L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

3 get life term for murdering lawyer
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 20
The court of Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Gurbir Singh, has sentenced two women, Deepti alias Deepi, owner of Star Communications, Kochar Market, Ms Rajni Bala alias Rani, owner of a beauty parlour in Kochar Market and Randhir Singh alias Dheera of Bhutta village to rigorous life imprisonment on the charges of kidnapping and murdering a city lawyer, Dalbir Singh Turna.

Delivering the 52-page judgement, the Judge held that the prosecution had successfully proved the guilt of the accused beyond any shadow of doubt by leading circumstantial evidence. The Judge turned down the plea of leniency raised by the accused.

The accused were also ordered to pay fine of Rs 5,000 each. One of the co-accused, Balwinder Singh alias Gogi of Jammu Colony had already been declared a proclaimed offender. During the trial, he had absconded from police custody, when he was brought to the court complex for a hearing.

Initially, the police had registered a case under Section 364(kidnapping) at Division No 8 police station, following the complaint of Jatinder Singh Turna, brother of the deceased. He had apprehended the kidnapping of his brother. But on the next day, the dead body of Dalbir Singh was found in the Sadar Police Station area, Jagroan.

According to the prosecution, the accused kidnapped the lawyer to get a ransom. But later on, killed him by injecting intoxicants. The police also succeeded in recovering money and gold ornaments from the accused persons.

One Charanjit Singh had seen the accused persons with the lawyer in a Indica car. Accused Dheera was driving the car. Deepti was sitting by his side. On the rear seat, Balwinder Singh and Rani were sitting, in between them the lawyer was sitting. He called the lawyer but the car did not stop. Later, he came to know that he was murdered, as per the prosecution case.

The prosecution had examined 19-witnesses to prove its case, including a lawyer, Karamjit Singh of Kapurthala, who had submitted that the accused had confessed before him regarding their guilt. The accused had requested them to produce before Inspector Mukhwinder Singh, who was investigating the case, as he was close to the Inspector.

However, on the other hand, the accused had pleaded innocence and claimed false implication. They had submitted before the court that actually it was a blind murder case. They were implicated falsely to solve the murder case and that's why there was no eye-witness to the incident. 



Budda Nullah clean-up operation hits roadblock
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Koom Kalan (Ludhiana), December 20
Two weeks after its launch, the Budda Nullah cleanup operation has hit the first major block with the work on KoomKalan-Machhiwara stretch suspended because of the massive flow of industrial waste that has rendered the nullah bed and the adjoining land too marshy to continue work.

Meanwhile, the work on KoomKalan-Ludhiana stretch is going on smoothly with 2.5 km of the drain desilted and the banks strengthened.

The operation, launched jointly by the state government and Baba Jaspal Singh of Baddowal here on December 6, was going on a war footing as 6 km of the drain was desilted and the banks reconstructed in a short time. However, due to the sullage of some cotton mills, work had to be stopped.

Sources revealed that Mr P. Ram, Principal Secretary, who was co-ordinating the work, had a talk with the industrialists over the issue. Though the water inflow was stopped after the discussion, but it would take a couple of weeks for the land to dry up sufficiently so that tractors could be used for desilting.

A visit to the site revealed that the nullah and the adjoining land had turned marshy due to the continuous flow of sullage from industries, especially from a cotton mill. The industrial waste was so highly polluted that it would be quite risky for anyone to step into it. Further, it was smelling so badly that one could not stand near it.

The Rs 200-crore project aimed at cleaning up the nullah right from Machhiwara to the point where it enters Sutlej river was always expected to be an uphill task with such stumbling blocks in its way.

Mr Jaswant Singh Chhapa, spokesman for the joint operation, said the volunteers were undeterred by the problem of industrial waste. ‘‘We have to suspend work but we have diverted all workforce to the Koom Kalan now,” he said.

He said the workers had even erected a bandh to stop the flow of the sullage into the nullah bed, but it gave way to the pressure of water. He said the volunteers would continue the work on the other stretch and wait for the nullah bed to dry so that the work could be commenced soon.



PCCTU indefinite strike from today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
In demand to restore their pension/gratuity benefits, about 7,000 teachers of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) will start their indefinite strike from tomorrow. Sore over the apathetic attitude of the state government, the PCCTU teachers said this long pending demand had been raised time and again but the teachers were always given "false assurances" by the political leaders.

Prof Kuldeep Singh, area secretary, PCCTU, talking to Ludhiana Tribune said the district had 29 colleges and there were total 172 colleges in the state. The teachers of all these institutions will start an indefinite strike from tomorrow in their respective colleges.

Mr Kuldeep Singh said the Chief Minister had announced for more than 10 times that the pension benefits to college teachers had been granted. "On August 15 in Patiala, the Chief Minister had announced that the pension would be released soon. After that, similar statements were made at Nangal, Barnala and Hoshiarpur. Hardly anything had been done so far. We are being forced by the government to take a step, which will affect the studies of thousands of students throughout Punjab", he said.

On being asked about the fate of students, Prof Kuldeep Singh said their studies would not be affected much due to the winter break. "But if the government does not restore our benefits, we will surely be continuing our strike after the break, too. In that case, the government would be held responsible for disrupting studies", he said.

Meanwhile, the Punjab State-Aided School Teachers and other employees union will again start the jail bharo angolan from tomorrow. Mr Manohar Lal Chopra, chief adviser of the union, said the teachers will go to Chandigarh for the same. He alleged that the callous attitude of the state government had forced the teaching community to resort to such tactics. "Teachers are even prepared to go for an indefinite hunger strike in case their demand was not met. It is purely a political decision and constituting committee of officials to look into the matter will not solve any problem", Mr Chopra said.



Companies give up unaccounted income
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 20
Income tax surveys on a group of engineering companies, a woollen mill and a karyana trader in the city have led to the surrender of Rs 2.10 crore as unaccounted income. The survey operations concluded late last night.

Mahajan Engineers, Ravi Industries and Dhandari Kalan made a voluntary surrender of Rs 1.10 crore, while Jagdamba Woollen Mills of Sherpur gave Rs 65 lakh and Paramjit Traders of Shimlapuri surrendered Rs 35 lakh.

A detailed examination of documents, books of account, record of sales and purchase for the past three years, besides computer data was conducted. Information was also collected from directors, owners, and employees of these firms to ascertain the extent of tax compliance.



PM's visit disappointing: Badal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
SAD President Parkash Singh Badal today described the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the state as “disappointing.” He said although he had no expectations from a “Congress PM” but the hype created by the government here had made him “hope against hope.”

Addressing a press conference, he said the PM had not announced a single penny for the debt-ridden farmers of the state.

The former Chief Minister claimed that Dr Manmohan Singh had laid the foundation stone for the four-laning of the Jalandhar-Bangha road even though the stone had already been laid by the former Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

He claimed that the Goindwal Thermal Plant was cleared by the Akali-BJP government and the Congress was now taking the credit.

On the alliance with the BJP, Mr Badal said, there was no difference between the alliance partners.



Cong govt has failed: Left
Our Correspondent

Doraha, December 20
"The congress government has proved to be an utter failure at all levels be it political, Socio-economic."This statement was made by Mr Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, general secretary, state committee of Marxist Communist Party of India (MCPI) (United) in a meeting, especially organised to assess the working of the existing government at K.K. memorial hall under the presidentship of Mr Pawan Kumar Kaushal, today. Mr Lyallpuri further commented that unemployment and corruption had assumed alarming proportions in the Congress regime and genuine pleas of the common man had fallen on deaf ears.

The party leaders, including Mr Prem Singh Bhangu from Chandigarh, Mr Deedar Singh, Ropar, Mr Prem Singh,, Nanwa, Mr Balvir Singh Mohali, Mr Lakhwinder Singh, Buani, Mr Sukhdev Singh, Kilaraipur, Mr Raj Singh, Akoi, Mr Balkrishaan, Ludhiana, Mr Jandeep Kaushal, Doraha and Mr Kuldip Singh,discussed the election strategy.

They viewed that the governments, including the existing one, had always overlooked the needs and demands of the public.

Mr Kuldip Singh, secretary, MCPI(U) took serious note of Chief Minister's action of giving cultivable land for mega projects. "Captain Amarinder Singh,' he commented , is on one hand pleasing a few but on the other destroying the rich lands (already reducing) and inviting the wrath of farmers."

The party members also denounced the present government for adopting such mal-practises that were resulting in rapid price rise. They demanded minimum wages for employees apart from asking the govt to withdraw the 'false' cases framed against the farmers.



Congress leaders flay SGPC for ignoring CM
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Several senior Congress leaders today criticised the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) for showing disrespect to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, during his visit to the Golden Temple with the Prime Minister today morning.

In a joint statement, senior Congress leaders, including the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka and Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran, alleged the way the SGPC had made arrangements inside the Golden Temple during the Prime Minister's visit showed that they wanted to show disrespect to the Chief Minister at the behest of the Shiromani Akali Dal president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

Welcoming the presenting of siropa to the Prime Minister, the Congress leader regretted that the SGPC had once again discriminated against the Chief Minister by denying him the siropa. They said it was against the Sikh traditions to deny a siropa to one guest while presenting it to another.

Mr Tikka said the Chief Minister and his ancestors had made great contribution to Sikhism. Quoting the Sikh historian, Dr Saroop Singh Alagh, Mr Tikka said it was at the initiative of Capt Amarinder’s grandfather that the British gave the control of the Golden Temple to the Sikhs. Moreover, the royal family, he said, had 
always been at the forefront of “kar sewa”, whenever held.



Cong misguiding voters: Kanwaljit
Our Correspondent

Doraha, December 20
In the wake of the forthcoming elections, party leaders are visiting the area to muster votes. Captain Kawaljit Singh, SAD general secretary, visited Doraha to motivate party workers and share the election strategy.

Addressing a gathering of Akali and BJP workers, he said the manifesto of the party shall be released in the second week of January.

Criticising the government, he said, “Capt Amarinder Singh is misguiding the masses by giving false statements but wise voters will not be lured by his visits or declarations. There is also no truth in his statement that flour was selling at Rs 2 per kg,” he said.

He expressed resentment over the present position of aided school teachers who had been detained in jails.

Mr Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill, a strong contender for ticket, said the Congress regime was anti-people. “We shall now be fully armed with words and deeds to provide the common man with his due,” he said.

It is being believed that as the party is yet to announce the name of its candidate, the visit of Captain Kanwaljit is being considered to be a positive signal for 
Mr Gill.

Among those who attended the programme were Mr Vinod Bector, Mr Asish Sood, Mr Jatinder Sharma, Mr Satish Swami, Mr Jagdish Angrish, Mr Jagtar Singh, Mr Devinder Panesar, Mr Satish Bector, Mr Ashok Bector, Mr Jagdeep Singh Jaggi, Mr Tarsem lal Verma, Mr Ricky Bector and Jatinder Sharma. 



LBP names 3 more candidates
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
The Lok Bhalai Party (LBP), a constituent of the Sanjha Morcha, today announced names of three more candidates, namely Karam Singh Rurka from Kila Raipur, Balwant Singh Lohian from Lohian and Malwinder Singh Lucky from Jalandhar (central), to contest the forthcoming Assembly elections.

The information was given party president B.S. Ramoowalia. Earlier, names of Amrik Singh Virpal from Tarn Taran; Kewal Singh Premi from Panjgarain and Sukhwinder Singh Brar from Baghapurana had been announced.

The name of party candidates for the remaining nine constituencies, namely Raikot, Ludhiana (rural), Kumkalan, Tanda, Dhariwal, Dhanaula, Barnala, Malerkotla and Kot Kapura, would also be announced soon, he said.

The party would be exploring the possibility of expanding the morcha that presently comprised the CPI, the CPM and the LBP, said party’s working president Avtar Singh Mullanpuri.



NRI dreams big to create ‘model village’
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Sujapur (Ludhiana), December 20
With 50 per cent matching grant coming from the state government, NRIs have started coming forward to devlop native villages. Sukh Dhaliwal, a native of this village and now the sitting Member of the House of Commons in Canada, representing Newton-North Delta from the state of British Columbia, has come to his native village here with great promises that has led to great expectations among the natives of his village.

He was accorded a rousing reception in by the villagers on his arrival in the village recently. Dhaliwal wants to initiate the community development project for his village. Responding to the Punjab Government scheme, which offers 50 per cent matching grant, if some NRI(s) come forward with 50 per cent grant for developing basic infrastructure in villages, he plans to build up good drainage system to ensure that the village is clean, provide drinking water, good roads, a hospital and also a school for the children in the villages.

He pointed out that a number of NRIs were already building up 'model villages' across Punjab.

However, he said not many NRIs were aware of the Punjab Government scheme to provide 50 per cent matching grants for the village development in case the NRIs came forward.

He hopes to get some aid from the Canadian International Development Aid Agency (CIDAA). He said CIDDA was providing aid to the countries world over for the development of the infrastructure. Punjab villages could get a lot of aid from the agency.

Mr Dhaliwal, who is a civil engineer himself having studied in Guru Nanak Engineering College here, hopes to complete the project of developing full infrastructure in his village in the next about three years.

He said his party in Canada pursues three main agendas which include clean environment, social justice and sustainable development. This model, he said, could be conveniently adopted here also.

Mr Dhaliwal said once the Indo-US nuclear treaty comes into force there was a greater scope for nuclear cooperation between India and Canada as Canada produced lot of uranium, the most important nuclear fuel. He said, this would solve India's long-term energy problems, while at the same time ensure a clean environment.



Jor Mela begins
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, December 20
A three-day Jor Mela began at Gurdwara Shri Charan Kanwal Sahib here today. Thousands of people from the country and abroad are likely to visit the gurdwara.

The SGPC president and other Panthic leaders are likely to address the audience on the second day of the mela. A nagar kirtan will be organised on the concluding day of the mela. 



16-yr-old killed in accident

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 20
The Sudhar police has booked the driver of a school van for allegedly causing the death of a boy of Sarabha village here. The victim, Harvinder Singh, 16, son of Harjit Singh of Sarabha, was killed after the motor cycle that he was driving was hit by the van near Chaminda village yesterday.

An FIR has been registered under Sections 304-A, 337 and 338 of the IPC against the driver of the van (DL 1B 2503). The police said the body was handed over to the family after post-mortem. The victim was returning home after attending a tuition class at a nearby village. OC



LIC launches Money Plus
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Gearing up to combat competition from private players, the LIC is taking measures to increase customers who use online facilities being offered by the corporation.
The Ludhiana division has selected over 1,000 agents for training by banks and is conducting awareness campaign in this regard.

The services that LIC customers can avail online include payment of premium, change in address and information pertaining to policies. Customers can also make premium payment via ATMs.

“At present, the Ludhiana division has over 7,000 customers registered for online services and our target is to increase this number to 50,000 by the end of this financial year,” Mr S.C. Dhingra, Senior Divisional Manager, said.

The Ludhiana division includes Ludhiana, Bathinda and Mansa and has over 8 lakh customers, witnessing an average yearly growth of 30 per cent.

Of the total 5,000 agents, 1,0000 have been selected for training in the intiail phase. The LIC intends to tie up with more banks for imparting the training to its agents. While the corporation has forged liaisons with UTI Bank and Corporation Bank for the payment of premium through ATMs, it has tied up with eight banks for online payment of premium.

“The current target is urban areas and we would increase our focus in the rural areas according to the growth in Internet penetration,” he said.

The Ludhiana division would also witness the opening of a satellite office in the city next month.

The LIC also launched its new unit-linked endowment plan, Money Plus, today which combines the benefits of market-related investment returns and an insurance cover. The plan is available for individuals between zero and 65 years of age and offers various options in fund investment to the policy holder.

“Unit-linked plans are witnessing a very high growth and the plan would target those wanting to enjoy the benefits of capital market appreciation. The customer also gets to exercise various options in investment depending on his risk appetite,” he added. 



Knitwear Club seeks package for industry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Stating that industry in Punjab is being accorded a step-motherly treatment, the Knitwear Club has urged the Prime Minister, Mr Manmohan Singh, to announce a special package for industry here.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Vinod K. Thapar, president of the club, said industry in the state was on the verge of extinction. "It has not been included among states like Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttaranchal, which were fortunate enough to get special benefits. We do not have a grudge against concessions given to them, but request you to announce a package for industry in Punjab," the club stated in the letter.

It also stated that on account of not being given special incentives, a large number of industrial units had to shift to other places. These concessions would help industry emerge competitive in the state.



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