L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Central Jail turns into den for hatching crimes
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
The city police will register a case against beleaguered former head of the International Dharam Samaj Shamsher Singh Jaghera of plotting the contract killing of Khalsa Panchayat chief Charanjit Singh Channy from the Central Jail, here.

This is yet another case in the long list of hatching of crimes from the jail, which is of late becoming a major regrouping place for alleged criminals. Only a few days ago, the police had exposed how the murder of Reema Jain was planned in the Central Jail. People with money power have been finding it the perfect place for handpicking criminals.

Jaghera was quite popular with Congress and Akali leaders who frequented his dera here before his arrest in a rape case over two years ago.

The police has taken the decision on the basis of an investigation by the Jagraon police that nailed Jaghera for conceiving the murder and making a payment of Rs 1.5 lakh to a conduit while he was in jail.

The SP (City-II), Mr Kuldip Singh, told the Ludhiana Tribune that they were taking legal opinion on the Sections of the IPC that would be applicable for booking the self-styled saint, Jaghera, who is facing charges for possessing many passports under different identities.

He was also booked for the alleged rape of a woman in his dera near Dugri Bridge over the Sidhwan canal in the city. The woman, however, retracted her statement later. Jaghera is currently on bail.

The SSP of Jagraon, Mr R. K. Jaiswal, revealed that the plot to kill Charanjit Singh Channy had come to light in May this year with the arrest of 11 members of a gang of robbers, contract killers and extortionists allegedly led by Amarjit Singh, alias Baba, who had a love and hate relationship with Jaghera.

He used to be a disciple of Jaghera but turned his biggest foe when the alleged rape took place in the dera. Later, they again become friends and Baba allegedly led a gang of robbers, which scripted over two dozen robberies, kidnappings and killings in Punjab.

He was arrested in May and revealed that Jaghera who was in jail at that time had hired him for the elimination of Mr Channy. Mr Jaiswal said the Detective wing of the Jagraon police conducted investigation on the claims and has found evidence to support the charges.

The investigation report was sent to the Ludhiana police for further action as the place of action which was the Central Jail and supply of Rs 1.5 lakh as advance payment for the murder was done in the Dugri area of the city.

It had earmarked the hideout for this purpose on the outskirts of Ludhiana city. Amarjit Singh had also allegedly taken Rs 1.5 lakh as supari for killing Channi.

Shamsher Singh of Jagera, who was accused of rape by Amarjit's wife, paid this amount. Shamsher harboured the suspicion than he was falsely implicated at the behest of Channy. Later, Amarjit too had fallen out with Channy.

Amarjit intended to carry out his task by a hit-and-run accident. For this purpose, he along with his associate Swarajeet Singh, alias Lakha, robbed a taxi driver of his Indica car on April 20, near Gurdwara Mahdiana Sahib.

It was then that the Jagraon police launched a systematic hunt for Amarjit Singh and his associates after getting some vital clues in the car robbery incident.



Reliance investment plans boost farmers’ morale
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
With the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance group planning to make massive investments in the agricultural sector in Punjab, farmers have started feeling optimistic. At the same time some farmers’ organisations have sounded caution as well, maintaining that the government must secure counter guarantees from the corporates to ensure that they do not back out.

At a time when too much focus is being laid on the diversification and changing the paddy-wheat sequence, the massive investment plans from the Reliance group have raised expectations of farmers.

So far farmers were not too keen to buy the diversification argument, holding that as long as there were no assurances and guarantees for the alternate crops, they could not change.

After the interest shown by the giant corporate houses like the Reliance and earlier the Bharti Group (the Airtel mobile service providers), farmers have started taking the diversification idea seriously. “Although there are no guarantees like the Minimum Support Price (MSP), but at least there is an assurance that the alternate crops would be purchased by the corporates”, remarked Jaswinder Singh, a farmer of Dad village.

He pointed out after the corporate houses set up food processing plants here, they would need to purchase the raw material from here only. And the farmers would accordingly start sowing the crops which were in demand.

But the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Lakhowal) does not appear to be enthused as much as the farmers. The acting president of the union, Prof Manjit Singh Kadyan, said the government must ensure counter guarantees from the corporates. He revealed that past experience had shown that some big corporate houses had backed out of their commitment, leaving the farmers shaken and shattered.

Professor Kadyan said the government must also enact a law to ensure maximum penalty for breach of contract. He said some time back a leading multinational backed out from a contract with farmers after they had sown the crops according to its demand.

He pointed out that Punjab agriculture was passing through a crucial phase. In case the farmers were not assured guarantees, there was every likelihood that they might suffer at the end of the day. This would be because the corporates were concerned more about their own profits , he observed.



Punjab vets to sit on dharna today
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 18
Activists of the Punjab State Veterinary Officer’s Association (PSVOA) will sit on a day- long dharna in front of the office of Director Animal Husbandry, Punjab office in Chandigarh tomorrow against “callous and non-professional” attitude of top officials of the department.

According to Dr Paramjeet Singh, press secretary of the state body, resentment prevailed among the veterinary officers over the suspension of Dr Anil Sharma, Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry, Sangrur, while he was away to Haryana on official duty, along with the Joint Director of the department.

A meeting of deputy directors of the department and other office-bearers of the PSVOA district units held here today under the chairmanship of Dr Ashok Sharma, the state president, regretted that Dr Anil Sharma was placed under suspension without any fault on his part and further that the department had acted in an arbitrary manner. Dr Gurcharan Singh Bhawanigarh, patron of the association, and Dr T.P. Saini, senior president, were also present at the meeting.

The PSVOA chief alleged that undue pressure was being brought upon all veterinary officials to complete vaccination and artificial insemination targets “by hook or crook”. It would be pertinent to mention that all these facilities were on cost basis. He said the deputy directors were being threatened by director and other senior officers to achieve the targets, or else be prepared to face the consequences like suspension or departmental action.

Dr Bhawanigarh, as also other speakers, were at a loss as to how the vets could force the poor farmers to get animals vaccinated on cost basis. “There must be some legislation for vaccination of the animals vaccination which should provide for penal action on the failure of the farmers to get their animals vaccinated. Moreover, the government must take steps for free vaccination of animals which will enable the veterinary officers to achieve better results.”

Addressing the meeting, Dr T.P. Saini, senior president, said a large number of posts of joint directors, deputy directors and veterinary officers were lying vacant in the department while some subdivisions were working with just one or two vets.

According to Dr Paramjeet Singh, while the central body office-bearers would stage a dharna at Chandigarh on October 19 to protest against the unwarranted attitude of the government, other veterinary officers throughout the state will also wear black badges in their respective hospitals.



Farmers allege distress sale of paddy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
Several farmers’ organisations have questioned the claims of the Punjab Government of smooth and satisfactory paddy procurement in the state.
Leaders of five kisan organisations, including the All-India Kirti Kisan Sabha, Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, BKU Ekta (Sidhupur), Punjab Kisan Sabha and Khetibadi Vikas Front, alleged at a meeting here yesterday that the farmers had been forced to go for distress sale as the state agencies were not procuring the paddy.

The kisan organisations decided to launch a statewide agitation against the harassment to the farmers.

The leaders of these organisations alleged that the state government had failed to ensure smooth, fast and hassle-free paddy procurement. They claimed that the farmers were not getting the due price. With the result, they said, the farmers were selling the paddy at prices lower than the minimum support price (MSP).

The leaders alleged that government agencies, particularly the Food Corporation of India, were harassing the farmers on one pretext or the other. They said most of the paddy was being rejected by the FCI on the excuse of poor quality.



Murder case registered on ‘public demand’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
The protest staged by residents of Ram Nagar, Mundian Kalan, yesterday has led to the registration of a case of murder against unknown persons regarding the mysterious death of a minor boy whose body was found in a vacant plot on October 16. The boy had gone missing on October 14.

The police has ‘ on public demand’ booked unknown persons for the murder of the boy, Ashish, even as no evidence has been found so far suggesting that the boy was killed. Police sources said they had no option as the area residents threatened to disturb law and order in the city over the issue.

Sources said they were awaiting the viscera examination report of the deceased to find if he had died due to snakebite or was murdered.



Imposter maid arrested
Iqbal Singh

Khanna, October 18
A maid was caught by the school authorities taking away a girl student of plus I from A.S. Modern School today by posing herself as the mother of the girl. A local resident, she was handed over to the police by the school authorities. The SHO City, Mr Wajir Singh Khaira, said the police was investigating case.

According to information, a woman reached the school saying that she was the mother of a student of plus I. She wanted to take her daughter for some emergency work.

The student was called from the class and permitted to go with the woman. But later, a teacher got suspicious and they caught the woman and handed her over to the police.

Principal of the school Apoorav Devgan, however, said the parents of the student were not interested in taking any action.



Drug addict's body found
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
With the recovery of yet another drug addict's body from under a bridge on the Jalandhar bypass road this morning, the place is fast gaining notoriety as the graveyard of such addicts.

The body of an unidentified youth, aged about 25, was spotted under the bridge this morning. He has become the fourth victim of an alleged overdose of drugs. The police has been recovering used injections and traces of drugs like smack from the place. A small sewer drain passes under the bridge.

The site is strategically suited to drug addicts. While heavy traffic moves to and fro over the bridge, the area under it is abandoned and away from public site.

Police sources said the Basti Jodhewal police has conducted investigations under Section 174 of the CrPC. Sources said efforts were on to trace the identity of the youth. The police was yet to ascertain the identity of the previous bodies recovered from the site. All deceased were youths.

Sources said one cannot stand for even a few minutes at the site because of the pungent smell of the drain. However, addicts spend nights there under the influence of the drugs. The police has conducted raids several times in the past and arrested a number of youths but the addicts keep returning once the police relaxes vigil.



2 commission agents held for cheating
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khamano, October 18
A case of cheating farmers of about Rs 2 crore has come to light. The Bassi Pathana police has arrested two persons including a sarpanch, in this connection.
The SHO of Bassi Pathana, Mr Gurkirpal Singh, said following a complaint received through the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Fatehgarh Sahib, he instructed ASI Baljit Singh to enquire into the matter. Complainant Surjeet Singh of Luhari Kalan village alleged that he lent about Rs 9 lakh with a commission agent firm of Sanghol, Ms Sidhu Traders, but when he demanded his money, they refused.

The inquiry revealed that these people had amassed about Rs 6 crore from farmers.

In the meantime, two shareholders — Seetal Singh and Jaspal Singh — returned the money according to their share but, Ranjit Singh Sarpanch Hajipur and Joginderjit Singh Cherry refused. The Bassi police has registered a case under Sections 420 and 406, IPC.

Ranjit Singh was arrested and sent in judicial custody till October 24 and Joginderjit Singh Cherry of Khamano village, now residing at Mohali, was arrested yesterday.

Joginderjit Singh was produced in a court and given a police remand of one day.



45 rounded up for labourer’s murder
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
The Division No 7 police has rounded up nearly 45 persons for questioning regarding yesterday’s murder of a 25-year-old youth in the Mundian Kala area. Those detained include some listed bad characters and persons known to the deceased.

The police is investigating if the youth, Dinesh Kumar, found stabbed to death in his room was killed due to some alleged illicit relationship or monetary dispute.

Police sources said the manner in which Dinesh was stabbed all over the body reflected the accused persons strong hatred for him.

A migrant labourer, Dinesh was found in a pool of blood by his colleagues last morning. Dinesh lived alone here. His wife and children live at a village in Uttar Pradesh, the sources said.


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