L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Financier found dead
Was under Rs 2 cr debt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
Kuldip Singh, a farmer-cum-financier of Rayian village, near Bhaini Sahib, who was reportedly under a debt of over Rs 2 crore, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in his car near the Pakhowal road bridge this morning.

The body and the car went unnoticed by the PCR team and night patrolling police personnel. Kuldip Singh was missing since yesterday afternoon. Relatives and residents of the village found his car near the bridge. He had vomited in the car before dying.

His brother Sohan Singh said Kuldip was a teetotaller and never took drugs.

The police said he owed money, but many people also owed him money. He used to take money from other farmers and traders and give them monthly interest. He would then invest the money further.

SHO Warryam Singh said the deceased, aged about 45 years, seemed to have committed suicide as he was under pressure to pay off the debt.

The police learnt that some complaints had also been filed against him for not repaying the debt.

Sohan Singh said Kuldip had come to the city last afternoon. “He was accompanied by his wife and son. He left them in the market at about 2 pm, after which his wife and son returned to the village by bus. However, he could not be traced. He answered his phone only till about 4 pm. His phone stopped ringing after till 11 pm. The viscera has been sent for another postmortem after a postmortem examination suggested traces of poison in the body.

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Thieves make off with over Rs 3 lakh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
In yet another broad daylight crime in the city, a youth stole a bag containing Rs 2.50 lakh in Miller Gunj while two motorcycle-borne youths injured and looted Rs 66,000 from an employee of a BSNL distributor in Vikas Nagar.

A young car driver, Jimmy Gill, displayed courage by chasing the rod-wielding motorcycle youths after they injured Kewal Singh, an employee of the distributor, Keshav Joshi.

Jimmy chased the duo on his scooter, but they succeeded in fleeing.

Kewal was on his way to a bank to deposit the money when he was attacked from behind with an iron rod. He fell off his scooter and struggled to save the bag containing the money in vain.

A case has been registered in the Sarabha Nagar police station in this regard.

In the second incident, a motor-parts trader, Balbir Singh Manku had withdrawn Rs 2.50 lakh from a bank and kept it in his shop. A youth riding a motorcycle broke the windowpane of the shop with a rod and decamped with the money.

The police has registered a case.

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PAU Thefts
Teacher’s son nabbed; let off
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
A series of thefts on the campus of Punjab Agricultural University for the last six months seemed to have been solved when the son of a faculty member, an MBA student and a suspected drug addict, was allegedly caught thieving by residents on September 22 late in the night. But he was let off by the Sarabha Nagar police after his parents allegedly returned the “stolen money” to some of the victims.

Campus residents are crying foil, accusing cops of double standards. A few weeks ago two girl students, both sisters, from a poor family were caught, booked and arrested for stealing petrol and small utility items. It is strange that a youth who had reportedly stolen lakhs, fraudulently using an ATM card, was let off.

Even the security officer of PAU expressed surprise at the release of the youth, whom they had officially handed over to the police. The youth allegedly withdrew over a lakh of rupees from the account of Dr P.N. Mehra, whose ATM card was stolen in June. Dr Mehra discovered his dwindling funds this month.

Residents wishing not to be quoted said a theft took place in the house (no 8/31) of Dr Pritpal Singh Dhaliwal between 5pm to 11.30 pm when the family was away. He found the house ransacked and cash along with his ATM card missing. His family had had just entered the house when an alarm was raised by the family of Dr Mehra (8/20) that a thief had entered their house.

Residents ran towards the house to catch the thief who was finally caught hiding in bushes.The residents were shocked to see the thief whom they recognised as the son of a professor in the extension education department.

A hammer and a piece of paper on which the pin number of the ATM card owned by Dr Pritpal Dhaliwal was recovered from the accused. The PAU security team and PCR cops handed him over to the Sarabha Nagar police station. The youth was released last evening.

PAU security officer R.S. Dhillon said they would take up the issue with the police. “We had called the police and handed over the youth. The residents need not complain as FIRs of various thefts are already registered. The police had to only take statements of the victims.”

He said the security wing of PAU was pursuing the matter and a case should be registered against the youth.

SHO Sarabha Nagar Navreet Singh said the youth was brought to the police station but nothing was recovered from him. Moreover, no one had filed a complaint against the youth. He said he had no information if the stolen money was returned to ‘silence’ the victims. He said politics among faculty members was the reason behind the allegations.

Interestingly, the police claims to have already solved the theft at the house of Dr Harjit Singh Dhaliwal (h. no 8/25). SHO Navreet Singh said a thief nabbed by the CIA had admitted to the crime and a sum of Rs 2,000 was recovered from him.

However, Dr Dhaliwal did not “believe” the police findings. Sources said even after the police claim of having nabbed the thief, another theft of Rs 10,000 had taken place in a house on the campus on August 19.

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Raid on cracker units

Ludhiana, September 24
A joint team of the district administration and the police raided Peeru Banda Mohalla this afternoon and seized a rich haul of explosive material used to make crackers.

The raid was conducted in the wake of yesterday’s blast in a house where crackers were being manufactured illegally.

K.P. Brar, additional deputy commissioner, along with Jagwinder Jit Singh Grewal, SDM (east), additional SHO, Salem Tabri, Gurbachan Singh and ASI Hakam Singh raided about half a dozen houses and found large quantities of explosive material, which have been taken into custody.

District magistrate Sumer Singh Gurjar said the administration had identified more areas in the city where this illegal activity could be on and such units would be closed. — TNS

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Rural girls take to the skies
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
More and more girls, including those from the rural areas, are trying their luck in the aviation industry as they find it lucrative and glamorous.

Girls from Goraya, Jagraon, Moga etc., have joined the profession.

Priyanka Joshi from Goraya has recently been selected by Air Deccan (domestic) with a starting monthly salary of Rs 17,000. She said she always wanted to do something different in life. “By the grace of God, I had good height and looks. It was my ambition to be an airhostess and today I have achieved that aim,” she said. A plus two passout, Priyanka did her schooling in Goraya itself.

Dr K.N.S. Kang, director, PCTE, said an urge to look better or at least on a par with their counterparts in the urban areas was the main reason for village girls to join the aviation industry.

Also, the industry offered good salary packages. Giving data on aviation courses at the institute, he said last year, 13 girls had joined the course out of which three were from villages. “This time, 14 girls have joined the course, of which 10 are from villages and small towns. A lot of awareness has come among rural women. A majority of them have been supported by their families,” he said.

Flying academies are making efforts to ensure placements of their students. Savita Chaddha, centre head, Frankfinn, said though institutes claimed to provide 100 per cent placements, much depended on the seriousness of students.

“If the student is serious, then a job is no problem. If not in international airlines, students are selected in domestic flights. I feel that there is a strong urge among rural girls to prove themselves.

Though they are not exposed to the fast life of the city, the determination to be successful makes a lot of difference,” she added.

Jagtar Singh from Aligarh (Jagraon) said he had to surrender to the wishes of his daughter. “She has been selected by Air Deccan.” he adds proudly.

The domestic airlines offer salary between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000 per month. The salary package for international airlines starts from Rs 75,000, a faculty member of an airhostess institute said.

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Khangura asks Sidhu to pursue Jat unity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
Kila Raipur MLA, Jassi Khangura, today asked the Amritsar MP, Navjot Singh Sidhu, to resign from politics for uniting the Jats across the country. He wondered as how Sidhu, while practising secular polity could make such remarks.

In a letter addressed to Sidhu, copies of which were released to the press, Khangura said, “noting your comments on promoting Jat unity as the newly nominated president of the World Jat Aryan Foundation, I fail to understand how you will achieve this as a high-profile politician on a platform that you clearly wish to politicise. This is no laughing matter”.

Khangura suggested Sidhu, “if you genuinely and passionately believe in this objective, surely you should make this your primary aim, resign from politics and use your immense personality to unite Jats across India”.

He added, “far be it for me to question your intentions, but if you are as sincere as your TV quips, then surely you will recognise the need and make this a cross party objective, one that as a Jat sikh I would be happy to support and I look forward to you progressing this matter with substance and not mere sloganeering”.

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Devotees throng Chhapar
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 24
Hundreds of devotees paid obeisance at Guga Marri, a day prior to the Chhapar mela.

Office-bearers and workers of various political parties were enthusiastic about making arrangements for the conferences of their respective parties.

Volunteers of various social organisations are setting up camps for providing free services to devotees.

Meanwhile, the deputy commissioner, Ludhiana, has banned the carrying and sale of firearms and other weapons, including “gandasas”, trishuls and lathis, in Chhapar, Latala, Dhoolkote, Jand , Jurahan, Maherna Kalan and Barundi villages falling in the proximity of the venue for the mela. 

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NRI stopped from second marriage
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
The Basti Jodhewal police yesterday stopped marriage of a Dubai- based NRI in Dheri village allegedly without divorcing his first wife.

A police team interrupted the marriage ceremony in the afternoon on the complaint of Balwinder Kaur, first wife of the NRI Manjinder Singh. He had two daughters from Balwinder Kaur.

The NRI and Balwinder Kaur were living separately but not legally divorced. They had agreed to part ways in a compromise effected in the Marital Dispute cell. The compromise listed the NRI to pay certain amount alimony to the wife.

The NRI, however, returned to Dubai without paying the money. He returned this month but refused to honour the mutual agreement. Meanwhile, he made plans to marry another woman.

Police officials said a case may be registered only after taking legal opinion on whether the man may go for another marriage after the mutual separation agreement.

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Cong men celebrate Rahul, Bhattal's appointment
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
Congress leaders and workers today welcomed the appointment of Rahul Gandhi as the AICC general secretary and that of Rajinder Kaur Bhattal as the president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC).

The moment the news about the appointment of Rahul Gandhi was flashed, the local leaders started issuing statements. They also organised a function here to hail his appointment as the party general secretary.

Later in the day, the loyalists of Bhattal also held a function to celebrate her appointment.

Prominent among them included Parminder Mehta, a councillor and PCC secretary and also known Bhattal loyalist. Mehta also distributed sweets among the party workers.

He said Bhattal's appointment as the PCC president was long overdue and claimed that she would help in strengthening the party in the state. He claimed that she always lived among the workers and could provide good opposition to the government.

Another senior party leader Amarjit Singh Tikka also welcomed both appointments.

He said the appointment of Gandhi as the AICC secretary was long awaited and it would help the party to bring more and more young people to its fold.

He said given the huge percentage of the youth in country's population, his elevation would certainly be of immense help to the party.

He also welcomed the appointment of Bhattal as the PCC president.

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Letters
Generator problem

Ludhiana is the leading base of power generators for both residential and industrial purposes. All the small-scale entrepreneurs rely on generators for running their units and the people in the city have been forced to bear the air and noise pollution due to lack of electricity.

There has been a sudden squirt in the cases of respiratory diseases and we are forced to bear the pollution. The generator users are not only causing harm to the health of others, but also to them. The smoke let out by the generators leads to accumulation of carbon particles in the air, which is very perilous for lungs.

In spite of the fact that ‘silent generators’ are now available in the market, people opt for ‘cheaper’ generators causing noise and air pollution.

IBS Nanda, Ludhiana

Readers are invited to mail letters (not more than 200 words) at "ludhiana@tribunemail.com" or post the same to The Tribune, 1, 2 Improvement Trust Building, Badaur House, Clock Tower, Ludhiana.

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Woman in the net with 105 gm smack
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 24
The Dehlon police has arrested a woman courier, who supplied drugs to local dealers of the town and surrounding villages. As much as 105 gm of smack worth Rs 60,000 was seized from her possession.

According to an FIR registered under the NDPS Act, Jasbir Kaur of Jandiala village in Jallandhar district was arrested by the police from bus stand at Pohir last evening.

Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP Ludhiana (Rural), told the Ludhiana Tribune that the arrest was made on the basis of a secret information.

The police had received information that a gang of drug peddlers had been supplying drugs in the area through girls. Besides directing the Narcotics Cell staff, the SSP directed the SHO Dehlon to increase vigilance at public places, including bus stops and railway stations falling under his jurisdiction. Jasbir Kaur was nabbed when she was waiting for a dealer.

"When cops noticed a woman standing at Pohir bus stop for unusually long time, they informed the SHO, whose promptness resulted in her arrest," said Bhullar.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the accused had been acting on behest of a gangster named Jatinder of Jalandhar. She was asked to handover the consignment to a local dealer named Pushpinder, whose address was not known to her. Jatinder had assured to pay her a sum of Rs 2,000 for the job.

"Only I knew is that a boy named Pushpinder, who would recognise me from my dress, would take the packet from me at the bus stand," told Jasbir Kaur to SHO Prem Singh. 

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Man arrested with Rs 1.46 lakh fake currency
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 24
The local police with the arrest of one person out of two, claimed to have busted a gang, dealing in fake Indian currency. Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP, Ludhiana (rural), said the police nabbed Krishan Kumar of New Salem Tabri, Ludhiana. The police got the information that Krishan, along with his other accomplice, circulated fake Indian currency in the area. They were likely to pass through Aligarh- Raikot road, the sources said. The police registered a case under Sections 489-A,B,C,D,E and 420 of the IPC. The police held a naka near bridge drain and intercepted a motorcycle no. PB-10BP-6468 on which two persons were riding. The pillion rider managed to flee on seeing the police where as Krishan Kumar was held. The police recovered fake currency worth Rs 1.46 lakh. The motorcycle was also impounded. The other who escaped was identified to be Arjun of Ludhiana. The police has started further investigation.

1 booked for theft

Girjit Singh of Hathur allegedly trespassed into the house of Sarwan Dass and assaulted him. He stole Rs 300 along with a mobile phone. The local police has registered a case under Sections 452, 324 and 380 of the IPC. The injured has been admitted in Rajindra Hospital, Patiala. No arrest has been made so far.

4 booked for assault

In two separate incidents, the Raikot and Sidhwan Bet police has booked four persons on the charge of assault. In the first, Lakhvir Singh of Chakbhaika allegedly assaulted Karamjit Singh of his village with bricks. The Raikot police has registered a case under Sections 323 and 324 of the IPC. The injured has been admitted in the civil hospital, Raikot. In other incident, Manjit Singh, Gug and Gurprit Singh of Lodiwal allegedly stopped Ajmer Singh of Sodiwal and assaulted him with dah, toki and sticks. The Sidhwan Bet police has registered a case under Sections 324, 323, 341 and 34 of the IPC. The injured has been admitted in the civil hospital, Sidhwan Bet. No arrest has been made so far in both the cases.

3 booked for fraud

In two separate incidents, the Raikot and Sidhwan Bet police has booked three persons on the charge of committing fraud. In the first, Gurmit Singh of Molyan Mohala, Raikot, allegedly received Rs 7.5 lakh from Kulwant Singh of Rajoana Khurd in April 2004, with assurance that he would manage all the affairs for sending him aboard. He did not send the complainant aboard nor returned the amount to the victim. The Raikot police registered a case under Section 420 of the IPC. In other incidents, Bhupinder Singh of Galib kalan and Kulwant Singh of Babiha Bhai Ke village of Moga, allegedly received Rs 1.3 lakh from Gurminder Singh of Galib Kalan in May 2005, on the similar promise but the duo did not fulfill the promise. The Sidhwan Bet police registered a case under Section 420, 120-B of the IPC.

14-day judicial remand

An employee of cooperative society, Sidhwan Kaler, was held by the Sidhwan Bet police with 6 quintals wheat and 185 kg rice, which was being taken to the market for sale. This was the one that was supplied to the Urdu society scheme for distribution at subsidised rate to the poors. Ranjiv Kumar, Judicial Magistrate, Jagraon, remanded him to judicial custody till October 6, in the case under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC.

On a secret information that Satwinder Singh of Sidhwankalan, who is employed as salesman at cooperative society, Sidhwan kalan, was in habit of using the government supply of wheat and rice, was going to sell the same in the market, SHO Pritam Singh of Sidhwan Bet police held a naka near Bodalwala and intercepted a horse cart carrying the same. He arrested Satwinder Singh on his way.

Sewadar assaulted

Sarwan Singh of Hathur, working as sewadar in Maa Bhagwati Temple at Hathur, was assaulted with sharp edged weapon by an unidentified person in the early hour of the day, when he was in one of the temple rooms. Hearing cries, his wife when came to his rescue was also assaulted. The assailant was demanding jewellary. Later, he decamped with the mobile phone and some cash. The local police has registered a case. 

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Manjit is hotel association chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
Manjit Singh Nagpal of Nagpal Regency was unanimously elected president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Punjab.

At the annual general meeting of the association, in which hotel and restaurant owners from across the state participated here today, two associations joined hands.

Among others who were elected today was Amarbir Singh as general secretary. The members decided to work together for the betterment of hotel and restaurant industry of the state.

The association also planned to take up the issue of luxury tax on hotels with the tourism minister.

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