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Illegal structure at Transport Nagar
4-member panel set up
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
In a twist to the illegal construction case at Transport Nagar where 20 shops had been constructed, Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura has formed a four-member committee on a complaint submitted by the Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Satpal Gosain.

SAD councillor Harbhajan Singh Dang, Congress councillor Bharat Bhushan Ashu, BJP councillor Gurdeep Singh Neetu and area town planner SS Bindra have been made committee members and have been asked to probe into the matter and submit a report in the municipal house.

The Mayor has appointed Neetu as committee member despite the fact that he is reportedly in favour of the construction on the controversial site which, according to the MC, is an encroachment. Besides, all three councillors are stated to be friends.

In his letter to the Mayor, a copy of which is with The Tribune, Gosain has asked Giaspura to present records that the lands belongs to the MC. Favouring Anil Kumar, who claims to own the site, Gosain has stated that the demarcation of the site has been given twice to MC officials from the DC’s office and there was no question of any discrepancy.

Area town planner Kamaljeet Kaur had written to the MC Commissioner that it was not in her hands to stop the construction at the site and police personnel should be deployed.

She said the construction came under the encroachment category as per the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. She stated that she was being pressured by Neetu and Gosain to allow the work to go on.

That’s not all. Politicians as well as municipal officials have come under scanner in the case as on May 9, the structure was supposed to be demolished, but it was suspended due to reasons best known to the authorities.

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Tehsildars suspend work
Complain about councillor to DC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
Tehsildars of three revenue offices today suspended work for an hour to lodge their protest with the Deputy Commissioner. They were annoyed at the way an Akali councillor allegedly misbehaved with the Sub-Registrar (Central).

Demanding the registration of a case against councillor Kamaljit Singh Karwal, the tehsildars threatened to go on indefinite strike if no action was taken.

Sub-Registrar (Central) GS Benipal said Karwal came to his office last evening to get some documents registered. When the work was done, he allegedly abused him saying that he (Sub-Registrar) did not offer him a chair although he was an elected representative.

“I even offered him my chair, but he started abusing me. He said he would teach me a lesson,” Benipal said, adding that many councillors were in the habit of misbehaving with officials and they would not take it lying down now.

Benipal and the tehsildars met the DC, Vikas Garg, in the afternoon and submitted a complaint, demanding registration of a case. The DC assured them of action.

Sub-Registrars KS Randhawa, JS Tiwana and Jagseer Singh said they were sick of political interference in their work. “I have never said no to any work that is legal. At the same time, I do not do any work that is illegal. Everybody knows about it. When I am upright and do not trouble anybody, why should politicians trouble me?” Benipal rued.

He said they did not make the public suffer today as they completed all the work, but they would have to take it up strongly if no action was taken.

He said earlier also Karwal had misbehaved with him and he was forced to leave the office. At that time also they had met the DC, but no action was taken. They were pacified and they got back to work.

Karwal was recently booked for attacking MP Manish Tewari’s mother, when she had gone to Shimlapuri in connection with canvassing.

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Road contractor defies MC order
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
Road contractors are working as per their own wishes and MC officials can’t seem to stop them. The XEN, HS Salaria, who is looking after road construction in D-zone, today confessed before the senior deputy mayor that he had asked a road contractor to stop work on the recarpeting of a road at Sarabha Nagar, but to no avail.

According to information, road work of inferior quality was under way at Sarabha Nagar and it was brought to the notice of senior deputy mayor Praveen Bansal by residents. When Bansal reached the site and asked officials how they could allow substandard work, the officials said they had asked the contractor to stop the work.

The residents said: “We had been noticing that substandard material was being used and we brought it to the notice of Bansal who reached the site and called the MC officials on duty.”

Bansal said: “I went to the site and saw that the work was going on without any supervision. The contractor’s men were neither cleaning the road properly, nor were they putting the prescribed amount of coal tar concentration.”

He said when he asked Salaria about it, he replied that he was aware that the work was not up to the mark and had directed the contractor not to go on with the work. However, the contractor continued with the project.

Bansal also called Col Dhaliwal (retd), who is the head of a technical team set up by the Punjab Government to look after road construction in the state, and told him about the incident. He also directed officials to 
collect road samples which would be sent for quality test.

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No love lost between Mayor, MC Commissioner
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, which has already been reeling under severe fund-crunch, is witnessing another kind of battle these days with Municipal Commissioner GS Ghuman and Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura being at loggerheads.

According to sources, the Mayor is unhappy with the functioning of the Commissioner and has accused the latter of bypassing and ignoring him several times.

The sources said: “Things have intensified during the past two weeks as same complaints have started coming from other municipal councillors too. Many SAD and BJP councillors have approached the mayor stating that development works in the city have been almost paralysed.”

The sources added that even private contractors working for the municipal corporation have asked the mayor to look into the functioning of the Commissioner, alleging that he was taking hefty amounts as “commission” from them.

They revealed that the matter had been likely brought to the notice of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal by the Mayor.

The problem has become so serious that almost “two parallel administrations are being run”, said sources.

Even corporation officials are taking advantage of it by cashing in on the row, they added. The tiff has been substantiated by cases like that of illegal construction in Transport Nagar where Ghuman had asked zonal commissioner BK Gupta to probe and submit a report.

Countering the Commissioner, the Mayor has formed a four-member committee comprising SAD councillor Harbhajan Singh Dang and area town planner SS Bindra.

Besides, the Commissioner and the Mayor held separate meetings with officials of the O&M cell and the health department regarding water supply and epidemic arrangements in the city.

While the Commissioner held a meeting at D-zone office on Wednesday, the Mayor met the officials at his camp office yesterday.

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Rly pensioners seek 50% concession in house tax
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 22
The Northern Railway Pensioners Welfare Association has called upon the union government to implement the 6th pay commission recommendations in letter and spirit.

The annual general meeting of the body, held here today, under the chairmanship of Sher Singh, resolved to vigorously take up the pending demands like full parity in pension up to January 1, 2006, restoration of commutation after 12 years in place of 15 years, one per cent increase in pension for those putting in more than 33 years service and grant of old age benefits at the age of 70, with the government at an appropriate level.

Munsha Singh, divisional secretary, All-India Retired Railwaymen Federation, inaugurated the meeting while Simarjeet Singh Bains and Kamaljit Singh, both councillors, were the guests of honour.

In a memorandum submitted the Punjab government through councillors, the association demanded concessions for senior citizens. The government ought to allow 50 per cent concession in the house tax, water and sewerage charges to senior citizens and they should also be given 50 per cent concession for bus travel irrespective of gender discrimination.

Ten students of Government Middle School, Shimlapuri, belonging to BPL families, were given financial assistance of Rs 300 each and pensioners attaining the age of 75 years were felicitated on the occasion.

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Elections gone, so have leaders
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 22
Irrespective of their political allegiance, leaders have once again become unavailable to common people with the conclusion of the election process.

While senior leaders of the SAD and the Congress from Ludhiana, Fatehgarh Sahib and Sangrur used to hover around residential areas during pre-poll period, they have stopped attending social functions after the elections.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that senior leaders of the area, irrespective of their political allegiance, have started distancing from the local public.

While the police was seen busy arranging escort for VIPs during weeks preceding to the polling day on May 13, no leader reportedly visited the town after the elections.

Let alone pay thanksgiving visit, leaders have not bothered to express sympathies with those families that have lost their members after the elections. “Had these deaths occurred prior to the elections, candidates and their supporters would have hovered around these families for days together. Their unconcern now shows how opportunist and selfish these politicians are,” said Tarsem Garg, a social activist.

Taranjit Singh, a resident of Majri village, is upset that no leader had turned up at a social function organised at his residence on Wednesday.

“Though I had rescheduled the function, as suggested by certain local leaders, none of the senior leaders bothered to spare a few minutes for my family. I will remember the treatment till next elections and then remind these leaders about their attitude,” he said.

Though senior functionaries, including MLAs and MPs, flanked by a battalion of former ministers and chairmen were frequently seen attending marriage ceremonies, birthdays and social functions at houses of local residents, the situation is different now.

Recommendation of the local SAD leaders has become prerequisite now. “We will recommend visits of our leaders to those people who have stood by us during the hour of need. Why should we get our leaders humiliated by inviting them to functions organised by political rivals,” argued an SAD leader.

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12 challaned for smoking at public place
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
The health department today challaned 12 persons for violating the Tobacco Control Act 2003. A team of health officials caught 12 persons for smoking cigarettes at public place near Fountain Chowk, Bharat Nagar Chowk, bus stand and Model Town.

The offenders were charged Rs 200 each and were issued a warning to refrain from smoking at public place.

The officials included Dr GK Bansal, food inspectors Dr Harjot Singh and Dr Abhinav, district mass media officer Satish Sachdeva and health inspectors Bhag Singh and Balwant Singh.

Dr SP Sharma, civil surgeon, said that the drive would continue against violators of the Act, including users and providers of tobacco products.

Emphasising the need for sensitising people against smoking and use of other tobacco products, district health officer Dr SS Dhir said: “The teams will randomly visit urban and rural areas to create on-the-spot awareness.

Also, health workers will visit slum areas to inform people about the health hazards of tobacco products, as these are widely used by the labour class, especially the migrants.”

Interestingly, the health officials did not challan roadside vendors selling tobacco products near educational institutions and religious places, which is a gross violation of the Tobacco Control Act.

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Anti-Tobacco Act: Industry violating regulations
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
Direct and indirect resistance from the tobacco industry to the Anti-Tobacco Act has constantly supplemented the number of tobacco users in India.

Surveys conducted by NGOs and health organisations have repeatedly highlighted the role of tobacco industry in nullifying the government and non-government agencies’ attempt to curb this menace.

One of the studies clearly point towards the gross violation of regulations especially that of the cigarettes and other tobacco product advertisements. It also refers to economic issues related to tobacco production, over emphasizing employment issues in connection with tobacco control.

The health experts while referring to tobacco consumption in the country said India tops the list of tobacco users as is evident from the use of various types of consumption.

The smoke from tobacco products like cigarettes, cigars, hookas and cheroots are popular among elites with bidi being preferred by the economically weaker sections.

Dr GS Wander, head cardiologist, Hero DMC Heart Institute, revealed that the urban and rural youth is turning towards smokeless forms of tobacco like pann masala, chewing gums, toothpastes which was bad as the nicotine content in both were same.

The cardiologist pointed towards the newer trends in villages wherein even Sikh boys have taken to chewing tobacco products.

Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle in a memorandum submitted to the Deputy Commissioner pointed towards the non-implementation of the Anti Tobacco Act.

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Rally against fee hike
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
After the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections and removal of the model code of conduct, the Hindu Sikh Jagriti Sena has resumed its agitation. A rally comprising bikes, cars and scooters was taken out against the hefty fee hike by the CBSE-affiliated public schools.

It started from the Guru Nanak stadium and passed through the Fountain Chowk, including the KVM school, where they demonstrated. The rally was concluded in front of the Deputy Commisioner’s office.

The agiatation was suspended for one month due to the imposition of the election code.

Participants of the rally raised slogans against the authorities.

President of the party Praveen Dang said Deputy Comissioner Vikas Garg assured them that he would do everything within the precincts of his power to check the fee hike.

The Sena had started their agitation on April 1 on the Jagraon bridge, which had prevailed resentment among parents against the fee hike with the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations.

Parents are up in arms against the school management, as they are passing through economic recession and additional burden of fee hike has added more to their problems. 

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Police refusal to release weapons peeves residents
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
Hundreds of weapon holders are opposing the decision of the police to not release their weapons till June 2. According to officials, the code of conduct has been imposed till June 2 due to byelection in the Noormahal Assembly constituency.

Many anxious residents were seen visiting the police station today to get their weapons back but had to return empty-handed, as the police refused to release them till June 2.

Weapon holders rued that in spite of imposing a restriction on keeping weapons during elections, firing incidents took place at Moga and Bathinda.

While gun houses were returning deposited weapons to their owners, the police was reluctant in doing so, they claimed.

Gurdeep Singh, a city resident said: “If gun houses have returned the weapons, why is the police sitting idle on the issue?”

Residents alleged that they had deposited their weapons at the police station out of fear of punishment but were now being made to run from pillar to post to get these back.

They said in the wake of increased incidents of crime and the absence of adequate security arrangements, their weapons were the sole means of self-defence for people. The administration should arrest criminals instead of putting people to such inconvenience.

SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill said they were following the guidelines laid down by the government. If some residents had taken their weapons back from gun houses, the record had been provided to the police department.

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Poll violence: 26 Cong, SAD workers booked 
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 22
At least 26 persons have been booked for indulging in violence due to political conflicts on the night of May 18. Out of them 14 belongs to the Congress and 12 are from the SAD.

Workers of both parties, equipped with sharp edged weapons, clashed at Bujjar village. On the complaint of SAD worker Jaspreet Singh, Karam Singh, Jasmail Singh, Pardeep Singh, Lakhvir Singh, Kulwinder Singh, Dharam Singh, Surjit Singh, Jagroop Singh, Dalip Singh, Harpreet Singh and Chamkaur Singh were booked under Sections 452, 323, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC.

Those injured have been identified as Avtar Singh, Jaspreet Singh, Manpreet Singh, Parminder Singh, Jaspreet Singh, Karamjit Kaur and Mohinder Kaur. They have been admitted to the local civil hospital.

The accused attacked my house after the poll results were announced in favour of Manish Tewari, Jaspreet Singh alleged.

Where Karam Singh has lodged a counter case with the Sidhwan Bet police. Those booked have been identified as Rajinder Singh, Tara Singh, Jaspreet Singh, Manpreet Singh, Jagdev Singh, Ramanjit Singh, Jaspreet Singh, Sikander Singh, Gurdeep Singh, Amritpal Singh, Kulwinder Kaur, Mohinder Kaur and Kulwant Kaur under Sections 323, 324, 148 and 149 of the IPC.

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Sukhbir’s overbearing attitude irks BJP
KS Chawla

Ludhiana, May 22
The Punjab BJP leaders and cadres are unhappy with the functioning of the SAD-BJP government in Punjab and are in particular against the alleged “overbearing” attitude of Deputy Chief Minister and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal. Most of them are feeling let down after the result of the 13th Lok Sabha seats were declared recently.

The BJP has received quite a big drubbing in the urban areas as witnessed in the counting of votes. The Punjab BJP has four important portfolios of the local bodies, health, industry and the transport. But, leaders and cadres rue that they have no say in these departments.

The Deputy Chief Minister is taking all-important decisions and BJP leaders are not taken into confidence at all, alleged a senior BJP leader. Sukhbir, even, handles major important postings and transfers in the local bodies department.

The BJP leaders, however, are not angry with Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal as he takes them into confidence, he may be having his final say in the matter.

The BJP leadership is also not happy with the treatment being meted out to them in government offices and even in those offices where the BJP Legislators are ministers.

Although no senior BJP leader was willing to come on record to convey the resentment, but they mention the beating of a BJP legislator of Amritsar district during the panchayat elections and lack of proper representation of the BJP cadres in the plum political posts like the chairmen of the improvement trusts.

The BJP leaders are not happy that the bus fares have not been raised in Punjab because of alleged control of transport by Badals, whereas the water and sewerage charges are being enhanced.

The BJP received a setback in the urban areas because the cities have not seen any development during the past two years since the formation of the SAD-BJP government. The urban town has already remained neglected during the tenure of Capt Amarinder Singh.

A senior BJP leader remarked, “ Bathinda can be won by money and muscle power but not the entire Punjab.” He felt that Sukhbir Singh Badal must change his style of functioning.

Manoranjan Kalia, Minister for Local Bodies and Industry, Punjab, who is the Leader of the BJP Legislative Party, when asked to comment on Dhindsa’s statement said he had withdrawn his statement. “This is our internal matter and we will solve it,” he added.

Kalia said the appointment of the Improvement Trusts chairmen was postponed due to the Lok Sabha elections. There are 26 improvement trusts in the state. The BJP would get 13 posts as its share.

Kalia said six BJP nominees were functioning as the chairmen of different boards and cooperations. The BJP leaders will meet in Chandigarh tomorrow to take stock of the situation arising out of the Lok Sabha results.

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Students design battery operated wheelchair
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
Eight students of Research and Development Polytechnic College, Dhandari Kalan, have designed a battery operated wheelchair for the physically challenged.

Names of the students of the automobile engineering unit, who have designed the chair are Pash, Vipin Mishra, Vijay Chaoudhry, Varun Wadhwa, Vishal, Abhiney, Ranjit Singh and Lalit Chaudhry.

Pash, one of the students, said: “The speed of the chair ranges between 25 and 30 km per hour and can carry weight up to 70 kg. Its battery is rechargeable and does not require diesel or petrol to run it.”

Ranjit Singh, another student, said, “Our efforts have finally paid off, it was not an easy task but our determination and dedication have made it possible for us to design the chair.” 

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UGC
GND varsity staff ranked second
Our Correspondent

Doraha, May 22
The Academic Staff College of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, has been placed on the second position owing to its performance in conducting, organising and executing various courses.

The report was presented during a UGC meeting organised at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala recently.

Director of the college Harbhajan Singh Bhatia, who has been nominated as the member of the group, said there was a surge in the ranking order during the 11th plan as against the 9th plan and 10th plan.

Bhatia said, “A total of 77 orientation programmes and 144 refresher courses have been conducted so far.

“Besides, it has also organised a number of workshops for principals, deans and staff of various colleges.”

Bhatia added that the college had started various programmes for teachers.

He said, “On an average, 15 to18 programmes are being conducted every year, in which around 600 teachers are trained. The courses follow participative and interactive style of learning. Each programme has an objective and scientific mechanism for evaluation.”

On the future strategies, he said, “Plans are rife to make the situation more liberal and flexible so that the knowledge is spread widely to the younger generation through trained teachers. What is required is a pragmatic and positive approach to make the system of education and training more liberal, accessible and flexible.” 

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Rajiv Gandhi remembered
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 22
To commemorate the 18th death anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, a meeting of Congress workers was held at Mullanpur Dakha and Jagraon yesterday.

The speakers said today’s India was the result of initiatives taken by Rajiv Gandhi nearly two decades ago.

They said the leader had visualised eradication of rural poverty, unemployment, disease and ignorance by enacting the Panchayti Raj Bill.

The lowering of the voting age from 21 years of age to 18 was also the initiative of Rajiv Gandhi that nearly changed the political scenario throughout 
the country.

They said Gandhi had envisioned a progressive and powerful India.

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City Centre Scam
Amarinder gets exemption
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 22
Court of Sessions Judge GK Rai today granted exemption to former Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh from personal appearance in the City Centre scam fixed for May 23.

Accepting the plea, the court observed that his wife Perneet Kaur has been elected. So, his plea of attending the meetings at New Delhi seems to be reasonable.

In its application, Capt Amarinder Singh has asserted that he was to attend various meetings in New Delhi in connection with the formation of new government.

Whereas, the Vigilance Bureau had opposed the move. 

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Panch escapes unhurt as man opens fire
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 22
A panch of Talwandi Kalan near here had a miraculous escape when a person opened fire upon him. Jagmohan Singh, who was admitted in a critical condition to Sidhwan Bet civil hospital, said yesterday morning that he along with Mannu, a migrant labour, visited Majari village for watering his fields when Avtar Singh along with three others of the same village attacked him.

Avtar Singh was equipped with a .12 bore double barrel gun, he added. On learning that Avtar Singh was about to shoot him from the point blank range, he caught hold of the gun from the barrel. Thus, the bullet missed the target. He snatched the gun from Avtar Singh fearing to be shot again.

Jagmohan handed over the gun to his servant and told him to run towards the village. He confronted Avtar Singh with bare hands. At this, Avtar Singh took out a kirpan and stabbed him on his shoulder and head. Meanwhile, on seeing people gathering on the spot, the accused ran away.

The Sidhwan Bet police reached the spot and arrested Avtar Singh. His rifle was also seized. Sidhwan Bet SHO said the investigation was on whether the accused fired at him or not.

Investigation by The Tribune revealed that both parties had an old dispute. Avtar Singh had mistakenly damaged the potato crops of the victim about two months ago. He was made to feel sorry besides told to pay a fine of Rs. 5,000 in cash. About a fortnight ago, wheat straw of the accused got accidentally burnt.

The accused wanted that Jagmohan Singh should be made to behave in the same manner as he was forced to do. But, Jagmohan refused to do so. Avtar Singh decided to settle the score in this way. However, he refuses to have fired at him. 

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Snatching at petrol station
Kin of main suspect arrested
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 22
The Ludhiana (Rural) police has initiated probe into the alleged snatching from an employee of a petrol station located on the outskirts of Barundi village near here a few days ago.

One of the accomplices, a relative of the main suspect, who was earlier cornered by villagers, was arrested under Section 109 of the IPC yesterday.

According to Bahadur Singh, owner of the petrol station located on the outskirts of Barundi village on the Ahmedgarh-Raikot Road, a few miscreants allegedly fled after getting the fuel tank of the Innova (HR 38 K 5850) filled on May 16. Before fleeing they had also snatched some cash from Viney Kumar, an employee.

While the police is yet to register a case in this connection, Bahadur Singh spotted the Innova at a service station of the area on Tuesday. The villagers led by Bahadur Singh cornered Hira Singh of Tunga Heri village, a relative of the Innova’s owner. A police team led by the SHO, Latala, on Thursday evening, later on, arrested Hira Singh.

Investigations revealed that the suspects, who were yet to be identified, had run away without paying for the fuel they got filled in their Innova on the fateful day. However, it is yet to be verified whether some cash was snatched from Viney Kumar.

“We have extracted some information from Hira Singh, who has been booked under Section 109 of the IPC. Action would be taken after verifying the sequence of events leading to fleeing of the suspects,” the SHO added.

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Six booked for assault
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, May 22
Six persons were booked yesterday for attacking and injuring another villager at Baghian village near here on April 29.

Bobby, a tailor, Kinder Singh, Sukhi, Raudi, Happy and Bakshi of Bhagian village were booked for assaulting Bhajan Singh of the same village under Sections 323, 325, 148 and 149 of the IPC after the police received the X-ray report.

The accused was admitted to Deepak Hospital, Ludhiana. The SHO said both parties fought over an old enmity.

Meanwhile, two groups clashed with each other after a minor altercation at Chowkiman on the Wednesday night. Both groups were equipped with sharp-edged weapons. Three persons sustained injuries in the accident.

Paramjit Singh of Bodalwala village had accused Kuldeep Singh and his friends of attacking him when he was sitting with Vikramjit Singh, one of his friends. Whereas, Kuldeep Singh alleged Paramjit Singh and others attacked them while they were going home on motorcycles.

Chowkiman police post in charge said the clash between the two groups was due to their fight for supremacy in the area. He said both parties of the dispute later on entered into a mutual compromise. 

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Two IPL bookies arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
The CIA-I has arrested two bookies for placing bets on T-20 IPL matches being played in South Africa. The accused were arrested from Flower Enclave at Phollanwal village last night.

The accused have been identified as Kuldeep Kumar, a resident of Bernala, and Akash Arora, a resident of Model Town.

According to SP (D) SK Kaila, the CIA-I in charge Gurpreet Singh received a tip-off that the accused had been placing bets on IPL matches.

A police team raided the place and arrested the accused. A sum of Rs 1 lakh, seven mobile phones and a Swift car were seized from the accused.

Kuldeep Singh had been arrested in a similar case two years ago.

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Couple beaten up, four booked
Tribune News Service

Khanna, May 22
Four persons, including two women, were booked today for allegedly beating up a couple and then locking them inside their house in Machhiwara yesterday afternoon.

The accused have been identified as Swaran Kaur, her son Jasvir Singh, daughter Rani and Kulveer Singh of Bazigar Basti in Machhiwara.

In her complaint lodged with the police, Seema Rani alleged that the accused entered into her house and beat up her husband. They also inflicted injuries upon her when she tried to save her husband.

After giving a sound thrashing the accused then locked the couple inside their house and fled away.

A case under Sections 342, 323 and 34 of the IPC has been registered against the accused.

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Gang of robbers busted; 2 held
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, May 22
The local police has busted a gang that had been involved in robbing residents by entering their houses.

The police arrested Harbans Singh of Aliwal village, the kingpin of the gang, and Malkit Singh of Sainpura near Salem Tabri. It also seized a car (PB 10 BL 5020) from the accused.

The gang had been active in the area for the past few months. The gang members used to enter the house posing as meter readers of the PSEB.

The gang of five, equipped with pistols and knives, had entered the house of Kuldeep Singh, a jeweller at College Road, Dakha. However, Kuldeep Singh along with his son Parminder Singh reached home for lunch.

They found the car parked there and heard noise from the house. They raised the alarm and residents gathered at the scene.

They informed the police, which arrested the kingpin and another member after a chase. Other gang, members, however, escaped. The police is raiding suspected hideouts of the accused to nab the others.

A case has been registered.

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2 arrested for extortion
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
Two youths posing as journalists belonging to an electronic channel were arrested by the Focal Point police for extorting money from a grocery shop owner.

According to the police, the accused Gaurav Pabbi and Kamal Kapoor, residents of Kundan Puri and Sunder Nagar, respectively, recorded a video of Bodh Raj Goyal, who runs a grocery shop at Sunder Nagar.

According to the police, the two accused grocery shop owner of selling adulterated kerosene and threatened to run the video on television unless he paid Rs 1,000. The trader handed over Rs 1,000 to the two.

The accused then targeted Mahinder Rai and tried to extort Rs 400 from him but were arrested by some residents. They were thrashed before being handed over to the police.

The police has booked them for fraud and extortion.

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