L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Missing jeweller found murdered
Woman, accomplices at large with booty
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
The jeweller disappearance case has turned into a bone-chilling murder tale and a major gold heist, with the police recovering the jeweller’s body from near Neelon Canal, Chamkaur Sahib, last midnight.

The victim, 34-year-old Rajesh, was found brutally murdered after being tied to the rear seat of his Santro, which was found abandoned on the banks of the canal. He was stabbed several times in the chest and the head.

He was strangled also while being stabbed, the post-mortem examination has revealed. The examination has found nearly 24 blunt and sharp-edged injuries on his body.

Police sources said they had recovered two knives, besides a baseball bat from the Santro in which the deceased was found dead near Chamkaur Sahib.

He had reportedly taken the girl in the car.

The missing girl, Pooja, alias Neeru, her family members, including mother and brother, are untraceable along with gold and silver jewellery worth over Rs 1 crore. The police has booked the girl and her unknown accomplices for murder.

SSP A. S. Rai has termed the case as a shocking crime for passion. “It seems the deceased had some sentiments for the girl and the girl had passion for the gold,” he said . Investigations suggest that the youth had gone with the girl with her consent. He had called up his younger brother over the phone that he was going with the girl for two days.

Mr Satpal Sachdeva, father of the deceased and Assistant Manager with the Bank of India, Barnala, believes his son was kidnapped by the girl and her accomplices. “My son was happily married and had two children, 9-year-old son Amol and 5-year-old daughter Muskan. He was not smitten by the girl.”

The recovery of the body Rajesh has sent sock waves in the city as it seemed to be the handiwork of an organised gang, the police said. Besides, it is probably the biggest gold heist in the city.

The missing girl was employed just two months ago at the shop. She lived in Haibowal. Her brother was employed with a photo studio near old DMC on the Vrindavan road. The girl and her accomplices, including her relatives, seemed to have planned the crime well in advance and executed it with perfection.

The victim’s family was stressing since yesterday that Rajesh had been kidnapped. However, there were few takers for their version. The general impression was that the jeweller and the girl had eloped.

Wailing over the brutal death of their son, his parents revealed that the shop, Raghav Jewellers, was being run jointly by the Rajesh and his brother Ravi. However, Rajesh mainly handled the accounts and the transactions.

Heart-rending scenes were witnessed at the cremation of the deceased. The condition of his wife was the worst.



2 servants held on charge of killing employer
Tribune News Service

Gurmeet Singh
Gurmeet Singh

Ludhiana, May 13
The Division No. 7 police has caught two alleged murderers of a trader who was found dead in his residence in Industrial Area near Samrala Chowk.
The accused have been identified as Madhav, alias Chottu and Moti alias Bahadur. The police has recovered Rs 85, 000 cash from them. They were caught while they were fleeing the state.

The police said further questioning of the accused was on to know the identities of their accomplices.

The deceased was Gurmeet Singh, a distributor of Reliance Fabric Distribution. Workers found his body in his camp residence in the factory in the morning.

SHO Division No 7 said the two domestic servants had gone missing from the residence before the body was recovered. They were the prime suspects. They had been employed just 15 days ago.

They had allegedly killed the trader with a kitchen knife. The victim struggled a lot to save him but was overpowered and stabbed several times to death.

Police sources said the murder seemed to have taken place in between 10 pm to 12 o’ clock. The body was spotted in the morning only.

The deceased was alone in the house. His wife and three children had gone to Shimla. 



Stem-cell scientist ‘discouraged’ in India, famous abroad
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Kuldip Sidhu
Dr Kuldip Sidhu

Ludhiana, May 13
An internationally acclaimed Australian scientist of Indian origin, who has patented rare development in embryonic stem cells for treating incurable diseases is looking towards the Punjab Government to give him opportunity to train scientists back home and serve his motherland.

Dr Kuldip Sidhu, Chief Scientist, Prince of Wales Hospital and a Professor in University of New South Wales, Sydney, who had left Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, in 1994 due to non-conducive environment for his research, wants to forgive and forget his bitter experiences and create an environment in Punjab so that budding scientists do not have to leave the country in future like him.

Dr Sidhu has been acclaimed in international journals for his research on embryonic stem cell lines. His team was only the second in the world to grow a new human embryonic stem cell line without relying on animal products. He had shot into fame just six months after landing in Australia when he cured a mysterious disease afflicting kangaroos killing them in heaps.

“There is huge talent in India especially in Punjab but due to red-tapism, bureaucratic wranglings and discouraging administrators, the talent is going out and received with open arms by other countries. And our Indian brethren do wonders abroad, ‘’ he rued.

Talking to the Tribune today, at his in-laws’ house in Sarabha Nagar, Dr Sidhu, who is visiting India for a few days said that he had proposed to the Punjab Government about his interest. “Science should not be confined within walls. It is a global phenomenon and Punjab has to understand this.” He was hoping that the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, would rope in some private agency like the Reliance to fund the research in the state.

He added that on his visit he was contacted by a Jalandhar-based private hospital, where the doctors were willing to carry out research and set up the entire unit with his help. “Unfortunately none of the government agencies has contacted me though I am willing to work back home,’’ he said adding that he had a license to train scientists internationally. The license was issued to him by NSW Stem Cell Network after he underwent a training there.

He added that with the development of embryonic cell lines, a number of incurable diseases like diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and coronary artery disease would be effectively cured. 



Another Tohra loyalist on way out from SAD?
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
After having virtually been pushed to the wall, a former minister and general secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal is understood to be under tremendous pressure from his supporters to draw up a clear plan about his future within the party or look for alternative options. The senior Akali leader is learnt to be feeling hurt over the way he is being treated by the party leadership in the past couple of months.

Mr Grewal was the additional secretary of the Nankana Sahib Education Trust governed by the SGPC, which runs a chain of educational institutions. He was appointed additional secretary of the trust by Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra when he was SGPC president. After his death he had reportedly offered his resignation to Mr Parkash Singh Badal, which he declined.

However, some pro-Badal loyalists kept on working against him to ensure his exit. These loyalists reportedly made one of the employees Chamkor Singh to file a complaint against Mr Grewal that he had berated him for his caste. Later the allegation was found baseless by the Ludhiana police. Because Chamkor Singh had not attended the school on the day when he had claimed that Mr Grewal had abused him and his caste. The police had registered a case against Chamkor Singh for filing a false complaint.

Since then Mr Grewal had been demanding action against Chamkor Singh. Instead of taking action against him, the SGPC president, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, reportedly increased his salary. This infuriated Mr Grewal and he opposed it in the trust meeting. He reportedly had some altercation with Mr Makkar who later removed him from the post of additional secretary. But subsequently Mr Grewal was reinstated again only to be removed once again.

It is learnt that Mr Grewal had not been prepared to buy the argument of Mr Badal that everything happened without his knowledge. Mr Badal had been feigning ignorance about the whole issue. Mr Grewal is learnt to have told Mr Badal that it amounted to adding insult to his injuries by first reinstating him and removing him within a few days only. Surprisingly the trust has not taken any action against Chamkor Singh and two witnesses for filing false complaint against Mr Grewal.

It is also learnt that the SGPC is likely to reinstate the suspended Director of the Guru Ramdas Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr U. S. Dhaliwal. He was removed after he levelled allegations against Dr Gurinder Singh Grewal, a member of the managing trust of the college and younger brother of Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal. This has also infuriated Mr Grewal making him feel let down further.

Mr Grewal happens to be the second prominent Tohra loyalist, after Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, who is being cornered and marginalised in the SAD. Ironically the two leaders were very instrumental in forging unity between Mr Badal and Mr Tohra. This has already started reinforcing the belief among the Tohra loyalists that they were being systematically purged out of the SAD.



People want bypass proposal reviewed
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 13
Fearing desertion of the local town on account of a proposed bypass at Pohir village on the left side of the existing carriageway, various organisations of the area have urged the authorities of the Punjab Roads and Bridges Development Board to review the proposed plan.

Representatives of various organisations, including commercial, recorded their objections with the authorities on the issue.

Office-bearers of various organisations, led by Mr Jatinder Kumar Bhola, president, municipal council, urged the authorities to reconsider the proposed bypass plan supposed to be constructed on the left side of Pohir village. “The town, that is already remote due to the large distance from the main road will become even more inaccessible in case the bypass is constructed as drafted in the proposed plan,” claimed Mr Bhola and Mr Bittu, a former councillor.

The leaders claimed that a bypass on the right side of the existing carriageway would prove more useful for all, including residents of Pohir village, the local town and at least 30 villages situated on the south- western side of the township.

The office-bearers handed over a memorandum on behalf of many organisations of the area.

Referring to information received during an interaction on the issue held at Guru Nanak Engineering College yesterday, Mr Bhola said a large number of panches and sarpanches were among those present.

Mr K. S. Rao, Deputy Project Director, PRBD, Mr Rampaul, Executive Engineer, Central Works Division, Ludhiana, and Mr Edward, Team Leader, BCEM(I), gave a patient hearing to the representatives, while Mr Sharat Chandra Rao was asked to evaluate the opinions.

While some were of the view that the project would help in smoothening the flow of traffic, others, including owners of commercial institutions situated alongside the road feared closure of their establishments.

A large number of establishments, including business, religious and educational, are situated along the 40-km road between Ludhiana and Malerkotla. These include police stations, banks, gurdwaras, petrol stations, hospitals and schools.

The proposed new bypasses at Pohir and Gill villages, besides affecting residents of the town, will also affect owners of agricultural land that will be acquired for the purpose. About 50 acres of agricultural land will be acquired for these bypasses and realignment at Dehlon village.

Residents of Sarinh, Kaind, Gopalpur, Lehra, Phalewal, Kup Kalan and Bhogiwal villages will also be affected by the project.



Scrap explosives to be defused after monsoon
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, May 14
The explosives lying on the premises of the freight container depot (dry port) of the Punjab Warehousing Corporation in the focal point area, Dhandari, here will be defused after the monsoon. A decision to this effect was taken today at a meeting of the civil and Army authorities held with Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta, Deputy Commissioner, in the chair. Officers of the Customs Department also participated in the meeting.

More than 10,000 explosives, including bombs and missiles, were recovered from the iron scrap imported by industrialists of Ludhiana, Mandi Gobindgarh and other states in 2004.

There was a hue and cry over the import of scrap from the West Asia and African countries, which contained explosives. Besides Ghaziabad, deaths had occurred in some other parts of the country also. The segregation of explosives in Ludhiana was done by the bomb disposal squad of the Punjab Armed Police (PAP). The PAP authorities had expressed their inability to defuse such a huge quantity of explosives. The district administration approached the Army for the same and finally a decision was taken last year to defuse the material. However, the same could not be undertaken as the Army did not have the permission of the Defence Ministry.

Some explosives, including missiles, were found in Ghaziabad a few days ago.

The Deputy Commissioner stated that the Army had explained the difficulties in undertaking the operations during the severe heat and added that they could do so after the monsoon.

According to Mr Gupta, the Army explained that the personnel who will carry out the job will have to take all safety measures and each man will have to carry 40 kg. Such an exercise was not possible under severe higher temperature.

Mr Gupta gave an assurance that explosives would be defused by October.

The Central Government has nominated 18 ports which can receive imported scrap. Ludhiana was initially deleted from the list but later on included following pressure from the Ludhiana industry.



Senior citizens seek greater say on panels
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 13
An emergency meeting of the All- India Senior Citizens Organisation was held under the presidentship of Mr Suresh Verma at Sawarnkar Bhavan, Bazaar Sarafan held yesterday. The association said that the Union Government and the Punjab Government should fulfil their demands.

Dr Thaman , president of association, said the Centre should enlist a status for senior citizens. Moreover he said a law should be passed for granting social security to senior citizens at par with the global countries of the world.

The members of the association demanded that senior citizens should be given representation in VAT Advisory Committee, Central Excise Advisory Board, Railway Advisory Panels , District Grievances Committees, Improvement Trust Committee, Vigilance Committee , Danga Peerth and other relevant committees.

Mr Sushil Kumar Maudgill, general secretary, said the Punjab Government should issue instructions to all government to give preference to senior citizens in redressal of their grievances.



California Sikhs to honour author
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
A scholar and author of 60 publications, Dr Sarup Singh Alag, Chairman of the Alag Shabad Yug International Charitable Trust, Ludhiana, will be honoured by various socio-religious institutions of California for his contributions spanning four decades.

According to the publication secretary of the Trust, Prof Raminder Deep Singh, the Trust has sent 25,000 copies of Dr Alag's publications to California and these were being distributed free of cost since Baisakhi in various cities of the US.

Dr Alag would soon visit California and participate in seminars, meetings and functions being organised in connection with the martyrdom centenary of Guru Arjan Dev. Dr Alag has written a special book titled “Guru Arjan Viton Qurbani.”



Khalsa Dal raps govt over Reliance deal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
Gifting prime land at Mohali to a big industrial house at a throwaway price is yet another political fraud of the Congress-led Punjab Government with the people, said the Shiromani Khalsa Dal in a press note issued here yesterday. It said the land was valued at thousands of crores, but it was surprising that the government was bent upon handing it over to the Reliance Group of Industries.

The party said the government’s contention that the company was investing thousands of crores in Punjab and it would boost the economy of farmers was hollow and deceptive. The company’s investment plan was aimed at multiplying its profit and it had no concern or commitment for the betterment of the state.

It alleged that in the past also, the Congress conspired to deprive the state of its territory and natural resources like water. 



Lineman falls to death
Our Correspondent

Khanna, May 13
Dilbagh Rai, a lineman, fell from an electric pole while repairing 66 kv supply line in the Bahomajra villlage. He was rushed to the Civil Hospital where doctors declared him dead. He belonged to Ambala.



1 killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Khanna, May 13
An Indica car overturned after its driver lost control over it, resulting in the death of one person on the G.T. Road near police post Kot today.
According to information, the car was coming from Alwar and bound for Jalandhar. A stray dog appeared on the road near the police post. In order to avert the accident, the driver applied the brakes but the vehicle steered off the road and fell into a pit.

Employees at the Bija first-aid post took the injured to the Civil Hospital but Manjit Singh (60) died on way to the hospital. The body has been handed over to the next of kin after postmortem.



Decomposed body found
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
A badly decomposed body of an unidentified man was found from a pond in the Salem Tabri area today.
The deceased seemed to be about 45 years of age. The police is investigating if he was killed and dumped there or the man had accidentally fallen into the pond.


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