L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Fear and scare of mutilated bodies
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
The city is witnessing a shocking modus operandi of some criminals who are gaining notoriety in dumping the body of a victim after mutilating it beyond recognition. Such murders are not only proving to be a major headache for the police but also causing fear among the residents, especially the migrant labourers.

Today, a half-burnt body of an unidentified middle-aged man was found on the railway tracks near Hussainpur on the Ludhiana-Jalandhar track.

This happens to be the sixth such case in a row. At least five unidentified persons were found murdered in a similar manner. All of them were migrant labourers.

The face of the unidentified body found today was mutilated. He seemed to have been set on fire after being killed with sharp-edged-weapons. The body was, however, not completely burnt and the murderers than seemed to have thrown it on the track to make it appear as an accident as well as to mutilate the body further.

Though they succeeded in minimising chances of his early identification, the accused could not destroy evidence of the multiple stab wounds found on the head and chest of the body.

Railway police sources said a post-mortem examination proved that the man was stabbed at least five times on the head and chest before his body was dumped there.

Sources said investigation into the case cannot proceed further if the body was not identified.

Such murders began taking place in October last year and not a single person involved in these has been nabbed so far. The police has not officially announced that the murder were part of a series of such killings.

Sources, however, remind the gruesome acts of a unique rickshaw-pullers’ gang that had committed over 12 murders of their passengers with an intent to loot them. The series of murders were exposed only when the gang was busted.

The first case was the murder of a middle-aged migrant labourer whose partially burnt body was found near the grain market on October 14. The unidentified accused had inflicted injuries on his private parts before strangulating him to death. The murderers also allegedly set the body on fire to conceal his identity and destroy some evidence.

Another case was of November 9, when an unidentified youth was found murdered near Kakuwal village. A farmer had spotted his badly burnt body lying in an agricultural field. The youth was allegedly strangulated to death at some other place and later his body was dumped here and burnt with an aim to hide his identity.

No headway has also been made in the murder case of an unidentified youth whose beheaded body was found near Qasabad village on November 11. As the head could not be recovered, he was yet to be identified.

The police was suspecting that the youth could have been murdered because of some illicit relationship.

The police is also groping in the dark in the murder case of an unidentified man, whose badly mutilated body was found near Indian OverSeas Bank, Transport Nagar, on January 14. He had injuries on his private parts. His throat was also slit. He was also yet to be identified.



Uniform syllabi for agricultural engineering students
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
For undergraduate agricultural engineering students across the country, there will be common syllabi for the first three years. Students will be offered “cafeteria courses” in the fourth year and will undergo mandatory “plant training” in an industry in the final year. During the course of completing their BSc degree, all colleges will provide in-house “exponential” learning experience to the students.

This broad consensus on introducing academic reforms at undergraduate level in all agricultural engineering colleges was reached at the end of a two-day meeting of the Deans’ Committee at Punjab Agricultural University here today.

The committee has been constituted by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). It is headed by the Vice-Chancellor of Maharana Partap University of Agriculture and Technology, Dr S.L. Mehta, who presided over the meeting.

The committee has been asked to update teaching, learning and training modules for students and teachers and also suggest appropriate requisite infrastructure required to achieve this.

He has already held similar conclaves for agriculture, home science and food engineering in different parts of the country. The present session was on agricultural engineering.

The College of Agricultural Engineering Dean, Dr S.K. Sondhi, is the nodal officer, agricultural engineering. He said during the first three years, while there would be uniformity of syllabi, the committee had allowed a certain degree of “flexibility” to respective agricultural engineering colleges keeping in view their state’s or region’s specific problems and needs.

The students would be allowed to exercise option while choosing “cafeteria courses” in the fourth year. These courses would encompass “emerging” areas. The rider was that each student would have to take minimum 15 credit hours from 25 courses the Deans’ Committee had shortlisted in two days.

The meeting appointed “resource” colleges from among 23-odd agricultural engineering colleges in India to draw up course contents.

Each university college has been assigned one or more than one discipline out of the selected “cafeteria courses”. The host college, for example, will prepare outlines for the following “cafeteria” courses: civil, computer and electrical engineering, farm power and machinery.

Dr Sondhi said in the final year of the course, students would undergo mandatory “plant training” in an industry, where students would work on some assigned “pilot project”. Under the “exponential” learning experience, students would be assigned “prototypes” or project assignments by the college concerned and enabled to complete the same.

The meeting was attended by senior functionaries of the ICAR and 16 Deans, who deliberated upon the examination and evaluation system, as well.

The aggregate pass percentage for undergraduates would be 50. And a student would have to score minimum 40 per cent marks in both theory and practical. The internal and external evaluation marks would be 50:50.

Among the prominent participants were the president of the All-India Society of Agricultural Engineers and former Deputy Director-General (Engineering) at ICAR, Dr N.S.L. Srivastava, the Chandra Shekhar Azad University of Agriculture and Technology, Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.M. Ilyas, the Director, National Academy of Agricultural Research and Management, Hyderabad, Dr S. Parkash Tewari, the Additional Director-General, Human Resource Development, ICART, Dr H.S. Nainavati.



2 proclaimed offenders held
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 11
Two proclaimed offenders have been nabbed by the Sadar police.
Hardev Singh, son of Ajit Singh of Mallah ,was arrested from a religious place by Mr Dharam Pal, SHO Sadar.

Hardev Singh had been booked under Section 363 and 366 of the IPC for allegedly abducting Simranjit Kaur, 3 , daughter of Harjinder Singh of the Mai Jinha Khuh area at Jagraon on December 19, 2003. He had been absconding after abandoning the child on the outskirts of town.

To evade arrest, he posed as a Baba and kept on shifting from one religious place to the other. He was ultimately nabbed from a religious place at Chhajjawal village.

Another proclaimed offender, Harvinder Singh ,alias Binder, son of Ajit Singh Manuke, was wanted in two other cases .

He was declared proclaimed offender after he jumped bail. Harvinder Singh was traced from a jail. 



Housefed flat owners approach govt on slums
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
The issue of presence of slums in Block-E of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar fails to die down with residents of super deluxe flats of Housefed taking up the matter with the state government.

The occupants of 90 flats have joined hands with the residents of SBS Nagar, who are already fighting a battle for getting jhuggis in their neighbourhood removed.

In their representation to the Chairman of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission, the residents claimed that jhuggi dwellers were living right across the boundary wall of their flats.

They claimed that the dwellers used filthy language and fought with each other every now and then.

“The occupants of jhuggis use the area as an open toilet. It causes nuisance and stench all around. We have told them several times but they do not listen to us,” said the residents.

The residents said when they were allotted the flats, they were told that the jhuggis would be removed soon. But even after so many years, they continue to thrive, with jhuggis mushrooming up with each passing day.

The representation also stated that the residents were scared that the dwellers would create violence in the area.

They claimed that incidents of theft were on the rise in their area and many incidents of snatching had been reported.

Despite various complaints to the authorities of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust, which went unheeded, the slum dwellers continue to give difficult time to the residents, who claim that they were “virtually living in hell”.

Some residents had even moved the Punjab State Human Rights Commission over the issue but the matter is still pending.



Rain, rain go away, farmers say
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March11
Scared by rain lashing the region yesterday, farmers of the area pray that it should not be followed by hailstorm and winds.
Though intermittent rain, accompanied with winds, has already caused a massive loss to the standing wheat crops, some farmers claimed that the scrubbing would improve the yield.

Mr Gurbachan Singh of Ahmedgarh Chhanna village claimed that yield would improve in case rain was not accompanied by winds.

"A mild shower washes down dust and extra insecticides from the leaves of the crops. It will enhance photosynthesis and yield per acre," he asserted.

He added that optimal opening of stomata provided better aeration also.

Mr Tirlochan Singh of Sihar village apprehended that farmers would bear more losses this year.

"Persistent high temperature during growth period retarded the vegetative growth that could be compensated with relatively lower temperature.

But further dip in mercury might cause hailstorms, that would cause even more damage to the crops," apprehended Mr Tirlochan Singh.

A quick survey revealed that wheat crops in thousands of acres had been affected due to rains accompanied with winds.

Mr Bir Singh, of Rachhin village apprehended that farmers would suffer 20 per cent loss on an average.



Don’t ape West, says expert
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
Instead of blindly aping the West in technological developments, the need is to analyse our own strengths and weaknesses and identify the threats and opportunities.

This was emphasised by Dr Arun Kumar, Professor, Jawahar Lal Nehru University, at a symposium on Budget 2006 organised by the Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) here last evening.

Mr Kumar, who specialises in development, public finance and policy, and has authored a book 'The Black Economy in India', spoke on the macro policies which further give shape to the micro policies.

“When we try to give growth to one sector at the cost of another, it leads to gross imbalance," he said.

He added that an integrated approach was important so as to prevent underemployment.

Mr R.S. Mathoda, Chief Commissioner, Income Tax (CCIT), Himachal Pradesh, apprised the LMA members of how the Income Tax Department was partnering with companies like Airtel and IBM to make the tax- related issues convenient for public.

“Growth is possible only when we change our tax evasion mindset,” he asserted.

Mr V.K. Garg, Commissioner, Central Excise and Customs, cleared a few myths about the tax system.

"Taxes in India are the lowest in comparison to other countries," he said, adding, "we need to think like a developed nation rather than a developing one. And this would create a more conducive environment for the industry. "

Mr M.C. Munjal, president, LMA, gave a larger picture on the implications of the Budget on industry. Mr Kamal Wadhera, general secretary, LMA, was also present on the occasion.



Body decries uprooting of PCMS doctors
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
The Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) Association has condemned the decision of the state government to hand over 1,310 health dispensaries in Punjab to panchayats after forcibly replacing regular PCMS doctors posted at these institutions with doctors on contract basis.

Dr Hardeep Singh, president of the outfit, and Dr Balwinder Kumar, district general secretary, flayed this arbitrary move of the government of handing the subsidiary health centres (SHCs) of the state Health Department to panchayats, as the move was bound to cripple health services in the rural sector.

Appointment of qualified doctors on contract with meagre pay was exploitation of educated youth, they added.

With the move, the government was shedding its responsibility to provide healthcare to the common man who was unable to bear the rising healthcare cost of private institutions.

The total pay for doctor, paramedical staff medicines and other contingency budget of Rs 30,000 a month at the centres was much less as compared to the expenses of office of a single bureaucrat in Punjab, they pointed out.



Booking of farmers flayed

Jagraon, March 11
The Kirti Kisan Union at a meeting held today flayed the registration of a false case against workers and leaders of the union allegedly at the behest of SDO Damanpreet Singh at Sadar police station, Moga, and demanded its immediate withdrawal and release of the arrested persons.

District president Tarlochan Singh Jhordan and district secretary Balwant Singh demanded action against the officer for lodging a false case and those policemen who had lathi-charged the workers. OC



Steel chamber for global competition
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, March 11
The Mandi Gobindgarh Steel Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised a seminar on trade promotion, marketing and financial schemes of the Centre for the small-scale sector last night.

Welcoming the guests, Mr K.K. Jindal, honorary general secretary of the chamber, said: “With the opening up of the global trade, where the chances for a free trade have opened up, the local businessmen now have to compete with the international market.

"This has always been our endeavor to organise the meetings/seminars to asses the information beneficial to our members.”

Mr Rajiv Kapoor, Senior Branch Manager of the National Small Industries Corporation Ltd, said the NSIC, a Government of India undertaking, had been established in 1955 to promote the small-scale sector and a separate ministry had been formed to look after the interests of this segment of industry.

He highlighted various schemes such as single-point registration, marketing assistance programme, performance and credit rating, raw material assistance and export assistance.

The NSIC Joint Manager, Marketing, Mr A.K.Verma, spoke at length on the subsidies being offered to the small sector. He expected the industry to start drawing benefits from the government schemes.

The corporation was in a position to arrange business delegations to the desired foreign countries, he added and confirmed that the NSIC had tie-up with banks for meeting credit needs of small enterprises.

Mr Nitin Mahajan of the Crisil, an agency accredited by the Centre, stressed on the need for performance and credit rating of the units and said it might become mandatory in the near future.

Mr S.P. Sharma, president of the chamber, thanked the visitors for imparting the much-needed information. 


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