L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Couple jumps into canal with daughter
Parents of 3 girls, they yearned for son
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 31
A marginal farmer of Lapran village in Ludhiana district, his wife and minor daughter jumped into the Bathinda branch of the Sirhind canal this morning.They asked their elder two daughters to do so too, but the girls were stopped by passersby.

While the couple was rescued, the youngest girl, drowned.

The couple, Kuldeep Singh and his wife Swaranjit Kaur, were booked by the Payal police for attempt to suicide and the murder of their daughter.

According to an FIR registered on the statement of Karamdin, son of Ghani Mohammad of Gidri village, the couple hired his vehicle to visit Karamsar. He did not suspect anything as residents often pay obeisance at Gurdwara Rara Sahib in Karamsar.

"As I dropped them near the bridge, I heard a noise. When I turned back, I found that the couple along with their minor daughter had jumped into the canal," Karamdin told the police.

Residents of the area led by former sarpanch of Ghangas village, Partap Singh, stopped Simranjit and Jaspreet from jumping into the canal.They also saved the couple and took them to Sant Isher Singh Memorial Charitable Hospital.

Investigations revealed that Kuldeep Singh and his wife Swaranjit Kaur belonged to a poor agrarian family. They were upset for not having a male child. Kuldeep Singh had to sell land to keep the family going and to pay off loans.

Though the police is yet to record the statement of Kudeep Singh



Tribune Impact
MC, traffic police get moving
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
At long last, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and the traffic police seem to have woken up to the traffic chaos in the city. While the traffic police has decided to introduce one-way traffic on certain routes, the Ludhiana MC has floated tenders to engage experienced professionals for improving the traffic scene.

The corporation plans to introduce in the city different transportation models as existing in countries like Columbia and Indonesia.

The consultants will help plan and design road junctions. They will also prepare parking plans and traffic management schemes.To improve the air quality in the city, they will also ready landscape plans along roads and road junctions.

According to the MC Commissioner: "All major traffic corridors have hit the saturation level in terms of capacity. There is an urgent need for a development plan for the city roads, which shall be implemented in a phased manner".

The corporation had been exploring a viable option for public transportation with modern facilities. The corporation was considering the Bus Rapid Transit System, which was efficient and economical.

This system had had a high success rate in Bogota (Columbia) and Jakarta (Indonesia). Even cities like Pune, Ahmedabad and Delhi were preparing to shift to the system. Meanwhile, the Ludhiana traffic police has decided to introduce one-way traffic in Ghumar Mandi, one of the most congested localities in the city. The vehicles going towards Aarti Chowk will have to take Ferozepur Road while on return they could take Rani Jhansi Road. 



Youth kills friend to escape sexual assault
Tribune News Service

Khanna, August 31
A 22-year-old youth killed his friend when he tried to sexually assault him.

According to the police, Kuldip Singh of Galoty informed the Payal police on August 26 that a body was lying in his fields.

The body bore marks of stab injuries. On searching the area, the police found an abandoned Scorpio jeep, 2km from where the body had been found. It was found that the vehicle belonged to one Paramjit Singh of Imamgarh village near Malerkotla. When the police got in touch with the family of Paramjit Singh, it was found that the dead youth was Paramjit himself.

As the investigations progressed, it was learnt that on the fateful day, Paramjit Singh had left his house along with his 22-year-old friend Amandeep Singh.The police interrogated Amandeep Singh who admitted he had killed Paramjit Singh as he had tried having sexual relations with him. Provoked, he pulled out his knife and stabbed him several times.

A case has been registered.



All for officers’ convenience
Vimal Sumbly/TNS

Ludhiana, August 31
For the police in Punjab in general and Ludhiana in particular, the hangover of the militancy refuses to go. Or quite a number of police officials do not want it to go lest they confront the reality of peace.

One of the important outlets in the Rakh Bagh area, one of the elite localities in the city that also has the official residences of bureaucrats and police officials, remains blocked for years, now about two decades. The blockade was set up during terrorism days. It was recently removed, but only to be raised once again as the officials whose residences are situated nearby still seem to feel insecure despite a number of police personnel deployed their round the clock for security.

None of the organisations, including the municipal corporation or the police, admitted on record that there was any blockade erected anywhere in the area. It is learnt that some officers whose residences are near the outlet that opens towards the busy Fountain Chowk-Durga Mata Mandir road have got it erected once again.

Anybody who comes from Rakh Bagh, which also has the Government College for Women and the Satluj Club in it, has to take a diversion towards a narrower lane as the straight and wider road is closed at the outlet, thus making it a dead end.

A couple of months ago, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation had removed the barricade and also metalled the patch, but within a few days the officers got the barricade raised once again apparently to retain their privacy. 



  Gabria denies Bains-bashing
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
Minister for tourism and jails Hira Singh Gabria today said he was not against the appointment of Simarjit Singh Bains as mayor of Ludhiana. He said if the party wanted Bains to be appointed as mayor, he had no problems.

Talking to TNS here today, Gabria said he had never opposed the appointment of Bains as mayor. However, he added that personally he thought that the mayor of the city must be an experienced person who had been in the corporation for a long time.

He also denied that he had ever told the party that it could appoint anybody but Bains as the mayor. He regretted that such statements were being attributed to him.

“Maybe in the party forum I may have expressed opinion in somebody’s favour, but I have not opposed anybody and not at least the way it is being projected,” Gabria said.

He pointed out that it was natural for a party as big as the SAD to have various groups supporting one leader or the other. It was by sheer chance, he sought to convey, that he wanted someone who had a lot of experience and could run the corporation in a better way.

Gabria said, “In fact, our role was limited to winning the elections for the party which we did and now it is up to the party leadership to decide about the mayor.”

He observed that the party leadership was “certainly in a better position” to make the right choice.

Asked whether he would accept the party’s choice for mayor, he remarked, “of course”. He asserted that he had always adhered to the party discipline. Difference of opinion, he said, could not be dragged beyond a limit, not to the extent that it would harm the party interests.

Gabria is one of the seniormost leaders of the party in Ludhiana. He also heads the district unit of the party. 



0001 goes for Rs 2,65,000
Our Correspondent

Samrala, August 31
The registration number PB-43-C-0001 by the Samrala Registering authority was sold at an auction here today for Rs 2,65,000.

The highest bid was made by Tajinderpal Singh Gill of Jaspal Bangar in Ludhiana district.

Talking to mediapersons, SDM Sukhdev Singh Mahal said there was no bidder from Samrala subdivision.

Every bidder was asked to deposit Rs 25,000 as demand draft.



Group alleges fraud by LIC Housing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
The Active Anti-Corruption Group today alleged a fraud to the tune of Rs 50 lakh by LIC Housing Board Finance and GSB Housing and Finance.

Addressing a press conference, Ramesh Bangar, president of the group, said: “Officials of LIC Housing Board Finance, on the basis of forged documents, extended loans of Rs 1.5 lakh per flat for 25 flats. The loans were not genuine and were taken in the names of two persons, Kanwal Sahni and Gurcharan Bansal, of GSB Housing Finance, their relatives and workers. None of the instalments towards the loans were repaid.”

Bangar alleged that after default, the LIC arranged for auction of the flats for which loans were extended. “The minimum reserve price per flat was fixed at Rs 20,000 whereas the rates of these flats had increased to Rs 2.5 lakh by that time,” he said.

Blaming the company, the group said if the value of the flat was much lower, officials should not have sanctioned loans of Rs 1.5 lakh per flat.

They demanded an inquiry into the matter. “There has been a fraud of Rs 50-60 lakh and the matter should be investigated at the earliest.”

The group has also written to the the chief of vigilance bureau, Chandigarh, the DGP, Punjab, the finance ministry and the Reserve Bank of India on the issue.



Tributes paid to Beant Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
Tributes were paid to former Chief Minister Beant Singh on his 12th death anniversary here today. While most of the senior party leaders were away to Chandigarh where a function was held at his memorial, workers held a function at the local office.

Floral tributes were paid at his portrait. The workers resolved to carry forward the mission of the late leader who sacrificed his life for the unity and integrity of the country. They recalled the dark days of terrorism in Punjab, when everybody was scared to come out of their homes.

Speakers also regretted that the anniversary function was cancelled this year at Payal. They hoped that the next anniversary would be observed like in the past to ensure that people did not forget the sacrifice of the great son of the soil. 



Pledge your eyes, students exhorted
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 31
Busting various myths and religious beliefs about donation of eyes, Dr Nitin Batra, an eye surgeon in the department of ophthalmology at Christian Medical College and Hospital, has called upon students to come forward and pledge donation of their eyes.

Making eye donation a mass movement will make a world of difference for the 2.5 million corneal blind persons in the country as donation of eyes by one person will empower two visually challenged persons.

Dr Batra was delivering a lecture on eye donation at the Khalsa College for Women here today to mark eye donation fortnight being observed from August 25 to September 8.

Focusing on the theme “pledge your eyes - donate light”, Dr Batra remarked that of the total 40 million visually impaired people in the world, India had about 15 million which included some 2.5 million who were cornea! blind. Because of low quality of life in developing countries, such persons were considered to be a burden on the family and society. Among common causes of corneal blindness were infections, injuries, chemical bums or congenital corneal opacities.

Listing various impediments towards bridging the gap between the demand and supply of corneas for transplantation, Dr Batra mentioned religious taboos, lack of awareness and facilities, apathy among the public and forgetfulness. In her vote of thanks, the college principal expressed gratitude to the visiting CMCH team for the educative and motivating lecture.

The students wishing to pledge their eyes were provided forms for this purpose on the conclusion of the lecture.



2 brothers held for bid to kill town founder’s
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 31
The local police has arrested two brothers who had allegedly attempted to murder septuagenarian daughter-in-law of the founder of the town after entering her bedroom forcibly 10 days ago. The police nabbed the duo when they were trying to leave the area on Wednesday.

The miscreants had entered the house with an intention to steal valuables and cash but attempted to kill the woman for fear of being caught. It was their bad luck that the victim, whom they had presumed dead, was rescued by the neighbours and the police.

Gobind Ram and Gurdev Kumar, sons of Rakesh Kumar of the local town, were nabbed by a police party led by Surinder Singh, ASI, from the Dhulkot road area when they were trying to leave the area on Wednesday. They were later produced in a court at Malerkotla.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the duo had tried to murder Sukhdarshan Kaur (65) by stabbing her in the throat on the night of August 21. Sukhdarshan Kaur was attacked as she had identified them. The accused, professional electricians, were casual visitors to the house and had come there to rectify some fault during the day.

As it was difficult to scale the walls of the spacious house, they hid themselves in a vacant room during daytime but Sukhdarshan noticed her around 8.30 pm. When she tried to raise the alarm the duo overpowered her and stabbed her in the throat.

They were yet to gather valuables and cash when the victim regained consciousness and walked into the room of her husband. However, the assailants managed to flee under the cover of darkness.

Malwinder Singh Dhaliwal, son of founder of the town late Mohinder Singh Dhaliwal, had complained earlier that some unidentified persons had attempted to murder his wife by stabbing her in the throat with a sharp-edged weapon.

“While I was watching TV in my room on Wednesday night, my terrified wife told me that some ‘servants’ had tried to kill her. Before I could come out with my gun they fled under the cover of darkness,” Dhaliwal had told the police. As the victim had bled profusely she fell unconscious and was shifted to a multi-speciality hospital in Ludhiana where she was operated upon. 



Bank of Baroda to focus on Punjab
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
Punjab will be a key focus area for the Bank of Baroda this year. The bank plans to open six more branches in Punjab apart from setting a growth target of 40 per cent in business from the state.

Chairman and managing director Anil Khandelwal, while talking to mediapersons here last evening, said the bank would also pay special attention to extending loans to small and medium enterprises. “We have already set up an SME branch here. Besides, Punjab will be among the key focus areas.”

The bank has also chalked out plans for overseas expansion and will open branches in Sydney, Spain and Ghana. It is waiting for approval to open branches in New Zealand and Canada. One-fifth of the bank’s business is generated from overseas.

Giving details of bank’s business, Khandelwal said currently the bank was doing a business of Rs 4,000 crore in the state and it had set a target of 40 per cent growth on an annual basis. He said the total business of the bank was Rs 2 lakh crore in the country.

Apart from Punjab, the bank would focus on South and Central regions as well and would increase its number of branches from the existing 1,100 to 1,700 soon.



Online sale of heavy vehicles  on rise
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
The online sale of heavy commercial vehicles in the region has been rising rapidly. In view of the high potential that the region holds, eBay Motors India, an online B2B motors marketplace, is focusing on this region. The company will generate awareness among potential buyers on identifying opportunities and processing of online buying.

Amit Bhartiya, director, eBay India Motors, said in a press note issued here yesterday that Punjab and Haryana had emerged as the largest contributors to the online sale of HCVs and trailers due to which the company was focusing on this region now.

“We will target transport areas and generate awareness. Currently, we have over 9,000 buyers, mostly dealers, on our portal across 250 cities. We are focusing on creating the largest organised online used vehicle market in the country by providing one stop ship to dealers, entrepreneurs and corporates for the efficient sale of all makes and types of used vehicles,” he said.

The company, he added, also provided free training to interested dealers through the eBay Motor Academy. The buyer training programmes inform participants bout the opportunity, benefits and processes of buying through our portal, said Bhartiya.



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