L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

BJP’s 'eroding' support base worries SAD
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is understood to be quite worried about the eroding mass base of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and that too in urban areas and among the trading community. The "not-so-encouraging" turnout at yesterday's traders' rally here has set alarm bells ringing in the party.

Although SAD made out a good show in terms of numbers, but traders, who were supposed to be present in good numbers, were missing from the rally. The gathering was made up by either the people ferried from countryside from across the state or the local migrant labourers who had converged on Dana Mandi to fill the space.

Sources in the SAD said that if the poor response of the business and trading community to yesterday's rally was any indication, the party may have to rethink its strategy about the urban seats. A senior SAD leader said, "We also understood that the BJP base was eroding, but we hope that the traditional urban Congress supporters (read Hindus) would support it after getting disillusioned with the Congress. However, that appears to be a misplaced optimism only.”

During the last five years, the BJP in Punjab and also in Ludhiana, has almost remained quite inert. The party has hardly managed to organise any programmes during all these years. Even aggressive leaders like Mr Satpal Gosain have remained confined to their own areas. With the result that the cadres have got disillusioned and turned towards the Congress.

Moreover, those who were not comfortable with the Congress thought that SAD was a better option than the BJP. The BJP had always remained reconciled to being the junior partner of the SAD. Even some party leaders themselves admitted that it was functioning more like the "minority wing" of the SAD than as a national party.

The party has not been able to provide a second generation of leaders in the state. Even cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, after resigning his Amritsar parliamentary seat following his conviction by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, is also drifting towards the SAD.

If the situation continues like this, the BJP may even find it difficult to find a presentable, leave alone winning candidate from different constituencies. In Ludhiana North, the BJP has not been able to make the right choice. There is no such candidate who could prove to be a formidable one against the sitting Congress MLA, Mr Rakesh Pandey.



Residents not to allow car bazaar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
Sick of knocking at the doors of the authorities concerned to find a solution to the car bazaar problem in the area, the residents of I-block of Sarabha Nagar today passed a resolution that they would not allow the car dealers to hold them to ransom and spoil the peaceful environ of the area.

At a meeting here today, the residents wrote a letter to the councillor of the area, Ms Amrit Varsha Rampal, to take up the matter with the authorities. They claimed that the holding of car bazaar and the parking of vehicles by mechanics in the market had made their lives miserable.

They claimed that there were no urinals for the shopkeepers in the I-block market and the shopkeepers urinated around a well developed park. This was causing nauseating smell and the walkers in the park were having a bad time. The residents demanded the construction of proper urinals for the shopkeepers.

Highlighting yet another problem, the residents said some eucalyptus trees had lived their life in some parks and were on the verge of falling. These were threatening some buildings and electricity wires in the area.

They demanded that these trees be cut and auctioned and the money generated should be used for the maintenance of the parks.

Elaborating on the car market problem, the residents said following stiff resistance by the shopkeepers in the Feroze Gandhi market and subsequent orders of the High Court to the district administration for not allowing the cars to be parked in that posh market, the car dealers started holding bazaars in Sarabha Nagar every Sunday.

They added that not only the parking lots but also a public park right in front of the area councillor’s house was being used for holding car bazaar every Sunday. Some time ago, a signature campaign against the problem was also started by the residents and the shopkeepers, who submitted their complaints to the Principal Secretary, Local Bodies, city Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, district police chief, Mr A.S. Rai, and the area councillor.

They claimed that they had purchased houses and shops in the posh area so that they could live amid peaceful environ. But holding of such bazaars was causing a lot of inconvenience to them.

Moreover, some motor mechanics were using the parking space and were carrying our repairs in the area.



Foul play suspected in cinema owner’s death
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
Relatives of Kamaljeet Singh, owner of Orient cinema, who died in a road accident near Khanna on Monday, find the accident hard to believe in the backdrop of a long legal battle over family property. The deceased had claimed to his wife over the phone that he had won the case while returning from Delhi to Ludhiana on that ill-fated night.

Though the relatives have not officially sought an inquiry into the accident, sources said that the manner in which Kamaljeet died forces them to suspect foul play. The ownership of the cinema hall was also in dispute.

Kamaljeet Singh is credited with bringing new age cinema technology to the city after he set up Orient theatre, the first one offering Digital Dolby effects in the city. It was also the first one to offer more comfortable viewing with cushioned seats, wall to wall carpeting besides experimenting with a smaller theatre with no balcony for the viewers.

Family sources said Kamaljeet was a careful driver and was quite habitual of driving late at night. The post-mortem examination conducted on the special request of the family could not pinpoint any other cause of death besides injuries suffered in the accident. The safety balloons of his car could not prevent injuries as the vehicle had turned turtle.

Family sources suspect the accident may have been caused by some rivals.



Panel to enforce poll code norms
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January
For the strict implementation of the Model Code of Conduct and to ensure free, fair, impartial and peaceful Vidhan Sabha elections in all 12 constituencies of the district, a district- level standing committee has been constituted by Mr. Ashok Kumar Gupta, District Electoral Officer and Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana. The committee will be headed by the Deputy Commissioner and other the other members will be- the Commissioner Municipal Corporation, ADC(G), ADC(D), SSPs of three police districts, SE (PWD) B & R General Manager Telecom, SE PSEB and representatives of national and regional parties.

Addressing the first meeting to the committee at Circuit House, Mr. Gupta retreated his appeal to the representatives of the political parties and candidates to extend full cooperation to the administration in holding the peaceful and impartial elections, as per the guidelines of the Election Commission of India given in the Model Code of Conduct.

The Deputy Commissioner asked the candidates and representatives of political parties not to put up any kind of hoardings, banners, pamphlets flags, buntings etc. violating the poll code on any government land, including buildings, roads, poles etc. and cleared that in case of any violation, the election material would be got removed and the cost would be debited to the accounts of the candidate concerned and such violation would be put on record also. He informed that the Election Commissioner of India had issued clear directions about the exercising of votes only by presenting election photo identity cards EPICs and no EPIC, no vote, principle would be strictly applied.

Mr. Gupta directed the ROs to accord top priority to prepare the voter identity cards to the remaining voters on war footing and informed that 55 camera teams have been deputed in the district for the photography to prepare EPICs and appealed the remaining voters to get their EPICs at the earliest and said that in case of any problem, they should directly contact the concerned ROs. The Deputy Commissioner has informed that , so far 17,23,779 voters out of the total 20,53,802 voters had been provided with EPICs.

Mr. Gupta further informed that the CDs of final voter lists have been reached in the Election Office and one copy of lists of complete district would provided free of cost to the district president of each political party, in case, any candidate wants the separate copy for a particular constituency, he can get it from the concerned RO on payment basis. The Deputy Commissioner also informed that the ROs have also been directed to hold the meetings of representatives of political parties in their constituencies to inform them about the provision of Model Code of Conduct. He also cleared that the Rest Houses in the district would be provided to all the political parties equally on first come first serve basis.

Among others who were present in the meeting included Mrs. K P Brar ADC(G), Miss Anupam Kaler Execurive Magistrate, Mr. Jasbir Singh Heer DDLG, Mr. Mr. Jagdish Garcha. Mr. Ranjit Singh Talwandi ( both MLAs), Mr. Santa Singh Umedpuri District President SAD ®, Mr. Harish Rai Dhanda, Mr. Rajiv Johar, Mr. Ashwani Sharma and Mr. Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon (CPM).



Challan costs cop dear
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
An unidentified group of youths mercilessly beat up a Head Constable for ‘daring’ to challan three among them for triple riding on a two wheeler at Gill Road Bridge today morning.

The cop, Balwant Singh, was admitted to CMC hospital with grievous injuries all over his body. The youths are alleged to have freely used baseball bats, sticks, swords and knives in the attack. The police has registered a case of attempt to murder against the unidentified youths.



Rebel SAD activists field Gill from Payal
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 10
A couple of days after SAD nominee from Payal constituency started his election campaign from Gurdwara Katana Sahib, Mr Jagjiwan Singh Gill, an unsuccessful contender for the party ticket, kicked off his battle as an independent candidate at Bilaspur, the native village of former Chief Minister Beant Singh Kotli today.

A number of SAD activists, including office bearers in the party organisation, block samiti members and councillors from Malaudh, Payal and Doraha vowed to gather support for their leader, whose sacrifice for the party, according to them, had been ignored.

However, the candidate affirmed that he along with his associates would continue to follow the panthic ideology and will not join the Congress at any stage.

Terming the decision of launching Mr Grewal as party candidate from Payal an insult to the loyal leaders of the constituency, a group of SAD activists led by Mr Jarnail Singh Shahpur, Mr Darshan Singh Rabon, council member, and Balwant Singh Ghaloti, national Vice-President, Youth Wing, SAD, alleged that the senior leaders had allegedly ignored the sacrifice of the Gill family that had been working for the panth and party for three generations.

"While Jagdev Singh Gill, Jagjiwan's father, had been associated with Mr Parkash Singh for decades, Chanan Singh Gill, his grandfather, was a right arm of Gian Singh Rara Wala and the first chairman of the Anti Corruption Board during his period," claimed the supporters adding that even Jagjiwan Gill had also resigned from the office of general secretary of the Youth Wing to show his loyalty towards Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal. An office bearer of the wing had passed derogatory comments about junior Badal during 2004.

Recollecting Gill's contribution towards reviving the position of the party in the constituency, supporters said he had lodged his claim during 1997 elections also but was denied the ticket. "Instead of feeling bad, Mr Gill along with his associates had worked for sending the party nominee, Sadhu Singh Ghudani, to the Assembly," claimed Mr Shahpur.

During 2002 assembly elections, when there was a clear Congress wave, Gill was launched as the party candidate. But, rebels claimed that he lost due to opposition within the party. "Had Ghudani faction supported Mr Gill, he could have won the election despite wastage of about 6000 votes by AISAD nominee," argued Mr Shahpur adding that Tej Parkash Singh Kotli had won by a narrow margin of about 7000 votes.

Pained over the party's decision to reject his claim, Mr Gill said he was feeling ashamed to have stuck to ethics and getting his supporters neglected. "Even now I have agreed to contest because it has become the prestige issue of thousands of SAD loyalists, including block samiti members, panches, sarpanches and councillors, besides a large number of office bearers of various wings. But, I will not join the Congress at any cost and will continue obeying the ideologies of the traditional SAD," maintained Mr Gill.

Major Singh Kadon, Harnek Singh Rajgarh, Amarjit Singh Zulamgarh, Pramjit Singh Bilaspur (all block samiti members) and Amrik Singh Ghaloti were present on the occasion.



Mahesh Inder ridicules difficult constituencies myth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana January 10
Standing by his leader and the party president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, the Shiromani Akali Dal candidate from Payal, Mr Mahesh Inder Grewal said, there was nothing like a "difficult constituency" in politics. He said, this confusion was being created by the opponents.

Mr Grewal, who is likely to face Mr Tej Parkash Singh, the sitting MLA and the son of a former Chief Minister, Mr Beant Singh, has already started his campaign in the constituency. He asked, "what is difficult about Payal, particularly for the SAD?". He pointed out, it was a predominantly rural constituency with strong SAD support base everywhere. He said, he was getting the support of the entire rank and file of the party. He claimed, "I have received enormous response from the people of the area".

He said he was moving around the constituency and taking along everybody. He said, even those who had opposed his candidature were now rallying behind him. He pointed out, it was the decision of the party and everyone had to accept it.

Mr Grewal said, he had nothing against anybody even those who had opposed his candidature. "Because each and every party worker has a right to seek party nomination, but once the party takes a decision everybody abides by it as a loyal soldier", Mr Grewal observed, while adding, the party would win this seat with a huge margin.

He claimed that the people of the area wanted a change this time. They had seen enough of the Congress. He said, the area continued to remain under developed. He promised that once elected, he will change the profile of the area and make it one of the best in the state.

He said, the SAD leader, Mr Parkash Singh Badal had a great vision to develop the rural areas of the state. He pointed out, the predominantly farming community of the state had been ignored by the Congress government as the agriculture income was declining. He said, the Congress government had only made hollow promises in the name of diversification without any benefit to the farmers.



Be wary of misleading slogans: Vinayak
Mahesh Sharma
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 10
Terming the present political system as a legalised corruption institute, Mr Ashootosh Vinayak, Bhartiya Jan Shakti party nominee from Malerkotla constituency cautioned common people that they should not fall prey to misleading slogans of the Congress and SAD.

Addressing a gathering of party activists and his supporters at Bhagat Singh Chowk, Mr Vinayak accused successive legislators of exploiting the sentiments of residents.

"Instead of working for the development of the area, successive MLAs of the Congress and SAD had been exploiting the innocence of local residents. The situation has become worse during the present regime when the representative instead of safeguarding the interests of the public got herself involved in the 'murder' case of councillor Sham Sunder whose body was found from a river a year ago," said Mr Vinayak.

Mr Vinayak promised that he would work for providing basic amenities to the residents of the town and surrounding villages besides getting the suspects of the Sham Sunder case booked.

Mr Gora Lal Jain, Vijay Goyal, Mr Ramesh Chand, Kessar Khan Sodhi and Mr Prem Vishal appealed to the people to support the Jan Shakti candidate.



BKU likely to support SAD
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
The Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) is likely to support the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in the forthcoming Assembly elections this time as well. Indications to this effect were given today during a meeting of the union, which authorised its president, Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, a close confidante of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to take the final decision.

A meeting was convened to decide on the course of action to be adopted in the elections. In a resolution that was passed unanimously, the union authorised Mr Lakhowal to decide on the issue.

The union also passed a few other resolutions. One of the resolutions asked the current government and whichever is formed after elections, to desist from acquiring the land of the farmers to be handed over to the multinational companies. The union suggested that instead the companies must purchase the land directly from the farmers on the existing market price.

The BKU also demanded that the price of diesel and petrol be slashed as the price had come down in the international oil market.



Critics of Dasam Bani to be prosecuted
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
The International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) campaigners for Dasam Granth and its prosecution committee members met here on Monday to mark the adversaries of Dasam Bani who would be prosecuted under Section 295-A of the IPC in law courts for blasphemy and for spreading hatred against the Bani.

Before that, said IHRO chair D S Gill and general secretary M S Grewal in a statement, the meet resolved: "All Sikhs and Panthic organisations of the Khalsa Panth solemnly and formally affirm faith in Sri Guru Granth Sahib as their Guru, following the edict of Guru Gobind Singh, 'Sabh Sikhan Kau Hukam Hae Guru Manaeo Granth'.

The second resolution, they added, was: "Sri Dasam Granth is Bani of the Tenth Guru and is being respected as such generation after generations. Since its inception, the Khalsa army (Akaal Purakh ki Fauj) has been enriched with the fighting spirit (Bir Ras) and a force to engage in the righteous warfare (Dharam Yudh).

Panthic leaders who endorsed the resolutions included Baba Harnam Singh (Damdami Taksal), Principal Gurmukh Singh (AKJ), Baba Hardip Singh (Bhindran), Nihang Singhs Giani Sher Singh (Budda Dal), Baba Naurang Singh (Harianvelan), Baba Santokh Singh (Baba Bidhi Chand), Jathedar Wasan Singh (Guru Nanak Dal), Jathedar Gajjan Singh (Tarna Dal- Baba Bakala), Gurcharanjit Singh Lamba (Editor,Sant Sipahi), Prof Anurag Singh and Avtar Singh Gill (Sessions Judge-retd).

While strongly refuting the opponents' propaganda that some Sikh organisations are trying to equate the status of Sri Dasam Granth with that of Sri Guru Granth Sahib as a Guru, the meet dubbed this propaganda as false and misleading because nowhere, including village Dayalpura Bhaike, Sri Dasam Granth was ever recited (parkash) without the auspicious presence and patronage of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

Now the 13-member prosecution committee identified Dr Jagjit Singh Jaggi to be legally proceeded against who, following Bhasaurian thought initiated by Babu Teja Singh, got his Ph D degree from PU in 1962 on Dasam Granth which was anti-thesis of the 1959 Ph D (PU) thesis of Dr Dharam Pal Ashta, who had concluded that the whole of Dasam Granth was composed by Guru Gobind Singh.

Other identified are Principal Harbhajan Singh (Ludhiana) and Surjit Singh (Delhi), both missionaries; Rozana Spokesman Mohinder Singh Josh (Mohali), who had described criticised Dasam Bani, disclosed Mr Gill, coordinator of the prosecution committee.

"We will also approach PU for cancellation of Dr Jaggi's PhD degree," said Mr Gill.



Society exhorted to work for peace, disarmament
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 10
"Peace should be the ultimate desire of all and its benefits cannot be overemphasised. Countries that have not experienced war or those who had abandoned violent ways of resolving misunderstandings, have several characteristics like improved health care, flourishing economy and long life expectancy that most of us would envy."

These remarks were made by Dr Ime John, Co-President, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), while addressing a gathering of doctors, medical students and the general public here last evening. The meeting was organised by the Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD).

Dr Ime said that the IPPNW, with affiliates in 60 countries, had consistently advocated policy changes that would lead to improved health of citizens across the world.

"It is in this context that we have been campaigning consistently against small arms violence, nuclear armament and for other developmental issues. Our modest contribution to the cause of global peace won us the UNESCO prize in 1981. In 1985, we received the prestigious Nobel Peace prize," he said.

He said that the recognition had motivated members to continue in research and activities that would hopefully bring about peace to the world. He, however, termed it regrettable that despite efforts at different levels, war still appeared to be the inevitable way to resolve conflicts among peoples, and nations.

"Tension still exists between Pakistan and India. Bangladesh has not enjoyed peace for several months now while Nepal is yet to be free from threats of absolute monarchy,” he said.

“Elsewhere, Myanmar is still holding Aung Suu Kyi in custody, militias are still holding sway in Sri Lanka, Iraqi people wake up daily to see casualties on their streets from a preemptive war orchestrated by coalition forces led by the USA whereas Iran is keeping vigil from a possible attack by USA or Israel. The Palestinians and Israelis have become sworn enemies and no peace formula has been allowed to work," he added.

Dr Ime maintained that the impact of war was a 'monster'. It was a kind of cancer that spreads to all facets of life and the environment. It was, therefore, the need of the hour that the whole society stood up to work for peace and disarmament.

He lauded the role of IDPD which had taken several initiatives in this direction including exchange programmes with its counterparts in Pakistan.

Speaking at the occasion, Dr L.S. Chawla, President of IDPD, said that the body would organise the 18th World Congress of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) at New Delhi from March 7 to 12 next year. A preparatory meeting for the global meet will be convened at Delhi on January 13 and 14.

Dr Bharti Uppal welcomed the visiting dignitary while Dr Ime was introduced by Dr Arun Mitra, General secretary, IDPD. Dr Balbir Singh Shah, Dr Sanjeev Uppal, Dr M.K. Mahajan and Dr Shakti Kumar participated in the deliberations.



'Warring couples need to be patient'
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
Impatience among warring couples today has reached to such an extent that they wish to get away with the problem in any way as soon as possible. This may be the reason why the Association of Social Health in India (ASHI), run by the Red Cross Society, is getting lesser number of cases these days. With an aim to help people in need, ASHI tries to provide solutions to social problems like marital discord, drug addiction, dowry, desertion, domestic violence etc.

One of the members of ASHI, who did not wish to be quoted, said the Association provided solutions through counselling which could be tedious at times and warring couples lost patience during the sessions. "It is bad on their part because whatever we are doing, is for their betterment. But, they want to resolve everything quickly", he added.

The members of ASHI, including Ms Ranvir Kaler, Ms Pappo Abnash Singh, Ms Sarbinder Grewal and Ms Dalip Brar, have prevented a number of marriages from breaking up. Ms Parveen Narang, a counsellor has helped a number of addicts to give up drugs. Ms Ruby Fernandes, an educationist and Ms Avtar Kaur, a lawyer, are also attached with the association. Ms Anjali Gupta, wife of the Deputy Commissioner, heads ASHI.

The members even visit homes of the persons concerned to get firsthand information and offer counselling to both parties. By taking genuine interest in the problems of people and by counselling, ASHI has brought together a lot of estranged couples. After listening to a problem, members discuss the issue among themselves and work out the best possible solution. They take every possible step to bring the two parties together.

Honorary Secretary, Mr S.P. Malik said the main objective of ASHI was to see that a compromise was reached between the warring couples. "Members maintain complete secrecy and nothing goes out of four walls. Armed with the qualities of positive attitude, determination and optimism, members of the association are able to patch up differences among couples", said Mr Malik.



South Indian actress opens Solitaire Mela
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
Film actress Ashitta feels that working for South Indian movies has given her experiences which only lucky persons in the profession get. In her acting career of five years, besides a couple of modelling assignments including Fashion TV commercials and Oriflame, she is now looking forward to the release of her Tamil movie ‘Ninathun Ninathun Parthean’.

Ashitta was in town in association with the launch of a 'Solitaire Mela' by Orra. She also unveiled a 'Royal Mughal Turban', a headpiece encrusted with pearls, rubies and emeralds, specially prepared by the company to mark the occasion.

"I feel fortunate to have been associated with the cinema in the South which has the best in terms of talent. A couple of more assignments, which would be announced gradually, are on the cards," said the doe-eyed beauty today.

Orra, which is part of Rs 1,000 crore group Rosy Blue, kicked off its solitaire melas in the country beginning with Ludhiana. "Apart from a wide variety in solitaires, we are showcasing some of the choices collection of Belgian solitaires," Mr Sandeep Handa, area manager of the company, said while talking to the Ludhiana Tribune.

Talking about the Ludhiana market, Mr Handa said, "It is one of the leading markets in the country which is why we decided to hold the event here."

The company is also planning to increase its presence in the state and would open two more outlets in Amritsar and Jalandhar each, he added.



FICCI award for helping physically challenged
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 10
The Viklang Sahayta Kender run by the Bharat Vikas Parishad, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, was honoured with a award by the Prime Minister, Mr Manmohan Singh, in recognition of its contribution toward corporate initiative in empowerment of physically challenged in Delhi on January 8. The award was instituted by FICCI. Mr Yash Paul Chopra, national secretary of the parishad, received the award.

Mr Yashpal said FICCI looked after the problems and welfare of all Chambers of Industrial and Commercial undertakings of the nation. It also helped solve the problems faced by the traders and the industry in import and export.

Mr Gupta said the parishad was honoured for its excellent work in the field of service to the physically challenged persons. It has provided artificial limbs, calipers, tricycles, hearing aids to more than 24,000 persons free of cost since 1996.

Mr Pawan Aggarwal, secretary of the BVP Charitable Trust Punjab, informed that the parishad was awarded in 2004 by the President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam for commendable work done by the trust.



DC inspects Budda Nullah work
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
Deputy Commissioner Ashok Kumar Gupta today expressed satisfaction at the ongoing Budda Nullah clean-up project undertaken jointly by the Punjab Government and Baba Jaspal Singh of Baddowal.

The DC inspected the work done in Koomkalan and expressed happiness at the pace of the work as well as the quality of the job. The banks of the nullah have been strengthened after the drain bed was desilted.

Mr Gupta told Ludhiana Tribune that due to election work he could not spend more time but would remain in touch with the progress of the Rs-200 crore project.



Rai takes over as Chief of Income Tax
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 10
Mr Mandeep Singh Rai has taken over as new Chief Commissioner of Income Tax here.

An officer of the 1973 batch of the Indian Revenue Service, Mr Rai studied in YPS, Patiala ,before completing his B.A. in English Honours from Government College Chandigarh.

Apart from being a successful bureaucrat, Mr Rai is also a prolific writer, having already penned three novels - 'In the Shadow of Pines', 'No Friends No Enemies' and 'When the Vulture Descends'. His writings have even been acclaimed by noted writer Mr Khushwant Singh, who reviewed his book 'In the Shadow of Pines'.

Mr Rai originally hails from Malerkotla and has been posted to this region for the first time.



Man held for murdering friend
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 10
The local police claims to have solved a murder case with the arrest of Kulbir Singh. The murder was committed about three months ago. Mr Shiv Kumar Verma, SSP, Jagraon, stated in a press note issued here that Kulbir Singh murdered Yadwinder Singh of Sekhan Jaloor, who was residing at Ahmedgarh.

However, the body of the victim had gone missing. A team led by Inspector Prem Singh, in charge, CIA, Jagraon, and other officials was constituted under the supervision of Mr Vijay Kumar Sharma, SP (D), Jagraon, and Mr Naranjan Dass DSP (D), Jagraon, to investigate the case.

The investigation led to the arrest of Kulbir Singh, a close friend of Yadwinder. Kulbir reportedly murdered Yadwinder with an intention to steal his mobile phone, scooter and money. He later threw his body in the Jagera bridge canal.



Moradabadi gang strikes again
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
The activities of the dreaded ‘Moradabadi’ gang of adolescents, who specialised in looting valuables, especially cash, from the dickey of scooters, seem to be back in the city after a lull of several months. A trader reported that some persons looted Rs 6,300 after breaking open his scooter’s dicky on the Mall Road last evening.

Mr Neeraj Kumar Kansal, a businessman, in a FIR lodged with Division No. 5 police station stated that he had parked his scooter near Kala Mandir. After some time he found the scooter’s dicky was opened and the money missing.

Ten members of the 21-member gang were nabbed a few months ago but the remaining could not be traced.



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