L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Husband murders woman, absconds
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
A middle-aged man allegedly murdered his wife, who was reportedly hindering his illicit relationship with a woman relative, in Bahadar Ke village this morning.
The accused, Jasbir Singh(35), killed his wife Paramjit(29) in the fields outside the village this morning. He stabbed her at least 10 times all over the body.

He used to go to fields daily in the morning for bringing fodder. The police claimed he seemed to have planned the crime in advance and carried it out today. He first hit his wife on the back with a sharp-edged weapon and then stabbed her in the chest and neck when she turned towards him in horror and shock, the police said.

The man and his alleged paramour Usha Rani(brother's wife) have been booked for murder. Both are absconding.

The victim's youngest son was just nine months old.

The SHO Salem Tabri police station, Mr G.S. Bains said the accused had been booked on the statement of the deceased woman's father who said his daughter had been married to the accused for 10 years ago. They used to fight over his relationship with Usha Rani.

The police is conducting raids to nab the accused. 



Gurmeet murder: accused alleges abuse bid
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
A day after the murder of a Chandigarh-Road based businessman, the Ludhiana police today arrested a 15-year-old domestic servant and claimed to have solved the crime.

Gurmeet Singh, the businessman, was found murdered in his house last morning. The police also recovered a cash amount of Rs 85,000, which had been stolen from the deceased’s house.

Addressing a press conference here today SSP A.S. Rai and SP (Detective) Gurpreet Singh Toor told mediapersons that the police has arrested the 15 year-old Nepali boy, who hailed from Khachi district of Nepal, from Nawanshahr.

The police officials said that after committing the murder of Gurmeet Singh, this boy, along with his nine-year-old younger brother, had fled to Nawanshahr and was in search of opportunity to flee to Nepal.

SSP Rai and SP Toor said that both the brothers had been employed by Gurmeet Singh about two weeks ago and he had not furnished their details with the police. “This 15-year-old boy had a previous criminal record also as he had been convicted in a theft case at Nawanshahr. He was lodged in the Children’s Jail in Shimlapuri and was released this year on Republic Day. After that he stayed in Ludhiana only,’’ said the police officials.

SSP and SP (D) said that Gurmeet Singh had employed both the brothers about 15 days ago on the recommendation of an acquaintance. They said that on the night of May 12, when Gurmeet Singh’s family had gone to Shimla to meet their younger son, a friend of Gurmeet Singh had come at his place. Both had taken liquor and non-vegetarian snacks.

When Gurmeet Singh’s friend left, he offered drinks to this 15-year-old boy also. After consuming liquor, the boy stabbed Gurmeet Singh with a kitchen knife. He put the cash amount of Rs 85,000 lying in the house in a bag and woke up his younger brother and both reached Samrala chowk.

From there the brothers took lift in a truck and went to Phagwara. From there they went to Nawanshahr.

SSP Rai said that this 15-year-old boy had also stolen the mobile phone of Gurmeet Singh and had kept it switched off. But during all this time Gurmeet’s family members had kept trying his mobile phone. At Nawanshahr when this boy switched on the mobile phone for some time, the family of Gurmeet Singh again called up on this phone and the boy took the call, which helped the police in locating him.

After coming to know his location, various police parties, coupled with the family members and other staff members of Gurmeet Singh’s office were dispatched to nab the boy. At Nawanshahr, one police party managed to nab the brothers who were identified by the family of Gurmeet Singh.

SSP Rai and SP Toor said that from the investigations so far, it has come to light that only the 15-year-old boy had murdered Gurmeet Singh and his younger brother was not involved in this crime. The officials said that further investigations were on in this case.

The SSP said that accused boy has said in his statement to the police that the deceased man Gurmeet Singh had been trying to sexually abuse him for the last some days. Rai said that the boy has said that on that night also after giving a peg of whisky to him, Gurmeet Singh tried to sexually abuse him and he (the servant) stabbed Gurmeet Singh to death.

“But this is only the statement of accused and we have got him medically examined and nothing has come out to prove his allegations,” SSP Rai added.



Road recarpeted overnight, courtesy CM’s visit
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
Even as people of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar had been crying about bad roads for the past many years, an entire stretch of the road leading to Housefed flats in the area was recarpeted overnight today to provide a smooth ride to the Chief Minister, who will visit the area tomorrow to inaugurate the flats.

Considering the fast pace of a cleanliness drive being carried out in the SBS Nagar and official machinery working overtime since last night, the residents wish that the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, visits their locality often.

Prior to the CM's visit, the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) started recarpeting an entire stretch of the road last evening. The construction company, Ceigall Builders, worked overnight to ensure that the road was smooth and without any potholes till morning today.

The CM is scheduled to visit the city tomorrow to inaugurate the Deluxe Flats of Housefed in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar. The entire route is being spruced up with the road berms on Pakhowal Road being painted afresh and the heaps of sand being lifted perhaps to tell the CM that Ludhianvis live in very clean surroundings.

In SBS Nagar, two road engines continued working till last midnight till the road was recarpeted. The contractor said he was asked by the LIT chairman to get it done by tomorrow morning.

Despite being a Sunday today, a battery of senior officials of LIT camped in the area and made sure that the garbage was lifted, road berms bore a fresh coat of paint and roads were new.

‘‘If only the CM could make a round of the E-block of SBS Nagar he would find out that the road, which are just a few metres away from the venue of his visit, need immediate repairs. But who cares? They have to appease their political bosses and not us. But we will also see them when they come asking for votes,’’ threatened Mr Arvind Sharma, a resident of Block-E.

‘‘We are marveling at the pace of work. An entire stretch of road was recarpeted within a few hours which would otherwise take days together. I am proud that in our country also work can be finished so fast. Otherwise they dig a road one day and only recarpet it after six months,’’ added Mr Sharma.

The residents said that they had made various representations to the LIT authorities a number of times but nobody listened to them. ‘‘We wish that he had to visit the other blocks also and our roads were also repaired. But for us it continues to be a bumpy ride.’’ 



Trouble brews in housing society
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 14
The largest house building society in the city, The Ludhiana Aggarwala House Building Society, which manages the posh Aggar Nagar Colony, and a public school here is in the eye of a storm.

Several former directors of the society, addressing a meeting of residents in Aggar Nagar here today, not only charged the managing committee with mismanagement of the colony and the school, but also called upon the Cooperative Department to intervene and replace the elected managing committee with an administrator.

Mr Surinder Kumar Gupta, former president, along with Mr Amrit Lal Aggarwal, Mr D.J. Jain and Mr Jinder Pal Gupta, all former directors, alleged that roads and parks in the colony were in a bad shape, security arrangements were sloppy and the Tagore Public School, owned and run by the society, was in shambles.

The former directors of the society were severe in their criticism of the present managing committee for their failure to run the affairs of the school in the desired manner. They said the students strength had decreased, the academic standard of the school had gone down and it had rather become a routine to admit failed students from other schools in a large numbers to different classes for reasons best-known to the management.

Charging the managing committee with resorting to witch-hunting and going for an unnecessary litigation to settle scores with former directors, Mr Amrit Lal Aggarwal said the arbitration proceedings of The Registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCS), Punjab, in a petition filed by the present management, spoke volumes about the extent of prevailing mismanagement and chaos in the affairs of the housing society.

“While dismissing the revision petition filed against former directors regarding alleged irregularities in purchase of 13 acres of land by the school, the RCS had ruled that the allegations seemed to be inspired by internal politics. The orders pronounced by the RCS had absolved the former directors and further cast aspersions on the conduct of some of the present functionaries, including the president of the managing committee.”

The former directors of the society maintained that an application for removal of the society under relevant sections of the Punjab Cooperative Societies Act 1961 had, prima facie, established charges of gross mismanagement and the Joint Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Patiala Division, had already forwarded it to the to Assistant Registrar here for initiating necessary action.



DMCH medicos to strike work today
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 14
The proposed two-hour token strike by students and teachers of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here, which would begin tomorrow against the government policy on reservation, would have adverse effect on the overall working of the hospital, besides putting the outpatient departments (OPDs) out of gear.

While announcing their decision to strike work from 10 am to 12 noon from tomorrow, both the DMC Teachers Association and Youth for Equality (the students’ body) came down heavily upon the government for unprovoked use of force against peacefully agitating medicos in Delhi. The emergency services in the hospital, however, will be maintained during the period of strike.

The medical students’ body further stated that a gate rally would be organised outside the hospital and the protesting students would wear black badges and take out a march to oppose the reservation policy of the government.

The doctors, junior doctors and medical students, through their representative bodies, have urged the Union Government to intervene immediately to settle the reservation issue without any further delay lest the situation should deteriorate further and the academic atmosphere in professional institutions take a turn for the worse.

The medicos reiterated that merit should be the sole criteria for professional courses, particularly the medical education, so that standards of competence could be maintained and the Indian doctors could remain competitive at the international level.



Ludhiana Calling

THE yoga guru Swami Ramdev has done what the fitness drills or parades planned by the Punjab Police could not do. Pot-bellied cops present a disgusting picture of the fitness level of the men in khaki. The mandatory parade in police lines is followed on papers only. But swept by the yoga fever, most of the city cops got up with the lark an trotted at around 3:30 am in the Swami Ramdevs camp seeking reduction of their paunches and stress. One hopes that even if the 50 per cent of those follow the routine, the city would well have alert cops.

Techno-savvy SSP

The newly appointed SSP of the city, Mr A S Rai, has become quite popular with the crime reporters thanks to his optimum use of mobile technology. While most of the cops do not take calls on their mobile phones or refuse to divulge information, the SSP encourages answering questions thru the SMSs. This does not disturb him from carrying out his office work and reporters also get prompt reply.

Helpless traffic cops

The traffic cops in the city are in urgent need of wireless sets or some other system to check those jumping red lights or taking wrong turns on road crossings. It is commonly seen at Ferozepore road crossings that the cops keep on blowing whistles or signal the offender to stop but he coolly speeds away without any fear. The cops have no mechanism to intercept them later. They have no communication device to alert cops down the road.

Publicity-hungry politicians

The craze to appear on TV channels has swept the city politicians. Many lower-rung leaders jump at any given opportunity to come on camera without realising that they could be taken for a ride. One such leader, who is out of power these days, invited some journalists to his residence to put him on TV in some manner. The journos, claiming to be from some local channel, told him to dance and sing before camera. The unassuming politicians sang at the high pitch of his discordant ear-piercing voice. They even handed him a harmonium and the politician toed their line. They told him recite shayari and his love experiences and show his muscles. The revelry was cut shot when some alert supporters reached at the house and stopped the bawdy show.

Indian values

Other than yoga, Swami Ramdev has been able to teach ‘’Indian values’’ to masses, at least if students of a local school are to be believed. Prior Swami’s visit to the school, teachers asked them not to greet the Yoga teacher with English greetings. Instead they were asked to ‘’greet him with a namaste and not the usual ‘Good Afternoon.’’ When the Swami finally arrived, the students were seen saying namaste with folded hands.

Water woes

Shortage of drinking water is creating uproar in the city these days. Voices of protest against the shortage are heard from all parts of the city. Residents threaten that they would gherao officials if supply was not restored. While the shortage is a genuine problem with residents not getting water for their routine chores, declining underground water contributes a lot to it. Residents do not realise that the underground water table has declined by at least 200 feet during the last five years. Situation is really alarming. Only if everybody treated water preciously. (See picture)

AC generation

Gone are the days when children used to steal some time to play in the afternoons while their mothers were catching an afternoon nap. Not any more. The kids are becoming more and more intolerant to heat wave. Things have come to such a pass that they do not want to live without air conditioners for a single minute. Be it in the car, the house or schools, they demand ACs everywhere. The other day, teachers had a difficult time in controlling young students during a school’s annual function, who were made to sit inside a tent. Every now and then one or the other student would demand, ‘’Mam AC chala do na. (Please switch on the AC, Madam). ‘’

— Sentinel



Tributes paid to slain CPI activists
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 14
Leaders of various political and socials organisation paid tributes to Gurmel Singh Hunjan and Joginder Singh, both CPI activists, at a rally organised at Pandher Kheri village, near here, today. The activists were killed by terrorists on May 14, 1989.

While remembering the sacrifice of Gurmel Hunjan and Joginder Singh various speakers accused the successive governments of ignoring the ideology of martyrs who had laid down their lives for preserving the Hindu-Sikh fraternity.

Unlike earlier anniversaries, Congress leaders, except Mr Tej Parkash Singh Kotli, were conspicuous by their absence. He, however, reached the venue after majority of the speakers had delivered their speech.

Sources said an ugly scene was created at a similar rally last year when Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura, a senior Congress leader, and Mr Tej Parkash had objected to certain remarks against the Congress. Probably to avoid a similar situation majority of Congress leaders stayed away from the rally. Mr Kotli paid tributes to the martyrs, but he avoided any remarks.

“Instead of fostering the unity among various sections of society, the rulers had been exploiting religious sentiments of members of various classes, just to pocket their votes,” the speakers said.

Mr Jagroop Singh, president, CPI, and Mr Joginder Dyal, member of the National Council of the CPI, alleged that Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab, like his predecessor Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had acted against the interests of the state. “While Mr Badal acted as a retail seller of the state land, Captain Amrinder Singh is acting as a whole seller and is bent upon handing over thousands of acres of state land to private companies,” commented the CPI leaders.

Mr Jatinder Bhola, President, Municipal Council, and Mr Mohinder Singh, officer-bearer of the state unit of the CPM, called upon the leaders of various factions of Left parties to join hands against divisive forces and create an atmosphere to work for the welfare of dependents of thousands of innocent persons who had been killed by terrorists.

Ms Sharanjit Kaur, widow of Gurmel Hunjan, Mr Bhagwan Singh, former councillor, Mr Kartar Singh Buani, district secretary, CPI, Mr Bant Brar, CPI leader, Mr Gulzar, president of the Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union, Mr Amar Singh, president of the FCI Labour Union, and Mr Mewa Singh, former councillor, spoke.



AIMTC opposes move to hike fuel prices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
The All-India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) has opposed any move to increase the prices of fuel, particularly the diesel. AIMTC president Gurinderpal Singh said here today, "we strongly oppose any hike in diesel prices as diesel constitutes 68 per cent of the operating costs of a standard truck. We were suggesting in the past that there should be no duty on diesel because diesel is consumed for public utility services like transport and agriculture".

He pointed out that any hike in diesel price would affect the man. The government should recover its loss of revenue on this account by raising the excise duty on luxury items.

He also expressed concern over the rise in the HIV positive cases among the truck drivers. He warned that the HIV was spreading alarmingly in the country. He said an estimated 7 per cent drivers were affected by AIDS all over India and nearly 60 per cent of the driver came from Punjab, which means that 4 per cent drivers from Punjab were affected by HIV.

The AIMTC president congratulated the Ludhiana Goods Transport Association, the Punjab Truck Operators Union, the Punjab State Goods Transport Association, the All-Punjab Tempo and Mini Truck Union and the Mini Bus Operators Association, Punjab, who had made elaborate arrangements for the 172 managing committee meeting of the All-India Motor Transport Congress.

He said the holding of this meeting in Ludhiana was a welcome sign as this would be the first step in enhancing the status of the transport industry in the North in general and Punjab in particular.

The main issues pertaining to Punjab included octroi, harassment by police officials, sales tax officials and RTOs and overall development of Transport Nagar. As there is an acute shortage of trained drivers, he demanded the setting up of a driver training school in Ludhiana. He said, "we also demand that no licence be granted without proper training". 



Allot land to Rotary Club at market rate: NGO
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 14
The Peoples Awareness Forum, an NGO, today expressed its serious concern over the unprecedented rise in the prices of essential commodities and called upon the state and the Central Governments to take stringent measures to curb black-marketing, hoarding and profiteering.

The general body meeting of the forum held with Prof Prithipal Singh Kapoor, former Pro Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University and president of the forum, said that the government had failed to check the rise in the prices of the essential commodities and life of a common man was becoming very hard. Prof Gurcharan Singh, general secretary of the forum, released the proceedings of the meeting. The forum also pressed upon the state government to ensure 70 per cent reservation of jobs for the Punjabi youth in the mega projects being setup in the state as it was mandatory for the private entrepreneurs to implement the guidelines of the government. The forum had no objection to the establishment of the mega projects but it was the duty of the state government to protect the interests of youth of the Punjab as was being done by the other states.

The forum also opposed the allotment of land for the senior citizens home to the Rotary Club (North) in the residential colony of Rajguru Nagar at throwaway price. The forum was of the view that the construction of the senior citizens home would interfere with the privacy of the residents. The state government was asked to allot the land to the Rotary club in some other area where the residential colony was not disturbed.

Lieut-Col Chanan Singh Dhillon (retd), president of the Ex-services League Punjab and Chandigarh, who participated in the meeting as a special invitee, said that the Rotary Club and the Lions Club had already been allotted land and they had setup their bhawans which were being used for commercial purposes. The state government should avoid allotting land to such organisations at cheap rates and market rate should be charged from such elite clubs.

Mr S S Channa, president, Federation of Park Management Committees who has been fighting for the maintenance of the parks in the city with the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, also participated in the meeting as a special invitee. He also explained the circumstances under which the federation had to take up cudgels against the municipal corporation authorities to maintain the green lungs of the town. Mr Channa was of the view that the park developed by the residents of the Rajguru Nagar with voluntary contributions should not be disturbed and the Rotary Club could be given some alternate land.

The general body of the forum assailed the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation for its failure to provide adequate water supply to the town and described the claims of the municipal corporation of providing 100 per cent potable water supply to the town as hollow. The municipal authorities were asked to ensure adequate water supply to the town.

The forum further expressed its indignation at the harassment being caused to the people by the municipal corporation in issuing inflated house tax, water and sewerage bills. The forum was in particular critical of the corporation as the bills already paid were being added in the new bills. The corporation authorities were asked to set their records straight.

The forum also took note of the alleged irregularities being committed in the offices of the sub-registrars where the people were being fleeced and they were being charged mutation and registration fees of Rs 150 each without issuing proper receipt for the same. Moreover, the alleged corrupt practices prevalent in the system were also criticised. The forum demanded establishment of Ludhiana development authority for the proper development of the town. 



CPI opposes Reliance deal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
The CPI today lashed out at the state government for handing over prime land to the Reliance Industries. The CPI leader and member of the central executive, Mr Joginder Dayal, said here today that the party would thwart the designs of the government to sell the land of poor peasants the Reliance group at throwaway prices.

Addressing a rally organised by the district unit of the party to pay homage to Gurmail Singh Hounjan and Joginder Singh on their martyrdom day at Pandher Kheri village, he said while on the one hand the peasants in Punjab were committing suicide due to economic difficulties and on the other hand agricultural labourers were being denied access to essential items which were becoming too expensive.

He said similarly teachers were being shunted out of jobs, students were not getting proper education because of high tuition fee and the government was out to please the rich like the Ambanis.

Mr Jagroop Singh, secretary of the state unit, advocated the formation of a people's front to defeat Akalis and the anti-people Congress government. He gave a call to all like- minded people to join hands to politically enhance the interest of farmers and others.

Mr Bant Singh Barar, member of the national council of the CPI, alleged that the Central Government's economic policies were sowing seeds for the death of the domestic industry and indigenous technology. “We are becoming dependent on multinationals who are dictating us their biased view of development,” he said. This was leading to unemployment and unrest in vast sections of entrepreneurs. Others who paid homage included Mr Sukhminder Singh Sekhon, district secretary CPI(M) and Dr Arun Mitra. 



Rein in Brar, Galib to Cong high command
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 14
Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, former MP, flayed Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, also a former MP and now a special invitee to the All-India Congress Working Committee, for his utterances against the Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh.

Mr Galib requested the high command to check Mr Brar before it was too late.

Mr Galib was addressing a press conference convened at New Grain Market, Jagraon, today.

Mr Brar was a Congressman yet he was damaging the reputation of party by denouncing the policies of the state government, Mr Galib said.

Mr Galib disclosed that more land was needed for its expansion.

The airport would serve Malwa and Doaba from where thousands of people had settled abroad, he said.



1 dead in clash over land

Mandi Gobindgarh, May 14
In a group clash over the auction of common land of Tooran village, near here, one person lost his life and two were injured yesterday. The police has registered a case against eight persons.

According to sources, 90 acres of common land of the village is given on lease through open auction. This time, the land was divided into 34 pieces. District Development and Panchayat Officer, Fatehgarh Sahib, Mr Jatinderpal Singh Cheema and BDPO, Amloh, Roop Singh, along with subordinate staff, were present.

Out of 34 pieces of land, 30 were auctioned without any dispute. During the auction of the remaining four pieces, a dispute sparked off between two Dalit families of the village. Soon it turned violent.

Mr Lal Singh (75) got a stick blow on his head and he fell down. He was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to his injury. Major Singh and Balhar Kaur, who were also wounded in the clash, were admitted to the hospital. OC


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