L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Complaints of fraud pile up against Igenics firm
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
The Igenics Company fraud case, reportedly involving a woman who is a British citizen, is assuming bigger proportions with the city police formally launching investigation into about 10 more complaints filed against the company officials. The complainants had alleged that they had been duped of lakhs of rupees by company officials.

The complaints have been piling up fast with the police ever since the Division No 5 police registered a case of cheating and criminal conspiracy against company’s Managing Director Sui Mahima. A team from the police station had arrested her from the Radisson Hotel in Jalandhar on April 11.

The company had its offices in Ludhiana and Jalandhar. It offered memberships at a fee of Rs 50,000. The services given in lieu of the memberships included special discount cards from high end shops and an incentive of at least Rs 7,500, if the member made more members for the company.

However, as per the FIR lodged on the complaint of a local trader, Mr Neeraj Anand, the company did not fulfill the promises made to the members. No discounts were offered by the shops. Even some cheques given to the members as incentives had bounced.

SHO of Division No 5 police station Rajinder Singh Sohal told the Ludhiana Tribune that even though a large number of complaints had been received, only 10 of those were being investigated further for the registration of cases.

The investigation includes verification of supporting documents in order to ascertain whether the company had fulfilled the promises made to the members or not, he informed.

The company’s Managing Director and main accused, Sui Mahima, who claims to be of Russian origin having British citizenship had claimed to the Ludhiana Tribune that she was innocent and the company’s activities were completely genuine.

She said some members were black-mailing her and other officials, ‘‘When we refused they first harassed us through their links in the police department and got us booked when we did not relent.’’

Mr Sohal said the FIR had been registered on the basis of an inquiry conducted by the Economics Offences Wing of the city police.

The company officials, including the arrested woman, had been given every chance to prove their innocence, but they had failed.

He added that the company had closed its office in the city without giving any tangible reason to the members. Further several cheques issued by the company had bounced. The inquiry by the Economic Offences Wing was further analysed by the District Attorney Legal Department which listed the Sections of the IPC to be imposed in the case.

Meanwhile, the accused woman has been remanded to police custody till April 15. The police has also stepped up the drive to trace her alleged accomplice, Balwinder Singh. He allegedly headed the city office of the company before it was suddenly closed down.



Cops who give goose bumps to passengers
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
Instead of providing a sense of security to the passengers, the very appearance of policemen on duty on trains and railway stations makes them insecure because these men in uniform usually harass the passengers with the obvious motive of extracting some money from them.

These cops ‘‘fine’’ passengers on flimsy grounds, like for carrying extra luggage, playing cards or sitting at the gate. They even check the tickets of passengers, which is the duty of the Travelling Ticket Examiner.

Only today a regular passenger from Delhi, Mr Sudesh Kumar, was stopped by a couple of policemen at the Ludhiana Railway station. They first frisked him thoroughly and also checked his luggage. ‘‘Rather they ransacked my belongings’’, said the aggrieved passenger, adding, ‘‘I could not make out what they wanted or what they were looking for’’. When they did not find anything objectionable in his luggage they asked for his ticket. When the harried passenger produced the ticket also then they started making inquiries about his job, reason for coming to Ludhiana and other unnecessary questions and finally asked him for ‘‘seva pani’’. ‘‘But I did not oblige them and ultimately they let me go’’, Mr Sudesh Kumar said.

However, all passengers are not as lucky as Mr Sudesh Kumar. Most of the passengers who ‘‘encounter’’ such policemen ultimately buy peace to escape harassment.

Most of the passengers who have faced such problems said, ‘‘it is mostly the policemen belonging to the Punjab Police who board the trains between Ambala and Pathankot who harass the passengers the most’’. The policemen belonging to the Jammu and Kashmir Police and Haryana Police are said to be more polite and less harassing.

Only last year the Railway Police had suspended four cops for extorting money from a passenger. However, they were later reinstated. The police officials admitted that there were a number of complaints and these were verified and investigated from time to time.

Moreover, the cops are shuffled frequently. But the regular passengers claimed that they had seen the same cops on duty for at least two years now.



Students ‘betrayed’ by school Principal
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, April 14
Six class X students of Partap Public School located on Hambran road could not sit for the tenth board examination of the national open school due to the failure of the principal to deposit their examination fees. Her inaction has resulted in the loss of a year for the students and has caused deep mental anguish and frustration to both the parents and their wards

The tale of betrayal started in October 2005 when the principal Ms Ramesh Inder Bal told the unsuspecting parents that their wards will not be sitting for CBSE board examination for 10th class but would appear for 10th class examination from national open school. The parents and their children were shocked as they were assured that the school was affiliated with CBSE Board. Ms Balwinder Kaur, whose daughter has been studying in the school from class IV told The Tribune that she was always told that her daughter was brilliant. In October 2005, she was told that her daughter would not be able to tackle papers of CBSE board and hence should take examinations the national open school which is comparatively easier. Similarly, the other parents were told that their wards had actually failed in class IX and were promoted to class X and would only be able to clear the examination conducted by national open school .

The students and parents had no option but to agree as it was mid-year. So they deposited the examination fee of Rs 1950 and paid for the new textbooks of the new course. They had to keep the tutors to help their wards cover the courses. The examination date was April 8, 2006. The students had got the ID cards but no roll numbers. The agitated parents asked the principal for roll numbers in March but she assured them that she had received the roll numbers and would give them on April 8 and keep them lest they lose it.

On the fateful day of April 8, the students along with the parents reached KVM School, the centre, at 1 p.m. as the examination was to start at 2.30 p.m. They were told at KVM that their centre was St. Patrick School, Haibowal. The parents along with children rushed there only to be told by Mr Anand, principal of St. Patrick that the children’s roll numbers were not received as their examination fee was not deposited. The English teacher of Pratap School called the principal, Ms Bal, and asked her to come immediately. She arrived at 2.30 p.m. and the paper had begun. Mr Anand told the parents that he had called up Ms Bal a number of times and asked her to deposit the examination fees, but she had not.

Ms Bal then told the parents that she had given the money to the Vice-Principal, Ms Renuka. Mr Manhor Lal Chauhan, another parent, told The Tribune that they were shocked to know how the principal tried to wriggle out of the responsibility by passing the buck. Mr Anand then asked Ms Bal to show the receipt of the payment or a cheque/draft drawn in favour of the board, but she was unable to do so. The hapless students were shocked beyond belief and had to return without appearing for the paper. Mr Chauhan said that they visited the board’s office in Chandigarh, but they said that they were too late.



Ludhiana SAD as fragmented as ever
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
Much against the expectations of the party supremo, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, that the appointment of an urban Sikh, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, as the president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee would strengthen the party, at least, in Ludhiana, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) remains as divided and fragmented as ever. That too at a crucial time when elections are less than a year away.

Mr Makkar's elevation had surprised everybody within and outside the party because Mr Makkar had mostly restricted his activities within the district unit of the party and had never nourished greater ambitions, much less of becoming the SGPC chief. He had tried in vain to become the district president of the district unit. Ultimately he had to remain content with the post of acting president only as his arch rival, Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia, staked equal claims and Mr Badal did not want to antagonise Mr Bhatia. He had to give up the acting presidentship also after the patch-up between Mr Badal and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, which led to Mr Hira Singh becoming the president of the district unit.

After the former Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Managing Committee president, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, became active in Punjab targeting the urban Sikhs, Mr Badal elevated Mr Makkar to the prestigious post of the SGPC president, much against his (Mr Makkar's) own expectations.For a while Mr Makkar had even patched up with Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia also. But after becoming the SGPC president, the rivalry resumed which was reflected in the local gurdwara managing committee elections also.

Mr Bhatia has since sided with Mr Gabria, while Mr Makkar has returned to his old group comprising of Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon and the latest entrant Mr Amarjit Singh Chawla, who has permanently shifted here from Moga and settled down here. This has further polarised the Akali Dal workers in the city. The party has major stakes in Ludhiana and the factionalism could spell doom for it in the forthcoming elections.

Surprisingly, Mr Makkar also could not carry on for long with the party general secretary, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, either. Mr Grewal, a prominent Tohra loyalist and one of the main architects of the Badal-Tohra unity had tried to maintain a proper balance between the two factions since he enjoyed good relationship with Mr Gabria and others also. His removal from Guru Nanak Education Trust by Mr Makkar came as a great surprise to everyone, even Mr Badal himself.

The party rank and file in the district is upset over the factionalism since it would cost the party dearly. Even Mr Badal seems to be aware of the situation. At a function recently he warned the party leaders against factionalism and asked them not to repeat past mistakes. 



Residents celebrate Baisakhi
Our Correspondent

Devotees partake langar at a gurdwara in Ludhiana on the occasion of Baisakhi
Devotees partake langar at a gurdwara in Ludhiana on the occasion of Baisakhi. — Tribune photo by Sayeed Ahmed

Ludhiana, April 14
Baisakhi was celebrated with great joy by residents of the city. The gurdwaras were decorated and lighted on this occasion. Devotees began paying their obesience in gurdwaras since the break of dawn and people-in queues could be seen awaiting their turn. Langar was served at different gurdwaras. The devotees prepared langars.

On this occasion, Avtar Singh, president, SGPC, said at Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha (regd) in Model Town extension, that we all need to for low the path set up by Guru Gobind Singh.

He further said the SGPC had started Singh sajjo lehar to eradicate drug addiction among youth. He said various organisations in England had been contacted to spread the message. Many jathas attended the kirtan.

Members of the Senior Citizens Conclave also celebrated Baisakhi with gusto. An entertainment programme was organised by Ms Radhika Jaitwani, co-ordinator for Punjab of All-India Sangam Kala Group. Mr Arvind Dhadwal, a famous singer of Himachal Pradesh, Ms Neelam Khosla and Ms Himani of the Sangam Group entertained the senior citizens.

The event was preponed and general body meeting of conclave was held. The annual report was read out by general secretary Lt. Col (Dr) D.B. Sharma and president of the conclave, Mr S.P. Karkara IAS (retd), they welcomed Mr Rakesh Bharati, Mr Mittal congratulated the members for adopting a positive attitude in life and congratulated them for conducting social welfare programmes.



Ambedkar fondly remembered
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, April 14
The 115th birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar was celebrated here today. The crusader for equality and social justice, Dr Ambedkar was remembered by various organisations, employees' federations and unions in the city.

The members of Dr Ambedkar Mission Employees' Federation, Ludhiana, offered floral tributes on the statue of Dr Ambedkar at Ambedkar Chowk. The members distributed sweets on the occasion.

Dr Resham Sidhu, general secretary of the federation, said the country had failed to fulfill the dreams of the founding father of the Indian institution. Dr Sidhu said that the country was facing many problems like over population, female foeticide, noise pollution, damaged roads, illiteracy, superstitions etc, even after 50 years of Independence. The poor, backward students were unable to get proper education in the country. The privatisation move had further worsened the situation.

Dr Sidhu added that vacancies were not filled at government and semi-government offices for the last many years. He alleged that Scheduled Caste and backward class people were still being victimised in the country. He informed that on April 23, Dr Ambedkar's birth anniversary celebrations would be held at Milan Palace where 'Dr B.R.Ambedkar Award 2006' will be given to Dr R.L.Kalsia, IAS.

Bhagwan Valmiki Jan Kalyan Sanstha celebrated the occasion at ward number 68, Chawni Mohalla, here today. Tributes were paid to Dr Ambedkar by members of the sanstha, including Mr Ajay Sidhu, Mr Rakesh Malhotra, Mr Sanjiv Gupta, Mr Ravinder Sahni, Mr Pyara Sidhu, Mr Navdeep Sidhu etc.The members demanded that the day should be declared as public holiday in future.

The Municipal Safai Mazdoor Union celebrated the birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar with fervour. The union members said that all should pledge to spread education---the dream of Dr Bhim Rao. Amongst others present on the occasion were Mr Vijay Isawar, Mr Balwant Rai Mattoo, Mr Lovely Pal Iswar, Mr Shiv Kumar and Mr Joginder.

The leaders of Safai Mazdoor Federation, Municipal Corporation, also celebrated the birth anniversary of the founder of the Indian Constitution. Scooter-rallies were organised by Bahujan Samaj Party and Safai Mazdoor Federation to mark the occasion. The members said that all should follow the path shown by Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar as he was a great visionary.

Bhartiya Valmini Sewa Dal (Bhawadas) celebrated 115th birth anniversary at Dr Ambedkar Nagar, Gugga Madhi, Dugri here today. The members organized a rally on this occasion and paid rich tributes to Baba Saheb.

Mandi Ahmedgarh: Tributes were paid to Dr B.R. Ambedkar on his birth anniversary here today. Several functions were organised by various political and social organisations here and surrounding villages.

The main function was organised at the Jagera road under the chairmanship of Mr Jatinder Kumar Bhola, president, Municipal Council.

Paying tributes to Dr Ambedkar, Mr Bhola pointed out that he had conceived one of the greatest Constitutions of the world, which gave the country secularism and democracy. However, he regretted that under present circumstances communal and divisive forces were threatening the sacred ideals.

Mr Kishori Lal Badhan, a former president, called upon the Dalits to rise above politics and unite hands to safeguard the interests of their brethren.

“Unfortunately the political leaders had been exploiting us to win elections, but never watched our interests,” he argued.

The speakers said the greatest tribute to Dr Ambedkar would be to defeat the designs of the communal forces that were bent upon creating division between members of different communities. 



One held with pistol

Jagraon, April 14
Sub-Inspector Shavinder Singh, SHO, Sudhar police station, arrested Gajinder Singh, alias Gora, of Qila Raipur from Saholi area and seized one country-made .315-bore pistol with two cartridges from his possession. 


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |