L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

NRI woman held for fraud
Admits to luring youths into marriage, duping them
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 4
Non-remunerative agriculture in Punjab and the desire for greener pastures in Canada and America are major factors why the youths in the state are ready to compromise to any extent for a chance to settle abroad. This was stated by the NRI woman who was arrested from a religious place at Alamgir by the local police yesterday. She was wanted in connection with an FIR registered under Sections 420, 494, 406 and 120-B for allegedly duping a youth of Rs 12 lakh by marrying him and then deserting him.

Parwinder Kaur, daughter of Gurdeep Singh Sandhu of Marwah Khurad, Yamunanagar, an NRI settled in Canada, was arrested from Alamgir while trying to flee after duping Beant Singh, another youth of Momnabad village, near here.

Kuldip Singh, son of Nachhatar Singh, a resident of Manakwal village, had accused her of duping him of Rs 12 lakh.

Preliminary investigations reveal Parwinder, like many other NRI women, lured Punjabi youths with the promise of greener pastures in Canada. Harbans Singh, another NRI and close relative of Parwinder, was instrumental in introducing her to Bhupinder Singh of Dhulkot and Baljinder Singh of Koom Kalan who asked Kuldeep to marry her.

“I am not the first one to have done this. I was deserted by my husband, Gurdeep Singh, who is of the age of my father. There are dozens of NRI women who have been exploiting Punjabi youths at the instance of their husbands,” said Parwinder to the police, adding that only a few cases came to light

A majority of duped farmers preferred to keep mum after being duped for fear of ridicule. Admitting having taken money from Kuldeep Singh, Parwinder said she had agreed to marry Beant Singh of Momnabad as she intended to honour her promise to repay him money.

She said she had stayed at a hotel on Ferozepur road, Ludhiana, and the ring ceremony was performed at a restaurant at Neelon bridge near Samrala on Saturday.

Parwinder married Gurdeep Singh Chahal, divorcee, 35 years her senior in age for greener pastures in Canada. Not contended with her lot, she started visiting India in search of young boys desirous of migrating abroad. She succeeded in alluring Kuldeep Singh and got married to him in March this year.

Investigations revealed that after leaving Manakheri, Parwinder started living with one Viney Brahamchari, a self-styled tantrik, at Sital Narwaha. A major part of the money minted from Kuldeep Singh was used to construct an ashram run by the Yad Sewa Trust floated by the duo to grab money from government agencies.

Interestingly the marriage of Parwinder and Kuldeep was registered at Ludhiana had that too without the appearance of parents of the bride. 



Who is monitoring fabrication of joy rides?
Chhapar Mela begins tomorrow
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 4
While the Jagraon district police is all set to combat any eventuality at Chhapar Mela, scheduled to commence from Wednesday, the civil administration is yet to take stock of the situation there.

Though a significant number of devotees came to pay obeisance at Guga Mari yesterday, officials are yet to conduct physical verification of the infrastructure erected there.

Mr Ashok Gupta, DC, Ludhiana, on the other hand, claimed that he had directed the Director (Factories) to examine standards of fittings used for fabrication of joy rides and merry-go-rounds.

“I have already convened a meeting of all officials concerned with the management of the event and directed officials to conduct physical verification before recommending issue of licences,” said Mr Gupta while talking to the Ludhiana Tribune at Payal.

Observations revealed that unskilled labour had been deputed to erect giant structures. A majority of mechanics did not know the fundamentals of mechanical science. “We have been doing this job for many years and can work faster than any qualified engineers. Neither has any of the officer ever guided us in our work, nor do we need their advice,” said one of the workers.

Sources at the control room established at the mela site said no official from the Directorate of Factories had reported at the mela site. “However, we have directed that only those joy rides be allowed to transact business which had been issued valid licences by the appropriate authorities,” said Mr Rashpal Singh Dhindsa, incharge, control room.

A large number of joy rides, including motorised merry-go-rounds, swing and “Maut ka Kuan”, have been doing brisk business during the few past years. Though the erection of structures is almost complete, persons supervising these fun rides failed to show any no-objection certificate. Most of them answered that the documents were with their masters who were present at the site. Sources said some persons were seriously injured during Columbus ride in past years and one of the performers had met with an ancient while driving a car in “Maut ka Kuan”. At least four persons were killed at Muktsar mela four years ago when a cradle of a revolving lark felt from a height due to centrifugal force.



Tyres worth lakhs go up in flames
10 fire engines used; short circuit likely cause
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 4
Tyres worth lakhs were gutted in a fire that broke out in a tyre shop near the railway station here today.

The fire that broke out at Bhasin and Company is believed to have been caused by a short circuit. It took around 10 fire engines to put out the fire in four hours. The second floor of the three-storeyed building caught fire first. Later, it spread to the third floor also.

The traffic police had to divert the traffic from the Jagraon bridge to Ghanta Ghar as the entire GT Road was blocked during the fire-fighting operation.

Firefighters had a tough time controlling the flames and preventing these from spreading to other showrooms. They complained that there was no fire exit in the store and they had to use a congested staircase to reach the upper floors. Thick smoke was quite a deterrent for the firefighters, but they did not give up.

“The building flouted the norms and anything could have happened while fighting the fire,” said a firefighter. 



16-year-old sodomised
Our Correspondent

Khamano, September 4
A 16-year old boy of nearby Khant village was sodomised by a village youth this afternoon.

Amritpal Singh, who belongs to a very poor family, had gone to the fields. There he was overpowered by Sukhwinder Singh Kala and sodomised. On hearing his cries, a villager, Aman, reached the site and took the boy to the Civil Hospital, Khamano, along with his father and panchayat members. The SMO, Khamano, Dr Charanjeet Singh, when contacted, said that a medical examination would be conducted by senior doctors.

Khant village sarpanch, who was present at the hospital, demanded stern action against the accused. He said Kala was also involved in another case of sodomy and he had remained in jail for a month.

When contacted, the SSP, Khamano, Mr Satinderpal Singh, said he had received information in this regard and police parties had been despatched to arrest the culprit. He assured that stern action would be initiated against the accused. 



American Express Bank told to pay compensation
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, September 4
The American Express Bank has been directed to pay Rs 15,000 as compensation for wrongly suspending the credit card facility of one of its customers, causing undue harassment to him.

Pronouncing the verdict, president of the forum, Mr A S Narula, and its members Pooja Dewan and Daljit Singh Bakshi held that the bank was negligent and deficient in rendering services to the complainant. Despite making all payments, his credit card facility was suspended unnecessarily.

The orders were pronounced while deciding the complaint filed by a lawyer, Mr N K Aggarwal, of Rose Enclave, Civil Lines. It was submitted by the complainant that he had availed of the credit card facility after making payment of requisite charges.

It was contented that vide statement of account dated October 30, 2004, an amount of Rs 3,504 was shown outstanding. The payment of the said cheque was made through a cheque dated November 6, 2004. But the payment was not credited to his account.

He received a communication to the effect that the said payment was not received by the bank. Thereafter, he rang up the official of the bank who said that the cheque appeared to have been missing. He was advised to direct the bankers for stopping payment of the said cheque and issuing a new cheque for making the outstanding payment.

As per the instructions, a fresh cheque was issued on November 26. Surprisingly, he received a letter from the bank stating therein since the payment of the cheque was stopped, Rs 165 stood debited in his account as handling charges. It was also stated that the credit card account had been suspended until a fresh cheque was received, claimed the complainant.

But when he received the statement of account, it transpired that the payment of Rs 3,504 was received by the bank on November 30.

On January 6, 2005, when he tried to use the credit card for making payment at Delhi, the credit was not live. So, he was humiliated without fault.

On the other hand, an application for dismissal of the complaint was filed by the bank officials taking several objections. But no written reply controverting the allegations levelled in the complaint was filed. 



Rainwater eats into bitumen; potholes, craters
dot roads
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Bad roads in Transport Nagar need immediate attention.
Bad roads in Transport Nagar need immediate attention. — Photos by Inderjit Verma

Ludhiana, September 4
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is faced with the task of repairing almost all roads in the city, after the two days’ of rain washed away the top layer of bitumen, thanks to poor drainage.

Just a few centimeters of rain that lashed the city recently took on roads, which have developed potholes and huge craters. Poor drainage led to accumulation of rainwater on roads, eating into the bitumen. Subsequently, due to flooding and movement of vehicles, craters were formed on many busy roads.

Reports of washed away roads were received from almost all parts. Potholes were witnessed on Pakhowal road, Gill road, some parts of Ferozepur roads, Rani Jhansi road, Punjab Mata Nagar, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, BRS Nagar, South Model Gram, Transport Nagar and many other areas.

The Damoria bridge road has also been washed away. It was recarpeted just a few months ago and it could have lasted for two years had the water not accumulated on this road. Being a busy stretch, hundreds of vehicles, including heavy ones, pass on this road everyday. The water-logged road gets damaged easily due to traffic.

Residents said they did not know how long would it take to repair all roads. “There are so many problems and now the roads, too, need recarpeting. Had the MC taken care of stormwater sewerage well in time, it would not have suffered losses worth lakhs. Just an hour of rain leads to flooding”, said Mr Ram Narain, a resident of Gurdev Nagar.

Residents of other parts complained of formation of puddles in low-lying areas following rains. They said mosquitoes were breeding in these pools and would cause the out break of diseases. There was no check on breeding of these insects as no fumigation was being taken up by the authorities concerned.

In Ambedkar Nagar, considered malaria-prone by the Health Ministry, scores of such puddles are giving residents sleepless nights.

“We are ourselves spraying kerosene at these places, otherwise nobody has come to take stock of the situation. The condition is so bad that stench is emanates all around due to non-lifting of garbage for days together”.

Mr Vikas Partap, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, said the MC had identified major roads needing attention. The MC had chalked out a plan to recarpet those and soon tenders would be called for the purpose.



Kisan bodies seek debt relief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 4
Various kisan organisation today sought comprehensive debt relief package for the farmers. They also demanded that the families of those farmers, who committed suicide, be awarded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each. Representatives of seven kisan organisations held a meeting at the Punjabi Bhawan here today. It was presided over by Mr Kulwant Singh Sandhu.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Mr Sukhdev Singh Pokhri Kalan said that the kisan organisations regretted the Punjab Government’s decision to abandon the move to introduce a debt relief bill in the state Assembly. The organisations observed that this was high time that Punjab government enacted a legislation to provide comprehensive debt relief package to the farmers.

The organisations which participated in the meeting included, the BKU (Ugrahan), Kisan Sangarsh Committee, Punjab Kisan Sabha, Jamoori Kisan Sabha, BKU Sidupur, Kul Hind Kirti Kisan Union and the Zameen Bachao Committee Barnala.

The meeting expressed concern over the economic plight of the farmers and demanded regulation of the debt recovery system. It suggested that the banks should be asked not to charge more than 4 per cent interest on farmers loans and similar interest should be applicable on the loans provided by the private financers.

The farmers would be holding a massive convention in Bathinda in the next few days to press for their various demands.



Mohika on way to be Superstar
Asha Ahuja

Mohika Bansal
Mohika Bansal

Ludhiana, September 4
Eight-year old Mohika Bansal was recently chosen Ludhiana winner of the Rin Mera Star Superstar contest.

A student of BCM Model Senior Secondary School, Ludhiana, Mohika Bansal is in Mumbai with her mother these days. She is undergoing grooming there before the final selection of the superstar.

Star Plus will telecast the programme from September 8 at 7.30 pm wherein 40 children selected from various cities would showcase their talent.

Farida Jalal and Sachin Pilgoankar were the judges for the show in which children in the age group of 5 to 14 years participated.

Talking to this correspondent on telephone from Mumbai, Farida Jalal said, “We are simply awestruck by the enormous talent of the children. Their talent is incredible. We have to shortlist one child who will be the Rin Superstar and get Rs 5-lakh scholarship. It is going to be a tough job. Children are improving with each passing day here at the grooming camp.”

Sachin, who was also discovered as a child star, said, “During our time, shows were limited to the stage. The children of today are fortunate that they get exposure in the media. The parents are also very supportive these days. There are no losers in this show for if they have not made to the finals, yet they were able to show their talent during auditions and thus got inspired to do better.”



Councillors, BJP leaders stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 4
To protest against the lack of civic amenities in Ward No. 16, area councillors, various BJP leaders and their supporters staged a dharna outside the Zone-D office of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation today.

Led by Ms Sunita Rani, area councillor, the BJP leaders and councillors raised slogans against the MC authorities and threatened that they would sit on a fast if their demands were not fulfilled.

The agitators said some dyeing units in the area were discharging untreated waste in the main sewer, rendering it choked and the entire roads water-logged.

They said, the authorities had spent crores for laying new roads but they had failed to do something about the sewerage that also needed attention. ‘‘A road cannot remain in good shape if it remains flooded with sewage,” said Ms Sunita Rani, demanding a CBI probe into the entire episode.

She said some manholes in her ward were without covers and an untoward incident was waiting to happen. Despite claims of the local body authorities to providing 100 per cent water, residents of her ward had been living without potable water while roads were flooded with sewage.

She threatened that if a massive cleaning operation was not launched in her area within 15 days, they would be forced to sit on a fast.

Soon after the dharna, MC Joint Commissioner, Jaswant Singh said the corporation had launched a special cleanliness drive in Jamalpur on the Chandigarh road where the sewer lines of Focal Point were ultimately connected. During cleaning and desilting of the lines, large number of jute bags, bricks and other similar material were removed, he said.

Apart from this, the MC had pressed a sewer-cleaning machine into service in the city.

He said he had informed the PPCB to ensure that the factory owners discharged the sewage after treatment.

During the last meeting of the House of the corporation, Councillor of Ward No. 16 had raised the issue of sewerage problems in the area. The City Mayor had announced that her grievances would be redressed soon.



Makkar writes to PM on haircut issue
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 4
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, today alleged that there was a deep-rooted conspiracy in deliberately cutting the hair of a Sikh youth.

He alleged that these incidents were planned to create communal tension in the region in general and Punjab in particular on the eve of the elections in the state.

Mr Makkar told The Tribune here that he had written to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and sought his immediate attention on the issue.

He pointed out that it was a serious issue concerning the faith of the Sikhs. He demanded that those found guilty be dealt with seriously so that nobody dares to hurt the religious feelings of the Sikhs.

“There is a bigger plan behind all this, aimed at creating communal tension in Punjab,” the SGPC president observed and added that there was nothing new in these tactics as these had been adopted earlier also.

He expressed relief that people had exercised utmost restraint despite grave provocation. But, he warned, there is limit to everything. “Let the things not be allowed to go out of control,” he warned.

Mr Makkar maintained that some vested interests who wanted to sabotage peace in the state and create an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty in Punjab on the eve of elections were deliberately organising such incidents.

Referring to the Tilak Nagar incident in Delhi, where a Ludhiana boy was forced for a haircut, the SGPC president said, it was quite serious and it should be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The SGPC president demanded that the Section 295 of the Indian Penal Code must be made more stringent to ensure severe punishment to those found guilty of hurting the religious sentiments of the people.

Mr Makkar appealed to leaders of all political and religious organisations not to politicise the issue and derive political mileage out of it. “It concerns us all and let us fight it together,” he said.



90 pc follow vastu: expert
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 4
Foreigners are more particular in building vastu-compliant buildings than Indians, many of whom still look at the “science” with scepticism, feels Mr Khushdeep Bansal, vastu practitioner from Delhi, who has handled real-estate projects in India and several other countries.

Mr Bansal, who was in the city today, said not only those building residential complexes, but even industrialists and other builders had also become particular when it came to following vastu.

“Over 90 per cent of the people today want their buildings and houses to be vastu-compliant. These include commercial complexes and malls. What is surprising is, however, that in countries like Dubai, England, people are more particular and have accepted it as a science in comparison to Indians,” he added.

He said right from the stage of site selection to occupancy, people these days had become quite particular.

Talking about Ludhiana, he said a large proportion of the industrial growth of Mandi Gobindgarh had moved to Ludhiana because of a shift in the earth’s energy pattern.

“The coming years would witness increased development in industrial activity here,” he said. “Unlike many other places around the city that are better in one or the other aspect, the city was balanced when it came to areas like relationships, spirituality and material benefits, which is what makes it a good place to live in,” he added.

On the growing demand for vastu experts, he said people should go in for the right people. The criterion for selecting an expert could be his educational qualification and his repute.

Asserting on the need to include vastu in architectural curriculums, he said: “Currently very small portion of vastu is taught to those studying architecture. However, as people want architects to provide them with the facility of vastu guidance as well, it is important that more universities include detailed vastu studies in their courses. An architect these days is not complete if he does not know about vastu.”

Regarding various other arts and sciences like Feng Shui, he said vastu being the oldest and the most comprehensive, most of the recent practices generated from it only.

On the need to comply with vastu, he said it was better for a building to be vastu-compliant.



French team to document traditional farm practices

Ludhiana, September 4
A team of agricultural experts from France is currently on a tour to Punjab for documenting the traditional way of agriculture in Punjab. The team is also preparing a documentary on the traditional system of agriculture.

A spokesman of the Bhartiya Kisan Union, Punjab, said here today that the French experts evinced keen interest in Punjab agriculture. They had interaction with the local farmers. They wanted to know about various traditional techniques which the farmers were still using and also those which had already been abandoned. — TNS



Pet Talk
Tips to check destructive chewing

Chewing is essential for maintaining the health of pet’s teeth, jaws and gums. Puppies especially have a strong need to chew so as to relieve the irritation and inflammation of teething. Essentially, a pup’s approach to all items in his environment is “Can I chew it?” Dogs chew to relieve anxiety and boredom, as well as for entertainment. The dog’s jaws are his tools for investigating its surroundings.

Chewing is a perfectly normal, natural, and necessary canine behavior. Prevention and treatment of destructive chewing focus on management and education - to prevent your dog from chewing inappropriate items and to redirect your dog’s natural chewing-urge to appropriate, acceptable and resilient chew toys.

Dogs generally sleep at night and in the middle of the day. However, chewing is dog’s primary form of entertainment during his active phases in morning and late afternoon. After all, there are only so many things your dog can do when left alone at home. Indeed, most chewing sprees stem from your dog’s relentless quest for some form of occupational therapy to pass the time of day when at home alone.

When leaving home, confine your puppy to a long-term confinement area; such as a single room - your puppy’s playroom - with a comfortable bed, a bowl of water and half a dozen chew toys and absolutely nothing else to chew. Your dog will happily settle down and entertain himself with his chew toys.

With a good chew toy habit, your puppy will no longer want to destroy carpets, curtains, couches, clothes, chair legs, computer disks, children’s toys, or electrical cords. Your dog will be less likely to develop into a recreational barker. And also your dog will happily settle down calmly and quietly and will no longer be bored or anxious when left alone.

— Dr Jaspreet Singh



LIC launches policy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 4
Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India today launched a new money-back policy, New Bima Gold, as a part of its golden jubilee year celebrations.

Mr S.C. Dhingra, senior divisional manager, said the new policy was a low premium money-back policy with extended cover.

“The policy term is flexible and it offers combined benefits of our earlier two policies, Bima Kiran and Money-Back policy,” he said.

Talking about the performance of the Ludhiana division, he said 1,57,974 policies were sold by this division in financial year 2005-06 and it attained 104 per cent of the target. “In first premium income the division collected Rs 196 crore against a target of Rs 125 crore and bagged fifth position in the country.”

He informed that in the current year, 2006-07, the division has already attained its annual first premium budget of Rs 216 crore as on June 30, 2006.

LIC also organised a quiz competition for schoolchildren at St Thomas School, CMC Road.

It also organised a drawing and painting competition, at MGM Public School as part of its golden jubilee year celebrations, where 400 children participated.



Biz Clips

TVS showroom: A showroom-cum-service centre of TVS was inaugurated on the Jalandhar bypass today. Mr Gurpreet Singh Batra of Batra Motors, said it was the company’s second showroom-cum-service centre in the city. He said the centre was authorised for sale, service and spares of TVS’s vehicles.

Memorandum: A delegation of the District Taxation Bar Association (sales tax), led by its president Rajiv Johar, met Mr Sardool Singh, Excise and Taxation Minister, Punjab, and apprised him of the problems being faced by them. The delegation said advocates and taxation practitioners were rendering services of VAT consultants and prior to that sales tax consultants were preparing returns on behalf of dealers. They said advocates and consultants should be authorised to certify authenticity of returns after due verification. They also submitted a memorandum to the minister.

Insurance staff: Employees of general insurance companies have alleged that the management of insurance companies had fixed a schedule of implementation of transfers of the employees, which was against the law. The employees had earlier protested transfers to different stations.

Dr Gurpreet Singh, consultant in the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes at SPS Apollo Hospital, Ludhiana, explains features of an insulin pump launched in Ludhiana on Monday.Insulin pump: India Medtronic Pvt Ltd launched Paradigm 712, an insulin pump, here on Monday The pump is claimed to provide precise insulin dosing recommendations. Besides, it has been designed to help patients improve their blood sugar control, which can lead to improved health and quality of life. According to Dr Gurpreet Singh, consultant in the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes at SPS Apollo Hospital, Ludhiana, the Paradigm 712 insulin pump calculates complex diabetes mathematics and recommend insulin dosing to help improve patient’s health. — TNS

Dr Gurpreet Singh, consultant in the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes at SPS Apollo Hospital, Ludhiana, explains features of an insulin pump launched in Ludhiana on Monday. — Photo by Inderjeet Verma



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