L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Stick to CMP, CPM warns UPA govt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) today warned the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government against deviating from the Common Minimum Programme.

Addressing a party rally here today, the CPM politburo member Mr Sitaram Yechury, the state general secretary, Prof Balwant Singh, and other leaders warned, "the UPA will remain in power as long as it sticks to the CMP".

Spelling out his party's agenda, Mr Yechury said the CPM was trying to build pressure on the government in and outside the Parliament to ensure that it stuck to the CMP. Wherever the party deviates from it, the party not only opposes it but also suggests the alternatives, he said, adding that today's rally was part of a nationwide agenda to build public pressure on the government not to pursue anti-people policies.

He pointed out that the prices of the essential commodities, including petrol and diesel, had touched all-time high. There was always a possibility of controlling the prices if the government wanted.

He said his party wanted that the forward trading of the essential commodities be banned as it had led to hoarding, artificial scarcity and consequentially rise in the prices. He said only the trading class got benefited while the farmers suffered huge losses with the forward trading.

Mr Yechury was also critical of the foreign policy of the government. He warned that the government was seemingly adopting a pro-America line. At times, it appeared that India's foreign policy was being dictated by the USA only.

He said the CPM wanted an assurance from the Prime Minister on various issues in relation to the Indo-US Nuclear deal. He apprehended that India might be made to accept those terms and conditions which would not be in the national interest and could even undermine the national honour and sovereignty.

On the issue of terrorism and threat to national security, Mr Yechury said there needed to be a general consensus across the nation on the issue. The issue was sensitive and needed to be handled delicately without creating the culprits and blaming the people who have no concern with terrorism whatsoever.

Speaking on the occasion, the state CPM secretary, Prof Balwant Singh, alleged that the Punjab government had failed to fulfil the expectations and aspirations of the people. The state government was playing into the hands of the capitalists and the voice of the workers was being gagged. The unemployment was rising much against the claims of the Chief Minister that heavy investments had generated employment in the state.

The rally was among others addressing by Mr Raghunath Singh, state secretary CITU, Mr Sukhminder Singh Sekhon and other senior party leaders. The attendance in the rally was reasonably well. However most of the participants included the migratory labourers only.



Balwant predicts hung Assembly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The Punjab unit of the Communist Party of India today ruled out any alliance with the Congress in the state. The CPM state secretary, Prof Balwant Singh, also ruled out any electoral understanding with the radical Akali groups like those led by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann and Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna.

Predicting a hung assembly with neither the ruling Congress nor the Akali-BJP alliance getting a clear majority, Prof Balwant Singh said the third front likely to be constituted by them would hold key to the formation of government. Prof Balwant Singh was talking to reporters after addressing a party rally here today.

He disclosed that the CPM, the CPI, the Lok Bhalai Party and a section of the Bahujan Samaj Party had agreed in principle to come together against the Congress and the Akali-BJP alliance.

Even some splinter Akali groups like the Akali Dal-1920 and the Akali Dal-Longowal were welcome in the front. However, he added, the Akali Dal-Longowal would need to change their leader. He said the CPM agreed with what Mr Longowal stood for but had reservations about Mr Chandumajra.

The CPM leader alleged that the Congress government had failed to fulfil the expectations of the people. Even the minimum wages had not been guaranteed to the workers. The labour department was acting as a facilitator for the employers than the employees.

Prof Balwant Singh said the CPM would open its account in the next assembly to voice the grievances of the people. He said people were fed up with both the Congress as well as the Akali-BJP alliance.



Life triumphs over death
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 13
In a bizarre case, an infant girl was allegedly left to be suffocated to death in a plastic bag and thrown in an empty plot at Kup Kalan village near here a midnight. The infant, however, survived.

The local police rescued the infant, a present, recovering at Dayanand Hospital Ludhiana, after receiving information from Sajjan Singh, sarpanch of the village.

It is suspected that some couple, obviously to conceal their shameful act, abandoned the infant. Connivance of some medical professional can not be ruled out.

According to an FIR registered under section 315 and 317 of IPC at local police station a plastic bag containing the infant was seen at a deserted plot at around 5 am today. “When we inspected the plastic bag noticed by Ruldu, we found that a girl child was left to suffocate by plugging her mouth with a piece of cloth. Though the child was motionless we found its body warm,” reported Sajjan Singh to the police.

Sajjan Singh immediately reported the matter to Mr Darshan Singh, SHO, Sadar, who in turn arranged for an ambulance and shifted the child to Civil Hospital, Malerkotla. She was later shifted to Dyanand Hospital Ludhiana.

Referring to information received from Dr Bhagwan Singh, Dr Badri Dass SMO Civil Hospital Malerkotla told the Ludhiana Tribune that the infant could have died had the police not rescued her. “Stuffing of a piece of cloth suggested that her parents, legitimate or illegitimate intended killing her,” he added.

Appreciating promptness of the police and the public in rescuing the deserted child, Mr Rachhpal Singh Hara DSP Malerkotla, said he would apprise the SSP Sangrur Mr Harinder Singh Chahal of role played by the cops and the residents of the village and recommend suitable award. “However we will try our best to identify the accused and get they punished,” claimed Mr Hara.



Contaminated water supply continues
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
Residents of Tagore Nagar are being supplied stinking drinking water for the last 10 days. Despite repeated complaints to the authorities concerned, the grievance has not been redressed.

Mr Jagbir Grewal, a resident, said that they were forced to buy bottled water as they could not depend on water supply which was apparently being mixed with sewerage at some point.

He said the water supplied in the morning was at times a bit pale yellow and stinking as if it was mixed with some dirty water.

"After waiting for some employee to come to rectify the snag for days, we approached the area welfare society today and lodged our complaint. They have assured us that something would be done by tomorrow," said Mr Grewal.



Unit making spurious ghee unearthed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
A joint team of the city police and the District Food and Supply Department today unearthed a factory manufacturing spurious ghee in Guru Arjun Dev Nagar falling under the division no 7 police station.

The police used a SPO as a decoy customer to buy the ghee and later nailed the accused.

The police has arrested the accused manufacturer, Mr Rakesh Jain, along with his employee Rajesh, who mixed Dalda ghee, refined oil, desi ghee and essence to sell it as pure desi ghee of local brands.

The mixture cost them Rs 80 per kg, while they sold it at Rs 150 per kg.

SP City-II Dinesh Pratap Singh and DSP Satvir Atwal told a press conference that the adulterated ghee was being sold and used in various hotels, restaurants and dhabhas in the city.

The police recovered 25 tins of spurious ghee along with three tins of refined oil with several empty tins, polythene bags and logos of the ‘Shan-e-Punjab’ brand. 



Villagers protest against road project
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The issue of acquisition of land for laying a bypass through Gill village fails to die down with some villagers today protesting against the development project.
Led by two-member panchayat, Mr Raghbir Singh and Mr Dharam Pal Singh, some villagers alleged that they were being pressured to keep mum although 27 acres of land worth crores of rupees were being acquired for the project.

Addressing a press conference here today, the panches once again said instead of widening the existing road, the Punjab Roads and Bridges Development Board was acquiring a fresh piece of land for completing the work.

The protests started after a few days of a meeting of the board officials with the villagers after which the former claimed they had buried all misunderstandings of the villagers, who were ready for the development project.

Producing documents of the revenue department in favour of their claim that a part of land belonging to the Centre, deh panchayat and abadi deh was encroached upon by some villagers. The panches said the authorities were trying to protect these grabbers by not widening the existing road.

They added that Gill village always had to suffer in the past also as it had given away land for an engineering college, an ITI, a PSEB office. 



Jagraon police bags Best Crime Detection Award
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The Jagraon police has walked away with the Best Crime Detection Award-2006 for successfully cracking the knotty murder case of Reema Jain, a high-profile businesswoman of Ludhiana, who was killed in July last year.

The award, constituted by the Punjab Police for encouraging healthy competition among various police districts and for promoting modern scientific investigation, would be presented to the SSP, Jagraon, R.K. Jaiswal, and his team at a state-level Independence Day Function in Patiala on Tuesday.

The Reema Jain-murder investigation got the winning nod over the double murder case of a jeweller and his wife that took place last month on Ludhiana and a Rs 65 lakh bank heist in Jalandhar. Both cases were succesfully solved by the police.

The Jagraon police had the last laugh in the tough race for the award thanks to the complexity of the case.

With the able guidance of DIG Parag Jain, SSP Jaiswal had solved a crime asking place in another police district and later scientific gathering of evidence, including the recreating her body on her skeletal remains with the help of her pictures was done.

It was done for the first time in a Punjab Police case by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Chandigarh.

ADGP Law and order Chander Shekhar told The Tribune that the case had gained international significance and had been chosen by a team headed by DGP S. S. Virk.

He said the case had become a perfect showcase to the international community about the development in scientific investigation in Punjab.

The case was also more challenging as the body of the victim was recovered nine months after the murder. The body was found by the Jagraon police from Ludhiana only.



Concern at leaders’ exodus to Congress
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The All-India Shiromani Akali Dal (AISAD) president, Mr Jaswant Singh Mann, yesterday said the erosion in ‘Akali’ values has led to an exodus from the party. He said that with Mr Prem Singh Lalpura, a senior Akali leader and former SGPC president leaving the party and joining the Congress, the crisis in the Akali Dal led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal has further deepened.

He said that earlier Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta had also been made to leave the party under similar circumstances. This, he said, has necessitated the gurdwara reform movement. He said that Mr Lalpura was one of the senior-most leaders of Akali politics. When people like him can feel alienated there must be something wrong with the system, he said.



IMA for zero tolerance in violence cases
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 13
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has resolved to adopt a ‘zero tolerance policy’ in cases involving violence against doctors or medical institutions. In case such unwarranted attacks on medical professionals, the doctors will close their establishments immediately and hold demonstrations in the city demanding stern action against the culprits

In the wake of increasing attacks on doctors by unruly mob and unscrupulous elements, the IMA convened a meeting at the CMC Auditorium here yesterday to chalk out a strategy to protect the doctors from violence.

The meeting was attended by over 100 doctors from prominent medical institutions in the city. Prominent among those present were Dr L.S. Chawla, former Vice-Chancellor of the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Dr Daljit Singh, Principal, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Dr John Pramod, Director, Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH), Dr R.S. Sodhi, Medical Superintendent, Guru Teg Bahadur Charitable Hospital, Dr Parveen Sareen, Dr Arora, state and district presidents, respectively, of All India Integrated Medical Association, Dr Balbir Singh Sekhon, Director, Ludhiana Mediciti Hospital, Dr Anurag Goswami and Dr Naresh Kalra.



Security beefed up due to function at Isru
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
A special 60-member team has been constituted by SSP M.F.Farooqui as the security strengthening measure in the light of the state-level shaheedi conference to commemorate the memory of Karnail Singh Isru, who laid down his life for the nation while freeing Goa from the Portuguese.

The three different teams will keep a vigil on the bus stand, railway station, bazaars, and hotels etc, to thwart any attempt by anti- social element. The police is capable of scanning the activities of the people in the district.

The special drive has been launched in view of the state-level function where the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, PPCC president Shamsher Singh Dullo, ministers, MLAs and other prominent leaders are scheduled to participate. 



Pensioners to celebrate I-Day

Ludhiana, August 13
Mr B.R. Kaushal, Chairman, Pensioners Information Centre Management Committee, stated that Central and Punjab Government pensioners, besides those of the PSEB and Railways would celebrate Independence Day on August 15 at Pensioners Bhavan here.
The National Flag would be hoisted by the seniormost pensioner there. A large number of pensioners and their family members will be present. — OC



Gang of car thieves busted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The CIA-II Wing of the city police has busted yet another gang of car thieves who lifted cars from Delhi and surrounding areas and sold them through forged documents in the city.

A team led by the CIA-II in charge, SI Dilpreet Singh, busted the gang and arrested two of its key members near Sahnewal yesterday.

The SP, Detective, Mr Harish Kumar, and the DSP, Mr Bhupinder Singh, told a media conference today that the police had recovered five stolen cars from the arrested men They have been identified as Abdul Waqil of Sherpur Chowk here and Satwant Singh, a resident of Maksudran village under Payal police station.

The police has recovered two Mahindra Scorpios, an Indica, a Wagon R and a Santro from their hideout near Sahnewal.

The police is one the trail of the third member of the gang identified as Sayyed Naimal. The gangsters were nabbed following a tip-off. The accused were caught while entering Sahnewal in a stolen car. 



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