L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Mentally-challenged girl mistreated
Parents accuse police, hospital staff
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
Parents of a mentally-challenged girl, Roshni (name changed), aged 24 and a resident of Jalandhar, are alleging their daughter was mistreated. The girl remained with the police and at the Civil Hospital here for some time. Apparently, the girl had come from Jalandhar to Ludhiana without her parents knowing about it. The parents expressed shock at their daughter being traced here.

However, they maintained that the negligent behaviour of the police and the Civil Hospital staff here had worsened the physical and mental condition of their daughter.

Roshni’s father said she went missing from Jalandhar on June 20. He said the family was celebrating Roshni’s sister giving birth to a baby boy at Civil Hospital, Jalandhar. He said he had lodged a missing person’s complaint with the police the same day.

"We feel she might have come to Ludhiana to meet her sister by mistake. We came to know about her being chained in Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, through a television channel yesterday. We reached here without wasting any time but we were told that police had again taken her away," said the disturbed father.

SMO Civil Hospital Dr Kuldip Kaur Sahni said the girl was brought there by two constables on June 21.

When the attending doctors asked about the guardians the constables replied that she was mentally retarded and was brought to the hospital when she was seen roaming on the roads alone. "Our doctors gave her the best possible treatment. Though she behaved in a violent manner initially the doctors never chained her. She was chained by a woman constable and we came to know about this through the attendants. The attending doctor Jasbir Singh immediately removed the chain she was tied up with. By that time the constable also disappeared," she said while adding that the girl was taken from the Civil Hospital by same constables again in the afternoon on June 22.

But the police officials refuted the allegations saying they were only allowed to chain a hardcore criminals.

According to the parents, the girl was traced at 2:30 am by the officials of Division Number 6 police station. "We fail to understand why the police took her from the hospital when she was not feeling well. We don’t know where they have taken her. She is in a state of mental trauma and cannot tell anything. Also, she is badly injured. We are waiting for the medical report," said Ramesh Chander.

Meanwhile, SHO Division Number 6 Mandeep Singh said he was not aware of the incident. He said he had talked about it to the higher officials when he came to know. "We are trying to ascertain facts. The constables have not been contacted so I cannot comment," he said.



Man pays for nephew’s greed with life
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 23
Greed for a piece of land instigated a farmer to impress upon his uncle to marry his daughter to an NRI 20 years older than her. This marriage, later, allegedly led to his uncle’s suicide.

According to an FIR registered under sections 420, 376 and 306 of IPC, Kuljinder Singh, a farmer and a travel agent of Gidri village had allegedly conspired with Gurpreet Singh, an NRI settled at Canada, Jagdish Singh, a medical practitioner at Sudhar, Darshan Singh of Ghuman village (father) and Karamjit Kaur (Jagdish Singh’s wife) to dupe his uncle Garza Singh by marrying his daughter Amandeep Kaur to Gurpreet Singh. After the marriage Amandeep was made to stay with Jagdish Singh, the brother of Gurpreet Singh. Garza Singh tried to rescue his daughter from the clutches of Jagdish but failed. Garza Singh was allegedly kept in captivity by Jagdish Singh and tortured. Nine months ago, Garza Singh committed suicide.

His body was found near Moranwali village in Malerkotla subdivision in September. Garza Singh was a small farmer from Gidri village. His nephew, Kuljinder Singh had demanded that Garza Singh transfer 8 bighas in his name if he (Kuljinder) is able to get his daughter married to Gurdeep Singh in Canada. Kuljinder had also made Garza Singh decide in favour of marrying his daughter to Gurpreet. Besides giving a Scorpio to the groom’s family, Garza Singh spent lakhs on the marriage that was solemnised on April 9, 2006.

Contrary to expectations of Amandeep Kaur, her husband returned to Canada immediately after the marriage and instead of calling her to live in Canada, managed to take Karamjit Kaur, his brother’s wife there. “I was shocked to hear from my husband that he had invited Karamjit Kaur to live with him and that I was to live with his elder brother Jagdish Singh. Jagdish Singh not only exploited me physically but started harassing me to bring Rs 2 lakh from my parents,” stated Amandeep Kaur.

According to DSP Payal Rattan Singh Brar, Amandeep Kaur had accused her in-laws of abetting her father’s suicide. Referring to information received from SHO Payal Randhir Singh, Brar said Amandeep’s parents had gone to Ghuman village to rescue her. “But instead of listening to them my brother-in-law and his accomplice tortured my father mentally and physically after keeping him in illegal confinement. But other members of my family succeeded in returning safely,” Amandeep told the police adding that her father had committed suicide by consuming celphos.

Though the police claimed to have raided hideouts of the accused living in India, no arrest was made yet.



Ordeal unending
Colonisers restrain migrants from building house
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
A migrant couple bought a plot in Sat Kartar Nagar, Basti Jodhewal, spending savings of over two decades of toil. They have all the legal documents pertaining to land and have got it transfered in their names. Yet they are being restrained from constructing a house on it. Police inquiries have supported their claim over the land. Law does not prevent them from constructing the house, but they are helpless before the might of the colonisers.

Sumitra Devi and her husband Raj Nath and their five children are at the receiving end of the colonisers. Though senior police officials have upheld their claim over the plot, the couple is being harassed at Basti Jodhewal police station. For the past one week, Raj Nath is being called to the police station and made to sit through the day. He is told that other parties to the dispute have also been called to sort out the dispute. But no one comes there. Raj Nath keeps sitting there alone fuming and fretting.

He was again called today and made to sit for several hours. Now, he is at its wits end as what to do. If he tries to construct a house, the rival parties beat him and his family members up.

After several inquiries, the police had decided to impose Section 145, CrPc, on the piece of land and than an SDM court would decide about the real owner. Court had not passed any order so far adding to the harassment of the couple.

Interestingly, the latest inquiry conducted by the Basti Jodhewal police had upheld the claims of the migrant couple from Bihar over the plot. Though the couple had got the possession of the land after they bought it, still the colonisers had been restraining them from constructing a house over it. Whenever the couple tried to start construction the colonisers allegedly used muscle power and political pressure to prevent them from doing so.

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 the legal owners of the plot. Revenue records show them as owners. Even a former SSP of the city had told the colonisers in clear terms to stay away from the land, but they did not relent.

A fresh inquiry conducted by the Basti Jodhewal police on the directions of SSP R.K. Jaiswal had declared them as the real owners of the plot. Sources revealed that the police would take help of the district administration in the matter so that no one could prevent the couple from constructing a house.

The tired and fed up couple narrate their tale of woe, “We came as a pauper to the city 22 years ago. We worked hard to give better living standards to our five children. Instead, our life is being spent in making rounds to the offices of the different police officials or courts for seeking justice”.



Pro V-C post
PAUTA silence ambiguous
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
The Punjab Agricultural University Teachers’ Association (PAUTA) is maintaining a studied silence on the issue of the creation of the post of pro vice-chancellor in the university. At a time when the issue is being debated within and outside the campus, the PAUTA has decided to remain ambiguous and silent.

When this reporter tried to contact PAUTA president A.S. Sohi, he appeared to be too irritated to speak on the issue. Asked about the stand of the PAUTA, Sohi shouted, “We have no stand and nothing to say...you write whatever you want to”. He banged the telephone thereafter.

Sohi appeared angry over the publication of the statement of the joint action committee (JAC) of the PAU employees opposing the creation of the post of pro vice-chancellor in the university. He claimed that the JAC had no locus standi to comment on the issue as its head Balwant Singh had already retired from the university. When told that everybody expected the PAUTA to make its stand clear, he felt irritated and said he did not want to comment.

The PAUTA apparently does not want to support the appointment of a pro vice-chancellor lest it annoys the vice-chancellor M.S. Kang, who has already made it clear that he is not in its favour. At the same time, it is not opposing it either probably because B.S. Dhillon is from this university. And if the PAU board manages to persuade Kang and Dhillon gets appointed as pro vice-chancellor, it will have to cut a sorry figure.

The PAUTA had been ambiguous in its stand even on several occasions earlier. It staunchly supported vice-chancellor K.S. Aulakh during his six-year tenure but started criticising him when he resigned from the vice-chancellorship. It now seems to be waiting for the decision of the university board on the issue and only than it would make its stand clear.



Truck crushes teenager
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
A mob damaged a truck and blocked the Tajpur road for nearly an hour when a 13-year-old boy was crushed under the wheels of the vehicle this morning.

The victim, Kundan, a student, had gone to the market to buy a notebook and curd. The truck ran over him as he was crossing the road.

His father, Kirpa Nand, was untraceable till the filing of the report.Family sources said he had left the house in search of a new job.

The mob became violent when the truck driver tried to run away from the scene and damaged the vehicle.

Chameli, the mother of the victim, was inconsolable.

A police party led by Basti Jodhewal SHO rushed to the scene and brought the situation under control.

A case has been registered against the truck driver who was taken away by the police.



Who needs a directory now?
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
How many of us use telephone directory these days? Obviously not many of us. Rather none of us. Once much sought after reference book that was as important as the telephone itself, seems to be a thing of the past. In fact, the Department of Telecommunications, now the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), which had a good budget for publishing the telephone directory has stopped the practise now.

This is believed to be primarily because of the extensive use of the cell phones, which have the storage capacity of at least a few 100 phone numbers. “How many numbers do you need to record, not the whole directory of the BSNL”, remarked Sandesh Kumar, a telephone employee, who recalls as how many people he had to refuse the telephone directory.

A telephone directory would also generate a good income as so many people would be ready to advertise in it. Since it was much frequently used reference book, everybody wanted to be seen in it. “Hence we earned a good revenue”, Kumar said, while adding, now nobody seems to be bothered.

Recently some officials had suggested the publication of another directory. But the idea was abandoned as none of the advertisers showed any interest in it. “Now there are cell phones with a storage capacity of even a few 1000 phone numbers. Who requires the paper telephone directory now?,” the BSNL employee pointed out.

Even some private companies which used to bring out “yellow” page directories have stopped the practise now. A leading local advertiser disclosed that earnings from telephone directory advertisements were quite substantial at one stage.

“It is since years that we have had any proposal about the telephone directory. It is almost forgotten now”, he said.

It is probably another step towards a paperless world as everything seems to be going digital. The printed directories apart, now there are not even hand written telephone directories maintained in each household which used to be around the telephone sets. But even those fixed line telephone sets also have started vanishing away and make way for the smaller and trendy cell phones.



CM ensures defeated SAD candidates maintain stronghold
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
In order to ensure that the defeated Akali candidates do not get demoralised, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is learnt to have ensured that they enjoy all powers in their constituencies. And in some cases there have been reports of excesses and vengeance let loose by these candidates on their opponents or those whom they hold responsible for their defeat.

Surprisingly, the SAD lost most of the rural Assembly segments in Ludhiana. Dakha (reserved) and Samrala were the only exceptions. But in both constituencies there is a considerable number of urban voters, who tilted the balance in favour of the SAD. The party lost the Kila Raipur seat to the Congress for the first time in the past 60 years.

Apparently, fearing the possibility of the party failing to retain its stronghold, Badal has been trying to ensure that the defeated party candidates do not loose their support base. In fact, he has given them full charge of their constituencies. The officials, including SDMs, DSPs, SHOs, and others are being posted taking the defeated candidates into confidence.

While the Congress is already levelling the allegations of vendetta against the SAD-BJP across the state, there are several instances in various Assembly segments where Congress supporters have been targeted on flimsy and frivolous grounds. In one case, a former senior vice-president of the SAD (rural), now expelled, has been booked for theft as he had allegedly supported a rebel candidate.

A senior Akali leader while refuting the allegations of high handedness or vendetta alleges that the Congress leaders, who had enjoyed power during the past five years, fail to acknowledge that they are in opposition. He claims, “They (Congress leaders) are desperate as law is catching up with them now and now they are alleging vendetta”.

However, there have been allegations from Kila Raipur and Payal Assembly segments that political opponents are being victimised. The Congress MLA from Kila Raipur is learnt to be planning a demonstration against police excesses on his supporters.



Parts removed from impounded vehicle
Villager seeks action against erring cops
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 23
A resident of Sihar village, near here, who had allegedly been ‘harassed’ by some policemen even after being declared innocent by senior police officials in a case registered against him at Dehlon police station, has approached the police authorities to get a tempo, source of his subsistence, in its original condition from the Dehlon police. He has alleged that many parts and accessories have been removed from the vehicle while it was in the police station.

The SP (H), Ludhiana (rural), has directed the DSP, Dakha, to probe the charges levelled by the victim against police officials.

In a communication handed over to the aides of the Chief Minister during a sangat darshan, Amritpal Singh, besides seeking protection from some low-rank police officers, demanded stern action against those who were bent on implicating him and his family members in a false case.

Amritpal was booked under Section 25 of the NDPS Act for allegedly smuggling poppy husk under the guise of carrying liquor from a distillery in Uttar Pradesh to an Army base in Jammu and Kashmir. He had sought a probe into the matter.

An inquiry by SP (H), Fatehgarh Sahib, Harbhajan Singh on the directions of the IG, Patiala Zone, had declared him innocent.

The perusal of the copies of the inquiry report submitted by SP Harbhajan Singh revealed that Amritpal had been falsely implicated in the case.

“Amritpal Singh is not involved with the transportation of poppy husk. Neither has he loaded the contraband onto the vehicle nor does he know about it. He is not guilty of bringing poppy husk. Avtar Singh, Gurjant Singh and another person, who had been evading arrest, were responsible for the illegal act and appropriate action should be taken against them,” reads the concluding paragraph of page 5 of the report.

The inquiry had revealed that Avtar Singh, driver, and his brother Soni had allegedly smuggled a load of poppy husk under the guise of carrying military rum being transported in a tempo owned by Amritpal Singh last year.

Avtar Singh had deliberately concealed his identity at the time of taking the delivery from a distillery in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, and had signed as Harpreet.

The two on reaching Punjab tried to extract a ransom of Rs 33,000 from the owner of the tempo. However, their attempt was foiled by the Sihar police, which laid a trap on the basis of information provided by Amritpal Singh.

A member of the investigation team of the Dehlon police, SI Chaman Parkash, had also deposed in a special court in Ludhiana in favour of Amritpal Singh.

Amritpal Singh has now accused the Dehlon police of harassing him by not releasing the vehicle in a good condition even after court directions at Ludhiana. He alleged that a number of parts and accessories of the vehicle had been removed by the police officials. “I was shocked to find that a number of parts and accessories of the vehicle, including self, storage battery, radiator, main shaft, four covering sheets, ropes, jack, tool kit, stereo and horn had been removed while the vehicle was in the custody of the Dehlon police. I feel helpless now as the vehicle is the only source of my income,”said Amritpal.



Bank celebrates Sunita’s return
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
Oriental Bank of Commerce today celebrated the safe return of Sunita Williams after her record breaking spaceflight. The bank’s staff distributed sweets among customers. Branch manager G S Chawla congratulated NASA for the successful flight. Tributes were also paid to Kalpana Chawla on the occasion. Indian cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma was also remembered for his successful space mission, earlier.



In-laws booked for attempt to murder
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 23
A case of attempt to murder was registered against Jaswant Singh of Jandi village, his brother Dharminder and mother Surinder Kaur. They were accused of trying to kill Jaswant’s wife Mandeep Kaur, who also belongs to the same village. It is said that this was a dowry-related murder attempt. They were accused of attempting to strangulate Mandeep. There were also accusations that they had been demanding dowry from her since 2003. Mandeep Kaur allegedly escaped from the house after the attempt to strangulate and is now admitted in Civil Hospital, Sidhwan Bet. No arrest has been made so far.

73 bags of poppy husk seized

Narcotics cell of Jagraon police claimed to have arrested two persons who had 29 quintals of poppy husk in their possession. The arrests took place at a check post near Budha Nana Salempur. The accused were travelling in a truck bearing registration number HR- 55G-3817. The 2,920 kg of poppy husk was in 73 bags in the truck. They have been identified as Kulwant Singh Bant and Jaswinder Kumar Raju. The inquiry also revealed that a person, whose alias is Mindi and his brother Sucha of Goraya are the owners of the truck. Mindi is already in Central Jail, Jalandhar, in another narcotic case. Sources in the police disclosed that the accused had brought the narcotics from Bharatpur (Rajasthan) to deliver it to Sucha.

Man killed in mishap

Kirpal Singh of Rasulpur was killed near village Gopalpur when his Tata 407 bearing registration number PB-10H-9752 was hit by Tata 709 bearing registration number HR-37-4798 driven by Inderjit Singh of Rachhin. Dehlon police has registered a case under sections 279, 304-A IPC at the instance of Jasvir Singh of Maholi Kalan. No arrest has been made so far.

Stolen mini bus recovered

Jatinder Singh of Rehanapur Khalsa allegedly stole a mini bus bearing registration number UP-07H-5558 from Halwara belonging to Sarabjit Singh of Kanjla. Sudhar police registered a case under sections 380 and 411 IPC and arrested the accused and recovered the mini bus.



Women allege abduction, torture by neighbour
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 23
A woman of Latala village and her mother-in-law have accused a woman living in their neighbourhood of getting them abducted and tortured during their illegal confinement for more than half an hour yesterday.

The main suspect on the other hand has accused the complainants of allegedly damaging her household goods after forcibly entering her house.

Komal Preet Kaur, wife of Karamjit Singh of Latala village, and her mother-in-law, Harpal Kaur, alleged that Amandeep Kaur, a neighbour, and three unknown women allegedly gave them three degree torture after keeping them in illegal confinement at their house and snatched valuables from them. Though according to her, a police party had rescued them from the clutches of the suspects, the police maintained that some passersby had done so.

The complainants further alleged that the main suspect had hired some women from other villages, including Chhota Khanna, Ghabadi and Gopalpur villages, for committing the crime.

Denying the charges ,the suspect, Amardeep Kaur, accused the complainant of damaging her household goods after entering her house forcibly.

A dispute over a common passage was reported to be the cause of the rivalry.

The Latala police has initiated investigations after registering two reports under Section 24-4 of the PPR.



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