L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Cong leader’s son booked in land fraud case
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 11
The Mullanpur Dakha police has booked a son of a senior Congress leader of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) in a controversial land deal case worth several crores at Mandiani village in which senior Punjab Police officials were allegedly taking keen interest in support of one of the parties.

Anil Kumar, who is a former Youth Congress leader and younger son of Mr Chander Bhan, vice-president of the District Congress Committee, has been booked under Sections 406, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Ashok Jindal, a prominent property dealer of the city.

He is also the Director of Idea’s Promoters and Developers Pvt Ltd at the Feroze Gandhi market here.

The accused, Anil Kumar, was arrested last afternoon. Though the police had sought a week’s remand of the accused, Judicial Magistrate-First Class Manoj Singla send him to the Central Jail under judicial custody till December 24.

The court took notice that the accused was arrested at 2 pm on Sunday and produced at 5 pm for seeking the remand, whereas the police was legally empowered to keep him in custody for 24 hours.

The complainant, Ashok Kumar Jindal, has stated in the FIR that he had entered into a deal with the accused of buying about 10 acres, belonging to an NRI, at Mandiani village.

Mr Jindal claims that he had paid Rs 65 lakh as earnest money but the land was not transferred in his name as Anil Kumar backed out of the agreement.

The Detective Wing of the Jagraon police recommended the registration of a case against Anil Kumar saying he had forged documents of the land sale deed.

However, talking to Ludhiana Tribune through his lawyers, Anil Kumar said he was innocent and falsely implicated at the behest of a pressure lobby in the Police Department. He said Mr Jindal had not fulfilled the agreement as the land price at the time of the deal early this year was not increasing much.

However, as the prices had soared now, Jindal was pressurising him to pay Rs 1.5 crore, which was more than double the amount of the earnest money he had paid.

He said, moreover, the case was a civil matter and the police had no locus standi to interfere in it.

The case hogs limelight in the wake of several cases of alleged cheating due to real estate boom in the region.



Khanguras set to give Garcha run for his money in Qila Raipur
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 11
Qila Raipur may be one of the very few Assembly segments where the battle lines are already drawn between Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha of the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Khanguras of the Congress. A predominantly rural area, Qila Raipur has never returned a Congress candidate so far. However, the situation appears very fluid this time, with the Khanguras having managed a lot of development works in the area during the past five years.

Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha has consecutively been representing this constituency for past 10 years. This time he may face a stiff challenge from the Khanguras as the father and son duo of Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura and Mr Jassi Khangura have made a "discernible difference through a number of development initiatives". Ms Gurdial Kaur Khangura lost the last Assembly election from here on the Congress ticket. "In spite of the defeat we promised to work for the only constituency in Punjab that the Congress has never won and we worked", remarked Mr Jassi Khangura.

He said, “that the Congress chose our native village of Latala to celebrate the second anniversary of the government, was itself an indication of the confidence that the party had in us". They could barely believe the grant of Rs 5 crore for the development of the 82 villages that fall in the Qila Raipur Assembly constituency.

Moreover, this was just the start and was followed by a major road initiative, including the widening of the Dehlon-Pakhowal Road, something that various Chief Ministers had been announcing at the world famous Qila Raipur Rural Games since 1971. From being rated at the constituency with the worst roads in Punjab, today the area has a good metalled road network.

Jassi Khangura states: "35 years after Mr P.S Badal first announced the widening of this road, the promise was fulfilled by this government. With work currently progressing at a hectic pace on a canal bridge near Seelon Kalan on the Abohar branch and lining works due to start on the Pakhowal and Dehlon distributaries, there can be little doubt that these initiatives generated the winds of change", he claimed.

His father, Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura, who has stayed put in the constituency all these years, remarked, "if your intentions are sincere and you present your proposals effectively, this government does not hesitate to back social workers like us with appropriate funds."

However, not everybody is convinced about the "massive development work" claimed to be carried out at the behest of Khanguras in the area. Some villagers deride the Khanguras as opportunists whose main interest is to fight the next election on the Congress ticket. The senior Khangura too does not deny it stating "yes, if given the opportunity we would like to represent this area. Then as an elected representative we will be able to do even more".

Other critics state that it is only the government’s money that the Khanguras have spent, although Jassi Khangura claims to have spent large sums from their own pocket, including the distribution of computers to schools and the financial support to Gobind National College, Narangwal.



PU decision “no relief to students’’
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana December 11
The decision of the state government and Panjab University of slapping fine on B.Ed colleges providing quality education will hardly provide any solace to the students. Instead of passing on the benefit to students, both the government and university have found a novel way of imposing fine to settle scores with the institutions, which violate the basic guidelines.

In the last four years, there has been an unplanned expansion of B.Ed colleges in the state. In the year 2002, there were just 20-25 colleges whereas this year the number has increased to over 140 colleges, which means these colleges needed 140 principals and at least more than 1000 expert faculty members. But some of the colleges are being run without principals and even 7 faculty members (the minimum number), which is mandatory as per the National Council for Education Training (NCET) guidelines. Majority of these colleges, run by private managements, have either political or money power at their back. NOCs and affiliation by the university was never a problem to them.

Following regular complaints by students, parents, Senate and even Syndicate members regarding "deteriorating standards" in the newly mushroomed B.Ed colleges, the university and government has decided to act tough with the colleges. On September 7, Higher Education Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal had convened a meeting in which it was decided to slap a fine on institutions which were not providing standardised education. On November 7, 2006, Panjab University, too, issued such letters to institutions.

Prof Tarsem Bahia, Senate and Syndicate member, Panjab University, asked why the state government and PU provided NOCs and affiliations to such "defaulter" institutions when they were not even competent to ensure quality education to students. "Slapping fine to the tune of thousands of rupees will not solve any purpose. The students will still be left in the lurch. How would the authorities ensure quality education in these institutions? Earlier students were being exploited by institutions, now it was state government and universities who were doing same", he said categorically.

Mr Manjeet Khatra, Director, Guru Sar Sudhar College, said that punishment as fine by the university had come as a jolt. The universities could raise objections, if they found discrepancies in colleges but there was no logic in collecting fine as it would not improve the services.



Of children and chilly lessons
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 11
In the bone chilling weather when everyone looks for cover 120 odd children of a slum school in Rishi Nagar are forced to sit in the open to learn their first lesson.

Be it a foggy or rainy day they have to sit on a footpath to attend their school opened under the much hyped drive of the State Education Department to provide education to slum children.

Though it has been over a year when the school was opened the children have not been provided with any shelter. Slum dwellers themselves erected a shelter of two three cemented sheets but that is proving to be too small for 120 children.

‘‘It becomes very difficult for the children to sit there. The footpath is too cold for the children to sit and study. Otherwise there is no place. We cannot make them sit on the grass as becomes we due to dew drops.’’ said Mr Gurinder Singh, president of the Rishi Nagar slum.

Their hands turn blue due to extreme cold conditions and the children learn to scribble alphabets with all conditions averse to a learning environment.

He added that they had been requesting the Education Department to atleast get a shed erected for these children. But to no avail. The former Education Minister, Mr Harnam Dass Johar, had promised 14 asbestos sheets but these never arrived, he added.

‘‘We have personally requested the officials of District Education Office but oflate they are not visiting us as the salaries of teachers have also not been released for the past four months. We fail to understand for how long teachers would continue to brave the vagaries of nature without any money. ’’

Disappointed from all quarters, the slum dwellers had themselves put up a shelter to protect the children from cold. ‘‘The shelter is too small. It can help only 20-30 children. Where should the others go? ’’ asked a teacher who said that even if it is a bright sunny day, cold winds blowing through the ground make it impossible for them to sit in open.

"It is not possible to raise a shelter for 120 students with our meagre resources. We have to keep buying rugs as they are spoiled due to rain or mist. We are wondering for how long we will keep the children interested in school. It is very difficult to make them keep coming. If they have to face adverse conditions they will stop coming to the school.’’



Keralite ‘denied’ entry into temple
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana December 11
Mr Thulassedharan Pillai, a Keralite working in Christian Medical College and Hospital, today alleged that he was being denied entry into the Sree Ayyappa Temple at Jamalpur.

He said he had court orders also in his favour.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Pillai accused the management of Sree Ayyappa Sewa Sangam of “harassing and denying him” the privilege to worship in the temple during the festival of Mandal Pooja and Makarsankranti.

He has also written to Mr R. Sasi, general secretary, Sree Ayyappa Temple, Ludhiana, to give him a “convenient date for performing pooja archana along with family and relatives within a week’s time.”

Mr Pillai said he had also made a representation to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, seeking action against some people who had been “harassing and humiliating” him for the past several years.

He alleged that he had been falsely implicated in criminal cases and had been duly acquitted of all charges by the court, besides the FIR having been quashed.



Dealers up in arms against mobile companies
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 11
Irked over arbitrary policies and highhandedness of mobile service providers, the mobile dealers from the city and surrounding areas today held a massive rally and protest demonstration here under the banner of the All Mobile Dealers Union.

In a bid to express resentment against the decision of mobile service providers in which the recharge commission and activation margin were slashed by 50 per cent, the dealers announced indefinite suspension of recharge and activation services.

Addressing the rally, activists of the union, including Mr Dalip Singh, Mr Jaswinder Singh, Mr Raman Kumar, Mr Gurinder Pal, Mr Jasbir Singh and Mr Satbir Singh, demanded that free calls be allowed in the same mobile network. They further wanted the companies to own the responsibility of maintaining record of the documents pertaining to identity and residence proof, provided by the subscribers for obtaining new connections since the dealers were not equipped to preserve and maintain these records.

Among other demands raised by the mobile dealers were relief for power consumed on display boards, payment of uniform commission in cash to the dealers, removal of anomalies in slab system and evolving proper mechanism for refund of money in cases of failed cash recharge cases.



Talks on with BSP to form third front: Chandumajra
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 11
The President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Longowal), Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, today said the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was the only obstacle in the constitution of a third political front in the state and efforts were on to talk to senior leadership of the party to form a coalition.

Mr Chandumajra was talking to reporters at the local Circuit House after holding a meeting with various leaders of the city.

He said he had met BSP supremo Mayawati over the issue and had been holding negotiations with another leader also. He said if third front was constituted, there would not be any problem as far as distribution of tickets in the coming elections in the state was concerned.

He claimed that out of 117 Assembly constituencies, the BSP would get around 50, various Akali factions (anti-Badal) would get 30, the Bhartiya Communist Party, the Bhartiya Communist Party (Marxist) and the Lok Bhalai Party would together get 30 and the remaining seven would go to prominent personalities.

Mr Chandumajra attended a meeting of the SAD(A) after the press conference. He said his party workers and supporters would go and meet the Governor of Punjab on December 14 and hand him a memorandum in favour of public demands.

Claiming that the state would witness a hung Assembly after the elections, Mr Chandumajra said the formation of government would be in the hands of politically balanced third front.



Police urged to honour girl’s saviours
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, December 11
Residents of the area have appreciated the role played by students and staff of Government College, Karamsar, in foiling the attempt of two miscreants to abduct a student of the college. They have urged the police to honour those who not only saved the girl and her friends, but also nabbed the miscreants and handed them over to the Payal police.

The abductors, identified as Baljit Singh and Amarpal Singh of Sarinh village, have been sent to judicial custody after being booked under Sections 363, 366, 324, 511, 506 and 34 of the IPC. They had tried to abduct Amanpreet Kaur, a B.Com student of the same village.

Appreciating the role played by the students and staff, Mr Jatinder Kumar Bhola, President, Municipal Council, urged the police to felicitate those who had put their life into danger while saving the girls. Referring to the decision taken at a meeting of office bearers of various social organisations in the area, Mr Bhola said, " We have decided to recognise the outstanding role played by the students and staff. The administration should encourage those who had risked their life while saving the girls. Besides encouraging others to come forward in similar cases, it would discourage mischievous elements".

Baljit Singh and his accomplice Amarpal Singh of Sarinh village had tried to abduct Amanpreet Kaur, a resident of the same village, when she was going from the Karamsar bus stop to her college on Saturday.

Investigations revealed that Baljit Singh had been keeping a bad eye on the victim for a long time. He earlier threatened to eliminate her, in case she refused to accept her marriage proposal. As Amanpreet used to travel by bus, he could not succeed in his designs and conspired with Amarpal to abduct her. On Saturday, the duo intercepted Amanpreet along with her two friends and tried to abduct her. Hearing cries of the girls, some students and staff members of the nearby college reached the spot and nabbed the miscreants and handed them over to the Payal police.

While Baljit Singh, the main accused, a son of a bank employee, was working at a tent house at Bari Chowk Ghabaddi, Amarpal, co-accused was studying at an academy at Sarinh village.

According to Mr Sarabjit Singh, SHO, Payal, the accused used a knife during the assault. The victim received injuries on face and limbs and was shifted to the Civil Hospital, Payal. The police had recovered the motor cycle (PB 10 B G 4780) and the weapon used for the crime. The accused had been sent to judicial custody, informed Mr Sarabjit Singh.



Indo-US nuclear deal worries doctors
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 11
The Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) has expressed concern over the Indo-US nuclear deal, while observing that it would have serious detrimental effect on the security environment in South Asia.It said the deal would create false perceptions about meeting energy needs of the country through nuclear power.

Dr L.S. Chawla, president and Dr Arun Mitra, secretary, respectively, of the IDPD said in a statement here today that there had been some thaw in tension in the region in the recent past. But the Indo-US nuclear deal had already started sending wrong signals to the neighbours as there could never be a permanent guarantee that so many nuclear plants will always be put to use for peaceful purpose.

Expressing their dismay over the fact that the government had ignored health hazards due to nuclear plants, the IDPD functionaries maintained that no lesson seemed to have been learnt from either the Chernobyl disaster or over 300 accidents that were said to have taken place in our nuclear facilities.

"As the nuclear energy is fraught with danger right from mining, transport, storage, utilisation and management of waste products, several countries, which had earlier taken up nuclear energy for power generation, have not ordered any new nuclear plants for many years now. Then why should India fall into the trap of the nuclear lobby?" they asked.

They said the impression that energy needs of our country could only be met if we resorted to the nuclear energy for power generation, had to be viewed in the wake of the facts that capacity utilisation of nuclear power had been far below the predictions.

"Not only this, the nuclear power is three times more expensive than gas and twice than the power plants run on coal. India has enough reserves of non- conventional resources like wind energy, micro hydro plants, biomass and urban and industrial waste besides availability of solar energy in abundance, which are being underutilised," they pointed out.

The IDPD reiterated that the nuclear deal and the Indo-US defence agreement reinforced the US-India strategic partnership, which itself was Washington's strategy of building a system of alliances to achieve global domination and hegemony. The deal, therefore, signified India's complete abandonment of commitments of non-alignment. The only beneficiaries of the deal would be the nuclear lobby in the USA and its allies, as also the elite in India who would get huge business in this deal.



Go soft on power defaulters, says APEX Chamber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana December 11
The APEX Chamber of Commerce and Industry has requested the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) not to levy any penalty on defaulters, who might have violated the instructions (peak load hour restrictions) on the use of power supply due to lack of information.

Mr P.D.Sharma, President of APEX Chamber in a press statement today said that in summers, power supply to industry was monitored on a daily basis. Due to a number of changes in the power-cut schedule, PSEB staff could not pass the message of the restrictions to the consumers properly with the result there was "unintentional" violation of restrictions.

Mr Sharma added that now, the lower functionaries of the board had issued bills on account of penalty of violations.

"Even the Chairman of the PSEB, Mr Y.S.Ratra, had assured that there would be no penalty on industrial consumers for violating the restrictions. Mr Jolly, CE, Power System Operations, had also agreed that no penalty would be charged. It was also decided that in case of violations of weekly day offs, cases would be dealt with individually", said Mr Sharma.

The Chamber has asked the penalised consumers to represent their case to the authorities concerned for waiving the penalty.



Jashn-e-Sahir on December 16
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana December 11
Leading poets from India and Pakistan will participate in the Jashn-e-Sahir being organised at Nehru Sidhant Kender here on December 16. The programme is organised every year by Adeeb International, also known as Sahir Cultural Academy, in memory of Sahir Ludhianvi.

According to Dr Kewal Dheer, general secretary of the Adeeb International the poets expected to participate in the programme include Javed Akhtar, Rahat Indoori, Noor Jahan Sarwat, Saghar Khayami, Faiqya FArouqi, Sohail Lucknavi and Hena Temoori from India, Ata-ul-Haq Qasmi, Riaz Haans and Uzair Ahmed from Pakistan and Iftikhar Naseem and Farhat Perveen from the USA.



Bharat Ratna sought for Master Tara Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 11
The Punjab Pothohar Sabha has demanded Bharat Ratna for Master Tara Singh for his contribution to the freedom struggle.

Secretary of sabha M.P. Singh Baid said Master Tara Singh was a great Sikh leader and a postal stamp should be released in his name.

He demanded Master Tara Singh’s picture on currency notes. Mr Darshan Singh Rai, president of the sabha, said they would be meeting the Prime Minister on the issue.



2 involved in rape of married woman held
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 11
The Lohatbaddi police has arrested two persons who had absconded after allegedly raping a Rajasthani women after tying her husband with a tree in a guava orchard at Pakhowal village near here three days ago.

The accused, booked under Sections 376 and 120 B of the IPC, have been sent in judicial custody.

According to Mr Dharam Pal, SHO, Raikot police, Jasbir Singh, son of Bachiter Singh of Kailey village, and Radhey Shyam, a Rajasthani migrant, at present settled at Kailey village, had been arrested by a police party led by Sub Inspector Balvir Singh last night.

The accused had absconded after allegedly raping a married woman at Pakhowal three days ago.

According to the complaint lodged on the statement of the victim and her husband had been living in a hut erected in guava orchard belonging to Jasbir Singh Jassi of Pakhowal. They looked after the orchard on contract basis.

The victim was kneading flour for preparing dinner on Friday evening when Jasbir Singh Jassa and Radhey Shyam came there in an inebriated condition and raped her after dragging her into the hut. The accused had tied the victim’s husband to a tree in the orchard before committing the crime.

"When I came out of my hut after regaining consciousness I found my husband tied to a tree. I freed him and we both informed the owner of the orchard about the incident," the victim told the police.

The accused had absconded from the scene immediately after committing the crime and were nabbed from the vicinity of the same orchard last night.

The victim is a Rajput woman originally belonging to Uttwal village in Alwar district of Rajasthan.



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