L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Phoren hopes crash
Man loses Rs 20 lakh to travel agents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
A 36-year-old man of Daulatpur village near here was duped of Rs 20 lakh by a travel agent couple, who promised to send him abroad but never fulfilled the promise.

Sukhminder Singh, father of two, fell into the net of Santokh Singh and his wife Harpreet Kaur of Mahapur village near Payal and loaned Rs 9 lakh from different banks and Rs 11 lakh from financiers. For realising his dream of going abroad he mortgaged his agricultural land also.

Even after chasing the travel agents for three years, Sukhminder Singh was not able to go to the USA. They kept on telling him that they were arranging for a permanent visa for him and they would only arrange a ticket for him.

‘‘I borrowed this much money thinking that when I reach the US, I will earn in dollars. The loan of lakhs of rupees will not mean anything for me,’’ said Sukhminder Singh.

He paid the first instalment of Rs 9 lakh to the travel agents in 2005 and paid the rest of money within a year. ‘‘My family kept on waiting for my tickets but to no avail. When three years passed I warned them of getting a case registered against them. The duo then effected a compromise with me and agreed to pay me Rs 23 lakh. They gave me a cheque also of that amount. But the cheque bounced. ’’ he said.

Sukhminder complained to the division number 5 police station. The police registered a case under Section 406, 420, IPC, against the travel agents. No arrest has been made so far as the agents are on the run.

Kin dupe ex-Army man of Rs 8 lakh
Tribune News Service

Khanna, January 25
The craze to settle abroad had landed yet another person in troubles as he was duped of Rs 8 lakh by his own relatives on pretext of sending his son to the UK.

Sohan Singh, ex-serviceman and resident of Basant Nagar, is now a harried man as he is running from pillar to post seeking help in recovery of his money that he had paid to two persons.

According to a complaint filed with the police, Sohan Singh has stated that his sister-in-law (his wife's cousin sister) Baljit Kaur, who is a resident of Garshankar and her brother-in-law Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Hoshiarpur, have duped him of Rs 8 lakh.

Sohan Singh alleged that in 2005, Baljit Kaur had approached them assuring that her brother-in-law could help his son Attar Singh settle in the UK. He stated that the duo asked him to pay Rs 8 lakh in advance and Rs 50,000 after his sons reached the UK.

They took the amount from him in separate instalment in the same year, but even after two years, neither his son has gone to the UK nor his money has been returned by the two. He said the two even started avoiding him and his family members and on asking about the money, the two continued to present one excuse after another.

On receiving the complaint, the Khanna police registered a case against the four persons, including Rakesh Kumar's wife Jaswinder Kaur and Baljit Kaur's father-in-law Sadara Singh and started investigations into the matter.



Sidhwan Bet is encroachers’ paradise
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Sidhwan Bet, January 25
The ambitious plan of the state government to generate resources by selling vacant properties has suffered a jolt. In Sidhwan Bet sub-tehsil of Ludhiana, having a cluster of 48 villages, every inch of 39,266 acres of land, worth crores, belonging to the state and central government is encroached upon.

A government document prepared by the district administration for listing land fit for commercial use under the controversial optimum utilisation of resources scheme of the SAD-BJP government claims the massive "unauthorised possession " of government land.

It is anybody's guess that how difficult it would be for the government to get the land vacated and sell it. After the construction of a bridge over the Sutlej, connecting Jagraon with Jalandhar district, the value of the land has increased manifold making it far more difficult for the government to remove encroachers.

Sher Singh of Kanya Hussaini village told the Ludhiana Tribune that they were tilling the land for decades and would fight to death if the government tried to reclaim it.

The land is very fertile as it was left by the Sutlej after it changed its course. Thus it  belongs to the forest department. Earlier also the department had tried to reclaim this land from a number of Rai Sikhs settled in these villages. But they had to give in as the Rai Sikhs reacted violently.

Secondly the prices in Ludhiana district have skyrocketed. The construction of a bridge over the Sutluj, connecting Jagraon with Jalandhar, and the road passing through this region has increased the land value swiftly. Nobody wants to give away an inch.

The land was sold at anything between Rs 50,000 to Rs 70,000 per acre till a few years ago. But it went up to Rs 2.50 lakh per acre after the construction of the bridge. It is only the reclaimed land that goes for a few lakhs. Otherwise the land at other places is worth much more.

Gurjeet Singh, a land owner, revealed that the real estate boom in Ludhiana also led to increase in land price in this region. Many farmers, landlords bought land here after selling off their prime plots on the outskirts of Ludhiana.



Bank strike cripples life 
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
Banking operations came to a halt in the city as bank employees observed a full-day strike in support of their demands. Common man suffered inconvenience and the business community was badly hit as it is a holiday tomorrow on account of Republic Day, which is followed by Sunday. 

As a result, transactions come to a halt for three continuous days.

While no work took place in public sector banks, transactions of private banks too were affected due to inter-dependency of transactions in several cases. Apart from withdrawals and deposits, clearance-related transactions were affected the most.

"The strike affected us badly. The government should ensure that services like banking should be included in the essential services category so that common man does not suffer. Strikes are sheer harassment," rued Varinder Kapoor, an industrialist. The business community, which needs to conduct high value transactions on daily basis, complained about stoppage of entire commercial activity.

In many banks customers could be seen visiting the branches, enquiring about the closure and returning disappointed on failure to complete their work. "I came to get my jewellery from the bank locker as we have a wedding in the family tomorrow, but now I learn that the bank is closed. I dont know what to do," said a frustrated customer Satwant Kaur.

Bank employees, who also help a protest demonstration in the morning outside Canara Bank in Bharat Nagar Chowk here, demanded that merger of public sector banks should be stopped and compassionate appointment be restored in banks. Among other demands raised by them were filing of vacancies, stopping outsourcing of routine banking jobs and early settlement of wage revision.

The strike was observed here under the banner of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation on a call given by the United Forum of Bank Unions.

Naresh Gaur, secretary of the Ludhiana unit of the federation, said: "The demands being raised by us are genuine and concern the economy. We also want to tell people that for the day-long strike the employees forgot their salary and complete their entire pending work once they are back. Our strike is not meant to harass people, we regret the inconvenience but have no other way than to resort to this form of agitation due to non-fulfilment of our demands.”

The bank employees will also hold two-day strike on February 24 and 25 and indefinite strike in last week of March if their demands are not met.



10-yr-old foils robbery bid
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
Five robbers today struck at a house in Aman Nagar in Shimla Puri this morning and were given a tough time by 10-year-old Suraj, who hit them with a cricket bat and broke their car's windscreen.

The robbers, however, managed to escape.

According to the police, the robbers struck at the house at 10:30 a.m. when Harpreet Kaur, her mother-in-law Amarjeet Kaur and her son Suraj were at home. The robbers came with a pistol and asked them to surrender cash and jewellery at gun-point.

When they were about to decamp with cash and gold ornaments, Suraj picked his bat and hurled it on the robbers. The bat hit their car and broke its windscreen.

They rushed from the spot. Later, their Indica car met with an accident near Dhandari. They left the car and fled from the spot. The police said it was trying to nab the accused. A case of robbery has been registered.



Virasat Mela at Master Tara Singh college 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
Virasat mela was organised at the Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women here today. The function was organised for reviving the state’s rich cultural heritage. Deep Dhillon enthralled the audience with his melodious songs. Star attraction of the day, Gurdev Dhillon, known as “Bhajna Amli”, belled out a series of rib-tickling jokes.

 Principal Dr Madanjit Kaur Sahota stressed on the need for celebrating state’s cultural festivals for keeping the tradition alive.

She congratulated Deep Dhillon and Gurdev Dhillon. Alumni meet was also organised on the occasion. The principal praised old students for becoming the true ambassadors of the college. President Swarn Singh was also present on the occasion.



Indian food fest begins
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
An Indian food fest began at Majestic Park Plaza here today. Main attractions are “kebabs” and “naans,” said general manager Arun Jaie at a press conference here today.

Jaie said master chefs, Ashfaque and Irfan Qureshi, have researched on the finer nuances of the dishes before presenting them. Among the items on menu are Hyderabad’s “shikampur” and “pathar ke kabab”, Delhi’s “imtiazi seekh” and “murgh chabdi tikka”, Luck now’s “gilawati kebabs” and numerous others.

Apart from the food, the hotel has recreated a special traditional Peshawari ambience and decor to match the occasion. 



Bank employees shun work
Oppose move to merge banks
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 25
In response to a national-level call, hundreds of activists of trade unions from various branches of nationalised banks here and in surrounding villages shun work and staged a protest near the Grain Market branch of the State Bank of Patiala here today.

The protest was staged under the banner of the All-India Bank Employees Association.

A large number of activists of unions from the local branches of Punjab National Bank, Central Bank of India (CBI), Punjab and Sindh Bank, Union Bank of India and State Bank of Patiala started gathering in front of the main branch of the SBoP in the morning.

Raising slogans against the Union Government, the office-bearers and activists of unions alleged that the authorities had been ignoring genuine demands of the workmen. Instead of exploring chances of promoting human resources in their respective institutes, the top officials had been focusing their attention on mechanisation of banking.

Urging the government to review demands of employees regarding pension option and wage revision, Hari Ram Bharti, office- bearer of the CBI Employees Union, said the organisation would oppose any move to merge the banks. Rajinder Singh Bath (PSB) and Jagjit Singh (SBoP) also addressed the protest rally. 



IT surveys: Rs 2.25 crore surrendered by assesses
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
Over Rs 2.25 crore was surrendered by various assessees today after the income tax department conducted its surveys to check undislosed income.

According to sources, PVR Estates here surrendered Rs 1.2 crore while in the case of units in Malerkotla, rice shellers surrendered Rs 70 lakh. Another Rs 10 lakh was surrendered by Ramesh Singla, a brick-kiln owner, and Rs 25 lakh was surrendered by Nati Ram Tarsem Chand oil mill.



Glory of India award for Khanna doc
Tribune News Service

Khanna, January 25
Dr Dharam Paul, a renowned surgeon of Khanna, has been honoured with the prestigious Glory of India award. The award was presented to him by Amir Rajbansi, minister of sports, Government of South Africa, and Bhishm Narain Singh, former Governor of Assam and Tamil Naidu, at an impressive ceremony organised in New Delhi. 

He was also presented a Certificate of Excellence in recognition of the services rendered by him.

After graduating as a doctor, Dr Paul joined the Punjab State Civil Medical Service in 1972. He did his MS in general surgery in 1980 and got fellowship in laparoscopic surgery in January 2008.

During service, he remained posted as senior medical officer at Civil Hospital Samrala in Khanna from 1988 to 2003. After being promoted, he was posted as civil surgeon, Faridkot. Following his retirement in April 2004, he is working as general and laparoscopic surgeon at Khanna Nursing Home.

While in service, along with the help of a team of dedicated doctors and staff, he made commendable and outstanding contributions in various health schemes and got state awards in all National Health Programmes. For his professional excellence, he got Chikitsa Shiromani and Chikitsa Ratan awards.

Appreciating his meritorious services to society, he was honoured with the Best Citizen of India award in 2007. 



Woman hangs herself
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
A 21-year-old woman, Rita, allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from the ceiling fan today. Rita was a resident of Sector 23.

Her uncle Jairam Singh, with whom she had been staying for the past over one year, is an employee with the agriculture department of Punjab.

She committed suicide by hanging herself with a dupatta. While no suicide note was found, the police said Rita had been in a state of depression. She was reportedly opposed to marrying the man she was getting engaged to.

While her parents were pressing her for the marriage, she was against it as her fiance’s mother was suffering from tuberculosis, the police said. Her parents live in Attawa in Uttar Pradesh, her hometown. The police has begun investigations under Section 174, CrPC.



Who cares for DC

Deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar has directed all education institutions against opening their schools before 9.30 am. However, it seems that the deputy commissioner’s orders don’t seem to carry weight as a few schools are openly violating it. “The students will observe holiday on Saturday (26th January) on account of Republic Day and the school will reopen on Monday (28th January) at 8.50 a.m.” Such circulars are being issued to the students. Even my wards were issued such circular. I, therefore, would request the district administration to take stern action against offenders.

Ravi Chander Garg



Bankruptcy luring youths into drug peddling: SP
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 25
It is not only unemployed youths or college dropouts but businessmen facing financial crunch or bankruptcy are venturing into the lucrative business of drug peddling.

Referring to a case in which 500 gm of smack was recently seized from a resident of Khanna; SP (Detective) claimed that the accused had taken up the illegal trade, after he failed to run his family business. “Instead of analyzing the reasons behind losses suffered in the business, the entrepreneur got allured by a drug mafia and chose to make fast buck by investing borrowed money in distribution of drugs and narcotics. The police did not suspect him as he had been enjoying good rapport in the area,” the SP added.

Further, a few kilograms of heroin was seized from a bankrupt businessman in Phillaur, recently.

Cautioning against the dangerous trend of a few bankrupt businessmen taking to drug peddling, the Khanna police has called upon office-bearers of a few social and traders’ associations to coordinate with the police, in order to nip the evil in bud.

He urged the residents of the area to keep a close watch on activities of their wards, as a large number of youths, who had got addicted to smack, had started working as agents of drug smugglers, obviously to arrange money for funding drugs and narcotics for their own consumption.

While talking to The Tribune, after interacting with the office- bearers of a few social and traders association at Jhammat village near here, the SP said a large number of drug peddlers nabbed last year, had taken up the illicit trade after suffering huge losses in their traditional business.

The SP further said a large number of youths had fallen prey to addiction due to easy availability of the banned products. “Now they are only required to go to a professional drug smuggler for satisfying their needs. Rather youths from otherwise noble families, who were unable to bear the finance for consuming the drugs, have now started serving as conduit for supplying material as and when required,” the SP added. He urged parents to devote more time towards their wards and keep a watch on their activities.



Unconscious driver succumbs  to injuries
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh,  January 25
The driver of a private bus company, who was found unconscious near a drain bridge near Kilaraipur village on the Delhon-Pakhowal Road, last Sunday, breathed his last yesterday without being able to give an account of the sequence of events leading to fatal injuries caused to him.

Sukhwinder Singh, a resident of Jartoli village, was rescued by members of an orchestra party.

In absence of an eyewitness, the Dehlon police has registered a report under Section 174 of the CrPC and handed over the body of the deceased after the postmortem.

The victim’s family has demanded a probe into the case.

According to Harvinder Singh, his brother Sukhwinder Singh had died after being injured under mysterious circumstances. It is suspected that some unknown miscreants had hit him with some crude weapon and had fled after being noticed by a passerby.

Profuse bleeding through his ears suggested that he had not fallen unconscious in routine.

Sukhwinder used to return home on his motorcycle at about 8 pm in routine. “When Sukhwinder did not return by 8.30 pm like other days, I kept on trying his mobile phone which was ultimately responded by a passerby at about 9.45 pm. We were shocked to hear that my husband was lying unconscious in a pool of blood,” Rachhpal Kaur, wife of the deceased had told the police.

Harvinder further told that members of an orchestra party led by Amanjit Rangi had started rescue operations before the family could locate Sukhwinder.

Though the matter was reported to the Dehlon police, no criminal case could be registered in absence of a complaint and eye witness account.

As the mobile phone and purse of the victim were found on the spot, the police did not work on assault for snatching theory.

Sources revealed that the Dehlon police had started investigations into the case and would register a criminal case in case postmortem report suggested it to be a case of beating or vehicular accident.

Meanwhile, Baldev Singh Latala, a Kissan Union activist, has urged the authorities to get the matter probe in light of incidents of petty snatchings being committed by a group of miscreants in the area during past weeks. 



No clue to  missing boy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
There is no clue to the whereabouts of seven-year-old boy, Deepak, who went missing from Kuldeep Nagar on Tuesday night.The Basti Jodhewal police has registered an abduction case in this regard.

Son of Amarjeet Singh, an electronics goods dealer, Deepak had gone out after having dinner on that night. He had not returned since then. After some time the family had received a ransom call. 



From Schools
Tiny tots celebrate Republic Day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
Tiny tots of the KG wing celebrated Republic Day at Bharatiya Vidya Mandir Shishu Vatika, Kitchlu Nagar, with fervour here today. They took out a rally on the school premises and raised slogans like Vande Matram and Bharat Mata ki Jai. 

Young patriots were looking energetic. Their faces were shining with joy. National flag in the hands of tiny tots added colour to the rally.

Darshan Academy

Students of Darshan Academy presented a cultural programme to mark the Republic Day celebrations. The programme started with a skit highlighting sacrifice of freedom fighters. It was followed by a patriotic song and a speech by Class VIII student on the “Importance of Republic Day in the history of freedom struggle.” Principal Yachana Chawla encouraged students become good citizens.

Saraswati School

Republic Day was celebrated at Saraswati School here today. Pre- primary section of the school presented a few patriotic songs and took part in the march past. Kamla Jaian, president of school, took the salute. Principal Neelambra Sharma told children about the importance of Republic Day.

Kundan Vidya Mandir

Kundan Vidya Mandir, city branch, celebrated Republic Day with pomp and show. The students of the primary section danced to the patriotic songs with and made spectators tap their feet. They also sang a few patriotic songs. Headmistress Kiran Chadha gave the message of being methodical and led a planned life.

Maple Bear Play Way

Maple Bear Canadian Play Way and Nursery School Udham Singh Nagar celebrated Republic Day. Kids celebrated this day by making Tricolours especially for this occasion. Children also sang and danced to the tune of patriotic songs. Principal Veena Aggarwal also gave a lecture on the importance of the day to the kids. 



BCM Students donate clothes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
With a view to inculcate compassion and its basic spirit among students and bring a smile on the faces of less-privileged people of society, the eco-club of B.C.M.Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, came forward to help the needy people today.

They donated clothes, shoes, blankets among people living in the slum areas with the help of the Nishkam Sewa Ashram.

It was a thrilling experience for the students. It gave them an opportunity to understand the way they live.

Principals’ meet

A meeting of the college principals affiliated with Panjab University, Chandigarh, was organised in Ramgarhia College here today. Dr. S.M Sharma, principal, Arya College for Boys, presided over the meeting.

He discussed the problems being faced by the privately-aided colleges. The principals’ delegation decided that the next general body meeting would be held at Khalsa College, Mahilpur, in February. The delegation will meet the vice-chancellor of Panjab University.

Extension lecture

An extension lecture was organized by the PG Department of Commerce at Kamla Lohtia S.D.College here today. Dr Tejinder Sharma of Kurukshetra University was the resource person.

He delivered a speech on the topic “Customer Relationship Management”.

He also discussed latest techniques of creating and maintaining good customer relationship. He correlated information technology with the customer relationship management and discussed impact of IT on it.

He pointed out that the customer relationship management strategies for future managers’ fund and discussed various risks associated with it.

Rajesh Marwaha, head, commerce department, welcomed the guest. Principal Deepak Kaushal thanked expert and honoured Tejinder Sharma with a memento. Santa Aggarwal, Monika Kansal and all other faculty members of the commerce department were also present on the occasion.



26 children take part in cooking contest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
The department of food and nutrition organised an inter-class cooking competition on the “Snacks for schoolchildren” at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here today.

At least 26 students took part in it and prepared sweet and salty snacks. They used peanuts, sesame seeds, soybean, spinach, carrots, roasted channa and sprouts in their preparations.

Abha clinched the first prize in the sweet snacks category while Preeti and Sukhraj Kaur came second and third, respectively. In salty snack category, Ist prize was won by Sukhraj Kaur, IInd prize by Deepika Jindal and IIIrd prize was won by Paramdeep Kaur.

Dr Molly Joshi, consultant dietitian, Dr Roopa Bakshi and Dr Sukhdeep Kaur (home science extension education) were the judges.

Dean (home science) Dr Neelam Grewal distributed prizes among the winners.



Seema Rani best in cooking
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 25
In order to provide a befitting exposure to talent of pupil-teachers of the Doraha College of Education, a series of competitions were organised in the college campus today.

The pupil-teachers showcased their talent. On the spot cooking and fancy dress competitions were categorically organised.

In various on-the-spot competitions, the pupils participated in the categories of flower making, flower arrangement, glass painting, fabric painting, block printing and pot painting.

Fancy dress competition was organised in the afternoon where girls assumed various roles and amused the audience with their exemplary talent.

Principal of the college Dr J. Kiran Gera congratulated the students for their participation.

Results: Cooking competitions-(snacks): 1 Seema Rani, 2 Shiffu Kapila, 3 Amandeep Kaur; desserts: 1 Kanika, 2 Inderdeep Kaur, 3 Pawandeep Kaur; soups: 1 Shikha, 2 Shivani, 3 Pooja Sood.

On- the-spot competitions (flower making): 1 Gurmeet Kaur; flower arrangement: 1 Bavinderjit Kaur; glass painting: 1 Navneet Kaur, 2 Harpreet Kaur; fabric painting: 1 Anita, 2 Bharti Arora, 3 Jasbir Kaur; block printing: 1 Gurpreet Kaur; pot painting: 1 Awan Sharma.

Fancy dress competitions: 1 Richa, 2 Shiffu Kapila and Sarita Devi, 3 Sonia Rani.



Dynamos XI victorious 
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 25
An all-round performance by Prateek (2 wickets and 21 n.o) and an equally valuable contribution by Shavinder Sandhu ( 17 n.o and 1 wicket) steered Dynamos XI to a convincing 7-wicket victory over Young Bloods XI in the opening match of the annual cricket tournament being organised by Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, BRS Nagar, Alumni Association at the school grounds here today.

Dynamos XI won the toss and invited Young Bloods XI to bat . In the alloted 20 overs, Young Bloods XI scored 114 runs for the loss of 8 wickets with main contributions from Jeevanjot and Gagandeep who made 25 and 23 runs, respectively.

In reply, Dynamos XI made 116 runs after losing three wickets in 19 overs. Prateek and Sahvinder Sandhu remained unbeaten on 21 and 17 runs, respectively, while Amarbir scored 15 runs. For Young Bloods XI, Kunal Duggal scalped two victims and Ayush grabbed one wicket.



Hardeep betters own record
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 25
Shot putter, Hardeep Kaur, has won the gold medal in the All-India Inter-Varsity Athletics Meet held at Annamalai in Tamil Nadu, recently.

Hardeep, student of Khalsa College for Women, Civil Lines, Ludhiana, hurled the iron ball to a distance of 14.08 mts to improve her previous record of 13.80 mts which she created in the last edition of this meet.

Dr Varinder Kaur Thind, principal, Khalsa College, praised Hardeep Kaur for excelling in the event and wished her a success.



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