements, including Pak nationals, one of whom was arrested earlier by the Delhi Police, reportedly from Rajpura.

To evade the attention of the security personnel, he used to work as a metal brightener at Honda Hardware Factory situated in a congested area of the subdivision.

The residents of the area wondered how a person, who had been in direct connection with Pakistani intelligence officers, went unnoticed by the Home Department of the state. This all went on unnoticed despite the fact that offices of security and intelligence wings of the Punjab Police ran in the town.

“Had the Delhi Police not arrested Irfan Kausar, a Pakistani national, on the basis of whose revelations Ramzan was nabbed, he could have continued posing a threat to internal and external security of the nation,” apprehended a local citizen.

Besides providing shelters to the agents of the ISI, Ramzan was asked to felicitate preparation of identity cards and other documents required by them.



Passing Thru

Rohit Baluja
Mr Rohit Baluja, president, Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE)

You are passionate about road safety, specially of students. How many School Conclaves have you organised so far.

Yes. In spite of running a very successful business , I have been offering voluntary services to IRTE for two decades now. About 90,000 persons are killed and nearly 12,75,000 are injured every year. Among the most vulnerable are pedestrians, cyclists and schoolchildren. So with the coordination of the local traffic police, IRTE has organised 50 workshops on road safety education throughout the country. The workshop is called School Conclave.

Whom do you involve in the School Conclaves?

We invite all those who are the stakeholders like students, teachers and parents. Frankly speaking, we found the traffic terrible outside Sacred Heart Convent School, Ludhiana. A few concerned members of the Old Students’ Association of this school invited us as they and parents are alarmed at the bad traffic outside the school.

What do you suggest to bring the unruly traffic under control?

Teachers on every day basis have to impart road safety education to the students. People have to develop a social consciousness. They have to forget about status and start car pools. The schools should have a fleet of buses to pick and drop children and discourage children from coming in individual vehicles. The concept of neighbourhood school should begin. The public should be empowered so that they highlight traffic violations, hit-and-run accidents etc.

— Asha Ahuja



Ludhiana Calling

A sports channel recently brought international wrestlers to the city. Total Non-Stop Action (TNA) wrestlers had a show in Guru Nanak Bhavan here that was widely attended. However, the wrestlers did not wrestle. Rather they performed on Bollywood numbers with a Russian dance troupe. And much to their spirit of appreciating only those who do their own job well, Ludhianvis cheered the scantily-clad members of the dance troupe more than the wrestlers! (see picture)

Metropolitan name

An ever-increasing number of officers makes it tough to remember their names. New Chief Engineer of PSEB D.B. Arora, however, seemed to realise the same and made it easier for reporters. So when a reporter asked him his name at a press conference — where he had come to announce his new posting — he said: “I am D.B. Arora, Delhi-Bombay Arora, you may say,” leaving all present in peels of laughter. That was a smart way indeed!

Smart invites

Corporates these days are a confusing lot. While sending invitations for their events, they find it hard to address the right person on the invite. One such puzzled publicity guy has found a novel and an effective way. He has done away with printed invites and all he does is give telephonic calls around an hour prior to the event. Wonder how long that would work!

Greener pastures

The love for foreign lands that Punjabis have is quite visible during exhibitions and shows conducted by companies to guide people on going abroad. One such exhibition that saw a large participation was the British Council’s “Education UK” Initiative, where students thronged to get the “right” information on universities and courses in the UK. Encouraged by the response, the British Council says it plans to make the initiative an annual feature and will also, before the end of this year, bring representatives of universities from the UK itself.

Just five minutes!

It is common for Ludhianvis to begin their functions an hour or two later than the scheduled time. What is worse it that some people do not even mind wasting the precious time of press reporters and stick to their habit of starting late even in press conferences. But it is not always that newspersons relent. So when the press conference of a certain institution did not start even 45 minutes after the scheduled time, reporters wanted to leave. What shocked them was that the public relations officer, who was handling the event, kept telling each one to wait for five more minutes, whereas he was still on his way to the venue. Finally, when a reporter called him up to say they would also come after five minutes, the PRO made arrangements for the press conference to begin and the conference began immediately, even before he arrived!

Bonanza time

While the festive season is yet to begin, with Navratras two days away, companies have started coming up with festive season discounts and offers. One can see markets flooded with banners and boards on such offers. Ditto with exhibitions and shows, primarily of electricals and household stuff. Celebration time is on!

— Sentinel



Trust to grant Rs 3 lakh to gaushala
Our Correspondent

Payal (Ahmedgarh), October 2
The trust of the Gobind Godham Gaushala, Ludhiana, has come to the help of the management of the gaushala that has been facing a crisis for a long period and is at the verge of closure due to financial constraints. The foundation stone for the proposed shed will be laid on October 5, claimed the management of the gaushala. Mr Virender Kumar Khara, president of the committee running the affairs of the gaushala, said the trust had announced to contribute Rs 3 lakh towards the construction cost of the proposed shed. The trustees, headed by Mr Sham Sunder Dhamija, visited the site on Saturday and announced a grant of Rs 3 lakh.

The management committee had been facing opposition from some residents of the town since the establishment of the gaushala years ago. Though Mr Sadhu Singh Ghudani, former SAD MLA, had impressed upon the authorities to transfer the title of the common land in the name of the committee, the residents had opposed the move.

Once supporting more than 300 cows and calves, the gaushala gives shelter to around 175 cows at present. In the absence of a regular income, the management had to depend on the donations from the general public.

“Succumbing to the financial constraints, a majority of the members decided to close down the gaushala. But now when we have been offered cooperation by the trust of the Gobind Godham Gaushala, Ludhiana, we have deferred our decision and will continue serving the needy cows,” asserted Mr Khara. He further said the foundation stone for the proposed shed would be laid on October 5.



‘Youth losing interest in defence services’
Mahesh Sharma

Halwara Air Force Station, October 2
Air Officer Commanding Anil Chopra has expressed concern over the declining interest for defence services among the youth of North India in general and Punjab in particular.

In an interview with Ludhiana Tribune, AOC Chopra said the youth were being attracted towards armed chair and easy-going jobs, instead of opting for exciting and adventurous service-oriented assignments of responsibility in defence services.

“The hard reality that we can not rebuff is that the educated youth of North India have stopped opting for defence services. What used to be the first priority for the youth from royal families, has lost interest for modern youth,” he said.

To substantiate his claim, he cited many examples where the sons of erstwhile rulers had served as top-rung officers in defence forces, but those of modern era were allured towards glamorous professions.

He said the authorities had launched a programme to make the educated youth aware of the prospects in the Indian Air Force. “Besides inviting school and college students to the air base, we will send our teams to various educational institutes so that they could be presented a real picture about the officers of the IAF,” he said.

He claimed the IAF, like other defence forces, welcomed the talented and devoted youths irrespective of the caste and creed and any other criterion like favoritism and inducement.

Commenting on the ongoing Air Force Day celebrations, he claimed the authorities had tried to bridge the gap between the civilians and the force this year.

“The premise behind the celebrations this year is that more and more people should know about the adventurous lifestyle of Air Force personnel. This will go a long way in changing the mindset of the youth,” he said.



Gandhi, Shastri remembered
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, October 2
A district-level function was organised at Mini Secretariat here to celebrate the 136th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi today.

Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma, who presided over the function, paid tributes to Gandhi.

Old age pensions cheques from July to September, 2004, were also presented to 64 sarpanches for them to hand over to the beneficiaries belonging to their respective villages.

Speaking at the function, Mr Verma said Mahatma Gandhi was a great philosopher and visionary, who created history by attaining freedom through non-violence and translated the dream of a prosperous India through the involvement of general public, into a reality.

He said during the struggle for freedom, Gandhi always stood by his principles of non-violence and peace and propagated equality among all human beings.

The Deputy Commissioner said with the implementation of 73rd Amendment to the Constitution, the government had empowered the elected panchayati raj institutions as control of 29 departments was being handed over to the panchayats.

“The state government, following the path shown by Gandhi, has introduced several welfare schemes for Scheduled Castes and poor people. The Punjab Government is providing pensions to the needy under various schemes of social security to more than 14 lakh beneficiaries and in this district, pensions have been paid to 88,784 beneficiaries till the end of last month.”

District Public Relations Officer Darshan Singh and Assistant Commissioner (G) G.S. Bahia also addressed the function.

Meanwhile, activists of the District Congress Committee (DCC), the District Youth Congress (DYC), the Mahila Congress and the Congress Sewa Dal, led by president of the DCC Jagmohan Sharma held a “prabhat pheri” to pay tributes to the Father of the Nation.

The Congress workers marched from Congress Bhavan and arrived at old Town Hall building where floral tribute was paid at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi.

In another function organised at Rupa Mistry Street here, PPCC secretary Parminder Mehta and other party functionaries offered floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi and former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri.

Mandi Ahmedgarh: The birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi was celebrated at educational institutes of the town and surrounding villages today.

Students, staff and management committee of the local Sanatan Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School paid tributes to the Father of the Nation at a function organised on the school premises.

Representing Mata Gujri House, Maharni Jhanssie House, Rabindranath Tagore House, Shaheed Bhagat Singh House, Guru Gobind Singh House and Lal Bahadur Shastri House, senior students remembered the sacrifice of the leader through speeches, mono-acting, mimes and poetry.

Kids from the primary wing and kindergarten recited patriotic rhymes and poems besides presenting a fancy dress show.

A similar function was organised at MGMN Senior Secondary School. President of the school management Mangat Rai Jain, manager Vijay Kakria, secretary Amrit Lal Gupta and Surinder Tayal garlanded the statue of Gandhi.

Students of DAV High School, Kennedy Public High School, Guru Nanak Kanya Mahavidyalya Senior Secondary School, GHG Khalsa Senior Secondary School, Anand Isher Senior Secondary School, and Kartar Singh Dukki Government Senior Secondary School, Latala, also remembered the leader.



Sarpanch held for assault

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 2
The Sudhar Police has arrested the sarpanch of Nangal Khurad village, who along with his two brothers, had been booked under Sections 323, 324, 325, 341, 506 and 34 of the IPC for allegedly assaulting a political opponent of the sarpanch in civic body elections.

Ujjagar Singh, son of Bachan Singh of Nangal Khurad, had lodged a complaint at police station Sudhar alleging that he had been assaulted by sarpanch Surinder Singh Shindi and his brothers Joginder Singh and Narinder Singh. The accused had attacked him with rods and crude weapons after an altercation in presence of a large number of villagers when an inquiry into the verification of pension was in progress around 10 days earlier.

The complainant had claimed that he had been assaulted due to political rivalry. He had contested civic body election against Ujjagar Singh who had won the election. The faction led by the complainant had earlier alleged that Shindi had been acting arbitrarily and discriminating against beneficiaries having alliance to his faction, while about deciding development works and grant of pensions.

Acting on the complaint of victims the department had suspended the sarpanch. The district administration had also ordered a fresh probe on the request of the village chief.

Preliminary investigations had revealed that violence was preceded by hot exchange of words between two factions. Mr Shawinder Singh Dhillon, SHO Sudhar, said Surinder Singh had been arrested while search was on to arrest other accused. OC



BSNL unfolds expansion plans
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 2
The BSNL has unfolded several new expansion plans to provide more efficient and customer-friendly service to its subscribers in the region.

The plans included upgrading of a number of telephone exchanges in the city and rural areas, introduction of several innovative cellular services and easy-on-pocket tariff plans, both for land line and mobile phones.

Addressing a press conference to mark BSNL Day here yesterday, the general manager, Ludhiana Telecom circle, Mr G.S. Julka, said in an effort to provide more facilities to land line subscribers, the 11K E-10B exchange at Transport Nagar had been replaced with 11K 5 ESS new technology exchange.

Similarly, the subscribers of the NEC exchange at Bharat Nagar would have access to facilities like the CLI, fast dialing and call transfer with the conversion of exchange to OCB and E10B.

He said the 1.5K new technology OCB exchange addition at Focal Point would be completed in the next few days.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |