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Man held for leaving infant daughter at orphanage
Child restored to mother; 3 others also booked
Mahesh Sharma

Khanna, May 19
Paying for his heartlessness in leaving his infant daughter at an orphanage, Rajesh Sood, a resident of Moga, is cooling his heels in police custody after being booked along with three other members of his family under Section 317 of the IPC.

The case has been registered on the statement of Ambika Sood, the mother of the child, who had earlier approached the women and child security cell of the local police to seek rehabilitation and justice.

Though the police has succeeded in uniting the mother and child, it is yet to establish the modus operandi used by the suspects to fool the authorities at Pushpa Gujral Nari Niketan, Jalandhar, into believing that the child was an 'orphan'.

Ambika, who is daughter of Ramesh Grover a resident of the local Mata Rani area, had taken refuge at her relatives’ place here after being deserted by her in-laws.

She has accused her in-laws of allegedly harassing her for bringing insufficient dowry, forcing her to get sex determination test conducted and later, even forcing her to get the pregnancy terminated.

Ambika told the police that she had got married to Rajesh Sood of Moga about two years ago. Her parents, besides spending a huge amount on the marriage ceremony, had also given handsome dowry at the time of her marriage. However, immediately after the marriage, her in-laws started harassing her for bringing more dowry.

“As my parents expressed their inability to meet my in-laws’ demands, I tolerated their atrocities till they forced me to get the sex of the foetus determined and tried to get it aborted as it was a female foetus,” Ambika told the police.

She also alleged that her in-laws had thrown her out of the house when she had refused to get the abortion done. Later, she gave birth to a female child at Khanna in June, 2006.

Though Ambika's parents informed her in-laws about the birth of the baby girl, later named Pankhuri, they refused to accept the mother and the child.

When all her efforts for reconciliation with the in-laws failed, Ambika left her daughter at the shop of her father-in-law on April 14 this year. But she was shocked to learn that her husband, instead of accepting the child, tried to get rid of her by leaving her at an orphanage. On this a harried Ambika approached the orphanage to get her child back. When officials at Pushpa Gujral Nari Niketan, Jalandhar, expressed their inability to hand over the child to her, she approached Gautam Cheema, SSP, Khanna, to help her get her daughter back. Cheema directed the SHO Khanna City, Buland Singh, to register a case against the suspects and do the needful to reunite the mother and child.

“Though we have succeeded in getting the child handed over to Ambika Sood, we are yet to establish the modus operandi of the suspects,” said Buland Singh, adding that a team led by Gurbachan Singh had been sent to the orphanage to inspect the documents on the basis of which the child had been declared an 'orphan'.

While Rajesh Sood has been arrested by the police, other accused are still at large.



Suicide by saas
Bahu held from Mohali; let off
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
The case of suicide by a mother-in-law because of harassment by her daughter-in-law generated immense heat today with the railway police first arresting the accused daughter-in-law from Mohali and later releasing her allegedly under pressure of senior Punjab and Railway police officials.

This triggered vociferous protests by the relatives and friends of the deceased, Dilip Kaur. They staged an over two-hour-long dharna in front of the Government Railway Police station in the afternoon.

The police said it would arrest the main accused, Sonia Gandhi, and others only after getting analysis report of the handwriting of the deceased.

Even though the local officials had followed the law by registering a case on prima facie evidence and complaint of the relatives, also underlined by a Supreme Court order, senior officials shot down the move to produce the accused woman in court after duly arresting her.

Instead, Sonia Gandhi, daughter of a Mohali-based former SP M.S Sethi, was let off after furnishing bail in the police station itself. Police sources said the senior officials had questioned the registration of the case against her and had termed it to be a hasty move.

The senior officials have directed local cops to first investigate if the alleged suicide note was actually written by the deceased before her death. Sources said senior officials felt there was possibility that the woman had died in an accident and later some family member had written the note to falsely implicate Sonia and her family.

Kulbir Singh, a close relative of the aggrieved family, said the suicide note was written by the woman only, "We have a diary written by her and the handwriting tallies with that in the suicide note."

He said the police had been fooling them since morning by telling them that the accused woman would be produced in a court and they should make all preparations but in the afternoon, they coolly admitted that she had been let off.

Earlier in the morning, lot of drama took place in Sector-39 Mohali residence of the former SP Sethi. A railway police team led by SI Harbans Singh raided the house at 3 am. The raiding team took along a team from the Sector 39 police station. Senior police officials intervened at that time only but the accused was taken into custody and brought to Ludhiana.

Sources revealed that an ADGP of the Punjab Police was intervening on behalf of the accused family. SI Harbans Singh declined to make any comment. He said the local police was just following the proper procedure under which an accused can be arrested only after it was proved that the hand writing was of the deceased woman only.

Meanwhile, Sonia has, in a statement to the police, denied that she was harassing her mother-in-law and others.

She said, in fact, she was the victim as her husband planned to desert her after settling in Canada.

She said she had left the house in September last year and if she was a cause of the trouble then why had the suicide taken place after so many months.



Peace returns as tension defused in Mullanpur
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
Normalcy returned to the region today with no major protest or demonstration taking place other than minor tension in Mullanpur Dakha due to a protest by activists of Damdami Taksal and other radical Sikh organisations who demanded the ban on the entry of Sacha Sauda chief in Punjab.

The police and para-military forces took out a flag march through various parts of the city and towns in the district to infuse a sense of security among the residents. Markets worked in routine and traders had a roaring business after a day-long peaceful work.

At Mullanpur, additional force had to rush in the afternoon when hundreds of activists of Damdami Taksal took out a march raising provocating slogans and planned to move to Gohar village branch of Sacha Sauda Dera.

The police, however, successfully convinced them to maintain peace. Rumours of firing in Mullanpur, flashed by an English news channel added to the confusion and tension, but thankfully the heavy presence of the police force prevented the situation from taking an ugly turn. The taksal activists handed over a memorandum of demands to an executive magistrate and returned peacefully.

SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar who supervised the maintenance of peace said the taksal leaders maintained peace.



Petrol station looters nabbed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
The focal point police has claimed to have busted a gang expert in looting petrol stations at gunpoint or by throwing red chilli powder in the eyes of salesmen in the region.

Two main members of the gang have been arrested. They had allegedly looted cash from Apex petrol station of Reliance last morning.

Addressing a press conference at Sherpur police post, SP City-II Harish Kumar and DSP Harmohan Singh said a team led by Inspector Sandeep Kumar nabbed the duo--Alok Kumar and Kamaljit Singh-- last night and recovered a bag containing Rs 950 that they had snatched from the Reliance petrol station.

The cops have also recovered a stolen motor cycle, a gun and pouch containing red chilli powder from the accused.

Harish Kumar said the accused had looted Ram Singh and Sons Petrol Pump near Mundian Kalan on Chandigarh road three weeks ago. They had snatched a mobile phone from a pedestrian on a 33-foot road the same night.

Last week, they allegedly looted Modern Petrol Pump at gunpoint and decamped with Rs 3500. They also filled a full tank of the motor cycle. They used this stolen vehicle in all the incidents.



Sikh organisations take out protest march
Our Correspondent

Amloh, May 19
A protest march was taken out from gurdwara Singh Sabha here today against the anti-Panthic activities of the Dera Sacha Sauda chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. The protesters passed through the main bazaar and presented a memorandum to the SDM Amloh. The protest march was organised by SGPC member of the area Ravinder Singh Khalsa along with other Sikh organisations and gurdwara committees of neighbouring villages.

The markets were closed when the protesters took out the march and were reopened later. Elaborate arrangements were made by the police to maintain peace. The protesters raised slogans against the baba. The march remained peaceful. The schools, however, functioned as usual in the town.

The protesters demanded registration of a case against the dera chief and his followers for their alleged involvement in attacks on Sikhs and to nail the anti-Sikh activities of the dera and also to register a case against the killers of Kanwaljit Singh. They demanded ban on the entry of Baba in the state and sealing of his deras.

Members of the women’s wing of Sukhmani Sahib Sewa Society, president of Amloh Gurdwara Committee Jasvir Singh, SAD leaders Jathedar Hari Singh Machhrai, Jathedar Kahla Singh, Jathedar Kuldeep Singh Machhrai, former block samiti chairperson Paramjit Kaur and Jathedar Parmjeet Singh Khanian, led the march.



Peace march held

Samrala, May 19
Hundreds of workers and leaders belonging to various organisations hold a peace march in the city, against the gathering to solve the issue, here today. The march demonstrated regardless of Section 144 throughout Punjab. The police and administrator appeared to be unaware or under pressure of the ruling party.

On the occasion Sarbans Singh (Manki), president of Youth Akali Dal, Sudesh Kumar (Hindu-Sikh), Jagraon Manch and Jathedar Kartar Singh and Kirpal Singh Khirnian, member of the SGPC were present. Mohinder Singh Bhanglaw urged to the gathering to meet the challenge given by the Dera chief.

So far, no arrest has been made for breaking the section. — OC



NRI gifts valuables to poor girls

Khamano, May 19
A NRI Gurpal Singh, resident of Nanol, near here, has contributed valuables worth almost Rs 55,000 at three marriages of poor girls in the Khamano area.

These marriages were solemnised at Khamano, Lakhanpur and Jalanpur. He gifted valuables to the newlywed girls which included, bed, trunk, chairs, fan, iron press, mattress, suits, utensils and sewing machine worth over Rs 20,000.

Gurpal Singh resides at Toran in Canada, said he was motivated to contribute in such marriages when he read about mass marriages being funded by NRIs on the Internet. Being inspired, he decided to help poor families in Khamano area. — OC



Saluting the prowess of great Indian Mind
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
Saluting the great Indian Mind that is being recognised world over, speakers at the HCL Mind Conclave here last night underlined the need to harness the widespread talent across the country. They said people like Laxmi Niwas Mittal, Narayan Murthy, Sunil Bharti Mittal and others were not exceptions, but just examples of the great Indian mind that has made its mark felt across the globe.

According to Ajai Chawdhry, chairman and chief executive officer of HCL, the conclave is the nationwide initiative of the HCL Infosystems to propagate the thought called Mindia (mind India).

He said, "Mindia is our way of saluting the prowess of the great Indian Mind."

He pointed out, "Today we find that across the globe, India is fast becoming a force to reckon with in all fields". He said the reason behind this success was the Indian mind and its unlimited, yet multidimensional, prowess. He remarked, "It is this India Mind that binds us all Indians together, irrespective of geography, caste, creed or hierarchy."

Chowdhry disclosed that eminent people who have excelled in their fields are invited to deliver keynote addresses during these conclaves. "It is basically a reflection of the great minds as how they think that the real talent can be harnessed as their is abundance of it prevailing all over the country", he said.

Yesterday it was the 22nd conclave organised in the industrial capital of North India with three main speakers. They included S.K. Sulvan, vice-chancellor of Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, V.K. Goyal, chief executive of the Vardhaman Spinning and General Mills, and Mahesh Munjal, managing director of Hero Majestic Autos.

The focus of the three speakers was harnessing the huge talent prevailing across the country. They pointed out that there were umpteen number of people who had excelled and very few had got due recognition. They said the coming decade would belong to India as there is a vast bank of human resources with brilliant minds. They observed it was not that only those who studied in IIMs and IITs were outstandingly brilliant. There were thousands others who did not get the due opportunity. "And opportunities need to be created to ensure that the talent does not go waste," the asserted. 



City Muslims seek dismissal of Hyderabad policemen
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
The All-India Majlis Ahrar Islam Hind has condemned police firing on the Muslim protesters in Hyderabad, which left seven persons dead. They were protesting against the bomb blast in the Mecca mosque of Hyderabad, in which five persons were killed on Friday.

An emergency meeting of the majlis was held, here, today under the chairmanship of its national president, Maulana Habib-u-Rehman Sani Ludhianvi.

The majlis condemned the police’s act of resorting to the unprovoked firing on innocent Muslim protesters.

The Majlis in an appeal to the President of India, A.P.J.Abdul Kalam have sought the dismissal of the police officers responsible for the firing on the protesters.

The Maulana said the Muslim community was yet to recover from the shock over the killing of the members in the bomb blast during the Friday prayers in Hyderabad, and later the police’s brutal act of firing at the innocent and killing seven persons.



40 couples to marry today

Samrala, May 19
Chief Minister of Panjab Parkash Singh Badal will come here today to participate in a public function in which about forty new couples are likely to get married. This function will be organised by the local social organisations. — OC



Kent RO to increase turnover
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
Buoyant on market for water purifiers Kent Mineral RO systems is expecting its turnover to increase to Rs 100 crore from the existing Rs 60 crore within a year. The company is taking initiatives like a tie up with Indian Oil for distribution of its products at petrol stations and LPG outlets across the country, apart from improving its own distribution system with a view to tapping the "high" potential.

Mahesh Gupta, managing director of the company, in an interview to the Ludhiana Tribune, said: "Awareness on drinking pure water is increasing across all categories of customers. The estimated market is 4.5 million and is growing annually at 25 per cent. We are adopting various strategies to tap this potential."

Open to forging more such liaisons across other industries, the company would also make its products available with retail networks like Big Bazaar and Reliance. Gupta said such tie-ups helped the company reach out to a wider base of consumers as it was able to gain access to a different category of people through these channels.

"The synergy that exists between the two brands will further create a win -win situation for everyone. The wide network of Indian Oil will help Kent RO to make its product available in all the nooks and corners across the country in addition to its own pan India presence. The consumers will be benefited as they get product at their doorsteps,” he added.

Punjab is a major market for the company and is second after Delhi. The company expects to double its sale in Punjab in comparison to last year. "The latest technology for water purification being offered by us has been accepted very well by people here and we are hopeful of further rise in sale."

Kent is also planning to double its distributor network from the existing 80 in Punjab and Haryana by the end of next fiscal year.

The company also launched its three stages advanced Ultra Violet water purifier in the city today. The new purifier, said Gupta, is equipped with nann silver technology and has been developed after a rigorous R & D.

"It has been specially designed keeping in mind the quality of drinking water available to an average household. We have taken special care of pricing so that the product can meet requirement of a large section of society who need water purifier but at affordable prices."

With this the company expects to fill in the vacuum between high-end water purification systems available in the market and obsolete technology UV systems.



Rajasthani food fest at Park Plaza
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
Rajasthani food festival is being organised at hotel Majestic Park Plaza in its Punj Spice restaurant. The festival brings the best cuisine picked up straight from majestic palaces in the land of maharajas. According to Sabya Sachi Chatterjee, the Rajasthani food festival is being organised on popular demand.

While executive chef Sudhanshu Rajhans is supervising the arrangement, special master chef from Rajasthan C. R. Parmar has created a unique combination of delicacies with a varied variety. Coming from Jodhpur, he has brought some unique ingredients to be utilised for various preparations during the festival.

A few of these ingredients include kodra karang, babaliya, mogariya ban, ker, sangri and kumatia. The earthen tawa brought from Pokhran is being be used to cook bajre ki roti and makki ki roti to get the real flavour of 'Rajasthani mitti'.

Maharaja and Maharani thalis have been introduced to get the complete experience of the vivid taste of Rajasthani food. To enrich the theme, there are khasta mogar kachori, Jodhpuri mirchi wada, dahi wada Bikaneri, pink city kebab, paneer ke gatte, ker daagh, gobind gatta curry, palak rajbhog, kaboli pulao, ghewars, anjeer aur kaju ki jalebi and thor.

Internationally acclaimed folk singer from Jodhpur, Samder Khan Langa, and his group are performing live.



Over 100 women get beauty tips
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 19
More than 100 women, including young girls, attended a five-day personal grooming workshop at Grace Beauty Clinic, which concluded, here, today.

Indira Ahluwalia, beauty consultant to Zee TV, conducted the workshop. On the occasion an interaction was organised where problems and queries regarding personal grooming were addressed.

The workshop aimed at providing detailed knowledge of beauty aids, material and easy techniques that young girls could follow and practise at home.

An analysis was conducted individually on each participant’s skin and hair-care problems. The participants were asked to bring the beauty products they used at home, so that they could be specifically advised whether it suited them or not.

The workshop covered skin care and make-up tips, hair-care, hair-setting and hair-styles and also different styles of saree-draping.

Speaking on saree draping, Ahluwalia said it was an apparel which is evergreen and never out of fashion.

She highlighted the fact that there are various saree draping styles, like the traditional north Indian style, Maharashtrian style, Gujrati style, Tamilian and Keralite style. 



Colourful Rajasthani articles in city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 19
An exhibition of Rajasthani fabrics, handlooms, dress material for salwar suits, Rajasthani Ghagra choli, quilts and paintings of Mughal style is being held at Nehru Sidhant Kender and will continue till June 5.

Vasudev, incharge of the exhibition, said the exhibition was organised by the Rajasthani Handloom Primary Weavers Co-operative Society to encourage the weavers of the state.



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