L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Jeweller, woman go missing from shop
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 12
In an intriguing case of theft and disappearance, a jeweller and his woman employee were allegedly found missing along with most of the jewellery in the shop at the Ghumar Mandi market this morning. An abortive attempt to burn the shop was also made. An air conditioner and a part of wooden furniture was burnt.

The parents of both missing persons are clueless about their motive. The police has delayed the registration of a case till the confusion is cleared. An entry has been made in the DDR which can be converted into an FIR later on. The Division No. 5 police has launched an inquiry into the case.

The missing youth, Rajesh, who owns Raghav Jewellers in Ghumar Mandi along with his brother Ravi, was found missing along with a woman employee, Pooja, alias Neeru, this morning when Ravi and other workers went to the shop.

In his statement to the police, Ravi has claimed that his brother had informed him late last night that he was going out for two days but he was shocked to find the shop empty this morning.

The police later found out that the mother and brother of the girl were also missing under mysterious circumstances. The police has dispatched raiding parties to trace the missing persons.

Mr Satpal, father of the missing youth, was seen crying bitterly at the disappearance of his son and the loss of jewellery. Area shopkeepers assembled at the place to express solidarity with the family.

Municipal councillor Sukhchain Bassi Gogi said he was confused on what exactly had happened in the case.

Mr Anil Joshi, SHO, Division No. 5, said the police could not disclose anything at this juncture as the case was quite complex.



He prepared fake land record, still gets impunity
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 12
In the absence of the owners of a piece of land worth Rs 50 lakh, a patwari allegedly connived with members of an agrarian family and prepared a fake account in their favour during a zamabandi session 2001-02. The grabbed land was sold and gifted along with other pieces of lands many times.

The fraud remained undetected for four years till the Naib Tehsildar at the local joint sub-registrar office scrutinised the records after receiving a telephonic complaint. He reported the matter to his seniors, demanding action against the revenue official and the illegal possessors.

The DC, Sangrur, acting on the report submitted by the Naib Tehsildar directed the local revenue authorities to reject the mutation prepared illegally and transfer the rights to the genuine owners.

Mr Som Nath, one of the legal owners of the land, appreciating the role of the SDM, Malerkotla, and the Naib Tehsildar has urged the higher authorities to get the land vacated from the illegal possession and register a criminal case against them.

Mr S.R. Ladhar, Deputy Commissioner and Collector, Sangrur, has directed Dr Indu, SDM, Malerkotla, and Mr Mukesh Sharma, Naib Tehsildar, local office of the joint sub-registrar, to reject the mutation case in connection with land measuring above 9,500 sq yards recorded under fake khasra number 319/1 and complete the records accordingly.

According to Dr Indu, two months ago Mr Mukesh Sharma had received an anonymous call that Jagdev Singh, patwari, posted at Kup Kalan at that time, had forged the revenue records in connection with the said land. “As I was on VIP duty at the time of receiving the telephone call, I deputed Mr Harmesh Kumar, Kanoongo, to investigate the matter. Perusal of the records showed that Jagdev Singh had created a bogus account in connection with the land owned by Ms Inder Devi, widow of Bishambar Ram,” read the report submitted to the DC, Sangrur, and SDM, Malerkotla.

The land that was jointly owned by Gaura Devi and Tara Devi, successors of Inder Devi till zamabandi of 1980-1981, was shown transferred in the names of Samsher Singh , Hardev Singh, Balbir Singh and Pritam Singh vide a fake account.

Interestingly, the land along with some other land was transacted again and again during the following years. It was shown sold and gifted to members of the same family. Gurjit Singh, Amarjit Singh, Jaswinder Singh, Baljit Singh, Kulbir Singh and Amarjit Singh were either the purchasers or recipients of gifts in these cases. As Jagdev Singh had been involved in another case also, Mr Mukesh Sharma sought stern action against him.

The DC, however, did not initiate or recommended any departmental or police action against the revenue official or the illegal possessors in this case.

Jagdev Singh had earlier been booked under Sections 420, 465, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC at the local police station. A court at Sangrur had rejected his application for anticipatory bail on May 2. 



Farmers block traffic against land acquisition
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 12
Hundreds of farmers today staged a protest demonstration and blocked the Ludhiana-Bathinda road for a couple of hours.
They were protesting against the proposal of the Punjab Government's move to acquire land in Halwara and surrounding villages for the international airport.

The protest was organised by nine organisations. The main purpose of the protest was to point out the "out of the way and undue favours" shown by the state government to big industrialists. The speakers at the protest pointed out, earlier the Punjab Government had acquired land forcibly from farmers at throw away prices to be handed over to the Trident group of companies.

The farmers asked, if the industrial houses were so keen to spread their business why were they not purchasing the land directly from them (the farmers). They alleged that a vested interest had crept in the government which made it to acquire land from farmers and hand it over to the industrial houses.

They warned that they would not allow this to happen again in Halwara. They said, this way the agriculture would be ruined and the farmers would be pushed to penury.

Traffic remain suspended on the Ludhiana-Barnala road for quite some time. The traffic was diverted through various link roads. They lifted the dharna only after the intervention of the local SDM.



283 claims of riot victims recommended
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 12
A meeting of the district-level sub-committee for providing grant to the 1984 riot victims was held yesterday under the chairmanship of Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta, Deputy Commissioner.

In the meeting 283 claims of riot victims have been recommended to the state-level committee for approval.

Mr Gupta, directed the Sub-Divisional Magistrates, Ludhiana (East) and Ludhiana (West), to obtain fresh applications/claims from those riot victims whose files are not traceable. Details of such untraceable files of riot victims would be displayed outside the offices of Sub-Divisional Magistrates, Ludhiana (East) and Ludhiana (West).

The Deputy Commissioner also directed the Sub-Divisional Magistrates to provide hearing to each and every claimant, whose claim has not been cleared so far due to one reason or the other. The Sub-Divisional Magistrates, Ludhiana (East) and Ludhiana (West), have further been asked to issue a schedule of hearing of such claimants.

The Sub-Divisional Magistrates would hear the claimants from May 16 onwards, after providing the schedule.

The next meeting of scrutinising and finalising the pending cases has been fixed for May 24.



14 injured in clash over water
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 12
Water shortage today led to a bloody clash in Shiv Colony under the Division No. 6 police station leaving at least 14 persons, including four women, injured. They were admitted to the Civil Hospital here.

Stones and sticks were freely used in the clash. The warring groups had actually come for a peace meeting after a minor clash had taken place over the issue of using water from a tap on Wednesday.

However, the peace meeting turned bloody when the group members had heated arguments over the issue.

At the centre of the clash were Ms Babita and Mr Phool Chand. The latter had allegedly stopped the woman from using the tap water on Wednesday. Ms Babita alleged she was beaten up that day also and had reported the matter to the police. 



Contract for collection of market fee cancelled
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 12
Acting on the recommendations of Ms Razia Sultana, Parliamentary Secretary and MLA of the constituency, and the complaints of vendors, the Chairman, Market Committee, has cancelled the contract for collection of market fee within the limits of the town.

The office-bearers of the Fruit and Vegetable Vendors Association have appreciated the role of the authorities in rescuing them from the clutches of contractors.

According to Mr Sinder Singh, Chairman, Market Committee, contract for the collection of market fee on fruits and vegetables within the limits of town has been cancelled with immediate effect.

A large number of vendors, led by Mr Aslam Mohammad, president of the Fruit and Vegetable Vendors Association, had alleged that the employees of M/s Rizban and Company, contractors for the collection of the market fee, had been harassing them unnecessarily.

“Besides harassing us by extorting money against the norms, they humiliate us unnecessarily,” complained the vendors to the Chairman.



Residents seek uninterrupted water supply
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 12
Residents of Urban Vihar, Jwaddi, are reeling under the shortage of drinking water for the past one week.
Despite various representations to the Municipal Corporation authorities, the water supply to the area has not been restored. The area councillor has, however, made arrangements of water tankers to supply water to the area.

The residents claimed that they had to queue up before the tankers in the mornings and evenings, to fill buckets and carry water to their respective houses.

‘‘You cannot live like this. It seems we are living in some desert from where we have to carry water everyday for our daily needs,’’ said Ms Ranjit Kaur, a resident of the area and president of Urban Vihar, Punjabi Bagh Welfare Association.

She threatened that if the water supply to their area was not restored, they would stage a dharna outside the Zone D office of the MC.

‘‘The weather has become very hot. We only get few bucketfuls of water which is not even sufficient for drinking. Can anybody survive without taking bath in this heat? But nobody listens,’’ said Mr Vijay Gupta, another resident.

Angry residents said that they had been suffering from water shortage for the past many months. The problem was compounded now as the tubewells drawing water had failed completely.’’



Safai workers demand regularisation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 12
About 150 safai workers of Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH), who have been working in the hospital for more than 10 years now, have demanded regularisation of jobs. A delegation of the safai workers under the leadership of Mr Vijay Danav and Mr Laxman Dravid met the Director, Mr John Pramod, here today.

The workers also demanded that safai workers, working for more than two years in CMCH, should be given D and C grades as per their records. Mr Surinder Kumar Chinda, president, CMCH Fourth Class Union, said the workers were struggling to get their demands accepted, but in vain. “We will intensify our agitation if the administration fails to secure our rights,” said Mr Chinda.

He added that the Director had assured to do the needful at the earliest but to no avail. “Rather, the safai department is being looked after by some hired contractor, who is harassing women safai workers,” alleged Mr Chinda.

The agitated workers raised slogans against the management for two hours today and threatened that they would continue with the agitation if their demands were not met.

Meanwhile, the CMCH Medical Superintendent, Dr John Abraham, said in a statement that the Supreme Court, in a judgement passed on April 10 this year, had held that daily wage workers could not claim a right of regularisation and not resort to agitation in any organisation. Violating this notification, contractual sanitation workers in the CMCH today showed protest inside the hospital campus. In the morning, all of a sudden these workers decided not to work. They were demanding the regularisation of their services.

He stated that the CMCH had a contract with 13 agencies for housekeeping services and these workers did not constitute the workforce of the CMCH employees. Their grievances were to be sorted out by their employers.

Therefore, this demand of regularisation, agitation and abandonment of workplace was uncalled for, totally unjustified and in total violation of the order of the highest court of the land.



Bhoomi pujan for seniors’ home
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 12
The Rotary Club of Ludhiana (North) organised bhoomi pujan for the proposed senior citizens home in the B block of Rajguru Nagar here yesterday. The Punjab Government through the Improvement Trust has given a plot of 2,000 yards for the Senior Citizens Home.

Dr S.S. Johal, Deputy Chairman, Punjab Planning Board, said the home would be ultra-modern and would accommodate 36 persons. They would be provided with round-the-clock nursing, ambulance and other facilities. A library and a conference hall would also be provided. He said it would be constructed with the money collected through donations.

He asked the residents of Raj Guru to join the Rotary Club. Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, donated Rs 1 lakh on the occasion.

A memento was presented to Mr Gupta on the occasion. 



Pensioners write to Dullo
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 12
In a letter to Mr S.S. Dullo, president, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, the Government Pensioners Association has stated that five lakh employees and pensioners have a host of complaints against the state government, led by Capt Amarinder Singh.

They have stated that the Congress has failed to fulfil any of its promises.

Mr Yashpaul Ghai, secretary of the association, has told Mr Dullo that the medical allowance of pensioners has remained at Rs 250 since January 1, 1998, though medical costs had risen manifold.

Pensioners have not been given the benefit of old age after they attained the age of 80. They have asked for setting up the fifth pay commission and to restore the old pension commutation formula. They have urged Mr Dullo to advise the government to fulfil its poll promises.



Nirankari baba preaches love, brotherhood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 12
Nirankari Sant Baba Hardev Singh yesterday preached the importance of peace and brotherhood. Addressing a congregation of Nirankari devotees, he said in each period of history, great saints had preached peace and brotherhood.

The best way to get happiness in life was to surrender to God. All woes ended there. Once we surrendered to the Nirakar Parmatma, there was no reason to worry.

Despite the intense heat, thousands of devotees attended the congregation. They had come from different parts of the state.

The organisers expressed their gratitude to the municipal corporation, the district administration and the police for the arrangements. 



Mahal takes charge

Ludhiana, May 12
Mr H.P.S. Mahal yesterday took over the charge of the Additional District and Sessions Judge Ludhiana from Mr B S Sodhi, who has been transferred to Ferozepore.

Mr Mahal was earlier posted at Chandigarh as Member Secretary of the State Legal Services Authority, Punjab. He had also served as Judicial Magistrate at Ludhiana. OC



Widow raped
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 12
A widow of Galib Kalan village was allegedly raped about 10 days ago. The Sidhwan police registered a case under Sections 452 and 376 of the IPC in this regard yesterday.
She was allegedly raped by Sukhdev Singh, son of Charanjit Singh, of the same village.



Industry welcomes PSERC decision on tariff
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 12
The Federation of Punjab Small Industries Associations has expressed happiness that the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) did not allow the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) to increase power tariff in the state.

“The board had proposed an increase of 17 per cent in tariff. Had the same been implemented it would have acted as a blow on consumers, particularly in the industrial sector,” said Mr V.P. Chopra, president of the federation.

Mr Chopra said the industry in the state was already facing a tough time due to irregular power supply. The PSERC had taken serious note of heavy transmission losses to the tune of 42 per cent in several areas in the state. “It only reflects gross inefficiency of the PSEB for which consumers should not be burdened,” it said.

The commission, said the federation, condemned the PSEB for not using the specified performance indicators which could devise a formula to determine employees' cost and improve efficiency levels. The electricity board’s claims that line losses could not be brought down were termed as ill conceived by the commission. 



BSNL introduces broadband package
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 12
Buoyed over the enthusiastic response to its broadband services launched in the mega city a couple a months ago, the telecom giant Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has launched a new unlimited plan - UL 900 which will be available to the home plan segment with immediate effect.

Disclosing this at a news conference here today, the BSNL general manager, Mr G.S. Julka, said the new plan would have unlimited download and upload at fixed monthly charges of Rs 900. There would be no voice rental and the subscribers would have to pay a security deposit equal to one month rental. Mr Julka said that till now BSNL had released 7200 broadband connections in the city with a satisfaction level of almost 99 per cent which was a record in itself.

Unfolding many other value- added promotional services being introduced by the BSNL, he said under a summer special package, the post paid subscribers of mobile service 'Cell one' would have free incoming facility while roaming, SMS facility as 10 paise per message in local, national and roaming SMSs terminating in the BSNL network or MTNL network in Delhi and Mumbai. This summer special offer would be available from May 1 to June 30.

In addition, all new and existing post paid subscribers in plan 325 would get additional talk time worth Rs 250 per month from May 10 to Aug 7.

According to the general manager, some 2200 WLL connections in the city would have their level changed from coming Monday and the first two existing digits of 25 would be replaced with 21. For affecting this change, the telephone subscribers would have to bring their telephone sets to special counters set up at different places in the city.

Mr Julka presented three gold coins of 5 gms each to Mr Sagar Chand Mehta, the winner of pre-paid mobile customer lucky draw at this occasion.


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