L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Micky had struck deal with three contract killers
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
Micky Jain, the main accused in the Reema Jain murder case, had misled the police for seven months by his tricks under which he allegedly finalised the deal with three contract killers, who had no idea about each other. Reema had proved lucky twice in 2003-04 when attempts were made to kidnap her.

The suspect even provided shelter to some of the notorious criminals in palatial houses here. To confuse everybody, Micky had allegedly evolved a modus operandi for killing her by involving all three killers.

Though the Ludhiana police is drawing criticism for “incomplete” probe into the high-profile case, investigations in this regard reveal that the Ludhiana police had managed to identify two suspects and the Jagraon police narrowed down on the third, who had actually done the misdeed.

As per the case, Micky during his stay in Central Jail, Ludhiana, as an under trail in the murder case of Sunil Jain (who was his brother and Reema’s husband) had struck the deal with Avtar Singh Taari, Shera Singh and Neelu.

The case reveals that Taari was the first to be contacted in 2002. The deal was struck at Rs 25 lakh. This aspect is no suspicion but the police has the statement of witness Makhan Singh as well as of Taari.

Taari had told the police that Micky had approached him with the offer of Rs 25 lakh but he had not actually gone ahead with the deal. Hence he was questioned but no case could be registered against him.

Sources said it was common for some contract killers to accept the deal in order to make a few thousand of rupees and later may or may not go ahead with the plan.

The second deal was with Shera Singh of Bohana village in Moga district, who was also in the jail. Shera Singh and his father Nek Singh were undergoing life imprisonment in 1998 for killing a woman.

Shera during questioning has stated that he struck the deal for Rs 25 lakh. In 2003, Shera came out on parole. Micky was already on bail at that time.

Shera has revealed to the police that another criminal Gurpreet Singh of Bagha Purana in Faridkot district also agreed to join them. Shera jumped the parole and became an absconder. Micky promised to send him abroad.

For four months Shera lived in a factory of Micky. Later Micky gave him a house on rent in a posh colony of the city. They observed her movements.

They had arranged a huge quantity of petrol with sulphuric acid and a large drum.

Shera, in a statement to the police, gave graphic details of how Micky bought a hen that was slaughtered and dumped in the acid-petrol mix. After three days the bones decomposed. Then they decided to follow the same procedure with Reema’s body.

The SP (Detective), Ludhiana, Mr Gurpreet Singh, has confirmed to Ludhiana Tribune that Shera was brought on production remand and questioned for his involvement in the case besides some other criminals.

After Shera’s arrest, Micky had even made a plan with Gurpreet. He was offered Rs 10 lakh more. But Gurpreet backed out, claimed the police.

Finally in 2004-05, Micky met Neelu, who was also in the jail with Micky earlier. Neelu was one of the 16 criminals under watch for meeting Micky regularly in the jail.

He struck the deal with them. Reema was picked up while on way to the swimming pool and killed. Her car was also taken to the airport by one of the accused to mislead the police.

The only change in the plan was that the body was dumped in a septic tank while the police was thinking the body was decomposed in the acid.



Bicycle king Pahwa no more
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
Doyen of the bicycle industry and patriarch of Avon Group, Hans Raj Pahwa, breathed his last this morning after a brief illness at his residence in Model Town here today.

Pahwa (92), was one of the founders of the group that has come a long way from being a small-time manufacturer of sports equipment in Sialkot in Pakistan to having over Rs 500 crore business.

Pahwa migrated from Pakistan after partition and set base in the city. Without any formal or technical education, his six-decade-long innings as a self-made industrialist saw him rise as a role model for businessmen.

The unassuming entrepreneur was a father figure and philanthrophist and the welfare of workers was always close to his heart, said an employee of the group.

It was barely a month ago that his only son Inderjit Singh passed away and ever since the bereavement appeared to take the better of him, said those known to him.

His cremation was attended by people from all walks of life, including leading industrialists and politicians.



In-laws booked for abortion
Our Correspondent

Khanna, February 18
Ms Jyoti Sharma, resident of Guru Angad Dev Nagar here, has alleged that her mother-in-law and husband have forcibly got aborted her two-month pregnancy.

She alleged that when she objected, her in-laws beat her up and locked her in the house for three days.

A case has been registered.

Jyoti had alleged in the first information report (FIR) that she was married to Mukesh Sharma two years ago. She gave birth to a male child after that.

Now she had a pregnancy of two months. On February 16 her mother-in-law took her to a nurse, Bimla, doing private practice. Her mother-in-law talked to the nurse separately. In the meantime, her husband also reached the clinic.

The nurse gave her an injection and she became unconscious. After half an hour when she gained consciousness she came to know about the abortion.

She tried to raise an alarm but she was again given an injection. Her in-laws took her to their house and locked her in a room.

When she protested they beat her up. After three days she succeeded to inform her parents as her in-laws were not in the house. Her parents admitted her to the local Civil Hospital.

The police was informed and a case was registered on the statement of the victim.



Arbitrator appointed to know land prices after 19 years
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
It is a typical case of sloth-stricken functioning of successive governments in the state. Several people whose land was acquired by the Defence Ministry in 1987 at Dholewal are yet to get compensation for the land. Their efforts have borne some fruit, however, with the government appointing the Ludhiana District and Sessions Judge as arbitrator.

The state Home Department recently issued a notification appointing the arbitrator for “determining the amount of compensation and specifying the person or persons to whom it is payable” for their land acquired.

According to the Punjab Government gazette dated February 10, 2006: “In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (b) of sub-section (1) of Section 8 of the Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act, 1952, (central Act 30 of 1952), read with the Government of India’s notification on May 24, 1957, and all other powers enabling him in his behalf, the Punjab Governor is pleased to appoint the District and Sessions Judge, Ludhiana, as an arbitrator for the purpose of making an award, determining the amount of compensation and specifying the person or persons to whom it is payable in relation to the property...which was acquired under the action on March 8, 1987.”

According to the notification, three of the five land owners have expired. Moreover, the land prices in Ludhiana have multiplied many times since then.

The owners of the land had all these years been pleading with the government for appointing the arbitrator. Although the government has appointed the arbitrator after
19 years, they hope that the amount of compensation due to them would be determined at the earliest. They pointed out that some of the real owners, who should
have got the benefit from the acquisition of land, are no more.

The owners and their descendants have now been pinning their hopes on the arbitrator.

One of them remarked: “It is better late than never, but as long as compensation is not granted to us we keep our fingers crossed.”



BJP rally today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
The state unit of the BJP is organising a rally in the heart of the city tomorrow. Although the BJP has already held a few rallies earlier in the state, but this rally is believed to set the tone for the party’s election campaign in the state.

The rally is likely to be addressed by former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Shanta Kumar, state party president Avinash Rai Khanna, cricketer-turned-politician and Amritsar MP Navjot Singh Sidhu and others. Party leaders said some more senior leaders might come for the rally as well.

Interestingly, the party has not invited any of the Akali leaders to the rally. Party sources disclosed that the BJP wanted to hold the rally exclusively of its own for asserting its position in the state politics and also vis-a-vis its alliance partner, Shiromani Akali Dal. Of late, the latter has got quite active among the urban voters, particularly the Hindus, the main support base of the BJP.

Besides, its traditional support base among the upper caste Hindus and traders, the party has now focussed on the Scheduled Caste and other Backward Classes as well. The state vice-president of the SC Morcha of the party, Dr D.P. Khosla, has been working among these sections to ensure maximum participation of this section of the society in the rally.

The party has been preparing for tomorrow’s rally for the last one week. The city has already been painted saffron with the BJP flags having been raised everywhere. Not surprisingly there are not many flags, rather none, of the SAD. The organisers have been maintaining, since the rally is exclusively of the BJP, there was no logic in hoisting alliance partner’s flags.

BJP leaders asserted that the alliance between the two parties was firm and would be successful in the coming Assembly elections in the state.



Residents sore with MC authorities
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
Even as the authorities of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation went ga ga over their proposal of providing civic amenities in unapproved colonies recently, residents of Shivalik Enclave on the Barewal road had the first-hand experience of ground realities when the Commissioner refused to promise any amenities for the area, claiming they had to suffer as they had bought plots in unapproved colony.

The residents had invited the Commissioner at a function in the area and had submitted him a memorandum demanding sewerage and other facilities in their colony.

“The Commissioner told us that one who pays for khadi would only wear khadi and not silk. You have not bought your houses in an approved area. Now you suffer.” claimed the president of the Shivalik Enclave Welfare Society, Mr Surjeet Singh Goraya, in a written statement to Ludhiana Tribune.

He said his statement had angered the residents who were not able to buy land in approved colonies where the land prices were sky-rocketing. “What can we do if we do not have money to buy plots in approved colonies where we are required to pay lakhs of rupees to buy a 100 sq yard plot,” he said.

“We talked to the Commissioner for about 25 minutes and made him abreast of the problems.” said Mr Goraya, adding that commoners buy plots at cheap prices. 



Ex-servicemen for separate pay panel
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, February 18
The Ex-services League, Punjab and Chandigarh, has pressed upon the Central Government to set up a separate pay commission for the ex-servicemen and the armed forces personnel.

The armed forces were not covered for the review of the service conditions till the fourth Pay Commission and it was only during the Fifth Pay Commission for the Central Government employees that the service conditions of the armed forces and ex-servicemen were included.

The Exservices League (Punjab and Chandigarh) has been fighting for the rights of the ex-servicemen for the past three decades and at present there are more than three lakh ex-servicemen in Punjab.

Lt-Col Chanan Singh Dhillon (retired), who is heading the Exservices League, Punjab and Chandigarh, said here today that there were about 30 lakh ex-servicemen in the country and they were facing many hardships due to the apathy of the Central and the state governments. The personnel in the Army were retired at the age of 35 after serving the Army for 18 years. They were given the weightage in service of five years in the pension, whereas in the civil services, the retirement age was 58 and the pension was given at the rate of 50 per cent of the salary at the time of retirement.

Col Dhillon said the General in the Army got less disability pension compared to the pension of the Secretary in the Government of India whereas in rank they were equal in status. Such disparities were causing a lot of resentment among the personnel of the armed forces. He also complained that the state governments were not discharging their responsibilities towards the rehabilitation of the Army personnel who were retired at the young age of 35. It was the responsibility of the state governments to rehabilitate them in the state services and Para-military forces of the Central Government. Only officers were taken in the central para-military forces like the CRPF and the BSF. Instead of raising the percentage of recruitment of ex-servicemen in the state services, the states were reducing the same.

Col Dhillon strongly felt that the lack of job opportunities to the able-bodied ex-servicemen could be a big socio-political problem. The state governments also did not take steps for the training of the JCOs and other ranks for absorption in the services.

Col Dhillon also pointed out that the Central Government had not included any centres for the hearing of cases of armed forces tribunal in Punjab and had kept far-off places like Kolkata, Chennai and Delhi. Chandigarh should be one of the centres for the sittings of the armed forces tribunal and the tribunal should have representatives of the ex-servicemen.



Modern traffic lights inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, February 18
All sorts of modern amenities will be provided to residents of the town. Mr Jagmeet Singh Sahota, council chief, said at the inaugural function of modern traffic lights on Friday at the main crossing of the national highway.

The system is first of its kind in the state Mr Sahota maintained. Speaking on other development projects, Mr Sahota said the council had passed a resolution to control the dust pollution raising on both sides of the roads due to flow of traffic, by planting green grass and a resolution in this regard had been sent for approval of the government.

Due to heavy traffic, crossing roads for elders and children had become risky, the council had proposed to lay underway for pedestrians and scooterists, he said.

The council has moved a case to the government for transfer of land to the Municipal Council for raising a modern shopping complex and entertainment spot, Mr Sahota said.

Mr Harinder Singh Bhambri, councillor and member of the Panjab Pardesh Congress, Mr Manoj Garg, president, Block Congress (urban) Mr Inderjit Singh Randawa, Director, Market Committee, Industrialist Ravinder Jassar (Ravi), Rajinder Kumar Bittoo, Councillors Rajeev Sood, Mr Gurmeet Singh Mander, Cooperative Society chief, Mr Jagmohan Singh Bittoo and other residents and councillors were also present on the occasion.



Insurance officers’ meeting
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
The annual general meeting of the United India Insurance Officers Association was held here today. Mr Ashok Bali, outgoing regional secretary, while highlighting the activities of the association, said its position had consolidated over the years. Mr K.K.Verma, regional manager, Mr C.A. Bhaskaran, all-India general secretary, also addressed the association members.



Girls must help fight female foeticide: Johar
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 18
Mr Harnam Dass Johar, Education Minister, Punjab called upon girls to come forward to raise a strong voice against female foeticide and to shoulder the responsibility of educating illiterate women in rural areas about the importance of females in society, as this problem was posing a serious threat to the harmonious growth of society.

Mr Johar was addressing students on the annual prize distribution function of Mai Bhago College for Women at Ramgarh, 15 km from here, today. 



1 remanded in police custody
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 18
The Sidhwanbet police on a tip off, arrested Deepak Kumar, a resident of house no. 1088 railway road, Jagraon, from the Galib Kalan village area. He was selling fabricated documents of vehicles. The police also recovered rubber seals of various types from him. A case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 472 of the IPC has been registered. Mr Gopal Arora, Judicial Magistrate, Jagraon, remanded the accused in police custody today for two days.

LIQUOR SEIZED: ASI Swaran Singh, arrested Gurdip Singh Deepa of Salempura from his village and seized 18750 ml of illicit liquor. A case under the Excise Act has been registered at Sidhwanbet.

In another incident, the Raikot police has arrested Tehal Singh of Raikot and recovered 12 kg of poppy husk. He was booked under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.



Accused in molestation case at large
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 18
The police is in search of three youths who have been booked under Sections 376, 506 and 34 of the IPC for allegedly outraging modesty of a minor girl at Dhulkot Chowk here on Thursday night. The handicapped father of the victim reported the matter to the police late for obvious reasons.

According to an FIR registered here, Sarabjit Singh, alias Pappu, resident of Rachhin village and owner of a workshop at Dhulkot Chowk, Jaspreet Singh, alias Jassi, a mechanic and Harjinder Singh Bhapp of Mohalla Amarpura had allegedly outraged a minor girl, after dragging her inside the workshop when she was going to fetch milk for her ailing handicapped father Shiv Kumar on the fateful night.

The incident came to light when Shiv Kumar, not finding his daughter at home began searching her and heard her cries inside the workshop, the shutters of which had been closed. “When I got the shutters opened with the help of passersby, we found my daughter struggling to get free,” told Shiv Kumar to the police.

In her statement, the victim alleged, that the suspects had been keeping eye on her daily routine and exploited the situation on the fateful night as it was dark and there was no body to save her.

The suspects had threatened her and her father of dire consequences in case the matter was reported to the police. Initially, the victim’s family tried to keep quiet about the incident, but when the condition of the girl worsened, they lodged a complaint and sought protection from the police. The police has registered a case and began hunting for the suspects.



One killed in road accident

Khamano, February 18
One person died and another was injured in an accident on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana main road last night.

Shinderpal Singh, alias Billu (40), a resident of Naugawan, was walking towards Zimidara Dhaba. When he reached near Pohlo Majra village, a speeding car hit him from behind. He fell on the ground and died on the spot.

After this the car hit another cycle-borne person Harbhajan Singh of Khant and he was injured. The car driver fled the scene in his car. A car coming from behind noted the car number and informed the police.

On the basis of information the police registered a case under Sections 279 337 and 304 of the IPC against the unknown person. — OCs


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