L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

BJP cycle rallies against rise in prices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6 
The BJP will take the issue of rising prices of essential commodities to the people. The party feels that both state and the Central Governments had failed in their duty to keep the prices of essential commodities like the pulses, wheat, sugar, and fuel under control.

The state president of the BJP, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, said here today that the party would be organising cycle rallies across the state to highlight the issue. He alleged that the Congress government had remained indifferent to the issue. Referring to the rise in the prices of diesel, he claimed that this had put an additional financial burden to the tune of Rs 220 crore on farmers of Punjab. He said, this had pushed the prices of other essential commodities to all-time high.

A cycle rally was flagged off here yesterday by the party president, Mr Rajnath Singh. The next rally will be organised in Amritsar.

The BJP leader pointed out that life had become too difficult for the common man. He said small farmers, daily wage workers and the low income people were facing the worst impact of the rising prices.

He said the BJP would continue to raise the voice for farmers and other “exploited” sections of society.

Mr Khanna was accompanied by the state general secretary, Prof Rajinder Bhandari, the state secretary, Mr Anil Sarin, the leader of the BJP in the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, Mr Praveen Bansal and others. 



Another murder in city
Throat of youth slit open
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6
A badly decomposed body of an unidentified Nepali youth was recovered from a hotel opposite new sabzi mandi in Salem Tabri today morning making it the latest murder incident in the city that has been rocked by murders, snatchings and robberies in the last ten days.

The deceased youth was killed by slitting his throat open. He had stab injuries on his upper body and arms.

The police suspects that the body could be of one of the four youths, who had taken the room on rent just in the last week of June. The youths had identified themselves as Sanjay, Vinod Kumar, Rath Bahadur and Sunil Bahadur to the hotel manager. The former two seemed be migrant labourers while the latter seemed to be from Nepal.

They had claimed they lived near Sabzi Mandi, Janakpuri here but wanted the room on rent for one month.

Police sources said the hotel staff had not seen the youths after July 4. Today morning, they complained to the police that a pungent smell was coming from the room.

Police sources said on opening the room, they found the body in highly decomposed state. There were no other documents found from the room.

Sources said the police was suspecting the youths could have had a quarrel over money or something and had killed one of those.

The police was also suspecting if the four youths had killed some other person and dumped his body here. The police was trying to make a sketch of the four youths and circulate it in the city and other places to get some clues about their whereabouts and activities.

Sources said though the hotel staff had seen only three youths going, the fourth too could have slipped. This, they stressed was a remote possibility.



Raids on PCR spots, four cops suspended
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6
The city SSP has suspended four cops for the dereliction of duty, promised promotion to about 10 others and announced replacing of 25 old bikes.

DIG Parag Jain and SSP A.S. Rai conducted surprise checking and raids at PCR beat system spots, nakas and their patrolling exercise last night to make the cops pull up their socks.

The officials found four cops not at the places where they should have been. Some were caught talking endlessly over the mobile phone away from their motorcycles.

The city has been suffering a serious wave of crime for the past 10 days. The police is blaming the laxity on the part of the PCR cops as a major problem area. The PCR cops were directly connected with the control room . They were supposed to reach the crime spot within three to seven minutes after receiving orders from the control room.

But for the past some time and especially in the last 10 days, the cops were always reaching quite late. They were at the centre of the public ire for the late arrival at the house of jeweller Darshan Singh, who was murdered on July 4 with his wife on the Dasaundha Singh road.

The SSP said the checking also found that at least 25 motorcycles of the PCR unit had outlived their age. He said the DIG was taking up the matter of replacing the vehicles with new ones at the earliest.

Mr Rai said that keeping with the promise he made with the residents about the working of PCR to bring it to the status it was in 2001 when the system was introduced, he has put a complete focus on their functioning. ‘‘Only this will help in checking the crime incidents. PCR cops increase the visibility of the police on the roads. This acts as a major deterrent for the criminals.’’



Gurpurb celebrated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 6
The Istri Satsang Sabha and Shri Guru Singh Sabha of Gurdwara Sarabha Nagar celebrated the gurpurb of Guru Hargobind Sahib. They prepared “missey parshadey.” People showed enthusiasm to do “seva” and dusted the shoes of the “sangat.”

Bibi Ravinder Kaur, president of the Istri Satsang Sabha, along with Mr Shingar Singh, president of the Shri Guru Singh Sabha, Sarabha Nagar, had worked hard to make the gurpurab a grand success. Bhai Gurnail Singh Barnala, Bhai Shiv Charan, Bibi Puneet Kaur, Bhai Harnam Singh, Bhai Davinder Singh and the Ragi Jatha of Istri Satsang Sabha kept the audience spellbound with the kirtan.



Akalis resent Badal’s attitude
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, July 6
Akali leaders of rural constituency of Akali Dal (Badal) here gathered at the residence of Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bulara, former MP, to express resentment over the fact that the party president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has failed to take the party leaders into confidence before planning a conference at Sahnewal on July 9.

These Akali leaders expressed ignorance of the planned conference of Mr Badal at Sahnewal on July 9. They asked Mr Badal to first take the local leaders into confidence and then plan his visit to Sahnewal.



Panic among industrialists
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6
A spate of crime has caused panic among local industrialists, who have urged the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to take measures to provide safety to residents.

Reacting to the murder of Vikramjit Singh, son of industrialist Rajinder Singh, industry representatives today condemned the police, who, they said, failed to nab miscreants in several such cases.

“The law and order situation in the city has become deplorable and the police has failed to control crime,” rued Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, president of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings.

Industry leaders said various incidents involving kidnapping, robbery and killing in the recent past had created fear in the minds of people. “The police and the administration has failed to nab miscreants who are robbing, kidnapping and killing people in broad daylight,” said Mr Varinder Kapoor, general secretary, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

Mr Gurpargat Singh Kahlon, president of the Auto Parts Manufacturers Association, said the industrialists were feeling unsafe as they were dealing with daily transactions involving cash. “Bank related transactions cannot be avoided but industrialists have started feeling unsafe due to the upsurge in crime,” he added.



51 held for damaging PSEB property, records
Mahesh Sharma

Noorpura, July 6
At least 51 persons of this village in Ludhiana district were arrested by the Raikot police for allegedly interrupting official work, threatening board officials and damaging public property yesterday. They were later released on bail.

Pleading innocence, a majority of them have appealed for leniency as they had not wilfully attacked the office.

The Raikot police has, however, initiated investigations into the complaint lodged on the statement of Executive Engineer of the PSEB.

According to Mr Gurtejinder Singh Aulakh, DSP, Raikot, demonstrators, numbering 51, have been booked on the statement of Mr Sushil Singh, Executive Engineer. “Besides interrupting our official duty and damaging articles in our office the demonstrators threatened us of dire consequences,” Mr Sushil Singh told the police. Certain records and documents were also torn in the process. Demanding security of life and property of officials of the board office, the Executive Engineer urged the police to initiate stern action against the accused.

Referring to information received from Mr Ranjit Singh, SHO, the investigating officer Mr Aulakh claimed that majority of the accused had pleaded that they had been instigated to attack the office. He said the accused, besides requesting the police to take lenient view, had also approached the PSEB authorities in this regard.

However, the police team led by the SHO has already started investigations into the case. “Instead of waiting for the two parties to arrive at some compromise we would submit our report to the higher authorities and act according to their advice,” said Mr Aaulakh.

The villagers had protested against the alleged callous attitude of the board officials towards their complaints. They had alleged that the poor power supply to the village had affected all services, including drinking water and sewage disposal.

The irate villagers had come to the office and requested the authorities to do the needful. When the authorities showed inability to provide these services some of the protesters started pelting them with stones and damaged articles of the office, including certain records.



Youths to get loans under rozgar yojana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6
Deputy Commissioner Ashok Kumar Gupta has stated that under the Prime Minister Rozgar Yojana subsidised loans ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh each would be advanced through the district industry centre (DIC) to the unemployed to start ventures in 2006-07. The required sanction from the government has already been received.

The Deputy Commissioner said during 2005-06 the DIC had got the loans advanced through the banks in 968 cases under this program against the target of 940.

The subsidy amount has also been released to the beneficiaries.

He said under the scheme these loans were being given to the unemployed in the age group of 18 to 30 years and beneficiaries should have passed at least middle standard. Annual income of the family should be less than Rs 40,000 p.a. He said the Government of India had made a provision of 15 per cent subsidy or maximum of Rs 7,500 per case under this scheme.Mr Vishaw Bandhu, general manager, DIC, stated that the applications had already been invited from the unemployed youth. The district-level task force committee holds regular meetings every Tuesday and Thursday to clear the cases.



INA veteran’s wife dies awaiting pension
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6
Eighty-four-year old Sarjeet Kaur, an INA veteran’s wife died a dissatisfied woman. In her last days she was a pained woman as her country did not recognise her and her husband’s sacrifice for the nation’s independence.

Waiting for at least five decades to get pension, Sarjeet Kaur, wife of an INA veteran, Hazoora Singh, who was imprisoned for several months in Singapore pre-Independence, passed away at her Bhaini Aroran village near here on Monday.

She had broken her hip bone after a fall in her bathroom a month ago. Doctors had asked for Rs 45,000 for her operation. She was not able to arrange for this money and breathed her last in her bed only.

Thanks to bureaucratic wranglings and red tapism she was not given pension although she had highlighted her fight at various platforms, including the State Commission for Women, Punjab, Punjab and Haryana High Court and at union and state government level. The judgements of commission and court had gone in her favour one after the other but still she did not get her due and died.

The Tribune had been highlighting her plight and struggle from time to time. She had all evidence to support her claim but was still helpless.

Sarjit Kaur’s husband had been declared a freedom fighter after the former Deputy Commissioner’s report confirmed that he was with the Netaji’s army at Singapore, along with newly married Sarjeet Kaur. The couple had to abandon their newly born son in Singapore as they did not want him to be a subject of British army’s cruelty.

A recent disclosure by the Ministry of Home Affairs at New Delhi that her case had not been forwarded by state government despite a direction by the High Court had broken Sarjeet Kaur all the more.

The revelation had come in the wake of an order by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to the ministry asking them the status of her case. The state government had presented before the HC that her case was with the Union Government and the delay was not at their part.

In fact Sarjeet Kaur was unfortunate in life and death as well. Her husband died waiting for recognition as an INA veteran. After his death her fight yielded some fruit and he was declared a freedom fighter but she was not given a pension.

‘‘I had no money to get her treated. Had she got her pension and arrears, I would have taken her to the doctor. I was waiting that she would get her dues but the call of death did not listen to anyone of us. She has left us all, dejected at the treatment meted out to her, ’’ said Mr Jarnail Singh, her son.

‘‘There was no need of any delay in providing her pension. Her case was clear and all inquiries were in her favour,’’ said her son. The SDM, Raikot, in his inquiry report had submitted that her husband, late Hazoora Singh Chahal should be declared as a freedom fighter and Ms Sarjeet Kaur must be given due financial help.

According to the documents produced by Sarjeet Kaur, Hazoora Singh had joined the Indian National Army on February 23, 1944. He worked as a Havildar with 1/8 Guerrilla, First Battalion, A.Coy no. 34451. His area of operation was Ipoh Perak, Malaya and Capt Bhaskar C.Com of Maharashtra was his Commander under whom he had served. The documents also said that he was imprisoned for seven months at various jails at Ipoh and Bidda Dari Camp in Singapore. 



Abandoned by parents, adopted by ashram
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6
An infant girl who was abandoned by her parents for not being able to get her congenital defect treated for want of money, found a new home at Nishkam Seva Ashram at Daad village here today.

She was handed over to the ashram authorities by the Sadar police after she was discharged by the doctors at the PGI, Chandigarh after being treated for her defect.

Named Taranjeet Kaur by the Sadar police, the girl would stay at the ashram now. Mr Kuldeep Singh, Additional Station House Officer (ASHO), Sadar, said the girl would live there till her mother demands her back.

Her demand would also be scrutinised by the Abandoned Children Welfare Committee, who would make sure that the girl would be passed on to her only if it would be established that she was not involved in abandoning her, said the ASHO, claiming that the police was also investigating her role in the entire episode.

Taranjeet was abandoned near Sidhwan canal by his Samrala-based father in mid-June, from where two youths had rescued her.

Her father Baljit Singh was arrested by the Sadar police in this connection. He had claimed that he had left her to her fate as he was unable to arrange money for the treatment of a congenital defect. A beldar with a warehouse in Samrala, Baljit said he had abandoned the girl in the canal without the knowledge of his wife.Gurdev Kaur.

The girl was their third child. They have a son and a daughter.

Baljit has been booked under Section 317 of the IPC (Exposure of a child under 12 years of age by parent or any persons with intention of abandoning it).

Additional SHO, Sadar, Kuldeep Singh spent from his pocket to get Taranjeet treated for her congential defect. While the PGI, Chandigarh, operated her for free, Mr Kuldeep Singh paid for her medicines. 



Dance competition at Aastha club
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 6
‘Naya zamana andaz purana’, a dance competition was organised here today by the members of Aastha Ladies club. Dressed up like actresses of yester years, the participants presented various dance numbers on the hit songs between 1960-1980.

First prize was bagged by Ms Pammi Sidhu who danced on ‘Dekho kasam se’. Second prize was won jointly by Ms Gauri and Ms Kusum Bhalla who danced on ‘Nimbuda nimbuda’ and ‘Main ka karun Raam’ respectively. Third prize was given to Ms Anju.

The judges of the competition were Ms Maria and Ms Vijay Sharma from Kaya Skin Clinic. Ms Rama Shorie compeered the programme. One minute games and tambola was also played on the occasion. The winners were given prizes.



Ex-Bar council chairman dead
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 6
The former chairman of Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana Mr Gurcharan Singh Grewal, a resident of Sangat Road, Civil Lines expired today morning following illness.

He was 84. He was the first lawyer from the city to become the chairman of bar Council in 1987.

He had also served as the president of District Bar Association in 1982.

He is survived by his son — Mr Gurmit Singh Grewal.He was cremated at Civil Lines cremation ground around 1 p.m.



PSEB panel presents memoranda to Cong leaders
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 6
The Joint Struggle Coordination Committee of various trade unions of employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board has called upon the leadership of the Congress to impress upon the management of the board to call the committee to talks for negotiation on the issue of pending demands.

Office-bearers of the local and Malaudh subdivisions presented memoranda to ministers and MLAs of the area.

According to Mr Sukhcharanjit Singh and Narang Singh, president and general secretary, respectively, of the local unit of the TSU, the union had presented memoranda to Ms Razia Sultana, Parliamentary Secretary and MLA, Malerkotla, Mr Tej Parkash Singh Kotli, MLA, Payal, and Mr Samsher Singh Dullo, president, PPCC, at functions organised at Dehliz village, Rabbon Khurad and the local town yesterday.

Accusing the management of the PSEB of showing indifferent attitude towards their genuine demands, the office-bearers of the committee claimed that they had been struggling to get their demands met for about 18 months but the management did not bother to call them for talks even.

Token strikes, jagrans, “jago” marches and family marches at Patiala and Chandigarh went unnoticed. “Now when routine organisational measures have failed to draw attention of the authorities, we appeal you to intervene in the matter and impress upon the management of the board to invite representatives of the committee for talks so that stalemate should be terminated,” read the memorandum.

The office-bearers have accused the management of forcing them to adopt the path of agitation. The withdrawal of the Power Act, 2003, contract system, restoration of abolished posts and grant of risk allowance were the main demands.

Mr Malkit Singh and Mr Ashok Kumar were also present.



Dist status for Jagraon sought
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 6
Representatives from various institutions and leaders of different parties demanded district status for Jagraon at a meeting held at the Officers' Club here today.

The meeting was convened by Bapu Sohan Singh, president of the Bet Area Vikas Committee. Mr Mohinder Singh Sidhwan, Mr R.P.S. Chahal (CPM), and Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, former MP, said since Ludhiana was going to be a metropolitan city, the decision to make Jagraon a district would be viable.

They passed a resolution about analysing the historical importance of the town and to remove the difficulties that fell in the way of its progress. Later, a memorandum was handed over to the SDM for forwarding it to the government.



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