L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Construction Of Shops
Politicians, MC officials lock horns
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation councillors owing allegiance to SAD-BJP and local politicians today locked horns with MC officials over construction of shops in Transport Nagar.

The construction was stalled by Area Town Planner Kamaljeet Kaur last evening, but the work resumed today morning at the behest of politicians.

At around 9 am today, when the construction was started, ATP Kamaljeet Kaur visited the site and again stalled the work.

Meanwhile, BJP councillor Gurdeep Singh Neetu, R.D. Sharma, son of councillor Prem Sharma, along with BJP councillor Ruchi Jain's husband Bawa Jain, MLA Harish Rai Bedi's son Honey Bedi and MLA Satpal Gosain's grandson came to the site and said they had documents for the possession of the land.

Speaking on the behalf of the site owner, Anil Gupta, who was not present at the site during the whole episode, the councillors kept pressuring the ATP to go back and let the work continue. However, the ATP was persistent that she would not allow work until she gets a formal communication from the department that the land was not the property of the Municipal Corporation and the construction should be allowed.

When the ATP returned from the site, a few women were asked to sit on the site by the politicians, while Kamaljeet Kaur deputed her staff on the site and told them to report her in case the construction activity starts again.

Notably, the site has been in dispute since last year as the under construction shops were demolished at that time too in the presence of Chief Vigilance Officer A.K. Prabhakar and Assistant Commissioner Ashok Bajaj on the orders of Local Bodies’ Minister Manoranjan Kalia. That time too, the BJP councillors were in a mood to hold a protest against the minister.

According to MC records, the land was transferred to the Municipal Corporation under the “Truck Stand Scheme” by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust in 1971-72 for maintenance and building control.

On July 21, 2008, the building inspector had stated in his report that encroachment activity was in full swing on the MC land.

Besides, the site comes within the 100-metre limit of the GT Road by-pass and any construction activity is in violation of the Punjab and Haryana High Court directions.

Meanwhile, the ATP has submitted her report to Municipal Commissioner G.S. Ghuman. She has also complained about the confrontation between her and the politicians.


Civil Surgeon Office
Staff operate from unsafe building
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
In yet another example of apathetic attitude of the state government towards its employees, the staff at the Civil Surgeon office continues to work in the building which was declared unsafe by the PWD almost nine years ago.

The Civil Surgeon office complex which is overcrowded with a staff of more than 80, gives a crammed look, as 16 additional employees appointed under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and the AIDS wing have been accommodated in the same building.

Instead of shifting the office to a safer building, the government is accommodating more employees in this “unsafe complex”, thereby jeopardizing their lives.

Scanty space, improper infrastructure, insufficient furniture, damp ceilings and walls are a hindrance for the seven officials dealing with important segments of health. Accommodation of new staff members has further added to their woes.

The scene in the rooms shared by the staff of the NRHM and the AIDS wing is chaotic, especially when the office attendance is 100 per cent. The Tribune reporter, during his visit to a senior official at the Civil Surgeon office, was shocked to find three officials sharing the same room.

Also, due to insufficient chairs in the office, one of the officials had to vacate his chair. “It is a normal practice in the office, but we have learnt to adjust with the prevailing conditions, as the higher authorities in Chandigarh do not pay any heed to our representations.”

On the other hand, repeated reminders from the office of Civil Surgeon to the PWD seem to have fallen on deaf ears, as no move had been made to renovate even a single room in the whole block during the past nine years, said an old employee at the office.

Most of the blocks in the building are in a dilapidated condition, as fissures in the walls have widened over the years. Some segments in the building are in such a bad condition that they could collapse anytime.



Revenue Dept Bribery Case
HC notice puts govt in a fix
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
With the High Court issuing a notice of motion to the state government in the Revenue Department bribery case in which a sub-registrar had alleged that lakhs of rupees were sent to ministers and officials everyday, the government is in a catch-22 situation and panic has gripped sub-registrar offices in the district.

The court yesterday issued the notice for April 30 after an Amritsar-based NGO had sought a judicial probe into the alleged corruption in the Revenue Department, referring to statements of naib tehsildar Arvind Parkash Verma and Sulinder Singh of Mullanpur Dakha.

Verma, who was arrested in a graft case last year, during investigation to the Vigilance Bureau had revealed that a whopping Rs 7.5 lakh of “black money”, earned through registry of properties, was distributed among ministers, government officials from the tehsildar office in Ludhiana.

He said the money was collected as bribe from the office on a normal working day. Along with the stamp duty, the applicants were asked to pay this much amount in cash, he said.

The booty thus collected was shared by a number of officials of the district administration. Rs 2 lakh, Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000 was fixed everyday for several officials, he said, adding that other employees involved in the racket shared the rest of the amount.

Though he was arrested and had remained in the police custody for several days, the department had not put him under suspension. Sulinder Singh was not suspended either.

With the HC's direction, the entire department is in a quandry over what to do with the situation. The role of the department is already clear as these officials were not suspended for a single day though they were alleged ‘‘tainted’’ by the Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau. They were posted again as naib tehsildars. The government had, however, ordered an inquiry against former DC Sumer Singh Gurjar in the case.

The HC's direction has also sent a panic wave among sub-registrar employees today.



Man gets life term for killing wife
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 16
The Court of Sessions Judge G.K. Rai has sentenced Gurbachan Singh (36) of Tibba Road, New Punjabi Bagh, Ludhiana, to undergo life imprisonment on the charges of killing his wife. He was also ordered to pay a fine of Rs 5,000.

Pronouncing the verdict, the court held that the accused had intentionally murdered his wife, Anju Bala, by inflicting injuries with a rod on her head.

A case, under Section 302 of the IPC was registered against the accused at the Basti Jodhewal police station on September 24, 2006, on the complaint of Santosh Rani, mother of the deceased. According to the complainant, the victim had been married for about nine years but there was some dispute between the two and the victim was residing with the complainant for the past three years.

On the day of the incident, the victim, along with her sister, Renu Bala, was going to her workplace, Vanek Textile Mills. The accused came and started hitting the victim with a rod on her head. As a result, the accused fell down and died on the spot.



Kidnapped NRI traced
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
Harbhajan Singh, 68- year- old Canada-based NRI, who was allegedly kidnapped by Lakhwinder Singh and two of his accomplices yesterday, was rescued by the police from Khandur village near Raikot in the wee hour today.

According to the police, the NRI who was thrown in the fields sustained injury on his left knee and was rushed to DMCH. Mandeep Singh, SHO Sadar, said the police was tracking the criminals since the time the NRI was abducted.

“We received inputs that the accused have taken the NRI to Khandur village. A police party was sent towards Khandur village. Before the police could reach the spot the accused fled leaving the victim behind,” said Mandeep and added that the search is on to nab Lakhwinder, an accused, and two of his accomplices who fled in a white Swift car.

Kala Singh, Harbhajan’s relative, alleged that the accused kidnapped Harbhajan with the intention to kill him.

Harbhajan Singh was kidnapped from Daad village on Wednesday morning.

Vancouver-based NRI Harbhajan Singh was here to settle a land dispute with his relative Lakhwinder Singh.

Harbhajan Singh’s US-based younger brother Jagseer had given the piece of land to Lakhwinder Singh on lease.

Owing to the land dispute the SDM had imposed Section 145 of the CrPC on the land, thereby prohibiting both parties from going there.

Harbhajan Singh yesterday saw Lakhwinder Singh along with others harvesting the land. He raised an alarm and informed the police about it.

Before the police could reach the spot Lakhwinder Singh, along with his men thrashed Harbhajan and kidnapped him.

Kala said the police reached the spot and chased the accused’s vehicle but he managed to escape.



Non-stoppage of buses
Villagers block highway
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, April 16
About 200 villagers of Boparai Kalan, Ghuman, Budhel and Jassowal villages blocked the Ludhiana-Bathinda State Highway at Boparai Kalan today. The road remained blocked for more than three hours. They were protesting against the buses not stopped by drivers of these buses at the bus stop of these villages.

Inderjit Singh, sarpanch of Boparai Kalan, said either the buses did not pick the passengers or in case they picked them they stopped their buses far away from the bus stands and passengers were forced to travel back either by taking lift or on feet.

Bhupinder Singh, sarpanch of Ghuman village, said they had given numerous representations and the authorities had issued instructions to bus owners but they did not comply with the orders.

Baljeet Kaur, sarpanch of Budhel village, said students specially girls’ students were the harassed lot. Bahadur Singh, sarpanch of Jassowal village, said if the authorities would not take appropriate steps, they would enhance their agitation.

The villagers agreed to lift their dharna on assurance of Balwinder Singh, tehsildar, Raikot, that their grievances would be redressed within 10 days.



Panic-struck farmers reap their crop
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 16
High-velocity winds with intermittent showers caused panic among farmers of the area, who reaped their crop using combine harvesters despite a ban on their use at night. The farmers, who harvested their crop last night, could face difficulty in getting their yield procured and lifted by government agencies as it might not meet the moisture standards.

Many farmers in villages of Ludhiana and Sangrur districts had started harvesting their crops soon after weather became inclement last evening.

“The weather changed so abruptly that we were left with no other choice but to get the crops harvested as soon as possible,” said Gurdial Singh Sekhon of Chhappar.

Similar activity was observed in fields at Chhanna, Momnabad, Nathumajra, Latala, Barundi, Jagera, Pohir, Dehlon, Sihar, Jhammatt, Kalarh, Bhikhi, Karamsar and Baurhai.



Wheat worth lakhs gutted
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, April 16
Wheat crop in more than 170 acres of land was gutted here last night. Th estimated cost of the damaged crop is above Rs 25 lakh. The affected farmers and their leaders have asked the government to give them compensation soon.

The worst affected was Lasoi village near Ahmedgarh where wheat in about 100 acres of land was destroyed due to sparking in electricity wires. It took several hours for the Malerkotla police to control the fire. Services of about 150 tractors were hired for rescue work.

At Shahpur village, wheat crop in 20 acres of land was gutted. Due to sparking in wires, another fire broke out in the fields of Jarnail Singh at Barmalipur village. His wheat crop in 25 acres of land was destroyed.

In yet another accident at Sahibaana village near Mangat block, wheat crop in 25 acres of land was destroyed due to lightning. The land belonged to Gujjar Singh, Jagan Singh and Mewa Singh. Crop worth Rs 4.5 lakh was gutted.

Bhupinder Singh Mahesari, general secretary, Bharti Kisan Union, said many such incidents had taken place in the past. "The affected farmers must be provided with compensation at the earliest. Arrangements must be made by governments so that such incidents can be averted in future", he stressed.



CM’s secy takes stock of wheat procurement
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
DS Guru, principal secretary to the Chief Minister, Punjab, said the target of 115 lakh metric tonnes of wheat procurement would be achieved in this season.

Guru visited the grain market, Salem Tabri, Ludhiana, to review the procurement process and talked to farmers and commission agents.

Earlier, Guru also visited the grain market, Jagraon and Mullanpur, and reviewed the procurement process.

He was accompanied by senior officials of the procurement agencies, including Vikas Garg, Deputy Commissioner.

He said so far, 35 lakh tonnes of wheat had been procured in Punjab while arrival in the grain markets was 37 lakh tonnes.

He said 95 per cent wheat had been procured. He also said 1,647 purchase centres had been set up in Punjab to elaborate arrangements for the procurement of wheat.

“Farmers are not facing any problem this time as far as the wheat procurement operation in the state is concerned. Not only their produce is being purchased and lifted within the stipulated time frame but they are also getting payment within 48 hours of sale of the crop," he said adding that 94 per cent payment had been cleared to the farmers up to April 15.

Guru said all DCs in the state had been instructed to conduct “girdawaris” to assess the damage due to rains.

Meanwhile, Rajpal Singh Dhaliwal, district mandi officer, said the procurement process was going on smoothly in the district.



Implement new pay scales: PAUTA
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
The Punjab Agricultural University Teachers’ Association (PAUTA) has appealed to the Punjab government to implement new pay scales for the teachers in PAU as approved and notified by ICAR vide F No 1 (1)/2009-per IV dated April 13 addressed to the chief secretaries of the states.

In a press note released today, the PAUTA maintains that the UGC/ICAR have already written to the state governments to implement the new pay scales in a time bound manner.

The ICAR has also clarified that pay of scientists in the existing pay scale Rs 12,000 to Rs 18,300 and above may be provisionally fixed by multiplying the existing basic pay as January 1, 2006.

Moreover, the scientists working in CIPHET and Grain Storage Institute have already got the benefit of the new scales and arrears.

In light of the permission granted to the Punjab government by the Election Commission to implement the recommendation of the Fifth Pay Commission, the PAUTA has urged the state government to implement the new pay scales.



Actress Jividha steals students’ hearts
Manav Ghuman

Ludhiana, April 16
“Working with Gurdas Mann was like a dream come true,” says Jividha.

She has great expectations from her upcoming movie “Mini Punjab”, which will be released on April 17.

The actress along with Vivek Shauq visited the Greenland Senior Secondary School. Excited students jostled each other to have a glimpse of the star and some even extended their hands for an autograph.

After doing Hindi films like Taal and Dil Aashiqana, now she is coming in Punjabi films. “Working with legendary actor like Gurdas Mann was a great experience. I play the role of Simran, a college girl, and the film explores the Punjabi community residing in Mumbai,” she says.

The film also features an animated song and it has received good reviews for the same. “The film has light glimpses of comedy, emotions and entertainment, the story of the film also gives a message. The movie is full of entertainment which would be thoroughly liked and appreciated not only by the Punjabi audience but also by Bollywood audience,” she adds with a smile.

Commenting upon the need to introduce Punjabi cinema awards she said that awards gave encouragement to an artist and inspired them to work hard in future.

She added that Punjabi cine awards should definitely be introduced, which would not only give encouragement to the actors but would also avoid them to join other medium.

An actor Vivek Shauq said that he was playing the role of a music director in the film. He said, “It is the first Punjabi movie to have an animated song which has taken this movie a step ahead of others.”

Telling about the film he said that the film portrayed all the emotional aspects of life and would definitely entertain the audience and would give a message of positive thinking.

His forthcoming films are Sadiyaan, Life Partner, Roshan, and Friends Forever.



Cong takes out road show
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
The Congress took out a road show here today led by party candidate Manish Tewari. He was accompanied by local leaders Surinder Dawer, Dimple Rana, Sushil Prashar, Pritpal Singh Ghayal and others.

The show started from Daresi Ground and after passing through different areas of the city, it concluded at Samrala Chowk. He was also honoured on the way by various organisations, including the Samrala Road Shopkeepers Welfare Association at Samrala.

Talking to reporters during padyatra, he said there seemed to be lot of resentment among people against the government and this was being pronounced in their whole-hearted support to the Congress.

Meanwhile, the Dalit Bhalai Samaj led by eminent Dalit leader Rattan Singh Kamalpuri merged his organisation with the Congress.

The samaj has units spread all over the villages in the Ludhiana and Fatehgarh Sahib parliamentary constituency. The leaders and representatives of the samaj were welcomed into the party fold by the leaders at a function organised at Welcome Palace.



CME on cardiology
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
The Ludhiana Medical Practitioners Association in collaboration with the Ludhiana Mediciti Hospital organised a CME on cardiology and nephrology yesterday.

Dr Brajesh Badhan (cardiology) elaborated on ‘Case concepts in the management of autcorronery syndrome’, while Dr PM Sohal (nephcology), highlighted on ‘acute kidney failure’.

Dr Sunil Lakhotra, general secretary of the association, briefed about the aims and objectives of the association. Dr Sunil Mittu, association’s president, highlighted the role of homoeopathic medicine in treating and stressed on the need of joint venture by allopathic, homoeopath and Ayurvedic specialists for the patients’ welfare.

Dr Gaurav Sachdeva, Dr Raminder Kochhar, Dr Arun Sharwan, Dr PK were among those present on the occasion.



Cardiology camp for senior citizens
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
Senior Citizens Forum, Urban Estate Dugri and management of Guru Tag Bahadur Sahib Hospital organised a free cardiology and diabetic check up camp here today.

The camp was held at the office of Senior Citizen Forum, wherein Dr Neeraj Singla and Dr Swaran Singh, from Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Hospital, examined the patients. Free services, including consultation, ECG, ECHO Cardiography, Pathological and Blood sugar tests, were provided to people at the camp.



715 examined at medical camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
A cardiology and diabetic medical camp was organised by the Senior Citizen Forum, Urban Estate, Dugri, Ludhiana.

As many as 715 patients were examined during the camp. Free of cost medicines were distributed among the patients.

The patients, who were recommended TMT, echocardiography and pathological tests were given discount of 30 per cent at Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Hospital.

Joginder Singh Eros, vice-president of Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Hospital, and Dr RS Sodhi, medical superintendent, were the guests of honour.



4 students hurt in mishap
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 16
Four students of Sant Isher Singh Public Senior School, Karamsar, were injured when radiator of the bus exploded and overheated water spilled over them.

However, timely action by conductor of the bus saved many others from being injured.

The injured students were Jashanvir Singh, Harman Singh of Jirakh village and Amandeep Singh and Harjap Singh of Bhikhi village.

Investigations revealed that the incident occurred due to the bursting of the radiator of the bus (PB10 AU 2256), when fan cooling the device went out of order.

The driver stopped the vehicle on time and saved rest of the students. The conductor of the bus was also injured while closing the lid of the fuming radiator with a bag.

The reason behind the bursting of the radiator was yet to be ascertained. Injured students were shifted to a private hospital at Pohir.



Canadian college dons visit BCM
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
Peter Maddot, dean, Business School, Humber College, and Dr Elaine Popt, dean, hospitality, recreation and tourism, Humber College, Canada, paid a visit to BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar today. Karin Krijgsman and Anjali Ruissen from Netherlands, HZ University along with Col Harjap Singh were also a part of the delegate.

While interacting with students of classes XI and XII through a power point presentation, they were enlightened about various diplomas, degrees and postgraduate certificate programmes offered by Business School and College of Hospitality of Humber College, Toronto, and an exciting array of employment opportunities after graduation as well as work term during the degree programme.

On the occasion, Peter presented cash prizes and commendation letters from Humber College for meritorious students. The students' queries were answered by the dean during the open session.



Founder’s day at Bal Bharti
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
To seek blessings of the Almighty for well being of Bal Bharatians, the school organised an ardas and havan on the eve of its second founder's day in the school premises here today.

The day is celebrated to look at the leaps and strides the school has made during its journey to success.

Bal Bharati's educational philosophy is inspired by the maxim, "Let noble thoughts come to us from all sides." The whole campus was filled with calmness and piousness.

Tiny tots were all excited and enthusiastic to be a part of this noble task. Parshad was distributed and tilaks were put on their foreheads.



Domestic violence: Youth kills father
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 16
A youth residing at Jandali village in the Payal subdivision has been booked under Section 302 of the IPC for allegedly killing his father at his house yesterday night. The son took this extreme step as his father used to fight with family members under the influence of liquor. He is absconding.

Sukhjinder Singh, alias Soni, an electrician, allegedly axed his father Som Nath (45) while he was returning home in an inebriated condition last night.

The Payal SHO revealed that the son and the father duo had confronted each other about 100 mt away from their house late last night. After sometime Soni attacked his father with an axe. Som Nath ran towards his house to save himself. However, Soni chased and overpowered Som Nath as soon as he reached the courtyard of their house.

A few villagers saw Soni running after Som Nath, who was profusely bleeding. But, nobody dared to intervene or check whether Som Nath was dead or alive. Soni, reportedly, left the place after ensuring that his father had died.



Man commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Raikot, April 16
A man committed suicide at Raikot. The deceased identified as Kulwant Singh (42), a pathi, was residing at Raikot for the last more than 10 years. He committed suicide by consuming a poisonous substance on April 14. He was taken to a private hospital where he breathed his last.

The police recovered a suicide note from his body, in which he blamed his father for his taking this extreme step. However, Kamaljit Kaur, the daughter of the deceased, blamed his grandfather and her aunts responsible for his suicide. The Raikot police has booked Gurdev Singh, Baltej Kaur and Lali under Section 306 of the IPC.



Man dies in mishap
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 16
A motorcyclist identified as Kewal Singh (45) of Kilichalan died after being hit by a car near Mehna. His motorcycle (PB 69 A 0846) collided head on with Swift car (PB 10 CF 0013) near Kothe Baggu on the outskirts of Jagraon on April 14. The car was coming from Moga.

On the basis of the statement given by Hardeep Singh of Threeke village a case under sections 279, 304A and 427 of the IPC has been registered against car driver Balwinder Singh of Janta Nagar. The accused, however, escaped the site where accident had taken place. The accused was arrested from his house in Ludhiana today.

One held

Meanwhile, the Jagraon police yesterday arrested a man along with a revolver and four live cartridges. Gurpinder Singh of Dalla village was arrested from Lakha village on the Chakar road yesterday.

The police party was on regular patrolling when they stopped the accused. On seeing the police party the accused tried to flee but the cops succeeded in arresting him.

At the time of his arrest the loaded country made revolver was seized from his possession.



5 snatchers held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
The police has busted a five-member snatcher gang who have so far committed 35 snatchings in various parts of the city. The gang consisting the members in their mid-20s was notorious as the snatcher gang.

The accused are identified as Mahabir Singh, Vipin Kumar, Angraz Singh, all residents of New Ashok Nagar, while Ravi Kumar and Bhallu are residents of Gandhi Nagar and WS Colony.

According to the police, the accused were chronic drug addicts. Addressing a press conference, SP, SK Kalia, said CIA II in charge Dilpreet received a tip-off that the gang was planning to commit another snatching at Sector 32.

The police nabbed the accused from a liquor vend near Vardhman Chowk. Sharp edged weapons were also recovered from the accused. The police has booked them in various sections of criminal offences.



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