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Woman killed by tenant farmer
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 27
In a broad daylight incident today, one woman was murdered brutally and the other injured grievously at Gidderwindi village falling under Sidhwan Bet police station.

The police has registered a case under Sections 302, 307and 452 of the IPC.

According to information, Balwinder Kaur (45), a resident of Gidderwindi village, had been renting out her approximately eight acres of land for cultivation to Sher Singh, son of Dial Singh of her village, for the last about 12 years.

She was herself unable to cultivate the land as her husband, Sinder Singh Nihang, who allegedly indulged in terrorist activities, was killed during the period of the terrorism.

Sher Singh was not paying rent to Balwinder Kaur regularly. So she opted to rent out her land to some one else. This enraged Sher Singh, who had sown wheat crop this year.

Sher Singh entered the house of Balwinder Kaur today at about 8 am and hit her with sword brutally, killing her on the spot. Thereafter, he entered the nearby house of Jugraj Singh Patwari where Surinder Kaur, Patwari's wife, was present. Sher Singh also hit her with swords, causing grievous injuries to her.

Sources disclosed that Surinder Kaur had sometimes ago pulled up Sher Singh for not paying regular rent to Balwinder Kaur.

Not satisfied with this, the killer allegedly went to the house of Rupa Singh of the village. But apprehending danger, the occupants did not open the door. Sher Singh reportedly damaged the door and fled away.

Balwinder Kaur is survived by her two sons, Gurjinder Singh (20) and Sukhjinder Singh (18).

Surinder Kaur has been admitted to the DMCH in Ludhiana. The body of Balwinder Kaur was brought to the local Civil Hospital and later handed over to her relatives after post-mortem examination. 

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Youth found murdered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
A worker in a scrap dealer’s shop in Basti Jodhewal was found murdered near Satluj river today.

Mukesh Kumar, aged about 25, was a resident of Kailash Nagar. He did not return home after his day’s work yesterday. His body was spotted by some persons near the river bank.

The police said the man seemed to have been stabbed a dozen times on his chest. An attempt to pull out his organs including the heart was also made.

The police was suspecting that the body could have been mauled by some animals too. The post-mortem examination report was awaited.

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Police seeks help of UK cops
Vikramjit Singh murder case
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
The alleged kidnapping and murder case of Vikramjit Singh, alias Vicky, son of a prominent bicycle industrialist, has assumed international attention with the Punjab Police taking the help of the British Police in connection with the youth's stay in England. It was exactly a month ago that the youth had gone missing.

The youth was undergoing a course in business management in London and had returned to the country just a few days before he had gone missing and was eventually found murdered on June 29 near Solan.

The joint investigation into the case is the latest police effort to solve the mystery behind his murder. Several theories and leads that originated from his life in India, including his kidnapping, have fallen flat so far.

The joint investigation is the result of an understanding reached between the Punjab and British Police to help each other in criminal cases and share information. The last time the police of two countries had come together was in the Hannah rape and murder case, where the British girl was the victim and a Punjabi youth was the accused.

A senior police official told Ludhiana Tribune that a DIG-rank officer of the Punjab Police was holding daily contact with the British Police, and if need be with the Interpol too, to investigate certain suspects as well as possible reasons behind his murder.

The official said the investigation had so far not found much basis in the theory that the youth used to indulge in gambling over cricket matches and had not paid the lost money to some bookies.

Sources said apart from this theory, the Punjab Police wanted to know about the kind of people the victim was associated with in London. The police was also working on the theory of some kind of love angle or enmity with a friend-turned-foe in England.

Sources said the police had also found that signatures of Vikramjit on a credit card user slip in Gurgaon as forged ones. They claimed some persons involved in the murder had signed in his name to use the credit card at Gurgaon. However, the lead could not be developed.

Similarly, the investigation regarding a call of ransom made to the family from Dubai has also not progressed further. The police could only know that the call originated from a PCO in Dubai.

The police was banking highly on finding some definite leads from the victim's life in England. Sources said the police was seriously following the personal enmity angle behind the murder.

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PSEB’s appeal on streetlights ignored
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
The appeal of the Punjab State Electricity Board to government agencies in the state to conserve electricity notwithstanding, all streetlights are switched on much before sunset in the entire city daily.

This is happening despite the fact that the entire region is reeling under electricity crisis. The PSEB had in an appeal to the residents in general and government agencies in particular had asked for saving power. It had said that the streetlights should not be switched on before 8 pm and be switched off after 6 a.m. The appeal was inserted in all the leading newspapers of the region.

Not caring two hoots for the appeal, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation switches on the lights even when there is enough sunlight.

‘‘This is really sad that when we can conserve electricity without much effort, the corporation is wasting it like this. The only thing they have to do is to change the timings in summers. As days are longer in this weather we actually require lighting for the shorter period. But who cares?’’ said an official of the PSEB.

‘‘When a government department is not respecting the appeal then how do we expect general public to do so. All it takes is a small effort and we are shocked that they are not bothered about it. It is sheer wastage, ’’ he added.

Residents said it was saddening that they had to suffer heat during peak hours due to power cuts and the corporation was wasting power like that. ‘‘It has been more than four months when the days started becoming bigger. But this is unfortunate that the MC did not bother to change the time table of streetlights. ’’ said Mr S.S. Chana, a resident of Sarabha Nagar.

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Snag in water supply leaves locality high and dry
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
Residents of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar have been forced to buy water from private agencies, as there has been no water supply in the area for the past five days, owing to a snag in tubewells supplying water.

Disappointed with the Ludhiana Improvement Trust for not being able to restore the supply in spite of repeated complaints, residents today made their own arrangements by hiring water tankers at Rs 400 each.

A number of tankers of a private company were seen parked outside houses in F-block of the area, as residents filled up their buckets for use.

Some construction companies did brisk business today as they switched over to delivering water through tankers at the doorstep of residents.

Residents rued that they had been facing water crisis for the past many days. Tubewells were repaired initially but they developed snag again.

The residents said they had approached the LIT authorities a number of times but to no avail. Area councillor Satwinder Singh Jwaddi said the locality came under the trust and he could not do anything in this case.

“We have been without water for the past five days. The entire household work has come to a halt. I had to take leave from work as the clothes were not washed, dishes were not done and the house could not be cleaned. We contacted a company, which finally supplied us with water today,” said a government employee who prayed anonymity.

Other residents said there was not a drop of water in their houses. “We have been carrying water from some houses that have submersible pumps. We carry buckets throughout the day. Why are we paying water bills if we have to depend on other sources in the peak of summers,” said Ms R.S. Bhalla.

Ludhiana Improvement Trust Executive Officer S.C. Awasthi said they had asked the sewerage board to carry out repairs, as the residents were having a tough time.

He added that the supply had to be discontinued as water was getting mixed with oil and sand after a new tubewell was dug. He added that the supply would be restored by tomorrow.

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Cong men unhappy with leaders
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, July 27
The Congress party launched its election campaign from Ludhiana east Vidhan Sabha segment yesterday. Mr Surinder Dawar, Parliamentary Secretary, is the Congress legislator from this segment. Mr Lal Singh, Minister for Power, was the chief guest on the occasion.

Mr Lal Singh is the minister incharge for Ludhiana district and he presides over the meetings of the district planning board and the district grievances removal committee.

The response of the Congress workers and the residents of the area to the first conference was reasonably good. But the meeting brought to the surface the resentment which has been simmering for the past sometime against Mr Lal Singh who during the last four-and-a-half years has not held a single meeting with the Congress workers. Being the incharge of the district, he is duty bound to meet them and listen to their grievances and redress the same. They expressed their anger over the indifferent attitude of Mr Lal Singh who is a senior minister in the Amarinder Singh government.

The workers of the Congress party are agitated over the fact that Mr Lal Singh has been coming to preside over the meetings of the district planning board and district grievances removal committee. The workers allege that after the meetings, he would just visit some rich businessmen or influential persons and enjoy sumptuous food and return to Chandigarh.

Even a senior Congress leader of the district on the condition of anonymity admitted that there was no use of such mass contact meetings where the minister incharge did not have the courtesy to meet the grass root workers of the party. Shedding crocodile tears at a later stage were of no use, he observed.

Differences persist among local Congressmen and Mr Lal Singh who never made any effort to resolve the same and unite the workers of the party.

The district Congress Committee (Urban) suffered another shock yesterday when Mr Prem Mittal, Senior Deputy Mayor, Ludhiana municipal corporation, submitted his resignation. Although Mr Mittal has given personal reasons for his resignation but he had strong differences with the mayor of the municipal corporation. Mr Mittal is a protege of former MP Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib and Mr Galib also does not have cordial relations with the mayor.

Pressure is being built on Mr Mittal to withdraw his resignation. He has been taken to Chandigarh by the mayor and the education minister Mr Harnam Das Johar where they will meet the Punjab Pradesh Congress President Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo who is expected to advise him to withdraw his resignation.

Resentment also prevails among Congress workers over the reorganisation of the district Congress Committee (Urban and Rural) by the Pradesh Congress chief Shamsher Singh Dullo. Some of the workers have been denied the right to be in the organisational executive.

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Dullo refuses to accept Mittal’s resignation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, did not accept the resignation of Senior Deputy Mayor Prem Mittal today and asked him to continue in his office.

Mr Mittal withdrew his resignation as Mr Dullo asked him to serve the party. The Senior Deputy Mayor had submitted his resignation from this as well as the Councillor’s post citing pressing personal reasons yesterday.

He withdrew the resignation at Chandigarh today where he along with many senior Congress leaders and councillors had gone to meet Mr Dullo.

After the meeting, a beaming Mr Mittal told Ludhiana Tribune from Chandigarh that he was a loyal soldier of the party and he would follow the orders of the state Congress chief.

‘‘Dullo told me to continue in the office as the party needed committed workers at this time. Though my sick wife needed me more at home, I would not let my party down. So I will come back to the office tomorrow,’’ said Mr Mittal.

Following his resignation yesterday, many senior leaders of the Congress descended on his house last evening asking him to withdraw his resignation. They included Parliamentary Secretary, Surinder Dawar, Education Minister, Harnam Dass Johar, Housefed Chairman, K.K. Bawa and District Congress Committee chief, Jagmohan Sharma.

They spoke to Mr Dullo at Chandigarh, who asked them to visit him at Chandigarh today. All these leaders, city Mayor and councillors went to meet him today and the resignation episode ended peacefully.

Though Mr Mittal repeatedly kept on saying that he was forced to resign due to personal reasons, sources close to him claimed that he was upset with the city Mayor, who was allegedly ignoring him.

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Rakhis selling like hot cakes
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, July 27
Though the festival of Rakshabandhan is almost 15 days away, the sale and purchase of designer rakhis has already begun in the city. Shopkeepers, claim that the response has been such that they had to order for more rakhis from Delhi and Calcutta. Going by the competition, the shopkeepers are also trying to add more variety, colour and uniqueness in the product.

Mr Aman, who has a showroom opposite Session Courts here, said that he had introduced rakhis for the first time in his shop. “If I would have known about the tremendous response, I would have put rakhis every year,” he said. Mr Aman further added that designer rakhis have always been the attraction among young girls. But this year, silver rakhis with sequence, ‘zercons’ and thread work were in huge demand. These rakhis not only looked elegant but traditional too and suited everybody’s pocket.

Mr Pappan, another shopkeeper at Ghumar Mandi, said that simple and traditional threads (maulis) were all-time favourite. “We have introduced special rakhis for kids this time. The ‘Krish’ and ‘Harry Potter’ rakhis are selling like hot cakes,” he said.

Ms Gunjan, a second-year student of KCW here, said that she was purchasing these rakhis as two of her brothers were settled abroad. “I know that I cannot be there with them, but my feelings and love should reach them much in advance,” she added.

The range of these threads start from Rs 5 to Rs 125 per piece depending on the material used. Some of these rakhis are also in the form of bracelets. The stone work, thread work, sequence work, bead work, zari work add more charm to these bonds of love and affection.

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Move to enhance capacity of transformers
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 27
Reacting to reports published in Ludhiana Tribune regarding woes of consumers, including farmers, industrialists and domestic consumers, the PSEB authorities have undertaken a massive enhancement of capacity of existing transformers installed for the transmission of power here and in villages connected by the Latala grid.

Though consumers faced problems due to unusual interruption of power yesterday, the authorities claimed that the increase in the capacity from the existing 40 mv to 60 mv would end their woes for at least three years.

According to Mr Ajit Singh, Executive Engineer, he had taken up the issue with senior functionaries in the department after learning about the woes of consumers. He said the problems had arisen due to the overloading of the existing transformers that were insufficient. As it was not possible to ensure uninterrupted supply with the existing set-up, I impressed upon my seniors to provide us additional transformers, he added.

At present, the town has a capacity of around 30 mv and the commissioning of additional transformer of 8 mv capacity would ease the supply. Similarly, the area fed by the Latala sub-station with present capacity of 10 mv would be connected to a transformer with additional load capacity of 8 mv.

Ludhiana Tribune had highlighted woes of consumers, including farmers of Rachhin village, who had decided to plough their paddy fields for want of sufficient power supply. 

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Police to apologise for faux pas
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
Shocked at the goof up in the ‘most wanted’ posters of Neeru, in which an innocent girl’s photos was printed, IG (Zonal) Hardeep Dhillon today asked the Ludhiana SSP to conduct a thorough probe and take stringent action against the guilty police official besides apologising to the aggrieved family.

The DIG Ludhiana Range, Mr Parag Jain, has also directed SP (detective) Harish Kumar to conduct an investigation besides announcing that some senior officer would visit the house of the innocent girl and express regret to her and her parents for the goof up.

The parents of the girl met the SSP today and gave him a formal application seeking stringent action against the cops who put the picture of their daughter on the posters.

Mr Dhillon said he was shocked to read the news reports today and immediately ordered remedial measures. He said the guilty police official would be given exemplary punishment for his negligence.

Mr Parag Jain wondered how the picture of an innocent girl was used on the posters.

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Valmikis’ warning to Congress
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 27
The Bhartiya Valmiki Dharam Samaj, Punjab, has warned the ruling Congress in the state of serious consequences if it did not implement 12.5 per cent reservations separately for Valmikis and Ravidasis in government jobs as given by the state government in 1975.

At a meeting of the Samaj here last night, which was addressed by Mr Naresh Dhiman, regional convener, among others, it was observed that by merging the 12.50 per cent reservation for both the communities into one category, the government was trying to create communal strife.

Mr Naresh Dhiman, in his address, said it was a deep conspiracy by the ruling Congress party in the state and it would have to bear a major setback in the coming elections to the state assembly.

Several other prominent leaders of the religious body attended the meeting which was held in Chet Nagar on Gill Road. 

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Seminar on Sikhism
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 27
The Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle is organising a seminar dedicated to the 400 years of the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev. Dr Charan Kamal Singh, chief secretary of the circle, said the seminar was the third in the series. Another seminar would be organised at Shivalik Public School, Mohali, on July 28.

The theme of the seminar is ‘Concept of martyrdom in Sikhism’. Teachers and students of different colleges from Ropar, Kapurthala would attend the seminar.

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BJP leader dead
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 27
Senior lawyer and BJP leader Harbans Lal Sethi (67) died yesterday following heart failure. He was a member of the State Executive Body of the BJP.

Earlier, he had served as President of the district unit of the BJP as well as President of the District Bar Association, Ludhiana. He is survived by a son and three daughters. His wife had expired about three months ago.

Lawyers and Judicial Officers have condoled the death of Mr Sethi. The Chairman of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, the Bar Association President, Mr Naval Kishore Chhibber, the Secretary, Mr Rajneesh Gupta, a former Bar Association President, Mr K. R. Sikri expressed sympathy with the grieving family. He was cremated here this evening at Civil Lines creamtion ground.

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Auction

Ludhiana, July 27
The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr K.S. Cheema, will conduct the auction of stacked case properties lying inside the malkhana situated near the Judicial Courts Complex, Ludhiana, on July 29.

As per information, about 20 scooters, seven auto-rickshaws, three cup boards, two beds, one refrigerator and iron girders will be auctioned. OC

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Man held for attempt to outrage modesty
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 27
A resident of Burj Kularan village, Deep Singh, allegedly entered the house of Manjit Kaur of his village on July 19 night and used force with the intent to outrage the modesty of her 10-yr-old daughter.

The local police has registered a case under Sections 354 and 452, IPC.

The police arrested the accused and produced him before Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate Jatinder Walia, who remanded him in judicial custody till August 9.

Goods recovered

The Sudhar police arrested Hardev Singh, alias Dev, of Jodhan and recovered one stolen music system, a stereo and a cassette player.

The police has registered a case under Sections 379 and 411, IPC.

Driver booked

A car (PB10-BU-0722) was damaged in an accident with Tata 407 (PB10-BA-0849) near Tajpur village here.

The Raikot police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 427, IPC, on the complaint of car owner Manoj Kumar, of Ludhiana against Tempo driver Jagdeep Singh of Paddi village, Ludhiana.

The police has arrested the driver.

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SSA outlay hiked to Rs 10,041 crore
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
To translate its key commitment for ensuring equitable, just and inclusive socio-economic development of the common people throughout the country, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has initiated various flagship programmes in key areas of employment, health, education, rural infrastructure, urban renewal and provision of legal frame-work for access to information about functioning of all public authorities in the country.

This was stated by Mr Anil Kumar Saxena, Director General (Media and Communication), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, while speaking on the UPA government’s flagship programmes “Commitment for Socio-Economic Development” at the ongoing public information campaign at Sahnewal today.

Mr Saxena said that Bharat Nirman Yojana (2005-06 to 2008-09) is a time bound plan for developing rural infrastructure covering areas like housing, road connectivity, drinking water supply, electrification, telephone connectivity and irrigation.

He said this yojana has been started just one year back and it seeks to provide electricity to all remaining villages, drinking water supply to all uncovered and slipped back habitations, connect all habitations with a population of 1000 (500 in hilly and tribal areas) with an all-weather road, create additional irrigation capacity of one crore hectare, build 60 lakh houses for the rural poor and cover every village with a telephone.

On Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the scheme being a commitment for universalisation of elementary education, was consolidated by providing additional financial allocations and creation of a dedicated Prarambhik Shiksha Kosh through a two per cent cess introduced for the first time in the country.

He informed that the Central Government has increased the SSA outlay from Rs 7,156 crore for 2005-06 to Rs 10,041 crore for 2006-07 in the Union Budget and for Punjab, the Central Government has released Rs 14683.35 lakh for 2005-06 as on March 31.

Regarding the midday meal scheme, Mr Saxena said that the provision of cooked midday meal was universalised to provide an incentive structure to the students which is proving successful by raising both involvement and retention rates. He said the Central Government has already earmarked Rs 9 crore for Punjab under this scheme.

Stating that Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme is the world’s largest programme aimed at enhancing the health, nutrition and learning opportunities of young children (0-6 years) and their mothers, he said ICDS Scheme has 100 per cent financial assistance from the Central Government and is implemented through the state governments.

He said from 2005-06, the Central Government has decided to provide central assistance tests for Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP) to the extent of 50 per cent.

He informed that in Punjab, six new projects and nearly 2700 AWCs have been sanctioned for 2005-06. He said the state has also been given Rs 1250 lakhs by the Centre for Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP) under financial year of 2005-06.

Terming the National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREGA) Act, 2005 as a bold step by the UPA government to efface poverty from rural India, he said the Act is a path breaking initiative which envisages securing the livelihood of people in rural areas by guaranteeing 100 days of employment in a financial year to a rural household.

He informed that an amount of Rs 16,419 crore has been allocated for the implementation of NREGA in 200 districts in 2006-07. He said in Punjab, Hoshiarpur district has been identified under NREGA and nearly 38,000 households have been registered for which nearly 33,500 job cards have been issued. He said an amount of Rs 756 lakh has been earmarked for 2006-07 and employment has been provided to nearly 20,000 persons.

Talking about National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), he said that the programme seeks to provide effective health care to the rural population throughout the country. He said NRHM aims at providing an umbrella to the existence programmes of Health and Family Welfare including RCH-II, malaria, blindness, iodine deficiency, filaria, kala azar, TB, leprosy.

Mr Saxena informed that under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), the Central Government has approved a grant of Rs 4595 crore for 2006-07. He said in Punjab, Amritsar and Ludhiana have been taken up under JNNURM.

Talking about RTI Act, he exhorted upon the audience to use the provisions of RTI Act. He said this would help in bringing transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority.

He also visited all the stalls put up by Central and state government departments like that of Non-Conventional Energy Sources Ministry, Small Industries Service Institute (SISI), Punjab Agriculture University, District Employment Office, Ludhiana, PSUs like PG Science City, Punjab National Bank, BSNL, LIC, ESI Corporation, NGOs like Nehru Yuva Kendra, NSS, Bharat Vikas Parishad Charitable Trust, Army’s BRO, Patiala besides that of DFP, PIB and the DAVP photo exhibition on safe motherhood.

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