L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

MC poll seat allotment
Fissures in SAD-BJP alliance
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 8
Just two months after their alliance brought them to power in the state, fissures have started appearing in the Shiromani Akali Dal and Bhartiya Janta Party leadership in the city over the allotment of seats in the coming municipal corporation elections.

While the BJP wants a bigger share in the MC election cake this time, stating it has a stronger base in the urban areas and has proved its worth in the Assembly elections, the SAD leaders say that their party was the major party of the state, and if not more, they should be given equal seats as their alliance partners.

The BJP leaders have staked their claim on five more wards in the city, which were recently announced after the delimitation. The city was demarcated into 75 wards compared to previous 70.

The SAD leaders, however, say that they the division of wards should be equal. “BJP is our alliance partner and the combine has given us a very good harvest. But considering that the SAD was a major party of the state, we should be at least treated equally,” said Mr Harbhajan Singh Dang, SAD leader of opposition in the MC house.

During the last elections, the SAD and BJP had contested on 35 seats each and this time BJP leaders said they wanted to contest 40 seats.

“Our leaders contested on two seats in city during the Assembly elections and emerged winners. We have a strong base here and we should be given more seats this time. We have already conveyed this to our party leadership and the alliance partners would decide among themselves the next course of action, ’’ said a BJP leader requesting anonymity.

Sources said the BJP leaders were so sure of winning more seats in the MC elections that they were staking their claims for the post of city mayor. Several names of leaders were making rounds in the party circles, who had already conveyed to the senior leadership about their capabilities.

More than the BJP leaders, numerous SAD leaders have already started gathering support for becoming a mayor in the next MC house.



Women seek shifting of liquor vend
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Chubki (Ludhiana), May 8
Braving heat and the scare of sticks-brandishing muscle men, a group of women and schoolgirls have been staging a dharna outside a liquor vend in this village, 5 km from Alamgir, for eight days demanding the shifting of the vend, which was too close to the road and a high school and not far away from a religious place.

While the Mahela Mandal, block Pakhowal, threatened to continue the dharna with the active participation of schoolgirls till the vend is shifted, the district excise and taxation department today categorically rejected the demand.

Tension was building up at the site with the excise department and the liquor vend owner looking towards the police to stop their “harassment” at the hands of the protesting women. The women were in no mood to stop the protest saying the vend was too close to the road and schoolgirls were facing problems while going on the road.

DSP Paramjit Singh, however, said it was the matter between the protesters, liquor vend and the excise department and the police would only intervene if a complaint was made to it or there was a law and order problem.

Assistant excise and taxation commissioner D.K. Verma said the liquor vend had not come up in violation of any rules and the matter had been discussed, analysed and investigated thoroughly not only by the excise department but also by district administration.

He said his team of officials had measured the distance from the road and other institutions and found that the vend was situated at a fair distance from them as per the norms.

He said he had been informed that some vested interests were trying to shift the liquor vend as the owner had taken a new shop this time.

Sarbjit Kaur, Gurdev Kaur and Kamaljit Kaur, members of the Mahela Mandal and leading the protest, said the liquor vend was causing grave problems for the women and it had become a major cause for nuisance for the area residents.

They said drunkards consumed liquor right on the road and pass lewd comments at women and girls.

The women are staging dharna by sitting all day in a shamiana erected near the vend. At times, they come and raise slogans on the road blocking traffic on the Alamgir-Jassowal road.

The women raised slogans against the SAD-BJP government today claiming that no leader had come to their aid and to solve the matter amicably.



Elopement leads to tension in localities
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 8
The alleged elopement of a Hindu girl with a Muslim youth, 48 hours before she was scheduled to marry a youth chosen by her parents, has been creating trouble in Hargobind Nagar and Amarpura Colony of the Shingar police Chowki area since late last evening.

The girl was scheduled to get married to a boy chosen by her parents tomorrow, but she allegedly eloped with a Muslim boy. The relatives of the girl have claimed in the FIR that the girl is a minor. 

Angry relatives of the missing girl went on a rampage this morning when they attacked the house of the youth, Altaf Khan. No one was present in the house at that time as the youth’s parents and other relatives went into hiding.

The elopement has not led to any communal tension so far, thanks to the intervention of some BJP leaders, who are supporting the missing youth. Altaf is a tailor.

However, the girl’s parents vent their ire against the local BJP leaders’ intervention by staging a protest in front of the deputy speaker and senior BJP leader Satpal Gosain house.

The girl’s parents had staged a massive dharna outside the Shingar police post last night accusing the police of not taking any action into the matter. Tension prevailed in the area all night with additional force sent to control the mob.

The police today claimed to have arrested two youths, including a brother and another relative of the missing boy. Altaf has also been booked under section 363 and 366 of the IPC.

The relatives of the girl have claimed in the FIR that the girl is a minor. However, they had fixed her marriage for May 9, despite her minor status. ASI Rajinder Kumar, in charge, Shingar police post, said the police had registered the FIR as per the statement of the relatives and the status of the girl’s age would be determined later on the verification of certificates.

He said the police was conducting raids to nab the accused. The police had also build up pressure on the youth to surrender by arresting his relatives.

Police sources said the youth was earlier working as a tailor near the house of the girl in Hargobind Nagar. He later shifted to Amarpura colony after the girl’s relatives came to know about their closeness.

The police has deployed security around the house of the missing youth to prevent further attacks.



Cable theft leaves 3,000 phones dead
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 8
The Shimla Puri police suspects the role of a notorious gang of cable thieves behind the massive stealing of telephone cables worth Rs 10 lakh which has left more than 3000 telephones and other banking services dead from underground laid ducts in and around the Gill Road Chowk yesterday.

The police registered a case against the unknown theives today.

The theft took place despite the police assurance given to the telephone department about increasing the vigil during night at such places.

This is the third big incident in which a huge quantity of cables has been stolen on major busy roads of Ludhiana.

The restoration work of telephone services is likely to take more than a week.



Cop found hanging in room

Khamano, May 8
Head constable Avtar Singh of the Punjab Police, posted at the Khamano police station, was found hanging from a fan in his room in the morning. He had been doing his duty here for about six months.

According to Balwinder Singh Randhawa SHO, Khamano, Avtar Singh had gone to his room at about 7 p.m. after doing his duty. Another head constable residing in his room was on duty last night. When he went to his room in the morning at about 7 a.m., the door was closed from inside. He knocked the door but did not receive any answer. He then called his other colleagues and when they entered the room, they found Avtar Singh hanging from the fan, with a turban. — OC



Airtel penalised
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, May 8
Disconnecting the mobile telephone connection of a consumer for a couple of days without any cogent reason has proved dearly to Bharti Mobile Limited (Airtel).

Coming down heavily on Airtel, the consumer forum has directed the company to pay Rs 10,000 to the aggrieved consumer for causing unnecessary harassment to him.

A.S. Narula, president of the forum, and its members, Puja Dewan and Daljit Singh Bakshi, pronounced the order while deciding the complaint filed by a city lawyer, Harjot Singh. In its decision, the forum held that the company was not justified in recovering the pending dues of a connection from another consumer, with the pretext that the residential addresses of both connection holders were same.



Sangat darshan receives 54 new complaints
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 8
Deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar has directed the officers of all departments to take the complaints of the public submitted at the sangat darshan programme seriously and submit the action taken report positively at the next sangat darshan programme.

The deputy commissioner was presiding over the weekly sangat darshan programme held under his chairmanship at Bachat Bhawan here today in which 54 new complaints were received and 35 disposed of from the earlier pending 72 complaints submitted at the last sangat darshan programmes.

Taking a serious view of the absence of some district heads at the sangat darshan, the deputy commissioner told the district heads to personally remain present at the programme in future. In case, one could not attend due to unavoidable circumstances, then a senior officer next to him should attend and he should be properly prepared to answer the action taken by the department.

Reviewing the action taken report on the pending applications, the deputy commissioner asked revenue officers to efficiently dispose of the cases pending in their offices regarding the partition of lands/plots and of mutation etc, so that, such complaints should not appear in sangat darshan.



Jewellery, cash looted at pistol point 
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 8
Two armed persons have allegedly snatched belongings of Daljit Kaur, teacher of Kalsan Government School, at Kalsan Dadha Hur Road during day time. The snatched items included gold chain, ring and cash.

According to information, the incident occurred while she was on the way on her scooty.

The two accused persons belonging to the age group of 35 to 40 were on their scooter. They intercepted Daljit Kaur and demanded the ornaments and cash. On her refusal, one of them pointed out a pistol and snatched the items.

They also snatched her bank passbook and I-card and fled with the booty.

The Raikot police has registered a case.

20 booked for assault

In four separate incidents, the Sudhar, Jagraon and Raikot police has booked 20 persons on the charge of assault.

In the first incident, Gurwinder Singh, Amarjit Singh and his brother Darshan Singh, Balwant Singh, Balwinder Singh, Manpreet Singh, Harinder Singh and Amarjit Singh of Nangal Kalan allegedly stopped Kulwant Singh of their village and assaulted him with gandasi, tangli and sword.

In the second, Nahar Singh of Totla Pati Lamme allegedly entered into the house of Harnek Singh of his village and assaulted him with lathis.

In the third incidents, Gurwinder Singh, Kala Singh, Pala Singh and his brother Gurjit Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Ved Parkesh Rawel and Kulwant Singh of Basian allegedly intercepted Baldev Singh of their village and assaulted him with sticks.

In the last incident, Sandeep Singh of Hans Kalan, Jodh Singh of Hiran and Bant Singh of Kokri Kalan allegedly assaulted Sukhwinder Singh of Hans Kalan with sharp-edged weapons.

Cases have been registered. 



Unidentified body found
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 8
An unidentified man's body was found in Jandiali village. Though the identity of the aged man was not known, some people have claimed to the police that he was a mentally challenged man often seen roaming on the roads.

The Ramgarh police was conducting investigation under Sections 174 of the Cr PC. The body has been sent for post-mortem examination.



Booked for sending obscene SMS
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 8
A woman journalist with an English newspaper has lodged a complaint against a Jalandhar-based man for allegedly sending her obscene message (SMS) on mobile phone.

The city police has registered an FIR under section 294 of the IPC against the man on the basis of his mobile number. No arrest has been made so far.



Electroplating units show little seriousness on CETP
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 8
Poor response from within the electroplating industry to avail membership to the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) formed to put the Common Affluent Treatment Plant (CETP) to operation is giving industry representatives sleepless nights.

Even as the deadline to put the CETP is approaching and the tenders too are near finalisation stage, large majority of electroplating units are yet to come forward and become members of the SPV.

So far, only 120 units of the total over 550 units here have availed membership. This, despite the fact, that units that fail to become members might have to face closure.

After requests from the industry, the P.Ram Committee, that had earlier ordered closure of electroplating units if they failed to get the CETP operational, extended the deadline to put the treatment plant to operation to May 31, 2007. The committee also clarified that "no further extension would be allowed at any cost and units shall stand closed after May 31, 2007".

According to sources, the SPV named Ludhiana Effluent Treatment Society, formed for the purpose, has finalised the contractor for transportation of water to be carried for the treatment. Lukewarm response from electroplating units could jeopardise the entire efforts being made by the SPV as the plant requires a minimum quality of water to process.

Besides, the SPV could even face financial problem if not many units respond.

“We are quite disappointed with the response from electroplating units. Despite continual reminders and also being told that they might face closure, not many units are coming forward,” said Joginder Kumar, CEO of the Ludhiana Effluent Treatment Society.

The membership would mean a fee of Rs 2,500 plus, an additional annual charge alongwith expenses on individual basis. “We are quite keen to put the CETP to operation and want to tell the ones who are reluctant to become members of the SPV that they should be ready to face closure,” added Kumar.

Industry representatives had also urged the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) to make efforts to help the industry in the direction. The board sent letters to units but even that failed to evoke the desired response.



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