L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Devagon murder case cracked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 5
The police today claimed to have solved the sensational murder case of Prem Nath Devagon, an industrialist, after about a year. Devagon was found murdered on the intervening night of November 26 and 27 at his house located on the factory premises.

Addressing a press conference, SSP A.S. Rai and SP, City II, Dinesh Pratap claimed that the two main accused had been arrested while three were absconding.

Mr Rai said it was primarily a case of robbery involving one of the employees of Devagon, whom he apparently identified, leading to his death.

Five persons had gone to the victim’s house with the purpose of robbery. They included an employee Nikoo Singh who was later arrested. Fearing that he may be caught, the robbers killed him in panic.

The confession was made by a gang member who fell apart with the others over the distribution of the booty.

Nikoo and Joginder Singh were arrested from Rai Barielly in Uttar Pradesh recently. 



UP MLA seeks probe into murder charges against migrant labourers
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 5
An MLA from Uttar Pradesh (UP) has sought a probe into the murder charges levelled by a migrant woman of Bhinga constituency against four migrant labourers of her village.

Reeta, a resident of Lonian Purba village of Dakhila Lal Pur Mehri area in Bhinga constituency of UP, a mother of two minor children has accused Shobha, Udhal, Dhani Ram and Nanke of the same village of allegedly murdering her husband Babu Ram for pocketing about Rs 10,000 they owed to the victim’s family.

The local police, having failed to establish identity of the victim as well as of the suspects, has returned the complaint for want of complete information.

Babu Ram, according to Reeta, had been working at a town for the past many months and had sent Rs 5,000 for his family through Shoba Ram a few months ago. But the money was not paid to Reeta or any other member of her family. Babu Ram, after reaching his village later, came to know that Shoba had kept the money himself. When he asked him to pay the amount, he along with his friend said the same would be paid when they returned Punjab.

In a written complaint made through Rajesh Madhok, SP, Shravasti (UP), and recommended by Chander Mani Kant Singh, MLA, Bhinga, Reeta alleged that the four suspects had allegedly killed Babu Ram after taking him to Chhapar Mari in a tempo on October 11. She claimed that Babu Ram was last seen with Shoba, Udhal, Dhani Ram and Nanke at Mari on the same day.

The complainant quoted Shoba having told many persons that the other three suspects had killed her husband at his instance. She maintained that Shoba and Nanke had returned to their native village after committing crime, while Udhal and Dhani Ram had shifted to Calendar and Dhuri, respectively, to evade action by the police.

Police sources said the complaint had been received through the office of Mr Harinder Singh Chahal, SSP, Sangrur. But the same had been returned for want of complete information about the whereabouts of the victim and the suspects. "Moreover, Chhapar Mari, the place of incident, as mentioned in the complaint, falls in Jagraon district. Any case if required to be registered would be investigated by the Dehlon police," asserted the police sources. 



60 trade unions to back Dec 14 strike
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 5
Over 60 trade unions from across the state have decided to support the nationwide strike on December 14. These unions have given a call to observe a complete bandh on that day. The strike is in protest against the alleged “anti-people” policies of the UPA government.

“We will ensure that the strike is successful. No vehicle would be allowed to ply on the roads, there would be no business, no organisations would function on that day,” said Mr Raghunath Singh, general secretary of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Punjab. A meeting of these unions was held to chalk out the future course of action here today.

The unions have come together under the banner of the Sponsoring Committee of Trade Unions to lodge their protest against the special economic zones (SEZs), foreign investment in retail industry, privatisation of education and health care services, rising unemployment and inflation and dismal growth rate.

Terming the government’s claims of rising growth rate, the members of these unions said rising unemployment portrayed the hollowness of such claims.

Representatives of the AITUC, the Hind Mazdoor Sabha, CITU and various employee organsations were present in the meeting today.



Issuance of  I-cards reviewed
Our Correspondent

Raikot, December 5
Satisfied with the performance of the authorities with regard to the issuance of identity cards on behalf of the Election Commission at camps organised in the subdivision, Ms Manisha Nanda, special election observer, called upon office-bearers of social organisations of the area to impress upon residents of their respective beats to get the documents prepared during online processing as these would be needed for proving their identity at the time of casting of votes.

Accompanied by Ms Anjali Bhawra, Commissioner, Patiala Division, and Mr Ashok Gupta, DC, she reviewed the photography process and online issuance of identity cards at various booths.

According to Mr Mukand Singh Sandhu, SDM, she had visited the booths to check if recommendations and regulations of the Election Commission were followed. "Satisfied over the performance of the officials at various booths, she advised us to seek the cooperation of office-bearers of social organisations in creating awareness among the masses about the relevance of the documents," he said.

He said voters would be required to show their cards at the time of voting. "Moreover, the document will serve as a universally accepted visual document to prove one's identity. Residents may face difficulty in getting ration cards and driving licences issued in the absence of this card," he said. 



Drizzle slackens life
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 5
Intermittent drizzle which continued on the second day today slackened the pace of life in the city today. For residents there is little respite as Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) agro-meteorologists have forecast isolated rain or thundershowers in the next 24 hours.

Two women rush to save themselves from the drizzle that continued throughout the day in Ludhiana
Two women rush to save themselves from the drizzle that continued throughout the day in Ludhiana on Tuesday. —Photo Inderjit Verma

“The temperature has already dropped so much. I did not feel like going to office due to rain,” said Mr Anil Verma, a city resident.

While office-goers relied on tea and pakoras to keep themselves warm, school kids had a tough time. “Wish we had holidays. We can’t play as the grounds are wet and it is quite cold in the classroom too. Today I got a little wet waiting for my school bus and kept shivering for quite some time," said 10-year-old-Suruchi.

At many places, people lit bonfires to keep themselves warm.

Meanwhile, the continued chill added to the hopes of the hosiery industry. “The continuing cold only means good days ahead for us. Industry was quite disappointed earlier as the local demand had declined. But the demand has picked up and if such weather continues, it would boost sales,” said Subhash, a hosiery shop owner in Chaura Bazaar.

Traders of heaters and blowers too were happy as demand for their products was likely to pick up. Tea stalls and peanut sellers also did brisk business.

The minimum temperature, according to PAU, was up from 12 degrees yesterday to 14 degrees while the maximum temperature was 20.6°C.



Badal accuses Cong of dividing people
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 5
Former Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Parkash Singh Badal today accused the Congress of practising the policy of “divide and rule”. He alleged the party had tried to practise the policy in Punjab also, but the attempt was “valiantly defeated” by the people, both Hindus and Sikhs.

Addressing a Hindu-Sikh unity rally at Gass Mandi Chowk here, he said for the past 60 years, the Congress had been trying to deliberately keep people divided along communal lines so that it could remain in power. He blamed the Congress for decade-long scene of bloodshed and mistrust in Punjab and congratulated the people for “understanding their designs and defeating these”.

He said, the SAD-BJP alliance was firmly placed in the state and would return to power. The alliance had helped in restoring mutual trust among Hindus and Sikhs, he claimed.

Mr Badal accused the Chief Minister of playing into the hands of extremist elements like Mr Simranjit Singh Mann. He said the divisive politics could disturb the hard-earned peace 

in the state. He, however, said the people of Punjab would not allow such people to succeed in their designs.

The function was organised by the trading community here. Mr Badal said the Chief Minister had betrayed everybody, including traders and industrialists. In case his government came to power, a traders’ welfare board would be constituted to look into the grievances of the traders and work out solutions, he added.

He said his government would streamline the value added tax (VAT) regime. He remarked, “VAT has led to as much harassment to traders as this (Congress) government.” Although he did not elaborate, he said steps would be taken to ensure that traders got a massive relief.

Prominent among those present on the occasion were: Ludhiana MP Sharanjit Singh Dhillon and SAD district president Hira Singh Gabria.



Senior citizens resent hike in water, sewerage rates
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 5
The Senior Citizens Forum has expressed its concern and resentment over the increase in water and sewerage charges and demanded immediate rollback in keeping with the sentiments of the general house of the Municipal Corporation here.

In a statement today, Mr Yash Pal Ghai, secretary of the forum, said even though the MC general house had unanimously rejected the decision of the state government in this regard, it still issued bills with increased user charges. He regretted that the city Mayor had failed to take any follow-up action with the Local Bodies Department for rollback in the hike.

According to Mr Ghai, the city population was perplexed whether to make payment of the water and sewerage bills by the stipulated last date (December 12) or to wait till a final decision was taken by the state government on this matter.



Book on Punjabi heritage released 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana December 5
Harkesh Singh Kehal’s book “Alop Ho Riha Punjabi Virsa” was released by Dr Bikram Singh Ghuman, former Professor and Head of Punjabi School, GND varsity, recently.

Kehal has already written several books on Punjabi culture and folk songs, including “Lok Geetan Vich Punjabi Jeewan”, “Punjabi Lok Virsa”, “Ik Pind Di Kahani”, “Mere Pind Di Badli Nuhar” etc.

The first part of “Alop Ho Riha Punjabi Virsa” deals with fundamentals of agriculture that have vanished from the modern scene. In other parts, the articles of routine domestic usage, including “charkha”, “madhani”, “gharounjee”, “ookhli”, “mohle”, “sandooq” etc have been discussed by the writer.

Kehal said the objective of writing the book was to familiarise the youth about the rich Punjabi culture and traditions. 



Two arrested for stealing cable

Ludhiana, December 5
The police today claimed to have arrested two thieves who used to steal cable belonging to the BSNL.

Giving this information, Mr Ajaib Singh, ASI, said it took about 10 to 15 days for officials of the BSNL to activate dead telephones. He said a few days ago, Vinod Kumar was arrested with the cable. During interrogation, he had disclosed that he along with Parveen Kumar had stolen it from near Budha Nullah.

The police also recovered some stolen cable from Parveen. The police also arrested a junk dealer, to whom the accused used to sell the stolen cable. — OC



1 crushed to death, 2 hurt
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 5
A youth was killed and two injured when the Pulsar motorcycle they were riding was run over by an oil tanker at the Raikot road here last evening.

The bike had fallen flat on the road after a Tata Sumo going ahead applied brakes suddenly. The bike was run over by a speeding Oil Tanker coming from opposite side. Gurdeep Singh, alias Chamkeela, 19, was crushed to death and Amandeep Singh and Gurbagh Singh, alias Guri, were hurt in the accident.

According to Gurbagh Singh, the trio was returning from Lohatbaddi village after attending a function. A case has been registered against the driver of the tanker.



In-laws booked in dowry case
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 5
The police has registered a case under Sections 406 and 498-A, IPC, against Taranjit Singh, Harchand Singh, Harminder Kaur and Balwinder Kaur of Dakha on the charge of demanding dowry from Sarabjit Kaur and harassing her. No arrest has been made so far. 



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