L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Sex racket busted; six arrested
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 9
A sex racket run allegedly from an orchestra company and feasting on exploitation of ‘dancing girls’ was busted by the Sahnewal police with the arrest of two women and four men late last night.

The police nabbed the accused after a hot chase. The accused travelling in a Scorpio car had broken a police barricade set up near Sahnewal. The accused group led by Baljinder Kaur, alias Auntie, was allegedly on way to ‘supply’ a young girl, Preet, for a payment of Rs 2,600 for a night.

SSP A.S. Rai told Ludhiana Tribune that the group was active for the past some time. It was operating from the Sandhu Orchestra Office, where some of the girls employed for dancing in marriages were being forced into prostitution either willingly or non-willingly.

He said Baljinder Kaur, alias Raj, was the head of the group who used to arrange meetings and strike the deals.

The police said the four nabbed men identified as Gurpreet Singh, Gurdeep Singh, Parminder Singh and Ranjit Singh had struck the deal with the two women and they were on way to some secure place.

The accused had initially given fake identities and addresses to the police during their questioning. The real names were revealed when the police recovered the driving licence of one of the accused Gurpreet Singh. He was driving the car also.

The accused have been booked under Section 41 (2) and 109 of the CrPc. The police has recovered Rs 12,400 and three mobile sets from the possession of the accused.



Police clueless about missing Dalit child
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 9
Mysterious disappearance of a Dalit child of Jandali village in Ludhiana district has left his parents and the Payal police in a tizzy as there has been no clue to her whereabouts for 11 days since he went missing.

While family, relying soothsayers, having travelled hundreds of kilometres daily in search of their only son, has started apprehending that the child was kidnapped, the police continues exploring possibility of suspected drowning in a nearby canal. Condition of the family is more tormenting as it was facing charges of concealing facts about the sequence of events that led to the disappearance of the child.

It has now approached the SSP, Khanna, and urged him to impress upon the Payal police to expedite the investigations.

Mr Sarab Jit Singh, SHO, Payal, on the other hand claimed that he had been investigating the case on the basis of information provided by the family. Police parties, led by Mr Kuldip Singh, DSP, Payal, had tried to find out the truth by visiting the village and surrounding areas, he claimed.

Mr Jatinder Singh, a sarangi player in a Dhadi Jatha, said his family was passing through a critical condition as people, instead of showing sympathy, had been charging his family of concealing facts about the missing child.

According to him, his only son Jashan Deep (6) and Taran Preet, his nephew, had gone to buy candies from a village shop at 9 am on June 27. Though Taran Preet returned home after some time, Jashan Deep did not return.

Taran Preet, who had returned with his pants soiled with mud, had told the family that he (Taran Preet) had slipped in a drain in the village and Jashan Deep seeing him fall returned home immediately. However, nobody noticed Jashan Deep returning home. Jatinder Singh, along with Manjit Singh, his brother-in-law and Taran Preet’s father had been visiting far-off places in search of his only son.

“After being disappointed by the police and villagers we started relying on soothsayers and visited all those places where they told us to search. But, villagers, instead of showing sympathy with us have been telling us that my son had drowned in the canal where Jashan Deep and Taran Preet had gone together. They have gone to the extent of blaming Manjit Singh, my brother-in-law, of befooling me”, rued Jatinder Singh.

Jatinder Singh said the villagers, led by the Sarpanch of the village, had based their suspicion about drowning of the child as the members of family had refused to identify the body of a child that was recovered from the canal. “We were going to Jind in Haryana in search of my son when we received a call from the Canal Department. Obviously, we were not in a position to return and look at the body that in no way resembled with our son”, he added.

The body was fished out by the Sangrur police near Longowal after some days and the family was made to see and identify the same. “We fail to understand why certain people were interested in getting a body identified by us at a place that was situated hundreds of kilometers away from our village”, said Jatinder Singh.



Tangri’s police remand extended
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 9
The Duty Magistrate, Mr Charanjit Arora, today extended the police remand of Mr Jagdish Tangri, former president of Shiv Sena Rashtarwadi, and his son, Mr Sunil Tangri, till tomorrow, in an attempt to murder case.

They were produced by the local police this afternoon before the court where the prosecution sought the extension of police remand with the plea that the accused were not cooperating during the interrogation. Moreover, the stolen gold chain of the victim was yet to be recovered.

The defence counsel strongly opposed the demand raised by the prosecution for extending the police remand. He submitted that the complainant was enemical towards his client. Earlier also he had got registered false cases against his clients. Even in two such cases, his clients had already been acquitted. The complainant was also cited as witness by the police in several false cases against his client.

After hearing the contentions of both the parties, the court extended the police remand. Yesterday the court of Judicial Magistrate, Mr Ranjan Khullar, had granted police remand for a day.

It may be recalled that the duo were booked under Sections 307, 379, 354, 148 and 149 of IPC at Division No. 3 police station on the charges of attempting to kill Sunita, wife of the president of Shiv Sena Hindustani, Mr Pawan Sharma.

It was alleged by the complainant that the accused were nursing a grudge against him. His wife was performing satsang in the temple situated at Gur Mandi, where the accused allegedly launched a murdereous attack.



Community policing launched in Mandi Ahmedgarh
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 9
A batch of community police officers (CPOs) was flagged off after a brief function at the local police station last evening. Mr Jatinder Bhola, President of the Municipal Council, presided over the function.

According to Mr Harinder Singh Chahal, SSP, Sangrur, this was the first batch of CPOs in Sangrur district and they would perform duties here. “Though the scheme had been launched in selected areas of the town, we will extend it to all towns and villages in a phased manner”, said Mr Chahal while talking to Ludhiana Tribune.

He said the CPO scheme had been appreciated by the residents of the area like in other districts where it had shown positive results. “'The residents have appreciated that the scheme which has replaced less-reliable night watchmen with more professional and institutionalised security system. It would help curb petty crimes that owed their genesis in unemployment. The scheme has provided employment to those youths who otherwise would have fallen prey to various social evils”, said Mr Chahal.

He added that cases of burglary, eve-teasing and hooliganism in the night had reduced considerably in the districts where the scheme had been launched.

Appreciating the role played by the local police officers in the launch of the scheme here, Mr Jatinder Bhola assured the Police Department of cooperation on behalf of social organisations of the town. He hoped the scheme, which had been introduced by the Khanna police last year, would prove effective in
lowering crime during night.

Mr Darshan Singh and Mr Jaswinder Singh, SHOs of the Sadar and City police stations, respectively, Mr Ravinder Kumar, president of the City Congress, Mr Mohinder Multani and Mr Jaswinder Singh, both councillors, were present at the flag-off ceremony.



Ludhiana calling

The ever-crowded Ghumar Mandi is one of the most poorly managed areas when it comes to parking. People haphazardly park their cars and scooters without bothering about the convenience of others. Even as the traffic police has begun challaning people and made announcements advising people to park properly, it only falls on deaf ears as the problem continues!

Unending cuts

Owners of invertors who thought this gadget would provide them some relief from power problems are a worried lot. Thanks to the worsening power crisis, invertors too become ineffective. As a resident put it, “Earlier a power cut was not much of a botheration, but now we fear even this would stop working as cuts continue for quite long.”

Common man’s woes

There is no end to common man’s woes. After the petrol, diesel hike, prices of vegetables, pulses and other essential commodities rose drastically, disturbing people’s budget. Even as the service class constitutes a major chunk of taxpayers, basic facilities like a regular water and power supply elude them. Wish the government thought of long-term ways to improve people’s lives instead of focusing on vote-garnering measures by giving relief to certain sections.

Chilling in malls

As sultry weather makes heat unbearable, there are people who have found their solace in shopping malls. A young girl, who has started visiting a mall daily, says it is centrally air conditioned and there is no other place where she could spend so much time without having to bother about the heat.

Overworked cops

Ludhiana cops are overworked. They have to be heard to be believed. The other day a cop came to the Tribune office with a press release about a gang busted by local police. Unable to walk properly due to injured foot, the cop was really struggling to climb the stairs of the office. His baton was proving to be his only support. ‘’We do not get any leave and have to manage even with fractured feet also. As I cannot go in the field they have now put me on a messenger’s duty. But I have to drive a scooter to go to media offices and it is difficult to apply brakes with an injured right foot, ‘’ he said with helplessness writ large on his face.

Farmers’ faith

While the sultry weather is affecting everyone even the animals, the farmers are the most worried lot. And obviously their crops are at stake. After following newspapers to find out when monsoon would actually reach the state, the farmers are worrying if they would have to plough their fields in the absence of proper irrigation. ‘’We are looking up to the weather gods now. When everything fails faith sustains, ‘’ they say.

Shabana’s nostalgia

It was just the narration of Kaifi Azmi’s death that moved his daughter Shabana Azmi so much that tears started rolling down her cheeks when she was yet to finish with the biographical play ‘Kaifi Aur Main’ staged at Guru Nanak Stadium on Saturday. A beaming Shabana turned glum as soon as she read out lines telling about her father’s death. Focusing on Javed Akhar by the light director provided her with some time to get over the nostalgia but even when the lights were switched on, tears were shining on her cheeks. The choked throat of this proud daughter of a poet-turned-lyricist did not allow her utter a word although Javed Akhtar thanked the audience for the standing ovation, which he humbly attributed to Kaifi.

(Contributed by Shveta Pathak and Kanchan Vasdev).



Market-driven economy improving growth rate, says Jaitley
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 9
Former Law Minister and eminent lawyer Arun Jaitley delivered the keynote address at a seminar on the ‘Unfolding Indian economic scenario’ organised by Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) here today.

Speaking to the select audience, he said India was the fourth largest economy in terms of purchasing power and the second fastest emerging economy. The country had strong fundamentals, moderate inflation, lower real and nominal interest rates and fast growing foreign exchange reserves.

The senior BJP leader also spoke about India’s performance vis-a-vis other countries. He gave a mixed response on growth, concern and enthusiasm of all industrialists. He discussed in detail about education, agricultural growth and rural-agro-industrial productivity in the country.

Mr Jaitley emphasised upon the government’s role in improving infrastructure of roads, transport, railways etc. “Productivity can improve by creating more jobs in manufacturing,” he stressed.

The growth rate is improving because of market driven economy and surplus capacities of entrepreneurs. If government’s policies support them, the growth rate could see a steep increase, he added.

He compared India with China on these factors and said that the reason for China’s rapid growth was that they did not have high taxes and hence had low overheads, resulting in lower pricing and hence high market share. Less taxes result in more business development, enhanced infrastructure, increased productivity and high margins.

“Today if you can offer good quality product at lower price, you are going to lead the competition,” added Mr Jaitley.

The former minister spoke about the delays in the government machinery and specifically pointed out the slackness in the decision making of coalition government. He emphasised on adopting the “Just do it” policy.

He said the government formed by coalition generally delayed the decision making. Besides various other examples, he also mentioned the implications of the reservation system imposed by the present coalition government.

He added that irrespective of some of the negative policies of the government, it was only the positive market index which was driving the economy. The significant role of service industry in the growth of Indian economy could not be left out, Mr Jaitley said.

Earlier, Mr S.P. Oswal, president and Executive Director, Vardhman Group and past president of LMA, introduced the topic in detail. He apprised the audience on how growth depended upon sound economic politics; how India had reached this level of economic growth and what was the role of manufacturing and services to help growth rate reach at 8.5 per cent. He also discussed power cuts, power sector reform, labour reforms, and quality of governance, education and future prospects.

Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, state BJP chief, Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, Mr Balramji Tandon and some other prominent BJP leaders were also present on the occasion. Mr Mahesh Munjal proposed a vote of thanks.



Parishad celebrates foundation day
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 9
All branches of Bharat Vikas Parishad (BVP), Ludhiana, jointly celebrated its 43rd foundation day on the premises of Viklang Sahayata Centre, Rishi Nagar, here today. The key note speaker was national minister of BVP, Mr Yashpal Gupta,. Mr Narinder Mittal and Mr Dalbir Nanda were also present

The BVP was established 43 years ago. To mark the occasion today an eye bank Madhav Eye Bank was inaugurated by Mr Yashpal Gupta. He filled the first form at the bank pledging donation of eyes followed by 50 others. Dr Rajinder Sharma, secretary, Mahavir Branch, said that eye Bank would be run under the expert guidance of eye specialist Dr Lajpat Rai.

Mr Gupta traced the history of BVP from its inception and said that it was formed after Indo-China war of 1962 by distinguished persons like Hansraj Gupta, Dr Suraj Prakash, PL Rahi, and PN Seth in Delhi. It was and is still based on five principles namely, sampark, sahyog, sansakar, sewa and samarpan. He said that parishad had been serving people thru their co-operation.

Mr Gupta said that parishad had been organising national songs competitions, rehabilitation of handicapped persons, awareness of clean environment etc . Mr Narender Mittal and Mr Dalbir said that last year Viklang Kender, Ludhiana, was honoured by the President of India Dr APJ Kalam . The kender has provided artificial limbs to more than 25,000 persons so far . As many as 15,00 handicapped people have been enabled to take up some enterprise and have been made financially independent. Mr Pawan Aggarwal, Secretary Trust thanked the distinguished people.

Mandi Gobindgarh: Development depends on the quality of education, which can not be achieved without participation of the NGOs, hence these public organisations should adopt some primary schools out of the total of 595 schools in the district which are lacking of necessary infrastructure and other requirements of books, uniforms etc, said the chief guest, Ms Jaspreet Kaur Talwar Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib. She was addressing a function organised by the Bharat Vikas Parishad Charitable Medicare Trust, after inauguration of the laboratory-cum-diagnostic centre here today. The quest of honour Mr Raj Kumar Bansal, M D Bansal Alloys and Metals Ltd, donated Rs 11,000 to the parishad. Mr Surinder Mittal was the honorable guest and the function was presided over by Mr Swadesh Arora, national vice-president of the parishad.

To know the causes for the growing dissatisfaction among the people, a seminar on national-level was organised in which politicians. mediapersons and bureaucrats were invited.. Mr Bimal Kakria, state president and advocate S K Modgil,also spoke.

Mr Ashok Jindal, state vice-president, said that a shiksha kosh had been formed to supply free books etc to students; a 'Tulsi project and netar daan project' had been launched. Mr Joginder Singh Maini, senior vice-president, steel chamber of commerce and state secretary, PPCC, Mr Ashok Goyal secretary, Dr Amandeep Dhiman, project chairman, local unit chief and Mr K R Chohan, state secretary of the parishad, also spoke.



No shortage of water: MC Commissioner
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 9
Commissioner of Municipal Corporation, S.K. Sharma today said that there was no shortage of potable water in the city as the civic body was effectively supplying water through more than 500 tubewells in various parts.

A special committee was constituted to look into the repair work and the MC had purchased surplus motors so as to avoid any delay in restoration of water supply. If everything failed then water was supplied through tankers.

He directed the employees of the MC to respond to the complaints of water or sewer problem immediately. He warned them again any laxity in their work.

Dr Jaswant Singh, Joint Commissioner-cum-Branch Officer of O and M cell, said that the Buddah Nullah was cleaned properly. The complaints of choked sewer were looked into with immediate effect and a massive cleaning operation was launched in affected areas.



Pensioners want DA to merge with basic pension

Ludhiana, July 9
The Punjab Government Pensioners’ Association has urged the state government to pay travel concession to pre-April, 2004 retirees after merging 50 per cent DA with their basic pension as it has been done in the case of post-April, 2004 retirees.

The pensioners’ body opines that creating two categories of pensioners for extending this benefit goes against the Supreme Court verdict. Also, pensioners term it as a case of discrimination and an anomaly as well.

The state government has been urged to end this discrimination and anomaly by extending the merger benefit to all pensioners irrespective of their date of retirement. — OC



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