L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Firing case: 3 UT girls get interim bail
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, September 14
After over three months of legal battle, three of the four girls accused in the Sarabha Nagar firing case got anticipatory bail from the Punjab and Haryana High Court today.

Justice M.M. Aggarwal passed the orders granting the anticipatory bail to Tript Kaur Pannu, Sukdeep Kaur and Neha Saini, all from Chandigarh. The accused girls are the students of Panjab University and are residing in Chandigarh.

The girls had filed an application for the pre-arrest bail before the High Court after the dismissal of their bail application by the Additional Sessions Judge, Ludhiana, Mr A.K. Mehta, on June 14. The girls had claimed themselves to be innocent and alleged that they had been falsely implicated at the behest of a son of a local leader. Taking cognisance of their application, the High Court granted them the interim bail, which was confirmed today.

The Additional Sessions Judge, Ludhiana, had posted the bail application of fourth girl Pushpa Devi for hearing for September 26. She was granted interim bail by the local court. On June 2, Puspha Devi had filed an application before the court alleging that she was not being allowed to join investigation by the police.

Other three girls had also sent telegrams to various senior police officers, the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Governor of Punjab alleging that the police was not allowing them to join investigation. However, later they were allowed to join investigation.

It may be recalled that the an FIR was registered against unknown girls in the alleged firing incident at Sarabha Nagar Police Station on May 27 under Sections 336, 34 of the IPC and Section 25 of the Arms Act.

Thereafter, the local police got recorded the statement of one person claiming himself to be an eyewitness to the incident in the court of Mr Tarsem Mangla, Judicial Magistrate-cum-Additional Civil Judge (Senior Division), Ludhiana. He had named the girls for being involved in the firing incident. After recording the statement of the witness under Section 164 of Cr.PC the court had issued arrest warrants against two girls on June 6.



BJP stages dharna against scam in improvement trust
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
The BJP today said it would raise the issue of alleged multi-crore scam in the Ludhiana Improvement Trust in Assembly and Parliament. The party observed that it was a huge scandal involving hundreds of crore of public money. The party appealed the President and the Prime Minister to take note of the issue and initiate action.

Addressing the dharna, the state BJP president, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, said the Chief Minister and his Cabinet must take the moral responsibility and tender resignation. He said it was one of the biggest scandals having taken place in the country. He the Congress government had no right to stay in power after the exposure of the scandal.

Mr Khanna said his party would take the issue to the grassroots. It would be an issue in the elections and said “We would like to expose this government before the masses.”

Later, talking to mediapersons, Mr Khanna said there was no difference between his party and the SAD. Responding to a question, he said each party had its own programme and that did not mean there were differences between the alliance partners.

Among those who attended the dharna included Mr Vijay Sampla, Prof Rajinder Bhandari, Mr Anil Sarin, Mr Gurminder Singh Grewal, Dr Subash Verma and others. 



Kaler new trust Administrator
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
Mr S.R. Kaler, Regional Deputy Director, Local Self Government, would join tomorrow as the Administrator of the controversy-hit Ludhiana Improvement Trust, which was dissolved today by the state government even as another controversy kicked up today on the public hearing of environmental clearance of the project.

It has been revealed that the constructing company, Today Homes, was working on a provincial NOC of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) regarding the environmental clearance for the project but was yet to be given the formal clearance.

Mr Gulshan Rai, Environmental Engineer with the PPCB, said such projects were started on provincial clearance only. Today Home official L.P. Sahu said the company had spent Rs 70 lakh on environment protection.

The trust was at the centre of the public ire when a number of residents of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar raised slogans against the officials alleging they were not told about the scheduled public hearing today.

The officials of Today Home Infrastructure refrained from commenting on the alleged scam saying they were just the constructing unit of the company.



Liquor contractor held, freed on bail
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
A police team today arrested a well-known liquor contractor, Charanjit Bajaj, alias Channy, from near the gate of the District Courts complex in a case of selling liquor illegally. He was later released on bail in the evening.

The contractor was declared a proclaimed offender two years ago by a local court after he did not appear in court in the case of illegal sale of liquor in 1997. Police sources said Channy’s proclaimed offender status was known to the police recently after the list of the POs was scrutinised. The police officials were shocked at his name in the list as he was frequenting police stations and even meeting senior police officials, besides prominently attending social functions.

SP-Detective Harish Kumar said the accused was lured into coming to the District Courts complex. A team of cops led by ASI Kuldip Singh nabbed him when he was leaving the complex.



Too many tests for tiny tots
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, September 14
Students of primary and middle classes are feeling exhausted and burdened these days due to the weekly and monthly tests. Not only students but also teachers and parents feel that the regular tests have put extra burden on children making them feel irritated, lethargic and bored throughout the day. The parents say they also have to sacrifice their weekends to make their wards prepare for the next tests.

A number of parents and teachers say they feel sorry for the children. A parent, whose daughter is studying in Class V in a reputed school here, says her daughter often complains of nausea and headache. “I consulted a doctor who said she needed at least 6-8 hours of good sleep daily. But she is helpless as she is overloaded with daily homework. In addition, I have to make her prepare for her weekly tests. The tests are important as the marks get counted in the final examinations, besides the craft activities are also to be done”, she adds.

Another worried parent, whose son studies in a school at Sarabha Nagar, says, “We do not allow him to play with friends because of school workload. I really feel sorry for him because he does not find time for sports or entertainment these days”, he says.



One killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Jagraona, September 14
Bhajan Rai, a rickshaw puller, was killed in a road accident here between a car and a rickshaw. The police has registered a case against the car driver.
The Sidhwan Bet police has arrested Bittu of Gorsian Khan Mohammad village and seized 15 kg of lahan and 3,000 ml of illicit liquor from his possession. A case has been registered against him.

Gurdeep Singh of Kamalpur village has been arrested and 980 gm of opium seized from his possession in the Chhajawal area. A case under the NDPS Act has been registered.

The Sidhwan Bet police has booked Hakam Singh, Jaspreet Singh, Jugraj Singh, Channa, Baljinder Singh, Mohinder Singh, Jasbir Kaur, Tej Kaur and Sukhpal Kaur of Sidhwan Kalan on charges of assaulting Jagroop Singh. A case has been registered under Sections 323, 325, 148 and 149 of the IPC. 



Dharamsot disburses cheques for Rs 87 lakh
Our Correspondent

Amloh, September 14
It is a need of the hour to provide quality education and prepare young generation for global competition. This was stated said by Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Parliamentary Secretary, Home, Justice and Sainik Welfare, at cheques distribution function at Government Secondary School here today.

He distributed cheques worth Rs 86.70 lakh to 51 schools of the area under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan scheme. He stressed the need of co-ordination among teachers, students and parents.

Mr Dhramsot said a sum of Rs 1.5 crore had been spent to meet long standing demand of disposal of sewerage water. The District Education Officer (EE) of Fatehgarh Sahib, Mr Bachitar Singh, said seminars were being organised for teachers to equip them with modern techniques of education.

The Primary Education Officer, Ms Surjit Kaur, welcomed the guests. Mr Balbir Singh Ghuman conducted the stage.

Mr Lakhbir Singh Rai, president, District Congress Committee, appreciated the role of the PAUSWIC committees in development works of the schools in villages.

Media in charge Pargat Singh, sarpanch Sounti Nirbhey Singh, sarpanch Badal Thuha Tilak Raj, block president, Anti-Corruption Federation, Mr Baljit Singh Ania, District S.S. co-ordinator, Mr Hardeep Singh Khatra, Principal, and Navtejinder Kumar also addressed the gathering.



Finish projects by Oct-end, DC tells officials
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
The district administration has directed all BDPOs and executive officers of municipal councils to ensure the completion of the development projects being undertaken under Punjab Nirman Programme by October-end.

These directions were given by Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta, Deputy Commissioner, at the monthly meeting of the District Development Committee held to review the progress of the projects at Bachat Bhavan here today.

Mr Gupta asked the SDMs to make surprise checking of the undergoing development projects in their subdivisions and in case of any irregularity submit report to him immediately.

He informed that funds amounting to Rs 12.45 crore were disbursed during the first phase and Rs 37.35 crore during the second phase under this programme. He said additional funds of Rs 10.94 crore had also been provided for various development projects in the different parts of the district under Punjab State Initiative Programme.

Reviewing the progress of pending utilisation certificates of the grants, he directed the BDPOs and the executive officers to submit the certificates immediately after completion of each project with the Additional Deputy Commissioner (D) and warned that action against the defaulters would be initiated.

The Deputy Commissioner also reviewed the progress of construction and repair of roads. He said 4,500 km of link roads were being repaired/constructed in the district.

Presiding over a meeting of the Agriculture Development Committee, Mr Gupta directed the Chief Agriculture Officer and the Deputy Registrar, Cooperative Societies, to ensure the availability of required fertilizers for the sowing of wheat crop in the district.



Gujral releases hotelier’s autobiography 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
A former Prime Minister, Mr Inder Kumar Gujral, has released the autobiography of Mr N.S. Nanda, a leading hotelier from Ludhiana. Mr Nanda said the function was to be held in Ludhiana yesterday. However, due to the bad health of Mr Gujral the book was released in New Delhi today.

Talking to reporters about his book, Mr Gujral said, “It was a long cherished dream to bring out his achievements in black and white and support each and every of my statement with pictorial proof”. The autobiography lists all details of Mr Nanda’s life right from his uprooted childhood (because of Partition) till today.

Mr Nanda said he felt proud to be a “self made man”. Recalling his early life, he said he had to leave school, as his father could not afford to pay his tuition fees. He then studied as a private candidate and got a job first with the state government and then with the Central Government. He left the job and joined the hotel industry to become a successful hotelier.

In order to ensure that the destitute children did not meet the same fate he faced about 60 years ago, Mr Nanda had adopted five economically weaker children.

He had since been awarded a number of times. Recently he got the lifetime award of excellence, which was presented to him at a function in New Delhi by the Union Tourism Minister, Ms Ambika Soni. Besides, he had several other honours and awards to his credit.

The autobiography also narrates some interesting incidents of his life. It also quotes Balwant Gargi’s novel “Purple Moonlight” in which eminent singer Reshma of Pakistan had mentioned to the writer (Gargi) that Mr Nanda was a great host and man. This was after her visit to Ludhiana where she had the taste of Mr Nanda’s hospitality.

Mr Nanda remarked, “I had started from scratch...although I have not created a big empire, but I certainly feel a great sense of satisfaction for the love and respect I get from  the people”.



Tikka meets Sonia

Ludhiana, September 14
Senior vice president of the Pradesh Youth Congress, Amarjit Singh Tikka, met Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi recently. He said Ms Gandhi assured him that young and new faces would be fielded during the forthcoming Assembly elections.
Mr Tikka said he told Ms Gandhi that the Congress government in the state led by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had fulfilled all its election promises. TNS



Bank celebrates Hindi Divas

Ludhiana, September 14
The State Bank of India, Kesar Ganj branch, organised an essay writing and translation competition to celebrate Hindi Divas here today.
Mr N.K.Gosain, senior branch manager, said staff members actively participated in the competition aimed to promote usage of Hindi language. Exhorting people to respect the national language, he said, “We should make efforts to promote it across the globe.” TNS



HP leader in notebook segment: survey

Ludhiana, September 14
Hewlett Packard India today said it continued to lead the notebook and desktop markets in Q2 2006. The company emerged as the overall leader in the total PC market with a market share of 20.3 per cent, said a spokesperson.

“HP India achieved a market share of 37.1 per cent in the notebook segment, which was more than double the share of its closest competitor, according to IDC’s Asia/Pacific Quarterly PC Tracker, Q2-2006,” the company said.

It said it also emerged winner in the total desktop segment with a market share of 16.6 per cent (by volume), in consumer desktop shipments with a 15.7 per cent market share and in commercial desktop 17.1 per cent. — TNS



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