L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Badal leaves ‘84 riots victims high & dry
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 3
They came to the Chief Minister seeking a balm for their bleeding wounds but were separated by a line dividing the common man and those in power and went back disappointed.

Victims of 1984 anti-Sikh genocide came to meet their leader Parkash Singh Badal who was usually mobbed by them when he was the leader of opposition. They had to leave with nobody to listen to their tragic tales.

The victims, who attended the function organised to pay tributes to the genocide victims by the Danga Peerat Welfare Society, remained separated by barricades as they listened to his address shouting at photojournalists to sit down so that they could have a glimpse of their leader.

As soon as he finished his address, several of them stood up from their enclosure and started narrating the horrifying experiences they had gone through in the 1984 genocide. But Badal cut them short saying everybody would be given justice.

‘‘Tuhade varge hor vi kai bhara han jhina ne bahut kujh vekhya. Asi sab nu insaaf diwawange (There are many like you who went through all that and we will get you justice), ’’ was the only assurance the Chief Minister could give them before leaving the venue. He arrived one and a half hour late for the function and the gathering had already been informed about his tight schedule by an announcer.

When he was talking to mediapersons, stopping outside the venue for several seconds, he was followed by some widows of the genocide who wanted to hand in an application reminding him of unfulfilled promises.

There were several of them who even went running after the CM but were stopped by the security cordon. ‘‘I am unable to see and my old body does not allow me to run after him. What shall I do?’’ asked a widow who was advised by a mediaperson to reach him through the organisers.

The pandal of the function was abuzz with activity as employees of deputy commissioner's office were busy collecting applications of the victims.

Badal said he would get the grievances of the victims relating to red cards, widow pensions and other problems redressed at the earliest.



Causes traffic chaos too
Mahesh Sharma
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 3
Having blocked government machinery and manpower for attending a marriage, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal blessed a groom, son of a godman, allegedly disappointed SAD activists and annoyed mediapersons at Payal today.

The public had also to swallow the wrench of the mega function as the span of Ahmedgarh-Bija road between grain market, Payal, and Bija chowk had remained closed for about three hours in the morning.

Putting a lot of state machinery and manpower into alleged stale use, Badal visited Payal to bless Swaran Singh, son of Baba Sukhdev Singh Ber Kalan Wale, today. While the host had invited his guests irrespective of their political alliance, a majority of SAD activists had reached before 11 am as meeting their leader was their first priority.

But they were disappointed to note that Badal who had kept them waiting for more than an hour did not bother to look at them. He came and handed over shagan to the groom and returned without having a word either with the public or the media.

As the copter carrying Badal was scheduled to land at the grain market, Payal, at 11 am, the administration had closed road between the helipad and Bija chowk for routine traffic at about 10 in the morning. The locals who knew alternative routes succeeded in reaching their destination, but those coming from far off places felt harassed. Occupants of vehicles carrying patients were the worst sufferers.

Mediapersons also felt offended as Badal had left the venue without interacting with them. Rather they came to know about his departure much late. They were made to understand that the CM would be talking to them after having tea in another enclosure established beside the media enclave.



15 hurt in clash over property
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 3
Fifteen persons were injured, two of them critically, in a cross-firing in Nathu Bhaini village near Kum Kalan over a property dispute here this afternoon.

The injured were rushed to the CMC Hospital. They included Nirbhai Singh, his brothers Davinder Singh, Satvinder Singh, Sukhdev Singh and Kewal Krishan, belonging to a group, and others, including Kashmir Singh, Harmel Singh, Davinder Singh, Gurdeep Singh, Jaswant Singh, Sikandar Singh, Jasmail Singh, Simran Singh and Abhishek, were injured in the incident.

According to the SHO, Kum Kalan, Jagroop Singh, the incident could have resulted into a casualty had the police not reached the spot after being informed of the tension by villagers. Seeing the police party zooming past on the village roads, members of both parties fled from the spot with the weapons leaving the injured in the fields.

The incident took place at around 3 p.m. when around 35 persons led by Kashmir Singh of Nurpur village gathered on a farm in front of Nirbhai Singh's house, who was also a claimant of the land. The party started ploughing the fields.

All this made Nirbhai Singh to protest. More people gathered at the spot and both the parties hurled abuses at each other. The hot exchange of words turned into a bloody battle as the parties opened fire at each other leaving 15 injured. The condition of Gurdeep Singh is said to be critical.

SHO Jagroop Singh said that they were on the job of rescuing the persons and investigations were yet to be started. He said five vehicles were confiscated from the spot however no weapon could be seized as yet.

Villagers said that a property dispute between Nirbhai Singh and Kashmir SIngh was going on for quite some time. Kashmir Singh had bought 20 acres of land in Nathu Bhaini village recently out of which half acre was being claimed by Nirbhai Singh. Both the parties had knocked at the doors of village panchayat and the latter was about to give its verdict on Tuesday. But none of them could wait till that day.

The police was yet to register a case till the filing of this report.



MC takes action against house-tax defaulters

Ludhiana, November 3
Swooping down on house-tax defaulters, the municipal corporation yesterday locked seven houses for non-payment of dues.

A team led by assistant commissioner A.S. Sekhon went to eight more houses where payments were made the on the spot and the MC earned Rs 2 lakh on the spot. No action was taken against the defaulters after they made the payments.

According to officials, four more defaulters were willing to make the payment later in the day after their houses were locked. The officials said the issue would be resolved later. — TNS



Book exhibitions on mobile van
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 3
Janchetna, an NGO, today said that its mobile book van would do rounds of the district throughout this month.

"The campaign is being run to mark the birth centenary of Bhagat Singh," said Rajwinder, organiser of the campaign. He said the mobile van would hold book exhibitions at various places in the district during this period.



Drug worth Rs 50 lakh seized from biker
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 3
The Samrala police has arrested a biker of a gang and seized 24.5 kg of ephedrine worth Rs 50 lakh in international market and a luxury car.

Rajiv Kumar of Mullanpur was arrested by a police party from Ghulal village in Ludhiana district last night. The police has registered an FIR under Sections 22, 23, 25 and 38 of the NDPS Act against the accused.

According to Gautam Cheema, SSP, Khanna, the accused was arrested on the basis of a tip-off. Preliminary investigations revealed that Ravi had been acting as a messenger of an international gang that had been engaged in smuggling banned chemicals and pharmaceuticals to foreign countries, including Canada.

As ephedrine powder had been declared a narcotic long time ago and its use had been banned. Since its ban, the chemical has remained in great demand in foreign countries.

Ravi had been working for a gang engaged in smuggling of this powder to Canada. "Though Ravi has maintained that he was simply working as a biker for a gang, we hope to reach the kingpin of the gang through him," maintained Cheema.

The accused had lifted the present consignment from Ludhiana and was going to deliver it at a courier service office at Chandigarh when he was apprehended yesterday. He used to get Rs 1 lakh per trip. The accused used to travel in luxury car to avoid apprehension by the police.



Passengers attack taxi driver, flee with car
Our Correspondent

Khamano, November 3
Three persons attacked a car driver and escaped with his Indica car near here yesterday at about 7:30 pm.

It is learnt that three clean-shaven youths hired an Indica car (CH01(T) 2420) from Sector 43, Chandigarh, for Ludhiana. They told the driver that they had to book a marriage palace for the marriage of their sister at Ludhiana and would come back the next day. They were wearing jeans and one of them was wearing a black-coloured cap.

At Kharar, they stopped the car and purchased some things. When they reached near Khamano, they asked the driver to stop the car as one of them was not feeling well. As soon as the driver stopped the car, they tried to strangulate him using a plastic rope. They also gave him iron rod blows on his head, neck and shoulders. After that, they threw him out of the car by the roadside.

The driver was unconscious for some minutes. Thereafter, he stood up and cried for help. In the meantime, a truck driver stopped by and took him to the police station.

The Khamano police immediately alerted the nearest police stations for nakabandi, but the assailants managed to escape. The Khamano police has registered a case under Sections 382 and 323, IPC.



Four booked for eve-teasing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 3
The Salem Tabri police has booked four persons for teasing a women at a PCO. This incident took place at Ashok Nagar at around 10 p.m. yesterday night.

The four persons allegedly teased the woman, a resident of Ashok Nagar, who had gone to the PCO to make an urgent call.

They chased the victim till her house and even pelted stones at her house. The situation became tense as the area councillor refused listen the victim’s grievances. Residents of the area staged a dharna outside the Salem Tabri police station. A case has been registered against Raju and three others under Sections 148,149,354, 452 and 506 of the IPC for assault and use of force on a woman with the intent of outraging her modesty and trespassing.



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