L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Family drugged, robbed by miscreant
Was lured by his promise of curing polio-afflicted child
Mahesh Sharma

Malaudh, August 6
An unidentified miscreant robbed a family of Bhurthala Mander village, near here, after drugging all members of the family on the pretext of treating a polio-affected minor boy in the family with a “havan” performed late at night. The police has initiated investigation into the case, but the exact loss was yet to be estimated, as the family members were still unconscious.

Jarnail Singh of Bhurthala Mander alleged that an unknown miscreant had robbed the house of his brother Hakam Singh after drugging five members of his family last night.

Referring to information received from semi-conscious members of the victim’s family, Mr Jarnail Singh said that a self-styled saint had been visiting their village for some days.

He approached the members of the family of Hakam Singh and assured them that he could treat their polio-affected minor grandson Amrinder Singh in a night.

Hoping that the crippled child would be able to walk straight the next morning, all members of the family, including males, agreed to get the treatment.

During the treatment, the white-bearded miscreant, wearing a saffron robe, swayed in the “havan” organised by closing all doors.

He kept on making them drink some solution and ultimately made them take some drug-laced liquid that left them unconscious at around midnight.

As Surinder Kaur, daughter-in-law of Hakam Singh, was the last one to drink the drug-laced drink, she somehow managed to go out and informed Ranjit Singh about the incident.

“When I reached my brother’s house, the miscreant was collecting some materials near the place of ‘havan’.

“He befooled me even by telling that he had given medicine to all members of the family and they would regain consciousness by morning when the child will be able to walk straight.”

After this, he left the village on the pretext of dropping certain earthen pots in a nearby canal, but never returned,” told Ranjit Singh to the police.

Hakam Singh, his wife Raj Kaur, son Harminder Singh, daughter Karamjit Kaur and daughter-in-law Sinder Kaur were shifted to the Civil Hospital, Malerkotla, at around 3 a.m. today.



False dowry case: woman told to pay damages
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, August 6
The Additional Civil Judge, Jagraon, has directed a Bathinda-based woman to pay Rs 3 lakh as damages to her husband and his relatives for lodging a false dowry harassment case against them.

Ms Jatinder Kaur Walia, Additional Civil Judge (Senior Division), has ordered Harpreet Kaur of Gumti Kalan village to pay the damages with interest to her husband and relatives for causing mental harassment, malicious prosecution and financial loss and loss to reputation by lodging a false FIR, on the charges of dowry demand and harassment.

The court yesterday initiated proceedings for enforcing the decree passed by it and ordered the woman to appear before the court on October 23 this year.

The case was filed by Kuldeep Singh (husband of Harpreet Kaur), Gurmeet Kaur (mother-in-law), Ujagar Singh (father-in-law), Amandeep Singh and Jaswinder Singh(brothers-in-law), all belonging to Chet Singh Nagar of Ludhiana. They had filed a suite for the recovery of Rs 5 lakh on account of damages.

It was submitted by Kuldeep Singh that he got married to Harpreet Kaur in December 1996. After sometime her wife allegedly started compelling him to live at her parental house but he refused. She left her matrimonial home in December 1997.

Following an application by her wife, he was called by the DSP, Jagraon. In the presence of the panchayat they demanded Rs 15 lakh to settle the “dispute”. Ultimately, the matter was compromised for Rs 3 lakh. In the presence of witnesses, the amount was paid in July 1997.

Despite settlement, she again moved an application with the police and all family members were booked under Sections 406, 498-A, 506 of the IPC. But after trial they were acquitted by the Court of Mr H.S. Grewal, JMIC, Jagraon, in January 2002.

It was also submitted and proved on record that with the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court an inquiry was conducted by the then Additional Sessions Judge, Ludhiana, Mr C.D. Gupta. The inquiry report gave clear finding that Rs 3 lakh was paid for a compromise.

The petitioners claimed that thereafter she filed petition under Section 125, CrPC, claiming maintenance from her husband which was later withdrawn by her.

During all these cases, the petitioner spent lakhs on defending litigation and pursuing their cases. Their reputation was also lowered with their arrest in a dowry case.



6 sub-tehsils to have Suvidha windows
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
The district administration has decided to set up Suvidha windows in the offices of six sub tehsils — Mullanpur, Malaud, Dehlon, Machhiwara, Sidhwan Bet and Koom Kalan — to help people of these areas in getting their works done from a single spot in the sub division offices.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of officers concerned held under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta, here today.

At present, the Suvidha windows were functional in the tehsil headquarters in the districts, where the people have to submit their applications for getting their different works relating to the revenue department, certificates and demarcation done.

Under the scheme, a fixed date is given for delivering the required documents or certificates to the applicants at the time of submission of application at Suvidha window and they are not required to make rounds of different offices.

The affidavits for different purposes are also being attested on the spot at all the Sub Divisions. At the meeting, Mr Gupta asked the Additional Deputy Commissioner (D) to provide the required number of computers and other material and trained staff for these Suvidha windows at the earliest so that the facility could be made functional without any delay.

Besides, the administration was also considering to station required staff at the four zonal offices of municipal corporation in the city for collecting applications for Suvidha window in the Mini Secretariat, so that people living near the zonal offices need not come to the DC office for submitting applications.

The Deputy Commissioner said the district administration was also organising sub-division level suvidha camps in the field, offering a unique model for delivery of citizen services, ensuring availability of staff, completion of various formalities at one place, scrutiny of documents at the time of submitting the application and timebound delivery of services.

The basic feature of such camps was to provide on the spot services to the public, eliminating middlemen and corruption in delivery of citizen services.

Another objective of the camps will be to make government departments and offices accountable to the public. The services which were being made available to the people at these camps included attestation of mutations, copies of land record, SC/OBC and domicile certificates, conveyance deeds, attestation of affidavits, issue and renewal of ration cards, learners’ licenses, water connections, PSEB- application for tube well , domestic connections, replacement of meters, enhancement of load, applications under PMRY scheme and assistance from the Red Cross Society.

The Deputy Commissioner appealed the people to make maximum use of the Suvidha windows and in case of any problem they should inform the concerned SDM.



Rs 58.5 cr for youth clubs, mahila mandals
Our Correspondent

Samrala, August 6
Mr Lal Singh, Minister for Rural Development, Panchayats , Food and Supply, Punjab, today announced that the Punjab Government would release grants worth Rs 58.5 crore i.e. Rs 50 lakh for each constituency, specifically for the youth clubs and mahila mandals in the villages for the promotion of their activities.

Mr Lal Singh was addressing a largely attended jan sampark conference organised as part of the mass contact Programme of the Punjab Government and the Congress at Grain Market here today.

The Minister also announced that by the end of August 2006, the government would cover all 12,500 villages of the state, under 24 hours domestic power supply programme and funds amounting to Rs 250 crore had been spent for providing separate power lines for tubewells and for domestic purpose.

Holding the previous government headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal completely responsible for the present shortage of power in the state, he asserted that the Congress Government had chalked out a comprehensive plan to enhance the power generation by 3000 mw in the coming three years and funds amounting to Rs 3000 crore were being spent for this purpose, where as the previous government had not added even a single mw of power generation during its tenure.

Mr Lal Singh ridiculing Mr Badal and other SAD leaders for raising a hue and cry over the big investments in state particularly by the RIL, in agriculture production and Agro-marketing sector, said these leaders were scared of the fact that with the implementation of these projects, the financial condition of the farmers was sure to ameliorate and they would shift to the Congress.

Mr Lal Singh claimed that Mr Badal had only spent funds worth Rs 450 crore for the development, that too, during the last year of the tenure of his government, where as, Capt Amarinder Singh’s government was going to spend around Rs 9000 crore on the developmental programmes, which is 20 times more.

Elaborating, he said that the government had released funds worth Rs 660 crore under the Punjab Nirman programme for development projects in urban and rural areas, Rs 500 core for the repair of link roads, Rs 2000 crore for the main roads, Rs 991 crore for urban development, Rs 3,000 crore on welfare schemes.

He asserted that the government had also spent Rs 80 crore on the construction of toilets in the houses of SC families and more funds of Rs 60 crore were being released for this purpose shortly.

Talking about the financial condition of the state, Mr Lal Singh claimed that the income had been rising substantially. Mr Lal Singh also informed that the government would ensure the payment of bonus of Rs 50 per quintal on wheat to those farmers who sold their produce before its announcement. Capt. Amarinder Singh was meeting the Union Agriculture Minister for this purpose on August 8.

Criticising Mr Parkash Singh Badal for his “misleading propaganda”, Mr Singh said he had always been exploiting the sentiments of people in the name of religion and caste. He asserted that the only Congress could keep the country united and ensure its fast growth with its secular and far sighted policies.

He said Mr Badal had been misleading the people by terming the Congress as anti-Punjab and anti-Sikhs, where as in reality it was only the Congress government which had given liberal funds for the development of the state and had stood by the Sikhs during their difficult periods.

He alleged that Mr Badal had been misguiding the 1984 riot victims and did nothing for their resettlement during NDA’s government rule, whereas, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s government had given a package of Rs 718 crores for compensation to the victim families.

He said Capt. Amarinder Singh had released funds amounting to Rs 210 crore for the completion of Sikh heritage complex, where as the Badal government had spent only Rs 42 crore and had been making false claims of spending Rs 300 crore.



Ludhiana Calling

Morning walkers at the Rose Garden are a happy lot. The Rose garden is getting a new look. After it has been handed over to the a private company for maintenance, new lighting system is already in place. Other things are also changing for the better.

A senior citizen expressed his happiness at the change of the maintaining authority by saying, “Thank God. Atleast the parks will look better than before. I wish the entire Municipal Corporation is passed on to a private management company. The entire city would get a new look like the Rose Garden.”

Traffic cones

After a gap of over three years, traffic cones have again resurfaced on city roads to help the police regulate traffic. These boulders are of utmost importance as they divide the roads without consuming much space.

Unfortunately, due to official apathy in the last three years, the cones had disappeared leading to chaos on the roads and accidents too.

But now with the change in guard at the helm of the Municipal Corporation and the traffic police, importance of these road dividers has been again realised.

Half-baked info

The city police was recently under huge stress due to a sudden spurt in criminal incidents. So whenever the cops get a chance of boasting about their success in busting a gang, press conferences are organised in a jiffy.

More often than not, the cops come prepared with half-baked information. They are found wanting about the criminal history of the accused, details of important aspects of the crime. As a result, the cops have a one-line answer to most of media queries, “We were yet to question the accused in detail and have only this much information.”

Community policing

Though the police administration has announced several programmes for public participation in combating crime, the community policing scheme seems to be going one way only.

The response from the public is found wanting. The recent example is the re-launching of the tenant-verification drive. It was introduced several times earlier but had failed as city residents did not register their tenants in order to prevent the exposure about their benami property, as well as hidden earnings to the Income Tax.

Couple entry

The city seems to have certainly taken a leap forward particularly in context of the freedom of its women. Recently, a renowned hotel in the city reserved Saturdays for couples only in its bar.

It is learnt that the number of couples is growing every Saturday. The hotel management had regularly been requested to reserve one more day for such couples who want to have a drink together in the bar.

This step has caused some resentment among singles who are regular visitors to the bar, but are barred from the entry on Saturdays.

The hotel management has ensured that only couples get into the bar on Saturday nights with two burly security guards who remain posted outside all the time.

Traffic lights

The traffic lights in Mata Rani Chowk are lying on the roadside for the past many months. The lights were a casualty during the construction of an elevated road. But the construction company did not bother to reinstall these. The traffic management at the chowk is suffering but the lights fail to capture anybody’s attention. One wonders if these would be reinstalled only after these develop a snag.


To advertise his hair-dyeing talents, a barber here had put a sign outside his shop saying ‘Hair is dying here’.

Contributed by Jupinderjit Singh, Vimal Sumbly, Kanchan Vasdev



Chandumajra seeks Badal’s cooperation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Longowal) president, Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, said today that Mr Parkash Singh Badal should not oppose the Panthic reforms proposed by the recently constituted Panthic Coordination Committee. He said Mr Badal must cooperate with the committee.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Chandumajra regretted that Mr Badal was opposing it for the reasons best known to him. He maintained that for some time the sanctity of Sikh institutions had been harmed and it needed to be restored at all costs. For this reform movement was necessary. Moreover, he pointed out, it was not against any particular leader or individual.

The Akali leader suggested that Mr Badal and the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, should sit together to plead the case of the state with the Central Government. He said instead of levelling charges and counter charges against each other they could meet the Prime Minister together and seek the resolution of outstanding problems of the state.

He also criticised the UPA government for extending special favour to Himachal Pradesh, which he pointed out would have serious consequences for Punjab.



SAD resolves to oust Cong govt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
Workers and leaders of the SAD today resolved to oust the Congress from power in the state. They alleged that the Congress government had failed on all fronts and people were feeling cheated. They said that the Congress ministers had resorted to corruption while the common man was made to suffer.

Addressing a function organised here today to felicitate the newly appointed Ludhiana District (rural) president, Sant Singh Umedpuri, the Akali leaders claimed that there was widespread resentment among the people against the Congress government.

Speaking on the occasion, senior leader and former SGPC president, Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, said the days of the Congress government were numbered. He said the countdown had started. He asked the workers to prepare themselves for the big fight that was only six months away. He also appealed to the workers to remain active and united.

Former minister and party general secretary, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, claimed that there was a mood for change among the masses. He said the people had great expectations from the SAD and its leader, Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

Mr Umedpuri expressed his gratitude to the party leadership for giving him the responsibility of the Ludhiana district. He said he would ensure that he comes up to the expectations of the party leaders and workers alike.

Prominent among those present on the occasion included the Deputy Speaker in the Lok Sabha, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha and others.



Khanguras “resolve” to wrest Kila Raipur from Akalis
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura and his son, Mr Jesse Khangura, have claimed that they would ensure that the Congress wrests the Kila Raipur Assembly seat from the Akalis. Talking to reporters here last evening, Mr Jesse Khangura asserted that their family with the cooperation from the government had done a lot of development works in the area and people were duly acknowledging it.

With elections only about six months away, the Khanguras have increased their activities in the area. The junior Khanugra however, asserted: “We have been in the constituency for the full four and-a-half years and we would continue to be there”. He said, it was too early to say whether he would himself be contesting the elections or not. “But one thing is certain that we had promised development to the people in the area and we have been successful to a great extent”, he claimed.

On the issue of development, he said, they did not entirely rely on the government for the development of the area. “We contributed a lot on our own”, he said, while adding that they had provided computers to a number of schools in the countryside. It had been acknowledged by the Minister for Panchayats and Rural Development, Mr Lal Singh, at several places during his mass contact programme in Ludhiana district.

He said they were quite optimistic about the response of the people as everybody realised how much work they had done in the area. Despite the fact that Kila Raipur is being considered an Akali stronghold, Mr Khangura said they were confident of breaking the Akali hold over this seat. He said, “our entire family spends most of our time in constituency and meeting people and getting their problems solved.”



Dullo promises land for media centre
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 6
The Punjab Union of Journalists (PUJ) organised its annual state conference at Deepak Palace here today. The conference was presided over by the president of PPCC, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Ashok Singhi, vice-president of the National Union of Journalists, announced the results of the elections of the PUJ. He declared Dr Harjinder Singh Lal and Mr Jaspal Singh Heran elected as president and general secretary of the union, respectively.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Singhi spoke about the incident that took place in the CMCH, Ludhiana, where staff of the hospital had assaulted two press photographers and illegally detained them. The police personnel present there did not act against the erring employees. Dr Lal assured to work for the interest of the journalists. He reminded Mr Dullo to get land allotted for the construction of a media centre as Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, and Mr Surinder Singla, Finance Minister, had earlier promised.

Mr Vijay Chopra, Chief Editor of Punjab Kesari Group, highlighted the changes in journalism taken place in the last decade that had increased the responsibility of mediapersons. He spoke about pressure on journalist generated by the publication of several editions of newspapers in the errors left in the edition inadvertently due to it. These often cause the newspapers and their editors unnecessary embarrassment and make them face litigation. He appealed to hold workshops at different places to groom talent among journalists.

Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, a Cabinet minister, referred to the new era of the Press and electronic media, which had got power to work constructively for the nation. He announced a grant of Rs 51,000 for the state unit of the PUJ.

Mr Sham Khosla, Chairman of the India Media Centre, Mr Ashok Malik, Assistant Editor of Dainik Tribune, Mr Prajayanand Chaudary, general secretary of the NUJ (I) called for training to journalists so that they could perform their duties without fear.

Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, MP, highlighted the role of media in a democratic setup. He appealed to the journalists to fight against the evils of drug abuse and dowry. He offered the PUJ to get a building for journalists constructed in his constituency from the MP Fund.

Mr N.K. Trikha, president of the NUJ (I), appealed to the fraternity to work in the interest of society, state and nation without harming interests of any section of society.

Mr Dullo assured to get land allotted for the media centre as promised by the Chief Minister and the Finance Minister within a month. He also announced a grant of Rs 2 Lakh to the state unit of the union. He also released the first copy of the Punjabi Daily Pehredar.

Mr Darshan Singh Brar, a former minister, Mr Bhag Singh Malah, MLA, and Mr S.S. Gill, SDM, were present on the occasion. In the second session the difficulties faced by journalists were discussed.



Good Samaritan takes mishap victims to hospital
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 6
Timely help by activists and leaders of a political party saved the lives of Mandeep Singh, son of Puran Singh and Santokh Singh son of Balwinder Singh of Khatra Chauharam village who had been injured seriously after being run over by a tractor trailer near Bhutta village on the Khanpur-Bhutta link road near here.

According to Ms Rachhpal Kaur of Khatra village, her son, Mandeep Singh and his friend Santokh Singh had been injured seriously on Friday. While the unidentified driver fled the scene, Mr Mann Singh Garcha, SAD leader and his associates, shifted them to Dayanand Hospital in the afternoon, where doctors are trying to save their lives.

Santokh Singh, who had returned from Dubai recently, and Mandeep Singh were going to meet some relatives at Sahnewal when their scooter met with the accident. Profusely bleeding, the youths were lying unconscious for hours as passersby hesitated to touch them.

Mr Garcha said, “When we saw the two youths lying unconscious we requested some vehicle owners to assist us in sifting them to a hospital, but none of them agreed to oblige and ultimately I dropped my associates there and took the injured to hospital in my car.”

While Mandeep Singh has received head injuries, a leg of Santokh Singh had been injured in the accident.



Police to give traffic control top priority
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
The police will give top priority to traffic management in the district said SSP M.F. Farooqui in a press note.

Emphasising that since overloading, over-speeding, using mobiles while driving cause accidents, the SSP said that a special drive has been launched to book the violators under the Motor Vehicle Act and the IPC wherever applicable.

He requested the public to follow traffic rules as they are meant for their safety.



Union’s plea on reservation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
The Safai Sewak Karamchari Union of the municipal council has submitted a memorandum to the SDM demanding that the reservation of 12.5 per cent for them be maintained.

Mr Kamal Kumar, general secretary of the union, while issuing the copies of the letter, said they were not against any religion, caste or section of society, but were asserting their rights.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Pradesh Balmik Sabha has approached PPCC president Shamsher Singh Dullo to safeguard their interests.



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