L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Five HDFC Bank employees arrested
Multi-crore fraud detected

Rakesh Gupta

Jagraon, December 30
The CIA staff arrested five employees, including the manager, of the local branch of the HDFC Bank for committing fraud here last night. The police has booked eight persons in this regard.

The accused have been charged with committing fraud running into crores of rupees by operating the accounts and lockers of clients who had either been living abroad or had not operated their lockers and accounts for a long time.

The CIA team arrested the accused on a specific information while they were engaged in withdrawing money from a multinational bank. One of the accused is said to be a close relative of a local police officer.

The accused used to operate accounts holding huge amounts by obtaining cheques and sample of the signature.

Since the accused were bank employees, it was not difficult for them to commit the crime.

By forging the signature of the account holder, they used to transfer huge amounts to the accounts of their relatives or friends.

Similarly, they operated lockers that had not been operated for a long time and extracted title deeds.

With the help of certain persons and co-accused, they used to get huge loans sanctioned and keep deeds as collateral.

It is estimated that the accused had so far illegally transferred around Rs 5 crore from various accounts and raised over Rs 2 crore by mortgaging title deeds acquired from bank lockers.

The Jagraon police has booked branch manager Kapil Dev Mohan of Chanden Nagar, Ludhiana, agriculture officer Tejinder Deep Singh of Mai Jeena, Jagraon, his wife Manveer Kaur, bank relationship managers Baljinder Singh of Shakti Nagar and Rajan Parashar, bank cashier Amritpal of Khud Mohalla, his wife Rajwant Kaur, and Aviva Insurance Company sales manager Narender Singh of Fatehgarh Sivian, Ludhiana.

Tejinder Deep, Rajan and Baljinder and Amritpal were arrested from a multinational bank at The Mall, Ludhiana, by the CIA staff on the basis of specific information.

After the arrest, they confessed to committing the crime and revealed the involvement of branch manager Kapil Dev Mohan, who was later arrested from his house.

The police had been on a lookout for the gang that had been raising huge sums of money from banks after submitting forged documents.

Recently, a woman of Aligarh had lodged a complaint with SSP (Ludhiana rural) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar stating that some imposters were approaching banks to obtain loan of Rs 10 crore on the property owned by her and her brother, who was presently in Australia.

The imposters had even forged the voter’s ID card of her brother by putting their picture on it. The case is currently being probed by SP (D) Pritam Singh.

Govind Pande, regional head, and Dheeraj Ralli, head of branches, Banking North of the HDFC, had approached the bank and said their audit team had noticed huge transactions in otherwise dead accounts having huge money and had complained this to the higher authorities. The bank had already started inquiring into the matter.

They said though the accused had confessed to their crime, it would not be an easy to come up with actual figures, as all accounts and lockers would be checked and confirmed from their holders.

They said their employees made a gang that had been operating for the past over eight months.

SHO Jagraon Navin Pal Singh said the Ludhiana CIA staff had arrested five persons and they were on the lookout for the other three.

The accused have been booked under Sections 409, 420, 471, 67, 68 and 120 B, IPC.



DC absolved of wrongdoing
Divisional Commissioner to submit report today

Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 30
Patiala Divisional Commissioner Jasbir Singh Bir has given a clean chit to Deputy Commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar in the firecracker stalls allotment case wherein corruption allegations were levelled against the latter.

Sources said: “The facts that have come to the fore after the probe proved that the allegations against DC Gurjar didn’t have any evidence. Besides, two out of 12 affidavits submitted by the complainants too turned out to be fake.”

They said: “When the Divisional Commissioner talked to the complainants in the city today about the recorded statement of DC Gurjar, the complainants used word ‘government officials’ and not ‘Deputy Commissioner’ in their reply.”

Bir was to submit the inquiry report against Gurjar to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal through Chief Secretary today. However, he didn’t submit the report today and would give it tomorrow.

When Bir was asked about the delay, he said: “There were certain things that needed to be verified and I would submit the report to the CM tomorrow.”

He, however, refused to divulge any details of the report citing secrecy as the reason.

The divisional commissioner was in the city today to talk to the 14 complainants who had submitted affidavits against Gurjar alleging that he had asked money from them for allotment of firecracker stalls at various places during Diwali. However, only eight of the 14 complainants turned up for the inquiry.

Deputy Speaker Satpal Gosain had accused the Deputy Commissioner of being corrupt and had demanded his transfer.

Besides, he had also asked for a CBI probe by raising a finger at Bir, who was asked by Badal to probe the matter.

During the probe, Gurjar had ruled out that he had asked for money from complainants. He had said: “Let these people reveal the name of the person to whom they have given the money. Besides, if they are alleging involvement of a middleman, let them bring him.”

A mediaperson had tried to bring a truce between Gurjar and Gosain by holding two meetings.

One of the meetings was held at Gosain’s residence, where the media reported that Gurjar had gone to apologise. Gurjar later refused it saying Gosain’s mediators were after him for clearing the misunderstandings.

Lashing out at Gosain, Gurjar had said Gosain had asked for 100 cracker sites, but he was not in a position to allot them, so the matter took such a turn.



Police to go tough on boozers, hooligans
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 30
Those planning to celebrate the New Year’s Eve with a puff of hashish, beware! For, this New Year’s bash the man dancing next to you in stylish clothes may well be a policeman on the lookout for drug addicts and drug peddlers.

According to SSP RK Jaiswal, policemen in mufti will be deployed at hot spots of the city to keep an eye on drug peddlers this time.

Besides, elaborate arrangements have been made by the police to teach boozers a lesson on the New Year’s Eve.

Taking a cue from brawls by drunk and rowdy youths in the past, the police has identified key spots to crack down on hooligans.

The potential trouble areas include Sarabha Nagar Market, Kumhar Mandi and Dandi Swamy road. The police has geared itself up to keep a special watch near discotheques and certain hotels.

Special police checkpoints will be set up at some key locations of the city to challan youths for drunk driving.

The city has witnessed some of the bloodiest brawls and serious accidents in the past few years. To counter this, the city police will take strict action against youths who engage in fight and create ruckus on city roads. Strict action will be taken against eve-teasers, said the SSP.

Also in the wake of terror attacks in Mumbai, special focus will be laid on crowded places of the city.

For this, the SSP has requested senior authorities to provide more police force to keep a vigil on the New Year’s Eve.

While some city’s elite clubs have cancelled their New Year’s celebrations in the memory of victim of the 26/11 carnage, there are others that are going ahead with the bash. Some leading hotels are planning lavish parties to appease guests, including industrialists, politicians and government officials.

The SSP had recently conducted a meeting with some leading hotels and restaurants going ahead with the New Year’s bash. “We have told them to conduct a thorough check on their premises before the function,” said the SSP.


New Year’s Eve
Guard up, Gypsies out on patrol
KS Chawla

Ludhiana, December 30
Security has been beefed up in the city in view of the New Year’ Eve. And for the first time in 15 years, police Gypsies fitted with machine guns are patrolling city’s sensitive areas.

Pruning of VIP security is partly responsible for the presence extra police vehicles on city roads.

DIG, Ludhiana range, Ishwar Singh today said security of politicians and others had been slashed by 25 per cent. Also, escort vehicles providing security to him and four SSPs of Ludhiana, Ludhiana rural, Khanna and Ropar had also been engaged in the drive. He said security in the city had been tightened in view of the New Year’s celebrations.

SSP RK Jaiswal said 50 policemen had been withdrawn from VIP duty in the city and five Gypsies had pulled back from their service.

These vehicles have now been fitted with machine guns and positioned at entry points to the city, including Jalandhar bypass, Sunet pull, Samrala chowk and Gill road.

A Gypsy was being stationed at Ladowal on the national highway as well. The units would keep an eye on anti-social elements and respond to SOS calls. Each Gypsy is headed by an SHO with four police constables. Jaiswal said the step had been taken to instill a sense of security in residents.



Close shave for Swarn Shatabdi
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 30
New Delhi-bound Swarn Shatabdi Express had a providential escape a few minutes after leaving Ludhiana late last evening when a speeding Qualis broke the barrier at a level crossing near Doraha and got stuck right on the tracks.

At the sight of the fast-approaching train, the driver jumped away from the vehicle, as the train came to a screeching halt just a few metres short of it. The GRP staff reached the scene and removed the vehicle stuck on the rail line. In the process, the train, which was already running behind schedule, was further delayed by over one hour.

Later, the GRP police at Khanna registered a case under Section 279 of the Railway Safety Act against the unknown driver, who fled the scene. A search was launched to trace the owner and driver of the vehicle.

Meanwhile, dense fog affected rail traffic with long-haul up trains running late between one and 11 hours, putting travellers to inconvenience. According to information made available by railway officials, most up trains were running late due to thick fog, which led to curtailment of the running speed of trains.

Both 2587 Amrapali Express and 5211 up ran behind schedule by 10.30 hours, 2413 JPJA Express by 11 hours, 5707 Kisan Express by nine hours, and 8101 Tata Express, 8237 Chattisgarh Express, 3049 Howrah-Amritsar Express and 2471 Swaraj Express by four to six hours.

Also, 4673 Flying Mail ran behind schedule by eight hours, 2925 Pashchim Express by 3 hours, 2919 Malwa Express by 3.5 hours and 1057 Dadar Express by 2.5 hours.

Some other trains on trunk route like New Delhi-Amritsar, including Shatabdi, Swarn Shatabdi and Shan-e-Punjab, were also running late by an hour or two for the past couple of days. Senior railway officials said during the foggy weather when visibility went down to almost zero, slow running of trains and consequent delay was a matter of routine and train traffic would be restored to normalcy once the weather improved.



Shop gutted
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 30
Goods and valuables worth about Rs 4 lakh were destroyed in mysterious fire that engulfed a general store situated at Akbarpur Chhanna village on the Ludhiana - Malerkotla road near here last night.

While the owner of the shop has alleged that some unknown persons had set the shop afire after stealing goods and valuables from the shop, the police termed it a fire accident caused due to an electric short-circuit.

However, timely action by cops and villagers saved the fire from spreading to adjacent shops and offices.

SHO Sadar Bimal Kumar Sharma said a case has been registered.



City Concerns

The Ludhiana police has withdrawn 35 security personnel from VIP duty in a follow-up to the ongoing debate on pruning the excessive security cover of VIPs. People feel there is scope for greater rationalisation. Residents are peeved at the security cover being provided to VIPs travelling to the city, additional security at sites they visit and unnecessary security to some political leaders.

Residents feel community policing is being compromised, as is indicated by the number of thefts, traffic chaos and numerous incidents. Police personnel on their part maintain that a very small workforce is available for such work.

We would like to seek your opinion on whether large police deployment for VIP security is justified and what should be the criteria in allowing a security cover for an individual or an organisation. Do you recommend that the powerful and rich should employ a private security agency that is monitored by the state police?

Responses, in not more than 200 words, can be emailed to ludhianaconcerns@tribunemail.com or sent to our city office at Bhadaur House, Ludhiana.

— City Editor



GLADA to build 500 apartments
LIT takes up commercial project

Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 30
After a gap of over a decade, the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) has embarked upon an ambitious project to construct 500 one-bedroom and two-bedroom residential flats in Dugri, Phase-II, in the city.

Similarly, the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) has taken in hand a project involving construction of 20 shop-cum-offices in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar here for which tenders have already been invited.

Giving details of the housing project, AK Sinha, Chief Administrator, GLADA, told The Tribune here yesterday that 350 one-bedroom flats and another 150 two-bedroom flats would be constructed in an area of six acres in Dugri Phase II.

To be constructed under the self-financing scheme, the one-bedroom flat will have a carpet area of 450 to 500 sq ft with a tentative cost of Rs 9.5 lakh, while the two-bedroom flat, with a carpet area of 950 to 1,000 sq ft will cost around Rs 16 lakh.

“We are trying to build residential flats with quality construction, incorporating all basic facilities and latest design as per current architectural trends. To achieve this objective, we had organised an architectural design competition for flats and the design presented by Chandigarh-based Vaastu Group was adjudged best. Once the model is approved by the Regional Planning and Development Authority, further action will be initiated to get structural designs prepared and start tendering process for civil works,” Sinha added.

GLADA Additional Chief Administrator SR Kler said steps were on to tie up with a leading bank for extending finance facility to prospective buyers on easy terms. In fact, the bank will act as a virtual manager for the project as far as its finances are concerned right from sale of application forms to disbursement of loans based on category of the flat.

VK Chauhan, Divisional Engineer, overseeing the project, said quality of construction work of these flats would be comparable to any of the private housing projects while cost would be roughly half of that being charged by private builders in similar localities.

GLADA had decided in principle to sell the one-bed room flat at the cost price without charging any profit from the buyers, he added.

Meanwhile, the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) has already commenced work on a Rs 4.05-crore commercial complex for construction of 20 shop-cum-offices (SCOs) in main commercial pocket of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar.

According to Trust Engineer RK Garg, the LIT will construct basement and ground floor of the SCOs for outright sale and buyers will have the option to add more floors depending on their requirement. The commercial project was expected to be completed in around six months time.



Speed up development works: Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 30
Municipal Commissioner GS Ghuman held meetings with officials of various departments and directed them to stop their indolent attitude towards their work, here today.

The officials of the B&R department were at the receiving end today. The sources revealed the MC commissioner told the officials that included assistant commissioner Vinod Sharda and various SEs and XENs to stop corrupt practices and take their work seriously.

He said the tender process for projects of around Rs 200 crore remained in dock because of their corrupt practices. Either the tenders were not opened on time or there were complaints of various officials for favouring certain contractors, he told officials.

He also ragged department officials for the samples, which failed in the tests conducted by the Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, who had conducted the probe on directions of the vigilance department.

Similarly, officials of the tehbazari wing were also directed to stop their pick-and-choose policy and take their encroachment removal drives seriously. He also told them not to stop their work on directions of councillors and if something like this happens, he should be informed immediately.



Protect winter veggies from frost: Experts
Chill, fog to stay for next 2 days

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 30
The chilly and foggy weather under which the northern region is currently reeling will continue for the next 48 hours.

Giving information on ongoing weather conditions, Dr GS Bains, head, department of agricultural meteorology, Punjab Agricultural University, today said normal maximum and minimum temperature for the week remained 19.1 °C and 5.9 °C, respectively.

Due to the incidence of fog on December 27, the maximum temperature went down considerably to 12 °C but the minimum temperature rose to 7.6 °C, he added.

He said due to lack of adequate sunshine during the day, the photosynthetic activity of plants was adversely affected and the rate of respiration increased greatly.

This, he said, could have a negative influence on yield performance of crops. Dr Bains attributed these weather conditions to the prevalence of western disturbance. These conditions could influence horticultural crops greatly.

Dr DS Cheema, head, department of vegetable crops, said the nursery of chillies and other vegetables needed to be protected against cold. He said most of the field-grown winter vegetables would need protection in case of frost that could happen if there was a dip in the minimum temperature.

Dr Cheema said vegetables growing under low tunnel would require polythene cover as a protection against cold. He, however, said proper ventilation was needed if the temperature rose.

He advised farmers not to go for early sowing of cucurbits in polythene bags.

On the impact of prevailing weather on ornamental plants, Dr Ramesh Kumar Sadavarti, head, department of landscaping and floriculture, said potted plants of decorative foliage, palms and dieffenbachia, etc. were sensitive to cold weather.

He said under foggy and cold weather, seasonal winter flowers showed restricted growth. He suggests that such plants should be kept under protection till spring.

Dr Harminder Singh, a horticulturist, said the season was apt for deciduous fruits, including pear, peach, plum, grapes, pomegranate, phalsa, etc.

He added that plants like papaya, banana, mango, litchi, amla and guava were sensitive to low temperature.

Delicate and small plants should be protected against cold through erecting thatch enclosures with exposure towards eastern side.

Nursery plants could be protected by providing polythene covers. Dr Singh said the time was suitable for pruning operation in pear, peach and plum, which may be completed by the end of January.

Although weatherman predicted the prevailing conditions to continue for the next 48 hours, according to Dr Bains, if the prevalence of cold, foggy and humid weather got prolonged, it could adversely affect crops, tender nursery plants, livestock and humans.



Official apathy hit health of residents
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 30
The dengue outbreak, here, thwarted the performance of the department of health and family welfare in 2008.

Having failed to create awareness among the masses, the district health authorities had more than 1800 cases of dengue to their kitty to handle, sizeable number at the emergency stage.

Despite getting a warning in mid-July when the cases of dengue started surfacing, the department failed to evolve a ‘foolproof system’ to curtail the further spread of the disease that resulted in an epidemic, thereby, affecting over 1800 people in and around the city.

The deputy director of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), New Delhi, Dr Kalpana Barua, has brought the district health authorities and the Ludhiana MC under the scanner. The report clearly indicated “missing action plans” on the part of the government departments to prevent the outbreak.

Earlier, the residents of Gyaspura, Ambedkar Nagar, colonies on Tajpur Road, and other slum areas in the city had suffered on account of gastroenteritis. The Ludhiana municipal corporation and the health department were busy passing the buck, as none of the officials from either departments owned the responsibility for the ‘outbreak’.

Weary of the callous attitude of the authorities, the residents did not miss a chance to leash out verbally at the MC and the health department through their letters in the column ‘city concerns’.

Speaking of the role of the district health authorities in executing administrative duties, the year can be regarded ‘good’ as a large number of nursing homes and private hospitals were given notices in violation of the PNDT and MTP Act.

A strict action was taken against the local hospital by civil surgeon Dr SP Sharma and his team, including the district welfare officer, who issued a warrant against a doctor guilty of terminating the pregnancy of a woman following her sex determination test. The case would be a warning for the doctors indulging in malpractice in the coming years.

However, the controversy of IMA (Indian Medical Association) district body elections has been bad for veterans in the professional and the intellectual class.

The rivalries between doctors and their opponents contesting for the posts appalled the city residents. What was more shocking was the missing discussions on ethical issues concerning ‘health’ in the meetings.

But, the year end has brought some positive effect in the arena of health, as more than 3,000 surgeons from all over India and other parts of the globe attended the 68th annual conference of the Association of Surgeons (ASICON-2008). The scientific sessions were also attended by the surgeons from the city and these sessions aspired many to learn the latest techniques.



Plan must for perfect New Year’s bash
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 30
New Year is here and everybody celebrates it in their own style. While some go to far off places, others attend a party at city’s best hotel, there are still others who love to host the party at their own place. Hosting a party is not a difficult task but making it a memorable one is hard.

A perfect party is a combination of good food, a great mix of people and comfortable décor. Party regulars in the city agree that the host is the most important part of a bash. Everything needs to be planned and executed in advance.

“For a party perfect, one needs to start working few days in advance as it saves a lot of hassle at the last moment. I prepare the salad dips and doughs two days in advance. Party crockery is also rinsed two days before and the entire house is cleaned a day or two in advance,” adds Simran Grewal who is throwing a party this year at her farmhouse.

Another city resident, Amanpreet Sandhu, a businessman who loves hosting the parties at his place, adds that the first step towards providing guests with good food is to plan the menu well in advance. “I and my wife always zero in the guests and customize the menu to keep everybody happy. There is always a good combination of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes,” he adds.

Food should be simple but interesting. On this New Year’s party I will be setting up a small barbecue counter. A bonfire and soft music from the live band will be a perfect combination for my party this year, he adds.

Apart form food, the ambience of the party is essential because that determines the mood of the party. Sonal, working with a private coaching centre adds that she adds a zing to her parties by lighting scented candles, lamp shades and placing fresh flowers in the corners.



New Year’s Eve
Demand for flowers soars
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 30
With the town abuzz with preparations for New Year’s celebrations, demand for flowers has registered a spiky rise.

Be it for decoration in hotels, restaurants, malls or private parties at discotheques or the drawing rooms of homes, flowers are in great demand all across the city.

Amit Sood, owner, Green Nursery and Florists, said, in spite of English and other foreign concepts of embellishment sweeping across desi parties, dazzling the onlookers with the use of sheer fabrics, mirrors, flowers still continue to be the most favourite when it comes to decoration at functions and occasions.

“Being the best gift for loved ones and friends, flowers will never go out of fashion,” he added.

Raju, a local florist, said: “Gifting flowers on the New Year to loved ones is an old concept that continues to find favour, even today, with the masses and classes alike. Thus, demand for flowers, especially roses and rose buds, increases manifold every year.” Confirming this, Nishant Jain, owner, Surya Florist, said, “We have got orders from all major hotels in the city for New Year’s celebrations.”



Board exam fever grips students
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 30
Examination fever is on as the CBSE examinations of Classes X and XII are to commence from March 2 next year. Students of these classes have started burning midnight oil and are busy attending tuition classes. Teachers are also having their heydays due to the heavy rush of the tuition work.

According to sources, some teachers are also asking the students to come for tuitions and only then they would be awarding good marks to them in practicals. Some students are taking up three tuitions of science from three different tutors in a day.

As schools have already finished the syllabus RS Patial, principal, DAV Public School, said, “We are going to start pre-boards in the second week of January. We will be holding open book tests. Students will be made to answer the sample papers. For mediocre students, we are having remedial teaching in the subjects of science and maths. For the toppers, we are having special coaching in the subject of maths so that they are able to solve technical sums also.”

Replying to the preparation for high order thinking skills (HOTS) concept, Patial said emphasis had been laid to prepare the students for HOTS. Explaining the HOTS, he said the new concept of HOTS was based on the NCERT. It is to test the ingenuity of students in answering the indirect questions. Students will have to make the comprehensive study of the NCERT text books to score high, he added.

Cross section of the students said they had not been prepared well for HOTS in the schools. For this they are depending on the help books.

Sanah, a student of Class X, said, “I am revising the syllabus for the pre-boards and pouring over the books.”

Sania, another student of Class X, says that she gets up at 4.30 in the morning and goes for tuitions to take the tests. She has taken up tuition for all five subjects and finishes tuition exercise at 6 in the evening.



From Schools
Jashanjeet to see R-Day parade from PM’s box
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 30
Jashanjit Kaur, a student of BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, who was a national topper in (AISSDE) March-2008 CBSE Board examination, has been selected by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, to witness the Republic Day Parade-2009 from the Prime Minister’s box.

NSS camp

The NSS camp was organised at Shaheed-e-Aazam Sukhdev Thaper Government Girls Senior Secondary School. Principal Kamaljit Kaur and programme officer (NSS), Kulwant Kaur Sidhu, were also present. Around 50 students of XI and XII took part in the camp, cleaning the area around the stage and placed the books in proper order in the library.


Students of Guru Nanak Public School donated Rs 1,26,000 to save the life of Yashpreet Singh of VIII, who is suffering from kidney failure. The amount was given to the parents in the presence of the general secretary, Surinder Singh Riat, Principal RS Gill and students of the school.

GGPS students clinch gold

The students of Guru Gobind Singh Public School, Daad, Pakhowal Road, bagged two gold medals in the Global Mathematical Talent Search Examination organised by Bright Careers Institute of Rohtak. 121 CBSE schools from all over India and 6714 students participated in the competition. Out of 36 students, two students ie Jasjot Kaur and Jaswinder Kaur bagged gold medals. 19 students were awarded A1 Grade. Manjit Kaur, Principal, congratulated the students to have brought laurels to the school. S Avtar Singh, SGPC president and chairman of the school, congratulated for the same.



Bus overturns near Phillaur, 6 hurt

Ludhiana, December 30
About four women, a girl and a septuagenarian sustained injuries as a private passenger bus overturned near Phillaur here this afternoon. The private bus of Upkar Travels was heading towards Jalandhar when the bus driver lost control and hit the divider near Khehreya village at the GT Road.

The injured were rushed to Mahal Hospital near Goraya where the condition of the injured was stated to be out of danger. According to Tehsildar Varinder Bajwa, the thick fog cover was the reason of the accident. — TNS



Four LPG cylinders seized
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 30
A team of Indian Oil today raided the house of Gurcharan Singh at Kundanpuri, Civil Lines, and seized four LPG cylinders and two commercial cylinders.

The raid was conducted after Gurcharan’s neighbour had alleged that he had been storing LPG cylinders in open which was a threat to life and property.

Interestingly, Gurcharan has four members in his family and his both sons are dependent on him.

The family members already have connections for five cylinders and were storing other cylinders illegally.

The official of the Indian Oil who had conducted the raid said, “The family has connections for five cylinders out of nine LPG cylinders and two commercial cylinders that were found at the residential area.” He said even five connections to four members of the same family was wrong.



MC staff remove encroachments
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 30
The tehbazaari wing of the municipal corporation conducted a drive and cleared 1-km-long sabzi mandi near Aarti Steels and around half-km 100 footi road that were encroached upon by vegetable and fruit vendors.

The drive affected around 150 vendors who had encroached upon the areas and had made these huge traffic bottlenecks.

The MC officials along with a police team equipped with two JCB machines picked up handcarts and smashed vegetables and fruits. Besides, vegetable markets on the Jawaddi road were also removed.




Concession on Shatabdi tickets

Though the introduction of winter Shatabdi from Ludhiana to New Delhi and back is an appreciable step for the city residents, the facility of issuing the railway tickets from Ludhiana-Jalandhar-Amritsar on the same day is withdrawn that used to there sometime back. Moreover, seats in these trains are vacant as many people drop at Ludhiana.

The most affected are senior M/C passengers who avail no concession, as they have to purchase the first class tickets.

K P Singh, Ludhiana

Readers are invited to mail letters (not more than 200 words) at "ludhiana@tribunemail.com" or post the same to The Tribune, 1, 2 Improvement Trust Building, Badaur House, Clock Tower, Ludhiana.



4 arrested from city hotel
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 30
The Jalandhar police today raided a hotel and arrested four youths from Mata Rani Chowk here this evening.

According to sources, the youth, said to be dreaded criminals, were hiding in the city hotel after committing a crime in Jalandhar and were planning to commit another crime in the city.

The youth checked in the hotel this morning.



Attack on Scribes
Bail denied to seven youths
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 30
The court of Duty Magistrate Amit Thind today dismissed the bail applications moved by seven youngsters facing accusation of attacking and taking away camera of a photojournalist, Harpreet Makkar.

The lensman had clicked the photographs when police officials were removing unauthorised black films from their vehicle outside the Sarabha Nagar Market.

They were also accused of beating a lady reporter, Poonam Sapra, when she tried to save her colleague from an unruly mob of more than 15 persons.

Those denied bail were Manjinder Pal Singh ‘Mani’, Guriqbal Singh, Jaspreet Singh Bajwa, Jasbir Singh Jassi, Jaspreet Singh Jassa, Rishab Garg and Abhinav Matta. All were stated to be closely related to a senior Akali leader.

They were all booked under Sections 382, 354, 25 (Arms Act), 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the complaint of Sapra on December 25. While two were arrested on the same day, the others were held on the next day and were kept in police remand for some days. They were sent to jail yesterday.

Soon after the passing of the judicial remand order, several lawyers representing different accused had moved bail applications. The arguments were heard yesterday. The defence lawyers had submitted that the accused were booked following media pressure.

The lawyer representing the complainant had submitted that the incident of beating a woman reporter was shameful and unfortunate. She was performing her duty and the accused tried to prevent her from doing the same.

The court dismissed the bail applications of the accused this afternoon.



Cricket: BBF XI sneak past Mini Star Club
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 30
BBF XI defeated Mini Star Club by 18 runs to set up the title clash with Saraswati Modern School, on the penultimate day of the 5th Sarpanch Bachan Singh Memorial Open Cricket Tournament being played at the Sarpanch Bachan Singh Cricket Academy at Balloke, here today.

Saraswati Modern School lads had already topped their pool to secure a berth in the final. The final is slated for tomorrow.

In the second semifinal, BBF XI won the toss and opted to bat first. In the allotted 15 overs, they made 133 runs for the loss of 6 wickets.

Their innings revolved around Jagarpreet Singh (40), Arjun Puri (31), Tarun Passi (20) and Chinton Sehgal (20). For Mini Star Club, Harpreet Singh took three wickets for 18 runs while Rakesh grabbed two wickets for 22 runs.

In reply, Mini Star Club could muster 115 runs after losing 9 wickets in the stipulated 15 overs.

Rakesh was the highest scorer with 29 runs and was followed by Varun who made 27 runs while Rakesh chipped in with 10 runs. For the winners, Shakun Verma was the pick of bowlers who claimed four wickets for 19 runs while Gurjeet accounted for two wickets for 19 runs.

Earlier, in the match played between Mini Star Club and Youngesters Club, the former romped home victorious by four wickets to enter the last four stage.

Batting first, Youngesters Club were bundled out for a paltry total of 63 runs in 14.2 overs. The main contributors were Ranbir, Puneet and Suresh who scored 18, 16 and 13 runs, respectively.

For Mini Star Club, Rajesh sent down three overs and scalped three wickets for 10 runs. Rakesh and Sunny captured two wickets each for 14 and 8 runs, respectively.

Mini Star Club surpassed the Youngesters Club’s total in just 9 overs after losing six wickets.

The main architects of their win were Jimmy and Vicky who contributed 30 and 12 runs, respectively. For Youngesters Club, Parminder grabbed three wickets for 20 runs while Bhuvan claimed two wickets for 18 runs and Lucky chipped in with one wicket for 7 runs.



Punjab hockey league
Kila Raipur lads stand out
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 30
Grewal Hockey Academy of Kila Raipur along with Shaheed Brig Balwinder Singh Shergill Hockey Academy of Barnala recorded victories in their respective encounters (u-14) in group C in the ongoing Punjab Inter-District Hockey League for Boys being organised by the Punjab sports department at the Prithipal Singh Memorial AstroTurf Stadium on the PAU campus, here today.

In the first match, Grewal Academy got the better of Pattran 2-0. Both the goals were scored in the first half. In another match, Shaheed Brig Balwinder Singh Shergill Academy, Barnala, blanked Sudhar 4-0.

In the match played between Sudhar and Pattran, the former emerged victors 3-0. The match played between Grewal Academy, Kila Raipur, and Shaheed Brig Balwinder Singh Shergill Academy, Barnala, ended in a 2-2 draw. For Kila Raipur, Jaspreet Singh and Navpreet Singh scored one goal each while Jaswant Singh and Sandeep Singh were the scorers.

In the last match of the day, Faridkot drubbed Moga 6-0 after leading 2-0 at half time.

Harmanjit Singh and Jagjeet Singh chipped in with two goals, each, while Gurbhej Singh and Gurvinder Singh accounted for one goal each which sealed Moga lads fate 6-0.



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