L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Man, three daughters attempt suicide
Cops outside SSP’s house save them
Jupinderjit Singh/TNS

Ludhiana, September 30
Alert police personnel stopped a Shimla Puri resident and his three daughters from committing suicide in front of the residence of the city SSP this afternoon.

The man, Tilak Raj, was allegedly peeved at the police inaction on his complaints regarding a land dispute and a television dealer.

The police said a court order had already settled the said land dispute against the man and they were helpless. The complaint against the TV dealer was also not found up to the mark.

Tilak Raj was booked under Section 306 of the IPC for attempting suicide and driving his three daughters- Shilpa (17), Neha (14) and Nancy (12) to do the same. He was arrested. His wife died five months ago.

Journalist arrested

The police booked a journalist, Vipin, working for a local cable TV network for allegedly instigating the family to attempt suicide outside the SSP's residence. According to SHO Gurdev Singh, Vipin has been booked under 309 CrPC. He was arrested and bailed out. The SHO said it was for the first time that a journalist was booked for instigating a family to attempt suicide.

Tilak Raj left his home on Barota road on a scooter with his three daughters at about noon. Sources in the police said an ASI of Punjab Police got wind of his plan. He followed them and alerted senior officials.

Several teams of city police laid check posts at different roads leading to the residence of the SSP. One of the teams led by DSP Simrat Pal Singh Dhindsa intercepted the family near a petrol pump situated behind the residence.

The family was taken into custody after much difficulty. The police could not use force as tempers ran high. Many mediapersons were also present at the site. Some of them had been accompanying the family for a long distance.

The police eventually succeeded in pacifying Tilak. He was arrested and taken to Division No. 8 police station. Police sources said he seemed quite disturbed and it seemed like someone had instigated him to cause such drama.

Earlier, Tilak Raj alleged the Shimla Puri police had not taken any action on his complaints regarding the land dispute. His daughter Shilpa alleged that a TV dealer had taken away their television set as they could not pay an installment.

She claimed the dealer beat up her father, damaged the furniture in the house, abused and threatened them. She said they complained to the police but no action was taken against the dealer.

DSP Dhindsa said the allegations were false as no complaint was made to the Shimla Puri police. He said even if they had met the SHO and no action was taken the family should have brought the matter to the notice of the senior officials instead of taking such drastic action.

He said the daughters were minors and the man put their life at risk because of his action.



Harassed arhtiyas plan strike
Tribune News Service

Khanna, September 30
A few arhtiyas at the local grain market today decided to strike work alleging indifferent attitude of the local administration. Swaran Singh, secretary of the local arhtiyas association, said 35 commission agents of B-yard at the grain market were being harassed by the administration, which he alleged wanted to oblige one of the commission agents, who is considered close to the Akali government.

The secretary said other agents in the B-yard were displaced from the places which they had for the past 30 to 35 years been using for unloading the produce. This, he said, was done as the commission agent, supported by the Akalis, want 120-feet space for himself even as others shared 60-feet each.

Swarn Singh said as of now they had to strike work for two days but in case the administration would not initiate remedial measures, they would give a call for the Punjab bandh.

However, the grain market authorities maintained that though the commission agents differed, but the matter was amicably sorted out. Meanwhile, the farmers continued to sell their produce to the private players who were offered Rs 700 to Rs 720 per quintal. Out of 21,000 quintals of paddy that arrived here today, 14,000 was bought by the private traders while the government agency bought 6,500 quintals. Pungrain procured 1,700 quintals, Markfed bought 800 quintals, PUNSUP got 3,000 quintals and Warehouse purchased 1,000 quintals of paddy.

Till yesterday the market had registered an arrival of 1.31 lakh quintals of paddy.



In Basta
Five years on, her murder still a mystery
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30
Five years after Ritika, the daughter of an industrialist, who was found murdered in her house in Sector 32, Urban Estate, Chandigarh road, the police seems to be clueless about the murder. Her body was found in a chamber behind a cupboard in her house.

Innumerable theories behind the murder have been discussed, investigated and rejected or not looked into due to various types of pressure. And the culprits are still at large.

" I have studied the case. The investigation could not reach any definite conclusion even though many theories were followed. It is not that the police has reached a dead end. The probe is not closed.

— SSP R.K. Jaiswal

It was on the evening of July 7, 2002, that Ritika Mallik, a graduate from the Government College for Girls, was found tied to a chair with six stab injuries on her face, neck and abdomen. Her mouth was gagged. The eyes had popped out presumably due to horror.

There was no evidence of strangulation or sexual abuse. She died due to loss of blood because of the wounds.

She was alone in the house that evening. Her father, T.R. Mallik, mother Saroj Mallik, brother Amar Mallik and her married elder sister were away to a restaurant. They were the first to witness the ghastly sight at about 9 pm that evening.

Later, the family reported Rs 41,000 cash and 1.2 kg gold missing from the house. Robbery and murder seemed to be the motive. Some area residents also claimed to have seen two persons near the house.

But the cops were not comfortable with the theory that robbers did it. The house was not searched or ransacked in the manner robbers usually do. Within two days, the police detained a close family relative on the suspicion of murder.

The police action evoked strong opposition from the family. A local MLA of the Congress got the man released that midnight from the CIA custody. The police expressed helplessness. Later, policemen said they did not have much evidence against the suspect.

The case has remained in cold storage since then while emerging now and again in police meetings whenever the old cases that could not be cracked are discussed.

Sources said the police faced immense pressure from some vested interests whenever they restarted the investigation. SSP R.K. Jaiswal said this was one of the most mysterious cases he had ever come across.

“I have studied the case. The investigation could not reach any definite conclusion even though many theories were followed. It is not that the police had reached a dead end. The probe is not closed,” he said.



Farmer finds land ‘mortgaged’ with bank
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30
For Amar Singh (85) of Mangat village, near here, it was shocking to learn that his land had been mortgaged with a cooperative bank against a loan of about Rs 3.5 lakh, reportedly been taken by Sukhvinder Singh of Bajra village against his four acres.

Amar Singh has been visiting the mini-secretariat and appears regularly at the sangat darshan to get the revenue records corrected as his land had been mortgaged with the bank by someone else.

He said no criminal case had been registered so far and no inquiry had been ordered.

The matter has reportedly been referred to the tehsildar who has sought a report from the patwari and kanungo concerned. No report has come even after two months.

He said he would not have come to know about the fraud had he not applied for the loan with the cooperative bank against the same land.

When he approached the bank, he found that the land had already been mortgaged.

“I have all records with me. The land is in my possession and I have been cultivating it, but the revenue records have been made to show that it belonged to someone else,” he said.

He alleged that the patwari and the kanungo were sitting over the report because of their alleged involvement. “But how long can they delay it? Ultimately they will have to explain,” he said. 



When residents gasped for breath
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30
Residents of Rishi Nagar, who live near the Punjab Agricultural University campus had a suffocating Sunday as the university employees set fire to garbage in order to get rid of solid waste.

The garbage dumped inside the precincts of the university was set on fire in the early hours today. Westerly winds carried the smoke to the residences and made the Sunday difficult for Rishi Nagar residents.

A.K. Bhandari, a resident of the area said this was done many times on Sunday mornings and it became very difficult for them to breathe as smoke filled their houses for a number of hours till the burning of the garbage got over.

He added that they had made numerous complaints to the PAU authorities, who instead of doing anything about the problem, kept denying that they set the garbage on fire.

‘‘Now we have complained to the municipal commissioner. We have urged him to do something so that we can enjoy sitting in our houses on a holiday,’’ said Bhandari.

‘‘I do not understand how they can deny the fact that they burn the waste,” he said.



Property Dispute
Mediator done to death
Our Correspondent

Khamano, September 30
A man was stabbed to death over some property dispute between two brothers at Badesh Khurd village, near here, last night. Hardip Singh and Harwinder Singh, both brothers, had property dispute. Their relatives, including Dilbag Singh, had come to settle it.

Last night, both brothers had confrontation over the issue and Hardip Singh allegedly threatened Harwinder Singh of dire consequences. When Dilbag Singh tried to intervene, Hardip Singh allegedly stabbed him with a sharp-edged weapon.

He died on the spot. He was a resident of Sionk village, near Mullanpur Garibdass (Mohali).



Khanna residents killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Khanna, September 30
Two persons were killed on the spot when a tractor-trailer ran over them near Bhatti village last night. According to the police, the victims were identified as Ankush Kumar and Swapandeep, both residents of Khanna.

As the matter was reported to the police, policemen reached the spot to take stock of the situation after which the bodies were sent to the civil hospital for postmortem.

The Sadar police has registered a case against the driver of the tractor-trailer.



From Punjab, with love for Russia
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30
The 10-member Bhangra team of Lok Kalakar Sath, Punjab recently returned from Moscow after disseminating the message of peace and unity across the globe. The enthusiastic members came after participating in two international folk festivals, “Suzdal Autumn 2007” and “Babjeo Leto”, which were held in the historical cities of Suzdal and Vladimir in the month of September.

Talking about the festivals joint director of the troupe advocate Nalin Kaushik said, “The two cities are famous globally for the artistic architecture of their monasteries and cathedrals. The event was organised by a Russian company Blitz in association with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs of Russian Federation. Apart from India, artistes from countries like Spain, Nigeria, Slovakia, Albania, Moldova, Slovenia and Russia itself also took part in the mega event.”

Kaushik added that the scintillating first performance of bhangra at the commercial hub of Vladimir city known as Trading Roads eventually drew huge crowds, which resulted in mega trading activities in the newly built Mega Mall at Centre Square there.

“Locals were seen searching for Indian folk dresses and instruments in the market, hoping to get a glimpse of Indian traditions. Electronic and print media carried special features about Punjabi folk dances, dresses and instruments. Television channels relayed shows relating to the art of turban making. Performing barefoot on stage despite the shivering cold also caught the attention of the media fraternity,” said Kaushik.

The troupe leader and Bhangra coach Parminderjit Singh Bhola said the Russians were curious to know about his long beard as well as the religious significance of the turban. "They always asked me to play the tune of Punjabi song ‘Mundeyan ton bach ke rahin’ with my tumbi. The Russians showed special interest in folk instruments like ehikka, kato, khundas and tumbis. They were surprised that such ancient folk instruments are still in use in India. Our drummer Ustaad Subash Kumar displayed the magic of rhythm with his dhol. This made the Russians dance to the tunes of Punjabi music,” he said.

The bhangra boys liked the folklore group “Badojoz” in which Spanish girls performed folk dances sevillana and fandango. “The Russians also loved Spanish folk instrument flamenco. Spanish guitarist Carlos appreciated the Punjabi folk dance. He said he had never seen such dance formations in his life. He also added that the Punjabi folk song ‘Jindua’ resembles their flamenco style of singing, which had originated in India. Nigerian group ‘Triple Heritage’ displayed their popular tribal dance,” said Kaushik.

The members of the group including Inderjit Singh Kler, Harjot Singh Cheema, Lakhwinder Singh, Jagdeep Singh Maihi, Sunny Sharma, Gagandeep Singh Dhaliwal, Ranbir Singh Sanghera and Gurjeet Singh Mann said the leader.



Olympian flags off ‘Walk for Heart’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 30
At least 1,300 people attended the “Healthy Heart Expo” on the second day today. And about 200 residents, wearing red T-shirts and caps, took part in the “Walk for Heart”, organised by SPS Apollo Hospital here today to create awareness about a healthy heart in the wake of alarming rise in the cardiac ailments. Hockey Olympian Hardeep Singh Grewal flagged off the walk.

The walk commenced from the hospital and culminated at the Giaspura Chowk. Later, the participants were apprised of four different activities integrated with the walk. The experts described these through management of stress, exercise and fitness, nutrition and diet workshop and an interactive session with cardiologists on various heart ailments.

A cardiac check-up camp, organised by the hospital on this occasion, attracted 400 people who were examined by a team of specialists. Jugdiep Singh, director of the hospital, said the institution was overwhelmed by the people’s response as well as that of the companies taking part in the expo.

Interacting with the participants, senior cardiologist at the hospital Dr R.P. Singh observed that walking was the easiest and most convenient form of exercise for people. It also helps in prevention of heart diseases.

Dr K.C. Mukherjee, senior cardiac surgeon, said the programme would now be held on an annual basis. “Studies have indicated that 25 per cent population is suffering from either diabetes or high blood pressure. Both these groups are at a high risk of getting heart diseases as well.”



SAD (A) Bittu faction plans show of strength at Alamgir
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30
Apparently to assert its strength, the SAD (Amritsar) is planning to hold a rally at the historic Gurdwara Alamgir, near here, on November 30.

Stating this here today, Daljit Singh, senior vice-president of the party, said the party “is representative of the nationalistic sentiments of the Sikh nation and the pride of the people of Punjab”.

“The glory of the Sikhs and the all-round progress of the people of Punjab is our mission and goal and we are dedicated to continue the unfinished task of the party in a determined manner,” he said.

In an oblique reference to the recent critcism against him, he said: “In recent times, a large number of baseless charges have been levelled against us. We consider it neither important nor necessary to reply to these allegations.”

He observed that the declining standards of politics in the state are a cause of concern. Without specifying or mentioning any names, he said “feudal politics and nepotism are the order of the day and are considered as a norm”.



Drive against misuse of Press stickers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30
With fake press identification cards recovered from a number of alleged criminals in the recent past, the city traffic police has launched a special drive to challan those persons who are wrongly using “press” stickers on their vehicles.

SP (traffic) Rupinder Singh said non-journalists were misusing the “press” stickers to park in an unauthorised manner, escaping being challaned at check posts and were getting away with violation of traffic rules.

The drive, which started last evening, continued today. The police had warned the non-journalists using the “press” stickers before the starting the drive.

The policemen removed the stickers from about 20 such vehicles. One person was challaned also.

The SP said those possessing valid identity cards of a newspaper or magazine organisation or a TV or radio channel or a news-based website would not be told to remove stickers or challaned.



Pandit Phillauri remembered

Ludhiana, September 30
Creator of the famous religious prayers “Om Jai Jagdish Hare”, Pandit Shardha Ram Phillauri, was remembered at a function organised by the Pandit Shardha Ram Phillauri Memorial Welfare Society to mark his 170th birthday at Rotary Bhawan here today.

Krishan Kumar Bawa, president of the society, while speaking on the occasion focused on glorious heritage of the Hinduism while exhorting the people not to forget those who had worked for the enrichment of culture and religion. — OC



Book on martyr released

Ludhiana, September 30
A function was organised by the Sirjandhara, a Punjabi literary organisation, at Punjabi Bhavan here today to release a book, ‘Amar Saheed Uttam Singh Haans’, written by Ajaib Singh Haans. — TNS



Vidya Mandir director dead
Tribune News Service

Kamla Devi Sharma Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 30
The director of Sanatan Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School and Sacred Soul Public School, Kamla Devi Sharma, died after a brief illness here today.

She was 56 and is survived by her son and two daughters. She was cremated in this afternoon.

Hundreds of people from various walks of life attended the funeral procession. Leaders of various social and political organisations paid tributes to her.



Ludhiana Calling

Most city shops wear a deserted look these days as “shraadhs” have begun. What is interesting is that discounts are on an all time high. This gives ample chance to “non-believers” to strike good bargains. One such woman gave a smart tip: “I keep a tab on days that are considered inauspicious to make purchases and make it a point to shop at that time. Not only are shopkeepers happy to attend you, one can take longer than usual to select items of ones choice, and definitely strike better bargains than on any other day,” the woman added.

Managing stress

To tap the rapidly growing market for workshops on dealing with stress and solving routine problems, a local event manager thought it wise to invite an expert from another city. And while the response was good, the event manager confessed that managing the entire affair and people who came from different fields, was quite a task, giving the organiser a lot of stress. The exercise in stress busting should have begun from home, probably!

Superstitious doctors

While doctors talk of scientific temper and reasoning most of the time. A few keep small indoor plants, photos, idols, water falls associated with some kind of superstition for doing good business in their clinics. At a few clinics no wall or corner is spared without keeping such things. The clinic room surely makes a statement contrary to what doctors preach.

Camel ride for youngsters

Sarabha Nagar market is a haven for youngsters. Being an important part of their “geri” route, it has come a long way. Just to attract the attention of their potential customers, the shopkeepers too are leaving no stone unturned. Recently, a shopkeeper has introduced a camel ride in the corridors of the market. And the residents seem to be making the most of it.

Ludhianvis going bald

Growing bald in young age did not go well with an affluent Ludhianvis, who knocked at various doors to get his crowning glory (read lost glory) back. But his hairline is continuously receding. He tried all solutions being offered by different outlets in city. He did not get his hair back but his pocket burned a hole when he found that he had paid Rs 2 lakh to various outlets offering hair grow solutions.

(Un) charitable hospitals

Ludhiana has quite a number of hospitals, that claim themselves to be charitable. Barring a very few, no other hospital qualifies for this definition. Rather, these hospitals prove to be most uncharitable. The fee they charge is as much as any other private hospital or nursing home if not more as that. To top it all these (un) charitable hospitals also advertise about themselves a lot. A leading private nursing home which would claim miracles about treating infertility through massive advertisements was banned from doing so. Later the management of that particular hospital opened up another (un)charitable hospital under a different name at a different place promising same wonders and that too for “charity”. Charity there means offering nominal 10 or 12 per cent discount to patients for a fee that is too exorbitant. It is apparently a good ploy to trap people and befool the authorities. Only if the health authorities took the note of it.

Religion no exception

God seems to be remembered the most during the “shraads” (a fortnight long affair where people of a particular faith remember their ancestors) and the festival seasons. Ludhiana, where everything is flaunted much beyond the desired proportions, religion is no exception. The “jagratas” have already started. Obviously people who organise and participate in these functions have faith in these rituals.

— Sentinal



Biz Word
Orra’s spiritual collection launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30
Orra has launched its 10th collection in the “spiritual series” of diamond jewellery. Named “Raksha Taveez Collection” the jewellery is designed in 22 carat gold

This was stated in a press note issued by CEO Vijay Jain. The range of this collection starts from Rs 9,000 onwards.

Beauty salon

Models at the opening of Headmasters beauty salon in Ludhiana on Saturday.
Models at the opening of Headmasters beauty salon in Ludhiana on Saturday. — A Tribune photograph

Headmasters launched its beauty salon here on Saturday. It also has its branches in Chandigarh and Panchkula. "It is an exclusive Schwarzkopf salon. It is spread over 3,500 sq ft and has a play area for kids and a pantry to cater to customers as well,” Naomi Dewan, who owns this salon, said.

Stan Autos

The workshop of Stan Autos has got a five-star ranking in a survey conducted by Maruti Udyog Limited across the country. The workshop is only one in the state that got this status.

According to Naresh Malhotra and Anil Malhotra, the Directors of Stan Autos, the MUL conducted the survey all over the country taking into consideration various parameters, with customer satisfaction being the main focus.



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