L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Bhattian murder case: police
suspects several persons
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
Fresh investigation into the case of murder of a woman allegedly by her husband in Bhattian village, suggests that he was not alone in the act. The police has reportedly found a number of clues, including some fingerprints, from the spot of the crime suggesting that more persons were present at the spot when the murder was committed.

The investigation points out that the accused, Surinder Pal, a Class IV employee in the district veterinary department, had first hit his wife, who was sleeping, on the head with a hammer to render her unconscious and then stabbed her several times with an ice pick. Later, he threw clothes all over the room to make it look like a case of robbery.

SHO Gurbans Singh Bains told Ludhiana Tribune that the way in which the woman had been murdered and the scene of robbery was ‘‘arranged’’ strongly pointed out that at least two or more persons were involved along with Surinder Pal.

He claimed that the investigation had also revealed that though the deceased , Gurbaksh Kaur, was upset over her husband’s illicit relationship with a woman for the past several years, the issue reached a flash point two months ago only when the accused started handing over all her money to his paramour.

The accused could have succeeded be fooling the police if he was careful in erasing his blood stained fingerprints. While making up the scene he had left his fingerprints under a staircase. He had also gone to the toilet after the incident and blood stains were found on his underwear.

Though Satpal Singh, a brother of the deceased woman, had claimed in the FIR that he had seen the accused sitting near the body with an ice pick in his hand, the accused continued to claim that he had slept outside the house and some robbers had probably murdered his wife.

SHO Gurbans Singh said the accused cracked after he was confronted on the fingerprint issue and the examination report stating that the head of the woman had been smashed.

The accused, however, did not show any signs of remorse when presented before mediapersons.



Sarpanch indicted for fraud
in pension disbursement

Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 9
The civil administration has indicted Sarpanch of Kalyan village in Sangrur district in a case related to fraud in the disbursement of pension and has recommended her dismissal. While the Panchayat Secretary will face stern action, members of the pension disbursing committee will also have to pay for their alleged irresponsible role in the case.

In her inquiry report submitted to the Deputy Commissioner of Sangrur, the SDM, Dr Indu, has held that the Sarpanch of Kalyan village had duped pension beneficiaries of a substantial portion of their monetary benefits and thus had cheated the state government also.

The Panchayat Secretary, the government official who had handed over the withdrawn money to the Sarpanch instead of getting it disbursed in the presence of designated members had also acted irresponsibly, Dr Indu mentioned in her report.

According to Dr Indu, SDM, Malerkotla, the district administration had received a complaint against the Sarpanch, Ms Ranjit Kaur, and her associates about irregularities in the disbursement of Rs 60,600 drawn by a Panchayat Secretary for making payment of pension to 91 persons.

Amar Kaur, wife of Bant Singh; Malan Kaur, wife of Wariam Singh; Amarjit Kaur, wife of Dhir Singh; Gurdev Kaur, wife of Darbara Singh; Gurdial Kaur, wife of Jarnail Singh ;and Kulwant Kaur, wife of Sadhu Singh, had complained to the Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur, and stated that Ms Ranjit Kaur had exploited their illiteracy and paid them pension amounts much less than their entitlement. ‘‘Though we were to receive Rs 600 per month as pension, Ranjit Kaur paid us only Rs 400 per month and got our signatures on full payment,’’ submitted the complainants through sworn affidavits.

Investigations by the SDM revealed that Mr Dharam Singh, Panchayat Secretary, had withdrawn Rs 60,600 to be paid as pension to 91 persons for the months of October, November and December 2005. ‘‘Though pension amount was to be disbursed jointly by eight functionaries, including the Sarpanch, a teacher and an anganwari worker, Ranjit Kaur was allowed by others to make the payment personally,’’ observed Dr Indu.

A majority of the beneficiaries had alleged that they had been duped by the Sarpanch. However, nine persons, including Karamjit, Karnail Singh, Mangat Singh and Jagir Singh, stated that they had been paid the full amount by Ranjit Kaur and her husband.

Interestingly, Mohinder Singh, former Sarpanch; Jaswant Kaur, panch; Sukhvir Kaur, head teacher; Pushpa Devi, anganwari worker; and Satguru Singh, panch, had signed documents showing full payment in good faith and they did not know that the beneficiaries were being paid a lesser amount.

The SDM recommended the dismissal of the Sarpanch and stern action to be taken against Dharam Singh for his alleged irresponsible action.

Meanwhile, Ranjit Kaur in her statement submitted to the investigating team, denied the charges levelled against her.



3.75 lakh children administered polio drops
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 9
Nearly 70 per cent (3.75 lakh) of the children in the age group of 0-5 from out of a total number of 5.39 lakh eligible children in the district were vaccinated against polio in the first round of the Pulse Polio campaign today.

Stating this here, the Civil Surgeon, Dr Rajinder Kaur, informed that the teams of volunteers would immunise the remaining children in the city and rural areas during the two-day door-to-door visits on Monday and Tuesday.

The pulse polio drive was formally inaugurated by Mr Surinder Davar, Parliamentary Secretary, Power, Housing and Urban Development, Punjab, at the Civil Hospital here this morning. Mr Davar administered polio drops to the children. Dr Rajinder Kaur, Civil Surgeon, along with Dr Kuldip Kaur Sahni, District Immunisation Officer, and Dr Manjit Kaur, SMO, Civil Hospital, were present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Rajinder Kaur said anti- polio drops would be administered to children at 2,100 polio booths, including 900 in the city, today followed by house-to-house visits by the teams of volunteers tomorrow and day after so as to ensure complete coverage of 5.39 lakh children in the city and other towns and villages in the district.

Elsewhere in the city, more than 1000 children were immunised on booth number 13 to 20 under ESI dispensaries nos 6 and 8 by students and NSS volunteers of Sukhdev Thapar Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Bharat Nagar Chowk. Ms Kamaljit Kaur, Principal of the school and Mr Mewa Singh, councillor, District Red Cross Society, supervised the immunisation work.

At a vaccination camp organised by Dr Surendra Gupta, secretary, district unit of the National Integrated Medical Association in the Shivpuri locality, over 600 children were given anti-polio drops.

The students and NSS volunteers of Government Multipurpose Senior Secondary School, Cinema Road, went around several adjoining localities and motivated the parents to bring their children to polio booths. According to Mr H.K. Mayer, Principal of the school, as many as 250 children were administered polio drops at the booth set up by the school.



Polio drops administered at 1,155 booths
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 9
The district health authorities and the civil administration coordinated to supervise the immunisation programme to provide supplementary protection to the children against polio today.

The authorities claimed to have administered anti-polio vaccine to more than 50 per cent of targeted children in the Sangrur district. The rest of the children will be provided vaccine during the door-to-door campaign over the next two days.

According to Dr K.C. Goel, District Health Officer, the district health authorities had arranged 1,155 booths to cover all areas in the town and the surrounding areas. Vaccine was provided to newborn children at their residence by volunteers of various social organisations.

Dr Goel claimed that elaborate arrangements had been made by the district health authorities to ensure achievement of the target as per the directions of the World Health Organisation. More than 4,500 members of the medical and paramedical staff were deputed to reach all corners of the district.

The authorities had identified 2,88,867 children in the district and 29,000 in Fatehgarh Panj Garaian, out of which more than 50 per cent children were administered the vaccine today, claimed the DHO.

Dr Krishan Pilani, in charge of the Civil Hospital, and Mr Jatinder Bhola, president, Municipal Council, urged the local leaders, including councillors, to help the Health Department reach the targeted children.



MMS scandal: probe points a finger at industrialists
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
Police investigations into the sensational MMS scandal in which a girl of the Salem Tabri area was involved have suggested the involvement of some big industrialists of the city.

Police sources said the girl was lured on the pretext of securing modelling assignments and roles in Hindi movies but was allegedly filmed in a compromising position. The police has already booked Raman Kumar. The girl had accused him of rape and secretly filming her.



Ludhiana Calling

Summers have just started setting in but mango—the king of fruits— has already hit the city markets. Though these are not as delicious as these would be during the peak season, people are going bananas about them. The biggest takers are organisers of functions, who procure the fruit for serving the guests. At a recent party, at least 10 dishes were prepared with mangoes, and the stall was interestingly named Mango Bonanza.

Mobile manners

Mobile phone is no longer a luxury. But many people are yet to learn how to observe mobile manners. From loud ringtones to endlessly continuing loud conversations, little do such users realise how irritating these things can be for those forced to listen. Perhaps, mobile phone companies themselves should take an initiative in the direction and make people aware on how to be good users.


Thanks to the bird flu, a section of the people have turned vegetarian. Narrating his experience, one such ex-non-vegetarian said almost two months of fear regarding chicken consumption kept him away from non-veg food. He said during this period he realised that life was not all that bad without meat and he could remain a vegetarian. That is good news for animal lovers!

Public and traffic

It seems the traffic wing of the city police has raised its hands as far as controlling the maddening traffic at the Bhadaur House-Domoria bridge is concerned. Every morning and evening, during the rush hours, the cops are seen in a helpless condition at the jams. But an auto-rickshaw driver surprised everyone by stepping out and managing the traffic better than the cops. It seems the public has to take things in its hand.

Media help

The media is really becoming a strong pillar for the society. People are losing faith in other systems and sending SOS calls to journalists to come to their rescue. Going rather far for taking the help of the media in a ‘‘fraud’’ case, a woman called up newspaper offices to come to her rescue when her tailor refused to return her clothes stating that somebody had already taken them away. She called up the journalists to reach the spot immediately as she was taking the police along to the tailor, who had "defrauded" her. ‘‘I want the media to be there. It is the last hope for me in this country,’’ she said.

Leave burning

The direction by the local Municipal Corporation against the burning of leaves has come like a whiff of fresh air for local residents. The MC has asked the residents not to burn foliage as it affects the environment adversely. It was creating a lot of problems as heaps of garbage and leaves were set afire. The city residents have welcomed the development and say that it was long overdue.

Dilly-dallying cop

A senior police official has a set a procedure of handling the media. When he has to give details about a police success story, he makes repeated telephone calls to journalists to ensure the story is carried. But the same official deftly ducks the calls of mediapersons when the journalists require information. Even if he is free, he does not talk over the phone and dilly-dallies by asking them to call later or making some other lame excuses.

Inaccessible cops

The state government has provided mobile phones to all police officials for their easy accessibility to the public. This has not proved to be of any help to the public as the police officials have formed a habit of answering calls from known numbers only. If crime reporters call from their mobile phone numbers, the cops answer immediately. However, they do not respond to calls made from the office landline numbers. The cops explain with so many newspapers, the office landline numbers are difficult to remember. One gets some idea now why the public claims cops are inaccessible. Interestingly, the Haryana Police DGP has displayed his mobile phone numbers all over the state and answers the calls immediately as was experienced by a city journalist recently.


Debris has become a problem too grave to handle in this thickly populated city. In every nook and cranny are heaps of debris dumped by residents who do not know what to do with it. But there is hope in the form of a handful of women. These women are the unsung scavengers on city roads. They collect bricks and stones from the roads, convert these into small pieces and sell them. Though they make some money out of it, their work clean the roads of stones, which cause accidents as they become potent road bullets.(See pic).

Of effigies, protests

Burning an effigy as a mark of protest has become a very common habit with local politicians. Every other day some politician or the other burns the effigy of a rival leader or other prominent leader. Besides causing pollution by doing so, the agitators leave the burning effigy in the middle of the road. The traffic gets jammed and commuters have to breath smoke-laced air.

Traffic bottleneck

The Damoria bridge in the city is a known traffic bottleneck. Be it a busy hour or any time of the day, the traffic is a problem here. To add to the problems are workers of the Sewerage Department who descend on the narrow road passing under the bridge and start digging. Whether there can be any solution to these blocked sewer manholes or not, the department can always consider the public inconvenience and dig it during nights like in other big cities.

Tail Piece

A bored participant at a seminar was heard talking to another, ‘‘ Seminars have become a disease and should be re-christened ‘Seminaritis’. It ails both the speakers and the listeners. A speaker suffers from verbal diarrhoea and the listeners from mental constipation. ’’

— Sentinel



SBI strike adds to riot victims’ woes
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 9
The disbursement of compensation to victims of the 1984 riots, being made from Monday, has been put off for the time being due to the ongoing indefinite strike by the State Bank of India (SBI) employees all over the country.

Mr Prem Chand, Assistant Commissioner (Grievances), said, “ In accordance with the package of compensation to the ’84 riot victims as approved by the Union Government and the state government, 4305 claims were filed from the entire district. Out of these, 3466 were sanctioned by the state government for payment of Rs 2 lakh to each of the claimants.”

He said the disbursement of compensation had to be drawn from the treasury branch of the SBI which had been rendered non-functional due to the strike.

Mr Prem Chand added that lists of sanctioned cases, however, had been made available to representatives of recognised associations of riot victims for intimating the beneficiaries. He asked the affected persons to bear with the authorities till the treasury commenced its operations and funds could be drawn for payment.



PNB staff offers conditional support
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 9
The Punjab National Bank (PNB) Employees Union will participate in the strike by the State Bank of India (SBI) Employees Union on the condition that similar facilities being demanded by the SBI employees be provided to the PNB employees also.

Mr Anil Dutt, zonal secretary, PNB Employees Union, said provident fund and pension facility were the main demands of the SBI union.



Bonkar Dogra women attend awareness camp
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 9
A five-day awareness camp for rural women at Bonkar Dogra village by Vocational Rehabilitation Training Centre for Blind/Disabled, Haibowal Road concluded yesterday.

This informative and interactive camp was attended by more than 100 rural women.

The camp was conducted under the auspices of the Punjab State Social Welfare Advisory Board, Chandigarh. Ms Jeet Kaur, Sarpanch of the village, inaugurated the camp.

Ms Sara Johnson, Executive Director of Rehabilitation Centre, briefly explained the aims and objectives of the camp.

Faculties from various institutions delivered lectures at the camp.

The camp came to an end with a valedictory function organised at the village.



Mayor inaugurates road project
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
City Mayor Nahar Singh Gill inaugurated the road development project at New Vikas Nagar falling under ward number 42 here today. The roads were recarpeted at a cost of Rs 40 lakh.

He hailed the pace of development work in the ward of councillor Satwinder Singh Jwaddi and said this area was witnessing the maximum development in the city.

The Mayor gave a green signal to the long-pending demand of residents for developing a community centre in the area. He said they would work towards making the local MC, the best MC in the country.

He said the work on sewerage, water supply and street lights had also been completed successfully.



Abide by rules, contractors told

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 9
Mr Rachhpal Singh Hara, DSP, Malerkotla, has directed contractors engaged in the collection of octroi within the limits of the local Municipal Council to abide by the rules and conditions prescribed in the contract and prohibit their employees from indulging in violence while interacting with traders and residents. The directions came during a joint meeting of certain organisations and contractors to resolve the issue of assault on a trader by the employees of the contractor.

The DSP had observed that the clash had taken place due to the irresponsible act of employees. They were neither wearing a dress nor having any identity card issued by the authorities. "Had the contractors issued proper instructions to their employees on the code of conduct and sent some employees of the municipal council the clash would not have taken place," said Mr Hara.

He called upon the local social and trade associations to constitute a joint committee that would help the contractors and the authorities formulate modalities acceptable to traders. Accepting the appeal of the social leaders, Mr Rajiv Kumar, a commission agent and a complainant in a case registered against a councillor and employees of the contractors, agreed to withdraw the case. He was assured by the president Municipal Council and office-bearers of other social organisations that the incident would not be repeated in future. OC



Pensioners rue reimbursement rules
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 9
Mr Yash Paul Ghai, general secretary, Government Pensioners Association, in a press statement here today said that pensioners of Ludhiana district were required to visit Government Medical College, Patiala, to get the certificate for medical reimbursement. They had to visit Patiala twice or even thrice to get the certificate.It was very difficult for the octogenarian pensioners to travel all the way to other districts to get the reimbursement certificates, he said.

He said earlier the pensioners were required to get the certificate by appearing before the medical board constituted at the district level, which was the right course and should be restored.

Under the Punjab Government Medical Reimbursement rules, a pensioner suffering from a chronic disease was required to get a medical certificate from one of the government medical colleges located at Patiala, Faridkot, Amritsar, PGI Chandigarh or AIIMS Delhi to claim the medical reimbursement.



Demand for TV farm channel in Punjabi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
Mr Mohinder Singh Grewal, Member, Commission on Agricultural Costs and Prices, called for starting a separate agricultural TV channel in Punjabi in order to give a second push to the Green Revolution in the country.

He was interacting with students of post-graduate Diploma in Agricultural Journalism and Mass Communication at Punjab Agricultural University here on Friday.

He stated that the time devoted by Doordarshan Kendra, Jalandhar, to agriculture was far less and the timings did not suit the farmers.

Exhorting the students to work hard, he stated that journalism was not merely a profession, it was a mission. The budding journalists must excel in agricultural and development communication, he stressed.

Mr Grewal lamented that Punjabi farmers had stopped working in the fields and were depending profusely on migrants. He also called for reducing the area under paddy in order to save the natural resources in the state.

A state-level movement was imperative to stop the early sowing of paddy, he appealed.



Mahavir Jayanti celebrated
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, April 9
The S.S. Jain Sabha, Machhiwara, celebrated Mahavir Jayanti by organising a function on the premises of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Public High School.

Manjul Jyoti Maharaj, Basudha Maharaj and Bandita Maharaj blessed devotees.

Addressing the devotees, Manjul Jyoti Maharaj advised them to follow the path shown by Bhagwan Mahavir.

On the occasion, Atam Gian Jain Sewing and Embroidery Centre was inaugurated.

Among others present at the function were Mr Dharam Paul Jain, Mr Surinder Garg, Mr Sudhir Jain, Mr Parveen Jain, Mr Prem Chand Jain, Mr Des Raj Jain, Mr Sudesh Mittal, Mr Om Parkash, Mr Shyam Lal Gupta, Mr Krishan Lal Gupta, Mr Satish Jain, Mr Surinder Jain, Mr Umesh Jain, Mr Ramesh Jain, Mr Surinder Bansal, Mr Gurcharan Sharma, Mr Ghanshyam Sharma, Mr Daman Chand Jain, Mr Subhash Jain, Mr Sikander Singh, Mr Kishan Paul Singh, Mr Ravinder Jain and Mr Naresh Khosla.


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