L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Man arrested for 7 murders, cannibalism
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
Thirty-four years of hiding from the police, seven ruthless murders, including the cannibal act of devouring the head of his former servant, are enlisted as the ‘notorious achievements’ in the criminal record of a 55-year-old chronic opium smuggler, who after eluding the law all these years has finally landed in police custody.

With his arrest, files of seven murders that were gathering dust have been brought out by the police department. Many more such cases in Punjab or Uttar Pradesh, where the man lived for several years under assumed identities, are likely to be unearthed.

Despite the temptation of terming him Punjab’s latest serial killer, the police refrained from using the term as the accused had a proper motive in killing four of his seven victims. Others were just done to death in a fit of rage or to satisfy himself.

The man, Major Singh alias, Jagga alias Jagan Nath, is probably one of the first criminals in Punjab who had the dubious distinction of being a cannibal too. During the 34 years of eluding the police, he seemed to have just one solution for people who troubled him- murder them and that too in a gory manner.

SP(detective) Gurpreet Singh said the man was so ‘cool’ in taking a life that he even murdered a Punjab Police Constable, who had somehow managed to find the accused’s changed identity and address to serve summons from different courts where he was facing charges of smuggling opium.

The police officer said as per the investigations conducted so far, the accused, Major Singh, was an opium smuggler. He was arrested a number of times for supplying opium. In 1971 when the man was out on bail, he killed a fellow narcotic smuggler, Mukhtiar Singh, due to a dispute over sharing the spoils when both were in Uttar Pradesh to buy the drug.

Mukhtiar Singh’s body has not been traced till date. Interestingly, his name figures in the list of proclaimed narcotic smugglers. It is only now that the truth has come out.

Major Singh kept on changing addresses and identities. A Punjab Police Constable, Bihari Lal somehow managed to find him every time. In 1981, the accused along with a woman, Harbans Kaur and an accomplice Dayal Singh, tricked him into eating a poison-laced food.

They then threw his body on a railway track. The be-headed body was recovered by the police, which first took it to be a case of accident. But then registered a case of murder after the chemical examination revealed that the man had been poisoned. The Malerkotla police had then nabbed Harbans Kaur and Dayal Singh. Major Singh, however, remained untraceable.

Mr Gurpreet Singh further claimed that Major Singh then fled to Bareilly in Uttar Pradash and opened a dhaba on the outskirts of the city. He was, however, on the receiving end as Raju, a servant in his dhaba, killed his teenaged son after some minor problem.

He got so enraged that he beheaded Raju, cooked his head and devoured it. Mr Gurpreet Singh said after fleeing from that city he changed his identity and became a truck driver. There was, however, no change in his temparament as he mowed down two persons riding a bicycle under his truck as they made some gesture at him.

The accused has also confessed killing a person whom he had met in a dhaba in the city and both had an argument over something.



Dejected in love, girl hangs self to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
A 22-year-old girl committed suicide by hanging herself from a high window grill of her house near Barrewal road here last evening after being unable to come to terms with dejection in love.

The deceased Amrita Kaur was unable to live with the pain of being ditched by her lover after a five-year long affair, who left for Australia two days ago. A heart-rending suicide note recovered from her room expressed the anguish she was going through before taking the plunge.

The girl, however, left behind her dumb-struck parents and relatives who searched for her meaning of life in which love of a man proved stronger than other relationship and ultimately the life itself.

The Sarabha Nagar police has booked the boy Deepak and her parents under Section 306 of the IPC for abetting the suicide of the girl. The suicide note was taken as the basis of the FIR.

On the left corner of the suicide note the girl had drawn two separated hands — one of a boy and second of a nail-polish wearing girl. She wrote(rough translation), “Deepak, please don’t worry about me. You left me hanging on the rope of miseries. But I wish you should always keep smiling. I am happy at my devastation but you progress and enjoy life.”

After this emotional beginning , the girl wrote that the boy was mistaken if he thinks she would get married after he left her, “You have insulted my love. I can only forgive you if you return to never go back again.” She also ridiculed the boy for not having the guts to face her before leaving for Australia, “You could only value my love by sending me a piece of paper through a friend at the airport.”

According to her father, Amarjit Singh, the girl’s mother was the first to spot the body. She had gone out to a bank and had left her alone. When she returned, she was shocked to her bones to find her ‘darling’ daughter hanging to death.

They have also informed the police that they knew about the love affair. They had even gone to the boy’s house to explore the possibility of their marriage but the boy’s family had reservations.



14-yr-old murder case solved with man’s arrest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
In a major breakthrough in over a decade-old case of murder, the Focal Point police today announced the arrest of a man who along with an accomplice had stabbed a man to death by inflicting 77 wounds way back in 1991.

The police stumbled upon the murder committed 14 years ago during interrogation of the man, Ramesh Kumar, who was arrested under the Arms Act for possessing a jackknife yesterday.

When asked about the murder of his former friend, Naresh Kumar, Ramesh broke down and admitted that he and his accomplice had stabbed him 77 times in order to teach him a lesson for flirting with his lover.

The SP Detective did not disclose the identity of the accomplice, saying it could hamper his arrest.

According to him, Ramesh Kumar, Naresh Kumar and the third person were good friends and worked as labourers in the city then. Ramesh had an affair with a woman, who was also a close friend of the unidentified person.

However, Naresh Kumar also wanted to develop a relationship with the woman and had even tried to approach her on a number of occasions.

Angered at his behaviour, Ramesh and his accomplice decided to kill him. They took him to an evening film show, where they made him drink liquor once during the intermission and then after the movie. They then took him to an isolated place and stabbed him repeatedly.

The police only recovered the body of Naresh Kumar near Preet Cinema here in 1992. 



Vets seek probe into death of colleague
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 30
The Punjab State Veterinary Officers Association, has welcomed the decision of the state government to reinstate the Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry, Sangur, Dr Anil Sharma, who was suspended in October.

Dr Paramjeet Singh, state press secretary of the association, has said a meeting of the central body of the association was held here yesterday under the chairmanship of its state president Ashok Sharma and Dr Gurcharan Chahal, patron. Dr T.P. Saini, senior president, and Dr Nirmal Jit Singh, general secretary, were also present at the meeting

The meeting paid silent tribute to Dr Ramesh Chopra, who had passed away a few weeks ago in Faridkot. A correspondent of a Punjabi daily had allegedly talked to Dr Chopra regarding some health certificates issued by him concerning fitness of some cows and buffaloes. The vet died on the very night due to a heart attack.

Dr Ashok Sharma, state president, has said a committee was constituted to probe into the sudden death of the vet by the association. It presented its report at the meeting. As per its findings, veterinary pharmacists cadre’s workers, who are being planted by some higher officials, are supposed to be behind this whole episode of misguiding the correspondent for getting the news of Dr Chopra’s death published.

The family of the doctor has given representations to the DGP, the SSP, Faridkot, and the Editor of the Punjabi daily in this regard.

Dr T.P. Saini and Dr Nirmaljit Singh, state senior president and general secretary of the association, say the aim behind inserting the news item of the death of Dr Chopra, allegedly by veterinary pharmacists, is to bring a bad name to veterinary officers.

As per the Indian Veterinary Council Act, 1984, no person other than a registered veterinary practitioner can practise veterinary medicine and there are penalties if some one is caught doing that. Only a veterinary doctor having B.V.Sc. or A.H. degree is authorised to issue health a certificate for animals, export certificate and a post-mortem examination certificate. 



City a safe haven for encroachers
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, November 30
Roadside encroachments by rehris and other vends in the city are on the rise, claims of the local municipal corporation to the contrary notwithstanding.

About five years ago, the municipal corporation, with the help of the traffic police, had drawn up out an ambitious project of getting about a dozen roads in the old city cleared of roadside encroachments. These roads, most of which lead to the CMC Hospital through the maze of the old city, were to be widened keeping in view the needs of critically ill patients who need to be rushed to the hospital at the earliest.

Mr Bhatti, who headed the traffic police at that time, had started working in this direction but before he could achieve the desired results, he was transferred. So far, none of his successors has pursued the plan to widen the roads falling within the old city.

Instead of getting widened, these roads are getting further narrowed down due to the clout of the encroachment mafia in the city. For example, the Brown Road, one of the 12 roads to be covered under the plan, is witnessing a gradual increase in the number of kiosks and rehris dotting the road at varying intervals. The portion of the road, between the Kalvari Church and the Civil Hospital, which had been relatively free from the menace of rehris so far, is now dotted with a number of rehris and ‘pharis’ on the ground. The Deputy Commissioner had also ordered widening of the Brown Road in the wake of the Khud mohalla fire in which a number of lives were lost. But the city seems to have learnt no lesson from the gruesome tragedy because instead of widening the roads the same are being further narrowed down.

Politicians and councillors of various areas are also assisting the encroachment mafia directly or indirectly as is evident from what transpired yesterday when a team of the tehbazari wing of the local municipal corporation raided Shahpur Road and seized about half a dozen rehris.

Just as the operation was in full swing, the area councillor, accompanied by a mob, arrived on the scene and forced the officials to beat a retreat. The councillor was alleging that the officials were adopting a pick-and-choose policy by ignoring the rehris doing business on the adjoining Jail Road. The tehbazari team returned after issuing a warning to the rehriwallahs dotting the Jail Road. Nothing new in that, if you ask me.

The Field Ganj area, as reported earlier also in these columns, is a haven for roadside encroachers due to the sheer width of the road. Raids by the tehbazari wing and subsequent demonstrations by rehriwallahs led by politicians are the order of the day. Some cynical observers of the scene even opine that all these dramas are enacted just to prop up the position and standing of the politician in that area and that the officials are a party to it.

Of late, the more spacious Civil Lines has also started going the old city way as far as roadside encroachments are concerned. Little roadside markets have come up outside various temples in the area particularly outside the Dandi Swami temple.



Passing Thru

Mona Singh
Mona Singh, model and television actress

How do you feel now that you are better known as Jassi, the character you portrayed in the serial Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin?

The image does not bother me at all. Working for Jassi has been a wonderful experience and though my contract for the serial comes to an end this year, I won’t feel bad if people addressed me as Jassi even after 50 years.

Viewers complain about transition in Jassi’s character.

The change, first of all, was much in accordance with viewers’ demand. Besides, considering the journey that Jassi went through from a secretary to a CEO, the transition has been quite practical.

What are your career plans after Jassi..?

I have signed a film with Bobby Pushkarna of Page 3 , in which I play the lead role. The shooting for the film is expected to begin next year. But I must add that I do not plan to disassociate myself from television at all.

How was the change from modelling to television acting?

Acting is quite demanding. I work for 15 hours every day. But there also are its own charms, like you are much more popular.

— Shveta Pathak



Pensioners rue non-fulfilment of poll promises
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
The Retiree’s Welfare Association of Ludhiana district and the Punjab State Pensioners Confederation, have reminded the state government about the non-fulfilment of its pre-poll promises made in the manifesto released on the eve of the Punjab Assembly elections held in February, 2002.

In a memorandum submitted to the local Deputy Commissioner the pensioners have also expressed their displeasure at the non implementation of the recommendations made by the Punjab Fourth Pay Commission in Part III of its report submitted to the Punjab government on in 1998.

They rued that the government’s apathy continued despite numerous representations made to the present day govt. headed by Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab, from time to time in the past. The pensioners have already launched a chain of protest demonstrations district-wise in the state.

A 15-point “charter of demands” was handed over the ralliests to Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, for onward submission to Capt Amarinder Singh, for negotiations and settlement of demands. ‘charter of demands’ Contains demand for rationalisation of pension of pre-1996 pensioners on the basis of national pay in the revised pay scales of the post last held by the employee at the time of his / her retirement as fixed on January 1, 1996; grant of additional pension at the rate of 0.5 per cent of average emolument for each completed six - monthly period of additional service over and above the qualifying service of 33 years; grant of another scale of 5 percent as old-age allowance on the pension inclusive of dearness pension on attaining the age of 80 years by the pensioner; enhancement of fixed monthly medical allowance to Rs 500 grant of house rent, house maintenance allowance equal to 5 per cent of the basic pension; grant of travel concession to both husband and wife pensioners and also to family pensioners; simplification of medical re- imbursement claims procedure; enhancement of present ceiling of expenses on health - aids; celebration of ‘Pensioners’ Day’ officially every year on December 17 at the state districts level at state expenses grant of benefits, concessions to the retirees of local self government, semi-government bodies on the similar pattern as are made available from time to time to Punjab government. pensioners; reservation of 5 per cent of built up of houses, flats and plots under government schemes of PUDA/ improvement trust to shelter less pensioners. Government was also urged to set up Fifth Punjab Pay Commission which had now become due, considering the rise in price index.

A rally was also organised here on November 28 to wake the government up from its slumber regarding the plight of the pensioners.

Prominent among those who participated and addressed the rallies were B.R. Kaushal, Inderpal Sharma, Avtar Singh Afat, M.S. Parwana, Vinay Kumar Garg, Col. H.S. Kahlon, V.K. Khanna, H.K. Sood, Dr. Jaswant Singh Chamak, Gurmail Singh, Charanjit Singh. All the speakers had flayed the Punjab government. for its failings to implement the poll promises and Punjab Pay Commission’s recommendations.



SGPC attitude over palki procession flayed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 30
The role of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) in boycotting religious nagar kirtan taken out by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee in connection with the taking out of golden palki to Nankana Sahib has been criticised by the Sikhs.

Lieut-Col Chanan Singh Dhillon, president, Ex-service League, Punjab and Chandigarh, today said it was unfortunate that the premier institution disassociated itself from a religious procession.

Colonel Dhillon said the SGPC was bringing politics into religious affairs of the Sikhs and was doing harm to the religion.

He called upon SGPC functionaries to mend their ways and think in the larger interest of the Sikhs. He congratulated Delhi Gurdwara Committee president Paramjit Singh Sarna for his decision to take out a nagar kirtan.

He also hailed the participation Capt Amarinder Singh in the nagar kirtan and the cooperation extended by his government and Pakistan Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi.



Community rooted to its culture
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
With burgeoning population that has already crossed 30 lakh, Ludhiana has the privilege of having people from all cultures and all parts of the country.

After people from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, it is the Keralites who have a dominating presence in the city. And they have ensured that they remain firm bound to their cultural roots while at the same time adopting the Punjabi way of life.

Sree Ayyappa Mandir constructed by the Sree Ayyappa Seva Samiti in Sector 32-A on the Chandigarh road is an example of their strong sense of belonging to their roots and culture.

The annual puja held on the eve of Makkar Sankranti continues for 41 days. The function was formally inaugurated by Mr T.K.A. Nair, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, here recently.

According to Tulsidharan Pillai, secretary of the mandir committee, the puja is held every year from November 16 till Makkar Sankranti in honour of Lord Ayyappa, whose original temple is at Shabrimala in Pattanmitha district, Kerala.

The temple there has 18 golden steps. People from all walks of life perform puja there.

Mr Pillai said even in Ludhiana the puja has been getting a lot of attention of people belonging to different sections of society.

While the puja started on November 16, the formal inauguration of the function was held recently.

Besides Mr Nair, it was attended among others by Deputy General Manager, State Bank of India, R. Kartikeyan, president of the Federation of Tiny Industries of India Joginder Kumar, Ludhiana Dying Association chairman T.R. Mishra and others.



Stone laid
Our Correspondent

Khamano, November 30
The foundation stone of phase II of the block samiti building was laid by Parliamentary Secretary Harbans Kaur Dullo and area MLA Amrik Singh Dhillon here today.

A conference was held in which sarpanches, punches and block samiti members took part. Addressing the conference, Ms Dullo said the Punjab Government was fulfilling its promises one by one. Mr Dhillon said main issues, including water, has been solved by the Congress regime.

Mr Jinderpal Singh Cheema briefed the conference about various government schemes. Block Samiti President Harbans Singh Pandher welcomed all and assured that the new building would be constructed soon. 



Woman, daughter commit suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
A middle-aged woman and her teenage daughter committed suicide by eating some poisonous susbtance in their house in Punjab Mata Nagar late this evening. Acute financial crisis faced by the family is being stated as the cause of the suicide.

The woman, Jasbir Kaur (38) and her daughter Ramandeep Kaur were found dead in a room of their house by Harjit Singh. The man, main bread earner of the family had lost his legs in an accident recently after which the family was living in poverty. The parents were finding it hard to pay for the education of their daughter and a younger son Gagandeep.

Police sources said unable to cope with the stress, the two committed suicide. The police is conducting proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPc.



Industry demands SEZ in Ludhiana
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
Emphasising the significant share that the city has in exports from the state, the local industry has demanded the setting up of a special economic zone (SEZ) here. The industry has also put up this demand with the Union Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambram.

“Ludhiana has over 60 per cent share in exports from Punjab. Be it bicycles, textiles or auto parts, not only is the share much more in comparison to other cities, the number of items exported from here is also significant,” says Mr Joginder Kumar, president, Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India (FOTSII).

Setting up of an SEZ will boost industrial growth by providing an environment conducive to smooth functioning, he maintains.

The federation, in its pre-Budget proposals for 2006-07 to the Finance Minister, has also asserted that there is no logic in raising investment limit in plant and machinery for small-scale industry from Rs 1 crore to Rs 2 crore. “Any such move would not be in the interest of micro and small enterprises,” it has said.

Industrialists have also demanded that the SME Bill, 2005, should be withdrawn. “It should be replaced by a Macro and Small Enterprises Bill and a Medium Enterprises Bill,” they say.

They have also pointed out that the 11 D Scheme pertaining to infrastructural support being run by the Central Government has been unsuccessful so far as the state governments has not been providing requisite funds.

The federation has demanded that the SSI exemption limit be raised to Rs 2.5 crore and the existing SSI eligibility limit of Rs 3 crore be increased to Rs 5 crore.

Service tax on parts and accessories of cycles, rickshaws, and sewing machines be withdrawn as manufacturers of these industries pay excise duty of 16 per cent and service providers also pay excise duty on raw materials, it has said.

It urged the government to ensure that uniform interest rates are implemented on loans to SSIs by banks.



Octroi better than turnover tax, says Chamber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
The Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry today said the industry would be better off with octroi than a turnover tax.

“The Punjab Government has evolved three alternatives to replace octroi. Whereas the area development tax remains a grey area without any definite character, entry tax is akin to octroi.

Turnover tax of 1 per cent, if imposed, would only put additional burden on industry” said Mr P.D. Sharma, president of the chamber.

The industry is better off with octroi than turnover tax, considering the additional burden industry would be subjected to in case it is imposed, the chamber said in a press note.


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 |