L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Rs 760-cr drinking water, sewerage plan for city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
Minister for local bodies, industry and commerce Manoranjan Kalia today announced a special plan costing Rs 760 crore to provide drinking water and sewerage facility to the entire population of Ludhiana city. Apparently acknowledging the support of the urban areas that enabled the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bhartiya Janata Party alliance to come to power in the state, Kalia said the special package would be implemented soon to improve the basic amenities in the urban areas.

Addressing a meeting of traders and industrialists here, Kalia said the government was fully committed to provide these facilities at the earliest. He said special attention was being given to the problems faced by the people in the urban areas.

Earlier interacting with the media at Circuit House, the minister said the SAD-BJP combine was committed to providing transparent, efficient and corruption-free governance in the state. He asserted that all promises made in the election manifesto would be fulfilled at the earliest.

Answering a question regarding the encroachments in the urban areas, the minister said that a state-level comprehensive policy would be formulated for this purpose. He also clarified that the government would not be politically vindictive against anybody, but inquiries would be conducted regarding the allegations of scams and irregularities in various projects as per the law. He said that ongoing development projects would be speeded up to ensure their early completion.

Hira Singh Gabria, Minister for Jails, Tourism and Printing and Stationery, while addressing the function, assured the industry and trade that all genuine demands would be solved by arranging interactive meetings at high level. He also demanded to construct the four flyover bridges already sanctioned in the city at the earliest to ease the traffic problem.

Sat Pal Gosian, deputy speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, stressed upon the need to provide relief to the industry and trade, in particular, and poor people, in general, as promised in the manifesto.

Among others who addressed the function included Swarna Ram, minister for technical education and industrial training, Punjab, Harish Rai Dhanda, Harish Bedi (both MLAs), Lala Lajpat Rai, ex-MP, and M.M. Vyas, president, Spinners Association.

On behalf of the industry, D.L. Sharma, P.D. Sharma, Vinod Thapar, Suraj Bhan, V.P. Chopra, Ajit Lakra and S.C. Rehlan brought to the notice of the minister the problems related to different sections of industry.



Orchestrating dacoities from behind the bars
‘Kale kachewala’ gang members involved

Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
In a blatant evidence of organising crime from inside a jail, an incarcerated alleged leader of a notorious gang of ‘Banjara Robbers’, also notorious as ‘kale kachewala’ gang, had given accurate and graphic letters to his gang members about the the target victims living in various parts of the state.

The letters were recovered from five members of the gang nabbed from near village Thakakrwal by the detective wing of the city police yesterday. SSP R K Jaiswal briefing reporters this afternoon stated that the most shocking recovery from the gang members were letters written by their leader Chand Mohammad, alias Channa, from Central Jail, Ludhiana.

He said Chand was nabbed last year but was running the gang from behind the bars. In his letters given to his brother and the acting leader Baalu and a key aide Salaru-ud-din, he gives them details about the prospective targets, which he had identified in a recce but could not strike due to his arrest.

The police would seek a production warrant of Chand Mohammad and question him further about his network. Chand had allegedly handed over the letters to the two when they had gone to visit him in the jail.

Chand was giving directions at a premium. He wanted money to pay to the lawyers. In one of the letters, he directs Baalu and Salaru-ud-din to strike at a dera near Sahnewal, where 20-peti (one peti means one lakh) worth valuables can be looted. The money would prove handy for his bail, he stressed.

Jaiswal said police learnt about the activities of the gang from the arrest of a criminal. Later, a team led by SP-Detective Gurpreet Singh, CIA incharge Jaswinder Singh nabbed the gang members.

They were identified as Baalu, Salaru-ud-din, Deen Mohammad, alias Deena, Amar-ud-din and Noor Mohammad.

All the gang members were Muslim banjaras. They were into crime since many generations. Unlike other such gypsy gangs indulging in crime, these nomads do not involve their women in crime. While crime was their major vocation, they also indulged in cattle trade. Their public face was of traders only.

They were originally inhabitants of Meerut, Buland Shehar and Baagpat in Uttar Pradesh.

The SSP said as per the police investigation so far the gang members have scripted 23 dacoities in Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, Nawashahr, Ludhiana and Sangrur. Adding up to the strikes by the Chand gang, they committed 110 robberies and dacoities till date.



Undertrial back in police net
Mahesh Sharma

Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 18
The Dehlon police has succeeded in nabbing Kuldip Singh Khagura, one of the two undertrial criminal brothers who had made a daring escape from police custody at Latala village after chopping off a hand of a policeman and stabbing another about three months ago. Jabsir Singh, younger brother was arrested by the police a fortnight ago.

Investigations revealed massive lapses on the part of Ludhiana police that was entrusted with the task of taking undertrials for a court hearing at Barnala and back to the Central Jail. Lust for wine and money had tarnished the image of Ludhiana police besides putting their life in danger.

Kuldip Singh, a resident of Latala village, kingpin of the notorious gang of robbers, was nabbed by the Dehlon police party led by ASI Jarnail Singh from vicinity of a gaushala situated on Brahampur-Barundi road near here when he was trying to leave the area today afternoon.

He, along with his brother, Jasbir Singh, another member the gang, had made a daring escape after injuring Rajpal Singh and Lashkar Singh, cops from Ludhiana police who had taken them to a court at Barnala on November 21 and were taking them back to the Central Jail Ludhiana.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the cops had shown gross negligence while performing their official duty to present undertrials, being tried for allegedly robbing a number of banks and private traders in this belt of Malwa, at court.

Sources revealed that the cops, Rajpal Singh and Lashkar Singh, instead of taking enough care in shifting the hardcore criminals had gone to the extent of taking liquor with them at a public place at Raikot during movement.

Strangely enough, Kuldip’s mother had handed over keys of her village house to her sons in the presence of the cops at the court at Barnala and they (undertrials and the cops) instead of going straight to the Central Jail at Ludhiana went to Latala after making merry at Raikot town.

Investigations further revealed that the duo (Kuldip and Jasbir Singh) had assaulted the cops when they had tried to stop them from going in the car they had travelled from Raikot to Latala. Obviously the undertrials had arranged sharp edged weapons before reaching their house at Latala. The duo had also arranged a pistol at their residence before reaching there.

The Dehlon police had then booked the cops and the escaped undertrials under Section 308, 332, 333, 353 and 186 of IPC and 223 and 224 of Arms Act. Though the accused cops had been discharged from the hospital a long time back, the investigation team had not yet arrested them.

The members of family of the escapees had deserted their house for fear of police action. Persistent pressure resulted in apprehension of Jasbir Singh followed by arrest of Kuldip Singh. Though the district police had alerted the surrounding police circles immediately after the escape, the duo had succeeded in reaching Hazur Sahib and then Rajasthan. They admitted having adopted kacha roads for fleeing after injuring cops.



Leprosy survey from today
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 18
The district leprosy society, headed by the deputy commissioner, will launch a focused house-to-house survey in the Daba Road area, a locality predominantly inhabited by migrant population, on March 19 to detect leprosy cases.

During the four-day survey, some 40 teams of volunteers under eight supervisors, will cover approximately 2 lakh people, and those suspected to be afflicted with leprosy will be referred to Daba sub-centre for further investigations and free treatment in the case of confirmed cases.

Giving this information here today, district leprosy officer Dr G.K. Bansal said that for this, the WHO coordinated exercise of information, education and communication, active cooperation was being extended by the German Leprosy Relief Association (GLRA) and Swiss Emmaus India, both NGOs working in the field of leprosy eradication.

For the task of the survey, volunteers had been drawn from nursing school of Dr B.L. Kapur Memorial Hospital and Guru Angad Dev Nursing Institute. To inform the public, banners about the survey had been put up in the Daba Road localities and announcements were also being made for the past three days.

Dr Y.C. Markan, deputy director of health services, will flag off the teams of volunteers in the targeted area. An informative exhibition on leprosy will also be put up by the health administration on this occasion to dispel certain myths and misconceptions about the disease.



Preserve natural resources: VC
PAU kisan mela concludes

Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana March 18
A two-day kisan mela at Punjab Agricultural University concluded today with the distribution of prizes to award winners in various events. Presiding over the concluding function, Vice-Chancellor KS Aulakh said that preservation of natural resources of water, soil and environment is a must for sustainable agriculture.

Aulakh said with continuous and intensive cultivation of paddy and wheat, soils was showing signs of fatigue. "Food security is important but preservation of natural resources is of utmost importance. Any damage to the environment will have far reaching implications on our agriculture", Aulakh warned.

“Since food security is of prime concern for the country, we all must make concerted efforts to increase productivity without disturbing the environment”. He called upon the farmers to adopt diversification. He also advocated farmers for self marketing of their produce in order to increase their profit.

Member, Agricultural Costs and Prices Commission, Mohinder Singh Grewal, who was a special guest, welcomed the decision of the government of India to grant a bonus of Rs 100 per quintal for wheat, which he said, will greatly benefit the farmers. But farmers must lower the cost of cultivation in order to increase their profit, he added.

Chief organiser of the mela and Director of Extension Education, NS Malhi said since mela theme this year focused on 'save environment', farmers could make a beginning in this direction by avoiding early transplanting of their paddy crop. This will not only save water but also reduce the use of pesticides, he said.

Aulakh gave away the prizes to the winners of crop produce competition, farm women entrepreneur competition and stall competition. The winners include, Amarjit Kaur of Bhoolpur (Kapurthala), Amarjit Singh Dhillon of Bargadi (Faridkot) for Chrysanthemum, Bawa Singh of Jugian (Mohali) for cabbage, Gurmeet Singh Sohi of Nathmalpur (Ropar) for turnip and rose, Harinderjit Singh of Nangal Jeevan (Jalandhar) for guava, Iqbal Singh of Goomti Kalan (Bathinda) for potato, Jasbir Singh Dhaliwal of Naudharni (Sangrur) for green onion, garlic and Shimla mirch, Jinder Singh of Sandhuan (Ropar) for papaya, Manjit Singh Ghuman of Nagra (Sangrur) for marigold, Navnoor Dosanjh of Jagatpur (Nawanshehr) for gladiolus and Sukhdev Singh Bains of Shadipur (Jalandhar) for cauliflower. Dosanjh Agricultural Farm of Nawanshahr won first prize for green chillies, ber, popcorn and sugarcane.

Among farm women entrepreneurs, Vinod Kumari of Maili (Hoshiarpur) bagged the top position. In drawing competition, Sonam Verma of Humbran won the top slot. Paramjit Kaur of Phulanwal stood first in preparation of utility articles from discarded textile materials. Harmeet Kaur of Cheemna came first in sprouted dal preparations. Charanjit Kaur of Mehna won the potato peeling and chopping competition.

In the stall competition, John Deere of Pune, Standard Combines of Barnala, AGPA Farm Machinery of Noida, Kalsi Metal Works of Jalandhar, Passi Agro Engineering Industries of Ludhiana, Sharp Industries of Amritsar, IFFCO from Delhi, Coromandel of Secunderabad, Dilkhush Traders of Ludhiana, Markfed from Chandigarh and Modern Kheti from Nabha won first prizes for tractors, combines and threshers, tractor driven implements, electric motors and engines, hand tools and sprayers, machine tools, fertilizers, pesticides, home appliances, agro processed products and literature, respectively.

Regarding the PAU best stall competition, department of Entomology and Department of Vegetable Crops bagged the first positions in the main pandal and mela route, respectively.



Ludhiana Calling

College farewells are fast changing their old avtar and turning into fashion shows. Such is the influence of fashion world on college-goers that a majority of them want to walk the ramp and fulfil their wish during the farewells. But in the process they burn a hole in their parents’ pockets, who have to pay for their dresses and also beauticians. Though this sounds old-fashioned, a retired teacher said she never allowed the farewell function to be a fashion show as long as she was working. “I would prefer the youth learning something from the great personalities rather than imitating fashion models.”

Phone services

The government-controlled Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) may claim to have maximum subscriber base across the country, besides maximum network that reaches every nook and corner, but when it comes to services, it still lags behind. Be it customer care or any other inquiry, the BSNL still functions five days a week, and that too from 9 to 5. Plus those assigned the ‘customer care’ job remain the people with the same mindset that the BSNL has inherited from its earlier avtar. Compared to other private operators, the BSNL services remain least attractive. Take for example the recorded voice messages about non-existing numbers, wrong numbers, or busy line. While the private operators ensure that the recorded voice that has to be played again and again is melodious and attractive, for the BSNL, it is otherwise — quite fatigued, worn-out and repulsive.

Journos stumped

A late evening event involving an interaction with a Russian official had sceptical journos who thought they might not get a good story, as not many Russians are comfortable with English. The reporters, who continued conversing in Hindi among themselves in front of the official, were in for a shock when the official responded to a certain query and said, “Thori Thori Hindi aati hai” (I know Hindi a little).

Poor skills

If there is one category of professionals which is in dire need of improving its professional skills, it is probably public relations agencies. As a large number of such companies mushroom in virtually every nook and corner, it is reporters who have to suffer due to poor skills of many people in this field. The common problems reporters face are unnecessary long calls explaining events and products in detail for which they are conducting conferences, poor organisation of events and later, getting to reporters’ nerves to ensure the report gets space in newspaper. Wish such professionals, consider getting proper training before they enter the profession.

‘Fashion-savvy’ parents

Many schools are declaring results these days. Parent-teacher meetings are organised to hand over the results of wards. The other day result of three classes were declared by a reputed school. The mothers had specially dressed for the occasion in their latest outfits, putting make-up and sun-glasses (no matter the sun played hide and seek that day). A young mom dressed in denims and a long coat was seen scolding her son for low percentage. Another mom, continuously watching her, could not resist and murmured, “I think she should have paid attention towards her son’s studies rather than putting extra efforts to look best in parent-teacher meetings.”


The term kale kacchewala gang has become a misnomer, as members of the gang do not wear black underwears nor do they grease their body with oil as they used to. As the British hangover continues, police officials use the term coined by the former without bothering to change it. Earlier some tribals used to strike wearing black underwears so that they could not be seen in the dark. But not anymore.

Contributed by Kanchan Vasdev, Vimal Sumbly, Shveta Pathak, Shivani Bhakoo and Jupinderjit Singh



CJ lauds business houses for helping poor
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 18
Appreciating role of certain business houses in providing quality education to wards of poor and middle class citizens, Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Vijender Kumar Jain has called upon leaders of various social and religious organisations to extend cooperation to institutes being run by philanthropists. No government can alone provide perfect education in the state, he claimed.

While talking to the Ludhiana Tribune after chairing a function at Maya Devi Public School at Pohir village near here Justice Jain expressed hope that India would emerge number one in the world of education in case quality education was made available in villages.

“After observing working of public schools being run by philanthropists and industrial houses I am of the view that now we should not worry about future of coming generations. We should also remember that Lakshami (goddess of money) and Sarswati (Goddess of education) reside in company of good deeds,” said Justice Jain reminding that knowledge and education could not be stolen.

Correlating enhancement of education and consequent increase in public awareness with increased tendency of litigation, he categorically stated the pendency of court cases could not be sublimed in near future as already alarming ratio of number of files to judges was increasing continuously.

Showing concern over declining ratio of judges to number of files, Mr Justice said the situation was worrying in India as a High Court Judge was to deal about 10 thousands cases in contrast to ideal figure of 500.

“What to talk of dealing with all pending case within scheduled time, we can not think of checking increase in pendency rate even as litigation is increasing day by day, obviously due to increased public awareness among educated people,” responded Mr Jain. He suggested that workmen should seek justice in Lok Adalat in case their cases were long pending.

Mr Jain pointed out that any court lower to supreme court of India could also act against witnesses who had gone hostile during proceeding of a case. “Though it has become a precedence that only Supreme Court of India acts against the witnesses going hostile during proceeding it does not mean that lower courts can not act against them,” said Mr Jain.

Earlier Mr Jain was felicitated by social and educational organisations of the area.



Freedom fighters to be honoured on Martyrdom Day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
Desh Bhagat Yadgar Samiti, Punjab, will organise a function to honour freedom fighters, to mark the Martyrdom Day of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, at Punjabi Bhawan on March 23.

Addressing a joint press conference here today, Krishen Kumar Bawa, president of the samiti, Jagdev Singh Jassowal, chairman and Dewan Jagdish Chander, patron said program was aimed at creating awareness about the great martyrs.

“Martyrs like Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru still inspire spirit of nationalism among the youth,” said Bawa. Such programmes were necessary to ensure that the young generation learns about their great sacrifices, he added. “The modern generation takes freedom for granted. So it was important to ensure that they knew how this freedom was won,” said Bawa.



Tributes paid
Our Correspondent

Samrala, March 18
Tributes were paid to Hukam Chand Sharma, retired postmaster Samrala, father of SHO S.M. Singh and Amarjeet Singh, panchayat secretary Samrala at the local Bharti Palace by thousands of people, including intellectuals, police and civil officers, politicians and non-political organisations.

Many messages of condolence sent by schools, hospitals, ahrtias and shopkeepers association were read. The senior Akali leader Lakhbir Singh Kaalal Majra, on this occasion described the social services rendered by the deceased and their family members for the poor school going children and marriages performed for poor girls.



Novelist’s autobiography released
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
Noted Punjabi novelist Jaswant Singh Kanwal's autobiography 'Puniya Da Chanan' (full moon light) was released today at Punjab Agricultural University.

PAU vice-chancellor KS Aulakh released the book.

Speaking on the occasion, Aulakh said he had read Kanwal's first novel 'Pooran Mashi' about 45 years ago and was impressed by his bold writings, which have always been appealing to the masses.

Editor Punjabi at PAU and senior vice-president, Punjabi Sahit Academy Gurbhajan Gill described Jaswant Singh Kanwal as a writer par excellence. His creative writings have always been giving a lead to the masses, he said.



Bid to grab commercial plot foiled
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 18
A major attempt to grab a commercial plot in Shaheed Karnail Singh Nagar by two persons who employed more than 30 labourers for rapid construction was foiled with the tough resistance by the plot owner and intervention of the police and the media.

The plot owner, Beant Singh of Lalton Kalan, heaved a sigh of relief in the evening when after a tension-filled struggle for over 24 hours, he got re-occupation of the 170 yard plot priced over Rs 25 lakh.

Some supporters of the accused even manhandled Tribune photographer Sayeed Ahmed and tried their best to prevent him from taking pictures.

The police in late evening booked Albert Masih, his associate Raja and several unknown persons for the alleged land grab bid. They were booked under sections 379, 447, 452 and 511 of the IPC.

Beant Singh told Ludhiana Tribune that he was shocked to learn that some persons were in the process of occupying his land, " When I reached there, more than 30 labourers were busy in rapid construction under the guidance of the accused and their group of supporters."



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