L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Names six persons
Girl alleges gangrape
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
A Raikot based girl has alleged that a group of six persons, including three girls, raped her in a hotel on Ludhiana-Ferozepore road and even video-filmed her.

The police has registered an FIR on her statement and booked six persons identified by her. However, the police is still doubtful about the authenticity of the sequence of events narrated by the complainant.

Investigations were on to find out if the girl was a wilful member of the group activity and had made the complaint after some dispute with the other members.

Police sources said whatever the outcome, the case would definitely help in taking the lid off from suspicious activities going on in such hotels.

As per the FIR lodged in division no. 5 police station, those arrested are, Ashish Garg, Ashish Aggarwal, C.K. Mitra and three girls, Mandeep, Aman and Bubly.

Police sources said the boys belonged to rich families while the victim was from a lower middle class family. However, the family details of the accused girls were yet to be ascertained.

The accused have been booked under Section 376, 120B and 506 of the IPC. No arrests have been made so far.

Police sources said raids were being conducted to recover the alleged video-film before it is circulated in the market. The complainant claimed she was tricked into the meeting and later, gang raped.

A police official said no hotel can encourage any wilful organisation of such group meetings.

SSP R.K. Jaiswal had issued orders few months back, asking the staff to keep an eye on such people and hotels and take immediate action against them.

The city being the financial capital of the state, has no dearth of rich youth and men on look out for prostitutes or organising strip tease parties.



10 months on, caved-in road awaits recarpeting
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
It has taken around 10 months for the local authorities to repair a road that had caved in front of R S Model School in Model Town.

Though the leaking sewer line that led to the road caving in has been repaired the road is yet to be recarpeted.

The part of road had caved in on September 2 last year leaving one person injured. Since then the repair work was being delayed.

The work was the joint responsibility of Water Supply and Sewerage Board and the Municipal Corporation, which had to recarpet the road.

The WSSB took around 10 months to repair the sewer line and the entire patch of land. The authorities had been claiming that the process took time as a concrete core wall was erected around a sewer pipe of 153 inches diameter so that any leakage did not eat into the earth which gave in 10 months ago.

Moreover, the earth on the sides was also giving in so the labourers had to be very cautious while taking up the work.

But now, when the sewer line has been repaired, the MC is taking its own time to recarpet the road. The caved-in road was causing a lot of inconvenience to the commuters who were demanding that work be completed soon.

The MC officials said that the delay was justified as the WSSB had prepared a special design for the place so that the road does not meet the same fate after some time.

The same part of the road had sunk some years ago too and the repeat of events happened on September 2 because it was reconstructed casually.

But the commuters do not agree. They argue that even if the time consumed on sewer repair was justified, why is the MC taking so long to recarpet a few metres of road?

‘‘If a VIP was to pass through here, they would have recarpeted the entire road overnight. But now only commoners pass through and suffer and nobody cares,’’ said Pritam Singh, a resident.

He added that the road had been barricaded for the past 10 months. It led to a manned railway crossing. When the crossing gates were closed, the barricading would lead to tremendous traffic chaos.

Moreover, the road caters to two schools in the area and the students of these schools have also been a harassed lot.

The MC had recently thrown crushed stones on the part of the road but no recarpeting was done.



Former scientist sues ex-VC
Slaps damages worth Rs 1 crore
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
A former scientist with Punjab Agricultural University has sued an ex-VC seeking damages of Rs one crore for alleged malicious prosecution.

Dr Balwant Singh, a former scientist of PAU, has claimed damages of Rs 1 crore from former Vice-Chancellor of PAU, K.S. Aulakh, on the charges of unnecessarily dragging him into a malicious prosecution.

Apart from the former VC, a case has also been filed against former controller, Gopal Dass, deputy director of research, Dr Piara Singh and accounts officer, Dewan Chand.

Taking cognisance of the case, additional civil judge (senior division), Tarsem Mangla, has issued notice to the said persons.

The petitioner had alleged in his petition that he was falsely implicated in a case on June 9, 2003, registered against him on the complaint of Gopal Dass, under Section 3 of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes(Prevention of Attrocities) Act. He was arrested in the case on July 12, 2003 and put behind bars for 13 days.

Dr Singh said the false case damaged his reputation in the society in no small measure.

The case was foisted upon him by the complainant, in connivance with others at the behest of the then VC of PAU, Aulakh, and in order to please him, added the petitioner.

In the said FIR, Dewan Chand and Dr Piara Singh were shown as witnesses to the concocted story. These persons even deposed against Dr Balwant Singh.

According to the FIR, Gopal Dass reported the matter to the then VC, who advised him to go to the police. It was alleged that Dr Singh had used wrong words against the complainant regarding his caste.

Since Dr Singh was innocent, he was acquitted by the court of special judge, Ludhiana, H.P.S. Mahal. But all this caused him a lot of mental tension, pain and agony.

At the time of the alleged incident, he was not even present in PAU because his entry had been banned by Aulakh.

He proved before the court that at the time of the alleged incident, he was present in the meeting of the Nationalist Congress Party, alleged the petitioner.

Dr Singh further contended that it was done by the then VC, as he had moved applications to higher authorities against him for alleged misdeeds, favouritism in promotions and financial wrongdoings.



Two girls booked for poisoning man
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
The Division No 5 police booked two girls on the complaint of a Hargobind Nagar resident.

He alleged they had poisoned his brother, Sham Lal, near the Red Cross Building located on Mall Road on June 13.

The boy, Pankaj, said his brother was found lying unconscious on the roof of the said building.

He was admitted in a local hospital and is said to be unconscious still. The police booked one of the girls, Isha, after she was identified by Pankaj.



S.S. Narula dead
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
The mortal remains of eminent English and Punjabi writer Surinder Singh Narula were consigned to the flames at the Model Town Extension cremation ground here today.

He died early today after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today expressed deep shock at the demise of the famous story writer, poet and novelist.

In a condolence message, he said in the death of Narula, Punjab as well as the literary world had lost a writer whose writings gave it a new identity and a social purpose.

The deceased was a proficient writer who had over 36 novels, story books and collection of poems to his credit.



At the Crossroads
A great Punjabi novelist
N.S. Tasneem

More than 60 years ago, Prof S.S. Narula wrote his first novel “Peo Putter” (Father and Son) which was hailed as the first realistic novel in Punjab literature.

It is said about the birth of English novel in the eighteenth century that “by the side of the novel of sentiment, realistic novel developed”. The reference had been to Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding.

Likewise, by the side of the novel of sentiment of Nanak Singh, the father of Punjabi novel, realistic novel of Surinder Singh Narula developed. Thereafter, Prof Narula enriched Punjabi fiction with his 12 Punjabi novels (translated into many languages) and 4 collections of short stories.

He had also contributed to literary criticism from time to time. As a poet too, he made his mark during the later years of his life. But much of his poetry is still unpublished.

The news of his death, in the early hours of June 16, has cast a gloom on the literary world. He was born in 1917 in Amritsar. He was the product of Khalsa College, Amritsar where Teja Singh and Sant Singh Sekhon inspired him to adopt Punjabi language for creative work, despite having been well versed in English language.

He had a great regard for his teacher Principal Sant Singh Sekhon whose feet he always touched whenever he came fact to face with him. He had a strong affinity with Prof. Mohan Singh who had published him in his Punjabi monthly “Punj Darya”, Lahore.

More than anything else, my regard for Prof. Narula was based on the fact that he was the classfellow of my uncle Mohinder Singh Kauser in Khalsa College, Amritsar. Both of them passed their examination for the degree of Master of Arts in English literature in 1942. He started his teaching career from Govt. Brijindra College, Faridkot in 1948.

Later, I had the honour of working as his colleague, during 1967-68, in the department of English at Govt. College, Tanda Urmar. He retired from Government College, Ludhiana, in 1975 as PES(I) in the grade of Principal. He has left his wife and three daughters, besides an admiring group of his students as well as readers.



Dera Sacha Sauda Issue
Sikh bodies work out plan to court arrest
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 16
Constituents of the Sant Samaj led by Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa and Baba Sarabjot Singh Bedi have urged leaders and activists of various radical Sikh religious organisations, who have gone abroad for varied purposes to return home.

They have said they will court arrest if the police does not arrest the chief of Dera Sacha Sauda Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh by Monday, the deadline already decided by Sikh organisations of the state.

The decision was announced in a meeting organised at Gurdwara Karamsar Rara Sahib near here yesterday. A five member committee has been constituted to perpetuate the move to court arrest in a phased manner.

The meeting is considered significant in view of approaching deadline given by radical Sikh organisations of the state for the arrest of Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh who according to them had committed an act of blasphemy by trying to mimic the methods of tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh.

Talking about the decisions taken in the four-hour meeting Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa said that all the constituents of the Sant Samaj were unanimous about starting a 'peaceful action plan' to impress upon the respective governments to ensure that the religious sentiments of Sikhs, hurt by the blasphemous act of the dera chief, were taken care of.

"Keeping in view the significance of communal harmony in the state we have decided to start courting arrest in a phased manner from Tuesday, in case the police failed to arrest the Baba by June 18. But our action plan will be purely religious and no individual or organisation will be allowed to harness political mileage out of our protest," said Baba Harnam Singh while talking to media persons yesterday.

He claimed that activists and office-bearers of various radical Sikh religious organisations, who had gone abroad or to other states had been asked to return to their native places so that the chain of arrests is maintained till the Baba is arrested.

Sant Dya Singh, Baba Makhan Singh Tarna Dal, Baba Hari Singh Randhawa, and Baba Paramjit Singh Mahalpur, besides chief of Damdami Taksal and president Gurmat Sidhant Parchar Committee Baba Haranam Singh Khalsa have been inducted in the committee to draft the programme of courting arrests.

Elaborating on the subject Baba said that first jatha of religious leaders would leave Fatehgarh Sahib to court arrest at Civil Secretariat at Chandigarh on Tuesday.



Heavy rain lashes Ahmedgarh
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 16
A heavy downpour after weeks of scorching heat though bringing respite for residents invited problems for the civic authorities who remained busy handling disposal of the rainwater today.

The civic authorities claimed to have strengthened the sewer system to cope with the situation.Though the heavy rainfall threw normal life out of gear, exposing the inadequacy of the infrastructure in checking flooding, especially in the low-lying areas, the residents got a respite after a long span of heat wave.

The heavy rain flooded the low-lying areas, including Railway Road, Mahavir Road, Dehliz Road, Gandhi Chowk, Bhagat Singh Chowk and the office of the Municipal Council. Employees had difficulty in reaching their offices.A large number of two-wheelers were stranded.

Jatinder Kumar Bhola, president, Municipal Council, claimed that the authorities had made adequate arrangements to cope with the situation , but some of the low-lying areas remained flooded due to unavoidable circumstances.



Philanthropist’s death mourned
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, June 16
Former Sarpanch of Sahnewal Khurd village and philanthropist Santokh Singh Sandhu is no more.

He suffered cardiac arrest while being admitted in PGI, Chandigarh. He was admitted there for partial memory loss two months back.

His long journey of life was in no way an ordinary one. He worked for the cause of education and was instrumental in getting the building and stadium of the Government Senior Secondary School for Boys erected at Sahnewal.

He also got approval for a government middle school where children of the economically weaker sections can acquire education. The erecting of this school’s building was also the outcome of his sincere efforts.

Many prominent personalities expressed their condolences at his death. His bhog ceremony will be held at Gurdwara Reru Sahib on June 22.



Condolence meeting
Our Correspondent

Samrala, June 16
A condolence meeting in the memory of Balbir Singh Bedi (75) was held by the local Bar Association under the chairmanship of Uttam Chand.

Bedi was father-in-law of D.P.K. Bedi, sub-divisional judicial magistrate-cum-
additional civil judge, senior division, Samrala.

The members also observed two minutes’ silence for the departed soul and suspended work for full day.

Bhog ceremony of Bedi will take place on Sunday from 12.00 at Rampur Bilron village, near Garhshankar, said to D.P.K. Bedi here today.



BSNL staff dharna enters fifth day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
The BSNL Employees Union Ludhiana sat on a day-long dharna on a call given by the Central Public Sector Undertaking trade unions to press upon their pending demands. The dharna entered its fifth day today.

Addressing the gathering, Balwinder Singh, district secretary, BSNLEU, said that the government should immediately initiate the wage negotiations. He said that tenure of agreement should be five years instead of 10 years.

He said that they were fed-up with the anti-employee policies of the central government. "The central government must fill the vacancies and there should be a wage rise for contract workers", said Balwinder Singh.

Paramjit Singh, president, BSNLEU, said that there was an acute shortage of staff in each cadre but BSNL employees were working to the satisfaction of subscribers to save it from privatisation.



Precious water being wasted
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
When a number of residents are crying water scarcity, there are some who do not mind wasting the precious commodity even as the Municipal Corporation authorities have been appealing to people to save every drop.

All these appeals notwithstanding, the wastage of water is continuing.The corporation had challaned several people for wasting water in the past also but all this failed to have any impact.

The wastage is continuing as the residents continue to wash their cars and irrigate lawns and parks every day. In some cases, overhead water tanks overflow during the supply hours, but nobody cares.

On the Pakhowal Road, two overhead water tanks of a commercial establishment have developed leakages. Litres of water goes down the drain everyday that could be put to use.

‘‘Residents do not spare a second to rap the MC. But when they have been asked not to waste water, they do not listen. They all know that the water table is going down every year and we are already facing an alarming situation. Ten years down the line, we can face a desert- like situation in the state, ’’ rued an official of the MC.He added that they were trying to create awareness.

In the old city also, there are several taps that run throughout the day.These have not been repaired and the pipes are directly supplying water.



Anti-corruption front meet
Our Correspondent

Samrala, June 16
A monthly meeting of the Anti-Corruption Front, Samrala, which was chaired by its president, Commandant Rashpal Singh(retd) was held here today.

Mehma Singh Kang, general secretary of the front, informed about a man posing as the food & supply inspector and collecting money from depot holders. The administration should take serious action against him,he demanded.



Father-son booked for fraud
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 16
Banty and his father, Jasvir Singh of Lohagam, Puna (Maharashtra), have allegedly committed fraud.

The Sudhar police has registered a case under Section 406, 420, 465, 467 of the IPC against the two. According to information, a complaint was moved in April 2007 by Avtar Singh Mullanpuri against the duo that on the pretext of sending Baljinder Singh, Shamsher Singh and Amanjit Singh to the US, they had collected Rs 17 lakh from the three.

The duo allegedly forged some documents but neither sent them abroad nor returned their money. Sources said the incident dates back to October 2006. No arrest has been made so far in the case.

7 booked for trespass

Gurcharan Singh, his son Balraj Singh, Harjit Singh, Gurjinder Singh, Pritpal Singh, Hardip Singh and Jaggi of Gurm allegedly entered into the fields of Harjit Singh of their village and forcibly ploughed the same.

Dehlon police has registered a case under Section 447, 427, 148, 149 of the IPC but no arrest has been made so far. Some land dispute is said to be reason behind the incident.

Two held with illicit liquor

In two separate incidents, two persons have been arrested with illicit liquor. Satnam Singh of New Khaira Bet was arrested by Humbran police from Khaira Bet village and 5250 ml of illicit liquor was recovered from him.

The Sidhwan Bet police arrested Malkit Singh alias Malki of Khurshaidpura from his village with 16680 ml of illicit liquor. Cases under the Excise Act have been registered.



Eastman starts manufacturing power tools
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
Eastman Cast and Forge Limited today announced to start manufacturing power tools in Ludhiana, which is the first manufacturing plant of its kind in Punjab.

The company started its operations in September, 1990, for manufacturing of handtools in Ludhiana.

Its officials said here today that it had presence in 21 international markets, including Europe, Russia and West Asia.

The company is also supplying tool kits to 23 vehicle manufacturers of India like Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Ashok Leyland, Eicher Motors, Hero Honda Motors etc.

"Our products are available through a chain of more than 400 dealers across India", the company officials said.

Ranjot Singh, one of the Directors of the company, said, "we have manufacturing and testing facilities with installed capacity to produce 300000 machines per annum to meet the needs of construction industry".



Service lane issue
Businesses demand rethink
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
Owners of several commercial establishments have come together to demand that the Municipal Corporation do a rethink of the laying of the service lane lane from Bharat Nagar Chowk to Arti Chowk.

These commercial establishments will get affected by the process of laying of the service lane.

The owners of some of the establishments argued that the distance between the Ferozepore Road and the buildings was around 50 ft. This was not enough to accommodate parking and service lanes separately.

The existing proposal was to have a five-foot wide walkway, 18-foot wide road and the remaining 25-feet was to be used for parking.

They said that dividing the small area further into two areas will only lead to further congestion, blockages and haphazard parking.

‘‘This is visible on the service lane on the opposite side which remains blocked and people have constructed ugly ramps to join the two separated spaces for parking and service lane.’’

It would be much better to have this entire width as one area where parking can be accommodated and vehicles can move freely between. This is how similar spaces are planned in Chandigarh said an affected building owner.

He added that the properly planned parking can generate a lot of revenue for the MC especially when there is a six-screen multiplex coming up in this area and international brands like Pizza Hut and Costa Coffee are already present there.

The parking outside the Park Plaza also does not need to be modified since this is serving the hotel efficiently.



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