L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Drama stalls MC demolition
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 7
The high-profile demolition team of the Municipal Corporation had to beat a hasty retreat without carrying out its assigned task of pulling down a hosiery building in Mahavir Jain Colony in Sunder Nagar locality here today as a couple of councillors, a Parliamentary Secretary and some other political leaders of the area put up stiff resistance.

Congress councillors Rajesh Jain (Ward 60) and Chanchal Singh (Ward 7), along with other political activists of different parties, virtually stood before the MC bulldozers and disrupted proceedings. The Parliamentary Secretary for Power, Housing and Urban Development, Mr Surinder Dawar, also made an appearance and pleaded the case of the owners.

A large crowd which gathered at the spot also raised slogans against the ruling party and civic officials as the demolition squad and the senior officers accompanying the team looked on helplessly.

According to MC sources, the owners of the building, running a hosiery unit, had encroached upon more than 500 square yards shown as a public park in the Sunder Nagar TP Scheme and a building was raised covering 100 per cent area of the park. Besides encroachment of public land, the owners had committed gross violation of the building bylaws as well.

The said building was included in the list of encroachments submitted to the Panjab and Haryana High Court in the course of a public interest litigation and the owners had lost a civil suit in the lower as well the Sessions Court here, the sources pointed out.

As the MC team descended on the spot, the hosiery owners opposed the demolition bid, pointing out certain technical flaws in the notice issued by the civic authorities. In a short while, the crowd gained strength and the councillors made their appearance when the officials were left with no other choice but to leave their task unfinished. All that the civic officials could achieve was pulling down the outer wall of the building at two or three places.

Following the political intervention, MC officials handed down a notice to the building owner to clarify the position and demolish the building, if warranted, in a week’s time. While it could not be confirmed, the Punjab Minister for Local Bodies, Mr Jagjit Singh, was also said to have telephonically asked the top brass of the civic body to stop the demolition proceedings.



Woman slits husband’s throat
Says he used to torture her
Jupinderjit Singh and
Vijay Bansal
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, February 7
For years, she allegedly suffered torture passively at the hands of her husband but last night she could not take it any more. She turned to her 'tormentor' with a vengeance, knocked him over, tied him with iron chains and slit his throat.

A resident of Rurka village near Dakha, Manjinder Kaur, made a feeble attempt to run but was caught by the two brothers of her husband.

In the custody of the Jagraon police, she claimed that she had no regrets for murdering her husband, said Manjinder Kaur before the mediapersons today.

Mr R K Jaiswal , SSP Jagraon revealed that Manjinder Kaur (28) of Sahor P S Mehal Kalan was married to Harwinder Singh (38) of Rurka in 1992 after the first marriage of Manjinder in the age of 14 failed.

They were blessed with four children but the relations between Harwinder Singh and Manjinder Kaur became strained gradually, which usually resulted in physical torture to her by Harwinder Singh.

"I was wronged twice." she claimed narrating her sob story. " I was married at the tender age of 14 with a much elder man who had an illicit relationship with another woman. He treated me like dirt and left me," she said.

According to Manjinder Kaur, Harwinder Singh was addicted to intoxicants and had sold off the small piece of land he owned. Moreover, he doubted her character also.

Unable to cope it further, she decided to murder her husband and last night at 8.30 pm, she slit the throat with sickle after she tied her husband with iron chain.

But the entire sequence was allegedly seen by Parminder Singh and Karamjit of Ludhiana, both brothers of the deceased who came there by chance to meet their brother. Dakha police has registered a case under section 302 the IPC on the statement of Parminder Singh and arrested the woman.



Con couple arrested
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
The city police has arrested a real life ‘Bunty and Bubly’ con couple who posed as brother-sister and allegedly duped a factory owner in the city by marrying the woman to him and later decamping with cash and jewellery.

A police spokesperson told mediapersons that the Kotwali police has nabbed the con couple Rajvinder Kaur and Kuldip Singh from the Chaura Bazar area today morning.

Kuldip Singh had allegedly acted as her brother and married her off to the alleged victim, Mr Baljinder Singh who owns a factory at Dabba road. The marriage was solemnised in November last year.

The alleged victim and the accused had come in touch through a woman running a beauty parlour in Shimla Puri here. The man was a widower.

Kuldip Singh had claimed to the victim that he and his sister were very poor. The victim thus agreed to the marriage. However, three days after the marriage the woman went to a market for shopping. She took Rs 35,000 and a lot of gold jewellery with her.

When she did not return, the husband and his family thought that she had been kidnapped or charmed by someone.

Police sources said the woman and her husband were spotted by some informers, who reported the matter to the police and the family. The police is investigating how many other persons the couple had duped.

Last year, another industrialist in the city had complained to the police of being tricked in a similar manner. The police was investigating if the couple was involved in that case also.



PSEB office gheraoed
Bhushan Sood

Amloh, February 7
Residents of Amloh and nearby villages gheraoed the PSEB SDO’s office and raised slogans against the PSEB here today to protest against the failure of the office to get payments of their bills deposited at its cash counter.

After receiving an assurance from the Executive Engineer, they lifted the gherao.

The Executive Engineer directed the RA to accept the payments, but trade unions of the PSEB protested and stopped the RA from accepting payments.

When contacted, the Executive Engineer said the post of cashier had been lying vacant.

Mr Pawan Kumar Jindal said the PSEB had proposed giving this work in private hands on contract, but the unions did not allow its implementation.

Representatives of the unions pointed out that they had given in writing to the PSEB authorities that they would perform only the duties for which they had been selected.



Opening of Wagah Border sought
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
Punjab Cotton Factories and Ginners’ Association has sought the opening of the Wagah Border for full-fledged trade with Pakistan. The association president, Mr Bhagwan Bansal in a statement said here today that the farmers, industry and traders would benefit the most if the border is fully opened.

Mr Bansal said, “forging a strong economic relationship between India and Pakistan has become imperative in the emerging international economic order”.

Mr Bansal said when the two countries were entering into mutual cooperation in various sectors, there was every reason to open up trade through Wagah as it was the most economically viable route for the trade between the two countries.



Minor held
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 7
A minor boy of Kaunke village under Jagraon subdivision was arrested today for allegedly physically abusing his five-year-old cousin, who had come to his house for playing last evening. The boy was booked under Section 377 of the IPC and sent to the Juvenile House in Ludhiana.

According to an FIR registered at Kaunke Kalan police chowki, the boy, aged 14, physically abused his cousin last evening. As her grandfather was seriously ill, her parents and uncle were busy looking after him. As usual she went to her uncle’s house for playing, but was shocked to receive this beastly treatment.

After receiving the medical report confirming the crime, the police registered a case under Section 377 of the IPC. The boy was arrested today and was presented in court, which sent him to the Juvenile House.

The boy had admitted to the crime, the police said.



Woman found dead
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
A 35-year-old woman was found dead under mysterious circumstances in her house in Maharaj Nagar today morning. Meenakshi, alias Mansi, lived there with a man who claimed to be her husband. The neighbours say that the two lived together but were not married.

The police was waiting the post-mortem examination report to determine if it was a natural death or suicide. There were no injuries on the body and no suicide note was found.



Rs 810-cr plan for development
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
To put the state on the path of fast development, the Punjab Government has chalked out a comprehensive programme to the tune of Rs 810 crore, under which Rs 400 crore is being spent to implement the Punjab Nirman Programme for urban and rural areas, Rs 350 crore for repair and construction of roads and Rs 60 crore to provide toilets in houses of Scheduled Caste families in rural areas.

This was stated by Mr Lal Singh, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats and Power, while addressing a meeting of the District Planning and Development Board (DPDB) at Bachat Bhavan here today.

He said under the Punjab Nirman Programme, Rs 100 crore had been released and Rs 300 crore would be released in the first quarter of the next financial year.

He said the funds had been allocated keeping in view the population of each district and proposals had been invited constituency-wise from all districts.

He said the funds under this programme would be spent in a systematic way and after government approval, work on development projects would be started before March 31.

He said there was no dearth of funds with the government, as there had been a record increase in collection of revenue.

He said a steep increase of Rs 700 crore had been recorded in stamp duty during the current year and the revenue collection from stamp duty had been increased to Rs 1800 crore during this year, as compared to Rs 1300 crore last year, and in the next year, more increase was expected.

Mr Lal Singh said proposals had also been invited for road construction and road repair and funds were being efficiently released.

He further said work for the construction of toilets in the houses of Scheduled Caste families had also been started.

He said DPDBs would hold frequent meetings at short intervals to release the funds efficiently for development projects during this year.

Referring to the funds allotted for Ludhiana district, he said under the Punjab Nirman Programme, Rs 50 crore would be spent in Ludhiana district, out of which Rs 12.45 crore had been sent for distribution for various projects.

He said Rs 22 crore would be spent in rural areas and Rs 20 crore in urban areas.

He called upon DPDB members to finalise proposals in consultation with officers concerned and submit those within a week so that approval could be provided to ensure the start the work of development projects before March 31.

He appealed to DPDB members to accord priority to provide lists of Scheduled Caste families without toilets in villages so that the toilets could be provided at the earliest.

He said farmers had been given free power for tubewells and crops had been purchased without any harassment.

He said a fast flow of investment had been recorded and 122 big industrial projects costing more than Rs 52,000 crore had been cleared.



‘Women empowerment must for development’
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, February 7
Mr Lal Singh, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats and Power, today said keeping in view the fast-changing social and economic scenario, the government was according top priority to women empowerment to ensure their effective participation in all fields and for this, vocational education was an important prerequisite.

He was addressing students during the annual prize distribution function of Guru Nanak Girls College here.

He called upon girls to acquire excellence in different vocations so that they could get their due share in the employment opportunities created with the fast development of computer-based technology all over the world.

He said providing education to a girl was considered the key to prosperity of the family.

He said with advancement in Internet and satellite facilities, the world had shrunk and professionally qualified students had unlimited scope for employment.

He said girls had been joining technical and vocational fields and proving excellence while performing duties.

Mr Lal Singh announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh for the college and awarded meritorious students.



Concern over illegal immigration
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 7
Mr Gurdeep Singh Grewal, an NRI from Phallewal village and a member of a high power delegation from British Columbia, urged the journalists of the area to come forward in generating awareness among rural masses about the consequences of adopting unfair means for immigration to western countries including Canada.

Himself a renowned journalist and functionary of a Canada-based publishing house, Mr Grewal said the British Columbia, like all other regimes of developed nations had taken a serious view of alleged illegal immigrations.

While talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Grewal pointed out that going abroad without valid permit was against the interests of both, the immigrant and his relative or the friend with whom he had planned to stay.

“The trend observed during the past decades had influenced the dignity of those NRIs who had been enjoying an esteemed status in the functioning of the government. In many instances they had to face embarrassment as the immigrant had concealed facts from him and he vouched for him in good faith,” said Mr Grewal.

Mr Grewal claimed that Canadian government had shown positive response to their Indian counterpart in connection with problems related with human resources. Referring to statement issued earlier by Mr Michael De Jong, the BC Minister for Labour and Citizen Welfare, he claimed that government their welcomed all immigration in due course.

“When Canadian government recognizes the talent and skill of Indians, more enthusiastically than any other nation, why should one spend lakhs on illegal means of finding entry to that country,” argued Mr Grewal.

The NRI urged the regional media to highlight reports regarding consequences of immigration through illegal means so that innocent Punjabis in general and rural people in particular were saved from clutches of greedy agents. 



Bara Ghallughara martyrs remembered
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 7
The three-day function in the memory of Bara Ghallughara concluded at Rohira village here on Sunday. The historic place where 35,000 Sikhs were massacred by Ahmed Shah Abdali’s forces on February 5, 1762, stands a pennant erected on a mound formed amidst ruins.

The Gurudwara Shaheed Ganj Bara Ghallughara organised a nagar kirtan that started from Theh and passed through Rohira, Baurhai Kalan, Bauhrai Khurad, Kup Khurad, Phallewal Khurad, Nathumajra, Umarpura, Momnabad, Akbarpur Chhanna, Jandali Khurad and Jandali Kalan villages. Thousands of devotees paid obeisance at the religious place.

Mr Jagdev Singh Ghaloti, Mr Jagwant Singh Jaggie and Mr Surjit Singh Cheema, office-bearers of the trust running the affairs of the coming up gurdwara, said Baba Jagtar Singh Tarantaranwale and Baba Kirpal Singh Bhawanigarhwale had been looking after the construction of the complex to be completed at a cost of Rs 1 crore. “Disappointed over the role of successive governments, the sangat of the area requested Baba Jagtar Singh to inspire the donors to contribute towards a noble cause of preserving the history,” explained the office-bearers. They claimed that more than Rs 50 lakh had been spent by now.

“Bara Ghallughara”, as it is known in the local dialect, is situated at Rohira, 3 km from Ahmedgarh towards east. The natural monument stands concealed under a canopy of acacia trees. Successive governments failed to do anything towards according the place the status of a national monument.

On February 4, Abdali directed the Nawab of Sirhind to attack the Sikhs at Kup Rohira from the east. Ammunition and ration of the Sikhs were stored at Guram village and they were surrounded from three sides. Eleven Sikh confederacies were compelled to face 22 Afghan armies comprising 2.5 lakh soldiers. Contrary to the expectations of the Sikhs, Baba Alla Singh joined the Afghans. The Sikhs were aware of the fact that their strength was too small to combat the Afghan army, yet they chose to face bullets.

Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, Charat Singh and Shukracharya showed unmatched valour and patience. So skilful was Charat Singh in the art of shooting that he was assisted by five persons in loading guns.

Unfortunately, Abdali succeeded in attacking from the rear. A large number of Sikhs sacrificed their lives in the battlefield and a small number reached Hathur by sunset. At least 10,000 children were burnt alive by the enemy when they were hiding in desolate grassland near Mooma Gehlan.

Historian Noordeen Bilouch wrote that even Abdali was impressed by the valour of the Sikhs. It is unfortunate that such an important historic place has become a pasture for cattle. Sant Fateh Singh erected the pennant there in 1962 with the efforts of Baba Kehar Singh Musafir.

In 1967, Mr Gurmukh Singh, a renowned industrialist of Ludhiana, took the initiative to renovate the place and Baba Santa Singh of the Budha Dal took charge in 1974, which was handed over to a committee formed by the ‘sangat’ of the area. The devotees want the state government to take up the matter with the Union Government.



One held with opium

Ludhiana, February 7
Sidhwanbet police arrested Harpal Singh of Swaddi Kalan and recovered 500 gm opium. In another incident, local police arrested Bhola Singh of Hathur from drain Burj Kaleran and recovered 33 kg of poppy husk. OC



BSNL on-line cash counter inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
Inaugurating 62nd on-line cash counter in telecom building at the Rahon road here today, the General Manager Telecom (GMT) of Ludhiana Telecom district Mr G.S. Julka outlined several measures being taken by the BSNL to expand its customer base and bring improvement in customer services. He claimed that Ludhiana Telecom district had achieved the distinction of being the leading telecom district in Punjab circle.

Exhorting the officials and staff to work with focus and dedication so that the objective of making BSNL a service-oriented organisation could be attained, Mr Julka asked all supervisory officers keep abreast with all new plans and services and also to have better interaction with subordinate staff to ensure proper communication with the subscribers.

The GMT further remarked that BSNL had opened 62 on-line cash counters at different places in the district to make the process of bill payment hassle-free, as also to provide easier access to the customers to the telecom services.

Representatives of residents and traders body of the area honoured Mr Julka at this occasion and lauded the role being played by the PSU in the telecommunication sector.



TNT enters Indian markets
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
TNT, a company engaged in providing mail and logistics services, would invest Euros, 100 million in Indian markets over the next five years. This was stated in a press note issued here yesterday by the company. The company said its expansion plan here was in line with its global strategy of focussing on building quality networks in emerging markets.


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