L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Trader shot at, robbed of Rs 3.60 lakh
Tribune News Service

The scooter which the trader was riding when he was looted near the grain market
The scooter which the trader was riding when he was looted near the grain market. 

Ludhiana, June 3
The law and order situation in the city has come under a scanner with four armed robbers shooting a trader in the abdomen and snatching Rs 3.60 lakh from him near the grain market, on a bylane of the Gill Road at noon today.

The ADGP (Law and Order), Mr Chander Shekhar, rushed to the city in the afternoon to take stock of the situation. Already IG, Jalandhar Zone, Hardeep Singh Dhillon is camping in the city to trace a kidnapped youth, Vikramjit Singh.

Even the DIG, Ludhiana Range, Mr Parag Jain, immediately reached the spot.

The police said the trader, Balwinder Singh, a 30-year-old resident of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, was riding a scooter when the four assailants came from behind on two different two-wheelers, pumped a bullet in his stomach and sped away with the money stacked in the scooter dickey.

Passersby later alerted the police and rushed the injured trader to the DMC hospital, where doctors stated his condition to be serious.

The SSP, Mr A S Rai, said the injured trader was involved in the sale-purchase of paddy husk. He was on his way to Transport Nagar from his house in Block-G of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar on his scooter. The trader told the police that he had to stop near Arora Cinema for a while after a tyre of his scooter got punctured.

Mr Rai said as the trader just moved on the four, all clean shaven, came on a scooter and a motor cycle and surrounded him. They snatched the key of the scooter and told him to open it. They shot the trader in the abdomen the moment he resisted.

Police sources said the accused shot twice. One from a .312-bore gun and another from a .32 pistol.

Mr Rai said the police has got relevant clues about the some suspects. It seemed that the assailant knew where the trader had kept the cash and went straight for it. The police was also suspecting that some person known to him could be one of the assailants. The trader has, however, not revealed anyone’s identity so far.

Meanwhile, a high-level meeting of senior police officers was held in the evening to review the security arrangements and law and order situation.



Bodies of mother, son fished out of canal
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 3
The local police fished out bodies of Pinky and her son Shivam from the Sirhind Canal at Kalyan Bridge near here and handed these over to the family after getting a post-mortem examination done.

Pinky, the deceased mother, had jumped into the canal after tying son with her waist on Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, the police has recommended name of Kuldeep Singh, who had jumped into the canal to save the two, for an award to be decided by the district police chief.

According to Mr Jaswinder Singh SHO (City), bodies of Pinky and her eight-year-old son Shivam were fished out from Sirhind Canal at Kalyan village near here today morning.

"When divers fishing for the bodies declared that the bodies earlier seen, near Micro Hydroelectric Plant near Kanganwal, were not traceable there, we shifted our attention to the other side of the river and succeeded in fishing out mother and son duo who was declared dead by doctors," explained Mr Jaswinder. At least six professional divers and many other youths had were engaged in fishing out Pinky and Shivam.

A number morning walkers were present there at that time when Pinky the incident took place.

Kuldeep Singh, one of the morning walkers, jumped into the canal and tried to save the woman and her son, but his attempt failed as the woman resisted help.

Kin of Pinky, including her parents, stated that she had been mentally disturbed and had attempted to commit suicide by jumping into the same canal earlier also.

Though Pinky's kin had apprehended death of the duo, they had been praying for a miracle to take place. Death of the duo has left Krishan Kumar Gunga, husband and Munna, son, in a lurch who were not in a position to explain their grief.

Police has registered a report under section 174 of Cr P C on the statement of Satvir, alias Satpal, father of Pinky and handed over the bodies to the kin after conducting post-mortem examination. 



Woman’s murder solved, 2 arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 3
Physical exploitation of a woman by two youths led to the murder of a young girl of Basti Jodhewal, Ludhiana, whose body was recovered under mysterious circumstances from a canal near Sidhwan Bet in November last year.

The Jagraon police today claimed at a press conference that the two youths exploited the victim Kuldeep Kaur, on the pretext of marrying her. They allegedly killed her when she declared she could not take it any more and would spill the beans to the police and the families of the youths.

The SSP, Jagraon, Mr R.K. Jaiswal, told reporters that both accused Gurpreet Singh and his accomplice Jatinder Kumar had been arrested. He said the youths had managed to hide the crime during the earlier questioning. However, the police traced certain clues and phone records of their mobile phones to nail them.

Mr Jaiswal stated that the body of a girl was spotted by some villagers lying near Janetpura bridge on November 12, last year. He said during investigation Mukhtiar Singh, father of the deceased, had alleged that Gurpreet and his cousin Jatinder used to harass his daughter and often called her over the telephone.

He said the two disclosed during questioning that they had relationship with Kuldeep Kaur on the pretext of marrying her. However, they backed out at which she got furious.

They then planned to eliminate her. The accused called her at Sidhwan Bet and took her in a car, where Gurpreet got hold of Kuldeep Kaur and Jatinder hit her on the head with a baseball, killing her on the spot. To hide the crime, they threw the body into the canal.

However, the accused were done in by the post-mortem report which stated that the woman had died due to injury on the head and was drowned later.



Rain exposes MC’s preparedness
Many city areas submerged
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 3
Exposing the preparedness of the local civic body to check floods despite spending lakhs on water sewerage, many roads and streets in various parts of the city were flooded after it rained for just an hour this morning.

Commuters near the Damoria bridge were caught unawares when knee-deep water got accumulated on the road near the bridge. People had to wade through deep water while looking for a shelter.

Some cars and bikes stopped in the middle of roads as water entered their machineries. Many persons were seen pulling the cars to shift it to a safer place.

The Jalandhar Road, Ghanta Ghar Chowk, Chaura Bazar and Karim Pura Bazar was also virtually under water and residents had a tough time wading through water.

Residents of Karimpura Bazar said after a little rain the area was filled with water. They added that the current of water was so much that it became near impossible to wade through it.

In some areas the water entered the houses as the sewerage system were unable to carry on the drainage. Residents complained that everytime during the rains their houses were filled with the sewer water. Numerous complaints had no effect on the authorities who did not act on their complaints.

Residents of some areas of Chander Nagar, Haibowal, Civil Lines, Ghumar Mandi, Green Field, Shastri Nagar, Model Town, Cheema Chowk, Green Park and Kitchlu Nagar were crying hoarse at the preparation of the civic authorities to check flooding during the rains. They claimed that everytime it rained they had to suffer as their normal life was thrown out of gear.

The colonies in the old city, including Karimpura Bazar, Street Mansa Ram, Field Ganj, Kesar Ganj Chowk, Damoria Bridge, Dholewal Chowk, Vishwakarma Chowk, Chaura Bazar, Ghanta Ghar, Lakkar Bazar, Ashok Nagar, Janakpuri, Partap Chowk, Sunder Nagar and others like New Madhopuri, were also waterlogged.

Residents said the miseries of the resident were further compounded due to the backflow of the sewage water, which flooded some houses. The residents are sore that the sewage lines have not been cleaned in spite of the several requests made to the authorities.

Ms Jasvinder Kaur, a resident of Street Mansa Ram, said this was an everyday story during the rains and various complaints to the authorities had no effect on them. She added that her son could not move out and had to miss his school.



JE arrested on graft charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 3
A team of the Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau today arrested a Junior Engineer of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) on the charge of taking bribe from a farmer in Tibba village to install a motor pump in his fields.

SP-Vigilance Gurpreet Singh said a team of vigilance sleuths led by DSP Gurcharan Singh caught the accused Junior Engineer, Maninder Pal Singh posted with the Sahnewal Circle from the village with the bribe amount of Rs 3500.

The SP claimed there were other complaints of corruption against the Junior Engineer which were under investigation. He said the Junior Engineer has been booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

A case has been registered on the complaint of Mr Gurnam Singh , a farmer of Tibba village. He claimed that the Junior Engineer was demanding bribe even though the PSEB had issued installation orders of the tubewell.



Extend date for making votes: parties
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 3
Today was the last date for preparing votes. A number of people have not been able to submit their application forms for making votes.
Leaders of various political parties have sought the extension in the date for making votes so that those who were left out are able to get their votes prepared.

According to new guidelines, all voters have to get themselves registered. The votes prepared would be for all elections, including Parliament, Assembly and the local bodies like municipal corporations and municipal councils.

The arrangements had been made at the booth level. Since it rained in the morning for quite some time, a number of people could not complete the formalities. With the result they were not able to submit their application forms today.

Cutting across political affiliations, leaders from different parties in separate statements urged the government to extend the date. They said a number of people were left out and in case these people were not granted additional time they would be denied of their right to vote.

Local officials have expressed their helplessness in extending the date at their level. However, they said it would be brought to the notice of the higher authorities. They said all those who managed to complete the formalities today would get their votes in due course of time.



PSEB complaint cell in a month
Bill collecting machines at 52 points in city: chief 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 3
Mr K.D. Chaudhry, who took over as the new Chief Engineer of the PSEB, central zone, today hinted at setting up a customer grievances cell and generating awareness on easy bill payment measures and other endeavours of the PSEB like issuing connections within 24 hours.

"Though our fully computerised and centralised customer care cell can take a little longer, within a month we plan to set up a cell where people will be able to record their complaints. It will assure us that their complaints reach the right destination and are addressed," he said.

Having identified aggregated technical and commercial (AT and C) losses as a key problem, he said the board would focus on reducing these.

To reduce losses, the board planned an initial investment of Rs 75 crore, which would pay off within three to six years.

The board will take other measures like theft reduction for which meters outside premises are already being installed.

The PSEB would also erect additional feeders so that load could be reduced and power supply regulated. "Due to excessive burden on existing feeders, losses occur, new feeders will solve that problem," Chaudhry said.

On the new customer care cell, he said it should be in place by the next month. "It does not require much infrastructure except a place to function and a software. Soon as things are done, it should be functional."

He also asserted that the lack of awareness among people regarding the PSEB's initiatives too resulted in inconvenience. "For instance, not many people are aware that we are issuing connections within 24-hours. Such lack of information results in corruption and other problems. We will focus on generating awareness as well."

On problems encountered by people in depositing electricity bills, he said the board has already forged a tie up with Hero group's Easy Bill, which has installed its bill collecting machines at 52 points in the city. "People can deposit bills at any time and a receipt is issued instantly. In the next bill, we plan to provide electricity consumers with a list of franchisees where they can deposit these bills."

The city, that has a demand of 1,400 mega watts, is currently facing a shortage of 10 per cent in supply. Demand these days is increasing at around 6 to 7 per cent. Additional power generating units, which are likely to come up next year, would reduce this problem, he added.

Mr Chaudhry, who joined PSEB as apprentice engineer in September 1973, became Suprintending Engineer in September, 2003.



Jagmoham Sharma is Cong urban district chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 3
Probably it was for the first time in the recent past that the Congress presented a united face when the urban and rural district unit presidents, Mr Jagmohan Sharma and Mr Mulinder Singh, took over.

Among those present on the occasion included Education Minister Jagmohan Sharma, parliamentary secretary Surinder Dawer, MLAs Tej Parkash, Milkiat Singh Dakha, district youth Congress president Dimple Rana and Mayor Nahar Singh Gill.

Milkiat Singh Birmi, who was recently removed from the post of Chief Parliamentary Secretary, was also present on the occasion. It was his first public appearance since then.

While Sharma was retained as the president of the urban unit president, Mulinder Singh had replaced Harmohinder Singh Pradhan as the president of the rural unit of the district Congress.

The two presidents were taken to their office in a procession. Although there were heavy rains at that time, still the number of workers was impressive.

The two leaders expressed gratitude to Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Shamsher Singh Dullo and assured him that they would ensure the party’s success in the coming elections.



IT Dept opens help centre
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 3
Mr R.K. Roye, Commissioner of Income Tax II, Ludhiana, said today that the tax administration was being modernised and computerised to reduce public grievances, and at the same time, greater emphasis was being laid on private-public partnership to make it more objective, transparent and people-friendly.

Mr Roye was addressing a function after inauguration of a help centre of the department on the premises of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association on Gill Road here.

Highlighting the purpose behind setting up of help centres, he said these were aimed at guiding small taxpayers in their queries related to filling up application forms for PAN cards, filling up correct challans for payment of tax and rendering advice on computation of income and tax.

The help centre would be manned by officers and supporting staff of the Income Tax Department and would remain open on all week days from 11 am to 2 pm.

Small taxpayers can get in touch with the staff at the help centre for all income tax-related queries and problems.

Besides office-bearers of different trade and industrial associations and tax bar bodies, Mr G.L. Pahwa, president, Mr Varinder Kapoor, secretary of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, Mr Ashok Juneja, president, Punjab Tax Bar Association, Mr Pawan Garg, vice-president, District Taxation Bar Association, and Mr Anand Sikri, president, Ludhiana Jewellers Association, were present at the occasion.



PPCC treasurer Singla honoured
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, July 3
After his induction as treasurer of the Panjab Pardesh Congress Committee, (PPCC) Mr Joginder Pal Singla in his first meeting with the mediapersons here today said he felt proud to work with Capt Amarinder Singh at a time when the state was promoting organic farming, huge funds had been provided for the welfare schemes of Scheduled Castes, and mega projects had been sanctioned.

He said they would strengthen the party in the state and win the Assembly elections in February. Mr Sadhu Singh Dharmasot, Parliamentary Secretary (Home, Justice, and PWD), Mr Jagmeet Singh Sahota, president, Municipal Council, Mandi Gobindgarh, along with many councillors were also present on the occasion. Council chief Sahota and the councillors honoured Mr Singla on the occasion.



Motorcycle taken away
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 3
Some persons allegedly took away a motorcycle (PB-10/BH-2146) and Samsung cellphone of Balbir Singh of Bhundri while he was on way to his village, the Sidhwanbet police has registered a case under Sections 382, 34 IPC. No arrest has been made so far.

Shop burgled: Some persons burgled Makkar Communicatons of Nirmal Singh at Sidhwanbet road, Humbran, and allegedly stolen eight cellphones of Nokia, along with Rs 10,000. The Humbran police has registered a case under Sections 457, 380, IPC. No arrest has been made.

5 booked for assault: Malkit Singh, Roop Singh, Gaggi, Babla and Hardev Singh of Bhaini Arora allegedly entered the house of Surinder Kaur of their village and assaulted Malkit Singh and Jagdev Singh, the Dehlon police has registered a case under Sections 452,324,148,149 IPC. Some dispute over transformer is said to be the reason behind. No arrest has been made so far.



Bonanza for BSNL cell customers 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 3
The BSNL has introduced several new schemes under its 'Monsoon bonanza' under which monthly rental has been slashed, call rates rationalised and validity period of recharge coupons have been extended.

Giving details, the General Manager, Ludhiana Telecom District, Mr S.K. Nigam, revealed that the validity period of prepaid recharge coupons in denomination of Rs 1000 had been extended to 365 days from the present period of 120 days. In addition, the subscribers would also get full talk time for the value of the recharge coupon.

Under the 'One India' plan, the monthly rental had been reduced from Rs 299 to Rs 225 with 25 free calls per month. The cell subscribers could make calls anywhere in the country at the rate of Rs 1 per minute.

Mr Nigam further informed that in a bid to rationalise the call rates for pre-paid cellular service 'Excel', the BSNL had revised the call rate from Excel to other cell phones at 49 minutes per minute, which was at par with call to BSNL cellular phones. Similarly, call charges from Excel to basic phone would be Rs 1.20 per minute, which were comparable with call charges to BSNL basic phones.

The VPN plan, earlier available to corporate customers, had been expanded to include non-corporate customers as well. The customers availing VPN scheme would have the choice to opt for a single combined or individual bills for all VPN connections.



Bank sells properties of four defaulters
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 3
The Punjab and Sind Bank has sold the properties of four defaulters to recover its dues. According to the Deputy General Manager, Mr NS Anand, the properties were sold for a record Rs 67 lakhs.

Mr Anand disclosed that this was record amount which has been recovered through the sale of proceeds of the properties of the defaulting clients.

The defaulters are: M/S Sunny Exports' plot measuring 250 square yards at Green Fields, Ludhiana, Newtex Hosiery plot measuring 672 square yards at New Subash Nagar, Ludhiana, Narula Sales Corporation property measuring 250 square yards at Transport Nagar, Ludhiana and KS Fabrics plot measuring 345 square yards Vipan Jain colony, Humbran Road, Ludhiana.

Mr Anand said, before disposing of these properties, the bank had taken their physical possession. He said since the promulgation of the Bank Securitisation Act 2002, huge amount has been recovered by the bank from a number defaulters. He disclosed that more properties would be disposed of soon.



Scheme for football enthusiasts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 3
Pepsico has launched a consumer promotion scheme for football enthusiasts. The initiative involves consumers to buy six bottles of Gatorade, a sports drink , and get a special “Gatorade football programme with Ronaldinho” CD free of cost.

The interactive CD features Ronaldinho, who demonstrates and provides special tips on passing, dribbling, controlling and shooting. The CD also educates on the importance of hydration and has on offer lots of exciting games, screensavers and wallpapers of the soccer mega star, Ronaldinho.

“The game of football is becoming more and more popular in India and Gatorade’s new promotion fuels this thirst for the game. With the CD our endeavour is to strengthen Gatorade’s association with football and enhance the brand’s connection with football enthusiasts across India,” said Ms Geetu Verma, executive director, New Business, PepsiCo India. 



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