L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Making a mockery of shagun scheme
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Samrala, December 25
Making a mockery of the shagun scheme launched by the Punjab government to give financial help to needy families at the time of the marriage of daughters, a large number of families in Samrala have pocketed money by showing fake marriages.

A number of families here have either taken money in the name of unmarried girls or taken the money of already married girls by showing their fake marriages.

The Vigilance Bureau, Punjab, is already conducting an investigation into the statewide fraud in the shagun scheme. These cases just strengthen the belief that the scandal as spread deep and wide.

A village Sarwarpur near here alone has six cases of controversial nature. A resident Balbir Singh allegedly took Rs 15,000 from the government in the name of his "unmarried" daughter Harpreet Kaur.

Similarly, another resident Buta Singh took money in name of the wedding of his unmarried daughter Kamaljit Kaur.

Even woman, married several years ago and having children have allegedly misappropriated money meant for poor and needy families. Gurmeet Singh availed the shagun scheme in the name of his daughter married six years ago. She even had children when her marriage was shown.

Similarly Nirmal Singh, another resident took money in the name of his married daughter.

Some tried in vain also. Kesar Singh, the department of social welfare stopped a cheque to Kesar Singh after learning he was fraudulently taking money in the name of his married daughters.

Two village residents Harchand Singh and Chinderpal Singh have complained about the fraud to the department and social welfare minister Gulzar Singh Ranike.

Inspector Jasjeet Singh Johal of the Vigilance Bureau said his investigation was under way in the statewide fraud in shagun scheme. On the other hand principal secretary, social welfare department, Narinderjit Singh, said he would conduct a probe into these specific cases. 



Abandoned rly flyover turns into food street
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
Even as the Municipal Corporation is sitting pretty by forgetting about the railway overbridge in place of historic Lakkar Bridge conveniently, several vendors have started using it by converting it into a food street.

Soon after the district administration removed all these kiosks selling some eatable or the other from the old courts complex before handing over the land to PUDA, these vendors found a new place finding no dearth of space for their paraphernalia.

The abandoned railway oberbridge is now a haven for these encroachers who have put up their tables on the bridge and many people can be seen having food at the bridge in the bright sun everyday.

Not only these vendors but several stamp vendors, who used to operate from old courts before shifting of courts, have also made themselves comfortable on the bridge.

‘‘They told us to go away from the old courts. So we have found a new place for ourselves. Nobody is using this place and we are not even blocking any traffic. Otherwise when we were on the roadside we used to be scared away by the tehbazaari department at times,’’ said Harkesh Lal, a vendor.

Some of them had even hanged their banners on the old court complex stating their change of address. The banners read that they had shifted to the incomplete bridge.

‘‘Long live the MC for leaving a space for us. Otherwise we would have been ruined. I wonder where we would have gone if this bridge was not there, ’’ said Charan Pal, another vendor.

The MC had left the work on the bridge incomplete. It had failed to get NOC from the railways for going ahead with the bridge. Moreoever, the civic body could not pay any money to the PWD that was the executing authority for the work.

Had the bridge been completed it would have been a main connecting point between the old and the new city and would have taken the load of traffic straight to the elevated road. But it stands incomplete and abandoned today.

Besides causing a lot of inconvenience to the commuters, the bridge stands as a testimony to the broken promises of successive governments.  



Tribune Impact
Parents booked for selling girl to brothel
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
A 16-year-old girl, allegedly forced into prostitution at the age of 14 and sold off to a brothel in Delhi for Rs 90,000 by her parents, has won a battle against the accused with the local police finally registering a case against them.

Mona (name changed) had to struggle for one week to get the police action after she won a war of sorts by running away from a brothel in Delhi. The Tribune had highlighted her plight in the December 20 issue.

According to an FIR registered at the division no 7 police station, her father Billu, step-mother Sunita and an accomplice Subhash, along with Sonu of Delhi, who had bought the girl have been booked under Sections 372, 376 and 120-B of the IPC for selling a minor girl for purpose of prostitution, and rape of the victim.

The case was registered after a week-long investigation was conducted at the orders of SSP R K Jaiswal. For all these days, the girl lived in fear as she received many threatening calls.

A couple who were protecting her also faced threats to their life. Still, they did not buckle under any pressure.

No person has been arrested so far in the case. Police parties were conducting raids to nab the accused.

The girl had complained that her foster mother had forced her into prostitution, when she was just 14, "After earning lakhs from my exploitation, she sold me off to one Sonu of Delhi."

Mona said she was forcibly sent to many clients and raped many a times, " I have studied up to 8th class. My real mother died when I was just one-year old. I have an elder brother. My father married again and had a son and a daughter from second wife, Sunita Rani." 



Industrialist held, gets bail
Excise duty evasion of crores of rupees
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
In a rare move, the Central Excise Commissionerate arrested Atul Gupta of Waryam Steels for allegedly engaging in massive excise duty evasion here last evening. Gupta was later released on bail.

This is the second such instance in the Ludhiana Commissionerate, that comprises nine districts in the state, that an arrest was made. The court has now directed the department to produce records on January 17 next year.

Officials of the department claimed that preliminary investigations against the company suggested evasion to the tune of crores of rupees.

The department conducted raids against two steel furnace and re-rolling units namely Waryam Steels and V.K.Concast on December 18. Officials recovered some "incriminating documents", including loose papers and records during the search at Gupta's residence, office and factory.

Gupta, owner and director of the two companies, who is overall in charge of the day-to-day activities, said officials, however, did not appear before the investigating officers on the pretext of being unwell and got admitted in a hospital.

"However, the Central Excise preventive officers continued their stock taking operation in the two units of Waryam Steels and V.K. Concast and the process is still on due to large stock volumes, " said A.K. Mehra, commissioner.

The court, that granted an anticipatory bail to Gupta, has also asked the Central Excise department to provide detailed records on January 17 next year.

In response to the summons issued by the department, Gupta appeared before the superintendent, Preventive, yesterday and after recording his statement, he was placed under arrest by the investigating officer.

"Since these two units have earlier also come into the notice of the department and the documentary evidence collected so far in the present case reveals that he is continuously engaged in evasion of Central Excise duty on a massive scale.

Therefore, he has been placed under arrest by the investigating officers in terms of powers vested under Section 13 of the Central Excise Act, " the department said. 



People sing carols, exchange gifts on Christmas
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, December 25
Christmas was celebrated with great joy and fervour here today. People greeted each other, exchanged gifts and partied.

"The festival conveys a message of happiness and love. For the last over a week, we had been celebrating, singing carols and today also there are parties at several of my friends houses," said Shaila, a local resident.

Florence, a resident of Sarabha Nagar, who also hosted a party, said, "In the last nearly three decades that I have been here, there has been a significant change in the manner of celebrating. No more is the festival restricted to one community. I am happy to note that people of all religions celebrate the occasion with equal joy."

At Flamez Mall, a magic show and host of games were organised to mark the occasion. "Throughout the day, visitors enjoyed games, and there was a magic show for kids. Santa Claus gave away gifts sponsored by different outlets in the mall," said Zeena, a spokesperson.

Celebrations at hotel Park Plaza, where carol singing was taking place for over a week, included a turkey buffet. The hotel was bedecked with a Christmas tree, Santa and his sleigh, bells, balloons etc. The celebrations also saw performances by Polish singers.

At SPS Appollo Hospitals, sweets were distributed among staff, patients. Nursing Superintendent, Sister Varghese cut the cake and the director, Jugdiep Singh, wished all a Merry Christmas. Christmas gifts and candies were distributed to the children and patients were wished well being.

Doraha: A function was organised by the staff and students of Sidhu School of Nursing here today to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Anita Sharma, principal of the school spoke on the life and the mission for which Jesus Christ came to this world. Dr Harbans Singh Sidhu, managing director, was the chief guest on this occasion. The students, depicting the spirit of love and harmony and fellowship put up a colourful cultural programme.

A large Christmas tree decorated with streamers; jingle bells, snow and gifts, which was the centre of attraction. Ravneet Kaur of III year dressed as Santa Claus distributed sweets and gifts to each and everyone.

Dr Ravinder Singh Sidhu and Dr Gursharan Kaur Sidhu, directors, highlighted the massage of love, compassion and harmony that Jesus Christ spread among fellow human beings.

He also emphasised its importance to the medical and nursing profession. A community dinner was organised to mark this occasion.  



Everest’s prize distribution function
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
The 37th annual prize distribution function of Everest Public Senior Secondary School, Moti Nagar, was held on the school premises.

Hira Singh Gabria, minister of jail, Punjab, was the chief guest. Hakam Singh Giaspura, mayor, and Sunita Aggarwal, deputy mayor, were the guests of honour. The programme started with ‘Saraswati Vandana’. The students presented a bright and colourful programme on the occasion of Christmas.

They performed skits based on discipline and patriotism and presented folk dances and folk songs.

Rajinder Sharma, principal, welcomed the chief guest saying that it was a privilege to have such a distinguished guest among them.

Giaspura lauded the remarkable progress made by the school in the field of education and sports. He advised the students to endeavour to shine in every sphere.

Asha Sharma, coordinator, IGNOU, also addressed the gathering and congratulated the students for their wonderful performances. Principals from various schools also attended the function and blessed the students.

S.K. Sharma, manager, Everest Educational Society, thanked the distinguished guests. 



Nostalgic reunion for DMC alumni
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 25
In its continuous efforts to facilitate interaction between the alumni of Dayanand Medical College (DMC) and their alma mater, the DMC Alumni Committee, under the umbrella of the DMC Old Students Association, organised its annual alumni meet here on Sunday.

For the alumni, it turned out to be a nostalgic evening walking down the memory lane by revisiting their college days, renewing old acquaintances and getting a chance to catch up with old classmates and teachers.

In keeping with tradition, the alumni committee made old students feel special by felicitating the batches of 1979 and 1982 with mementoes.

Around 300 alumni of the college, now established doctors in India and abroad, attended the event.

As many as eight doctors from the USA, Canada and the UK flew down especially to participate in the silver jubilee function of 1982 batch. 



Gen Mohan Singh ignored in death
Tribune News Service

Jugiana (Ludhiana), December 25
The death anniversary of Gen Mohan Singh, a founder of the Indian National Army (IMA), which was later on led by Subhash Chander Bose, is all set to go unnoticed, this year, too, tomorrow. 

A number of "thankless politicians", including senior ministers and eminent citizens, who once rubbed shoulders with the hero or "sought his blessings" for an innings in the state politics, have forgotten him.

Jasmohan Singh, son of Gen Mohan Singh, said "casual addresses to the family after the death of our father in 1989 have also vanished. No political road leads to our village now." Gen Mohan Singh had joined the 14th Punjab Regiment of the Indian Army in 1927. He was selected as a potential officer in 1931 and after a six- month training at Kitchner College, Nowgong (Madhya Pradesh) and another two and a half years’ stint at the Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun, he was commissioned as an officer in 1934.

During the Second World War, Gen Mohan Singh was promoted as a Captain and sent to the Far East in Malaysia. The British army lost against the Japanese and among the captives Gen Mohan Singh was seen as a great soldier who suited Japanese designs against the British. The general, too, was against the British but, after some time, felt that the organisation (Army of Liberation for India) was being selfishly used by the Japanese. He was removed from the command and taken a captive.

The General was reinstated after the arrival of Subhash Chander Bose in June 1943. He was reinstated to his former command with Bose as the supreme commander. After the death of Bose, Gen Mohan Singh managed to sneak back into India. The Indian independence to him meant loss of his original home at Peshawar in Pakistan.

Gen Mohan Singh was instrumental in establishing the Desh Sewak Sena in 1948 which later changed into the Desh Sewak Party in 1948. The party then changed into the the All-India Forward Block in 1950 and the block merged with the Congress in 1955. General Mohan Singh was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1960 and 1972. He also became a member of the Punjab assembly in 1967. 



Lecture on global capital markets
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
The Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) will conduct a lecture-meeting on international capital markets here on Wednesday. Dhruv Narain, managing director, financing group, Goldman Sachs, USA, will address the participants.

Anil Kumar, president of the association, said, "The recent volatility in the equity, currency and commodities' market, clubbed with the prospects of US recession, makes this topic highly relevant."  



Programme for college staff begins
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
The Punjab College of Technical Education (PCTE) has commenced a week-long Staff Development Programme on “Strategic Management in Modern Business” which will conclude on December 31, an official press note said here today.

The programme is sponsored by All-India Council for Technical Education, New Delhi. As many as 23 participants are taking par from eight institutes across the region namely PIMT, Mandi Gobindgarh, RIMT, Mandi Gobindgarh, DIMT, Doraha, GNIMT, Ludhiana, GGNIMT, Ludhiana and BCET, Ludhiana, Sri Aurbindo College, Ludhiana & SASIMT, Mohali. 



Good bargains in woollens elude customers
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
Famous for its woollens, the city, this time, is not offering good bargains to its customers. Thanks to speedy clearance of stocks, local manufacturers are reluctant to give any discounts. At most city outlets, customers are left with little choice as a result.

Unaffected by business strategies of big players, hosiery manufacturers are relatively relaxed this time. According to estimates, the industry has already done 10-15 per cent more business in comparison to last year.

A good season having put them on a strong foothold, happy manufacturers are not worried about piled up stocks this time. "I was quite disappointed on visiting most outlets this time. A majority have sold out their stuff and appear to be in no rush to attract customers. Last year, there were heavy discounts, but this time, discounts are restricted only to big brands. Even the items that were selling last year are more expensive this time," lamented Pooja Kohli, a resident.

At most outlets, that were offering good discounts last time, customers can be witnessed seeking discounts without much success.

"The season has been good. After last year's dismal performance, we were not expecting such good sales. Though of course, in retail, consumers do ask for discounts, manufacturers are wanting to retain their margins this time and we are helpless," said Suresh, who works at a retail outlet in Chaura Bazaar.

And while the season is still on, better performance is expected. Rapidly declining mercury levels have triggered demand. However, as many producers had not expected demand to be higher than last year, the production was limited. As a result most of them witnessed clearance of last year’s stocks much earlier . Fresh production sold off in no time, said manufacturers.

"Thanks to better business and payments, the situation next year would be much better. It is very positive for the industry which can think of adopting innovative ways for next year," said Vinod Thapar of Knitwear Club. 



Stamp vendors show allotment letters
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
Activists of the Purani Kacheri Welfare Association, who had been at loggerheads with some stamp vendors over possession of booths in new courts complex, today showed their allotment letters issued by the administration.

Led by Ajit Singh Batra, president of the association, the activists, showing their allotment letters, told the mediapersons that they were victims of a certain section of vendors who were eyeing their booths now. He added that those stamp vendors had already occupied the basement of mini secretariat for the past many years. When they already had a place for themselves, they were troubling these people, alleged Batra.

He said minister for jails, Hira Singh Gabria had come to their rescue in the entire case and they would be honouring him with the title, "messiah of the poor."  



Payment for power

The people are peeved at the decision of the government (PSEB) to seek deposit of two-three months’ advance payment for power consumption and rue this unpopular decision.

The step affects all sections of society, such as the middle class, salaried persons, small shop keepers, traders, industrilists and villagers who are not covered by the free power supply schemes.

The SAD-BJP combine may please recall the popular schemes announced by it at the time of Assembly elections and people, feeling elated and appreciating such popular schemes, had voted the combine to power.

The government may be under the impression that people are prospering due to the policies adopted by the govt, but the fact of the matter is that though the people are not agitating, they have rejected this unpopular decision. They are already hard pressed due to an unprecedented price rise of daily-consumption items.

We request the government to withdraw this unpopular decision to the general relief of society as a whole.

Virinder Bhakoo,



Bid to murder relative foiled
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
Timely information provided by a resident of Gobind Colony saved the life of a resident of Mundiya village for whose murder, his canada based relatives allegedly sent a group of killers for Rs 1.20 lakh.

SSP R K Jaiswal said in order to avenge the act of a girl leaving her husband in Canada, five months after their marriage, some relatives of the deserted husband plotted a contract killing of the father of the girl.

According to an FIR registered at Division No 7 police station, Ramandeep Singh, a canadian NRI, was sent here for arranging the contract killing of Ranphool Singh, a resident of Mundiya village here.

The police has booked Ramandeep Singh, along with five other persons, all belonging to Ganganagar and termed as professional killers. They were Jassi, Kaali, Pandit, Moni and Kulwant.

The police raided their hideout but the accused managed to escape. 



Impersonator nabbed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 25
The Shimla Puri police has booked a man who had allegedly posed as the chiarman of the SAD and sought Rs 3 lakh from a junior engineer with the Punjab State Electricity Board on threat of his tranfer out of the city.

According to the FIR lodged against the accused Dalraj Singh, the complainant JE Baljit Singh said the accused threatened him claiming that he occupied a powerful political position. 



53rd Punjab Schools Athletics Meet 
Manjinder, Amandeep win gold in 5,000 m walk
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 25
Manjinder Singh from Ludhiana and Amandeep Kaur won gold medal in the gruelling 5,000 m walk in the boys and girls (u-19) section on the second day of the 53rd Punjab Schools Athletics Meet being held at Guru Nanak Stadium, here today.

In the boys’ section, Tejbir Singh of Amritsar and Rajan Kumar of Sports School, Jalandhar, secured second and third position respectively while in the girls’ section, Rajbir Kaur of Amritsar and Balpreet Kaur of Patiala finished at second and third place, respectively.

In the girls’ (u-17) section, Kulwinder Kaur of Sangrur bagged top honours in long jump. She was closely followed by Taranjit Kaur and Bipanjit Kaur, both of Patiala.

In long jump (boys u-19), Ludhiana's Pawandeep Singh proved his mettle to win gold while Lakhwinder Singh of Sangrur finished at second place. Kulwant Singh from Ludhiana had to be content with the third position.

Similarly, in the boys’ u-17 years section, Amarjit Singh of Muktsar proved too good for his immediate opponents to clinch a gold medal in long jump event. The second and third positions were bagged by Arpinder Singh of Sports School, Jalandhar, and Jasdeep Singh of Taran Tarn respectively.

In discus throw (girls u-19), Harmandeep Kaur of Muktsar won the first position while Priyanka also from Muktsar finished second and Rajatdeep Kaur of Sangrur stood third.

Ketki Sethi of Amritsar won the gold medal in shot put for girls’ u-14 years section. Ramadeep Kaur of Hoshiarpur and Harmandeep Kaur of Amritsar secured second and third position respectively.

Other results: (boys -14) shot put- Ramandeep Singh of Ferozepur 1, Gurbhaz Singh of Amritsar 2 and Khushpal Singh of Ferozepur 3; (boys u-17) shot put- Gurbant Singh of Ferozepur 1, Yudhvir Singh of Sports School, Jalandhar 2 and Karanbir Singh of Patiala 3.

Girls (u-19): 3000 m race- Navjovan Kaur of Hoshiarpur 1, Kiranbir Kaur of Taran Tarn 2 and Harpreet Kaur of Ludhiana 3; girls (u-17) 3000 m race- Harpreet Kaur of Hoshiarpur 1, Jaspreet Kaur of Ludhiana 2 and Sunita of Sangrur 3.

Sudesh Bajaj, district education officer, Ludhiana, Devinder Sharma, eduction officer (elementary), Rupinder Singh Ravi, deputy district education officer (sports), Darshan Singh, Gurjant Singh, Kuldeep Singh (Bharat Nagar), Jaswinder Singh (Model Town), Jagroop Singh (PAU), Kulbir Singh (Chakohi), Jagdev Singh (Khanna), Sharanjit Singh (Rasoolra), Randhir Singh (Bhutta), Amrik Singh (Koom Kalan), Tarlochan Singh Mundian), Surinder Kaur (Shahpur), Beena Rani (Lalton), Satinder Satti, Bhupinder Kaur (Lohara), Jasbir Kaur (Sahnewal) were among others present during the day. 



India-Australia matches
Court restrains cable operators from unauthorised telecast 
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 25
The Delhi High Court has ordered in favour of ESPN STAR Sports (ESPN), the official broadcaster of the India tour of Australia, in its suit for permanent injunction filed against cable operators across the country against unauthorised broadcast of the India tour of Australia, restraining all cable operators from unauthorisedly showing the forthcoming India tour of Australia through their cable networks.

In a press release issued here today by the channel it was stated that the India tour of Australia involves 4 Test matches starting from December 26, followed by a Tri-angular ODl tournament involving India, Australia and Sri-Lanka and a Twenty2O tie between India and Australia. STAR Cricket will exclusively telecast the Test series while STAR Sports will broadcast the tri-angular tournament.

ESPN in its suit before the Hon’ble Delhi High Court claimed that it had the sole and exclusive rights from Cricket Australia (CA) to telecast CA properties exclusively in India. ESPN contented that it expected rampant piracy in certain parts of the country.

After this order anyone showing India tour of Australia through any unauthorised means or any other channel will be held in contempt of court and liable for prosecution. The Delhi High Court has also permitted ESPN to take action against all other cable operators not party to the suit but are found to be unauthorisedly utilising the feed of ESPN and STAR Cricket without license, the release read. 



Manish fashions MCA’s victory
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 25
A fine century, 111 in 104 balls, and dazzling bowling by Manish 4 for 3, helped the Mohali Cricket Association (MCA) to defeat Cantt. XI Ambala by 94 runs in the 7th Dhruve Pandove Memorial Cricket tournament, which concluded in YPS ground yesterday. 

Subeer was well supported by Pukhraj 47. Ultimately Mohali boys were able to make a score of 224 for 8 in 35 overs match.

In reply, Ambala boys started their inning in disappointing fashion and bundle out after making 130 on board in 30.4 overs, only Bhupinder (50), Bunny Bansal (22) and Sahil (13) were
able to score from Ambala side.

Brief Score: Mohali Cricket Association 224 for 8 in 35 overs, Subeer Hyer 111, Pukhraj Singh 47, Gurpartap 26, Bhupinder 2/34, Gurtek Singh 2/49, Kohinoor Kalia 1/31.

Cantt XI Ambala: 130 all out in 30.4 overs Bhupinder Singh 50, Bunny Bansal 22 Sahil 13, Manish 4 for 3 Mayank Munjal 2/5 Shivam Puri 2/37.

In another match which was played in DMW ground, St. John’s Cricket Center, Chandigarh, defeated DMW Patiala by 7 wickets.

Brief Score: DMW (Rly) Patiala 124 all out in 35 overs. Gopal Hellan 39 Anmol Malhotra 16, Tanish Gill 10, Vardan 2/17, Shivam Bhambri 2/26

St. John’s Chandigarh 125 for 3 in 24.3 overs. Sashya 63, Rehmat 22 Kamaljeet 18, Suraj Singh 2/32, Sanveer Singh 1/13. 



CRPF, IAF register wins
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 25
On the second day of the All-India Baba Zorabar Singh Baba Fateh Singh Football Tournament being played here at Mata Gujri College Fatehgarh Sahib Stadium yesterday, CRPF Jalandhar beat Principal Harbhajan Memorial Club 5-4 in a tie-breaker. 

In another match, Indian Air Force beat RCF Kapurthala 2-1. Steephen and M-Negi scored one goal each for Indian Air Force and Sarban Singh scored the sole goal for RCF Kapurthala.

The first semifinal will be played between BSF Jalandhar and PSEB Hoshiarpur on December 25.

The second semifinal will be played the same day between CRPF Jalandhar and Indian Airforce Delhi. 



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