L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


NHRC takes up Ashish’s suicide case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
After the Punjab Human Rights Commission (PHRC) slammed its door on the face of the father of an IAS aspirant, who had committed suicide two years ago, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has rekindled his hope of bringing guilty to book by admitting his case.

Mr N.M. Hansi, a local resident and father of Ashish Hansi, who, the former claims, committed suicide following some pressure from a bureaucrat, has been fighting the case for the past more than two years.

Taking up his complaint under Section 12 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, the NHRC has finally registered a case. The PHRC, in June this year, had stated that it was not able to do anything in the case as required action with regard to the investigation of the crime had already been initiated by the police.

The PHRC had maintained that investigations could further be toned up if the police made in-depth inquiry from the Telecom Department. ‘‘In such a situation, the commission can take no action and would like to make a recommendation to the SSP, Ludhiana, to further investigate into the matter.’’

Ashish Hansi had committed suicide in February, 2003. His father says his son received a threat SMS on his mobile phone, but the BSNL authorities were trying to shield the person who sent the SMS.

On the other hand, the BSNL authorities have claimed that the mobile number, from which the SMS was sent to Ashish Hansi, belongs to customer care centre of the BSNL. They have claimed that no SMS could be sent from that number.

In his petition before the NHRC, Mr Hansi has claimed that the mobile number (9417099995) from which the SMS had been received belonged to a bureaucrat’s ward, who forced his son to commit suicide.

He has alleged that the SIM card of this mobile number was sold in the last week of October, 2002, in Ludhiana and a history file was prepared in March, 2003.

The identity of the SIM-holder was deleted in the records and the fact could be established by scanning the hard disk of the network server of the BSNL, he claims, adding that as per the records, the number was provided with roaming facility.

Mr Hansi has said his son was working hard to get through the IAS examination. But suddenly something happened and he committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan.

His son committed suicide on February 20. Ashish has said in a suicide note that ‘‘he was feeling too pressurised’’. Before the incident he was always sitting in his room and studying.

Mr Hansi said on the fateful day also his son was studying in his room and only his grandfather was at home. When he reached home and knocked at the door of Ashish’s room, he got no response. He broke open the door only to find Ashish hanging from the ceiling fan.

He took him to a nearby hospital where doctors declared him brought dead.



Rights panel pitches in to check Budda Nullah menace
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
While the authorities continue to ignore the pollution and diseases spread by Budda Nullah, another organisation has come forward to take up the cudgels for assessing the solution, exposing the alleged misappropriation of funds for its cleaning and improving its condition.

The International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) has taken up the case of Budda Nullah, which is a source of pollution and diseases for the local population.

The IHRO has also taken notice of the alleged corruption in the Department of Local Bodies as municipalities, corporations and improvement trusts in the state have virtually become a den of corruption. The state administration, it said, was responsible for the agony of the people.

To check this menace, IHRO chairperson D.S. Gill today constituted a five-member investigation team comprising advocates, Mr Dev Raj Sharma, Mr Ritesh Dhir, Mr Shashi Kant Verma, Ms Harminder Kaur Jassal and Ms Inderjit Kaur, to probe the matter, according to Mr Mohinder Singh Grewal, secretary-general of the organisation.

The IHRO team would monitor pollution in water that has caused diseases and contaminated the water table in the city and suburbs, suggest ways and means to check the pollution and look into whether the money allotted for environmental protection action plans was being properly utilised by the municipal corporation, said Mr Grewal in a statement.

The NGO’s core group, at a meeting yesterday, decided to approach the Punjab Human Rights Commission for impleading it as a party to the pending complaint on the subject matter before the commission in which it has appointed a three-member team of experts to find out the solution to the long-lingering problem.

Besides helping the team of experts, the IHRO will put forth cases of corruption, if any, and deaths caused due to the negligence of the corporation in not properly fencing or covering the nullah.

Meanwhile, the IHRO while appreciating the stand taken by Congress MLA Bir Devinder Singh against the Local Bodies Minister, Chaudhry Jagjit Singh, for large-scale corruption in his department, condemned the inaction of the Congress leaderships, particularly the Chief Minister in this regard.



Villagers continue to face music!
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
Throwing the Supreme Court orders on the noise pollution to the winds, religious institutions and marriage palaces on the Ferozepore road continue to blare loudspeakers during the restricted hours.

Owing to this, residents living in the vicinity are getting inconvenienced but the district administration has failed to punish the violators, as not even a single case has been registered against these palaces so far.

Interestingly, the highway patrol unit surveys the area round-the-clock, but it has not reported any such violation in the area thus far.

Only last night, people living in Mandiani and nearby villages on the road had a sleepless night as loudspeakers played throughout the night during a religious function organised at a marriage palace.

Despite complaints by the residents to the police, nobody came to their rescue and they had to spend the night tossing and turning in their beds. The noise continued till wee hours when the discourse of a “baba” stopped.

More than a dozen loudspeakers were put up in all directions at the palace.

The villagers said they had been the victim of noise pollution caused by marriage palaces for the past many years.

With the apex court issuing a directive, they had finally thought that their problem had come to an end. Their hope was kindled further when about a month ago the district administration banned playing of loud music in their area after 10 pm. The administration had warned of prosecuting those found guilty.

Marriage palace owners and managements of religious places also took the directive seriously and altogether stopped the playing of loud music after 10 pm. But things were back to normal after a few days.

Villagers said the administration did its bit by announcing the ban and but it did not bother to follow it up.

The Punjab Loudspeakers Act, 1956, stipulates that noise should not exceed 40 decibel in the residential and 60 decibel in the commercial areas.

Surprisingly, villagers also did not want to come on record stating that they could not say anything about the religious function.

“We are scared of the followers of the ‘baba’, who would swarm our houses in protest if we say something,” said a villager.



Passing Thru

Chandan Widhani
Chandan Widhani, Director, Just My Size.

What is the concept of your brand?

This brand offers plus-size clothing to big people who are on the lookout for fashionable western wear. We provide wardrobe to people with waists as large as 64 inches. Besides, every care is taken about the fabric, finish and cut too.

What is the response in other cities?

The brand, which is already operating in Chandigarh, Delhi and Gurgaon, has been well received as the market lacked good quality fashion wear for people with above average sizes. This segment has been ignored in our country. We are targeting middle and upper income group people.

Why did you decide to enter city market?

We conducted an exhibition earlier this year to gauge the response. The feedback was excellent. Not just that, people from this city come to our stores in Chandigarh and Delhi, highlighting the need for one such outlet here too.

— Shveta Pathak



Community policing project to check crime
Iqbal Singh

Khanna, November 17
Community policing project launched by the Khanna police is proving a milestone project to check crime especially to check theft cases in the city as well as providing employment to youths.

The police has launched a unique project for the safety of the residents during night hours. S S P Khanna Nau Nihal Singh said the residents of the city were panicked due to increasing theft cases. After study he decided to provide security in the city to check the theft cases. For this purpose a survey was conducted and it was found that there was a need of about 160 persons to provide a security umbrella to the city.

The project was launched under the supervision of community policing project in charge Gurdeep Singh Gossal on September 1with strength of 27-security person. He said a private security company was engaged to provide security personnel for the purpose. He said the salary of the security persons was being collected from the residents, which cost only Rs 1 per day. He said after the initial success of the project the strength was raised to 120 security persons on October 1and now it had been increased to 135.

Talking about the need of the scheme, SSP said during study it was ascertained that in many theft cases private employees deployed for the security purpose were involved in the theft cases. He said in most cases the employer had not proper addresses of them. It was also found that in many cases the employees were of suspicious character. He said keeping in view this, the police had arranged a full bio-data of the security personnel. He said the scheme had brought fruitful results within a short period. He claimed that in October only one case of theft was reported in which involvement of a private security person was suspected.

The project has also been launched in other two subdivisions falls in the Khanna police district. Seventy employees have been deputed at Payal, Malaud and Doraha while 35 in Samrala and Machhiwara.

Residents of the city have also praised the scheme. Mr J.N. Sharma said in the past there was a panic of thefts among the residents. But after the launching of the scheme they could sleep without worry. He said the scheme was providing employment to youths of the area.

Mr Rajesh Dhand a property dealer, said now they could go to see midnight cinema shows as they were assured that some one on duty to protect their residence.

Mr Kamaljeet Singh, a bank employee, said the community policing had increased their trust in the police working. He said they had felt that the police was now watching the interests of the general public.

The SSP said in the near future the whole city would be cover under the scheme and the strength would be raised to 160 persons in the city. He claimed that mobile phones would be provided to all the security persons to contact the police officials to inform any happening. He said after the completion of the project the crime rate would effectively come down. He also claimed that these community police officers had succeeded to check many theft cases.



Rajguru Nagar residents cry hoarse
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 17
Residents of Rajguru Nagar Colony are up in arms against the Ludhiana Improvement Trust for its indifferent attitude.
“The Ludhiana Improvement Trust had started work on widening of roads of the colony and allotted it to a contractor. The digging of roads by the labour had damaged water pipes or telephone cables leading to snapping of water and telephone connections,” alleged vice-president, Rajguru Nagar Welfare Society, Anant Ram Gupta, and councillor Charanjit Singh Aulakh.

They further alleged that the trust authorities had failed to make arrangements for the regular cleaning of lanes and removal of garbage and restoration of streetlights.

The residents had also been facing difficulty due to the wild overgrowth in the colony as the trust authorities had failed to take any steps in this regard.



Pension disbursed
Our Correspondent

Khanna, November 17
The social security and women and child Development Department, Khanna subdivision, had distributed Rs 71.15 lakh to 6,548 beneficiaries said SDM Khanna here today.

SDM Jaspal Mittal said 4,842 persons had got old-age pension, 1116 had got widows pension, 194 children has got dependable pension and 396 has got pension for the disabled. He said the said amount had been transferred to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. He claimed that 61 self-help groups has been established under Mahila Shakti Kandra by ICDS Khanna block.



Famous doctor now PO
Iqbal Singh

Khanna, November 17
There was a time when he was wanted by the local people to cure their children. Now, he is wanted by the CBI in a fraud case. Once a famous doctor and industrialist of this town, Dr Narinder Pal Singh Sandhu is now a proclaimed offender. The CBI has announced a reward of Rs 25,000 for information about him.

Son of Mr Pritam Singh, a former Sub-Inspector in the Punjab Police, who remained SHO of the Khanna city and was known for his honesty, Sandhu got top positions in every class during school days as well as in medical examinations. After completing MD from Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, in the first division, he started practice at Kanwal Children and General Hospital at Samrala Road, Khanna, and earned a lot of income. With growing income, he started a pharmaceutical unit, Kaprinas Pharmaceutical and Chemicals Ltd, at Focal Point, Khanna, to manufacture antibiotic drugs. After the first issue of this unit received an overwhelming response, the local people started financing Dr Sandhu. Today, there is list about 25 persons waiting for the return of this doctor to get back their hard-earned money. Canara Bank, which financed Rs 6.70 crore is also on the list of those awaiting their money. Mr A.K. Jindal, Senior Manager, Canara Bank, said the bank was the third claimant to the land and building of Kaprinas Pharma and a case was pending with the Debt Recovery Tribunal, Chandigarh. The other two claimants were the PSIEC and the PFC.

Meanwhile, the building housing Kaprinas Pharma is in a shambles.

Despite being pledged with a bank, a 1 bigha kothi of Dr Sandhu situated on the Club Road, Bulepur, Khanna, has been sold twice.

People say that Dr Sandhu has shifted to the USA or Canada.



2 held with poppy husk
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, November 17
The police has claimed to have busted a gang of smugglers with the arrest of its two members, who used to sell poppy husk in Punjab after smuggling it from other states.

The police intercepted a truck (PB 04C 9761) at T-point, Gurusar Kaunke Chuharchak, and recovered 16 bags of poppy husk containing 560 kg of the contraband which had been concealed under bags of some powder.

The occupants of the truck, Charan Singh of Patti Jaid Kaunka Kalan and Major Singh of Rasulpur, have been arrested and a case under Sections 15, 25, 60, 61, 85 of the NDPS Act has been registered. The truck has been impounded.

Mr Gurjit Singh Romana, DSP, said the accused used to being the narcotics from other states and sell it in Punjab. Later, Ms Jitender Walia, SDJM, remanded both the accused in police custody till November 19.



Vaghela to open Textech — 2005
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
The Union Minister for Textiles, Mr Shankersinh Vaghela, will inaugurate Textech — 2005, Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) third international exhibition on textile technology, and also Texcon — 2005, an international conference on textiles and clothing that would begin here tomorrow.

The exhibition and the conference, that would continue till November 21, would involve participation from 125 companies and nine states, including Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Punjab, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh.

Textech — 2005 is structured as a dynamic forum to bring together the latest technologies in spinning, weaving, knitting, dyeing and processing and clothing machinery and accessories, said Mr Manish Bagrodia, chairman, Textech — 2005, at a press conference here today.

He said the event had come at an opportune time as quota-based restrictions for textile exports had been lifted and the Indian textile industry now had the opportunity to realise its full potential and was already eyeing an export target of $50 billion by 2010.

The exhibition would showcase state-of-the-art textile technologies, machinery and equipment and was an ideal platform to transact business globally, he said.

Among the key speakers at the conference would be Mr Nayan C. Parikh, Chairman, Textile Committee, Government of India, Mr C. R. Rajagopal, partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and technical experts from Germany, Japan, Korea, Canada and India. The conference would be attended by over 150 CEOs, CTOs, entrepreneurs and other decision- makers from the Indian textile industry.

Mr Gurbans Sobti, Adviser – Trade, Consulate-General of Canada, would also participate whereas Mr Yeba Sandega will be leading a delegation from the Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Delegations from the Punjab Cotton Factories and Ginners Association, the Solvent Extractors’ Association and visitors from Pakistan, Germany, Thailand, and Congo were also expected at Textech 2005.

“The conference is likely to help transform the mindset of the industry and help them get rid of technological obsolescence, thus paving the way for a modern industrial base. This will be the real key to the success of the industry,” stated Mr M C Munjal, Chairman, CII, Punjab State Council.

He said India’s textile sector was the country’s second largest industry after agriculture. It provides direct employment to about 35 million people. It was also India’s largest foreign exchange earner, accounting for 35 per cent of the gross export earnings in trade.



Bank takes over properties
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
State Bank of India, Shimla Puri branch, today took physical possession of properties mortgaged in the name of Maya Cycle and Maya Cycle Industries in New Janta Nagar here.

A bank press release said the parties availed of credit facility from the bank and defaulted in repayment to the tune of Rs 7.31 lakh and Rs 10.39 lakh, respectively.


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