L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Flesh trade: Jealousy led to woman’s murder
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
“Professional jealousy between two alleged sex workers had led to the murder of one of them at the Focal Point here on the March 16 night.”

Claiming this at a press conference this evening, the SP-Detective, Gurpreet Singh said the unidentified body recovered from behind Oswal Cancer Hospital that night had turned out to be of Sunita, a middle aged woman , who had started living with a man Prem Lal , after her husband's death few months ago.

The police said Baby, an alleged sex worker, conspired with a relative, Kamal Kumar and Mukesh Kumar, owner of the rented rooms in which they all lived. Kamal and Mukesh have been arrested while Baby was still absconding.

The police said Baby, wife of Prem Lal, was into flesh trade. She involved Sunita in the net also. However, after some time, Sunita became more “popular” than her. The police found out during investigation that Baby's husband, Prem Lal, had also become more fond of her than his wife.

The SP said the murder took place in the absence of Prem Lal. He had gone to Bihar when his wife allegedly conspired to kill Sunita. Both woman lived together and often used to have drinks also. That night Baby allegedly mixed some sedatives in Sunita's drink.

When she fell unconscious, she along with her relative, Kamal, allegedly killed her by banging her head repeatedly on the wall. Later, they took her to a doctor claiming that she had fallen down.

They took the body back to their rooms after the doctor declared her dead. However, Mukesh Kumar, owner of the rooms, advised them to dispose off the body. They then threw the corpse in a vacant plot behind the cancer hospital.

The police had a tough time in identifying the body.

The police during investigation found out a rickshaw-puller, who remembered transporting a body with the accused to the plot. The doctor also confirmed that the woman was brought to his hospital by the accused. Raids were being conducted to nab the absconding woman, Baby.

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87-year-old man deceived by ‘foster son’
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
Eighty-seven-year-old Kehar Singh is a dejected man today. His fault was that he trusted his “foster son” and was allegedly deceived in return.

His “foster son”, Kulwant Singh, a resident of Gali number 1, Mohalla Gobindsar allegedly got the elderly man's house in Tedhi Gali, Shimla Puri (registration number-10611, date 3/8/2006) transferred in his name fraudulently. Kehar Singh, who had bought the house after spending his life savings, is now running from pillar to post asking the government machinery to come to his rescue.

Kehar Singh had reportedly spent Rs 2.5 lakh for buying the house in Shimla Puri in October last year. Kulwant Singh rented a room in his house and told him that he respected him as his father. As Kehar Singh's 22-year-old son had fallen for drugs, he threw him out of his house and started calling Kulwant his “foster son.”

When the elderly man started to trust him, Kulwant allegedly asked for the registry of the house and told the former that something was wrong with the papers of the house.

“He took me to the sub registrar's office saying that we needed to prepare the papers afresh. He got my picture clicked and made me sign on the papers. I thought the problem was being rectified. But later, I got to know that he played a fraud with me when the patwari concerned told me that I had transferred the plot in Kulwant's name,” he alleged.

Kehar Singh, who finds it difficult to walk, wanted to sell his plot for Rs 3 lakh some days ago. When the deal was to be struck, he went to the patwari who told him about the alleged fraud.

“I am a broken man today. My wife is bed-ridden. I have nobody to look after us. I have complained to the SSP and the DC,” he said showing a copy of his complaints filed to both the officials. He added that it would be of great help to him if the officials took some action as the ‘intkaal’ was yet to be transferred in Kulwant's name.

“I did not know, he was cheating me when he got my pictures clicked. I thought he was helping me,” Kehar Singh claimed.

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Aulakh’s security withdrawn
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, April 4
The Punjab Government has withdrawn the security of K S Aulakh, vice chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University even before his resignation was submitted.

Aulakh had been provided two gunmen for his personal security by the state government . These men were withdrawn yesterday.

Meanwhile, there has been strong criticism of the state government over the petty issue of his resignation over the opening of the gate from the side of Kitchlu Nagar. The academicians strongly feel that the autonomy of the universities is just a myth and political masters think that it is their right to dictate to the authorities of the universities.

G S Kalkat, former vice chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University and Chairman of the Punjab Farmers Commission has supported Aulakh’s decision of closing the gate as a security measure.

Kalkat said that there was very frequent trespassing of the university by outsiders from this gate. The security of the resident and property of the university was the concern of the vice chancellor and Aulakh had not committed any sin by closing the gate.

Kalkat described as unfortunate the resignation of Aulakh and felt that there should be no political interference in the affairs of the universities.

Prithipal Singh Kapoor, former pro-vice chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University has welcomed the step taken by Aulakh.

Kapoor said that Aulakh had resigned for the sake of the academic integrity and propriety and had upheld the cause of university autonomy.

Darshan Singh, former Dean, Postgraduate studies, PAU, also criticised the political intervention in the working of the university and said that Aulakh had brought discipline on the campus with sheer hard work.

Lt-Col Chanan Singh Dhillon (retired), president, Indian Exservices league Punjab and Chandigarh, has also assailed the political interference in the university functioning. He maintained that the seats of learning should be free from such acts of the politicians.

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Acid attack accused remorseful
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
Remorseful. This is the fate of Balkar Singh, after the shocking acid attack incident. Lying in a bed in the CMC hospital, he bemoans the “hollow love” of “her ex-beau Sandeep Kaur” and hopes against hope that all would be well with her life one day.

Sandeep Kaur is physically fighting with her injuries and the pain of acid creeping in her breathing pipe is too much. On emotional front, she is unable to come to terms that a "friend" , who claimed to do anything for her happiness would become so revengeful to give her the biggest and everlasting pain of her life, sources disclosed.

Close to her bed lies Rajwant Kaur, who was caught in the acid splashed by the accused Balkar Singh. With the eyesight of her both eyes feared gone, she and her family can do nothing but blame destiny for this.

Police sources quoting the family members said Sandeep Kaur was in a state of shock after the incident. The family could not marry her to Balkar Singh. He was not earning enough to run a family. They said she never had any affair with the boy, who was pressurising her to marry him. He was promising the moon to her.

While the girls fight their injuries, their respective parents are struggling to find answers to questions on who would marry the girls now? Would the plastic surgery remove all the scars? They have an immediate concern at hand also. The families have no money to pay the heavy expenses for treatment.

SI Joginder Singh, Investigating Officer, said the police and some social workers were arranging money for their treatment. The police was now looking towards, good-samaritans and non-government organisations to come forward for help.

The incident had left the accused youth remorseful. Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, he said he felt like killing himself on what he had done, " On hearing the news of her engagement, I was mad with rage. I had thought taking revenge would make me happy but I am more devastated."

He too had suffered the pain of the sulphuric acid burning his skin when few drops fell on him also. The burn marks of the acid had trickled down his forehead and left black burn lines all over his face.

Police sources said it was hard to say if the youth was really repenting on what he had done or was doing this to earn some sympathy from the court.

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Survey for atta-dal scheme from April 9
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
Deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar has informed that cards to be issued to the poor families, under the subsidised atta-dal scheme, would be different than the yellow ration cards issued by the State Food and Civil Supply Department for families below the poverty line.

The new cards would be issued to the families with an income of less than Rs 30,000 per annum. The cards would be prepared after identifying such beneficiaries in a special survey being conducted from April 9-22 in the district.

The DC said it had been brought to his notice that some people were misguiding the people about the registration forms under the mentioned scheme.

The district administration had not authorised any private person to sell any such forms. All the work would be carried out by the assigned enumerators, while the card would be issued by the concerned department, he clarified.

The enumerators would visit the houses along with the prescribed performa to identify the status of the family.

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COMMUNITY

CM urged to scrap notification
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
Senior Vice President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) Daljit Singh has asked Panjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to take immediate steps to scrap the notification of previous government under which the fertile land of farmers was forcibly acquired and given to big industrial houses.

He reminded the CM of his electoral promise wherein he had promised that if his party was returned to power he would cancel the notification. Not only this the government would make a policy under which the agricultural land would not be acquired by the state without the consent of farmers and in case it was acquired for some public works, the affected farmers would be compensated at the prevailing market prices.

He pointed out that the Congress regime had acquired about 376 acres of land near Barnala for a project being set up by Trident industries. State machinery was used to oust the protesting farmers.

The SAD (A) had raised its voice against this injustice to farmers through a long agitation during which its top leadership, workers and farmers suffered the wrath of police. They were beaten up, put in the jails and false police case were registered against them, he added.

He further alleged that there are reports that the Chief Minister, through its senior leaders, was once again compelling the farmers to hand over their land to the same industrial group. If this was true, then it spoke volumes of the double speak by the CM and his party.

He claimed that such a step was against the interests of the farmers and cautioned the CM that in case he went ahead their party would be forced to launch a state wide agitation.

He clarified that his party was for the rapid industrialisation in Panjab but since the farmers were the back bone of the economy of the state, their interest cannot be ignored or harmed by anyone.

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Baba Bedi resigns, Sant Khalsa elected
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 4
Baba Sarbjot Singh Bedi has submitted his resignation from the presidentship of the Gurmat Sidhant Pracharak Sant Samaj, and Sant Harnam Singh Khalsa, head of the Damdami Taksal has been elected president in his place.

Stating this, Sant Paramjit Singh, secretary general and Sant Hari Singh, general secretary of the Sant Samaj said, Baba Bedi had submitted his resignation owing to bad health and had expressed his inability to continue as the president.

However, Baba Bedi has been made chairman of the Sant Samaj.

The Sant Samaj working committee lauded the services rendered by Baba Bedi as the president of the Samaj.

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Panel on milk price hike
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
The district administration has constituted a committee to suggest measures to check the milk price rise.

Deputy Commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar informed that keeping in view the hike in prices of milk, a three member committee headed by Pryank Bharti, Additional Deputy Commissioner (D) has been constituted to find out the ways and means to curtail the prices of milk.

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Responding to the inner voice

Personally speaking, I am interested in poetics and not politics. But the changes that are recently taking places in various fields have set my mind thinking about the conduct of human beings. What happens when a person gains power over others? The answer is in a Persian proverb which is time-tested -” Har ke dar kane - namak raft, namak shud (Whosoever entered a salt mine, turned into salt).”

Another Persian proverb comes to the mind - “Har ke aamad, imarate nau sakht (Whosoever came, laid the foundation of a new building).” Interestingly the old contracts for mega projects are under scrutiny.

But soon the time will come when new ventures will be made, with much fanfare, in this area. The process of construction and reconstruction cannot be held up for long.

Homer is perhaps the only poet of antiquity (with apologies to T.S. Eliot) who has told the whole truth in his epics. In 'The Iliad' he has depicted a scene where Andromache pleads with her husband Hector, the commander-in-chief of Trojan forces, not to go to the battlefield that day. She had the premonition that he would suffer at the hands of Archilles, the Greek hero, who had challenged him. With her child in her arms, she says: "Hector, you are possessed. This bravery of yours will be your end."

"If I hid myself like a coward and refused to fight", Hector replied, "I could never face the Trojans and the Trojan ladies. Besides, it would go against the grain."

The moot point is of going against the grain. In the teaching profession, I found that some persons ducked when they saw the shuttlecock aimed at their heads. The others, who did not want to go against the grain, took it as a challenge and hit back the shuttlecock with renewed force.

The response to a particular situation is ingrained in the nature of a person. What follows is generally a foregone conclusion. To term it right or wrong is merely an academic exercise.

In educational institutions, the teachers are held in high esteem, unless someone is determined to be a maverick. The students are pained when a teacher, much less the head of the institution, is shown the door unceremoniously.

They feel that their faith in learning has been dislodged. But to be at the helm of affairs for a long time and then to be treated so unimaginatively is nothing short of maligning someone's life-long devotion to teaching and administration.

During the course of my teaching career in colleges, I had to suffer a number of times for being adamant to my viewpoint. I could also enjoy the patronage of high-ups, if I could lull the disturbing nerve in my nervous system. But in the long run that step could have robbed me of my self-respect.

Now at this time of my life, I want to shift the blame to Mirza Ghalib who had addressed the following couplet to his beloved but, in my innocence, I applied it to all those who tried to ignore me.

“Woh apni khu na chorenge

hum apni vaza kyun chhoren

Subaksar bunn ke kya puchhen

ke hum se sargraan kyun ho.”

(She will not get rid of her habit, why should I change my style? Should I ask her, by throwing off to the winds my self-esteem, why is she annoyed with me?)

— N.S. Tasneem

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BUSINESS

New hair colours for Indian skin tone
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
Matrix has introduced a new range of hair-colours under the name of ‘U L Blondes’, which are very light shades used for highlighting.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr Abhay from Piazza, the only flagship saloon of Matrix Punjab, said the three tones of ash, gold and neutral were compatible for Indian skin tones.

Hair-stylist Abhay, was sent for training to UK by the company.

Abhay said that he would soon open a hair and beauty institute where special classes would be conducted by the beauty experts.

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BSNL introduces new promotional offers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 4
The public sector telecom giant, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), has come out with several promotional offers both for its land line and cellular subscribers under the prepaid and postpaid plans.

BSNL general manager telecom (GMT) S.K. Nigam, informed that free CDMA WLL handset (limited mobile) would be given to its existing B-phone (land line) subscribers with an average monthly billing of more than Rs 500 during the last six months. The eligible subscribers would have to pay no rent, no set charges, no security deposit and no insurance charges for WLL handset and the call charges would be Rs 1.20 per pulse.

Further, the first 2,500 land line connections booked up to April 30, 2007, would get a free ID set. The new connections booked under all tariff plans, except for 'sulabh', would be entitled for the free ID sets.

According to GMT, the BSNL had introduced several attractive packages for its prepaid cellular customers, which would be available for a limited period.

Full talk time would be available on prepaid Excel SIM with a validity of seven days. Similarly, full talk time can be availed on a recharge of Rs 300 and Rs 500 with a validity of 30 and 90 days, respectively. The talk time of Rs 2,500 and Rs 8000 would be provided on recharge of Rs 2000 and Rs 5000.

Nigam disclosed that all mobile calls within the Punjab circle would be charged at 49 paise per minute, and full talk time would be available for top up coupons of Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 200 and Rs 500. The BSNL had also revived the telegram booking facility (phonogram) for its land line subscribers on telephone number 1585.

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Market fluctuations confuse investors
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
High volatile stock market has left investors a confused lot. Whether the market would continue falling or look up is a question troubling most investors. Rising interest rates have only complicated decision making. While the city has not witnessed much shift in trading patterns despite fluctuations, chances of panic-led decision are high and these should be avoided by the investor community, feel experts.

"Fluctuations in the past few days have been quite sharp and right decision making is critical in such situations," feels H.S. Sidhu, executive director of the Ludhiana Stock Exchange (LSE).

Investment experts say investors who have booked profits can exit but new ones should wait for the market to stabilise and avoid entering at this stage. "They should wait for the market to get stable as the trends are quite unclear. It could fall further or may be take a short upturn as well. The best thing would be to remain cautious."

Stock market behaviour has confused investors not only as to whether they should stay, enter or exit at this stage, decision making is getting tougher in case of mutual funds too. Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) moves to control inflation by increasing interest rates has left investors with a serious thought to consider options like fixed deposits, that were not considered attractive earlier.

"Equity funds in the last few months performed really well. However, market , in the last couple of weeks has been reacting quite sharply and showing volatility and debt funds emerged stronger. Increase in interest rates has made financial products like fixed deposits in banks quite attractive. I am quite confused as to which sector to rely upon for better return. For the time being, I am avoiding making long term investment decisions and playing it safe," said Santosh Kumar, an investor.

While in case of mutual funds, experts feel people should opt for debt funds, fixed deposits and fixed income funds are also being considered attractive options. "Interest rates are quite attractive at this stage. It would not be wrong to put your money in FDs. But a few fixed income giving funds are generating returns even higher than deposits in banks. Options are many and investors should take final decision before a careful evaluation only," said Ashwani Sharma, a financial adviser.

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Chanderi, chikankari rule this summer
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 4
Cotton has taken over pure crepes and chiffons this season and the latter were chosen only for formal parties.

The markets are flooded with a variety of cottons, including chanderi cotton, south cotton, matka cotton and cotton chikankari.

The women, including the la'creme of the society, are going in for pastel shades of cotton to get a soothing effect in scorching heat.

The cotton suits are easily available in the markets ranging from Rs 40 per metre to Rs 575 per metre, depending on the quality of the fabric.

Dhayan Chander, working as a salesman, at one of the wholesale dealers at Gujjarmal Road said women preferred to buy cotton suits with dupattas as the fabric easily absorbs sweat.

“There is a great demand for cotton suits this summer and we have sold suits in bulk to retailers all over the city on wholesale rates,” he added.

“The pure as well as artificial chanderi cotton suits give a very elegant look. The chanderi stuff is available at a price of Rs 130 per metre to Rs 275 per metre. There is a great demand for pastel shades like lemon, pink, mauve, light blue and white. The weaving of zari provides a rich look to the fabric. Women prefer chanderi shirts with plain dupattas and salwars and they ask for bright coloured crepe and georgette suits only for formal functions,” said Major Singh working at a leading shop in Model Town main market.

The chikankari or Lakhnavi material ranges from Rs 60 per metre to Rs 600 per metre. Expensive chikankari materials include multi-coloured intricate work on very fine white coloured cotton base.

Reena Malhotra, a homemaker said she preferred to wear chikankari suits all the summers. On formal get-togethers also, she wear cotton suits with delicate embroideries.

Customers want majority of outfits on good quality cotton, said Sonu Kapoor, who runs a boutique, at Gurdev Nagar.

"When intricate embroidery is done on plain material, it gives a rich look. Earlier, women thought that cottons were worn by the middle strata of society but now every woman prefers to add a good quality cotton for daily wear,” she added.

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