L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Stealing tyres for kidney treatment
Costly medicines forced him to commit crime

Tribune News Service

  • Consignment worth Rs 8.50 lakh seized
  • He along with his driver stole tyres from Delhi
  • Took to crime after meeting Anil

Ludhiana, October 13
A transporter, who urgently needed money for the kidney treatment, allegedly took the drastic step of stealing a consignment of tyres worth Rs 8.50 lakh.

As the fate would have it, the accused may till he get the treatment, albeit on government expenses will have to remain in a civil hospital. But, he would have to spend months or even years in incarceration for taking illegal course for arranging the money for his treatment.

The accused, Mohd Kamil, was caught by an alert team of Janakpuri police led by SHO Mandeep Singh and ASI Harbans Singh yesterday night. He had stolen tyres from Delhi in connivance with his driver, Tulsi Ram. The police team used decoy customers to arrest both of them. Their third accomplice, Anil, who allegedly planned the conspiracy, is absconding.

The accused lives with his mother in Sherpur Kalan. Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, he said, “I have to daily take medicine worth Rs 400. The cost these medicines are increasing rapidly. I could not think of any other method to arrange the money. Had I sold my truck, I would have lost my main source of income. When Anil (the absconding accused) came with this offer, I agreed. Now, I feel I should not have done it.”

The police has recovered 884 tyres and tubes, worth Rs 8.50 lakh from the accused. He had sold the remaining tyres. A Tata 407 truck in which he used to transport the tyres has also been seized. All tyres were of MRF make. A tyre trader from Hyderabad had sent the consignment to Jalandhar. It was stolen by the accused from Delhi.

The police is treating Mohd Kamil sympathetically. “So far we have not found any past criminal record of his. His claims of being a kidney patient are being verified. He has told us about a doctor in Focal Point from whom he was taking medicines. But his ailment cannot be an excuse for his crime. After all, he was causing damage to the actual owner of the tyres besides causing a dent on the business of goods transporters, which thrive on mutual confidence only,” the DSP said.

A packet of medicine has also been recovered from the accused, which substantiated his claims about being a kidney patient. The police would get him medically examined from the civil hospital.

The ASI revealed after learning about the stolen tyres being sold at low rates in the city, the team kept an eye on them and even send decoy customers to find out where the entire consignment was stored.

The police has made an inventory of the buyers also. The DSP said buyers who knowingly bought the stolen tyres might also be booked.



Customs tangle mars telescope’s journey
Mahesh Sharma

What is radio telescope?

Radio telescope works like a television. An aerial or a dish picks up radio waves from distant astronomical sources like dead star remains and active radio galaxies. When the wave hits the dish, a tiny electrical signal is produced. The signal is amplified and sent to a radio receiver. The signal can also be transmitted to a computer for analysis.

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 13
An international organisation supplied a radio telescope free of cost to a Punjabi scientist nine years ago to promote radio astronomy among schoolchildren of Asian countries. However, the scientist is yet to receive its delivery due to customs tangle.

The Indian authorities have been unmoved by his request to exempt a duty of Rs 53,000 for the telescope.

While he has been shuttling between various offices in state and union government for years, he is not sure whether the equipment is still here or has been returned.

A doctorate in science education, Dr Kuldip Singh, currently principal of Shaheed Kartar Singh Memorial Secondary School, Sarabha, was sent a radio telescope by the Taunton Radio Astronomy Observatory (TRAO), UK, in 1998 when he was serving as a science lecturer at a private school here.

Though the telescope was supposed to be installed and maintained by the management of his institute, nobody came forward to pay the customs duty of Rs 53,000 that had been levied by the Indian authorities on the import of the equipment.

“Though the TRAO had supplied the equipment costing Rs 10 lakh (now around Rs 20 lakh) in recognition of my performance in radio physics, I offered to install it at a government or non-government institute and work on the promotion of the subject in Punjab.”

“The administration, instead of appreciating my efforts, levied duty, disappointing me and my associates,” rued Dr Singh, alleging that successive governments in the state and centre had been ignoring his demand to exempt the duty.

The TRAO had by then supplied telescopes to scientists in then UK, Germany and Australia.

Dr Singh, who has also worked as member of the executive committee of the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology during the previous SAD government, made efforts to get the duty exempted but to no avail.

Born and brought up at Dakha village in Ludhiana district, Dr Singh obtained his MSc, MPhil and MEd degrees from Punjabi University, Patiala. He did his doctorate from New Mexico University, USA.

After serving for some time at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Dr Singh became a UNESCO and commonwealth consultant.

He has also been member of several international organisations, including the European Physical Society, Switzerland; the Planetary Society, USA; the International Organisation of Science and Technology Education, Germany; the International Network in Environmental Education, Greece; and the Indian Association of Physics Teachers.

One of his projects was commended through the CASTME award in Commonwealth in 1996.

Apart from designing teaching aids, he has been involved in developing science kits for schools of various countries.

Dr Singh says radio telescope is superior to traditional optic telescope as the latter cannot be focussed directly on the sun.

“As the sun and the Milky Way emit electromagnetic radiations over a wide spectrum and not just in an invisible region, the optical telescope cannot be used to study all solar phenomena,” briefed Dr Singh.



Gill Road
One-third for traffic, rest for trade
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
The Gill Road is one of the widest roads in the city but encroachers have usurped more than two-thirds of its width.

In spite of being a busy road, as it happens to be the Ludhiana-Malerkotla highway, encroachments dot it on both sides, leading to traffic chaos throughout the day.

The violators virtually run their businesses, like selling vegetables or sundry goods, second-hand scooters, from the road, thus contributing to the chaos.

Their goods on display encroach onto the roadside on both sides, creating a traffic bottleneck.

So much so that some iron merchants have kept their raw material on the roadside, occupying 75 per cent of the area.

Things have come to such a pass that there is no footpath left on either side of the road. For, it is occupied by shopkeepers who have extended their shops right to the middle of the road by pitching tarpaulin shelters.

The residents of the area have even constituted a welfare society to tackle the problem.

Sher Singh, a resident, has filed a PIL in the High Court against the encroachments. The case is sub judice.

The municipal corporation had recently, in an affidavit to the High Court, said there were no encroachments as these were removed.

“There is no space for pedestrians. They brush with fast-moving traffic and can get involve in an accident any time. It is a total chaos,” says Sher Singh.

He says there is a three-tier encroachment on the road. First, there are tents, then goods and finally vehicles.

To top it all, customers of park their vehicles in the middle of the road.

Small industries located by the roadside have also been adding to the problem. Their main gates open on the road and heavy machinery is downloaded there itself.

Numerous kiosks near Arora cinema have also eaten into the road space. The corporation had removed these a year ago but they came back after some time.



Cheemna village rape victim lives in fear
Tribune News Service

Cheemna (Jagraon), October 13
Even though residents of the Cheemna village are providing security to the rape victim and her husband, the couple is still living in a constant fear.

Twelve days after the gory night, which shook their small world, the couple had shifted to a “safer” place inside the village with the police unable to nab the accused and fear to their lives looming large.

The couple, earlier, lived in a small house far away from the village. While talking to Ludhiana Tribune, the victims rued that the police has not been able to arrest the accused.

They claimed they had recognized one of the accused but the police let him off due to the pressure of residents from another village. “He was a rickshaw-puller. He visited our house on numerous occasions seeking water a few days before the incident.” the woman claimed.

She said she could recognize the other accused also. “If they are brought in front of me, I would easily single them out.” she added.

“We are scared. The accused are still at large. They would kill us to escape identification,” she feared.

However, the police has already given a clean chit to the rickshaw-puller. SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar had claimed the suspect was questioned but he seemed innocent.

Besides living with the physical and mental agony after the incident, the couple is economically broken also, “What ever we had has been spent on treatment. We are at the mercy of the villagers. Our employer has helped us immensely but we know it won’t be possible for them to feed us through out life.”

While the woman may not be able to work for months, the man too was not fit to resume the work.

It was on October 1 that the woman was abducted from her house outside the Cheemna village. Her husband was badly beaten up with iron and stick rods. She was taken to fields and raped. Both were found half -dead the next morning.



MC fails to check illegal water connections
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
Residents have suffered a lot on account of gastro outbreak due to the mixing of sewage with potable water but this does not seem to have shaken authorities concerned out of their slumber as supply pipes pass through dirty drains in a few parts of the city posing a threat to the people’s health.

Though the municipal corporation often washes its hands off the problem saying that it could be held responsible for any problem with the main pipe line and not beyond that. The rest was up to the residents to ensure that the water pipes pass through a clean area.

But the numerous outbreaks experienced in a year have not forced the corporation to rethink. Within 10 months as many as 10 persons have lost their lives due to gastro outbreak. A few were taken ill and the culprit was contaminated water as it gets mixed with sewage discharge.

All this has not been able to wake up the civic body. They pass the blame on residents claiming that most of the times such connections were illegal and the residents, in a bid to hoodwink the corporation, resorted to such a practice. Nobody, bothered to find out why no action was taken against such connections.

Whenever there is an outbreak, the MC and this disconnect connections and imposes penalty on people. Soon after the situation is controlled nobody bothers and things continue.

Numerous such cases where pipes are installed near sewer lines and even pass through nullah in many parts of the city have come to light. The pipes are corroded and the water thus flowing can get contaminated anytime.

An official said they were willing to disconnect these connections but political pressure did not allow them to do so. ‘‘Whenever we take action our leaders get angry. We cannot do anything, ’’ he said.



Stray cattle still haunt the city
MC in no mood to resolve issue

Tribune News Service

Khanna, October 13
With vast tracts of agricultural lands surrounding this subdivisional headquarters of the district, the menace of stray cattle continues to bother local residents as authorities seem to be in no mood to resolve the matter.

Much to the dismay of the residents, who have met with numerous road accidents due to the stray cattle menace, neither the district administration nor the civic body has so far paid any attention to this problem. Even though there are two cattle ponds in Khanna, one maintained by the municipal corporation and the other by an NGO, the process of rounding up stray cattle and letting them off in the ponds has failed to make much difference for the local residents. The authorities say that the process is not just expensive but impractical due to monetary limitations.

Expert says that the use of oxytocin injections for increasing the milk output has resulted in the increase of the number of unproductive animals, especially cows, which are left to fend for themselves by their owners. At times the local administration transports the stray cattle and other animals to territories outside their jurisdiction, but eventually this has failed to resolve the problem as these animals general return to the town.

These animals not only affect the smooth flow of traffic but also lead to road accidents, which in a few cases had proved to be fatal. Most of the stray animals can be spotted on the Amloh road near the local bus stand, which usually come on the National Highway No.1.

According to Ripul Kumar, a local, the problem can be solved if residents restrain themselves from giving food to stray animals. Harshit Vij, a shop owner, said town’s municipal council had proved to be quite a toothless body, as far as managing of the cattle menace was concerned.



Civic poll: Political activity picks up
Tribune News Service

Khanna, October 13
With just a few months left in the elections to the local civic body, political activity amongst the BJP-SAD alliance and Congress factions have picked up already.

Former president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) Shamsher Singh Dullo yesterday held a meeting with the party’s rank and file here to take stock of the prevailing situation.

Besides, Khanna MLA Bikramjit Singh Khalsa also held parleys with BJP and SAD workers.

The Khanna municipal council is currently dominated by the Congress. Out of the 27 councillors, 20 either belong to the Congress or are actively supporting the party. While seven councillors belong to the SAD-BJP alliance.

The council has long been run by the Congress. Dullo has also served as president of the council.

The council’s term is scheduled to end in April next year and it is expected that the elections will take place by February.

With only four months in hand, both the SAD-BJP alliance and the Congress are leaving no stone unturned to woo voters.

The council president is paying special attention to completing the pending development works in the town, be it projects of sanitation, water pipes or re-carpeting of roads.

Though it’s a common belief that the party in power in the state wins civic body polls unhindered, the Congress here seems to be in no mood to give up without offering some resistance.



Virasat Bhawan to open on Oct 18
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 13
In order to persuade youth of the state to know their emotionally fertile past, preserve cultural heritage and revitalise crusade launched to sow the seeds of rich folk legacy among budding artists, the Jagdev Singh Jassowal Charitable Trust has brought up Punjabi Virasat Bhavan at Palam Vihar near Dad village in Ludhiana district on Pakhowal road, near here.

Besides commemorating late prof Mohan Singh, the association has pioneered an attempt to dedicate a hall here in sweet memory of Justice Gurnam Singh, former Chief Minister.

“We tried to bring up a abode that would nurture artists and poets of the area,” says Jassowal patron of the trust affairs of the complex, constructed in 1800 square yards.

The hall dedicated to his memory will encourage lovers and enthusiasts of art and culture who would be lodging here during their journey to this area.

Open Air Theater, library, art gallery, museum and residential blocks have made the bhavan a unique complex capable of fulfilling varied needs of the visitors.

Formal inauguration of the complex will take place on October 18.



Faith makes them earn their living
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
A number of artisans from Rajasthan and Bihar come to city during the festive season, to earn their living, by etching idols of Gods and Goddess.

As the Navratras are on these artisans are busy in making the idols to meet the huge demand made by the city temples. Jagran committees too provide them bulk orders.

‘‘It is a matter of faith. People believe in Gods and Goddesses and thus want decked up colourful idols. Peoples demand helps us arrange two square meals for our children. ’’ said Jagdish, an artisan.

Preparations start two months prior to Navratras to meet huge demands.

Since Ludhiana offers lucrative response to their work, the city has become their base of operation.

They come with their families but regret that education of their kids suffer a lot.But still then they feel that it is only the faith in God because of which they are able to ear their livelihood.



SAD-BJP unity ‘long-lasting’

Amloh, October 13
The SAD-BJP ruling partners are fully united and if there is any difference of opinion, it will be sorted out after mutual discussion, said the SAD general secretary prof Prem Singh Chandumajra. He was talking to mediapersons at Bagrian village of Mulle Pur Circle in Amloh constituency after a function organised by the Youth Akali Dal. The youth leader Sukhjinder Singh Bagrian honoured Chandumajra at the function.

Chandumajra said youth is the back-bone of the party and it would be given due representation in the party. To control the growing un-employment, the government has been striving to bring big projects in the state. The SAD leader said he will welcome the decision of the party to install Sukhbir Singh Badal as the Chief Minister. The SAD working committee member Randhir Singh Rakhra, Gian Singh Majri, advocate Jagpal Singh, Tarlochan Singh Lalli, secretary Mohinder Singh and Fouji Kaka Singh also spoke. — OC



Seminar against drug addiction
Our Correspondent

Samrala, October 13
For the first time in the history of Samrala, the local DSP has himself come forward against drugs.

Today in his office, office bearers of more than 30 sports club belonging to Samrala sub division and many other prominents personalities of the villages, including mediapersons, literary personalities etc held a meeting, which later on was seen as seminar against drugs addiction.

On this occasion, DSP Daljeet Singh Rana said the people of Punjab suffered more on account of drug addiction rather than militancy.

To control drugs etc, the DSP formed an action committee which will help the police against the smuggling of drugs and intoxications and for the eradication of this mal practise.

The DSP called for the cooperation of the village sports clubs and youth clubs to make it a success.

It was also decided that for creating awareness among the youth, corner skits, dramas will also be organised and a big rally from Samrala to Machhiwara will also be held in the near future. Gurbir Shahi, NS Batra, Jassi Sachdeva, Kewal Singh Kaddon and Jawala Singh Thind also addressed the meeting.



Kin of martyrs honoured

Ludhiana, October 13
Tourism minister Hira Singh Gabria today called for following the principles of martyrs who had laid down their lives for the country.

He was addressing the 41st National Unity Day at Ramgarhia Girls College, Miller Ganj, organised by Shaheed Memorial Sewa Society here today.

The Kargil martyrs whose families were honoured were Shaheed Nirmal Singh, Shaheed Darshan Singh, Shaheed Ajmer Singh, Shaheed Gurmel Singh, Shaheed Harwinder Singh, Shaheed Paramjeet Singh, Shaheed Tarsem Singh, Shaheed Sukhwinder Singh and Shaheed Krishan Mohan. — TNS



Ashwini Gupta is ADMA chief
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 13
Ashwini Gupta was elected president of the Ayurvedic Drug Manufacturers Association (ADMA) by defeating reigning president Balwinder Singh Walia, who was seeking reelection.

Gupta secured 41 votes as against 34 cast in favour of his opponent Walia.

The general body meeting to elect the new president of the body was held at Hotel Friends Regency here on Friday.

Expressing gratitude to the members after being elected, the new ADMA chief said he would strive to resolve all pending problems of ayurvedic manufacturers in the city.



Rape victim attempts suicide
Tribune Reporters

Jagraon, October 13
A 13-year-old girl and student of class 8, who was allegedly raped by two persons, reportedly tried to commit suicide by consuming some poisonous substance.

She was admitted to the local civil hospital where she was stated to be out of danger.

The girl was allegedly raped by Jharmal Singh and Daljit Singh, her neighbours, when she was alone at her house in Malak village five days ago.

On return, her parents had taken her to the local hospital and the local police, after registering a case, arrested the two.

Sources said the victim was under stress and afraid that the accused, once released from jail, might cause her harm.

5 booked for assault

Mohinder Singh, Lal Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Mohinder Kaur and Karamjit Kaur of Narangwal Kalan have been booked for assaulting Sukhminder Kaur of their village with iron chains.

The injured has been admitted to the Dehlon civil hospital.

The police has registered a case under Sections 357, 342, 323, 506, 148, 149, IPC.

A land dispute is stated to be the reason behind the assault. No arrest has been made so far.


Driver booked

The Sadar police has booked an unknown person in a hit-and-run case. The case was registered based on the statement of the victim before his death.

The complainant was seriously injured and later admitted to the local civil hospital where he succumbed to his injuries yesterday.

Held for theft

The division No. 3 police has arrested Raju, a resident of Jawahar Nagar, and recovered a stolen cycle and 3 kg copper from the accused.

ASI Rajinder Kumar arrested the accused during night patrol at Baba than Singh chowk yesterday.

The accused has been booked under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC for theft and dishonestly receiving stolen property knowing it to be stolen.

Woman booked

The division No. 5 police has booked a women from Shimla Puri for fleeing from the court of K.K. Bansal on October 4 as the judge pronounced an order her bail. No arrest has been made.

Assailant held

The Model Town police has arrested Gurpreet Singh, a resident of Amar Pura, for forcibly entering and beating up Tejpal Behal, a resident of Lal Quarter, Azad Nagar.

Shanti and three other accused were still at large.

The complainant claimed that the accused lived on rent at his house. Yesterday, when the complainant told them to vacate his house the accused barged into his portion, beaten him up with slugger and sharp-edged weapon.

Later, the complainant was admitted to the local civil hospital.

The accused have been booked under Sections 307, 323, 324,452, 427, 506, 148 and 149, IPC, for attempt to murder, trespass, having made preparation for causing an assault.

Nabbed for gambling

The division No. 6 police arrested Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Dharam Pura, for indulging in gambling at Hargobind Nagar yesterday. The accused was later released on bail.



No trace of missing boy
Tribune News Service

Khanna, October 13
The Doraha police has so far been unable to trace a 16-year-old boy who has reportedly been missing from his house since October 4.

Gurjant Singh, a Class X th student of a local school, had gone out to get his mobile phone recharged. As Gurjant did not return home till late in the evening, his parents got anxious and started looking for him.

They even got in touch with their relatives in Doraha and elsewhere to ascertain whether Gurjant had visited them, but all expressed ignorance about his whereabouts. The parents then lodged a complaint with the police.

But till date the police has not stumbled upon any clues that could help in tracing the boy.



Industry rues govt policies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
The local industry today expressed its disappointment with the state government for its failure to resolve industrial problems.

Addressing a press conference, Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry president P.D. Sharma said at least 42 units in the state, in spite of showing good performance in the past, were on the verge of closure due to faulty government policies.

“Due to wrong 66 kV policy, healthy units are on the verge of closure. The government has not paid any attention to the matter despite being apprised of the problem by several industrial delegations.”

Industry leaders said expenses of electricity had crippled business activity in the state.

“Cost of power has been increased several times and industry is not in a position to bear it. For several decades, electricity duty on power remained consistent at 11 paise per unit. Around three years ago, the state government made it ad valorem. Currently, duty alone is 40 paise per unit. The government must take measures to make electricity affordable to industry.”

On octroi, industrialists said even after being abolished, an octroi of 4 paise per unit on power remained. This, too, should be abolished, they demanded.

Seeking implementation of contract demand instead of connected load for small and medium consumers also, industry leaders said the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission had introduced the concept of contract demand for large consumers only so far.



Shiv Sena lodges complaint against hosiery owner

Ludhiana, October 13
Taking an exception to the move of Civil Lines residents of putting up pictures of gods and goddesses to stop people from urinating in a place, activists of Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal protested against the move and lodged a complaint with the police against owner of York Hosiery here today.

The activists gathered in large numbers and criticised the move and urged the police to book the hosiery owner for hurting the religious sentiments of people. Rajat Sharma, an activist, said a compromise was effected between both factions as the hosiery owner agreed to fund an ambulance for needy. — TNS



Price Watch
Non-veg taste bud unlikely to tickle
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
Chicken and egg lovers do not have much to cheer about as decline in demand due to navratras is yet to show an impact on market rates. Farmers have been cautious enough and timed the supply as a result of which there is no excess availability in the market.

In retail market, broiler is available for around Rs 105 whereas eggs are priced around Rs 24 to 28 a dozen. Against this, the wholesale rates are Rs 48 for broiler and Rs 165 per dozen for eggs.

Consumers are in for a further disappointment as the rates are more likely to look up further after navratras.

“Demand has definitely declined. Since it was expected, farmers have altered the supply accordingly due to which there would not be much change in prices,” said PPS Gill of the Punjab Poultry Farmers Association.

Currently farmers are busy catering to demand for eggs in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and the coming few weeks, as the weather gets colder, more demand would arise in Jammu and Kashmir as well.

The rise in broiler and egg prices is not as much as the increase that has taken place for rates of feed.



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