L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

2 kg heroin worth Rs 2 cr seized from South African national 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 16
The city’s dubious distinction of being a major transit point for drugs has been further strengthened with the seizure of 2 kg heroin worth Rs 2 crore from a South African national near Manju Cinema here this morning.

A team of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) arrested the youth, Michael Khomela, of Johannesburg when he was in the process of taking the drug from Ludhiana to Chandigarh.

An official spokesman for the DRI said the accused was remanded in a two-day judicial custody.

His arrest has come close on the heels of arrest of four narcotic smugglers in New Delhi, two of whom, including the gang leader, were based in Ludhiana.

Sources said the smugglers were unfazed by the police raids and still had large consignment of drugs hidden in the city, which they were trying to shift slowly and gradually.

The New Delhi police arrested a Canadian citizen of Indian origin, Gurdish Toor, on August 21 on charges of smuggling drugs.

Subsequently, the police arrested his accomplices — Paramjit Singh of Ludhiana, Amrit Aggarwal, a Delhi-based businessman, and Kailash Jindall, an Indore-based newspaper agent, — and seized 100 kg of ephedrine and 3 kg of hashish, worth $5 million in the international market.

According to reports, the smuggling was taking place on the pretext of import-export business run by three Ludhiana-based companies of Paramjit Singh. The companies were Golden Shields Ltd, Supreme Rice Ltd and Blue Horse Trading Limited. These firms were dealing in the export of rice and drugs to Canada and the USA.

A large number of import-export companies of the city are already under surveillance after these companies were found to be involved in smuggling.

Meanwhile, the arrest of the South African national is being seen as a result of heightened vigil on the smugglers.



Badal's promise to build college not kept
Mahesh Sharma

The foundation stone of Government Degree College Ahmedgarh that was laid by Mr Parkash Singh Badal as Chief Minister in 1979
The foundation stone of Government Degree College Ahmedgarh that was laid by Mr Parkash Singh Badal as Chief Minister in 1979. — Photo by writer

Payal, September 16
The proposal to build a government college at Ahmedgarh, the foundation stone for which was laid in 1979 by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, who was the Chief Minister at that time, seems to have been totally forgotten by the authorities.

In the past 27 years, leaders of almost all political parties have addressed mammoth gatherings at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial National Senior Secondary School, but none has bothered to enquire about the progress of the college project, though its foundation stone stands in the third block of the school itself.

According to veteran social workers, Mr Dharam Pal Sharma and Mr Darshan Singh Rai, Mr Badal had passed verbal orders regarding the establishment of the college in the town, but these have not been acted upon till now. He says that only the Janta College for Women and Rashtrya Adarash Mahila College are there to meet the educational needs of women of the area. Though the educational needs of the town have increased manifold since 1979, no recognised institute has come up for imparting education to the girls beyond class XII. As a majority of the parents cannot afford to send their daughters to other cities for further studies, the girls have no option but to sit idle at home or do BA privately, said the social workers.

Mr Tarsem Garg, president, CB Welfare Association, Mr Munir Mohammad, president, Muslim Youth Front, Mr Ravinder Kumar, president, local unit of the Congress, and Mr Jatinder Bhola, president, Municipal Council, have appealed to leaders of various political parties to impress upon the Chief Minister and Education Minister to meet the commitment, that had been made to the people of the area 27 years ago. They also demanded that till this was done, the Janta College for Women be granted temporary affiliation to any of the state universities.



90 Avon workers take payoff
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 16
Even as the workers’ union remains firm on its demand regarding the reversal of closure decision of two divisions of Avon Bicycle Components Private Limited, as many as 90 workers have accepted compensation to the tune of Rs 33 lakh so far.

“So far 90 people have taken the compensation and we are willing to pay off any time,” said Mr D.B. Arora, legal representative of the company, adding, “with this, 33 per cent have taken the compensation.”

The closure of handle and pedal divisions of the company, that came to effect on September 8, was permitted by the Secretary, Labour Department, on grounds of continued losses and indiscipline cited by the management. As a result more than 300 workers were rendered jobless.

Disagreeing with the closure decision, the workers’ union filed a review application, that was dismissed. Unrelenting, the workers said they would move court.

“They might have dismissed review application, we will continue with our struggle. We are moving court now,” said Mr Jagdish Chand, joint secretary, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU).

He claimed that workers were not accepting the compensation. “A small proportion of workers might have accepted, but the majority will continue to fight and not accept closure compensation, he said, adding, “Our main contention is that the grounds on which they obtained permission to close the two divisions are false. Even if all the workers accept compensation, it would not justify their action to close the two divisions.”

The company management, on the other hand, said it was firm on closure. “Union leaders are misleading the workers as the closure has already taken place. It would be better for them only to accept compensation.”



Special adalat settles 10,747 cases
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 16Thousands of people thronged the special lok-adalat held here at Judicial Complex by the Legal Services Authority under the supervision of its Chairman Harbans Lal, District and Sessions Judge, Ludhiana, to dispose of the pending traffic challans. As many as 10747 challans were disposed of by this lok-adalat.

The Sessions Judge Harbans Lal alongwith Additional Sessions Judge H.P.S Mahal, Chief Judicial Magistrate K.S. Cheema, Civil Judge, Senior Division, S.S. Dhaliwal, District Bar Association, president, Naval Kishore Chibber, Secretary Rajneesh Gupta personally monitored the working of 21 Benches of the lok-adalat as well as of the enquiry counters.

In order to extend help to the litigants, 11 enquiry counters were set up. Five judicial employees were sitting on each enquiry counter with lists of challans put up before the different Benches. The local police had made ellaborate security arrangements under the supervision of Mr Harish Kumar, SP(D).

Listing the achievements of lok-adalats, Mr Harbans Lal told 54,979 cases were disposed of out of the 80,804 placed before 240 lok-adalats held in Ludhiana district. Community langar was also provided by the managing committee of Dukh Niwaran Sahib gurdwara. Tea and snacks were also provided to the litigants.

The PCR men worked efficiently in ensuring the service of summons to the litigants to make the lok-adalat a success.

The Additional Sessions Judges H.P.S Mahal , Sanjeev Berry, Satvinder Singh, Gurbir Singh, A K Mehta, Fast Track Court Judge Roshan Lal Ahuja, Additional Civil Judge Senior Division Tarsem Mangla, Judicial magistrates— Mr Manoj Singla, Mr Shatin Goyal, Mr K K Jain, Mr K S Sullar, Mr Ranjan Khullar, Ms Gurdarshan Kaur, Ms Rajni Chokkra, Ms PalwinderJit Kaur, Mr Charanjit Arora, Mr K K Bansal, Mr Kuldeep Singh, Mr Sandeep Jossan, Mr Arvind Markan played an active role in the lok-adalat.



Preeti seeks quality roles
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, September 16
Preeti Jhangiani feels that it was a great experience working with the Armymen in her forthcoming film ‘With Love-Tumhara’. “The film is related to faujis and touches your heart,” she said.

The bubbly actress was in the city today to promote “ With Love –Tumhara”, which would be released near Divali.

Giving details about her movie, the Bollywood actress said that 95 per cent shooting of the movie was held in Kulu, Manali and Rohtang. “It was a wonderful experience. This would be my 14th movie and I am sure to prove my worth in this movie. The script is so good that people would like it. Nakul Vaid and Parveen Dabas are my co-stars in the film,” claimed the actress.

Born and brought up in Mumbai, Preeti is impressed by the Punjabi culture. “It is because of the passion of the culture that I am working in a Punjabi film ‘Sajna Ve Sajna’ opposite Bally Saggoo. Though my dialogues in the movie have been dubbed I am trying hard to learn the language. I love Punjab and have been to Chandigarh. The people here are caring and overwhelming,” she said.

On why she had not achieved fame in Bollywood, Preeti replied that she was very choosy while signing a movie. “Unless and until I like the script, I do not sign the film. I believe in doing one good movie a year,” she said.

The actress wants to work with directors like Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Mani Ratnam. On marriage, she said that it was not on the cards. “I am career conscious. Let me prove my worth in the industry, then I would think of marriage,” she added.

Special range of designer jewellery

‘Mohabbatein’ fame actress Preeti Jhangiani today inaugurated ‘Karva Chauth’ special range of designer jewellery at Lakshmi Store on the Rani Jhansi Road here today.

The range includes Victorian and kundan jewellery, said Mr Rahul Abhi, director of the store, in a press note.

The store, which has branches in the UK, the USA and Canada, would soon open outlets in various other cities in this region.



Abandoned girls re-united with father
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 16
It was an emotional reunion of the two abandoned sisters with their father at Jalalabad village near Dharamkot late last night when a team of the Sidhwan Bet police handed over the two girls to their father and grandmother.

Handeep Kaur ( 6) and Mandeep Kaur (4) ran towards and their father Sukhwinder Singh and hugged him tightly when Head Constable Jagga Singh reached their house.

The sisters had met their father after 10 days. Their mother Lakhbir Kaur had allegedly taken them away while eloping with neighbhour-turned-paramour Kashmira Singh. The duo then allegedly abandoned the two sisters at an isolated place along the Sidhwan Canal near Sidhwan Bet village on Thursday night. SSP R K Jaiswal said the girls were handed over to their father after the police was convinced about their safety. He said the police was on the look out about the missing duo.

Both were now wanted by the Dharamkot police as well as the Sidhwan Bet police. The former is looking for them as missing persons who had taken away the minor girls. The Sidhwan Bet police wants them as accused for abandoning the two girls and leaving them to die.



Sarna seeks dissolution of SAD
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 16
Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, former president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Managing Committee, today demanded the dissolution of the Shiromani Akali Dal and summoned its leader Parkash Singh Badal to the Akal Takht for accepting donation from the Indian Tobacco Company (ITC).

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Sarna referred to the audit report of the ITC in which it was mentioned that various political parties, including the Shiromani Akali Dal, having representation in the parliament had received money from the company. The SAD is said to have received Rs 8 lakh.

Mr Sarna pointed out that SAD was supposed to be representing the Sikhs and serving panthic interests. He said smoking was forbidden in Sikhism. “How could the SAD under the leadership of Mr Badal accept donations from a tobacco company which was going against the tenets of the Sikhism,” he asked.

Mr Sarna, a proclaimed critic of Mr Badal, announced that he would launch a mass campaign against the “anti panthic activities of Mr Badal”.

Mr Charan Singh Lohara, general secretary of SAD (Amritsar), who was also present at the press conference referred to the alleged multi-crore Ludhiana City Centre Scam and demanded an inquiry by a sitting Supreme Court judge. 



Senior citizens, a neglected lot 
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, September 16
Elderly people living in the city feel that influence of the Western culture has led our youngsters to consider their elderly a burden which they had to "bear". They feel not only their children but the government too had failed to provide them a secure future.

Ms Sushma Raj (not her real name) in her early seventies felt that if everyone had adopted the western culture, then it should be adopted thoroughly. "I have been to USA with my late husband many times. The government there provides all kinds of security to senior citizens. Government takes the responsibility of their elderly by providing them with financial security," she rued.

Dr S.K.Thamman, organizing secretary, All India Senior Citizens Organization, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune said many countries in the world entitled their senior citizens to a number of facilities.

But in India, they were living a miserable life. Their presence was needed only when there was some function or tragedy in the family. He also said the elderly faced a number of problems in their day to day lives. The facilities provided by the Central or state government seldom reached them.

He further said the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, and the Women and Child Development Department, Government of Punjab, should formulate certain policies and programs for the welfare of senior citizens.

Mr Yash Paul, another septuagenarian felt that senior citizens needed attention everywhere. Their seats should be reserved in PRTC/Punjab Roadways buses.

Also, there was no such rule as separate queues for them in the OPDs of general or private hospitals. They were made to stand for hours at electricity board offices, municipal corporations and banks.

Dr Thamman further added that the confusion about their age had created much problem. The Income Tax Department of the Union Finance Ministry was granting rebate to senior citizens on crossing 65 years of age whereas it was surprising that the Government of India departments such as Indian Railways, Postal Department, Telecom and banking institutes were treating people over 60 years as senior citizens. "There is a need to enlist the senior citizens’ status in the constitution of India," he stressed.



Cancel city centre project deals: Bansal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 16
Mr Parveen Bansal, Leader of Opposition, Municipal Corporation and senior BJP leader, has demanded that the allotment of space made to various parties in the City Centre Project should be cancelled forthwith in the backdrop of the alleged scam in the selling or leasing out of the space.

In a statement issued here, he said the government’s move of dissolving the Improvement Trust is mere eyewash and the main focus of the scam exposure was the way the company was striking the deal of the space, causing loss of crores of rupees to the public exchequer.

Mr Bansal said the government had failed to satisfy the public by not taking any action against the company officials. He said there was a need to bring transparency in the deals. For this purpose, the space should be auctioned in a systematic phased manner so that the appreciation of property goes to the government only. He said only a phased auction of space could bring the public confidence in such mega projects. 



INTUC conference on Sept 24
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 16
The Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) will organise a state-level conference at industrial area here on September 24. Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, president, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, will preside over the conference.

Mr Swaran Singh, district president, said the conference would deliberate on various issues concerning workers like increase in compensation to industrial and farm workers, social security benefits to rickshw-pullers, medical allowance, better pay scales for government employees, streamlining of ESI policies and Provident Fund services.

Various political and economic agenda would also be discussed on the occasion, he added.



Nirdosh faces another case of cheating
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 16
The city police has registered another case against notorious gangster Nirdosh Dhand for allegedly duping a Patiala-based family of Rs 1.5 lakh on the pretext of sending a girl of the family abroad.

According to FIR lodged Division No 8 police station here today, the complainant Iqbal Singh of Khanewal village alleged that Nirdosh Dhand took the money along with important documents like the education certificate and the documents of his sister Kamljit Kaur to send her abroad.

However, Nridosh did not send her abroad nor returned the money, the complainant alleged. When he learnt that he has been arrested by the city police in different cases, he also aired his grievances.

The Economic Offences Wing of the city police conducted an inquiry into the allegations and indicted Nirdosh. It recommended the registration of the FIR at Div No. 8 police station as the complainant had allegedly paid money to the accused at his Kundan Puri residence here.

Subsequently, Nirdosh was booked under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC. He is already in judicial custody at Central Jail here in earlier cases registered against him.



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