L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Elevated road serves little purpose
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
They remember the elevated road when they are in opposition in the Municipal Corporation. For these leaders, non-linking of Rs 55 crore project is the best issue to be raised against the ruling party.

Earlier, it was BJP that had raised a hue and cry against the non-linking of the elevated road to various areas as per the original design. Now, it is the turn of the Congress to bring alive the issue.

Just before the elections, when the the reins of the MC were with the Congress, the BJP had raised a stink holding the ruling party responsible for deviation of the elevated road from the originally proposed design.

BJP activists had even launched a signature campaign in the city areas that lasted for a month. They had stated that they would file a PIL petition in the interest of residents.

After elections, when the SAD-BJP emerged a winner, the residents thought that the alliance would be the first one to get the problems solved. But the alliance is also sitting quietly and the ball is in the Congress court now.

Unfortunately, while it has just become an issue for political parties, the residents continue to suffer due to delayed construction of railway overbridge and non-linking of the elevated road to the old city areas.

Making the most of it, a Congress councillor Parminder Mehta has shot off letters to the commissioner, MC, asking him to get the road joined. He has also taken up the issue of accident-prone curve on the elevated road.

While all this going on, residents continue to suffer. As per the original plan, the elevated road had to connect the city at seven points. But despite spending Rs 55 crore, the elevated road cannot benefit the old city residents, who were supposed to be the main beneficiaries as per the original plan.

As per the original design of the elevated road, the road was to be connected to Raikhy cinema, Chaura Bazaar and to the MC office at two places. Similarly on the other side, it had to have a four-lane way from the Civil Lines side and two-lane way on approaches from the Bhadaur House side and the Raikhy Cinema side. After crossing the railway tracks, it was to have a rotary near the existing Society cinema from where an integrating link to elevated road was to be provided through Bhadaur House at Mata Rani Chowk.

But none of the linkages were constructed and the long elevated road passing overhead the old city, starting from Jagraon bridge to Jalandhar bypass, was the final product. This has left the residents incensed who had been claiming that they were shown dreams of an imposing structure with a state-of- the-art design.



In Basta
Youth’s hanging: Cops remain in the dark
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Kot Mandiala Kalan (Ludhiana),October 14
It was on March 26, 2003, that the residents of this village, near Gurdwara Manji Sahib, woke up to a gory sight. A youth was found hanged from a goal post in a football ground in this village. A bridal dupatta was used as a rope to hang him. The body bore grievous injuries on private parts. The picture of the body still sends shivers down their spine.

An unstitched bridal suit, whose the dupatta was used for hanging, was found from a field nearby. Some pieces of the same cloth were found in a polythene bag several kms away from an abandoned fort in Payal.

It was surely a tumultuous love affair that led to such barbaric murder. But the main question "who did it" remains unanswered even after so many years. No wonder the case is still labelled as untraced.

The Khanna police eventually identified the youth after weeks. He was Balraj alias Goldy. He belonged to Uttrakhand but worked as a travel agent in Delhi.

No one had approached the Khanna police to claim the body even though his photographs had been circulated all over the country.

A businessman Paramjit Singh of Sahurja town in Uttarakhand, who had come to Khanna to attend a marriage, saw the youth's photograph in some old newspaper and informed a police official about his identity.

Paramjit said the youth had worked with him for sometime several years ago and later became a travel agent. But he did not know the address of the youth nor about his friends or relatives. He only knew his parents were dead long ago.

The police followed the clue apart from some leads found from the crime site but none could lead to anything worthwhile. There was a definite connection between the youth, the bridal suit in the fields and pieces found from the old fort.

A sniffer dog had followed the trail to the fort. The polythene bag bore the name and address of a cloth shop in Ludhiana. Shop owner, however, could not provide any details about the buyer.

SSP Khanna G S Cheema said the incident took place long before he was posted here. "I will put a DSP especially to solve the mystery,"he said.



City to have Idgah
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
The state government finally conceded the long pending demand of about five lakh Muslims in Ludhiana to have an Idgah today. Bikram Singh Majithia, minister for information and public relations, water supply and sanitation Punjab while addressing the Id celebrations here today, announced this.

Extending congratulations to the Muslims he announced that a suitable land would be provided for Idgah in,Ludhiana, so that ,the next prayers could be offered there.

Majithia urged the people to pledge for the strengthening of communal harmony and mutual brotherhood in the society, which is the real message of all the holy Granths and great Gurus and Saints. He said the traditional bonds of brotherhood between the Sikhs and Mulsims existed from the time of great Gurus.

He said the Muslim had accorded great respect, as Uch Da Pir to Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji and Nawab of Malerkotla Sher Khan had raised a strong voice against injustice done on two sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, MP, while extending his felicitations said that SAD-BJP government was committed for the social and economic welfare of the Muslim community. He said, Sukhbir Singh Badal, had assured welfare of the Muslim community, which had instilled great confidence among the community.

Shai Imam Maulana Habbeeb-Ur-Rehman while addressing the congregation said the Muslims had made enormous sacrifices for the unity and integrity of the India and would always work for further strengthening of communal harmony in the country.



DEO earns teachers’ wrath
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
Disciplinarian district education officer Sudesh Bajaj has invited the ire of unionists for issuing warnings and asking the teachers to perform or face consequences.

The Democratic Teachers Front (DTF) is gunning for her and have demanded that she should be removed from the post that was given to her “out of turn”.

The DTF has submitted a memorandum to Satpal Gosain, deputy speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, and Harish Rai Dhanda, chief parliamentary secretary, requesting them to appoint an efficient and honest person as a DEO (secondary), and relieve Sudesh Bajaj.

Led by Bhajan Singh, the DTF urged the minister that she should be promoted in accordance to her rank and seniority.

The district secretary Joginder Azad, in a joint statement, said the appointment of the DEO had demoralised the senior officer of the education department.

Meanwhile, DEO Bajaj refuted all allegations. She said, “Due to some indisciplinary activity, I had lodged a complaint against a member of the union to the higher authorities. Since then, the union has adopted a revengeful attitude towards me. All these allegations being levelled against me are false. I am selected as the DEO (secondary), on merit and seniority basis.’’ she said.



Ludhiana Calling

The law does not allow writing anything else than the vehicle number on the registration plate. But, a large number of Ludhianvis are using this space only to flaunt their identity. The moment any person becomes an office-bearer or even a member of an organisation, the new status would speak loudly from the plates. Few months ago, the police had cracked down on such persons who aimed to get some special status on roads or to have right of way on others. The drive seems to have been forgotten now.

Misleading information

The move of the city police to install huge information boards all over the city displaying landline and mobile phone numbers of its officials has backfired. Earlier, the residents had welcomed such step, now the boards have become a laughing stock. The reason was that the cops failed to change the information after a large number of officials were transferred. Residents who used to call up an official whose number was displayed on the boards got a rude shock when they learnt that the person concerned was transferred a long ago.


Overloading of horse carts in contravention of the Protection Against Cruelty to Animals Act continues in the city even as the animal rights organisations have raised the issue on numerous occasions. Callous cart owners don’t even care when they keep containers after containers on it. Though they might have been booked in past but it seems they still don’t care.

Fatal crossing

Though a number of lives have been lost due to illegally crossing railway tracks, a few ‘‘dare devils’’ continue to risk their lives by doing so. A large number of people are seen crossing the track on the railway station premises. They often cite the demolition of the Lakkar Bridge and non-construction of the railway over bridge for taking the shorter but fatal route. (See pic)

Air pollution

The days of air pollutions are nearing. The festival season in Ludhiana means manifold rise in suspended particulate matters (SPM). Besides fire crackers the burning of paddy stubble in the fields also contributes to the pollution. The patients with respiratory problems suffer the most.

Petty thieves

Petty thieves are on the prowl in the city. They are the ones who flick anything from old newspapers to scrap and anything they can lay their hand on. Teenagers are caught red handed by residents off and on. Residents of numerous areas are sick of such small thefts and the police cannot do much to help them.

— Sentinel



City police lacks staff, gadgets
K S Chawla

Ludhiana, October 14
With the change in the demographic structure, Ludhiana is witnessing rapid change in the crime pattern. The police is finding it difficult to cope with the changing crime scenario in the absence of adequate police personnel. The changing crime pattern is also causing panic among the residents.

There has been an increase in the economic offences as well in view of the expansion of business activities. As a matter of fact, Ludhiana has become the nerve centre of the unorganised sector.

Ishwar Singh, DIG, Ludhiana Range, admits that white-collar crime is increasing in Ludhiana. There is incerease in the land disputes also. He, however, denies the functioning of land mafias in the town.

The DIG maintains that the actual kidnappings are less whereas the majority of the cases pertain to the elopement of girls.

To cope with the incidence of crime, Ludhiana needs police replenishment. At present, there are 2,500 police personnel whereas the need is to double the strength. The town has 75 PCR motorcycles which are also insufficient and the town needs mobile gypsies. The police has to perform the VIP duties as the Chief Minister and other ministers of the state keep visiting the town. Besides, there are few politicians who have security guards for their protection when there is no need for the same.

Even some of the retired police personnel have not given up the large fleet of policemen and the official vehicles which are being used for their domestic chores.

Even it does not have close-circuit TV cameras which can be put up at sensitive points in the city to keep a watch on the activities on the undesirable elements.

The town also needs educated police personnel who should be trained in handling the cyber crime as the present personnel are not well-equipped with the latest gadgets like computer.

Ludhiana needs to have a DNA profiling laboratory as the present CFS laboratory at Chandigarh is ill-equipped. Moreover, it has a long waiting list. Facilities for narco analysis and polygraphic tests need to be upgraded.

Since Ludhiana town has assumed the status of a cosmopolitan city, it needs to have a police commissionerate to tackle the increasing incidence of crime and the problems associated with the same.

Proposal to have police commissionerate at Ludhiana was mooted in the nineties which need to be revived forthwith. The volume of work of the policemen has increased as a number of statutory agencies like the State Human Rights Commission, the Women Rights Commission and other such bodies seek answers to their queries under fixed deadlines. 



Forum quashes penalty by PSEB 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 14
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has quashed the demand of Rs 7,215 by the Punjab State Electricity from a consumer on the charges of theft of electricity.

The forum quashed the bill with the observation that the PSEB had failed to establish that the checking of meter was done in presence of the consumer, which was mandatory.

A S Narula, president of the forum, and members Puja Dewan and Daljit Singh Bakshi directed the board to refund the amount, deposited by the consumer, along with 9 per cent interest.

The orders were pronounced while deciding the complaint filed by a local lawyer Veena Kalia. It was submitted by her that she had purchased a house from Daljit Kaur in 1993, along with one electric connection.

On June 28, 2006, the PSEB issued a letter to her and claimed that during a checking about 10 days back, it was found that she was committing theft of electricity. PSEB officials also sent her a bill for Rs 7,215.

She had alleged that the checking was not done in her presence nor board officials followed the rules and regulations.

On the other hand, the board officials justified their stand. They submitted that the meter was checked in presence of the complainant. Seals of the single-phase meter were found to have been tampered with. Theft of energy case was established against the connection. Accordingly, the account was overhauled and the demand of Rs 7,215 was raised.

But after appreciating the evidence on record, the forum held that the PSEB officials failed to convince that the checking was done in the presence of the complainant, which was mandatory as held by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.



Woman seeks aid for treatment
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 14
Rajni, a 34-year-old city resident, with two kids aged 7 and 4 years, is fighting a battle against life-threatening condition in Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) here. Whether or not she will live long depends on the help given by kind, generous and compassionate donors.

The woman was diagnosed with “Systemic Lupus Erythmatosis and Lupus Nephritis” some 4 years ago. She was treated with immuno-suppressive medication with which the disease was brought under control.

Unfortunately, she developed pulmonary tuberculosis about two years back. And as a sequel to tuberculosis, developed aspergilloma (fungal ball in the right lung) which required surgical removal of that part of the lung. This surgery cost her over Rs one lakh.

After a good recovery, she developed avascular necrosis of the hip for which she had to undergo a major hip surgery (hip replacement) which cost her another Rs 1.5 lakh.

Now Rajni is again admitted to CMCH with a severe lung disease called invasive aspergillosis.

The cost of treatment works out to be around Rs 7000 a day and nearly Rs 2.1 lakh for the required four weeks of treatment, in addition to the cost of hospitalisation.

The doctors at CMCH are of the view that if left untreated, this disease is invariably fatal. The hapless woman and her family have exhausted most of their resources and need financial support to continue the treatment.

The CMCH authorities have made a fervent appeal to the good samaritans to come forward and donate liberally for this cause. All donation may be made in the name of “Christian Medical College, Ludhiana” with “Treatment of Rajni, (hospital unit No. C-671938)” written on the back side of cheques or bank drafts.



15 couples tie nuptial knots 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 14
A function was organised under the aegis of the Samay Sewa Society at the Ram Talai Chhapar near here where 15 couples from various walks of life tied the nuptial knots.

Mukesh Sharma, Executive Magistrate, Ludhiana, was the chief guest. Besides arranging an elaborate party for the parents of brides and grooms and their guests, the organisers presented articles of daily use to the newly-wed couples. The presents included jewellery, clothes, furniture and cooking gas cylinders.

Sharma called upon the couples and their parents to create a congenial atmosphere at their respective homes so that the future generations might enjoy a healthy life. She stressed on the need of moral education in maintaining family ethics.

Vicky Sharma, president of the society, Ravinder Puri, president of the journalist association, Hardial Singh, former sarpanch, Chhapar, Harjit Singh and Jatinder Bhola, president, municipal council, were among others who blessed the couples.



At The Crossroads
A keen observer of crime and politics 

The influences, which one imbibes during the adolescent age, seldom lose their impact on the mind. This is what happened in the case of Mitter Sain Meet (Goyal) who is now an acclaimed novelist. Born and brought up in Barnala, he received higher education in S.D. College, Barnala. During the period from 1968 to 1972, he was drawn to the movement that aimed at amelioration of the downtrodden. In 1971, he wrote his first novel, “Agg de Beej” (The Seeds of Fire), wherein he highlighted the conflict between a landowner and the landless labour. The novel touched the minds of the young Punjabi readers as it revolved around a significant situation in villages.

Mitter Sain Meet got himself admitted to Panjab University, Chandigarh, in 1972, for his law degree and stood second in the university. Earlier, he had attained the first position in Maths (Honours) and could take up teaching profession with postgraduate degree in this subject. But his father, who was in revenue service, advised him to seek admission in LL.B. He practised as a lawyer for a couple of years before joining the Punjab government service as the assistant district attorney. At present he is working as the district attorney in Ludhiana.

He entered the literary field with a novel but wrote short stories for quite sometime, which were published in leading journals. Over the years he published three collections of short stories, such as “Punarvas”, “Laam” and “Thhos Saboot”. In between he wrote another novel “Kaafla” (Caravan). But he arrived on the literary scene, with remarkable impact, with “Tafteesh” (Investigation) in 1990. That was the time when extremism was at its peak and terrorist activities in Punjab had cast a gloom on the minds of the people.

The success of “Tafteesh” made him popular among readers as well as critics. In this novel he points out the drawbacks of police investigative system which is mainly based on evidence, at times contrived. A few persons are falsely implicated so as to win laurels from higher authorities that the investigation has been successfully carried out. Shortly afterwards, in 1993, followed “Katehra” (Dock) that was based on judicial system that could not always ensure justice to the aggrieved party. As a consequence, the falsely implicated persons were disgraced and humiliated without any fault of theirs.

“Kaurav Sabha” followed in 2003 in which he delves on the theme of crime and punishment. The plot of this novel stands out like a sore thumb in the prevalent criminal justice system. The influential persons manipulate things in their favour as there are many loopholes in the legal process. This novel is a multi-dimensional one and it highlights the behavioural patterns of a large number of people. The plot alternates between the plight of the aggrieved party and the nefarious designs of the conspirators. The sufferers ultimately become the object of ridicule and the perpetrators of crime have the last laugh.

“Sudhar Ghar” (2006), the third novel of the trilogy, is undoubtedly the magnum opus of Mitter Sain Meet. In the prison, the falsely implicated persons are subjected to eternal damnation. Like Dante’s Inferno, the inscription at the gate is - ‘Abandon hope ye that enter here.’ In this novel the reader comes into contact with ‘God’s plenty’, but instead of ‘the more the merrier’, the situation is ‘the more the murkier.’ Generally the prison is like Milton’s hell where the souls, instead of the bodies, are consigned to the burning lake. The concept of human rights is unheard of at such places.

Mitter Sain Meet’s novels have been much hyped for being true to life portrayal. But his narrative mode, which is like miniature painting, is generally disregarded. Indeed he is always with the aggrieved party, without being sentimental. He is keen observer of the nexus between crime and politics in court cases. Undoubtedly he stands apart from his contemporaries in the field of true-to-life depiction. He dwells at length on the subjects hitherto untouched in Punjabi literature. His sole concern is the prevalence of disparity in society between haves and have-nots. He advocates for ushering in an era of social, political and judicial reforms so as to ensure happiness for the man in the street.

— N.S.Tasneem



14 persons booked for gambling 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
At least 14 persons have been booked and Rs 1.30 lakh recovered in three gambling cases registered here today. The Division No.3 police booked three persons Tarsem Lal, Sham Lal and Aman Kumar for gambling near the Khawaja Chowk yesterday. About Rs 4,940 has been seized from the accused. Later, they were released on bail.

In the second case, the police recovered Rs.3560 from Dharam Lal, Gurdeep Singh and Naresh Kumar residents of Bhagu Mohalla and Ahata Sher Ganj respectively. The accused were later released on bail.

While in the third case, the Division No.5 police yesterday booked eight persons for gambling.They have been identified as Sudesh Kumar, a resident of Club Road, Bihari Lal, a Model Town resident, Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Ahatta Sher Ganj, Mohinder Singh, a Jodhaywal resident, Satwinder Singh, a resident of Atam Park, Ashish Aggarwal, a resident of The Mall, Neeraj Kumar, a resident of Shiv Puri and Jagraon resident, Vinod Kumar were arrested from Rakh Bag. The police has recovered Rs.1,20,00 from the accused.They were later released on bail.

13.5 kg poppy husk seized

The Division No.3 police has arrested Iqbal Singh, a Merrut resident, and recovered 13.500 kg poppy from his possession.The ASI arrested the accused during patrolling near Shamshan Ghat yesterday. It is investigating the matter.

26 cartridges seized@@The Haibowal police has arrested Santosh Kumar of Uttar Pradesh and recovered a countrymade pistol and 26 cartridges from the accused. Head Constable Balbir Singh arrested the accused during patrolling at near the Hambra Road. 



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