L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Foul play in daughter’s death alleged
Father’s advice proves fatal 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 20
Gian Chand is a distraught and guilt-ridden man today and not only because his young daughter died yesterday but because he was the one who left her at her husband's place in Malerkotla 10 days ago asking her to adjust to her husband's alleged illicit relations.

His daughter, who was mother of a one-and-a-half-year-old boy, died under mysterious circumstances last evening.

The aggrieved family has been shuttling from one hospital to another to have a glimpse of the deceased whose death was reported to them last evening. They accused the Malerkotla police of acting under political pressure and for shielding the culprits.

However, Harjinder Singh, SHO City, Malerkotla, while denying the charges, maintained that the investigation team was working according to norms and a case under appropriate sections of law would be registered after verifying allegations levelled by the complainant. "Immediately after receiving information about the incident we deputed a team of competent officials to investigate the matter and register a case. However, final action will be taken after verifying allegations levelled by the complainant," claimed Singh while talking to the Ludhiana Tribune.

Jagtar Singh of Jagraon alleged that his sister, Ashu, had been killed by her husband Virender Kumar and a woman who had had illicit relations with him.

According to him Ashu was married to Virender Kumar of Ludhiana about three years ago. Though the bride's parents had spent a huge amount on her marriage, her in-laws started harassing her for bringing more dowry.

In the meantime Virender Kumar allegedly developed illicit relations with another woman and when Ashu's relatives brought the matter to the notice of his parents they showed their inability to do anything and shifted him to Maler area near here to live with his aunt. "But status of Ashu remained that of a slave here also as Virender's aunts, instead of stopping Virender from having illicit relations with the said woman, advised Ashu to keep quite," alleged Jagtar adding that her sister had informed her mother Karnail Kaur about her status in the family.

As Ashu had apprehended danger to her life she came to Jagraon on March 28. But her father, Gian Chand, somehow convinced her to adjust in the family. Gian Chand left her at Malerkotla on April 8 and persuaded her adjust according to her husband's wishes.

The Jagraon family was shocked to learn from an anonymous caller from Malerkotla that Ashu had been admitted to civil hospital Malerkotla in a serious condition yesterday. Shortly after this call, another caller told that she had died.

“Though we were told that Ashu had been shifted to a private hospital in serious condition, doctors at the said hospital maintained that she was brought dead. Strangely, they did not bother to inform us of her condition till late in the evening whereas she seemed to have died in the morning,” charged the deceased’s brother.

He further alleged that the police officials instead of showing sympathy with the aggrieved family had allegedly been harassing them unnecessarily. “One can imagine the extent of agony and grief of a family that has not been allowed to see the face of its daughter after her unnatural death,” rued Jagtar alleging that the official concerned had ignored directions of his senior regarding post mortem of the body. Post mortem was not conducted till evening today. While some police officials opined to get the post mortem conducted at Ludhiana others insisted that it should be done at Malerkotla where the death had occurred. 

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Fair deal turns ordeal
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
A fresh police inquiry has once again upheld the claim of a migrant couple from Bihar on a plot in Sat Kartar Nagar, Basti Jodhewal. The couple had bought the plot by saving money after 22 years of hard toil but a coloniser, who has been claiming that the said plot was his property, has not been allowing them to construct their dream home there.

This has been the Nth police inquiry that has validated the couple’s claim over the said plot but none of these reports has enabled the couple to construct their house. Every time they plan to go ahead with the construction work the influential coloniser either uses muscle power or political pressure to threaten them not to go ahead with construction.

It is ironical that while earlier, the couple toiled hard to earn and save money to buy the plot, now for the past one year they are making rounds of the police and administrative offices in the hope of getting protection from the evil intentions of the influential coloniser.

Though Sumitra Devi and her husband Raj Nath had got possession of the land when they had bought it, the coloniser's might was proving stronger than the power of the police officials, who had found the couple's claim to be true.

The ADGP, Internal Vigilance Cell of the Punjab Police, had found the couple's claim true. Another inquiry by a former SP of the city found them to be legal owners of the plot. Revenue records too are in their favour. Even a former SSP of the city had told the coloniser in clear terms to stay away from the land, but nothing has helped the hapless couple.

A fresh inquiry conducted by the Basti Jodhewal police on the directions of the SSP, R.K Jaiswal, has found that they have all rights to take possession of the land and to construct a house on it. Sources revealed that the police would take help of the district administration in the matter so that no one was able to prevent the couple from starting the construction work.

Narrating their tale of woes the badly tired and harassed couple said,” we had come to the city virtually as paupers 22 years ago. We worked hard to give a better life to our five children. But instead our life is being spent in making rounds to the offices of the different police officials or the courts to seek justice.’’

Incidentally, the Basti Jodhewal police had already booked the two accused persons on the basis of a high level inquiry conducted by ADGP Internal Vigilance in the case. One of them was even arrested.

The inquiry reports state that the couple has been wronged. The plot was part of a land in Kulliewal village belonging to two brothers who had a dispute over certain areas of the land. The plot falling in that area was sold off to many persons before it was finally sold to the couple.

The couple had got it duly registered in their name. The inquiry also established their true credentials and neighbours also reported that the plot was theirs. The revenue records also support their claim. 

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Mutilated body of carpenter found
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 20
The badly mutilated body of a man was found under suspicious circumstances near the railway station in the early hours today. Later, the dead was identified as carpenter Amarjit Singh, 38, of Malak village. The body was in a mutilated condition and was half naked. According to information, Amarjit Singh left his house yesterday on his scooter to make a payment of Rs 10,000 to a plywood dealer. After making the payment he parked his scooter near the level crossing on the tehsil road. Amarjit did not reach home yesterday and in the early hours today his body was found.

People of the area alleged it to be an act of a serial killer, who had committed seven murders in a few months in a similar manner. In every case the killer had killed the person by hitting him with some sharp-edged weapon near ear and then took off his trouser. The police had issued a sketch of the killer on the information provided by one of the victims, who was hit by the serial killer, but had survived. 

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Bad state of roads invites ire of residents
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
The bad state of roads in the city has finally invited the ire of city residents, who have threatened that they would protest outside the office of the civic body if the roads were not recarpeted within 10 days.

The battle for want of good roads has been on in the city for quite some time. In fact, the roads had been in a bad state before the Assembly elections and the local body had been holding the Code of Conduct responsible for the delay in the work.

This time too, the Municipal Corporation authorities have ruled out recarpeting of any road till local body elections, the activists of Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha today threatened that they would stage a dharna outside the office of MC on May 1, if Pakhowal Road was not recarpeted by April 30.

In a complaint to the city Mayor, Nahar Singh Gill, the BJYM president of Jwaddi Mandal, Sunil Sharma said the Pakhowal Road, starting from a five star hotel to Punjab Mata Nagar was in a bad shape. A number of complaints of residents had not yielded anything.

Sharma said that the recent rain had worsened the condition of the road. Huge craters were formed on the road and it was very difficult to drive safely. Many accidents were taking place everyday as many scooterists were slipping due to potholes.

‘‘So much so that the commuters were complaining of back pain. The vehicles were developing snags due to the road, ’’ added Sharma.

He said that they had written to the Secretary Local Bodies Department and Commissioner of MC also to remind them of the deadline given by them. ‘‘If a poor resident does not pay his house tax for some time, the MC humiliates them in the public by advertising to auction their house. And when they are not delivering, then who should be held responsible? It is a sad state of affairs that nobody is answerable to the people,’’ said Sharma.

He added that if the road was not recarpeted they would hold a dharna outside the Zone D office of MC at 11 am.

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Social security plan for elderly hailed 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 20
Senior citizens have hailed the decision taken by the union finance minister for formulating a proposal in the budget 2007 for the social security of senior citizens.

However, how this much hyped forthcoming legislation, which provides them legal remedy against neglect by children, will be effectively implemented remains to be seen. R.R Katyal, a senior citizen and general secretary of the Kidwai Nagar Welfare Association, feels that the national policy on older persons had always made little impact.

He said the senior citizens who form about 50 per cent of the total population generally live in miserable conditions and die uncared for.

The trend of nuclear families has also affected the older people. The government must ensure that elders are not harassed by their own children so that they can live peacefully by engaging themselves in useful activities like working for the Red Cross and other social welfare organisations and fight against social evils.

Katyal said senior citizens should be given due respect at government offices, suitable protection should be provided to the aged couples living alone. He said there was a need to formulate a model legislation in this regard.

Senior citizens deserve free medical aid, suitable homes, allotment of funds, day care, recreational centres, free bus fare scheme, concession in railway fares and quota in allotment  of flats.

Plea for senior citizens’ home

A deputation of Senior Citizens' Welfare Council, Phase 1, Urban State, Dugri, led by H.S Lamba , social worker and an adviser of the council met the Executive Engineer (PUDA) at PUDA office and put forth demand for getting work on Senior Citizens’ Home project finished soon.

The executive engineer assured members of the delegation Senior Citizens’ Home would be ready soon as work was in progress.

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City Centre Scam
One of the accused is gold medal winner 
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, April 20
From a President’s gold medal winner to now an accused in the alleged City Centre scam is what time has brought upon Ashwajit Singh, a director of Infrastructure Professionals Enterprises (IPE). He is one of the 19 accused in the case.

While applying for anticipatory bail, he disclosed in his petition that he was awarded the President’s gold medal for securing the first position in India in the company secretary examination. Earlier, he had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking bail, but his application was disposed of with the direction to him to file a bail plea before the Ludhiana court on April 17.

Taking cognisance of the his application, special judge Gurbir Singh today issued a notice to the Vigilance Bureau for April 24. The court also issued a notice for the same date to the Vigilance Bureau on the anticipatory bail application filed by Sanjeev Kumar Gupta, general manager (marketing and sales) of Today Homes Company.

Claiming himself to be innocent, the Director of IPE submitted that he did nothing wrong. The job of his company was advisory in nature. IPE company had successfully completed many assignments in over 10 states in the country. Even now the company’s project were undergoing in five countries. The alleged scam related to the sale/disposal of the property, whereas the company had nothing to do with the sales, said the petition.

Whereas, another accused Gupta submitted in his bail plea that he was associated with Today Homes company only for four months and 10 days from May 20, 2006, to September 30, 2006. His duty was regarding ‘publicity’ in Punjab and he had not done any sales.

It may be recalled that the court had earlier fixed the same date for hearing the bail application of former local bodies minister Jagjit Singh and one Sourav Gupta, an employee of Today Homes. 

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Officials inspect mandis
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
In the wake of strict guidelines issued by the state government for the speedy purchase of wheat from various mandis of Punjab, a team of senior Markfed officials today conducted a survey of the ongoing procurement process.

A team led by G.S Grewal, managing director, and N.L Chadha, deputy manager, Markfed, and others paid a visit to the mandis and looked at the arrangements. The team also inspected the mandis at Khanna and Jagraon. They also spoke to the farmers and listened to the various suggestions regarding the process under way.

Later, while talking to the mediapersons, Grewal said their organisation was one among the various agencies tasked with the procurement of the crops in 2007-2008.

The MD said the state target of wheat procurement was 19.80 lakh MT and Markfed would achieve this target in the coming days. As on April 19, Markfed had procured 7.25 lakh MT wheat for the central pool besides procurement of 52,288 MT wheat for the state pool account as well as commercial purchase of 1,292 MT.

Out of above, state figure of 1292 MT, 733 MT commercial purchase was made by Markfed in Ludhiana district, he added.

Grewal instructed the procurement staff to ensure timely payment of procured wheat within 24 hours of purchase and likewise procured stocks should be lifted within 36 to 48 hours. Any transgression in this context would be dealt severely, he added.

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Locals honoured on Parshuram jayanti

Amloh, April 20
People should rise above casteism and provide relief to the needy, asserted Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, MLA and member of the All-India Congress Committee, while addressing a function, here, yesterday. The Brahman Sabha organised the function to celebrate Parshuram jayanti.

A few local residents were honoured on the occasion. They include advocate Ashwani Kumar, ETO Bharat Bhushan, chief vigilance officer Om Parkash, district attorney Ashok Kumar Sharma, senior medical officer Shashi Shukla, former vice-president of the municipal council Kishore Chand Sharma, former secretary of the market committee Kamlesh Chhiba and Punjabi poet Kailash Amlohi for their valuable services towards society.

A social worker, Dr Raghbir Shukla, the sabha chief, Dev Rattan Sharma, the BJP district vice-president, Rajpal Garg, and D.R. Sood also spoke on the occasion.
 — OC

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Posting of SDM sought

Samrala, April 20
The post of SDM of this subdivision has been lying vacant since Baldev Singh was shifted to Tarn Taran more than one week ago. This is causing hardship to general public of Samrala tehsil as well as Machhiwara sub tehsil. The local people had approached local MLA Jagjeewan Singh Kheernian for the posting of a new SDM at the earliest.

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6 booked for bid to grab land
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 20
Sudagar Singh, Bahadur Singh, Nirmal Singh, Gurmit Singh and Pal Singh of Mansooran and Baljit Singh of Pamali were booked on the charge of trying to take forcible possession of a plot belonging to Pargat Singh of Mansooran. The Sudhar police has registered a case under Sections 448, 427, 511, 148, 149 of the IPC.

Stolen goods recovered

A police party headed by ASI Jagmohan Singh Humbran intercepted Parmod, Parvesh Kumar, Mukesh and Dichan of Basaimi village and recovered from their possession a stolen 5 hp electronic motor belonging to Sukhwinder Singh of the same village. A case under sections 379, 411 of the IPC has been registered.

One booked for assault

Prem Chand of Kauke Kalan allegedly assaulted Surjan Singh of his village with a sharp-edged weapon. The injured has been admitted to the local Civil Hospital. The local police has registered a case under sections 323, 324, IPC. Old enmity is said to be reason behind the assault. 

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Rs 1 lakh looted from cattle trader 
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 20
A local cattle trader, who was brought home in an unconscious condition , was suspected to have been robbed of cash and valuables by some miscreants at some unknown place last night.

However, the police is yet to initiate action as no information about the incident was available.

Ved Parkash Sharma, a cattle trader of the Vishwakarma Mandir area, who had left his home last morning, was brought back in a rickshaw in an injured and unconscious state today. Though the exact amount that was robbed was yet to be ascertained, relatives of the victim suspected that over Rs 1 lakh had been taken away by the miscreants.

Sukhdev Singh, SHO (City), said action could be initiated only after receiving first hand information from either the victim or someone who might have seen him going in a particular direction.

According to Raghunandan Sharma, a senior Congress leader and Block Samiti member from Sihar, his brother-in-law, Ved Parkash, had left his home on his motor cycle early in the morning on Wednesday. As he used to transact business in rural areas surrounding the town and used to return home by evening everyday, nobody suspected anything when he did not return till evening. But when he did not return till late evening then his family members started looking for him

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Dugri clash
One booked for molestation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
The tussle between two groups of anti-Sikh riot victims for the possession of flats in Dugri, Phase-II, took a serious turn when the police booked one Bobby, who leads a group, and his several unknown accomplices for allegedly outraging the modesty of a number of women in their bid to get the flats forcibly vacated and occupy the vacant ones.

The Model Town police today registered a case under sections 354, 323, 356, 506, 34 of the IPC against the accused on the complaint of the victim women. Police sources said no case need be registered on the complaint of the PUDA officials about their attempt to occupy the flats.

Meanwhile, president of the Danga Peerat Welfare Society Surjit Singh has in a press conference demanded action against the officials of PUDA for allegedly allowing many families of migrant labourers to live in the flats. He alleged that some officials were charging rent from the migrants.

However, executive officer of PUDA Jeet Ram denied the allegations. He said many riot victims were living illegally and PUDA was fighting a case for the vacation of flats in court.

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New insurance policy for villagers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
Bharti AXA Life Insurance Company, private life insurance joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and AXA, launched a new insurance policy ServSuraksha for rural population.

The first customers of the product are around 500 farmers spread across 50 villages in the Ludhiana region, including Barundi, Fatehpura, Gobindpura, Jogi Majra, Malakpur and Rasulpur.

"Our rural initiative in Ludhiana is an important addition to our product portfolio as it articulates our brand promise of helping diverse categories of Indian consumers," said Nitin Chopra, CEO, Bharti AXA Life.

He said ServSuraksha is a single premium, non-participating policy, which offers death benefit amounting to 25 times the single premium or assured maturity benefit of 110 per cent of the premium paid on survival. The policy term is five years, with a 'free-look' option.

"As a single premium policy with no requirement for medical underwriting, it affordable and easy to buy for the rural segments of the country," the company said.

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