L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Mystery shrouds youth’s death
Was on a college trip to Goa 
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
Mystery shrouds the death of a youth, resident of New Hargobind Nagar near Neela Jhanda Gurudwara here, who had ‘died’ in Goa on October 12.
The youth, Raghav, who was a student of Regional Institute of Engineering Technology in Mandi Gobindgarh, had left for Goa with his classmates on October 10.

He had called up his parents after reaching Goa on October 12 afternoon. However, he was reportedly dead by that evening.

His shell-shocked father, N.D. Aggarwal, a retired Principal, learnt only today that their son had drowned.

They learnt this from the post-mortem report of a doctor, which was a part of the documents given to the family when the body was flown in today at Delhi. The cremation took place here in the evening.

Dr S.K. Aggarwal, an uncle of the deceased, said the manner in which the college staff went about hiding the incident and then behaving in an insensitive manner had led the family to believe there was much more than what met the eye.

He said the college had sent the students by train but a tour teacher went by air the next day.

Further, a person who brought the body gave different identity but signed as a college teacher at Delhi airport where as the said teacher was in Goa.

What troubles the family most was that no one has told them how and where the child drowned. Dr S.K. Aggarwal said the youth had a talk with his parents around 1 pm on October 12.

The medical report said he was brought dead at 5:30 pm on the same day in a hospital in Goa. However, one of the college teachers had called up the family at 7:30 pm claiming the youth was serious and admitted in a hospital.

The college did not call off the tour due to the death of a student. The parents have been told that only the students and the accompanying teachers can tell about the exact sequence of the tragic events when they return from Goa.

A team of college staff led by the Principal came to the victim’s house today morning but the family refused to accept their condolences. The family has demanded high-level investigation into the matter.

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MC digs pit, fills with water and forgets
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
Although the city is in grip of dengue, employees of the Municipal Corporation seem to have created a perfect breeding space for aedes mosquitoes in D-Block of Model Town Extension, giving sleepless nights to residents. The MC had dug a 15-foot deep and 25-foot wide pit a month and a half ago to store water for installing a tubewell in Guru Nanak Park, but the work was left incomplete and water was not drained out.

Besides posing threat to the lives of children who play in the park, the huge pit is now proving to be a breeding pond for the mosquitoes.

Requests by area residents have not evoked any response. They are pouring diesel on the surface of the water to not allow the larvae to survive.

“We are really scared. So much of water stagnating in a residential area can give anyone sleepless nights. They should drain the water out or finish the work immediately,” said a resident.

Two men who were working on the spot said they had started the work again two days ago. They said the water was stored in the pit so as to make boring easier. “We will refill it with earth after some days as soon as the work is over,” they said, refusing to comment on why the work was delayed for such a long time.

Meanwhile, the residents threatened that they would get labour employed on their own and get it filled with earth if the MC did not pay heed. “We will not bother even if they register a case against us. At least, this will save us from dengue.”

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On the road waiting for death
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
His habit of drinking not only made him lose his dear ones but he is counting his days lying on a roadside unattended and uncared for.
Sanjeev Kumar, a 40-years-old barber, who used to work in Chaura Bazar, was thrown out by his family members when he used to be in an inebriated state throughout the day. So much so that his wife also left him four years ago.

Things have come to such a pass that Sanjeev has not been given anything to eat for the last 12 days and is waiting for his death on a roadside near Ghanta Ghar Chowk.

His health is deteriorating and he is feeling so weak that he cannot even sit. His craving for alcohol is still so high that he asks people for drinks when they offer him food.

Unable to speak clearly, Sanjeev, while narrating his tale of woes, said that his brothers were very rich people and were running hosiery industries in Ludhiana. “I have no home. I was thrown out. My wife also fell in love with another man and left me for good. I am left to be on the road and don’t have the energy to shoo flies from my face away.” he said.

Some lottery stall owners in the area said that they got him admitted to the Civil Hospital. But there also he was always demanding liquor. He was thrown out and he has come here again, said Mukesh Kumar.

A resident, Mr Rakesh Talwar, who buys him tea everyday, said that he was not eating anything. He was unable to drink tea also but somehow Mr Talwar makes him do so. “I went to the Civil Hospital again asking the authorities to admit him. He is just a 40 and can be treated,” said Mr Talwar.

He added, “We are living in an independent country and we should value life. If our countrymen, despite their bad habits, are dying unattended we should look after them. After all they are humans and not animals.” 

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1 dead, 3 hurt in fire
Our Correspondent

Amloh, October 14
One person died on the spot and three were injured, one seriously, of a Dalit family in a house fire at a Salana village, 5 km from here. According to sarpanch Kesar Singh, Prem Singh Ramdasia (36), a resident of Salana village, is a labourer at a mill at Mandi Gobindgarh. His wife Darshan Kaur was preparing food at about 8 p.m. yesterday when the light went off.

A kerosene lamp made out of a bottle, was lighted. Some how it fell on the ground and the woman working on the stove caught fire. Her husband who tried to save her also got 70 per cent burn injuries.

Their 11-year-old daughter and the only son also got burns. While their youngest daughter escaped unhurt.

The charred body of Darshan Kaur was brought to the Amloh Civil Hospital today for a post-mortem examination.

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BJP alleges Rs 30 crore scandal in LIT
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
The Bhartiya Janata Party today alleged that yet another scandal to the tune of at least Rs 30 crore has cropped up in the Ludhiana Improvement Trust. The party leaders alleged that the trust officials had given about 40 plots to their favourites at a nominal rate. Addressing a press conference here today, the state secretary of the party, Mr Anil Sarin, former Deputy Speaker in the Punjab assembly, Mr Satpal Gosain, former chairman of the Ludiana Improvement Trust and senior party leader, Mr Madan Mohan Vyas and the district president, Dr Subash Verma, demanded that the case be handed over to the CBI for reaching to the truth.

The BJP leaders disclosed that the trust allotted plots to people on March 6, 1998. However some of the allottees failed to deposit the mandatory 25 per cent amount within the stipulated time. Ultimately the trust cancelled the allotments on May 22, 2000. The BJP leaders alleged that some of the trustees got power of attorney from the allottees so that these could be restored. They claimed that the trustees, whom the party leaders did not name, allegedly got the plots restored in the names of different people.

The BJP leaders said the whole process took not more than a week. Moreover, they added, while the market rate of these plots was at least about Rs 20,000 per square yard, the trust sold out these plots for less than Rs 3000 a square yard. They asked as to why was the entire process rushed through. They said even if the allottees wanted their plots to be restored, why did they think about it after seven years? Moreover, how did the government waive off the whole interest that the allottees had to pay towards the government? The BJP leaders alleged that there was involvement of some senior people without whose connivance it would not have been possible.

They said a thorough and independent inquiry needed to be conducted into this scandal as well. They said the cumulative amount that the trust was cheated off comes to at least Rs 30 crore according the current market rate of the plots. Most of these plots are located in prime areas, they claimed.

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SAD stir against city centre scam fizzling out
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
The agitation being organised by the Shiormani Akali Dal against the alleged multi crore scam in the Ludhiana City Centre outside the centre itself appears to be fizzling out with the number of Akali workers coming for demonstration declining day by day. In fact SAD could organise a good show only once under the leadership of party general secretary Capt Kanwaljit on September 28.

The demonstration coincided with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the city on the same day. Since then the number of demonstrators has been coming down day by day. The Akali sources disclosed that the purpose of bringing in demonstrators from across the state was to spread the word about the alleged scam to every nook and corner.

The sources said the SAD leadership realised that the Ludhiana City Centre issue was not getting much attention outside Ludhiana despite its magnitude.

The daily protest by the workers from across the state at the site itself served two purposes. One that word would travel to every part of the state and second the issue will remain alive for a longer period.

However, there was all likelihood of the demonstrations being abandoned as on several occasions even the organisers felt embarrassed over the miserably poor strength.

The SAD general secretary and Faridkote MP, Mr Sukhbir Badal, claimed that the fall in the number of demonstrators was due to the start of the harvesting season. He said since people had got busy with the harvesting of paddy, they could not make it to the site.

Moreover, he said, it was a symbolic protest and not a show of strength. He said, the show of strength would be held on October 16 at Matka Chowk, Chandigarh, where, he claimed, “lakhs of Akali workers” will converge to protest against the scam and seek CBI inquiry into it.

There is already apprehension among the Akali leadership that the Ludhiana City Centre issue, howsoever big it was made to be, may not last for too long till the elections which are still four months away.

They maintained although it brought the government and the Congress on the defensive for some time, it may not yield the desired dividends for the party in the elections. 

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Rs 800 cr released under Punjab Nirman Programme
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
Water Supply and Sanitation Minister Harnam Dass Johar has asserted that a record number of development projects were under execution in each part of the state and funds amounting to Rs 800 crore had been released under the Punjab Nirman Programme.

He was addressing a function organised to distribute grants of development works in Ludhiana west constituency at Model Town here today.

Funds amounting to Rs 6 crore have been released for various development projects in each constituency.

The minister said the state had also prepared a blueprint to augment the power situation to 7200 MW in Punjab.

With regard to repair of roads he said of the total 42,000 km of link roads, 38,000 km had been repaired and the remaining 6,000 km were being repaired on a war footing.

Mr Johar pointed out that so far the mega projects worth more than Rs 86,000 crore with a potential of 17 lakh jobs had been sanctioned in the state and by the end of December projects amounting to Rs 1 lakh crore would be approved.

Referring to the steps taken for the welfare of the weaker sections, Mr Johar stated that the government had created a special corpus fund of Rs 450 crore to ensure regular and timely disbursal of pensions/financial assistance. Thus Rs 60 crore have been released to provide toilets for SC families in rural areas. Besides, the amount of shagun has beeb increased from Rs 5,100 to Rs 15,000 for the marriage of SC girls.

He distributed cheques amounting to Rs 15.50 lakh among 15 institutions/associations of Ludhiana west constituency. The institutions/associations which were given grants included Temple of Humanity, Swami Vivekanand Swaraj Ashram and District Taxation Bar Association, Press Club, Ludhiana, (Rs 2 lakh each), Krishna Nagar Welfare society, Dr. Kitchlu Nagar Welfare Association, Model Town Citizen Welfare Society and Model Town West Market Association (Rs 1 lakh each); Rishi Nagar Residents Association, Shiva Welfare Society, Jawahar Nagar, Dr B.R. Ambedkar Youth Federation, Manav Kalyan Surakhsha Samity, Dashmesh Nagar Dharamshala Welfare Society, Jawahar Welfare Society, Jawahar Nagar, and Nari Ekta Welfare Society (Rs 50,000 each).

Others present on the occasion included Mr Chander Shekhar Sahota, Mr Ajay Johar, Mr Ram Parkash Bharti, patron, Swami Vivekanand Trust, Col D.B. Sharma, Mr Makhan Singh, Mr Gidhari Lal, president, Ekta Club, Mr Jagdish Marwaha, secretary, DCC(U), Mr Ramesh Bhandari and Mr Diwan Jagdish.

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‘Decorated’ Ludhiana police takes a pounding
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
Just two months after the Ludhiana police was honoured for being among the three best investigating police agencies of the state, the decorated detective skills have taken a pounding with not a single major case being solved by the cops in the last three months.

While the old and high-profile murder cases of Vikramjit Singh, son a cycle industrialist, and Prem Nath Devgun, owner of the multi-crore MEFA needles, are still awaiting solution, the cops have been clueless in the recent cases of a snatching of Rs 5 lakh from a trader near Cheema Chowk, murder of a 65-year-old wife of a financier in BRS nagar, and the more recently rape and murder of two girls in Sarabha Nagar and Focal Point area, respectively.

The cops have been left scratching their heads in the cases. On October 10, an 11-year-old -daughter of a migrant labourer was found raped and murdered in Dhandari early morning. Another girl of the same age was found raped and murdered on the Barewal side banks of the Sidhwan Canal on September 20.

The police investigation has not been able to move in any direction in the cases. The cops do not think that both the incidents were the handiwork of a serial rapist cum killer. They are following the theory that some persons living in the same labour colony of the victims were involved. However, the claims have not been substantiated so far.

On September 19, four armed robbers fired thrice in the front office of Sudarshan Textiles, situated between Cheema Chowk and Samrala Chowk and looted Rs 5 lakh cash and several drafts of Rs 5-6 lakh in broad day light

The factory owner-cum-commission agent for bank draft exchange business, Manish Gupta, his father, two friends, and an employee Raman Kumar had a narrow escape as the robbers, all clean-shaven, fired one shot each from their .315 bore, .32 bore and 9mm guns, barged into the office and decamped with the booty.

Though almost a month has passed after the incident, the detection skills of the city police have been directionless. The cops have simply not been able to establish any idea as who the culprits were.

The standard reply of the cops in all these cases is that they were working on the clues. The cops insist that they have been following this theory or that, but none of its line of investigation has enabled the cops to come closer to the collars of the criminals.

After all line of investigation seem to have failed, the cops and the aggrieved families of the victims even went to the extent of announcing huge cash award for supplying information about the two cases.

While the relatives of septuagenarian Prem Nath Devgun, owner of 100-crore plus assets worth MEFA needles have announced a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh, the family of the brutally murdered Vikramjit Singh have announced a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh to any persons providing any concrete information about the case to the police.

Prem Nath Devgun was found murdered in his house come office in the factory premises in November last year. He had multiple stab wounds all over his body but thousands of reputation stacked

The police had early this year arrested one of the labourers of the factory from Bihar who had gone missing on the day of the murder. But he too was later found innocent. The biggest challenge was the complexities of relationships of the victim industrialist, who was said to have been married twice.

Then there was the issue of his will, which he had allegedly changed a couple of times. The police investigated the role of various legal and illegal relatives of the deceased but nothing could yield much success.

Similarly, in the Vikramjit murder case, the cops were left on wild goose chase again on different theories regarding the murder. Initially, it was thought that he was kdinapped for ransom but later when his body was recovered, the police followed the theories of murder due to personal enmity, robbery, or a love affair but none could materialise into a breakthrough.

The police is also taking the help of the British police regarding the deceased youths’ student life in London. The joint investigation is also yet to produce some encouraging results.

The hopes of the cops that the attraction of money can pull out some hitherto hidden information about the cases has not yielded any result so far. In fact it has compounded the problem for the cops as many false, motivated, baseless information started flowing in. The cops got hundreds of letters in which the writers just groped in the dark hoping it hit a target and claim the cash prize.

Cases that have left cops scratching their heads

1. Vikramjit murder case in June this year.

2. MEFA Needles owner Prem Nath Devgun murder case in November last year.

3. Trader shot at robbed of Rs 5 lakh near Cheema Chowk on September 19 this year.

4. Minor girl raped, murdered in Focal Point on October 10.

5. Minor girl raped, murdered in Barrewal on September 20.

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Men in khaki await space for police post
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
You may have seen road-side doctors, vendors, astrologers but have you ever seen a police post functioning from a tent by the roadside.
You will have to visit Arti Chowk here to see the Ghumar Mandi police post functioning from a makeshift tent for the past three months as it has unable to find a proper space.

The community policing ideology has surely taken a beating in this case. But it is not because of the usual shortcomings of the police but because the public has not come forward to provide a space to the “friendly cop”. It seems that despite the efforts to imrpove its image, the public cannot trust the police for leasing out space to them.

The post was stationed at the Division No. 5 police station building near the Jagraon bridge for the past several years. However, when the police station was closed for renovation in July, it had to be shifted. The police and the Ghumar Mandi area residents selected a small triangular space opposite Arti Chowk and started the construction.

However, the local Municipal Corporation and some environmentalists objected to the construction, claiming that the land was a public park. The construction had to be stopped immediately. But the police did not vacate the land and started working from under a tent since the first week of August.

Efforts by the police to find an alternate place for the post have failed. Ironically, Ghumar Mandi shopkeepers and the area residents have always been complaining that they have to travel all the way to the Jagraon bridge for taking police help. They have been demanding that it should be situated near to the market. But now no one is coming forward to help the police.

Interestingly, of all 22 police posts in the city this is the only one which has been duly approved by the government, while the others are functioning on need basis of the local police only. Ironically, it is the only post that does not have a roof and proper rooms.

All efforts of the city police to find even a two-room accommodation for running the post have failed.

Interestingly, whenever heavy showers come the policemen have to run to a safe place for protecting their files and documents.

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City turns into gambling den
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, October 14
With Divali just a week away, Ludhiana seems to have turned into gamblers’ den. Clubs, hotels and even some private houses have become gambling centres. The amount of money involved in the gambling runs into lakhs.

Sources revealed that quite a number of people, who are mostly into the business, have taken offs from work till Divali as they have got themselves busy in the gambling. Recently one of the gamblers reportedly won about Rs 30 lakh. He also threw a lavish party to celebrate his winning in a leading hotel.

Gambling is not new in Ludhiana. During every festival season people gamble with huge stakes. Even ladies clubs are not lagging behind with members putting a lot at stake. While for the professional gamblers it is the ‘peak season’, for amateurs this time comes just once in a year. A leading businessman said he occasionally tried his hand at cards. “There was nothing abnormal or unusual about it”, he remarked, as he mostly plays among the friends. He said in his close circle the stakes are not much high. “Because we do it for fun and not for money”, he claimed.

However, in the clubs, including the small and leading ones, the stakes run into lakhs of rupees with the cumulative amount transacted during the day’s gambling even running into crores. Money, however, is not exchanged instantly at the table. The gamblers settle accounts the next day only and most of them tend to be “fair” in making their payments.

Although gambling is a criminal offence but the police also is believed to be going soft during the festival days. This is not necessarily due to any connivance but an understanding that the gambling during the festival days has become a part of the celebrations. However, the public gambling is not allowed at any cost anywhere in the city.

A lady belonging to a leading industrial family admitted that she enjoyed playing cards with her friends and acquaintances. She said she was a member of most of the leading clubs in the city. But she never goes to the club most of the year except for the festival days when she tries her hand at the cards.

There are no segregated tables in any of the clubs for men and women. Both play on the same tables. However, the number of women players is usually small as compared to men. It is only in the exclusive lady clubs where it is “all women” gambling.

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Marriages have become too ostentatious
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, October 14
Marriage season comes with bang after Navratras and hectic activities start for hundreds of marriages that would take place . Every year the marriages are becoming more ostentatious and the well off families like to be a cut above others. Money does not matter.

What matters is that the invitees as well as accompanying sweets, dry fruits etc should be unique or the packing should be very innovative. Invitation cards for marriage functions are a class apart. An exclusive wedding card in coloured kundan work from Jaipur in a necklace design was the talk of the town. Since it was a unique kind of card, the invitees were requested to preserve it. Another original card was in a sleek wooden box with panel of coloured mythological figures on top and vedic mantras written on it. Inside were coloured cards for various occasion of the wedding.

The who’s who of the city want to be known for being very exclusive and hence the sweets accompanying the invitation cards are being imported from Gulf countries.

The marriage parties want their marriage to be most talked about in the city . In some marriage parties, elephants are pressed into service to carry the most important guests like old time maharajas. The elephants walk in majestic manner swaying from side to side blocking traffic. But who cares for the inconvenience of the public?

The arrangements at the ‘marriage palaces’ where weddings take place get more ostentatious and they appear like a fairy land with thousands coloured lights lighting the venue. The hidden lights lighting the trees and figures at the venue make them appear like a magical place. The florists are specially summoned to arrange flowers in a novel way. The floral gate at the entrance is decorated in a breathtaking beautiful manner with exotic flowers and orchids imported from Bangkok.

The drapes of brocades, velvet cushions and comfortable sofas and shining mirror work add a great deal of pomp and richness to the occasion. Mr Vijay Singhania, a very popular social figure, says: “According to the caterers, a human being generally can tuck in only 250to 300 grams of food. But at the ‘super special’ weddings after an ‘n’ number of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian snacks, for dinner, there is a Mexican cuisine, besides Italian, Thai, Chinese and Continental cuisine. Moreover people can relish their own ‘desi khana’ ‘dhaba food, ‘Mugalai food, Amritsari naan and kulchas too.

Similarly there are about two dozen desserts besides exotic imported fruits.

“The marriages are getting more and more ostentatious,” lament the city people. Yet when it is their turn, they want to be one up on the others. Ms Sodhi, a college lecturer, says, How much money is needlessly spent. What about food that is wasted by people, when millions of our countrymen go hungry? It breaks my heart to see people piling more food on their plates and then unable to eat, throwing it into waste paper bin. Why have the people to serve so many dishes when in reality just seeing so much of food around you just kills your appetite rather than whetting it? When will our social consciousness awaken?”

“If people develop a will to reach out to help less fortunate members of society by having simple marriages, the society would gain.Why is this thing not talked about in gurdwaras and temples?” says Prof MS Cheema.

The entire thing, lighting, fireworks , the time and effort spent by family members on the wedding and their guests results in wastage of not only money but time too. The most horrendous thing is that these ostentatious marriages do not guarantee a successful marriage and many might end in divorces.

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Abrogation of death penalty gets mixed response
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
The opinion among the public appears to be divided over death penalty in the country. While the Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party have their own views, most people feel that death penalty must be there, though it should be resorted to in the rarest of cases. Most of the persons TNS talked to were not in favour of granting clemency to Afzal Guru, who had been convicted and sentenced to death for masterminding and executing the attack on Parliament that led to the death of several persons.

Congress leaders appear to be ambiguous on the issue. Local Congress leaders said the issue was with the President and he had already referred it to the Home Ministry. Shiromani Akali Dal general secretary Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal maintained that the law must be uniform. He said in case Afzal Guru was granted clemency then Davinderpal Singh Bhullar should also get. However, at the same time he maintained that there must be strong deterrents for preventing such crimes.

The BJP, on the other hand, was clear by maintaining that death penalty must be there. State secretary Anil Sarin said death penalty was there in most advanced countries as well, but the intensity of crime should determine the death penalty.

He pointed out Afzal was involved in the worst crime against the country’s highest democratic institution. He observed Afzal deserved no clemency.

He said Afzal was getting too arrogant while politicians like J&K Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah were pleading his case.

The radical Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) has petitioned the President against the death penalty and also supported the demand for clemency to Afzal. Its senior vice-president Daljeet Singh Bittu and general secretary Jagmohan Singh are strong advocates of abolition of the death penalty.

But the common man by and large is opposed to granting any clemency in acts of terrorism.

Mr Harjinder Singh Laly, a businessman, asked why should people who were responsible for the death of so many people deserved clemency.

He pointed out that people like Afzal had shown scant regard for the life of other people.

Similar views were expressed by Abhimanyu, a student.

He said the Government of India needed to convey the message to terrorists that their acts would not be tolerated and they would have to reap the whirlwind.

He regretted that the issue was unnecessarily being politicised.

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Book block Congress president: NGO
Our Correspondent

Raikot, October 14
Terming registration of an attempt-to-murder case against a staff nurse and her husband as politically motivated, activists and office-bearers of the Narinder Kaur Abduction Joint Action Committee urged the administration to probe the matter and book president of the block Congress.

The activists said the block Congress president should be charged with the offence of attacking and attempting to abduct the nurse about a fortnight ago.

They staged a dharna at the Labour Chowk here before submitting a memorandum to the representative of the SDM.

More than 40 leaders of various social and political organisations, while addressing the gathering during the dharna, accused the local police of acting on behest of Palwinder Singh, president, block Congress, who according to them had allegedly attacked Narinder Kaur, a staff nurse posted at Mehal Kalan, and tried to abduct her on September 27.

They alleged that the police, instead of registering a case against the Congress leader, had registered an FIR under Section 307 of the IPC against the victim and her husband Parminder Singh who had reached the spot incidentally.

Accusing Palwinder Singh of keeping a bad eye on her, Narinder Kaur, victim, alleged that he had tried to abduct her from the bus-stop on the eventful day.

“Had my husband not reached to rescue me, Palwinder Singh could have succeeded in his sinister design to abduct. He surrendered his idea only when pistol, kept in the pocket of kurta of my husband went off,” said Ms Narinder Kaur while talking to the Ludhiana Tribune.

The police on the other hand had registered an FIR under Section 307 of the IPC against the couple on the statement of Palwinder Singh. Mr Singh had accused the duo of trying to kill him.

The Joint Action Committee was constituted to impress upon the police to cancel the case and register an FIR against the Congress leader.

Mr Tarsem Jodhan, former MLA, Rajwinder Rana, president CPI (ML), Harbhajan Singh, TSU, Lal Singh Dhanaula, Chairman Paramedical Employees Association and Ministerial Services Union, Baldev Singh Latala, Kisan Sabha, Mohinder Singh Accharwal, Zamhoori Kissan Sabaha, Nirmal Singh Bhamra BKU (Pishora Singh), Faqir Singh Dadhahoor, Kissan Sabha, and Tirlochan Singh RaIkot spoke on the occasion.

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Benefits should reach genuine persons, says PCS officer
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 14
Terming social and political leaders of any area as a “bridge between representatives of state government and beneficiaries of various schemes launched from time to time”, Dr Indu, PCS, urged them to provide right information to administrative officers so that the benefits percolated to genuine persons.

The Sub-Divisional Magistrate made the statement while talking to the Ludhiana Tribune after being felicitated by officials at the joint sub-registrar’s office and the divisional office in Malerkotla on Wednesday.

The staff of these offices had arranged a farewell party for her, following her transfer from Malerkotla to the Ludhiana West subdivision, at Officers’ Club, Malerkotla, earlier. She will be joining her office in Ludhiana on Thursday.

Dr Indu claimed that she had succeeded in providing justice to members of lower strata of the society as the social and political leaders of the area had been providing her proper information regarding genuineness of the recipients of various benefits.

“A balance between faith in democratically elected representatives and proper verification enabled me to utilise government funds judicially for the benefit of all sections of society,” maintained Dr Indu.

She expressed gratitude towards officials working under her jurisdiction for extending cooperation in running the affairs of the subdivision in an efficient manner. 

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Lions Club chief installed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 14
The Lions Club, Ludhiana Greater, held its 28th installation ceremony here on Thursday. Mr R K Rana, District Governor Distt 321-F graced the occasion as chief guest. Mr D K Sood past District Governor, District 321-F was the installation officer.

A galaxy of past district governors were present as guests of honour. Around 175 club members from around the district attended the ceremony.

Mr Bhupinder Kaur Judge, president and board of directors, was installed formally by Mr Sood in a glittering ceremony.

In her acceptance address, Mr Bhupinder Kaur Judge spelled out the service projects and activities to be taken up for the year 2006-07. Mr Rana praised the club for undertaking beneficial service projects which would go a long way to benefit the downtrodden sections of society and honoured members of the club with the International Lion’s lapel pins.

Four new members were induced in the fold by Mr Darshan Monga past district governor. Mr Charanjit Singh, a charter member of the club, responded on behalf of the club to the felicitations by the dignitaries by promising to give service and fellowship oriented year to come and also accorded a formal vote of thanks.

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Assn urges CM to redress pending demands
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
The Panchayati Raj Sub Divisional Officers Association has appealed to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to redress their long pending demands. A special general body meeting was held here today to discuss and prepare a road map for necessary steps to be taken regarding the Assured Career Progression Scheme after completing four, nine and 14 years of regular service as is being granted to their counterparts in other government departments, boards and corporations.

Mr Balbir Singh Ayri, general secretary of the outfit, said the executive had exhausted its resources while submitting to queries as raised by the Finance Department from time to time in the past. He alleged that certain of officials were misleading and presenting a negative picture to the CM and other senior bureaucrats of the state.

Majority of the members who attended the meeting were unanimous in their views and lauded the efforts being made by the association which had tried in to defend their case with facts and figures at the level of the Chief Minister, Punjab, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats, Finance Minister, Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary, Finance, Financial Commissioner, Rural Development and Panchayats, Director, Rural Development and Panchayats, Personnel and Finance Department.

Those present also authorised the executive committee to explore the provisions of Right to Information Act and to approach the department concerned to part with the information regarding non- grant of the Scheme.

It was felt by the house that an indepth inquiry should be sought to know the reasons why the Finance Department has failed to act on the recommendations and why it had been dilly-dallying the matter since 2000 and that too after making some needless queries. The general body also authorised the executive to explore legal remedies in the event of non-acceptance of its genuine demand by the Punjab Government.

Other matters taken up by the associations with the government from time to time along with additional demands as put forward to the house by the members were also discussed in depth. It was decided to represent the department afresh with its charter of demands as discussed and decided unanimously in the meeting.

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Seasonal rivulet disappearing, thanks to encroachers
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
A seasonal rivulet near Bahadar Ke road is fast disappearing from the map as some colonisers are working round the clock to fill it up and construct an approach road to Modern Colony coming up near it.

The alleged encroaching of several acres of Central Government land worth over Rs15 crore by illegal filling of a seasonal rivulet on Bahadar Ke road is continuing even as a local court had issued stay orders on the proceedings.

A city Judge had issued stay orders regarding the rivulet on October 10 but this has not detered the alleged encroachers to stop their illegal activity.

Even though several area residents have been regularly complaining to the District Magistrate and the city SSP about the alleged encroachment being done by a coloniser, the administration has not taken any concrete step to stop the encroachment.

The work was stopped at the site last week when a news report about the alleged encroachment appeared in Ludhiana Tribune. The government machinery chugged for a couple of days before coming to a halt again. There are allegations that the police was ignoring the encroachment in lieu of getting land for the construction of a police post there.

Interestingly, the government departments have been pointing fingers at each other to own the responsibility for first allowing the encroachment and second to stop and clear it. The Drainage Department had earlier written letters to the Revenue Department and the Police Department for registration of cases against the encroachers but now the department officials say the land falls in the jurisdiction of the Municipal Corporation.

A group of area residents led by Municipal Councillor Bhairaj Singh have taken up the issue to prevent the loss to the Union Government being caused by the encroachment. The residents represented by Mr Harbans Singh and Mr Balbir Chand produced a copy of a court order proclaiming stay order regarding the encroachment before a press conference here today.

They along with the Municipal Councillor have demanded immediate stop to the encroachment and investigation by an independent agency into the role of the officials who have patronised the illegal activity.

The administration has, however, not taken any action against any persons so far. The District Magistrate, Mr Ashok Gupta, had summoned records of the case but no action has been taken so far.

A police chowki is also allegedly coming up illegaly there raising allegations of police patronage of the move. Flood threat looms large over the area as the seasonal rivulet was a natural drainage system. In case of being filled or encroached, the natural drainage system would be affected causing floods in the area.

The filling of the nullah was being carried on despite letters issued to the police and district administration by an SDO of the Phillaur Bandhi Division, who has been sending communications warning of such action for the last almost an year.

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CM to attend martyr’s function
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will attend the birth anniversary celebrations of Banda Bahadur here on October 16. A public function is being organised here on the Government College for Women grounds.

Disclosing this here today, the chairman of the Bairagi Maha Mandal, Mr K. K. Bawa, said devotees from across the region would attend the birth anniversary celebrations of Banda Bahadur.

He said the mandal had been demanding the setting up of a chair in the name of Banda Bahadur in any university in the state. Besides, it had appealed to all people to illuminate their houses, offices and business establishments on the evening of October 16 as a mark of respect to Banda Bahadur.

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FIR against ex-MLA: no suspect arrested
Our Correspondent

Raikot, October 14
Even two days after the registration of an FIR under Sections 353, 186, 323, 341 and 149 of IPC against a former MLA and other persons for allegedly intercepting a police vehicle carrying suspects of a murder case, interfering in officials duty of cops and assaulting them, no suspect has been arrested.

Terming the case as false and frivolous, Mr Tarsem Jodhan, former MLA, and Faqir Chand leading the suspects have denied the charges levelled in the FIR. They have demanded cancellation of the case.

Sources at the police station revealed that no arrest had been made in connection with an FIR registered against Tarsem Jodhan, former MLA, Faqir Chand, Tirlochan Singh, Jeeta Kaur, Dr Gurcharan Singh, Bobby, Gopa and about 20 unidentified persons for allegedly intercepting and attacking a police party led by Mr Baljinder Singh havaldar on Wednesday evening. The party was shifting the accused arrested in connection with murder of Karamjit Singh a few days ago. Baljinder Singh was hurt when the miscreants had pelted stones on the party and the vehicle was also damaged.

Mr Dharam Pal, SHO, said he has deputed a team to initiate process in the case and nab the culprits who had tried to pressurise the police to benefit the accused.

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Two hurt in attack
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
Bitter rivalry between two groups at Gill village that has already consumed life of a former sarpanch has returned to haunt the villagers with two persons being injured in an alleged attack by a rival group.

A supporter of the injured Sudarshan Singh and his nephew Bikram Singh had to open fire in air to save them. The police said the victims were attacked by a rival group members led by Charanjit Singh Channy. Both victims are under treatment at CMC Hospital. 

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Trading on all-time high
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
With the festival of lights round the corner, the investor community in this region is once again rife with expectations that the market will touch new highs and cross the 13,000 mark by Divali. Trading is on an all-time high as a result and adding to their hopes are market experts, who too are upbeat and think that this is the right time to book profits and enjoy the festival.

“Indian economy has been showing steady growth, almost in all sectors. Corporates, too, have shown good results. We are quite hopeful that the Sensex would soon touch the 13,000 mark,” says Mr H.S. Sidhu, executive director, Ludhiana Stock Exchange.

Ever since the last time the Sensex touched 12,000 mark and later went into a correction mode, investors have been a little sceptical. However, this time the journey from the 12,000 mark onwards has been relatively stable and the bullish trend is expected to continue.

“I am quite hopeful that Divali would bring good news. However, this time I don’t want to wait and will try to book whatever profits I can prior to even the 13,000-mark,” said Mr Rajesh Kumar, an investor.

Experts too advise the same. “Investors should not wait. This is the time to book profits,” advises Mr Ashwani Sharma, who works with a leading private bank here.

While long term strategy for investing recommends a wait and watch approach, market experts point out that investors in this part of the country follow a short-term approach and hence it is better that they take advantage when the market is moving northward.

“It is easy and fast gains that allure investors in this region. It involves heavy risk and at times they face problems on account of this approach too because there is no dearth of those who invest without having any knowledge of the share market. Return of a large number of investors to the market soon as the upward trend begun again proves this fact,” Mr Sidhu said.

Asserting that those investing their money in shares should keep an average time of two-three years, experts said with the bullish trend on it is good time to book gains. Recommending that investors book profits now, take expert advise from good brokers or investment experts and also try to gain knowledge of the market by attending awareness seminars, Mr Sidhu said index-based stocks would be a good option for such investors.

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Ludhianvis follow international trend in jewellery
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Nidhi Chawla
Nidhi Chawla

Ludhiana, October 14
When it comes to jewellery, city residents follow the international trends. Fusion jewellery with lot of precious stones along with diamonds are the current rage. This was stated by Ms Nidhi Chawla, a jewellery designer with Glitz Diamond Jewellery, who was in the city today.

Ms Chawla, who has the likes of Subroto Roy of the Sahara group on her clientele list, feels Ludhiana is among the fastest growing markets for jewellery. “We had a large number of clients coming to Delhi from this city. People here have grown increasingly conscious of the quality of diamonds as well as designs. Besides, it is not just the elite but even the middle class here is opting for diamond jewellery which creates huge potential,” she said.

“In case of diamonds, even if you are wearing a small piece, it gets noticed due to its class and elegance which is why it is becoming the choice of the people from varied income and age groups,” she maintained. Regarding her current designs, she said she was focussing on themes like idols during the festive season. Among the themes created by her were floral, abstracts, water based, musical and circular patterns, she added.

On the right kind of purchases, she said: “While purchasing diamonds people must keep in mind that they buy these from a renowned shop and ask for a certificate. They must also know the quality they are purchasing and the buy back price they will get.”

She said while there were machines to assess differentiate a real diamond from a fake one, there still was no standard to judge the quality of a diamond, which necessitated that people took certificate and bills for their purchases.

Ms Chawla, who thinks that trained jewellery designers have contributed significantly to the development of Indian jewellery market, said formal training helped one learn technicalities of the job. “If you get a formal training, you know all technical aspects related to quality, weight, cuts etc and you learn how to get your work done. Earlier, people learnt jewellery designing only by experience. Luckily, now we have formal training institutes where one can get professional training. In fact professionals have helped Indian designs go global.”

For a jewellery designer freelancing was a little tough and having one’s own manufacturing facility helped a lot, she said.

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Bank takes possession of property
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
Officials of the Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar branch of Canara Bank today took possession of property mortgaged in the names of Mohinder Pal and Surinder Kumar on the Radha Swami road under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Assets (SARFAESI) Act.

According to bank officials, the party had availed as a housing loan and Defaulted in repayment of bank dues to the tune of Rs 5.05 lakh. 

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