L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Migrant chops off master’s head over wages
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 30
Irritated over the delay in payment of his wages, a migrant labourer from Bihar chopped off the head of his employer, Mansha Singh, 65, a farmer of Lehra village in Ludhiana district, with a fodder chopper last night.

An FIR has been registered, but the accused could not be arrested so far.

Mr R.K. Jaiswal, SSP, Jagraon, visited the house of the deceased to get firsthand knowledge about the incident this morning.

Ms Nachhatar Kaur, wife of Mansha Singh, told the SSP that Brane Rao, the accused, had been working at their house for the past two months.

Rao attacked Mansha Singh with a chopper as soon as he bent down to mix feed for the cattle around 8.30 last night. “We treated him like our sons, but he killed my husband and that too when my son, Chamkaur Singh, and his wife, Paramjit Kaur, were sitting with me in the same house,” she told the SSP.

After committing the crime, Brane Rao reportedly fled towards the fields taking advantage of darkness. Noise created by generators functioning in the neighbourhood drowned the cries of the members of the shocked family and the villagers came to know about the incident much later.

Though other farmers in the village do not allow their servants to sleep in their houses, the deceased insisted that the accused should be treated as a member of the family. The master and the servant used to dine together, she said.

Mr Jaiswal said the Dehlon police had launched a hunt for the accused and his accomplice, if any.

Mr Harjit Singh Brar, DSP, Dakha, circle officer, had been camping in the village since the receipt of the complaint.

A special investigating team (SIT) has been constituted to investigate into the case. The team is led by Mr Rachhpal Singh, SHO, Dehlon.

Meanwhile, the body of deceased was handed over to the family after a post-mortem examination. Family sources said the cremation would take place on Tuesday as some members of the family were expected to reach here from Canada.



Jagraon migrant labourers to get IDs
Police drive to check crime
Tribune Reporters

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 30
The day is not far when verifying the identification of a migrant labourer would be just a phone call away.

The Jagraon police has launched a Nodal Cataloging Centre for identification and registration of migrant labourers in the police district. The Dakha area has registered more than 1,000 migrants.

Mr R.K. Jaiswal, SSP, Jagraon, has urged the residents of the area to get their migrant labourers registered at the Dakha and Dehlon centres.

In an exclusive interview with Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Jaiswal claimed that the Jagraon police had started issuing temporary identity cards to the labourers registered with the Dakha centre.

The step had been taken in the wake of an increase in rate of crime involving migrant labourers. “Records at police stations of Jagraon district revealed that there had been a spurt in murders involving migrant labourers from UP and Bihar. Besides murdering their own fellows, these labourers assaulted their masters also in some cases.”

Investigation reports had revealed that the accused were prompted to commit the crime as they thought they would shift to some other place without being identified.

“This will not be possible now as we will have complete records with us and would verify the antecedents of each person registered with us. Any official on field duty will be able to verify on phone the facts disclosed by a detained migrant”, said Mr Jaiswal.

Though the identity cards issued at initial stage would be temporary, permanent ID cards would be issued on receipt of verification reports from the police of the native state of the migrants.



City sweats as mercury soars
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
With mercury crossing the 40°C mark, the life has become difficult for the city residents. The temperature has been at least 5°C above the normal for this period of the year.

Residents prefer to stay indoors during the day. Much to the respite of many, the traffic on the roads has reduced. The roads generally wear a deserted look during the day.

Swimming pools, on the other hand, are witnessing a huge rush as more and more people converge on these seeking respite from the blistering heat.

Air conditioners and coolers are much in demand. Obviously, those into the business of selling air conditioners and coolers are doing a brisk business. Same goes true for generator dealers also. The moment the electric supply is cut, numerous generators installed in residential and commercial complexes are switched on. This is leading to rise in smoke level in the city.

City girls can be seen moving on their two-wheelers wearing full-length gloves and with faces completely covered. Umbrellas are also standing many in good stead. Even the beggars stay under shade during daytime and swarm the roads and other places in the evenings only.

Health experts are advising people to avoid the sun as much as possible. Their another advice is to increase water and fluid intake. They also caution people against consuming cut fruits.

PAU experts have advised dairy farmers to keep their cattle in sheds throughout the day. They have also advised them to offer them drinking water twice or thrice a day. Vaccination of animals against diseases like haemorrhagic septicemia (HS) is their another advice to them.

Beekeepers have also been advised to move their colonies to relatively cooler areas or under the shade.



Journalists seek action against Birmi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
City journalists today criticised MLA and Chief Parliamentary Secretary Malkiat Singh Birmi for allegedly threatening to kill a journalist for reporting the insult to the National Flag and low turnout of supporters at a political rally organised by the MLA at Grain Market, Salem Tabri, yesterday.

A delegation of mediapersons, including representatives from various newspapers and TV channels and journalists organisations, met SSP A.S. Rai and demanded for registration of a case against the MLA.

The victim reporter, Sharat K. Verma, Bureau Chief, Ludhiana Newsline, The Indian Express Group of Newspapers, also submitted a complaint to the SSP. He said Mr Birmi called him up on his mobile phone and threatened him that he would break his legs and kill him for daring to present a negative report about the rally with a mention to the insult to the national flag by the Congress supporters.

The delegation termed the threat as an attack on the freedom of the Press and a challenge to the Indian Constitution.

The journalists have decided to submit a memorandum to the Chief Minister for taking appropriate action against the MLA for insult to the national flag at the rally.

Harjinder Singh Lal, president, Punjab Union of Journalists, Vinod Kohli, president, Chanidgarh and Punjab Union of Journalists, Rajesh Bhambi, president Photo Journalists of Ludhiana, Manjit Singh Khalsa, general secretary, Press Club, Pramod Batish, president, Ludhiana Press Club, Karan Kapoor, president, Ludhiana chapter of Chandigarh-Punjab Union of journalists, apart from other senior journalists have condemned the act of the MLA and demanded stern action against him.

A meeting of city journalists, including Gautam Jalandhari, Rajesh Inderpal, Karan Kapoor, Pramod Batish, Ashwani Jaitley, Parminder Pal Singh Ahuja, Ashok Singhi, Manoj Dhiman, Gurmeet Singh, Kuldip Singh, Mohit Srivastva and others decided to petition the Punjab Human Rights Commission and the National Human Rights Commission for action against the MLA.

The MLA and his supporters had distributed national flags among the supporters at the rally to pass it as the Congress flag. The supporters used the flags as fans and later trampled over it when the rally ended.



Property boom turns youths into musclemen
Rania double murder case
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
From a crime-free village to the shocking platform of a double-murder case, that, too, of a crime which took place because of outsiders, is the sad transformation of Rania village where a youth was shot dead last week and one of the members of a group of 10-12 attackers also got killed in self-defence fires shot by the youth’s relatives.

According to the police investigation into the reason of the crime, a rise in property in the nearby Gill village and need to support some anti-social elements for protection of the disputed land, coupled with mindless fury of the rich youngsters, led to the blood shed.

A high-level team of city police officials, led by SSP A.S. Rai and SP (Detective) Gurpreet Singh visited the village today to take stock of the situation arising out of the murder. Police sources said investigation had revealed that most of the attackers were musclemen who mainly remained in Gill village, situated close to Rania.

Gill village has witnessed a major property boom in the recent months. It has, however, led to murders, clashes, alleged land-grab incidents and presence of unemployed armed youths in the village who thrive on money provided by land owners.

‘‘It was a simple fight between two youths that led to the major crime of murder of one of them and another youth’’, said a senior police official. Such fights were quite common among youngsters, but normally things did not get too violent.

However, in this case after Kuljit Singh (the murdered youth) had allegedly beaten up another youth of the village Kamal Singh a few days ago, the latter’s friends called up certain youths in Gill village to take revenge. The youths eventually formed an attack party within minutes and shot dead Kuljit Singh in his house.

However, Namma Singh, a member of the attack party, was also killed in cross fire. Police found out that Namma’s father had died. He happened to know of the attackers and had gone to Gill village just to meet them. The attackers took him along and he died without even knowing why the murderous attack was being made.

The condition of Namma’s mother and younger brother could move even the strongest of hearts. They wept and wailed and cursed the attackers.

The sources said they were trying to devise a strategy to control such reckless acts among youths in the city. But, a major hurdle in the way was the use of such youths by developers, property dealers and land owners. The parents of such youths also had to become pro-active in taking care of their children and keeping an eye on their activities.



Ludhiana Calling

The politicians, who debate in the Legislative Assemblies or the Parliament for enacting of a law, show scant respect to the passed law when they have follow it. This was evident in the shocking case of insult to National Flag in a rally organised by the Congress here. People were seen using the flag as a fan and later throwing it on the ground and trampling over it. The law prohibits use of the National Flag in political rallies but the politicians openly violate it. (See picture)

Football fever

The soccer world cup is a few weeks away. But the city is not in grip of any football fever. No hotel, restaurant or eateries has offered special football matches discounts. No cinema hall has offered to show the matches on big screen. Even the national football league matches continue to be held before empty stands at Guru Nanak Stadium here. One wonders when the football association of the country would be able to catch the youngsters and make India’s name in the global sport.

Mineral water

Politicians and bureaucrats leave no opportunity in claiming they were providing safe drinking water to the city residents. But these leaders do not practice what they preach. They gulp down mineral water in rallies and functions instead of the tap water knowing, may be, very well, that how risky drinking that water can be.

Elevated road

Even as the elevated road from Jagraon Bridge to Jalandhar bypass chowk is nearing completion, questions about its utility have already begun springing up. The road was planned to let the vehicles passing through the city get a path without causing any hindrance to the local traffic. But as the road culminates at Jagraon Bridge only, the safe passage for such vehicles is ruled out. Further, planners feel that such vehicles are already taking the bye pass route. One wonders whether the elevated road would be used or not to its planned utility.

PCR cops

The teams of PCR cops of the city are often in news for wrong reasons. But the residents of Sarabha Nagar were in for a surprise when one of them called upon the police control room (PCR) asking them to check the credentials of a stranger roaming in the area. Two cops on white motorcycle of the PCR wing reached there within minutes and questioned the stranger. The residents felt a sense of security at such immediate response by the cops. Sentinel hopes the alacrity of the men in khaki continues.


The city is well known for lavish marriages. It is also known for baraatis reaching very late at such functions. They make everyone wait and wait. It is not only the relatives of the brides who wait but even the band groups are seen sitting on the road sides or under the bus shelters. The sweltering summer season make their wait more torturous. With band members decked up in glittering heavy clothes, they have no respite from the sun that beats down on them.

Missing sparrows

Thanks to the ever-increasing pollution in the city, spotting birds has become a difficult thing. One misses the chirping of house sparrows and other birds, which bird watchers claim, used to be there in plenty a decade ago. In countryside of the district, these birds are still seen but in the city there are not many. Environmentalists contribute it to the pollution and damaging of the niche of these birds due to over dominance of humans. One wonders whether the children of this generation would ever be able to see the birds.

Begging menace

A gang of beggars, active in city, is known for its tactics to fleece people. Cashing on the emotions of city residents, the beggars either carry physically challenged children forcing the residents to give away alms. Some of them even tie small kids with bandages and ask people for money for the child’s treatment. They usually give sedative injections to the children and pass them off as unconscious. The other day a colleague came across a beggar who was holding an unconscious girl with a bandaged head crying in a loud voice asking for money. When the colleague offered him treatment in a hospital, the man disappeared from the scene.

Little agitators

The entire city is sick of garbage that is not lifted everyday and is piled up on the roadsides for days together. The litter can be witnessed in all the nooks and crannies of city. So much so that students of a primary school in the city had to sit on a dharna to get the MC authorities moving and get the garbage lifted. They sat in the sweltering heat in the middle of a road and right in front of the garbage dump raising slogans against the MC apathy. Soon, the little agitators had something to smile. The garbage was cleared following their dharna.

Liquor vends

Opening of liquor vends in residential areas has been a problem for city authorities. Every other day there is one protest or the other against wine shops being opened in the residential areas. A number of memorandums have been submitted to the Deputy Commissioner to order the shifting of vends. Only last night, a number of residents sat on a dharna outside liquor vend in Itta Wala Chowk on Gill Road. They made sure that the vend owner downed the shutter of the shop at least for a day.

— Sentinel



MCPI (U) discusses state of Left parties
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
The state preparatory committee of the MCPI (U) met here under the presidentship of Mr Didar Singh of Ropar to discuss the state of Left parties in the country.

Mr Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri gave a detailed report on the process of unity of the Left and the democratic forces. The participants made valuable contributions in this regard.

The meeting condemned the alleged disruptive attitude of certain top leaders of the Pasla group who were out to break the unity arrived at Alluwaya, Kerala, last year.

A fervent appeal was made to the rank and file to strengthen the party for the sake of the Communist movement in Punjab.

The leaders also appealed to the people not to be swayed by misleading propaganda of certain renegade leaders of the CPM, Punjab, who were working for their own vested interests.

The committee proposed to hold a national party congress in Punjab, the dates and venue of which would be finalised at the national preparatory committee meeting in Hyderabad on May 9, according to Mr Kuldip Singh, state secretary of the preparatory committee.

The unit congratulated the people of Nepal on the restoration of democracy and at the same time condemned the role of the Indian government for trying to save the King.

Regarding Punjab, the committee felt all tall claims of development were hollow. The prices of essential commodities were skyrocketing and the rate of unemployment had also increased.

The members also condemned the forcible acquisition of land of farmers near Barnala to benefit an industrial group and supported the struggle of kisan organisations in this regard. They took serious note of police repression on struggles of industrial workers, employees and brick-kiln workers and urged the government to implement labour laws in factories and ensure minimum wages and other basic amenities to the workers.

Rejecting the Rs 50 bonus on wheat as insufficient, the MCPI (U) demanded that it should cover all farmers. At the same time, arrangements should be made to supply wheat on cheaper rates to the poor because it had become difficult for them to purchase wheat due to hoarding by traders and arhtias.

Among those who participated included Mr P.S. Bhangu, Mr Chander-sekhar, Mr Tarsem Jodhan, Mr Lakhwinder Singh Boani, Mr Pawan Kaushal, Mr Baldev Singh Latala, Mr Bal Krishan, Mr Malkiat Singh, Mr Mangat Rana Longowal, Mr Sher Singh Pharwali, Mr Ram Singh, Mr Hari Singh Dhindsa and Mr Labh Singh Bhangu.



Cong not fulfilling poll vows: pensioners
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 30
Local pensioner held a meeting here today. They criticised the Congress government in the state for not redressing their problems.

They said the Congress had failed to fulfil even a single promise in its manifesto for the Assembly elections held in February, 2002.

A fixed medical allowance of Rs 250 per month had been paid to them for the past more than eight years, which was inadequate to meet the ever-increasing medicare costs. A raise in the allowance was overdue.

Old-age allowance at the age of 80 years was allowed to MLA-pensioners in Punjab. However, this small benefit was denied to the general pensioners despite the 3rd Pay Commission’s recommendation allowing it 18 years ago.

The meeting urged the state government to pay travel concession to pre-April, 2004, retirees after merging 50 per cent DA in their basic pension as it had been done in the case of post-April, 2004, retirees.

Also, they urged the government to set up the 5th Punjab pay panel. The pay-scales implemented from January, 1996, had become irrelevant and outdated in view of the price rise and various others factors. The 4th Punjab pay panel had also recommended next pay revision after 10 years, which was due since January, 2006.



Over 1,000 SCs apply for power bill exemption
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 30
More than 1000 domestic consumers from the Scheduled Castes Category were identified for expected exemption of power bills by the Punjab State Electricity Board authorities at camps organised at local town and the board division office today. Thousands of consumers from the Scheduled Castes Category expressed desire to avail exemption expected to be announced by the government soon. According to Mr Kuldip Singh Pandher, SDO, city more than one thousand applications were received by seven teams on Saturday and Sunday.

Referring to information received from senior functionaries Mr Kuldip Singh claimed that government had decided to exempt bill for 400 units for every two months period. Mr Pandher further said that the applications would be received on Tuesday as well. Those consumers, who had not got the caste certificate prepared from department concerned, could submit applications verified by a councilor, said Mr Pandher.

At presently, members of the Scheduled Castes Community, having connection for 300 watts, were availing exemption for 50 units for each month. Out of above nine thousand consumers from this town, only five were entitled exemption according to present norms. Four of them had been refunded an amount of Rs 844 recently as per directions of the government. Though final decision about the load category was yet to be finalised, the authorities have collected information about all domestic consumers from the Scheduled Castes Category. The authorities expect that orders about exemption would be received by May 10.



168 pension cases settled at camp
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 30
Pension cases of 168 beneficiaries were processed at a camp jointly organised by the office of the CDPO, Malerkotla, and the local civic body at the Municipal Council complex here yesterday.

The camp was presided over by Mr Jatinder Bhola, president of the Municipal Council. Mr Jagmel Singh, CDPO, was the chief guest.

According to Ms Rajinder Kaur, supervisor in the CDPO office, 168 cases of old-age pension, widow pensions and pension for physically challenged children were finalised at the camp.

Mr Jatinder Bhola, President of the Municipal Council, said the requisite forms were received from the beneficiaries under various schemes at a camp organised at MGMN Senior Secondary School recently.

Dr Indu, SDM, Malerkotla, had directed the CDPO to complete the process of opening bank accounts etc. “Beneficiaries will start receiving pension in their respective accounts from this month,” claimed Mr Bhola.

Mr Jagwant Jaggie, SAD president, Mr Mohinder Multani, Mr Kishori Lal Badhan, Mr Jaswinder Singh Lalli and Ms Chiter Rekha (councillors) were present on the occasion.



Parshuram Jayanti celebrated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 30
The Bhagwan Parshuram Brahmnin Sabha celebrated Parshuram Jayanti at Shri Hari Om Mandir, Moti Nagar, here today.

Pandit Jagmohan Sharma, district president , Congress Committee, hoisted the flag and Dr Krishan Rai performed the pooja. Ex- Deputy Speaker Sat Pal Gosain lighted the lamp.

The president of the sabha, Mr Dharam Pal Sharma,while welcoming the guests said the Brahmins should show greater unity as that was the need of the hour. Dr Krishan Rai said now the Brahmin Samaj would have to come into political fray and it would support that party which would give its candidates ticket to fight the forth coming elections.

He said the sabha strongly condemned female foeticide and reservation of seats on the basis of caste.



Foundation day of Seva Sangh
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 30
The Ludhiana Seva Sangh organised its Foundation Day here today. Mr Manjit Ram Bhardwaj was the chief guest.

The members said they would hold free medical camps. They said they would plan further activities for the welfare of the people.

They decided to intensify their struggle against the high fees charged by private-aided schools . In a unanimous decision, they passed a resolution and condemned the Education Minister for not treading the right and lawful path. The Sangh also burnt his effigy.

Mr Manjit Ram Bhardwaj whose name has been entered into the Limca Book of Records for walking the longest distance was also honoured.



Assn seeks 4 pc VAT on furniture
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 30
The Punjab Furniture Association, at a largely attended state-level meeting here today, decried the high rate of VAT on furniture. It lamented the high VAT rate was adversely affecting the furniture business.

Mr Manjeet Singh, who presided over the meeting, regretted that despite repeated pleas made by the association to rationalise the tax structure, the VAT was being charged on furniture at the rate of 12.5 per cent, which was unjust since furniture was no longer a luxury item.

He made a plea to the tax authorities for reduction in the rate of VAT to 4 percent.

The district president of the association, Mr Pal Khurana, alleged that the high rate of tax on furniture had resulted in diminished sales and a crisis-like situation had been created. On the one hand the customers were not prepared to pay tax on furniture items while on the other the traders and manufacturers were being harassed by excise and taxation officials for a slump in the sales.

The functionaries of the association and several other speakers at the meeting urged the government to take immediate steps to reduce the rate of tax on furniture, failing which the industry would be left with no other alternative but to launch an agitation.


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