L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

16-yr-old falls into trench, dies
Violent protests by residents; Rs 2 lakh relief for kin
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Vikas Gupta
Vikas Gupta

Ludhiana, October 7
A 16-year-old boy, Vikas Gupta, alias Vicky, son of a rehri owner, was impaled to death after he fell on iron bars in a trench, dug up for laying sewerage, in Islam Gunj this afternoon.

The incident sparked off violent protests by area residents, forcing the city police to requisition policemen from three other police stations to handle the situation.

The sewerage construction site where Vikas fell to his death in Islam Gunj, Ludhiana on Saturday.
The sewerage construction site where Vikas fell to his death in Islam Gunj, Ludhiana on Saturday. — Photo: I.V.

Leaders from the ruling and Opposition parties too joined in and traded charges against one another.

The protesters relented only when Congress MLA Surinder Dawer asked the work contractor and Sewerage Board officials to jointly pay Rs 2 lakh as compensation to the family.

The Division No. 2 police also registered a case under Section 304 of the IPC against the contractor. The case was registered following persistent demand of the anguished residents.

The boy was riding a bicycle when he lost control, as he negotiated his way over a mound of earth created by the digging, and fell in the trench. He was impaled by iron bars, which were part of the construction material laid in the trench.

The boy was removed from the bars with great difficulty and taken to the local Civil Hospital where doctors declared him brought dead.

He was the youngest son of Gurdev Prasad Gupta, who sells “gol-gappas” on a rehri near the accident scene.

He and his wife were shattered at the news and struggled hard to come to terms with the loss.

Hundreds of area residents, who had accompanied the aggrieved relatives of the boy to the hospital, raised slogans against the contractor and the government.

They alleged that the contractor had not taken precautionary measures to prevent any mishap from happening. Recently, another boy, Kishan, a resident of the same area, had broken his arm after he fell in the same trench.

Residents alleged that labourers had piled up earth on the road, leaving no place for people to walk or ride their two-wheelers on.

Former Deputy Speaker and senior BJP leader Satpal Gosain reached the scene with his supporters and raised slogan against the government.

He took the contractor and sewerage officials to task and demanded registration of a case.

Congress MLA and bitter opponent of Mr Gosain, Surinder Dawer, also reached the hospital with supporters and sought to pacify the aggrieving relatives.

He said leaders should avoid drawing mileage from the tragedy. He directed the contractor and the sewerage officials to pay compensation from their own pocket.

Both leaders traded charges against each other in the office of the Senior Medical Officer also.



Body of infant, drowned by father, recovered
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 7
The recovery of the body of the two-month-old infant, who was thrown into the Abohar canal, from the Narangwal Bridge near here by his father three days ago, has ended the hope of his unfortunate mother.

Kamaljit Singh, a farmer of Jartoli village, near here, had thrown his son, Manjinder Singh, into the canal after locking up other members of the family in the house early morning on Wednesday. He had committed the sinful act after his father had allegedly refused to transfer the rights of the family land in his name. He had become apprehensive that the land would be transferred in the name of his son.

Search operation were launched by the Dehlon police and relatives of the grandparents of the infant. The body was recovered near Jassowal Kular last evening. Gurdeep Singh, maternal uncle of the child, identified the body.

Kamaljit Singh had thrown his son into the canal as a protest against his father’s reluctance to transfer the rights of the family land in his name.

Investigations by the police had revealed that the grandparents of Kamaljit had transferred the rights for the land in his name when he was a child. The rights were later got transferred in the name of his mother and since then he had been pressurising his parents to transfer the rights back in his name.

Despite being the only son of his parents who owned land measuring more than 10 acres Kamaljit had to serve as a driver. At present he was living with his maternal parents at Kalakh village.

Efforts made by Sukhjit Kaur, sister of Kamaljit, failed and their parents refused to transfer the title in his name.

“Instead they showed their inclination to transfer the land in the name of the infant. This made me feel that my position in the family will decline further,” Kamaljit Singh told the police during investigation.

Though Kamaljit had admitted having thrown the child into the canal the same day, Ashwinder Kaur, mother of the child, and other relatives had a hope that Kamaljit might be pretending to them that he had committed the sin for pressurising his parents to get his wish fulfilled. Ashwinder Kaur, now seeks punishment for the accused.



City has great singing talent: Durga
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 7
“During the short-listing of candidates for ‘Antakshari’ I found out that contestants had a lot of talent and it was difficult to short-list 48 candidates from around 100 who had been selected from 288 applicants,” said Durga Jasraj, one of the co-hosts of “Antakshari”, a music show on Zee TV, here.

Durga, TV host Annu Kapoor and music director Anand Sharma are here in the city to take auditions for the show at Guru Nanak Bhavan.

The Ludhiana Sanskritik Samagam (LSS) has organised the programme.

Addressing a press conference organised by the LSS at a city hotel here, Durga said while singers here had a lot of potential they needed in-depth knowledge of singing to be part of ‘Antakshari’.

Speaking on the occasion, Annu Kapoor said: “Last time I was in the city was to conduct Punjab Special Show of ‘Antakshari’ for Zee TV on March 17, 2004 and I think it is bursting with talented singers. Today, we will have two semifinal rounds and one final round. I will introduce two new rounds that will surely add to the entertainment value of this show.”

He said the entire team had decided to take a break after its successful running for 14 years.

All three — Durga Jasraj, Annu Kapoor and Anand Sharma — said when one worked as a team for a long period one experienced a number of highs and lows due to emotional bonding.

“All of us get cemented by bonds of love and we are looking forward to restarting ‘Antakshari’ after a hiatus. The concept and format will be new. We will bring in a lot of changes, new rounds in the programme. As artistes, we want to create and present novel things before our viewers.”



Acclaimed surgeon to visit CMCH
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 7
Sir Peter Morris, former President of the Royal College of Surgeons, England, International Transplantation Society, British Transplantation Society, International Surgical Society and the European Surgical Association, will visit the Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) here on October 9.

A Nuffield Professor of Surgery Emeritus at the University of Oxford, Sir Peter Morris is presently the director of the Centre for Evidence in Transplantation (CET) at London.

Giving this information here yesterday, Dr Kim Mammen, Head, Department of Urology and Renal Transplant at the CMCH, said that Sir Morris would be sharing the recent advances in renal transplantation with professionals in the urology and nephrology department during his stay here.

He will also deliver a guest lecture entitled ‘Transplantation: medical miracle of the 20th century’ to the faculty and students of the CMCH.

Sir Peter Morris will also be meeting all renal transplant patients who have been operated on at the CMCH since 1992 and discuss with them their experiences after undergoing surgery, said Dr Mammen.

Sir Morris had been awarded many honorary fellowships and doctorates of science by the University of Hong Kong, Imperial College, London, and many other reputed universities all over the world.

He is the Editor of ‘Kidney Transplantation: Principals and Practice’, which is regarded as the authoritative book in the field and now in its fifth edition, and also of the widely acclaimed Oxford Textbook of Surgery which is in its second edition.

In 1996, Professor Peter Morris received knighthood from the Queen of England for his services to medicine and in 2004, he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia for services to medical science.

His focus of interest has been transplantation, vascular surgery and transplant biology. He has over 500 publications to his credit and was the Editor of the Transplantation Journal.



Prof Mohan Singh mela from Oct 18
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 7
Mr Jagdev Singh Jassowal, Chairman, Prof Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation, Ludhiana, has said the 28th annual Prof Mohan Singh Memorial Mela (2006) will be held in Moga district.

The tradition, the garlanding ceremony of the statue of Prof Mohan Singh will be held at Mohan Singh Chowk (Aarti Chowk), Ferozepur Road, here on October 18 at 9 am. The formal opening session of the mela will be held at Rode village in Moga district at 1 pm where eminent singers will participate. These items will be followed by Punjabi plays by renowned playwrights.

On October 19 , the venue of the mela will be shifted to the open grounds of Sant Baba Isher Singh College at Gagra village near Kot Isse Khan, Moga district. At this place, poetical recitation of Prof Mohan Singh’s poems by the students will be held. Besides, the well-known artistes will display their art by performing on folk musical instruments while the folk arts and crafts will be displayed, followed by giddha and bhangra. Snake charmers, baazigars and gatka players will exhibit their skills. In the evening, ‘trinjan show’ will be the highlight of the function.

On October 20, prominent Punjabis in the fields of art, literature and culture will be honoured. The star attraction of this mela will be the performance of Punjabi folk singers, like Harbhajan Mann, Babbu Mann, Pummi Bai, Jassi Gurdaspuri, Ravinder Grewal Sukhminder Sukhi. Nachhattar Gill, Kuldip Manak, Mohammed Sadiq, Jaswinder Brar, Satwinder Bitti, Bhupinder gill. Neelam, Parveen Bharta and Jagdeep Gill.

The foundation is celebrating this mela in collaboration with the Punjab Virasat Manch, Moga. The mela will be dedicated to the eminent social reformer Mr Channan Singh Dhaliwal, who was devoted to the seed of education in rural Punjab.



Octogenarian farmer murdered
Vijay Bansal

Jagraon, October 7
In a shocking incident, on octogenarian farmer was murdered in cold blood by unknown assailants at Parjian Biharipur village last night.

The incident came to light this morning when his servant, Pritam Singh, came to the victim’s house and noticed his body.

According to the information, Gurdeep Singh (80) had been living alone in his farmhouse located at the village and looking after his agricultural land. His other family members had been living in Ludhiana.

Last evening, Pritam Singh went home after doing the daily household chores. In the night some assailants entered the house of Gurdeep Singh and killed him. They also took away victim’s tractor (PB 10AS 0811).

This morning, when Pritam Singh visited the house of Gurdeep Singh, he found his body lying in a pool of blood. He informed the nearby police station.

SSP R.K. Jaismel, DSP Paramjit Singh Goraya along with other policemen reached the scene of the crime.

The Sidhwan Bet police has registered a case under Sections 460 and 34, IPC, against unknown persons. No arrest has been made so far.



Postponement of fogging work irks residents
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
Residents of Ward No. 49 are paying the price for city Mayor’s publicity stunt as the fogging operation scheduled in their area was postponed following the orders of the first citizen of the city who wanted machines to be sent to Maya Nagar where he had to formally inaugurate the operations on Wednesday.

The Municipal Corporation had scheduled the fogging operations in Ward No. 49 on October 4 but the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, decided to flag off the machines at Maya Nagar to reap political benefits in view of reports that dengue was spreading its tentacles in the city.

He directed officials concerned to postpone fogging in Ward No. 49, a Congress councillor’s ward, on that day. The councillor then requested the officials to fumigate his area today but despite the residents waiting for one hour in the morning, no fogging machine reached the site.

“We do not know when our turn will come. There was no need to jump the schedule. A Mayor is a leader of the entire city. Why should he go to one ward by ignoring the other?” questioned Mr Bal Krishan , an area resident.

Mr Rakesh Prashar, area councillor, said he had requested the Joint Commissioner, Dr Jaswant Singh, to fumigate his area. The Joint Commissioner had promised to come, but may be because of his transfer orders as Commissioner of Patiala, he could not make it, he added.

However, Dr Jaswant Singh said he was yet to join his new place of posting and the fogging operation would be carried out as scheduled. He said he would talk to officials concerned to find out why fogging was not done.



Cong poised to lose elections: Badal
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, October 7
Rampant corruption by the Congress in the state, hike in the prices of essential commodities, poor performance in the education and health services, is sufficient ground for the defeat of Congress candidates in the coming Vidhan Sabha elections in February 2007, said Mr Parkash Singh Badal, president of the SAD.

He was talking to mediapersons at the residence of former Council Chief Sukhwinder Singh Bhambri here on Tuesday. He said during the tenure of four and a half years, the Chief Minister had failed to provide employment to youth. People who raised their demands in a democratic way were lathicharged and put behind bars. All categories of people, including employees, industrialists, traders and farmers were fed up with the present state government. Even Congress party MLAs were dissatisfied with the dealings of the Chief Minister, said Mr Badal.

In reply to prospects of the SAD in the coming elections, Mr Badal said the Congress party would be completely rooted out. The alliance with the BJP was eternal and possibility with other parties would be decided by the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) at the proper time.

To a query on the change of the SGPC chief, Mr Badal asserted the elections were held annually. In an- other reply, Mr Badal said the performance of the present SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar was satisfactory.

The election preparatory meeting was organised by Mr Randhir Singh Bhambri and Mr Sukhwinder Singh.

Mr Chanda Singh, a senior Akali, president of the Senior Citizens unit and former vice-president of the local municipal council, along with his supporters put his claim on the Amloh seat. Former council chief and district president of the BJP alongwith senior vice-president Rajpal Garg and other office-bearers claimed this ticket on the basis of adjustment of the SAD with the BJP, otherwise, they assured to extend full support to SAD candidate.

SAD leaders of Amloh, Hari Chand Mittal (urban chief), Jathedar Kashmira Singh and Davinder Singh were also present.

Meanwhile, a deputation of industrialists led by Mr Chanan Singh Matharn, Mr Anil Sooraj and Mr Satparkash wanted some assurance from Mr Badal with regard to the problems faced by the local industry like fortnightly power cuts, demand for tax concessions equal to the neighbouring states which have blocked the scope of sales of local products to other states while products from other states were being marketed here.



Marriage palaces sans parking
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
Long traffic jams along the Ferozepore Road these days, when the marriage season has started, have become the rule of the day. Thanks to the unplanned mushrooming up of the marriage palaces along this road, traffic has regularly been getting disrupted during late evenings, leading to a lot of harassment to commuters.

Barring one marriage palace, no other palace has any parking space. The result is that people coming to attend various functions in these marriage palaces park their vehicles along the roads, which ends up in blockade. While those who have to attend parties and functions in these palaces may not mind a delay of some time, but those having to travel to longer routes like to Jagaraon, Moga, Ferozepore, Faridkot and other places are the worst victims.

Not only the commuters to far-off places, the residents of the surrounding villages also feel harassed. Because a distance of 10 km takes, at times, a couple of hours, thanks to the jam in front of these marriage palaces between Badhowal and Mullanpur.

Since these marriage palaces fall outside the jurisdiction of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, these do not follow any building plans. While these palaces have sprawling lawns within the boundary walls, there is hardly any space for parking of the vehicles of the people coming to these palaces.

It is the responsibility of the district administration to ensure that these palaces subscribe to the building rules and must have adequate parking space. Most of these palaces have the capacity of more than a thousand people each. But hardly any of these have the required parking space. Rather it is the roadside which is meant for the parking.

According to Ms Balbir Kaur, sarpanch of Hassanpur, the marriage season comes to them as a nuisance. While the traffic jam is the main problem, the unabashed use of fire crackers and high-pitched music make the life of these villagers a hell. They say repeated representations to the district administration have not yielded any results.

The villagers disclosed that although the Dakha police had registered a case against marriage palace owners for the traffic jam, no action was taken. It was just a paper work the police did. 



SDOs resent JE’s promotion
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
The Punjab Mandi Board Subdivisional Officers Association has condemned the decision of the management to elevate a junior engineer as SDO from 1990. A general body meeting held here today passed a unanimous resolution to this effect.

The meeting also elected its executive committee for the next two years and elected unanimously D.S. Gill as President, R P Agnihotri general Secretary, Jaimal Singh and Jatinder Singh, senior vice presidents, D S Randhawa joint secretary, Atma Singh and Parminder Singh vice-presidents and Amarjit Singh office-cum-finance Secy.

The association appointed A.S. Mangat and Gurdip Singh as patrons. The executive members elected include O.P. Paruthi, J S Mann, Nibba Ram, Kulwant Sharma, Raj Kumar, Tarsem Raj and Manmohan Singh.

Meanwhile, the Junior Engineers and SDOs also formed a joint action committee to sort out the issues with the authorities. Gurdip Singh, Gurdev Singh Kang, A S Mangat and Parwinder Singh were elected convenor, co-convenors and secretary-general respectively. The action committee will shortly take up the issues with authorities and would demand to reverse the wrong decisions taken in the past.



AISAD supports Raghubir Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
The All-India Shiromani Akali Dal (AISAD), led by Mr Jaswant Singh Mann, is supporting Mr Raghubir Singh, the ousted secretary of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) as the “people’s candidate” from Raja Sansi.

Mr Mann told The Tribune today that AISAD workers would be joining the rally being organised by Mr Singh at Raja Sansi tomorrow.

The AISAD president said the party would also be supporting “people’s candidates” like Mr Honey Randhawa from Ajnala, Mr Bikrmajit Singh Majithia from Majithia and others.



DA release sought

Ludhiana, October 7
Resentment prevails among Punjab government staff and pensioners over the non-release of enhanced dearness allowance (DA). They were expecting the government to make the payment in September. Pensioners might face financial hardships in celebrating Divali.

The Central Government staff and pensioners have already been paid the enhanced DA and its arrears in September. — OC



CITU to hold state-level conference
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) will hold its 12th state-level conference in the city from November 12 to 14. Leaders of the union are expecting the conference to be a milestone in widening its base by reaching out to an increased number of workers.



18 women hurt in mishap
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khamano, October 7
A mini-bus of Malwa Industries overturned near government school, Khamano, on the GT Road, resulting in severe injuries to 18 women passengers.

According to information gathered on the spot. The bus (PB-23 E-5361) was taking women workers of Sanghol, Thablan, Saidpura and Luhari Jalowal villages to Malwa Industries, Machhiwara.

Due to high speed, the driver of the mini-bus lost control over the vehicle and the bus overturned, resulting in injuries to the women. A villager, Charanjeet Singh, who noticed the accident reported the matter to nearby police station and the police under the command of SHO Sukhjit Singh Virk reached the spot immediately carried out rescue work with the help of some villagers.

Three serious injured women — Kulwinder Kaur (28), Ranjit Kaur (22), both of Saidpura village, and Rajwinder Kaur (19) of Thablan were referred to the PGI after first aid from the Civil Hospital, Khamano, in a serious condition.

Other injured, including Khushpreet Kaur (19), Harpreet Kaur (20), Paramjit Kaur (18), Amandeep Kaur (28), Kanwaljit Kaur (26) and Kulwinder Kaur (19) were admitted to Oswal Hospital Ludhiana, after being first aid being given at the Civil Hospital.

According to DSP Satinderpal Singh, Khamano, a case under Sections 279, IPC, was registered against the driver of the mini-bus Tarsem Singh, who has absconded.

Earlier also, a mini bus of Malwa Industries had met with an accident on January 3,2005, in which 15 girls and the driver of the bus had died. This year, on January 9, a bus of this mill had fallen into the canal near Khamano and women had a narrow escape because there was no water in the canal. But it seems that the owner of the mill had not learnt any lesson from past and had not taken steps to check accidents.



80 kg poppy husk seized
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 7
In two separate cases, the Jagraon and Raikot police has seized 80 kg of poppy husk. In the first incident, the Raikot police, on a tip-off, intercepted a Maruti car (CH-01N-7857) and reportedly seized over 60 kg of poppy husk. A case has been registered. All suspects, except Gurwinder Singh, managed to flee from the spot.

In the second incident, the Jagraon police intercepted a Bajaj scooter in Bardeke village and seized 20 kg of poppy husk from the scooterist. A case has been registered under Sections 15, 25, 21, 61, 85 of the NDPS Act against Paramjit Singh, alias Pamma, of Dhanghara district, Jalandhar.

Three booked

The Sidhwan Bet police has registered a case under Sections 452, 323 and 34, IPC, against Gurdev Singh, Harjinder Singh and Billo of Khudai Chack on the charge of trespassing on the house of Inderjit Kaur of their village and assaulting her with sticks and hockey.

Cyclist killed

In an accident involving a truck (RJ-02G-7975) and a cycle near Ajitsar School, Mullanpur, recently Parminder Singh of Boparai Kalan was killed. The Dakha police has registered a case under Sections 304-A, 279, and 427, IPC, against the driver of the truck. No arrest has been made.



Biz Clips
Bank takes possession

LUDHIANA: The State Bank of India, Stressed Assets Resolution Centre, zonal office, took physical possession of the property mortgaged in the account of M/s A.R. Transmission Private Limited here on Thursday. According to a press note, the borrower had defaulted in the repayment of bank dues to the tune of Rs 55.46 lakh. The bank had served a 60 days demand notice but the party failed to come forward following which the bank took physical possession of the property. — TNS

Target raised

Mr Ashok Jaidka, Chairman, Wool and Woollens Export Promotion Council, on Friday said that the export of wool and wool blended products registered an increase of nearly 12 per cent and touched Rs 2,098 crore in 2005-06. The export target set by the government ($ 450 million) had also been attained. Encouraged by this trend, the council has set a challenging target of $ 500 million for 2006-07. — TNS

Blackberry launch

Mobile service provider Hutch and Research in Motion (RIM) on Friday announced plans to launch BlackBerry solution, that supports wireless access to email, phone, text messaging, browser, organiser and other mobile applications, on the Hutch GPRS and EDGE networks said Mr Naveen Chopra, Chief Marketing Officer, Hutchison Essar. — TNS



Abolish CST form, says mill body

Ludhiana, October 7
The Oil Mill Machinery Manufacturers Association has urged the state government to do away with the central sales tax (CST) form “C” due to hardships being faced by industry to obtain the same.

In a letter to the Chief Minister Mr Harish Singla, general secretary of the association, said with the introduction of the value added tax (VAT) regime, it had become difficult to get CST declaration form C for the period prior to the introduction of VAT. “All pending cases prior to the introduction of VAT should be finalised under the self-assessment of deemed assessment,” the association demanded.

Mr Singla said as per provisions of VAT, assesses were required to submit C forms along with other account statement by October 31.

The association also urged the government to do away with quarterly submission of C forms and permit traders to furnish one C form for one assessment year. “With the introduction of VAT, central sales tax should be phased out gradually, so the CST declaration form C should also be abolished.” — TNS



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