L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Cops give arms licence to criminal
Seven FIRs pending against him
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 29
In stark evidence of police patronage of an alleged criminal, a cloth merchant-turned financier-turned-accused in seven FIRs was given arms licence of a .32 bore revolver on the basis of a ‘No Objection Certificate’ by the city police in 2005, which was issued despite the registration of cases against him.

Documentary evidence with The Tribune reveals that the accused Sambhu Kumar Singh got the licence last year on the basis of a strong recommendation of the Focal Point police, dated August 9, 2005, that ‘there was no criminal record of the accused in the Focal Point police station’.

But three FIRs were already registered against him in the same police station by August 2005. Further, just a month after that, another FIR was lodged in the same police station against him.

Senior officials of the Punjab police have for the past few years been airing their fears to mediapersons privately about the growing clout of Sambhu Kumar Singh, especially of his regular presence in the political rallies but the officials were probably unaware that junior officers had started patronising him long time ago.

As per the requirements of getting an arms licence, a Station House Officer (SHO) is required to submit a form about the criminal record of an applicant. The form submitted by the then Focal Point SHO in August, 2005, said the ‘the applicant Sambhu Kumar Singh had a good character and there was no criminal record’

The form was recommended by the then DSP of the Industrial Area and the stamp of ‘No Objection Please’ was issued by the then SSP of the city police.

The police did complete the formality of a police report and incorporating the statement of a Civilian known to Sambhu. The persons identified as Noor Alam of village Kanganwal (without his detailed address) states that he knows Sambhu, aged 35 years, for the last 20 years and he was living in this village only. He even claims that there is no civil or criminal case pending against Sambhu, he has no connection with no political party, and he needs the licenced weapon for self-protection.

ASI Baldev Singh of Focal Point, who testified the statement of Noor Alam, wrote his report on the application form too. He said Sambhu Kumar was a man of good company and good character, ‘‘ The police has no objection on the issuing of an arms licence against him.’’ he states.

The FIR registered against him before the issuing of the licence were, first - No 313 dated September 17, 2001 under sections 365 , 342, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the complaint Mr Ram Prasad of Kanganwal village. The challans were submitted in a court in September 2002.

The second FIR was No 139, dated August 11, 2004 on the complaint of Mr Avtar Singh of Dhandari Kalan was registered under sections 323, 324, 148, 148 of the IPC.

The third FIR was No. 152 dated September 2, 2004, registered under Section 406, 420 and 120-B of the IPC.

The fourth FIR was No 225 dated September 12, 2005 ( a month after the licence was recommended) registered under sections 452, 323, 324, 326, 148 and 149 of the IPC.



Govt to review posting orders of 650 PCMS docs
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 29
The state government has agreed to review recent transfer orders of 650 PCMS doctors all over Punjab but rationalisation of services of specialists will be continued to provide better health service in every hospital.

It has been further decided that 872 PCMS doctors, selected during the tenure of the then Punjab Public Service Commission Chairman, Mr Ravi Sidhu, would be given the benefit of “annual increments and assured career progression” of four years and nine years of service.

The Health and Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, declared this at a meeting with representatives of the Punjab Civil Medical Services Association (PCMSA), Punjab, in Chandigarh yesterday. The Principal Secretary Health, Mr D.S. Guru, was also present at the meeting.

Giving details of the meeting, Dr Hardeep Singh and Dr Balwinder Kumar, state president and district secretary, respectively, of the PCMSA, said here today that the association had apprised the minister regarding the resentment prevailing among PCMS doctors over large-scale transfers.

It was also conveyed that the PCMSA was not against the improvement of health care specialist services in government hospitals but complications related to the mid-term transfers should be minimised.

While issuing directions to review the transfer list, Mr Singla conveyed that the whole exercise was aimed at correcting the under-utilisation of manpower and money resources with existing duplication of doctors in number and specialty of post.

Vacant posts at rural areas would be filled and efforts made to provide better specialised health services at every government medical institution in the state.

Dr Hardeep Singh said the minister gave an assurance that the whole transfer orders would be reviewed keeping in mind the individual problems of every doctor.

The minister said the transferred doctors with comparatively lesser period of stay, handicapped, couple cases and those of unmarried female doctors would be given due weightage during the review of cases.

Regarding other pending issues of the doctors, the minister promised to release pending annual increments and assured career progression of four years and nine years of service to the 872 PCMS doctors selected during the tenure of Mr Ravi Sidhu.

Mr Singla had given his nod to other demands which included benefit of 50 per cent DA merger and dearness pay in the salary of PCMS doctors calculated with pay fixation formula on a par with salary of Central government doctors.



Now, CM to inaugurate elevated road
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 29
After the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, could not spare time to inaugurate the Rs 51-crore elevated road project, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has now decided to get it opened from the Chief Minister.

Though the administration and Congress leaders wanted that the project be inaugurated by the Prime Minister himself, his busy schedule did not allow him to oblige them. Now the already over-delayed elevated road will finally be inaugurated as the corporation has written to the Chief Minister to formally open it in October.

The project is being given final touches and it is almost complete.

Mr Vikas Partap, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, said even the cosmetic changes were complete and they had sought time from the Chief Minister, who would be opening it.

“We will get a communique from the Chief Minister and will know about the final day when it would be inaugurated. Otherwise, it is ready and motorable,” he said.

With the inauguration, the elevated road from the Jagraon bridge to Chand Cinema would get a 2.3-km flyover route.

The original deadline of the project was May 18, 2003, but got delayed due to a number of controversial reasons. The construction work of the road remained stalled for several months on account of friction of interests between the corporation and the construction company, M/s Skanska Cementations Private Limited, India.

Later, the deadline was extended to December 2005 also but again it was not completed.

Intriguingly, the project took more than six years and a lot of inconvenience was caused to the general public.

With the opening up of the road, the Chaura Bazaar shopkeepers will heave a sigh of relief as most of the traffic would be taken care of by the elevated road. They had been complaining that the business in their commercial establishments had suffered as the approach road to the market was choked due to construction.



SAD moves complaint to EC against rigging elections
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana , September 29
The legal cell of Shiromani Akali Dal today appealed to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India to take action against the Punjab Government and a number of SSPs in Punjab who were taking along 'select' police officials to every place of their posting.

They levelled an allegation against the ruling party of indulging in malpractices to win the coming Assembly elections.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, chairman of Shiromani Akali Dal's legal cell, said these favourite officers were indulging in corrupt activities under the patronage of respective SSPs.

Mr Dhanda said a few days ago, certain SHOs and police officials at Nawan Shahar were exposed by a news channel while openly accepting bribe.

He also distributed copies of the complaint made to the CEC to mediapersons.

Mr Dhanda said corrupt police officers were being promoted and put into prominent positions by the ruling party and they in turn reciprocated by victimising Opposition leaders.

Citing the example of Nawan Shahar's SSP Surinder Pal Singh, he alleged that when he was posted in the Vigilance Bureau, Punjab, an Inspector Jagdish Singh was working under him at that time. But when the SSP was transferred, the said Inspector was also transferred to the same place. This, in fact, was a perpetual thing and innocent people were being fleeced, added Mr Dhanda.

Giving other examples, Mr Dhanda alleged that they were rigging elections by posting hand picked officers and allowing them to take with them selected persons and posting them at prominent positions.

Mr Iqbal Singh Gill, Mr Harish Narang, Mr Parminder Singh Pari, Mr Ranjodh Singh, were also present at the press conference. 



Procurement arrangements not yet complete
Contrary to reports submitted to admn
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 29
Contrary to reports submitted to the district administration, the authorities at the market committee, Kilariapur, have yet to complete the necessary arrangements for handling of paddy and providing basic amenities for farmers bringing their paddy at many procurement centres under their jurisdiction.

Office-bearers of the committee said the reports, if already submitted, were misleading. A meeting has been called to review the arrangements.

Basic amenities like drinking water, lights and toilets were lacking at procurement centres at Gopalpur, Khatra, Ghabaddi, Latala, Jodhan, Pakhowal, Kalakh, Gujjarwal and Maherna villages. The yards at a majority of centres had not been cleaned yet.

Referring to information received from sources in the committee, Mr Paramjit Singh Ghabadi, director of the committee, alleged that the situation had arisen due to lack of coordination between the secretary and the office-bearers of the committee.

“Though we had been impressing on the secretary to comply with the directions received from senior functionaries in the department, nothing concrete has been done to make farmers feel at home when they reach the procurement centres,” he said.

He urged senior functionaries to probe the accusations that misappropriation of funds had been taking place on the pretext of getting the yards cleaned. “We have been told that the commission agents and farmers had been deploying their labourers to clean the yard for dumping their produce. But the records show that the committee had been making payments of these jobs in the past,” said Mr Ghabadi.

Mr Manmohan Singh, Chairman of the committee said he had called a meeting of the body to review the situation. “However, we will demand stern action against the officials in case they have misinformed the higher authorities regarding the preparations for procurement that was scheduled to commence on September 25,” he said.



MCPI(U) opposes setting up of SEZs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 29
The Marxist Communist Party of India (United) has opposed the policy of creation of special economic zones (SEZ) in the country.
Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, general secretary; and Kuldip Singh, member Politburo of MCPI(U), in a joint statement here said this policy creates a separate nation within nation. Moreover, this policy is absolutely discriminatory and against Indian entrepreneurs while favouring foreign companies that are being granted big concessions.

Mr Lyallpuri and Mr Singh further criticised the CPM leadership which is partly in favour of these zones subject to certain conditions. MCPI(U) is of the firm opinion that this policy of creating SEZs should not be implemented in any form because any flexibility or loophole can be exploited by foreign companies. They regretted that ruling parties were more worried about the interests of foreign capital than of the poor people of the country, who were being pushed to the wall by rising prices, unemployment and rampant corruption.

The leaders described the visit of Prime Minister as fruitless, so far as the farming community was concerned. The much trumpeted economic package for debt-ridden farmers and agriculture workers has failed to come out of the bag of the Prime Minister.

Besides assurances nothing concrete has come out of this visit which cost lakhs. The people of Ludhiana were a harassed lot due to traffic restrictions and unnecessary diversions. 



Forum organises march on Bhagat Singh’s centenary
Our Correspondent

Doraha, September 29
The Youth Forum of Doraha organised a ‘Chetna Mashal’ march during the birth centenary celebrations of Shaheed Bhagat Singh yesterday evening.
The march went through various streets here and culminated near the statue of Bhagat Singh at the grain market, here.

Youth carried lit torches and candles and raised slogans of ‘Bhagat Singh amar rahe’ and ‘Bhagat Singh di soch te, pehra dewange thok ke.’

A cultural programme was organised at the grain market in which Hardik Kaushal, Tammana Kaushal Ankita and Gurpoojan Bains recited patriotic songs and poems. A patriotic song was presented by students of Guru Nanak National College.

Mr Dharam Singh Kanech, Mr Lakhwinder Singh Buani, Mr Kartar Singh Buani, Dr Charandeep Singh, Mr Jandeep Kaushal and Mr Sompal Heera spoke on the 



Rs 3.80 lakh stolen from car
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 29
Burglars broke the window pane of an Indica car near Gill Chowk this afternoon and stole a bag containing Rs 3.80 lakh from a trader of Mandi Ahmedgarh. Jagtar Singh of Mandi Ahmedgarh , a trader of paddy husk, was having his lunch at Rishi Dhabha after withdrawing money from a bank. He left the bag in the Indica car (PB-28 C- 0425). His friend Tarsem Lal was with him.

After coming out of the dhabha at about 3 pm, they found the broken window pane and the money missing. No one reported seeing the burglars.

The Division No 2 police was suspecting that the crime could be the handiwork of the same gang which had looted Rs 5 lakh from a trader near Samrala Chowk two weeks ago.



Case registered

Jagraon, September 29
The police has registered a case against Bakshish Singh, Harjit Singh, Harjinder Singh and Gurminder Singh of Hambran on charges of assaulting Harwinder Singh of Gonspur. The injured has been admitted to the Ludhiana Civil Hospital. — OC



Petroleum dealers threaten retaliation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 29
Irked with continued harassment of petroleum dealers all over the state by municipal authorities over collection of octroi, the Punjab Petroleum Dealers Association has threatened to retaliate and go to the extent of non-lifting of petroleum products if the matter was not sorted out immediately.

In a joint statement here today, Mr J.P. Khanna, president, Mr M.S. Sehgal, senior vice president and Mr B.K. Tiwari, general secretary of the association, charged the state government with discriminating against the dealers of petroleum products in the matter of octroi. While octroi had been abolished by the Punjab government on all other items, the same was still being levied on petrol and diesel.

“To make matters worse, the civic bodies are raising demand of octroi from petroleum dealers located within the city or town limits and threatening them with penal action for non-payment, even when octroi is collected by the concerned oil companies at source along with other taxes.”

The association further maintained that rather than harassing petroleum dealers, the municipal bodies ought to take up the matter with oil companies for recovery of octroi if at all petrol and diesel were not to be given exemption like all other items. The functionaries of the body made it clear that in the event of petroleum dealers being forced to take harsh steps against the gross injustice, the entire responsibility would solely lie on the state government and local bodies.



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