L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Man gives supari to kill elder brother
Accused, killer arrested from Jaipur
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
In probably the first case of involvement of Mumbai underworld in a contract killing case here, a yarn broker allegedly hired a hit man from Mumbai and another from Jaipur to kill his elder brother in Haibowal in December last year.

The alleged target, Pankaj Jain, also a yarn broker suffered serious gunshot injuries in an attack on December 30 evening. He has recovered from the injuries now. The police arrested his brother Vishal Jain and a contract killer Jai Singh from Jaipur last night.

DSP Simratpal Singh Dhindsa and SI Gurpeet Singh, SHO Haibowal told mediapersons today evening that acute differences in brothers and the contradictory manner in which they wanted to live their lives seemed to be the main reason behind the deterioration in their relationship, which led to this.

Pankaj was more dominating and allegedly held control over the finances. The police said Pankaj was quite stingy while Vishal wanted to live an easy life. He allegedly squandered money on women and liquor. He decided to hire contract killers after he got fed up by the warnings of his brother to mend his ways and stop squandering money.

The police officials said the younger brother Vishal Jain had hired Jai Sindhi, an contract killer from Jaipur, for eliminating Pankaj Jain. Sindhi faces charges in 23 different cases, including murders, kidnapping, snatching and hurt cases.

Vishal had struck a deal for Rs 3 lakh for the killing with an underworld hitman, whose identity was not disclosed by the police. He had lived in Mumbai from 1993 to 1999 for business purposes and had met the underworld.

DSP Simratpal Singh Dhindsa told mediapersons that disclosing his identity at this juncture could provide him chance to escape.

DSP Dhindsa revealed the accused had made an attempt at Pankaj’s life in November last year too. But the gunshot didn’t hit him. On December 30, Jai Sindhi, riding a motorcycle, shot at the target in Haibowal market. The accused managed to escape but left his motorcycle near the crime spot.

The police was surprised to find that the motorcycle belonged to the victim’s brother Vishal. He had lodged a complaint in a city police station about his missing motorcycle that morning only. The police probed his past and found he was living a life in indulgence quite opposite to his brother.

The police researched the bank transactions of Vishal and found that he had deposited nearly Rs 2 lakh in various instalments in the account of two different person in Millergunj branch of the Karnataka Bank Ltd. The deposits were made in the account of two persons living in Jaipur and Mumbai, respectively.

The police then followed the leads and swopped down on the killers. DSP Dhindsa said a team led by SI Gurpreet Singh had caught the allegedly notorious contract killer, Jai Sindhi from Jaipur last night. He was brought to the city today evening.



NRI duped of Rs 11 lakh
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 22
The Dehlon police is hunting for a swindler who, in connivance with a government teacher of Seelon Khurd village in Ludhiana district, had duped an NRI of Rs 11 lakh by selling a piece of land of a person who had already died. The victim wanted to invest his money in real estate in his native state after the reports of the government's assurance regarding the protection of rights of NRIs were highlighted.

The accused conspired to sell Karamjit Singh, an NRI from California in the USA, a piece of plot worth about 20 lakh, by posing as its owner who had died.

"When I expressed my wish to invest a substantial amount in Punjab, Paramjit Singh, a government school teacher of my village, introduced me to Zora Singh of Paddi village, wife Gurpreet Kaur, son Mandeep Singh and his brother Sukhdev Singh, a cooperative society secretary who showed me a piece of land measuring about 2.75 acres situated at their village," said Karamjit Singh to the Ludhiana Tribune.

When Karamjit agreed to purchase the plot for Rs 21 lakh they get an agreement made at Dehlon and a relative of Gurpreet Kaur signed as Ralla Singh, owner of the land. The NRI was made to pay Rs 11 lakh to them that included Rs 10 lakh as advance, Rs 60,000 towards cost of stamp duty and Rs 40 lakh as commission for materialising the deal.

It was at the time of getting the deed registered that Karamjit came to know that he had been duped of 11 lakh as the person who had signed the agreement as Ralla Singh, the owner of the land, was fake. "I came to know about the fraud when they ran away when asked for a witness of a lambardar of the seller's village," said Karamjit.

The victim reported the matter to Dakha DSP, who directed Mr Amarjit Singh Khaira, SHO to probe the matter. Investigations by the Dehlon police revealed that the real owner of the land had died a year ago and the swindlers had duped the NRI of Rs 11 lakh .

Two of the suspects had earlier been booked for cheating a resident of Jassar village. The police registered an FIR under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120B of the IPC and arrested Paramjit Singh and Sukhdev Singh.

While two of the accused have got anticipatory bail, the police was hunting for the swindler who posed as the owner of the land.



PFA, PETA to protest outside KFC today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
After facing a series of protests by various animal rights organisations in the country and abroad, the local outlet of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) too has come in the line of fire, with People for Animals (PFA) and People for the Ethical Treatment to Animals (PETA) joining hands to start a campaign against alleged cruelty meted out to the birds by the chicken suppliers to the unit.

Following a “continual silence by KFC executives over the issue” the PETA and PFA activists would “sensitise the people about the treatment given to chickens in hatcheries” outside the outlet in Ansal Plaza tomorrow at 12 noon. The protest would also be joined by various animal rights activists, including CAPE-India, Vegetarian congress, Lions Club (vegetarian) and Karuna Club. This is a part of an international campaign urging KFC to adopt basic animal welfare guidelines to ensure their birds do not suffer from the worst abuses, said the animal rights activists.

Stating that KFC slaughters more than 850 million chickens every year, Dr Sandeep K. Jain, president of local chapter of PFA and Ms Sneha Singh of PETA, said that the poor birds led miserable lives and met frightening deaths at the hands of KFC’s factory farming suppliers.

Both claimed that the chickens in the farms were given growth-enhancing drugs which made the birds gain excessive weight. This caused leg deformities among the chickens and they were immobilised.

Claiming that the PETA had a video footage of horrific cruelty, including extreme overcrowding and crippled chickens, at KFC supplier, Dr Jain and Ms Sneha said that undercover video footage of slaughterhouses in the USA showed workers were kicking, throwing and stomping on live birds.

“PETA (India) has written numerous letters to KFC executives asking them to urge the hatcheries to implement animal welfare standards but has not received a response. The supplier hatcheries stuff chickens into extremely crowded warehouses, where they live in their own waste without any medical attention or natural stimulants so that they are wrought with anxiety and stress. The barns are littered with the decaying carcasses.” alleged the activists.

They claimed that PETA’s growing list of international celebrities who support its “Kentucky Fried Cruelty” Campaign includes actress Pamela Anderson, Anoushka Shanker, Nobel peace prize winner, His Holiness, the Dalai Lama and rock legend Sir Paul McCartney.



2 labourers die of asphyxiation
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, January 22
Two migrant labourers were killed today at a sweet shop, near railway crossing opposite Rani weighing bridge, here, allegedly due to asphyxiation. Mr Mohan Singh, a local resident and the owner of the sweet shop, said the labourers used to sleep at night in the room on the upper storey of the shop.

After finishing their work on yesterday, they went to the room and lit a candle. Mohan Singh said when he found the shop closed this morning he went to the room. He saw both labourers were lying dead and there were some burned clothes on the floor.

According to the police, the labourers seem to have died of asphyxiation due to fire in the clothes. One of the deceased has been identified as Shiv Dass (22), son of Brij Mohan of Bara Banki (Uttar Pradesh). Both bodies have been sent to the local Civil Hospital for a post-mortem examination.



Probe ordered into fire incident
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, Mr Anurag Verma, today ordered a magisterial inquiry into the tragic fire incident in which eight persons, including six children, were charred to death in sleep in Karaurr village yesterday.

He has directed Ms Amrit Gill, SDM (East), to look into the reasons of fire and submit her report within a fortnight.

Mr Verma said that after discussing the matter last evening, he had felt that there seemed to be more than what met the eye as eight persons could not be reduced to charcoal by a fire in a thatch hut. There was no other inflammable material except a layer of grass that the family had been using to keep warm. The fact that a goat had escaped death despite being tied made the suspicion grew stronger.

The DC said that he had visited the scene of fire himself where prima facie evidence suggested that it was an accident. He added that even the father of the deceased woman had only asked for making an arrangement for the burial and he had directed the SDM of Samrala to make sure that there was no difficulty.



4 mysterious deaths in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Four persons including two young girls and security guard were found dead under mysterious circumstances in different places of the city today. Sarvjit Singh, a security guard employed at the tower of a mobile phone company in Feroze Gandhi market, was found lying dead on the floor of a small office under the tower today morning. The cause of the death was not known.

SHO, Civil Lines, Inspector R.S. Sohal said there was no injury on the deceased’s body. There was no sign of any robbery bid. The police found a few thousands rupees in his pocket. The police was suspecting either the 30-year-old man had died of cardiac arrest or had consumed lot of liquor.

The police said the post-mortem examination report, which would be available tomorrow, would throw some light but for exact cause of the death.

Sarvjit Singh is survived by his wife Luvleen Kaur and two sons.

A 20-year-old girl, Shilpa, a resident of Janakpuri, was found dead in the Sidhwan Canal near Barrewal today morning. She was missing since yesterday. The police suspect she had committed suicide but the exact cause was not known so far.

Another girl, Anita (25) succumbed to burn injuries in a mysterious fire that broke out in her auntie’s house in Lajpat Nagar today. She belonged to Dehradun and had come here to visit her aunt.

The fourth mysterious death was of a youth, Bikram. His body was found lying on a road side near Mundian village today morning. The cause of the death has not been ascertained so far.

The two accused — Vishal Jain and alleged contract killer Jai Sindhi — standing behind DSP Dhindsa and SHO Gurpreet Singh. Photo: Inderjeet Verma



Revenue officers’ plea
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
The Punjab Revenue Officers Association has urged the state government to waive condition of age-limit for the promotion of the revenue officers to the PCS cadre besides implementing a seniority-cum-merit promotion system.

A state-level meeting of the association held here yesterday also resolved the tehsildars be kept out of the preview of the PPSC for promotion to the PCS cadre.

Mr Baljit Singh Sidhu and Mr Subash Paddam, president and general secretary respectively, of the Association said that the meeting also resolved to urge the government for providing the powers of a collector to the revenue officials for better functioning of the department.

The association said the district revenue officer should be promoted to the rank of an Additional Deputy Commissioner on the lines of the routine promotion of a District Development and Panchayat Officer to the rank of an ADC.

The association decried the registration of Vigilance cases against revenue officials.

The meeting also elected Mr Daljit Singh Cheena, Tehsildar Jagraon senior vice-president , Mr Jagdeep Singh Memi, tehsildar Tarn Taran Vice-President, Mr Hansa Singh tehsildar Baba Bakala as joint secretary and Mr Kanwar Narinder Singh, tehsildar Phagwara cashier of the association.



Ludhiana Calling

Ludhianvis’ love for kite flying on Lohri was apparent. However, despite warnings in newspapers, people were seen flying kites not only on rooftops and streets but even on busy places like the Mall Road. A few persons were even seen 'using' venues like Fountain chowk. It being an official holiday, kite lovers were out in large numbers. Passersby, particularly drivers of two wheelers, had a tough time dealing with kites and threads used for flying kites. Even traffic cops did not seem to mind. Administration should either give kite lovers a venue or at least make sure that pleasure for some does not become agony for others.

Always a teacher

Once a cops always a cop, goes an old saying. But the other day, a city cop found out that the same is true for a teacher. It so happened that a retired teacher from a convent school went to a police station for lodging a report concerning the loss of her purse in the market. She spotted that there were two Incumbency boards hanging on a wall. But spellings of Incumbency were spelt differently She immediately pointed out the error. The exasperated police official called for a dictionary to verify. But there was no dictionary in the police station. He checked from an English teacher over the phone about the correct spellings and ordered immediate correction.

Lensman's delight, athlete's fright

A sporting event offers delight to press photographers. They get the challenging task of capturing a fast running athlete in their frame or another mid-air while taking a long jump. Similar excitement among the lensmen was witnessed at a recent school games function at Guru Nanak Stadium. Photographers ran here and there on the tracks to get an exclusive shot without bothering about the athletes. A number of collisions took place and some of the athletes avoided the accidents at the risk of lagging behind the rivals. It is high time that the lensmen realise their delight can be someone's fright as well.

Photo by Sayeed AhmedColourful college grounds

With the weather remaining foggy for better part of the day, college students make a beeline towards the open grounds for a place under the warm sun. Grounds present a colourful picture, especially in girls colleges. This is unlike the boys colleges where, irrespective of the weather, the students are seen playing cricket. (see picture)

Security guard

Rise in snatching, burglary and hit-and-run incidents has not even left the mediapersons untouched. The other day a lensman got a midnight call about an attempted burglary at a bank in the city. To the utter shock of a journalist who had phoned up the photographer to reach on the spot, the lensman refused to go alone. He had a valid reason,‘‘Somebody can snatch my camera which is worth lakhs,’’ he replied.

Bad learning

A number of transporters of school buses and vans who were the target of a special challan drive of the traffic police against them provided the school children a first hand experience of how to run away from the law. Instead of maintaining proper documents, the bus drivers sought to avoid the cops by taking longer routes or abandoning their buses in the streets. Most of the students shocked the parents later that they had learnt how to drive without wearing helmets or without driving licence. The exasperated parents were at their wits end explaining them not to copy the bad habits.

Whither lakkar bridge

Lakkar bridge over the web of rail tracks outside the local railway station that connected Bhadaur House with old district courts complex was a convenient passage for the commuters. But these days, the bridge presents a sorry picture. The stairs on both sides have been razed for a flyover. Two days after the demolitions of the bridge's legs, the promised flyover has not been constructed. Though the construction work started early, it was suspended midway. As a result, people have no option but to risk their lives crossing the rail tracks. It seems that only some grave tragedy would awaken the authorities concerned from their slumber.

Non-utility bus stops

The city bus stand is in a bad shape though there are several beautifully constructed bus stops on Ferozepore road and Ghumar Mandi road, which are taken well care for. It is another matter that no bus stops here. The stands are far away from the scheduled stops of the buses. They have no utility except for the sponsor whose product is advertised there. It is quite a paradox that the main bus stand of the city, which is used by thousands, is in shambles but those small bus shelters are kept spick and span.

Political interference

Showdown between Ludhiana Vigilance and local politicians revealed how law violators thrive in this country. Following political pressure, the state government had to order a re-investigation into the case. When some leaders and Vigilance officials came together in the local circuit house, a political leader went overboard in telling a senior official his side of the story. The problem was that a vigilance official could not be cowed down under the political pressure while handling some violators. What had incensed the politician all the more was that his "order" had no effect on the official even though the former was camping in the vigilance office till 11 p.m.on the day of crackdown on violators.

Brokering death

Greed, they say, can make anybody stoop to any low. The adage came true for distant relatives and friends of Mohammad Manzoor, who was charred to death in sleep along with his wife and six children yesterday. Intriguingly, the relatives, who were mildly protesting before the mediapersons over the proceeding by police under section 174 CrPC, took no time in affixing their thumb impression on some legal papers when they were told that they would be compensated. One wonders if one could even try to broker the matters of death.

Rat race

With the admission season on in city schools, parents of children seeking admission are having nerve-wrecking time. In a mad race to get their children admitted in some specific schools, parents leave no option unexploited to get their ward a seat. The 'competition' has become so fierce that they start asking various officials and politicians to put in a word for their child. Even the journalists are not spared. They too get lists from their friends and relatives who want their children in famous schools.


An SMS doing rounds in the new year reads: Ever thought that year 2006 started with a Sunday and would end on a Sunday. It has the highest number of Sundays and Saturdays. And there are no public holidays on Sundays. So enjoy the least working year of your life!

— Sentinel



SAD ready for pact with anti-Cong parties
Our Correspondent

Khanna, January 22
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) is ready to reach a poll pact with every anti-Congress party in the coming Assembly elections, said Mr Parkash Singh Badal today, while addressing a press conference at the office of D R Transport Company, here. Mr Badal was here to attend an akhand path organised by the family of SGPC member Balwinder Kaur Khattra.

Mr Badal said that the recruitment announcement was an election stunt. In the last four years the Congress government had not given any job to youths of Punjab. Mr Badal said that the Congress government had not fulfilled its manifesto promises. He claimed that if the Akali government came to power octroi would be abolished and alternative measures would be taken to adjust the employees working in the octroi department.

Answering a question about the defeat of Akali Dal in the last Assembly elections he blamed a part of the media for it. He said the media had claimed the Akali Dal would win only 20 seats, which had an adverse effect on the voters. He said the Akali Dal won 45 seats in that election.

He refused to comment on the question raised about the admission of non-Sikhs in the SGPC institutions claiming that it was a religious matter.

Earlier, addressing the gathering at the bhog ceremony Mr Badal said in the coming elections Akali Dal would register a historic victory. He said that the people of Punjab wanted the Akali government back.

The function was also attended by Mr Charnjit Singh Atwal, Deputy Speaker, Lok Sabha, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, secretary general Akali Dal, Mr Harmail Singh Tohra, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, Mr Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, all MLAs, Mr Devinder Singh Khatrtra, Mr Ranbir Singh Khattra, Mr Harchand Singh Alipur, Mr Iqbal Singh, Mr Gurbax Singh Bija, Mr Swarn Singh Sandhu, Mr Tejinder Sinagh Rampur, Mr Raghbir Singh Saharn Majra.



Bajrang Dal convention
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 22
A two-day state level convention of the Bajrang Dal concluded at local M G M N Senior Secondary School today. More than 200 activists of Dal and Vishav Hindu Parishad participated in various sessions and a Torch March led by the national level leaders of both the organizations.

According to Mr Mohit Dheer and Mr Rajesh Jindal, president and vice president, respectively, of the local unit of the Dal, senior leaders including Surinder Jain, All-India secretary and former president VHP, Miland Prandey and Rakesh Madan, both vice presidents of Bajrang Dal, inspired the activists to create awareness among masses about the importance of religion in maintaining healthy environment in the society.

“When Christian missionaries can adopt a ‘do and die’ policy at our motherland to allure Hindus for conversions, then why can’t we come forward to protect our identity,” questioned the leaders to the activists.

The activists vowed to abide by directions of the office-bearers in the service of society.

Earlier a Torch March was organized in the town last night. Mr Vijay Chabra, state president of the Dal and Ajit Malhotra, vice president, VHP, Sangrur also addressed the activists.



Tributes paid to BJP leader
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 22
Rich tributes were paid to senior BJP leader and state vice-president of the party Khushi Ram Sharma on his 18th death anniversary at a prayer meeting organised by the Bhagvan Parshu Ram Brahmin Sabha here today.

A havan was performed at Basant Park in Industrial Area-B in the memory of the slain leader, who had fell down to the terrorists' bullets during the days of militancy.

The meeting was attended by representatives of social, religious and political bodies besides members of Sharma’ family.



Cong leader for wooing NRI investors
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, January 22
The Punjab Government should set up a single-window facility for the NRIs to attract investments from them in the state, said Mr Jagmohan Singh Sahota, convener of the India Overseas Congress, while interacting with mediapersons here yesterday.

Every year, during winter, NRIs in thousands visit Punjab. Their meetings with the representatives of the government, industry and agriculturists should be organised, Mr Sahota suggested.

He appreciated the efforts of Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Panjab, in creating a cordial atmosphere between the NRIs and various departments of the state government.

The government should attract small investors too as a small project provides employment to at least 10 persons, he added.

He urged the Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee chief Shamsher Singh Dullo to involve NRIs in the coming elections, so that they could have their say in the government and protect their property from land mafia. 


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