L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Major reshuffle in 3 police districts
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 12
In a massive reshuffle in the police, nearly 200 cops, mainly Assistant Sub Inspectors (ASIs) were today shifted out of the Ludhiana, Khanna and Jagraon police districts on the directions of the state Election Commission.

The shifted cops had either stayed in one district for a period totalling three years in the past four years or were posted in their home districts. The Election Commission had laid down strict guidelines for the shifting of police personnel.

The transferred cops were upset as many served in three police districts-Khanna, Jagraon and Ludhiana- but were considered posted in one district only, which was the revenue district of Ludhiana.

Earlier, many Station House Officers (SHOs) of the districts were shifted at the behest of the Election Commission. This was apart from the state-level reshuffling of the DSPs and above ranks.

A large number of ASIs and few SIs and Inspectors previously posted in Ludhiana have been transferred to Jalandhar with immediate effect. Those from Khanna and Jagraon have been sent to Ropar while cops from that district have been shifted to the former police districts.

Today's large-scale postings have put up another challenge for the district police chiefs, who have to again find suitable officers for posting as in charges of police posts. This assumes importance as suddenly new officers are posted at key position of chowki-incharge for manning the district and keeping an eye of criminal activities.

Resentment prevails among the shifted cops over the transfer orders. The main grouse of the cops was that the orders would remain in force even after the elections. ‘‘ The orders should have been such that the transferred cops return to original posts when the elections process was over. ’’ a cops upset over the elections rued.

He said the transfer orders would prove counter- productive as the cops would resort to lobbying or corruption to return to their old posts after the elections. As the police transfers are more political than merit based, the theory behind the transfers need to have a fresh look.



Congressmen optimistic in Akali stronghold
Mahesh Sharma

Raikot, January 12
With the Congress yet to announce the list of candidates for the Assembly elections, the supporters of Harmohinder Singh Pardhan, probable nominee for this constituency, considered as Akali stronghold, have girdled their loins to gather support for their candidate.

Terming claims made by the SAD nominee as baseless the Congressmen have braved to debate on the issue of contribution towards development of the area.

Claiming that grants worth Rs 250 crore were brought for the development of the area during the present Congress regime, with the efforts of Mr Harmohinder Singh Pardhan, senior Congress leaders, including heads of various political and constitutional organisations, maintained that no leaders had succeeded in making similar development.

Mr Abjinder Singh Sibia, chairman, market committee, claimed that residents of more than 50 villages of the constituency, in recognition of unprecedented rural development, had shown their inclination to support the party nominee. He claimed that 71 km long new roads were constructed, besides getting 88 km repaired and 37 km carpeted with premix afresh. "By constructing 4 bridges, besides these roads, we have enabled residents of 59 villages and the local town enjoys safe driving and save fuel worth thousands during this period. That is why they have made up their minds to support Congress," said Mr Sibia. Significant developments were made at grain markets at Bassian, Talwandi, Kalsan and Andloo.

Mr Sudarshan Joshi, president, municipal council, asserted that he and his fellow councillors, tried their best to provide residents all basic amenities during the past years. "Optimum utilisation of grants brought by impressing upon Mr Amrinder Singh, CM, enabled us to achieve the target of providing clean drinking water to all, besides solving chronic problem of sewage, bumpy roads and stinking drains," said Mr Joshi. On the contrary, his predecessors had disposed off common land measuring 100 acres, alleged the council president.

The Congress leaders had done much for the welfare of certain private institutes also.



SAD candidate ‘took’ funds from Pandher family
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 12
The khooni kothi of Moninder Singh Pandher, the main accused in the infamous Nithari serial sex abuse and killing of children and women, cast its shadows on the politics of Punjab with senior Congress leaders accusing a SAD leader and candidate from Raikot Assembly constituency of accepting huge funds from the ‘serial killer’.

Accusing the nominee of receiving huge funds from the Pandher family through a kin who had been looking after their huge property at Lohatbaddi village, the leaders demanded a probe by some Central agency to explore links of SAD leaders with the owners of khooni kothi. Terming the charges as baseless and politically motivated, Mr Ranjit Singh Talwandi, MLA and SAD nominee from Raikot, said he was in no way associated with the Pandher family. He claimed that Lohatbaddi village did not fall under the constituency even.

Senior Congress leaders, including Mr Abjinder Singh Sibia, chairman, market committee, Raikot, Mr Palwinder Singh Talwandi, president, block Congress committee, Mr Sudarshan Sharma, president, municipal council, Raikot, and Mr Ramesh Kaura, general secretary, in a meeting chaired by Mr Harmohinder Singh Pardhan urged the authorities to probe alleged illicit relationship of the Talwandi family with Moninder Singh Pandher, the main accused in infamous Nithari serial sexual abuse and killing case.

The leaders accused Mr Ranjit Singh Talwandi of protecting the interests of the Pandher family after allegedly receiving huge amounts on the pretext of election funds. “Besides giving huge amounts as party funds, Moninder has been supporting Talwandis and sending manpower through Sukhdev Singh Dhillon, one of his close relatives, who had been looking after his property at Lohatbaddi village. The amount of Rs 1.5 lakh that was presented to Mr Parkash Singh Badal at the time of kicking off ceremony of Talwandi’s campaign came from the same source,” alleged Mr Sibia.

The Congress leaders further alleged that SAD leaders had been supporting the Pandher family even after the state body of the Pandher fraternity announced to socially boycott them. “Let them explain as to why the sarpanch of Lohatbaddi village was asked to gather support for the accused even after the Baba Sidh Pandher Committee Roshiana, announced social boycott of the family,” said the Congress leaders.

The meeting resolved to impress upon the higher authorities in the state and the Union Government to initiate a probe by some Central agency to investigate connection of senior SAD leaders with the Pandher family.



Parties woo industry
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 12
Trading community is capturing the attention of political parties. While it was the Akali-BJP leadership that sought industry's support at its rally on Tuesday here, the Congress too wants to leave no stone unturned in this regard.

At a meeting in New Delhi to prepare the election manifesto of the Congress for the Assembly elections in Punjab, industry representatives from Ludhiana were invited to give their views. Expressing happiness, Mr Ajit Singh Kular of Kular Cycle Industries, who participated in the meeting, said: "We are happy that we were given a chance to present our point of view. The party leaders invited us and we discussed issues concerning us, ranging from capital subsidy disbursement to delay in VAT refunds."

The meeting, which was chaired by the Punjab Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, tried to put balm on the bruised hearts of industry sections which were not invited at the Akali-BJP rally. "The memorandum submitted by us has been accepted in toto. We felt honoured that our leaders were invited to give their suggestions," said Mr Varinder Kapoor, general secretary, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

While industrialists refused to express their clear support towards the Congress, sources said the industry is divided in this matter and is more concerned about its demands being met. 



DC’s directive to printing press owners
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 12
The diastrict administration has asked owners of printing presses engaged in the printing of election material of political parties/candidates to strictly abide by the directions of the Election Commission given in the Model Code of Conduct for relating to the printing of such material.

Mr. Ashok Kumar Gupta, District Election Officer-cum- Deputy Commissioner, informed that no person shall print or publish or cause to be printed or published, any election pamphlet or poster which does not bear on its face the names and addresses of the printer and the publisher thereof.

He said no person shall print or cause to be printed any election pamphlet or poster (a) unless a declaration as to the identity of the publisher thereof, signed by him and attested by two persons who he is personally known, is delivered by him to the printer in duplicate and unless, with a reasonable time after the printing of the document, one copy of the declaration is sent by the printer, together with one copy of the document,- where it is printed in the capital of the state, to the Chief Electoral Officer; and in any other case, to the district magistrate of the district in which it is printed. He clarified that any process of multiplying the copies of a document, other than copying it by hand, shall be deemed to be printing and the expression “ printer’ shall be construed accordingly and “election pamphlet or poster” means any printed pamphlet hand-bill or other document distributed for the purpose of promoting or prejudicing the election of a candidate or group of candidates or any placard or poster having reference to an election, but does not include any hand-bill, placard or power merely announcing the date, time, place and other particulars of an election meeting or routine instructions to election agents or workers.

Any person who contravenes any of these provisions shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both, he added.

The DC told them to submit one copy of such material printed by them on the same day with the RO of the constituency and warned that strict action would be taken against the defaulters.



Stray dog menace continues, even as MC denies
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 12
Despite the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to the state government for finding a solution to the ever growing stray dog menace, residents in all parts of the city are suffering from it even as the Municipal Corporation refuses to acknowledge it.

Though the Opposition councillors have raised the matter a number of times in the House, but the pleas have gone unheeded and the stray dogs continue to bite and scare the residents.

A survey of all city areas at night revealed that the stray dogs literally ruled the roads. They squat along the roadside in groups and make it nearly impossible for anybody to pass through the road. A number of incidents of dog bites were being reported everyday.

Only some days ago a stray dog bit children in Sarabha Nagar. Residents did not know who to complain against the menace.

People of the entire city complain consistently against the problem. They claim that the dogs make it impossible for them to venture out either at night or during the day.

“If we go for a walk after dinner, stray dogs start chasing us. The children cannot go out to play as they can be bitten. We do not know what to do. 



Lohri spirit soars high
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, January 12
Though winter chill is intensifying and weather charts are showing very low temperatures, the spirits of people are soaring as Lohri is round the corner. The city sky is dotted with kites of practically all colours of rainbow and in different sizes are displayed at shops all over the city. In contrast with the grey sky, the kites cheer every heart .

It is a festival of kites and youngsters as well as small children are seen flying kites with great intensity. Tomorrow is the day, as kite competitions will evoke a passionate response. People bring empty tins and when the thread of the kite is cut, the tin is beaten and shouts of ‘vo kata’ rents the air.

Stalls of gachak, rewaris, popcorn and bhuggha have been put up in all major streets of the city. Lohri is celebrated by newly weds and for newborn children. Now, it is being celebrated even if a new house has been constructed.

Drummers are seen beating their dhols and people enjoy dancing giving the occasion a festive look. A proud father, Tinku, says, ”I am going to have an open house that day, as I have twins and will celebrate Lohri of my children”.

However, will any one spare a thought for homeless people lying on the Jagraon Bridge in this chilly weather? 



Sahota is chief of Sanitary Inspectors’ body
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 12
Mr Ashwini Sahota, Chief Sanitary Inspector of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has been elected state president of the Municipal Sanitary Inspectors’ Association for the sixth consecutive year.

Meanwhile Mr N.P. Singh has been elected election observer for the association, Mr Harpal Singh as chief adviser, Mr Laxman Dravid as state chairman and Mr Darshan Singh Arora as state vice chairman. 



Assault on engine driver disrupts rail traffic

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 12
The driver of a railway engine has urged the authorities to take strict action against an unknown person who tried to assault him and the others aboard a running engine destined for Kilaraipur today. Nobody was injured in the incident.

The assailant, who was nabbed with the help of passersby, however, did not disclose his identity during preliminary investigation by the station authorities. As the driver had to handle the suspect himself for a long time the engine remained stranded for more than 40 minutes.

According to Mr Sham Sunder, the driver of the engine, a miscreant attacked the staff of the automotive near the level-crossing today. "As four other drivers in our division had been hurt seriously in similar incidents, I applied emergency brakes and nabbed that assailant with the help of passersby," told Mr Sham Sunder adding that he had handed him over to the station supervisor. — OC



Four wood thieves arrested

Samrala, January 12
A Forest Department team lead by Mr Sukhwinder Singh, Range Officer, Samrala, arrested four members of a gang of wood thieves while loading stolen wood in a tempo last night.

Following a secret information that near Burji 115 to 118 on the Sirhind canal on the Powat village bridge some persons were loading a tempo with stolen wood, the Forest Department officials informed the police of Chamkaur Sahib. The police impounded the tempo last night and arrested four persons. Their two accomplices, however, managed to escape. The arrested persons were challaned under the Forest Act and were produced before the Judicial Magistrate today.

The raiding party included Block Officers Kuldeep Singh, Jarnail Singh and forest guards Balbir Singh Cheema and Devinder Singh. — OC



17 booked for assault
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 12
The Sidhwan Bet police has booked 17 persons for assaulting two persons.
The police has registered a case under Sections 447, 511, 341, 379, 323, 506, 148, 149 of the IPC against Balbir Singh, Musa Singh, Kulvir Singh, Kokan Singh, Mohinder Singh, Raj Kumar, Sher Singh, Diwan Singh, Atma Singh, Brij Singh, Jeet Singh, Sheelo Bai, Haro Bai of Akuana and Mittal of Bhundri as they allegedly stopped Pritam Kaur of Akuana, assaulted her and tried to forcibly occupy her land. No arrest has been.

In an another incident, the police booked Amarjit Kaur of Sangatpura for assaulting Narinjan kaur of the same village. The injured has been admitted to Civil Hospital Sidhwan Bet. A case under Sections 323, 324 of the IPC has been registered.



LG comes out with Lohri offer
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 12
LG Electronics today announced a special 'Lohri Dhoom' scheme for its customers in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.
During the two-week-long festival offer, customers would be entitled to assured gifts in the form of scratch cards they would get on purchase of LG products.

Among the prizes to be given are a Maruti Esteem, motorbikes, flat TV sets, semi automatic washing machines, direct cool refrigerators and GSM handsets.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Navin Banga, regional manager of the company, said with the launch of the scheme the company endeavoured to strengthen its bond with its customers. The offer, he added, is valid on purchase of consumer electronics, home appliances and CSD sales except on DVD players, IT products, vacuum cleaners and GSM handsets.



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