L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Criminals target judges’ houses
Servant drugs ex-judge, decamps with valuables
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
A domestic servant decamped with cash and valuables from the house of a retired judge after administering him with drug-laced food in Jeewan Nagar, Barrewal, here last night.

Retired judge K.S.Uppal under treatment at a local hospital in Ludhiana on Tuesday. —  A Tribune photo

K.S. Uppal, former judge, was still unconscious. He was undergoing treatment at a local hospital.

Uppal was alone in the house at the time of the incident as his family was away to the US.

The unidentified servant had been recently recruited by the Uppals. Neither any details about him nor his pictures could be obtained as the family had not got the servant registered with the police even though it was mandatory under the orders of the district magistrate.

Police sources said exact loss would be ascertained only when the victim would regain consciousness.

The house had been completely ransacked. It seemed like the servant had decamped with most of the valuables, leaving nothing behind.

The theft had come to light when some labourers, engaged for renovating a part of the house, reached there in the morning and found the judge unconscious.

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Burglary in Officers Colony
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
The Officers Colony, a highly secured residential area of the city, is fast becoming the favourite hunting ground of burglars with two burglaries reported in the area during the last two days.

The house of a judge was today found broken into. Just two days back, burglars had struck at the house of a college lecturer in the same colony. A number of other residents also revealed minor thefts in their house today, which they had not reported earlier.

Many judges, PCS officers, who have their own battery of gunmen for round-the-clock security, reside in the area.

The fresh incident took place at house number 47-A, residence of a judge, who had recently been transferred to Rajpura. He had shifted most of the belongings barring some furniture. The burglary was noticed this morning by the judge himself when he had come to shift the remaining things.

Police sources said the burglars had entered the house from the rear side but could not decamp with anything. They even tried to open an old almirah but did not succeed. They searched the entire house, but in vain.

The incident has created panic among the residents who were yet to recover from the burglary attempt in the house of prof Rajinder Kumar Jain just two days back.

Meanwhile, tehslidar Ram Singh revealed that a CD player had gone missing from his house and taps from the house of another tehsildar, Darbara Singh Randhawa, were also stolen. Similar thefts were also reported from the house of another judge.

However, none of the victims had so far lodged an FIR. A police team visited the house of the judge after the burglary was reported.

SP (City), I. Sukhchain Singh, said these were sporadic incidents and there was no need to panic. He said police vigil in the area had been increased following the incidents.

Despite having high-profile residents, the colony lacks a proper boundary wall, entrance gate and even a gateman.

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Proposed routes for transport
Residents fume as many areas left out
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
Quite a number of areas in Ludhiana seem to have been left out in the preliminary proposals for starting the local bus services in the city. The six routes that have been notified in the first phase by the transport department, Punjab, leave almost half of the city untouched.

The initial proposals have mainly covered the areas around the GT Road and Chandigarh Road, while the new Ludhiana, that is spread and scattered across Ferozepur Road and Haibowal Road, has been left out.

After the publication of the list of the proposed routes today, a number of people called The Tribune office here wanting that their objections should be placed on record.

They said only half of the city has so far been covered. Vijay Kumar, a resident of Haibowal, said the list of the proposed routes appeared to be incomplete.

There are others also who said the department must revise the list of the routes. Gurinder Singh of Gurdev Nagar said either the list (of proposed routes) is incomplete or has been formulated on the basis of decades old record of the city.

He pointed out the new Ludhiana had developed mainly along Ferozepur Road, beyond the Octroi Post and also along Hambran Road. But no route had been marked for the local buses that would pass through those areas.

Transport department officials said it was a preliminary proposal only and was likely to be modified. The official said a supplementary notification was likely to be issued to cover the remaining area. They agreed that almost half of Ludhiana had been left out in the initial proposals.

They pointed out the routes had only been proposed so far and these have yet to be finalised after seeking the opinion of local experts and the public.

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Rickshaw-pullers allege harassment
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana June 26
About 200 rickshaw-pullers of New Sabzi Mandi feel harassed at the hands of parking contractor of the area. They alleged that the contractor had started demanding Rs 10 per route from each rickshaw-puller as parking charges of the government-approved rickshaw stand, which existed at the place for the past three decades.

They alleged that when they refused to pay the parking charges, the contractor and his men abused and manhandled them.

Kanwaljit Singh, a rickshaw-puller, said they had given their representation to the Deputy Commissioner at Sangat Darshan today and hoped to get justice soon. He said about 200 rickshaw-pullers of the area were able to earn their livelihood by pulling rickshaw.

"We carry vegetables from New Sabzi Mandi to various shopkeepers in the city. We are asked to pay Rs 10 for each round by the parking contractor. It has never happened before and nobody has ever asked for money for parking our rickshaws in the park. This time we are facing a lot of problem. We cannot afford to pay Rs 30-40 to the contractor daily", said Kala Singh, another rickshaw-puller.

The rickshaw-puller union had also met officials of the Municipal Corporation recently but to no avail. They had sent a representation to the SSP a few days ago, who had deputed a sub-inspector to look into the matter. "But the contractor greased his palm and nothing could be done", said another agitating rickshaw-puller.

They also alleged that at times, after paying Rs 10, the contractor did not issue them the receipt. If they demanded for it, they were abused.

Meanwhile, Bharat Sahni, one of the contractors of Micky and Company said all these rickshaw-pullers had signed an agreement with them. According to the agreement, they had to pay Rs 5 daily or Rs 150 per month as parking charges. He said," We have been authorised by the corporation to charge parking fee of the particular stand. They cannot keep the slips with them so we do not issue the receipts at times. They are our customers, we can never abuse them", maintained Sahni.

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Sangat Darshan: Many officers absent
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
As many as 51 pending grievances were redressed at the ongoing weekly Sangat Darshan programme held here today.

Interestingly, the seriousness of the function can be gauged from the fact that many civil servants were absent from the function forcing K. P. Brar, additional deputy commissioner, who presided over the weekly programme, to seek their explanation so that the higher authorities could be informed for necessary action.

Officials present discussed 94 pending complaints out of which 51 were disposed of as per the satisfaction of the complainants. Today, 31 new complaints were received, which have been marked to the officer concerned for action taken report in the next such programme.

Taking a serious note of submitting lame excuses for unnecessary delay in the settlement of old pending complaints by some officers, Brar directed them to take the complaints seriously so that the complainants could get justice at the earliest.

On a pending complaint of Baljinder Singh, a resident of Jagraon, regarding illegal construction of a dera on panchayati land which was being used as an irrigation channel, the DDPO said the demarcation had been taken and in the report of the BDPO the illegal possession had been established and sarpanch of the village had been told to file a case under the PP Act with the SDM for vacation of the illegal possession. When the complainant contested that the sarpanch was himself in league with encroachers, the ADC asked the DDPO to file a case through the BDPO, who would submit his report in the next programme.

Discussing a pending complaint of Swarni Devi for the possession of plot allotted to her by the government whose payment had already been cleared, the ADC directed the tehsildar (E) to produce the record in the next Sangat Darshan and explain the reasons for the delay.

On another complaint of Jagtar Singh regarding the long pending payment for their labour bills for executing a development work in the villages of Pakhowal block, the BDPO concerned said the payment of the bills relating to four villages out of five had been cleared and regarding the payment of Gujjarwal village the measurement report of XEN, panchayati raj, was awaited.

Taking a serious note, Brar told the XEN, Panchayati Raj, to give the same without further delay so that the payment of the poor labourers could be cleared.

On another pending complaint of Wader Gram Panchayat regarding the illegal possession of a village pond, the DDPO said in the report of the BDPO, Pakhowal, the illegal possession had been established and a case had been filed under the PP Act for the vocation of panchayati land in the court of SDM, Raikot.

Coming down heavily on the delaying tactics of the revenue staff to produce the relevant record pertaining to many complaints, the ADC directed the revenue officials to give written reply to the complainants.

On another pending case of Jaspal Singh, an NRI of Gobind Nagar Mohalla, regarding the non-execution of the mutation in spite of his name figuring in the revenue record in 1983, Brar directed the tesildar (East) to produce the whole record in the next sangat darshan so that the responsibility of the guilty employee could be fixed.

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Furniture destroyed in bank fire
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June
A major fire took place in the State Bank of India near Khalsa Girls College this morning, causing damage to computers, furniture and files. Fortunately, no employee or client was hurt.

Fire brigade and bank employees doused the flames. Short-circuit seemed to be the cause of the fire.

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International Day Against Drug Abuse
People asked to keep away from drugs
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 26
Senior Superintendent of Police R.K. Jaiswal today made a fervent appeal to members of the public in general and drivers of public carriers in particular, to keep away from drugs and other intoxicants.

Addressing a meeting, convened by the Goods Transport Agencies Association at Transport Nagar here, he focused on grave health hazards which were caused by drugs. He also dwelt upon the heavy toll taken by drunken driving on the roads.

President of the association Charan Singh Lohara assured full cooperation to the authorities in curbing the menace of drug addiction. Kirpal Singh Sandhu, Subhash Gupta, Lucky Jindal, public health worker Paramjit Kaur and Dr Mangla also spoke on the adverse effects of drugs on the human body. The mass media wing of the health administration put up an exhibition on the drug de-addiction to educate the people.

Presiding over another function in the ITI, civil surgeon S.P. Sharma exhorted the youth to stay away from drugs and other intoxicating substances. He said addictive substances like tobacco, liquor and narcotic drugs caused immense physical, emotional, financial and social loss to the community which ought to be avoided.

The Ludhiana branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) called upon all members of the society to come forward unitedly to fight the serious threat from the use of drugs.

Speaking at an interactive session at Bhai Daya Singh Ji Charitable Hospital in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar on the Pakhowal Road, IMA president Arun Mitra explained the ill- effects of these drugs on human beings.

He said easy accessibility of these medicines, that should be available on prescription only, was a real big threat. The use of drugs out of curiosity or under stress could be the beginning of falling into the trap. Parents must impart counseling during the childhood about the issue.

Dr Mitra and other IMA functionaries, including Dr Narotam Dewan and Dr Kulwant Singh, stressed that good family and social relationship could help prevent such happenings. They termed it unfortunate that the administration and the political set-up had not only failed to curb this menace but the seriousness of the issue was rampant and free supply of opium and alcohol by the candidates during elections was being taken lightly.

Dr D.N. Kotnis Acupuncture Hospital organised a seminar on de-addiction at Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran in Azad Nagar to mark the day.

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Pledge against drug abuse
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 26
Hundreds of cops and residents of the area under Khanna police district vowed to join the crusade launched against the menace of drug abuse and illicit trafficking at various functions organised in the region today.

Office-bearers of various social and religious organisations called upon the leaders of various parties to shun exploiting innocence of illiterate residents of their respective areas to capture power through drug abuse.

According to Gautam Cheema, Senior Superintendent of Police, Khanna, the rank and file in the department were administered an oath to involve them in the crusade under the aegis of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking today.

The SSP said the main function was organised at the Civil Lines, Khanna. Besides, seminars and public awareness camps were organised by SHOs at Khanna City, Khanna Sadar, Payal, Samrala, Machhiwara and Koom Kalan police stations today. 

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Land Scam
DC summons revenue record of Togarh village
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
The DC has summoned the revenue record of Togarh village near Mattewal after a poor family had alleged that a piece of 5 kanal and 6 marlas of agricultural land had changed many owners in the records allegedly at the behest of a lambardar.

Action follows in the wake of a Tribune report that had blown the lid off an alleged scam. The DC immediately summoned the record of the village and further investigations were on.

Family of Chinta Singh, a villager, had been claiming that the land (khasra number 16 vide hadbast number 291) was originally in the possession of the Punjab government. Later, as per the revenue record of 1967-68, Chinta Singh was the owner as well as tiller. Suddenly in 1987-88 records, the land was shown as a drain.

Finally, it was transferred in the name of Lakha Singh, a brother of lambardar of Mattewal Jeet Singh as per revenue records of 1997-98.

Chinta Singh claimed that he had remained the tiller and owner of the land till 1987. Suddenly, Jeet Singh's family, whose father was also a lambardar, raised an objection stating that the land should be transferred in the name of drainage department in 1987-88.

The family accepted the verdict of the revenue department at that time. But suddenly villagers came across the jamabandi after 10 years and was shocked to find that the land was shown to be tilled by Lakha Singh.

The villagers said there was another scam in the village and only a thorough probe could establish this fact. A number of pieces of land were already transferred in the name of some brothers of the lambardar.

Chinta Singh's family went to present their case at district administration's Sangat Darshan today where they found out that the DC had already summoned the records.

‘‘A thorough probe needs to be done into the entire scam and many skeletons would tumble out of the closet,’’ said a villager, adding that though there were many employees in the department who were trying to shield some persons.

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2 labourers in need of help
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 26
Two poor migrant labourers, Ram Manohar and Chhote Lal, who were seriously injured while fitting a generator in a hosiery unit here on April 20 this year, are in dire need of financial assistance.

Ram Manohar (30), father of an infant daughter, had received 35 percent burns in the accident and developed gangrene due to which the doctors had to amputate both his legs and left arm. His wife deserted him and his elderly parents, though desperate to help their son, cannot do much. Another migrant labourer, Chhote Lal (32), had received 25 percent burns and lost his right arm.

The duo have been under treatment at Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) since the fateful day of their accident. Even with the hospital offering various concessions to them during the course of their treatment, their outstanding bills now stand at more than Rs 2.5 lakh.

According to the attending doctors at CMCH, wounds of the victims were yet to heal and they would also need further surgeries. To afford this treatment was simply beyond their humble means, particularly since their families were already living in a hand-to-mouth condition. Both of them also need a nutritious diet during their convalescence, to fight their injuries and recover well.

In an appeal issued on behalf of the hapless migrant workers, the CMCH authorities said all those gracious Samaritans interested in helping these two patients, could contact the office of medical superintendent in CMCH. All donations are to be made in favour of Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, with “Treatment for Ram Manohar/Chhote Lal” written on the back side of the cheque or bank draft or on the covering letter.

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Cholamandalam opens branch
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
DBS Cholamandalam Wealth Management, a subsidiary of Cholamandalam DBS Finance Company Limited, and a leading investment advisory provider, today announced the launch of its new branch office in Ludhiana.

The branch is located at Feroze Gandhi Market.It promises to be a one-stop financial advisory centre offering a wide array of investment options such as mutual funds, insurance (life and general), fixed deposits, bonds and post office saving schemes.

According to Atul Pande,managing director, Cholamandalam DBS Finance Limited, DBS Cholamandalam Wealth Management also launched "Club Chola", a unique wealth management service aimed at providing holistic financial planning solutions for High Networth Individuals (HNIs) in the city.

The members would enjoy a host of privileges that include exclusive seminars by experts, entertainment programmes, subscription to research publications, stock recommendations etc.

The members would be serviced by highly certified professionals to provide the best and most trusted advice.

With a strong network of 70 offices in the country, DBS Cholamandalam Wealth Management is one of the leading distributors of financial products and has mobilised Rs 3500 crore in 2007.

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